Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Quiet Christmas

Well, I went to Long Beach where Dan has been staying while working at LAX. We tried to find a place to eat for Christmas since we weren't with family and Liz & Gregg didn't have any food in their house since they were traveling in Thailand. We wanted to go to the Claim Jumper, but they weren't open. But we found Coco' older one as you can tell by the sign (if you know Coco's). The menu and everything else looked the same IN the restaurant.

They had a cute Christmas tree, so I just had to take a picture of that.

Then Dan went to work and I watched DVDs and cleaned up the kids' kitchen, had hot chocolate, played online...

So it was a quiet time, but at least we were together when he wasn't working. He is home this week and Danielle is visiting with her boyfriend, Steven. It's good to see them and spend time with them - more time than I thought actually. We've had THREE meals with them. They leave on Friday to head back to Eugene, OR. And, of course, I will go back to missing her. But she is doing well.

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year and may 2009 be blessed, fun and full of joy. I pray God would let His presence be known in such a unique way, that you can't mistake His presence or His work in your lives.

Love to you all.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Well, here I am in Long Beach. Dan came home from work at about 2am and went to bed. Liz and Gregg woke us up and we exchanged unwrapped, quick gifts as they finished getting ready to leave at 7 to head to Gregg's parents' hotel. They leave at noon for Thailand. Wish I were going. They will be gone till the 4th of January (or the 5th?). So, now I can spend Christmas with Dan - at least a few hours (and I'll stay till Sunday and we will head back to SLO where he will be spending New Year's week). He went back to bed for a couple of hours and we will go out to any restaurant that is open - we have directions to Coco's and they ARE open, so that's where we will most likely end up.

Such a different Christmas than normal. Usually we all come together at Grandma Edna's house and read the Christmas story - any of the kids (who are now mostly adult-age). Then we have our big dinner and then go the park or play games or watch football. This year Dan and I are LIVING with Edna, he is working in LA and couldn't get off for Christmas. The rest of the families all came at Thanksgiving (except for Kevin & his family and our daughter, Danielle) so they could spend Christmas with their other families. So strange. Oh, and Edna will spend the day with her other son, Dave & his family, who live close by, so I didn't leave her alone.

But no matter where we are - traveling to Thailand, visiting other families, traveling to Long Beach - we can all still focus on why we got together in the first place...JESUS. He is with us no matter where we are and we can still wish Him a happy birthday.

So..."HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS! Thank You for Your love for us and for Your willingness to come to earth in a way that was so humbling for You. You left Your home knowing what was in store for You and you came anyway. Thank You for letting me be a part of Your family. I love You and I pray I show You everyday what You mean to me."

Words by Gloria Gaither
Music by Dony McGuire
Arranged by Tom Fettke

He was just an ordinary Baby
That’s the way He planned it, maybe
Anything but common would have kept Him apart
From the children that He came to rescue,
Limited to some elite few;
When He was the only Child who asked to be born.

And He came to us with eyes wide open,
Knowing how we’re hurt and broken,
Choosing to partake of all our joy and pain.
He was just an ordinary Baby,
That’s the way He planned it, maybe
So that we would come to Him and not be afraid.

He was ordinary with exception
Of miraculous conception:
Both His birth and death he planned from the start.
But between His entrance and His exit
Was a life that has affected everyone
who’s walked the earth to this very day.

And without an air of condescension
He became God’s pure extension
Giving you and me a chance to be remade.
He was just an ordinary Baby,
That’s the way He planned it, maybe
So that we would come to Him and not be afraid.
So that we would come to Him and not be afraid.
© 1982, this arr. 2008 Gaither Music Company and Bud John Songs, Inc. /
It’s-N-Me Music (admin. by EMI CMG Publishing). All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Decorating

So my mom-in-love decided to get a tree after all. It's just a small tree, set on a table, with a flat back (that's why it cost less than what it's tag said--it was a "wall" tree). We went through all the ornaments and it was so fun to see so many old ornaments, handmade and bought so long ago. Some were just too heavy for the tree. I tried to get a picture of the ornaments...I think you can see some of them - and then a picture when it's lit up.

This is the hutch with a few of her handmade ornaments. I think you'll recognize the green paper plate holder and the blue bear at the top left from a past blog.

Here is the picture of the whole snow village. The skaters are at the bottom right. These are really interesting. The skiers and sleds and things like that are metal. The buildings are all corrugated cardboard and handpainted. They were with Edna's sister in the house they grew up in in Goleta. Oh, yeah, and the snowmen and trees are candles. Just put them there for effect. And she put the sheet over some other soft stuff to give it a "snowy" look. Pretty cool.

This is Elizabeth's favorite light up tree. It plugs into the wall and you have to put all those little bulbs into the holes in the tree. A few have been lost over the years. There is a switch to turn it on. Kind of a fun one.

And these are her "host" of angels. She kept opening boxes and finding angels and just put them all in one place on the piano.

So we enjoyed the fun part of Christmas as far as just getting something done together to make it look pretty.

Tomorrow I will work a half day and then pick up my visiting daughter from her friend's house and head on down to Long Beach. Dan will be going back with another co-worker, who had the same days off, so we wouldn't have two cars down there. It will be nice, even though he has to work for the week, to be with my husband during the Christmas week. My daughter is very wise. I figured I would be spending Christmas without him, but since he was working, and she and her husband and his family were leaving Christmas Day for Thailand, we could have the apartment to ourselves for the week and be together for this holiday. He does have New Year's Week off, so he will be here when our other daughter is visiting from Oregon. It will be fun to see her.

