Friday, June 29, 2007

Much Needed Vacation

Well, late tonight it's off to the great Upnorth of Michigan for our yearly retreat to my mom and dad's cottage. It's been a rough two days around here. As you probably know, we had to put our Jazzy dog down on Thursday. She was old and right at that point where the vet felt very soon she'd be getting very sick. To avoid that, we did what we knew was right for her. To allow her to suffer would have been to save ourselves the grief that was unavoidable anyway. So the Mr. took her in and she was peacefully put to sleep. I keep thinking I'm done crying because we have been discussing this for months and made the decision in a perfectly reasonable manner, yet here I am bawling. I have her picture as my screen saver and I think, "I should get rid of that, it's making me cry every time I use the computer." But then again, I'm not ready to do that quite yet.
So I guess it's a good time to take a breather from the all too real real world right now. The cottage has been soothing our souls since daboyz were little kids. We have great faith in its ability to smooth out a year's worth of rough edges and the mourning of a silly old dog. Our plans consist of sleeping, reading and eating. We're cutting it short this year, usually we get about 8 days in our personal paradise. This year Jay is working and doesn't have enough vacation time to spare so we're not getting our full time, but we'll take what we can get. The important thing is family time away from the things that pull at us on a daily basis. We all need a vacation in a very real way this year.
So you guys have a safe and wonderful week. Pray for us as we travel the four hours each way to Lewiston, MI. Remember Arlene this week, and especially on Arlene Wednesday. You can know I'll be joining you from on location up north.
With a sad heart in need of rest, I'll say so long for now. See you the end of the week. Have a blessed fourth of July.
Love you guys,

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

upper left: our jazz on up north last year
bottom right: the cottage porch swing

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Arlene's Day

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Lord, we come to you on this Wednesday agreeing around the world for Arlene's healing. We thank you for the privilege to approach your throne, and for the privilege of this sister you have given us. You see every cell in her body, and you created her at the foundations of the world. You set her life into motion with a single word. We ask you now to set your angels as guard around her to minister peace and health to her. Give her wisdom and she continues to make decisions, and then let her rejoice in those decisions knowing you are a good God who leads her in paths of righteousness. This week we will be awaiting PET scan results, and I ask you to go before her to prepare a good report. Bless her medical team and all of those who work in cancer research, give them knowledge and insight. Touch the hearts of those who will care for her and give them an extra measure of compassion and wisdom. Be with Barry, give him sound and restful sleep and surround him with your love. God we thank you and praise you right now not only for miracles hoped for,but for love and salvation already received. We worship you, for you are good and your mercy endures forever. In the name of your Son, Amen.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nurse Stacey

I just got off the phone with my friend, Stacey. Stacey is wired like me in a lot of ways except she is much sweeter and entirely more beautiful than I could ever dream to be. Despite this, I like her. Weird.
Anyway, Stacey has been a stay-at-home mom for her daughter, Alexa since her birth. Alexa is starting a new life this fall...kindergarten. Stacey is starting a new life too. She is returning to school. She wants to be a nurse.
This is how we're alike. Talking to her today about her excitement, nervousness, decisions to be made took me back. Wasn't that long ago I was that career homemaker who God suddenly sneaked up on to send to nursing school. And it was all of a sudden. I was sitting in our favorite Mexican restaurant with my husband and family and heard myself say, "I'm thinking about going to nursing school." I was as shocked as everyone else. Three months later, I was taking Chemistry. Stacey decided a few weeks ago to go back to school this fall and here she is, choosing her first classes. Chemistry is one. That excitement and terror in her voice reminds me of myself. I find myself smiling so big it hurts while I'm talking to her on the phone. She's gonna do great. And she's gonna be an awesome nurse, I've no doubt.
I know what compelled me toward nursing school. It was God, same way he's instructing her now. He lights a fire in our hearts and there's no choice but to run hard after it. And there is no joy like the joy that bubbles up in us when we feel that moment of knowing he's in it with us.
I also know what got me through nursing school when I was tired and frustrated and utterly sick of the whole thing right down to my HFCC polo shirt. God again. More than once, he was there on behalf of people who loved me and believed in me when I ran low on that internal motivation that got me moving in the first place. People prayed me through it.
I intend to pray Stacey through this starting right now. I'm asking for favor with her instructors, and for her to join the official nursing program in God's perfect timing. I'm already praying for her job as a registered nurse!
Come on along and pray with me. When you see what a great nurse God builds, you'll be glad you were part of it!

