December 2, 2017

We Survived the Toaster

This morning, as usual, I made my breakfast.  The same breakfast I've eaten for YEARS.  And, if you know me well enough, you already know what I eat for breakfast.  

Toast with whipped cream cheese, egg and coffee with fat free half and half.  

Most every day of my life starts with this same breakfast.  It's got protein, carbs and COFFEE!  The necessities of life.

However, this morning, when I put my toast in the toaster and "flushed" it...I noticed this strange burning smell.  I figured Everlee had crammed something plastic in there. I keep our toaster stored in a low cabinet, when not in use, and unfortunately, Everlee can reach it very easily.

I quickly hit "cancel" and peeked in there.  Nope.  Just my toast.  But, the coils didn't seem to be glowing red when I started it again.  Hmm.  Could it be?  My toaster is dying?  Say it ain't so!

We received that toaster as a wedding gift nearly 19 years ago.  It's a Sunbeam toaster, not fancy, but it gets the job done...and has been doing really well, up until today.  It managed to finish my toast with a nice golden brown hue, but it worried me.  Would I be replacing this very STAPLE part of my routine soon?

And that got me to thinking about when I received the toaster...which reminded me how close we are to our 19th wedding anniversary.  Like 17 days away.  19.  Years.  YEARS.  

I am not sure how 19 years passed so quickly, how I ended up with 3 kids, how I've lived overseas, how I've traveled across country, how I've lived in California--thousands of miles from my family, and all of this shared with the same man.  

In my wildest dreams, I never thought my life would be where it is today.  I mean, I knew marrying an evangelist would have SOME adventure attached to it.  I just didn't realize how amazing and rewarding that would be.  I knew there would be some hard times, some good times, some sad times and some happy times--but never imagined the things we have achieved and the things we have endured.  And yet, know that I am blessed beyond my own merit.

And while 19 years isn't quite a lifetime, it is longer than the life of a toaster...which is something I am quite proud of.  

Happy Anniversary (to be) to my one and onliest Pookie.  Here's to another 19 and then some...  

April 4, 2017

We Belong Together

As some of you may know, I am a Sectional Director,in the Western District, for our Ladies Ministries.

Last Friday, our section met for our yearly meeting and I took the group of ladies that were there into a side room and we had a little time of fellowship and fun.

Part of my activities included an object lesson.  I got several single stem flowers and arranged them in a vase and brought them to the meeting.  Well, I did not have "filler" or greenery and quite frankly, my "bouquet" was a bit rough around the edges but I was ok with that, because I knew what we would be doing with it.

Lo and behold, my luck was shining that day because a florist, that attends the church, was there helping to set up.  I immediately asked for her help.  And she arranged this GORGEOUS creation that I was thrilled with.

Once I had all the ladies gathered, I asked them all to take our their cell phones and snap a pic of the arrangement.  We all admired it and talked about how beautiful it was and I share with them about having a little help making it look even more fabulous.

After a couple games, I decided it was time to share my object lesson with them.  So, I asked each lady to come and choose her favorite stems and take them from the bouquet.  One by one, they begin to pick apart the bouquet until about half the arrangement was left.

I then had them take a pic of the aftermath.  I have an app on my phone that lets me put pics side by side and I did a comparison photo.  Together, the bouquet was gorgeous, full and colorful.  Once it had been separated, it was puny and rather pathetic.

When we stand together, we can accomplish beautiful things.  We have a sense of community and belonging.  Sure, individually, we have value and can be "beautiful", but together we have an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than us.  Something that can be admired, not only for it's individual beauty, but the beauty that comes when we are all together.  It was a cool visual and I hope something the ladies could take home and remember.

I left the remaining flowers/bouquet with the host pastor's wife and on Sunday, the florist had messaged me a pic of her having put it "back together again."  I was impressed!  Even with fewer flowers, it was still a beautiful arrangement.  Which struck me with this thought, we don't have to have MORE or ALL of something to be beautiful.  We can still hold value and purpose, even in the few remaining flowers.  We just need a master to come and arrange us to fit in our vase.

I am thankful to serve a God that can take my abundance and my lack and combine it with others to make something beautiful.  I am happy to be a part of the family of God.  To have community is His Kingdom.
Together vs. Separated 

Brought Together Again