Friday, November 5, 2010

Winter is approaching!

Well, the leaves have changed and continue to fall.  Soon the greenery will be gone out my office window opening the view to directly to Valley Road.  Our Fall Festival on campus was a huge success, thanks to the WoNH (Women of Nashotah House) group and all their efforts.  The kids had a great time in a safe trick or treat zone, followed by games and family fun in the gym, an old fashioned hay ride in a wagon, then complete with spooky story by the campfire.  The following weekend our church Zion celebrated All Saints Eve and invited people to dress up either as their favorite saint and give a presentation about them  or to dress up representing a bible verse for the rest to guess.  It was a fun evening.  Heather dressed up as St. Margaret of Scotland (which our prayer chapel is named for at Zion).  This weekend Roy is in Durham, NC at the Episcopal Relief and Development conference.  I miss him.  The house is too quiet.  Heather is at a friends house and I am doing some much needed catching up on the blog.  Thank you for your patience.  Now that I am in school too, the time just gets away from me.  Cultural Anthropology is a very interesting class.  We have a fieldwork assignment coming up and I am really looking forward to it.  I am going to be doing my paper on Monastic Living.  I have my first interview with a monk Fr. John Julian scheduled for tomorrow and then next weekend I have arranged to spend the weekend at the Julian House of Norwich Monastery.  I am really looking forward to it.  I also have a praise report to share.  My mother has not only had her surgery to remove the cancer found in her lung, but has really recovered so quickly!  In two short weeks, she is feeling well enough to be home alone.  I thank God and truly believe in the Power of Prayer!  God does amazing things in our life, it is up to us to keep our eyes open for the awareness of his presence.  Well, time to start pulling the blankets out (and the snuggies) as the temperatures drop into the low 30's and possibly upper 20's these next couple of days.  Blessings to you all!  Love, Marcia

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September Blessings

September is coming to a quick close.  Last week Roy was chapel scholar on duty and Lector Server fill in for someone whose been sick.  He did a great job chanting the epistle during the St. Matthew's Day Solemn Mass on Thursday night.  There is something very moving about the high mass services that I do not take for granted while here at Nashotah.  The chapel is a beautiful place for meditation and contemplative prayer too.

As I posted earlier, we continue to pray for family members at home that are not well.  My mom was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the lung and we are awaiting her surgical clearance to know when her treatment will begin.  Thanks be to God, this was caught early and has not spread.  It is also a less aggressive cancer and can be treated without chemotherapy.  Roy's Mawmaw has been sick and in the hospital, as both his Uncles in Virginia.  We keep them all in our daily prayers.

Roy is doing well in Hebrew and his other studies as well.  I am having a great time taking Aesthetic Theology 1 class with him on Monday nights.  Last week we took the Myers Briggs test and discussed our results as well as how these results affect our spiritual and prayer life.  We also talked how the personality types can be effective in marriage counseling and other types of spiritual direction programs.  It was fun to see how alike as well as different we are as a group in the class.

Today is Saturday, when Roy and I left the apartment this morning for chapel it was 48 degrees.  Brrrr it was a nice cool breezy bike ride.  Time for layers, and digging out the sweatshirts and blankets.  This time of year is a glorious sight for us Floridians watching the trees change to red, yellows, and orange.  In a few minutes, Heather and I will be off for her horse riding lessons.  Her trainer indicated that she is nearly ready to start jumping.  She is having a great time with that.  She is also looking forward to the Homecoming dance next month.  I will be sure to post pictures.  She is growing up so fast.  We found out that Stephanie is doing great in school back home too.  She graduated with her AA Cum Laud and is now attending Central Fl University for her baccalaureate studies.  I am very proud of her.

Friday, September 17, 2010

News from Roy

I was so nice to see everyone over the summer, and to preach and worship with you, too. I received a lot of great feedback regarding my sermon, and expect that I will be able to apply that feedback when I begin taking the classes on preaching next semester. The semester is in full swing, which means Amazon stocks should be a good investment, based on the number of books I’ve purchased over the last 3 weeks! With that, it goes without saying that I am so grateful and humbled by all of the support we have received over the past last year. We would not be able to do this without your prayerful and financial support, and we have been truly blessed to have exactly what we need at exactly the time we seem to need it. God is great, and we know that He is working through all of us to ensure the Gospel is proclaimed!

