Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Wishes

It seems on this last evening of 2012, there should be something profound to share here.  At least a heartwarming retrospective?  Alas, I am feeling quiet and don't find great and inspirational words bubbling up within.
Our New Year's Eve plans are simple.  I just hung that new shower curtain from TJ Maxx that I mentioned on Saturday.  The Mr. went and got it for me while I was at work.  It's as fabulous as I knew it would be!  I shall have to find my camera to prove it to you.
He's now making a chicken stir fry for our dinner.  It smells delicious and my mouth is starting to water.
We're already attired in our pajamas and if we greet the new year with our eyes still open, I'll be surprised. 
So I wish you all that heaven has to offer in 2013.  I wish you the difficult conversations that will open new doors to greater joy than you have ever known.  I wish you challenges that will bring you to the throne of God and make you cling to him more tightly.  I wish you the courage to face bad hair days by laughing in the mirror and the satisfaction of knowing you are more than your hair. 
I wish you Jesus.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

General stuff & nonsense

1.  It's snowing and I'm drinking coffee and going nowhere-perfection.
2.  Mac's girl Susan gave me a Yankee Candle-Kitchen Spice scent...oooooh!
3.  The Mr. unclogged our toilet, guess he didn't want my help ;)
4.  Thinking about making fried shrimp and onion rings for dinner.
5.  Donny has impulsively buried all of his tennis balls in the snow, now he wanders around looking panicked.
6.  Speaking of snow, I lurv snow!
7.  Speaking of snow some more, I lurv having a garage.
8.  I'm making oatmeal with brown sugar & cream as soon as I'm done with this groundbreaking post.
9.  I found a super cute shower curtain at TJ Maxx, refused to stand in line 'cause it stretched to Montana and now I can't stopping thinking about that super cute shower curtain.
10. Did you know goats enjoy eating left over Christmas trees (real ones that is?)

Friday, December 28, 2012


There is so much of moral decay and shifting principles in American society that it's not difficult to compose of list of that which must grieve the Holy Spirit.  Over the last week of the Christmas season, I was at first offended (yes at God) and then humbled with repentance when my own sin was brought before my eyes.  I come to you sharing this confession as the Bible commands~
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16
I have given my mind over into unthankful arrogance. 
I have complained within my spirit and aloud about my job.  I was wrong to have done this, it was sinful and I repent sincerely.  I now understand the truth about my job.  I am either outside of the will of God and need to seek employment elsewhere so that I will find peace and joy in my work; or I am doing God's will and I need to rejoice in the peace of his provision.  I have been like the children of Israel in the wilderness, complaining when God rained food from heaven~
But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
Numbers 11:6
Having been put in a position of leadership, I have turned my ear toward people instead of toward God and found myself exhausted in trying to please others.  I have second guessed myself when people complained. 
I have fallen into, perhaps, the most unholy's not fair.
Isn't that, after all, what satan said?
It's not fair that I don't have things the way I want them?  Although I live in the very presence of God, I want something different.  I want something that suits me better.  What more repugnant thought is there than the idea of something other than God's presence being better? 
It's not fair that I work hours that I wish to be at home.  It's not fair that I make less money than others whom I feel don't work as hard as I work.  It's not fair that I am held responsible for things that others slip past.  It's not fair that this job interferes with my ideas about what I want my days to be. 
I've only just begun to consider that it is not the stress of my work that has cost me my health this year, it's my management of satan's lies.  I
It's not fair that I work these hours?  Tell that to a soldier.
It's not fair that I make less money than someone else?  Go get an advanced degree, put in ten more years of service and you will have earned it.
It's not fair that I am held responsible when others aren't?  I answer to God, as do others.  He is a righteous judge. 
The 'it's not fairs' are like bile in my mouth upon deeper consideration.  It speaks of entitlement, of pride and arrogance. 
At the moment that Jesus died, the right to complain about my station in life died with him.  Do I erase the gift of grace by demanding my just due?  Oh be careful to do such a thing.  If there is anything I don't want, it's what I deserve.
So I come to you confessing the ugliness of my heart and seeking God's forgiveness.  I ask your forgiveness, also, for the words I have posted here that have expressed self pity and ingratitude when I should have been lifting Christ's name in praise and thankfulness. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26

Mason!  Christmas Day
Waiting, waiting, planning, planning and then it's over!  We had a wonderful Christmas at my sister's yesterday and today it's back to work for me.  I'm a little ( a lot) jealous of  those who are off this week.  That's a bit of a whine more than a complaint.  Those of us without little ones were happy to give this week off to those with young children at home.  Wonderful people did that for me all of those years ago and now that it's my turn, I'm reminded of and thankful for that blessing.    And anyway, what a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day still lingering in my memories!
And blowing snow today and in the morning, to which I say Hooray! 
Christmas highlights of 2012?  Mac's girlfriend Susan who has moved from Vermont to spend her first Christmas here in Michigan.  What a wonderful young lady, we are so blessed to have her in our lives.  She is, perhaps, the hardest working person I've ever met!  She laughs a lot and to hear the two of them laughing together is like music.  Most importantly, she loves Jesus.  Family who we haven't seen in a few years were able to join us for Christmas dinner, filling Amy's home with yet more joy.  And I have mentioned Mason?  Mason is my sister's grandson and just about the best thing ever! 
Well, like it or not it's time to get myself moving and face the day ahead.  I'm going to plan on a day basking in the afterglow of such a wonderful holiday.  Long after the tree is put away and life returns to normal, Jesus will remain at the center of this life and as Christmas joy fades into memory we will simply settle back into joy unspeakable, and full of glory.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas~

