Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ff is for a family favorite on faithfulness (part one)

This is a true story . . . of Glenn (my dad at age 35), who had just completed four years of intense study at a Bible school, and his beautiful wife, Hallie (my mom at age 30), who together raised four children in a tiny house, while she attended school, part time. Each summer they pastored a small church in Cocallala, Idaho. But now graduation had come and gone and this family of six was ready to go . . . wherever God wanted to send them. (I am in the fifth grade when this true story takes place.)

God lays a specific country on my parents heart. It is not exactly a country the grandparents will be thrilled about. It is far away.  It requires immunizations every six months, so you don't get cholera, or yellow fever, or typhoid. Oh, and, um, (cough), this was 1964 and there was a war brewing in the country. You guessed it . . . the country was  Viet Nam.

The heartstrings had been tugged, the mission to go with had been chosen, the diploma was in hand . . . but this was a monumental decision. Should Glenn and Hallie raise their four children in Viet Nam? You can imagine the emotion and the need to know if they were really hearing the voice of God.

As the deadline for the decision was approaching, my parents went to one of their favorite places, Newman Lake, to spend the day praying, reading the Bible and seeking confirmation from God for this "should we go to Viet Nam" decision. They chose to seek the Lord separately (even though during parts of the day they were in the same boat), and not share until the end of the day what they were each sensing God was doing.

I've heard this story my whole life and I like to picture the O. Henry type moment they told each other what God had done that day. I love the sweetness of God in this true story. Throughout the day, separately and individually God kept drawing my dad to a certain verse. And separately and individually, throughout the day, God kept drawing my mom to a certain verse.

At evenings end, (knowing my parents it was probably over a huge bowl of buttered pop corn) they discovered God had brought them to the same verse. 

What verse would you like from God, if you were going to move your family to Viet Nam? The verse was I Thessalonians 5:24.

 "Faithful is He who calls you, who also
                           will do it."

Imagine the need for such a strong promise at this time in my parents life.

 "Faithful is He who calls you, who also
                           will do it."

I Thessalonians 5:24 became my parents life verse and it sustained them through the joys and sorrows called LIFE.

Here is that adorable couple, years later, when my dad received a medal, the highest honor a civilian could receive from the Vietnamese government.

This is what a Christmas photo looks like when you grow up in Vietnam. (I am in the pink skirt.)

And, this is how you guard your Christmas presents when you grow up in Vietnam. (That is me in the green dress and don't miss what the soldier is holding.)


Linking up today to share this favorite story of mine with the sweet and ever adorable SOLI SISTERS.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Glenda Childers and Martha Stewart

Have you read Julie and Julia? It is the account of Julie Powell's year of cooking and blogging through the entire Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs. As you proably know, it was picked up by Nora Ephron and made into a movie. I enjoyed both the book and the movie, in that order.

This is post is kind of like that . . . me trying to be like Martha Stewart and blogging about it. Only I copied just one of her ideas, and am writing just one blog post about my experience. I am not expecting a knock on my door any time soon from Nora Ephron.

(WEIRD BLOGGING TRIVIA ~ just because I am new to blogging and still addicted to I will probably see some new hits this week, just for mentioning Martha Stewart and Nora Ephron. Last week I was lightly mocking the name "tobacco leaf" for a paint color and had several readers who had googled - "Martha Stewart tobacco leaf paint color - and found me. I am sure I was not what they were looking for, despite my fun and funny post on Martha's new paint line at The Home Depot.)

So here it is, my one and only attempt to copy Martha Stewart and my one and only blog post about it.

      Ideas from Martha Stewart Living April 2010

My version

This fun little project cheers me when I see it. My husband and my husband's boss even liked it. So, e.mail me, Nora, and I'll send you my address.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Room with a View

Yesterday, I posted about my enjoyment of updating my porch for Spring. As I was looking at the pictures, I was amazed to realize again, that the pictures show about one third of my porch. Right in front of the area where my wicker furniture is, there is another section of patio. So, today I sat in all three chairs and took a picture of my "patio with a view."


chair one

chair two

love seat

For a couple of weeks I have been milling on these verses. Let me share them with you, along with more pictures from our little room with a view.

