Tag Archives: grandgirlies

Resume Update

We will not hide these truths from our children;

    we will tell the next generation

about the glorious deeds of the Lord,

    about his power and his mighty wonders.

Psalm 78:4 (NLT)

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A chapter closed this week and I pulled out my resume to update it. As I scrolled down the page listing activities, accomplishments, and positions, memories flooded my mind.

I received Christ as my Savior when I was nine years old and had a camp counselor that encouraged me to be and do all that God would have for me. I always wanted to make a difference and chose to participate in areas where that would be possible. The needs of my children, community, church, and nation called out for my help. And I answered with a YES.  My mother used to say, “A thing worth doing is worth doing well,” and I endeavored to follow her advice.

Yes, my resume has some impressive entries but the final line is the most important and says it all — Married to Mark Blumberg. Two children and five granddaughters.

So why do I update my resume? Maybe, one day one of those grandgirlies will find it interesting to read and discover that Nana had a life of purpose and position. But what I want them to remember most, is that Nana loved God, leaned on Him in difficult times, always believed in hope, and loved them with all her heart.

A resume is only a snapshot of fading achievements, but a legacy of love will last for generations.

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I Love A Parade

But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God…Deuteronomy 1:32 (NLT)

CARTOON PARADE OF CHILDREN-ILLUSTRATIONThe children of Israel were a stubborn lot. A trip that should have taken eleven days took forty years. The verse continues with, “…who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.”

They lost the opportunity to start a new life of freedom and abundance because of their fear, bickering, and disobedience. God was there to guide them both day and night, yet they still refused to cooperate. And, yes, they suffered the consequences.

How many times do we complain to God about the circumstances of our life? As I look back over the last few years, I see the hand of God in so many ways. Whether the months were filled with joy due to a graduation or birth of a grandgirlie or months of pain and anguish in the shadow of the pit of depression or vision loss, God held the flashlight on my path so that I could see the next step.

I don’t want my legacy to be that I refused to trust God and failed to make the grand parade into the Promised Land. I want my grandgirlies to know that Nana believed God and had faith and trust in His goodness and guidance.

Join me in the Trust Parade…it will be glorious!

 

 

 

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Give Thanks

In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (AMP)02a2c1101775ac03e45df4dea4788910

It is quiet. Not the normal quiet of my early morning latte and devotions. Not the quiet felt before the storm. Quiet.

There is no turkey in the refrigerator, no cans stacked on the counter, no tantalizing aromas, no company in the guest room. There are no fresh mums on the table, however, the house has been decorated for Fall since September. There are no lists of to-do’s and when to-do. Why? Because we are going out to dinner with friends tomorrow. It has been that kind of year.

Quiet.

Yet, it gives me time and space to think about this last year and all that God has done for me.

It was not an easy year. Two cataract surgeries, one hand surgery, and multiple shots in my eyes.

No exotic trips to far-off places (not sure I would want to go there right now, anyway). But trips to see littles and have grandgirlies’ visit are all that I needed.

The older I get, the more I appreciate people over things.

God has given me many blessings this year:

  • A husband who loves me, encourages me, helps me
  • Children who love me, love each other, love their spouses, and love God
  • A renewed and warm relationship with my daughter-in-law
  • The lights of my life—five grandgirlies—who bring me such joy
  • My dear prayer partner who listens to my heart and prays for me and I for her
  • Enduring  and encouraging friendships with women all over the US
  • Mentoring precious moms in MOPS
  • Celebrating my 50th High School Reunion (I can’t be that old!)
  • Good vision rather than looking at life through wax paper
  • Digital technology which allowed me to read my Bible, books, blogs, news with my iPad
  • The glory and grandeur of the Grand Canyon including a fun train ride
  • Enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes, and beauty of Tucson through the eyes of my grandgirlies
  • Medical technology to paste me back together
  • A home and wonderful neighbors in the gorgeous setting of the Catalina Mountains
  • A church family that has experienced many changes but remains true to God’s Word and a light in this dark world
  • And so many more than I can possibly remember…

Yes, in everything…give thanks.

GRACE has been my word this year. Jesus has given me so much more than I deserve and to Him be all praise and glory. Thank you.

 

 

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Back to School

Get all the advice and instruction you can,

    so you will be wise the rest of your life.

Proverbs 19:20 (NLT)

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School begins so much earlier than when I was a child. The day after Labor Day was always the beginning of the year but the calendar has been adjusted to accommodate weather, holidays, and finals. The lazy days of summer are over for my grandgirlies.

My mother was always a student, maybe because she was a teacher. I had a great example as she took sewing lessons, needlepoint, cooking, organ, golf, Bible study, to name a few, well into her seventies. It was as natural as breathing to her.

Fall indicates a new start for me— a new season for Bible Study, choir, MOPS, and I’m ready to get going. I’ve taken my share of classes but Mom has me beat. Yet, I’m always curious, ever a reader, looking for the “why” of things, wanting to know more of God and His wisdom.

