Tuesday, November 29, 2011


What if Someone came and lived with us, but we brushed Him off because He was not handsome. In fact, He came cloaked in the disguise of the lowly.

He worked hard. Helped his Mother. But, He did not call attention to Himself. There was this time during his teen years and twenties that He was silent. Observing.

His Mother knew He was special. She had lots of other children to compare Him to, and she knew He never did anything wrong, never complained, never gossiped, never snubbed another. When they attended this wedding, and a crisis occured---they ran out of wine, His Mother sorta pushed Him forward, as Mothers sometimes have a tendency to do. She told the waiters to do whatever He said.

I wonder when His time came, did he tell his Mother that He needed to go preach now? His preaching was not popular with the elites, yet He drew large crowds. The rumors of how He healed sick people, the miracles of the blind to see and the lame to walk...why, He even threw out demons, and called Himself the Son of God. At one point, Mary listened to her other children, and tried to drag Jesus back home because of what He was saying.

Mary stood near the foot of the cross, and watched her firstborn die. She heard Him hand over her care to John. And she was there on Resurrection Morning. So much had been hidden from her, but for so many years she had pondered all the wonders, all the strange things people had said to her, all the strange happenings...

He came disguised, as the lowest of the low. Yet, in His prime, physically able to make it to the cross and fulfill all the Promises. He took our place, He paid the cost.

And I think He wants us to be compassionate to the old, the ordinary, the plain, the fat, the ugly, the hard-to-love. Sometimes He wants us to experience what it feels like.

Pastor Mark Driscoll gave the definiton of repentance: conviction by the Holy Spirit to compel you to Jesus. confession to God, contrition==broken, humble, grieved. change by the help of the Holy Spirit and putting to death the old man, the old sin nature...for arrogance is "natural" in me. and how forgiveness means you can't keep bringing "it" up.

What if you attended a fabulous banquet, but because you were fat or ugly or not wanted, you were relegated to the corner, not included in the pictures, and when you read about it in the newspaper the next day, there was no proof you were even there. You'd never treat Jesus like that...not if you knew Who He Was and Is.

But, Jesus did not come and hide among us as a fat, ugly Jabba the Hut. And even our preacher admonishes the fat for being not disciplined, not _______________. (spiritual?) He does not go that far, but his job is to admonish the lazy, stupid sinners. there is that sin of gluttony. sloth.

Because I am obese, I do not fit on airplane seats, and I saw on the news that the airlines have the right to refuse me service. Because I am fat, I sweat easily, and therefore, try to take lots of baths and showers so that I am not offensive to others. Sometimes little kids cannot help it, or have not been taught, and the looks I get, or the comments. I can't very well explain that God made me this way. Surely not. I must be honest with little kids. God makes some tall, some short...some thin, some fat? No, fat is usually a curse, as sign of failure.

And being obese has hurt my testimony...why believe my testimony, when it did not solve my physical eyesore. Why believe the gospel from my lips when my hips scream out failure? I need a tee shirt or signage to wear: saved by grace, spending eternity in heaven, and eating to get there as fast as I can!

Our pastor pushes us to be friendly, greet people...but, I don't want to scare them away.

Now add incontinence. Going to the grocery store is a challenge. There is the risk of a coughing fit...and filling up a pad. Having an accident. Now add excessive bleeding. Like an old model T leaking oil all the time. I gotta laugh.

Is there someone I am shunning? Is there someone I am avoiding?

Would I care if someone like me came over and leaked on my chair, or broke it?

Am I kind to the fatties?

What about that ten year old taken from their parents for being too fat?

God has blessed me with a kind and gentle husband. He helps me reach places and clean up messes. He knows I am a clutz.

Juanita Martin

I am still too sick to go to a funeral. I was hoping to get to go. Still coughing and dealing with issues at both ends. My ribs do not hurt as much when I cough.

I am thankful to be home, to have access to clean clothing, wet wipes, a washer and dryer, and clean, fresh water. I don't know how Bob slept last night with my coughing. He said he had trouble breathing. I think, running the furnace means dry air, which dries out noses and throats. I bet I got up a dozen times. Tongue all swollen.

