Monday, December 29, 2008


Yesterday Mick and I celebrated twenty nine years of being husband and wife. We went into the center of town for lunch. Since we never drive into the center of town during a weekday we went by metro. Instead of taking the car to the metro or even getting on a bus at the bus stop (near our apartment) we decided to walk through our woods (about a 15 minute walk when it is slippery out!)

Mick loves SNOW and all things associated with it…that would be, skiing, sledding, rides in a sleigh, ice-cycles, COLD weather, and even SNOW ICE-CREAM.
He also loves FIRE PLACES (when lit!)

Because of his great love for everything having to do with SNOW we have OFTEN walked in the snow through the years. Even our honeymoon was in Colorado so that we could go snow-skiing. In fact, I had to learn to ski before we could get married so I could go with him on HIS honeymoon!

We went skiing one snow day in college (yes, professors could not get to us…but we could get to the slopes!) After I had about two hours of lessons Mick picked me up from class and we proceeded to the slopes. Seems that either my teacher forgot to teach me the art of TURNING or I was just too dumb to pick it up because we soon learned that I had a problem. I did fine going STARIGHT down the mountain (I looked good, skis together and all) but when it came time to TURN (to avoid other skiers or to make sure I didn’t get too much speed up) I just couldn’t make my feet, legs, and body do that!

When I fell, I fell hard. Everyone with us was trying to get me to Snow Plow in order to slow this day I can not Snow Plow! Finally I got a little better and we left the BUNNY slope behind (I’d had lessons and had learned to do something along the lines of turning) and went for the BLUE.
Mick told me to stop worrying about the people in front of me…they were skiers (he seemed to think) and would get out of my way!
So, down the mountain I went…doing whatever it was I’d learned to do to hold my speed down (still not called a TURN, I’m sure!) As I looked down the mountain I saw a man standing, in the middle of the mountain, on the slope, just standing! BUT Mick had told me that THEY WOULD GET OUT OF MY WAY so I decided to take Mick at his word and not fall over to stop so that I wouldn’t run into the STANDING man…HE WOULD GET OUT OF MY WAY.
Well, HE DID NOT…I plowed right smack dab into him. He fell and I fell (several feet below him!)
Mick came flying down the mountain and I started yelling, “You told me he would get out of my way!”
The poor man had no idea what I was talking about…and really, how do you explain what happened to a complete stranger who you have just wiped out?
Mick helped me up and we left the man in the snow!

All that came to my mind yesterday as we walked through the woods. MEMORIES
I wish that I could say that I have listened to Mick’s advice and followed it as avidly these twenty nine years. I have not! I’ve not been a PERFECT wife (as I had planned.)
To be honest with you…he hasn’t been a perfect husband either (have no idea if he planned to be or not.)

But walking through the woods yesterday (and waking up beside him this morning) I can say that I’m so thankful that GOD gave Mick Stockwell to me…to have and to hold from December 29, 1979 until Death Do Us Part!

I love you Mick…you the BEST!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December in my World

It happened…I knew it would…I am no longer “50”!!!
Up until this year it has been okay to give out my age…but something about “51” just doesn’t sound attractive. You know up until this year I’ve been on the under side of middle age (according to the way I perceive it!) and then even “50” had some status to it. But...“51”...that is just so bland sounding. So, I’ll be “29” from now on if you don’t mind!

My “50th” was a GREAT celebration.
We were in a beautiful cottage in Colorado with friends and great weather. One of our old “youth” came up the day before and it was ALL ABOUT ME.

So, I was sort of thinking that this year would be rather BORING. But my “Partner in Crime” as her husband calls us, gave me a birthday party.

I even had to pick the menu. The food was hard to pick, but the dessert was not. Her famous Chocolate Cheesecake was really what got me to the party (given in my honor!)
The apartment was decorated beautifully and the night was


I started a new tradition of my own…I figured that after “50” years of GIFT RECEIVING I should start doing some GIFT GIVING on my special day (which by the way was Lottie Moon’s birthday…just throwing that in as a bit of interesting trivia!)
I’ve decided that this will be my new tradition…therefore, from now on my birthday parties will have to be SMALL in number of attendees (or the gifts will have to be small in VALUE!)

