Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mom goes to the National Guard

I went with my son the the recruiting office for the National Guard.

It's not that he felt insecure. He simply needed a ride.

We didn't talk much on the way there. He sat in the passenger seat with a yellow pad in his lap. He had filled out an entire page with questions for the recruiter. Each question was written neatly and numbered. I've never known C to be so organized. I thought, he's really serious about this.

I was expecting a little store front office, but instead we turned down a road that took us about a half mile beyond the suburbs and out into some open land. Then suddenly, there...with the mountains looming up from behind sat a large sprawling brick building with a gate out in front. A pillar stood near the gate with the words NATIONAL GUARD. We drove through the gates and parked.

"I can wait here," I said. "Unless you want me to come in."
"If you want to come, that's fine." said C. "I don't care."

Actually I thought it would make a better impression if he didn't come in with his mother. But it all looked so interesting that my sense of adventure kicked in. I'd never been to the "National Guard" before.

With the breeze whipping around us we walked up the wide path to the front glass double door. It was locked. And it was so quiet. Nobody was around. C spotted an intercom and contacted the recruiter. While we waited for him to let us in, 2 young men in uniform walked up the path carrying their fast food lunch. They let us in.

A young man who didn't look much older than my son came down the hallway and cheerfully met us. He lead us into his office and C had a seat in front of his desk, while I sat a few feet away. The recruiter (I'll call him Jake) seemed at ease with a "mom" sitting nearby, so I relaxed. After some questions and discussions, he gave C a test, and while C took it, he sat and chatted with me.

Now I've been reading up quite a bit on the Service and have heard all the stories about recruiters...including false promises etc, etc. So I brought it up. Jake assured me that he was telling everything as it truly is. Yes...although C would only be serving one weekend per month, he could (at any time) be deployed into active duty. We spoke of pay, health insurance, college, jobs, Obama and the Swine flu.

C finished his test. He said later it was hard to concentrate on the math section with all the talking in the room. But not to was a practice test. C did well enough on the test to qualify for the job that interests him. Aviation...more specifically repairing Helicopters. He'll take the "real" test later.

We found out C has to be completely out of debt before joining. This will be an obstacle. Especially since he has not been able to find a job...and we can't lend him any money. But it's a good thing, because if God wants him to do this, it will work out. And if He doesn't, it won't work out.

Where am I at? I feel supportive. C has been drifting...lost...for a long time. It could give him the structure he needs and give him some direction with his mechanical abilities. Yet I know it will be one of the hardest things he will go through in his life. He will go through the same basic training as the Army. And I worry about his strong will.

Mozart doesn't feel good about it, for reasons too long to describe here. I don't feel comfortable that Mozart and I differ. son is in God's hands. And God will decide what ultimately happens.

I rest uneasily. But I'm glad that there is some wind in C's sails right now. The sails have been down for so long.

(Those that know our family/live nearby, please keep confidential.)

I came upon this verse one day...and it is such an encouragement to me.

"...yet he kept on in his willful ways. I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him." Isaiah 57:18

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Prayer for Your Loved One

A friend of mine has an autistic child and April has been Autistic Awareness Month. I have been receiving a series of prayers through my email—to help me know how to pray for her child and other Autistic children. I thought I'd share one of the prayers with you. You can place your own loved one's name in the blank, even if he/she doesn't have Autism.

