Three-Years-Old

Surprises and Christmas trees, and blue lollipops that turn her tongue blue—these are a few of her favorite things.

Some of her favorite games are jumping from the “highest mountain” and running so fast; hiding behind a chair and calling out, “Where’s Lucy?”

She stops and smiles, when she hears the “Hanes Sister” sing, and will sing along. She is often singing something, just under her breath.

She knows the hand motions to her favorite Praise in Motion songs.

She likes to sit and snuggle in real close, whether we’re watching a favorite video or reading a book.

She can raise her legs straight up, like a ballerina at the barre. She loves to somersault and bounce like Tigger. “Sing the song, Poppa!” (“The wonderful thing about Tigger…”)

I think if she had enough paint, she would never stop. Now, she’s starting to pretend to write (letters to Snoopy), and is drawing her first faces.

She loves her little brother, and he copies everything she does. She’s learning to share, and he’s learning that sometimes she gets to play alone.

She loves her bubble baths, and going to sleep. She never fusses at nap time.

She understands that Poppa goes to church to sing and pray, and that errands with Poppa mean going to the post office and the bank.

Kite-flying and popcorn she learned from me, and that alley-oop means standing on Grammy’s foot to get a hand up onto our tall bed.

Sprinkles are eaten with a Sprinkle Spoon from a bowl. Smackerals of honey are served on Smackeral Spoons. She still likes Grammy’s applesauce.

Her response is always, “Yes,” if you ask if she’d like to pray. I don’t know what she truly knows of God, but she’s ready to learn.

I admire Lucy’s courage. I admire her focus, when she’s trying to learn something.  She can make a game out of almost anything, especially if climbing and jumping are allowed.

I had no idea grandmothering was going to be so meaningful. I delight in watching her grow and become herself. She is always more wonderful than the day before, so I am always looking forward.  Being a grandmother is one of the finest gifts I’ve ever received, and definitely my favorite thing.

 

Thoughts on a Thursday

I shouldn’t be blogging right now, but if I don’t get some words out of me I’m going to explode. So much is happening. Inside me. All around me. There is just so much on my mind. I’ve been promising myself I would blog for weeks, but blogging is a luxury of time I haven’t been able to afford.

Yet, I gotta release the valve. Gotta let a few things out.

