Thursday, July 24, 2014


I've been thinking about our lives.  We have sort of been caught in this rut of needing to make money so we can pay bills and buy food so that we can eat and sleep so that we can make more money.  It's sucks!  We talked about our loss of adventure... our loss of contemplation and quiet time.  It time for a change!  The biggest thing that seems missing is adventure.  I mean if you are in a rut what do you have to think about?  What can you contemplate?  Why plead to God and for what?  Ruts are nasty in that the numb the soul into complacency.  I have a picture of that snake in Disney's jungle book singing Trust in me.... just in me.  There is so much of life to experience and revel in but we are so distracted.

We tend to encapsulate ourselves in hopes of avoiding pain.  My husband and I have fought that all our lives trying to take the road less safe... less traveled and more adventurous.  But somewhere we found an easier path and took it... It's time to turn back and find the better path.

Why wouldn't the better path be the one most risky? 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Learning to look

An Act of kindness… 

Over and over it seems I am the one on the receiving end of kindness instead of the giving end.  Open my eyes LORD! The other day my husband and I went to play a game of racquet ball.  We haven’t played in a long time which explains why, though we packed most of what we needed to play, we forgot to bring a game essential… racquet balls. 

How frustrating!  The courts were far enough away from home that going home to retrieve a ball and returning to play was out of the question.  As I was wandering around the facility looking for options a man noticed I had a dilemma and gave me a ball…  He didn’t loan me a ball, or sell me one.  He just gave me a ball. Sweet guy!

The thing I find inspiring about him is simply that he noticed I was in need.  I wonder... if I were in his shoes, would I have noticed? I feel embarrassed admitting it but I don't think I would have.  I would have been too locked on to my target... sad.

I think the more pain we are in or maybe the more we numb our pain with distractions, the more we lack the capacity to see.  Today, I am taking a break from my usual distractions maybe it will help.
God help me see!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A missed chance for kindness

Usually, I feel blessed when I find money on the ground.  I found a 1965 dime the other day.  Wow, I thought, I bet it was sitting there a long time! I never really thought about whose it was before it was mine.  It was mine because I found it... wasn't it?  I suppose that works when it's a dime.  But what if it's more.  When does it belong to the one who lost it?  What if you found a hundred dollars?  Would you try to find the owner?  What if it was a thousand? 

We walked to the lake yesterday, it is just around the corner from where we are staying.  It was a beautiful day and many were there fishing and having a good time.  We poked around a bit. Then, as we were turning to leave, we came face to face with a little white pug.  He didn't bark or anything, just stood directly in front of us and stared. His master tried to get him to come but he seemed fascinated with us.  Finally she apologized and picked up the little guy explaining that he was basically deaf and though he knew some signs he often chose to ignore them. We laughed and joked about selective hearing.

She looked tattered and worn and she spoke with the raspy voice of one who had smoked heavily most of her life.  After picking up her little charge she planted him in the back of a very old Cadillac.  The man driving the car seemed gruff and unfriendly and I felt concern for her as she settled into the front seat. 

The car was in serious disrepair and it squealed loudly as it roared toward the street. We stood to watch them drive away when suddenly we noticed a pack of cigarets on the roof.  We moved to alert them but it was too late.  Off they roared and the pack of cigarets fell to the ground shortly after. The pack was there on the ground as we walked passed on our way back to the house.  We picked it up and there stuffed into an almost full pack of cigarets was forty two dollars! 

From the looks of the woman it might of been all she had in the world and I grieved for her.  We listened for a long time in hopes we would hear the car returning.  We went back to the lake to inquire of the others there if they knew who the woman was.  None had seen her before. 

