June 23

My son’s birthday….

I called my son to wish him happy birthday and I sang the traditional tune to him as is the custom in our family.

I well remember when he was born in California.  It was in the morning and my husband had taken me to the hospital just after midnight when my water broke.  They told me he wouldn’t be born for at least 17 hours, but he fooled them and came just 8 hours later.

Birthdays are a time of looking back and today I have thought a lot about his growing up.   I remember when we discovered he played ball right-handed rather than left handed like we assumed since he ate and wrote with his lefthand.  I remember when he got into a disagreement playing with friends and his dad told him to go outside and hit his friends.  (I never did know if his dad really intended for my son to do that.)  Our son was indignant and told his father that Jesus wouldn’t like it.  Then he jumped down from his dad’s lap, ran outside, the disagreement forgotten and played the rest of the afternoon happily.  (Little kids are so funny that way.)

I remember his salutatorian speech at graduation and the tears that caused among many, including him.  I had anticipated this and told him it might happen and he told me that was OK, he was determined to stick with his topic of giving thanks. (He was a hit.)

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that today was a good day of memories and thinking of all he means to me and how special his love is.  I see so many kids who are not very thoughtful of their parents and it grieves me.  I look at my son and see a man I can be proud of and one who serves Jesus which has always been my deepest desire.

I have much for which to be thankful.  I am truly blessed by this son.

Father, you have given me a great gift.  A son (and a daughter) who love and serve you.  I am so thankful and so blessed.  I count them among my greatest gifts next to your gift of eternal life.  Amen.

Matthew 16:19

June 22

Norwex….

I went to a Norwex party tonight.  I first heard about this brand from my daughter in law who really thinks it is great.  I was very interested to hear more about it.  The consultant showed a lot of products and explained how they worked and how they were used.

It is interesting that just the cloth or mop pad or whatever the product is plus water will really get rid of all the dirt and germs.  Apparently the key is in the fibers that the cloths are made from.  I am not disputing this, but it is really interesting that once again technology solves a problem that has only recently come to the forefront.  Many people are interested in going green these days and for the most part doing so is a pretty expensive endeavor since it costs more.

If you invest in this system, it is definitely more expensive at the beginning, but it should save money in the long run since you will not be investing in cleansers once you start using the cloths.

I did not jump in whole hog and buy everything item available.  I started out conservatively, but I will give it a try and see what transpires.  I am thinking about the mop system simply because what I am using now is not working and it seems like this might be easier on my back which would be a huge benefit at the outset.  I will probably make up my mind tomorrow.

I enjoyed learning about Norwex and discovering how it works.  I will be looking forward to seeing it work in my home.  I am thankful for new things that make our lives better and easier.

Father, thank you for new technology that works to give us tools to help us.  I am thankful for the minds that create these items and for the opportunity to try them out. Amen.

Proverbs 1:5

June 21

Rhythms of grace….

This morning in my devotional time I read some Scripture that really resonated with me.  “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” Matthew recorded Jesus saying.

To me this means that there should be a rhythm to our life, a balance between work and rest, between work and play or fun.  I definitely need to take this to heart.  I tend to be an all or nothing person and I err on the side of work.  I find striking a balance to be really hard.  When I do stop working, for example, to sit and rest a few minutes, I often read and then I read too long.  The balance eludes me big time.

I know that all work and no play is not good and I do need to find those rhythms of grace in my life.  I think one way for me to do this is to keep those words front and center before me.  I wrote them in my journal where I keep a daily Mind Map.  I need to write them down again.

This is not the first time I have read them, but obviously I have not heeded them very well as I have been working and working and working and taking little time for rest.  Yesterday the acupuncturist told me I should take a nap and try to lay low since I did not feel my usual self.  She thought perhaps I was on the verge of getting something.  I actually did take a nap and I didn’t do all the things I had planned to do.  This morning I work up feeling much better and I was glad I had followed her advice.  But really it is the advice of Jesus.  I found a better rhythm of grace yesterday.  I did accomplish some stuff on my work list, but it was small and I took lots of time to rest during the day.

This needs to be a lesson for me and I need to keep writing that scripture down until it is engraved upon my heart.

Father, you know best.  Help me to accept that the let me follow your command to learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  Help them to permeate my life.  I love you.  Amen.

Matthew 11:25-30  (The Message)

June 20

Shipping to Alaska….

This can be a problem as I have found in my past experiences.  I am used to slow delivery and a host of other problems, but today I encountered a new one when I went to order a sewing machine.  I can’t find a dealer who will ship to Alaska.  Crazy.

I will keep looking but for right this minute I am taking a break.

My friend suggested changing my address and that worked.  We typically get stuff to our PO box, but I used my house address.

My trusty sewing machine that my parents gave me in 1954 finally wore out.  I loved that machine, but the repair guy said it would be $290 to repair and he didn’t guarantee it.  That made me sad, but I knew it couldn’t last forever.

