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Jan 14 2018

This is Us

My family, my world. I am more grateful every day for the people God gifted me with, called family. We are not perfect. We are flawed–Pretty much all of us. But, we love. We forgive. We grant pardon, we embrace, we venture on, because This is Us. This is our family.


Jun 30 2014

Introducing…

Us!  The Wegner’s.

Wegner JeepWe moved from Indiana to Kansas on May 2.  Every single day since then, I have had a lesson in the form of humility from one source or another.  Every place I go, I have to rely on Siri or my instincts to figure out where I am and where I am going, and how to get there.  The days I rely on my instincts, I get lost.

Other than daily getting lost or finding myself driving down the wrong way on a one way street, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Kansas.  Our new church family, Westside Family Church, has welcomed us with grace and peace and so, so much kindness.

Every day is a new introduction.  A new something somewhere.  I am a deeply settled person.  I enjoy roots, predictability, and the peace that comes from knowing what happens next.  Learning the in’s and outs and shortcuts will take time, I’m sure.  

As I am being humbled by learning all things new, I thought I’d take a minute to blog about what I DO know. These are the people I know best in the world–their in’s and out’s, their shortcuts, what makes them who they are.  I’d like to introduce my family.  Understand these are bird’s-eye-view introductions. Each one of us is incredibly complex.  Our girls are very spirited–The dynamics of raising three girls in one family are intense, insanely fun, and keep Rob and I on an incredibly high learning curve .

Rob and got married 21 years ago when he was 21 and I was 19.  We were close friends from the time I was 12 and he was 14.  I still remember clear as day the first time I saw him.  He radiated joy and warmth and he was the funniest person I knew (besides myself, of course)

Rob at Jenny LakeRob is a phenomenally gifted communicator and teacher of Jesus and His ways.  He is a wonderful husband and amazing father to our three girls.  He is patient and kind with them, leading them by his example and courage to follow Jesus wherever He leads.  Rob is a guitarist and musician. Music oozes out of him wherever he goes.  It’s in his soul and spirit.  He’s a dreamer of really big dreams, and a huge believer in helping others implement their own.  I’m proud to be his wife.

Maddie-CameraMadeline (Nick names:Maddie, Madalina, Madeliney, Mads, Matt, Mattie Mick…etc)

Maddie is 15. She is an old soul in a young body. She’s an introvert, a Noticer, and deeply compassionate.  Maddie is wise beyond her years and can spot a faker in a second (someone who says they are one thing but really are not who they say they are).  She’s deeply intuitive and an amazing photographer.  She’s hilarious and fun, practical and precise.  She is a wonderful role model to her younger sisters.  I am so proud to be her mom.

Whitney-Headband

Whitney (Nick names Whit, Whitster, Whitaker, Wick)

Whitney is 14.  She is the tallest of our girls, and is made of solid muscle.  She’s a strawberry blonde beauty.  She’s intense, incredibly fun, an extremely strong leader, bold, loud, confident, and courageous.  Whit is the kind of kid who is a friend to literally everyone she knows and an underdog for the outcast kind of kids.  She has a gift for making those around her feel loved, included and important.  Whitney makes me laugh every day.  I’m so proud to be her Mamma.

BelleIsabelle  Joy(Belle, Isabob, Corndog, LIttle Mac, Is., Peanut)

Belle is 10.  She exudes joy and life like no one I’ve ever known.  From the minute she wakes up until her head hits the pillow at night, she oozes life and radiates joy.  She is so much fun, non-stop.  She is a Rainbow Loom genius, making bracelets and crafts several hours a day.  She is deeply sensitive, is easily hurt, but comes alongside those who hurt because she knows how it feels.  Belle is a best friend and buddy to whomever she is with.  She is the definition of joy.  Her smile and laugh light up a room like magic.  I’m so proud to be Belle’s Mamma.

Michelle-HeadbandMe – I’m 41.  I’ve written for several magazine publications over the past 10 or so years about family life and spiritual matters.  I am a mega introvert.  I need lots and lots of time alone, and people often misunderstand this part of me as snobbishness or aloofness.  I promise I am neither of those.  I love people.  I love Jesus.

I love my family with all of my heart.  I love anything artsy or creative or fun.  Driving my Jeep with the top down, taking photos along the way with the sun on my face (or even in the pouring rain) fills me up.  I’m often in nature alone, photographing stuff that point me to my Creator.  I see Him through my camera lens, and hear His voice in the wind.

That’s enough introducing for now. Your eyeballs are probably tired from this very, very long post.  Go take a nap and give your eyes a break.  It’s been so lovely getting to know you all.  Thanks for being gracious and kind as we humbly get to know you back.

~Grace and Peace.


Aug 22 2013

Finding Our Maker (While Wandering West)

I mentioned in a previous post that one of the unexpected surprises for me personally along our sabbatical journey this summer was the way I saw God everywhere. The God who made me made the Grand Tetons. The God who made me made Old Faithful to spout, spray, and show off every 88 minutes or so. The God who made me saw Pike’s Peak before Katherine Bates hiked up in 1893 and was so moved that she composed the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” at the top.”

Our friend Steve at the Potter’s Inn made a point to tell us as we sat on his porch with his wife Gwen, “See that mountain over there…Pikes Peak? God made that mountain. God made you. Katherine Bates wrote a song about how beautiful the mountain was. But God wouldn’t sing a song about a mountain. He’d sing a song about YOU.” And we all got it. God loves US, His Beloved.

