Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who I am and What I do

I've been thinking a lot about that lately - who I am and what I do.

It all started when someone recently told me, "You're a writer. You write! It's what writers do." And that got me thinking....

Uhm, yeah, I guess I do.

I had the same reaction last year when someone called me a "Prayer Warrior". In her eyes, I guess I am, but it's not a title I bestow upon myself.

Over the years, I've looked long and hard at what I do, and worked hard to define myself apart from that. Back then, I was "a nurse". And that was about as far as I could go with it. These days, yes, I am still a nurse - but it is what I do. It's my job - well, one of them! It's not "who I am".

When I want to know about a person - I look and I listen. I observe what they do and what they say.... and how those two line up. That tells me a lot. It may say nothing about what they do - professionally - but it definitely shows me who they are.

I try to remember that when I'm out in the world. Who I am is portrayed by what I do. People notice. And sometimes... they notice things that I don't...

And those that love me,... they show me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Refueled and Refreshed

It is amazing to me, this thing called "sleep"....

On one hand, it is easy - you lay down and sleep, that's it..... well, sort of. Many nights, I am met for a lesson or a review of the day. Sometimes a slide show of faces or events that don't often make sense at the time. Sometimes nothing - not even evidence of having rolled over...

I am fortunate to not suffer from insomnia - I know some do. Yes, I have had seasons in my life when falling asleep was difficult - concern for an individual, or finances, or deadlines on my mind, making it race. For the most part, currently, those nights are rare.

More common are the nights when I caught up in the "to do" list - or on Facebook - and then suddenly realize it is much later than I imagined. Unfortunately, the morning still starts when the morning starts.

Yet, I am further amazed how good I actually feel when I am rested. After ten hours of sleep Sunday night, and 2 more hours Monday morning, I feel human again.

I can function, and am productive. It's GOOD... It is a gift... that I carelessly throw away every time I try to do ONE MORE THING.

May I realize that adequate sleep is not only a gift from God, but it is essential!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Takin' a Day...

I am beyond tired and striving for a little balance.

So, today - I'm taking a day....

May you all be wonderfully blessed!

Until tomorrow....

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Inspiration comes from the most interesting places sometimes... and sometimes I learn the most interesting things...

For example: I was riding around with a woman this past Friday. We got out of her car, and as she clicked her remote to lock her car, she asked if my van had keyless entry. "Yes," I said, "but it doesn't work..." "You should see what it costs to fix it...." she said, casually.

When mine quit working, I decided I could do without the luxury of keyless entry. I figured it would be as outrageously expensive to fix as the automatic pull doors had been when one of them quit working. I'd hoped it was the battery, but when I finally got around to replacing it, it didn't work.

I chalked it up to something I'd deal with for a while... And I did.

But, after she mentioned, it, I got curious to see exactly HOW outrageously expensive it would be to fix.

I searched online, and found a new remote for $40 and change.... fully programmable to my minivan. So, I searched for programming directions.... AND .... FOUND.... OUT.....

If the battery has been dead for a while - which it had - once the new battery is put in, it needs to be reprogrammed... and "This is how...."

Five minutes later, I once again have keyless entry!

Thank you God for her innocent comment.... my willingness to listen, and a spare few minutes at work where I could search for the information!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Proud Mama

I am a proud mama. I have been blessed with two wonderful children. They are as similar and as different as siblings can be. They challenge me to the depths of my patience, yet, they bring so much joy.

This week was my son's turn to shine. He has worked hard for another 3 months and earned his orange belt in karate. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of him - at his hard work and his dedication.

I am also thrilled with the progress he has made with his "SD" - self-discipline. He is a courteous and generous kid to the core of his being, but his SD needed a bit of improvement.

It is an honor to stand beside them and watch them grow. It is also a huge responsibility, being a parent. But, mostly, it is a tremendous blessing being their mom.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Want to Hear You....

Today, may I be still and hear. May He speak clearly and undeniably.

Thus far, the doors have been opening without my effort. There is a knock, to which I have replied. In time, there came another knock. It is on this day that the doors will open and I am being invited in.

Help me to see clearly. To know. May I feel His presence - or absence - in it.

Right now, it feels like a huge gift being laid at my feet. One that I have not sought, except through prayer.

