Category Archives: Relationships

Some Friday Randoms to end the week <3

Happy Friday to you!

We made it…and it has been a hot one here in the Midwest.

I had a fine time with this mess of cuteness yesterday…

and…

and…

Time…is…marching…on…too…fast

And this little yahoo has learned my name…

So.much.love.

I also want to wish a very Happy Birthday to this guy…

He told me he does three things when he first gets up in the morning and one was to read this.

I love it.

I have told you before about my summers spent in an airstream trailer touring the U.S. with my retired parents.

But one blissful summer, I got to be a young teenager in the home of my aunt and uncle and four cousins out on the dry side of the mountains of Washington State.

That extended time with my dad’s side of the family is held in a treasured place in my childhood memories as I got to be their fifth child…swimming, camping, watching game shows, tagging along with them to their activities whether church music rehearsals or picking asparagus.

Although they spent the majority of their lives on separate sides of the country, he reminds me so much of all the good parts of my own dad…

so have the best day ever, Uncle Theron…I love you <3

And with that I bid you a blessed weekend…stay cool…eat watermelon…hug your family and please come back for a visit on Monday <3

 

 

 

Day 4 When we are clueless about what we really lack

Are you a Mary or a Martha?

That’s a good discussion question for a women’s small group.

We can spend a fair amount of time bouncing around self-analysis as we ponder the account of the two sisters welcoming Jesus into their home as recorded in Luke 10: 38-42.

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”   verses 38-40

Now men, you actually can participate in this as well without losing one ounce of your man-ness. But since you may not have ever gotten to study Mary and Martha at one of your men-meetings, let me give you a hint….at various times and in various situations, we can be one or the other.  We all have a little bit of both of these sisters in each of us…male and female.

Because the real issue with Mary and Martha falls on a level of humanity that we can all relate to.

What Martha “lacked” was not only an extra pair of hands but a deep need for someone to notice all the effort and fuss she was going to.

We see in the scripture that SHE welcomed Jesus into HER home.

Can’t you see her all full of good intentions to be the hostess with the mostest?

We know Jesus wasn’t traveling alone so all his posse would have joined Him, plus any neighbors and locals that were gathering around to hear His teaching.

And all of a sudden Martha’s vision of this lovely Pinterest-worthy gathering became more than she could handle and where in the world was that useless air-head of a sister?? Sitting at the feet of the Teacher, for heaven’s sake…literally.

So Martha interrupts the actual Word of God speaking forth, in flesh and blood, sitting right there in her living room to whine…..

“What about me, Jesus? Don’t you care about me….and all my hard work and all my preparations that I am so busy and consumed with? And why does she get to just sit there amongst all the men folk and do nothing?????”

Ok

We don’t really know how she said it, but if it was me when I am in full-on Martha mode, that is what it sounds like.

Because when I have taken a good and godly idea and then promoted it to a level that was never intended nor necessary, I get overwhelmed and then I start looking around for the slackers in my lack.

And I can grow resentful that I am doing all the work because they are not doing their part.

But God…

said to Martha…

Martha…Martha…you are worried and troubled about many things…but only one thing is needed…and Mary…Mary has chosen that good thing…that one thing…that will not be taken from her.  verses 41-42

It turns out when I am all out of whack because I am lacking the support, recognition and acknowledgment I think I need for the effort I am putting forth on a project…perhaps what I am really lacking is proper perspective to see the ONE THING I should be focusing on.

Because…

With God we lack nothing <3

 

 

 

When you can laugh and cry at the same time <3

 

One day last fall, Russ and I headed up north for Grandparent Day at Emmett’s school.

In a phone conversation the night before, for some reason, Papi asked what color Emmett would like us to wear.

With much thought and great deliberation, he selected orange.

Needless to say, Papi immediately set his University of Illinois pullover in the car so it would be ready to go when I picked him up from the office at 8:45 sharp.

I thought I would be able to pull off orange as well, but realized as I hurriedly dressed that morning that my orange sweaters and such are really more in the rust family…but well…I look better in rust than true orange so that would have to do.

I picked Russ up and away we went.

But not without a comment from my better half that he hoped for my sake Emmett considered THAT color to be orange because it sure looked more like red to him.

We razzed each other about that for a bit in a good natured way….and then I thought of my mom.

I told Russ…if I was my mom, I would be in orange from head to toe and most likely would have found earrings with miniature oranges in my vast array of funky jewelry to complete the outfit.

