Tuesday, August 31, 2010

peace, be still...

But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, 
“Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 
“Peace, be still!” 
And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, 
“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Mark 4:38-40 NKJV

In the year 2010, the Master is still calming storms.  Tonight, through these words read to my by a dear friend, the raging storm in my heart ceased and my soul calmed.

Forgive me for my ranting and raving in my last post over the health care system in the United States.  Yes, it is flawed; but even in 2010, there are people on this earth who do not have the opportunity to see a doctor, to go to a hospital, to have a head CT done, etc., etc...  In light of this, who am I to complain?  

After taking care of the immediate situation... the storm that raged, Jesus asked this of His disciples...
"Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?"

He asks the same question of me tonight.  The storm in my soul has settled but now I am faced with His questions... why am I so fearful?  How is it that I have no faith?"

It's humbling to realize the storm that raged in my heart was born out of fear... fear of the unknown... fear of the what-ifs... fear of the wait and the uncertainty.  It's also equally humbling to know that somewhere along the short journey between Friday and today I let go of trust and gave into fear.... knowing that I brought this storm into my heart rather than rest under the wings of my Creator, humbles me to the core.  I have no one to blame but myself.  

Nothing in God's plan for my life... Chad's life... Ellen's life has changed except my reaction to this situation.  God hasn't changed.  Nor has His love for my daughter changed. He created her... He loves her... He knows her.  

I am the one who changed when I went from trusting an all-knowing, all-loving God to being being fearful and trusting no one.  I chose to cling to all the unknowns in fear rather than rest in the knowledge that there is One who knows all.

There are no unknowns with God.  He sees all.  He hears all.  He knows all.  He is Master and Commander and to the storms that rage, He says...

"peace, be still"

the tangled web of medicine...

Oh the tangled web of the medical world... and we have our judicial system and our legislative system to thank for it.... pardon me if I neglect to be grateful.

Seriously, yesterday and today were days of phone calls and a doctor appointment, all of which had to take place BEFORE we could get Ellen an appointment with a neurologist.  I found great humor in listening as our family doctor's receptionist attempted to get a referral to a pediatric neurologist for Ellen.  She had more hoops to jump through than I had the day before.  It did my heart good to know that doctors have to jump through each other's hoops too. ; )

This has also given me a much deeper appreciation for my friends who have to do this every single day of their lives.  My friend, Donna, advocates for her 4 year old autistic son every day.  Josh is not only autistic but he also has a mitochondria disease.  She has spent countless hours on the phone and at appointments jumping through the hoops of the tangled web of the medical world in an effort to find a prognosis for her son.  

My friend, Kathy, has to advocate for herself.  She's had a number of strokes and her speech is severely impaired as a result.  She is in a wheelchair and yet has to jump through hoops to get to appointments that only result in another appointment being scheduled on another day to get another opinion.  

I dread the upcoming years.  This issue will only get worse thanks to our legislatures who have passed laws to govern medicine in an effort to counteract the high number of law suits that have driven up the cost of medicine.  Honestly, I am thankful that this has happened with Ellen now and not in a couple of years.  I'm not sure we would even be able to get an appointment with a neurologist then.

I am VERY thankful that we do have an appointment next week for Ellen to see an pediatric neurologist.  I am VERY thankful for my primary care physician and his office staff who were able to get me the appointment.  I am VERY thankful that we have insurance to cover the costs of these appointments.  

However, even though I am only on the edge of this tangled web, I have been reminded again of how much I am against the healthy care system in our country.  I hate the way it is now and I hate the "fix" that has been promised for the future.  

I know that I've only experienced a small step into this awful mess called medicine.  I also know that Donna and Kathy are not the only ones who deal with this on a daily basis.  I tip my hat to all who have to fight through the tangled web of the medical world in the good ole' US of A.

Monday, August 30, 2010

embracing the rhythm of routine...

I love the rhythm of routine... the simplicity of a schedule.  Now that we have started school, I am loving being back into the rhythm of a routine...

... a routine of morning personal Bible study and then Bible study and prayer with the kids before we start school.

... a rhythm of peace and calm as schoolwork is accomplished and lunch is being made.

... a simplicity of having supper planned and in the crock pot all afternoon.

