Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Please visit me at Lisa's

My beautiful friend Lisa Shaw invited me to share a post with her for her Ladies On A Mission series. It posted on Saturday but since I don't blog on the weekend I couldn't point you to it.
And since yesterday was a holiday and I wasn't blogging, I had to wait until today to send you over there.
Soooo, here's the link. Please take a moment to visit Lisa's place so we can talk more.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog...

Busy Thursday, didn't have time to blog.

Computer sick or dead. Not sure which.

Competing with family for time on Dad's computer...

Already have some posts scheduled to go next week. :)

Hoping to achieve something which resembles normalcy soon.




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Evolution of the Birthday Party

Last Friday Matthew had some buddies over to celebrate his birthday.
They came over after school and ran around our yard shooting each other with their air-soft guns.
And I?
Made sure they were all wearing protective goggles. And sat inside enjoying the sound of boys running around, having fun.

When my husband arrived with pizza, the boys came in to eat.
And I?
Poured drinks. And marveled at the fact that some of the boys ate the apples I had set out for them. *wink*

Then the boys decided it was time for Matthew to open his gifts - so their pizza could settle a bit before they went back outside to run around some more.
And I?
Sat and watched.

Presents opened, the boys headed outside for an intense game of Capture the Flag.
And I?
Cleaned up the dinner mess.

When it was nearing time for parents to come and get their sons, I asked the boys if they wanted to come in for cake. And they came a runnin'!
I plated the cake and each guest came to the counter and took his piece. One boy politely asked me for a drink of water, too.

And as I stood there watching them, reflecting on the party which was coming to an end, I realized how significantly these events have changed over the years.
* It used to be I made up games for the kids to play - and led them through the games on party day.
* It used to be I came up with the decorations, and directed the kids through a schedule of activities for each party.
* It used to be they looked to me - the event planner - for where to go and what to do.

It used to be I had a lead role in birthday parties. But now it seems I've become a supporting actress. There's more for me to do behind the scenes than there is up front.
And really?
I'm OK with the change.
It's all part of this process of growing up. And I pray God will continue to lead me as the phases evolve.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

HE Probably Knows the Gray Ones, Too

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Matthew 10:30
After the ways God has been seeing to my details lately, I suppose He even knows how many of my hairs have turned gray! (I've stopped counting.)


I have had stuff going on. Things to do. Deadlines to meet. And while I tried to take it in stride, tried to get things done ahead of time even, when it didn't fall into place on my timetable, I started to get anxious.
But I prayed. I told God I knew HE knew what was needed, and I asked Him to bring it all together.
Then I sat back and watched Him work.
OK, I didn't sit there and do nothing. I was active. But I was trusting God to do the real work.
And can I just say? As I did what I thought I needed to do, God delighted my heart by working out every single detail.

He is so into the details!!!

Are you facing uncertainty today? Feeling overwhelmed by burdens or obligations? Take your needs to our Father.
HE can handle it all.
HE will see to every detail.

After all, HE knows the number of the very hairs of your head.
Now, if He would just do something about my grays.
Oh, yeah. That's why I see Clayton! *wink*


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Funny Because it's True

Matthew had his eleventh birthday last week.
And this line came from the card which my hubby chose for him:

How many sons does it take to change a light bulb?

...Only one. But you have to ask him about 50 times to do it.

I think I'll put that card in Matthew's 'memory box'. He'll appreciate the humor more when he has his own kids. *wink*


Monday, May 23, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

Joy does not depend on circumstances.

Can I tell you about some other favorite residents of mine?
They are D and H.
D moved in a couple months ago and waited for H to join her. He was in a rehab facility, and D waited so patiently. I knew she was eager for him to join her, because every time I spoke with her, she'd say, "My husband is H. He isn't here yet. But he'll be coming." And she'd smile.
Oh, I wish you could have seen her after H finally arrived at Edgewood. That dear woman wore a smile bigger than any I've ever seen!
It was a beautiful sight to behold.
Since H came to Edgewood I have enjoyed many opportunities to talk with them, and to listen about their life together. They traveled around the country with a mission team and helped build (I think) 60 churches. They were teachers together at a small Christian school. They both loved music and enjoyed it together.
What a beautiful couple.