We never saw or heard them return and so I have a pack of cigarets on my table with money stuffed inside. I don't want it because I know it doesn't belong to me. I suppose the only act of kindness I can offer her now is to pray.  I pray that she is safe and I pray that someday I will see her again and be able to give that money back to her.  I pray that the next time I see money on the ground that I will at least consider the one who lost it, no matter how small the amount.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sharing acts of kindness

I think I am going to stick to this topic for a while.  I'm still pondering Luke 12:7  in the context of kindness.  If I knew that people were of huge value, (ya, I know they are but remind me when someone honks at me for going to slow!)  would I treat them differently?  Would I be kind?  I think it starts with understanding this passage."But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows." God numbers the hairs of your head like I numbered my children's fingers and toes.  He delights in His children... all of them.  I'm praying again with Brandon heath, "Give me your eyes." God help me to see people as you see them.  Help me to care.

I want to inspire everyone reading this blog to grow in showing kindness.  For that purpose I am sharing things I am starting to do.  Please, join the discussion.  Give me ideas, ways that we all could authentically walk in kindness. 


" And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you."

We got our first son when he was a teenager. I love him. He's awesome. He went into the Navy and served for several years.  Before that I had little experience with the armed forces.  After that, I realized the huge risks that are taken every day by our service men.  They have many reasons for joining but are quickly taught that risking their lives, is about protecting their country and the ones they love back home.  That's me... that's you. What an amazing act of kindness!

I travel a bunch.  Flying from airport to airport I see a lot of service men.  Many are in brand new fatigues and I'm thinking they have just started their journey.  When they come fresh out of boot camp they look kind of dazed and maybe a little lost. I can't imagine what each must be feeling, but I want them to feel appreciated.  So when I can, I look them in the eye and say, "Thank you for serving!" Some don't know what to do with me, but more often than not they perk up a little, smile and say, "your welcome!"



Monday, June 16, 2014

Man's inhumanity to man

Sometimes all the stuff going on in the world seems distant. It's not here.  It's not now.  But sometimes all of man's inhumanity to man is overwhelming and I cry to the LORD, "how long!" There once was a shooting at a high school and all the world was shocked at what happened there.  Two cold and detached young men killed a crowd of innocents...  and we asked how could this have happened? Since then there have been so many random acts of violence, we are no longer shocked... We just hope we are not the ones in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Stop selling guns!" we cry.  But that doesn't address the problem.  I'm thinking of the mass stabbings that have happened where guns are harder to come by.  Or even the damage done by bombs made of crude, easy to purchase parts.  The problem isn't about people's ability to kill, it is about their willingness, even hunger to do so.  Please, somebody, tell me what is causing that?

People are precious, children are amazing!  Life is of more value than we could ever comprehend.  Luke 12:7 says, "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows."  It's the truth... a very important truth. You are priceless! And so is the one standing next to you. That man who is disrespectful to you?  Ya, he has value.  The one that cut you off at the grocery store line?  She does too. Perhaps she just left her son at the cancer ward in the hospital and is trying to pick up some things to feed the rest of her family before returning. Perhaps she is too full of her own problems to care... Perhaps she just doesn't have a reason to care. Perhaps, if she knew someone cared, it would make a difference. I wonder, can we battle random acts of evil with random acts of kindness?  Perhaps it's time to try.

Today, I choose not to lose hope.  I choose to believe that good is way stronger than evil.  I choose joy, I choose grace, I choose life.  Today, I choose to be kind.

Please, let's talk about kindness.  Did you do something brave today that was a kindness to someone else?  Leave a comment.  Let's talk about it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Missing the mark

I watched a movie with my grandkids.  The main message of the movie, as best I could tell, was that we were looking to zing with another person... and that it only happened once... and life would be ruined if we passed our chance up.  It's frustrating what we are teaching our children through movies.  The most destructive is that Cinderella message.  Find the right guy and you will live happily ever after... See, the problem is... that's true.  If you find the right guy you will live happily ever after.  How close is the promise of happy-ever-after to abundant life (John 10:10)?  I just don't think the guy your looking for is human!  Well, completely human. :)

It's a twisted message because deep inside all of us is a yearning to be loved.  We must be loved to survive; that's true.  But, where we send our children to find love is way twisted.  We them to expect to get their deepest needs met by another human being who is just as needy as we are.  That's sad. 