Even in the midst of it - in the periods of waiting - I have had a certain "calm". A peace that has allowed me to stand back and not charge forth trying to control it - to force it into existence - MY way.

Lord, help me to know - do I accept, or graciously decline...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sing a Song of Hope....

Moments like these help me to believe that God is truly involved and active in our lives - whether we chose to believe it, or take time to notice, or not.

I was driving home from a meeting at work, heading up the interstate for an evening at the church. To my left, I noticed a very pale "sun dog" with and even paler rainbow to it's right.

The weather here has been mostly rainy with a few spots of sun thrown in to keep us all from going completely mad! The part of road I was driving, was dry, but I could see the clouds ahead of me, and could tell that there was rain not too far off. Yet, strangely enough, there was also a patch of deep blue sky.

I smiled at the color in the sky - the sun dog especially - and assessed the merging traffic. My children call them "God's eyes" and when they see them, they say, "God is looking at you!!"

With that in mind, I was just driving along, listening to the radio, asking for blog inspiration.

"What would you have me write about tonight?" I asked aloud. My mind started wandering with my heart not too far behind, looking at clouds, and thinking of such vague things as "life" and "purpose" and "small, small me, big, big world, bigger, bigger God"

I followed the road as it headed northwest, and glanced ahead of me. There it was! Bright, beautiful, breath-taking! I reached for my cell phone and snapped this picture. As you can imagine, the picture doesn't do it justice. The colors were brilliant - each stripe of the rainbow clearly defined. (Seriously, if I'd had my camera with me, I WOULD have stopped!)

As I took in a breath, the lyrics on the radio caught my attention....

".....You brighten up the sky..."

"OK, Lord...I am LISTEN-ING!"

Right on cue, it continued:

"I will sing a song of hope, sing along,
God of Heaven come down...."

I reached for a pencil and the envelope sitting beside me. I started jotting down the words of the song that really spoke to me.

".... calling me Your friend...."

"...I will sing a song of hope, sing along,
God of Heaven come down...
Just to know You and be loved is enough..."

As the lyrics faded away, I wondered how I fare in that regard. The ever present heart analysis began to kick in.

My song - my lifesong - would it be considered "a song of hope"? I'll have to pay attention...

"God of Heaven come down...."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Feeling My Age

These past few days, I have really been feeling my age...

It's not that I've passed my 40th birthday (a few years ago!), and it's not the bifocal contact lenses. It's not the occasional pain in my knee nor the handful of pills I swallow every morning... they're vitamins.... It's not that my kids are growing faster than I can believe or that the new doctors at the hospital were all born after I graduated high school.... No... it's not that.

The thing is.... I worked this past weekend - on the night shift. Friday and Saturday night. Sunday morning, I stayed up - and awake! - through church. No big deal. I used to do it ALL the time when I worked straight night shift. Ending my stretch with a full 24+hours awake was my usual routine. But.... I was also in my 20's.

This time - I'm tired. Even a few days later, I'm tired. I slept well Sunday night, quick nap and felt pretty good on Monday. Tuesday, not so much.... Getting through the day was a chore, even after a L O N G nap. All day long, I wanted to crawl back into the bed - which, I'm sure the rain didn't help!

But, the thing is...

With age has come some wisdom, and with my 40's a sense of freedom. I tolerate imperfection a little more, and I am blessed to be able to fit a little nap in here and there. I've learned through trial and error (mostly error) - that if I'm tired, I really do need to rest.

It goes a long way - for my health, for my parenting skills, for my tolerance of the world around me, for my relationship with God.

"Sleep is a gift" we were told at church on Sunday - I think anyway ... I don't think it was my longing for the bed that put those words in my head. It was a gentle reminder toward self-care. For living the life God intended for us, and not being drawn in too many directions by the agenda of the world.

May I rest in You and feel renewed...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I was driving along, on my way to pick up my kids from school, heading straight to an appointment for one of them. It had been a pretty good day, I'd gotten up early, been pretty productive - including a short nap - but I was exhausted.... still recuperating from having worked ALL night long two nights in a row.

And, I.... WAS... CRAVING. Oh a cookie or something baked preferably. I knew I'd be having a "treat" at the bible study that night, so I was trying to avoid it mid-afternoon. But, as a crave will do, the more I seemed to try to talk it down, the louder it became.

