Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Poem for Pooh

Roses are red,

Violets are not black.

My baby girl was in New York,

But today she's moving back!!!

:-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Two Books

This morning I had a big chunk of time (unexpectedly) all to myself! (Don't tell your aunts or Grandpa...Grandpa needed things down at the hospital...I didn't volunteer. A fact of which I am not proud.) Anyway...

I finished two books. Two! Both this morning!

One book was, well, confusing. Not in the "I don't understand, I need clarity" kind of way. But, in a "this has a bit of good stuff in it, but, ohhh, the inconsistencies with the written Word of God, ohhh..." kind of way. I tackled this book like I do most of my books...yellow highlighter, Bible (many versions), pen by my side and a call to God to reveal His truth to me. In this particular book I have !, and an occasion "Amen!" or "Agree!", a bit of highlighting, also ?, ???, some crossing out of the author's words, and lots of verses scribbled in the margins. Written (with my hard-to-read handwriting) at the end of the book;

Hebrews 1:1,2~"God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the world." !!! (The ! are mine.)

And;

John 10:27~"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." !!!

That's all I'm going to say about that book.

The other book, The Saving Life of Christ, written by Major W. Ian Thomas, pointed me to Jesus! In this book;

"Jesus Christ Himself is the final exegesis of all truth. He is all that we need to know about God, and He is all that we need to know about man. If 'to live in the land' is to enjoy that quality of life which is made possible only by virtue of allowing Him to live His life in us, we could not do better than to conclude our studies in this book by turning our eyes again upon Him, whose perfect humanity is matched only by His perfect deity...It is for you to be-it is for Him to do! Restfully available to the Saving life of Christ, enjoying 'the richest measure of the diving Presence, a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself,' instantly obedient to the heavenly impulse-this is your vocation, and this is your victory!"

Colossians 2:9,10b~"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete..."

Greg, Ali and Nick, fix your eyes on Jesus. Listen to His voice. Yield yourselves to Him. Allow Him to be your very Life.

oxo-Mom

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Husbands and Sons

A hot tip for you, Ali, and my two future daughters:



Treat your husband like you would like your (future) sons to be treated by their wives.


Raise your sons like you would like your husband to have been raised.


:-)


oxo-Mom


ps~If you have any questions on this or want examples, just ask!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Love, Love and then Love Some More!

"For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"~Ephesians 5:14

I'm thinking that this topic of LOVE may be important...

Jesus said, "This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." (John 15:12) "This I command you, that you love one another." (John 15:17)

In the book of Matthew, it is recorded that Jesus was asked, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" His response was, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:36-40)

Often, in my mind, I make myself the judge of people. I don't like that. My natural, fleshly tendency is to be critical. Yuck! With the life of Christ in me, loving others trumps judging and criticizing and wanting to change others.

John, in I John, writes a lot about love. For me, the starting point is, "...for God is love." (4:8b) And then, "We love, because He first loved us." (4:19) So, "The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him" (2:10) and "...let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." (4:7)

My prayer for you today and always, Nick, Ali and Greg, is that you desire to love God above all else and that His love will flow out from you to others!

I love you,
oxo-Mom



Grow Up!

"Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)."~Paul, writing to the saints at Ephesus, chapter 4, verse 15 (Amplified version)

The topic of spiritual maturity has come up quite often lately. What would you, Ali, Nick and Greg, say is the definition? It's a tough one.

Dad came up with what I think is a good one a few years ago..."How quickly one defaults to walking in the Spirit." I love that! And, by the way, I love seeing your dad grow in his "Jesus" maturity! Through the years, he is quicker and quicker to go from reacting in the flesh, to walking in the Spirit!

Ali, do you remember the picture (in your head) you told me about you walking with Jesus? You are a little child, holding the hand of Jesus and looking only to Him? That got me thinking of my definition..."Becoming like a child, looking only to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, my Heavenly Father...God... being led by Him, going wherever He takes me, trusting Him completely, knowing without a doubt His deep love for me and who I am in Him, and recognizing my utter helplessness without Him in my life. Keeping my eyes, heart, mind set on Him and counting Him as my very Life."

My prayer for you, Greg, Nick and Ali, is that as each of you grow up in Christ, you become more and more like a child!

oxo-Mom

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"~Matthew 19:14 (NIV)

"Now, little children, abide in Him..." ~I John 2:28 (NASB)

"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God."~Romans 8:14 (NIV)


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Choices

Based on what God has taught me in the past few weeks, I am changing this post a bit. I love that He continues to reveal His truths to me! And, I look forward to always learning more, changing views I've held, if necessary. He is so good like that!

What is this...the 4th sermon?

A gentle reminder: "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you."~Romans 8:9a

Every day, each moment, in every new circumstance, each time your mind wants to think the worst, to criticize, to judge, to be anxious, fearful, even when you are alone with your thoughts...you have a choice:

You can be fleshly (I Cor. 3:3)...independent from Jesus Christ, on your own.

Or...

You can walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25)...allow the Holy Spirit to live through you, in surrender to God's will, in complete dependence on Jesus Christ!

That's about it!

Oh, one last thing...The normal life of a believer of Jesus Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to be characterized by living in, walking by, a mind set on the Spirit!

You're dismissed.

oxo-Mom


Romans 8:6 (NASB)~"For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace."

Galatians 5:16 (Amplified Version)~"But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).





Wednesday, October 12, 2011

People Magazine and Facebook

Yes, I admit it...Sometimes, when I am in a doctor's office (ours included) or on an airplane, I read, or really just look thru, People Magazine. I get glimpses into people's lives...I get to see photos of them at events, while on vacation, with their families...I can read about who is together with whom and who has broken up. Yes, sometimes I breeze thru People, gathering information on people with whom I have no connection, no interaction.

Anyway...back on track here...

Facebook... Your generation has their own use, and probably the intended use for Facebook. You all have 650, maybe 1000, maybe even 1500 fb friends. I don't know...Maybe you know these people, maybe you really care about what is going on in their lives...I don't know. And, maybe you have 1500 people who truly are interested in you! (I know I sure am!) Maybe you discover great, or funny, or insightful, or useful YouTube videos. Maybe you are more politically aware (or less) by viewing a link someone has posted.

I have decided...it doesn't work for me. I don't want to know all about some acquaintance, and even friends, without there ever being a connection. I don't want people knowing too much about me, without there being a connection, some interaction. I have been pushing buttons, particularly that "unfriend" one. You three know this about me...I want to know that people I am talking with want to be talking with me. :-)

Now, don't get me wrong...These people are still my friends. When I see them face-to-face, I will want them to share with me anything and everything they want to share about their lives, their kids, their jobs, their hobbies! If they have photos, I will want to see them! And, if they are interested, I will share with them. I will LOVE to connect with them!


Facebook is a weird thing...But, I love it! Here are some of the reasons why:

~Kim shares her and Kirk's lives from Cape Town!

~Lisa notifies us from Tanzania when she has a new post on her amazing blog!

~Even though I haven't seen Gayle or Lynn since our high school reunion, and I've seen very little of Jodie and Kim, I kind of know what's going on in their lives!

~Debbie posts beautiful photos of her kayak trips with Mike!

~I was able to be with Ruthie at Sam's (Ruth and Randy's beloved son) memorial service because on fb news travels quickly.

~I am learning about the kind of grandma I want to be, seeing and reading about Patty's adventure with Taylor!

~My neighbors share photos of their trips, their grandchildren, their celebrations!

~My nieces and nephews, sisters, some who live near us and some who don't, post great photos of friends, events, and Hank!

~My cousins, cousins' kids, and aunts in Ill. and Wisc. keep us, here in California, informed! Photos of Aunt Roselyn skydiving! Dave's cycle trip up to Alaska! Cousins' weekend at the cabin! Erik and Meaghan's wedding!

~The Olsons, the Byers, the Austins, the Garcias, the Douglas family...dear friends! And, I get to see even more of them because of fb!

~Even though I haven't met little August, I have seen him! Saw a video of him saying his first word, "Mama"!

~Your friends (and my friends!), Jamie, Jessi, Kristi, Natalie, Danielle, AJ, Keli, Maryann...I love glimpses of their lives, encouraging verses, fun pictures! (I originally had Kyle down, too, until I remembered that I had "unfriend"ed him. Don't tell.)

~Oh yeah...and...I love just one more way of connecting with you, Ali, in NYC...with you, Greg, out at Loma Linda...and, with you, Nick, way down at Pt. Loma!

oxo-Mom


ps~Okay...the truth is...I have fb stalked two people. And, no, I will not name names. :-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grandpa's Nine Lives

Your Aunt Debbi, Aunt Lori and I think that your grandpa may have that whole nine lives thing going on. He has used up several of them, but we think he still has some left! Twice in the past six weeks, since he has been in the hospital, we thought he was headed to heaven. And, both times he has gotten better! Thank You, Jesus, for added time!

Grandpa knows where he is going when his time here on earth is done. He doesn't seem fearful. Secretly, I think he would like more time to spend with us, with you, with Grandma. He kind of has a hard time pulling himself away from projects to be with his loved ones. Did you know that? :-) I think he would like to have another chance to work on that! He also wants to get back to the YMCA and walk Mandy on the beach.

Death...passing from this life to our true, eternal life...It's a strange thing. So...during my morning coloring time awhile back, I looked into this. In my journal, I titled this, "My Desire for My Perspective on Earth"...(again, just looking up some really cool verses and jotting them down...very creative and insightful of me! Right?!)


Phil. 3:20~"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Hebrews 13:14~"For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come."

John 17:3~"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

I John 5:20~"And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life."

I John 2:15,17~"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him...The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever."

Matthew 16:24,25~"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.'"

Luke 12:34~"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

II Cor. 4:16~"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."


