Category Archives: Empty Nest

Buried Treasure <3

Happy Friday!

I have been pursuing a bent to purge this whole month and I am actually sticking with it.

As I pull out the innards of various cabinets, drawers and boxes we packed for our move…ahem…two years ago…I am unearthing all kinds of treasures. 

A couple of days ago I found my old blackberry phone.

Let me pause here and just share that I LOVED that phone.

I was a whiz at typing and without autocorrect and Siri’s surly personality I managed to communicate effectively and my phone didn’t micromanage my life.

I also loved the record feature because when ideas for writing came it was super easy to just click on that and record my thoughts. 

These are treasures from my heart back when all I sent was this email once a week and I looked for things to write you all to encourage you that God is personal in our lives. 

Today I am sending you the typed transcript of one of my “meditations” from May 13, 2012.

It’s still relevant right down to me being late to class and hoping I can get my copies made. Every. Sunday.

Okay as I am rushing to church and I’m thinking that I may have to ask somebody to make the copies of our lesson for me for our class.

And I am thinking when you need somebody to do something for you, the person that you ask a lot of times isn’t the person who can do the best job. 

Like my thoughts right now aren’t “I want to find somebody who is the best copy maker.”

Because that’s not who I am going to be looking for. 

Who I am going to be looking for is someone who loves me, who will do it because they love me, and who will do it because they believe the notes for our class are important. 

Somebody who I can entrust them to, who I know will get them to me and who will not be upset or mad with me that I am imposing on them.

They are just going to do it. 

They believe in what I believe in. Like Lisa Peck is who I am thinking if I can catch her. 

And if they can run a copy machine or not isn’t even an issue. 

I can either tell them real quick what they need to do or I know they will find someone who can help them get the thing started up. So they can get it done and get the copies to me while I get the class started and the prayer requests covered. 

And I’m thinking that’s how Jesus is.

When He asks us to do things it’s because He trusts us that we love Him, that we are going to do it, that we are committed to the same cause He is. Not because we are the “best” at what it is, but because we can be entrusted with His mission.

Because we are passionate about it, too; partly because He’s passionate about it and partly because we love Him and so we really are passionate about the same things. 

I am adding this footnote to my message from 2012…whatever you are doing today…cleaning up macaroni and cheese from the floor for the ten billionth time…taking a phone message down for a boss or co-worker who took the day off….writing…fixing hair…prepping people for surgery…whatever…do it as unto the LORD

Do it with the knowledge that God has entrusted YOU to be doing what you are doing. 

Do it well, my friend. 

Do it well. 

It all matters <3

Just stopping in for a chat <3
pc/Rachel Maxwell with gratitude for capturing this moment that captures my heart <3

Hello and happy Wednesday!

I didn’t post yesterday because I had an appointment at 9:00 and I am trying really hard to be punctual this year.

This means I have to factor in travel time which is a new concept for me but Russ’s reminder that I am not able to beam myself places has finally taken hold and I am actually arriving fairly close to start times so far this month.

It’s kind of scary.

For me and for the other unsuspecting souls who count on me being late. 

God bless the other late people who know to add ten minutes on to our meet up time and you know who you are…because I will still be running on that schedule for your sweet tardy self <3

Since I am fighting a vicious cold and it is viciously cold here in the Midwest, I am posting some randoms and I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are and that you are safe and warm.

Random #1: We all know I am not a fan of most wildlife indigenous to our area. Squirrels, possums and raccoons are not my thing although they are drawn to me like a moth to a flame. 

I also do not have a warm affinity for birds who swoop over my head in the warehouse stores nor the ones who perch eerily close to the table when dining al fresco. 

A couple of years ago the shop where I work added a canary named Dublin and the little guy has kind of softened me toward his species so recently I thought it might be fun to get a bird feeder. Two days later, Russ suggested the same idea so we purchased one and a bag of seed. 

This morning, we have a wide range of diners outside. Male and female cardinals, house finches and what I think might be a dark-eyed junco. 


I actually have been googling “pictures of Midwest birds in winter.”

I may need intervention.

Random #2: I wrote a post yesterday that I was certain was the lamest post ever. 

I almost didn’t publish it. 

It had more responses than any I have written for quite awhile. 

I can only conclude that God knows what you all need to hear and so would you just stop, drop and pray that I would stay attuned to His voice and continue to be surrendered so that what I share is only and always for His glory?

