29 November 2007


I should learn.
I should not watch television.
I've been through seasons without it before. It's always a good thing. Seriously. One never misses television. One's soul never misses it.

My current complaint is Christmas. Not what it is. Not what God intended it to be.
But what it's become.
And we've likely created if not contributed to the monster.
It so saddens me.

I can't remember the particulars of this commercial, but it said something like, "don't just give a gift this year, grant a wish..." And then assaulted the viewer with photos of the latest and greatest expensive electronic gadgets.

when does it end, really?
I am pretty disgusted that the day after Thanksgiving stores opened at 4 am.
4 am? Seriously is that what we're pursuing? Is that the abundant life that Jesus came to earth to offer us?

To be fair, I've previously sought some of those after Thanksgiving sales.
but I'm really weary of it all.
I don't want things to define me.
I don't want my Christmas celebrations to be defined by things.

so there. That's me. Longing for softly falling snow (or some snow), cozy moments and great conversations with family and friends, and an overall, underlying joy and hope that springs from God's great gift to us.
Oh, and I want everyone to long for a personal relationship with Jesus.

That would be granting a great wish.

26 November 2007

twenty Q

One of the highlights over the Thanksgiving holiday was playing games.
I like games.
My family likes games. We favor the competitive side of life. Which may surprise you, given my reserved and understated personality! :-)
My nieces like games.

My sister packed a portable game called 20Q. You may know it. You think of an item (animal, vegetable, mineral or other). And the "computer" tries to guess what it is.
And people, this thing is really good. My nieces were fascinated by it. And all weekend long kept thinking of items to "stump" the computer. Instead you'd hear, "I can't believe it guessed that. Amazing. Let's think of something else..."

The very best moment was when Georgia's item was a person. The game is a bit cocky, "saying" things between questions like, "I know what you're thinking..." or "I can't believe you're thinking about that..." or, "I'm smart and I'm gonna win..." So it came down to question 20 and then the guess.
And it said, "it's a butt?"

Now, please understand, my nieces don't use that word. They refer to their backside as their bum. So saying butt is like permission to say an "illegal" word. The almost embarrassed laughter expresses their innocence in a shy and precious way.
This question, however, became the phrase of the weekend.

"Is it a butt?" someone would say, and the whole house (well, except for my brother in law) would laugh and laugh and laugh.

I can see you're not laughing either.
So you'll have to trust me and imagine, it was a funny moment. The girls and 20 Q!

We also took in the movie Enchanted. I can't even really begin to express every shade of excitement that radiated from my nieces in their anticipation of watching this film.
Now, for Georgia, and the rest of us,
it probably didn't live up to the expectation.
But for Kate, well, let's just say, she was under Disney's spell.

22 November 2007

Dressing Filling Stuffing

We learned these three words about turkey "stuffing/dressing" today.
It's really an order.
First, it's dressing.
Second helping it becomes filling.
And the third time around, well, one is stuffed.

Truly the thanksgiving list numbers way beyond food and provision.
(Although, those items are big ones.)

Thank you Lord. Thank you for everything.
We love you.

19 November 2007

It's simple: just love

In church yesterday our pastor provided the space for us to review what we'd been hearing from the sermon on the mount. We've camped in Matthew 5-7 for the last several months. I love hearing how God is speaking to people.
One gentleman in particular shared a story of how he choose not to react to an attack on his character. Instead he said he just decided to love.

It's such a simple thing, really, the sense of loving others.
But the depth of the action requires the Holy Spirit's assistance daily, if not hourly, at least in my life and experience.

There's another church around here that sports bumper stickers.
They simply proclaim, "Love wins."

Wanna practice with me?
We all win when love wins...if u asked me.

(Oh yeah, the picture? A shower at church. Fun fruit from our favorite artist creator God. Love God. Love the fun fruit!)

16 November 2007

best intentions

I loved many things about the place I used to work.
I loved the things that we "got" to do
and the hope that drew us to work together.
Mostly, though, the greatest impact and blessing was people.

