Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The reason we are late is because we were a half hour early!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


She's read the book. She plays the music. She's seen the movie.
Time for her to see the stage play!!
Image taken from here.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


Leading Up to Day One: Last Tuesday, Rachel and I started our day by visiting Harvest Loves, the brand new, not even opened yet, food ministry at our church, Harvest Bible Chapel. On our ride home, we were talking about the difficulties of food ministry and how necessary they are to the people who depend on them. I shared with her some of the hard times her dad and I experienced early in our marriage-trying to pay a mortgage, my college tuition, and meet our day to day needs. At one point, her dad was laid off. When I would grocery shop, I often had to make the decision whether to buy shampoo or a loaf of bread.

Last year, when our church had a food drive, we took our grocery money and bought food for the drive instead of for ourselves. It felt good. And the truth is we had plenty of food in the freezer and cupboards to stretch over the next week. While we talked about that, the seed of THE EXPERIMENT was planted. WHAT IF we had to eat on only a few dollars a day? How tough would that be? Could we even do it? What would you eat? What could you afford? Where could you shop? WHAT IF we tried this and then gave the rest of the money we would have normally spent on a week’s worth of groceries to Harvest Loves?

Later that night we joined our friends to meet with the pastor from Blessed Hope Church. Since our mission trip, we have all felt that God has something “next” for us to do together. Talking to Pastor Gary was part of our exploration, looking for God’s direction. Blessed Hope is a church, a food kitchen, food pantry, and so much more! Pastor Gary shared with us the changes that he’s seen in this economy. He is seeing more people, especially more families with children, needing a meal and groceries. We listened to the stories and met some of the people.

This second visit solidified it for us. We would try THE EXPERIMENT. We would start on Saturday, August 29th and eat on only $2.00/day per person. That meant we had $28.00 to spend between us for the week. And, we couldn’t use any groceries, condiments, etc. that we already had at home.

The Night Before: The rest of the week we talked, and sometimes argued about where we would shop. I wanted to make sure we got some fresh produce for the week. Rachel didn’t think we would be able to afford it. We agreed to shop at the Dollar Store and if there was any money left, we could buy some produce.

After a busy day, I picked Rachel up so we could shop. We had to work really hard to try to come up with 3 meals a day and not go over budget. We put stuff in our cart and then later, had to put it back on the shelf. I wanted to go for frozen veggies since I don’t like canned. In the end, we opted for canned fruit over ANY veggies. I wondered what the people around us were thinking as we discussed whether we could get enough meals out of the boxed cereal or the breakfast fruit bars.

In the end, we purchased:
2 boxes of pancake mix (can be made with water & meant we didn’t have to buy milk)
14 chinese noodle meals
1 box of spaghetti
1 can of spaghetti sauce
2 packages of hot dogs
2 packages of hot dog buns
1 can of mixed fruit
2 four-paks of apple sauce

When we went to check out, I had forgotten that food items are not taxed. So we ended up with an extra $3.oo It was a blessing and we decided to purchase a pack of gum each. It also hit me-I didn’t plan on caffeine for the week.

WHAT IF you had to do this week after week? WHAT IF you had kids in school and needed to make sure they had a healthy diet? WHAT IF you had an extra $3.00 at the end of your grocery shopping and felt like you just won the lottery?

Day One: Our first day is behind us. We discovered that the boxes of pancake mix will produce 2 ¼ pancakes a person for our breakfasts. Not very tasty but filling. Sure wish we had bought some jam or peanut butter to put on them! I tried not to let batter drip down the side of the mixing bowl. I estimated that we lost about a ¼ pancake. Normally, I wouldn’t have paid any attention, but with having so little to work with, I didn’t want to waste anything. I flashed back to when we were in Guatemala. We threw an ice cream social for the kids at one orphanage. I went to serve a group of girls and one of the cartons of ice cream was totally melted…chocolate soup. I was going to throw it away until one of our interpreters stopped me. She was shocked that I would waste it and made sure I finished serving that gallon before I opened another. At home, that would have been garbage. I wouldn’t have thought twice about dumping it. Now, for the first time, I realized how important every drop can be when you don’t have a lot to start with.

We ran a bunch of errands later in the day, one of them taking us to Gordon Food Service. As we walked in, a woman asked us if we wanted samples. Did we? We were served a small piece of pretzel bread with a chicken cheese dip and a small bit of BBQ chips. Nice surprise! It felt like a whole meal! We decided to skip our day’s half cup of canned fruit since we had this extra blessing and save it for another day when we might be struggling.

