Friday, September 18, 2015

Like a River Glorious is God's Perfect Peace

My hubby is a wonderful piano player. I love listening to him play. When Lydia was here last month, he sat down at the piano and played for her.

She was entranced. This picture just melts my heart.

When I took this picture, Hubby was playing this hymn:

    Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
    Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
    Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
    Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way. 

    Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
    Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

    Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
    Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
    Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
    Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there. 

    Every joy or trial falleth from above,
    Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
    We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
    They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

    I didn't ask him if he chose that specific song on purpose, or if it was just a random choice.  Almost twenty-four years ago when our daughter was 20 months old, she spent three days in the hospital because of some sort of an internal bleed. (I wrote about it on my other blog a while ago, you can click here to read the details.) During those three days we were in the hospital, God put this hymn in my head. Every single time I have heard it since then, I tear up and remember those scary days. I also thank God for Megan's life and beautiful, godly woman she has grown to be.
      The hymn's text celebrates the blessing of trusting in God's care and keeping. Such trust produces peace.

      I saw this sign as I was shopping at Hobby Lobby last month with my daughter and granddaughter. 

      As I thought about what we had gone through with our daughter, and I heard Hubby playing that hymn TO OUR GRANDDAUGHTER, I realized that there is so much of God's grace in this sweet, little, happy, beautiful face.

      Lydia Mae when she was five months old and had been on her first plane ride to visit us.

      Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
      Praise Him all creatures here below, 
      Praise Him above ye heavenly host
      Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

      Monday, September 14, 2015

      The Weekend in Review

      It was a stay-at-home-and-finish-up-some-projects kind of weekend.

      Oh who am I kidding? The "projects" are really never, ever finished.  Heavy sigh.

      Friday night, kind of at the last minute, we made reservations for dinner and dashed out the door. On the way there, I looked down at my shirt and realized I hadn't changed it like I had intended. It didn't look horrible, but I have kind of designated the shirt for a hang-around-the-house-and-maybe-go-to-the-grocery-store-kind-of-shirt. You know, the type: old, a little faded, a couple of small  holes, but not yet pajama-worthy. I only mention this because when we got to the restaurant and I saw someone come out in kind of nice, business-causal kind of clothes, I cringed. I felt severely under-dressed. I have never been more thankful for low-lighting in a restaurant! ha. ha. Anyway... the food was good, and we'd go back....dressed a little nicer, of course.

      When we got back home, Hubby talked me through the things he was hoping to do on Saturday, which included hanging 544 more pictures. In my infinite wisdom, I decided I wanted to hang up ALL the "people" pictures we have. Believe me, after 31 years of marriage, we have a LOT of them! (And of course, I mean I wanted Hubby to hang up the pictures, because I am absolutely not the engineer in the family and would do a horrible job of it and would probably require having to redo all the dry-wall in the house.) And then on Sunday I decided to add six more pictures to the lot that didn't have frames, which of course required trips to Target and Michael's.

      Anyway, back to Friday...

      Before I got ready for bed I called my dad to catch-up as he had been to the Mayo in Rochester, MN the day before. He's getting some good help for himself and is striving to be in good health so he can take care of my mom. It was good to catch up even if the conversation was cut short because my brother and nephew showed up at my parents' house for the weekend.

      Saturday was a pretty awesome day for me. I spent the whole day with Beth Moore and didn't have to leave my house at all! How? I signed up to participate in the Living Proof Live Simulcast. She was in Wichita and the conference was broadcast all over the world. 150,000 people! I just tucked myself in our bedroom with my laptop, Bible and notebook and had a blast. At the lunch break, Hubby asked me if I was glad I was participating and I said I am never disappointed with Beth's teaching.

      Beth taught about living with audacity, which means to live with intrepid (resolute fearlessness) boldness. Certainly something I struggle with.

      Romans 8:15  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

      Because of Jesus in my life, who has all the authority and is my Savior, I can have audacity.

      I want to stay in the Word and not water it down to be more palatable to the world. (Here are words to a "lullaby" from Satan that Beth wrote: Rock-a-bye Christian lulled by the world. When the wind blows all hell will unfurl. Stay in your sleep distracted or scared so when I wreak havoc you won't be prepared."   Chilling.)
      I want to pray for astonishing works of the Holy Spirit. 

