Cardinals Game

>> Monday, April 28, 2008

The St. Louis Cardinals won yesterday. I don't know what the score was, something to something, I'm sure but the most important thing is that Nik and his high school baseball team got to fit five innings in before their game got rained out! Nik played in the last inning. He didn't get to hit but did touch the ball, or so I heard!

The best time the boys had was getting to see the Cardinal players vehicles. Too funny. Now they know what kind each player drives. And poor Nik. I asked him if he took pictures but he so kindly reminded me that his phone is NOT a camera phone anymore. It got washed at Christmastime. Really, though, he's lucky to have a phone at all so I don't feel sorry for him! Well, maybe a little bit. I would have liked to have seen those cars, too! ROFL!

Oh, and Nik's baseball team lost, 2-5, but they had a good time. Go Clinton Maroons!


The Finished Product

>> Friday, April 25, 2008

Keep watch over me and keep me out of trouble;

I know its a tough job, I'm constantly saying and doing things I shouldn't. You're always helping me out of scrapes.

Don't let me down when I run to you.

You never let me down, Lord, I know that, but sometimes it seems you choose to make me travel some pretty tough roads: so bumpy and narrow, I get caught in the brambles making my way through. But when I see You up ahead, it gives me new strength and I run to You. You smile and pat me on the back with encouraging words. You give me a high-five and get me all pepped up for the next part of the journey.

Use all your skill to put me together;

I know I am a work in progress. There are constant set-backs in production and the line breaks-down all the time. Eventually I'll be put together just so, just so perfect, like only You an do. I know that perfection will come when I get to Heaven.

I wait to see your finished product.

And until then, I can't wait to see Your finished product. Can't wait to see the new me, the one that won't hurt. The one that can stand and praise You all day long without getting too tired and have to sit. A new body!

Psalm 25:20-21, The Message


Pictures of my Youngest Hero #31, Nik Hubrich

>> Thursday, April 24, 2008



My question: What are God-worshipers like?
Your answer: Arrows aimed at God's bull's-eye.
Psalm 25:12 (The Message)

Yesterday I had such a bad day. I really should quit publically declaring things. No sooner do I leave my blog and start my day when it all seems to crumble around me. Yesterday, I say with head hung low, I wasn't lined up so well on God. I missed the bull's-eye completely. I didn't even hit the farthest reaches of the target.

I was reminded by a friend that today would be an all-new day. I love that about God. He doesn't hold our shortcomings against us. I have to pick myself up and try again.

So, with head held high, and with no regrets about yesterday, because its all in the past, I stand once again at the target, and this time, hopefully and prayerfully, I will hit Him square in the heart.

God-friendship is for God-worshipers;
They are the ones he confides in.
If I keep my eyes on God,
I won't trip over my own feet.
Psalm 25:14-15 (The Message)

I must keep my eyes on God. As I worship Him, that happens automatically. He always speaks to me during that time. He whispers in my ear. He prods me on. He tells me I can do all things through Him. As long as I keep my eyes on Him I won't trip over my feet. So -- I so clearly see that yesterday I took my eyes off of Him because I did trip over my size eights.

Lord, I desire to worship You today and everyday. (and here I am making a public declaration -- again!) Help me stay on target. Keep my arms steady, my mind alert. I want your God-friendship. All I have to do is accept it, I know that. Here I am, unwrapping that gift right now, this very second. Paper is flying. I'm inside the package. So beautiful, Lord! Just what I wanted -- Your friendship! I Love you, Lord!



>> Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Today I have to proctor PSAE tests. I can't have anything to read but their lovely test booklet. Can't be on the computer. Can't, can't... but will will have a pen handy in case inspiration hits me. To not be able to write is like not being able to breathe. To not be able to worship God? Just imagine that! And it does happen in many places in this world. We need to be so thankful that we are able to publically worship our Lord and King without fear.

"My question: What are God-worshipers like?
Your answer: Arrows aimed at God's bull's-eye.
Psalm 25:12 (The Message)

What a great question. I am a God-worshiper, at least I strive to be.
I should constantly be lined up directly to the bull's-eye, aimed right at God.

Lord, please line me up today so I can hit your target exactly and not veer off to the right or the left. I want to be a God-worshiper in the worst way!

Oh, I just had a thought. I will have a little taste of what it would be like not to be able to write what God puts on my heart today. I will have to do it undercover, very discreetly. I still want to follow the rules of the testing procedures but I don't think they have taken into account the people who live to write and write to live.

