Friday, July 30, 2010

Beka's Smooth Path of Life

It began with staining the deck.
We moved into some spray paint.
Little succulents were artistically planted.

Then, we took one weather worn
child-sized bench from a garage sale,
and added one enthusiastic 7 year-old girl
who was excited to have her own project.

We want the kids to feel that sense of accomplishment,
when they are able to tackle a project on their own.
She used sanding blocks initially, then switched to sandpaper.

She applied two coats of teak oil.

The old bench was moved out...

...and the new bench moved in.

Family friend, Pam, provided help in transplanting flowers.

Beka only enjoyed her little corner
for a little while...

...before she thought of one more perfect touch...

a path.

A path entices you to follow it,
to seek the treasure at the end.

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the path of life;
In your presence is fullness of joy,
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 27:11
Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me in a smooth path,
because of my enemies.

Psalm 119:35
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.

Beka's right,
we ALL

Thursday, July 29, 2010

And It Was Good

Last November,
in the middle of a winter sunbreak,
I pinched off little pieces of my succulents
and tucked them into potting soil.

I thought this looked great just as it was,
 but they were starts for
 creating other arrangements.

They hadn't grown as much as I thought.

But they still had promise,

and beauty.

And, the arrangement that will go on my patio table,
around the umbrella,
was completed.

When the plants fill up a little more,
and spill over the edges,
it will be even better.

I love working with plants. 
It is amazing that they re-create
after their own kind.

Just like God said.

Genesis 1:11
Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation:
seed-bearing plants and trees on the land
that bear fruit with seed in it,
according to their various kinds."
And it was so.

And we know how God felt after He created something,
His joy and pleasure  echos in our hearts,
when we create something.

And God saw that it was good.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spray Paint Gospel Message

I don't wanna work all summer,
all momma's need play time,
so I enlist help from my kids.
It's not just for my relief,
but for their benefit.

I don't want to send helpless people into the world.

I had many items that needed to be spray painted.

Good job for a 14 year old boy, huh?

When I offer him manly jobs,
he's a lot more enthusiastic and reliable.

He followed my spray-painting directions
and finished off several items.

No drips!
I was impressed.

He also painted another umbrella stand
and cleverly put a bead of clear silicone caulk
along the underside
so it won't scratch my deck.

Of course, the only day it is 90 degrees,
is the day I wanted to take a picture of my new outdoor lanterns.
This picture made me decide to paint the wicker furniture, too.

Like many bloggers,
I am broadcasting my growing addiction to spray paint.
Whether for ecological or financial reasons,
pressing that little button to release new life
is amazing.

Ugly things,
that others did or would have discarded,
find new glory,
new purpose,
new admiration.

It is also addicting.

 I read  blogs about the glorious transformations
made by covering ugly objects with aerosol beauty,
and looked at my surroundings with new eyes.
What could I redeem from the dumpster?

In a fallen world,
even spray paint can preach the Gospel.

Romans 4:7
 Blessed are they
whose iniquities are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered.

All who trusted Christ as Savior,
had their sins gloriously covered in His blood.
We are now objects with useful beauty.
Others may look at our transformation,
and desire to be changed, too.

Once we're redeemed,
we just keep touching up those sins
with forgiveness.

Do you have some covering to do in your life?

When you're done with that,
maybe go buy some spray paint.

covering ugly
is addicting.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tackling the Deck

Every summer begins the same way.

We tackle the deck. 

Like a high maintanence woman,
it always needs something.

It has to be touched up,
fixed up
and/or nailed up.

Running the length of my house on the second story,
it is glorious extra square footage
to a home that always seems too small for my
rambunctious family.

This year was the big year.
After power washing,
we put on two coats of  paint stain.

I'm hoping and praying that next year,
we'll be able to just touch up the stain,
instead of repainting the whole thing -

We're like a tag-team when it comes to home projects.
When one is getting tired, the other has a burst of energy.

After I had painted for hours,
Scott came home from work and painted
while I watched the paint dry.