Think of the songs movies teach our children... and believe me they sing them over and over again.  Songs like Cinderella's "So this is Love" Which says, "so this is love, so this is what makes life divine" It is true that love is what makes life Divine that is "God filled".  But what is labeled love is a first brush meeting with a guy she knew for about 4 hours. (8 to no later than midnight right?)  In the movie clip they never move their mouths... so how much did they say in that 4 hours?  And what have we taught our children about love?  It is a feeling of infatuation at best and has nothing to do with how your treat or are treated by another. 

There are so many messages sent to our children that are close but...sad. Think of what we teach about santa clause.  He will come to visit you and give gifts, if and only if you will believe in Him.  How similar is that to John 6:47? " Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me  has everlasting life." 

I think these are all opportunities to explain what is true compared to what is false.  But I wonder, does it sell because we are touching the deepest yearnings of all people?  And how dangerous is it to miss the mark?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's amazing!

It always amazes me how we spend so much time trying to figure things out on our own when it's right there... in the word, if we would just listen! I'm thinking of Matthew Fontaine Maury who, after reading Psalms 8:8 which says, "The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea and whatever passes through the paths of the seas." went looking for the "paths of the seas" and eventually plotted ocean currents used as shipping lanes today.  That's amazing isn't it?

What about  Job 26:7 which says, "He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing." I find it amazing, this passage was written long before anyone could have guessed the accuracy of it's content.  In the day that this was written no one would have dreamed how empty that empty space is... or that anything could literally hang in that space on nothing...

Or check out Genesis 10:25 where it says, "To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided;" We have only very recently found that our continents fit together and at some point were "divided" into pieces from a whole.  But... there it is... in black and white.

There are so many examples of where the Bible reveals secrets... if we will only listen.  These examples are amazing! But I wonder what emotional, social, medical and especially spiritual truths  God gives us that we have missed? What more is there to glean from His teaching... His letter of love?

What does it say?  What does HE say? Do you know?  I challenge you, just read one page... open the Bible anywhere and just read one page... and listen.

So after typing that paragraph I decided to practice what I preach and open the Bible and start reading right where it opened.  Here is what it said... lol!

"Yet for many years You had patience with them,
And testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets.
Yet they would not listen;
Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands." Nehemiah 9:30 (italics mine)

What good is God's word if we don't listen?  How can we listen if we don't read?  How can we read if we are distracted?  It's a big loop isn't it?  The deal is, He has a message for you, for me.  It's urgent!  How many text messages do you get in a day?  How hard are they to ignore?  As I type this, I got a text message from someone I didn't even know.  She was relaying work information to maybe a co-worker?  Anyway... it was a text... so I read it... lol!

I have to admit that though I just recommended reading a whole page... I found reading a whole page pretty overwhelming... there is so much on every page and I my ears are slow. So I am pondering the half of a page that I read. I wonder why it is hard to just sit and listen.  But when I do... I am amazed!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thoughts on work

We don't have a TV that works.  Well, we have a TV that works but it has no functioning antennae and we don't buy cable. That means we can watch videos but not live broadcasting.  That works for me, I am very fond of my fast forward button.  It means that I don't have to watch things that are graphic. 

I have no internal filters that protect me from the violence I watch on TV.  It effects me... deeply.  I have found that my lack of filters isn't anything to be proud of.  It simply is where I am in my walk right now. I suppose many would suggest I push myself through so that I could "toughen up", but is tough better?  There is a difference between building walls -- being "tough" so that you don't feel pain and having filters that clearly define the difference between your stuff and stuff that is not your stuff. :) When I watch TV, it's all my stuff... I'm not sure how better to explain.

