Sunday, May 31, 2009

Where Did It All Go?

My daughter just got back from Spokane, WA, where she was a bridesmaid in her friend, Alyssa's wedding. Aren't they both gorgeous?
As I look at these two beautiful young women, I can't help but superimpose other images of the two of them over this lovely picture. Images that go back to junior high school and Friday night sleepovers. Birthday party pictures of the whole gang of girls who became close as sisters. Graduation night when it rained during the entire outdoor ceremonies so all of the pictures show these beaming girls in their drooping green mortar boards!
The years have certainly flown! Last year they graduated from college. And now this year, the first of the girls has become a bride! As my father used to say, "Where did it all go?" What a joy to have watched these girls as they have grown into beautiful young women of God!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Running the Race

"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

This week, my race took a turn. The course got a little tougher. This week, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. It has not been an easy few days as he has tried to come to grips with a life that will need to be lived out differently than before. It has been difficult as he has struggled with feeling lousy as he has tried to adjust to new medication. It has been painful to watch and to know that I really can't help him make the adjustment; it will eventually have to come from him.

Last summer I struggled with my own serious health issue. And I remember so clearly sitting in the waiting room of the doctor's office thinking that this would be my life from now on ... round after round of doctor's visits. Physically feeling weak and exhausted. My life would no longer be the way it had been before. Graciously, God has given me a reprieve...not a cure...but a reprieve and I have gone on with my life pretty much as before. But it made me stop and think.

This journey that we are on, this race that we run every day offers no guarantees of ease. And in a moment's time, the course can change from flat and level into the deepest valleys and steepest hills. And at times, it seems like I just can't keep running. Or perhaps more accurately, I just don't want to keep running.

As I have gotten older, I've come to understand that there will be times when the running stops. Sometimes all I can do is barely move ahead by placing one trembling foot in front of the other. But I know that I'm not alone on the course. God is right there beside me, urging me to keep going. The finish line may not look like I expected it to. But I believe it will be exactly as God had planned all along.

This week the race has been difficult. I have listened to the song Press On by Selah, over and over again. Its words have encouraged and comforted me. But then the Truth always does that.

Press On
When the valley is deep
when the mountain is steep
when the body is weary
when we stumble and fall.

When the choices are hard
when we're battered and scarred
when we've spent our resources
when we've given our all.

In Jesus name we press on.
In Jesus name we press on.
Dear Lord, with the prize
clear before our eyes
we find the strength to press on.

Monday, May 18, 2009

S'wonderful, Marvelous...

I'm newly back from a wonderful weekend women's retreat at Cannon Beach. The weather was amazing, and I have the sunburned nose and neck to prove it! I had a fantastic time getting to know some women that I only knew a little before and others that I didn't know at all. And all day long, thoughts have been swirling in my head about the weekend. I know there is a blog in there, but the thoughts still need to percolate a bit before they're ready to spill out into anything meaningful.

So for now, here's my quick take away from the's all about the sunburn. This morning I was very gingerly applying a healthy glob of soothing aloe to my very sunburned neck. As I carefully smoothed it over my lobster skin, the coolness of the gel just felt so amazing and healing. Then a thought popped into my head, "That's how it is with God!" When I have sinned, His forgiveness takes away the sting. When my soul is tired, His peace soothes the weary places. And when my heart is hurting, His love brings healing and refreshment. Just like aloe to sunburned skin; God removes the pain in His time and we start fresh again.

S'wonderful! And I'm just hoping that God isn't offended by being compared to a glob of aloe! Because it's marvelous!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Off to Cannon Beach

Tomorrow, I work half a day and then I'm off to the Women's Conference at Cannon Beach, Oregon. There are 16 of us going. But I only know four of these women. So while I'm a bit uneasy, I am still looking forward to it immensely!

Time to relax, time to learn and draw closer to God, time to talk and laugh, time to EAT, but probably not too much time to sleep. Anyway, what a blessing to have time to refresh and renew! I can hardly wait!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

St. Petersburg

My little girl is going to St. Petersburg, Russia. Okay, she's not that little...nearly 23...but still, that's a LONG way away! I've known that she is going to Russia for several months, though I often like to think that it's just pretend and she's not really going to go. But she found out this week WHERE in Russia she is going. St Petersburg.

So now I'll picture her in my mind's eye whenever I see a picture of St. Petersburg (that's not as far-fetched as it sounds. One of my coworkers has a calendar that has several pictures of St. Petersburg on the October page...and we looked at them just yesterday!).

I'll think of her whenever I hear about the Baltic State Technical University where she is going to teach English for a year (okay, that one is a bit more far-fetched since I had never heard of the school until she called us with her location on Thursday night!).

But the point is, she IS going. And it feels more real all of the time. St Petersburg. It's not the just feels like it is.