I don't know how much blogging I'll be doing, but in case I get busy or just want to take time off, I pray you all have a Merry Christmas celebrating Jesus' birth. I know some families who are having a rough time right now and I pray that this time will be still be special for them. I pray God would just uphold each one of you in His hands and give you peace and joy. I pray you KNOW His presence in your lives and that this Christmas will be one to remember fondly. God bless you and keep you. I love you all and will continue to pray for you during this time.

Hugs to you all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Well, we aren't in our own house, but we can still do a little decorating. My mom-in-love, Edna, is still debating on a tree because it's only me and her and I'll be leaving and she'll be going to Dave's (Dan's brother) house on Christmas Day. But she did decide to at least put a few things up. So here are just a couple of things to start:

This is part of a whole snow scene set that was at the house Edna grew up in down in Goleta. Her sister moved to Oregon and everything was divied up and sent to other relatives to enjoy. There were tons and tons of things that went to other households. I have a whole new china set from the things that were from that house...I never got china when I was married, so I'm excited to start using this wherever we end up. Maybe try to be a little more hospitable and have people over more often. Anyway, Edna wasn't sure who wanted this whole set, but figured we could enjoy it this year.

Did you ever own a Radio Flyer? I did when I was little, but it's nowhere to be found now. (Did you see my blog about the old bike I got back from my neighbors? I have new handlebar grips, lights and a rear view mirror on it now, so I'm set to go riding - I'm not too steady yet, so I don't go far, just in the neighborhood).

And here is her Nativity Scene. I don't know how old it is, but here it is, on top of the piano as it is every year. All the kid/grandkid pictures are stuffed away somewhere else to make a place for the Baby Jesus...once a year. He should be in the place of honor every day of the year, huh?

And, of course, there are the homemade items that you keep for years and years AND years to come. These are Edna's. She can't seem to part with them and I don't blame her. Aren't those girls adorable? Hard to imagine them at ages 25 and 23, but they are now adults and living in other places, making their own lives and starting new traditions of Christmas. I hope the one tradition they remember - I hope the one TRUTH they remember - is that Christmas is the day our Savior, Jesus Christ, came to earth in human form. It was the only way He could meet us at our level to show how much He loved us. And I hope they remember that it didn't stop there. He traded His life for ours so we could be His brothers and sisters and share in His inheritance and live with Him forever. I pray we all think about this as we decorate, shop, and travel. I hope we think about this daily and thank Him daily for His love and care for us.

God bless us - everyone!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Song for All Year 'Round

I have loved this song since the first time I heard Randy Stonehill sing it. I've shared the words on bookmarks, I've sung it for a couple of meetings and I sing it to myself anytime it comes to mind - after all, it is for all year 'round. I'm just hoping that people, in all their hustle and bustle, would realize what this season really means. A Savior was born to us, to save us, because of His deep love for us. But I have to share something else first.

I have a sweatshirt that says "MERRY MAS" on the front.
And on the back it says, "IT'S JUST NOT THE SAME WITHOUT CHRIST."

And now...mi, mi, mi

I wonder if this Christmas they'll begin to understand
The Jesus that they celebrate was much more than a man.
'Cause the way the world is I don't see how people can deny,
the only way to save us was for Jesus Christ to die.

And I know that if St. Nicholas was here, he would agree
that Jesus gave the greatest gift of all to you and me.
They led Him to the slaughter on a hill called Calvary
and mankind was forgiven when they nailed Him to the tree.

But most of all the children, they're the ones I hope will learn
that Jesus is our Savior and He's going to return.
And Christmas isn't just a day and all days aren't the same.
Perhaps they'll think about the word and see it spells His name.

And I know that if St. Nicholas was here, he would agree
that Jesus gave the greatest gift of all to you and me.
They led Him to the slaughter on a hill called Calvary
and mankind was forgiven...mankind was forgiven...
we were all forgiven when they nailed Him to the tree.

So Merry Christmas...Merry Christmas...Merry Christmas...oooh, oooh

I wonder if this Christmas they'll begin to understand........................
c.1976 King of Hearts Publishing

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Make Me Like You

Lord, make me like you
Please make me like You
You are a servant
Make me one, too.
Oh, Lord, I am willing
Do what You must do
To make me like You, Lord.
Just make me like You.
c. 1978 Lexicon Music, Inc.
All rights reserved.

I want to be more like Christ. But in order to be more like Him, I need to know Him and Listen to Him. And how do I get to know Him? By reading His Love Letter to me. A love letter written in blood. He sacrificed His life to SHOW me how much He loved me. So why is it so hard to get up in the morning just to spend time with Him, talk to Him and hear what He has to say? It's so comfortable under the covers...all warm and cozy. I just want to sleep in to the last minute before I have to get up to get ready for work.

Keith Green's "Asleep in the Light" has these few lyrics that are convicting:

"Jesus rose from the grave and you, you can't even get out of bed
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead, come on, get out of your bed."

He conquered death, and did it for me. And I want to raise myself out of my bed for Him. And I want to do it for more than just a day or two. I want to make it a habit - a lifestyle change. So, my friends, keep me accountable. I give you permission to call me or email me to remind me. If you have my cell (no, I'm not posting it), you can call me early if you want, but not too early. I figure 6 is good for me. I can sleep in till 8 and be ready for work by 9, but that's without the bike riding and reading. I think reading a couple of other blogs has given me the umph I need to really get started...again. Thanks, Alissa and Jacquelyn.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Couldn't Resist - the List

Have done this on other sites, but thought it would be fun to do here. Thanks, Missy.

First name?

Were you named after anyone?
No, but the spelling was so I would be different - of course, I've seen it all over the place now.

