Rick and Monique

Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Delicious Yesterday


So, yesterday was a delicious day. We had a full breakfast at church yesterday. We have breakfast there as often as we go. They made us omelettes and sausages and bacon and coffee and served danish, miniature cupcakes, yogurt, coffee, juice and milk.

We went to Anne-Michelle's for lunch--the first of any meal at her home--and there will be more amazing feasts or taste bud treats at her house. She made Spaghetti casserole and served breadsticks and offered us dessert.

Then we went to Mom and Dad for a little visit and they served us home-made almond banket and a delectable cup of coffee. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

We had a lovely little supper at home--a Monique special called herb bagel with pepperoni and creamed cheese. Mouth-Watering Good.

Later we visited our friends Dan and Stephanie and we finished the tasty day with a glass of Iced Tea and Dan and I enjoyed a cigar.

Yesterday I succumbed to a most delightful world of taste and I'm thankful to all those who treated us. Enjoy the wealth of tastes you experience each day (hopefully it's not acid and heartburn), count them even. I'm a romantic of course and we get to experience the world a little more slowly sometimes--I know what the roses smell like. I know well enough that God intended to feed us and fill us. But, in the same way that life is not an end, it's a journey...so is the process of filling your stomach. How boring and unromantic life would be if we could not experience each morsel as it passed over my tongue and into my stomach. AWESOME.

Hmm...what should I add to the mouth-watering story? Well, if you're going to experience the world of rest and merriment you might as well keep it fun and exciting. Monique and I live that way. We used to celebrate everything. We celebrated the Wednesday that we first went to a gas-station together--umm, I'm joking. But we did celebrate a lot of things early in our relationship. We don't make and anniversary out of these small things anymore--we make life a daily event. Even when we trudged wearily through great trial, God allowed us a simple glass of wine from time to time. He gave us pizza and beer, he gave us steak broccoli and potatoes. He gave us scotchies and desserts made of oreo's, hot fudge and ice-cream. He gave us corn on the cob, and ham and provolone sandwiches...and he gave us stomach aches from time to time to remind us when we enjoyed a little bit more than we needed.

So, you want me to complete this little story right? I can't make you read on forever, I know. Our escort on our delicious day? The scooter gathered us up and brought us to church in the morning. Our Motorcycle revved into shape and excitedly powered us to Anne-Michelle's and Mom and Dad's. Our bicycles took us away from home...but 20 miles later graciously and quietly breezed us home for dinner. The motorcycle again faithfully carried us to cigars and iced tea. We had a two-wheeled something-or-other for every occassion! Wind in the face, blue skies, fresh air...Now that's celebrating!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blessed are the Meek

Mom Huizinga asked me a good question the other night and I've thought about it a few times since then. She asked me, "What is your definition of 'the meek' in regard to the Matthew 5:5 work in one of Jesus' most famous sermons--"Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth."

I thought about it and I'm still comfortable with my answer. The meek are those who submit to discipline who are self-controlled and essentially, those who are are prepared to follow. None of these definitions come from weakness.  There might be more words out there to build the meaning of meek, but I'm comfortable with it's current status.

Some examples. The greatest olympic swimmer to ever grace the games is undoubtedly the current olympian Michael Phelps. He's big. He's strong. He's well established and he regards his talent well. His strength? His strength comes from his submission to his discipline, the self-control needed to build his talent and his willingness to follow his coach into the places his coach needed him to be. But lastly, he desires to lift not only himself, but his team. He watches other swimmers and cheers them on. He advises, he encourages and he cheers them with great enthusiasm. He is meek. We have other examples from the bible. Moses was a great leader. He stood up to the most powerful leader in the world, Pharaoh Ramses. He led God’s people through the wilderness to the border of the promised land. He questioned God from time to time, but followed the meekness path--Numbers 12:3 - “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” Jesus himself was meek, submitted to the discipline of his task, followed his Father's will, and gave of himself to others and yet he was the most feared, most respected and probably most "powerful" teacher in that time (of course we know he's God, but I'm merely taking an empirical view). Added to that, Jesus could stand up to the winds and the waves. He also chased the moneychangers out of the temple twice with a whip made out of chords--Matthew 11:29 - “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Meekness comes from power, from engaging the fruits of the spirit and from being confident in discipline...and they are blessed. What do you think?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

GET UP AND GO BABY--Or Just fart and floor it--Whichever comes first

We travelled as children.  My siblings and I experienced the United States and took in the grandeur of just about every off-shoot, over-look and obscure this-or-that.  Mom had her trip-tik out on her lap and studied that thing as if she had to prove a doctoral thesis.  By golly I challenge you to find something we missed along the way.  I believe mom and dad felt it necessary that the children grow by experience.  I think they wanted their children to have the ability to travel, the desire to see things instead of always staying home, and the need to implant into us that although some family lives in far away places, one can muster the creativity that enables us to see them and experience everything along the way.  The wisdom we all have now because we know the things we do, allows each family to join eachother in some beautiful place to camp, we can read maps (well...there are a couple more directionally challenged people in the family but we won't go there), and we can tell story after story from west to east and north to south.  We also know our family in places like Minnesota, Ohio, California and the Netherlands.  I met someone the other day that's never left Iowa...he seems well adjusted and lives life pretty well...I can't begrudge someone for never going anywhere.  But for every reason, for the wisdom I've gained, I'm glad to have seen places and I'm grateful that my parents thought we should.

Jess and Rob feel the same way about their children.  It's important for Katherine and Aaron to know their grandparents, to know their Uncles and Aunts, cousins and friends.  They spent a month away from home doing just that.  I'm not sure they'd do it that way again...I'm guessing Rob, who couldn't go with them, was pretty lonely and I'm sure he missed his family.  But the kids, man--the kids have already gained a wealth of experience not limited to knowing how to pack, knowing how to treat hosts/guests with respect, learning to make choices, learning to get through an airport, learning to sleep, eat and enjoy wherever you are.  They have huge imaginations brought to them in part because they've seen what there is to imagine--there's no video or book in the world that could teach you the stuff they now know.  We had a blast with the kids and Jess.  We're exhausted--so are they!  But with selling 'Krispy' bars at our rummage, swimming, playing in the park, getting made-up, going out for ice-cream, going on scooter and motorcycle rides (the helmet was nearly as big as Aaron was, it was all I could do to not drop to the ground laughing), running up and down steps, going to Chuck E. Cheese, climbing trees, watching movies, playing freeze tag and hide-and-seek, shopping, helping out a little around the house, playing the "who blinks first" game, and throwing a fit or two from time to time -- who wouldn't be tired?  I'll say it again, we had a great time with them and I'd do it again for sure.  The kids were awesome and funny and sweet and helpful and respectful and fun.  I'm waiting for the next of my nephews or my niece to drop by for the weekend or week--we'll have to figure that out. 

The point is get out there and see something!  Maybe you'll go for a month--maybe not.  I'll send you a post card from Yellowstone or Colorado in September, maybe...but maybe you should just go see it for yourself!  The other point--it's quiet around here and I don't mind.  It's good to be home in my routine again.  Routine keeps me sane some days.  But, being willing to experience things, we've been there for family in every kind of situation, and family has been there for us in equal numbers of ways.  Everyone's in the process of dyin the day their born.  The important part is how you've lived along the way, and who gets the praise as you do.