Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Body has been very supportive and encouraging. There's no proof, at this point, that he was speeding or ran a red light, but there's a conflict between what witnesses saw.
So... that's where it's at. Thanks for your prayers and hearts in this. My heart froze for a few minutes, but I feel peace again; I just have to keep reminding myself that our Father is Bigger than any problem we might have.
Monday, August 23, 2010
You see, even though I had been a Christian for about six years, seeing Jesus play on the shore with children, flitting them in the air, digging with them in the sand, nuzzling their tummies, snuggling them against him -- all of that was beyond anything I'd ever imagined. With my hard background-- rarely hugged, rarely snuggled, rarely played with --this just invaded my soul.
Weeks and weeks ago, when I thought Children was going to be the carnival topic, this is what I wanted to post. I was sure I'd missed it during my month away. Seeing that it's what's up for this week, made my heart sing. Hope yours sings, too.
Friday, August 20, 2010
ANYHOW -- 2 wonderful incidents to share that made a HUGE difference.
1) As I was finishing up at Mom's last Saturday before hitting the road, I went out to put her trash in the dumpster. I ran into a fellow who lives in that building. He is a nice guy who knows some of my family. I said, "Well, I'm gone." He said, "So, you're done touring." I looked at him in total confusion, because, even though I'd been to Seattle and done a bit of side stuff, "touring" didn't make any sense to me.
He said, very bluntly, "Your tour of duty is over."
When he said that, a light went off in my heart. I knew that what he was saying was accurate and it was a "word" from the Lord.
#2) I was at the elaborate rest area on the east side of the Missouri in South Dakota, 5 hours from home. A man walked past me and I said, "You are wearing a sweatshirt?" He said it was because of the cold air conditioning in his car-- he needed to keep it up so he could stay awake. When I walked out a few minutes later, he was standing by the building wiping his face with cool water. We ended up talking. After a couple minutes he said, "Are you born again?" I said, "Yes!" And we talked some more. Then he grabbed my hand and said he'd pray for me. So we stood in front of this big building with people streaming past and prayed for each other.
I always go on trips planning/assuming that the Lord will drop people into my life at just the right moment at just the right place. But I always anticipate that I will be the one blessing them for Him.
This burly, Black elder of a pentecostal church in New Jersey was dropped into MY life, the last main stop on my way home after this month-long, frequently stress-filled, exhausting journey. What a blessing! I hit the road praising the Lord and saying over and over, "Thank you, Lord, for Brother Greg."
I have much more to share. Realize I could have broken this into a couple of posts, but wanted to pop things out so I can rest as I need over the next few days. THEN I'll be back to my "roadrunner" personality. [And I hope to have checked in on a number of you by then, too. Miss you.]
Sunday, August 8, 2010
[have lots of serious/important stuff to post, but that'll just have to wait... maybe until I get home by the middle of next week ... in the meantime...]
Actually, I put this together a few days ago, but hadn't finished a part. Leave for my sister, Niki's, tomorrow... need a peaceful, fun-filled evening with people who just adore me [or at least they think I'm funny and they respect me] and a bed to sleep in or a couch to sleep on before I hit the road for home early Sunday morning.
Today is the first time since I arrived 2-1/2 weeks ago at Mom's apt that her hearing and her speaking and thinking have all worked together. I haven't had to holler at her all the time and scream sentences over and over again -- and be hollered and screamed at. We actually talked about real-life stuff in a practical, peaceful manner. She was, in many ways, "herself" as opposed to this other person I haven't known and didn't know how to handle. So, a few hours of peace in the apt has blessed my heart and given me some strength.
Thank you for "listening." Now, I'm going to head for my last beach walk, rock collecting, blessed/relaxing time.
[And, with the time to leave coming, my heart is being overwhelmed with anticipation to see my Sweetheart and spend time with him -- am so used to hugs and kisses from him and g-kids and friends, etc., and this month has been nearly vacant in that area ... I'm starving.]
Friday, August 6, 2010
I went to Seattle -- not on the I-state and into the busy, trafficy downtown, but drove about 30 miles to Bremerton to take a ferry.
I am always "flooded" with joy as I watch the water and the islands and see the Olympic mountains. The ride is about an hour -- one Lovely Hour -- before reaching Seattle's waterfront, one of my favorite places.
Have been to the Market so often there's rarely a stall I've not known.
Headed back to Bremerton on the ferry. A couple of "goods": 1) now that I turned 65 my fare round-trip total was only $3.45. Whoppee!! [A few years ago Dave said it was going to be interesting to watch the struggle between my vanity and my pocketbook as a I age ... so far the pocketbook is winning!]
2) Played one of my favorite "games" -- tossing fries to seagulls. Could do that for hours and hours and simply have a blast!
Then it went bad: I turned and the wind caught my hat -- my wonderful sparkled-gem purple hat -- and blew it into the Sound. I saw it hit the water... if someone ever happens to see a seagull "dressed" in a royal purple, they can think of me.
History: Seattle was the place for my first official job; I was 18. I was there when the 1964 Anchorage earthquake hit, was downtown on a bus on the way to my office and saw the skyscrapers swaying and windows buckling and the streets bouncing. -- Saw a major hydroplane race-- fun, scary, dangerous. -- Many other good and bad "firsts" happened there during a couple of years. I have often wished I could live there, be closer to the water, see the mountains. Not where God has had me, however, since I was 20 ... except for these occasional lovely momentary visits.
I reached Tacoma later on Wednesday, my heart and spirit floating and flooded with blessings. And always desiring more and more....
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Until the life change, Mom and I had a rough relationship. As the oldest of 6 girls, and a corporate lifestyle of intensity, to say the very least, it seemed there was nothing we could talk about that wouldn’t begin a fuss of some kind. Mom is one tough cookie! As has been said by a number of folks over the years, she’s much like the "Maxine" cartoons. I agree. Often that can be very funny, but the person who happens to be the target can feel slammed.