Psalm 20:4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Monday, June 25, 2007

One Take Girl

OK, this is not me. But it doesn't look entirely unlike me and the scrubs are exactly the color of the ones I wore in my television debut. Her hair is better, she is prettier and she looks more competent than me.
Anyway, I bought brand new sky blue scrubs to wear because it is a color that I feel looks good on me. I tried to do something professional with my hair which apparently means using lots of hairspray in my mind. I got all ready to go and looked in the mirror to find, horrors, a spot on my brand new scrubs! Oh, not just a little no-one-will-notice kind of spot. A round dark area in my central right boob region which brings one word to mind...lactation.
This made me break out in bilateral pit sweat, which is an ongoing problem anyway.
So I applied Tide stain stick hoping it removes mother's milk or whatever this mystery stain is. Then I had a brain storm, I'll go to the uniform store and get a second shirt in case the stain doesn't go away! Well, they had no other shirts in my size so I purchased a jacket to go over in the same color for the give away price of $18.99. Quite a steal for a jacket you don't need to cover a shirt you don't need with a stain from having your milk finally come in eighteen years post partum
Then it was off to the studio a half an hour and three major freeways through downtown Detroit away. Let me just say, my pits would give Niagra Falls a run for its money at this point. After thirty or so minutes of white-knuckle Jesus take the wheel driving I finally arrived. Kind of.
The directions took me to kind of an industrial park area and there were multple signs directing HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEMS TELEVISION PRODUCTION>>> and so forth. But the signs kind of stopped half way into the area. So naturally I forced my way into a security locked building insisting I belonged there only to find out, I didn't belong there. Wrong building. I think my scrubs and stethoscope made people believe I had some function that demanded respect, or at least admittance.
Finally located the right building, was examined up down and all around by I think roughly 300 people looking friendly and yet scrutinizing. Carolyn, she of hair, make up and wardrobe; would be with me shortly to see if anything could be done with me.
Several attractive tanned people with very white teeth came running up to shake my hand heartily and say my name repeatedly, apparently the opportunity to work with me has been a long time dream of most of those in the television industry.
Carolyn liked my scrubs, some other chick who was approximately eleven but seemed somehow in charge wanted me in navy blue scrubs. Off Carolyn and I went to wardrobe where navy blue scrubs were available in both small or extra large. Carolyn was not pleased feeling that my current scrubs were far superior to any they had and the color was fantastic with my eyes and the lines (insert karate like motions at my cleavage) were really good. Liz, Henry Ford media guru agreed. Back to eleven year old who gives us the nod and then on to make up and hair.
I have to take my scrub top off at this point for a professional ironing by Carolyn as I have some "visible wrinkles" (thank God she didn't notice the invisible ones). And in case you're wondering, the lactation stain was indeed disappeared. Thank you Jesus and Tide.
Carolyn irons the top, puts me back in it with instructions not to cause wrinkles, no pressure there. Onto the stool where I am caped and make-upped. And I quote, "Skin's pretty dry, huh?"
No worries, turns out Carolyn works with the Minds of Medicine television show and has done make up for Dreamgirls (it's true!) and upcoming flick Oceans of Pearls. Clearly, I am in good hands.
With much smudging, blending and a variety of wedgy sponge things working from a giant palette, Carolyn finally fixes my offensive skin. Then a little extra eye make up is called for. Apparently purple and green are the best choices for a woman of my particular coloring. Greasy lipstick applied, blot and it's off to the set!
All of those people who've only dreamed of working with Sara Smith come rushing forward with shouts of joy and adoration. I have a killer smile! I'm gorgeous! My hair is fabulous! I am a natural beauty! That color is perfection! What a great personality! I sparkle!
Well, clearly these are people of above average intelligence.
The tell me that most people have to do their lines thirty or more times before lighting, sound, cameras and actor all come together. Well, I am a natural! I am "One Take Girl!" True. That's what they called me. One Take Girl. With a killer smile. Look at that smile. Man, what a natural. I think one man was weeping.
On to still photography for print ads where it is once again noted, I have an amazing smile and "the sweetest eyes." I don't know why you people hadn't noticed this before. I mean...
Done with the still photography the multitudes reapproach to shake my hand, thank me, congratulate me on my natural ability and mourn the fact that I did not become a professional actress.
Back to my car, thirty minutes with Jesus and I'm home.
I will get my own DVD copy of the commercial the end of July and it will air in August. Keep your eyes out.
I'll be the one with the killer smile, sweet eyes, natural delivery and no lactation stains on my breasticles.
Oh, and if this nursing thing doesn't work out; I am so going to become an actress.

