Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31 – “Last Night”


We waited all morning for a call from the floor guy.  He was supposed to meet us at the house and show us some tile for the shower and the wall around the bathtub.  Finally, around 11:15, Mom said something about going to Luby's.  After all, it is Tuesday, and we go to Luby's on Tuesday.  Even if it is two days in a row.  I had the fried shrimp.


We went by the house and stopped at Randall's for a prescription.  This one was for me.  A refill on my nerve pain drug - neurontin.  But because two different doctors have been involved, they had to fax it over to him.  I was supposed to call his office, but we didn't get home until after five.  After Randall's we went to WalMart.  Finally, somewhere between the ice cream and the sewing notions, the floor guy called. 


Chris picked out the tiles and even chose a stain color for the wood floors.  They will start building up the kitchen and bathroom floors tomorrow.  Sounds like he's just been waiting for our meeting to get started on the job.  If he gets going and the sheetrock guy gets going, there's going to be lots of activity on our side of Sycamore.  I can't wait.


The big news around our house has nothing to do with our house, though.  Tonight is Cailyn's last night with us.  I know.  That sounds sad.  It's not like we'll never see her again.  It's just that her mom and dad got an apartment and they want her to move with them.  What are they thinking?  Chris told them they could go on without her.  Mom said they had to bring her over every night.  We love that sweet little thing.  I guess we'll help them move tomorrow.  We do have a truck and all. 


I'm getting close to admitting that I should go to the doctor again.  I think I may have a sinus infection this time.  I thought it would get better on its own given enough time.  Maybe sometime Thursday.


Psalms 107:1-3 says, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord say this — those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south."


Father, thank you for the special time you have given us with Nathan, April and Cailyn.  I guess that means we have to say thanks for Ike, too.  Without him we wouldn't have had this time together.  Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

March 30 – “102”


Today I made a stab at being pre-Ike "normal."  After all, yesterday I taught about being filled with the Spirit for a new chapter.  I sure need to start a new chapter.  I'm really tired of this one.  I want to feel great again.  I want to live at home again.  I want to start a day out and have some idea what might happen.  I want to be able to say to people, "Here's what Galveston is like.  Here's what Seaside is like.  Here's what I'm like."   


Chris was gone.  She took her mom to another doctor's appointment.  I sent out some birthday cards.  I paid some bills.  I reconciled the checkbook.  I filed the stuff that was just sitting on top of the file box.  The first time I looked up it was already 11:30, and Mom wanted to go to Luby's.  So we went to Luby's.  Actually, we had to go by Kel and Christina's first.  We had their generator in the back of the truck and I didn't want to leave it there in the parking lot. 


We went by the house after lunch.  It now looks like it is wearing half a skirt.  They have replaced the bottom part of the exterior siding sheets on the addition.


Our contractor called.  He wanted to verify some things about the interior doors.  He also was having some problems ordering the front door we want over the phone.  He said he would have to go to Ideal in person and work it out.  The floor guy is coming tomorrow to fill in the rest of the kitchen and the bathroom so they will be the same height as the wood floors.  We're supposed to meet him to look at tile for the shower and bathtub.  The sheetrock guy is ready to start as soon as he gets the call.  The last piece of our Home Depot order (the medicine cabinet) is even supposed to be in tomorrow.


Before we left the house I cut down a few limbs from the palm tree in back.  Sunday is Palm Sunday and I need to make the palm crosses to hand out.  Usually one or two are enough.  But when I started cutting I noticed that a lot of the fronds were really brown.  I ended up cutting down four branches.  I started trimming them down so they would be the right size for crosses.  I cut and trimmed until my back hurt so bad I had to take a break.  It helped that Chris called to tell me she was on her way home.  I counted what I had at that point.  102.  That's enough.  At least it should be enough.  In years past I have done 120.  102 sounds about right for now, though. 


Psalm 102:1-2 says, "Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you.   Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress.  Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly."


