5/21/16

{she.said.yes}♥

so much has been going on lately that I haven't taken time to blog!

the car was totaled and we made "car decisions" and as usual, God's hand was so evident in everything and we were more than taken care of!

we are moving forward with my signing on to be a lularoe style consultant and i'm excited and terrified all at the same time!

we took a trip to kentucky {via chicago & a college visit for kajsa} to see tessa graduate from boyce college. it was such a blessing to be able to spend the weekend with my mom & dad, all three girls, tim, rochet and andrew!

we came home from kentucky to a fun week spent with rick's younger brother ken and his wife linda from florida! we always have such a good time with them and we're glad that kenny needs a "place to stop and pee" when he's traveling!



in even {bigger} news ...

when tessa, taya and andrew came home for easter, andrew asked if he could talk with us while they were here, so on the friday night of their visit, he shared with us his love for tessa and his desire to ask her to marry him!

as a mama of 3 girls, i {and their daddy} spent many hours praying that God would be preparing them for this time in their lives. we prayed that God would be preparing the man that He had for them {even when that man was yet unknown and still a little boy!} 

even as i type that, i'm amazed to think that i prayed for andrew before i even knew him.  that i prayed for him as he was young, and growing, and facing the joys and sorrows that he has known to this point in his life.

of course, God knows so much more than this mama knows, and He orchestrated the events that led tessa and andrew to each other {which included the heartbreak last spring of northland international university closing}! when andrew asked for our blessing, it was given to him freely and without reserve! he has shown himself to be a wise and Godly young man, and we couldn't be happier to welcome him into our family!

after finals, graduation, packing up a dorm room and all that goes with college life, tessa and drew were able to head to uncle tim & aunt rochet's lake house in alabama for some quiet time.  on wednesday {uncle tony & aunt tricia's 20th anniversary}, after kayaking to their favorite spot on the lake, andrew "popped the question" and it is now "official" ... tessa and andrew are engaged and we couldn't be happier!

congratulations tessa and andrew!  we love you so much!


5/3/16

{quick.update}

the car has been towed to the adjustor.

in detroit or grand rapids.

yes, crazy i know, but that's how our insurance company does it!

so, now we wait to see if it is repairable or totaled, and while we wait, we are keeping an eye out for a replacement {initial indications are that it is totaled} :(

when i went yesterday to retrieve the items remaining in the car, there was an older lady at the body shop at the same time as me.

the car she was cleaning out looked very familiar ...

as in, it looked like the car in the pictures that hit the girls on saturday.

so i asked her, was this her car, was she the lady in the accident saturday.

yes, it was her.  she explained that she felt terrible. she looked both ways and just didn't see their car. she crawled out of the passenger side of her car because her driver's side door wouldn't open. when she got to kajsa's car, the girls were all still inside, and she didn't see them moving. she panicked, not knowing if they were o.k. or not {i can't imagine what must have been going through her mind at that moment}.

she apologized for not saying anything on saturday.

she was glad to know that all girls were o.k. ... achey, bruised and shook, but o.k.

she has a sore wrist {she had it x-rayed - no breaks}.

i showed her prom pictures. she thought the girls were beautiful.

she said she felt so bad.

she was very sweet!

i gave her a hug and told her that it's why these things are called "accidents".

i did my best to extend grace to her, she didn't mean to hit them.

so, while there is some frustration in waiting on insurance, trying to understand why the car had to be towed down state, looking for a potential replacement car ... and so on ...

4 people are {other than aches and pains} o.k.

God's hand protected everyone.

life is still good.

God is still good.

And it was just an accident.

I still choose forgiveness and thankfulness! 

