31 July 2007

Dr K

My sister was born today
...that is, a few years ago on this very date!
It's fun because for a few days, she and our oldest sister are the same age.
(Jenni's birthday is Thursday.)
But enough about Jenni!

Today is Hildred's day!
I'm excited to celebrate her.
She's abd in her doctoral program (or would that be doctorate? Clearly I don't have one)! Hence the Dr K. title. She's pursued the vision and dream that she has had for years to be a counselor. I'm very proud of her! But I'm proud of many other things, too. Such as her passion for high school students--she has nurtured and mentored and encouraged tons of kids through the years and she continues to do so. Just over the weekend I met a girl who was part of the youth group Hildred led in Illinois. It was fun. (Of course, no one forgets a name like Hildred, so that helps, too!) And she loves creating space for conversations. And anything creative, really. My house is decorated with many of her beautiful things. And she loves Jesus. It marks who she is and who she's becoming. I can't do justice to everything, of course. So this is just a sampling.

I'm truly happy to mark this day!

Happy Birthday HGK!
(That's dgk and hgk in Hawaii, 0607.)

27 July 2007


Seasons change as we all know. Recently I've been reflecting on my "former life." Largely because last year at this time I was traveling, and specifically gearing up for the small group evangelism conference we were hosting in Long Beach, California. That experience generated excitement and exhilaration, but also teetered on the adrenaline-masking exhaustion edge. It was a crazy season of work. I know that rhythm. It's the event or activity backing up to activity schedule that affords little fresh air and in fact, if one activity bleeds into the space of another, some panic ensues and pressure tightens.

I lived that rhythm this past semester in school, too, as the deadlines of reading and writing camped next to life's weekly activities. Beloved and favorite things were forfeited to achieve the deadlines.

This summer breeds a different pace. Busyness creeps in without invitation. But the look is more leisure, more relational, more spacious. Don't get me wrong, there are still things undone. There are relationships unattended. Mail unopened. But the experiences which fill my days lend to more contemplation, more air, hopefully more purpose.

It's one of the gifts of this change in season. I'm really grateful.
In other news, next week marks a trip back home for my nephew's wedding. Miraculously he walked away from a severe automobile accident this past Monday (he crashed and totaled his truck), en route to a hiking and camping excursion in Glacier national park. He has since been airlifted to a hospital, treated, and released to return to Seattle for further care. He could use additional miracles, though, to be completely well for his August 4 wedding. So yes, please pray for Jonathan.

Pix credit: Hildred's photo, Hawaii, June 2007
Jonathan and Amara, June 2006 this may be Hildred's photo too.

18 July 2007

more may be better

There is this part of my personality that i appreciate, that is, most of the time. it's the part of me that doesn't need to know everything. It's the part of me that doesn't freak out by not having all the information in advance. I can be a go with the flow kind of gal and not be stressed.

But i'm learning, there are moments when i simply should ask more questions. Sometimes other people help me through such situations. Like the time I decided God was calling me to serve/volunteer at a ministry in New Hampshire, but asked no questions about what the facility, or the weather conditions would be like. Thankfully, my friend Stephanie casually said one day, "Have you purchased a good pair of boots to take along? I saw some on sale..."
See, she had also volunteered at this ministry and it gets really, really, really muddy on "the hill" where we lived.

A few weeks ago I was talking with a former colleague in New Mexico who mentioned that their daughter would be in Grand Rapids for a few weeks and that they would be picking her up. I extended the invitation to stay at my house while they were in GR and it was accepted. Imagine my surprise when they called to say they were arriving a day early, and when they pulled up at my house they had three adults and five children in tow. Needless to say, a few more questions about WHO was coming may have been helpful.

But we survived. I like my couch.
Hopefully some of the kids liked the "slumber party" on my spare room floor.
No worries I suppose.

Oh the photo above, if you can make it out, is a really amazing spider that was a resident of Hawaii. My sister Jenni emailed it's specific name today. And for those of you who care, you should check out this link because the pictures and information are rather intriguing.

