Into the Countdown Now!

I am writing this Monday morning, May 3. We get the keys Friday morning the 7th and close that afternoon! Then the adult kids and grandchildren help us start to move in.

Whew! so much work getting to this point. And SO much work yet to be done. Just realized I should also move the houseplants on Saturday along with the plants we hope to plant outdoors once they lay sod and define our flower beds.

Bob and I have been trying to rest as much as we can knowing this adventure will zap our strength once the adrenaline wears off! He is at the bank now arranging the wire transfer for our closing costs and partial payment. He was on the phone this morning about arranging garbage pick up and turning water to our name on Friday. His next call will be to the power company.

And yep, there is always something to go wrong. Looking under the new bathroom sink yesterday I found a small leak. Praying they repair that early this morning.

The tile work is underway in master bath, but not grouted or finished yet.

Oh tile man please finish my shower!

I finally got to see the flooring without cardboard over it. This is the view from the front door looking towards the sliding glass door. It had just been mopped, so no, it is not really shiny. And look! I got my brown front door instead of black 🙂

The screen door for the slider is torn. There is a lump in the guest room window sill they will sand down and redo.

Meanwhile Siesta Drive is becoming a box maze! Neither one of us is allowed to ask “Where is …?”

So pray for us to keep our sense of humor and patience, especially with each other! Pray for safety for all those involved with moving our “stuff.”

We are so grateful for our many blessings. I saw a sign at Hobby Lobby that said “Crazy Blessed.” Yep! that’s me.

Influencer

Can you call to mind people who have impacted your life in simple ways? Do you remember how they showed their faith? What do you recall about them?

When as an adult, I first had an intense experience with the Risen Christ, the priest at the Episcopal church did not know quite what to do with me. He did know who to refer me to though! Mary Dirkse quickly became my spiritual mom. My birth mother had already died. In fact, grief over that loss is what sent me to the Lord, seeking His comfort as I anguished over missing her.

Blessed are those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

Mary did simple things for me. She would listen to my woes without correcting me or throwing out trite sayings into my tumult of grief. When I became pregnant with our son I was So Very Nauseous the entire nine months. Mary would fix me an egg, cooked thoroughly, put it on buttered toast and urge me to try to eat. Her fixings always stayed down. After the delivery of my first child I was nervous and frightened about climbing onto the delivery table for another C-Section, wide awake. Mary and others prayed me through the experience. To this day she continues to pray for our son.

When I was eager for more of Jesus, she took me to a Women’s Aglow meeting. I continued going to those monthly meetings for ten years, eventually holding some of the offices to keep the local meeting afloat and operating smoothly. I met many Spirit filled women who inspired me to surrender myself to Jesus.

When Mary moved from Ohio to Wisconsin I was so saddened. After her husband passed she moved to Washington state to be with her children. Mary SHOWED me the love of Jesus. She would play her zither and sing worship songs with me. I was enchanted. Mary simply loved God and was willing to share that love in any way the Lord required.

We often shared the parallels of raising toddlers and teenagers. So much alike, yet so different in size, language and body maintenance.

Who has the Lord sent into your life to influence, guide, encourage and show the ways of Christ? I hope you have someone to nurture as Mary nurtured me. If you are not nurturing anyone, ask God who He might like you to reach out to with His light and love. Yes, she lives very far away now. We do try to email and share cards on occasion.

Mary, if you are reading this, I have no more words except thank you from the bottom of my heart for your inspiration, guidance and continued intercession. You certainly pulled a grieving young woman from the waters of sin and confusion. May the Lord bless you abundantly for the multitude of ways you have served Him during your long and fruitful life. I love you.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Titus 2:3-5

Hey, Mom?

The kids were sitting at the dining room table doing their homework. I was standing at the kitchen sink, doing dishes and singing aloud in my prayer language.

Suddenly Jeff asks, “Hey, Mom? Is that how you sing in cursive?” I answered, “Yes, I guess so!”

“So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.” 1 Corinthians 14:15 NIV

In some respects I did okay raising our children. In many respects, I failed raising our children for Paul goes on to write in 1 Corinthians 14:16-17

Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified. 1 Corinthians 14:16-17 NIV

I did not realize at the time that I should have prayed for and then sang out the interpretation. I was simply at the sink worshiping.

May the Lord lead and guide our now adult children to a deep fulfilling walk with Him. Perhaps by my examples I did expose them to helpful cues for their journey.

Ellie

Seven years ago Ellie was ill one day when her parents both had to go into work. My daughter asked if she could some sleep on our sofa. We said certainly. She inspired this prayer poem.

Watching Ellie Sleep© 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

As I sit here watching you sleep, 
my heart melts 
you are so sick 
not even wanting anything to drink
so ill you cannot stay awake

Eyelids that dark shade
that declares you are unwell
your lovely long eyelashes 
are enchanting
just like your mother’s were

I just want to make you well
though I know I cannot 
you sleep on
under your olive-green throw
and I pray over you
 
That Christ will heal you,
that there be no long lasting effects 
of whatever ails you.
Rest, my dear Ellie, 
and be made whole.

Eleanor Grace

My middle Grandgirl is a darling girl. As a very young child she was a handful, at times VERY difficult to cope with. (Would love to post her young pouting photo here, but the older ones are packed away.) As she grew older she has become more and more pleasant and extremely kind.

I have always wanted to pass along my faith to my grandchildren. Difficult to know how to impart that without disrupting family dynamics. St Francis said, “Preach always. Use words if necessary.” Nicole C. Mullen was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She published this song in 2000. She speaks truth about God’s children. Hebrews 1:14 says “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

I often sang this as a prayer for my children and grandchildren to know God. One person said they would each learn by watching how Bob and I live our lives. Before middle school each Grandchild knew we loved Jesus and live for Him.

