Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When Grandma Flew Home

The night sky was crystal clear, the morning she flew home. The finger prints of God stamped all over the heavens. The comet's heavenly trail displayed His handiwork. But bound to lower plains, the mourning doves cooed softly. They did not mourn, but heralded the presence of the Spirit. At their coos, the noisy crows flew away. No more chaos. No more pain.

I sit and see pavers, etched with the word peace, lining her path to heaven. A peace pathway laid by prayer and His presence. Her journey to peace guided by the one true Peacemaker. But first, family cheered for her, just as she had cheered for them on our earthly plains.

And little ones, learning it was time for her to leave, joined praying hands, after a day of water and laughter, and asked Jesus to share their love with her. “Meet her at your gate Jesus. Tell her how much we love her. Please thank her for all she did for us. Thank her for loving us.” He heard them and as the doves coo, I hear, "I told her. She knows little ones.” She was greeted at the gate with words of love and grace. Truly, she met Grace and Love at the gate.

That evening, the boy sees yellow foiled chocolate chicks and starts to say, "Grandma would love..." but he pauses. He knows grandma is in the land in between. He's unsure. Can she like earthly things anymore since she's heavenly bound? No longer with us, she's back in the fertile crescent, the land in between the waters, where dust came alive and she's becoming alive again. I finish his thought for him, "Yes, you are right. Grandma would love these chocolate chicks, she really would." Big smiles all around. Cause we know she really would love them. She delights in chocolate chicks and her children, grandchildren, and great-grands too!

She always delighted in you. She who sent Easter cards and saved Easter stickers. She always remembered you. She added color and love to our lives. She was not perfect, but she had time and an encouraging word for all who would listen. She weathered many troubles in her life and yet her face was so unlined. She gave her troubles to God. She folded her hands together and she made Jesus her stronghold. Psalm 46 was her favorite passage. Her Bible was always near and her Jesus never far. He now holds her hand. This Easter season, she is rising with her Lord.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Why It's Hard to Get to Mars

 The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

Did the stars align or was God having a whole lot of fun tonight? I think both. He knows what He's doing with the stars and us, and He sure knows how to have a good time.
We had a Mars adventure tonight and here's how it began: Last week, brother had the privilege of author Liz Rusch coming to talk at his school. We had the option of buying her books ahead of time through pre-order, but you know us, we'd already read many of them by the time she arrived, thanks to our local library. So we passed on purchasing and simply enjoyed her visit and an after-school writing class she offered.
Saturday arrived and we made a trip to OSU. While on campus, I saw a flyer for a campus visit by Dr. Stan Love of STS 122. We just had to go! I talked to the kids and they were game. And then I started wishing we had a Mighty Mars Rover book for Dr. Love to sign. Ack! All the local sellers in the area were out of copies. Liz was awesome about making two books available, and we went and made a memory.

His one hour presentation about the difficulty of getting "men" to Mars was fascinating. Great slides and a good sense of humor made the information accessible. Especially, for those of us with earth bound bums lacking boosters beneath our britches. 

His figures about fuel, Mars, mph, and transit orbits were staggering. Further, I might actually be able to dialogue about it next week! Or, maybe even in 8.2 months, which is how long it would take to get a team of astronauts to Mars, then there's the return home. Psychologists are convinced six astronauts might be able to handle a 32 month Mars mission without killing each other. Two didn't fair so welling in testing, but they did make it out alive. I can't imagine 32 months in mini-van sized Mars messenger machine. (The moon takes 3 days with a rocket under you rear :-)

One of many funny points: The kids loved learning about recycling on the ISS. As Dr Love shared, "Today's coffee is being recycled to become tomorrow's coffee on the ISS." (Don't think to hard about that or you might never drink coffee again.)

Liz was also sweet to sign our books. She wrote in brother's, "Follow your dreams-you never know how far they will take you!"

Coming home the night sky was crystal clear. Tomorrow may be rain and clouds, but tonight was clear and cool, very cool.

I'll head back to my quiet place now :-)