Saturday, October 24, 2009

In it Together...

I had such a nice evening last night--I was invited to join 8 women to welcome two new youth pastor's wives to our was a lovely pot luck dinner at the children's director's gorgeous home out in Simi Valley. Each woman shared how God had led them, how they met their husbands, and what their passion is--for the Lord, for their lives. I was struck how although we each have our own very unique story--a common thread runs through all of our lives--a story of a JOURNEY and of a sure CALLING. I love to tell the story of God's call on my life. I would never have responded to His call had it not been that I fell in love with a young man headed for the ministry. And to this very day, he is serving the Lord, all out, full on, sold out, and to the finish. The first 25 years were so different than these last 16. The first, I was working right along beside him and the churches we served got "two for the price of one!" These recent years I have been working at a career, but not for myself, rather so that he is free to serve in the unique field that he is in. His stories are amazing, heart-breaking, and often miraculous. And I am there for him to come home to and to know that all is well--we're in it together, and we're in it to the finish.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Anyone who has known me for very long know that I used to be a skinny person. Until about 45 years old, which was a long time ago now. Not being skinny was somewhat of a shock to me. Never having had to think about what I ate or exercize before, I did nothing about the "new me." To make a long story short, five weeks ago I decided it was time to change. I said my goal was to strengthen my core, not to lose weight. Well a complete reversal in habits has proven to me that you can teach an old dog new tricks--although I had serious doubt that would be possible for me, not to mention the added motivation of aging rapidly, deteriorating joints, various kinds of arthitis, AND, on top of it all, having become "pre-diabetic."

Today I had an experience I thought I would share with my blogging family. Keep in mind, to date, I'm very diligently building up my "core," and I've been eating right for the first time in my life.

Falling off the wagon--Whoopie!

So today I decide I'm going to not eat bkfst at home (I usually eat yogurt, granola and fruit, or fruit and an egg) but to stop at my favorite Corner Bakery on the way in and splurge on the cold oatmeal w/yogurt and chopped apples cup that I like and then have some mocha coffee with non fat milk and no whip as an extra splurge. When I got there they had these new cookies called "Whoopies." There are two kinds: chocolate with a vanilla frosting in between two layers of cookie, and pumpkin with a vanilla looking frosting in between. It was the pumpkin that got me. I HAD to buy one and thought I'd share it with my colleagues when I got in to work, but just have a tiny little taste, just in case it was something I'd need to make for the holidays--you know, for practical reasons. Needless to say, I had downed it before my oatmeal takeout was ready. It was the most yummy thing I've put in my face in months. Of course, I have absolutely no clue as to how far back that thing will set me on my new weight loss and body-building/shaping kick I'm on. I'll know more about that tomorrow when I meet with BRIDGETT, the six-foot perfect specimen of health and bone thin fitness person. Oy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

My Dad turned 87 today. In typical Wallace Family style, we gathered about 35 family members together and gave him gifts and angel food cake with strawberries and cream. There was lots of talking, laughter, reminiscing, story-telling, children running and playing, looking at old photos, and cheers for the latest triumph of one or another. All because of one man, and the love he gave to his extended family, his beloved wife, children, and grandchildren over so many, many years.

Recently I've been sorting through mountains of their old photos. I was struck by how amazingly handsome a man he was, and still is in so many ways. My brother Bob and I were looking a batch of old tree job pictures--not only was he handsome, he was strong. There are photos of him 60, 80, 120 feet in the air suspended by ropes, spurs and massive chain saws swinging behind him. Amazing to see him braced in an enormous eucalyptus tree sawing through branches five times his girth, at just the right angle, tying ropes to the log so it could be brought down without taking him with it or injuring anyone on the ground. The City of Los Angeles called him a "tree surgeon"... and it is obvious when looking at the photos what kind of skill, as well as bravery, it took.

That was my dad. Skilled and brave.

I recently read through a journal I wrote years ago about my own life, a history of events and thoughts, beliefs, and values. Woven throughout are things I've learned from my dad and my feelings about him. He gave me so much...what I think about and do today originated with him. The greatest gift he gave to me was his unconditional and sacrificial love for me. He truly was, and is, the "Jesus with skin on" that I needed as a child. He opened the door for my own beliefs and a knowledge that God as my Father in Heaven loves me, no matter how far I may stray from Him. Like my earthly daddy, His door is always open to welcome me home. He didn't have to tell me, he demonstrated it. And I knew it.

Today my dad isn't so strong anymore and he's not remembering everything. Now I open his door with a key. But when I unlock the door of my childhood home and come in, I hear those sweet words that will forever ring in my ears, "Well hello Sweetheart! How's my little dolly today? Doesn't she look like a million bucks Mama?"