All posts by Voni Pottle

2000 OR 2022

I remember staying awake all night when the world paused to welcome the year 2000. The anxiety and preparation for the roll-over of the computers. And nothing happened. We gave whatever emergency foods we had to groups who were helping the hungry.

Now we are moving into 2022. 

We are being warned of economic disasters throughout the world,

Fear is playing a major role in our lives today. Thousands of people are living on the streets in tents or cars, etc. in cities throughout the nation. I am still shocked when I see the squalor of the homeless: and that many of them choose this lifestyle. I don’t say this from a self-righteous stance: Rather, it is with deep sorrow to see what is happening in our nation

.

Drugs. Sex Trafficking. Shootings. Dishonesty. Corruption. the list goes on. I remember the state of this world thousands of years ago. God regretted – and told a man and his family to build an ark, with specific directions. The rains came from the upper hemispheres and waters gushed from the depths of the earth, and the world was cleansed.

Jesus gave some very specific words about the state of the earth in what He called the end-times. One of the things he said was that it would be as in the days of Noah . . . that would refer to the evils that we are living in today. He also spoke of what we call “natural disasters”. The floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires – and that list also goes on. We are living today in a world where the weather has become “irrational”… the tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes are increasing in numbers. Famine is increasing. It isn’t a pretty picture. 

So what are we to do? Are we to walk in fear of the unknown?

Or are we to learn how to trust God and follow Him?

Has He given us instructions on how to live victoriously? 

When I say that, I get excited! 

God wants us to live abundant and full lives. To search to know Him and SOAR, rather than scratch the ground like turkeys who have wings but can’t fly.

I don’t know about you, but THAT is the life I want. I want to KNOW God; Have the Holy Spirit reveal the Lord to me! Walk without fear – even if I have to use a walker because my legs don’t work well. 

Do you want to learn – as I am learning – to trust even when I don’t understand! And I am learning more and more of Him, and my life becomes richer!

So 2022 : I don’t know what all you have for me. But I am going to hang onto God’s hand and believe what God says – and live my life serving others as He shows me how.!

Voni

CLIO’S JOURNEY

Sunday morning November 14, 2021 12:30 a.m. Portland, Oregon.


I’d finally gone to sleep in my bed at Village Health Care, a rehab center where I’m learning how to walk again after a perhaps minor stroke that affected my legs. (The doctors still are unsure.)


It was another restless night. The phone rang at 12:30. I reached for it, thinking it might be my nephew, Cyle. He’d told me if he got any word about Clio (his dad and my brother) he would let me know.


“Voni?” It was Cyle. “The nurse from the hospital called me now to tell me that Dad passed a few moments ago.” We knew this was coming for Clio’s body had been shutting down, he was unable to speak and didn’t recognize anyone. He had left on this last phase of his journey about 36 hours earlier, and had arrived at his destiny a few moments ago. Finally, Clio was home!


Cyle and I conversed a few minutes. After he hung up, I started thinking.
This journey began about 60 years ago.
Clio and Alice and their little girl were living in Alabama, where Clio was the music minister at a church.


Alice and Celice traveled to Colorado to visit her parents, leaving Clio to take care of things at home. Clio wasn’t feeling too perky, so he was glad he wasn’t traveling.


Two days later, a friend from church who was worried because Clio hadn’t shown up at work, managed to get Clio’s door open and found him very ill. They rushed him to the hospital – it was polio, and he ended up in the Iron Lung. They saved Clio’s life – but they were unable to prevent paralysis.


Ironically, I was visiting my parents in Bellingham, WA and the evening they took Clio to the hospital in Alabama, I was with three of my children and my mom and dad, standing in a line outside of the hospital to get the recently issued anti-polio shots. The previous summer the stats about polio had been horrible. Polio was stalking the land, maiming, and killing, rich and poor.


The next night, my dad was on the plane to Alabama.
I’m not going to share much more of the details of this story right now. It was a nightmare, interspersed with glimpses of sunshine,
After some time, Clio was flown to Bellingham and put into the hospital there, where painful therapy began.