I'm guessing I'll live through the whole ordeal but can't wait until this afternoon is behind me. A God-worshiper I strive to be today and everyday. Want to have target practice with me? Come on! Let's go!


Wakie! Wakie!

>> Tuesday, April 22, 2008

God claims Earth and everything
in it, God claims World and all who live on it.
He built it on Ocean foundations,
laid it out on River girders.

God, You claim me, too?
Even tho I mess up so much?
The God of creation, You love even me?

Who can climb Mount God?
Who can scale the holy north-face?
Only the clean-handed,
only the pure-hearted;
Men who won't cheat,
women who won't seduce.

I want to climb Mount God --
pick me! pick me!
I'm washing my hands now, Lord.
Please forgive my many sins.
Make me pure, as pure as a newborn baby.
I want to be ready to meet You there!

God is at their side;
with God's help they make it.
This, Jacob, is what happens
to God-seekers, God-questers.

Oh! I want to be a God-seeker!
I want to quest for You!
Let me be known as a God-quester.

Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
Wake up, you sleepyhead people!

I'm awake, Lord, I'm awake.
Please help me stay that way.

King-Glory is ready to enter.

I am so ready for You to enter.

Who is this King-Glory?
God, armed
and battle-ready.

Oh, do tell!

Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
Wake up, you sleepyhead people!

I'm still awake.
Lord, keep me awake now and forever.

King-Glory is ready to enter.

I'm ready to meet You, so ready!
Will You meet me here, right where I am?
Will You hold me by the hand and help me up the mountain?

Who is this King-Glory?
he is King-Glory.

The God-of-the-Angel-Armies wants to meet me?
King-glory has a date with me!
Yipee! I can't contain my excitement!
King-glory is ready to enter!

Psalm 24 (The Message)


Catching my breath...

>> Sunday, April 20, 2008

Psalm 23
God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
When I'm sitting here beside You,
I can't think of one thing I could possibly need, not a one!
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
Its so soft, the bed You made for me
The water, so pure and refreshing!
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Wow! I really needed this break in my day!
A breath or two I will take and gladly breathe in Your presence, Lord!

Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
Do we have to talk about this one, Lord?
I'm not afraid
David may not have been, but I kinda am, Lord.
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook
makes me feel secure.
Yes, I do feel secure with You at my side. Safe and secure...

You serve me a six-course dinner
You know how I love to eat!
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
Its been drooping lots lately, Lord, and You always revive me, always!
my cup brims with blessing.
Oh my, yes! Lots of blessings!
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God
Why do I run from You so much? So glad You do chase after me, though.
for the rest of my life.
Yes, for the rest of my life! Thank You Lord, for this quiet time with You.

Psalm 23, The Message
Blue -- my words, certainly NOT David's:)



>> Thursday, April 17, 2008

Going to spring baseball games is a test of endurance. It is extremely cold. And as I get older, the cold seeps into my bones and won't let go. I hobble around and moan about it for days. When I do finally get warmed up, there's another game. Too old to have a fourteen-year-old, for sure! And we get to do this for another 3 years plus maybe college. Good thing I love to watch my boy play!

This morning as I was bemoaning the fact that I was still cold after last night, I got to thinking about spiritual coldness. I would much rather be cold in my bones than walk away from my faith and become indifferent to the Lord.

"But you walked away from your first love—why? What's going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you've fallen? A Lucifer fall!
"Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I'm well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle." -- Revelation 2:4-5, The Message

I will never walk away from my first love: not from the Lord, not from my husband. I have written it and now, I am sure, I will be tested.

"Lord, please help me stand under any pressure that might come my way because of my public declaration for you and my husband. I do love You and want that first love kind of attitude to come back. Thank You for loving me back. Thank You for the love of my husband. Thank You in general today, Lord. I just wanted to say, Thank you!"


Team Work!

>> Saturday, April 12, 2008

Philippians 4:8 (The Message)

"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true,

gracious—the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse.
Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.
Do that, and God, who makes everything work together,
will work you into his most excellent harmonies."

I had a friend quote this verse to me today. Shirley is a very good friend and is so wise for her years:) I figured out that following a garbage truck doesn't lend itself well to these verses and neither does flailing around in the quicksand. How long did it take to figure that out, you ask? Not telling. I'm still working on getting out of the quicksand. I can see the edge and feel everyone pulling me. What a team effort it is taking, too. What would I do without my team of friends? Shudder... quake... and shudder again... Thanks everyone!


