January 31, 2014

A Farewell Daybook

For Today

The last day of January 2014
 and the last entry of our cherished

Santos Times

Outside our window...

A typical Puget Sound day...grey, white, melancholy, hints of blue sky teasing.

I am thankful...

For the wonderful season writing The Santos Times has been for me.

More than Six Years!

I am thankful for having recorded such important lessons learned and happy memories that may have been forgotten if not for this blog.

I am thankful for all of YOU who went on this journey with me, and with Mr. Santos and our children.

I am wearing...

My pajamas.

Yes, it's the middle of the day and I am still in my pajamas.

Soon, I will change into a black skirt and a black/white polka dot blouse.
I think my pearl earrings will go well.

I have an appointment at the courthouse...the dreaded, monstrous, courthouse, with grumpy workers, a hovering cloud that chants doom and gloom and echoes of pounding gavels through it's halls.

From the kitchen..

Whatever can be had.

Sophia made breakfast this morning. What a treasure she is!
Breakfast burritos, cinnamon toast, apples, and lots of tea for Mom.

Thank you, Lovey!

I am learning...

To fly.

What do you think about that?

I think it is scary. It's a long drop...What if that is all I do? Fall down to my death? In fact, I've never been more scared in my life. I am on the edge. I have no idea what lies ahead of me, but I do have this promise:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

I am creating...

Stories...little treasures to pass on to my children.
  
I am going... 

To rejoice and again, I say REJOICE!

Bring out the guitar, the violins, the piano...let us rejoice and be glad in this day, in the LORD! in the hope we have.

I am remembering...

My family...My husband...the five of us together looking forward to a future together.

Isn't it amazing that happy memories bring such pain?

We all share this bond, don't we?

I am reading...

Forgotten God by Francis Chan; a very light read, encouraging with lots of "pictures". It is not as meaty as Holy Spirit of the Bible by Brandon and Desiree Elrod. I will also begin Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis.

I am hearing....

Miss Ready teaching Naomi and Noah a poem.
(A Beka Academy)

The ticking of my clock.

Around the house...

Clutter!

I will give the house a good cleaning this weekend.

A quote to share...

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you!"

Some of my favorite things...

Friendship

Phone calls

Letters

Comments

A new inbox message

I will miss you!

A few plans for the rest of the month...

A trip to California.

Train certain young people to stop calling me Mrs. Santos.
What should they call me? Laura? Miss Laura? Ms. Santos?

Continue with the Lord with open eyes for what He would like to show me.

Oh, and color my hair. I have decided I'm too young for so much grey.

I am hoping...

You will leave me a farewell comment.

A picture thought to share:



I wish you all many happy and full adventures! That you would be filled with the knowledge and fullness of God. Thank you for your friendship and your encouragement over the years. If I ever come back to blogging, I will invite you over.

God bless you good!

(You can enjoy other daybooks HERE)

January 27, 2014

No teasing

We recently figured out his name. GEORGE! Of course, that's his name. It fits him perfectly...Sir George, the slayer of dragons, my knight in shining armour.

I've known him for quite a while, but never called him by his name. He was just there.

Over this last year, though, I have become quite dependent on him. When we discovered his name, the children instantly began calling him Jorge (pronounced hor-hey). I occasionally tease by calling him Georgie Porgie.

He loves it.

I don't mind being together for a little time, but when it is more than an hour or two, I want to get away from him. I've never let him in the house, it wouldn't be right. Even so, he is a faithful friend. He continues to hang around the property; he likes to be available whenever I need him.

We love the same music. Flamenco guitar seems to suit George best, we are happy together when we play it loudly.

Some days are wet, or cold; I can always count on him to work quickly to keep me warm and dry. Such a friend! He always carries my stuff, without fail, even my purse, no matter how cumbersome or heavy, and he is willing to go anywhere with me.

Often, we will go shopping together; he patiently waits for me, never complaining. Isn't that great?

I almost revealed to Mr. Santos how I took a nap with George while the children were in their violin class. But, No. I decided to keep it to myself. I didn't want to cause him any pain or jealousy. Still, it would have been fun to see his reaction to:

"Mr. Santos, George held me gently, while I took a nap with him. We were waiting for the children to finish class."