Hope...hope for our lives here on earth today...hope for an eternity with our God! Cool, huh?!

oxo-Mom

ps~Ali, so glad that you got to see Grandpa before heading back to NYC! Hopefully, that won't be the last time you see him!
Nick, thanks for coming to see him when I was at the hospital the other day! Fun getting yogurt together!
Greg, wonderful that you will see your Grandpa tomorrow! Should be a bit different than last time. ;-)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Josh's Girlfriend

I know...This blog is typically written for you three, Ali, Greg and Nick. Today, with Jessi (who we have known longer than she has known herself) and Josh's wedding right around the corner, I thought I'd share with Jessi my prayer for her as she is about to become Jessi Agadoni...

So, Jessi, you went from being Josh's friend, to his girlfriend, and now his fiance, and on Saturday, his wife! Greg and I have loved the times we have been together with you two!

Jessi, God has given you a wonderful, good, strong, hard working, intelligent, loyal, family-oriented, Jesus-focused, and, by the way, a very good looking man to be your husband...the person with whom you get to do life!

My prayer for you, Jess, is that after you become Mrs. Agadoni, you will daily remember that you are Josh's friend. But more importantly, you are and always will be his girlfriend! I pray that you will act like his girlfriend! Brag to your friends about him, flirt with him, smile around him, joke with him, hold his hand, stop what you are doing when he walks through the door, or when you walk through the door, (or just any old time) wrap your arms around him, and give him a kiss! (And, enjoy those added benefits of being his wife!) Leave the changing in Josh's life to the Holy Spirit. That's not your responsibility. Yay! You get to be his wife, his friend, his biggest supporter... his girlfriend!

Jessi, I love your tender heart and your teachable spirit! I pray that you will always seek to know what God wants for you...what He wants to teach you...how He wants you to look to Him, to be dependent on Him, to desire Him as your very Life!

So, almost-Mrs. Agadoni, I pray for you...Jesus! (You know me...it all funnels down to being about Jesus!) As your Enough! As your Love! As your Strength! And, as you look to Him, He gives you His love, His strength, His tenderness, His compassion, His patience to be the best lifelong girlfriend Josh could ever desire!

You are going to be a beautiful bride! Can't wait for Saturday!
oxo-Alisa

"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."~Proverbs 31:10-12

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Funnel

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life."~Jesus Christ (John 5:39,40)

I love how our Bible is a book that reveals the Lord Jesus Christ to us! Kind of like a funnel...All flows down (and points to) Jesus, Holy Spirit, our Father!

While journaling awhile back, these were my thoughts on Paul's letter to the Ephesians, chapter 6, verses 14 to 17:

"Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth..."
~"I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."-John 14:5
Truth=Jesus!

"and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,"
~"But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,"-I Corinthians 1:30
Righteousness=Jesus!

"and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;"
~"For He Himself is our peace..."-Ephesians 2:14
Peace=Jesus!

"in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
~"...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith..."-Hebrews 12:2
Leader and Source of our faith (Amplified version)=Jesus!

"and taking the helmet of salvation..."
 ~"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; Whom shall I fear?"-Psalm 27:1
My Salvation=The Lord!

"...and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
~"He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God."-Revelation 19:13
The Word of God=Jesus!

So, seems to me that putting on the full armor of God is JESUS!
 "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."~Romans 13:14.
"For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."~Galatians 3:27

Ali, Greg and Nick, my prayer for you today and always is that you daily put on Jesus Christ, that you are clothed in Him...And, I thank Him that you three have come to Him to have life, to know Him as your Life!

oxo-Mom

Ali~Tomorrow!!! NYC here I come!!!
Greg~Looks and sounds like you are having a blast in Colorado with Dad! Can't wait to hear more about your trip!
Nick~Thanks for staying over last Saturday night to protect me! Hope your week is going well! Yay, Organic Chemistry!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm Going to be a Mother-In-Law!

Hopefully...Maybe...Someday...

Nick and Greg, this one's for you...

Thinking about, dreaming about, praying about the type of spouses our children will one day marry is, I think, a common mom thing. Even I do that...

Later, I will share more about the type of husbands I pray that YOU will be. Right now, I am going to share my mother's heart about my desires concerning the wives you will one day marry.

First, I hope my future daughters will love your mother and love to be with our family! (Not really the top priority, but I thought I might forget to mention it if I wait until the end.)

We have talked about this often. My prayer is that you both choose women that love Jesus Christ passionately! Believing in, trusting in, and relying on Jesus Christ makes a huge difference in how you view life, how you handle difficulties, your perspective on "happiness", and, most importantly, where you spend eternity. Choose wisely!

You already know this, but, in my opinion, the second most important thing is being teachable, a willingness to learn, the opposite of "this is how I am, so you better just accept it" attitude. God is always at work in us, growing us, changing us. I pray that you have wives that are sensitive to the Spirit's working in their lives, yielded to Him, growing deeper into the love of Jesus!

My "internship" in marriage was not good. I was modeled some bad habits. I carried those bad habits into my marriage. Your dad was patient. God was good. The Holy Spirit used that bad to work together for His good. Thank you, Jesus! So, if you are considering a woman whose "internship" was rocky, God can redeem that, if, going back to my last point, the woman is surrendered to Jesus. Yes, it really boils down to that!

Common interests are a great, added bonus! Your dad and I love so many of the same things. We love taking major long walks, stopping along the way for dinner or rehydration. I have learned to really enjoy skiing. And, I even tried fly fishing. We love to swim, hike and bike together! Traveling together is a blast! A side note: I have friends that married mostly because of their common interest who have struggled greatly in their marriages. And, I have friends that have very different interests than their spouses, yet have fabulous marriages. So this, like I said, can be an added bonus, but not a deal breaker.

A few issues I hope you do not have to deal with...A nagging spouse. (Sometimes we women think we are so smart and together, that we don't call it nagging.) Also, a wife who treats you more like a child than a spouse. (We get use to being a mom, and that can spill over into how we treat our husbands.) Also, a wife who treats her children better and of greater importance than you. (An accepted trend is to think that our children are our number 1 priority, over and above our husbands.) A materialistic person. A disrespectful wife. A controlling wife. A wife who feels it is her duty to be the Holy Spirit in your life, instead of trusting Him to do the work. Wow...that's a long list...

Basically, what I hope for you is a wife who habitually walks in the Spirit! Content, joy-filled, crazy about you! Yeah, that's it in a nutshell!

I have observed that there are two things going on when people originally connect. There is this objective list of what each is looking for in the person they hope to share their life with. That's good. But, also, something that cannot be ignored is that "spark", that feeling, that connection. For some people this comes quickly. My first day at Westmont, I saw your dad, and I got that "spark". Actually, it's much stronger now, 33 years later! Sometimes I get this "butterflies in my stomach" feeling, a funny feeling for which I do not want a cure! :-) For others, this feeling can develop slowly. Very slowly. Five years after we met, five years of a pretty close friendship, your dad got the "spark" for me! Yay!

Many other things come into consideration when choosing that special person. The most important advice I can give you is to be chatting with God about this. He will lead you. He will guide you. He will speak to you. He, after all, knows best! My prayers have shifted from giving Him my list (kind of like the one I just gave you) in regards to your future wives (my future daughters...yay!), to thanking Him for who He has picked out for you!

oxo-Mom

ps~Ali, I KNOW that you will be this type of wife for some lucky guy some day!!! And, you will make amazing, healthy meals and keep him laughing at your cute "Ali-isms" and challenge him spiritually and intellectually (in a good way) and have a warm, cozy, neat and tidy home and surf with him and hike with him and travel with him! Lucky guy!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Between the Lines

You three know how much Dad and I love having you around...Our house full of laughter, your friends, mess, noise. We love that!

It's a good skill to learn to read between the lines...

_________________________________
this empty-nest thing is okay....
_________________________________
actually, we're having a blast!
_________________________________
please warn us when you will be coming home...
_________________________________
we may be playing ping pong or something...
_________________________________

Love and miss you!
oxo-Mom

Saturday, August 27, 2011

You Leave for College Tomorrow, Nick!

Thought maybe you didn't remember...You are moving down to Pt. Loma tomorrow for your junior year of college. Should have reminded you earlier. We have loved having Davis here! So fun hanging out with Maryann last night! Great having Kyle come over and catch us up on his life! Vigi's doughnuts good this morning? Good surf? How many hours were you, Kyle, Davis and Greg surfing?! And, how was Rico's? Did they call you "Necky" or "Dos Colores"? Did you all enjoy the movie you were all watching this afternoon? And, how is work going tonight? Busy? Any demanding, obnoxious customers? Any inappropriate comments from young girls? Or, your parents? :-) And, do you work tomorrow?

Also wondering (but not wanting to be a nosey mom), do you have sheets that fit your dorm room bed? Or, any sheets at all? Towels? Are you packed? Clothes clean? School bill paid? Have you signed up for your classes yet? Will you visit Grandpa in the hospital before you leave? Is your car filled with gas? Will your room be cleaned and cleared out (I envision a cute guest room!) by the time you leave tomorrow? And, by the way, what time will you be leaving? Just curious...

And, will our recycle bin be emptied by the time you leave???

oxo-Mom

ps~I will miss you like crazy this year.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

View from the Deck

As Aunt Rebecca, Uncle Brian, Dad and I (where have you gone, Ali?) are sitting on the deck, overlooking the waters of Green Bay (after 50 years I just discovered that our cabin is on the Green Bay waters, not on Lake Michigan), I am, again, sensing an urgency to share with you three. Especially, since I left something...a very big thing...out of my last sermon.

Your Aunt Rebecca and I have been talking about being outside here, seeing God's amazing, beautiful, thoroughly unique creation and how it just speaks to us, our spirits, our souls of our God! I am filled up! Singing praises to Jesus (not out loud...there are others here)! Waking up talking to my Father!

Anyway...Back to Part II of the "Who We are IN Christ" sermon...