Whether it's downriver...

What am I doing today, you ask?
Well, let me tell you. Feel free to laugh hysterically as everyone else is. I am shooting a television commercial! That's right! The hospital system I work for, Henry Ford Health System, is taping a new commercial and I have been asked to play a starring role!
Now, I know what you're thinking...why, Sara, did they choose you? Your beauty? Commitment to excellence in nursing? Lengthy career? Multiple award and accolades? I think it would be best summed up by what I was told by the VP of nursing when she asked me. It went something like this, "We'd love to have you in our new commercial. Because, now don't take this wrong, you aren't younger and trendy. And you aren't so old you look like you should've retired twenty years ago. You're right there in the a seasoned professional nurse would look." or something to that effect.
Well, imagine my relief to know that I don't look too young. Shew! Dodged that bullet! She said a few nice things to kind of frame that part, but you can guess which sentence I'm remembering! In all fairness, I'm glad I don't look twenty years past retirement. And for those fans of irony, although I look like a middle-aged seasoned professional, I've only been a nurse for three years!
So off I go to Stage Three Productions to shoot my television debut. I tried to style my hair into something that would inspire trust in the health system at large, but it seems to more resemble Betty White circa Mary Tyler Moore Show. But I can't be bothered with that right now as I must go rehearse my lines...
Whether it's downriver,
Whether it's downriver,
Whether it's downriver,

P.S. I asked if I could do a little river dance out of frame after delivering my soliloquy but no go. I believe the response was, "Sara, shooshy."
Indeed! They obviously don't know who I am.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

June 24, 2007

Psalm 22:26
The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


1. Riding my bike and looking around my neighborhood. 2. Strong black coffee. 3. Eating right. 4. Choosing not to speak. 5. Choosing to listen. 6. Reading. 7. Laughter. 8. Forgiving. 9. Writing. 10.Worshiping.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Grampa

My grampa would sit on the porch in the morning with his coffee.
My grampa would eat more watermelon than any person should.
My grampa would nurture petunias and geraniums.
My grampa would wear shorts and feel the summer sun on his face.
My grampa would watch little kids jumping through sprinklers and smile.
My grampa would hang bird feeders full of seed.
My grampa would watch for the first fresh green beans like they were treasure.
My grampa would cherish the sun and the warm and never forget winter was coming.
And so will I.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Arlene was hospitalized today after returning to the Dr. for antibiotics and blood work. She is dehydrated, exhausted and fighting an infection.
Yesterday at our prayer gathering at her home, Arlene told us she intended to have her next treatment as scheduled next Wednesday and then stop all chemo. She has lost her hair and is covered with a rash from the effects of the meds. She feels she cannot physically withstand any more chemotherapy but is ready to peacefully give her body over to God believing that he is able to heal her without the help of medication.
Please pray with us today for Arlene and her husband Barry.