... a schedule that allows for chores and schoolwork to be completed before Dad gets home from work.

I'm finding peace and joy in the rhythm of our routine and in the simplicity of a schedule again.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Last night, Chad and I found ourselves in the ER with the almost-7 year old.  She isn't sick.  She isn't injured.  In fact, according to the ER, we have a very healthy, happy almost-7 year old.  However, we also have a child whose left foot doesn't want to work properly... as she says "my foot is being weird. It doesn't want to work right".

I contemplated much last night... all the while trying not to let my brain "go there" and freak out.  When they wheeled my baby for a head CT, I almost lost the battle between calm and panic.   I believe I kept it together only because of people praying specifically for the mom in this situation!

The greatest contemplation came on the late night drive home.  Just a few months ago, dear friends lived my nightmare last night.  Why did we get the doctor who came in and said "we don't know what is causing this but we do know that her CT, xray and labs all came back looking great"  and my friends got the doctor who said "your daughter has a brain tumor"?

I can't even begin to know why God allows some trials and stops others.  I can't go there.  I can't wrap my feeble brain around why one friend's lump is benign while another friend finds out she has stage 4 lymphoma.  Or why my father-in-law is now cancer free and yet I have friends who are enjoying heaven after battling cancer.  I don't know why Emme's BFF has a brain tumor and Ellen doesn't.

I only know that I serve a God who never changes.... One who is good all the time.  I have chosen to place my heart in His hands and trust that He will carry me through the uncertainty.  I can only pray that I will be obedient to whatever road He has me journey.

...so... for the last 15 hours I have been reflective, contemplative, prayerful...  

...contemplating a God who never changes.

...contemplating a God who freely gives grace and mercy.

...contemplating that my feeble mind can not understand this God and these gifts but I will love Him and serve Him anyway.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

my favorite season is here!

In my world there are five seasons...winter, spring, summer, fall and FOOTBALL!!  Tonight is the season premier of Football Night in America.... Bret and the Vikings vs. Alex and the 49ers.

Take one look at this family picture and it's obvious who our team is... and, it's neither the Vikings and the aged Bret or the 49ers.  Yet, I sit here watching a preseason game that has no bearing on either teams season's stats grinning from ear to ear.  

Honestly, I LOVE football.  I love all of it.  I loved watching Eric play pee-wee.  I love watching the Heisman race in college.  I love watching the NFL and I love watching the Indy Colts.  

I grew up with Sunday afternoon football... each fall we would come home from church to a big family dinner and then it would be football all afternoon.  I grew up watching the Lions and the Bears and I remember rejoicing when the Bears with Jim McMahon, and  "Sweetness" Walter Payton won the 20th SuperBowl in 1986.  

My girls are less than thrilled that I'm passing this family tradition on to them.  Who knows... they may really impress some guy someday with their knowledge of 1st downs and interceptions... and the difference between a kick and a punt.  For now, though, every single Sunday I hear "do we have to watch football today?"  Seriously!?  What kind of question is that!?

I don't think I ever impressed Chad much with my football knowledge.  When we were dating and first married, Chad had no desire to watch Sunday football.  There are very few things that I have influenced him on but I'm happy to say... he's a Sunday football convert.  

And, after 16  years, he's a bigger football fan than I am.  He now recognizes five seasons of the year...

...winter, spring, summer, fall and FOOTBALL!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

memories of the lake... part 3


I've learned how to bait a hook... and, I've learned how to take the catch off... but, I've never learned how to clean a fish.  At 41, I don't really relish learning now.

Fishing, for me, is synonymous with being at the lake.  I'm not a fisherman at heart and the only place I enjoy it is here.  I'm not into all the fishing doodads... just a simple rod and reel and a bucket of big, fat nightcrawlers.

I watched my girls get into fishing this week.  They could tell you exactly how many fish they have caught... roughly in the tens of thousands, probably.  And, since I've never learned to clean a catch, they had to throw them all back (which means they probably caught the same three fish over and over and over again).  

I used my skills of baiting a hook and releasing the catch over and over again... especially Friday morning.  For some reason, known only in the underwater world, it was a good morning to catch fish.  As I stood on the dock with the girls, I realized I could do a lot of things for them but I couldn't clean their catch.

