Category Archives: Relationships

Remembering revisited <3

Hey all…I have a haircut before work this morning so…sharing one from the archives <3

Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend. Eat graduation cake…get some weeds pulled…grill something…hug your family…put out some flags.

Thank God for the freedoms you have and for those who fought to keep them for you. We are not a perfect country, but we have much to be thankful for. God has blessed this nation abundantly with resources and people.

So here is today’s repost of one of my favorites:

originally posted May 30, 2016 <3

Remembering <3

Because my dad bled red, white and blue…


patriotism runs deep, and it doesn’t take much to make this military kid shed tears.

Every ball game where teams line the edge of the field or court

every cap that comes off every head in the stadium or arena

every hand over every heart

and I am a puddle of tears.


So tonight as we watched the tribute to those who serve, have served or died serving our country that was held in the nation’s capitol, I had to keep tissues supplied.

A portion of the event featured the songs for each branch of the military as the camera panned the crowd.

Individuals who served stood when their song was played.

I remembered a concert for Veterans Day in 2001 held in Eisenhower High School’s auditorium with a similar tribute.

A very tender Veteran’s Day that year to be sure.


And at that concert..

our daughter was part of the choir and her Grandpa Lochner proudly stood as they sang the song for the United States Air Force…

tears streaming down his face…

my face…

her face…

What can I say?


It’s genetic.

There are many voices and talents far more eloquent than mine who have given lovely and poignant tributes to those who served.

I am so thankful to each one who beautifully expresses our gratitude…

for each one who advocates for the care and healing of veterans and their families and for those who have lost loved ones who gave their lives for our country.

Not just on one day do they deserve our respect and support and prayers, but every day <3



So many studies, so little time <3

We got a calendar from the local library outlining all the summer fun to be had and reading programs and festivities in the park and what snagged my eye was that  the “Farewell Party” to end it all will take place on…

July 19th.

I haven’t even had my first bite of a graduation cake and the end of summer is breathing down my neck!

Ok. I exaggerate.

But truthfully, the Park and Library Team knows that summer flies by for families and so they put together a calendar of events and left room for family vacations and schools will be gearing up mid-August so they have planned to make the most of the days they have.

As we switch gears a little and enter into warmer weather and the fun that summer holds, we have to be intentional to make plans as well.

Even though my actual weekly schedule doesn’t change one little bit, my mental and spiritual schedule does.

I still take on the “School’s out for Summer” mentality and feel like we can move at a slower pace…enjoy outdoor activities until later in the evening and make plans to spend more time with family since their schedules have lightened.

I enjoy adding some kind of Bible study to the months of summer and really like it if I can share that experience with a friend.

I actually landed on two because God has raised up that many opportunities for me to share learning with others. We may not actually be able to meet regularly, but I have made agreements with a couple of friends to do…

The Storm Inside Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are by Sheila Walsh


Adorned Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth with a young mom who, like me, has a heart for building relationships across generations.

Today I saw one of those awesome FREE  studies being offered through StudyGateway – also by Sheila Walsh on her new book In the Middle of the Mess. You can sign up here.

And by “free” … you usually do need to purchase the workbook/book…but they offer decent deals on those and then the videos are emailed each week.

I have done several studies this way, and they work well for our busy lives. You usually have access to the videos for an extended period of time so it is possible to get the study completed over the course of the summer.

If you live locally, there is an opportunity at First Christian Church to join the women’s study on Wednesday mornings. You do not need to be a member – there will be no pressure for you to join out church. Just a wonderful opportunity to meet with other women and make new connections. You can sign up with a friend and ask to be placed in the same small group for the discussion part.

Those start June 9th and you can register here.

And if you are a guy…sorry…not sure what is available but how about texting a buddy and setting up a Saturday morning breakfast meeting and decide on a way to study God’s Word together for four to six weeks this summer?

Or golf.

Because fellowship counts too.

Have a blessed Wednesday and I hope you are getting a stirring in your heart to make plans to do a study with someone or by yourself <3



Day 4 …. Brave Moms, brave kids reflections and giveaway <3
When your son is on vacation and sends the family this pic…

Welcome back <3

I have been enjoying looking back through the pages of Brave Moms, Brave Kids by Lee Nienhuis with you all this week.

It’s been fun to see your comments and a boost to jot down your names…over and over…because one entry for every like, comment, share…you know. Just saying…<3

And if you get this through email…remember the new email subscriptions will look different and hopefully today you will only get one!

But let’s move on to the topic of today.

Near the end of the book, Lee talks about speaking blessings over others.

I just read this in a different devotion this week; about prayerfully looking for opportunities to pray a genuine blessing over someone God sends your way.

Not your own thoughts and hopes and dreams for them, but what God whispers through His word for this person. 

We want to impact those we love with an eternal perspective.

The author uses a great illustration to highlight the temporal nature of our relationships here on earth and yet the eternal impact they have when we allow God to do His works in us and through us as we interact with those in our sphere of influence. 

She talks about a time their family entered a local race event. 

As they started the course, her family pulled ahead of her and so she watched the back of her husband and children advancing as she followed behind. Her son and husband were able to maintain an equal pace just ahead of her, but leading the pack was their nine year old daughter.

Born a runner, this girl ran on with carefree strides, pony tail swinging behind her. 

Lee says she gathered enough breath to call out a cheer of encouragement as her young daughter began the ascent of the last hill while she, herself, was just entering the valley.

 Minutes later, her daughter now out of sight, mom began the climb. 

