Thursday, December 27, 2007


I'm trying to get some pictures from Christmas Eve here in Mexico. Blogger is not cooperating with pictures or video. I think I might not be the only one trying to post pictures or something.

There are few pictures from Christmas Day, because the resident Space Case
me) forgot to buy batteries. (DUH!) The pictures I did get were powered by batteries I stole from my children's most annoying toys. They didn't last too long. (The batteries, that is.)

We did have a wonderful Christmas. This is the first time I made a Christmas feast all by myself, since we've been visiting folks every year so far. Our feast was quite simple, but I ate way too much of it, and enjoyed it immensely. I'm making much use of my Christmas present, which I actually got several weeks ago. A roaster! Yay! I can bake now!

Well that's it for my scattered bits of news. I do plan to post pictures as soon as I can get a web host to do it before 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wrapping up the story

Meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays left half the campus thinking we were nutty. during the week, someone asked me every day if we hadn't broken up, because we didn't sit together in chapel, or eat lunch together. Here is some of the reasoning for Ryan's decisions to carry on this way. It was good counsel that pointed him in this direction, and I am still thankful to that godly friend of his.

1. In relationships, time together increases a couple's personal knowledge of each other. Spending much time with someone daily gives a lot of knowledge rather quickly. (At our school, that knowledge is gained through conversation, not physical contact, in case you were wondering!) Then there is a problem, because common sense will kick in and tell them that they've shared a special part of themselves with someone they do not know very well. They have not built trust, so they fear that person. Suddenly there is suspicion, which hurts the relationship early on, and many do not survive at this point. A couple that spends their waking hours together has to talk about something. Once they know what the other thinks about surface happenings and life issues, the conversation is driven to topics that are best reserved for someone you can trust and are going to marry. I've personally seen this happen over and over again. So meeting just twice a week gave us a lot to talk about, although we knew each other pretty well already.

2. Another problem with spending an inordinate amount of time with a prospective spouse early on is a Christian ought to be spending an inordinate amount of time in prayer about that spouse. While Ryan was already 100% sure about me, I needed that time. It was then that God gave me assurance that Ryan was God's calling on my life. I've told girls that if they don't carve out time to pray, not regular devotional time, but a hefty hunk of time from their day, they might marry the right person (or not!), but the relationship will not have the safety and assurance of knowing by faith. I know what it's like to have a courtship based on mutual faith, and let me tell you, there's a lot less drama, a lot more peace. As I said before, after that time in prayer, there was never a doubt.

This went on for the rest of the semester. At summer break we went our separate ways, Ryan made plans to come visit my family during towards the end of the break. Ryan was expecting to pop "the question" to my dad, and plan for an engagement maybe during the Christmas break. It didn't quite work out that way. They went out for a long powow at a restaurant. My dad and Ryan both came back from that acting mysterious and grinning fit to split their faces. The next day, Ryan went shopping by himself, and my mom told me to prepare a picnic lunch for a "special date." HM. I wonder what is going on??? He came back and went went for a drive with me to the redwood forest not far from my parent's home. We had our picnic there and he asked me to marry him. Then he told me how God had shown him that I was going to be his wife from the Bible. He also told me how the restaurant visit with my dad went.

My dad: Do you love my daughter?

Ryan: Yes.

My dad: Have you told her so?

Ryan: No, I'm waiting till I ask her to marry me.

My dad: Well you have my permission! When were you going to ask her?

Ryan: (In a little shock) Uh, whenever's a good time...

My dad: How about tomorrow?

Ryan: Yeah!

The rest, as they say, is history folks! We got married four days after graduation. We've worked together in our home church, done deputation with toddlers, and served the Lord here in Mexico. There is nothing in the world so good as serving God in the capacity He made you for! I love it!

Ruth gets creamed by a giant ball

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stop the world! I'm dizzy and I want to get off! Yes I've still got another installment of our story up my sleeve. I'm postponing it again though, due to another visit with the dreaded stomach virus. David's taking it for the first time like a little trooper. Unlike his sisters, he seems to think everything is normal between explosive episodes, and can't quite figure out why he's so hungry. He started walking (well, it's running really, just not very well) last week, so you never know where the next eruption is going to happen.
See you later, when I'm less scattered.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Well, it was a great Sunday, and I really enjoyed being able to go to church, since the galloping yucks have been galloping among the Case children (and the Case parents too) for several weeks. I was unable to go to church for much longer than I am comfortable with. I love church! Why do people try to avoid it?

Anyway, that said, I'm pretty beat. I'll do another post about our mushy story this week soon, but this chick needs to go look at her eyelids for a while.

I leave you with this (Fine art by my five year old):

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Prayer Request!

