Monday, March 02, 2009

I Have a Dream!

I post rarely these days because of my very limited time and mental capacity for forming complete sentences. However, I wanted to share with the 3 or 4 people who actually read my sporadic posts a dream/vision/calling that is on my mind all the time.

About a year ago I was doing a web search for Craftsman house plans for the dream house of our future. I love the Craftsman style of architecture in general, and Frank Lloyd Wright in particular. I had searched several times, but had never been able to find exactly what I wanted in a home. On this day I glanced over at an ad on the side of a house plans search, and I saw IT! There was a picture of MY HOME! I discovered it was a book of Craftsman house plans that just happened to be on sale for less than $10! I immediately ordered the book and anxiously awaited its arrival. When the book came, the plans for the house were even better than I hoped.

The dream began as a desire to build a large home in the country that would be a family homestead. Rooms for each of our kids and their future spouses to come and spend the holidays in comfort. A funny thing happened on the way to that dream, though. God began to stir in our hearts a desire to use the home for more than holidays. I began to do new web searches for retreat homes. Not a bed-and-breakfast or fun time get-away, but a place of ministry. I stumbled upon Pastors Retreat Network's website and discovered a really neat organization. I'm still doing some research, so I won't go into all of that.

Still, God started prodding us to implement a plan to build a pastor's retreat home. Most churches are small, 100 members or less, even here in the Bible belt. When a church is that small, the pastors must be bi-vocational. This translates into very overworked, generally under appreciated, and certainly underpaid servants. So the people who need to get a break the most, are often those who can afford it the least. We want a place that is independently funded, where pastors and their spouses can come for restoration, rest, and perhaps some counsel. Doug and I are trained and equipped to do just that. I have an M.Ed. in Counseling and staff licensure through my denomination. My husband's job is one that can be done from Tulsa or the country, and his experience growing up on a cattle ranch trained him to take care of just about anything a large home and acreage could throw at him. The one thing we don't have at this point is the provision for the land and house. In the natural, it will take about 6 years to try to put it all together. We also know that God works in the supernatural, and we are open to whatever, whenever, and however He wants to do it.

Basically, we just want people to pray with us that we will know how to proceed, directed step-by-step, that we will have the courage to walk by faith, not by sight, and the wisdom to make those decisions. We looked at some land yesterday that would be perfect, but it's for sale right now and there is no natural possibility for us to buy it. It may be that God is just showing us what's possible. We're o.k. with that. But we also know He's an amazing God. Amen.

p.s. The name of our home is Barnabas House, because Barnabas means son of encouragement.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

L is for Love!

This rather informal meme, in which the tagger assigns you a letter of the alphabet and you then list 1o things you love that begin with that letter, came from Diane. I won't tag anyone, but if you'd like to do the meme, just leave a comment or email me at and I'll assign you a letter for the meme. Diane chose the letter L for me, so here goes:

1. Lemon - pie, cake, and scented cleaning products. Though I don't usually eat the cleaning products.

2. Late nights - I'm a night owl, pure and simple. I've done everything in my power to adjust my internal clock, to no avail. Apparently, God made me this way, and it's in no way inferior to morning people. So there! ;0P

3. Lip Smackers - Dr. Pepper to be exact. It's the best chap*stick ever made!

4. Law & Order - I think I've seen every episode of every version ever made. I'm considering rehab.

5. Lotion - Orange Ginger from Bath & Body Works for the smell, and Gold Bond for the intense therapy.

6. Long baths - nuff said

7. Life of Grits - one of my favorite blogs

8. Lisa Whelchel Cauble - it has been a joy knowing this amazing woman. Working and playing together - an honor and a privilege.

9. Linus and Lucy - Vince Guaraldi Trio, you rock my world!

10. Learning - I have a ravenous hunger for learning. All kinds of things.

So let me learn about you!


I think I've survived, but I'm not entirely sure. You see, my employer, ORU, announced layoffs on the 13th. We lost three people from my department, leaving just two of us to take care of all the seniors. In addition to the all the transfer students I'm already managing. Then on the 15th, the other academic counselor was in a car accident. And hasn't been back to work since. And then there was one. But at least I still had my boss to ask questions of in an emergency. You do remember I just got this job in April, right? Now the boss will be out on Monday. I've had an eye twitch since the 14th. I'm thankful I still have my job. But it's hard not to envy those laid off who will be getting paid to stay home for two months.

Oh, and the girl who alternated weeks with me leading worship went away to college. So now I lead every week. Don't get me wrong, I love leading worship. LOVE IT! I'm just so very tired. And in need of a maid. And a massage. And a manicure. And a new bed.

I started a new semester - I'm taking Hermeneutics - interpreting and studying the Bible, Assessment I - a superfluous requirement for accreditation purposes, and Crisis Counseling - which I may need if things don't settle down soon. I'm really enjoying Hermeneutics, though I may become violent if he doesn't stop saying methiology instead of methodology, and tilafia instead of tilapia when he talks about going to Outback in front of us starving grad students. Haven't been to Crisis Counseling yet. It meets one weekend a month for three months, starting next weekend. Yep, we'll be singing familiar songs in worship next week!

Update on Mom - the diagnosis was some form of dementia, possibly Alzheimer's. The doctor took away her driving privileges, which was more devastating to her than the diagnosis. It was well past time. My brother is setting up power of attorney because she arranged cataract surgery on her own, opted for lens replacement which was not covered by her insurance, and was charged $4,000 to a credit card. She didn't understand that it was not covered, but the doctor's office said they explained everything and this is what she wanted. It's done now, and nothing can be undone. She has resisted any medication to treat chemical imbalance and Alzheimer's, so I don't know what the future holds for her. It must be very hard on my brother and his wife, since she lives in an apartment in their back yard.

So, all this since Christmas. Our decorations are still up. And may be for two more weeks.