Showing posts from 2015

... by grace ... through faith ... in Christ ...

On this day, memories are at the forefront of our thoughts, as we remember this day 4 years ago, and a million other little memories of days "before" and days "after". This year, my memories are sweeter, tears are a little less "sorrow"ful {time does bring that healing}, and God's grace in our life is so still so very evident! 
God in His lovingkindness blessed me with Rick, and has allowed me to love again! He {and God!} are my strength on days like this, and though the emotions are "weird" {living in the present, with memories of the past so close to the surface}, we talk and we pray and he {and God!} help me get through! 
If you sent a text, a Facebook message, a note, or shared hugs & kind words today THANK YOU!  Thank you for remembering and reaching out to us!  Rickey loved well and was loved, that is still very evident! 
I had another post ready for tonight, but I realized that nothing I say really matters unless it points you to the…

... he turned 12 ...

You see, he turned 12 in a homeless shelter, this was real to him.

"Let's check out the church at the homeless shelter" he said, like it was no big deal. And to him it wasn't, yet it was. You see, he turned 12 in a homeless shelter, this was real to him.
To me, it was an even bigger deal, but not for the same reasons. Me? I'd grown up in your typical, mid-western, middle-class family. Dad worked, mom stayed home for our elementary school years, we kids went to public school, and my family attended church - I had my view of how life was inside my own little safe world, inside my own little safe walls, inside my little "box" of safe Christianity. But the world wasn't as safe as I believed, he was helping me to see. You see, he turned 12 in a homeless shelter, this was real to him.
I'd helped out at the Milwaukee Mission on a youth missions trip and we had even visited Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. I did my part in…

{never forget}

"I'll just catch the news quick before taking Tessa to school" I thought as I clicked on the tiny little TV on top of the hutch in the kitchen.
The local news appeared to be over when the TV came to life and instead of seeing the normal Fox 11 morning news cast, I was watching a live broadcast of the "terrible accident" that had just happened in New York City as an airplane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers just moments before.  I, along with countless others across the nation and the world watched in horror as the reality sunk in that this may have been far more than a "terrible accident" as on live TV, we saw the 2nd plane hit the south tower. I remember in that moment, I whispered, "Lord, come quickly".
I didn't know what was happening, or what would happen, but I knew it just didn't feel right and that 2 planes flying into 2 buildings couldn't be just an accident. I packed up the girls and brought Tessa to school. Having …

{the least of these}

When these words are spoken to you as  you stand before the throne, what will you be able to say you have done "for the least of these"? 
I grew up in your very typical Mid-Western middle class household.  Dad worked a full-time job at the shipyard in town, mom worked part time when we were young going full time as we got into high school through her retirement. Thanks to my hard-working parents, I never knew what it was to truly "want" for much of anything {although I'm sure there were times I thought I did!} much less ever go without my basic needs being met. I was taught to shop the sales racks, and we didn't drive outrageously expensive cars or live in an extravagant home, but we did have "nice stuff" {I now live in the house I grew up in and still love it!}. My childhood was blessed more than I ever knew!
To me, a homeless person was someone who lived in a cardboard box in the middle of an alley in a big city, far away {at least as far as Chica…


Have you ever cried yourself to sleep, holding your pillow in the dark asking God, "why me"?
Our why me questions are as individual as our fingerprints ...
Why didn't I get that promotion?
Why don't my children love me?
Why did you take my loved one?
Why am I battling this illness?
Why doesn't my spouse love me?
Why did that deal on our house fall through?
Why am I battling this addiction?
Why am I not good enough?
Why did my friend betray me?
Why do I have to feel all alone?
Why, why, why?
We can all fill in the blank of our own why, and we all have them at some point or another in our lives.
We live in a fallen world where Satan prowls like a roaring lion {1 Peter 5:8} seeking to devour us. And as we face these why questions, clinging to our pillow in the dark of the night, it certainly can feel like we are going to be devoured.
If you are feeling the weight of "why" today, I encourage you to remember that in God's eyes, you are accepted. You are loved. You are …

{gracious words}

Most of the time, I can use gracious words, but did you know this goes deeper that the words we {say} it's also the {way} we say them?
How often do we slip into the trap of snide remarks, sarcasm, eye rolling or even feeling superior to someone when speaking with them? 
Where is the graciousness at that point?  On {good} days, it's easy for our speech to be gracious, not only in the spoken word, but in the delivery of the spoken word. 
But what about on those days when things aren't going so well?
What about when you feel like:
You can never do anything right
Nobody cares about your feelings
Everyone forgot about you
You worked around the house all day, and nobody notices {how clean the house is, all the laundry that got done, the grass that got mowed, the food that got prepared, the pets that got fed ....}
Nobody loves you {even God}
The list could go on and on. We all have {those days}, I know, I had one this week!  And on {those days} I so quickly forget what I know to be tru…

one of "those" days ...

So ... today is one of "those days"!
And by "those days" I mean one where I'm counting the hours until I can go back to bed!
I don't feel that way because it's Rickey's Birthday.

 I feel that way because it's a day where there's an elephant in the room.
I feel that way because even though I love the texts and messages, it really is "just another day".
I feel that way because I don't know what I'm supposed to do or say or how I'm supposed to "act" ... do I ignore the significance of the day, do I wear sackcloth and ashes so I'm grieving properly, do I tiptoe around the fact that it's Rickey's Birthday, just in case I might offend someone?
I feel that way because I don't know what to write today, because it might not be the "right" thing in somebody's eyes.

I feel this way because on a day like today, I feel the weight of expectations. How do people expect me to act? How do they expect me …

... do it TODAY!

"Love is all you need" is how the old song goes ... and while that my not be entirely true, and I had a completely different post written in my mind to go with the "love" theme I posted on the "My Journey 139" Facebook page, it's the song in my head right now.

While "love" might not be "all you need", it sure is an important part of living!

Tonight I went to the local funeral home for the visitation of a former neighbor, a friend, a classmate. She died in her sleep. She was only 50 years old.  If you are 16 and reading this, that makes her sound ancient. If you are 75 and reading this, she's young enough to be your daughter. If you are somewhere in between, you are thinking, wow, 50 isn't that old!

So, what does visiting the funeral home and my neighbor/friend/classmate have to do with love?

Everything actually!

As I stood in line, it was hard not to remember being there myself almost 4 years ago. It was hard not to remember the…