Category Archives: Looking Back

Monday Monday <3

Good morning to you wherever you are!

We are sitting under heavy skies dripping cold rain and marveling that there are summery clothes fresh from the weekend piled in the laundry bin.

Ah the Midwest is running all kinds of weather patterns for us the last few days.

I have a series cooking in my head that I hoped to kick off this week, but it’s still half baked…so I come to you this morning with just a few thoughts gleaned from my quiet time instead.

Yesterday we heard a sermon about being intentional in our conversations in the home and the church – consistent and constantly – reciting the goodness of our God and His faithfulness in both settings WHILE building relationships that are based on the fruit of all that He is doing, has done and by faith, we believe He will do.

To be purposefully looking for how He is at work around us and through us and in us and how He shows Himself Sovereign and yet stoops down into each of our lives with such fatherly love.

At least that is what I got out of the sermon.

And I chuckled to think how recently I had the opportunity to have such a conversation with our Graham as I drove him across town from his swim lessons.

He had told me a little about his favorite games in P.E. class but his voice was trailing off as he would intersperse his narrations with long yawns.

His eyes were drooping in my rear view mirror and I knew he needed to last just a little bit longer to get his supper down and bath taken and so I launched into a story about a how I never was a fan of P. E. but I had ended up teaching it for a whole year once.

As I shared about this season, I reminisced about how hard it was. I had been recruited to sub for just two weeks early in the school year until a new P. E. teacher was hired. But no one ever applied for the job.

Week after week, month after month, and finally with a petition from the principal when my days for subbing limit had been reached that I be able to continue since the kids had gotten used to me, I lugged a bag of props and lesson plans and rosters of names between two schools.

I dealt with behavior issues that were beyond description and all the while had done some kind of damage to my back that rendered me in extreme pain.

Many days after work, I would lie helpless on the couch with ice and tears while our family pitched in around me.

It was a season where I relied on God every single moment of every single day and as I poured out the story to this little fellow who thinks a perfect day of school would be one long gym class, I certainly had grabbed his attention.

We were nearing home when my story finally wound down and I shared with him one last part of my memory from this season.

On the last day of teaching, as I started up the sidewalk to the most challenging of the two schools, for just a moment I felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness. And then God’s strength flooded me and I heard Him whisper…that would have been you all year, without ME.

Well, I figured I had at least kept him awake though he may opt to ride with his mom the next time we were taking two cars because …poor kid…what was he going to do with all of that?

But of all things…later as we were finishing getting pajamas on and wrestling three active boys into bedtime mode I heard him tell Emmett, in his own words, the story of the time Lola had needed God every day.

My story…of God’s story…being retold from big brother to little brother.

Let’s not quit reciting what God has done.

He is faithful.

Our little stories are part of His-story.

What’s your story?

Blessings on this Monday as you go out there and recite His goodness … yesterday, today, forever <3

A remix that still holds true…at the end of this day <3

Happy Wednesday to you <3

I am running behind and buried under a whole bunch of mail, laundry and dirty dishes…so here is one I found back in the archives that still holds true today <3

Originally posted in May of 2014 …. and I am hoping at the end of THIS day…I have cleared the kitchen counter, ironed a shirt or two and removed a layer of dust off the furniture!

I wrote it as I thought about the guys I have heard use this expression. The good ones, who fight the good fight every day out there in the real world of the workplace.

Your families are blessed by your integrity…your steadfastness…

God bless you all who are slugging it out in the “rat race” today….remember…the rats don’t win.

Have a great day and I will work on some fresh words for tomorrow <3

At the End of the Day     originally posted May 30, 2014 

It must have started in board rooms because I hear it mostly from men who work long hours inside the walls of the corporate world.

Inside the walls of a world that I have never had to cope with.

Where deals are made and kingdoms are built …..

for a time….

for a season…

until new players take the field and new deals and kingdoms are on the line.

At the end of the day, ______________” ….

they say.

And it’s all about realizing priorities.

It’s used by men I know who seem to know that in the end, it’s important to really know what really matters.

It speaks of wisdom that comes with years.

At the end of the day_____________”…..

they say.

And it seems that this always leads to some kind of insight about relationships.

Relationships with God, with family, with friends.

“At the end of the day”, they say.

And they speak about realizing that success is really measured in how much was surrendered, not compromised.

At the end of the day….“, they say.

And there is a quiet strength and a resolve to start again tomorrow with the same integrity…

the same dedication…

the same faith that carried them to …….

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the end of the day….today  <3

 

Blessed are the care givers <3

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This is for the weary ones who sit alone in silent tears…thankful for the mercy of God to allow them to be the care giver to a loved one…realizing the blessing in the weight of a heavy heart…the kindness of God to allow them to bear the burden of love.

