Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31 – “Yesterday, today and tomorrow”


Today was yet another Seaside day of the church gathering together.  Not very many of our core group was there.  But there was one family of visitors that took up two and a half rows of the middle section.  They were all on vacation together from Oklahoma staying at a few of the condos in the West End.  Another couple was there from Boerne, Texas.  Nothing all that unusual about either case.  I mentioned during the service that we had been asked to cut down all the weeds that have grown up on one side of our property and to spread out the remaining piles of dirt.  I said Chris and I were planning to come down and work for awhile in the morning to do what we could.  Before we left one of the guys in the family said that he and his wife and maybe several others in the family were interested in coming over to help in the morning.  He said they were going to call the Chamber of Commerce in the morning to look for a place to volunteer for a day or so during their vacation.  What we needed seemed to fit the bill.  And he felt like it showed God was at work and he wanted to get in on it.  What a way to spend your vacation.


I had a phone call right after church from the owner of the real estate office across the street.  She and I went to high school together.  She wanted to see if we could work together to keep people from dumping trash right at the entrance to Jamaica Beach.  She's going to have some carpenters she knows build a trash bin for us on a different part of our property.  Then we can both use it, and it will eliminate the temptation for drivers passing by to test their basketball skills.  While we were talking a guy from Seaside came out and said he was planning to be there in the morning with a lawn mower.  He had several jobs in mind that he was going to work on.


Before I left that other couple talked to me a long time as well.  The man said he felt an almost overwhelming need to say something to me.  I told him to go ahead.  He said something along the lines of, "God is the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow.  What he did yesterday he can do again today and tomorrow.  He's got plans for Seaside, and he will see to it that your needs are taken care of.  Even to the point of people driving by in cars pulling in to the parking lot and giving us money or offering to help in whatever ways we needed them to." 


God is always at work around us.  We just have to open our eyes.


Hebrews 13:7-8 says, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."


Father, help me to expect you do what you say you will do.  That's the only way I'll be able to see it.  Amen.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30 – “Installed or not?”

What a day.  We started out with a memorial service at 10:00 in Webster.  It was held at a pretty big church, and the place was packed.  The lady died at age 30 of cancer and had tons of friends and relatives, all in the area.  In fact it felt kind of strange because the only people we knew were the husband and the two little children of the lady.  As soon as the service was over we left for a funeral to be held somewhere way up the Eastex Freeway.  That's the same as Highway 59N, but Google Maps didn't understand just the numbers.  There weren't near as many people at this one, but it was good to sit with some Seasiders who made the trip.  It's amazing what a familiar face can do.


We left the cemetery around 2:30.  We hadn't had lunch yet, but the next thing on the agenda – a graduation reception for my nephew – was scheduled to start at 4:00 in Southwest Houston.  As it turned out, we made it in time to stop first at a Walgreens to get some tissue paper for the gift (and a Nestle's Crunch), then at a McDonald's for some fries.  We intended to have a milkshake as well, but they didn't taste right, so we had water instead.  We were a bit early, but we weren't the first ones there, so it worked out all right.  We were surprised when we got there.  My younger brother's college roommate was there.  Hardy has lived literally all over the world, and recently moved back to Houston with his bride from the Netherlands named Krista.  He was the guy who sent Josh to the hospital for stitches one year at the Turkey Bowl – on the first play of the game.  And he got me in trouble, too.  Because I stayed and played football while Chris took Josh to the emergency room.  How unfair is that?  We had some gumbo and Italian-looking sandwiches and some kind of taco filled with icing and chocolate chips.  It reminded me of something I had as a snack one year in Vacation Bible School. 


When everybody started getting ready to leave for Tim's graduation, Stan and Hardy loaded a desk in our truck and we took off for our last function of the day – a reception for my cousin who received an award from the Knights of Columbus.  We made it just as the last of the guests were leaving, but that gave us a chance to talk to all three of my cousins. 


