Friday, December 15, 2017

Touched by an Angel

Oh, my precious Angel!

This week's story is simple, really.
And so dear to my heart.

Like last week, I brought my Bible along for my visit with Angel, and - like last week - she enjoyed listening to the Word of God. And as before, Angel joined in with her "Mmhmm," "Yes, Lord," and "Amen" commentary.
The difference was, this week I suggested we sing after the reading of the Word. Amazing Grace is our go-to song, and we went to it. But then I thought of another one she might know, so I asked, "Do you know, Soon and Very Soon?"
She did.
So we started singing together.
And the thing which was so dear to me is this: After we had sung through a few times I figured Angel would be ready for a rest, so I stopped singing.
But she kept going.
So I joined back in.
We started singing some of the verses, No more crying there. We are going to see the King. And, No more dying there. We are going to see the King. And, because she was experiencing a head ache that day, No more head aches there. We are going to see the King.
And, again, I suspected Angel might be getting tired, so I brought the song to an end.
But, again, she kept on singing. So I rejoined her and we just continued singing.
I wasn't looking at the clock, so I don't know how long it lasted, but I'm pretty sure Angel's heart was rejoicing at the thought that soon and very soon she is going to see the King.

Ahhh, what a Day that will be!

For the record, I am going to be taking a blog break until 2018. Planning to enjoy family and friends for the next couple of weeks, as I pray you will, also.
In the mean time, if you're looking for reading material, know this: Since I started blogging 11+ years ago, I have published 2,236 posts. Feel free to use the search box above on the left to find something from the archives which may encourage you today! *smile*


Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Bird Man

I wrote on Tuesday about Josh taking care of the birds outside of Grandma Peggy's window when she lived with us. Well, Grandma isn't here anymore, but the birds are.
And Josh is still taking care of them.
We have gotten our first significant snow of the season, so life at the bird feeders has picked up significantly. And it is my joy to sit in the living room and watch as the birds (and the squirrels!) come to feast. It also delights my heart to watch Josh creep quietly in to the living room - so as not to scare anyone off - just so he can check on everybody and make sure they're happy. Well except the starlings, blue jays, and sparrows. He wishes they would go away.

For all the times I have been frustrated by that boy, the simple act of observing his tender care for God's little creatures restores my hope. I forget about the slammed doors, and the teen-age attitude. And instead I see a young man who is thinking outside of himself, putting a smile on his Father's face.
Ahhhh. bless my soul.

This is only one of the three feeders and two suet cages Josh maintains for our critters. But I hope you'll enjoy this brief view from my living room window.
I tried and tried, but there are too many technical difficulties which are keeping me from posting this cute little video.
So, we're going forward without it.
You are welcome to come over and visit me to see the birdies in person!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Even So

My Precepts class is on a break right now, so I have been spending time on another Bible study for the past couple of weeks.
The most recent lesson was looking at Abraham and Sarah - and the impossible situation they faced in believing they would become parents at their very old age. But we were reminded, Nothing is too difficult for the LORD. (Gen. 18:14)
Indeed. HE can do anything.
HE can even allow a 90-year-old woman and a 100-year-old man to become first-time parents.

As the day's study came to a close we were challenged to examine our own lives in search of impossible situations to which we need to apply Sarah-like faith. And it didn't take me long to recognize the situation before me which seems humanly impossible.
I journaled:
Yep. I'm still waiting, Lord. And You give me glimpses of hope, yet the situation still seems impossible.
Even so, LORD, You have promised, and I believe!
And here I sit, realizing that if God gave a child to Sarah and Abraham as He promised He would, HE is certainly able to fulfill His promise to me.
Even so, LORD, I believe!

Do you have an "Even So"?


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How Sweet

So, when my grandma lived with us in 2015 she and Josh developed a very sweet relationship. For one, he put up and maintained bird feeders outside her window - and each evening he would go into her room so she could tell him about the birds who'd come to visit that day.
They both loved bluebirds, but bluebirds don't hang around our neighborhood very much. So Grandma never saw them at her feeders. Still, for some reason those little critters often found a place in Grandma and Josh's conversations.
I remember one night just a few days before Grandma died. Josh went into her room after work and she struggled to focus on him, but he leaned in and told her, "I saw a few bluebirds at work today, and I thought of you." Oh, if you could have seen how her face lit up.
It took work, but she managed to say, "That's nice, Josh!"
And his face lit up, too.

Last week Josh and I were talking about one of his recent fishing outings and he started to tell me a story. He had seen a few bluebirds while he was wading through the river and then he paused, looking like he felt a little embarrassed.
"Well, this is sort of silly."
"Ahhh, tell me," I begged.
So he kept going.
The bluebirds flew overhead and off to the side. Josh followed their path and cast his pole where the birds had flown over the river. And he caught a good fish.
This is the silly part: Josh said he sort of felt like Grandma Peggy had shown him through the bluebirds where to fish.
I just smiled, and held back a tear.

Not that I believe a dead person has any control over bluebirds, knows where fish are swimming, or even cares what's happening here on earth. But my son - my 19-year-old son - who keeps to himself more often than not, had just shared a vulnerable moment with me. A tender moment and memory of my grandmother. And my heart got filled right up to overflowing.

Hang in there, fellow-mom. Not all the moments are hard ones!


Monday, December 11, 2017

Friday, December 08, 2017

Touched by an Angel

I don't know how long Angel has been walking with Jesus.
I just know she loves Him.