"The heavens declare the glory of God: the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech: night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." Psalm 19:1-4

"The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the people see his glory." Psalm 97:6

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Romans 1:20

Soon it will be the two year anniversary of our move into our adorable "lake house." (Our family name for our home.) Dave and I made a commitment to each other, that every day we would REMEMBER to look out our windows, at Lake Washington, Mercer Island, parts of Seattle and the Olympic Mountains. We also enjoy the days the lake "comes alive" with sail boats, fishing boats, kayaks, speed boats and all the happy noises of the people in them. We know this is a special season in our life (who knew this missionary couple would have the joy of living on the lake) and, believe me . . . we REMEMBER!

What are your favorite parts of God's handiwork?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ff is for fresh starts

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases: His mercies never come to an end; THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING: great if Your faithfulness."

These verses from Lamentations 3:22-23 are some of my very favorite verses in the Bible. Imagine it, every single morning, when I wake up, my faithful God has steadfast love for me that never ceases and has mercy that never comes to an end . . .

 . . . THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING."  I love new things. I love fresh starts. I love second chances.

Here are just a few fresh starts that I enjoy:

     * a brand new year - I love the month of January. I love buying a brand new calendar. A fresh start . . . what will the new year hold?

     *I love the change of seasons - another brand new fresh start. Yesterday, was a beautiful sunny spring day in Seattle. I was out of town on the first day of Spring, so this was my first moment to relish this fresh start. After having a cup of tea on the patio, I decided to honor Spring by sprucing up my patio.

I made a new cover for last year's faded pillow (using two cloth napkins.) A third napkin became a mini table cloth. I bought a cute new lantern at IKEA for $7 and a lime green candle for $4. I bought three new plants at Lowe's for $15 and filled my three red pots. (I am waiting for geraniums to come out before I plant the rest of my planters.) I rearranged my bird collection, brought out my orange throw and decided for something fun - to hang my entire collection of welcome signs. My little "welcome Spring to my patio" afternoon, left me with a beautiful patio and lots of energy. I love fresh starts.

                                      spring. . .

     *I also love a new notebook - new clean pages. What will each of these pages hold?

     *I love a new cookbook - which recipes will I love that will eventually become family favorites?

     *Last week we began a new Bible study, Discerning the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer. You've got it . . . another fresh start. What will I learn? What will my small group share?

This morning I read Isaiah 43:18-19 (in my new Bible study.) "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I AM DOING A NEW THING, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"

I guess God likes fresh starts too.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spokane, Spokaloo, Spokompton

Just returned from the city of my birth . . . and a great celebration of my dad's 80th birthday. Blogging to resume later!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome AGAIN to my blog! (or Review 101)

As a relatively new arrival to the blogging scene, I am very excited to announce that this is my 40th blog post. I began "Gg: Notes on the Journey" on January 13, 2010, while staying in a cozy little cottage at Cannon Beach, Oregon. I thought I would enjoy it, but I had no idea how much I would love blogging. 

In honor of my 40th post, I thought we would do a little review. (Sorry, it is the teacher in me.) Or, for all you students who went to Europe with us on Royal Servants , you will remember ~ REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW!

*to find out what I have in common with Oprah read this post.

*all women need to read this woman are courageous post.

*lots of people told me they laughed out loud at this post.

*I got a lot of blogging chatter over this seasonal post.

*get out your kleenex before you read this post.

*to see how incredibly huge glasses were when I was 24 years old read this post.

*to see some of my favorite artwork and read about one of my all time favorite topics read this post.

*to be inspired to live a well lived life that is worthy of remembering, read this post.

*oh, those adorable Chicago Childers women, I love them so. To find out why, read this post.

*to find out why I love Thursdays read this post.

So, thanks friends, for joining me on the journey. Please keep reading. I love your comments, too. I am already thinking about my next 40 posts.

P.S. In my short career as a blogger, I have found two great articles for beginning bloggers. Here are the links and

Fellow blogging friends ~ how many blog posts have you written? I celebrate YOU, too!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ee is for evaluate your stuff ~ two simple rules

How are you doing on organizing your living space these days? Have you had to rent a storage unit for all your extra stuff? It may be time to let someone come along side of you and give you a helping hand.

Meet Alexandra Stoddard . . .

. . . a long time favorite author of mine. She is the one who first taught me a simple and practical way to evaluate my stuff. Her rule is simple ~ only keep things that are beautiful or useful.

I challenge you this week to apply this to one cluttered area in your home. Take each item one by one and answer Alexandra's two questions:
          1. is it beautiful?

          2. is it useful?

I double dog dare you!

