Quotes to quibble over:

People that don't know me think I'm shy. People that do know me wish I was...

Monday, December 20, 2010


This is the conversation I woke up to this morning:

Shammah to Leilani: "Good morning, it's time to get up."
Lani: "What are we going to do today?"
Shammah: "We're moving.  That's what we do..."

And that is indeed what we did today.  We are now staying at Chris and Esther's house while they visit their family in Utah.  Their invitation was very graciously extended and very gratefully accepted last week.  Just a couple of days prior to that, this mother hen was worried a bit because all of our kiddos were going to be convening upon us and I didn't know where we'd go, specifically, Christmas morning.

Noah and JD are already here.  They arrived Saturday evening.  We picked them up, grabbed burgers at In-N-Out - official CA burger joint - then took them to Uncle Dave's house where they are staying.  (Their trip was planned before our CA trip.  They planned a fun CA trip to Uncle Dave's over the holidays only to meet with....the fam, already here.  But they don't seem to see this as a negative thing.  They seem to be glad we're here as well.)

Then Grandpa and Grandma (Roy and Laura) arrived today along with Zube and Nazar (one of my all-time most favorite people in the whole wide world-I asked if he could come.) The boys will stay with us.

The grandparents have a hotel room reserved close to Uncle Dave's.  We'll spend some of this week visiting family over there and I'm sure they'll be over here some.  (20-30 minutes drive.)


One day last week I asked Shammah if we could pray, asking God what house we should be at while the boys were here.  Adding two more (for a total of 8) to the RV did not seem like a very good idea.  I didn't see how we could crash back over at Chris and Emily's as the RV didn't fit there very well.  And I didn't see how we could crash over at David and Ari's...as the RV doesn't fit there very well either...and I didn't want to jeopardize their new lease...

Two days after we prayed and asked God where He wanted us to be, Esther called and said she'd got to thinking that maybe we'd want to use her house while our family was in town as they would be in Utah?!  The house would be available the exact days we would need.   (These are the kinds of things I have in mind when I say, "Truly I have known the favor of the Lord.")

We arrived around lunch today and the rest of our TN travelers arrived early this afternoon.  I'm very grateful.     (Thank you Chris and Esther!)

As you sojourn thru this life on your way to heaven (smile) there will be times when you don't know where you are staying next.  Don't fret.  Turn to your Father and ask Him.  He already knows and would like to unfold a beautiful answer to your prayer for you.

I want to end this post with a quote from Aubrey's blog  - this has stayed with me ever since I read it a few days ago:

 "It is easy to think that if you’re going to be a missionary you need to be really spiritual, quick witted, and some kind of a leader... you do need a solid relationship with God to sustain you in tough situtations, but the needs of people are very basic. If you can love all the time, which isn’t always easy, that is pretty much all you need." 

And then you should all read the post, Waves in an Ocean, on Abba's blog.  Here's a teaser:
"After living for over 20 years in a corporate existence and thinking I knew what we would be doing in the future, I am beginning to see a new thought emerge concerning ministry..."

I believe the spiritual repercussions of this post and its content will echo throughout all eternity...uh, not to be dramatic or anything.  Abba is so very good at capturing where we are at times and putting it into words for all to read.  He writes in the first person and while it's his journey and feelings he's writing about, it really speaks for all of us at Rose Creek Village as we together go on with God.  Enjoy!

Oh, our Gathering a few days ago that I asked prayer for -- that'll be my next blog -- along with the street-corner Gathering we attended the next day...to me they go together...

TTFN.  (Learned that from the RCV Sojourners...)

Friday, December 17, 2010


This blog is a continuation of my previous one ("All Quiet on the Western Front") so you might want to read that one first if you haven't already.

So, before you think I'm too balanced, let me tell you about my caper two nights ago.  It was the night of the Victorian Christmas (see Leilani's blog) and we were heading over there in the RV.  When I left you last (my first blog) we were Suburban-less and left to drive the RV everywhere we went.  SO, we were driving the RV.  As we were in traffic it seemed the perfect time to... uh, organize the clothes closet in the hall.  What I was thinking I have no idea - well, obviously, I wasn't thinking.

As you're probably guessing already, Shammah had to hit his brakes unexpectedly and a series of rather unfortunate events took place.

First, I began a (to me) slow-motioned ascent forward toward the front of the RV, trying to grab something to hold on to as I went.  As I passed the kitchen area, Shammah had to brake even more abruptly at which time I began my fast-motioned descent to the floor - face first.  It all happened so fast, so suddenly, that the kids were quite startled.  There lie Mom.  Her face embedded in the carpet.