We laughed til we cried.

You would have had to have known her to appreciate that there was no holiday garb too gaudy or goofy for Nell Lochner to don.

She had a bright green crocheted vest that was her uniform for St Pat’s Day and then was combined with red blouse and skirt for Christmas…along with her Santa socks of course.

She wore a pair of glitter glue earrings that Sarah made for her just about every time she came to see us.

Nostalgia hits at odd times and brings a mix of tears and laughter as we remember loved ones.

The holidays seem to be ripe with opportunities for tender thoughts.

In the midst of things that tug at our hearts…things that stir both good and hard memories….

and even those things that remain separated, lost and unresolved…

in the midst of all those things…

we choose to be thankful.

Thankful to God who provides what we need, who is faithful to finish what He has started.

To God who sustains us and carries us; who loves us and understands the depths of feelings and emotions that tumble around inside of us.

May God bless each one of you…

whatever your various holidays are looking like throughout this year.

I pray you know the Presence of the Lord as your first and most honored guest at every occasion <3

 

 

Before the week slips completely away…

As we head into the big Memorial Day weekend, you just might find yourselves eating some graduation cake and something or two cooked over the grill, putting flags on graves and gathering with friends and family for some fellowship.

Russ and I have a graduation and a double birthday celebration to look forward to…because some little dudes in our lives will be turning another year older…

So before all that merriment ensues, I wanted to share a little about our visit to City of Praise Church last Sunday.

Our church has begun a partnership with this congregation and quite a few of their members ventured out to visit us one weekend.

Russ and I were kind of touched that they would make the effort to worship with us, so we found a weekend where we could go there for their 11:00 service. We were joined by three other class members this past Sunday.

Pastor BJ told us we would be welcomed warmly and promised it would be a lively service.

He was right on both counts.

I have never been hugged so many times by so many people nor have I been so blessed.

I don’t just mean I felt blessed.

I mean THEY kept blessing me…just speaking blessing over me.

Then there was the pastor who in the midst of the worship songs admonished us to just focus on the Lord…whatever we brought in with us…leave at the door.

He said that over and over…

Leave it at the door…just leave it at the door…don’t bring it in with you today…just leave it at the door…..

because he must have realized some of us are slow to listen and there may have been a blonde lady in the third pew that needed to be told repeatedly to forget everything except how wonderful Jesus is.

Cause she finally did.

Finally forgot about the worries and the cares and the things I am always and forever asking Him to do and fix and take away and give.

And I just entered into praise about who He is <3

And they just kept inviting and welcoming the Holy Spirit and He most assuredly felt welcome because it was impossible to not sense His Presence among us.

The message was honest and powerful…about asking ourselves all the time…”Why do I do what I do?”

And how if it is for recognition or thanks or notoriety…well…that’s not the right answer.

We do what we do…I do what I do…because I love Jesus…and it is my joy…and my job….to serve Him.

We knew it would be a longer service than we are used to so when the pastor apologized to the ladies who were going to be setting up the bake sale in the back that he was ending early …

so they better get scooting to get the table set up…

I looked at my watch for the first time and realized we had been enveloped in this precious service for 1 hour and 58 minutes….

Apparently we were two minutes shy of the usual service time.

All in all….

Best.Day.Ever.   <3

 

A special day here on the Journey <3

First off, thanks for taking time to send comments to our Rachel for her beautiful post yesterday – blessed her and blessed us <3

Today I am celebrating another offspring because this one…

has a milestone birthday.

Not Joel.

This one…

We celebrate her life and the joy she has brought to us and to all whose lives she touches.

Several birthdays ago, she told me she woke up and her first thought was waking in our home as a little girl.

I had bought a ginormous plastic purple drinking glass for her that year and set it in her room for her to see first thing in the morning.

For some reason she remembered it and that year she said the thought of it made her feel loved.

We laughed to think that such a simple memory was tucked away in her heart for such a time as that morning.

As parents, we pulled out all the stops for birthday parties…we didn’t have Pinterest but we had the public library and Parent’s magazine and we were all into themes.

Games, decorations, food…were all centered around the theme of the  year…and she remembers a plastic glass perched by her bed.

Makes me smile to know she knows she is loved <3

So happy birthday Sis…may your day be filled with delights that echo through the years to come…

you…

are….

loved

<3