All posts by laura

My two cents… <3

As I write to you this morning, I am on pins and needles waiting for the Direct TV tech to show up. 

They have scheduled an appointment between 8 and 12 today. They will come when they come and so I enter into each task with heightened anticipation waiting for the door bell to ring. 

It seems we have some glitch in one of the boxes attached to one of the TV’s and I spent about a half hour each on Monday and Wednesday walking through the exact same steps to try and self-correct the issue.

The first phone call was with a guy named Matt and while he was fairly easy to understand, I could detect an accent and when he said the tech he was sending out was a great guy and one of their bests and he knows him personally…I did not believe him at all based on the background noise during our session.

Yesterday I received a call from a woman who wanted to try and trouble shoot the problem one more time in case Matt missed something so they wouldn’t have to send the tech guy today. 

If she said her name, I didn’t understand it. 

I didn’t understand most of what she said except “Miss Laura” which she used several times in each exchange and I found this somewhat irritating. 

I had to ask her nicely if she could repeat herself about every other sentence and we did manage to get all the steps walked through. I think. 

We were not successful and so she said she would make sure the appointment was not canceled. 

But here is the kicker. 

My position is this: I can access channels by going through extra steps on the remote. My point was that I don’t have to do that for other TV’s and haven’t had to in the past so am assuming something is wrong with that box. We pay quite a bit for this service and since I am a customer and something isn’t working properly, I should call and let the company I am paying know. 

Their position was: We understand, Miss Laura, how hard this is for you to go through extra steps so we will send someone out. 

About the third time she said that (Matt had worded it differently stating that he realized it was a “pain in the neck” and he was sorry it was so difficult for me to get to the channel) I spoke very calmly into the phone and said it was not that hard.

I said it was inconvenient, yes. And there is something wrong with their equipment but I would be fine to just continue on until it breaks completely and then they can send the tech. 

For that part, she said no I shouldn’t have to do that and agreed the equipment is faulty and they would need to send someone, but I want to address the feelings that came to me as I sat holding a remote control in front of a TV as a woman who lives in a nice house in a beautiful neighborhood and has three other TV’s she can use. 

I get that I am spoiled. 

I get that having to go through a couple of extra steps on a remote control to watch the news and complain about the weather guy is a luxury.

I understand that “hard” and “difficult” are not associated with such trivial things. 

I wanted to tell her that I know the difference between a minor inconvenience and the stuff that is really hard in life. 

I wanted her to know that I actually wonder what her life is like as she takes the brunt of our frustration that a company that is your best friend when trying to sell you the service will drop you like a hot potato when you actually need service. 

I wanted the tell her that I know fleeing from a government because of your religious beliefs or trying to put food on the table for a family when there are no jobs or having your daughters ripped away from their school and never seeing them again or raising a child with disabilities or being oppressed or trafficked or sitting in dialyses or chemotherapy or the court room in a child custody battle or standing by the grave or your young adult child or husband or best friend…and many other situations of humanity that keep me on my knees these days…those are hard. 

I understand that, as an American, I have a reputation over there in the customer service office halfway around the world of being entitled and selfish and only interested in getting my way. It’s why she thanked me repeatedly and called me “Miss Laura.” 

And it makes me sad and reflective of how much I take for granted because I live in a place where inconveniences are considered hardships. 

So there’s my two cents…and now it’s on to the next thing on my to do list that doesn’t take me out of earshot of the doorbell.

Wednesday is always good for some randoms, right?

Over the weekend someone commented that I never wore a coat despite the super cold temps.

So this morning I decided to act like an adult and dress properly for the weather.

I donned a mid calf thermal coat complete with fur trimmed attached hood and my gloves and headed out.


It’s in the mid to high 50’s.

So much for adulthood.

Here are some randoms for your mid-week perusing and then it’s off to tackle the day…coatless, my friend.

#1 – I did a Facebook live post today for Session 7 of Finding God Faithful and I totally blanked on the other brother that was left to make room for Joseph’s two sons.