And this week when I visited, I got a glimpse at how much she loves His Word, too.
Since conversation is sometimes hard to keep going with Angel I decided to bring my Bible along this time and offer to read to her. (But I didn't realize how much she would enjoy my idea.)
Actually, when I first arrived I wasn't even sure I would end up reading to her. Angel was more alert, and more verbal than I had ever seen, and I wondered if we might just sit and talk. But after a few moments I told her, "I brought my Bible along today in case you might like me to read to you. Would you like me to read the Bible?"
The smile on her face told me all I needed to know.
So I opened up to Luke 1 and started reading.
The experience was reminiscent of the times I have prayed with her. Because as I read about angels speaking, about Mary trusting, and about nothing being impossible with God, I heard Angel saying, "Mmhmm. Yes, Lord. Amen." It was beautiful to share those moments with her, basking in the goodness of our God.
And when I had stopped reading for a few minutes, and we were talking about Christmas and family and stuff, Angel suddenly said, "Read to me some more."
Just like that.
"Read to me some more."
So I picked my Bible back up and I read about a trip to Bethlehem, the birth of a baby, and a bunch of shepherds who heard good news of great joy. And, again, my reading was accompanied by, "Mmhmm. Yes, Lord. Amen."
This time, I think I was the one with the bigger smile as I pondered the fact that this dear woman has likely been hearing the narrative of Jesus' birth for a hundred years - a hundred years! - and she hasn't grown tired of it.
"Read to me some more," she said. "Read to me some more."
And with that eagerness for God's Word, Angel touched my heart again.

I pray that if I live another 54 years I will still be as smitten with God and His Word as Angel is today!


Thursday, December 07, 2017


Faith is definitely being shaken right now.
That's the message a dear friend of mine sent earlier this week, in response to some very hard things which are happening in her life.
And I get it. Oh, I do.
Because I have also had very hard things in my life.
Sometimes those things feel like they have knocked the wind right out of you, and all you want to do is quit. Throw in the towel. Give up on it all and hide away in some safe place where you don't think you'll experience any more struggle or disappointment.

Have you been there?

So I was praying for my friend who felt like her faith was being shaken, asking God to strengthen her faith. And it's like He said to my heart, That's exactly what I'm doing, dear one.
I paused, and I thought about it. And I smiled because I recognized - that's what HE does.
I've read about it in the Bible.
I've seen it in the lives of people I know.
And I have experienced it in my own.
God allows hard times to come into our lives for various reasons - all in His perfect wisdom. And one of the ways HE uses them is to grow our faith. We go through a trial, a struggle, a storm of great proportions in which we feel lost and hopelessly out of control. We wonder, God, where are You? Why are you allowing this pain? I was sure You are good, but now I'm feeling like my faith is being shaken. God? Are You there???

Have you been there, too???

Then God shows His faithfulness.
He delivers us from the struggle.
He demonstrates His power and we find ourselves face-to-the-ground in awe of the One who can do all things. The One who is in control, who sees everything, and who knows what He's doing. We worship Him for who He is, and for what He has done. And when we catch our breath we discover that the faith we thought was being shaken has actually grown more than we could have imagined.
Thus, as I tried to encourage my friend this week, so I now exhort you: When you feel like the world is caving in, and you don't know what to do - Look to the One who can do all things, and trust Him to make your faith strong in the midst of the storm.


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

When I Get Propositioned

So I'm sitting at the table yesterday doing Bible study when my phone rings. I pick up my phone, look at the number, don't recognize it, so I answer and say, "Hello. This is Karen." Annnnd, the caller hangs up.
But just a moment later I receive a text message from the same number:

Hey what's up im james
So I sit there for a minute contemplating my next move.
I don't recognize the phone number.
I can only think of one "James" that I know.
If this was him, he would surely include his last name in his greeting. And I think he would probably use proper capitalization and punctuation.

So I respond with:

Hi, James.
Thinking my use of punctuation and capitalization will clue him in to the fact that I am an old lady.
Sometimes I just shouldn't waste my time thinking.
Because the next thing I receive is a string of texts, which make me think he has no clue.
Hi was that your picture on Craigslist because you are gorgeous
I think you and I are in the same situation in need of pleasure
Just let me know if you wanna get to know each other
Now, I'm pretty sure he isn't talking about the pleasure of studying the Word of God, and getting to know each other in the company of our spouses. So I respond by saying:
No. My picture is not on Craigslist.
I am a married woman, 100% faithful to my husband.
May I encourage you to seek soul fulfillment in God, first, and then trust Him to lead you to a godly woman who will love you because she loves Him?
A relationship with God through Jesus is sooooo much better than great sex.
After I send that text, I wonder more at who "james" might be, and what might be going on in his heart and life. So I sit for a few minutes and pray for him.
And about 20 minutes later I receive this text:
I think, OK. He responded again. That opens the door wide open.
And I text back:
Sorry? For what?
You just gave me a wonderful opportunity to pray for you, and I enjoyed it very much.
God is in the business of redeeming lost people and pouring His love out on them. My gut is telling me that He had you text me because He wanted someone to tell you of His great love for you.
God loves you, James! So much so that He gave His Son, Jesus, to pay for your (all of our!) sins - so that if you believe in Him and choose to follow Him, you will be saved. It's good news!
And, yes, I would love to get to know you. My husband and I would be happy to have you sit with us at church Sunday. We go to the 11:00 service at Trinity, 3355 Dunckle Road in Lansing.

Haven't received a response yet. But Imma save a seat Sunday morning!


Monday, December 04, 2017

Friday, December 01, 2017

Touched by an Angel

Ahhhh, what a beautiful greeting Angel gave me this week!