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as they say, Kel and Christina were hosting the installer of the appliances that got delivered by Sears.  The double oven went in fine.  Then … the dishwasher didn't have a water line, so it only got partly installed.  He also needed our plumber to get the sink and garbage disposal in and the water turned on.  Then … the vent hood didn't have a cord to plug in, so he went to the store and got an extension cord and made one.  It's probably better than one we could have bought.  He did get it in, but one of the shelves had to be moved.  Then … the cooktop was warped.  He said he couldn't install it because it had to be level on the counter.  The gas connection was also in the way of the top drawer under it, so the drawer will have to be shortened.  And speaking of gas connections, our plumber still has to come in and cut off the gas pipe as it comes out of the wall so the bottom drawer will close.  And the installer also mentioned that a gas connector line was also missing.  I tried calling Sears tonight, but the best I could do was schedule delivery of a new cooktop on Thursday.  We have to go into the store to get a refund on the installation that wasn't done.


But there was a good thing.  While we were at the house looking at the appliance fiasco, Cailyn and her mom came by and rang our new doorbell.  They saw the truck and wanted to come in and see everything.  They seemed to like it.  At least April did.


John 14:1-4 says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."


Father, that's a classic funeral scripture.  Thanks that both ladies today are with you.  Amen.

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 29 – “Fireplace”


Today we took the fireplace to the house.  Chris and I loaded it into the truck.  After that she said she refused to unload it.  As luck would have it, though, Nathan just happened to stop by on his way home from work.  Needless to say, she got out of the unload.  The fireplace really looks good there in the corner with the tile down.  Ben Franklin would be proud of his namesake.  We have no idea when it will get installed.  All we know is that the parts have been ordered and there is no hurrying them.  That's the benefit of being in a highly specific industry, I guess.


We were hoping to see some more of that frenzied activity today.  Alas, it was not so.  Apparently the plumber has been swamped with work.  He was going to try to work us in as he could.  We were sure hoping he in particular would get there.  It just somehow makes you feel complete when you have an indoor toilet available to you.  The other stuff is pretty much just window dressing.  Sheetrock repair, electrical fixes.  The head electrician made the mistake of stopping by this morning after Chris had a chance to check out all the lights.  He asked, "Do all the lights work?"  She immediately replied, "No."  He looked horrified, so we showed him some of the problems.  A lot of the switches seemed to be loose.  The lights flickered.  They also removed one of the outlets that we had a specific use for.  That was about all he could stand.  He said he'd get somebody to come fix it and left in a huff. 


Our contractor called just as we were leaving for lunch.  He said we had a choice about scheduling.  1.  Let the floor guy come in Monday and sand and stain the wood floors.  It would take about a week.  That would mean we would have to cover it up when the plumber and sheetrockers and painters came to finish up, and it might get nicked or dinged in the process.  We would be able to move in in about two weeks.  2.  Postpone the floor guy and let everybody else finish first.  The problem here is that if he doesn't start Monday, he can't start until the 15th.  That would mean the floor would be less likely to get scratched, but we wouldn't get to move in for at least three weeks or more.  What a dilemma.  We finally decided to let him make the call based on when would be the best times for all the different workers.  He called back later on to say that he told the floor guy to go for it on Monday.  The plumber was especially excited to have a week to get caught up with his other jobs.  The floor guy was excited to be able to stay on his schedule.  The contractor was excited that we would get to move in a week sooner.  We were just tired.


I got a call from the Seaside Christian Academy school board leader.  It was my "Would you say yes if asked" call about being the interim headmaster for the school.  He was very encouraging.  Chris and I had been talking and praying about it, and we both felt OK about the interim part.  I still don't know about doing it full time when school starts back.  I think I can transition us through the summer, though.  The board is supposed to meet Monday night, so I'll find out after then.  Interesting timing, though.  We are leaving sometime next week for a short trip to Mansfield for Zakary's birthday party.  There's a lot to do to get ready for next year, though.  Maybe we'll stay gone a week or so.


Psalms 139:1-4 says, "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.   2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord."


