Saturday, December 19, 2009


There's never a good time to be sick but why now? I have presents to wrap (even though I don't like the job of wrapping, I love watching people open them). I have Oreo Bark to make (although I never have it looked like a good recipe). I have parties to go too and friends to see (missed one last night). I have work to do at home and at church... and I feel lousy. Ken thinks I'm now a baritone. I overheard Keith tell Dale that I sounded terrible. My family doesn't want to get too close to me... which is understandable. So as I sat here feeling sorry for myself, I thought I should turn my thoughts to what I'm blessed with. Why? Because there are so many people who are REALLY sick with cancer or some other uncurable or inoperable problem. I'm reminded of my friend and servant at church, Sandy, who has been through a year of chemo and radiation for breast cancer... and yet every email from her talked about the joy of the Lord... about how grateful she was for friends and family who were helping her... for the many blessings she's experienced. Never once did I hear Sandy complain... and I'm sure she had reason to. I can count on one hand how many times she missed teaching her first grade Sunday School class. Sandy is amazing! I've been touched by her testimony this past year.

When I went to see my parents in September, I was saddened by my dad's condition. How terrible it must be to get up from a chair and not know if you're going to walk or pass out. Yet he still smiles and jokes... goes to church every Sunday and who knows what other days if something is going on. He goes places with my mom... mainly because they are inseperable. :-) I'm sure all the kids, grandkids and great grandkids will get on his nerves a little bit this Christmas but he won't say anything. He'll just watch... and smile... and be thankful that we can be together.

I think of a wonderful lady in our church who will be without her husband for the first time this Christmas. His death is still fresh in her heart and mind. I'm sure she misses him and it will be very hard.

I'm so blessed to have such wonderful kids... 3 by birth; 1 by choice; 2 by marriage... and then those grandkids. Whoa!! I'm telling you... there are none cuter or sweeter than my Sammy and Lizzie. :-) Yeah, yeah... I know there are a lot of grandparents who will argue that point but that's OK... I would expect nothing less. Before I was a grandmother, I would make fun of Dale and Jane in the office. They would show pictures and talk about their adventures and I would smile, look at the pictures, nod my head... and think "this surely can not be that big of a deal." Was I ever wrong? I love being "Moppy"... and I'm pretty sure Sammy and Lizzie are crazy about their Moppy and Poppy.

As I write this, Charlie is doing laundry... really haven't felt like going downstairs but he started in on it this morning. He also took me to buy a birthday present for Malikas - a quick in and out. (These people with birthdays in December and early January!!) But then was sweet to drop me off while he ran a couple of other errands for me. He can be the sweetest guy in town. :-)

How wonderful it is to have Sara home this Christmas. God has placed a special call on her life and I can tell she's getting antsy. Let's face it... she's been in America for 6 whole months. We'll get to spend a couple of extra days with Chris since he took some vacation time. I'm looking forward to all 4 of us making a trip to Missisippi. And then when we get back, we'll have Christmas with Jason, Jenny and the kids. I'm saddened that we don't get to spend any time with Malikas this holiday season. She will be greatly missed. It just couldn't happen this year. :-(

So yes, I am truly blessed... food, shelter, clothing, family... and much, much more are all at my fingertips. Thank you, Jesus, for your blessings on our family. "Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine." Psalm 16:5 (NLT).

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Every morning, I receive a devotional by email from an organization called Proverbs 31 Ministries. Today's touched my heart and actually brought me to tears as I wonder about how often I miss out on such divine appointments. Hopefully, it will make you think... and act... as well.

Divine Delays by Zoe Elmore

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

My schedule was tight and I was out of make-up, so I planned to pick up my favorite foundation at the local mall, leaving room to still arrive on time for my friend's annual Christmas tea. As I prepared to leave, the Lord whispered to my heart, Don't go to the mall; go to the make-up store near your home.

But Lord, I argued, I have my friend's Christmas tea and the mall is on the way. What You're asking me to do isn't convenient. I will have to go out of my way and I will be late for the tea. And You know how important punctuality is to me!

After more mental arguing, I reluctantly obeyed and went into the corner make-up store.

I knew the young woman working. She's not only pleasant, but quick and efficient with her customers. Lord, maybe this inconvenience won't interrupt my schedule too much after all.

As I entered the store, the familiar woman greeted me and offered to help with my purchase. I told her what I needed and added that I was in quite a hurry to be on time for my Christmas tea. Quickly and efficiently she found the needed product and walked me to the register to check out.

This was easier than I thought, I said to myself as she handed me my purchase. Then it happened ... the reason I had been led to go out of my way.

"I know you're in a hurry, and I will only keep you one more moment." The young woman shared. "I'd like to ask that you pray for me and my struggling marriage as you drive to your Christmas tea. I don't think my marriage can be saved."

In that moment I sensed the Lord, This is why I wanted to interrupt your busy schedule.

I placed my purchase on the counter, held her hands and prayed. As the Lord guided my words, the young woman began to sob, her tears landing softly on my hands. When I said "Amen," she hugged me tightly and whispered, "Of all the people I've asked to pray for me, you're the first one to stop and do so. Thank you. I've been very discouraged, and had thought no one would ever respond to my request. In fact, I had given up all hope that God even heard my cries for help."