As I lay there, my brain (aren't brains amazing?! There must have been tons of who knows what kind of chemicals dumped into my bloodstream in that moment causing all kinds of chain reactions and yet my brain took the time to quickly but calmly assess its surroundings and come up with some fairly coherent MOOs -modes of operation- as you will see...no jokes on the "moos")

As I lay there, I registered a corporate intake of breath originating from all four children as they sat there wide-eyed, gawking at their mother.  (I know this because I have eyes in the back of my head - in case you were wondering how I saw them with my face embedded in the carpet.)

Seriously,  I heard their intake of breath and registered the stunned silence and my Motherly Martyr persona kicked in and avouched (rather bravely, I thought), "I'm OK!"  "Really, I'm OK!"  "Don't worry.  I'm fine."  I must have said this reassurance four or five different ways in varying degrees of volume.  I'm not sure who I was trying to convince more - me or the kids.

I peeled myself off the floor and crumpled onto the couch (where I should have been in the first place) and tried to remain quiet as a whole new set of events registered in my brain. The Pain Protagonists had arrived in this unfolding saga and were playing their part rather zealously.  I was one hurtin' puppy.  Mostly in my left knee.

I agonized there on the couch as quietly as I could and waited for my knights in shining armor to arrive -- the Endorphins.  But alas, my knights, like the rest of me - except the Pain Pushers - must be getting old because they SURE TOOK A LONG TIME TO GET THERE!!!

Finally they did arrive and I was able to slip into blissful oblivion for a short while.  (For my younger readers - Endorphins are these really great little guys that your brain sends out when you get hurt.  They block the registering of pain so it doesn't hurt as much.  Unfortunately they don't stick around for very long.)

My knee did swell (swell as in puffed out the size of a small orange - not swell as in terrific) but not as bad as I expected.  Ice, Rescue, and Ibuprofen tended to the repairs.  We ended up parking the RV back where we're staying (parking would have been a problem where we were heading) and so my family climbed into various vans while I stayed at home with the RV.  I'd had quite an adventure of my own already.

It's two days later and while my knee is stiff, I'm walking on it just fine.  I sure learned a lesson.  I will never let people walk around in the RV while it's in motion if I can help it.  For one brief moment I thought I was going to go thru the front windshield.  Fortunately I took a dive downward instead.  Sometimes I just have to learn things the hard way.  (Sometimes?!)

As for the Suburban - it was indeed a transmission problem.  It's been fixed and is now happily back home with us.  We're not as happy as we were as that was a costly repair but hey, why take away from someone else's happiness?  (Are you following all of this?!)

The only thing left to finish fixing is the window on the RV -- sigh -- well, the awning is no longer attached either...I guess I'll save that for another rainy day...

Love you all!  Thanks for reading!

All Quiet on the Western Front

We are cozy, we six, tonight in our RV.  Some are reading, some doing late-night math (they enjoy this!), one folding new sweater purchases, and one typing with great determination to finish a blog tonight.  It's raining outside, adding to our coziness.  The pitter-patters are heard all around and add to the enveloped coziness that surrounds us.

It is not, however, without event.  Shammah may be getting sick.  He had an outbreak of hives earlier this evening and his stomach continues to feel queasy.  He's being a good patient, though, going so far as to drink ginger tea. I prayed for him and now I'll tend to his physical needs as best as I can.  He's had a good day...

He met with the pastor he's been getting to know.  It sounds like they are forging a friendship that will be built on eternal things.  I dearly hope so.  And there was another man there today (I think they met over lunch) who also seemed very interested in listening to things as they ought to be.  :-)

OH RATS! RATS!! RATS!!!!  You're going to think I'm making this up but I'm not.  I just burnt the soup I was heating up for Shammah.  While I was sitting here dreamily trying to capture the beauty of our cozy moment...I burnt his soup.

Sigh.  As is often heard at Rose Creek Village, "You can look good or you can be good, but you can't do both."

AND the wind is starting to pick up.  I'm going to hurry and finish this blog because I thought the title of this post was very clever and I don't want to have to change it!

Shammah met with two men today and they talked about what church is and the route to experiencing it.  At one point the pastor said, "I need to take a week and go see the village."  He seemed "right there" as if he could totally see what Shammah was laboring to describe - which is no small feat.  It is very difficult to describe what we are talking about because the words are so the same as those used by Christianity in general.  And the application of those words is so not the same.

