Friday, October 31, 2008

Dw and Corrie

Thank you so much for your prayers, all you bloggy here's a little update. Thank you Carie for coming and sitting with me during the surgery - it made the time go so much quicker!! xoxo

The surgery lasted just about exactly 2 hours. When Cheryl came out she said, "Wow, it was alot worse than the MRI had shown." The doctor came out and said he could not believe how bad it was - way worse than the MRI had indicated.....he said it was a "horrible injury". Owww!

One of the rotator cuff tendons was completely severed in half. Others were torn, but not severed. The doc said that most of his bicep was torn from the bone. The doc also said that he had a really nice beefy bicep to attach back to the bone. That's my man - the guy with the beefy bicep! =) Cheryl said maybe we shouldn't tell him that because he would get a big head. I said, "I know the guy - bald, 53-1/2 years old....naaah, let's tell him - he needs it!" So here's to my beefy bicep guy!!

He now has two titanium screws countersunk into his bones. The doc also said he made lots of little holes through the bones to weave his tendons and muscles through the bones. All I can think about is the sound of that little drill going through his bones time and time again....yeeeshh!
I mentioned that our dear friend Cheryl was not only the director of the OR Dept but also was able to assist in the surgery. (Cheryl's husband is a trauma surgeon but also serves our country and returned from a recent deployment. - They are great friends and really cool people.) Anyway, we were thankful and thrilled to have our friend Cheryl in the OR with him.
When he woke up he looked up at Cheryl and said, "Hi Prinshess Cheryl" (spelling just like he said it)... We have laughed and laughed about Princess Cheryl...I told him though that if he doesn't follow the doctor's orders "Prinshess Cheryl" turns into "Atilla the Hun" and will come ruin his day!
After the surgery they could not keep his oxygen levels up so he has come home on oxygen. He is in alot of pain and we spent a great deal of the night up trying to make him feel comfortable.
Your continued prayers are deeply appreciated.
Special Prayer for CORRIE.....
Corrie is an orphan living in the home of a local ministry there in Beij*ng. 

I know that many of you bloggy buddies have a heart for the orphans. I was thinking about it. Ya' know when my kids are sick I immediately start to pray for them. After all, I am their mommy. I know you do the same.

But who prays the sick orphans? People caring for Corrie are praying, but mommies like you and me just gotta' pray for Corrie....together asking Almighty God to touch her precious little body and heal her. Please pray with me for little Corrie....she needs a miracle.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday (and my sweet hubby's surgery today)

It's Thankful Thursday again! Do I hear a hearty 'yippee' out there in bloggyland?

Before I name a few things I am thankful for this week I wanted to mention something...

My sweet hubby is having surgery this morning at 10:30 Mountain Time.

Three weeks ago I was the one speaking at our morning services, so Saturday night I had gone to finish "tweaking" my message at my office at the church. It was about 9:30pm and Dw was beginning to get concerned that the building was empty and wondering if maybe I should head for home soon. He was talking to me on his cell and was also coming down the stairs. His foot slipped and with the cell in his left hand where the railing was, there was nothing to he reached out with his right hand and braced against the wall. Only his body didn't stop...his body slid rapidly toward the floor all the while his hand stayed on the wall where it was originally placed. I heard all this while on the other end on my cell phone. When he landed on the floor, he pulled his now extended arm down from up there on the wall where his hand was still positioned and he said his entire arm was numb and shaking.

The MRI showed that he had torn 3 of the 4 rotator cuff ligaments and he had actually torn his bicep away from his bone. Now, I have been thinking about that bicep thing being torn away from the bone thing and all I can picture is pulling raw chicken off the bone and it just grosses me out (quick - - - - think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts).

Dw is not a complainer at all, and he is definitely NOT the normal manly wimp who belly aches about his measly little stuffy nose, it's just not in his DNA.......but looking at his face - he is in deep pain. His shoulder keeps him awake at night and should he doze off he often wakes me up at night, moaning as he turns in bed -- just so much pain.

The Orthopedic surgeon said, "You really did a hummdinger!" Our friend, Cheryl, is the director of the surgical area and will be assisting in the OR and Cheryl said, "Boy Dw, when you do it, you do it up big." He will be in a sling and not be allowed to lift anything for 6 weeks. Then he will be allowed to lift 1 lb. The healing process will take about 6 months, with lots of physical therapy. We have also heard from lots of people that shoulder surgery is the most painful surgery of all to heal from (folks who attend our church reminded us of that as they were leaving this past Sunday) - thanks guys -ummm I think!??!?

