Archive | September, 2013

Seattle? Yes, Please!

27 Sep

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
when we pray for you … the faith and love that spring
from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that
you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel
that has come to you.
Colossians 1:1-6

There it is! As I peered out my window at the endless sea of clouds, I saw it! My heart began to stir with excitement as I saw my first glimpse of the awesome and majestic 14,411 foot Mt. Rainier … for that meant my son and his world was within moments of my grasp! Not literally moments, of course, but after a 5 hour flight, it was as good as moments!!

Me and Brittany at The Dish Cafe

Me and Brittany at The Dish Cafe

There she is! After gathering our few items we carried onto the plane and made our necessary stops, we wound our way through the concourse of the SeaTac airport to find the one person who knew us and was happy to see us! Brittany’s bright smile and warm hugs melted my heart as she greeted us, posed for pictures with the disheveled travelers, and graciously chauffeured us to a quaint little local spot for breakfast. With full tummies and contented hearts, we relaxed in the cuteness and comfort of Ryan and Brittany’s apartment, chatting non stop and catching up about life.

Group family photo!!

Group family photo!!


There he is! One last shift of work before taking off several days to spend with his parents, I greeted Ryan at the door when he came home a few hours after we arrived. Words will never be able to sufficiently express my heart when that boy of mine wraps me in his arms. It had been over four long months since we were together, so all of a sudden, my world was beyond happy. That first Saturday was completed with a trip to the theater to see Star Trek, Golden Gardens beach, and a big ginormous bowl of homemade guacamole and chips!

We were greeted with bright sunshine and blue sky as we walked over to Caffé Vita for our Sunday morning brew. Coffee and cinnamon rolls jumpstarted our day that then began with worship at Aurora Church of the Nazarene, followed by an afternoon stroll through the Fremont Sunday street market. We then came back, fired up the grill and enjoyed a delicious grilled salmon dinner … family prepared and devoured!!

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Next on our trip itinerary was a 3-hour drive down to Portland, Oregon. Leaving Brittany behind to work, the three of us packed lightly on Monday morning and piled into Ryan’s BMW and headed south. Tim had a few eateries on our to-eat-at list with the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives as his inspiration. The first destination on the GPS was breakfast at Pine State Biscuits, where we ate enough food to feed an army! We then drove along the Columbia River to the east, where we stopped to look at several scenic views and waterfalls. The two favorite stops were Wahkeena and Multnomah falls – both breathtaking in their own way. So much so that this Mommy/Mimi heart had to share it all with her loves … thanks to my son who makes sure his mom stays technologically savvy, my iphone5 will ‘facetime’ from anywhere! So as Papaw, Uncle RyRy, and Mimi stood on the bridge as close as the railings would allow, Cole got to see and hear what we were experiencing ~ and he said “Wow, Mimi! A waterfall!!” With 2,783 miles between us, my heart was still tightly wrapped around that little boy, his sister and his parents!!

The Sanchez Family

The Sanchez Family

There they are! Pastor Steve and Jennifer looked the same, except for the two little rug rats they had along with them!! Who would’ve thought?? The last time we saw Jen and Steve was when we left Albuquerque in 2006. No murmurings of little kids were ever spoken and now they have two fine little boys, Ezra (4) and Silas (2). The Sanchez family moved in July where they now pastor the Mollola Nazarene Church. We met them at our 2nd Triple D stop, Podnah’s Pit BBQ, where the food was yummy and the fellowship was wonderful! Definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

CAR2GO

CAR2GO

Our second day in Portland was packed full of tasty treats and a lot of walking! The walking was good since there were so many tasty treats!! Our 3rd DDD stop at Arleta’s Library and Bakery Café offered us a unique and delish breakfast of sweet potato biscuits and gravy along with sweet potato hash browns. We meandered around downtown Portland, checking out Powell’s Book store, the Willamette River, Stumptown Coffee, and the food trucks! Oh … and the countless CAR2GO cars – the little ‘smart’ cars that people can drive for $14 an hour or $73 a day – “Experience spontaneity on wheels: car2go makes transportation flexible. Get in and out wherever you like. Drive as long and as often as you want.” I found them quite fascinating!! After our full day of travels by foot and by car, we arrived safely back in Seattle just in time to take Brittany to dinner and ice cream with us. It was good to be back home!

