Wednesday, January 31, 2007


We had our first real, gonna stay around, snowfall of the season yesterday. Rachel took a few pics and yes, Richard, that IS a black squirrel!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:5-7

Monday, January 29, 2007


I hung up the phone and braced myself. I knew it was coming. One, two....there it was from across the room..."Sooooooper!"

I get teased at my office for my phone persona. Every day I leave the quiet of my office and go out into our dispatch center to cover the phones during lunch for 2 to 3 hours. And most of the time, I enjoy the snippets of personal conversation that occur while I am taking orders. It has been said that you can hear a smile over the phone if you actually smile while you talk and I think this is true. I try to convey that during the calls. Not to be fake, but because I really do enjoy interacting with people. There is Mike and Herman from two local news stations, Wendy from a manufacturing plant, and Joe from a prestigious law firm downtown. I recognize their voices right away. One of our customers, Todd, was pretty happy one day and when I asked him about it, it was because his birthday was coming up. I made sure he got his favorite cake on his birthday...german chocolate...from the best bakery around.

A few months back, I noticed a couple of the guys in the office saying "soooooper" a lot when I was hanging up from a call. I asked, "Are you guys making fun of me?" and their laughter answered me. Now, these are the nicest guys...two of my favorite people in the whole I just went with the fun and started telling customers to have a super day before hanging up. When they leave for lunch I remind them to have a super lunch. When we leave at the end of the workday, they tell me to have a super evening or super weekend. Lots of stuff is just super now when we are talking.

Yesterday, my daughter and I were walking into the library. A couple was leaving and passed us by. They were laughing so I said, "You two are having too much fun!" We exchanged a bit of conversation and each went on our way. My daughter smiled and said something to the effect of, "You just always have to talk to people don't you?"

It's true! I chit chat with the person at the fast food drive through, the person at what ever counter I find myself at, the bagger who bags my groceries....I have even been known to roll down the window and talk to the person in the car next to me. For me, being around people is like letting a dog loose in a butcher shop---Wow! Now this is heaven!!

But when it happened again today....that "soooooper!" from across the dispatch center, it made me I super friendly? Or super annoying? Hopefully? Just soooooooper goofy-I could live with that!

By the way......have a soooooooooooooooper day!

Image nabbed from here.

Friday, January 26, 2007


In two days I will, once again, associate myself with You by celebrating Your Communion. And I will remember.
I will remember that You broke bread and passed the wine among those closest to You...knowing that when You told them to eat and drink, they would not comprehend what it would mean to devote themselves, fully and wholly, to You.
I will remember that You suffered. That nails did not hold You to the wood, but love and obedience held You there.
I will remember that You, Beautiful One, Holy One, Glorious One, You...Jesus the Christ, allowed Yourself to be beaten and spit on and jeered at.
I will remember that the very Earth, shuddered and trembled when You raised Your voice and said, "It is finished" and then inhaled a last breath.
I will remember that this was not the end. I will remember that soldiers guarding Your tomb fell as dead at Your resurrection.
I will remember that those who peeked in the tomb that had held Your earthly body did not find You there.
I will remember that You were the one to bring comfort and hope and joy to Your followers when they saw You, risen and alive. When they touched You and ate with You and talked with You.
I will remember that there is no one, anywhere, no god ever, who could have stood in Your place.
I will remember that a Holy God not only forgives my sins but bought me back from darkness, rescued me, redeemed me, with the sacrifice of Himself.
I will remember that this remains a mystery to me. I don't understand the miracle. I don't understand what the cost to You really was. I don't understand this love that motivated You. I don't understand how holy this is.
I just know that remembering makes me fall on my knees before You in worship and gratitude. I just know that I want You to free me from the guilt and sin that I grasp so tightly, still. I just know that I want to be near You. I just know that I love You. I just know that I want to shout, "Here is my Beloved. Here is my King. He is risen! He is Mighty! He is alive!"
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” I Corinthians 11:23-25
Image taken from here.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Fred has come through surgery very well. He is feeling so much better and his doctor said he will only continue to improve. I will be certain to let him know of your prayers and concern.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Please be praying for my friend Richard and his family...especially his mom. She has been battling cancer for two years and is not doing well.
Also, my friend Rebecca who is going through a tough time right now.
Thanks. I know they will appreciate it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007


I have been thinking alot about people lately. With the start of another American Idol season, I am counted among those who tuned in this week to watch the auditions of the very good and the very bad. Perhaps it is because I sing very badly, but my heart just went out to these individuals who were making themselves so vulnerable on national television. Underneath the tone-deafness, oddness, fatness, thinness, geekiness, diva-ness, shyness, obnoxiousness...I wondered at each face...Who are you really? Who is the person we don't get to see? What are the things that motivate you? weigh on your heart? consume you?

