Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One Dark Night....

The shepherds were tending their flocks.

They were about their normal business - probably not a career of their own choosing but rather their lot in life. It was a lowly job. Not one to be desired. Imagine stinky, dumb sheep being your companions. Day after day and night after night basically the same thing - with a wolf or a bear thrown in there now and then to add a little excitement!

I imagine it as a still, quiet night - normal in most regards - when it happened. The time when God in His infinite wisdom revealed Himself to the shepherds. With great pomp and circumstance the angels told of the most important birth of all times. And they told it to a bunch of dirty shepherds. The shepherds weren't dressed for such an occasion, they hadn't made a great meal or wrapped beautiful presents. They had done nothing to prepare. But still God chose them to hear of the greatest wonders of wonders.

I cannot imagine the sky that night!

He was giving them, some of the lowest of society, a Savior! As He was announcing to them the birth of the King, Emmanuel, Savior, Redeemer...(etc.) He was also letting them know that they were someone in His eyes. They were loved by Him. He knew where they were and what they were doing. And that this King, this Messiah, was for them too.

And He's for you.

Merry Christmas!

t somehow humbles me...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What I Saw

I saw the crumble coming.

He stood there in the snow not knowing which way to turn with all the commotion going on around him and I saw his face. His eyes were darting around looking for anything, anyone to rescue him. His mouth began to curl down as his eyes squinted and before there was a sound, tears came. I was sitting in the 4 wheel drive pickup waiting because I didn't have the right shoes on to "rescue" the trapped and so I watched.

It was beautiful out, really. The landscape was covered with the white stuff and the snow continued to fall. We had been at a holiday party that the new owner of Yoder Cabinets held at his house - out in the country on the other side of Philomath. The weather hadn't been our friend while we were there and because the road there had taken us up and down hills I was a little concerned about the ride home. I had reason for concern and as I watched Josh and his family try to leave in there 8 passenger van I knew I was not to be disappointed. Rear wheel drive - not so good on snow covered roads that happen to begin up hill for the ride home. The van didn't get any distance from the driveway - as a matter of fact it lost ground so the men decided to leave the van there and half of the family would come with us and half with the host of the party - Jodi, Jake and Max riding in our pickup and Josh,Noah and Oliver riding in the other vehicle - both being 4 wheel drive.

That's when the process of unloading the van started and that's when I watched Jake begin his melt down. Jake was told to stand there while the men transferred car seats and Jodi transferred babies. I saw the fear in his little face and I had an overwhelming feeling of compassion. He was perfectly safe at the moment but he didn't know that. He was afraid of the unknown. He began to cry and I immediately pointed out to Warren what was going on. Warren moved as quickly as he could for Jake, scooped him up, and brought him to the pickup. The adults said what we could to comfort him but he was shaken. Jodi calmly told him why we were safer in this vehicle and continued to talk and console him whenever he needed it on the way home. He mentioned several times that he was holding his puppy. (equivalent to a security blanket!)

Later, safe and warm at home, I couldn't get the picture of Jake standing in the snow out of my mind.

I thought of how often I feel like Jake looked.

I find myself in situations trying to do what God's asking me to do but I'm scared. I forget that I am being watched and that my Father has a better, safer plan for me. I want to stay in what I know to be my comfort zone. (in this case the 8 passenger van) I forget all reason when I stand in fear of the unknown.

I had so much compassion for Jake as I sat there watching and yet he was so unaware that my eyes were even on him.

Lord, make me aware that Your compassionate eyes are always on me.

You are safe to obey

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's in the Air!

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go.... (come on, sing along.....)
  • We have snow outside (and more scheduled to come at any minute now!)
  • The stockings are hung (not by the chimney this year, but they are hung!)
  • Shopping is completed and decorating done.
  • The fireplace is burning even as I write this.
  • Presents still need to be wrapped. (maybe this afternoon!)
  • Holiday music is in the background.
  • I have plans to bake on Friday.
  • And BEST OF ALL Jason and Kellie come on Monday!!!!

Yes, Christmas is in the air. And I'm excited!

After all these years of being a parent I still want the season to be special for our children and grandchildren. I don't know that I do things to much different than what my parents did - probably because I have such great memories of those days. And, because we can look back and know what really lasts, we as a family aren't focusing that much on gifts this year. We are just glad to be together and have as much as we do.

We are counting family as our 2nd best gift and

Christ as the greatest gift of all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rich and Pretty

Maybe I sounded a little whiny, whatever, it worked!

I had commented on Janine's blog that Josh wouldn't even share a bite of his cake from the Arthur's party.


last night, Janine herself, delivered (to my house!) 2 pieces of cake!

It is heavenly!!!!!

I won't tell my grandkids the secret - but in this case - a little whining worked!!

Thanks Janine. We are honored.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Totally unexpected

God has done amazing things to let us know that we are on the right path and yet I asked.

I really shouldn't have had too but I am a woman of little faith sometimes and have a God of big means. So I asked.

Wednesday night at church we had mission night. One of our missionary families from Brazil and another from West Asia shared with us as they are home for the holidays. At the end of the service our mission pastor told of our plans to go to Brazil. Warren got to share a little bit and then we were so blessed by some coming forward and laying hands on us and praying. We left in awe of God.

The next day, as it so often happens after a time of a spiritual high, I was in a desert place. And that's when I asked.

"God, I know that you shouldn't have to keep affirming to me Your plans. I know that You have done amazing things to let us know Your will for us and yet, today, I find myself weak and faithless. Could you give me something of encouragement to let me know we're hearing You?"

I kinda hoped I would hear right then. I didn't. I realized as I was going to bed that night that God hadn't answered that prayer and I was disappointed. I reminded Him again of the request yesterday.

It doesn't hurt to ask.

Then today, when it was totally unexpected, God in His goodness answered that little prayer with a 2 hour phone call from TaLisa! (her and her husband were the first missionaries sent out by our church and they are still in Brazil). We don't communicate that often but when we do I am always so encouraged by TaLisa and God totally used that gifting in her again today. She told me she had felt so strongly that she was to call me and even went to great lengths to get our new phone number. It was totally a God thing that we were able to connect when we did.

I didn't deserve an answer, but then, I don't deserve anything from God.

He just loves to give.

Friday, December 5, 2008

This Time of Year

This is my favorite season.

When we are talking about the four seasons give me summer any day. I love warm weather and the automatic smile that it gives when the sun is shining. I love the satisfaction of freshly mowed grass and the smell that comes with that... the sound of sprinklers spraying on the yard... the long evenings... the smell of a BBQ when out on the patio...the casualness of the time in dress and attitude.... Definitely my favorite of the four seasons.

