Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Corgi Hollows Updates

My God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory.

 Life doesn't always turn out the way it is pictured, but I know it always turns out the best way when God is honored, when we follow His commands. Hope, growth, trouble, reward, circumstance. Does that sum it all up?

When trials come we must ask questions: Is this trial environmental? Are my fellow travelers suffering as well? Is this trial a vehicle to eternal glory or death? (We all die.) Is this trial of my own making, consequence of my own choices?

Most of our "trials" fall under the last category. Sometimes we must suffer our own consequences, and that isn't all bad. We learn from our mistakes, and we have the opportunity to start over, with new circumstances, though usually not easier.

This is what I am learning, and this is what I'm trying to teach the lives God has entrusted to me to raise.

Life isn't fair. Life isn't always easy. Life doesn't owe you anything. Neither does God. Each day is a gift, and when we wake up on a gorgeous summer morning in 2011 we need to thank God for letting it happen!

God has graciously given me more than I can remember to thank Him for. A grateful spirit is my desire. I am thankful for all the good, and strive to be thankful even in the bad that I  suffer. It will all work out for good. That is God's promise, and He keeps His promises.




Saturday, June 25, 2011

From Bill Koenig's Website---Always Interesting!


 The following clip is from  Mr. Koenig's website, World Watch Daily, copied tonight:




Could Earth experience a record-setting earthquake at the time of the September 28-30, Rosh Hashanah? ... The Earth, Elenin and the Sun are aligning September 26-28 ... According to Jet Propulsion Lab Small-Body Database Browser, the record setting Chile, New Zealand and Japan earthquakes occurred at the time of a similar alignment but at a much greater distance from Earth ... The UN General Assembly plans to debate the Palestinian state issue and may vote sometime after September 21 and before closing on September 30 ... The Chile, New Zealand and Japan earthquakes were among the largest and costliest earthquakes in world history

World leaders decisions leading to the apocalypse; their public endorsement of LGBT; their catering to Islam; and the efforts to split Jerusalem and Israel are leading to the “final day” worldwide judgment ... The UN backs gay rights for the 1st time ever, the Obama Administration assisted and applauded the decision ... The Rapture will cause the financial collapse of America and have a devastating impact on the world’s economies ...
Is Netanyahu giving in? Says Israel needs to separate from the Palestinians despite demographics ... The Middle East is deteriorating rapidly and most people don’t even realize it ... Israeli president Peres: Need for peace deal with Palestinians is 'urgent' ... NY Times Friedman’s absurd plan: Bring UN partition plan back .
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Mr. Koenig predicted a quiet summer after the crazy earth events of the spring. I will be interested to see what comes of the anti-Israel sentiment, especially from Europe.
 Are you praying for Mr. Obama? I am, daily with our children. We pray that God would lead him. That he would look to God. He needs supernatural wisdom to deal with what he is responsible for. God will hold him accountable for all of his responsibilities, just as He will hold you and me accountable for ours. It is a sobering thought.
God still is not powerless to affect our lives in big and small ways. I was reading in 1 Kings today about Elijah's dealings with Ahab. God encouraged Elijah in alarming ways. There is a parallel for us today, if we are willing to be open minded about how God works in nature and our lives.
He will not be mocked by human efforts to circumnavigate His commands to repent and live redeemed lives. Clean it up now! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent. Even if this isn't a last minute decision for you, living a life that belongs to God will be the single best choice you could ever make.
I went to a funeral for a 91 year old man yesterday. He accepted Christ as his Savior when he was a teenager, before WWII. Off to war he went, survived, came home, raised a family, worked on a farm, and served God. What a grand event in heaven when he arrived! A truly faithful servant, so many decades, another life well-lived, another sure entrance into glory.
Time appears to be short, but the love of Christ is so precious it is sad to miss even a day of it. Don't wait. Ask Him to be your Savior.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Comments

Just wanted you readers to know that I do check my "comments" tab now, for a change, so please feel free to communicate on that forum. If you want it private just indicate----and it won't be published. Thanks!