Do you also name your cars?

January 25, 2014

Freedom!

Troubles have a way of revealing Truth. Though I hate to admit this, at times Truth is so repulsive, so heavy, so pointed, I cry out, "Please don't show me, just turn off the light and let me be!"

But also,

Truth revealed brings freedom. The hidden chains are cut off. The door to cages are opened and where I was once blind, now I see.

That is why, even though the truth may be "unpleasant," the freedom is worth the pain.


January 24, 2014

An Award

Susan is a like-minded friend that visits often at The Times. She has chosen my blog to receive the Liebster award. Liebster means *favorite* or *beloved* in German. Isn't she kind?

She has a list of questions for me to answer. I hope you won't mind me posting my answers here for you to read also.

1. Who inspires you the most (person that you know or have known personally)?

I have been blessed with many inspirational people in my life. I hate to narrow it down to the *most* because they have touched so many different areas of my life. I guess the one who has inspired me for the most CHANGE, brought the most clarity and healing, is Janice McBride. She is an older woman who is honest, fearless, humble, intelligent. I will always be grateful for having known her.  Her website, if you would like to introduce yourself is: http://www.janicemcbride.com/

2. What is the most enjoyable part of your day? 

The morning hour (or so) right before I begin my day. I wake up, see my tree waving at me through the window, and talk with my Lord. I may read my Bible or a devotional at this time. 

I love that time to charge (brace) myself for whatever lies ahead.

3. If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be? 

Only one? I would end slavery. Truly. There are so many ugly things that fall under "slavery." 

4. What activities or plans are on your calendar for 2014 and which one do you most look forward to?

Oh my. Life is so "daily" for us right now. We are, however, going to visit family and Disneyland soon. We are looking forward to that. 

5. What is your favorite hymn or piece of music/song?

Come thou fount of many blessings, especially verse 3:

O to grace how great a debtor 
daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
bind my wandering heart to thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love; 
here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
seal it for thy courts above. 

6. Pets...do you have them? Why or why not? and what is your favorite zoo animal?

No pets. They are not allowed in our rental home. We used to have a dearly loved pet chicken, named Biscuit. She was quite a character, so fun, and she graciously contributed a fresh egg to the family every day.



My favorite zoo animal is the giraffe.


7. Link to (or your own recipe for) your favorite main dish (please and thank you)

Cheese bread

One loaf of italian or french bread
Shredded cheese
chopped ham
chopped green onions
chopped tomato
mayo
butter

Combine first four ingredients with just enough mayo to make it all stick together (not too much). Cut lengthwise the loaf of bread and spread both sides with a thin layer of butter. Spread cheese mixture on each slice. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and bake in hot oven until the cheese melts. Once the cheese has melted, broil until bubbly. Cut and serve with a green salad.

8. Describe a commonly seen behavior that you find most annoying/disturbing.

Visiting a friend with your phone in full view...checking texts, facebook, etc. 

9. What new hobby or craft would you like to learn?

I love embroidery, but I am not very good at it. It would be nice to improve and learn more.

10. What books have you read (besides the Bible) that have left the most profound impact?

This is hard. I don't read many books and the ones I do read, I read over and over until they become good friends. George MacDonald is my man. I like the older novels by Isabella Alden, Amy LeFeuvre, and others in their genre...the Lamplighter Publishing books always leave a profound impact.

11. What was your favorite film that you saw in 2013? (new release in the theater... or it could be an oldie that you saw on television)

I didn't go to the movies in 2013. I don't own a television. I enjoyed watching Larkrise to Candleford and found it hard to pull myself away from watching White Collar. Oh wait! I did enjoy the movie Return to Me. I saw that in 2013.

Thank you, Susan, for your friendship and kindness!

January 21, 2014

Hilarity

Does this happen in your house, also? Please tell me it does.

~oOo~

Naomi: "Oh, I should have eaten that while it was warm!"

Mom: "Why don't you put it in the oven? But, only a few minutes, you don't want it to burn."

Naomi: "True. If I left it in the oven too long it might turn into a charcoal."