Anyway, I thought all my sweet blogging friends might be willing to pray for my man this morning and maybe in the days ahead?? Most of you don't know him, but really - he is the most godly man I know, and I still even think that after living with him for 30 years! He is tenderhearted, full of compassion, generous to all and passionate about the orphan's plight. And he loves kids - lots of kids - he is also a dad to many who have no earthly father. He is a man of utmost integrity, full of valor. He has a strong work ethic and gives 225% to all he does.
He loves to tell people about Jesus and he has gone many times to faraway places to train and encourage pastors in countries (see inset below of his pastor training in Uganda) where there is little available resources or to minister to the orphans (countries like Uganda, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, and Jamaica) .....He has such a gentle way about him that I am in awe of his grace he freely extends - even to downright dorky people! =) He is so really funny too. He loves to laugh and loves to do outrageous things that make us laugh.

He is not perfect, but he is the best example of Christ I have ever known (and remember being a pastor's wife I have met alot of pastors and spiritual leaders!) Yup, even after 30 years of marriage I am still pretty smitten with that hunka hunka handsome husband of mine! He would blush if he read that! =) And for the record, I love embarassing him.......

Thank you for praying for him if we should come to mind.

Thankful Thursday

1. I am thankful for my best friend husband - Dw.
2. I am thankful for all my children - those we have held and those we long to hold.
3. I am thankful for God's faithfulness bringing us more kids thus fulfilling a lifelong heart's desire.
4. I am thankful for
laughter with wild, crazy funnest friends.
5. I am thankful for hide-n-seek.
6. I am thankful for crunching fall leaves.
7. I am thankful for soft, squishy feather-tops for beds.
8. I am thankful for friendship with our three grown kids
9. I am thankful for Rocky mountain views.
10.I am thankful for Mums - burnt orange, bright gold, burgandy reddish...
11.I am thankful for hot showers.
12.I am thankful for toilet paper.
13.I am thankful for our hot tub & being able to sit last night with Dw gazing at the stars.
14.I am thankful for eyelids.
15.I am thankful for skilled surgeons.
16.I am thankful for close friends who oversee OR's, enabling them to assist in my hubby's surgery.
17. I am thankful for friends who have answered the call to minister to the orphans around the world.
18.I am thankful for sailboat rides.
19.I am thankful for eye glasses that allow my (basically) blind eyes to see.
20.I am thankful for my car's heater and how it's seat warms my bee-hind up too. ahhhh

What are you thankful for this Thankful Thursday??

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Day of Prayer for Our World Economic System

Lately it seems that many of my posts have been so heavy-hearted. My dear friend, Lori, said the same thing as she was posting to her blog yesterday. But as you know sweet friends there is so much at stake these days. I met with my prayer partner, Chelsea, this morning and we were talking about these perilous times we are living in.

Chelsea was saying that she is reading through the book of Jeremiah at the moment and she is seeing such a parallel between the Isrealites and the church of today. The Isrealites would repent when it was their last ditch effort to get God to move and then before long it would be back to "business as usual". Chelsea and I were wondering together this morning if God does move for America next Tuesday, will we remember? Or before long will we go back to life as usual? Will we stay repentent and digging into His word, praying and fasting to know Him more? Or will we get wrapped up in all the "stuff" again becoming complacent and apathetic?

About 10 days ago I had a dream. Actually it could be more appropriately called a terrifying nightmare. It was so very real and I was even reasoning and trying to gain understanding during my dream about different aspects of what was going on in the dream. It was extremely vivid and specific. I awoke knowing that it was a dream of spiritual significance and that God was trying to show me something. I have never had a dream like it before. Thankfully when I awoke it was Dw's day off and we headed right out for our breakfast date and I was able to share with him about the dream. He prayed with me and he had some insight, but we are continuing to pray for a clear interpretation or deeper understanding of precisely what it meant. It has been on my heart since that day.

Between the dream, the election and the economy I would say I am in a heavy-hearted funk. I do have some extremely exciting news to share soon!! It's a story of God's amazing surprises in our lives - but I can't start telling it for a few days. Once I start to tell it, I will share it off and on over the next few weeks. In the meantime, please bear with me....

