Mom's Blog

Friday, June 16, 2006

Father's Day

It's the Friday before Father's day and I realize I didn't get a card out to my father or to Sam and sending one now will be too late. So I'll blog some Father's Day thoughts, hoping that they will read this and smile.
In cleaning out the attic, I found a box of old keepsakes. Among them I had tucked away the one and only letter I ever received from my dad - seven pages long on small note paper. He is a highly intelligent and wise man who always struggled with writing and so that letter with its scratched out words and misspelling means so very much to me. I have tucked it away in my Bible to take to Bolivia with me. (Mom, I also have one from you.) While growing up, hugs and kisses were not the custom in our family as they are today. But I never doubted my father's love for me. He used to like to surprise us with gifts. I remember in particular the lamp/clock radio I got in college and a silver bracelet engraved with my name. Thanks, Dad, for being the caring and consistant father that you were.
My son Sam is father to 5-year old Novali, our precious granddaughter living in Chicago with her mom. If you know Sam at all, you know that he is a very busy young man, working fulltime as Greek advisor at Albion College, while also running his 'side' businesses of web design and event planning as well as being on several boards. These all keep him hopping all over the States, and yet he always makes time to see his daughter and do unique things with her. I know this is not easy for him. Best wishes on Father's Day, Sam. And, thanks for letter you dad ride in your race with you - that was the best father's day gift he could have received!
Daniel, father to our four children. I know your heart and know the sacrifices you have made to put our family first. I don't think many people realize how difficult it was for you to leave a blosssoming career and come to the States for the sake of our children. Learning English was a treacherous mountain to climb, but few really know the other cultural struggles you faced and isolation you endured. I know how you continue to be concerned about our now grown children and the uncertainty at times that each of them face. I also know what a fantastic grandfather you are to Novali and Valerie. I know that are no limits to your love for them. Happy Father's Day, Daniel.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Toilet Paper Time Frames

For those of you who believe in the power of prayer and in a personal relationship with God you might smile at my toilet paper prayer. When we put our house up for sale I had just purchased a large 12 roll bundle of toilet paper. As I showed it into the closet I calculated the weeks and prayed," God, it would be just right if our house would sell by the time I am out of toilet paper so that I don't have to lug one of these bundles back home again and so that we could go to Bolivia by late summer". Each time I took out a new roll, I would count how many rolls were left and gently remind God that I was still praying that our house would sell in MY timeframe. One roll left and we took off to go to Miguel's apartment and then on to see Novali for the April birthdays. Well that's when we got that first purchase agreement. My spirits soared. "See, God does care about those little details". My spirits soared like an escaping balloon, only to be brought down by the withdrawal of the offer. The balloon has burst. I was tempted to say, "Well, how foolish to think about my faith in such a mundane manner." I questioned God's timing and argued with Him that this was not the way things were supposed to work out. It took a couple of days of pouting and battling doubts that God is truly concerned about our personal lives before I decided to tell God that I still trusted Him. So instead of buying another 12 pack bundle I bought just enough rolls to make last until early July. Then as I put these away I promised God that I would continue to believe even if the toilet paper ran out. Well, last week we closed on our house - with the same couple that had originally made the April purchase agreeement. And they agreed to allow us to stay in the house until after Miguel's engagement party. You see, if we had agreed on that early purchase agreement, we would have been out in May, and it wasn't until May that Miguel shared the good news of his engagment. We are now able to have one last family event here at the house. So you see, God's timing is best -but He knows the timeframe; we don't always know what the road ahead is like, but HE does.
The verse I so often quote now has such a deeper meaning, " trust in the Lord with all your heart LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, in all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL direct your path. (Proverbs 3:5.6.)

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Worry Wart

Don't know where that phrase originated, but recently someone called me a 'worry wart.' I don't deny that I tend to obsess with trying to figure all the details, please everyone, and try to stay on top of things with lists to check off. As a Christian we "know" that our lives our in God's hands, but we also know that God expects us to use the abilities we have to make daily decisions. Reading the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7) has helped me see again God's perspective on so many issues.
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these... But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (social justice) and all those things will be given to you as well." I am constantly amazed at the beauty and variety of flowers - the pansies this year are so colorful with their royal purples, elegant gold tones and butterfly patterns. They have withstood the spring frost, the dramatic downpours, and the stiffling heat and humidity. The are my reminder of God's power to create and sustain.