Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Someone who loves me.

(Ethne sharing her new bracelets with me, but they are too tight for Grammy)

I feel like a tight knob has been loosened, something discarded has been recovered; a big black mark has been erased. It might seem a bit melodramatic to you but not to me. You see, I awoke this morning wondering where I put the gift cards we’d received for Christmas. I tried to remember and all I could come up with was that I had thought about moving them to the counter, away from all the used wrapping paper, ribbons and trash bags. But when I looked, they were not there.

I searched in a lot of places. I strained to remember. I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out where they were and finally determined that I must have thrown them out in today’s trash! Then I began dwelling on how careless I’d been, how stupid. I fretted and fumed and felt like a big jerk. As soon as I thought one of these negative thoughts another one waited for me and rushed in with more force and venom than the first. Ugh. Even though our Christmas day had been marvelous and blessed from beginning to end, I had managed to blunder and ruin an otherwise perfect memory.

I battled these accusations—while admitting my fault; I assured myself that things could be much worse. One of my loved ones could be sick. I shouldn’t waste anymore time stewing over what I could not change. I reasoned that in all of eternity this was a small mishap, an accident, a mistake. Besides, the gifts cards simply represented stuff and we have a ton of stuff and stuff is going to pass away. Thankfully, these thoughts prevailed at last, and while I still felt foolish and careless I forgave myself for my mistake and went on enjoying my day.

When Craig came home I blurted out my error, “I accidentally threw away our gift cards.”

“No you didn’t,” he said. “I found them on the counter and put them up here with our other ones. I didn’t want them to be thrown out.”

“All of them?” I grabbed the cards and sure enough, they were all there. I jumped up and down making happy noises and gave Craig a great big smooch.

It’s wonderful to be given a second chance, to have a mistake erased, to be rescued. I love the way I felt when I discovered that I really wasn’t stupid and careless, and that someone who love me was looking out for me.

One day, I’m sure; we will know this in much deeper and wider ways when we see Jesus with His eyes full of acceptance. He will not bring up all our faults, in fact He won’t remember them at all. He’ll simply hand us the key to the mansion He’s prepared for us and welcome us home. And when He does I’ll jump up and down and sing praises forever, because Someone who loves me was always watching out for me.

Let the children come!

Here is Ethne playing (I mean cooking) with the kitchen set we gave her for Christmas. It's called the 'Grow With Me' kitchen, it can be adjusted, to a taller level as the child grows.

(Here is our anunal Christmas line up with Eric, Aimee & Ethne, Robert, Amy, me and my mom)

Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating Christ’s birth! We did. A favorite family tradition we share centers around ornaments. Each year we gave each of our children a specially selected ornament which represented something significant to them. It might be an event, such as high school graduation or an activity they enjoyed, like skydiving. Anyway, by the time each of our children reached adulthood, they had a collection of ornaments to take along with them when they married.

Today I packed up Eric’s ornaments. I would feel really sad about this, except for the fact that I added two new ornaments to honor the birth of two more grandchildren (Caleb and Kayla) in 2006. And next Christmas we’ll be hanging up a ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ in honor of the new little one that Aimee and Robert are expecting in July 2007.

Since Aimee’s due date is July 8, we’re grateful Eric and Amy moved their wedding date from July 7 to April 7! Whew. Weddings and births are perhaps the most significant events in life and to have both happen on the same day would have been very challenging!

So, today I am thankful that we will soon have half a dozen grandchildren and a new daughter-in-law as well. 2007 is already looking like a year to remember! Blessings to all of you, Sue

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cameron Christmas Letter

Today I finally sent our Christmas letter. For those of you who won't find one it your snail mail, here it is! I always includ a devotional, reflection or story. So that will be the next post! (I've changed my mind about this, since once a story has been on my blog, I can't sell it else where, sorry. I'd be happy to share it one-on-one just let me know your email address and I'll send it).
Blessings to all, Sue

From L-R, My mom, Aimee, Mike (holding Kayla in front of his face,) Sara, Me, Craig, Eric, Amy, Joshua and Shauna.

Cameron’s Christmas Letter - 2006

From now on, in our family, when some one asks for Dr. Cameron, we’ll respond, “Which one?” Dr. Joshua Cameron has earned his PhD and we are very proud of him and rejoicing with him and Shauna in his appointment as a professor at Norte Dame. Our son has a job! Shauna’s year was also very productive; she gave birth to their second son, Caleb Joshua, born February 6, 2006. Benjamin, nearly five years old, is a very attentive big brother. Besides a new baby, Josh and Shauna bought their first home. We like this house; it has room for grandparents.

Our fifth grandbaby arrived June 28. Kayla Rose Casnellie was born to Sara and Michael much to the delight of her older brother, Cameron. Sara is very busy with the two little ones, involved in church and neighborhood activities, giving manicures to her friends and making sure Michael has enough to eat. They’re happy in Kentucky and Mike’s job situation working as a Spine Surgeon is the envy of many, including Craig.

Aimee and Robert also bought their first home this year. Robert continues to excel as a copywriter. To enjoy the way he connects words take a look at his blog: www.wordwriter.blogspot.com. (If you click on the tab that says “Flickr” you’ll see samples of Robert’s photography, click on “the little bean” to see pictures of our granddaughter, Ethne, or click on “mother-in-law” to get to my blog.)