I’ve always loved my birthday month…a very exciting time of year!
This year has been the same. Daniel is home for the Holidays.

Almost two years ago he got on a plane and left us for college…but he is back and it is wonderful. He will be the only Stockwell male child home for this Christmas. Though we wish all of the kids could be here…including the girls…we are choosing to THANK THE LORD for Daniel’s visit and enjoy ourselves in keeping all the traditions we have had through the years.

I’m so thankful for the memories of Christmases past…those when a child in Wichita Falls, Texas with my parents and brothers. My mom says I loved the tree and she often caught me standing, staring at it and sometimes she caught me running through the house with some Ice-cycles in my hands. I remember Christmas Eve meals with the Woodards and Christmas Day with the Thorntons.

The Christmases in Houston, Texas when the boys were small have a special place in my heart. How fun it was to continue Christmas traditions that both Mick and I brought to our new family.
And then we moved to Ukraine and had to come up with some new traditions…which have become just as BIG a part of us as the old ones.

I remember some gifts (received and given) but most of all, I remember the FEELING OF BELONGING.

I heard a song this year by Ray Charles…Christmas in my Heart…it says, “Christmas time is ALL ABOUT RECEIVING…the gift that God has sent from up above!”
What a wonderful thought…
We have been told that it is about GIVING…And God did GIVE His Son…but I’ve enjoyed dwelling on that RECEIVING part this year as I contemplate this special season.
Because that GIVEN GIFT has to be RECEIVED!

In receiving this FREE GIFT I have come to BELONG to the FAMILY OF GOD. There are times when I’ve not been able to be with my parents, children, and other family members for special occasions (like this year,) but because I received that FREE GIFT from my Heavenly Father, I have been able to have fellowship with my Christian Family.

I pray that each of you knows the value of RECEIVING!!!


John 3:16

For God so loved the WORLD that HE GAVE His one and only Son, that whoever believes (RECEIVES) in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come; let earth receive her King.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Something's Happening Here

Something’s happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear.”
(song by Stephen Stills)
Well, something is happening here and I am not exactly clear as to what all it will entail.
So for a while my post may be of thoughts about the CHANGE that is taking place in our lives…

Mick and I are moving to Prague…when? Well, that is one of those things that ain’t exactly clear!!! But some time in the Spring of 2009.
The Lord has moved us out of this ministry into another. And if I did not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE was moving us I couldn’t go.

I do know that it is the next step of obedience and will take it in trust…but I’m doing much reflection these days.

Tonight I baked a chocolate pie for guest. As I was stirring the pudding I remembered the first time I made a chocolate pie in Ukraine. It was in 1994 in our first humble apartment. Back then I had tears in my eyes as I stirred…it is a wonder that the pie wasn’t too salty to eat. I was so home-sick…and the stirring of the pudding made me miss my mom more. You see, she always let me stir the pudding when she was baking a chocolate pie.
I also remembered the Thanksgiving (what year was it?) when we were at the Ray’s and Regina Lamb (the boys’ teacher) was stirring and stirring the pudding for the pie and it wasn’t getting thick…we finally realized that the burner (gas stove) had gone out! Poor Regina!

As I stirred tonight I thought of the changes that have taken place within me, my family, and this country since 1994. The most outstanding change I contemplated tonight was that I am feeling home-sick for Ukraine even before we move. Who would have thought, fourteen plus years ago, that one day I’d be stirring the pudding for a pie thinking how sad it was going to be to leave this place?

God is the only one who could do this…take this small city girl from Texas…bring her to Europe (yes, Eastern) and put her in a BIG city with a whole different culture and language and make her feel at home…I didn’t even notice when He did it, that is the witty thing.

Something has been happening here for years…and the only thing I’m clear about is this…
He is in control, He is faithful, He is the judge of all the earth and He will do right. (Genesis 18:25)

"Thank you, Jesus…I will wait for you to heal my hurting heart and make Prague home.
Do you think You could give me a hint on how long that is going to take???
Okay…I’ll wait!"