But... are created to watch violence as entertainment? What is the difference between watching it on TV and watching it in a Colosseum? Have we become the very thing we hate? Who are we? What are we created for? Ephesians2:10 boldly answers that question. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them."  We are His workmanship! We are a product of God's artistic expression... His art.  As art we are a reflection of His very being.  And we are created with purpose... good works... What are those?  What makes work good or not good?  Does this mean we must work to be saved? (Listening)

I believe that we were created to work... to move our bodies for the purpose of accomplishing a purpose. We can not survive without working even picking up a spoon and feeding ourselves can be classified as work.   But what makes a work "good"? We were created for good works... as apposed to evil works. The fact that we move our bodies simply means we are alive as apposed to dead.  To some degree the more we move our bodies (that is the less we sit around and vege) the more alive we are.  Did you know that they now have a name for sitting for long periods of time... it's called "sitting disease" and research says it increases your chances of dying... yup sitting can kill you. :) But the question is... what are we meant to do?  What are "good works" (listening)

Hmmm the picture I have is of a frozen generation.  So many teens to 30 somethings seem frozen and unable to move.  I am peer to many moms who are confused as to why their children don't seem to have any motivation... they sit, they stare either at a screen or at the sky... what has bewitched them?  And I see older people sitting, feeling bereft of purpose and just as frozen.  The sense I have is of speaking over all of them... "move, just move". I'm thinking of that movie "Ever After" where Cinderella is standing between her past and her future and says to her self, "Breathe, just breathe."  Proverbs 16:9 says, "The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." Does that mean we must first take steps so that the LORD has something to work with?  I think I will spend more time pacing instead of sitting and see where my feet end up.  :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I have been praying as I am working on a presentation for women who have been brutalized by their not-so-charming, Prince Charmings.  What sets women up anyway?  On the other hand what sets a man up to brutalize a woman?  What happened to the idea of preserving and protecting?  What would happen on the Titanic today if it were sinking and there were not enough life boats to go around?  Would men give place on life boats for women, for children?  Would anyone give place?  Or would it just be a panicked free-for-all because no one values another's life above their own? I wonder.

So what is it that sets women up?  I'm wondering if the question should be what doesn't set women up! There are so many twisted messages. You say, "I want to marry a gentleman" I know what you mean, you want to marry someone who is kind and honorable and who would never expose or overpower you. I'm thinking of John 8:1-11 where a woman is brought to Jesus that was caught in the very act of adultery.  Can you imagine?  How did they catch her exactly?  I'm thinking she was set up.  Notice they didn't bring the man who had to have also been caught in the very act did he not? How horrifying to be exposed before a crowd of people itching to stone you! I'm thinking she was completely buck before that crowd. I doubt if they stopped to dress her--maybe throw a sheet around her--maybe but Jesus does an amazing thing.  He stoops down and starts to scribble in the sand.  All of the sudden that horde of contemptuous eyes, dripping with self righteousness and cruelty, were turned from the frightened, exposed and embarrassed young woman and were now focused on deciphering the scribblings in the sand.  Jesus was a gentleman to her... protecting and covering in a way that didn't add further injury.

Joseph was a gentleman to Mary in that when he found that she was pregnant by someone other than him, he didn't want to expose her but intended to send her away secretly (Matthew 1:19).  Even in the face of such a dilemma, Joseph chose to be kind.  The bible gives righteousness as the reason for his kindness. That's amazing... kindness to a woman who he thought was unfaithful to him is an act of righteousness!

So here's my question, "If that's our picture of a gentleman then why are places where naked women dancers are treated like slabs of meat at an auction called a gentleman's club?" and "Why do we pitch a bloody fit over a name like Beaner's Coffee because it is degrading and disrespectful, but no one says a word against a name like Hooters?"

Friday, February 21, 2014

Old spice

I'm have been doing some research into our culture and how we look at men and women.  I want to ask why we call women "attractive".  What does that mean really? What is an attractant and do you really want to be one? I am thinking of the raw meat they hang above leg traps in order to capture coyotes in the west. What is it that makes us long to be alluring? Is it some deep inner unmet need? Or is it something we have been groomed to do?  Why do you wear makeup?  Do you wear it because you like the art?  Or do you wear it to attract the opposite sex?  If you attract someone because of your makeup... will you have trapped something worth having?