5/2/16

{it.was.an.a.c.c.i.d.e.n.t.}


yesterday, we filed an auto insurance claim online, the insurance e-mailed us today that they will come and get the car to bring it to an "approved" garage today or tomorrow.  that means i'll stop on my way to work and make sure that all of k's belongings are removed from the car ... just in case it is totaled and we never see it again. ugh! it's an inconvenience, and an extra stop and "duty" in my day that i'd not planned, but it is what it is. such is life, and these "minor inconveniences" we call accidents!

dictionary.com defines accident this way: 
yes, a possibly totaled car, 3 girls who are achey, bruised and "shook", police reports, insurance claims and all that those things entail is certainly undesirable AND unfortunate.

 however, i do believe that it did occur unintentionally. i do not believe that the lady who hit the girls on saturday set out that morning determined to see if she could injure 3 precious girls and total their car {and possibly her own}!  accidents do happen. saturday was not a "good" day for an accident ... 3 happy-go-lucky teenage girls, happily driving home from decorating for their junior prom, not a care in the world other than getting their hair and make-up done for the big evening ahead of them ... when suddenly out of nowhere {or so it seemed} there was an undesirable and unfortunate turn of events. yes undesirable and unfortunate, but certainly not intentional! 

in this situation, i {we} have a choice to make! that choice is ours and ours alone and it will shape how we face the situation! the choice is to be angry and bitter or to accept the situation for what it is {an accident} and to forgive the driver of the car that hit the girls.

dictionary.com defines forgive:


and, in the bible we are commanded to forgive:

Ephesians 4:32 {in the Message version} says:

Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

the choice is ours, be angry that the other driver hit them, though we know nothing of her or the circumstances. was she distracted by poor health, a bad report from her doctor, stress in her family, a wayward child of her own ... ? i don't know and probably never will, but i do feel that whatever caused her distraction on saturday was not an intentional act to harm others. i've been distracted when driving, and by God's grace, i've not had an accident, and should it ever happen, i pray that i'll be forgiven as well.

in this case, i will choose to forgive the other driver and to be thankful.  thankful that these two beautiful young ladies {and their friend} walked away from the accident, achey, bruised and "shook" but unscarred and ALIVE! i will choose to be thankful that we are not at their bedside in a hospital watching them fight for life or planning funerals today. i will choose to believe that even in car accidents, God reigns and is sovereign. that He knew this accident would happen and His hand of protection was on the girls and the driver of the other vehicle. 

i will chose forgiveness and thankfulness and love.

i will choose to be forever grateful that God forgave me, thus allowing me to forgive others! 

and, i'll be thankful for these precious girls and all that they mean to me! ♥



5/1/16

{it.wasn't.november.5.}

i checked my cell phone and saw:

*missed call from Kajsa - 16 minutes ago* 

since she was down town decorating for the prom, i figured she was checking in, maybe asking if they could stop for coffee or bagels on the way home.

i quickly called her back and casually asked, "what's up"?

she said, "didn't you talk to rick {her step-dad}?" followed just as quickly by "we had an accident. we are all o.k., but my car isn't. oh, hang on, rick's here now." 

i was at the mall preparing for a vendor show. 

i was without a car.

 rick had dropped me off while he went to the studio for class.

it's the phone call i never want to get. it's the phone call that puts me back in time. it's the phone call that makes my knees weak and my heart skip a beat {or two or three} before it starts racing. for me, it put me right back to november 5, 2011, 

"i'm sorry, there's been an accident ..."

{i believe that's what they call p.t.s.d.}

i HEARD kajsa's voice.  .

I KNEW that meant she was o.k. 

i KNEW her step-dad who loves her very much was with her.

i KNEW cars can be repaired or replaced. 

i KNEW this wasn't november 5, 2011, but still...

ugh ... that feeling in the pit of my stomach!

rick later said he could imagine me leaving my display at the vendor show and running out of the mall and down the street, with no idea of where i was headed {i didn't do that - but i did think about it!}

instead, i sat down and prayed. and you know what? God gave me peace.

i still kept texting kajsa, just to make sure she was "o.k." but i wasn't in an out-and-out panic anymore! i was so thankful. she was o.k. she didn't need to go to the hospital. she would be able to go to the prom later in the day. i was so thankful. so very, very, very thankful!

i was thankful too, when rick brought kajsa over to me so i could see for myself that she was ok {bumped and bruised and a little "shook", but ok} and i was thankful a few hours later when she and all of her friends had the limo driver bring them to the mall so we could see all of them and take a few pictures!

again yesterday i was reminded that life is brief. things can change in the blink of an eye. we all are just one phone call from our knees. again i was reminded of the importance of telling those we love that we love them. of living life with no regrets. of making sure that we know who we serve and of knowing that we have placed our faith in Christ!




