Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter! to all

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
I sleep in and am in still in bed when the grandkids wish me a Happy Birthday, before they head out the door. Sweet! I make a lunch of leftovers while W's working, driving into the city. A perfect start to the day.

In the evening, we head for Lake Forest Grill, a family favorite since it's not far away. It's fun to celebrate with some of our kids - and the grandkids, of course.

After a morning of meetings, I forget to take pictures of those who gather. Oh well - you're in my heart if not on my phone.

Lunchtime is a treat: Kirsten joins me for a few minutes at the new home of a WPPRs girlfriend. We four women reflect on God's goodness and pray over the house for the new season and the new inhabitants. What a wonderful time together.

In the late afternoon, we meet Jay and talk about the cool things God is doing in their circles. Dane makes me a good cup of tea and W a laté to accompany the conversation.

We talk about the loving interest of God in his creatures and his creation, here and there. It's encouraging to W to hear how former students are changing the world.

Our son and his wife, who have 4 youngsters, are celebrating their 10th anniversary soon. So it's Opa and Oma and the 3 kids (6, 4, 2) for a sleepover. There's time for princess clothing.
 Kinsey also has brought flowers from school. She arranges them in an ancient IKEA vase.

While I make supper, Opa takes the kids to the park ... and then we make a cave with blankets and the huge Coach table. 
Good Friday
The kids blow bubbles and run around on another walk with Opa while I clean up breakfast. We read the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. How can we understand such love and sacrifice?

I'll miss the long view up the driveway, the beginning of so many visits this month with our friends and partners.
After lunch, the kiddos go home (upstairs) as their parents arrive. The kids are yawning after so much exercise: perhaps we should have put them down for a nap! Instead, I fall fast asleep - but wake when my friend calls. It's a 10-minute drive to their neighborhood - and what a pleasure to visit.
Zahra and Sadri have been our friends since our youngest was born ... and he's 29. They're from Iran - Zari serves us Persian tea and shows me how she mixes the leaves. Sadri's provided blueberry scones, too. Yum. (Our Iranian son Hadi, meet your auntie and uncle!)

After running some errands, we stop at Dick's Burgers, a Seattle institution since the 60s. As always, there's a garbage can handy - and visible - near the takeout counters.

W wants to say goodbye to his Saturday coffee group, so we pull up to the Starbucks for 15 minutes before heading to breakfast at 8:15.
Their medical clinics and communities are bursting with new members in Kenya and Uganda - yet they're based in Kirkland, our old hometown. We're inspired when we hear of their opportunities to serve and connect.
Poached eggs on toast with sausages
 And what a breakfast! Ben and Lia have invited us to a new café (Little Brother) with marvelous, creative food: it tastes as good as it looks.

Then we're off to Canada. The border is 2 hours north. The farmlands glisten beside the mountains in the sunshine.

First, we have lunch with W's mom and sis in Langley.

W walks his mom home (2 blocks), soaking up the sun while I drive the car back to her apartment. She tells us the story of how she came to love Jesus and serve him. What a heritage.

Then it's another 3/4 hour to Chilliwack - snowcapped Mount Baker looks stunning in the distance as we crest a hill.

The local arena still has hockey tournament pictures above the entry. Yay, Canada, where the national sport is hockey. Note also the child crossing the crosswalk with a flag for visibility (a recent trend) and cars properly driving in their lanes. Sigh - we miss this orderly driving sometimes ...

As we near my parents' home, we stop to snap a picture of the view I grew up with: Mt Cheam loomed above us every morning as we walked to high school.

And the house is familiar: full of years of travels, family adventures, and collected treasures. My mother is a maximalist, and I love "coming home" to these familiar surroundings, even after 40 years of marriage.

Wedding pictures line the stairwell.
My brother and his family bring supper, Chinese food from Mom and Dad's favorite place.

Deeelicious - and what great company. We pose for some goofy pics after enjoying time together..

We go to church together after a nice breakfast at Mom and Dad's. It's wonderful to worship and say thank you to God for his unfathomable gift in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again. To have someone pay a debt to God, which we could never match, is not something I understand. But I am grateful beyond telling that the One who will judge us at the Last Day is the One and Only who could satisfy God's holiness.

Before we head back to Seattle, we eat brunch at Jimmy J's, putting much of our food (huge portions) into takeaway boxes. How could we ever finish so much food? But the company is precious.

We wave goodbye in the rain - it's hard to believe that I won't see my dear folks for another year.

And before we know it, we're back in Seattle. The drive is just over 2 hours. One more day ... the suitcases are almost packed.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We've said it many times with friends and family today:
"Christ is risen."
"He is risen indeed."

Read more:
The Lord waits to be gracious to you. Isaiah 30:18

*Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again. Luke 24:6-7
*For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16
*For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38–39
Moravian Prayer: Dear God, we cannot imagine the loneliness the disciples felt the day after Good Friday. They had no idea resurrection was about to unfold. In sadness, they waited. Help us seek out and comfort those around us who long for Easter hope.

Gracious Savior, we remember on this most solemn day, the sacrifice you made for us at Calvary. Through your death, you opened wide the portal of God’s grace for the cosmos, and defeated death. Words are not enough to say, “Thank You!” Amen.

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