30 October 2007

recently captured

No time to write...
but here's some photos of the last several days.
One of my dearest college friends,
Teresa, came to town for her son's football tournament.

The victors
--player and coach,
son and Dad.
Two games down,
two more to go.

Me and Devon.
This was the first time
he "got to stay"
at my house.
And although it was a little girly, :-)
he survived!

Gearing up for a costume party,
I "helped" my housemate put on these really
fabulous fake eyelashes.
They looked amazing.
And made my eyes
water like crazy even glancing at them.

Z was a great help
bringing big-ol logs
to add to the "Bon" fire.

And finally,
a sweet "reunion" lunch with former co-workers and friends.
It's challenging to catch up in that short of time...

and now, I can't procrastinate any longer.
The pages are calling...

26 October 2007


So last week at this time I was awaiting news on my Dad's surgery. We knew they were removing the mass from his colon. And we knew they'd send the mass off to pathology (or whatever they do to determine if it is cancer or not). The news that he came through surgery well was a good word.
And when we learned he would be leaving the hospital after a few days, we rejoiced.

But the waiting on the pathology report weighed on my heart and spirit.

I joked with my Mom that on television, the path reports seem to return in minutes...but then, this is reality!

When my Dad phoned on Wednesday afternoon, I was not expecting news. But in his emotion ladened voice he whispered, "He did the one percent!! No cancer."

The moment will remain in my memory forever.

When we first heard the news of the mass, I believed and prayed that God would heal it.
When the original biopsy returned benign I believed God for the miracle. When the medical staff decided the sample wasn't good enough, I still believed God would heal my Dad.

But when he came out of surgery and they reported the mass was larger than they anticipated, I expected cancer. I resigned myself to the next step of chemo or some type of radiation therapy. (Is that really therapeutic?)

I'm not sure what turned in my heart and spirit. But I stopped believing in the miracle.

Yet, I believe it now.
And the idea of it buckles my knees and brings me down.
Many miracles occur, perhaps more than we even acknowledge or realize.

But it seems so random. People die in disasters. People die giving birth. Horrible accidents take lives. It doesn't make sense how God dispenses mercy, or miracles.

Maybe I hold too much stock in this life. Maybe remaining here on earth is not really all that and more...but it's what we know. And it feels like an incredible gift. One that I could not begin to earn or deserve.

A week's time completely changes my perspective. I hope gratitude lingers for a lifetime.

23 October 2007


I was talking with a friend tonight about listening to God.

Have you ever been in that place where you're asking God about something and waiting to hear his response. But the truth is, you're afraid you'll hear something that you don't want to hear? Or afraid you'll NOT hear what you are hoping God will say?

In the case of my Dad for instance, I truly want to hear that the mass in his colon comes back benign. And I'm hoping that his lymph nodes are also cancer free.
I have complete faith that God can do that.
He can heal my Dad.

But it may not be His plan for my Dad or our family's life. It may be. But if it's not His best, than would I rather hear that? Or just linger in the mystery?
In the case of my previous job situation, I really wanted God to "rescue" and save us from what we were experiencing. So I asked for that. Cried out. Begged the only one I knew who could change, even reverse scenarios. Did I hear Him say he would save us? I don't think so. But I longed for it. I hoped that was what would happen. It was what I wanted to hear.

At this juncture, I'm somewhat convinced that "the saving" was releasing us from the work environment, even though it felt like a sacrifice.

So does the posture of listening require that we undoubtably hear from God? Or does it mean that we're willing to obey when we sense His leading? Or does it mean we will accept whatever the consequence or circumstance regardless of what it looks like, or regardless of what we want? Does our commitment to listening mean we're simply trusting God regardless?

Call me still learning about listening...

17 October 2007

saints alive

I'm distracted.
It's the last week of "my" History of Christian Spirituality class. I want to finish well. We're currently working on group definitions and characteristics of saints.
Group stuff challenges us to find common ground. We've observed that it's not always common in the history of the church!

So what about it saints? How would you describe yourselves or others?
Any opinions out there?
I know you have them...

More later...

In the category of Dad, surgery to remove the mass in his colon has been moved up to this Friday, 101907. If you're talking to God and want to mention my Dad, I would appreciate it!!

13 October 2007

sunrise sunset

Earlier this week I was privileged to hang out with a group of pastors and their wives. I serve on a team that dedicates time and hopefully provides leadership in the area of spiritual growth and prayer. And one of the pieces of that has included hosting an annual retreat. So for the last several months, two other team members and myself have been praying, planning, listening, imagining, and scheduling pieces of this retreat.
Some moments we were so overwhelmed by God's love for these pastors and their wives that we were undone. It was as if God was opening up a piece of His heart to us and saying, "this is how much I love this group of people." It was precious and powerful.