4/28/16

there's.a.day.for.everything.

if a good friend of mine {who also lost her husband at a "young" age} hadn't posted it,
i'd have no idea that today was

"worker's memorial day"

"a day to honor and remember all of the men and women who were injured or killed just for going to work."


while rickey wasn't officially "on the job" the day he died, he was performing his life's "trade" ... that particular day, he was just earning his "pay" in bear bait instead of currency!

i often wonder if rickey had ANY IDEA when he left home that morning that he'd never be coming back ... we truly do not know the number of our days. cherish each moment you have with those you love! don't pass up the chance to tell someone you love them, to hug them and to give them a kiss ... because honestly, we never know which one may be our last ♥

though in our earthly minds, rickey was taken from us too soon, we know without a doubt {as tessa once said to me} "we had him as long as we were supposed to".  that is a hard concept for our human minds to grasp, yet it is the hope we continually hold on to {psalm 139:16}!

as i watch our beautiful girls grow into even more beautiful young ladies, i'm continually reminded how proud of them their daddy would be {and is ... he's smiling down on them from Heaven!} and i'm ever so thankful that i am blessed to be their mom!

so ... on this "worker's memorial day", thank you rickey for loving us well and serving us well.  thank you for your dedication to us, your church, your friends, your job and the LORD!  thank you for the memories and the laughter and the wonderful legacy you left!

you are loved. you are missed. you are never forgotten. 

and we will see you again some glorious day! 

until then ....


here's rickey "working" in the bahamas! :) 

4/14/16

{death.changes.life}

once again, i'm blogging after a brief hiatus. i often struggle with knowing "what" to blog. i always feel inadequate to blog.  my first post back in november of 2011 said,

"This may be more for myself than anyone else, but if you'd like to read, you are invited to come along for the ride.  I make no promises that it will be pretty and rosy and it might get a little messy! I do hope to dig deeper into God's purpose for life and for death.  For hurt and for heartache as I write.  Here we go!"

that was 267 blog posts ago; 4 years and 5 months ago; 218.5 weeks ago; 1,610 days ago; 38,640 hours ago; 2,318,400 seconds ago. through every one of those posts and those years and months and weeks and days and hours and seconds, GOD has never left my side. He has been the only CONSTANT in all that time. you may not have read my past posts, or you may have read all of them, either way, it has been a journey! there have been good days and bad days and there surely have been messy days.  i have learned about life and death and hurt and heartache, and i'm still learning. i usually feel very inadequate when i sit down to type. while i desire to shine God's light and His grace and love and mercy, sometimes i struggle because some days life just plain hurts! even though i know deep in my soul that He is always there some days are harder than others.

i have learned that {death changes life}.

this past month i had the honor of pre-reading and being on the "launch team" for gary roe's book, "please be patient, i'm grieving" {you can get it HERE!}. it was an amazing read, a must read if you are grieving or you know someone who is grieving {so that means it's for just about EVERYONE!} but, it hurt to read it because i could have written it! everyone has their own grief journey and through it, good will come but we can also make some pretty big mistakes - either in how we grieve {or don't grieve} and how we respond to the grieving.

for the past couple of months, i've been in a "funk" and this book was really an eye opener {here comes the "messy" part, so you can quit reading now if you'd like!}

today in my devotional "scary close" by donald miller i read,

"it's true what I'm saying. if your identity gets broken, it affects our ability to connect. ... i wonder how many people are withholding the love they could provide because they secretly believe they have fatal flaws."

ouch!

"if your identity gets broken" ...

