Sunday, August 13, 2006


"Children need adults who can go for casual walks and talk about [trees and birds] and stuff like that...and slow down to look at pretty leaves and caterpillars...and answer questions God and the nature of the world as it is." --Dobson

Last Sunday Dad got it in his mind to drive two hours (Palm Springs) to say hello to Joe and Marguerite Love and sit at their table and have coffee with them. I guess he wanted to hear those old familiar words, "Well come right on in here and sit on down, Pastor Fred, I just put on a fresh pot of coffee!" He did just that, and then took them to their church and worshipped with them. And before two hours were up, he was back on the road to head home.

On Tuesday he received a thank you note for that visit. I wanted to share it with "All the Loves of My Life."

Dear Pastor Fred -- Age "60"-- a great age and you are a true blessing to us. Thanks for such a special Sunday. Greetings to all your dear ones.
Freddie--I want a blizzard and a hot dog.
Isaac--I will take a fish.
Annie--your smile and your love for your parents. You are a dear daughter.
Becky?? A wife of joy, love, kindness and laughter makes Fred a Happy Man.
Love, the Loves

I'm not sure if I've shared with you all about some of the mentors God has used in my life--and I will one day write to you about them. But Marguerite Love is one mentor the Lord brought into my life at just the right time to be an example of the Proverbs woman for me--a real live example with skin on! During the eight years at Sunkist that I had the privilege of sitting under her "tutelage," I watched her work in the church kitchen, visit "old people," take food to anyone who might need it, myself included, babysit anyone's kids, or pets, mine included, teach Bible school, make homemade pudding and the best pie crusts I've ever tasted, shop for everyone but herself, host hundreds of church events, take in overnight missionaries, work in her garden, clean her yard, then her neighbors' yards, hunt for bargains from one garage sale to another, and then give it all away to anyone who might need it, take care of her grandchildren, other people's grandchildren, sew beautiful clothes for her children, grandchildren, me, and my children, support multiple young families headed for any mission field, go to the mission field herself and work in a kitchen, head for family camp, year after year, chauffeuring anyone who might need a ride, and all the while being utterly grateful to God for her life.

One of the memories I have of Marguerite was when the first microwave ovens came out. She had to have one. And not only that but she sold them to everyone she knew. She demo'd them at grocery stores and fairs. Never one be behind the times on anything!

Those are the things that Marguerite did. Then there were things Marguerite said. Marguerite can talk with the best of them. And she openly, gladly, cheerfully, and practically shared her opinion, her philosophy, her faith, and her trials, with the practical Missouri attitude that basically tells it like it is with absolute wonder at people in this world who can't see it the same way--remind you of another Missourian in our world (see above photo!)? "I just said, Becky (Fred, Joe, or whoever she's speaking to), it's like I always say...I've got a roof over my head and food in the 'fridgerator, what more could I want?" Or, "We're not dead yet! I'm still moving, just a little slower, I can get in that car go to the grocery store and to church, what else do I need?"

Marguerite is an old fashioned woman, but has never, ever, let the changing times overwhelm her. When church music changed, probably not really to her liking, she's still right there on the front row supporting the musicians. When the clothing styles changed, she would get out the sewing machine and make sure the little girls in her world were dressed accordingly. The times have changed, and she so uniquely has kept up with those changes, but never changing the core of who she is--a practical, giving, sharing, and patient woman. When her kids and grandkids choices may not have been the choices she would have made, she supports them wholeheartedly.

In my opinion, things have not been easy for Marguerite. She's had many real challenges in her life--and yet, to know her or speak with her, you would never know it. She has made those challenges, and those terrific changes in the world around her, appear to be seamless, acceptable, reasonable almost, because, after all, it all comes from God, and He is in control, and He is going to make it all right one day.

What a blessed woman, and here, once again, with a simple handwritten note, she has blessed my life so much again--reminding me of those God has brought into my life to help me see the world through grateful eyes, patient eyes, longsuffering eyes. I love Marguerite Love, so very much.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Tomorrow is Dad's birthday! His 60th! He found this rather appropriate cartoon yesterday from Drabble. So I guess you guys will have to leave the balloons behind for this one! All joking aside-- someone once said, "It doesn't take monumental feats to make the world a better place. It can be as simple as letting someone go ahead of you in a grocery line." That's your Dad. Late last night a scared new Daddy called from the hospital. His "girlfriend" was in labor and he desperately wanted to marry her and thought maybe the chaplain could make that happen! So Dad got out of bed got dressed and went to the hospital to talk to Anthony. You can just picture it can't you? Here's his young girlfriend in early labor and he's decided now is the time to get married. I'm sure that wasn't exactly what she had in mind at that moment! So your kind Dad sat with Anthony and shared the Lord with Him, encouraged Him, prayed with Him, and helped him see that his life needs to take a new direction. [By the way, at this writing, his girlfriend is still in labor! And, he couldn't have legally married them, no matter how willing he was.]

