Saturday, January 17, 2015

It Had To End.....

I knew we'd eventually need to put Christmas away. We deliberately left it  up until 6 Jan. I thought I'd pack it all away the afternoon of the 7th when I brought Michael home from his "same day" surgery. You know how well that plan worked.

The kids and I tackled it today. I discovered the root of my reluctance.  As we took things down we decided which things we love enough to keep and store for a decade or so....and which had to go. All the outside lights, wireless music, candy canes and light shows....nativities, signs, books, movies etc....we did it. We even took photos to start a FB album for locals and family to claim things before I take them to the thrift I wonder if I should start stacking things in a side of the garage for a big garage sale. What do you think?

This missionary call is hard core. We've been simplifying for the past five years and here we are. At the point where we will need to decide what is really important enough to pay to store and what we can let go of.

Yes, there is the pull of "things." We are at the peak of our earning potential. We have "things." They are nicer than they were when we first married. They are probably nicer than we will be able to replace them with when we "really retire." Yet, it's not the "things" that made me sniffle as I packed away Christmas.

It was the fact  I needed to keep aside Arielle's Christmas Stocking and ornaments as she may well not be with us in Japan.  Yes, we do talk like we are going to Japan. We believe we will. God hasn't told us anything differently. The assurance grows. It certainly won't hurt to simplify if we DON'T go overseas....but again it wasn't the things. It was realizing  embracing this new dream means letting go of the older dream. The one where we moved to a house in a small town and lived for the remainder of Stacia's childhood, within a days drive from the big kids and Bowers, surrounded by all our things.  Somehow it was easier to let go of the old dream when it was years away....we are now months away from either buying a home in a small town or giving the majority away and putting the rest into storage.

 It's the saying goodbye to say hello....the saying goodbye flat out hurts. Most days I'm o.k. with it all - other days I am terrified  I'll miss out on being vital to grand kids, spending time with aging parents, growing old with girlfriends and more.....

So, today, I am a bit blue....excited about where God is leading....counting the cost and understanding more and more why our family word was and continues to be -  Courage......

From 13 boxes, many BIG TOTES down to this....and most of it won't be going overseas in a suitcase. 

Nolan laughed at this.....look what I found in a box in the garage. It turns out we had a couple of unpacked boxes from the move.  We haven't had a tape player for years - but by golly we have tapes. Nolan remembers spending hours in Alaska rewinding tapes after I discovered him unwinding them. ::snort::  I guess we should have a big unwinding party. That could be fun.

And because the day hadn't been emotional enough I decided to get a year of the blog ready to print. The next year up was 2011 (doing really early one and a sort of current one concurrently). 2011. The year some of our greatest fears materialized.  There are some photos, some  memories which instantly make my gut clench, my eyes threaten to water...and that time....We still live the repercussions of that event.

WHY would we go back? It's not 100% safe.

How can we NOT go back?

Choosing Joy!
©2015 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

The Staple Incident

I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. There are two reasons for this - Michael freaked me out with the "staple incident" and I started a good book I couldn't put down.

Michael discovered the doc had left a staple in when he removed the staples. He got some needle nose pliers and commenced to remove the staple himself. I helpfully suggested this was not the wise course of action. I did.

He continued.


"Here De'Etta, you try this."

ACK. I explained I couldn't pull Stacia's tooth. I have to call Zander. I suggested we call Zander. I tried to do it. I tried to really go to a happy place and do it...but ugh.

After a few more attempts Michael asked me to google surgery staples.

UGH the photos....but we discovered that they are shaped like a nose pliers aren't going to work.

"De'Etta, I think if we snip them with wire cutters...."

He got nauseated - very nauseated. I gave him the anti-nausea meds and the man went to sleep - staple intact. I did not sleep.

The surgeon told us to come back in Monday.

There are no photos accompanying this post for obvious reasons - I was too FREAKED OUT to take photos.

Choosing Joy!
©2015 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Stacia REALLY Likes Being With ME!

