Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

A couple of weeks ago I was shopping with Audra.  I was looking for some sensible shoes--you know, the kind that go with everything.  
Instead I found these...
They are identical to a pair that Anna wore nearly every day.  (You can wear flip flops year-round in the hospital.)  Her feet never got any bigger so she never out grew them.  She wore them so much that one of the flowers fell off.  That didn't bother her, but after a while it bothered me so I pulled the other flower off so they would match.     Two weeks ago when I saw these on the shelf, I knew that I had to have them.  (And when it's your birthday month you are allowed to splurge a little.)  They aren't practical.  They don't match everything.  But they are my Anna shoes and they are perfect.

#1023. Lime green flip flops in my size

Two days ago I came home to a clean house.  I figured out that Richard must have come home on his lunch hour and cleaned while I was gone.  The perfect early birthday present...I thought.  Later, Will and I were home by ourselves when the doorbell rang.  Will went to get it and yelled, "Mom, Grammy's here!"  My sweet mother came all the way from Kansas to make omelettes and muffins for my birthday breakfast.  Thanks Mom!

#1024 Surprise visitors

After a quick trip to the orthodontist (for Audra) and a manicure (for me) it was off to Peter Chang's for lunch.  For a sweet-and-sour-chicken kind of girl, I think I did pretty good trying black mushrooms, bok choy, tofu, and whole garlic cloves.

#1025 Lunch with friends

"Slimy, but it didn't gag me" was what I said about the mushrooms.  
One of my friends said she would be sure to pass my compliments on to the chef.

#1026 Trying new things

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grateful for another year...

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 
John 1:16

One year ago I made it my goal to notice what I have instead of what I don't have.
One year ago I began to look for the blessings that surround me every day.
One year ago I set out to be thankful... 1,000 times.

895. Sunday afternoon naps
901. My children, here, now
924. Having tea in a friend's kitchen
927. Eternal hope
928. Teenage boys being silly
937. A creek to explore
949. Surprise visitors from China
953. A new baseball team with new friends we haven't met yet
957. Digging deep in God's word
968. Warm towels from the dryer
970. Watching a movie at the Byrd theater
973. Planning a trip
977.Open doors and open windows
981. A family game of four-square
985. Walking and talking
989. Sunrise Easter services
991. Footprints in the sand
993.Cashiers who cover 13 cents when two boys are short on cash
995. The greeter at Walmart who calls out, "Bye love!" in a Scottish accent
996. Getting rid of stuff we don't need
998. Talking about Heaven
1,000. Counting my blessings

I am thankful that I have way more than 1,000 things to be thankful for!

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter 2012

We started our Easter week with a Passover celebration.

Matzah, charoset, parsley, salt water, horseradish... a lot goes into the preparation.

Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover." (Luke 22:8)

The cup of sanctification...

Washing of hands...

Reading Exodus 12...when I see the blood, I will pass over you...

Ten drops to remember the ten plagues.

Eating the meal...

The cup of redemption...

I think the evening might have been too long for one of our guests... Wake up Erik, it's over!

Other images from Easter week...

Beautiful Easter azaleas in our front yard.

A lily of hope.

Do you ever get too old to dye eggs?

I don't think so.

We did something different this year and spent Easter weekend at the beach.  

Will and Audra didn't seem bothered by the cool temperatures.

Sunday morning we went to a sunrise service on the beach.  This is what it looked like when the service started.  Notice the full moon to the left of the bandstand.

This is what it looked like after the sun came up.

I love this picture of Audra.  If you look closely you can see a little sumo wrestler on the bike handle next to her.

We went to one of our favorite author's (Randy Singer) church for the 9am service.  AWESOME! 
Then we waited two hours for a table at Doc Taylor's.   While we were waiting, we walked back to our hotel and changed clothes so we really only sat on this bench for about 30 minutes.

Then it was back to the beach for baseball...

burying each other in the sand...


and playing in the FREEZING water.

I don't have a picture of it, but while we were eating our Sweet Frog yogurt, a school of dolphins (at least 12) started frolicking in the water in front of us.  They were jumping out of the water and flipping their tails.  One of them was tossing a fish up in the air and catching it. SO COOL!  

Where were you when I said [to the sea]... 'This far you may come and no farther.  Here is where your proud waves halt'. (Job 38:11)

Early Monday morning I was sitting on the Boardwalk watching the waves with my Bible on my lap when a man walked by and said, "Psalm 93."  I smiled and said, "Thanks, I'll check it out." 

  The seas have lifted up, LORD, 
   the seas have lifted up their voice; 
   the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. 
 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, 
   mightier than the breakers of the sea— 
   the LORD on high is mighty.

He is risen.  He is rised indeed!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Three responses

Today is a day we remember the cross-- a day of grief and death.   I hate grieving.  I want to rush through today and get to Sunday--a day of rejoicing and life.  But you can't know the heights of joy unless you have experienced the depths of grief.  And you can't have new life without His death.

There were three responses to Jesus when he was crucified.

Some of the people watching him were indifferent.  The greatest event in history was happening right in front of them and they didn't know it.  They were just casual observers.  They had seen crucifixions before.  It wasn't a big deal.  Jesus wasn't a big deal.

Some of the people surrounding the cross were antagonistic.  They mocked Jesus. They struck him.  They rejected him as their Messiah.

The third response was saving faith.  Many people had trusted in Jesus as the Messiah after they saw him raise the dead,  heal a blind man,  cast out demons, and feed 5,000 people.  But the thief who was hanging on the cross next to him, placed his faith in the crucified Christ.  This man showed great faith by believing in a Jesus who was beaten beyond recognition and nailed naked to a cross.  To him Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."  The thief did nothing to save himself.  He didn't have perfect attendance at the temple, he wasn't baptized, he didn't tithe regularly or feed the poor.  He was helpless to save himself--as are we.  Saving faith is in Christ alone, not in anything we can do.  We cannot add to his sacrifice.  He died "once for all" and then said, "It is finished."

The responses to Jesus are the same today as they were 2,000 years ago.

Some people are indifferent.  They are busy deciding what color to paint the kitchen, where to go for their vacation, or who will be the next American Idol.  They don't think about whether or not Jesus is who he said he is.  They don't think about him at all.

Some people are antagonistic.  They don't want the Ten Commandments posted where anyone could read them.  They don't want anyone to pray in Jesus' name at a football game.  They don't want teachers to take a Bible to work.  They want people to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.  They reject Jesus.

Others respond with the faith of the thief who trusted that Jesus was who he said he was.  He trusted in what he could not see.  Today people place their faith in the resurrected Christ.  Today people trust in what they can only know by faith.  "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John

So what is your response?

If you are in the midst of grief and death, take heart... Easter is coming!
"Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace." (Luke 1:78)