Straight on Through

Things in my head and now …. not

Weekend to Myself….

The boys are away for the weekend snowmobiling and as of this past Friday afternoon, I have had the place to myself.  I was really looking forward to this weekend of “no commitments”…  really, I could read, relax, watch a chick flick (or two…), play word games on the computer,whatever!  The world was going to be my oyster….

I really do overdose on people.  I love being with people, but I am wired to the point that hanging with people at get togethers, meetings, dinners, events, whatever…. doesn’t fuel me… but zaps my energies.  I actually have to come home and unwind from just being with others.   I don’t understand it…  but that is the way I am.  So as you can see, a weekend alone could be just what I needed.

After running errands from early Friday morning and going to a great movie (Marley and Me) with Karol Kruse in the afternoon, I was really looking forward to coming home and relaxing.  Oddly, in a matter of moments I found the house too quiet.  This is odd as the house isn’t noisy anyway…  I think it wasn’t “noise” that I needed…. but maybe purpose….  I didn’t have dinner to make, or time to chat with Al about the week or hang with Justin catching up on what he has going on or playing a bit of Bomberman on Wii.  I had nothing to do… and I suddenly felt very alone.

I made dinner and went downstairs to play on the computer and pulled Season One of Gilmore Girls off the shelf.  Kate came on Facebook and invited me to play Scrabble Beta with her which was really fun and I started to relax (thanks Kate!).  I really started to think how important the whole SHMILY thing was in times like this and knew I could do better with some of the ideas I had read on Amy’s blog (thanks Amy!).

Saturday was better…. I started to embrace the time to relax.  I got up at 8:30 (oh yeah…. I never do that… I’m a 7 a.m. girl).  I did a bit of housework and then spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon watching Gilmore Girls and playing on the computer.  I ran a couple errands late afternoon, checked out the sales at Kohls, came back home and am now back in the recliner to enjoy a quiet evening.

Tomorrow afternoon the guys will be back and I am ready!  It’s nice to have the time to yourself…. but my battery is fully charged and I am excited to have them back in the house with their stories of snowmobiling.

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December 27, 2008 Posted by | Just me, Life thoughts | Comments Off on Weekend to Myself….

Unusual Blessing

“It’s hard watching yourself die.”
This was part of a conversation I had earlier today with Karen as she described what she had looked like a few days ago when her skin had turned an ash white.
I look at my friend of many years through tear filled eyes and try to imagine what that must feel like. She is now wearing long sleeves because she does not like to see the color of her skin.
Karen has such a spirit about her. I worked with her for many years and she is also a member of The Bookies (our book club). I remember her first meeting she attended as she came in with a list of rules if she was going to be a part of this group. “I won’t read any of that mushy stuff,” she has said, “I have been through too much in my life to believe in any of that.”
A few months later at a book review Karen had gushed over our read, “I just loved Colton, he is so romantic!”
Two years ago Karen was diagnosed with cancer. She has had a tough battle and is currently 6 months beyond what the doctors had given her to live. She is a fighter yet feels good at this point if God feels it is her time to go.
Spending time with her this afternoon was a real gift to me. She speaks of hearing God in this new quietness of her life and chuckles at how that must sound – yet I for one know she hears Him. At home in her room, He speaks to her.
We have a wonderful conversation and she tells me how amazing people have been through her illness. She received a fishing launch tri  for herself and her family, a neighbor built her a beautiful garden to look at when she sits on her deck, and friends come to see her… more than she knew she had.
Karen tells me, “These last two years have been the best years of my life.  Cancer is a horrible thing, but I would not trade this time for anything.”
Wow. Karen I really love you.


December 15, 2008 Posted by | Devotion in motion, Life thoughts | 2 Comments

Women of Faith Conference 2008

Well… it was another one of those weekends where I look back on it and can not believe the blessings involved in spending a whole weekend with such a great group of women from my friends, to the speakers, the the musicians…

This past weekend 36 of us left our little corner of the world.  Some of us left on Thursday afternoon, some came Thursday night and others traveled Friday morning.  Destination – the Excel Center in St. Paul Minneapolis for the Women of Faith Conference.

Spending the weekend with such great speakers as Anita Renfroe, Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Meberg, Sheila Walsh, Lucy Swindoll…. AND getting to listen to Nicole C Mullen – LIVE!  Well… come on…

I cant say enough that if you have not been part of this conference before – you are missing out!  We have pre purchased 36 tickets for next years event which will be held the third weekend in October.  Check out the website, and sign up soon through me… the tickets will be gone before you know it!  Women of Faith website

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Life thoughts | 5 Comments

Missions Weekend

Do you ever have one of those moments that are just so amazing… so incredibly unbelievable… you kind of look back and are still in awe that it happened?  My whole weekend has been that way.