Stinkin' Livin'

>> Friday, April 11, 2008

On my way home from dropping Nik off at school for a baseball game, I happened to get behind a garbage truck. My present mood was just perfect for this distraction. I had an excellent view of a disgustingly gross rear of a truck. I could have passed but couldn't make myself do it. Even as junk was whipping out of it, I stayed. Didn't have the gumption to do anything about it. I thought maybe that was the perfect place for me.

Right now I seem to be flailing around in the quick sand. Won't be too long before I get tired and just give up. Of course, I could reach out for the rope that's being thrown to me. Yes, I could do that but sometimes flailing is what my present mood wants to do.

Thank goodness I have very determined friends who won't let me sink. Its irritating at times, like when I just want to be left alone to gurgle in the swampy mire, but in the long run, I am very thankful for them. When I can't go on, they pull me along by their faith. Sometimes its the very next day when the tables are turned and I am pulling one of them. God is so good to put just the right friends into my life.

Following garbage trucks and drinking in quicksand is not living an abundant life, that I know. Soon I'll be ready for the good stuff, will be craving the good stuff. But for now, this is what I have chosen so this is what I am going through. Stand back, you just might get some quick sand splattered on your clothes!


Psalm 51 (The Message)

Generous in love--God, give grace!
Huge in mercy--wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
Soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I've been;
my sins are staring me down.

You're the One I've violated, and you've seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I've been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you're after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean,
scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don't look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don't throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God my salvation God,
and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I'll let loose with your praise...

I noticed all these verbs that describes that God does for us. Thought it was very interesting. They make a cool prayer all on their own:

"Wipe me, Lord. Scrub me, soak me.
Tune me, set my channel on You, set me on solid ground.
Give me what I need to make it through my days.
Make me what You want me to be.
Shape me into something beautiful.
Breathe into me new life.
And unbutton my lips so I can adequately praise You!"

Thank You, Lord!


One answer to prayer!

>> Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ryan e-mailed! He responded to my e-mail! My mommy heart feels so much better. Here is what he wrote. Will you please keep praying for him? Such problems he has.

my seabag and backpack are still car is dead on base...and i don't have a phone charger. As soon as i can i'll get another phone charger or get my stuff back. Sorry I haven't called. Everything is ok for now, I go in for an appointment tomorrow for a ct scan making sure everything is ok and then they can take out the last drain. Talk to you later. ~Ryan

Thank you all for your prayers!


Pouring Down Rain

>> Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wow! It is pouring outside. I'm so glad we didn't get caught in it at a ball diamond somewhere! It certainly wouldn't be the first time but still, I am very glad to be home, safe, dry, and free from worry about having to drive in it.

You know the saying, "Into everyone's life a little rain must fall." It has been raining in our lives for sure. Ruth has had to stop chemotherapy and start kidney dialysis. This is a very scary time for Jim and his brother, Chug. They are really reaching out to her the way they know how. They both go to see her each day. They are very good sons. I convinced Ruth that she would like books on tape. She finally tried it and she is hooked. I went to the library and got her Miss Marple tapes. Its so hard to go from an avid reading to not being able to read. Very hard. So glad technology provides other ways to get around this!

And speaking of sons, ahem, our son, Ryan, has NOT called since I found out he was home from the hospital. As soon as I know he's okay, he won't be! I'm praying that all is well with him. But for his sake, he best have a good reason for not calling his mama -- a very good reason. I can't think of one reason that would pass, though. As soon as I hear his voice again, I'm sure I'll forget my threats and forgive him.

That's what God does for us all the time. He loves us unconditionally. He forgives our debts. He cries when we ignore Him. He readily accepts us when we return. How great is our God? Extremely great! This is the chorus to Chris Tomlin's most worshipful song, How Great is Our God.

"How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God,and all who sing
How great, How great
Is our God."
We truly do serve a great God! Won't you sing His praises with me?


Old Friends

>> Sunday, April 6, 2008

I just had a very dear friend from my past call. Millie wanted to know how things were going and so she got an earful:) If you ask and really want to know, I will happily oblige. Millie is a do-er. That is her gift. Funny, you don't realize how much you miss someone until you talk to them again. She has offered to schedule some meals to come to us. That is very kind of her and I so appreciate it.