In the bleak mid-winter

Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

By Christina Rossetti 1872

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, here at last!  It seems a long time ago that I spent Thanksgiving ill in bed while the Mr. served dinner and then on Friday, put up our Christmas tree.  The gifts under our tree have been wrapped and ready for about three weeks now.  Just this weekend I finally did a little baking, not so much as usual this year.  Mostly bar cookies, the lazy baker's friend :)  Lemon squares for Jay, walnut balls and magic cookie bars for the Mr., raisin oatmeal cookie bars and ginger molasses bread for Mac.  There will be our traditional Mexican wedding cake for dessert this evening following our Mexican feast, prepared by the Mr. while I'm at work.  Happily, our precious Lisa has come through again with her famous Wyatt fudge.  I suspect my family was more concerned with that than my humble offerings anyway! 
Today I'll go to work and hope for a peaceful day.  I'll come home around 4:00 and I'm expecting daboyz and Susan (Mac's girl) to be waiting to start the party.  Christmas Eve is always spent at home, the four of us and sometimes a girlfriend.  We are never quite sure, do we open gifts tonight or in the morning?  Maybe just one...or just two?  It doesn't really matter since it's not the gifts that draw us here.  Our house will feel a little bit too small to hold the massive Mexican buffet and the overflowing happiness and love.  I like this too small feeling of our home.  We seem tucked away, safe and warm.  Visions of the Ingalls in their cabin in the Big Woods drift across my imagination.  Jay, although he's lived on his own for years now, always brings his duffel bag and spends the night on Christmas Eve.  After all, Santa is on his way and a person needs quick access to his stocking!  We'll open what remains under the tree and I'll make waffles while the Mr. makes thick cut bacon and scrambled eggs.  Strong coffee will be served in big mugs to my big boys.  We'll sit around with bed hair sticking up in our pajamas admiring the stack of discarded gift wrap. 
I must assume that when daboyz marry, dawives will not care to spend the night here on Christmas Eve.  Good heavens, they may even have parents of their own with whom to share their time! (Note to self, encourage daboyz to date orphans.)  I don't dread the day when we fall asleep in a quiet house on December 24, no giggling boys (ahem, men,) staying up too late in the family room.  The here and now always becomes memory, as it should and must be.  We may have a houseful on Christmas Eve for Mexican food, grandchildren with tacos in hand making this house smaller yet.  Perhaps we'll be alone some years, just the two of us?  That's ok too.  Waffles for ten or for two on Christmas morning?  Fine either way.  We'll hold tight to our loved ones, not our schedules.  
Where is the birth of the Christ child in these rambling thoughts?  In the center and all around us. He is the foundation upon which our house is built, he is the roof that shelters us from the rain and the walls that buffer us from the cold winds.  It is he whose love has taught us to love with arms open and hearts sure, without fear of tomorrow.  He who gives us glorious joy today, so much that it can't be held to twenty four hours.  Indeed, it exceeds the days of an entire lifetime and spills over into eternity.  We will hold one another as humbly as Mary held her baby boy, with amazement and wonder.  I leave you, then, with my favorite Christmas scripture.  The one that captures all of the dazzle of this season of miracles and expresses just exactly what Christmas means to me...

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

I wish you a quiet heart, to ponder what manner of love the Father has shown us this season.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Elf Chores

1. Wrapping a few final gifts.
2. Baking.
3. Doctor's appointment.
4. Laundry.
5. Listening to Christmas music.
6. Making chicken & dumplings for dinner.
7. Ordering a shrimp tray for Christmas.
8. Devotional & prayer time.
9. case I've missed something!
10. Cocoa from scratch.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Save Us

I was talking to the Lord yesterday and considering the gift of Jesus, found myself thanking God for his son and wondering where I'd be without Christ.
The truth is, I don't think I would be.  I think without Jesus,  mankind would have self destructed long ago.  Consider 2000 years without redemption, without the Holy Spirit, without grace.  I can't consider it, can't even imagine it.  I don't think we'd have made it this far.  I know what kind of mess I can make in a matter of days when I drift away from the Lord's heart and lean on myself.  The vile thoughts and hateful words that can so quickly settle into my heart, and this is living in redemption.  In a world of Christianity, with people praying around the globe, man fights against righteousness to embrace evil.  Without Jesus at the right hand of the Father interceding for us?  No, I don't think there would be any more of mankind to wonder about.  Those who did not kill others would kill themselves in the despair of such a vacuum of mercy. 
So I am not thinking about where I'd be without Christ this Christmas.  I'm thankful that I am 2000 years post redemption.  I live on the resurrection side of the manger.  The Mr. plays bass for the Chuck Tocco band and the other day on the way to work, I was listening to their live CD and these words caught my heart...

Love was the force that held you to the cross, 'cause nails couldn't hold you; couldn't hold you down.

I cannot imagine it, I cannot take it in.  Such love that could not be held back.  Such love that made God run, bleeding, after me; to pull me to himself.  He called on all that he is, creator of the universe, and paid the price for my eternity. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Disarming a shooter