I reminded her of Psalm 145:18-19, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them" (NIV).

She thanked me for my time, adding that she would begin to dig into God's Word for more strength and encouragement. The store began to fill with customers. There was one more hug and an exchange of phone numbers as I left for the tea.

Since that day we have talked and prayed together on several occasions and we plan to continue into the New Year. Each time she and I talk, it's a reminder that when I listen and obey the Lord's promptings, I experience the joy of His presence in a powerful way.

God's divine delay taught me that being used by the Lord for His glory in the life of others far outweighs arriving on time.

Dear Lord, thank You for loving me enough to use me for Your purposes and glory. Teach me to listen and obey without reservation or hesitation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Thanksgiving was not what I had envisioned... the family sitting round the dining room table enjoying too much food but laughing and having a great time. However, that's not the way it was - at all. Grown kids + work schedules + living in different cities (and countries) makes it difficult. Jason & Jenny and family were at her mom and dad's; Chris had to work on Friday and he's in Springfield; Sara was here and it was her first Thanksgiving at home in 3 years; Masha was at home on the Isle of Man. Charlie decided to go to Springfield so that Chris wouldn't be alone; Sara and I stayed here because she had to work on Friday and we were leaving that afternoon for Nashville for a wedding. We got up Thanksgiving morning... at our leisure... and went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. It was a delicious start to our day. We came home... watched a movie... relaxed... and then had a turkey dinner. It really turned out to be a very enjoyable day and I was thrilled to have Sara home and to spend the time with her.

On Friday we headed to Tennessee for the wedding on Saturday of Allison Ellsworth. The Ellsworth family is very dear to my heart and I would not have missed that wedding. As expected, it was beautiful... but not near as beautiful as the lovely bride. She was beaming from the time she walked out the door with her dad until we told her good-bye several hours later. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and the wedding was held outside. Who would have thought such a thing would be possible on November 28? It was sooooo good to see Steve, Jane, Lindsey and Kaitlyn too. When Lindsey introduced me to her boyfriend, she said, "This is Becky... from St. Louis... she adores Kaitlyn... and Kaitlyn adores her." :-) That Kaitlyn will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart... and has since the day I saw her in an orphanage in Belarus. God is so good to have given her one of the most wonderful families I've ever known. OK... I could go on and on about the wedding but just check out the pictures on Facebook and that will give you a pretty good story. Since we drove over on Friday, we were able to spend that evening with my sister, Brenda, and her family. It was a fun visit... Dominic continues to crack me up with his very animated conversations about very important things... like gas for the car. He's a funny boy!

Sitting on my bed. I just downloaded a Josh Groban Christmas CD - man, can that guy sing!!

Waiting and relaxing for a bit before it's time to start dinner. It has to be early on Thursdays - Sara goes to Precept; Charlie has small group.

Glad to have Sara home for the holidays this year. Glad that my Christmas shopping is almost done!! Woo-hoo!!

Needing childcare help for the Saturday night musical on December 12. Also needing more help for the KidZone Christmas party right before the musical. Any takers?

Reading "In the Secret Place - A Pilgrimage through the Psalms" by Jerry Rankin as my devotional each day. Reading "The Truthseeker" by Dee Henderson for fun. Need to start reading "Crazy Love" before Keith thinks I forgot how to read.

Avoiding cleaning out file drawers... and baking cookies for KidZone Worship. I just don't like to bake... or file.

Enjoyed the Ellsworth/Pinckley wedding... obviously.

Preparing soon to make shrimp stir fry for dinner.

Drinking a diet Coke.

Snacking: just finished some almonds.

Trying to work out our Christmas travel details. Once again... Grown working kids + holiday plans = a lot of thinking & planning.

Ending a productive week and looking forward to the start of Upward practices next week.

Misc. Hoping Keith's recent purchase of a new internal hard drive works well... if so, then I'll do the same. There was something else I was going to write here and it has completely slipped my mind so I'll go with this and see if it comes to me anytime soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009


We had our first Grandparent's Night at Sammy's preschool on Thursday. Of course we had to share him with Jenny's parents - Grandma and Grandpa - but that was OK. Sammy came in with his new jeans and a big boy button-down oxford shirt and his hair slicked over. He was very handsome. A video was shown at the beginning and to be very honest, it was really poorly done. It certainly made me thankful for our WET (Worship Enhancement Team) at Parkway. Also it was a bit long - 20-25 mintues - for a preschool presentation. Then the kids got up on the stage to sing... and some of them needed some discipline that they obviously had never received. I kept thinking about Marqie at our preschool. She would have banged some heads together. However, Sammy sang his songs... did his motions... and did everything else he was told. And I'm not being biased because later when we met his teacher she told us how well-behaved he always is and how he listens and obeys and is such a huge delight. :-) Of course we already knew all those things but it's nice to hear from someone else. Sammy drew pictures of us and told his teacher things to write about us and we got bring them home. After cookies and juice we all headed for home.

