Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mixing It Up a Bit

I was rushing around, hurrying to get out the door and head to church.  I had set out two pairs of earrings earlier in the morning, undecided as to which pair I would be wearing.

Both pairs were actually made by my Grandma Rose.  She always wore dangling earrings and when I wear them, I like thinking of her.  She was so creative, always making things.  That is why our Etsy store, Wyoming Rose Boutique, was named after her.

Anyway...  just as I was leaving the bathroom I glanced in the mirror as I was tucking my hair behind my ears.  What I saw made me chuckle at myself.  I had picked up one earring from each pair.  Of course, I had to get my camera.  That seems pretty dumb but any blogger who tries to post daily knows that EVERYTHING seems like a potential post.  

A few minutes later, just before I pulled out of the driveway, I realized I still had NOT TAKEN OFF THE MISMATCHED PAIR! I was running late so I just took them out and headed on down the road.

THEN, I thought about a new fad I've seen many times now... mismatched but coordinating socks.  Have you seen that?  You can even buy a pair of mismatched socks!  Now, that is a fashion statement that seems kind of sensible to me.  We all lose socks, right? Well, now you can just pair up the left-over singles.  It is practical AND cool.

Well, I asked myself, "Why not?"  I put on the mismatched earrings and went on in to church.  I have to say, I did feel kind of cool all morning.  As far as I know, only one person even noticed but I'm hoping it will catch on.

Carry Me to the Cross


When the path is daunting 

And every step exhausting 
I'm not alone, I'm not alone, no, no

I feel You draw me closer 
All these burdens on my shoulder 
I'm not alone, I'm not alone 
You pull me from this place 

You carry me every day 
You carry me all the way 
You carry me to the 
You carry me to the cross 

How Your love has moved me
To the foot of all Your glory 
I'm not alone, I'm not alone, I'm not alone 


All of these cities you have built 
And every cathedral you have filled 
To all of creation you gave life with your hands 
And with those hands you comfort me 
You lift me up from my knees 
And carry me 
You carry me 


The cross 
You carry me to the 
You carry me to the cross

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I Am With You Always

I had a problem at work yesterday. You know I like to wear a cross to work every day.  Yesterday, though, it just wasn't hanging right. Every time I looked down, my cross necklace was stuck awkwardly to my name badge.  

This cross is from Africa and I love it.  It was a gift from a friend of mine who travels to many countries and she often brings me crosses from those countries.  Isn't that sweet? This necklace, however, has a lot of metal in it.  My name tag has a magnet.  You see my problem?  I was kind of annoyed by it, actually.

Later, when I went by a mirror, I noticed that necklace clinging to my "Susan, RN" tag yet again.  Suddenly, I realized that maybe this was kind of neat.  It can't be bad to have the cross clinging to your name, can it?  I decided to think of it as Jesus staying close to me, even when I'm not paying attention.  Cool, huh?

...and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Womanhood With Purpose

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Show Must Go On!

There are times when a blogger, such as myself, messes around too long and suddenly discovers they have run out of time to do a proper daily post.  At such times as these said blogger has a few options.
  1. Just skip it and hope no one notices.
  2. Rerun a post from the archives.
  3. Show photos of  cute little granddaughters.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Still Hanging on to That Christmas Glow

Before I go any further, I think I need to have you go read my daughter, Maria's, post from before Christmas.  I just read the rest of it myself today.  When you read it, you'll see that I was COMMANDED to refrain from reading the last half of the blog before Christmas.

Go ahead and hop on over to it... I'll wait.

Yes, that above is my gift from Cordelia.  I LOVE it!  You may think it is a tin but Cordelia correctly identified it as a drum.  I didn't even know if I could drum but it turns out that I am just fine at it... at least with my tin/drum I am good.  I have another idea for it as well.  I think that I will write down cool little things Cordelia says or does and put them in the tin.  I kind of got that idea from her mother.  Read here about one of the best gifts I ever received.

