Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rest In Peace

Our church just heard of a great loss. One of our community members passed away in the night. He'd been battling cancer for such a long time.

Let me take a moment to tell you about this man. I was so fortunate to know him and to be able to call him a friend! My 70-something friend! The spice of life.

I first met him when Dad and I started working on the Nature Center at church. We had all these grand notions of trails, ponds, gardens, Stations of the Cross, prayer cabins, a prayer chapel...two visionaries with little muscle or know-how. ;) Duane found out about our ideas and came to help...with his 4-wheeler and tractor!! It was a match made in heaven! We literally spent years out there!

Not only did he faithfully serve, he had a quirky sense of humor! He always had a joke. It was always a delight to be playing in the dirt. :)

What I also loved about Duane was that he was my Dad's friend. When you work in ministry, it can be difficult to find people who will let a pastor be a person too. Far too many can get so petty and immature. (Don't get me started!) Not Duane. My Dad, who loves to build, found a friend who loved to play in the mud. They would regularly "go out and play". They were each other's sidekicks.

Some months ago Duane mailed me a letter...even though we saw each other cute. He told me about what God was sharing with him at that time and the peace he was finding. He followed that with some great encouragements for me. He was a darling. A gift. I'm better because of his friendship.

I'm going to miss him SO MUCH!!

Sweet dreams, Duane! See you in a twinkle!

Monday, December 19, 2011

When Disappointment Strikes

Ugh. Facing some disappointment. You know...those situations where you wish or hope and then nothing happens, you lose someone or something special, someone doesn't come goes on and on and on.

Trying to remember two things:
1. Don't sacrifice hope to bitterness. Have to remind myself of that a lot.
2. Pray "shalom". It's the word for peace in the Bible...but God's peace is so much bigger than our sense of harmony. It actually means "wholeness, completeness"...that's mind, body, heart agreement with the realities of heaven. I'll take some of that!!!

Man, Woman, Wild

I started watching this show on Netflix called "Man, Woman, Wild". It's about a couple that gets dropped off in terrible conditions to figure out how to survive for 4 days. The hubby is a former Special Ops guy. The wife is...a normal person. Oh my gosh...I have to laugh out loud sometimes because I'd be exactly like her!!

"Drink your pee??? I'm not drinking that!!"

So funny!

Interesting too!...I'm learning a ton! Considering my propensity to get into ridiculous situations, it's probably a good investment of my time. ;)

One Day More

Yep, more Les Mis!!!

Loving Church

I'm telling you...I really love church! I never thought I'd say such a thing, but it's true!! It's only been in the past few years that I've become convinced how critical community fellowship is to growth/maturing/becoming. Critical and now a total delight.

And I know that God is moving in the "church" all over the place, so this isn't to elevate the church I go to above others. That said...let me go on and on and on about it... ;)

1. I love that my church releases people into their particular giftings. Every human has a "magic" and a "message" that has to be released for the benefit of all. The individual needs the body, and the body needs the individual. 2. I love that there is a balance of love's grace and love's challenge too. Inspiration and accountability. 3. Community Education!! church invests in all ages! My favorite is the adult program (just 'cause I like to get away from the kiddos when I can...hehe), and in those smaller group settings people are growing in heart/mind as well as relationships! So valuable! 4. I love that my church doesn't exist to serve itself!!! Loving beyond borders...bringing love all over the place! Whether that's mission work, community service or just plain being a good human to's nice to be encouraged to live bigger.

So, I love it. I look forward to it all week and miss it as soon as it's done.

If you don't have a home community, come on over! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Black Talk

It is seriously SO WEIRD how some "white" people talk about "black" people. So bizarre. I don't get a sense that it's a prejudice/racist thing. There's definitely an assumed value. Maybe it's more of a small town or limited exposure thing??? They talk about "them" like the color of their skin makes them an entirely different kind of human. Enough of a novelty that you'd think they'd want someone on display. Oh, they say such stupid things. I shudder to think how someone with that beautiful skin would feel being the spectacle of the moment. Not too good, I'm thinking.

Break In Sight

I can't even begin to describe how excited I am for Christmas vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!! The month or so before is one of the times I am SUPER aware of the fact that I work an over-time position at my job. With that comes an added awareness of the things that drive me crazy.

Constant "deep breaths" to keep myself from going off like a rock star....Siggggghhhhhhhh ;) these last days...

* Here's to hoping teachers are professional and don't shirk duties and commitments so that I have to do last-minute bailouts.

* Here's to parents not blaming EVERYONE ELSE for their child's struggles and actually holding them accountable so they can mature and grow.

* Here's to teenagers keeping the "crazy" restrained until their final ride home on the last day of school. NO DRAMA!!!! (Ya, that might be asking a bit too much...)

* Here's to NOT TOO MANY gifts of sweets to the Staff Lounge for which it is totally impossible to refrain from consumption.

But mostly...

**** Here's to a week-and-a-half of rest, family, food and fellowship...AND...remembering what the little baby grew up to do for all of mankind!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Great Man!

I just have to post about this man. I absolutely love anything he writes!! Turns out he also has a blog!

Bob Goff's Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Proper Communication

One of the greatest "helps" a person can provide in any cooperative setting is upholding appropriate chains of communication. People don't realize how much they contribute to conflict or miscommunication by not requiring people to talk to the person responsible for or directly involved in the situation. I'm sure they think they are "helping" by stepping in themselves (although, boy, some are just trying to be the "savior"), but I'd say that it solves nothing and, in fact, increases the drama about 90% of the time.

What a waste of time!

It's one of my biggest pet peeves actually. Can you tell? Hehe. ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Immigration Thinkings

It's not new news that I'm conservative-leaning when it comes to politics. A registered Repub actually...haha! Of course, I have some differing opinions than many of my "kind", and I know that's true within any group. Some differences, though, have me really thinking. Feeling a bit sad actually. I can't get past how some of the communication of opinion seems so absent of heart.

Lately, I've been thinking about illegal immigration.

No, I'm not saying we should fling the doors wide open. That's not appropriate. The slamming of all doors seems wrong too, though...and I wonder where the balance is. Americans have a ton of rights, but I don't think those should exclude the human right to compassion. Mercy and generosity have been American values too...but we forget that so quickly...

My sadness is that I hear some people talk about Mexicans (and other Central/South Americans) with such disdain...blaming them for all kinds of problems for which the average "real" American is equally responsible. The more I hear their particular "arguments", the more I hear things that seem almost prejudiced. (I wish some knew how they sounded.) I shudder at the fear-laced hatred for the expression of other traditions and cultures. It's not a far leap from the "woe" of the Mexican parade to the breeding of disrespect for people like my nephews and nieces who have beautiful brown skin and actually celebrate their varied cultural backgrounds. AND I CELEBRATE THEM TOO!

Some can argue wonderfully their particular anti-illegal stance with great respect and intelligence. Some...just absolutely can't.

I think I'm somewhere in the middle on the subject...but I'm no where near any position that resembles coldness...nope...not gonna happen.



Someone keeps giving my cell number to my students...who think they can text me at any hour whenever they have a homework question. What the???


Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Member of the Board

Yep...I've joined my first Board. :) It's for a newly formed non-profit organization that is seeking to house homeless upper teens and young adults in the East Central area. In addition to shelter, they'll offer life skill training and career guidance...oh, and food!! They are in their infancy organizationally (maybe pre-birth), but exciting things are on the horizon!!!

And here's where I appreciate my experiences with other Boards...I'm going to be a Board member that respects vision over other things. Not an owner of the mission...a servant. No appearance-orientation for this chica. No money-drive for decision-making. I'm going to be a lady that means what she dishonesty, no two-facing. I'm going to listen. And...I'm going to understand personally what the in's and out's are really like. Yep...that's the plan!!

Here's to "Brighter Future For Youth"!!! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Favorite Carol Ever

...and sung by a fantastic voice. :)

Man In The Mirror

Hands down...Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" remains one of my favorite life songs. good.

The Question of Conviction

I've been thinking about conviction again. It seems to be born out of different things. First thought elicits two points of origin.

* Inspiration

* Reaction

I guess I'm feeling a bit driven to make sure that my beliefs about things come from the former instead of the latter.

Reaction, if not measured against inspiration, can birth dangerous convictions. Not dangerous in terms of being edgy or new...but dangerous in terms of being misleading or distracting. Reaction-born conviction sways past the point of balance to the extremes that the pendulum can swing. It limits itself the moment it is birthed. And, I'm realizing, it just trades one tight fist for another...

Inspiration is another thing entirely...and it's what I'm considering...