{disclaimer: this is not a "pity party" post ... i'm guessing that if donald miller wrote those words he has felt this way and i know that i have felt this way, i don't think that he and i are the only ones who feel we've had "broken identies"}

so, what does that mean to me, to my family, to you?
well, it may mean nothing to you, but i'm hoping that if i share a peek inside my broken-ness, it may help someone else in theirs, so ... here goes nothing!

for almost 20 years, i was "rickey's wife". for almost 18 of those years, i was also "tessa, taya and kajsa's mom". i was grand-daughter, daughter, daughter/sister in-law, wife, mom, aunt, friend. in the blink of an eye and with 6 words spoken by a doctor, i was stripped of my identity as "rickey's wife". there was no longer a rickey & sheila, we were no longer a "we"; "i" was an "i" ... and who was "i"? while i was identified as a couple for all that time, i also realized {after rickey was gone} that my priorities had been out of order. where i should have had God first, then rickey, then our children and so forth, rickey often was 5th or 6th or 10th on my list ... after the children and work and the church commitments and friends, and, and, and ... we didn't go away alone together, we didn't spend quiet time with God and each other, we didn't, we didn't, we didn't ... because there was PLENTY of time for that after the kids grew up and moved on ... only, we never got that time. God blessed us with the most amazing kids in the world {o.k. so i'm a little biased} but ... rickey should have been a little higher on my priority list ... and now, now it was too late ... and my identity was broken. i have {foolishly, i know} begged God to just let rickey come back for one day, for one hour so i could say the words i should have said, do the things i should have done, apologize for all that i needed to apologize for. of course, i know that isn't possible, but it leaves a broken identity, it leaves regrets, it leaves what feel like "fatal flaws". it leaves me reaching deeper, trying harder and striving more to do things that in my own strength i cannot do. {death changes life} 

amazingly, God still loves me, broken identity, mistakes, regrets and "fatal flaws" ... all of it. His love is constant and i'm never out of His reach {even when i'm trying to run}.  in that love, He allowed me to love again. He brought my "new" rick into my life. we pledged before God and our children to love, honor and serve one another. we made a covenant to stick it out through good times and bad {and we've had both!} ... in that covenant however, came changes. i was told that i didn't give others long enough to grieve. i shouldn't have re-married so soon. i was no longer their daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, friend. identity broken. pain inflicted. loss felt. more "fatal flaws".

after loving and losing {death changes life} i had realized that the Godly order of life should always have been:

1. God
2. Spouse {and as a female, he is the head of the home and i need to submit to him - a HARD concept for this strong-willed stubborn scandinavian}
3. Children
4. Family
5. All the rest of it!


that looks nice on paper, but {insert} another "fatal flaw" ... now i am torn ... i feel a God led need to honor and submit to my new husband, to allow him to lead and to put him before my children ... BUT ... they came first! how do i do that, how do i balance it all, how, how, how? and through the process, i feel i have failed. failed miserably. i have not loved, honored, served and submitted to rick well, i have not loved, honored and served my children well. while i have tried to "do it all" i have failed, i have hurt those the i love the most, the most deeply. another "fatal flaw". i was raised a "good sunday school girl", i know the "right" words and verses and answers, but i'm not always sure how to put them into practice and live them out. i struggle and beat myself up when i let my "human-ness" get in the way of my God-likeness!

"if your identity gets broken, it affects our ability to connect."

i crave connection. i feed off of that random text in the middle of the day that says "i thought about you", "i prayed for you", "i love you" ... my last text to rickey said "where are you?" ... and he didn't answer it because he was already in the presence of his Lord and Savior in Heaven. but because of that, i crave connection, oftentimes too much. i "expect" others to understand that need {though maybe unreasonable at times}. because rickey couldn't answer that text, when i don't get answers to my texts i fear loss, i fear abandonment i push for connection, and in the process, i push others away because my expectations are greater than their ability to fulfill them {in the manner i think they should be fulfilled}. another "fatal flaw", another way {death has changed my life}.

i'm really not sure where this is going ... it probably sounds totally random to you if you've stuck with it this far and for that, i apologize! 

in this process of {death changing life} and grief {which i have not done well} i've made some pretty big mistakes. i've pushed away those who love me most. i've expected from others things they cannot give {because how can they give when they don't even know my need} i have said things and done things and acted in ways that aren't pretty and aren't God honoring and that i am not proud of ... i have been "tough" because i don't want to appear needy. i have been sassy when i should have been sweet. i have put on a smile to hide tears. i have felt my identity broken and i have felt that i have "fatal flaws".