Now, I leave you with the last of the photos from our Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve Photographs

We have a weird family tradition of going out for Chinese food just before our Christmas Eve Service.  That started the first year we came to Wyoming.  Mike was doing two evening services with just a little time in between for a meal.  Since there was a Chinese buffet nearby, that was where we went.  Since our congregation moved to a larger facility we can all fit for just one service.  Still, we choose to go out for Chinese.  It may be weird but it works for us.

A big part of our Christmas celebration is our worship service at our church.  I love it.  We sing... a lot!  I like that.  Our church was full.  It was fun to see people we haven't seen for awhile. I enjoy seeing all the grown children who have come back for the holiday.  Mike's sermon was about children and how they can accept their gift of faith with such simplicity.  Near the end Mike told the story I'd told on my blog here.  He include those photos up on the big screen.  Cordelia likely hadn't seen those photos before and when she saw herself up there her reaction was great concern! I was surprised but she had a worried look on her face and repeatedly said, "Why is that me?" It was sweet.

One of the traditions during our service is the lighting of candles.  Everyone gets a little candle in a holder, the ushers light the candles of those seated by the aisles and soon we've passed the light down the rows and the room looks beautiful!  Then, we sing Silent Night.  It's a tender part of the tradition.

After the service, it is time for some photographs, home to finish Christmas Day preparations then off to bed.  Tomorrow I will tell you more about our Christmas Day.

My friend, Allen, would appreciate your thoughts and prayers today as he is back in the hospital. Please pray for his comfort.  Also, the whole holiday season, joyful for many, can be especially difficult for others. Some are dealing with a loss while others are just far from family and friends and feeling lonely.  I want you to know that I do not take for granted what I have here and now.  I wish you peace.  

Special thanks to Maria, Eric and Jim C. for taking photographs Christmas Eve

I don't often get photographed with my "baby", Sam.
I love him.

It was a happy night.

Elise was ready to be done but Cordelia and I were feeling the joy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Luke 2: 1-20 (New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christ our Savior is Born


Silent night, holy night
All is calm and all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from Heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing halleluia
Christ the savior is born
Christ our savior is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God
Love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus Lord at thy birth
Jesus Lord at thy birth


Christ the Savior is born

Merry Christmas, My Friends.

Week-end Reward

I worked long, long hours last week and had several evening activities.  By the time Saturday came along I was pretty worn out.  I had piles of laundry and a lot of other things I needed to do at home.  I was up early and accomplished some of those tasks but I dropped it because I was invited to join my daughter and granddaughters for a trip to the library for story time.

The little girls are so precious to me.  I realize how very, very blessed I am to have them close by.  To be able to be a part of their daily lives is something many grandparents do not get.  Now that I have these little ones, I realize what we were unable to give our own children and their grandmas... time...lots of time together.  That makes me sad but it also makes me cautiously guard what I've been given.  I never want to put housecleaning or any other tasks before that precious time.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mary's Song


I have traveled many moonless nights,
Cold and weary with a babe inside,
And I wonder what I've done.
Holy father you have come,
And chosen me now to carry your son.

I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now.
Be with me now.

Breath of heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me,
Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven,
Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.
Breath of heaven.

Do you wonder as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place,
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.
Help me be.
Help me.

Breath of heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me,
Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven,
Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.

Breath of heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me,
Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven,
Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.
Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cultural Differences

I meant to sleep in this morning but it was not to be.  By 5:00 it was all over as far as sleeping.  So, I got up and started a load of laundry, prepared a warm cup of coffee and sat down to watch "Mary, Mother of Jesus". It is a film from 1999 and seemed like a great pre-Christmas Day movie to watch.

(Mary and Joseph as portrayed in "Mary, Mother of Jesus")

As I am watching this movie I find myself wondering about Mary and Joseph and their relationship prior to their wedding.  This movie portrays them as very loving and tender toward each other as they plan to get married.  It is also possible that they barely even knew each other.  Either way, God was able to work with that marriage to provide parents to raise Jesus in a loving environment.

I met a lot of people this week. I've always been a person to whom others share personal information.  I'm not quite sure why but it has been true at least since I was about junior high age. This week I met two contrasting families.  In neither case did I ask the parents about the history of their marriage, they just volunteered information. Actually, the wives volunteered information.  In both cases the husbands were pretty quiet. One seemed cold and the other, just shy.