Aimee is teaching in a dance program in public schools, working as an instructor at the gym, and teaching the home-school kids at our weekly Bible study. Plus, she takes care of the details for their part-time business, Robert Fuel Photography. They are becoming experts at preserving beautiful wedding memories which is a blessing to many, including us, because Eric is getting married April 7!

Our youngest has found his soul mate. He met Amy Belvins about a year ago while touring with Wycliffe Dinner Theater. They are a good match and we believe the Lord has heard and answered our prayers in bringing her to Eric. Amy has a Theater degree and hopes to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts. Meanwhile, she has used her gifts at our church, first during VBS and now for the Christmas musical, serving as stage manager. She’s lived with us since May and that’s been wonderful. Currently she works at Starbucks and we all benefit from the free products she brings home. According to Eric the first thing that attracted him to Amy was her beautiful strawberry-blond hair; we like it too and have visions of red-haired grandchildren dancing in our heads.

For now, Eric is working at the Hoover factory in the supply department, driving a fork-lift. He’s not crazy about the job but the pay and benefits are decent. He’ll be going back to college after Christmas with plans to attend NMSU in the fall to pursue a degree in film. The university has been funded to begin a film department with hands-on training in film production which will include some training in film acting. Potentially this will give Eric the means to earn a living while pursuing his love for acting.

Thinking of Eric acting reminds me of a wonderful memory. I turned 50 in October and so Craig treated me and all our kids and their spouses (Amy and my mother too) to an Eastern Caribbean cruise. Besides the fabulous food (our kids ate as much as three appetizers and two entrées each night, saying “Mom, we just want you to get your money’s worth”) there was a karaoke contest. Mike, Sara’s husband, who is

usually very quiet, shocked us by signing up to sing a song the first night. Eric joined him, and over several evenings survived the competitions to be chosen as 1 of 3 finalists. Our family had a blast cheering for Eric.

The event gained in popularity and the final competition was held in a large auditorium with an audience of about 700. Eric’s choice of songs and stage presence was outstanding—once he even came down off the stage to sing directly to Amy, presenting her with a flower and a kiss. Little old ladies (besides me) came up to Eric saying, “When you smile you look like Tom Cruise!” And fellow passengers would greet Craig and I with, “You’re Eric’s parents—right?” It made a wonderful trip even more fun and I am thankful for such a 50th birthday celebration!

I recently figured out that I’ve flown 12 times in the last year! One reason is because we are now co-owners with two others of a Bonanza (small airplane.) This has been a long held dream for Craig who loves to fly (and I love to sit by his side.) Getting to San Diego is so much easier now and we were able to spend Thanksgiving with Craig’s family. It was the first time in many years that all the siblings were together and we really were blessed.

In July, Craig and I went on a mission trip to Scotland with about 15 others from our church. Then I joined Pastor Scott Johnson and his wife Becky in traveling to India. Both trips were meaningful and I pray that the folks there were as blessed by our presence as we were to be with them.

Last year I was honored to be asked to be an assignment writer for “Focus on the Family Magazine,” which means that from time to time, I’m one of many writers asked to write on specific topics. See the February 2007 issue for an article on wedding vows.

As our family grows, our blessings increase. We are humbled by God’s goodness to us and grateful that He is who He is and that He loved us enough to come and live among us! A very blessed Christmas to you and yours! Love, The Camerons

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Water in the dry place

(This picture is of the young woman who plays Mary in the Nativity Story. It is an outstanding movie which my husband and I really enjoyed. Also see comments by my friend Jim Watkins of his blog. )

Recently a friend shared about the pain of infertility. While I’ve never faced this struggle I know what it is to feel barren. Lifeless. Unfruitful. Dried up. Washed out. Nothing to offer. Nothing to give.

I started life as a premature infant, weighing about 2 ½ pounds. Things change. I grew. I gained weight, quite a bit, but that’s another topic. After such a fragile beginning, I am truly grateful to have reached my 50th birthday. However, I discovered that celebrating my birthday in a big way (see earlier posts about my birthday cruise), didn’t erase or even ease the process of feeling older.

I’ve learned thoughts come before feelings so I started to analyze what kind of thoughts were making me feel barren. It took a while to identify the subtle whispers of, “Am I past my prime?” “I’m not young and strong anymore, how can I be effective?” “Who wants to listen to an old lady?” “Did I miss my opportunities to make an impact?” “Are my best years gone?” “Am I of any more use?”

Maybe you’re rolling your eyes because this all sounds very melodramatic, but maybe you’re not near menopause. My hormones feel thin at times, and so does my sleep. I am feeling the aging process and while I prefer it to the alternative I’m still not sure I like it much.

So, I’ve been feeling barren. Spiritually dry. Hard, cracked soil where my joy used to be. But the ladies at Bible study asked me to give a short reflection for our Christmas party. Actually, they informed me that I’d been assigned and said “That’s what you get for missing the planning meeting.” Hey, I was in India—but no matter, I decided to make preparations. But I was not prepared for God to meet me.

