Sunday, July 31, 2011

God is so cool!

Third time is a charm, right?

1.   I just finished Rift in Time by Michael Phillips.  This is a quote from pg. 254.

"All men and women have that opportunity.  God doesn't arbitrarily select some and reject others.  Being what is called "chosen" by God is a choice that man makes.  But only a few in every era do choose to open their spiritual eyes."

2.   I'm also working on Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore.  This is a quote from Session 5 Notes on p.123.

"Christ seeks to readjust our vision of Him.  The more we are willing to receive, the more He is willing to reveal to us."  Colossians 2:2-3  says, " that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

3.   Then, tonight at our church service, Malcolm Ellis preached out of Mark 4:22-25.

"For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."

God has talked to me all summer about this truth.  He wants to show us his mysteries from the Bible, from nature, from prayer, through Christ.  We have to want to know and to see, to put effort into searching.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Night Before Two-A-Days

Just got home from a sandwich and the fixins pool party at one of the coach's homes.  It was fun watching the kids, talking about the upcoming school year, reconnecting with some of our second "family."

I love all the stories that we wives trade about our kids and husbands.  Hearing them made me think of an old family story about my cousin Ian that I think I should tell!

Ian was in kindergarten.  My uncle Victor married a fellow dentist from Tiawan named Liza Ting.  These are Ian's parents.  At school, Ian must have overheard a conversation about his ethnicity.  When he got home,  he asked his mom, "What does caucasion mean?"
His mom thought for a moment and said, "well, it's like daddy."  Ian answered, "Oh....Bald!"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why I Submit to My Husband

I just listened to Carolyn Allen on talk about how many people are impacted when a coach and his wife keep their marriage healthy and happy.  Wow.

There seem to be more athletes from broken homes than from original parent homes these days.  They are watching the adults they respect--how they treat their husbands or wives, how they treat their own children...

Knowing that happy marriages impact students and athletes is the easy part.  Maintaining a healthy and happy marriage, well, that's a challenge.  My husband and I have been married 20 years as of June 15th. We've had some tough the one I stayed home with the kids and he brought home $1400 a month which did not cover insurance. 

That year, I learned to live on a very small budget.  I don't think I had ever used any budget before!  It was painful.  I wasn't used to hearing the word "no".  It came down to Ephesians 5:22.  I had to submit to my husband.

SUBMIT TO MY HUSBAND??????  What if he makes poor decisions?  What if he doesn't have my best interests in mind?  

Well, I can't answer those questions easily.  I do know that God and His word can be trusted.  He promises to "work all things to the good of those who love Him" in Romans 8:28.  My secret has always been to pray and read the Bible and pray some more.  God  ALWAYS  does something.  He either changes me or changes my husband.  It always turns out better after I've diligently prayed over the problem.

I know that people see me submit to my husband. I hope they realize I've made that choice because I trust God.  I also hope they see that my husband loves me and respects me.  

He also does the laundry and cooks breakfast!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beauty from Ashes

My sister.
She was born a week after I turned five. It was neat at first, but mom became extremely busy and things went downhill from there, in my opinion.

She was cute, sweet, adored me and wanted to be just like me. I was profoundly annoyed and completely uninterested in her for the next 18 years.

I married a few weeks after her 18th birthday. Shortly before the wedding, I realized for the first time, I NEEDED her. No one else could fill the spot. She was my maid of honor, and I was excited to hang around with her. Things were okay as she went to college and I moved away and had a baby.

During college, she married a guy I tried to like, but did not trust, and for the next seven years we spoke once or twice per year.

I was heartbroken. I begged her to forgive me for my selfishness, meanness, and disinterest. I offered to go to counseling.

She ended up moving to another state, and the chasm grew. When we did have time together, things were strained. I was a first hand example of someone reaping what she had sewn.

I had another child and grieved that she wasn't anywhere around. I finally resigned to my children not having their aunt in their lives.

I'll never forget the day that I received her phone call. He had left her; life had been horrible since they had moved out of state. She had to stay for a year until she could be officially divorced. We talked on the phone every day, sometimes for hours trying to wade through her pain and disappointment. I was so glad she had

Eight years later, she is remarried to the most amazing guy (besides my husband and my dad) on the planet. They have a child. We are best friends. God is so good. He makes beauty from ashes again, and again, and again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Please Don't Tell!