I'd like to ask any Christian reading to head over to Rita's blog, read her urgent prayer request, and pray for our brethren in the Lord over there in Venezuela. It looks like that wicked man is preparing his people for a bloodbath of any with the courage to have another allegiance than him. Pray for them today!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The plot thickens

So I wanted answers from Ryan. I was uncomfortable with several things. 1. The man needed to tell me what his intentions were. I was not going to “date” someone just to have a boyfriend. 2. I told my parents everything, and they had given me their blessing, but I wanted Ryan to go to them himself and put himself under their authority as far as I was concerned. 3. This hanging out thing was making me vaguely nervous. Before the spring break, we had spent about two weeks, taking nearly all our spare time together. Something told me this wasn’t healthy, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

When I saw Ryan after the spring break, I cut right to the chase. I opened my mouth to say, “We need to talk!” And instead I heard those very words coming from him. “Great!”

We sat down and he dove in,

“I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer about this, and I don’t want to scare you away, so tell me if I’m going too fast here. From now on, I would like to court you for the purpose of marriage. God showed me while you were gone that you were going to be my wife, and I want to make it clear what we are doing and where we are going with it.”

OOOOOOKAAAAAY! If I needed clarification, it doesn’t get much clearer than that! You know when I tell this to young ladies, their eyes get wide, and they shake their head in wonder that I didn’t run for the hills. But I couldn’t run from this one, because point by point, Ryan began to tell me every single concern that was on my heart, and address those concerns, even things I never told anyone, like how uncomfortable I was of the “dating scene”. He went on.

“First, I need to talk to your parents and get their permission to court you.”

Check #2 topic to discuss.

“If they say yes, we are going to have rules.”


“We’ve got plenty of time to build a relationship and get to know one another. We don’t need to spend every waking moment together. I’d like to have two days a week together. The rest of the time, you take praying and seeking the Lord about me.”

Ok, you have to admit with me, that one was weird. I had never heard anything like that before, and I wasn’t too sure about it at first. But there was this nudging of the Spirit telling me that every one of the things I had prayed about was answered just now, and like it or not, it was the work of the Lord.

I told him yes, we’ll do it, and we went to call my parents. Then I asked him how he “knew”. He said, “I’ll tell you later.” I didn’t get to hear the next part till after we were engaged!

If you’ve stuck around this long, Reader, you are to be congratulated! This is the best part, I promise! Well, *I* like it anyway.

This is how Ryan “knew”. He fasted and prayed about me, because it was obvious to him that the Lord was doing something. Ten days into his fast, he was (I can’t imagine why) hungry. He was getting ready to read his morning Bible passage, and he prayed, “Lord, I would like to eat today. If you want me to end my fast, I pray that you would let me know! I’m hungry! And would you let me know if Sarah is going to be my wife?”

Then he opened his Bible to the passage he had been reading daily in, which was Ecclesiastes 9:7-9;
(7) Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
(8) Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
(9) Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labor which thou takest under the sun.

Guess it doesn't get more clear than that either.

The time I had to pray really solidified it for me. God made it 100% clear to me that this was God's plan for my life. I'll be honest, there were a few moments of doubt. That time in prayer gave God the opportunity to dig down into my heart and show me that there was still a root of fear. When I finally gave that fear to God and surrendered to Him completely, my heart was still enough to hear His still, small voice, which was saying, "Go for it!" After that, there was never a moment of doubt.

Well there's more and I'm out of time again! Next time I'll talk about meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, people thinking we were crazy, and an engagement that surprised Ryan! (Thanks Dad! :D)

Monday, December 10, 2007

More Mush! :D

I tried to figure out how to go on with the story where I left off, but I have to backtrack a little bit. I am amazed by God's perfect timing, and His wonderful patience with me. I really struggled in the area of surrender to God's will, and for years, I didn't even realize how stubborn I was being.

I would pray, "God, I will do anything you ask me to! Please use me. Anything."

God would say, "What about this?" "This" was not always missions; just something I was not willing to do. Usually though, it was missions. Every time I saw a missionary family, or read a biography, His still, small voice would whisper, "What about this? What if this was my plan for your life?"

I had a well prepared answer that worked well for me. "Well! That's not my calling! I'm not called to 'missions'! I don't even have to think about that!" On to the next thing! (Quickly!)

Such a patient, loving Savior we have! And so meek! I had no idea how disgusted God is by rebellion. He still blessed me, loved me, led me, and helped me grow. Then one day it changed, because God had mercy on me, and gave me a little glimpse of His heart, where my heart was concerned.

I was walking down the hallway in the North Auditorium at the church, heading to class, and I passed by a room where a student was kneeling to pray. This fellow did this often, and I knew who it was immediately. I felt that Holy Spirit question again, "What if I called you to marry someone like that?" Well I knew it was most definitely not going to be someone like that, because that particular individual was outspokenly called to the mission field. On to the next thing!

God had other plans. Five steps down the hallway, I was brought to a complete stop. Somehow through my stubborn, blind self-will, God saw fit to show me what He thought of my attitude. It's difficult to describe, but it almost made me want to throw up. Do you know that when we deceive ourselves into thinking we are spiritual and godly, when we aren't, it makes God sick? I know that first hand! I know this overwhelming emotion did not come from me. So I was faced with a choice. Make that "Anything" promise real, or cover up that putrid, filthy, festering corner of my heart and go on with self deception. I broke, and right there I made it real. What is my life if God can't, or won't use it? Where would I be without Him? I must find my place, wherever it is, whatever it is; the place God made me for.