I’m glad He did. Right there in the familiar Christmas story which I’ve read or heard more than any other passage of Scripture. “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” I added the emphasis because that is how it seemed when I read it.

“She who was said to be barren. . .” In and of herself Elizabeth was barren. Same with Mary, in and of herself she could have no child. All appearances pointed to the fact that these ladies were not in a position to be fruitful. But all the while God was at work. Silently, steadily, He loving brought each of these women to a place where they could offer nothing; add nothing to His wonderful plans. Nothing except, “I am the Lord’s servant.”

So all along, even when Elizabeth felt barren, God was working. While others shook their heads at her in pity because she was a barren woman, God was aware. When she despaired because the Lord did not answer her prayers for a child, He was there. He was preparing to bring forth His beautiful plan. He had not cast Elizabeth aside because she was old, through menopause and past her prime—not at all. She was chosen. She was honored. The most joyful years of her life lay ahead for her. Her feelings didn’t stop the Almighty! And this Word He spoke to me caused a wellspring of hope to burst on the dry places of my heart bringing me comfort, giving me joy. For, nothing is impossible with God.

Monday, December 11, 2006

More Waterfalls

Once I got looking for pictures of waterfalls I found some more (take by my husband). So here are a few more! Blessings, Sue

Fake Falls

(Pictures of waterfall on the Big Island of Hawaii, 2005)

We live in a desert which means winter can sometimes surprise us. Last Wednesday evening, Amy (Eric’s fiancé who lives with us) shouted, “It’s snowing!” Craig and I threw open the back door, letting the strange sensation of frigid air assault our faces. We gazed toward our waterfall where snow swirled in the light rays reflecting off the water. After about ten seconds, we shut out the intrusive chill and peered out through the French doors.

It’s strange to have snow in the desert. It’s also odd to have a waterfall, which is artificial of course. We paid someone to construct it and I know it isn’t real. But I love it. Not because it’s fake but because it reminds me of something authentic. I’ve experience true waterfalls; plunging down steep cliffs in Hawaii, cascading in the Colorado Rockies. I’ve sat beside a river while rushing water splashed over rocks and tumbled into swirling pools, seeming to echo the voice of the Lord.

Our waterfall is fake, but it helps me to remember something real. Every nativity set in my house is artificial but each one reminds me of the real live fact that God, our Great and Glorious, Untouchable God became a human baby so we could relate to Him, person to person. But holding the tiny porcelain figure of the baby Jesus in my hands is not the same as holding Him in my heart.

Some may think that going to church, or being historically interested in Jesus or saying a ‘sinner’s prayer’ is enough. It’s not. That’s like pointing to a wedding picture and declaring, “I’m married, but I don’t know my husband. I don’t live with him, and I have no idea about what he thinks about me or the way I live.” Just as a wedding ceremony confirms an existing growing love, true committed faith will continue to increase over time.

Jesus came to establish authentic relationships with real people. Knowing Him requires total commitment, full disclosure, and absolute authenticity. He’s is alive and a relationship with Him is also living. It’s as far from stagnant as a waterfall is from a slimy pond. This Christmas, let’s look past the icons into the eyes of Jesus who says, “If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within." John 7:38.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Another Doctor Cameron!

(Here's our son, Josh and his wife Shauana on our recent cruise)

When our son, Joshua, was a pre-schooler he used his wooden blocks to build airplanes and space ships complete with levers, pedals and escape hatches. At age seven, he joined a soccer team. When his team members raced after the ball, Josh casually followed them. The only time he seemed to be interested was when he heard a plane flying overhead. He’d freeze in place, even if he was chasing the ball, and his head would jerk back. He stared as the aircraft moved across the sky, watching until the last of the contrail disappeared. As a second grader, Josh figured out which nations fought in the Faulklands Isand because he knew what airplanes were used in that conflict.

The point is our son has always loved things that fly. Yesterday he proved it again by earning his PhD in Aerospace Engineering. Now my husband is not the only Dr. in our family. Today we’re celebrating Joshua’s accomplishments. He’s worked very hard and we are extremely proud of him. He’s also a loving husband and father which will count for eternity. Now, Joshua begins the next phase of his life as a professor at Notre Dame. “Congratulations Dr. Joshua David Cameron!”

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


When I came home from India, my family met me at the air port. I could see Ethne’s little legs as I rode down the escalator. She spotted me, ran full force and threw herself toward me. This made me feel very loved and like I’d been missed. My response was to sit down, right there in the middle of the waiting area and ask her if she wanted the present I brought home for her.

When I handed her the pony-tail holders, she knew just what to do with them. She slipped them on her wrist. She loves jewelry, even if the bracelets are meant to be pony-tail holders. So here she is, showing off her new gifts, and today I am thankful for the gift of my family, my children (children-in-laws) and grandchildren.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My current favorite picture. Daughter Aimee and granddaughter Ethne Eskimo kissing. Our son-in-law, Robert Fueille took this picture. To see more of his great work go to his blog and click on 'flicker' also you might enjoy reading his writing, it's great! Blessings to all.
Robert's blog:

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Marriage Talk

Look at this sunset!