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures

In my devotions this morning I read this...

A mark of true thankfulness is that we love the giver more than the gifts. Frans Bakker

My this be true of me!!!

Mick and KoKo early Thanksgiving morning. I'm sure he is thanking the Lord for his precious, darling, wonderful wife!

Mick carving up Tom, the Turkey...the Butterball Mick brought back from the USA (land of Sonic ice!)

The Ragains and Stockwells

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I do have a THANKFUL heart this evening. And it is nothing of my own doing…Scripture teaches us that He gives me the WILL to do what is right (what is required!)
For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13
Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:17, 18.

I’m thankful for the WILL to be thankful.
This has not been a painless year for me…I feel selfish writing that last line. Because the reason for the pain has mostly been that the lives of my loved ones have been affected…causing me to feel loss and hurt.

People have moved out of my life (physically)…our supervisor and family. Other dear friends who we worked with closely are no longer serving with us.

Precious Teri Tarleton has gone to Glory…we had two wonderful Thanksgiving meals with the Tarletons in the past and I am really missing her this year. I know that Teri is having a GREAT time with our Father, but I feel sorry for myself and I feel for her precious family.

And last, but not least, Kenny Pope is a different man today than he was a little over six months ago. Teri is a different woman too. My “family” has been through more than I can imagine (even after hearing about much of it) and I’ve not been able to be there to walk beside them for most of the time…this has caused me pain. For the first time ever (even with our men in the states) I did not want to return to the field after Kenny’s fall. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do…leave them on the 4th of July…knowing that there was so much ahead and wondering how they would do it.
If you have kept up with the Popes through CaringBridge then you know that they are doing wonderfully. Life is different but the one constant is the presence of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ…who has bestowed on them…THANKFUL HEARTS.

So, as tomorrow approaches and I finish making the pies and getting everything else ready to celebrate, with friends, God’s graciousness to me DAILY…I want to THANK HIM for giving me a THANKFUL HEART…
Because a Thankful Heart is what guards my heart and my mind. It is what gives me the strength to carry on. Daily, I want to THANK HIM…who gives me the POWER to do so!

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, November 24, 2008

I don't belong

I’m cleaning apartment today!
Getting ready for my Thanksgiving guest.
I was popping in CDs to play and came across Mark Lowry’s.

You may not know that Mick and I had the privilege of going to college with Mark. I didn’t know him, but Mick did. Mick says that he (meaning MICK) was funnier than Mark back then…so, why are we not rich Mick???
I really don’t know if Mark is rich or not, so I don’t want to start a rumor…just a little FAMILY humor!

Anyway, back to the CD…there are several songs on this OLD CD that I love.
“We Fall Down”…powerful song if you ask me!
“It Wouldn’t Be Enough” but the one that got my attention as I was cleaning was:

“I Don’t Belong”…the Chorus goes like this:
“I don’t belong and I’m goin’ some day home to my own native land. I don’t belong and it seems like I hear the sound of a welcome home band. I don’t belong I’m a foreigner here singing a sojourner’s song. I’ve always known this place ain’t home and I don’t belong.
Don’t belong, but while I’m here I’ll be livin’ like I’ve nothing to lose. And while I breathe I’ll just believe my Lord is gonna see me through. I’ll not be deceived by earth’s make-believe. I’ll close my ears to her siren song by praising His name, and I’m not ashamed ‘cause I don’t belong.”

While listening to the song (for the hundredth time) I realized that I do not (and have never) felt weird because I wasn’t like the Ukrainian people (or any other people when I’ve visited other countries!) I’ve never tried to be exactly like them…to look exactly like them…to act exactly like them…WHY???
Because I know I’m not an Ukrainian…I’m an American who gets to live here and serve…but I do not belong here…I have an American passport and citizenship!
It is Okay when I do not seem Ukrainian…’cause I’m not!!!
It has never bothered me.

