Friday, March 15, 2019

Sweet Memories, Oh so Many Laughs

August 4, 1996: After dinner, Rebecca said, "Mommy, can I show Sarah what pork chops are? She doesn't know." We didn't realize REBECCA knew what pork chops were, but she went and got the "pork chops" --they were chopsticks.

August 9, 1996: Last night Sarah said to me, "Do you know how much I love you? As BIG as the back yard!"

I asked Rebecca to give me a book this morning, and when she handed it to me, she had the attached bookmark hanging out. She said, "Here's your doggy, and here's his chain."

August 12, 1996: A couple times recently Rebecca has admired some clothing of Sarah's. Sarah replies brightly, "When they are too big for me, you can have them, Rebecca."

This evening, Rebecca was trying to twist the stem off of an apple. She was working vigorously, turning again and again, and asked Murray, "Which way do you turn it?"

August 16, 1996: The kids went to VBS at a neighborhood church this week, and they were trying to tell me yesterday how loud the music was. Rebecca said, "Let's say that when a giant talks in a soft voice, it's as loud as when you scream. This music is as loud as the giant screaming."

August 17, 1996: I gave the kids an old mixing bowl to play with. Caleb and Rebecca were pretending they were making a cake. They put a bunch of toys in the bowl, then Rebecca said, "Now, my recipe says, pick it up and shake it!" So she did.

August 18, 1996: Sarah was yelling in the car and Murray was trying to listen to the radio. He finally turned the radio off and said,"Are you done?" Sarah said that she was. Murray asked how he could know she was done. She said, "I'm calming down."

Rebecca was telling on Sarah, and said that "She arched me to go to a place I didn't want to go to." ("urged me")

August 21, 1996: Murray fell off of a stepladder today and was pretty sure he had broken his ankle. As our neighbor took him to the hospital, Rebecca asked Kathy, "Do people die from broken bones?" Kathy assured her that they didn't die, that they might just get a cast. So Rebecca said, "I'm sorry Daddy hurt himself, but it will be very interesting having somebody in our family with a cast."

August 25, 1996: A Bible verse Sarah has memorized says that God saves the crushed in spirit. Last night she was sad and moaning around, and I said I was sorry she wasn't happy. She whispered to me, "I'm crushed in spirit."

When Sarah wants to refer to a little bit of something she says, "A beeney bit."

August 28, 1996: The other day Sarah asked very curiously, "Why doesn't Ping-Hwei like milk? I like milk better than water." We have told her that milk is good for her bones, and she wants to know how the milk gets into her bones. The other day she said she knew how it worked now. She said, "Jesus opens up the bones so the milk can go in, and then He puts them back together again."

September 4, 1996: Last night Rebecca was talking with me about what cats say and what they understand. She asked, "If cats are in China, do they understand what people say to them in Chinese?"

September 9, 1996: This afternoon it was 94 degrees, but this morning, it was 60. Caleb said this morning that he was cold. He said, "I want to wear my mittens."

Sarah knows how to tell if people love Jesus. After our neighbor Terri asked them over to swim in her pool, Sarah said she must love Jesus because she shared her pool with us. When a car stopped for us in a parking lot, she said that person must love Jesus because he didn't run into us.

September 11, 1996: The other day Rebecca asked me what I called the top of a house. I said roof, pronouncing it like boot. She said some people say roof, pronouncing it like book. Caleb said, "I say woof." (He's quite able to pronounce R)

When Sarah is excited about something, like if she finds out she's going to get a surprise, or if she has something she really likes to eat, she often says, "Praise the Lord!"

September 12, 1996: Murray and Sarah went to the Orthopedic Surgeon today, and Murray got a walking cast. Sarah asked him, "How come the doctor just looked and the nurse did all the work?"

Isabella, a little neighbor girl was over to play today. She asked Sarah to tie her shoe, but Sarah told her that she hadn't learned how yet. Sarah brought her in to have me tie her shoe, and Sarah told Isabella, "Blind people can tie shoes."

Friday, March 8, 2019

What an Exciting Week

I had already fallen asleep last Friday night when my husband Murray’s soft voice woke me. “Kathy, your book is on Amazon.”

The only thing I could think to say that night was, “How much does it cost?”

