Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010, Welcome 2011!!

I can't believe it is already time to say goodbye to the year 2010. It is true, the older you get, the faster time goes by.
I had a good year overall, and am thankful for all the blessings we enjoyed. Here are a few of the highlights.

In February Amy and our grandson Joseph spent most of the month with us here in Tenerife. We enjoyed seeing her after being apart for nearly three years. We had never met Joseph. About half way through her visit Amy developed nausea and stomach upset. We worried that she ate something here in the islands, or that the water made her sick, but it wasn't anything serious, just something that would resolve itself in about nine months!

My mother's day gift in May was a trip to Mozambique, Africa to visit my son, Nathan, and his family. I never would have dreamed that I could take such a trip but my husband insisted. I was encouraged by one of my aunts who also reminded me that I should take measures to pinch pennies and save to make it possible. You can never recapture the days of your grandchildren's youth, and I think I would have regretted missing out on this stage of their lives. It also gave me a greater appreciation for the sacrifice they are making by living in Mozambique under less than perfect circumstances.

Shortly after I came home from Africa Jenny and Hannah flew home to the islands to spend their final summer with us. This was a real treat, as we knew it would be the last opportunity to have them living under our roof. We made great memories, and made plans to celebrate their upcoming marriages in a double ceremony at our home church in New York next July. A few weeks after their return to Fairhaven Baptist College, they were both officially engaged.

October was a difficult month for me as Doug was away in Mozambique--but it was born out of a desire I had for him to see the mission field where his son was laboring, and I had such a great time I wanted him to experience it as well. He had a good time renewing his father/son bond with Nathan, and playing with the grandkids as well. Nathan and Doug enjoyed ministering together and made a good team. We really missed Doug while he was away, but somehow managed but it was the longest month of the year. It gave me a greater appreciation for the single mothers in our church, and made me realize just how much I appreciate having a husband to share my life with.

November brought the addition of a new grandbaby, which brings our total to six. We are thankful for each one-- five boys, one girl--and we trust that number will be multiplied in the future as we see two more daughters marry.

With all the good times, of course there were difficult days, trials, and temptations. I can see the Lord's hand in all of them, as He continues to perfect that which concerneth me and our family. I am eager to see what the new year will bring as we look forward to our trip to the US and our daughters' wedding in July. We hope to visit as many of our supporting churches while we are in the states. Thank the Lord for His watchful care, His mercies, longsuffering, and grace as we begin the year 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let Girls be Girls

Occasionally I listen to the news in Spanish to help increase my vocabulary, etc. Yesterday I was intrigued by a newsclip showing a toy fair for children where they could turn in their "sexist" toys for ones that were gender neutral. It showed little girls handing in doll babies for trucks, and an older woman educating the young girl about why it was sexist for a girl to play with baby dolls, and that she should be playing with toys that both boys and girls can enjoy without the traditional sterotypes that they fear push them into a projected role.

When I look back on my childhood, my mom never had to "teach" me to like to play with dolls. I think it was instinctive of me to want to emulate my mother as I watched her take care of my younger brothers. I loved the role play, and with my cousins we would often play "house" and each one of us would take turns being the mommy, daddy, and the children. Playing cowboys and Indians wasn't my thing, nor playing with guns, swords, or bow and arrows. Maybe you were a woman raised in a household of boys, and didn't have any other options, and I understand--there are some girls who just seem to be tomboys but they usually grow into beautiful ladies eventually.

Society is trying to feminize men as well, and personally, I want my husband to be a man! I appreciate him for trying to understand and appreciate my softer side, but I like his manly qualities.

I think it is a pity that educated "professionals" think that it is their job to eliminate the distinction from the sexes. I embrace my role as a wife and mother, and love my femininity. I love pretty clothes, dressing up, smelling sweet, and everything about being a lady. If you are a woman and that isn't your style, that's fine--but please don't take it away from me or other little girls who still enjoy being a feminine woman!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holding What is Dear

Today I am holding my husband a little tighter and longer in a loving embrace. I realize after 28 years of marriage how much I love the man that God has given me--not that I didn't love him a lot before, but through the busy day to day hustle and bustle, we tend to take each other for granted.

I say this because this week a dear friend of mine lost her husband in a tragic accident. He was one of the best men I know--devoted husband, father of eight, church leader, and valued employee at his workplace. Everything a man should be and so much more.

He died being a good samaritan--he stopped to help a stranded motorist who had slid off the highway in a snowstorm when another car slid off the road and struck him. He was taken to the hospital unconscious and died 24 hours later. He was surrounded by his family and many dear friends. He leaves a void that will never be filled, but his death has served a greater purpose to make all of us reflect and consider his example.

Life is a vapor--and I hope I will continually be challenged to focus on the things in life that matter most.