Friday, August 31, 2007


Even after all of this time, I find it totally and completely amazing when God makes something happen that I dare not even expect or see as a remote possibility. It is humbling and brings hope when I fear of being at the point of hoping never more.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Soaking Wet and Not Moving...

I am sitting here today looking at my blog picture of the young girl inspiring the world to look up and be refreshed in the rains of life...........
Normally I feel a focusing and surge when I set my eyes on that picture....but not today.

Today is a hard day.

No, nothing super horrid has happened. No one has died. Our home is still standing. Nothing that would make the world gasp and cringe in compassionate despair has fallen into my world.

It is just all of those things...those bits of straw....that pile up until one can't see over the haystack any longer. The metaphorical "breaking of the camel's back".


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It Is Finished...

I stayed up until midnight last night so I could finish reading Uncle Tom's Cabin.....

The deep portrayal of human characteristics and tendencies, the unbending faith and testimony, the mirrors of truth in human emotion that bridge the gap between time and race...........

It was an amazing read. I am so touched I don't even know what to say.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yes We Really Did Volunteer....

Friday morning found the girls and I wearing our "race official" bright yellow t-shirts and getting syched out for a new adventure. Somehow, we had gotten ourselves sucked into volunteering for the 2007 Hood-2-Coast race. How did we get involved at all? Well, my husband, oldest daughter, son, and brother-in-law were all on a team together.

I must say it was an interesting experience. We worked section 2 just east of Rhodedendron where runner 2 hands off to runner 3. We worked the first 5 hours of the race so we were able to experience the very beginnings of the thrill and excitement. As we directed traffic and parking on highway 26 and tried to keep runners safe, we came across so many different kinds of people. There were the amatures who were pumped on the idea that they were actually doing it and there were the pros who expected everyone to get out of their royal way. There were people from other countries who didn't understand when I said, "get out off the highway and back on the shoulder before you become road kill". A few teams were upset that we would have the audacity to tell them where to park, but most people were grateful for our help....telling us thank you for putting up with all of the crazy people and even giving us little gifts.

I think the part that I had the hardest time with though were the people in charge of our section. One bragged to us about all of the cool stuff he was given as a high ranking responsible volunteer. We heard about everything from the clothing to the rental car, the food perks and the room at the beach, the parties and the elbow rubbing. Even with all of that "look at me" praise going on, he became suddenly scarce when it was time to give out our job descriptions and actually be in charge of things. There was a lot of back stabbing and slander going on with the "big guys" and obvious times of "passing the buck".

From it all I learned.....
- people are people but I am always responsible for my own actions
- I can yell at anybody and say anything as long as I wear an offical shirt and do it with a smile
- guys don't like for a girl to direct their vehicle anywhere
- cutie pie teeny-bopper girls can't direct traffic .... AT ALL

Friday, August 24, 2007

What You Can Find At Walmart....

One green army soldier standing at attention on a garbage can by the store entrance.
If he belongs to you, contact the Walmart just down the street.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Drum Roll Please...

You haven't met her yet, but I am sure that it won't take long for your heart to fall in love with my amazing friend. I can tell you from experience, she is all her profile states and more. Now, amongst all of the other great things that she puts her mind to doing, she is taking a spin on the tracks of world wide blogging. Put your hands together real big and loud and give it up for Trek4Fun!

Its A Bird, Its A Plane....

I was sitting at the light by my house this afternoon waiting for my turn to go. To the right of me, I noticed a man walking along the side of the street in my direction. At roughly 6' tall, he was easy to notice amidst the afternoon traffic. Munching on some sort of oreo style cookie as he marched along, he had a happy and carefree purpose in his stride. It didn't seem to bother him to be careful that cookie bits did not get locked into his full growth of long facial hair. Ah to be so happy and content.

The thing that really made me take notice of him however was this bright and colorful shirt. Since the clothing we choose to wear is a shining neon sign statement of our personality, I had to wonder to myself......
Is his statement one of comedy or of belief.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Your 16th Birthday....

To my daughter......

August 14, 1991, found me so excited…and yet so scared. I had been anxiously awaiting your arrival. The baby room was decorated, the furniture was all in place, tiny baby clothes were washed and placed on itty-bitty hangars and drawer liners. There was nothing left to do and yet, when the doctor said that this was going to be the day and time….I froze and felt panic rise in my stomach. Why? I could look back at virtually any point in my life and see children around me. Whether babysitting or teaching, they were always there. And I always knew I wanted children of my own. Now that time had come….
Me at 20 years old, I was about to be a mommy! But how would I know what to do? Being a parent is a huge responsibility. There are so many unknowns to figure out as one bumps along. What if I make wrong decisions? How will I know if Baby is hungry, sleepy, or just wants to be fed? Do I lay Baby down on tummy, side, or back? How long do I let Baby sleep? How long do I let Baby cry? What is the better way to discipline? The “how’s” and “what if’s” swirled around in my head…..until I looked into your eyes. Then it just didn’t matter anymore as my heart jumped into the loving depths of parenthood.

