January 20, 2009

My daughter can fly

Here is proof that she can fly. Look at those arms, getting ready to flap. Look at how much air there is between her feet and the ground. Of course, it helps that she is on a very springy floor, literally. This is the only picture I have from my daughter's meet. I have lots of video, but my dh is working on it because I video taped all the girls on her team. My daughter took 3rd place in her age and level. This is better than she has placed in the past. She did a beautiful job on floor and vault. She fell once on the beam but recovered beautifully. She did not do great on the bars, which continue to be her weakest event. I am continually amazed at the things she can do, however, and I know she has good coaches who will help her overcome obstacles.
For those of you wondering, I am still working on continuing my testimonial series, I have just been delayed by other issues right now. One of the perks of having a child on a sports team (I am sure it is any competitive team), is that you have to help raise money for the team. I am in the middle of doing that right now, gathering sponsors to help our gym to host a meet on February 22nd. I am also seeking direction as to who would be the focus of my next testimonial.

January 16, 2009

What is your definition of "safe"?

In The Princess Bride, (the book, not the movie), as Wesley leads Buttercup into the "safety" of the fire swamp, Buttercup thinks that Wesley must have learned a different definition of the word "safe."

I think Paul must have had a different definition of the word "rescue", too. In 2 Timothy 3:11, after talking about all of his trials as an apostle, he says "but the Lord rescued me from all of it." It sounds great, doesn't it? Until you read 2 Corinthians 11:24-25, when he describes how he was scourged (whipped) 39 times on five different occasions, beaten with rods on three different occasions, shipwrecked and stoned, which does not mean getting high on drugs, but means literaly having people throw stones at you until they think you are dead (though you might be only mostly dead). There is pretty good evidence that Paul wrote 2 Timothy in his last days on earth, so he was remembering all these events when he says that he was rescued. It's not exactly my definition of rescue.

Yesterday, my husband was laid off of work. We knew things weren't financially good at his company (or should I say his former company? Not yet, he is not totally off company payroll). When things first started looking shaky, we asked God if it was time to leave. "Not yet. Stay where you are", He replied. We had confirmation after confirmation after confirmation that we were to stay where we were. He promised us that He would take care of us. So is God welching on the deal? Are we, like Inigo Montoyo (you killed my father--prepare to die) and Fezzik (you ARE the brute squad), up against impossible odds to storm the castle without a true hero to help us? Hebrews 13:5 promises us that God will never leave us or forsake us. So that means that his definition of "take care of us" is slightly different than our definition, but that He is trustworthy. It means we are still right where God intends us to be and that is a very peaceful place to be.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below! Praise him all ye heavenly host! Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

January 9, 2009

The Tribute Series--Add your memories

I just want to encourage family members to add their memories as comments to my tribute series. Obviously, each person has a unique perspective about the people in my tributes. I also am not printing an exhaustive list of good qualities, just what God brings to my mind. My only request is that your comments reflect their good qualities in following with Phillipians 4:8:
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

Your comments will be moderated by me, but I won't make any changes as long as they meet the guidelines stated above.

January 8, 2009

Tribute Series: Granny Kloos

Anyone who met my Granny Kloos would describe her as "feisty". Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary defines feisty as "full of nervous energy: fidgety" or "being frisky and exuberant" or "having or showing a lively agressiveness: spunky".

All of these definitely fit Granny. She would be moving around constantly in her house, making sure everything was neat and clean. She would hang out the second story window cleaning the outside of the window. She was always quick to laugh and she let me give her the rasberries on her neck everytime I asked for "one last hug".

She would also let me know when she was displeased with me, like when I left the entire contents of Aunt Cynde's Barbie collection scattered all over the living room floor. She was always quick to share her opinion.

Once all of her kids had grown up, she went back to work at the American Nuclear Society until a few years after her husband died.

I also remember that she was a great servant. She would always be getting up at family gatherings to make sure everyone had what they desired. When Grandpa got sick, she nursed him until the end, getting occasional help from a hospice worker when he could no longer walk or take care of himself.

Thank you, Granny for teaching me to be "feisty".

January 5, 2009

Tribute Series--Nana Lambert

When I started this series, I said that I wanted to praise the people I love before they died. It has occurred to me that one person, in particular is close to death's door, so I should hurry up and write about her. My Nana, Phyllis Lambert, was diagnosed two years ago with an aneurism in her aorta and was given a year to live. Currently, she is residing in the Alzheimer's ward of a nursing home in Tuscon, Arizona.

Nana was the most imaginative person I knew as a child, apart from her father. She and I would pretend a lot when I would visit her. In the car, we would pretend we were police officers chasing down speeders and other bad guys. I made her be the guy and I chose a name taken from a kids TV show. She was also a great storyteller, just like her dad.

She also had an eye for beauty and could make halloween costumes, dresses and shirts that were works of art. I still have some of them. I had said that when I got married, I wanted Nana to make my wedding dress. Unfortunately, I waited too long and she was too old to do the elaborate work she used to do. Her work was always top quality. I remember her spending time teaching me how to finish seams and such. I am not near her equal.

She was also very proud of her children and grandchildren. She praised us effusively. Words like "marvelous", "wonderful", "absolutely marvelous", "precious" "absolutely darling" were sprinkled liberally in her conversations, especially about us. To hear her talk, you would think the lot of us came into the world just like Jesus, begotten, not made and with all of his heavenly characteristics (for those of you who are still under that impression, I assure you that it never was true). Once the cousins got together for a birthday party celebration and started sharing stories Nana had told about us. We were totally amazed at how ordinary we really were :-).

Thank you, Nana, for making the ordinary extraordinary!

January 1, 2009

The tribute series continues--Grandma Carmichael

My Grandma Carmichael turned 80 years young on December 30th. Basically, she is a young whippersnapper compared to Eric's surviving grandparents and my other grandmas. Because it is her birthday, I would like to point out the tremendous impact she has had in my life.

First of all, Grandma is the person who sat with me in her pastor's office as he led me in the Sinner's Prayer, inviting Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, which happened when I was twelve. She was there becuase she, along with Grandpa Carmichael, introduced me to living a life for God: they prayed before every meal, they had devotionals in the morning and any conversation on any topic would, invariably, lead us back to the question of "What does the Bible say about it?". It wasn't because they were "Bible thumpers," hammering anyone at any opportunity. They lived for God and considered the Bible as a reference manual for all decision making and all opinion making, so it naturally showed up in conversations. It was quite a different way of thinking of things, yet it somehow made sense. I have to say that the ten minutes I spent in the pastor's office, with Grandma joyfully watching, has had the biggest impact of my life. Without God, I wouldn't have the life I have now and I would not be the person I am today.

She is also a testament to how to make it through tough times. She grew up during The Great Depression, she suffered through a bad first marriage and endured criticism for divorcing her first husband, even though she was biblically justified. She saw her only son do self destructive things and was only able see me, her only grand-daughter a few times during my life as a result of her son's divorce. Her faith in God never wavered during her trials and she is still quite a prayer warrior, encouraging me to do the same.

Lately, I have also seen how she pulls herself out of pity party when she starts to think about all the "might have beens", "if onlys", and "I'm all alone nows" by focusing on how God has blessed her with a wonderful second marriage to a godly man who truly loved her son, a wonderful family who has helped her through tough times, and good friends who make sure she is still alive and well. She has been a widow five years now and is starting to slow down, just a bit.

She also taught me how to lose at card games, mainly by making me experience it so often :-).

Thanks, Grandma C. for all the blessings you have given me!