Father, that's how I feel sometimes.  102 me.  Amen. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 29 – “Steak and Sopapillas”


Sunday.  It's the one day that can't be the same old thing week after week.  Especially at Seaside.  For one thing, we never know how many people will be there.  Or which ones.  I'm never quite sure what's going to happen, either.  It hit me while I was preparing for today that next week is Palm Sunday.  That means two things.  One: I have to get some palm branches from somewhere to make the palm crosses that we give away.  I guess it gives me yet another excuse to stop by our Galveston house again.  That's where I've harvested them for fourteen years.  And two: week after next is Easter.  That means Sunrise service on the beach.  Or maybe in the parking lot if there is not enough beach to set up on.  It means breakfast for the community after the service.  It means we have to get busy and be ministers to the West End again.  It's about time.


We went with Rita and Kelly and Cory and Houston and Ashley to lunch today.  Are you ready for this?  We went to Happy Buddha.  That's Chinese food.  Didn't think I had it in me, did you?  Mom and Chris split some kind of dessert-tasting chicken.  I have no idea what it was called.  Want to know what I had?  Steak and sopapillas.  I figured they couldn't mess up steak too bad – as long as they let me cut it up for myself.  And they didn't call those fried things sopapillas either.  But they just needed some honey and maybe sugar and cinnamon.


Chris had to go to Bay City again this afternoon.  Her mom has another doctor's appointment tomorrow.   This one is with the neurologist.  The last six months have really been a load of stress on Chris.  The circumstances themselves have been bad enough with finding out about her mom's cancer and walking with her through chemo.  But as time has gone on Chris has been driving back and forth to Bay City, and then driving her mom and dad into Houston for the appointments.  This has become one of those things that I have a hard time not worrying about.  I have to go back to God's promises over and over again.


Luke 12:22-26 says, "Then Jesus said to his disciples: 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?'"


Father, watch over Chris for me.  Amen.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 28 – “What’s next on the list?”

Today was workday at Seaside.  We were going to attempt to put insulation in the entire old building.  Then we hoped to put up ceiling tiles.  Mike and Cory were planning to put in the rest of the new lights.  Quite an ambitious undertaking in the best of times.  I was anxious to see who would show up to pitch in. 


The eight folks from Midland were there.  And they jumped in with all sixteen feet.  A few of the guys had done insulation before, so they climbed into the attic and called for the rest of their team to "hand it up."  Lanny and I found a bunch of wires hanging around from the ceiling, so we followed their path, made sure they led to nothing, and grabbed some wire cutters, and cleaned them up.  Mike and Cory and Ned attacked the lights and ceiling fans.  Chris and Teri and Melissa and Joe made some headway with insulation and ceiling tiles.  Jennifer, Peyton, and Mitch saw to it that Will and Matt stuck close by.  McKenna kept track of the trash.  Cindy volunteered to be the receipt lady – when she wasn't fighting to breathe.  The team was tremendous.  We finished all of the insulating. 

But that was only after we sent Teri and Eddie back to Home Depot for more.  They didn't deliver all we ordered.  They came back with what we needed, only better.  Instead of R19, Home Depot agreed to give them R30 for the same price.  I wouldn't want to argue with Teri either.  We would have finished the ceiling tiles, but we ran out of them, too.  And Home Depot simply didn't have any more.  We'll finish soon. 


I was really proud of the Seasiders today.  I was also kind of in awe of the two brothers from Midland.  They could work all day.  More than once I heard, "OK, what's next on the list?" 


1 Peter 5:2-3 says, "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock."


Father, help me have a "what'd next on the list" kind of attitude for you.  Amen.

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27 – “Yard work”


Today we met the Midland team at our house at 8:00.  I figured we could get started on cutting down the two trees left in our front yard before Nathan got there with the trailer.  Our big task for the day was to empty our stuff out of Mom's garage and take it out to Teri's in Jamaica Beach.  She is letting us use two bays of her three car garage for storage.  She was an answer to prayer right when we needed one.


The trees didn't take as long as I thought they might.  They hooked them up to a chain and ripped them right out of the ground.  No more crepe myrtle.  No more salt cedar.  They attacked the stump of the big tree Nathan and I chopped down earlier.  Found out that the tree had grown around several concrete blocks.  They recommended that we hire that one out to the pros.  I think I agree.