This morning was one of those MOPS lesson days when you aren't sure how things are going to go. Our lesson title: My Family Tree is Suddenly a Forest. I know that's the way I felt when I got married... I'm the oldest and was the first of my siblings to get married. I only had 3 first cousins and 1 aunt and 1 uncle. Charlie, on the other hand, had 5 older sisters who were married (or had been) and 2 younger sisters, one of which was married. He had lots of aunts and uncles and tons of cousins. He probably didn't even know some of them. So our conversation today was about extended family and that always leads to in-laws and that often leads to trouble. I talked individually with each DGL about keeping it positive. I told the group as a whole that we weren't there to bash in-laws. I prayed that God would lead us to encouraging words and that healing would come, if necessary. And the morning went very well. Thank you, Jesus!!

Saturday morning will be our 2nd annual Blessing Brunch for our Sunday School teachers. It's my simple way of saying "thank you" to a wonderful group of men and women who are faithful every Sunday to teach our young ones. A couple of parents have sent words of encouragements about the teachers that I get to share with them. We don't talk about curriculum or discipline or training... we enjoy a delicious brunch, get to know one another a little better and share the blessings of sharing with children about God's love.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I've been so lax about this blog... it's been almost a month... and it's not like nothing has happened... which may be part of the reason... busy, busy!! Upward evaluations & draft, Fall Festival, Rubies Celebration Tea, Jason's birthday, dinner with the Stacks, Children's Ministers retreat, Grand Prix... plus the regular day to day stuff. Also made 2 funeral home visits - one for Carl Petty, a man who fought a valiant battle against cancer and the Lord took him home on October 29. He will always be remembered for his generosity and his love for our babies. Jeff Wells' mother passsed away about the same time. Jeff was our former youth minister.

It seems kind of late to go into any detail about the events since they are all way in the past... except for the Grand Prix... which was great fun as usual. There were some incredibly creative cars. Pictures will be on the church's website in a couple of weeks. My mind always goes to Don Anthony. He loved the Awana Grand Prix... and he loved the kids. He is still missed. :-(

I saw these questions from Kendra today and thought it would be a sort of mindless, fun thing to do while watching Lady Vols basketball.

1. What is your occupation right now? Children's minister

2. What color are your socks right now? navy blue

3. What are you listening to right now? Tennessee Lady Vols vs. Texas Tech basketball game

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Spaghetti, salad

5. What is your favorite cheese? Most any kind - probably prefer monterey jack or provel

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Malikas

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Kendra didn't really send it to me but I do like her very much.

8. How old are you today? 56

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? College basketball

10.What is your favorite drink? Diet Pepsi or Grape Propel

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yep

12. Favorite food? Almost anything Mexican except jalapenos

13. What is the last movie you watched? Where the Wild Things Are (not a big fan)

14. Favorite day of the year? Not sure I have one. Any day with kids and grandkids is a favorite

15. How do you vent anger? depends on where I am - cry, slam a door, talk it out

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? my bike

17. What is your favorite season? Spring

18. Cherries or Blueberries? Bing cherries

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? I always want my friends to email me back.

20. Living arrangements? home in West County with 1 husband and 1 grown kid (at the moment)

23. When was the last time you cried? When Malikas left St. Louis to go back to the Isle of Man

24. What is on the floor of your closet? shoes only; I recently cleaned it out.

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? not sending this; just putting it here

26. What did you do last night? Enjoyed a relaxing night at home

27. What are you most afraid of? Losing someone I love

28. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburger? Cheese!

29. Favorite dog breed? No favorite but something small

30. Favorite day of the week? Wednesday because of all the kids at Awana and Thursday because it's my day off and I can rest after all the kids at Awana.

31. How many countries have you lived in? 3

32. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

33. What is your favorite flower? aster-mary, rose

34. What is your favorite color? blue

35. What is your favorite smell? fresh bread baking; baby right out of a bath

36. How long have you been with your partner? 36 years of marriage...

37. What is your middle name? Ann

38. What annoys you the most? People who drive like idiots with no regard for anyone else on the road.

39. Most interesting holiday you've ever had? Christmas during my 7th grade year

40. Favorite ice-cream? chocolate almond

41. Day or night? Night

Well, for anyone who bothers to read this, you now know me a little better.

It sure is nice to still have Sara around... even if she is a little bit crazy!!

Chris had a very successful hunting weekend...
Sammy & Lizzie got a big hug after singing Happy Birthday to their daddy.

Malikas has a new friend... a Manx cat - no tail, extra long legs. His name? Well... she and her husband, Chris, named him Timmy after the guy on NCIS because this cat managed to create a new file on Malikas' computer so she thought he must be a geek. I call him Probie... and so does Malikas.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Psalm 9:1-2 - I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. Malikas and I are reading the Psalms "together" along with a book by Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Sometimes... often times... life can be really frustrating. At the moment, I'm going through some frustrating personal stuff. I don't have any answers and I go from sad to mad and then back to sad. Some things just hurt and there's nothing I can do... except pray. It's hard to be filled with joy or sing praises... but that's what I want to do. My circumstances should not determined how joyful I am... I will be filled with joy because of YOU... not because I'm happy or because things are going great or anything else... but because of Him.

