Change, Loss and New Beginnings

At age 58, soon to be 59, one would think I would be able to handle change, otherwise known as transition or limbo!  Just look at my life’s statistics!

  • By age 35, I had moved 16 times in my life and everywhere I went, I brought my kid’s art creations, clothing which I deemed special and memorable toys and videos!
  • By age 37 I had lived in three countries and learned five languages.
  • By age 40 I had gone to nine different schools and studied 21 years—I should have more than a Bachelor’s degree!

Through each time of transition, I would get agitated and anxious.  I just want to be settled down.  Terry and I are quite content and settled where we are right now.  What could be causing us to think of a move?


As God would have it, I am facing loss.  I still am grappling with the diagnosis of eosinophilic asthma and as I sit alone with a mask on my face, not fearing the coronavirus, but pollen, my heart goes out to those who have had chronic conditions for years. This loss is a big one for me.  I have been a nurse who cared for the sick.  I am not used to being on the other side!

Terry and I have decided, for the betterment of my health, we will be needing to face more change, a move from Phoenix, which leads to loss once more.  I don’t want to lose the proximity I have with my grandson!  I have dreamt of taking him to the “Splishy-splash” and “Choo-choo”, the splash pad and train at our local park.  I don’t want to lose the “Sam’s Club Dates” I have had with my daughter, Karen.  I don’t want to lose the spontaneous talks in the driveway with our neighbors, Joe and Pam.  I have loved opening our home to our friends from church each Sunday evening.  I don’t want to say goodbye to our beautiful home which God has blessed us with to entertain house guests and housed the Global CHE Network office for the past ten years.

As I repeat “I don’t want” over and over,  I know God has a plan.  It just is hard when you cannot see it yet.

New Beginnings

How do you know God is working?  When you see new beginnings.  I have been working as a nurse these last 20 years.  Because of my chronic breathing problems, I was just granted long term disability.  This was never in my plan, but it has released me to be able to be with Terry and help him with communications.  This is a blessing.

We came to Payson in February because I can breathe better outside of the Valley pollution and pollens.  Terry and I have enjoyed walks by the city lake.  We have formed many acquaintances, even a friendship or two, around this lake in the midst of Covid-19.  God is opening up a new home for us directly across from the lake.  I can see a smaller pond from my living room window with the ducks that our dogs, Mollie and Maisie, love to herd! This is a blessing.

Maneuvering through Change

So, I ask for prayer as we make this transition and a huge downsize.  Remember all those kid’s creations I mentioned?  Clothing, toys and artwork?  They have been across the Pacific and back and they now are about to be discarded!  Videos?  They are ancient history…even DVDs!  Terry and I were able to move frequently with ease as newlyweds, even with babies in tow.  We never knew the challenge of moving with aching backs and respiratory issues!  Gone are the days of youth!

Change, Loss, New Beginnings…very much a part of every person’s life.  I am glad for the security of a loving husband by my side.  I know that the God who led Abraham and the children of Israel in their wanderings can do the same for me!

Valentine’s Part 2… The End of the Story or The Beginning of a 39 Year Adventure!

During that first week at Southwestern College, we had a night to welcome the Freshman Class. As a newby, I was part of a trio.  (Terry usually inserts a bunch of hyperbole here, but I have to say, I did a better job singing than that crooner I had seen in Tucson!)  When the evening was over, the Freshmen lined up and upper classmen were to come and welcome the youngsters to the college.  I vividly recall a young man approaching me.  I could not forget…it was the crooner…and I remembered my prayer!  I thought, “I got to get rid of this guy.  I want to go to the mission field and he wants to be a youth pastor. This is one of the non-negotiables on my list!” He came straight up to me and said, “Hi, my name is Terry Dalrymple.  What do you want to do with your life?”


When I heard these words, I knew something must be done…something drastic!  So I answered with confidence, “I want to be a missionary!”  I thought for sure that this would throw water on any plans that he might get to know me!  Little did I know, this just confirmed in his heart that he needed to pursue a relationship with me!

Since I had seen him four years earlier, much had changed.  Just three weeks earlier, he had returned from a summer mission trip to the Philippines. During his three months in the Philippines, he had decided to return as a church planting missionary once he finished his education. Terry says that he did not have much money and did not want to waste it dating girls who did not have the same interest in missions, so my words were like an answer from God!

