Monday, November 14, 2005

Frank & Julie Turner

Frank and Julie Turner are angels.

These are the people who gave Kayla the dress we told you about in a previous post entitled, "Kayla's Dress."

They have kept our missionary kids, Kayla, Levi, and Trinity, in clothes for several years. Not just any clothes, mind you, but very fine things, from their really beautiful shop, Meghan's Closet.

At HPC's Pioneer's meeting a few nights ago, we got to visit with them again. I was privileged to tell Julie the story of how Kayla gave one of those favorite dresses to a Swazi mother in which to bury her little daughter who had just died from AIDS.

It had been the Turner's hearts to be givers. Not just to our kids, but to many, many others who were blessed by their generosity. And now that gift has continued to bless little ones overseas.

When our grandchildren outgrow their lovely clothes, their mom passes them on to the needy ones in Swaziland. You've never seen such well-dressed orphans! These kids have never anything so beautiful in their lives.

Julie told me that after Frank's recent heart attack they had to make the very difficult decision to sell their shop, and that now they don't have the privilege of giving clothing like they used to do. You could tell that it was a tough thing to deal with--giving was their way of life!

I know you cannot outgive God. God keeps perfect books. Frank and Julie will be rewarded one day.

Until that day, I just want to honor them with this note of thanks. Thanks from my own missionary-grandchildren and thanks from the OVC's in Africa.

The gift that keeps on giving...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Behind Every Great Man...

There is an old saying that behind every great man, there's a (great) woman.

This is true for Kevin Donaldson. Only he has three of them.

We knew he was a cool guy, number one at Mission of Mercy. And now I know some of reasons he is that way.

This week I was honored to meet his really lovely wife, Lucy. How warm and friendly she is. It isn't easy to be married to an "itinerant missionary"--how well I know. But there she was by his side as gracious and kind as could be. Quite beautiful, making proud-she-is-his-Kevin smile all the time.

And Glenda. The voice on the telephone. Every successful man has a good right arm. I finally got to meet Glenda, who puts all the right things in the right place at the right time for Kevin's ministry. What a cool lady.

I understand that there is one more woman in his life whom I haven't met--yet. And he talks about her all the time...his precious daughter, Grace.

Maybe some day he'll bring all those ladies to Swaziland to visit us there.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Nice things to think about (Think on these things)

• my husband’s loving arms around me

• seeing the dew drops on the meadow next door from my kitchen window at dawn…

• holding a brand new baby, being in awe of the marvelous creation of God

• being called “Meemaw”

• joy in the midst of a hard place, contentment in the middle of a trial, the peace that passes all understanding…

• dasani

• watching the neighbor’s horse running in his pasture with total abandonment, mane flying in the breeze…

• having a scripture come alive to me when I need it most

• chocolate

• the old hymns: Joy Unspeakable, Showers of Blessing, Changed in the Twinkling of an Eye, He’s Coming Soon, The Lily of the Valley, Homesick for Heaven, Fill My Cup…to name only a few

• playing my marimba while Dave plays his accordian…just for God’s and our own pleasure

• little gifts from the grand kids: dandelions, hugs, love notes, crayoned drawings for the refrigerator door

• four empty seats in the middle--just for me--on that looooong flight overseas

• Bill Gaither’s Homecoming music

Tori, JD, David 3, Kayla, Lincoln, Levi, Vaughn, Monroe, Monet, Trinity, Rhodes, Rhett

• God’s great love for even me

The Hedge

A few weeks ago, as we were driving through St Louis, Mo., in heavy five-lane traffic, we encountered a huge, bouncing, steel pipe in our center lane--headed right for us. With no where to dodge it, Dave steadied himself and held the steering wheel tight. I prayed.

Our little red PT Cruiser was no match for the 3 or 4 foot long, 6 inches wide pipe. Wham! But Dave held tight. Our tire blew. The little car held steady. I held my breath. Suddenly the lanes to our right opened up and Dave could edge our injured little car, limping and grinding, over to the shoulder.

As he pulled to a stop, I noticed another vehicle a few yards behind us, parked on the shoulder also. They too had encountered something deadly on the highway.

Between the Good Sam Rescue service and the efficient, quick-responding Missouri highway patrolman, we got the tire changed and directions to a service repair area.

The other car that had been stuck by this flying, bouncing debris, had to be hauled off by a tow truck.

Thank God for the kind manager of the Chrysler dealership maintenence department. He took us right in and not only checked out our vehicle immediately, he also saw to it that we were conntected with a car rental for the next few days while our car was getting repaired. At least we were physically okay, and could continue our journey.

As we pulled back onto the same highway, we were more than a bit wary of road debris. But we were more aware of the special Hedge of Protection God keeps around us.

The many thoughts of "what could have been" flooded our minds, but the knowledge of the Lord's strong guardian angels looking after us brought us courage for the next mile, and the next.

Isn't that the way life is? Plenty of debris on the way. The enemy of our souls would try to stop us in our journey--try to make us give up. But we are aware that God is always there to protect us. He lets us go through enough stuff to know how much we need him, and how powerful he is to rescue us.

He gives us enough grace to go the next mile, knowing that Awesome Hedge of Protection is alway there.