WHAT IF we had to do this for longer than a week? WHAT IF this was our life? WHAT IF I was less wasteful with food, with spending, with my time? WHAT IF I gave that extra away?

Day Two: I ended up driving Rachel to work before I left for Kalamazoo to attend Jeremiah’s baptism. On the way, I asked Rachel if she would go to the family night at church with me. And then I realized…yikes, each family is supposed to bring some BBQ meat and a side dish to pass. I told Rachel that I know church is the one place I should be able to go and not worry about bringing something, but I don’t know the people there too well yet and I would be embarrassed to show up empty handed and then fill our plates. We did have to laugh when I suggested it would be pretty hysterical if we showed up with anything from this week’s food stock. “Pancake, anyone?!!”

I told Rachel that the Cook’s church was going to serve a light lunch at the baptism. I asked her to guess what they were serving. Hot dogs? Yep! Going through the line, I picked a bag of Doritos because I know Rachel likes them and I wanted to surprise her with a treat. Vicki was deciding whether or not to get anything to eat, so I asked if I could have her bag of chips. Both Vicki and Darryl gave me their chips. Earlier, when I stopped by Rob’s office, he had bowls of candy and snacks on his end tables. I asked if I could help myself and of course, he said yes. I picked out 2 small packages of trail mix to bring to Rachel. Rachel’s boss ended up giving her some left over pizza. We each had a couple of pieces and still have some for tomorrow. Ok, so we now have a stash of pizza, trail mix, and chips!
Before we left this morning, our dog Sparky was not doing well at all. We had to carry him outside and then his legs kept buckling. When we brought him in, he drank some water but wouldn’t eat any of his food. I got one of the hot dogs to see if he would eat something. I wondered if I would have been so willing to give him part of my food ration for the day if I wasn’t going to be having a hot dog at church later?

We both went to bed a little hungry last night. Same tonight. Nothing unmanageable. We are drinking a lot of water trying to offset that.

WHAT IF we had to go to bed hungry every night, with no end in sight? WHAT IF we couldn’t afford to feed our dog? WHAT IF we had to avoid parties and get-togethers because we couldn’t afford to bring something or pay for a meal? WHAT IF I had to tell my child, eat something here because there’s nothing at home?

Day 3: Today was my first day at work since we started THE EXPERIMENT. Right off the bat, I announced to my co-workers that I would be grateful to anyone who bought me a diet coke this week and yes, I was shamelessly begging…lol. It wasn’t long before I found a nice cold bottle sitting on my desk! My announcement stirred a lot of discussion and guessing. We all had some fun with it. The cool thing is that I know they are people who would really help me out if I was in a bind or tough spot. I am blessed.

After work, Rachel and I sat down to our dinner of two hot dogs. While we talked through “dinner” we were surprised to discover that neither of us wanted to eat anything from the stash of goodies we picked up yesterday. We both were actually afraid that if we ate a bag of chips, then we wouldn’t have anything if we got really hungry one day. So, we agreed to hoard them. Funny that a few bags of chips and a couple packages of trail mix represented wealth to us in a way they never had before. We thought of a community center we had visited in Guatemala. We had a ton of left over candy and gave that out to the kids. They just pulled out their shirts to hold their loot. We wondered now, if they felt like we do today.

I am finding that I am more emotional than usual. Yesterday, I was thinking about all the moms around the world that have to watch their children go hungry, some to even die of starvation. How do you even bear something like that? I wept. But my tears must move me to action, yes? Otherwise, they are wasted.

WHAT IF it was my child crying herself to sleep from hunger? WHAT IF there was something I could do, was supposed to do, that could help even one child, one mom, one family? WHAT IF I cared enough to find out?

Day Four: We thought things might get hard by today, but we didn’t expect to feel as hungry as we do. Both Rachel and I thought our bodies would adjust. We just thought we would be sick of the menu. But we have been sooo hungry today.

Last night, I had so much trouble sleeping. Hunger kept me awake. And shadowed me all day. Found out Rachel had the same kind of day. We made our box of spaghetti tonight. I am so glad Rachel picked out the can of sauce with meat. We both feel like we just want some protein, even if it is a morsel.

I thought I would really have a struggle when I picked up Nick’s McDonald’s order at lunch today. I told Rachel that as hungry as I had been feeling all day, I thought it would be torture to drive the few blocks with the aroma of Micky Dee’s fries wafting through the air. Are you with me? What a blessing though. I was so busy thinking about some of the blessings God has brought me, that I didn’t even notice!