As I walked into the house, I could see Angel sitting in her recliner waving her arms with a great big smile on her face. I walked into her room and said, "Well, hello, Sunshine!!!" (Although I call her "Angel" here, in person I usually address her as "Sunshine".) And her smile grew.
Oh, and what a beautiful smile it is. I marvel each time I see her, that she's been doing whatever she's doing - smiling, singing, praying, and otherwise - for over 100 years. (One hundred years, seven months, and four days, to be exact.)
Even though Angel most likely doesn't know who I am, even though she's probably smiling only because her son told her "somebody" is coming to see her, even though she doesn't remember our previous visits, Angel's warm smile and the love she exudes are genuine - and they bless my heart. What a joy it is to sit with a woman who has been on this earth for more than a century and to talk with her about our God who is timeless.
I told Angel a testimony of God's faithfulness which had just occurred in my friend's life. And we rejoiced together over His goodness.
I enlisted her help in choosing Christmas carols to sing during a church service I'm leading this coming weekend at an assisted living facility where I used to work. And we sang a little bit.
I shared my favorite Bible verse with her. And we thanked God for His love.
And I did things which seemed less meaningful - like wiping her mouth when "stuff" was on her lips, and holding her Boost up for her when she wanted a drink, because her arms were too weak. Yet I realized somehow those actions were just as important and communicated just as much love as anything else I could do for Angel.
Thus my time with Angel reinforced my understanding of the value of anonymity and serventhood.
That is, I am not really "known" to her, and I often do "little" things.
But it is done in love, for the glory of God - so it matters.
And in the midst of it all, HE always sees fit to touch me through her.

What simple acts of service can you do (behind the scenes?) this weekend to bless somebody?


Thursday, November 30, 2017

What Can I Do?

Wow. What is happening to our world?
I am not sure how much more bad news my little heart can take.
On second thought, it seems to me like my little heart is becoming immune to the bad news.
Oh, really? Another shooting?
Yeah. I heard about the terrorist attack.
So, who's involved in today's sex scandal?
It seems like every day includes another tragedy, another heartbreak, or another rumor. And although the stories are sad, well, I am not shocked by them anymore.
It kind of feels like I'm the frog who's getting used to boiling water, ya know?

And yesterday, it kept on coming.
I logged onto Facebook and knew right away that something scandalous had happened with Matt Lauer. My news feed was full of comments and rants which told me just enough to know I didn't care to know anymore. Another "star" fallen from the sky.
My inbox contained an article from the American Culture & Faith Institute, which shared findings that Christians are not spreading the gospel, and the number of born again Christians has been declining in recent years. And I'm thinking, C'mon, Church! What's going on? (You may read the article here, if you wish.)
Another email told me about current trends which don't bode well for the moral future of our nation, and I found myself asking, When, Lord? When are we going to see a turn-around in this world? And I felt myself becoming simultaneously more saddened, and more apathetic. I couldn't help wondering, What can I do, anyway???
And then, as if right on cue, I saw a short video testimony of a man who credited the faithful prayers of his mother - and a merciful God - with saving his life, and his soul. He gave great detail about how his mother prayed through his rebellion, and he encouraged the audience, "Don't give up praying!"
I sat in my chair nodding my head, whispering praise to God, committing to being faithful in prayer for my boys. And His Spirit nudged mine.
Pray for your world, too, daughter. Pray for your world!


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Getting to Know Glen Keane

I've written before about Adam Raccoon, and how much I love him. And today I am sharing the man behind the stories.
That is, yesterday I received an email with a link to an interview Glen Keane recently did with The Christian Worldview. I listened to it, and wanted to take the opportunity to share Adam with you again. The interview is a lengthy (50 minutes) but I enjoyed hearing from Glen and thought it was worth the time. PLUS, for those of you who have yet to get the Adam Raccoon books, there's a special offer available in the interview.
*read that: It's a good deal. You should take advantage of it!*

So, get comfy - or get your earbuds and listen while you get stuff done - and enjoy the interview!


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Overheard at the Dinner Table

I got so frustrated today.
No one was doing what they were supposed to be doing.
One was in an off-limits location, and when I asked, "Do you have permission to be here?" she said,
"No. Oops!" And when I told her about the other rule she was breaking, she was all, "Oh, yeah!"
I could totally tell she knew she wasn't supposed to be doing what she was doing, but there she was - doing it, anyway.
And then there was the person who started getting sassy with me. *hmph* I didn't say anything back, because I knew they would just get more sassy, and I would get more irritated. And then I would probably start saying things I shouldn't say.
And I would regret it.
So I just didn't say anything else.
It drives me nuts when people break the rules and act like it doesn't matter.
I mean, rules exist for a reason!

And, no. Although it sounds like a mother's woes, those words didn't come from me.
It was my son blowing off steam from work - because of patrons who don't read signs, or who read and ignore them. *ahem*
And, to be honest, I kind of enjoyed hearing his lamentation. Because I think now my son might understand a little better what it's like to be a mom. *wink*


Monday, November 27, 2017

Would You Change Things?

Click here to see the Dear Younger Me video.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Feeling a Little Inauthentic

Typically, I am a very real person.

As in, what you see is what you get.

That is, I spent waaaaaay too much time when my children were small pretending to be someone I am not. Trying to look like I had it all together. Never letting on that motherhood was a struggle for me, and that some days I felt like a complete failure.
In those days I did my best to hide the real me. Because I felt like nobody could love her. But then God gave me hope in the midst of the struggle, and I started sharing my story, and I found out I wasn't alone. And I discovered being real - being authentic - was the only way to really live.

But I am suddenly feeling like I have regressed.

