Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Next - the Potomac River running red with blood?

What Next - the Potomac River running red with blood?

Just an interesting article to remember as things get more interesting!

Shiny Quiet



Darling daughter has Pink Eye. I haven't seen this for years, literally, but it really puts the crimp in life as it's more difficult to treat nowadays. She begs to go out but it is rainy and cool with threats of snow and this does nothing for her recovery process. Everything is wet outside, and green. Longed for green. The trees have yet to turn out any leaflets and this makes spring seem cruelly off-putting. Last week we could see the buds and the pollen is clearly in production, but the tree-tops remain bare.

Why do we hope for spring so this year?

It's psychological.

Black cat sits in the window and surveys his domain, the one he rarely gets out to visit. Dogs wait patiently for a romp in fresh air.

Wood ticks await them. (I've had one already, quietly sucking its sustenance from behind my ear! EWWWWWW)

Did you know that God has already answered my prayers for the future? I remind myself that He has everything nailed down to the minute and this is a joy ride. Can I get myself to believe this?

Can I focus on the gifts of today, of this week, this season?

Instead I'm tempted to worry about what will be...or won't be.

Today in Daily Bread the Scripture spoke to me. Philippians 1. "According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life,

or by death."

In nothing shall I be ashamed. That is the promise.

Darling daughter is walking the Corgi inside, in the manner of Jeeves. Funny.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Treasure Hunt

How can it be, that after years of searching you can find the item you have looked for relatively easily--once the correct clues have been discovered and tried? I can only attribute it to knowing that "in the fullness of time" the hidden will be revealed!
If you thought I was weird up until now you will be sure when I tell this story:
When I was in elementary school our school library had a couple of "horse" books I checked out over and over. I loved the illustrations! I never remembered the name of the books, nor the authors, but I remembered the pictures, the subjects, and the story lines.
Try finding that on Google!
I tried. No luck.
I peruse used bookstores whenever I get the chance, and for years I have searched for these two books, knowing that when I saw them I'd KNOW them, and my quest would be complete.
Each year, at the MACHE home school conference I attend, I search diligently among the stacks of used books brought by the various sellers, chatting about the stories, getting thoughtful responses. Each year I have had no success. This year was no different, but I came home with all sorts of wonderful "finds" anyway! Looking for something specific always reveals other treasures.
I did get a clue about my treasure hunt this year. I went home and thought, let's try this one on Google. Up came ANOTHER clue! Several tries later I had my prize!
The book is "Little Owl Indian" by Hetty Burlingame Beatty, published in 1951. What a beauty! The quest is over! The picture I found on Ebay was of the cover I remembered as a child!
Oh the joys of the internet!
The other book I loved and found was "Ponies of Mykillengi" by Lonzo Anderson. I had remembered only the subject: Icelandic ponies, and this time (why this time?) I keyed in the right combo to reveal the exact book! Someone on a blog about children's books had loved this story too.
Now I'll return to my favorite book sellers, perhaps next year, or any used book sale, armed with pertinent information, and the funny looks will cease! Perhaps I can find them for a reasonable price too!
The home school conference was in Duluth, and the weather was frightful! Glad we had a warm hotel and a cozy convention center for the conference! I've never seen waves crash in from Lake Superior like that. The spray hit the hotel and covered the lake walk. Had anyone been close to the shore he or she would have been swept away. Freighters anchored out in the bay, unable to make a landing in the harbor. It was an experience.
Each year that I go this conference I am encouraged. I know that home schooling is right for our family and I get the "shot" in the arm needed to bolster my resolve to see this whole adventure through.
I love being with people who think hard about life and how the world should be. It's inspiring to share a faith in Christ (however diverse in interpretation) and a similar worldview. I am encouraged with the evidence of success in the lives of people who continue to walk this counter-cultural path. Perhaps we are the "hippies" of this age (sans the long hair and wild clothes!)
It was nice to get away for a weekend, too. We drove across the state to my son's college the day after the conference. His choir was performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony oratorio, and we got to be there. Lovely! Our state is still covered with snow "up north" and the swans, loons, and ducks were standing on the edges of the lake ice, longing to get on with spring activity! I couldn't help feel badly for them!
I am SO glad to see the loons are back. I confess to being anxious about how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would affect our wintering loons. Seems to have had no major effect on them yet. I am thankful.
I'm still processing all the information I gleaned over the weekend. Did I have a day to catch my breath at home afterward? No chance. I'm back in the activity swirl that exists in any family like ours. Snow tonight? Perhaps. It's Passover, and tomorrow we want to do our own version to celebrate. Holy Week is meaningful to me, and I want to commemorate this one and how the Lord has worked in my life this year. I'm not talking Easter Baskets, either.
If I don't get back to post before the weekend I'd like to say, "He is Risen!"
He is risen indeed!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Interview