Just a few days later, I was gathering up the choir books from practice with the college choir. Ryan came with his book, and I took it, and asked him how he was doing. He looked at me strangely a minute, and then answered, and we began to talk. We talked while I put away the choir books. We talked while I gathered up my school books in the back of the room. We talked while we walked to the cafeteria. (It's a long way.) We talked between bites of food. I had no idea that he had prayed halfheartedly about me that very morning. I didn't find that out till much later.

Over the next few days I realized that I needed to spend some time in prayer about this handsome young fellow. We were spending quite a bit of time together. I had no desire to date for the fun of it, even though this was lots of fun, I wanted to know what the man's intentions were. At spring break, I went to Florida, to be in my brother's wedding, and have a heart to heart with my mom and dad. I told them everything, and showed them our emails. I prayed. My parents asked plenty of questions, and gave me their blessing, as long as Ryan got their permission himself. In prayer, God helped me to clear up the questions I had. I needed Ryan to tell me exactly what he wanted to do with this relationship, or we would have to stop spending so much time together. I had no interest in casual dating.

I thought Ryan would be surprised by my deep and straightforward questions. It turned out differently. He had been doing his own praying and seeking God's will, and when I came back, what he had up his sleeve blew my mind.

I think I will be able to wrap it up in the next post.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Love Story

We met our freshman year at West Coast Baptist College. I remember noticing a young man who always looked excited. Even at breakfast! He would bounce into the room like he was on springs, a great big grin ready to greet the other students. "GOOD MORNING EVERYONE!" While every one else murmured quietly as they nursed their coffee and peered at him out of sleep-heavy eyelids, Ryan's voice filled the room with enthusiasm. "THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HATH MADE!" He would stand in line for breakfast and attempt to carry on a conversation with the sleep-walker next to him in line. "BEAUTIFUL DAY, ISN'T IT!" "mmhm..."

He was hard to miss. I must admit to the fact that I was one of those grunting, coffee slurping sleepwalkers. I didn't know that he was on his first walk of faith. He was thrilled to be saved, thrilled to be out of the world and into God's family, learning how to walk with God. He did grow on me though.

He asked me out to one of the social events. It was a Christmas Banquet. I went and enjoyed his company, and we ate some meals in the cafeteria together afterwards and sat in chapel together a few times. I knew he was interested, but we weren't dating. (In my opinion!)

At Christmas break, I thought and prayed a little more about letting him continue to pursue me, and the more I thought and prayed, the more uncomfortable I was about it. I needed to focus on the task at hand, and get going as a student. The Lord made it clear that this was a bad time for distractions. So after the break, I told him what I was thinking, and he agreed.

That's my story anyway. Ryan says I fell out of God's will and dumped him. (He's joking.)

Fast forward to the second semester of our sophomore year. Ryan had a roomate who had become my friend because we were in a lot of ministries together. One night while Ryan was trying to sleep, his roomate said, "Hey! I know the perfect girl for you!" out of the blue.

"What! I'm trying to sleep!"

"No c'mon! I know just the one!"

"Ok, tell me fast, because I want to be asleep."

"Sarah Margerison!"

"No way! She dumped me our freshman year!"

"Promise me you'll pray about it?"

"Sure, just let me go to sleep!"

The next morning, he remembered his promise, and prayed briefly in order to keep his word, "Lord, if you will open a door, I'll go through it."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Actually, there is a lot more, and the best part of our courtship is yet to come, but I'm out of time, so you'll have to wait!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Another home remedy

This one was developed by my daughter, who is a natural problem solver. Now don't knock it till you've tried it. Our home has been hit by the seasonal viruses, and I am teaching my children the proper, civil, non-disgusting way to be sick. Your sleeve is NOT a napkin. Neither is your skirt. Neither is my skirt. Or my shirt. And you may not walk around with snot hanging off your lip. I'm sorry, I'm just unreasonable that way. What is a pocketless child to do?
Please scroll down to see genius at work in our home...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I wanted to put the picture in my header because it was taken on Christmas day. Neat huh? I was reminded of it yesterday at sunset when I went outside for a minute and was simply blown away by a gorgeous rainbow. From the other side of the sky, the sunset light shone all around it, and it was glowing. Don't you love God's promises?

Rainbows don't show up every day around here. I envy people who live in places where they get to see a lot of them. They are a wonderful reminder not only of the promise of God to Noah, but also of God's promises to us, and His faithfulness to keep all His promises. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of God's promise. So I put a promise about Him in the header for my Christmas decoration.

Other news on the family front: The "season of sneezin' " that I talked about before caught up with us in a big way, and we are hacking and snuffing our way through the week. (With some wonderful tea to help us sleep at night, I might add.) I'll add a post tomorrow about what I've been doing to prevent the ever-present river of gunk from clogging up and causing mischief in my sinuses.