Monday, July 31, 2006

the smile is back ...

my dental work went well ... yay!!! .... the old injured tooth got pulled, and it didn't hurt a bit! ... now i have a temporary bridge ... my dentist did a good job ... it looks normal when i smile ...

i am so glad that is DONE ... this first stage of it and the worst stage, since there was that *lovely* extraction to contend with ...

just think of all the years i've had work done on this ONE single front tooth ... and it all started with a playground accident when that boy directed his yo/yo towards me and chipped it ...

sometimes life is like that ... things happen that aren't our fault, yet we still have to deal with the consequences ... and it could be years or decades of fall-out over that one single event ...

the purpose? i don't know ... maybe to give empathy for others as they suffer far far worse things ... maybe to teach patience ... it could be many many reasons ... or no reason that i would understand at this point ...

i do believe nothing is trivial in God's eyes ... even a little 8 year old girl's chipped tooth ...

If you don't get everything you want,
think of the things you don't get that you don't want.
~Oscar Wilde

Friday, July 28, 2006

sunflowers ...

yesterday i drove past fields of sunflowers ... i noticed that atleast they were enjoying our dry, hot spell ...following the sun, following the sun ...

this morning i felt cranky from the heat, impatient with leo, nervous about my dental thing on monday and now i'm rushing to head off to work in a few minutes ...

then i read
Debra's post on following the SON ... isn't it just like God to use other believers to remind us where our hearts and minds should rest ... when i forget for a moment or even day - to leave my worries & cares with Him ... i just need to keep my eyes on the SON ...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

angels watching ...

The Lord will command his Angels concerning you
To guard you in all your ways:
They will lift you up in their hands,
So that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
(Psalms 91:11-12)

i don't know what's up with me lately ... i seem to be tired, groggy and just not with it ...

example: last week while driving home from work ... i was doing highway speeds and didn't quite see this RED truck that was turning ... until i was almost IN his truck ...

recent example: this morning i almost collided with another vehicle at the gas station ... i was pulling away from the pumps and she was taking a shortcut through the pump area ... i was moving slowly, she was moving fast ... i braked, she sped up ...

tomorrow i have to go to the city for an appointment ... blah ... i better just pay attention, eh! i guess i am giving my guardian angels a bit of a work out these days ... i do believe God sends them to take care of us ... and that's what they have been doing lately! watching out for me when my brain is clogged with cotton balls ... or maybe just overloaded with the happenings of this past while ...

Monday, July 24, 2006

my brother visited ...

i've just had a wonderful visit with my baby brother ... my only brother ... he stopped over at our place for the night ... he's on his way to Astoria, Oregan to play at the
Finn Fest 2006 ...

our visits are usually short in nature ... but always sweet ... with e-mail and telephones, it hasn't seemed like 2 whole years since our last face to face chat! years truly do travel at an accelerated pace after a certain age!

my brother tells the best stories ... the city he lives in had just hosted a large Finnish gathering (he was the Chairman of that), so he entertained us with one story after another ... i tend to like listening and he likes to spin yarns, so i think we both had a good time ...

he also had this neat little stringed instrument, called the Jouhikko, with him ...

it is an old traditional Finnish instrument, which has been revived in the past few years ... in fact it is being used in the theatre production of the Lord of the Rings ... so he played some toe tapping tunes for us ... it was wonderful to have a happy occasion with a sibling ... truly a joy ...