Worldwide Version - How Great Is Our God

What a great song! I love when artists blend's a great picture of all of God's children. Not just Americans as it turns out... ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day. The issue is close to my heart, so I want to take the opportunity to mention that humanity of all shapes and sizes is immensely precious. The suffering that this disease inflicts on the untreated is beyond tragic...and the people that are left behind are often forgotten. Don't be one of those who shuns or forgets. Be a world changer. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scientific Treatment

So...I'm actually balanced on this topic. Shocking, I know. Right. Smack. In the middle.

Medical Treatment. Traditional vs. Homeopathic/Alternative.

But that's also exactly my point...I feel I need to be balanced on this. God has given us incredible doctors and chemical scientists...amazing strategies, techniques and technologies for cures and rehabilitation. He has also given us an amazing creation loaded with substances that can aid in healing. Both are valuable and can serve each other. A blend of me-treatment and they-treatment.

But...I get nervous when people get wayyyyy too into the alternative stuff. Believing every fad or whim. Taking one person's word without scientific study. No controlled experimentation coupled with well-analyzed data. Procedures or substances that offer a "treats all that ills" guarantee or promise ends that aren't logical and/or humanly possible.

Seriously, why would a pill of crushed up black flies treat my bladder infection? (actually heard this remedy prescribed to a friend) If you can tell me that there's a chemical in those crispy mini-carcasses that increases the acidity or something so that the bacteria die, fine!...but show me the data. (Although, I'm thinking I'd try anything else before that. Eww.) Why does electrical shock therapy make viruses and bacteria disappear? Seriously, a particular frequency for a particular illness? I know our bodies are electrical machines, but is there scientific data on that? Please show me!

I worry because I have a couple of people in my life that I think are suffering MORE because of an inbalanced dedication to alternative medicine. I understand the desperation to find a treatment. I also understand the burden of expense. But...not all that glitters is gold. It can actually be fluff...or poison.

Balance. Balance. Balance.

Christmas Tea

I'm so excited! I get to go to Maywood Covenant Church in Foley this weekend to speak at a Christmas Tea! Even better???...I get to see Michelle again! She was my most awesome Spanish teacher in high school. :)


Why, oh why!!

As a teacher, I long for the moment when a person enters the stage of ownership. It's when he or she doesn't simply think/believe/act based on what mom/dad say or what's popular or socially acceptable or politically correct. It's when he or she "owns" their intelligence and conviction...and thinks for themselves. I live for those moments.

The hitch for some, though, is pride.

When I was younger (and when I hit this stage), I was sure I knew everything. In fact, with a sliver of an experience or even just an observation, I was a self-declared expert on how others were doing things wrong. I knew how parents should parent, how bosses should boss, how religious people should went on and on. Based...sigh...on very little. Granted, sometimes my observations or revelations were legitimate, forming some impressions and convictions...but how it made me the expert???...ugh...and how it made me qualified to tell others how to live their lives???...ugh x2. Looking back...Embarrassing.

Obviously, with a few decades under my belt, I have areas in which I have incurred some wisdom...experiences, wins/losses, mistakes/rewards, lessons...and I can offer that to be helpful. Because of my pride struggle, though, I still work hard to make sure I'm "teachable" (desire it more and more actually and that's awesome!), so that I can continue to learn and improve any wisdom I currently have AND gain more and more new wisdom too.

So, here I am in a predicament. What happens when you see someone in that ownership stage who is primed and ready to pull the "expert" card, knowing full-well that a lot of people will undoubtedly be alienated? Ugh. Best of intentions maybe...but...sigh... The strategic part of me is calculating the consequences...

And how fitting...the Ransomed Heart devo of the day...

We Need Wisdom

When the apostles needed the help of some good men to shepherd the exploding new church, they chose men "full of the Spirit and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). The two go together; we need them both. We need to walk by the inspiration of the Spirit, and we need wisdom as well. Wisdom and Revelation. Early on in our journey, I think we should lean more into wisdom. It takes time to learn to walk with God in a deeply intimate way, and many challenges face us before we are accustomed to the way of the heart. We must practice our chords; we must do our drills.

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair - every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
Proverbs 1:32-33; 2:9-11

We seek wisdom because the trail is narrow and hard to find. It is a cruel thing to tell someone to follow their dreams without also warning them what hell will come against them.

(Waking The Dead , 98, 99)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mr. Know It All

So much to say...but why look backwards? Good job, Kelly! Good advice all around!...DON'T ASSUME! ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Rest


Well...hehe...I am, apparently, long-winded. I just returned from Sermon Prep meeting and was told that my latest teaching went 45 minutes!!!! Uh-oh! Hopefully, I didn't have too many snorers... ;)


One of the things I pay attention to when I think about my "thinkings" is the moment I am unwilling to think differently. The resistance causes me "pause". Some of the hesitancies, when I stop to consider, are because of belief...a particular conviction. After some thought, I chose to continue in that conviction or I alter it. Other times, my resistance alerts me to an unnecessary defense of self or choices...the kind that keeps me comfortable in not changing. Those are the ones that catch me off guard and actually bother me. A convenient trap.

Standing up for things is way different than defending unhealthiness...hopefully we don't find ourselves in that place of unwillness to consider...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Go with What You Know

I think I sometimes just have to go with what I know. I get myself into some discussions sometimes that apparently make some people feel uncomfortable. They have to work out my brain so they can feel better about theirs. Awkward. The thing opinions on some of those matters have come from some pretty special experiences. Not just random "thinkings"...experiences. Not just "bullet points"...experiences. So the tension between making others happy or standing (maybe alone) in what I feel...well, it has to be faced. And continuing in's ok.

Beautiful Outlaw

Here's John Eldredge's livestream talk about his new book about Jesus. I'm so excited to read it!

Beautiful Outlaw

Saturday, November 12, 2011

When You Can't Find Home

The past few weeks have been...trying. Several friends have been suffering or experiencing crisis. I continue to have weird job issues. My house needed some major work, reminding me all over again that I'm basically poor with no hope of things changing in the near future. Some people have been spinning the drama. It's been a challenge. Ugh.

I think one of the tricky parts to this was that I couldn't really do anything to change any of it. All of my typical strategizing techniques weren't helpful for these situations. And some of them pulled on my heart MAJORLY. Seeing one of my best heart-friends suffer was unfathomably horrid. (She's better now...thank you, God!) So, you know...basically, my heart was in a vice-grip.

While it was a particular focus to try to maintain integrity (something I sometimes give up when the going gets tough), I have to say that it was very difficult to find "home"...a place of wide-open spaces to express my sorrows and frustrations. Some of my close friends were the ones clearly I wouldn't add to that. Some were surprisingly closed or occupied with other things.

It made a girl feel pretty lonely.

BUT...God really helped me!! While it's a real gift to have people who help hold our hearts, I was reminded again that He is the source of "home". He is the wide open spaces. When people can't be there, He is! He gives us Himself before all things.

So...on the mend...with Him. There's no place like Home. ;)

World Vision Challenge

It's not new news that I'm a fan of the World Vision gift catalog for the holiday season. There are so many ways to help those in need instead of sinking into the materialistic "grabbing" that can be typical of the festivities. So...I pitched the idea to my classes. I asked specifically if they would want to come up with some money to help girls being rescued from the sex trade in Thailand. So far we are up to 12 kids!!! I'm so proud of my kiddos!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The World of Estimates

So frustrating. I'm used to the process of "evaluate, estimate, communicate" when it comes to the professional world. I don't know if it's miscommunication or what...but...ugh. Well, it's a good thing that God is bigger than my mountains. Sigh. Note to self: be more forceful on the front end.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Getting ready for a sermon tomorrow. Living a Life of Legacy. Should be fun! :)

Without You

I find it so interesting when a secular song actually becomes a worship song for me. I've been singing this to God lately.

And side FYI...I'd love to go to a David Guetta concert some day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It abso-freaking-lutely drives me crazy when people take stuff off MY plate. Puts me through the roof...

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Just call me the Teen Relationship Counsellor.


Is there pay for this?

(Need drink or vacation...)

How Tricky

Complicated. Situations where you know there's no winning no matter how "perfect" the approach. Anger for confrontation and anger for no confrontation at the same time. What to do...

Well, the good news...but sad that nothing would have or could have made things better. When dysfunction is the name of the game, the expectations have to be pretty low. And that expectation???...time and messy.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Power of Acknowledgement

Something really simple, but amazingly powerful.


I was thinking about how the storms of life...the challenges, the chanages, the losses, the offenses...can make someone feel completely alone. For all kinds of reasons the securities that normally keep us afloat seem to crumble, and we feel adrift in an ocean of trouble. So defeating. So demoralizing. So lonely.

Well, today, I noticed something...when people take a moment to "see" the suffering of another, they throw an individual a lifeline. When we say in word and deed that we see their pain and sorrow, we give them strength to face another moment.