Craig and I spoke to a group on Friday night. It was the first time we’d done any public speaking as a couple and we didn’t really know how to go about it so we did the easy thing and took turns. He spoke first, I spoke second. If we’re ever given the chance again, we decided that we’ll try to blend our talks into one. Sort of like marriage, where God says the two shall be one.

Even though we failed to coordinate our presentations, we each knew our subject matter. He talked about money, on getting and staying out of debt. I spoke about the meaning of our wedding vows, focusing on the promise of sexual satisfaction in marriage. Money and sex, two aspects bring strength or stress to any marriage. Our audience seemed to enjoy the evening and so did we.

Thanksgiving pictures

This was the first time in nearly 30 years that Craig and all his siblings where together for thanksgiving. (From L to R) Jimmy, Jan, Kim, Anne, Jim, Pam, Craig, Stan. I'm in the second picture, wearing one of my outfits from India.
We really enjoyed being together and I think having all the 'kids' there meant a lot to Craig's parents. Since many of Craig's siblings don't have children, their family consists of each other. We enjoyed food, conversation and memories. I'm very glad we went, family is definitely on top of the list of what I most thankful for.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Colorful Evening

While in India my hostess, Blessy, took me to a fabric shop. We went in, removed our shoes, and sat on a mat on the floor. Through an interpreter I explained my favorite colors and types of material. Those working in the shop began to pull fabric after fabric from the shelves, laying them before, beside and on top of me. It was exhilarating. It was confusing. There were so many and I really wanted to see every single one in the store, but knew this would be too much to ask. Each had its own character, shades of colors, and combinations of textures. I was surrounded by beauty.

In much the same way the Lord weaves each of us with our own distinctive pattern. We show His glory in the hues of our personality and the sound of our voice. He designed and fashioned us and loves what He has created. His love for me is not diminished when he lavishes love on you; His supply is constant and never fluctuates. So I can rejoice in your colors and enjoy the way Jesus shines in your smile and reflects in your life.

Just as His love is perfect and limitless ours is fickle and limited. That’s why He insists that while He loves each of us—all of us— we are to love only Him. He is to be our number one choice. When we look at all the options, we point our desire in His direction and say, “You. I choose you.” Of course, He actually chose us first and so our hearts are warmed toward Him, but that’s another story. This is telling of my night choosing a few lovely fabrics to be made into wonderful clothes.

It was a colorful evening which I’ll always remember.

I give thanks that the Lord God created you as He did. His design is perfect. It is beautiful in every shade and emotion. My life is filled with friends and I’m so glad they are each unique, for together they give me a glimpse of Jesus.

Blessed Thanksgiving to each of you! We’re headed to San Diego to spend time with Craig’s family. Catch you later! Sue

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Esther Leadership Home

Here is a picture of young ladies who will be allowed to grow up in a loving environment. Their mothers are employed as sex workers, and under normal circumstances their daughters are expected to enter that trade at an early age. Here in The Esther Leadership Home, the girls have a Christian family and trained workers to care for them. These twenty of these girls are safe. They go to school, eat well and learn that they are loved and valued by the Almighty Father. Craig and I have played a small part in establishing this place so it was a great joy to visit and see the results of our investment!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fitting In in India

Women's conference, over 1,700 ladies.

Some young men who started a converstaion with me (they spoke english)

I think the hardest part about being in India, besides Craig’s illness, was that I just didn’t fit in. My skin is light, my hair is grey and curly (thanks to a perm). People stared at me and giggled and some even laughed, which made me feel really awful. I learned to smile and wave when people gawked, and that really helped, but sometimes I just felt like an outsider.

I wonder if Jesus ever felt like he didn’t fit in? Maybe his man side was comfortable and I guess his God side fully understands humans, so that wasn’t difficult. Yet ‘His own received him not,” so there must have been some feelings of being rejected. Also on earth he endured things that he never faced in heaven, human stuff. I got a tiny taste of how hard it is to be away from the comfort and ease of my life in North America, did Jesus ever long to go back?

I’ve determined one thing and it may be the whole reason I went. Although I felt my teaching and sharing was well received and that the Lord used it to encourage and equip, it was so limited. What I mean is one person spending all that money and time to go just doesn’t have that much impact. Even though there were 1,700 women at the ladies conference, the nation of India has over 1 billion and less than 1% knows Jesus.

But things are changing in India. The young people are being well educated. Many western companies now out source their customer service and accounting needs (to name a few) to India. These beautiful young people know how to use computers and the internet. So, I’m thinking that since I’m a writer the web may be a more effective tool to use when sharing about life and the love of Jesus.

Now, if you’re reading this, you’re proving my point. I may not even know you. If I do, we’re not taking on the phone or face to face at this moment. But we are communicating. What a wonderful blessing!

Jesus came in the flesh-- face to face-- which is perfect but we didn't live then so we've never seen him in the flesh and still we know Him. He also used stories to tell of God’s Kingdom and those stories are still alive and being told and He inspired men like Paul to write and those words bring us closer to the Lord. I’ll be telling you more about the writer’s workshop and the girls home and how each one of us is like a beautiful piece of fabric, but for today, I’m done. Blessings to you and thanks for reading! Sue

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thoughts on India


In our host home.