17 July 2007

memories that matter

I slept at the hospital last night. This was the view from the window, overlooking the major construction projects on Michigan Avenue.

Mostly my gaze stayed within the room, making sure my friend was okay.

The mind is a phenomenal thing. But head trauma, in this case caused by the fun sport of softball, is quite another.

Cathy's head injury compromised her short term memory. As a result, her questions made about a five minute cycle.

"How did I get here?"
"Do my kids know I'm okay? .... Should we call them?"

"Oh, it was a softball game?
Did I just ask you that two seconds ago?"

"What does the other guy look like? Is he here too?"

"Is my insurance lined up?"

"Didn't I get that set just like a week or a few days ago?
Thank God!!"
(In this particular photo from a few days ago, the "sleuth" discovered this display bottle contained a few drops of alcohol and promptly told the authorities.)

"Did I come by ambulance?"
"Is it Monday?"

"Was our pastor here?"
"What time did you get here?"

And about that time, she'd start all over again...
"Why am I in the hospital?"

"Hey, do my kids know I'm okay?"...
Despite gaps in the short term, all the "important things" were well within her grasp. She could recite phone numbers, medical history, medications, info about her kids, details regarding her job and co-workers. I don't know for certain, but I have a feeling that may be similar to conversations with those experiencing dementia, or Alzheimer's. It takes energy to respond and stay engaged in the conversation.

After a few hours of sleep, when the questions resumed about 6 am, the amazing thing is that her memory was sliding back into place. She recalled more and more detail and the repetition of questions subsided.

Slowly and miraculously, God heals her mind.

I can't profess to get it, the major miracle of healing that God performs over and over. To be sure, everyone does not heal. This friend may not regain every element of Monday. But He heals. And perhaps helps us to recall the things which matter most.

16 July 2007

in an instant

The phone call went like this:
"Did you hear what happened? Cathy got hurt in the softball game tonight. They're on the way to the emergency room now. Please pray!"

I suppose parents brace themselves for the possibility of such news. As a friend, after just seeing Cathy yesterday, it's a challenge to go from what I knew yesterday, to this unexpected news today.

She's okay. She's at the hospital and I just rec'd word she's improving and doing pretty well.

But it still shakes one a bit.

This life, and our interactions and relationships with others are certainly not predictable. It is precious. It is a gift to be cherished and embraced daily!

Pix: Cathy, in one of her wonderfully silly and spontaneous moves.

14 July 2007


when women go away with women...there's things that happen.

Intense conversations and absolutely ridiculous ones.

It's so great.

10 July 2007


We all know seven relates to perfection.

This past weekend, at my new old job of working at a bed and breakfast, we entertained guests who joined the thousands (nearly 40,000 strong) who married on 070707.

That particular day, however, found me entertaining a different seven. In fact, a different spelling altogether.
Perhaps the photo above will help. Sevin is a spray to help ward off japanese beetles. These colorful but imho clearly evil creatures were destroying every inch of the glorious pink roses at the B and B.

Not my idea of perfection. Poor wee rosies.

04 July 2007

great anniversary festival

Here's a little thing. On holidays I look forward to checking out Google's main page. Check out what it looks like today:

And here's some interesting tidbits from a wikipedia page about July 4th:

John Adams, credited by Thomas Jefferson as the unofficial, tireless whip of the independence-minded, wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Adams was off by two days, however. Certainly, the vote on July 2 was the decisive act. But July 4, 1776 is the date on the Declaration itself. Jefferson's stirring prose, as edited by the Congress, was first adopted by the July 4th vote. It was also the first day Philadelphians heard the official news of independence from the Continental Congress, as opposed to rumors in the street about secret votes.

So today, this fourth of July, marks a day for "solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty, pomp and parade, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations."

I for one, offer my thanks to God for the freedom to live in this nation. I'm grateful for every soldier serving and sacrificing for that freedom right very now. And I celebrate the idea that we are one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

May it be so.
Happy Birthday USA!

02 July 2007

nearly home

This is the the final Hawaii sunset. And now I'm off to see the sun rise in the east...