My Dad can.  My Mom can.  My brother can.  My man can.  I think even my sister can.  It's not that I can't... it's more that I won't.  Cleaning fish is Bud's job.

My grandfather, Bud, cleaned many a fish in his lifetime.  He was a man of few words who enjoyed life a slow pace.  But, boy, when we kids came in with a mess of fish, he would spring into action... giving us all directions...

"Get that yellow bucket out there"

"Now, ask your Grandma for a clean bowl of water"

"Go to the kitchen and get a couple'a spoons to scale these fish with"

"Take that out to the fish table"

"Find me some newspaper for this table"

"I need my filet knife"

"Dig a hole on the side of Grandma's pink rose bush for those fish heads"

"Make sure you save those fish eggs"

"Take this bowl of cleaned fish into your Grandma and she'll fry 'em up for us!"

And, because Bud cleaned the fish, I never had to learn.  I think for him it was easier to do it than to explain it in detail to me over and over again.  I was okay with that.  He had the yucky job.  All I had to do was do his running for him... carrying buckets and bowls of clean water, finding newspaper and utensils and then digging holes for fish heads when we were finished.  

The best part, though, was that by the time the fish heads were buried, Grandma had a whole mess of lake fish fried up and ready for us.

...I did learn how to do that.

memories of the lake... part 2

Snowed In

The lake draws me winter as well as summer.  In the winter, the quieter is quieter... the calm is calmer.

Sometime in the 1980s, our family realized that Christmas at the lake would be quieter... calmer... more peaceful.  So, we would pack up our boxes of Christmas decorations and clothes for a week, bring our gifts ready to place under a tree here and head north. 

An hour and half later, we would unpack and commence Christmas vacation.  The tree varied year to year.  One year we brought a live tree with us and planted it on the farm after Christmas.  Other years, we bought one in town.  I think we even cut our own on another year.  The tree didn't matter and truly the decorations seemed less important when we were at the lake.

We would come to the lake to sleep...to rest... to read... to escape.  We would laugh outrageously and eat equally outrageously.  Someone, it seemed, was always in the kitchen concocting cookies... candies... buckeyes. 

Books, puzzles and games were our entertainment.  No tv or phone to connect us to the outside world.  An occasional video (we all have a distinct memory of laughing uproarously at Never Cry Wolf) bounded us.  Late night card games were what our memories are made of.

Some years, snow would come.... Other years would be a "brown Christmas".  We longed for snow.  Snow meant we could be "snowed in" and stay a day or two longer... and we would.  It matter not the amount of snow... all we needed was enough snow to be able to legitmately say were snowed in... and a couple inches or so.

We would savor our extra time... thankful for being snowed in.  We would enjoy the fire in the fireplace a little more... relaxing in the peace and joy that comes from not being able to go and do.  And... when it was time to leave, we were all a little more ready to face the outside world thanks to the extra time we had being snowed in.


... in returning to the calm of the lake this week, I opted to be "snowed in".  Rather than drive home yesterday, I called my man and asked he and the man-cub to come up.  They arrived late yesterday afternoon. 

Today we are "rained in" and loving every minute of it.  I think when it is time to leave tonight, I will be more ready to face the outside world thanks to the extra time I had being snowed in at the lake in August.

Friday, August 20, 2010

memories of the lake... part 1

**I wrote this in 1989 as a tribute to my grandparents and in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.  Being back at the lake this week, I found this forgotten memoir. 

Fourth of July

The serenity of the lake, with it's diamond-like sparkle is rudely interrupted by the splashing and giggling of grandchildren playing in its shallow waters.  The childish adventure is echoed through the screaming of "Marco--Polo", as the children play their version of hide-and-seek in the cool lake.  On the lakeshore sit parents and grandparents watching their youngsters as they play... enjoying the carefree day away from the demands of the world.  As they sit and chat, they are keenly aware of the littlest children romping around the water's edge... the older children as they bob up and down in the water... and the boats that move swiftly by.