When Nathan got there it took us two trips to empty out the garage.  We simply haven't had time to sort through the stuff that was already there that was Mom's.  Not to mention what Nathan and April have added to what Chris and I have put there.  That's a lot of stuff. 


Back at the house, these guys were a flurry of activity.  Chris said they reminded her of a bunch of bees.  They raked our yard.  They cleaned out the flower beds.  They pulled out dead bushes.  They broke the water pipe – oops!  They fixed it right away.  They drained the hot tub and moved it back to where the flood waters moved it from.  They watched as the infamous Claw came by and picked up the uprooted trees.   They visited our neighbor's "suspended in time" museum house. 


Their final task of the day was to join us in Omega Bay for some spaghetti and maybe a little fishing.  We didn't catch anything, but they enjoyed looking through our Ike books, watching the Ike powerpoint, and playing fetch with Scooter.  Tomorrow they'll help out at Seaside, do some yardwork at Kel's, and maybe get in a little sightseeing.


Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."


Father, thank you for green, growing things.  We'd sure like to see some more.  Amen.


March 26 – “Day Off”



Today we decided to do something we haven't done in a long time.  We took a day off.  Scooter and I did a little fishing.  Chris brought me a cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito. 


I don't remember anything else we did until we went into town to meet the group from Midland that came to work on our yard.  They are staying in Pirate's Beach.  Our contacts there are a couple we know from Denver.  She was on the basketball team I coached.  He was in the youth group of the church where I worked.  I got to baptize her on her eighteenth birthday here in Galveston.  It was great to see them again.


Genesis 2:2 says, "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work."


Father, thank you for giving us the example of resting.  Forgive me for not following your example.  Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25 – “Hooked”


Chris was with her Mom today.  She had a bone scan and she had fluid drained from her right lung.  That had to be a stressful day.  Especially since they left Bay City around 4 A.M.


I took my Mom in to Moody Gardens this morning for a meeting.  She is going to spend the day and night and most of tomorrow with her friend Betty.  I went from there by the house.  The windows look great, and they have begun to put the trim around them on the outside.  By the end of next week our inside walls should have all the sheetrock issues done and ready for trim.  Our contractor even wants us to go ahead and order the interior and exterior doors.  I guess those are our proverbial two steps forward.  Our one step back came through today as well.  Apparently there was some pretty severe weather in Indiana last week.  Our Amish cabinet makers lost a full week of work time because they couldn't get around their farm.  That means the cabinets won't get here until the middle of April.  The contractor was not unhappy to hear that.  Gives him more time to fine tune everything else.


My afternoon was spent getting a haircut, buying some shoes (I think I had the same cashier there that I had at McCoy's the other day), and delivering dog food to Fritz and Heidi.  When I got home Scooter and I went fishing. 


Now, when I fish here at Omega Bay, I cast two lines out.  One I let sink to the bottom.  The other I like to reel in slowly with a shrimp on the free line.  Every so often I'll put both poles in the holders and sit on a bucket.  Fishing with Scooter changes things a bit.  It's just that he gets so excited.  Every time I walked over to check on a pole, he whined and wiggled and actually almost barked.  And Scooter doesn't bark.  He shook like he was freezing until I reeled the line and he could see the bait.


One time I let the tip of the pole dip a little too far.  Scooter was there.  He grabbed the kicking shrimp in a valiant effort to subdue it.  And he tasted the cold steel of the hook.  He squealed.  I gasped and screamed, "Scooter, no!"  But it didn't hook him.  Sometimes things look really juicy, but underneath are hidden consequences that stab and sting and leave scars.  Scooter was lucky.


John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."