We have a new breed of threat to add to our vocabulary.  Shooter.  Someone who walks into a public place and opens fire on people he doesn't know.  Sometimes there are one or two among the victims that knew the shooter, those situations seem to make us feel the tiniest bit less vulnerable.  At least there was a reason.  As if that is a reason.
It's human nature to assign blame.  I have a theory that by pinning responsibility on someone else, we absolve ourselves.  And we feel less afraid, because once we decide why it happened we think we can prevent it. 
So who raises a shooter?  Who gives birth to him?  Who has first grade pictures with missing front teeth on their living room walls to prove that this monster was once a regular kid?  We know a few things for sure, the shooter is usually quiet and introverted or outgoing and really friendly.  They had learning disabilities or were geniuses.  They were bullied.  They were bullies. 
Always, we can't believe it.
We long for the details, the history that tells the whole story.  I do, at least.  I can't get enough of the human-ness of the shooter.  The regular stuff.  Those elementary school pictures that are shown on CNN, I could stare at them for hours.  The junior high basketball player who grows up and kills a room full of people.  Shouldn't someone that disturbed be too, I don't know, messed up to play basketball? 
Who raises a shooter? 
Not satan standing in the middle of a pentagram painted in red on a teenager's bedroom wall.  Or subliminally sung backwards in a song or at the end of a virtual assault rifle in a video game.  Nothing so obvious or, we think, preventable.  The satan responsible for the shooter is the one who wants only one thing, you in hell.  That's it, that's the motivation we want as we ask why oh why oh why? 
So satan can have him, the shooter, in hell.
Jesus is all that has ever saved us and all that will stop the shooter.  Jesus, redeemer of the world.  It doesn't really matter all that much, those details we are so hungry for.  All that truly matters is that each of us takes on the great commission, go ye into all the world!
Pentagrams on the walls, offensive music, video games and Harry Potter and camo and vile language and defiance and horror movies?  Assault weapons?  The internet?    Those are distractors.  Those are the things that we focus on when in fact, they will burn in the end with the rest of earth's temporal details.  They make people unlikeable, they encourage debates and polarization in families and in Washington.  All the while, little boys with gap toothed grins are growing up into shooters.  Under our noses.  Yours and mine.  After all, we could be the next citizen to gaze into the camera and tell the reporter, "I just can't believe it."
We need Jesus to turn us into lovers of the unlovable.  Until we can consider the names of Klebold and Harris, Adam Lanza and all of the ones who will yet become another name on the list of shooters and be broken into people that can love them and mourn for them; we have failed.
And in our failure, we have become a people who give birth to shooters.
It's a hard pill to swallow.  But we all bear the responsibility to love them, both before and after the gunfire.  There is not expression of Jesus except love.  Only God could give us that kind of love, it will never make sense.  And we'll never know how many shooters we disarmed on this side of heaven.  So I will thank you now.  Thank you to those who loved with the unreasonable love of Jesus and stopped the shooter before he aimed his hatred at Jay and Mac.  Or Dean.  Or my parents or sister and her family.
Thank you, you saved my family's lives.
I promise, I will do the same for you.

Matthew 5: 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  Revelation 21:4

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kyrie eleison; Christe eleison

I had my usual Saturday list all ready for today.  What a different day this is than the usual Saturday. 
I was at a meeting at the home of my boss for our Christmas brunch and 2013 planning session when I got the text from the Mr. asking, "Did you hear about the elementary school shooting?"
And Sandyhook Elementary School was added to a dark list; 9/11, Columbine, Virginia Tech,...
And in my spirit, over and over...Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.  It was the only prayer I could compose within my grieving heart.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
I know, the phrase is part of a Catholic litany and I'm not Catholic.  But I've always found it such a simply perfect refrain...Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
After all, it was the mercy of the Lord that gave us Christ and the mercy of Christ that gave us hope.
Indeed's God's mercy is all we have and all that we need.
That said, would you pardon me an editorial moment? 
I've worked my entire adult life with kids.  Six years as a paraprofessional to emotionally impaired 4,5, and 6th graders.  Ten years as a youth minister in our church, 5 years as the Elder of Education. 
I'm approaching my 8th year as a psychiatric nurse, my second year focusing on children.
I mourn today as a mom with unapologetic gratitude that this was not my children's school.  And I mourn as someone who has been required by God to do battle for other people's children.  It feels like a kind of double grief.  As I thank God for his protection over my kids, I put myself under a microscope.  Did I do enough to reach the kids who have passed through my life over these 25 years?  Did I avert one of these children from growing into a "shooter?"  My work isn't done, and I am newly reminded of the responsibility I bear to keep pulling children back from the edge of hell.  I'm not able, on my own, to accomplish this task.  Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.  This is my whispered prayer.
I ask you, then, for a very personal favor.  I respect the rights of everyone to have opinions and to bear this dark sadness by whatever means allows them to process it.  But I also ask, spare me the gun control conversations.  From either side of the aisle.  Spare me.  I'm fragile right now.  Every word I hear uttered on the news about gun control (pro or con) sickens me.  It makes me ask, "how have you already stopped crying?"  It makes me think, "Your own agenda is what is first on your mind?" These debates and speeches are the only thing that have made me truly angry.  And so forgive me when I say, please, stop.  I can't listen to it. 
And then the conversation about mental health.  We neglect the mentally ill in this country.  If the gun control passion were even partially harnessed on behalf of this issue, I'd venture to say that gun control wouldn't be such a fearsome threat.  When you pass a dirty and mumbling person (which most of us have,)  does your heart break?  Do you scream within your spirit, "Who is helping?"  Do we march on Washington on behalf of those whose minds are too broken to speak for themselves?   Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.  While I'm ranting, autism is  not a predictor of violence.  If you happen to overhear a conversation that points to autism as an explanation, stop it.
Parents and grandparents are all gripped by the terror and we mourn with a corner of our hearts that knows we could not bear this if it was our child.  We should be bowed with worship and gratitude even as we go about the tasks of the day. 
All of us, however, know someone who spends their days in the company of children not their own.  Pediatric health care providers.  Teachers, school system employees, therapists, Sunday School teachers, police & fire fighters and others too numerous to list.  I ask, as someone on the front line, please pray for us.  Deal with us gently.  We feel a responsibility to change the path of the future and to protect the ones in our care in the present.  We consider Sandy Hook Elementary as mourning parents.  And we play the scene inside our minds with ourselves standing in front the children and pray that we would have had the courage to shield them. 
There is only one comfort for me, only one thing that I care to hear-
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wrapping up the week!