Sophia: "But, then you could use it as fuel and keep yourself warm."

Noah: "Or, turn it into pencils and use them for your art supplies."

Mom: "Or, take it to the ice rink. It could be the hockey puck that wins the next world championship."

~oOo~

Mom: "What verses did you choose for your recitation?"

Noah: "Psalm 1"

Mom: "OK. Recite."

Noah: "Blessed is the man that walketh NOT! in the counsel of the ungodly, NOR standeth in the way of sinners, NOR sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth BANANAS in his season; his BANANA leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper..."

Naomi: "Noah! that bringeth forth Pineapples in his season! Get it right!"

Sophia: "that bringeth forth oranges in the Summer, people!"

Mom: "What am I going to do with you children?! Be serious."

All three in unison: "Sorry Mom...that bringeth forth apples in the fall; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper..."

Mom: *sigh*



January 19, 2014

Not afraid

God does wonderful things in our life that cannot always be measured by what we see. They can only be measured by the child herself, the child of the King.

Who can measure another person's peace or joy? or their pain and fear?

For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?
So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God,
that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit,
 interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God,
for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
"For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?"
But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Cor 2:11-16 esv

On the outside my life looks bleak; failed marriage,  large mountains to climb. And yet, God is doing GREAT things in my life. To God be the Glory! Sissel expresses my heart the best.

January 17, 2014

I shall not want...

Earlier this week I got another "No." in the mail, it was Special Delivery.

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

I guess that good beginning I shared a couple weeks ago, was, instead, a good ending.

This is a big NO.

In one second my whole future flashed before my eyes...it was not a pretty sight.

But then a still small voice gave me something else. It was a YES.

My soul was comforted with these words:

For your Maker is your husband, 
The LORD of hosts is His name; 
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; 
He is called the God of the whole earth.
For the LORD has called you 
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, 
Like a youthful wife when you were refused," Says your God.

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, 
And great shall be the peace of your children.
In righteousness you shall be established; 
You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; 
And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, 
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment 
You shall condemn. 
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, 
And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD.
Isaiah 54:5,6,13,17

I remember that my Lord loves to say Yes to me.

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

This world is not my home and where my treasure is there will my heart be also.

Temptations arise. Lies. I hear, "But God can't warm your bed, he can't drive for you in heavy traffic, he can't fix the kitchen sink when it is broken. Your children will be ruined. What God offers you is not good enough."

I reject the lies. My God is the Lover of my soul.

I remember that the Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want! I set my affection on things above and not on things on the earth.

To the left is the here and now, to the right eternity; to live according to the flesh or to the Spirit? to seek worldly pleasure or the Kingdom of God?

Are you faced with No's in your life too? Have you done all you can to get the Yes you desire and still come up short? God is saying Yes to you.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God

It's an invitation.

He holds His hand out and beckons you...as He beckons me.

Knowing Him personally, I know He keeps His promises. I know He can be trusted.

I'm going with Him.




January 08, 2014

January, 2014

For Today

Wednesday night, January 8, 2014

Outside our window...

Big puddles, Dripping rain gutters, Wet sidewalk
but, I am dreaming of ...


I am thankful...

Middle Skittle is no longer angry. Life can be tough for a ten-year-old.

I'm thankful that she went to bed peacefully, having forgiven and having been forgiven.

I am wearing...

Lavender essential oil

From the kitchen..

We enjoyed

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Creamy Tomato Soup

Fresh fruit

A simple meal after the busyness of violin classes and orchestra practice,
not to mention all the driving in the rain.

I am learning...

God loves me.

I don't think we ever stop learning this.

that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, 

that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

I am creating...

A compilation of children's stories to publish.
  
I am going... 

to Disneyland. No really, I am.

I am remembering...

Spring and Summer.

Do you remember them too?

Maybe if you're on the other side of the world you are remembering Winter.

Winter is fine, he says, "Hi."

I am reading...

recipes.

What? Are you surprised?
One doesn't need to enjoy cooking to enjoy recipes.

It all started with regular visits to the orthodontist and the words:
"Seared scallops with cucumber and jalapeƱo"

Around the house...