Father, thanks for keeping me from grabbing the hook every time it gets close.  Amen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24 – “Needville Day”


Today was Needville Day.  Chris, Nathan, and I (oh, and Scooter) took our trucks and a borrowed trailer to Needville to pick up some furniture and clothes that Chris' cousins collected for us.  Nathan and April will be moving into an apartment on the first, so we wanted to see what kinds of things they still need.  Getting there wasn't too hard.  Nathan missed a turn, but we all eventually got to the storage facility.  But we discovered that Chris' aunt had the wrong key.  She made a few phone calls, but to no avail.  She wanted to talk to the owner (a distant cousin), but he was at lunch.  So we adjourned to a local eatery.  Great hamburgers – the big homemade kind.   I guess the owner still wasn't there when we got back, because we finally had to ask the facility manager to cut off the lock.  Interesting cost.  $25 to cut it off.  $5 for "labor."  So what was cutting it off if not labor?  And besides, he got to use a really cool power tool.  Anyway, we brought back a few chairs, a dinette set, two dressers, a box spring and mattress, some books, and a lot of clothes.  Stored them in a church friend's garage.  We are also going to use that garage to store the stuff we have in Mom's garage. 


We stopped off at our house on the way back to Omega Bay.  The windows guys were there.  Wow.  They have already installed all but three windows.  They look great.  And the back door is awesome, too.  An interesting thing happened while we were there.  The head windows guy called out to us, "Hey, Kelley and Chris?"  Now all he wanted was to tell us he was leaving.  But the thing was, he called us by our first names.  We just met him yesterday.  I got to thinking about that.  The only reason he had for being familiar with us was the introduction from our contractor.  He had a relationship with John.  We had a relationship with John.  That was the basis of our new relationship with each other.  And because we both trust John and like John, we assumed we could trust and like each other.  Wow.  What a picture of the church.  We can trust and like each other because we trust and like Jesus.


Acts 2:42-47 says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."


Father, thank you for the church.  I need someone to trust.  And like.  Amen.

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23 – “Tomorrow”


We determined today that as our goal for this morning we would finish sheetrocking the two closets in the master bedroom.  After the spatial relations fiasco Saturday, I was going to cover up that one hole no matter what.  All we had to do was run by Home Depot and pick up the last piece of our bathroom vanity order that we've been trying to pick up since Friday.


Home Depot didn't go quite as smoothly as we anticipated.  They assured us the piece was in.  In fact, the lady we talked to said she had personally seen it Saturday.  That would be the same Saturday that we picked up part of our order and they couldn't find the rest of it.  Needless to say, we didn't expect too much.  And we weren't disappointed.  We waited over an hour while they looked for it.  Finally they processed a ten percent discount for us, and assured us they would find it and give us a call. 


By the time we left there it was definitely time for lunch.  But since we were already right by McCoy's we decided to go there and pick up a light fixture for the house.  Again, not the best idea we have had lately.  We found the fixture right away and got in line to pay for it.  So far so good.  A sales guy came up to us and offered to take us next at his register.  Could we be so lucky?  He rang up the sale on our credit card and asked me to sign it.  And it was the wrong price.  He and Chris went to check it out.  Sure enough, we had been overcharged.  He rang up the refund.  And accidentally charged us six more dollars.  He finally got some help and I think we got it straight.  And we finally got to go for some food.


We made it to the house and got started on that spatial relations wall.  I discovered that the best way to defeat the spatial relations problem was to break it down into smaller pieces.  It's a lot easier to trim and force-fit three smaller pieces than one large piece.  We finished that closet.  Before we could start on the other one, the AC guys came to do some more stuff.  And the contractor came, too.  He was meeting the guys who will begin putting in our windows and back door … tomorrow.  Now that's good news.  He also said that his team of sheetrockers could finish up what was left and get going on the taping and bedding and texturing starting tomorrow as well.  Sounds like tomorrow will be a busy day.


Matthew 6:33-34 says, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."


Father, help me keep it simple.  You take care of tomorrow.  Amen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22 – “Heal me …”

Last night we had more out of town guests.  Our friends from Arlington who loaned us the trailer came back to pick it up.  They didn't stay long.  Just overnight.  It was good to see them, but it was sure a hectic week.


At church there was great excitement afoot about the brand new lights and missing ceiling tiles and hanging ceiling fan wires.  It showed that things are moving forward.  Everyone was pretty excited about seeing the framing in the new building, too. 