I subscribe to a prophetic newsletter that comes in my ebox each morning. There are some modern day prophets who have been prophesying for several years all the events that are happening today (economic, political, etc.). A couple of weeks ago they sent an email asking people to fast and pray for the World Economic System on October 29th (tomorrow). There are people around the world joining in this very significant day. Here are little snippets of the letter:

Dear Intercessors,
October 29th marks the anniversary of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, after which the great depression ensued. Earlier this year, the Lord reminded me of this......We must be proactive through prayer! For this reason, I am issuing a worldwide prophetic call to a Day of Prayer for the World's Economies on October 29, 2008. intercede for the economic systems of our nation and the nations of the world.

"For thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will shake Heaven and Earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple [house] with glory,' says the Lord of hosts. 'The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' says the Lord of Hosts." Haggai 2:6-8
At the beginning of the 2008, intercessors began to hear from the Lord that without divine intervention, a major shaking was coming to Wall Street. This would spread until there were food shortages. In fact, we heard that 2009 would be worse than 2008! Of course, it goes without saying that this would affect markets around the world......... We are also going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the "Lion's Market" or God's control over the economic systems. While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do know that without intercession, economies will crumble.....
They then listed the following prayer points....

Urgent Prayer Points
Here are a few suggested prayer points for the day:
1. Repent for any personal greed. Ask God to show you any personal connection that you have with mammon.
2. Repent for the economic sins of your nation. Ask God to forgive the greed, avarice, participation in mammon, etc., that has taken place in your nation's economic system.
3. Repent for any excessive participation in debt. Ask God to give a strategy both to you, personally, and to your country to heal your economies.
4. Repent for a lack of love for the poor. Ask God to forgive any way in which you and your
nation have not addressed the needs of the poor, either in the workforce or through racism.
5. Cry out to God for mercy for your nation. Plead with Him according to 2 Chronicles 7:14 and pray that your nation will turn from any wicked ways.
6. Pray for wisdom for the leaders of your nation on how to deal with the current financial crisis.
7. Ask God to stabilize the nation's economy.
8. Begin to intercede and ask God to establish righteousness in the stock exchange, expose corruption, and bring to justice those who have sinned against God and the nation. Ask God to heal the economy.
9. Pray that God will raise up an economy based upon biblical principles.
10. Intercede that a great revival will break out in the marketplace as a result of the shaking. Pray that God will begin to give wisdom in the midst of the shaking - to shift the wealth of nations into the hands of the righteous.
Dwight and I will be joining in this, and maybe you would want to also. Don't get me wrong, fasting is definitely not my favorite thing to do. I get hungry. Sometimes I get a headache. My stomach growls. Sometimes I feel nauseous. I want to think about what I will eat when I am able to stop the fast ---- yes, I am very, very human!! BUT I am convinced that God wants to know how serious we are about struggles, trials, burdens, etc.. I sometimes wonder at times like this things like....if there is a famine and life as we know it is not ever again the same, would I wish I had fasted before it all fell apart?? So on that premise and because I love America - this great land that allows me to bring babies home from other countries ----and allows me to worship freely------and for a zillion other reasons...I will fast while there is still time for God to hear our prayers and move from Heaven.

Happy Time

Family night at our home has been renamed by Isaiah. On his own, he started calling it "Happy Night". Each week (usually Tuesday) we play together something as a family, talk, laugh, giggle and always end it with ice cream. Of course the kids favorite game for us to play during Happy Night is Hide-N-Seek! All the lights get turned out just except for a tiny little light that allows us to barely see home base.

No matter what your age....there's just nothing quite like the thrill of walking into a pitch dark room from an almost pitch dark hallway....*gulp*....and no matter how old this gal gets it doesn't get any easier....for the record, the kids and Dw are relieved I had a hysterectomy with a bladder repair surgery alleviating most of the ol' trickle problem when getting chased in the dark by "It"..........*sigh*....the joys of being a woman....

The second favorite thing to play is Charades....Isaiah decided (on his own) to act out the skunk that sprayed our dog Lucy....
It was so much fun watching him lift his leg and say, "Psshhh"...that we kept guessing other animals to make him keep doing it....yeah, I know, we're bad, but we're the parents and we can do whatever we want....
Liberty acting out being a giraffe (I think)......

Liberty being a rolly-polly bug.....
Emma being all dramatic....(oh she would so kill me if she saw me posting this....)

