28 October 2006

brrr, grrr and whrr

For those of us in W Michigan, u'll likely concur that it's been colder than normal. We're experiencing November skies, rain, and temps throughout October. I wouldn't normally talk about the weather, really, but October in Michigan is typically one of my favorite months. I've been reminding God with some frequency that we didn't really need November to come early. (Yes, I'm thinking God tends to humor me when I get into the "hey, just tho't I'd remind you..." type of speech.)

In the category of my subject line, here's the deal. On the way to dinner last night, I was delighted to discover a Culver's!! I've never really consumed Culver's food (butter burger? is that another way to say artery-blocking invitation??) but I ADORE their blackberry shakes. Mmmm. So since I was driving :-) we did make a stop at the Culver's drive thru on the way back to my very house. This was all happy, until I heard this little whrrr sound. Back in the depths of my brain, I recalled that noise. And then it clicked, or rather fizzled. See, i remembered it b/c about a year ago I heard the very same noise...when my car window DID not make it's happy and secure trip to lock back into the top of the door (unlike this featured pix). Brrrrrr. A window opened in the summer is one thing, but in October that feels like November verging on December?? No. Not so very happy. Grrr.

So, in my not-even-slightly-technical-mind I hope to myself, maybe it's just too cold. A night of rest in my cozy garage will surely give the window courage to zip back into place. (Yes, please don't analyze the personification that I assign to my car.)

Within moments I arrive back at my cozy little house with my cozy little garage and realize, hmmm, odd, my garage door is open. And there again, this warning flashes somewhere in the depths of my brain. B/c I remember a season, several months ago, when I would shut my garage door but halfway down or so it would change direction and go back up. I remember sometimes I helped physically guide the door down. But last night, in pushing the button to shut it again, I saw this little (or not so little) cable slither off the track on the left side as the door completed the painfully familiar half descent and return to it's open resting position. Grrrr.

Remember my idea that my car window would perhaps "heal" by a cozy (warm) overnight stay in the garage? Not an offer. Obviously.

But I must report this sweet piece of grace. As I was heading to bed, I heard my garage door button. So I peeked out my little privacy/security peekhole on my door and watched my kind neighbor Bob as he attempted to shut my garage door. (He does this for me, especially in the summer if I forget to close my garage at night. He's sweet.) He actually used some big-ol sledge hammer thing to try to straighten the track on the right side thinking that something was blocking the door from closing properly. And this morning, when he and I talked and I showed him the rusted cable piece, he told me what time he planned to return from work and that he would help me fix it this afternoon if possible. Isn't that the greatest???

Now, if only I could find a helpful person to fix my drafty car window? Perhaps the technicians at Firestone will have to fit that bill. Brrr.

27 October 2006

recreate and retreat

Things are out of control, that is, in my schedule. (oh yes, things are likely out of control other places, too. but humor me, please.) So for the first time in my blog history, i didn't post for a week. sad.

One of the crazy-good things this week was attending some teaching and experiences regarding healing prayer. Although I'm still processing what I observed and experienced, I saw miraculous things. Jesus healing people. Right very now, in front of my very eyes. We experience healing all the time, really, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A friend of mine recently expressed her utter disbelief in how her son's wrists were healing. (He had fallen out of a bunk bed and broken both wrists.) She explained how she didn't really want the casts to come off because the idea that God really made our body to heal was so amazing. And it is. God's creation and recreating power presses my rationale and forces me to receive His supernatural, reason-defying sovereignty.

To assist me in this, next week, when many are finishing costumes and planning some sort of halloween observance, I get to retreat in God's amazing creation. I'm thirsty for it. My soul longs for the healing power that dwelling in God's presence provides, especially in an extended retreat setting. And so I'm off...to retreat...from the "normal" routines of life. Hooray!

(Re)create in me a clean heart Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Pix credit: Hildred, Yosemite, 0606

20 October 2006

beth!! and it depends on your perspective

Yesterday was Beth's birthday. She's one of my dearest friends. You likely love her if you know her. And definitely would love her if you don't. She's worth celebrating--for more than a day even. Since I often get amazing pictures from her, I don't often have an amazing picture of her. But, that pix I took in Scotland last year.
And I like it. So, please celebrate Beth with me! Oh, and I found another picture I like...still from Scotland, 0605.

As to perspective, my emotions yesterday were a bit out of whack. That is, out of whack for me. I realized not too long into the day that I was seething. Under the surface, but seething. I'm not really sure I know how to deal with anger. In fact, likely I just don't deal. At all. I repress. And deny. And pretend. And carry on. But then, something, likely inane and inconsequential will happen, even slightly irritating, and I overreact. Why? B/c I haven't dealt with the anger below the surface. That was yesterday. Until I went to my dentist. Enter, my really friendly hygeniest, Ellie. (And I really am not protecting her identity. I can't remember her name so Ellie sounds good to me.)

