Thursday, December 25, 2008

The best of loves

Christmas is over. At least the day is, but I want to make it live longer. To love wildly and totally - longer than just one day. So I will pray for God to give me that kind of heart. Merry Christmas dear friends. May you all be blessed beyond measure and know how He cares for you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

waiting for the furnace to come on...

I know I've told you before about my little Pekingese. Right now he is sitting patiently waiting for the furnace to kick on. Then he'll hunker in closer and sigh, before falling asleep. That makes me laugh. Today God blessed me with so many little things that brighten my day. How many of them did I even pay attention to? I don't know. So, while I have a few moments here, I am going to list 10 of them. My dear friend Deb just did a list of 7's. Guess I'm a bit of a copycat? Oh well, here goes.

10 NOT
-So-Obvious ways I was blessed today.

1. I am warm. It's 5 degrees out. With a major wind. How bad is the wind? Well, my sweet hubby just went out (in a short sleeved shirt, but this was of mega importance.)and TOOK IN HIS STEELER FLAG. Yup. It's folded neatly, almost reverently (good grief) on the living room floor. Pete put in a wood burner for us a couple of weeks ago and between it and the furnace we're toasty warm. Thank you Lord for caring about our physical comfort. How amazing is that???

2. I laughed a lot today. I consider myself blessed with blondness..and find it hysterically funny at times. Go ahead and laugh at me, chances are I'm already there... For example, I went to breakfast with my daughter and darling little grandson Friday. I threw my glasses in the trash, but of course didn't realize it til I was home. Now, I've only worn glasses for 40 years, so how in the world did I drive home without them? Beats me, but I did. I only took them off cause I had raindrops on them and was going to search out a clean, lotion free tissue before putting them back on... Funny ending here..someone found them, dug them out of the trash and at 4pm I was able to pick them up. My mother and brother are still laughing about it... Thanks God. For humor. Funny, clean, belly-laughing humor. How do You always know what I need...

3. The Cantata. Oh, the words. There was a song that was an alter call. Now, if you know me at all, you'll know I LOVE alter calls. The invitation to begin to really live, the reminder that all we were is gone... The song was titled "Come" The chorus said, "Come to all you long for. Come to all you need....." How simply, perfectly accurate. All I long for. All I need. Each time we sang it in practice I was blessed and touched all over again. Thank You, Father for being all I long for, for putting the craving in my soul for Your presence in my life above all else. Thank You, Father, for being all I need.

4. The Cantata. More smiles. What a great group of singers. I am so blessed by music. Something I had to discover over the past few years, though, is that as much as I love music, I love Him more. I used to say music was everything. No, it isn't. But it's so much. One of The Father's special gifts to us. But I looked beyond the music with this group of singers. Wonderful, loving people who weren't as concerned with perfection as they were with kindness. Smiles. Joy. More blessings than I can say. Thank You, Dear Father for teaching me lessons I can't even put into words, for gently chastising my borderline elitism in music. You are the Potter, I am the clay..and yet you still love me in the midst of my lumpiness.

5. My niece. She is so dear with her two little babies. I watched her today as she struggled to be the best mom possible. Running after her three year old, while burping the baby on her lap. Mary Beth, you are loved by Aunt Dawna..very much. Thank you Lord for reminding me of the wonderful, wild, exhausting, exhilarating days of early motherhood. What precious memories You have blessed me with, how full my life has been. My cup runneth over...

6. Debbie, my friend. I am doubly blessed with two dear, wonderful, silly, amazing friends named Deb. Debbie W. is the choir director. She has come far in music and I am so thrilled for her. The music she is choosing is exciting and moving and "happy". So much of her personality shines through. She is sincere and serious, but at any moment, with any minor faux pas, she will giggle like a little girl. She and I once did a chorus girl routine to some song the choir was singing...of course not publicly. And considering we both are old and decrepit (ha!) we about fell over laughing while we did the kicks. She got me a wonderfully yummy smelly light thingy for Christmas. She knows just what I like. Now each time I smell the Apple Pie scent I will think of how much she loves me. And I love her. Thank you, Keeper of my Heart, for giving me friends more than skin deep. Friends to lean on, friends to learn from, friends with whom I can love and worship You. Thank You for taking me out of the alone place I used to live in..You know my heart. And love me. Amazing love, how can it be?

