Monday, June 30, 2008

The Lord is My Strength

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms....If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 4:10-11

Although I've read this verse a multitude of times, it has never meant so much to me as it does today. I have always mentally translated the word "strength" to mean an inner strength, emotional strength, spiritual strength. Last week God provided me with physical strength to serve His people in Mexico. For the past month or so, my herniated disk has been causing more and more pain and debilitation. Two weeks ago, I seriously contemplated backing out of the mission trip, thinking to myself "what am I doing, I can hardly walk, much less do construction work." What a mistake that would have been. What limitations we put on the power of God. Each day God was put to the test, and each day He blessed beyond my imagination.

I grew up in the mission field. My dad spent many years growing the church in Canada. I know that he and Mom have made a difference. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have made a difference. Me. I'm no longer a missionary's daughter. I am a missionary. The Mexican people have a place in my heart. I will return.

A day-by-day summary of our trip will be posted in the next few days.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bapa's Girl

Friday night we had a sleep-over with Lauren. It was Trista's highschool reunion weekend and Jacob had made plans to stay with his uncle. So Lauren had us all to herself. The evening (and morning) confirmed my suspicions that she is definitely Papa's (she says it with a B) girl. I had hoped that she simply gravitated toward him by default. Jacob is always the first in the door and makes a b-line for Nana. With Nana's arms full, I assumed Lauren's second choice was Papa. This time the sibling competition was absent, and she STILL glued herself to "Bapa." Saturday morning, when she began to stir, I went in to say "good morning" and brushing the hair from her eyes and squinting up at me, her first words were "where's Bapa?". We had tons of fun with her, taking her to Pizza Hut, playing outside, endless book-reading, pretending to be Gassy (her name for Gracie--which may be a more appropriate name for the basset). She was ready for bed around 9:00 and asked for her mi'k, then her bankit and binky. Slept right through until about 9:15 Saturday morning.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Photography Plug

I'm a little slow. Last month Jeremy's family had portraits done, and when I saw the proofs, I scanned 3 of them and posted them on my blog. Ooops! That probably wasn't the most ethical thing to do, as they really weren't mine to post. Please forgive me Jenny. In order to try to make good from my honest (really and truly) mistake, I must just tell you about this amazing photographer. She took Lauren's first professional portraits at 2 weeks old. They were adorable and I still display my 10 x 14 and two 5 x 7 black & whites proudly on my mantle. Her specialty is babies and children, but I know she also does weddings and families and probably whatever event you desire. The awesome thing is that SHE comes to YOU. How convenient! She is ever so patient and stays as long as it takes to get the shots you want. Lauren's first photo shoot includes "awake", "asleep", "alone", "with brother". She is also very reasonable in her prices. So, here is the information:

Jenny White Photography

Remember her for your next portraits. Thanks Jenny, for not suing me!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I'm beginning to appreciate the joy my grandchildren show when they visit Nana and Papa (or "Bapa", as Lauren says). I know they are probably still too young to actually be storing up memories yet, but maybe soon. Here are a few pictures taken Thursday. There is a baby bunny that we can almost always count on seeing at the barn. Jacob loves trying to catch him and knows just where he'll exit the barn when Jacob is in pursuit. Lauren likes to get up on the trailer and spin around and dance. Now that the weather is hot, they have to at least put their feet in the pool, and they are always curious to see what might be in the skimmer basket. Thursday they were intrigued by a baby grasshopper that was missing a leg--but could still hop a great distance. Jacob helped Papa escape-proof the dog fence. Papa was pretty brave to hold the pin while Jacob hammered.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Shack

With VBS over, I had time this week to read The Shack by William P. Young. Notes at the end of the novel suggest the reader take the time to comment on the book in various ways so I'll "review" the book on my blog.
Before reading the novel, I was under the impression that it was based on a true story. Although many truths are contained therein, it is obviously a work of fiction. Nevertheless, I was intrigued from the beginning and it was definitely a quick read. Without revealing the plot, I will just say that it is a unique experience in the theological mysteries of God and His desire for relationship with us. I found myself--even at the busiest times of my day--being drawn back to the book, most likely due to my desire for that relationship. It was absolutely captivating. I didn't want to stop reading, because I didn't want to leave the intimate presence of God. Whether Young's opinion of the interrelationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is competely accurate, or simply his opinion, I feel I have a better understanding of the Trinity. I definitely came away with a greater peace about the chaotic world we live in and the presence of evil because of our choice of independence.
I recommend the book for open-minded, Bible-literate, Christians. It will leave a lasting impression on me.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Are You Smarter Than a VBS Kid?

That is the theme of our Vacation Bible School this year. Tonight is the last night--a cookout for the kids and their parents. I would say this year's VBS was a success. Though nothing is ever perfect, over the years we have worked on fine-tuning every detail. For the first time since I've been at Sand Springs, we broke the 100 mark...twice. Two nights we recorded 101 KIDS in attendance. At least one Bible study has been set up with parents and many have been invited to come worship with us on Sunday.

Every night we had a game show in the final assembly. An adult contestant, with the help of 4 students, grades Pre-K through 6th and the Host of the Show, Bob Fitzworthy. The kids were amazing as far as what they had learned and retained throughout the night. The lessons were on the Ten Plagues of Egypt. Lee Smith was a better Moses than Charlton Heston, and Neal's Pharoah wasn't too shabby. The first night, they learned quickly to "tone it down" for the younger ones, as one little 3 year old in tears had to be removed. But there were some priceless moments, such as when Moses was telling that the water would turn to blood and 3 year old Gage gasped, "Oh nooooo, that would be BAAAD." And on the third night (plagues 5, 6 and 7) when one little girl asked Moses, "Do you think if I give Pharoah a hug, he'll let the people go?"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fried Green Tomatoes

We've been up to our necks in VBS this week....expect a post and pictures soon...but I took time this morning to mow the yard and the "dog run." Too windy to mow the pool area--I'd spend the rest of the day skimming grass out of the pool. I stopped to take a water break, sat on my lovely new deck and to my surprise I spotted these green tomatoes on my vines!!! Just had to take pictures and show them off. The first picture is regular "beef steak" tomatoes and the second is grape tomatoes. Soon we'll be eating delicious, juicy, "farm raised" tomatoes. I can almost taste them now. Yummmmm! That is, if I can keep Neal from picking them green and frying them up artery-clogging, country-style.