Nelly watching the whole thing and probably thinking that she could do a far better imitation of a dog....whatever Nelly, whatever....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How About Memorial Box Mondays? aka We Will Remember....

I love blogging, but I also want to make the most of it. So I have been praying about what to "talk" about on a regular basis and thankfully =) Thankful Thursdays seems to have "hit the spot!"

Dw just finished up a series entitled, "One Month to Live". We were challenged to think about what we would do if we only had one month to live. If I only had one month, what would I want to mention to my bloggy friends? Which brings me to my new Monday topic. Memorial Box Monday. Our Memorial Box is displayed in a prominent place in our home because it's at the heart of our home, our family and our faith. Here's the background:

In Joshua 4 Almighty God tells the Isrealites to collect stones and set them as a Memorial to remind them of God's power and provision. He then tells the Isrealites to use those stones as a memorial; that everytime they see them to tell their children and their children's children the stories over and over again, continually reminding them of God's faithfulness.
((Joshua 4
When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."
So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been
in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.......... On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, "In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.' For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God."))
Many, many years ago we bought our Memorial Box. We started filling it with special little treasures. Each of these little items of significance remind us of things in our lives that our All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Capable God has done for us! Each of these little treasures represent times when God has miraculously provided, supernaturally healed, or powerfully met a need. Each time we talk about these things we are reminding ourselves and our kids of all the magnificient things God has done for us.
When tough times come (like when Ch*na said "no" after saying "yes" to Isaiah) we can look back in our Memorial Box and be reminded that, "He was faithful to part the Red Sea all these other times, we can trust to move on our behalf again!"
These stories and reminders of God's faithfulness are the fabric of our faith. They uplift, encourage and cause us to rejoice all over again. Each and every time they remind us just how much God loves us and how He longs to be part of our lives.
Imagine how faith filled we would be if we spent time on a regular basis remembering all the things God has done for our marriage, our family, our children and each of our personal lives.

So I was thinking.....from today on this blogging chick will be dedicating Monday's to remembering God's faithfulness - calling it officially Memorial Box Monday. Maybe it will cause others to start their own family Memorial Box to fill with things that remind their family of just how much God loves them - how He has already provided for them in all sorts of ways.

And for the record, if you don't own a Memorial Box it's not too late!! Just start thinking and talking as a family about what you will fill it with. Then start praying for God to provide one!! =) We have found Memorial Boxes for others at Thrift stores, yard sales and antique stores. Any box that can be hung on the wall and filled with things will do. We had one for years, but just this past summer we found this sweet white one at a yard sale. We thought it was just so special looking (and it was also bigger) and so we "traded up".

Now, for my first official Memorial Box Monday: The Ezra Story
A couple of months ago I posted about the roosters we had when we pastored in Virginia. Well we have a really cool Memorial Box story about our old family pet rooster Ezra, and I will start with the Ezra story.

We had had two roosters that Abigail had given me and they were my joy. The neighbor's dog killed Nehemiah, but Ezra remained with us. Eventually my Multiple Sclerosis was so bad that we put our home up for sale. Our plan was to sell our existing home, move to a rental and then build a handicap accessible home so it would be easier for me to manuveur with my cane. Even my wheelchair, Charlie, would be able to get around with ease.

But this presented a potential concern. If we had to go to a rental, what in the world were we going to do with Ezra? A friend had offered his home as our rental once our home sold, but the rental was on a super busy road and the house was right up near the road. There was no way that Ezra would survive in that rental house.
I loved little Ezra bunches! He would come up to the porch and just sit there as if to say, "the family hangs out on the porch, I'm family, so I ought to be here too." He wasn't mean ever, just a sweet, sweet guy. Yet I also reasoned that it would be traumatic to move Ezra and try to get him to understand the whole moving thing and dangerous road thing.
So I started to pray. After all, if the Lord tells us to cast every single care we have on Him....then even Ezra would fit the "every, single care" criteria. I began to regularly ask the Lord, specifically, if He would make a way for Ezra to just remain with the house. I even asked the Lord to allow whomever the people were that would come to buy our home to fall in love with our Ezra and that they would want him to stay.
I am aware that not everyone has such a fascination with my feathery rooster friends. BUT God does care. He loves me enough to even care about my little feathery friend, Ezra. So months passed while we waited for the house to sell and we had a kajillion showings too....BUT one day my cell phone rang while I was checking out in Wal-Mart. I will never forget where I was standing when Almighty God cared enough to show up about my Ezra. The phone call went like this:
Our realtor: Linn, this is Diana, we have an offer!!!
Me: Really? Oh Yippee Jesus!!! Is it a good offer??!
Diana: Yeah, but it's really weird, Linn. The buyer's agent said he had to ask me something before he presented the offer. That out of town buyer wants to know if you would be willing to leave the rooster. The rooster came up to them on the front porch and they just fell in love him and they don't even want to talk about the offer until they know that you are willing to leave your rooster. Linn, that is the weirdest request I have EVER had...In all my years of real estate I have never had anyone want a rooster....blah, blah, blah....
Me (through shrieks of joy): Oh YIPPEEE YIPPPEEE JESUS! Diana, God's answered my prayers - I've been asking the Lord to allow the buyer to love and want Ezra and He did it Diana - He did it! (and then I went on to tell her the whole story since only Dw and the kids knew what my prayer had been)!

