Friday, March 30, 2012

Ideas

Ever have too many ideas, but not enough time to get them posted ... that is me today.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Long Winter's Nap


While Chicago seems small after visiting New York, we still have many places to explore.

Yesterday, Dave had to take some paperwork downtown, so we hopped on the el together. Our destination was the Thompson Center.


The Thompson Center was amazing ... on the inside. Another beautiful building to add to Dave's architectural tour. We did not have time to eat lunch downtown. Sadly, no new additions to Dave's food tour. (come visit us for either of these interesting/yummy tours)


By the time we got home, I hit an unusual wall of tiredness. I brought my favorite pillow to the couch, turned on the television and slept through two episodes of The Waltons. A long two hour winter's nap, indeed. (only in the spring) 

ps. Growing up without television, I had never seen the original showing of The Waltons. When Dave and I got married, (almost 35 years ago) I was teaching first grade. Arriving home from school every day, it was always just in time to watch The Waltons. I watched the whole series that year, just before cooking dinner. (a fond memory)

Do you have a favorite television series?  

image credit: 1, 2, 3 





Monday, March 26, 2012

On days you wake up discouraged


This morning, I woke up with that heavy discouraged feeling.

Sure, I have things I am concerned about. And, my insomnia is acting up. And, I missed an important meeting yesterday, because I made a mistake on the timing, and left a new friend sitting alone at a coffee shop. And, the sun is hiding. And, I gained .4 of a pound over the weekend, even though I ate carefully.

And ... and ... and ...

What is on your "and list" today?

It is easy for me to let these feeling spiral downward, quickly out of control. Today, I do not want to do that. Today, I want to follow my friend Anne's advice. "Bring your honest pains and feelings into God's presence and sit with Him there, until you hear from Him."

This morning, I chose to do that. And in my regular quiet time, where I was already reading, I read this:

          ~in Jesus Calling

                    "Waiting on Me means directing 
                      your attention to Me in hopeful
                      anticipation of what I will do." 


          ~in Lamentations 3:24-26

                    "The Lord is my portion, says my
                      soul, therefore I will hope in him.
                      The Lord is good to those who
                      wait for him. It is good that one 
                      should wait quietly for the salvation
                      of the Lord."


So today, in my discouragement:


          *I will hope in God
          *I will wait on God
          *I will seek God
          *I will wait quietly for the salvation
            of the Lord


I do not have any answer ... but Jesus.

image credit 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Virtual friends ~ Real sisters


Sixteen months ago, I left Seattle, where I had oodles of wonderful friends and was only a four and a half hour drive from all of my family.

And, I moved to Chicago, where our daughters live, who happen to be two of my best friends. (Christy moved to England seven months ago, but Jenny still lives just ten minutes away.) But I was starting fresh in the other kind of friends department.

Since I have moved a lot, I know how to do transitions. I am a introvert, but I love people, am very friendly, and make friends easily.

But it was very different, since we chose to live in the city. (most people work, much younger crowd, and no traditional day time women's ministry programs) And we moved just as winter was starting, where people are rarely out of their homes. 
 
I have been lonely. So what did I do?


1. I worked extra hard to meet people, at church, in our neighborhood, in our ministry etc. It has been slow.


2. Skype became my best friend ... as I spent much time "face to face" with friends who really knew me.


3. And virtual friends that I met through my blog, became super important, and I invested in these relationships.


.


It is hard to describe on-line friends. Calling them "blogging friends," does not do justice to the relationship.

I really care that Sandra lost her husband, that Alicia got settled in her new place, that Sarah is expecting a baby, that Tiffini has the courage to start a new business ... and the list could go on and on.

That is why I love this phrase, "Virtual friends ~ Real sisters." This is a t.shirt that was designed by my virtual friend/real sister, Jen. Jen hosts a wonderful community called Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood

You have heard me talk about these lovely ladies before. I call us the Soli Sisters and have found great friendships here.

Skype friends and virtual friends have been my life saver.

So now, sixteen months in ... how is it going for me in the friends department?