In the darkness of the hours just before dawn the mournful call to prayer, coming from the pagan temple, would pull me from sleep. Slowly others sounds invaded the air, horns blaring, traffic noise even a lone water buffalo welcoming the new day. I became aware of sweeter sounds as those of the house hold splashed water, clanked pots and pans and joined in the singing the morning blessings. In every way the environment in India is different than what is familiar to me. Day and night are not clearly defined and people went about their business in the darkness and in the light.

For several nights, until my roommate, Marion arrived; I shared a room with three others. They all preferred to sleep on the floor while I slept (not very well) and a low wooden platform covered with a thin pad. After a few days my hosts brought in a new thicker pad and my nights became comfortable. When I awoke in the stillness of night to head for the most alien of all territories -- the Indian bathroom-- I had to carefully step around and over legs and heads while imagining the indignation that would arise if I missed.

So, about the bathroom, squatting is the method, and I learned quickly that the lower you squat the better. In the beginning, I often walked across the street to where Scott and Becky stayed in the guest room which has a western style toilet, sort of. I’d asked if the throne was vacant and was welcomed in. But soon I adjusted to the floor toilet. I’ve got to say that I am thankful to be home where I am enjoying the wonders and ease of my life. For everything, from washing hair to eating a meal is labor intensive in India and so life moves at a very busy yet uncomfortably slow pace. Hot water would arrive if requested but it may take an hour or more to show up, since someone had to first heat the water and then pour it into a bucket and carry it to me. Once I tried to help out by getting my own cup of hot water for tea, but my intrusion seemed to cause confusion and complicate an already challenging situation.

The smells where also distinctive with curry dominating. The air had it’s own order, a result of insanity conditions and habits, such as polluted streams and throwing trash on the ground. I couldn’t bring myself to do this, and always went hunting for a trash can. Once I watched a young man load a cardboard box with refuge and simply carry it across the street when he dumped it on the side of the road. What if the wind blows?

This lack of concern for the environment extends to the condition of the buildings and roads and extends to people. I think the lack of compassion for those suffering must stem from a belief system that is based on a lie that you are living today based on how good or bad you lived in your last life. Those who know Jesus must over come a great deal. The culturally accepted mindset that pervades is so opposite of what God says about each person being precious, valued and loved. And living a life that truly obeys Jesus by loving our neighbor is perhaps a greater challenge for our brothers and sisters in India. It is indeed supernatural in any environment. It is the work of the Holy Spirit as He pours His compassion for people out through us. But that is the very reason we went, to encourage the believers in God’s Word; to impart biblical truth to them, to strengthen their faith.

Being in their church was wonderful and convicting. It was not about comfort as the church met in an open room under a roof. Mats were rolled over the cement floor and those of us who were old or western were given plastic chairs. When a young man arrived by using his arms as crutches and swinging his useless legs, which were tucked beneath him, I began to weep. He removed a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe the sweat off his young face. That gesture showed me what it cost him to be there in the Lord’s house, and I asked myself about the dept or shallowness of my own desire to be with God’s people. To what lengths would I go to meet with fellow believers?

I think this is enough sharing today. Maybe it’s been more for me than for you, just so I have a record, of some of my thoughts. Blessings to all, Sue.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Arriving, Pator Joel gives each of us a garland of flowers (Pastor Scott and his wife Becky)


People. That’s the reason I went to India and that’s what I’ll always remember. People. It’s the reason I came back home.

It’s good to be back and it was good to go. Today my new India friends called me to say they missed me. My husband says he missed me. Being missed is nice because it means there is a relationship and love.

My husband was in the hospital while I was gone. When I learned this it was really hard for me to be so far away. After all I vowed to be with him in sickness and health—and I wasn’t. The Lord carried us, but I am so thankful to be back here beside him. He says he feels better now, just because I’m home. I made breakfast for him this morning, this is very unusual it’s also proof that I missed him too.

So, my husband has hyper-thyroid, Graves disease. The good news is he’s lost weight, the bad news is I didn’t. Also, they’re killing off his thyroid and he’ll be on medicine, for the rest of his life. I’m thankful that there is treatment and that we can afford it.

There’s nothing like being away to make coming back wonderful. Will heaven be like that? Some days I long for that place. I wonder if when they check the book of life and see my name, if it will be like the customs agent looking at my passport and saying, “Welcome home.” Sweet words.

More details on India coming up next time.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

More Pictures

Here I am, squinting in the sun, with sweet Kayla on the last day of our cruise

Here is Eric and Amy enjoying dinner (my mom in next to Eric)

This is Aimee and Robert going for their couple's massage.

Pictures and Thoughts

Here is Josh and Shauna and Sara and Mike, preparing for their 'couple's massage.'