HOWEVER, I also realized that sometimes it bothers me when the world seems to look on me differently because of something I’ve said or done. Why is that?
I’m not of the world…I’m bought at a high price and my citizenship is in Heaven. Philippians 3:20
It shouldn’t bother me at all to be different.
I should not feel peculiar when I do not fit in? I Peter 2:9
Why should I want to fit in???

I don’t want to be deceived by earth’s make-believe…I want to be listening for the sound of the welcome home band on the streets of gold! Revelation 21:21
I’m a sojourner…no need to get tangled in this world.

Lord, help me remember I’m not home...yet!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Hope's Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Hap---py Anniversary!!!

Today is the seventh anniversary of NEW HOPE church in Kharkov, Ukraine.
When Linda Gray reminded me this morning I couldn’t believe that it had been seven years.

Many of you know the story of how we lived and worked in Kharkov for six years. Mick, of course, worked all over the area…but from the time we moved to Kharkov the boys and I worked mainly with the church which became the “Mother” church of New Hope.

We started out doing Sunday School for them. The boys played a MAJOR role in this. They often helped with the story telling and Bible memorization AND always helped with discipline (as they could speak the language better than me!)

As time went on Christopher became concerned about the fact that there was truly no YOUTH group in Kharkov. He began praying that the Lord would use him in the establishment of a youth group.
We were beginning to see the fruits of those prayers RIGHT when Keith Byrd asked us to move back to Kiev and take on other responsibilities.

Mick and I both knew in our spirits that the move to Kiev was what the Lord had for us…but we also knew that it wasn’t what He had for Christopher. So, through prayer and God’s leading we left Christopher behind to work with a youth club which later became New Hope Church.

AND TODAY…they celebrate seven years of ministry.

I wish we could all be there…but since we can’t, I’m sending out this little message and publicly voicing (through type) my thankfulness to the LORD for allowing the Stockwell family to have a part in this church and for the years of memories that we have in Kharkov, Ukraine.

Thank you Jesus for New Hope in Kharkov, Ukraine…may they continue in the faith!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nightmare of Words

Two nights ago I had a nightmare. No human was after me, words were the culprit.
I have no idea why…maybe it was the WITHOUT A TRACE we watched before going to bed. The father of a little girl who had been taken told the mother that it was her fault for not watching their daughter more carefully. No fears, the daughter was found alive and well. But we did not see the father apologize to the mother. HUM??? This really did impact me…enough to make me ask Mick if he didn’t think it was a bad thing to accuse another of being at fault.

Maybe all that added up to my Nightmare of Words. In my dream I was in some sort of school (you know how dreams are…they make sense at the time, but when re-telling them you think, “WOW, how did I let that bother me…so unreal!”) and my assignment was to read something (anything) and re-write it in my own words. I was so anxious to get something read and written down…but no matter what I did, I couldn’t read anything or if I did read it, I couldn’t get it written down to complete my assignment…and as time wore on it was getting to be time for class. I remember thinking that I just needed to read anything…maybe an advertisement and re-write it. That was all I had time for, but I couldn’t even get that done.
I woke up…thank goodness!

Went to the restroom and when I came back to bed I must have awoken Mick because he got up to go to the restroom. I said, “I’m so glad I woke up, I was having a nightmare!”
He came back to bed, got in, covered up, and didn’t say a word.

I lay there thinking…either he didn’t hear me, or he doesn’t care about my nightmare!
Well, I was wide awake and so I thought about my dream. I thought to myself how much more meaning WORDS would have if everything I read was worked over in my mind as if I had to re-write it and turn it in for a grade. And I thought about the fact that if I had to think about what I said that carefully before I even said it, (wow…now, that is a thought) that I might not talk as much.

WORDS ARE POWERFUL…God’s WORD has several things to say about WORDS:

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
Proverbs 25:11

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

Like I said, if we had to really think about the words that were coming out of our mouths…are you hearing the words that are coming out of my mouth?…I wonder if we would say HALF of them?

God’s WORD has something to say about Itself:

II Samuel 22:31, Proverbs 30:5, and Psalm 12:6 tell us that God’s WORD is flawless.
Mine aren’t! How about yours?