"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him YOU HAVE BEEN MADE COMPLETE, and He is the head over all rule and authority."—Colossians 2:9,10 (emphasis mine to point out my point)

So, because we are IN Christ, we are complete! Believe it! Live like you believe it! Thank God for it!

oxo—Mom

ps-Greg & Nick: Hope you are having a great weekend! Let me guess...Hours of surfing, late night Rico's runs, watching soccer, lots of wrestling and laughing, church?!!

Ali: What a blast being here at the cabin with you!!!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Last Minute Panic

In four hours I hope to be in bed, sleeping, so that I will be ready to wake up at 4, head to the airport and fly to Door County. Packing is not done, a month's worth of bills are not yet paid and the house is a mess. And, what am I doing? Getting caught up on face book and feeling a sense of urgency about sharing with you. Yes, my third sermon. :-)

If you remember from the last sermon, our position, once we have put our faith in Jesus Christ is one of being "IN CHRIST", as He dwells in us.

So...Who are we? How does our heavenly Father see us? I often hear that we are just struggling, broken, sinners. Yes, we do sometimes struggle. Maybe sometimes we feel broken. And, yes, we do sin. BUT, that is not who we are. That is not how God sees us.

This is what I found in going through my Bible during my coloring time. This is who we are in Christ:

~heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. Rm 8:17
~chosen. Eph 1:11
~alive with Christ. Eph 2:4
~holy brothers. Heb 3:1
~adopted as sons. Eph 1:5
~God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Eph 2:10
~fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household. Eph 2:19
~a dwelling in which God lives by His spirit. Eph 2:22
~light in the Lord. Eph 5:8
~holy. Heb 10:10, Col 1:22
~righteous. Heb 10:38, IICor 5:21
~God's children. Rm 8:16
~sons of God. Rm 8:14
~God's elect, strangers in the world. IPt 1:1
~a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. IPt 2:9
~called Jesus' brothers. Heb 2:11
~branches. John 15:4,5
~ministers of a new covenant. IICor 3:6
~the temple of the Living God. IICor 6:16
~blessed, chosen, redeemed, forgiven, predestined, marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Eph 1:3-14
~hidden with Christ in God. Col 3:3
~a new creation. IICor 5:17
~Christ's ambassadors. IICor 5:20
~God's fellow workers. IICor 6:1
~anointed. IICor 1:21, IJohn 2:20
~presented before God holy and blameless and beyond reproach. Col 1:22

Amen!!! Does that not just make you stand in awe of our God?! And, thank our Jesus for Who He is and what He has done?!

So, Greg, Ali and Nick...Feelings and thoughts cannot be trusted. It is so important for you to know the truth and The Truth! My desire is that you ALWAYS know WHO you are and WHOSE you are!

oxo~Mom

Nick-Hope you are having a great time up in Santa Barbara with Davis and his family! Can't really think about you going a whole half hour away this fall. Dad and I have LOVED having you home this past year!

Greg-Are you surviving your third week of your third year? I am so proud of you! What a gift to our family to have you home often on weekends!

Ali-Six days!!! Yay! Can't wait to see you, talk with you, walk with you, sit on the deck at sunset and drink a glass of wine with you!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily

For your daily reading, to go along with the sermon:
(Actually, just some really cool quotes from books I've read recently!)

"Without the vine the branch can do nothing. To the vine it owes its right of place in the vineyard, its life and its fruitfulness. And so the Lord says, 'Without Me you can do nothing.' The believer can each day be pleasing to God only in that which he does through the power of Christ dwelling in him. The daily filling of the life-sap of the Holy Spirit is his only power to bring forth fruit. He lives in Him alone and is for each moment dependent on Him alone."~Andrew Murray in "Abiding in Christ"

"But the Christian has made a still greater discovery. He is not only in the presence of a wonderful, wonder-working God, but that God is a Presence in him. Taking Him at His word, proving His word true in experience, his life has actually become the Incoming, Indwelling, Inworking, Infilling of His blessed, personal Presence."~Norman B. Harrison in "His Indwelling Presence"

"What God offers us in an 'exchanged life,' a 'substituted life,' and Christ is our Substitute within. 'I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me.' This life is not something which we ourselves have to produce. It is Christ's own life reproduced in us...He has given only one gift to meet all our need: His Son Christ Jesus. As I look to Him to live out His life in me, He will be humble and patient and loving and everything else I need-in by stead...God has always one sufficient answer: His Son Jesus Christ. He is the answer to every human need."~Watchman Nee in "The Normal Christian Life"

My prayer for you, Ali, Greg and Nick, is that you are daily, hourly, moment by moment experiencing the presence of God!
oxo~Mom

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Second One

The title of this sermon was going to be "Number Two". But, I thought that might create some confusion as to the topic. :-) So, here goes my second sermon to you, Nick, Ali and Greg...

When that beautiful divine act of God choosing you and you believing in Him happens, what is it? What's it called? What actually happens? As a kid, I thought it was about loving Jesus (which I did), trying hard to make Him happy, and being good (which I wasn't). I think that I thought of Jesus as a really good leader, and I was taught to try to be like Him, to imitate Him.

Then, it's such a good thing to get a better understanding, a more accurate understanding of what takes place when we believe. Yes, it is about loving God!

"And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'"~Matthew 22:37

And believing in Jesus Christ!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."~John 3:16 (Ever heard that one before?)

And, then...we are "IN CHRIST" and He is in us!

"...Christ in you, the hope of glory."~Colossians 1:27b

We are new creatures!

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."~II Corinthians 5:17

Yes, out with the old and in with the new!

"For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."~Colossians 3:4

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."~Galatians 2:20

"For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."~II Corinthians 4:11

We are now a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit of God!

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."~John 14:16,17

"For we are the temple of the living God"~II Corinthians 6:16

"Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"~I Corinthians 3:16

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"~I Corinthians 6:19

"By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God."~I John 4:13-15

"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."~Romans 8:9-11

Enough said. Closing hymn.

One final thought:

"The Christian life is one continuous impartation of Life from above, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, made possible by the continuous dethronement of the self life."~From the book "The New Life"

Dismissed.

oxo~Mom

ps~I thank God that you three have an understanding of our position IN Christ! Really, I'm just preaching to the choir here and getting to jot down some of my favorite verses!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Possible Copy Right Infringement

To go along with my weekly sermons (or maybe just one random sermon), I thought I'd pass along daily (or just today) readings!

Ali, you asked me if I have ever cried as I listen to Peter Reid teach on the gospel of John. I admit, I have been a bit misty eyed as I take my walk, MP3 player in place, listening to these great messages. But, today I broke down...almost sobbed as I was walking along Crest Drive. Hope I didn't cause concern to anyone passing by. I didn't really notice. And, it's not exactly what Peter says. It's that his words point me to Jesus, and Jesus only, and Jesus as our Enough!

He quoted Spurgeon. (So maybe I'm in danger of double copy right infringement.)
"I looked to Jesus,
and the dove of peace filled my soul.
I looked to the dove of peace,
And he flew away."

Peter had just finished going over the seven "I AM" statements from Jesus in the book of John. Love these! Peter's summary was:
"'I AM what you want.'
When you desire the Light, more than what He reveals,
you'll see what you haven't understood.
When you desire the Bread, more than being satisfied,
you'll enjoy the inner satisfaction you crave.
When you desire the Door, more than the pastures He exposes,
you'll enter spiritual reality.
When you desire the Shepard, more than His voice,
you'll hear Him speak to you by name.
When you desire the Resurrection, more than being raised,
you'll start doing the impossible.
When you desire the Way, more than the direction He gives,
you'll know where to go.
When you desire Truth, more than acquiring knowledge,
you'll search the depths of God.
When you desire the Life, more than the Christian life,
you'll experience Christ as your Life.
When you desire the Vine, more than the fruit He produces,
you'll bear fruit that remains."

Gregory, Ali and Nick, my prayer for you this day, and always, is that you desire Jesus above all, as your All!
oxo~Mom

ps~Ali, thank you, again, for these CDs from your time at Bodenseehof! Huge blessing to me!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Preacher Mom

My Three Most Favorite Young Adults in the Whole World,

What it comes down to is this: There are some things I wish I would have heard when I was growing up that I'd like to make sure you know. Maybe I was taught these things, but not sure if they were the focus. And, these things need to be the focus!

First, it's all about Jesus! So the title of this sermon is "The Person of Jesus!" Yes, I'm giving these mom-sermons titles!

Here it goes...

Jesus is...
~the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
~the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2
~High Priest. Hebrews 5:10
~the Guarantee of a better covenant. Hebrews 9:15
~the great Shepherd of the sheep. Hebrews 13:20
~the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
~the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Romans 10:4
~the Living Stone. I Peter 2:4
~the Chief Shepherd. I Peter 5:4
~our righteousness, holiness and redemption. I Corinthians 1:30
~the Author of life. Acts 3:15
~the Word. John 1:14
~the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29
~the Way, the Truth and the Life. John 14:6
~the Chief Cornerstone. Ephesians 2:20
~our Peace. Ephesians 2:14
~a Life-giving Spirit. II Corinthians 15:45
~the Spiritual Rock. I Corinthians 10:4
~the One and Only. John 1:14
~the Bread of Life. John 6:35, 48
~the Savior of the world. John 4:42
~the True Vine. John 15:1
~the Righteous One. Acts 7:52
~God's Anointed One. Acts 4:26, Psalms 2:1,2
~Prince and Savior. Acts 5:31
~Immanuel=God with us. Matthew 1:23
~King of the Jews. Matthew 2:2
~Teacher. Matthew 8:19
~Christ, the Son of the Living God. Matthew 16:16
~the Word of God. Revelation 19:13
~Faithful and True. Revelation 19:11
~King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:16
~a Shield for me, my Glory and the One who lifts my head. Psalms 3:3
~the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. I Corinthians 1:24
~the Head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:10
~the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15
~the Radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being. Hebrews 1:3
~the Living One. Revelation 1:18
~the Spirit. II Corinthians 3:17
~the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:25
~the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Rev. 22:13

Cool, huh?!

