Monday, February 28, 2011

You Just Never Know

Today was a pretty busy day at work. I had several phone calls to make to colleagues whose names I mostly am familiar with on email. That's how the business world works I guess. Electronic relationships.

One of the calls I made was to a colleague in Ohio. I knew her name, but honestly, if she had been standing in front of me, I would not have known her. The minute I identified myself, she immediately said, "I remember you! I heard you speak at our Clinical Symposium! I'll never forget your presentation. It really made an impact on me."

That presentation was a huge moment for me professionally. My goal was to touch a heart. To hopefully reach out and encourage a person in the audience to really think about their patients in a more personal way.

It has been several years ago, and that someone still remembers what I said and used it to make a difference in a person's life. That means the world to me.

It assures me that I am on the path that I am supposed to be on.

It also reminds me that words are powerful.

"What am I telling my five year old?"

"Do I always sound bothered when I respond to my fourteen year old?"

"Does my online posting for class make sense, or am I am offending anyone?"

You never know who is listening to you (or reading what you write). If we want to "ooze" we have to strive to always be at our best. No, we can't be "on" all of the time, but we can sure try to live our best life with every breath we have left.

There's a great verse in Ephesians and I really like the version from The Message:

"Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift." Ephesians 4:29

You don't need money to give a gift.

Sometimes the best offering is a word of thanks or praise.

Jesus is waiting.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Frozen meatballs
2. Finishing my postings early!
3. A squeaky rocking chair
4. Bags of leaves
5. Bubble baths

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Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Always Something

When a child loses their first tooth, it's exciting! A little messy, but eventful. For a child with a bleeding disorder it can be all of those some.

"Christian's" front tooth has been loose and oozing blood on and off. His teacher was a little concerned yesterday, so I took him to the dentist to get checked out. The dentist took an x-ray and you won't believe what he found….an extra tooth! Another baby tooth is coming in before his permanent tooth!

Looks like he will be getting a few more dollars out of the tooth fairy :)

The dentist consulted with our hematologist and decided it best to pull the tooth (it was barely hanging on), so we went back this morning for the big event. When I saw that Christian would be getting a shot, I panicked! My fourteen year old has never had a shot in his mouth, so I was nervous. The dentist assured me all would be fine per his conversation with our hematologist, so I had to watch him give my little guy a shot (the dentist was pretty sneaky and fast). All is well.

It's moments like these that remind me about my sons and their hemophilia. I get snapped out of my complacency. I really do get complacent about hemophilia. Maybe that's a good sign...that we are living our lives fully and most importantly letting our boys live their lives with excitement and passion.

I will do whatever I can, for as long as I can, to never let hemophilia "rule" my sons.

I know for a fact that "whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." Philippians 4:13 (The Message)

Today I Am Thankful for:

1. an extremely productive work week
2. "Dr. Matt" and his gentle heart
3. a toothless grin
4. highlighters
5. a weekend away in Santa Fe

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Finding My Groove

I finally feel like I can breathe. I hate to say I am "caught up" (because that is just asking for trouble) but after being out sick last week I am finally in a place at work where I know what is next, my house is in order again, and I am seeming to figure school out.

It's been hard finding the time to get my school work completed….mainly the reading. Everything seems to be falling in place. My guys are great in the evenings, because when I go into the office and close the door, they know I am busy and give me the time I need. That makes everything go faster and I actually spend less time away from them.

It goes back to being "intentional" with my time. Making it count. When I sit to read, I pour into my reading and concentrate on the content (sometimes after re-reading several times). When I talk to my children, I look into their eyes and listen to every word they say. When I compose an email, I think about the tone that I am using.

Everything matters.

It's like the old saying "stop and smell the roses." It means taking time to enjoy the things around you, stopping and giving yourself a minute to give thanks, and appreciating your situation.

I am not one to "meditate," but I do admire those who can. On a recent Oprah, she and Goldie Hawn were talking about happiness. They were giving the audience a quiz about different things that can determine your "level of happiness." One of the questions asked was whether or not you spent a time of silence in each day. The results were pretty amazing. About 70% said they did not.