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.
-Gail Lumet Buckley

Saturday, July 22, 2006

"If Christians spent as much time praying as they do grumbling,
they would soon have nothing to grumble about."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

back to our routine ...

today was my monday ... and it was a really wonderful monday! there was lots to do in the office - phones to answer, computer work to be done ... just busy, normal, pleasant type of work! i think "normal" is a good word sometimes ... after 2 weeks of abnormal ... i was so glad to be back at the salt mines in the park ...

leo had a good day at home ...

i guess after a highly stressful and sad period ... we yearn for the mundane everyday of life ... and we relish a day full of familiar routines ... then we pronounce it a good day ...

yup ... sometimes "normal" is the sweetest sounding of words ...

thank you Lord!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

... time to smile ...

remember i told you about my tooth situation ... here ... well in the midst of all this chaos reigning in our lives, i went to see another specialist who also thought the nerve was cracked and my capped, front tooth needed to be pulled ...

i just thought - fine! i don't care! pull the silly thing ... i have had 44 years of problems with it and too much money put into it ... so get rid of it!!! it is not an important issue when compared to what else is going on at the moment ...

so with resignation to the fate of my tooth ... and maybe still just a little upset with the idea ... i went to staples to buy some photo paper ...

now i think that God has a wonderful way of making a person smile, even though everything around us says to frown frown frown ... and here is why i think that ... i had just gotten the news from the specialist that my front tooth needed to go, when lo' and behold, guess who served me at staples? a woman, in her late-20's, who had an absolutely engaging smile and warm disposition ... all that despite the fact her front tooth was GONE! i wanted to hug this sweet sales-rep who hadn't a clue why i was patting her shoulder and grinning ...

i chuckle as i write this ...

i wasn't laughing at the lady ... and most certainly God wasn't either ... just pointing me in the direction that my heart should go ... with a smile ...

p.s. the dentist will put a temporary bridge there the same day - that's the plan anyway!

Monday, July 17, 2006

storms of life

artwork by danny hahlbohm

is it just me, or does life seem to be getting more and more stormy these days?

have you read the headlines? watched the images on the evening news? do you shake your head and wonder where in the world will all this end?

it seems the stormier life gets, the more i cling to my faith in Christ ... the more comfort i find in scripture ... the more peace God gives to my soul ...

do you have a shelter in times of storm?

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
John 14: 1-3

Saturday, July 15, 2006

If tomorrow starts without me ...

the poem i've posted is really as corny as summer in Kansas ... yet when a friend sent it to me last week, it was the instrument used to start the healing tears flowing ... and when i read it to leo, it did the same for him ... i wasn't going to share it ... but, it's usually the simple things in life that speak volumes ... remember to hug those you love this weekend ... that way, if tomorrow starts without them - you won't have any regrets ...

If tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears for me;

I wish so much you wouldn't cry
the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
that an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,

And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
all those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.

I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
it seemed almost impossible,
that I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all that we shared,
And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
and maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss some tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,

He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past,
but here life starts anew.

I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
and since each day is the same way,
There's no longing for the past.

So when tomorrow starts without me,
don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart .


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


this morning was the first morning that leo and i got to rest and just chat and read the bible together ... it was a good morning ... we both got to cry some too ... that was good as well ...

and this morning as i continued reading from billy graham's book "Hope for the Troubled Heart", i was amazed how the words seemed to be tailor made for our situation at this very moment ...

so i'm sharing with you again ... if it blessed my heart - my hope is that it blesses your heart as well ...

all quotes from HOPE FOR THE TROUBLED HEART by Billy Graham

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has done. Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, the most poignant poems, and the most gripping stories." page 104

"We don't have a magic shield to protect us from problems. Ultimately, it's our attitude that counts - attitude toward ourselves and toward God. We can turn burdens into blessings, or we can let those burdens bury us." page 106

God works in unexpected ways to bring us strength and joy in the midst of suffering." page 109

"Without dark clouds in our lives we would never know the joy of sunshine." page 109

Monday, July 10, 2006

the last visit ...

this is the last pic of leo and his big sis ... lucille and her husband visited us in 2004 and we had a super time ... good memories were made, which we have dusted off and viewed again at this time ...

we won't be going to the funeral ... isn't that sad? ... it is just too big a trip for leo to undertake without more time and planning ... but our consolation is that we DID visit when we had the opportunity ...

thank you for the warm comments, thoughts and prayer sent our way ... it is SO VERY appreciated ... i have read your messages to leo as well ... shared grief makes for a lighter load ...