               *I have found significant ministry 
                 and friendship with the young 
                 women at our church

               *One of my blogging friends has
                 become a face.to.face friend
                 (Thanks, Shelly)

               *We have built fun relationships
                 with two of our neighbors (darling young
                       families)

               *I have made so many virtual friends,
                 that it is hard to now find time for all
                 of them.

               *I still skype often with friends around
                 the world.

               *And, just last week, I realized that for
                 four days in a row, I met with a real
                 live person, that knew my name. (and 
                       it was not Dave or Jenny)

I am still not where I want to be (in the friends department)
but this is real progress. And, I am grateful, for sure. 

Do you have good friends? enough friends? skype friends? virtual friends? Talk to me.


ps. Hop over to Jen's site to order this cute tee.

      

              

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Noisy Neighbors


We purchased our first tiny home a few weeks before we got married. Since then we have owned four other homes, in four different cities.

Four years ago, just as the market was beginning to tank, we sold our last home.

We became renters for the first time. First it was our adorable little lake house.


Our patio, NOT our boat

And next our wonderful vintage Chicago apartment.


Having little renting experience, we wondered about noise. (We had heard horror stories.)

We have a darling 1 1/2 year old downstairs neighbor. In the morning before work, and in the evening after work, we hear downstairs noise. It is J (the dad) stomping after E (the toddler), followed by her squeals.

Yes, we hear noise ...delightful happy noise, which we love.

J and S (the mom), are super loving and intentional parents. I love seeing that in this generation.

Speaking of intentional, have you read my friend Shelly's amazing series, Intentional Parenting. You will love it.  

Have a great Wednesday and, I hope you have some happy noise in your life.


 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Creating a Home ... Wherever You Go

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Our family has traveled ... a lot. And I love creating a home wherever we go:

* in a hotel
* in a tent
* in a guest room
* in a small corner of a church
 in Scotland (many summers)

And I do this whether we stay for one night or one month. I always need a little home.


In college, (ages ago) I was quite mesmerized by Edith Schaeffer's book on creativity and homemaking, Hidden Art. Edith traveled the world with her theologian husband and her four children.

Wherever they went, Edith always packed a pair of candlesticks and a tablecloth. She brought a little bit of home with her.



I wanted to be just like her when I grew up ... and I was. This is the way I have been traveling for many years. At first I did it to provide continuity for my kids, and now I do it for me. (Dave likes it, too.)



When packing to leave home, you will always find these items tucked in my bag:

* a candle or two
* several small cloth napkins 
   in different colors, to use
   as mini tablecloths
* my Bible and a few favorite books
* a few current magazines
* a favorite mug and my tea
* a pretty throw blanket

 
As soon as I arrive, I happily putter around creating a home.

1. I remove everything I do not like - the phone book, all the paper advertising you find in a hotel room, the water bottles that cost $5. I tuck them in one of the dresser drawers.

2. I open the curtains.

3. If the bedspread is ugly, I fold it down.

4. I lay out the colorful napkins as tablecloths. Maybe one on the bedside table and one on the desk. Out come my candles, books, magazines, mug and blanket. 

5. If my stay is for a couple of nights, I will purchase a small plant or some pretty cut flowers.

6. I have been known to do a tiny rearrange of the furniture. Why not angle the comfy chair so it faces the window? (Please note ~ I do not move furniture if I am a guest in someone's home.)



Hey, 15 minutes of happy puttering and voila ... it feels like home. 

It is fun and easy and oh so worth it. Have fun creating a home away from home.

ps. I like to pack this guy in my bag, too.

image credit: photos are from our little cabin on the ocean at Ecola Bible School, where Dave was teaching and I was creating a home. 

 
                

Friday, March 16, 2012

Guacamole Salad

Have you met, The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten?



Ina's cookbooks are beautiful and full of yummy recipes with normal ingredients. I also love her ideas behind the food:

          *"Food is not about impressing people. In fact, it is just the oppositve: it is about making them feel comfortable."

          *" 'Something smells really good!' my husband, Jeffrey, exclaims every Friday night when he walks in the door. Most weeks, Jeffrey has been around the world and back, and when he walks in that door, I want him to feel that he is really home."