Eventually, the braces and corsets that we became accustomed to, became part of Clio’s daily life.
The doctors gave him ability to live until his 50’s or 60’s, but it would be a limited lifestyle.


They didn’t know Clio. I could write a book about some of the things he did.
Finished his Music Degree at U of Oregon, riding a bicycle to school. I was at the concert of The Messiah where Clio sang one of the leads at a large auditorium in Portland. The fact that he had enough breath in those lungs was a miracle! Head of the music department at Magic Valley Christian College in Idaho. Rode a motorcycle. Went hunting. Sang many different places. Worked in several different prisons with music and Bible teaching, and more.


The years went by. With age, Clio could do less, but he wasn’t one to listen to advice from others if he didn’t want to do it. Even though his body could do less, he refused to stay in a rehab center and insisted on returning to his home where he lived by himself.


My nightmare was of him dying alone.


This last year or so, Clio’s body betrayed him as it gradually could do less and less. The muscles and lungs, and other parts of his body stopped working properly. Family and friends wanting him to be where people could help him. Him insisting on staying in his home, arranging for some help to come in from the state.


About 10 days ago, he called an ambulance and put himself into a hospital because he was having difficulty breathing. Once the tests were completed, the hospital could not send him back to his home, nor would he agree to go any other place than his home. That is when the Lord stepped in and said: “Clio, it is time to come HOME!”
When Clio completed his passage to his HOME, I was thanking God for-Clio did not make this passage alone in his house but was with people who cared about him.

For the first time in sixty years, Clio is not imprisoned in a broken body! He can walk and run and rejoice in his new-found freedom. I am thrilled for him!!!
My brother is starting a new phase in his life. The way he loves music, I have no doubt but that he will be singing joyously in a pain-free body, worshipping our Lord! Who knows???- what else God will have him do?
And, you know what? I am looking forward to getting there also!

Voni

1968 TEAR GAS AND CONTROL: BEFORE CELL PHONES AND WI-FI

São Paulo – Manifestação dos estudantes secundaristas contra a Máfia da Merenda. O protesto foi violentamente reprimido e dispersado pela polícia (Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil)

Our family moved to Belo Horizonte,MG Brazil in August of 1967.

We arrived there shortly after an article came out in the Reader’s Digest magazine about Brazil: “The country who had a revolution without a shot being fired,”
The revolution was over (we thought.)  The communists were gone (we thought) and life was back to normal. (Since we are living in a new culture how do we even know what is normal?)
Today, as I watch tv and see the confusion that is happening throughout the world,, it brings back memories of a nation I learned to love.

The nation of Brazil was a long way from being “normal”
We rented a house in the suburbs – newer neighborhood. ..  a pool – with no water …. Rutted, sandy streets, nearest phone is a neighbor 3 blocks away – the whole neighborhood uses that phone…. There was always some hot coffee ready … and it was the “news center” for the neighborhood.  News ? or gossip?  Maybe a little of both.?

Our eldest son is 15 – and he got a job downtown teaching English at a language school.  He took an old rattly city bus to town  (about an hour) in the mornings and home late afternoon.

This was an adventure he was enjoying as he began taking some steps of independence.

1968 Tear Gas and Control: before cell phones and wi-fi

Our family moved to Belo Horizonte,MG Brazil in August of 1967.

We arrived there shortly after an article came out in the Reader’s Digest magazine about Brazil: “The country who had a revolution without a shot being fired,” 

The revolution was over (we thought.)  The communists were gone (we thought) and life was back to normal. (Since we are living in a new culture how do we even know what is normal?)

Today, as I watch tv and see the confusion that is happening throughout the world,, it brings back memories of a nation I learned to love.

The nation of Brazil was a long way from being “normal” 

We rented a house in the suburbs – newer neighborhood. ..  a pool – with no water …. Rutted, sandy streets, nearest phone is a neighbor 3 blocks away – the whole neighborhood uses that phone…. There was always some hot coffee ready … and it was the “news center” for the neighborhood.  News ? or gossip?  Maybe a little of both.?

