Archive for the ‘gratitude’ Category


I forget who said it but I read a quote the other day that it is easy for those of us with choices to judge those of us who don’t have them.

I’m reflecting on this a little today just because I am glad for a few choices I  have. I can drive my children to and from school. My oldest would otherwise have to take the bus to middle school. I’m afraid of the bus. Bad things happen on buses nowadays. I can choose to go to work during the day or continue to stay home and still have food on the table. I can post an update to Facebook, Twitter or a blog.

I prayed this morning for the moms who do not have choices, regardless of what we think. They have to go to a job and support their family. They cannot volunteer in their children’s school. They cannot choose their child’s school or educational process. They cannot follow through on homework especially if the power was just turned off. They may not be able to put that food on the table for everyone in the home. They must leave their babies in the care of people they may or may not trust and risk showing up in a sad news story that we all watch and scream “what was that mother thinking!”

If you are aware of someone who is choice-challenged, would you pray for an option to offer them? Would you resist thinking “what were they thinking?” or “Well, if they would only ____ then they could ____.”


A Week To Look Back Pt 1-1984

25 years ago this month, I was in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. I was thrown across the car to the passenger windshield where my head/face hit. Bent the shift bar  (on the console not the steering column) 90 degrees with my left ankle. Had a concussion, crushed left ankle, sprained right wrist, windshield glass in forehead, eyelids, face and across neck. One parked car was sideswiped, 4 mailboxes and posts mowed down, and my car kept from entering a house by hitting the tree in the front yard. I had no idea I hit a tree. I was the drunk. By the grace of God, I survived and no other person was involved aside from the property damage.

Two 1/2 weeks in the hospital, 2 ankle surgeries, plastic surgery, and a cast for 3 months. I was told I would never walk without a limp nor play tennis and softball(my signature sports at the time) again. I did eventually play tennis and softball but only for another 10 years. Man I wish I could still play tennis.

So maybe next time a Chiropractor, Neurosurgeon or Orthopedist asks was there any sort of event that caused the pain I’m in now, I should say, “Yeah. The ingestion of an 8 oz tumbler of Southern Comfort and two beers in less than an hour on an empty stomach before getting into the car.”  Good times.

I haven’t thought about this in detail for awhile. It just occurred to me that it’s been 25 years. There are so many facets and lessons in this thing but honestly I’d only be preachin’ to the choir and I don’t feel like saying much else. Just looking back.

Good People

Whenever we have stuff happen in our family, inevitably we are shown so much kindness and help and certain things stand out. So here’s the story…

Doug wasn’t feeling well Saturday afternoon. Thought perhaps he overate the night before. Was feeling a bump in his abdomen that he figured as another hernia but with some bedrest, he could reduce it. As I left for church rehearsal(3pm), I honestly wasn’t sure he could care for the kids. I arrived at church and called a friend to ask if he would call Doug or go over and check on him. We called Doug and neither of us could get a response. Our friend John went over and stayed until I was done singing. Doug sent me a text around 5 pm: “Should go to doctor when u get home. Have sweats and throwing up.”

I’m familiar with the M.O. Most likely a bowel obstruction or strangulated hernia. John stayed with the kids until around 10 pm because he didn’t want us to worry about anything.

Now, throughout the evening at the ER, I was trying to figure out what we were going to do about the kids. By 8 pm, I knew he was not going home soon. Called a couple of friends just in case we needed late or overnight help later. I called one of our regular sitters, Katie but she and her mom were out of town for the weekend. Her dad would have come but he didn’t have a car since our other sitter Michael was out with friends-with the car. Ah, to be 16 again! Michael’s dad said he would text him and ask Michael to come to our house after his movie with friends was over. And bless Michael’s 16 yr old heart, he did it. That kid drove to our house around 10 pm, relieved John and told me thru text at midnight that he was good to stay longer. Oh and did I mention we didn’t have a dime to pay him? Still had 3 days til payday. Doug was in surgery from 10:30 pm til 1:30 am. I stopped home at 2 am to get Doug’s CPAP machine and asked Michael to stay a little longer. “OK but I have to be home by 1:00 tomorrow afternoon” was his response as he laid back down on the couch. I finally got home around 3 am.

There are many more people but time is short and the fish sticks need to go into the oven!

