Saturday, November 03, 2018


I haven't posted on this blog in over a year! 

Facebook has become so much easier.  A few sentences, and everyone is caught up on my life.  But it just doesn't have the "got the writing out of me" satisfaction that I have gained from blogging all these years.

This week is one of those that makes life interesting.  It stretched my faith and keeps me on my knees.

My husband came down with a cold-type thing last week, which turned into bronchitis.  Earlier this week, the germs caught up with me. 

On Monday, my car began making horrible noises.  The mechanic discovered a few problems with the exhaust system.  That meant a trip to a muffler shop.  There are more repairs that will need to be made ASAP--don't want to lose the transmission or gas tank in the middle of winter, right?  After taking care of all that, I came home and went straight to bed.  Those nasty germs.

That evening, we supported our local library by ordering Chipotle.  In the middle of that meal, a piece of one of my teeth broke off.  Yep.

Wednesday, our oldest son drove the two hours to pick up our younger son from college for fall break weekend.  On their way home, they were involved in an accident.  Thankfully, they are both fine.  Sadly, our car is not.  We are now looking to replace it.

I also received results of blood work.  I have too much bad cholesterol, too little good cholesterol, and my blood sugar is too high.

The things I hate dealing with the most--car problems, doctor appointments, and dental appointments--all hit in one week. 

Just trying to remind myself that no matter what happens, God is still in control.  My kids are safe.  There are more cars.  The tooth can be repaired. I CAN eat a healthier diet and exercise regularly!  And the necessary funds for all this will be provided.

God is good!

How has your week gone???

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Father's Heart

I haven't posted on this blog in about 6 months.  No excuses from this blogger, only the fact:  Life.

In the past, my times of silence have been due to the busy-ness of life.  You know how it is, right?  Activities, work, appointments, family

This period of quiet as had another source, though.  Grief.  Grief for situations in our personal lives and the lives of those we love.  This has been a year of great loss for our family and extended family.  Loss of dreams, loss of loved ones, and loss of hope in the midst of seemingly insurmountable tragedy.

In the past five days, it all seems to have escalated:
- a dear family (from our church) lost their home to a fire.  A family of 10, including a newborn, suddenly became homeless;
- a family member underwent a scary health situation, which is still not completely resolved;
- a man close to our family is undergoing tests to hopefully reveal the cause of physical symptoms that could be life-threatening;
- my uncle is fighting the last stages of a debilitating brain disease, which has in so many ways taken away the man we loved already;
- someone very close to my family is also battling a similar disease;
- one of my young piano students just found out she is going to lose her grandfather.  This young lady has already lost so much, and now this;
- a relative in his 40's suffered a massive stroke;
- our friends' teenage grandson has received news that the cancer has returned for the second time  and,
- my cousin lost her husband in a horrific stabbing.  She and her sons are facing all the difficulties of losing a spouse and father, in addition to the violence that caused his death.

My heart is so full of grief, it seems it will burst.

"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows..." Isaiah 53:4

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Bottled Up

Life doesn't always treat us the way we've planned.  Over the past month or so, my life has been turned inside out and upside down in more ways than one.  I've cried a lot of tears and felt a lot of pain.

There's this really amazing portion of a psalm (56:8) that has been rolling around in my heart:

"You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?"

In ancient times, mourners would collect their tears in a bottle.  The tears would be placed at the tomb of a loved one as a visual reminder of their grief.  

From Wikipedia:  "Tear Catchers were commonly used during Ancient Roman times, with mourners filling glass bottles with their tears, and placing them in tombs as a symbol of their respect for the deceased. It was also used to show remorse, guilt, love and grief. The women cried during the procession, and the more tears collected in tear bottles meant the deceased was more important. The bottles used during the Roman era were lavishly decorated and measured up to four inches in height.[1]
Tear bottles were designed with special seals, which allowed the tears to evaporate. By the time that the tears were assumed to have evaporated, the mourning period was considered over."

