Archive for the ‘Sunday Thoughts’ Category

Spiritual Sundays

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” – Micah 6:8

In this verse I find such assurance that our God is a good God. The way that He expects us to treat others says so much about Him.

  • We are not to take advantage of others. Rather we are to do what is just and fair.
  • We are to love mercy. Wow! This is contrary to the human tendency to pay back and retaliate. Rather, the Lord wants us to show kindness to those who don’t deserve it. This is what He does for us.

Also, the Lord says that we are to walk humbly with Him. I take this to mean that He wants me to:

  • Take Him at His Word; believe Him!
  • Believe that He means what He says; obey Him!

May the Lord enable us, with the eyes of faith, to know, love and appreciate Him more.

How about you, dear blogging friends? Would you like to participate in Spiritual Sundays, too? Just read about it and link up at Charlotte and Ginger’s Spiritual Sundays site.

Spiritual Sundays

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

My friend Susan of A Life of Grace did a blog post about a blogging theme called Spiritual Sundays. I need all the help I can get to draw nearer to the Lord and keep my mind on Him, so joining in a special Sunday meme is a great opportunity.

One verse that has often helped to quiet my heart in difficult times is found in Psalm 37:1, “(A Psalm of David.) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” Verse 3 directs further, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”

The thoughts I take from this verse are:

  1. Nothing good will come from focusing on all the bad things that happen in this life. It’s OK to be aware of evil and to fight against it using godly means, but to fret about it will be hurtful.
  2. As I trust the Lord for my spiritual welfare, it is His will that I trust Him also for guidance and protection when evildoers trouble me or others.
  3. By God’s grace, I will ask Him for wisdom in difficult situations.
  4. By God’s grace, I will focus on Him, not on circumstances.

How about you, dear blogging friends? Would you like to participate in Spiritual Sundays, too? Just read about it and link up at Charlotte and Ginger’s Spiritual Sundays site.

A Bushel of Blessings

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Today I have been especially sensible of the blessings I receive from God’s hand. Maybe the fact that it’s Sunday, when we step back from the busy doings of the other days of the week to focus on worshiping the Lord, has something to do with that.

The drive to church this morning was beautiful, the epitome of spring time freshness, after the heavy rain last night. Fluffy cumulo-nimbus clouds, flowering cherry trees, tulips, leafy raspberry vines – What could be lovelier?

This Sunday was special for us, too, because our youngest son, 13-year old Seth, made his public profession of Christian faith, after successfully completing the membership class and being interviewed by the church elders. The fact that this was HIS desire, not some cultural dictate, means so much to me. May he grown in his love and devotion to the Lord!

Another blessing I called to mind was that all nine of our children are seeking to live to God’s glory. What a comfort and encouragement this is to their momma! Though Rick and I have worked hard (and enjoyed our kids a lot, too) we know that it is God who regenerates our children. This, too, is His gift.

It was a blessing to freely meet together to worship the Lord, and hear God’s Word preached twice today. The times of visiting with friends afterwards were also refreshing.

When we got home from church this afternoon, daughter Debra got ready to sort her medications. She could not find her most expensive and necessary medication, which I remembered picking up from the pharmacy. A phone call to the pharmacy confirmed this as fact. I began looking everywhere for those meds: in the car, in the van, throughout the house, even through the garbage. I thought maybe I had thrown away the little bag that the meds come in without taking out the bottle. I remembered that I had run errands for my mom on the day I picked up the meds, so I drove half an hour over to her place thinking perhaps I had left the bag there. Nope. You can imagine that I asked the Lord to help me remember, all the while thinking that I was truly going dingy.

I returned home after my search, still unable to think where those pills might be. I pulled out the box where we keep her meds, and there they were! Deb had somehow missed seeing them, panicked, and I had not thought to check the most obvious place. Whew! I am so thankful to the Lord. Even if we could have come up with the money to replace the medicine, I don’t think the pharmacy is allowed to refill a prescription that has just been filled.

I mustn’t forget to mention that today included time spent with married children and grandchildren, another blessing to this gramma. Diederick and Carly are just so funny (and fun).

One of our grown sons called this evening to tell us he is treating us to a Katie Melua concert this coming Saturday! I guess he knows I always have excuses for why I’m too busy to do things, so he just buys the tickets and tells me when the event will be, getting me out of my comfortable routine.

That son also told us he has been selected as the graduate of distinction from the Computer Science Department of Western Washington University for this year. Congratulations, Dearie! I thank the Lord for giving him a sound mind, and the willingness to work hard.