Oh yes, dear friends, there is a sweet little rooster sitting in our Memorial Box. It is a constant reminder that God even cares about the "little things" in our lives and He totally is the God of what would seem impossible (or even silly to some)!! I mean, seriously, what are the "odds" that someone would come to buy our home and want Ezra first off? Only the God of the universe could stir a couple's heart whom we had never met before to love my little Ezra from the get-go and have such a direct and special request upfront, before they even presented the offer!!!! What an amazing God we serve!
Which brings me to the question: If God cares so much about providing a home for a little feathery friend of mine - how much more does He care and provide for the super, huge, gigantic, enormous, seemingly impossible things in your life? Exactly my point!! Yipppeee Jesus!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

John and Cindy McCain Came to Our Little City Last Night!

A TRUE American Hero.......and his beautiful wife......The little coveted purple ticket....
Some of the 6,000 people......

Standing in the midst of the "other side"......(Dw, Emmy and Graham)
They are ordinary people just you and me......

We received word as we were headed to our pastor's conference this past Tuesday that John McCain was coming to our city on Friday for a rally! We wouldn't miss it for anything. So yesterday morning we got up at the crack of dawn and sped toward home. We went straight to the rally to line up to get in. We got there at 3:15pm to line up and there was already probably a thousand people in line. It turned out that about 6,000 came and 2,000 more didn't get in. It was an unbelievable night.

Of course, Mr. Barack Hussain Obama had a few protestors on Main Street. My sweet hubby said that he was not a pastor, but a citizen and took our homemade signs to go stand in the midst of them. (Gracious I love his spunk!) We had made signs as we drove the 7 hours home that said, "John McCain for Our Son's Commander and Chief", etc. Emma and Graham wanted to join dad and grabbed some of our signs also. Amazingly, the protestors were angry that Dw and the kids were in the crowd. Dw quietly said, "America's foundation is 'free speech' why do you find us so threatening?" Hmmmm, maybe ponder that a bit young needing to be enlightened person.

My sweet buddy Carie and her fam....
While in the line that snaked slowly for hours toward security, we met some of the nicest people. We live in a very liberal pocket of the state of Colorado and it was invigorating to find wonderful conservative people just like us. We had fun talking to the couple in front of us - whose names were Dwight(!) and Beverly. Dwight is a democrat, but is very concerned about this democrat candidate for president. He told us how he was talking to his grown daughter and shared his concerns and that he was going to be voting for John McCain. His daughter was in shock! She then did her research and said she, too, would be voting for John McCain! Is that not awesome!?!
Our Autumn is a supervisor for an airlines at our airport and she texted me a picture of his plane when it landed, then a picture of he and Cindy getting off the plane and then a picture of him zipping by in his vehicle. We could hardly stand it!!

While in the line with the other thousands of people a young man we had never seen before came to Dw and asked if we would like to stand in front of the podium? We still are not sure why he approached us, other than a special treat from our gracious God!! When he asked we were like - Would we? What an honor! Yipppee Jesus! Our kids were just as thrilled and Emma kept squealing - it was so sweet! They gave us little purple tickets and we were eventually ushered to stand about 30 feet from where John McCain stood and spoke.
I will share more about his speech in my next post, but suffice it to say, he was truly sincere, passionate and inspirational! We walked away with an even deepened commitment to fasting and prayer.....more a bit later....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How About Thankful Thursdays???