Even though I live 1800 miles away and see her only about once a year, we’ve been doing much better.
Here’s an example. In 1990, when Dave and I were first planning a trip to Uganda to determine if the Lord was calling us there as missionaries, I called Mom to tell her we were going over there. She said, sharply, "Why in the hell would anyone want to go to Africa?" I was a bit overwhelmed, since she’d always been a travel fan and watched African nature stories nearly incessantly.
In May, 2000, a few years later, after our return from Uganda, our full-time missions life there having come to a close, I was visiting missionaries in Costa Rica and the Lord dropped Proverbs 13:12 into my heart and I saw it as the answer to my confusion about Mom’s retort. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled it is a tree of life." Mom always wanted to travel, to go, to see, to simply enjoy nature around her. It had never happened worldwide and rarely States-wide state-wide. Money, jobs [she worked until 80, and wished she’d kept going].
How could I tell things changed? When I was going to Morocco for a prayer walk with others, in April, 2001, I called her to tell her I was leaving and I was nervous re: the anticipated response. Instead she laughed and said, "It would be fun to see you on a camel." It was obvious the Lord had touched her heart. [I never rode a camel – but rode a donkey through a Berber village as our group prepared to go to Marrakesh for Palm Sunday – gave this photo to her shortly after our return. She loved it!]
At 90, she’s having a lot of struggles – on all sides. Her fear and frustration rise as her hearing and sight, ability to swallow, walking, all sink away; the anger is becoming recharged... similar to the years past. I’ve been told she has had some slight strokes, but nothing serious. However, her behavior certainly is not a surprise to her family -- especially the ones who live here and see the changes day to day; for me, and other infrequent visitors, it can seem hard and harsh. I’m learning a lot at this moment, sleeping on the floor outside her bedroom, hearing the various noises that indicate trouble breathing, difficulty in getting out of bed; I have never had to handle this sort of challenge on a daily basis. The Lord is pouring kindness upon me ... and patience... and wisdom in a whole new realm of life.
When she was 82, I wrote a poem for her and framed it and sentit for M-Day. She really liked it. Since I’m in Tacoma for this"decade" change, I thought I’d share it.
lately, thinking of you
makes me smile.
childlike to inherit
the Kingdom of God.
[Childlikeness has not come easily
to you or to me.]
I see the "child"
grateful and grace-giving child
of a grace-giving God.
listening for train whistles
watching lions roar and eagles fly,
waiting in wonder for the sight
over the next hill, around the next bend.
the Last Bend.
Like a child returning Home
will greet you.
[90th b-day event; a number of kids, g-kids, g-g-kids and other connections missing, but this is Saturday’s "pile" of folks. She was one happy and very surprised lady!]
[Sometimes the rocks are in bits and pieces;
not a firm foundation.]
...or dusty, and gusty and dingy and fringy...
that is how our days,
Wispy, whispery Spirit breezes swifting through,
bringing Light into our hearts.
[Trying to do this at a library and cyber-things seem to come and go, some things seem glitchy. The only photo not taken here in Tacoma was the last one; I took it along the Columbia River on the Washington side a few miles opposite Hood River, OR.]
Monday, August 2, 2010
WOW! Kristan called me Saturday noon.
Fred had gone to breakfast with Promise Keeper friends Saturday morning. Afterwards, they went to the church; usually about 10 were present for the Promise Keepers meeting. This time the church was packed. After Fred sat down, two men came to him. They were the father and uncle of Kirsten, the girl who died. They were also Promise Keepers members, but not at Fred’s church. Fred and the dad hugged and cried and even laughed.
Later, Fred was sharing and told the others that her dad was with them. Everyone stood up, including a very elderly man who usually could not get on his feet. Then the dad was brought forward, the men surrounded him and laid hands on him and prayed for him.
A speaker/sharer reminded the people involved in this event, on either side, that the grief system could/would go into various stages, but if they would come together and seek the help at those times, they could work through it.
The witnesses who said a red light was run have not been proven. The light was most likely yellow. Also, people were not supposed to cross the road at the place where this happened... the cross-walk signal buttons were covered and it was noted that people were supposed to go to other streets. The police checked Fred’s cell phone to see if he had been using it. He hadn’t had a call for ½ hour and the other call was 911, even though it hadn’t reached reception. One man who was at the site, who didn’t know Fred, but looked into his eyes and saw Fred’s "heart" has said that if a court situation arises, he will be there to stand up for him since his brokenness and character were so clear.
People have left memorial items at the death site ... balloons, flowers, etc., of course. However, folks have also left cards and flowers on Fred and Kris’ porch.
Much, MUCH prayer has been taking place in Fairbanks, especially among those who have somehow known connections to both families.
OH, and the day after the accident the dad also contacted Fred’s boss and told him to tell Fred there was "no animosity." The parents are in the midst of a divorce, so the girl’s Mom hasn’t been heard from in all of this, but the Lord has flooded so much peace and encouragement into this awful circumstance.
My sister Niki, who said she is not an intercessor, was buried in praying for Fred the first night this happened. She told me the Lord laid Rom. 8:28 – All things.... And she said that every time she "saw" the verse in her mind, ALL THINGS was very bold. Eventually she fell asleep, knowing the prayers were in place.
When I was preparing to leave for this trip, I was going to add 200 minutes to my cell phone for this month away, since I would be around cell phone folks out here. While I was talking to the service person, yammering and hammering about the 200 minutes and the cost, suddenly "300" was in my head and I said it. Now I’m beginning to understand why that was so important. With this event, it has added a significant amount of time on my phone. God is so kind to prepare us for things we don’t know are coming down our path.