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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Journey




“Even a long dangerous journey can be faced confidently when God is leading the expedition.” I am not sure where this quote is from, but it stuck in my mind this week as we prepared for our boat trip to Alaska and our son and daughter in law prepared and set on their land journey from Utah to Anchorage with all their belongings including a car, two dogs and birds. Our part in helping them is to pray, care for the boys and get the boys to Alaska.

In the meantime we had fun this week in the islands. The boys fished from our boat one day, Chris caught a rockfish, filleted it to eat, they tried digging clams, and spent a lot of time playing at the beach. As you see from the video, (www.youtube.com angelambryant day at the beach) the boys tried making rafts from driftwood and Dylan had his first beach experience. Perhaps this was a beginning attempt at losing their land legs.

I know our journey is neither as long nor as dangerous as our son and daughter-in-laws, but we too can face our trip at sea with four of us in a small room for a week with confidence. As we take Amtrack tomorrow morning to Vancouver BC and leave for Alaska in the evening by ship, we also ask God to lead our expedition.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Monday, June 18, 2007

Blooming

cousins at the zoo
My mother used to say to me, “You can have thriving children or plants”. This month it is children. Considering children and plants, I think the phrase “Bloom where you are planted,” should be “Plant where you can bloom.”

For example, in spite of neglect, my philanopsis orchard, in the right spot on the south facing bathroom window sill is fully blooming. A $6 reject from the grocery store, the fifth year of bloom, thrives on the mist from the shower, airborne roots, the shoots spring up and wonderful waxy white interlocking petals. It wouldn’t do that without being in the right place.

The hoya which marked time for years in a north corner is now flourishing in the south facing kitchen sink window. Upon return this week I found it winding up the cord of the shade and sprouting fresh leaves. I think it will see a bloom soon.

The clivia on the other hand in the living room has not bloomed for over three years. I got it because it thrived with neglect but not any more. So I will move it from the city to the country to see if it is happier besides it has a clivia cousin there.

Speaking of cousins, midweek we moved ourselves and grandchildren to the country to play together. We started the fun in the city visiting museums, parks, and the zoo now the fields and beaches of the islands. We entertained family, Dylan’s parents and other guests, including the guest speaker, Cricket from Rafiki Village Rwanda. She spoke to a group about the too many children who are planted in Africa, 13 million of them just in sub-Saharan Africa alone, orphaned and alone due to war, AIDS and other diseases. They are uneducated, malnourished, helpless and without hope for a future. In contrast to our grandchildren, these children are far from thriving and blooming. Rafiki Foundation, Inc. finds these orphans that could never bloom where planted and plants them in a Rafiki Village, with tender loving care and nurture and trains them up to be leaders of integrity.

We all are thankful for the reminder that by the grace of God we are planted in a place with the necessary resources, climate, and care to not just survive but thrive. We are reminded to do what we can to move and plant those who are orphaned, neither surviving nor thriving, to a place where they too can bloom. See http://www.rafiki-foundation.org/ to sponsor an orphan or support Rafiki programs.

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Packing

Charges for the month


As I packed my bags last Sunday to head to Park City, Utah for the week to collect our grandsons, I thought about how I hate packing. I’m glad it is not me packing up a household and moving to Alaska. Our part is keeping charge of the boys this month while their parents move.

I hate packing mainly because I want to make sure I have everything I need, not leave anything behind, yet keep the suitcase small and light so as not to be overburdened. I’m glad I brought a fleece jacket for the two days of snow in Utah, yes, snow and the light tee for the hot day before. The necessities got packed plus my laptop, cell phone, iPod, blackberry and camera to keep in touch with family and friends. The biggest problem is the tangled collection of wires and chargers to recharge and connect all the devices, looking somewhat like parts for a bomb as they sit in my suitcase. I know this is the reason security at the airport leaves their “we were there snooping” note in my bag.

Without the wires, the communication devices are useless. Actually, without remembering the wires and plugging them into the devices to charge them then remembering to unplug them and put them back in my suitcase, the communication devices are useless.

I am grateful for a 24/7 working, charged, wireless communication network with you Lord. 1 I know with two grandsons, You Lord need to give us a Holy Spirit volt charge of energy. I will include in my bags as we travel to the San Juan Islands and then to Alaska, your grace to keep us on the straight and narrow, your love so we can relish it on our grandkids, your wisdom to order our days, your work through me, your direction so we know what will be meaningful to all. We will have fun because You make our burden light. Help me to remember to charge my batteries with you at night and/or in the morning, taking time to pray and read your instruction manual as we take on our charges this month. I don't have to worry about leaving you behind.

 “Lo I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth.” Matthew 28:20

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Joy




When my husband Neil starts hearing operatic singers every time he turns on the shower and I hear his talk radio show whenever the refrigerator motor starts, it is time to get back to the city. Noise deprivation it is called.

It’s time for a change of scenery, time to be with old friends and family and go to a noisy restaurant to eat for Africa. Time to hear the “Ummmm zap ummmmm zap” of the gas powered edger on sidewalk strips and crows at 4:45 am, cawing from trees outside our city bedroom window or the, crash, clank, clank of glass breaking and bump of containers emptying into the recycling truck, then the high gearing of the grinding mechanism that squishes everyone’s non-garbage into one truck, or the background hum of traffic far off that you would not notice if you hadn’t known the silence.

Perhaps the more serious problem is lack of humor and joy, rather than lack of noise.
Like a scratchy old record, the song “Create in me a new Heart” still goes through my head this week, but gets stuck in the groove “restore unto me the joy of thy deliverance”. Joy, humor, “lighten up”. Yes, I need a good dose of it. My blogs are getting darker and more depressing. I have been ill this week, a bad cold, fever, sore throat that traveled faster than the bullet train right to my lungs. “A joyful heart is good medicine”(Proverbs 17:22). Joy, laughter, I want it. Enough of this death stuff. “A crushed spirit dries up the bones.” The doc even said, my bones are brittle, so I give myself a prescription of laughter this week. Has anything caught my funny bone this week? Perhaps my funny bone is as brittle as the rest.

So it is past time to sing and laugh. I haven’t even been singing or playing an instrument for several weeks. It is time to pick it up, learn the words to a new song, and sing an old one like “Happy Birthday to you Dylan” for Dylan’s first birthday. A beginning month long feast of fun with grandsons, laughter and joy. How sweet it is noticed even more when it has been a long time missing. Lord, increase my sense of humor this month, and give me joy and laughter.