Do you wish on stars?

When did you last cry?
Writing my blog when I was telling about saying good-bye to the last American Eagle flight - November 1. (although I do get teary-eyed when reading some of my friends' blogs)

Do you like your handwriting ?

What is your favorite lunch meat?
Salami, Pastrami

What is your favorite time: day or night?

What is your favorite movie of all time?
Real Genius (I'm lame)

If you were another person would you be friends with you?

Do you have a journal?
Is this a journal? Not like I used to.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Would you bungee jump?
I keep saying I would do it ONCE if someone paid for me (the older I get the more chicken I'm getting, though)

What is your favorite cereal?
Coco Puffs (does it mean I'm "cuckoo")

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

Do you think that you are strong?
I think so

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Shoe Size?
7 1/2 or 8, depending on style

Red or Pink?

What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
My laziness...that's probably why I have so many aches and pains

Who do you miss most?
My parents who both died many years ago. My girls who moved away.

What color pants and shoes are you wearing?
Black sweats, barefoot

Last thing you ate?
Beefy macaroni (my own style), green beans and watermelon

What are you listening to right now?

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Midnight Blue

Favorite Smells?
Bar-b-q anything

Last person you talked to on the phone?
Someone who called the church - don't remember who it was

The first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

Favorite Drink?
Mountain Dew, Margarita (though I don't have that very often)

Favorite Sport?
Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!!! (Guess my team)

Hair Color?
Blackish with gray highlights - a little snow on the roof

Eye Color?

Do you wear contacts?

Favorite Food?
Steak, potatoes, spaghetti

Scary Movies Or Happy Endings?
Happy endings

Most Recent movie you watched?
Dark Knight

Favorite Day Of The Year?

Summer or winter?

Hugs or Kisses?

Favorite Dessert?
Chocolate Cream Pie, Chocolate Mousse

What book are you reading?
My Stroke of Luck - Kirk Douglas

What's On Your Mouse Pad?
No mouse pad - Logitech ergonomic ball mouse

What Did You Watch Last night on TV?
Murder, She Wrote

Favorite Sounds?
Ocean, breeze through trees, frying bacon

Rolling Stones or Beatles?

Where is the furthest place you've been from home?

Day of Choice

Cake or Pie
Pie...or Cake...or Pie...or Cake - Depends on what kind

Monday, November 17, 2008

He Giveth More Grace

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done.
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources.
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

His love has no limit;
His grace has no measure;
His pow'r has no boundary known unto man.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!
Public Domain

This is an old story, but one where the Lord continued to show His love, mercy and faithfulness. When my husband had his platelette disorder (ITP - Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), God have me a peace because of a couple of verses a friend shared with me (after I called him around midnight).

"I lie down and sleep; I wake because the LORD sustains me.
I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O LORD, make me
dwell in safety." Psalm 3:5, 4:8

For at least four years we dealt with this problem and we experienced more strength each time, knowing He was in control and that He would take care of us no matter what happened. The last resort was to have his spleen removed and for 16 years it never occurred again. Last year it came back, but even the doctors don't know why...thus "idiopathic" - no known cause.

I can't say it gets easier as we go through trials - but I think we trust God more and more and have more peace as things come along because of His faithfulness in the past. Like in the sermon yesterday, God doesn't want to harm us...He wants to grow us. He loves us and we are worth His Son. And Jesus loved us so much that He came willingly for us - for ME. Praise His Name!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

LAX, There He Goes

Well, I was going to write this when I said good-bye to Dan, but it was 3:00 a.m. and I really wasn't feeling like I could get it done before falling asleep at the keyboard. He couldn't sleep very well and kept getting up to get other things done, eat, take a shower, etc. So, I couldn't sleep either. But after he left, I finally got some sleep.

Anyway, today he went for his first day at work at LAX. Only one order to get his work badge, he had to go the office - which took Veteran's Day off!!! He didn't know this and they never said anything. He told them he would be here on Tuesday. So, he was discouraged right off the bat. And then he had applied for a different job down there and was waiting to have an interview. Well, he thinks he might have had that interview, in a way. Oh, well. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. It looks like, for the moment, he will work his same days (W-St), but work the swing shift, something like 3:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. Yuk! That may change (I sure hope so).

I want to go back to Saturday, November 1 - we went to the San Luis Obispo Airport to watch American Eagle Flight 3005, N323AE, fly out for the last time. There were a lot of employees there waiting for it to take off. The Spirit was rented out so they could party afterwards while they were still here in SLO. It was interesting to see these people and know that in the next week or so, some will head to other places, some will stay here and take the layoff, Dan and 8 others are heading to LAX (some are moving there, some will commute), and others are training for other things. There are even a couple of people who just said it's too much to try to do something else, so they just retired. So the pictures are of the entrance to the SLO Airport, the last ground crew, flight crew and passengers on the last flight, a cannon salute by our local fire department, us saying bye to the plane and each other, and a "thanks for the memories" cake. Twenty-two years of memories for Dan.

To tell you the truth, I'm feeling a little depressed, but that'll go away. If I think too much about it, it can get me down. So, I will keep God in my sight - "Glance at my circumstances and Gaze on Jesus" - and keep plugging away till we are shown clearly our next step...our next adventure. Thankfully, this is only temporary.

He has all things in His hands
It is not for me to understand
I would have it no other way
But to trust in Him and obey.

Where we will go I do not know
But "time will tell" as the saying goes
I will carry on and seek His face
Until He shows us our new place.
Robbin Mote (11/11/08)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Call to Prayer

We are told to pray for our leaders and that is what I promise to do. I am thankful that God is in control and that I have the privilege to pray for our new president.

