aiming for a quiet life...

here is where i collect my thoughts and count my blessings.

Monday, May 31, 2010

simple treasures are the best

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86. little reminders like this one that we all need to remember to make do with what we have... no man hole cover? Then put something in the hole so that others will be alerted!

87. seeing my favorite color rose in the garden at church

88. Esther-fest Sundays with Steph & Carre!!  As our time here in Russia winds down a few of us are using these last few weeks together to do Beth Moore's  It's Tough Being a Woman study on the book of Esther.

89. learning to let go and trust in the sovereignty of God.
90. notes from friends telling me how my time here in Russia has made a difference in the lives of those around me.
91. fresh strawberries
92. watching little ones playing with their pet lizards
93. finding glimpses of the Spirit in a work of fiction.
94. worship music in Russian
95. my quiet time corner in our bedroom

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wonderful words

Sing them over again to me,
Wonderful words of life,
Let me more of their beauty see,
Wonderful words of life;
Words of life and beauty
Teach me faith and duty.

Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.

Christ, the blessed One, gives to all
Wonderful words of life;
Sinner, list to the loving call,
Wonderful words of life;
All so freely given,
Wooing us to heaven.

Sweetly echo the Gospel call,
Wonderful words of life;
Offer pardon and peace to all,
Wonderful words of life;
Jesus, only Savior,
Sanctify us forever.

This week the words of this Philip P. Bliss hymn have been ringing in my ears. As we pack and say our goodbyes I find comfort in things that will not change. The preciousness of God's Word is one of the anchors in my life.

Monday, May 24, 2010

blessed and amazed

As we prepare to move from Russia to Belize I am constantly being amazed by how detail oriented God is. He has planned and orchestrated this entire process and each step of the way we are able to see and feel His hand of guidance.

holy experience

76. Katya and Alexei buying our apartment. I feel such joy knowing that such a wonderful family will be able to enjoy this space that we have called home for the past five years

77. Lena and Valera buying our appliances large and small. This family of four has missed out each time an American family has had a moving sale. I am glad that she called, came over and has treasures for herself and for her brother, mother and grandmother.

78. the peace that comes when I read the prayer of St. Francis.

79. the daily readers that bring my thoughts in line with God's will.

80. spending time in the Word with Stephanie and Carre.

81. having the Holy Spirit being our comfort as we pack our belongings and say our goodbyes.

82. having friends who listen

83. surviving the teen years... our youngest son just turned 20 this week. It was such a thrill to see our boys become men.

84. the sound of the rain on our apartment window.

85. after giving a plate of cookie dough and four spoons to Megan she says "oh Miss Alida, you are such a great friend!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This Is My Father's World

This is my Father's world, The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world. He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.

Monday, May 17, 2010

wedding blessings

65. Making it back to Krasnodar in time for the Olya and Arustam’s wedding

66. watching Tom walk her down the aisle

67. Olya choosing my birthday for her wedding
68. Anya, a single young woman asking me to dance
69. her telling me that I am graceful
70. Being asked to speak at the reception and wish the young couple well
71. Being able to write out congratulations and well wishes in Russian
72. my camera working
73. Tom being the highest bidder on the first piece of wedding cake.

74.watching a baby play with her mother's necklace

75. being a part of such of an incredible celebration of their 'sacred romance'

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Multitude Monday

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52. sleeping late
53. reading a book recommended by a friend

54. watching Everybody Hates Chris and laughing out loud with my family
55. no matter how many times we take the ferry ride the views are still breathtaking
56. experiencing a rocky beach for the first time

57. finding a blanket/tablecloth in a little store for only 2.50 and enjoying a picnic for one on the beach!
58. meditating on the words to Be Thou My vision
59. having a man older than me address me as 'Miss Alida' brought to mind the fact that moms have been training their children to polite and respectful for generations
60. laughing out loud in real life with real friends
61. hand written Mother’s Day notes with flowers attached

62. holding my passport with my new Russian visa inside and knowing that it represents the prayers of many people being answered.
63. knowing that all that has transpired for us over the past two months were already planned out by God for us to experience and as a friend said "this was not God's Plan B".
64. earrings and bracelet from Spencer…precious gifts for Mother’s day to commemorate our time here in Istanbul

Friday, May 7, 2010

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart,
Naught be all else, save that Thou art,
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my true Word,
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my High Tower
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always.
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Ambling along the road back toward the pier I felt this song welling up within my heart. Remembering that I had the words tucked in my purse from last Sunday’s bulletin I pulled them out to read as I walked. Then I read them again. These words formed a prayer coming from deep within me. 

This hymn was derived from an 8th century Irish folk song and stems from St. Patrick’s defiance of a royal decree by lighting candles. It had been the tradition for High King Logaire of Tara to light a fire beginning a pagan spring festival. It was his order that no one could light a fire before him on this night. Legends says that when Logaire learned of St. Patrick’s arrogance and heard the singing of ‘Be Thou My Vision’, he was so impressed he let him continue services.

For me, this song, my prayer, expresses a deep need for the presence of God in my life, my longing to be one with Him and that He and He alone is enough. He is my High King and my Treasure. My Vision, the Ruler of all.

Monday, May 3, 2010

waiting and counting

We came to Istanbul, Turkey to wait while our Russian visas are being processed.  Due to one setback or another we have now been here for two months.  I have experienced a wide range of emotions during this period and am thankful to be able to find moments in each day that I can truly count as a gift. 

As we wait to find out if we will get our visas this week and make our flight that we have rescheduled for the umpteenth time here is my list for last week:

31. heart to heart talks with my sons
32. neighborhood kids yelling out " Hello!" and "I love you!" in English to us when we walk past them
33. sale at Cinnabon
34. praying with Tom
35. having friends who pray for us
36. all of my brothers and their wives on Facebook
37. finding stationary so that I could write to my mom
38. cashier at Post Office being so kind and quick
39. feeling Nathan’s love when I put on the earrings he gave me
40. Spencer being so attentive and caring on our hiking trip
41. watching Spencer give up his seat to a cute little girl so that she could see out the window with her daddy’s binoculars
42. learning to trust in my son, the sun and The Son
43. the comfort of a well worn hiking path

44. the incredible views when you follow the narrow paths

45. sitting in the warmth of the sun on the ferry ride back to Istanbul
46. having the strength and energy to walk halfway around the island
47. watching the sunset over the Bosphorus Strait

48. smelling the sea air
49. enjoying the time outside in the forest
50. being able to enjoy the moment and the experience that I am having right now
51. ending the day with a Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks

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