Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let the Son Shine In

Did you know that the scientific name for sunflower is Helianthus, Helia for sun and Anthus for flower?

Did you know that sunflowers are one of the fastest growing plants? They can grow 8 to 12 feet tall in rich soil within six months.

Did you know that sunflower heads consist of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base? The large petals around the edge of a sunflower head are individual ray flowers which do not develop into seed.

Did you know that the plural form of sunflower is still "sunflower", just like deer and deer, and like moose and moose? So, one should say, "Hey! Look at all those sunflower in that field?" No "s" allowed! I don't think I knew that!!!

Did you know that a sunflower seems to "follow" the sun?

A well-known sunflower characteristic is that the flowering heads track the sun's movement, a phenomenon known as heliotropism.

The daily orientation of the flower to the sun is a direct result of differential growth of the stem. A plant-growth regulator, or auxin, accumulates on the shaded side of a plant when conditions of unequal light prevail. Because of this accumulation, the darker side grows faster than the sunlit side. Thus, the stem bends toward the sun. I don't think I knew that!
Did you know, Jesus said, "do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on? For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing." Then Jesus used the birds of the air and the lilies of the field as examples.“Consider the lilies of the field they neither sow nor reap yet Solomon in all of his glory was never arrayed as such as these." We have greater wealth than in any other time in history, yet we are always anxious. We have worries about the economy, about our jobs, about our health. We worry about the past and the future.

The anxiety that Jesus is talking about is over having the material things we need to live, the basics of life. Some people get anxious if they don't have the clothes that fit the trend or a car that is better than their neighbor's. Some worry if someone else is smarter or faster or prettier than they are. Some get anxious if they don't have control over other people. Some worry about being left behind by life.

Jesus tells us not to worry, and he uses the birds of the air and the lilies of the field (and/or the sunflower) as examples. They don't worry, so why should we?

Check out the sunflower!

They do not worry, they just grow and grow and grow, and follow the sun.
Maybe we should consider following the "SON" a little more regularly.

Let the "SON" shine in!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Do YOU Believe?

My friend Trish....
She lives life....
She really, really, really lives life!
One can hear her outrageous laughter echoing in the halls-
Yesterday, I heard it in the parking lot-didn't have to think about that one long-that's Trish!!!!
During the last school year, she asked for the most interesting mural project.
It simply says, "What Do You Believe?"
Students, staff, friends and family are asked to post whatever it is they indeed DO believe.
It has been very enlightening.
Today, Trish visited my art class, saying, "I want to play too!"
She listened to my instructions without saying a word....then we shared....

I have been known to create books which carry images, poems, stories, words, drawings...
Trish calls them, "Comfort Books"... they hold images that evoke thoughts, feelings, imagination, ideas, plans, things of beauty.
Tonight, she was on my mind in Walmart! Yes, in Walmart!!!!
I found a beautiful journal that spoke her name. There before me lay her very own "comfort book".
It says, "What do you believe?" Romans 10:9-13

As I looked up that passage, I found what I KNOW to be right and true-

If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

I bought that journal for Trish. Inside the front cover, I wrote:

What do YOU believe?
Thanks for believing in me.
Thanks for celebrating life with me!

Trish, you 're such a joy. Keep on celebrating. Keep on laughing. Keep on believing.

"I believe life is more than survival. I believe we can know right from wrong. I believe the heart is more than a muscle. I believe in hope and freedom. I believe I can make a difference. I believe the message of the cross."

What do you BELIEVE?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Youth Works

I would like to thank the people at Seeds of Faith for providing opportunities for our children. I would also like to thank the youth group leaders who have taken on the task of helping raise these kids to be followers of Christ.

Recently, some of our youth traveled to Kansas City to work with a daycare center of 500-700 kids each from homeless situations, foster care and low income situations. "Operation Breakthrough" was an eye opener for some of the kids who have never wanted for anything- Our youth earned new respect for those in the childcare industry and respect for those who care for troubled kids.

A huge foodbank, the"Harvesters" had kids sorting boxes and boxes of donated foods, packaging these foods, and going through thousands of potatoes to see if they were edible. It made some of the kids appreciate the food they take for granted and it made them appreciate hard work.