I'm not surprised.

Oprah nearly fell out of her chair and talked to her viewers about how important it is to take a few minutes each day to give thanks to whomever or whatever it is in your life that is greater than your self.

She's right.

Do we take at least one minutes to give thanks and breathe each day? It's not how much time or where we spend the time that is important, but let's be intentional in our day and give thanks.

Can you take one minute?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Sharp scissors
2. A good hair day
3. The ticking of a clock
4. The sound of the heater in the house
5. Fuzz at the bottom of the fridge

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Monday, February 21, 2011

The Work to be Done

"Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing." Ephesians 2:8-10 (The Message)

I am being called to ministry. For the longest time I didn't really know what that meant. But through prayer and reflection I have come to believe that God is calling to me to get my Master's in theology. And actually, even going down the path of ordination to become a Deacon.

It's a really hard path. School is not easy. You might think that a field such as "theology" is just a bunch of people spouting off philosophy and Jesus, but I am here to tell you that it is much more than that.

I've gotten upset with God lately. Through my recent weeklong illness (still trying to feel normal) I've had to maintain my reading and posting for school. When I get overwhelmed with all of the reading and lack of understanding I have for so much, I get angry because I really want to quit and "go back to school when my little one is older." God has other plans. It's hard work and I know that pushing through and doing my best is what I am called to do.

I want to have the understanding and knowledge about my theology so that I can be a good witness for those who are seeking Christ. You don't have to go to seminary to be a witness for Christ, but I truly feel as if God is impressing this path on my heart.

He has work for me to do. I am still breathing, so He is obviously not done with me yet! I need to press on and do the work that has been laid out for me.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Being out of bed
2. A stocked pantry
3. The jingling of dog tags
4. Almost all of the clothes being washed
5. Big, old baskets

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Friday, February 18, 2011

When Things Come Up

Don't you love when what is supposed to be a "normal" week turns out to be nothing but normal? I started feeling bad Monday evening and Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in bed. I haven't been that sick in a really long time. I managed to get a few hours of work in Thursday and then I tried to catch up on my reading for school. The days I had planned on reading were spent in bed sleeping.

Sometimes it takes a lot to make you slow down.

It also takes a lot for you to give up control.

I have dirty clothes everywhere, my little one's room is a disaster and my menu for the week….well, let's just say our Wal-Mart pizza tasted pretty good tonight.

I have a stack of reading to do for school and a major project and test coming up.

I have to let go of things. I mean, my husband is more than capable, and my fourteen year old is a fantastic help, but when I can't "do" everything I feel pretty guilty. I even question whether or not I should be going to school.

Going back to school is like planning to have a baby….if you wait till you can "afford" the time and money….you'll never have that baby.

It all works out.

In the end, it won't matter how clean your house is, how many home cooked meals you make in a week, or if the towels in your linen closet match your bathroom.

What matters is the love you share with your family and the way you live your life….with passion.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Feeling better
2. Energy to read
3. Choo-choo's rolling on the wood floor
4. Dirty clothes

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Measure Your Life in ... Love

One of my favorite musicals is Rent. Several years ago I heard music from the show before I even knew the storyline and fell in love with the music. song in particular, Seasons of Love. Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

The one thing that keeps them all together...Love.

Think about the things in our life that exemplify love. I don't mean weddings and roses, but what are the things you do that show you love someone?

Pack a lunch
Bring a Sonic drink as a surprise
Put bubbles in the bath
Wash clothes
Make your spouse's travel arrangements
Take out the trash
Changing a diaper
Picking up a prescription for a sick loved one

There are so many ways to express our love to someone. Being able to love, is a gift...and being loved back, is a blessing beyond our wildest dreams.

God loves you. More than you can imagine. When you think about how much you love your partner or your children, your heart wells up with emotions beyond words.

That, Beloved, is how the Creator of the Universe feels about you.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22:37-39

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Heart shaped cookie cutters
2. A new light fixture
3. Heart shaped doilies
4. Elmer's glue
5. Glitter pens

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My "Old" Friend

I loved high school. I was blessed to have wonderful friends and fantastic times! I had many special relationships in school, and one friendship has a very special place in my heart.

