Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
I think he should just make it easier on me and change his name to Bob. I don't think I could mess up Bob Obama.
Monday, December 01, 2008
I have found just the opposite to be true. When I started to blog, one of my friends told me there was a blog I had to read. That I would really connect to the writer. I did. Through her blog, I have connected to some of her friends and family. I have met people I would not have met otherwise. A young woman from another country that I now call "dear niece". The brilliant student and the inventor/writer who make me think outside of the box. The poet. The artist. The mom I hardly knew and the mom I knew B.B. (before babies). Some of my cyber friends I have never met and may never have the chance to meet. Some I have met but don't see often.
This I know, I have come to care about my cyber friends deeply. I laugh with you. I worry about you when you don't show up for awhile. I pray when you or someone you love is sick, or laid off, or marching off to war, or hurting, or scared. I learn from your wisdom. I rejoice in your victories and joys.
Recently, God brought another new cyber friend into my life. I connected with my friend. She has a heart that loves others and just wants to serve. She is the kind of person who, as Oswald Chambers puts it, "produces a longing after God in other lives..." I began to care about her and her family. She began to care for me and my daughter. Besides blogging, we began to email. She has become a blessing in my life and I am thankful for our growing friendship.
If cyber friendships are not real, then I ask you...why did my heart break for my friend when I received her email saying that her beloved husband died? We both know that he is not broken, or weeping...but is rejoicing in the presence of his Savior. I have been praying for days for my friend. That her heart would be comforted. That she would be surrounded by people who love her and her children. That there would be shoulders to hold her up and shoulders to cry on. That there would be those to share memories with, faith with.
Those of you who call me friend, whether you know me in person or not, would you please join me in praying for my new friend and her children? I know I can count each of you!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I knew God was directing me when we became part of a church plant a couple years back. I remember exactly what I was doing and thinking when God said, "Go."
Now, I feel like I am taking a stab in the dark. Like I am guessing. And that's why I feel like a contestant on the The Dating Game. I feel like I am asking all these questions, but "don't know" more than I "do know" about the places we have visited. I feel the need to pick, to choose and then to live with my decision, even though there could be something better. But maybe not. Maybe whatever I pick is the best from God's viewpoint. But what to pick? Have I missed something? Somewhere I haven't been yet?
What I really want is an angel to appear, or a pillar of smoke or fire to follow...something that lets me know exactly where God wants my daughter and I to plug in. I keep asking Him, but I get nothing. Yet, I do believe He wants us to plug in. I think it is something my daughter really needs right now.
We have lots of friends. We know how to follow God. We are very welcome at places we have been and places we have visited. So it's not about belonging, or being part of the Body of Christ, or finding purpose, or loving His church.
And yet it is.
I guess we just want a place we can call our own.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
November 4, 2008
Hello My Darling Daughter!
I bet you thought I would forget and neglect your spiritual birthday for another year. When was the last time I wrote you a letter to commemorate it? 2004? 2005? I don’t even remember. I am sorry. But today, I remembered that 14 years ago, Jesus touched your heart and soul, with the truth of His redemption. He breathed into you His very breath of life and said, “Come. Follow Me.”
You have changed so much over the past few years. Instead of a child, I have before me a young woman, who is still my baby. I remember the day that I was talking to God about you and He told me that He has adventures for you that I will not be invited to join. I could almost see a picture of me taking your hand from mine and joining it to His. I didn’t feel sad. I knew you would be safe, because He is trustworthy.
I think that is what I hope and pray for you the most right now…that God’s character becomes known to you. That it becomes a foundation for your relationship with Him. You see, I know that there will be times you face doubt, or hardship, or confusion. And it is at those times that you need to rely on what you know about God’s character and not what things look like or feel like around you. Your eyes will need to remain steady on Him to survive those times. The mother side of me wants to make it easy. The Jesus Follower side of me knows it will not be, but also knows how precious all this will become to you.
I believe God has moved me from my position of leading you, to one of walking alongside you. Rachel, there have already been times that you have led me, corrected me, supported me, times you have been the one pointing to our Savior and saying, “Look, there is where your promise and hope lies!”
Don’t be afraid of wrestling through the things of your faith. That wrestling is necessary. It won’t last forever. And you will develop spiritual muscles and a depth to your relationship with Jesus that is worth more than anything you will ever know or want!
I love you more each year. You are the best part of my life!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I love the smell in the air, the crispness, the earthiness. I love the sound of crackling leaves. I love the swirl of the wind accompanied by dancing leaves that later turn to gusts and gales, sweeping it's dancers into a frenzy of motion.
