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!"