Finally, I tried a different tactic. "Satan, Go Away!" Then, further.... "God, step between us. Protect me from this temptation..." The crave was gone, and I heard myself say aloud, "Checkmate!"

That thought carried me the rest of the way to the school: "Checkmate". Christ stepping in for me - protecting me, redeeming me.

We know the end of the story, too, so truly it is "checkmate". And then I wonder why I get engaged in these battles. Probably the same reason I let my children push my buttons. I forget that it is a choice and I know other options.

Surround me. Be with me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for winning the battle!

Help me remember the truth!

Checkmate, Satan!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Becoming a Little Girly

Change is interesting. When I feel it coming on - especially if it is accompanied by the Breath of God - I try to find a good seat! I love to watch God in action!

I've learned to recognize- through trial and error and much experience - the feeling that surrounds me when God is nudging me forward into something just a little different!

For those who don't know me, don't see me face to face, or don't pay attention to details, I'll explain further. I've always been a bit of a tomboy. Growing up, I was the one who taught my brother to catch frogs, build a fort and ride a bike. I was in my 30's before I dabbled with make up, and many - including those who see me face to face everyday - are surprised to realize that yes, I DO wear make up, nearly every day. Giving a choice, I'd wear jeans everywhere. Even when I "dress up", it's a pair of capris. One of the best things about my Nurse Practitioner job is that I get to wear "my pajamas" to work. No, not really, but scrubs and pajamas are about equal in the comfort department. I'd occasionally paint my toe nails, a muted beige, but was happy to wear them bare as well. Oh yeah - and the "shopping" part of my genetic code - gone, missing, absent... I'd rather do anything but shop!

In come the winds of change.... Suddently, I'm interested in dark red toenails. And, this weekend... I hit the stores.... for some dressy clothes. Nothing TOOO girly, mind you, but not scrubs and not jeans! It's something a little sassy, and I'm REALLY excited about it.

I don't know what else He has in store for me - I DO know there was a really cute tote that I will have to save and go back for! (seriously!? ME? bahahahahaha). Yes, seriously.

So, here I sit, front row seat, waiting to see where he is leading with this.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Perfection of God's Timing

I am continually amazed at the perfection of God's timing. Things come and things go, and when I keep my hands out of the midst of it, it works SO much better.

There has been an opportunity knocking at my door lately. It first appeared on my radar in early spring. But that was it, a mention of it. A planting of a seed. Then, a dormant period.

Life went on, and I didn't think of it much, until the end of the summer when it knocked on my door. I answered and did as it requested. And then I waited.

A younger version of myself would likely have tried to knock, knock, KNOCK incessantly. But this felt different. As I have grown and matured, I have learned the value in "wait".

So, I waited.... and I waited some more. I knocked gently, stepped back and continued to wait. One more time I knocked gently. Then, I let it go.

"This is not mine to force," I thought to myself. If God's not in it, I don't want it.

A month has passed, and it has come back knocking. In the mean time, God has removed any urgency I felt about it.

I answered again, responding afirmatively again. This time, I was given a little more information and a timeline.

This opportunity will require a little of my time - physical and emotional. There will be a learning curve, which excites me, rather than terrifying me.

I looked at my calendar, so get a feel for how this might impact daily life. I smiled and I laughed and I smiled some more.

"Coincidentally", I have several weeks where my work schedule is lighter than usual - vacation and holidays and some flexing of time. "Coincidentally", this opportunity, according to the timeline, will begin right about then.

Thank You God for taking care of the details of my life, and for your perfect, perfect timing!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nap Day

It was a beautiful day to sleep. The morning air was cool and it looked like it could rain at any moment. I'd gotten up to feed the kids and prepare them for school. Bookbags packed with snacks and folders, I hugged them and sent them into the carpool van.

"YES!" I stretched as I walked back inside. It had started to drizzle a little bit. The cat rubbed against my leg as I walked down the hallway toward my bedroom. I crawled back into bed and pulled to covers up.

I had called my colleagues to check the census to see what the likelihood of me being needed to work that night. "I'd get some rest", she said. So I did.

In spite of a phone call, a barking dog and a cat trying to play on my computer, I slept really, REALLY well.

"If nothing else", I thought, "it will get me a little caught up on my sleep."

And so it did!

Thank you God for sleepful days....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Marital Perceptions

I've been thinking a lot lately about marriage and divorce and different beliefs regarding the two lately....

