Monday, November 24, 2008

Adventure on the Way...

The bombshell has landed. I must say, it surprised me. I did not expect this, but I sure am excited. A little scared, but mostly looking forward to a new experience. It's weird to be in the same situation as so many other Americans are right now...the brotherhood of the unemployed! David got the word this afternoon that as of February 1, he will no longer be with the company he has worked for for the past 16 years.

It's weird...just yesterday morning, we sat around and discussed (hypothetically speaking) where we'd like to move. We talked about all kinds of places: Iowa, Minnesota, Idaho, Montana, Canada, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah, California, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota (I nipped that one in the bud REAL QUICK.). Since we have been married, we have lived in the same area....covering about 5 square miles!! Our apartment we lived in as newlyweds is 3 miles north. The only other home we've owned, besides the one we are presently in, is 2 miles south! We do love this area...

We do not know what the future will hold, but we know Who our Provider has been and will continue to be. So here's to new beginnings and big adventures! Scumps!!


[ad-ven-cher] -tured, -tur⋅ing.
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.
5. peril; danger; risk.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beholden, Gratified, Indebted, Obliged, Pleased, Thankful, GRATEFUL.

It is a GORGEOUS November day here in Omaha. I have been cooking and baking and it got so warm, I opened my kitchen window! That's not usual for this time of year. I think it is in the mid-50's...a veritable heat-wave! It is so nice to see the sun. There is a herd of squirrels on our front lawn and hanging from our bird feeders - we counted six at one point.

The Lord has called my name. How can that be? He has drawn me and made me His own. If I did not know it to be so, I would think it was too good to be true. I am being changed and transformed into the person I was created to be by the One Who made me. Whoa. That is amazing.

My mom is here nice to have her near. She is wonderful. (even if she DOES beat me regularly at cards...) She just jumps in wherever needed. Right now she is sewing a beautiful dress for Kristin, who will be in our friends Mindy & Ken's wedding next spring.

Our kids are doing great in school...Kristin is having some very slight issues w/chatting a bit and being easily distracted, but this is minor in the big scheme! Dan has adjusted amazingly well to middle school. Elly is having the time of her life, working on her second play of the fall at school. Bree is enjoying and being challenged by her job. We are just savoring these days of having them all living at home with us, knowing these days are numbered!

Even though there is a possibility that David's job could be eliminated by the end of '08, we are amazingly peaceful. This is truly the peace that passes understanding...makes no sense! Sometimes I pinch myself and wonder if I am just in denial. Shouldn't I be freaking?

We have begun to meet with some amazing folks in a small group-type setting...wanting to be accountable, wanting to be the Body of Christ to one another. We are so very excited about this part of our new church family. =)

We are very healthy people. Other than the short-lived, annoying colds and such, we are strong and well. We do not deserve it! So many are struggling with chronic illness. We are blessed with our health.

We have a warm, toasty house that we can afford to pay for...unlike so many who are struggling right now with keeping up with the basics. We are snug and well-fed. (possibly too well-fed)

We have extended family that we love so much. We have many friends that are so very special to us. And we have recently been blessed with re-connecting with many from our past through Facebook. What a wonder!

I think I need to make every month 'Thanksgiving Month"...what it does for my spirit and my emotions to sit and think of all our blessings...I cannot easily describe. What comes to mind is the phrase 'incredible lightness of being"...which until a moment ago, I did not know comes from a book called 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. (Strangely enough, I don't recall ever even hearing of the book until this morning, when a friend [from Facebook!] suggested that I read it! ...and now a phrase that I've heard before, but did not know was from that book comes to my mind! Weird.)

I think that we are meant to live as grateful people. May I live as I was meant to, in this thankful state of counting innumerable blessings and not just BEING, but SHOWING my gratefulness...

"Give thanks to God. Call out his name. Ask him anything! Shout to the nations, tell them what he's done, spread the news of his great reputation!"
Isaiah 12:3 The Message

"Give thanks to God, His love never quits." 2 Chronicles 20:21 The Message

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whine, whine, whine

Yes, I'd like a little whine with my cheese...

I am sick again for the third time in three weeks....three different illnesses. First it was a vertigo-type thingy. Then it was strep (on the tail end of amoxicillin for that!) and now I have this nasty cold...with a smoker's cough. (No, I do not smoke.) Nice. Tomorrow I will have to postpone my dentist appointment to fix my cracked tooth for the THIRD TIME! I am feeling so selfish and so mad and so worn out: sick and tired of being sick and tired. But wait...

