Friday, January 29, 2010


The Apocalypse arrived at our church a couple of weeks ago. This week, the letters to the seven lampstands, or Asian churches, were the subject of our study. Given to ponder where our church might fall amongst the seven listed, and where my family and I might, it was with intrigue requiring greater attention that the letters were broken down into their individual parts. Scripture features a form to the letters, but there was a desire by this reader to see a secondary list of all that Christ said about Himself, the commendations to the churches as a whole, the reprimands and reproof, the encouragement and reward set in paragraph form that read with each segment as a whole.
In trying to take in both the division set by John's hand, and to reorder the same writings for my own (often disordered) mind, there was a recognition in all the given areas. Astonishment anew at the repetition of Christ's identification seeped into consciousness. Conviction of wrong-headedness and desire to continue in areas of possible commendation personally. Hope for the sorts of rewards deemed most appropriate to meeting the given charges rose. The inevitable comparisons left a renewal of expectation of continuing steadfastness of the church where we worship, learn, serve, and from which we are sent out each week into this often Laodicean community and occasionally into the wider world to be salt and light.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Green Girl has been telling tales in honor of the release of a friend's book. Her own tales of the things that spook her are offered in return for others' spooky tales related via comments. This has drawn up from the depths of memory the sorts of things that spook a girl... or a grown woman. Much of the truly spooky has been the result of overactive imagination, a sensitive nervous system, and a visually oriented mind. I'm more prone to being startled than spooked.
The immediate startled frights of spiders that glide down mere inches from one's face or obnoxious cousins who pop out from behind doors yelling, "Boo!" are the sort that accelerate the heart rate, but do ease quickly.
It's the case of the creeps from the visualizations that go with memory and imagination that cause gooseflesh around here. For example, the spider that descended from the eaves of the house toward me while standing at the garage door pinpad one night has gained mythical stature. It was huge. Not big. HUGE. (Just ask the daughter who ran away silently when it appeared above my head.) Now, in my mind, there is the potential for just such a thing to happen under all the eaves of the house. Or the eaves of someone else's house. Or any eaves of any house. Eesh.
Not that such things cannot be conquered. When we were both still young, my cousin spent years unresponsive to requests that he not jump out from behind doors to cause me to jump and shriek. He found it hilarious when I cried or couldn't catch my breath after one of his sudden appearances. Eventually, that sort of callous treatment built up a storehouse of resentment. That cousin jumped out at me for the last time following his recovery from being hit in the face with a fast ball. I reflexively punched him in his newly restored nose. He bled and cried. His Momma was furious. I? Was pretty sure his days of popping out at me were over.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Middle Child's passport arrived two days ago. (I very patiently refrained from opening it. Then I forgot about it so she waited an extra day to get the thing.) It arrived just at the right time since the passport number is needed for the purchase of our plane tickets to Honduras. Her support letters went out this week, too. With the trip a little over six weeks out, the excitement is building. It boggles the mind to consider the privilege of traveling with our friends to their new home! Gaining perspective (Our days in country will hardly be sufficient to convey an understanding!) on their new lives, the ministry to the people of Puerto Lempira, and of a whole different culture and world than our own is just about as exciting as life gets around here.
It was a bit sobering to print off the necessary forms for our trip. One of them was a release requiring a notary that included, "acts of war and or insurrection". Holy Cow. Really?! Really. The real humor is that despite the reality that this could be an issue, it is with a sense of adventure that KT and I prepare for the trip.
Selling our house? That is stressing me out. Finding our new digs? That is also stressing me out after the house we offered on over the weekend had an unsatisfying counter offer. It's entirely entertaining to realize that traveling to a remote area drug runners utilize for transporting no-no's into the U.S., where we need anti-malarial meds, and that is remote enough to have a red, dirt airstrip with limited access to flights in or out is an adventure. Moving in the suburbs is panic inducing. Maybe because one feels like an honor while the other is still something of a burden?

Friday, January 22, 2010


In a surprise twist, a friend who was asked to pray about the sale of our home knows a potential buyer. The friend came by this morning and walked through our home snapping photos for Potential Buyer. This evening there will be a virtual tour long distance. If the price and the photos hold sufficient appeal, then Potential Buyer will fly in to take a real-life tour of our digs. If PB is not interested, then we will begin taking bids to fix up the ol' homestead before listing it. It would be far less bittersweet to leave our longtime home if we are handing over the keys to our past with an eye toward our friend's future.
In other news, we have a good report regarding our financing. We have prequalified to take our menagerie on to their new home while still owning this one. It will likely hold greater appeal to the masses if we move our offspring, critters, and possessions on to other pastures before asking someone else to imagine their own life fitting in between these walls. This afternoon we are headed north to look at a house. Ironically, it is in the mister's favorite neighborhood. It is a variation on a floor plan by our favorite local builder that we considered building a couple of years ago, but the price is tens of thousands of dollars less than it would have cost us to build it during the housing boom. Nifty.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


We are upside down around here. Yesterday, a call to an old friend resulted in an appointment for this coming Saturday. She will walk through our home and compile a to-do list. She will also likely be listing our home for sale. It's time for us to move on despite 12 years in what the mister's and my mothers termed our "Starter Home". The mister and I rather thought we would one day retire here. That this would be our forever house, but circumstances have led us to decide that there is someplace else that will serve as our family's shelter. A place as yet unknown that will become our home.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Long Story Short

It's been some week.