Marcia is doing great working from home, and we never take for granted how blessed we are that the Lord has provided for us in this way, and in so many more that I can’t even write them all down. She is taking a class at The University of Wisconsin on Thursday evening, and she and I are both taking an Aesthetical Theology class together here on campus on Monday nights. The seminary doesn’t charge spouses to take classes, and spouses can take up to 11 classes for credit. It has been fun sitting in class and having discussions together.

Heather started High School and she seems to have adjusted well, yet again, to another major change in her life. Needless to say, I have loved watching my little girl grow up, but now find myself literally cringing at her new and “questionable” vocabulary: “When do I get to start driving?”, “When am I getting my dress for Homecoming?”, “Can I go to the football game with my friends?”, and the list goes on as I’m sure we all remember our teenage years. Heather continues to take horseback riding lessons every week, which is another gift we have received from those helping to ensure Heather gets to be in activities here also.

Stephanie started her Junior year at The University of Central Florida, and is doing great. She recently moved into a new apartment next to the campus, and continues to work part time and go to school full time. If all goes as planned, she and I will actually graduate at the same time. I don’t understand how my children are growing up at a rate faster than I am growing older?!

Marcia and I are both involved in the healing ministry at the church we attend on Sundays, and we both sing in the Community Choir here on campus. So, it goes without saying that our life here in Wisconsin is going great. While we do miss our family and friends, we also know that we are in the place God has called us. We pray for you all every day, and would love to hear from you as you have time.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CANCER is a life changing word

Many of you have had experience living with, caring for a loved one or knowing someone going through cancer.  I am not alone.  I watched my father battle Leukemia for years, until our Father took him home.  When I was younger, I remember the days of my grandmother's battle with breast and colon cancer. Yesterday I learned that my mother too is touched with this strangling disease.  What I also am trying to cope with is the effects this word has not only on the individual (I can not imagine the fear and/or anxiety this causes my mother) but the fear and life change of events that will occur to us all that are close to her.  I am struggling with my own fears and inability of being in control.  I reach out to the Lord for strength and guidance, but alas I still find myself coming back to selfish thoughts of "what do I do"?  Where do I turn? How can I be strong for others when I am hurting inside?  I've signed up for classes in college, now seem irrelevant but again, what do I do?  Do I drop them and sit and wait by the phone, for the call to be with my mother.  Do I carry on my daily life, thus feeling selfish and uncaring?  All these questions have no answer but to wait until we have more information to know what the plan is or how to react.  Patience is not easy, it is my struggle right now.  I want answers and a plan.  Until further consults and tests are performed to know what kind of lung cancer she has, I can only pray.  I ask you too to please pray for our family.  Being far from home at this time is so difficult.  Lord give me strength.

Friday, August 27, 2010


TGIF!  Last night the community pig roast was a great get together.  Fellowship with new students and sharing of summer experiences with returning students was enjoyed by all.  We have lots of children on campus now!  WOW - the kids had a great time running around and getting acquainted with new pals while parents tried to coax them into sitting still for a moment to eat.  After the pig roast, many of us went to LeDuc's for frozen custard.  Everyone is anticipating school to start/resume next week.  I am anxious as well with a full plate.  Work is going well, I am excited to be learning a promoted role of Lead Operation Specialist.  I am working with our Corporate Director of Operations, assisting her in updating system tools for our production team.  Not much new to tell, but would like to share today's Day by Day devotional:

  "In both his background and in the content of his teaching and preaching, Jesus was not what people were expecting in a Messiah. 
  On the last day of the feast of the Tabernacles, where water ceremonies and prayers for rain had been offered, Jesus spoke of himself as the source of water from heaven. Let anyone who is thirsty come to me. he said (John7:37) These words divided the people and created enough of a disturbance to merit the calling of the temple police.
  Still, in the church today there are many issues that would divide us and bring us into conflict.  The ministry of Jesus, Galilean carpenter - who healed on the Sabbath and spoke of himself as the bread of life and source of water from heaven - reminds us that our expectations and presuppositions can be wrong, just as many were wrong in Jesus' day about him.
  Today let us examine our prejudices, our expectations of others, and our biasis; and may we drink deeply of Christ's compassion for all."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

