Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Day Started Out with Bad News, but ended up good

When I arrived at the hospital this morning, the Doctor was there telling Melanie and Casi that Mei-Ling needed to be transported to the Children's Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit. They found a murmur in her heart and they felt it needed to be looked at by specialists.
My heart sunk. There is no way I can explain the feeling I had thinking about this sweet grand-daughter being whisked away by ambulance to a hospital so far away. Melanie kept telling me, "Mom, its going to be alright, I just feel it, I know it." They brought Mei-Ling in Melanie's room in her transport unit, raised Melanie's bed up so they were level with the unit and let down the side of the unit so Melanie and Casi could say good-bye to their precious wee one. Just as Melanie reached in to touch Mei-Ling, Mei-Ling reached for Melanie's finger. I had to leave the room, as tears filled my eyes.
Casi followed the ambulance to the children's hospital and stayed with Mei-Ling all day and I stayed with Melanie. She is doing so well. I am so proud of her.
Within a couple hours the specialist called Melanie to tell her they were doing the tests and within a hour or so word came back that it was just a very common problem of three small holes that should seal up by themselves. Such relief ! Our newest family member is going to be just fine. The hospital will keep her a few more days to monitor her blood sugars as they still fluctuate some, which is normal for babies of diabetic moms.
We are so blessed, so very blessed !

Friday, April 27, 2007

Another Picture : )

Here is wee Miss Mei Ling sleeping soundly. Her I.V. should come out tomorrow and they are hoping to get her to nurse tonight so the feeding tube can come out. She is just about 5 hours old in this picture. We all think she looks like her daddy.

She's here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 lbs 6 oz, 20 inches long. Both mom and baby doing fine. Mei-Ling had to have an I.V. for low blood sugar. We are all so excited and grateful and feeling amazingly blessed that everything went so well. Thanks everyone for your prayers, and possitive thoughts, they worked !
Minutes after birth, mom, dad and baby all look pretty content
Mei Ling is not too happy with their attempt to give her a bottle to help with her low blood sugars.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Good News

Melanie will be having a C-section tomorrow morning around 10:30 am so keep them in your prayers. The test results came back showing good lung maturity. I will be a grandmother tomorrow YIPPY !!!!!! Should have pictures by afternoon to share with you

Kittens Have Arrived and no news yet

The last week has kept me from home much of the time, so two days ago when I found our cat Aya with 5 little kittens, already a couple days old, I was a bit disappointed that I had missed seeing them born.
They are so cute and already they are all spoken for. Now miss Aya will be heading off to be fixed. Melanie wanted a couple kittens so we let Aya have a litter. Looks like the white cat from the neighbors may have had something to do with these kittens coming into existence !

No word yet on the test results. We had hoped to hear tonight so we would know how soon we can expect the baby to be born.
Melanie was a real trooper with the test. Not even a bat of an eyelid as the needle went in. Mei-Ling was not so pleased with the invasion of her space. Even though the Doctor kept the needle far away from her feet, she still kicked at him. As active as this wee one is now, everyone is joking that she will just walk from the nursery to see her mom when she wants to.
Melanie had some cramping after the test but they say that is normal.
Hoping we don't have to wait much longer for this bundle of joy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Big Test Today

If you think of it, say a prayer for Melanie. She will be having her amniocentesis at noon. We are all wanting and praying for the results to show that Mei-Lings lungs are developed sufficiently. The test can be uncomfortable and Melanie is NOT looking forward to having that very long needle stuck in her.
Thanks everyone....


I wrote this yesterday, but the two times I attempted to post it, we had severe thunderstorms and tornados in the area and I opted to turn the computer off, rather than risk it being fried.

So here it is, a day late.....

This morning Melanie was sleeping soundly when I arrived at the hospital. She looked so peaceful and I knew she needed rest. I decided to run back home while she slept, and do a few things that needed to be done and pick up the bootie pattern I had forgotten to stick in my knitting bag this morning.
It was misting by the time I drove into the driveway. That sort of rain that falls gently and kisses you with rain so soft you are sure it must be from the fairy folk.
It feels good to be breathing air other than the hospital air. Its not cold outside, neither is it warm. Sweater weather perhaps is the best way to describe it. Great weather to go exploring and turn over old rotting logs to see what lives there, or walk deep into the undergrowth of old woods and see ferns coming up from the rich moist soil and hear sounds so seldom heard any place else.
Just daydreaming, for there are other things to be done.
Before the heavy rain descended on me, I decided to head out back and cut some roses for Melanie. They are so beautiful right now. Each bush an explosion of color and fragrance. Reminding me of a canvas alive with colorful dabs of paint against a background of vibrant spring green. The whole world seemed new to me. I have so missed my morning walks, but there is a higher calling right now. Caring for a child of mine, now grown into a woman, soon to be a mother, but still needing a mothers touch to make her more comfortable. Your child is always your child, no matter how old they are chronologically. Their needs change, but reaching out to sooth a hurt is always a need, no matter what kind of pain, be it physical or emotional. Mothering is a life long committment. One that should always be filled with unconditional love for the child. Yes, I understand there are times with some children we cannot condone certain negetive behaviors but we can never withhold love.
As I wandered, I mused about my upcoming position in life as a Grandmother. It dawned on me that I will be a bridge, a bridge from the newest things in life to some older ways. My own grandmother bridged her life, her times with mine and how grateful I am to her for that.
She instilled in me a love for things old, for things cherished from the time before me. Gentler ways. I want to do that for my grand-daughters. Teach them to cherish the simpler things in life, to appreciate hand crafts, cooking from scratch, kneading bread by hand, hanging clothes, spinning wool, making soap, sitting by lamp light while playing a game on the floor. The value of modesty, of honor, of being tender hearted and filled with the joy of learning to learn. I want to teach them the love of a tea party, the scent of roses and the joy of reading a good book. To help them understand that it is virtuous to run a home and be a mother. To show them that there is so much more than "things" and "stuff" in the world.
Their mothers and fathers will teach them these things too, but I can take it back further in time than their parents can. I can teach them the things my grandmother taught me about how her mother did things and how she did them. I can bridge the old with the new and show these two little girls that there is so much of life that has nothing to do with what money buys. I have time for this task, because so many years ago we made the choice between my staying at home which meant for us, having an old house, an old car, not going out to eat, or having nicer things. The bigger things in life often end up being thiefs and stealing our peace of mind and our time. They make us miss out on so much. It's still been the best decision we have made in life for me to stay at home. Not one regret ever. Even though the children are all married, I am still needed at home so much of the time, to run errands, to care for a sick family member, to cook big family meals and so much more. How grateful we are that we learned long ago that we could exist on just Emery's salary, even when it was very small.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Light Ahead

Today was a good day for Melanie. They took out her IV, and did an ultrasound which showed the baby breathing well. They are doing the test this week to check for lung development and will decide from there, when to do the c-section, but hopefully it will be within a week.

