Sunday, June 28, 2009

God Bless America

Last night, my father participated in the color guard at my parent's church for their annual patriotic service. My heart is so full right now for my friends whose spouses are deployed, and my prayers are increasingly turning toward our troops. Thanks to all who serve and have served that make us such a great nation. Thanks for doing what you do for our next generation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses

Dayna has been able to go to VBS at my sister's church this week. This freed up 2 1/2 hours every evening for Dan & I to go on a DATE! Yes, a date! We explored different parts of Portland. Last night we were able to visit the International Rose Test Gardens overlooking downtown Portland.

Life is so simple when stopping to look at God's creation. It's even more enjoyable to do it with the love of your life. So...why don't we take time out like this for ourselves more often?

My favorite rose: Sweetness.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ruby Stanley Wilson

Congratulations to Tom and Holly on the arrival of little Ruby.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Aunt Doubly Blessed

Yesterday I became an aunt. Twice! At 2:55 am, Ruby Stanley Wilson entered the world at 19.5 inches and 6 lbs. 10 oz. We're going to Eugene to meet her later today, so I'll write more about that later.
At 6:00 pm, my niece Ashleigh married Drew Arnold. What a beautiful wedding! His father officiated, all four parents joined them at the altar to pray for the young couple. It was a lovely day. Enjoy the pictures of Drew & Ashleigh's wedding.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


This photo was taken on June 13, 2004. The day after my world was shaken. For over three years, my Aunt Sharon valiantly fought the beast called lung cancer. Five years ago today, the beast won the battle. This storm seemed to match my mood...the overwhelming sadness that was left, the overcoming power of God in the midst of tragedy, and the complete peace that washed over my soul as I realized there was nothing I could do to stop the storm and God's plan for our family's life.

"Sometimes He Calms the Storm"

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered, "peace be still"
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we're shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered, "peace be still"
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

The battle was lost, but the beast did not win the war. Jesus has conquered death, and so I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my aunt is dancing in His presence. If you knew Aunt Sharon, you'd know what a funny picture that is to have in my head. But she knew the joy of Christ's forgiveness, and I can imagine no other expression of that joy in His presence than to dance before Him.

Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

Goodbye, Aunt Sharon...I still miss you incredibly every day and can't wait to dance with you before our Savior.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dr. Dayna

Dayna got out her "telescope" today and wanted to listen to my heart. After a few thoughtful moments, she declared, "'re just fine. Jesus is still there."

Enjoy the picture of Dr. Dayna from a couple years ago.

Caveat Emptor

Life's lessons learned...We're hotel people. We love staying in hotels. Now that we have a family member in the Marriott business, we stay in some lovely places for the same price as the "budget" hotels. We're pretty hotel know, give them your card number to hold the room, and they charge you when you actually stay.

So, we book a hotel out of the country for our anniversary next month. For some unknown reason, we use the bank card instead of the credit card, and we use an internet discount hotel site. Imagine our surprise when this site charges our card immediately and we're socked with $255 in overdraft fees. It's not a problem that we were charged right away...we had the money in savings to cover it. The surprise is that we didn't know it would happen. (This is the lesson for all of you who didn't know these internet sites work this way!)

I call our banker and ask what he can do. We're one of those families that lives within our means, doesn't overspend or rely on credit, etc. We live pretty simply. Suddenly our three nights in a hotel for our anniversary is costing us well over $500. We've been good customers of the bank, haven't overdrawn the account in years. No dice...our banker won't reverse *any* of the charges.

I'm in tears at this in the world can I get an anniversary gift (our tenth, by the way) for my husband when we can't even afford the getaway now? Frustrated with the bank, frustrated with the internet company...

I did call the hotel company...they were sympathetic, but it really wasn't their fault...we will be getting $60 credit to use again. But what about all those bank charges? It was really ridiculous that my personal banker wouldn't even consider it. It's now after 5:00 on a Friday, and I didn't want to spend my weekend stressing about this. Then, I discovered our bank's headquarters are on the West Coast. Yippee!!!! So...long story short, a very nice lady at the headquarters (whom I've never met, unlike my banker) reverses over half of the charges. Don't know what Dan's getting for our anniversary now, but he'll at least get something :)

Lessons learned: 1. read the fine print; 2. use your credit card and not your bankcard...the transaction can be reversed, but the bank fees aren't so easy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

So True!

Thanks, Holly! I love this cartoon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Getting Older

Sweet Dayna has been preoccupied lately. Between losing her Great-Grandma, then visiting graves for Memorial Day, she's been asking a lot of questions about death. We've always been careful to tell her that God decides how many days each person has, and it's up to Him to determine when we die. We've never equated death with being old or getting older. Well, now Dayna is telling me she doesn't want to get older, because she doesn't want to die. We've assured her that when she does die, she's asked Jesus to live in her heart, and she'll get to live with Jesus forever. She knows that someday Jesus will come back in the clouds, and she excitedly looks at the clouds and reminds me of His return. She even asks questions about what her house will look like that God is preparing for her now. I don't know that she's afraid of death and the hereafter (although it's all too abstract for a 4-year-old mind to swallow), but she's afraid of dying and doesn't quite know how to verbalize her fear. All we seem to be able to do right now is pray for wisdom to know how to answer her questions and reassure her that even though we don't know God's plan, we know that it is perfect. We appreciate your prayers for wisdom as well.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Simple Math

I'm studying Revelation this summer. Right now I'm spending some time getting to know the seven churches John writes to in the beginning of the book. Today I read about Pergamum. (Pergawhom?) Christ is described differently in each letter. To Pergamum, he's described as having a 2-edged sword coming out of his mouth. This takes me back to Ephesians 6 and John 1...the sword represents the Word of God, and John starts his Gospel by telling us that Jesus is the Word.

So, back to Pergamum. They're condemned for following false teaching. I can't help but catch Christ's description in light of this. The only cure for bad doctrine is the Word of God. I asked myself what false doctrine am I following? I'm ashamed to admit that I often worship the god of self. I want my way, I want to do my thing, why doesn't everyone submit to what I want to do? How can I turn from the false god of self and follow the sound doctrine of the Word? By remembering simple math: He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)