Each of her seven cookbooks are full of wonderful ideas for planning and preparing easy delicious meals. This week, I made Ina's beautiful Guacamole Salad.

my salad vs. the picture in the cookbook
 Guacamole Salad
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and medium diced
1 - 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup small diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper, seeded
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 ripe avocados, medium diced


Place tomatoes, yellow peppers, black beans, red onion, jalapeno pepper and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic and cayenne and pour over vegetables. Toss well.


Just before serving, fold in the avocados. Serve at room temperature.


Thanks, Ina. (My husband, loves it when you release a new cookbook around Christmas, as he know just what gift to get me.)

Hey, blogging friends ~ what are you cooking at your house this week?


 Check out some great recipes and Becky's wonderful blog, Farmgirl Paints



image 1 and 2 



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chicago O'Hare Airport ~ its' best kept secret

My husband spends time - a lot of time - in airports. And being the seasoned traveler that he is (over 70 countries), he thought he had seen just about everything there is to see in airport terminals.

That is until last week, when he discovered right here, under his nose, O'Hares' best kept secret ... the Urban Garden.



Right there, between terminal 2 and 3, the world's first aeroponic garden. This sure beats the crowded noisy spot we usually sit.

And that is not all ... it also has a lovely restaurant with comfy seats and real plates and glasses, that overlooks the garden.


And all that lovely produce ... varieties of lettuce, peppers and herbs, are used in four restaurants at the airport. How cool it that.

So next time you fly in to visit me (please), stop in to see the Urban Garden.

image credit: my sweet traveling man 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Remembering Ground Zero: The 9/11 Memorial

One can never forget where they were on September 11, 2001, when terrorist attacked our country, killing nearly 3,000 innocent people.


I can never forget, March 2, 2012, my first trip to New York City and my visit to the 9/11 Memorial.

After signing in and going through tight security, it was an incredible feeling to be standing in front of the two memorial pools. I had seen them on television, but seeing them in person ... it nearly took my breath away.

To get perspective on the size of the pool, notice the people around it.

 As I glanced down at the first name, I could instantly hear family members reading names and that sad sound of the bell being rung ... over and over again. It was a very emotional moment.





With the help of computers on site, I found the names of some of my heroes, Todd Beamer and Mark Bingham, two stories that I knew. And I read the names of thousands, who matter just as much, whose stories I did not know.


I was thrilled but deeply saddened that the unborn babies were recognized, as well.


We loved "the survivor tree," which workers found buried under piles of debris. It was brought back to health and recently transplanted, standing proudly on the site.


This is where we wanted to begin our tour of New York City ... and believe me, it was a sobering visit.

(Next week, I will tell you about the fun bits.)

St. Paul's church, right next door, was our next stop. This beautiful historic church, is where George Washington prayed, after his inauguration.


One of my favorite things, is when the Body of Christ 
acts exactly like the Body of Christ should ie. like Jesus would. St. Paul's church sure did

It became a busy and amazing triage center for the thousands of men and women that worked around the clock, looking for survivors and then human remains in the rubble.


The historic president's pew, where George Washington sat, became a place where firefighters, police and volunteers, could sit to have their feet cared for, by podiatrists. Often their boots were melted from standing on the hot ashes.


Small pieces of the makeshift signs have been saved.  We all remember seeing so many of these, in the early days ... when we still hoped for many survivors.


Today, as the new buildings are going up, I remember:

          *the thousands of innocent lives
            that were lost,

          *the brave volunteers,

          *the  countless thousands of family 
           that were left behind to grieve

          *and, the men and women who daily
            serve in the military, to protect our
            freedom

I remember

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A few thoughts on ... parenting


Mother's Day 2011

Do not believe anyone who thinks they have the perfect system for parenting. In my many years as a mom (30 years), I found a lot of parenting to be trial and error. Of course, there are some basic principles that work - like respect your kids, aim for consistency etc. But in the every day matters ... trial and error. 

sweet Jenny



Let's take chores. Sometimes a chore chart worked well, other times it did not work. (One time when Dave was traveling and I was tired ... I hid 10 dimes in the girls messy room ... THAT WORKED.)

sweet Christy

Or family devotions. We read stories, did projects, served others, always changing things up. Some things worked great. Some things flopped. Trial and error.


sisters
I tried many different approaches to temper tantrums. (When we lived in Renton, my friends, who were all 10 years younger than me, loved to hear temper tantrum stories from when my daughters were little. They took much encouragement from this ... as they thought the now older Christy and Jenny were practically perfect in every way.)