Closing hymn and you're dismissed!

oxo-Mom

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NYC High/Low

3 (or 30) Highs:

1. Experiencing New York City with two of my very favorite people!
2. Staying 3 nights in an adorable apartment overlooking Ground Zero and the Hudson.
3. Long walk along the Hudson.
4. Lunch at Friedman's in Chelsea Market.
5. Highline and seeing the new section for the first time.
6. Walking with Ali!
7. The loudest thunder I have ever heard and the brightest lightning I have ever seen.
8. Showing Greg Natural Gourmet Institute.
9. Being treated to dinner at Numero 28 in East Village by Mark and Erica. Observing that married life suits them both very well! Wonderful couple!
10. Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge to a delicious lunch at Siggy's.
11. Laughing with Ali!
12. Drinks at Ward III in TriBeCa with Chelsea and meeting Jonathan.
13. Watching sunset along the Hudson.
14. Delicious dinner at Macao with Chelsea. Treated wonderfully because they love Ali working there!
15. Lunch on the roof top of Eataly.
16. Eating with Ali!
17. Visiting Trinity Grace Chelsea and meeting Breezy, Michele and Jesse and seeing Kylie again.
18. Gluten free Italian dinner at Risottoria in the West Village.
19. Meeting one of the actors from one of my favorite movies, "The Princess Bride", and laughing afterwards because of a cute Ali-ism. :-)
20. Meeting Ali's roommate, Brandy and spending 2 cozy nights in their apartment.
21. Trying to keep up with Ali!
22. Biking around Central Park and along the Hudson.
23. All organic lunch in Central Park.
24. Watching the taping of Late Night with David Letterman from the second row.
25. Thai dinner in Hell's Kitchen area.
26. Talking about Jesus with Ali and Greg!
27. Drinks at R-Lounge in Time Square. Quiet, calm while watching the mobs below.
28. Subway rides and soooo thankful that we had Ali with us.
29. Getting to know the East Village a bit, as it is the home of our girl.
30. Witnessing Ali's comfort and ease and friendships, making Manhattan seem more like a little village than the big city that it is!


3 Lows:

1. Being away from Nick as he had to deal with a dislocated left knee and a sliced up right foot. But, knowing he was well taken care of by his other family, the Chesnuts, and his Uncle Brian and other family members and friends!
2. Being away from Gregory on his 25th birthday. But, knowing we wouldn't have seen him much, as he studied for Boards. (Praying for you right now, for clarity, calmness, and lots of right answers, as you take that little test!)
3. Saying goodbye to Ali. But, knowing I get to see her almost every month!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy 25th Birthday, Greg!


Several times before today I sat down to write a birthday entry on my blog for you, Gregory. Just the thought, and I start crying. Not tears of sadness. Tears of joy! Tears of thankfulness! Tears of "I can't believe that God gave us this amazing young man to be OUR child!" (Hopefully you and your sister and brother are the only ones reading this, as it could be a bit, or, a lot embarrassing. A gushing mom. Yuck! But, hey, it's my blog!)

So, since you are having your first birthday since I started this blog, I will continue the tradition of recounting the day of your birth. Just for the record. But, backing up to before June 20, 1986, I think you already know this story...

Dad and I...Newly married...I felt tired, not quite myself...Pregnancy test...Positive...

Now, since you know that we are absolutely crazy about you and always have been, I feel it is safe to say, for the record, that this came as a bit of, no, a huge surprise. You were due on our one year anniversary. But, in keeping with your thoughtful nature, you showed up three days early. Thank you!

We had just finished our last birthing class. Came home. Started labor...A long labor. No insurance. Therefore, no drugs. No epidural. Just your dad (and maybe most of the women in my family-I can't remember), always by my side, encouraging and supporting me! When you finally arrived, all slimy and bluish, I thought, "Wow! I had a lizard! I love this little lizard! Maybe, next time I'll have a human baby." :-) And, from the moment I laid eyes on you, I wondered why I hadn't been dreaming about you my whole life!

Greg, you have been a complete joy to raise! You have always been so good-natured and not moody. Stable and steady. Not demanding or dramatic. Kind and thoughtful and considerate. Hard working and disciplined. Absolutely not perfect. (And, like your dad, I know you will take that as the compliment it is meant to be.) Careful with your words, yet not afraid to speak out when needed. Accepting of others. Careful with finances when it comes to yourself, but very generous when it comes to others. Serious when you need to be, but doing your little dance and laughing and joking and bugging Nick and teasing Ali and screaming at the EPL refs at the proper times.

I have tremendous respect for you, Greg. What a gift God gave me in allowing me to be your mom! Know that I do and will continue to pray for you daily. For God's will in your life. For you to abide moment by moment in Jesus. For you to constantly be aware of your dependence on Him. For you to always be filled to overflowing with His love, joy, peace, comfort and hope!

Happy, happy birthday! I love you!
oxo-Mom

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thankful Heart!

During my reading/coloring time the past few weeks, I focused on Paul's letter to the Colossians. I LOVE this book! After I finished, I went back and highlighted the phrases about being thankful...

"We give thanks to God..." 1:3
"...giving thanks to the Father..." 1:12
"...and overflowing with gratitude." 2:7
"...and be thankful." 3:15
"...with thanksgiving in your hearts to God." 3:16
"...giving thanks through Him to God the Father." 3:17
"...with an attitude of thanksgiving." 4:2

I think it's super cool that the God who created us knew that our bodies, minds and emotions work better when we express thanks! He made us that way! After reading a bit on current studies that prove the health benefits of being thankful, I chuckled to think that scientists are now discovering what our God knew, and revealed to the writers of His Word, from the beginning of time!

So, what has God been teaching me personally about having a heart of thanksgiving lately? For some reason, for which I am truly grateful, I often wake up and my first thoughts are to Him. "Thank You, God! Thank You for who You are! Thank You for choosing me, forgiving me, reconciling me to You! Thank You for making Your home in me! Thank You for giving me my family! Thank You that You are working Your will in all of our lives." As my love for, dependence on, trust in Jesus Christ grows, thanking Him has become a habit. Then, as I share with Him my thankfulness, I love, depend on and trust Him even more! A very un-vicious cycle. A happy cycle! And, an act of Divinity, as this all happens before my very large, very strong cup of coffee! :-) (And then there are those days when this doesn't happen at all...Yep.)

When I hear about people sincerely trying to determine God's will for their lives, these few verses usually come to my mind: "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."~I Thes. 5:16-19. For us who are in Christ, it's clear! Rejoice, pray, give thanks! God's will! Cool, huh?!

Nick, Ali and Greg, I love how you three have such thankful hearts! I'm thankful that you know intimately the One to thank! I love how all three of you are learning to thank God in good times and in hard times! In times of great surfing in Nicaragua! In times of sitting on the beach with a swollen knee in Nicaragua! In times of celebrating, showers, weddings! In times of no sleep due to middle-of-the-night airplane flights to New York and South Carolina! In times of being here in Encinitas, hanging out with your family! In times of coffee shop study sessions, out in Loma Linda, for finals and dental boards!

And, I thank God for you!
oxo-Mom

Friday, June 3, 2011

Typical Day at the Wrights

Monday, with all three of you home...

Wake up, still a bit tired. Lots of late night laughter coming from down stairs while Dad and I tried to get to sleep the night before. (Don't mind missing sleep because of laughing and talking and the door opening and closing with your friends coming and going!)
Go downstairs to a semi-clean family room and kitchen. A few dishes still out from the gathering of our friends here the night before.
Try to read. One of you pop in and we chat.
Step over Kyle and you, Nick, on the way to my closet, as you two were sprawled out on my bedroom floor, watching soccer.
Walk with Dad and you, Ali, down at the beach. Since we missed celebrating your birthday with you, we share with you what we love about you! Takes the whole hour and a half. :-)
Ryan stops on his way back up to Santa Barbara to say hi to you, Gregory. You take a short break from your studying for boards. Very short break.
Ali, you and I pop in to the Beauchesnes to give Debbie a hug and to say good-bye to Matt before he heads to Bali.
Jamie comes by to see you, Ali. Then the Searles come over. Grandma stops in. She stays to have some crackers and cheese and a glass of wine with us.
Dinner together. Gregory, is it you that goes for Nick's armpits or is it him bugging you as we lift our hands to thank the Lord? Lots of laughter! Possibly some super inappropriate remarks made by you, Ali, without you knowing how inappropriate they were.
Hug you, Greg, as you head back to Loma Linda. (Very typical)
Drive you, Ali, to the airport, for your flight back to New York. (Kind of typical)
Drop you, Nick, off at the Leopolds so you, Nate, Taylor, Brandon could head down to Nicaragua to surf. (Really not typical at all)

Tuesday, with you three gone...

Work.
Walk.
Dinner.
Maybe, a quick game of ping pong. ;-)

Love it when you three are home!
Miss you when you are away! But, don't worry too much about Dad and me. We'll be okay.
oxo~Mom

Sunday, May 29, 2011

For the Record

Sometimes, when I have a moment or two to stop and think or in the middle of the night when I'm having a hard time sleeping, my minds just goes...

I miss Debbie and Charlie. When can we have them for dinner? It's been way too long...Will there be a time, even just a half hour or so, when Debbie Rydman and I can have a phone catch-up chat? She thinks it won't be until 2013. I'm still hopeful for 2011...Grandma and Grandpa should be having dinner with us at least once a month. Why have months gone by without this happening?...Hopefully Kirk and Emma aren't holding their breath for the meal I promised them after the arrival of their twins. And, will the darling outfits that Lori Carr made for the babies still fit them by the time I actually deliver the meal and gifts?...What cards can I send to Kim and Karen for (very) belated birthday wishes? And, by the time it gets to Kim in South Africa, will it be her 52nd birthday?...And, I need to start doing my core exercises...And, brushing my teeth with my cool new toothbrush that Gregory gave me for my birthday will be so good for my teeth and gums, but how do I use it?...And, when's the last time I flipped my mattress?...