I should probably give some background to the hints I have left on Facebook so far. I posted our Experiment on Facebook to keep me accountable so it would be harder to cheat or quit. I am glad for the accountability. The hints:
#1) Some things are harder/some are easier: The harder part is trying to make our couple bucks stretch. The easier is….hardly any dishes!
#2) 10.7 million people, including half a million children: live in homes in the U.S. that experience hunger skipping meals, eating little, or going without food for a whole day.
#3) In the human condition, there are all types: All types of hunger. Humans hunger for peace, for love, for purpose, for belonging, for relationship with God. Physical hunger is probably the easiest to offset, so it makes me wonder why hunger is still a major issue worldwide.

WHAT IF I wasn’t so selfish? WHAT IF I can’t save the world, but I am supposed to help one child? One person? One family? WHAT IF I stop looking for them? WHAT IF I miss out on being a part of God’s story in the life of another? WHAT IF we don’t “get” whatever it is we can and should be learning through THE EXPERIMENT? WHAT IF we spend this week experiencing short-term hunger but don’t empathize with the pain of “the hungry”? WHAT IF all we end up with at the end of this week are a few sleepless nights and some growling stomachs?

Day 5,6,7: Just as I was about to start our journaling Day 5, I heard, “Mom! Sparky’s bleeding!” We ended up at the emergency vet until 1:30 or 2:00 a.m. The next day found us too exhausted to journal. So, here are the highlights from the next 3 days.

Since we had been so hungry on Day 4, I really expected Day 5 to be a struggle. ..a long, dreary day to try and muddle through. I sensed God saying to me, “You don’t trust Me, do you?” That caught me off guard. What did this EXPERIMENT have to do with trusting God? I mean, it was just a short term, one week experiment, right? I got to work and noticed a package in my mail slot. It was a bag of Jolly Ranchers with a note saying something about payment.The day before, I had done a favor for a driver and had jokingly told him that it was going to cost him. And this was his tongue in cheek payment. A whole bag of candy! Here was God surprising me when I didn’t expect it. I picked out one of each flavor for myself and for Rachel and then shared the rest of the bag with my co-workers. At lunch, someone put a Jimmy John’s sandwich on my desk. “I didn’t order that.” I didn’t hear what she said exactly but it was something about someone buying me a sandwich because of my social experiment. Another unexpected surprise! I saved half for Rachel and couldn’t believe how full that bit of protein made me feel. Rachel’s boss bought her a chicken wrap, so for dinner, we switched out sandwiches. Ah, protein! “Trust Me.” I knew that wasn’t about a Jolly Rancher or a sandwich, but about every part of my life.

On Day 6, we barely felt any hunger, we were so tired from our night at the vet’s. It was eat and early to bed.

Day 7. I came into work to, once again, find a diet coke waiting for me on my desk. My co-workers are the best!! After this week, we knew that today would be easy. Our last day, we would probably breeze through. We still had our stash of goodies, too.

I had a chance to talk with a Christian brother from South Africa early in the day. One of the things he noticed about Americans was our absence of God from the center of our lives. We have so much that we tend to rely on ourselves and don’t include God in the equation. Later in the evening, we were talking with our friends Danielle and Aaron. Aaron mentioned hearing about a Christian leader who commented that he was amazed how much we accomplish on our own, because we have left God out of the equation. That is really at the core of THE EXPERIMENT. Without God at the center, we just lived a week with very little food. Perhaps developed some empathy. But with God, this week will take on life and depth beyond our small efforts. I don’t know how that will play out, but I know who He is. He is the One who spoke and a world and its beings were created. He is the One who takes nothing and makes it into something breathtaking.

WHAT IF my life was to reflect my belief?

Day 8 The End….or is it the Beginning?
I asked Rachel for her observations from this week. We laughed when she said, “Canned food is very salty!” But then she recalled the time when she was helping pack food at Taylor Human Services’ food pantry and they were giving almond milk. She said that she remembered thinking that she would never drink almond milk. “But if you have no food, you take what you can get and eat it…even almond milk!”

We realize, now more than ever, that we have more than we thought we had, and need less than we thought we needed. And not just when it comes to food.

