Friday, August 21, 2015

Down Memory Lane on our 50th Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday was our 50th Wedding Anniversary - a milestone that was difficult, if not impossible,
 to imagine 50 years ago . 
The photo in the wood frame was taken earlier this year in February when we went to Hawaii  to attend the wedding of my late close friend's granddaughter. 
The wedding photographer took the photo.

Below is our wedding photo,  
My wedding dress was the first of many, many wedding dresses I have sewn.  

We felt we had already celebrated our wedding , not only in Hawaii, but also last week-end when my brother and sister-in-law invited us to come to visit them up country where they are building a new home.  We took our parents with us so we could all celebrate together - our three anniversaries are all within the same week in August - Mom and Dad  celebrated their 70th anniversary, we our 50th and my brother and his wife their 44th.  
So yesterday was a special day just for the two of us, very low-key.  We took our youngest granddaughter out for lunch and then Vic and I went for a drive down memory lane.  So much has changed in the last 50 years, but we still found some things that stirred our emotions and turned our conversation to reminiscing sweet memories.

The photo above is still very much as it was 50 years ago because the road was closed many years ago and was just opened recently because they are working on clearing property. The road was not open to through traffic but we thought we would risk it !  
The road is not far from where I grew up and was a favorite destination to go for a walk  with my girl friend who lived just down an adjacent street. 
It was on this country lane, that Vic, in our early dating time, would come driving down to look for me, hoping I would be there. Often, I would be there on Sunday afternoons, and we have sweet memories here. 

This bridge, not far from our dating road, is the bridge where Vic stopped on a spring day when we were out on a date, and we went to stand on the bridge looking down at the creek below and then he pulled a ring box out of his pocket and proposed. 
 I am still wearing my original rings, and still love them. 

Shortly after our engagement, we began to plan our wedding and we knew we wanted an accomplished pianist, George Unger, to play for our wedding.  I chose "My Sheep May Safely Graze" by Bach, for our wedding march, and Vic agreed, so we went to ask Mr. Unger,  if he would play for our wedding. We drove on the yard and he came out, leaned on the car to talk to us.  When I mentioned the wedding march I wanted, he said, 'oh yes, he knew it.'  
He and his wife still live in that same house, that my dad built, 

The shop where we bought our wedding flowers is still there... same shop, same place.  Vic wanted my bridal bouquet to be extra special and they quoted him $25.00 and he asked if they could do one for more and they said they didn't know how to make one worth more than that. I thought it was an awful lot to spend for a bouquet.  (smile)  I think all the wedding flowers total was around $80.00. 

Above, an old photo of the church we got married in, (also my dad helped build)  which has been replaced with a new building.  We met because we both attended here.  We grew up with that building being a very big part of our life, everyone knew everyone and so many services, youth meetings, Sunday School, weddings, funerals, celebrations, etc... made this building a busy place where we built memories. 

The above sad looking building was our first home as a married couple.  It looked much better 50 years ago but it IS still there.  It had a full basement and had three bedrooms. 
Because we were looking for memories ...  I took some other photos that are still recognizable from more than 60 years ago.  

The above house was not that far from where I grew up ...  it was known as "Evan's House"  because it was the biggest, grandest mansion I knew of. I used to dream of what it looked like inside.  And the large yard around it was always meticulously manicured.  But what was especially memorable was that every Christmas they decorated the house and the yard with lights, making it spectacular enough to attract crowds from far away.  Finally, they stopped doing it because there was just no way to control the traffic , and keep cars from driving onto their lawns. 

Until earlier this year my childhood home, that my dad built when I was eight, was still standing - but now there is a huge estate home standing in its place.  But the red barn, that dad built, is still there! How many memories I have in that barn. Feeding the animals, playing in the loft, jumping from the loft to the haystack below with visiting cousins and friends -- and hours and hours of taming and playing with kittens. 

The above house is another memory high for me.  When I was six a little friend at school was having a birthday party, and she invited me to come.  It was my first birthday party experience and I felt like it was the most special thing!  I thought the house was huge, and very beautiful with an upstairs and indoor bathroom. 
Ironically, almost 40 years later my aunt and uncle bought the property and asked Vic to do some work in the house to upgrade it for their kids. The house was original - nothing had been done to it since I had been there so many years ago.  And to my shock the house was very tiny. Its all about  perspective.  But what an experience to be able to go back to something I remembered with childish eyes , and then was able to look at it with adult eyes. 