I have spent my days working on the crocheted coat and bonnet for the baby and finished them up today. Next I will work on the lace around the blanket for her.

Today we all seem a bit more hopeful that this wee one will make her appearance sooner than later. We all feel so tremendously blessed that everything looks so good.

I can't help but feel the hand of God in all this.
Each day, even with the difficulties, there has been hope and always prayers answered.

I do want to note here on my post about long hair. I have nothing at all against long hair on a woman of any age, its just in my humble opinion that when it gets to that stringy thin limp stage it just seems to look better put up or pulled back. Part of this might come from my years of seeing so many women look sweet with their hair pulled up and when age crept up on them, they just looked sweeter yet. More grandmotherly or something. I like that old world grandmother look. No doubt that makes me a bit of a strange one, but you can just imagine someone with a bun or braids wound round their head, baking cookies, knitting or taking loaves of fresh bread out of the oven, kneaded by hand, made with love. Apron on. Perhaps I am in my own mind defining what I want to look like as a Grannie.
There are times when I miss the freedom of having my hair covered, as in the Mennonite days. Bad hair days were just not an issue. Just pulled it up, and put on my head covering. Now I have to mess with it or just have everyone see that I am having a bad hair day ! However, I am not missing those days enough to want to go back to it !

The little outfit for Mei-Ling all done. Just need to finish the blanket and make some booties to go along with it. Its made of all cotton, nothing synthetic at all. Good for warm weather too that way.


We live in a society that seems uncomfortable with change, not in the progression of things around us, as in technology, but with ourselves. In our appearances, in our thinking and about our times in life.

I have been thinking about the changes in my family. Emery and I will go from being just parents to being parents and grandparents. Melanie, Casi, Steven and Priscilla are changing from being newlywed couples into parents. A new phase of life. Melissa will be heading back to school so she is changing from being a working professional into being a student. Changes. All good ones, positive and full of excitement. Life is ever changing and that's a good thing. Only, on so many levels we are uncomfortable with the changes that take place in ourselves. Think about this paragraph from the book, "The Art of Happiness" by the Dalia Lama and Howard Cutler M.D.

"The acceptance of change can be an important factor in reducing a large measure of our self-created suffering. So often, for instance, we cause our own suffering by refusing to relinquish the past. If we define our self-image in terms of what we used to look like or in terms of what we used to be able to do and can't do now, its a pretty safe bet that we won't grow happier as we grow older. Sometimes the more we try to hold on, the more grotesque and distorted life becomes."

Think about that a bit, its not just about how we look or how able we are to jump and run as we age, but its also about accepting the roles we enter in life and about how much we can change our minds about things as we learn more, understand more, attain more empirical knowledge.

Imagine for a moment the given changes in the first paragraph, imagine Emery and I refusing to accept becoming grandparents. (sadly most of us have known a few of these type in life) I have the new babies call me Patty instead of Grammy or whatever. I never share with anyone I meet that I have grandchildren. I seek after the fountain of youth in every new jar of promise to do this or that skin care product. It would seem fruitless, ridiculous and certainly a topic of much gossip within my circle of friends and family. Now imagine that Melanie, Casi, Steven and Priscilla refuse to accept this new phase of life. Perhaps they want to party all the time, live like college days, free of responsibility. That too is unacceptable, horrible to even imagine, but we know that there are young parents out there that live life like that, unwilling to accept growing up and becoming responsible. Some even carry it over to their Grannie days. Old ladies pretending they are young still. Wearing clothes not quiet suited to their age. Make up of the 70's plastered on their faces. We laugh at them. Make jokes about them, but really its sad.

Just like we all want our children to grow up and act their age, not stay tied to momma's apron strings and not make a life for themselves.

So here we are, in a culture that worships the look of youth and we find ourselves caught up in this madness to maintain something that is just not going to work. Every once in a while I see a woman who is in her 60's or so, hair beautiful healthy steel gray, styled simply, perhaps just to her shoulders, pulled back in a pony tail, sophisticated look to it. Her clothing, matching who she is, comfortable in where she is in life. Perhaps a blazer, nicely pressed slacks, or a summer dress maybe. Shoes comfortable yet pretty. This woman turns heads still, but for all the right reasons. She has class, she has found the joy in being where she is in life.

We see a few women in this area with long long hair, just left down. I think long hair is wonderful and understand well the religious reason for not cutting hair. At age 20, this long flowing hair is beautiful, at 30, it starts to need some additional styling but when you reach 50 and 60, its time to put it up. Give that hair some style and flare appropriate to your age. Long hair, left down at that point in life, starts to take on the look of old "Hippie". And you get lots of attention for it, but not the kind you want.

Holding on to the past serves no one. Same as holding on to old "stuff", (not talking heirlooms here), just stuff....things that really are just bogging us down. The "oh remember this" stuff that has no real emotional connection.

Life is full of change, and change can be such a blessing. Welcome it, make the most of it, keep it in perspective, and find the best of it and use it wisely.

I am looking forward to the changes in my life....that doesn't mean I plan to sit in the rocker and just grow old. I plan to live, enjoy, embrace and look for the best in each new phase of this ever changing life. Life is ever changing as it should be. Don't get stuck in trying to stay in the place you should be growing beyond. With life's changes, comes growth, healthy changes, wisdom and opportunity to redefine yourself.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Tough Day

Just a quick update on Melanie. It was a particularly difficult day for Melanie.
This afternoon she passed out from low blood sugar, it was just 39. We were all there visiting with her so able to get her help right away. But it was a real emergency situation.
Continue to keep her and the baby in your prayers. Mei-Ling seemed totally unaffected by the situation. Her heartbeat remained steady and she kept active.
We are hoping this wee one is born this coming week.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Quick Note

It's been another long day spent at the hospital. Melanie is in better spirits today, but still its hard to just be in bed, not comfortable all day long. They let her walk around a bit this afternoon which was nice for her.
Hard to know how long she will be in the hospital. We are hoping not more than another week.
Debbie, (my friend of 40 + years) and I got to do a bit of quilt fabric shopping today while we stepped out for lunch. I guess my heart was not into buying fabric as I just came out of the store with a spool of thread.
I have been working on Mei-Lings bonnet and coat to come home from the hospital in while we sit at Melanie's bedside. With all the hours to work on it, its coming along quite fast. Made of white crochet cotton, lacy and very delicate.