You see, tonight my daughter is coming home to celebrate Thanksgiving with us.
And she's bringing her boyfriend with her.
And his mother.
And I?
Just dusted, vacuumed, put away things which have been sitting in the dining room since I can't remember when, replaced the tablecloth whose stains I hardly even notice anymore (because I see them countless times each day), washed some windows (OK, only the inside of them!), and cleaned a mirror. (Still need to address the bathroom.)
And, well, I just don't usually behave this way. Haha!

They're going to be here for a few days - and I certainly don't intend to put on a got-it-all-together act.
But I thought at least it would be nice for the house to look clean when they arrive.

By the way, I am going to spend the rest of the week enjoying my family and my house guests. I'll catch up with you here again on Monday.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Touched by an Angel

I got to see Angel again this week.
And this time she stayed awake during my entire visit. *smile*

We sang together, I told her about what I just finished studying in Ephesians, and we talked a little bit about spiritual warfare. Angel isn't verbal enough to tell me stories about her life, and about the warfare she waged as a mother of several children. But she was able to communicate that she did spend time praying for her babies. And the way she joins me in prayer with, "Yes, Lord." and "Mm-hmm" and "Amen" gives me a hint of the passion she must have expressed when she prayed.
It's beautiful to imagine Angel on her knees, crying out to God on behalf of her children.

When it seemed she needed a break from trying to converse, I got the Connect Four game her son had set out for us. Saint and I had spoken about "playing" this game before, and I understood that Angel no longer has the cognitive abilities to actually strategize and follow rules. So I just handed her chips and we took turns dropping them into the slots. Sometimes Angel needed help steadying and lifting her hand to the top of the board, though once she made it that far she was able to drop the chip into play. And she actually connected four before I did in all three of our contests! *wink*
But when that third game was over, Angel said her arm was getting sore - so we suspended play and she put her arm back under her blanket to rest.
And I wondered to myself how many things that hand/arm combination has done over the past 100 years.
*How many hugs has it given to scared or hurting children?
*How many sheets and towels and sweaters and trousers has it folded?
*How many times has it comforted a tired husband?
*How many beds has it made?
*How many dinners has it prepared?
*How many neighbors has it greeted?
*How many prayers has it lifted up to heaven?
And I thought, Yes, sweet Angel. Rest your arm.
Because when a body has been at work for over a hundred years, I guess it ought to be able to rest any time it wants to!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Seeing from the Other Side

Yesterday a friend asked me if I have thought about writing another book.
And the truth is, I have.
Actually, last summer when I had the night shift driving home from Colorado - and everyone else in the van was sleeping - I came up with the title, sub-title, and eleven chapters.
I haven't taken it any farther than a memo on my phone, though.

But due to recent events, and things I've almost said, I'm thinking maybe I ought to get writing.

The thing is, my kids are getting close to being grown up.
They're 21, 19, and 17 now.
The struggles I had with them when they were small don't weigh heavy on my heart and mind anymore. (We've moved on to other struggles!) And as God has been growing them up, He's also been maturing me - and helping me differentiate between things that matter, and things that don't.
In fact, it has come to the point where I almost told a young mother, "This, too, shall pass."
Another time I almost said to parents of a new-born, "You'll make it. Just nap when he naps."
Those are two of the statements which made me cringe during my kids' younger years - every time someone spewed said them to me.
But, but, now that I'm on the other side, I know they're true statements. Having gone through what those young parents are presently going through, I now know the hard times won't last - and the little-ness of their little treasures won't, either. And, like all the grown-women and grandma's who have gone before me, I am eager to encourage them with sage advice and words of wisdom. Which I am certain will alleviate their distress and help them enjoy the moment.
The good thing
The problem is
No, it's definitely a good thing.
The good thing is, before those words came out of my mouth I remembered how they sounded to me when I was an irritable mother in the midst of the struggle. Although now I trust the words were always spoken with good intent - and in accuracy from hind-sight - at the time they did little to nothing to encourage me. Rather, I fell deeper into my pit of mommy-guilt because I wasn't enjoying.every.moment. And I seemed always to feel just a little more of a failure each time someone implied (Unintentionally, I'm sure.) that they made it through whatever I was facing, so I ought to buck-up and face it, too.
I didn't need sage advice and words of wisdom when I was an irritable mother. I mean, maybe later they would have been good to hear. But what I really needed first was for somebody (preferably one of these "older" moms who had been there) to tell me that what I was going through really was hard. That it was OK for me to feel overwhelmed. I needed her to tell me she had cried, too, and sometimes she didn't want to be a mommy anymore, either. My heart was longing for her to validate me, and to assure me that I wasn't a failure. Oh, if she would put her arms around me and pray, and affirm that God was still crazy in love with me - even when I was a slobbery mess.
Yes, those kinds of words would have been so much more valuable to me than the advice to "enjoy them now" because "they're only young once" and "this, too, shall pass."
I mean, I'm seeing the younger years from the other side now, and I know those words are true. But when I was an irritable mother, those words didn't offer the grace I needed.

So that's why I'm thinking maybe some day I'll write,
"When I was an Irritable Mother: A Grandma's Guide to Giving Grace".
What do you think?


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We're Better Together

Tuesday night last week there was a significant frost, and Wednesday morning it looked like ALL the leaves had fallen overnight.
So Friday, I recruited Matthew to come outside and help me gather a few tarp's-worth of leaves to dump in the pines. You know, because he had the day off of school and I thought he ought to do something constructive. And the terrible, horrible, no-fun process of raking leaves was underway.

