Upcoming Lupi-Soo Number Two

March 7, 2013 | My Jottings

Last fall my oldest friend Denel and I held our First Annual Lupi-Soo Convention. Or perhaps it was our First Annual Lupi-Soo Reunion. We convened and we reunited.  If you didn’t see the photos of our trip to the Rocky Mountains, you can click here.  

I chose the destination for our first trip — I had a hankering to be secluded away in a cabin in the mountains. We had a wonderful time in Evergreen, Colorado, even if the “Secluded Chalet” wasn’t quite what was conveyed on the owner’s website. This time we’re going to a place where we’ll be allowed to use more than ten squares of toilet paper per visit, and where (hopefully) there won’t be any leftover feminine products under the bed or discarded lip gloss under the couch. Bleh.

Denel chose the spot for our Second Annual Lupi-Soo (that was going to be the name of our girls’ detective agency when we were ten years old, combining the first letters of our then-last names) and I wonder if you can guess where we’ll be flying?

This peak below will probably always be in our view:

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And I’m sure we will stroll through this famous place and grab some wonderful, fresh produce. I’m not sure we’ll buy a lobster, though. Does that give anything away?

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Many of you will have guessed by now. I know my friend Shari will have figured it out with the first photo of Mount Rainier.

This view below is what we’ll see….

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…after we’ve boarded this elevator to zip us to the top of one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world:

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It’s called The Seattle Space Needle. I don’t care for flying, but oddly enough I don’t have a fear of heights, so I should be fine at the top of this structure. As long as there are no earthquakes during the time we’re there. This part of the world is prone to earthquakes, and I really thought I had said goodbye to those when I left SoCal and moved to NoMin.

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After a couple days in Seattle, Denel and I will board a ferry to cross Puget Sound, so we can spend two quiet, idyllic days and nights on Bainbridge Island.

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Have any of you ever visited Bainbridge? I never have. In fact, I’ve never been to Washington state before.

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And Denel found the most amazing “cottage,” which is actually a lovely home, where we’ll relax, catch up, read, sleep in, and refresh. Here’s one of the bedrooms and its stunning view — you can just see Seattle on the left horizon and Mount Rainier to the left of the right tree. (I learned today that Mount Rainier is considered an active volcano….)

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Denel and I are planning to meet each other in the Seattle airport this fall, and I’m already working on putting things in place here so I can make the Thursday-Monday trip.

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There are meals to plan, appointments to record, plane tickets to purchase and respite care to schedule. But I think the most pressing thing I need to do before I fly off to the Pacific Northwest for The Second Annual Lupi-Soo Reunion/Convention is have one of these ghastly things put in my right knee:

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I’ll be seeing a surgeon next month and am praying I’ll be a candidate for a minimally invasive knee replacement, instead of the conventional total knee. In the former, the quadriceps muscle isn’t cut, the surgical incision is half the size, and the recovery time is much less and not as difficult. I will know more soon.

I’m still on Paperwork Status here. I didn’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped to yesterday, and will only be able to do an hour or two of it today, because today is a special day. Aside from being our Schnauzer Edith’s 11th birthday, it’s our granddaughter Lil’ Gleegirl’s 6th birthday! Everyone will be coming over tonight for dinner to enjoy the menu she personally chose: cheese pizza, roasted Brussels sprouts, and dirt cake. Here’s a photo for those who don’t know what dirt cake is. And Lil’ Gleegirl has also asked that we play Pin the Tail on the Donkey, so I’m going to attempt to draw a big donkey and craft some tails. 🙂

What are you up to today?

The God Who Encourages Us

March 4, 2013 | My Jottings

This morning at Community Bible Study Leaders Council, one of our children’s program teachers, who’s one of the sweetest people I know, shared about encouragement. Carol shared most specifically how it’s okay to ask God to encourage us when we’re really down or discouraged, and the examples she gave about how God has answered that prayer for her were truly marvelous.

Then she closed with a prayer she had found, and I was so moved by it I came home to see if I could find it online. And I did, so I’d like to share it here.

This is a beautiful prayer in praise of the God who encourages us, and it’s by Scotty Smith, the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN.

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A Prayer In Praise of the God Who Encourages Us

     May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

     Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  Romans 15:4

Dear heavenly Father, I praise you today for your compassion-driven, wisdom-laden, Swiss-timed commitment to encourage us—especially through your Word. You could delegate a legion of angels or you could send a raven to feed me breakfast, either of which would be nice—but you, yourself, come to us in the Bible. I’m humbled and grateful. How foolish we are to ignore the Scriptures.

Indeed, the Bible is such a gift to us. It is a treasure trove of hope, an artesian spring of refreshment, a perpetual supply of redemptive surprises, an always-working GPS for return trips to gospel sanity.

For it is the cradle of the Christ, not a manual for self-reform. It shows us that wisdom is a Person—Jesus, not a formula for success. It reveals the depth of our need, so we might boast only in the riches of your provision—the gospel of your grace. It frees us from giving you little bit parts in our stories that we might find our place of servanthood in your story.

Father, may the “eternal encouragement and good hope” of the gospel free us for a day of good deeds and helpful words. May this be a day of loving and serving the people you’ve placed in our lives—a day in which we accept others as you have accepted us in Jesus; a day in which we forgive others as you have forgiven us in Jesus; a day in which we are as forbearing and patient with one another, as you are towards us in Jesus.

As this day begins (and continues), fill our hearts with your beauty, so that our words will offer life-giving encouragement—no matter what we experience from others. May the overflow of our hearts reveal the wonders of your love, not the pressure of our agendas. Give us thick skin and big hearts for whatever providence determines for this day. It we must conflict, may we do so redemptively. Let us repay good for whatever comes as us.

Should we “leak grace” (and surely we will), refuel the joy of our salvation that we might love and serve you well until we climb, once again, into our beds. How we praise you for your steadfast commitment to our encouragement and hope. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

~~~~~Scotty Smith

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I hope someone encourages you today. I hope you can encourage someone else today. And I pray that God Himself would encourage each one of us, especially through His Word.

So many of you encourage me—thank you for that!

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