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."”

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

uhmm, mums

I find it really easy to be generous—to myself. This is true when I’m shopping and see something that appeals to me. I can usually justify purchasing it, even if I never knew I wanted or needed it until I saw it. Mind you it has to be cheap enough, and if it is I often buy it. Sonic happy hour is also a lure to me. If it’s between 2-5 PM I can buy one small drink and they give me two! That’s hard to pass up. So, if I’m out and about at the right time, I figure I can spend money to indulge myself.

I also look with a bit of distain on those who are generous but only to those in their immediate family. But today I realized that this same tendency lives in me. And the immediate family member I enjoy lavishing is myself. Ugh. I don’t like seeing this or saying it. But, hey, I’m a blogger and so I journal on-line for any to see.

Mums. I volunteered to supply the table decorations for the WOW Bible Study introduction breakfast. No one made me do this, I just blurted out, “I’ll take care of the decorations.” I wanted to do this. It was my idea. I like to make things looks pretty. I did this last year also, and I think that was part of the my problem, last year I got to take home all of the potted flowers I’d purchased for the centerpieces. I planted them in my garden and enjoyed their color for a long time. Maybe I thought the same thing would happen this year. I could buy flowers to use for others enjoyment but in the end they would be planted in my garden. Generosity with a huge benefit. Win—win big.

This year I bought beautiful burgundy colored mums. Got them at a great price and figured nine would be enough. I watered them for days and carefully loaded them in my van and even brought along green checkered cloth napkins to place underneath each one in the center of the tables.

Jeanne asked me if the flowers could be given as door prizes, I didn’t even hesitate to say “yes.” Then, when she forgot to mention this to the ladies, I reminded her. The outcome was that all the mums, but one, were claimed. Then I found out that one of the gals forgot to take hers. I offered to bring it next Tuesday.

The thing is, I said the right things and did the right things but a part of me didn’t like it one bit. I mean some where inside I must have been hoping I’d go home with all nine of those gorgeous mums. Then that expectation was lowered and I figured one would look nice in my garden. Now I don’t have any.

Here’s the point. I offered to provided them. I wanted to share, but I also wanted some for myself. Fact is, I can easily buy more, this means I can afford to be generous. What bothers me is that it was so difficult for me to give them all away—freely. Yet this is precisely the way Jesus says to give, freely, joyfully, with a cheerful heart. “Lord, I’m sorry about the mums. I have more flowers than I need or have time to care for. I’m sorry my heart isn’t instantly generous with no thoughts of self. I want to be like you, joyfully generous! Please change me. Amen.”

P.S. To any of my WOW friend who may read this confession. Please do not bring me flowers (I mean it) that would take away the preciousness of the lesson God is trying to work into my soul—okay? But thanks for the generous thought.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cameron, first day of preshcool

Today our grandson, Cameron, went to preschool for the first time. He is two and a half and wasn’t around on 9/11, but what happened that day will affect his life. I suppose every generation of parents and grandparents consider it a hard time to raise children. Maybe because raising children is always a hard job. Not only did Cameron start preschool, I took a close look at pictures of my children when they were about his age. First because Ethne brought me Josh’s baby book and we looked through it. She thought the pictures of me all those years ago were her mom or Aunt Sara. I was astounded at how young Craig and I were! So young to be entrusted with the life of another human being. But I didn’t feel young, nurturing those babies felt natural to me.

I also handled school pictures of my four children, now age 27, 25, 23, 20. You see we have a high shelf in our bedroom and on it I’ve arranged all these childhood pictures—but they keep falling off. Today I dragged out the really tall ladder and figured out a way to keep the pictures in place (I hope). I bent coat hangers to make stands to support the pictures. Anyway, I handled each one and dusted it off and remember, for a moment, my children at that age.

Time is strange. I think it feels unnatural because it is and the older I get the more time seems not to fit. Each of us was made for eternity and at death we will throw off the restriction of time. That will be freeing. So, I have no point to make here, except maybe to try to remember to enjoy the time I have this day, since I don’t know what tomorrow holds (but I know who holds tomorrow). Blessings to all, sue

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Here is a picture of Ethne with pig-tails! She is enjoying her favorite pastime, watching movies of herself. In this home video she is dancing. It is such a cute movie, but I don’t how to save it so you can link to it.