Father, I need your guidance on this school thing.  You know me better than me.  Can I?  Amen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28 – “It’s white”


We left the house early today.  Chris headed to Bay City to take her Dad to his doctor in Houston.  Mom was waiting to be picked up for her weekend in Houston with my brothers.  I headed into Galveston to open the door for the electricians.  I was supposed to be there by 8:15.  I arrived at 8:05 and they were there waiting on me.  And they jumped right into it.  My first question of the day was, "Why is there no gas connection for your gas dryer?"  The answer, of course is that we have an electric dryer.  And we have planned on that from the very beginning.  "Then we have a big problem.  We did no wiring for electric dryer."  Well, it seemed to me that he might be right about having a problem.  So I told him to talk to the contractor.  And I went right away and called him myself.  He assured me they could take care of it.  And by the time the appliances were delivered. 


With that problem "solved" I left to begin my errands.  First I had to drive back up to Lifeway Store to get the books as gifts for graduates at church.  I was there right after they opened, because I had to be at Seaside Christian Academy to teach my final lesson of the year and give one of the books to our only graduate this year.  The kids were all watching a movie when I got there.  Well, the little guys were all watching it.  Some of the high schoolers were in the kitchen making chocolate fondue.  The headmaster stopped the movie – sorry, little guys – and gathered the students for me.  I did a rapid fire approach to the story of Joseph.  The whole thing in about forty minutes.  They all stayed awake. 


I went back by the house and talked briefly to the contractor.  The electricians had a question - an easy one – about where to put the under counter lights.  He had to leave right away because he had an appointment with Kel and Christina.  I didn't tell him that I planned to head over there after I stopped for something to eat.  Sure enough he was upstairs with them when I got there.  Jachin was downstairs, so I just sat at the table and had my foot long coney island. 


I left in plenty of time to get back to the house before the 3:45 opening time of our Sears delivery – all appliances.  Sure enough, they called around 3:30 and said they were almost there.  I was sitting in the family room trying to study / stay awake when they arrived.  I was more asleep than awake when the guy yelled, "Sir!  Are you the owner?" Scared me to death.  But I checked out the delivery.  Everything looked OK on paper.  The first items came and were to stay in boxes – stovetop, oven, dishwasher, icemaker.  The freezer made its way back to the back corner.  The washer and dryer rolled by.  Finally the refrigerator came in.  They hooked up what they were supposed to – the "installer" is coming Saturday to do the rest.  While they were doing their thing, I peeked in the icemaker box.  It was white.  It was supposed to be black.  I grabbed the papers from when we bought it.  Black.  But it's white.   I notified the deliverer and he told me to keep it and call for a replacement.  Fine.  I called right then.  It took awhile, but they finally understood that I wanted them to deliver what I actually ordered.  They agreed to do it – Sunday.  I said they would have to come in the afternoon – I had to be at church.  She couldn't guarantee it, but would write a note.


Meanwhile the electricians were frantically trying to finish up.  When they turned the power on they discovered a hot wire hidden inside the wall.  Apparently the sheetrockers covered something up.  They were still working on that when I left. 


I'm heading back into town to Ashley's choir concert at Ball High tonight.  Can't wait to go by the house and see it at night with lights on.


Psalms 136:3-7 says,

3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:     

His love endures forever.

4 to him who alone does great wonders,     

His love endures forever.

5 who by his understanding made the heavens,     

His love endures forever.

6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,     

His love endures forever.

7 who made the great lights —      

His love endures forever.


Father, thanks for the lights.  And thanks for the Light.  Amen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27 – “The Thermostat”


It rained most of the day today.  At least it did at our house in Galveston.  I planned to do some more tool cleaning, but only got through six or eight sockets before I had to cover everything up.  Chris got called away with the truck to do an important community service – she had to babysit with Cailyn.  So I was stuck at the house.  Even the workers left, so it was very quiet and very dark inside the house.  Kel finally called and came over to see what was happening.  He hung around and we talked in the rocking chairs until Chris got back.  Actually, after awhile he was taking me to Cailyn's house when we met Chris on the way.  I was transferred like so much cargo, and we went to old faithful McAlister's for some lunch. 


