Sunday, January 29, 2006

Shortly after my 37th birthday, we left family, good friends and all that was familiar to become pilgrims. I had been to a few “big birthday parties” and I always enjoyed them. It had crossed my mind when I was perhaps 35, that I would not object to having one myself come my 40th or 50th. (I have heard that 40 is the new 30 and 50 the new 40. I think that means we are not over the hill till 50. So youthful for another 10 years I will be. Yay!!) Anyway, as some of you may know, my initial birthday celebration was quiet and intimate. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and did not feel deprived in the least.

Little did I know that planning and scheming were happening right under my nose. There indeed was a surprise party in store for me. It hasn’t been quite three years since we started traveling. God has given us friends in Florida who treat us like with are family. (Truth be told we are family in a very real way through our all being children of The Father.) My party was billed as a get together under a few different headings, “A Masters’ send off” “fellowship with the Scofields” “lunch with the Scofields.” The very day of the party we were leaving for Masters and meeting at the Scofields. This meant Grace and I would be leaving, Dan, Katie and Michael for 2 weeks. There was a lot to get done before leaving and in order to leave. I left my packing till Sunday morning (we were leaving in the evening). I threw a few monkey wrenches in the last 24 hours leading up to the party but my family had help in getting rid of them so that the guest of honor would make it to her Surprise 40th Birthday party.

I can’t explain how blessed we have been by the people we have met up and down the east coast of these United States, especially those in Florida. At times, the journey has been a little quieter and a little lonelier but we appreciate each place our travels have taken us. It’s a hoot for this New England girl to celebrate a winter birthday in the Florida sunshine surrounded by fairly new loved ones.
Other random party facts
*Grace even got my mother in on it by having her send a bunch of pictures of me from birth and onward.
*My family went out at midnight to go to Wal-Mart to get last minute party stuff the night before…
*My dear friend Barb Southwick whom I have known since I was 15 was there (she now lives in Naples with her hubbie and kids)
*No one even alluded to a party
*I was surprised!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Back from Louisiana
I wrote the following on January 17th, 2006 in one of my travel journals. The event described happened on the 16th.

Last night we stayed at Ramada Inn in Pensacola – still in Florida after 2 days travel – before checking in we went to the beach and ate at Surfburger. It was a great time of fellowship for all.
After the meal the kids went out to the beach, while Tom, Cory and I sat and talked a good while. The waitress cleared our dishes and left us to enjoy our time together and before we knew it the floor was swept, bar stools were on top of the bar and suddenly the lights came on – “Last call” I said and Cory laughed. The waitress and the cook were cashing out and practically ready to lock up before we headed out. It was time to find those kids.
We walked down the stairs (at least 20 of them since the restaurant was on stilts) directly onto the beach. The three of us were wondering out loud and looking up and down the beach – no sign of our children. As we continued our conversation I thought I heard singing so I interrupted and said, “Listen I think I hear singing.” We happened to be standing directly in front of a pier – I looked and thought I got a glimpse of someone standing near one of the boats docked there. So I walked out onto the pier. I didn’t hear them singing right away but I could tell that it was a group of kids huddled together. The thought went through my mind “I hope those are our kids.”
“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty . . .” seven teenage voices singing in harmony ~ it was the song on the wind I had heard just a few minutes before – I waved for Tom & Cory to come on – it was indeed our kids.
We kept our distance & savored the moment letting them finish out their song. At the very end of the pier our children invited the presence of the Lord and He came.
The three of us were humbled by the sight of our children (the Holy Huddle).
Were those tears in Tom’s eyes while he declared to Cory and me “this is what the trip is all about.”?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Masters Moment
So many doing their share,
so many showing how much they care,
It makes little difference what it will take,
but every bit how they communicate.

Their was one not like all guests,
So worried about possibly getting messed
by the work that was required by the rest.
She did her best to look the part,
Before my eyes I saw her heart.
In a moment, I saw with My Father's eyes,
this sister does not realize,
that the joy is in giving and not in false show.
She is missing out and may never know.

Have compassion on this one,
who is missing out on all the fun.
Look beyond her smug face,
she does not live within my grace.

I have learned to live to Him,
to work with others in a light
that never dims.
Often at times it requiring sweat, dirt and a mustard
stained suit. Pulling together and who gives a hoot?
Sweat will dry, dirt washes off, the new suit will fade.
Hearts are knit together, the work is done,
We've become family except for the one.

The selfish one has missed the joy,
because she despises the tools I use
to make life richer, fuller and true.
Look with compassion, do not resent,
You looked to me and there she went.

Putting on an apron to look the part,
Thinking that she was being smart,
She does not draw close to the Father's heart.
Her actions said look at me, I am helping out here
thinking she had nothing to fear.
There I was behind the scenes,
getting a sense of how at times He feels
with what my own actions reveal.

I walked away smiling feeling sad for the girl,
who cared more for her reputation than the pearl.
The one not found in the oyster shell,
but having such great value only our actions can tell.
by Catherine Mullaney
writing to you from Ponchatoula, LA

Sunday, January 01, 2006

"God - let me be aware.
Let me not stumble blindly down the ways,
Just getting somehow safely through the days,
Not even groping for another hand,
Not even wondering why it all was planned,
Eyes to the ground unseeking for the light,
Soul never aching for a wild-winged flight.
Please, keep me eager just to do my share,
God - let me eager just to do my share.
God - let me be aware.

God - let me be aware.
Stabe my soul fiercely with others' pain,
Let me walk seeing horror and stain.
Let me hands, groping, find other hands.
Give me the heart that divines, understands.
Give me the courage, wounded, to fight.
Flood me with knowledge, drench me in light.
Please keep me eager just to do my share.
God - let me be aware."
by Miriam Teichner

This poem was quoted in my E. Stanley Jones in the devotional I just finish today. I thought it was good enough to share on my blog here in cyberspace.
Pax et annum faustum,