Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Primroses in January


Today, I was thinking about winter. I have had 57 winters. They look like this:

    *ages 1-5       Spokane, WA        (snow)
    *ages 6-10     Alberta, Canada    (snow)
    *age 11          back to Spokane    (snow)
    *age 12-16     Dalat, Viet Nam     (warm)
    *age 17-18     back to Spokane    (snow)
    *age 19-22     LaMirada, CA         (warm)
    *age 23-36     back to Spokane    (snow)
    *age 37-48     Renton, WA           (rain)
    *age 49-53     Minneapolis, MN     (snow)
    *age 54-57     Renton, WA            (rain)

So, what does this little chart have to do with primroses or January?

I have lived in the Seattle area about 15 years and raised our daughters here. Every January, primroses show up in the grocery stores. Every January, I bought 3 of them. One for me, one for Christy and one for Jenny. For you that live in other parts of the world, January and primroses would be an oxymoron. For the Childers women . . . it makes perfect sense.

Two weeks ago, my husband came home with a beautiful red primrose for me . . . yup, it's January!

*For many years our youngest daughter thought winter was November and December (ie. Thanksgiving and Christmas.) When we moved to Minneapolis, you can imagine her surprise when winter went from October to sometimes May.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I am a mountain woman


 Imagine it . . . Dave and me, our two young daughters (ages 1 and 4 that first summer), living in a tent in Europe . . . oh, and we had 40 high school students with us. This was our life every summer for 18 years.

Thankfully, I am organized, because it was a monumental task to make sure we had what we needed. Including the preparation and training time in the States, we were gone 2 - 3 months. Let's see, how many diapers and advil will we need? Have I packed enough clothes and toys?






Of course, I wanted my tent to be cozy, so I packed small throw rugs, pretty sheets and pillowcases, candles (one tealight a day x 90 days  - you get the picture.)

And that was just the physical needs. Just as much energy went to emotional and spiritual needs. When I look back now, I think we must have been crazy . . . dragging our kids around the world.

Fortunately we did this in community. All the wives learned  each others' tricks. We fine tuned the systems. We got better equipment - one summer we even found a portable wash machine (really!)

But no matter how carefully we planned or how much we prayed, there were days that it just plain sucked to live in a tent so far away from the comforts of our other home. Flooded tents, sick kids, hot weather . . . no amount of planning helped on those days.

So, we began to call ourselves MOUNTAIN WOMEN, as in "I can do this, I'm a mountain woman" or "Hey, friend with food poisoning, you can do this - you're a mountain woman." I think it gave us perspective and made us laugh. That always helped.

A couple of sleepless nights ago, I was talking to God about a hard goal I wanted to accomplish. I found myself reverting to old times. "I can do this," I told God, "because I am a mountain woman." And just as quickly this popped into my head, "and, well, um. . . you are God!" I started laughing out loud (sorry to Dave who was asleep.) The simplicity, the irony, the humor - I am a mountain woman who can do nothing without God. And God gives me the strength to be a mountain woman - that is amazing grace.

The mountain women had another plan when the days of travel, transition and tenting simply felt rotten. We wives had another line for that. Our husbands knew when we were especially stressed out because we reserved it for only the worst of days . . . "if you have to lie to me, that is okay, but please promise me that I WILL NEVER HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN!" That helped, too.


On 2/7/11 I am linking this post to Jen and friends. . .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Comments R us

My Blogging for Dummies book tells me that the ability to leave comments is what "really differentiates a blog from most web sites."

Well, I love your comments! But I've heard that some of you are having problems leaving them and have instead been leaving comments on facebook.

Today, I (with Christy's help) added the option of anonymous. Now you can leave a comment, even if you don't have a g.mail account. Just add your name to the comment field when you write and that will show up.

Write on . . .


Saturday, January 23, 2010

A well loved woman and her well loved Bible

Today, a 93 year old saint was buried. Margaret H. was as lovely as they come. My dad officiated her memorial service and he used Margaret's Bible as he prepared.


"Glenny, (my dad's endearing nick name for me), you should see her Bible. Every page is underlined and written on and loved. The Old Testament pages especially are amazing."


It reminded me of a paragraph I had recently read.

Author Patricia Raybon described a time when she sought the presence of God in a hospital chapel while her husband underwent life-and-death surgery. "I picked up a Bible. I waited for that nice rush that comes from holding a worn, loved copy of the Scriptures. Bibles like that hold their own heat. They've been prayed over, cried on, sung with, stroked and gripped and loved so hard they just emote - just by being touched - that human loam and stream and hope that faith gives off."


I want my Bible to look like that. Even more, I want my life to look like a person who spends that much time in God's Word.


I suspicion that Margaret was a lot like Mary (Luke 10:39-41) who "sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching." Jesus said,"but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."


I want to be like Mary . . . and Margaret H.