David's psalm supposes that God has collected his tears as a remembrance of David's mourning and trials.  God has numbered, not only the hairs of his head, but every tear drop he has shed, keeping track of them in a book.  This is, of course, figurative.  But how beautiful!

In the New Testament, the woman sits at Jesus' feet and washes His feet with her tears.  She then wipes them clean with her hair.  Some scholars have speculated that she had plenty of tears, because she had been collecting them.  But the death here was not of a friend, but of her own sins and self.  It was a show of surrender to the Lord.

Tears are healing.  I don't know what you're experiencing, but I do know you don't have to hold back or hide your tears from God.  And when you do, trust me, the healing can begin.  God is faithful.  God is love.  Of that I am confident.  Let Him hold your tears and heal your heart.

Monday, January 23, 2017

But what does it mean?!

One of my favorite movies of all time is "Eloise at the Plaza."  If you're unfamiliar with the Eloise movies, here is the basic story line:  Eloise is the 6 year old daughter of a world-traveling mom.  Eloise lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her nanny, whose name is...Nanny.  Miss E has many adventures and a contagious smile.

In one, very "Eloise-esque" moment, she is trying to discover the meaning of a French phrase.  She follows her tutor, Philip, into the bar at the hotel.  Of course, she is underage, being 6 and all.  She puts on her "little man" disguise and strides right on in.  And, in a way only she can, she wants to know the phrase.  She knows the words, but she wants to know what they MEAN.

It's humorous, and I hope you enjoyed the clip.  But, of course, I'm going somewhere with this.

The words "Pro Life" and "Pro Choice" are thrown around in our society as catch-phrases that are supposed to somehow comprehensively take in who a person is with regard to their politics, religion, feminism, and views on others' lives in general.

As someone who considers herself "Pro Life," I must admit there are MANY times when I am astonished and horrified at how the media portrays the Pro Life movement and those who support it.  Apparently, I am a hateful, uncaring person, who wants nothing more than to impose my own views on other women, take them back to the dark ages of civil rights, and tell them how, when, where and with whom they should or should not have sex.  I love babies, but hate the women who find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy.  I am an old, super-religious person who has nothing better to do than wag my finger in the face of progressive, professional women who have lives to lead and ladders to climb.  I am standing in the way of society's efforts to improve and enrich the lives of all women, young and old.

If you know me, you know these things really are not who I am.  What does it mean to say I am pro life?

When I say I'm pro life, I mean ALL life.  From the tiniest human being, created at the "spark" of conception, to the oldest human, breathing their last breath after a lifetime of sparks, I am pro YOU.  Whether you look like a "clean-cut professional" or have piercings, tattoos, shaved hair, long hair, purple hair, gray hair, or no hair, I am pro "your" life.  Whether you have been healthy your whole life, or you have suffered with a debilitating disease, if you have fought and beat cancer, or if cancer is kicking your butt right now...I am pro YOU.  Whether you are liberal, conservative, independent, or you're just not quite sure where you stand politically, I am pro "your" life.  Whether you are a virgin, or whether you have known an active, complex sex life, I am pro YOU.  Whether you are rich or poor, and no matter what color your skin may be, I am pro "your" life.   Whether you are "normal" (who really is, though?), or have been labeled as having a physical or mental challenge, I am pro YOU.  Because, though our lives' stories are made up of many experiences and choices, the bottom line is this:  you are a person of value, simply because you ARE.  You have value because you exist.  No matter who you are, or where your experiences and choices have taken you in life...I am pro "your" life.

Will I always agree with your politics, religious views, etc. etc. etc.?  Probably not.  But you probably won't agree with mine, either, right?  But does that make either of us less valuable?   My answer would be:  NO.  We are both of equal value.

Now, having said all that, I think the other side of the terminology deserves some consideration as well.  Is the definition of  Pro Choice shown clearly in the media?  Do all the women (who attended the Women's March--or wanted to) have the same stands on every issue?  Do they all think abortion is simply another method of birth control?  Do they all stand behind the mantra, "as much sex as possible with as many people as possible?"  Do they all string together as many f-bombs as possible to express their point of view?  Are they all atheists, or at least anti-religion?  Do they all hate ME?