Steven and Priscilla found out today they will be having a baby girl. More pink ! Everything looks fine with the baby so far. Things made for this wee one will be plain but sweet.

I have to admit, tonight I am tired, a bit worried and just anxious for Melanie to safely deliver this tiny miracle. I can rest though, knowing they are in good hands. Casi stays with Melanie every night, sleeping by her bedside. The nurses care for her as though she was their family.
The hospital is truly a place of compassion and mercy. The staff is beyond wonderful. They all treat Melanie with such loving care and patience. Its wonderful to see.

I am heading off to the sofa, shoes off, comfy clothes, a huge glass of ice water and then just loose myself in some mindless television show for a couple hours.

Tomorrow, another day spent, helping my youngest daughter through this difficult time.

Keep them in your prayers ! I can't help but wish that our country had some sort of national health plan so these kids would not be so burdened with their part of all these hospital bills. We are doing what we can to help out but its just more than we can do. I know miracles do exist and somehow it will all work out for them.

When I came home this evening, I took a minute to look around and see the wonders of nature. Its refreshing to the soul.
A mockingbirds nest, with three eggs in the wisteria bush.

A rose, fragrent and beautiful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Color of Spring

Just a quick note to let you know how Melanie is doing. Its been a hard day for her. She is uncomfortable, discouraged at having to be in the hospital and just worn out. My heart aches for her. Its never fun to be hooked to so many monitors and wires and stuck in bed.

Keep her in your prayers.

On the way to the hospital this morning I stopped to take some pictures of the wildflowers growing in the field by the hospital. Along the roadsides, in all the pastures and the prairie lands, one sees wildflowers by the thousands. Dots of color amid the vibrant greens of April grasses.

The last picture is not a wildflower : )

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Grateful for Life

I am watching the television. They are talking about what happened at Virginia Tech. Such profound sadness, hurt, pain and I am sure anger at what just doesn't seem fair.
Tonight I feel especially blessed to have all my children safe and well, alive.
I have no idea why things like this shooting happen. Why God allows innocent people to perish at the hands of insanity. I have no answers. Yes, I know all the answers given in times like this. The standard things said by ministers, priests, rabbi's, clerics, chaplain's and then by well meaning people who have never lost someone to senseless tragedy. Yes, we have all heard that "we don't understand the ways of God" etc, and that about sums it up. It is a truth. We have no idea why.
I have no idea why some people are sick and some are not. I have no idea why some innocent children must live in cardboard boxes. I know all the answers you are thinking of now, but they are answers we are taught to believe, to say, but do we understand the how and why of things any better by saying them ? No. We just simply feel like there has to be some reason, so say what we have heard others tell us and think that gives some understanding to it all.

I am ever so thankful tonight that I can say goodnight to all my children, to my husband, to my father, to my sisters , to my best friend who is visiting. To many of my cousins and Aunt by email. I am so thankful they are all alive and well.
I am so thankful that breath is still in my own body.
I have no idea why I can say this tonight and someone else can't.

Tonight as I think of the days events in my own family, with Melanie and Mei-Ling, I am more convinced than ever that God is a merciful God to us, but.... I still don't understand why things like Virginia Tech happen to so many really good people who just simply do not deserve to suffer such pain. The reality is, its alright to not understand everything. It makes us human and God so much more than human. Deut 29:29 is my answer for the hard things in life. I am o.k. with not knowing, at least I feel that way tonight.
I frankly don't have God figured out, but if I did, then I would be much more than just a plain old human with limited understanding of something much bigger than myself. I can however in my limited understanding, trust that He knows what he is doing or allowing, at least most of the time.
There have been times I have questioned if He knew what He was doing.
You see, we don't need to understand God, we just have to have faith in Him. Hard to do that always, especially if you are the kind that wants proof or certainties or logic or reason.

I am grateful tonight for all that really matters. Its not the big or small house, the new car or the old car, the dryer or the clothesline, the long skirt or the slacks, the King James version or the New International Version. Simple life or the not so simple life. It's not the amount of linens you own or the size of the fabric stash, its not the pretty blog or the boringly plain blog, its not having 500 hits a day or 50 hits on your blog a day. Its not any of that. It's about having family and friends, healthy and loving. It's having faith... the simple faith of a child, the kind that feels like when Dad is home everything will be alright. I always felt that way as a child. My dad could do anything and handle anything. My girls felt that way about their dad growing up too. Its a good object lesson for how we feel about God as a Father.
What matters is knowing that whatever happens, God will somehow help you through it, even if you don't feel Him there right at first. Even after you shake your fist at Him in anger. Knowing He will still be at the helm, in control even in an out of control world.

Its hard for me to chat about the silly things today, and yes in the big scheme of things , just about every thing besides life and faith seems a bit silly to write about, in the face of such loss of life in a quiet college. I know war goes on daily with so many people dying, and nuts go on shooting rampages, hurting so many lives. Its all hard and painful. Not one more than another really.
But today, a new recipe seems insignificant and so doesn't pretty baby clothes. Tonight I am reminded, its the baby's life that counts , not the pink outfit. Sure I know all these little things make life more fun, but just tonight, this one night, put aside the thoughts of the little things in life and be truly grateful for LIFE itself. Life is HUGE. Nothing little or insignificant about it to any other living person.
What really counts, is knowing your family is safe tonight.
Call your children, if they are grown, even if you are at odds with them. Swallow any pride or self righteousness, if you have some grudge against a family member and be thankful for the very breath that enters the body of that loved one and tell them so.
Oh life is indeed short and something to be cherished, along with faith and hope.

I am having trouble loading a photo, so gave up the idea and am leaving this just as it is.
Time now for bed !

News on Melanie

Just wanted to update everyone. The babies heart beat looked fine today. She was kicking a lot and was kicking and pushing her umbilical cord the entire time they did a sonogram on her. Feisty little girl !
The Doctor is still concerned about the situation since this is such a high risk pregnancy and hopes to keep Mei-Ling where she is until her lungs are more developed. Even though she is already a good size, her lungs are not developed completely. In view of all that, the Doctor is keeping her in the hospital until the baby is born. We hope that is not more than a couple weeks.
Melanie is pretty discouraged. Casi is worried. I hate seeing these newly weds have so much on their plate at one time.

Your prayers have been such a blessing and I know God heard them all as the baby was so active today it was hard for them to keep the monitors on her.

Steven and Priscilla were not able to keep their appointment to find out if they are have a girl or a boy. They rescheduled for Thursday.

Debbie has spent the entire day with me at the hospital, that is a good friend !
I will keep you posted about about any changes.
Just keep praying !

