heading back

okay, actually I’m already back.

The event was good.  Nothing earth shatteringly great or disastrously dangerous …or frankly anything easy to write about.

and there is something else on my mind anyway

I’m currently working on a memory verse

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing”
I Peter 3:9

Now read the following excerpt from Beth Moore about this very verse

Here’s part of what makes this special. The New Testament translates two primary Greek words as forms of “bless” or “blessed.” One of them (lexical “makarios”) describes a state of being. A resultant condition, so to speak, like those described in the Beatitudes and in many other parts of the NT in reference to those who belong to God through Christ. It basically means to live in the face (coram Deo) and favor of God. The second one (lexical “eulogia”/”eulogeo”) is the conferring or speaking of blessing. As my NT Lexical Aids say, it means “to confer blessing upon, call down divine favor…” The former is a state of being. A beautiful thing indeed. The latter is blessing spoken. Also a beautiful thing, especially for those of us to whom words are a primary love language. It is this latter word for blessing – the one that involves something spoken – that is used in 1 Peter 3:9. The gist of the exhortation, restated from God’s point of view, is this:

“When you use your mouth to bless those who have insulted you or spoken evil to you, I, Myself, will speak blessing over you that you will receive as part of your inheritance.”

When we speak blessings over others who were HARD to bless, He speaks blessing over us. And, let’s admit it, sometimes we’re hard to bless, too.

We’re going to get plenty of opportunities to practice this spiritual discipline because, as the verse clearly states, TO THIS WE WERE CALLED. We were called to manifest the Spirit of Christ through our words when someone insults us. It’s a hard part of the high calling of God but to this we were called SO THAT we may inherit a blessing.

What hit me this morning was not just that we need to bless everyone all the time and pay special attention to making sure to grit our teeth and bless those who make our lives rough, but that we should be thankful for the very people who are driving us nuts.

I actually hit myself a little too fast with this this morning, so I’ll slow it down.

When someone insults me, or tries to be evil to me it is a God given investment opportunity.  If I bless them….. out loud.    If I pray down genuine blessings on them, I will not only be heaping up rewards in heaven, but I will be heaping kindnesses on them.  Ever tried to bless someone and be nasty to them at the same time?  nope.  Can’t be done.

There’s also the immediate result of a lowering of my blood pressure,  my temper and a savings of tooth enamel as well.  All of which are, let’s face it, instant blessings.

Okay, now that that’s done, I can give you a run down on Gulf Wars 18.

We drove all night Thursday, arrived Friday morning, set up a shade tent, rolled out a carpet, surrounded the carpet with tubs and placed Ginny and her toys in the middle of it.  I swear this was the most fun she had all week.  She loved it.  It was basically a huge baby-safe play-pen just for her.  Total delight.

2009-gulf-wars-18-004Unfortunately we had to use that particular tent later as a dining room so Ginny didn’t get to keep her makeshift play-yard for more than a day.  But I am going to have to consider something like that for any future camping trips.  …….

Knowing my luck though, by the time we take her camping again she will be old enough to escape from that and I’ll have to try harder to make it work.

The big headache for me about Gulf, that I simply did not foresee, is that the ground is mostly dirt – not grass – so I didn’t feel safe setting Ginny down in dirt.  Actually it was mud as after the first day of sunshine it decided to rain non-stop for three days.  But even once the sun came out and I went looking for a patch of grass to go play with her in it became abundantly clear to me just how many fire ant mounds there were.  There was simply not a square foot of space that I felt safe about letter her down.

This did not sit well with Ginny who REALLY wanted to get down a play.

Especially when the other folks arrived in camp.  One of those other folks is Solvi, the baby from last year’s camp.  Solvi is 11 months older than Ginny and they cottoned to each other immediately.  I could count on Solvi bringing out the sun for Ginny if she was upset.  My child turned into an instant giggle box every single time she glimpsed Solvi toddling around camp.

Fortunately Solvi was very interested in Ginny too, so they played together pretty well.  Ginny occasionally grabbed handfulls of Solvi’s hair, but she does that to everyone right now.  We managed to keep things from getting out of control.  The girls even danced together.  Okay, they held hands, standing up and bounced.  Someone in camp got pictures of it and as soon as they send them to me I’ll post them.

The big achievement of Ginny’s was that she got snuffled by a horse.  She loved it and giggled the whole time.  Actually it was kind of an achievement for me too, as I previously would not have thought that I would let a strange horse sniff my baby girl’s head!  But, encouraged by Solveig and Solvi, I did it.  Unfortunately no one got a photo, but I will always remember it.

