Friday, August 14, 2015

God's eyes are on my ways, God sees all my steps...

My eyes fell upon this scripture in the book of Job that at sometime in the past I'd underlined with red colored pencil in my Amplified Bible.   I was feeling particularly lost that day in the midst of this crazy season of selling our long time home in Portland, Oregon and moving to a new to us home across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. All of this is happening simultaneously as a previously scheduled ministry trip to London.  We certainly didn't calculate that our home would sell at the time it did, with the closing happening a couple of days before we leave.  Since our new to us home won't be closed yet, all of our belongings will be put in storage until we get home.  I told you we were in the middle of a crazy season! I don't like chaos.  I don't like crazy.  I don't like upheaval.  But, as that seems to be the path I'm on right now,  I'm so glad that God's eyes are me, that He sees, that He cares about my steps!  

still following,

Scripture and Snapshot


Also happily linking up with the lovely Lisha Epperson 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trying to enjoy this wild and crazy ride...

When it's time to open presents on Christmas morning, we have a tradition of opening presents one at a time, starting with the youngest family member and working our way around the group to the oldest, until the space under the Christmas tree is empty and the living room is knee high in wrapping paper. I like the savoring of the moment, being able to see what each person received, noticing the expression on their face when they open the gift that they'd been wishing for.

In Elizabeth world, life would happen just like that.  Big life changing events would only be allowed to happen one at a time.  Never would events like having a baby and moving happen simultaneously, God forbid!  Your youngest child is leaving for college?  Well, of course the whole world should momentarily stop while you process the emotions of this huge life change!  In Elizabeth world, time to process change, to savor life's important moments, would be mandatory.  Don't I wish!

My husband should be arriving at the airport in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa as I am typing these words.  Tomorrow he will finally be home where he will be greeted by boxes stacked almost ceiling height in the living room and all of the kitchen shelves and pantry empty.  Welcome home, honey!  God willing, the sale of our house closes in under two weeks.  It looks like the sale of our new home won't close until the end of the month, so we will be in limbo for a while as we wait.  All of these events, taken one at a time, seem reasonably doable.  Except....

On previous trips to Ghana, we've been at our Ghanaian brother in the Lord's church conference at the same time as a group from a church in London.  This month, that church  in London is having a conference, at which my husband has been asked to speak.  So, in the middle of all of this moving and house closing turmoil, we are going to LONDON!  What an amazing gift this is!  I want to open it, examine it, turn it over in my hands, and feel all the feels of excitement.  Except, I'm too dang busy signing documents and packing boxes and paying for inspections and appraisals and all the rest of the overwhelming things that moving and selling and buying a home entails.  But that's not all....

Since we're going to be in London, it's way too close to my husband's ancestral home of SCOTLAND to not hop over there for a day trip.  So, while we won't be exploring Scotland thoroughly by any means, we will set our feet on the soil of my husband's paternal grandparent's native land.  But that's not all...

Since we're going to be in London, it's way too close to PARIS, to not take a quick trip over there to at least lay eyes on the Eiffel Tower and to eat a croissant and to savor a cafĂ© au lait!  Can you believe it?  Oh, how I wish we could really take time to thoroughly explore Paris, and then move on to see the rest of France, but, for now,  the fact that I'm even going to get to see Paris at all is abundantly above all that I could ask or think.  (Why my fascination with France, ever since I was a young girl?  Because this is my ancestry on Mama's side.)

I feel like I'm sitting in the middle of a Christmas present opening free for all.  Wrapping paper is flying everywhere.  People are squealing with delight.  Only it's all happening at once so I don't get to savor it, to notice all of the details, to feel all of the feels.  Elizabeth world is turned all topsy turvy and Elizabeth is holding on for dear life, just trying to enjoy this wild and crazy ride.

still following,

Darling Downs Diaries

USE this for BLOG

Monday, August 10, 2015

On the downhill slide to a new season...

(edited with Kim Klassen's elevate texture, hard light, 20% opacity)

I feel the waning away of summer.
The flowers are beginning to look tattered and heat weary.
I'm seeing pots of autumn mums in front of the stores.
We are on the downhill slide to a new season, on the calendar and in our lives.
I'm feeling a bit tattered and heat weary myself.
Packing up a house to move is pretty close to the top on the list of things I don't enjoy doing.
Yet, unpacking at our new to us house and making it into our home 
is near the top on the list of things I love to do.
That part can't come soon enough for me.
Meanwhile, I pack and I wait for all of the behind the scenes paperwork and transactions to be finished,
 praying for it all to go smoothly,
 and praying for myself to keep my heart filled with grace and patience!

(desat 20% then edited with Kim Klassen's day texture, hard light 40%)

still following,

Kim Klassen {dot com}

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Admitting need, giving thanks...