My sister reads my blog - faithfully. She shared a funny grandkid story and quote: She had taken her two grandsons to the pumpkin patch and hayride recently! On Monday while Dominic (2 year old) was napping she started making cookies that looked like pumpkins. (She's a good grandma.) The cookies were in the oven when he got up and she told him she was making him some cookies. He went into the kitchen, flips on the oven light and looks in to see the cookies. Then he turns around and says, "MeMe, it's the pumpkin patch!" :-)

Jury duty turned out to be a good day. I was in the first batch called for voir dire but they decided not to choose me to sit on the jury. I turned in my badge and was out of there by 2:30 - a great way to do one's civic duty!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


It's been a funny week for kids' quotes - sometimes we're just in the right place at the right time.

Wednesday I enjoyed dinner at church with one of our young families. As I walked up to the table I asked the little girl, CK, how she was feeling because I knew she had missed Sunday School because she was sick. Big brother, SK, says "How did you know she was sick?" I smiled and told him I knew everything. :-) As we ate dinner, we talked about a recent change we had made in KidZone Worship - using marbles in a jar as reward for doing "homework" and bringing their Bible. SK wanted to know why we had changed so I tried to explain our thinking. Then I said, "Don't you think having a movie morning when the jar gets full will be fun?" He agreed that it would be. Then SK asks, "Could we watch Monsters vs. Aliens?" I told him I thought we should watch something more spiritual. SK: "The monsters are good ones." :-)

Today didn't start out so well. And if you asked why... well, I couldn't really give you an answer... just a blah kind of day. But I spent over 2 hours with our preschoolers at church tonight. Usually, I don't because I have childcare workers who do that but I was missing one tonight and forgot to get a replacement so I just stayed myself. And it made for a good ending to my day. Three and four year olds can be such fun! And I always learn something new... like a mom I know who often talks about their dog chewing on things but their preschooler says he doesn't... but then later said sometimes Roscoe eats things. But the hit of the evening was a cute little 4 year old girl who asked me to talk to her dad. SW tells me that her dad eats her breakfast and she doesn't get any Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Haha! SK came by with mom to pick up his sister. I asked him if he enjoyed choir tonight. He wanted to know how I knew he was in choir. I reminded him that I know everything. Then he wanted to know how I know everything. That's when I had to confess that I really don't. Hey, it was a nice run!!

Question for the day... can the Rams go the entire season without winning a game? Or will the Tennessee Titans have that distinction? They don't play each other so maybe they both can go for that goal!

Monday morning I head for the Courts Building in Clayton... jury duty is calling my name. Please, please let it be a short call... a few years ago it lasted for 2 weeks. It's an experience I will never forget but one I really don't want to experience again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

EVALS... 2 down, at least 2 to go

Two evenings of Upward Evaluations are in the books... and we have Thursday and Saturday still to go with the possibility of another day or two if needed. Numbers are running about the same as last year - would prefer to see even more so if you know anyone who wants to play some fun basketball this year, have them contact me or the church. Both nights we've had kids showing up before the "official" start time of 6 pm. I think they must be excited. I know I am. I love Upward basketball and all that it brings... well, almost all!! I've got a superb group of commissioners who make my job as League Director so much easier. God has provided great servants for our Upward program.

Lunch was special today... fun with Sammy and Lizzie and their parents at Friday's.
This is Bosses Week and it's already been a good one. However, I understand that more is in store from our ministry assistants so details will have to wait.

Listening to the rain... and tired of hearing it. And I'm wondering if we're going to really have a fall. It was so cold today!

I'm looking forward to Sara coming home on Saturday. I'm sure she's had a rough week but I'm so proud of her for wanting to minister to a family in Tulsa.

For those who don't know, Chris' girlfriend is studying abroad - in Egypt. I enjoyed reading her blog today. It's a good way to get to know her better. Looking forward to seeing her over the holidays.

Plans are coming together for our annual Fall Festival. Don't miss it! Saturday, October 31, 6 pm.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

TWIML #5 (This Week in Moppy's Life)

Time for a status update... probably not such a good idea considering the mood I'm in but here goes...

Sitting: and watching the Cardinal game... one out away from being eliminated... anticipating it to all be over before I finish this.

Waiting: for the game to be over... it's been such a sad NLDS. Who would have thought that the Cardinals would have done so poorly?

Glad: for a surprise visit from Sammy & Lizzie this afternoon. Jason & Jenny went to a movie and we got to watch the kiddos. Glad: for friends from church and their encouraging words about our children's ministry.

Needing: sleep... a couple of early mornings the last 2 days and not sleeping well at night is making for a bad combination.

Reading: not much time for reading lately.

Avoiding: filing... again.

Enjoyed: a recent visit from Malikas and the trip to the Mississippi coast. Today we had a video chat online with her and Sammy and Lizzie. The kids thought it was interesting that it was dark at her house but not here. However, I don't think Lizzie understood. She asked, "Masha, could you come see us in a few minutes?" :-)

Preparing: for KidZone Worship (really reviewing) and a visit from Moses and Aaron and also for 2 meetings Sunday afternoon.

Drinking: caffeine-free diet Coke.

Snacking: on nothing; had a late dinner.

Trying: to make sure everything is ready for Upward Evaluations which start on Monday. It'll be a busy week but one of my favorites!