Busy start to the new week with a full day of school activities and Good News Club, along with an interview in a local locale.:) High hopes, as usual, for things to be just right in this job possibility for my husband.
We had to laugh tonight for sheer relief at Monty Python's "silly job interview" on YouTube. It's worth a view!
I think that the Lord is trying to teach me a lesson about joyful attitudes. Stress and anxiety can steal your joy like nothing else, but it is simply WRONG to allow those robbers to make off with this powerful force we can employ in our lives!
My friend told me a story today about the power of praise. Seventeen miscarriages, (!) a baby brought to five months along in the womb, then lost, and she could grieve and go on through the will to praise her Lord Jesus.
This is truly power. Most people would abandon all thought of a deity who would allow this to happen. Most people would wallow in grief, self-pity and depression. Some may justify rage over unjust circumstances. Some might question the very basis of a worldview that would invite such suffering---Are children really that important?
I see a glowing woman who faced a huge enemy and defeated it with a massive opposition force. Godly praise and joy will make the demons run in confusion. Your spirit will take command of a downcast soul and manhandle it back to productivity!
This is strength to combat any foe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring's First Green is Gold

My husband had a very fine job interview yesterday, in another part of the state. There are mixed feelings about this; the job is wonderful, and they are interviewing several people of whom my husband was the first, (should be an advantage, I'd think) and we'd have to uproot and move. Truly everyone is fine with this. Yet it is sort of daunting.
Our lives have been here for the last 12 years. We have let rootlets sink deep, and it won't be without pain to tear up and replant.
There is another job interview next Monday. This one is local. If you are a pray-er, I'd like to ask you to pray that we know the next step. We are so thankful for a possibility of a job after this 9 month wait.
On the home front: The maple syrup is done. The bees are well and happy with the maple pollen. The bluebirds are BACK, for sure, flitting about outside. I've been out doing yard clean-up (after the dogs). That job always makes me feel like the lowest slave of all slaves. It's good for the attitude! It's a good feeling to get the yard ready for warmth.
The sun is shining beautifully today and the crocus are up.
"Spring's first green is Gold" is from a poem my husband likes to quote, Robert Frost? Can't recall. Today the gold is out. No green yet unless you look really close.
Perhaps we'll have snow yet, but let's hope not.
I heard from an old friend today. Very briefly. That was good. She is Turkish, and she lived with us for awhile when I was expecting one of our children. It's hard to stay in touch.
Since I am a sufferer of SADD, a seasonal light disorder, I am thrilled to have made it through the winter again! The sun is back, and I'm feeling up again!
The kids and I have got back to swimming this week after being ill last week. Good feeling.
Good feelings and hope all around. Happy souls.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Chapter