Thank you.

Random #3: On Saturday we took the Fab Four and their mom to dinner after Graham’s basketball game. Their daddy was working and unable to join us for a relaxing meal at Buffalo Wild Wings. 

The adults were positioned between children and we were busily keeping drinks upright, guarding our eyes from getting poked with menus and picking up tiny remnants of the paper straw wrappers that were mounting up in the middle of the table when our waitress leaned over to Rachel and said she didn’t mean to pry but were all of these children hers?

God bless our Rachel who gets asked this question A LOT…as she smiled sweetly and said yes…yes they are.

To which the waitress said they were just darling and so well behaved. 

We all loved her instantly.

She may have gotten a bonus tip.

Random #4: I am out of randoms and need to get showered before my husband who actually had to go to work today gets home and asks me why I am ready for bed at 5:00….

Have a blessed day

Keep safe and remember you are loved and God is faithful. 

Remind each other of this….we tend to forget easily <3

Monday Check-in <3

Are you working today?

I know some places are closed and some are doing business as usual so whatever your current situation, I hope you had a great weekend. 

We stayed mostly around home and yet were able to get out thanks to the quirky nature of the forecasted winter storm. It completely missed us but hit hard just a bit north of here. 

We watched some movies and sports, read, ventured out for a couple of meals and church and I got a few projects completed involving stashes of paperwork. 

There has been a whicker cube basket sitting in our office since shortly after we moved in two years ago. 

I have been somewhat afraid to dig through it unsure of what it contained, but was delightfully surprised there were no late bills or tax information that would have been helpful back in 2017. 

While Russ watched football, I purged and organized and whittled it down to a manageable and fileable stack and contributed a considerable amount to the recycling bin. 

For fun I will share two of my best finds.

One was a to do list for preparing for our move. 

You all know I love checking things off a list so you can just imagine how satisfying to sit in front of the fire and mark through things like…set up cable, get more boxes from store, pack storage shelves in basement. 

Sigh…I was giving myself all kinds of high fives. 

Done, done and done….what a great feeling.

Another thing I found was a note I had jotted…probably with the thought of sharing here on this little slice of the internet…and maybe I did but have mercy…so funny…it doesn’t hurt to share it again. 

People, please…write the stuff of your life down somewhere so you can find it on wintry days and laugh all over again. 

Here’s mine …

Graham would have been four years old and one day he asked me how old I was. I told him I was 57. 

No way! 

He asked me again if I was sure I was that old. 

Yes, Graham. I am 57 years old I told him, thinking it was so sweet he would think I couldn’t be so old.

I thought you were 53. 

Oh my gosh. 

I’m still laughing. 

Maybe in his thinking I stopped aging the day he was born, which is fine with me. 

53 and holding, people…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

Have a blessed day whatever you do and I will see you tomorrow…not a moment older…even with the passing of time <3

Easy as (a pizza) pie <3

Hello and happy Friday to you!

Here in the Midwest we have been having major scares regarding upcoming storm systems. 

Cue the mad dash to all grocery stores and people stocking up like it will be months before we can get out again. 

With predictions of icy rain falling on the path from our house to the Fab Four’s between midnight on Wednesday and my scheduled Thursday 6 AM departure time, I packed an overnight bag and headed north arriving in time to crash at their house and be ready for action bright and early yesterday morning. 

We had a good day, but it was a long one and some unforeseen events robbed us of nap time for the two littlest ones, so to say Lola was tired by 5 PM is putting it mildly. 

There is a reason we bear our children at young ages and bless God for the energy He must have provided Sarah and Abraham to raise Isaac in their latter years. Talk about miraculous works.

Graham had been picked up for basketball practice and I was serving up plates of pizza and prayed for God to grant us nourishment. They eagerly picked up their slices as the amen fell from my lips.

But as I lifted my own head, I kind of craved being prayed for myself. 

So I just said Lola needs some prayer and immediately both boys dropped their pizza back on their plates and assumed the prayer warrior position. 

While I was really needing prayer to just stay awake long enough to get them fed and bathed before their mom got home with Graham, Emmett launched into a prayer for my safety driving home later. 

He covered the potential for regular snow and the dreaded ‘black snow’… how a five year old could already have picked up a fear of sliding on black ice on the highway is a credit to his genetic link to his grandmother who can work herself into an anxiety attack scanning the road for deer and ice patches…year round. 