Meanwhile, back at the house, the electricians did show up.  In fact they were there when we got there.  We unloaded all the light fixtures and arranged them near the places they were to go.  He stayed busy installing plugs and switches, and finally started on the fixtures.  It was quite an amazing transformation.  I certainly never doubted Chris' choices, but she outdid herself with these.  And while they were being put up, the air conditioning guys got there.  They installed the vents, the intake grills, and a new thermostat.  Not just any thermostat, mind you.  This thermostat has the mind of a mother of preschoolers.  The guy explained it like this. "If you (he pointed to me) come by and set it at 73 because you are hot, and she (he pointed to Chris) comes in behind you and complains that she is too cold – you know how those women are – If she comes in behind you and tries to raise it back up to 80, the thermostat will shut down the compressor for five minutes."  I guess that gives you time to figure out who's going to win.  This is going to be very interesting with Mom in the house.  She's always too cold.  I'm always too hot.


The electricians promised Chris that she would have lights by tonight.  We're planning to stop back by after church tonight to check them out.  Appliances come tomorrow, but we don't know our "window of delivery" yet.  I teach at Seaside Christian Academy at 11, so April is on call to come over if we need her.  Chris leaves at 8 to take her dad to a doctor's appointment.  I have to open the door by 8:15 for the electricians to finish up.  Maybe Sears will deliver early in the morning.  Don't think I'll hold my breath, but maybe …


Revelation 3:15-17 says, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth."


Father, that air conditioner feels great at the house when I get hot.  Let me be fired up for you.  Amen.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26 – “What-a-week”


We were given another assignment by our contractor for today.  We were to take care of pulling off the protective coating from all the windows and then cleaning them.  I was wondering how dirty they could be if they had protective coating on them.  Sure enough, they weren't all that dirty.  We used a single-edged razor blade to scrape off the tiny bits of stain and glue.  We got almost all of them done between dodging all the workers and stepping carefully on the freshly grouted tile.  The family room floor looks tremendous.  It has the really big tiles.  I think they are sixteen or eighteen inches square.  The tile floor is finished at this point, except for two tiny places we found where they need to fill in some grout.  The handicap bars were being installed in the hall bathroom when I left.  The vanities were placed in the bathrooms.  The one in the hall bathroom is the mirror image of what we expected.  That's a problem.  It means the plumbing sticks into the drawers instead of the cabinet.  That means the plumber will have to move stuff around before we can actually install the cabinet.  The one in the master bathroom looks great, though. 


Our next assignment was to bring all the light fixtures and light bulbs to fit them all.  We have had the fixtures for awhile.  We didn't think about getting bulbs.  So tonight we made a trip to WalMart and Home Depot for an unreal number of light bulbs.  Thirty-six regular 60 watt-ers.  Nine recessed bulbs.  Three ceiling fan bulbs.  Chris had to mark all the fixtures to show where they go.  My last assignment was to bring in the fireplace.  I'll need some help with that one. 


The electricians are supposed to come tomorrow.  So are the air conditioning guys.  The plumber can't get there until Thursday or Friday.  Appliances are still coming Thursday and being installed Saturday.  Sometime in there I need to prepare for a sermon and a teaching at Seaside Christian Academy.  There will also be a funeral to attend one day this week, and a memorial service on Saturday.  Chris will be gone Thursday to take her Dad to the doctor.  Mom leaves Thursday to spend a few days with my brother in Houston.  Yet another "What-a-week."


Ephesians 2:6-8 says, "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."


Father, as we get close and get excited, help us remember that it's not heaven we're waiting for.  Amen.

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25 – “She misses me”


Today we actually stayed at home all day.  Well, if you don't count the quick trip I made to get some bait.  We had a family hamburger thing, and Micah and Jachin wanted to go fishing with DadDad.  Of course, they only fished for a few minutes.  Then they played fish the cup out of the water with the net.  Over and over and over.  Chris' mom and dad even drove over from Bay City for the day.  It was pretty nice.  Except the Astros lost and we didn't even get a bite fishing.