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing."

1 Timothy 2:1-8

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Week to Go

Well, November 1st is coming fast. At this point, it looks like Dan will go ahead and work in LA (it was offered to him), at least for a few weeks while he continues to check things out around here. He'll most likely stay in a hotel or with our daughter during the days he works and be here on his days off. In the meantime, I am working at the church until I'm told it's time to go, if that's what's going to happen.

I've been thinking about that for a few days lately. If Dan decides to move to LA permanently (well, at least for a couple of years), that means I need to give up my job at Grace Church. Twelve years working in the office, working with a team of great people, serving with this team and still loving it. I can't imagine not being there since I've been at Grace for 38 years.

Today Pastor Tim spoke about the wife's role of submitting to her husband, and the husband loving his wife, sacrificially. One of the things he mentioned had to do with decision-making...the fact that it doesn't say "husbands, make all the decisions in your marriage without consulting your wives." We have spoken about the situation with Dan's job and I know my heart's desire is to stay here, stay in this most comfortable place I grew up, where the beaches are my favorite place to visit. He desires the same thing, but if there is nothing here for him, I know he will let me know that there is nothing at this time...we will move to LA. I will accept that decision because I know he will have done what he could to keep us here, but also that he will have been seeking God's direction and the answer came in closed doors.

So, no decisions other than just working for a few weeks in LA. Not sure what that will look like, but we'll deal with that when it comes.

Keep praying.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If I Could See Beyond Today

To be able to see what God sees - to know what the future holds - would be amazing, but what would that mean for my life?

Would I avoid situations I know ahead of time would bring sorrow?
Would I do things the easy way because I know the hardship it would bring?
Would I have unending joy because I avoided these things?
Would there even be a relationship with God?

v. 3 If we could see, if we could know,
We often say
But God in love a veil doth throw,
Across our way;
We cannot see what lies before,
And so we cling to Him the more
He leads us till this life is o'er.
and obey.
1943 Norman J. Clayton Publishing Co.

I would have it no other way. To know God and to know His love is the way to live. He knows me and knows what's best for me, even though I try to tell myself that I know best. He will not give me anything I can't handle. He will not let anything touch me that hasn't gone through His hands first. He is my strength, my joy - my Father. He loves me so much.

If I would see beyond today - I would only want to see His face and hear Him say "Welcome home."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Memories from the past

While I'm still waiting on the Lord and Dan starts talking to people locally, I thought I would share a memory from the past.

For the past few weeks I was thinking about a neighbor of mine when I lived on Santa Lucia Drive here in SLO. I finally took the initiative and made a phone call to see how the Hoadley family was doing. I grew up across the street from them and hadn't seen them for years since I moved out of the neighborhood. I did see them briefly at Huey's 70th birthday/retirement party, but not since then. Then I heard he had a stroke and just hadn't called until recently. While talking with Mary, she mentioned they still had my bike that I used to ride back in the 60s. I think I bought it in 1967 (I think that's what they said).

They had invited me to Huey's 80th birthday party, but I couldn't wait till then to see them. So, I went over there a couple of weeks ago and got to spend time with them and sort of catch up on their kids I used to play with...climbing trees, riding bikes, hula hoops (Nancy swears I was the champ - I can't even use one now). Then I saw my bike. Check out the picture. It used to be a dusty rose color, but Fred painted it red and white. And I think I'm going to get it back.

Well, at the party I saw a few other past neighbors. It was such a kick to see people I grew up with, or at least their parents. It was fun to see Kathy, Nancy, Fred and Rod and find out that Kathy lives in Eugene, OR...just a few blocks from my daughter, Danielle. If I had known that, I would have visited her family while we were there last time. Anyway, it was fun to remember growing up on a street where all the families pretty much knew each other well, kids and parents alike. We trusted each other and protected each other. We could play on the street and not have to worry about traffic. I had to park around the corner because there are so many Cal Poly students, which meant there were tons of vehicles. When I was heading to my car, I started walking down the sidewalk we used to skateboard on (still has the bump where the tree roots lift it up) and there was a huge white truck blocking the driveway. Couldn't believe it!

The most fun thing, though, was meeting Pat who now lives in my old house. She invited me to go over, so after talking to a few more people, I walked across the street, knocked on the door, and walked through a "time machine". The whole layout is still the same and the rooms look the same. The differences were the colors, of course, the bathroom had a new sink, but still a porcelain standing sink, the kitchen had new cabinets, a microwave and a dishwasher (I was the dishwasher back then). The garage still had the big sink my dad used to use to wash the trout in after we went fishing. The biggest change was the backyard. I remember a lemon/lime tree, the silver clothesline (I was also the clothes hanger-upper) and a small tree near my bedroom window. That was it...nothing else. Well, she had a shed in the back corner of the yard, a brick (?) walkway, a few bushes with an archway where you could get to the shed. The tree by my bedroom window was huge and dropping leaves like crazy (one thing she didn't like about it). But it was perfect shading for the really nice deck she had built back there with patio furniture and plants all around.

What a blessing to be able to see my old stomping grounds and my old friends and "other" parents. But that is the past. A past I will always treasure in my heart and a past that I will never forget.

