Friday, September 30, 2011


Check me out--my third post this week!  I'm trying hard to get back into the blog-groove.  I do love it...

It's Friday!  Time for a cell-phone pics only glimpse of the Good life.  It's been a few weeks since I shared some instagram pictures, so these insta-glimpses are highlights from a few weeks of cell-phone photography.  Enjoy!

Labor Day Weekend Balloon Classic-a favorite family tradition.
Bubba's spoon-hanging skills.
I didn't take this one--Dave forwarded this one to be from a high-school football game they attended.  I like it.  :0)
My bird feeder usually attracts little finches and the like--this day I spotted a large magpie sitting on the bird feeder hook.
Bubba stacking cups in Sunday School.  We plan "Anticipate" activities for the kids to do when they arrive--this was a teaser for a lesson on the Tower of Babel.
This lovely colorful shot is of our powder bath door last week--the room was sealed off due to black mold remediation.  Oh yeah--facing a bathroom remodel....but not by choice.

Added the My Sketch app to my phone this week and "sketched " this photo of my kids from the summer.  Fun!

On a totally more serious note--today is 12 years since our son Aidan died.  For the first time I didn't notice the day sneaking up on me...and was hours into the day before I realized it was September 30.  I felt guilty about that, then decided it was just another sign of healing.  We love you sweet Aidan...

Linking up today with jeannett at Life Rearranged for Insta-Friday and with the Company Girls at Home Sanctuary.
life rearranged

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Writing Conversations with God

I love Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

The story behind Jesus Calling is that Sarah, a missionary, began filling her journals with what she felt God was saying to her.  Many years later, excerpts from those words from God where compiled into this and other devotionals, and read as though God is speaking directly to the reader.  I'm convinced that sometimes He is.

More than a year ago, our pastor taught on Sabbath.  About taking time to stop normal, and rest, play, and be with God.  Not just to talk to Him, or even study His Word, but to be with Him.  And that involves hearing from Him.  Listening.  Letting Him speak into our lives, into whatever is on our hearts.

Intrigued by Sarah's words from God, and challenged by Pastor Don's teaching, I decided to try something new during my time with God sometimes.  I decided to try to journal not only my words to God, but His words to me.

I know it might sound a little iffy--a little risky--to attempt to write down what God would say.  I mean...cmon...who am I to think I know His words?  Yet, He speaks.  And I've found this practice very meaningful.  It seems that God meets me there.  In the writing down, there seems to be greater clarity.  I write quickly and try not to analzye too much as I'm writing, or else my dumb brain just gets in the way.  I go back and reread the conversation...and the insights have been, at times, incredible.  (Of course, anything that would be counter to scriptural truth would be dismissed quickly--but that hasn't happened so far.)

At the risk of you thinking I'm a total-fruitcake, I thought about sharing one of the conversations with you all here...but they are all so personal, I'm not sure they would mean much to anyone but me.  In fact, I've just glanced back at my journal from the last year looking for something I could share that doesn't include all kinds of details that would need explanation, or shouldn't be shared here.  I did find one of my very first written conversations from a year ago, written during one of my sitting-in-the-car-at-soccer-practice quiet times. It kind of made me chuckle at the "clunkiness" of it.  Here is the beginning:

So I'm sitting here
in my car
unsure if You have something to say
time with You goes quickly, so I want to treasure it,
but I grow impatient--waiting for You to speak.
                            Then stop talking.
I did.  I waited!
                            Only for a few seconds.
It's weird to me to sit and do nothing.
                             I know.  But I need you to slow down so your brain can be at a
                             wavelength to hear Me.
OK. I'll wait here with unfocused thoughts.  And shut up.  And even if all you have to say is "glad you are here" that is fine.

As I continue reading in my journal I see that I did sit and wait that day.  And rather than continue the conversation, God gave me a picture.  I saw myself sitting at His feet with my head in His lap.  (God's lap!  wow.)  And God was stroking my hair.  (How intimate!).  I don't usually like people stroking my hair, cause their fingers get caught in my curls and kind of pull on it.  Yet, God was stroking my hair and I liked it.  I imagined Him having the same difficulty with my curls and I felt bad about it.  He said to me at that moment, "I gave you these curls".  And I imagined My Lord smiling.

OK, so that was not the life instruction I thought I'd hear that day.  Instead God just wanted me to know how much He treasures time with me.  How much He loves me.  Just the way I am.

Wow, right?

Perhaps that wasn't the best example of the sometimes-long conversations God and I have in my journal, cause it turned into a mental picture with a simple message.  Regardless, you get a glimpse in the beginning of how I write the conversation down as it's happening.  And it is not unusual for God to speak words of love and reassurance to my heart.  I figure He'd use those opportunities to tell me how I need to change and which way to go (He does that too) but more often than not He seems to want to reassure me of His love.

Give it a try!  Talking to God in written form slows the whole thing down--cause writing is a bit more laborious than just thinking, but I don't think the slow is bad.  And, I like being able to go back and read our conversations later.