Two-a-days start a week from Monday. The coaches' wives take food up so our men won't starve to death and blow away. :) I have a new recipe I'm going to try to make for them. It has a secret ingredient that I'm guessing they'll never guess!

My Aunt Denise and Uncle David just moved back to Houston from Australia. In Pagosa Springs, they shared with us Aussie deserts. Apparently, they mainly eat two: Pavlova and Sticky Date Pudding.

On the weekends, friends are invited over and treated to a first course of "starters," mainly veggies and dips. The main course of meat and salad follows and then one of the desserts. This is spread out over 3-4 hours. After dessert, coffee is served and finally, chocolate. Then it is time to round up the kids and go home.

They do this EVERY weekend! And they don't spend a lot of time cleaning house for company! It's all about relationships and sharing each other's burdens. Love it!

Of course during football season, my husband is sort of doing this every weekend at the field house, only they serve Allsup's chimichangas, Sonic cherry vanilla root beer, and used to be sunflower seeds, but they are banned for the new turf.

Since having a dinner party isn't going to happen until possibly Christmas (!), I'm going to drop by a pan of Sticky Date Pudding at the field house and watch to see what happens.

First of all, it isn't pudding like Americans visualize. In Australia, pudding is actually cake. eat dates instead of M&M's or other candy. So the "pudding" has teeny bits of chopped dates and hot carmel sauce is poured over each piece and topped with real, sweet, whipped cream. It is divine. I think the guys will love it....if they don't know what they're eating.

Sticky Date Pudding
Ingredients (serves 8)

250g pitted dates, chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups White Wings Self-Raising Flour, sifted
Caramel sauce
1 cup brown sugar
300ml thickened cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g butter


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 7cm deep, 22cm (base) cake pan.

Place dates and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a large metal spoon, fold through date mixture and flour until well combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn onto a plate.

Make sauce. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until sauce comes to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Pierce pudding all over with a skewer. Pour 1/2 cup of warm sauce over warm pudding. Stand for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve with remaining sauce.

I don't see the real whipped cream mentioned, but Aunt Denise served it, and it really pushed it over the top!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Your Mark.....Get Set......

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Denise Curry had this on Facebook today. I needed to be reminded of it!

To put things in context, we leave for coaching school Sunday, followed by the sound of the starter's pistol for the race that is football season. It is a long distance race decided not only by talent and good coaching, but also by stamina, heart, and toughness.

My family and I, but mostly my dad, may be entering simultaneously another distance race with prostate cancer. My dad tackled major surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy over the last eight years, and did well. Today, the test showed a PSA of 7, up from almost nothing six months ago. He has an amazing doctor in Houston who loves my parents almost as much as they love him. God is good.

Please pray for my dad and our family. I keep thinking, "To live is Christ..."

(In this picture, my mom and dad are on the left.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Honda Fit's Greatest Nighmare

The day on the car lot seemed so promising: a nice family willing to pay a little too much for the smallish car, the joy felt from the driver controlling a manual transmission, a protected spot in an organized garage....

It was all a facade.

The driver continually forgets that she is no longer in an SUV. She does not have plenty of room to straddle things that might be in the roadway. The first was a torn off tire on I20. It wasn't her fault; she was trapped in fast moving traffic and had no room to swerve. The encounter ripped the front plastic protector from under the car. She didn't realize it was so bad and drove all the way home and to school the next morning making a terrible scraping sound on the pavement. The junior high students laughed. It was humiliating.

Today was an incident in an alley. Little cars aren't supposed to traverse sandy, rocky alleys. She doesn't think before she drives. What she saw was a seemingly small piece of pavement in a mound of sand. She drove around it on the way into the alley. She talked to her son who was in a backyard doing some work and then jumped in the car and took off. Like I said, she doesn't think, just looks at the clock and flings herself in the direction she needs to go. She failed to avoid the broken piece of pavement that proved to be bigger, like an oval basketball sized, rock. She also drove full on into the sand....deep sand.

An alarming sound sent her son out of the backyard thinking she had experienced a blown out tire. What he found was a car spinning its tires and throwing out something akin to smoke with a red faced driver frantically trying to go, go, go.

He dug the tire out of the sand, gawked at the piece of pavement sporting scrape marks, and pushed so she could leave the alley finally. This time she rolled down the windows to see how the car sounded as it drove. Not good. Sand in the brakes? She had no idea what it was, until she hit a bump and it became louder.....she knew then what it was. The scraping again.

