Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Tale of the Bobcat and the Baby Bird

What do a bobcat and a baby bird have in common?  They both make lots of noise and they were both in my back yard today!  I knew the bobcat was coming, but the baby bird was a total surprise!

This morning, our friend John Smith brought his bobcat and his crew to clear away the rubble the Bible Study Boys had left in our yard from the sun room demolition. He brought his bobcat, his dump truck and his crew!

That bobcat was SOOO cool!
It had a hammer...

a shovel...

and LOTS of noise! (Notice the ear muffs!) :0)
And the dump truck!

Way Cool!
So, it turned this...
into this!

So, what about the baby bird?  Yes, it was there all the the birdhouse right by the demolition sight!  As I went to check it out when it was done, I kept hearing loud peeping, and there that baby was with his mouth wide open, waiting for the dust to settle and his mother to come feed him.

And by the way...

I don't need the "ear muffs" for this noise, 'cause this the sweet sound of a job well done!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More Coffee, Please!

You know how it is when you come to the end of something you really enjoy and you just want more?  That is where I am right now.  I told you about my "mom's place" where Jim brings me my cup of coffee, I take in the beauty outside of my window and I meet with God.

View of Leipzig from the top of a university building
Last fall, my women's Bible Study did a Beth Moore study called The Patriarchs. This was the first Beth Moore study I have ever done, and it seemed as if God was talking directly to me.  As Abram was being called to leave his home and go to an unknown country, God was calling Jim and me to leave our home and go to Leipzig. As I read about God telling Abraham that He would give him every place he stepped his foot, it was as if He was telling me to spend much of my first year in Leipzig doing prayer walks, claiming the city for Him.

View of the university square
Since that time, I have worked through A Woman's Heart: Study of the Tabernacle and just yesterday morning I finished Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent.  As I was nearing the end of this study, I started feeling like I do when I near the end of a good cup of coffee.  I kind of slowed down and wished for another!  God knows my heart very well and so does my wonderful husband.  Just as he keeps an eye on my coffee cup in the morning and brings the pot in for a refill, he kept his eye on my study book and a couple of days ago came home with a fresh refill!  So today I started Children of the Day: I&II Thessalonians!  Just as he refills my coffee cup before I can say, "One more cup of coffee, please!", so he refilled my soul before I could say, "One more study, please!"

A fresh cup of coffee
A fresh Bible study

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Buy, Fill, Gone

So, what do you do with all kinds of trash, including huge pieces of glass from our sun room?  I have many times in my life wished for a magic wand that I could wave over a mess and say "gone" and off it would disappear.  Well, that didn't EXACTLY happen today, but replace the wand with a crane on top of a trash truck, and you pretty will have it!!!

We were in the house early this morning when we heard the "beep, beep" of a large truck backing up. Sure enough, Jim ran out front and was able to capture the "disappearance" on his camera! 

Some of the Glass that went into "The Bag"

Some of the junk that went into "The Bag", not Emily!

Guys filling "The Bag"




's gone!!!!!
Now, if only the rest of the house packing were that easy!!! :0)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Coffee, Donuts and a Sledge Hammer

Today was our church's "Great Day of Serving" and did we ever get served!!!  The guys in Jim's Bible Study came over and demolished our sinking and ever-flooding sun room!  They brought sledge hammers, a chainsaw, cement saw, hedge clippers, squeegees, coffee and donuts!  They not only took care of our sun room, but trimmed trees and bushes, washed windows, sanded iron railings and had an incredible time laughing and working!  They ended by praying over us and blessing us, our house and our move to Germany!  What an incredible day!  Have fun looking at the pictures!

 Thanks, Guys!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Coffee and My Front Window

One of my morning rituals is to stumble out of bed, brush my teeth and fall into "Mom's place" on the couch in our living room.  Yes, everyone in our family knows this is my place...and you can sit there, but if Mom enters the room, you better be prepared to give it up!

So, back to my mornings.  Before my eyes are fully open and focused, I sink into my place.  Jim always brings me a cup of coffee and acts like he is slurping the foam off as I protest, "Not the foam! Not the foam!"  This is my ritual to prepare me for my coffee time with Jesus.

