We have entered the monsoon season here in the highlands of central Arizona. It is another season within the summer. The broad, naked blue skies, vibrant with sunlight, have been overtaken by vast, billowy clouds and gentle hues of blue, violet, and gray with patches of pink, peach, and orange. Entranced by the skies, I walked the house-less circle behind our cul-de-sac yesterday evening. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1), and as the sun fell behind the mountains, the misty sky busily declared and declared. I did not have a camera with me, but if I did, the glory would have refused to be reduced to pixels.
Standing in place, I slowly circled and circled, eyeing the beauties a full 360 degrees. Continue reading
I wrote a post last week but it remains lonely in my drafts. The last few months have been experientially and emotionally packed. So many things to write about. I’m overwhelmed. This past week was the second year anniversary of the deaths of our nineteen Granite Mountain firefighters here in Prescott, Arizona. They died, defending people and homes in Yarnell, Arizona from the raging flames. The day following this anniversary is my birthday. What a juxoposition. . . . Continue reading
I talked on the phone with Dustin DeFord’s mother at the end of August, before leaving on my cross-country trip. Tall (to me) and lovely with strawberry blond hair and pleasant features, Celeste DeFord talked graciously about her family: “God is working uniquely in each person.” (I took notes.) At the very beginning of the conversation, she replied to my inquiry into how they are doing with a little sigh: “How can you explain God’s grace?” Obviously, many folks have asked this question. Continue reading
Front: Susan, Gary
Back: Elaine, Karen, Donna
Bobby & Susie Kloeffer ( June 2012)
What do you think of when you read the words, “Lost and Found”? I think of a big, plastic bin at the YMCA where swimsuits, goggles, towels, and tee shirts were tossed when people left things behind in the locker room. I think of a closet at school where books, binders, purses, and such were stored, waiting for owners to come and claim them. I think of little Bo-Peep who lost her sheep and didn’t know where to find them. Lost and found.
June 18: View from behind our house in Prescott Valley of the Doce Fire near Prescott, involving 7000 acres, 460 evacuated houses, and 672 firefighers including the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The fire was successfully extinguished with no loss of life or houses. All Prescott rejoiced.
This has been a life-framing prayer for Paul and me:
Thank you for what you have entrusted to me to manage on your behalf.
These possessions, these resources, these gifts are not mine, but yours.
Give me the wisdom I need to make them available for the work of your kingdom.
I am honored to be your subject.
Amen.”* Continue reading
Twenty-four summers. If you’re old enough to have lived some years, and I suppose most of my readers are, do your remember your 24th summer? Dustin DeFord completed his. At least part of it. And, as you know from my last post and from national news, 24 was his culminating year! I told my sister what an irony it is that he with his youth, vigor, and dedication to Christ should have his life snuffed out, while I am 59, physically weary, and am still alive. I would have gladly died instead. Of course, no Hotshot firefighter could I have ever been! My sister’s immediate response was, “Karen, your job’s not done, but Dustin’s is.” Continue reading
Paul Olsen and Dustin and Ryan DeFord
How do I write today’s post? What I had planned must be set aside in light of the great loss that has been thrust upon us. Most likely you’ve heard, but for us, we are a part of the devastated ones, praying for those who are more devastated, those closer to the 19. We live about an hour from Yarnell, Arizona, where the fierce fire on Sunday, June 30, claimed the lives of 19, beautiful, capable, dedicated Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighters.
Dustin DeFord, a buff, rugged 24 year old red head, is our friend and was one of these “Hotshots.” He belongs to our church. He was in our home on Father’s Day for a big, noon dinner. Continue reading