The beauty we saw while wandering in the west this summer stunned our souls. We had so many moments where all we could say was “Wow”…or even better, just nothing.

So, I made a video today of some of the pictures I took along the way. The very last photo of the lightning hitting the Grand Tetons was taken by my amazingly gifted daughter Maddie.

Enjoy the show.


Jul 8 2013

Better Together

Family in Car

 

Our family is moving at a high rate of speed, bumping and rumbling alone in a rented RV somewhere around where Wyoming meets Utah. I’ve personally never met Utah, so surprise awaits us all I am sure. We have just spent an absolutely incredible week in Yellowstone and the Great Tetons.

In one day, I’ve watched the landscape around me change from towering jagged snow capped mountains to rolling green hills and now the greens of Wyoming are slowly giving way to the browns and oranges of Utah.

Driving across the West has taught me a few things about myself, my family, and my Creator.

 

Myself:

  • Michelle at TetonsI am a camping Diva. I never used to mind the “roughing it” part of camping. Now I do.
  • I like to eat way more than I like to cook. Especially in an RV.
  • Being in the wide open for so long has brought me great joy. The deep satisfying kind of joy that sticks around for awhile.
  • I am a noticer. I notice all sorts of things other people pass right by. I used to think I was odd for this. But I’m starting to realize it is a gift.
  • I could sit and stare at the mountains for hours and never get bored.

 

My Family:

Family at Jenny Lake

  • We collectively are very funny. There have been more tears of laughter than tears of frustration. This has been good for all of us.
  • We are better “together”. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing is just so much more awesome because we are all doing it together.
  • We all have extremely strong opinions about everything. We are learning to share those opinions with grace and compassion.
  • We all love adventures equally and passionately. We are so grateful for this time we have together doing what we all love to do.

 

My Creator:

Belle on Jackson Lake

  • Walking wildflower paths on snow capped mountains, watching my kids swim in a mountain lake, wandering outside at midnight in awe of the sky, so bright with stars, they lit up my eyes, then my heart, I have seen a Great Artist behind it all.
  • The Great Artist knew we might occasionally feel alone, so he put the stars and the mountain tops and the green green grass right where we could see them so we’d know He’s right there. We are never alone.
  • In the darkest pit of a cave, no lights at all, my hand invisible in front of my face, His voice moved in my heart, whispering, “I’m here.” Swaying in a hammock from the breeze coming over the mountain, The wind saying, “Shhhh….” through the treetops. “Know I am here.”

 

We are so, so grateful for every second we get together as a family on this sabbatical. We truly are Better Together.


May 7 2013

My Mother’s Day Gift To Myself

I made this video today as a Mother’s Day gift to myself–celebrating my babies, my treasures, my jewels. Everyday with them is a gift I am so grateful for.


Oct 3 2012

Setting Up and Stepping Back

What happens when we set up a moment and step back and watch…

We took the girls on a walk around Notre Dame last Friday night. It was not a game weekend, so it was eerily quiet on campus, the moon was shining, the breeze was cool and everything just seemed right in the air.

I don’t think any of the girls have ever been in the Sacred Heart Basilica before. The doors were open, so we walked in. A bride and groom were just gathering in the back for a wedding rehearsal; the wedding coordinator gave us a stern look over her glasses, but no one stopped us so we went in and grabbed a pew.

As parents, we have learned that we can’t always control what our kids retain when we try to teach them, but we have also learned that part of our responsibility as parents is setting up moments as best we can in order to help our kids receive a “moment.” After the “set up” we know our job is also to “step back” and watch as they learn something on their own.

We hope and pray that our girls will get a glimpse of holiness, of Jesus, of their Heavenly Father…and sometimes everything just snaps into place and there He is in all his glory, revealing himself to our children in a way only He could.

Friday night was one of those nights. Our girls were enraptured by the sense of wonder and holiness that comes by standing in front of a place like the Grotto at Notre Dame, seeing all those candles lit, representing prayers lifted to Heaven.

Isabelle is just eight years old, but she had a very special moment with Jesus I thought I’d share with you.

At her school, one of the rewards for especially good behavior is a purple “Live Strong” bracelet.  She was able to get two of these in the first few weeks of school, which is a pretty big deal when you’re in second grade.  She was devastated when she lost one on Thursday. She came home crying and crying, so very sad that it was gone.  She is a very tender hearted kid, and it’s hard to console her when something is just “gone” and can’t be replaced.

On Friday when we walked past the “Touchdown Jesus” muriel on the Notre Dame campus, Belle said that she “felt God move around in her heart in a special way”. Then, when we walked in the Sacred Heart Basicilla, she wanted to go over by herself on a pew to pray. She came back over to us with teary eyes, just pouring her heart out to Jesus, in awe of the beauty of that place.

When we walked over to the Grotto, she said that she wanted  a few minutes to pray. She knelt down, closed her eyes, and when she opened her eyes,  A PURPLE BRACELET WAS ON THE FENCE POST RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER!  She could not believe it. The bracelet was almost identical to the one she had lost. She wasn’t ecstatic or anything, just happy. “Look at what God gave to me”, she said with such simple child-like faith.

There was no doubt in her mind God put that bracelet there, just for her.

Moms and Dads can set up moments to teach their kids about the holiness of God, but when we step back, we stand amazed at what God does to teach our children about Himself.

I am in awe. And more in love with my Heavenly Father than ever.