Anyway, I guess we’re born wanting to see ourselves. No one had to teach Ethne that her own movies are her favorite. We also have movies of her cousins, she like them too, but not as much. I’m no different. If ever I see a group picture, which I’m in, I always pay special attention to how I look—for me that determines how good the photograph is.

But as natural as it is to look in the mirror and spend time on our appearance it is equally unnatural to want to take a close look at the inside of ourselves. It’s hard to identify our own faults, difficult to see our own sins. Easy to see how those around us should improve, change and take responsibility, and even easier to blame them without seeing our part in any difficulties.

But Jesus requires what is not natural. He looks past our outward appearance and asks us to examine our hearts and motives. I don’t like this. Pretending is easier, but it isn’t real and it is real deceiving because we can actually think we’re OK when we’re wretched.

The only way I know to see what is actually in my heart is to study God’s Word and see if my life lines up with what He says. This is hard. It is painful. It means I’ve got to let go of all my ideals of who I am and deal with my authentic self. I’m doing this now in one area of my life. I see that I’m falling short and am in need of a Helper, A Rock Higher than I—forgiveness and another chance! “Change me oh God, make me faithful and pleasing and true through and through. Amen.”

Friday, September 08, 2006

Unbridled Commitment

(Our granddaughter, Ethne Feuille, picture courtesy of her father see more of his work at

Ethne reminds me that joy comes from going after what I want with unbridled commitment—without concern about the mess.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Time Has Come

Tonight we’re hosting men’s Bible study in our home. I prepare a meal, the guys eat and then study God’s Word. I love to see my husband and his buddies with bowed heads and open hearts, sharing with each other, gaining from God’s truth.

For me this means summer is now officially over. I always dread this change, longing for the easy pace to continue. A big part of me protests and tries to ignore the fact that days of structure have returned, marching into my unorganized world like the black outlined numbered blocks on my calendar. As much as I resist and resent the order and the free spirit in me insists I haven’t had enough free time I know that this change is necessary and it is good.

Fall brings weekly women’s Bible study too. This provides accountability so that I actually spend time each week nourishing my soul. I don’t do Bible study because I’m holy, I do it because I’m not. This voluntary forced order has wonderful, life changing results. God speaks to me. I am fed by His Word. By next spring I will have studied the whole book of Romans. Now, that is good. It is better than another month of no demands.

Jesus said “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Weak things have no business being in charge, so it is good for me that summer time comes to an end. Time for my flesh to be controlled, for me to accomplish something eternal with the time God’s given me. Time to put aside the easy life for the life of order in order to make a difference. Indulgence is so easy, discipline isn’t, but it is discipline that yields the fruit of righteousness.

(Hebrews 12:11 - All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.) That is fruit I want in my life—so welcome fall! Bring it on, I ready.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Unexpected Beauty

Flower in pot on my back patio.

I guess I’m not finished with flowers yet. I recently noticed a beautiful green vine growing in a pot on my back patio. My mom thought it might be beans. I had no idea what it was. I only knew it was lovely and that I didn’t plant it.

One day it bloomed. Beautiful trumpet shaped pink colored flowers! Do you think God acts in this same way when it comes to us humans? Just surprises us with beauty that we didn’t cultivate, never planned on or expected?

One day a new desire just blooms, “I think I’d like to try to paint with watercolors,” “Maybe I’ll learn to dance,” fun new ideas that suddenly burst on the scene of our lives. And we stand back in wonder as they take root and grow into the fabric of our being.

Maybe it’s new neighbors, or going to the gym. In the past worship dance and writing have been unexpected surprises that have grown to be an integral part of who I am.

I’m going to India. I’m scared. It will not be a comfortable trip and I really enjoy convenience and ease and toilet paper. But even though I feel unprepared and that I have nothing to offer, I believe it is the Lord who has asked me to go.

So, since LORD means, He decides and I abide, I’m going. I believe that something new may bloom in my heart as a result. I’m praying my heart is soft enough to allow new seeds to spring to life.

My trip is the first two weeks in November and I would really really appreciate your prayers (if the Lord brings me to mind). Thank you.

“Lord, somehow, by your mighty touch, make me like this unexpected flower to the people I meet, and please Lord, I’m asking you to bear the fruit you desire from my going. To the praise of your glory. Amen.”