And now I look to my future - excited to see where we will be making memories...where God will bless us and use us. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Now We Wait

Well, Dan decided to put his bid in for Los Angeles only. He figures he will get it, but doesn't know what he will do with that. Will he decide to take us to LA for a couple of years, or take the layoff and hope there is a door that will open here in a different field? Now we wait...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Step

Well, the next step has come to fruition in our journey to unemployment. Dan got his "package" from American Eagle. He got the list of job openings he can bid for...Miami, Dallas, Springfield (MO), Chicago (I think), Columbus (OH), San Jose and Los Angeles. He can now bid for his top two or three places he would want to work and will then be offered one of his choices, most likely. At that point, he can take the offer or take the layoff and maybe look for something else, preferably here in SLO. And I'm still smiling. I think the main reason for that is because I think it's kind of funny AND fun to see what God has in store for us. I'm also getting anxious to start fixing up my new digs...wherever that will be.

Waiting is hard, though, and time is going to start getting short in terms of what we will be doing by November 1.

"And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised." Hebrews 6:157
"But as for me, I watch
in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." Micah 7:7
"I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God." Psalm 38:15
waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry." Psalm 4:1
"In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." Psalm 5:3

There is nothing...nothing else we can do but wait on the Lord. We can talk to Him and let Him know our hearts - but He knows the desires of our hearts already. He will hear our prayers. We will seek His will, look for open doors - or closed doors. And He will answer us, possibly in a way we can't even imagine yet. And we will gladly go where He wants us to go. He's shown us before we can minister wherever He sends us. So we shall wait and see where He will lead us. Where will we end up to celebrate, proclaim and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ? On the Central Coast...OR Beyond?

Monday, September 15, 2008

If Jesus Goes With Me

(verse 4)
It is not mine to question the judgments of my Lord
It is but mine to follow the leadings of His Word.

But if to go or stay, or whether here or there,

I'll be with my Savior content anywhere!

If Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere!

'Tis heaven to me wher'er I may be, if He is there!

I count it a privilege here His cross to bear;
if Jesus goes with me, I'll go anywhere.

Words & Music by C. Austin Miles
©1908 Hall-Mack Co.

It's hard to believe that right now, I am content to go wherever God wants us, be it Ohio, Arkansas, Dallas - wherever. I know my kids don't want us to go too far and, honestly, I would prefer to stay here. My heart's desire is to stay here where I grew up, where my kids grew up, where my church family is, where I work and where I play. But then, we need to go where the job is for Dan. Hopefully, by November 1, we will know where we will be SLO or elsewhere. And I pray that wherever it is, I would still be content, knowing He has placed us where He wants us to minister.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What? Say hi to someone?

Before you read the excerpt below, I have to admit I've been guilty of feeling the same way. I say hello when I sit down and I'll say hello on the way out. But to be "forced" to say hi to people felt scripted and that I was doing it just out of duty and to get it over with. Then I wouldn't say anything afterwards to anyone. I would come late on purpose. And I do know others who do the same, feel the same and avoid the greeting time. And part of it was because it was such a short time to try to get to know someone or have any kind of conversation. I don't know Abby's spiritual state, but I did like her answer. In a house of God - how dare we - I - turn my back on people He loves and has placed there for a reason. I turned around one time to say hi to someone, and found someone who just needed a smile even though she was crying. She didn't want to talk, but thanked me for just saying hi to her and asked me to pray for her. Others around her didn't even notice her state. What if I had not said hi to her at that time? You never know who you will touch or make an impression on, even if it is sometimes "forced." God sometimes has to push us to do things and this may be His way of pushing me out of my comfort zone. Living our lives is a form of worship to God, not just Sundays in church. What we do everyday should be honoring to Him and point others to Him. What are you doing to show the love of Jesus - in His house and in your community?

DEAR ABBY: I am writing about a change I have seen in church. I accept the loud guitar music and informal settings, although I do miss the traditional hymns and formal altars.
What I cannot get used to is the forced "friendly" greeting and handshaking. I attend church to meditate and worship with my family. I do not go to shake hands with strangers and give them a greeting dictated by a pastor.
I like people. I am naturally caring, outgoing and friendly. However, I believe that a greeting or handshake should come from my own heart.
I have mentioned this to friends and family from all faiths, ages and walks of life. None of them like this scheduled "greeting" either. Many say they head for the restroom at that time, turn their backs or just shake hands with the people they came with, come to church late to avoid it, or don't come at all. Others feel the practice is unsanitary. I suggest that church leaders take an anonymous poll and ask how many in their congregations agree with me. What do you think, Abby? -- MINISTER'S DAUGHTER, CAYUCOS, CALIF.

DEAR DAUGHTER: Thank you for asking my opinion. Here it is: Something is wrong in our fragmented society if, for one moment in a house of God, people cannot find it in their hearts to reach out and make sure that everyone feels included and welcome. And for those who fear it is unsanitary -- bring small bottles of hand sanitizer.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Weary? Or Just Plain Lazy

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith." (Galatians 6:9-10)

Well, I got to thinking about this after listening to Pastor Tim on Sunday. Then when we were sharing in staff meeting, I started thinking more about it. I have been a Christian since I was 16, have been attending Grace Church since 1970 and have volunteered in many areas for many years. For the past few years, I have been slowly cutting down on some of the ministry work I've been doing, especially because I have had some health issues. As I look around and think about people who are in ministry around the church, I realize there are others older than me and in more physical stress than me - and they are still serving. I have come to the mindset that "I'm tired and just want to rest a little while before I get back into something." Yes, my leg hurts all the time and physical therapy is helping, but it's a long road still till it will be more normal.

My other excuse has been that I want to do ministry with my husband. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! But he will be losing his job soon and until then, he and I have different schedules. He hasn't been able to work with youth for awhile because of his schedule and he has missed that. He has had eye problems and has also missed driving the bus. But those are not MY problems. My knee hurts, yes, but I can still walk. Thank you, Lord, for that. So, what's stopping me? I AM tired. Maybe it's something medical, which I will check out, but until then, I think I'm actually taking the easy way out and being lazy.