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Seattle from the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center

Seattle from the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center

Wednesday was a local day of fun – Ryan spent the day with us as we made the traditional walk through Pike Place Market – downtown Seattle. We stopped at our favorite places for crumpets, pizza, cheese, pepper jelly samples, and the original Starbucks – although we didn’t partake there due to the long line. We then walked several blocks to the Columbia Center building, where we went up to the 73rd Sky View Observatory floor. Awesome! Twice as high as the Space Needle for ½ the cost!! An amazing view of Seattle and the surrounding areas in every direction! Mimi once again shared the moment with Cole, who quickly asked if I could show him trains from up there! Dinner that evening was a special treat as we checked out Lil’ Woody’s, a hamburger joint that served the “New Mexican”, smothered with Hatch green chile! Needless to say, we were happy and quite full when we left! Ultimate Frisbee was our evening entertainment, as we watched Ryan and friends play a couple games under the lights in a nearby sports field.

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

We woke to our first and only rainy day on Thursday, so Ryan decided to take us for a drive. As we left Seattle, we crossed over floating bridges as we headed east through the Snoqualmie pass toward Spokane. The further we drove, the less it was raining, so once the skies cleared and the sun was shining, we stopped to see the Snoqualmie waterfalls. We really didn’t plan this trip around seeing waterfalls … it just happened that way! Back to Seattle with a quick snack from Paseo Caribbean while we watched the second part of the Batman Trilogy, followed with a late evening dinner at our 4th Triple D stop. Bizzarro Italian Café is literally within walking distance of Ryan and Brittany’s place … very good food!

Lighthouse in West Vancouver, BC, Canada

Lighthouse in West Vancouver, BC, Canada

The next two days took me and Tim up to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With Caffé Vita in hand, we borrowed Ryan’s car and drove two hours north to cross the border with our new passcards. Friday kept us in the city, experiencing new sites, eating great food, walking several miles, taking lots of pictures, and simply enjoying the time together. We crossed the bridge Saturday morning to enter North and then West Vancouver where we hiked through rain forests, saw twin waterfalls, then visited Lighthouse Park along the Salish Sea. We arrived back in Seattle in time for a grilled steak dinner and the sweet company of our two left coast kids. It was our final evening together before flying home the next day.

There it is! One thing is for certain … I will always see Mt. Rainier as I fly into Seattle and I will always see it as I fly out. As we boarded the plane on that bright Sunday afternoon, the clouds had cleared, allowing me to once again catch my breath as its massive presence captured my attention.

It was truly a blessing to be in Seattle for vacation. God is a gracious and giving God, full of prevenient grace, protection, answered prayers, faithfulness, and His gifts of family!! It was a real gift to share time, good food, great memories, and lots of love with Ryan and Brittany. I can only imagine that someday, as I enter into Heaven, instead of the majesty of Mt. Rainier, there will be the majesty of Jesus Himself that catches my breath with His presence … as I long to hear Him say “There you are! Welcome home!”

Won’t you join me today in looking forward to that day? Let’s accept God’s gifts of love and forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation, family and life. His gifts of divine appointments and His prevenient grace that can altar the course of eternity!

Until next time,
Debbie

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped
praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order
that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being
strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may
have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom
of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us
into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness
of sins.
Colossians 1:9-14

** If you are interested in viewing all of the pictures that I recently posted on Facebook, feel free to click this link … whether you have Facebook or not!! Enjoy!!
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201126682463964.1073741837.1076414018&type=1&l=f2e1a3712a

Motorcycle Missionary

6 Sep

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today,
so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly
till the end the confidence we had at first.
Hebrews 3:13-14

Vacations come and go all too quickly!! Tim and I just returned home from visiting with Ryan and Brittany — I haven’t even had time to get caught up on laundry yet or to dump all of the pictures taken from my camera and my iphone … so the Seattle/Portland/Vancouver 2013 story will have to wait until another day.