But Christmas season? The best of all.

I have more memories of Christmas as a child than of anything else. Thanksgiving would come and the countdown would begin - in my mind anyway. Right about that time the Sears catalog would arrive in the mail and with it the game of "picking". It was played with one of my sisters each time and a game it was - there were rules. From each page a favorite thing was picked. We had to take turns from page to page on who got the privilege of the first choice and you could not pick the same thing on any given page as the other person. Eventually it was narrowed down to the one thing that each of us so desperately wanted for Christmas. The main present as it was so called. Why we thought we needed to decide from the catalog what we would request as our main present is beyond me as my mom seldom actually ordered from the catalog but that was how it was done by us kids and I remember literally hours spent "picking".

Shopping is another favorite memory. We, as the children, only went once in order to complete our list. Mom would take us to the "dime store" and there we were given a small amount of money to buy each person in the family a present. Mom would take us around in the store showing us at least 3 things that each person might like that fit within our budget, then she would go to another part of the store (no one worried about child kidnapping in those days!) and we would do our gift buying. I can still remember the excitement of choosing the perfect gift for some one else and believing, somehow, that my mother would be surprised on Christmas morning to see what I had given her! I can't say that at a young age I thought it was more blessed to give than to receive. I'm sure that my parents tried to teach us that but let's face it - opening presents was a big deal!

We usually spent Christmas Eve with family which would add to the anticipation of the big day. We were put to bed fairly late (with our mother hoping we would sleep but knowing it was unlikely) and than it would begin - the longest night of the year. I don't remember ever believing in Santa but we did always have stockings. We knew our parents filled them after we were in bed and we would wait and listen for the sounds of the job being accomplished. At last, the house was silent and then........the sounds of two exhausted parents!

Free - we were free at last! Well, that is, as long as we were quiet and snuck around. Always at least one sister was taken as an accomplice as we tip toed to the living room. I'm not sure if it's the decorator in me or the truth but the tree was always lit up and it was beautiful. Sometimes it was a real tree and sometimes a silver metallic one with a multi- colored wheel that spun around supposedly turning the tree into a different colors as it turned. I didn't matter which tree it was - it was magical! We would check our stockings to see what filled them to overflowing - usually candy, cookies and rice crispy squares along with a few small toys. (One entire night was spent in the bathroom, so as not to wake our parents, playing with our Barbies as we had gotten clothes for them made by our neighbor lady. One of the funnest nights of my life!) Periodically we would check the time and try to sleep as the minutes creeped by. Because of waking my parents one morning very early, they had set a time of 6:00 to be the EARLIEST we could wake them. (Imagine what caused that rule! By the way, I carried down this same time restraint with my own children!)

6:00, at last! We would wake the two of them and than more waiting...could they move any slower? Did we really need the fire in the fireplace BEFORE we opened the presents? Who cared that Christmas music was playing in the background? But these are the things I treasure in my memory and they were all part of it - my favorite thing about Christmas as child - the anticipation.

I remember very little of what the actual presents turned out to be. At the time I thought the gifts were the most important thing but I have come to realize, as an adult, that the best part of the season were the people, the feelings, the sights and the sounds.

The Christmas story being read by my Dad- Programs and plays having to do with the season- Cookies in Christmas shapes and candy that was made only at that time of year- Wrapping presents with the holiday music in the background- Shaking each gift and trying to guess what was inside- Putting tinsel on the tree,3 strands at a time so it didn't clump!- The Santas on the street corners ringing their bells so people would put their change in the red kettles- Driving around looking at "lights"-Wearing mittens and scarves on our annual shopping day to combat the crisp December air- Cocoa and cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning (which is still a tradition at our house)- Hearing my Mom singing quietly as she prepared Christmas dinner- The excitement of getting together with extended family and playing with cousins...
So many memories that fill my heart.

Thank you, Mom and Dad.

Can I say it enough?

I am a rich girl!

Happy anticipation.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Going, Going, Gone

I can't tell you what we are feeling tonight. Maybe we are just alittle bit numb or maybe, more accurately, we have so many emotions going on right now that it's hard to pin it down to just one.

We've sold the shop. Papers are signed.

We have started this journey of faith and now we are in the thick of things. It's good, it's exciting and it's a little bit scary. It is truly a miracle and it has been amazing to watch God do it.

I am sure the tears will come but right now we are too much in awe.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Eyes that See

Twice within 2 days I was told that I was beautiful from someone other than my husband! Both times it about brought tears to my eyes.

You see, I realized in both incidents that neither one was seeing what I was really like on the outside but rather the compliment came from something they had seen in my heart. That to me, was the ultimate.

The first time it came from seeing me through a child's eyes.

I had Jake and Max come spend the night with us Thanksgiving eve. In the morning I had cocoa and cinnamon rolls waiting for them when they woke up. (Might as well give them that sugar-high first thing!) As I was cutting Max's into bite size pieces he simply said "Grandma, you re beautiful." Now he has told me that before but it can still melt my heart! I hadn't showered yet, no make-up on, and I was standing there in my favorite robe (and Warren would tell you it is not a very pretty robe)! There would be no question that the compliment had nothing to do with how I was looking that morning! But rather, I had spent time with him the evening before and now he was excited about the cinnamon roll in front of him and he hears his daddy tell his mama that all the time.....

The second time came through an e-mail.

I have been writing back and forth with a young lady from the slum in Rio "the City of God". She is a christian but has been going through some tough times dealing with some hard things in her past. I was asked by someone else if maybe I could share some things the Lord has done in my life in the areas of healing and forgiveness with her. It has been my pleasure. I have come to love this girl through e-mails as she grasps what it means to be fathered by the almighty God. She said she saw a picture of me and that I was beautiful. She told me what picture it was. One of Warren and I taken together for the church paper. It is not a good picture and anyone that has seen it would agree. I'm not just saying that because I scrutinize my own pictures. I have laughed with others over this particular one. It is BAD.

No, it really had very little to do with the picture she had seen. It may have something to do with the blond hair and (if she could even tell it) the blue eyes but I know the majority of the compliment was because of her last statement, "I am happy because I feel more free, with less fear and more love."

I am ending this week feeling more beautiful having been seen through these two sets of eyes.

My prayer is to see through eyes that can really see, too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Song

Do you know what it feels like to be rich? I do.

I woke up to a rainy, dreary day. The wind was blowing and everything had the feeling of dampness although it was perfectly dry in the house. Warren hadn't slept well because there are big things looming thick in the near future and so much to do. I know that he has a lot on his mind. My schedule is busy for the day, good but busy. It was one of those days when you might want to go back to bed and sleep off life. But I didn't want to. I have a song of joy on my lips.