What a crazy WEEK! Our family guardian angels were on full time shifts, and I'm grateful that God protected in unusual circumstances.
My son returned from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area last night two days early due to extreme cold, wet, and accidental happenstance. One of his fellow canoes tipped and swamped two hours into the trip, with gear lost in the lake. This would have been a set back on any trip, but with the extreme weather it was borderline lethal.
Thank the Lord no one drowned. Thank the Lord they are all back home. One of the boys that suffered the tip-over wasn't in very good shape, hence the early return.
The Lord protects fools and babies---and young men who embark on trips with difficult conditions!
My Margaret had a close call driving, and thanks to the Driving Instructor they are both still alive and well.
My husband had an interesting week hobnobbing with former colleagues at two different conferences. After announcing that he was searching for work he was approached by several individuals with interest in his availability.
Now that doesn't mean anything until there is a job OFFER. But these people know my husband and what a wonderful, talented, intelligent, gifted, brilliant engineer that he is because they WORKED WITH HIM!
Couple that with five other "bites" of interest from other companies, I'm wondering if things may change before long. I am reminded again and again of the Lord's provision. He is the One who takes care of the birds and the beasts. Doesn't He care more for His own children?
Of course. The Lord provides. He will demonstrate His gracious and supernatural power in this very act of taking care of us.
May the Lord be praised.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Continuing History