In a few sentences he hit on all the potential dangers I might encounter, thanked God for answering and said his amen as he resumed devouring his pizza. Joel peeked over out of the corner of his eye to make sure all was clear and joined in the feast. 

I was humbled beyond words as I felt certain God had leaned forward from His throne and covenanted with Emmett to keep Lola safe. 

Sometimes we make prayer such a big deal. 

Emmett could have quizzed on me on what I thought I needed prayer for, but God had already planted in his little spirit what I really needed prayer for. 

The roads were perfectly dry and free of deer the entire way home. 

My headlights carved out a smooth path as I listened to a sermon and let God’s word sink deep into me. 

Today you may meet a traveler on the journey who just might ask you to pray for something going on in his or her life. 

Don’t promise to pray later.

Don’t ask them how you can pray. 

Just pray. 

Just drop your pizza slice, bow your head and lift up your heart to God for what He might want to do in that precious fellow sojourners life.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow … I am lifting each of you who might be reading this in prayer now <3

One in a trabillionzillion <3

I was trying to think what to send you and I keep pushing away this little story, but it persists in rising to the top and so I am going to share it. 

Do you ever have things happen that are just so sweet and tender that you almost want to hide them away in your heart? I do.

I never want to betray the sacred ground of our family life for a story and yet God seems to give me such moments to share with you – maybe something you can relate to…maybe He has a word of encouragement for you…maybe just to make you smile and think on good things in a world that is becoming increasingly hard and divided. 

So here is my little gift to you today from my heart.

A couple of months ago when I was spending the day with our crew, Graham took a super close zoom in on my face and very sweetly pointed out that I had something on one of my front teeth. 

I asked him if he was seeing a little divot near the bottom edge of the tooth and yes, that was it. 

I told him I have always had that. Some dentist along the way told me my permanent tooth had been delayed coming in and that caused this kind of chipped spot.

 I don’t know if he was correct in that diagnosis, but over the years various other dentists have offered to fill it in if I would like but I told them no. 

Graham seemed fascinated that I would pass on having this little mar fixed. 

I can understand why he would be surprised since I can’t bear having a spot on my clothes or a mascara smear at the corner of my eye and can waste a huge amount of time stressing over a chunk of hair that is stubbornly refusing to join ranks with the rest of my head. 

As he looked at me like I had suddenly grown a third eye in addition to my chipped tooth, I explained to him how I kind of love that little blemish for some reason.

 It is like a familiar friend to me and I always felt like it gave my ordinary features something special and unique. It was how God made my tooth and I actually love my little chip.

I totally forgot about the conversation and for story purposes, you need to as well….

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and another day with the band of brothers and Little Miss Thing. 

We were driving in the van and from the far recesses of the back, Graham asked me if I ever noticed he has a bald spot. 

Well, I did know that he has a tiny place on the side of his head near his temple where hair just never has grown. I noticed it first a few years ago and had asked Rachel if he or another Kindergartner had taken a scissor to it because he seemed self conscious about making sure it was covered. She told me he had always had it and yes, he was embarrassed when people noticed and commented.

So with this memory popping up, I immediately began to downplay any recollection of having noticed this on his precious head. 

Instantly he stopped me in my tracks. 

Oh no Lola!!! I do have a spot…it’s like the chip in your tooth. God made me that way. It makes me special and unique.

Even as I tell you this, I have a big lump in my throat and tears brimming thinking of the joy in his voice as he shared my own words right back to me. 

I took a peek in the rearview mirror at his beaming face as I asked him…Graham! Have you come to love your little bald spot the way I love my tooth? 

Nodding enthusiastically he replied with a happy….. Yes

Oh my word…such a moment. 

There are so many things about myself I wish were not so. 

Not just physical things, but ways I am wired and driven. 

And yes, God is in the business of transforming me more and more into the image of Christ. 

But how fun when He helps me see that some of my flaws and shortcomings (not my sins…just my human “stuff”)  are just the ways He has made me unique and different from everyone else so that we can all come together and add our flavor to the Body of Christ <3 

What’s your little imperfection or quirk that God has shown you makes you unique and uses to encourage all the other works-in-progress who share the journey each day?

Can we learn to love how we were fashioned because we love the One who made us this way? I hope so. 

You are unique and one of a kind beautiful and you are loved <3