Well, last Friday, D passed away. And the first time I saw H since her passing was at Bible study on Monday. I put my arm around him and asked how he was doing. Without hesitation, H told me he was sad to not have her with him anymore but he was so joyful for her - because she is with Jesus. I've heard those words coming out of his mouth all week. I keep hearing joy, joy, joy.
Rather than focusing on his circumstance, H is rooted in Jesus.
It blesses me to hear him. H is reminding me to remember the eternal. Earth is temporary. Jesus gives us forever. Death is temporary for the Believer. We have eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
And, Joy does not depend on our circumstances.

***As I was writing this post it occurred to me D may be walking around in heaven saying to everyone she meets, "My husband is H. He isn't here yet. But he'll be coming."


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Last Friday Elizabeth asked me to go on a bike ride with her.
What she didn't tell me was how looong of a ride she wanted to take.
And what I didn't realize was there was a lot of rain coming our way. And when I saw the clouds, it was too late. We were committed.

We biked to Meijer so Elizabeth could buy some gummy dinosaurs and on our way home she wanted to stop by her friend's house. So she could share some of her candy. *cute*
I actually enjoyed our little visit, and was pleased to be able to meet this friend's mother. But the whole time, I was keenly aware there was some rain a'comin' and we ought to get going.

Sure enough, just a few seconds after we got back on the road - I felt one.
And another.
Little drops of water on my hands.
The rain had arrived.
And before I knew it, I was getting hit by some very big rain drops. Elizabeth and I were riding pretty fast in our attempt to get home before it REALLY started raining. Going that fast was difficult for me, because I was blinking so much to try to keep the rain out of my eyes.
Just then I heard the familiar ring from Elizabeth's phone, which lets her know she's just received a text message. I looked ahead at her - riding down hill through the rain - as she leaned forward on her bike, opened her purse, and took out her phone to check her message.
I called out, "REALLY? You're going to read your text while we're riding through the rain???"
She just laughed.
And as she put her phone away she called back, "Michaela says her mom thinks you're nice!"

Well, I guess that message was worth risking life and limb to read. *wink*


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On Fools and Discipline

A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

Proverbs 15:5

As I watch my son behaving like a fool, it absolutely breaks my heart.
And it makes me wonder how God feels - if it breaks His heart - when I spurn His discipline.
God knows what is right.
He knows the correction and guidance I need.
He knows the way I should go.
And He disciplines me to move me that way.

Yet sometimes I spurn my Father's discipline.
Sometimes I act like I know better than Him, and I get annoyed by the things through which He makes me go.
Yes, sometimes I pound my fists and turn my back - willing Him to leave me alone.

But when my husband and I are in our son's room and he does those same things to us; when my heart breaks because I want so desperately for my son to understand the discipline we're giving is for his good - because we love him; when these things happen, I begin to think I'm getting a picture of my Father's heart.

He loves me.
Everything God takes me through is for my good. Even if I don't like it at the time.
I can trust Him.
I believe it!

Do you believe the same is true for you???


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Does He Hear When I Don't Say Anything?

The other night, Joshua and I were in the kitchen working at the same time.

I could have written, "The other night, Joshua and I were in the kitchen together working." But that would be misleading. It would sound much too pleasant.

We had just walked in the door and I reminded Joshua he needed to unload the dishwasher. As he set to his task, I got back to making dinner. Before long, Joshua needed to put dishes away in the drawer in front of which I was standing.
So I stepped aside.
Then Joshua let out a *huff* and said, "You know, it's inconvenient for you to be working there when I'm unloading the dishwasher."
I was a bit surprised that he dared say something so flippant made that comment. I responded by saying, "Oh, really? Well, it was inconvenient for me to stop making dinner so I could go pick you up from track practice. But I did it anyway."
(I might have let out a little *huff*, too.)
And then, even though my mouth wasn't moving, my words kept coming. In my mind I continued on with everything I wanted to say. Well, son, if you unloaded the dishwasher in the morning - like you're supposed to - none of this would even be an issue. You would be done with your chores, and there would be nothing for you to do when you get home from practice. I wouldn't be in your way, and you wouldn't be in mine. It would be so much more pleasant if you would just do your chores when you're supposed to.

I looked at my son, completely oblivious to the conversation taking place in my head, and wondered, What does he hear when I don't say anything?


Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

Age does not equal maturity.

Unfortunately, not all the lessons I learn at Edgewood are warm and fuzzy.
And this week I witnessed a couple scenes which felt more like cold and prickly.

Exhibit A: Talking with the Bingo crowd about cards. Some residents take the Bingo cards they like to their room - so they can use the same ones each time. Other residents don't think the cards should leave the activity room.
I tried to have a conversation with them about it Monday, and about 30 seconds into the 'conversation' I realized what a bad idea it was. *sigh*
They were bickering and complaining, and on the verge of insulting one another - over Bingo cards! For a minute I thought I was in a room full of junior high kids.

Exhibit B: Overheard comments on the bus. One of the ladies who lives at Edgewood has taken it upon herself to pull up just about every dandelion that dares appear in the yard.
Weeding keeps her busy.
She enjoys it.
Everyone on staff thinks it's a wonderful thing.
But a few of the residents have a different view. And I heard about it Wednesday when I was driving them to Walmart. One lady said to another, "Oh, look at her out there picking those dandelions!" "Yes. What does she think she's doing?" Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, cheep-cheep-cheep. (Does anyone else recognize that song from, The Music Man?)
When we were getting back from the store and she was still out there, the comments began again. And, once more, I found myself wondering if I had just become surrounded by junior high girls.

Indeed, I love the residents at Edgewood. However, this week some of them were displaying their not-so-pleasant side. And I was clearly reminded,
Age does not equal maturity.

Now I'm wondering what I can do - to make sure I don't fall into the same habits when I'm a senior citizen. *wink*


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Joshua's Rhyming Couplet

A couple of weeks ago you got a taste of Joshua's story-telling abilities from the chat I shared.

Today you get to see his poetic side.

Joshua's language arts class just finished a poetry unit, and I completely enjoyed seeing him excited about school work. Really. He loved writing poetry. As I read his poems, I understood why. It gave him an opportunity to express his humor in a creative way. I think he really liked the idea that he could be funny and get good grades for it.
Inside his folder is written, "Poems are fun to write."
He even wrote an additional poem for extra credit. My son did extra credit work. This is uh-mazing!
Final grade: 69/65. Yes, that would be an A+.
This mama is so proud! *grin*

So here you have it - a little dark humor in a rhyming couplet:

Wolves make very good rugs,
they can also be used for uggs.
They are not very nice,
they enjoy mauling mice.
They have no pity,
they will surely devour your kitty.
Without thinking twice,
they will slice and dice.
Most of the time,
you get caught on a dime.
And then it's too late.
They have already ate.

That's my boy! *wink*


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More 'Stuff'

Last Thursday on my day off, I encountered more delays. Things thrown in my day unexpectedly, other stuff just not working out as planned - thereby causing delays. My plans for my day were getting all shuffled around. And I was trying so hard to not get bent out of shape about it.


I got into the van and as soon as I turned it on, I heard this song playing on the radio. Seriously!

I laughed out loud, and thanked God for reminding me that HIS timing, HIS plans, HIS ways are perfect. I thanked Him for reminding me how much I'm blessed - even in my little mess.
Oh, how I love it when HE uses my 'stuff'!

How has God been using your stuff lately?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What a Friend Would Do

Have you ever walked past a mirror and noticed your hair was messed up, and wondered how long it had been that way?
Have you ever itched your nose and discovered *something* hanging just outside your nostril?

When situations like those happen to me, it makes me wonder if I have friends.

Because friends wouldn't let that happen.

A friend would tell you that your hair is messy and needs attention.
A friend would tell you there's a booger hanging from your nose.
A friend would offer you gum or a mint, if your breath was bad.
A friend would tell you about the broccoli stuck between your teeth.
A friend would ask if you really meant to only wear one earring.
A friend would suggest you go to the bathroom to take care of the very ripe white-head on your chin.

That's what a friend would do. Because a friend sees what you can't see, and she looks out for you.

Now, go. Be a friend! *wink*


Monday, May 09, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

Lessons From the Edge

Rhythm really doesn't matter.

Have you ever danced with someone?
When you do, you realize quite quickly how important it is to have a sense of rhythm, and to be in step with your partner. When the two of you are 'together' it makes the dance beautiful. But when you aren't? Uh, not so much.
This week I learned, however, that in the grand scheme of things, rhythm really doesn't matter.