i have struggled with how to "fix" things and i have battled demons that aren't mine to battle {i need to GIVE IT ALL TO GOD}. yesterday, a very wise person said to me, "you can't go back and say 'i should have', you can only move forward". so, while there are so many things that "i should have" done or said or thought that i can't change, i plan to look forward.  if you've stuck with reading this to this point and i have in any way hurt you by my words, my actions or my attitude, my sass or my silence, i do apologize. i ask that you pray for and with me that i can allow God to fully take control of those words, actions, emotions and responses. i want to let go of my expectations of others and i want to love as He loves, freely and without reservation. i can't go back and un-do or fix past hurts, but i can with God's love and grace and forgiveness move forward and look to Him to help me speak in love, react with grace, control my often out of control emotions and respond in His way, not my own. as i worked on this post, i prayed that anyone reading it would only hear what God wants heard, that it would not be "me" but "Him" ... after i finished that last sentence, a friend sent me a text, and within that text was this {which i'll leave you with}:

"BE KIND ... 'she opens her mouth in skillful and Godly wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness {giving counsel and instruction}. proverbs 31:26 ... Lord, make my heart to be kind and compassionate, so that it overflows in kind words to others. may my words have the power of life in them to build up others and encourage them. amen."

4/7/16

{b.u.s.y}

i realize i haven't blogged in awhile.

i've been busy!

busy "re"-learning how to waitress although it is a little like riding a bike! this new job has also kept me busy learning names! i'm working at a retirement community in the dining room and we serve the residents by writing their names on the order tickets! at first i thought i'd never remember them all, but after just a week and 1/2 i'm getting there! sometimes when i wake up in the middle of the night, i quiz myself to see how many i remember! 

all that said, the job is great, my boss and co-workers are great and the residents make my day!  all in all, i must say that i love it! 

i'm off today and my "to-do" list is way longer than it should be, but i do have a couple of blog posts that are rolling around in my head ... if time allows, i'll try and put them down on paper {o.k. on the keyboard, but paper just sounds cooler!}

until then, thanks for checking in and have a great day!

trust God with ALL that comes your way and know that YOU ARE LOVED!


3/28/16

{where.He.leads}

in 2012, i left my job as high school secretary to take a position at our local hospital.

that position actually fell through before i was offered another position at the hospital ...  you can read about how God's hand was in that story in a blog post from July 2012 HERE!

in january 2014, my employment with the hospital ended when i {at my doctor's recommendation} did not receive my flu shot {yes, for real} but that's a story for another blog post ...

after that, i kept busy helping rick with our clinic/broga yoga studio and this fall, i went back to the school system as a substitute para-pro, primarily at the elementary school.  while i love the people who work there and i love the kids, this was a part-time, on call "gig", not income to be counted on for monthly budgeting.

so ... on a whim, i stopped in when i saw a "help wanted" sign at a local business and filled out an application .

after not hearing anything for a couple of weeks, i assumed that the position was filled and i told the school that i could fill in as long as they needed me in the young 4's program {the assistant teacher had taken another job, and while i could fill the position as a sub, i did not have the degree required to apply for the position}.

well ... as things go, almost as soon as i made that commitment, i got a call!

"would you like to come in for an interview? we are hiring, but not for the position you applied for."

i agreed to the interview and went and spoke with the lady {who was very nice!} ...

after the interview {which went well} and much {much}, did i mention {much} prayer, i accepted the position and let the school know that i could not come back to my subbing position after spring break.

today, i spent my first 2 shifts working in the dining room at 

"the harbors retirement community"!

this retirement community is housed in our old hospital {the one i was born in} that has been totally remodeled {and i must say, it is beautiful}!

i didn't sleep last night {i'm blaming the dogs, maybe it was nerves?!} and was up well before my alarm rang at 5:00 a.m. ... so was poor rick, but i appreciated having him up to send me off with a hug and a kiss and words of support and encouragement!

