I was recently telling a friend about the time I almost got to go to a birthday party at Stevie Wonder's place. The party was for the sister of Syreeta Wright, who he was married to at the time. My aunt and her grandmother were friends. I can't remember exactly why I couldn't go, but I have always regretted it. Can you imagine the bragging rights? To be able to say, "Oh yeah, that time I was at Stevie's house...."
I admit it. I am star struck. To be able to say that you know or have met a famous person, is a very cool thing. I remember when Magic Johnson was the Grand Marshall of the Detroit's Thanksgiving Day Parade back in '88. I had a friend who had an office right on Woodward. My brother and I were watching the parade from the second story balcony when I heard someone say, "That's Magic Johnson!" I yelled, "Hey Magic!" He looked right up at me and waved!
My sister-in-law loves to tell about the time she met Bill Clinton when she was on trip to New York. My friend had his picture taken with Rick Warren. A guy I go to church with has a picture with Ravi Zacharias that I am so jealous of, because I think I have bought all of Ravi's books!
What is it about meeting or seeing a famous person that makes us feel like WE are special? We are all like that, even if we hate to admit it. We all have a story of the famous person that intersected our life at some point. I think it must be the longing that each of has to BE special. To be significant. To matter. To belong. To create. To accomplish. To be recognized. To maybe simply be noticed.
The reality is...in Jesus Christ, we are special. We were created in the image of the Creator. We are significant because Jesus graciously and gloriously redeemed us by dying for our sins, and then rising victorious. The One who is worthy of all glory and honor and adoration, sets His eyes on us and sees us. Knows us.
I don't know about you, but that excites me more than anything. In the words of Stevie Wonder, it causes me to pray, "Lord...signed, sealed and delivered....I'm Yours!"
(In this pic Matthew, Tracey, Pastor Rob, Kyle, Michael)
I love weddings. It is always an honor to be invited to join the celebration as people you care about cross that portal from singleness into marriage. Being invited to share in the celebration of renewed marriage vows takes on a whole different level of special. There is something wondrous about witnessing couples who have lived the day to day of married life and say "I still choose you."
I have been to several vow renewals, each one a cherished memory. I remember sitting with my friend, Carole, in a salon as she was getting her hair done. She was surprising her husband. He thought he was officiating as my husband and I renewed our vows. I sat in the chair next to her as the hairdresser was styling her hair into a beautiful updo. I was transfixed as I watched her transforming from my dear friend, into a beautiful bride. I thought I had never seen her lovelier, until I saw her standing across from her adoring husband, a total expression of love and devotion radiating from her face. Breathtaking!
My sister-friend Tracey (that's her and her family in the photo above) can "out Martha" Martha Stewart. I have seen her fashion beautiful roses from toilet paper (during a shower game!) She always adds these incredible touches to anything she decorates. I was sitting at a ministry meeting waiting to head out to my friends' house for their vow renewal. My cell rang and it was Tracey. "Can you come. I need you right now." I don't even remember if I said goodbye as I sprang from that room to go help my friend. Remembering that moment reminded me of how much I love this friend and how often she has come to my rescue. Tracey looked stunning. Again, she was transformed from my dear friend, into this beautiful bride. Her home was perfectly decorated, all these touches of flowers in just the right places around the rooms. I recall how much she had put in to this event, wanting everything to be special and beautiful and romantic as she looked in to her husband-groom's face and said "I still do!" Kyle choked up as he said his vows and I loved him for loving my friend so much that the thought of their union evoked such emotion.
This summer, one of my favorite couples, Amy and Craig, will be renewing their vows. Everyone can see how they love each other, how they take care of each other. A family with two children now, they haven't lost that sparkle in their relationship. I cannot wait!
There were alot of divorces on my dad's side of the family. My (soon to be) husband had been divorced. All that history of divorce in our backgrounds scared me. So in an effort to break this chain of divorce we would bring into our marriage, we planned on renewing our vows every 5 years.
Year 5. I was working full time and putting myself through college. Our 5th anniversary fell on a Saturday. I had a morning class and an afternoon class. We met our pastor at church during lunch, just the three of us before God, as he lead us through vows of commitment and promise. I cried the whole time. Because, with some life behind us, the words we were promising to each other, the traditional marriage vows, took on a much weightier meaning than they had on our wedding day. It felt very sacred.
Year 10. Killing two birds with one stone, our vow renewal was also the cover for a surprise party for our pastor (or was it his wife? I can't remember which now.) Several couples gathered together at church and, once again, we recommited ourselves before God and friends "to love, honor and obey...as long as we both shall live." It was simple and beautiful and fun. It wouldn't be long after that we learned that God had plans for us that we had given up hoping for...we were going to become parents!
Year 15. My husband, my daughter and I gathered in Pastor Rob's office. Pastor Rob, like a brother to me and an uncle to my daughter, knew what was left unspoken. He knew the struggles. We repeated those vows while our little girl played at our feet, unaware that her parents were locked in battle, in turmoil. I silently prayed, "Oh My Lord. Help me get through this without breaking down. Help me to live out these vows."
Year 20. Me: "Our 20th anniversary is coming up. Do you want to renew our vows?" Him: "I don't care. It's up to you." We didn't. And divorced after 23 years, we never made it to Year 25.
So, I think I may have told you that I really do not sing well. I like to tell people that Rachel was the only baby who ever cried when mom sang a lullaby.
Last night we discovered that not only can I not sing a tune, I cannot tap a tune either! Rachel introduced me to this game on her Ipod. "Hail to the Chief" was the one that made her fall out in side-splitting laughter.