My anger was actually surfacing with Ellie, unbeknownst to her, b/c I had a tight schedule for my check up since I really wanted to be back at the office sharing lunch with my good friend Cindy. But someone else was chatting, for-what-felt-like-eternity-ever, at the check in desk. So they didn't see me. And I couldn't check in. Ellie, cheery-as-ever finally came to get me...and well, it wasn't her fault. But I was not feeling very social.

That is, until she told me about her day. And her could-have-been-really-fatal-hit by-a-drunk-driver likely-totalled-her-car, accident. And how she was getting around. And how she really didn't have anyone to call when the accident occurred. And how she's glad she's alive but she's really sore. And she was so looking forward to not having a car payment in a few months. And well, everything in my life seemed totally miniscule in comparison.

So, pray for Ellie, would you? She could use a reminder of God's love, grace and favor right about now. (And i will be working on the anger thing, too!)

17 October 2006


It just so happens that nothing is different in my life from last week at this time. Last week at this very moment, or nearly, I emailed people asking for prayer. Truth floated around my brain but the anchor seemed to be dragging. Faith flowed somewhere within my heart's arteries but seemed too faint to secure me. In response to my cry for help, people poured out faith, love, care and grace.

My Dad called to remind me that God had not abandoned me. (Thanks for reminding of me of all those Biblical promises, Dad!) My Mom encouraged me not to get ahead of God and wait on His timing and direction. (Practical and wise as always Mom, gracias!)

Friends emailed to say they were praying. Others offered nuggets of scripture. Some co-workers left notes on my chair or computer keyboard with their encouragement. I received a lovely note from a dear friend in the mail (even before I sent out my email, actually! How's that for discerning??)

Grace comes in a variety of packages. It is a gift. And God uses such experiences to anchor us to His love even when we feel abandoned in a storm. I'm so grateful. It's still stormy. And I might be tossed about again. But I know where to turn. Thank you Jesus for the richness of community and the blessing of your grace, regardless of circumstances and situations.

Photo credits: #1 & 3, yours truly, somewhere in Scotland, 0605. #2, Hildred, Christmas 1204.

15 October 2006


For all you pc lovers, this may not be a post you'll enjoy. But for mac lovers everywhere, read on. This weekend marked a most significant, auspicious occasion. This is the weekend that my lil computer met her brothers. (okay, is that quite ridiculous to one, decide that my computer could possibly be a male or female AND then decide that a computer might have siblings?) Well, who cares, just check out these pictures and you decide. By the way, the "family" is my cute white one, silver, the eldest, and the younger brother, the black one.

Even beyond meeting "siblings," I got some tips about even more splendid things that my lil computer can do. For instance, it has features called dashboard and expose. And you can set preferences on hot corners as to what applications or programs you want the corners to activitate. And yes, it's true, i can't even slightly tech speak. but if you were here right very now, I could show you how amazing this little machine really is.

And you know you're curious and interested. It's the same reason you love the mac/pc television commercials. You know you do. You know you laugh and wonder "have I seen this commerical?" and even call out to your (spouse? roommate? friend?) "hey, it's a new mac commercial. Come look..." or if you're really entertainment starved, you might even go to the website to download the latest commerical. Anyway, this computer is such a gift and it's entirely, completely fabulous.
You really should try one.

12 October 2006


Driving makes me rush. I don't know any other speed when i drive. Okay, you're right, I choose to rush. And sometimes, given wanting to make a time commitment, it seems rather acceptable and completely necessary. But even when i'm beyond on time (in other words early), I still rush.

And truthfully, it's not just the speed. I actually feel competitive with other drivers. (Have i blogged this before??) I'm that driver who speeds to pass the cars in the slow lane, but at the end of the day, I'm sitting at the red light beside the people I've just hurried to "overtake."

Hmmm, I'm thinking that this competitive, rushing behavior contributes to my "unwell" blood pressure readings. So, I'm identifying, for whatever it's worth...I'm a rusher. Sorry if you're the driver I'm racing beside...

pix credit: Beth, en route to Skye, Scotland 0705

09 October 2006

decision making

here's the conversation: you've received communication that your job will likely change within the next two months. You won't be out of a job, but your job description will change dramatically, AND the possibility of relocation to another city and state is highly probable. The reality of a mortgage and other responsibilities looms. Do you wait out the process or look for another job? Do you consider dipping into retirement or other savings to stay afloat and trust God will provide some work at some point?

Or another scenario: you have a family of five. You finished a masters level degree but in anticipation, a year prior to graduation, you purchased your first home. With completing school, you and your spouse assume your next job will reflect the advanced degree and support the house payment and care for your family. However, over a year later, the better paying job has not surfaced despite vigorous job searches. And the bottom line is, you are living beyond your means.