We have an increased awareness of the issues and experience surrounding hunger, as you would expect. I was surprised by the joy we found. Joy in sharing with each other from the meagerness we had. I can’t really explain it. But it wasn’t a joy derived from the things, but joy from walking this together, from rejoicing and celebrating in the blessings. From being joined in a common purpose.

One of the things I felt God speaking to me throughout this week was about giving Him the best of everything and every part of my life. Rachel and I talked about how when we have given to food drives in the past, we have given stuff like that can that has been left sitting in the cupboard for a year. Just grabbing whatever we didn’t really want or need. Now, we want to make sure we are including protein and some luxury items. The really good stuff, you know? And so it must be with what I give to God. Not just the leftovers, but the really good stuff.

Why? In John 12, we are told of the woman who came and poured expensive oil over Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. Was this a shocking emotional display and waste of resources? Jesus response could seem even more shocking because He sat there and received it. RECEIVED IT! He is recorded as saying, “Leave her alone….the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” (John 12: 8) His reference to the poor at the seeming waste of this expensive oil is very telling. Throughout the gospels, we see example after example of Jesus being moved with compassion…the feeding of a crowd of people who came to hear him, raising a woman’s dead child because he was her only son, healings, reaching out to the ones who were the last people who deserved his attention, and the list could go on. So it wasn’t that he didn’t care about the poor. But He knew what she got (as evidenced by her actions) and I often don’t get. He is WORTHY!

I have all kinds of these alabaster jars filled with the best of what I have…possessions, money, time, energy, passion, talent, rights….that I have been hoarding , telling myself that I will break them open and offer them at a future date. My motivations have sometimes been fear, sometimes selfishness, sometimes apathy, sometimes greed. God is telling me to break them open and pour them out at His feet. Now is the time. NOW is ALWAYS the time. Not because I might receive a blessing, or joy, or purpose, or satisfaction. But because He is WORTHY of it all, of every drop of every hoarded jar.

Last January, I sat in a restaurant with my Christian sisters, as one posed a WHAT IF? question to the rest of us. That resulted in the 6 of us (who are still amazed that God provided the finances) holding Guatemalan orphans in our arms and hearts in July. And a month later, sitting in a pastor’s office, a man we had never met, asking more WHAT IF? questions. One of the things he said to us was, “Start by just doing SOMETHING.” which confirmed to Rachel and I to live out THE EXPERIMENT that sprang from a WHAT IF? question we had asked each other early that morning. It’s the domino effect, one WHAT IF? leads to another, and then to another, and on.

I don’t know if the Holy Spirit is placing WHAT IF? questions in your heart, but our advice, dear friend….. is BREAK THE JAR!!!!!

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


To me, Facebook is like conversation around the water cooler at work. Lots of sharing, some personal, most short conversations, catching up on what's going on, quick share of info. On the other hand, Blogging is like sitting down and sharing a cup of tea with a good friend. Maybe some of the same topics are covered, but usually more indepth and intimately.

What do you think?

Friday, July 31, 2009


I posted on our Mission Trip Blog. Check it out if you want.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My daughter wants to get a tatoo. This is what she has picked out. But she is still trying to decide where it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Sunday I went to a wedding shower for one of my young friends. She is going to marry a South African, of the Zulu tribe. She taught us that Makoti is the word for bride. She won't be referred to by her first name but as "Makoti".
I love that concept. As a Christ follower, I love the concept of being recognized as His bride. I love the concept of losing myself in my love life with my Redeemer. Of being Makoti!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


One of the things we train new drivers at my company, is how to "stay visible". For our couriers, it is important that other drivers and our dispatch know where they are at all times. Our road staff work as a team, and if a job becomes available, one driver may recommend that another driver cover that job because he/she is in the best position or may be heading in the direction the package is going. Since the jobs are announced over the radio, the couriers have to rely on each other to have their backs in case they are out of their vehicles when the job is called out. "Staying visible" is key to making a good income and providing excellent customer service.
The concept of "staying visible" has been on my mind alot lately. With a work email, a personal email, twitter, Facebook, myspace, instant messaging, blogging, texting, a cell phone that I keep with me constantly, you would think I would have no trouble staying visible. But I do. I mean, I am just getting used to Facebook and someone told me that Facebook is on the way out.
I am trying to be deliberate about logging on and reading, tweeting, posting, writing on walls, T9ing, it any wonder I am overwhelmed??? LOL
The good thing is, I have friends in parts of the world that I would never had had. I have found relatives and friends that I lost contact with. So, I have decided it is all worth it. I need my friends. I need the support, the comfort, the laughs, the inspiration. I am going to try and quit "ghosting" and "stay more visible" in the future!
Image taken from here.