"Meema", as she has been lovingly dubbed by a small granddaughter, who couldn't quite pronounce "grandma", is hardly relaxed.  Back and forth she runs into the house making sure that lunch is coming along well and that everyone is taken care of.  Just as she stids down in the refreshing shade of the cottonwoods, she thinks of "just one more thing" that must be done, and up she goes again into the house to find a disposable dish for a grandson... who, in the process of going fishing, needs a container for his bait that he "found" under Grandma's rose bush.

Soon the peacefulness of the shade is broken by the preparations for lunch.  Picnic tables and benches replace lawn chairs as mothers bring out the potato chips, condiments, and salads and fathers huddle over the grill adding the finishing touches to the already blackened hamburgers.  Grandchilden are summoned in from their frolicking in the water... dripping and hungry, the children line up along the picnic tables as they survey the provisions set before them.  As the whole family joins hands, they bow their heads to thank their Creator for the blessings He has given them.  The last syllable of "amen" has not even left their lips when everyone "digs in."  For a brief moment, chaos prevails as the parents try to make sure all of the youngsters are content before filling their own plates.  A satisfied hush hovers over the table as each person fills themselves to the rim.  Soon all the burgers and salads are gone.  Just as the fathers begin to push themselves away from the table and the children start thinking of something to do for a half hour before swimming, an aunt brings out the pie and Grandma's "junk cookies".  Moans and groans accompany the second and third helpings of pie piled onto the plates.  The general consensus is summed up in the words, "I am so full, I could burst!"

None too soon after the final leftovers have been put away and the last dish wiped and put it its respective place, the first grandchild wanders in and mentions the word "hungry".  Out come the pies, the plates and the forks once again, as one by one, the rest of the grandchildren straggle in.  Not too far behind are the fathers and grandfather to begin on their fourth and fifth pieces.

The remaining aftertoon light is spent as the children once again play their favorite water games and the parents fill each other in on the latest family gossip.  Listening in the shade, Grandma and Grandpa just can't seem to get enough.  They tune themselves in to every grandchild as they yell from the lake, "Lookitme, Grandma!" or "Watch this, Grandpa!"

The setting sun begins to reflect on the lake as mothers run around finding towels, shorts, shoes and kids.  Children slowly come in from the lake with frowns and groans of "why can't we stay as long as we like?  Grandma doesn't mind.  She said we could stay 'as long as we liked'!" Above the children's groans, fathers yell for one more "potty break" and begin herding the children to the cars.  Hugs for Grandpa and Grandma and handshakes and pats on the back stall for a few more minutes together.  Soon, though, all cars pull out and head for home.

Once again, solitude prevails over the lake and Grandma and Grandpa take time to readjust as they watch the sun set over the lake.  Just as each is refecting to themselves, "I wish they could come more often," a small child pipes from a backseat, "I left my shoes at Grandmas!"

the calm of the lake...

Standing on the dock with a cup of chai watching my daughters fish this morning brought to mind the calm of the lake...

Sitting on the deck watching the sun burn of the morning mist and shorten the shadows dancing on the water brought to mind the calm of the lake...

Seeing a family of swans lazily swim past the girls' fishing lines out for their morning breakfast forage brought to mind the calm of the lake...

Surrounding myself with the early morning symphony of birds, insects, waves and ducks brought to mind the calm of the lake...

... on weekdays when the weekenders are still at work and the tourists haven't arrived yet, there is a calm that surrounds the lake....

A calm that cools the hot heart and speaks to the frazzled mind... 

A calm that permeates the skin and settles deep into the soul...

A calm that draws one in and takes one's breath away...

...all at the same time...

...the calm of the lake.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

the healing balm of the lake...

I've been coming here longer than I can remember and even before that.... this lake... this oasis...

In the 1960s my grandparents bought a parcel of land on a previously unihabited island in the midst of an inland lake in Michigan.  At the time of purchase, boat was the only means of travel to and from the island.  As the island property was partitioned off and sold in "lake-frontage" lots, a road, was built... a pennisula of sorts joining the island to civilization.

In 1968, my grandparents finished my grandmother's dream home and while my grandfather continued to live on the farm, my grandmother moved the less than 10 miles to the island without him.  As she watched the island become inhabited...houses being built... docks being placed in the water... boats moored... and a 9-hole golf course take over the center of the island, she eventually saw her man reluctantly join her in living at the lake.