When we got home I collapsed on the couch.  I felt like I had the flu – cough, aching all over.  You've seen the TV commercials.  I turned on one of the NCAA tournament basketball games and proceeded to crash.


I slept for awhile, and when I woke to the melodious sound of Cailyn crying, I went with Chris to Lowe's to look for countertops for the vanities we bought.  Our contractor needs to know what the edges look like so he can build a linen closet for the guest bathroom.  To say we had no luck would be a nice way of putting this particular excursion.  Chris said she was rapidly approaching her point of maximum frustration.  It was time to go home.  Well, that was the problem, actually.  We desperately wanted to go home.  But we settled for the house in Omega Bay for now.


Jeremiah 17:14 says, "Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise."


Father, this is one of those days when I feel like I need healing.  I praise you.  Amen.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 21 – “Spatial Relations”


Remember those tests you used to have to take where they showed you an odd shape followed by four or five other odd shapes?  Then you had to figure out which of the group was the same as the first one.  It was Sesame Street on steroids.  I think it was to prepare you for geometry or something.  Anyway, I have always hated those tests.  I never did well on them.  And I certainly could never figure out what the point was.  How would anyone ever have a use for such a dumb test?


Today I found out.  Those tests were made for - and no doubt by … sheetrockers.  Chris and I set a goal for today to finish two closets.  That's all.  Just two closets.  How hard could it be?  We started out great.  In fact, I got one piece done while we were waiting for Josh's church folks to arrive this morning.  They wanted to see our house, take a picture with us, then do a tour of the "stranded in time on the day after the hurricane" house next door.  I think they had a learning experience.


But back to our "spatial relations" final exam.  We got three more pieces screwed in fairly easily.  I for one was feeling pretty good about myself.  Kind of like Mike and Cory feel about the new lights they put up at the church.  They look great, guys.  Then we started on the next one.  The odd shaped one that looked perfectly square to me.  Except I forgot to account for the sloping ceiling.  That meant the line at the top was not really straight, even though it appeared to be.  That explained why there was a half inch gap in the top corner.  So we marked a line and I did the trim job while Chris went to Randalls for a bathroom break.  I figured I'd have it nailed up and be cutting the next one by the time she got back.  Except when I held it up, the gap was now more like an inch and a half.  I turned it every way I could, and nothing fit.  There was no "Spatial relation" of any kind.  When Chris got back we both tried.  I drew pictures on the wall.  I tried to cut smaller pieces.  They didn't fit either.  My eyes began crossing.  Things weren't looking so good for us reaching our goal.  In fact, things were looking better and better for calling our contractor and telling him we were as done as we were going to get.  That still sounds like a great plan to me.  But Chris wants us to sleep on it.  I want to call the guys from Arlington and beg them to come back. 


Job 26:7-10 says, "He spreads out the northern [skies] over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.  He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.   He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it.  He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness."


Father, that's some spatial relations.  Wow.  Amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20 – “Slimy, Icky-Wicky”



Great progress at the house today.  Our little team finished sheetrocking the family room and the garage.  They even got started a bit in the kitchen.  Chris and I were there long enough to get all but a wall and a half done of our walk-in closet.  We're slow, but then, we're novices.  The AC guys came today, too.  They installed some more of the AC part of the unit.  We also went to Home Depot to pick up the bathroom vanities we ordered.  The vanities were in, but they couldn't find the mirrors or the medicine cabinet.  They have to call the manufacturer.  We'll check back with them tomorrow.


The kids at Seaside did a lot of painting of the outside of the building.  I haven't seen it yet, but I can't wait.  They also got most of the new ceiling tiles up in the sanctuary to complement Mike and Cory's work putting up new lights. 