School Begins - Feelings and Opinions by Marcia

Well, the summer is coming to a close.  The new seminarians and families have arrived on campus and we have been busy making them feel welcome.  Tonight is the first big community dinner of fall and we are all gathering for a pig roast.  It is an exciting time at Nashotah House.  Heather has been volunteering on campus as a crew leader with the High Seas VBS program.  At first I was hesitant about participating in the event as it is related to the new group of individuals that have decided to attend our campus mass services on Sundays.  There has a been a big debate as to whether this service is a "break away" church or a lab service.  Our dean has advised us that Nashotah continues to worship in the Episcopal tradition and this service has always been open to the community.  Though comments have been made which make this sometimes difficult to understand we want to continue to work and learn together in peace and harmony.  Today Heather was told by a very young boy that he might not be able to remain in her group since she still attends church at Zion (a local TEC church) and that his dad told him that Zion was not good for him.  It is such a sad state that the children are now involved in the church politics in a way that they do not understand.  It creates hurt and confusion.  Please continue to pray for unity amongst Christians rather than the continued separation of church.  Classes for seminarians resume next week and for Heather Sept 1st.  I too will be jumping on the learning band wagon.  I have registered at UW-Waukesha for a night class to begin a slow journey of education to pursue a business degree.  My first class will be Cultural Anthropology.  On campus, Nashotah House has given spouses the opportunity to take Aesthetic Theology in the evening for either credit or audit.  It will be a good way for the spouse to integrate into the spiritual and community life.  I'm glad I only started with one class at UW, because I look forward to taking this class for credit as well.  In addition to those 2 classes, I am currently enrolled in an iconology class on Saturday mornings.  I am writing the icon of the Archangel Michael.  It is a very exciting and spiritual experience.  You can watch the progress of the painting on my facebook photo page.  Each week is a progressive step.  Last Sat I etched the image of St. Michael on the poplar wood gesso board.  This Sat I will be applying the clay and gold leaf to the halo.  Until next time, I will close with a prayer for the Unity of the Church found on page 818 of BCP:

O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace:
Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions;
take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatever else may hinder us from godly union and concord;
that, as there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Honduras 2010 daily blog sent home while away, copied to share

Day 1, July 10th, Saturday - We arrived at the church at the lovely hour of 4am. Our drive and flights were uneventful, which we appreciated. Everyone was just excited to get to Honduras. The landing at the Tegucigalpa airport was very exciting. We flew so low to that we could see the white teeth of those on the ground smiling at us. Hopefully the photos or video show the true experience. The pilot did an excellent job. Yeah American Airlines!  We made it through customs counting, 28 suitcases, 14 carry-ons, 14 backpacks and 14 people. We boarded the school bus full of anticipation for our trek to Juticalpa where we spent the night. We are fortunate enough to already know some of the members of the other team traveling with us. They are from Steven’s Creek church in Georgia and they were the other team on the ranch with us in 2008.  Our evening meal was wonderful and consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies and tortillas. The newbies were very happy. We went to bed exhausted and happy to be in Honduras.