Sometimes I get stubbornly self sufficient.  I don't say the words, "I need you",  easily to anyone but God.  I'm kind of an "I'll do it myself" gal.  Mama was like that.  In her sixties the neighbors caught her up on the roof of her house trying to fix something herself.  In her seventies, after the fact she admitted to me that she had climbed down in the crawl space under her house to deal with a clogged dryer hose.   I told her that maybe that wasn't such a good idea, seeing as no one knew she was under there and  since she lived alone, what if something had happened to her under there?  While I've not been up on any roofs or under any houses lately, I can be just as stubborn about refusing help in other areas.

Saturday, some of the ladies from our church drove to the beach for the day.  The weather was gray and drizzle-y, but any day by the sea is a good day in my opinion. We carpooled there in various cars, all of us stopping to have brunch together at a favorite restaurant on the way.  Once we got to the beach, the ladies formed unstructured groups. Everyone was free to do as they pleased, stroll on the beach, browse in the shops or even to just sit and sip coffee and chat.  I walked a bit on the beach with one gal, gathered a few more ladies along the way in the shops, and a group of five of us ended up renting a pedal driven buggy, having a seafood supper together, then, eventually, riding home together.  The day was filled with friendship and laughter.  While I have been readily accepting of help with packing boxes and other things related to our move,  I realize that I'm not one who likes to admit I need something more, something deeper.  I need friendship and laughter and heart sharing. Yet it seems so vulnerable to ask for that, to admit that life as a pastor's wife can be lonely, and that sometimes you need to just shed your role and be allowed to be one of the gang instead of some sort of "other".  The weather may have been gray yesterday, but the fellowship was colorful, bright and beautiful.  It was exactly what I needed.  I admit it, and I'm so thankful.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-a sweet homemade card in the mail
-help getting my home office packed up
-a refreshing walk after a full day

-starting the book of Proverbs
-many hands making the work of packing so much lighter
-help with some electrical repairs
-my oldest grandson spending the night 

-my handyman son-in-law coming with me to meet with the inspector at our new house
-going to opening night of the Broadway production of Wicked here in Portland with my daughters,
 (a gift for my birthday)

-waking up with peace after being stressed yesterday about the move
-my nephew's help 
-a son-in-the-Lord's help
-getting a dreaded list of to-dos done
-a really good prayer time at church

-more packing help
-so much good stuff in the book of Proverbs
-the hub's texting me from Ghana that home is wherever I am

-a fun day at the beach with the ladies from our church

-so much laughter
-renting a buggy and pedaling and laughing our way around town
-taking my friend to see our new house on the ride home
-a friend's help to meet a goal

-the powerful Holy Spirit
-God speaking to our church, "you can do this"
-God working in us
-video of our granddaughter singing at the church in Kumasi, Ghana
-spending the afternoon catching up on my Bible reading and journaling

gratefully yours, 

Friday, August 7, 2015


Moving is chaotic.  Our home of sixteen years doesn't feel like ours anymore with most everything that made it unique to us packed in boxes that we have to weave our way around like a rat manipulating its way through a maze.  A new owner waits for the day she signs her name to the final documents and gets the keys to this home that used to be ours.  The home we're buying sits empty, waiting to be filled with life and living and love, but it's not officially ours yet, either.  We're in limbo, living in chaos and mess. Financial documents have been delivered to the appropriate parties to affirm that we are, indeed, responsible home buyers.  Inspectors have crawled through the attics and underbellies of both homes,  revealing every flaw they can find to avoid unpleasant surprises about what we're buying.  Appraisals are getting scheduled.  Closing dates dangle temptingly in front of us, like the proverbial carrot on the end of a stick.

I think about our new to us home.  I think about what it will look like with the new wood floors we hope to put in, some different light fixtures, some paint.  Mostly though, I think about this fall and imagine us all moved in, my favorite red soup pot simmering on the stove with something delicious inside, family and friends gathered round the kitchen and family room.  I think about the life we'll live there, the loving that will take place in those walls.

I don't do chaos well.  I'm a person who thrives on peace, on neatness, on order.  In this messy season, I've had to cling hard to the peace of God, had to lean on Him  to keep myself from flinging my frustration out on any and all innocent victims within range of my verbal assault.  After the inspection on our future home, I went to bed that night thinking maybe we had made a huge mistake.  Though everyone who looked at the report assured me there was nothing unusual or horrible on it, seeing thirty pages of every little thing you could think of that is flawed with this place you are investing all of your hard won equity into was daunting.  And did I mention that my husband happens to be half a world away on a long planned trip to Ghana, West Africa?  Yes, we had no idea that all of this would happen simultaneously when he scheduled the trip.  Maybe it's for the best, so he doesn't have to put up with my occasional freaking out episodes.  Well, there have been some panicky texts and calls back and forth, truth be told.  This is a lot to cope with solo.