Our eldest son is 15 – and he got a job downtown teaching English at a language school..  He  took an old rattly city bus to town  (about an hour) in the mornings and home late afternoon.

This was an adventure he was enjoying as he began some steps of independence.

1968 Tear Gas and Control: before cell phones and wi-fi

Our family moved to Belo Horizonte,MG Brazil in August of 1967.

We arrived there shortly after an article came out in the Reader’s Digest magazine about Brazil: “The country who had a revolution without a shot being fired,” 

HOW TO BE CONTENT & KNOW WHERE I BELONG

fonte: freepik

I wrote about this in July of 2019.
It is now June 28, 2021, two years later.
I am back in Portland, after time in Georgia, Brazil, Florida (where Covid-19 caught up with me,) and am now in Bedroom #1 here with Sheryl and Hermilio.


Tuesday eve – almost 9 pm – and still light outside.
The Pacific Northwest is in the grips of a nasty heat wave that is breaking records, and I’m going to attempt to put some thoughts on paper.

Today, all day, I’ve been asking the Lord; “Where do I belong? What am I doing here?” I don’t have an answer..You see, I know one thing: When we walk with God, where He places us is not a mistake “
I’ve been in Portland many times and lived here during different periods.
I didn’t have this restlessness rattling around inside of me. I was at peace, for this is where I was supposed to be.
So – why am I now asking this question? Is there something I’m supposed to be doing and am not doing it? If so, why don’t I know what it is?


Sometimes I laugh at myself. I’m sure that at times people look at me and shake their heads… they are nice about it, but they wonder what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be content and happy here, where I am?
How can I explain so people can understand?
I’ve learned to be content and happy in over 60 different places in this world.

Paul put it like this in his writings:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. ..” Philippians 4:12
And Paul had plenty of situations!
A highly respected and bright pupil, Paul was taught by the leading rabbis in Jerusalem.
After Jesus was crucified, a living Jesus confronted Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul, who was seeking Christians to throw them in jail and more . . . spends the rest of his life sharing about the importance of Jesus, as others throw him in prison, stone him, malign him.
Here, Paul says he has learned how to be content in the midst of any and ALL situations.
Do I want to be content in all circumstances? Yes, I do!

What should I be doing?
Paul gives me three no-nonsense, practical and inclusive answers.

1

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
“6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, at the same time, thanking him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

2

Ephesians 5: 15-21
“15. So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy

Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

3

1 Thessalonians 5:15-22
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
16 Always be joyful.
17 Never stop praying.
18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.
20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
22 Stay away from every kind of evil.

This is my list of instructions. I have no excuse for not being content, even though I don’t have answers
I’d better get to work, studying these guidelines once again – and applying them in my life. When I obey Him, He takes care of my emotions.
Thank You, Father! I am where you want me. I trust You, knowing You are putting things in their proper place – including me..

Voni

PRAYING FOR CATS AND COMPUTERS

Credit: Reddit

1963 Salem, Oregon

Our four children and my husband, Cal, are waiting impatiently in the car. We are leaving on a week long camping trip. 
We have to leave our cat at a friend’s home – and the cat has disappeared! 

I run into the back yard, desperately searching for that small animal one last time- and praying like mad!
“Please, Lord, bring that cat back. We can’t leave her here while we are gone. And I can’t come back to look again… please!”

As I run around the yard, urgently looking and calling, what to I see? That cat walking leisurely into the yard and coming up to me, rubbing against my legs and purring! I bend over, careful to not move in a way to frighten her, pick her up – hanging onto her tightly – and run to the car.

We leave her at our friend’s home, have a wonderful trip with our kids, stop to get the cat on our way home. We are all glad to see her, even my husband https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/t4c/1/16/1f642.png and her purrrr machine is loud in volume and working well.

That scene from over 50 years ago is still indelibly printed in my mind. You may ask, “Why ?!”