I really admire people who post on their blog every day. In fact I admire people who do most anything positive in a consistent manner. I find it easy to live life in a free flowing stream sort of way. Go where I am taken. I like to live like that but when I do I don't accomplish much.
I'm preparing to leave for India on Tuesday. I'm packed, I'm going, but I don't feel ready. How do you prepare for the unknown? Only one way I know. Simply climb into the loving hand of the Almighty and let Him carry you. That's what I've got to do. I'm unprepared, unqualified and unsure about why I've even traveling 36 hours and spending 2 weeks in a place I don't really want to visit.
It all stems from a promise I made. "Lord if I'm invited anywhere and if it's possible for me to go, I will go, believing you are the One directing my steps." Promises are powerful and breaking vows is a dangerous thing, more perilous than going to India for two weeks. So, my dear friends, if you read this, please say a pray that the Lord will be honored by my going. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Few Pictures

I'll be posting a few pictures of our cruise over the next few days. This is before we left Florida and a shot of our ship with Eric and Robert. Blessings to all, sue

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Favorite Birthday So Far

(Kayla and Grammy napping)

(Eric and the other 2 finalists)

We spent a wonderful week cruising, eating, and resting. I loved having all of our children (and children-in-law, and to-be) together in one place.

Do you remember what it was like to be young when someone offered to pay for your meal? Well, our kiddos wanted to be sure that Craig and I got our money’s worth by eating amazing amounts of the fabulous food that was always available.

Dinnertime was always exciting—as we watched to see who would order the most appetizers, entrees or deserts. Our waiter got used to Mike ordering yet another appetizer along with his desert. We all did our share of eating and the fact that everything was delicious made it easy. Watching the interaction and joy of those around the table was such a great gift to me. But in addition to the cruise, which is the best birthday present I could imagine, the kids gave me a certificate for a ‘hot stone massage.’ I will never forget the way that smooth heated stone felt pressing against my 50 year old muscles!

Another highlight was the ‘Superstar’ karaoke competition. Mike and Eric and nine others made it to the second round. Eric sang “Ring of Fire” well enough to be one of five chosen go on to the semi-finals. It was fun to sit as a family and cheer him on.

Eric was one of three performers to make it into the finals, which were held on our last night, in a very large auditorium. The whole thing was really fun! With about 700 in the audience Eric sang two songs. He did a great job and although he was not the over all winner, he was given many gifts and praise from those who enjoyed watching him on stage. When it was over one young boy (maybe about eight years old, clutching a pillow) came up and said, “You should have won!”

Two of our port days were rainy which meant we didn’t get to see much. But on other days we really enjoyed the snorkeling, beach and clear beautiful waters of the Caribbean. Along the way the sky and sea were magnificent and always changing. Our rooms were wonderful and the beds comfortable and you can see in the picture with me and Kayla napping. We enjoyed our time with her and often talked of the other grandchildren who we also love and wish lived closer to us. But it was nice for the married children to have some time to themselves.

I am very grateful for such a wonderful celebration, it has made my 50th birthday my favorite birthday so far!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Turning 50

(Here is a recent picture of me with my dear friend, Kelly.
I’ve known her more than half my life. What a blessing.)

Today I am 49 tomorrow I’ll be 50. Turning 50 is quite a milestone, especially for me who was born at 2 ½ pounds and not expected to live. The Lord rescued me and I am grateful.

Lots of folks don’t like their 50th birthday. They hide in a closet, or cry, or don’t allow anyone close to them to mention the fact.

Not me. I’m excited—because it gives me a reason to really celebrate. How’s going on a week-long Eastern Caribbean cruise sound? Fun—huh? Now add getting to take along all your children and their spouses (finance) and your mom and one nursing grandbaby. That’s what our family is doing, all 12 of us, thanks to the generosity of my sweet husband.

Now all that fun, all those memories, just for having a 50th birthday makes me wish I’d hit this milestone sooner. Not that I’m wishing the rest of my life away, it’s already whizzing by at break-neck speed.

By the way all this celebrating may mean I’ll be away from this blog for a bit. But when I return, expect some great pictures! Blessings to all.

May I live each day of the rest of my life to honor the One who gave me breath. “Thank you Lord for life.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


(This was the sunrise the other morning)

Have you ever considered why the Lord God is One who reveals Himself and One who hides? I’ve wondered this as I’ve thought about how He has been communicating from the start—wanting contact with you and with me. He’s shown Himself and His care in creation and the seasons, with seed growing and bearing fruit to feed us. Cycle of faithful love. He’s given us a glimpse of His heart when we read the Scriptures and learn of How He longs to lead us as a shepherd leads his sheep.

Yet, He is also the Mysterious One who can’t really be fully grasped. The Infinite One not understood by the finite. And He seems to require something of us. Yes, in One sense, He is lavish in His revelation and pours Himself forth day after day. But He states that we will only find Him if we will seek Him with our whole heart. He’s generous but He isn’t cheap. He is not looking for the casually curious to be His worshippers. No, He wants us to want Him. To want Him enough to seek for Him, to yearn for Him, to desire Him.

We understand the longing to matter to someone. To have another care about what we think and who we are. To experience intimate union. We humans didn’t come upon this yearning on our own, the Lord built it into us, as a small reflection of Himself. Made in His image. In fact everything true about human (except sin and the results of sin) is first present in God and shared with us. So we in some ways are like Him.

If we understand wanting to be wanted, should it surprise us that the Lord also looks for those who long to know Him? Those who stop and look at a burning bush and pause long enough to consider what it might mean, what God might be saying? It was when God saw that Moses stopped, turned and wondered that He spoke to him.