The next day I was giddy. I couldn’t think or talk about anything else.

I’ve barely calmed down.

The first day my daughter Sarah called and said, “Guess what I pre-ordered.”

When I’d tell people about the book, and they’d say, “That’s exciting,” I’d say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”

Here is the link to pre-order my book for release on April second:

The print version of the Matthew devotional I had the opportunity to be a part of also became available this week. Here is the link:

I’m going to be a guest on several other writers’ blogs over the next couple of weeks. Please check these out and see what else these wonderful people have to offer:

March 12 or 13:

Psalm 136:1: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Friday, March 1, 2019

New Mercies Every Morning

Lamentations 3: 21-23:
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.

For many years I have clung to this passage. God’s mercies are new every morning. When I stumble, and I do often, God forgives me again and again as I try to turn from sin.

But this week, I was reminded of another meaning from these verses.

God helps me get up and try again every day.

I had a writing job I needed to finish this week. One day as I thought about it, I felt incapable. Stupid. Depressed. I wanted to go to bed in the middle of the day and not get up until tomorrow.

I thank God that he didn’t let depression win this battle. I didn’t go to bed in the middle of the day.

But I also didn’t work on that job. I worked on other things, planning to try that particular task again tomorrow.

And the next day, I was able to do it. I finished the job, and I even felt happy with it.

I’m not saying it’s always a good idea to put off something that needs to be done till another day, but this time it worked well for me.

God gave me the energy and ability, the calm and concentration, to accomplish my work in the new morning. His mercy surrounded me and held me up. That’s a hope I can reach for every day.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Bodie and Brock thoene, gifted Authors

As I’ve studied writing, I’ve heard that writers should stick to one genre. Someone forgot to tell Bodie and Brock Thoene that.

Okay, I guess their genre could be considered historical fiction, but history of what? First Century Jerusalem, twentieth century Jerusalem, World War I, World War II, the American Depression, American West in the 1800s, Ireland in the 1800s. Am I missing anything?

Included with the excellent history is fast-moving suspense, family love and struggles, romance, people helping strangers, characters a reader will care about.

From a beautiful description of the birth of a calf which is threatening to kill both the mother and baby, to a home being opened to feed refugees, to elegant symphonies and elaborate parties. From TV type fast-paced drama, to the sense of screen-play type music playing in the background as the excitement and terror occur, to the truth and horror of war.

And always the gentle love of Jesus.

I’ve read so many of the Thoenes’ books, but not all yet. I’m glad I still have more to read, and I’ve already reread some favorites.

I’ve always enjoyed reading stories about World War II, and the Thoenes’ “Zion Chronicles” series about this time is definitely my favorite. This includes stories from Germany to France to England to Jerusalem to Poland and more. But I enjoy all the variety of their wonderful stories. I highly recommend these excellent authors.

Friday, February 15, 2019

My Best Valentine gift

For many years, I thought what most attracted Murray and me to each other, was that as two lonely people, we each suddenly found someone who seemed to like us—and we snatched each other up. Now I believe God created Murray just for me, my special Valentine gift.

God knew just who I’d need to help me through life. We’ve been married for 31 years, and Murray has stood by me through a lot. Disabilities and injury and illness. Job struggles and graduate school. Raising five children. Disappointments and fears and sorrows.

Almost every day Murray says to me, “I can’t believe how happy I am with you.” And I can sometimes hardly catch my breath when I think of how precious he is to me.

Certainly we haven’t always found it easy to be married to each other. Besides all the challenges we faced together, we are two very different people who often don’t agree. We have vastly different opinions about things and enjoy many differing pastimes.

But God has held us together, picked us up, and day by day has taught us how to make this gift of marriage work.

I know most marriages have a lot of these kinds of things, but this is mine.

When we started 31 years ago, as two lonely people, we had no idea what we’d face, and how we’d pull through. I am so grateful to have had Murray to walk through all this with.

Someone once said to me, “He makes you laugh.”

We have so much fun together. We laugh all the time. Even when we’re grumpy with each other, we laugh and talk about how we’re only going to be grumpier as we get older.

We like doing crossword puzzles. On car rides, we enjoy listening to books together. We listen to old record albums, working to find ones we both like. It’s so much fun just driving around town together doing errands.