It started Thursday when I was working at the church office and in enters Pastor Jorge and his wife Marta all the way from Honduras.  All the way from where I met him, 4+years ago in a place called Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he runs a church and is (through Gods vision) the founder of Manuelito in Talanga, the home for street kids. To see him here – in my world…. that is just too amazing for words.

And it continues from there… Friday I see him as we set up for the Missions Banquet at Breezy Point Resort and I am able to talk to him about the pictures he wants to show for his presentation that evening, and again on Saturday morning where a group of us have brunch with him and Marta at Pastor Mark and Elizabeth’s home, and then that evening at Cozy Bay where we share dinner together and stories… and then again on Sunday at the church where he greets people in the parking lot with Tim Lake and talks during each service.

It is like a dream that I don’t feel quite awakened from… I think over the next few days after he is back in Honduras and I am here in Minnesota as the temperature continues to drop and the trees reluctantly give up their vibrant colors, I will think back to this weekend and fall on a knee in praises to a God bigger than I can put into my head… that can make weekends like this happen.

October 12, 2008 Posted by | Insane Moments, Life thoughts | 1 Comment

The Locked Box

I wonder if everyone has one?  It is like a locked box tucked carefully deep within the walls of your heart. 

Occasionally, it opens just a crack and a hurt from long ago spills out.  It’s not something you need to give to God, at least in my case – I already have and I know He has it because I wouldn’t be standing here today if He didn’t. 

It’s hard to explain, but if you have one, I think you’ll get this.  It’s not luggage you are carrying on your back.  It’s not heavy, and it’s not really a burden.  I like having it there.  While it may be painful at times, or sadden me, it’s dear to me and I embrace the hurt. It reminds me of what makes me – me.

There are many things that can cause the box to open.  Sometimes it’s a word, a memory, or someone says, “you remind me so much of _____________”.    Sometimes it is a taste or a smell that takes you back unexpectedly.

Many people hold keys to the locked box that I carry.  Some don’t even know they have a key.  Others know they have a key, but will not open that box – not even an inch.  Sometimes… I wish they would.   Other times I will be surprised by a key holder who I had no idea held a key.

The box for me holds items that when I think of them, they sometimes take my breath away.  And other times, more often than not – they make me smile.  They are mine, they are like no one elses and I thank God for what is in that box because they are also some of my dearest memories.

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Life thoughts | 4 Comments

The life of a car…

My friends with teenagers should get a kick out of this and for my friends with pre teens – this is a scene you will want to remember.

When Brad turned 16 we wanted to purchase his first car for him as a birthday present. We surprised him with this as he had been saving up to get a car. We searched all over for a good starter car – from the cities to St. Cloud and then finally back in Brainerd, we find “the car”.

Brad’s car went right from the dealer we purchased it from over to Mills Motors for a once over to make sure she was road worthy for our son. After adding quite a few more dollars to the original price after Mills updated and repaired – the keys were handed to Brad.

This car has been through it all. Brad has used it for delivering pizzas from his first job at 16 to just a couple months ago. The car has went through tires, and a new gas tank, and a windshield, brakes, you name it. We have had it towed to our house twice when it broke down and then finally – our home became its final resting place.

Well… almost.

With the use of equipment that we just happen to have laying around the shop area – the car was stripped and then placed ever so lovingly into the recycle dumpster. As you can see by the pics of the car in the dumpster and then it leaving our yard in the recycle bin.

A bitter sweet moment for me because I remember Brads eyes when he first got behind the wheel of that car.

Anyone have any personal car stories or stories of their kids and cars?

July 23, 2008 Posted by | Insane Moments, Life thoughts | 2 Comments

The last entry in the Read Me Book…

I mentioned the read me book some time ago (see it here) in a blog entry. This book was used through the years to communicate with the kids and we would hide it throughout the house and if you found it – you had to write in it.