This vaca season has been a bit odd in the fact that we haven’t taken the usual mini trips to the shore like we have in the past. We did go once with the grandkids and their parents at the end of July, which was a lot of fun! With the formal end of summer bringing less people to the beaches, we plan on going again sometime later this month. It will be a unique and exciting time, for weather permitting, we will ride Tim’s motorcycle. This motorcycle is really the reason why we haven’t gone away much this summer — because in all reality, we go away every chance we get.

Bell Peppers in the saddlebags

Bell Peppers in the saddlebags

After sitting on several motorcycles and doing alot of research, Father’s Day weekend took us over to a community near Lancaster where Tim wanted to test ride a bike that he had his eye on. One thing led to another and by day’s end, we were riding this ‘new’ bike home and all around town! What we both thought was a nice comfortable ride, the motorcycle that Tim bought 6 years ago does not even begin to compare to this Yamaha Stratoliner. I have quite the spacious place to sit behind my husband, with a secure backrest that allows me to travel in comfort. The two saddle bags on both sides of the bike are extremely roomy and have conveniently transported freshly picked blueberries, bell peppers, tomatoes and various other produce that we have purchased along the way.

The beautiful PA countryside

The beautiful PA countryside

A week before we flew out to see the kids, Tim and I set out for yet another Saturday adventure … this time to enjoy some smoked brisket for lunch, fresh produce to purchase, and a stop at our favorite ice cream shop to top off our fun day! It was an exceptionally gorgeous day … and the writer in me longed to somehow capture the sites, sounds, and feelings that made the day so special. The day of smiles began early in our journey as we passed a sign at the end of an old farm lane that simply said “Hay for Sale”, next to another that read “Brown Eggs”. As we drove through the Amish countryside, there were tobacco fields and clothes drying on their unique hanging lines. We saw goats, streams, gardens with tall sunflowers, yards with Weeping Willows, and roadside tree stumps. We laughed at a very large dog that was also enjoying his ride as he hung his head out a car window. We love to look at houses … causing us to dream about some and agreeing that others should be torn down. We stopped at a car show – some were old and vintage and others were new and tricked out. I always hope to see a ’55 Chevy so I can sigh and giggle as I stand there thinking of my precious Daddy. Along the way, we passed a cross beside the road, memorializing someone’s death. Then there was the bridge that carried us from one side of the Susquehanna River to the other … always a favorite of mine. Another favorite is porches. We saw wrap-around porches, screened-in porches and porch swings. We saw cows and tractors, yard sales, and hammocks under a tree, along with a sign that read “Frogtown Café. Speaking of critters, a butterfly got caught up in the burst of wind caused by the traffic and ran into our arms … causing me to think about life and its bumps and bruises all because we get off course and do not stay focused on where we are supposed to be. Hopefully, the wayward butterfly survived our brief encounter and learned to stay out of the road! And near the end of our ride, I noticed an elderly little lady who was walking back from her mailbox … frail and stooped over. My imagination jumped into high gear as I wondered about her life … was it near her birthday and she was hoping to find cards in the mail? Or perhaps she just recently lost her husband and was sadly reminded of her grief when she read his name on the addressed envelope of the electric bill… And most of my musings end up praying for people like this precious little lady ~ praying that she knows Jesus and that He is the Center of her life. I often think about the fact that perhaps I’m the only one who will pray for that person that day.

Tim and I

Tim and I

Won’t you join me today in being a missionary right where we are? The saying goes “You may be the only Bible some people read today”, or you may be that one person who will pray for the little old lady today. Whether on the back of a motorcycle, sitting in an office, taking little ones to preschool, or whatever you find yourself doing today, seize the moment and make the most of it for Jesus.

Until next time,
Debbie

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching,
let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage;
if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously;
if it is leadership, let him govern diligently;
if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil;
cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual
fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you;
bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice;
mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony
with one another. Do not be proud,
but be willing to associate with people of low position.
Do not be conceited.
Romans 12:6-16