I conclude with a picture of a dandelion. I love these flowers, not only because they are bright and cheery, but also because they mean summer is on the way. I hope you have much for which to be thankful to the Lord, as well.


Simple Woman’s Daybook

Sunday, March 15th, 2009


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 15, 2009

Outside my Window…It will soon be dark on this breezy, chill Sunday. We experienced some slushy rain or wet snow early in the day that didn’t stay, but the foothills did keep their fresh coating of snow. Since I am feeling a bit chilled myself, I’m not venturing out for a walk this late in the day, but will continue to appreciate the warmth emanating from our woodstove.

I am thinking…of the sermon we heard this morning on James 1:2-4,

‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.’

The world thinks that joy comes from avoiding trials, which makes sense if the goal of one’s life is to be comfortable, healthy and wealthy.

For the Christian, trials are part of one’s sanctification. Though trials are not ‘good’, in and of themselves, they are used of God to:

  1. Deepen our trust in God
  2. Build our character
  3. Teach us discipline, and
  4. Make us more like Christ

From the learning rooms…We para educators at the Middle School are going to receive some training on the 16 ‘Habits of Mind’ of successful learners. At this point, I will simply list the ‘Habits of Mind’ for you:

  1. Persisting
  2. Managing Impulsivity
  3. Listening with understanding and empathy
  4. Thinking flexibly
  5. Metacognition (Thinking About Thinking)
  6. Striving for Accuracy
  7. Questioning and Posing Problems
  8. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  9. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  10. Gathering Data Through All Senses
  11. Creating, Imagining, Innovating
  12. Responding with Wonderment and Awe
  13. Taking Responsible Risks
  14. Finding Humor
  15. Thinking Interdependently
  16. Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

(This list is from an article by Arthur L. Costa.)

I am thankful for…time to think and reflect, a quiet evening, our dog lying companionably at my feet, and so many more things. The rest of the family are at church this evening, while the two daughters just recovering from flu and I remain at home. I think I’m still well. Every so often I get really chilled, so am trying not to get to close to others, and am washing everything on ‘hot.’

From the kitchen…Today was a ‘day off’ for me, thanks to daughter Laura who showed hospitality to all the members of the family who are well, plus some out-of-town friends who are here for a visit. (Hi, Shawn and Tammy! I enjoyed seeing you this morning at church, and visiting with you both a bit there.)

I am wearing…typical attire for Sunday and this time of year. My clothing themes are COMFORTABLE and MODEST. OK. Here you have it: I’m wearing a deep red stretchy Tee with a black/red/white low-waisted over-blouse, dressy black long-ish skirt, and black leggings.

I am reading…The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook. Think: Lose the 3 Ps:

  1. Processed foods
  2. Packaged foods
  3. Prepared foods

There’s a lot more to the book, but that’s how far I am into it, and must say I feel like I’m learning some valuable information. I have always thought of us as eating a healthful diet, but there’s room for improvement!

I am hoping…to stay well. Each of the children has been sick with this terrible flu. I don’t want it! This is a trial I do not wish to welcome!

I am creating…lots of vegetarian dishes lately (though The Life Force Diet is not a vegetarian book). I personally am cutting back on all animal products, but especially dairy products, to seek to gain control of my slightly ‘over’ blood cholesterol level.

I am hearing…the quiet hum of my husband’s computer, and a daughter coughing upstairs. Did I mention that this flu ends up with a body-wracking, headache-inducing cough? Poor kids.

Around the house…things are looking neat. We’ve been doing some extra cleaning to try to make this a healthier environment. Outside, my husband has the fruit trees pruned. I’ve asked the children to think about what they want planted in our garden this year. My favorite fresh garden veggies are broccoli, zucchini, and leeks. I think we’re also planning on Romaine lettuce and tomatoes. Tomatoes take a lot of TLC to prosper in our cool, short, damp growing season, but we’re going to give it a try!

One of my favorite things…is playing Lexulous on Facebook. This is a spelling game like Scrabble. If you notice that posts have been scarce lately, well…I’ve been relaxing playing Lexulous at the end of a busy day rather than blogging.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow I’ll try to schedule a doctor visit for our 13-year old son to see how badly he injured his nose while (unsuccessfully) doing a flip on a friend’s trampoline late Friday. I was told there was lots and lots of blood, yet he sounded fairly calm when he called home to tell us about the mishap. It didn’t seem like an emergency room issue at the time, but his nose is swollen, and he assures me that it still hurts. So…We’ll see what the doctor has to say.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…


This is an old family photo taken at Rick’s parents’ place many summers ago. Five of the children are grown now. Only the youngest four are still at home, and the youngest is 13 years old, and taller than me now.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Hello again

Sunday, March 8th, 2009


There are many who say that one should blog ‘without obligation.’ No guilt should be felt when a day, or multiple days, pass without so much as a peep or squeak appearing upon one’s blog. Since I am very good at feeling disappointed in myself, however, this type of blogging doesn’t appeal to me at all. I prefer to blog ‘with obligation’, even if I don’t live up to my own expectations.

