Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hungering After the Good Stuff

Last week our son called and asked us if we wanted to Skype with them so we could see our five and a half month old granddaughter, Ella, eating rice cereal for only the second time.  It took us all of five seconds to fly up the stairs and turn on the computer so we could sign on to Skype.

When we finally got linked up, Ella was already wearing a layer of rice cereal around her mouth and she was going to town! It was hilarious to watch as her mom filled the spoon with cereal and Ella lunged toward it with her mouth open, eager for the next bite.  Then there was some substantial lip-smacking as the good stuff went down.

With tears of laughter, we watched this scene play out over and over again.  She was filling up on the good stuff!  Then suddenly, Ella took one more bite and did a funny little shivery-gag thing and was done.  She had reached her limit.

The next day, I was thinking about how excited Ella was when she was eating that cereal.  It was good and she ate until she was filled.  And it reminded me how God calls us to feed on His Word.  The Bible is God's food for our souls.  I long to hunger after the "good stuff" that fills and nourishes me spiritually.  And the neat thing is, no matter how much I "eat" I will never be overfilled! There is always room for more of God's Word in my life.
"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." Matt. 5:6

Saturday, July 23, 2011


It was five years ago today that dad went Home.  It was a release from a body and mind that had held him prisoner.  But thankfully, that is not how I remember him. 

In my mind, he will always be the man who cherished and honored his beloved bride of 45 years.  The loving dad who was proud beyond measure of his five daughers.  The grandpa who was crazy about his seven grandchildren.

He was a leader; a man of great integrity, intelligence, wit and humor.  He always stood firm in his beliefs, even if that meant that he stood alone. 

His legacy to me was an example of a life well lived.  Today, as I remember him, I know how blessed I was to have him as, not only that example, but also as my dad.

My handsome dad.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lo-Tech and Lovin' It!

Sometimes we take things for granted.  We just get so used to having them that we don't even realize how important they are. 

A couple of weeks ago, I suddenly recognized one of those oft-taken-for-granted items in my life.  Its size and simplicity made it easy to overlook until I realized that I would be lost without it!  What is it?

The Post-it note!

Before expressing my deep gratitude for these simple little notes, a bit of background from the ever-popular Wikipedia:

"A Post-it note is a piece of stationery with a re-adherable strip of adhesive on the back, designed for temporarily attaching notes to documents and other surfaces. Although now available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, Post-it notes are most commonly a 3-inch (76 mm) square, canary yellow in color."

Truly, I don't know what I would do without these multicolored wonders.  First of all, there are no on/off switches to worry about or batteries to recharge.  I don't have to worry if there is enough memory because, hey, they basically ARE my memory!  I have little reminder notes stuck on my desk, my glasses case, my lunch bag, my car keys...and occasionally on the back of my hand. 

I know that there are scores of fancy techie devices designed to help us get organized.   But for me, a few simple scraps of paper bring order to my life (is that as pathetic as it sounds?).

So here's to that marvelous little invention!  Three cheers for the indispensible Post-It note!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Fine Line

A few weeks ago I took a class at work called "Surviving a Layoff" in preparation for the impending layoffs.  One of the things that stuck with me was a statement by the instructor. She said that should you receive a layoff notice, expect your coworkers to be sympathetic and supportive for about two weeks.  After that, you'll notice that they have moved on with their lives.  It won't be that they don't care, but it's just the way that we survive and keep functioning.

That wasn't a surprising statement to me since I have experienced this with the death of both of my parents.  People are there to offer love, support, condolences for a short time after the loss, but then they have to get on with life even though you remain in this shattered place of deep grief.  They are not being cruel.  It is simply how life works.

Last week, I witnessed this again.  Even though it has only been a few days since the layoffs, I have seen several examples of people who retained their jobs, who are eager to just move on.  It's not that they are cruel...or even unsympathetic...but for them, what lies ahead is what matters, not what has been. 

Personally, I can't let go quite that quickly.  I need to grieve.  I want to be available to grieve with those who have lost so much.  I want them to know that they matter and will not be forgotten the moment they walk out the door. 

It's a fine line that we walk when it comes to letting go and moving ahead. I want to be sensitive and caring about what has been.  I want to acknowledge that while change may be inevitable, it is also painful and requires a time for healing.  I don't think that's not too much to ask.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grateful and Brokenhearted

It's an odd combination of emotions that I'm feeling right now.  This week we had layoffs at my work and 150 people lost their jobs.  My heart and prayers go out to these coworkers and friends whose lives have been drastically changed.