Saturday, May 02, 2009



Thursday, April 30, 2009

Presidential Quote for the Week

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.— Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863
Image & quote taken from here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


"Wow, that's a big oscillation!!"
Image taken from here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I received this Sisterhood award today from Lidj...which is pretty remarkable seeing I have been MIA from bloggersville. However, it did make my day and was all the more special because it came from this friend.

You know, we have been talking alot at work about business blogs and the new business catch phrase "Social Networking" that emphasizes Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. It has made me miss you all very much and has reminded me of how grateful I am for you. You are always there if I need a laugh, a shoulder to cry on, a prayer, encouragement, inspiration....heck, some of you even brought me meals when I had my surgery a few months back.

I guess I should tag you all...even if you ain't a sister, but a brother!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


1. Quote of the Day - "You won't find a sea in an ocean!"
2. Watching Jack L love his farm animal toys.
3. Hearing Tina Fab sing on Easter.
4. A couple 70 degree days.
5. Five 1 minute sprints on the treadmill after not having run in over a year since I sprained my ankle.
6. Video of Jack A singing and coloring Easter Eggs.
7. An unexpected phone call from my great-nephew Jeremy.
8. The daffodils sitting on my table.
9. Finding out the Phyllis has her money for her mission trip.
10. Playing Balderdash at a big family get together.
11. Loving God so much (and knowing you are loved back) you want to shout!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


"... we had always had a complicated relationship. We loved each other deeply, but like I was not easy. I'll just say it as it was, she was not an easy person to be around, and out of frustration, and sometimes anger, I didn't always do all I could to make it any easier..." These words from my friend, Pat's blog, jumped out at me today. They captured exactly how I have been feeling.
This morning was a tough one. As I was fixing my mom's breakfast I thought, "This is why God gave me only one child. He knew I would be parenting my mom for all these years." And today, I felt much too old and too tired for a giant toddler. That is why my friend's words spoke so loudly to me.
Growing up, my mom was probably the perfect mom. She was a scout leader, artistic, creative, committed to her children's pursuits. I remember that near our birthdays, she would ask what kind of cake we wanted. It didn't matter what we came up with, she would find a way to make it. Probably the most difficult was the year my brother asked for an aircraft carrier cake. And at his birthday party, there was a replica of the aircraft carrier my dad served on in the U.S. Navy, complete with airplanes made out of lifesavers and sticks of gum, lined up on the deck!
When I was 11, my parents had a meeting to tell us that they were divorcing. I had to move into the master bedroom for awhile when my dad took up residence in my room. I don't remember much about sharing that room with my mom, except I used to like looking through her jewelry box and this gave me plenty of opportunity. My parents went on to divorce and my dad eventually exchanged our family for a new one. We became step-children. I know everyone tried very hard to co-mingle the two families...but as Pat said..."It's complicated!"
My mom became a working mom. Something that was very uncommon back when I was a kid. Divorce was still a word that was whispered in polite company. I remember putting on birthday parties for her and inviting all her friends from work. But somewhere along the way we lost each other. She abdicated her role as parent, probably because she was exhausted from work, and I pretty much became my own boss.
Over the years, as I graduated from high school and college, married, set up my own household, and became a successful business woman, that small fissure that had begun in our relationship, widened. While I loved my mom, she was not the person I turned to with my joys and fears. She was involved in my life, of course, but things were just different.
While my journey as her emotional caretaker had begun soon after her divorce, my journey as physical caretaker started when I was pregnant. I began doing my mom's laundry since she was now in a wheelchair. That is how everyone was first alerted that I had gone into labor. I didn't pick up her laundry that morning and no one could reach me all day.
As the years wore on, her physical needs became greater and greater. Her world shrank and she didn't seem to mind at all. She was happy. We (my brothers and I) made modifications to her home so she could maintain the most mobility and independence. But somehow, she didn't see things that way. She does not like change. And there had to be changes. She resented us for those changes, not seeing the sacrifices that our families made to allow her to stay in her own home. Ah, it got complicated!
Now, my mom is just a shadow of her old self really. The other day I got her dressed and then forgot to tell her to sit down in her wheelchair. I took her soiled laundry downstairs to the washer and heard yelling. I ran up the stairs and there was my mom, gripping onto her walker, not knowing what to do next because I had neglected to remind her to sit down in her wheelchair. Or, the day last week my daughter called me in tears asking if I could come home. My mom had left the water running in the sink and flooded the bathroom, enough so that water dripped into the basement below. Sometimes she remembers how to use the telephone, and other times she can't figure it out. Every day is different. Some are fine and fairly easy. Some are not so easy. Like life, I guess.
Sometimes we see glimpses of my "old" mom...the way she used to be. She lights up whenever any of my brothers come over. Sometimes, her voice sounds exactly like it used to...strong and confident. She loves the caregiver that comes twice a week to help out...they laugh and joke and my mom is soooo happy when she is there.
I have helped a number of my friends place their parents in senior care. Why do I keep trying to take care of my mom at home? It's complicated. Part of the reason is...she wants to be at home. I will never forget the way she cried when I told her she was coming home during her last nursing home rehab. Part of the reason dad never took good care of my mom. She deserved better than he was able to give her and I guess I am trying to make up for that. And part of the reason is...I am afraid my mom, the essence of who she is, will disappear completely soon. And I want to do everything to prolong that inevitability. And part of the reason is....God created me to be a nurturer. So many times, I have felt God speaking to my heart, letting me know that I am fulfilling a part of His purpose, by caring for my mom. And part of the reason is....I want to teach my daughter that family sticks together, even when the road gets very, very hard. And part of the reason is...she is my mom and I am her daughter. It's just complicated.
Pat, I have told you many times that you have been a blessing and have helped me cope with caring for my mom, in your own experiences with your mom. Thank you for doing that yet again. There is a freedom and strength that comes from letting go and saying "it is hard and difficult...complicated really". And from being understood.
Image taken from here.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Our passports came last week. I have never had a passport. The only country outside the U.S.A. that I have ever been to is Canada. I can look across the river and see Canada. I never needed a passport to go to Canada.
But now, we are going to Guatemala. To work with children in an orphanage.
Will you pray that our hearts are pure so we can serve in the name of our Lord, Jesus?
You can read more about our trip here and follow our team blog, here.
Image taken from here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