The Things That Matter

I thought by now I'd understand better
Love deeper
Speak kinder
Think wiser
Look prettier
Eat less
Exercise more
Not worry.
Turns out the only major improvement I have made is the discovery of better hair products.
All in all, I consider that progress.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


If you find yourself in the summertime wondering what was so wonderful about it
Back in days of running barefoot and drinks from garden hoses,
Let me show you a trick; if garden hoses no longer call your name.
Step one, soak your tootsies in a tub of sudsie water.
Step two, lotion your tootsies and if need be...buff those rough edges!
Step three, if you are a girl only! apply a kicky coat of nail polish to your tootsies.
Step four, put fresh cotton sheets on your bed.
Step five, slide into bed and pay special attention to the tootsies on cotton sheets factor.
Chances are you will be more inclined for garden hose drinking tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


My Photo
Hey Blogfam!
It's Wednesday tomorrow and that means chemo for Arlene and time for the army to start marching around her and praying for her healing, strength and wisdom. This treatment is causing Arlene some really nasty side effects and I am praying that she will be spared the worst of this and able to rest and feel a return of strength and encouragement.
In addition to praying for our friend, a bunch of us are going to meet at her home at 6:00 this Wednesday evening for a short time to pray for her and to show her that she is loved by the Church. If you'd like to join us, drop me a line for directions. If you can't come along, click over to her blog on the right to let her know you are with her in spirit. And don't forget to pray for her husband, Barry, too. They are in this together and he needs our love and prayer as much as she does.
Thanking you in advance for marching with us!

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Soul Memory

A little bit too warm inside this house
On a summer's day
Makes the lumber of its skeleton smell a certain smell
and the breeze through open windows blows a certain warmth,
and the warm floor under bare feet caresses and holds,
and it is like the Farm.
And so I want it to be
a little bit too warm inside this house on a summer's day.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dr. Seuss With Ennui

I wonder often; just what do you see?
I'll tell you tomorrow what I think of me.
Though the truth of it all might lie, lost in between....
What you see, and I think, and we each believe.
I try so hard to decide what to be;
That I'm building up legends and buried beneath.
You think I'm loving but I know I'm mean,
And you think I'm strong and I know I'm weak.
So here in my head I play hide and seek...
Hoping and dreading that you will find me.

June 17, 2007

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summer Shoes

1. Silver sequined mules.
2. Brown beaded flip flops.
3. Army green flips with silver grommets.
4. Navy blue flops with cherries.
5. Classic circa 1974 black rubber flippity floppities.
6. Lime green flop flips that match my flowery skirt.
7. Hot pink with a big pink daisy on top.
8. Heavy chunky brown leather slides.
9. Denim ones with wooden soles my mom gave me that no non-Dutch person could ever walk in
10.Black plasticky mules with beads that my mom bought from a street vendor in Tijuana.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What You Need, Baby I Got It

"I'm a big woman. I need big hair."
– Aretha Franklin

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Prayer Day

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

It's chemo day for Arlene on Wednesday. Let's all agree together and remind all the people in our own blog circles to do the same. Copy and paste this verse if you'd like!
My Photo

Monday, June 11, 2007

So Proud

Have you given any thought to pride?
Here's the long and short of what I think. Please realize that in another six months or ten years I will likely have grown up at least a little, one would hope, and will have altered this theory.
I think pride is sin when it becomes a matter of taking credit for what God does. I think pride is good when it's a matter of celebrating what God has done in us. Am I proud of the good things He has made in me through his redemption of my life? Yes. Do I take the credit? No.
It's a little easier to understand pride when you consider the opposite; shame. The way I see it, it is a matter of one or the other in most things. If I am redeemed, I have no reason to be ashamed. It is redemption that erased my shame. And so today I take joy in what has been accomplished through Christ in me. Yes, I am proud.
When I graduated with honors I knew without a doubt that it was God that enabled me. I was proud of Him in me. What more wonderful thing is there in all of creation than God? If I cannot acknowledge pride in the King of Kings and his amazing work; I will have a hard time embracing what he wants to do in me. My marriage was saved through Christ, everything good my kids will do is because of him. As for my part, it is only my submission that allowed his redemption.
He is the redeemer of all the messes. He is the redeemer of all the failure. He is the redeemer of my shame.
Sin happens in us the same way it happened in satan. He considered himself the author of his own beauty and so he fell. Pride went before his fall. He gave himself the credit. It is only a fine line to look at ourselves and be driven to worshipping our beautiful Creator or to look into that same mirror and think ourselves our own creators. The sin of pride happens in that small switch of perception.
I am proud in the cross. Notice, I am not proud of it. I didn't do the work accomplished there so it is not mine to boast of. But in it, IN the cross, my redemption was written. And so my opportunity to celebrate the good things done IN me THROUGH Christ.
Yes, I am sometimes proud. I am proud in sinful ways when I take credit for myself. I want to be proud in sacred ways, ever aware of redemption. Ever being redeemed. Ever celebrating the redemption of all that I am into all that I will be.

