Auntie E

red cardinalI need to stop, breathe, think, and get these thoughts down. They are important. As simple as they may sound, to me they say it all and they are worth saying.

My Auntie E is 96 years old and as I write this, she is in her last days; possibly hours. God’s Plan, right? God wrote me into His plan. He gave me a week with one of my most favorite people. The day after I returned home, she took a turn for the worse and has been declining ever since — about a week or so. She is on the east coast and I’m on the west. Upon my return, I came down with the flu which has developed into bronchitis, so returning to her side at this time is not in the cards. E’s loving stepdaughter has remained at her side and along with family and friends, and a wonderful staff at her rest home, along with Hospice, she is in wonderful hands. So that’s not what is troubling me.

I am resolved in the knowledge that I won’t see E again. I’m so thankful that I saw the importance of going on this last trip. I am so grateful that I did not cloud what was so important with silly, self-important excuses — my priorities were where they belonged. When I said goodbye last week, I knelt down and held her tiny hand in mine and looked her square in the eyes and said “I love you so much and I will miss you terribly.” She looked right into my eyes and said “I love you too, and I will miss you very much.” We both knew, at some level, that this would be the last time we would speak to each other.

So what is this sense of urgency? What do I want to say?

I want the world to know that this woman I call Auntie E is, in my opinion, perfect. I used to secretly wish that she was my mom. I loved my mom. Don’t get me wrong — but there is something about E that is so special; so above the norm. She is “God’s Peace” to me. She has always been this way, never wavered. The meanest thing I ever heard her say was “Oh, that BAD ol’ pussy cat!” as she reprimanded one of her rescued “babies”.

Auntie E should win an award for something. There should be fireworks! You should meet her! She is what we all strive to be. A loving, caring human being who can only see good in everyone and everything she touches. No exceptions. Period. We need more people like this in the world. Please celebrate this special life with me! Please lift her up in your prayers.

I am so blessed that you have been in my life, E. God bless you and keep you in His loving care. Until we meet again….

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Let Freedom Ring

FREEDOM.jpg

When was the last time you thanked God for your freedom? For thousands of children in Cambodia, it is their prayer; and for a few, they give thanks. I thank God for Agape International Ministries and for the SWAT team that works so hard to answer their prayers. I lift up in prayer all the teams, from all around the world, that support AIM on the ground in Svay Pak. I give thanks for all those that want to help and take a moment to send a donation to AIM so that they can continue the hard work of rescue, restoration and reintegration of young lives.

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Drunk In Your Love

ACACIA TREES

Driving from one end of California to the other this week, I pushed the scan button on my radio hoping for something, anything, to keep me company. A cowboy’s voice belting out a love song: “Woke up this morning still drunk on your love. Now I know why I’m feeling so high, because I’m still drunk on your love.”

I immediately think of you and smile. You’ve been with me from the beginning. As the country singer continues to croon, I watch a flock of sheep frolic in a field of yellow mustard. I love how you do that! Every year, no matter what, you promise those subtle reminders of new life. New beginnings.

I finally make my way home and take a walk to stretch my legs after that long drive. The sweet fragrance of Acacia fills the air and my heart relaxes. Love is in the air. Breathe. Once again, a reminder that you are right there by my side. I can always, always count on you.

You are so clever. Just when I start to question, you lift a hawk high into the sky. He stretches his wings, and makes slow circles over my head, laughing at my doubt. That same breath of air gently brushes the blades of bright green grass on the path ahead and I am glad to be alive.

Thank you for not giving up on me. I am grateful and I love you. Remind me to open my heart to the possibilities that lie ahead.

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Friends Stick Together

FRIENDS.jpgThere are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  — Proverbs 18:24

Merry Christmas, dear friends!

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Kids Need Shoes

KIDS SHOESMy heart starts to beat double-time when I think about seeing these sweet children once again! I simply can hardly wait. My prayer: that we can bring them a reason to hope. That somehow, we can make a difference. That we can once again be a strong link in a chain of loving adults who allow these children to feel safe, even if for a few hours each day. Please pray for these children and for all those  waiting to be rescued! My mission team leaves for Cambodia on January 14, 2016.

 

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Boatload of Grace

Svay Pak river houses

Dear K,

You have a boatload of grace and the love and support of your God. That’s all you need. We are all the same in this. We all have these same fears and doubts. I like this translation of the scripture you asked about:

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

English Standard Version
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9)

So, I think He’s telling us it’s OK to be “weak” and to lean on our Lord during times when we simply cannot understand; cannot fathom the evil; and certainly, cannot find it in ourselves to forgive.

With lots of love,

Sue

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Fear Ignorance, Not Muslims

I want to express my deepest condolences to all the families and friends grieving over those lost in San Bernardino this week. My prayers are with you all.BLACK RAINBOW

As a Christian, I also want to lift up in prayer all Muslim-Americans who, like me, are sickened by what is happening in this country.

An Op Ed in the NY Times said it so well:

“Muslim-Americans, like other Americans, are horrified by the massacre and frightened at the prospect of terrorism striking here. They also carry a separate burden, having lived for years under the suspicion that ties them, broadly and unjustly, to criminal atrocities committed by killers linked to Islam. Many Muslim-Americans were doubtless concerned their own safety would be threatened by those driven by fear and hate. The mass shooting in San Bernardino may give rise to more fear, but murderous gun rampages, an everyday occurrence in the United States, have been set off by workplace resentments, anti-abortion and anti-government zealotry, paranoia, suicidal megalomania, various other forms of sociopathy, and by no evident reasons at all.

There is nothing wise — particularly from a law-enforcement and security perspective — about the urge to isolate and stigmatize Americans of any faith or heritage.”

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