Good Friday morning Friends!
Soooo glad that it's Friday :)  My boss is hosting a Christmas brunch at her home this morning for the Nurse Leadership Group where we'll be having our planning meeting for 2013. I'm hoping all is peaceful and well at the hospital.  It's a little nerve-wracking to be off site for the day.  Would you pray for a wonderful day for the staff?  
I'm making this recipe to contribute to the meal.  Sounds pretty good, huh? 
The Mr. is off on Fridays so he's already up and out of the house finishing up a few Christmas shopping items yet on his list.  Thank heavens for a husband who likes to do errands! 
I'll be having reduction mammoplasty (breast reduction) on January 14 so I arranged my leave of absence this week and the Mr. is applying for a FMLA to give me a hand in the first few days following my surgery. My mom is having her knee replaced at the same time so we'll be a hot mess here in the Mitten for a minute!
My bro-in-law and future nephew-in-law both have December birthdays and on Sunday the family is gathering here for a birthday dinner after church.  Lasagna!  Have I told you about my giant lasagna pan?  Oh law!  It's a big 'un!  I use 2 boxes of lasagna pasta, 5 pounds of meat, 2 large spag sauces, 2 large ricotta, 2 large mozzarella to create one Grande lasagna!  My mom will supply the bread and salad and Amy will bring the cake and ice cream.  Love love love family gatherings.  Amy's daughter Sarah and Tim (the birthday boy) will be getting married after Christmas and their sweet baby boy Mason is the first of the next generation to join us.  Wouldn't take nothin' for my journey is good around here.
Well, I'd better get a move on.  Need to assemble that fruit salad and make myself presentable.  One of the goals my boss has given me is to "unplug" from work worries.  She keeps reminding me that I have a blackberry, they can reach me if they need me.  Yeah yeah yeah...I'm workin' on it.  So today is an opportunity to start working on that goal.  I bickered a bit about having our meeting out of the hospital and was informed by my team that this is just exactly what I need!  Thank the Lord for co workers who care about me and who are Believers in Christ; they speak wisdom into my life when I need it most.  And I'm very excited to tell them that last night I slept for six hours straight with no meds!  That's quite a feat for I hear applause?  I guess God's not done working on me...and thank goodness for it.
Have a blessed day today, and know that there is a blessing waiting for you.  I pray that God shows you all that is good and perfect in your life in the hours ahead and that you will see that the perfection we long for lies within us in the person of Jesus.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oh Christmas Trees...

Despite what has felt like the busiest of months around here of late, the Lord has enabled us to stay ahead of things and to be able to prepare to enjoy Christmas.  Our house is decorated, our shopping is done, gifts are wrapped and waiting under the tree.  Five stockings hang on the mantle because this year Mac's girl Susan will be here to enjoy the celebration. 
The Mr. and I have been on this journey together for a while now, this will be our thirtieth Christmas together.  What a blessing.  As we've entered into these middle years, we've turned our attention toward valuing one another and the miracle of marriage.  It's the best gift we can think of for daboyz and some day, dagrands.  I remember our first Christmas tree, decorated with...pew bows.  Yup, you heard right!  We had gotten married exactly two months before Christmas 1986 on October 25.  We had a hand-me-down tree and about 3 for real ornaments to our name.  I pulled out the ivory and gold bows which had adorned the pews on our wedding day (do people still use pew bows?)  and stuck them on that sad scraggly old tree to plug the spaces between the branches.  At the time, it seemed like a stroke of genius!  Maybe it was more like a regular old stroke ;)  I thought that tree was beautiful.  I thought marriage was beautiful and planning a life that would take us all the way to heaven was beautiful.
I was right about all of it.
Today I look at a tree that is laden with ornaments and not a pew bow in sight.  Christopher Radkos, purchased every year on our anniversary.  Bronner's personalized ornaments...Dean, Sara, Jay, Mac, Donny and now Susan.  Little boy homemade ornaments and Baby's First Christmas too.  Red sparkly wooden blocks that spell LOVE. Nothing special, just a Target find,  and  yet, special nonetheless.  The sets of ornaments we used to fill the spaces don't fit amongst the sentimental ones anymore.  We've tucked those away for another set of newlyweds who some day may need to fill their Christmas tree's branches and may find themselves lacking pew bows.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Under appreciated~

1. Getting up before sunrise.
2. Praying out loud.
3. Rated G movies.
4. Teapots.
5. A good night's sleep.
6. Children's books.
7. Old Christmas carols.
8. Please and thank you, sir and ma'am.
9. Apologies.
10. Babies in mangers.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Haven Of Rest

"Do we make it hard for people to get to God?"
My sister and I were chatting recently and that's the question she posed.  It stuck with me and I've thought about it almost daily since.  Does our shock and even repulsion at the worlds condition lead to behavior that makes it difficult for those lost in the trappings of sin to approach us?  Have we a list of Christian dos and don'ts that set the bar so high that people give up before trying?  Yes and yes if you ask me.
As I've spent time in prayer and meditation with this idea, the Holy Spirit has revealed much to me about my own character.  The deep sighing and head shaking with which I so piously have pointed out the shortcomings (or my perception of them) of others sickens God.  The Lord gave us the Holy spirit when Jesus ascended as the still small voice that resides within our very hearts to gently and humbly guide us.  Do I think that I can do a better job than the Holy Spirit?  What makes me think it's my job to tell anyone else what I think of the state of their soul?   
Should we sincerely study the ministry of Jesus we would find him expressing love and mercy.  The only people he got confrontational with were the religious community.  Stop thinking yourself so lofty when your heart is empty and proud, that was the basic idea.  He made it easy, come to me all who are weary and heavy laden...I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28.)  Tired and burdened, not sinful!   He is a giver of peace and rest for those worn down by life.  Goodness!  That's all of us...those who wear the label of Christian or not!  The broken and unredeemed nature of the world breeds that heaviness of the soul.  Rest, rest, rest!  That's what Jesus offered. 
Do I offer the same?
Like the Good Samaritan, I need to climb into the gutters and clean the wounds of everyone in need.  We are very good at tithes and offerings, at serving holiday meals to the poor and donating our time and goods.  All so very important.  But what of the wounds and needs that reside on the inside.  Those that, perhaps, we cannot even know to be present?  What if our insensitivity is causing someone to quietly step an inch farther from Jesus?  God forbid, and God forgive us! 
I've repented and submitted my heart on this.  I will allow others to be weary and heavy laden and I will do what I can to give rest.  The rest of a smile, of a silent prayer, of a cup of coffee or a hug.  The rest of letting the Holy Spirit do the talking while I stay quietly in the background offering supplication to the one who is the Giver of healing and redeeming peace.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Saturday, December 01, 2012


1. Rough week, rough two weeks, rough four weeks ahead.
2. When your boss tells you she's worried about how stressful your job is, then what?
3. Back on the 24 hours no sleep schedule, it ain't workin' out so great.
4. I'm sick of hearing myself whine.
5. I love peanut butter and jelly samiches.
6. I love fancy coffee with whipped cream.
7. I love Christmas decorations.
8. I love my dog who also had dogsominia this week which turned out to be the result of rib bones in the garbage that he desperately wanted to eat but knew he couldn't so he just whined and paced all night.
9. I love reading the Mitford books every evening is the only thing that's keeping me sane!
10. I love Hallmark card ordering online.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas x 10

1. Christmas lights
2. Christmas music
3. Christmas cookies
4. Christmas cards
5. Christmas trees
6. Christmas wreaths
7. Christmas decorations
8. Christmas Eve
9. Christmas morning
10. Christ

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful anyway!