Galatians 6:14
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Proud Sara Keep On Burnin'

I started thinking about pride a while ago and when I posted a list and a verse corresponding to the topic, I was surprised at the little stir it created. Should we be proud? Isn't it a sin to be proud? We are such concrete thinkers, we Christians.
This primary amusement of this controversy is that if indeed pride is a sin; does this really have any bearing at all on the existence of our own pride? No. Of course not. Do you have any notion of the years I thought successful Christianity meant sin-free existence? Ridiculous! Therefore, even the pride=sin folks have to admit that it's in there. And they are likely very proud of their insight. Ha!
Back to the concrete Christian. We like very much to isolate one verse (that preferably from Psalm) and perhaps print it on a refrigerator magnet. And then we live and die by that one scripture. Often times we kill other people with it too, if we are very very holy. Of course, we are proud to be so very holy and so it's not a sin. Or is it. Maybe then it is a sin to be holy? Anyway, the problem is that the Bible does indeed contradict itself. All those atheists were right all along. There are few verses in there that can't be debated by another verse in the same book. What to do? How about this, let's take the thing as a whole and then recognize that it works because it's supernatural. It's God.
And so pride. Sin? Yes. In us all? Yes. Sin is in us all? YES! Now we're cooking!
Is it always a sin to be proud? Uh. Yes? No? Where's my fridge magnet?
I think this is more than a one-post discussion so I'm gonna let this bad boy sit for a little bit. I wanna know, what do you say?

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

June 10, 2007

Proverbs 1:1-7 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair, for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young, let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance for understanding; proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

If I Were Twenty...

1. I would have my nose pierced and wear a tiny diamond stud. 2. I would never wear make up. 3. I would wear a pony tail every day. 4. I would wait just a bit longer to have kids and finish school first. 5. I would not live in the city I landed in. 6. I would believe I was loved. 7. I would take photographs constantly. 8. I would have become something else. 9. I would wear shorts when it's hot instead of always thinking I'm too fat. 10. I would marry the Mr.; over and over and over again.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


According to Wikepedia, meditation can be defined as "concentration in which the attention has been liberated from restlessness and is focused on God."
I was watching a news show in which a panel was discussing the potential use of meditation for kids with attention deficit disorders. It was actually a pretty controversial topic with lots of passionate debate. There were testimonials that insisted kids could be taken off of all medications if they were taught to meditate instead.
Under the influence of Christianity, I have always considered meditation something of a "dangerous" pass time. In the seventies it surfaced as an expression of Eastern religion and so we in Christianity immediately put it on the taboo list. As I was watching this news show however, meditation fell back into my hands as something I have needed all along. I don't mean to reach some kind of subconscious state of Nirvana nor to connect to the universe. Like the kid with ADHD, I need to meditate to get focused so I can function.
All of us are surrounded by people who need advice or decisions to be made in our own lives. We live in an overwhelming world. Too busy, too much demanded of us and too much to juggle. I guess you could say we have cultural Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. So much stimuli coming at us we become disorganized in the handling of it. Not you? Ok. It's just me. Anyway...
My prayer time is often something of a monologue, like something from Gone With The Wind; "God as my witness, I will never be hungry again!" or some such drama. I feel like I have to help my hurting friends figure out what to do. I have to navigate my way through college and career decisions with my kids and decide if I should return to school. Frankly, I am fried. I don't know what anybody should do about anything ever! I keep asking God for answers to the questions of the day and find myself the next day with the same list only it's a little bit smudged from my sweaty desperate fists.
Then I saw this news program and decided, that's what I'm gonna do! I'm gonna meditate! That's right, I am going to start meditating. I am going to empty out the bubbling mess in my gut and let go of that list and just be quiet. I have given this advice and now I have figured out how to take it. I am going to be quiet and just let God fill me up. I am going to consider his love, his goodness and his wisdom. I am going to mull over the miracle of Sunday morning breezes and the way my kids knew just how to snuggle into my arms when they were toddlers. I'm going to unload the what now? questions so I can notice when I wake up at two a.m. that my husband is holding my hand in his sleep instead of thinking about the problems I went to sleep thinking about.
I don't have a single answer folks. I don't know if you should stay in your marriage. I don't know how to reach your kids. I don't know what will happen with your finances. I don't know what the heck I'm doing over here.
So I'm just going to take some of that prayer time that feels like I'm wringing a wet rag trying to force answers to fall out of heaven and shut up. I am going to meditate. I think that in understanding God and his ways, the answers will come softly.