Monday, April 16, 2007

Melanie News, Prayers Needed

Melanie is in the hospital. She could not feel the baby move today so we took her in to be checked. While they were monitoring her the babies heartbeat went down to 70, so they are concerned and are keeping her in the hospital until its time for her to have the baby. They are probably going to do an amniocentesis this week to check for the lung development and then they will probably just take the baby if the lungs are sufficient. Melanie and Casi are pretty scared. Please keep them in your prayers. The Power of prayer is amazing and we must never forget that.
Melissa is without electricity from the storm, and probably will be until the end of the week. It's cold up there and things are just not functioning well in the city. Melissa went shopping for some food supplies and the store was dark and cash only. We can still praise God for His mercy that everyone is safe.

I spent the morning working on the day gown for Mei-Ling to come home from the hospital in. All that is left are the button holes and sewing on the tiny buttons. Tonight in the hospital, at Melanies bedside, I worked on the hand stitching parts of the dress, praying with each stitch for a healthy little one, in due time.

Will keep you all posted on how Melanie and Mei-Ling are doing. I will be spending the day at the hospital tomorrow to keep her company and help in any way I can.

The babies day gown almost finished ! glad I have a doll for trying it on for size

Sewing in a Sea of Pink

Like my true self, I have waited to the very last minute to get going on the day gown for the baby to come home from the hospital in. I just purchased the rest of the lace I needed this weekend. I enjoy working under pressure, waiting until the last minute to get things done. Emery is the opposite and when I was doing some office work for him from home years ago, he was getting pretty nervous waiting for me to start a policy and procedure book that had a very specific time line. I finished it in the wee hours of the morning, before it had to be turned in.

I try to start things early but I just simply work better under pressure.

The day gown will be fun to put together today, but to be honest, I am fighting this urge to head outside and wander around under the blue sky and in the soft morning air.

Tonight I will start a sweater and hat for the baby out of crochet cotton. I made a sweater and hat out of soft baby yarn, but we think it might be too warm for the baby as Texas has warmed up quite a bit lately.
Last night I was talking with Melissa and telling her that when I made their baby outfits for them to come home from the hospital, I had planned on them becoming heirloom traditions. Outfits they could use for their babies, but Melanie's outfit was made for March weather, so its a nice warm sweater and blanket and told Melissa, simply because her outfit is summery she will have a winter in Vermont baby, (this was also a very subtle hint).

So much for my good planning 27 and 25 years ago.

Tomorrow Steven and Priscilla have their ultrasound. Hope by noon time we know what they will be having so I can finally start shopping and making things for the newest Lockwood baby.

I have to say, sewing, knitting and crocheting for a new baby in the family is ever so much more fun than just making other things.

There is something so special about having your family all around you and seeing the family grow. Being part of the second generation. Seeing your children grow into loving caring parents.

The love just grows and grows. Can't think of any blessing greater than to be surrounded by family. I can sort of guess now how my grandmother used to feel on Sunday afternoons when all my aunts and uncles would come to our house, all the cousins in tow and fill the house up.

A blessing beyond words. It reminds me of Proverbs 31... Its not just about the work that a wife and mother does, its about having family all around her to do it for, that is the blessing.
"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her "
The goal for me is beyond the crafts, the sewing, the running of a tidy home, the buying of land. It is to always have my children call me blessed and my husband too !

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I've Been Tagged Wikipedia Meme

I've been tagged ! Revee from tagged me for this Wikipedia MeMe.This is the way it works:

1. Go to Wikipedia and type in the month and day you were born. (For me--August 15th).

2. List three events that occurred that day:
1877 Thomas Edison makes the first-ever recording - "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
1947 India gains independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth (George VI of the United Kingdom also became King of India). Jawaharlal Nehru addresses the nation with the Inidan Declaration of Independence and takes office as the first Prime Minister of India
1969 The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opens.

3. List two important birthdays:

1769 Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French
1912 Julia Child American cook

4. List one death:
1057 King Macbeth of Scotland

5. Tag five friends to do the same: (If they want to!)
LaTeaDah at
Sunny at
Rondi at
Rowan at
Rapunzel at

Pictures of the Tornado Damage

On the way home from the airport, nearing Ft Worth, this was the view from the highway, of the damage done by the tornado last night. The other side of the highway told a similar story but I was unable to take a picture on that side as the traffic was moving too fast. On the way home the traffic at this spot was going at a snails pace, allowing for some picture taking. Metal roof tops and big signs were flung about as if they were soft pieces of fabric, draping trees in some odd fashion. Buildings reduced to rubble. Trees snapped as if they were toothpicks. Homes left without roof-tops. Huge trucks tossed on top of each other and stacked three high. We in Texas are counting our blessings that so few were hurt by this storm.
If you click the pictures you can see them better.

Family Night Almost Complete

We celebrated the arrival of my friend Debbie, known always as Auntie Debbie to my children, by going out for pizza. Steven, Priscilla, Melanie, Casi, Debbie, Emery and I, spent the evening enjoying each others company as family should. Only one problem, we all missed having Melissa and James with us so Emery phoned Melissa to say hello and tell them we missed them. A phone call is not the same, but its better than no phone call ! The children came back to the house and we visited for a few more hours. What a good feeling it is to have our children all around us. To see them all happy and interacting in such a good way is nothing less than a blessing. After driving by all the destruction left by the tornado last night on the way to and from the airport, it makes you so grateful for so many things.

Its great having Debbie here with us. The best part is that its not like having company, its just like having family with you. No big fuss, just fun and lots of laughter.
Steven and Priscilla
Casi, Melanie & Emery
Emery on the phone to Melissa

Friday, April 13, 2007

Safe in His Care

When we first moved to this town, people would sort of jokingly say, "ah, you moved to the Holy City". They said it's called that because it is a praying town, a town of almost all Seventh Day Adventist and that it seems protected from bad weather. Storms can be all around this town, but miss it completely. Two years ago Melanie and I heard and saw funnel clouds roar over our street. 8 to be exact, yet not a one touched down in our town, they had touched down before it reached us and then after leaving it. It wasn't the last time we have known of funnel clouds going back up as they reached this town. I cannot tell you the number of times that hail has fallen every place other than our town . So, although the "Holy City" title is somewhat of a joke, maybe there is something to it being protected most of the time. Tonight was one of the times we were spared any really bad weather. Makes you think a bit about the power of prayer. There are lots of praying folks in this town.

