Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Report from Portland

It's been a long time since I've written, primarily because I was at home in Portland for nine days. Going home was a vacation for me. I got to walk with my parents around Fairview Lake and eat dinners with my family, visit my grandpa's farm and catch up with old friends. Here are a couple highlights from my time at home:
Disclaimer: A lot of them have to do with food. Sorry, I know I write about food a lot, but I can't help it. :o) Be encouraged, though: where there is food in my life, people are not far away. Food always serves a greater purpose.
1) Before I set off for Portland, I hand picked and froze enough pie cherries for one pie. My intention was to make my grandpa a pie the first Sunday I was home. I was rewarded with a compliment from my uncle Dave: "That's the best looking pie I've seen in a long time." Besides the fact that the pie looked and tasted good, I was able to bless my uncles Dave and Don, aunt Rox, grandpa Dave, and my mom with pieces of pie at an impromptu family meeting. It's so good to spend time with family. The other great thing about this pie was that I had enough leftover crust to save for later, even though I didn't know how I would use it. On Thursday of that same week, I needed a dinner idea and whipped out that crust for a delicious summer quiche. I am thankful it worked so well.
2) I appreciated having time with several good friends and immediate family. There's something lovely about living day-to-day life around the same people, even if one such person makes you listen to New York Yankee updates every day. It's fun to share the simple things that happen. On Thursday evening, my whole family drove out to a farm between Gresham and Sandy to pick blueberries. We had lots of laughs, especially about the difference between my and my mom's quick style of picking berries compared with my dad and sister who only choose the biggest and most beautiful. Let's just say, it's not because of them that I now have eight gallon Ziploc bags of blueberries in my freezer in Spokane. :o)
3) I had a couple doctor's appointments over the week. In July, I experienced three major headaches that had all the symptoms of a migraine. Yuck. My primary care doctor ordered some lab work and an appointment with a neurologist in early September. We did find out through the lab work that I have low iron, which might be contributing to how tired I've felt recently. But we won't know anything else until after the neurologist appointment on September 1. I would appreciate your prayers for this. It can be scary.
4) Finally, I spent Friday and Saturday with two dear Whitworth friends, who are now Tyler and Lydia Thralls. They were married in Yacolt, WA, on Saturday, and I had the honor of being a bridesmaid. The wedding was beautiful in so many ways, primarily because of the Christ-centeredness of the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception. What an honor to be with friends on their wedding day! My parents still think of their wedding with joy. I look forward to twenty years hence when Tyler, Lydia, and I reflect back on Saturday with the same joy. I must say, too, how thankful I am to my family for coming to all three weddings I was in this summer. They patiently waited for me through every reception and debriefed it all with me. Especially notable was my dad staying hours later at Lydia's wedding than he might have otherwise AND, to top it off, missing a Yankee game. :o) Thanks for your sacrifice, Dad. You, Mom, and Jules are the best!
Thanks to you, also, for sacrificing time to read my blog. I hope it's not a sacrifice, but rather edifying each and every time. Here's my edifying thought for the day:
I was reminded today that to put my trust in earthly things, whether it be an institution, relationship, or possession, is to be foolish. Today I was rendered a fool by my faith in an institution. It's not that the organization ceases to do good things or be an agent of God's Kingdom work. Rather, I was forced to remember that even the best of earthly things fall short. Our trust should be in God alone. Easier said than done. It's hard to know how to live this out practically, but I do know that God goes before me into tomorrow to give me the grace to make my trust in him true. God is so, so good. We can't even fathom the depth of His goodness for His people.
Here's a prayer to take away: "Ever-loving God, your care for us is greater even than a mother's love for her child; teach us to value a mother's love and see in it an expression of your grace, that we may ever feel more deeply your love for us in Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen."
God bless you.

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