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God in the Details

November 25, 2015

I bought a car today. I bought it because I need a vehicle in Texas. I need a car in Texas because I am moving there. I am moving to Dallas because my job morphed into a new one. My new job is practically my dream job, and this new job is in Dallas. I am less than a year from being retirement eligible, so my cool job and a move to Texas is kind of a no-brainer.

But not without its challenges. It means quite some time living halfway across the country from my best friend and husband (one in the same). It means leaving a GREAT church, my incredible daughter, great friends and the best neighborhood ever. It means a lot of flying home to stay connected with the aforementioned. It means moving my Mom, who lives with us, to another place.

But it’s not forever. And I have an amazing peace about the whole thing. Because I trust that Jesus has my future and my now in His hands. He knows what He is doing and I am totally confident in the knowns and unknowns in every step of this journey, because He is faithful and true, full of grace and mercy, and all loving, all the the time. Count on it.

So I bought this car today, and after two hours of the you-know-what in the dealership finance office, I drove away and noticed…  the car stereo was tuned to K-Love (a Christian radio station) playing a familiar song. What??  God smiling, God taking care of me, taking care of the little details. Making it easy, making it feasible, reminding me He is in the every-day of my life. Today, tomorrow, for the next many months… This song came to mind: You Are for Me 

I serve a great God — the same God Who created the Universe, this earth, and everyone one of us upon it. And this Jesus, Who gave everything to make me (and you) His (when we follow), also bends to remind me each and every day that He is attentive and kind and gracious. None of which I expect, and certainly don’t deserve…

Today I feel like a daughter of the King. He reigns over heaven and earth; Let Him reign in my heart each day like He does today.

 

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On Boyhood and the Oscars

February 24, 2015

On Boyhood and the Oscars.

Sharing a friend’s take on one of the events of the week. She is a beautiful and skillful writer. You might like to follow her.

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Sticktoitiveness

January 4, 2015

I have goals. I make lists. I have several New Year resolutions, my OneWord for the year, a couple of DoOvers, and a 30 day Hustle. I have lists, calendars, journals, post-it notes, and smart phone apps. I have friends, accountability partners, a great online network and all the physical things I need to start and maintain my goals (established blog sites, awesome new running shoes, P90 on order, and more time than l had last year).

Awesome new running shoes.

Awesome new running shoes.

But I wonder, will I do this? Will I carry out even one of my realistic, needed, HAVE-TO goals?

I ask myself, because I’m not the best at follow-through. I’ve practically perfected the art of procrastination, hate early mornings, and find LOTS of reasons to put a thing off. I start strong and peter out when it doesn’t FEEL good, or gets boring, or something else more attractive catches my time and attention. My mom used to say that I have no “sticktoitiveness.” She’s right.

This year is different, though, and here is why:

  1. I found an awesome group of motivating friends online, including a new workout coach and fellow writers who are challenging me to keep going.
  2. I believe my goals are God-centered, realistic, achievable and much-needed.
  3. I am changing the way I think about goals, not as an end but as systematic. (Check out this article for a good explanation of systems vs. goals.)

So if you are like me and have awesome and important goals but “sticktoitiveness” issues, get connected with motivating folks who will hold you accountable and put a system in place that will maximize your success.

Go for it and don’t quit!

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A Year Has Passed…

December 29, 2014

…since I have posted here. The last thing I wrote, Autumn of 2013, was about the sad loss of our sweet girl-dog. Not long after that life got wild. As it does. A quick glimpse into the happenings:

  1. One of my dearest friends moved.
  2. My age-abundant mom moved in with us.
  3. My responsibilities at work tripled.
  4. Another one of my dearest friends moved.
  5. My sister and I went to Europe for a missions trip + vacation.
  6. We completely remodeled our kitchen (a 3 week project that took over 3 months).
  7. My responsibilities at work tripled again.
  8. I averaged 80 hours a week at work for most of October through December.

