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.