      I want to forgive and live forgiven. 

      I want to hold on to Romans 8:18 - "For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the coming glory that will be revealed to us."

      I want to walk in humility. That means I have 0% confidence in the flesh and 100% confidence in the Holy Spirit.

      I do not want to exude pretense and showiness. I want to exude Jesus.

      That's a brief summary of the notes I scribbled down. It was a cool thing to sit and watch and listen to Beth teach over my computer.

      By the time I was finished with that, Hubby was in the midst of planting a bunch of bushes outside. Boy howdy, he sure is working hard to make this house look nice! By the time Hubby was all done with that and cleaned up it was time for him to sit down and relax and watch the Iowa State / Iowa football game. How cool is it that we got to watch that all the way out here? Unfortunately, Iowa State lost. Supper involved a little ordering on-line and me dashing to Panera to pick it up. Have I mentioned how much I love that Panera is 2.1 miles from my house?

      Sunday was filled with church, lunch out, and an afternoon of putting things away and telling Hubby what stuff to hang up where. Poor guy. He probably doesn't want to ever look at another hammer again. At least he got to watch the Chiefs and the Royals play! A stellar weekend of sports for him to be able to watch all his favorite teams! Now he just needs a TV set up in the basement so he doesn't have to listen to my highly entertaining commentary. And by highly entertaining, I mean annoying.

      And now on to this week...

      Thursday, September 10, 2015

      The Story, A Re-post

      This post popped up on my TimeHop app today and I was so fascinated by my own story I thought I would re-post this. (It was first published three years ago on my other blog.)

      A little more than thirty years ago there was a couple of college students who were friends. They met through their involvement in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He was a driven engineering student with a passion for the college varsity marching band.

      She was studying about preschool aged children and still trying to figure out how exactly to be a good college student.

      They knew each other beginning their freshman year in college. Over the next three years, they would talk some and go out for ice cream with the gang. (Well, when he felt like he could spare a few hours away from studying all that engineering.) (And she always had time to be out with the gang. Studying? ha.) Their third year in college led to a deeper friendship. He let her cry on his shoulder about another guy she liked. By spring, she called him her best friend. He said he would write her letters that summer. He did. Every single week. That summer they traveled across the state to attend the weddings of some friends. They held hands in the car. He came to see her one weekend in the summer. She realized she was in love with him. She was afraid to tell him, afraid he would not like something more than their friendship. She wrote him a letter. Back at college in the fall of their fourth year, he told her he didn't want anything more than a friendship. She was confused. She asked if they could go for a walk one night after the IVCF meeting. He agreed. Then wandered onto central campus and ended up sitting on a concrete bench underneath the campanile. They talked. And talked. And talked. Then, to her surprise (and delight) he kissed her. Right there on that concrete bench under the campanile.

      She could barely sleep that night because of the smile on her face. But she was quite nervous the next day that he would tell her it was a mistake. He came to her dorm room and she asked if he was sorry he kissed her. His answer was to kiss her again. They decided to date. Like, officially boyfriend and girlfriend date.

      She called her parents to tell them that her relationship with him had changed. Her dad asked her what had made it changed. She said the boy had kissed her. Her dad said, "Oh you mean you sucked face?" (Her dad was referring to the movie On Golden Pond. You can see the scene in this clip. It starts at 35 seconds in.)

      The day of that kiss under the campanile was thirty years ago today. The boy and the girl got married, had two children, have moved six times, (now seven times) raised and launched and married off those two children, and have just been through a lot of life together. Side by side. Him and her. She and he. Kissing.


      I should add here that last summer that boy and girl celebrated thirty years of marriage. We gathered with our kids and some dear friends back at the campanile and the site of the first kiss to renew our vows. It was a very special time and I am so thankful for those thirty years together and for the family we have made and that keeps growing. Here's a few pictures from the day of our vow renewal. (It was also the day we found out we were going to be grandparents!)

       This man is simply the best. I am so blessed.

      Wednesday, September 9, 2015

      Labor Day Weekend

      Hubby and I had a really good Labor weekend together. Friday night we took off for North Carolina to spend some time with Hubby's uncle and cousins.  It's kinda cool to live close to family that we have never lived very close to before. 

