Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Tsunami is coming...

Woke up this morning to the emergency siren...6:00 a.m.  Not good news.  The earthquake off of the Chilean coast has generated a tsunami wave that will hit Hawaii around 11:00 a.m. 

North Shore, January 2010

My family and I are not in any danger, but prayers do go up for those folks in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.  They may be in for some serious water.

So far, our only affect has been that we've had to cancel Rebecca's birthday celebration.  We were planning on taking a pack of girls out on the boat to the sandbar.  Obviously, we have to postpone.  It was to be the second of three birthday parties in our family this weekend.

The first was for Steph who is now 18 year old.  We took a bunch of her friends to the sandbar last night and had a great evening with pizza, a bonfire and the game buck-buck.  If you don't know buck-buck, check out this link:

On Sunday, we've scheduled Andrew's party.  We plan to take his friends bowling in the evening.  So, unless there is some other unforeseen natural disaster, that should go on as planned.

Psalm 65
For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.

1 What mighty praise, O God,
belongs to you in Zion.
We will fulfill our vows to you,

2 for you answer our prayers.
All of us must come to you.

3 Though we are overwhelmed by our sins,
you forgive them all.

4 What joy for those you choose to bring near,
those who live in your holy courts.
What festivities await us
inside your holy Temple.

5 You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,
O God our savior.
You are the hope of everyone on earth,
even those who sail on distant seas.

6 You formed the mountains by your power
and armed yourself with mighty strength.

7 You quieted the raging oceans
with their pounding waves
and silenced the shouting of the nations.

8 Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy.

It's a busy time, but so much to be thankful for.  I can't wait to post my additions to the 1000 gifts list on Monday.  'Til then...   I'm just enjoying the view (from high ground)!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Multitude Monday

I've been sick this week.  Nothing serious, just a cold.  But I'm off my normal schedule.  I hate that.  But even when I'm physically down, God's faithfulness gives me strength.  There is always something to be thankful for. 

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thes. 5:18

Continuing the 1000 gifts list:

(91 - 110)
new leaves on my tomato plant

the sound of birds in the morning

birthday week at my house

being able to iron clothes for my hubby - who has a job

new Truths

free admission to a great conference

friends who see the tear and come to pray

the dog who jumps up on my lap

progress in school

schedules that bring order

deep blue eyes that truly see me

a dear hand to hold

hand-me-downs from friends

the gift of being there

a Father who always has enough

getting the courage to start my new visual journal - pictures pasted, now to add words...

litergy that brings comfort

getting a bigger picture of the Body of Christ

warm bread with butter

the sound of his truck pulling into the carport

holy experience

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday - Turning My Heart Toward Home

Woke the girls up early today and attended an Ash Wednesday Mass.  It was the first time I'd been in that particular church, St. Anthony's, even though I've lived in the area for over 30 years.  The priest talked about how Ash Wednesday and Lent are similar to Toyota.  It is a time to be recalled.  A time to come back for adjustments to the journey to God's heart.   I really resonate with that thought. 

Over and over this week, the Lord is bringing me messages that contain a single theme:  humility.  Jesus is the very picture of humble.  I want more of that in my life.  He has made it abundantly clear that He wants more if it in my life, too.

Physically and emotionally, it's been a trying week.  Who's idea was it to put a perimenopausal woman and three adolescent females in the same house...difficult.  (Condolences may be sent to Mark and Andrew...)  But that is where the stuff of my character is shown.  What's inside the glass will come out when jostled.  God is teaching me to be a minister in my home first and foremost.  That is the true test of His love living in me.  Don't worry.  It's really not as bad as I make it sound.  There is joy and love in the midst of these trials.  His grace is giving me eyes to see it.  I am grateful.

I love this song. It was written and originally performed by Rich Mullins. He was such an intense soul. Now he's with Jesus. This remake of the song is a great tribute and I believe it really captures the raw emotion that the words portray.  (Pause the player at the top of this page before you play the video.)