i am looking forward to this new adventure and to hopefully to being a blessing to these wonderful "elderly" folks in our community!  i have SO MUCH to learn ... like the names of all of the residents as that is how we take their orders and deliver their meals to their tables! i'm sure thankful for those long hours i spent working at ponderosa and the farm house as a teenager, but i'm not sure i can carry a tray full of food and drinks as well now as i did back then!

the position offers me a little more "free" time than being at the school would, and i'm in town, so  i'm available to rick at the clinic as well as to pastor and the rest of the staff at our church/the local homeless shelter. i'll be working the breakfast and lunch shifts on weekdays so i have late afternoons and weekends off as well!

i'm not sure what God has in mind, or where this position will take me, but i felt His leading very strongly in the events of this position opening up, so "where He leads, i will follow"!




{He.is.risen}

He is RISEN!

He is RISEN INDEED!

words of hope, words of life!

Hallelujah He is RISEN!

listen HERE!

3/25/16

{this.day}

quick trip to green bay with kajsa before she works today.

love spending time with my girls ...i am so very blessed!

contemplating what this day, this Easter weekend, means to the world and to me. 

unable to comprehend what He went through for me. 

in awe that He went through that agony to pay for my salvation. 

thankful that His death and resurrection promises eternal life. 

excited that today, tomorrow and Sunday are the reason we grieve the loss of loved ones, but not without hope of the glorious day when we will be reunited!

amazed by grace!

3/24/16

{barefoot}

so, there's this book i've been reading and it is taking me a while to finish. I am typically a fast reader but this book, i have had to read slowly and "digest"! the book is "interrupted" by {jen hatmaker} and frankly, it is interrupting my life!

in "interrupted" jen speaks of an instance where her comfy faith walk was interrupted and she realized the need to be a "barefoot church". i will blog more about that later ... but ... i cannot get that out of my mind ... I want to be a part of a barefoot church, but more than that, i need to be a barefoot Christian!

this means that i need to {willingly, happily} 

*serve {when what i really want is to be served} 

this means that i need to {willingly, happily} 

*love {even when i feel unloved}

this means that i need to {willingly, happily} 

*give {even when i feel empty}

this means that i need to {willingly, happily} 

*share my time {even when i feel like my schedule is full - if it is so full that i can't do what God asks, it's too full}

this means that i need to {willingly, happily} 

*share my talents {even when i think they are minimal and of no use to the kingdom}

this means that i need to {willingly, happily} 

*share my possessions {they really aren't "mine" anyway}

i see the need to be selfless not selfish.  i am being convicted. if I were asked to give my shoes to the needy, would I give them gladly, and offer my coat too? I hope so, but I can't honestly say it would be with a joyful heart ... yet I want to be a "barefoot Christian" ... more in this soon!

i've been wearing this necklace recently, to remind myself of how beautiful "bare feet" can be!




3/20/16

{dr.cucumber} ♥

i'm sorry, we don't have any appointments available today.

i'm sorry, doctor is not in the office today, we can get you in tomorrow.

i'm sorry, we aren't taking new patients at this time.

i was a young {nervous} mama with a sick little girl and I needed to bring her to a doctor.  in desperation i pulled out the phone book and looked in the yellow pages {you know that pre-google book with names & phone numbers!} i knew that taya had an ear infection so when i found "northern lights ear, nose and throat" i figured i'd try to call them.

a sweet receptionist answered the phone and told me that yes, they usually required a referral from our primary care physician and that even if they could accept us without a referral, doctor was out of town at a conference. she did however, take some information from me and we hung up.

i remember crying right along with taya after i hung up, she in pain and me feeling helpless not knowing what to do to help her.

imagine my surprise when a few hours later my phone rang and voice on the other end was the receptionist from northern lights ent. she went on to say that doctor hnatuk had returned a little early from his conference, he had some free time that afternoon, would i like to bring taya in to be seen? my first thought was disbelief, if he had been at a conference and had just returned, he must have so many other things that needed his attention, why would he be willing to fit us into his busy schedule? the second thought i had was that this man had to be quite an amazing person if he was willing to see us on short notice, after he had returned from a conference and without a referral.