In John 1:1-14 we are told that the WORD was in the beginning and that it was with God and the WORD was God and that the WORD became flesh and came to live with us…

His WORD is truth…John 17:17

My words are not flawless, they are not always truthful and they do not always cheer and are not always aptly spoken…
But Praise the LORD, we can depend upon every WORD that comes out of the mouth of GOD…
HIS WORD IS TRUTH…now, I need to meditate on it and put it to memory.

Thank you, heavenly Father, for Your WORD.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

P.S. Mick mentioned my nightmare the next day…he said, “You're so cute!” I asked him how he came to that conclusion (I’ve been telling him that for years now!) and he said,
“How many people are happy to wake up in the middle of the night because they are having a nightmare?”
I didn’t answer and took the compliment…but I thought to myself…(see, I’m working on not saying everything I think!)…I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to wake up from a nightmare…oh well…to each his own!

I’m not saying anything!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I had to get in here quickly and write a disclaimer.
Precious friends are sending me sweet notes about how wonderful I am.
I just need to say...I'm not wonderful at all...
I'm human and I've said and done things that I never thought I'd say and do...Those little tidbits were cleaned up for blog posting!
And many tidbits were left out...there was a reason!!!

Jesus is wonderful and has been the sustaining ONE!!!

We also know that our friends and family have prayed for us and encouraged us through these years and know what prayer can you can celebrate too...fourteen years of lifting us up in prayer...

Don't stop now!!! CAUSE we STILL aren't perfect or wonderful. Just serving a WONDERFUL LORD!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Celebrate...Fourteen years in Ukraine

In 1492 Columbus sailed the
Ocean Blue…

In 1994 Stockwells over the Ocean did SOAR...

Today, October 14, 2008 marks fourteen years of living and serving in Ukraine.

We came with 24 bags (with more in the states to be brought by volunteer teams.)
Rumor was that we could not even buy tooth-paste here. Were we surprised to find Colgate and many other things we thought we would not have.

Still, the pickings were bare and our first Christmas was pretty pitiful (that’s for you Teri Pope!) So pitiful in fact, that the next year our home church, Houston Northwest, sent us packages and the Leveretts…we had to send the Leveretts back.

I remember being in the middle of Culture Shock and thinking about Jesus…how He must have felt when He left the splendor of Heaven for me…talk about Culture Shock…to come from Heaven to earth! I mean, I thought that leaving America (TEXAS) was bad, but think about it, to leave perfection (and God the Father) to come to EARTH…wow…what LOVE!

I try not to remember much of language school…but I do remember when Mick told me that he thought we should move out EAST (go East young woman!) My feet kept walking (we were on our way to language school) but my spirit stopped. I didn’t want to go out East…that was further from America (TEXASJ) and further from the capital, further from the doctor who knew that Americans (TEXANS) loved NEW needles when being poked!
But the Lord quickly reminded me that He didn’t bring me half way (really, more than half way) around the world to not be in His perfect will. So, I said, “Yes, Lord…if You want us to move East, it is East we go!”

And East we went. What fulfillment we found! Our boys grew up there. They learned Russian, made friends, worked in the churches, served with volunteer teams when they came, and became men in Kharkov, Ukraine (out East.) I’m so glad we obeyed.

We are back in Kiev now. Serving in a much different capacity…but fulfilled all the same. Because we are where He has put us for this time.

Life is different in Ukraine. Mick and I walked the main street of Kiev today and saw many new sights...we still don’t have a Starbucks or Pizza Hut or SONIC.
The clothes do seem to match better these days. People smell better and I can understand MOST of what they are saying!
I enjoy church services now and have Ukrainian friends!

Our personal life looks different…it is just Mick, KoKo (the dog) and me in our home... I still miss the boys, but as I've said, it is such a pleasure to watch them as MEN...and MEN can not live at home (too bad!) We love having a girl in the family (even though she lives with Christopher in the states) and are thrilled to be getting another soon. I am well on my way to being a happy LONG DISTANCE MOM.
Christopher called today and we talked about life issues as grown ups. We spoke of days gone by here in Ukraine and of the future.
Though there are changes daily...I am not afraid of the future as I walk in obedience to Him.