I suppose I could blame my absence and lack of doing a thing I love on the above and more (especially numbers 2, 3, 7, and 8), but since I know people whose lives are more hectic and stressful than mine, I really have no excuse. I do have good blogging matter, however. My New Year’s resolution is to make good use of it…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

It was one of those years...

It was one of those years…

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Lindsey the Amazing Rescued Dog

September 14, 2013

Today we buried our sweet Lindsey girl.

This has been a rough, leaky week, as our furry family member declined rapidly. She took her last breaths Friday morning and we are comforted to know she’s no longer in pain.

Her life was hard. Who knows what abuse she endured before she was rescued? We know she ran away from her previous owners and was found with a rope tied around her neck. Her hocks were worn and bloody (indicative of being tied up on a short leash, likely on concrete) and she exhibited signs of being beat about the head. Her teeth were worn or broken, likely from trying to chew wood or chain. When we got her from Furry Friends Rescue at what they thought was about seven years old, she’d been with wonderful foster parents for about six months. They told us what a sweetheart she was, and they were right. This is her picture from Furry Friends’ Web site that captured my heart the moment I saw her:

Lindsey immediately after being rescued

Lindsey, a short time after being rescued.

We brought her home on a bright sunny, summer day, with her Aunt Diane in the back seat comforting her during the transition. Once home we discovered she didn’t know “normal dog things.” She didn’t know how to climb stairs, wouldn’t walk on hard indoor surfaces, and didn’t know how to play. It took a few days, but she learned the stairs with some coaxing.

Day one: Afraid of stairs.

Day one: Afraid of stairs.

Giving it a try.

Giving it a try.

Her first success without coaxing.

Her first success without coaxing.

Ours is likely the first back yard she’d ever been free to roam. In little time she discovered squirrels that she chased and barked at, tunneling under the deck after other critters, and climbing in my garden.

Running free and safe.

Running free and safe.

She loved the squirrels.

She loved the squirrels.

AND my garden. :-)

AND my garden. 🙂

We buried our sweet girl today deep under the same spot in my garden she used to love to dig. The alstromeria, from my father-in-love’s garden, will remind me of her daily.

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“Rest in Peace.”

Lindsey turned out to be THE BEST little road trip dog. She loved long road trips up to my mom’s in Washington, a 10-12 hour drive. Then when we got to mom’s she settled in like it was her second home. She loved the back yard with all its space and new critter smells.

Chillin' on I-5.

Chillin’ on I-5.

There are REALLY cool smells on the other side of this fence.

There are REALLY cool smells on the other side of this fence.

And I'm going to sit here until I discover what it is!

And I’m going to sit here until I discover what it is!

She was also an amazing companion. When I had major surgery a couple of years ago I slept downstairs and walked slowly and with pain for the first several days. Lindsey-girl slept right at my feet and if I got up, she would slowly walk right beside me. She never left my side. You just knew she knew I hurt. Until she got too weak to climb stairs she was my constant shadow. Then this week, when she was the invalid, I slept downstairs and helped her get up and walk, or just caressed her when she was beyond rising.

Always watching out for me.

Always watching out for me.

And I watched out for her.

And I watched out for her.

Good friends of Lindsey visited often this past week, taking time to share their love with her one last time and say goodbye. My besties brought flowers that continue to brighten my day and remind me that good friends share the sad times as well as the good times. Dozens of friends have left the kindest messages on Facebook. The commonness of loving and losing canine companions is evident in the heartfelt sincerity of their words.

Auntie Diane was there at the very beginning, and here at the end.

Auntie Diane was there at the very beginning, and here at the end.

Bright flowers on a dark day.

Bright flowers on a dark day.

More flowers today, from Lindsey's second mom.

More flowers today from Lindsey’s second mom.

Now the house is quiet and neat. My strong husband quietly gathered her beds, bowls, collars, and blankets while we waited for the mobile vet to arrive. The presence of these things would surely add to my grief, yet their absence is still new and strange.

Lindsey's favorite blanket and pillow. She LOVED to burrow in her blanket.