The first wife told me she and her husband had just had their wedding two weeks prior.  She made a little laughing sound and commented that they had three children together but wanted to be certain of their own relationship before marrying.  I was in a situation where I did not feel it was appropriate for me to comment.  She told me they waited so long because they felt it would reduce their risk of divorce. Then, she ASKED me, "Don't you agree?"  I kept my answer brief, something about statistics showing that couples living together before marriage actually have a higher divorce rate.  I was sorry that came out of my mouth. There was no point to it as they can't go back in time and do it differently anyway.  I stumbled along saying things about how the important thing is to work on having a healthy marriage now.

What I would have said to this couple BEFORE they had three children would be something about having a secure relationship prior to adding babies to it. A shaky relationship is a shaky foundation for children. Children are a big commitment and I certainly believe it works better if the parents are first committed to each other.  I doubt they would have listened anyway. We are from different cultures, even though we live in the same community.

The second couple had foreign names and the husband had a strong accent.  Making conversation, I just asked where they were from and I learned more than I'd expected.  The young mother was raised here in Wyoming but her father was from a middle Eastern country.  She simply said, "I had an arranged marriage." That came as quite a surprise! Her husband was pretty quiet but he seemed comfortable with her disclosure. She told me they did not meet until their wedding day!  I was fascinated and wanted to ask a lot of questions about that.  How did that work out? Were they frightened? Were they disappointed? How awkward did it feel? I asked none of those things only because it wasn't my place.

I didn't really spend an extensive amount of time getting to know either of them but my intuitive feeling was that the second couple seemed much more loving toward each other than the first. That may be a result of their individual personalities, their family culture or many other things.  All I know is the first couple seemed tense.  The husband actually seemed a bit angry and his new wife seemed to need a lot of reassurance.  I don't know how it would've been for her but for me I would've felt quite insecure all those years of waiting to be found deserving of a commitment. I know I jumped to the conclusion that it was her husband who dragged his feet to the altar. That is just how it felt to me as I spoke with them.

The second couple seemed to have a sweet relationship.  Do you know what I mean?  I caught them passing little looks and smiles between each other.  I'm telling you, it was hard for me to not badger them with questions.

Cultural differences are intriguing.  Of course some differences are seriously wrong, such as allowing the persecution of women and children.  Other cultural differences, though, might deserve our respect. No, I'm not advocating for arranged marriages but I am an advocate for commitment.

What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mike's Nativity Scene

This nativity scene is from Mike's childhood.  When we were first married his mom gave us a bunch of old Christmas decorations.  They are all precious to Mike.  You know how things that remind you of your childhood are so sweet.

This nativity set originally came with a manger that folded up flat or storage.  It was made from a soft pressed board kind of material, not much stronger than cardboard.  It had straw bits glued to the roof and it was fun to set it up.  Alas, though, it did not outlast our children.   For a few years I taped it to hold it together.  I actually think we still have it; I couldn't bring myself to throw it out, but it was pretty much crushed.

The little figures have been played by Mike and likely his sisters' little fingers when they were children.  They were played with by our children and hopefully our grandchildren will enjoy them for years.

Do you have a nativity set?  Is it vintage or new?  We have quite a few of them but none more precious than this one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Beauty of a Tree

On my way home from work one day this week I found myself really noticing trees. they are all around town. Each is different from the next. What I was really noticing was the intricacy of each tree. That led me to thinking about all the opportunities to observe beauty that are available pretty much anytime. Although I was tired, I decided to stop for a few minutes to enjoy the view.

Here is what I was enjoying. It seemed like an amazing work of art.

I love trees.

Kissing the Baby

Cordelia was looking at this angel decoration at our house. I grabbed my camera, intending to ask her to pose by the angel.  Instead, I just watched and snapped photos.

The first thing she did was to hug the angel.

Soon, she spotted Baby Jesus.              

And she simply leaned down and gave him a kiss.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Let's Make a New Holiday - Santamas!

I have a GREAT idea!  Let's advocate for a new holiday and let's call it Santamas!  We can make it be about a chubby guy in a red suit that has reindeer to help him fly all around the world, delivering presents.  He can only deliver presents to children who earn them through their good behavior.

