Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Not long ago my daughter asked me "What are cheetos made out of?"
OK maybe it doesn't rate up there with "Where do babies come from?" but still, what are cheetos made from? I think I told her they were made of "starch, cheese, and carbs." The rest of the day I wondered "How do they make cheetos?"

It should surprise noone that I later found a bowl containing one battered cheese slice, one torn but recognizable queen of hearts carD, and some white gunk that had apparently been sprayed from the aerosol starch bottle from the laundry room. It was in the arms of one very frustrated little easy bake oven chef!

"Mommy these cheetos won't fit in my little pan!"

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Stars At Night....

One of my favorite memories is sitting outside under a star filled West Texas night sky with my Dad. We always sat on the brick planter that extended from the carport to the front door of the tidy little house I called home for the first 19 years of my life.

Daddy always helped me find the Big Dipper first. I loved to trace it's pattern in the sky with my fingers wrapped around his. From the Dipper he would point out other stars and constellations. In the Summer the Dipper was huge and would span the horizon of our night sky. In the winter it was so small it was a challenge to find before the chill drove us indoors. I loved those star gazing nights.

To this day I find myself drawn out to the stars about once a week. As soon as I spot the big dipper, a warmth familiar to a six year old sitting in her Daddies lap, lulls me into gazing past our small planet with a child like wonder. How did God put them up there? Why? What are they really there to do? What are we really here to do? How come some seen so bright while others just barely glow? The questions go beyond the galaxies!

I feel sorry for children who grow up in light polluted cities where there seem to be few if any stars. What do their Daddies point out to them? What do they sit and wonder on? When we lived in the metroplex I often found myself searching for stars, only to find airplanes! Lots of airplanes! As much as I love rain, cloudy nights do nothing for me. Nothing compares to a star filled sky!

Thank you God for the starry nights of my childhood. Thank you for the Dad who showed me how to find the Big Dipper and ultimately guided me to YOU, the great star maker! Thank you for Always guiding me through the clear and cloudy days and nights even when I can barely make you out for all the pollution in my atmosphere. I can't wait to see what stars look like from heaven!

Monday, June 28, 2004

LIFE Amplified

Well, six months later and I guess I am ready to post.
This has been a strange week for me and my family. Things just seem to be a little amplified.

Monday my Dad moved from the hospital where he had spinal surgery a week earlier, to a "rehab" hospital. To me it looks like an ultra nice rest home. The thought of my Dad being in a rest home, no matter how nice or temporary, has unnerved me a bit. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful that he has the opportunity to go there and get the rehabilitation he needs to be independent again. I am so glad my mother is not faced with trying to lift him and attend to all his needs 24/7. But still I don't like the feel of my Dad being in an institution of any sort. I want him to heal and come home. I am grateful for my legs that work, and a back that does not ache! Lord please bring my Dad home!

Second..Gulp..Sigh.. How do I start? Deep within the confines of Baylor Hospital's Transplant ICU in Dallas, Texas, my mother's first cousin's 19 year old son, Nicolas, lies in a medically induced coma as his body adjusts to the brand new liver he received Friday night. The events that brought him to this point were dramatic and severe... The stuff that soap operas, novels and movies are made of! But the God who has carried him this far is soo good! I will go into Nick's story more as we learn his fate, but tonight I am so grateful for the miracles that have kept him alive this week and the hope his story has given me. Lord thank you so much for not giving up on Nick! Please help all of us to be there for him and his family in the grueling times that are to come! AND thank you for the generosity of the family of the person who gave Nick his liver! Please comfort them as they grieve and reward their selflessness!

Third, this is the hardest one for me to write about! In the fall of 1982, in the John Glen Jr. High choir room a bubbly, smiling Hispanic girl with the prettiest long curly dark hair and the coolest clothes introduced her self to me. Her name was Lisa . We were both 7th graders. She was fun, cute, cool and had a tinge of valley girl in her speak! We were never best friends, but good aquaitances. She came to my 7th grade slumber party. We had drama together in High School. I always liked her. Years later when we were both out of college and single we spent Spring Break in Las Vegas with a bunch of other singles from our home town. A year or two later after I started dating my husband, she started dating one of my husbands college fraternity brothers. She was at our wedding.

Last Tuesday, I received a shocking e-mail. My old friend Lisa had just been arrested and released on bail. It seems her finger prints and DNA match evidence collected 11 years ago from a plastic bag that held a lifeless newborn baby girl, wrapped in a towel and abandoned along side a rural highway that runs from San Angelo to Brady.
Lisa married Robs friend seven years ago and is now eight months pregnant and mother to an adorable four year old little girl . Her husband has sent e-mails telling us not to believe what we read and to pray for Lisa, as her pregnancy is not "holding up well to all this stress". Can you imagine?

The abandoned baby was found four months prior to the Las Vegas trip Lisa and I took in March '94. I was friends with her when this supposedly happened. Could she have been pregnant with out any of us knowing? It has kept me up at night. How could the sweet,bubbly Lisa I knew have done such a thing? But how could her fingerprints and DNA match if she didn't? Lord please let some good come out of this. Shelter her daughter , husband and new baby with your love and hope as they face all that Lisa is up against. Please give Lisa the courage and the words she needs to face her accusers without damaging the precious life she carries inside her!Lord help these people!

Finally, John Decker, the father of our good friend Chad died today at the age of 64. Cancer. Chad and I grew up together in San Angelo. He was Rob's fraternity big brother in college. Chad and Rob exchanged groomsmen duties as he married Debra two moths before Rob married me. A few years ago the Deckers lost their daughter Gina when a blood clot broke loose and caused an aneurysm hours after a routine knee surgery. She had struggled with crippling rheumtiod arthritis most of her life. Gina left behind a devastated husband, two precious little girls, and among others, a heart broken Daddy. As sad as I am for Chad and his Mom, I can't help but hope that somewhere in heaven yesterday a daddy and daughter danced for joy as they were reunited! John Decker is finally at peace.

As much as I love my life, I pray that soon we all are dancing in the streets of Heaven. Lord please come get us as soon a you are ready! We long to be with you!

So this week I have seen so much drama and pain, hope and fear, heartache and joy. I guess every person has a story to tell. Life is never the same "average or normal" for any two people. God has a plan for us all.

Lord thank you for my worries and burdens. This week I realize I would not want to trade! Thank you for your faithfulness! Please help me to look beyond faces of the people I meet so that I see you in their story.