30 April 2007

birthday bonanza continues-day two!

Today, I celebrate Cindy on her very birthday.
She used to be my work friend. I loved seeing her every day.

Her humor and fantastic wit made every day pass quickly. I do think she's one of the funniest people in the world. (You know, of the vast population that I know personally.)
She is hilarious.
(For the record, in case the above was misleading, she's still my friend, we just don't get to work together any more.)
She stretches me and grows my faith, especially in the category of "things that freak me out."
And she challenges me.
And she makes me laugh (oh, did I mention that?)
She was part of "my" first Alias small group.
Those were the days.
Her husband is fun, too, and her son is adorable, albeit, a busy two year old, as well he should be.
But, it's not THEIR Day. It's hers!!!

Happy, happy, happy day wee pal! You are worth celebrating.

May the desires of God's heart become the reality in your life in this new year!!


It's such a glorious time of year.
The recent rain (in these parts),
complimented by a few days of succulent sunshine,
makes for some fabulous flowers.

Other things tend to emerge this time of year. Like the desire to clean. (Well, I've heard that's what happens anyway.) You've heard the term spring cleaning, likely. Last weekend my computer received some spring cleaning.
As some of you may recall, my poor little Mac screen, nearly from it's arrival in my life, has contained the imprint of my keyboard. So, my Mac buddy, Peter, took it upon himself to clean my screen, and my keyboard, and the exterior. His concern for my Mac reminds me of people who really care (dare I say obsess) about their cars. But in this case, my computer screen is much easier to view. Thanks Peter!!

28 April 2007


Today is Lori's birthday.
Yesterday a few of us met her for lunch.
We all love her and
enjoy spending time in her company. In fact, more people wanted to celebrate Lori, but their schedules proved prohibitive.
Lori is one of those people who doesn't call attention to herself.
She serves often behind the scenes, but always in significant ways.
She's also full of surprises.
Her wit and wisdom is beyond compare.
She offers care in timely and appropriate doses.

She's endured a lot.
And she loves well.

Happy Birthday beloved daughter of the King.
May you experience His love in deeper and more intimate ways this new year.

24 April 2007


I walked on the beach with my friend Sandie over the weekend.
I walked in the water, not just skipping in and out of it shrieking at the cold.
It was the carefree, consistent, feet in the water, walking along the beach without inhibition type of strolling.

I love that.

I love the freedom of walking without shoes on.
I love the feel of the water and the sand.

I love that the combination of rising water and air temperature leads not only to walking barefooted, but allows us to notice things again.
Like the color green and the color blue.
And the wisps of clouds.
And the dispersing of birds.

And the bird songs.
And inhaling the freshness of flower petals and leaves
as they form and take shape once again.

And the interplay as the sunlight dances on the water.

Oh yes, Creator, your world displays your glory. We wait in hope.

17 April 2007

rhythm and identity

My current school status?
so many pages to read...
so many papers to write...
so little time.

How do people complete these degrees while working full time and/or with a family??

I had this conversation with a guy on a plane a few days ago.
He mentioned how much he loved his job.
His average week found him clocking 70 hours at work.
He described how much he and his wife enjoy living on their 18 acres out in the country. And then remarked that this "simple life" sucked up every spare minute of the weekend attending to the lawn, garden, or other maintenance issues.

I listened until I burst out,"so, who are you, when you're not working?"
He barely hesitated before replying,
"I'm not really sure."

Which provoked me to ask,
"so, what do you do to recreate? How do you rebuild your soul?"

He was silent.
"I don't know that, either," he finally responded,
"I'm a little burned out right now."

Not surprising, or likely, not too different from many of us. So who am I when I'm not working? What defines me? What is the rhythm of our lives?
Are we balancing the tension of work and play?
Or is the pace something akin to running on empty?

Speaking of...books and papers beckon! The race continues.

15 April 2007


I've been in New Mexico and Arizona the last few days. Although I've been there before, I had no idea that this time we'd be so close to the four corners. State lines aren't literal lines in the ground, so the fact that these four corners are marked so distinctly is an interesting site.

As far as "attractions" go, in American standards, this one is rather understated. Perhaps because everything related to tourist attraction seems so "bigger, better, faster, more," I appreciated the approach. And it's also a lovely area. So it was an unexpected pleasure to drive from one prayer event, five-miles to the four corners, and then head on to the next prayer event.
And I confess, even though this made my life a bit crazy the last few days, the 60 degree weather and sunshine tended to make me forget everything else (like winter's "return" and the four inches of snow we received in GR the day before I left...).