We watched the TV most of the evening, seeing the reports of the storm damage and the whole time counting our blessings and feeling "Safe in His Care" (the title of a favorite Mennonite book of mine published by Rod and Staff) . Times like this makes me feel so sure about what I believe and cherish as a belief system. I suppose it goes along with the saying, "there are no atheist in a fox hole". I am NO atheist, never was and never will be, but there are times when I just am not sure how small a box to try and squeeze my concept of God into. At times I wonder if God just has many names and that perhaps there is more than one way to reach Him. Does that make any sense ? Church doctrines seem to make God seem so narrow minded and make us think we can understand the how and why of Him. It also can give us a belief in Him that seems exclusive to us and make us sure we alone have the truth. That bothers me. We inadvertently put human limits on something so much greater than our comprehension. The nerve of us ! However, church places us with like minded people, you go to church hopefully with folks that share most of your belief system. Without church, I miss that sense of community. And its familiar. Its a struggle for me to go to church and a struggle to not go.

Anyway, I know He cares for me and my family. We as a family have felt the blessings of this Higher Power in our lives over and over. Times that are frightening seem to drive us to our knees. Make us sure of what we believe in. Maybe James sums it up for me in this verse, which I have loved since I was knee high to a grasshopper...Jame 1: 2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
The house tonight, all is calm. Simple and full of peace.
A cute sign I found at Goodwill this week. Pretty wise too.

Bad Weather and the Joy of Roses

Days like today always make me feel a bit uneasy. The weather is unstable. Television shows are being interrupted over and over with warnings. Tornado's spotted to the west. Many miles off yet but heading this way. Huge hail, very strong damaging winds of up to 90 m.p.h. The sky has that odd look to it. The air feels heavy and oppressive. Not a bird is singing and even my chickens are staying put in their hen house.

I have tried to stay busy, cleaning the house for the weekend, but there is a nervousness to my work. Always looking out the window, opening the door and looking at the sky.

Since heavy rain and hail may come our way, I took a few minutes to cut some roses as the weather can be hard on them. What joy they give me. Their color, the way the petals curl upon themselves and unfold into another form of beauty. The way their scent fills a room with that romantic rose aroma. Just wonderful medicine for a day with stress.
The good Lord has always watched over us so there is no real fear, just that uncertainty that is born of threatening skies.

I chose pink font as it just feels restful as the weather radio spouts off warning after warning.
The storms have arrived. Tornado touch downs in Ft Worth. I am signing off and saying a few prayers.

Melanie Update

Melanie was sent home, sorta.... not home exactly as she is on her way into the big city to see the specialist. She had an appointment with him already, so its not any emergency thing. Will know more later and will let you know the details. I think there may be a few more gray hairs to cover by the end of this pregnancy.
It is Friday the 13th which in my thinking would be a birthday people would always make some comment about, so if Mei-Ling chooses another day to be born, she is showing some real signs of being a visionary : )

Thinking About God

The past few days I have been thinking some about our perception of God these days. Its changing with the times, about the same as we have changed our thoughts about what makes a good father.

In my mothers day, it was accepted to have a dad that was kind, took care of his family, but he could be not all that emotionally attached and that was fine. Most often, his work kept him occupied and in the evening it was his time. Often dads of days gone by were stern and authoritative. The ruler of the home.

My generation started to expect something more. We wanted a dad that was connected to what we were doing, experiencing and feeling. Think about the movie Love Story, it has so much to do with how the father was not really invested in his son, and used a strong contrast of a very personal relationship with the girls father. There was a serious message about fatherhood in the song, Cats in the Cradle.

We wanted more than just rules, and a long list of unspoken expectations. When we see examples of what a good father looks like today, we see a dad playing with his children, or see a dad portrayed as having a listening ear and most assuredly the kind of dad that is involved.

The desire to have a Heavenly Father be personal and connected has changed with the times too. My parents generation saw their relationship with God as formal, and when they went to church, the list of expectations and the do's and don'ts were the main focus of the sermon. There was no "feel good" sermons. Oh, Gods love was certainly mentioned but it really was conditional, "IF you love me and keep my commandments" sort of thing. Church now is different for many. There are designer churches, multi-media, entertainment filled events that show God as a tender loving Father that accepts us for simply loving Him. We want our God to fit into our touchy feely side. I am not saying this is bad. People stop going to church if all they preach is "hell fire and brimstone". Its too much like an unfeeling, not connected type father figure people now refuse to accept. To be honest, I have no idea where this will take us in the great scheme of things, but I sure don't want to go sit in a pew for an hour and hear how bad I am and how bad everyone else in the place is too. My dad is a great guy and he never ruled with an iron fist, my parents just were nice and you never wanted to disappoint them, because you KNEW how much they loved you and it would hurt them to go off the deep end and be rotten. I think now a days, we want that kind of relationship with God, not the stern father figure many of us grew up with. It always seemed to me, that praying to Jesus was like when I wanted to do something I had an idea would not go over well with my parents. I knew if I asked my dad, softened him up some, then he would talk to my mother and convince her it was o.k. since my dad was the softie in the family. My mother was the tougher of the two. Emery is the softie in our family too.

With the times, things change. It used to be enough that someone said something was so. You read in the newspaper that a huge beast was found and you accepted it. Now with so much networking and technology we want proof and we question everything. When a picture of Jesus appears on some surface, some folks flock to that spot and accept it as a miracle. But then there is the rest of us, who want to check out the angle of the light, see if its rigged in some way, dissect it, and find the scientific explanation of the thing. Miracles are just not what they used to be. If the mountain shakes, we say its an earthquake or volcanic eruption, not God being home and shaking things up. We question how much of an amazing thing can be chance or is it Gods hand working in our lives. Our whole concept of God is changing and not sure too many of us have realized just how much it has.

Even as I write these thoughts out, my mind is racing, thinking about all the changes just in my own lifetime. Ministers, priests and Rabbi's are no longer seen as the final authority. We now understand they are not always what they should be so we watch them like hawks. We don't accept everything they teach, we question it, check it against the scriptures and then decide what we want to do with it. They are rated by the number that attend their congregation.

It sure must be a tough job these days.

I personally want to know a God that is compassionate, full of love, not a war monger or revengeful God. I am among the masses that want to have a heavenly Father that is like the ideal concept of a father. Changing times, changing ideas and certainly changing religion, even if we don't like the idea of it. The wheel is already in motion .

Contractions !

