Tuesday, May 31, 2016

HE Remembers

Oh, the irony!
I recorded this video last week, but got busy and FORGOT to post it. *ahem*
Ahhhh, better late than never!


Friday, May 27, 2016


I'm still shaking my head over a situation which arose this week at GLC.

I'm saddened and ashamed that it happened.

And I am asking God to help me aright it all.

The back-story is: On Monday I was made aware that some of my co-workers felt like I was excluding them. They believed I thought I was "better" than them - because I don't make a habit of stopping and talking to them through the day.
If you know me at all, I trust you know neither of those two scenarios is a possibility.
*First, I never want to exclude anyone. I've been on the outside enough to know how horrible it feels.
*And, second, I don't think I'm better than anybody. My battle with depression still has me fighting with myself just to think I am not worse than everyone!

But I'm still a relative newbie at work, and many people (i.e. those who were having the afore mentioned thoughts) don't know me well enough to know I would never intentionally shut someone out.
Perhaps because I don't make a habit of stopping to visit with them???
And that's the kicker! The main reason I don't chit-chat is because these women usually appear to be so busy. They have lots of work to do. And when I asked them for various things in the beginning of my tenure, I typically felt like I was interrupting and getting in the way. So, I guess I defaulted to doing my best to stay out of the way, and get my own work done.

Only to find out that is exactly what they don't want me to be doing.

As much as it hurt my heart to find out people were feeling this way as a result of my (lack of)behavior, I am so thankful for the one who spoke up. I am so thankful to know the truth.
I have apologized, and I believe misunderstandings have been cleared up. With God's help I intend to cover my co-workers with TLC and assure that they never again feel as though I don't care about them. By His grace I trust I can get past the temptation to beat myself up for this blunder. And when all is said and done, I have a feeling HE's going to grow me through this struggle, too.

How about you? Anyone in your life who you think isn't interested in your TLC?
Take it from me. Love them anyway!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In Memory of Grandma Peggy

It was probably ten years ago that Josh and I tended our own little garden plot for the summer.
Besides lots of yummy vegetables, we had a section for zinnias. Because Grandma Peggy told us they were beautiful flowers - which attract butterflies and are not typically eaten by deer. And she was so right.
I loved gazing at those colorful blooms.

So, last summer when Grandma Peggy was living with us she often watched me outside working on various landscaping projects. And a couple of times I took her on walks in her wheel chair so she could enjoy the beautiful flowers many of my neighbors have blooming in their yards.
It was during one of those walks that I thought, Hey! I should plant some zinnias around the house for Grandma to enjoy. She would love that! Except, by the time I had that thought it was too late in the season to sow zinnia seeds. Thus, I tucked the idea away in my mind for "next year".

And now it's next year.
But Grandma Peggy isn't here.
She's gone Home. (And I know she's enjoying so much more than zinnias now!)
Even so, I bought the zinnia seeds and planted them all along the front sidewalk. And I reminisced about Grandma as I dug, planted, and watered. Then I turned my attention to the rest of the front landscaping, the sidewalk, and the porch - and decided to continue working. I pulled weeds, cleaned up sunflower seed shells (It's lovely to watch the birds in the feeders, but they sure do make a mess of those shells!), and swept away the dirt. Because Grandma Peggy taught me that it's good to have a clean porch and entry way. It's the first thing a visitor notices, after all!
(Not that I care so much what people think of my porch, but it was important to Grandma and I knew she would like it if I had the walkway looking good for the zinnias. *wink*)
And so I spent my afternoon yesterday remembering my grandmother.
It was delightful.
Even more, I know I will have fond memories of her every time I look at the colorful blooms which are due along the sidewalk in another 45 days, or so.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

They're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

So, I mentioned yesterday that my trip to Ecuador with Compassion International is less than three weeks away.
And I am so excited about it.
I've started buying the things I need (like bug spray and travel-size shampoo). I have a pile of gifts and supplies beginning to accumulate in the corner of my bedroom. And I am thinking about what to take, and what to leave home.
Of course, any mother knows - when you're preparing to go away you also spend a considerable amount of time thinking about/preparing for what your family will need in your absence.
*Read that: What are they going to have for dinner?*
So, this question has also been on my mind as I have been counting down to my trip.
I came to a conclusion, and decided to discuss my idea with Brian Sunday afternoon. Ya know, so he could have input - rather than me just dropping a bomb on him and the boys.
Because my conclusion was this: Seeing as they are all big boys now (Matthew turned 16 last week!) I believe they can handle eight days on their own. Soooooo, I am not going to make their dinners before I leave. Rather, I am going to give them the opportunity to come up with their own meal plan, make their own grocery list, buy their own groceries, and prepare their own meals.