Ending: a wonderful visit with Malikas on Tuesday as she headed back to the Isle of Man. It's always hard to say good-bye. :-(

Misc: pray for Sara. She's in Oklahoma ministering to some kids that she got to know on her many trips to Casa Bernabe (orphanage in Guatemala). Five children (siblings) were adopted a couple of years ago. Last week the oldest (19 or 20) killed himself. Sara wanted to be with the younger siblings.

The Cardinal season is over... but it's all put in perspective when I think about what Sara is doing.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

VACATION... Part 2

Well... it's been 2 weeks since Malikas and I went to the coast and I'm wondering what the odds are of me remembering enough to write in a blog. At least I should be able to remember the high points.

After checking into our hotel on Wednesday afternoon, we headed for the beach - the section across the street from our hotel. I'll admit I was disappointed - no white sand, dirty water - and I began to think this certainly wasn't a place I wanted to sit and read and soak up the sun. We walked down to a pier but it had not been rebuilt since Katrina. We eventually realized that most of them had not. Of course that didn't seem to bother the birds. As we drove down Beach Blvd., we saw a couple of places that were more appealing for beach fun so that's where we headed on Thursday. Malikas spent much of her time riding a jet ski... and she looked pretty funny when the day was over - kind of like a racoon. :-) I tried to take her picture... instead I fell in a hole, starting sinking, and ended up with a slightly wet and salty camera. It didn't go all the way under but did enough damage that my camera stopped working. :-( Being the adventurous person that I am, I spent my time at the beach reading and napping. Dinner that night was at a restaurant we found on "urbanspoon" - an app on my iPhone - called Bonefish Grill. Oh yeah... it was great! Malikas and I both love seafood so it was a good call.

On Friday, we decided to try fishing - not the deep sea kind because it was way too expensive - but what they called offshore fishing, I think. Anyway, we went out with a guide and fished under the new bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs. We probably caught about 80 fish between the four of us - white trout and white bass mostly. Since I'm a lover of Mexican food, dinner at El Rancho was our evening stop. Once again - delicious food.

Saturday morning brought a rain storm. It was interesting watching it develop offshore and make it's way to land. Lunch was at the White Cap Restaurant (more seafood) and we had a table at the window where we could look out on the beach. As we sat there, we watched a water spout develop out in the Gulf. I had my first oysters on the half shell and they were good regardless of what they look like or what anyone else says about them. By the time lunch was over the rain had stopped so we took the opportunity to take pictures of HUGE guitars (at Hard Rock Casino), sculptures created with a chain saw from trees destroyed by Katrina, and cool palm trees.

One more trip to the beach was in order for the late afternoon. However, it did not last very long which is very evident by the pictures as a storm came in - this time from land.

Sunday morning we left to go back to my mom and dad's to spend the night before heading back to St. Louis on Monday. My sister, Bev and her family made dinner for all of us and brought it to mom's. We had a nice, relaxing visit with everyone. The trip was fun... but way too short!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

VACATION... Part 1

Malikas arrived from the Isle of Man on Friday evening, Sept. 18. We hit the road after church on Sunday, Sept. 20. Our first stop was Jackson, TN, where my sister and her husband live. They manage a retirement home there. I asked my sister why they ever decided to do such a thing. Her answer? "They give me a place to live, pay my utilities, give me 3 meals a day and once a week someone comes in to clean my house. What's not to like?" I did learn that a lot of stress goes with the job as well. But they seem to be happy and to like what they do. I'm very happy for them. On Monday morning, we went to Milan, TN, to see Marc. For those who don't know that are reading this, he's my nephew who was in a car accident and has been left in a semi-vegetative state. He seems to know when someone is there... and seems to be trying to respond with his eyes when someone talks to him. I pray that God will someday restore his brain.

After a delicious lunch (catfish sandwich) at the Wall Street Grill, we headed to my mom and dad's in Booneville, MS, for a couple of days. We celebrated my mom's birthday on Monday evening at Chili's with my dad, my sister, Bev and her husband and youngest son. We all had plenty to eat with lots of laughs and good conversation. On Tuesday, I took Malikas to some of my old stomping grounds. I found my old dorm even though the campus is at least twice the size from when I was there. Then we went to a little town called Saltillo for lunch. Malikas had seen a commercial on TV for Bishop's BBQ and since she's a BBQ nut, we decided to give it a try. Talk about good... it was THE best BBQ I've ever eaten. We shared a sampler platter so we could try almost everything... brisket (so tender), pulled pork (so tasty), ribs (fall off the bone kind)... and sides were gator tators (homemade potato chips), fried okra, fried green tomatoes. OK, not the healthiest meal... and we couldn't eat it all... but oh, so good!!! After lunch, we drove through the little town where my grandparents lived and I was surprised by all the empty stores. However, the most heartbreaking was going by my grandparents' house. It was sold a few years back and it has not been taken care of at all. Peeling paint, shutters falling off, grass and brush that needs cutting... almost made me cry. Seeing my dad made me sad, too. He often gets up and then falls and unless someone is there to catch him, nothing stops him. He has a genetic disorder called spinocerebellar atrophy syndrome. I'm a fixer so I want to take care of it and fix it and make it all better... but I can't. In fact, there is nothing anyone can do and that is very, very hard. However, he still has his sense of humor and his great smile. My dad loves the Lord and knows that God is in charge of his life. He did ask Malikas if she could move in because she jumps up and can catch him sooner than most. :-)

Malikas and I left Wednesday morning for the coast. That will be Part 2 at a later time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

TWIML #5 (This Week in Moppy's Life)

Sitting: on my bed... late on a Saturday night and thinking about the week behind and the week ahead.

