Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good friends

I was thinking about how blessed I am to have the friends that I do. Case in point...two of my friends that proceeded to "set me straight" this morning. What would I do without the gutsy people who dare to step into my world and toss some tables??? Hehe!...very thankful! That's why I'm not wanting to let my world get too small. There's so much wisdom available if we fellowship in bigger spaces. Oh Streisand sings, "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world". ;)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Volleyball Music???

the place where we have volleyball league plays music outside for us. the music lately, however, has been...odd. listen to what they pumped out last night... we were...puzzled. haha!

My Dad and My Garden

everyone knows that i love my dad. :) i know i've blogged about him before, but i just have to go on about him again...hehe! i've been working on a 'secret' garden...i.e. a fenced in flower garden. my dad has been a major part of making that happen. haling back to the nature center days, we both love to do things that develop the great outdoors. the other thing about my dad, though, is that i think he likes to surprise me. and, oh my gosh!, he does!! unfortunately for him, it can take me a while to notice his surprise. as such, he has had to become a patient man. haha! a few nights ago, i came home to find my garden glowing!! i ran out there to find that he had put in solar lighting while i was at work! wow! with that light i could also see that he brought an angel statue, a pot of geraniums and this mosquito-killing powder to sprinkle on the dirt!!! he's so sweet! well, yesterday, i came home to find pots and pots of stella de oro day lillies arranged for me to plant on the outside of the fence! goodness, this garden is going to be amazing!!

i love my dad! :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Few of my Favorite Things

every now and then, my "favs" come to mind. being that i enjoy so many things...especially the little things, it's always a miracle if i can narrow it down to 1 or 2 per category. so here goes! :)

red, black
ice-cold, glass bottle of diet coke
ice cream
carmel or butterscotch
'beauty and the beast'
fuzzy navel
red rose
wonder woman, super man
fresh-layed asphalt
brown sugar
microdermabrasion, mud masks
italian food, mexican food
fresh snow
the smell of rhododendrons
'lord of the rings'
sunday naps
sunrise in duluth
theater popcorn
sand in my toes
road trips
'les miserables'
mourning dove calls
niece giggles
dancing when no one is looking
watching boxing
empire waists
movie marathons
working out to great music
sharpened #2 pencils

that's my start...hehe.

One Republic's "Good Life"

i heard this one today. the lyrics are blah-whatever, but i love the rhythm. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mansfield Park

This is for the Jane Austen fans. I LOVE her stories. Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility being my favs. Today, Leanne and I were talking "Austen" and remembered "Mansfield Park". It's quite a heavy story at times but the ending is, as always, so sweet. I think Fannie Price is a wonderful character. Someone on youtube has loaded the entire thing, but the actual movie experience is probably the best. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

On Intimacy with God

I'm obsessed. As a friend wrote in a FB update lately...and I couldn't agree more..."The word "Christian" occurs in the New Testament 3 times and the word "Christianity" exactly zero. The word "disciple", however, is found 263 times. Praying the Bride of Christ will practice discipleship more & more today and in the years to come." The comments that followed pertained to the unbalanced focus of the Christian church on evangelism with the result being very "milky" followers of Christ. Discipleship is a key passion of and women "becoming" as they experience more of God.

Intimacy with God is, of course, the way...yet we do very little to encourage it in each other. Instead, we perpetuate a very intellectual and behavioral discipline. Good to a point, I'd imagine, but not at all speaking to core of what makes us uniquely human. Identity bathed in divine intimacy.

God has been doing so much with me lately in regards to my relationship with God and my character. I, of course, have been fumbling around all over the place because there's nothing ordered and programatic about intimacy...HAHA! Go figure!! But relationship breeds "real"...and real becoming. Out of that intimacy, God and I have been building a vision for who He's made me to be (Thanks, Steph!)...the "why" for the journey He's been challenging me to take.

I would so love to see the body of Christ (His people all over..) live life marked by that embrace...Wow!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

God is so funny sometimes...:)

Yesterday, I left work and after 2 minutes into my drive saw that my engine light was on. My car is pretty young, so I was ticked!! I drove to the place that would take my service warranty, and they set to work on diagnosing the issue. I set to work on adding up charges. Hehe! Well, the rep came in to tell me that my gas cap wasn't on all the way telling my car's computer that there was an evaporation issue. I have no idea how I neglected to properly put on a gas cap...but oh well, because he soon told me that I had 4 days left on a certain warranty and wondered if I wanted them to touch up anything covered by it!!!! Umm...YES! :)

Today, I received a message at work that one of my trees fell into the road by my house...blocking it COMPLETELY!! I raced home to find my dad and neighbors already there! We had it cleared in no time, AND one of my neighbors ending up taking the wood because they needed it for the winter!

