Friday, March 27, 2009

While the Spouse is Away...

Where there's a will there's a way

Havin' fun!

All done!

Two years ago, while my husband was in Haiti, I redecorated 3 rooms in my house (Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen). I took off wall paper, painted, added new curtains, etc. My hubby knew I was going to do some of that, but was a bit surprised how much I did. In the end, he liked the new look.

Last year, he took me with him to Haiti, I think partially to keep me out of trouble!

This year I had one more area that I wanted to update. It is what I call my entry room, or better known as "the freezer room". We use our back door as our main entrance, and this room is just 3 stairs as you come into our house. It is quite small. It's main feature is a big upright freezer--35" wide, 31" deep and 70" tall. Two days before Lynn was to leave, he realized I was planning to re-do the room. He said"You're not going to move the freezer, are you?" I explained that I felt I would have to move it a little bit to get the paper off behind it. He became very upset, explaining that it was a very sensitive freezer, with a thermostat underneath it and basically said I was absolutely not to move it!

I had just about given up hope of doing the room. However, the first week that he was gone, I went to Oklahoma City, to see friends and family. My very good friend there said she saw no reason why I couldn't still do the room. I could get as much paper off as possible behind it and then just paint the rest of the room, as no one would see the back anyway.

When I got home on Sunday evening, I proceeded to spend every minute I could getting the paper off. On Tuesday a good friend from church came to help me for a couple hours. Then on Wednesday afternoon, re-inforcements arrived! My sisters, Brenda and Lou came to help. Wednesday late afternoon and evening, we finished getting the paper off, spackled and patched the bad areas and painted the ceiling. (There was enough room on the side and back of the freezer to get a lot of the paper off; it was also possible to get the roller through to paint).

Thursday was a really productive day. We sanded the walls, washed them down, put on a primer, let it dry for a little over an hour, and then painted. Brenda even had time to give a computer lesson to a friend I had invited over--she helped her get a blog set up. Lou was our official cook--getting meals on the table and cleaning up the dishes. She also helped us sand the walls.

Feeling that we deserved a treat, we went out to eat at Applebee's. We even had ice cream for dessert! Before bedtime we had everything put back in the room and organized. We had even put a coat of floor polish on the floor before moving everything back in.

Mission accomplished! The room is clean and fresh and looks really good. AND, we did it all without moving the freezer! I'm happy and I think my hubby will be happy. As he reminds me occassionally, "When mama's happy, everybody's happy!"

Answered Prayer!

Some typical houses close to the beach in Haiti

My husband is very much involved with the Radio ministry in Haiti, called Radio Lumiere--radio of light. he left 2 weeks ago for a mission trip with 2 other engineers to try to get one of the transmitters and antenna systems working, so that the radio tower at one site in southern Haiti would be back on the air. He will be back home tomorrow night.

We are very grateful to many who have prayed for this trip. It is exciting to report that they were able to get the transmitter working and the radio station is back on the air. They have already received many calls from this area of Haiti, people praising the Lord to have their christian radio station back on the air. This was definitely an answer to prayer!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I've been Tagged--Second try!

I've been tagged by Cindy, Letters from Midlife, to post 7 things that people may not know about me. My real life friends probably know most of these, but my blogger friends probably don't.

There are some rules with this tag:
  • I need to link to the person that tagged me.
  • I need to share 7 things people may not know about me.
  • I need to tag 7 people to share 7 things and link to them.
  • I need to let them know they've been tagged.

Here are my 7 things:

1) I was married to my first husband for 27 years. We had 2 children. My son is 34 y/o; my daughter passed away at age 28 from carbon monoxide poisoning (a generator in her apartment.) My husband died of a heart attack in 1999.

2) I met my current husband on the internet--well, not really. We had known each other for over 30 years. His wife and I used to instant message, and about 8 months after she died, he sent me an e-mail. I was in Oklahoma and he was in Indiana.

3) I, like Cindy, like to sing out loud in the car along with my CD's. I harmonize with people like George Bev Shea, and pretend I'm an accomplished musician!

) I was a missionary in Haiti for almost 2 years in 1 970-71. I was still single at that time. My current husband and his wife were in Haiti at the same time I was.

5) I am a wanna-be chritian fiction writer. Since starting this blog, I realize I am not really a great writer. I do write poems, and recently posted one on my blog--Choices.

6) I like to scrapbook. I started scrapbooking in 2000; I had taken a trip to Israel and wanted a nice way to preserve my pictures. It lets me tap into my creative side.

