29 August 2008

breakfast at Hildred's

It's about presentation.
And color.
It's about conversation
AND good food.

Thanks for hosting me sister!

26 August 2008

close to home

Friends of my parents, and really of my family, are in trouble. It's not really even trouble so much as a really rather bizarre and tragic situation, because the man, husband, father, friend of my parents is missing--for nearly five days. These two news stories do more justice than my retelling can do.
I don't understand how or why things happen to certain people (and not to others). But at this moment, these brothers and sisters in Christ could really use prayer.

So, as you talk to God about things, please remember them and cry out for mercy with them and for them.
It's hard not to imagine the worst and that does make this outcome rather grim. Yet I know, our God can do exceedingly more than we ask or imagine, so, I do live in hope of God's best.

Thanks, friends.

UPDATES 090808

These emails were posted today from the family (please keep talking to God about this family):

After hours of waiting by the phone and making calls to the King County Sheriff, the Seattle Police, and Missing Persons, at 1 AM I received a phone call from a Shoreline Fire Dept. chaplain who was sent to our house by the King County Sheriff. He was already parked outside my house when he called to see if he could come in and talk to us.

He was called by the Supervising Sergeant of the Seattle Police Dept. to tell us what was going on. Basically, my dad's car is so far down a very steep and dangerous ravine that recovery could not begin until daylight. They were worried about the car slipping farther down the ravine, safety of recovery staff, etc. The area was cordoned off and two police officers were going to stay at the site all night until recovery would begin. The chaplain was very kind and explained more to us and told me that the Medical Examiner Investigator wanted me to call him as soon as I could. The chaplain dialed the number and I spoke at length (about 45 minutes) with the ME. He actually went down the ravine in the dark, touched my father's car, and was able to tell me the man in the car fit my dad's description. As I am a detail person, he answered a ton of my questions. I appreciated him and all the information he gave me.

Recovery began this morning at 8 AM. A crane will probably be needed to retrieve him and the car, they may be using other means of stabilizing the scene.

My father and the car are 100 feet from the road and 70 feet down the cliff. The area he went off the road is directly in Discovery Park where nobody would have heard or seen a thing unless they witnessed the accident. The ME states that it is amazing that anybody at all found him. We praise God that He allowed somebody to see him; this is what we've been asking for for the past 16 days.

An autopsy will most likely be done, per the ME, and we will be given a full report. I wanted to be there this morning but the ME told me that the media will eat me up alive. We are still toying with going to the site.

The Chaplain left our home at 2 AM. Our kids finally went to bed and then I called my sister and gave her the details.

My sister spent the night at mom's house and was able to give her just a bit of information this morning; all that she could handle. Please pray for my mom. Please pray for all of us; the days ahead are going to be difficult.

Praise God with us that my dad has been found and that he is in the arms of his heavenly father.

Dear Family and Friends,

My family of five went to the accident site and just returned home. I'm thankful that we did that. My kids have experienced more than I ever thought they would at this age. I'm grateful for the support we have been given, and I speak not just of my family, but of my sister's family, and my dear mother.

By the time we arrived, my father's body was already in the Medical Examiner's vehicle. The car was still in the very deep and steep ravine. We stood on the ground where he went over the edge. It was cabled up and lifted so that my father could be removed from it. We watched the long and tedious process of getting the car up the ravine, picking up all the pieces, and then hauling it away.

There were many Seattle Fire Trucks/personnel, Seattle Police, Seattle Police Volunteer Chaplain, and the Medical Examiners. Media was also there. Most of the firemen and policemen had been there overnight protecting the scene.

I don't know what all to say to you . . . it has been another overwhelming day. Closure for my family. I will share the photos, the many photos, I took of the scene with my sister and possibly my mother so they can find some sense of closure as well as it is entirely possibly, per the ME today, that we may not be able to see him again.

We pray that my father was gone, resting in the arms of his heavenly father, before he went over the embankment. If he wasn't, he must have been scared. This grieves my heart to no end.

The medical examiner will be calling me in a couple of hours to give me an initial report. My father's body will most likely be examined tomorrow morning.