How was your Thanksgiving?  If you ask me, even the crummiest Thanksgiving is generally pretty wonderful.  I spent the day in bed, the Mr. having shared his creeping crud with me.  Home sick today as well.  So I'm thankful for a Mr. that stepped in and hosted dinner for 11 people with me being basically useless.  I wasn't up to eating but everyone seemed to agree that the dinner was great.  Second thankfulness, that my mom and sister brought sides and appetizers!  So the Mr. supplied the turkey, stuffing, green beans and dinner rolls.  My mom brought appetizers and mashed potatoes as well as carrot cake and pie.  My sister contributed sweet potatoes, appetizers and more pie.  And I laid in bed and coughed.  I was frustrated for a bit but then decided to just enjoy the day as it was, giving in to my disappointment with being sick would've been what ruined the day. 
I don't have much more to say since I didn't eat or play games or watch football.  Also, I'm pretty worn out having sat up on the couch for thirty minutes this morning.  So I think I'll drag my sorry self back to bed.  Just wanted to give a shout-out to Dean for saving the day!
Photo taken on Friday, November 16. 
Note to self, stop kissing people who have cooties.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let not your heart be troubled, behold He comes...

I had some serious time with the Lord this morning, so thankful at his nearness to us.  The violence in Israel had my heart heavy and even fearful.  I was warring with feeling obligated to watch the news and being too overwhelmed to see what's happening.  So when I awakened I decided that I needed to get down to business with God.  Hence the You Tube video I included in this morning's post.  As I laid my burdened spirit at the throne, I was reminded that Israel cannot be defeated.  Say that with me out loud; ISRAEL CANNOT BE DEFEATED. Yes, the earth groans with the agony of birthing pains but the glory that is promised beyond the pain, my God, the glory!  The words of Jesus hold incredible truth and power today...

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  John 14:1

Believing in Jesus means that we are sure of our future, that we are redeemed and free of the threats of this fallen world.  We are living in a temporary brokenness, we are not yet home.  Yes, we feel the pains of this world as she prepares to be delivered of the weight of sin by the coming of Christ.  Our tears are not that of hopelessness...

For his anger is but for a moment,and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night,but joy comes with the morning.  Psalm 30:5

Our spirits feel the fear of the nations of the earth, but we are not to be deceived.  The threats that press in against the armies of man can do nothing more than usher us finally into the presence of our Savior.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  1 Thessalonians 4:16 & 17

Don't be afraid.  In these dangerous times, we can rejoice even as we know we must work to gather in this final harvest.  We are protected within the arms of God and so, whom shall we fear?  We need only fear his displeasure should we fail to reach and reach and reach into the world plucking one person at a time from the battle for their souls.  The only weapon we need is love, the love of Jesus by which we are saved and when all the kingdoms of the world collapse; it is his love that will stand.   Praise him today, worship him with tears running down your face, lift your hands and raise your face toward the clouds.  Behold he comes, riding on a cloud; shining like the sun at the trumpet's call.
There is no God like Jehovah.

Today, pray for Israel

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A list of things which refer to other things on the list of things

1.  The Mr. & I were photographed by Kelly for our Christmas cards...fingers crossed that she made us look unnaturally attractive :)  No pressure.
2.  Aforementioned Mr. is sick sick sick.  Head congested, cough, sore throat. 
3. Number 2 is exceptionally inconvenient as he was supposed to grocery shop today and now I have to...wahhhhh!
4. Thanksgiving dinner at our house on Thursday!
5. We have our daybed in about 100 pieces on the living room floor.  Mac is on assembly duty.
6. I have officially requested the bird chair posted earlier in the week for Christmas.
7. Speaking of number 2 again, every weekend I make a pot of homemade soup which the Mr. never eats.  I believe that's why he's sick.
8. Does anyone know where my dark green fleece jacket with the shawl collar is?
9. Back to number one, I wore darker make-up on the advice of the Google.  Now I'm pretty sure I looked like a chubby transvestite.
10. Speaking of number 7 which refers to number 2, I am making a chunky chicken stew today.  Which the Mr. won't eat. 

What?  You didn't realize the Mr. was a sexy cool black man and I was a leggy super model?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Married on the promises of God

In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul writes these words;
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.

As I wrote earlier in the week, the Mr. and I have been on a journey over the last year, learning to love each other better and more deeply.  In praying about how to be a better helpmate to Dean, the Lord often turns my heart back to consideration of the church as the bride of Christ.  I have always believed that the example of marriage in the flesh is given to us as a picture of how God loves us.  I've always wondered if our dismal ability to stay married indicates how little we understand His love.  With that in mind, the Holy Spirit prompted me earlier today to study scripture about God's promises and to consider how I could act out those promises for my husband...

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Do I make our home and myself a place of rest for my husband?  Or am I a source of his weariness?  Am I a burden to his soul, or are my demands upon him light?  When our lives are stressful, do I present myself with calmness and peace (...take my yoke upon you and learn from me...) or do I escalate his worries with my own anxiety? 

As his wife, I must make our home a sanctuary; the place he yearns to be when life is stormy.  I learned when Dean was caring for his dad how important it was for me to speak truth over him and to model faith and calmness in his presence when he felt that things were spiraling out of control.  When I got caught up in the fear and worry that he was experiencing, I could see the lines of strain deepen in his face.  But when I spoke in quiet tones that everything would be fine, that God was faithful and he was not alone because I promised to stay at his side; those lines would disappear and I could see his muscles relax.  As Jesus promised that we could bring our cares and weary hearts to him for rest, I promise to create a haven of rest for my husband.  When he cannot find the calmness of the Holy Spirit, I will bring it to him as I pray over him and speak life over his heartache.  I will allow him to be tired and even to feel weak in my presence, I will not mock or belittle his burdens.  I will be gentle and we will learn together to rest in Jesus.  I will build a home where chaos cannot take hold.  I will rub his tired shoulders and soothe his mind. 
When he feels the weight of life pressing in, I will give him rest.