Jesus was a people person. Jesus loved people. People knew that Jesus loved them. In his distinctively simple yet forthright style, Miller takes a look at people in this book. He is causing me to look at some very important questions: Who do I value? Who would I vote off the lifeboat? What was Jesus like while He lived as a human? How do I treat people?

I haven't quite finished this book but I have had a hard time putting it is THAT good. I want my daughter to read this after I am done. Let me know if you want to borrow it after her.
Image taken from here.
P.S. I added new links to some of the blogs I frequent. Check them out if you have time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


"Submission is the ability to lay down the everlasting burden of needing to get our own way."
- Becoming Like Christ by Richard Foster
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
-Philippians 2:5-11

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I was passing by one of my co-workers and joked with him about being "out of uniform". He told me he had had a heart attack 2 weeks ago and was scheduled to have his pacemaker changed during surgery to remove some blockage from his arteries this Thursday or next Monday. I asked Fred if I could let people know about it so they could be praying for him. He looked at me like I was crazy and laughed, "Why the h-ll not? I have been getting more religious lately!" With another co-worker, we joked about God making sure Fred came through surgery ok just to get all these praying people off His back.
But then we began to talk about God and Jesus and how some things just make you believe, like the stars in the sky and the miracle of a baby born, and the incredible bodies we have. According to Fred, "Makes it hard to think there was just some giant explosion and then when the dust cleared, here's all these things that are so amazing. Makes you know that there had to be Someone behind all this that we know."
So, if you would, please be praying for Fred...for his heart to be healed through surgery and for his heart to be filled with a great relationship with his Physician and Rescuer.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Some days just call for a little levity....soooo, how are ya doin' today?!!

Friday, January 12, 2007


I came home yesterday to find a card in my mailbox. I thought it was a delinquent Christmas card from my friend Stephanie. It was from her sister...telling me that Stephanie had died and to call her, she would give me more details.

I met Stephanie at work. She was among a group of new administrators, I was a consultant, and we were all at a team building workshop led by Wayne State University professor. The company was split into two groups for one exercise. Stephanie and I landed on the same team. The exercise included a number of negotiations between teams in which a light bulb was supposed to go on and we were supposed to discover how to develop win-win scenarios. Steph and I missed that. Both of us had highly competitive natures and we focused on WINNING, causing so much havoc with the other team. Despite admitting that we were wrong and that we had indeed learned from our mistake and indeed could see how a win-win scenario was the best outcome, some never forgave us. But our friendship had begun.

When six of us from the company decided to take group golf lessons, our friendship was framed. We bought our golf clubs together. Somehow Steph talked me into buying a pink golf bag so we could all having matching bags. I still can't believe I let her talk me into that. We golfed together at least once a week and boy, did we have some adventures. We had the "serial killer stalking incident", we had a time we were almost killed when we almost drove our golf cart off a cliff we didn't know was there, and the only picture I know for sure I have of Steph is from the time I accidentally threw her out of the golf cart when we were trying to buzz some other golfers. It was amazing because she landed prostrate on the ground but did not spill one drop of the drink she had been holding. The picture has me posing with one foot on her back, like a prize hunter standing over her kill. We were sub par golfers but golfed everything from par 3 to nationally acclaimed courses. We didn't take the game or ourselves too seriously.

I left the company to raise my daughter. Around the same time, Stephanie left to join another company. She hired me as an independent consultant which basically was the start of my own business. I worked for her for many years. Even after I decided to quit the business and become a stay-at-home mom, I kept consulting for Steph. We helped each other reach some personal business goals. I had always wanted to record older people's life stories on audio/visual for their families. She had always wanted to put a park in at a nursing home, complete with waterfall and gazebo. She hired me to write grants for both of these projects and we were awarded both grants. I remember sitting with her on a swinging bench next to the 8 foot tall slate waterfall, just sharing the moment of a dream fulfilled.

