Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A blog I follow says it all for today. Thoughts whirl for me today, family in the states and a new baby in Lima presents much to lay in the Father's hands.

The book I brought to help walk me through my time in Lima, Praying God's Names, has been a joy to me and a steady dose of guiding me each day to remind myself of who God is and how He loves me.

I depend on Daniel for many things in my daily life but i really depend on him when we travel and especially when I fly. Flying isn't something I enjoy or haven't enjoyed up to this point. I guess as God presents life to me these days, I better get to likin' it!! Erika Pourrajabi and Lynn Spivey drove me down to the airport in Houston to catch my flight out of Houston to Lima. I chose Houston because it is the only direct flight. There is only one flight to step on, get use to and land. No connections. As I stepped out of the car I'm thinking," do I have my passport, money, my purse" (oh, no I don't have a purse) Daniel was trying to help and decided he would make things simpler and take my cards out and my money out and put in a neat coin purse and he would put my purse in the suitcase but somehow it didn't get into my suitcase. oh, well. I have used one of alison's the whole time I have been here. As i realize i had everything out of the car I stepped up to ask for a cart to get my bags up to the desk. A young man comes with a cart and loads everything, he takes me in and ask if I have weighed the bags. Oh, yes, we have weighed them til we are blue in the face. They are both as close to 50 lbs as they can be and my carry on is close to 35lbs. I also had a book bag for my journals, my Bible, my reading glasses, my passport and coin purse.

As i walked on the outside of the airport, entering in and beginning this task of flying by myself God gave me a picture that I literally smiled about. It was me and Jesus arm and arm, I wasn't without a companion. The best person on earth would have been Daniel but God knew he was not with me and so Jesus showed up to walk me in. It was what I have learned this summer as God's "mercy of confirmation". God confirming to me, you are not alone, and you are in my will. Confidence comes with knowing you are in the will of the Father. I absolutely smiled and enjoyed my stroll with Jesus. The second time I received this message of God as my husband, Ish in the Hebrew, Hosea 2:16, was on Sunday morning. We attended a congregation worship time and the praise singing was of course all in a language I didn't know but that didn't stop my heart from being able to worship God. Alison told me bits and piece of what was being sang but I also recognized words I am familiar with. One of the women who sang was one of the many in the world suffering from cancer. She had a fashionable scarf on and Alison had pointed her out the week before. She sang such words of praise and we did too that were about God being all we wait for and all we need as we walk on earth. As I was enjoying the praise music I realized I had fullness of JOY, and again God comforted me as I stood without Daniel. My ish saying, I am all you need, I have given you a wonderful earthly husband but I will always be your spiritual husband and you are never alone. I bring to you all that you need. Isaiah and Jeremiah describe God as the husband of his people Israel and in the NT Jesus is the bridegroom and the church is his bride.

These experiences God has given me do not downplay my love for Daniel at all. I miss Daniel even now as I experience these first days with Corban-- especially all of our talk time and how he helps me work through verbally and emotionally with all of my thoughts.

God always shows Himself when we most need Him. I know He is always there but am not always as aware of His presence how I was in these two experiences. Blessings to all you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Corban Luke Thompson

It all started at 2:55 at home, headed to the hospital 6:30pm and Corban Luke at 8:30pm!!!

well, i have tried to link alison and justin's blog from here twice and it just doesn't want to work. i will just list it here and see if you can get to it.

alison has written some of the details. I will just post a couple of the pictures i got and write the details later. I am back home and mark clancy (single guy on the lima team) is spending the night. he stayed with cailyn while we were at the hospital and wes yoakum (another dad on the lima team) walked me home from the hospital. what a blessing for the hospital to be so close.

Well here he is....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

30 years

I"m a day late b/c my day in lima seemed to go so fast yesterday. i hope daniel will be able to scan a picture of our wedding and post it here. this is a dual project that i haven't told him about yet!! He is so good at doing "my" projects and enjoying them as if they were his!!

We got married after my four yrs. of college and him spending two yrs. at Blinn College and three yrs. in the Navy. We enjoyed his 4th year in the military as young marrieds in San Diego. What a 9 month honeymoon!! Our memories are so wonderful with the exception of us having some personality adventures to get thru our first year. For those of you who know us well, know that our strong personalities have needed much prayer and working out with one another.

Our wedding took place at the chapel on the University of Houston campus. It was a nice neutral place for our beginning to take place. Beautiful chapel with lots of stained glass windows. I loved it. I actually had to take a UH course in order to get married there. I took a parenting class and remember enjoying it.

My sweet Daniel has so many qualities that I didn't really know when we married. I knew he was kind to his mom, but not how that kindness would spread out through all of these years toward me. His tenderness during my parents' journey to death was remarkable. He really should write a book about it. He was there for me and for my parents in so many ways. I know his actions spoke love to my dad. (my mom died in 2000 and my dad in 2002). In so many ways he did for me things i didn't even know i needed. I always say Daniel would have sat for hours listening to me work through my grief, but that was a time that i realized all of the emotional pain and grieving was even better dealt with by lying down at night and knowing God understood without all of the talking. Although we did have many conversations over the nearly 15 years of Mom's cancer , we had talked much out as her final days came.