What is the most beautiful thing you own? What is the most useful thing you own?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Martha Stewart Living comes to The Home Depot

Earlier this year, The Home Depot debuted Martha Stewart Living's new paint line. TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY beautiful colors. I love the names of paint colors and when I read some of Martha's line, it felt like I was reading an index to her magazine. You see her:

love of food - butternut squash, cappuccino, fortune cookie, maine lobster, chocolate truffle, chard, shortbread, toasted marshmallow, custard, egg yolk, avocado peel, spud and my favorite ~ graham cracker crust.

love of spices - bay leaf, dill, fennel seed, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cayenne, clove, saffron and my favorite ~ ground pepper.

love of nature - dune, conch shell, carnation, cloudless day, lily pad, nasturtium, lagoon, aurora borealis, hydrangea, cornflower blue, bougainvillea, lava stone and my favorite ~ tilled soil.

love of animals - dolphin, duck's egg, brook trout, lady bug, mourning dove, chinchilla, fawn, falcon and my favorite ~ tadpole green.

love of crafts and home - silk lining, barn, potter's clay, natural twine, rattan, awning, faded ink, pencil, lunch bag, wrought iron, sisal, corkboard, kiln, parchment paper, sealing wax, milk pail, picnic basket and my favorite ~ feather duster.

I wasn't sure just where to put pup tent and tobacco leaf.

Now we have 280 colors to choose from . . . choosing paint is hard, very hard! I get all the samples, choose a few favorites, ask my friends, tape them on my wall and still I have made mistakes. My best paint choice ever was my living room in Minneapolis - Benjamin Moore's STRAW on the walls and VANILLA ICE CREAM  for the woodwork. Loved, loved, loved it! But at the same time I chose what I thought was the perfect blue for our bedroom. Once it was dry, alas and alack, it reminded me of Crest toothpaste. So I moved to Seattle.

My friend, Anne, just painted an accent wall in her dining room four times and it still isn't perfect. Haven't we all been there. So, I loved reading Nicole Batch's blog, Making it Lovely, and her great post on choosing a paint color.  I loved her foolproof method.

Well, all this hard work of choosing paint colors has made me tired. I think I'll put on the kettle for a cup of tea. Not to worry, Martha has a paint color for that too ~ dried chamomile or oolong tea. Your choice!

7/22/2011 - I am linking up this old post about fun paint color names to the lovely Sarah at Modern Country Style.

Transforming Together: Authentic Spiritual Mentoring by Ele Parrott (a book review)

I have known Ele Parrott from afar, but recently have had opportunities for personal visits and also to sit under her teaching. Ele comes alive when she talks about her relationship with Jesus and her desire to mentor women in their relationship with Jesus. I have been looking forward to the time that Ele's book, Transforming Together: Authentic Spiritual Mentoring  would make it to the top of my reading list.

The book opens with Ele's personal journey from successful busy pastor's wife to lonely discouraged missionary. Her honest account of getting to the place of crying out to God, "Give me Jesus or I die," led to a season of growth that prepared Ele for authentic spiritual mentoring.

Ele's formal definition is "spiritual mentoring is coming alongside of and partnering with who the Holy Spirit is being in the life of another person and infusing truth into that person's reality." If this was an informal definition, I am certain she would have added, "while drinking delicious coffee."

Here is what you will find in Transforming Together:

          *a clearly defined description
            of the characteristics of a
          *a step by step plan of mentoring
            that is very reproducible
          *stories of Ele's mentoring
            relationships that will motivate
            you and give you the "how to's"

I am deeply committed to mentoring, so it is a topic that is close to my heart. As a seasoned mentor myself, I was  touched by Ele's use of Scripture, and especially the Gospels, in all of her mentoring relationships. Time after time, the reading aloud of God's Word would open doors into deep places of need in the women she mentored, and Jesus would meet them there.

Transforming Together: Authentic Spiritual Mentoring is a delightful read, full of practical wisdom, with a very reproducible model for mentoring. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and begin reading . . . I highly recommend it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Liberty of London (part two)

If you have been following Gg - Notes on the Journey, you know that today is the big day ~ the unveiling of Liberty of London at Target.

I showed great restraint and didn't go until after church and coffee, but I was so glad I went then. There were people buying huge carts full of goodies. And I don't blame them a bit ~ everything is beautiful and such amazing prices. Go Target! Go Liberty of London!

Stationary, umbrellas, flip flops, clothes, dishes, mugs, file boxes, gardening tools, men's ties, file folders, quilts . . . a treat for the eye on every end cap.