The above building is where I started school - my first year.   I remember so much of that one roomed school room that had a wood stove to heat it - my teacher Mrs.Wakefield had to come early to start the fire so it would be warm for us.  I remember one day she was late for some reason and the classroom was soooo cold we had to keep our coats on for a couple of hours. I remember where everything was - the coat nails along the far side wall , the wood stove in front of them, the blackboard at the front, to the right of the front door, the desks , the reading area and the play area in the back.  And the very scary water closets in the creepy dark basement. 

I had to take a photo of this area ..... it is just behind me from where I'm standing when I took the photo of the school.  The road is just barely visible there but it was the clump of bushes that are there that hold a deep memory for me.  Our teacher told us we were not allowed to play there because it was too close to the road.  But the bush that grew right there 62 years ago grew in such a way that it made the neatest 'cave' space that lent itself perfectly for the best imaginary games.  I was always very obedient to what I was told... and so I did not go play there.  The other kids did and kept telling me to come play there too, but I wouldn't.  Until, they wore me down, and I rationalized that the teacher never said anything to them playing there after she said not too.  Then the very day I decided that maybe she hadn't meant it after all, and  went to play there .. she came out and we all got into trouble and had to stay after school.. My little heart broke., it was a defining moment in my life that I never forgot. 

I love what God told the Israelites - that they were to build memory stones or put up markers so that they could go down memory lane with their children and grandchildren -  so they would not forget what God had done for them. 
 May we never get so busy that we don't have time to pass on to our children and grandchildren the things that have built their history and ancestry, the family foundations on which they themselves are built and tell them  how God has led and guided. Hindsight gives a much wider lens view of how life is and it holds the wisdom we can share to help our children be the best that they can be! 

"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; 
I muse on the work of Your hands."
Psalm 143:5

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Who Has Believed Our Report?

     One day when we were visiting my husband's brother and his family. My sister-in-law  and I were in the kitchen, when their young son came came home from riding his bike with his friends. He  burst into the kitchen, all excited to tell us about the wonderful falls he had found,  With childish animation , he described the awesome, unbelievable height of the falls and their beauty.  My sister-in-law and I exchanged amused glances, reading each other's mind  about the tendency of children to exaggerate.

     She asked her son where he had found these falls.  "Oh," he answered, " we were just exploring in the bush and suddenly there they were !  They are huge.. you really have to come see them!"

     Yes, right... go bush whacking through some forest, to find a puddle ? We didn't think so.

     "How high are these falls," asked my sister-in-law. "About so high?" she held her hand a foot or two from the floor. 
     "Oh, no... "protested her son. "they are high, way higher than the ceiling, even higher than the house!"  We smiled, indulging him his fantasy.

      That was not the only time our nephew tried to convince us to come see these magnificent falls...and over the years, he never changed his story, but we never believed his report.
No matter how much he begged us to come see, we never did - it seemed too incredulous to be true.  

     Then, years later, we heard about these magnificent falls.  A rough gravel excuse for a road had been opened to give people access to the falls.  So one day we braved the road and then followed a  narrow trail into the forest.  Soon we could hear the sound of water which grew louder and louder until we came upon the most awesome view... the Cascade Falls.  
      Our nephew had been telling the truth after all.

      Today, the access road is paved, there is a parking area at the trail head, a picnic area, a new hanging bridge over the deep gorge,  and a well-kept trail with safety fences and stairs up the steeper parts of the trail.  The wild natural beauty of the area has been preserved, the visual  impact of suddenly coming into view of the falls has not been diminished.  Yet, even today many people  have never seen them, even though they live within a distance of a few miles. 

     We were there recently with our family and I told the story of our nephew to my granddaughters.  As I told the story, the words..."Who has believed our report?"  came to me from Isaiah 53:1.
     We did not believe our nephew's report, because it just seemed too unbelievable.  But how many people do not believe God's report for the same reason?  
     God has told us of many incredulous things in His Word, yet, do we believe them, every one?
If God says it is true, what reason do we have not to believe His report?  

     Today, just as Cascade Falls is now a park and is talked about by more and more people who have been there and seen them, so also scientific evidence  is more and more compelling in proving God's report to be true. 
     People who have experienced the supernatural are talking about the amazing things that are happening in their lives. Their testimonies, supporting the truth of God's report - are told in books, and through the many ways we have today to communicate, thanks to modern technology. 
     And .. still... even today, God asks... "Who has believed My report?" 
Do you ?  Do you believe God's report ?  If you do, are you telling others? 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Junk Drawers and Front Yards

Not long ago my husband and I went for a Sunday afternoon drive and I enjoyed gazing at the passing homes and envisioning the people who lived there.
There was a great contrast in homes ... from the ghastly to the sublime - and yes, believe it or not, someone was living in the 'home' on the right.

