Saturday, December 09, 2006

My Granddaughter is a Reader!

We babysat the grandchildren tonight and after a few hours of rambunctious play, a movie, bathtime, and the struggle into pjs, it was time for books. We brought two books from home to read to the little ones. Terry went with Colton and I went with Kayla. I set the Christmas book before her and told her that this was really a special story. She begged me to let her read it. I told her that it was a big kid's book and I thought it would be too hard but she wanted to try... and she read... she went on and on... reading page after page. I was dumbfounded; my chin about hit the floor. I've taught school off and on for 30 years and I wasn't ready for this. I had heard Kayla read about 3 weeks ago, and what she did tonight, the incredible progress, was astounding! I was so proud of her. My heart just wanted to burst. Later, as she was preparing her chocolate milk (the final stall tactic before bed) I knelt before her and very seriously told her how proud I was of her and what she could do. The book she read tonight was not a first grader's book. I could tell she was pleased with the compliment but was it enough? I want her to know that she is entering a new world of discovery, beauty, and enlightenment. I want her to know that I think she is amazing for what she has accomplished in such a short time. She is so serious about reading. Her little forehead wrinkles up as she plows through the pages. And she loves it! Oh Lord God, bring teachers into this child's life who will lift her, encourage her, and affirm her abilities. For this little girl, barely six years old, is a true reader and merits the encouragement!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


My husband and I just returned from a long weekend of complete retreat! We headed to Bainbridge Island via highway 3. It was a gorgeous weekend. One of the highlights was watching an eagle arrive for breakfast each morning. He'd swoop in on the bay and grab a fish from the water then perch on the top of a huge fir and eat. The first morning, an eaglet joined him... although pops wasn't very good about sharing! We also spent several hours at the Bloedel Reserve, an amazing acreage dedicated to personal restoration through nature. Being true to their mission, they even limit the number of people allowed into the reserve, maintaining the sense of tranquility and oneness with the beautiful outdoors. It helped that the sun was shining every minute and that we left the computer at home! I think if I'd relaxed any more, I would have quit breathing. What beauty. And all of this was a gift from our son and daughter-in-law. They are teaching us about taking time to retreat and reconnect. I think I'm a quick study for this life-lesson! I'm ready to go again, anytime! What blessing...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Voice

I attended a family reunion of sorts this weekend. My mother and I drove 5 hours to Pendleton, Oregon for my cousin's funeral. Three of my four brothers arrived later in the evening. We joined my aunt, cousins, and people we had never met, to mourn the passing of a man who was only 57 years old. I remember him as a child. He told ghost stories, always scaring me half out of my wits so I had to call my mother to take me home. He was dearly loved by his wife, mother, siblings, and daughter, and many others. The Word says we're like the grass, the wind passes over, and we're gone. Gone from this earth but not from life. I've always believed in heaven but as I have aged, heard personal experiences of those who've "almost" left this world for the next, I've become more and more convinced that our souls, our spirits do live on. As I once tried to explain this to my granddaughter, I asked her if she "knew that voice in her head" and her response was a rather intense "yes!" as though a light had been illuminated in her own mind. That voice doesn't change much. The voice in my head is as identifiable to me now in my 50s as it was when I was a young teen. It is more honest that I tend to be. It has real depth and sensitivity. And I am the only one, other than God, who knows that voice. It is mine alone. I do believe that this internal expression of my spirit lives on. As for its future geographical location, that I'm not so sure of. I believe in heaven but I'm not sure where it is. I believe in the gathering of spiritual beings, centered around God: Father, Jesus, the Spirit, united in true worship and fellowship. Each funeral, each passing year, each birth gives me pause to think, to ponder my own existence, purpose, and ultimate destination. In the meantime, we are here on this earth and absolutely everything we do makes a difference. The old "ripples in the pond" analogy is right on point. We have such possibility to love, to build, to nurture, to encourage, to edify those around us. At my cousin's funeral, I commited myself yet again to be one who did all I could to help others and leave a positive influence in this world. I know I am not personally capable of doing this day after day on my own. I need divine guidance and strength that only comes from my relationship with Christ, from His Spirit living life through me. But I have commited myself to that life and I am trusting God to make up for my own inabilities, to make a difference in me, so I can make a difference for others. I wonder what our world would be like if we all made this commitment. Quite different, I'm sure. So I'm listening to the voice in my head that tells me to get moving, to interact with living souls not a computer. So here I go into my world... God help me!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Our First Home

Well, of course it really isn't our very first home but it is the first one we have ever purchased! What a scary experience. I've never signed so many papers in my life. And of course, after years of reading home decorating magazines, plan books, and watching HGTV, I had to make changes. It will be great when it's finished but my husband believes it will never be finished. He thinks I'll always have some project for him to do. Hmmm.... I think he's right. What a guy to know me so well!

We have special places in our home. There's the hallway with family pictures, the living room that begs for someone to nap, the kids' corner with an antique toy box and lots of fun things for Kayla and Colton, and our Jerusalem corner, a way to bring our California kids into our home. And then there's the backyard. We bought this home from my husband's mother. His father left us just over a year ago to enjoy heaven. Changing the interior of our home has been easy... well, not easy, but there's no sense of holding back on the interior. However, lately we've been working in the yard. And it seems that Grandpa comes to work with us. Now I know he doesn't but we have such a sense of him in this yard, near the pond and among the roses especially. It's even been hard to remove overgrown shrubs because he didn't. A couple days ago, an arborist visited our yard and gave us suggestions. Now we have an expert's opinion that actually matches quite well with our own, so we'll cut back, pull out, and trim a lot of the green, and we'll remember Grandpa with joy.

We love our home, love our location, love our family, and are so thankful to our loving Heavenly Father for permitting us to enjoy it together. Come visit! You're always welcome! KaK