needless to say, i packed up the three girls and we headed into town to meet this doctor hnatuk. without going into all the details, i'll just say that doctor hnatuk proved to be a wonderful doctor, person, and as we soon came to find out, God fearing, Christian man!  

one day he came into the exam room wearing a "larry the cucumber" tie {from veggie tales fame} and from that point on, he was affectionately referred to by our family as "dr. cucumber"! 

we shared many conversations about faith, family and God over the years as dr. cucumber placed ear tubes {more than once} in taya and kajsa's ears, as he removed first kajsa's tonsils and then mine, and later as i worked in the e.r. at our hospital and he would be passing through. he was a fine man, a caring compassionate doctor with a soft spoken "bedside manner" that easily put patient and mom at ease. he had a calm confidence and he genuinely cared about his patients.

i feel blessed to have had that "chance" encounter all those years ago when he was willing to fit us into his schedule, busy as he was.  

this week, we received the news that dr. hnatuk had "lost" his battle with cancer and had passed away. however, his "loss" was also his gain and his reward as he is now pain free, and joyous in the presence of his Savior, the Great Physician!

after he passed away, one of my friends shared this video of dr. speaking to the youth at his church {click HERE to watch}, and i think it is more than worth sharing! a few things to note ... at the very beginning, he greets those watching with "hi, and i miss you". lorrence knew that his cancer was terminal, he knew that unless God provided a miracle here on earth, that he would be gone from this earth in a short time and though he fought valiantly to the end, he accepted that. he knew that to live is Christ, but to die is GAIN {philippians 1:21}! he also tells of the moment when he was asked by pastor dave, "what answer will you give when you go to Heaven and are met at the gate and they ask why you should be let in?" and i ask you that same question ... you won't get in because you were a good person, or did good things, or put money in the offering, or attended church every sunday. the ONLY way dr. cucumber or you or i will be allowed into Heaven is by placing our trust in the one who died to save us from the penalty of our sins!  i pray that you are as blessed by this short video as i was! to God be the glory! 

dr. cucumber, you will always be remembered and loved and we are thankful to have had the privilege of knowing you!


3/18/16

{w.a.i.t.i.n.g.}

this is my view today ...


we are at bellin hospital in green bay waiting for dad to go in and have "his batteries changed" {his i.c.d. (pacemaker/defibrillator) is being replaced}.  this is the third one he has been through since he had his heart-attack and 5-bypasses done in 2005.

the staff here is just amazing, all so kind and calm and pleasant! the procedure is scheduled for 1:30 ... it's now 1:16 and he is still in the room with us ... that's the drawback of later in the day appointments ... sometimes the schedule gets a bit behind! they have been crazy busy here this morning ... controlled chaos rick called it!

so, we wait ...

"but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
isaiah 40:31  

3/12/16

{i.wanted.to.be.grumpy}

i wanted to be a little grumpy.

o.k. i wanted to be a LOT grumpy!

it was only 5:35 a.m.

on a saturday morning.

i hadn't gotten the coffee ready the night before.

the bed was warm and cozy.

it was saturday.

i wanted to be lazy and sleep in.

but, he got up so i got up.

he said "you don't have to get up just because i do"

"i know that" 

{but you're up and the dogs are up and now i probably won't go back to sleep anyway!}

so, i got up too.

i went to the kitchen where we {a little "grumpily"} worked together to make coffee.

i curled up in the living room and did my devotions.

and drank my coffee.

3 cups.

then i let the little one {gretchen} out.


and i paused for a few minutes.

i noticed there were birds singing.

i noticed how much snow had melted this week.

i noticed that the grass is already a little green.

i noticed that the sun is shining and the sky is as blue as blue can be.

i noticed that my backyard is as beautiful as many parks.


and i woke up grumbling?

thank you Lord, for the reminder of the beauty in the every day ...

... even at 5:30 a.m. on a saturday!

thank You for birds, and green grass, and sunshine and blue skies!

thank You for another day to live and love and praise You!

thank you for my family and my home and early morning coffee and devotions!

thank You for reminding me that life is beautiful ...

even at 5:30 a.m. on a saturday!