*Patricia Raybon. I Told the Mountain to Move (Carol Stream, Il:Salt River, 2005),63

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I love list making

For as long as I can remember I have loved lists. I love everything about lists.

A LIST of things I love about lists:
  • the paper (right now a cute note pad from the dollar bin at Target)
  • the writing instrument (currently into mechanical pencils)
  • making little boxes by each item (I need to learn how to make little boxes on the computer.)
  • ahh, checking the item off when I've completed it (the best!)
  • drawing a line through things I decided not to do (relief!)
I always have lists milling around in my head. Here are just a few of them that are on my mind today:
A LIST of things I am grateful for:
  • four days of rest at beautiful Cannon Beach
  • seeing Tom, Louie, Ele and Muriel in Portland
  • the new pops of red that I have recently added to our home
  • fantastic discussion with my small group around Esther chapter 6
  • delightful anticipation for Thursday and the beautiful 'Thursday girls' that I do life with
  • a sweet moment of new understanding between Dave and me
  • praying with Carol yesterday and realising that God has helped me attain a goal that He laid on my heart when we went last spring to a Beth Moore conference ie. to quit trying so hard!
  • having adult daughters (don't get me started on that fun list)
  • processing, processing, processing with my lovely friend Anne
  • God's amazing grace
A LIST of things that are inspiring me:
  • Dave and I cleaning out our hall closet, as well as the anticipation of also finishing our other closets (organization inspires me)
  • my new blog (creativity ispires me)
  • learning new things on the computer (thanks, Rebecca)
  • art and beauty (enjoying decor8, miss vu and curlygirl designs)
  • Christy and Jenny (these girls are rock stars at inspiring me)
So . . . what LISTS are milling around in your head today?


Blog note: Several friends have mentioned having trouble leaving comments. If you have a g.mail account (easy to set up and free), it is simple to leave comments. Hope that helps because I would LOVE to hear from you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pretending

Last week I did something for the first time and it was great fun! Dave and I spoke together - to the students at Ecola Bible School - on the subject of mentoring. I loved the interchange we had with each other and the students. As I said, great fun.

My dear friend Anne, often comes up in talks I give, because I love the way she thinks. This talk was no exception, as I told the students one of my favorite Anne quotes. Here goes ~ this is profound ~ "God wants to meet us where we are, not where we pretend to be." You'll want to read that twice.

I am wondering where you are right now - spiritually, emotionally, physically - where you really are, not where you pretend to be. Right there is where God wants to meet you.

Last week I spent four days at Cannon Beach of true rest - reading, sleeping in, walking, listening to music, good snacks, lots of candles, journaling . . . all things that refresh me. My life has been a little too busy lately and it takes me some days of slowing down to even know where I really am, and how I am really doing. Even today I am still processing with Anne and my husband what I was thinking about last week.

You may not be able to swing Cannon Beach into your schedule right now, but you might enjoy an afternoon of rest and honest reflection. I believe that is just exactly where God want to meet you, too. Happy processing!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gingerbread in january

Our hosts at Ecola Bible School (in Cannon Beach, Oregon) took Dave and I out to lunch today to a cozy little restaurant, "Lazy Susan." My lunch was so delicious that I want to try and reproduce this at home, in my cozy little kitchen.


The base of my lunch was a rich dense gingerbread waffle. Layered on top was a thin lemon sauce, an entire ripe pear cut in paper thin slices, (fanned out across the waffle,) topped with a very generous portion of whipped cream (real, of course!) and a sprinkling of cinnamon. I thought you might want to make this in your kitchen too.


I'm Glenda Childers, bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On the birth and rebirth of an idea

Ten years ago, I moved from Seattle to Minneapolis. In the normal lonliness that comes with a half way across the states move, I found myself longing for connection with friends.


Oprah had just begun her magazine called "O." At the same time Bette Midler was in a short lived but very funny sitcom. In one episode she was basically stalking Oprah, and in an attempt to be just like her, Bette's character began her own magazine, which she, of course, called "B."


My need for connection, the real magazine "O" and the pretend magazine "B" milled around in my head for awhile. I woke up early one cold wintry Minneapolis morning with a crazy idea. I should write a newsletter (a mini magazine) to keep in touch with my many friends around the world. (We've travelled a lot!)


Thus was born my cozy little newsletter which I called "Gg" (just pronounced 'G'.) The upper case G stood for God and the lower case g stood for Glenda. "Gg" was full of thoughts and ideas from my journey as a woman, wife, mom and Christian.


I wrote the newsletter for two years and kept in touch with many friends. It died a natural death when I began to get busy in life and ministry in our new home. I still have friends asking me when I will write "Gg" again.


So . . . here it is, 2010. I've moved back to Seattle, my husband and I are empty nesters and I still highly value connection. "Gg" has once again been milling in my mind. She is going to be reborn in the form of a blog, "Gg: notes on the journey." WELCOME BACK "Gg" and WELCOME BACK FRIENDS! I look forward to keeping in touch with you . . .
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