We dated for 18 months before he proposed to me.  When he did so, I then told him I had prayed to marry him five years earlier, but I had never said hello!  There are many things I learn about God from our story:

    • God hears our hearts cry, even when we don’t know what to say. He picked up a little girl, longing to ride and church bus and brought her into His family in a miraculous way.
    • God’s timing is best. Terry and I realized there were many times in our high school years when we so very close to crossing paths, but we did not meet.
      • His family tried to visit our home in California when I was 13, but we were not home.
      • We were both at the same youth meeting in Estes Park, Colorado when I was 16. He was the president of the Arizona State Youth, loved every minute of the meeting and made all kinds of friends!  I went to the meetings for one day and asked if I could stay home from the conference for the rest of the week.  I wanted to be alone in Fort Collins!  I write this as opposites do attract!  God brought us together at the exact right time.
    • God is in control and can be trusted. I see this in every step of my youth and think back on these times when life doesn’t make sense.  I know He is in control

Now you know a bit more about Terry and I.  I would love to hear your story!  Glad God led us together 40 years ago!




A Prayer, A Chirp and A Question

Terry and I both grew up on opposite sides of Tucson, Arizona and led very different lives.  As a child, Terry grew up, the oldest son of three boys in a home which taught him about Jesus since birth.  His father was a pastor.  He went to church each Sunday and grew up surrounded by loving Christian people who are his friends to this day.  I grew up, the youngest of five children and by the time I was a little girl, our family stopped going to the Salvation Army.  When my siblings left home, my parents had turned to drinking more and more. Most nights, we had people around our kitchen table, drinking. My father made good money as a construction worker, but it was used for alcohol.  I spent my time outside and often hanging out at our neighbor’s house.  On Sunday mornings, I would see a church bus going past our house and silently wished I could go see what church was like.

When I was just 12, my life changed dramatically and I was sent to live with my sister in California.  I cringe to think about where I would be if I had not made that move.  I was entering Jr. High and at that time and really was on my own.

During that first year in California, my life did a 180 degree turn!  I suddenly was going to church, had responsibilities and accountability!  But as I wrote earlier, this was a year of great positive change for me as Jesus entered my life in April of 1974.  When Christ came into this young girl’s life, He changed me in so many ways.  Rather than look for affection in any guy who might pass by, I learned to be purposeful in looking for someone to be my lifelong partner.  I had read of the importance of making a list of what you would want in a husband. Those things which are non-negotioables should be understood BEFORE you ever meet the person.  That way you can blow away all the chaff and be ready for Mr. Right, right?

Well, I made my list secretly and publicly declared myself a member of the “Old Maids ’til the Rapture Club”.

In the summer of 1975, I returned to Tucson to visit my parents who had since divorced.  During my visit, I wanted to go to church, so my dad took me to the only church we were aware of besides Salvation Army–Bethel Baptist.  Reverend McCorkle, my brother-in-law’s grandfather, planted that church while holding down a railroad job. At this time, Pastor Bob Dalrymple and his family had been at that church for nearly ten years.  During the morning service, a high school girl reached out to me and invited me to the Youth “Sing and Sip” that night. Suprisingly, I accepted her invitation.

I remember, that night, seeing a young man leading the singing. He was ridiculously goofy.  Sang the “Noah/Floody-Floody” song with his pants rolled up.  Crowed like Peter Pan singing “Chirp Your Cares Away”!  Neither of these skills were on “Jeannie’s List for a Life Partner”.  However, what I saw was the love that this young man had for Jesus, his leadership abilities and his desire to serve the Lord.  Sitting in a hard wooden seat that summer night, I prayed, “Lord, if I am ever to marry, I want to marry that guy.”  I asked the friend who invited me about the goofy song leader.  I learned he wanted to be a youth pastor and he had a girl friend.

I returned to California, never approaching that young man and went on with my life.

During my later high school years, God continued to do His work in my life.  I went through a Navigator’s Discipleship series and spent a summer in Argentina assisting our missionaries with various projects.  By the end of that summer, I decided I wanted to serve the Lord in missions.  I am certain I could have had a full scholarship to Colorado State University, but I wanted to be closer to my parents, so chose to attend Southwestern College in Phoenix, Arizona.

During that first week, we had a night to welcome the Freshman Class. As a newby, I was part of a trio.  (Terry usually inserts a bunch of hyperbole here, but I have to say, I did a better job singing than that crooner I had seen in Tucson!)  When the evening was over, the Freshmen lined up and upper classmen were to come and welcome the youngsters to the college.  I vividly recall a young man approaching me.  I could not forget…it was the crooner…and I remembered my prayer!  I thought, “I got to get rid of this guy.  I want to go to the mission field and he wants to be a youth pastor. This is one of the non-negotiables on my list!” He came straight up to me and said, “Hi, my name is Terry Dalrymple.  What do you want to do with your life?”