  • Pleasant Suburb has experienced temperatures that barely reached the double digits. And temperatures that factored in windchill sometimes missed that mark.
  • Middle Child has a delicate stomach, and she and I are going to Honduras in March.
  • "The 21 Days of Prayer" study is good stuff.
  • One doctor has determined that her second biopsy sample contains all the nasty little pre-cancerous cells found lurking in a biopsy before Christmas. Another doctor warns that there is still an increased risk of assorted cancers with my specific type of immuno deficiency. I can only deal with screening for those one at a time without going a little crazy.
  • We are giving Bad Bella Cat ear drops (that require storage in the refrigerator between feline torture sessions applications) twice a day for a stubborn ear infection.
  • After signing off on a form explaining that should insurance deny medical treatment being given by the provider the insurance company chose, I will be responsible for a stated $21,000+ . (Yes, the decimal point does go after all three of those zeroes.) I would like to have a few minutes with the people in Washington, D.C. to discuss my "Cadillac Insurance Plan".
  • We are incredibly blessed by the friends sharing this sometimes crazy life with us. Especially the ones who hear all about it over coffee.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Our church embarked on 21 Days of Prayer... missional prayer chasing after God's heart to reach people who don't know Him. And guess what? Unlike the invitation to go to Poland that arrived via e-mail, the latest invitation was a Facebook status update. (I kid you not.)

Who: Middle Child and her Mama
What: Short-term trip in preparation for the long-term relocation of our sweet friends
Where: Honduras
When: Likely Pleasant Suburb's Spring Break in mid-March
What: Joining the adventure in response to the calling our one-time neighbors are following
How: With humble, excited hearts, and anti-malarial meds

Middle Child's passport forms are filled out, her photo taken, and necessary documentation readied for a passport fair at Pleasant County Courthouse this weekend. One can only imagine how her world view will be changed (perhaps turned upside down) by what she (well, we) will discover in response to this invitation to join the group forming for this mission trip.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Having ceased and decisted for a time in the Grocery Game to allow the stockpiles of toilet tissue and breakfast cereal to decrease, the mister and I picked up a paper this week. It was time to replenish the toothbrushes, dental floss, and the makings of school lunches. While clipping, I sometimes check sale ads to determine whether or not to clip a particular coupon. Hmmm... Drug Store is offering $2 off the same brushes and floss that the manufacturer is providing a coupon for "Buy one, get one free". Put those in a pile along with some for baby soap earmarked for that particular store.
The following morning after church, I zip into the drug store for the floss and toothbrushes while the rest of the family opts to sit in the car rather than endure Mom's giddy coupon shopping. Four of each dental item plus some baby bath (that will eventually find its way into gift baskets for other people's new arrivals) are carried to the check stand. Waiting in line allows time to mentally calculate the rewards of the previous evening's scissor-happy clippings.
As the prices registered on the digital readout add up to a total of $43, I wonder how anyone managed to take keep their teeth and babies clean without benefit of the precious little scraps of paper being transferred from my hand to the cashier's palm. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep, "... uh, how much were the toothbrushes originally?" Scribble. Beep. Scribble. Beep. "... and the price on the floss?" Scribble. Beep. Scribble. Click. And... the total? (Drumroll, please.) $4.70.
Containing crows of delight, I make the triumphal march to the car clutching my cheaply bought treasures. A few spontaneous bursts of, "Woo-Hoo!!!" explode into the air of the car to the eye-rolling of the tween. Pulling out of the parking space, I ask if anyone can guess the total value of the goodies in the bag. Since no one seems inclined to play this guessing game, I reveal the total value followed by the cost. Still, no one else seemed to share the enthusiam, but that is still okay because I am going home a winner the Grocery Game.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Towel Dry