Things like that.

Then, when I think about the past 10 days, I realize that life is going by quickly, and I have been busy.

So, since my blog is for you, Gregory, Ali and Nick, and, hopefully, for my future grandchildren to read (maybe) and learn a few things about their Grandma and Grandpa, (grandchildren will hopefully follow after I get a son-in-law and two daughters-in-law, which may require dating...so, not sure when this will happen) I have decided to jot down a few events from the past ten days. Just for the record.

5/19~Grandma took Aunt Lori, Aunt Debbi, adopted Aunt Carol and me to George's in La Jolla for my birthday lunch! The best "Sister's Lunch" ever!

5/20~Stopped by Lori Carr's to pick up the apron she made for Jessi's shower gift. Ended up staying hours. That happens with us sometimes. :-) Dad, you (Nick and Gregory), and I met Brian and Rebecca downtown for dinner and a Padres' game!

5/21~Attended the memorial service for a dear lady, Debra. Sat next to her husband, John, and am praying for the comfort of Jesus in his life as he learns how to do life without his wife.

5/22~Dad's birthday! Nice breakfast together (but without you, Ali). Church. Long lagoon walk with Craig and Deanna. Barbecue with just us. Just in case you didn't know, I am CRAZY about your dad! I love celebrating him!

5/23~Woke up with anxiety. Felt like I was going to throw up. Dad asked how I was doing. I burst into tears and admitted that I was afraid I was going to get the news that the melanoma had spread. That I knew I should have gone in earlier to have that strange mole checked. He hugged me, and that calmed me down. Long day at work. While at the office, got the call from the doctor's office that the margins are clear! Yay, hopefully no more melanoma! Only a nasty scar on my left shoulder. (For some weird reason, I think scars are kind of cool.) Thank you, Greg, Ali and Nick for your prayers, your encouraging and funny texts and your love!

5/24~Got the news that Lei's brother-in-law had passed away (just a few weeks after losing her sister), so she will need time off work. Heart ache for Lei and her family. Too many losses for one family.

5/25~Worked until 3, then you (Ali) came to pick me up at the office with Julia and Cassi! Got to take a long beach walk with my baby girl and two of my darling nieces! (Wish that Caroline, Jenna and Alizae lived close enough so I could take walks with them, too! I miss them!)

5/26~You (Ali) and I had a nice long walk with Andrea. Shopped at many different places, gathering the ingredients for a vegan, gluten-free lunch for Jessi's shower. Stopped by to say hi to Grandma and Grandpa. Casually told Grandpa about my melanoma. He gave me that VERY concerned look of his, wanted the pathology report, wanted to know my prognosis, then told me some stories of people he has known who have died from melanoma. And, then he wanted to keep talking about it. In detail. You, Ali, asked me why I didn't speak up, why I just sat there. Well, my stomach was going crazy, in knots, fear was beginning to take over, and I was remembering why I didn't tell him earlier and was wishing I hadn't told him at all. Quickly left. Whew...Thought to myself, "God, I trust YOU! No matter what the outcome, I trust YOU!" Sensed His peace return! Later, hung out at Searle's, catching up with Deb, watching Bradley sleep on the couch (mono, maybe?), getting to know darling A.J. better!

5/27~Took Ali up to San Marcos for blood work. Three nurses, one doctor, pokes in her arms, hands and feet, and they finally were able to draw blood! Quick beach walk. Bradley's graduation from SFC! Loved seeing my Bradley and Blake Michel as they graduated! While at the graduation, Dad got asked, in a funny kind of way, to officiate at Jessi and Josh's wedding. Dad's response was, once again, "You do know that I'm a chiropractor?!" (He feels very honored.) BIG celebration party at the Searle's after! Got to hang out with Kerry and Jeff, Cyndy and Denny, Debbie and Charlie (a little). Tried to talk Kerry and Jeff into moving back into Pacific Ranch since they are selling their beautiful Cardiff home. I know, it's just me...but, why would anyone ever move from this neighborhood? Unless, of course, someone is holding you at gunpoint, making you leave. ;-) Loved getting to know Wendy (Bradley's girlfriend's mother) better! So fun that Connie and Rich came by and we could sing to her on her actual 60th birthday!

5/28~Jessi's shower! Great to be celebrating your best friend, Ali, since birth and her upcoming wedding to a great guy! My "Slipper Group" was all here! Plus other friends! Got to see Jamie again! And Kristi! And Michelle! Before everyone left, Dad and I were off to Connie's 60th at the Fish Market. Fabulous party! Our entire couples' Bible study group was there! Many from our women's study! Kimmy just got in from Australia that morning! Got caught up with Le Ann Trees! Sat next to Sweet Mary (as we all call her)! Your dad got to sit next to Kim and got to talk with Louis. Connie is one hot 60 year old! Came home to a house full of kids. (That's what I call people in their 20s.) Loved it!

5/29~Sitting at my computer. Heading off to church soon. Preparing for a little get together this evening. Will Symons just got back from his 5 months of working in Thailand. Brendan heads to Africa, then law school in Washington D.C. Brittany leaves for a missions trip to Spain. Andrew is home from L.A. Ali leaves for New York tomorrow. Nick heads to Nicaragua late tomorrow night for a two week surf trip. So, we thought it would be great to get our families together while all you dear kids (but missing Lindsey and Carl, and Nick will be late because of work), who have grown up together, are home!

So, when I stress about all that I am not doing, things that I really want to do, but haven't yet, I realize, that, yes, life has been busy, full, filled with hard times and times where I just want to yell out, "Thank you, God, for this precious moment!!!" Actually, I say that to Him, in my head, often these days!

And, I am thanking Him for you, Nick, Ali and Greg!
oxo~Mom

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Approaching God: Yep! I'm writing a book review!

For someone who has a hard time just writing thank you notes, writing a book review is a little intimidating for me. But, for Lisa Borden and her book Approaching God I am more than willing!

Lisa, a dear Westmont classmate of mine, has a gift of writing that always leaves me wanting more. In Approaching God her poetic and artist way of sharing her intimacy with God is refreshingly straightforward and simple. God is not viewed as a distant Deity. Rather, Lisa focuses on six characteristics that challenge our view of God and draw us into a deeper relationship with Him. And, having known Lisa for over 30 years, her life reflects this very personal relationship with our God!

In her book, we get the privilege of glimpses into the Borden life...Byron getting "axed" as he was working on a orinka (a tool used to kill cobras... really!) ...Broken down truck, in Africa, hundreds of miles from help...A little Borden, probably Jesse, taking a nap in his mother's arms...And, the photos! Fabulous!

Lisa's use of poems, photos, passages from the Bible, personal stories, and the insight God has given her from walking with Him for many years creates a beautiful book! At first, I read it straight through. The second time, I spent time at the end of each chapter, journaling my responses. Third time, I soaked in the poems and the photos. Not sure how I'll approach it the fourth time, but looking forward to it! :-) Approaching God points me to God...And, causes me to say, "Lisa, I want more!"

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Half-a-Century + One

Happy birthday, Greg!

I know that my blog is generally written to our kids, but this one's for you!

So far, for our kids' birthdays, I have been trying to remember and share with them about the day they were born. Since I wasn't there for that event in your life, though we were only a few hours drive from each other, I thought I'd try with this 51 year old brain to remember about our beginnings.

Easy...18 years old...first day of college at Westmont...all Page residents together downstairs...I saw you...fell in love...you didn't...waited a long five years...we started dating!!! Yep...patience...It paid off!

Strange to think that we have known each other for 33 years! And, we have been married over half of our lives! And, I wouldn't trade you, our years together, our struggles, our joys for anything!

You, Greg Wright, are the most amazing person I have ever known. You are far from perfect, and, I know you will take that as the compliment it is meant to be. :-) I have great respect for you, and I love so many things about you! I have never known anyone who loves their work (maybe it shouldn't even be called that) as much as you do! And, that whole learning thing, where you try to explain frontal cerebral cortex firing to me??? And, the way you love, encourage, build up, challenge our children! And, how you can't talk about Ali without getting choked up. And, how you seem to burst at the seams when you talk about Gregory! And, how you and Nick study Jesus together every Thursday morning, and both of you love it and look forward to it! And, how you rearrange our furniture so you and our boys can sit outside, watch soccer on TV and smoke cigars. And, how you never give me weird looks when I wiggle all around and can't sit still for very long and "squirrel" and steal all the covers and spend too much money on clothes and don't know what's for dinner until 6 o'clock every night and don't initiate sex enough. Stuff like that. You are loyal, stable, reliable, trustworthy, hard working, lots of fun, super sexy, and you have a great butt! You are an amazing husband, friend, boss, walking buddy, life partner!

But, the thing I am most thankful for about you is your love of Jesus Christ! He is so obviously central to your life. You have abandoned yourself to Him, and that effects everything! Our times together in the morning are precious moments! I love how we are quiet as we read, then one of us will say, "Can I just read this to you?" or "Have you ever thought about...?" or "Listen to this cool verse" or "What's for breakfast?" ;-) I love that we share Jesus in our lives together!

So, Greg, happy 51st birthday! How fun that we get to celebrate YOU today! You are the love of my life, and I look forward to as many years as God allows us together...celebrating...just doing life together!

oxo~Me

ps~I LOVE it when you catch up to me every year! It's always a long 3 weeks.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy 80th Birthday, Daddy!

Today, my Dad is 80!!! We had a birthday party for him last night. It is the first birthday of his that I can remember really celebrating. Every other year, he would always tell us he did not want a party. This year, being his 80th, we decided to not believe him.