Waiting: for Malikas to arrive on Friday night. Hope this week goes by really fast.

Glad: for a beautiful day... went to Busch Wildlife with Charlie and had a picnic and then he shot his bow as it's almost bow season for deer. Seems as though he's a really good shot even though he had to switch to his left hand because of his eye. Glad: that my broken tooth only needed a minor repair with putty-like stuff and not a crown.

Needing: to get a lot done this week since I'm going on vacation next week. My office looks like a tornado came through but it usually does at the busiest of times.

Reading: same-o, same-o... wish I had more time to just sit and read.

Avoiding: I don't know... I don't think I'm avoiding anything at the moment. Well, maybe I'm avoiding doing a couple of bulletin boards that need some creativity. I think I should "hire" Marqie... hers always look so cool.

Enjoyed: a busy, crazy week... first night of Awana was Wednesday... had approximately 184 kids and leaders... so cool! Enjoyed: reading Calen's new blog. She's Chris' girlfriend and is studying in Egypt this year.

Preparing: for 2 meetings on Sunday afternoon - Children's Ministry Team and a Safety & Security Parent's Meeting. Also preparing for KidZone Worship lessons through the first Sunday of October.

Drinking: nothing
Snacking: on nothing... getting too late.

Trying: not to miss Sara too badly. She's in North Carolina catching up with her teammates from Nigeria, then on to Parkwood Baptist to speak at their Global Impact Conference.

Ending: with a list of things to be done this week but thankful for a team and an assistant that helps me. God is indeed good!!

Misc. stuff: Went to Chick-fil-a on Thursday to help support the BJC Hospice program. We have a family at church whose youngest son was part of the program before he died. His big brother, Jake, headed up the fundraiser at the Chick-fil-a in Chesterfield Valley. I hope it went well for him.

We spent Friday evening with Sammy and Lizzie while Jason and Jenny went to a wake. As you can see in the pictures at the beginning we had fun!!! Here are a couple of funny stories:

The kids are eating M&M cookies before going to bed...
Sammy: I like cookies.
Lizzie: Me, too.
Sammy: but fruit and vegetables are better for you.
Lizzie: I like cookies.
Moppy: what is your favorite fruit?
Sammy: Hmmmmm…
Moppy: do you like bananas?
Sammy: No, I’m not a fan of bananas.
Lizzie: I like chocolate chips.
Moppy: I didn’t know chocolate chips were a fruit.
Lizzie: They are. I’m a fan of chocolate chips.

The kids like putting on Poppy's glasses. They know he puts them on to read or look at something up close. Here's a funny Lizzie story...
Lizzie: Moppy, do you want me to take your shoes off?
Moppy: Sure, that’ll be OK. (So she begins to untie my shoes but one of them ends up in a knot and she’s not able to get it untied.)
Lizzie: Poppy, I need your glasses so I can see better to take off Moppy’s shoes. :-)
Cardinals have lost 2 in a row to the Braves... shouldn't have happened. Hopefully, we can win at least one game of the series on Sunday. Mizzou Tigers pulled one out... a game that should not have been a problem for them.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Sitting: on my bed... it's been a very restful afternoon and evening... and much needed after a busy, crazy morning.

Waiting: for God to answer prayers for Malikas and Sara...

Glad: for a job that I love where I can impact kids, share God's love, help parents lead their kids to a faith in God, work with great volunteers. Also Glad for answered prayers with folks continuing to volunteer to be Awana leaders. And also Glad: for a negative biopsy...

Needing: self-control and patience in this weight loss effort... found out this week that one of the meds I'm taking can add 20-30 pounds and not come off until one is off it. Grrrrrr....

Reading: "Truth Seeker" by Dee Henderson. It's a series Sara got me hooked on. Also reading "Life on Planet Mom" but that will be a continuing process since it's what I'm facilitating in MOPS this year.

Avoiding: anything fried... or at least trying...

Enjoyed: KidZone Worship this morning... 36 kids!!! Woo-hoo!!! And a superb bunch of volunteers to help me... Kendra, Kim, Eric, Jennie, Sara, Teresa... you all are wonderful! Thank you! Thank you!

Preparing: for the first night of Awana on Wednesday... we're gonna rock the House!!!

Drinking: grape Propel

Snacking: on nothing; just finished a late dinner... leftover salad from lunch.

Trying: not to mess with my broken tooth until I can get it fixed on Tuesday.

Ending: with thoughts of our fun Fall Kick-Off and all the kids who registered for Children's Choirs and Awana. What a great week!!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Jesus Cleanses and Calls - Tools @

For those who think they aren't "called" to serve God - read this... I know this is a pet peeve with me and I'm sure part of it has to do with my never-ending need for volunteers. But you don't HAVE to work with children to serve God - I just happen to think it's the best place to do it.