I didn't realize what a character he would be with children either. Our girls have so enjoyed his sense of humor and silliness when they were little-- well, even still. The singing was another thing. Daniel loves to sing and that came in quite handy with the raising of children. He didn't mind bathing the girls and reading each night. He was willing to lay down with them and rub their backs as they both enjoyed each night.

Daniel has always desired to lead our family and be our spiritual guide. He is great at protecting too. I have even gotten frustrated with his over protective spirit at times. He calls and checks up on me many times in the day and will go to the store for me at most any hour.

We have so enjoyed our empty nesting days. It has been 5 years since Hannah left our home in CS and we enjoy lazy days at the house and we also enjoy dinner and a movie. Our adventure to move to Abilene has been a JOY and we have been able to lean on one another in ways that all of those friends in CS may have provided for us but without them we have become closer. God's plan for marriage - what a complex thought and yet it is all about LOVE, looking out after another as a gift from God.

I love daniel and will be forever indebted to God for the mercy He has shown me in marriage.

Daniel's thoughts
The idea of being 53 is cause enough to realize that life is flying by. Add to that being married for 30 years, then you realize how this journey is near impossible without the grace of God.

Cathie's kind words above are evidence of God's grace in each other's lives. The book I could write would better highlight the bonehead things I thought and did, the mistakes or wrong paths I led us on, the harsh and unkind words I spoke. But, because of love, Cathie lifts me up as our families spiritual leader, encouraged me in this area and walked beside me, pushed from behind at times, and modeled to our girls that this was the pattern we were going to follow. part of my joy was being a part of the wonderful ideas Cathie has had for many of our family activities and events. A couple of those activities include:
  • Moms and Girls Purity weekend - Cathie took this idea and made it an event that many of our friends were able to be a part of. It just seemed natural to help with the supplies and cooking. I remember watching and listening to their lessons and their interactions and thinking how fortunate my girls are to have a mom that reminded them to not put her in a box, because she easily lived outside the boundaries.
  • Camp Iron Springs - for over a decade we did this as a family. Teaching together started in our first couple of months working on the Joy Bus, so it was natural to do this at camp. It was a great vacation for our family. Some of the young kids we met there are now our adult friends.

    Cathie is my wife of noble character gift from God. She is my example of prayer without ceasing. Her example, actions, words, and life have made me the husband, father, granddad, and friend that I am.
    Our journey has been impacted by the counsel of so many friends (special thanks to Ray&Phyllis Powell). The early foundation of our Chula Vista church family (especially Bob&Betty Covington), the nearly 28 years of being mentored in Aggieland (too many to list), and now our new journey in Abilene (especially the Mills and Popes) all speak to the grace afforded us.

    I love Cathie dearly, more so than what I naively thought when we were first married. Both of our families have greatly supported and loved us. Our friends have encourage us and walked with us through thick and thin. I can only imagine what the next 30 years will be like.

    If you are ever through Abilene, please stop by. Sit with us on our front porch rockers or back yard chairs and let's share together the grace of our Lord.
  • Sunday, August 16, 2009

    As i continue to read about the names of God and pray thru who He really is I have enjoyed some new thoughts that may seem old to some of you but it is like i've never thought about the concepts in this way.

    Bearing the image of God -- what does that mean to you? how do you put that into your daily life? Alison and I had a bite to eat with Tara Davidson (another wife on the Lima Team) and one of the things we talked about was bearing out the image of God in their neighborhoods. There are men who are guards right outside each of their front doors, and they stay there for hours. There are two on Alison and Justin's street. Pedro and Jose. Tonight as we came in Alison ask Pedro if he would like to have some coffee. He said of course!! It only took him a few minutes to finish and ring the door bell. That is bearing the image of God. God is such a gracious host. As we get to know God better it will be easier to bear His image.

    Every human life is sacred -- do you really think that when someone seems so different than you? I am with so many people in Abilene and now in Lima that i do not know. I'm unfamiliar with what are all of their needs, which one of them does He want me to touch? I have to realize He will direct me. It takes me listening to know what He wants me to do and how i am suppose to be used in each of these sacred creations of God. The Lima Team is at this point as they begin their ministry, their hospitality of the Lord. They are having a special time of prayer as they begin to met many new people who are search for our God.

    God gives us the capacity to love -- Why do people love, how do they have the ability to love, what makes them want to love, what if people don't even believe in God yet they are people who love, how does this happen?? I feel this goes back to us being formed in the image of God. Even when we do not believe that doesn't change the fact that we are sacred and were created in the image of God.

    God is perfect, not needing to have anything added to or subtracted from him to improve on his nature!! This is the God we serve, Elohim!!