For me, it is amazing how many times I’ve thought of “that cat!”
I’ve had so many crazy things to pray for… whenever I’ve stopped because the request was so “crazy”, not even of enough importance to ask God for help, I remember “that cat” coming to me, purring.

2019 January

All this brings me to Sunday night. 
I’m sitting in the recliner in the bedroom, hoping to get some documents finished. Lanae fixed me a cup of delicious coffee. We couldn’t find my coffee mug with a strong lid, so she put the coffee in one of her mugs. I don’t hear her say:
“Mom, be careful for this mug’s lid isn’t very tight”

Sipping on the coffee, I put the mug onto the little shelf beside my chair, settle into my chair and reach for the coffee mug.
Can you imagine my chagrin and distress when the full mug of hot coffee with cream capsizes as the lid comes off, POURING coffee over my keyboard, my chair and the floor. 
The computer keys are awash in a river of coffee.

I hastily move the mug off the laptop, turn the laptop upside down and shake as much of the liquid out as I cant. My hand is shaking and I am praying as I reach for a small computer vacuum and start running it over the keys. I can’t find the little pieces for the suction to be stronger.. but I keep on passing it over the keys.

I turn the computer on – making sure the power cord is not in it. the lines and colors that come up give me little hope. Lanae brings me her small hair dryer. I run that back and forth over the keyboard, praying for my computer.

Eventually, I turn on the power to leave my computer on all night. If running it will help it dry out faster, that’s what I’m going to do!

I eventually quit, tired and praying, my mind keeps repeating itself 
“God knows I don’t have the money to buy a new computer. . . I wonder if he would bless me putting up something on GO FUND ME??? 
I need to find the time to finish my website so the 503 I’m working on can receive funds”
… eventually falling into a fitful sleep – with a knot of sorrow in my stomach – and still praying.

That was three days ago! The day after it’s coffee baptism, the computer gradually came back to life. Tonight, I am working on it again, in the same recliner in the bedroom.!

I have difficulty believing what I know happened!
But it did! No coffee cup next to me with loose lids. In fact, little coffee while I’m working here.

I’m sure I did not follow “correct procedure” with the computer.
But God moved on behalf of this 86 year old widow… maybe He used my guardian angel… I do NOT know HOW… I only know that because I sent a desperate prayer – for a cat, and a computer and all those other things… My Father, My Lord and the Holy Spirit touched my life once again- and I am thankful!

I AM STILL LEARNING I CAN PRAY FOR CATS – AND COMPUTERS – AND MANY OTHER THINGS IN BETWEEN.

What about you? Do you also have crazy prayers God has answered. Aren’t we blessed to have a Father like Him!

Voni

GOD AND COFFEE

Coffee Bible Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash
 Getty Images/iStockphoto

Portland,Oregon
I’m sitting at our table in the cozy kitchen nook. Spring sunshine is streaming in the windows as I gaze at our small backyard. I love this little corner of our home. Crazy as it sounds, this is my “retreat”, especially so at this time of the morning.

My three older children left about 15 minutes ago, heading to school. The two youngest are still asleep upstairs and my husband has gone to class, I am actually by myself in a quiet house – at least for a few minutes, and I am happy!

After clearing the table of family breakfast debris, my cup of coffee is ready, as I pop a slice of raisin cinnamon bread into the toaster. My notebook, Bible and commentary are open , taking up most of the table space. I manage to squeeze in a saucer to hold my toast to butter, then some honey and a slice of cheese. Ah! my
breakfast is ready.

I take a bite of that delicious toast, a sip of coffee, then open the commentary for the comments on the next scripture in my study on PRAYER. I read the verse, look it up in the commentary, then write the summation of my own thoughts in the notebook. I’m in the process of going through the New Testament and it is rich! I’m learning so much and , simply by writing down my thoughts, they remain more permanent in my mind.

My coffee and toast are about gone (the coffee got a little cool as I am writing, and I like hot coffee 🙂 I debate about another piece of toast, but hear some noises from upstairs. The smaller children are awakening… I quickly pick up my study material and put it up high enough that little hands can’t reach it. (This time I use the top of the refrigerator).