It will be FUN!  We can say that he slides down our chimneys.  Maybe we can make up that he has elves to help him make toys for children!  He can live far, far away... how about the North Pole?  He can be all about candy canes and we can focus on getting lots and lots of presents from him!

This new holiday can be appropriate for everyone as it will be quite secular.  We'll be able sing about Santa in our schools!  It will be so cool! We can make it clear that it is just for fun; that the story is just a story, loosely based on nice man who lived and died long ago.


Let's celebrate another holiday, called Christmas!  We can focus it on Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God!  We can read about his birth from the Bible, including reading that his birth was prophesied centuries before it occurred.  We can imagine how it was for his mother, Mary, when she found out she was going to be mother to God's Son, and that her son would be The Savior. We can talk about multitudes of angels declaring his birth! It will be so exciting! Imagine the glorious songs we can sing in our churches, homes and even out caroling to shut-ins. Doesn't it just give you goose-bumps?

We can let our children know that it is a real story.

The story will be about giving, rather than getting.

It will be a story of joy and peace and hope.  

It will be just what the world needs.

It will be all about HIM.

It will be holy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

An Oops that Led to a Great Afternoon

Saturday the Worship Team I am on scheduled a special practice.  We are working on music for Christmas and I am really enjoying it all.  The problem is, I'd left early the Sunday before and didn't know they'd scheduled a practice that afternoon.  Naturally, people would expect that the pastor's wife would have a clue about things going on at the church.  Sometimes I do but in this case, not so much.

As far as I knew I had a free afternoon so...

I read in the paper that our local ice skating club was putting on a program.  I don't know any of the kids in the program but it seemed to me that it might be something Cordelia would enjoy. She agreed, although I doubt she even knew what to expect.  I love her enthusiasm!  

Cordelia and I had some great conversations throughout the afternoon.  For example, she likes to bring up that I am her mom's mom.  We talked about her mom living at our house then growing up and marrying her daddy. At that point she told me that her mom had told her she couldn't get married now.  I told her I thought that was a good idea since she was still a child.  She wanted to know why she couldn't get married just because she was still a child. (Trust me, that was NOT the only "why" question of the day.) When I said she couldn't get married now because then she would move to another house to live with her husband, she was quite horrified!  She informed me that she would cry and cry if she couldn't live with her mom and daddy.  She carried that thought forward, worrying that when she grew up she'd have to move out.  I told her she could just always live with her parents then and she was quite happy again. Maria and Eric, I hope you don't mind.

I had a similiar conversation with our oldest son, Ben, when he was about her age.  He wasn't asking to get married but he was quite shocked when he noted that some big kids grew up and moved away from their parents.  He said, "I will ALWAYS live with you, Momma!" He now lives more than 3,700 miles from me! I hate that but I am also proud of him for the sense of adventure he shares with our daughter-in-law, Sara.

Cordelia is so smart, it is already quite easy to carry on some pretty big conversations with her. She really seemed to have a good time. She was mesmerized by the skaters.

I was mesmerized by her.

While I am sorry that I did not show up for practice, I would not have missed the fun on this little face for anything!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Here am I

Mary set such a good example for us with her response to the angel when she learned she was to mother God's only son,

"Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Connecticut School Shooting: Where Was God?

There is no good explanation for the horror parents, grandparents and others are enduring in Connecticut.  The nation is crying.  My sister shared this link and after reading it, I just wanted you all to have a chance to read this excellent post. I can't put it any better so please just read the following blog post today. Peace be with you all.

Connecticut School Shooting: Where Was God?

Charming Little Stars in My Life

I've had a hectic week, likely you have as well.

I hope that you made time for the people precious to you, though.
As for me, I loved time with these little girls.
Their little hands in mine,
a sweet baby smile when I arrive,
hugs around my neck... that's what it is all about, don't you think?

Do you see that Elise has sprouted a star on her head?

Cordelia was Star of the Week at her preschool this week.
She said that when she grows up she wants to be a "nurser" like Grandma.
Can I hear a collective "AAaaaaaah" ?