When Saturday arrived it seemed everyone was somewhere else, doing something else, so I decided to just go out by myself and get some raking done.
And the raking part was fine.
I mean, I wasn't enjoying myself by any means. But I managed to get through it.
However, when it came time to drag the tarp full of leaves to the pines to dump, I realized the task simply was not meant to be for one person. That is, dragging it was easy. But pulling one end over the other and pushing the middle up while trying to pull the bottom out and repeatedly releasing stuck parts of the tarp which had gotten caught by low-hanging branches, all the while trying to avoid said branches so you don't get poked in the eye, and did I mention how heavy a tarp full of leaves is? Well, it was just too much for me. (OK. It wasn't too much in the sense that I wasn't able to finish the task. But it WAS too much for me to be willing to try it again. *ahem*)
So I decided to quit the terrible, horrible, no-fun task of raking leaves. (Which, by the way, was far more terrible than it had been with Matthew's help the previous day.)
Just as Brian was coming out to help.
And, although I really wanted to quit, I knew I could continue if I wasn't alone. So I picked the rake back up and my man and I got a whole lotta raking and leaf-dumping done.
In not a lotta time.
Oh, there are still plenty of leaves to rake, but I am confident we'll get it done.

Yes, together.
Because we're better together.
Not only when it comes to raking leaves, but also raising children, growing in Christ, facing obstacles, working through life-changes, enduring hardships, and even celebrating victories.
Too often, however, it seems like everyone else is somewhere else doing their own thing. So we put on our big-girl panties and we try to do it ourselves. And we usually end up overwhelmed and tired, and ready to quit. Who's with me on this???
So today I am offering you the lesson I learned last weekend while raking leaves.
Quit trying to do life on your own. God has surrounded you with people who can help in various ways. It's called the Body of Christ. So let's live like a body instead of as individual parts.
Even as I exhort you to receive help, so I implore you to watch out for others.
When you see a need, grab a rake and go offer support!


Monday, November 13, 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017

Touched by an Angel

So I had my first "official" visit with Angel this week.
She was lying comfortably in her recliner, covered with a soft blanket when I arrived - listening to some good ol' gospel music. A cushioned bench sits right next to her recliner, so I sat down beside her and was ready to get to know her a bit.
But my sweet Angel was so warm and cozy, she just wanted to sleep. (Livin' for 100+ years makes a lady tired, ya know!) Thus, the majority of our time was spent with her eyes closed, and my eyes fixed upon her - wondering about the stories and wisdom and lessons she holds in her heart.

In her moments of wakefulness I tried to engage Angel in conversation. I asked her about the people in the pictures on her dresser and hanging on her walls - but she mostly didn't remember who they are. We looked at a small plaque "to Mother" which sat on her dresser, and I read aloud the poem printed on it. (We agreed it must have been a gift from one of her children.) We took note of the good-looking young men who were singing gospel on the TV. And she was able to tell me that she sang alto when she was in her church choir. Alto. Just like me!
But, like I said, most of the time Angel wasn't aware of me, because she slept.
That is, she wasn't very aware until it was time for me to leave and I asked if I could pray for her. As I held her had and prayed, something in her woke up and she was praying right along with me.
Mmhmmm, Yes, and Amen.

She may not have a mind which remembers everything or everyone anymore. She might have forgotten who gave her certain gifts. I'm quite certain she doesn't know who I am yet. But she knows her JESUS and she sure remembers how to talk to Him.
It was a moment that deeply touched my heart.


Thursday, November 09, 2017

I'll Take It

So, last night we were sitting at the table just talking after dinner, and Josh shared a fear he has about deep water with sticks in it. As the conversation continued he laughed about his irrational thoughts that "something" could get him in said waters (I think he was a bit embarrassed to be making his confession.) and I felt compelled to share my own irrational fears, just to let him know he isn't alone.
Because I was so excited that he was still at the table with us! I wanted to keep it going. *wink*

Anyway, I told the guys about my long-standing phobia regarding our laundry room in the basement. Until recently, when I would turn off the light and go upstairs (This trek involves walking through the bathroom, a small hallway, around the corner, and up the steps.) I had the ridiculous worry that a bad guy was going to jump out of the shadows and attack me. I told them that when no one else was home I would run that distance - but when others were here, I tried to act calm about it. *ahem*
I also told them about the comfort it gave me when I knew one of them knew I was down there. Because if I did't come up in a reasonable time I felt confident someone would come to check on me. (If they hadn't heard my screams when the bad guy attacked.) But if they weren't home and they didn't know I was downstairs doing laundry, well? I feared they might not miss me until...
"Dinner time!" Matthew suggested.
Brian added, "Yeah. My clothes aren't clean, and I'm hungry. Where's Mom?"
We all were laughing, but I feigned heartbreak and said, "Awww, come on, guys!"
And Josh came to my rescue with these words: "It's OK. We love you, Mom."
I smiled and thought, Well, that was pretty close to having my 19-year-old son say, "I love you, Mom."

I'm still cherishing the moment. *sigh*


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Adulting 101

So, last week I shared a story about one of my sons learning an adult lesson the hard slightly expensive way. And today I have another one.
That is, another adulting story.
About my other son!

Yesterday morning Matthew was having a hard time waking up. Until he remembered something which caused him to groan painfully and hit his pillow. I figured he had just remembered a homework assignment, or something like that. And I asked, "What's wrong?"
Matthew hit his pillow again and said, "I have stuff in the washing machine and now it isn't going to be ready when I need it!" Then he jumped out of bed to go put the laundry in the dryer. (Not sure if he forgot to put it in the dryer Sunday night, or if he planned on getting up earlier Monday morning to do it. Either way, he was feeling the crunch.)
And I?
Plodded back to my room to sleep for a few more minutes.