Obviously (at least I hope it's obvious to you!), the answer to this is NO as well.In the end, the real question is not what it means to be pro life or pro choice.  The proper question should be this:  What does it mean to be human?


Friday, November 18, 2016

The Further Adventures of...Me!

Last week, I made another journey to my home state:  Kansas.  I grew up in the southwest corner of the state, where the horizon is farmland, the people are friendly, and life moves at a slower pace (well, mostly!).  

While I was visiting, the weather was unseasonably warm--record-breaking, actually--and mild.  (The northwest corner of the state has had snow since then!)  I didn't do anything "exciting" by most people's standards.  But I spent quality time with my parents, two of my sisters, and a few of my nieces and my nephew.  I reconnected with friends and church family from my formative years.  I breathed fresh Kansas air and saw AMAZING views of the harvest moon over the cornfields.  I saw cotton fields for the first time in my life. Yeah, it was a great trip.

On my journey west, I experienced one of the best Veteran's Days ever.  At every point of my journey, we were applauding the veterans in our midst.  The airline (Delta--giving credit where credit is due) handed out blue and red wrapped chocolates at the end of each flight to honor the veterans.  A group of young sailors, who were about to board their flight, were surrounded by well-wishers and words of thanks for their willingness to serve.  My lunch at Popeye's was shared with a Vietnam Vet from Arkansas.  It was awesome!

I also witnessed the kindness of Americans toward one another.  A young mom was traveling with her 8 month old son to visit relatives.  As she was navigating the first airport, she realized she had forgotten her son's pacifier.  A complete stranger, who happened to have a brand-new one in her diaper bag, offered it to this young woman.  The gentleman sitting next to her on our flight took over the role of "grandpa" so she could attend to her son's needs.  Every time the pacifier hit the floor, the stewardesses were there in a moment to rinse it.  Then someone on the flight produced a lanyard.  Three adults (including myself) figured out a way to hook it to the pacifier, so that mommy wouldn't have to keep searching the floor for it.  There was applause for successful moments and laughter at the sweet little guy's antics.  We became a family on that flight.  When we began to disembark, all those seated near her were helping to gather blankets, etc.  People of every size, shape, and color united to keep a baby happy for 1 1/2 hours.  It was beautiful!

On my next flight, I sat next to a gentleman from New Jersey, who was on his way to join in the beginning of pheasant season in Kansas.  "I'm going to a place called 'Greensburg'.  Have you ever heard of it?"  I laughed.  "Yes!  That's where I'm going, too!"  He peppered me with questions, and entertained me and our seatmate with his hunting stories.  I hope he had fun.  It was a hoot!

On my return yesterday, I had a brand new experience. I met a family of immigrants.  In the interest of their safety and privacy, I cannot tell you their names, their country of origin, or their destination.  What I can tell you is that I was drawn to them.  Imagine for a moment needing to uproot your entire family from the only home they have ever known, and having to trust complete strangers for safe passage to a new country...only to be surrounded by people whose language you cannot understand and whose customs are totally other than anything you have ever known.  A busy airport.  Tired children.  I did my best to converse with them (thank you, Google Translate!) and express American hospitality to these newcomers.  I hope I was successful.  My prayers are with them as they begin their new life here and that the adjustments to our country will be aided by loving, caring people.  It was life-changing for me!

My heart is full.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

That "One Thing"

So now that it is Election Day in the United States of America, I am finally posting about this several months' long experience we call "the process."  (If you're like me, you may feel as if you've been put through a food processor!  We're put in, a little at a time, and then the large "whirrrrrrr" and we're chopped, processed, and totally mixed up!)

I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum, as well as a few in the middle.  I consider myself conservative, but have been known to cast a few ballots for "the other side" in my day.

Some people wonder what is the big deal, anyway?  After all, as long as we have someone in the White House who will take charge and keep things running along, it will all pan out, right?