Just wanted to tell you, Melanie is in the hospital with contractions. Not sure if they are THE contractions that get things going or not, but it sure feels like Mei-Ling is getting impatient to make her appearance.
Will keep ya posted ! Put fresh batteries in the camera, just in case

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Simply Wonderful, Simple Day

The wind is blowing, change is in the air. Stormy weather arrives tomorrow. The night air is soft coming in the window, the lace curtains fluttering in the breeze.
One can't help but notice the slight chill and the added humidity. It feels good on my skin. My feet are cold though. Need to have socks on.
Emery and I spent some time rearranging furniture for our guest nursery. A crib, a changing table, the pram. Life cycles are powerful things, full of love.
I just heard the sounds of some strange creature outside. Not a noise I was familiar with. A small mammal, to be sure, just not sure what kind. Clouds are now filling in the black spots in the night sky. Racing. Most of the trees are fully leaved out, only the slow nut trees are sparsely decorated with foliage. Again, a life cycle. Powerful teachers for us, provided we look and learn.
Sleepiness is overcoming me. Thoughts of my comfortable bed are taking over. A peacefulness fills the silent house. Emery is already asleep, not far from me. I can hear his steady restful breathing. I love that man. I love his breath, his eyes, his hands, the way his watch fits his wrist. His smile, the way he stands, his devotion to me and the children. His kindness and work ethic. The way he looks at me across the room or across the table, or even when he is sitting right next to me. The way he laughs, and the sound of his voice on the phone each time he calls me during the day.
I love his quick wit, his love of learning, his profound intelligence. I love his farm stories. His strength of character that made him different from his family. His love of history and of facts never bores me.
Yup, its love through and through for us. Nice feeling. There are no empty spots in my life that need to be filled up with things. My life is full of love. Just another simply wonderful, simple day that now is done. Sleep is calling me. I willingly surrender to the sandman who sprinkles sleepy dust upon my eyes.
Emery riding down the road to Melanie's house this afternoon.
The sun, with clouds, and rays. Makes you know something much bigger than us is running the show.

A Gorgeous Day and Other Good Things

Not only is the weather heavenly, but Melanie is feeling so much better, just having the worry gone, over going into labor too soon has made a huge difference for her. She and I went out for lunch today and she looked radiant to me, now of course I am her mother and mothers are always a slight bit prejudice about their children, but to me she looked beautiful.

The roses bushes are full of blooms, the sun is shining in a cloudless blue sky. The temperature is just about what you would expect paradise to feel like.

There are just blessings all around me. Emery got off work early today and is working on the fencing. It always gives me this feeling of complete peace when my dear gentle-man is working around the place. It seems so right, so good and gives me a feeling that nothing in our little world could go wrong.

This afternoon, Melanie showed me what she has packed for the hospital and I nodded and smiled at how thorough she has been in planning. My girls are both so good at planning for what they need in any given situation. I am missing Melissa lots, wishing she was going to be here for this momentous occasion, when the first of the new generation comes into the world. Melissa and Melanie are so close, it seems strange for them to be apart during this important time. Distance is tough at any time, but harder during special times.

I feel blessed each day of my life. You know in the end its never going to be about how much you have, what you do with your hands for crafts, or how well you cook, how long you stayed young looking, how many shoes you have, how long your dress was, if you just wore dresses, how many days a week you went to church, its going to be about your relationships with your family and those around you. Its going to be about the you that you were to your family behind the 4 walls of your house. Because, it's really all about who we are on the inside and how that translates to our life on the outside. They say the very elderly become more of who they really were in life. If you hid anger and resentment most of your life and just kept it inside or hidden from the public, well when your old, that's what just comes out of you. If you were always kind, compassionate and loving, then you just become more of that. The choice is in how you live now to those closest to you and to the world at large. Road rage ? Impatience in the check-out line at the store ? Anger over something minor that grows and grows until it takes on a life of its own and you no longer would recognize the real story ? Jealousy ? Anger over little things like crumbs left on the counter ? Resentment because someone else got the credit you thought you deserved ? You see, we face these things daily, and our reaction belongs to us alone. These reactions show what our hearts are like. That's whats going to count in the end. Its really all about how we treat others and about the peace we have in our hearts even when no one is watching.

Now for the pictures
Melanie consented to a zillion photos being taken of her, well o.k. that is an exaggeration, it was no more than well, lets just say a lot ! Here are some I especially like.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Some Really Really Good News

Amazing things happen when you believe they will. Prayers were answered today in a big way.
Dr Doom, was nothing but positive. He told Melanie she is now to the point where the baby can safely come at any time. Melanie is ready to have this baby. Matter of fact the Doctor told Melanie she can walk some, and doesn't have to be on complete bed rest now. We will no longer call him Dr Doom !
So we went shopping to Babys R Us today, and had a great time. She will only need to take the medication to stop the contractions from doing their work, one more week.
We are all so happy and honestly, Melanie looked like a huge weight was lifted off her shoulders as soon as we left the Doctors office.

Now, if I was a betting woman, I would say this baby will be born a week from tomorrow !

Thanks everyone for your prayers and well wishes, they sure are working and I am convinced, positive thinking and assurance are powerful things.
a local wildflower

Thinking Blog Award

This Thinking Blogger thing has had me thinking for a couple weeks now. It's not a choice I take lightly. This is something I take seriously. The blog writer has to make me think, stretch my brain, go places in my thinking that I might not ever go on my own. I read several very nice blogs. Most blogs are the Martha Stewart type blogs and I enjoy them, but they don't make me think about social issues, ethics, moral issues or set my brain to working on a level that can be called deep thinking. Pretty is nice but those blogs deserve a category all their own.
Thanks to all who have given me the Thinking Blogger Award. You have made me feel very honored. I bow humbly to all of you for your kindness. It is my desire to write words that make you think, to step outside the box a bit with me.

The criteria for this award is to select '5 Blogs That Make Me Think'. Once tagged, should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.The award developer reminds: Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all - blogs that really get you thinking!
My choice blogs for the thinking blog award are....
Ah, now this girl makes me think. Of course we have known each other for oh 30 some years and I always considered her a good thinker. But her blog takes me places in my brain that they need to go. I like what she writes about. I like the way she takes you into her thinking, into her experiences of daily life and has you sitting there saying to yourself, "yeah, that's right ".
Rondi, so much for being a private little blog now ! Rondi's blog is just down right interesting

Sunny's Blog at
Now this too is an old friend, not that she is old, but that we have known each other for so many years I have lost count. Since the 1960's. She is one of my all time favorite people in the world, wonder if she knew that ? She is one of those rare jewels in life that never plays games and she is a thinker. She is fun, but still has this ability to see the deeper meaning of life. There is not a boring bone in her body or in her blog. And she makes you think about things without you even realizing it sometimes. Smart girl

Rapunzel, at
this is a relatively new blog to me, but I know and knew from the start that this gal and I are kindred spirits. Love her blog. She writes well and says important things.