As I lay in bed, it occurred to me that Matthew's clothes would dry quicker if he just put in the items he needed to wear. I could very easily put the rest through later in the morning. But before I could drag myself out of bed to offer that solution, I had second thoughts.
I thought, What will my solution teach him, except that I'll come to the rescue when he doesn't plan adequately? What harm will come to him if he walks out the door in damp clothes? Or the dry clothes he wore yesterday? I'm really comfy in my bed. There is really no good reason to interfere with his consequences. So I rolled over and closed my eyes. *grin*
And when I walked into the kitchen as Matthew was heading out the door, I noticed two things.
1) He wasn't naked.
2) His clothes looked dry.

So I quickly concluded, Matthew is big enough to manage his own problems. #parentingwin


Monday, November 06, 2017

Friday, November 03, 2017

Touched By an Angel

Yes. I believe that is what's going to happen over the next... however long I am given this time.

I am going to be touched by an angel.

Angel is my newest friend. She is 100 years old and I have the wonderful opportunity to visit with her once a week now, as part of my volunteer role with Great Lakes Caring. At this moment I don't know very much about her, since I was just introduced to her yesterday. But this much I do know: She loves JESUS. She likes to sing. Annnnnd, she likes pink.
And that, right there, is all I need to know in order to know that we are going to get along swimmingly.
Angel lives with her son, whom I am going to call "Saint" (because he sure seems like one!), and I look forward to being an instrument of God's grace to both of them for the rest of Angel's life.
And if you'll meet me here on Friday's, I will share with you the joy I discover in serving, befriending, and being touched by an angel.


Thursday, November 02, 2017

When Adulting Lessons Work

So, last night my son (Who shall remain nameless, lest he become upset with me for telling stories about him to the entire world.) made a trip to the bank at a rather late hour.
But it was before midnight.
And that matters.

You see, our sons are each required to pay a portion of our cellphone bill, and their payment is due on the first of the month. And because of a history of not paying on time, a few months ago Brian and I established a system for late fees. With the intent of helping our sons become more responsible with paying bills, in an effort to prepare them for the "real world".
So, last month the son who made the late trip to the bank last night "forgot" to pay on the first of the month. And the second. And the third.
And this momma decided it wasn't her job to nag continue reminding, so she stopped.
Until the 16th of the month when it occurred to her that said son still hadn't made his payment, so she asked when he was going to make it. And together they calculated that he owed $34. Sixteen of which was late fees. Bummer.

Thus, I found myself chuckling last night, and pleased by a lesson learned, when I overheard that son of mine realizing it was the first of the month and stating, "I'm going to the bank to get that money. Because last month I had to pay too much in late fees...grumble, grumble."
The truth is, I felt kind of bad for taking that extra money from him last month. But in the "real world" he's going to face hard deadlines, and billing entities won't listen to sob stories or forgetful excuses. So, I think the lesson he learned was actually a bargain.
Here's hoping it sticks with him!


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Need to Confess

When you think someone is upset with you, so you examine your actions to discern why such upset-ness may have occurred, and in your heart you know what you did - and the Holy Spirit convicts you of selfishness and wrong-doing, so you resolve to confess and apologize, but later you see the aforementioned upset person - only they don't seem upset AT ALL...

Does that mean you're off the hook for the need to confess and apologize???

Ummm. Yeah. I don't believe so.
That is, I don't believe the Holy Spirit convicts us unnecessarily. When HE speaks to a heart, a heart ought to listen. Even when the offended doesn't seem, uh, terribly offended. Because I think sometimes the act of confession is for our own cleansing more than it is for the other's consolation.
Thus, I shall be eating humble pie and making an apology momentarily.

Thank You, Father, for caring enough about the condition of my heart - and your standard of holiness - to convict me of and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Still True Today

Last week I mentioned the sermon series my church is currently doing - about prayer.
And I have to bring it up again.
Because, as usual, God spoke to my heart while I sat and listened Sunday morning.
This time, the sermon focused on, Give us today our daily bread, and I was reminded that God is a good God who loves to provide for His children exactly what they need.

I was also reminded of a time God used an unusual avenue to teach me this lesson several years ago. So I dug through the archives and watched it again. And I still believe it's True.
Praying these words will be a blessing to you today!


Friday, October 27, 2017

This Really Shouldn't Happen

A couple of weeks ago I was driving home from a speaking event, and I stopped into a fast food restaurant to get a sandwich and drink. *read that: CAFFEINE*
The young lady who took my order gave me a cup to get my drink caffeine, and then informed me - in a bit of a timid voice - that the rest of my order was going to take a few minutes. I smiled at her and said that wasn't going to be the end of the world for me, and I could wait.
So, I got my caffeine and went over to a table by the window to sit in the sun and wait.
I don't remember if it was a text that came in as I sat there, or something else which made me think of a particular person, but I do remember sitting in the warmth of the sunshine, sipping my caffeine, and praying. And it was a delightful time, really. Yes, sitting with the Son and praying. And in a moment which seemed to come too soon, that young lady called my name to indicate my order was ready. So I left my cozy perch and walked up to the counter, at which time she asked me, "Can I get you a complimentary small fry, or small frosty to make up for your wait?"
And I'm thinking, To make up for my wait? Really? I just enjoyed a few minutes sitting in the sunshine, praying for people I love. I'd hardly call that something which requires "making up". But I simply said, "No, thank you. That really isn't necessary."
However, her manager was standing there - working quickly to fill orders - and he looked up and said, "I insist. Most people aren't as nice as you were when their order is delayed. I'd like to thank you."
So I'm thinking, Well, it is chocolate. And if you INSIST... Thus, I asked if he could make me a small frosty without the calories. *wink*
And as I walked out to my car, hands and heart full, I contemplated what had just transpired and I thought, This really shouldn't happen. I don't know what type of behavior that manager is accustomed to handling, but it just doesn't seem right to me that kindness needs to be rewarded with free stuff. I mean, sure, I enjoyed my treat - but I was bothered by the notion that my kindness was so out of the ordinary.