We had a musical duo come in Wednesday and lots of residents gathered around to listen. About half-way through the program they played a polka, and I immediately looked for M. She and I always dance a polka together.
Then I remembered - M just moved. Because she needed 24-hour care. And I sighed a sad sigh. But when I looked up again, I saw D (not the same D I've written of before...) sitting in front of me and I leaned over his shoulder and asked, "Do you want to dance?"
D was quick to get up and I tried to give him a really fast lesson on how to dance a polka. (As if I know! LOL) He was unsure of himself and our feet got tangled a couple of times.
We started to 'get it' when the song was nearly over, as we danced around counting, "1,2,3. 1,2,3." But I'm sure we were not a very pretty sight.
Even so, we were laughing and having a good time. At the end, D held my hand up high and I spun around under his arm. We both giggled some more and he declared, "That was fun!"

And it was.

We may not have looked good. Our steps were off. No need to sign us up for a dance competition.
But I know none of that is important. D enjoyed himself. And in the end...

Rhythm really doesn't matter.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Up-front Struggling

So, last weekend Elizabeth wanted to do something with a friend and Brian and I were struggling with the decision to say 'yes' or 'no'. I mean, we trust Elizabeth. She's never given us a reason to NOT trust her. Even so, I don't want to just say 'yes' to everything.
Typically when we have a decision like this one to make, Brian and I talk about it and then let the kids know the conclusion we've reached. But this time we did it a little differently. (Not by plan, I must admit. It's just the way circumstances lined up.)
This time Brian and I struggled with the decision right in front of Elizabeth. We told her why we were leaning toward a 'no' answer, and she asked questions.
At one point she asked, "What do you think we're going to do?" To which I replied, "You don't seriously think I'm going to give you ideas, do you???" LOL!
We had a good discussion about being a teenager, making good decisions - and bad ones, and how that can all be influenced by peers. We shared our concerns with Elizabeth and reached an agreement.
Ultimately, we said, "Yes." And she was happy.

So was I.

Because I had a really good feeling about the struggle we'd just faced to make that decision. It seemed good to struggle up-front like that. I think it was good for Elizabeth to be part of the process and not just to hear the verdict.

And I pray God will keep leading us through this parenting thing!


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Paul's Secret

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Philippians 4:11-12
We've been having lots of conversations at the Hossink household lately about being content with what we have. Without the ability to see the future; with gas going over $4.00/gallon; with questions about what to do...the temptation is great to feel discontent.
Paul's words are so encouraging to me. I hear peace in his words. I hear calm. I hear...contentment. And I think to myself, Yeah. That's what I want!

So, what is the secret Paul learned?

He tells us in verse 13 of Philippians, chapter 4:
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
That's it. That's the secret. It's JESUS!
When I have plenty; when I am in want; when the economy is tanking; when money is abundant; whatever the circumstance I can be content when I trust Jesus to give me the strength.
God has been encouraging me so much with this understanding. I don't need to be strong. I don't need to muster up the gumption to put on a happy face and pretend to be confident about the uncertain future. I just need to trust Jesus.
HE is strong.
HE knows the future.
HE knows what I need.
And I can be content in every.single.situation through HIM who gives me strength.

Don't keep it a secret!


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

This is the Stuff

No one will ever be able to convince me that God doesn't speak through songs.

It was my day off.
I had plans for what I wanted to do.
The first interruption came when I needed to take something to my son at school.
Then there was the 'quick' dentist appointment. That ended up taking over an hour.
A run to the grocery store, and then I'd be able to get to my things.
Oh, but since I was out I figured I ought to stop in another store to see if I could pick up something I need at work.
They didn't have it.
But they were kind enough to recommend another place I could look.
Uh, they didn't have it, either.

Whatever, I'll just go home now, I thought. And I'll get to do what I want to do!

Oh, but then I remembered I needed to stop by the library to pick up a movie for 'Movie Night' at Edgewood.
Just one more interruption...

Finally, on my way home - as I was feeling a little antsy because of the morning's delays and interruptions - I was just sure God was in control at the radio station. Because this song (which I'd never heard before) came on the radio. What a delightful perspective check. *grin*


Monday, May 02, 2011