There's no pressure to understand diagnose and fix. It's simple acknowledgement. It's simply telling them that you know they are here...and that matters.

November Challenge...Eating!

Well, my November challenge looms! My month of no spending (OK...emergencies, gasoline...exceptions). The biggest challenge, believe it or not, is cooking from scratch. Don't get me's not a challenge in the negative sense. I actually look forward to it. It's just something that takes a bit more time and thought. Just in time, one of my favorite "food" bloggers released a series of postings about cooking from scratch. It began with the essentials and has moved into a variety of "how to's". Much fun!'s to an exciting challenge!

Stocking Pantry with Flours

Stocking Pantry with Sweeteners

Stocking Pantry Essentials

Stocking Pantry with Spices

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Holiday Giving

Our family changed how we give gifts for Christmas. Many years ago, we decided to give smaller gifts to the little kiddos and take the money for other gifts to pool for donations to various charitable organizations. It's been SO amazing to see the young ones invest in others and actually see them "change the world" chicken, one goat, one small business loan at a time. :)
World Vision Gift Catalog

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sing-along Time!!

Yep...someday I'm just going to break out into song. LOVE it! ;)

Don't Stir Your Own Pot

When you stand in fear...when you let yourself be driven by stir your own pot. Why make things worse? Release love into your reality. With it comes wisdom and peace. A far better answer. :)

The Wound Cycle

In my high school Health class we've been talking about some of the reasons why we make unhealthy choices. There's definitely a variety. One of the topics we discussed this week was the Wound Cycle. It reveals how some of the unhealed cracks to our hearts can ignite reactionary beliefs and subsequent behaviors in an attempt to protect ourselves. Certainly, wisdom from tough experiences is a good thing, but in an unhealthy way and left unchecked, the festering wound can initiate a cycle that continues with reinforcements to old wounds and inflictions of new ones. We essentially become victims of our own choices.

Wound inficted...Changed belief (or reinforced wrong belief)...Choices...Actions...REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT...

Interestingly, I've found that this cycle applies to a lot of situations. The wounds don't always have to be what we would often deem "serious"...along the lines of abuse. And the behaviors from them don't always have to be "extreme" self-deprecating sexual behavior. We can see the Wound Cycle show up in our reactions to offense or rejection, revealing themselves in permitted selfishness, bitterness, withdrawal... It goes on and on and on...

This is why God's invitations to healing are such a blessing! He doesn't intend for us to survive our pasts as victims!! He makes a way for healing to happen so we can LIVE and THRIVE. Certainly, healing hurts. :( But, the wholeness is worth it...the restoration, the completion, the fellowship..

So...when a Wound Cycle reveals itself, maybe it's an opportunity for blessing... We are all definitely worth it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Glitter-Sparkle God?

I just don't get it. It seems like a segment of the "warm-fuzzy" generation has permitted themselves a re-write of God's personality. He's the Glitter-Sparkle God now. You know...the one that only does what YOU want because YOUR will must look exactly like His! He never permits anything outside of what YOU want or would do...simply because you've decided so. He would never expect more than what's good for YOU.


While I believe that God is good and that His heart is good towards me, I won't ever decide that His reality is limited to mine. In fact, I won't apply my humanity to Him. I'm His reflection...not the other way around. He's beyond me. He calls me in His direction. His perspective is bigger. His ways are better. His plans include me but are beyond "just" me. And...His plans might not include enormous wealth, longevity, perfect health and the picket fence.

I get worried that we've hit the ditch sometimes...and wonder why we must have some of the beliefs we apparently need to have about God...and wonder what the consequences are for a journey in those directions.

As Brennan Manning says in 'Ruthless Trust'...God is BOTH immanent (so close, so relational) AND transcendent (so holy, so glorious, so beyond). As such, we know great love (the kind that says we are held close to His heart) and humility (the kind that says He leads, He sees, He knows...and we serve...come what may).

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Interesting little thing... I was sitting in Growth Groups (Adult Sunday School at my church) today and was reminded of something God said to me when I was driving. (Always watch when He has you all to himself in the comfort of your own vehicle...HAHA!) It's so easy to take the pain we've experienced and use it as a launching pad for some pretty sad things in our lives. We can grab hold of bitterness and let it take root. Honestly, it's amazing how "comforting" that bitterness can be. It makes us feel like we are standing up for ourselves, protecting the cause...a whole host of "good" reasons. What He reminded me of was this..."Bitterness isn't accountability." Holding that grudge to make a statement in defense of self only feeds a that assaults the heart of the bearer.

There's a better way...

My Hannah and Justin

Confidential there won't be details. BUT...I will say this...I was involved in a dangerous situation today. Again, tons of people came out of the woodworks to help. In the chaos my niece and nephew, who are INCREDIBLY hard workers, ended up in a corner of sorts with me. In the blink of an eye we were in some trouble, and for a split second I thought we were REALLY in some trouble. Ran like #?>$ and got out just fine. A little shaken. A little rough around the edges. But...good!!!

Without a doubt I have to say...there are no others with whom I'd rather stare down a storm than my Hannah and Justin. My Super Heroes!! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Take Your Anxiety Med-"itation"

I don't know about you, but when I'm working with someone who is having a fear-driven moment, I completely understand. Those who know me well know that I was a seriously fearful child. Part of my "unveiling" has been a beautiful gift (and tough journey) out of that and into a place of hope. I definitely still battle it from time to time...but the point is this...I battle it. I'm less and less a captive to its power all the time.

But I know the inner terror.

The kind you can't shake.

And it gives me great empathy for someone who's in its grip. Anxiety Med...well, Meditation. ;)

Ok now, some people get a little too freaked out when the word "meditation" comes up. This is not a meditation that makes you "one" with a cotton ball or full of empty space or hot air and all that. This is a meditation that realigns a tormented heart/mind with the One that ultimately holds it in His hands. The slow repitition is calming while the words and visualization offer a proper reality for the moment. Brennan Manning, a sweet, old soul and author of many books, spoke about this type of meditation, and I've found it to be quite a powerful gift in my journey out of fear.

It's simply this.

"Abba (on the inhale), I belong to You (on the exhale)."

"Abba" is the word Jesus uses for Father-God. It literally means "Daddy". What a "near" picture of our good Father! It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah that says that God holds His lambs close to His heart. Oh, to hear His heartbeat! The awesome thing is that through Jesus' work on the cross and further explanation in Romans, He calls us to live as God's children once again and also call the Father "Abba". He's...Your...Daddy! ;)

"I belong to You." is a phrase that places us in proper position. While the storm rages, we can settle ourselves into His arms and remind ourselves that we are His. He's bigger. He's more powerful. We can give ourselves and our situations to Him. Simple but powerful words.

Sitting still (and if you want to fold your legs into a pretzel, have fun! I personally can't get back up from the floor...) and repeating "Abba, I belong to You!" over and over and over AND picturing myself in His arms while His breath blows the storm away...well, it brings me such peace. If even for the's so worth it.

So...I just felt like blogging about that today. Storms are a reality, but our minds can definitely get swept up into them more than is necessary. Our security and sense of self-worth can get too rocked by them. We become victims in the fear game...BUT we have so much more power than we know! That power is demonstrated simply in repositioning ourselves...right into God's care.

Season of Thinking

So...I haven't been blogging much. I've been in "thought" mode. A germ infestation from the kiddos helps matters too. Yep, a "perk" of education. Taking advantage of the down-time, I've been mulling some things over, reading some helpful excerpts from favorite books, and spending time with God. It's been a good time.

One of the most interesting experiences has been a section in Brennan Manning's "Ruthless Trust". I so highly recommend this, by the way. I stumbled on a section that has beckoned to my heart to step up into something more. One awesome 20/20 that my summer of grief is becoming a stepping stone to more of the relationship-generated (with the "With-God") way of life and less of the, often comfortable but very limited, self-generated way of life. Real trust. I'll blog more about that some day, I'm sure, but for's just what's been rolling around in this heart...

Hope you are having a good day! And if not...I'll pray that you'll get a tiny glimpse of the love that surrounds you.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Challenge

I think I'm going to do another "Challenge". Last year I had the goal of not shopping for a whole month. Granted, I allowed certain concessions like gasoline, but for the mostpart nope! shopping. That meant that I made all of my meals from scratch (or things already in my cupboards). It was a fantastic experience. I learned a TON and saved a lot of money. So...thinking about doing it again! I might allow the purchase of fresh fruits and veggies this time. I soooo missed them by the end, and my vitamins couldn't make up for it.