Rambling thoughts on a chilly morning...

Good morning Friends & Neighbors!
Do you love the cold Michigan mornings?  No?  I kind of do. Actually, my first thought this morning was "Wouldn't it be great to be waking up in Traverse City with Lake Michigan outside my window?"  LOL.
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in one week?  What in the world happened to the first half of November?  I suspect this means Christmas is coming soon. 
Mac is off work until further notice, injured his ankle and we're praying it heals with rest so he won't need surgery.  In the meantime, he's chipping in a bit around here keeping the house straight.  I'm not glad he's hurt but it's nice to have someone to clean the kitchen after dinner. 
I've stumbled across a mystery series of books that I'm enjoying, Agatha Raisin series.  Kind of a Miss Marple sort of thing.  Good cold weather reading. 
I got a cute blue sweater and tomorrow Kelly is taking a few shots of us for our Christmas cards.  I need to lose fifty pounds in the next twenty four hours.  You can take a break from praying for Mac and pray for that. 
That's all I got.  Have a good day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Obsess much?

On the lookout for this coffee table.  There's a similiar one on QVC for $131, never ordered from QVC so I'm hesitant...

Sample room: Sherwin Williams Tidewater Blue paint.  P.S. I need those paintings.

C.S.Lewis Room last Christmas

This chair is my boyfriend.  He's too expensive but I lurv him.

This chair is my 99% choice for the living/C.S. Lewis Room.


Reminder, this is the daybed I'm using in place of a traditional sofa.  I ordered a chocolate brown quilted cover set.

I think I'll put everything in place and paint after the holidays so I'm not losing my mind.  In the meantime, I am going to lose my mind minus the painting.  Thoughts?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

And I thank God for the lighthouse...

Every once in a while, I'll scroll back through my archives to see what photographs I might have taken a year ago.  Today, I ran across the photo above, taken on 11/11/11, during our anniversary trip.  It's a lighthouse on Lake Michigan in St. Joseph.  Dean was still dealing with the death of his dad and the painful memories of his last days with him, watching him fade away with dementia. 
Our anniversary trip is usually the best week of the year.  But last year, like a boat on the Lake Michigan waters, we felt tossed and troubled.  A stormy sky seemed to hover above us and the comfort we have always found in one another felt strained.  That week's vacation didn't renew us as we had hoped. 
When I ran across this photograph, an old song came to mind..The Lighthouse.

This old song, like so many from my childhood, brings back memories of Sunday nights in church as a little girl.  It soothes my soul like it did then, when my little girl's heart could feel the anointing flowing across that sanctuary with its vaulted ceilings and green padded pews.
More than that, there is a specific memory when I see a lighthouse or hear this old song.  
Dean was a bass player in a Southern Gospel group during our courtship.  On weekends when other teenagers were doing, well I don't know what they were doing, we were at churches where he was playing.  If I was going to date a musician, this was what our dates were going to be.  I'd sit near the front since I usually didn't know anyone while the guys played.  I'd wait patiently while they tore down and then he'd drive me home after church. 
I wasn't a night owl even in those days.  It was true love that inspired me to venture out on those Saturday and Sunday nights.  By the time we'd be driving home, I'd be fighting to keep my eyes open.  This was in the olden days when cars had bench seats so I could scoot right up next to him (what seat belt law?)  He'd put his right arm around me and I'd lean in to him, pretty soon the street lights and the sleepiness would lull me into almost sleep.  Being the sweet guy that he was, Dean didn't try to wake me up.  He let me be quiet and still, maybe it's then I recognized that this was where my peace would always be.  One one night we were driving home from Ohio.  If you've ever driven through Ohio into Michigan, you know that's the ideal place for being a sleeping passenger in a car :)
As I snuggled into my boyfriend's side with my eyes closed, I listened to him singing...

And I thank God for the lighthouse; I owe my life to him...Jesus is the Lightouse and from the rocks of sin, he has shown his light around me that I might plainly see.  If it wasn't for the Lighthouse, where would this ship be...

We were both kids, still in high school.  This was the soundtrack of our courtship.  This was the love song, and it was sung from God to us.  From the lips of my seventeen year old boyfriend, it was the most beautiful sound of my life so far.  And still is.
We've been tossed on stormy seas and spent days underneath gray and threatening skies.  But Jesus has always been there in the storm to guide us safely to harbor.  Last night, I sat in an auditorium watching my forty seven year old husband playing bass and I watched him lift his hands in worship.  Afterward, I snuggled into his side right side and fell asleep remembering those days and overwhelmed at the goodness of God. 
Those stormy skies of a year ago have passed over and we are once again in peaceful waters.  To many people, date nights in old churches and long drives singing southern gospel to pass the time would seem a laughable courtship.  Not much cool about it, I suppose.
But how grateful and humbled I am that my boyfriend sang Jesus to me while I slept. 

For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
Psalm 18:39

Saturday, November 10, 2012


1. Dean's playing at the River Raisin Theatre in Monroe tonight.
2. I'm going shopping at Ulta, I lurv Ulta!
3. Getting excited that the holidays are coming.
4. I'm so happy about my new day bed, got me decorator dreamin'.
5. In the mood to do some baking.
6. Sometimes the people on HGTV who are suffering with a too small master suite make me nuts.
7. Designing our Christmas cards on the Hallmark site can keep me entertained for hours.
8. Loving a few last mild Michigan days & some time with coffee around the fire pit.
9. I can't think of ten things so...bye!
Can you find the Mr. in this poster? (right side, middle with white bass)

Friday, November 09, 2012

C.S. Lewis room updates, 'cause you know you wanna know!