I love making a mistake in front of an unknown audience about as much as I love making a mistake in front of one or more live people….or even just make a mistake that only I know about.

So here is the correction…the 12 tribes include Joseph, but the land allotted to the tribe of Joseph was given to his two sons. Joseph was given double and the tribe that was “left out” was the Levites because they did not own land – they were assigned to the duties of maintaining the Temple and the other tribes supported them.


Now that we have that clear….

#2 – We are twixt and tween seasons.

Some of our friends are already putting up their Christmas trim.

There are others who will staunchly sport the pumpkins and orange/red and brown fake leaves and flowers until the leftovers from Thanksgiving are tucked in the fridge.

Others, God bless them, are trying to figure out how they didn’t notice the Lily of the Valley stems were still stuck in a vase in the bookcase and made it through summer and this far into fall without being detected.

And some don’t give a hoot about any of it.

And you know what?

It’s ok.

Whatever your style…whatever your timing on doing life…you do you <3

#3 – I made a Butternut Squash and Risotto from Kelly Minter’s book “A Place at the Table” and it was delicious. Easy to prepare, still yummy warmed up…like Autumn soul food.

Her book is so sweet…lots of good reading and lovely pictures plus easy to follow recipes and so far all have been a hit at our house.

#4 – My cousin Betty has written and published a fun Gratitude Journal….

At $12.99 they make a great little Christmas gift or something for you to do for your own quiet time.

52 weeks with prompts gives you a year of growing in this quality of being thankful…and lots of fun and creative spaces for coloring and doodling.

#5 – I’m out of ideas for you…see you tomorrow <3

Some thoughts from younger (as in earlier this year) me <3

Aww….the Midwest. 

You never know what you are going to get weather wise, but today is looking very good with sunshine, even if the temps are dipping downward drastically. 

Sun always helps, doesn’t it?

You don’t get to be my age without learning some helpful doses of wisdom gleaned the hard way so today I am passing along something I did last year in January that is proving to be motivational to me as the year is winding down into the crazy busy of December. 

Apparently when we got our new calendar going in January, younger me wrote herself reminders at the bottoms of certain pages. 

A few weeks ago I found a note penned that read:

“Paint the kids’ Christmas ornaments early, you will be so glad you did.”

This being the voice of experience who often is still painting finishing touches on them Christmas Eve…if not New Year’s Day…

This week I found three numbered items scribbled in the Notes section of my planner. 

One was a reminder of something I was so sad I had not done with our four little grands and so I am making plans now to implement a way to make time and effort to accomplish it this year. 

Another note reminded me that I decorated more simply last year and enjoyed it so much more both putting up and taking down and just taking it in as we lived amongst the decked halls.

The third one affirmed that I had made a master plan sheet for events, activities and meals that had helped me eat in a healthy way. I noted that I did not gain weight and felt less stressed so perhaps might want to do that again. 

I am gentle with myself for I know well that I am prone to rebellion when feeling “bossed.”

So there you go. 

Maybe you would like to grab a tip and try it out this year…or share one of your own. 

Remember, I won’t post comments if you tell me not to…but it’s fun to share ideas <3

Monday reflections <3

This weekend our women’s ministry team hosted the first ever retreat in a local setting. 

We kept it in house, with speakers from our own church and the whole theme was about pausing from our busy-ness to connect and refresh and get closer to God and each other. 

It was lovely.

Let’s just say when you bring 80 plus females together on a beautiful outdoor campus in perfect fall weather…there will be a lot of personalities, sharing, talking, eating, laughing, crying and all the feels.

Our three teachings centered on removing distractions so we can fully worship God, coming to terms with repentance from ways we have walked away or refused to obey and then just being still and knowing His voice.

I was made aware of some heavy needs and longings that have been added to my prayer list and I feel like I know some of the women who attend our church in a deeper and better way. 

