Monthly Archives: October 2007

Big Week Recoup





No time to blog this week. Homeschool work is backed up due to last week’s events, kids are all out of schedule (you know what that means – it’s a nut farm around here!), & field trips are already planned. I’ll be back sometime soon when the discipline & schooling are back in order.


… our family left an era. The torch has been passed to the next generation. Those years of getting together for Christmas with all the aunts & uncles – normal Christmas at Grandma’s – has suddenly transformed, through the eyes of my children, into those huge reunions with all those people I didn’t know. Now those “times at Grandma’s” are when my brothers & I get together at Mom’s. It’s still fun, but looks different from this angle.

… I glanced around the sanctuary & realized that, even though I don’t call this large group of people on the phone often or visit their homes on a regular basis, the fact that these people knew me from the time I was in diapers, they remember when I was that geeky jr. high kid, watched me turn into the babe I am today, were there for my wedding, for holidays through the years, they were there when Dad died, when Grandma died, & will be there whenever any big event happens in the future. It makes me realize how special family is. Even if they don’t know my every day life, they know me! They know my history. Grandma lost her mother at aged two & a half, so I think always felt like she didn’t have some of that. She did a great job of passing down to all of us the importance of family.

… at calling hours my brothers, cousin, & I enjoyed a good laugh when Mr. “Notso”, or “Was”, came by. We were trying to guess what his name was, but ironically, the very elderly gentleman was Young! Also, my Grandma’s high school English teacher came to call, believe it or not. She had Grandma as well as most of my aunts & uncles. Grandma & she ended up being neighbors the last few years. That blew me away that one of her teachers could be there! But not only that, she was dressed to the nines – with a nice suit on, frilly blouse, makeup & cameo pin. She looked great! I wonder what our generation will look like in the same scenario years from now. We don’t dress up like Grandma’s generation does. It will be interesting.

… that old cookie drawer came to mind for the first time in a long while. Grandma always had that bottom drawer in the kitchen stocked for us with Keebler Fudge Striped cookies & Fig Newtons. And her refrigerator always had a Klondike to share.

… Aunt Gwen gave me Grandma’s cross necklace before the funeral. Grandma wanted me to have it. She wore it all the time until the day she died. I wonder at what other special occasions that necklace will be a comfort to me in the future – a part of Grandma being with me.

… my brother, Paul, sang in the pew behind me so I could hear his voice well. Can I just say how much I love singing with him? I cherished harmonizing with him through all the verses of Great Is Thy Faithfulness. The second verse about the “harvest” will never be sung, passed by unnoticed, again. Grandma was a farmer’s wife. I’ve grown to appreciate the seasons living out here on her farm.

… Uncle Gary pointed out something that I took for granted – Grandma liked just hanging around her children & grandchildren. I never really thought about that before, but that does capture Grandma. She enjoyed being around us! She was happiest in the buzz of family life.

… it hit me Grandma won’t be there to point out all the relation’s markers at the cemetery anymore. We’ll have to plant those red geraniums without her. Who’s going to tell us what’s “proper”? I’m not ready for life without her yet! At 37, I should be – I’ve been so spoiled to have my grandma this long – but I don’t feel spoiled. Today I’m just feeling like life is way too short.

… as I looked around at the dinner afterward, I saw how much my big, beautiful family has in common. For all our many unique differences, we are very much alike after all. We have a great sense of humor, appreciate fine quality, have talented & loyal women, have hard-working & handsome men, for the most part we’re intelligent, volunteer & are well thought of in the community, can cook, we enjoy life, & love our family deeply. Grandma has a whole lot to be proud of.

Save Me A Seat

Breakfast Table
Chris Rice

Was it a million miles to Heaven
Too far to hear my lonely song
Or is it just my imagination I hear you humming along
I only hold you in my dreams now
I wake up with cold and empty arms
Lord, help me get through this long night with You
And soon as the morning comes
Soon as the morning comes

Save me a seat at the breakfast table
Save me a dance around the Milky Way
And save me a thousand years to whisper in your ears
All I’ve wanted to say
Save me a smile and an angel’s feather
Save me a walk down the streets of gold
And baby, we’ll change our minds just like old times
And maybe we’ll just fly away
Or maybe we’ll stay

My lucky doll, you’re in Heaven before me
You were my taste of Heaven here
Remember we loved to talk about it, we couldn’t wait to get there
So you go on and find your way around now
But remember I’m here missing you
Do me a favor and say hey to Jesus
And tell Him I’m missing Him too
Tell Him I’m missing Him too

October 23, 2007 – Grandma Left Us.