Some of the youth cleaned and painted, and painted and cleaned. Some met a woman who had suffered a stroke, was bedridden and unable to paint her home. Some kids said it felt good to help out for those who are unable to do the work themselves. Some kids worked with the elderly in the nursing home. Some kids worked at the Salvation army and played with children. Some painted and painted and painted.

One of the leaders spoke in church today and said how proud we should be of our youth, who served their church and their God well on this mission. The leaders were amazed as they watched the kids build relationships and watched the Spirit work within these kids. This whole trip was a blessing and the kids were challenged to keep Christ first in their life and then everything else will follow in place-

Sounds like there was a lot of time for bonding on the way to Kansas City- Some new friends, some old friends...

Some major togetherness in a 15 passenger van and an SUV around Kansas City-

Some interesting ways to make ham sandwich brown bags fun!

Some time to rest and recoup-

Some girl times-

Some working with new leader times-

Some dishpan hands times...

A "little bit of Levi in my life", a "little more of Mia in my life"-

Some singing, some dancing, some playing, some praying, some helping, some hugging, some crying, some washing, some painting, some cleaning, some bonding...

Some memories to last a lifetime......Priceless-

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to School

Kids are happy "just hanging out"
Just being....just hanging....just enjoying school and life! Things are different today, but not so very different than we were in 1976!!! YIKES!!!

Going Back to School brings fond memories for me-
Thanks to my friend Diane at Spreading Seeds, , for bringing these memories alive for me once again. She began a quest to reorganize and reconnect those of us who graduated from West Lyon in 1976

Now she has developed a facebook group for graduates as well. It has been fun hearing from long lost friends and remembering teachers and things we used to do-
School really holds some of the best memories of my life-
My students don't believe me when I tell them, but they are-

There is always time for work and marriage and bills and responsibilities-
Just enjoy school-just enjoy the time with your friends and family-
Just enjoy-

I still count down the days before school starts
I still plan what I am going to wear on the first day-
I still count down the days before vacation-
I am always tinkering-messing-putting in new headers and new backgrounds, and I am.....STILL LEARNING- Wow, at this age???? I am STILL a work in progress
blessed to be there and choosing joy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Birthday

Another year-

A new scrapbook page- people say I look like Mom more and more all the time.
I actually love that. She was a beauty!

An old birthday card-
An old birthday letter. I could always count on her to say...."sorry you have to start school on your work too have enough work to do around the farm."
The cards and letters have stopped arriving each year....I am so glad I saved some.

A bit of journaling I scanned from one of my books-trying to remember things-

I have been writing down some of these things in my scrapbooks-
Another of her specialties...Little Marissa, when she was very small, would always ask Grandma for her tomato soup. No matter how I tried, it didn't taste as good as hers.
This is Mom's recipe, complete with spills!!! Now, safely in my scrapbook!

Braylyn "helping" freeze corn. She got so dirty we ran out of little girl clothes!

She had fun "cleaning up" in the pool!

It really does not take all that much to make me miss my mama, but this corn season brings about some very vivid memories....that, and going to church this morning, we sang one of her favorite songs, "Sprit Song"..."Oh let the Son of God enfold you with His spirit and His love. Let Him fill your hear and satisfy your soul. Oh, let Him have the things that hold you, and His sprit like a dove, will descent upon your life and make you whole. Jesus, Oh Jesus, come and fill your lambs. Jesus, Oh, Jesus, come and fill your lambs. Oh, come and sing this song with gladness and your hearts are filled with joy. Lift your hands in sweet surrender to His name. Oh give Him all your tears and sadness; Give him all your years of pain, and you'll enter into life in Jesus' name."

I usually make it as far as: "Give Him all your tears and sadness, give Him all your years of pain..."

This one of the songs Mom chose for her funeral. She had a lot of heartache, many years of pain and sorrow, but she looked at each day as a gift. She lived the words of this song, and we sat with her as she lifted her hands in sweet surrender to His name. She gave Him all her tears and sadness, all her years of pain, and we have NO DOUBT that she has entered into life in Jesus' name.

All these things remind me of her.....that and one more birthday without that card and letter.

I am blessed by another year, blessed by my faith, blessed by my family, blessed by my friends, and blessed to have learned from the best!

