Saturday, April 30, 2011

Life in a Box

It's been a long time since I could fit all my possessions in one box...even a fairly large box!  But this week, my daughter and new son-in-law worked feverishly to get to that point.

Last Saturday, a lovely orange box was deposited in our driveway in preparation for "the big move."  Joel and Elizabeth are starting out their married life in Southern California which meant that there was a whole lot of packing, sorting and throwing out stuff to do in order to fit all of their possessions in this box.  Actually, Elizabeth had to do the sorting and throwing out since as Joel puts it, he "likes to travel light."

But they did it!

After a few busy and stressful days, the stuff of a lifetime was sorted into "toss" and "take" piles as they prepared for this momentous journey.  At one point, I did hear Joel say...I think maybe to himself..."I have to get used to the fact that there is no more traveling light."  What a smart young man my daughter married!

By Wednesday around noon, their lives fit into that big orange box...okay, and two cars.  And this morning, they walked into their first home together, a little one bedroom apartment in California. How exciting! Now it's time to start living outside the box!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thirty Years Together


Thirty years ago today you slipped a simple gold ring on my finger and it has never left my hand since that day.  With the following words, I also gave you a simple gold ring:

"Bud, I love you and want to be your wife.  I look forward to the years ahead and will try to make your life happier and more complete by sharing with you both the good and the bad.  I will seek to build our marriage upon Christ's example of marriage to the church by honoring and respecting you.  And with our Lord's help, I will try to always bring honesty, sensitivity and a sense of humor to our relationship.  As a pledge that I will faithfully keep these vows, I give you this ring."

Thirty years.  Two rings.  A love that has grown deeper with each passing year. When I look back over our life together, I realize how abundantly blessed we have been.  And while I cherish what has been, I look forward to what lies ahead...with you.

I love you,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Morning; A New Story!

Luke 24: 1-6

"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them,"Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!"

A new story began that day.  Christ conquered death and made a way for sinful people to be reconciled with a holy God.  A new story of new life that continues today!  Alleluia!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Luke 23:44-46 says:

"It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the nineth hour, for the sun stopped shining.  And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Jesus called out with a loud voice, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.'  When he had said this, he breathed his last."

But the story continues...stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It's amazing how great friends and family, and a few hours of hard work can transform a reception hall and church! 

The blank slate

The bride looking a little excited!

What great friends to brave the heights!

Making puff balls for the ceiling

Starting to take shape

Waiting for some food and guests.

J and E for the bride and groom :)

Wish the stained glass windows showed up better!

The altar...where the important business took place

 The wedding toast!
 Thanks to everyone who gave so much to make this day special.  You blessed us beyond measure!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In The Blink of an Eye

Dear Elizabeth,

You did it! Yesterday your dream came true as you married your best friend and love.  And I've never seen you so radiant, you simply glowed! The love and joy on your face, as you looked at Joel, was heart stopping.

Watching you standing there, the most gorgeous bride, my heart nearly burst with love for the beautiful woman you have become.  But your beauty doesn't simply come from a stunning gown or stylish hair, it comes from the very heart of who you are.

I am so grateful to have had the joy of watching my delightful little girl grow into this precious woman whose heart is, and always has been for others.  You have never been just about yourself.

One day when you were about four or five, you were watching a bird out of our dining room window.  After quite a while, you came to me in the kitchen and asked in the most serious voice, "Mommy, do birds wonder?" In amazement, I realized what a sensitive soul you had.

That same sensitivity has guided you through all the relationships of your life.  I know that I could ask any one of the scores of friends that you have had over the years, and they would all say that they have benefited from your giving, caring heart. You have always offered love to others without counting the cost to yourself.

But sometimes that love has cost you deeply and has changed you forever.  When God called you to go to Ukraine to serve the children in one of the orphanages there, you had no idea just how much it would cost you.  But you returned with a broken heart over the hopelessness and despair for the future of those children.

Today, your heart remains broken.  However, you have allowed that pain to change the direction of your life and are now committed to making a difference as God leads you in the future.

Elizabeth, while your heart is beautiful, your humor is over the top!  No one can spend much time with you without being sucked into your totally wacky, off the wall, unpredictable sense of humor.  After all, your cousins used to take you along on their vacations as their entertainment!

Your sweet appearance is deceptive, so no one expects the zaniness that you can't keep inside for very long. Thank you for so much joy and laughter over the years!

Yesterday, all of these things and so much more, flooded my thoughts as I looked at you on your wedding day. It seems like all those years went by in the blink of an eye, bringing you to this special, sacred day. A sentimental part of me wishes that I could go back to the time when I was the center of your universe and had all the answers to your questions. 

But the future is so exciting! These lyrics from the song "Follow Love" describe you and the path ahead so perfectly: 

"I've got a heart that's full of dreams
and a little bit of crazy.
I can feel it pulling me to somewhere I have never been.
I'm packing up and leaving home,
To travel into the great unknown.
It's time, I have to go.

So, here's goodbye here's so long,
I must go and follow love.
I feel my heart moving on,
I must go and follow love.
Carry on while I'm gone.
This is what I've been dreaming of.
I miss you so.
But I must go, go and follow love."

So go, dear girl.  Follow those dreams with your wonderful new husband.  But never forget that I'm here cheering you on and always will be.