Others have asked me why so many conservative Christians seem to focus on a one-issue paradigm.  Thus, this article.

Because honestly, it really is a one-issue election for me.  I can sum it up in one word:  LIFE.

Then come the accusations of only caring for babies, and not being concerned about women, and so many other issues, such as social justice; equal rights for all genders, races, belief systems, etc.; immigration policies; the death penalty; reproductive rights; health care; international affairs; and the list goes on.

I offer this to you, though.  If we do not base our vote on LIFE, how do the other issues matter?  If a child is not given the chance to live, then the story is over.  No need for social justice, because he/she is dead.  No need for equal rights, because their life has ended.  If we do not care about LIFE, then no other position has any credence.  If we do not care about helping someone live the end of their life in a loving, caring environment, anything else we have done throughout their life is senseless.  If people only have value when they are contributing to society, then why bother with health care?  If we do not place importance on caring for those with physical disabilities or mental issues, what good are equal rights?  Are those rights only for the "elite, acceptable" people in our population?

If we begin with LIFE, then all the other issues will flow out of that.


15 “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God[a] which I command you this day, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
                                                                        Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Summer Summary (or, "A Summery Summary")

On this last day of August, it occurs to me that summer is winding down, and fall will soon be upon us.  Gasp.  (Have you heard the forecast for winter?  Let's not talk about that.)  It may just be my age, but it seems every summer zooms by a bit more quickly than the last.  (But let's not talk about my age, either.  Thanks.)

Our family's summer was neatly planned back in the late months of winter.  This being my husband's Jubilee Year (yes, he turned 50 in December), he wanted to spend the year celebrating, not bemoaning the progression of the hands of time.  Every vacation day and personal day were arranged for optimal memory-making.  Our family was going to visit the sites of Keith's life--Detroit, Chicago, Springfield (Missouri), and...others.  And then...

On a fateful day at the beginning of June, his job ended.  Suddenly, all our well-laid plans had to be set aside in deference to the sudden lack of income.  It was a blow, but not the final count.

Within days, friends were dropping off food and other necessities.  Surprise cards in the mail containing monetary gifts.  Gift cards to the local grocery store.  If I had the words, I would describe that feeling of amazed gratitude and awe at how good God is, and how incredible it is to be blessed by His people.  I cried so many tears of thanksgiving. 

One of those unexpected gifts was a check that arrived with a note, telling us to take our previously-planned-then-cancelled trip to Kansas to visit my family.  The check covered our expenses, and then some.  Wow.  Our trip had been postponed, but was quickly rescheduled!

God provided some summer employment for me that was "just in time" as well.  

Some of our other plans have had to be set aside, as Keith has begun a new job.   I teach piano, so the school year is my busy time for lessons.  Our oldest son has returned to college for his junior year.  Our younger son is in his senior year of high school.  Keith is back to his formation classes for his final year, in preparation (God willing) to be ordained a deacon in May.  

Not as WE had planned, but certainly not outside God's plans.

If you're reading this, and things are super tough right now, please don't misunderstand this post.  Our family has gone through some financial trials in the past when no money came in the mail, no groceries were dropped at our door, and there seemed no way out.  But God has always provided.  Not in the ways we may have prayed He would, but always in a way that helped us remember His goodness and faithfulness.  We've done without a lot of things the world thinks are "necessities."  That's really okay.  It has taught us to rely on Him and not on "things."  God is good in ways that go beyond the material and stretch us in our see how good a Father He really is to each of us.

The struggle doesn't mean we're not in God's will.  It just means we're struggling, you know?

God bless.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A little self-promo :)

I also write (occasionally) for a website called Catholic365.  If you're interested in more of my articles, or want to peruse their site for articles on every area of the's the link!

My newest article can be found at:  "What's In a Name?"

Thursday, August 18, 2016

LIF - Lyrics I'm Feeling

In the midst of unprecedented persecution of Christians, racial hostilities, terrorist attacks, fires, floods, and the craziest presidential election in U.S. history...I offer you this song.  Because if we ever needed God...the time is now.