Day 2, July 11th , Sunday - We had breakfast at the hotel and then walked to a church in downtown Juticalpa. The difference in affluence from the hotel to the church is unbelievable. We strolled through an open market and saw many varieties of fruit, some of which we hadn’t seen before. The meat was hanging out in the open and the smell was most unpleasant. The church had a painting of Jesus that was so colorful and imaginative. In the top right corner of the painting were ships bringing the word to the Americas, the main central portion was Jesus with all of his people and children, and in the upper left part were buildings to show Jesus in cities. This was quite impressive. Our 4 hour drive at times was like a roller coaster. All of the rain has really impacted the quality of the roads. I must say our driver, Nelson, was excellent and got us through many a mud trench. While on the drive I was reminded of how beautiful God made our world. The glorious mountains, the awesome valleys and the low hanging clouds are the perfect background for meditating on God’s word. A scripture verse that comes to mind is: Psalm 145:5. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty and I will meditate on your wonderful works. We, as the St. Andrews/Zion travel team, are so blessed to have this opportunity. Thank you to everyone at home that is praying for us and all you have done to make this mission come to pass. You can’t understand how much it means to us to know that God is hearing your prayers.
Day 3, July 12th , Monday - This morning we awoke refreshed and ready to work. Our evening devotional the previous night reminded us that God has called all of us here to do His work. We are to build relationships; that is our primary focus for this mission. Yes, we are to do the manual work of mixing cement, building latrines, mudding homes, but relationships are most important. My morning inspirational message was What you see depends on what you are looking for. This was a good reminder to me that if I look for God, I will see Him in many places. He is here in abundance. The faces of the smiling children, the Honduran workers who work beside us, our amazing team, the mountains, the cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and so many more show the love of God.  Our journey, and boy was it a journey, went from a 2 hour drive to a 3 hour tour, a 3 hour tour. (Think of Gilligan’s Island theme song). We rode the school bus, which in two respects was good; we could stand up on the bus to move around and we each had our own seat. It was bad because the drive took longer. Part of the road we are on is called Road of the Fallen Angels, because of the dangerous drop-offs. The views were muy bonita (very pretty). We were able to stop at a look-out point to enjoy the view and also relieve some of our burdens. When we reached the village we were greeted by all the children, the villagers and a team of girl drummers. The drummers were a surprise and they were wonderful. We had a short presentation from the village and prayers done by their pastor and Roy. The girl drummers performed again, this time with their shades on, and we had two Honduran children dance for us. We felt very blessed and welcome. We worked a full day, completing 4 floors and VBS with the kids. This village has K-5 and 6 - 9th grade. The children loved the book showing all the pictures from St. Andrews’ events and of our congregation. The school bags were a huge hit, thanks to our awesome Presbyterian Women of St. Andrews. We made it home just in time for dinner.
Day 4, July 13th , Tuesday - Today we were all very excited to get to the village, but not too thrilled about the drive, since we now know how long and bumpy it is. About an hour into the trip part of our exhaust fell off the bus, so we weren’t sure how this would work. Our driver just wired the piece that was hanging with barbed wire that he cut from a fence and we were to get back on the bus. Many of us worried about the trip home, if the bus would make it, but our group leader, Marta said something that really helped to bring focus back. She said that God is in control and everything will be okay.  The villagers were waiting for us when we got there and each team went to their assigned house. The beginning of the day for our team started out a little rough. The Hondurans didn’t want us to shovel or do anything at first. We were a little disappointed and didn’t know why we were even there. This made us interact with the homeowners and learn more about them. Sometimes when you aren’t fluent in Spanish this can be difficult, but God’s love and joy breaks language barriers. God was trying to tell us to let go of control and to remember that He is always in control. This is a message we need not only here in Honduras, but back home too. By the end of the day, our team felt much more connected with the people of La Balsa. There was much laughter shared and we worked hand in hand. For the kids of St. Andrews, please know that the kids of La Balsa are enjoying the VBS activities and crafts that have been brought to them. They also love Frisbee, jump rope, bubbles and tennis balls just like you. We send them your love through pictures and they send their love through their smiles. This evening after devotionals we will be celebrating Jayne Dowdy’s birthday with a little taste of home, chocolate cake in the form of Little Debbie snack packs that Barry packed for the little surprise.