Speaking of seasons, I have the luxury to choose the activities I want to do since I’m in that Fall season of life. But for some, young children, busy work schedules, demanding deadlines, family responsibilities, financial burdens…keep the wheel spinning—often faster than we like.

My encouragement to you is to take some time to listen to the Master so that in all the “doing,” you are “being.” Your heart and soul will be at rest and life will be full of joy and not stuff. That is wisdom.

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All Out

Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.

I Timothy 4:8-10 (The Message)

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Grandgirlie #2, Tori, loves cheerleading. What started as an invitation  by a friend to participate in an after-school activity has taken on a life of its own.

I never knew much about cheerleading, at any age, because I was the nerd. I tried out for Drill Team in High School and was politely told, “No.” So I ran for Student Body Office.

But the discipline necessary to be good at cheerleading is amazing. Tori can do things with her body that I can only imagine. She works off-season to develop her tumbling skills. Once or twice a week, she fits in practices after school around homework. She is dedicated. And it shows.

This weekend I sat glued to my computer as the Christian Cheer Nationals streamed from Winston-Salem, NC. Tori and her teammates have attended this competition  for the last four years and are highly skilled young people.

The big moment — announcing the National Champions — seemed to take forever. And last night, we didn’t win. We always win. (You notice I said “we.”)

Mel and I were texting back and forth after the announcement and she summed it all up with:

“But the girls did awesome and the best they could.”

That is all anyone could ask. The coaches. The moms. The other teammates. They gave it their best.

Our days need that same discipline for life — the ultimate competition. We can’t afford to be lazy or the Enemy will defeat us every time. God has given us every tool that we need:

  • His Word — the rulebook
  • His Son — our Coach and Guide
  • His Holy Spirit — the one who helps us endure
  • And each other to spur us on

We must strive, train, and practice long hours before the critical moment so that we can do it and win the grand prize.

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 

1 Corinthians 9:25 (NLT)

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Discipline

To discipline a child produces wisdom,

    but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind

    and will make your heart glad.

Proverbs 29:15,17 (NLT)

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I love being a grandmother because I’m able to enjoy all the fun things with my grandgirlies without having to deal with the hard stuff. And my world has lots of girlies — from teenagers to toddlers. I am also a Mentor Mom at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers.)  Discipline is a fact of life.

While FaceTiming with the “littles” yesterday, Eleanor, the 4yo, was happily playing with a set of plastic cones, stacking them up, and chatting as we talked and watched. She is the first born and has a correct way to do most things.

Enter Sabrina, the 2yo and baby, who literally bounces from one thing to another. As she bounces past Eleanor, she grabs one of the cones—just because she can—and hightails it to the other side of the couch.

Wailing and gnashing of teeth tumble from Eleanor in a flurry of words and tears. Sabrina appears impervious to it all.

Enter Daddy (Now, Daddy is my son, so it’s interesting to watch the discipline scenario.) He is sitting on the couch between the girls.

In an effort to hear Eleanor’s frustration with her little sister, yet gently reprimand Sabrina for her unkindness, he disciplines them with his words in a way that affirms both (Mommy is quietly coaching in the background.)

Children are not born with self-control. That disappeared in the Garden when sin entered the world. Parents are God’s messengers to this sometimes, unruly world of growing up. It’s not easy, often messy, but so necessary.

Proverbs frequently mentions fools and compares them to the prudent. We want to raise wise, well-behaved, prudent children. Keep it up.

The father of godly children has cause for joy.

    What a pleasure to have children who are wise.

Proverbs 23:24 (NLT)

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Emoticons or Emotions

Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5: 14 (NLT)

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Beth Moore recently celebrated twenty years of writing and publishing Bible Studies for women that include a workbook and video. My first study was about 12 years ago, in a small group with just the workbook. We didn’t even know she had an accompanying video.

After moving to Arizona, I attended the complete study on Daniel and it has been a “love affair” ever since. She speaks my language. I learn something new every time.

I’m currently studying Children of the Day — 1 & 2 Thessalonians. This weeks lesson had some thought-provoking questions. Beth stated,”The social ethics of our culture have turned the way we communicate inside out.”

I called my daughter and we started talking about social media and its effects.There is no doubt that our culture and communication has changed dramatically. We mentioned some of the things that are standards for our particular generations that we don’t even question: microwaves, records, cell phones, cassette players, Walkman, TV remotes. It will be so different for my grandgirlies.

I started pondering what our communication looks like today. Valentine’s Day has passed and I realized that texting and smiley face emoticons were just not cutting it for me, even though the cards had been mailed and received. Hearing voices and listening to words, seeing faces and sharing emotions are becoming a lost art. I wanted to talk to the girls.

No one loves technology more than I do, but there is something sweet and tender about a written thank you note or that phone call or FaceTime strictly to say “I love you and miss you.”

