Wednesday, June 29, 2011


It's a sure thing. All tests are conclusive.  There's no question. I've certainly got it.  It's not exactly contagious - but - once you have it, you always have it - and there are certainly times when it can be challenging to deal with.  I figure I've had it for about 23 years now.  Click here to learn more about the diagnosis and, if you haven't already, you can read more here about where I'm at in my own personal journey related to it.   And - please don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining.  But I must say, it is quite strange that when this diagnosis is certain, as it is in my case, the patient often suffers most when the most conclusive indicators of its presence are absent for a period of time - and she just doesn't feel quite like herself ... until they return.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Empty Nest

I woke up in an empty nest this morning :\ Our girls flew out early this morning for Haiti with 17 others. Both stepped out boldy in faith when they signed up for this. They've been excited for this trip but when the time finally arrived to actually go and do all the things God has planned for them - well, I'll just say that at 2:30 AM this morning they didn't look all that brave & bold - but rather a bit tentative. -But both did board the bus! And I gather they were fine once they got moving.  I have some idea of how very much God values/looks for/requires(!) faith -  and considering the faith that's being required of them as we speak, I trust He will honor that....not to mention the measure I had to muster in order to let them go! ;)  That's gotta count for somethin' too ;) 

What law is it that says "Just when you're leaving to go on a trip, what can go wrong, will!"? Playmaker had been quite sick a few days before - and yesterday her ears & sinuses were bothering her. If you've ever had ear/sinus issues on a plane before, you know it's no picnic. It can be excruciating. I rank the pain level right up there with childbirth. Sooo we made a last minute visit to the doctor who stocked her up on medicine just in case she needs it.  And - as if that weren't enough....when she got thru' security, her shoe broke! Big time.  They were encouraged to bring old shoes - but I had no idea I was sending her with shoes that were about to fall apart!  Thankfully, at the last minute, we had wound some gorilla tape around Strike's water bottle (a trick we learned in St. John when a good Samaritan there cut some off his water bottle and gave it to me to use as a bandage after I stepped on a sea urchin...ouch!! -- and it worked beautifully!). In Playmaker's case it served well as emergency shoe repair!! ....Wheeeew......Crisis averted!

Strike was a bit nervous about this trip all along. She really wanted to go but was just nervous about it. She did well tho' -- we had plenty of last minute errands to keep us busy yesterday which was a good thing - tho' she did manage to  squeeze in painting her fingernails the brightest neon yellow you ever saw just before she left the house. At least the team will know what to look for if they're lookin' for her!  

Something tells me that this is going to be quite a growing experience for them both --- & that when they return, they're not going to ever be quite the same.  Hopefully tho' that is because as The LORD works in and thru' them these next 10 days, they will inevitably become more like Christ.  I gather the home they are staying in is nice - but that the worksite is quite primitive...esp in terms of "facilities". By that I mean that a Home Depot bucket may be what they use for a toilet there. Truth be told, I think that was among Strike's biggest trip related fears. When we sent out a prayer request via email to our church family recently I joked with the girls about asking them to pray that Strike could pee in a bucket! ... But I didn't ;)  But I'll ask you who are reading to keep them in your prayers as the Holy Spirit leads you - and if you sense He's leading  you to pray that Strike can pee in a bucket -- well ... at least you'll have some insight as to why! :)  ... Actually, I'm hoping/praying that won't be necessary. 
I'm so glad they're together - but I'm already anxiously awaiting the day when we are all together in one place again - just the way I like us :) 

Hmmm .... funny thing!   Coincidence?? - I don't believe so. As I was just finishing up this post, my dear friend e-mailed me and shared this oh so-o timely quote:

"There are two special gifts that we should give our children: 
one is roots, the other is wings."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Camping @ Cape Cod

Almost there! 

T.F.D.s (Tin Foil Dinners) 

Salmon one night....steak tips the next :) 


This increases greatly in value when you're camping - 
but - ya GOTTA HAVE IT! 

A highly recommended gadget for making sandwiches & pies. 

Let the feast begin! :)

Primary mode of transportation

We have a BIG two room tent but decided to buy two smaller tents for this trip. 
 You know the girls are growing up when they're no longer afraid to sleep in their own tent! 

Want s'more?

One thing I will say about our girls 
is that they know how to have fun -
 & they're addicted to it! ;)

P.S.   This trip was scheduled months ago! Who knew we would be here - when the Bruins were playin' in the 7th/final game of the Stanley Cup Championship?!  .... As a result, I hafta think we were among the last people in the world to learn whether or not they won!  So glad they did tho'!  We did tape the game and watched it when we got home --- and whatta great game it was!  :)

a berry good day

If the girls & I were to skip strawberry pickin' in any given year, it would be much like skipping a beat because it's become part of the rhythm of our lives. Yesterday was just too nice of day to spend indoors so we headed out to the strawberry fields:

This flying' fella found one fabulous flower in the field  ...

Good thing he was friendly! ;) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

25 years ago today

... I married my best friend - and so at just barely 18yrs old & amp; smack out of highschool,  what began as "happy" ... is fast becoming happily ever after :) 

We have so much to celebrate and so we've given ourselves the whole year to do it! 

We've been having great fun celebrating since January with plans to continue thru' to December  - but this morning I was a bit taken back...weepy actually --  in part because we woke to find this sweet card that Strike made on the kitchen counter...

- but also because even tho' 25 years is a long time
it's all just going too fast -
and no matter how much time we have together
 as far as I'm concerned ...
it will never ever be enough.