It is equally impressive that a pastor would even look at it, let alone like what he was hearing!  I would expect most pastors to consider the ramifications of living life as a real church too costly to seriously consider actually doing it.  This pastor is apparently not like most.  (My apologies if I am stepping on pastors' toes.  I speak solely from my own experiences and observations-though I've observed countless pastors in America...if you do not fit into my broad sweep, PLEASE let me know.  We would like to meet you!)

Shammah said God was very much in that room when they were talking today.  Things were as clear as he's ever seen them be.  It was as if God, Himself, were drawing virtual 3D models as Shammah spoke for the men to understand.  (OK, I've maybe watched a movie or two too many but you get the picture-no pun intended.  Was that a pun?)

Many, many thanks to all who actually stopped and prayed for that meeting today.  For that is how things are built in this realm, the one I affectionately call, "Our Life."  The same one that was affectionately called, "The Way" 2000 years ago.

A realm others call a cult and who knows what else -- isn't that how it was when Christ walked the earth?  Is that how it is for you?  Didn't He say they would say those same things about you?  I'm just sayin'...

So Shammah came home.  Slept a short while, got up and was immediately besieged with hives.  As they moved up to his stomach area they were particularly painful.  He took Benadryl tablets and that seemed to help.  Now he seems to be battling something else.  Do I put these together with his meeting?  Well, yes, I do.
Do I put the burnt soup in there too?  Well, no.  That was stupidity on my part.  (So now you can see that I'm actually quite balanced.  As opposed to a not-quite-balanced believer of some sort...you, uh, don't look convinced...)

I'm not sure when Shammah will meet with these men again.  I encouraged him to write an update for y'all and I think he'll probably do that tomorrow so watch for that.

Tomorrow night we are hopefully all getting together at David's house at 6 PM our time.  So maybe you could pray for that.  That God would meet us there.  I believe everyone will be there.  It will be the last time we're all together this trip because one couple heads for Utah for the holidays on Sunday.  And then our family will be leaving, heading back to the village on the 27th of this month.  It would be really great to see something come out of tomorrow night's meeting.  I'm not sure what.  Just something!

This officially ends this blog.  I have, however, for those interested in closure, a story and update from my first blog so I'll close this and post another real quick.  (You're not supposed to write posts that are too long...)

See ya soon.  I hope.

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Beginnings...again...

Do you know how many new beginnings I've had in my life?!!

And to do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I'd do it just the same!  For it lead me to where I am today.  Growing up military (yes, go ahead and add "brat" - I resemble that remark ) we moved OFTEN - like every 3 years or less.  And oh, how I HATED to move.  The worst place on earth was always my new destination and the best place on earth was always the place I'd just left.  *sigh*  And, as Brian Regan likes to say (love Brian Regan!) "then one thing led to another..." and here we are.  In an RV.  Moving around.  Again.  :-)

Only now, the best place on earth is still where I just left and the better-than-best place on earth is hopefully wherever I'm heading. For if I'm on the move it's because I've left the best place on earth in hopes of being a part of another best place on earth-and most likely-seeing one begin.  For those that don't know me that well, that will be mystical.  Stick with me and the explanation will unfold (I hope) as these blogs do.

By the way, just like best friends, you get to have as many best places on earth as you have room in your heart for!  (Confessions: I, er, tend to make up the rules as I go along.  I was the oldest child, you see, so I get to do that.  Unfortunately, I also married an oldest child - we're not supposed to get along as well as we do but somebody forgot to tell us that - and it does get, er, dicey when one tries to assert the oldest child trump card on the other...)

Wow.  That digressed.

New Beginnings...again...er, again(!)...

So, after badgering everyone and their dog to start a blog before they left on their various trips around the world (see the section, "Blogs I follow") I've finally stopped being a hypocrite (a point my friends lovingly never pointed out - I wonder if they even noticed? - well, Kitra did.  She spent several nice texts encouraging me to start a blog.  Uh, she noticed I hadn't started a blog.  I don't know if she noticed I was being hypocritical...)

(BTW - "Nothing improves my performance better than praise" - my 8th grade Sunday School teacher gave me a poster with that caption on it for Christmas many moons ago.  It had a cute little kitten sitting on a piano keyboard.  I was totally offended at the time.  Now I laugh because it was and is still, unfortunately, so true!)

