A Verse Hid in Our Hearts…O is for…
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gatherered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under wings, and you would not!” Matthew 23:37
A Hymn to Impart…“I Am His and He is Mine”
WeekYear Was Spent/
You may have noticed that we’ve gone back to the format from our old blog of including our weekly memory verse and hymn but have dropped the poem and sweet little prayer (a cursory glance at our end-of-the-year stats showed they weren’t drawing many hits, so you weren’t gonna miss them anyway). Well, those aren’t the only changes taking place around here in the New Year, and thanks to a hefty dose of inspiration from my talented sister-in-law over at easygoingorganizer
I’ve decided it’s not too late to start 2014 off right with some reflection and resolution. So here’s my belated count down to the New Year (with a little help from the boys).
10Things To Be Thankful For: the endless delight of a baby in the house; a hardworking husband/dad; technology to shorten the distance between loved ones; good health; disposable diapers and gift cards to purchase them; godly grandparents and aunts and uncles and 17 cousins all being raised in Christian homes with a full time mommy in them (what a blessing!); to which Ti, Joel, Nate and Sam add Christ’s death and resurrection, friends, brothers, and mommy, respectively.
9 New Faces and Places from 2013: Gideon Kai!; all the dear folks at the nursing home our family leads a church service for once or twice a month; the new campus and staff Tom is teaching at/with this year; the many tourists from other parts of the world I get to lead on tours at the church one or two Saturdays a month and share the incredible story of the gospel’s arrival and impact on these islands; the lanai of Hula Daddy’s coffee farm across from Tom’s school where he likes to enjoy a cup of primo joe with new friend and colleague, Frederick Herrmann; to which the boys add new neighbors like 7-year-old Jamon who quickly became one of the gang; and far-away new friends like the Labun family who we met while they were vacationing here from Canada; and favorite new places like the A-frames we’ve rented a couple of times over in Volcano National Park; and the huge attic space off of the boys loft we were finally able to unlock (yay for more storage and play space!).
8Habits Old and New: Kona coffee in the morning; gathering with neighbors on the beach or golf course to watch the sunset each evening; “popping-in” on our elderly neighbor downstairs just to chat (I’m doing this a lot more this year as I am part-time care-giver for her now); I joined a good-old-fashioned-hymn-singing choir last year and after a lengthy “maternity leave” am back at it; plus the new habits of eating healthier and locally-sourced food (and I guess a bit more exercise wouldn’t hurt either); setting aside time for the boys to practice piano (thanks to a sweet neighbor who’s giving them free lessons); and finally, thanks to my inspirational friend over at ihavenogreaterjoy we have developed a new chore schedule that’s working great and we will also continue to pray daily for our neighbors (sometimes we even sneak around at night and do this right outside their doors:) shhhh).
7 New Talents/Skills: Tom acquired quite a few of these with his new duties as swim coach/athletic director; I’m learning to cook new recipes using our rather unusual local ingredients; Titus has gotten really into creative writing so he now has something to illustrate with his great art; Joel just recently started playing chess and now is beating everyone in the house; Nate competed in his first aquathon and rocked the ocean swim; Besides turning out to be an AMAZING big brother, Sam joined his own big brothers on the local hockey team; and little Gideon is rolling over AND getting up on his hands and knees! Look out world!
6Things To Look Forward To In 2014: Uncle Ben and Aunt Danielle coming to visit next month; watching little Gideon grow; spending time with all the family back on the mainland in June; another summer working and playing at Hartland Christian Camp; dare we say coming back to Kona for another year???; and finally, more of His mercies which are new every morning”
5 Points of Prayer Always on Hand:
Tom’s Mom was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma this past year so cancer has now become part of our daily vernacular; the Lord’s saving grace toward our neighbors; His continued work in and through Mokuaikaua Church; all our “senior citizens” who are facing their last years alone in America’s version of elder orphanages; and finally for the continued freedom to bring up our boys in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, because as others have aptly put it, “We’ve seen the village and we don’t want it raising our children!”
4 Lessons Learned: 9 months of misery was TOTALLY worth it! It’s okay for others to be wrong and arguing doesn’t make you more right. Wait on the Lord because he will provide for even the smallest need in His good and perfect time. And finally did I mention the Lord’s timing is good and perfect? I think I really got that one this year.
3 Words To Describe 2013: Chart-topping, challenging, and triumphant.
2 Passions That We’re Doing Something About:
(SOAPBOX ALERT) Our Elder Orphans who are being systematically abandoned to nursing care and even in the church have been deemed irrelevant. Please give these folks the attention, respect, and affection they both deserve and are yearning for. And that includes a proper respect for their customs as well. Which brings me to #2: The preservation of hymns. My heart aches for the older saints in our congregations who have witnessed the trampling of their cherished form of worship. I also ache for the generations of young people who will never know anything of this rich musical heritage. If you are interested in reaching out to the lonely seniors near you and perhaps even ministering to them through familiar hymns and encouraging Bible truths go to www.sonshinesociety.org
1 Verse to Carry Into 2014: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23