There was a lively discussion I got involved in on Facebook when a friend (who is more of an acquaintance) stated that he and his wife are separating. It saddened me - for him and his wife - and their three young boys. What saddened me more was the comments that followed.

The first 10 or 15 comments were all supportive and stating how "maturely" they were handling the situation. I was the first to mention focusing energy on resurrecting the marriage. But, it's not his story I want to focus on...

I was reminded of how my views of marriage have changed over the years. My first one, I threw away. I didn't have the "God-connect", the support or the life skills to consider anything but leaving. I had an escape route and I was taking it.

I wonder how much of the divorce problem there is today is based on lives similar to my experience. And, I wonder if it has to do with a culture that is so used to disposable everything - diapers, water bottles, relationships. Everything is fast and easy and if it's not, don't waste your time on it. It's too sad....

I'm glad I've had relationships in my life with mentors that were different. The work wasn't fast, it wasn't easy and it wasn't fun. BUT... it was so worthwhile.

I hear so many people NOW who have worked through their differences and have found joy, peace and support in the mean time. God is in the midst of all of them... whether we choose to include him or not.

I pray for my friend and his marriage.... I pray for all of those who are struggling or have struggled.... and I pray for and express much gratitude to those who have dug in deep and persevered! Thank you, God for them. May they share their stories and encourage those who need to hear.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Year in Review

Anniversaries are interesting events. They remind us of where we have been and what has happened in the previous year.

September 17, 2008 was a big day for me. It was a pilgrimage of sorts. A day to return to "my shack", heal some old wounds and let go of some of the things that held me in the past.

Who knew...? Not I. I just knew I needed to go, and listened carefully as to what to bring. I headed out, unsure of the agenda, but with full trust that one had been set.

It was a beautiful day, and as a friend of mine recently said, I "had to let go to allow my heart to heal"

I think of the things I have let go of in the past..... dreams, responsibilities, "stuff". It's the "stuff" that is emotionally charged that is the most difficult - and for me, if not still useful or productive, the most necessary to clear out.

My wedding dress was one of those things. It needed to go - yet, as I hung it on the rack at the church yard sale, I walked out solemnly. There were no words.

Have I missed it, no. Has it cleared out more space in my life - and closet - absolutely!

It's been a good year. Not always easy, but a good year.

As I walked out of that chapel, I realized I had been given a gift.... freedom.

Thank You, God!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tree-in-a-Storm Pose

There are some moments that get permanently engraved into our hearts and minds. I was reminded of one while teaching a yoga class this week. We were doing "tree pose". One woman had wobbled a little and said "I was doing 'tree-in-a-storm' pose". WHAM! I was there.

That moment was back. An AMAZING moment several years ago. We were living in the other house - the "married" house. I was in fact still married, though I'd guess it was pretty much in shambles.

The house sat on a hillside surrounded by many large oaks. Behind the house was 65 acres of wilderness. That night, there was a storm brewing. It was hurricane season, and we were getting the 'blow off' of one of the bigger storms of that year. It hadn't begun to rain, but the wind had picked up, and the energy in the air was palpable.

I had returned from a yoga class, where we had practiced tree pose. The house was silent. As I headed upstairs to our bedroom, I could see the tree limbs swaying back and forth through the sliding glass doors.

The far wall of our bedroom was mostly glass - those sliding glass doors that stepped off onto a second story deck (over a full garage, so perhaps more of a 3rd story...). Suffice it to say, I was up in the air, well up into the branches of those mighty oaks.

I set my mat down and walked toward the glass doors. The room was still dark except for the light down the hall in the stairwell. Instinctively, I opened the door and walked through.

I closed my eyes as the breeze met my face. The wind pushed the hair out of my eyes and I took a deep, deep breath. "oh, how I love a storm!" I thought.

Standing tall, I began. Shifting my weight onto my supporting leg, bringing the other foot to the calf, then the thigh, arms lifting up overhead.

There I stood. Wind on my face, swaying with oak trees. Dark except for the faint light behind me and an occasional flash of lightening. Peaceful. Strong. Balanced despite the storm surrounding me. As it is with God. He would soon show me that....

I remember writing, immediately after the experience:

"Tree pose. 20 feet in the air. back lit. in the midst of a storm. is TOTALLY AWESOME!"

