Jan 26 2011

Whale Watching

j0401265Mexico 2011 071 Mexico 2011 073

Sometimes it’s fun just to dream…just because.  On May 10, my 37th birthday, I made 37 wishes. I was being a bit sarcastic and silly with some of the wishes, but God knew the ones I really, really wanted to come true.

 Some may disagree, but I think God takes great pleasure in filling us with more joy than we could ever imagine.

That’s what happened to me last week when I saw a whale for the first time.  Deep joy. Joy in knowing God heard my ridiculous wish, and that He probably laughed when I wrote it, knowing exactly how and when He would show me a whale.

Joy, because I think He knew exactly how to reach the deepest part of my heart that was so worn out.  Joy because He spoke deep love to me when he showed me that humpback whale. 

He knew what I needed and He filled me up with His great, unfathomable love.  I am so, so grateful. 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Jan 12 2011

Jesus Loves The Little Children

Once Upon A Midnight Clear 011 Miss Isabelle has been a little nervous about leaving me, or getting more than 50 ft. away from me at any time.  She is dealing with issues that she doesn’t understand, and neither do we, so she has been pretty scared about it.  Every morning since we have started back to school after Christmas break has been a battle of tears and a pretty strong will.  It’s been tough for us as parents to walk the line between compassion and discipline.   Pretty much, I’ve been sucked dry of all emotional energy by 8am every morning after peeling her off of me to get her out the door to school.

A few nights ago when we were praying together, Belle said to Jesus in her most determined, thoughtful voice, "This is it! It is over! I do not want to cry any more. Please make me brave, Amen.” She added for emphasis in case He really didn’t believe her, “And I really mean it Jesus!”

Yesterday morning when Rob was driving her to school, she told him that she woke up early and was praying to God. She said she saw in her mind that Jesus was reaching His hand out to her and she put her hand in His, and she knew Jesus would walk with her all day long.  When she grabbed His hand in her mind, she heard angels singing.

A few tears yesterday, none at all today.

I’m not saying that I know for sure her episodes of fear/panic are over, but I am saying that seeing God reach out His hand to my daughter is something that makes me love Him even more than I understood was possible.  I am thanking Jesus today for His great love for my kids.

Remember that old Sunday School song, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world?” I believe it now more than ever.


photo by mark beeson

Aug 24 2010

You Don’t Have To Be…

You don’t have to be

Famous to be a hero. 

You don’t have to be known, heard of, or liked. 

You Don’t have to be a phenomenal speaker, author, blogger, or musician to be counted among God’s elite.

You just have to be.

Be You.

Be who He made you to be. 

Make your next move.

Fly your next plane. 

Drive to that place,

Arrive wearing the joy in knowing He made you on purpose, for His purpose.

Do your next right thing,

and watch how He shines in you, through you, and all around you.


photo by brittani renee

May 10 2010

37 Wishes For my 37th Year

Today is my 37th Birthday.  Here are 37 wishes for my 37th year.

Indiana 37

  1. Figure out how to be a better wife and friend to Rob
  2. Less Flab
  3. More exercise
  4. Less Tiredness
  5. Less Achiness
  6. More Time Writing
  7. Less time wasted
  8. Write our first book
  9. Hike 10 miles somewhere exotic
  10. See some whales
  11. Learn to cook 10 new things
  12. Spend more 1 on 1 time with my girls
  13. Go away with Rob for a week…no agenda
  14. See my parents more often
  15. Enjoy my regular, ordinary days more
  16. Help some women get closer to Jesus
  17. Learn to “suck it up” more when I’m in difficult circumstances out of my control.
  18. Teach  Belle to ride  her bike
  19. Embrace craziness in a healthier way
  20. Tell Whitney she is beautiful every day
  21. Be nicer to my dogs, even when they drool on my shoes
  22. Help Maddie have confidence in herself and Jesus as she begins Middle school
  23. Worry less about trivial things
  24. Pray more
  25. Figure out how to make some money writing
  26. Play more games with Isabelle
  27. Get a new laptop
  28. Listen more
  29. Talk Less
  30. Speak up more for those that don’t have a voice
  31. Hang out with my girlfriends and do fun, silly things without the weight of the world hanging around my shoulders.
  32. Go see my 70 something friend Gail in New Hampshire
  33. Grow my blog into more of a discussion and less of me blah, blah, blah-ing
  34. Encourage someone every day
  35. Embrace people that annoy me as gifts from God
  36. Embrace eating Oreos…only not after 9pm
  37. Enjoy every 525,600 minutes as best I can.  They will only come around once.


Apr 22 2010

Wild and Precious

 Family by tree

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around her with enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. 

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?  Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

I saw this poem and immediately thought of my girls. Wild and Precious. The question she asks,  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” got me thinking about my own life, the life I am living today, my ordinary life in the here and now.

Your life is wild and precious too.  It’s here, then it’s gone.  Don’t let your life slip by busying yourself with plans and projects that will raise you to the top.  Live the life in this day, today.  Just breathe, and just be.


photo by BrittianiRenee

Aug 13 2009

Not Your Average Garden

Beach and Homeless Center Garden 046When you see the lovely photos of the garden below, you might think it was a part of some lovely cottage in the woods, or some English countryside.  I have been hearing about this garden for awhile, so Rob, Maribeth Roncz, the girls, and I went to check it out the other day.  It is actually in the middle of downtown South Bend, in an old abandoned lot that had trash heaped up all over it before it took this magical shape.

Many volunteers  have spent countless hours cultivating this garden so the guests at the South Bend Center For the Homeless can have fresh, organic produce probably for the first time in their lives.  I walked around stunned and amazed at the beauty of this place.  It reminded me of this verse:

Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’  Jeremiah 33:9

God is at work in this city.


 Beach and Homeless Center Garden 036 Beach and Homeless Center Garden 043Beach and Homeless Center Garden 037 Beach and Homeless Center Garden 038

Beach and Homeless Center Garden 040 Beach and Homeless Center Garden 041 

Beach and Homeless Center Garden 051