Saturday, March 17, 2018

Nothing but sunshine

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
What a beautiful sunny week it's been. My brother's birthday has come and gone. W and I left a goofy message on his phone. How grateful I am for wonderful brothers. All 3 are uniquely gifted, have their own interests, follow their own calling, and love their families. My parents gave us a marvelous gift by not comparing us to our siblings or other people. So each one of us has followed their own path. But we belong together and love each other. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

I've finally fallen asleep at 6:30am but I wake just before my alarm goes off at 10:30. I trudge around the suite until I get out the door.

The first meeting of the day brings together almost a dozen of us, another "band of brothers (and sisters). Each is working in a non-profit or community group. We share what's important to us now ... and who is doing meaningful work in the city. I'm inspired and the food at the Ram is good, too. Verlon picks up my tab and I am reminded how generous the tribe of faith can be.

After an hour at home, I hear a knock on the door. DeAnn is a friend who works in another part of Asia. She's a schoolteacher - English for Chinese speakers - who's home on a year's furlough.

The grandkids join us and love her. They pray for the kids whose pictures are on DeAnn's phone, and she prays a blessing over them, too. I feel so privileged to introduce the grandchildren to someone who inspires them to serve others.

It's suppertime when the kiddos head upstairs and my friend says goodbye. I have a few assignments and before I know it, the day is done - it's 10pm and time to read a few chapters and then get to bed.

I was going to head to Canada to visit my folks but Mom gives me the day off. I had headaches off and on all day yesterday, and they're worse today. So it's a relief to decompress instead of driving.

I get the flat cleaned up and get dressed to go to the library. I last about 2 hours but the pain begins to subside by evenings. I'm a baby when things really hurt - and I pop a pill for relief.

Kim and I enjoy a few minutes together before our friends start arriving. I've forgotten the Malaysian tea, put beside the door to take along for her.

It's a great reconnection morning with Sue, Terry, and ... the lady from the next table. (I'll call her Iris.) "What a blessing to have girlfriends to meet with," she smiles at us as she sets down her coffee.

So we invite Iris to join us at our table. She talks about her wonderful grandkids. She's a super-grandma, raising the youngsters. She needs the wisdom of Solomon. At the end of the conversation, Iris adds her prayer requests to ours. Sue asks Jesus for his help in all we have mentioned, and with hugs, we say goodbye and go into the day.

W is back in town by 3: he takes the train and bus ($5 from the airport) and texts me for pickup at the Kenmore library. He had a great trip, working with a theology commission in Missouri. He respects his peers who examine scripture and culture together. They respond to issues and write papers filled with academic and pastoral concerns.

We meet our friends in Issaquah, at a #1-rated Indian restaurant. W worked with Dan and Don for years at the university, so we have lots of catching up to do. Their kids and grandkids are growing and doing interesting things. We see the passing of the years as the kids get older.

We gals are still active at various things: travels, care of family, involvement in the community. They're so young at heart!

The food is good but oh so bland after the spicy Sundanese food of Bandung. I take one plate through the buffet, scoop mango custard into a dessert bowl, and I'm done.

At the local art co-op up the street, the residing artist comes out from behind the counter to chat. She's a believer and encourages us to serve God through the arts.

Kinsey comes for a piano lesson before supper. I put on my teacher hat and go through time signatures, metronomes, and hand position. I used to do this for fun as well as money (33 years of it.) Kinsey plays along. She likes the forehead sparkles I've brought her - and isn't she cute? (I think Disney may be modeling their princesses from her.)

I'm in an online community reviewing a new book and organizing system called #SimpleOrganizing. I post a picture of our tiny, absolutely functional kitchen. The oven and fridge were given to us as part of a friend's remodel and the IKEA cabinets were $500 on Craigslist. W puzzled it all together in my design and it's just enough. It still works beautifully.

I open an envelope with a dated stamp: Exp 2015. Ach, let's try it. I sprinkle the borscht powder into water and cook it. It's just as good as ever. And the rich beet soup hits the spot.

In the evening, my head is in full ripple - the spasms are affecting my neck because I am wincing. Stop it! W takes me for a massage at Joy Spa (2X the amount and half the length as our neighborhood masseuse: $35 for 1 hour here vs. $15 for 2 hours in Bandung.) The massage is good and I am pain free at the spa. The nerve twinges resume in the car. Oh well.

Read more:
*O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. Psalm 30:2
*The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
*Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12
*[When the man was healed, Peter said,] "Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12
*In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7
Moravian Prayer: Lord, give us a new desire to share witness to your amazing love. Dispel all fear and doubt and fill us with a greater willingness to be vulnerable. Grant us the courage to connect with our neighbors, and compassion to listen to them.
Lord, bless our churches. Use our faith communities as true vessels of your creative power. May we seek your direction and guidance with new passion. Lead us with your pure light. Allow a new awareness of your dream for us to unfold. In your name. Amen.

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