Straight on Through

Things in my head and now …. not

Thanksgiving Morning

The house is quiet.

Al is outside sawing wood for winter.  Justin is still sleeping.  The turkey has been prepped and seasoned and in the oven for over an hour now.  I break with a cup of coffee and sit at my computer and listen….

silence. 

I close my eyes in  prayer to God in thanks for so much….

I am thankful for friends that I have been so blessed with who fill me up day after day.

I am thankful for the variety of people in my life – work out friends, movie friends, coffee friends, dinner friends, “got your back no matter what” friends, walking friends, small group friends, crazy “lets wear formal gowns and stay over night in a mansion” friends, camping friends, hang out friends, serious “go to” friends, help my car don’t start friends, biking friends, friends who challenge me to do better, coffee group friends, new adventure friends, book friends…

I am thankful for family and the opportunities I have to spend time with them and connect.

I am thankful for conversations with Brad, when he shares his heart and calls me to listen.

I am thankful every night I hear the sound of Justin’s car pull into the yard.

I am thankful for a hard working husband who provides for his family.  His provision is what allows me to do charity work in our community.

I am thankful for Chance – 6 years and going strong – a better Kinship Partner I could not have asked for!

I am thankful for great people to work with – real people.  People that make me laugh until I cry (or cry until I laugh) and know that my life is better because they are in it.

I am thankful for birthday club – you know who you are.  🙂

I am thankful for my Wal-Mart friends – my life long unbelievably great relationships with Heidi, Sara, and Cindy.  Our adventures make for incredible memories and I love being crazy with you!

I am thankful for Bookies – my book club who has met monthly since August of 2001.  You are all so great and I love getting together with you every month and talking out a book. 

I am thankful for Amanda – who literally got my off my butt and back on track to taking better care of me. 

I am thankful for the opportunities to see things and experience things that I would never have dreamed of… Honduras, Mink Lake, IHN, Feed the Children…

I am thankful for memories.  I am full of them and they are deep treasures. 

I am thankful for the past – rough unbelievably tough roads I have walked, crawled, clawed, my way up up and know without a doubt that there is no way I would have made it through without God in my life.

I am thankful for what is to come…. and yes, sometimes it scares me…. but again, I know this is all in God’s plan and I am 100% on board – where ever He takes me.

I am thankful for today – the time spent with all of together is rare and I cherish these moments.

I am thankful for God – for more than I could ever put into words in a lifetime of prayers.  He is the reason I am here today.

I am thankful for this quiet morning – a time to reflect before the house fills with conversations, laughter, sharing, and caring.

There is so much more… but this is just a sample of the feelings of thankfulness I am having today.  May everyone have a blessed Thanksgiving filled with joy and new memories!

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November 27, 2008 Posted by | Just me | 4 Comments

Monday Mind Dump

  • Last week I never completed the Monday mind dump… missed it!
  • Last Sunday Al and I took Brad, Justin, their girlfriends, and Chance out to dinner at La Tequila’s.  Getting us all together like that is so rare.  I am so thankful we did it.  Great food and fun!
  • Wednesday I started my group power class again (first time since September) with Justin and his girlfriend Amber… I could hardly walk for two days (*SIGH).  Back at this week!
  • Saturday I helped Al stack wood after he split it…. then I went to Amanda’s wedding shower, and then later went bell ringing with Justin at Herberger’s
  • On Sunday we had Chance overnight.  I made chili for dinner, we went bowling, and later after floor hockey we played a bit of WII and Al and I played Yatzi with Justin and Chance.  Al won.
  • I am planning (and have been for awhile now) to do a spiritual boot camp.  I hope to blog details on that yet this week.  Stay tuned!  🙂

November 23, 2008 Posted by | Just me | Comments Off on Monday Mind Dump

Relationship Recycling

Last weekend I went and visited my grandparents. 

To most of you I would think that this would be a “no big deal” thing to do… but in my case – it is.  I won’t go into a lot of detail as even I do not have all the details…. but these people and I have not really had a relationship as I grew up and seeing them is fairly new (like within the last 4 years new when I opened that door with a Christmas card…).  The point is not the who, what, when, and why –

but now.