I have seen on many blogs some special days (like Wordless Wednesdays and Not-Me Mondays) ....and so I decided I wanted to make for myself Thankful Thursdays. Who knows, maybe one day it will even catch and other bloggers will begin to do Thankful Thursday?

Face it, we as a nation, and we as a people, are not usually born thankful. I know in our house it seems that it far easier to complain then be thankful. Many, many years ago the Lord gave me an idea for a little game. One day we were driving in the car, and my now grown kids were little tots riding along and the complaining was starting up. "I'm hot", "He's looking at my book", "She keeps repeating everything I say", "When are we going to be there?", "I'm hungry", "She keeps staring at me".....blah, blah, blah.

My theory is that little people who complain grow up into big people who complain and truthfully, I have zero tolerance for any complaining. People who complain just drive me buggy - we live in the most bountiful land, with so many freedoms and so much wealth and so many privileges - what do we really have to complain about? Not a thing!! Ya' know what I mean?

On a sidenote....We all know people who seem to spend their lives complaining. I can think of one particular woman we know. Even my kids have noticed it about her (all on their own). She makes it so not fun to be around and she is well into her 40's. She complains about everything and anything. (Life really is all about her! Ooops! Did I say that?)

So that particular day years ago the Lord gave me an idea and I said, "Let's play a little game, let's start with you Autumn, tell us ten things you're thankful for." So Autumn started naming ten things...then I moved to Abigail and then on to Tyler....then it was my turn and then it was Dw's. Before long the entire attitude of the car had changed and we were laughing and talking and enjoying our ride.

Over the years we have played the game thousands and thousands of times. We have heard some of the most random, non-assuming things that our kids have come up with to be thankful for. A couple of years ago when Abigail was first married we were talking on the phone. She said, "Ryan was being grumpy mom, so I made him play the Thankful Game." I confess, I was kind of tickled. The tradition is being carried on to my grown kids and their families.

So from here on out, this blogger chick is going to play Thankful Thursdays....and if you're not too chicken, sometime post a comment about what you're thankful for - the skies the limit, everything and anything!

1. I'm thankful for flushing toilets.

2. I'm thankful for running water.

3. I'm thankful for salads. (yumm)

4. I'm thankful for socks.

5. I'm thankful for legs that work to: run, walk, skip, ski, hike and jump.

6. I'm thankful I live in a country that allows orphan children around the world to come home.

7. I'm thankful for cameras.

8. I'm thankful for colors:red, blue, pink, orange, yellow, black, green, and PURPLE!!

9. I'm thankful for my eyes.

10. I'm thankful for texting.

What are you thankful for this Thankful Thursday??

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Mod Squad

This week I have the privilege of begin taking a course to become a chaplain for our police department. I have wanted to do this for years, but it just hasn't been the right timing. But today the course starts and I am so excited. When I was a girl I used to want to be Julie on The Mod Squad - she was just soooo cool. Infact in high school I had a special friend (whose name was Dick) that owned an MG and we would drive around our town being our own version of The Mod Squad. He, of course, was Pete and we had a "Linc" who joined us from time to time. Dick and I actually, once, helped our police department "solve" a crime. No joke! It was a blast and we were so proud of ourselves!

As I near 5-0 my dream of being Julie from The Mod Squad has faded (a bit) but I am so excited about the opportunity to minister to my community - going on calls where the family needs to be notified of a death, talking to officers who are struggling, and maybe even performing a wedding from time to time! I can't wait!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I've Been Tagged.....

My friend Sally tagged me. She is my younger "twin". Although Dw brought up an interesting point, if we are twins, why can't we just be her age? Good point babe! I like how ya' think!

So the idea is that I am supposed to share SEVEN random or weird facts about myself. Only seven weird facts? Hmmmm, what to share....I am overtired and feeling punchy so maybe I should type this in the morning, or at least edit it in the morning before I post it, because I am truly feeling very random at the moment. =)

Random and Weird Facts about Me:

1. I bite my nails. I have tried to stop a bazillion, kajillion times over the last almost 5-0 years, but have not yet (I am still an optimistic gal) been able to give it up. I have tried just about everything to stop. But my theory is if the good Lord didn't want us biting them they would have been made of steel, titanium or dog poop.

2. I love to square dance (and no I do not have some cute little square dance outfit - just a good ol' pair of jeans, sweet shirt and of course a pair of cowboy boots!) My family is having a big 5-0 birthday bash for me next month (the church will be invited, as well as family and friends) complete with square dance caller! Yeee Haww!