The summer of '69 was my first summer... and my first summer at the lake.  For 38 years I returned summer after summer... when I pined for time with my cousins, I came to the lake... when life left me unsure, I came to the lake... when my heart was broken, I came to the lake... when I fell in love and wanted reveal part of what made me who I am, I came to the lake... and, when it came time to marry the love of my life, I woke up on my wedding day at the lake.

There are a few loves of my life that I have been able to pass on to my husband and kids.  The lake is one.  Our first summers of young married life were spent at the lake.  So many memories of my man saving his vacation time so that he could fish a day longer at the lake.  Memories of new love spending long, lazy hours with seasoned love.  Memories of my grandmother catering to my man's every whim.  And, memories of bringing young children to play at the water's edge with the cousins... the next generation to pine for cousin time at the lake.

My grandparents have both gone on to heaven and there is now a different house to come to... but the lake always draws me back.  The lake draws me when my heart hurts or life has been rough.  Here is where my man brought me after we buried our stillborn son.  I found rest and renewal and healing at the lake.

Life ebbs and flows.  There are seasons of life that seem to leave no time for rest and renewal and no time to come to the lake during the summer.  And, there are other seasons of life that demand it.  When life spins so out of control that sleep is only a dream and rest is unattainable... there is only one place for me to go... to the healing balm of the lake.

Watching my girls rest and renew this week... feeling myself unwind... finding sleep in the cool lake breezes... sitting and soaking in the solitude of a flock of swans swim by in the morning hours... reading in the shade... listening to the sympony of waves... unplugging myself from my electronics... all of this and so much more is the balm of the lake that heals my soul.

Monday, August 16, 2010

on being poured out...

"But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering..." Philippians 2:17

Tonight I feel poured out...  

WALK IT... TALK IT... 2010 ....

1 day...a 1 day kids' conference on personal evangelism

6 hours...from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

75 kids...from several different churches

...one exhausted and exhilarated coordinator/teacher!

There are so many thoughts, ideas, memories swirling in my head that I'd love to share with you... but I can't find the words.  I think I spent every single word I had today and then some.

There is something incredible about knowing that all that could have been said... was!
and the vessel used by God was poured out until empty.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the calm before the storm...

...if only!

Tomorrow is the BIG day.  Tomorrow 75+ kids will convene on our local park for a kids' conference on personal evangelism... WALK IT... TALK IT...2010!

I can't wait!  It's going to be good.  My prayer is that hearts will be changed and kids will be equipped to share their faith at school or wherever God has them.

I'm thrilled to be a part of this.  Thrilled to see this through.  Thrilled to be used.

As thrilled as I am to do this, there has not been a calm before tomorrow's storm.  The past 2 weeks have been one spiritual battle after another.  I really wish I could see what the Spiritual Realm can see... it seems as though the enemy turns up the heat whenever there is something great coming.

Based on the spiritual storms that have been raging and the fact that there has been no calm before the storm of kids coming tomorrow, I am eagerly anticipating watching God do incredible things among the hearts of our local kids.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Schoolhouse Planner review... surprised by God!!

I love being surprised by God... He does it often.  He chooses to surprise me with something when I least expect it.  He did it again...

...through my connection with The Old Schoolhouse Crew... a review writing contest.  I review and use The Schoolhouse Planner and at the same time enter a writing contest for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  How cool is that?!

See this...

...this is amazing!

...this is incredible!!

...this is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!!

THIS is the 2010 Schoolhouse Planner published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!!!!

Three years ago I saw this and wanted one but always maxed out my homeschool curriculum dollars-to-spend before I got to the list of "Mom's stuff...".  So, The Schoolhouse Planner never got ordered.

The funny thing is... I was going to write a review on this planner even before seeing it for myself.  Seriously!!  This is ALL of that... and the whipped cream on the top!  Everything I've seen and read about this impressed me, so I figured I could write a review on my impressions.

Apparently, TOS (The Old Schoolhouse magazine) feels that their reviewers should get to see... read... play around with... their products before they write a review, instead of writing on impressions.  So, they sent me one to review!!  WOO HOO!!  