It was. Totally Awesome.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Burdened Under Satan's Yoke

It's a topic that has been popping up in my life - repeatedly - for the past few days. A song at church on Sunday, the pastor's reminder that sleep is a gift, a friend's Facebook status and my immediate reply, one glance at my calendar and, finally, a sentence in a new bible study book. OK, OK, ....I'll listen! OK, OK.....I'll write!

Busy. B.U.S.Y. Burdened Under Satan's Yoke. Yes, I get it. I can relate to having "too many irons in the fire". I get the overfilled schedule. I know the carpool and mom's taxi. I've attempted (with some success) decluttering the schedule in the past. Yet, life is what it is. It has it's seasons, some of which are more filled than others. But "stuff" likes to find it's way back in.

There is no doubt in my mind that "God is always at work". There is no doubt in my mind that his words in the Psalms which remind us to "Be still and know that I am God" are there for a reason. The world will try to distract us from our focus, our purpose. But, we are not of this world.... just living in it. But how can we hear and act if we are not watching and waiting for direction?

As I was interpreting during band rehearsal, I was playing with the verse a little. The word "know", means what exactly....? I looked it up, and there are several definitions that match the signs that came forth. My favorite being: "Have firsthand knowledge of states, situations, emotions or sensations" - or, my sign: "experience". I have witnessed God moving powerfully in my life... most clearly, when I was broken enough that all I could do was "be still".

In looking up the "official" definition, I am reminded of a few other meanings that I hadn't thought of that morning. Reading them together, I am reminded of the story of the Shepherd who calls to His sheep, and they know his voice. He is familiar, known to us. We know His character and can differentiate between His voice and others who would lead astray.

And - we KNOW, and believe without a doubt that He is God. It's so much more than having knowledge of a mere fact.

But, how do I get there? How do I KNOW Him? Hear and recognize his voice above all others? Stillness. Taking time to nurture that relationship. He and I. Him and me. "Be still and know...."

Honestly, I wish sometimes it said "do these 14 things before lunch and another dozen after..." It would be easier living in this world to do so... But no, it doesn't. It says "Be still...."

Honestly, sometimes, I multi-task it. I talk with God as a I walk the dog. I listen to worship music as I drive. I try to include gratitude and service into every day.

As I completed the first day of my new Bible study, I was reminded that "the very busyness of life" is not unique to these days. The author refers us to Acts 6:1-4, and asks what the disciples did when they became overwhelmed with the tasks of daily life and the pressures of ministry.

"Stop and reflect on what was important". They also had the gift of delegation! Not only was it OK for them to say "no" to the task being asked of them, it was important that they didn't. They needed to focus on preaching and praying. They did empower others to do the daily work, which if you ask me, was a gift to them..... service always comes with unexpected rewards!

I've gotten better at not accepting every invitation that comes my way. Yet, I intend to look again at the events of the day, and where my time and energies are focused.

I have two main purposes every day: raising my kids and walking where He leads. To do both of those effectively, I need to remember Psalm 46:10. I need to make time - dedicated time - to be still. So I can know, feel, hear, experience and be in the undistracted, undeniable presence of God.

I want the yoke that is light.... not the one that keeps me burdened.

(that and another hour of sleep... SWEET!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Season of Growth

Seasons of growth are really interesting times. Day to day it's hard to see the changes. Perhaps we notice a little something here, or a little something there. A few new blooms that fade with time or a good rain.

Add the benefit of time in the perspective, and it's amazing what can happen.

I noticed this the other day when I was fortunate to have some time out in the gardens. Tending the earth is one of the times that God speaks to me. He points things out and shows me other things.

The summer kept me away from the needs of the garden and the grass had grown high along the fence. As I knelt and pulled the tall grass out of the border, I hear Him whisper "Notice the growth of the season...." I kind of chuckled to myself and I pulled another fistful of grass. I glanced to my right and then realize He had been talking about the rose.

It had been a birthday present from a dear friend. I immediately knew where it should go. I planted it, watered it and expressed my gratitude for my friend, our friendship and the rose itself.

Periodically, I noticed it had grown and the flowers that continued to appear. But it wasn't until I stopped and took the time to realize where it had begun that I REALLY noticed.

Same with people.... We all have seasons of growth. When I take the time to look back with the perspective of time, it is amazing. My children continue to amaze me. The change in them in the past month, six months, year.... they are different people.