Doesn't that sound like fun???

I am fully aware they will go out to eat a couple times. I realize their meal plans likely won't include much in the way of salads and veggies. And I understand mac & cheese and pizza (Order in, not make-your-own.) might appear on the menu a time, or two.
But that's OK with me.
*The three of them have agreed to pitch in and work together to get 'er done. Admittedly, one of the first questions was whether Elizabeth would be home during that time. And they were disappointed to find out she'll already be gone for the summer. So they aren't going to be able to rely on anyone else.
*They're going to realize how much work I do fun I have keeping them fed.
*I'm guessing they'll come to appreciate the little things I do - like notice when milk is getting low during the week and buy more so it "never runs out."
*They'll learn the value of budgeting their time and disciplining themselves with regard to extra activities - so they can eat.
*And I'm trusting they will finally appreciate just how good they have it - having healthy, delicious meals prepared and ready for them every day of the week.

Oh, yeah.
They're gonna miss me when I'm gone!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016


My heart is smiling.

If you're friends with me on Facebook, go on over to my page and watch the video I shared Thursday night.

For the rest of you, lemme tell ya 'bout it.

I posted a couple weeks ago about a woman at GLC who is sometimes quite difficult. And about the hope I had in witnessing a positive interaction between her and a care-giver one morning. The entire scene was encouragement for me to not give up trying to reach a person.
Even a hard person.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon.

I walked into the memory care unit and heard a new-to-us musician playing. The song was fun and upbeat, so I started dancing. A few heads turned to watch me, and I let their attention spur me on to more silliness and dramatic interpretive dance.
Yes, I love performing for these folks. Anything to make them smile.
And that's when I saw it. A great.big.smile on the face of that woman who isn't often very pleasant.
She was looking straight at me, watching me dance, and seemed to be enjoying it right along with everyone else.
That view in itself was enough to make my day. But it got better.
The daughter of one of our residents took a cue from my silliness and started dancing with me. That is, we had our arms around each other, swaying and twirling, and having a bunch of fun.
And when that dance was over?
I decided to take my chances and ask my smiling friend if she would like to dance with me.
She agreed to it - with a smile - and if you can get to my Facebook page, you can watch.
So glad my supervisor had her phone with her and got the video.

Encouragement, once again, my friends:
Never give up reaching out to someone with love. Never, ever give up!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Strike that from My To-Do List

So, last week a letter came in the mail from our pediatrician.

It was addressed to Josh.

I'm calling it his Graduation Letter.
Because it contained the news that he has to find a new doctor. That is, the boy is no longer a "pediatric," and must - therefore - go to an adult-ic doctor now. And they were nice enough to include a list of recommended doctors in the area.
So yesterday I started making calls in search of a new doc for the boys. (Thought it a good idea to switch them both at the same time, so I am not running myself in two many directions. Yes, that "typo" was on purpose.) And when I found one, I was all ready to make new-patient-appointments for the boys.

Until I was told I couldn't.

That is, I could make an appointment for Matthew - and I did.
But I couldn't make one for Josh, because he's 18. He's an adult.
And they won't work through an adult's mom.
So after Matthew's information was complete, I handed the phone over to Josh and had him make his own arrangements.
Because they wouldn't talk to me.
Nooooooo. He's 18 after all.

And with that - I have been put in my place. *Hmph*

Ahhhhh. Now I'm wondering if I can start using that logic on his meal preparation, car insurance payment, grocery shopping... This might play to my advantage. *wink*


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HE Will Make a Way

What's on your heart today?

Big things? Little things? In-between things?

Any impossible things?

I have some items from each of those categories floating around in my heart and head.
*Been praying for a while about a trip I'm taking with Compassion International to Ecuador next month - asking God to work out the details so all the sponsors will be able to meet their children. The recent earthquake in Ecuador has caused some serious difficulties in making that connection happen.
*I have a certain child about whom I am constantly praying. Trusting God to do the good work HE has planned.
*Facebook posts have made me aware of many needs - both large and small - and I'm carrying them in my heart, too.
*My church is calling for a focus on prayer this month for our vision and ministry path, so I'm taking these needs to God.
*There are daily prompts via prayer-cues which God uses to bring me to my knees.
*Not to mention the issues in our nation and concerns of the day, friends in various states of need, and family members who are struggling.
There is just so much going on. So many opportunities to see distress, or feel overwhelmed. And if left to my own devices, I would likely be traveling that road to despair.