Psalm 119:15
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Again With The Fire-Making!

So Mac and I are sitting there and he asks me if I smell something.
Sniff. Sure enough. What is that?
We both get up. Sniff.
It smells like...something is on fire!! Again!!!
We are walking and sniffing and walking and sniffing. Where is it? What is on fire? What's burning now? or as Mac says, "Why does our house keep catching on fire?"
Dean comes home and we ask him, "Do you smell that?" "Yeah."
"We think something is on fire, help us find it!"
"I think it's a candle." says the Mr.
There are no candles lit! What is he talking about?
He goes in the basement. Doesn't appear to be electrical since the circuit breaker hasn't flipped.
That's good news.
I figure it's strongest somewhere near the dishwasher. My beloved dishwasher! That HE installed.
I opened it although it was not done drying. Sniff. Hmm. Can't be sure. Maybe some plastic bowl hasn't survived the heat?
The smell dissipates quickly.
I unload the dishwasher and once the bottom rack is empty, here's yer sign.
Some genius has put a bright green plastic drinking straw into the dishwasher, in the utensil rack no less. It has slipped down to the bottom and melted on to the heating element.
Someone who had a root beer float last night. Who actually loaded a plastic disposable drinking straw into the dishwasher.
Someone named THE MR.
I pulled out the melted straw and here's what I get back in reply:
"The dishwasher has a heating element? Where?" "Right there in the bottom!"
"Who put that straw in there? (Insert pregnant pause) Probably me I think."
God as my witness, I will not call the fire department again!

Psalm 39:3 My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue...

And All God's People Say

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

My Photo At 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6 Arlene will begin another round of chemo if all goes as planned. I'm asking all the blog fam to take today to post this verse on Arlene's behalf to claim her healing and to rally people everywhere to pray together during her chemo. Let's all agree together at around 9:00 to take Arlene before the throne of grace and if you have a moment, click over to her blog at the right to let her know that you are there with her. Her chemo day is usually on Wednesdays and I'm going to post this verse every time to prompt us to stand with her in praising God for his healing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In Peace

I was. I tend to lean that way on a good day anyway.
Lots on my mind. Lots out of my control but that doesn't make me wrestle with those things any less fervently.
I was sad today driving home. I was crying. Rhonda Hart died. For those of you out of state, Rhonda was the female half of our local Christian radio station's morning show. I loved Rhonda. She was imperfect and silly and so in love with Jesus you just wanted to hear her talk about him. She had been involved with the radio industry in the Detroit area for along time only recently coming to Christian radio. She had been involved in the rock industry and gotten into a life that nearly destroyed her before finding Christ.
Oh, how she loved Jesus. Not in that practiced smooth manner of the well-churched. No, she had a raspy voice that I kind of assumed was from years of partying and smoking. She didn't always know the scripture she was trying to reference. She didn't know the Christian cliche's. She was a toddler in Jesus, running full on, if sometimes clumsily, to spread her joy in her savior.
She spoke at our church once, sharing the story of her past life and abortion for the first time publicly.
This morning a Christian guy I work with got off the elevator and said she had died in her sleep. She was a few years older than I.
I cried on the way home thinking about this sister. She was one of those people you just know is in heaven, someone who convinces you there is a heaven on those days you wonder.
I was crying for missing this girlfriend of mine I never met face to face. I miss her already. Tomorrow is Worship Wednesday, how can that be without Rhonda?
I pulled in to my driveway with unreasonable grief on my mind and tears running down my cheeks. I put my car in park and sat there a moment when a flash of color caught my eye. In my neighbor's yard is a tree, and in the tree was a bright yellow finch. I did a double-take, I don't recall seeing these sweet little birds anywhere but up north! I looked again...two? Yes, two finches. I rolled down my window and sat perfectly still soaking this miracle in.
Just as I was thinking that I'd give anything for my camera I realized what I was seeing.
There were five bright yellow finches in the tree twenty feet away from me. Leaping from branch to branch. They seemed to be playing. Five beautiful perfect fat yellow finches.
I sat there and cried but no more in utter sadness. I cried for the beauty of those silly birds and the beauty in the utter love of God that this stranger named Rhonda embraced. I'm explaining this really badly.
In a tree full of yellow finches, I was reminded of the truth.
Rhonda will be having the best worship Wednesday ever.
Can't wait to see you my Sister.