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Tea Party and Pool Time

    Each day it is fun to look into my suitcase and see a treat to give to Cailyn and then play with it. We had a totally wonderful tea party yesterday morning. Hannah gave Cailyn the tea pot and cups for her birthday and i brought her felt food. Wonderful treat sewn by Angela Robinson!! We ordered the peanut butter/jelly sandwich and a ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato sandwich with a chocolate treat, and chips, and four donuts with icing and sprinkles on them!!

    We also have enjoyed swimming lessons with our Lima Team friends, Kellan and Parker. She is very good with Justin in the water, going under the water and enjoying picking items up from the floor of the pool.

    A cute phrase that Cailyn says everytime we head out toward a taxi is "people's flowers". That means, those are flowers that belong to other people and she knows not to pick them. Today I told her i wanted a picture of her and the "people's flowers."

    Sunday, August 9, 2009

    First Days in Lima!!

    These are the faces of two of Cailyn's friends from Arequipa, Peru. Their parents are missionaries also. They were actually staying with Alison and Justin when I arrived. It was great to see some of the families who will be partners in Peru for Christ. I have been following their websites. They are working on a neat library book project.

    We have gone thru about 20 plus loads of clothes. Well, not quite that many but we have kept the washer and dryer going with all of the container items. We have all of the baby items ready and in drawers. Of course we still have a neat stack of specific boys and girls items.

    Cailyn and i have had some great reading time and lots of time of talking. Her eyes are very expressive and she doesn't need words at times. She loves her guards which are stationed right out in front of the house. Jose and Pedro are their names. She always wants to greet them as we leave the house. She really embraces the culture in ways that would be harder for us as adults. She gets excited to share the tunnel experience she enjoys traveling through as she goes to different places and she wants to be the person to hand the taxi driver the money and says Gracias everytime we are getting out of the taxi.

    At home the boxes have taken up lots of room and time but we are beginning to see the entry way and living room. Each room is being filled with bits and pieces from so many in the states. Baby blankets from Susan Whitton and friends from Fairland church of Christ, recipes books from Lanette Schulte, diaper bag from Rachel Landolt, goodbye book and beautiful picture from Hope church of Christ are just a few.

    Cailyn goes to school on MWF mornings. A Peruvian teacher (Teacher Lilly) teaches a few students at each of the student's homes and the moms get to be the teacher's aide. They rotate each week. Alison will wait until the baby is here for several weeks before the classroom comes her direction. She comes home very tired and takes a nap and then has swimming lessons on MW. I'm excited to be a part of each of these experiences. Parker and Kellen Davidson are part of this routine too so it is nice to see a familiar face. They are actually the only 3 in the swim class so far!!

    You can see Kellen, Parker and Cailyn really enjoying some play time in the Davidson's front yard. We encouraged one another with a time of worship and praise last night at the Davidson's house. My friend Chelsa Istre in Abilene gave me a recipe for communion bread and it was a hit!! After our time in the Word we all headed for pizza at the best playground around.

    Alison and i have much more to do so i best end here but do pray for her. She is experiencing the pains of a sciatic nerve on the right side.

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    A Shot of Maroon!!

    We had the best week ever this past week. Two families from Aggieland came through and gave us a visit!! First of all, Bob and Janice Garner came poking around Abilene. If you know Bob, then you know how SLOW he drives and on top of that (wish i had taken a photo) he was driving the RV and pulling a jeep. They were on the way to Red River and stopped by. We got to eat dinner and show off all of the new stuff on the ACU campus. (Jacob's Dream and Hunter Welcome Center with the Labyrinth) We enjoyed dessert (Blue Bell, of course) and laughed til our whole body hurt!! Boy, it was wonderful.

    Second, we had a wonderful time with Bob and Pam Mann. My prayer partner for over 14 years, Pam, knows each step our family has taken with so many curves. It feels good to know someone that well!! Pam was here for the ACU Choral Reunion. They worked on many songs -- some pretty hard music -- and then recorded it for a CD. Bob and Daniel talked as much as us girls and enjoyed conversation about the house and sports. We enjoyed getting caught up with our kids news. We even got to hear what the sex their grandbaby due in December. They received the news in Abilene!!

    Could we ask for more wonderful friends!!! I know it takes years to develop them but, I know God is working right now on our new season with friends like this in Abilene!!

    I head out to College Station on Thursday. I get to ride with Ann and Darren Reese of the Thailand Team. They are so sweet to take me along. I will drive on to Houston on Friday with Erika Pourrajabi, Teri Wenzel and Allie (Justin's mom and sister) and Lynn Spivey. I fly out at 3:55pm on Friday to Lima. I really can't believe it is here and yet it seems to be so many years in the planning. Baby Corban or Baby Mya will come sometime in mid-Aug, as the Lord wills.

    The book of encouragement I bought for my trip is Praying the Names of God, by Ann Spangler. I will post some thoughts as i read through it. Blessings to all!!