And I guess you will need to find out what the answer was!  Did I give up my non-negotiables?  Was this the beginning to the answer of my prayer? You may figure out the answers as we are going on 39 years this July? Last question.  Should I dare let Terry finish the story?


A Story of Finishing the Task

I was going through drawers, cleaning after New Year and found my first two needle work projects I completed when I was 14!  (The pattern was designed in 1973!)  I had saved them, moved them to the Philippines and back, carrying them throughout my life, complete, yet not framed, but stuffed away in a drawer.  When Terry saw my hidden work, he declared they must be framed!  So to Hobby Lobby we went.

We arrived at the framing department and met a man named Jantzen who had helped me with a project last September for Terry’s birthday.  Amazingly, he recognized us and was happy to help.  He takes great pride in his work and through our interactions with him, we have become friends.  He even shared that I must try garlic as a remedy for asthma! (You may be glad I write this story rather than tell it in person!)

I look at these pictures and learn a few things from them:

  1. I think they are now pretty special as it took me 43 years and an insistent husband to get them up on the wall.
  2. Maybe, God was waiting for the right time to get them framed so I could meet Jantzen and be an encouragement to him in his life.
  3. I find happiness in looking at them–and I had stuffed them away in a drawer.

What might you have stuffed away which is waiting to be completed? Maybe it is a project, or perhaps a gift or talent waiting to be shared–even a garlic remedy for asthma?!?  Take inventory.  You may be surprised with what God has waiting for you!


The Life of the Wife…Continued

In the first episode, Terry was out of town and I was considering wearing a scorpion anklet for approximately 4 seconds. The saga continues as Terry left town on Tuesday…

On Thursday, two days later, I came home from work and the smoke detector was chirping. It just so happens, I have experience with smoke detectors as in October, I disabled one which was chirping outside my bedroom. That took a lot of doing since our ceilings are high, but with ladder and reacher in hand, I had yanked it apart. I knew I could handle this challenge! At least I thought so.

I climbed the ladder after my 14 hour nursing shift with ease and was able to stretch and pop the battery out without the assistance of a reacher!  I climbed down, headed towards the kitchen and to my amazement, I heard a “chirp”!  This was puzzling, but since this alarm was hard wired to the ceiling, I thought maybe I had to climb back up and replace the battery. Fortunately, I had not put the ladder away, so I climbed up and stretched AND stretched and finally, popped in a new battery and climbed back down the ladder with a sigh of relief.  Finally–I could relax, but was once again bewildered by a loud “CHIRP”!

This again was puzzling, but I was thankful for modern technology, (not necessarily smoke detectors at this time), and googled “How to stop your smoke detector from chirping”.

I found a great video about how to disconnect the thing from the wiring;  soooo, I proceeded back up the ladder, stretched AND stretched AND stretched and took the thing clear off! Just wires remained hanging from the ceiling!

I headed back toward the kitchen, but before I got there, AGAIN, I heard “CHIRP”!

Now I couldn’t believe it. I searched the Internet some more and finally decided to look up a handyman and messaged him.  I was now at the mercy of the callback from the handy man! I went to bed in the bedroom farthest from the noise. Even so Mollie, Maisie and I were lulled to sleep by the not so sweet chirping of the alarm….

This morning, I turned on Christmas carols and pretended that the chirp was a sweet sounding triangle in a symphony. I had to use my imagination, but it was better than going nuts!

I ran errands in the morning, leaving Mollie and Maisie subject to the sound of chirping. When I returned in the afternoon, I had not heard anything from the handyman and the chirping continued. I started working on projects and soon the chirping kind of faded into the background. I went down the hallway and there was a sudden loud CHIRP, piercing my left ear, leaving it “ringing”! I turned and there was, at nose level, a carbon monoxide detector!   I quickly grabbed it, yanked out the batteries and promptly stomped on it until it was dead!  In our first episode with the scorpion, I had too much fear to stomp on the pest, but used a ceramic pot to smash it to smithereens. I had no fear today, however, but rage at this instrument of insanity!

All is well now. Heels up. Hallmark channel on. Hot tea on hand. Christmas tree is sparkling. Dogs snoozing.

Silence is golden!