Except for this unusually wet and cold spring months and June,
we spend hours on the deck. 

We eat on the deck.
We sleep on the deck.
We play on the deck.
We read on the deck.
We visit on the deck.
We play games on the deck.

Washington is great for moderate temperatures
and NO BUGS.

Yea, that's right, no bugs.
I still marvel that you can have a picnic without flies.
I still marvel that swarms of mosquitoes
don't hunt us down as the sun sets.
That's why we utilize the deck for months.

But, there are miles to paint,
before we sleep.


The best remedy for those who are
 afraid, lonely or unhappy
is to go outside,
 somewhere where they can be quiet,
 alone with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.

Anne Frank

Saturday, July 24, 2010

MM Meditation - The God of Perfect Order

I love reading through Proverbs 8, as I get a first hand experience of the pre-incarnate Christ creating the World in perfect order.

Did you ever think that if the animals were created before the plants, they would have nothing to eat? 

If the fish were created before the firmament was divided, they would have no home.

If the earth was one foot closer to the earth, it would be devoured by fire.

If the earth was one foot further away from the earth, it would be too cold to support life.

The Father and the Son created the world, and are holding everything together by the might of His power. 

God is a God of order, everything was created perfectly so that each portion of creation was sustained before  the next day of creation.

He is the author of Creation, and the author of salvation. 

Philippians 1:6
 "Being confident of this very thing,
that He who has begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

We love to marvel at His orderly purpose in Creation, but do we understand the order of events in our life is perfectly planned, too?

Have you ever had one mundane job that gave you the skills required to land a better job?

Have you ever had one small trial that gave you the wisdom and experience to survive a bigger trial?

Have you ever had a "chance" encounter with someone who had a message or an answer that you needed to hear from the Lord?

Have you ever missed tragedy by minutes or seconds?

Everything is caused or allowed by the Lord in our life  - nothing occurs outside of His loving guidance. 

After He created the world, He said, "It is good."

He will admire His handiwork again, when He completes the work  He began at our salvation.

Matthew 25:21
"Well done, good and faithful servant."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sometimes I'm A Bad Mommy

I'm a bad Mommy.

I let the kids eat ice cream
before dinner.

I let the kids eat ice cream
instead of dinner.

I buy a new toy,
even though it isn't
their birthday,
or Christmas,
or any holiday.

I get  so excited,
I run outside in my socks.

I forget to take my shoes off
when I come inside the house.

I burp
at the dinner table.

I laugh when I burp
at the dinner table.

I play
instead of doing my chores.

I read a book
instead of doing my chores.






jump on the hotel beds.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I've Never Been Off Road Before!

She can fit smugly into the smallest parking spot,
between the worst parkers in suburbia.

She can haul bags and bags of groceries bravely to my home.

She can tolerate the rare summer sun scorching her interior,
when her hard shell is at home.

She can weave in an out of rush-hour traffic
with the skill of a slalom skier.

But,  like the 4x4's on the movie CARS,
my little baby hasn't been off-road much.

On our Adventure Day with Daddy,
we had to try out the 4x4 on an open logging road.

It was an adventure,
but not quite as fun
as finding a garage sale
with antique dishes.

We didn't get off to a very good start.

People that want to go driving in the mountains,
shouldn't leave their drink on their vehicle.

Like a red-neck carnival ride,

my baby went up and over,
up and over,
up and over,
many of these huge dips in the road.

The little boy was thrilled.
The little girl wasn't.

She didn't understand the concept of taking a perfectly good vehicle,
on a perfectly bouncy road.

I think my Baby is smiling.

Looking back,
these dips weren't really that big.

Maybe we need to get off-road a little more often.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adventure Day With Daddy

I am a prophetess. 
This is an email I sent to my daughter on a Friday evening.


today we are just gunna go out for an adventure. ya' know dad. put some stuff in the van. bring a book. pay too much money at a gas station for food you shouldn't be eating.  drive until you find a place to sit by the water and enjoy the scenery while dad snores. :)

at the end of the day, you have a perfect day of memories to carry you through.

missing you but thankful you are serving the Lord.

