12 June 2016

162/366

I dozed off and missed the peanut and pretzel parceling out, but I was greeted with a marshmallow-puff sky when I opened my eyes and the window-seat shade. I don't remember my first flight, though I have TWA wings in my childhood jewelry box as an ancient souvenir. Yet even after so many years of flying, I still marvel that a metal tube can zoom above the clouds.

161/366

I firmly believe that butter and cinnamon sugar could solve a great multitude of world issues.

09 June 2016

160/366

Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
    from this time forth and forevermore.

- Psalm 131 (ESV)
(from Wednesday Daily Office mid-day prayer)

159/366

When I listen to pastors battling away around Europe and the States in well-off areas, I break out in a cold sweat. How do you evangelize in an area where everybody has a decent paying job, a nice place to live, and possibly a car (or two) in the driveway? How do you break through the intellectual pride of a worldview that thinks religion is beneath them and that science has all the answers? How do you witness in an area where the average house price is more than $400,000? How do you talk to a guy who feels no need for Christ because he is distracted by his materialism? How do you make it work in an area filled with nice, law-abiding citizens, who don't cheat on their wives, beat their kids, and spend their evenings stoned on the sofa watching reality television? Now that's hard. In some ways, it's harder. Brutal even!
- from Church in Hard Places by Mez McConnell and Mike McKinley

158/366

At lunch today there was a gaggle of happy kids running around, jumping here and there, giggling cheerfully. It's always a little bit of a sight, when the group of gringos show up at the fields. The big brown-eyes watch expectantly, and manage to draw a few away for games. It is all blessing to share sandwiches and apples and cookies and prayer and Jesus and life in this place.

08 June 2016

157/366

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

- Jim Elliot

156/366

gratitude-
the power of His hand in the thunder and lightning,
those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness,
a cup in my hand and a place on the couch,
transparency,
hospitality,
plans coming together,
being still at home,
girls who make really good cookies,
promise of tomorrow.


04 June 2016

155/366

Friday! Finally, I could order the posole! Posole ranks high on my Comfort Food list. I don't remember NOT eating posole, though it wasn't until college that I learned about radish and cabbage and lime and oregano and chile powder on top. The spicy red broth, the chunks of pork, the hominy, and a side of crunchy tostada shells for dipping-
¡Buen provecho!

154/366

One step in the gate and I sense it. The sound of gurgling water. That smell of earth and plants and water on the path. The 1000 shades of green and bright bursts of color that come from every direction. I feel Horticulture Envy creep in every time I step foot in a nursery. This time! This time will be different..., I think, oh-so-earnestly, oh-so-sincerely, as if suddenly I will become that Mrs. Green Thumb who waters and feeds and tends and talks and does all those loving, nurturing tasks that add up to Urban Paradise Gardens. "Your plants always die," my faithful two remind me. "No, you can't buy that, " they tell me.

They are right.
But maybe, someday...

153/366

More often than I like, I wonder if I should have said "yes." And other times, I am sure that I say "no" all too quickly.
But today's "yes" was just right.

152/366

Three weeks and more than 3000 miles of road.
It was a lot of miles, and as much as I love to travel and as much as I love a good road trip, I love to get home.

Reflections on a road trip...
I love the Midwest and I love our Midwestern family and friends.
Our blood has thinned and high 50's is now winter weather.
The United States is so very diverse and so very beautiful.
There is just an awful lot of Very Tasty Food in this world.
Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb!
There are so many good books yet to be read.
Traveling with two teens is infinitely easier than traveling with 5 preschoolers.
If in doubt, go classic rock radio.
I am embarrassed at how many classic rock lyrics I know and the songs I can identify only three notes in.
Did the inventor of car air conditioning win some sort of Nobel Prize?
Culture shock comes in the most unexpected places.
There's no place like home.
There's no place like Home.


151/366

"I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White citizens’ “Councilor” or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice..."
- Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr in "Letter from a Birmingham City Jail," 16 April 1963

(photo from the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee) 

02 June 2016

150/366

How shall we spend it, the last light of our day?
- Doug McKelvey, "100-Year Vision" in The Rabbit Room blog

30 May 2016

149/366

As if just a night at the diamond wasn't satisfying enough, few experiences amuse like a night at a minor league ballpark. It's all about entertainment. We went on Planet of the Ape Night, which meant the Bananamobile showed up. (Banana Gorilla fans, anyone?) And the grounds crew? Dressed in banana and gorilla suits, of course.

The mascots were terrific! Crash the River Rascal out danced Roxy, and moved his belly with style. And poor Franky the Swimming Pig- because naming a pig Franky (with the official number 8 OZ.) is the most unfortunate mascot name ever.

The Between-Inning-Entertainment? It was raining monkeys when they threw out blow-up mini-apes. There was the Appliance Race sponsored by the local gas company, when little kids in the oven, washing machine, and water heater boxes raced to the thermostat. There were the guys shooting arrows at the guy in the balloons suit, and the quote of the night, "Not THOSE balloons!!" (yes! NO! yikes!!) There were the young ladies from the bachlorette party in the Dizzy Bat Race. (so sorry that we laughed when you fell over. So sorry!) There were the Bumper Balls, the folks rolling around in the human gerbil balls. There were cute kids everywhere.

And the Special Appearances! For one night only- Tim "Wild Thang" Lepard and Team Ghost Riders- "three of the best sheep dog riding monkeys in the business!" Yes, monkeys riding border collies to herd the goats in the outfield, right around the guys warming up for the top of the 5th. You can't make this stuff up!

We sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the 7th inning stretch. We ate cotton candy and ice cream.  We had a Huge beer (that was what it was called. honest!) Our team won! The evening finally finished with fireworks, complete with grand finale.

Thanks West Michigan Whitecaps! We had a great night out!

28 May 2016

148/366

Wonder is an appropriate response to all things because all things are wonderfully made.


We set the alarm and set out at the beginning of the day; this time adventure was in walking distance from home. The lady at the desk seemed surprised when we knocked on the door and wanted to pay, but the price seemed like a pretty good bargain compared to beauty we soaked in. 

(photo from the Meadow at Blanford Nature Center, Grand Rapids, MI)

147/366

The joy of standing on the shore of the lake that seems as wide as the ocean, next to people you cherish with love deeper than the sea...

146/366

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” 
― Frederick Buechner