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 entrĂ©es 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 fiancĂ© 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.