This is what happened Saturday.
pay too much money at a gas station for food you shouldn't be eating.

The kids are laughing in sheer guilty pleasure,
and Dad is holding the mile-long receipt.
He let them buy Skittles, pop,
and those nasty powdered sugar donuts.

Mom NEVER lets them buy that stuff.

But, after years of self-denial,
those little powdered sugar babies tasted great!


until you

find a place to sit  by the water and enjoy the scenery

while Dad snores.

No pics of me reading,
but I was enjoying the book I brought.

 I forgot to mention to Beth that Rebekah
would create an imaginary world to enjoy,

complete with flowers,

and a way to travel to another beautiful place.

She found a large stick to paddle her rock canoe
to another adventure in her mind.

at the end of the day,

you have a perfect day of memories to carry you through.

The kids have had to learn how to enjoy an
Adventure Day with Dad.

He doesn't usually have a specific plan,
he just likes jumping in the car,
and driving until something exciting happens.

It can drive some of them crazy.

They want to know-
"Where are we going?"
"What are we going to do when we get there?"
And, of course-
"How long till we get there?"

Sometimes they bicker.
Sometimes they fuss to get their own way.
Sometimes they aren't content with their snacks.
They've learned that when they get along,
are content and trust Daddy,
the journey and destination will be amazing.

He wants to do something special for them.
He wants them to have a good time.
He wants them to trust him,
understanding his underlying desires for them,
and not bother him with doubts and anxieties on the way.

How do we behave
as children of the Heavenly Father?

He's taking us on life's journey.

Are we are so busy asking questions and doubting,
that we're forgetting to look out the windows
and enjoy the journey before we get to our heavenly destination?

Can we not bicker?
Can we be content?
Can we trust His path?

 A phrase from 3 John 1:6 should be our life's theme -

"...journey in a manner worthy of God..."

Monday, July 19, 2010


At the beginning of the summer,
I initiated a plan
to keep the kids from saying,

Each kid made a list of exciting things
they wanted to accomplish during the summer.

On a sunny day,
when those dreaded words were dancing on their tongues,
we checked out the lists,
and found something to do.

Dippin' Dots.
Generic, of course,
from Albertsons.
'Cuz it was on the summer list.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MM Meditation - Beholding His Glory

John 1:14
"We beheld His glory."

The first time I saw an original Monet, it was in an art gallery on the East coast.  They treated me like royalty, as if my mere presence proved my divine taste in art.

A girl who grew up in Montana admiring Charles M. Russell, I was being exposed to a whole new world.

When I saw the Monet I was enthralled with the colors, the lights and the essence of being in the artist's presence. It seemed I was in a world he had prepared just for me.  I stood staring for a long time, until I realized a bench that had been strategically placed just behind me.  I sat down and continued beholding.

Other art patrons stopped and glanced, some stared, but I beheld.  I have forgotten which painting I saw, which exact gallery I was in, but I have never forgot the feeling of being introduced to the person of Monet through his actual work.

This is the same awe I love to have as I read the Scriptures. But, spiritual awe is greater, because it isn't fueled by admiration only, but by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Through Word and prayer we can behold Him, the author of our salvation. We can get to know Him, His holy character, His divine purpose and His ability to transform us into His image.

John the Baptist told the people to

John 1:29 
"Behold the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!"

Behold is the imperative form, or command form, of the Greek word eido, which means to perceive with the eyes, to have regard for one, to cherish, and pay attention to.

It isn't a quick glance.

It isn't the amount of time of the gaze that affects the outcome of the interaction, it is the amount of regard we have for what we are reading.  Are we understanding that the Bible IS Jesus?

John 1:1
"In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God."

The people in His day were able to physically behold Him, to hear Him, to feel His healing touch.  We have all the same privileges of His presence through the Word of God.

Behold, the Lamb!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Making Memories

This summer,
I have been slightly obsessed with lists.

I started out the summer by making

I blogged the  victory when I conquered

Then, I conquered the list from my desk.