I gave a statement to the media when all recovery personnel were gone. It took a couple of attempts because the tears came flooding and I couldn't talk. I thanked the Seattle Police, the Seattle Fire Department, the community, Missing Persons, etc. etc. etc. As I was still in the process of thanking I broke down again . . . I regret and am so sorry that I couldn't stop crying anymore so didn't get to mention our incredible church family and friends, and our relatives all over the states. All of you are so loved, so appreciated, so treasured . . . . you are our gifts from God. How in the world could we have gone through these last 17 days without you? Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

We covet your continued prayers . . . this is going to be a rough week. We are already exhausted, drained.

We miss our husband, our father, and our grandfather dearly.

24 August 2008


it's back to school.
back to reading.
back to writing.
back to solitude.
back to practicing disciplines.

back to...well, being a recluse?
could that even possibly describe me?

right. probably not.
first book up?
Henri Nouwen In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership.

It's good. Let the discussions and papers begin.

It's been nice knowing you. :-)

AND Happy Birthday friend Sandie. I celebrate you dear one!!

22 August 2008

establish the work of our hands

I spent the last two days with a couple hundred Spring Arbor University staff and faculty as we experienced our annual retreat. Annual is a relative term because we didn't technically have a retreat last year. Last year was a dinner, with a meeting. All day. Yawn. As in, too much information crammed in to a meeting. Previously they've hosted retreats and thus, the term annual.

We have a new president this year.
And he and the "first lady" are hilarious.
You know that way when you are completely surprised by how funny people are? The unexpected humor that slides under you like a banana peel to whisk you off your feet? That's the two of them. Very committed to the call at SAU. Very committed to Jesus. Very committed to each other. And slightly zany.

So, when it came time to take the annual (again, relative, b/c we take this photo say three or four times a year) picture with my coworkers, we had to don the "costumes" that the president and the first lady sported in their opening speech to staff. (We did invite them into a photo as well, but we kept on their costumes and let them be, well, presidential, or something.)

Beyond that "silliness" however, they also chose the verse of the year for our university. And it is a great prayer for the start of the academic year:

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us:
establish the work of our hands for us, yes,
establish the work of our hands
" (Psalm 90:17).

We were also challenged, celebrated communion, and co-missioned to join Jesus in "taking over the world" as our motive and calling. I felt completely drawn in to the call, the urgency, the importance, and the community working together. These were good days--filled with hope and challenge to live into our identity individually and as a community.

May it be so, Papa. May it be so.

21 August 2008

August 21

I met Jordan on my first day at work. It was a whirlwind day as we were whisked away to Minneapolis to attend a conference.
Just beyond introductions and niceties, I found out we were rooming together.
And so the adventure began.

Today I pause to celebrate this friend.
It is the anniversary of her very birth.
And it is a day to acknowledge her wisdom, beauty, and grace.

Nearly daily we walk, laugh, listen, wait, wonder, pray and learn together. It is a privileged journey. I celebrate the gift of you Jordan.

Happy happy birthday!!

19 August 2008


It is about perception and imagination. This particular man could envision options and shapes much beyond what I could concur up.
He had vision.
He had talent.
AND he had tools.
So, needless to say, when we first approached him
and watched his artistry,
and when we returned a few hours later,
he had sculpted,
to my untrained eyes, sheer art and masterpiece.
It was completely captivating to watch him,
as these photos reveal. It was a fabulous labor of love and grace.

God breathes so much creativity into us.
I wonder if we realize how much he calls us to create,
to craft,
and to present as an art
or as a creation to him?

18 August 2008

road signs

They post signs for a reason. On the way to camping with my church this weekend, to the place I first went camping (like returning to one's first love), a place that I love to camp, we headed down the shortcut, or, actually, the most direct route.
And that is when we saw the first road closed sign brightly declaring we could go no further.