One reason I feel blogging obligation is that a few faithful friends have come to expect these daily ‘peeps and squeaks.’ I know I feel disappointed when I visit their corners of the world and they have been too busy to post (or have been ill, or have been fleeing wildfires, etc.). Life has been so wild and crazy around here that I am behind as well on reading others’ blogs, a truly regrettable situation.

My excuses, posthaste:

  1. Thursday my friend Grace and I, who both work at the local middle school, drove about two hours south of here to attend a Love & Logic seminar on bringing out the best in underachieving kids. One wise thought presented was that we should encourage students to focus on their strengths, rather than expecting them to be good at everything (the ubiquitous ‘well-rounded’ theory). How many great athletes, artists, writers, scientists, etc. are ‘well-rounded’? Excellence takes focus.
  2. Friday daughter Debra and I spent all day together. First she had some extensive job interest testing to complete. We then took in a sweet but predictable movie together, Paul Blart: Mall Cop. She wanted to see the creepy Coraline, but creepy is hard for me to take. We enjoyed a Taco Bell meal together (taco salads and Fruitista freezes). Of course there was Costco shopping to do since we were in town.
  3. Saturday I babysat SOLO for grandchildren Diederick and Carly, from 8:30 in the morning until about 12:30am Sunday. Laura, mother of said grandchildren, went to Seattle with her dad to help her oldest brother pack up his place to move. Later that evening, her brother took her to a Jewel concert. Both Deeder and Carly are very attached to their mommy (2 ½ years old and 8 months old), so I was nervous, but all went well. I learned that Carly is a tremendous eater who can move quickly without crawling. Diederick keeps track of what’s going on: ‘Where’d Mommy go?’ ‘Where’d Grampa go?’ “Where aunties?’ ‘Where’d Mitch go?’ and then all over again. There was definitely no time for blogging, however.

  1. This morning only my husband and I made it to church, due to the headachy, achy-bone, upset tummy, wracking cough flu that is ravaging our children. I so hope I will be spared this trial. These dear sick children have still been trying to help at home, to the extent that they are able, since I’ve been gone so much lately.

I also have some notable happenings for which to express thankfulness to the Lord:

  1. It seems the front struts are loose or wearing out in the Suzuki, which has caused unusual wear to the front tires. This lack of tread came to Grace and my attention Thursday, as we drove through a heavy rain storm, going a bit below speed limit and I began to lose control of the car. I eased up on the accelerator and continued to drive about ten miles per hour below the freeway speed limit, with no further problem. Did I mention that traffic was heavy and included lots of semis? I was really shaken up, and Grace did a good job of remaining calm under duress.
  2. Saturday, an intense hail storm, mixed with snow, fell between here and Seattle. My husband drove through this in our van while returning from helping our older sons move. He said that all the freeway traffic slowed to 15mph.
  3. Our oldest son drove through this same weather, mixed with another inch of snow, in order to return Laura to her little family here. I must express my great admiration for those of you who deal with this type of road condition routinely. Whew! I find it SO stressful.

That is all, Dear Reader. A few more duties call, then school resumes tomorrow. We have been on mid-winter break for the past four days. Now let’s see if I can put some of the Love & Logic teachings to good use.

Home Alone

Sunday, February 15th, 2009


It’s a very quiet Sunday evening here, as I am all alone in the house, with only our cats and faithful Lassie for company. The rest of my dear family is off to the evening worship service at church. I read portions from my Bible today, and the first four chapters of The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges, but it’s just not the same as joining in the public worship of the Lord.

About once a year, it seems, my back goes ‘out’, to the point where my back muscles spasm when I sit, stand, or attempt to turn over in bed. I’m much better this evening, after resting in bed for two days. I made it slowly down the stairs a little while ago, warmed up a bowl of my son-in-law’s good knoefla soup, and am now doing this blog post.