As I head into Lent, I'm thinking of the words that the priest shared this morning. "Lent is a season we love to hate." I can totally understand that. I love to be drawn to the heart of Jesus. That's my safe place. But to get there, I must cast everything else aside. I go empty handed.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a
huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance the race
God has set before us. 
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Because of the joy awaiting him,
he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.
Now he is seated in the place of honor
beside God’s throne. 
Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;
then you won’t become weary and give up.
Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT

As the ashes were crossed onto my forehead, the words "Repent of your sins and believe in the gospel," were ringing in my ears.  Yes, LORD, I do repent.  Yes, LORD, I do believe.  Amen.

holy experience

Friday, February 12, 2010

Random Thoughts

Okay, it's Friday of a very long week.   Can't get a cohesive thought together, so I share some random ones...

#1:  Faith and Bellybuttons
 (I told you it was random.)  Stay with me...

At one time, we all depended on our umbilical cord for life.  We got all our nourishment and oxygen from our mothers through it.  We developed into who we would be while attached to it.  But on the day our our birth, the cord was cut.  We could eat and breath on our own.  It became useless.

It occurred to me the other day that there will be a time when I wont have to live by faith. When I get to heaven all the questions will have been answered.  All the wonderings will be known and my faith will be useless.  Kind of like my bellybutton is now.  I wonder if I'll get some sort of spiritual bellybutton in Heaven to remember the days when faith was my lifeline here on earth...

I LOVE this view 'cause it means I'm lying on the deck of Pakele Nui!

#2:  The Pioneer Woman did a post about the things she loves.  Here's my list.

I love:


driving my Jeep

worship music


my kid's laughter

green mountains


sand between my toes





candle light

flag football


spring break


a good foreign film

home education

watching my daughter's dance

listening to my kids sing


reaching the top of  Olomana






listing things...

#3:  Holding a newborn.

Today, I got to hold a sweet little one.  He was so small, he just fit into the bend of my arm.  I got to feed him his morning snack; four ounces of formula.  Oh, those little grunting sounds he made reminded me of when my own were so little.  The smell of his head, the warmth of his skin, and the little TINY feet and fingers were almost more than I could bear. 

Is it possible that now, 3 of  4 of my babies are bigger than me?  February is birthday month at our house.  Three of my four have their birthdays within an 8 day stretch.  No, I did not plan it that way...  By the end of the month, I will have a new 18 year old, a 14 year old, and a 10 year old.  (The 15 year old's birthday is in April ~ on Easter this year!)  The seasons of my life are changing.

 LORD, help me stay faithful in the process!

#4:  I love this ballet.

Reminds me of what happens when Mark has to leave for work... *;)

I may be a bit random today, but the word of the LORD stands forever constant:

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

— 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Path to a Grateful Heart

The gratitude habit is gradually taking hold of me.  I find myself thinking - oh, that's gonna be on the list this week.  With the change already happening in my heart, I can't wait to see the progress at #1000.  I'm barely one-tenth of the way there...

This week's additions to the 1000 Gifts:

71.  warm oatmeal cookies and tea

72.  a play-day for Andrew

73.  curling up with a good book

74.  an evening sail before the "cold' front moved in

75.  blooming azaleas

76.  opportunity to attend a web-seminar for worship leaders

77.  God's faithful provision

78.  letter to a friend

79.  my crock-pot; actually it was my moms - I'm thankful it still works!

80.  smiles around the dinner table

81.  a comfortable home

82.  contentment - even momentary

83. the longing in my heart to pray without ceasing

84.  warm sunshine

85.  sand in the car that reminds me of a fun beach day

86.  coffee with a friend

87.  finishing lesson plans on Saturday so that Sunday is the Lord's

88.  seeing dreams come true for deserving people

89.  kid's laughter from the next room

90.  discovering that new traditions can start with me, now

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
Colossians 3:14-16 (NLT)
May God richly bless you this week.

holy experience

Friday, February 5, 2010

Remembering Nana

Nana blows out her candles at her 89th, in 1993.

Yesterday, my grandmother, Ruby Logan Beardsley, would have been 106 years old.  She went on to heaven when she was 94.  We called her Nana.  Being stationed in Hawaii since I was 4 years old, my parent's families where always very far away.  I didn't grow up with extended family around.  But when I was in about the 7th grade, my Nana came to Hawaii to live with us.  She was having trouble living on her own in Colorado Springs.  The winters were too much for her arthritis.  I got to give up my room and in return, I got a grandma right in my own house.  It was great. 

Playing around ~ about 1920.