I'm grateful to be in a different place for the now.
Where I am brings new life including different people, experiences, viewpoints, challenges.

(Maybe the greater truth is that I miss some of the good food as this picture reveals?)

Those from the former life still remain in my heart, my soul, and deep within my spirit. And since most of them are local, we intended to gather on a regular basis.

How could it be then that as we celebrated together this week, that our last gathering was December, nearly 12 months prior???

Time flies people. I know it's a cliche...but it's true!

10 November 2007

going green?

Green is the topic of the (day, month century)? So not to be outdone, at a recent meeting in Flint with other fine folks who work at Spring Arbor, we abandoned individual transportation to ride together. We carpooled, or vanpooled to be specific.
We journeyed from Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Jackson, and Spring Arbor itself to meet up in Lansing. And the seven of us left our cars and piled in a van for the rest of the ride to Flint.
Aside from road construction, which one can never avoid, it was a great trip.
And because it's a tradition, I've include the latest photo of Chrissandra, Kati, and myself (see August for another edition).
And b/c we were having such fun,
Roxanne and Diane wanted to join too. Granted, five is a bit more challenging than three but you get the jist.

And then, after the festivities, we went our separate ways.
And went back to work.
Grateful for our jobs.
and each other!!

09 November 2007


Once, a long, long, long time ago, when I was a wee girl, I wanted a Barbie doll for Christmas. (Family, if u're reading this story, feel free to correct or interject, as we know I don't always retain details accurately.)

Now the truth is, I had a skipper doll. Skipper was great. Earlier in life, I had traded the "head" of my Skipper doll with my friend Christine who also had a skipper doll. (Her Skipper was prettier, and since you could remove and reattach the head, I'm sure this exchange involved some manipulation as well.) But Skipper was not a grown up Barbie. Advertising described her as Barbie's younger sister. Obviously that hit too close to home for me. I even recall that Skipper was a hand-me-down doll from my older sister, which of course added a wee bit of insult to injury. No, my life was destined for a real Barbie doll. That's what I felt I needed (certainly it was what I wanted).
So I schemed.
I hid my Skipper under the guise of losing her completely.
I likely hinted, commented, and all-and-out begged for a Barbie doll.
And to my complete delight (but not surprise) I received a Barbie doll for Christmas.

When it seemed appropriate, perhaps a few days or weeks later, I "found" my Skipper doll. What an amazing discovery. Now not only did I have a new Barbie, I had two dolls. Things worked out pretty well.

I'm not necessarily proud of those tactics, even though I'm describing them here. For whatever reason, this scenario surfaced today.

I wondered how that finds its way in to my relationship with God. Not that I can hide something so much from God, or even that God doesn't know what is on my heart or what I think I want.
But do I so strive, manipulate, or scheme in my heart and spirit for something that God "gives in?" Do I think I've "tricked" God? Do I overlook a good thing, (such as Skipper, sob), thinking that I want or need something else, when really what I have is sufficient? Do I really have a clue what I need because I'm completely blinded by what I want?

In the scope of life, actually, with all that goes on in our hearts, minds, spirits, and lives, it may seem more attractive to return to the world of make believe, dress up, imagination, and Barbie dolls.

But that's not the way it's supposed to be...

07 November 2007

famine and feast?

In the category of "usual,"
I usually have several blog posts forming simultaneously in my head.
But not the now.
I'm parched.
Lacking in muse...(or something)
Perhaps, using too much energy for writing for school, I'm not sure.
I'm still journaling at home, but not in my head.

So the silence.

In the category of feast; however, at a recent slumber party,
that contained very little slumber,
pizzas of the feast variety were created and constructed in my very house.
These are just two of the creations. A Thai pizza and a Fettucine chicken (above).
We did the "normal" pepperoni, sausage, etc. too, and for someone who doesn't
usually choose pepperoni or sausage, these selections were fabulous!!
(Perhaps it was the "fresh from the deli pep and saus?)

I wish i still had some leftovers...
How's that dough, Cathy?