 Today, Stacia told me I'm just FUN.

Yep - me.

She said that I'll always be fun and she loves to spend time with me.

I needed to hear that at the end of a couple of weeks that seem to have taken on a life of their own.

Stacia and I left home early to go to a new favorite spots of ours. We've been determined to explore OUR AREA - rather than driving to the bigger towns nearby.

This determination led us to find Duke's Diner last week. Duke's has been family owned since 1962.  It's close to home. It's a hole in the wall - but we like it.  The waitress knows everyone's name -  but ours - maybe in time?  They have a lunch counter. Everyone's friendly. We see a lot of good, ole' normal folks - of all varieties and we love it.

Stacia said Awful Annie's is her first choice and from all the spots we've been Duke's Diner is her second choice. That's pretty good.

We were so impressed last Saturday a.m. we took the kids to lunch here on Sunday.  We got a kick out of a young boy who walked in, looked around, and said, "My WHOLE LIFE I've wanted to eat in a restaurant like this."  He was enamored with the lunch counter. There aren't a lot of vegan options - but there is a salad...and it was a good salad.

The others loved their super burgers and chicken.

"We've" also had oatmeal, French toast, and crepes. All has been yummy....

Today they brought Stacia's hot chocolate with sprinkles on it.  ::grin::

Directly across from Duke's is a Hispanic Produce market. I remembered the produce terminal in San Antonio - also in the Hispanic section of town - and I had great hope I'd found another treasure. Um....not so much.  There wasn't a lot of produce inside...some but not  a lot....
 And in the midst of it all - she told me I'm fun! She loves spending time with me. I always find interesting things to do.  Sweet words indeed.

Choosing Joy!
©2015 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

The Reason for God - Timothy Keller

The Reason for God: Believe in an Age of Skepticism, by Timothy Keller was PWOC Page Turner's January selection.   A few of us commented we may not have made it through this book without the deadline of the book club looming.

This is not a HARD read - but it's not an easy read either. In other words, I had to read some pages a couple of times - but when I slowed down and engaged it was engaging and enlightening. LOL

There were many things I LOVED about this book. I loved his switch from classifying people as believers and unbelievers. He points out all believe in something and so instead he calls us believers and skeptics. I loved a current voice answering the skeptics of today in the context of today's culture. I loved his call to focus on the foundational before getting mired in the minors. I liked the ecumenical voice in this book. I loved his description of the difference between religion and the gospel of grace. I loved how he showed the context of other cultures and illustrated the adaptability of the gospel. We don't have to convert, and shouldn't attempt to convert, a person to WESTERN CULTURE. Christianity should look different in each culture - and he contrasts this with other religions.  I was intrigued and impressed at his practice of having a friendly question/answer session after his sermons on Sunday - a chance to be able to answer honest questions and get honest answers.  His thoughts on "community" and the importance of the local church feed my thoughts on community as I see it in so many books I'm reading. There is a lot of good stuff to ponder in this book.

I liked the physical layout of the book. Introduction, Part 1 - Leap of Doubt - where he addresses the seven doubts he most often has heard from skeptics, followed by an Intermission, Part 2 - the Reasons for Faith - and an Epilogue.  Due to the layout, this book could easily be used as a source book - even if one did not read it from start to finish.

Seven doubts Keller deals with:
  1. There can't be just one true religion
  2. How could a good God allow suffering?
  3. Christianity is a straitjacket
  4. The church is responsible for so much injustice
  5. How can a loving God send people to hell?
  6. Science has disproved Christianity
  7. You can't take the Bible literally
The Reasons For Faith
  1. The clues of God
  2. The knowledge of God
  3. The problem of sin
  4. Religion and the gospel
  5. The (true) story of the cross
  6. The reality of the resurrection
  7. The dance of God
This is my first Timothy Keller book. I'd like to read more. It looks like he has taken several of his chapters and expanded them to whole books. I'd love to hear which you'd recommend next? Justice, works, marriage....which ones have you read?

Choosing Joy!
©2015 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...