Fourteen years and counting!
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

I Corinthians 15:58

The song, GREAT ADVENTURE was our theme song in 1994

Enjoy it here!!!
Stockwells in 1994

Mick shopping for our dinner...or is that sugar?

Well, either way, sugar could make a good dinner!!!

See, that sugar made a great meal!!!

Saint Andrew's street in Kiev

The boys and Ms. Zoya

Stockwells and Shevchenkos

The Stockwells today

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ode To Daniel on his 20th

Me and My Dad

Ode to Daniel who leaves TEEN years behind today

Daniel, my baby Daniel, Okay, Okay…you aren’t a baby…but believe me, you will always be my baby. To me, the word “BABY” doesn’t mean that you are lacking in any way, manner, or form…but that you are the last of a kind!

You were the last Stockwell male child I bore. Maybe, God saved the best for last (what do you think Christopher and Jonathan??? )

You were the last to get a B.B. gun, a knife, and all those special gifts.
You were the last to start school and to finish (you really haven’t finished have you…but you will!)
You were the last son at home for four years: During that time you were the one who offered to go with me when I had to go out at night alone. You were the only son doing any chores around here. You made me laugh. You kept me young.

You were the last to meet Katie Girl, and it looks like
you will be the last to marry.

AND You were the last to leave home (WHY you want to leave me???) and it felt like death. My whole body ached for days. Dad cried like a baby…but I’m sure he wouldn’t want me to share that.

However, I do have to admit that I’m okay and I’m even happy you left. Not because I don’t miss you…I will always miss all three of you around my table every night (when I was in control...I had no idea I was such a control freak)
BUT I have to confess that it has been a GREAT delight to see you grow into the man you are becoming. I’m glad you left so that you can stand on your own two are doing it so well!!! MY, those two feet hold you up straight and tall.

So, as you leave the TEENS behind and advance into man-hood I want to express my sincere admiration for who you are becoming. It is a joy to watch God lead you and you follow.

You aren’t perfect (just like the rest of us…welcome to the real world) but you are FORGIVEN and you know that! So, you keep walking…with God’s help you will knock down that wall!!! (Can’t help it…the Veggie Tale song just popped into my head)
And you will do more of the great and mighty things God has purposed for you to accomplish for Him. I look forward to seeing that transpire…Always happy to say…
”That’s my boy, my BABY boy!”

The pleasure of mothering you has been all mine.

Proverbs 23:25

"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."

II Timothy 2:1

Sometimes you still act like "the Baby"

And we love that about you!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Precious in His Sight

I’ve just had the joy of hosting a team of five ladies from the states. They came to Ukraine to minister as they explored ideas of how to get Christian women more involved in missions around the world. Marsha Judy, a new missionary in Kiev, who has come to work with Ladies’ Ministry in the country, joined us. It was a wonderful week. Together we prayer walked many streets in three cities in Ukraine. The ladies shared their testimonies in four formal sittings and in other ways as they obeyed God throughout the week.

They were precious!!!

While in Kharkov, Ukraine the team from the states stayed in national homes. Marsha stayed with the Woffords. For those of you who do not know; the Woffords were our team members when we lived in Kharkov…when we moved to Kiev, Keith became the Strategy Coordinator of that area and they moved into our apartment. It is always wonderful to go back and be in my old home! Usually I am welcomed by a special plate that Wendy has in her kitchen. I’ve never been to their home when the plate didn’t say something to me!
UNTIL this past week.

There in BIG RED letters the plate read, “Welcome Aunt Marsha!” wow…I’d been replaced. No, I wasn’t staying with the Woffords…I had the opportunity to stay with Linda Gray (another colleague.) But that isn’t the point…the point is…my name was not on the plate!

I decided I’d fix that problem. I found (with some searching) a BLUE marker and added the words: “And Aunt Dalese.” Then, as a second thought I added the word “Precious” beside the “and.”