What is the truth about this situation? Is God in control of this? Could He heal me if He thought that was best? Am I stuck here for a purpose? Do I need to be treating my body differently so I am not as susceptible to sickness? What about people who are chronically it possible to be content when faced with a barrage of sickness? I was pretty sick last year during this time, but I thought it was because I was teaching and my body was exposed to a lot of germs/viruses that I was not accustomed to. So what's the excuse this year? Do I need to be concerned about something I am not aware of?

Nearly our whole family has had something. Will we all be well to host Thanksgiving dinner like we are planning?

This situation is so inconsequential compared to so many...I think of my friend, Nancy, who is going through treatment for her second bout of breast cancer and whose house is in the path of the crazy fires that are scorching California right now. Or I think of our friends K & E who are in a very dangerous part of the world to tell people of Jesus' love. I need the perspective of these situations or I sink into pity-party-mode....and that's so ugly and isolating and non-productive and self-serving.

In my runny-nosed, hacking state, I am mistakenly thinking that the most important kind of healing is physical, but I know that God sees so much more than I do. And that His ideas of goodness and wholeness are beyond what I can understand. What are You working in me, Lord?

Lord, teach me the secrets of asking for what I desire, but allowing You to help me to be content no matter what Your answers are to what I pray. I know Your Grace is sufficient for me and that when I am weak, Your strength can be shown through me. I choose to trade my dis-ease for Your Peace. And I choose to think on You over thoughts of myself that threaten to consume my mind.

Exodus 15:26 He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post-Election Rant

The last straw was my post-election observation of a neighbor, whom I know to be staunchly Republican, flying his flag at half staff, after he took down all of his republican election support signs. COME ON! far are we going to take this?
When Fox News was announcing that Senator Obama had won the presidency at 11 on Tuesday night, I couldn't help it....I cried and cried. And cried. Then Senator McCain came on and gave SUCH a gracious and well-spoken speech, conceding the presidency. I cried some more. I am very sad and very concerned about what direction we'll go as a country. I am sorely tempted to worry. I am fighting fretting about what future our children will have as we go in this direction?
What I don't get is all the pandemonium and all the whining. Maybe it's just because I'm recovering from strep this week and my brain is fogged. Have we prayed for this election? I have. Has the Lord suddenly left the building altogether? Has our mission as the Body of Christ changed? I'm sure I must be being short-sighted and/or naive because to me it seems like everyone is completely freaking out.
I'm aware of President-elect Obama's background and the agenda he ran his campaign on. I'm aware that the house and senate are controlled by the Democrat party more than ever before in my lifetime. I'm aware that things may get rough for conservative people, that there are possibly several Supreme Court Judge seats that our President-elect will fill during his term. It's not that I'm believing we're in for a bed of roses for the next four years.
What I'm holding onto (with both hands!) is that this country was founded miraculously...that our founding fathers put their lives on the line and were supported by God himself as they strove to create a place of freedom. I know that because of the United States of America, the Gospel of Jesus has and still is spreading around the globe. I know that we, as a individuals and as a people are valuable to the Lord.
I'm grasping tightly His promises to never leave me or forsake me.
I'm thinking of the verse that says, 'Happy are the people who's God is the Lord'....
Friends, the god of this country has not been the Lord for some years now. Who are we kidding? Most of us, (even "Christians") are busy with status and power and jobs and money and appearance to make God the Lord of our lives. We have been booting the Lord out of more and more of our society. It's not too surprising that we would vote in someone with values like President-elect Obama.
Now don't get me is not that I wasn't hoping for an eleventh hour miracle...that the McCain/Palin ticket would pull out a win somehow. I was praying for a Gideon-like victory. We did not get one. And here we are. And our mission is not changed. The way Christians are known (by our love) has not changed. Most of all, Our Great God Who is the King above all gods has not changed. His love has not changed. His heart has not changed.
What needs to change is's me. It is the way I love and repent and prioritize and live.
WAKE UP CALL!! Time to get serious about my faith! Time to stop trusting in the government to save babies and take care of the poor (in a way that will actually help in the long run to give Life). Bashing our new president and new congress is not going to accomplish anything remotely constructive. I am here and the Lord's commands to be thankful for and in all things still stand. It is okay to grieve for a while, but then I'm moving on. (Are you coming with me?)