Wiping my hands on my apron, I run up the steep stairway and start my day, praying as I go. I’m going to need His help: I’m so thankful I can talk to Him. . .I wouldn’t make it without these conversations..

Pray without ceasing … talking to the Lord all day. It is much better than talking to myself!

RAINING IN PORTLAND

(Benjamin Brink/The Oregonian) LC- The Oregonian


Portland, Oregon November A Cold and Rainy Day
Typical of Portland.

It is time to go home. I run to my car, unlocking it, hoping to not get totally wet as I open the door, hop in, dump the books I’m carrying into the front seat and slam the door shut. I want it all to be a fast and fluid motion so I can remain dry; I didn’t quite succeed.

I pull out into the slowly moving traffic. It’s 5:30 pm, the hour when everyone wants to get home. Everything around me is grey. The heavily falling rain creates a curtain that partially hides all so there is no color except that dismal grey.

I begin talking with God about the day: now is a good time for that. I have many things I want to discuss with Him, including Class material for different age groups at the church where I’m the newest staff member: Pastor of Education.. The responsibility is challenging – and I love the work.
However, at the moment, I’m ready to get to my small apartment, turn up the thermostat, get rid of these wet clothes, and get some coffee. Since I live alone, the evening meal is super simple.

As I drive, my mind moves to a city thousands of miles away on a different continent, where I’ve lived the past 20 years. The number of inhabitants is in the millions, rather than the hundreds of thousands in Portland, It rains hard in Belo Horizonte, but it is a warm rain, not cold like in Portland.
I start talking about it with the Lord, asking Him when I will get to go back to that city and the people I love.
I hear a voice. It is rarely I hear it: but when I do, I pay close attention!
“You will return, but you won’t be there permanently.”

I grip the steering wheel and manage to get out of the traffic and over to the curb, where I turn off the ignition, place my arms and head on the steering wheel – and sob.

“Lord, what is left? My husband’s unfaithfulness and his other children by another woman left me with no marriage and empty arms.”

“I thank You for caring for me. You are faithful – and show me Your love in so many ways! I remember how I fell down all those steps at the church, my arms loaded with a box of books, and I wasn’t hurt! That day, I was working late and the building was empty, I was able to get up from the bottom of that stairway, take some deep breaths, gather up all those books, and finish my tasks before going home. I didn’t even have bruises after that fall. (But I still remember how scared and thankful I was when I thought of all the “what if’s “)

“Father – I am going to tuck these words of Yours away in my mind and not be thinking of them. If that is Your will, You will show me when it’s the time and give me the strength I will need.”

I stopped sobbing, wiped my eyes, started the car, and edged into the traffic: doing what I told Him I would do.

Now – it is 2021 – 31 years after that night in Portland, OR.
Once again, I am in Portland. Although I don’t want to, I believe the time has come to pull out those words from long ago, pray about accepting their reality, and learn how to walk in them. Father, I will need Your help!

Voni

PSALMS 25 – IS THIS A REALITY?

Preface

I’m back – finally!
Since December 2019 (my last consistent posting) this bog has been “come and go”, as I have come and gone.

From US to Brasilia
         to Natal
         to Brasilia
         COVID-19 worldwide
         Quarantine in Brazil
        Return to states before flights were closed
        Miami
        Georgia
        Miami
        I am sick with Covid-19
        Quarantine in Miami  
        Three months before I test negative
        To Portland, OR just before Christmas
        Still fighting results of Covid

It is now February, a good friend in Brazil is going to start doing the posts, for I need help.

NOW – I want to return to one post a week – finally.

So – here we go. 😉😊

A reminder: There is no sequence to these posts.

They are simply thoughts, lessons learned in daily life for you to apply if they are valuable to you.

So – here we go.

Psalms 25 – Is This Reality?

Belo Horizonte, MG Brazil – 1975

Psalms 25:1
I am sitting on the stairs, going up from the living room to the dining room. The house is quiet- which is rare.