Jesus Cleanses and Calls - Tools @

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Monday, August 31, 2009


Where does the time ago? How is it possible that it's been over a week since I last blogged? There were some highlights... lunch with friends and their little ones at Chick-fil-a; dinner with KidZone peeps (some of the best assistants ever); a trip to the Fox with Sara to see Mary Poppins; a visit from my sister, Brenda and her daughter and her son's son; and hearing Sara share about Nigeria.

If you've never been to the Fabulous Fox Theater, you MUST go. It is so incredibly beautiful. We've seen some great shows there. Last week Sara and I went to see Mary Poppins and it was fabulous!! (No pun intended!) It was a "practically perfect" way to spend the afternoon. We enjoyed it "in a most delightful way". As a matter of fact, it was "supercalifragilisticexpialadocious". I'm considering adopting Mary Poppins' philosophy: "Let's make one thing perfectly clear. I don't explain anything."

My sister, Brenda - she's #2 out of 4... I'm #1... her daughter, Laura Beth who is 6 months younger than Chris... and my great-nephew, Dominic came for a visit. It was actually Sara speaking on Sunday night that got them here but that's OK. We had a wonderful time at the Arch and at Grant's Farm. Dominic thinks the Arch belongs to me. :-) I wish... It all started last Thanksgiving when the wallpaper for my phone was the St. Louis skyline and he began to identify the Arch with me. The first time he saw it in person, he said, "Wow! Aunt Becky's BIG Arch!"

Our next stop was Grant's Farm... which is always a fun day! Train rides, goats, elephant show, parrots, carousel rides, huge tortoises, etc. It was a beautiful day to be outside and a great girl's day out + Dominic - our entertainment for the day!!

On Sunday evening, Sara spoke about her 2 1/2 years in Nigeria - bush trips, strange food, head wraps, malaria, and so much more. Check her or my page on Facebook and see the video she put together of the beautiful faces of Nigeria. Here's a picture of Sara with one of our Nigerian church members, Shola...
The rest of this week.. and next... is gonna be crazy! Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

TWIML #3 (This Week in Moppy's Life)

Sitting: on my bed... hey, don't make fun... it's where I do some of my best work.

Waiting: for Sara to come home. She's been in Richmond at the ILC this week for her debriefing.

Glad: for a wonderful lunch last Sunday with new Indian friends - sharing together about how we can reach the Indian community with God's love... for lunch with the youth intern that has done a great job and who will be terribly missed when he goes back to Maine... for a little bit of play time on Friday with Sammy & Lizzie... for a "perfect" colonoscopy on Thursday... for a fully staffed Sunday School in our preschool and children's division.

Needing: Awana leaders and/or listeners, especially for our T&T girls (3rd-6th graders). You can give an entire evening or give a half hour during their handbook time. It's simple; it's rewarding... please ask God if He can use you in this way. More Puggles (2 by August 1) would be nice. I think we only have 1 or 2. It's the class before Cubbies and we need more kids (must be part of PBC).

Reading: nothing has changed... still trudging along with the same books. I need a vacation then I'll get more reading done.

Avoiding: knives since I cut myself yesterday on my thumb while slicing strawberries. I thought it would be fine - red strawberries, red blood... who would know? Charlie didn't agree!!

Enjoyed: my visit with an "old" friend on Tuesday at It's a Grind.

Preparing: for a Sunday School teacher's meeting on Sunday afternoon; a visit from my sister, niece and great-nephew next weekend.

Drinking: diet Pepsi.

Snacking: Bing cherries.

Trying: to be patient and trust God as I wait for some test results.

Ending: with thoughts of Sara coming home shortly; possible fun trip in September.


"Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it." That's the New Living Translation (NLT) of Proverbs 22:6. I enjoy using that when I'm reading Scripture - so easy to understand. As I read that this morning I began to reflect on the teaching of my own children. Charlie and I were far, far from perfect parents but one thing we tried to do was to make sure that the education they were getting at home matched with the education they were getting at church and at school. That was why we chose Christian schools for our kids. I'm not saying you shouldn't send your kids to public school - not at all. But I am saying that Christian schools were the best match for our family. It meant sacrifice; it meant taking and picking up every day; it meant lots of money out of our already thin pockets... but we felt it was a sacrifice God wanted us to make so we did... and have never regretted it.

Jason is an elder at Christ Community E-Free Church and works with the youth there. He continues to mold the young minds of those he works with as well as his 2 young children. You would be hard-pressed to find a more tender-hearted young man. He sticks to his beliefs - even to the point of losing a job over his refusal to sell products for stem-cell research. He married one of the most beautiful and sweet-spirited young women I've ever known. She's a fabulous mom and we could not have asked for a more wonderful daughter-in-law. We're sure God gave her to Jason and to us. And they have given us two beautiful grandchildren with a third one on the way. Woo-hoo!!!!!