I had no idea that I’d only have to wait a little while before my art work and editing job were appreciated. Cameras were out because we were all taking pictures of the fellowship time. Marsha decided she wanted a picture of HER PLATE…Shelby Wofford went into the kitchen to bring it to Aunt Marsha and the excitement began. All the ladies thought it was hilarious.
One asked me about it and I told her that the word “Precious” was scribbled in as an after-thought. I said, “I forgot I was precious!”
She looked at me and we laughed.

But you know what…sometimes I do forget that I’m precious. I bet you do too.

*I forget that I’m made in the image of GOD. Genesis 1:27, 5:1, 9:6
*That He formed me in my mother’s womb. Psalms 139:13
*That He predestined me to be conformed to the image of His Son. Romans 8:29 and that He predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His desire. Ephesians 1:5
*I’m chosen by the most High God. John 15:19
*Sometimes I forget that I’m royalty (A people of God’s own possession) I Peter 2:9
I’m a princess, now that is PRECIOUS!!!

I’m thankful for that “Playful moment” when God reminded me that I am precious to Him. And the great news is that you are too. He wants to be precious to us too. Oh how He desires our entire BEING to desire HIM!

It is my prayer that I will recognize my worth in God’s sight (I’m precious!) and walk worthy of it…I’m going to take Princess lessons so I can act like the Princess I am and treat others like the royalty they are.

Where do I go to take such lessons you ask? To His Word…where all life’s answers are found!

Her majesty,
Precious Princess Dalese

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy 25th Birthday Christopher

Christopher is turning twenty five (25) on the 6th of September and I’m not going to be able to send out my customary letter celebrating the life of my son on his birthday. I started sending out emails to help me deal with not being with the boys (now men) on their special days years ago. This little tradition has really ministered to me!
Thank you for being a part of the STOCKWELL family as you read my reminiscence of Christopher.

WOW…twenty five years ago God blessed us with our first son. And God hasn’t stopped blessing our lives through him.

God has a calling on Christopher’s life. Christopher was always very interested in spiritual matters. At the age of two and a half he wanted to have “Jesus in his heart.” We told tell him that when he was older there would be a time when he would feel that "tugging" and we would talk
to him about it then.
One afternoon I was lying down with him (trying to get him to go to sleep while the baby (Jonathan) slept so that I could get a short nap myself) and he smiled a wicked little smile, rushed his hand into my shirt, pulled it out as quickly as he had stuck it in, and repeated the same action inside his shirt. I watched this happen in a matter of seconds and dumbfoundedly asked him, “What did you just do?”
He said, “I took Jesus out of your heart and put Him in mine!”
Yes, the little bugger was very pleased with himself! I knew he did not know the implications of taking Jesus out of my heart. Or hoped he didn’t!!!

Well, years later Jesus did "tug" at Christopher’s heart and he accepted that Divine invitation and became a child of God (allowing me to keep Jesus in my heart!)

We have watched, with gratification, Christopher grow in his relationship with the Lord. It hasn’t always been pretty or easy. But God has always proven Himself faithful.

We are so thankful that Christopher’s heart is tuned to hear and act upon God’s instructions.
We are also thankful for Katie Stockwell who walks beside him as he leads their family to follow God.

Happy Birthday Christopher Vernon Stockwell.

Thank you for letting me MOTHER YOU…it has been my delight!
Proverbs 23:24-25 "The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!"

Check is in the mail!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on the watch, unmoved in the faith, and be strong like men.

When I think of the word WATCH I think of my eyes. I mean, you know, tongue with taste, ears with hearing, and eyes with seeing (or watching!)
But sometimes we SEE things that we do not understand…even when we WATCH (To look or observe attentively or carefully; be closely observant) we still do not understand.

Sometimes we SEE things in another culture that make no sense to us.
Mick shared a story from the FRONT (that is what I’m calling Georgia at this time!) this morning. How many of you have heard of Borsch? It is a beet/cabbage meal (in a bowl) best described to Americans as Beet Soup. However, we would never call it soup in front of the nationals…it is not a soup in their opinion. Well, you know, we have Chili (everyone knows that Chili isn’t soup) so I can give them that. It is their (Ukrainian and Russian) national “Chili.”

