Psalm 34: it was one of the last passages I shared with Jonah as he nervously waited for his ride to Basic Training on January 9th. The Psalm promises that those who look to God will be radiant. We both agreed that was a really cool concept, so each letter I write ends with the encouragement: "Be strong! Be courageous! Be kind! Be radiant!

On most days I am able to settle into a comfortable peace granted by God, trusting in His promise to strengthen those whose hearts are committed to Him.

The last few days I've anxiously waited for the mail, hoping he's had some time to scribble something down, knowing I'm not the first person he'd choose to write to, but hoping that maybe he'd have time to write two letters. My letters to him tell of the mundane things that happen here, ask questions about his experience there, and encourage him to keep on. I've doubted whether my letters get delivered (yeah, I'm a conspiracy theorist), I've questioned the recruiting process and its blatant disregard for mothers, and I've realized that I don't get to control how my life goes (yeah, I already learned that but it became lots clearer!)

I guess that doesn't seem so radiant, does it? I'm not very effective when I cry.

Instead I will continue to look to God, so my radiance can encourage others to look to Him.

Please pray for my son, for his wife and pray that our world will have peace.
  • tryphena
    Sarah doesn't hear from him much, either. I've been told that they are kept SO busy in basic that there really isn't much time to write. My brother-in-law mentioned that basic is a lot harder on the guys with tighter ties to home...but that should make sense, because their hearts aren't as much in it.

    A year ago, the future seemed so much more certain for our families, at least in regard to my girls and their men. Their decisions have put everything into a state of uncertainty.

    I have times when I allow myself to be in the grip of terror, but with so much of this outside of my control, keeping control of my feelings is about the only control I have. So I try to be strong and courageous, too.
    by tryphena at 02/03/17 4:10PM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Love what that Psalm conveys.
    I had seven brothers in the military and I remember the uncertainty.
    I do pray for J & S and for all of you.
    by cyber_space_cadet at 02/06/17 9:42PM
  • justg
    Prayers abound for all of our brave men and women ... especially for Jonah.
    by justg at 02/08/17 5:43AM
  • justpeachy
    It's a hard time for Moms. I remember when my oldest went into the service with the Marines. For weeks, I took people out during Sunday morning services. I'd cry, my sisters would cry. Once I led a parade heading out to the back of the building. Just G can attest since I usually sat 1-2 rows in front of her. I was used to him being away from home during the week (school, band, work, friends), but I was very used to seeing him Sunday morning. However, he came out so much more mature qnd grateful for things, including us the mean parents. Turns out we weren't so mean after all. He taught a lot of them how to tie a tie. Work ethics he had already learned held him in good stead there as well.
    by justpeachy at 02/10/17 10:30PM
  • airshawn
    Hey how are you guys?!
    by airshawn at 05/23/17 9:49PM

Six and a half months!

Just in case you've ever wondered how to get all those people to stop following your posts on Pleonast, I think Ive figured it out. If you're infrequent enough in your posting, they forget who your screen name belongs to, and when it gets bold they say, "Who's that?!" And they move on.
Since I wrote last, my daughter has come home, my youngest has started college, my grandmother has been incarcerated in a nursing home, my son has joined the national guard, I got a new grandpuppy, and lots of other stuff in between all that. It all seems like a blur. Just think, if I wait this long to post again, my daughter will be moved out, my youngest will be packing up for Florida College, my son will be done with basic training, and who knows what other changes will happen.

I'm sure glad God is constant because life is anything but.

  • cyber_space_cadet
    I did this same thing on FB. :D
    Sorry to hear about your grandmother.
    Glad to hear that everyone else seems to be doing well.
    by cyber_space_cadet at 11/09/16 7:13AM
  • tryphena
    Life goes on, with or without updates! I miss your posts, though.
    by tryphena at 11/09/16 8:23AM
  • kattath
    Which of the boys joined the national guard? Also, happy birthday!
    by kattath at 11/09/16 11:04AM


I am alive.
Busy life. Low iron levels.
Treading water.

I like it better when I'm actually "swimming" but thankful to be able to stay afloat.

I'd love to fill you in on my life, but I'll just do bullet points so I'm not late for an appointment today.

-all Jacob lacks for his GED is the English test and the Constitution test.

-leaving on the 2nd to fly to Florida, rent a van and drive her home

-had a great visit with son #1 and his wife last weekend. Miss them when they aren't here.

-talked briefly with son #3 last week. We don't talk enough.

-husband's broken ankle is healing well. He ran a mile and a half yesterday.

-teaching a kid's bible class and co-teaching a women's class. It's been too long.

-grandma had carpal tunnel and tendon release surgery Tuesday. Seems to be recovering well.
  • tryphena
    Wait, WHAT?! How is it that I didn't hear that Mike's ankle was actually broken?????

    I'm so glad everyone had a nice weekend--you had beautiful weather and I heard that all was well.

    Sorry about your low iron. I haven't experienced that, but I know that it makes a person sluggish. Have they found the reason? Does your body just process iron differently?