And it's making me think we need to do better as a people.

Whether it's at a fast food shop, the grocery store, the post office, or interacting with a telemarketer or door-to-door salesperson, can we all just be nice? Even if we're a bit inconvenienced? Because the person on the other side is just that - a person - and they need grace, too.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Famous Son

So, I've written before about Josh's Youtube channel, right?
He loves fishing - and especially making videos of his trips to post on his channel. But something new happened the last time he went out: A couple of young fishermen who were out on the same river saw Josh and recognized him from his videos. They called out to him and came over to where he was so they could get a picture. Although he tried to play it off when he told me about it, I think Josh was quite happy to have been seen and recognized by these kids. And it looks like the feeling was mutual. *smile*
Wanna see for yourself?


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

HE Was Onto Something

The current sermon series at my church is called, "When You Pray" and it is - obviously - on prayer.
Specifically, we're going through the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.
This past Sunday we looked at verse 10, which instructs us to pray for God's kingdom to come and for His will to be done. And, the question which had to rise from that sermon was, How often do I pray for my kingdom and my will to be done, rather than praying for HIS???

Mmmmm. Conviction, anyone?

So, our small group had our work cut out for us when we got together Sunday evening to discuss and digest the day's message. That is, processing through the invitation to discover how we can move from focusing on our desires to truly embracing God's will.
And the most beautiful thing happened.
God opened our eyes.
To Truth which has been there all the time.
That is, when we pray - if we want to align our heart with our Father's - we need to pray like Jesus taught us to pray. Beginning with acknowledgement that God is our Abba - our loving Father who knows what is best, and with praise - Hallowed be Your Name!
Because, let's think about this logically for just a minute. If we enter into a time of prayer understanding that God is a good Father, who has good plans and unfailing love for us; if we spend time praising Him for who He is - for His wisdom and power and holiness and sovereignty and might and grace and mercy and love and trustworthiness - if we do all that before we say another word, which one of us in our right mind is then going to pray, "Now, can we do things MY way???"

Do you see it?
Jesus knew what HE was doing when HE taught His disciples to pray.
HE knows our propensity to want control, to want to know what's coming and what to expect, to want our own way because we think we know what's best. And I believe Jesus was on a mission when HE taught His disciples to pray.
That is, I believe HE knew we need to prepare our hearts to surrender to our Father's heart. We need to know to Whom it is that we are praying. Because when we do - we will be ready to seek His kingdom, to trust Him for our needs, to confess our sin, to rely on Him to protect us.
When we know that our good, good heavenly Father - who is holy and righteous and everlasting and Almighty GOD - is on His throne desiring to bring His kingdom and His will upon us, oh! How can we but earnestly seek it?

And so, my friend, may I encourage you in this? When you pray, will you come to God by first confessing and adoring who HE IS? Will you declare His praises and profess your faith in Him?
Because I really believe Jesus was onto something when HE taught His disciples to pray. And if you follow His lead, I believe HE will lead you into faithful, powerful prayer.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I Can See You with My Eyes Closed

I recently sat at the table, reading my Bible and praying.
And as I was praying - as I sat there in the quiet with my eyes closed - I heard someone coming from the other side of the house. I could tell this person was in the hallway, now turning the corner, passing the dining room table and, yep, now in the kitchen coming toward me. (The sound difference from walking on carpet to the wood floor let me know the traveler's exact location.)
I found myself pausing my prayer briefly as I wondered who was now sharing space with me.
Did he have a question for me?
Did he need me to do something?
Should I open my eyes and engage him in conversation?

But instead of doing anything, I just sat with my eyes closed, and listened. And without saying or hearing a word, I knew exactly who was about to go past me. Because the sound of the wood floor told me the feet were bare, the rapid rate of the footsteps told me the individual was in a bit of a hurry, and the distinct echo of the noise allowed me to picture the person bouncing as he moved about.

From those three clues, I knew the trespasser was Matthew.

In my mind's eye, I could seem him bounding down the hall, through the dining room and into the kitchen where he saw me sitting at the table with my Bible open and my eyes closed. And he probably thought, Oops! Mom's praying. Better be quiet! Which may be why he didn't squeal at Mindy like he usually does. And which may be why as quickly as I heard his footsteps on the wood, they zipped past me and right back out to the dining room and on down the hallway to his room.
The thing is, for as much as I appreciated his consideration - he really didn't need to be so careful. Of course, he didn't know what a joy it was for me to sit there and listen, to pay attention for clues which would reveal to me which one of my offspring was lurking around, and to realize I could see my child without even opening my eyes.
Yeah. It was kind of a tender, intimate moment of knowing my son.
I fully enjoyed it.
And as I returned to prayer, I began by thanking God for blessing my life with that young man.


Monday, October 23, 2017

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.


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.


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!!!


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.


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*


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?


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.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

I Haven't Forgotten

Earlier this week, I found out the retreat in November for which I was scheduled to speak has been postponed to this coming spring. *sad face*
During my email exchange with the coordinator discussing the details, I was reminded of a post I'd written in the past. And I decided to look it up in the archives.
Thus I read about Trusting His Best:

So, I had this thing to which I was really looking forward.
Might have been obsessing about it a bit.
And then, just like that, it was over before it even started. Not gonna happen the way I had imagined. At all. And I was tempted to be disappointed.

But then it was as if God asked my heart, Why should you be disappointed with My best?

Why? Indeed!

God used that moment to remind me this "thing" is not about me. It's about HIM.
HE knows what's best. HE's working out what's best.
And HIS best is still best - even if it isn't what I wanted.