Today one of my older sons asked for a clarification and retelling of the story of how his parents met, and since I'd already planned to write some, and then some more, this week, I took a break from my painting for the acrylic to dry, and I'll try to give another chapter, if not conclude this life story. The previous chapter is here.
I left you at the conclusion of my time in Ingolstadt, and now I had a new assignment. I was off to Wiesbaden to take care of six children from 3 different families while the parents attended language school. This job was each weekday morning and some afternoons. On most afternoons I was learning Turkish and working in an office as a packager.
Before I left Ingolstadt, my best friend flew over with Eurail passes from my dad, so we could take a European Odyssey of our own making, a vacation before my work started.
We headed to Scandinavia first; Denmark, Stockholm, Oslo. Trondheim is where her ancestors and mine came from, so we decided to head there. So glad we did! I loved Trondheim! After living in Germany I had the strangest feeling of finally coming home! I couldn't speak any Norwegian, but I knew exactly what was happening! Odd. I bought yarn and several Norwegian knitting patterns and commenced to knit a complicated Norwegian sweater for my dad, who had given us those wonderful passes. I know he still has it, and wears it on cold winter days! After several days of experiencing September light in that part of the world (it is remarkable) we headed back south.
We had a wonderful pause in Ingolstadt, Erlangen, and Munich where my friend saw her entertaining brother who was also stationed in Germany. Together we three visited the Alte Pinakotek in Munich. While enjoying the beautiful artwork I became aware of a German movie star who was also there that afternoon.
My friend's brother boldly approached him and asked him (in English) if he knew where the Rembrandts were! Then he proceeded to compliment him on his "recent work!" (a mini-series about a Russian tsar). I was introduced, and we together asked him for an autograph for my co-worker, Lyn, whose birthday was soon coming. "With all my Love," he wrote!  What a memory! I still chuckle at the audacity of my friend's brother.
After that we visited Austria and Switzerland. We saw the famous Stallions of Lipizza. Such special times we had! Too soon my friend had to leave for home. I took the train back to Austria, to a far corner of it, to visit another very good friend who was serving at a mission there. Jay and I had been friends our entire lives. He was like a brother to me, and we grew up in the same church and school, with the same groups of friends and shared goals. I was so glad to see his mission there. My vacation was over. I was headed for Wiesbaden.
When we were on the search for a place to live in Wiesbaden we were offered an Audi Quattro test car to drive from Ingolstadt to Wiesbaden. I am NOT kidding. (One of our church members worked at Audi) There was a brand new autobahn south of Mainz, and my pastor offered to let me drive a leg, so I took it up to 100 mph, but then I backed off and let him breathe. I'd had my little fun on the famous German highways! Do you know what happens when you go that fast? Light poles start to get distorted, bending in like trees. It's exciting!
I lived in a little one-room apartment on the famous Taunusstrasse, a street renowned through-out Europe as an antique store mecca.
Every day I walked the street and enjoyed window "shopping." Dusty chandeliers, exquisite furniture, and jewels in tarnished settings were to be seen. I never went into a store. Certainly I wasn't shopping for treasure, but it was there, on that street. Sometimes an old painting or two would be on display. I think I may have seen costly items from many centuries. Wiesbaden is a lively city, with a beautiful setting across from Mainz on the Rhine river. It is situated in a valley, with gentle mountains all around. The hiking in the area was superb.
Living on my own for the first time, and in a foreign country, was exciting. I knew German well enough to fit in better, but I was still the "American."
I attended this church, and got to know the wonderful pastor and his wife. I joined the singles group and since I was no longer needed to help with church every Sunday, I simply became an attender.
What I remember mostly about Wiesbaden was the friendships I forged. Beata was a violin maker. Her work is absolutely gorgeous. Jorg-Uwe and Hanna courted and married during the time I knew them there. Klaus was a musician who became a really good friend. Dora was the sweetest co-worker in my office. She attended church with me too. Gabi and Rita became pals who made me laugh and helped me understand cultural issues gently like no one else. Gabi was my Turkish teacher. Yuksel was an older woman with whom I had dear fellowship. Her story was remarkable. Through these friends I met many fascinating people, most of whom were refugees from the Middle East: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan. I was so blessed to get to know so many people with unbelievable stories. And I was learning Turkish. Tesekkur Ederim! Cay icioryum. Merhaba!
(My Turkish is still weak, ha-ha)
One of my own American co-workers, Kathy, became a life-long friend, and I feel so blessed to have been able to get to know her there.
Just a few kilometers east of Wiesbaden is Frankfurt. There, on an American military installation, lived a very good friend of mine with her husband. Renee and I went WAY back. Her parents and my aunt and uncle had known each other from missionary days in Africa and other Free Church connections. We had renewed our friendship freshman year at Wheaton.
Despite being pretty close in proximity, we didn't often see each other. I tried to take care of her cats once when she was in Africa for a trip (it didn't go well).
She offered to take me to see her parents (who lived in Brussels) and to see the tulips (in Holland, of course) one May. I gladly accepted.
A few days before we were to leave a certain young man from Iowa called Renee's husband and inquired what they were up to for the weekend. They were friends from Wheaton College, both officers stationed in Germany. When he heard what was planned he offered transportation to Belgium and Holland with his classic big BMW, and who could turn that down?
It was on a Friday in May, the first weekend, as I recall, that he drove up to my apartment with Renee and her husband. I threw in my overnight bag and off we went.
That was the beginning of something BIG (in my life at least!)
The tulips at the Keukenhof were lovely. The Dutch windmills were charming. The company was memorable. It was a really fun weekend, and we decided that the four of us had a great time being together! In June followed a trip up the Rhine to see the Wheaton Men's Glee Club sing at a German church.  In July we visited Mainz and the Gutenberg Bible, Marc Chagall's stained glass windows and the hot spring spas right there in Wiesbaden. In August we drove to Augsburg where this "other officer" was stationed. After that Renee threw up her hands and said "You two are on your own!" Just kidding. She was great friend to be the third party on all these excursions. I do enjoy her so much. There isn't a more down-to-earth gal anywhere!
Thanks to Renee, said officer and I are now happily married twenty + years, with five children.
Oh, it wasn't exactly THAT simple, but the writing was on the wall, and our relationship was launched.
In this time of fun and games, I continued working, and he wrapped things up for his stint in Augsburg. He was headed for Airborne, and another Army course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I was unsure of what was going to be my future, and I began to grieve leaving Germany. If I wanted to go back I'd have to enroll in seminary and get my Masters Degree. This seemed a huge step at that time, and I was thinking it was time to be back home for a time. I missed my parents, and I needed to think about what I believed God wanted for me. I was struggling with conflicting ideas about my future. It was a crossroads.
I guess I need to spend another stint of writing on this story after all. That's enough for tonight, for sure! Until next time...