I was reading the label on an Old Spice product which said: "PREPARE TO BE KISSED ON THE BEAK OF MAN POWER"  Really?  It continues by saying, "When your body flesh is covered with HAWKRIDGE body wash there is nothing a woman can do but smell the tingly freedom song of a rapture lullaby and accept that science can not explain the feeling in their hearts."  Really?   Do I want to be captured by a rapture?  They rip the flesh off their victims you know!  This scares me.  I am angry!  I am a human being with value and worth!  I want to be seen, listened to... cherished.  Tell the guys that! Not that I can be wooed out of my senses by the stench of their cologne. 

If we want to be cherished, understand and appreciated for who we are, we need to rethink things starting with the motivation behind what we do... and what others do to attract.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Above all?

I have the coolest app on my tablet.  It is called "audio books". It connects to a free public domain audio book website called Librivox has a collection of wonderful classics that are read by volunteers all over the world, one of which is the bible.  I am more of an audio learner than a visual one so listening to scripture can do me more good sometimes than reading it.  It's awesome because you can download whole books and then listen to them while you travel. 

So this morning I was listening to James and chapter 5 verse 2 caught my attention.  "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; that ye fall not under judgement." I believe the Bible to be a very short book considering it is God's message to us.  I believe that everything in it is important, even the most boring of parts.  I believe that there are many passages and concepts that require great wrestling because they are "hard sayings".  I believe that when it says, "above all" it must really be important.  Here it is, wake up! Here is the most important thing I James am inspired to say to you.  "Do not swear" really???  What makes that important?

I don't believe it means, "Do not say the current offensive words in our vocabulary."  Though I don't believe vulgarity is gentle, kind or loving, swearing in this context is making an oath.  which is way different that having a foul tongue.

So God why is this important? Hmmm The thing that comes to mind for me are all the oaths or promises we make to ourselves like, "I will never let that happen to me again!" or, "I will show him!" In working with women who struggle to get free from past abuses,  I have seen that the vows that are made in response to pain can lead to debilitating lives. It's a trenching in and vying for control but it leads to becoming the very thing that we hate.  If we run from pain, we are manipulated by our fear.  Trenching in is a fear response.  It may feel like standing up but it is really climbing upon the backs of another in order to get out of the muck. 

Letting our yes be yes and our no, no in my mind is a form of being still and simply being.  No pretense, no agenda for anyone else, just breathing and living outside of fear.  That is much harder than it sounds sometimes. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

God's provision

I'm thinking of Jesus as He prayed "Give us each day our daily bread Luke 11:3"... Funny, I am hoping for at least a weeks worth of bread not a days worth.  As I age, it feels much more uncomfortable to be living day to day instead of having a nest egg or retirement fund of some kind.  We are way better off than most people in the world.  We have way more than today's bread in the cupboard.  Shoot, we have a cupboard to put food in for heaven's sake!

So what comes first, our provision from the LORD or our trust for that provision? There are lots of passages in scripture where God explains His actions as being motivated by the trust that was put in Him. Like 1 Chronicles 5:20 " He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him." So what can we trust Him to do?  I don't believe that God is the candy man...He is not there to feed our selfish ends. I believe there is an intimacy inferred in this passage... I'm thinking the trust these people had was not the kind of trust you give a bridge that you drive over but more the kind a child gives when He reaches his arms out to be carried across the street.  One trust is relational and deep, the other is a form of using.

A child's trust in their daily bread has nothing to do with the next day.  They only receive what is on the table today. I've never heard my children ask me what tomorrow's dinner will be.  They only ask, "what's for dinner?" They fully trust dinner will be there when it's dinner time.

God, Help me find that kind of trust today.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I know it is important to remember things.  You have to be able to find your way home, what your name is, what your allergic to.  But beyond that why do we have a memory?  What is it for?  I think memorials are important to God.  When the Hebrew people crossed the Jordan River into their promised land.  God instructed them to take 12 stones from the river as they were crossing it and make an alter by the banks of the river as a memorial (Joshua 4:7).  He wanted them to remember what happened there.  He wanted them to teach their children. He wanted them to remember who He was and what He did for them. When Jesus took the cup at His last passover feast he said, "Do this, in rememberance of me" (Luke 22:19).  And so we do... or do we?