So, at five last night, we all gathered at the Searles for appetizers. Deb's fresh salsa, my guacamole and chips, Lori's veggie platter, Italian sodas and my margaritas. Ali, Jonny, Steven, Alyssa and Jon could not be with us. We missed them! Claude and Carol Chan joined us! What a treat!

Awhile later, we headed down to our house for a sit down dinner. Deb made her amazing chicken enchiladas, cabbage salad and Mexican rice. Lor made delicious black beans. We sat around our two tables, enjoying being together, celebrating my Dad!

After dinner, we share our hearts, honoring my Dad. One by one, we told Dad/Grandpa what he has meant to us over the years, what we have learned from him, how we love him. Even his little great grandaughter, Emma Rose, had a card for him! My dad LOVES copying articles, sections of books, any info he thinks might be useful to us, and, he highlights, adds notes then passes these copies out to us. So...we all copied, highlighted, underlined, added notes, stapled together our favorite devotionals to give to him, along with our cards. He listened, absorbed, maybe teared up a bit, then added commentary after each person shared. I think he liked it!

We topped off the evening with a tasty apple strudel made by Lori and Cassi. We sang Happy Birthday. We told Dad that he needed to make a wish before blowing out the candles. This being his first birthday party, he needed a little guidance. He said, "I want my whole family to always trust in Jesus." We told him that his wish should not be said out loud. He didn't seem to care. :-)

What a great celebration of my Daddy! Happy 80th birthday, Dad! I love you!
OXO-Alisa

ps-Photos to follow when we get our computer working better.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ali is 23!


Happy 23rd birthday, my dear Ali-Pooh!!!

Since your 16th birthday, how many of your birthdays have been spent at home? Or, how many have NOT been spent at home?
17th in Masterton, New Zealand
18th in France AND Germany on the same day!
19th up in Santa Barbara, at Westmont
22nd in Germany at Bodenseehof!
Now, your 23rd in New York City! Actually, North Carolina!
Am I forgetting some?? Anyway...whether you are home, away from home with us, or away from home without us, we celebrate YOU!!! My dear, precious baby girl...

So, with you, we thought it was great to have one child that we had planned...If you call Dad praying, spur of the moment, one morning, before ***, "Lord, please give us a health, sweet baby," planned. :-) And, just for the record, we have loved GOD'S plan regarding all three of you! I mean REALLY LOVED His plan! Way better than any plan we could have come up with!

Back to you...Again, I am trying to recall the details of the day of your birth...Hmmm...Well, you came earlier than expected. The doctor thought you would arrive in May. But, you have never really done things that are expected of you! And, I love that about you! After the trauma of a natural birth with Gregory, I told Dad, "It's drugs, or Gregory is an only child!" So, epidural kind of in place (it slipped and went into a muscle in my back and didn't go in to my spine...fun times!...Is this too many details?), you arrived!

We didn't know if we were having a boy or girl. After a very bald baby boy, what a surprise to see this little girl with a head full of black hair! Can't remember what name we had picked out if you were a boy, but we thought we would call you Alex, short for Alexandra, if you were a girl. But, after meeting you out in the world, you just looked like an Ali! So, I sent out birth announcements introducing you, or at least that was my intention. I forgot to put the announcement in many of the envelopes. Aunt Pudge called Grandma to say she knew from receiving the envelope that we probably did have a baby. She just had no idea of any of the details. Yep...

We brought you home, excited for your big brother to meet you! He sat in his little rocking chair, and we set you on his lap. He looked at you for a moment, (just enough time for a photo) then handed you back. The whole idea of a new little Wright took Gregory a little getting use to. Okay, a lot getting use to.

Ali, what a gift you have been in my life! I think of you as a toddler, usually smiling, cute little chubby cheeks. Your days of kindergarten...me dropping you off, you crying, me with a happy face until I got to my car, so I, too, could shed a few tears. Your tenderness with Maggie as we raised her that one year. The very difficult times with your health. The relief of home schooling. The fun of cheering for you during your basketball and volleyball games. The unique way you finished high school...Escondido Charter, Mira Costa, Neighborhood in Phoenix, Potter's Clay, traveling around Europe! The wonderful times of moving you in to Page Dorm at Westmont, saying goodbye to you as you headed to Bodenseehof, and then to New York. And, through it all, or because of it all, we have been drawn closer to Jesus, clinging to Him, learning more about Him and His great love for us, seeing Him as our very Life!

Ali, what a joy it has been for me to see you grow into a beautiful, creative, intelligent young woman! Do you remember, during those tough years, I would tell you that you were going to love being an adult?! It amazes me to watch you pursue your passions! I know that you will always be learning, and, enjoying the whole process! I love how you love people, again, with passion, intensity, pointing them to Jesus!

So, my precious Ali on your 23rd birthday...I pray that today you are celebrating YOU, thanking God, praising Jesus, and enjoying your time with Anne, Michael, Caroline, Gregory, Grandma and Grandpa. And, yes, I am a little jealous that they get you today! ;-)

And, here in Encinitas, I am celebrating YOU, thanking God for YOU, praising Jesus for YOU, and happy that if you are not with us, who love you dearly, you are with others who love you dearly!

Happy birthday, my Ali!
oxo-Mom

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Journal

For years, I was not a journaler. I just wasn't. I didn't want to journal...I didn't feel the need to journal...No interest in journaling.

These past few years, every now and then, I felt the urge to pick up my old journal and jot a few things down. Before that, I think the last entry was from 1994. Yep, I did let a few days go by without journaling.

Even now, there is no formula. Sometimes I write a few of the verses I just read that really hit me. Sometimes my entry is a prayer to God. Sometimes I rewrite a Psalm, personalizing it to reflect my heart's cry to God. Sometimes I copy a few quotes from one of the books I am reading. Sometimes I will spend a few days looking up verses on a particular subject...the names of Jesus, my identity as a child of God, prayer, the cross, Jesus' blood, being IN Christ, the Holy Spirit, trials. No set pattern.

This morning, as I was reading Andrew Murray's "Abiding in Christ", my journal entry was:
~"Christian, pray for grace to see in every trouble, small or great, the Father pointing You to Jesus, and saying, 'Abide in Him.'" ~Andrew Murray "Abiding in Christ"
"Through suffering the Father leads us to enter more deeply into the love of Christ."

So, why would my prayers for me, Greg, my children always be for safety, prosperity, comfort if this is true? NOT that I would EVER pray for suffering, but, I want my main request of God to be, "Whatever draws us deeper into You, trusting You, clinging to You, recognizing our dependence on You...that's my desire."~

So, Nick, Ali and Greg, journaling, dialoguing with God in your thoughts, or just being still and listening to Him speak to you, my prayer for you is that day by day, moment by moment, in trials and in triumphs, you abide in Jesus!

oxo-Mom

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Leopard Print Bath Robe

Wish I had thought of bringing my camera out to capture the moment forever. But, you're never really prepared for things like this. Kind of take you by surprise...

Kim warned me that she and Pat would not make it to our couples' Bible study, seeing that it was her and Pat's 40th wedding anniversary on that very day. Totally understood. She said they would be checking in to the Inn, having a quiet evening, just the two of them, and she'd be wearing her leopard print fuzzy bathrobe and flip flops. Jokingly, I mentioned that they could pop in just to say hi to us.

So, as your dad and I were greeting the two couples we were expecting, up our walkway comes Kim and Pat! I felt the tears coming. Kim, in her fuzzy leopard print robe, and Pat, popping in to be with us on their anniversary! I LOVE our couples' group! We love to be together. We don't miss, unless it is something unavoidable. After two and a half years together, we share a lot. Our struggles, our joys, our pains, our praises. We study Jesus together.

And Kimmy...She makes me laugh. She is open, honest, vulnerable, real...I first met her at an SFC chapel. Your Aunt Debbi and I were standing in the back. Awhile after it started, in walks this tall, spandex clad, coffee (not Starbucks) toting woman. She raised her hands during the singing, lost in worshipping Jesus. Knew right then that I would love her!

I hope that you three, when you are older and possibly (who knows?) married, find other couples that you just click with, love to be with, open up with, and aren't afraid to drop in on wearing a leopard print bathrobe. Yep, even you, Greg and Nick! :-)

oxo~Mom

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Flash Mob

On our drive to church this morning, your dad told me he had read about a Flash Mob (actually a Flash Bow) performed here in California for the people of Japan. Now, I thought that was super cool, but, to be honest, I was a bit jealous. Nick and Ali, you know that my one New Year's resolution (yes, I wasn't exactly honest in my previous post when I wrote that I had no 2011 resolutions) was to be in or observe a Flash Mob. No one called me to be a participant in this recent Flash Bow. But, then again, we never answer our home phone.

So, Greg, Dad and I got to talking about Flash Mobs. You know, strategizing, dreaming, planning. We came up with this: I am going to organize my own! This is how it is going to happen...People will be called to be invited to join me. We will practice singing. No, dancing. There will be lots of us. And, we will take it on the road. Out to Loma Linda Dental School. Yes! We will surprise Greg as he is in between classes.

But, why not kill two birds with one stone?! All of the others involved will be women between the ages of 22 and 26. Yes! And, your dad, and you, Nick and Ali, and I will have screened them as potential candidates for Greg to date. You know..."Do you love Jesus? What do you think of a crazy San Diego family that talks about Jesus a lot, and sex, and food, and watches lots of soccer and American Idol and Modern Family on TV? What would you think about being an Army dentist's wife and living anywhere you are sent for four years? Do you like to hike? Do you know how to cook healthy meals? Do you have a sense of humor? Any mentoring on being a wife?" You know, just some basic questions.

But, Greg admitted that he wouldn't want lots of girls in this dancing flash mob. Too many to choose from. Maybe just three. So, the plan is to surprise Greg with me and three well-screened young ladies, breaking out into dance on the campus of Loma Linda! But, then, I thought that if we had questioned these girls, the four of us (not you, Greg, because this is a surprise for you!) would have picked the one! So...It really is inaccurate to call it a Flash Mob. Your dad thought of a great name! Flash Duo!