I'm just saying...just when we may think we are being burdened or inconvenienced, it might actually be a surprise blessing for you or someone else. Perhaps lightening up??...Ya, that's what this girl is doing. :)

My Jody

I'm "spotlighting" my friend Jody today. :) She started out as a co-worker some years ago but quickly became one of my best friends.

It's kind of funny to think about sometimes because we are on opposite ends of the spectrum circumstantially. She's a wife and mom of a million children (ok, 6...but still a huge number!!) and I'm a single gal. I guess that seems odd to me sometimes because I know so many married women (and single too) that lose their ability to have friendships outside of their "norm". You know what I mean? But, that's not Jody. :) With her, people are just people...not their jobs, not their spouses, not their means...and she celebrates and pursues them as unique individuals. It's a miracle for me when I think about it. If you know me well, you know I can be a bit guarded. Jody just bulldozes through all that, and I find that I trust her because of it. I think she's actually responsible for me being able to be less and less guarded with others too. Wow!

Well, she is the light of my life. We laugh...constantly. I can be completely real with her and fully expect that back. The other day we were talking about something (shooting straight and laughing hysterically) and she said, "We're so real, we're rude!!". Hahahahaha! So true!...and I love it!

Love ya, Lady!

Oh!!...Here's a song for her! She's madly in love with Journey, and I think she actually has a crush on Steve Perry. (I personally think the outfit is...terrifying!) We've done an "air-band" to this before...yikes!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Volleyball Hilarity

tonight was hilarious! volleyball league night. to get the icky stuff out first...i can't stand the red team. i've got no love for them, and i seriously can't wait to beat them someday. ok...on to the the funny stuff. :) for some reason gravity was against me tonight. i was on the ground more than usual. on one dive i actually ended up rolling over, and i had absolutely no clue where 'up' was. one of the other members of my team went for a ball that i also was going for...he totally took me i was flat out on the sand. hahahaha! it was a...sight. i also almost dislocated my shoulder on a spike. gravity was pulling me back down to earth (not hard in my case...hehe), but my arm wanted to hit the ball so badly. yes, my arm did...the rest of me was telling me that it wasn't possible. well, i hit it over, but i think my arm grew 4 inches. oh was a weird, but really bizarre. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bring on the Wonder

A new one by Sarah McLachlan...LOVE it!

Mommie Dearest...Ick!

OH...MY....GOSH!!! I saw this movie in the 80's and was scared out of my head. It's a story of what growing up with actress Joan Crawford as a mother was like. Creeeeeeepy!!

Mommie Dearest

Secret Garden: Phase 2

I'm in heaven!!! I was able to steal some time to work in my secret garden today (see link below for the intro). Because of the end-of-school craziness, I haven't been able to do much more. Today, though, I was a maniac!!! I weeded the thing, marked out the paths, trimmed back branches, dug the post holes for a meditation station and a bird feeder (and sunk/packed the items in place), and planted a few perenials. I'm exhausted but also invigorated ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!! I could almost go back out...but the mosquitos are also excited that I'm out there... :)

Original Post

O Mio Babbino Caro

i heard this song at a recital. once i knew it existed, i had to find it...performed by a professional. so far, angela gheorghiu is my favorite. i believe the song is a plea to a father to allow the daughter to marry.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vanguard Show

I'm a documentary junkie. I love stories about real people, places, events... I stumbled across this series on a while ago. Some of the episodes are clearly biased, but I always find them interesting. FYI: some of these are pretty sad...what life can be like around the world. I think it's so good to be exposed to it though.

Vanguard: Global News Now

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh, the Irony

I would say that if you've known me for a long time you are aware that fear used to be a very big deal in my life. It pretty much owned me as a child and young adult. God, in His goodness, plotted out a course for my freedom, and I eventually joined in. Today, I find myself far more courageous. It's not that I don't experience fear clarify things...but what is profoundly different is my agreement with fear as the determiner of my reality. I am much stronger and productive in disagreeing with it. How powerfully our agreements and disagreements play out in our lives!! Man, that applies to sooooooooooooo much...our beliefs about God, ourselves, others, circumstances, and on and on and on...