In Mark Chapter 4, Jesus is at this lake and begins to teach. The crowd grew so big, that Jesus got into a boat so that the people could sit on the shore and everyone would be able to hear. He told them stories, illustrating the mysteries and truths of God's Kingdom.
Now you should know that in the days preceding this, Jesus had healed people and touched lives in such a way that you could be pretty certain he wasn't your "average Joe".
Anyhow, at the end of the day, Jesus says to the guys on the boat with him, "Hey, pull up anchor and let's go over to the other side of the lake." So the guys on his boat, and a few other boats that were with them, set out to do that very thing.
On the way, a storm blows in. Not just any storm, but a "furious storm" of hurricane proportions. And the waves are crashing against the boat and filling the boat with water. I have been sailing on Lake Erie in gale force winds...well, not actually on the Lake, but in a channel off the Lake, and let me tell, that was some ride. It was pretty intense despite the shelter of the channel. Can you imagine how things must have been for the boat Jesus was in? Wind and waves and water. The crew must have been scurrying, orders being called out, water being bailed...fear and panic and chaos.
And where was Jesus during all this? Asleep on a leather cushion in the back of the boat. Oh man, imagine how those guys must have felt. Jesus really?! This was YOUR idea to head for the other shore, now we are all going to die and you are what? Sleeping? The words they said to him when they woke him up said it all. "Master, don't you care that we're perishing?" I can hear the accusation echoing over and over. "Don't you CARE?"
Jesus gets up and reprimands the sea. Did you get that? He REPRIMANDS the sea much like one might reprimand and impudent child. Jesus tells the sea to hush and settle down. AND IT DOES! The sea immediately settles down, exhausted and perfectly calm.
Ok, I don't know what that crew was expecting when they woke Jesus up, but it sure wasn't that. Their eyes must have been like saucers, and it is recorded that they were totally in awe but also filled with fear. I can see them, voices lowered, asking each other, "Holy cow, who IS this guy? Did this just really happen?" Oh, how about the poor guy that woke Jesus up? In my imagination, he was trying to remember if he might have shook Jesus just a little too hard. "Uh, Jesus, about that bruise I gave you when I woke you up. I'm really sorry man. Can I get you anything? A cup of coffee? Another cushion to rest on? Sorry I flung the other one overboard...I wasn't really mad I was just a bit scared there...not really myself."
Remember what they had all seen and experienced in the days before this one? Jesus said to them, "Why are you afraid of me now and why didn't you trust me?"
For the past weeks, I have been bailing water from my boat. My mom is getting worse, bills are piling up, I could lose my house, I am not where I thought I would be at this stage in my life, my options are few, even the dog is having health problems....bailing, bailing, bailing, bailing. I am being swallowed up in fear and panic and chaos.
And there it is. Once again, that accusation from long ago. "You are Sovereign. You have chosen this rocky path for my life. Why aren't You rescuing me? Don't You care? Don't You CARE?"
Jesus reminds me of the many ways He has proven Himself and His love to me. Events, people, His Spirit, His Word, His life, His death.....healing, rescue, healing, rescue...again and again.
"Daughter, why the fear? Why aren't you trusting me?"
"I don't know, Jesus. I don't know."
"Hush. Let there be peace."
And there is. And it is immediate.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Where have I been during my 5 or 6 week disappearing act? I wish it were something exotic . Just work and home though. I was surprised at how much energy it took to get through a day after my surgery.
My job can be quite an adventure. I work for a courier and delivery company, Reliable Delivery. On any given day, we can be delivering a transplant organ to an operating room, a forgotten laptop to a conference room, or film reels to a theater or newsroom.
My duties are varied. I like that. A big part of my responsibilities involve coordinating the training for our workforce. We have to train in medical deliveries, hazmat, HIIPA, TSA regulations, as well as the fundamentals for professional couriers. One of the projects that has consumed a large part of my time over the past weeks has been getting everyone TSA retrained at each of our four centers (Metro Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, and Toledo). That should be done by the end of this week.
But then there will be another project. lol. To be honest, that is where I thrive. In an environment with new goals, new projects, change, and challenges. And people. Lots of people to interact with, to meet.
Hopefully, I will find more time for bloggersville. I miss everyone and hearing about your lives and thoughts. I couldn't sleep (3:30 a.m my time) so I decided to use the time to at least post (and finish up my meal thank you's). Later tonite, I will visit blogs. See you then!