The Christmas nativities are still on display...and the poinsettias.

Do I have to put them away?

A quote to share...

"Good night, God bless you, See ya tomorrow, I love you!!"

This salutation made from a child snuggled in her quilts is a sure sign of peace at The Times.

Some of my favorite things...

Answers to tough questions and the people who answer them.

A few plans for the rest of the month...

A whole month?

I plan on getting up early, driving to the city, visiting the orthodontist and reading about goat cheese and pork loin.

Beyond that, I bet the kids could tell you.

A picture thought to share:


My Middle Skittle at six years old. 
What a unique and precious girl, and what amazing changes in 
a blink of an eye 
just four years. 

Won't you pray for her with me? She is having a hard time lately. 

(You can enjoy other daybooks HERE)

January 02, 2014

A Good Beginning

Sometimes a man needs a little encouragement.

He answered the phone roughly, I asked him out for a date.

"What's up? What do you really want?"

"I want to see a movie and I need a date (long pause) and you're paying."

Another long pause."Fine. Sounds good."

I wore a dress, as usual, and was overdressed, as usual. Why, oh why, do so many women insist on being "comfortable" over pretty? So many women were wearing what I would call pajamas. By the way, pretty can be very comfortable. A simple dress, with ballet flats, or cute tennis shoes can be pretty AND comfortable. The best advice I've ever received from an older woman, "Never neglect loveliness." (Lydia Sherman) I also like an older man's perspective too, "When females spend time, effort, and money on clothes and grooming and much time before mirrors, they tend to act more feminine. When they take shortcuts, they appear and act less feminine." (Sir Guy)

I recently ordered this dress online but had it custom made (at no extra cost) for "comfort." 


I added sleeves, raised the neckline and lengthened it to accommodate 
leggings underneath for a cold day...like today.



We saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was a cute movie, we laughed quite a bit. 
The theme of the film reminded me of that famous quote:

"It's never too late to be who you might have been." 
~ George Eliot

Afterwards, we quietly shared a pizza at Fondi's and then went our separate ways.

Nothing's changed, but it is a good beginning.

January 01, 2014

The first day of a New Year


Mary Engelbreit

This time around I am meek and quiet. I've begun previous years fearfully, confidently, excitedly. But, this year, I am quiet. I know all too well, the truth of Proverbs 27:1. "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth."

I'm not afraid. I know my God is Faithful.

Still, I plan on living this day, and the days following, one at a time.

I walk a road littered with Doubts, but I hold a Strong Hand and my feet walk confidently.

How will I support myself and my children? Daily, I search for a job; I am not qualified for much. The simplest jobs require a technical skill or a degree that I don't have.

I think, "Are boundaries O.K.? Maybe I should accept everything 'till death do us part?'" I think of the years spent trying, and forgiving, and enduring. What's another 16 years? But, there is so much you don't know.

Deeply, I hear "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her..." "She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

Even in separate houses, this is my hope, how I strive to live. I want Mr. Santos to know that he can trust me. Yet, there is a line, a new line, a safe place. I won't give it up. I won't erase that line and go back.

Our separation has been revealing - revealing our sin, our blame, our long-suffering with one another. We cannot continue anymore on separate paths. For many years our separate paths ran parallel. I see this in a lot of marriages; two people living their own lives, separately, parallel, never joining together as one mind, in one accord. That was fine for me. I did that for years. But for the Santos Times, our paths ceased to run parallel, they ran opposite.  There was too much pulling, too much pain. Our separation presents us with a choice. If we are to go on together it must be on the same path.

The children have needs...needs that tower high and run deep. What can I do? "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

I've been told that I am a bad influence. I've been told that I am in sin. And then on the other hand, I have been mocked for not seeking divorce, for waiting and praying for reconciliation.

And so, I am quiet. I don't know what this year will bring.

I know today I must pay the rent. God has provided. Today, there are children to feed, I will cook a few meals. Today, there are lessons to teach and learn, I will persevere. How will I do this? By God's Grace.

And today, I will be Thankful and Rejoice!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; Phil 4:6

A Psalm of Thanksgiving. 
Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. 
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 100

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