7. My new Study Bible. I just got an amazing Women's Study Bible from Amazon for only $.99. I love things from a woman's point of view. (women like Ruth Graham and Joni Erickson Tada) I just read an historical account about shepherdesses. I didn't even realize there were any...duh. Just another reminder that God uses women in all areas and when we are squashed into a box..well..that is not God. Thank You Father for enlightening me, for trusting me with knowledge and for giving me a thirst for truth. You know I will continue to seek You. How blessed I am to know You will be here for me...always.

8. Soft Tissues/cold symptoms waiting til after the cantata to rear their ugly head. I knew I was getting a cold. I laughed when my friend Joyce (aka Joycie) called and said her throat was feeling mushy. mushy? Guess what? Tonight my throat is feeling mushy and I can't stop sneezing. And the cantata and my solo are over. So, I just popped open a new box of ultra soft Kleenex and some vitamin C cough drops. could have been worse. Thank you Lord for allowing me to complete what I had started for Your glory. For keeping my voice strong and letting me once again, proclaim my love for You. I am in awe that I matter that much to You, yet my heart tells me....... I do...

9. Wal Mart. I needed more flannel. We live 1.425734756 miles from Wal Mart. So tonight, with my open (freezing) toe leather sandals still on from the cantata role, I traipsed (dragging Dave along to keep me from falling on my keister onto the ice)off to the local Wally World and found more marvelous flannel. Pretty, soft, wonderful flannel. Tomorrow I am going to sew until I can't see straight. And every person in my family will have sleep pants whether they want them or not. More gifts to give, I am so excited! Lord, I know I take so much for granted, the convenience of stores and heat and light. Help me to see Your world not as a place for my comfort, but as a place full of opportunity to witness to others about You, to glorify You. How easily we take all You give and forget the Giver of The Gift. Thank You Lord, for every little and big thing.

10. David. There is not a day in my life I don't thank God for my husband. He is strength. Quiet and kind. Strong so I don't always have to be. For the first time in my life, I find myself at a place where I can lean, trust and be happy being imperfect.I just kissed him good night and we talked for a couple of minutes about how blessed we are to grow old together. Tomorrow it will be single digit cold with a lot of wind. But my Mail man will be out there delivering mail, cheerfully, with good conscience. He is reliable. He is capable. As I struggle with being a submissive woman, a woman who has strength and uses it as God ordains..Dave talks openly about what he needs from me as his wife. Thank You Dearest Lord for giving me a man of honor. For blessing our home. For our children. His and mine. For grandchildren, wild and silly.

Tonight, with my chronic insomnia in full bloom, I will work on more Christmas things. But if I had nothing more to give and received nothing more than the love of my Savior, my family, my friends..well, I am wealthy beyond measure. It's going to be a wonderful Christmas..The Birthday of my King. Have a blessed day and we'll talk again soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Olivia's dress.

I am obsessive. Not a problem usually as I have learned to live (and love) my own skin. A couple of nights ago I began working on Olivia's dress...a surprise Christmas dress that matched my granddaughter's dress. I was worried it might be scratchy so I lined the bodice. I haven't lined anything like that since 1970 something. But it turned out ok. I worked on it til 1:30am and finally finished it. Yesterday..I only wish I had a camera. When I surprised her with it she grinned a precious crooked little grin. She loved it. That was all I hoped for. So sweet. When I was out of earshot, Deb said she told her..."IT Has A BOW!!"

So, Thank you Olivia for being so real, so dear. Such a beautiful little girl inside and out. And thank you Deb and Randy (aka Brillo Man...geez Deb...) for sharing such a joy with the rest of us...such a blessing. This is what Christmas giving is all about for me. Thanks little Miss Olivia. Hugs....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pat and Terry's Chicken Wings

About twenty (has it really been that many? oh dear.) years ago while camping our family met Pat and Terry. What a nice couple. They went to a picnic the campground held and sat at our table. She brought some of the best chicken wings I have ever had..and I'm not a wing person at all. This couple was funny, gregarious, caring and sweet. We got along well right from the beginning, even our dogs liked each other.