  1. Preparing for the 15th Anniversary Celebration for the ministry my husband and I started directing in 2004: New Brothers Fellowship. Memories flood my mind as I look through old newsletters and old pictures. So many people. So may prayer requests. So many answered prayers.
  2. I am baking cookies. A lot of cookies. I haven’t baked a lot of cookies in a long time, but it’s one of my very favorite things to do.
  3. Making curtains for my daughter’s kitchen. Just valances. And, really plain. I don’t do complicated. I only mention it, because I should have made them about a year ago. I hate that it took me so long to even get started. I love to sew, though I have little skill. I wish it was a regular part of my life.
  4. I don’t know why I have eczema now, but I am experiencing first hand the life my husband has lead his entire life. Our skin issues are a little different, but it’s all bad. I don’t feel sorry for us, though. We have skin, and I’m very thankful to have skin.
  5. I see many of Hannah’s peers falling away from Christ and it makes me very angry. I am not mad at them. I am mad at Satan. He laid traps. He crept in under the cover of darkness. He has truly been a wolf, stealing the Master’s sheep. And, I’m not going to stand for it. I’m taking names and I’m praying. The parable of the Prodigal Son is there for a reason. They may all have to sleep with the pigs, before they realize what they have forsaken, but so be it. They will not die there.
  6. The truth is that in MANY CASES it was Christians that hurt these children, now adults. It makes me so mad. Satan is such a liar, thief, and destroyer. We have to face him with utter fearlessness, folks. We need to take back what he has stolen. I’m not saying these backslidden children are without fault. They made a freewill choice to sin. Yet, when a child has not been given truth and taught how to walk in Christ, they are going to have a hard time facing a temptation that promises to comfort their immediate and acute emotional pain and mental distress. If they do not know God, if they do not have spiritual support, what else will they do? I’m not speaking of anyone in particular here, but too many parents have permissively allowed Satan into their homes. They have not set a guard. Too many wives waiting on their husbands to do it, because too many women have not been taught how to be women of God (just a hint: it means more than not denying him physical intimacy). I know people look at Hannah and say, “Well, it’s easy for you to talk.” My kid is amazing, but if you think I wasn’t on guard like a hawk every step of the way, you’re wrong. If you don’t think Satan was at every corner, laying traps and luring her to death, you’re wrong. I never took her innocence or purity or faith for granted. Not for a second. I knew the Devil too well to think she was safe. In fact, it was in the darkest days of our marriage that the Holy Spirit told me to take my eyes off myself and see that the Enemy was really after Hannah. It was all about destroying her. That is true for every child out there, mom and dad. It’s not about you; it’s about them.
  7. I am thinking of posting sermons here that I think some of you might like. I have done it in the past, and have meant to do it regularly, but writing the outlines takes a lot of time. I may just post the message and write the outline later. I know most sermons I share no one listens to except Doug, but it will also be good for me. I will be able to quickly find those messages that have impacted me. The same goes for prophecy updates. I am very picky about which ones I will watch, because there’s a lot out there that’s just stupid and self-serving.
  8. The impeachment stuff is clogging our news, but I urge you to pay attention to the Middle East. It’s what happens there that best indicates where we are on God’s timeline.
  9. As for the impeachment stuff. I don’t think it will go far. It’s so baseless. So stupid. In fact, every American should hope and pray it doesn’t go anywhere, because there is no evidence of an impeachable offense. I am praying that Democrats in the House start to find the courage to speak out against it. It’s a shameful thing to rob anyone of their right to a defense, and their right to be innocent until proven guilty.
  10. Keep looking up, folks. The Rapture really could take place any time. Every prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the Rapture has been fulfilled.
  11. I am so concerned for Americans who are left behind. They have no idea how severe the judgment of God is going to be on this nation. I don’t mean the Tribulation; I just mean God’s judgment for how we have murdered and abused children. I know this next statement may cause some to think I’m a real freak, but I also doubt anyone will read this, so here it goes: Trump, despite his many past and current sins, has done more to stop the flood of sin against children in our country than any President in U.S. history. I believe his presidency has held back the judgment of God.
  12. I believe our nation has been blessed for Trump’s support of Israel (not that it protects us from judgment). I also think he might be the President who does not send military aid to Israel during the Ezekiel 38-39 war. That has to be the case though, because no one but God can receive the credit for the victory Israel will experience.
  13. I need to go back to work.
  14. Don’t be afraid to obey the Lord, whatever He may be asking of you, calling you to do. Don’t be afraid. If it isn’t His will, He’ll stop you. Just prayerfully and humbly take that first step, then the second.
  15. These are interesting days. I don’t know what God is doing, but something is going on.

Saturday Evening Post: 4/13/19

I guess the closet thing we have to hobbies are gardening and grandparenting. Today we took our first trip to the local nursery. They have very wisely expanded their business from just a green house to a family destination, year by year adding something new to the property: a chatty macaw, a playground, an ice cream stand, a miniature golf course, and—Coming Soon!—a cafe.

So, when T & H asked us to babysit this afternoon, and I saw it was going to too nice to stay inside, I thought a trip to Nunan’s was a good idea.

Lucy loved the flowers, jumping in the puddles (in her new boots, that she loves so much she slept in them last night), and playing on the play ground. Isaac was pretty content to sit in his stroller or swing. I had a hard time getting pictures of him, and helping him do, but he had two doggy encounters and visited the goats. He seems to really connect to animals. He also enjoyed listening to some Miles Davis. Who doesn’t?

We all came home very tired and ready for a snack. Doug is at his meeting now, and I’m on my way to the supermarket. I’m going to really try to remember to take my good shopping bags this time.

Saturday Evening Post, 4/6/19

It’s an early Spring for us here in New England, and today was a beautiful day. The whole week, really, has been lovely. I am still hoping for one more snow day, but I’m also thinking about how much I want to get into the garden. Our schedule tempts us not to garden at all, but Lucy loves it. I mentioned planting pumpkins, and she got so excited. Hopefully, this week we can get some seeds in the ground.

We celebrated a birthday recently. Lucy is the officially candle blowing assistant.

 

We discovered a new toy. Have you heard of water beads? They’re a fun sensory toy I discovered online. I was able to get Lucy some a few weeks ago. They make for an inexpensive activity that she finds very soothing. They’re very Montessori, offering lots of opportunity to pour and scoop and sort. There are endless applications. We’re just starting.

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The kids bought some playground equipment for the babies last week, and they’ve been a big hit. Isaac is still learning to go down the slide—he’s so funny. It was a very windy day, and that’s what you hear Lucy saying, “It’s so windy!”

 

Doug raked some leaf piles this week, and Lucy discovered the joy of frolicking in them.