I have been in your shoes and I can tell you that the precious refining of the sacrifice of love and time will change you in ways that make you more compassionate…more longing for Home…more grateful for grace <3

This was written several months before my own father succumbed to the final stages of Alzheimers and aging in 2010.

I am particularly sensitive that one dear man in Washington state may be reading this and so to my dad’s little brother, I say …. I love you and I am so thankful for you and Aunt Ella Mae <3

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It really is the end.

A wheelchair replaces the bow-legged walk down the hall. Sweat pants and sweat shirt replace the soiled pants and button down shirt with the inevitable pocket to keep his notebook in.

He isn’t angry, but he isn’t really happy either. Just in a fog. I think he knows me, but hard to tell. Trying to make conversation, his words are nonsense. He is embarrassed because he couldn’t swallow his medicine and now it is a wet spot on his shirt.

He looks at me, but doesn’t see.

It isn’t like I wish he was the way he was before. That wasn’t any better. Just a different kind of awful.

I don’t feel sorry for me. It hurts more than anyone can know, but I don’t feel sorry for me.

I don’t feel sorry for him either. It’s just another part of life for both of us. Another part that is hard and seems cruel, but it’s just another part.

In it are sweet things.

Things like a fall pumpkin he made in crafts. It’s obvious he had a lot of help, but still he thinks he made it.

When I tell him it is beautiful, and I really mean it because it is, he thanks me in his own way. Though the words make no sense, I can tell by the way he moves his head what he is saying.

When I think of how my mom was spared the pain of this, I can’t stop thanking God. I can’t think of anything but how thankful I am to Him that she never had to see this. I am thankful it is not my sister. I am thankful it is me.

When I told him I love him, he said “me too”. I asked him if he meant he loves me or he loves himself. He laughed. I am going to believe he got the joke and it made him laugh.

The laugh and the pumpkin are enough for today. God’s grace poured out for one more visit, tangible in a fall decoration on the seat next to me.

Tomorrow will bring another dose of grace for that day. Tonight the tears flow from my tiredness. Tomorrow will bring new mercies.

Hang in there precious care giver, loved by God.

You are the tangible touch of Christ and the ministry of His hands to one of His precious children…I pray today you know HIS ministry to YOU <3

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Galatians 6:9-10  The Message (MSG)

In the Storms of Life reposted from April 27, 2015 <3

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It just seems like a good day to share something I wrote many years ago. For a very long time I kept it on the fridge as a daily reminder. But in a cleanup in January it got moved to the inside pantry door, where at just the right times I see it and am reminded….

When the waves are crashing and the sea is wild with fury. When the little boat of my life is tossed and threatened by the storm and I look for Jesus and see Him sleeping; I pray that I will remember to just lay down next to Him. If that is His posture in the midst of the violent storms, I want to be like Him. Who am I to think He needs to be notified? I will rest in Him.

May God bless you with the peace of His presence in the midst of the turmoils and storms of life <3

One man’s elephant is another man’s treasure….

  • A “Looking Back Post…originally written December 20 in 2012..

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This past weekend, I attended an annual Christmas party with a group of long time friends.

One of our traditions is a white elephant gift exchange. It’s the kind where you can steal someone else’s gift or take a new one from the pile.

When one of the men in the group pulled a bedraggled vase of well worn artificial flowers out of his chosen bag, we all got a good laugh at his puzzled expression and his comment that he was pretty sure he would be taking this prize home at the end of the evening.
Several participants later, one of the ladies in our group used her turn to steal this sad floral display from him.

We all laughed again at his response of delight, and credited her with a generous heart toward him.

But as we moved on through the game, I noticed my friend working lovingly, patiently and diligently to unfold the bent flowers.

She saw something none of us had seen.

As she coaxed fake evergreen stems into new life, opened up crushed poinsettia flowers and readjusted the white glittery sticks into artistic curly cues, her face seemed intent on the emerging transformation.
As I was gathering my own things at the end of the evening, I saw the finished product sitting with her things.

It was beautiful.

No longer a white elephant, this was worthy of display in the finest of settings.
Isn’t that what Christmas is about?

God sent His Son to take what’s been trashed and turn it into a treasure.
For I was once a crumpled piece of junk, but God saw in me the beauty He had intended and He sent His Son and rescued me.

With loving hands and great intent, Jesus continues to straighten and align and unfold the beauty of His handiwork in me.

And someday, He will present me, as a display of His Splendor, before the throne of God.

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Blessings on you as you celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

  • And as a side note…in December 2013 I was given the gift of this lovely resurrected Christmas treasure from my dear friend who has her Father’s eyes <3