When we came home after Thanksgiving, one of the emails gave us the sad news of Juanita Martin's passing. She died early Thanksgiving morning. So, in essence, she got to celebrate Thanksgiving with her Savior. She was such a sweet, kind lady. She and her sister mastered facebook and email to keep up with their kids and grandkids. And I so feel for Janey, her sister, as Janey said that Juanita was her best friend. They came to church and Sunday School together. Juanita would ask about our grandkids. She knew, that grandkids are the best gift.

I never met her grandkids. I am sure many speak today. And I will miss that. You learn so much about people at funerals. Things they might have told you in life, but sweet stories.

Years ago, I would have gutted it out, armed myself with cough drops, and sat in the back. But, no.

I did make it to Walmart yesterday. Got the birdseed, but have not yet loaded it. Bob volunteered last night, but I can do it today.

We are low on bread, so I need to venture out. But, I am feeling sorry for myself. I cannot show respect to a kind lady, and am no help to my daughter-in-law, Lauren until I get over this cough.

And talking on the phone makes me cough. Time to throw another load into the washer. We live like kings and queens. Warm house, chairs, bright sunshine. We are so blessed.

My Dad and Mother sent me an email talking about how forty years ago, they moved to Houston, and now the last of their children have moved away. (my brother Bill and his wife are off to Florida on some venture---that is all I know, as email questions go unanswered)

Forty years ago, I was a sophomore in high school, and moved from Illinois where I was born, to Houston, Texas. Houston is where I would graduate from high school, learn to drive, work for an orthodontist, attend church---where I met my husband.

Thirty years ago, we moved into this house because our newborn needed a yard! We are still in this house where we raised three boys, and the last has flown the nest.

Twenty years ago, my sister's first husband died on Thanksgiving Day. Their son, almost five, is now serving in Afghanistan trying to keep morale up as they go about daily patrols.

Ten years ago would have been just months after 9/11. We would have been deep into all things college and high school band.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What do you Want for Christmas?

it is a trick question.

your answer may reveal your love language.

Would you like to go back to that First Christmas? Watch events unfold? Hear the angels sing? Marvel at the fact that there were no Christmas lights? no trees. no shopping.

So, what do you want for Christmas? Peace on earth? Good will towards men?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What to DO for Christmas

Christmas is about Jesus' birth. Christmas actually falls on Sunday this year. And even though I believe Jesus was probably born in April, December 25 is the time we set aside to remember and celebrate and wonder.

If I got to choose, I'd like a quiet Sunday morning service of hymns, a sermon containing all the elements of the promised Savior, long anticipated. Greeting friends at church. A turkey in the oven. dressing. mashed potatoes.

Then, relaxing at home.

Our daughter-in-law in Houston will probably want to spend this Christmas with her folks, and any gifts we burden them with will need to be shipped/hauled to Alaska for their remaining six months tour there. So, we need to shop carefully. Our almost five year old granddaughter can always use more tape, paper, and drawing materials. The practical side of this old grannie is talking. Clothes. Some clothes for her doll. books. games. I found her a new Veggie Tale dvd.

Our daughter-in-law in Oklahoma may want to keep Christmas just them or with her side of the family. So, maybe it is best to bring presents when we babysit Dec. 10th. We imposed of them for Thanksgiving. Baby James is at the cute age where he will enjoy the boxes and wrapping paper more than the presents. I hope they take lots of pictures.

Our youngest in Austin will probably be working...as he has not acrued vacation time. We will have to visit when it is best for him.

Our thoughts will be with our deployed son...and our deployed nephews. Praying for their protection, and wisdom, and insight, as they do their jobs, lead their troops, and probably not even see each other even though in the same country. I can't wait until they are all home safe and sound. How can I tell one nephew, the Army nurse, that if you run across the other nephew...with a different last name than his momma, will you introduce yourself? talk about how you share the same Uncle Bob and Aunt Joyce?? and under what circumstances? I hope it is a cold and cough and not an injury.