So back to Kitty - not the one on the keyboard - the one sending me texts.  She said some really nice things about me and suggested I blog.  If you find yourself enjoying these blogs...thank Kitra.  If, however, you find these a total waste of time...again, thank Kitra.  :-)

So this is a new beginning for me.  I've waited a long time to start a blog because I haven't been able to figure out how to write to such a varied audience.  I do very well looking you in the eye, watching your reactions as I talk.  It's a lot harder when the only thing I see is the continual blinking of a cursor.  I mean, the way I'd phrase something for Cian the Gallant Knight vs. Austin learning to fly with Steve Saint(!) would be completely different...I'd have to use pictures for Austin!  LOL - just joking, Austin.  Hope you get to read my blog.  (Austin will most likely fly the Maverick someday - that's a flying car.  You should check it out on YouTube!)

SO, (BTW, I've noticed people in CA, where I currently am, will randomly begin a conversation with, "so" as if we've already been talking on the subject they are about to begin...just a little random tidbit I threw in there for free.  In case you're ever in CA.  Which I hope you are.  So does Ari.  I think.)

SO, when determining my audience, I'll probably just pick one of you and envision talking to you. If you feel that I'm talking directly to you then there's a good chance I am - unless, of course, you don't like what I'm saying.  In that case, feel free to think I'm talking to the "follower" who signed up right next to you...

Wow.  I wonder if I have any readers left or if you've all clicked away.  OK.  I'm picturing one -- yes you!  You're still reading!  Awesome!  I knew you would be!

So, where to jump in and update you in a screaming fast whirlwind called "my life"- or more accurately - "Our Life!"  Hmm.  Let's do practicals as they're rather dramatic at the moment.

A couple of weeks ago the RV that we're staying in (the "we" includes my hubby and FOUR children - three large and one small) SLID a wee bit on a slanted hill while being backed up and tipped into the corner of a barn.  If you'd like the dramatic play-by-play including pictures on that one see my son's blog. In the end, the only damage done was a shattered side window.  It could have been so much worse.

Note: Janelle, my 15 yr old daughter, took exception to that description of "three large and one small" in that last paragraph...Neither Manu (age 12) nor Leilani (age 8) seemed to mind. Caleb (age 16) immensely enjoyed Nel's reaction...

Then the fridge went out.  And the central heat.  And the water heater.  (Can you say AURGHH?!) - not sure how to spell that.  But to be fair to myself and those with me, we didn't say AURGHH.  Actually, we didn't say anything at all.  We kept pressing on - using electric space heaters and boiling water, storing our fridge stuff at a friend's.  Things like that are just simply going to happen when you're going out as we are.  And besides, we have many people praying for us.  That transfers into a lot of ability for us to take these things in stride as they come.  And besides that, they're all fixable...eventually...

Last week the RV went into the shop for supposedly one day to get those things fixed (minus the window - that's a process) and four days later(!) - we got the RV back. The source of all our troubles? MUD DAUBER nests! They are now all cleared out. The trick is preventing them from taking up residence next summer. Any suggestions?!!

So last week we bounced around a bit -- a couple days at David and Ariel's new house -- see Ari's blog for the latest there -- and a couple of days at a hotel, doing laundry at a laundromat, spending time at coffee shops with computers.  And that brings us up to today.  In an RV park in Auburn, CA, for this week.  Only then...

Then this afternoon I was driving the girls to the post office (mailing fun things back to the best place on earth...) and the Suburban started making the most awful grating sound.  It sounds (and feels) like a transmission problem.  *sigh*

So tomorrow we drop the Suburban off for repair and I guess we'll either get around on foot - we're within walking distance of most everything we'd need, stay put at the RV park-maybe we'll meet someone(!), or drive the RV when we need to go somewhere- LOL.  Hopefully the Suburban will get fixed quicker than the RV.

That's our practical drama.  Gee, it seemed like there was more to tell...ah well.  I should be grateful there's not!

Well, dear reader-you're probably the only one still reading this-thank you!, that's all I'm going to say in this, my very first blog post.  Over the next few blogs I'll tell you more about the people I'm traveling with, people we're meeting here, and various things we're experiencing.

Let me hear from you.  If you have any questions let me know.   Remember, nothing improves my performance better than praise...

Actually, if you're in the mood to praise -- praise the One who makes the Life I live possible!

Truly I have known the Favor of the Lord!  I'll spend as many blogs as I can telling you about it.  :-)