Twice within the last week I have been able to share my life story with people. The good, the bad, the ugly. I was reminded once again of all that God has done for me. Given me. Given us.

We are not money rich. We maybe should have been better savers, better investors, a little more thrifty and a little bit better at hoarding. Maybe we should have taken more chances. I don't know. I do know that I have much more than I ever thought I would have in this life. I have gotten to travel more and meet more kinds of people than I ever dreamed of. I don't know that I even dared to dream of such things. And now I get the privilege of living in another country. And I do mean privilege.

God spoke that clearly to me awhile back. He simply said "Sheri, it is a privilege that you get to go to Brazil. It is a privilege that you get to serve the Brazilian people". I don't ever want to forget that. Somehow I had fallen into the lie of thinking I was doing a good thing for God. That I had something to offer the people of Brazil. I don't. He could have chosen anyone. (Warrens theory is that He did. They just wouldn't go!) When I really think of it I cannot figure out why He would choose us. But I am blessed that He has.

So in sharing my story I realize as I look to the future that I will continue to look to the ONE who has provided all along. And has already given me more than I ever imagined.

I am very rich.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The greatest Need

"Sheri, is there anything going on in your life? I saw you here last week and all week long God has given me a picture of you and a word to pray for you. Is there something going on?"

This came from a woman from our church that I barely knew who visited one of our classes last week and then again today. She didn't know about Brazil. I briefly shared all that God was doing in my life and asked her to continue to pray. She said she would.

I was refreshed. I was excited. God had laid me on someones heart that I barely knew - to pray for me. How great is that? I was ecstatic!

We are so in need of prayer. A couple months ago God spoke to me that what we really needed and what we should really be in prayer for was not financial supporters but rather prayer supporters. People that would come along side of us and pray. Would you want to be one?

It's really no less of a calling....and we are so needy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

In the Beginning - Part One

People have asked how we have found ourselves preparing to move to Brazil. How did it come to be? How did God speak to us about it?

What if we are wrong?

This is my story. Warrens would be somewhat different because, of course, he would have other details to add (and some he wouldn't share!) We both know when it began though...

In October of 2006 I went to our women's retreat. The retreat itself was great but what sticks out to me wasn't something said by any of the speakers but rather something I heard God speak directly to me. Little did I know that it would impact our lives so much. He told me I was to talk to Warren about having our satellite TV turned off.

No more TV.

I had no intention of doing that because I knew it would be hard for me. I love HGTV!!!!! God used Brett to break me,though, as he came home from a retreat the same day and had heard God say the same thing to him. Warren agreed that he had been feeling it for some time but thought I wouldn't be too happy about the idea :(

There we had it - a word from the Lord to us. What to do? There were tears (mine) and it took quite a lot of convincing to the satellite people that we really did want it off permanently but we did. I'm not going to lie- it was really hard the first few months but we persevered and it has been good. It wasn't that what we were watching on TV was bad but rather that we were watching mindlessly. It was our evening thing to do. We watched programs we liked and when they weren't on we watched whatever we could find that wasn't "bad".

So, with the TV off, I started reading again and e-mailing some of our missionaries. Warren and I began to spend more time in prayer together and talking about what we were learning from scripture. We began sharing our hearts with each other, dreams and fears. Out of that we began to ask God,"is there more you want to do with our lives? Is this where you want us, God?"

We were (are) happy in Corvallis. Most of our family lives here. Warren liked his job, we loved our church, we have wonderful friendships. We were content.

But something was starting to stir....

Monday, November 3, 2008

What Else Can a Person Do?

Maxwell has his own little language. And he is a talker. It is so fun to listen to him but sometimes a little frustrating as he tries to be understood and I try to understand.

They (Jake and Max) spent some time with me on Saturday while Josh was doing some work at the shop. We played with snakes and bugs, building caves for the creatures. Max had been talking quite a bit and most of the time, if he stays on the subject at hand, I can figure out what he is trying to say. But when he detours to another subject I'm in trouble. Thankfully, Jake can always fill me in.

Well, one time Jake was in the bathroom and Max was earnestly trying to tell me something. I would repeat what I thought I heard and he would repeat what he had said again only this time LOUDER and SLOWER. It went back and forth several times with Max not changing at all what he was saying but laughing at me for not understanding even though he was giving me the courtesy of making it a little louder and slower each time. I finally told him I was sorry but couldn't figure out what he was trying to say and that when Jake came back maybe he could interpret for me. Max was entirely dumbfounded that I couldn't figure it out.

How loud and how slow would he have to talk, anyway?!

It brought back memories of me in Brazil trying to communicate with them in English when they can only speak Portuguese. There is something about speaking slower and louder that, for some reason, I think might help them to understand. It doesn't.

I found acting it out works a lot better!

I hope I pick up Portuguese fast because I, like Max, love to talk.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Looking Ahead - For Once

If you have ever been involved in our holiday plans you know that we don't usually have any - until the last minute! That's right, we're one of those "oh, I guess Thanksgiving is at the end of this week. What should we do?" kind of people. Don't get me wrong, we love holidays we just don't plan for them ahead of time....

But not this year !

I have appointed myself head of the planning committee (and that's scary since I've always been the head of it and..) ! I've already actually invited people...It's a start anyway.

What are you're plans?

And let us not forget God, who has given us the best reason to give thanks. His Son. His provision.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I woke up this morning with the intention of deleting last nights' post but Brooke had already commented (thank you!) so I hated to do that.

It was a downer. I admit it. I regret having written it. The last thing I want this blog to be is a stop on your web surfing full of heaviness and despair. No one wants to read or hear woe is me stories. But, with that said, I don't want it to be an unrealistic view of our lives right now as we get ready to go to Brazil either. You are not looking at two spiritual giants here and sometimes we're finding this a struggle. I want you to know that. There are exciting days and there are, quite frankly, hard days.

I am excited for the future. I am scared, too. Most of the time, at the same time, I'm both.

So forgive me for maybe sharing too much of my feelings. I got a little carried away.

The truth is

I want to know Him more

and I think I'm willing to do what it takes to do that. It's just not always easy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Monsters

Before Jake was 2 years old he spoke in complete sentences that made total sense. It was so entertaining to listen to him (still is!). I was thinking tonight about how he would find so many things scary. He would say "it's scaaaarrrrry" in a lower than normal voice as he tried to make you understand exactly what he was getting at. He would raise his hands beside his face and move his fingers as he contorted his mouth to make us understand he was not fooling around, he was very serious. Of course, as adults, the things that he found scary we were totally at ease about - silly little things really. We were much bigger than his petty little fears. We tried to comfort him but they were big in his eyes - much bigger fears than he was big.