Steal My Joy

I'm in charge of when I'm robbed of my joy. Hmm...guess it's not your fault. ;)

The "Dissing" Distracts here's an interesting twist. I've seen it in a few scenarios now (secular and non-secular alike). The exact opposite result than was intended. It's a move by one individual (or group) to "help" their point by basically bashing the other side. In rallying support they "dis" (disrespect) the opponent. Man, oh it ever backfiring!! The reaction of the rally-targets???...they feel the other is hateful, bitter, insecure or not having a point. Oops!...not what they were going for! Totally counter-productive.

I wish there was a way to tell the "sides" to come up with actual bolstering their position or point. And then to discuss with respect and grace. Sigh.

It's literally everywhere. Get someone talking about immigrants, Muslims, gay people, Christians, atheists, their bosses, their spouses... You don't even know the "why's" for their just now they hate 'em. Frustrating...

So Thick

A lady at church was talking about a situation she is in that is extremely difficult. She referred to the tension as "so thick, you could cut it with a knife". Goodness, that resonated with me because I feel like I'm in one of those. I think I'm more on the periphery...but no one is talking so I really have no idea. Anyway, I absolutely hate situatons like this. Well, I don't when I don't care about the people involved. But when I do?...SUCKS! So now we just tick by the hours waiting for peace, amnesia or a parting. I'm hoping for peace.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Vision that Leads

I've had "vision" on my mind lately. No, not the one related to eyesight. And not the one related to prayer or prophecy. More like the one that guides the actions of an individual or organization. It's the overall purpose from which mission comes. (That said...this might just be interesting to me...hahahaha!)

I have some pretty strong opinions about vision. First, especially in Christian ministry, I believe God gives the vision, and we serve it. I'm VERY cautious about working with/for people who feel they "own" a vision...especially because such a notion can give them permission to change it absent the weight of its seriousness/importance or have that vision serve their ideas/motivatons. No, no, no...we tend it until such a time as God directs us to change it. Second, I wholeheartedly believe that vision is NOT the same as structure. The overall purpose or driving force in a ministry does not mean that certain programs or arrangements are always necessary. Structure can change to better serve vision as resources change, needs change, etc. I've been thinking about it a lot. I guess I've been aware that within a ministry there can be a clash of vision. Well, a clash when the vision hierarchy is out of order...maybe that's a better way of putting it. A ministry likely has an "overarching" vision AND the individual (or smaller group) visions of some of the stakeholders within the ministry. I call those "niche" visions. Those people expressing their particular calling within the ministry is awesome and necessary...but so long as they don't expect the "niche" to become the "overarching". The "niche" should hopefully serve and be an expression of the "overarching".

So when it's time to transition to new leadership with a ministry, I wonder if we have to pause to consider "overarching" vision-bearers vs. "niche" vision-bearers. Who is likely to serve with the broader purpose of the organization in mind? Who more needs to be released in a "niche" calling? And if it's a sea of "niches", who directs/oversees them so they are a harmonious "body" of many parts?

Just has me thinking...interesting stuff for this girl, to be honest. Strategy on the brain...projecting ahead in hopes of success.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Attack

I have to of the most challenging things about working in a job that involves kids and their parents is the "attack". Any teacher or youth worker knows what I'm talking about. It's the moment, for whatever reason, when the parent/guardian treats you as if your heart towards their child is evil. Woo!...that's a hard one for the heart to take...especially when you know that your love for their kiddos is one of your greatest priorities.

Come to think of it...anyone who works with...well, people...knows what this is like. And I guess I understand that accusers generally do this from a place of their own hurt...still, it's hard. Sometimes I want to just ask where all of this assuming comes from...because it doesn't have to automatically be that way with everyone else in the life story...


Great opportunities for God abound.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Food for Thought

My church had a women's retreat this weekend at a fantastic facility in Wisconsin. (Highly recommend Oak Forest Center) We used Beth Moore's "Retreat in a Box", studying the notion of "Loving Well". (Highly recommend this series) There were SO many great concepts to think about. She went straight for the heart. Here's one that struck me...

God didn't make you free just to be free. He set you free so you could love.

I love that. We step into the position of receiving God's love and of course it doesn't stop there. He loves us and we are enabled to powerfully love...

Good to think about.

How much am I willingly receiving His love and then freely offering it to others? Hmm...

Going to the Mattresses

A man was talking about grief today in church. A friend passed away. A good man. A man who actually invested in humanity. The man at church talked about wrestling with God over the matter....choosing to enter into the grief and the mystery.

I find that quite admirable. Someone who is willing to "go to the mattresses" with God...and hold up a broken and confused heart.

It's amazing how some become so threatened by such a notion. Some who think we should never wrestle with Him about anything...either because of an idea of unapproachable holiness or a belief that God isn't responsible in the first place. Some who think that the questioning supposes that God isn't good.


What I heard this morning was a man who wrestled because of the very fact that he DOES believe that God is good. The notion of relationship allowed the bold honesty and the expression of grief. The journey, while perhaps yielding no answers that can soothe the heart, will undoubtedly resolve in an experience of more "presence" and great peace while walking through the mystery.

And I have to admit...

THAT sort of person...who has the courage to go in and come out the other side...becomes someone that I would trust for insight, revelation and challenge when it comes to matters of my heart.

All because of "going to the mattresses" with God.

Side Note: Admittedly, I actually don't think God necessarily directly causes the suffering around us. We live in a broken world with broken people. Earthquakes and car accidents don't need God's manipulation to occur. Although I can see Him doing things that don't make sense in our limitted perspective but for a greater purpose. I'm looking forward to seeing those played out in heaven. Either way, I guess...I do believe that He technically does "allow" things to happen because of His sovereignty. I guess I know that I think that because I have prayed for Him to intervene in some scenarios and have seen it happen. It's the ones that I've prayed for and haven't seen an intervention that have caused my struggles. I have absolutely wrestled with those "why" questions. I have to say, though, that in a similar "entering" as the man in church, I have walked out with that very sense of presence and peace...and humility.

Everyone Needs a "Martha"

So here's the deal...there's a lady in my life that is a blessing. I am absolutely convinced my life would have been seriously deficient for lack of her. She's my Martha. :)

You know what I will always remember about her?

This word.


Live right now. Don't live from then. Don't live for later. Be fully present in this moment.

So often we frame our sense of self and subsequent path of life from the standpoint of what we lack. "I wish I had..." and that therefore means a whole lot about who I'm not, what I'm not, etc. It's not that it's wrong to have desires for change, for new, for more... Nor is it wrong to work towards those things... BUT if those things define, we form wrong self-concepts and make wrong choices...

Martha was married later in life (Later compared to the notion of some that marriage should happen as soon as possible), but she didn't live those single years as a "flawed" lady. She simply lived! She pursued other legitimate passions, went on grand adventures, and was a student of whatever God and her interests brought her way. She lived!

Still does. :)

And I'm privileged to know her story and learn...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Women's Conference

This weekend was the Women's Conference "Become Who You Behold". Rebecca Dezurik Ministries put it on. It was a great time! A great experience!! I would totally do that again! :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ballsy Communication

Ya...after the past few weeks, I'm convinced. It's time for "ballsy" communication.

The truth is that it's not really all that courageous. In reality...our misuse of "relativism" has made us into unfriendly friends. We watch as people we love stand in the burning house of their particular issues...telling other people about what we think about them...but never having the guts to LOVINGLY address it ourselves.

We can't stand the conflict.

And heaven forbid someone get mad at us...because of course the negative feelings we could receive back are totally worse than the person getting swallowed up in their own destruction. (sarcasm absolutely intended).

(And honestly...they do end up hearing about your thoughts on their matter...either from someone else or your own fed-up rage. Umm...that's ridiculous.)

It's inappropriate.

We need to be humble receivers of the concerns of loved ones. Yes, it's possible to absolutely disagree with the critique and still lovingly receive their communication. It's possible to still be friends! Far more open ones.


We need to be humble givers of concern. If we are fully aware of our own struggles...and communicate such...and if we are marked by great love for each other...we can AND SHOULD step into each other's worlds.


And as a person to experience the dysfunctional non-ballsy a perpetrator and a victim...I'm not doing it anymore.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sigh No More

I just love the words...

MY Blog

So...apparently my blog causes a bit of drama from time to time. I guess it's one of the bummers of writing your "life" and thoughts. You get a couple "maybe she's talking about me" readers, and it's downhill from there.

Seriously...umm...I don't blog to send top secret messages. That's...well...weird. My blog is my thoughts...right or not. MY life...right or not. ME. I don't know who all reads it...and those that do?...well, good grief!...I certainly wouldn't send messages in passive-aggressive code.

For a split second I contemplated taking my blog down...but then I realized that'd be a punishment to self based on drama. Nope. Then I thought about making it private and doing that "invite only" thing...but then I realized I'd have to invite (and not invite) people. Let's be honest...that'd crack open a GINORMOUS can of worms that I just plain don't want. Nope. Then I thought I'd change it and only write what never rocks the boat. Holy crap!...that'd be a trip back into a nightmare. NOPE. So then I decided that I'd still keep it open and be as real as I want...and "damn the torpedoes"...