How thankful I am that we have a God that wants to be with us and wants to speak with us.  It doesn't really matter if we write it or draw it, or even sing it.  What matters is that we go to Him.  And we listen.

I hope you carve some time to listen today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

she must be dancing...

I didn't know Sara personally.  I mean, sure, we communicated back and forth a wee bit through blogs and comments and email--but she was sweet that way--always taking the time to keep the conversation her blog posts prompted going.

Nope, I didn't really know her.  But she taught me in the way a friend does.  She taught me by her gentle words, by her example, and by her perspective.  I couldn't begin to understand her life.  You see, Sara was severely debilitated by chronic illness--in constant pain, had limited movement, and was isolated due to the fact that she could rarely have visitors and could not leave her home--or go outside or even open a window.  However, she created community on the internet, and she chose joy.

I first met Sara (known as Gitz) when she guest posted here (totally worth the read).  I knew I loved her right away and spent hours reading her story on her blog.  She mostly posted about other things...and I learned quickly her illness did not define her.  I also learned how no matter what your circumstances are, you can choose how you you see things.  She influenced countless people--even though she met few of them--and I'm glad I am one of them.

On Saturday, Sara's illness ushered her into Jesus' arms.  I knew the end was near, but reading the words made it so final.  At first, I was tempted to be sad.  But then I tried to picture (even though I can't) what Sara is experiencing right now.  And all I could think of is that she must be dancing. And singing.  And she no longer had to "choose joy" (her earthly motto).   Instead she must be consumed with choosing needed.

Nope, I didn't know her, but she has left her joyful mark on my soul.  Dance on, sweet one, to the tune of your Savior's words, "well done, good and faithful servant".

Click here if you would like to read more tributes to Gitz.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ten years.

(I first wrote this in 2009, but wanted to share it again.  I can't believe it's been 10 years since that day.)

Last night, Bubba innocently asked me,
"Mom, what is the big deal about 9/11 anyway?"

How do you answer that? He was an infant at the time and has grown up in the post 9/11 world. So as I tried to explain it to him...I remembered once again:

waking up that morning thinking it was a regular day

seeing the second plane hit as we watched the TV and realizing this was not an accident

the jaw-dropping shock that we were "under attack"

the feeling of confusion as events unfurled

yelling OHNO! as my car radio announced the first tower fell as we drove to school

dropping off my daughter at kindergarten and wondering if I was nuts to leave her somewhere other than home that day.

meeting a mom in the kindergarten line who hadn't heard what was happening and telling her

meeting another mom who was trying to keep it together in front of her kids because her husband was at the pentagon and she hadn't heard from him yet

seeing people at school in tears

the overwhelming feeling of vulnerability

the need to call everyone I loved

the amazing footage and images

being glued to the TV for days and days

the connection I felt to my New York heritage

the heartbreak of seeing all the flyers posted of people looking for loved ones

my daughter asking that afternoon if we could please watch something else...

the patriotism I saw demonstrated all around me

the patriotism I felt (maybe for the first time)

the flags...everywhere

being moved by the inspiring story of those who crashed their own plane in PA to save others

feeling so angry that there were those who thought of this plan and were able to carry it out

the lingering feeling that we are not as safe in America as we thought we were...

feeling SO grateful for the service of firefighters, police officers, good samaritans and our military

wishing I could do more...

I am remembering all of that and then some today. I try to explain it to my kids. They can understand the facts--but the feelings of it all are hard to pass on. I'm realizing now why former generations can be frustrated why we don't "understand" the Great Depression, the country-wide war effort during WWII, the emotions of the Vietnam War crisis...we get the facts, but it's hard to feel it. We are the on the other side of it all.

My kids live on the other side of 9/11.

Friday, September 2, 2011


It's Friday!  It's a long weekend!  That calls for posting something silly and fun, so I'm joining up with jeannett and friends at Life Rearranged--sharing only photos from our cell phones!  Hope you enjoy an insta-gram glimpse at the Goodlife.

Bubba has added a new instrument to his repertoire--the trumpet!  He couldn't wait to bring it home and blow into it (can't call it playing yet!)for us.  Beginning band--oh, the joyful noise of it all.

We've been covering Pickle's textbooks the old fashioned way--paper bags. We had to shop at whole foods just to get some though. 
Took this on a morning walk.  There was not a cloud in the sky above Pike's Peak.  I pretty much love where I live.

Every day I drive past one of the many fields of these yellow wildflowers that are in bloom this time of year.  They make me happy.  They make my hubby sneeze.  Those two are not related. 
This foot belongs to my adorable niece who was sporting these new shoes when we hung out last Friday.

The owner of that cute foot.  Here she is making a silly face while eating falafel for the first time.  She loved it!

After our lunch at Garbanzo's we did some quick shopping at Target.  My 5 year old nephew was pushing his baby sister around.  I loved this view.  :0)
Not to be left out, Pickle always makes sure I have a new self-portrait on my camera and phone.  She took this last night.  (smile)

life rearranged
Happy Labor Day Weekend, bloggies!  Take some pics of the fun on your phone!

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