My friends - the way they have healed and grown as they walked through the pain of divorce. Friends dealing with parents, children, grandchildren... hormones, cancer and other life changing events.

I love watching the process. I love walking beside, and I love looking back and pointing out the change they may not see.

And yes... it's true in my life too.... looking back, I can hardly believe where He has led.

Thank You Lord, for reminding me to look and remember...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

All for One....

This month we have started a "job chart" in our family. It's time. The kids are nearly 8. They want allowance. I want something to motivate them and remind them that they are part of a family, and thus have responsibilities for the common good.

They each have simple tasks to complete individually - clean their rooms and make their beds. They also have a "team" job - cleaning the playroom. Then comes my favorite: "Job of the day".

"Job of the Day" is my wild card. We have created a list of jobs ranging from putting away the silverware, feeding the cat, taking out the trash, helping with laundry, sorting recycling. Every day, they complete two of these jobs. Thus far, it has been at my asking - but today, my daughter initiated one on her own! YES!

I am in my glory! The playroom has been clean for ten consecutive days. That is a miracle! Kids doing jobs without a fuss is nothing short of that as well. The made beds and clean rooms - well, we're working on that!

I want them to learn the importance of teamwork and personal responsibility. I also want them to learn the importance of earning money - and that it depends on a job well done.

Teamwork and personal responsibility. Huge concepts in God's economy as well.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Library...then and now.

The current economic situation has finally pushed us to do what we SHOULD have done years ago.... visit our local library! I now have a library card, and the kids have each rented a movie and one book.

Things have changed since I worked in the library in my hometown. All of my Jr. High and High School years found me sorting books by Dewey Decimal system, and typing up actual card catalog cards.

Yes, it was that long ago. The computer age hadn't hit. We punched cards by and sorted them by date. They were alphabetized by author and sat in the file until they were returned.

Today we went and explored the JF section - Junior Fiction. I was thrilled to see my children so fluent in "alphabetical order". We searched the computerized catalog by "series" - WOW - no searching through "Books in Print" to find the author or title! YES!

It will become a regular stop on our route now. Returning books, choosing books, reading books. And, yes, the movie or two for our Family Movie Night.

I'm grateful that though the technology has changed, the concept of a Public Library has not.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grandparent Lunch

It is a tradition at our Elementary School. Grandparent Lunch. Every September, Grandparents (and surrogate grandparents) are invited to have lunch with the students, then tour the school. Several have been imported from out of town for the event!

Parent volunteers help the Cafeteria Ladies serve the extra couple hundred visitors and assist with the traffic flow, giving directions here and there.

It is such a joy to see the faces of the children - and the grandparents. For the most part, they wear ear to ear smiles. There are, of course, a few that break my heart. Those whose grandparents couldn't come for one reason or another. There are always one or two who cry inconsolably - my prayers go out to them.

This year I expect will be difficult for our Grandpa. It will be his first without Grandma. Physically, the trip to school will be less demanding. Emotionally, not so much.

Through the eyes of a PTO officer, it is a gift - A wonderful opportunity to serve. As the one coordinating volunteers, I am continually amazed at the willingness and the parental involvement at our school. I couldn't feel more blessed to be a part of it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Deeper Understanding

My children have taught me much about God. Every so often something will happen and I'll say to myself, "I wonder if this is another situation that mirrors my relationship with God...."

From time to time, situations will arise where I have a depth and breadth of understanding that my children simply don't. One day, they likely will, but for now, it's just as well if they don't know.

For example: On the porch this morning, an orange stripey tomcat named "Tiger". My kids think it is great that Cassie, our kitten, has a play date. I move the "Make Cassie an appointment with the vet for surgery" higher up the priority list, and BE SURE that she does not escape.

The kids want a hamster, or a gerbil, or some other type of rodent. I totally understand - and echo - my father's impersuadable "NO!"

And, sometimes, things are just better handled "behind the scenes".

At times like these, I wonder how often the I'm in the other position - Me, as child-of-God. He has a depth and breadth of understanding that I can't even begin to comprehend, never mind master. He knows and sees and understands the entirety of the situation, when all I see is the "cute" ness or the imperatence of NOW.