FlyingInTheLeaves

 

Lucy is tall enough now to stand on a step stool at the sink, and it’s become one of her favorite things. She is exploring what makes a good drinking vessel.  She’s also acquired an apron of her own.

 

I managed to capture Isaac’s infectious laugh on his birthday a few weeks ago. He’s such a charmer.

 

Time with our grandbabies is like oxygen for us. Doug’s new schedule has limited his time with them, but we’re working on that. First things first.

Honor Thy Mother

I want to share a video with you.

I just watched it again for the first time in seven years. It’s a video of my mother, and I hope you will watch it to the very end.

I don’t really know what inspired me to conduct an interview, but I’m sure it was the Holy Spirit. Even the questions I asked her—I sound like I knew what I was going to say. I didn’t. It was entirely off the cuff, unedited. And, I’m serious about watching to the end. I couldn’t believe the last shot. Only God!

By the way, Mother would have been 88-years-old today. Instead, of blowing out candles, though, she is in a place of incredible joy with the One her soul adores. Oh, I miss Mother daily—she crosses my mind a dozen times, or more. How she would delight in her many great-grandchildren! She would be “at the height of her glory,” as she used to say.

Yet, I would not wish her back from Heaven. Instead, I rejoice for her victory over death, and the fact that we’ll see each other again. I can’t wait to find out all she has been doing. What a life she is living now!

So, without further ado, in honor of my Mother’s birthday, I humbly invite you to watch this video. If you are in any way at all touched by what you see, will you share it? Maybe, someone you know needs to hear what she has to say. (It can be share directly from YouTube.)

Thank you for remembering Stella with me, even if you never knew her.

Lucy at Play

I just love this little video.
I love her little feet, using them to help her keep the keyboard on he lap.
I love that she’s playing with two hands.
I love that she wants to make music.
I love that she owns my living room.
I love that she didn’t make me stop filming her.
I love that box, as ugly as it is, because it’s just what she needed.
I love her curls.
I love her—all 102 weeks of her.

When Mercy Seasons Justice

This monologue came to mind the other day.  I cannot get it out of my mind, so I decided to share it. The words are so beautiful.

In case you aren’t familiar with the scene, Portia has disguised herself as a lawyer, in order to advocate for her husband. She is speaking to Shylock, who is demanding a pound of flesh to repay his debt.

Of course, plays are meant to be heard, especially Shakespeare. I think Laura Carmichael does a lovely job.

Such good words to remember.

The quality of mercy is not strained

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to God Himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this:
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which, if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.

— Portia, in William ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1.

 

Favorite Things: Christmas Wrap Organizer

I have had various wrapping paper organizers over the years, but this one is GREAT! It really works for me, and that’s why I’m sharing it. Maybe, it will work for you, too.

I found the suitcase at a second-hand store for a couple bucks. It’s compact, portable, and the hard case doubles as a gift-wrapping table. It’s small, yet still holds everything I need to wrap almost any Christmas gift I might give. Sometimes, I do need a larger gift bag or a long roll of paper, so I keep those in a bin under the bed.

The contents are all accumulated bits from over the years. I layer flat wrap first, than gift bags, than the folders, and finally the short, wrapping paper rolls. I tell ya, I open this case up and it just makes me happy! It’s one of my favorite things. ❤

He Thought It Was A Joke

Tonight, we served Thanksgiving Dinner at The Ladder House. The men at the house are all under the jurisdiction of the county jail, but they have earned work release and are allowed to rent a room there. We host an NBF Discipleship Group there weekly, and from time to time we like to take them a meal. At the holidays, it’s especially nice to do something for the guys, because most of them won’t be with their families. This year, that something was a turkey dinner with all the fixings.

Below are some pictures from tonight. Many hands made the evening a success. In fact, things actually went better than they’ve ever gone. We thought we’d be dragging ourselves home close to midnight, but instead we were on our way home before 9:00! The blessing of God was so evident. He provided for the meal, He provided for the volunteers, and He even provided another woman to help serve. I didn’t expect to have anyone help me, but the Lord stirred her heart and she responded. He always knows what we need, doesn’t He?

Before I share the photos, I just have to tell you about Carlos. On Sunday night, Doug went to the Ladder House to post some flyers—just to be sure the men all knew about the dinner.

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Carlos told Pastor Kobe (a leader of the Discipleship Group at TLH) that when he saw the flyer he didn’t believe it. He thought it was a joke. He said, “Who would do that for us?”  It really blew my mind.  Tonight we may be nursing our aching bodies, but we’re also looking forward to the next thing the Lord has on our calendar. Getting to be His hands and feet is a privilege.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!