Friday, June 17, 2011

welcome

Pain's Process

Every once in awhile I need to express the impact that pain has on my life. Years ago I read a book by Philip Yancey and Dr. Brandt that put forth the idea of pain being a gift.
At the time I was suffering from my broken back, and the pain was intense, so I struggled with that concept!
But as I grow older I see how pain has forced me to rely on God.
Two spine injuries, headaches, internal abnormalities, difficult child births, and a non-functioning thyroid have all been used in my life to see my weakness and need for supernatural power. I'm one of those people who never would have made it to 40 in the Middle Ages. I am grateful for modern medicine.
I benefit from many meds in pain control.
It was about 6 years ago when my thyroid ceased to function. You don't think about a thyroid until it doesn't work, and believe me, it does have a function!
People laugh and joke about it now, but the effect of malfunctioning hormones on the brain is profound.
I have asked the Lord over and over, "Why me? Why did you give me this burden?"
The answer has always been to trust Him.
Hey, I have five healthy children DESPITE my health issues. Praise God. If that isn't a miracle I don't know what is! God has shown Himself to be greater than any human condition. He can work beyond all human limitations.
There isn't a day that I don't ask Him for help in facing one of my health issues. I have developed a reliance on His strength for each day.
All this pain has affected my spirit, and I need continual spiritual renewal from Him as well. When my blue days commence with a weeping spirit it is another invitation to lock into His joy, His comfort, His promises.
So, I am a living, breathing testimony of God's peace giving strength in facing each day, even if you couldn't tell by looking at me!
I am so thankful for my dear friends in supporting me through my weaknesses and pain. God has been so good to me. Pain's process has helped me count my blessings. I think that those of us who experience pain really anticipate heaven way more than most people. That promise of no pain is balm to my ears.
I look forward to heaven-----AND NO PAIN!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tick Tock

Another waiting game has begun.
I am waiting for two of my children to return home from camp tomorrow. They worked there this past week, and I can't wait to hear how it went for them.
More waiting on my husband's job search.
It never rains but it pours!
Today he was on the phone or email with FOUR different possibilities! One is in Gloucester, MA. One is in Georgia. Two are here in the state, but with one the resume had to be sent to Denver, CO. Next week should prove interesting, with one interview pending.
How do you pray? I'm praying for provision.
I don't know how or what, when or WHY.
I know that the Lord has made promises to me that He will fulfill. I'm sure it's boring to read all this, but when your life hangs in suspension you tend to obsess over the unknown more. None of us knows what tomorrow holds, but it's nice to have a pretty good guess!
In the meantime, just for interest, I'm linking to an article about my brother and his company: http://www.investmentadvisordigital.com/investmentadvisor/201106#pg1
I thought it was fun to see him on the current cover.
He has done well, but as we all know, (and does he) it's only temporary. This life is incredibly short compared to eternity, but oh so important! Eternal destiny is determined in the "few" minutes of this existence, and when we feel time dragging we can remind ourselves that really, what we do every moment really does matter.
Follow Christ in everything.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Triangle

I'm the kind of person who likes to draw connections. Yesterday was fun for me in this. 
I showed up at church to find a pastor from Japan on the docket to speak at both Sunday School and the worship hour.
He opened his testimony with a self-made video of the tsunami destruction in Japan. I really can't describe the mounds of demolished garbage, the huge ships sitting rakishly 1/2 mile from the sea, the utter devastation in just one of the numerous towns affected by the terrible wave.
His stories of heroism, loss, and wonder touched me deeply.
Less than 1% of Japan knows the Lord as Savior. The pastor cried as he told of the terrible human loss----for eternity.
But he also told his own courageous story, and here is where I found my triangle. This man became a believer as a junior high school student. He was the only believer in his high school. His mother accepted Christ two years after he found the Lord, and so did his brother. Can you imagine his commitment to truth? God strengthened his faith despite great opposition to it.
He came to America to study Christianity. Here he found "christians" completely uninterested in sharing their faith. How discouraging! No real joy in the Lord, no apparent concern for the eternal destiny of others.
God called him to be a missionary, and he thought he was supposed to go to Russia, the great atheist entity of the time. Three times God showed him that he was supposed to minister to Japan. He ended up going to Guam, speaking on a Japanese radio program, working with Trans-World Radio. There he met many Japanese, including the famous Mr. "O," a baseball player from those days.
First angle: I just recommended that my TWO book clubs read a book that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas several years ago, "The Housekeeper and the Professor." This is a Japanese novel about an amnesia suffering math professor who loved Mr. "O." I loved the book, and now both of my clubs will discuss it this summer! I am not a Japanese baseball buff, so I knew nothing about "Mr. O"  before----(and the pastor did not know anything about this book!)
Second angle: My husband's aunt and uncle were also serving as missionaries on Guam with Trans-World Radio at the same time as this man. Of course our Pastor from Japan knew them!
Third angle: Our own Pastor John met this pastor when he attended seminary in California, kept up the connection, and that was why he came to visit and encourage us here at our church.
The triangle was complete. It was drawn on a Sunday morning in Minnesota, listening to Pastor Kando from Osaka, Japan.
Being a part of the family of Christ is full of these wonderful connections. No matter where you go, you have this spiritual bond that transcends our daily lives. There are so many yet to be discovered!
I think I'll be writing more this week. My children are dispersed, and a boy scout camping trip will be taking my husband off to the Northwoods with our token Boy Scout.:)
I have applied for two more job possibilities. Last week I was busy with that.
"My God shall supply ALL your need, according to His riches in Glory"
Pastor Kando had just an amazing story to relate about how God did that for him. I was encouraged. He should write it down!
The shape of the week is "triangle!" When you see one remember that God draws the lines, connecting us to His purposes.