I was reminded of that because tonight I'm finding life scary. I'm feeling small and tiny with the monsters looming larger than me. I don't even know what all the monsters are but they're big I'm telling you....and my imagination is about ready to get the better of me. I'm not brave and I'm not strong. And I'm scared. I wish I could hide away for a time.

And as I typed that last line I realized I can. Ps 17:8 says "Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings" and Ps. 91:4 says "and under His wings you may seek refuge".

It's really my choice.

And He's much bigger than my petty, little fears.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Football and Church

Scene: West Albany stadium for a football game against South Albany.

Music begins to play. The band is doing their stuff. It's 3rd quarter.

Aidan Arthur to Warren rather hopefully: "is it about over?"

Warren: "no, I don't think so."

Aidan with a convincing tone: "when the music starts at church that means it's about over. Does your church start the music when it's about over?"

Warren: "well, yes, I guess they do"

A resigned Aidan: " I thought maybe when the music started here it means it's about over too."

I could get carried away with application on this one! I'll let you find your own.

You're way cute, Aidan! Warren sure enjoyed his time with the Arthur boys.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nitty, Gritty - One Foot in Front of the Other

The "nitty gritty" is much harder than the surprise moments.

Last post I got to share a grand surprise of God and this post I share from being in the middle of everyday, just put one foot in front of the other, kind of days. We have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of work to do in the next few months. It isn't what you would call fun stuff. I cling to every little nugget God gives me to show us that we are on the right path. And sometimes I'm just tired of trying to figure out how it will all work.

I was sharing some of my feelings with Warren this morning and it reminded him of a story:

The Sunday School teacher asks her students what they want to be when they grow up and one little boy answers, "a returning missionary"!

Isn't it so true that we want the testimony without the work. If we could just skip the hard parts - the physical work, the raw emotions, the uncertain future - and go right to the exciting, 'let me share with you the joy in what God has done' parts.

It never works that way.

We are part of a society that proclaims instant satisfaction as the way to go. Anyway that life can be made easy and fun is the most used path. We don't like hard work and we don't like to be told what to do. We want choices and we want to choose what is best for me, me me! It shouts from every billboard and every advertising ad that "I" am the most important person and that is who I need to look out for. Prov. 9:13-18

Look around. It has gotten us into a heap of trouble.

God has never offered that kind of life. And no, life is not always easy following Him. I have found that God has used the hard, steady as you go, things in my life much more often than the sweet surprises to bring about change in my behavior and in my faith. Prov. 9:1-6

Its a good time to remind myself of that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It Didn't Even Make the List

"Don't be found guilty of asking too little of God."

Our pastor, Rob, says that to our congregation often. I've even found myself repeating it to others because I know it's true. God wants to do more in our lives than what we can even imagine. He's able to do more than what we can imagine.

Still I was caught by surprise.

On Thursday we had an offer made on our business and on Friday we accepted.


Warren had told me on the phone that an offer was made and as I drove home from the grocery store I found myself knowing that no matter how I looked at it, the whole thing could be nothing less than God Himself. Even with the human fears and questions still unanswered about other things in our lives I could find no room in this to doubt it was God. I told Warren I believed it would be a sin to not accept the offer. You see, we had been asking too little of God. The sale of our business had not even made the list. We had thought we would just sale the equipment and, frankly, right now that wasn't even looking too good!

It's really not that I don't believe that God can do bigger things than what I can think of, it's just that I'm not always sure that He wants to. I get caught up in a vicious circle of knowing that God can do things beyond what I can imagine and at the same time knowing that He doesn't always choose to do it the easy way. He does, sometimes, take us through the hardest of times. And yet, in this case, He has chosen a smooth path.

We are excited about the man that God has chosen to use in our lives to take over the business. A man of integrity that Warren feels good about recommending to our current customers. We're thankful and faithful that what God is doing for the good in our life will not be to a detriment in his life. We've prayed all along that whatever God did it would work for the good in the lives of every one that are involved. I believe God can do that.

And, while I rejoice in the wonder of it all, I must admit the reality of moving to Brazil is becoming more and more real. Exciting, heartbreaking, anticipating, mourning. Just a few of my emotions over the weekend.

We do have other things to take care of yet and the general consensus is that it's not the right time to be selling a house. But than we don't want to be found guilty, again, of

asking too little.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Questions in My Life

I wondered about it. Would it ever happen? Would I be there to see it happen?...

Well, it did and I was. Yesterday.

Those of you who have been to our house know that if you go to Corvallis in any direction you have to cross the railroad tracks. If you're going the quickest route you are barely on your way and you're crossing one set of them. Well, now that I am going to school 2 days a week and have to be there by 8:00 A.M. it puts me right in the middle of rush hour and it gets quite backed up on the main road right off of our street. (our street is a dead end so I MUST take this very backed up road.) The reason the line gets so long is because it crosses the railroad tracks, has room for one car and then hits a light that lets you enter Hwy 99W. Most of the time people are very nice and let me enter the busy, backed up road in front of them but it still makes for a wait at the light. Sometimes numerous times.

Yesterday I ended up behind a man stopped at the tracks, or rather ON the tracks. I see this often and have never thought it a good idea but because I had seen this before and because I knew I was there for a little while I let my mind wonder to school and everything that my day entailed.

I shouldn't have done that.

By the time I looked up from my books the man (in a very large pickup. Remember I'm in a Mini) in front of me had his window down and was waving frantically at me to back up. It was then that I noticed the crossing gate had come down (across his hood as best it could. It was a really BIG pickup). I looked behind me and backed as far as I could (remember there is a huge long line behind me) That indicated to the car behind me to move (and so forth down the line) which allowed me to back further. It took about 3 backings until the guy was back far enough to be out of the trains way...

Just in time for the train to pass.

I don't know. It wasn't a very long train, maybe the damage would have been minimal.... who am I kidding? It was a train!!!

The guy was not happy with me. He left his window down and turned his side mirror so I could see him swearing at me. So maybe I should have been paying more attention but really

Who's the guy who parked on the tracks?!!!

After he had his say with me by way of hand motions and lip contortion and before he rolled his window back up, I gave him the look that replied to his tongue lashing. You know the look...

"I wondered if anyone was ever dumb enough to park on the tracks when a train was coming" look.

He probably had to get some damage repaired on his truck from the arm coming down on it and than the slide of it across the hood as he backed up. First, though, he probably had to go home and change his clothes... I know I would have peed my pants...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

God in Heaven

It's a mystery how God works. I really can't figure out His mind (thankfully!) but I must admit sometimes I find myself trying to. Go figure...