So—to be one who stops, turns and wonders, taking time to consider carefully if God is near, this is what I want to develop in my life. A deep desire to know Him, not for my own purposes but for the simple fact that He interests me, His love draws me, He is worthy of all my attention and affection. In fact He is worthy of every single person’s love and adoration. That’s why, one day, every knee (every single knee) will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. On that day, we will all declare this truth with one voice.

P.S. For any who read this, if you pray, would you include our friend's son, Jesse, who was involved in a serious car accident? Thanks. Sue

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


(This is a picture of the grass in my garden that turns pink in the fall -- even when it is still gets up to 90 degrees, as it did today.) Beauty reminds me that the Lord is still at work in our sinfilled world.

As the horror settles the world watches and sees how people of faith deal with the slaughter of their children. “As they struggle with the slayings, the Amish in this Lancaster County village are turning the other cheek, urging forgiveness of the killer and quietly accepting what comes their way as God's will.”

People of faith have resources to deal with tragedy. And it not the fact that they have faith but that they have faith in Someone who is real and close and concerned, Someone who suffered for our sins and now lives to pray for us in our times of need.

“Lord Jesus, make me faithful—everyday in the joys and struggles life, and if a day of unimagined pain should come, may I find myself in faithfully proclaiming your Sovereignty and accepting what comes my way as Your will for my life. And may the witness of these brothers and sisters who are trusting you in their pain, soften hearts, proclaim your Wisdom and bring many to true faith. Amen.”

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Broken Hearts

My heart is broken over the killings in the Amish school house. I have loved that part of the country and those people since living in PA while Craig went to medical school. Part of me is so ashamed that I did not react with this much emotion on hearing of the other recent school violence, they too were innocent ones. But violence feels different when it touches someone, or some thing that matters to us. It’s personal, painful.

Many thoughts. How could a man with children of his own do this to little girls? And did you see the report that the Amish are following the ways of Jesus by offering forgiveness? Perhaps their example of how to respond to horrendous violence will show the way for others who are in the midst of confusion and grief over the murder of their loved ones. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if their love, which flows from the heart of God, could send out a healing river across our land. One of forgiveness?

“Lord God, I know that Your heart breaks over sin and what it does to people, and how it destroys and deceives and robs us of all that is good. Forgive us Oh God! Have mercy on us, weak and evil of heart. We need You. Show us how to respond to hate, to anger, to abuse. Show us how to offer comfort and truth and healing. We need You to pour out Your Spirit on us! Revive us. We are dying, we are killing each other, we are killing ourselves. But You—You came to give us life, to make all things new to heal our broken hearts. Turn our hearts to You and show us Your mercy. Amen.”

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I Don't Want to Take a Nap!

Here is Ethne sleeping on her mom’s shoulder (notice the pony tail sticking up in the air.) She really looks wiped out but when Aimee put her down for a nap, Ethne woke right up. Why is it that children fight napping when it makes them and us so much happier? I don’t think we ever outgrown this tendency of not really knowing what’s best for us. So often we are ruled by what we want not by what we really need.

Then again, maybe the problem is that we are not wise enough to know what we need. Or maybe, we confuse our needs and wants. I’m so thankful that God isn’t confused. That His thoughts are higher than mine and that He is faithful to do what is best for me even when I don't think I want or need what He’s offering!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Flying High

Last weekend I sat next to my husband as he flew us first to Elko, NV then up to Napa, ID. We saw some wonderful sights from the air and some long time, wonderful friends while on the ground.

Craig has always wanted to fly and although I resisted the idea for a long time, I am really glad this has become a reality for him (and for me).

It is fun. It is exciting. And it is good to share time with my husband. I have to admit I’m not much help and the term “airplane mamma” doesn’t really fit. He does a lot of work to keep up safe and get us where we’re going. I enjoy the sights, when not sleeping or reading.

Sort of like our life. He does all the hard work while I’ve got the easy job of being by his side and loving him. Now that’s not only easy it’s fun and it’s what I want to do. I am counting my blessings.

Today is Craig’s birthday and I am so thankful that Jesus decided to bring him into my life 32 years ago!!

Happy Birthday, Craig. I love you with all my heart! Yours, Sue

Monday, September 25, 2006

Worth Watching

I have so much to share with all of you, but I'm trying to prepare to teach Bible study tomorrow. I thought you'd like to see this short video, it's worth watching. Be prepared to cry.

never been unloved

I have so much to share with all of you, but right now I'm preparing to teach Bible study tomorrow. So, I'll blog tomorrow and share some great picture. Meanwhile, if you have time, you might enjoy this great video about a dad and his son. It's wonderful.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rainbows of promise

If you look closely, you’ll see that this is a double rainbow!

Rainbows are a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness. He is the perfect promise keeper. In the life of our family, the Lord has surprised us with many double rainbows, each one on a significant day. The evening before we left California for Philadelphia so Craig could start medical school, there was a double rainbow directly over our house. No rain, no clouds, just a perfect bow, reminding us that the Lord went before us and was with us.

Then, on the day when Craig graduated with his medical degree and family from all over celebrated with us, another one of those brilliant double bows appeared in the sky.

For these visual reminders that the details of our lives matter to Him, I am humbled. What a gift that the rainbow Maker would bless our lives with his colorful display.