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to
seek him in his
temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Just Enough

There is just enough crap in my life (yes crap, deal with it) to make me say that's all I can stands, I can't stands no more! Oh sure, it's easy enough to look around and say that we're all healthy, fed, safe and have jobs. It's easy to crawl up on our Christianity and act like we are always over comers. But sometimes one can know one is an over comer and feel overcome at the same time.
In these kind of moments I respond in very predictable ways. I get insomnia which manifests itself as awakening promptly at 2-3 a.m. and staying awake until I feel like I'm about to slide into a coma at 5 a.m.; which is exactly when I have to get up for work. I get cranky and sarcastic. I wish I got weepy and girly but no, I want to pop somebody in the head. Or at least slice them up verbally. I also get very sweaty armpits which totally ticks me off even more. I am freaking forty years old, shouldn't we be past pit stains?
So I got out of bed again at 3 this morning and wandered down to the couch. I have a fabulous couch. I cranked up the air because yes, I've now added night sweats to my many charms. Of course, then I'm freezing so I cover up. I put on an old movie. I took a Protonix because I've got what seems to be an ulcer (I refuse to be scoped as long as the meds work). I try to fall back to sleep wondering at what age these moments will be over with.
During this particular couch episode, I was talking to God about it and he pointed out that if my responses are always the same, I'm likely to end up back in the same situation until I act like that over comer I'm supposed to be. Rats.
He also pointed out that I should pause to consider the possibility that the world "does not revolve around your navel" as we like to tell one another at work. And sure enough, he was right. When I took a breath to look outside of my own head, lots of blogs and lots of conversations are saying the same thing I'm feeling. Even at work in the hallways, people are all saying things are stressed in their worlds, on their units, in their jobs. Phone calls and e mails from friends confirm it. Either my navel has a huge gravitational pull or it's not all about me.
I spent about an hour and a half just giving it all to God. My specifics first, of course *wink*. Then my friends and co-workers and families. Then the world at large. Us with a capital "U". Humanity pushing against an invisible force that wants to to overwhelm the over comers.
I want miracles, as I've said before. But today I got just enough. God just took the edge off of my stress. I have just enough peace in my heart. I feel him just enough to trust him. Maybe it's a just-enough miracle.
I got to thinking that these are the times that make me long for heaven the way the old people used to stand and talk about in church. I never understood it then but now I truly do feel like a stranger in a strange land. Instead of feeling that as a bad thing, I need to realize it is the miracle of all miracles. I do not belong here because Jesus shed just enough blood to cover my sins and make me into a new person who will not be completely at home until I'm looking into his face.
So the struggle is just enough to keep me pushing toward the place where the struggling stops and I am made new.
For those of you who have had just enough; hang on. Better days are coming. I'll see you at 3 a.m.