I love the warmth of the sun against the briskness of atmosphere. I love the rain, sometimes gentle, sometimes fierce and biting. I love the first frosts that paint the landscape with magic.
I love Autumn. I am so glad God thought of it!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I don't go crazy when someone wishes me Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. I recognize that there are other people celebrating other holidays around my Christmas. Perhaps it is just the craziness I see increasing around the whole God and Christmas and tolerance for everyone but those who share my faith. Like the political commercials and mailings that we are all getting so weary of.....I have had E-NUFF! I am tired of it. That prompted me to send the following email to the chairman of Home Depot:
"Dear Chairman Blake:
Before you read the rest of this, I want you to know that last year, I spent probably $3000 - $5000 on home remodeling projects at Home Depot.
I just learned that Home Depot will join the ranks of stores deleting "Christmas" from their advertising. That makes me so sad. There is nothing wrong w/ the word Christmas.
I mean seriously, the calendar says "Christmas" not "Holiday" on December 25th. The government recognizes "Christmas" as a legal and paid holiday. How confusing would it be for employers to say that "New Year's, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Holiday" are paid holidays?
While I respect your right to determine your advertising policies, I will exercise mine to select the companies and vendors I will make my purchases from. And yes, I will choose those who aren't afraid of Christmas.
So, Home Depot. It was good doing business with you this last year. And since we will probably be parting ways, let me take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!"
Maybe I will really get radical and refuse to purchase any of my holiday gifts or holiday decorations from stores that are not selling Christmas gifts.
Hmmmmmm, Rachel, it could be a pretty lean year for you, girl. Sigh............
Monday, October 27, 2008
A couple of hours later, this loud buzzing noise took me to my mom's room again. I couldn't figure it out, but it stopped when I got there. I have no clue what it was. But she was OK.
A couple of hours after that, my mom screamed, loudly. I ran to her room. "What's wrong?" "My cat!" "What happened? Did your cat bite you?" "No, I rolled over on my cat." Now, my mom is very immobile once she is in bed. Two people have difficulty rolling her onto her side, so there is no way she could have rolled over onto her cat. She was probably dreaming. "Go back to sleep, Mom. Your cat is OK."
A bit later....whistling. She whistles for her cat when she is in bed. Over and over. And over. And over. I got up and went to her room. "Mom, no whistling today. We need to get some sleep and have to be up in an hour. Your cat is OK. She is right under your bed."
We have a caregiver come in twice a week to give her a shower. We have been discussing bed baths because some days my mom is pretty shaky. She fell two weeks ago transferring while getting a shower. I listened from my room as I got ready for work. The caregiver had to repeat instructions constantly while my mom transferred from the wheelchair to the shower chair. "Ahh," I thought. "This isn't a good sign."
My mom has been more confused and forgetful. A few weeks ago, she asked me what 30 plus 20 was because she couldn't remember. When we got home from our recent weekend trip, she asked if we were moving back in. Later she asked if Rachel was my daughter. I told her she was. "So, then I am her grandmother?" "Yes." "Does she know I am?" "Yes."
In some ways, this development makes it easier to care for my mom. I think because I have very few expectations. My mom's health has been declining for over 20 years. Our responsibility for her care has increased with each year. Before that, my parents' divorce zapped alot of her parenting energy. In many ways, our roles were reversed long before her health problems. And somewhere in the mix, I was just a kid who wanted my mom to be my mom. And she wasn't. It wasn't all her fault. In her sudden vault into single motherhood, I am sure she did her best, but in her efforts to be a provider, we lost our mom and our friend. I think...no, if I am to be honest...I did resent that loss and the responsibilities for her care. So, in a strange way, knowing that she "can't" be the mom I wanted or needed, has made my load lighter.
My reverie was interruped by the care giver. "Good job! You did awesome! You trusted me and look how easy things went. You got right up off that shower chair. You really made my day!"
While my daughter and I are dragging today after a nearly sleepless night, my mom had a good day with her shower. I smiled. "Thanks, Lord," I whispered, kissed my daughter good-bye and went to work.
Friday, October 24, 2008
"Rise and shine and give Gosh the glory, glory...." sang a young woman.
I stopped to pay better attention. Yep, there it was..."Rise and shine and give Gosh the glory..." I was offended. This was one of the stupidest things I have ever seen anyone do to avoid using the word "God". Listen, I don't expect non-Christians to love my God. I don't expect non-Christians to act like Christians. I don't expect non-Christians to embrace Godly characteristics and values, but COME ON! "....give Gosh the glory?" Why couldn't they have sung "Rise and shine and give ME the glory, glory..." or "Rise and shine and give LIFE the glory, glory..." THOSE would at least have made some kind of sense.