There was only one teeny fly in the ointment. When we met my ex said, "We're so and so. (of course he used our know what I mean) In response this big bear of a guy said, "and we're Pat and Terry. Nice to meet you." My kids(imagine 10 and 12 year olds) were already doing the Paaaat routine in their minds from SNL. (It goes something like this...what is Pat short for? Paaaat.) I gave them "the look" and they knocked it off. So nice to meet a couple with whom you "click". But the entire evening and for the week afterward, we kept looking for clues as to who is Pat and who is Terry.

How did they address each other?....Honey, dear. Did they have other friends we could have asked?...not really they weren't from around here and were only camping for the week. Finally I asked her, "Stupid question here, but are you Pat or Terry." She laughed til tears fell. And never answered me.

I guess it's just one of those things I'll never know. So here's her wing recipe. Either Pat's or Terry's.??? Whatever, she was a great cook and remembering this story still makes me giggle.

Blue Cheese Hot Wings
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup milk
mix and let sit.

2 chopped cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parsley
1 cup Mayo
1/4 cup blue cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice
mix together.

In crockpot put 1 stick REAL butter (these aren't at all low fat..but then real butter is the BOSS)
1/4 to 1/2 large bottle Red Hot
and all other ingredients. Cook 1 hour or more. This can also sit overnight in the fridge and be reheated when ready to use.

Bake bag chicken wings til crispy. Pour sauce over wings and bake 15-20 minutes more at 350.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

something new to keep me hopping...

Evie will be home in six more days. I worked on this little dress for her yesterday. I hope she doesn't think the material is too "scratchy". She has her grandma's sensitive skin so I understand totally.

This week has been so busy, but I am thankful for the good that has happened. In my present state of mind I have learned to continue being thankful. If I have no pain, I am thankful. Today I went to see a holistic physician. I am hopeful and for that hope, I am thankful. It's the only thing I really understand. If I maintain a thankful heart, God can work with me. If I become negative and depressed, I am not open to His voice. So, as I continue to seek ways to fill my time that have merit, I also seek to be obedient and open to the Will of God. As I anxiously await the arrival of my little princess, I will praise Him for the wonder of love He has placed in my life. As one of my pastor friends always says, "It's all good."

Friday, December 12, 2008

tired but praising Him...

So much has happened since I last posted. I decided to step down from the praise team and will be part of a congregation for awhile again. Relief. It's been a journey. But I'll keep that between God and me.

Brian is healing slowly. Now I'm just hoping his mother will finally take care of him as she should. His uncle said he's been living on Mountain Dew. I can't imagine...but then that's another thing I'm giving to Him...the Great Physician.

Dave and I are so in love, so close. We got a big old woodburner and I put a chair in the basement so I can sit and watch the fire. Isn't that pathetic? But I love watching the flames and feeling the heat. At night it gets a little cool in our room, but we can cuddle and hold on to each other. So it's all good.

Randy is here and such a joy. His little daughter will be here for a few weeks starting next Saturday. I just finished making her Christmas dress and am working on a matching vest for Nathan. I adore being a grandma.

Physically, I am the same, but calmer about it. It's hard to not work after 25 years of nursing, but I decided I am going to just tell people who ask, I am retired. Oh the joy of turning 50!

I have missed seeing Deb and Debbie the past week and feel a bit lost without my friends. So, if either of you read this..just know I am missing you.

Last night at choir, I sang the solo part and the man who is singing the other solo sang his part, then when we got to the was magical, wonderful. We both looked at each other and smiled. Praising God should be like that. Magical, wonderful..joyful. I love how He teaches me new things and reiterates so many other things. I need His encouragement. How blessed I am. So, it's off to sew some more and continue praising Him in my heart..humming and singing as I's a good day to be His. Always. Love and blessings to all....Dawna