Monday, November 10, 2014

The Lunch Room Visit

 Visiting Ian in the Lunch Room

Matt. 19-21 Msg
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. "

My recent visit to see my daughter and her family was full of delightful activity and memorable snapshots of the unexpected and random moments of breathing life with youngins'. Dominic and Ian provided plenty.

I think my favorite quote of the visit happened when Jodi and I went to eat lunch with Ian at his school.  After he woofed down his hot dog (pun intended), I opened my purse and pulled out the M&Ms I had smuggled into the lunch room.  He happily munched through half of them and noticed his class lining up to leave. Torn between leaving and wanting to finish the candy, I told him I would take the rest, and he could have them when he got home from school. Contented with the arrangement, he dutifully fell in line with his classmates.  His mom and I walked alongside the single-filed students until our paths separated.  As we waved to Ian he looked at me and said, "Now take good care of those M&Ms, Nana!"  I assured him I would.

Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  Whether your treasure is M&Ms or family time together, your heart will be guarding and protecting what you want to keep. Family is up close to the top of the list for me. You bet I'll be staying in touch with all my kids and making visits as frequently as I can, so relationships we have with each other can stay current and deepen and mature.

What are you protecting because your heart is in it? How can we protect what we value? That spot-on scripture I read this morning becomes more deeply embedded as I share it's meaning with someone else. Going the extra mile to do some unexpected kindness to the one I love, "takes good care" of our relationship. Carving out time to spend writing or reading is increasing the value of my skills and knowledge.

How about the trinkets we thought were treasures and now look so chintzy next to the real valuables we've stored up? Perhaps the way I hover over my iPhone apps is a clue to one of these treasures in the making. Like the grade school papers and mementos I've saved from my kids for "when-they-grow-up-and-will-value-them-as-much-as-I-do", (been there?) some things I'm hanging onto I should be tossing out-- jealousy or worry thoughts or selfish expectations. Not wanting my heart residing there!

Jesus also said our treasures should be in eternal places, where they are guaranteed to escape recession, looting and erosion. I want my energies and delights to show where my heart is; in heavenly places where I'm stashing up what will last for eternity.

So when Ian came home from school that day, you can guess the first question he asked me. And I said, "Yes, here they are!"

Father, I want to be stuffing  that eternal storehouse full of treasures. Help me to recognize the 'fool's gold' of things that take time and energy away from laying up true treasures. Teach me how to assess the valuables of life the way you do. That the greatest treasures are the persons you came to find and save. And that compounding interest in your kingdom comes through giving away treasures to others.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

They Call Me Nana

Sometime, likely late 40s, it happens. You're officially dubbed whatever they've decided. And your new name and another identity begins. According to's lists of names I could have been a Mimi, Oma, Gramma-Bamma, Lala, Lulu, Nanner, or... but, I've been awarded a duel christening, Nana and Grandma, depending on which family I'm with.  And when all the cousins get together, I answer to both!

As the plane neared the Pensacola airport, I knew Ian and Dominic were anticipating their visit with Nana.  Even though I had only one small carry on as luggage, I managed to tuck surprises in between the folded clothes and accessories. I would soak up Nana moments and some sunshine with my southern family. We would squeeze as much lovin' and livin' as possible into my three day visit.

Here's what we did. Take a deep breath... Celebrated the season with pumpkin inspired sweets at Krispy Kreme, met Dominic's preschool teachers, collected leaves on a stroll outside, made leaf pictures, mixed and flattened and loaded some dough with cinnamon and sugar, ate cinnamon rolls, hit some plastic baseballs in the side yard, took a walk to the 'bumpy' road and the 'dirt' road, visited the white-sanded beach where Dominic kept mommy and me amused with watching his small body dancing against the shallow waves tumbling onto the shoreline, and laughing as he called the diving dolphins we saw in the distance, hippos, ate lunch with Ian at Kindergarten, played Spot It, put a puzzle together, read books, listened to Ian read a book, talked with their mommy while we taxied back and forth in the car- with the tunes of Go Fish in the background, ate awesome fries at Red Fish, Blue Fish, enjoyed excellent cuisine prepared by my creative daughter, and before I had gotten a chance to poke back a kick from the little Ringer yet unknown, it was time to board the home bound plane to Indiana... Whew!
Krispy Kreme!

Nothing like the white sand of Pensacola Beaches!                                    
A Pumpkin Latte Swirled to Perfection

Leaf Picture Fun

Fish, butterfly and turtle
Jodi, Ian, Eman & Dominic

Meeting Ian for Lunch at His School

It was a great get-away!  Thank you, Jodi, for hosting me and planning our time together.

Father, thank you for creating family. For children grown up and building their own families who make us proud. Their wisdom, wit and welcome give us joy and friendship. For the reward of grandchildren. For times together and memories made.

...we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,

his power, and the wonders he has done.
Ps 78:4