7) I like to read christian fiction, romance and mysteries. Some of my favorite authors are Karen Kingsbury, Terri Blackstock, and Kristen Heitzmann.

I want to tag the following people:

Gina at Gina's World

Joan at More God=less me.

Jan at Just wandering: as I wonder..

Dee at One foot out of the box

Kristen at Over the Backyard Fence

Becky at Just my Thoughts

Lynn at Proverbial Pilgrimage

I am going to try to post this with the appropriate links. It still doesn't seem to be working--I must need further instruction. (If my sister, Brenda, sees this she may come to my rescue and either tell me what I'm doing wrong, or fix it for me; sisters are great!)

I've been tagged!

I just finished posting a blog about the 7 things people may not know about me. I seem to have trouble doing links, so after I posted it, I checked all the blogs I had linked to and none of them worked. I thought I would be really smart, so I saved the post to Microsoft Word. Then I went back into my post and deleted it, thinking I would copy it from Microsoft back in to my blog and try doing the links again.

Well, as most of you probably already know, when I tried to copy the post back in to my blog, it said that post did not exist. Duh! So now I will have to post it again from scratch, but right now I'm worn out from all this technology!! Hopefully I will get it successfully posted with the links.

Thanks for listening to my not-so-smart blogger story.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Orange-Chicken breast recipe

Gina, Gina's World, asked for the recipe of the chicken I took to the people in my previous blog. I really like it--my sister, Lou, served it at my rehearsal dinner (3 1/2 years ago). AND, it's really easy, which is even better.

4-6 skinless chichen breasts
swiss cheese ( I use baby swiss)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup pepperidge Farm Herb stuffing mix
1 stick margarine or butter

Put chicken breasts in a 9 x 13 pan; put a slice of swiss cheese on top of each chicken breast.

Mix orange juice and chicken soup and pour on top of chicken. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top. Drizzle melted margarine on top of stuffing. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Saying "Yes"

I am participating in a Bible study group and we are going through this very thin book called "What Happens When Women say 'Yes' to God". I would never have guessed that this book could have so much practical information about having a deeper relationship with the Lord.

One of the things I've been trying to do in my devotions is just to ask the Lord to bring people to my mind that I can encourage or help in some way. Now that I'm retired I feel at least, in part, it is sort of my purpose right now to encourage or help where I can.

Fridaymorning I felt like the Lord brought 3 names to my mind. One is a relative of Lynn's who has pulmonary fibrosis. She is not doing very well right now, and I don't think she's getting a lot of help from her family. Another one is a man in our church who has Leukemia, and is currently very weak and seems to be going down hill. The third was a man who just had surgery to have a kidney removed because of cancer and is at home recuperating.

I decided to take a meal to Jan, Lynn's relative and a meal to John and Cindy, the man with Leukemia. I knew that our Sunday School class had taken some meals to Gary and Bev, the man who had surgery, so I just thought I would take some cookies and visit.

I made a chicken recipe that I got from my sister Lou; it is really good and has a chicken soup gravy. It is baked in the oven. Then I made mashed potatoes, a broccoli slaw salad and cookies to complete the meal. I took enough for Jan and her family. She is on oxygen 24/7. I had a visit with her and got an update on how she is doing. Then I went out to see John and Cindy and took them a meal. I also visited with them for a little while. I took the cookies to Gary and Bev. (I had gone to be with Bev at the hospital when Gary had his surgery). He said he loves cookies. She gave me a hug and thanked me for being there during his surgery. She had told me I didn't need to go, but I felt like I should go anyway. She said "I know I told you I didn't need you to come but I'm so glad you did".

I went home and served the same delicious meal to my hubby. I felt like I had followed what I believed was the Lord's direction. Lisa, the author of our book says, "even if what you feel is God's leading really isn't his direct leading, if it's something good that you're doing, it will always be OK." (I don't know if that was an exact quote, but that was the idea).

For now, I will continue to look for ways that I can be an encouragement to others. Even if it isn't God's direct leading, it makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Miracles Still Happen

(I know this is long; it is just something the Lord gave me,
I think to encourage me and give me hope.)

Last Sunday in our Sunday School class we had a special speaker, a young man who works with Young Life, reaching out to adolescents. He was talking about how we have pre-conceived ideas about certain people; there are people we meet that we feel would never accept the Lord. We need to change our mind set, and realize that many who were thought unreachable, have become dynamic in their testimony.