What's next? Gosh Bless America? Gosh bless you? In Gosh we trust?
It leaves me wondering.....WHO THE HECK IS GOSH AND WHY DOES GOSH DESERVE ANY GLORY??????
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Our company had an open house at our new facilities in Grand Rapids. The building looked great. We got to meet some interesting people and wonderful customers. And a co-worker and I got lost in Lansing for about an hour on the way home. The state police were routing people off the e-way and since it was dark and late anyways...we got lost. But with the help of our dispatch staff, we were able to find our way home. The very next day, Rachel and I left for a camping trip in Indiana.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Actually, this bear was way in the distance and she used her zoom. Worked pretty good.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
My favorite moment of the evening was watching another couple, part of the bridal party. The wife, one of my "kids" is ready to have her second child any moment. She was hoping to make it through last night before going into labor. Her and her husband stood up with other people, but at one point, her husband walked over to tenderly help her down a couple of steps. His touch was so gentle and loving. Just what a wife wants, someone strong to watch over her and take care of her. I wished I could capture that moment for them forever...something for them to look back on when times are tough, or dirty clothes left on the floor irritate, the checkbook doesn't balance....or they are sitting on the porch on warm evening just looking at the stars.
Earlier in the day I was thinking about a line that is rarely heard in wedding ceremonies now-a-days....that moment when the minister asks the crowd if anyone knows of any reason the bride and groom should not be joined in holy matrimony. You know the line...."Speak now, or forever hold your peace." How did that start to be a part of the commitment ceremony? Has anyone ever stood up and responded to that? The only example I can think of is from fiction, when Jane Eyre was going to marry Mr. Rochester, who happened to still be married. I seriously cannot imagine how one would handle that moment. I mean, what would you do? Stop the wedding and get marital counseling? Say, "You know, you are right. The sames things have been bothering me for a while now?" It would be rather awkward to greet that person after you went ahead and they came through your receiving line. Maybe that is why there are so many groomsmen....crowd control. :-)
Friday, August 08, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
With fuel prices being so high, my daughter and I decided to walk to the local pharmacy so I could pick up a few things for my mom. We talked about this and that. We walked around the store looking at make-up and this and that. We bought a "green" bag to carry our purchases home in.
Time wise...it took us just over an hour. I don't know what we saved in gas. I don't know how many calories we burned. I just know......
...it was good. It was very good!
Image taken from here.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Today is Beatrix Potter's birthday. My post's title says Harriet Potter. That will make my daughter laugh. I often confuse words and names, making for some confusing and humorous moments. As was the time when I brought home a movie about "Harriet Potter" for Rachel to watch once when she was sick. Worse, we had already watched the movie but I forgot!
We love Beatrix Potter's work. My brother gave my daughter 2 boxed sets of her books when she was very young. Later, my mom gave her a set of tapes...the books brought to life! The artwork was captivating. The stories charming. She read these books over and over. She was transported to a world of wonder. We have these treasures boxed and set aside with her most cherished items from her youth.
So thank you, "Harriet" Beatrix Potter. You have brought countless hours of joy and fertilized the fields of imagination in numerous young minds. God definitely gifted you with creativity. Rachel and I are glad you were born!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
The morning after, I took my daughter to meet her dad for their trip to the airport. She will return from Kansas next Tuesday. Tomorrow is her 18th birthday and I still feel sad that we will be apart. I have sent her a couple of cards and have a present for her to open hidden in her luggage.
Last Thursday, my mom had some health problems. Thought we would end up in the ER. We still may.
Monday, I think I had a gall bladder attack.
So, mostly good stuff....and a bit of the difficult.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
2. Peace Makers....it is an easier road to sow conflict. A much harder way to delicately navigate conflict with wisdom and righteousness.
3. My co-worker, Jill. She does not pontificate. She does not theorize. She just washed 14 loads of laundry for someone who did not have a washer. She has made countless blankets for the poor. She bought a suit for a child who was graduating at the top of his class but did not own a suit. She delivered several dressers to families nearby after brokering them from a storage facility for a very reasonable price. All this in the name of Jesus and within the last two weeks.
4. Artists and writers and musicians. Because they capture what beats in our hearts but often finds no adequate way of expression.
5. The Generous....who have unwrapped their fingers from self and material gain and in turn, have met the real needs of others.
