Bob and I spent six years living in married student housing at Indiana University/Bloomington while he was working on his degree, with three little girls in tow, and thus we were surrounded by many cultures. My dad used to say we lived in a mini-UN. Our eldest had a map of the globe on her wall, and since our kids attended the university elementary school, we realized that she knew children from every continent save one (Antartica—does anyone actually live there? BRRRrrrr!)Continue reading “Not just the click of a button”
As the picture shows, I’m not a fashion diva. I tend not follow too many trends, especially if everyone else is following them. I figure I’m either retro or trend-setting myself, depending which way one looks on the time-line, I suppose. I basically have three fashionista rules: cleanliness, comfort, and coverage.
But when it came to what style of sunglasses to wear to view the American Eclipse of 2017, there wasn’t much choice, at least here in my small town. So I shelled out a full dollar for my NASA-approved specs in preparation for the light show.
In my part of the country, we were to get about a 96% solar coverage. It was pretty neat, but enough light still filtered through so that I wasn’t spellbound—the pull of the paperwork on my desk was still there, so I was in and out of the school building for our few minutes of historical phenom.Continue reading “Eclipsed!”
I get all kinds of requests for money, you know, you make one donation and the scent of blood is sensed for miles. Some of the requests are causes with which I would agree, some not so much. But even the ones I would tend to support, well, let’s face it, there’s only so much to go around.
Which really isn’t the point. The real issue is the fact that it’s not “my” money anyway. Sure, it’s in my name, my account with my beneficiaries and all that. It goes to pay my bills, my taxes, and my retirement (such as it is). It puts food on my table and gas in my car. It’s not that I haven’t worked hard for it all; sure I have. And yes, some of that hard work has taken a toll I’d care not to admit, but there it is.
Still, the truth is, it’s not mine.
Not any more. Because I actually belong to a larger government than any on this planet—the kingdom of God, (which is, I might add, far more just than the IRS…just saying.)
Our youngest was only school age when she sat on her father’s lap in the driver’s seat of the car in the (empty) school parking lot while he let her “drive” for a few minutes. Her feet couldn’t even reach the pedals, but as she clutched the steering wheel, she confidently said, “I got it, Dad!”
Typical. Not just of her, but of humanity in general, right? Now, Bob and I hope that we have been reasonably responsible parents, and as such had our three children take drivers’ ed while in high school as well as teaching them our own white-knuckled version just like our sweet parents did for us back in the day. There was Continue reading “Seatbelts, check.”
Probably one of the most popular activities at church parties is volleyball; that is, volleyball in some form. Because we all know it comes in several creative variations: mud volleyball (a personal favorite, although I’ve never had the opportunity…yet), volleyball with a big inflatable beach ball, and even the old-fashioned kind is still just so much fun on a sunny day with the fragrance of grilling happening in the background.
Such was the situation one morning in our church, as we were setting up for our annual Block Party for the town.
With so many preparations whirling around, a small group of us were fixing the volleyball net, well-used as it was with its holes and tears and tangles and knots. It can make one appreciate just how L-O-N-G a volleyball is! There must have been some discouragement as to whether or not it was Continue reading “Fragrance of summer grill”
If you’re older than, say, 15, you may have realized that what you mean to communicate is not always the message that is received. Now, when my dog wants to go outside for some biological necessity, he is fairly clear in his insistence; there’s just not a lot of ambiguity to his request. And a similar scenario happens in the afternoon when he thinks it’s time for me to put his premium brown crud into his food bowl.
Oh! That it were so easy with humans! Alas! The ability to clearly transfer (I do like that word) what I’m thinking, wanting, needing to someone else is a skill that takes a lifetime to master, if then.
My friend Linda works as a church secretary. The church a beautiful old red brick building, but as old goes, it needs occasional repair. When I talked with her this summer, the blessed old place was going through another face lift, this time with concrete. That meant her office was anything but quiet. I can only imagine the pleasant sound of jackhammers outside her office walls…
The following is shared with the family’s permission. Who among us has not been somehow touched by chronic or terminal illness? This poem by Brad Vermass was found on the his laptop by his family. Be blessed, be inspired, and be encouraged.
Live God’s Plan
Every morning I awoke with more stiffness and headaches. I asked God to take away my pain. God said no.
It is not for me to take away,
But for you to give up.
January 2004 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
I asked God to remove my disease and make me whole.
God said no.
Your spirit IS whole,
Your body is only temporary.
Life was so short now. Days passed so quickly and I become angry at little things.
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said no.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations,
It isn’t granted, it is earned.
All I wanted was a nice home for retirement and to provide for my family so their lives are less troubled.
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said no.
I give you blessings,
Happiness is up to you.
March 2014 I was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. I hurt physically and emotionally.
I asked God to spare me suffering.
God said no.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares,
And brings you closer to me.
I stared at the cross and wondered why you would die for me? I am nothing.
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said no.
You must grow on your own,
But I will prune you to make you fruitful.
How nice it would have been to make a 7 figure salary every year. No worries about bills or providing for my family.
I asked God for all things, that I might enjoy life.
God said no.
I give you life,
So that you may enjoy all things.
I reached out to surround myself with people who have learned to live life standing strong and happy no matter what came.
I asked God to help me LOVE others,
As much as he loves me.
God said, “FINALLY! you have the idea.”
And I learned: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
At last, I asked God to take me home…. and God said “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive”To all my family and friends: I wait at heaven’s gate for you, but do not rush your time on earth.
Live God’s plan for you.
Never take a step alone, ask Him to walk with you always.-
I may be gone for now, but we will meet again one day…..
My great-grandmother, with whom I was privileged to grow up as just another part of the extended family, traveled in the Midwest via covered wagon as a younger woman, and lived to visit relatives in Florida…by airplane. She made the best homemade chicken and noodles, lived by herself well into her 90’s, and the house I remember as a child had one of those r-e-a-l-l-y steep stairwells with the door that closed behind it, which was only mildly creepy for a kid daring to ascend and explore all the old things “up there”. Like the Singer sewing machine with this weird foot-peddle thing. She also had a cabin; I don’t remember where, but I do remember pumping the water outside, and flushing the toilet by pouring a bucket of said water into the bowl.
Interesting experience for a little girl from the ‘burbs.
There are stories about how she nursed great-grandpa off morphine and/or whiskey after the war (which war, I’m not sure), about how her grandkids Continue reading “Priority Pause”