My cousin posted this pic of a daybed she needs to sell on Facebook, so there ya go!  I was trying to figure out if a day bed would be a good choice for my living room since we don't have a guest room.  A cute cottage style bed for a great price and lots cheaper than a new sofa...the best of all worlds!  I can live with it and if it doesn't suit me, nothing lost.  I'll bless someone else with it and get a sofa. 

I don't know about you, but I always think of these kind of moments as Jesus reminding me how much he loves me...right down to the little stuff.  So why in the world should I worry about Obamacare?  LOL!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day thoughts...

1. Do not consider your ballot more than it is.   God, being merciful, will not allow the people of the United States nor the president to do that which is outside of his will.  It is our daily prayers for our nation, our humble prayer about our vote and most of all, our lives before God that will impact this country in the long term.  Pray, humble yourself and vote.  And tomorrow, regardless of the outcome, pray more.
2. Christians celebrating the principles of Romney because they are most like our own.  Any possibility that we might be grieving the Lord?  Mr. Romney's faith instructs that he will someday have his own planet.  Oh, but he's pro life!  Yes, there are lots of folks who have "right thinking."  And thank God for them.  But have we elevated thoughts above submission to God's word?  Because they are certainly two different things.  I don't support President Obama with my vote, but I support him in office with my respect and prayer.  As surely as Mr. Romney can have right thinking with wrong (deadly) theology, so can Mr. Obama be so influenced.  Please don't misunderstand,  I am not chastising Christians who vote for Mr. Romney.  But my heart aches when I hear him celebrated.  Be cautious not to minimize the significance of his faith.
3. If we have prayed for our nation and this election, we can be peaceful.  In fact, we must be peaceful.  Once we have laid our country at the feet of Jesus,  we must not pick it back up and speak as though any man can exert his will above God's.

Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 146

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Shaturday Shtuffy Head

1.  Have a spectacular head cold going.
2.  Putting away the Halloweeny decorations.
3. Venturing out to pick up a few Thanksgiving decorations.
4. Making a pot of chicken soup, see number one.
5. The C.S. Lewis room is empty...decisions, decisions, decisions.
6. I got a particularly fabulous hair cut this week.
7. We need to get our Christmas card pics done with Kellerbell.
8. Using leftover red wine to make a pot roast...yuuuuuummmy gravy alert!
9. I really just want to lay in bed and read.
10. I reserve the right to not do any of the aforementioned in lieu of number 9.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

To thine own self, let grace be sufficient...

Are there things that you will go 100 miles out of your way to avoid?
Not things like rattle snakes or zombies.  Things like conflict, confrontation, difficult conversations or even apologising.  I do.  I am a gold medal avoidist.  I'm sure that's part and parcel of being an introvert.  Being around others for happy stuff is draining, negative stuff makes me want to crawl up my chimney to hide.
The Mr. is a conflict avoider.  Shew, is he ever!  He's so anti-conflict that after the dust settles and you ask him if he's glad that he finally dealt with something, he'll say no.  He still wishes he could've avoided the unpleasantness.  Lots of people say that's a wonderful trait.  But you wanna know a secret?  It isn't.
Nor is my avoidism. 
If you are nonconfrontational because you have a peace-keeper's heart and that is what God has called you to do, to still troubled waters around you, that's different. In fact, that isn't really avoid, it's taking control by restoring order.  But when we avoid because we are afraid, that's not good.  No action (or lack thereof) motivated by fear comes from God. 
So how do we manage ourselves or people in our lives who are stuck in the deep muck of avoiding difficult stuff?  One classic coping tool is to ask one's self, "what's the worst thing that could happen?"  Maybe that will work for you.  I think more often, what we are truly afraid of is whether we will be able to manage the emotions of the moment.  Perhaps we're unsure of our own capabilities to take control of something important.  Sometimes we fear that once drawn into a situation, we'll have to make choices that will disappoint or anger others.
Are you afraid that the worst thing that could happen is that your advice will fail?  Your confrontation will spark a war?  You'll lose your temper, cry or become tongue-tied?  The other person will become angry and stop loving you?
I've done a lot of self examination over the past few years as I've stopped warring against the me that God created and embraced the me that is introverted.  I've realized that some of the experiences that are hard on introverts cause a feeling much like offendedness or anger when others don't catch my more subtle requests for space.  Yet, how to be true to myself and not fall into the trap of avoiding because of fear?
In the words of Shakespeare, "to thine own self be true."
You see, my friend,  God created you very specifically.  Weakness and strength in balance.  I'm not talking about self-centeredness.  That's not being true to one's self at all.  It's that you know the truth of who you are, the truth that God spoke into your soul. 
If you are at all like me, you'll have to ask Christ to introduce you to that soul that he created because from the first breath we take, the world tries to grab us and mold us into something that is universally understandable and comfortable to the majority.  Which really flies in the face of the way our Creator does things!  So I had to spend lots of time talking to the Lord and letting him show me the parts of me that I kept tucking away.  Basically, I spent a lot of years trying to avoid being weird.  Turns out, God gave me an exceptional amount of weird. 
Back to the avoiding issue.  Now that I know myself better, it's my responsibility to submit my self before my God.  When the traits of my personality trigger unGodly responses, I need to seek the Holy Spirit to remake me in the image of Jesus. 
But, do you want to know the most powerful thing I've learned?  That more of me is ok than I had previously thought!  I just need to know and understand myself well enough to explain my needs and weaknesses and how I work my way through life.  An example?  When the Mr.'s parents lived here, their home felt like chaos to me.  I thrive on a different kind of environment.  So I explained myself to Dean.  I can go spend hours with you and your mom and dad but it will wear me out. I won't feel like going out to dinner later, and fair warning...I'll be grouchy. I will be able to maintain control but I'll need to come home and be by myself with a book for the rest of the night.  OR I can stay behind and let my spirit and mind rest and fill up on the things God made me needful of.  And when Dean got home, I'd be calm and relaxed and ready for an evening out...and grateful for being understood and accepted.
He always chose the second option.  Not just out of kindness for me, but because he really likes going out to dinner and a movie on the weekend so we both got what we wanted. 
Does any of this make sense?
Figure out what you avoid.  Ask God to introduce you to yourself.  Submit all of the parts of yourself to the Holy Spirit.  Acknowledge that God loves you and it gives him pleasure when you learn the truth about yourself.  Be able to explain yourself to others and hold yourself accountable not to excuse bad behavior with the Popeye Protocol (I yam what I yam!)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9,10

Costume donations?