6. Seekers....who do not boast of knowing all truth...but commit to the journey of discovery beyond themselves, and in their journey, teach others.
7. The Simple....who often in their simplicity, live profoundly.
8. Old People who still hold hands and old women who still blush at a compliment from their aged lovers.
9. Creation....the vastness, the diversity, the expression and the unexplainable....more than enough to ponder and wonder about for a life time and forever.
10. The Creator...who is and was and is to come.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
....well, I almost did. My daughter and I were going through her memory box picking out pictures and awards to display for her graduation party. We read some of the stories she wrote in 1st grade. Oh my, oh my. We had a hysterically good time.
She has truly been a gift to me...a gift from God. Filling my life with laughter, with joy, and with love!
picture taken from here.
Monday, June 09, 2008
2. This post, Tappers, is quite intriguing. I have come back to it over and over. "Starting today, I want to remember that everyone else isn’t hearing the tune. Today I want to be a more understanding tapper." I have been applying this to so many areas of my life. Like looking through a new pair of glasses, yes? Seeing things differently is causing me to live differently.
3. Yesterday, my daughter and I watched The Great Debaters. She commented that this took place "not that long ago". My mom was 7 years old. White, and living in the "North". I wonder if my grandparents listened to these debates? I wonder what they would have thought? I never heard any racial or ethnic slurs or jokes or plain ol' offhand comments from them or my mom. I hope my family would have been among those who gave a standing ovation. Needless to say, it is now my turn to make sure the "applause" continues to echo.
4. While watching the movie together, my daughter made some slight gesture...just a slight pat on the arm...but it left me with this HUGE impression of how much she loves me. Have I told you that she is graduating from high school and turns 18 in a couple of weeks? While she will always be my baby, and has grown into my best friend...I will miss the girl she has been. A part of me is feeling quite melancholy about the whole thing.
5. At the end of working around the yard and house on Saturday, a friend and I lit a fire in my backyard fire pit. When the flames ignited, it was that kind of whooshing fire, that grows big quite quickly and burns quite hot. As we sat there in the quiet of the early evening, the sky still blue, the birds still chirping away, that kind of whooshing fire swept over me. Right in the center of the stillness and quiet, my heart was taken away by thoughts of the greatness of God, and the loving burn of His presence. My friend talked on, but I was very still. I just wanted to be. Quiet. With Him.
6. Later, I went to poke at the fire with my fire stick. One must have a good fire stick when tending a fire. I guard mine well. I sat back down quite hard in my lawn chair, and continued to go back, back back...until I stopped quite suddenly with my feet up in the air and my back against the cold earth. Ouch! It hurt but I had to laugh at what I must have looked like, and it was quite a few minutes before I could find a way to get myself out of that chair. It is times like these that remind me not to take myself too seriously.
Enough, I need to get back to work. My desk is a site...all kinds of projects sitting there waiting for my attention. I really hope your Monday is a good one!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Since I last posted in February:
1. I bought myself several books to read. One I read in 2 days...It was the Pride and Prejudice story from Mr. Darcy's viewpoint. The last three chapters were missing. It took me about 3 weeks to get a corrected version. I tried to get help from one sales clerk. Clearly, being of the male orientation, he did not fully appreciate my delimma. In fact, he thought it was rather humorous. The sales clerk that waited on me when I received my corrected version laughed as well. Because I found a chair and read the rest of the book before leaving the store. Another book, Born on a Blue Day , was fascinating and intriguing. And humbling. It gave me a glimpse of the vast greatness of Creator God. I am so simple. He is so amazing.
2. I implemented some new training techniques at work. They have worked out amazingly well. We also identified a whole new slew of trainers within our organization resulting in a much improved orientation for newbees. And little time for me...lol.
3. We have felt God moving us....well, I hope it is God because I have credited it to Him...for moving us from our faith community. We have visited a number of churches and communities and as of yet, have not gotten the nod, spiritually speaking, on settling in anywhere. I am parched for a Christian community of my own. I feel so welcomed at a number of places...but like I said...we are waiting for the nod. I hope it comes soon. If not, I hope I am patient.
4. I sprained my ankle in January. It has just now started to feel better.
5. I turned 50 last month. I am not sure how I feel about this, or even how it happened. I still feel like a kid. Well, most days that is (please see #4). I tried to play it down and warned my family that there would be NO "over the hill" parties. My office was lovingly decorated, tho (thanks Amy, Madison, and Tyler!)
6. I have missed reading blogs and writing posts. It is interesting how cathartic this can be and how connected I feel to people, some of whom I have never met.