Day 5, July 14th , Wednesday - Oh, what a beautiful day the Lord has made! Our trip to the village had no mishaps and we were to break into teams of two to finish latrines and floors at three homes. If yesterday started out slow and hesitant, today was a 100% turn-around. Everyone had a wonderful day. I worked in the clinic at the village.  The clinic is a small 3 room dwelling that is sparsely stocked with some powdered antibiotics supplied by the government, along with some antihystamine medication and aceteminophin.  We supplimented their small stock with first aid supplies of bandages, gauze, over the counter medications and other misc supplies.  Rosa was very appreciative.  There is no physician here at La Balsa, and the nurse Rosa is responsible for consulting, diagnosing and treating all the complaints that are brought to her.  Today a woman traveled 4 hours by donkey with her 3 year old son who had a fever.  Each person was given single attention, nutritional information, and vitamins.  Rosa also gives the mothers that are dutiful in bringing their babies to all their well visits and get all their immunizations a Diploma of Good Parenting.  Debi's team learned Spanish and taught English while building a latrine. We were given the ultimate compliment, we were no longer “gringos”, but Norte Americanos. We built such a wonderful relationship with our Honduran friends today. The people of Honduras have truly captured our hearts. Tomorrow we plan to visit a terminally ill elderly lady to pray over her and anoint her with oil. She enjoyed the visit from today’s team. They really lifted her spirits and we want her to know that she is loved by all of us. After this we will have our fiesta! Everyone is looking forward to it. I don’t know if we or the Hondurans are more excited. The children were practicing their dancing today at the school.  We are preparing our banner tonight after devotionals which will have pictures that everyone has taken all week. This is only one gift we are giving them, but will most likely bring the most joy. We will also give out first aid kits loving donated and assembled by Zion Episcopal Church, the Wisconsin leg of the home team.  In addition hygiene kits, books for the school and of course all of the items in the piñatas for the kids. The ride didn’t even seem that long and bumpy today. Well, some on the team may disagree with me on that, but with each fulfilling day, the difficulties seem smaller. Our daily devotional scripture verse for tomorrow is perfect; This is the day the LORD had made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Day 6, July 15th , Thursday -Today is our last day in the village. It is very bittersweet. We are glad that the 3 hour drive to the village and the 3 hour drive home from the village is over, but we will miss our new friends. We feel like we have known some of them forever and others we were just getting to know. We are also amazed at how quickly you pick up Spanish. Some of us are saying “Gracias” and “Si” to each other just by habit.  When we arrived today we went directly to Carmella’s house. She is the elderly lady who has a fever and we think she has a stomach tumor. We all gathered around her and prayed in English and it was translated to Spanish. She was so sweet and hugged each one of us and told us something about God. Roy anointed her with oil and we all laid hands on her. This was a God-filled moment. Some of us were very emotional and you could just feel God’s presence with us. The school was decorated with balloons, the rainbow banner that the children created in VBS and some special messages to St. Andrews. We did the piñatas first and talk about mass chaos! We almost had a team member at the bottom of a pile-up. We had 7 piñatas and hundreds of kids. Some of the pictures of their faces are priceless. Actually there are some pictures of our team watching the kids that are priceless. After the piñatas we had our presentations. They want us to give hugs to all of you when we get back home, for they love you too. And yes, they did say that. They thank you so much for helping us to get here.  They were so welcoming and even had refreshments for us. Fortunately they were single portion snacks and soda from 2 liter bottles. It was very nice to sit, relax, eat and listen to them sing for us. They had special gifts for each member of our team and we gave them our gifts. There was also dancing and all of us had our turn on the dance floor. Make sure you see some pictures when we return. As we left to come back to the ranch, there was much love passed between both groups. We each shared a part of our hearts.  Our scripture for the devotions tonight pretty much sums up our week at the ranch. I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:10-13

We completed our journey with a night in Tegucicalpa at the Mayan Hotel.  What a blessing it was to wash the grime of the ranch from our bodies and prepare our minds for the change in environment that we will experience upon our arrival home.  The team met for a glorious buffet in "real dress clothes".  WOW how we cleaned up!  We shared our tales, tears and love that evening in our final devotional meeting.  We went to the official conference room on the 9th floor that had a beautiful night view of the city lights and the hint of the mountains and our memories in the background.  My favorite view in Tegucicalpa is the Christ statue that stands proudly on the mountain with his arms stretched over the city, reminding the people "I have not forgotten you, nor will you be forsaken in my embrace."  We all leave a piece of our heart here in Honduras, but look forward to sharing our journey with the friends and supporters back home. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Alleluia He Is Risen!

