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IMG_5813There is an amazing engineering feature in Houston.  It is called the Buffalo Bijou.  This is a creek for most of its existence, meandering from downtown Houston due West and into the region of Katy.

Katy is my home town and the Buffalo Bijou is familiar to me and my fellow residents.  We appreciate this cavernous grassy canyon snaking through our community because it is a constant reminder that it is ready to take away the deluge of water that visits our part of Texas several times a year.

When there is no rain and the weather has no prediction of precipitation, I along with my fellow Texans overlook this massive amount of real estate.  Green grass lines the banks of this very large creek and overpasses allow traffic to flow unimpeded.  But, it is always ready.

Most of the year a small creek travels through this piece of land.  The slow-moving waters do not cut much of a trail through the dirt.  Most adults could easily leap over the creek without much effort.

I bicycle along this body of water and marvel at its great expanse.  For miles my bicycle wheels roll along the cement trail that lines one of its banks.  Several times I cross a bridge to keep my journey going.

But, then there are those storms, those Texas-sized storms that drench our home with lots of water.  Drains, and canals flow into the Buffalo Bijou.  It comes quickly and flash flood warnings dominate the airwaves to keep people away from flooded areas.

Torrents of water turn a normally calm creek bed into a raging river.  In a short period of time a calm quiet creek fills up that entire flood plain and muddy waters threaten to lap against the massive concrete bridges that gives people safe passage over the rising waters.  I paused for a picture and to marvel at what makes people feel so small and helpless.

When God turns on the spillway of the heavens and stalls the weather front to hold a pattern over Houston, we hunker down and hope for the best.  Neighbor encourages neighbor.  It is the way of the image of God seeping through the desperation of men who find themselves in need of a helping hand.

Good engineers designed a lot of Houston to weather such moments.  I am grateful to those very good planners who looked beyond the pleasant sunny days.  Their planning for these occasional horribly rainy days has given me peace.  I thank God for them!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

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IMG_5688This month we honored the “mothers” in our life.  That is a special calling.  They experienced so much pain and trouble over the years of practicing motherhood.  Yet, they covered it up with the joy of pouring into our lives.

Now, on this special day of our year, we treat them with celebration and delight.  Flowers, candy, presents, service, spoken words, time for a phone call, treating them to a special meal and an endless number of ways to bring her honor.

Our children are all far away, thousands of miles away. They would all contact her with excellent expressions of gratitude.  But, she would miss them all.

The planning of a special day was up to me.  My smile and my mind were in synchronized harmony.  There were no surprises, just delightful fun.

It all began with making her breakfast.  The menu was not fancy but it was special.  We enjoyed the delectable meal and of course, I did the dishes.

She had some free time.  Then, I took her to a movie.  The film was an action adventure with a special twist to honor a late actor who passed away during the filming.

We talked about it on the way home.  Both of us remarked about how well done the honor factor made the film special.  As people of faith we connected immediately to this actor’s reputation of faith as well.

The special day came to a close in church.  We love our church and pastor.  The worship was encouraging and the sermon was very up-lifting.

She elected to make dinner.  It was her standard offering: fantastic, delicious and filling. This woman has done a brilliant job with all of her chosen duties to family.

We who have been blessed by her service and love.  Looking back and recounting her contribution into all of our lives seems endless.  Our children especially have rehearsed her mothering now that they are adults.

Instead of looking for ways around her watchful eyes, they now see the values that she was pouring into them.  Now, their values that they have chosen to live by have many roots in what their mother had taught them.  They are amazed, pleased and also grateful for what mom invested in them.

On this day, Happy Mother’s Day, Yvonne.  You have done a faithful job of rearing our three little ones into taking their place as outstanding adults. Well done!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

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