The children have a big pile of soft, fluffy towels available for their bathing and drying pleasure. Except that the children seem to be unable to remove a single towel from the storage cabinet. Somehow two or three towels escape onto the bathroom floor where the unused items are trod upon by ungrateful, wet feet before being kicked or dragged (often by those same offending feet!) across the hall into a bedroom.
Once relocated to a child's bedroom, the towels have developed a habit of remaining hidden in dark unfrequented places until the Mildew Fairy comes to visit. Eventually, the still damp (now stinky, too) towels are rescued from their hiding places to be washed in hot water and vinegar until all signs of previous mistreatment have been rinsed away. Until the next time a kid showers.
This laundry cycle of abuse has gone on for years. And Mama has griped about it periodically for years. The mister has spent as many years suggesting that each child be assigned a color-coded towel (just like Mama did with the children's plastic dishes in their Pre-K days) to help ascertain whose towels are being properly cared for, and which individuals need further instruction. Today is the day when Mama goes to MegaMart for towels that will leave no question as to ownership. This afternoon will likely bring a chorus of groans and recriminations from our offspring. But the future? The future will hopefully see the little darlings with children of their own who throw clean laundry in the floor, hide damp towels for the Mildew Fairy, and haven't the least bit of contrition for the extra work created by their actions.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


One of our pastors referred to Google's ability to show real time images of the earth via satellite. His wife was watching just such a feed from their Texas home. On seeing that she could easily make out the Lone Star state on the screen, he admitted to a giddy desire to grab the bathroom wall mirror, and run outside to see if it was possible to make out the glint of sunlight reflecting heavenward.
The story came to mind as I read in John 3:19 that the judgment on the world is, "... that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light..." I wonder if the Light I hope to reflect is visible to the World, or if my mirror is simply too small to be visible in such a big world? The mirror of my single soul does seem awfully small in the grand scheme of things, much like our pastor's mirror in relation to the planet. And yet my soul is vast in my own estimation much as our pastor's bathroom mirror is likely the biggest one in his house. His mirror is unable to gather all of the sun's light to be reflected toward the satellite, and my soul is a still poorer reflection of the glory of God.
In the midst of contemplation of vast darkness and still more vast light, I recalled a sweet little song that has clear application to these thoughts. Even the smallest pinpoint of light is visible in total darkness. The song? "This Little Light of Mine" penned by an unknown writer brings a smile to my face today, and a lightness to both my step and heart.
In case Gentle Reader somehow escaped childhood without learning this little gem, I offer the lyrics:

This Little Light of Mine

This little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
Oh, this little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine

All around the neighborhood
I'm going to let it shine
All around the neighborhood
I'm going to let it shine
All around the neighborhood
I'm going to let it shine
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I'm going to let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I'm going to let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I'm going to let it shine
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine.

Don't let Satan [blow] it out!
I'm going to let it shine
Don't let Satan [blow] it out!
I'm going to let it shine
Don't let Satan [blow] it out!
I'm going to let it shine
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Yesterday as Walker and I headed around our familiar route for the first time in too many days, we saw something unexpected, but delightful. Despite feeling a bit careworn from the trials of the past year, each of us was greeted by the symbol of a promise.

8Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying,
9"Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you;
10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.
11"I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth."
12God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;
13I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.
14"It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,
15and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16"When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
17And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."

Friday, January 1, 2010


If seeking deep thoughts on the coming year, this is not the place to find them. (If that's the desire, then try 330 passion's resolution or the chaotony's plan for resolving year round.) The end of '09 passed away not with poker, but with Scrabble. It was an entirely fitting close to a year that cannot be summed up simply in words. It also scratched an itch that is shared by Walker. She has discovered an electronic version of Scrabble called "Words With Friends". (Because there is, in fact, an app for that, too.) In inviting game play, she has reignited a dormant love of the classic word game.
Walker was slated to play Hostess with the Mostest for her family's 15th annual New Year's Eve poker party last night. She phoned unexpectedly in the afternoon to say she was headed to an E.R. with one of her offspring. Uh-oh. We prayed. Then we played. Eventually Offspring was cleared to return home mere hours before the guests were due to begin arriving. Walker? Still managed another turn.
With her post-emergency party preparations consuming every moment, it seemed like a good idea to begin a new game with the mister. We were still periodically playing words on our phones after arriving at the party. Walker's phone was out of batteries from playing in the E.R. She played a hand or two of poker, and then suggested Wii bowling in a vain attempt to cause the mister and I to behave in a more socially appropriate manner. Except we kept playing. And her battery was still dead.
Walker had the thought that there was an actual Scrabble game in her house. The idea of playing in real time held no less appeal than the entirely addictive electronic Words with Friends. It held the added appeal of forming teams to include still more players. The mister opted for an advisory role to keep the sole team consisting of kids from being demolished. (Not that they needed any help!) Walker and I made a formidable team, and we won the first game. The teams reformed with Middle Child and I together for a rematch, but the clock was approaching midnight and the players losing focus.
Midnight struck with toasts of sparkling cider and much relief that a long day and year had come to a close. The evening's final words were those of glad expectation for the New Year, thanks for an evening well spent, good-bye, and good night.