...but say this...

I'm going to say what I want...and I might be inconsistently appropriate...but I'm not using this site for the purpose of "agenda". It's for MY thoughts and MY processing of MY life. So, for those that think it's to be subversive to specific all means...please stop reading! Goodness...I want you to feel better about yourself!

Ok...back to regular programming in my boring life. ;)

Monday, September 5, 2011

I am "Stands with a Fist"

It's true. If you've seen the movie "Dances with Wolves", you know what I'm talking about. When she describes how she was given that name...ya, I felt a twinge of God saying "Umm, that's you." HAHA! I was telling my mom about it, and she said "Well, of course, you are!...You got it from your mother!" HAHAHAHA!

Stands With a Fist: [explaining how she got her name] I worked every day... very hard... there was a woman who didn't like me. She called me bad names... sometimes she beat me. One day she was calling me these bad names, her face in my face, and I hit her. I was not very big, but she fell down. She fell hard and didn't move. I stood over her with my fist and asked if any other woman wanted to call me bad names... No one bothered me after that day.

John Dunbar: [smiles] I wouldn't think so.

The positive is that there is some strength there. The negative...some stubbornness. BUT...that's just determination in the wrong direction. (See, I can spin anything...hehe.)

Ok, then.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It is Well

Misunderstanding Gone INSANE

I'm in one of those moments right now where I literally have no clue what to do. Ever have those? What was supposed to be a open conversation ended in misunderstanding. I didn't know it did. Seriously didn't. I assumed an "agree to disagree"...but, apparently we weren't on the same page. The conclusion wasn't remotely what I was saying. Unfortunately, there's no moving on that. The assumption was made, and there's no hope of getting out of that.

None. Zip. Nada. Nope.

Ugh. It makes me so mad...which, frustratingly, lights off my mouth. I'll leave that one right there...

And then...Ugh. It makes me sad.

I, of course, totally kick myself for engaging in the first place. Well, I wrestle with it anyway. I have trust issues up the wazoo, but I work really hard to not let those rule my reality. I've seen it and I've done it...spun out of control because of the old "grid". Moments like these REALLY push those buttons though. So I grasp around for God's solidity while the tornado flies.

So...we'll see. I'm not hopeful, but I guess I am all the same.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How They See You

What do you do when you can't change how someone sees you? I'm not talking about prideful idiots whose opinions shouldn't really matter. No, I'm referring to people you really, genuinely care for who just can't seem to let you out of the box.

I guess you could...(and I have)...clarify every single thing. Generally...backfire.

I guess you could...(and I can't do this well)...fight back. It makes my heart feel "war" though. Sucks.

I guess you could...(and I REALLY struggle with this)...just trust that things will be alright in the end. Ugh. Not easy for me.

Wake up, sleeper!

Ephesians 5:8-20

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the things that I find interesting about these verses is the punctuation between the two sentences that I've underlined above. That "period" reveals that a person...while positionally "light in the Lord"...can live totally disconnected from that reality. Hence, the "Wake up, Sleeper"... Because of the distinction, I think we need to treat those "punctuation" moments very carefully...for they are moments of invitation into "becoming". Wow...true, real living. Some are delightful discoveries of self and the world through His eyes. Some are challenges to our old ways and patterns. Regardless, all of those moments are encounters with the Father. Holy opportunities...  

Oh, that we'd accept the call...

The Watcher

OK, let's be honest...there are a TON of situations in full spin right now. Stepping back into a world of students, parents and teachers and adding to that the drama in other areas of involvement, I have to say...I'm wondering who will come out as honest, respectful, courageous...and who will come out narcissistic, bitter, small...

I've definitely been mad. Hopefully, He can do His thing. And soon!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not Owning the "Bummer"

I was talking to a friend the other day. She was in a situation where a man told her in essence that it was frustrating that some of his most romantic moments have been with her. Likely not the intention of the conversation, but basically being the "bummer" in the moment...Whoo! Kinda hurtful. Boy, is it hard to not own something like that! Wading through the pain of that...while real and necessary...does not need to define though. It's a powerful opportunity for our inner reality...if we allow affirm identity more than words or circumstances. A tough challenge, but a complete possibility.

So, what do you need to remind yourself of today? Are you walking in the identity of being God's Beloved? You can! Remember...He carries His lambs close to His heart. Precious lamb=YOU!

You Are...Beautiful

Check out these lyrics too...below. :)

How do you do it anyway?
Like there ain't nothing to it
To make me stay

No tricks with smoke and mirrors
Not anything up your sleeve
A second look and it can't be clearer
It's no mystery

It's in the way you love
It's in the little things you say
It's in the way you live
And give your heart away
It's in the chance you took
It's in the way you look at me
That sets you a world apart
And makes you who you are
And you are beautiful
You are

Pressed on my soul
Your fingerprint
Going where no one's ever been
Well, I don't know how
But I know you're in it
My life, my world, my dreams
I try but I just can't pin it
Down to one thing

It's in the way you love
It's in the little things you say
It's in the way you live
And give your heart away
It's in the chance you took
It's in the way you look at me
That sets you a world apart
And makes you who you are
And you are beautiful
You are

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Connected to your Body

I've been thinking about leadership a lot lately. I'm a "Self Smart" person, so I have a natural introspection...prompting me to evaluate my own styles and patterns. I'm a pretty good strategizer too. Combining the two, I often find myself trying to figure out ways to improve myself or situations I'm in. In my involvements in a few arenas, I've been noticing some things about leaders and doing some wonderings about myself in my areas of influence and about the leaders I serve with or under.

And I've noticed something...

A leader is far more the long-run...if they are connected to the "body" they serve. Perhaps...more accurately...if they are perceived as interested in or engaged in the lives of those they lead. Surely, some leaders can swoop in, inspire and swoop out, but the impact isn't necessarily lasting...and it doesn't build community and corporate purpose/mission. What makes "lifers"...those committed to the vision or simple, genuine relationship.

So, I guess I've been evaluating that a bit. Asking myself questions about who/how/what I even know about the people I serve (and how/if the leaders in my life do the same). Granted, we can't always be "best friends"...but are there ways we can show individual investment more?

Hmm...something in that strengthens a position of leadership. I think it provides a solid foundation of confidence in leadership...contributing to trust in times of change or movement.

And lack thereof...well, you know...not so good.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My "Ode" to Amanda

This gal is virtually a miracle worker. Much of that is evidenced in her unfathomable ability to make a wedding happen (wedding coordinator with 3 days notice). The other???...her amazing ability to be treated like absolute crap during the whole process and actually not hurt anyone. HAHAHAHA! Me?...I would have snapped some necks...maybe still will. ;) And this girl???...she never said a word. was plainly observed. I've seriously never felt so badly for someone who is just plain serving out of the kindness of her heart and love for her friends. She is a diamond with a sparkle like no other. What a gift!'s to a fabulous woman! I pray she's blessed a million-fold!!!! Some of which could be genuine apologies too...HAHA!...Just sayin' ;)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

When Leaders Fail

Note: I work (and have worked) with a lot of, church, ministries, and other organizations. I've been one...and am one still in many ways. I've been the one to fall and I've been the one to be fallen on.

That said...

I'm so aware that it's not necessarily a good thing to put a leader on a pedestal. Not that we shouldn't look up to someone or be challenged by them...just not to the degree that we often do. Leaders are "people" too. They aren't as perfect as our expectations often demand. They have fears and insecurities...they fall and fail.

I know some think that they should be held to a higher standard...and I don't disagree. It's just that I believe we ALL should be held to a higher standard. Mutual accountability. That which I expect of my leader, I should expect from myself.

So, I guess the last few weeks have been a bit sad...but maybe appropriate, I taking a leader off a pedestal. Now the journey to expect a higher path and hope for the healing that makes such morality possible...

We all should be people of honor...who don't gossip, disrespect, manipulate, shame...but who instead keep confidences, respect another's humanity and choices, encourage and pray, inspire...

And to call one back...and respond myself to the same beckoning...

It's Not Easy To Be Me

Friday, August 26, 2011

Powerful Words

"It hurts my heart that I must feel badly...for being this moment...with you."


Here we go! Another wedding weekend! AND...I get to have a lot of responsibilities. Sometimes I don't know why I get myself into these things. Let's just say there are some "-zillas" in this deal, but not who you'd think.

On another note...I have to say...while I love celebrating other people's happiness (and actually do love helping them on their special day...minus the obsessive stuff)...I can't wait 'til the day is mine. (Ok, ours.) It gets a little old being the celebrator...a little sad.

