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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Man of the Hour

"There is still no cure for the common birthday." John Glenn

For me, turning 40 was hard. I don't think it was the number, I think it was all the physical changes that occurred within weeks of the milestone: tiny wrinkles, visible veins where you don't want visible veins, dimmed eyesight, slowing brain etc... But despite all that, I've tried to embrace the 40's and three years later, there's a glimmer of hope that I'm progressing. Maybe by the time I hit 50 I'll have come to terms with 40.

The 40's are a thing of the past for you.
Today, you're turning 50.
And I know it's hard for you.
I don't know what to say to make it easier except to remind you that you are a loved man.
Your children look up to you and crave your words, attention and time from you because they value you so much.
Your siblings (including in-laws) appreciate your humor, talents, and steady character.
Your mom, even with her rapidly declining faculties, still knows when you're near and smiles.
Your parents in law adore you...and have told me again & again how thankful they are that you married their daughter.
Your friends see your wisdom & discernment and seek it out.
Your clients are in awe of your skills and proudly show off their homes naming you as the builder.
And your wife? Your wife is humbled again and again by the incredible gift given to her in all that you are. She wouldn't be the woman she is without your love, patience and encouragement. She thinks you're amazing.

You are loved, Brad.
Loved to the core of your being for all God's made you to be.

"I thank my God every time I think of you." Phillipians 1:3

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"Don't just pretend to love people. Really love them." Paul to the Romans (New Living Translation)

I've always tried to be a face value person: what you see is what you get. Maybe that was the problem yesterday...

Long day at work. 94 degrees. Air conditioning in the van...out of commission. Whole family in the hot van... lots of younger two bickering incessently. We arrive at my daughter's last soccer game, set up our chairs and proceed to sweat and get blown over by 35 mile an hour sustained winds. Last week it as 55 with a wind chill; this week it's record highs, typical prairie winds and lots of humidity. Welcome to Iowa.

Anyway, sitting at my daughters game, everything was bugging me: the dad on the sidelines "coaching" loudly, the beads of sweat trickling down my back, the wind, the arguing kids, even my husband (who hadn't really done anything)...I was even annoying myself. I was snippy with the kids, snippy with Brad, and not at all pleasant to be around. It dawned on me later (sadly too late), that the lady next to us could have certainly heard and seen my hissy fit behavior and general grouchy demeanor. If someone asked her what she thought of me, I'm afraid the answer would be scary. For that hour, at that game, what she (or anyone else paying attention) saw, was a crabby mom and disrespectful wife. Not much love. Not much joy. Not much of anything good.

I entitled this post "poser" because I've never wanted to be one. Well, guess what, yesterday proved that I'm no poser. But what you saw if you were looking, was what you got and it wasn't a pretty picture. Maybe some posing wouldn't have been all that bad. Or maybe if I would have taken two minutes to think outside myself, my attitude and behavior could have been adjusted. But I'll never know what could have been because I was too wrapped up in me.

Yesterday morning I came across this verse "Don't just pretend to love people. Really love them." from the book of Roman's. I thought of it all day, and yet when I went to the game, really loving people was not in the forefront of my brain. Me, myself and I were in the forefront and the back and all the space inbetween. When I woke up this morning, my behavior and this verse were staring me in the face. As I reflected, another Bible passage came to mind...let me paraphrase it...

Love stays cool even in the heat.

Love speaks kindly even when correcting.

Love doesn't wish for something it can't have-like a new car with a/c.

Love doesn't think it's being cheated just because life isn't always perfect.

Love doesn't demean or degrade or humiliate others.

Love doesn't get angry over trifles.

Love tries to forget others wrongs and see the best in them.

Love isn't happy when others are hurt or suffering or embarassed, but wants to bring relief.

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails, even when I do.
May you and I be true lovers today.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Town

Driving down the road I noticed the green leaves getting bigger and brighter by the day. Unleashed by the warm weather and gentle rains, the earth is alive with tulips, lilies of the valley, daffodils and flowering crab apples. Laughing, playing some combination of touch (with a little tackle) football, they only stopped long enough to move out of the road for the car. More were riding their bikes with baseball gloves & bats slung over their shoulders. Enjoying life in safety with freedom that few children today are able to experience. Kids on Sunday afternoon in my town.