I also wonder - if I REALLY pay attention - if these situations arise more frequently when I am showing my omniscient naivete: Thinking I know, when I am - how do they say it? "CLUELESS!"

I also hope that God views my perspective as "sweet innocence" - like I do my kids....

Now, where is that number for the vet.....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Seasons of Change

There is definitely something changing. Yes, the seasons are beginning to transition from summer to autumn, and yes, there is a storm brewing as I type. But, that's not what I mean...

Something internal. As I sit, feeling the winds that precede the storm moving through my house, and hear the distant thunder, I feel something similar inside.

Something is brewing. There is longing for something yet defined. The colors are beginning to appear, but they are, thus far, formless.

The feeling in the air before the rain appears is similar to what I feel in my gut. But, it doesn't feel like "rain" or "a storm" is coming. It's different. It's joyful. New. Exciting.

It's weird, though. Some of the things I have loved - seemingly forever - I'm beginning to not care for. Seriously, Diet Coke and chocolate chip cookies just don't do it for me anymore.

On one hand, that's a HUGE answer to prayer, on the other, it leaves me feeling a strange void. No cookies? C'mon. I wonder - but hardly dare to speak - if my taste for pizza will leave me as well.

Curiouser and curiouser this life becomes. Onward I walk, trusting He will lead.

As I do, I sit with this feeling, trying not to ask TOO often:

"Where are we going, Papa?"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle...

I am a recycling fanatic! I don't pick other people's recyclables out of public trash cans, but I do carry mine home rather than throwing them away. If it can be reused, reduced or recycled, I'll do it!

I am thrilled, therefor that we have initiated a recycling program at the elementary school. Two years ago, we began with recycling aluminum cans. This year, we have added juice pouches, candy wrappers and cookie packages. Could it get better? You bet! Terracycle gives us $0.02 per wrapper or pouch!

It doesn't sound like much - two cents - but, these days, every penny counts. Perhaps more importantly, we are raising a student body that is learning about recycling. The students are now taking ownership of their juice pouches, setting them aside, rather than throwing them away.

We have been given much in this world, and we must be good stewards of what we have been given. In my eyes, that includes taking care of our planet. If we can simultaneously earn a few buck for our school, all the better!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Time for a Picture

I've been past due for a picture, so rather than find a picture that matches my post, I searched through my pictures and found this.

Ah, yes... This. It is one of my favorite pictures. It was taken in the summer of 2002. Two of the most influential women in my life. The elder, a woman who stood beside me, challenged me, and loved me well. The younger, my daughter.

This was taken the weekend they met. What makes it even more special for me was the roll of film was forgotten, unfinished in the camera. Years later, I developed it - about six months after Karen died.

She would have loved to have seen how my children have grown. She would have walked beside me through my divorce. Instead, I hear her words in my head from time to time, and am grateful when something she taught me comes instinctively. Her love remains, but I long for her name in my inbox, and her words on the page.

I miss her for sure. Despite living 3 states away, and spending only 3 weekends together - ever - she has touched my heart deeply, and left a mark on my life.

Thank You, God, for Karen Tucker.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Love with Insight

Beth (Moore) said some very profound things that touched me deeply during our "Loving Well" retreat.

One thing that she said made me pause and consider. "God never said for us to love blindly." Interesting. She then pointed us to Philippians 1:9.

"And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment".

The world tells us that love is blind. God tells us to be wise and love with discernment.

Oh, if only, if only.....

I wonder sometimes how my life would be different, had I learned many of these truths when I was younger.... Different, it would be.... Better? I don't know.

Life is good. My struggles and mistakes have brought me to this place.

But, from here, I get to choose differently. I get to listen to the Gentle Voice Within. With any luck, I will follow....

May I be wise and love with discernment.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Reaching Forward, Reaching Back

I had the honor recently of giving a massage to a pregnant woman. We had seen each other more frequently in years past, but it had been a while since we'd been together. It was such a gift to me, to be able to work with her again. It was a sweet moment too, when she started asking me about my pregnancy and my delivery.

It reminded me that we are not isolated individuals here on this planet. We are set here to love each other. To encourage each other. To walk beside each other.

When I was pregnant, I asked those who had been there before me. Now, is my opportunity to answer the questions of the first-time mom-to-be. I now look to the mothers with older children to ask my questions - and I share my experiences of my children's younger years when someone ask me.