One exciting thing happened.  Chris got a call from our contractor asking if we had been to the house today.  We didn't go because it was Memorial Day.  We figured no one would be working.  We were wrong.  The floor guys showed up in force.  They were in the process of laying the tile in the rest of the house.  Since that was happening today, the contractor said he was going to make some calls in the morning.  Plumber.  Electricians.  Air conditioning guys.  He asked us to come help out by cleaning the windows tomorrow morning.  He wants everything to be clean before he lets them sand and stain the floors.  I guess we also need to bring the light fixtures and garbage disposal and plumbing fixtures and maybe the vanity tops.  We just might get into that house in less than a month after all.


Oh, the best thing that happened to me today?  Cailyn fell asleep in my lap.  Just like she used to do when they lived with us.  She misses me.  Obviously.


Ephesians 2:4-8 says, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."


Father, thank you for the hope about the house today.  Thank you more for the hope not dependent on sub-contractors.  Amen.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 24 – “Early Call”


Today started a bit earlier than usual.  I got a call around 12:30 a.m.  One of the ladies who has come to Seaside was being life-flighted to Hermann Hospital in Houston.  Didn't look good for her.  One of our elders and his wife were taking the husband up in their car.  The couple went to the home group they hosted.  They told me to wait for their call.  Sure enough, about an hour later they called back.  The lady died on the way to the hospital.  The elder and his wife stayed with the husband pretty much all night and all day today.  They were taking him to the funeral home to make arrangements.  They said they would keep me informed as they found out more. 


It's great to have folks who can do ministry.  It allowed me to get ready for church today.  I did have a hard time getting back to sleep.  I think it was almost four.  And I woke up again a little before six, so I just got up.  Church was awesome.  We had a packed house.  People from New York and Missouri and Granbury.  One lady was back who moved to Huntsville awhile back.  She is an amazing lady.  Except she said I should consider becoming the headmaster of Seaside Christian Academy and let the church find another pastor.  I think I may  be too old to start a new career.  Anyway, the people were really into the singing and the teaching.  They were not afraid to speak up and share what  they thought. 


This afternoon was kind of a blur.  I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, but so keyed up I couldn't fall asleep.  I finally did some work on the computer and paid some bills while listening to the Astros game.  They lost again. 


About six we decided to go to the WalMart in LaMarque to get some groceries.  Traffic was so crazy in Galveston this afternoon that we didn't want to go back into town.  Tomorrow our kids are coming over for some burgers.  We had hoped to spend Memorial Day in our "new" Sycamore house.  As of now we are still not sure when we'll get back in.  But we do know God is at work all around us.  That's enough.


Philippians 2:13 says, "… it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."


Father, thanks for showing me you are at work all around.  Again.  It is enough.  Amen.

May 23 – “Coconuts”



We started the day in our role as volunteer custodians at the church.  The highlight of the morning was getting to meet the new couple who is in charge of the Alcoholics Anonymous group that meets at Seaside on Saturday evenings.  They seem to be pretty outgoing, and they even asked what time our services started.  I'm looking forward to seeing them again.


We grabbed a quick lunch at Taco Cabana.  Quite different from our usual fare of McAlister's Deli or Sonic.  We both had a taco salad.  Mine had beef in it.  Chris picked the fajita chicken.  It's not too bad for an occasional visit, but it's not going in my regular rotation. 