We really do feel that God has told us to go to Brazil. It's been confirmed over and over. We have tried to hear and follow God closely on this one. And then (I know it's not true but it seemed like) out of nowhere the economy takes a turn. Now we have already been questioned about our sanity that at this point in our lives we would sell a business, home and possessions and move to another country to do, well, we're not even sure what exactly :) ! And now it's time to put our [lives] on the market and look at what has happened... doesn't look good, does it?

Of course, Warren and I have discussed this many times and I have had sleepless nights over it. Some very long, sleepless nights.

Warren came home on Friday with some insight for me. He told me he had been thinking about the whole US financial situation and how it relates to us right now and then He had a picture of God, sitting up in heaven, considering the whole thing. This is his illustration:

God: Oooh boy, I didn't see this coming. Maybe we should just sit this out for awhile and see what happens. This is a bad time to be selling anything. I was really counting on your resources to take care of you... Maybe I should take another look at the whole situation and figure out if it would be wise to even take you there right now. Good idea, it would be wisdom to put it off indefinitely until we see things are getting better. I mean, who knows if the US can pull itself out of this. Ya, let's just wait and see what happens...I will get back to you later on the whole thing...

Of course, that's ridiculous. God has known all along what he is calling us to, the obstacles that would get in our way, and the exact date that He wants us there. God IS NOT in heaven wringing his hand together, trying to figure out how to make it work.

We don't know God's timing nor how He's going to work everything out. It may not happen like we expect it to (good chance of that!), nor as we hope but we do know this:

God has not changed His plan. We just don't see the whole picture yet.

Please pray with us as we seek Him.

(and get alittle laugh out of the absurdness of the above picture of God!!!)

Friday, October 10, 2008


Max to grandma: ven ish Ellie oming to ur ouse?

Grandma: I hope at Christmas time. When do you want her to come?

Max: oomorroo

Jake: That's just what I was thinking!

This is a shortened version to the conversation but just know that you are missed by all of us, Kellie. I wish you were coming tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hands In Your Lap

"I have something we should pray about."

"No! We don't need another thing to pray about!"

That was the (short) conversation that Warren and I had the other day. I'm ashamed to say that I was the no person. Quite frankly I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the things there is to pray about these days. I was a little overwhelmed with me, me, me! I didn't want another thing to pray about that would affect me.

You should all know my grandson, Max, by now. He's a character. An amazing little bundle of love and orneriness! He's so fun! Anyway, when we were keeping Max and Jake this summer we had a very amusing incident.

From the backseat of the car Jake informs Kellie and I that Max won't listen to what he's saying. I suggest to Max to " please listen to Jake as he talks to you. It's not nice to ignore Jake." Quickly following my reprimand Jake says in total frustration, "he's blocking my words!" Kellie and I turn around to see Max sitting across the seat from Jake looking out his own window with his arm stretched out taunt toward Jake. His hand is facing Jake with palms out and fingers to the sky. Of course he could still hear Jake but his body language was such that told Jake he was not listening, that he didn't intend to listen, nor was he interested in what Jake had to say! Needless to say, Kellie and I could hardly contain our laughter while we disciplined the little sweetheart!!!

God reminded me of this incident soon after Warren and my conversation. I was the one with my hand up in the air blocking communication. You'd think that as an adult I would have put away childish ways. I Corinthians 13:11 I still have a lot of growing up to do.

Thankfully, God lovingly says to me what I said to Max,

"Sheri, put your hand down."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Go On, Melt His Heart!

I spent a few hours at the park yesterday.

We were invited there for a birthday party for one of my grandsons and his cousin (on the other side of the family).

When I got there, Jake and Max were playing in a big sand box with some of their cousins. Max saw me and immediately came running. With a cry of "grandma" he jumped into my arms and I got kisses and hugs while he told me he didn't know I was coming. He expressed pure joy in seeing me and it felt good.

His smiles melt me. His whole face lights up when he smiles and his dimples can't help but make you smile and laugh right back. Even now, I smile thinking of his smile. It's contagious.

Jake didn't see any of this interaction with Max as he was busy playing with his best buddy (and cousin) Aidan. I saw him smile first, recognition. Instead of running to me he turned to Aidan and said "Aidan, look who's here, my grandma! Aidan, look!" Aidan did look, rather nonchalantly, and continued playing. Jake, thinking Aidan hadn't gotten the message, again tried to make him understand that I was there but when he realized Aidan wasn't that interested Jake gave me a big smile and went back to his playing. I interacted with Jake periodically throughout the afternoon and as I was leaving I made my rounds to get kisses from all the grandchildren. When I asked Jake if I could have a kiss goodbye he replied, "and hugs" and flew into my arms. Oh, the joy of love returned!

I was thinking of all of this today after leaving church. Leaving worship. I had to think of the two different responses I got from Jake and Max and my feelings of each. Then I thought of how differently we all are in responding to God.

Max's response was very outward and showy. He saw me, gave me his full attention and went back to what he was doing. That's his personality. He'll kiss you and express his love many times through out the time you're with him. I love that about him.

Jake didn't run to me but he wanted to let his best friend know that I was an important person. He believed that Aidan would find me just as important and he wanted to share the news that I had arrived. Jake isn't one to tell you often how much he loves you or give kisses and hugs but when they come it's so from his heart. I love that about him.

Whose response was right? Which one melted my heart? Both. Because I know these two little boys well and I knew what each was offering me. Their love.

I believe both responses melt God's heart too. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

He knows our heart.

Oh, the joy of love returned.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Abraham heard the voice of God and he obeyed. He continued to listen for God's voice or Isaac would have died.

Thank you for that insight, Jared.

Lord, we want to continue to be sensitive to Your voice.

The Night Hours

I worry.

They say that once you admit that you have a problem you're half-way there to solving it. Sounds a little secular to me but...

This week I have spent a lot of time confessing it to the Lord. It's hard to admit. I really want to be the one that Jesus says "your faith has made you well"! I'm not there. But God is doing a work and I have a little victory to share.

I've been waking up a lot at night and laying there thinking of all of the things I can worry about....It almost makes me dread the night hours. The "hows" of Brazil can be mind consuming and, as often is the case, they plague me at night. (and I haven't solved a thing by laying there worrying at night either!)

Yesterday I had spent hours sharing with one of my sisters about faith. Yes, I did admit that I sometimes struggle with it myself :) but I gave her some pointers. ( it always feels good to be the one giving the pointers, doesn't it!)

Now for the victory: I went to bed and sometime during the night the old familiar starting to worry and wake up feeling hit and this is what happened. God's Word, which I had shared with my sister, came to me in a half awake state.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil 1:6

God is good and does good. Ps. 119:68 (Thanks for sharing that one Kari!)