...this planner is the ONLY planner I have ever seen that is designed for the homeschool mom in mind.  One of my most difficult challenges in homeschooling is balance.  How do I balance being a wife, mom, teacher, laundry maid, housekeeper, and shopper?  How do I do it well?  ... with the Schoolhouse Planner!  There are lists, charts and guides for every area of my home and all of it is conveniently housed together in one location...

...address book, contact info, doctor info...

...year calendars, monthly calendars and daily schedules...

...menu plans, shopping lists and kitchen helps...

...this planner is ELECTRONIC!!  Seriously!  I am on my computer too many hours in a day.  Now I can update the kids schoolwork right on my computer using this planner.  For me, it doesn't get any easier than that!!

...this planner includes articles and helps to keep homeschool parents informed...

...and I can choose to print pages that I may need at any time!

Honestly, this planner is over 600 pages of organizational tips, charts, forms for state reporting, calendars, planners, helpful articles, and information.  I can't think of anything that the folks at TOS forgot.

Now having seen this and played around with it, I can honestly say that I wish I would have purchased it three years ago.  The cost of $39 (for the downloadable version) is more than reasonable for all that The Schoolhouse Planner has packed into it!

The Schoolhouse Planner is also available on CD ($44) , for those who prefer a CD over internet...however, you do have to wait to have it shipped to you rather than the almost instant option of having it emailed to you.

I love it when God surprises me with things that I've wanted to own but have waited for.  This Schoolhouse Planner is definitely one of those things.  It makes me excited to start school this year!

**I received the Schoolhouse Planner as a member of the TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review of this product and to enter a contest for prizes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday's Fave five... a celebration!

I've said it before... Friday's Fave Five meme with Susanne is my favorite blog meme!  I look forward to reflecting on my week... thinking through blessings and finding five things for which to be most grateful.

This week marks Susanne's 100th week of Friday's Fave Five.  I wish I could say I've been with her from the beginning.  To the best of my recollection, this is my 13th Friday's Fave Five on Friday, the 13th.

1) AIR CONDITIONING!!! I can't tell you how thankful I am for a/c!!  This week has been HOT and I hate being hot!  As I get hotter, I get grumpier.  So, I'm sure my family is thankful that mom has stayed cool.

2) FRIENDS WITH POOLS!!  A pool is one of life's luxuries that my man will never agree to... so, I am so very thankful for generous friends who willing share their pool with us!

3) GIRLS NIGHT OUT!!  Last night was one such Girls Night Out.  My friend, Donna, opened her pool for Moms at 8 pm.  We floated, watched the meteor shower and laughed until 12:15 a.m.  Girls Night Out always makes for a shorter night of sleep but it is sooooo worth it!  Thanks friends!

4) SUMMER VACATION!!  I'm still holding out for some sort of summer vacation.  Emily mentioned yesterday that she can't wait for winter for life to slow down.  It really is that way in our home.  Winter is slow and quiet and summer is on the run.  Next week, I think I will have about 4 days of summer vacation at my parent's lake home with the kids... looking forward to it!!  After which, we will start school.

5) TEACHING KIDS BIBLE TRUTHS!!!  This week has been a lot of planning for our upcoming kids' conference which will be held on Monday.  I can't wait.  More to come on that one....

Thank you, Susanne, for hosting Friday Fave Five! Congratulations on your anniversary!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

you get what you get...

You get what you get... and you don't throw a fit!

Emme once had a homeschool cooperative teacher who taught this lesson to her class... over and over again.  I'm ever grateful to Mrs. Deckers for this lesson... it's one that is repeated often in our home.

I wish Mrs. Deckers would come teach this lesson to some adults I know.  In fact, today, I would have had an entire classroom of adults for Mrs. Deckers.  

We volunteered to pass out Tools for School today...and I would have loved for Mrs. Deckers to be there...

I wish that Mrs. Deckers would teach parents that free is FREE... therefore, please don't yell at my children when you don't like the color of the book bag that was chosen for your child... you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!

I would have loved to have Mrs. Deckers handing out 2-pocket folders when a mom insisted on blue and red instead of yellow and green... you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!