Women's Bible Study is coming up. I decided I didn't want to "start something I can't finish" because of the uncertainty of where Dan will possibly be getting a job after he is laid off from American Eagle. It also meant that I will still have Thursday mornings off to just take it easy before going into work at 1:00. Well, after the prodding of my friends, I decided to go ahead and start Bible Study. Maybe if I start, we'll end up staying in SLO and I can finish what I started. But, even if I don't stay here, how could I even think that missing Bible Study was even an option? I need it, and it's a great time of encouragement, whether I'm being encouraged or I somehow can encourage someone else.

So, all that being said, I just want to say, that there is no excuse under the sun that should be acceptable for not being in ministry. Remember - "EVERYBODY PLAYS!" There is always a way to do it if you really pray about it and seek the Lord's timing. He will show you what you can do, should do and maybe should wait to do. Think about what you like to do - work with children, sing, cook, etc. - and then find a place to use those talents/gifts. You will truly be blessed and you will also be a blessing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What's Next, Lord?

How many times do I ask that question? And how many times do I not get an answer - when I want the answer? Yet, whether I see Him moving or not, He is orchestrating my life (along with my husband) and getting our next destination ready for us. We just have to wait for the final pieces to be put in place.

Dan is going to have to wait a few months before he finds out about what his employer will offer him before he takes the layoff, if that is his choice. Then that will give us an idea of where we will be living - either here or somewhere else. I'm not excited about moving from San Luis Obispo. This has been my home since I was 10 years old. My kids grew up here. My best friend lives here, along with other friends. My officemates are the best and I don't think I could find a better place to work than where I am now. A mix of people with different personalities, different backgrounds, different stages in life...and we all get along so well. I will miss that...I've been there 12 years and have seen many changes, but each time it seems to get better.

But who knows better than God, what is best for us and where He wants us to minister next? We will be moving in with Dan's mom for a few months and as of November 1, Dan will be jobless. Or he might have another job by then, but he can't take another job till that date. In the meantime, God is totally taking care of us, as always, and we will see what He has in store for us. I pray wherever He takes us, that we will be able to find a church family to be involved with; to find a place to do ministry together.

So, what's next? God only knows and I trust Him fully.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

And So It Goes

We are now on the side of unemployment - or will be soon. American Airlines is pulling out some of the American Eagle hubs and San Luis Obispo is one of those hubs where my husband, Dan, works. We could be mad, we could be scared of what's going to happen now, we could be discouraged. But God has always been there for us, supplying all our needs, putting us in the place He would have us be for "such a time as this."

When Dan graduated from Mt. San Antonio College, all I could think about was, "we're going home to SLO." I didn't want to hear about a possible position in Montana where his friend lived and had a job opening if he wanted it. I just wanted to hear that he would take the job at the airport in SLO if he was offered THAT one. I fought this for awhile until I realized I was fighting against what God wanted for us. I finally gave it up to Him and when we got that phone call, and Dan said we were going to move to Montana, I said that was fine. Dan couldn't believe it, but was happy that I was willing to move. Montana was a three year stint and it was the best time. We made friends that we will have forever, even though we don't keep in touch too much. We saw a few of them last year at an anniversary celebration at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch where I worked for 2 years. Several of us only worked there for a couple of years, but it was such a huge part of our lives because we worked with youths who were at-risk, disciplinary problems, and just having rough times in their lives. I saw a couple of the kids, who are now adults in their 30s and couldn't believe it. I didn't think I would see ex-students that I would know, but John came with his wife and two kids and he remembered drawing a picture for me when I worked in the Assessment Center where he and the other kids came to see their therapists. I showed him that picture - he couldn't believe that I still had it. It was a great time of catching up with old friends and students.

So...with that all said, at this time in our lives, I KNOW, without a doubt, that God has something for us, whether it be here or somewhere else. I can hear my pastor's voice in my head now - "I hate to say good-bye". So do I. I hope we can find something that will keep us here in SLO where I grew up. But, if God would have us move out of the area, I pray that we would be willing, ready and able and that we would make the most of that time for His glory.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My All In All

Another one of my poems from the past.

He told me He loves me
And He showed me by dying on the cross
He told me He loves me
And He said that I will never suffer loss.

He told me that I was a sinner
He said that I would surely die
But then He said, "Child, I love you
And I want you to live with me on High."

He showed me the way to a new life
A life full of joy and of peace
He promised me things would not be perfect
But He would always be there - my pain He would ease.

He has always kept His promise
To be with me when things would go wrong
And when my life was going wonderfully
His love was there just as strong.

He never backs away from His children
His arms are open wide for them all
All we need to do is come to Him
"Come be with Me" is His call.

If you don't know who you can turn to
Jesus is waiting for you
He doesn't look at race, creed or color
He loves you because you are you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

God is so Good

This past Sunday, Mother's Day, we had child dedication at our church. What an appropriate day to dedicate children to the Lord. And we will do the same thing on Father's Day. I was there for the 9:30 service and was so blessed by the families who were having their children dedicated. I couldn't stay for the 11:00 service, though I try to go to all services just to share in the joy of this time. But I knew that the third service was going to be extra special - all three of the children being dedicated were all adopted - the adoptions became official, one just two weeks ago. Being adopted myself some 53 years ago, I really wanted to share in that time, but had to leave. Well, since I have access to videos, I decided to take it home and watch that part of the service. What a special time it was and what a blessing to have the parents these three children have...parents who love kids and were willing to take that step to add more kids to their lives.