Grandma’s home.

The King of Kings as well as her Royal were there to greet her, I’m sure. I’d love to have seen her face when she saw those streets of gold & all those jewels for the first time – she sheepishly loved being referred to as “Mrs. Got-rocks”. Grandma’s living the high life, now!!

I’m so happy for her, but today’s a very sad one for me.
We’re missing her already.

“Tell God Our Needs; Tell People How God Provides.”

George Muller said that. I love it! The kids & I have been reading through the Trailblazer Book about him – The Bandit of Ashley Downs. (If you’ve never read a Trailblazer Book, they are great – cliffhanger chapters, good storyline, teaches about our Christian heritage in these great men & women of faith.) Anyway, it got me thinking about all the times God has provided in similar ways in my life through the years. This was the original reason for this blog – to document what God has done & is doing in our family.

Last night, Mom needed some company staying with Grandma, so I took a notebook & listened again as Mom told of those times as we were growing up, how God showed Himself to be a faithful provider & mighty God. This week, as time permits (otherwise it will be next week), I’ll be sharing some of those stories.

The first one is from the summer of 1973. Mom & Dad had recently started working with Campus Crusade for Christ & were in Purdue, Indiana for a training type session. We were a family of four (I was three & my big brother was five) & Dad had only been a Christian for about a year. They had sold Mom’s beauty shops (I think she owned two?) & Dad quit the lucrative life insurance job he had & they went full time into the ministry. This was the intense discipleship program God put them in as it turns out.:) They raised support & moved to Iowa to head up a lay ministry something. (I need to ask Mom more about that part of the story!) So, picture this family, living for a summer in the dorms, supported (provided for, but not an over abundance).

Mom stayed home from a session one morning – one of us kids sick or something. Dad came home at noon for lunch & told how Bill Bright had spoken at the session about how some missionaries were in need of funds & asked if anyone wanted to pledge support. Dad (and those of you who knew him wouldn’t be at all surprised at this) put us down for $50 a month. Now, $50 a month is a good chunk of change for today, but 34 years ago, that was a really big leap of faith! Some would call that “irresponsible” or whatever. But to my Dad, as with George Muller & other great men of God, when he knew God laid something on his heart, no matter how foolish it looked, he acted on it. And I love that about him! Because of those acts of faith, I know my God provides & is real. I saw His hand in my family’s life as I grew up at times like this. I have no doubts my God is real & faithful in providing. (Note to Christian parents: If you never take a leap of faith, your kids are robbed the opportunity to see that Hand work in their formative early years – thus the statistics in the Truth Project – churched kids with no real belief in the God of their parents.) He shared this pledged commitment with Mom over lunch.

Right after lunch, they got the mail. In it was a letter from some church in Pennsylvania. It said,

“Dear Don & Carol,

You don’t know us & we don’t know you, but our church has been supporting a Campus Crusade staff family for years. This family has recently left CCC, but we want to continue supporting CCC, so we called for another name & they gave us yours.

This is to inform you that we are transferring our support of $50 a month over to you…”

That’s what my God does. He is actively involved in every aspect of our lives. He LOVES to show Himself like that! He eagerly waits for us to leap out in faith so He can show Himself faithful. When we rely so much on our own finances & “common sense” that we never step out in faith when God wants to show Himself, we really miss out. It wasn’t good financially for George Muller to start an orphanage. It didn’t make common sense for him to put himself out that way. But because of his faithfulness to follow God’s leading, we have the wonderful stories of how over & over again God faithfully provided for over ten thousand orphans – sometimes at the last minute; sometimes in incredible ways.

“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials.
I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.”
(George Mueller)

“If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time.”
(George Mueller)

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”
(Oswald Chambers)

Hebrews 11:1

How Does She DO That?!

…actually, HE’s the One doing it, that’s why:)

Since my exercise routine has gone by the wayside (sadly, since school started), the old iPod has been collecting dust. I got it out again this morning & loaded it up with some Nancy Leigh DeMoss – she’s been talking about grace & holiness – & I’ll be! She hits the nail on the head EVERY time!! I love it when God does that! It was exactly what I needed to hear. I just picked two broadcasts from the last two weeks that sounded good: Good News For Imperfect People & Growing In Holiness.

