30 April 2008

number two

Happy Birthday Cindy!!!
I celebrate your life and
wish you all God's best in this new year.

(Wouldn't a pic of you be lovely right about here? Sigh!)

28 April 2008


We retreated this weekend. A large percentage of women at "my" church got together
and invested in each other,
our relationship with God
and in the fellowship.
We ate.

We laughed.
We listened and talked.
We prayed.
We pulled practical jokes. (Some of us experienced them anyway.)
We played games.

We DIDN'T sleep, or at least, not much,
but it wasn't a sleeping retreat, I suppose.
I feel quite privileged to get to know
the fantastic women in our community of believers.

Some of these women I know a bit more. And after the retreat, we just HAD to go to the Lake. Because the temperature had fluctuated so greatly, we knew that the waves would be large. And the surfers were there, too, donning wet suits, attempting to tackle the waves.

Surprisingly, at first, the sand wasn't cold on our bare feet. Mostly because we were blessed with some 70+ degree weather during the week. Thus the water and waves so lulled my friend that she decided to swim.
I might mention that the air temp was about 47 degrees.
And yes, the water temperature was also about 47 degrees.
She's my new hero.
She not only jumped in, she really swam.
Like dove back into the water, without hesitation.
It was amazing. Perhaps crazy, but definitely amazing.
This was after she walked on the beach with her sleeping bag around her.
I know, it doesn't quite fit, does it?
From a sleeping bag to the cold water.
But, so it was.

It didn't feel like the start to summer,
but it LOOKED a bit like it!

In other news, it's birthday week!
Today is Lori's birthday!
Happy Birthday dear Lori. You are missed.
You are loved!

25 April 2008


It wasn't that I didn't want to stay, when she asked, "shall we round this corner and discover where the wood duck landed?"
I certainly wanted to continue the adventure.
It's just I needed to get to work.

Spring seduced us, in a sweet way on our walk today.
Our "normal" walk found us lingering 20 minutes longer than usual.
Various calls, colors, and wild flowers captured our attention,
both slowing and stopping our stride.
Awe of our creator and the majesty of the creation
caused us to burst out with applause and praise and wonder.
Yesterday my spiritual director mused, "what if God had decided to make the grass and the fauna red instead of green? Would we enjoy it as much?"
I tried to imagine it red, but truly, I adore the green.

So we sought out the yellow trout lily,
the sweet spring beauties,
white trillium,
blooming bluebells,
jack in the pulpits,
rain dropped may apples,
solomon's seal,
wild garlic,
and ginger,
and loads of other lovelies that we don't know the names of.
It is such a glorious time of year.

We heard our cardinals, flickers, song sparrows, robins, even a wren we mistakenly labeled a cardinal with vibrato.
Our other friend, the kingfisher, was back, mapping his (or her?) flight along the creek's windy trail.
Alas, work called. The cars at trails end signaled my leave.
But Jordan? she remained.
On the lookout for the wood duck
and whatever other adventure or creature awaited discovery.

23 April 2008

just leave them dirty in the sink!

A couple weeks ago I tasted the "best ribs" in Grand Rapids. It was good. I'm not a rib connoisseur, but I believed their advertising. For whatever reason, however, it put us in the mood for ribs. The incredible guy I'm dating, see, he is more of an expert, and actually has his very own rib maker thing. (There IS a more official title, I know.) And so the other night he cooked up ribs. And they were fabulous. As far as I can tell, they could compete with the Grand Rapids fare.
As a show of appreciation, I was cleaning the crockpot portion of this rib cooker. And may I introduce exhibit A. Trouble. It may have been a sign not to do dishes. (j/k)

Seriously, here's the thing. I had the pot in the sink. Granted, it doesn't fit perfectly, so I began to adjust it, and it shifted slightly, When I say slightly, I mean the thing did not crash into the sink or anything even resembling that. It shifted.
And it cracked.
You may wonder how hot the water was, or if there was a major temperature change. But that was not the case. (I know, I sound defensive.) The thing cracked though. and I couldn't believe it. You know me. My reputation for falling surrounds me. I wouldn't say that I break things, even if there have been a few things in my lifetime. But this, the crockpot? It's like it broke without me. I'm not kidding people.
So there it is. Perfectly broken.
Now...would you think I could find a replacement crockpot somewhere, anywhere on our "get anything u want and more online store" internet?
I can't.
Not even on the website that makes the precious pot.
So, it remains.
No ribs to be had.
so very sad.

any advice out there?

In other, much happier news, please welcome a new blogger! Check out my friend's new blog. Her blog features her fabulous writing. Give her a shout as you visit, would you?

21 April 2008

steeple chase

I see them first. It's often the steeples that draw me. They highlight an area or draw attention to a skyline. So when I had some time this past weekend, I decided to capture some of those steeples "on film." (We need a new phrase!!)
And doorways.

In the "modern" church (not part of the modern/post modern discussion) of today, churches don't necessarily standout in the same way. My current church building, for instance, is a warehouse. It serves our community and space needs well, but one wouldn't use it as a landmark in the city of Grand Rapids...

so the church building can signal something. It can bring us to attention. And we spend a lot of time and resources on buildings and what our churches look like (at least, generally that's the move).
But really,
as much as we get caught up in the church,
and we equate it to a building,
we, the people of the church,
we're the ones that really need to draw attention to Jesus, regardless.

A friend of mine in class often challenges us to be a window to Jesus. And maybe I'm influenced by that as well.
Others say people need to see Jesus as they look at us. As we reflect on our lives, as I reflect on who I am and how I live,
what do I draw attention to?
Does my "skyline" allow people to see Jesus?
Does my church make a difference in the community,
aside from drawing attention to the building?
If the church were gone, would the community notice the difference?