Today, Eric and Amy talked to a professor at NMSU all about the film program the school is launching. Both prospective students seem quite excited that this may be the direction the Lord is taking them. So, perhaps this is their rainbow. Or maybe, you also live in El Paso, and looked in the evening sky and claimed those colors as a banner flying high declaring His love and care for you! There is enough of His grace for each of us, and when He offers a single gift of beauty, His supply isn’t diminished—for He Himself is the source of all and He depends on no one and nothing at all. All life and beauty, truth and promise flows out from His generous heart.

“Thank you, Lord for the beautiful rainbow today and that it reminds us of You and Your faithfulness. Amen.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thimble Holder

I have the honor of being one of the teachers for the ladies Bible study at my church. The best part of teaching is that it requires me to really ponder and think about the Scriptures or topic for that week’s study.

We’re looking at foundations of faith over a four-week period. We are considering what we believe about God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and the Bible.

Today I taught on GOD the Father. How do you describe the indescribable or convey the vastness of one that is without measure, or explain Him who is beyond human understanding?

It’s like standing before the vast ocean, or maybe even floating in the middle of it, surrounded only by blue, holding a tiny thimble of salt water. Peering into this thimble I try to describe the ocean, which of course I only know from the little bit of water I hold tentatively between my frail fingers.

The lyrics to Chris Tomlin’s song conveys it well,

Chris Tomlin - Indescribable
From the album Arriving

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea,
Creation's revealing Your majesty.
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring,
Every creature unique in the song that it sings. All exclaiming...

Indescribable, Uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God.
All powerful, Untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees and we humbly proclaim,
You are amazing God.

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go,
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow?
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light,
Yet conceals it to give us the coolness of night?
None can fathom...


Incomparable, Unchangeable,
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same.
You are amazing God.

By the way, this CD is called ‘Arriving’ and it is great! You can find it here!

Blessings from Grammy-Sue (Thimble holder)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Listening Ear

We had a marriage and family seminar at church this weekend. The speaker did a great job. One of the things he said has struck me. He said that we should ask people questions. It show interest. In restaurants he always asks his server this question. “In a few minutes, we’re going to say the blessing. When we do, how can we pray for you?” Isn’t this a wonderful idea?

I am really bad about asking people questions. One reason is because I don’t want to pry. Often someone will share something quite personal and I’ll wait to see if they share more. But I see now that it is appropriate to at least follow up with a question. This shows I want to know more and that I care.

This seems so basic, doesn’t it? But I think this is the first time it’s made sense to me. I think another reason I don’t ask questions is that I feel more comfortable talking than listening. Ugh. That’s so ugly. Self-focused.

The Word says be quick to listen, slow to speak. I believe one reason the Lord asked me to start writing was so I could begin to think about my words, to look at them, examine them, delete all those that are unnecessary. Maybe I can transfer some of what I’ve learned into verbal communication. Oh I want to be a better listener! “Lord teach me to listen. Please put a guard over my mouth. Help me!”

Do you have a question that you like to ask when you want to encourage someone to talk? If so, what is it?

Blessings, Sue

Thursday, September 14, 2006


(And you thought you had a bad day)

I'’ll be the first to admit that my life is pretty easy. I basically get up when I want to do what I want. I want to obey Jesus so some of what I do is in response to what He's revealed in His Word or through His Holy Spirit. I also want to please me husband and take care of my family, and many of my activities flow out of this desire.

One of these duties is doing the laundry. I was busy all day yesterday, but when I tried to figure out what I'd accomplish it was hard to think of anything specific, except laundry. The clothes were washed and I even managed to fold them as they came out of the dryer. This contrasts my usual pattern of hanging up the shirts and slacks and dumping all the small stuff like socks and other white items into the hamper. This hamper is then moved into my large bathroom where it sits for a day or so until I take the time to match the socks and fold the rest and put everything away.

But yesterday, I needed to justify that I had spent productive time so I dealt with all the clothing that came out of the dryer. I even stood there, encouraging and congratulating myself, "I know this is boring, just do it—that way you can put everything away TODAY!"” (okay, some of us have smaller goals than others!)

After properly placing all clean clothes where they belonged I carefully arranged our empty hamper in our closet. I looked at it with satisfaction, but later, after my husband and I changed for bed, I glanced at the hamper and--—it was half full!

I groaned. My husband raised his eyebrows in question. "It'’s just so frustrating to get every bit of laundry done and to have the hamper full again."”

My husband just looked at me. He is a kind man and didn'’t say the obvious--—but as he stood silently before me the irony struck me--—you see he is a surgeon. While I hold clean socks in my hands, he hold lives in his. But I never hear him complain about his job. I said, "“I guess you might wish that the frustrations in your life were as simple as dirty clothes."”

Sometimes all it takes to gain a proper perspective is to compare our situation with what others face. "“Father, forgive me for grumbling about my jobs. I have a washer and dryer in my own home, with money to pay for the water and soap and even dryer sheets. YouÂ’ve given me time and good health and every single thing that I need to do this simple job. I really am grateful--and thankful that you care enough about me to wash me up and make me clean from ugly attitudes like grumbling. I love you, Lord. Amen."”