To illustrate the kind of mind set we need, he showed a brief clip from the movie, “Dreamer”. It is based on a true story and is about a horse trainer and his young daughter, Cale, who are determined to help an injured race horse, and it changes their lives forever. In the clip, Cale is trying to convince her family that the horse, Sonador,(Spanish for Dreamer), is able to race again, and wants to enter her in the “Breeder’s Cup” race. Her family is skeptical and her father says that only 14 horses are chosen to run that race. Cale’s response is “Why not Sonador, Why not her?” Our speaker’s comment was that when we think someone is unreachable, or a situation is impossible, we should think “Why not?” Why not him/her?

I couldn’t get that phrase out of my mind; “Why not her?” My husband and I watched the entire movie when we got home from church that evening. I kept thinking, there is an analogy here to the challenge I’m having with my 34 y/o son, Tim. I began jotting down similarities between the horse, Dreamer, and Tim’s life.

Dreamer was a thoroughbred filly who was an excellent race horse. She had won several races; then she ran in a race and fell near the finish line because of a broken leg. The owner wanted the horse put to sleep, but the trainer took her home and nursed her.
Tim was an excellent student in school and went on to get a college degree. He was intelligent, respectful and had accepted the Lord in Junior High. I believed he would be a winner in life. In his early 20’s he turned away from the Lord, developed some bad habits, and his lifestyle was less than desirable. He also was diagnosed with diabetes. Basically, at this point, Tim had a “broken leg”.

With daily care and training, and Cale’s strong love for the horse, Dreamer’s leg healed. They felt she could race again and decided to try her in a small race. This was also a “claiming” race, which I don’t totally understand, but someone can “claim” or buy your horse for an amount determined before the race. Because of Dreamer’s history of injury, they didn’t think she had any possibility of being claimed, but she was; so Cale and her dad lost their beloved horse. Cale was absolutely devastated.
In 2002 Tim came back to the Lord, and seemed to be back where he should be spiritually. I was so pleased, as I had been praying for this. But then, Tim began displaying very erratic behavior, thinking he was God’s prophet to save the world; praying in what he called”tongues” for hours; running off for hours and then calling me to come bring him home. I went through a very dark time with him, and I felt like Satan had decided to “claim” Tim and destroy his testimony. He was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia (bi-polar). I felt like I had lost the Tim I knew and loved.

Cale’s grandfather, a horseman himself, had been estranged from his son for some time. However, he and Cale had a great relationship. Cale’s grandfather had some funds saved, and he and Cale’s dad bought back the beloved horse, Dreamer. Cale was so excited! Her dad actually gave her 51% ownership, so the horse was officially hers. She wants to enter Dreamer in the big “Breeder’s Cup” race. This was the brief clip we saw in class, with Cale saying “Why not her?”
Assisted by a mental health group Tim became “stable” in his disease. He was able to function more normally, for which I was grateful. But Tim had not come back to the Lord; in fact, he felt like the Lord had rejected him and he was no longer able to be accepted by the Lord. As his mother, I was very concerned about him spiritually. I knew the Lord was still in control, and that he could change Tim’s life completely. It seemed impossible, but I believed that the Lord could still perform miracles; in a sense I was saying, “Lord, why not him?”

Cale went before the election board for the Breeder’s Cup, and Sonador (Dreamer) was chosen to run! She was elated! However, there were still obstacles, the biggest one was that there was a huge entrance fee. Also, they would have to work with Dreamer to make sure she was ready. The jockey, a friend and employee of the family, had once been severely injured in a race and had misgivings about racing again.
Tim is recently back to a good relationship with the Lord. He is studying the Bible, and actually believes that the Lord may want him to be a missionary. However, he still has major obstacles to face. He is still bi-polar and mentally and emotionally has daily challenges. He also has trouble regulating his diabetes; several times his sugar has either been very high or very low and he could have died. He has been in and out of jail 3 times because of theft. I don’t understand how his mind works or what has caused him to steal. He is currently in jail, but has maintained a positive attitude and says he still has hope for his future.