But when that day comes???...I'm calling in my cards. HAHA!

See You Soon

Oh, I love you!

What If

Coldplay, again! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


We forget all too often that people are...well, people. They aren't projects, they aren't "means to an end", they aren't conveniences...they are beings. Souls...possessing innate value and substance. The very fingerprints of God. And I guess that should be more of a "weightier" realization than it often is.

I was thinking that it's sometimes too easy for me to get frustrated or overwhelmed by some. I very quickly focus on the struggle or issue and forget...the opportunity to collide with another heart. What a tragedy to miss the impact of humanity!'m going to do more to take ownership of my choice to experience the privilege and the pleasure of knowing another...


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This Year's Love

My bro-in-law introduced me to this song the other night. Very good.

Raise Your Weapon

Another bro-in-law introduction. I kinda like Scrillex...Oops! I mean Deadmau5!! Hahaha...thanks, Dave!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How to Handle the Shame

Have you ever met someone who battles shame? The kind where they live under a self-hatred of sorts. There's a powerful grid through which they see the world, but they also filter the actions/reactions of others through it. Everything is meant to validate the notion that they are flawed or worthless. And most of the time???...truly, no one is thinking so.

I don't know how to approach people that wrestle with this. Even the smallest thing can make them feel terrible. Constructive criticism...means they are not measuring up and are bad people. Unfortunately and largely unknowingly, they tend to try to solve their angst with shame-based communication too. They want to make others feel what they are feeling. It goes on and on...

And I'm without answers.

Maybe it's something they have to just sort out on their own. Allowing space and time might be best. Being patient in the meantime...that's a difficult one for me. It's a good thing there is prayer. :)

Draw Me Close

Friday, August 19, 2011

Turns Out...

...God's a good slow-dancer. Try it some time. :)

Last Lecture

In the Dark

Greg Boyd did a sermon many years ago called "The Dark Night of the Soul". It was about those moments where everything you've known and believed and hoped seems to collapse and fail. The lights go out and we crawl around in despair. Many things are questioned...our reality, our comfort, our securities, our God...

How does someone who loves God dearly move forward when suffocated by so much unsurity? And how does a girl who loves a life full of hope and wonder encourage others to seek the good Father when she does not believe it anymore?

This "Dark Night" is what I'm calling my summer of 2011. Storms that destroy, babies that die, violence, cancer that kills, power-hungry narcissists, loss of relationship, addictions that own, dysfunctions that rob...I've found myself so utterly angry, sad, overwhelmed...and actively engaged in rage against God Himself. Perhaps the thing that rocked my soul the most was that I no longer knew myself. This girl who knew such confidence in the good Father, who could generate hope in tough times, who could curl up in God's lap and find rest, who believed in life with an Eden-heart...just didn't exist. And...she found the dialogue of others pertaining to faith and miracles and hope to be a load of...well, you know.

So I was telling a friend about my struggles, and he wondered if, perhaps, God was maturing me in the midst of the struggles...growing me up to be able to be stronger and more responsible in the storms that come. Oh boy, did I visualize popping his head off like the top of a dandelion! Alas, I did not. ;) Instead, I filed it away...until now...because I had a sneaking suspicion that I needed to revisit it someday with the Father.

Here's where I think he was going before I shut him out. ;) It's not that God is specifically sending these losses...those storms that shake the heart...for the direct purpose of maturing. Goodness, I'm not sure He sends them at all. The broken world might just be responsible. And, it's not that God just sits in heaven expecting us to "grin and bear it". He's the "With" God after all. He desires that we go through life together...Father and Child. What He does want, though, is for His children to possess a strength of character that allows them to depend on Him whatever be joyful in asking for miracles but humble in trusting His presence and provision regardless of reprieve and to be grateful...always grateful.

What I know now is that my grief...while legitimate...was also exposing places where God wanted to go deeper. Places that He desires me to know His presence and love in ways beyond what I experience now. Places that would ground me more solidly in Him...accessing more genuine hope, wonder, intimacy...strength.

What I think is so wonderful...and what I think the core should be in a life with miracles or that a life lived in such a way is purely fed from The Life...intimacy with the Father. THAT'S where a life marked by power, authority and HUMILITY can really come from. A life focused and fed...not by the miracle...but by the miracle-maker. Relationship is the that breeds maturity.

And that's...well, it's the kind of "growing up" that I hope can come from the storms I face. And that's the girl I want to be.

Summer Reflections

OK...if you've read my blog at all this summer, you've known that it's been more a season of challenge than inspiration. Re-reading previous posts, I realized that it's been a tough season. Quite a challenge for this girl that likes to live in wonder... 20/20 hindsight tells me that it's been a journey into more honesty and subsequent intimacy with God, more depth in community...a deepening and a humbling. While I'd never just say, "See, it really wasn't so bad!" or "Now, that was easy!", I think I may be reaching a point of gratitude. I know!!!...I'm shocked too! HAHA! I guess that's how these mountains and valleys can work sometimes.

God cared enough to even give the desert its own rose. What a breathtaking site that must be...

When Kindness Hurts

There are just some people who don't want others to be kind to them. Expressing some care and concern...well, it's almost like it's offensive to them. They project their feelings about their heartache onto you, making you the object of anger. The more you care...the more gasoline you throw on a fire that's set to burn you.

And I have to's a weird feeling. Being the irritant because of attempts to love...

How to respond?

Hard to say.

You could make them less uncomfortable by not caring. I guess you'd save yourself the grief...well, grief of one kind. You could continue, knowing you'll get treated badly...maybe for a good cause? A consequence well worth it? You could grab onto them and hold them...escalate but abbreviate?

Woo! What a tough one.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Song about the Killer

Interesting song I stumbled on. I found it SO catchy, so I decided to "google" the lyrics. I discovered quite the shocker! It's a song about a teen who decides to kill. Similar to Columbine. The lead singer says that he wrote it as a statement on our culture and how much we have lost our connection to family and our ability to love...instead experiencing isolation. He points out that there are consequences for these choices.

I have to's a pretty amazing observation. We can often pursue so much in ambition, entertainment, etc. that we unknowingly sacrifice the things that feed the heart. A person disconnected from heart...that's a lonely place. And living from an empty well???...very sad.


Great article on the multiple intelligences! Read it with your children in mind...also, think about YOU and how you "tick" too! :)

How is Your Child Smart

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Katie's Blog

This gal just keeps on amazing me. She lives a tough life...but an inspirational one.

My Feminist Nightmare

I cringe. Yep, I do. I'm pretty sure that the original Feminists had nothing like the current Pop music presentation of feminine "freedom" in mind when they began the battle for the rights of women. The equal valuing of women. Ugh. I suppose it is true that in this country we have the "right" to be as promiscuous and experimental as we want. I just take issue with that being the image presented to our young women as "truly free"..."liberated". It's NOT to me AT ALL. That's not what strength looks like. That's not what dignity looks like. The mysterious soul of a woman is...better...than...that. And that woman???...She's hot.'s to being more than  "a one night stand", "friends with benefits", "an easy lay"... Here's to expecting a man to be a Man...and a woman to be a Woman. Here's to calling out the awesomeness of true femininity and masculinity...the pursuit, the romance, the crazy-great sex that comes with intimate relationship...when souls collide...

Enough of my Feminist Nightmare...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lynn's Angel

My neighbor Lynn is dying of pancreatic cancer. It's likely she won't make it through the night. My parents went to visit her in the hospital the other day. My Dad was helping the family say their "Goodbye's". Lynn whispered to my Dad that every night an angel comes and stands by her bed. A huge figure. He/She stays with her while she sleeps.

You know what? God is so wonderful like that. She's proceeding without fear because of His goodness to her...He gave her an angel. And when the time comes...she'll know who to follow...

Sweet dreams, Lynn!

O Taste and See

God's been reminding me of something lately. How He has made us to "taste" Him and His goodness before anything else. We tend to "feed" off things and people, but it's not as filling as the experience of intimacy with the Divine. God made us to be filled with Him so that we can bring that life to the things and people in our lives. It's an eternal well of security and strength. So...I've been remembering to spend time just with Him...moments of quality time with God. :)

High Maintenance People

I have several "high maintenance" people in my life. A man referred to it once as "people with a paper plate",,,meaning that they have a lot on their plate, but the plate is flimsy. I found that description to be a little rude, but I guess it's an adequate representation on occasion. Basically, the simplest things can "rock the boat". Easily overwhelmed. They almost have to be talked through everything because they can't wrap their brain around something they've missed or misunderstood. They often unknowingly think their world is THE world. Their struggles are far more important than anyone else's...and they expect you to solve that RIGHT NOW regardless of who else is impacted.
Ohhhh it bad to lay things on the table with these people? I'm sure they've had tough stuff that has formed them into being this way, but'd think they could learn a better way...right? I think they'd be taken more seriously, viewed less burdensome, positioned to be more effective contributors...