Here is what I bought (and don't look too closely if this is your birthday month.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ee is for embrace your eccentricities and limitations

When I was a kid we used to sing this little ditty that said Jesus loved all the children of the world . . . "red, brown, yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight." Our teacher had beautiful pictures of children from different nationalities and it was very fun to be chosen to hold up the pictures while we sang. The song was kind of goofy, but as a little girl I learned that God had made us all different and found each of us precious. God tells us that we are "wonderfully made" and "intricately woven." We are precious in His sight. (Psalm 139)

If you have ever spent an hour at an airport or mall watching people, you will quickly be reminded that each of us is so different. Put these two thoughts together ~ DIFFERENT and PRECIOUS and you will end up with "Ee is for embrace your eccentricities and limitations."

Let me give you two examples from my own life . . .

One of my limitations is that I do not drive on the freeway because I have terrible depth perception. This could be awkward and embarassing if I didn't accept this wierdness about myself and my choice not to drive on the freeway.

When we lived in Minneapolis, our church was a distance away and to attend my favorite Tuesday Bible study required freeway driving. Did I stay home? Absolutely not. I asked friends to pick me up and the drive time led to amazing times together. We lived in Minneapolis for six years. By the time we left, I had so many wonderful friends that they would fight over who got to pick me up each week.

One of my eccentricities is that I really hate to dress up. My favorite outfit is jeans and a hoodie. I don't own a single dress. I would be in trouble if I went on a cruise where everyone dresses up for dinner. But my limitation of easy motion sickness keeps me from that dilema. And I am pretty certain I will never walk the red carpet, so I am safe there, too.

When I visit one of my favorite stores,  Anthropologie, you can be sure that I will walk right past this

                   and head directly to this
                           and this
                          and this.
How about you ~ what eccentricity and limitation do you have in your life that you need to embrace today?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dd is for declutter

Spring has sprung in Seattle (despite one odd day of snow flurries last Monday.) Our pink, white and yellow flowering trees are all in bloom. And I heard the tulip festival is going to be early this year. To go along with the freshness and newness of spring . . . let's declutter.


1.  Daily ~ I recommend a quick decluttering of your house (I call it "sprucing") each evening before you go to bed. This is a 5 - 10 minute job.
           *put the last dishes in the diswasher
           *handle the days mail (read it, file  
             it,toss it.)
           *put away the shoes by the door, 
             the towel on the chair, the clothes 
             on the bed, etc.

2. Seasonally, I like to take a fresh look at my house and simplify it visually. I rearranged my living room furniture last week, while Dave was on a ministry trip. To match the extra open space, I looked with fresh eyes at my "stuff", and made small changes.
For example, I removed the Cook's Illustrated picture - for now.
3. As needed, declutter your piles of (you fill in the blank), your messy stuck spots, your area that has been bugging you. For this type of decluttering you may need to set aside an hour or two for each project. I have two such projects right now.

My stack of magazines waiting to be cut up and filed.

My husband's stash behind our bedroom door - our glass bedroom door. :-) We will schedule some time to do this together.

4. And finally, the biggie. Once a year, I declutter the entire house, room by room. I like to do it in the fall, then I am ready for the lovely holiday season. Take your time on this one, maybe one room a day or even one room a week. Somedays, it may be just one drawer at a time, which is great.
          *give clothes that you no longer
            wear to charity
          *bless a friend that just got her 
                   first apartment with your third
            set of dishes that you rarely use
          *throw out your mugs that are now 
            chipped or you really don't
            like them anymore
          *drop off a load of books you won't 
            read a second time to the library
          *take the ziplock of last years
            Christmas cards, update your 
            address book, collect the adorable
            photos, and toss the rest

You get the idea here. (Just so you know, I ask permission before I get rid of things that are not specifically mine.)

Decluttering can be fun (really!) Play some great music. Have a favorite beverage while you work. Ask a friend to come help you. If you are feeling stuck, invite your mom-in-law, your husband's boss, your super organized friend for lunch in one month ~ now there's some extra motivation to declutter.

What is one area of your home that is really bugging you right now?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dd is for dad turns 80!

Glenn (dad) and Glenda (me)

Later this month, my sweet dad, Glenn, turns 80! In this short post I couldn't begin to tell you all the amazing things about my dad. I'll keep it to two.

My dad prays. As a first grader just learning to read, I was curious when I read my name in a little notebook dad kept on his desk. When I asked him about it, he told me it was his prayer list. What a sweet memory.