I have a box full of sweet things that remind me of my children.  Pretty little dresses and shoes.  Blankets that their grandmother made and priceless handmade trinkets, little expressions of their admiration and love. As they start to have children of their own I have started to give up at least the clothes and the blankets.  They are of no use in a box! But many of the things that meant so much to me as I packed them away, here a pair of overalls, there a pretty dress that looked so precious on but all too soon was grown out of.  I realize that those little people grew and became something you can't really encase in a dress or blanket.  These things mark a time in history but they tell nothing of the people they once clothed.

Raising children was so much fun! I loved watching as they developed their own personalities and sense of humors.  They are sweet individuals with great hearts and amazing minds.  The things I really want to remember you can't capture with a picture or a hand print or a dress. You had to live with them day in and day out to really get the whole picture of who they are...and even then there is more every day to discover! They are way more than anything I could put in a box to remember them by. And now these trinkets seem empty in comparison.

I'm thinking the same goes with God and Jesus.  I'm thinking that God wasn't really into a pile of rocks.  I don't think He wanted us to spend our days staring at them.  I think they are to remind us of Him... really Him.  Not that He did something as much as why He did something. The Hebrew people spend years, day in and day out with God as their guide and their provider.  What exactly are they meant to remember? I'm thinking that Jesus meant more when He said, "Do this in remembrance of me" than that we should eat what He ate that day...Jesus too spent years with His disciples, day in and day out, teaching and modeling a nature that they took years and then some to comprehend. He wants us to know Him... to get to know Him... to really know Him.  To remember who He is, that He will return... and why.  

Sometimes it good simply to remember.

Monday, January 6, 2014

More on Chaos

It's been a while since I have posted anything.  It has been a year like no other for me.  It is still my continuing battle to fight chaos but it feels like chaos is a huge adversary.  We started about a year ago to pack up our big house.  Our plan is to fix it up and sell it so that we could cut our expenses and thus our financial chaos.  It seemed like a simple goal.  But it has taken us a year and we are still working at it.  Oh well, one day at a time. 

We are recovering empty nesters.  I am not sure God ever intended us to be in this faze in life but here we are and I'm not sure what to do with myself.  I had been a homeschool mom for almost thirty years.  That's a long and wonderful time but perhaps it feels more quiet on account of the fact that my kids were always here before.. It's been over a year since my last one got married.  Now they all have babies of their own (one on the way!).  Grand babies are awesome but I don't like the part where you give them back.  I know most people do.. but I LOVE kids.  I love my kids. I love their kids... That's part of why we are working so hard to conquer the chaos.

Through all the years we raised our kids.  One thing always followed another and chaos was brushed aside as something we would address... someday.  There wasn't time for that.  I didn't have energy to face it... I was too busy.  Now that I have time I realize that it's time to face it.  I look at friends that I have that are older than me... they are too old and too tired to face the chaos.  Their kids know that they are going to be left to deal with it when my friends die.  I don't want to do that to my kids.  I want to deal with it now, while I can.  I want to trim down before it is really too much for me.  I want to gift my children with order.  Think I can?  One thing's for sure... I have the time to try.

The house is on the market, I pray for God's timing for a sale.  I have to keep remembering the value of timing.  It feels like I can just taste the day when I don't have to figure out how to make that house payment.  But I live in the north.  It is freaking cold outside right now.  I remember the first time I heard a radio announcer say it was going to warm up to freezing.  I thought it was a funny concept but if it warmed up to freezing today it would be almost forty degrees warmer than it is right now.  Brrrr! I am grateful that we didn't sell our house last month or we would be facing trying to move stuff in this weather.  God's timing is always the best! 

In the mean time, it is a good time to sit down, have a cup of tea, ponder and write, don't you think?