You probably have never heard of Har-cho. This is Georgia’s national SOUP. Yes, for some reason it is considered a soup…most likely because it is SOUP! But Mick’s story really blew my mind as he told me that in Georgia he asked them (not Ukrainians nor Russians, but Georgians) if Har-cho was soup. They said, “Yes!” For some reason (he must have just had too much time on his hands) he took it a step further and asked them if Borsch was soup and they said, “NO!”

If someone asked me if Borsch was SOUP I’d say, “Well, yes…but the nationals do not consider it so!”
These Georgians couldn’t go there with Mick…he asked them to explain the difference in their SOUP (Har-cho) and Borsch (water based meal served in a bowl!)
They couldn’t…but they also could not see his point…Why would he even think that Borsch could be a soup?

They couldn’t see it…why??? Because of their culture, their world view, and what they grew up hearing and knowing to be true, they couldn’t see Mick’s point.
I could sit here and think how silly…but instead I decided to examine (WATCH) my own life, ideas, and what I believe to be TRUTH.

I wonder how many times I think I know God’s will and way and am so far off because of my culture, my world view, and what I grew up hearing and knowing to be true?

Psalm 141: 8
But my eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign Lord; in You I take refuge…

This is my prayer: Fix my eyes on You, my Sovereign Lord, so that I may be on WATCH (seeing with Your eyes and believing Your truth), unmoved in the faith, and be strong like a woMAN.

Able to love even those who are all mixed up about what constitutes the make up of soup!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My first BLOG and I’m at a lost for words. Well, not really (I’m sure you saw that coming!)

My thoughts today: I have lived with MANY men! Yes, I’m the only girl of three children. I did live with my parents (which included my mom…another girl) for nineteen years before heading off to college. After two and a half years I moved in with another man…my husband…And father of my three sons. So, I’ve been living with ONLY men since 1979. Don’t get me wrong…I love my husband to death and there hasn’t been a BORING minute of our 29 years of marriage (out of which we say that 27 of those were GREAT!) And I have absolutely had a BLAST being the mom of three sons. Upon mention of them I smile all over myself and feel such pride and JOY. No, I do not feel cheated at all!!!
But let’s face it, a girl needs GIRL-FRIENDS!!!

And God has sent me some wonderful girl-friends to bless my male dominated life.

First and foremost…MY MOM…Billie Inez Thornton Woodard…thank you so much Mom!!!

Mrs. Masters mentored me through my mom. I didn’t even know what mentoring was back then (1970.) I don’t think my mom did either, but Mrs. Masters mentored mom and mom mentored me with the wisdom she gleaned from Mrs. M. I’m so thankful for her life and story!

I began writing a SHORT list (I thought) of those girls whom God has brought in my life who have made a difference and even that SHORT list is LONG. So, I will not be able to share with you my precious girl-friends. I do want to say that I have remembered you (you know who you are) today and thanked the Lord for you and what you have taught me. I’ve been reminded that I’ve not always been the BEST OF GIRL-FRIENDS and I am sorry about that. I want to be the kind of Girl-Friend who makes a Godly Impact on the lives of the women GOD gives me as friends.

Though I’ve not always been faithful…He is…and a little over a year ago He placed another girl in my life. He gave me my precious Daughter-In-Love, Katie Gray Grisham Stockwell. I didn’t get to pick her…but I couldn’t have picked a better one. She has been a delight to my heart, soul, and life!!!
She got me started on this BLOG thing. Go Katie!!!

Another amazing girl is entering our lives. Again, I didn’t get to pick her…but Jonathan has brought us home another KEEPER. Katherine Anderson will join the Stockwell girls soon and when she does, LOOK OUT BOYS…we will almost be caught up (in number) with you and when three girl-friends (especially astonishing ones like us) get together…no telling what will happen!!!

Looking forward to BLOGGING with all my Girl-Friends and, of course, those delightful men whom God has given me as cohorts in this journey of LIFE.

Always: Entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; giving thanks to Him and praising His Name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4
Blessed be the Name of my Lord.