I conquered another weekly To-Do  List.

Now, I am going to start working on the list of fun stuff
 I wanna' do this summer.
The list is tucked away in

I love the feeling of accomplishment,
when I cross the last item off a list,
but accomplishment doesn't always equate memories.

 I've learned, as my kids get older,
I don't look back on my life
 and marvel at how many lists I conquered in days gone by.

I look back and remember the times we
jumped on the trampoline,
made popsicles,
covered the sidewalk with chalk drawings,
walked to Dairy Queen for a high-cal snack,
read a good book on a blanket under the cedar tree,
slept in the tent,
slept on the trampoline,
explored a new store or park.

So, I will keep whittling away at the work lists,
but my heart's desire for the rest of the summer
is to make memories that my children will cherish.

Memories are mind treasures,
for them to   pull out and enjoy.

They are experiences painted upon their hearts
with love and joy.

As a squirrel stores away nuts for a winter,
they can be their sustenance through dreary times.

Memories can even become storehouses of wisdom,
because someday my children might be spouses and parents,
and use our family adventures
as a pattern for their own traditions.

Let's make some memories!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's That Time Again

It's that time again.

I had my six month routine blood work
to find out the status of the cancer
that has staked a claim on my body
with squatter's rights.
In a few weeks, I will have a sonogram.

I always feel a little apprehensive,
so I commit my concerns to the Lord in prayer,
and try not to take it back out of His hands with worry.

But, I always know,
that little band-aid on my arm,
could be the beginning of another life change for me.

As I was leaving, my endocrinologist cheered me on,
as she is good at doing,
by complimenting
"You're such a brave young woman."

The good news is, 
she thinks I am young.

But, the brave part,
I'm not sure about.
I appreciate her warmth and her encouragement,
but I am not brave.

I just have cancer.

People with bravery
rescue other people from drowning and car wrecks.
Brave people jump out of airplanes,
climb Mount Everest,
 live in the jungles as a missionary,
and walk on the moon.

I am not brave by character,
my situation forces bravery
because the only alternative
to living with cancer,
if you can't be cured,
is dying with it.

So, if that is all it takes to be brave,
I hope she calls me brave for
many years.
I would like to someday be a
"brave, old woman."

So, my heart and mind are swirling
with prayers and scenarios,
as I consider what the future might hold,

it's that time again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

He's Coming Back

The first time I saw them hanging in the hallway,
where I keep the terry cloth robes
for the guests who sit in my hot tub,
I thought he had just forgotten them.

When they were still there after his next visit,
I realized it wasn't an accident.

My brother left his board shorts at my house,
because he plans on coming back.

Now, when I walk by them,
it gives me a comforting feeling-
I know I am going to see him again.

I have proof.

The Lord Jesus left proof of His return, too.
He wrote instructions in His Holy Word.

John 14:3
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again
 and receive you to Myself;
that where I am,
there you may be also.

The Lord Jesus plans on coming back.
We have proof.

Are you ready?


Sunday, July 11, 2010

MM Meditations - Character Re-enforces the Message

The following article was from an electronic newsletter I receive from a Christian man my husband worked with years ago, Doug Kutilek.  I was intrigued, because I love the work, writings and faith of both Charles Haddon Spurgeon and George Muller, and hadn't realized they were contemporaries.  I loved Doug's research in combining Spurgeon's thoughts on Muller and his own comments about the need for a man's life to match up with his words.


The CHARACTER of the Man
Re-enforces the MESSAGE

In the very first volume of his published sermons, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) described what must have been among his earliest encounters, if not in fact the very earliest, with George Muller (1805-1898) of Bristol, the famous Christian orphanagist and man of faith and prayer:

There is no sermon like what you can see with your own eyes. I went down to the Orphan-house, last Wednesday, on Ashley Down, near Bristol, and saw that wonder of faith--I had some conversation with that heavenly-minded man Mr. Muller.

I never heard such a sermon in my life as I saw there.