This time, it was a HUGE piece of plastic that looks like it was supposed to protect the whole underside. She, embarrassed, parked in the back of the deserted high school parking lot and walked about a 1/4 mile around to the front for in-service. Her husband had started coaching meetings and got an unwelcome call. She hates to interrupt, but.....

In the middle of the inservice she received a text from her husband, "I think it's mostly driveable now. Love you."

If this car could text, "Thanks for the memories, but have mercy on me and please trade up to something taller!"

I should, I admit it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Interesting Encounter

"I know everything about you, dear."

It sounds like the start of an interesting novel, but it was actually a stranger standing in the McDonald's line we joined on our way home from Pagosa Springs.

He had been talking to my mom in the line and gave me a hug. He was about 6'3" with bushy white hair peeking out from under a Marine's baseball cap. He was neatly and expensively dressed and had two large distinctive rings, one an alumni ring from somewhere, and one a quarter-sized oval gold ring with a simple raised gold cross. He had a definite accent, but spoke perfect English.

He sat down near us and began talking to the boys. He told them not to get tattoos, not to drink, not to do drugs. Then he told them to love God, the real God, he said, not just any god.

I asked him where he was from and he said he was from a far away country originally, but lives in the States now. He didn't seem to want to tell me where he was from, but finally he said, "Italia." I found him to be fascinating. He is a retired marine, and has an engineer son. His wife is still working in the air force.

I'm so glad we stopped and met him! I pray that this Sunday (today) will be a blessing to him and that God will continue to give him opportunities to encourage young boys to be upstanding and godly citizens.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Watching Geese and Thinking About 7 on 7

Down 14-13 at half...We r flat, not looking good.

We win! 27-22!!

We play at 8 am.

21-21 at half, playing argyle.

Won by 1 pt at end. Exciting! Next is aubry or prosper at 9

Td Dexter!!

We r down 21-13 at half.

About 6 min left &we r down by 3 tds. Dont think we will b able to come back unless we int every time.

I would have missed ALL of the state tournament in College Station had it not been for my dear friend Kathy, and the mostly wonderful technology of texting.

When I got a text this morning early, I was so sad not to be there cheering the guys on. Though I wish I could have been there, I don't regret coming to Colorado at all. I've felt complete peace about being here, even about driving by myself (with the two boys), which is unusual for me not to be a little nervous. God wanted me here, and I greatly appreciate the gift from Him.

In Beth Moore's Jesus the One and Only, Colossians 2:2-4, and passages from Rift in Time, the words have spoken over and over again about looking for God's hand in our lives. He wants to reveal things, hidden mysteries Colossians calls them, to His children. I've seen Him in creation this week; the geese flying over, as they do at the same time every night, was the latest.

The sun just set over the mountains behind Pagosa Springs. The honking geese just flew over my condo in a very messy v-shape. My trip is coming to a close.

I can't wait to get home to hear all about 7 on 7. Good night, geese!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mom and Her Two Babies

Yesterday, we saw a mule deer and her two little baby fawns down near the river in Pagosa Springs, Co. Today, on the way home from a hike, we saw a momma turkey and her two baby chicks. So, so sweet.

This is significant and appropriate because I am in Pagosa Springs with my two youngest sons. Last Monday, I was planning to attend the State 7 on 7 tournament in College Station, TX, with my oldest son, but my arrangements fell through. I was sad, but resigned to stay home with my husband and other sons.

Then, my husband discovered he had two days of in-service this week, bus driving and CPR, and it is his week to work the weight room every evening. I said to him, "Okay, it's good you're getting it done." He then dropped a bombshell.

My husband said, "Why don't you go to Pagosa Springs with your parents?"

I was shocked and thrilled by his suggestion. Drive 8 1/2 hours by myself with Derek and Dwight across one state into another? What about money? That was the reason we had planned not to go anyway. Why am I questioning? YES! Yes! Yes.

So, the next morning, Derek, Dwight, and I got in the car and drove to Pagosa Springs, CO to spend the week with my sister and her husband and son, my parents, and two sets of aunts and uncles. The week has been respite, rejuvenating, inspiring, and all the other things a week in the mountains is supposed to be.

Thank you Football Coach Honey, for encouraging me to go! I've already got new recipes you'll love and just the slightest credit card bill.

I'm not the only mom who is enjoying the weather with her two babies. The mule deer and turkey are doing just fine as well.