While we are sure she got her musical genes from her dad, we KNOW she got her laughter genes from me!
I read this book last week. Started it one day and finished it the next. It isn't a long read, however, it will keep you thinking long after you have turned the last page.
Have you ever wondered if one man could make a difference in the life of another? The authors answer this question as they lay out their lives and relationship in a very honest, intimate and vulnerable way.
As they changed each others lives, they will now change their readers lives. Only the hardest and coldest of hearts can read this and not be touched.
I wanted to introduce you to my friend, Venetia. The first time I saw her, at church, I thought she seemed like a beautiful person, graceful with a sweet, kind face. Now that I have gotten to know her, I can definately say....she is a beautiful young mom and as sweet and kind as she appears! She has a lovely family. She loves Jesus. And I am glad to count her as a friend!
Please stop by her blog and say hello. I told her how wonderful bloggervillites are!
I love this photo of our dog. My daughter took it a couple of years ago and he looks like he is smiling. We love our dog. He is devoted to us.
. He has aged so much since this photo. His legs frequently go out and he looks like Bambi on ice, with legs sprawled completely out. Sometimes he can get up by himself, but most times, we have to lift up his hindquarters and then hold him until he steadies. I have to cook a special concoction for his meals-it is the only thing his stomach can handle, and even then there are times.... .
When we let him out, sometimes he will fall down the steps, and sometimes he falls up the steps, and sometimes he just sits down and gives us the "no way this is gonna happen today" look. His hearing is going, so if he is not looking at us, we have to clap our hands to get his attention so he will walk towards the door. Sometimes he stands in the backyard and just looks confused, like he is not sure what he is supposed to be doing.
. Over a week ago now, I had to let him out in the middle of the night. I went to check on him to see if he was ready to come in. I couldn't see him. I looked out the kitchen window. No dog. I woke Rachel up. "I can't find the dog!" We put on coats and boots, grabbed a flashlight, and headed out back. After several minutes, we saw him in the back corner of the yard. Just standing. Not sure where he was. We clapped and he was so happy, like a lost dog found. Except that our claps echoed off the neighbors houses and garages so he couldn't find us. We had to walk out to him and lead him home.
. We have had several of these late night episodes. Especially now that the snow has melted. His black coat blends in during the dark of night and we can't see him. One, two, three in the morning, there we are with flashlights, looking for our lost boy. .
Last summer, when we went to Guatemala, he was so broken hearted that he stopped eating. We came home and had to hold water in our hands that first night to get him to drink a few drops. I didn't think he would live through the night, he was so weak. So weak that he could only wag his tail once when we walked in the door. My neighbor asked us what we are feeding him, because he bounced back then, and then several times since. I tell her, "Love!" .
My daughter found the tattered paper in my Bible a couple weeks ago. "What is this?" she asked after reading it. "It is a personal mission statement I wrote several years ago," I answered.
"I will live each day in consecration, dedication, and devotion to my God and King-to fulfill the purposes and opportunities He calls me to as a wife, mother, and believer. I will seek spiritual and emotional maturity, and physical and financial well-being. I will strive to be a blessing. I will strive to listen. 1-7-02"
I am not sure what prompted me to write out a mission statement. One year later, I would be in the final stages of divorce. "...wife, mother, and believer."
I am glad I never tossed that slip of paper. I am glad my daughter had the chance to read it and caught a glimpse of my heart. There are some who felt I didn't fight for my marriage because I didn't beg my husband to stay. There are reasons I didn't beg. I fought long and hard for my marriage for over 20 years. But I will keep the details of the fight and the reasons I didn't beg between myself and my God. I am at peace with this. But I also want her to know that I value marriage and that I valued the marriage I shared with her father.
Sunday was the 7th anniversary of our divorce. I almost forgot. "...wife, mother, believer." I think I need a new mission statement.
In December, we had to get our house ready for a new renter. We hadn't been in it for several years. Rachel and I wandered around the empty rooms. Some things changed. Rooms were painted different colors. My bedroom had been turned into two for our previous renters. It felt different somehow.
Some things were the same. We were joyously surprised to find a note I had painted in the closet in Rachel's room still intact. Memories came flooding back as we went from room to room. Somehow it felt the same.
I have talked to two different people within the past week about blogging. One special long time friend told me she occassionally stops by to see if I have posted. One special brand new friend and I are going to encourage each other to blog regularly.
When I first logged on today....it felt kind of strange. Changed. Different. Empty.
Then I thought about the joy that bloggers and blogging have given me. As I remembered the laughs, the wisdom, the prayers and the fears that have been shared together on our blogs, those familiar warm feelings crept right back into my heart.
Like my house, it is not empty where there are memories, where friendship is shared, where faith is proclaimed, and where love can be found!
I am crazy in love with my Lord. I want to know Him more, be with Him, understand Him, laugh with Him, rest in Him, be part of His plans, love His Bride, care about His lost sheep like He does, live for Him.
I am totally my daughter's mom. I more than love her...I like her and the person she is. There is noone on this earth that I like to spend time with more than her.
I couldn't love my Family and Friends more. They are awesome. I am blessed...I am blessed!
I am a people watcher. I like to know what people think about things. I like to talk to people I don't know..alot. Which scares some people. But I am really not dangerous. I think I just like people in general. God tends to draw me to hurting people. I don't like when people feel left out.
April Fool's Day is my High Holiday. I love pratical jokes...even those aimed at me. I love to laugh and have been known to laugh so hard I couldn't see or breathe. I don't like sarcastic humor. I don't like hurtful humor.
The only other important thing to know about me is that I have a perfect dog and two cats who are not.