This beautiful bouquet (an anniversary gift)  arrived at our door yesterday. What FUN! -  and we thoroughly enjoyed it ... for dinner! 
 It was perfect for the warm day that it was 
and we were kinda in a rush -
 & I didn't feel like cooking anyway :) 
Thank you so very much, Mom & Alvi!! 

And,  low & behold,  a bit later dessert arrived!! 
-   a surprise (that was the ingredient that made it super special) strawberry rhubarb pie 
from dear friends
 - handmade with love ... 
the "secret" ingredient they include in 
so much of what they share ;) 

We're actually saving it for tonight...well -  trying to
 - but it takes some serious willpower.
Only time will tell how successful the girls & I are at saving it 'til Daddy gets home. 
Hmmm - do you think I could get away with substituting this for dinner tonight like we did with our fruit bouquet last night?....after all, it IS our 25th Wedding Anniversary ... 
so perhaps it's high time we started eating dessert first!  ;) 

no more sorrow - no more pain

I think/hope the few people who attended my friend's memorial service the other night were blessed as they pictured her while Playmaker & a friend sang this song.  She suffered much as a result of   a string of poor choices she'd made on her journey thru' this life.   But toward the end there was a Peace she came to know - an Anchor for her soul ... as described here:

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise ....

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Can Only Imagine - & - It's Not the Thought That Counts

This song speaks of one trying to imagine what it will be like when they’re finally physically in the presence of The LORD.

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all?

- and I must say that I find great joy in trying to imagine my friend's first reaction the moment her faith became sight recently - and I wonder …., did she dance for Jesus? – if for no other reason than because she could now and because it was a new way for her to give Him glory that she’d  been unable to do for so long?  Or - I don’t know when the last time was that she stood confidently on her own two feet -  so perhaps that’s what she did – maybe she just stood awestruck at the sight of her LORD and Savior.  – Or maybe  - just maybe - it was the first time ever that she wanted nothing more than to stand up just so that she could fall to her knees. But - I also can’t help but wonder if perhaps -- even after all the years she spent confined to a wheelchair if possibly at this point - and in His presence - she was quite content for the first time in a looong time just to sit - maybe even wanting nothing more than just to sit at the feet of Jesus and get to know Him better.

The other thought resting on my heart as I remember her leads in quite a different direction. Whereas the first is kinda from here looking up….this one is more or less from here…looking around.

James 1:27
 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

It's as simple as that -  tho’ we tend to make it complicated.

Along with James 1:27, which seems to be a reference point of sorts put into the simplest of terms in black and white – to help us gauge how we’re doing at being the Body of Christ,  in Matthew 25 God’s Word goes into more detail about the how and the who and the why behind what we’re called to do:

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Much like widows & orphans, she was almost completely dependent on others for the daily necessities of life for quite a while and with little, if anything, to give in return. I think this was the case for at least as long as any of us knew her - and as I consider these verses and so many others in God’s Word that describe the love & compassion that God has for the needy and how we, His church, are to essentially be His hands & feet here and now in tending to them, - I wonder if God puts people like her in our paths and in the midst of a church like ours as kind of a test of sorts for the church body as a whole - as well as for the individuals that make up the church.

She and I were friends and I know that as I examine myself in light of our friendship and of James 1:27 and Matthew 25 I sense God used her to reveal some things I need to work on in order to more accurately and effectively reflect Christ in my sphere of influence. For one thing, when it comes to caring for the needy, it's not the thought that counts. If it were, I’d be feeling better right now because The LORD knows I thought often about visiting her  - or inviting her into our home, or even of just calling her to visit – or of praying for or with her – but too often I didn’t do it for any number of selfish reasons - and I realize that each time I shunned the prompting of what was likely that Still Small Voice, what I didn't do for her, I didn't do for Jesus. 

Someone once said:

Preach the Gospel at all times and, when necessary use words. 

She attended our church for about five years or so and in retrospect, from my vantage point in relation to her, I see how God gave her a knack for bringing out the best in our church. In much the same way that cream always rises to the top, there were a few people who patiently and gently and thoughtfully ministered to her so faithfully –  in word and in deed – and I would like to let them know that tho’ she was often blessed to be the focus of their ministry, somehow I ended up being impacted by it as well -  and I would like to thank them for being such beautiful and faithful examples “with skin on” – for me and for my family, and who knows how many others noticed, to aspire to – in so far as what it means, according to James 1:27 and Matthew 25, to be a Christian - and I emphasize the word “be” - because it’s a verb.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Hmmm...fascinating - & - kinda thought provoking:

Friday, June 10, 2011

That's MY Girl! :)


Some people wonder why I refer to our youngest daughter as "Strike" here on my blog. The reason is that long ago she found her niche as a softball pitcher - so we love to hear the umpire bellow "steeriiiiike!" when she's on the mound. The more he yells it the better as far as we're concerned (tho' admittedly it's a much different story when she's up to bat! ;) 

Strike is in 8th grade 
but had the privilege of playing for her school's high school team this year 
and enjoyed the honor of being voted in by her teammates as Co-Captain. 

She played softball about as hard as it can be played 

and had about as much FUN as one can possibly have ;)

and in the end...

when all was said and done

the coaches presented her with one of three awards she could have potentially received at the awards banquet -  that being...

The Integrity Award

- and when I stop to think about what that implies ...


  /ɪnˈtɛgti/  Show Spelled
adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness ofmoral character; honesty.
the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of aship's hull.

Well, what can I say?! - except for

 "That's MY girl!!! And I'm SO proud of her  :)


 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.