Tuesday, February 25, 2014

500 Loads of Laundry

500 loads of laundry. 119 days of home school. 26 Sundays of making coffee. Approximately 20 sleepovers (I've lost count, actually). 16ish trips to Pagosa Springs for theater class. 12 trips to the Jicarilla Library. 8 piano lessons. 5 Sunday School lesson plans. 3 doctor visits. 2 ski trips (with another one planned this week).

That's how long we've been in Dulce. 

Six months. It wasn't the calendar that I noticed, though, it was the dryer sheets. We bought this huge package of dryer sheets when we went to Farmington the very first time (along with many other things!). It had two boxes of 500 sheets each... And I finished the first one this week. 500 loads of laundry. More than 80 loads a month. That's almost 20 loads a week! That's crazy!

I thought it was time for a "check-in." How are we doing here in Dulce? What are we up to? What's next?

We are doing great! My husband is thriving as the pastor of the Jicarilla Apache Reformed Church. People have said that attendance is up. The church and parsonage are being used frequently for God's work. We are in the planning stage of beginning an AWANA children's program in conjunction with several other churches in town.

The list in the first paragraph keeps me pretty busy. Plus, I'm helping with the AWANA planning. And I was busy with glass through Christmas. I haven't done much since, but it feels good to have a break. I am working on a design for the centennial celebration of our church. It uses the Jicarilla Apache Great Seal as the basic design:

We are quite happy here in Dulce. We look forward to what God has in store for us here in the future. We know that He has called us here for His purposes; we are committed to working with His people here in the homeland of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. I, personally, am excited about the near future in starting AWANA. The children and youth of Dulce will benefit from the cooperation of the churches to offer such a great program.

Stay tuned for a glimpse of the centennial pattern, more about AWANA, and our continued adventures here in New Mexico!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Sad Part

My 7-year-old and I watched this movie last night... and cried when Charlotte died. I have read the book to her, and to many students, and I've teared up every time. Last night, our wee one was sobbing when Charlotte was left behind at the fair, and I was trying to cheer her up a little.

I said, "Honey, remember what happens next in the story? The sad part isn't the end!" We watched and enjoyed Wilbur meeting Charlotte's children... and when it was over, she said, "I'm glad the sad part wasn't the end."

                                                                 Me, too.

Because today, one of our dearest friends was buried at the age of 56. Tom has been one of my husband Brad's best friends for almost three decades. His wife has become a dear friend of mine, and their daughter is a delight.

We have all been saddened by our loss of friend, husband, father, brother, and this morning I was grieving. My daughter asked why I was sad, and I reminded her that Tom was being buried today.

She immediately said, "But Mom, you don't need to be sad! Remember that the sad part isn't the end. Tom is in heaven with Jesus, and he's dancing around with legs that work. He's up there with his new body right now. Don't be sad."

Amen. And amen.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


The road to the Post Office
"Do you want a ride home?" I didn't understand the woman at first. We were in the post office and had exchanged pleasantries upon arriving. She had even joked with me about getting my exercise in by walking to the post office. I didn't really know the woman; I've seen her around, but didn't know her name.

"Do you want a ride home?" she repeated. I said, "No thanks" out of habit, then realized that I'd just been given the gift of hospitality and friendship. I reconsidered, "You know, with this box, I think I would like a ride." We got into her truck and headed away from the post office.

I wondered if she knew where I lived. She didn't ask, and since I'm one of the only Anglo women in town, it was possible she knew. I was quiet, and she drove me directly home. "Thank you," I said as I exited the truck.

Feeling delightfully a part of the community of Dulce, I started thinking about the whole incident. I realized that being known was a wonderful thing. Chances are, most of the residents of Dulce could have done the same thing!

And then I asked myself, I wonder if everyone in my life knows where my home truly is. Evidently, everyone here knows where my physical home is... but is it as obvious where my heart's home is? Is my belonging to heaven as strong as my belonging in the parsonage?

I doubt it.

But it is certainly something for me to think about and work on. I am called to belong to Jesus Christ in Romans 1:6. In Galatians 5, the fruits of the spirit are delineated for those who belong to Jesus Christ. Does my life exemplify those fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control....

And if I am honest with myself, I know that those fruits of the spirit have increased over the years of God's work in my life, but I am not overflowing with them.


Philippians 1:6 assures me that He will continue His good work in me... to its finish.

Thank God!