This was such a good reminder God's promises with regards to our children and the hope we have in the future.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
(Jeremiah 29:11-13, NIV)

Dear Lord,
You see the pain and hopelessness that ________(Autism or other disability) brings. You have seen our tears and know our heartaches in the midst of this devastating trial. And yet, God, you say that you have plans for _______ to bring him/her a hope and a future. We thank you, God, that you have promised that when we call upon you that you will listen to us. So Lord we pray that you will begin this very day to set that hope and that future in motion. Father, you do have a destiny for _________ beyond the confines of ________(disability) You have a great purpose for his/her life. I thank you, Lord, that we can trust in those promises and that there will be breakthroughs in days ahead. The best is truly ahead, for you have many promises in your Word concerning ________. Help us to see your hand at work. Show us each and every day how you would have us pray to see all your promises come to pass.
In Jesus’ Name,

“Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”
(Hebrews 10:23, NLT)
“And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.”
(Philippians 1:6, NLT)
“Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!”
(Psalm 42:5-6, NLT)
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
(Hebrews 13:8, NIV)
“He has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that he will give them the salvation he has promised them.”
(Hebrews 6:18, TLB)
“These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”
(Revelation 3:7, NIV)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Miracle and a Decision

I had a rough couple of days and then a wonderful thing happened. My husband and I wanted to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary (In September '09) by going to Hawaii. (We have been to the islands before...but it's been many years) We actually tried to go for a 20th anniversary but couldn't come up with the extra finances. Then we tried to go on our 25th anniversary, and the finances fell through again.

So we've been hoping to go on our 30th, but once again, we had to back out due to finances. I was sad, but figured if God didn't open the door...then we weren't supposed to go. Mozart and I haven't been able to go away together for many years due to various obstacles and because of intense family I was hoping--so much--we could get away.

While at the Auto Club, yesterday, I decided to see if they had any trip packages. First I'll mention, that we have our air fare covered, because we have been saving points on our credit card for about 7 years. I have enough for 2 free flights. But the problem is paying for the hotel and car.

It turned out the Auto Club had a special going on at the Sheraton in Kauai for about $750 for 6 nights including car. I wondered if Mozart would go for it. I couldn't call him because my cell phone recently went through the washing machine and never recovered. So I drove home and layed it out to him. "Can I put a hold on it? We don't have to pay until the middle of August. Maybe the money will come in by then."

Mozart said, "yes".
It may have helped that he was half asleep.

I drove back to the Auto Club and got there just before they locked the door at 5:00. I knew I had to do this immediately before Mozart changed his mind. Not that he doesn't want to go... but he is very practical and tomorrow he could feel differently. When the agent went back on-line to put a hold on the trip, she couldn't find the trip package. It had disappeared!

Oh...I guess it's not meant to be. I slumped in the chair. My eyes blurred as she loaded and reloaded various websites. Finally she got on the phone and called someone direct. From the conversation, it seemed the price had gone up already.

Then she said, "What? At that price?" "How can they offer it at that price?"

Her computer started working again, and she was able to verify the price.

I braced myself.

"The trip package for the Kauai Sheraton on Poipu beach is now $501."

I asked, "For TWO people?"

"For TWO people including an economy car...for 6 nights."

She added, "I've never seen it this low before. That's lower than the price for travel agents. She kept scratching her head. "That's amazing. I don't know how they can offer it so low."

I said, "It might be God. He knows we don't have any money."

"You must have angels or something!" she said.

There was no more time to talk as the place was closing and we were holding things up. So I was given a confirmation, receipt and all the pertinent stuff and ushered out the back door.

Mozart was so surprised...he had a hard to believing it, too.

Then Mozart emailed a friend of his who we have not seen for a long time. This friend has gone through a hard time in his life, but has ended up on the island of Kauai and has lived there for about 10 years. Today Mozart got an email back from his friend, who was very excited about our trip. And he said, "Where you are staying, is in walking distance from my home!" He wants to show us "all the secret places" of Kauai and have us over for "gourmet Hawaiian dinners".

Well...all the details are not finalized yet...and while I was finishing this post, Mozart just called out to me that the news is reporting "airfares are doubling"...but once God starts something...he usually finishes it. So I am hoping that this is God's project...and that we will end up in Kauai for our 30th anniversary.

NEWSFLASH on my boys.
My youngest is going to the prom on Saturday. It is being held at Sony Pictures Back Lot.
My oldest told me today that he is exploring the possibility of joining the National Guard. (!) Those of you who live near me and know my family...please don't say anything to anyone(or your kids) about this yet...for C's privacy...and it may not happen. but again...God might be in this...