These little girls are bright and shiny stars in my life!
I am so grateful.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Word From Pastor Mike - Angels Along the Way

  The following is Mike's sermon, given last night, at our midweek Advent Service.  The text he used was Isaiah 6:1-8 and Luke 1:11-19.

Our Advent Series is called "The Long Road to Christmas".  My topic for tonight is "Angels Along the Way."  We heard about angels in Isaiah's temple vision - 6 winged seraphim flying around the throne of God, praising God and bringing a burning coal to touch Isaiah's lips.  Then in Luke 1, an angel appears to Zechariah and tells him that he and his wife, Elizabeth, will have a son.  That son will prepare the way of the Lord; that child will be known as John the Baptist.

But apparently the real experts on angels are children.  Here are some ideas about angels from children:

Gregory, age 5... Everybody's got it all wrong.  Angels don't wear halos anymore.  I don't know why but, but scientists are working on it.

Olive, age 9... It's not easy to become an angel.  First you die.  Then you go to heaven.  Then there's still flight training school to go through.  And then you've got to agree to wear those angel clothes.

Mitchel, age 7... My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not very good at science.

Henry, age 8... Angels don't eat but they drink milk from holy cows.

Sara, age 6... Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who is a very good carpenter.

Antonio, age 9... My angel is my grandmother who died last year.  She got a big head start on helping me when she was till down here on earth.

Katelynn, age 9... Some of the angels are in charge of healing sick animals and pets.  And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it.

Vicki, age 8... What I don't get about angels is why when someone is in love they shoot arrows at them.

We probably don't think about it much when we read the Bible but angels are all over the place.  From Genesis to Revelation, you will find angels.  

Angels are in the Christmas story in Luke's gospel. Zechariah is burning incense in the temple of the Lord... ooops there's an angel, "Don't be afraid." Mary's story, the angel Gabriel comes to Nazareth, "Do not be afraid, Mary." The shepherds watch over their flocks by night. The angel proclaims, "Fear not for I bring you good news of great joy."

Angels are all over the Christmas story in Matthew's gospel. An angel tells Joseph not to divorce Mary, "She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins." An angel in a dream tells Joseph to take his wife and child to Egypt for Herod wants to destroy him. After the death of Herod, an angel in a dream tells Joseph to return to Israel.

If we move forward in the story of Jesus we find more angels. According to Luke's gospel, an angel from heaven strengthens Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. At the resurrection, an angel rolls away the stone from the tomb of Jesus. It is an angel who announces the resurrection.

Immediately after the Ascension of Christ back into heaven, two men in white robes say to the disciples, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

These angels join us on "the long road to Christmas". What are we to do with them? Job #1 is to understand.

In the Bible the word for angel literally means "messenger".  In the Christmas story the angels cause fear - startle people. They bring announcements; they are messengers of good news. They sing praise to God.

According to the Bible the angels are a part of the heavenly count of God. They carry out God's tasks. They guide, protect and warn. They praise the goodness of God.

The idea of angels also challenges our modern-scientific-skeptical minds. Is there more than what we can see? Is there a realm of the supernatural where there is God and Jesus and angels and more?

When I was living in New Mexico a member of the congregation I served told me a story of an angel.  He worked in a nursing home as a CNA then as a nurse. On one occasion he walked into a room and noticed that the dying person in bed was looking intently at something. He asked, "What do you see?"  The person replied, "Don't you see him, sitting there in the chair? It's an angel." Hallucination or angel? I suppose it depends on your perspective or belief system.

As Christians, our call is not to obsess about angels or dismiss them. Our task is to listen to the message from these messengers: You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.  And the Lord God will give the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there will be no end."

The Angel of the Lord brings a message to shepherds in the night, "Fear not. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you. You will find a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger... and then comes the Hallelujah Chorus, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among those with whom he is well pleased."

These angels speak of a coming one, Jesus.  He will be great... Son of the Most High... he will have the throne of David... reign forever... a savior...Christ the Lord.

Let the message of the angels dwell deep within you.  The angels bring us soul food for the long journey to Christmas.