I love how God orchestrates our lives even before we are even a thought in our parents' minds. I was born in Guatemala, placed in an orphanage and adopted by two people who "just happened" to live in El Salvador. My adoptive father was in the Army and he had been transfered to El Salvador. They wanted to adopt a child, but at that time, El Salvador had a law that wouldn't allow the taking of an adopted child from his native land. So they went to Guatemala to find me. A friend told them about a child who was available. She didn't say anything to them as to who it was when they came to the orphanage, but when I grabbed hold of my future mom's finger, she knew I was the one. God knew I was the one before they even moved to El Salvador. He knew I was the one, before "Aunt" Rita told them. I became a member of their family in four months. We moved back to the US and I became a citizen a couple of weeks before I turned 4. And when I was 16, I became a citizen of Heaven and a child of God. You could say I was THRICE adopted.

Being adopted, I can understand being adopted by God, by a Father who loves me unconditionally as if I was born into his family. I was never treated like I was just visiting this family until I moved I was just renting a room till I graduated from school. I was their child with all the privileges and rights of being their child. They taught me, disciplined me, encouraged me and loved me for who I was and am.

At the service they mentioned the need for foster parents; there are currently about 360 young people in foster care, some needing permanent homes, just here in the San Luis Obispo area. If anyone is interested in become a foster parent, you can contact Gina Singrich, a Foster Care Coordinator, at 805.781.1705 or 805.781.1776. What better gift to give to a child than to take them into your home as your own.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Encourage One Another

Encourage one another
Never cease to care
Call upon each other
Our burdens we can share
Reaching out
Available to pray
Giving of your time to others
Evens the path along the way
Meeting needs of others
Encourages the heart
Not just in bad times, but all the good
Take time to do your part.

I hope that I am there for people when good things happen and bad things happen. I want to be your cheerleader and I want to be your comforter as needed.

As I write this, I am thinking about a friend of mine who's husband just passed away yesterday. Yes, he is with the Lord now and that is fantastic. HE IS HOME!

It is also shocking and sad and I wish I could be with my friend right now, even if it's just to sit and hold her. I want to be there to help her. I want to be there to pray with her. I hope there is someone with her on the flight she is on who is able to comfort her in this moment. But since I can't be with her physically, I know my Lord and God is with her and He is holding her and I hope she can feel His loving arms around her - letting her know that He knows how she feels. She must have a lot on her mind - missing him, realizing there's a business to keep running, her health isn't the best, and a wedding to keep preparing for.

I want to be with her daughters who have been a big part of my life and my own daughters' lives. I wish I could hold their hands and let them know they will all be okay. God is with them, too. There is a plan in all this and we just can't see it right now. But I know God loves them and He will use this time in their lives to further His kingdom and grow them.

"God, please be with Debby, Brie and Erin and the rest of their family and friends. I pray that there will be someone waiting for Deb at the airport. I pray her girls are being comforted even now by friends and family. I ask that if there is anything I can do, You will show me and guide me. Please love my friend and give her peace and comfort at this time. Hold her so close that she can feel it and feel Your love cover her at this time - and the same with Brie and Erin. Thank you for them and for their dad, Peter. Thank you that He is home with You and we will see him again."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

God Doesn't Have Babysitters

I was wearing the Phil Joel shirt that says "God is watching over you...and if you think He'll ever leave you, you better think again." In a devotion I was reading at the time, it said, "The Lord Himself watches over you." Psalm 121:5

HIMSELF...not His appointee...not a babysitter. He Himself watches over each one of us. No matter where we are or what we are doing. It's comforting to know He walks with us everywhere we go.

Holds your hand
Comforts you
Lifts you up
Walks with you
Disciplines you
Does everything with you and for you.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm Yours

Here is one of my first poems, sent to Mug Poetry Contest, "published" in Whispers In the Wind" (National Library of Poetry), 1993:

I'm Yours

Thank You, Father, for all You've done
Thank You, Father, for all You've done for me.
You've given me eternal life
and I just don't know why
You sent Your only Son to earth
knowing He would die.
Yes, He had to die.

Jesus, You gave Your all
Jesus, You gave Your all for me.
You knew me, yet You loved me
And You walked up that steep hill
You wore my crown, You took my cross
for You knew it was God's Will.
'Cause it was Your Father's Will.

Now I give You all I have
Yes, I give You all I have on earth.
You've given it to me and now
I give it back to You.
For what I have does not compare
with the life I can have with You,
My eternal life with You.
Yes, I'll live forever with You.

Can't Make Up My Mind

I feel silly. I want to blog and I started to do that here. Then I decided to do some blogging on my MySpace page - actually copied these to my page so I would just stick with one place. THEN I decide that maybe I should just have a blogger page, so I come back and I actually found my old page again (even though it's dated this year). I going to actually start blogging again? I think I'll try something different. I wrote some poems and I'm thinking I'll go ahead and put them here, at least every so often, and in between I'll try to write what's on my mind or about something I may have read. We'll see how good I do with this. So cross your fingers.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Twice Adopted

A scared girl searching, with no skill or home
And a daughter she's had who can never be her own.
She's young and all alone.

The baby's life right now is uncertain
A child brought by God into this world.
Her future seems bleak as she sleeps unknowing
As the plans of God are unfurled.

A man and woman who want children so much
But together no child would there be.
"Adopt a child" says a very dear friend,
"And I know just the child you should see."

The mother gives up her dear daughter
The couple are now mother and father.
The baby now has a new family
Wonderful are God's plans for me.