I am holding this news delicately...because I don't want to sway him either way. I want this to be completely his decision. And I don't know if it's just a little whim or if he's serious.

I'd appreciate your prayers for him--for his walk with the Lord--and for this decision.

Have a good day. God is in it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My First Pie

I made my first apple pie. (with a lot of help from google)
What would I do without the internet.

"Making Apple Pie"
"Pie Crust"
"Apple Pie Filling"
"Cutting Apples"
"Apples turn brown"
"Baking Apple Pie"


Chief pie tasters were my mother and my 93-year-old Aunt Elsie.
Aunt Elsie is a veteran pie-maker.
The pie passed her inspection. And my mother took an extra piece home!

Mozart is re-wiring his studio. So he decorated my back porch for Easter.

Both my sons were gone. The youngest had to work. And the oldest went out of town with a friend. I missed them....but we still had a wonderful day. My dad was here, too along with his cousin Larry.

My dad spotted my old bike, and he proceeded to take the wheels off and stash the whole thing in the trunk of his car. He said he has some bike tires laying around his garage...and a few other things and he's going to fix it up. I'm so glad I still have a age 52!

I hope you all had a pleasant Easter. He is Risen! And Risen in our hearts. Today at church I was reminded of the power of the resurrection. That same power is with us every day. God is with you as you start your new week.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


On my bedside table I've placed a picture of an event that I do not want to forget. There are many people looking toward the front of a large room at the YMCA. That's where our church met, many years ago. In the front of the room the pastor is reaching for our first born son. He is about to pray for him.

Twenty-one years later I find myself reminding God about that event often. And I know the Shepherd will not give up searching and calling for my lamb.

Easter is a reminder that God is in control. Through His son Jesus we are saved from sin and death. Good has triumphed over evil. The snares and pot-holes my son falls into are not too big for God. Waywardness, confusion, illness...and even death itself is not beyond the hands of God. He has overcome it all. He will faithfully call our loved ones back to Himself. He will do all...give show them the way back.

And we pray...unceasingly.

Happy Easter everyone. Or should I say Happy Resurrection Day?

My friend and I are going to a Good Friday service in the evening. Our pastor, who likes to teach us with "visuals" said that the lights in the service will dim, and gradually at the end, it will be dark. He is looking forward to the contrast with Sunday...when the lights will be bright and "we'll party and celebrate!"

After church, I'm hosting a family pot luck at our home. I'm looking forward to the day!

I'm making my first apple pie. (don't's true. I usually buy pies.) I'm making the crust from scratch. Tomorrow I have to go get more apples. Five isn't enough...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April Days

Meet Mrs. L.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday you will find Mrs. L and I busy with shopping, walking, gardening, gaming (Scrabble) and gabbing. She has taught me how to fix a sprinker, make a pumpkin pie, Dutch cookies, care for roses and how to be patient in most circumstances.

Daffodils are Mrs. L's favorite flower, and we stopped to admire these while on a walk.

Meet D.

D is my youngest son and he recently invited friends over to celebrate his 18th birthday. No girls...just gambling. His friend S, brought over a poker table top. I did not know they made such a thing. But it kept them busy for quite awhile. In fact this was the easiest birthday party that a mother ever had.

The boys made their own food...barbecued chicken. (D is closest to the camera)

My son is finishing his Senior year at high school and is currently working at Ralph's market. He likes to play the drums, and helps out with worship at church.

Easter is going to be at our home this year, and I'm not sure how many I'll be having yet. But my garden is waking with bright orange California poppies...and it feels like its time for company. I also have beautiful green weeds everywhere!

That's it. Short post today. We have Saturday church today and it starts at 5:00. I'm still trying to get used to the shortened Saturday, but its really worth it! It's so nice to attend church with Mozart.