It seems like only yesterday when you were born…and yet so much time has past.

As your father and I look back, we can see that little toddler girl in coveralls exploring the yard with eagerness for adventure. We see a 4 year old thrilled at the prospect and responsibility of being a big sister. We see a 7 year old stretching her horizons with ballet, gymnastics, tai kwon do, and horse riding. We see a 12 year old dedicating her heart to the softness that one can only find with having a personal relationship with God.

Now at 16, you are growing into such an amazing young lady…full of strength, heart, compassion, and wisdom. Your truth and honesty lets everyone around you know that you are to be trusted. Your wit and charm brings a smile to the lowliest of times. How blessed we are to be woven so intricately into the fabric of your life.

Today, your father and I give you this ring as a renewing symbol of the promises we made 16 years ago.

The gold represents us as your parents. Gold is refined in fire over and over again to bring out the impurities that mingle with it. The fire brings it to a state of bendable softness that shines true and remains strong. The same is true in being parents. No matter what bumps come along, we are always here for you…dependable….your cheerleaders in life, being proud of you and supporting your decisions.

The silver is a representation of you. Silver by nature comes from gold ore. As gold ore is processed, the silver separates and comes forth from it to take on its own traits and brilliant characteristics. It too is refined and purified in fire to bring out its strengths and resilience, to shine and hold value all on its own.

The diamonds stand for your future and the promises that you have made to live your life in a godly way. Diamonds are nature’s truest and hardest substance. Nothing on earth is strong enough to damage a diamond except another diamond. This same concept stands true for you. The beliefs and promises that you are building under your feet will hold you strong and sure. The only way to sabotage your footing is to lose faith in these beliefs and promises.

Just as we have been woven together in life and cherished relationship, these three precious and valuable earthen materials have been wound together as a gift for you.

Even now, after all that I have written, it doesn’t seem adequate in words to explain just how much we feel and how very proud we are of you. Simply, all that we can say is “we love you”.

Happy birthday.
Love, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Thicker Than Water"...

I have been wrestling with this for a few days now........whether to write about it or not.
It isn't completely my story to tell.
She wants me to teach her how to do the blogging thing, so I should leave this incident alone and let her have a full crack at it. Yet, it was dramatic for me as well.
I can't stop thinking about it all. So, I don't think she will mind.
As I was packing up the classes on Sunday, my cell phone rang. I recognized the ringtone as being "Wow". "Cool" I thought. "But I'll call her back in a minute since my hands are full." Then my phone beeped signaling that I had a voice mail and a smile crept across my face. She was probably calling to say let's ditch the whole guy thing and hang out for the afternoon.

It wasn't her though. It was her cycle riding partner.
I heard these words.....collision.....helmet split in half.....ambulance.....Emmanuel Hospital.....

As my heart went into my throat, I raced outside to get better reception and call him back. I was in control. Panicing doesn't serve a purpose . I just needed more information than that.
He said, a car did not hit her. She was fine and talkative, laughing with the EMTs.....just like her to hamm it up and aleviate the tension. They were riding along the river and enjoying the day, going about 18 mph when she simply lost a good hand hold and flipped.

I spent the next couple of hours going to get her daughter and depositing all of our girls (4 of them that day) with my husband. "Merry" is like my own daughter, but once I knew she was being brave and strong.....all I wanted to do was get to the hopsital.

5 staples and 3 stiches to the back of her head, and I was allowed to take her home. As I was driving, she shared with me how amazing God is. She had been riding for close to 6 months with her helmet chin strap so loose that the gear really served no purpose. That very morning though, she had a few precious extra minutes before straddling her bike, so she decided to tighten everything down.
How amazing is that? That simple act meant the difference between her current state and probably weeks in ICU. That was no mere coincidence or lucky fluke. That was directly from an amazing and omniscient God

As I walked through that day thinking about it all and in the days following, I have been struck fresh with how important she is in my life. I have thought about how quickly everything can change....and it always does when you aren't looking for it. I have thought about the old saying "Blood is thicker that water". I don't know where it came from, but she and I have proved time and again that is not the case with us.
Heart is thicker than anything.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I have started and re-started this posting 5 times and keep scratching it out. Everything I am typing on this subject seems arrogant. So here I am to just say this....

