People often ask me about the name of my blog... click here to read the story.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


If you've known me a long time, you know I hate winter. If you've known me a short time, you know I hate winter. Artic cold, snow, the holidays, and limited sunlight all add up, in my mind, to six monthes of misery. And if you don't live here and think I'm exaggerating, I'm telling the truth, winter in northwest Iowa is six months long.

Let me say publicly, I could NEVER have been a pioneer woman. I am not made of the same stuff as Caroline Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. The Long Winter would have done me in and with or without Charles, the train couldn't have gotten me back to New England fast enough.

But the fact that I hate winter is not exactly what this post is about.

This post is about beauty.

When I walked out of my house this morning, I was struck, not for the first time, with the beauty of the snow swirling around me. Winter has a way of closing in the walls; wrapping you in snow, overcast skies, and a strange chill that reminds you you're alive. As you wrap your coat tighter, pull down your hat and nuzzle your face into the scarf seeking warmth, you feel separated from everyone else...alone. Not lonely, but alone.

I like being alone...not lonely, but alone. I used to think it was a curse and the cause of some of my depression. Now I get that it's just how I'm made. Solitude recharges me.

When I'm alone True Beauty shows up and reminds me He's with me in my winter. He's the warmth I seek and when I'm alone, His presence is clear. He's right every thought, every day dream, every part of my heart.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Slip Slidin' Away...

It's icy here. On Monday night we had ice then snow. Remember that fact.

Okay, so last night MaryBeth & I were having fun decorating the house-and bonding in the meantime- for a Christmas party for my "Bible Study" (I use this term lightly; other names could be: intimate allies, fellowship of the heart or as one husband calls us the wine study).
Anyway, MB & I decorating...having fun...bonding...,we realize we're missing some necessary items so I suggest we run to my shop & get them. We trek out to the garage and no van (I need the van because my shop keys are on the same key ring).
Oh darn...Brad took it. Brad used the van to take measurements at a friends house for their kitchen remodel.
No big deal...I'll just use the work truck and go trade vehicles.
MB & I pile into the dirty, old, big work truck and tool over to Cath's to switch cars. Their driveway has a steep grade and is notoriously slick...I know this, so I gunned it to get up. No problem. Then I drive up and start applying the breaks and they were completely useless. Both feet pushing the pedal completely to the floor and nothing... no response.
Because we were going slightly up hill, the truck started to slow down; but not fast enough. MaryBeth and I sat, watching in horror and what seemed like slow motion, as my friend's garage door loomed nearer. I had one hand on the steering wheel and one hand covering my mouth. I'm sure my eyes were as big as saucers. MB sat next to me saying mom, mom, Mom, MOm, MOM at regular intervals with increasing intensity. I, with my hand over my mouth kept repeating oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no.
We careened...okay, that's not the right word...skid? no, we had no traction to skid. slid? perhaps. glided? Yes, we glided, and gracefully, I might add, right into Nate & Cath's closed garage door eventually coming to a gentle stop.
I put the truck into reverse only to go careening (and this time it was careening) back down the driveway. I ended up jerking on the emergency break to bring the beast to a halt.
We looked at each other with astonished, perplexed, unbelieving faces. After briefly surveying the damage, we went inside. As I expected, Cath was gracious, kind and more worried about us than the door. Also, as expected, my husband was less than pleased with my latest predicament that he'd have to fix.
Many apologies and tears later I was thinking about the garage door incident and my reaction to it.
If you've read my last several posts, you'll know that the Lord's been working in my heart. He's convicted me of several things, and with His strength I've been amending my ways. But no matter how much we change, we're still human. We still say and do stupid, careless things. I knew the truck wasn't good on ice...I knew their driveway would be slick...I knew the immutable laws of physics...I knew that Brad would be home in just a few minutes. Why didn't I heed any of those things? Because I'm a human who can be very impatient at times and I wanted to go to the shop now.
It's kinda like life. We'll be driving along, happily bonding with those we love, not aware of the impending doom of icy driveways and immovable objects. Then, the stupid comment or harsh remark or careless act comes tumbling out and the breaks on our tongues don't work and we watch almost in slow motion as we hurt the ones we love. And all we can do is repeat in our minds oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no!! But it's too late. The damage is done. The doors busted and some body's going to have to fix it. And sometimes, no amount of tears or apologies will help. Sometimes, only time and a continuing evidence that we really desire change are all that will make it okay.
Thank God...truly, Thank God He's the mender of our broken garage doors and doesn't revoke our licenses because of careless screw ups.

Monday, December 8, 2008


In Pastor Ken's sermon yesterday, he talked about Mary and her response to the news that she was to be mother of the Messiah. He remarked that her initial reactions were submission and obedience. Ken went on to point out that 33 years later as Jesus struggled in the garden, he submitted and obeyed, in part, because he'd learned it, humanly, from his mom. Her trusting, submissive heart became one of her legacies.

This past summer, we celebrated my parents 50th anniversary. The church looked beautiful, the food tasted delicious and the fellowship was sweet. As part of the program, my nephew shared Grandma & Grandpa's legacy: unconditional love, truth (authenticty), and faith. He expounded on each point; noting specifics and exceptions and making us laugh and cry at regular intervals. The living legacy my parents have is rich and deep and appreciated by each of their children and 13 grandchildren.

As my own kids grow, change, and become more and more independant, I've wondered at my own legacy. Will it point them to the Father or cause them to question? Will it be percieved as a legacy of love, authenticity and faith, like my parents? Submission and obedience like Mary? Peace & grace like my friends, Nate & Cath? Will the legacy Brad & I leave prepare our kids and grandkids so that when their faith is tested "they'll come forth as gold"?

I want to be like Mary and my parents and the countless saints who've gone before leaving a legacy of faith in The One True God. I want to be faithful, but I realize that it takes more than a wish to leave the legacy you takes practicing all those things you want to leave, it takes faith, it takes intentionality :)

What about you? What legacy do you want to you leave?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Humorless (or how I blame everything on turning 40)

I have a confession to make. I'm not a virgin blogger. I had a site for several years called "The View From Here- Confessions of a middle-aged, moderately depressed person". It was funny (at least I and a few readers thought so... Brad never really thought so). Once in a while I said serious things. But mostly it was funny. It's still up, but I haven't maintained it for about 2 years. I went back and reread some stuff that I wrote and thought I really was funny...what happened??!.

I'll tell you what happened. 40. Within weeks of turning 40 I lost my ability to read anything close up; I lost part of my hearing; I lost much of my short term memory; and apparently, I lost most of my humor.

For LOTS of reasons, 40 was painful for me. To say I hated it is an understatement. I'm almost 42 and have comes to terms with some of it...but not the humor thing. Will it come back?

I have Red Hat ladies who frequent my shop, and they're not funny. There is nothing funny about old ladies meeting together so they all wear their red hats, drink coffee & spend money.

Is that my destiny? Or will I digress and be like a teenager in constant angst? What are my options? I've tried to be funny since turning 40 and it just doesn't work. Will it come back now that my heart is lighter? When I turn 50? 60?

I'm looking for answers, people. The problem is, you're all younger than me and have no idea what I'm talking about...