Hmm...what to do...

V-Ball Team Blues

Let's put it this way. Now I know why my bro-in-law didn't want to be in charge of our team again this year. HAHA! Of course, "charge" is a loose term, but with it comes a bit of responsibility and anxiety.

On this team everyone feels a sense of "I can come when I want". Of course that works sometimes...unfortunately, it means that I rarely get that opportunity. Some of it, I understand. A few have jobs that go until later than game times. Others, though, seem to only be planning to come for one of our two games, and irritatingly, if there are subs available for the game they choose to attend, they complain that our team is too big! Sheesh! Try to play when people decide they can't show!! Yep, smaller team???...*rolls eyes* I actually heard tonight that some didn't have to stay because they have kids. Hello??...I have to take care of my house, other human responsibilities, other commitments...alone! I have a over-time job and have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn!!! But I digress... Normally, I'd just roll with all the reasons and excuses, but when it comes to the end of a season and you look back at the things that worked, didn't work, and the things just plain irritated the living crappola out of you, maybe it's time to hand the "charge" over too...

That or make some changes. Especially because I actually love the game so, so, so much...and the friends I've made along the way...

So...I'm trying to think of what to do for next year because I'm unfathomably frustrated. Most of the other teams have fewer members, but all are consistent. It's only once in a while that a team is playing with fewer. We have about 4 consistent players. Maybe just build one around that? Find a couple more to be consistent and then call subs when we know we'll be lacking?

I don't know. Grr! Deeeeep breaths...breathe in, breathe out... ;)

Great Talent

Saturday, August 13, 2011

This Love Doesn't Run

Wow...ever heard a song that is "you"?? This might be my life written on song!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Overwhelmed but Funny

I have a point of "No Return" when it comes to bizarre circumstances. I can experience such a sensory overload that I am totally incapable of focusing on whatever I'm supposed to. What's a girl to do? ;)

I was at the bakery with Steph the other day. Great convo, FYI. :) Anyway, later in the conversation, an 80-yr-old man walked in. He was wearing a women's scoop-neck shirt...but was clearly not...umm...a cross-dresser. Eh-hem. was a little visually distracting. Then, came the overwhelming odor!! I can only describe it as the culmination of every disgusting human odor possible but contained in one body. GROSS! was a little nasally distracting. THEN, there came the hacking cough Steph pointed out...was "spewing his diseases all over the bakery". was a little auditorily distracting. But it doesn't end there....Ohhhhhh no! He proceeded to take a stack of napkins and wipe the stinky sweat off himself...AND THEN PUT THE USED NAPKINS ON OUR TRAY!!

Let's just say that "focus" was utterly impossible for this girl. Ya...we had to leave.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I seriously have to get a new job someday. Seriously. I do have aspects that I absolutely love...but weighed against the crap?...Ugh. In this economy though...makes a single gal feel trapped. I'm going to have to pray for an added measure of grace in these crazy days before school starts...because it's only going to get crazier. After that...probably necessary for a little get-away. That'll bring some perspective for this year. But ya...I've gotta start looking.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wonder Class

One of the absolute joys of my life lately has been the class I've been teaching for the adult Sunday school. It's about seeing God's fingerprints in everyday life and sharing those moments with Him. That's called WONDER!'s worship in any moment. Oh my...I've loved it! The planning has also been helpful to me. Goodness, I wouldn't mind doing that one again someday!!! :)

Ray LaMontagne

If you haven't heard of this singer, check him out on youtube. I swoon in the hearing...

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Sponge Lady

This is TOO funny!

Make A Decision

The bummer with people who drag their feet on making key decisions...can't pull the that it makes life EXTREMELY difficult for those that have to "flesh out" the decisions once they've been made. Often the ones who make decisions aren't the ones to perform them. It's very frustrating. There are such things as deadlines, affected people...Good grief.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Twittering Funny

Too funny! My bro-in-law sent this to me. It's not new that I like men who can cry. It's so "Braveheart-y". Hehe.

Good Men Project

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Dream

Whoa, Baby! 'North and South'...a British period on Netflix. It's several episodes, but if you like 'Pride and Prejudice', this one's for you! Oh my gosh...I love this scene!!1

A Question for the Marrieds

So...I keep stumbling upon this issue. I watch friends of mine wrestle with this...and some being victims of it...and I see it enough that it's causing me some drama.

Here's the situation...

Because of some personal struggles in one spouse, the other has to remove himself/herself from things or people he/she loves. The thought, I'd imagine, is that such removal will make the spouse less angry/frustrated...bringing peace to the marriage. BUT...most of those times the actual issue isn't the one's passions/pursuits...those just become the scapegoat or sacrificial lamb while the struggling spouse gets away with surfacy comfort without calling "a spade, a spade".

It's enough that it's making me so sad for friends that are losing what they love...and so sad for their spouses that are accepting a life of "less" for the one they love just so they don't have to grow...

It's enough that I think it actually shouldn't have to be that way...

So I want to know what you think...please comment. :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Inconvenient Convenience of the American Option

So...let's get this out there first...just to be clear...I'm an American, and I love my country...


There's a drawback to our culutural love of "options".

Yep, I said it. There's a potential negative...

For some, those choices are a convenient excuse to 1) not grow up, 2) not deal with personal issues or challenges, 3) not work on relationships...basically hinder or draw out our development.

Why?...if you don't like something, move on! There might be less drama or angst where that green grass is...

Ugh. It's frustrating because it can contribute to a person potentially remaining immature, shallow and/or disconnected from others. Umm...self-focused.

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger!" It's SO true! Going THROUGH the tough stuff can actually unleash us...into maturity, depth, community...and a functioning reality of love...the kind that includes grace, mercy and compassion.

So...maybe the next time there's a challenge or frustration...instead of hiking up our skirts and getting the heck outta Dodge...we should hold hands and jump in. In addition to growing up, we just might make the world a better place...

Saturday, July 30, 2011


This has to be one of my favorite speech scenes in a movie. I know she's referring to an ET experience...I like to think it's similar to how I feel about God. :)

Bike Ride Heaven

I was able to get my own bike rack yesterday. I've had a Trek bike for years (totally recommend, btw) and enjoy a good ride on occasion. I've had to go locally unless I've been able to find someone who has a, my options are endless. :)

For starters I went to my favorite local state park. Wild River!!! It's enough off the beaten path that not many people go there. They have trails of all types with a lot of great tree cover. Today, I enjoyed the peaceful privacy with a touch of a rain shower. It was so refreshing.

By the way...I've decided that nature sings classical music! I selected a nice playlist of classical pieces for my ride. Nature and the notes went hand-in-hand.

What a great morning!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Feeling Better!

It's amazing what a trailer, a cooler day and a little help from Dad can do to make a gal feel better! All my brush was pre-piled on Saturday, so my Dad and I were able to take a couple hours this morning to move the piles to the ENORMOUS brush pile at church.

Yep...this girl is no longer looking out of the house at a complete mess!!!! Oh my...I feel so much better. :)

I've had three very good conversations over the past two days that have given me great space to be "real". Between Steph, Jody and my Dad, I've had the opportunity to express things, be challenged, and laugh a little.

Now, I'm off to practice some intentional gratitude for my WHOLE life. The good, the bad...and the ugly. :) Strangely...that gratitude reveals God's presence in the light and in the darkness. Hmm...

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I have to say...there is great comfort found in shared experience. Loss of any sort has a way of putting people on an island of lonliness, but grief expressed with others provides comfort...and "togetherness". I ended up in a conversation with my neighbors this morning at church. They are much more concealed from the road, so I haven't known the full extent of their damage. Apparently, it's pretty bad for them. Add to that a scary car accident...they are wrestling with similar questions too. Well, my neighbor created such a bridge off my own island when she started talking about the sadness they were experiencing in the moment of the damage but also in this time of having to live in the midst of it. I picture it as she and I meeting half-way across. :) I so understood what she was saying that there wasn't a need for so many words. It was just good to be with someone else that "got it".

So...a moment of less frustration!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ridiculous Morning

Unbelievable. We planned to do a final bush-hauling extravaganza to clear our neighborhood. It was scheduled, and a variety of people were invited...

Boy, was I excited to get things cleared. It's been rather depressing seeing all of the destruction, but also having people say they are going to do this or that and then not follow through. For a single makes a challenging situation seem impossible. For a gal that often thinks she has to do things on her own because people can't/don't presents an additional challenge.

So...I get up this morning, bright and shiny, and start gathing brush piles in the lawn. 8am rolls one. 8:15am...still no one. 8:30am...hmm, no one. roommate comes out to ask why I'm working. Apparently she saw an email the night before cancelling it.