    We need a good catch-up.
    by tryphena at 04/22/16 8:40AM

Follow up

I did go to Longwood Gardens when I was living out there. (1972-74) I don't know how it would be in March though.
The secretary for the state representative neglected to put me on the calendar, so no one was in the office. I rescheduled.
  • cyber_space_cadet
    I've skied Camelback but that was years ago AND that 's pretty much all we ever did when we went there because for us it was just a day trip. Get up at O'Dark Hundred, drive for a couple of hours, ski 'til you drop, try to stay awake long enough to get home. :P

    Yes, we know the Hopkins from Exton. I grew up in Berwyn but when I married we moved to Chester Springs then Exton then West Chester. (Interestingly, though we lived in three different towns, all of those houses are within five minutes of one another and within about five minutes of the church building.)

    I'm not sure I've ever visited LG this time of year. Usually at Christmas or in warmer months.
    by cyber_space_cadet at 02/24/16 9:48PM
  • ceoltoir
    To post a photo:

    for uploaded pictures:
    1) make a new room on pleonast
    (go to your home room, click "rooms" then click "create new room.")

    2) upload a picture for that room
    (in the "room picture" area, click "Browse...", find a picture on your computer, and double click it to select

    3) the room number shows up in square brackets in the "your rooms" list. The newest room is at the bottom. (you can also get the room number from the URL bar in your browser, it should have a part at the end that says, for instance "http://pleonast.com/room.php&roomID=2367"

    4) the code to put that picture anywhere on pleonast is:

    <img src="/pictures/ROOM_NUMBER.jpg"> (where ROOM_NUMBER is the number you got in step 3)
    by ceoltoir at 02/26/16 7:39PM

Sundry stuff

On Friday, Mr. Fantastic, Big Little Guy and I are heading out on vacation. Although we've learned Indy is not on the path to our destination, we are going to jog south and spend the weekend with the boys and their girls. It's my oldest's 26th birthday and the guys have hopes of going snowboarding (which doesn't seem possible with the temps being above freezing all week). Either way we will enjoy being with them. Then on Monday we will head to Pennsylvania...all the way across it...and stay in the same place Jonah and Sarah stayed on their honeymoon. Again, there will be snowboarding for the males. Not sure what I'll do while they are on the slopes, but I'm sure I'll think of something. One of the days, we will visit my childhood home in Avondale, PA. I hope to drive thru some Amish country and maybe get into Philadelphia and see a little history. Anybody have suggestions of things to see or not see?

I've been on a jigsaw puzzle kick lately. The only problem is I have a hard time staying away from them until they are completed. I've only done two, but I'd like to do more if someone could come take care of all my other responsibilities. Maybe I could be a professional puzzler. Maybe not. One can dream. I've also been on a chocolate kick, but that goes without saying.

School is getting done. But mostly Jacob will be studying for tests. He's taking a CLEP test this week for College Mathematics. Then he will begin to study for his GED, which we hope to have done by mid-May. He also has to take a constitution test and the ACT and he also hopes to CLEP out of College Algebra, but we'll have to see if he's up to speed on that. If all goes well, instead of homeschooling for his senior year, he will enroll as a freshman in the local community college.

Tomorrow I'm meeting with our State Representative to talk about the Illinois budget and just get some political stuff off my chest. In Illinois we've gone without a budget for about 3/4 of a year and I'm getting a little angry about it all.

The presidential race is enough to drive me bonkers. I can't believe our country is so blind when it comes to qualities that make good leaders. I've been writing Micah this month, and I think I would do well to memorize it, so when we are enslaved by socialists or worse, I will be reminded of God's faithfulness.

Have a great day!!

  • cyber_space_cadet
    You lived in Avondale? I did not know this!
    I'm from Berwyn and spent my adult (PA) life in West Chester which is not far from Avondale. I assume you've been to Longwood Gardens? It's so peaceful there, and so lovely during the holidays.
    Where will you be going on your trip? (What town?)
    That would be so cool if Jacob could do his first year of college next year.
    This election cycle is absolutely insane.
    by cyber_space_cadet at 02/23/16 6:14AM
  • ceoltoir
    I had Son #1 come in and read your third paragraph. Except for the fact that your son is a bit older, it sounds JUST like Son #1! Right down to the constitution test. He said it's good to know "I'm not alone in my pain." Ha! What constitution material are you using? We're using Constitutional Literacy by Michael Farris. It's thorough but not exactly riveting, if you know what I mean.

    P.S. We're already enslaved by socialists or worse. We're just on house arrest for now.
    by ceoltoir at 02/23/16 12:03PM
  • ceoltoir
    Ooooohhhhh, Longwood Gardens, I've often wished to visit there. I've only seen it in pictures and watched a video about it. I would've loved to go there with my mom ...
    by ceoltoir at 02/23/16 12:05PM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Having lived so close to LG for so many years, and having been there with my Mom on several occasions, I can certainly see why you would love to have enjoyed that with your mom. I get the impressions that our moms were very similar in this (and other) areas. ;)
    by cyber_space_cadet at 02/23/16 1:53PM
  • tryphena
    Great update! I'm interested in hearing how your meeting with your state rep went.
    by tryphena at 02/23/16 2:00PM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    ^ I'd love to hear about that as well!
    by cyber_space_cadet at 02/23/16 9:06PM