I’m in somewhat of a daze as thoughts race through my mind.

WHAT is happening in my life, in my home? I don’t know, but it is NOT good! Too much stress, arguments even among my children and certainly between my husband and I!

“Lord, I need more understanding. Please help me!”

My Bible is setting on the stairs beside me. I open it idly and start reading.

The words hit me – I stop.

I start reading again, this time with all my attention.

Most of these words are for me!

Psalm 25

A psalm of David.
1  O LORD, I give my life to you.
2  I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
    or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
    but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
Show me the right path, O LORD;
    point out the road for me to follow.
5  Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
6  Remember, O LORD, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
7  Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O LORD.
8  The LORD is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9  He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10  The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
11  For the honor of your name, O LORD,
    forgive my many, many sins.
12  Who are those who fear the LORD?
    He will show them the path they should choose.
13  They will live in prosperity,
    and their children will inherit the land.
14  The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
    He teaches them his covenant.
15  My eyes are always on the LORD,
    for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
16  Turn to me and have mercy,
    for I am alone and in deep distress.
17  My problems go from bad to worse.
    Oh, save me from them all!
18  Feel my pain and see my trouble.
    Forgive all my sins.
19  See how many enemies I have
    and how viciously they hate me!
20  Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
    Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
21  May integrity and honesty protect me,
    for I put my hope in you.
22  O God, ransom Israel
    from all its troubles.

Do these words of David challenge you as they do me?

THE QUIET YEAR

Mar 2021

When I was young and caring for small children (a few years ago) , there were times I would get tired and think about when I got “old”, I would be able to sit in a comfortable recliner and knit or read. How wrong could I be?

The following tells you some of the last year of “quiet”.

Sept 2019 – in Oregon, preparing to go to Brazil for at least a year.

End of September, my daughter in Georgia called me in Oregon.
“Mom, Johnny and I want to get married in October and we want you to perform the ceremony.” My emotional lid tipped. Perform a wedding for one of my own children? Can I make it fit in with the planned travel? I have to!!!

Out come the calendar, tickets, notebook, and calculator. I phone my daughter in Georgia – and we work it out. In October 2019 we had a simple and lovely wedding outside on a beach gazebo. Afterward, I relaxed – and cried

Early Nov 2019 – to Miami to meet my son (Jonathan Hall), and fly with him to Brasilia.

My children have decided they no longer want me to travel alone on international flights. (They say, “Mom, we love you, but there ARE limits and this is one of them.” OK, I agree.)

Now, Jonathan is one of these world travelers who carries everything he needs for two weeks in a backpack. That is not my norm: I am carrying my necessities plus gifts plus … The trip was good, but I know Jonathan is relieved to leave me (and my suitcases) in Brazilia! He’s already issued a warning for if and when we travel together again.

Nov 2019 to June 1, 2020

Teaching (what I love to do) in Brasilia and in Natal. Time with old friends and new friends. Learning how to teach on the internet. Covid-19 begins in March and I am quarantined in the apartment in Brasilia. (Thanking God it has a small balcony, so I am able to step outside!) I love the three friends I am in the apartment with. Much laughter, learning, and sharing.

I planned on staying in Brasilia for up to a year. But the pandemia, quarantines, and flight restrictions made it best to leave Brazil on June 1, 2020, returning to Miami.
Then it got even more confusing!


In Miami, heading for my bedroom in Portland: the morning I was going to fly out, I wake up feeling miserable! I didn’t know it was possible to ache like that! Covid-19 had arrived and I spent until mid-December in Miami with Jonathan’s family,(including my youngest great-granddaughter) and in quarantine, taking tests to see when I could travel. That took about two months of an extra person in their busy household. It was a blessing for me! I just hope I was a blessing for them!

Now, I am in Portland, and my son-in-law here is very ill. Prayers are needed for all of the family!

One of the many learning challenges I have here? Recouping from Covid-19 and I’m discovering this is something I did not want! It is a crazy virus!