This is certainly a humbling time for me. I would rather be the one helping others than accepting help for ourselves. I am so thankful for friends that know how to cook and love doing it to bless others! What a gifting from God!


Wildflower Seeds by Marita Thelander

Not long ago, a very dear friend gave me a nickname. That nickname is the title of my blog site...Mari Flower. I had teased her that she picks friends like a little girl picks wildflowers. She just randomly wanders around and picks flowers to add to her bouquet of friends. It is a beautiful bouquet, I might add.

It is a gift she has. An ability to make people completely comfortable with her. She doesn't see it, but those wildflowers she holds in her little girl chubby hands see it very clearly. I am honored that she would choose me to add to her already overflowing bouquet.

A sad thought hit me, though. Flowers die. The Bible says that flowers fade. Especially ones that are picked and put into a bouquet. I figured eventually we all die, so in the meantime, I will add as much color and beauty to the room as I possibly can. I want to make hearts sing at the beauty God has given me. It is my gift to give, even if only for a season.

Yet, that isn't enough for me. I want to have another purpose. As I see my flower head drooping, I want to shake loose the seeds I carry. The seeds will be scooped up by tender hands and planted in the dirt. I want to leave a legacy of wildflowers to continue to share beauty and make hearts sing. I long to represent the Creator in such a glorious shout of color, and then multiply that in the future seasons from the little seeds I drop around me.

I love my new name, my new purpose, and my new friend.

A voice said, "Shout!" I asked, "What should I shout?""Shout that people are like the grass that dies away. Their beauty fades as quickly as the beauty of flowers in a field. The grass withers, and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever." Is. 40:6-8

(Marita is one of my very good friends from Faithwriters. She is a phenominal writer and a wonderful friend. I love her so much! She is MyMariflower and always will be!)


Laury's Friends with Skin:)

>> Saturday, April 5, 2008

My friends and I met together for lunch today. We live so close but never ever, hardly ever see each other. Sad state of affairs that is. Well, we have decided we will do better about that from now on! Ann Marie is down to the left, Becky, and then Laurie. Denise and her foot is at the bottom! She surprised us with a tattoo! We never know what to expect when we get together!

I'm sure my friends from home get tired of hearing about all my cyberfriends but they have become a very big part of my life. It makes me very sad because most of the friends I'm making through Faithwriters, I'll probably never meet in person and if I do it will only be once or twice. These friends I have at home, they are here for me in an instant. All I have to do is ask, and sometimes I don't even have to ask, they're just there.

I hope and pray that we can do better about keeping in touch. Life is so messy. They have their own storms, too. Hopefully they aren't shielding me from theirs because of mine. God's wing is large, all of us can hide out under there and experience the safety and security, the laughter and the tears -- the closeness of being sisters in Christ. I love all of my friends. They are different as can be and add to the bouquet of wildflowers that sits on the shelf in my mind. I so enjoy thinking about them, praying for them, loving them, and being loved by them.

Lord, thank You so much for these friends of mine, the myriad of friends that You have put into my life! I love each and every one. Draw us closer together, please Lord? Help us draw closer to You as we draw closer to one another. Its in Your Son's Name I pray. Amen!


Dingy Socks

This morning I was doing housework before I lost myself in Cyberland. While I was folding clothes, I noticed my husband's brand new socks. We've been leading very crazy lives lately and he's struggled with having no clean underwear and socks so one day he went out and bought some. Of course, he could have started a load of clothes and washed them, but, alas, that would be a different topic:)

As I folded clothes, I noticed how bright his new socks and underwear were while laying up to the old ones. That's something you just don't notice when they are all the same. It got me thinking about my life when I first became a Christian. Actually, that was in 4th grade. Really, the time in my life when God became REAL to me when I got older, that's the time I thought of.

I couldn't read the Bible enough. I couldn't pray enough. There were never enough church services to satisfy my hungering soul. What happened to that attitude, I wonder? Why do I struggle to find the time to read my Bible. Why is going to church some Sunday mornings such a struggle?

Comparing myself now to the awakening I experienced back then, shames and appalls me. I want revived. I want to feel that first love again. I don't want to be a dingy sock. I want to be a clean, bright white one. What kind of sock do you want to be? Now is the time to decide and then make changes.

"Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean,
scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life."
Psalm 51:7 (The Message)
"But you walked away from your first love—why?
What's going on with you, anyway?
Do you have any idea how far you've fallen?
A Lucifer fall! "Turn back! Recover your dear early love.
No time to waste, for I'm well on my way to
removing your light from the golden circle.
Revelation 2:4-5 (The Message)


Psalm 57

>> Wednesday, April 2, 2008

“Be good to me God—and now!
I’ve run to You for dear life.
I’m hiding out under Your wings
until the hurricane blows over.
Psalm 57:1- (The Message)

Tornado sirens blare. Warnings are posted everywhere. People look out their doors and windows and the sky is blue, the air calm. They ignore the endless warnings scrolling across TV screens. “All is well. Must be for somewhere else,” they mindlessly think aloud, and then go on about their business.

The wind begins to pick up. No problem. Then the sky grows dark and ominous. Rain pelts against windows. The wind becomes an unfriendly intruder on the calm, spring day. People run for cover. Sitting in basements they feel that all will be well. It is a momentary setback—some believe a welcome pause in their day, others believe it an annoyance.

A freight train sounds in the distance and gets louder and louder. Buildings begin to quiver. Debris scatters with the wind, knocking into whatever gets in its way. The storm is here. Children begin to cry and mothers try to calm their fears, all the while, afraid themselves. The storm is here.

Shaking, rattling, roaring—the tornado goes past, leaving a path of destruction everywhere it touches. The storm was here. A hushed quiet envelops the neighborhood. A false assurance that all is well takes hold of them as they come out of their hiding places.

Houses are knocked to the ground. Trees are lay draped over power lines as the lines snap and sizzle. Sign posts are twisted around poles. Cars are thrown upside down. TV crews quickly find their way into the neighborhood with cameras rolling. They look eagerly for a human interest story with the destruction in the background.

A woman sobs into her hands, “My son, he was just here, we were talking. Now he’s gone. He was crushed under a building.” The camera spans out to include the felled house. Unrelenting, they find another victim to film as they experience death and destruction.

When the stories are all taped, crews leave only to be replaced with work crews to check out the damage. Medics have come and gone. Tears have dried but haven’t been forgotten. The storm was here. The storm left. The storm destroyed. But the storm did not come without warnings.

Are you ready for the storm to come? Are you already in your storm? It’s inevitable. It will come. God is ready to hide you under His wings until it passes. Hide under His wings with others going through their storms. Encourage one another as the winds blow and the rain falls.


No more scorched pot!

I did it last night. I washed the pot! It took lots of work but I feel good that I got it done! Yea! And from now on, I think I'll stick around while I'm cooking and not get lost in cyberland:) Well, probably not! Happy Wednesday!

"This is the day that the Lord has made -- I will rejoice and be glad in it!"


Ryan's Update

Ryan's appendix ruptured at one point in time. The doctors are pumping him full of antibiotics and this afternoon they put drainage tubes in him. Surgery won't be for 6-8 weeks. This is all very new and very scary for all of us, especially for Ryan so far away from home. His boat comes in tomorrow so hopefully friends will stop by and cheer him up.

Really wishing we could be there with him. Maybe it will happen and if it were to, when to go would be the next question. While he's waiting or for the surgery? So much is up in the air. I'm not even sure I can fly, even with my IH. I can hardly stand elevators. So we wait. We pray. We keep everyone updated. And we continue to work and go about our days.

Thank you all for your prayers and concern for our Hawaiian Sailor Boy.


Praise Him in this Storm

>> Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We have many storms brewing in our family right now. My mother-in-law is in the hospital with lymphoma. That is taking my husband away every day to be with her.

I've been very sick so Jim is being pulled on both sides. Not a pleasant place for him to be, I'm sure.

And now, a new storm has entered into the system. Ryan, our oldest son who is stationed in Hawaii, has appendicitis. He was whisked off the USS Charlotte to get treatment. He finally called early April Fool's Day to confirm to us what it was. Surgery will be anytime. Of course, moms only need to know what is parceled out to them by their military children. That is frustrating. All he has to do is say the word that he needs us and at least one of us will be there.

I will praise God in this new storm just like I've praised Him in the other two. But truthfully, its getting really hard to watch new storms crop up and makes me ask the dreaded question, "What's next, Lord?" And now I said it. Now I will probably find out. But no matter what comes our way -- I will praise Him in the storm.

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