Let's see, where did I leave off? I was writing about my German class at the University of Minnesota.
I had a good instructor who was a young German woman. She liked to present issues in class that dealt with German culture, and for whatever reason I started to understand the language more than I had in high school. One day she brought up the "problem" of the Turkish "guest worker" in Germany. Turkey?! My ears pricked up. I had never heard of the German Turkish connection before. I felt goosebumps! Was this only a coincidence? I started to pay more attention in class, and I became quite good at German! I had no idea where this might lead.
There was an ROTC student in several of my German classes who was dating a ravishing red-head named Marie. I became friends with them both, since we saw each other in and out of class. Going to the University was like going to a job. I commuted (in my NEW CAR!), so campus life was practically non-existent for me. I did link up with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, a student campus organization. My dad had been a member of IV in college too. As a family we made the trip out to Bear Trap Ranch in Colorado for family camp several summers. I LOVED Bear Trap. Being involved with IV might just be a ticket back to the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
It was through IV that my friend Marie and her soon-to-be-husband found the Lord.
I found several very close friends through IV, friendships that remain even to now. But there was also heartbreak in store for me.
I applied to be on staff at Bear Trap during the next summer and was accepted. What a close-knit group of college students we became! I fell in love over the summer and was jilted by fall. That was the first heartbreak.
On the rebound at the U I started to notice one guy who always witnessed to everyone he met. He set up tables and distributed Christian literature whenever he didn't have class. We became friends, then more than friends. We had the same desire to be light for Christ.
But we were pretty different from each other too. Opposites attract, you know. After a growing relationship that lasted through my graduation I was destined for more heartbreak.
I was finished with my studies, a certified and licensed teacher. I applied to schools for a year of teaching experience as I prepared to leave for the mission field.
My relationship was going a direction different from my calling. We were not yoked and pulling together toward the same end, other than wanting people to know God. Was I going to abandon my strong sense of fulfilling my intention to be a missionary?
The pain of ending this relationship was almost more than I could bear. I think I could get through it only with a hope of changed circumstances that might bring us back together one day. How else could it end? But that never happened. The scar remains in my heart, but God has healed the wound. Life does go on.
I got a full-time job, teaching second grade that fall. I was accepted to two different mission boards. My pastor advised me to go with the Evangelical Free Church of America, and with my German skills a perfect fit was found: the EFCA had had a German field for years. But it gets better!
The EFCA was actively pursuing the guest worker population in Germany. They were forming a team of missionaries targeting just this people group!
Because I had no seminary (yet) I was slated to go as an "apprentice in missions" AIM. I had my assignment, and I thought it was perfect!
I finished the school year, said good-bye to all my students and fellow teachers, packed up and left in June of 1986.
I flew to Munich, was picked up by my new co-worker and roommate, Lynn, and drove to Ingolstadt.
Ingolstadt is a fairly large Bavarian city situated on the Danube River. It's also on a major Autobahn that connects Munich with Nuremburg. It is the home of the car manufacturer, Audi. At that time every Audi was made in Ingolstadt. (Perhaps still!)
Ingolstadt is also the birthplace of the Illuminati, and the location where Gustavus Adolphus met his defeat. Being Swedish, this was interesting to me.
Really it is a quaint walled city, but more modern than other German cities.
The EFCA was slated to plant a church in this town. Three young German couples who lived there were the seed of this church plant.
My team was made up of a pastor and his wife, my roommate, who was a "Helferin," (Like a church secretary/jack of all trades) and me---the apprentice.
Lynn was a veteran. She'd been on the field for 10 years. Incidentally, she is the daughter of one of my dad's best friends from childhood! So I had known her in a way my whole life. Lynn was lots of fun. She was the best co-worker I could ever have wished for, as she was loved by all the Germans, she had a great sense of humor and she was VERY patient with me! She even taught me to drive stick shift (yes, I drove on the Autobahn, and even more fun; the little German roads around the countryside) which was no task for the faint-heart.
At first I commuted to Munich, to the University there for a language course during that summer. When I began to think in German I knew I'd reached a milestone, but I NEVER was good at the language. I could be understood and understand, but I do not have command. Children were patient with me, as were other foreigners, so I felt more acceptance among them, and these were the people I eventually worked with most. My heart was healing and falling in love again, with a country this time.