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!!!