Thursday, January 14, 2010


I have a relationship with my grandmother that is the definition of unconditional love....she has modeled grace, forgiveness, encouragement, support, fun, passion and all things wonderful for me since I arrived on the planet. Her indomitable spirit has given me courage to do what needs done more times than I can count.
She introduced me to Jesus...
taught me to bake chocolate chip cookies....
"beachcombed" on the banks of the Ohio with me from the time I could walk...
demonstrates the power of prayer by always believing that is the first and best option....
picked me up from Skate Country countless Friday nights....
sent me notes all through college...
loves on my kiddos by making them corn flake chews and individually wrapping them in wax paper....
epitomizes the truth of I Corinthians 13 by walking it out every day....
she lost her husband when she was only 38, with sons aged 18, 8 and 6...
she lost her youngest son to a recurring battle with a brain tumor when he was just 42...
she's had her heart broken a number of times in a number of ways, and still she remains strong, courageous, faithful, and maintains her sense of humor.

She practices what she preaches, and I'm who I am because of her love. I am forever thankful that she's my grandmother.

This past week has been a long and difficult one. Grum threw a bloodclot to her bowel last Wednesday, perhaps as she was shovelling snow. Her 83 years don't seem to register, as she mows the yard, climbs steps to the river, tends other people's house sitting and serves everyone she knows.

I don't care to think what might have happened had my uncle not gone to check on her Friday morning. If we hadn't had a snow day, we might not have her with us. I am so thankful for God's hand, especially when I can't see it until after the fact.

After a long, invasive surgery and a lot of challenges ( she's too much of a lady for me to broadcast her particulars to the internet ;) ) we have her recovering well--even though she has quite a road ahead of her. I'm so very thankful for timing, skilled surgeons, kind nurses, and praying people. I am thankful. So thankful.

Grummy, you are amazing. Thanks for loving each of us the way that you do. May we honor you by loving others in much the same way. I'm so thankful I have you to walk alongside me as I learn the way.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Who's woods these are....

I think I know. His house is in the village, though. He will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow.... The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go, before I sleep....miles to go, before I sleep....

I'm not sure what Robert Frost was contemplating when he wrote Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening so long ago, but tonight I've been stationed by my window, watching the snow fall. It's beautiful, really, as it covers everything in a pristine blanket of white. However, I have a teenage son driving home from work tonight and I find that I'm missing the beauty as I anxiously wait to see his headlights turn in the drive.

It's funny how difficult it is to watch them grow up, and how I find myself doing the things I never thought I'd do....calling to check up, waiting by the window, realizing how quickly time passes. Tonight, for me, Frosts final words of the poem ring true in ways I hadn't contemplated. Miles to go, before I sleep....

Friday, January 1, 2010

Aaahhhh. New day, new year, new decade. Nothing like a fresh beginning to get me all excited about possibilities and potential. Kinda like opening a brand new box of crayons and having the freedom to choose which one I want to use first.

2010 came far more quickly than I thought possible. I'm getting older, and not always wiser, have a kiddo heading to college and three more teenagers sitting at my dining room table every night. There is less certainty and more wondering at this point in my life, I'm not as accomplished as I thought I might be in some areas, but far more at peace than I ever dreamed I could be.

The beginning of a new year always moves me. I'm moved by all that has gone before--people, opportunities, laughter, memories....but I'm motivated by all of the potential that stretches in front of us, like a big blank sheet of newsprint taped on the kitchen table, with a new box of crayons waiting to be opened.

2009 seems to have been a difficult year for many people, including a lot of my friends. So many have faced trials and losses, personal, financial, familial...there seems to be a general thankfulness to put the past year behind us and start something new. My prayer for all of us as we step foot through the door of 2010 is that we do it with open hands and open hearts, ready to be a part of what
God has in store for us.

16-21This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then can't get up;
they're snuffed out like so many candles:
"Forget about what's happened;
don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new.
It's bursting out! Don't you see it?
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say 'Thank you!'
—the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me

I don't know about you, but I'm not sure what to color first!