Ginny looked very cute in her medieval clothing, but we learned a valuable lesson: don’t pack for a major event during severe weather.  We had done most of our packing during the freak snow storm that Atlanta got a few weeks ago and it ……influenced our packing.  We discovered that we had brought almost no clothing suitable for warm weather, only lots of thick stuff suitable for cold weather wear.

Consequently Ginny only had fleece outfits that were in a medieval style, so we don’t have many photos of her in garb.  But what we have I shall now post for your enjoyment.

a viking apron and hat

a viking apron and hat

despite the look in the previous shot, she really did enjoy the outfit

despite the look in the previous shot, she really did enjoy the outfit

it was even comfy enough to nap in

it was even comfy enough to nap in

I love this shot.  It looks like she is asking for someone to re-fill a glass or something.

normal baby outfit...and pose

normal baby outfit...and pose

This is actually how Ginny spend most of the war.  In a onesie and asleep.  What with the heat, and teething and growing and such she ate more than ever and slept a whole lot.

We are very blessed.  We are also happy to be back home.  Ginny’s face lit up when she looked around her nursery at home.  I could look into her face and actually watch her recognize objects.  Her smile grew and grew as she realized the concept of HOME.

I think she thought we had left it forever.

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rainy days are wonderful

This past Saturday it was scheduled to rain all day.

And boy howdy it sure did.  It rained loud, it thundered, lightening-ed, blew hard, and whispered quietly.  It misted, it came down in sheets, at times it sounded almost like hail.

It was truly a fashion show of everything rain can do to a house.

And what did I do all day?

My wonderful hubby and I stayed inside all day.  We watched some movies and we got some things done around the house.  Mundane things.  Like laundry and bills.  We even unloaded the dishwasher together.

It was a quiet day.  We certainly didn’t sleep all day, but I would definitely classify the day as restful.   Something to really treasure in our hectic lives.

if it rains all week, just quack like a duck

So does anyone else remember a very cute McDonald’s commercial from years ago (like maybe 20 or more) where these 7 or 8 year-old girls are stuck at summer camp (Camp Nippersink) and it’s pouring rain so they can’t have any fun and eventually the counselors, in an act of desperation pile all the girls (in yellow slickers, hats and galoshes) into a vehicle and take them to McDonalds.

By the time the girls have finished their meal (sharing fries and laughing) they have written their own “camp song” and on the way back out to the cars, splashing through puddles they “sing”

We are Nippersinkers

We’re in luck

If it rains all week,

just quack like a duck!

quack quack waddle waddle

quack quack waddle waddle

It has stuck with me all these years not so much as an endorsement of McDonalds but as a testament to the joy that a simple determination to be cheerful can impart. Obviously there are some situations where it takes God’s divine touch to bring us joy and cheer, but there are plenty of times when we can look out into the rain of our lives and CHOOSE to be cheerful.

We can choose to bring joy to others through our dependence on God for our daily inner weather, as opposed to bending with the winds and rain of daily experience.

I’m probably having these thoughts because of the gorgeous HEAVY rain we are currently getting here. It is wet, inconvenient and dark. The students don’t want to walk out in it to get to their classes. But it is also something we have desperately NEEDED.

So thank you God for the rain, the memory and the lesson.

‘scuse me while I go find my galoshes……

advice?

I’m going to outright ask for input here.

Anybody ever heard of

Christian Adoption Consultants (dot) com ?

Martin and I are considering using their services and I thought I’d ask to see if any of my blog-friends knew anything about them.

By the way, I hope it rains today. Not because the ground needs it. Not because our lakes are so low.

But simply because I’m in a rain frame of mind.

Seems like it’s been forever since we got a really good, all day rainy day. For some reason I’ve always viewed rain as analogous to God’s blessings. Even when it “ruined” a picnic or some other outdoor plan during my childhood. Rain has always felt like God directly touching the world.

So let it Rain! Please God, let it pour.

I missed the joke….

So I’m sitting here at work and all of a sudden, from the desk behind me comes hysterical laughter.

Three or four of my co-workers are having a grand ole time about….something. Some movie or some story I can’t tell which.

They didn’t intentionally leave me out.  And I know it’s not about me, but I missed the joke (or the story or whatever) and I can’t go back there and ask to be filled in. They are already too far into the hilarity. It would ruin it for them if I interrupted.

Most of the time I’m in on this stuff, but right now I’m not.

Do you ever get the feeling that life is like that? That we have missed the punch line? or the set-up for the joke and we just can’t catch up?

Maybe it’s just the rain, but I’m a bit pensive today.