My dad prays out loud in the early hours of the morning. I can't understand the words, but it is a soft wonderful sound off in the distance. I loved it as a kid and I love it now when I visit. (And I'm still on his prayer list - sweet.)

My dad serves. Dad has been an obedient follower of Jesus Christ for many years. And turning 80 hasn't changed a thing.

Here is a list of a few of the things dad and his wife, Dorothy have done in the last three years:
  • took a ministry trip to Mexico to train pastors.
  • traveled to Viet Nam to do some research on the current needs of the Koho church.
  • hiked the mountains of Nepal to teach and train pastors.
  • ministers to prisoners in Spokane twice a week.
I love my dad's pastoral heart. He truly loves Jesus and he loves people.

Happy 80th Birthday, dad. I love you.

What are two things you love the most about your dad?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cc is for creativity

Have you heard of "runner's high?" I've personally never experienced it :-). I often, though, get a creativity high. I actually feel a distinct lift in my spirit when the creative bug bites me.

When I rearrange my living room furniture ~ creative high. When I am preparing a talk and just the right words come to me ~ creative high. Fixing a delicious and pretty lunch for friends, you guessed it ~ creative high. I am an idea person, so my style of creativity is often coming up with a great idea (in the middle of the night.)

I was in college when I was introduced to Hidden Art which profoundly influenced me. Edith Schaeffer taught me  this amazing truth about creativity.
  • We are all made in God's image.
  • God is a creating/creative God.
  • Therefore, we are creative.

All these many years later, I still honor and enjoy this mark of God's image in me ~ creativity.

*The creative artwork in this post represents the image of God in our daughter, Jenny. (Thanks, Jen!)

What is your favorite way to express your creativity?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Liberty of London comes to us

Get out your calendar and pen ~ you'll want to remember this date. On Sunday March 14, Target is rolling out their new line in their partnership with Liberty of London. I can't wait. Meet me there?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cc is for cookbooks

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Anne and I watched Julie and Julia. The amount of time that Julia Child put into Mastering the Art of French Cooking, amazed me. 

These are my favorite cookbooks. When you live in a tiny house (a tiny adorable house) and most of your things are in storage, you pretty much know that you are surrounded by things you love. I carefully chose each cookbook that I brought to our apartment.

Here is a little Glenda Childers cookbook trivia for you:
  • The oldest cookbook I have is from my childhood. It was put out by the Baker's coconut company and is adorable kids cakes. I remember when my mom made me the butterfly cake.
  • My husband is a fabulous cook and he has created his own cookbook. I love it when it comes off the shelf because something delicious will soon be created in our kitchen by Dave.
  • The first time I make a recipe, I mark the date in my cookbook. If it is a special occasion, I write that too. It is like a cookbook journal.
  • Ina Garten is my favorite cookbook author. Dave and the girls have given me all six of her cookbooks. Her food is great, but I also love her philosophy of hospitality. We think alike in many areas (no wonder I like her!)
  • When I am cooking and make a change in the recipe, I write the changes in my cookbook.
  • I got two cookbooks for Christmas ~ The Pioneer Woman Cooks and The Gorgeously Green Diet. I just made Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast.

If you could only have one cookbook, which one would you choose?


Monday, March 1, 2010

Bb is for Beauty Will Rise

Loss is one of life's most difficult issues. It is something everyone faces. During the month of May (2008) Steven and Mary Beth Chapman lost their young daughter. I, like so many of you, prayed for them whenever the Lord brought them to mind.

I remember a talk I heard years ago from Luis Palau's wife, Pat, when she learned she had cancer. She was sustained by the many years that she had walked with God. I knew the Chapman family had also walked with God a long time and I prayed this would sustain them.

Last week I bought Beauty Will Rise Steven Curtis Chapman's new cd, which he wrote as they processed their loss. I have been listening to it over and over again. It is an emotional, honest, raw and absolutely amazing cd. I highly recommend it (but stock up on kleenex first.)

Listen to these words:

"I am broken
I am bleeding
I'm scared and I'm confused
But You are faithful.

I am weary in believing
God help my unbelief
Cause You are faithful.

I will proclaim it to the world
I will declare it to my heart
I'll sing it when the sun is shining
I will scream it in the dark
You are faithful.

When You give and when you take away
Even then still your name is faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful. . . "

Thank you, Steven Curtis Chapman for sharing your journey with us. I am so sorry for your families loss.

During times of loss, what helps you remember that God is faithful?
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