But what is my point, you ask?

Try lots of different things as a parent. Do not get stuck in just one way of parenting for each child and each situation. And ask our creative God for His ideas. This is how I finally came up with a tantrum solution that worked for us.

dad and daughter love
Old way that seldom worked: me in anxious or annoyed voice:  "This is unacceptable behavior and you have a choice to make (blah, blah, blah...) ..." Both my blood pressure and my daughter's is rising, as is the intensity of the situation. I always "won," but it was at a cost to both of us.

more dad and daughter love
New way that usually worked: One day the Holy Spirit prompted me to instead, address the girls in a soft voice, offering them His comfort and help. It looked like this. me in soft voice: "Wow, honey, I can see that you are really upset. Would you like me to pray for you?" They  almost always said yes. 

This often led to the girls snuggled up in my arms as I asked God to help sooth and comfort them. (very fun, indeed) And the cool thing is - our adult daughters ask us to pray for them on a regular basis. 

January 2012
So ... try it out and see if this works for your kiddos. If not, ask God for another idea. He knows and understands you and your kids. 

ps. And, please, do not be so hard on yourself when your kids act up. We have a perfect Heavenly Father and we still act up all the time. 

 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Drink, Pray, Love

Tea is a big deal at our house ... a very big deal. It makes us happy and reminds us of our many travels to Scotland, Ireland and England. Tea reminds us of our friends there, who taught us how to make a proper cup of tea.

Dave brings me a cup of tea every morning while I am still in bed. (I know, so sweet.) And he makes us tea every night after dinner. (I know, I am super spoiled.) If you popped in for a visit at our house, you would not be here long, before Dave would offer you ... tea.

(Excuse me a minute, as I go put the tea kettle on. One should not write a post about tea ... without drinking some, right?)


In recent weeks, Dave has had some changes at work (good changes) that are keeping him super busy (and happy),
but on the road even more. So we have been talking about ways to be intentional about staying connected.

So, we have changed our evening tea routine. Do not worry. Dave still prepares it. But with our tea, we are setting aside time ... a chunk of time ... to DRINK, PRAY, LOVE.

DRINK ... yes, tea.

PRAY ... for each other, our daughters and Dave's co.workers.

LOVE ... a long cozy chat to catch up with each other.

DRINK, PRAY, LOVE. I recommend it.

ps. I have a friend who started a group called Knit, Pray, Love. That sounds great, too.

How do you stay connected to those you love?



image credit 
 

 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Praying Specifically

I have had a lot of jobs ... nurses aid, house cleaner, secretary for the Art Department at Biola, waitress at Sambos, hotel maid during the World's Fair in Spokane, church secretary, first grade teacher and more.

But when I decided in 2003, to go back to work, it had been many years since anyone had paid me for the work I did.  I wanted to help pay for the girls college expenses, but I was not sure what I wanted to do.

I asked my friend Kate to pray with me about it and I had a lot of specific requests. I wanted something:

               *very close to home
               *active (not sitting at a desk) 
                   *around people that I enjoy             
               *with flexibility (so I could still travel with Dave)
               *part-time
               *good pay

(Later, Kate told me that my requests were so specific and so many that she thought, "I do not think Glenda really wants to go back to work.") 

But God knew my needs. One afternoon, a few months after we began praying, I drove through a strip mall a few blocks from our home. I noticed a new Panera just being built ... hmmm ... this might be just the ticket. 

I grabbed an application and before long I had an interview with a gal from corporate.

She asked me about my years serving overseas with Dave on Royal Servants and "just happened" to be friends with a couple on our staff. So right away she understood the needs for flexibility in a ministry travel schedule. 

And she hired me.

I found a job that matched everything on my list ... and that is how I became "Panera Girl."

ps. Of course, God does not always answer "yes" to all of my specific requests ... but I still ask.  

What are you praying for?

image credit
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