Pickled Pigs Feet & Artichokes

DAD WITH TOMATOSure, I’ll try it Dad. I know! If you don’t try it, how will you know if you like it?  Pigs’ feet? Are you sure about this? Hey! Not bad! Mayonnaise? Dip the artichoke in mayonnaise? OK, I’ll try it.

Dad, are you watching over me? Can you see me? Can you hear me when I pray for you?

What I would do for one more walk with you in your garden. Potatoes ready for digging? Where, Dad, where?! I see myself kneeling in the dirt, scooping up the little potatoes. Dad is watching me, smiling. “Had a pretty good harvest this year, Susie-Bell. I think I’ve dug up 20 potatoes! OK, let’s go check out those Hollyhocks. I think they’re the tallest they’ve ever been!”

I have at least 50 pictures of Dad in his beloved garden. All the same. There’s Dad in his funny jeans, covered with funny patches to cover up the holes, with his ancient sandals he got on a trip to Mexico. He is smiling from ear to ear. Showing off his current harvest; sometimes a giant Hollyhock reaching for the sun.

I love you Dad. I miss you so much.
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To Heaven!

HEART IN THE SKY

Fly on angel’s wings!

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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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