God has been hammering me lately (like the last weeks? months? years?) about the seriousness of sin. Period. Don’t play around with a seemingly “little” one. And we ALL have it in our lives, don’t kid yourself. (I John 1:8) Eve’s sin didn’t seem so bad, did it? I mean, she just ate a piece of fruit. Come on! What was the big deal? Well let’s see… rebellion, pride, lust, greed, to name a few!! It wasn’t just eating a piece of fruit, but all that other gunk behind that act that was so horrible. THAT’S why Jesus died. It’s not so much what you see on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside. Shoot, the Pharisees sure looked good on the outside, but Jesus had the strongest of words for them. And they got so far off course spiritually, they wanted to kill the very Messiah they claimed to be looking for; the Son of the God they were spending their life serving!

I love this quote…

“Be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

Besides Nancy Leigh, Keith & I started watching The Truth Project sessions last night. GOOD STUFF! If you ever get a chance to be a part of a small group doing the Truth Project, strongly consider jumping on board. It’s a Christian world view “tour” to ground the American church. If you haven’t noticed, we have a lot of churched people running around our culture with no clue as to what they really believe, & frankly, they show they don’t really believe it by the way they live. You LIVE what you really believe. It’s geared toward the rapidly degenerating high school/college age group. We’ve got to get them grounded before they totally trash their lives & we lose yet another generation. We ARE in a cosmic battle between good & evil & so many churched walk around oblivious. Talk about a sitting ducks for Satan’s targets! He’s loving it!

Anyway, this Truth Project takes on questions like…
Why did Jesus come to earth?
What is truth?
Why are we here?
…big questions. Yet we have so much today that lulls us into a back-to-back entertainment session, we can sail through life without ever having stopped to ask ourselves these things anymore.

Gotta move on with the day, but had to get this off my chest. I am so excited about what God is doing!

That’s It!!

After years of making stir fry, I finally found the ingredient that’s been missing. It’s probably one everybody else already knows, but I am excited to find it, so had to share. I stumbled upon it while making a gingerbread cake (Mom’s fall & winter fave, served warm with a dollop of cool whip for topping) for a family get-together the other night. The back of the molasses bottle had a suggested use for stir-fry.

We love our rice & chicken around here; have it once a week. When we lived in Korea, a girlfriend shared with me the “Korean secret” to sweet & sour from scratch, so that’s how I’ve done it every since. (Recipe found at the end of the post if you’re interested). But with the schezuan stir fry, I never felt confident enough out on my own. I have been buying the Green Giant bag with the sauce packet included, thrown in an extra bag of veggies to make it stretch, & spiced it up a bit with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, & brown sugar. I never figured out how they got that base sauce though. DUH!! MOLASSES! It’s dark, thick, & is what makes brown sugar brown – why didn’t I ever try that before? (In case you’ve never done this before, a fun trick to do with the kids is to “make” your own brown sugar by stirring in a little bit of molasses into a bowl of white sugar. The kids think it’s great, it’s fresh, soft, & makes do when you run out of brown sugar for those chocolate chip cookies.) Just keep in mind, it takes a little bit of molasses & a whole lot of stirring!)

So, now that we have the perfected recipe for our family, I share with you. It may not be right for your clan, but my group licked their platters clean tonight:) And I will never buy another bag of Green Giant overpriced stir-fry veggies again. Warning: I cook off the cuff. I never write down amounts, just go by taste. Sorry.

Schezuan Stir Fry Sauce

1/4 to 1/3 cup molasses, somewhere in there
about 2 Tbl. ginger
good shot of garlic salt (1/2 tsp?)
about 2 Tbl. soy sauce
2 or 3 Tbl. brown sugar (I like it sweeter than some might)

Throw these ingredients into the frying pan after browning up some chicken pieces & stir. Add two bags of your favorite variety of frozen stir-fry veggies. When the veggies are cooked, toss in about 1/4 cup of peanuts, stir, & serve over rice.

If you don’t have a good sweet & sour sauce recipe & have been buying it by the bottle, here’s a great one…

Sweet & Sour Sauce

1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
2 Tbl. white sugar
2 Tbl. vinegar
a dash of red & yellow food coloring (otherwise it looks like someone had major sinus problems in your kitchen – NOT good!)

This is great to add to a skillet of browned chicken chunks along with: carrots, pineapple, green & red peppers, & onion. (Again, serve over rice.)