They asked me to speak to the girls, but I said, “I could not speak a word for the life of me.” I had been crying all the while to think how God heard this dear man’s prayer, and how all those three hundred children had been fed by my Father through the prayer of faith. Whatever is wanted, comes without annual subscriptions, without asking anything, simply from the hand of God. When I found that it was all correct that I had heard, I was like the queen of Sheba, and I had no heart left in me. I could only stand and look at those children, and think, did my heavenly Father feed them, and would he not feed me and all his family? Speak to them? They had spoken to me quite enough, though they had not said a word--Speak to them? I thought myself ten thousand fools that I did not believe God better.

Here I am, I cannot trust him day by day; but this good man can trust him for three hundred children. When he has not a sixpence in hand he never fears. “I know God,” he might say, “too well to doubt him. I tell my God, thou knowest what I want today to keep these children, and I have not anything. My faith never wavers, and my supply always comes.” Simply by asking God in this way, he has raised (I believe) 17,000 pounds towards the erection of a new orphan-house. When I consider that, I sometimes think we will try the power of faith here, and see if we should not get sufficient funds whereby to erect a place to hold the people that crowd to hear the Word of God. Then we may have a tabernacle of faith as well as an orphan-house of faith. God send us that, and to Him shall be all the glory.

The New Park Street Pulpit

Vol. 1 (1855), p. 378

Two decades later, in the June, 1875 issue of The Sword and the Trowel (p. 293), Spurgeon noted the occasion in the preceding month when that same George Muller filled the pulpit at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London--

May 6.--Mr. George Muller, of the Orphan House, Bristol, preached for us at our usual Thursday evening service. It was a sermon long to be remembered. The wise and holy counsels then given were rendered the more weighty by the character of the man from whom they came [emphasis added]. He has fought a good fight and kept the faith, and it is delightful to hear him in his hale old age bearing sweet testimony to the faithfulness of God, the power of prayer, and the pleasures of true religion. May our venerable friend be attended with the divine sunlight during his present evangelistic movements, and till the daybreak, and the shadows flee away.

What Spurgeon perceived Muller to be in 1855, he still was twenty years later in 1875 (and as he would remain until his death nearly a quarter century beyond). He had not stumbled, faltered or failed. His character remained consistent and unmarred, and his credibility as a messenger of God was thereby mightily reinforced.

So it ever is: the credibility of the Gospel message is either enhanced and reinforced or subverted and degraded by the character of the messenger. May we strive by consistent Christian character to reinforce the message we are entrusted to proclaim.

---Doug Kutilek


Friday, July 9, 2010

Jon Loves His Daddy

Just when Scott thought his life couldn't get any better,
with three daughters and a son,

he had another son.

A son so fiesty, ambitious, rambunctious, adorable and hyper,

it sometimes made his Gramma shudder.

He was a spittin' image of his Daddy.

And spittin' image is the correct terminology,
since the men in my family
have this thing about spitting into water.
The famous measuring during a hug-
I know he is wondering when he will be as tall,
or taller,
thank his Daddy.

Sons always want to be like their Daddy's,
and the kids know their Daddy
is a man worth measuring up to.

Jon's portrait of Daddy

If Dad's really had ten fingers on each hand,
wouldn't a back scratch feel

Jon was four years old at the time.

I think that circle around the middle is supposed to be
Dad's chubby tummy.
This was while he still ate chips and didn't exercise.


One thing I remember about Father's Day (well any holiday that involves cards) and always will is Dad is big into cards, homemade cards especially.

Someone in our family (who shall be nameless) is notorious for running downstairs right before card time and scribbling out a card.

So, this Father's Day I made a trophy and super nice card, I put those away and gave him a beat up lined piece of paper that had chicken scratches saying - Happy Father's Day Love you-Jon.

He took it serious at first, read it and set it down. Then I whipped out the card and trophy and gave it to him, everyone started laughing hysterically. But, I appreciate Dad for wanting a nice homemade card that's sentimental.

I Love You, Dad!
Happy Belated Father's Day!


to read the other
Father's Day tributes,
click on