My life has been spared by a couple who cared
And God did the same thing for me.
He sent His Son to die in my place
Now I am His for eternity.

Adopted by the One above; adopted because of His great love.
Adopted by two families; adopted because of their love for me.

Dedicated to the parents who loved me and are no longer with me: Ray and Doris Baker. I miss you and I thank you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Today I had lunch with my friends, Noonie and Shirley. This was no ordinary was a special lunch celebrating our birthdays (mine on Jan. 5 and Shirley's on Jan. 6) and anniversary (Noonie & Jon on Jan. 6). I don't know when it started, but a few years ago we started celebrating our special days together...well, at least us girls. We have done a date thing together - going to a nice place and having a very nice dinner celebrating the two birthdays and the anniversary - but it has been mostly just us three gals. This year Noonie wanted to treat us, so we went to lunch after Bible Study.

It was so nice and we just had a great time sharing what we did during Christmas holidays, what we did on our actual special days, had a picture taken of us (Noonie gave Shirl and I a frame for that picture), eating a delicious meal and then sharing what our goals are for 2008.

What better way to kick off the new year by spending it with good friends! We celebrate each other and that starts out the year with a smile. After all the busyness of the holidays where we are focused on our families and celebrating another birthday - that of our Lord, Jesus Christ - it's a nice time to get together and remember how blessed we are to be friends and sisters in the Lord. Be thankful for the friends you have and take time out just to enjoy each other.

And as Noonie said in my card, "Onto 2008!"

"Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done,
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done."
(Count Your Blessings: Words by Johnson Oatman, Jr./Music by Edwin O. Excell)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More than I thought

I have been feeling a little letdown since summer ended. And I figured out it was because we were no longer in fast mode of packing things, going on trips, traveling to and from Oregon. All of a sudden we were in a house with no cat running around, no kid to wait up for and no sound at night - quiet. It is quiet in this house. And I realized I missed my daughter more than I thought I would. I knew I would miss her, but she is so far away now. It's not just a day trip or overnight trip. Not like my other daughter who is 3 hours away. She is 12 hours away - and I don't drive 12 hours; I barely drive 3 hours.

I never thought I would be so glad to have a cellphone and be able to text. I had to learn this because my girls text and if I wanted to communicate, I had to learn. I may not be as fast and I may not "misspell" a lot just to make it short (although I'm learning some shortcuts), but I'm thankful I can keep in touch with them in this way. Yes, we do still talk on the phone, too, and we have Facebook and emails, so we should never lose touch, right? These are all good things to try to keep in touch with, but they can also be disconnected in some fashion anytime you aren't expecting it - no connection through the hills, system is too busy, power lines down.

But God is in touch all the time. He never sleeps - "he who watches over you will not slumber"...Ps. 121:3b; He sees everything - "he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens"...Job 28:24; He is always there - "and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age"...Matt. 28:20. We can move anywhere and stay in touch all the time because He moves with you. You can never run away from Him and you can never hide from Him. So why try? It's truly a comfort to know that my Heavenly Father loves me so much and will never leave my side no matter what.

I may not be with my girls all the time, but I know my God is with them and watching them and will protect them. He loves them so much more than I do, and I would do anything for them. He already did everything - He gave us His Son, Jesus, who was willing to die for them and for me because of His love for us.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Approaching the empty nest

With a name like "robbin" I guess this is appropriate talking about an empty nest. I've been watching my friends go through it and, lo and behold, on the Today Show, there was a segment called "Flying Solo - Coping When Kids Fly the Coop." There are three stages of feelings when parents become emptynesters: Stage 1 - Grief; Stage 2 - Relief; Stage 3 - Joy. I think I have all three stages of feelings rolled up in one - and she isn't even gone yet. On the one hand, I'm feeling sad because I see all my days of parenting flash before my eyes: toddlers, elementary school, junior high/high school, the open houses at the schools, birthday parties, all their friends and overnighters, going to the volleyball/basketball/softball games - here and away (All-Stars), wedding - one daughter launched.

And now our other daughter is heading to OR to go to school. My husband went up with her once to find a place to live - she came back. We drove up there with a van full of stuff - she came back again. We are taking one more trip to take her cat, her bike and the rest of her stuff - this time she won't be coming back with us. I know that's when it will hit me the most (although I feel tears right now as I'm writing). So...on the other hand, I'm happy and relieved. I'm happy for her and relieved (proud) that she has been heading towards this goal for a long time and is achieving her dream of living on her own, finishing college and just plain old growing up. She is excited and a little scared because she knows no one up there but, knowing her, she'll have friends pretty quickly.

I am looking forward to using another room for myself. I'm looking forward to not wondering if she is coming home at night (she would let me know most of the time). I'm looking forward to having a fur-free home. And as one mom on the show said, "I'm looking forward in September...we're going to be like newlyweds." But most of all, I'm looking forward to see where God is going to want me to serve Him as I'm feeling like I need change in my life right now as we head towards this empty nest...along with my husband, of course.

Although the full-time parenting here at home is done, we will never quit parenting our kids. They know we love them unconditionally and that we are there for them no matter what. Just as God is here with us and guiding us along life's way.

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8

Lifted Hands

Norma Pierce, a wonderful woman of God, once shared: Lifted hands with open palms, when singing or praying, are a symbol of an open-handed way of living! Saying, "I love you, Lord, my hands and my life are open to You. Take whatever You need from me. Give me whatever You want me to have. I have learned that You are utterly trustworthy. So my lifetime - abilities, possessions, questions, future, past, children, husband, parents, relationships - everything is open and available to the ebb and flow of Your will."