Thanks Edwards! Couldn't enjoy this before surgery!

 are the best! Much appreciated.

Sandy, good food, good company!
Image taken from here and here and here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I asked You, "What should I do?" for situation after situation.
Restless, I could not sleep....until You replied.....

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you." (Psalm 32:8)

I sighed...I smiled...I slept.

Sandy, thanks...yummy!
Pat, Rachel wants me to make this again!

Margie, a favorite!

Images taken from here and here and here and here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


On Optimism:
"...Edward Morrow's definition of an optimist--'someone who tells you to cheer up when things are going his way'..." pg. 51 Can Man Live Without God by Ravi Zacharias.
On Pessimism:
"...Hey, if it wasn't for pessimists, we wouldn't have flush toilets! Everyone would have been satisified with the status quo." Kaymc
Image taken from here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. MARK 1
I wonder what Zebedee was thinking when his sons left their work in response to Jesus' call. Did his sons say anything to him like, "Hey dad, you will be ok. You have these servants to help you." or "We are going to check this out and will back in an hour or so." Did he beg them to stay or secretly wish he was the one exiting the boat? Was he mad? Indifferent? Confused?
I wonder what the servants were thinking as well. "There go the boss's sons...they always get out of work." Had they heard anything about Jesus? Were they ticked off with getting stuck with more work? Or were their hearts breaking because they didn't have the right to follow?
I wonder what this moment in time looked like to those around who weren't being called?