Here is the first entry from Justin in the read me book:

12/20/98

This is crazy! Brad finally found the book and then left it on the toilet and I found it. I am really happy I got *KOVU today!  I showed him off everywhere today and he has a new pal PLUTO!  My program is coming up at school and it will be cool.  It is on Brad’s birthday.  My favorite song is Sleigh Ride.  I am suppose to be in bed and mom is probably going to yell at me for talking to Brad but now have to hide this where my brother will find it and have to write in it. Maybe the dryer or under his pillow. I have to go. Justin

(* Kovu is a Lion King Character – actually also known as Scar.  I had to look it up because I couldn’t remember what Kovu was either…)

In the very early hours of Tuesday morning as I grabbed laundry out of the laundry room to take upstairs I found it among the clothes Justin had folded Monday night. He must have come across the book while he was packing up his room to move out.

With tears already forming in my eyes I knew he must have written his final entry within the pages of the book. I climbed back into bed holding the book. I opened the book to the front page seeing my boys writing from the late 90’s in big uneven letters… and then I turned to the final entry:

July 1, 2008

Mom,

I am all moved out. I love you and I will miss you. Instead of crying that you miss me, rejoice and celebrate for who I am. I have so much ahead of me, college, bills, and life. I am ready to take on the world.

Thank you for helping me to be who I am today. Don’t hesitate to call because you know I can’t put my phone down. I am just a few miles away. I love you,

Justin

July 3, 2008 Posted by | Life thoughts | 3 Comments

Where is the Love?

I have Honduras head. I have been spending a lot of time in the yard, and on the bike trail and when I do these projects and things – my mind tends to wander… apparently to Honduras.

I think a lot about the kids – especially the ones I meet on the streets and in the dump.

When I look at where they are at – and then where I am at… I struggle. Working in my yard, when they don’t even have a yard gets to me. It’s easy to look at all that we have and all that they do not… and ask God why? Where is the love? Where is God’s Love?

Yet almost as soon as I think it, I know the answer. God’s love is right here. I – as well as many others have been given an opportunity to see first hand what is happening in this country and know that the little we do… the little bit of relationship we create – right there, Is God’s Love.

And knowing that – and knowing that there is positive God Filled people in Honduras like Pastor Jorge and Pastor Jeoney. Two people who I am so thrilled to know from my tiny little spot on the planet in Brainerd Minnesota… There is the Love.

Yes the world we live in has many opportunities. And for some – God plants this seed in us to do missions – even in our own back yard… There is the Love.

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Devotion in motion, Life thoughts | 1 Comment

Mink Lake Camp…

I just came off a three day stay at Mink Lake Camp and I am always amazed at how hard it is to arrange the time to go (adjusting schedules, working late the week prior, finding people to fill in… yet when I get there, the world stops and I don’t want to come back. There is nothing like getting away from the daily grind of phones and commitments and just letting go and letting God.

For those who have been there – they know the peace of this area. The relationships that are built and built on. Every time I have went I have either met someone new or furthered a relationship with someone I kind of knew. This year – I was able to do both.

If you haven’t gone…. I can’t stress enough what a magical place this is. I took lots of pictures this time so everyone can really get a good look at the camp. This August there will be Family Camp sponsored by TJN. If you are interested, contact the church at 824-5617 or leave a message here and I will contact you with more details.

June 5, 2008 Posted by | Life thoughts, Thursday Thumbs Up, TJN kibbles and bits | 6 Comments

Thursday Thumb Up – GRADUATION!

What a day Thursday was!  Filled with work to do and all the time lingering in the back of my mind…. Justin’s graduating tonight…

I am not real sure why this hit me the way it did.  It’s not like I didn’t know this day was coming…. yet, once it was here… I felt like a season in my life was ending… and it made me a little sad.

Upside….  when a season ends, or a door closes, God provides yet another season… another door…

So last evening Al and I arrived at the school at 5:30 to wait in line for the doors to open at 6pm.  Even at 5:30 the line was long and I was re leaved to finally get into the gym and get seated.

When the kids came in – 555 in all, the largest class in recent history oh BHS, my hear melted a bit.  There were the kids that had been at our house for birthday parties, sleep overs, and camp outs.  There were kids we had driven to sports events, to movies, and to each others houses.  Kids I knew for a season… and some I am still getting to know.

The program was well thought out – the kids were quite funny with the beach balls being tossed through the air while the teachers said no… their last hurrah as a group.  You could feel the energy in the air.

And so, it ended.  Or did it begin? The school careers of these now almost adults… from kindergarten to here.  Pictures were taken, hugs and best wishes handed out.

I look at my 18 year old son and I am so proud of him.

I look at my husband and we are both in awe of having raised two boys to this point.

May 30, 2008 Posted by | Life thoughts | 1 Comment