I took my own advice this morning.  Since I usually wake up before everybody anyway, I went fishing.  I tossed out a couple of lines and hung out on the dock while I waited for Zak to wake up.  Didn't take him too long.  He ate the fastest breakfast on record.  Then he joined his Nani for a walk downstairs to go fishing.  And would you believe it?  As he walked up (or rather jumped up), one of the lines bent over with a strike.  I grabbed the pole and said, "Zak, come over here and help me for a minute."  I showed him how to reel in the line, and he started cranking.  After a few seconds he said, "DadDad, why am I helping you?"  I answered, "You'll see.  Just keep turning."  That's about when the fish made a run.  Zak's eyes lit up.  "What's that, DadDad?"  I don't think it ever entered his mind that it was a fish.  Sure enough, when he got it close to the top (It was a hardhead catfish, but a pretty big one), he squealed.  We pulled it on shore and he displayed it proudly for Nani's ever-present camera.  He did have one request, though.  He wanted to touch it.  Don't know if you've ever touched a hardhead catfish, but Zak's description tops every one I've ever heard.  "It's a slimy, icky-wicky fish, DadDad."  You got that right.


We shook the fish back into the water, and I turned to put some more bait on the hook.  The other pole was dipping madly.  Another strike.  "Zak, I need some more help."  This time he didn't hesitate.  He reeled and reeled until he landed his second big catfish of the day.  And that was enough.  He discovered right after that, that I didn't care if he pushed the bait bucket into the water.  It made a big splash, and that caused an even bigger squeal than the fish.  "Let's do it again, DadDad."  And again.  And again.  Needless to say, we had caught our last fish of the day.  But we sure ended our fishing trip on a joyful note.  Kids seem to have a way of knowing how to do that.  The joy is not in the product.  The joy is in the journey.


Psalm 45:7 says, "You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."


Father, thank you for letting me see your joy in Zakary today.  Anoint away.  Amen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19 – “Let’s go fishing”


The deal for Mom's house is back on again.  The same people as before decided that they really want the house.  As a result they are apparently more than willing to push back the closing date so we can have a few more weeks to move things out of the garage.  I also heard from our friend Teri at church.  She said we could store whatever we need to in her garage.  "My garage is your garage" I think were her words.  It's great when the church "does" church.


The group from Josh's church in Arlington worked today.  About seventeen youngsters worked at the church, filling in the wash-out holes around the pilings on the new building.  One team of older kids worked at our house hanging sheetrock.  They finished the heavy stuff in the garage, so we can store some things in there if we have to.  I guess that would mean fast-tracking a new garage door, though.  They are coming back tomorrow to do some more on the inside.  Whatever they get done will be greatly appreciated.  The kids at church are scheduled to begin painting the building.  Now that's gonna be a fun experience.  Junior high kids with paint brushes.  Always a fun combination. 


The guys framing the school finished around noon today.  It looks amazing.  Now we wait for electrical and plumbing drawings so we can move on.  The shingles were delivered for the old building.  There are plenty of groups that can tear the old ones off.  What we are waiting for now is a group that can properly put the new ones on.  Our contractor is lining up someone just in case we end up not getting volunteers.  We need someone like the group that did our roof at home.  They were great.


Meanwhile, Mike and Cory have begun wiring up the new lighting in the old building.  That is going to make a huge difference.  They are even going to get the nursery lights on a separate switch so they can operate their light.  Mama Chris says, "WooHoo." 


Chris' Mom and Dad came for lunch today.  We actually got all the great grandkids to slow down for a minute or two and got some pictures with Granny and Grandub.  Then they took off down the stairs to play.  Gorgeous weather does something to kids.  To me, too.  Let's go fishing.


1 John 3:18-20 says, "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."


Father, thanks for your rest.  Amen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18 – “The Penny”


We made a break for sanity this morning.  We took our grandkids – and Jachin's girlfriend Hannah (!) - on a ferry ride.  They were really excited.  We tossed rocks into the water while we waited.  We looked for dolphins.  We watched a huge tanker sail by.  We fed the seagulls.  We covered our ears when the horn blew.  We looked at the "broken city" they call Bolivar (at least what we could see of it from the boat.  All in all, a very tourist-y experience.


We met up at Christina's house for a McDonald's take out lunch.  I don't remember the last time I had a Big Mac.  Some things never change.


We have windows.  In boxes.  In the garage.


The deal for Mom's house is off because of me.  Because we were going to try to buy it the other interested party went somewhere else.  It's back on market again.  But we still have to get all the stuff out of the garage.  Maybe we have a little more time now.