God's great grace has been evident as well, though.  The morning after the house inspection, I woke up with a shift in perspective, with an unexplainable peace.  Last night, at our church's weekly prayer meeting, praise erupted like a fountain, out of the depths of my spirit, bypassing my tumultuous emotions and my mind filled with lists of things needing to be done.  I've sensed the Spirit hovering, brooding, over the stormy chaos of my life.  Like a mother hen, sitting on her eggs, brooding, waiting for new life to spring forth,  I sense the Spirit whispering, "Behold, I am doing a new thing!", and I know in the depths of my being that it is so much more than a new location.  He's positioning me for something I can't see yet, but I sense it there past the horizon, and I know it's going to be good.

still following,

Scripture and Snapshot


Also happily linking up with the lovely Lisha Epperson 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fun with flowers...

(edited with Kim Klassen's 2203 texture, hardlight texture, 30% opacity)

A pretty birthday bouquet from a friend at church, plopped into my rustic old watering can, 
tempted me away from packing up for our move to take some photos.

(no texture)

As if it takes much to tempt me away from packing!
We've been in our current home for 16 years, so it's been a good long while 
since I've had to do all work involved with selling a home, buying a home, or packing up a home.
Now I get to do all of the above.

(edited with Kim Klassen's everyday texture, hard light)

I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize of making a new to us house into our home.

(edited with Kim Klassen's elevate texture, lighten 25% opacity)

Meanwhile, a little photo shoot and some photo editing was a good distraction for a little while.

(edited with Kim Klassen's 1412 texture, hard light, 60% opacity)

still following,
Kim Klassen {dot com}

Birthday blessings...

Today is my fifty eighth birthday.  (How did I get here?  Wow!  Life zooms by too fast!) My husband is in Ghana, West Africa with a team from our church that includes, among others, my second born daughter, our oldest granddaughter and our youngest grandson.  As you can see, our grandson is quite a hit and seems to be a natural born missionary like his mama and siblings.

I was dreading this birthday with my husband so far away, but my family, friends and church family made the day so special for me.  I received cards, flowers and a gift card from the people in our church.  My oldest grandson who, along with his daddy, were unable to make the trip to Ghana with the rest of their family due to work/sports,  brought me flowers and a card just from him.  They went to lunch with me after church along with my nephew and his family and some friends.  I got lots of calls and texts throughout the day from my daughters and siblings.  I'm so thankful that communication is so worldwide now, so I talked to and texted my husband, granddaughter and daughter in Ghana and received a text from my far away missionary brother as well.

Today resulted in a much needed shift in my focus.  As we are going through the transition of selling the home we've lived in for over 16 years and buying a new to us home in Vancouver, Washington my focus was too much centered there.  Today my focus was brought back to how richly blessed I am to have open access to Father God through Jesus Christ and to be blessed with love and relationships with family and friends.  I am blessed.  I have so much to be thankful for.
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-a family of raccoons in a parade across the street
-a fun dinner to look at the wedding photos with our youngest daughter, son-in-law and his parents
(youngest daughter and her husband)
(oldest granddaughter)

youngest grandson
(middle granddaughter)
(our three girls)
(youngest granddaughter)

(our son-in-law and oldest grandson)
-listening to our son-in-law's old Keith Green album on vinyl record

-an afternoon with our middle granddaughter while our daughter brought her little sister to the dr.
-taking her to the same park I grew up playing at
-telling the grandgirlies stories about when I was a kid

-finishing the book of Ephesians and starting the book of Acts with the 365 days of truth Bible reading plan
-the amazing Word of God
-a not too bad inspection report on our house

-a good heart talk
-putting an offer on a house 
-a good lunch together
-a birthday celebration with the family before the Ghana trip
-tickets to go see the Broadway show "Wicked" with my girls

-time with my brother
-our house offer accepted!
-my sister's heart procedure going well
-helping my oldest daughter with house chores and the girls since she caught the youngest one's strep

-a phone call from my hubs saying they arrived safely in Kumasi, Ghana
-taking the two youngest granddaughters to the splash park so my daughter can rest
-going to bed early after a hectic last few days

-my 7am text from my hubs to wake up, just like he does every Sunday morning from his church office,
 even though today he's in Ghana
-flowers and a birthday card from Malachi
-birthday cards, flowers and a gift card from our church family
-birthday lunch with friends and family
-birthday texts/calls from all my girls
-birthday calls and texts from my siblings
-a dear friend that I haven't seen or heard from in almost 20 years finding me on Facebook
-our oldest granddaughter's lost luggage found

gratefully yours,