Since my mom worked and my older sisters where either in college or about to graduate from high school, Nana and I got to spend a lot of time together.  She introduced me to Soap Operas.  We'd watch All My Children together almost everyday when I got home from school.  She tried to teach me to knit, but being a lefty, I didn't really get it.  I loved to hear Nana's stories about growing up on her parent's dirt farm in Missouri.  I thought she must have been Laura Ingalls in the flesh.  During her lifetime, she saw the coming of indoor plumbing, the convenience of electricity, the automobile, and the airplane and space ship.  She also saw the two "great wars" and a few not so great ones.  She lost her first love in WWI.  She never really talked about that, but we have the pictures she so carefully saved.  She followed Prent (my grandpa) to the oil fields of Wyoming and raised two boys there. 

Nana came for a visit in 1974

Nana was always there for me.  When I learned to drive, she let me borrow her car - a sweet Ford Maverick that could really move.  She showed me the power of resilience.  She was a tower of strength in a life that had its fair share of pain.  She was there when I graduated from high school, and then for college.  She was there at my wedding.  Then, when the time came for her to be in a nursing home, I brought my babies to visit.  We'd just sit and watch them.  She was so proud of them and always saved a cookie for them when they came over.
At Paradise Park ~ Nana's not as sure as I am about the birds...

I miss my Nana.  So yesterday, in honor of Nana's birthday, I made a batch of oatmeal cookies.  Nana made the best, but I tried...  I was about to put them in a ratty old plastic container when I remembered that I have her cut-glass cookie jar.  I took it down from the shelf and filled it with memories of her.

On my father's side of the family, my sisters and I are the oldest generation now.  I have many material things that remind me of who they were on this earth.  But it's the memories I carry in my heart that mean the most.  And it's the anticipation of our reunion in Heaven that I hang on to.  Who can be sad when our separation is only temporary?

Psalm 100
A psalm of thanksgiving.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Upside of the Downside...

Sunday's climb up to Mount Olomana was great.  The view was worth every rope climbed.  So many spiritual lessons rattle in my brain...  But coming down from the mountain, that's the lesson that is asking to be explored.

Ah, the "mountain-top experience."  Very well named.  So much of my time is spent seeking it.  But life in this world demands that after the experience, I must come down.

Coming back from the retreat last week left me so out of sorts in my routine.  I was off kilter for days.  How can the lessons I learned about climbing back down from Olomana help me make the transition to life in the valley?

Here are four lessons I've discovered:

Lesson #1:  Stop wishing for a life lived at the "top" or for the helicopter ride down, just get moving.
I really didn't want to come down from that beautiful place.  It was such an effort to get there, I just wanted to savor it.  But the sun was setting, and I really had no choice.  So, instead of having a tantrum, I got myself up, and headed back down the trail.  If I had really stopped to think about all those steep cliffs and rope descents, I would have become paralyzed with fear.  Not helpful.  So I adopted Elizabeth Elliot's mantra, "Just do the next thing," and started putting myself through the motions.

Lesson #2:  Use the same ropes you used to get up, to get yourself down.
Those holy habits that I'm learning to use to get up to the mountain-top experience, are also helpful when it's time to scale back down.  The disciplines of my regular quiet time, hard stops for prayer, scripture memorization, and journaling, all help me focus on Jesus and give me strength to come back down into the plain or valley where the majority of my life is lived.

Lesson #3:  Don't look a the drop-off, just keep your eyes on the next step.
When coming down those big boulders, it was necessary to look down to place your next step.  I had to focus very purposefully on the rock where I would step, and not the sheer drop just beside it.  I really don't like heights, so this was a test of my focus.  I just couldn't afford to let my eyes stray.  When coming back down to the "everyday" of life, keeping my focus on the Solid Rock helps to push back fear and build faith. 

Lesson #4:  Take the mountain-top experience with you down to the valley - and share it!
As our group came down the mountain, we just couldn't stop talking about how wonderful it was.  We took pictures to remember and share.  Now, when I pass by that mountain, I will always remember that day.  It looks so high and difficult to climb.  It's hard to believe we where really there.  Those memories will last many years.  How will anyone know that the climb was worth it unless we tell them?

Psalm 121
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

 I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.

 The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.

 The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.

As time goes on, I may discover more lessons, but this will do for now. God is good. He never wastes any experience. He is the Good Shepherd that speaks to me in ways that I can understand. I pray that these discoveries will be a blessing to you, too.

holy experience

Photos by Jake Heaton, co-moutain climber.