Eat Peace Please at
Leslie writes about food, shares recipes with you but there is something much deeper going on, there is a social conscience to her food. She makes me THINK about what I should be eating.
Temporary Reality found at
Honest, goes beyond telling the everyday happenings by bringing you into her thoughts and what those thoughts mean or can mean. I really like the honesty of this blog

And if my friend Dr Harper had a blog, (hint hint), I know his would make me think.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Day in Photos

It was simply a nice day. Nothing profound, just nice. Restful, fun, (went to Goodwill and found just the ice cream maker I have been wanting) Pretty sunshine in the afternoon. Watched the mockingbirds work on their nest. Saw my first hummingbird of the season. Walked to Melanie's house and on the way home saw my dear sweet gentle-man standing in the road, arms open wide, to welcome me. Sorta like those old commercials when lovers went running towards each other in slow motion. It was just a great moment. He was home for lunch, but I was not expecting him.

Melanie had her appointment with the specialist in the big city. Baby is extremely healthy. Had a perfect apgar score, which I had no idea they do in utero. Modern times ! Mei-Ling is a chubby little one, 7 lbs 6 oz now. She would be a huge baby if allowed to stay in her mommy full term. Melanie will be 34 weeks on Thursday but the Dr said he would guess her to be 36 weeks.

Tomorrow is Dr Doom day, but Melanie has a report from the specialist, telling Dr Doom how great the baby looks and how healthy she is. Melanie needs to keep a copy of that report to read after she comes out from Dr D's office.

You know, life is really good. There are hard things, like Melanie being so sick so many times during the pregnancy, and having strong contractions all day long, but then there is the blessing of the healthy wee one, and the medication to stop the contractions from causing her to go into full labor. There is the joy of love all around me. A long afternoon chat on the phone with Melissa. I miss her, really do. She is such a great person, and yes, I do wish they could move back to Texas, and she wishes she and James were back here too. Texas is a good place to live.

I had a good walk around the land this afternoon, just as the sun was heading west, giving the trees such a dash of late afternoon sun that it stopped me in my tracks, just because it looked so pretty. The insects were flying here and there, buzzing around me. The birds singing so loudly, it seemed like someone was playing one of those nature CD's a bit too loud. A big flock of cow birds had settled on the open land next to ours, looking like chocolate sprinkles on a green frosted cake.

Made me smile just to think that.
Took a deep breath, fresh cool air filled my lungs, felt good, so I breathed in deeper, longer, counting to 10 on the inhale and holding it for 10 and exhaling for 10. Did that several times. Clearing out the cobwebs. Filling my body with fresh energy and this feeling of delight in being alive, being so healthy, so full of energy. There was work waiting for me in the house, so the moment had to end. The chickens saw me walking away and came right with me, like a mix matched army. So much to smile about in a day, outside, watching the things in my world. So much better than just sitting in the house, letting all those things pass me by.

The mockingbird nest being built in the wisteria

This old Tom cat belongs to the neighbors, but he prefers hanging around our place more than home. They have some not so gentle children. He gets no peace when he is home.

One of my yellow roses

Apricots all over the tree, can't wait 'till they ripen

50 Things That Make You Happy

Every once in a while I make a list for myself of 50 things that make me happy. There are certain things like family that are always on the list, and roses seem to make each list, but as the seasons change, or my mood, there are new additions to the list.

It's a bit therapeutic to make lists of the things that make us happy and going beyond 10 or 20 things makes you think, makes you think about the good in life and how far it reaches. I keep a few of these lists and take them out and look at them when its a "not so good" of a day.

Make yourself a list, have your husband make a list, have your children make a list, they can have 20 things on the list, 50 is a lot for some small children.

And if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged !

here is my list of 50 things today that make me happy... they are not in any particular order.

1. Emery, everything about him !
2. Melissa & James
3. Melanie & Casi
4. Steven & Priscilla
5. My dad
6. My sisters
7. My old friends, yes Rondi and Sunny, thats means you. Peggy are you out there ???
8. My Cousins and Aunts
9. Bird feeders
10. Roses
11. Kittens
12. The new duckling
13. Lilacs
14. Hollyhocks
15. The green of spring
16. Faith
17. Hope
18. Belief
19. That the world is not a random happening
20. People that reach beyond themselves to help others
21. Fabric
22. Whole Foods Market
23. Hand knit socks in wild colors
24. Starbucks with a friend
25. Swimming
26. snow
27. A field of bluebonnets
28. Hiking with Emery all day
29. Good champagne
30. Dancing in the living room with Emery
31. Phone calls from my children
32. Becoming a grandma
33. That Melanie wants me there when the baby is born
34. The feel and smell of a leather bound book
35. Holding hands with Emery
36. Being married
37. Being able to always be home and not have to work
38. Memories of the homeschool years
39. Brunch at LaMadelines
40. A great bargain
41. Old linens
42. A letter in the mail
43. learning a new story about my ancestors
44. The scent of roses on fresh sheets
45. Wildcrafting herbs
46. Kite flying
47. Blowing bubbles with Emery on a windy day
48. having the house all clean
49. Baking a treat that everyone loves
50. knowing the my days of using dial up are almost over !
51. yes, I know I said 50 but...when the scale says I have lost weight, that always makes me happy !!!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sermons We See

Sermons We See

Edgar Guest

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advise you give,
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence,
I say, I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.

Edgar Guest is one of my all time favorite poets. Matter of fact I have two first editions of his books of poetry. His works are real, regular and honest. Just the things that make it good.
On a different note...
Melanie goes in the morning to the Hospital to have the baby's heart rate checked, and then sees "Dr Doom" on Wednesday, (for that I pray his words be kind and not full of woe). Keep them in your prayers. Also Melanie and Casi are all feeling a bit overwhelmed today, three very large medical bills came in the mail this afternoon. So many worries for such a young couple.

A Little Clarification on the Last Post

Just a little clarification on the last post...its not that anyone has said anything unkind to me of late, that is not what prompted the post. More like I have heard from so many people who are afraid to say what they feel, what thoughts they have, in sheer fear of being judged and thus put away as some infidel, some heretic, for even having thoughts that question what they have been taught, or what they have faith in.

I have been shunned, not in the Amish style, by not even being looked at, but still ignored as if my thoughts on the book, The Secret or my response to those who did attack me over the subject, ( I simply replied in kind, spoke the same language they did).

As a people, we are so uncomfortable with honest thoughts, no matter where they end up, where they take us. We may just be wandering in the wilderness, seeking our own spiritual experience and not just accepting the experience of our parents, our teachers, our pastors or our church doctrine. We may just be discovering that truth, truth for all mankind can come from many places. Is the truth of these sentences any different, simply because of their source ?

Is the truth different because a different man spoke them ?