But that's the kind of man he is, willing. This morning, for example, he goes right over to Grammies to fix her message on her phone. Last night, even though he is on the cabbage soup diet (that's the kind of thing you do when you're almost to turn 60!), and had been running ALL day since 5:00 a.m. that morning, and was soooo tired, he put on his shoes and left to pick up a burger for me and put gas in my car. He's the kind of man that when visiting a lady from church one time, he got in his car and went to the store for her to pick up sanitary napkin pads. The kind of person that would take ANYONE to the airport at 4 in the morning! He's the kind who doesn't mind handing over every penny he's ever earned if it means it would bring pleasure to his kids or to me, and in spite of what he might need it for. And yes, he's also a "Disneyland Dad," he may not have taught his boys to change the oil in the car or trim a tree, but he did teach his kids how to enjoy life, how to play, how to sacrifice your time, your energy, and your very being for the needs of others. Dr. Dobson once said that "the greatest thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother." Nothing could be truer than this in my view. And Dad has done that in every imaginable way.

Aren't we blessed kids? Thank you my love, for having this special birthday, and being willing to share it with your kids this coming weekend in such a GRAND way! And thank you for loving me...

July 2006, 36 years married, 56 and 60 years young!

Scrapbooking Musings...

All the Loves of My Life, May 1977
In July 2005 I began to scrapbook our family beginning with our wedding in July 1970. It took five months for me to finish Freddy's first 3-1/2 years, which ultimately filled two albums with 108 pages (scrappers ALWAYS count their pages) and encompasses the "Denver years" and the "Costa Mesa years." After a short break :) I began the "Isaac years," which coincides nicely with the "San Diego years." I've just finished the "Isaac years" (80 pages!) and am now busy scanning, sorting, and planning for the "Annie years, ala Sunkist years!" The last two evenings I spent working on the journaling in the Freddy years--taking a lot of time as my "little women" know so well, but brings me so much joy!
At the same time, I've been reading portions of Scripture each day in a journaling book compiled by Anne Graham Lotz. The Scripture readings are from a book published in the 1800s called "Daily Light." Anne just organized the readings and added questions to prompt one to journal how the Scriptures reach into your heart and help you apply them to your life.
The following is a prayer I wrote when I clearly had scrapbooking on my mind!

"Oh that my life will have no blank pages--
that I would be filled up with the love of God for others--
for my husband, children, grandchildren, and my parents.
That the pages of my life would be easily read,
and the journaling left behind not scribbled or difficult to understand.
That Jesus will be found on every page
and His grace will be the embossing that is not just seen,
but felt--
along, above, and below the surface,
leaving behind a visible and permanent mark!
That even the memories I leave behind that are bitter
and have no value
and are not edifying for anyone,
will be viewed as the grace and forgiveness and love of Christ.
And that every frivolous and meaningless embellishment
I add to my hectic and busy life,
will be replaced by a deep and abiding legacy of living
with eternity's values in full view,
visible to all on every page of my life.
--July 2006

Little Woman

The Cast

Grandma's Little Woman!

Penny and I had lunch at the Hollywood Farmer's Market!

Grandma and Penny, August 6, 2006

Last Sunday Penny and I had the privilege of going to the Pantages Theater to see the Broadway musical production of Little Women. It was wonderful! You all know what a young lady Penny is becoming--and can imagine how much fun it is for me to spend time with her as she is indeed emerging into a "little woman!"

The main character in the story is, as you know, Jo. Jo is an 1800s woman ahead of her time--a writer, and based on the life story of her author and creator, Louisa May Alcott. She was a Christian woman, and had much heartache in her life--unlike Jo in this most famous story, she never married, but cared for her family throughout her life and also worked in hospitals caring for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. She died at my age, 56, just two days after her own father, a chaplain during the war. Her spirit, her sacrifices, her inner voice, and her amazing talent make her not just a heroine from the pages of a thrilling story of long ago, but a true "American idol" for girls like Penny to admire and emulate some 150 years later. I bought on Alibris a biography of Louisa and can't wait to share it with my "Little Woman" when it comes!

The last words on the pages of "Little Women" is the voice of Marmee...Touched to the heart, Mrs. March could only stretch out her arms, as if to gather her children and grandchildren to herself, and say, with face and voice full of motherly love, gratitude, and humility, -- "O my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!"

What an epitapth, all the loves of my life!!