Honestly, I was almost in tears because of the initial disappointment. But after God had that little talk with my heart, I was almost in tears for an altogether different reason.
HE cares enough about me - about my holiness and my relationship with Himself - to do the hard thing. To say NO to me. To risk me being upset with Him. That is, God loves me too much to give me everything I want. Because HE knows what's best.

And I'm learning to trust HIS best.

Are you?
The thing which really got to me while reading that post is this: I don't even remember what the event was, about which I was writing. And believe me - I've thought and pondered and searched the recesses of my mind, but I cannot fathom what it was that tempted me to be so disappointed.
But I haven't forgotten the lesson God taught me in the midst of it.
Even though it was nearly five years ago.
And that difference right there - between what I don't remember, and what I haven't forgotten - has convinced me to trust even more in God's propensity to do the best thing.
*peaceful sigh*


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We Had a House Guest

Sunday morning as he was getting ready to go to church, Josh found a kitten.
Apparently it was sitting on the tire of his truck, or something. And when he went to look closer, the little kitty scampered under the hood and found a hiding spot on the engine.
But Josh is a smart cookie, and he popped the hood to get the kitty.
However, the kitty was faster than Josh was smart, and by the time Josh got into a position where he could grab the kitty - it had run under Brian's car and found a place under the hood there.
Somehow, Josh managed to get a hold of the frightened kitty (along with several bites and scratches) and put it safely in our house before coming to church. Unfortunately, I don't think he heard a single word of the sermon, as Josh's first words when we were leaving church were...I don't remember. But they were about the cat - not the sermon. *wink*

Anyway, when we got home I posted about the kitty on our neighborhood website, and Josh had already plastered her cute little picture on his Instagram.
Especially because the two of us are allergic to cats, I was eager to find this kitten's family. However, as time passed and no one responded - coupled with some of the kitten's behaviors - we began to think this little girl was orphaned, not lost.
So we established a 24-hour deadline for someone to respond, and agreed to give the kitten to a good home if nobody claimed her.
And I had the pleasure over that 24 hours of watching my man-child tenderly care for that little critter. She started out seeming very afraid of people - hence the bites and scratches Josh acquired in trying to catch her. But as the day went on and Josh tended to her, that little kitten became quite friendly with him. He carried her almost everywhere with him, rubbed her back and belly, saw to it that she ate and drank, and made her comfortable when she was sleeping. Never mind that his allergies were kicking in. He took an antihistamine and kept right on loving that fur ball.
Monday he was laying on the bed in the guestroom, doing stuff on the computer with the kitten curled up by his stomach - and he called me into the room so I could hear her purring. I could tell Josh was pleased that the kitten seemed to now feel so comfortable and happy with him.
Almost made me want to keep her.


Even so, Josh had located someone to give her a forever home (a friend of a friend...) and Monday after dinner our house guest took her leave.
But not before I got a picture. *grin*
Aren't they sweet???


Monday, September 11, 2017

Ask - and Wait in Expectation

Click here for more information about Ladies' Day at Rockford Reformed Church in Rockford, MI.


Friday, September 08, 2017

Lovelier Moments

My dear friend, Lovely, had her 91st birthday on Tuesday.
And on Wednesday, she took her final breath on this earth.
For the past several days, she had been mostly sleeping. Eyes only opening briefly and intermittently.
But one of her children told me at the end they were praying over her and in that moment she opened her eyes - as if seeing Jesus and her loved ones welcoming her home.
I have heard stories of other people opening their eyes at the last moment, and it delights my heart to think of them seeing Jesus.

So, for now my Lovely moments have come to an end. Though I trust God will lead me to another precious soul with whom I will be able to spend lovely moments.
And, more than that, my heart rejoices to think of Lovely having lovelier moments with her Savior. Indeed, the loveliest of moments!


Thursday, September 07, 2017

And In Other News

A rubber band pistol was confiscated in Algebra class yesterday.

The student was sent to the principal's office, charged with possessing a weapon of math disruption.

May your day be filled with laughter, good puns, and the joy of the LORD!


Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Krav Maga, Anyone?

Have you heard of Krav Maga?

It's a pretty intense military self-defense training and fighting system.
I first heard of it a couple weeks ago, and last night? I found myself at a Krav Maga class.
Yes. You read that statement correctly.
I - who am made happy by pink, purple, and sparkles, I - who love to pray and study my Bible, I - who do my best to keep my nails nicely filed and in shape, I participated in a Krav Maga class.
Learned elbows 1,2,3,4,5,and 6; ear smash, head-butt, eye gouge, elbow; and how to break a choke hold. And, honestly? I'm glad I went.
Not necessarily because I am interested in learning fighting techniques.
Rather, because all my guys were there, too.

That is, once upon some time ago, Brian and Matthew learned about Krav Maga and got interested in it. Josh must have heard them talking about it and got interested, too. Then Brian started looking for a Krav Maga training facility near us and found one. He told the boys, and they all decided they'd like to try it out. And Brian invited me. (He thinks it would be good for me to know self-defense.)
And I'm all, No, thanks. Not interested. Wait!!! This is something we could all do together???
So, although I could hardly be less interested in it than I currently am, I went along to check it out. Because if we can find an activity in which both of our boys willingly, even enthusiastically, participate?
I don't care if I don't care. I'm there!

So it is. We haven't made a final decision about signing up for classes. But if the guys want to do it, I'm in. Because connecting with them is worth the effort it will take to get over my lack of interest.
Besides, who knows? Maybe some day a foolish thug will think he can mess with me because I'm little. Ooooooo, he'll be in for a BIG surprise!