Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The best link on the whole wide web!

It's new. It's improved. It's easier to navigate. It has fun and relevant information. It's re-creation consumed 42.7 million hours of my summer. If you love me, you will follow this link and tell me how much you love it. If you really love me, you'll make it your new home page.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Baby's First Blog Entry!

Here's Lily's very first blog entry, with running commentary. Enjoy!

To ensure the utmost safety for Baby DeLong, 48 hours after birth, Beth and Noah commence rigorous training in baby first aid. Here, Lily demonstrates that she effectively understands the Universal Sign for Choking. If you think this is impressive, you should have seen her later when she correctly used "Baby's First Defibrillator" to resuscitate a security guard at the mall.

Beth proves that she can, in fact, look amazing all the time. This fall she will be teaching a class at the community center called, "Overcoming the frazzled mommy look: how to look amazing all the time, including the moments immediately proceeding a 36-hour labor and giving birth to your first child."

Noah demonstrates what it might have looked like if Lily had a siamese twin unfortunately adhered to her forehead. (Actually, he's sweetly whispering, "Just so you know, I'm the only man who's allowed to give you a kiss for the next 20 years.")

Lily demonstrates her agility with infant yoga by mastering the deep relaxation pose: "Sleeping Baby."

Yay! Welcome to the world baby Lily! Angie Heather cannot wait to meet you!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Welcome to the World Lily!

Welcome to the world Lily Elizabeth DeLong! Lily commenced her life at 9:11am on Tuesday, August 14th. She is the beautiful daughter of Noah and Beth (Byers) DeLong. Weighing in at 7lbs, 6oz, and stretching 20 1/2 inches, she's healthy and beautiful (with a full head of dark hair).

A brief moment of confusion occurred in Lily's young life yesterday. I sent her some flowers that were supposed to read: "Congratulations from Auntie Heather. I can't wait to meet you Lily!" The flower lady apparently misheard me, however, because the card, upon arrival read, "Congratulations from Angie and Heather." Beth and Noah wracked their brains wondering who "Angie and Heather" could be...wondering if Lily already had a fan club...wondering if Noah had a secret set of stalkers. But no--it was just me...a misrepresented me, but me nonetheless.

So I hope that Lily can embrace her "Angie Heather" all the same when we meet next month.

I'm waiting for Beth and Noah to send pictures so I can post "Baby's First Blog Entry." To tide you over until then, here's a picture of some other famous Lilys:

  • Lily Potter, mother of Harry Potter.

  • Easter Lily

  • Eli Lilly, founder of the pharmaceutical company

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Goodbye George.

For the past fifteen years, he's always called me Missionary Heather.

He gave me and Havaleh the title "Missionary" after our first youth Mission Trip to Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky. Fifteen years later, when we're both in full-time ministry--me to Northwest youth, her to North Carolina college students--it's still so fitting.

This morning, when I read Havaleh's email that said he had passed, I immediately wanted to go tell someone about George Stalter. No one in Washington knows George. It's so weird to have someone significant leave your life and realize there's no one to share that with. So I ran upstairs and told my coworker Teci a little bit about him. I told her that he had an incredible heart for outreach and missions...I told her that he loved people unconditionally...I told her he's been an incredible support and encouragement to me being on the mission field in Washington. I called Clay and told him about the tool belt George gave me for high school graduation. I told him that George is the heart of Grace United Methodist Church.

It struck me as slightly funny that the minute I heard that George is no longer with us, I wanted to share him with others. I wanted them to know that the kingdom of God here on earth lost someone significant today--but that we now have an incredible man on our side in the great cloud of witnesses. As I talk about him, it's like he's alive, and I'm so joy-filled to have known this great man.

Clay said, "George must have been so proud of you." He was. He was one of the first people to sign up to be a supporter of my ministry work, and whenever I'm home, he can't wait to give me a hug and a kiss and encourage me forward in my work for Christ. I have a twinge of regret that I didn't call George up to tell him I loved him during these past few months. Yet I'm so hope-filled and confident that I will see him again soon.

In honor of George, a stalwart of Grace UMC, I dedicate Sandra McCracken's tune Goodbye George. She wrote it for the passing of George Harrison, but it so well captures the mood saying goodbye to another George, one of my heroes. I would love it if you listen to this song today in memory of a saint, George Stalter of Coshocton, OH and remember his wife Pauline and his children and grandchildren, and Grace UMC, who will miss him so much.