I’m not sure why he likes being with me, but he says he does. And he is such a friend and love to me. I look forward to what lies ahead of us.

Thank You Father for my special Valentine gift.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Psalm 119:65 to 72 Teth

ט Teth
Do good to your servant according to your word, Lord.
Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

Father, teach me to have the confidence of my relationship with you to ask you to be good to me. Help me to treasure your word more than anything grand the world has to offer. I want to delight in you.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sweet Memories, I Got Some good Laughs Today

June 24, 1996: In Sunday school yesterday, the kids made little scrolls. When Sarah came to sit by me in the auditorium, she showed it to me and said, "Look, I have a squirrel!"

June 27, 1996: Yesterday Sarah told me that she was drying off in the bathroom after her shower, and Daddy turned off the light on her. And she told me, "But I wasn't mad, because it was a sorry mistake."

July 3, 1996: This morning, Caleb did something I'd told him not to do, and I said if he did it again, I'd spank him and send him to bed. Rebecca asked, "How can you spank him and send him to bed when he looks so sad?"

July 4, 1996: At supper, Caleb asked, "Mommy, what would happen if we went into our tummies?" I said I didn't even know how to go about doing that. He said, "Just put our feet up into our mouths," and Murray said then we could swallow ourselves whole.

Murray and the kids were watching fireworks tonight, and Murray said Rebecca said, "If one of them went way up into the sky, God could make it into a star if He wanted to."

Sarah came in before the others did from watching and said, "The neighbors had firecrackers, and they were real loud, and I was scared one would bonk down on my head."

July 8, 1996: This morning, I heard Rebecca say to Sarah, "If your eyelid comes off, you won't be able to sleep."

At breakfast Sarah started crying, and told me sadly, "I put some biscuit in my mouth, and I bit the tall finger on my right hand."

The other day Sarah took my hand and put it on the front part of her neck and said, "Feel the sound coming out of my throat when I talk."She's been thrilled with that whole concept ever since.

July 11, 1996: I was hugging Sarah yesterday and said she was my girl. She asked if I would keep her forever, and I said I'd keep her as long as she wanted me to. She said, "That will be a long time, because I'm just four years old."(She didn’t know how quick that time would go by. Neither did I.)

July 15, 1996: The other day Rebecca was taking Caleb's picture with the toy camera, and she said, "Smile wide, and stick out your tongue."

July 18, 1996: Sarah's lip was bleeding today, where it had been frozen to remove warts. Murray was hugging her this evening, and said, "What is the name of your lip?" She said, "Mean Boy, because it was bleeding all over."

July 19, 1996: Sarah came in while I was taking a nap this afternoon, and said, "What if when I get married, my husband doesn't love Jesus?" I said it would probably be better if she made sure to marry someone who loves Jesus. She said, "I hope Jesus gives me a good husband."

July 20, 1996: Sarah was teasing Murray, saying he didn't love Jesus. Murray said that, no, he didn't, and Sarah yelled, "Yes you do! And I love him. He's my Savior, and when I go to heaven he's going to pick me up."

July 21, 1996: At lunch Sarah said something to Caleb and he smiled at her. Before she went on talking, she laughed and said, "Big smile."

July 24, 1996: Yesterday Sarah asked why our grocery store has RamenNoodles, since they're Chinese food. Ping-Hwei loves them. She asked if Jesus put them there because He knew Ping-Hwei was going to be adopted by us. (Ping-Hwei had just joined our family that June.)

This morning Sarah asked me if she could do something, and I said no. She said, "I wish you were a nicer Mommy than this."

July 26, 1996: This morning Sarah told me indignantly, "Mommy, when I kicked Rebecca, she kicked me back."

July 30, 1996: Yesterday, our friend Bill captured a wasp nest in our yard, killed the little varmints, and put them all in a pickle jar. Then when he brought them inside, the kids were looking at them, and someone said something like that they were gross or scary or something, and Rebecca said, "But very interesting."

August 3, 1996: Caleb remains a mobility genius. We were on Pawnee Road, about two blocks from home. He said, "Oh, good, we're almost home!" Murray asked how he knew we were almost home. Caleb said,"We went over that bump in the road."