Sunday, March 29, 2009

Under the Sea

It is such a blessing to be able to walk to the Aquarium. We have a family membership so when we are in the mood we just go. I took the kids in two shifts the other day. As we sat in front of the big tank Nia got very sad. This was a good bye to this happy place. Of course she will be back....but still...there was a moment of sadness and how hard it was for me to be the strong one.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The End of the Spear

Tonight at Youth Group we watched the movie "The End of the Spear". This movie is about the Mission Team that was speared and killed by the natives they tried to minister to. It is a powerful story of redemption.
At the end of the movie the youth pastor spoke of being called to the mission field and ask for a show of hands of kids who felt like they are being called. There was much emotion and tears and prayer. As wonderful as that was I could already at this tender age hear the excuses or "reasons" why these teens could not respond. "My parents won't let me." "I have cheer leading camp that week." and things like "I want to go to the jungle." At one point I asked a few girls who were there is they had a passport. They did not. So I said "If you are serious about missions than that is the first step. Take you babysitting money and get a passport so you are ready when you are called."I felt almost dismissed after sharing this suggestion. I told them if they want to be involved in misssion work than get behind someone who is going out and help them raise the funds.
No doubt of this group there could be one or maybe even two kids (there were about 80 kids there) who will answer the call of the mission field. Those are the ones that will apply what that have and what they are to disipline of becoming a missionary. Wathching my daughter and son in law prepare for the mission field makes this all very ovious to me.Prepaing for mission work is a hard work of discipline and application of all the things you know to be true from study of the Word of God.
If we all went to the mission field based on the emotions no doubt the field would bew full of missionaries without training to show them selves approaved.
I hope these kids will follow Jesus wherever He leads. I pray they will prepare for that call.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Goodbye's begin

It is quiet as I write this save the whirring of the fan in the room we have named "The Children's Room". Gwenn always sleeps with a fan on for it's white noise effect. The past two days have been fast and furious and fun. And LOUD! And very messy! My seven grandchildren running in and out of the house. Sometimes dressed like princesses or clowns. Jumping babies making mommy's laugh.Grandad stories of Angelina holding children and adults quiet in their seats or in the laps of whatever adult was in the room to climb up on.Never knowing what grandad would start out saying but always knowing the story would end with "And Skippy got so excited he peed on the rug!" Dancing in the kitchen to Digger's CD of old family songs. Dancing in the aquarium and singing just because they could. Typical Manteo days at Nana and Grandad's house.
But this time it was not so typical.This was the "Good Bye to Manteo" trip. Gwenn packed up the kids in the van and traveled from Apex for the specific purpose of allowing the children to say Goodbye to Nana and Grandad's house, to the playhouse and the firetruck, to Chancey our dog. To their old dog Strom who now lives with their cousins. Tomorrow they will say goodbye to their cousins,and uncle Jon.The Nana and Grandad goodbye will wait a few more weeks as will the goodbye to Auntie Gretchen.
Over the next few weeks my daughter Gwenn and her husband Nick, Nia, Nico and Josiah will have hundreds of goodbyes.Goodbye to their toys, good bye to their apartment and good bye to their church.
On the other side of goodbye is hello.Hello to a completely new life in Jacmel, Haiti. My grief is huge. My hope is great. My heart is full. My God is good.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Meet Grandad

The children love my husband, their grandad. They look for him as soon as they arrive and wait expectantly if he is not. Friday was his birthday. The took out scraps of paper and fashioned "gifts" that grandad would "LOVE!" They were right he did. And for there efforts he gave to them what he gives best -story telling. They got another chapter in the life of Angelina. True life, yet embellished tales with changed names to protect the identity of the innocent.
Steve was a great son to his mom, a wonderful husband to me, a terrific father to our three daughters but Steve shines best in the role of Grandad.I am blessed to share in the glory~

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring's first offering

A few weeks ago 7 year old Katie came rushing in the back door shouting "Nan, Look what I picked for you!" In her hand she held a tender yellow crocus. The first fruit of the season. At once I remember Arlene..We lived side by side for several years. Each with our babies and small children and husbands who worked many hours.We spent many afternoons visiting in the back yards while the children played. Arlene was several years older than me but we were close friends. I remember one afternoon one September when she planted spring bulbs.The yard was rather bland and she looked forward to the promise of the following Spring when she would see her labor rewarded. As so often happens in modern America, Arlene's husband was called to take a new job several states away. We helped them pack the Ryder truck as the children played in the shade of a small tree.Arlene left before the flowers first bloom. I wrote the following when I was blessed by their dance.
Arlene's flowers bloomed today
They didn't know she'd gone away
So faithfully they raised their heads
To dance upon her flower bed
And cause a friend to remember
Arlene's labor that warm September
She sowed the bulbs into the earth
Not knowing that the blossom's birth
Would not dance for her to see
But whisper sweet...."Remember me."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Up the Beach,Down the Banks"

I had to go up the beach (for those of you non-Outer Banker's that means over a few bridges and to the area of land that lies just west of the ocean where all the business are. I can even say I am going "to the beach" and that does not necessarily mean I am going the beach..)So as I was saying I had to go up the beach (meaning north because if i was going "down the beach" or "down the banks" that would be completely different :) After my appointment "up the beach" I decided to go "to the beach".(This time meaning to the ..well..the beach.) The day was warm and there was pretty stiff breeze. I left my shoes and my coat in the car and began to think about my Mom. I was raised in Southampton,Long Island (NY). Very often my mom would buy a cup of coffee, (one coffee, light, no sugar, to go) and we would park at the ocean. She said she just needed to go see it and then watch it and make sure it was still there.
When I first moved to the Outer Banks in Sept of 95 I often would take the 10 minute ride on my lunch break to go and just sit and watch the waves. I didn't care that it was getting cold.It was just so peaceful..and it was nice to know that "it was still there".
Time has a way of desensitizing us I guess. As I took my long, delightful walk today I realized that I only remember one time that I have even gone to "the beach" since last summer. There was a storm coming and I took Katie , I think it was her, to see the water churned up.
So many times I get so used to living in such a great place that I guess I just take it for granted. A few weeks ago we climbed Jockey's Ridge, this past Sunday we went hiking with the kids on the North End (umm...that would be the north end of Roanoke Island..)I am a short walk to the aquarium and the sound beach.
Today I talked to God. I thanked Him for his beautiful work. I am so reminded that the simple pleasures are waiting to be enjoyed. I did not clean today! HORRORS! My self imposed belief that I must spend my entire day off cleaning has to go! I loved my walk on the beach. I will do it again..
Anyone want to join me. The dishes can wait.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Little Helper

Gretchen brought the grandchildren over today while she had a meeting. Since it was my day off and therefore house cleaning day I continued with my normal tasks while the children amused themselves outside. I was vacuuming the living room when almost 4 yr old Abbie came in and asked me a question. I turned off the vacuum and helped her put on some gloves. A few minutes later she was in with another question and a few minutes later yet another. I was still vacuuming the SAME room! The fourth time she came in I turned off the vacuum, sat down and gave her my full attention.When she was finished she turned to go out the back door and stopped, faced me and said "Do you want me to turn the machine (vacuum) on for you?"