What do we base decisions on? Do you stay in an area because God has provided and developed community there? And because family and other support systems exist there? If we know God as a provider, yet know His promises don't dictate a name it or claim it theology, what really matters? If our chief responsibility is to glorify God and worship Him forever, does it matter that we're establishing equity? Is it really necessary to invest the suggested amount for retirement? How do we discern God's heart in these scenarios?

Pix credit: Hildred, Pike Place Market, Seattle 0805 (And, not that u asked, I think this is one of the coolest pictures ever. And it really doesn't have much to do with this post, except it's intriguing to look at, and I'm desperate for some distraction.)

07 October 2006

a moment in someone else's life

There are moments that serve amazingly well. In my experience, those moments often come when things in my life seem particularly ambiguous and additionally anxious. And those moments can best be described as lovely distractions.

Here's what I'm talking about: For the last 24, i've vacated my typical weekend activity to hang out with one of my best and dearest friends. And since she has four kids, two dogs, plus other farm animals and lives way outside the city, it's definitely a different life than mine.

What's curious to both of us is that when we roomed and worked together in college, our lives were extremely similar. We even shared a major and thus also shared multiple classes (which, as aside, was an incredible bonus on those rare occasions when one of us was unable to make that 8 o'clock class).

Now, several years later, our lives appear nearly completely different. And yet, the depth of our friendship and previous shared life anchors and supports our current relationship and regretably sometimes too infrequent interactions.

I must confess, running with her kids, walking in the woods with her dogs, observing her negotiate sincere sibling squabbles (and sometimes dabbling in the negotiations myself), performing vigorous "underduck" pushes on the swingset, encouraging middle school leaders on a zip line, and experiencing intense college football team rivalries while watching tv, among other things, transports me from my life's concerns in a way that nothing else can.

Sometimes the moment is simply the grace to inhale someone else's air for a time. And that refreshes my soul.

04 October 2006


something about traveling reminds me about how much time the average person spends waiting. Waiting for a ride to the airport, or the shuttle to deliver us to the terminal. Waiitng to see if our luggage and our person clears the latest safety standards.

(Personally this week, I was grateful to get by with TWO quart sized plastic bags with liquids, gels, lotions, etc. even though the standards clearly declare we can only travel with ONE. Technically the TSA safety guy determined my saline solution was empty. but he doesn't know i squeeze out every possible drop from those bottles. Silly man.) Where was I? Oh yeah, waiting...

Waiting for a standby confirmation. Waiting to board the plane. Waiting for other travelers to store their luggage so we can walk by and wait for who will sit next to us. Waiting for clearance to take off. Waiting for the door to open upon arrival. Waiting for our turn to pile out of the plane. Waiting for luggage. Waiting for the rental car or nice person who will pick us up from the airport...well, you know the drill.

here's the thing though, with all that practice, don't u think I should be really good at waiting????

photo credit: Beth, Scotland, 0705

03 October 2006

time keeps on ticking

so yesterday was my very birthday. yep, i was born the day after my dad, so naturally I'm his favorite, (RIght, Dad?) And I love parties...but I didn't have much energy to plan.

No worries. People just came and hung out.
I love that. I love the gift of people's company. (Okay, technically, that picture was taken when we went camping a few weeks ago, and there were actually MORE fun people at my house last night. But, this gives you some idea.) Mostly I love it b/c most of my friends live WAY across town and so visiting my house means they drive a few miles. And we could share life together for a few hours. And eat delicious food (like homemade salsa, and brownies, and watermelon, and pita chips with pesto, and broccoli salad). And share fun stories. And entertain kids, er, okay, well, be entertained by them.

Somehow, all the above helps me feel like I'm not getting so old afterall...well, at least for one evening. :-)

01 October 2006

my dad!!

Today is important. In fact, today is vital to my very existence. Here's why: it's my Dad's birthday!!!
Happy Birthday Dad!!! I celebrate him on this the anniverary of his very birth. I'm so glad he loved Jesus so much and wanted all of us to love Him too. I'm so glad he loves Mom well and models love for his wife and love for our family! I'm so glad God choose him to be my dad.
I love the way my Dad loves people and enjoys sharing laughter with people as he gets to know them. And although I don't always agree with everything he thinks, I do appreciate that he has firm opinions and enjoys sharing them. I like how Dad loves kids and is so patient with playing with them.

I like that he reads the Dutch newspaper on the internet and keeps up with football (soccer) around the world.
There are many other things I could say, but the truth is, I don't know if my Dad will ever read my blog. Thus, I'll have to phone in the rest of my thoughts. Happy Birthday anyway Dad!!