There are so many cherished memories I have of Stephanie. Like the time we went to see the late showing of Basic Instinct with another friend. There were only about 6 other people in the theater and I am sure we scared them because for some reason I cannot remember, every time Sharon Stone brought out the ice pick, we started to laugh uncontrollably. Steph was very smart and she and my husband would play partners against a whole room full of people and still win at Trivial Pursuit. Once, my husband decided to take our daughter to Disney World after she had received a perfect score at her music testing. I was telling Steph about it at work and it turned out her cousins from Israel were going to be there at the same time. She decided to come with us. We didn't tell her cousins and when they went to check in at their hotel, there we all were with Steph to welcome them. It was so much fun. When she learned that my family was vacationing on the east coast and would be in Newport, RI she made me promise to visit the Red Parrot Restaurant because they had the best food she had ever eaten. We did, it did and we went back there the next year. One of my daughter's favorite Christmas decorations is the Dickens music box from Aunt Stephanie. Yes, she was Aunt Stephanie to my daughter. Steph's middle name was Rachel and Steph always claimed that my daughter was named after her. She liked to point out how odd it was to have a Jewish first name and an Irish last name.

It is amazing that Stephanie and I shared a friendship that spanned almost 20 years because we couldn't be more different. She was Jewish and I a Christ follower. She couldn't stand converted Jews, yet we often talked about faith and our religions and what they meant to us. She was older than me and single. I was married. Stephanie's mom was in a concentration camp in Poland when she was pregnant with Stephanie. I had not experienced prejudice. She was a declared liberal. I was conservative. She was pro-choice. I was pro-life. We often talked about when a fetus became a "person" but we never came to an agreement on that. She was into modern decor while I preferred antiques and an eclectic range from victorian to traditional, but nothing modern. Funny that I was the one who helped her pick out furnishings for her new condo....all very very sleek and modern in style. We didn't watch the same television shows...she liked QVC and the cooking channel. I never watched those unless I was over her house. Religion, politics....things we were mostly on opposite sides of the fence on, never kept us from a friendship. We laughed our heads off. Had a few times we cried together. We helped each other and knew that the other was always there for us. Stephanie was not a warm fuzzy person. I am. I can't remember Steph and I ever telling each other that we loved each other. We may have hugged on occasion. I have no regrets with Stephanie, though. We had the kind of friendship where things could be left unsaid. And, that could pick right back up if we didn't see each other for a while. We were secure in our friendship.

I loved Stephanie. We were great friends.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


"If the essence of our spirituality lies in a relationship with God, I suppose we should ask ourselves who God is. I would like to believe God is completely good, completely kind and forgiving, and it is we who aren't all that good and have no idea what goodness is in the first place. I realize that sounds like humanity-bashing, and I don't mean to bash humanity, but when I watch the news it makes me wish deep down for another time and place that has a king who is good, and a people who love and care about one another and are easy to trust....And Jesus helps me believe that such a time and place might exist. I realize a lot of people don't like Jesus, or just ignore Him or have no use for Him, but I think the best thing a person can do is to read through the Gospels in the Bible and really look at Jesus, because if a person does this, they will realize that the Jesus they learned about in Sunday school or the Jesus they hear jokes about or the skinny, Ghandhi Jesus that exists in their imaginations isn't anything like the real Jesus at all." ( Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller, pg. 18,19.)

I wonder, do I know You, the real You? Or do I box You safely into the boundaries I have created in my imagination? I want to know the real Jesus. I want You.

Image taken from here.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Someone recently reminded me of some of the crazy things I have done in the past. I wasn't a rebellious teen, I just did a lot of outlandish things. I made a 40 year old gas station attendant pump $.05 of gas in my tank while my girlfriends were making bets he wouldn't do it. He didn't want to, but I talked him into it. Ok, gas was under a dollar back then, but still! Once, one of my friends put out a challange to see who could fit a whole McDonald's pie in their mouth. I was on the last bit of pie when I started to laugh...well, you don't want to wasn't pretty. I never got in trouble either because I was such a good, likable kid. I had my neighbor call Bocci, the woman who was in charge of us while my mom was at work, the day before I was supposed to start middle school and ask why I wasn't in school THAT day. I kept telling my neighbor what to threaten to send a truant officer to the home and other good stuff like that. When the truth came out, my NEIGHBOR got in trouble even though I adamantly tried to take the blame because it was all my idea! Go figure!