The cause of the back trouble this time is a wrong lifting technique, I think. When I assist my elderly mom into the car when we go to her appointments, I first stand behind her as she is by the passenger door. Then I grab hold of her left pants leg, bending over a bit to lift that leg into the car. Then I sort of guide her as she falls into the seat. Next, I bend over and lift the right leg in and lift both legs further in. The next part is the killer. Facing backwards, I place my right knee by her as she is seated, reach under her arms, and lift her up and forward while pushing her sideways with my knee, in order to situate her comfortably on the seat.

My husband suggests that next time I try backing her up to the passenger seat, guide her as she falls into the seat, and then swivel her frontwards into position. This will be easier on the old back I hope.

In the mean time, I’ve had to cancel taking her out to an appointment tomorrow, as I doubt I can even drive. Hopefully my back will be healed enough to return to work on Tuesday.

During this quiet day, my family has taken turns bringing me oatmeal and coffee for breakfast, a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch, apple slices, and tea sweetened with sugar. Thank you, Sweeties!

Laura cooked a Sloppy Joe lunch for everyone when they returned home this afternoon from church, and I believe Rebecca and Lydia helped with the mega cleanup.

Rebecca told me, “The house is missing you,” meaning no one was emptying the garbage (She did it.), and we are out of bread, milk, half and half and coffee. Sigh! She and I had planned to do a Costco run yesterday, but it just couldn’t be helped.

Instead of shopping yesterday, I did the following:

  1. Slept off and on throughout the day. Why a hurt back should make one sleepy, I don’t know, but it does me.
  2. Read The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. He made me know that I would love the Botswana of Mma Precious Ramotswe. My friend Nancy at the middle school recommended this book to me. Thanks, Nancy! I am looking forward to reading Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, and The Kalahari Typing School for Men.
  3. Read quite a bit more of Love & Logic Solutions for Kids With Special Needs by David Funk. One point he makes that really stands out for me is “the primary goal of both teaching and parenting is to get kids ready for when the adults are gone. This goal is important for nondisabled kids—it is essential for those with handicaps.” (page 147). “Amen” to that, but I have a lot to learn yet about actually doing this for kids who are so behind in their learning, and so non-engaged with their own lives.

Well, thanks for reading my wee lament. I look forward to getting up tomorrow without any problem and baking bread. Going grocery shopping would be a good idea, too. Tshüss!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Sunday, February 8th, 2009


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…February 8, 2009

Outside my Window…overcast, grey skies and cool (40 degrees Fahrenheit) but dry weather today. This is typical late-winter weather for us. As we were driving to church this morning, I noticed more and more signs of spring on the way. There are catkins on some bushes, and the weeping willow stems are getting greener. The distant craggy peaks across the border in Canada still look plenty cold, though.

I am thinking…of the devastating wildfires in Victoria, Australia. Blogging friend Remote Treechanger
lives in that part of Australia, and talks about the fires a bit on her blog. Over one hundred people have died in the fires so far. Some communities have been completely destroyed. What a reminder that our lives can change (or end) so suddenly and unexpectedly. This makes me think of the importance of being on right terms with the Lord NOW, for we have no assurance of tomorrow.

From the learning rooms…I have been learning about detached retinas, lattice degeneration, and sclera buckle surgery. Our 22 year old son suddenly lost vision in one eye this past Wednesday because the retina (the eye’s ‘movie screen’ inside at the back of the eyeball) detached. He had surgery on Friday, and can now sense light. It will be one month before he knows how much vision he will regain.

I am thankful for…God giving us curiosity about creation, so that such things as the intricate working of the eyes have been studied, and reparative operations have been developed. The surgeon who operated on our son has 20 years experience.

From the kitchen…I have been making quick and easy meals during this stressful, busy time. Today we enjoyed a friend’s recipe for CHEESY POTATOES. Since it’s so simple, I’ll just tuck the recipe in right here:

¼ cup melted butter

½ cup chopped onion

1 can cream of celery or mushroom soup

1 small carton sour cream

1 or 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes

Sauté the onion in the butter, then combine all ingredients. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour.


I am wearing…white, ruffled blouse, dressy black skirt with black leggings, and blue/green oversweater.

I am reading…The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, set in the African country of Botswana. My friend Nancy at school recommended this book to me. I’ve only just started and will try to pick it up again on Monday.

I am hoping…our son has a good report from the surgeon when he returns to the hospital for a follow-up visit tomorrow.

I am creating…my Daybook one day early because I already know I’ll be too busy tomorrow. Sunday is a lovely, relaxed day at our home, a day of piety, and of rest, so I’m not feeling the pressure of a ‘to do’ list. (Uh oh! One of my daughters just informed me that I have a remarkable ability to remain on the computer. This is why I don’t do more of these long posts; I wouldn’t get anything else done!)