I suspect that most of you, like me, have a junk drawer or closet that is on your 'to-re-organize' list. Conveniently, these closets and cupboards have doors and drawer faces that present an impressive facade to our guests and hide the chaos within.

How we keep the outside of our home and our front yard is not so easy to hide - it is there in plain view for all who pass by to see and pass judgement.

I was wondering .....

Do we also have 'junk drawers' and 'closets' in our heart that we intend to one day re-organize and clean but we put it off for a more convenient day ?  
To those we invite into our life -  our guests, as it were,  it is easy to hide what we don't wish them to see and present to them only what we choose for them to know about us.

But .....
Did you ever consider that when God walks past the hearts of men, there is no hiding what is in our hearts?  Our hearts are laid bare and displayed in every detail in our 'front yard'. He sees right through the facades we have created to hide our 'stuff' from view.    

 David understood that nothing could be hidden from God  and he cries out ...  
 "O God, You know my foolishness; And my sins are not hidden from You". Ps. 69:5

 Haggar, Sarah's Egyptian slave, fled into the wilderness away from Sarah who had punished her.  When God spoke to her, she responded with surprise that God knew about her and saw her and saw her heart thoughts  ..."Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are- the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?"  Gen. 16;13
To Haggar God became ..... "The-God-Who-Sees". 

If every thought, every deed, every action, every re-action,  every word was laid out in full view for all to see in the front yard of your heart .. what would it  look like ?   Would it be like the house on the left, everything in order and carefully tended? -  - OR - would it look embarrassingly like the house  on the right ?
Would you be ashamed to see God come walking down Heart Street toward your heart home?  Would you wish you had worked harder at getting your front yard cleaned up and beautified?

We have been given a sharp  gardening tool to 'landscape' our heart garden and remove from it the weeds and allow the 'good and pure' to grow and flourish. That tool is the word of God!
  Heb_4:12  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

We also have a Gardener waiting and willing to help us ...
Do you need to give Him a call?
Dial ... HEAVEN 911, He is always available.

Monday, April 13, 2015

God's Supernatural Care

We recently spent a week in Maui and saw things that were so new to our 'untraveled' eyes.
 I was reminded again and again how creative our God is and varied and how incredibly beautiful His earth is.
We gazed at this lovely rainbow from our lanai (balcony) for about an hour. To me a rainbow is always an emotional reminder to me of God reaching into our physical realm  to show the reality of His invisible realm - how true His promises to us are.

This morning, I had an insight that answered a niggling question I have had in the back of my mind for years.
I wrote a post about an experience I had in July of 1998. You can find it here  

While I have always believed in my heart that Dr. Koo was an angel, I have always entertained the question I had about why she was there for ME.   The experience of course was enough ...  but I still felt that there must have been a reason other than just giving me a 'special' experience.

This morning as we were having breakfast, I suddenly felt I had just been given the insight I had sought.

Over the years, I have continued to have those painful pericarditus attacks.  I no longer rush to the hospital emergency...  I just take my Toridol medication and ride out the attack.
Recently, I had a very severe attack that lasted hours longer than the attack normally lasts .  I had already taken my daily dose of my regular anti-inflammatory meds and my rheumatologist has warned me not to take two different anti-inflammatories in one day.
So when I recognized the attack coming, I took my regular anti-inflammatory, but it did nothing to lesson the pain.

I know that my rheumatologist is somewhat hesitant to continue prescribing the Toridol for my attacks, but she trusts me not to abuse it and has always graciously continued to prescribe it.
Actually, there have been times I myself wondered if it was psychological on my part that I just believed that only the Toridol was able to control the pericarditus attacks.
I have no scientific reason for why only the Toridol anti-inflammatory med. is able to offer me relief... and it seems that medical science does not know the reason either, and therefore would never have thought to prescribe it for me/  Except for God supernaturally sending me that 'doctor angel'  I may never have known about Toridol and I shudder to think of the suffering I would have had to endure over the years ... Many emergency trips to the hospital and administered morphine.

But after that  recent last experience when I was not able to take the Toridol, I know for a fact that other anti-inflammaties do not offer any relief for my pericarditus attacks.

Does God provide all that we need ??  YES, indeed .. and if He needs to reach down supernaturally into our physical realm then He will do so !  
How great is our God ??

I read something last week  that resonated with me ...
"First God sends the solution, then He sends the problem."    
Need we ever fear ??  no ...  as Jesus said to Peter .. "Fear not, is it I!"  If Jesus is with us, we are 'covered'!

God knows every detail of our lives and all that we could ever need ... and He will provide it "out of His great riches in glory!"  How supernatural is that ??