These are the questions that chased me as I chased after the steeples...

18 April 2008

Serious Consideration

Here's a piece of the current journey. These words from my class, and most recent book have been hitting repeat in my mind.

"I have come to the point in my life where I realize
that if I ever get passion for the Son of God
it will not be because I earned it;
it will be because he gave it to me
as his greatest and most gracious gift.

We can have anything from him
that we are willing to labor for in prayer.
I encourage you to spend more time asking God
to grant you passion for the Son of God
than you do asking him for anything else.

The Father loves the Son more than anyone or anything else.
He is devoted to the Son. His eyes never leave the Son.
I have paraphrased John 17:26 to pray it like this:
'Father, grant me power from the Holy Spirit
to love the Son of God like you love him'"
(Deere, Surprised by the power of the Spirit).

How does that hit your heart and spirit?
Wanna pray it as well? (Maybe u already do...)

14 April 2008

Which one of these doesn't belong?

A few weekends ago I went "up north" to visit our friend, Karla, with two other friends...
we snapped this photo when we realized that three of the four of us had
nearly the identical camera.
And the answer to the question is that my camera doesn't belong.
It's the one that took the photo b/c it's a Nikon.
Apparently all the cool people have canon cameras.
But it's okay. I'm not suffering camera envy or anything :-)

09 April 2008


Not that you were asking, but I'm nearly halfway in my Master's program. It is a bittersweet reality. Not that it is over, but I simply don't want it to progress any quicker. I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn and to interact with classmates here in the states and around the world.

My current class is called Healing and Wholeness in Christian Spirituality. This is not an easy subject for some. As part of this week's response, we had to explain our experience with healing and how our faith tradition addressed healing.

Part of our assignment and class responsibility includes praying specifically for physical healing for five to ten people per week.

I'm excited about praying with people and for people.

What remains unsettled is the fact that God doesn't heal everyone or every situation in the way we pray. (Perhaps we need a different definition of healing but that may be another post.) We can pray in faith and hope, but it is NOT our human ability that heals or determines healing. And the mystery of how and why is sometimes hard to swallow, much less understand.

Photo credit: my sis, Hildred, one of her zillion gorgeous photos from 0807.

07 April 2008

weekend mishap

I confess that I have this thing about dishes in my sink. I don't need my dishes washed immediately, but I like to pile my dishes alongside the sink, neatly, so that my sink isn't full of dishes.

This very weekend I was preparing to steam some broccoli and sear some salmon. I turned on my burners and set my "broccoli" pan on the stove. As I was washing and trimming the broccoli, I did notice the color of my stove top under the pan seemed a bit strange. (But I didn't pay attention to it. Argh!) After a few minutes of cooking however, I smelled something beyond broccoli. And that color, well, yes, one of my favorite tupperware container lids, purple! The smell, of course burning plastic. The end result? Well, the good news is that the lid did not melt onto my pan. (B/c it's really one of Hildred's pans even though I keep praying she'll forget I have them.) But it did melt all over my burner. Only, I don't have a removable burner, b/c I have a flat top stove.

So, anyone know how to get plastic off of such an appliance? Can I simply turn the burner back on and let it "burn" off?

Oh, and see, the lid was stuck to the bottom of my pan b/c of my stacking tendency. That's the thing. Too bad. Quite sad! :-(

02 April 2008

perhaps it's just time to pay

I recently heard a phrase driving urgently used as a way to describe someone who was speeding. I'd like to adopt it. But the truth is, I knowingly speed. Perhaps not more than the average person. I don't say that to justify it, but I do say it as a qualification. Most people likely do not look at speeding as breaking the law in a way that they would change their habits. But that is another post. Today I want to talk about tickets.

I recently received one. The officer approached the car and said, "Ma'am, I've pulled you over for your excessive speed."

And after I glanced at the speed listed on the ticket, I had to agree. I was traveling over 20 miles over the limit. Now, I'd like to debate that I was in unfamiliar territory, and that the speed had just changed from 55 to 45 on what seemed to be a highway. But the truth is, even at 55, my speed was over 10 miles over the limit.

Perhaps you'd care to read my experience with tickets. I've received three in my driving lifetime.

I received one in my first year of driving, in between my junior and senior years in high school, while on a six week mission trip in California. I was clocked at 48 in a 35. Being pulled over for speeding was a complete shock. I was told "the speed limit is 55 everywhere except for in town. Then it is 35." Being a city girl from Seattle, I equated town to mean city. But we were in a rural area, and town meant something different than my perception in those parts.

I fought the ticket, though, mostly because it demanded I show up in court at a time when I wasn't going to be in California. The judge let me off.

My second ticket was three years later at college. I fought that ticket, too, and it was also eliminated.

About four years after that I was pulled over for speeding when I lived in Holland, Michigan. When the cop asked how fast I was going, I told him that I must have been going nearly 50 (it was a 35 zone) because I had just shifted into 5th gear. After spending some time in his cruiser, and after several "God, I know I don't deserve this, but please have mercy," he came back and offered me a warning.

So you can see, I've experienced an incredible amount of grace.
But I've also "fought" every single ticket.

And that was my plan for this experience. I was ready to argue that it was a speed trap, for starters.

But you know what, it's one ticket in twenty years of driving! And the truth is, I was speeding, no matter how I might like to argue.
I decided, perhaps it's just time to pay.
And so I did.
The check is literally in the mail.
(I still hated sending it though!)

Yours sincerely,
A struggling speeder