Leo's sister died unexpectantly yesterday, July 9th ...

it was massive heart failure ... she was 59 ...

we have yet to hear about the funeral arrangements ... she lived a good 3 days drive from here.

my verse for times like these is:

"weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning" ...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

continual blooming

even though we have been having a dry, prairie heatwave - the various flowers keep popping up to delight us ... i am such a poor flower expert, that i don't know the names of many of them - and some i have never even seen before ... the previous owner of our rental had an amazing green thumb! *smile*, all we can do is enjoy ...

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining,
the breeze is blowing,
the birds are singing,
and the lawn mower is broken.
- James Dent

Thursday, July 06, 2006

equal time for Ruth

i love ruth graham ... i've often said she was the original blogger ... though of course there were no blogs back then!

yesterday, as i was doing my multiple searches for a home to buy, and asking questions like - should we buy? build? what's out there for us? my usual multi-home tasking search ... i came across this timely article by ruth in decision magazine ... it's called,


Our son Ned had reached the point in life when he wanted a bicycle more than anything.

He had been playing with his friend Joel that fall and wanted one just like Joel's - today!

"No," Bill said, "Wait until Christmas."

And that was that.

So Joel lent Ned his new bike for a week. Before the week was over, Ned knew that Joel's bike would be too small for him in a few months. So he decided he needed a larger model.

The next week he saw one advertised with the works: three speeds, spring suspensions, butterfly handles, triple brakes, slicks.

This was the one he had to have, and it was still two months until Christmas!

Then I understood, as never before, why God does not answer all of our prayers right away. Today we may be beseeching Him for things that we would not want six months from now.

However, most of our prayers are not "bicycle prayers."

When we pray according to God's will (that the prodigal will return; that the sorrowing may find His comfort; that He will work each situation out for our good and His glory), we know that He hears us, for each of these requests is what He wants.

But at times He has us wait for the answers.

The Psalm 27 command "Wait on the Lord" reads in the old Book of Common Prayer: "O tarry thou the Lord's leisure."

And to many of us impatient souls, how "leisurely" He seems at times!
by Ruth Graham

p.s. ... that last sentence had me grinning!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hope for the Troubled Heart ...

i'm reading Hope for the Troubled Heart ... a billy graham book ...

here is a little excerpt ... from page 99-100 ...

Pain can drive us in two directions. Either it can make us curse God for allowing our misery, or drive us to Him for relief. There is the expression, "God helps those who help themselves." I think a saying like "God helps us when we are helpless" is infinitely more comforting.

Sickness teaches us that activity is not the only way to serve God. "They also serve who only stand and wait." Man seems to judge active duty, but God shows us that He is also glorified through suffering.

Linda had been poisoned by chemicals, resulting in the destruction of her immune system, Making her allergic to the world." She was like the "boy in the bubble" who lived in a plastic enclosure to guard him from every atmospheric contaminant. Linda was in and out of intensive care and isolation units for five years of her young adult life. She said, "Most of the time I didn't think coherently. I was too busy trying to survive."

Linda struggled with one small goal during those years of intense suffering. She read one verse of Scripture each day and prayed for one minute. "And that was an overwhelming task," she said.

When she was able to leave the prison of hospital isolation, she began to reach out to others. She founded an organization called Direct Link, which links a disabled person to a source of help and support. She said, "The Lord gave me suffering so that I could help the suffering world of the disabled."

Jesus said, "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight" (Matthew 10:27). What does this mean to us? It means, be quiet, listen to God when things are their worst, and you will be able to talk to others when you are better.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the Mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

"Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "H-M-M, " she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today."? So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, "Today I'm going to wear my hair in a ponytail." So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "YEAH!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Attitude is everything.
Be kinder than necessary,
for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."