Friday, May 28, 2010

Cait is my GREEN today!

This is her last day at work. She's been working at the daycare here at church, so it's been such fun to have her stop by on her break or go down and watch her with the kids when I wanted to see her.
But she's taking this huge step of faith and leaving for Israel next week. She's going to be Indiana Jones(or Indiana Cait) and spend the summer at a archeological dig. Then next fall she'll be in Jerusalem studying for the semester.

I'm so excited for her! I really am! She's traveled all over the world already- Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Belgium, Ireland, Turkey, Uganda! But I'm finding myself emotional in this process. And that's as it should be! I just haven't felt it so strongly till this week. I'm sure it will only intensify by the time she leaves!

I decided a long time ago- I'd rather have my girls growing and inspired by incredible things, even if it is somewhere far away- than stuck or complacent close by. I know there are things they can be inspired by right in their own backyard- but sometimes you have to go away to see those.

Anyway, Cait- here's to you!
For the passion you have shown working with these little ones!
For the patience you have shown walking through this past year with your parents.
For the faith you have shown taking this next adventurous step.
For the grace you have shown living and loving through it all!
I'm so proud of you sweetheart!
I love you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Remember is a verb!

I'm still pondering!

I remember
the past
people who have meant something to me
parents, siblings, mentors, teachers, music directors, advocates, heroes
or people who have hurt me
who modeled for me in someway how NOT to live
things I have done that are so fun & inspiring
or things I have done that hurt others- intentional or not.
opportunities grabbed & opportunities missed
choices made- results or consequences of those choices
promises made- promises broken
dreams fulfilled
dreams yet to find fulfillment
dreams let go of or forgotten
times when I saw God
I saw him at work
I saw him bigger
I worshiped him
I humbled myself before him
I saw him do exactly what I thought he SHOULD do
I saw him do something I thought he SHOULDN't do- He screwed up
I was disappointed in him
I was angry at him

Sometimes it's easy to remember. Sometimes it takes time of sitting and pondering a memory.
Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's painful. Sometimes is just tooooo hard. Sometimes its a waste of time. Sometimes it is healing. Sometimes it's a matter of choice!

Sometimes you have to start writing things down or start drawing it out on a lifemap and then other memories begin to peek through and pretty soon you have tons of memories and you have to stop because it's overwhelming.

Sometimes you have to be honest about what the memory truly was- how you really were impacted by it- good or bad.

Sometimes you have to place physical things in your life to help you remember; a special chair, a favorite picture, a verse on the fridge or a green stone in your pocket. Sometimes it is a place; in the car, by the fire ring, at the beach, in the woods, in her room.

I remember!
I weep!
I remember!
I sigh!
I breathe!
I recall words- of promise, of healing, of hope!
I weep!
I see Him with me!
I worship!
I remember!
I go!
I do!
I love!
I make new memories!
I remember!
I know Him bigger!
I worship!
I weep in gratitude!
I hope!
I remember!

Monday, May 17, 2010


I've been pondering this word "remember"! Definition?
To call to mind,
to think of again,
to bring back to mind by effort,
to recollect, to recall,
to keep in the memory,
to be careful not to forget,
to keep a person in mind with some feeling

to keep a person in minbd for a present, legacy ( such as 'remember' the waiter)
to mention a person to another as sending regards (remember me to your mother)
to remind

Wow! So many different aspects of remembering!
But I one thing I notice right away!
It is the phrase " bring back to mind BY EFFORT!" It takes work to remember. It stirs up emotions and generates energy that inspires or drains. It takes time to 'ponder all these things" as Mary did when Jesus was born.

And then, the question comes "What am I supposed to remember?"
I can't remember everything- so what is important to remember.

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God..." Deut. 4: 9-10

I guess this blogspot is helping me 'remember' in lot's of ways. Pardon me while I ponder on this some more! I'd love to hear what it is you are 'remembering'

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Do you know my sister?

I have sisters-

*dear friends that I have learned I can share lot's of deep hearted emotions and lot's of silly giggles with.

*a group of girls that share dreams, goals, identities in some social way.

* sisters in love that have come alongside my brothers and made them better.

But I have only one sister!

At one point in my life, I could have sworn that was all anyone could stand. My sister could stand up with the best of them, whether it was taking on her little brothers- all three of them, or me- her older and 'wiser' sister! Yeah right!

We suffered through high school together-competing at many turns- though she was strong in areas I never could be. She did things like debate and band, I did poetry interpretation and band. Ok, so in our small school, we had to be in band if we wanted any music- and we both loved music. She played the clarinet- I started there, then went to sax, then bass clarinet & oboe, even trumpet (none of which worked for me) even stepped back into the drums section to learn all the percussive instruments. She got good at clarinet- I just dabbled at all the others.