Jesus: "Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." Matthew 25:45

Buddha: "If you do not tend to one another, then who is there to tend you? Whoever would tend me, he should tend the sick." Vinaya, Mahavagga 8:26.3

To be honest, I am sad because so many folks sit in judgement of others and condemn people for some of the very same things they have done in the past. Are we not all on the same journey to find peace, love and acceptance, but not all walking the same pace, with the same map.

What does it say in the Bible, "he who is without sin, cast the first stone". Why do we forget that saying ? Why do we lunge after someone with a speck in their eye, while a post sits in our own ?

Why do we need to make ourselves feel better by pointing out the faults in another ? Is not our own place in Gods kingdom enough to make us feel secure ?

We need to change, we need to not look at ourselves as so holy and above others that we can decide to cast them off because they are not as "good" as we are. Examine yourself, and see if you have decided not to be friends with someone any longer simply because they are not where you think they should be. Examine yourself to see if you have judged your children harshly and cast them off because they are living differently than you. Did you once live like that ? Has Christ cast you off for your hard heart or your cherished sins ? Has Christ disowned you because you are a wayward child in your heart, despite what you appear in public ?

We need to change or our young people will certainly not WANT what WE have, if what we HAVE is rotten fruit.

Many times we wonder why kids join gangs, why they seek out like minded people that are a bit off the mainstream. Might it be because they feel accepted ? Would it not be better to have such a relationship with God, like Mother Teresa or some other such person of unconditional love that young people want what we have and seek to know what makes us so full of peace, love and acceptance ?

Christ loved even the unlovable and they in turn loved Him. Peter denied him, not once but three times. Christ loved him regardless. Shouldn't we give our own children, our own friends the same love as Christ gives them. The reason our love for Him can grow, is knowing He will love us no matter how many times we fail. Invite your wayward children over, show them true love, that doesn't mean you have to compromise the mechanics of your home, but welcome them with loving arms and in your actions show them what the love of God is about. Give them something they want for themselves. Be a warm loving example of true godliness.

He loves us, even though we fail over and over. We fall on our knees daily for forgiveness and His hand is not shortened towards us. Don't we need to be the same ?

I just want to see a change in how people treat one another.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Monday Morning Thoughts, We need Revival !

There are days when I feel that my blog is pointless, serving only as a cyber journal for me. It's no doubt just a bit of a mood, but its also a true and honest feeling for the day. I wonder if its worth all the shunning to be honest about my thoughts and feelings, but I am not the type of person to just write about small talk.

We live in a time when honesty of thought is not often looked upon with favor. Ignorance is indeed bliss in many instances. A few examples of what I mean.

I know a woman who is admired throughout the town, she goes to church, she home schooled, has delightful children, she is always "in order", however she has been very careful and justifiably so, to never allow anyone to know what her true life is like, she has said, no one would be her friend, despite that she is the very same person. Her children, just as orderly, her sincerity just as real, her laughter and kindness just as honest. She is wise enough to know, she is liked for what people assume about her. They assume she is very mainstream. Once the truth be known, that she is quite the opposite, she would never be liked, even though people have liked her for years and admired her for what they see. She has never lied to anyone about her life, never told any falsehood, she just never told everyone all the facts. She actually has TWO husbands. They all live together in one house, everyone assumes one man is a friend that rents a room. Now, if people find out the truth, she knows full well, they will all drop her like a hot potato, no matter that she is the same person she was before they knew. So the truth to our friendships seems to depend more on appearance rather than reality. And any help we could give, cut off by our own feeling of superiority that makes us run in the other direction, never helping one bit.

When I served as an Elder in the Seventh-Day Adventist church, (don't get smug reading that, you could use any denomination in place of SDA, as its the same in all ) people would come to me for counselling. They would pour out their hearts regarding problems. I might learn that the very elder that prayed in church this week for revival was the very man that cheated on his wife. And the very conference worker that sat in high places molested his now grown daughter. It was hard for me to look at those men and have compassion and not judge them. The judgement part is Gods job after all and it was only my job to show them God loves the sinner and them point them in the right way and let God do the work. This isn't a denominational thing, its a people thing. Its in every single church. I could tell you just as many conservative Mennonite stories. Many more actually about the young people that are condemned for wondering, thinking, stepping outside the Mennonite box. Just for thinking they are punished.

You see, all of us have issues, questionings, times of doubt and un-belief of some sort.

One church worker who was asked to speak around the world called me to help her out while she had surgery. I said "sure", "anything", not expecting to hear what I did. Would I go to her house every day at 10 am and pick up any credit card bills that came in the mail, before her husband came home for lunch. It seems she had a shopping habit that was way out of control and was about to sink them and she was keeping it all from her husband. You see, people all have struggles and as long as people don't know about them, they can keep their "righteous" friends. All these folks had one thing in common, fear of letting anyone know their troubles because they would be condemned and turned on, not loved and helped through it. Such is the Christian mindset. I say it needs to be changed. I say it need reformation ! You have all heard the saying, "love the sinner, hate the sin", well lets start doing that. I can just look at my own life and see this treatment is all too real. I write about my doubts, my concerns, my questionings and suddenly they are written in stone in peoples minds and I am shunned for being honest about what many people silently wonder and debate in their own hearts. How many of you reading this have wondered about WHO God is and WHAT He is about ? Even questioning, if He is real. That doesn't mean you STAY in that mindset, but it is in your thoughts.

I know too many people to count that condemn young people for having pre-marital relations and will shun them, cut them out of their lives, yet, they themselves were not very pure when they married. They will even tell you about some kind Christian who never judged them but pointed them in the right direction and changed their lives, while they "lived in sin" yet they themselves turn from that very opportunity to be like that one person who helped them.

You see judging and turning from someone, actually cuts you off from being that light in a dark place. You are running from the opportunity to be Christ like.

Is our faith and belief so weak that we are afraid of contamination ? Are we that high and mighty that we have the right to look down on the very soul Christ died to save ?

Its not just the bum on the street we need to show compassion to, but to the woman with two husbands, the pagan who lives a secret life, the child who lives with someone they are not married to, the woman that shops for more than she can afford, the person who is slowing killing themselves by over eating, the young man taking drugs after church on Sunday, the teenager who questions if there is a God, the man who talks about himself all day long, telling you how good a person he is, the girl in the pew behind you who looks so pure but is mentally taking apart each person she sees and saying negative things about everyone. You see, we are fall short and we all have need for unconditional love. Christ showed us, told us and commands us to not judge but to love one another as we love ourselves.

Cutting people off, and out of your life, may just be cutting out the one connection they would have that could show them by your kindness and love, the way that is true.

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...