Please continue prayers for my sister, Linda. She did well in surgery but is now suffering from headaches. Pray that these subside for her and that they are simply a result of the surgery and will be gone! Love you forever, Linda Lou!!! Thanks for the birthday note first thing today!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You will never walk alone

Linda and Kristy share the same birthday, exactly 15 years apart.
Linda at my 50th party!
We always had to line up by age! ( we miss Susie)
Today is the day.
In a previous post, in May, I asked for prayers for Linda as she was diagnosed with Syringomyelia, a disorder where a cyst forms within the spinal cord. I have a link here if you would like to learn more about that condition.
She has had surgery 2 times for that condition. The cyst continues to fill again, and she now has numbness, loss of sensation and lives with constant pain. She has had many tests. The doctors feel that if she has surgery, she will most likely become paralyzed. If she does NOT have surgery, the disorder will also paralyze her at some point.
She prayed for the right answer.
Friends and family prayed for the right answer.
A prayer was answered in the way of a new doctor who believes that the disks around the cyst are so impaired that they are putting pressure on the cyst, and if those disks are repaired, it will eliminate the pain and numbness. This surgery is much less invasive as they will not have to enter the spine. The surgery will be done from the front through her throat. She will not be able to turn her neck to the side for 6 weeks.
The surgery is scheduled for 6:00 a.m.
Lord, please guide the hands of the surgeon as he works to relieve Linda of her pain.

Thank you for finding this man who believes he has found an answer for her.

Please be with Linda as she enters surgery, missing her Mama so. They were 15 years apart, as much sisters and friends as Mother and Daughter. Linda is also grieving the loss of her wonderful friend and "sister", Pat, this week. She is unable to attend the prayer service and funeral, but was granted a personal, special visitation tonight...because she IS so special. Being the woman who takes care of everyone else, it is hard for her to not be there to serve others, but she made and delivered her bars.....that Linda!!!
Linda, oldest of 9 children. She cared for us like a "little mother" (that's what mom always said) If there was not enough to eat, she went without.

Love you forever, Linda....Praying for your complete healing...
Remember.....You Will Never Walk Alone.
You will never walk alone
As long as you have faith
Along life's road, there will be sunshine and rain
Roses and thorns, laughter and pain.
Across the miles you will face moutains so steep,
deserts so long and valleys so deep.
Sometimes the journey's gentle
Sometimes the cold winds blow
But I want you to remember...
I want you to know....
Jesus will be right beside you all the way.
I saw Linda tonight. Her surgery, scheduled for 3 hours, was done in 2. The Dr. was pleased with how well she did and how things went with the disk repair and replacement. They actually used a cadaver disk-miracle of medicine that is! Her surgery was shorter than planned, but recovery a little longer than expected. Her only complaint is a sore throat (can you imagine) and some major nausea when she stands up. Some of the feeling has been restored to her hand already! She plans to go home tomorrow, will have to take it easy for a while, no turning her head side to side, and she has to wear a collar for 6 weeks.
A VERY cool thing happened tonight-her nurse is Tracy, a friend of mine from way back when she was a little girl. She is all grown up and is an RN. She reads my blog!!! It was too much of a coincidence when she read all about Linda this morning on my blog, and knowing she was going to be working with a patient named Linda tonight with the same surgery! They were one in the same! God sent Tracy to take care of Linda tonight. Thank you God. Thank you Tracy. I know I left her in great hands!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Funny thing about time......
I read once....sorry, I don't know who should have the credit....

Time is too slow for those who wait...

too swift for those who fear...

too long for those who grieve...

too short for those who rejoice...

But for those who love

Time is an eternity.

What a blessing to have been given the time...

Marissa had time to visit Kansas City with her youth group.

I had time to watch these little ones grow.

On a completely different note, we all know about the time to heart is heavy for Mike Moser's family as he ended his earthly journey this weekend.

Time is funny.

It goes so slowly, it goes so quickly, it goes.....

My brother Tom, Mike's friend...grieving from South Carolina...for a friend from a distant time...
and for his feeling of lack of assured, baby brother, Mike is home, enjoying all the glory and splendor of heaven.

God is good all the time....

in His day we will see....time will be no more....