Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We're going to Israel!

When Andy, our youth pastor, announced at youth group in March that he's taking a group to Israel the end of June, my heart lurched. That is the one place on the globe I have always had a desire to visit (well, that and the Philippines again). When I heard the cost, reality slapped me silly. But I never lost hope. I would pray, "Lord, You know what has to be done here. There's the money, and there's getting past Kev. And I think Kev is the bigger obstacle here."

A person would drop out here or there, and people would rise up to take their places. There was never any angst or restlessness or impatience. Just always an abiding sense of "If this were to happen for me, it would be so great."

On Mother's Day, after my traditional, beautiful, kid-prepared breakfast, Kev leaned on the bed and asked, "How would you like to go to Israel?" I asked, "How?" I knew a spot was open, and that the cost went down from $2500 to $2100 because of the fundraising that had gone on, but still--that's almost no change at all. He said, "A spot has opened up, and the price is down to $1700 now." One incredible boy donated some of his over-and-above funds so that I could go! Kev had been on the phone for the last two weeks working on seeing how I could go! Bigger obstacle, my eye! I knew this was the 20th seat, the minimum number needed pricewise overall. But I also knew of a 21st seat that Kev knew nothing about. Ryan and Jylle were in the room too, and one of them asked, "Why don't you go too?" I rushed in and told him about that last seat, "It could be for our 25th! We never did anything for it!" You could see the wheels turning as he slowly smiled, considering, and said, "That'd be pretty cool..."

When I was young, I would play this game with God. I called it "Go Ahead and Try." (He is so indulgent to engage us on any level!) It's impossible to outgive God, and this probably sounds loopy, but I found it fun to try. I would call Game On and then venture into some new way of giving, whether it was money, time, or effort. I would envision all the myriad ways He could outgive me, knowing that He never, ever came through in any of those ways. Eventually, He'd execute some coup de grace, and I'd know it was Game Over, and it was always so delightful to see how He came through because it was always a complete surprise, ridiculously clever, and utterly sweet!

In February, I started the game again. Every week, I would give all my coins to the SS offering, no matter how much or how little. I know it's not much, but it's something. If I missed church, I'd just let it add up, and I'd empty it all the next week. Until then, collecting my change was something that would render about $100/year, which I always enjoyed either spending or adding to my savings (I'm always saving toward one thing or another). It dawned on me the day after Kev presented the Israel trip to me that He'd done it again!This is My gift to you. Game over.

Maybe it's an STP thing, but it didn't fully hit me until Sunday that this is really going down. Kev and I are going to Israel! He's so fun too because he says this at some point every day now, "I can't believe we're going to Israel!"

Me too, but WE'RE GOING TO ISRAEL!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

USAFA Graduation at Hand!

Only 10 more days until Brett graduates! Incredible!

Seems like just a year+ ago that I was an emotional pile from having dropped him off and thrown him to the wolves...

My folks will leave on Friday in their motor home with Ryan in tow so that he can share the driving with Dad. The three of us will leave on Saturday and just meet up all together in Colorado Springs.

We have shopping to do in the meantime though since whatever we attend requires dress clothes. I can't believe how okay my Kevin is with all the expenditure--not one word of bemoaning or shade of complaint. But then, he's good at forecasting, so he probably thought all about it already and was braced for this four years ago! He and Ryan need dress slacks, shirts, and ties, and Jylle and I need cocktail dresses, of all things, in addition to sun hats.
They don't allow umbrellas, so I'm looking for a proper sun hat, whatever that is. Can't help but picture "Kentucky Derby." Where do I buy a classy sun hat?!

Sooooo thankful for having lost a little weight so I can fit into some of the pre-heavier clothes I'll be packing now. Less expense, and I just plain feel better. Not being able to taste or smell anything in two weeks has been harder than I thought it might be, but it's like a fast--whenever I feel like complaining, I pray instead, and truly, truly, I have mountains of blessings to thank Him for. Still wondering when the ban will be lifted (I see it as a divine discipline), but without panic or anger. Again, see?--so much to be thankful for!

Buying snacks and planning a couple of lunches are still on the agenda. Working the two days before we leave wasn't smart on my part, but it's an easy gig, and I knew we could use to the money for our big trip next month. Honestly though, whatever we forget or don't have, we can just get down there, right?

Off to try on more clothes. Just wanted to dash off a note while I had time. Kev and Ryan are out horseback riding, and they'll need dinner soon.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

swine, schmine

Wouldn't that be a bit o'news if I DID happen to have swine flu? No documented cases in this state, and yet somehow, never-gets-sick, hardly gets-out, mostly stays-at-home me gets the disease of the year?! Kev keeps reading these little tidbits on it in emails, the news, school flyers, and he always says something like, "Yeah, Cyn, you're right here. You've had all of that." My standard reply is "Tell me how that's any different from regular flu," and there's just a shoulder shrug in response.

The media and the WHO have completely blown this out of proportion--but nobody asks me. Pandemic?! Seriously?! Are they that bored?!

Now, I do NOT believe I have anything more than a standard case of flu-turned-sore throat-turned-hacking cough, but if I did have to have something exotic and related to a pandemic, this is a pretty good one. One consideration of ebola, and I am all over the swine option. Excuse me, the H1N1.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Packed for 2009

Three weeks ago I planted a bunch of vegetable seeds. Being the impatient gardener, I opted to use the seeds I had instead of waiting for the ones that were coming in the mail or buying some new packets in town. Psshaw, old seeds will do fine. I'll just give them some extra water. And horsie poop. Got it covered.

NONE of the beans came up. NONE of the radishes either or the carrots or the cucumbers. Seven snow pea plants sprouted out of about 40. The lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard seeds were only from last year, so they came up pretty well. I'm hoping that doesn't fuel the inner voice of impatience that wants to say, "See, it was mostly fine!"

I reseeded the peas yesterday with the seeds that came just a few days after the initial planting, but I lost three weeks' time because I chose not to wait for the good stuff. Phooey.

Makes me wonder how often I sell out for the "right now" instead of the eventual best.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

new superpower

Sometimes a certain truth will become crystal clear to me. The revelation bursts into being without warning, and I am a comet of joy. Recently I've sensed that I am to keep these things for myself, to ponder them in my heart and not "hurry up and go write them down before I forget them." Immediately I obeyed, immediately came the revelation. Doesn't always work that way, but that's how it went down this time.

I have a couple of friends who are experts at getting me to say things I had no intention of sharing. I think one of the reasons might be that I trust their heart toward me. But another reason is that I hate to disappoint people. That usually doesn't work for me in the end.

Discernment is something We've been working on for most of my adult life. To speak or not to speak. To whom or not to whom. I'm thinking this new Nearness will be the Gift of a lifetime.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

...or something like that

Seems like there should be a word specifically for someone who's more than a friend and more like a sister. I have several of these women in my life, and "friend" just doesn't cut it. One does prefer to call me "Sis," which pitches people into mental fits trying to see how we could truly be sisters when she insists on declaring that we really are--same mother, same father, what's the problem.

Sister-friend? Sounds too much like those extreme Mormons.
Friendster? Sounds like a facebook app.
Soeur-ami? (French.) Sounds like "sore at me"--way off base.
Sorella-amico? (Italian.) Kind of like a quick stop.

I tried Google Translate for "sister of the heart" in Spanish, French, and Italian, but it was all too complicated. I'm looking for something sweet, simple, and accurate. I know the word exists somewhere. Even if it's just in heaven. I'll know it someday. And it'll be perfect.