It's how we learn. It's how we realized that we WILL live through whatever phase we're in.

I've heard it said that I should "find someone who has what [I] want and ask them how they got there". I've done that especially in my walk with God.

The times that have been especially helpful to me are the times when I'm walking through something really difficult. Without a doubt, someone inevitably appears who either has experienced the same thing, or has the ability to simply walk beside me. Someone who has struggled and allowed someone else to walk beside them.

It is an opportunity to minister to each other. To nurture, to mentor, to encourage, to support.

It is a gift. I have been fortunate to be on both ends - reaching forward and reaching back.

Friday, September 4, 2009


It's a night without any clear topic inspiration, so I do what I always do. Go sit on the deck, with my dog, under the stars. Only tonight... no stars.

The moon is nearly full, peering out behind an array of clouds. Then, the thoughts come. I wonder if anyone else has noticed how amazing the skies have been lately. Most days, for me, they look like they have been painted on, set as a backdrop to my little part of the world. I wonder if it's a change in the environment, or one inside of me.

I think back through the year of this blog - the past year of my life. I recall the events that have screamed to be heard, and others who have whispered in my ears. Equally important. Be the change subtle or profound, it is change nonetheless.

Life changes - children grow. Relationships deepen. Hope endures and Love never ends.

God continues to walk before me, behind me and by my side. Life is good. Even when I get my feet stuck in worldly concerns, He whispers.... "Trust me. I am with you."

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"System Restore"

Having some recent experience with the Koobface virus (ewwwwww.....), I've just gotta share...

My antivirus software picked up on it and quarantined the files - but apparently not QUITE quick enough. Any hope of updating my antivirus software or accessing a malware removal site was blocked.

I struggled for a while, trying to figure out how to get rid of the results of it. I tried all sorts of creative ways to "back door" into the cleansing sites, to no avail. And then, I remembered....

"System Restore"

It's a Godsend, really.... has saved my life - well, my computer's, anyhow - on more than one occasion. Click a couple of buttons, pick a date to restore to and voila! My computer is back to the moment before I clicked the link that unleashed the beast.

My malware searching program is now updated, and I have free, unblocked internet searching once again.

As the "system restore complete" message appeared, I thought to myself. "Gosh, wouldn't it be nice to have a 'system restore' feature in life? At first thought, yes... but then I reconsidered. I looked more closely at the "difficult" times that I initially considered undoing. Each has brought a gift, though. Walking through the difficult time has had it's advantages. Each step has brought me to where I am today.

I paused for a moment as a smile took over my face - In a way, I DO have a "system restore". Christ.

A slate wiped clean. Abundance and inheritance rather than suffering and death. As I stand before God through the filter of Christ, I am clean.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tackling the Little Annoyances

It was a day - a wonderful, glorious day! Outside was beautiful and it was all I could do to focus on the INside of my house. But I so needed to do that.

The "little annoyances" were starting to pile up. So, I spent the day, tackling them, one by one.

The conglomeration of wires under the kids computer - fixed.

The broken leg on the TV stand - fixed (well - it's now wheel-less, but not annoying!)

The miscellaneous things that get put away in awkward or difficult places - done.

The collection of "trinkets" and outgrown toys - gone through and sorted for consignment or kindergarten "treasure box"es (shhhhhh... don't tell my kids!)

The top of the fridge is clean, and the playroom furniture has been re-arranged.

It was a busy, exhausting and WONDERFUL day!

Thank you, God!

(now... I just need about a dozen more of those!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Calling All Prayer Warriors...

There are many prayers on my heart today.

A two year old boy - and his parents. He will undergo surgery today for a recently discovered tumor.

An older gentleman who had emergent surgery yesterday.

A friend who is working through her acceptance of life after a mastectomy.

The children that I know that are continuing their chemotherapy - fighting "stupid cancer".

Another woman receiving chemo for lymphoma.

An elderly man, trying to find his footing, after close to a decade of caring for his wife. She has died, and he is terribly lonely.

A young boy dealing with sensory integration issues.

And I know for all of the prayer needs that are spoken, many, many remain tucked in so deeply we care not to share them. I try to include those people and their requests in my prayers as well. I may not know an issue exists, but that doesn't matter.

God knows. Sometimes they cross my radar, sometimes they don't. They're all on His...

So, today I pray.... join me if you'd like.