Faith is trusting God that whatever He does or allows in my life is going to be for my good. (understand that is when I am seeking Him and His will for my life). I may not always see it, or feel it, or even know how it could possibly be but I can trust it. You are safe to obey God and I praise You.

And I never fully woke up....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Good Book

I love to begin a new book. Oh, the possibilities! Will it start slow or grab my attention from the beginning? Will I learn something from it or will it be something of pure enjoyment? Will I feel I know the author a little bit when I'm finished or will I feel that he (or she) was vague and unattached from their own writing? Will it be a book to linger over or one that commands my attention even when I'm away from it? I love a new read....

I feel a little like this with school. I've tasted two days of classes and study and I must say - it has my attention even when I walk away or put the books aside. Oh, the joy of learning! And because it's a Bible School I already feel as though I'm beginning to learn all new aspects of the wonderful Author. I thought I knew Him well but I am already seeing some of the wealth of Him I have not yet uncovered. I'm anticipating the joy of discovery!

I also want to make it a point of learning to know the other students so yesterday I invited two of the girls out to lunch afterwards. We spent a couple of hours getting to know each other. What a joy! I could probably camp out with the two of them this whole session and not learn (or enjoy) all there is to know from them. Great girls - I mean they agreed to spend time with this old lady, didn't they, and at least pretended to enjoy it!!!!

I think all my excitement and stories could be wearing a little bit thin with Warren but I have a defense....he was off to the same school this morning to study the book of Acts. There is no way he could come home nonchalant about that! We'll probably have to take turns sharing about all we've learned and our experiences. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm also trying not to be jealous this morning with the fact that he's off to class and I'm not!

Tuesday is just around the corner...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Something New

This morning I am going to start a new chapter in my adult life - school! Warren and I decided it would be good if I took some classes at the school of ministry (Cornerstone) that our church has. I'm so looking forward to it.
I will be going Tuesdays and Wednesdays this term so i guess that makes me a 1/2 time student. I asked the boys what I needed to take for my first day of school (I remember so clearly when I was preparing them for their first days!) and they gave me some pointers with which Brett ended his by saying "mom, don't embarrass me with my friends". So I guess there is one more thing for me to watch out for...keep my mouth closed and my mind open!

I must say, I'm fearful of my learning abilities but at the same time very excited to give it a try. So...I'm off.......

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tired Smiles

We've been really busy getting ready for this day. It's called for some late nights and long days. We've painted,stained, put up trim, sanded, grouted, installed bookshelves, put in a sink and toilet, light fixtures and had carpet installed for this big day. Warren was having surgery.

Why all the fuss? Well, it really wasn't to celebrate the surgery itself but rather because of the surgery. He had two hernias and so we knew that after the surgery he wasn't going to be able to lift anything over 25 lbs for 6 weeks hence forth we had a lot of work to do before hand. We made a valiant effort. All major things are complete on the house with just little things left to do here and there. It feels so good NOW! My parents are coming for a visit on Wednesday and Mom reminded me again on the phone today that they intend to help with "the little things" left to do. They're troopers so I'm afraid that relaxing time for me is not in the near future yet!

Warren's doing well tonight. He's on some pain medication but getting around just fine. The doctor said the hardest thing will be to not to over do it. I had to remind him a couple of times of that already! Thanks to everyone who was praying for him.

And the house? We're loving it and the feeling of it being near completion. Now for a good cleaning. (my mom will be good help with that too!)

We're wearing tired smiles tonight.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Finding the Diamonds

Our header is a little deceiving. It's not that Warren and I don't spend time laughing with each other, that's actually one of the things I love most about our relationship. The deception is in the fact that it may lead you to believe that refreshing joy only comes from laughter. Maybe before this weekend that's the belief I kind of harbored myself. I learned differently.

I was at our women's retreat (Calvary Chapel Corvallis) the past few days and came home with things that I want to ponder. I believe God has more for me from the teachings than what I have yet uncovered. I love the time of sifting through good teaching. Of praying for God to enlighten me on the things that were specifically for me. I love when the teacher, through the anointing of the Spirit, can open my eyes to scripture in a way that I have never seen it before. So, I'm still in that process of letting it run through my fingers, finding the diamonds. (thank you, Kari!)

It was great teaching but it was hard. No getting around that. To be quite honest, during the first session I really felt like I wanted to go home. It was TOO hard and I really questioned whether or not it was what I NEEDED to hear right then. When the service had ended my friend Deb turned to me and asked if I was okay. I don't remember what I responded but it was short because I really didn't want to cry. Right on the heels of that my friend Cindy comes over and asked how I was doing. Too soon for composure after the last question, I cry. And cry. Now I don't have one of those pretty cries and I HATE to cry about anything that has to do with me. This is what happened. My two closest friends laid their hands on me and prayed. They whispered truths to me from God's Word and shared in my tears. As I type this the tears are running down my cheeks because it was so beautiful, so healing and so refreshing. It brought about pure JOY!

Who would have thought it? There's Refreshing Joy in shared tears too.

God, You're good and do good. Ps. 119:68

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Sept. 3, 1999

Nine years ago today I became a mother-in-law.

I remember vividly Kellie coming down the isle on Warren's arm. She glowed! Our little girl had grown up. Our relationship was about to change. Not in a bad way, just in a different way.

When Kellie was little, Warren and I had prayed many (many, many) times for a God-loving man to be her husband. One that would love her with a love beyond that which we have loved her. One that would take the responsibility of spiritual leadership as God intended. A humble but mighty man. Kind. Compassionate. And one that wouldn't mind this family too much! I always tend to ask too little of God! And, once again, God did so much more than what we had even thought of!!!!

Jason, we love you. We are so glad you are a part of our family. Thank you for letting God use you to answer our prayers.

Happy anniversary you two.

And after nine years we're still blinded by the glow!

Three is a very good Number

September 2

Happy Birthday, Max!

I'm captivated by you.

Love, Grandma

An Old Prayer Made New

As of this past June 4th I am no longer a mother (nor will I be again) of a teenager. I, for one, loved the teen years but than I'm a weird bird! Sure, it has it's hard times. The emotions, the spreading ones wings, the things they do that we as parents don't really want to know about until they are grown, out of the house without the consequences type of things (and even then it scares us!). Yes, we had our rough times but all in all it was good times.

During those times in my children's lives I remember trying to warn them to be careful as they made choices. That the scary thing about the wrong choices, at this point in their lives, was that they don't know if the decision would have live changing consequences or temporary discipline or, even better, if they would completely get away with it. I knew my kids would make some mistakes but I prayed hard that they wouldn't be those live changing, hard to live with kinds. God showed them mercy.