It's been four days since the retreat concluded and I can't stop thanking God for His goodness and provision.
We watched Him tear down walls.
We observed people shaking off and trading in burdens.
We experienced hours of laughter that physically depleted and rejuvenated us simultaneously.
Individuals drew near to God.
Couples reveled in their marriages and God's faithfulness.
Canoes were tipped. Kayaks sunk.
Prayers provided healing and provoked unity.
Weather, sunlight, water, wind--every element seemed poised at its most hospitable to offer us the ultimate outdoor experience.

We are loved by the Lord. It is feasting from the richest of fare!

07 October 2007

mug shots

These antics and gatherings were part of the
birthday celebration week...

Good friends.
Good food.
Good conversations.
And then my friend Beth made a fabulous princess brunch in honor of my birthday!
Those pictures are still to come!

Birthdays are fun!
Friends are a gift.

05 October 2007

descension and dissension

in the city? or in the wild? who could tell from the creatures observed while walking with my friend Jordan every morning.

Yesterday we experienced a meeting of wild turkeys. We overheard and then witnessed one turkey making strange calls (to the sky it appeared). And that's when it became clear.
He was signaling a meeting.
Or not wanting to be alone.
Or making sure his peeps found where he was.
Or something.
Because they descended. One after another after another these wild turkeys awkwardly skidded to a halt on the lawns and the street of this particular cul-de-sac. They became ten strong.
And that's about the time the dissension hit. Apparently (perhaps?) there were too many females in this mix. They all started chasing and squawking and flapping their wings. It was insane.

Today it was just a few sweet deer who watched us watching them. And then they pranced and ran away.
What a world we live in.

In other news, there's all kinds of stuff going on with my Dad--waiting on additional biopsy results, waiting on surgery schedules, waiting on cancer determinations, etc. If you're in conversation with the Father about anything, please ask him about taking care of my Dad, would you?

03 October 2007

day after

it's the day after my birthday
and all I can say
is that I've had a blast
being celebrated all day.

my housemate left roses
on the kitchen counter for one,
I also lunched with people
who are delightful and fun.

I had banked extra work hours
so I didn't show 'til two.
my coworkers were waiting
with candles and goodies. woohoo!

voicemail filled up with singing and well wishes
not to mention email, facebook, and other electronic vices.

I'm sad that birthday celebrations
happen but once a year,
but I wouldn't want to age more quickly,
of that I'm sincere!

i'm tired of rhyming
besides homework demands attention,
thanks to all for bearing
with this wee poetic expression!

01 October 2007

Ode to Dad--from your delinquent daughter

So we all know October 1 comes around every year. The day changes, but certainly the date doesn't.
And in my family this date is particularly important because it's my Dad's birthday.
Happy Birthday Dad!! I love you (despite what this post reveals).

The thing is, my nieces have a birthday at this time of year as well. And there's been a lot going on with my Dad so I've definitely been talking with him frequently. I should also say, that birthdays for my nieces include gifts where as my parents I typically just send a card.

So last weekend I made sure my nieces gifts were wrapped, packaged, and sent away. I hate to disappoint them. In the back of my mind, I knew I had to get my Dad's card yet.
Much to my surprise, it was Saturday, my nieces very birthday, when I woke up thinking, oh no. Dad. I need to get his card.
Ever the optimist, I tho't, well, I'll get it to the post office today and it will still get to Seattle over the weekend.

I worked Saturday morning because we hold occasional weekend college classes here at Spring Arbor. Then I met my friend Robin downtown and one walk led to another downtown and eventually to lunch. It shocked me to realize the time was 2:30 when I rolled into my driveway.

Only, I didn't roll in, because I remembered. AH!! Dad...
so I kept down the road to my favorite card purchasing place conveniently located just a few blocks from the post office. Only, when I got in the parking lot I was met by one of the workers who informed me that they had no electricity and so they were closed. (I had noticed the traffic lights were out which should have been my first clue.) Panicking, yet still positive, I headed across the street to the local grocery store and received the same electricity-challenged story.
Refusing to be put out, I remembered I had cards in my purse. Not birthday ones, but I could make a greeting for him none the less. So I hurried down the street to the post office. Thankfully the postal worker was still retrieving the mail. I parked where I could keep my eyes on the truck and feverishly wrote significant and loving words to honor my Dad.
As you can well imagine, I was so caught up in that process, I neglected to see the postal vehicle leave the parking lot. I literally chased after it but alas, in the lack of electricity with all the traffic signals serving as four way stops, I couldn't catch it.
Defeated, I returned home. Only to see MY mail carrier was still on the street. Renewed enthusiasm burst through me until I realized I didn't have a stamp. I raced into my house, flung a stamp on my hastily addressed envelope, and scurried after "my" mail carrier.
I practically threw myself on my knees begging her to take my precious letter. She looked at my oddly as if to say, it's not a problem. That's what I'm here for.

Lady, you have no idea what kind of day I've been having.

So, dear Dad, when your delinquent daughter's poor wee card arrives in your mail box, know that there was a lot of love and energy behind it. And yes, I'll do better next year!

Oh, and did I mention, that when I opened my own mail box, that a birthday card FROM my parents awaited me there? Since my birthday is tomorrow? I so failed as a decent daughter!!