Chest pounding and digging deep, she held tight to the memory of moments before watching her child pressing on and it spurred her to continue upward and over the top of that hill to join her family. 

Oh, I can tell you…I cried when I read it…I cried just now telling you about it. I have cried through multiple proofreading of this post and I will cry later when I read it again and find a mistake <3

I cried for what she wrote and I cried because it stirred a memory of watching our kids run Cross Country.

I remember well John’s first meet and standing at the finish line waiting for him.

The pack had taken off and the course went around the far side of a park that was unfamiliar to me. The last leg of the race was straight up an incline and so it was impossible to see the runners until they hit the summit. 

I stood there waiting and chatting with the other parents when someone shouted they were coming in. I looked up in time to see a familiar blonde scrap of hair bobbing on top of a smiling face as my own flesh and blood crossed his first finish line. 

Lee uses the race story to remind us that we are only going to be running on this earth a short time.

This is our race. 

This is our time. 

We run alongside a generation who needs us to love, encourage, instruct, guide and set an example for…and we are blessed to be alongside them.

photo courtesy of Zach <3

But in time, they will go on without us. 

They need us. 

We need them. 

We all need Jesus. 

So let us run the race well. 

Let’s do our part with the time we are given and let’s be encouraging and equipping those who will one day continue on without us <3

Friday Fun and then it’s off to the weekend <3

First off…I don’t know where you live in the world, but I hope you love your view as much as I love ours.

Oh believe me, my heart is stirred by mountain vistas and seascape sunsets as much as the next romantic…

but I can tell you honestly…

driving through the backroads of God’s country here in the Midwest often brings me to tears….

I was probably making a few farmers pause at the wheel of their planting gizmos yesterday as I stopped and snapped pictures…

but these freshly tilled fields of rich brown dirt framed by green edges dotted with dandelions…they speak life to me every spring.

What was dead and dried up has been turned over and soon little sprouts will make their way sunward…and I thank God for letting me live in the heartland of this country.

And speaking of heart-land…

I got to spend some time yesterday with those little people who take up a lot of real estate in my heart …

I celebrated Cinco de Mayo a few days early with this little hombre…

pc/Rachel Maxwell

His mom texted me this pic with the head’s up that he was hoping Lola would wear her grey sweatshirt so we would match…

I may have melted into a puddle as I made my way to my closet to dig it out.


you bet I will…

After we feasted…or fiesta-ed…I guess…with the squirreliest table of the most adorable first graders on the elementary circuit…

I watched a rousing game of kickball….

and let me tell you…no major league sport has anything on the passion of a kick ball game fueled by spring fever.

I thought we were playing for some kind of trophy or championship but then the bell rang and everyone scattered like pixie dust to grab jackets and get in line for the water and potty station.

I stopped by the house, where I discovered this one has written a book…

He read it to me, although he needed help with some of the words….

and one sentence he couldn’t read because it contained a bad word.

Did I mention…child wrote the book?

Seems the bad word was “hate”…as in “I hate spiders.”

Oh the subject of this book?

It was all about the wonderful world of…yes…spiders…he cracks me up.

And speaking of animals ….

this little mini-me of Graham lines his up just the way his big brother did.

And the shirt…

says it all.

Not to be left out of the circus…

little Miss is now….


pc/Rachel Maxwell

yes…standing on her own…and we are all just wondering where the last 11 months flew away to???

And finally…

I’m pulling thoughts together for a series next week highlighting some of my takeaways from Brave Moms, Brave Kids by Lee Nienhuis.

I am hoping it includes a guest post by one of your and my favorite young moms…and it definitely will include a give-away!!

So WOOT!!!!

Something to look forward to next week!

Hugs and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Lessons from a child…<3

In the band of brothers…

this one…

has added some interesting dimensions to the spectrum of personality.

Little man has a smile that covers over a multitude of dynamo energy and third child antics…

But the weekend before Easter, his mommy discovered what appeared to be an abscess on his gum.

Seems that sweet little mouthful of teeth had taken one too many tumbles…

pc Rachel Maxwell

and as much as we all loved that gap-toothed Joelybear smile…it was not going to make it to Kindergarten as we had once assumed it would.

A visit to the dentist proved the tooth was no longer living and would cause problems to the permanent tooth still incubating up above the long root.

So our brave little toaster and his equally brave parents scheduled the procedure.

He did great and his parents made it through as well, but for a long while after it was pulled, he kind of kept it private.

Didn’t really want to talk about it and…

if you asked him about it, he pulled his lip down and just covered the empty place.

But time heals all wounds…and now…

pc Rachel Maxwell

he not only shows it to you…he is willing to share the story.

Any mention of it and he looks you straight in the eye and proclaims loudly…

GAVE SHOT HERE! as he motions to his mouth

PULLED TOOTH! as his hand does a huge yanking motion for extra effect

GONE!!!!  as he asserts with a firm nod of his head and decisive sweep of his hand …

before he moves on to tell someone else.

It’s his testimony.

He has survived.

He is thriving.

And he wants everyone to know.

The whole thing didn’t defeat him.

It’s part of his story and he is making the most of it.

Oh man…come on…tell me that doesn’t preach to your heart like it does mine.

I look at that little bundle of snuggleness and my Lola heart is encouraged right down to the core.

My soul knows…stuff happens…

but God heals and when we are ready to tell our story…

let’s do it with joy and faith and hope…

as we journey onward surrounded by the love and support of the brother and sisterhood of our family that stood with us through it all  <3

pc Rachel Maxwell