Finally, let me close with words from another man who believed in angels, Martin Luther. This is the evening prayer from Luther's Small Catechism. Let us pray... We thank you, our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear son, that you have graciously kept us this day and we pray that you would forgive us all our sins, where we have done wrong and graciously keep us this night. For into your hands we commend ourselves, our bodies and souls and all things. Let your  holy angels be within us so that the evil foe may have no power over us. Amen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

End of the World?

My Mayan Necklace
(If I remember right from our trip to the Tulum Mayan Ruins, 
this is a letter of the alphabet... Maybe the letter "S"?) 

Yesterday I was listening to some discussion on KLOVE regarding fear of the supposed end of the world as some think is predicted by the Mayan Calendar.  I've hardly thought about all that and was kind of surprised to hear such discussion.  It made me wonder if that many people really are worried about this.  Have you heard much talk of worry about the world ending this month?

The discussion included questions about what you'd do if you knew you had a short time to live.  What would you do with that time?  Of course, working with cancer patients as well as hospice patients, I've thought about this type of question before.  For me, I think I'd pretty much carry on as usual as long as possible.  I'd want my family close; I'd want Ben and Sara to come here from North Carolina, but those are things I always want so that's not different.

Last week, while getting a patient ready for his procedure, he was talking about the little things going wrong with his body as he ages.  He said that sometimes he just wonders if this is all there is to life.  Do we just get older, sicker and then die?  It made me feel so sad for him.  We talked for some time about faith and hope and the peace that comes with that.  He told me he is a Christian, just one that is grappling with belief. I get that.

Those two discussions were both about the end of life as we know it.  The first is about the end of life for all of us at once while the second was about the end of an individual life.  Either way, should we be worried?

I don't think the world will end 12-21-12. Biblically it sounds as though the end of the world will be more of a surprise, not an internationally publicized event.  It just doesn't matter to me so much.

The gentleman grappling with his faith was distraught over the bad things that happen in this world, the evil that we all know and deal with on some level.  As a believer, I know that this world is not where I belong.  Please click here to read about my life's theme song.  If you'd rather, click here to listen to the song that says it all for me and maybe will be helpful to you as well.

You see, my individual death or the end of the world means an end to chaos and evil for me.  We are here for a purpose; we have work to do.  When that work is done, though, the best is yet to come.  The horrible things of this world will be no more.  When we get HOME to live with God our Father, we will truly have the luxury of peace.  What's to fear about that?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Tina!

I want to say something to my little sister, Tina...

I'm getting a lot better at cake-decorating, aren't I (wink, wink)?  OK, that photo is from  Anyway, I hope you have a lovely day! You have always been such a sweet sister, I want to be the first to wish you a Happy 31st birthday!  (That little lie about your age is my gift to you... you're welcome.)

If you want to know about a person with real courage, read about my sister here, where I talk of some of my memories of her childhood dealing with cerebral palsy.  Then click here to check out her blog and read some of her memories first hand.  She now uses her blog to help others deal with cerebral palsy.

There is more to my sister, though, than her ability to deal with cerebral palsy. She is a mother who wants the best for her children. She is a daughter who honors her own mother. She is a sister who worries about my problems even when her own are much greater. She is also a friend to many. So, join me in telling her...

(Thank you, Google Images, for all the above photos. I didn't even realize you knew my sister.)

Monday, December 10, 2012


I am at work.... realizing I forgot to prepare a blog last night to post this morning.  Sorry.  I will do better tomorrow. It will no doubt be fascinating and thought-provoking.

I just had a little boy look at me and say, "You look old." Awesome.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Let Us Love One Another

Yesterday I was helping in the kitchen at our church as we were providing a luncheon for those attending a funeral.  I thought about all the churches and all the kitchen workers over the years who have provided comfort in the form of food after a funeral. Preparing food seems to be a universal response, something we want to do to help those who are grieving.  

Does food erase grief?  No, of course not.  But providing this meal for those grieving lets them know we care.  It supplies something practical while letting them know we are there, we see them, we support them in their time of sadness.  This is what we do.

A verse from the Bible then kept running through my head.  It is from 1st John 4:7...  

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

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