      A side note on traffic:
      One thing I have observed about life in the southeastern part of the country is that the interstates really never have empty stretches without much traffic like one can find on interstates in the Midwest. In other words...traffic is almost always heavy out here in the east! It can make for some stressful driving.

      We got into town a bit late on Friday, so we headed straight to the hotel. Saturday we did a little shopping (we are on the hunt for the perfect bedside lamps for our bedroom) and then headed over to Uncle's house after lunch. On the way there, I got a text from my daughter wanting to know if I wanted to Skype with her an Lydia. I am not one of those Grammy's who would pass up seeing my grand-baby, so of course I said yes! I even sat in the car for a few minutes talking while Hubby went in to his uncle's house. Grin. Miss Lydia even looked into the camera on the phone and smiled at me! I had fun watching her crawl around the house. Skype is the coolest thing. 

      Another side note:
      Remember encyclopedias? My parents had a couple of sets of encyclopedias and I remember looking through them when I was a kid. One thing I remember being fascinated by was the entry about how telephones in the future would have little TV screens where you could see the person you were talking to! It seemed so far fetched and beyond my comprehension at the time. Flash forward a few several decades and here I am, half-way across the country talking to and seeing my daughter and granddaughter on my phone while I am riding in the car! 

      We enjoyed an afternoon of chatting with Uncle and catching up on the news and learning more about each other. Early evening Hubby's two cousins and their families came over to visit. Uncle treated us all to BBQ at his favorite restaurant. So good to connect with them all.

      Sunday involved an epic shopping trip to IKEA.   We came out with two shopping carts full....probably the most we have ever bought at IKEA. We were buying some great things for organizing the fabric in my sewing room.(Of course we came out with a few bonuses because who can shop at IKEA and not come out with some extra stuff, I ask you?)

       Now to just do the organizing. Yikes. 

      More pictures of that to follow...

      When we got back onto town, we decided to head to downtown and find a place for sushi. Our daughter and son-in-law took us out for sushi a couple of years ago and now we actually like it! This was our first experience going out by ourselves and choosing everything on our own. We even ordered something that was raw.  We liked everything! Wonders never cease.

      Monday afternoon we went to see the movie, War Room. If you haven't seen it yet, get your butt to the theater! It is good, people! A very powerful message on the power of prayer. Hubby and I have been talking about how to change our prayer lives as a result of seeing the movie. It is definitely worth seeing.

      Hubby and I had a really good long weekend together. I'm grateful for that and was sad to see it end.

      Monday, September 7, 2015

      A Weekend Trip

      The last weekend of August, I flew to Minneapolis to attend a wedding. We have known the bride since she was ten years old. Her family befriended ours when we moved back to the USA from Singapore all those years ago.
      It was a beautiful outdoor wedding.

      It was good to catch up with old friends. The bride has five brothers and one sister. Three of the brothers are triplets and are good friends with my son. I was happy to see them and was able to have conversations with two of the three.

      While the wedding was the purpose of the trip, two other things were a highlight as well.

      The next evening, I was excited to meet some friends from Singapore days for supper. He works for the same company as Hubby and they went to the same university as us, although we didn't know each other then.They are so encouraging to spend time with and I love their sense of humor.  I find it kind of nice to talk with someone who understands the ins and outs of The Company. And it's refreshing to talk with someone who shares my faith. I'm afraid I enjoyed their company so much, that I kept them talking a bit too long. Oops.

      The other (and the BEST) thing I got to do over the weekend was to spend time with this sweetheart:

      My daughter and granddaughter drove up to Minneapolis for the wedding. I so enjoyed holding and kissing and playing with Lydia. I got to witness her crawling! She isn't quite six months old and she's been working on the crawling for a couple of weeks.

      In the picture above she is wearing the dress that Hubby (aka Pops) picked out for her before she was born. Megan made the sweet headband when she was visiting us last month. The fabric for the flower is from the bridesmaid dress from my wedding. The little beads in the middle are from the table decorations from Megan and Zach's wedding.

      Oh, and the third thing that was a highlight? ALL my flights were ON TIME! Unheard of!