Be prepared! Could happen at any moment!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Homeschooled Wright Kids

I loved homeschooling you three! The hours of side-by-side studying of the U.S. Constitution, the discipline of a long school day, the prairie skirts and efficient, comfy shoes...Wait...That wasn't us...

But, I really did love the two years I had with each of you for your seventh and eighth grade years. I know when you were asked about your teacher during your homeschooling years, you replied that it definitely wasn't your mom...You mostly taught yourselves. Guilt...That's what I felt...Guilt of giving you all straight A's, then wondering how the heck you would make it through your freshman year at a demanding, private high school. Guilt that you spent about two to three hours a day on school/homework, while your peers at conventional schools were in class seven hours a day with three or more hours of homework. Guilt that I took you with me on errands and expected you to read while in the car. (Ali, big shock when we had our first trip in the car and I told you to get out your books and start reading, and you replied that you get carsick if you read in the car.) Guilt while I went to the gym or walked with a friend while you were home alone.

But, the joy...Seeing you study science, practicing drawing with your dad. Watching you surf while most kids your age were sitting in a classroom. Allowing each of you to explore your interests, your gifts, your dreams. Taking trips; to Canada with you, Ali, and that long train ride back home, and to New Zealand with you, Nick, (and you, Ali, because you quit SFC mid year) for a month! And, Greg, saying goodbye to you as you headed to South Africa for six weeks with your Grandma and Grandpa when you were twelve!

But, I think my favorite part of homeschooling you three for your junior high years is that you weren't around hundreds of adolescents that thought their parents were uncool. You missed that whole stage! You three have always seemed to love being around your dad and me, your family, people of all ages. I love that! It's rare, and I recognize that! Makes it all worth it! And, I love how you three have turned out! I would rather be with you, Ali, Nick and Greg (and your dad), than with almost anyone else in the world! Not at all saying that homeschooling is responsible for that, but, maybe, it didn't hurt either.

oxo-Your homeschool mom

ps~I did make sure that you read A LOT during those years and that you stayed up on math. Yep, that was about it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nothin'

While stopping by the Searles this evening to help celebrate Jonny's 20th birthday, my precious niece, Julia, questioned me as to why I had no new posts on my blog. You know, sometimes I just have nothing...no words of wisdom, no witty stories, no new insight...just nothing.

This has been a strange week. Maybe it's the anxiety that followed me for a few days after Kim performed the Heimlich on me at a New York midtown Italian restaurant while celebrating Mary's 50th with Ali looking on, horror in her eyes. Who knows? Maybe it's the stress of being business owners with its ups and downs. Maybe it's friends my age dealing with unstable emotions. Just can't figure it out.

With the fun of celebrating birthdays, taking dancing lessons, getting together with dear friends, comes heart ache. A friend attended the funeral of Austin Bice today. Another friend made time to visit her dad in the Alzheimer care facility. Greg and I chatted with our neighbor who unexpectedly lost his brother a few weeks ago. Japan...need I say more?

Life...precious moments alongside painful moments and disasters. So, what do I sense God speaking to me these days? He is faithful. He loves us. He feels our pain. He wants me to fix my eyes on Him. He longs for me to call out to Him, communicate with Him, listen to Him. He is okay with my weakness, because it is then that I more readily recognize that it has been His strength all along. His desire is that I live in His presence, even when I can't feel it. He is my daily Joy, my perfect Peace, my eternal Hope! He is my Life!

So, Ali, Greg and Nick. Thanks for your patience with me these past few days. Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, your laughter, your love! My prayer for you, as you journey through this thing called life, is that you cling to Jesus, live in the presence of our God, don't trust your emotions, know Whose you are and how it all ends!

I love you three dearly,
oxo-Mom

ps~Angels come down...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Abide

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."~Jesus (Matt. 11:28-29)

I am rereading Andrew Murray's "Abiding in Christ". So, that means I have yellow, green and orange highlights, underlining and comments in the margins. Love my coloring books! Wanted to share a few quotes from the chapter I read this morning...

"Rest for the soul...does it not imply deliverance from every fear, the supply of every want, the fulfillment of every desire?
...We know that all that God bestows needs time to become fully our own. It must be embraced, appropriated, and assimilated into our soul; without this not even Christ's giving can make it our own in terms of full experience and enjoyment.
...Entire surrender to Jesus is the secret of perfect rest. Giving up one's whole life to Him to rule and order, taking up His yoke, and allowing ourselves to be led and taught of Him, abiding in Him, to be and do only what He wills.
...This rest is in Christ, not something He gives apart from Himself, and so it is only in having Him that the rest can really be kept and enjoyed...The moment the soul yields itself to obey, the Lord Himself gives the strength and joy to do it.
...Consecration and faith, are the essential element of the Christian life-the giving up of all to Jesus, the receiving of all from Jesus...Surrender.
...Weary soul, come and learn this day the lesson that there is a spot where safety and victory, peace and rest, are always sure. That place, which is the heart of Jesus, is always open to you.
...Abiding in Jesus is nothing but the giving up of oneself to be ruled, taught, and led, enabling the disciple to rest in the arms of Everlasting Love."

Cool, huh?!

I really needed this today. My heart is a bit heavy. Would you three be praying for me, that I would experience the peace and rest that comes from abiding in Jesus? That I will be totally surrendered to Him? Thanks.

My prayer for you today, Nick, Ali and Greg, is that you are living in this moment-by-moment abiding in our Jesus and that you are experiencing the peace that passes understanding!

I love you,
oxo~Mom

Saturday, March 5, 2011

High/Low

February...3 highs
1a) The birth of my first great-niece, Emma Rose, to Ryan and Erin Alexander!

1b) Alyssa and Jon's wedding! Perfect! Beautiful day, their love for each other so obvious, Jesus in the midst!

1c) Jessi and Josh's engagement! Ali's best friend since birth preparing to marry a great young man! Fun engagement party!

2a) Dance lessons starting!

2b) Being with sweet Mary on her actual 50th birthday! Yay!

2c) Having Jeff, who is like a brother to me, Lori, Chad, Kaitlin and Davis for dinner to celebrate Jeff's 50th!

3a) Spending the day at Carol's conference, "For this I have Jesus", and being filled up!

3b) A perfect Valentine's Day! Short day of work, appetizers and a drink in Del Mar at Sunset, Chinese food at home, being with my Valentine, no gifts, no cards!

3c) Taking a Monday off of work to hang out with Ali! Long lagoon and beach walk, lunch at Ki's, jacuzzi, dinner at Third Corner with Brian and Rebecca, frozen yogurt!


3 lows...
1) Accidentally being the first relatives to meet Emma Rose as both sets of grandparents sat in the waiting room. Greg and I are so sorry, Ken, Lori, Bill and Beverly. (Secretly, one of my "highs", but don't tell.)

2) Ali being gone 23 of the 28 days of February. But, we did get her for five!

3) Not enough time spent with friends at all of the celebrations. I'm considering adopting Lori's Westmont gang and Debbi's Biola friends!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's Wednesday!

On Wednesday mornings, I wake up with a smile. Not that I don't like every day of the week. But Wednesdays are different. Nick, you head off to school with Jonny, kind of like when you were three, only now one of you drives instead of Debbi or me, and Nick, you aren't crying uncontrollably. (And, you are doing quite well in college versus flunking out of preschool.) Then, after last minute rushing around, your dad leaves for work. And, here I am. Alone in our home. Now, I love having our home filled with you three, Dad, friends, family. But, these few hours alone...Sigh with a smile...

This morning is the first morning in a long time that I had the window open as I was reading and writing and coloring. For today, a hint of spring is in the air. Birds were noisy, playing in our backyard...Still smiling...

By tomorrow I will have finished "The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life". I get a bit sad when I come to the end of a book that I have been enjoying. But, near the end of this book, I underlined AND starred this paragraph. "We must be convinced that the Scriptures teach this glorious indwelling of God; then we must believe that He has taken possession, and is dwelling in us. We must begin to reckon ourselves dead, and to reckon Christ as our only life. We must maintain this attitude of soul unwaveringly. It will help us to say, 'I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,' over and over, day and night, until it becomes the habitual breathing of our souls. We must put off our self-life by faith continually, and put on the life of Christ; and we must do this, not only by faith, but practically as well. We must continually put self to death in all the details of daily life, and must let Christ instead live and work in us"...Smiling from the inside out...

oxo-Mom

ps~Ali, I love your blog! You make me laugh. You are insightful and deep and silly, and your cuteness comes across in your words. What a treat to have you home for five crazy, fun-filled days!
~Gregory, thank you for texting me when you make it back to school. You don't have to do that, but I love it! So glad that Dad and I got to see you dance at the wedding! Are you coming home this weekend? Just in case you forgot, I love it when you come home!
~Nick, glad you decided on the gray one. It looked great! And, thank you for dancing with me. And, Whale, you are funny!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Be Rad

Happy Monday, Nick, Ali and Greg!

Yes, it is a happy Monday! Dad and I took the day off from being at the office! We wanted to enjoy Alyssa and Jon's wedding, which we did, immensely! But, more importantly, we wanted to have the day to be with you, Ali, before you headed back to New York, especially since we now know that you will be there for at least 13 more months. Got a clear picture of my tears?

So many great celebrations lately! More on those later...Right now I am thinking about Bradley. I love my nephew! He finished his high school basketball career on Saturday. In all honesty, I am relieved. It has been painful. You three know this...Bradley has worked harder than anyone I know at his sport. His desire since he was little was to be a starter on SFC's varsity basketball team, and, maybe, even play in college. Things didn't quite work out as planned. So, what did God teach me through this?