It has been my experience, that sometimes a road closed sign really means, "road can't handle normal traffic." Or perhaps, "some construction occurring. Normal traffic should be rerouted until construction completed," or something like that. You know what I'm talking about. And so, I often challenge the sign, or perhaps, I test it, to make sure that the road is indeed closed, or, as in many cases, that it might in fact, be driveable.
So, on this particular drive, I felt it necessary to insure that the road closed signs were accurately posted. Part of the motivation was not just to test the signs, but because to go a different route, would mean going miles out of the way.
As we approached the blocked area, we could see the gates on either side. As I surveyed the situation, I naively (arrogantly? foolishly?) suggested we could "take" the gates, or at very least, go around them.
That is, until things came into full view. The hill hid the reality of the hole. It was not a little bit of road missing, it was the entire road fallen in to a sink hole. Completely gone.
The idea that we could drive around the warning fences was true, we could drive around them. It was navigating (jumping?) the 15 feet of nothingness that would prove most challenging. The sign signaled destruction, or potential destruction.

How true is that in our lives?
God offers a sign.
I push the edge, or test it's legitimacy.
Ultimately, my actions prove that I don't trust the sign, or the sign poster. And in testing things, I teeter on the edge of a chasm (and likely, sometimes fall in). Clearly a position that could be avoided.

Oh, and the other thing, the idea that I knew a more direct route, well, attempting to drive that direct route, because of my unwillingness to take posted detours, ended up taking an additional hour's worth of driving and backtracking. Where if I would have followed the initial reroute, might only have taken say 30 minutes.
Now we did happen upon the gorgeous field of sunflowers. But still.

When will I learn to trust?

17 August 2008

queen for a day

last weekend, I had opportunity, along with Beth, to babysit our friend's kids. That was a privilege. But beyond that, Beth invited me to spend the night at her house, which is perfect since she lives close to my church and it gives me a chance to hang out.
And so we did.

And she treated me.
I got to choose my favorite mug for coffee.
I slept in her newly decorated uber cute guest room.
And she made my favorite breakfast in the world.
(Can you see all the blueberries bursting out of there?)

Plus, to top it all off, we talked. Late into the night. And well into the morning.
It was a treat. Thanks, Beth!

14 August 2008

terrible twos?

I just remembered today, 0813 is the anniversary of this very blog.
Happy Anniversary to it. Or, er, something like that.

I start school again in 10 days so I expect posts may lessen. That is, until I have major projects due. At that time I usually find ways to procrastinate so posting fills the bill for that. anyway....

This was the original post. It will be interesting how the experience of a "being" a toddler will treat this space.

13 August 2008


Someone once said that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

For people that I like and love,
absence truly makes me miss them more.
Returning to their presence, such as today's lunch,
well, as Denise said,
it cements to a greater degree how much we really miss each other.

Such was the case with lunch today.
Two former co-workers.
Too little time.

I miss them.
There's another saying that suggests that things get better with time. So here's a comparison for you.
This photo caught us during those last days of working together.

It was a privileged season to work with them. But I don't necessarily miss the working with them so much as I miss the regular honor of being with them.
Sigh again.

12 August 2008

The one where Zeke kidnaps my camera

I'm borrowing a clever and catchy phrase from my friend Sabrina who I adore (even if I don't really like Friends so very much).
It seemed most appropriate
as Zeke snagged my camera
and created this photo essay of the day.
I confess,
I didn't keep all his 49 photos!!

I like some of his angles, and his subjects.
My particular favorite may be
the one he captured of the front of his spiked hair.
Now the 14 pictures of the grass, well,
it just didn't seem necessary to keep those!!

But obviously I kept several photos. Good job, Zeke.
You may be a blossoming photographer yet. Who knows.

Digital cameras certainly allow for all the inexpensive exploring
and investigating one can imagine.
This final photo by the way,
is not Zeke.
But it is his brother, Basil, who did not want to be outdone
when he saw that Zeke had a camera.
Thus, he became both artist and subject.

Which could probably lead to a post titled,
"The one where Basil grabs the camera."
But, he didn't snag my camera so it won't be posted here!

Foisy Five

Karla and Keith had their baby today. Foisy #5. Soren Micah joins older brothers Zeke and Basil and sisters September and Adeline. Z, B, and S get to enjoy Soren here on earth, while the reunion with Adeline will happen in a different way.

It's a happy day.
And Beth wrote about it...and posted pictures. So check it out and celebrate this beautiful new life!

Welcome baby Soren. We're so glad you're here.

POST EDIT: This just in: I got to see him today. He is beautiful. So I've added a few photos that I captured today. And yes, he is smiling up there.
So sweet.