I met Don my freshman year of high school. He was from the "other" junior high. He sat behind me in typing class (a class I absolutely did not want to take). We got to know each other and became very close throughout our high school years. Many a project was worked on at his house (they had a great big table in the living room where many of us remember some great times). He wrangled me into the Drama Club and Model United Nations and we were in practically every class together (except nemesis). His mother even hung my senior picture in their living room if that tells you anything. And he called me "Cassie," and no one ever did that.

He was the brother I never had. I am not great at remembering birthday's but I have never forgotten his. It's today. I made my annual call to him this morning and that conversation set the mood for having a fantastic day! It just warmed my heart to hear his voice and catch up. Because of Facebook and blogs I feel like we have never been out of touch.

Why do we wait for birthday's and anniversaries, or even funerals before we get in touch with old friends?

I am so glad I talked to my old (not really "old") friend today. And I am hoping he and his lovely wife come out to New Mexico this summer. I want my boys to meet him. I want my "Lance" to meet the person who inscribed my volume of Shakespeare that is in his room.

God placed Don in my life for many reasons. He lives true to his faith. Don never really talked "religion" with me, but he didn't have to. He lived it. I wish I knew then what I know now about my faith because I would have loved to have shared that with him. But you know what? It's not too late.

"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. birthday's
2. self seal envelopes
3. old candles
4. a positive email
5. clean clothes

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

What is Yet to Come

It's easy to get overwhelmed. I am the queen of that! When I start to think about work, school, family and all of the medical issues my little one deals with, it is overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder if this is all there is. Isn't that crazy?

Here I am , a pastor's wife, who struggles with doubt.

Doubt about whether or not I can produce in my job as well as expected.

Doubt about whether or not ordained ministry is truly the path God is steering me towards.

Doubt whether or not I am being completely present for my family.

I could go on and on, but fortunately God's word came alive to me today.

I am preparing a sermon for Sunday and today it really came alive to me as I was studying.

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him--1 Corinthians 2:9(NIV)

We have no clue what is in store for us on here in this world on in eternity. The best is yet to come! The world is not all there is. We are so busy "doing" and "going" that I think we can forget that our true reward awaits us in eternity. At least, I know I can forget.

My "plan" in life was to be a middle school band director, raise my children in the suburbs of the big city and bake cookies for the PTO at school.

Funny how God works. I'm in a second career, contemplating a third, raising my children in a very, small town, and the wife of a pastor. And knowing that the best is yet to come is also a bit overwhelming, but things are pretty amazing the way they are.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. bitter cold
2. an open Bible
3. warm scarves
4. hamburger patties
5. snow on the kitchen floor

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

What Warms Your Heart?

You ever have those moments that just warm your heart? I've been blessed recently to have a few of those moments.

My five year old came home from the sitter's house and he was carrying an individually wrapped oatmeal cookie with cream on the inside ( The kind of treat I don't ever have in my pantry)! He asked his dad to open his treat. Without hesitation, my little one broke the cookie in half and said, "Here Big Bro." He shared that cookie with love without being asked.

My fourteen year old has been unusually helpful in the kitchen lately. He loads and empties the dishwasher, and even volunteers a night to cook dinner! As he was putting dishes away I leaned over and thanked him for his extra help. I let him know how much I appreciated the things he was doing. He then said to me, "It's really opened my eyes to how much you do, Mom. Thanks for doing everything you do."

My husband and I actually had dinner a restaurant….alone! We talked about everything under the sun and he stopped, looked into my eyes, and told me how much he loved me. An unexpected, beautiful moment.

Through all of the busyness in my life, work, school, kids, chemo, church, God was present in a few extra powerful moments. Those moments get me through my hardest days.

Have you had any "moments" lately?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The possibility of snow
2. A finished assignment
3. Office supplies
4. Being busy
5. receipts

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Speakers and Writers


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A 2008 Graduate of

Recommended Reading

  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver
  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

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