All my love,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Life Moves On

The past couple of months have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride for me.  I look at my life and realize how crazy it's been.  But, for the most part, it's been crazy in the sweetest possible way.

It was just two months ago yesterday that I became a grandma.  That special title has yet to fully sink in.  However, I am nearly giddy every time I get to hold my sweet little girl.  Ella.  My granddaughter.  Ella. My baby's baby (warning: this is where the emotions kick in!).  My heart melts every time I hear my son, David, talk about "his daughter."  And I blink back tears when I see the darling look of concentration on her face when he starts talking to her and she immediately focuses her attention on her daddy.  Her daddy; my son. Life moves on.

Today, my daughter and I picked up her wedding dress and veil and I watched as the hairdresser did a "dry run" hairdo. When she pinned the veil into Elizabeth's gorgeous, thick hair I realized again that this is really happening.  My baby is getting married in four days.  In four days, my daughter will be Joel's wife. Once again life moves on.

When I think about how quickly my children became adults, I'm grateful for those fleeting years that I had with them... for the joys, the struggles, the lessons that were taught and learned.  And I'd like to say, that if you are in the early stages of this wonderful journey, drink deeply of this moment and savor it... for life moves on.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What's In a Name?

What's in a name?  Well, for me, it's a lot more than just a collection of letters. I discovered this nearly 30 years ago when my husband and I got married.  I was surprised to realize how difficult it was for me to give up my maiden name and take on a new last name.  It wasn't that I didn't want to share my husband's last name. But that name simply wasn't me!

I had spent the first 28 years of my life as part of a family with a strong, proud history and my last name was my badge of belonging.  In giving up the name, I felt like I was losing my identity.  I have never been into the whole hyphenated name thing, so that wasn't an option and it just seemed too complicated to have different last names in one family.  So I changed my name and over time, my identity has encompassed both names and families which leads me to the purpose of this post.

Next week, my daughter gets married and is changing her name.  No big deal, right?  Except for me, it kind of is.  Maybe it's part of that whole identity thing again just mutating into a different form.  She's part of "us" and if you change her name, then she isn't anymore.  Well, I know that's ridiculous!  But I am struggling with this.

And to make it harder, she doesn't have the slightest problem with changing her name.  What?  How can she be my daughter?  She's suppose to feel all sentimental about her family history, and losing her identity blah, blah, blah. Nope, apparently not even a lick of regret.  Just excitement.  I mean, that sounds so well adjusted and everything. 

So, next Saturday when my son, who is doing the marrying, presents "Mr. and Mrs. ______" to the congregation, I'll probably be the only one muttering her "real" last name under my breath. :-)

Thursday, April 7, 2011


On Sunday, November 30, 2008, my daughter coaxed me into writing a blog!  That was my first post and this is my 200th post!

Pretty exciting?  Probably not for anyone but me.  But I have come to thoroughly enjoy the creative process of putting my thoughts, feelings and experiences out there into the great unknown, wondering if anyone is reading them, and trying to pretend that it doesn't REALLY matter if they are or not.  That it's the creative process that counts!

Well, that's a lie.  It does matter to me.  While I do enjoy the writing, I also enjoy the feedback from friends and strangers alike.  It feels wonderful to feel connected to the world... on my own terms... through the written word. 

It matters to me that I might offer a word of help or encouragement, or a moment of laughter to another person.  It matters to me that, in return, I get to call complete strangers "friend" as I get to know them through their writing.

It's a wonderful thing, this world of blogging.  It keeps my heart and mind seeking and searching for the next idea that I want to share.  Which leaves me wondering, what will post number 201 be about?  Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In Training!

Exactly two weeks from right now, my daughter will be a married woman.  And I will be walking around in three and a half inch heels that I bought with such confidence last summer and now look at with trepidation.  At least I hope I will be walking in them.

Here's the problem.  I was so taken with these expensive, high heels which match my wedding outfit perfectly, that I went back to the store three times before I could justify to myself that I really did need to buy them. Finally, after spending a bundle on gas driving back and forth to the mall, I spent another bundle on the shoes which have sat in their box for months now, just waiting for the big day.  They really are cute (you can take a peek here). But they're also really least for a flats-lover like me.

Nothing shouts "stylish" like
a pair of high-water sweats
 and heels!
 So with only two weeks to go till the wedding, I can no longer put off the inevitable.  It is time to go into training (queue the Rocky theme here)!  That's why I am sitting at my computer wearing my sweat pants and heels.  And so far, they feel great!  But I'm just a tiny bit apprehensive about how they'll feel when I actually stand up and start walking...assuming I can stand in them and walk.

I would just like to be able to walk up, and back down the aisle of the church with some class.  If I can keep my ankles from wobbling and the shoes on my feet for that short time, I'll be happy.  After that, it's all good because I've got Plan B which comes in the form of a pair of nice comfy flats I plan on slipping into on the way to the reception.

But who knows, maybe after two weeks of high heel training, I may discover that heels are the new me.  I may even get so good at walking in them that I can wear them if  I have to go job hunting in the near future.  But don't worry, I promise that the sweat pants won't be part of that ensemble!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Good Reminder...

I love this song.  It helps put those irritating joy-stealers of everyday life into perspective!