Joel 2:19 The LORD will reply to them: "I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Prophetess Sara

I know someone who calls her self a prophet. Is she a for-real prophet? I don't know. I did hear her telling someone that she has the gift of prophecy. The other person asked her to prophesy over her. The Prophetess made arrangements to meet in the hospital cafeteria because it was taco salad bar day and they could commence with the prophesying at that time.
I awoke this morning thinking that perhaps I was a prophet. I had slept very well, unusual for me. I had had an extremely vivid dream. So vivid it stayed on my mind after I had gotten out of bed, made my coffee, gotten dressed. I decided perhaps there was a supernatural message from God in there. I sat down to think it through, concentrate on it. Find the message from heaven. After all, it worked for Joseph, why not me?
Here was the dream...
My sister and I were at a church. The church had sponsored two Italian babies to come to the United States. They were orphans and the church was attempting to facilitate their adoption into a Christian home. My sister and I were there to see if perhaps she might adopt one of these children. A little dark haired girl named Martha and a curly headed boy named Christopher. Both of the kids were around a year old, chunky toddlers able to walk.
We spoke to several people as my sister filled out paper work and went through multiple interviews. Amy and I talked about which child she and her husband should try to adopt. I suggested she consider applying for both of them so she'd have a boy and a girl. In the meantime the interviews and paperwork continued.
After much discussion Amy decided upon Christopher, the curly headed one year old boy. We spent some time with the child in a nursery like room in the presence of the facilitators of the adoption and he was smiling, happy and immediately warmed up to us; sitting in Amy's lap.
At this point Amy made it official, she wanted to adopted little Christopher.
This is when we entered the next phase of the process. We were to capture and subdue an elk that had gotten loose in Wal Mart using only the supplies we could find in the bath and bed department of the store.
We were actually successful at the challenge sneaking up and restraining the elk with extra large bath towels and the adoption was official!
I went outside to pull the car around and Amy came out with the product of our efforts. A large Styrofoam container which she opened to reveal a chicken Caesar salad.
What's this? said I.
This is what Christopher turned into!, said Amy smiling.
I don't get it. said I.
Well, you'll see. said she.
We shouldn't eat this, right? said I.
Maybe just the croutons. said Christopher's new mom.

That is the end of the dream. I think I need to make some taco salad before I interpret.

Jeremiah 23:25 "I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say I had a dream, I had a dream!'

Hey! Pray!

I'm not gonna lie to you, this is a shameless request that you stop right now and pray for me. I'm getting ready to go to court. I am nervous.
I want to do right and speak honestly. I want the right outcomes more than anything. I have no interest in a particular agenda other than I want God's will to reign. But I will be testifying in a room in the presence of the terminated employees and my own administrators as well as legal counsel and whoever decides these things.
I have butterflies in my stomach frankly that just landed this morning.
I do not want to be the good employee or the good (former) friend. I want to please God. Therein lies my concern as my mouth will be the main implement in the situation.
Please pray. I'll let you know how it goes.
And if my panty hose fit.
Both of which are of equal importance, the second being more likely to make me cry.

Psalm 85:10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

June 3, 2007

Psalm 87:6 The LORD will write in the register of the peoples: "This one was born in Zion." Selah

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Worn Out

A beautiful (hot!) day; no rain...thank you Jesus. We made too much food (anybody know what "regrets" means on an invite?). Ok, that was snotty, but I'm just sayin'. Most importantly we spent a few hours surrounded by people who we love and who love our son. We celebrated a life blessed by and lived for God. We spent some time with people we haven't seen in a while and visited with relatives we only see on these kind of occasions. We were reminded that we have wonderful people in our lives that we need to spend more time with.
We are blessed.
And tired.
And stuffed.

TOP LEFT PHOTO: Left to right: My dad, myself, mymom, mac and across from my dad; Mac's great great Aunt Zeb. more family and friends in the background. I tried to choose a pic with folks you guys would recognize. More pics to come! Margie was our photographer so I'm waiting to see her pics!
BOTTOM RIGHT PHOTO: Me and Amy! My sister who hosted our celebration.
TOP RIGHT PHOTO:metro fam avoiding camera per tina's request.

Friday, June 01, 2007

About Mac

1. He was a surprise baby.
2. He was a terrible little boy. Truly terrible.
3. He was so cute it was the only thing that saved him.
4. He loved his Sunday School teachers and they loved him.
5. His favorite food is my mom's chicken paprikash.
6. He will be a mathematics major.
7. He is hilarious.
8. He loves old men who wear baseball caps.
9. He will go anywhere and do anything with you.
10.He wears a black t shirt and jeans every day.

This really should be a top 100! Feel free to add your favorites!

Posted Friday night because Saturday morning it's party preparation time! if you're reading this, you are invited...