3. I love balloons. I just think they are the funnest, happiest, partiest thing in the world. I have told that sweet hubby of mine, that should I pass away before him one day, make sure there are lots and lots and lots of balloons at my funeral. I will have just met my sweet Savior face to face - who has given me far more than I deserve while being my Comfort, Shelter, Healer, Protector, Advocate, Strong Tower, Warrior, and Faithful Friend (just for starters) through both the most difficult time and the most joyous times of my life. That would be cause for a mighty big balloon-type celebration!!

4. I burned through my first set of pots and pans by the time I was married one year. For the longest time there was a sign that hung in our kitchen that said, "Dinner will be Served When the Smoke Alarm Goes Off". I needed a microwave long before they were invented, I wanted everything cooked fast and turned the heat up on HIGH, no matter what. On my first wedding anniversary I got my second set of pans. I've slowed down my rate of working through the pans, but have definitely had a few sets over the last 30 years.

5. We lost four little ones over a 10 year period, with no live births in that ten years -Timothy, Andrea, Meghan and John all get to live with Jesus and we figure that's a pretty cool place to grow up, too. Infact this past February our friend Bryan was dying....the day before he went to be with the Lord I told him when he got to heaven to please go find those four kiddos of ours and play with them for us till we get there....I'm sure he is!

6. When we pastored in Virginia and North Carolina I never ran our air conditioner. I love the heat and humidity and thought it was awesome!! My idea of a favorite weather day is 98 degrees and 100% humidity - perfect!! One day when it was just that and Tyler said to me, "Do you realize you are the only woman in the state of Virginia who doesn't have her air on?" Yup, got that and lovin' every sticky second of it.

7. I am a bit OCD about shaving my legs. That's why it was such a big deal that I didn't for a day or two while on the cruise a couple of months ago. If I take 3 showers a day, I usually shave each time. I can't help myself, I like it that my sweet husband hasn't ever found a nub. He likes it too! =)

Now I get to tag seven people.....Woot Woot!!

1. I am tagging my friend Lori. She just left Friday with her family to head home to Kansas and we all miss them very much! The week just went waaaay too fast! (Colorado is calling you home!! - Hear it whispering - Come back! Come back! Come back!) They are just some of the "funnest" people in the world and we feel privileged to know them. Even Dw said, "I just really like them soooo much!" (Ya' know guys they just don't usually get all mushified about friends....)

2. My sweet friend, Jen, who the Lord sends to encourage me at just the right time on an almost daily basis. Her enthusiasm is contagious! She is passionate about kids, orphans, adoption and pleasing God...what a breath of fresh air! Love you Jeff-i-ner - and BTW - Happy Birthday!! ;)

3. My friend, Marianthe, who is waiting for word that it is finally(!) time to come get her miracle son, Creighton Gideon, in Guatamala. Her husband serves our country and together they make one awesome Godly, military family!

4. My friend, Rebecca, who is also the wife of a military man. (Can you tell I just love military families? They are so selfless and my heart just respects them all soooo much!!!) Last year Rebecca and a bunch of her friends (including me!) were praying that God would move mountains and He totally did and her precious little girl is home with her forever family! Rebecca is a courageous mom with two adorable little girls from Ch*na who both have Thalassemia! You rock Rebecca!

5. My friend, Jean, who just got her LOA Friday - Yippeee Jesus! Married for over 26 years they could be settling into the empty nest soon, but instead are adding #7 to the flock!! GO FOR IT!! I love when people do crazy things for God - Do It! Do It! Do It!!! She is such a blessing and I am honored to call her friend!

6. My blogger friend, Marsha. Although she has no children (yet!) she is the coolest auntie I have ever seen. I wish my kids had an aunt like her.

7. My new friend, Amie, although she just got tagged also. Although I barely know her, she is just a really fun new friend and I love stopping by her blog.

I just Couldn't Resist

I am leaving in about 10 minutes to head to Starbucks (of course!) to get Emma a Pumpkin Spice Latte' and something for myself. We have our all day Girlfriends' Retreat - it should be awesome! We have 60+ ladies going up to the college to participate with several hundred other woman. We have special tee-shirts we ordered to match -all 60 of us!!