So, here's the strange situation I found myself in before my nieces left for their mission trip to Ethiopia. The irony is unbelievable. My two older nieces, "H" and "S", became increasingly fearful in the days before their departure. I was so happy that they felt free to run over and process things with me...being alone with fear is a terrible thing. Well, oddly, as they described the things (some realistic, some not) they were afraid of, I found myself also experiencing fear. Inside, I was thinking, "Well, ya! Totally good point! I'm afraid of that for you too!!". Everything in me was wanting to tell them that it was ridiculous to go. Enter my conviction...I certainly don't want any of my kiddos to be ruled by fear, but I also don't want to simply invalidate what seems "real" at the moment. Enter my quandary...My job???...try to help them move through their fear to a place of chosing trust and courage regardless of circumstances...while wrestling with my own fears for them at the same time. sucks sometimes!!! ;)

Well, God is so good. One of them actually disagreed with all of the fear and moved to a place of anticipating God's miracles. She really grabbed onto God and let Him help her set aside the irrational and make peace with the rational. Totally amazing!! The other one wasn't able to totally reach the point of peace, but she decided that she was unwilling to miss the opportunity just because of her fears. Wow!!!

As for me...haha...I was so blessed to watch them wrestle with it rather than wear it. I was unable to do so at their ages. I was so amazed at the ways they reached out for God. They actually inspired me to do the same even though they never knew I was scared for them. It allowed my 'see you soon' to be from a place of deep love with an understanding that we will be together again (regardless of when that day will be) rather than a terror that "this was it". My worries for them as each day passes??...just keep me praying for them. Ha! victory for fear today!

Clock Link!!!

My friend Martha is awesome!!! She sent me a link to a clock museum that she toured once. I'm sooooooo going!! Thanks, Martha!

Bily Clocks

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Former Kiddo...Fun Music

I'm sure I've talked about Austin before. He's a former student of mine. One of his songs just played on my ipod, so I thought I should put it out there again. :) This is 'Swimming with Dolphins' performing 'Up in the Starts'. I love what he does at the end (around 3:30)...creative one. "Jump around" style. :)

Soak Up the Sun

Monday, June 14, 2010

Full Circle Moment

I don't know if I've written about this before...and because it involves other people that I care about, I won't go into too much detail...but God gave me a "full circle" moment tonight. :) When I was young, I ended up in a dangerous situation with a friend of mine and her family. Very sad. Very, very scary. Somehow, my friend got the two of us out, and we ran as fast as we could to a nearby house. We pounded and pounded on the door, and the owner finally answered.. The man who owned the house happened to be a police officer. He immediately called other officers to the other house and kept us with him until things were resolved. Saved us actually. Well, I ran into him tonight after all those years...and after much pacing, I was able to have the opportunity to thank him. :)

I call that a 'full circle' moment because I think that God allows us to have opportunities where we can "close the book" on journies we've had to and through tough experiences. Gratitude, as it turns out, makes a wonderful last chapter.

Ummm...and for my friend, just in case she ever reads my weird ramblings...You were the hero that night, Lady. Just wanted you to know that I've always thought so...

No "Shame-Based"

competition is not the place for shame-based people. the intensity of a game, the drive to improve, the frustration on mistakes...has nothing to do with personal value. it has to do with playing a game.

i just had to get that out... ;)

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today's the big day for Daddio! What a great man! I love him so much! :)

New "Life List" Item

I'm adding to my "Life List"...I want to be standing in a clock store when all the clocks ding to 12noon. That just seems a bit amazing. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Great Quote

"It is God's greatest pleasure to reveal Himself to the human spirit."

Grad Party Madness

It's that time of year...Graduation parties! Apparently this doesn't happen all over the US, but it does where I live. Huge 'open house' parties...tons of food...tons of people...all for the high school graduate. I do enjoy some aspects of these occasions. I actually run into some people that I haven't seen in forever and so enjoy catching up. The free food is awesome too! :) There is, however, the glitch of running into people that I'd prefer not to see...well, ever again!! So...plaster on the fake smile and grab another piece of cake!!! Haha!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


i just said 'goodbye' to three of my nieces...they are leaving for a mission trip to ethiopia. man, oh man...letting loved ones go on their adventures is extremely hard. it's a mix of emotions actually...excitement for their journey, fear for all of their challenges, grief for their absence, hope that god brings them back to me... 

i'm locking myself in my house for...a least.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tres Leches Cake