Shoe people!  We need left over Halloween costumes at Kingswood.  Every year we have a Halloween party for all of the patients at the hospital and trick or treating from office to office for the kids.  Everybody loves to dress up, including the adult patients. 
If you have gently used costumes that you'd like to donate for our patients to enjoy next year, please let me know or send them to:

Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital
Attn: Sara
10300 West Eight Mile Rd.
Ferndale, MI 48220


Monday, October 29, 2012

Flip that C. S. Lewis Room!

To everything there is a season, and a time to every home decor idea under heaven.

Do the changing seasons stir up your inner designer and make you want to paint, rearrange and freshen up your home?  Yes?  Good, me too.  Not to mention that my inner kindergarten teacher is compelled to bring out accents (currently lots of pumpkins and Autumn leaves) with every holiday or shift in the weather.  Seriously, if I didn't have to work for a living and had an endless supply of interior paint, I could stay busy until Jesus comes.

Shortly after we moved to this new old house, we painted the living room and nicknamed it the C.S. Lewis Room.  It was my space, quiet and small and ideal for reading or just thinking.  Over the last few years, it's become sort of a catch-all room as we inherited a piano and moved around furniture trying to make it all work.  Long story short, it no longer works.  Mac has a friend moving into their own apartment for the first time so I have decided this is an excellent time to start over in the C.S. Lewis Room.  We're going to give some old furniture away and empty out the accumulation of stuff to rethink the room.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the quickly approaching holidays will inspire the Mr. to work with me so that the house looks nice and fresh by Thanksgiving.  I know, high hopes.

I've got my eye out for the perfect new furniture.  I'd love a small sectional with a chaise.  Wouldn't that be perfect for reading and thinking?  It's also time to update the paint because the soothing golden orange is feeling dark and dreary to me now.  I'm considering sea glass blues and greens.  

The style is too modern, but how yummy is this?  YUMMY that's how yummy it is!  Since we live in a small post war bungalow with two bedrooms, I've also considered a daybed instead of a traditional sofa since it would be an excellent reading spot but also provide a place for an overnight guest in a pinch...

And how about copying all of our family and vacation photos in black & white?

I'm starting to wonder if this is a realistic project for the next few weeks.  Maybe after the holidays would be more doable and less stressful.  What do you guys think? 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

26th Anniversary

There are two times every year dedicated to vacationing; in the summertime with Daboyz and in late October for our anniversary. Alas, the 2012 vacation schedule has come to a close.
We returned late Saturday from our trip to Traverse City, Michigan.  I'd say it was our best anniversary trip ever but we tend to say that every year ;)
The Mr. reserved our room at the Cherry Tree Inn & Resort with a balcony overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan.  We spent an afternoon roaming around downtown, another day exploring the two penninsulas, Old Mission and Leelanau and plenty of time sitting in corner coffee shops and chatting or just staring at the amazing Lake Michigan shoreline.  We wrapped up Friday evening listening to jazz at a small restaurant downtown. 
When we arrived home on Saturday evening we built a fire in the backyard until it got too chilly and then relaxed in our sweet little house, sorry that vacation is over but as always, happy to be home.
God is good, everywhere and all the time.

From our balcony; fire pit in the lower right.

The Mr. at...

At the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Leelanau Penninsula-Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan shoreline

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Twenty six years married on the twenty fifth of this month and thirty years going steady on the 19th of November.  If there is any advice I'd share with couples, it would be simply, just stay. 
I've been tempted to end our marriage with divorce and I've acted foolishly by allowing distance where there should be none.  Nothing dramatic has come between us in twenty years but still, we sometimes need reminders to stay.  Stay interested and emotionally close, stay physically affectionate and sweet. 
I mentioned on Saturday that the Mr. had some sweet surprises for me on Friday evening; flowers & a card, dinner and over night to a hotel.  There's a local hotel we started "running away" to when Dean was caring for his dad, close enough to easily respond in case of an emergency but still feels like a get-away.  As we were having dinner, I told my husband that I must be changing because I was never a flowers and romantic evening kind of girl.  I've always preferred a quiet evening at home in my pajamas.  Then he said something profound,
"I want to learn how to love you better every day."
There are different kinds of staying.  Staying for the kids, the financial security.  Staying because divorce is against one's faith or because it's just plain old familiar where you are and starting over is too much work.  Staying out of habit or fear or because it's the right thing to do.
Then there is intentional staying.  Staying because you believe there is something in marriage that represents the love of God for His bride and it's the description of His love for us.  Staying the way God stays means sometimes resting quietly together and sometimes running after the one who wanders.  It means wrapping yourself around the one you love to protect him from the arrows of the enemy.  It means covering their faults with your strength.  Staying means being humble enough to be weak and even to be carried in the arms of the one who loves you at your worst.
It means learning every day, how to love better.  And then doing it.
Today, look at your spouse and make a decision.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
Psalm 42:7

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My exciting life ;)

1. Spent last weekend up north with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf.
2. Lots of long days, early morning meetings and evening tiredness this week.
3. My sweet wonderful Mr. surprised me last night by having flowers and a beautiful card waiting when I got home, taking me out to dinner and then an unexpected night at a local hotel.
4. The best part about number 3?  He had no idea it was Sweetest Day, he's just that awesome :)
5. Speaking of awesomeness, we're leaving on Tuesday evening for four days in Traverse City.
6. I love Autumn, gonna spend the weekend putting out my Fall decorations.
7. Tomorrow my sister is hosting a celebration for her grand baby Mason's dedication, yay for babies!
8. I may make lasagna this weekend.  Or I may not.
9. I may make cookies this weekend.  Or I may not.
10. As you can see, I lead a very exciting life!
Cherry Tree Inn Resort, Traverse City