I tried to get started on emptying out Mom's house and garage this afternoon.  I was by myself, so I couldn't move the two tables or the generator.  And I couldn't get very much at a time.  So I made a lot of trips across the street.  On the very first trip, I was carrying a couple of lawn chairs, and I noticed a penny on the street.  I've heard that superstition thing, "Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck."  I didn't pick it up.  I was in a daze.  I guess it had to do with the fact that this would really be the last time we spent any time in "the old homestead."  I moved several cases of water to our house.  The penny was still there.  I moved the Christmas decorations that were in Mom's attic over to our new attic (the one that has a floor!).  The penny was still there.  I put the four wedding presents Nathan and April had stored in the attic into the truck to take to them.  The penny was still there.  I bagged up several rolls of toilet paper we were storing "for emergencies" and put them in the truck.  The penny was still there.  One trip some guys working on the house next door to Mom's got in my way – or I got in their way.  A matter of perspective.  They waited for me to walk by before resuming their task at hand.  As I passed, I heard one of them say, "That's a dime holding up a dollar."  I guess I was supposed to be the dime.  I wanted to say, "Hey, I'm working for free!"  Oh.  And the penny was still there.   


I got to thinking about that penny.  It was there every time I passed.  I knew that I could count on it.  It would be there.  It was faithful.  Like God.  I left the penny there.  Maybe it would show "faithful" to someone else.


Psalms 146:5-6 says, "Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — the Lord, who remains faithful forever."


Father, thank you for being faithful.  I sure need to count on you.  Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 17 – “Did I mention windows?”

I went in to the house by myself today.  Chris decided to stay at Omega Bay and wait for Josh and Christi and their boys to arrive from Crosby.  Some of the volunteers got there around 9:30, so I took off and drove out to Seaside to check on the groups there.  The guys framing the school building were unbelievable.  In one day they had already framed out more than half of the outer walls of the classrooms.  I got to watch one of the "wall-raisings."  Flashes exploded all over the place as if it was the first one.  They told me it was just as exciting every time. 


There were some teenagers working inside the other building.  They had already removed all the ceiling tiles from the nursery and main room.  They also discovered some surprises.  They didn't expect insulation to come crashing down on their heads.  They found some old computer network wires from about the 80's.  And my personal favorite, they asked what kind of critter laid little tiny white eggs.  Seems that the insulation was full of them.  I told them it was probably geckos, and you should have seen the look of relief come over their faces.  They never said what they thought they were, but whatever that thought was … it obviously wasn't pleasant.  Before I left the guy in charge of the teenagers asked if there was some more projects they could do.  The plan was for them to tape the windows for painting tomorrow, but the kids were getting bored today.  I left them some more ideas.


We went to Luby's for lunch.  Seems like it's been awhile.  Josh and Christi and Caleb and Zak came.  Afterward I went back to the house to wait for the windows delivery.  Not there yet.  I did find out that the group that was working with us was leaving at noon.  Their agreed-upon time with Nehemiah's Vision was from Saturday to Tuesday.  They didn't know if we were getting another group or not.  After they all left Nathan and Josh came and did some touch-up stuff on the sheetrock.  I cleaned up the work area and moved around the sheetrock leftovers.  I never have liked leftovers.  We'll probably need to buy some more sheetrock.  All we have is leftovers.  Did I mention that I never have liked leftovers?


Did I mention that the windows were supposed to be delivered today?  When we left around 4:30, they weren't.  Our contractor had already talked to them, though.  For some reason they thought he no longer wanted them.  But they still had them, so they were going to try to get them loaded today.  If so, they would just go through the back door.  We'll see in the morning … again.


Big decision behind us today.  I emailed and called my brother to let him know we are OK with selling Mom's house.  I talked to her and all three of my boys, and we are finally OK.  It just took us longer to process.  Now we need to find a place to store the stuff in her garage.


Psalm 23 is a great fall-back passage for any time.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."


Father, thank you for being my shepherd.  And thank you for trusting me to be a shepherd.