Alas, I have again been remiss in my blogging duties to keep everyone up to date on our faithful journey.  You can not deny me however, the excitement that April brings.  Our risen Lord, the beautiful signs of spring and much hub bub going on that kept me away from the computer during my free time.  Let me catch you up.  Holy week was a busy time on campus!  Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday included a solemn service and foot washing by Dean Munday, Good Friday was a sung service which Roy and I participated in the community choir for the Passion Song, Easter Vigil on Saturday night - a two and 1/2hour solemn service followed by a community dinner - finishing around 11:30PM then spending an hour of prayer in the chapel in the middle of the night, and Easter Sunday was celebrated in our community church Zion.  The Easter lilies and beautiful arrangements were glorious in celebrating our risen Lord.  May I add as well, the beautiful tulips that have sprung forth from the ground where I buried the bulbs last fall!!  So exciting!  The following week, we left on Wed. to travel to NC to attend the New Wineskins Global Mission Conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center.  It was an inspiring time of testimony of foreign leaders, missionaries, and others working with mission organizations.  Christ inspired my heart to learn more about foreign mission & politics that effect His people suffering from oppression and persecution.  There are parts of the world that have never heard the gospel, and the risks of taking The Word there make it so difficult for missionaries to seek his people.  Through prayer, faith, trust in God and a determination to go out making disciples of all nations by keeping our covenant to the Lord we can overcome all obstacles.  We returned on Sunday 4/11.  Since, Roy and I were away at the conference during out 15th wedding anniversary, we plan to celebrate that with a special dinner out on May 2nd.  With the loving gift from Fr. Joe & Jan Diaz of our home church Holy Trinity, we were able to make dinner reservations at a theater to see Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I really look forward to that.  April 15th is not only tax day, a day of dread, but a day of celebration here at Nashotah for Founders Day.  That is the day we celebrate our founding benefactors and make the "Trek to Breck" which is a procession from chapel to the Breck grave site in the cemetery on campus.  It was indeed a special moment.  Roy traveled with several classmates the weekend of April 16-17 to Chicago, IL to attend the N.T. Wright Seminary at Whitley College.  N.T. Wright is a profound speaker and writer on biblical truth.  The conference was a debate panel with other theologians.  That sums it up, bringing us into the week of the 22nd.  Today, was choir practice and chapel.  The sermon tonight was given by Fr. Schlossberg.  He is one that I speak highly of for sure.  His ideals and passion makes each person feel that he is looking deep into their soul and reaches that place in your conscience by challenging your thoughts and actions.  Tonight he preached on a tough topic/issue that is going on within the campus that has caused some separation and cynicism  amongst staff and student body.  One thought sticks in my mind that he had to say, "our approach to cynicism should be hope rather than snickers, anger and strife."  He also reminds us that "even when we forget our promise to HIM, HE never forgets his promise to us".  Christ is counting on us to love one another and feed His sheep.  I pray today for unity in a broken church.  Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to Him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever.  amen  Ephesians 3:20,21 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here’s sending you a springtime wish

that’s green and full of fun…

Shamrocks and leprechauns

will have you on the run!

Shamrocks are the lucky plant

three leaves they have not more…

Many people search the world

hoping to find four!

The shamrock gained its claim to fame

in Ireland you see…

When St.Patrick used them to

explain the Trinity!

Leprechauns, begins the tale

little men dressed in green…

Heavy drinking, pulling pranks

trying not to be seen!

Cranky fellows with no friends

their passions drink and gold…

It’s said they hide large pots of it

at the end of each rainbow!

Here’s wishing you a happy day

filled with Irish cheer…

Just keep an eye on your gold

and better watch your beer!