In total foolishness, at that time, I really believed it was a prayer for their youth. Today as Warren and I are praying about the decisions looming in our life it all of a sudden struck me that we are in that same position now - in our 50's !

We're so praying for wisdom. That we won't go ahead of God or do anything because it seems right or makes sense (Or worse yet, simply because we want too) . Sometimes God's answers are so in our face and sometimes not-so-much.

We're also waiting on someone else this weekend, a man that loves and seeks the Lord, as he makes a decision that affects our lives. We just so want it to be the Lord's answer. The best for us all because God doesn't do the best for one at a detriment to another. It could be life changing or not. Please pray with us.

And by the way, I'm back to praying this prayer for my kids. Everyone of them.

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sing for Me

Yesterday I was in the kitchen getting ready for lunch when I heard it and it brought me to a complete stop. Leeland was singing "Carried to the Table". I love that song but that's not why it grabbed my attention. You see, when Kellie was home last month she told me she had gotten the cords and would sing it for me because she knew I liked it so much. I don't know why but we didn't do it right then. At one point (as I was getting another meal ready) I heard Brett in the background singing it. He had found the sheet of music that Kellie had brought and was using it. Kellie made a comment about not wanting to sing it now because she could never do it as well as Brett and that's the last it was mentioned. I don't even remember what my response to her was.

Anyway, hearing the song yesterday, all of that came to my mind in slow motion. If I could only rewind that time I would give my full attention to her. I wish I could hear her sing it now. I miss her so much.

Do you do that? Let a magic moment slip by and realize later that you missed it. It could have been great but you didn't take the time to enjoy what was right in front of you? Have you let a gift that was going to be given to you be taken back because you were too distracted by life and it's busyness that you forgot that life was in that very moment?

I know that I've done this before with other people and have missed many a great blessing. It doesn't have to be this way but so often I am so busy with the next thing that I miss the now.

Kellie, I know you will say it doesn't matter but I want you to know it does matter - to me. I regret it. I wish I could have a do-over.

It would have been so sweet....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Neighbors

I didn't go through the drive in for fast food on the way home like I sometimes do. My favorite coffee drink didn't even sound good. I decided I wouldn't even stop at TJ Maxx or Ross just to see what they have because, after all, I didn't really need anything. I did my grocery shopping and was much more aware of how much packaged, expensive, food I put in my cart. I even put some back. I had a few extra things on my list to get that I would drop off at the church for those without. It really didn't help my aching heart that much.

You see, today I learned that my neighbors are starving. (click here)

I don't know what this means for me. I'm sifting through my thoughts and praying for wisdom. I want to hear God's instruction and yet I must confess I feel a lot like the rich young ruler who was told to sell everything and give it to the poor. Luke 18: 18-24. I like my things. I like that my life is comfortable and that I have choices in what I have, do and buy. I like that I can put my tithe in the offering plate and forget about it.

But today, right now, I'm afraid that God is asking for more than that. I don't know if I can't hear or if I don't want to. Am I too saturated with the world around me that I can't feel God's heart for me? My flesh says to hang on. My spirit says to let go. I'm not sure how.

I do know this: I don't want to walk away sorrowful.

" Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him "what is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" So he answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength,and with all you mind and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, " you have answered rightly. Do this and you shall live." But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "and who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:25-29

Monday, August 18, 2008

Black and White

I found out some rather disturbing news about one of my closest friends last week and I can't get it out of my mind. Now I didn't learn it directly from the person but I do think it was reliable. (coming straight from her daughter)

Okay, I've got to explain. About 12 years ago my sister (she hates it when I always say "older sister" so I won't) and I were working on a project together at one of our houses. Now we really get into our work and by that I mean we get dirty. But have no fear, we have clothes for that. Oh yes, I mean special clothes for those especially dirty jobs like gardening, painting, cleaning, etc. Now those clothes, although perfect for the job, are not meant to be seen by anyone other than close family members. Why? you ask. Because we are not white short people.

It was on that day, 12 years ago, that we both realized that we had white short neighbors.They are those people that can put on a pair of white shorts and work out in the garden all day pulling weeds, planting flowers, mowing the lawn, etc and at the end of the day they still look clean and fresh. They actually sit down to a BBQ that evening (on the very clean patio of course) with china, cloth napkins and music in the background. They are the kind that can receive surprise drop- in guests at any time though out the day because they look great with their hair pulled up on their head and no makeup (or else their makeup is perfectly done because, of course, they haven't sweat it off - they don't sweat which means they smell good too!) It all looked so easy, so wonderful. Joni and I? Well, let's just say we don't own any white shorts.

So to get back to my friend and the disturbing news. NO, she doesn't wear white shorts to garden. It's much worse. Her daughter told me she wears a special (are you ready for this?!) dress!!! I have never.... I knew she was one classy dame but come on - this is way out of my league....a dress to garden? How does one do that?...!

I'd like to say that I'll be shopping for white shorts but I don't do shorts.

I'll just look over the fence and envy my neighbor.

***this is no way a slam on my friend. I'm sure she looks as cute as can be in her gardening dress. Joni and I both realize that the whole concept comes from nothing more than envy, pure and simple.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Liberty - not always a blessing

I can't believe I actually did it. This morning I allowed myself a liberty I don't usually allow. As Warren was driving away from the house this morning I said (under my breath of course) "you jerk". It didn't feel as good as I thought it would. As a matter of fact I'm feeling rather sick from it. I don't usually allow myself to say things like that because I don't want to start believing them and I'm a firm believer that what you speak you will soon (if you don't already) believe.

Now I want you to know I had already done the right things this morning. I had made Warren his coffee, I had had my quiet time and we had prayed together. Somewhere between there and the kiss at the door things turned for the worse. He said something. I didn't like it. He said what I thought was a heartless apology and then it happened. I pouted. He left. I watched him go and OUT IT CAME.

I regret it now. I mean, who am I to even be thinking of going on the mission field when I can't even control my tongue. When I don't forgive unless it's said in a way I think is worthy. And I'm talking about an incident with my own husband. I'm hopeless.

I'm thankful I don't have to look to myself for righteousness. I fall mighty short. Everyday. Often throughout the day. But instead I am covered over with the robe of righteousness of Jesus Himself. What relief. I'm just a sinner saved by grace.

I'm not sharing this thinking that you're learning that I'm not perfect or that my marriage isn't perfect. If you've been around me for any amount of time you already know that. I'm writing it for myself. To remind me.

I still need to apologize to Warren. It will be heartfelt.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Many days ago...