10 August 2008

46 years!!!

Happy Anniversary to my parents!!!
Mom and Dad, it is such a blessing to spotlight you and celebrate your wedding anniversary. Naturally I can't recall the details of the day
(right, i wasn't there)!
But I do witness the love, commitment, laughter
and friendship that develops through the years.

It is a gift from God, to each other, and to all of us! Considering last fall with Dad's health, and the way we saw God answer prayer, it is a gift for us all to receive.

Happy Anniversary dear ones!

May you have many,
many more to come.

08 August 2008


As you probably well know, the Olympics started today.
I'm excited.

I had the privilege of being in Beijing two years ago, July, and they were already eagerly preparing for the Olympics. I can slightly envision what it must feel like to be there. I loved the opportunity to visit Beijing. I would put it in the "changed life" category. The people were spectacular. God captured my heart for China!

However, the air quality, the humidity, and the heat were such that the only time I really felt like I was breathing fresh air was when I was on the great wall. Ah. Delicious moments those were.

And you'll have to take my word for it, because, unfortunately, those picture, well, they were on my hard drive that crashed. Thankfully, among the few pictures that I really really really miss. I do have the memories.

Did you notice it's 080808. They say that eight is a very lucky number for the Chinese. Although I believe in God's power over luck, it's still a fun date.

I'm happy to cheer on the games.

05 August 2008

a, b, c or none? of the above

It was excruciating. And it didn't get any better. At the same time, I knew it was the right thing to do. The option was presented to hang out with my sisters and my nieces, and my BiL. But I declined. The previous weeks had been busy. I had made earlier choices that influenced this decision.
I said no! to something good. And I missed out.
Yet I embraced something different.

I remember talking to my now friend, Kati, about the spiritual formation MA program. Specifically I asked about her life, her social life, work, and her church involvement. She responded by saying that she had basically said No! to everything because of school.

Truly, the options exist. Ten years ago I may have said Yes! to everything.
But it is not the pace I choose to live today.

As Marjo likes to say, "sometimes you need to say No! to the good, to say Yes! to the best."

Or as friend Betty once described, God invites us to a smorgasbord. We cannot possibly say yes to everything. And so we must choose.

But the choosing is not easy. It still is saying no! to good and fun and fabulous things, or people. For instance, this past weekend, I turned down the opportunity to be with family. Even though I struggled with it, I knew I needed downtime. I needed to be home. The extrovert died a thousand deaths. But my soul regained necessary ground.

As school approaches again I will retreat again. I'll (hopefully) choose the quiet moments necessary to read and reflect and write for my classes, regretfully refusing possible opportunities to be social or even to serve.

It is for a season.
Perhaps in a tiny way comparable to the new mother who forfeits sleep because of a newborn. Or perhaps it is the wife who sacrifices income and her career to attend to her unexpectedly ill husband. It might be the option of engaging friends when we'd rather retreat and be alone with our depression or sadness. You know what you wrestle with. We all face the choices.

My sister challenged me with those words recently, "it's about choices, Di."
And she is right.

It still doesn't make things easy.
I'm not sure I always make the right choice.
Sometimes, though, good does not equal best.
Hopefully, however, it is something that strengthens our soul and enables us to love well, for when we face engagement again.

02 August 2008

Sister #1

It's Jenni's turn.
One fun thing about Jenni is that she gets to be the same age as her younger sister for a couple days.
Not many kids can say that.
Not many adults can figure out what I mean.
But here she is, now, on her very birthday, having her age all to herself again, so to speak.

And I celebrate her, too. I'll tell you just one thing about Jenni, or, maybe two. She is an incredible lady. God has fashioned her in such a way that she absorbs information and knowledge. Seriously. she knows a ton, about numerous things. And as such, she is also very interested in learning more and asking questions. That also translates into learning about things when we travel. She is the one who investigates activities and suggests things for us to do.
This means she is also a really good teacher. And so I have learned,
a ton, from my oldest sister.
And I love that.
And I love her!!

Happy happy Birthday dear Jenni.
I celebrate you and the gift of your very life today!!

Picture credit: other sister Carmen, Galena, 0608.