Monday, June 6, 2011

field+corgi


95 and Sunny!

Finished "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" last evening in time for book club today. I was intending to skim it, but it was an easy read and it drew me in. It's a gentle tale, and well told. The majority of us who attend liked it and I recommend it.
We had a lovely drive to and from Iowa this weekend. The corn is ankle-high. The beans are sprouted. There is the sheen of green on every field that only happens in early June. Beautiful!
Things are looking up for friends and relatives. Graduations, new houses, successes.
Surely our situation is also about to change?
I've got over my self-chastisement for completely messing up my first job interview in 20 years! It took a few days of smarting last week, but now I'm over it and looking forward to "boning up" on my weak areas and trying again. I was miserable all last week, but I'm ready to try again!
I think my husband is ready to try again too. Finding a job is so hard.
I really do want to keep home-schooling my younger two, and I'm glad I can have that opportunity. Home schooling is a successful educational endeavor, and I've only seen the incredible results of it in my own children and other home schooled friends.
On NPR today there is a piece on "unschooling," which we have delved into somewhat. I was amused at the comments after the piece. If I hadn't just today read a piece about reviling I'd be somewhat harsh about the attitudes on display by people who really have no idea what it is like to "unschool."
I've had three children enter college from junior year in high school. All of my children test off the charts on national standardized tests. My 12 year-old tested 12.9 (twelfth grade, ninth month) plus on EVERY subject in his last NST (Peabody). I don't reveal this to brag, but to emphasize the success of  home schooling!
Even more important are the type of people my children are becoming.
Character? Spiritual? Helpful? Successful? Check. God bless them! He has already.
Let me encourage you to be open minded about home schooling! There are so many clear advantages to it.
It's hot and sunny out there today, and my kids re-filled the wading pool with cool, clear water. Softball tonight, Scouts Court of Honor/potluck, and the first Monday in June is complete, always the busiest day of the month! Another "unschool" year is successfully over!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

God Answers Prayer

Yesterday was a day of gorgeous weather and anxious thoughts. I had my interview on Tuesday, my husband had a professional business gathering of his engineering peers, and school got back into full swing after the Memorial Day Weekend. Yesterday we all prepared for a visit from our last Chinese student and a friend of his: rhubarb pie, homemade ice cream, s'mores and hot dogs on the campfire. (Quite the spread!)
As I did my laundry I asked God for something very specific for yesterday. I know that the answer can be "no." That doesn't discourage me, even, because often the answer is NO. God's ways are higher than my ways.
But it is SO exciting when He does answer a prayer. An answer that only can be His, and in the affirmative, with a specific action. Do we twist His arm? Horrible thought. Do we need reassurance of His love? Sometimes. Yesterday He answered my simple prayer, and it was so wonderful.
I must tell of His love, and His concern. We are His witnesses, and when something wonderfully special happens we are bound to testify.
So what did I ask for? I asked for a certain phone call to happen, out of the blue. And it did.