Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Peace Offering Accepted

Jaime made me laugh today.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  We've invited new friends from church who have no local family.  We used to do that every year and thought it'd be a neat thing to do again.  We've never gotten in the habit of expecting the kids to spend Thanksgiving with us.  First of all, we do realize that they have their own families and secondly, we figure it makes asking for Christmas afternoon easier!

Kylene and Trey are joining us and I thought it'd be nice if Jaime and Slade came over too since this family has 2 boys close to Russell and Randall's ages and the husband works at LeTourneau.  So I asked them a few times to join us.  I tried hard not to use guilt.  (mostly, because it makes me end up looking dumb but also because it doesn't work on Jaime and Slade).  They decided to go to Slade's aunt's house and then they'll join us for the Cowboys game later in the afternoon.

Yesterday I got a sweet phone call from Rebecca.  She asked if she and Matthew and Audrey could join us for Thanksgiving!  I was so tickled because she felt comfortable calling.  And of course we'd love to have them join us.  So it's going to be a nice group and I'm really looking forward to it.

Jaime called me today to tell me that she encouraged Rebecca to call us so that they could be a peace offering to me for Jaime not coming tomorrow for dinner!  That made me laugh.  And the peace offering was happily accepted!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A new generation

It seems only right, after grieving loss, to remember that life will continue and that it's ok to look forward.

Last night I had my first sleepover with my third generation of youth!  I had 2 of my 5th & 6th grade girls over.  We went to a late showing of Madagascar 2 and then out to IHOP around midnight.  Jr hi kids used to love to go around 3am but these girls couldn't hold out that long.  Then we came home and they went to sleep right away.

It's pretty amazing to me that I've been working with youth for over 25 years.  This is my first time working with 5th and 6th graders and I'm really enjoying them.  They're definitely more compliant than jr hi kids.  And they love doing anything 'youth group-ish'.  Last week one of the kids asked me how I came up with so many games for them to play.  I had to remind them that I've been coming up with games for longer than they've been alive!

It was a fun night all around.  Time to introduce a new generation to Camp Stoddard and getting spoiled and staying up late and learning how to love and encourage each other in a safe place.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Further up and further in....

I have always loved C. S. Lewis' Narnia series.  Parts of the stories have stayed with me for years.  Some of them I've really taken to heart.  In "The Horse and His Boy", there was a part where one of the characters was whining to Aslan about someone else.  Aslan wisely said, 'That's not your story.'  I have always remembered that when the girls were prone to tattle on their sisters.

And in the Last Battle, all of the faithful friends of Narnia enter into Aslan's country, where they are reunited with old friends.  But it's not the end.  Aslan's guests are invited by Reepicheep to go 'further up and further in' to glorious adventures too beautiful to describe.

That's how I think of heaven, a place where things will be more real than we can ever imagine.

One of Kylene's high school friends, Miranda, died today.  She had leukemia and her body simply couldn't fight it any longer.  Her husband was one of Kylene's friends too and I cannot even fathom what he went through making the decision to take her off the respirator.

Miranda died surrounded by family so her parents had to watch their daughter breathe her last breath.  They were there for her first breath and then for her last.  I cannot even fathom that pain.  My heart just aches for them.

I am so thankful that Miranda knew Jesus so that she leaves behind hope and peace.  Peace, knowing that she is free from pain, and hope, knowing that she will be reunited with those she loves.  Without that peace and hope, this loss would be unbearable.

There is something unnatural about burying your child.  It's like it goes against nature.

Time to hug my girls a little longer today and weep with those who weep.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Give unto others

Christy and I were talking yesterday about Christmas and gift giving. Our family tradition, now that the kids are all grown, is to get together around noon and open our gifts to each other together. Mornings are for each family to enjoy together and to have their own family traditions. I love that we're all together for the afternoon and then we celebrate Russell and Randall's birthdays in the evening.

All the families really don't have any needs when it comes to birthday gifts. Then we end up giving each other things that we could get for ourselves anyway.

So I've offered the idea for each couple to draw a name of another couple and then make a donation in their honor. On Christmas, we'll open envelopes that will tell about the donation.

I think it'll be fun to find a cause that means something special to that couple. It'll give Christmas shopping a whole new meaning!

I was looking online and found this website  It's got 1000's of places where you can make a donation.  We've been given so much.  I think it'll be fun to share it with others on Christmas.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Heavy Heart

My heart is heavy for the nation. I believe that we are in decline as a nation and the downhill slope just got steeper and more slippery.

The hope I hold onto is that God is ultimately in control. Nothing surprises Him. And even if my faith in my country is waning, my faith in God is strong because He never changes.

About Me

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Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.