I am hearing…our young people conversing together in the living room. This is one of my favorite sounds. It gives me so much joy, knowing that our grown and almost grown up children enjoy talking with one another and being together.

Around the house…the perennials are still sleeping underground. Nothing deciduous has made its appearance yet. For color we have only the faithful evergreens, and the mossy grass.

One of my favorite things…is that the duties of each day are what make the days interesting and full of variety.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…

  • I take my elderly mom to the doctor tomorrow while my husband takes our son to Seattle for his post-operative visit.
  • Our twin daughters have their 24th birthdays this week.
  • I still want to celebrate my husband’s birthday, which we missed last week due to our son’s medical emergency. At least I want to bake him an applesauce cake and give him his birthday card, signed by each one of us.
  • Two of our girls received tickets to the Seattle Symphony performance scheduled for this Thursday evening. How they are going to get there and back is still up in the air.
  • Friday, our church youth group is having a square dance fundraiser, and I’m scheduled to help with food preparation and serving. All-in-all, it’s sounding like a busy week ahead.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…


Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

A Sestina for the Sabbath

Sunday, February 1st, 2009


A Sestina for the Sabbath

There’s no such thing as a blessing that’s little.

Good gifts, small and great, remind me God is faithful.

I see His love, hidden in the mundane.

Even in humdrum duties, there is beauty.

Through cycles of days and life’s transience,

In joy and in sorrow, I am blessed.


Having enough of life’s good things, I am blessed.

In the big scheme of things I am little

Yet you, Lord, provide for me in this time of transience:

Food, and the health to enjoy it, You give faithfully.

Today, again, my senses work; I behold life’s beauty.

All this gracious provision is not mundane.


My daily duties revolve around the mundane.

As I care for my family, I am blessed.

A meal lovingly prepared is one kind of beauty.

Love shown in laundry washed, and other ways that are little.

I praise God for making me faithful

That I might love my family during this time of transience.


Life may be meaningful, though it be transient.

Work, too, be worthwhile, though it be mundane.

In little and in much, I am called to be faithful.

In loving God, I am blessed.

My heart swells in love to Him while doing duties little,

As I clean, cook and wash, I’m aware of His beauty.


I thank you, Lord, for Your holiness and beauty.

You are steadfast eternally; I am transient.

You are Almighty; I am little.

You are wondrous in glory; I am mundane.

By your mercy and kindness, I am blessed.

Through the years of my life, you are faithful.


My voice rises in joyful song for your faithfulness.

One day I shall behold You in Your beauty.

Even during this earthly sojourn, I am blessed.

The sweet joys You give are not transient.

Let me not minimize Your blessings, nor call them mundane.

To see You face-to-face, I must wait a little.


I praise You for faithful care in times of transience.

I praise You for beauty hidden in the mundane.

I am blessed by You, though I am little.


Sunday Walk

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

It has been a lovely day, this Sunday.

After several very rainy days, the sky has started to clear up. A few patches of baby blue sky are visible here and there. I just returned home from a quiet walk up our road, accompanied only by the old doggie and my thoughts. I noticed that the pale greeny-yellow leaves are still clinging to the wild hazelnut trees. Some dark green leaves remain on the blackberry vines. Other than that, most of the deciduous trees are now bare, their distinctive silhouettes apparent to all.

I also notice another effect of the past few days of ‘weather.’ Our internet is down. For us to have internet connectivity, my husband rigged a tall antenna atop our roof, and mounted the Clearw’re receiver to that. Technically, we’re outside the range of that provider, plus we’re surrounded by trees out here in the ‘boonies.’ Usually this jury-rigged system works to give us some dribble (or more) of connectivity, but with the recent incessant rains and the wind, the receiver isn’t pointing just the right way. This is such a minor problem, but I am hoping the internet connection comes back up in time for me to upload this post.

This is the last day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). It would be a shame (I’m just sayin’.) to post every day this month except the last.

OK! My husband did ‘something’ and the connection is back, so he says to post quickly while I can.

These pictures were taken by my daughter, Laura.

For this day’s blessings

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

For this day’s blessings,

I thank Thee, O my Father.

I heard Thy Word preached,

Worshiped Thee with Thy people,

Received Thy gracious blessing.


This new week awaits

With duties and challenges.

No need to worry:

God will give sufficient grace

To serve Him with thanksgiving.