Marriage, work, and motherhood didn't slow me down either. At my first supervisory position, I developed a reputation after I pulled pranks like sending other supervisors into the administrator's office for a department head meeting when there was no meeting. This was at a nursing home, so once I gave the administrator a beautifully wrapped gift....a set of white/pink chocolate dentures.
Women's retreats seem to bring out the worst in me. At one retreat, I coordinated a roving band of women that wreaked havoc on the hotel we were at. We got the cleaning ladies to let us into other rooms (of people we knew) so we could do stuff like sew the openings of their clothes together. Of course, we took our pranks outside of our own church group to other innocent, non-suspecting hotel patrons as well. At one point, we were caught by hotel security who said, "We have been looking for a group that has been causing a bit of trouble tonite. Is that you ladies?" The rest of the group looked like deer caught in headlights, but I calmly said, "Really? You might want to try the ABC Church that is here. Perhaps it is some of them." (I have been sorry for that one ever since.) Breaking into rooms has become my trademark. Once, I crawled along the floor during the singing at one retreat so I could steal the coordinator's room key. Singing was the perfect time, because lots of people close their eyes when they sing worship songs. Now, she had given everyone specific instructions, including personnel at the hotel, that her room number was NOT to be given out, especially to me. Once I had her key, my accomplices and I struck and left her room a bit, shall we say, rearranged. I couldn't find a way to anonymously get the key back into her possession so I left it with a hotel staff person, claiming I had found it on the floor in the hall.

When my daughter came along I made sure she got in on the act. She was an adorable little girl and one of my favorite things to have her do was go up to a couple who were making out in public and ask them sweetly if they knew each other. To this day, when we go too long without doing something wild and crazy, she will bring it up and try to get something going. We have had so much fun together!

Church is certainly not considered off limits. A group of my sister-friends and I took turns wearing the ugliest green feather covered hat to church, Sunday after Sunday. Someone swiped it during its rotation and we were never able to recover it, or find out for sure who was behind the kidnapping. (Personally, I think it was the senior pastor...he hated that hat! lol) I did have pranks going between myself and a group of Master Commission kids. Finally the church board had to step in and intervene. That was probably a good thing. Neither of us would back off and our schemes were getting grander and grander.

My only rules are that it can't be anything mean or demeaning, and noone's property can be damaged. I have known a few "Master's" in my day, and it has been an honor to be in their company.

So, about you? What are some of the craziest things you have done?

Image taken from here.

Monday, January 08, 2007


But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:21-23

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26


The power went out at work today...but then, you know that don't! It never ceases to amaze me how much of my job I cannot do without electricity. We all run around trying to get the generator set up because we know that even a bit of power will help. Trying to enter jobs manually is frustrating because we don't have the information at our fingertips like we are sooo used to. And we can't see. Trying to find my way around my office or a room with no windows is uncomfortable. Sometimes I just think I should go home because I am accomplishing NOTHING....wasting time!

Today the office rejoiced when a light bulb went on. It signaled that we had power once more. Our computers, our lights...everything would work again.

Lord, I can't work right without Your power. I can accomplish nothing without Your Holy Spirit. I will just be wasting time if I "go" for You on my own power, my own skill, my own...anything. Anoint me, for Your work, for Your glory...with Your Holy Spirit. And let me never take this for granted.


Image taken from here.

Friday, January 05, 2007


".......giggle, giggle, giggle"

Took place during Latin lessons last night...studying numerals.
Image taken from here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


"He went out, not knowing wither he went." Hebrews 11:8

Have you been "out" in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question--"What do you expect to do?" You do not know what you are going to do: the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder--you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a "going out," building confidence on God. "Take no thought for your life,...nor yet for your body"--take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you "went out".
Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?
Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him--what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual "going out" in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.
--Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


When I was talking with God this morning, I said that I was feeling kind of empty. On my way in to work, I stopped at my 7-11 and there was Robert! I hadn't seen him in about 2 months. He came inside the store so we could talk for awhile. We chatted while he bought one lottery ticket. Sam, the new store clerk, told him she hoped he would win $100,000. I asked Robert what he would do with $100,000. He talked about wanting to buy a little house and a nice little car. We chatted about the movie, Dream Girls, that he wants to go see. It was just soooo good to see Robert!

I got an invitation to gchat from Peta, my Czech Republic adopted neice. We got to talk in real time today for the very first time ever. I am sure we overwhelmed her...because several of us were talking to her at one time. She will be in the United States soon. I was sooo excited to be able to talk to her in almost-person! I can't tell you how happy this made me!

Peta commented on how close my daughter and I are. I got to ramble on about my of my favorite subjects....and how thankful I am to be her mom. I love that kid! We had fun this weekend going through some of the stuff I saved from when she was younger. Only Rachel would know how much I would love a green sock! One of my best presents ever!

My tank is now full! Thanks, Lord!