I wish Mrs. Deckers would have been there today to remind parents that you get what you get and you don't throw a fit... you also don't call the Fire Dept to report too many people in the building because you are disgruntled over your FREE school supplies.

I would ask Mrs. Deckers to tell parents that you can't go through twice... you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!

I wish Mrs. Deckers would stand behind the 10 year old girl who has to say "I'm sorry we are out of scissors" to a very unhappy parent and say... you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!

I would ask Mrs. Deckers to tell the parents standing in line to keep an eye on their own children and not call the police department reporting the child down the line because you are hot and tired of standing in line for FREE school supplies... you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!

...and while Mrs. Deckers is there...

I would introduce her to all of the volunteer kids who were willing to stand in a very hot gym smiling with the joy of Jesus while they handed out free school supplies.

I would introduce Mrs. Deckers to the tireless Mrs. Lisenbee-Smith who organizes this event year after year and tirelessly keeps everyone in line.

I would introduce her to Angie, a young, newly single mom who stood in line and in the process of waiting for school supplies, was invited to church and told about Jesus.

I would show Mrs. Deckers the stacks of registration forms and together we could count the number of children who received FREE school supplies...as of Noon the number exceeded 700.

...and, together Mrs. Deckers and I would marvel that children grasp "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit" better than adults do!

Monday, August 09, 2010

a joyful heart...

I ran out of steam today.  I think it is because I laughed it all out this morning!

I had the privilege of driving my dear friend to her post-op appointment this morning.  The trip is approximately 35 min and I seriously think we laughed for about 30 of those minutes.

A joyful heart is good medicine... Proverbs 17:22

After Cindy's appointment and on the way home, she said "That wonderful time of laughter this morning was a gift of mercy!"

Thank you LORD for your gift of mercy in the form of two joyful hearts!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

when God floods my brain...

There is a Divine phenomena that happens occasionally in my life... God floods my brain.  

...and, it happened again last night...

Our church is hosting a one day kids' conference on evangelism.  Though I presented it and have been planning this event, my heart has been dry.  Pulling this event together has been an uphill struggle... especially considering I was trying to do it on my own.

...until yesterday... 

I had a Divinely scheduled appointment with my LORD and Savior while driving to my parent's lake house to get the 3 Es.  As He does often, the Spirit rained down on my dry, parched soul and flooded me with His love, His forgiveness, His direction.  

When I got home last night and climbed into bed, He answered my pleas for direction and ideas.  Literally, He flooded my brain!!  Of course, there is no sleep then.  A few hours in the early morning and nine hours today of Divine intervention.

Walk It... Talk It... Kids' Conference on August 16 is going to be an incredible event!  All I had to do was get out of the way... 

...and let God flood my brain.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

sweet hour of prayer...

What is it about the corporate prayer times with like-minded people that make them so special?

...is it the sweet fragrance of Christian love?

...is it the joining of hearts, minds and hands upholding loved ones before the Throne of Grace?

...is it the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit's presence in the midst?

...is it the feel of salty tears mingling at His feet?

...is it the taste of joy deep in the hearts of those who feel unworthy to approach the Great Physician on the behalf of a loved sister?

... is it the sight of heads bowed and knees bent?

... or is it all of the above...

... and so much more that merge into a sweet, sweet hour of precious prayer.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

stupid cancer!

Another friend of mine is entering a battle for her life... the battle against breast cancer.  She will face a bi-lateral mastectomy on Wednesday, the day of her son's 16th birthday.

This weekend a beautiful sister in Christ was honored at her memorial service.  She was 28 years old.  God took her home after a year and a half battle with breast cancer.

Last week I saw a dad and 3 kids grocery shop without mom... their lives forever changed by breast cancer.

Spent a few moments last week ruminating with a sweet friend about her battle with breast cancer... 4 years ago while pregnant.

Pray often for Chad's nursing colleague and our dear friend who is in the middle of her chemo treatments... diagnosed in March with stage 4 lymphoma.

...honestly, I'm tired of the word cancer.  I'm tired of hearing what causes cancer and how to prevent it.  These women were otherwise incredibly healthy women... not overweight, health food nuts, loved to exercise, etc., etc.  

...to borrow the words of the beautiful young woman who is now enjoying heaven with her Creator... 

stupid cancer!