We went to the same college and even lived in the same dorm- but rarely saw each other. I was 'too' busy. I remember only a few times I would journey down to her end of the dorm and visit. I regreted that later. Not that I went to see her- but that I didn't go more often.

And then there was that time after I was married that she started a 'progressive date' at my house with 'drinks'! I was supposed to serve apple cider- very fancily! However, this crazy pitcher that I got for a wedding present didn't pour very well, and I ended up pouring 'drink' on her beautiful dress. So she spent the rest of her time at my house- washing out the stain. It didn't stop her from the rest of the evening! I always felt so awful!

Then we ended up in the same town - in Pennsylvania of all things. That's long ways from Texas or Omaha. But we had the pleasure of being together when our kids were born. I had Cait, she had Phillip, then my Brielle, then Kristen,(2 months apart to the day), then I had Leisha- and moved away. She had Matt a little later. I was done, but she had one more- Shannon!

While we lived close, one of the fun things we did together was sing. We became the sister act that sang at local clubs and luncheons. My mom in love made coordinating dresses for us and we had a Christmas program that was really fun to do. I think she mostly liked doing it with me- but lot's of times I just got her involved trying new stuff cause I didn't want to do it alone.

We both homeschooled our kids- neither of us had any intentions to do it. We shared ideas & books. I learned so much from her because she loved to learn- loved to dig into things and find out what made them tick.

This past week, my sister turned 50! She doesn't look it! In fact, in lot's of ways, she looks younger now than she has! I got to surprise her at the surprise party her husband threw for her. It was so fun! I wanted to call her a hundred times to see if I should bring this or that. I thought about her so much for those few weeks I knew something she didn't.

And I realized again how grateful I am that she is my sister! At one time I thought perhaps we might not have been friends if we hadn't have been sisters. But I realized that my closest friends are just like her. We are sisters- and we are friends. I can always count on her to show up when no one else can, to tell me what I need to hear, even when I don't want to hear it. My own daughters remind me of her so much that I often call my oldest daughter, Cyndy!

So Cy! As you experience this 50th year of your life- I just want to say, "I'm glad I've got to be part of all of them! I'm glad you are my sister. I'm proud of you and for the wife, mom and woman of God that you are! Happy Birthday, sis!"
(Cyndy with her oldest son, Phillip at his college graduation last week.)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pondering GREEN!

I've been thinking lot's about GREEN this weekend! Obviously-because of Leisha's birthday, but other reasons too!

One is that lot's of 'readers' have shared their GREEN with me since I posted! Some on the blog, others on FB, but also some this weekend at church. It was so inspiring to have people walk up to me and say- I saw my child, in my front yard, in my relationship with an old friend, in ... so life giving to hear all the spottings of GREEN! I love it! and I know other's are benefiting too! For some- it comes at a crucial time when they can't see GREEN at all. It's all brown. They need the reminders of those who can see it now. So...Keep it coming!

The other GREEN pondering has come because we're finally ready to do something special with Leisha's room. It's been so hard to 'own' any changes. She had just painted it, all by herself mostly, shortly before she died. It's got two walls of bright yellow, one hot pink and one bright orange. It's got bright Polka dotted (bedsheet) curtains too, as well as, a carpet that needs to be replaced or removed because of a great wood floor underneath. But it's not 'right' without her in it- so we want to claim the room again in a way.

So, we've decided we want to paint it GREEN! Naturally!

We just can't decide what "SHADE" of green! Do you know how many GREENS are out there? And, in light of all the emotions connected with it, we can't just do something- it has to be the RIGHT thing!

We also really had not been able to decide what the 'purpose' of the room was?
It's not really a bedroom, though we could put in a large air mattress for guests.
It's not really a library- though we have books in every room in this house.
So what is it now?

I got to thinking about what a 'GREEN ROOM" is! You know that room in a theater or studio that functions as a break/ touch up lounge so that performers don't have to go back to the wardrobe/ dressing rooms and are still easily accessible for their 'call'!

I realized- that's what I want this room to be. A place where we 'the perfomers of life' can go for a break or touch up so that we're easily accessible to for our 'next call'. A place of rest, refreshment, calm, inspiration, HOPE! A place of Shalom!

Our pastor modeled the idea for me by turning his office into a SHALOM for those of us in the office. We meet on Tuesday mornings in the SHALOM and share life, share the wonders of God and the Brown places it shows itself. It's been life giving- I think, for all of us!

I long for this room to be a place where we can take time to NOTICE the GREEN that is happening. I don't know what that looks like yet, but I'm looking forward to it being a place of HOPE.

I hope you have a place to go- where you NOTICE the GREEN, worship the God who is growing it and find SHALOM! If not, I've got this huge paint chip book you can look at!! I'm sure they've got your color somewhere!