Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Family Times

I love it when my extended family gets together and I am there! I don't just have to hear about it or see pictures. I get to experience it!

Memorial Day was so fun. I loved the laughing and the eating. Watching the kiddos play. The visiting and the hugs.

Thanks, Family, for a great day!

The Drive In

The 1950's, convertibles, The Outsiders and Grease all come to mind.

Hiding friends in the trunk. Falling in love. Breaking up. Hanging out.

The drive-in.

My first trip to the drive-in was with my Mam-ma and Granddaddy. We saw Black Beauty.

I was small and we wore our pajamas in case we got tired and wanted to fall asleep. I thought it was so cool to wear my pajamas to the movies.

That was a long time ago.

Tonight we revisited the old tradition.

We took our kiddos to the drive-in to see Over the Hedge.

It was really fun! We didn't wear pajamas this time and we didn't hide anyone in the trunk.

But a good time was had by all.

For my kids it had all the major ingredients for a splendid evening:
--they got to stay up LATE!
-- a play place with slides!
-- POPCORN, cheese sticks, M&M's
--Uncle Wade's presence (probably the most important!)
--and a cute animated flick with cool credit music

I can't say much about the movie. I think it was amusing but I wouldn't know for sure because I was on Silas-patrol. Which mainly consisted of wrestling, finding cups and pacifiers and trying to keep him from falling on his head on the gravel.

It's okay though. The snack bar had Blue Bell ice cream and that gave me energy to endure!

Basically, the drive-in experience rocks.

Whether you are surrounding by high school friends, your first love, or six kids ages 8 and under.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


The hot wind hits my face as I go out the door. The heat is dry and heavy as I walk to the car.

The sky stretches around me dramatically and definitively reaching and touching the dry ground in every direction. The immensity engulfs me. I feel I can breathe deeply. Unencumbered. Open. Free.

The West Texas Sky.

In this vast desert land our treasure on the ground is the sky that touches it. In every direction. Deep. Blue. Lavender. The spectrum of oranges as the sun rises and sets.


God's artistry knows no bounds. His hand is evident everywhere. And I see Him here. Met Him here.

And for that this desert will forever be, for me, Holy Ground.

Where I learned His Name. Where I heard His Voice. Where I met His people.

The beginning for me. And thus always a part of who I am.

The memories. The smells. The sky.

All a part of yet another place I call home.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lunch Date

Turkey Sandwich. Chicken Salad. Diet Coke. And Sweet Tea.

Heart sharing. Testimony. God.

Shopping. Bargains. TARGET!

Blessings. Moments.

Being Together.

A treasure.

My sister.

I love you!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Chats on the Driveway

Why is it that the VERY best conversations take place in the driveway. As you are getting in the car. Or as your walking out the door. Or trying to go to sleep.

What is it about those moments that open us up so much? What makes those moments so rich?

Well, whatever IT is--I LOVE IT!!

Monday, May 15, 2006


I turned 35 recently. So in honor of that event I'd like to list 35 of my favorite things:

1. prayer
2. pajamas
3. my children: right after baths, right when they wake up and want hugs, when I'm reading to them
4. Coffee
5. Store bought birthday cake
6. Rosa's
7. Blue bell ice cream
8. Isaiah 30:18
9. laughing with Jeff
10. Target
11. talking to my sister
12. friends
13. being at Granddaddy's house
14. Spades
15. music
16. my MP3 player
17. my new computer
18. sunsets
19. writing
20. happy endings
21. God's faithfulness
22. singing
23. vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup
24. silence
25. diamonds
26. pearls
27. Dr. Pepper
28. M&M's
29. Psalms
30. new babies
31. bargains
32. a really good book
33. laughing until I cry
34. a good cry
35. sleep

Thank you Lord for all these and more.


Elvis. Shoes. Yellow. Monahans. Life long friends. Bunko. Shopping. Family. Cradle Roll class. Nascar. Caring for broken children. Chicken Noodle Soup, saltine crackers and 7 up. It's Music. Supper Club. Morning talks in the bathroom. Honest answers. Wisdom. Perception. Intuition.

I was a colicky kid (cried non-stop for the first months of my life). A VERY talkative youngster. And a SILENT teen.
And then, to top it all off, I moved across the World to live with four of her grandkids in a foreign land.

And somehow she still manages to love me enough to fly overseas twice, let me live in her home for 6 wks at a time, take over her laundry room, bedrooms , bathroom and hallway and never fails to be thrilled when I call or show up.

You are terrific, Mom. I appreciate your steadfastness and commitment. Your job isn't easy. I understand that more everyday :-)

I'm so glad we were together on Mother's Day. I love you!

Just Say It...Just in Case

So many times we get it right and we never know. We get so wrapped up in improving ourselves...we forget to high five the victories. Celebrate the sweet moments.

I've been convicted lately of the value of encouragement. But rather than simply pondering the word and its implications...I'm going to try to speak encouragement more.

And I'm going to start right now...

Dear Jennifer and Judy,

Just in case you didn't catch it. Just in case you are doubting it now. God used you at Pepperdine.
I'm sure He uses you all the time. But, understand, He REALLY used you in that class.

Mentoring. Authenticity. Amazing Ladies Bible Class ideas. Prayer.

Yep. You taught all that.

Joy. Encouragement. Admonition.

Check. Check and check.

An ice cold cup of water.


I come back to the States thirsty....yearning for a drink. I long for the companionship of Christian women...sharing the journey with others who seek the Lord.

And sitting in your class...I began to feel the precious water soften my parched throat.