Yesterday as we sat in service and I saw several new friends and old friends and pondered what it means to be in community with the Body of Christ, there was a point where the children were brought from their classrooms and led up on the platforms of both meeting places so that our pastor could pray a blessing over them. 

We watched them in all their wiggly cuteness as they climbed up on the stage and as always, I loved watching them as their eyes scanned the many faces out in front of them.

As one by one they recognized a parent or grandparent, a huge smile and wave would indicate they had found them.

I was reminded of a time when Sarah was in high school and I attended a huge concert at one of the local school auditoriums. I had gotten there early and found a seat near the front. 

The rows filled up quickly all the way to the back and there was a large number of students who had attended as well as families. 

As the orchestra eventually came in, Sarah was seated in the front row and I watched her as her eyes scanned the rows above me. She was looking for someone and I wondered if she had some special friends who were attending or perhaps a fellow who had caught her eye at school and she was interested in seeing if he came. 

I could tell she was searching and then lo and behold her eyes rested in front of her own chair and she saw me and her smile brightened and chased away the furtive searching look. To this day I am humbled to tears that it was me she had been looking for. 

Notoriously late, she would have assumed I had to sit way up at the back…so she had been looking to see if I was there. 

I have always been reminded of the joy that swelled in my heart when she found who she was looking for and it was me.

I think how God, our Father, must sit at times waiting for our eyes to finally search Him out of the crowd of options and faces and what sweet communion it is for Him and for us when finally we focus solely on Him and we cease all striving and just take Him in. 

Be blessed today on your journey. 

You will find what you seek.

Seek Him with all your heart. 

He is right in front of you <3

Good morning campers <3

Well, we handed out candy to a bazillion little kids who braved the cold and yes, snow, to trick or treat last night. 

This morning I am trying to get ready for work whilst packing my bag and loading the car with things for the women’s retreat and I am reminded of the one and only time my parents sent me to camp as a child. 

I tell often of how my summers were spent in the back seat of their car as they pulled an Airstream trailer all over the country. But when I was in Junior High I begged them to go to Girl Scout Camp and they made it happen. 

The camp was located on the “Kentucky Wilderness Trails” in the Daniel Boone National Forest. 

Have mercy…just typing that brings back memories. 

In the 14 days I was there I learned to swim the right way, hiked trails that made me wonder if I would ever see civilization again. I was bit up by mosquitos, sunburned, homesick, up late…up early…showered in my swim suit even though we were told not to, swam in mountain streams with rocks and snakes and a rope that you swung from and then jumped in. I made the best friends ever who I promptly lost contact with by October and had the time of my life. 

I am not what you would call out-doorsy, but being immersed in that environment forced me to adapt to it and as I make my stack of “camp gear” for this weekend, I can’t help but smile deep and be grateful for the way my parents let me do that. It was so far out of my comfort zone and theirs as well, but it is a treasured experience for me. 

It is amazing what humans can learn to adapt to. That camp became my home as day after day my tent mates and I navigated meals and free time in between all the scheduled and optional activities. Camp life became our normal and it was like that was all we knew anymore. Until our parents came and gathered our tired, stinky twelve-year old bodies into their cars and took us home. 

It’s good that we can fit in at times. We need to do this in order to not only survive, but also to be salt and light in this world.

But God urges us always throughout Scripture to remember…this is not our home. This is not our final place of rest and eternity. We get reminded of this when someone leaves us before what we consider to be a right amount of time. All of a sudden someone our age or younger is gone and the reality of this temporal life strikes us hard. 

We get comfortable with the way things are and the people we have around us and we can begin to conform to this world as the ultimate goal. 

But it is not. 

We are only here for a short time. 

So let’s enjoy and learn and love and live like we are only passing through. 

Let’s ask God to help us live well in this temporary tent as we look forward to going home <3

After I wrote this post this morning and wondered why I was led to this topic, I flipped the desk calendar over and found these words…

I think God has a word for us this weekend…dwell but don’t conform, my friends.

Journey Onward <3