I've worked on a post for days about this and have ended up deleting them all. How do you, in one post, tell a person how much these last 30 years have meant to you and convey to others the depths of feelings that come from loving another for so many years? I couldn't.

So Warren, in this very feeble attempt, I want you to know you're the very best part of me. I am no longer that young woman that had such unrealistic dreams of marriage and romance. I am seasoned. And I am still very much in love with you. You have made my life complete and wonderful. Thank you.

To all of you others - I wish you the same.

I am a very rich girl.

I know, this would have been the perfect time to have a wedding picture of us. I have been trying the whole picture thing and (as I have come to expect when it comes to computer) I can't get the thing to work. Besides you would just laugh....and it would be funny! Use your imagination.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thoughts for today...

I cleaned house today. Believe me it was long overdue. With the whole remodel mess I've used the excuse of "it will just get dirty right away anyway"! It will but we couldn't stand it anymore. I got out my Big Power (which is my vacuum that means serious business, non of this "just go over everything quickly" stuff) and even I couldn't believe the dirt. You see the Big Power is water instead of the bag kind of deal so I could see exactly how much dirt came from this cleaning alone. Let me tell you it was more like mud. My mom would have been appalled! I was taught better than this, I really was.

For the majority of the women I know, we all want to be good mothers. We want to teach our children all the things they need to know for their adult lives. The practical things as well as the spiritual things. Let me make this clear: I had the best, the cream of the crop kind of mother - still do. I thought that as our children grew up that need to be a good mother would fade. It hasn't. If anything it almost gets stronger as our children grow up. We want to stay connected to theirs lives and even become a friend somewhat. We learn to stay involved without crowding them (at least I hope I've learned this),we learn to give advise without telling them what to do (somewhat easier with my married children than with Brett. Sorry Brett.) and, hopefully, we learn how to be there when they need us. It's not always easy but it's rewarding. Although I don't have any of this mastered I think I'm making progress!

And then there's the grandma thing. I don't even want to start on all the dreams and emotions that come along with that!

The thing is, I was thinking about all of this today and suddenly it struck me - I don't know how to do this long distance. What's it going to look like from Brazil? What am I going to do to stay connected and part of their lives? I'm going to miss so much!

I know. Many people do this long distance thing but right now, today, I'm telling God I don't remember signing up for it. I've looked forward to this time in life. A time I can be involved with them without so much of the responsibility. A time to enjoy seeing them parent their own children. A time to see successes in their adult lives. A time to experience their talents and giftings. And a time to see them grow in the Lord.

Oh, don't feel sorry for me. (I'm just being pathetic right now) :) I try not to let myself stay in these places for too long and I'll probably be out of it before you're even reading this. It's just something I'm thinking about today.

Brother, I even feel weepy and I'm not a crier! I hate menopause.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

You want pictures?

A long time ago I decide it's a lot better to laugh at myself than to cry. I'm rather a slow learner. Those things that come so easily to some are more of a trial to me. That's really why it took me so long to start a blog. How to begin was too overwhelming. So when Kellie was here she was kind enough to get me started. She's patient. Alright, this is fun! Oh no.... why is the size of my letters changing on me and why can't I correct them? what does " lol" mean anyway? Pictures. You want pictures?!
Okay, so tonight my other very patient daughter came over. Jodi was willing to show me why my letters were not the size I thought they should be and how to correct it. She also showed me how to do pictures and linking! WOW! Now if I can just remember how to do it. She said that I can call her though. Have your phone ready, Jodi!

Kellie also told me that "lol" means laugh out loud. I like that. I'm laughing- at myself.

*by the way, this is the picture Jodi helped me load. It's our sweet little Noah. I've been wanting to show him to you, I just didn't know how. Later I will do a whole blog about him. Until then - enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Safe to Obey

We were working on the house today. We do that a lot. We always have. We must be crazy! I remember as a kid being interested in old houses and imagining what I would do to fix them up. I particularly remember one that we would drive past going to church. I had told my parents I wished I could fix it up. It was a vacant, run down, old farm house. (after I was married my parents ended up living near it and I got to go inside. To this day I think of how wonderful that house would have been! It was later torn down. ) When Warren and I first started dating we drove by that house after church one Sunday and he said (without my having ever mentioned it) that he would love to fix up that house! Now I wouldn't say I knew then that he was the one for me but it was a pretty good indication, wouldn't you say! lol.

Well, we're still at it and I must say, on the whole we have been happy fixing up houses during our marriage. This time, however; we're finishing with purpose. We want to get it done in order to put it on the market so when God says "go" we can. It's made for some drudgery and some weariness but we're seeing the end in sight.

I had dreams for this place. Some of them are coming true and I'm thankful God has allowed me to see them. Some I will never see as I'm sure the new owners will have dreams of their own. That's okay. I'm moving on to new dreams. What makes it hard to leave isn't the place itself - it's the memories. It's the closing of the door to what we thought was going to be our future and opening to trust. Trusting God to know what is best for us. Trusting Him with our future. At prayer meeting last week someone thanked the Lord that He was safe to obey. I liked that. It's so true. I'll trust Him that it is best for me to go to Brazil and I will trust Him that it will also be best for my family. New memories will be made and, who knows, maybe we will find another project house there to keep us happy!

Until then, maybe I'll hide in the closet until Warren is done tiling!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another change

It really was a miracle that I was able to choose the paint colors for the church last summer without making a mistake. I don't say that lightly. I prayed about it a lot. I know me and I was way in over my head. God gave me the colors - sometimes I actually saw pictures of walls in my head painted the finished color. It was amazing.

I was reminded of that miracle today. I have to paint my hallway again. FOR THE THIRD TIME!
The first time it was a gray-brown color. I had wanted it more of a brown-gray color. (does that make sense?) It would have been perfect for the grand kids room which was way to blue-gray for my liking. So this week I used left-over paint that Kellie and I had used to do the nursery for Noah and Oliver. Very cute there, very awful here! It's a bright red. What was I thinking?! I don't go for bold, bright colors. The nursery had a lot of white bead board so it worked. I'm talking a hallway here with no windows. Warren said it was scary to walk through it! I don't know what color I'm going to repaint it yet but it will be repainted. In the meantime I used the red outside on an old piece of furniture I use to hold dishes. Was blue, now red. I love it!

I'll figure out the hallway. I just think I'll pray first.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

At last

Thanks to Kellie we now have the blog we talked about doing but would never have gotten around to!
Some of our friends have mentioned an interest in our process, both mentally and physically, of getting ready to move to Brazil. We'd love to share with you. Really though, we're thinking this will be a good way for us to remember the way God is moving in our lives.
So...we begin.