A rare quiet moment

Thought I’d share a good thing with you for a change. Right now, my kids are enjoying a 70° sunny day outside. They are playing very nicely with each other. Actually singing their actions as they go. Annaliese dressed herself this morning and is wearing shorts and a short sleeve sweater that only buttons at the top. A little racy for an almost 4 yr old but I can’t bring myself to interrupt the flow of niceness going on.

I got the dishes done after breakfast, the dog is calm, my son helped me clean the floor, I’m about to have a homemade mocha french vanilla coffee concoction and my neck and arm only hurt a little. I’m actually typing this in a whisper so as not to disturb the vibe. A much needed breath of fresh air.

financial update

In April, paid off 1 townhouse, 2 credit cards, 2 parents, 1 chiropractor, 1 dentist, 1 eye doctor, 1 fund drive commitment. Paid cash for gas, groceries, car repairs, animal shelter, cat vet. Still on the horizon: monthly bills, 3 credit cards, 1 doctor, more car repairs and a health club renewal.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above you heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Gaining perspective

Once again I am blown away by the teaching at The Orchard church community. Thank you Scott, Chris and Mike and all the people it takes to make it happen every weekend. We just closed out a 3 week series titled I Am Spirit. We are not just flesh and bone. We are spiritual beings. Knowing that, how does it affect how we see ourselves, others and God? There is a moment of change in that spirit part of us when we decide to follow Jesus. Then, a journey of change which is best done when we can hear what God is saying and put those things into practice. Get the podcasts. Seriously.

I know this happens to all of you. Themes pop up in  your life. Suddenly your conversations, things you read,  messages or music you hear, things your kids do, all seem to have a running theme or confirm what you have been thinking. Me too. Lately, my running theme is perspective. From Doug’s trip to El Salvador last summer to our townhouse debacle to our kids watching how a straw’s shape changes in a glass of water–all are explained by perspective. One definition of perspective is this: the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship. Another definition says simply: a view.  How we see things. Sometimes what you see is not what is actually there.

Our townhouse has not become the financial solution we had hoped or been advised on. But put into perspective, we got to engage with a family member. He needed help. We needed help. And a relationship was restored. Is that worth $30,000?

I am working part-time now(a huge pain in the family butt) and Doug is a stay at home Dad in the afternoon/evening.  I miss my kids — especially Maddie– in those 20 hours a week. Put into perspective, we’re gaining some income to help out the budget. I have a new perspective of a working spouse arriving home, having work issues in my head yet trying to reconnect with the family and being sympathetic to the afternoon’s events. I believe Doug has a new perspective of a stay at home mom as he is responsible for home work, dinner, getting 3 kids ready for bedtime, laundry, dishes, all while trying to shed his work issues and having to hit the ground running when he gets home from school.

And with photos of Doug’s El Salvador trip running on our computer screen saver, we have a constant reminder that we are very rich, never starving, and never alone.

What do you see?

Christmas gluttony

Had a great Christmas. Kids were very grateful and managed to remember “Christmas is about giving not getting(JD)” and “Its Jesus’ birthday. Yaaaaaaay!!!!” Annaliese(3 1/2) still gets excited over receiving a box until we tell her to open it for the present. Then she explodes. Grandparents were VERY generous. Apparently, Doug hadn’t remembered the “lets not get presents for each other” plan we’ve enlisted the last 2 years because of the townhouse and splurged on an iPod Nano for me. To his credit and with amazing restraint, he stayed with the smaller model. He probably injured himself in the process. He had it shipped to his dad’s house as a surprise. Which is pretty cool but then I felt bad because I didn’t “splurge” on the new Eagle’s CD I thought he might like but decided against because we weren’t buying presents for each other.

Annaliese threw up into a gift bag containing mint patties on our way to church Sunday morning. So yeah, no more mint patties. Then I got sick Christmas night. Then Maddie got sick when we got home. So far with some disinfecting and new toothbrushes, we’ll keep it away from the boys and the cat.

Pains and vomit aside, we had a great Christmas and will try not to heave from the over abundance of toys and gifts received. The kids have agreed to give away some of their “old” toys to make room for the new. Who knows? We might even convince them to share some of their new things with friends. I’ll let you know how that goes.

img_1541.jpg  Winter in West Central Illinois     img_1544.jpgMom’s new toy  tool
  gift carnage