BUT, God.

We do not need to be afraid. And discouragement will not have the final say in our circumstances.
Because we serve a God who is greater.
Who is stronger.
Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.
And when I listen to HIM, I am reminded that HE will make a way where there seems to be no way. Nothing is too difficult for Him, and God is going to work out our situations according to His perfect will. All we need to do is trust and obey.
Someone needs to hear this encouragement today. If it isn't you, please keep your spiritual eyes open so when you come across that person you are ready to share it with them.

And if there is any way I may be praying for you, please let me know.
I would love to intercede on your behalf.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On Presidents and Prayer

OK. I'm just going to put it out there.


I am not enthusiastic about either presumed presidential candidate.
That is, I am convinced that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has what it takes to make this country great again. On their own.

BUT, I am not without hope.

Last week I finished my Precepts Bible study on the book of Acts, and the work I saw God do in the life of the apostle Paul fills me to overflowing with hope. Consider this: When Paul was still Saul, he was one bad dude. He didn't believe in Jesus, and he hated everyone who followed Him. Saul hunted down and imprisoned believers of the Way. He persecuted them and encouraged their execution. And his passion was hot for seeing this mistreatment through to completion.
And, yet, God had a plan to use this persecutor-of-Christians.
To use him for good.
For very much good.
You can (and should!) read about Saul's conversion here. But the bottom line is, God completely transformed this man through an encounter with Jesus. Saul became Paul and went on to preach the gospel courageously for the rest of his life. He was 100% faithful to God even when threatened, beaten, imprisoned, and any number of other calamities. Paul was a new man, and he lived his life for Jesus. When I look at who he was on his own, and who he was once God got a hold of him - I can scarcely believe it's real.

BUT, God.

Oh, when HE enters the equation, everything changes. And that is why I am not without hope regarding the future of our nation. Because if God can take a guy like Saul and transform him into a God-fearing, Jesus-loving, gospel-preaching, lost-seeking man like Paul? Imagine what HE could do with Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump if they surrendered their lives to HIM!
Hence, their salvation and transformation has become my prayer. Because - while I have no faith in either one of them, on their own - I believe if God orchestrated a Paul-like transformation in them, either one could be used by Him in amazing ways.
And so, I pray.

Will you join me?


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Home, Sweet, Home

I drove to Detroit Saturday and picked up my girl from the airport.

Elizabeth is home!!!
Home, that is, until she leaves again to study at Wheaton's science center in the Black Hills.
It seems this growing up thing involves a lot of away-from-home time.
And I am reminded frequently of the realization I had when I was pregnant with Elizabeth:
that she isn't really "mine."
We were at some type of missions meeting when it happened. I was so excited about this little baby who would soon be coming into our world, couldn't wait to be a mommy, and it was as if God said, Yes. But hold her loosely. She is Mine and I am giving her to you to raise. There may come a day when I call her to follow Me somewhere far away from here. And if I do that, you need to be ready to let her go.
Ahhhh, seemed so easy to make that commitment at the time. I mean, when the baby isn't even born yet, you cannot imagine the day will arrive when she'll actually be spreading her wings and preparing to fly wherever her God may call.

But, alas, here we are.

My precious daughter - whose heart is a beautiful reflection of her Father, who delights me just by being the woman God has made her to be, who isn't really mine. Twenty years ago, when she was endlessly crying because she was colicky - and I was, too! - (I was crying, not colicky, this is.) I don't think I could have seen this day coming. This day when I am fully enjoying her being home, while I am also preparing to send her off again.
Knowing that wherever she is - whether in my house, or not - God is with her.
And where He is, she is home.


Monday, May 09, 2016

Friday, May 06, 2016


So, there is this woman at GLC who is not a very friendly - or even likable - gal.

In fact, I think the first words she ever spoke to me were, "Don't touch me."

I have learned to tread lightly around her, and allow plenty of space. While I still greet her every time we meet, over the past three months I have accepted that kind words and warm smiles may be met with a scowl. Or simply ignored.
And on occasion I have wondered if the effort to show love to her will ever make a difference. Is she even capable of receiving affection? Or is her heart completely closed off?