Working at the house was our next stop.  I had hoped to get a lot more done on cleaning tools in the back yard, but I didn't even change to my "diesel clothes."  Instead we planted the five squares of grass we bought at Lowe's.  Then I helped Chris do some weeding in the side flower bed in the front yard.  Then we planted the hibiscus bush we also got at Lowes.  And she still has more on her Lowes gift card.  Christina and Kel brought her sister and brother-in-law by to see the house.  He's going to help us get our camera fixed.  They got to see the doors getting their second coat of finish.  It's some kind of clear varnish.  They were also spraying it on the windows inside, so it was hard to stay in for more than a few minutes at a time.  We were all feeling kind of high when we came back outside.  Maybe we can charge extra when they're spraying.  Chris really liked the backsplash.  But we were very disappointed in one very minor thing.  After the incredible job they did on the tile and grout, they finished it out with the worst job of caulking I've seen since the last one I did.  Actually, I think I could even do it better.  It just looked sloppy.  We decided to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe they are coming back to "clean it up."  Our contractor is worse than Chris when it comes to those kinds of details, so I sure hope they fix it before he sees it.


We went to a wedding this evening.  Actually I was the pastor.  The couple has been coming to Seaside.  They have a beach house in Jamaica Beach right on the beach.  At least it's right on the beach now.  They are worried that the new Ike vegetation line might take it away from them.  We were going to do the wedding at the house, but they decided to move to the beach since the weather was so nice.  Just as we started to the beach, the bride asked the groom if he wanted to do it barefoot.  He was all for it, but she kind of hesitated.  So I bent down and started taking off my shoes.  She was quite surprised that I would do it, too.  Then, as we walked out onto the sand, she mentioned to Chris that she really wanted to do the ceremony standing in the water.  Of course Chris said, "It's your wedding, go for it."  It took a little more gentle persuasion, but sure enough, we ended up in the water.  The bride had two young daughters, and the groom had a son, so they made up the wedding party.  The family just gathered around with pants rolled up and we started right in.  About halfway through I felt something hit the back of my heel.  I casually glanced down and didn't see anything, so I kept going.  But it hit again and then again.  I knew there was something there, but I really couldn't imagine what it could be.  We were standing in the water, for crying out loud.  Finally, when it became obvious that everyone else knew what it was – I could tell by the snickering and pointing – finally, I was able to catch a glimpse.  It was a coconut.  A real coconut that floated over from Gilligan's Island somewhere out there.  And it nestled into the little ditched that my feet formed in the wet sand, and stayed there for the rest of the ceremony.  When we finished the kids immediately came over and grabbed it.  I told them that it was not often that God sent a wedding present like that.  They decided to keep it as a souvenir.  That's when the groom said, "Well, did you see the other one?"  Just a few feet away, a second coconut had washed up during the service as well.  He said, "Yep.  Two nuts just got married and two nuts floated up to commemorate the occasion." 


Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."


Father, thank you for giving that couple the unexpected gift.  Thanks even more that the Dad recognized it and received it.  Amen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 22 – “Twitter”


It's after 10:30.  I'm in the car on the way home.  Is this Twitter or Blog?  We took Jachin and Micah to a carnival thing tonight.  Jachin rode a camel.  Micah petted a llama. 


They were spraying the sealer coat on the doors when we went by the house this evening.  Guy was wearing a hazmat suit and mask.  We couldn't get anywhere near him.  Couldn't tell if front and side doors were done or not.  Wonder if that door to the garage ever came in.  Painting looks done.  Bathrooms look done, too.  Couldn't walk on them yet.  Also wondering what the grout will look like when it dries.  Backsplash looks great.  Grout wasn't in there yet.  Electricians supposed to be coming next – early next week.  That means we have to get the fixtures to the house.  Plumber should be soon after.  Keep that activity coming.


Revelation 22:17 says, "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!'" 


Father, sometimes I can relate to the anticipation mixed with frustration John must have felt.  Come.  Amen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21 – “Frenzy”


I taught at Seaside Christian Academy today.  The kids were great again, and they were counting down the minutes until school's out.  We actually got all the way down to the life of Joseph.  It's going to be a challenge to finish Genesis in one week.  But they have seen a movie about Joseph, so maybe they can help me out. 