Anyway, being an addicted blogger I couldn't help but post something (hence, the pictures of architechture)...just a few moments ago I received a comment from Bill and Lynsay - our precious buddies in Ch*na who are there to minister to the little ones. I laughed outloud when I read the comment and couldn't resist mentioning it. Scroll down to my Ooopsie! One Very Major Blunder and look at the comment. We always have a blast with them!

Yes, I have had alot of laughs off my blunder. I still am shaking my head and smirking - I cannot believe I did that! I thought you might need a little laugh today also.

Charming Homes and Buildings

A sweet little purple cottage....(did I mention I LOVE purple?)
What stories would they tell if they could talk?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Waaaaa - They're Going Home!

Last night was Lori and Kelly and their family's last night here. It has been so refreshing and delightfully fun to spend time with these precious people. We are sad to see them go - and knowing that they will be so far away.

We decided to have a campfire and roast hot dogs and have smores. We were talking as we sat around. You know how there are some couples you just click with? And then there are others - you know what I mean? Well these folks are just some of the "clickin" kind. Just extra special. We can just be ourselves and laugh and talk and laugh some more.

Lori and her family were actually supposed to leave Thursday morning, but opted for one more day and all of our kids and their kids were so tickled too. They have had a blast together. Last night the big kids played hide-n-seek on our three acres in the dark and from the shrieks and screams, sounded like the all had a rowdy time.

It was an evening of good ol' fashioned fun. Since Lori and I were unable to get away alone for coffee so she promises she will be back for that! She better - or else!
Nick and Graham sharpen the sticks for roasting... It looks like a hot dog and smells like one too........
My handsome, hunka-hunka husband - Gracious I love this tender hearted guy of mine!Lori and her sweet oldest son, Brenden......Nick and Lucy.....Emma - You know what she was saying when I snapped this picture? "Mom is this for your blog?!?" Lori's kids and mine have teased us mercilessly about our blogs....oh blah, blah, blah...hey, we could be chewing tobacco - it's a pretty benign habit....albeit I do admit it is habit forming....Our sweet Liberty....

Ever heard that song by The Platters, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"? I loved The Platters when I was a young girl and yeah, our fire was reminding me of it big time.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Simple Little Shoe Boxes Simply Filled With Love

Every year Samaritan's Purse does their annual Operation Christmas Child. The effort started in 1993 and since then over 61 million shoeboxes have been distributed around the world. We, as a family, have participated for many, many years now.

Our personal goal each year is to fill as many boxes as we have kids, plus Dw and I. Last year we filled 10 because of our son-in-love, Ryan also. This year we will be filling several extra for many reasons - not just because Jubilee is "on her way" but it also appears we have a wedding coming soon too. (Yippee Jesus - I love weddings!)
So the basic idea is to take a shoe box and fill it with age appropriate things to bless a little one somewhere in the world. How cool is that? - being able to minister to orphans and underprivileged kids right from your own home.
This year it takes on a whole new meaning for us since Dw and Emma's trip to Uganda this past July. Dw and Emma were walking to an orphanage in a village near Kampala when several little kids spotted them and started yelling something. Although D & E couldn't understand they knew that they wanted them to wait. Before long these little ones came running out of their orphanage carrying shoe boxes from Samaritan's Purse. These precious little children were soooo proud of their boxes as they lifted their lids to show Dw and Emmy the contents. Dw still can't even talk about it without crying and now neither can I. Inside the boxes were the remains of broken toys - but they were such treasures to them.
It is such a sharp contrast from these orphans who have nothing to what kids in America think of their toys. In this abundant land of plenty, toys are strewn throughout houses or yards with very little respect or regard for them. BUT to these little ones who have absolutely nothing, they were the greatest treasures in the world tucked safely away in their little boxes!
If your church does not participate, please consider doing it anyway. On the web site there are drop locations listed, as well as regional representatives. If you live near our church, you can drop it there. Maybe you would even want to be a coordinate the drive for your church. Pastors are always looking for people to take the initiative and "run with it". =) hint hint
It's such a simple little thing to fill a box. But the impact is far reaching - each box provides hope and joy to little children in some of the most desperate of situations. When they receive their boxes they are offered a gospel storybook in their own language. They are later given a chance to be involved in a follow-up Bible study program. Folks are also encouraged to put a family picture in and a letter. Pray over the boxes. Ask God to allow you to be His hands and feet loving the little ones who are in great need of His love.
Hey, and if you don't have any shoe boxes - the seven words many women long to hear - go buy a few pair of shoes!