Lindsey’s favorite blanket and pillow. She LOVED to burrow in her blanket.

Jay built her a raised food bowl when her hips got weaker.

Jay built her a raised food bowl when her hips got weaker.

Dr. Marianna Juergens could not have been more compassionate when she arrived with her colleague. They sat with us and fading Lindsey, until we were ready. They were gentle, patient and kind. They were liberal with hugs afterward. After their departure, and my husband and I had a good cry, we prepared to carry on with the rest of the day. The doorbell rang and my sweet next-door neighbor was on the step to give more hugs. She’d seen the mobile vet leave and, a rescued dog lover herself, could empathize and wanted to share in the sorrow. Her kindness lifted some grief and I was comforted yet again.

We thought we’d have our four-legged friend for more than three years. We learned from our wonderful vet recently that she was likely at least 12 now, rather than 10. Still too young to die, but we are so grateful for the time we had. She was the sweetest, gentlest dog, literally changing “non-dog people” into those who wanted to find one just like her!  She leaves us and so many others with the best memories. I grieve for the pain she experienced for the first several years of her life, and the last few days of her life, but am SO glad we were able to redeem some of the “lost years” and make her final years on earth happy and filled with joyful experiences.

Lindsey giving joy to mom and daughter besties.

Lindsey giving joy to mom and daughter besties.

Lindsey loved everyone, especially the ones that loved her.

Lindsey loved everyone, especially the ones that loved her.

She loved to give kisses.

She loved to give kisses.

She especially loved her "dad."

She especially loved her “dad.”

But he didn't much care for cats on her special blanket.

But she didn’t much care for cats on her special blanket.

Road trips were her favorite.

Road trips were her favorite.

She eventually learned to share with others.

She eventually learned to share with others.

I like to think that I’ll see her again. Regardless, it’ll be a very long time before these wonderful memories fade.

She was an amazing part of the family. We will miss you, Lindsey!

She was an amazing part of the family. We will miss you, sweet Lindsey girl!

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What is a GMO?

July 4, 2013

Arranged Vegetables Creating a Face

Here is a good and brief overview of genetic modification (GM), also known as genetic engineering (GE) and why it’s not such a good idea when it comes to the foods we consume. I found this very interesting:

What combinations have been tried?

It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Scientists have worked on some interesting combinations:

  • Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA, in hopes that the goat milk would contain spider web protein for use in bulletproof vests.
  • Cow genes turned pigskins into cowhides.
  • Jellyfish genes lit up pigs’ noses in the dark.
  • Arctic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost.

Field trials have included:

  • Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
  • Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
  • Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
  • Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawaii)
  • Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
  • Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)
  • Potatoes that glowed in the dark when they needed watering.
  • Human genes were inserted into corn to produce spermicide.

Here is the full article:  http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process

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“Paying It Forward” and Passing It On

February 27, 2013

I would like for you to hear my friend, Samson.

Samson Nyongesa is a fine young leader in Nairobi. My husband and I first learned of him when he was much younger, through our dear friend Erna Grasz, founder and CEO of Asante Africa. Samson was the first person we sponsored to obtain an education that otherwise might not be possible.

It’s obvious that this bright young man not only excelled at his studies, he graduated and is becoming a leader in areas that count: He is passing it on.

pay-it-forward

There are many ways we can make a difference in this world. One way we think is very impacting is through education. Why?

“Education is vital to a thriving society. A society that is ignorant will become the breeding ground for violence and intolerance. But an educated society will be a breeding ground for tolerance and peace, justice and understanding, innovation and advancement, and positive, self-sustaining growth. It’s important to educate our children, no matter where they live, for they will grow to become responsible citizens of their society. Each child represents a future, the future of the community, of the country, and indeed the future of the whole world.”

There is a Proverb in God’s word that goes like this: “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Of course this is true. And when we use this knowledge to improve the lives of those around us, I think that makes the heart of God very glad. May knowledgeable people seek God for true life and their purpose in how to “pay it forward.”

God bless Samson and those like him.