Every Christmas is different. And with all our sons flown the nest, our new normal means travelling to where they are, or hosting them here for visits...but, our house is small. We should knock out the back wall, and add a hotel. That way, our sons and their families might want to come visit. Most days, our house is a refuge, a place to rest and recoup, and eat--a peaceful haven for Bob to come home to after a long day at work. We keep the back yard green...but it will be a few years before the grandkids enjoy playing back there. The bushes need trimming. The windows need washed. And I am thankful everything is on one level. But, man oh man, I gotta learn to pack. I took too much clothing one direction, and not enought the other. I need to make a purse for stops, and a purse for knitting...and a separate bag for the odds and ends. And why don't these cars come with trash bag recepticles? Good grief.

I just remembered my shampoo stash in the car. Left it in the glove compartment. Holiday Inn Express has the best shampoo. Smells great. vanilla peppermint?


I cannot sleep. I have a cold/cough/congestion...

It has been so long since I have had a cold that we are completely out of cough meds. The sutafed I did take a few days ago gave me such horrid dreams. So, I need to be careful of over the counter stuff.

We drove down to Austin to see our youngest son. Enjoying his job, but wanting more cash, he had applied to a pizza delivery job. So, electrical all day, and pizza at night. He posted on facebook that he had worked 52 hours last week including a day off for Thanksgiving. He was planning on going to Mississippi to be with cousins for Thanksgiving, but with the new job, stayed in Texas. Visited friends in Waco, and got fed good. Thank you, Cori for feeding my baby.

When we visited Ben in Austin on the 19th, he showed us around town. Showed us where he worked, and we bought him some new work boots for his birthday. It was hard to leave him, as he seemed lonely. So, I was glad to hear today that Cori fed him Thanksgiving. I owe her!

Then we drove to north Houston, Cypress, to see our daughter-in-law and her two kids, our grandchildren: Abby will turn five in January, and Baby David, who turned one in October. They are waiting on our firstborn to finish his deployment to A-stan. Living near her folks, and aunt and uncle, and grandfather. Our daughter-in-law is having stomach issues. gastritis, h. hernia, and gallbladder acting up. She has had lots of horrid scope and scan procedures...should get test results back Monday. hopefully. We baby sat for her for one appointment. She has lost 14 pounds in a month. Unable, and afraid to eat. Wish she lived closer so that we could help out more, but she and the kids do not need our coughs. Baby David bonded to Bob. It was so cute to see them play. Abby was busy drawing or cuting out things or taping...she has quite an imagination. And she let me read to her day 2.

We drove home and slept in our own bed for two nights, repacked and headed northwest after Bob's dental appointment on Wednesday and spent a few days at our middle son's home. The cold/coughs/drainage had just started...and part of me was tempted to stay home. But, our daughter-in-law assured us she had been sick, too. And Baby James, 10 months, was on antibiotics for his first ear infection. It was fun to see him crawling everywhere. And fun to help wrestle the turkey into the oven. Amazed I remembered to cook it upside down to keep the breast meat moist.

I was ready to go home as my cough was getting worse, but I think Bob would have stayed through Sunday! And I did not want to wear out our welcome. We watched our son and his wife decorate for Christmas. So good to see them having fun together. And we babysat so that they could get some shopping done, too. It was our third year in a row at Fort Sill. No telling where they will be next Thanksgiving. The end of an era. And next Thanksgiving, they will have two babies! What fun.

Maybe this will help jog our memories...and though scattered, our new normal: travelling to where the grandkids are. And trying to be a help. But, knowing our daughters-in-law extend us longsuffering. They'd rather be with their own folks. I was guilty of that when we were young marrieds. My folks lived closer, and dropped in all the time to see their grandsons. Bob's Dad lived way out in El Paso.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the dishrag pattern

cast on four stitches.
knit across
knit two, yarn over, knit to the end of the row.
continue this knitting two stitches, then yarning over and knitting to the end of the row until you have the width you like. 40 or 42 stitches, for example. the yarning over increases your dishrag one stitch per row and gives the nice loop edging.
to decrease: knit one, knit two and three together, YO, (yarn over) knit stitch 4 and 5 together and knit to the end of the row.
continue until you have six stitches left on your needle.
knit one and two together, three and four, five and six until just three stitches are left. cast off. cut, & pull extra yarn through with a crochet hook.

surely, I have written it up before, but someone asked for it, and I thought I could store it here to copy. ha