What a great ending to this story about Dreamer. They find someone to put up the financial backing for Dreamer. Dreamer, herself, has been trained and wants to run, according to Cale’s dad, who seems to understand how horses feel. The jockey, partly because of Cale’s faith in him, has trained and is excited about riding in this race. Cale has many times visualized her horse running the race and having flowers put on her horse in the winner’s circle. In spite of going against the odds (she had been injured and a filly had never won the Breeder’s Cup),and although there were some tense moments, Dreamer won the race!
Tim is not yet finished running his race. Many times I have visualized him winning, and having the son back that I once knew. I felt, and still believe that he has so much potential. He is intelligent, sensitive, respectful and now once again loves the Lord. But Tim is still in need of mental and emotional healing. As I sat in Sunday School class last Sunday morning, I thought about my son. We have an awesome God, who is still in the business of performing miracles. And so, in faith, and with hope still in my heart for healing for my son, I ask the question, “Lord, why not Tim?”

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pretending it's Spring!

Hot Dog--comin' right up!

Saturday afternoon turned out to be cold, and a little windy,but very sunny. So my sweet hubby decided we should go to my Dad's farm (one hour away) and clean up the yard. There were lots of branches and limbs down from when they had the ice storm. We weren't able to leave until about 2:30 pm, as I went to Bible Quiz in the morning. So, he thought we could make an outing of it, and have a "weiner" roast, since we would have a fire going to burn the brush. The house is empty, except for a cardtable and chairs, but it does have water and heat. I also have a coffee pot there, so what more could we ask?

We spent nearly 2 hours, cleaning up branches, etc and burning them. Then while he was finishing some other things, I roasted our hot dogs, and prepared a lovely inside picnic. We had hot dogs with all the trimmings, cold baked beans, pringles chips, and pepsi. (I had already had a couple cups of coffee during a "warm-up" break from working.) Actually, Lynn had lemonade which is a great drink for picnics. Lynn had spoiled me a bit, and even brought some tapioca pudding for me to have for dessert, as that is one of my all-time favorites.

Lynn went out after our meal, and using his chain saw, cut down a tree that was growing out of control by the creek that runs through the farm. So it was well after dark when we started home.

So that neither of us would fall asleep, I entertained Lynn by singing. For some reason, I started singing some of the old choruses that we used to sing in youth group, way back when. Also sang some of my favorites, like "It is Well with my Soul" and "the Love of God". At any rate, we considered it a "working date", and had an absolutely wonderful time.

Bible Quizzing, Now and Then

I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; ...teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18,19

The quizzing "stance"

I had the privilege of going to watch a Bible Quiz Meet at our church. Erin, the teenager I am mentoring, is on one of the teams at our church (we have 2 teams). There were 6 teams and 4 churches involved in this meet. There were 3 rooms of quizzing going on at one time, and each team played every other team there at some point. Then they set up an "A" and "B" bracket for the final quiz-offs, based on how many games they had won.

I had told Erin that I was on a Quiz team when I was in high school. I thought it might be done differently now, but I discovered that it was very much the same. The seats have buzzers, so that when the question is asked, the first person off their seat is allowed to answer. So as you can see above, most of them sit with there hands on their knees, leaning forward, so that they can just push up quickly. This takes a little practice to do well; if I remember correctly, I wasn't as fast as I would have liked to be getting off the bench.

Emily, Jacob, Erin, and Kevin

There are 20 questions per round; if an individual quizzer answere 5 right, he/she has "quizzed out" and is not allowed to answer any more questions. Erin did really well, and quizzed out one time.

A few of the rounds got really exciting and were tied after the 19th question. Erin's team had a round where they were tied at the end, and went to sudden death overtime. They answered correctly and won the round. Very exciting!

The trophy--team and individual

Their team was in the "B" bracket for the play-offs, and they placed 2nd in their bracket. Also, they had a mini individual tournament, where a quizzer went 1 -on-1 with another quizzer. Erin won 1st place in her division in the individual quiz-off. I was very proud of her! I think she was pleased that I came to watch.

Erin and I
( I don't know why I so often close my eyes when my picture is taken!)

I gave Erin a little gift and a card telling her I was very proud of her accomplishment. She has a rock collection, which I realize seems a little unusual. I had picked up some rocks in the Valley of Elah, where David fought Goliath, when I was in Israel. I gave her 2 of those rocks. I told her whenever she looked at them to remember that when God is on your side, you can face any giant that comes your way. I could tell she was really pleased. I'm sure most any other teen might have thought it was a little wierd, but I knew it would be something she could appreciate.

Watching the quizzing brought back memories of my quizzing days, and also reminded me that I really need to start a Bible memory program again. Our pastor's wife has been encouraging us to memorize just one verse a week. So this week I started on a very simple verse, but one that will help in difficult times--Psalm 25:15. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.