How am I supposed to know to check my email the night before???

I can't tell you how pissed off I am. For SO many reasons.

The good news is that a couple of others hadn't heard along with me. They came to work for a couple of hours. Troy had a chainsaw, and that made things MUCH more manageable. He took the big stuff with him! :)

Needless to say, I'll be borrowing my Dad's trailer and hauling the rest away myself when it's not so muddy. I'm done waiting, and it's something I can do.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Vacation

As an admin in a private school, I don't get the usualy "teacher" vacation...a whole summer. Instead, I get the month of July off. It's true...I can't complain. Between school holidays and my month in July, I've got it pretty good. It's just that (in order to make more money) during the 11 months of my work year, I work a 1.4 FTE (full-time equivalent where 1.0 is freaking full-time), so by the end of the school year I'M EXHAUSTED!

July is a welcomed reprieve.

Well, my first week of July was pretty much a loss. The roadtrip part of the journey to Colorado was absolutely wonderful. I had my sis all to myself. The funeral part?...woo, that was tough! And missing a chance to see my Wiebs because my stupid FB app on my iPhone decided it needed an upgrade mid-trip...that was REALLY hard. The return to a tree-stripped front yard and no power, though, made the rest of that week ALL WORK.

(Done venting...for now...hehe.)

So, this week...has been my actual first week of vacation. I finally got to sleep in, watch some movies and take in a few evening swims. Tonight...TADA!! Harry Potter (Oh my gosh, I'm so excited!). Tomorrow??...Womaning the GOP booth at the Chisago Fair.

Next week...well, we'll see. It's the family camping venture. Parts of that are fun, but other aspects drive me loopy. We're doing a bit different plan this year, and that might just make it more tolerable. As always, I'm so thankful for the handful of rellies that have my back against the bossies. Hahahaha! 


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Control Freak

Here's a shout-out to the control freaks in my life...

Step. Off.

Yep, I shove back now. ;)

Trees Falling

Well...the reminders of the terrible storm that rolled through still linger. Today, about 7 more trees were cut down and hauled away, bringing my yard total to around 20 lost. Some were pretty damaged and needed to go. Others made the house vulnerable should another bad storm come through. makes me so sad.

I know. I know. Some are asking why in the world trees falling would rock my boat.

The answer??

First, I'm a nature-loving girl. Trees. Wind through the leaves. The smell of needles and crunchy Fall leaves. Oh, they are heaven to me.

Second, I'm in love with sanctuary. The things I'm involved in tend to be a bit invasive. For an introvert...a little space and privacy are key to renewing the soul. My yard...had so much seclusion due to great tree cover. It was my hideaway.

Having so great a loss...well, it hit me where it hurt. (...and the timing couldn't have been worse.)

So...some blessings. (Gotta look for some highlights to broaden the perspective, you know.)

A little one today. The logger that came to take the remaining trees was pretty sensitive to my obvious loss. He's a tree-lover too. He did everything he could to save all of my gardens in the falling. He also left my lawn with a wonderful scent of pine. :)

The day of the storm. Well, I was in Colorado, so I was feeling a bit helpless. Apparently, my whole neighborhood turned out to help each other. A few men from my church came with chainsaws and huge trucks, as did my family. Not only did they attack my yard and Deb's yard...they went from house to house!!! They got so much done to open the roads and driveways. My church opened the property up to all of the neighbors to make a massive burn pile. There's going to be quite a bonfire in December. ;) Can you say "community"??? Amazing!

A few days after I got home. I put out a request on Facebook for anyone to come to help haul brush. I was really nervous that I'd be alone in that. You know...not everyone enjoys...well, work. I was so surprised!!! My nieces and nephews came. Former students came. Current students came. I was undone by their sacrifice.

So, I guess there've been a few blossoms in the sh## pile. More brush needs to be hauled, and I'll have to figure out how to seal my yard in again...but I'm still kicking. Still fighting a bit of the "sad's", but I find being honest about that actually helps the healing of it.

Here's to new growth!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wonder Class: Session 3

Amazed: Living a Life Full of Wonder

C.S. Lewis said "It is in worship that the presence of God is communicated to man." So often we fall into a rut that says that worship happens on Sunday mornings in a church service or in our personal devotional times. Formulas=Worship. That is so not true! While worship is very much possible in those places, it is absolutely possible in the moments of our daily lives. It's in our very basic human wiring to experience him. So we reviewed a bit from Wonder Class: Session 1 and Wonder Class: Session 2 and then took off into a tour of the senses.

This week?...HEARING :)

First, a clip explaining how an ear hears. Personally, it's one of God's fingerprints. :)

We take hearing for granted...maybe we should pay attention a bit more!

OK...the in-class assignment!! I handed out blank pieces of paper with instructions to jot down any thoughts, feelings, pictures (real or imagined), etc. that are prompted by the various clips for listening. Often God is in those little things, giving us insights, encouragements or reminders. He loves the little things! The key to this assignment is to close your eyes. Often by limitting one sense, we heighten the other. We want to focus on our hearing, so we are closing our eyes to listen.

Just sit back, relax and listen. :)
The sound of crickets slowed way down. Pretty amazing! :)

A Lauging Baby

A Thunderstorm

Car engines (Hehe...I figured someone must like that one.)

Talk about a musical genius...this composer "wrote" his friend in song.

Having God's word read to you

We took time at the end to share any of the things that came up during the listening clips. We also shared our "favorite" sounds. It was amazing to notice how the other senses are activated in the descriptions (i.e. smelling sawdust when prompted by the "favorite" of a saw cutting wood).

At the end we completed our enjoyment (see previous sessions for explanation...per C.S. Lewis) by offering thanks to God.


Have a great week...and get listening!!! :)


I find it interesting...the variety of music that can get me going. ;) I'm not usually a huge techno fan, but I do love it sometimes. For some reason this song has me on my way to a speeding ticket. Haha!

Innate Laughter

Martha brought up something interesting in class yesterday. We were listening to a baby laugh and laugh and were all giggling along. She noted that it doesn't seem to be something learned. It seems like laughter is something in our wiring.


So...have a little gigle today. You were designed to... ;)

Miss Annie!

So, so, so proud of one of my school kiddos! She took a HUGE leap and ventured off into a candidacy for a local town's Ambassador program (i.e. pageant). What a risk for this gal!


She did it!

Now begins a year of parades and community service. Being that she's pure sunshine, I know she can do it...and have fun all along the way. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Little Visit

So...I've found something a bit peaceful...a place to sit in the questions, expecting no answers but finding some space. The cemetery where little Ben and my Grandparents are buried. It's a ways out of town with great trees and the sounds of nature. The other day I picked up some flowers and some strawberries and went to sit by Ben's grave. I'm sure I looked a little odd, but who cares? (That's a daily thing for this girl...hehe.) I just sat there eating my strawberries, listening to the wind through the leaves and thinking...

I didn't find any more answers, but as I was leaving, I realized that I felt a bit fuller. Not in my my heart.

Little visits are good for the soul.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fix You

The person that made this video on youtube said that it reminded him/her of the human's interaction with Real Love (i.e. God). I love it!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Wish

Steel Magnolias Clip

No one does it like the ladies of "Steel Magnolias".


Pretty sure I put this one to shame. ;)

Swept into a Tornado

The past week has literally been a whirlwind. Maybe this season actually. About a month ago my cousins lost their 2-yr-old in a terrible accident. Shortly after, my friend's dad came home from the hospital into a hospice situation. I then started working on Legacy letters with him because he loves his family so much. I finally finished the academic year (admins go a month longer and start a month earlier) which was stressful. Then my sister's high school friend was killed in a drunk-driving accident, and we drove to Colorado for his funeral. While I was gone, a terrible storm hit my neighborhood, and I lost 12+ trees. I returned to 3 more days without electricity. And finally...I got sick.

Pretty much, the "crap cup" runneth over...

I have to say that I've been wrestling with God over it all. Death, dying and destruction seem omnipresent, and my heart is having trouble making sense of it. I guess I struggle with my expectations that He keep all from hurt and harm...but that's not how it always goes. Keeping a handle on hope and wonder in the midst of it...well, it seems easier to embrace the "half-empty" glass and move on.

But...that's not how I want to live.

Keep in mind that God lets me hammer things out on Him. I have great freedom to tantrum. In that mix He sometimes give me insight and at all times gives me comfort.

Last night, when I was praying with a friend about all this, He told me that "there's a difference between resignation and surrender". My heart is still spinning a bit, but I'm hopeful that He'll help me process that one out a bit more in the near future.

So...a bit swept up into a tornado lately. It has left me a little sad and angry and confused...overwhelmed. But...He is here, so I'll keep moving.