I may be totally biased but I just have to say......

My girls and their friends are SO wonderful!
My house has been full these past 24 hours with 6 giggling teens ranging from ages 14-16 years. They are all beautiful and good natured, creative and ingenious, AND they spend their time NOT absorbed in issues of make-up, fashion, malls, and boys!
After they ate banana pancakes and scrabbled eggs this morning, they donned war paint and loaded their ammo pouches for a day of imaginary recon missions on the butte.

Here is the clincher.......
their guns are pvc pipe and their marshmallows.
It just doesn't get any more fun that this.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Revelation: I'm My Own Lab Rat....

There are many different angles to look at, so I went to bed last night with the wheels in my head still spinning from the accounts of the evening. I kept seeing the faces of the people that had a hard time accepting a simple act of kindness. As I absorbed it all, my friend tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Are you so different from them?"

Boy did that hit me square in the face. Throughout that evening, it was almost like we were doing a behavioral study on human emotions. It was so easy to comment to others in my group that it was shocking to see people feel so awkward to receive something without earning it. Yet, God reminded me of occasions when I have been that very person.
-How many times friends have wanted to help ease my load and I have insisted that I am strong enough to do it myself.
-A local orthodontist and oral surgeon both forfeited roughly $6,000 and donated 100% of their services and care to our foster son when he needed braces and we had no means of providing that care.
-I can think back to times when we couldn't even squeak out a week-to-week living and my parents would bring over bags of food. How grateful and awkward we felt standing there being able to do nothing but the same time fighting back the feeling of being ashamed at not being able to do it ourselves.

What is it that makes us so? People that want to be kind.....WANT to be kind. They aren't being put out by their own desire. They simply want to do it. So why does the receiver feel so bad?
I think it is vulnerability. To receive something....anything......a person must momentarily put down their guard and admit to themselves that they can't do 100% of everything all of the time. It is definately something for me to think more about.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness....

It is an interesting phrase....random acts of kindness.
It is also interesting and thought stirring to see in action. Take a look at what I mean....

Instead of having a regular youth group meeting tonight, we decided to meet at Krispy Kreme and do a car wash for a couple of hours. It really was an easy thing to accomplish....gather up soap, wash mits, and hoses.....make a few signs for the street corners for the cute junior highers to wave around...and shazam!.....instant evening of fun. What was it that brought us a continual flow of customers? Was it the location of being at the popular sweet treats spot, the hot weather bringing sun lovers out in force, or just the metro area cars being dusty from a lack of rain? The means doesn't matter. All I know is we had happy teens circling around every car that pulled into our corner.

Our signs advertised our services for $1. Yes really. Whether the customer had a mini cooper or a monster truck, the cost was simply $1. Maybe that is what brought the people in. Either way, how fun it was for the people to park their car for a washing and go sit inside the air conditioned building for a free "hot and ready" doughnut. Here is where it got interesting though. When it came time for each person to pay their $1,
we would say to them, "It DOES cost a dollar to get your car washed. But tonight we want to bless you and pay that dollar for you."
Then we would hand them a dollar with a small card attached that said "This is our simple way of saying that God loves you."

The different reactions were amazing. It is so out of the ordinary for people to do something nice with no strings attached. People just don't know how to react or how to accept the kindness. Some smiled genuine smiles of thankfulness while some looked for the candid camera that they thought for sure was poised somewhere close by. Some stammered in embarassment at not knowing how such fortune could happen to them while a few others fumed with anger at us for not wanting to accept a donation.

I have said it many times over again...performing random acts of kindness is an addictive shot in the arm. If you are not careful you will find yourself doing it more and more simply because of the rush you get. The person receiving the kindness can't help but be touched...even if they don't show it on the outside....the experience is there in their minds and hearts and it stays in their memory banks for the rest of thier lives. The person performing the kindness gets affected too. See, by nature we are self centered. But take one step out of that zone and it is an adrenalin rush like no other. I believe it is because no one can MAKE you be kind. Yes, you can be made to act a certain way, but to randomly do something for a stranger is a whole different story.

Random acts of kindness comes in all shapes and sizes. A simple smile and eye contact with someone can make the gray cloud over their day disperse. Grab the door at a store and hold it for people to walk thru. Leave extra money at the counter to pay for the mocha that the person behind you is going to buy. And don't do it because he or she is cute or built tight. Do it because you heard them sigh several times and when you turned around their eyes couldn't look your way for all the trials weighing them down.

The motive is simply to strings attached. You will be amazed at what you find.