Friday, September 29, 2017

Where I've Been, and Where I'll Be

Confession: I haven't been thinking much about blogging this week.

Actually, the blog posts which made it up were created last weekend.

The thing is, I am speaking at a women's event Saturday morning and I have been concentrating on my preparation. So I've been a little MIA in the blogosphere.
And, the truth is, I am going to be speaking at women's retreats for the following two weekends (Oct. 6-8 and 13-15). Sooooo, for the next two weeks my focus will be on preparing for those events and the blog here will likely get ignored. Please don't take it personally. But I believe the women at the retreats deserve my best effort.

Most likely I'll pop in here now and then, as God leads and gives me opportunity. I just didn't want to leave you wondering where I was. *smile*

Please pray for me as I speak at these events. I want to be HIS vessel, bringing HIM glory.

Karen

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

My Birthday Surprise

I had the best, best surprise last Friday!
Brian had told me he was going to take me out for dinner for my birthday.
And I thought, OK. This will be fun.
And I went along with my day, looking forward to dinner with my husband.

But late in the afternoon as I was walking through the kitchen, and just glanced out the window - I saw Matthew pull into the driveway and get out of the car with Elizabeth.
And I'm all, Awwww, you guys! You pulled a fast one on me for my birthday. A surprise visit. You're so sweet!!!
And then I was thinking, Oh, are you coming to dinner with me and Dad?
Because it seemed rude to leave when Elizabeth just arrived.
Annnnd, that's when I learned it was Brian who was behind the whole thing. The kids weren't crashing his dinner plans. In fact, there was something even better planned!
Brian had arranged for Elizabeth to come home on my birthday - not only for a surprise visit - but so that we could have a family portrait taken.

Ta-Daaaaaa!

But that wasn't the end of the fun.
That is, the photographer was a good friend of ours so we enjoyed lots of laughter and playful banter during the photo shoot. And when the kids got together for a "kid picture" (Which is highly over-due. I think the most recent one is from eight or more years ago!) Matthew suggested they do a "Slav squat". Which apparently is a pose where you squat way down, and don't look happy.
And somehow, we all agreed that would be funny - so they did it.
I look at this picture now, and I cannot help but burst out laughing because I remember how hard everyone was laughing as the pose was being set - and how difficult it was for all three of them to have those "looks" long enough to snap a picture.
And there they are. My happy kids.
I just hope I don't start laughing the next time one of them has a look like that on their face "for real". *wink*
Yeah. So we got our pictures taken, and then we all went out to dinner together.
It was a wonderful birthday surprise!!!

Karen

Monday, September 25, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

As of Today...

I am closer to my 90th birthday than I am to my original birthday.

Happy birthday to me! I'm 46 today.

Karen

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Organic Cotton Grocery Bags

Are you in the market for an Organic Cotton Grocery Bag?

Because I know where you can get one! Just follow this link.

My daughter is doing an internship in Chicago this semester at Foresight Design Initiative (FDI), and they are selling these bags (and coordinating lunch bags) to build up their scholarship fund. That is, each summer FDI hosts a leadership program for high schoolers who care about sustainability issues - and approximately 80% of those kids come on some sort of scholarship.
So, besides supporting kids and a great cause, besides getting an attractive and responsibly-made bag, purchasing this bag *might* make you as adorable as my girl.
I guess "modeling services" falls under the heading of "Intern Responsibilities".
Lucky for them, they got such a pretty intern. *wink*

Karen

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

HE Rocks

I did my homework.

I studied the leader guide.

I made notes, and reviewed, and did my best to understand how the lesson ought to flow.

And I prayed. I invited the Holy Spirit to dwell among us and lead.

Then I thought better of it, and I begged the Holy Spirit to invade our space and guide us with His heart. I confessed that I didn't even want to think about trying to lead the lesson without HIM.
I begged, Holy Spirit, please come!

And, guess what???

HE did!!!

God dwelt among us in the Person of the Holy Spirit at Precepts yesterday, and it was glorious.
HE led the discussion. HE revealed insights and gave understanding. HE moved in our hearts.
HE even stuck around and spoke through the video lesson.
And I?
Am still doing a praise dance in my thankful heart!

How have you seen God's Spirit moving in your midst this week?

Karen

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

She Makes Me a Better Woman

Ahhhhh, my girl came home this weekend!

We hosted a baby shower for one of her best friends, so Elizabeth crossed our threshold for the first time in over four months. Yes. I've been counting. *wink*
And it kind of surprised me how much time I spent anticipating her visit.
*I made our dinner menu to suit her vegetarian-ism.
*Cleaned up the living room for the baby shower, but left the decorating for her - because I knew she'd enjoy it, and would do a lovely job. (She did. Both!)
*Took clutter off her bed and set it aside. (Yeah. I didn't go crazy and clean her room...)
*Verified that she could join us for Krav Maga Saturday morning.

But as much as I enjoyed preparing, it was what Elizabeth did that made the biggest impact.
That is,
*I watched my daughter genuinely and enthusiastically greeting loved ones (her brothers and friends) who she hasn't seen in a long time.
*I saw her taking time to talk and listen - to go places for the sake of building relationships.
*I listened to her share her heart with friends about real thoughts and struggles, being authentic and vulnerable - rather than resorting to shallow conversation, which would have been easier.
*I observed her care for humanity and creation.

And, in spite of the fact that I have spent the better part of the past 21 years trying to shape her character and lead her in godly living - this weekend I felt like she was teaching me.
I looked at my girl and thought, Wow. When I grow up, I want to be like her!!!

I thank God for the young woman He has made Elizabeth to be.

Karen