I went to Cafe Latte yesterday with a college friend. I used to go to this great little piece of heaven when I was in college, so it was fun to return. One thing that hasn't changed...the desserts are still incredible. In fact, if you are ever in the Twin Cities, it's absolutely worth it to go. Yesterday, I tried my first Tres Leches cake...that would be cake that's been soaked in cream. The one on the website is covered in whipped cream, but the one I tried had a thick fudge icing garnished with raspberries. OH...MY...GOSH! It was a spiritual experience... :)

Cafe Latte

Pocket Your Dollars

I went to a class last night regarding ways to save money in a monthly budget. Coupons were a major point of discussion...using them wisely and with compounding effects. I thought I should post the website in case I haven't before. For MN residents, you can even click on some of the local stores, and she gives details on great deals. She tells you which newspaper insert (from the Star Tribune - Sunday edition) to find the coupons., there are so many ways to chop budgets back!! :)

Pocket Your Dollars

Getting the Giggles

I was sitting in a class last night...really great info on ways to save money within a monthly budget...well, there was a lady who kept answering her cell phone during the class. That would be answering...and talking...while the class was going on. I was so shocked that I kept getting the giggles. It's a problem I have. *sigh* Gosh, I get them just thinking about it. :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Be Thou My Vision

Struggling People

well, today was a tough one. it was one of those days where you find out that a lot of people you love are struggling with god-sized problems. of course, those struggles are pretty much solvable only by prayer...which i can do...but i always feel like there must be something more that i should be doing. very frustrating. to prayer.

Bad Dream

not a clarify. a "bad" dream to me is actually a wonderful dream if only it were humanly possible. it's the realization that it would never happen that makes it...well..."bad". so there it is. i had one of those. made me nauseous.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Great Speech

this is a clip from the movie 'contact', a story about alien life. the speech, though, is such a powerful that actually describes what i think about god. how funny...oh well! :)

Crazy Drummer

it's difficult to know what to say here...umm, maybe just watch. ;)

Crazy Drummer

Friday, June 4, 2010


Up late again...prepping for graduation tomorrow. Can I just say one thing?...I love these ceremonies. Why?...I think CCS does a great job of celebrating kids. By "celebrating" I don't mean a warm, fuzzy self-esteem rub. Barf...sometimes that self-esteem junk is so external. What I mean is that we really do a great job of affirming the innate value of our kiddos...yes, in the victories but even in the midst of mistakes and challenge. Even in the low spots, there's a ton to be hopeful over. So we encourage and we kick...hahaha...we send them off into life with an assumption that they are here for "such a time as this". Love it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What "religion" means...

On the side of my blog...the "About Me" section...I refer to the decision to give up on religion. Every now and then I get a question about that. People asking if that means I'm an atheist. Because of that, I thought I should clarify how I'm using the word "religion" there.

One definition of "religion" refers to a system of beliefs pertaining to a god or gods with their accompanying traditions and rituals. These, of course, include the major world religions of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. While a true use of the word, this is not the definition that I am referring to. I still own my Christian faith.

Another definition of "religion"...the one that I am talking about...refers to the tendency to make rules, duties and right thinking the substance of a quality faith. People do, do, do to earn the favor of their god and/or obtain a higher standing in their system or in their own eyes. Spiritual life and identity is drawn from the doing. What accompanies this, though, is that the god in question tends to be framed as a distant figure who should be feared. That fear permits people to judge each other in ways we were not intended. It also traps people into a life of shame. An example would be the Pharisees described in the New Testament of the Bible.

I departed from that type of religion some years ago. It wasn't that I wanted to live an immoral life...not the case at all! I simply began to see that there was something truer than all the "do's" and "don'ts". There was an intimacy that permeated everything around me...a divine intimacy...and my heart longed to receive life from that at the core. All of the beauty in the world screamed it was true. All of the miracles of science. All of the goodness in humanity. There had to be something deeper than "doing". Every day since I have found it to be true and wonderful. There is a God that pursues the human heart out of desperate love, and it is out of that embrace that living better can flow. It's no longer striving to "do the right thing". Instead, it's enjoying a relationship with God that is potentially so full of life from Him that it overflows onto everything...even "doing". There is delight and joy and beauty flowing straight out of God's heart that unlocks our identity and destiny to become...

So, that's what I mean by parting from religion. Jesus called the pharisees "white-washed tombs"...looks good on the outside but still dead inside. I think a faith of "rules only" does that to people, and it's so sad. But there's so much more. I know it's true from stories like John the Beloved who leaned back against Christ and heard his heart beating. That's the reality I want. And while I'm not 100% there...I'm enjoying the journey.