I wanted to blog on this last week and just did not with time issues and really not knowing what to say about this recent visit… until today when Pastor Brett spoke on recycling and connections to others as God’s plan – the greatest of all commandments, “Love one another“.  This message reminded me of a choice I made a long time ago.

I am anti burn pile.  (If you missed the sermon – this was about tossing people away that we no longer feel we had a need for, or they have hurt us so much that we wish to burn away that relationship – destroying all memory of it and evidence.)  Having grown up with a lot of incredibly painful losses, I find it hard to let go of people.  I realize some relationships have seasons, where God sends us people for a while… they help us move to a new area in our life – and sometimes that is the extent of that relationship.  We are left with a gratefulness for their guidance and friendship while it was meant to be ours.  Yet other relationships are meant to be renewed and revisited – and yes, recycled.

This recent visit to the Grandparents was long over due and I am to blame for that.  I am a great “time filler upper” and I have no problem keeping myself busy with tasks, duties, commitments, charity, friends, family, and fun.  This visit had been on my mind for awhile but I would always excuse myself of it thinking they have nothing but time and will want a long visit…. I am usually overcommitted and can not commit to a long visit therefore I justified no visit at all.

However last Saturday I had a free afternoon.  My schedule had cleared, Al was going to take a nap and I could read or putz around on the computer all afternoon if I wished….. instead I made the phone call and went and visited two people who are happy to build a relationship with me. 

As I sat and I listened to stories I have heard before from their own childhoods to new stories of more recent times…. I thanked God for this opportunity to just be with them.  Both of them in their 90’s live to share their stories and in my hurried up world – it felt so good just to stop and listen.  And as I listened, I thought about what the glue was that held us together.. that made each of us strive to be more to the other… and then I knew.  The missing link in this picture was my mother.  Her own mother before me, working on building a connection with her granddaughter.  A granddaughter trying to find yet another piece of her mother. 

I have so many questions for them…. so much I don’t know …. yet I am at peace with not knowing.  At this point for each of us, I am happy to leave well enough alone and just continue to recycle this relationship by continuously opening that door and doing what I can to be a part of their lives.  I do not want to leave any doubt in their mind that they were loved by me…. and the only way I can explain this, is that love poured through because of God’s love for us. 

November 23, 2008 Posted by | Devotion in motion | 1 Comment

Mon… Tues…. well, anyway, Mind Dump

  • Last week I hit a funk (I hate that….) I wasn’t sleeping well, because I was worrying… and the more tired I became… the more my mind messed me up… the more I worried, the more I couldn’t sleep, and so on…  I’d love to tell you that I had HUGE PROBLEMS.. but the truth is a took a mole hill and with the gift of an over active imagination, I made a mountain (possibly in record time – somebody call Guinness…).
  • On Saturday – my friends gave me a reality check that was the best thing for me.  Sometimes getting back to the basics – releasing all to God (as I know (oh – I know…) but sometimes have trouble with…) and sharing with those you trust… is the absolute best thing!  I was given a dose of friendship, and reality – and I snapped out of it.  Praise God!!!!
  • Sunday Al and I had an incredible dinner at the Bjorlo’s and after that I spent the evening with Chance at Dodgeball and hanging out at the house.
  • Monday had dinner with Key, Sandi, and Julie and  our first Honduras Meeting…. wow – it is coming up fast!!!
  • Tuesday had Book Club at my house while we reviewed the book Wednesday Letters (see review here) and my suggestion for our December read of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens won the vote!!! I am so excited to read this!
  • I also finished the 7th (and final) book in the Narnia Series… The Final Battle.  See that review here!

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Just me | Comments Off on Mon… Tues…. well, anyway, Mind Dump

A Great View…

I am among the group that is so thankful the election is over.  I found it …. stressful.  I know some found it exhilarating, but for me, being over loaded with negative this, and negative, that… believe this – but oh, don’t forget this, watching one commercial slam one candidate and the following commercial slam the other….  and when it is all said and done….

I wonder what has been said…

…and what has been done?

HOWEVER – today I read an article that made me feel good.  It was the same reminder that I have spoken myself to friends and family – and I have heard back from people.  And here it is – written by Roxanne Wiemann from RELEVANT magazine.com :

Well, here we are on the other side. A watershed moment. An historic election. And we, the American people, have made our choice.

Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States, and the nation’s first black president. And in elections across the country, Democrats won their seats in the Senate. When Obama takes office in January, he will do so with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

“The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly,” McCain told his supporters in Arizona after the results came in.

But what about you? Those of you who took our RELEVANT poll yesterday favored McCain: 47 percent of you voted for the Arizona Senator and 33 percent of you for Obama. So, are you disappointed? Will you hang your heads today? Do you fear for our nation’s future? I’m not so sure.

So many of us—members of the widely contested “young evangelical voters”—were divided about this election. Not just as a group, but even in our own hearts. I know which candidate I chose, but it wasn’t an easy decision. And, to be honest, I didn’t really care who won. I agreed with both. I disagreed with both.

I believe this is who we are. I believe this is who you are. I believe we can be the change we’ve voted for—no matter who we voted for.

What I’m wondering now is where do we go from here?

While the electoral vote and popular vote strongly favored Obama, our country is still largely divided. This was a hard-fought, personal and passionate race. There are wounds on both sides. Can Obama and the Democratic congress heal those wounds? Can we help?

Yes and yes.

Obama ran as a unifier. He condemned our party divisions and championed cooperation across party lines. Many of the Democrats who won seats in the Senate ran with similar platforms. If Obama and the Congress majority maintain that position and “reach across the aisle” in the years to come, that will certainly go a long way in healing our wounds and unifying our country. Karl Rove has already expressed his own wish that the Republicans would do the same, “I hope we will support [Obama] when we agree with him, persuade him when we think his mind is open, and oppose him when we think he is wrong.”

Whether unity happens in Washington or not, the question still returns to us: what can we do to help? As Francis Schaeffer so famously put it, “How shall we then live?” Now that the election is over and Obama and the Democrats have so clearly won, how shall we then live? I believe that we, the young Christian voters, can uniquely answer this question. I believe, in fact, that this is the very question we are so primed to answer. Because this election and its profound life issues has galvanized us to true action.

Yes, we voted. But it’s more than that. Through this election, we’ve become aware of the major social issues of our day. And now we want to do something about them. We recognize an election will not change everything. We do not rest our hopes for change on a political party or candidate. We vote, we hope, but we don’t stop there. Tomorrow and the next day and the next and in January when Obama takes office, we get up and we continue our sojourn to follow Jesus. We live our votes for life, for justice, for peace, for equality.

We comfort our friend who tells us she’s considering abortion. Then we gently tell her why we believe life in the womb is precious. We help her find alternative options … and we stick by her side all through the pregnancy and birth and after. She is not a statistic or a faceless evil to us.

We love beyond racial, gender and sexual lines. We reject stereotypes. We embrace individuals. We work for reconciliation.

We do not talk about “that side of town,” we live there and work there and mentor there. We are a part of educational reform, and ESL, and rehabilitation.

We recycle. We reduce our imprint. We consciously make our purchases, recognizing the global implications. We strive to “live simply that others may simply live” (Ghandi).

We personally pray for our soldiers in Iraq, for the citizens of Iraq, for our leaders who are making tough decisions that affect millions of lives. We really do pray, and we believe our prayers matter.

We continue to work hard in the jobs God has given us, saving our money and stewarding our resources. We tithe. We donate. We volunteer.

We continually challenge each other to deepen our understanding of whole life ethics and Jesus’ call to follow Him.  (Link to this article here)

Bottom line – God is still in control.  And I will join others in prayer for our Leaders and our country.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | Just me | Comments Off on A Great View…

The “Hey Mondays not over yet” Monday Mind Dump

  • Last week caught up home projects now that the craziness of October is passed.
  • Put a lot of hours in the office last week working on the rewrite of the constitution.
  • Halloween was Friday and we did not have one trick or treater which is normal – so Al and I went out to eat at the Mexican place in the old Reeds building- awesome fajitas!!!
  • Saturday was the Business meeting at church and it was good.
  • Sunday Justin brought Chance to church and then he hung out with us the rest of the day – watching movies and playing WII.
  • Sunday evening went in for my weekly whooping in Dodgeball.  Yup, whooped again.
  • Somehow, have now signed up to play floor hockey….  whats up with that????
  • Today I actually caught up on my book blog which was several entries behind.  To see what I have been reading and what my thoughts are on these reads – check here

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Just me | 1 Comment