Well, I stopped contemplating those questions this week.
I was walking through the living room at work and saw Ms. Not-very-friendly sitting on the couch. One of the care-givers bounced in and sat down next to her, declaring in a sing-songy voice, "Good morning, beautiful!" Honestly, I expected to see a scowl appear on her face. But instead, there was a lovely smile. And the care-giver leaned over and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.
Which caused the smile to grow.
If I hadn't been rushing to a meeting, I think that scene would have stopped me dead in my tracks. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. The woman who I have only known as cold was genuinely receiving kindness. Oh, what a beautiful sight!

Is there someone in your life whom you would describe as cold and prickly? Someone who doesn't seem able to accept TLC? Please accept this encouragement today, and don't give up trying. Don't stop showing you care. Just keep loving!
You never know when you might experience a break-through.


Thursday, May 05, 2016

Standing on the Promises

14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord... 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.

Luke 1:14-16
Years ago I sat listening to a dear friend reading these words to me. The scripture is the foretelling of John the Baptist. But at the time, I had the distinct sense God was making that same promise to me about one of my sons.
I remember when he was little and on many occasions as I was nearing my wits' end, I would repeat to myself over and over, "He will be a joy and a delight to you. He will be a joy and a delight to you."
I'm thinking that verse saved his hide a time, or two. Or a hundred. *wink*
God encouraged my heart this past weekend as He reminded me of that verse - and His promise - when I was praying for my son, with a mom-who's-been-there.
And HE's at it again. As I struggle with this man-child - part of me wanting to wring his neck out of frustration, and part of me wanting to hug his neck because I was once 18, too - God reminds me to stand on His promises. HE has not left me alone in this season, and HE will not abandon my son. Though the road is rough, I trust God knows what He's doing.
I cling to the hope of God using my son to bring people back to Himself.
And I trust Him to complete the good work He has begun.

Upon what promises are you standing today?


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Early Bird Gets the Discount

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.

~Psalm 27:8
I am very much looking forward to the Women's Listening Retreat coming up in October.
More than being with precious, beloved women of God; more than sharing a Word from Him which He is engraving on my heart; I am eager to help create an environment in which these women will be ready to seek His face.
My heart's desire for this retreat is that each woman in attendance will be led into the presence of God, where she will hear Him speaking. I am praying even now and asking God to prepare every one. Trusting He will do just that.

Early Bird registration is $100 and ends May 31. Starting June 1, the fee goes up to $110. Thought you might like to know that tidbit, in case you're like me and you care about saving $10. *smile*
Please follow this link for registration and information.


Tuesday, May 03, 2016

When it isn't "Ladies' Choice"

Saturday afternoon Brian suggested we should all go see a movie that night.
I didn't recognize the names of most of what's showing, and wasn't interested in the one or two I did recognize. So I clicked on Mother's Day to watch the trailer. It looked OK to me. I was sure it would evoke some laughter from us all. Hence I cast my vote.
But I was quickly out-voted by the guys in my house - who all wanted to see Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Can I just say, action films are not my cup of tea? While I may have watched Superfriends when I was a kid, spending 151 minutes viewing grown men dressed in superhero costumes - doing whatever it was they were going to be doing - did not sound compelling to me.
However, wanting to go to the movies with all my guys, and realizing I was not likely to get Josh and Matthew to agree to a "romantic comedy," I reluctantly consented to Batman. (And I consoled myself with the knowledge that I could get popcorn.)

OK, maybe if I knew more about Batman and Superman - or perhaps if I had been educated on the backstory of this movie - I would have had an understanding of what was happening. As it was, I got lost trying to follow characters and decipher conversations. And I could tell Brian was getting tired of me asking him what was going on. So eventually I just gave in to biding my time while I munched on popcorn. To me, the movie was over two and a half hours of fast cars, flying machines, fight scenes, and explosions. No wonder they liked it so much. *wink*
Nevertheless, I had a smile on my face as we left the theater - because it felt like a great accomplishment that I'd had a "date" with all my guys.

P.S I did feel slightly disappointed after the movie to have remembered that part of it was filmed on MSU's campus. Because I forgot to look for our local spot's cameo. And that would have been so fun to see. But, it isn't so important to me that I'm going to watch the movie again, just to find it. *ahem*


Monday, May 02, 2016

Tell Yourself the Truth

I recorded this video before going into work last week. And on my drive in, a song came on the radio which reminds me of the subject of the discouragement to which I refer here. I started praying about the issue and thanking God for reminding me AGAIN of His Truth. And just like that, He showed me how the scriptures I'd just shared in this video spoke to my present situation. Yes, the scriptures I had selected "randomly."
Oh, how I love it when He shows His faithfulness so clearly.

May you be blessed by His goodness and Truth today!