The oldest Grandgirl, Lizzie, blessed me when she went to Christian Camp in 1994 when she was in Middle School and got baptized. Her Mom invited Bob and I show up at the pool for the event! I was so tickled.

At Christmas this year our second Grandgirl, who has never liked jewelry, was wearing two necklaces. I knew she and her Mom had bought one together a few months earlier. The necklaces were inside her sweater. I asked her if it was the necklace that she and her Mom both wear. She said yes, and showed me the other one she was wearing. It was a tasteful gold cross. I was stunned. When I found my words I invited her to come into the living room with me alone. Through our masks I asked her about her cross necklace.

She said, “Mommy bought it for me.” I asked if that was a piece of fashion jewelry or if it meant more to her than that. Put on the spot, she stammered, “Well, you know, Jesus.” I refrained from jumping up and down! I told her I was so glad she believes in Him. I asked her if she would like me to get her a Bible and underline my favorite verses. She said yes, her eyes twinkling.

Many years ago I got frustrated with the concordance in the back of my Bible. I decided to make my own concordance, gathering up all the verses with special meaning to me. That is my major remaining project before we move. Marking two New Testaments for the Grandgirls to have as their own with my favorite verses highlighted.

They have their own angels assigned to them now. I am beyond delighted. It was a Christmas surprise I continue to rejoice over!

PNR

Wikipedia says “Burn the ships”  means the ‘point of no return (PNR or PONR) is the point beyond which one must continue on one’s current course of action because turning back is dangerous, physically impossible or difficult.’  October of 2018 For King and Country released a song called Burn the Ships. You can listen to it here:

Jesus spoke about leaving things behind, forsaking people and things in Luke 14:25-27.

Many people were traveling with Jesus. He said to them, “If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower. You must love me more than your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—even more than your own life! Whoever will not carry the cross that is given to them when they follow me cannot be my follower.”

Easy Reader Version

We must love Him MORE THAN anything and anyone else we know and love. In 1982 I wrote We Must Go On © Molly Lin Dutina 3-15-82

It doesn't matter.
We must go on.
If they won't come with us,
we must go on.
Pressing together
into the Kingdom.
We must go on.
Our Master Calls.

We can try to tell them,
but we must go on.
Can't let earth hold us back
we must go on.
The Father soon will speak,
Jesus will come.
It doesn't matter
we must go on.

If we feel hurt and loss
we must remember:
the Father works 
for their salvation
every hour of every day.
We must obey - we must go on.

Burn the ships, forsaking all others, follow Christ. It still applies today!

  

Language Humor 3

When was the last time you ate Basketti?

When I was a nanny one child I kept used to rub the sauce in her eyes every time we served it to her! Yuck. I would think that would burn her eyes! That habit required a head bath after lunch in the kitchen sink while she laid upon the kitchen counter!

Have you played with a babbloony lately? Kate loved them!

When Emily was small she used to sing, lots! One of her favorites was “Hallelujah to the Wham!” Yep, the Lamb was Jesus. I loved that! Always reminded me that Almighty Jesus packs a punch!

Jay Died in His Sleep

My mom always said that was what she wanted. She too, died in her sleep. That is another story altogether.

Jay was actually Joseph M. Lerant, my best friend’s older brother. He was a type 1 diabetic. He survived the COVID 19 outbreak in the nursing home. He was 73 when he died on February 17, 2021. You see February 22 was Jay’s funeral service. He was only three years older than me. And he has “gone to his reward.” He was something of a miracle man in that he had juvenile Type 1 diabetes, yet lived to 73 with all of his limbs in tact. There was a pesky wound on his heal that refused to heal. Perhaps it was talk of amputating that foot that led him to loose his grip on life.

One of my first introductions to classical music was when I heard him practicing and learning to play the following on the upright piano in their dining room.

https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=21EU31SqQEg&feature=share

And then there was this one.

https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=UXtmcQCgSgc&feature=share

Oh goodness. I am about to cry. He would tease his sister Dana and me mercilessly. He gave us nicknames. The three of us took silly photos together when I got hold of a camera once.

When he advanced to this piece I was mesmerized by the music. His hands flying over the keys as he practiced. Not Grandma Snapp’s piano hymns.

https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=zucBfXpCA6s&feature=share

One time when I “was invited over” for dinner Jay’s details of the anatomy of a chicken almost made me ‘barf.’ He nicknamed his mother’s favorite tea “constant vomit,” instead of Constant Comment.

He had an amazing brain. He could remember not only conversations, where you were going when it took place, but the date and usually the time. Often he recalled the weather that day and perhaps what you were wearing.

Jay was the first person I knew who went to a counselor regularly. His sharing of that experience was a generous gift. I have now seen my share of counselors.

May he rest in peace in the Presence of our Resurrected Lord and Savior.

St. Ignatius prayed, ““Wherever Your glory be best served, whenever, however; there, then, and in that state let me Your servant be; only hide not from me Your divine love.”

Rhythm or Melody?

Grandma Snapp played the piano most of her life. My Grandfather was a preacher. Grandma played the piano. My mother, their only daughter for 21 years, was made to lead the hymns standing on a soapbox.

In her last years Grandma Snapp drummed her fingers on the table. That made my mother crazy! I always imagined she was perhaps playing part of a piano piece?

When I turned 65, I found myself unconsciously drumming a rhythm with my fingers. When I realized what I was doing I wondered, do I do it because Grandma did? Is it hereditary? I am not a pianist. The rhythm seems comforting.

iPhone will let you set your vibration signal. I have mine set for incoming calls. Guess how I set mine? Yep, same rhythm! Find it under ringtone, custom vibration.