I am very fortunate in that I still have a job.  I am so deeply grateful for God's provision in this.  I've believed all along that He is in contol and that belief would not have changed even if I had lost my job.

But tonight I'm struggling with battling emotions.  Because while I still have a job, it is not the same position that I have held for several years within a wonderful group of coworkers who feel like my family.  So along with the sincere gratitude that I feel, I am brokenhearted.  We have gone through so much together.  As a pastor of mine used to say, "We have tangled our heartstrings." I know that God put these wonderful people in my life and I have been blessed beyond measure through their friendship and support.

But in a few weeks, I'll move to another group of coworkers who are also all starting over.  I know there will be challenges and struggles but also new opportunties.  And I'm grateful for that.  But just for a little while, I can't help but feel brokenhearted.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Reverting Back

It's weird.  Now that I have a granddaughter (check out the previous post), I feel like I'm going backwards in time.  I find myself doing things that I thought I had given up for good. 

Example: Once again, I check for diaper coupons in the ads that come in the mail.  I used to have a regular stash of coupons even though I used cloth diapers on my kids for the most part (and I didn't have a diaper service!)  Now, I try to keep an eye out for them to either pass on to my kids or use to use to buy a box of  gold...I mean diapers...to give to them.  The problem this time around is remembering to get the coupons to them before they expire. Yeah, I'm not so great at that.

This past weekend, I hit the garage sales for the first time in a very long time! GARAGE SALE signs used to act as a magnet for me.  But I figured that this was the way to find cheap children's books and toys.  And SCORE!  I found both!  I also found and bought a second waffle iron which was not on my "to buy" list, but it goes so well with my first waffle iron that I bought at a garage sale nearly 25 years ago.  I figured it was time for a back-up iron.

I also bought a stroller this weekend from my niece, Sarah, for $30.  It's a great stroller.   However, it took a little while for Sarah to take me through the training session on how to use it.  I can now open and close this little buggy with one hand!  And as long as I can remember that anything that is "red" on the stroller means it is meant to DO something, I'll be alright.  But if I'm being honest here, I kind of miss the simplicity of my little umbrella stroller that required no training for me to be able to push my kids in it.

When I go shopping these days, I once again make a quick sweep through the baby section. I haven't bothered with that area of the store for years.  My daughter-in-law has told me that Ella doesn't need any clothes right now.  But somehow that didn't stop me from buying her two pairs of sandals over the weekend.  Well, technically, sandals ARE NOT clothes! 

But what really makes me feel like I've gone back in time is the amount of baby equipment that is spread out around my house...and aside from the aforementioned stroller...I haven't bought any of it!  Thanks to family and friends, I have a Pack-N-Play bed, a baby swing, a high chair and a BIG Exersaucer toy.  And these are all decorating various rooms of my house. 

Of course, there is one thing that reminds me that I'm not really reverting back to days gone by.  And that's the fact that "my baby" goes home at night. And I admit that I don't miss getting up in the middle of the night.  Oh, wait a minute.  I DO get up in the middle of the night. But now it's because I have to go to the bathroom! Hmm, maybe I am reverting back...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

I've had a great week with family coming for  the Fourth of July and my daughter visiting from California.  I could write about it, but this is one of those times where a picture...or pictures are worth a thousand words! And it's funny how having a baby around brings out the cameras!

Monday, July 4, 2011

God Bless America!

This Fourth of July, take a moment to consider the many blessings, we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America. For when we take these blessings for granted, we trivialize the great struggles and sacrifices endured by the generations of Americans who went before us. 

So for a few minutes today, be deliberate in thinking about what we are celebrating.  It's more than just barbecues and fireworks.  It's the celebration of a freedom dream that started over 200 years ago and lives on today.  May we never lose sight of that dream or lose the heart to defend it.

God bless America! 

Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Well, I did it.  I finally hauled out the little bistro table and chairs for our courtyard, all the while saying to myself, "I believe, I believe!"  Yep, I'm choosing to believe that the sun, that is forecast for the next several days, is just the beginning of the summer weather that we are craving.  After all, it's July 1, for crying out loud!

Last weekend, I went so far as to buy a new table cloth for the picnic table.  Now, I just need to get myself over to the nursery and find a few more plants to brighten the place up.  Because, darn it...I'm READY for summer! And if the weather people are right, we are even going to have a sunny Fourth of July!

You can be thankful that you can't hear me right now, because I'm doing a mighty fine rendition of "Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!" I figure it can't hurt...