As most of you know who read this, Sara just returned from 2 1/2 years in Nigeria as a journeyman missionary for the IMB. She endured food and drink that most of us would never even consider eating. She fought malaria after only being in the country for 6 weeks. I still say that mosquito bit her as she walked off the plane - and I'll bet it's name was Satan. Sara was so sick and many thought she would, or at least should, come home. But no - she was going to win that battle and she did! Sara has loved mission work since she went on that first trip with her Dad to Brazil when she was in junior high and she wanted to stay there. Since then she's been to Poland, to Guatemala several times, to Russia to study for a semester, and, of course, Nigeria. If you think she's home to stay, think again. God has greater and bigger work for her to do somewhere.

Chris, our baby, lives in Springfield and loves it there. And why wouldn't he? He's a hunter and fisherman and has all of that so close. He attends First Baptist, Ozark and enjoys a weekly Bible study on another night. Like most young men his age, he didn't give up on his upbringing - he found a church where he could worship and help him stay close to God and continue to study His Word. He loves basketball and helps out with Upward when his schedule allows it.

Some of know the story of Masha... some do not. Malikas (that's a nickname that I call her) and I first met on my first mission trip to Belarus in 2000. Keith was the leader for that trip and he had met her on a previous trip. After our initial contact fell through, Masha took the ball and ran with it. That trip would not have been possible without her and God's intervention. It's a long story - maybe for a different day. Anyway she and I eventually became close... close to the point of a mother/daughter relationship. In 2003 she married a young man, Chris, from the Isle of Man (look it up on a map) and that is where they are living. Malikas became a believer in her early teens - not because of the example she had received at home but because of other opportunities and other people in her life. While in Belarus, she translated for those who would come for mission or humanitarian trips. She attended Word of Life Baptist Church and worked with their teens. When she moved to the island, she attended Port St. Mary Baptist Church but many changes and many... well, wrong motives for doing things... made it difficult to stay. There aren't many options for evangelical churches in such a small place but she continues to read His Word and worship Him in hopes of finding a place of service. So no, I didn't raise Malikas because she was 21 when I met her... but I hope I've made an impact on her spiritual life. God has been so good to spare her life so we can be a family.

All this because I read Proverbs 22:6 this morning. Sorry to have gone on and on. As I said... Charlie and I aren't perfect parents; nor are our kids perfect. God has seen us through the really hard times and we've rejoiced together at the wonderful gifts He has given us. And to back up even more - I am grateful for the loving, Christian home that my parents provided for me. They set the first example for me as I was taught "to choose the right path."

Like the song says: God is so good! God is so good! God is so good; He's so good to me!

Monday, August 17, 2009


What a fun Saturday we had!! We just don't have enough of those. After a morning of pancakes, sausage, bacon and OJ... we loaded up 2 vehicles for some "together time" at Busch Wildlife. Chris was in town and he brought his girlfriend, Calen. Jason and the kids came up from South County and Sara joined us, too. First we went to the "Kids Only" fishing lake... and watched Chris catch the biggest fish of the day. Of course, we're all used to that. If a fish is going to be caught, he will catch it and it will be the biggest... been like that for a lot of years now. Hey... I know what you're thinking but he is my kid. :-) Lizzie caught the first fish and she thought it was really cool... at first. She even wanted to hold it... until Poppy gave it to her and she yells, "Icky!! I don't want it!"... and cried for 5 minutes. Sammy caught a little fish, too, but he wasn't sure about it either. After fishing at the "Kids Only" lake for a while, we headed to a different lake and I'm not sure anyone caught anything but Chris and Calen managed to get mud all over their feet and legs and Sammy thought it would be a good place to ride his new bike. It was hot and dirty and dusty... and we all loved it!! It would have been really nice to have Malikas and Jenny join us, too.

Battle of the brothers...

Sara wonders how she can possibly text AND hold a fishing pole... and would you look at Calen's feet... hahahahaha
At church, we have what we call an Acts 1:8 Team... covering the areas mentioned in that Scripture. Each staff member also has one of the areas to help give guidance and work with the person in charge on the Acts 1:8 Team. My responsibility is Samaria. PBC has determined that Samaria is not only North America but also those who are culturally different in our community. Because of the large Indian population, we have felt God's leading in reaching out to this people group. Scott (head of the team) and I enjoyed lunch on Sunday with some couples that we had made contact with. We learned so much about their culture and shared ways that we can reach the Indian community and show them the love of Christ. This endeavor is really going to stretch me...

We have the same youth intern for the second summer in a row and Aaron is a great guy. Tomorrow we will have a good-bye party for him at Five Guys - whatever that restaurant is - and I'm sure it'll be fun. And then I get to top off my afternoon with a trip to the dentist. Fun! Fun! And to add to this fun week, I'm having a colonoscopy on Thursday. Every time I see my internist or gynecologist, they ask if I've had it done yet. I can finally say yes the next time I see them.

Do you know what TOMS shoes are? Well, I didn't know much about them but Calen wears them so I checked them out and found out that for every pair of shoes a person buys, a pair is given to a needy child. How cool is that!!! You can help too. Use the promo code Share TOMS within the next 7 days and get $5 off your order. Click here for their selection: TOMS.

Sara leaves Tuesday morning for her debriefing at the International Learning Center in Virginia. She just doesn't seem to stay around very long... but I think we get her for 3 whole weeks before she leaves town again in September.