I hope the one I just ordered will do the small tasks I need it to do.   I don’t sew a lot anymore, but I do enjoy sewing and I have sewn many, many things over my lifetime.  My mother hated sewing and always told me to throw away whatever I was working on that presented a problem, but I just took the seam out and persevered and eventually I made whatever it was I was working on.

I have plans to sew with my granddaughter in Kansas this summer and teach her to follow a pattern.  I think she is old enough to do it and it should be fun for her.  I think eventually I will need to get her a bigger full size machine if she keeps sewing.  She thinks she wants to make a quilt so I will get my friend in Cordova to give me pointers for her.  It should be fun.

What does this all show?  It takes persistence to succeed and advice from your friends when you forget what to do.

Father, I love you.   You give me help when I need it and you enable me to persevere end when I feel frustrated.  Thank you.  Amen.

James 1:12

June 19

Dinner and a new recipe…..

After much work I finally managed to get a time when all five students could come to dinner.  I wanted to catch up with them and see how their first year at college away from Cordova turned out.

They all got along pretty well and felt that they were well prepared for their experience.  The only problem they ran into was with science and this was from their high school experience.  For college they had taken Marine Biology which did not prepare them for Chemistry, but they were aware of that.  They did think their high school chemistry class should have prepared them more fully, but they ran into problems.  Fortunately with the help of a tutor they were successful.

I spoke to one girl who shared with me that she found a great church and weekly Bible studies and got her first real understanding of living for Jesus and looking for ways to use her gifts and her purpose in life.

I remember having this experience in college myself and shared it with her.  I was great to see her so excited and joy filled and I  praised God for this change in her life.  In high school she was a great student and very helpful, but  this aspect of her life was not fulfilled.  I am so thankful she found God and made him the center of her life.  What a blessing.

The recipe I want to share is Mexican Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. Devils foodo cake mix

1 3oz. pkg instant chocolate p udding

1 C sour cream

1/2  C veg oil

1/4 C very hot water

zest of 2 oranges

1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

4 eggs

12 oz. chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Put all ingredients except choc. chips in a bowl.  Mix 3 minutes.  Scrap down bowl.  Ten add chips.

Pour into greased and floured tube pan.  Bake for 555-60 minutes  Cool 1 hour in pan.

Invert onto plate.

Bring 3/4 C heavy cream to a boil. Remove from heat.  Add 1 C chocolate chips.  Stir until chips are melted.  Add 2 tablespoons corn syrup.  Let cool.  When cool,, pour over cake and allow to drip over sides.

Father, thank you for the faith you have given my friend.  Help it to grow and blossom as she serves you.  Amen.

Matthew 16:19

 

 

June 18

Father’s Day…

Today at church we sang one of my husband’s favorites–Days of Elijah.  It brought back many memories of him and then I also thought of my son and my son in law and their role as father.  This of course led me to think of my heavenly father, God and soon I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Normally I don’t feel so moved to tears, but today that was the case.  As my mind moved back and then forward again I thought of how much I appreciated each of these men and their influence in my life and I also thanked God for his giving me such a wonderful gift.

Later, downstairs with the children during the lesson I tried to help them understand how important our heavenly father is and how much he does for us.  One little five year old asked me if I knew that God loved us when I was midway through the lesson.  I told that indeed I did and I also hoped silently that she was listening to what I was trying to help her learn.

I am indeed thankful for the fathers in my life, including my own father.  Earlier this week several of the seniors at the nursing home where I visit daily were retelling stories of their fathers and I remembered many stories about my own father, some of which I told.

I need to write these down so my grandchildren and my own children will have those memories  where they can refer to them again and again.  I think it is important for us to keep those memories alive so we can  remember to give thanks for their influence in our lives.

Father, I am so thankful for you and for all of the earthly fathers in my life.  Thank you for what they did for me throughout my life and for the love you give me daily.  I am truly overwhelmed.  Amen.

Psalm 103:13

June 17

In person….

In this day and age of technology and electronics, it is interesting to me that sometimes it takes a face to face meeting in person to actually accomplish a task.

From my experience it seems that usually young adults favor texting over actual phone calls.  I tried both to no avail and finally decided to resort to finding the person I wanted information from in person.

Once I did that, sure enough I was able to get the answers to my questions and determine what my next step would be.

I wanted to have the five students who graduated from the college with their AA and their high school diploma over for dinner and a time to talk about their first year at their four year universities.  Several of them had told me they wanted to do this and I knew I needed to act quickly as the young men would be going fishing soon.  As I mentioned earlier, texting and even phone calls did not help me sort out all of their work schedules so I finally tracked down the young woman I had put in charge and face to face we worked out the issues and determined a time that would work for everyone.

I was rather surprised that it can back to this face to face meeting.  Personally I love face to face meetings and actual phone conversations a lot more than texting and social media, but I was stunned that that’s what it took to come to a decision about the time and date.

This just tells me that in spite of the fact that solving things in person is not usually  the way things are done, it really does still work and works quite well.

Father, thank you for helping me determine the date and time for our get together and thank you for giving me persistence.  Amen.

I Thessalonians 5:17