Tuesday, June 19, 2012

91 Years

     It's catch up on blogging time, since my school quarter has ended. Also it's mostly quiet since 2 of kids are still in school, which would be stupid, IF the sun was out. But it's not, so, I guess I'm okay with them going in a week after every other school is done. I love snow days, when they come, but make-up snow days are ridiculous. Seriously, isn't snowman building - PE, sledding and momentum - science, and cleaning up melting snow and wet clothing - Home Economics?

     Anyhow, I had time to day to edit the pictures from my Papa's 91st Birthday. He's a pretty amazing guy, and was out chopping wood 5 years ago. You couldn't keep him in the house. He had a slight stroke 2 years ago, and then fell and broke his hip a few weeks later. His favorite thing to do, once house-bound, was read, and he read like crazy, until he lost his eyesight in February. My Great-Grandma, who lived till 96 used to say that the most difficult thing you ever do, is get old.

     Papa has 4 children, 12+ grandchildren (I can't remember how many step Grandchildren), and around 19 great grandchildren. He grew up in an orphanage with his sister, and later was a Marine in World War II, and served in the Guadalcanal Campaign (Info: GuadalCanal Campaign, August 1942).    
     After his service, he lived in several states before settling here in Washington with my Grandma. He worked in the Old Arlington Hospital as a lab technician. As a grandpa, he is top notch, and knew the perfect balance between love and discipline. We all ate things we would never have ate for our parents (nut bread, liver, peas), and did not complain. He took care of his second wife after her stroke, learned all her recipes, and baked the best goodies. After his second wife passed away, he also began to date and later remarried my Grandma, his first wife. They now live together, and still make each other crazy.

It takes a lot of stuff to get old.

So many fun thing to find at Papa's and Grandma's House

Papa gave this GIANT Magnolia tree to Grandma Some 50 years ago on Mother's day. Like their family, it has flourished.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Small Things

     Last summer my husband claimed faith in Jesus, as his savior. I, of course, became elated, and actually jumped for joy. I expected all our marriage troubles had ended. At first everything was great. Water tasted better, the sunshine was brighter and with my husband standing beside me at church, I thought I would never feel alone again.
     Apparently I had forgotten this warning  "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 and "In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil." Ephesians 6:16. 

     I was too happy to be alert, I was too confident to rely on faith, so when those flaming darts started hitting us, I ran. I didn't stand firm, I didn't hold up a shield, I cowered, I lost heart, and I became afraid. And here's the thing about fear, is that Satan loves fear. Fear is the opposite of faith, and if faith is the Shield we use to extinguish Satan's flaming arrows, then fear is the gasoline that spreads the fire.

     Fortunately, I am not alone in my spiritual walk, and beside me came many friends who held up their shields of faith, and built me up in truth.
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces;
    now he will heal us.
He has injured us;
    now he will bandage our wounds.
In just a short time he will restore us,
    so that we may live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
    Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
    or the coming of rains in early spring.”" Hosea 6:1-3

     Hmm, have you ever noticed how history repeats itself?? When the twelve disciples realized that Jesus truly was God, and that he was all powerful, they thought all their troubles had ended. They were standing next to the man who was calling the most powerful men vipers and claiming a Lordship that at the time only belonged to Ceasar. They were more worried about who would sit on each side of Jesus' throne.  Mark 10:35-41

     Even as Jesus tries to prepare them for the a future of suffering rather than honor, they are comfortable and complacent because Jesus is going to solve all their problems. He will take down the Roman government and put Israel back on the map. Then Jesus is killed, and that was not part of the plan. But it was, it was part of God's plan, the larger plan, the plan that was set out from the very beginning and they didn't have to understand it to be part of it.

     Jesus didn't ever say he would solve all of our problems, he said he was the answer to our problems, and it's amazing how when I truly look to him, to his work, and to giving him the glory how my problems seem to fade. Then the little works of God, like small sparks, begin to shine. The small things that I hadn't noticed because the flame of fear was blinding me. The small things that are only seeds, but are growing and will be strong enough to weather each storm as it comes.

 The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled;
    the hopes of the godly will be granted.
 When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away,
    but the Godly have a lasting foundation.
         Proverbs 10:24-25