I was blessed, uplifted and so very thankful...

Thankful for how you have both let God work in your lives...(and I don't even know the HALF of it!).
Thankful for your preparation, thought and prayer concerning your presentation.
Thankful for the ladies you represent from Glenwood.
Thankful for the elders who prayed over you and sent you out.
Thankful that "packages for Ugandan missionaries" remains on your Ladies Class project list :-).

Tell the family at Glenwood that you represented them well. And that God touched lives through your message.

They won't be surprised. After all, Brayden WAS praying...

Do you know what else you did?

Opened a window for me...reminded me with a glimpse...of the joy of fellowship that awaits us in East Texas!

I can't wait to see you there...

With much love,

Who has blessed you this week? They may not know...tell them now...just in case.

Life on the Island

Perspectives. Preferences. Opinions.

Everybody has them.

Pepsi or Coke?

Hershey's or Cadbury's?

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Red or Pink?

Tea or Coffee?

Original or extra crispy?

Mayo or Mustard?

Scrambled or Fried?

and on a more serious note--ahem--

Mac or PC? (the most recent addition to my own "choice repertoire" and a discussion that reveals strong conviction on either side, in case you didn't know. I was previously unaware.)

Some choices merit almost flippant response.

Others require more research, consideration and processing.

But eventually we pick.

And funny enough, we are defined but our selection.

For me...

Coke. Hershey's. Chocolate. Red. Coffee. Original. Mustard. Fried.

And, after much deliberation, Mac.

A wise man (you're welcome) said that buying a Mac would make me an island to myself.

But here are my thoughts on that:

1. Mac's rock!

2. Island living...not really so bad. (especially if you bring a friend!)

So I am the official owner of my very own iBook. MY VERY OWN!!!!

And my dear husband owns a MacBook Pro.

We have indeed passed to the Other Side. And I have to say, out here on the island the views are splendid and there are more folks to keep us company than I expected!


Monday, May 08, 2006

My Birthday Feast

May 5,2006

The Pepperdine Lectures.

Jeff and I enjoyed our breakfast and coffee overlooking the expansive Pacific Ocean. Unspeakably gorgeous.

I spent the morning "dining" on the meat provided by Jennifer and Judy, Jeff Walling, and Rich Little...with an incredibly rich sampling of encouragement from one of my favorite LCU professors punctuating it all....(I want to be like YOU when I grow up!)

Lunch found me delighting in clam chowder (the best I've ever had!) and sweet fellowship with Jeff, Andrew, Jennifer and Judy.

After a walk out on the pier---did I mention how BEAUTIFUL Malibu is?!?!---I returned to the University Embedded on the Cliff to share in praise and worship with a room full of like minds and hearts.

A brief afternoon "snack" of the Psalms and the moments they have carried us through... was sandwiched between a call from my sister, a song from my Dad and a call from my Mom.

Just before dinner, I was surprised by a beautiful bouquet of roses (yeah Jeff!) and a brief re-connecting with my Best Friend Wendy! (Can it Be? Did I really see you there?)

A yummy hamburger and sweet fellowship with Stan and Gena and Uncle Gene and Aunt Marilee (I just LOVE those guys!) energized us for the grand finale of the day...

Praise and worship with 800 Christians. A passionate call to Live in the Son from Don McGlaughlin. And an incredible (it just always is!) singing of The Lord Bless You and Keep You--every hand raised---I get chills even now.

It was a fantastic birthday feast. Start to finish. God is good.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Flying Solo

May 4,1996.
My sister was getting married. Jeff stayed in Uganda and I flew by myself to Texas to attend the festivities. I remember cross stitching, reading, going to the bathroom alone and actually finishing a tray of food on the international flight.

Fond memories...

Since 1998, flying memories involve babies and toddlers. Diapers. Sippy cups. Snacks. Diversions. Pacifiers. Untouched trays of food. Spilled juice. Lost dolls. Missing pacifiers. Oh so very many tears--some of them the babies'-- and more than one longing glance at fellow passengers who are actually watching the movies provided, sipping beverages and sitting quietly. My deadened arms---the only part of my body that actually fell asleep--numbed under the weight of finally still and quiet little ones.

May 4, 2006.
Ten years later and I will fly alone again. I am traveling solo to the Lectureship at Pepperdine. Jeff is awaiting my arrival there. The kiddos will stay with family here.

I'm actually packing a book in my carry on.

Sodas to be sipped, silence to be embraced,books to be read...

Blissful indulgence!

So Rich...

*lingering visits after Sunday dinner at Mike and Koni's house
*prayer after lingering visits at Mike and Koni's house
*late night chat fests with cousins
*Mount Hood on a clear day
*the smoked salmon and cheese at Multnomah Falls
*Dollar stores!
*hot breakfast and coffee on Cash Mt.
*shoes :-)
*cousins giggling and TRYING to behave during church
*a brand new Real Simple magazine
*homemade ice cream
*letters of encouragement
*words of encouragement
*new CD's
*frequent flier miles
*God's drawing the broken to Himself over and over again

It was late Sunday afternoon. The food eaten and put away. Conversations in all parts of the room...cancer, healing, career, production, worship, church, God's family, children, Uganda, Pump Church,Tivo, learning, babies, pregnancy, memories-t-opics related and distant swirling around the room. Meandering thoughts and dreams.
As the precious lady in front of me listened and shared her seekings and understandings, I was struck by the richness of life. Friends, communication, prayer, struggle, pain, perseverance, God. Above all and in all.
Thank you Lord for helping me see. That in every moment there are morsels to savor.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess 5:16-18