One of the best things about this ritual is my front window.  Though the ritual hardly changes, the view drastically changes from season to season...and it always feeds my soul!  This has been one of the incredible blessings God has given me here in Illinois!  Whether it is bright snowbanks glimmering in the sun, a thunder storm filling our street with rain, vibrant fall colors splashed across the trees and shrubs, or my beautiful purple and yellow flowers filling the bottom frame of my window!  No matter what worries or stresses have followed me to bed, I look out my window and my soul becomes stilled and God fills it to overflowing!

Summer View
Winter View

 As I look toward living in Leipzig, I know one of the important things for me will be to live in a place where I will have a patch of outdoor beauty.  When my soul is full, I can overflow and minister to others.

Please pray with us, as we begin our search for a place to live in Leipzig, that it will be a place where we can minister and host others, where they will feel God's presence and peace.  Where Jim and I will feel at home and that God will give me a window to meet Him at for coffee every morning!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Incredible Girls!

As we move off to our new adventure in Leipzig, Germany, I want to spend some of my time reminiscing about our wonderful time here in Elgin!  Today I was reminded again about the incredible girls in my high school house group.  I went to Panera to have coffee with Brittany Snowwhite, my co-leader.  Let me tell you about Britt.  The first time we met was almost 4 years ago, when she walked into a small group Bible study I was leading.  She was about a 2 month old believer at the time.  I have loved seeing her grow over the past 4 years, and we are even talking about her next steps...maybe Leipzig with us?!?!?

The girls in our group were Jr. and Sr. in high school.  I can't think of a better group I would like to have call me "Mama Miller"! 

Praying at House Group
Baking Christmas cookies in our kitchen
"Sharpie Dishes"
Abby, Angelica and Erika after their baptism
Making "Sharpie Dishes"
The whole group after the baptism
I am so proud of these young women and will miss them terribly!  What a blessing it has been to have them in my life!  So, Britt, thanks for having coffee with me today and for all the great memories!
Brittany Snowwhite

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Leaving Kansas with a Tap of My Sticky, Black Slippers

I have to admit that it felt more like Sticky, Black Slippers than Ruby Red Slippers by the time we got off of Megabus!  There was what looked like some sort of orange soda spilled on the seat and floor in front of me and an entire McDonald's Super-Size Coke spilled down the back stairs!  But I will tell you, our trip to Kansas was better than an any trip to Oz could ever be!

Jared with Noah, Carol and Richard Franz   
As we left our "little munchkin", Jared, at his future roommate's house in Peola, KS, we found out that the Franzes knew most of the people in the church we were going to be speaking at in Pierceville!  Talk about a small world!  They had lived in nearby Garden City and had serviced many of the farmers with their electrical repair business! 

Susan and Gary's Back Yard

Susan and Gary
Aunt Marge and Uncle Wayne
Our next stop was Abilene, KS to see my dad's only living sibling, Marge Barton, and her husband, Wayne.  They are both 91 years old and sharp as tacks!  We had a wonderful time listening to Uncle Wayne's stories from WWII as a tank driver and of how Aunt Marge and her beautiful red hair captured his heart!  It was a great time staying with my cousins, Susan and Gary Longenecker.  I still remember how beautiful she looked through my ten-year-old eyes when she got married!  By the way, I'm not sure how this is possible, but she is still as beautiful today!
 We had a wonderful time at Pierceville Federated Church and it was the first time Jim met our long-time supporters, Don and Marge Lear!  Jim spoke at the men's breakfast and I was able to share at the ladies' brunch on Saturday morning.  Sunday morning Jim had the adult Sunday School class and shared briefly in the morning service.                                                                               
Jim Speaking at Pierceville
The wonderful people at Pierceville
Sunday afternoon we headed to Wichita and stayed with my cousins Eric and Denise Melgren.  It was a special treat when they took us to the courthouse to show us Eric's chambers and courtroom where he is a Kansas Federal Judge.  What a beautiful old building!  Then it was to St. Louis and a visit with Jim's cousins, Tom and Judy Alston, and then we finished with my sticky, black slippers sticking to the Megabus floor!

All in all, it was a wonderful trip!  Today it was starting the sorting and purging process in our house...I guess we're not in Kansas any more, Todo!
Eric, Jim and Denise in Eric's courtroom