Thursday, January 17, 2008

4:10 a.m. : "Mommy, get up! It is snowing outside. Hurry! To the front windows. You can see it so much better from there!"

To our delight, we watched as fat, fluffy flakes descended on our neighborhood. Then, it was back to bed. At 5:30, the school system called to notify us of a 2 hour delay! At 7:30 the rain started. We were so happy,a bit regretful over not going out to play at 4:10, even for the rain. (We are in a severe drought with water restrictions in place).

We have snowballs in the freezer, as proof that this was not just a dream.

Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dreams of White

Oh what anticipation...the forecast calls for a "possibility" of snow in the morning. Do we dare dream? Could it be so? Ashley has asked for an extra quilt tonight...just in case!

I love it! I actually get butterflies in my stomach thinking that we may have a school delay, or even a cancellation. For this Minnesota Girl, snow is a comfort. I never tire of the thought of it. (The reality is that I do not have to take 40 minutes to get my kids dressed to throw them in a snow bank just to have them cry out after 3 minutes, "Let me in! It's cold out here!" I also do not have to travel with boots, an extra hat and a nutragrain bar in the back seat of my car.) I do remember the fat, fluffy flakes of a Minnesota winter, looking up into the street lamp to see heaven dropping pieces of beauty into the night sky, waking up in the morning to the gorgeous glistening of the sun on the really.

Here in North Carolina, the promise of snow can strike fear in the hearts of those less "experienced." We really are not prepared, as a community, for snow. I, myself, do own two snow shovels and a sled. What can I say, I am an optimist! I also have salt for the sidewalk...and no, it is not Morton's!

Tonight was spent with friends, talking around the table. We all gave our predictions and hopes. Wayne commented on how beautiful our neighborhood looked last year. Everyone's yard looked so good (the snow lasted maybe two hours). We were out there, playing in it, taking it all in.

That is one reason why I love the makes everything beautiful. Even the most dismal of places can become places of beauty. God is so good. His love blankets us. When we see that, when others see that, it is beautiful. God, you are amazing. Thank you for revealing yourself to us through your creation. May I always have eyes to see, and ears to hear, the beauty you have placed around me.

P.S. Lord, we would love to wake up to a blanket of snow.

Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow

Monday, January 14, 2008

Traveling Mercies

I have just returned from meetings in Orlando, Florida.

Prior to leaving, I always try to make sure that my house is clean, laundry done, medical forms signed, etc. etc. When we travel without the kids, I want to make sure to touch base with teachers, leave "love reminders," and talk with my friends about the extra "mommie" hug they can provide.

This trip was no different.

Todd and I are on a regional team for the International DTS Centre, a part of Youth With A Mission. We meet each year to pray and plan, and pray some more, for our mission and specifically the DTS World. Because of our responsibilities, we both traveled to Orlando last week, leaving our kiddos in the charge of a dear friend.

Because we know that the Lord has called us into YWAM, and that He has given us our family, we also know that we can trust Him with all that this calling requires. There really is a grace. Those of you who have walked with us a bit, have seen that grace and mercy, in abundance, from the Lord when Jackson was diagnosed with autism (a later blog will come).

We do not take our parenting responsibilities lightly. Our kids are a part of this calling, this lifestyle that we walk in. We make sure that we are walking out our lives in a way that pleases the Lord, teaching our children His ways while demonstrating the love of Jesus. So, it is important to us that our kids know they are our priority.

What about the kiddos, you ask...

Well, they had an amazing week with Kristina! (a dear friend, member of the family and part of our awesome YWAM-Charlotte staff). Our daily phone calls included updates on nail painting, the latest dance moves, homework assignments, fun movies nights and more. There is always the closing of the phone call, "I love and miss you Mommie!"...the giggling in the background almost leads me to believe that I should not return too quickly, they are having way too much fun!

Here is our itinerary, for those praying for us...

January 8-11/Todd and Vickie/Orlando/IDTSC

January 12-19/Todd/Orlando/Base Leaders Training

January 31-February 8/Todd/Switzerland/IDTSC

February 28-March 3/Vickie/NYC/Jesus4Woman

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Curb Appeal

Well, yesterday was a sad day at Hamewith. Our Christmas tree was taken down. The trunk, and what pine needles remain, now adorn the curb.

This Christmas tree was our best ever (said about our tree every year!) Oh, how we love our fraiser firs...the beautiful smell of pine, the ornaments, from years gone by, gently hanging from the boughs...

Every year our kids get a new ornament, commemorating something from the past year. It was a tradition that my parents did with us (and you thought it was Hallmark's marketing idea). Each year we pull out ornaments and our tree is suddenly filled with memories. The years of French Horn, ornaments from Howard and Marie precious Sunday school teachers (currently in Kenya on a missions trip), Christa Berg's little brass ornament to me the years we we BFFs...

It seems horses and Hello Kitty are well represented these days on our tree.

Someday we will say, "Remember when..." as we look at our tree, have tree light dinners, and sleep under the glow of our tree's lights, taking in each ornamnet and what it means to us...the memories each one evokes.

I think I am a bit sad to pack away the beauty of Christmas and the memories that I hold so dear, and yet...there is no living in the past. Our dear friend, Frank Naea, says that we must walk into the future backwards...seeing where we have come from. (It is really an old Maori saying, it encourages us to look at our heritage as we take on our future. )

So, as I pack up Christmas, I choose to remember the incredible blessings of the past as I enter into this new year. It really is exciting to see how the things those ornamnet represent, have shaped who I am today. God, you are faithful, oh so faithful!