Yep. My town.
For 18 years now (since April 25, 1992) this sleepy little Iowa village has been my town.
Slow paced...there's only a handful of stops signs and no lights in our town.
Odd the whistle that blows at 7 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 6p.m. every day.
Quirky the man who rides his ancient bike at a poky pace everywhere-winter, spring, summer and fall-...or the neighbor who mows her lawn at least 3 times a week...or the guy who named his illness "Arthur".
We notice when something's different in our village...a change in someones house, a new vehicle, a new resident, visiting family.
We know one anothers habits. Like when we saw our elderly neighbors kids at her home on a Sunday morning when they'd normally be at church, we knew there was something wrong.
We know who runs in the morning and who runs everyday at 6 pm...we know the guy with the dogs.
We know who to call when we need advice with our plumbing or we want to know how to can applesauce or freeze sweet Iowa corn.
Emergency vehicle sirens are a rarity and usually cause for concern. No airplanes flying overhead, just a host of birds. The loudest noise we hear day or night, is the whirr of the dryers at the grain elevator.
I've witnessed this community come together to support people with ill children, people who've suffered loss and experienced tragedy. When it was time for a new library, the community united.
We still have a little parade to honor our veterans. We celebrate Flag day. And we make a big deal out of a new local swimming pool. Churches observe Lent together and share Vacation Bible Schools and youth groups.
Not everything in my town is perfect. I've witnessed abuse in this little town. I've seen marriages fall apart and families decimated. I've been judged in this town for how I live. I've felt like I didn't and would never fit in this small town.
But, then, do any of us fit anywhere?

There are days I'd give anything for a ten minute drive to Target (the nearest one is over an hour) or more choices in restaurants or simply anonymity.
But I'd be giving up so much if I left my little town.
No, my town is worth more than convenience.
And thankfully, after 18 years, I've embraced this quirky little midwest town with all it's oddities, absurdities, joys and see the richness of community that it holds so dear.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just a little...

Rain beating against the windshield, I drove down the back roads hurrying to my destination. Pouring over the past, consumed with the pressures of the present and turning over the possibilities of the future, my mind raced as I listened to my ipod.
Then the song started playing. I know I've heard it before... many times. But this time it was different. How could I have missed the words? How could I have missed the meaning? Well, maybe not John Hiatt's intended meaning but The Writers meaning. Driving down the lonely road, this time, the song felt like a serenade being sung straight to my heart.

Have a Little Faith written by John Hiatt

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
An' have a little faith in me

An' when the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try, baby
An' have a little faith in me

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

An' when your secret heart
Cannot speak so easily
Come here darlin' from a whisper start
Have a little faith in me
An' when your back's against the wall
Just turn around an' a you will see
I'll be there, I'll be there to catch your fall
So have a little faith in me

Cause I've been loving you for such a long time, baby
Expecting nothing in return
Just for you to have a little faith in me
You see time, time is our friend
'Cause for us there is no end
All you gotta do is have a little faith in me

I will hold you up!
I'm gonna hold you up!
So have a little faith in me

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

"We live by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:7

"Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'" Mark 9:24

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matt 17:20

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

Saturday, May 8, 2010


This is a re-post with a few changes...

A Woman at Rest
I'm not talking about a sleeping woman. I'm not talking about a confident woman. I'm not talking about an accomplished woman. I'm not talking about a calm woman. I'm not talking about a passive woman. I'm not talking about a positive woman. I"m not talking about a perfect woman.
I'm talking about a woman at rest.
She speaks truth and sees even the most difficult situations clearly.
She doesn't deny hardship or pain and allows emotions as they come.
She's not always quiet and demure but there's something in her demeanor which exudes peace.
She's not necessarily okay with who she is, but she's great with who God is and it shows.
No need to control, contrive or manage...God's got it.
No need to hang on to the past or worry about the future...God's got it.
She can live in the moment...good, bad or ugly... because God's got it.
She is a thing of beauty and a rarity.
There are many imitations in our world and churches, but few women who truly rest.
If you're privileged enough to know one, thank her today for making her world a better place.
I'm blessed and privileged to not only enjoy a woman at rest, but call her Mom. Love you, Mom.

Friday, May 7, 2010

At a loss...

i'm at a loss...

for words?

no, not usually.

for thoughts?

almost never.

for emotions?

absolutely never.

for what then?

for answers?

most definately.

for ways to respond?


laying down myself day after day.

giving up self for More.

More what?

more good?

no, More God.