Little Sisters 1 and 2, and Pamela...thanks for the meals. Deeply appreciated!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I am using my recovery time to do some reading. I was given The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver during a Secret Santa exchange at work, so I saved it for after my surgery. I have been reading it over the past four days and here is what I think:
This book is about a family who become missionaries to the Congo and it follows their paths through the political unrest and transformation of this country in the 1960's - 1980's. Written from the voices of the mother and her four daughters, you find yourself being drawn into the realities and hardships of being unpreparedly (not a real I am using it anyways!) plopped down in the middle of a whole new culture. We learn about the father through the eyes of his wife and daughters and we don't like him at all. He is legalistic and cruel and even as we find the circumstances that lead him to that position in life, it is much too late and his character is never redeemed in the readers eyes.
While well written (I couldn't put it down), I was greatly disappointed in the book overall. All of the characters lose their faith and not one ends up breathing in contentment, despite a healed body for one and committed love and family for another. I remember when the movie, Fame came out and leaving the theater I remarked how depressed that movie left me feeling. My sister-in-law replied, "Well, that's real life." This book left me feeling the same void and emptiness. I think the portrayal of faith was from a viewpoint bereft of a relationship with God, presenting truth as an individual creation of a mind or collective culture. If there is no substantial truth (and the author presented none, other than America, Christianity, and the white race are the least that was my take), then we are really left with no truth and great purposelessness and brokenness for our characters, indeed for mankind.
I am glad I read this book for the following reasons:
1. It is well written and gave me a peek into history and a culture that I might not have taken.
2. Christians can become so isolated that we forget or are unaware of what "religion", lacking the truth of a relationship with God and the revelation of the Holy Spirit, can look like to others. The ouch factor here will be a reminder to me for a long time.
3. This book provides alot of material for comtemplating the question, "Can man live without God?"
4. I got somewhat of a glimpse of what my friend, Abby, will/has experienced in embracing her new life in South Africa.
5. While looking for an image, I came across this website for an online bookclub. The whole idea really intrigues me.
My next book is "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain" by Oliver Sacks.

Friday, January 09, 2009


....and he has taken my gall bladder with him! Image taken from here.

Thanks everyone for the prayers and all the support!

Rebecca, thanks for the soup! Image taken from here

Sara and first "real" food hit the spot! Image taken from here

EJ, Lindsay, & Jack - 2 thumbs up! Image taken from here.

Monday, January 05, 2009


I am NOTORIOUS for guessing presents. My first married Christmas, my mother-in-law mailed our packages from Florida. We opened the large shipping boxes to find brightly wrapped presents inside. As I picked up each present and read the label, I would shake the box and say something like, "Hmmm, feels like a pair of jeans." Turns out I was right on every package. My new husband jokingly informed me that I had ruined Christmas.
One of my closest friends doubted my gift guessing abilities. I was at her house and she told me her father had been trying to guess his Christmas gift for a couple weeks. She dared me to try and guess, confident that I wouldn't have a clue. I begged her, "Louise, please. I don't want to ruin your dad's Christmas." Finally, after she dumped the present in my lap, I picked it up. "Are you sure you want me to do this?" I asked. "Go ahead. I am telling you there is NO WAY you will guess this." I picked it up. Shook it and pronounced, "A set of rachets." I will never forget the look of disbelief on her face! Or how hard her dad was laughing!
My daughter's first Christmas, my brother said, "You will never guess what I got Rachel for Christmas!" "Volume 2 of the Beatrix Potter books?" There was no gift or package involved to shake this time, but once again...nailed it. He had that same shocked look on his face that Louise had a few years earlier.
That brings me to this year. I knew what my daughter was getting me for Christmas because she needed me to help pick out the model I wanted. But then she put this other gift under the tree and said, "This is your surprise gift. Be very careful because it is fragile." Oh, you know that I tried to feel the package, but very I did so very gingerly because I was afraid to break it. I had no clue. The weeks before Christmas, I would ponder and ponder. Gentle little prying poke of the package. Nothing.
Christmas morning I could not wait to find out what this was. She had wrapped a water bottle and flip flop to throw me off (yes, that is a photo of the actual thing). My REAL surprise gift was Season 2 of The Office. She knew if she had wrapped that up I would have probably guessed it.
I think I had that same confounded look that my brother and my friend had had on their faces when I opened my surprise gift. I laughed for about 20 minutes. And now, my daughter has become legend for out-witting her mom. This will be my favorite gift for years to come!!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


I spent some time this morning with my dear friends, Abby and her mom, Barb. Abby is leaving this week for South Africa. Abby has been leading missions trips there for several years. God has given her a love besides the people and the place. She is engaged to Sandile (that is him in the center and my Abby on the right).
During my visit with Abby, we were watching videos of Sandile. He has a gentle, quiet way about him. I watched him playing with a toddler, sitting in a room of friends. Suddenly, Abby's phone rang. It was Sandile! I got to talk to him. I cannot wait to meet him in person.
Please pray for Abby as God leads her into a new culture, a new country, and a new life. You can read more about Abby here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

1234....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Well, I tried, but I slept through the New Year's countdown. My daughter woke me up, "Mom, it's 12:34 p.m. We missed it!" LOL
Hope You had a wonderful Christmas! If my daughter takes the photo, I will be sharing her "surprise" gift to me.
Praying for God's blessings and goodness on every day and minute of your 2009!