I got a text from Chris as I left the church.  She said my eyes were needed.  The tile guy brought some new samples of tile for the accent piece of the backsplash in the kitchen.  She said she kind of liked it, but April was also going to come by and share her opinion.  I beat her there.  And I liked it right away.  It breaks up the stone look.  Nathan even beat April there.  And he was at work.  They actually drove by in the fire truck and let him take a look at the tile.  He loved it.  April finally did get there.  I was in the back yard cleaning tools.  I assume she liked it, too, but they had already been inside when I saw them.  And when I saw them, all I saw was Cailyn … of course.  The little nipper had just taken a four hour nap.  I was jealous.


There was a non-stop frenzy of workers around the house all day.  Yowzers.  The painters were back.  They were finishing up second coats in all the rooms and touching up everywhere.  They also started staining the doors and taping the inside part of the windows so they could be stained as well.  The floor guys were also there.  They had been given clearance to tile the bathtub and shower walls and the floors in both bathrooms.  They actually sent two crews, so that doubled the number of people who would normally be there.  And when we "officially" approved the backsplash, they started working on that as well.  Sounds like when we get back tomorrow, or soon after, we'll have floors and stuff in our bathrooms.  I guess they'll still have to put in the grout tomorrow and let it all dry before we can get toilets.  That'll be a milestone, wouldn't you say?  They told us there would come a time when it would seem like everything is happening at once.  Today was that day.  I hope it keeps happening.  Our appliances are scheduled to be delivered next Thursday.  I really don't want to delay them another week.  I've already done that six or eight times.  Our contractor is trying to get us a better price than Sears on the installation, though.  We're supposed to be able to cancel any time we need to.  Whew.


Mark 4:39 says, "He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm."


Father, most of the time I ache for your calm.  But keep up the frenzy at the house, OK?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 20 – “A Girl Morning”


This morning was one of those "girl" kind of mornings that I really don't understand.  We went to the house, knowing that Chris had to be at a Wednesday Club luncheon around noon.  I was excited for her to see the walls painted in the house since she was gone yesterday.  She seemed to love the colors of the family room (tan), the accent wall of the study (green), and our bedroom (light green).  The jury is still out on the yellow room, but she says it's growing on her.  They hadn't started the blue room yet (though they did get one coat on by the end of the day).


The tour of the paint didn't take all that long, but then we went back through three or four more times.  Chris explained what kind of window treatments she was thinking about.  We noted which rooms still needed a second coat and which looked finished.  We ran our hands over the newly textured wall and wondered when it would get primed and painted.  We walked around back and looked at the leaves on the magnolia and pecan trees.  She said, "I guess we should take some of these plants up on the deck."  I didn't make a move to do it right then, but she seemed OK with just saying it this time.  She checked the neighbor's mailbox for them.  She walked around to the air conditioner side of the house and said she might want to plant a rose bush over there.  Speaking of rose bushes, she asked me if I wanted to plant two in the front flower bed.  And where I thought they should go.  I managed to come up with, "Wouldn't they have the same problems the azaleas and roses did before the storm?"  I did bend over a few times and pull weeds out of the yard.  Not much real grass left, but I might as well give it a fighting chance. 


Finally we left the house and went over to Palais Royal to look at dresses.  She couldn't find one.  As we walked out the front door she asked if there was anything I wanted to look at.  I chose my answer carefully.  "A new cartridge for the printer."  See, Office Depot is two doors down from Palais Royal, on the other side of Specs. 


OK.  So here's my thoughts.  I think Chris honestly believes that this morning we accomplished a lot and she was ready to go to her luncheon invigorated and excited.  I, on the other hand, can't see that we accomplished much of anything.  Except maybe the weeds I pulled in the yard.  Where was the evidence of the time we spent?  I didn't see any tools cleaned.  The back yard still looks the same.  What did we just do?


Now, I know the answer.  I know that we spent time together.  We listened to each other.  We made plans for the future together.  I know.  And marriage is all about relationship.  Hey, I even went to that luncheon with her.  I was the only guy there amidst a group of ladies where Chris is the youngest of the bunch by far.  I love my wife.


John 3:8 says, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."


Father, sometimes it helps to see evidence.  Sometimes it's better that we not.  Thanks for my wife.  Amen.