Sunday, March 28, 2010

Loss, Gain, Faith and Hope

"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." -Phil. 1:21
Have had a very faith-challenging week. Our family is wrapping itself around one member, a dear brother-in-law/uncle/friend, who is facing the news that the cancer is winning and that the days before his heavenly homecoming are few in number. It was shocking and yet not, heart-wrenching and yet hopeful, and certainly a week filled with prayers and tears. So we hug one another a lot these days, and find our source of solace and bravery in the promises of God and the love we share with one another. The time we have has suddenly become even more precious as we are even more aware of how swiftly it passes. In the middle of all the things that don't seem to make sense right now, one thing is rock-solid clear for us... God is good, His love is ever sure, and He is faithful in his promises to all of us. However deep the hurt, he holds us close; and however fearful the journey, the doorway to heaven is but a step away from all of us so we are always near to God and to each other even when it feels like this separation to come is huge chasm.  Keep Jon, Kathy, and all of us close in prayer in the days ahead. It helps us to know our friends are near in prayer.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cutest Tots on the Lot!

Had to upload a stolen shot of my two of grandkids up in Michigan! They were on the playground this past week with their mum and had a blast. Personally, I think they are the cutest little tykes around and since I am the most doting grandma in Missouri, I had to share a shot or two with my online pals!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Few Words About St. Patrick

Let me start by saying that saints and their stories have always fascinated me. I know, not a very Lutheran thing to be fascinated by, but there it is. When our travels have taken us to some of the ancient cathedrals in places like Rome, Florence, Canterbury, and Dublin, I am drawn to the artwork and sculptures depicting the saints. I am impressed by how their stories are designed to uplift us and give us hope.

So today is, of course, all about St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. I proudly donned my orange (being of the Protestant persuasion) and wished my fellow Lutherans a happy St. Patrick's day. Sadly, very few have ANY clue about the guy. A few knew he had something to do with snakes... and Ireland... and wearing green? Nah! For most Americans this day is about green beer, pinching folks not wearing green, and a meal of corned beef and cabbage.

So I am proud to say that I have been to St. Patrick's Cathedral... both in New York City and in Dublin, Ireland. I have seen the place where he is supposed to have baptized people and I have read the things about him that the Irish people admire. The guy was amazing. He was tireless and determined to bring the Christian faith to the "pagan" folks of the Emerald Isle. So here's to you St. Patrick! We could use more guys like him today.

 St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin... and the stone found under the cathedral in the 1800's thought to go back to when St. Patrick led worship on this site long ago!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Things to Be Thankful for...

Today was a better than average day. The sun was out and shining brightly, and we didn't get severe weather last night. So today's post is just a gratitude list:

On this day, I am grateful for:
1. The fact that both Ed and I are healthy enough to give blood like we did today. Doing that always feels so good and is such a small way to make a difference.
2. The "photobooth" application on my Mac... Syd was an absolute hoot tonight as she took photo after photo of she and I... giggles galore.
3. My student teacher... yes, I have one for the next 8 weeks. Amber Schwartz hails from Greeley, CO and I can already see signs of her talent.
4. My fellow English department colleagues... Stevan and Rachel.... they are the best! (and give me hope that one day I'll be able to retire!)
5. My seniors who are hanging in there and battling back senioritis. Hang tough, kiddos! You'll get there!
6. The fact that we have a President who refuses to give up on what needs to be done... I am praying for you Barack, and today I wrote my Republican congressman and begged him to stop being such a nincompoop about health care. Health care is NOT like buying groceries, or clothes... you can't cut corners if you are critically ill or just go without! WHY can't somebody in the Republican Congress help communicate that to their fellow members. If an old fart like me can 'get it' - you'd think those professional politicos could!
7. My hubby who makes me tea in the morning and dinner each night... love you sweetie!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lion, Lamb? March Came In.... where did Feb. Go???

March is here, and I can't quite believe it. February whisked in and out so quickly one scarcely had time to notice it all. But March is here and it came in quite nicely, almost congenially. We are not yet counting the days until Spring Break at school, but the natives are noticeably restless.

The weatherman has gifted us with a couple of spring-like days to tease our hearts into believing that it won't snow anymore, when in reality, we know how fickle the Missouri weather can be. I am praying we have no late winter/early spring freezes. A repeat of the freeze of 2007 would be a bad thing for the vineyard... especially since it hit 70 degrees today.

Big weekend ahead... the grandkids are coming to visit us. Kate and her dad are running in the St. Pat's Day race on Saturday. I've decided to forego the 5 miler this year... 3 miles is plenty for me! I felt pretty good at 3 miles but totally whanked at 5 last year. So the kidlets and I will stand by and watch and cheer for them as the race about downtown. Should be fun!

March came in like a Lamb... and here's hoping the lamb sticks around!