Now – it is March 2021. Nothing of a quiet year in the past. Who knows about the year in the future. I only know that we have to hang onto God’s hand. I can trust Him.

– Voni

BEDROOMS

Bedrooms?  Yes, I Have Four, each one in a different part of the world.

I am sitting in a recliner chair in “ Bedroom #2” with the computer in my lap.  It’s 6:30 in the evening here in Valdosta, GA. where I’ve been living with my daughter, Lanae, and her husband John, ever since I returned from Brazil, almost three months ago. The sun’s last rays are pouring in through the big window beside my chair.  There are a few more boxes filled and setting in different places, waiting to go to the post office. 

I will be leaving my Bedroom #2, one week from today, to go to Bedroom #1.

What’s this thing about bedrooms?  Don’t you have an apartment – or something?

Well, it’s like this.

When Joe and I finally moved to Brazil at the beginning of 2001, we really moved.  We sold our house in Florida and bought an eighth-floor spacious apartment in Natal, RN Brazil. It wasn’t fancy, and we loved it.

 It had two large balconies where we hung hammocks and could just glimpse the Atlantic Ocean. It became “home” to both of us – and many Brazilians who came at all odd hours for coffee and a snack and a visit.  Plus, we had a “home church” in our living room every Sunday. We loved our home and many others loved it also.

After 12 years, because of Joe’s health and need to return to the states, we sold our apartment in Natal, receiving a small apartment as part of the payment.  So, I have a tiny apartment, with a bedroom in Natal.  That is Bedroom #3.

Bedroom #1

My oldest daughter and her family live in the Portland, OR area. 

They also have a bedroom with my name on it, my pictures on the walls.

 Joe went to be with the Lord in February 2017, One month later, I moved to my bedroom in Sheryl’s home

Oh, you want to know about my bedroom #4?

Well, of all things, that bedroom is also in Brazil.  But not in the same city as Bedroom #3.

I have several friends who live in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.

Three of them wanted me to go to Brasilia and stay with them. I was in Bedroom #1 (Portland, Oregon)and needed to  return to Brazil.  There were some legal things to resolve, besides some teaching commitments.

Four or five times I attempted  to make plane reservations for Brasilia. Always, there was a problem!  Finally, I told the Lord that I was giving up: when HE wanted me to go, for Him to show me.

About a month later, he did just that!  And that time all fell into place and I traveled to Brasilia in Nov 2019, to Bedroom #4.

I’m not going to try to share some of the adventures now – for this is about bedrooms. 😊 But there were several – plus laughter,prayer, and teaching in some of the churches.

Then came the Chinese virus! Brazil moved into lockdown and, because of my age, I could not leave the apartment. but there is a small balcony and we got a hammock up. I was working on my blog and teaching – via phone, whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook – from the apartment End of May 2020, the US blocked Brazilians from going into the US.  That was ok: I am a US Citizen, so no problem for me. However, this meant far fewer flights between the countries. My six children were united in wanting me back in the states.

So I got on one of the last regular flights out of Brazil to Miami, had some time with my son’s family, then came to Valdosta and Bedroom #2 and to today.

I have no words capable of expressing how much I appreciate my children and their spouses, as they work with their mother who has four bedrooms instead of one, and who apparently doesn’t know how to stop in any one of her bedrooms. 😊

But, there is hope. Things are changing in this world, many of them not good. The Lord has me here in the states, and my body is getting tired of planes and travel.  I am learning more about teaching on-line. I have some books I am working on, which require that I stop and study and write.

As I head back to Bedroom #1 in Oregon, I have no idea what the Lord has in mind for me.  But one thing He is teaching me, is to trust Him more.

You may have a house and a couple of bedrooms, or who knows in what puzzle the Lord has placed you?  The important thing for each one of us is to trust Him. I may not know what He is doing?  I don’t have to know.

Proverbs 3:5-6  NIV

New International Version

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him,

    and he will make your paths straight.”

This is my goal.  When I do this, the rest will fall into place, including all of the bedrooms! -Voni –

– Voni-