Written & Submitted By: © Marlys

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day from Marcia

What a beautiful 25* day on the lake we had today!  After church today, Roy and I spent our quality Valentine's Day time walking on Upper Nashotah Lake and having alittle fun in the snow.  As you can see me making snow angels.  It was amazine walking where we once saw boats sail through.  Yesterday was a great day of fundraising for the WoNH (women of Nashotah).   We served about 130 people a delicious pancake breakfast and bake sale to raise money for the upcoming women's Lenten retreat in March.  It was not only a time of fundraising, but a time of fellowship.  This time of year it takes an extra effort to visit with the neighbors and friends that are hibernating from the cold.  Roy and I have joined The Order of St. Lukes healing ministry, and are in the process of classes to be installed in April.  As a nurse, I have a special connection with the healing ministry and look forward to each teaching of Jesus' healing.  During Lent we will be a part of the healing team at Zion on Wednesday nights, teaching parents how to lay hands on their children and pray for special needs at home.  It is a wonderful opportunity of outreach that many of us did not experience when we were children.  We are also blessed for the wonderful healing that is taking place directly with one of our special friends and fellow seminarians, Meredyth.  Meredyth went through a critical time post a gastric surgery, that was suppose to be a simple procedure that would put her back on her feet after the Christmas break.  The surgery did not go as planned and put Meredyth on a ventilator and in a medical induced coma for almost 30 days.  Now 45 days after admission to the hospital, she is awake, off the vent and progressing in rehab to relearn the many things we take for granted like walking, writing your name and being independent.  We hope to have her back on campus in about 3-6 weeks.  Keep up the good work Meredyth!  We love you!  During this time, we were given the opportunity to witness to hospital staff and get to know her sister Carrie.  Carrie and her 2 children have now become a vital part of our community as well.  Another blessing for our family, is the anticipation of the arrival of Stephanie in 19 days!  Our eldest daughter will be coming for a visit and we are so excited.    Well all.  I wish you a very Happy Valentines day and leave you with a reminder to read 1 Corinthians 13 for a blessing of love.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Wow, seems like Christmas was just yesterday and now Lent is 2 weeks away.  We had a bit of a "warm snap" last week I guess it was. The weeks seem to be slipping away from me now.  It was in the 30's and even topped a high of 40 on one crazy day.  Enough that we had grass peeking through the snow.  Crazy happening for end of January.  It was weird that I almost had a bit of anxiety when seeing the grass.  Funny, I wasn't ready for the snow to be gone yet.  However,  need I not worry, we had more cold temps and snow this week and everything is crystally white again.  As my office has now been moved upstairs to the main floor, I've taken over the "spare room / computer room".  It is a nice change from the dungeon effect I had in the basement.  I get to see the beautiful outside and witness the birds out the window behind my desk.  I have even had deer walk right by the window in the early morning!  That was exciting!  Our schedules are back on track, now that classes have resumed.  Choir practice resumed tonight, our spouse group is complete again with everyone back from their holiday travels, and Heather's PTA at Silverlake is keeping me busy with fundraising planning events too.  The big event I am involved in currently is the annual WoNH Nashotah House Pancake Breakfast.  As the middler class representative, I am assisting the coordination of this event.  It will be an all you can eat breakfast on February 13th that is an outreach to the surrounding community as well as the campus families.  The proceeds will benefit the women of Nashotah's Lenten retreat March 19th.  I do like being involved and getting to know other spouses and being instrumental in campus living activities.  Another big weekend we have planned is our eldest daughter Stephanie is coming for 4 days March 5-9th.  I am so excited about that.  We will be discussing pre-planning for her wedding, no date set yet - though tentative summer of 2011.  Girl time and playing in the snow is at the top of our list of things to do.  This week has been a big week for Heather as well.  She had to go over the >100 curriculum courses offered at OHS for next year and begin building her schedule.  That was intense!  It isn't like when I was in HS and they just "gave you the core classes required and you got to choose maybe 1-2 electives".   Anyway, that was fun.  Well, not much else to write about at the moment.  I am tired, but wanted to keep you all up to date.  OH, yeah, how can I forget!!! The next post will be telling you about our summer plans for Mission Honduras!!  Yes, we are going back this summer and I am excited!!  I love the Agalta Valley.  Adios!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Time of Reflection

My first semester has come and gone, and though it required more reading than I've probably done in my entire lifetime, it goes without saying that I could not have done this without my family supporting me.  Living life in "community" has proved to be challenging at times, but also very rewarding at others.  We were able to get away from campus as a family a couple of times throughout the semester, and just recently returned home from visiting our family in FL over the Christmas holiday.  We have been supported by so many people through prayer and their generous support, and I have been especially humbled by the support we have received from people we don't even know.  Though our finances are very tight, God provides for us in ways we could never plan or attempt to explain except through our faith.  Marcia works very hard at her job (which is itself a blessing) and Heather has done great at adjusting to life here, which has made this transition a great experience for our family. 
Going home for Christmas was a great break from Nashotah House.  As with any vacation, it seems that you don't get to see everyone you wanted, and also don't get to spend as much time as you would like with those you do see.  My brother, Rob, was very generous in giving us a place to stay and cars to drive while we were in town, and he has some great friends who welcomed us to be a part of their holiday, too.  My Mom and Wil celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and Marcia and I spent an evening at a hotel on John's Pass (thanks to my Mom).  We also got to see Stephanie and Cristina before their European vacation, had a great time visitng with Marcus and Ginny, our friends from St. Andrew's Presbyterian, and with Fr. Joe and Jan.  We also had a great time with Marcia's family.  Overall, we all had a great time visiting with our family and friends, and hope to get back to FL again soon (hopefully the weather will be warmer next time! LOL).
I just completed an express class last week, which consisted of one class for 8 hours a day over 5 days, and I am looking forward to the beginning of the next semester on the 27th. Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Love, Roy