11 April 2007

forced entry

She let it slip.
Yesterday, the fun lady who cleans our office building revealed that it was her birthday. AND she said her favorite thing was no-bake cookies.
I tho't, no problem, I'll whip up a batch in the morning and take them to work to celebrate her.
The plan was well underway with all the ingredients within my reach.

That is, except the oatmeal.
So I pulled it out of the cupboard, quite pleased with myself that I'd actually remembered to replace my previous container, as I had not used it for some time.

That's when I noticed them.
Even now shivers overtake me.
I've seen these little guys before.
But this, well, it was nothing short of an invasion.
and not an even slightly welcomed one.

Once beyond my initial disgust and repulsion, I was pleased that the oatmeal container remained tightly sealed. I gingerly removed but forcibly annihilated the creatures, and pealed back the seal.

You probably predicted that not only had they burrowed their way beneath the seal (or somehow forged their passage deep within the oatmeal) they had hatched.

Tiny moths escaped with lightning speed and obvious glee as they sought to overtake my kitchen. (Perhaps a bit dramatic, but only a wee bit.)


I did however get to the store to pick up new oatmeal.
A tiny container.
I'm forgoing the cost effective buy-a-larger-container-option at this juncture.

I hope Marie liked the cookies.

09 April 2007

all too familiar in Fargo

In the category of rewriting my agenda, God has often redirected my time when traveling to and from Fargo North Dakota. It's not the only destination where he redirects me. But it's frequent and oh so familiar. Here are some of the scenarios I recall:

-battery failure requiring us to never turn off the ignition on a drive from Chicago to Fargo.

-alternator failure forcing a mid-trip repair, but the failure happened just outside of a Ford dealer in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota.

-running out of fuel outside of Moorhead, Minnesota (minutes from Fargo) and being brought to a gas station by a kind semi-truck driver. (There's a great explanation to this)

-Flight cancellation due to ice storm leading to three rebooked flights, car rental options, eventual transportation by train, derailed b/c of ice on the tracks, and much more fun. (Also known as planes, trains, and automobiles trip.)

-my current scenario? 5 am flight cancelled. Rebooked on afternoon/early evening flight--posing slight problem with my need to be at work by noon. Rebooked on a 7 am flight. Mechanical problems on 7 am flight lead to an 8:45 am departure still hoping to make a 12:40 arrival in Grand Rapids.

Writing about it at the moment doesn't seem very anxiety ridden. And it's not so much. But it does tend to rearrange the day. What a world we live in!

That said, time spent in Fargo was delightful. My nieces are a blast. My sisters are fun. My brother-in-law makes me laugh. Our reflections of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection provoked pain and joy. I wouldn't change a thing.

We are blessed!

05 April 2007


I leave for Fargo today. There are many great reasons to visit Fargo, North Dakota. My family, for me, is the best one.

One of these days, maybe after I'm done with school, I'll watch the movie. And then all the jokes and/or comments people extend my direction will perhaps make sense.

More than just visiting family; however, I'm celebrating Easter with them. People often refer to this as Holy week. In trying to find a card for my parents for Easter I couldn't find anything "holy." Unless you place eggs and bunnies in that category. Not so much for me...

The earth is the Lord's and everything in it...Worship the Name of the Lord.

Pix credit: Hildred, 0406. You might note last Easter, the weather was nice enough for flip flops and shorts. Sigh. Not this year.

01 April 2007


It's a season for new things.
If we did not sustain the stillness and barrenness of winter,
I'm not sure we'd enjoy the glorious spring.

Part of God's lessons the last several months have been about dying. He's helping me put to death the visions and dreams of what I thought was on offer.
He's helping me crucify the ideas I had about identity.
He's helping put to death pride.

Part of that means detaching from things. It's pretty obvious when one's job is discontinued that one has to detach from it.
But the associated dreams, the relationships, the colleagues, the experiences, to name a few, those things need to be released. They require detachment.

We also have such seasons in friendships. Although a detachment doesn't mean cutting off completely, it does mean a different posture.

I've been grieving, along with the employment changes, the loss of my good friends K and La who are moving away. Part of me wants to act completely irrationally, cutting off relationship with them effective immediately, as if that will make the pain of their parting less significant. The more reasonable part of me longs to spend as much time with them as possible before they are "out of reach."

Thus, I've been lamenting to God, "isn't the job change enough? do you have to shift everything???"

But what if detaching from one thing truly opens the way for you to attach to something else??

Would it have profited God's kingdom for John, James, Peter and the 12 to cling to Jesus or was there something for all to gain in Jesus' death and resurrection?

Can I surpass the fear of dying so that I can really live??