Life is busy and technology allows us to stay connected. But true closeness carries risk. It’s easier to send an email or text.  However, to have the trust and freedom to challenge or encourage a friend requires personal communication and interaction.

Something to think about.

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Precious

Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and I love you, I will give people in exchange for you and nations instead of your life.

Isaiah 43:4 (HCSB)5cd4d1108fa0dc4a220d8f48482c6ccc

Precious is not a word that we use often and it seems to be more suitable for some things rather than others. It also has regional connotations—just ask Mark and Beth Moore; Precious — This term is used by Southern ladies to pay a high compliment such as, “She looks just precious in her new rodeo outfit.” Precious is often used interchangeably with darlin’ and lovely, however beware when Southern ladies call someone or something “nice” or “cute” as these terms are usually only used to appear complimentary when they’re actually being tacky.

My grandgirlies are precious to me. Certain stones are called precious stones because of their value. Adorable animals often warrant such praise. Occasionally, a family heirloom might be considered precious due to its worth and age.

I had a stormy relationship with my father over the years. He was strict and had high expectations. He was not given to praise or verbal expressions of love, something I desired. My mother died several years ago and as only God could plan, Dad became dependent on me in his last days. I think it was a surprise to both of us as we came to appreciate each other.

Little did I know that he only had a couple of days left on this earth when we decided to make a quick trip home to check on things. As I leaned over his bed, he looked up at me and said, “You are so precious to me.” What a gift! Nothing else needed to be said.

God is saying the same thing about you and me every day of our lives. He will do whatever is necessary to show us His love. We are precious in His eyes. Unearned, freely given. What a gift!

When you look in your mirror, remember that you are a daughter of the Most High God, precious in His sight.

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Control

Yes, indeed—God is my salvation.
    I trust, I won’t be afraid.
God—yes God!—is my strength and song,
    best of all, my salvation!

Isaiah 12:2 (The Message)

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Have you checked the news lately? Don’t. It’s not good. I tease my daughter about putting her head in the sand because she never checks. I think because I’m a news junkie, I’ve ruined her. But last week, I spent a few days with my youngest grandgirlies and had a news blackout. They are 3 1/2 and 18 months and the only TV they watch is Clifford, The Big Red Dog. It was kinda nice to miss the mess and not be scared or worried.

But, fear is almost innate. Eleanor, the older of the two, has had quite a summer — moving from California to Maryland. New house, new room, new friends, new church, new grocery story, new library. But in all this newness, she has become afraid. “I’m scared,” is the latest  refrain from her. And rationalizing with her, really doesn’t help much.

As I thought about it, I realized that fear often comes from a loss of control. She is a child that runs well on structure and schedule. But it has all changed. As each day passes and the new experiences are pleasant, she will begin to feel safe. trusting that her parents know what is best and are there to protect her.

Our world is upside down. The terror of the horrendous acts going on in the Middle East make me wonder what kind of a world these grandgirlies will grow up in. And the worst part is that I can do nothing about it.

Control.

On the way home, there was a terrible storm over Dallas and all the planes were delayed for hours. Of course, I had a connection in Dallas and fretted that I would miss it and spend the night in the airport. I could have gotten myself all worked up over it, but then I remembered the One who is really in control — of the weather, the connection, and my safe arrival. A sense of peace took over. Whatever happened would be His plan. Thankfully, the connection was also delayed and eventually, I walked into my house at 3 AM. (Poor Mark was my taxi driver.) Thank you, God.

No, we really have no control over any of these world events. But we know the Controller. Trust Him. He will save us and He has good things planned for us.

 

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Courage

 

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

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Ebola. Israel. Hamas. Iraq. Ukraine. Crashes. Elections. Obama. Entitlement. Securities. Border.

These are not four letter words but they may cause sleepless nights and fear of the future. Our world is changing and not for the better.

Our pastor prays each Sunday for the elected leaders of our country and state, as commanded — regardless of party or persuasion. But we are headed to a new emphasis on warfare prayer in the sermon series because he is convinced that we need a Third Great Awakening as the only hope for America.

We never know what our day will bring as I found myself sitting several hours in a hospital waiting room with a friend yesterday. Her husband had emergency gall bladder removal surgery.  It was a strange feeling to be in the same hospital where I have sat for so many hours at the side of my husband, but this time with someone else. As the doctor explained the results of the surgery to her, he shook my hand, too, and called me “Moral Support.” Isn’t that what we all need these days?

Nothing brings that more clearly to my mind as when I think about my grandgirlies. What kind of a world are they headed into? I pray that they will be strong like Queen Esther for “such a time as this.”

Mark asked me the other day what we could do for the Christians being persecuted in Mosul. Pray. Every day. Fervently. Without ceasing. We need to give moral support to those we encounter every day. Speak up and stand up for what is right.

In so many ways, everything looks hopeless. The one thing I know is that a political solution is not the answer. God works through leaders but it is all His plan and His timetable. He is in control. Be courageous. We know the end of the story, WE WIN.

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