1) Life is not fair. It's just not.
2) God is in control, even when things are crazy-makingly unfair.
3) I have the potential to revert to self being in control, rather than the Holy Spirit, in a nano-second.
4) Debbi and Jonathan are amazing! Honest in their disappointment and frustration, yet at the same time, trusting God and His plan for their son.
5) My nephew, Bradley, has a deep well of integrity. Watching him as he encouraged his teammates and observing his work ethic has been inspiring!
6) Some of the best and most lasting lessons in life come to us through hardship, squashed dreams, coaching that makes no sense, not getting what we desire.
7) Bradley gets it! He understands that what God could prevent, He allows for His purposes.
8) If abiding in Jesus, resting in Him, an intimate relationship with Him is always our goal, desires may not be fulfilled, but our true goal is always within our reach!

So, although I didn't learn too much more about the sport of basketball this past season (the whole self-in-control prevented me from being able to sit at the games with a positive attitude, so I didn't make it to too many), I had another opportunity to learn lessons from the perfect Coach!

oxo-Mom

ps~Bradley, you rock! I love you dearly! Can't wait to see what God has planned for you!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hiking & Kissing & Stuff

Thursday afternoon, your dad and I went on a hike in our canyon. Just a short hike, as I had already had a great beach walk in Del Mar with Kathy earlier in the day. And, by the way, I adore Kathy! I know that you three already know this. But, just thought I'd say it again. The children and husband of this woman are beyond blessed, and, they all know it! In the close to twenty years that I have known her, I just don't hear her complain or criticize. She is easy going and so much fun to be with! And, I love Kathyisms! One of my favorites, which I heard from Chip, is, "Snug as a bug on a log"! So cute! Anyway...back to hiking...

As we reached the highest point on our hike, where there are two benches that overlook the entire canyon with a peek of the ocean, we came upon another hiker and his dog. Now, this created a problem, as this is the spot where we always stop, hug and have a little make out session. Since we were not alone, we decided to have just a super brief embrace and peck, and off we went. As we got to the lowest part of our hike, though, your dad noticed that to the east, rising just above the canyon wall, was an amazing full moon! So, we did what any other couple like us would do...We created a new make out spot! I love hiking!

oxo-Mom

ps~Nick, on Valentine's Day, we thought your evening class ended at 9:45. So, yes, we were a bit surprised to hear you pulling into the garage at 9:15.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Little Things

(and a few not so little things)

My dear Three-most-favorite-young-adults-in-the-whole-wide-world,

Sometimes I think of things that are not really "blog entry" worthy. Just some random thing that I want to share with you. So, here goes my bullet point list.

(Shoot, I don't know how to make a bullet point on my keyboard, so this dash will have to do.)

-I hate gum. I hate watching people chomp on it. I hate hearing people chomp on it. I hate thinking about watching or hearing people chomp on it. Did you know that? ;-) Maybe this has to do with my teeth-falling-out-dreams, or my sensitive hearing, or the visual of mouths open-close, open-close. Who knows?

-I don't like the spelling of the word "through". In my journal, I write "thru". Now, being a previous English teacher (one year, a very desperate middle school), I am conflicted as I jot down "thru" instead of "through" in my journal. But, my dislike of the proper spelling wins out almost every time.

-Picky eaters bug me. I know this sounds harsh, and I understand that these days many people have serious health problems associated with different types of food. So, I am not talking about that type of picky. In college, I think that one of the main reasons I broke up with this guy is that he was a picky eater. That's mean, huh? Maybe there were other reasons, too.

-I sometimes think that I need to warn potential friends about me. I don't like talking on the phone. I take forever to return emails. I read a text, then forget about it and forget to reply. We don't ever pick up our home phone and hardly ever listen to the messages. But, I LOVE being person-to-person! Makes long distance friendships a challenge.

-Buy organic. Yes, it's more expensive and not quite as easy to find. But, it is worth it.

-I am a Jesus freak. Your dad is a Jesus freak. There. It's out in the open now.

-Be generous. Unless there is a really unhealthy balance in a friendship, don't let your mind even wander to the thought that someone is taking advantage of you. Remember that large chunk of money in some imaginary account that I have told you about, specifically earmarked for being generous with people? :-)

-I love "American Idol" and frozen yogurt. Big surprise on that one. Huh? And, I know that you, Ali, like "The Bachelor" (Nick, too, but I don't want to embarrass you), and that you, Nick, also like "Family Guy", and that you, Greg, like "Modern Family", and that all three of you like frozen yogurt, too!

-Notice in conversations if you are the one doing most of the talking, or, most of the listening. Now, there may be times when this is appropriate. But, overall, friendships consist of listening and sharing, in a wonderful, healthy, filling-up kind of balance!

-Chose your spouse carefully. Lots of talking and listening to God, insight from those closest to you, enough time to see how this person handles difficult situations and life's challenges, and, as an added bonus, make sure this person loves your mother! (This whole topic does require more thought and time. Lots more. Guess it should not be in this entry. More later. Lots more.)

-Don't allow technology to win out over the actual presence of a person. Put down your cell phones and computers. Touch, hug, kiss...Things you can't do with technology, or at least I don't think you can. Hmmm...Can you?

-I love so much about your generation! And, I have some major concerns about your generation. But, overall, since you three, my favorite young adults, are a part of that generation, I have a very special fondness for it!

Well, Ali, Nick and Gregory, that's my list for today. Maybe I'll think of a lot of new things to share with you tomorrow. :-)
oxo-Mom

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

B9

When we moved into our home over 22 years ago, we met our neighbors, Debbie, Charlie, Daryn and Matt. Great neighbors!

As the years went by, they became more that just neighbors. I would ask Debbie's advice. "When are the kids old enough to be out front without me?" "Gregory went to school this morning, but the school just called, wondering why he isn't at school today. What do I do?" Charlie would yell over anytime he saw you, Nick, out front, "Nicky, what are you doing?" Charlie appreciated that your response was always short and to the point. "Nothin'." Daryn would babysit you three. We watched each other's kids grow up. They became friends!

We started celebrating together. Birthdays. Graduations. They would come and watch your games. We would go to Matt's surf movie premieres. Charlie would give you a ride in or on whatever new car or motorcycle he had that month. Debbie and I stamped together. We would call up or yell across the street, spur of the moment, "You guys want to come over for dinner?" We would go back and forth between our homes, sharing meals together. We got excited for each other when good things happened to our kids. We cried together when Kylie died. They became great friends!

When Matt and Aimee got engaged, they asked your dad to officiate at their wedding. What an honor for him! What a joy for all of us to be there, celebrating Aimee and Matt's special day! When you, Gregory, decided to go to dental school through the Army, you and Charlie surprised everyone with Charlie being the commissioning officer! And...when we started to celebrate every Christmas Eve together, I realized, they had become like family...family that you really, really like!

G, A, and N, I hope that when you are settled down in your own places, you are given the gift of having your own B9s as neighbors, friends and family!

Friday, February 11, 2011

"In I John I am your Life"

How amazing it would have been to be one of the two people walking with Jesus, after He rose from the dead and came back to earth for awhile, listening to Him as "He expounded to them in all the Scriptures (beginning at Moses and all the Prophets) the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:27)!!

Might have gone something like this:

"In Exodus I am the Passover Lamb.
In Numbers I am the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.
In Psalm I am the Shepherd.
In Proverbs, when it speaks of Wisdom, that's Me.
In Daniel I was that 4th Man who walked the fiery furnace.
In Amos I am your Burden Bearer.
In Malachi I am the Son of Righteousness, rising with healing in My Wings."

And, if YouTube was around back then, He would have been the first to share with the world on video, "Jesus in Every Book of the Bible"!

Thank you, Ali, for passing along that great YouTube link! I love it! I love Jesus! I love how He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End!

(Is there a penalty for blogging plagiarism?)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Nerd

Not sure if I should be telling you this, but here it goes; Your father is a nerd. I have never met anyone like him. It's almost to the point of being an obsession, this nerdiness. And, every now and then, an obsession that he tries to hide from me.

A few months back, I realized that he was flying to San Francisco, again, to study Neuro-Chemistry. When I discovered that this was not just a one time thing, but a many months thing, I approached him. "Did we discuss this...that you would be investing lots of time, lots of money on this Neuro-Chem Fellowship?" I asked. He had a bit of a guilty look about him as he nodded vigorously, "Yes. Don't you remember?" Now, granted, I don't remember lots of things...But this?...You'd think I'd remember.

Then, seems like almost once a week, he will be getting ready to leave the house. "Where are you going?" I ask. "Don't you remember? I have a seminar on ________________________?" (I really am trying to recall any of those big words that should go on the line. But, I just can't.) "No. I don't remember," I reply. "I wrote it on the calendar," he says, again with that same guilty look. He runs over to the calendar (I think it's to pencil in his seminar, spur of that moment), and he shows me. "Hmmmmm...I guess I didn't see it there."

Dinner will be all ready, on the table, almost everyone in their places, ready to eat. Your dad will be at his computer, those ear bud thingys in his ears. Again, I go to him, use the best hand motions I can think of to get the message across that dinner is ready. He will glance up at me, a slightly irritated look on his face, hold up a finger to indicate that he will be there in a minute. Those can be some long minutes and cold dinners.

I think you may already know this. Some of my friends know. Lots of my family members know. I finally decided to tell him. "Did you know that you are a nerd?" He looks up from his books, puzzled look on his face. "But, you are the cutest nerd I have ever known!" He didn't get mad. He smiled.

Really, I have more respect for your dad than I do for anyone, ever. For many reasons, but one is that he is passionate about learning. Anything he can learn that will help him understand health, the human body, new ways in which to help his patients, he devours. Really, devours. And, though at times I wonder about this other love of his, I couldn't be more proud of my cute nerd!

Funny thing is, I think you three may have inherited this same passion for learning from me! Oops...I mean from your dad!

oxo~Mom