... and now, i'm off ...

broga class starts in 40 minutes!

i'm excited about my at home business {es}!

 i love my KEEP jewelry - and tomorrow is NATIONAL JEWELRY DAY

i can help YOU celebrate!


... and just this morning, i joined my sweet friend beth on my "Younique Journey"


in addition, we have an amazing clinic/studio and an amazing nutritional support product


that is changing people's lives every day ...

i have SO MUCH to be thankful for ... and i woke up grumpy?

i'm very excited about the companies i represent and would love to share any/all of them with you if you are interested! :)  shop any of my "stores" by clicking on the links above or fill out the "let's be friends" section to the right and i'll be in touch with you to see how i can help you!

and for now - go out and make it a GREAT SATURDAY! 




3/5/16

{has.my.God's.arm.shortened?}

when i doubt God's amazing power, rick will often quote numbers 11:23 to me

"the LORD answered moses, "is the LORD's arm too short?""

"i don't want to answer this" i said as my cell phone rang yesterday.

i knew the number on the caller i.d.

it was the number of the place i'd dropped our car off at earlier.

the place that was going to "diagnose" why our engine light was on.

we'd been told by another place that it would cost $200 ...

just to run diagnostics.

that didn't take into consideration any repairs that may be needed.

ouch.

double ouch 

considering we just had to replace a really important part on our furnace.

oh, you know, like the "little" part that makes it run.

i know, i'm so very technical when it comes to those things.

you're welcome!

the "little" part that costs $650 and that doesn't count labor.

which is doubled on a sunday.

which is then again doubled when 2 guys have to come to do the repairs.

 "is the LORD's arm too short"?" rick asked when that happened

and again when the bill came and it was MUCH less than we anticipated because

our amazing "furnace guy"

{i'm sure he has a more distinguished title than that} 

was able to reduce some of the costs for us!

anyway ... back to the car.

and the ringing phone.

and the fear in the pit of my stomach.

even though i'd prayed about the car.

even though that meant it should have been left in God's hands.

even though i know that He, not me is in control.

yes, He is in control, even of car repairs.

we couldn't just leave the car at the shop forever, so i had to answer the phone.

"hi, this is sheila" i sad, trying to sound pleasant, happy, cordial.

even as i steeled myself for the bad news.

"this is brian, your car is done", he said happily.

{of course he was happy, now he was going to tell me how much money he made!}

"do you need a shuttle, we will come and pick you up" he continued.

"what do we owe for the repairs?" i asked

{thinking, i won't need the shuttle if i can't pay you!}

"oh", he replied

"let's see ... the blah, blah blah {remember, i'm really good with technical terms

even more-so with cars than furnaces!} was broken, that's what made your

engine light come on, but it was under warranty, so there's no charge"

what, no charge, did i hear that correctly?

"has my God's arm shortened?"

"and then", he continued 

{o.k. here it comes, he started with the good news - they always do that}

"there was a crack in the something or other cap, but ...

there was a recall on that, so we took care of the recall."

really?

"has my God's arm shortened?"

"oh, yes, and the {blah, blah, blah} was leaking"

o.k. NOW he's going to deliver the bad news...

"but that was covered under the warranty too

so ... there's no charge"!

"what about running the diagnostics?" i asked 

{remember the other place wanted $200 just to run diagnostics}

"there's NO CHARGE ... everything was under warranty/recall,

did you need a shuttle to come and pick you up?"

"um, no", i mumbled, "i can make it over, see you soon" i said as i hung up.

as i set the phone down, i buried my head in my hands and sobbed ...

"has my God's arm shortened"

i heard from across the room as rick smiled a knowing smile at me ...

"has my God's arm shortened" indeed!

He reminded me AGAIN yesterday that He IS in control

of

all

things!

even car repairs!

"has my God's arm shortened"?

no, it hasn't, and again, He has taught me to trust.

fully trust.

because His arm is never too short to reach and rescue and bless!


{me, a chatterbox?}

if you have followed my blog at all you know that my heart has always been to share God's grace in the midst of human tragedy ... or wh...