Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I know there will never be a day when I do not not take the time to think upon challenges as well as blessings in life.  As I grow up, I realize much of my growth was stunted by fear and circumstances that I could not process congruently from heart to head.  There are seasons for growth  that usually accompany seasons for change and sometimes when we are adjusting to the changes we often disconnect from the significance of the growth.  It isn't until we are in a position to reflect that we can coordinate the two and reconcile the significance.

I joined my boys in Copper Mountain CO this Thanksgiving as they are all training at a camp that I "MISTAKENLY" put Daniel on a plane ALONE to come to when he was just 12 years old.  I remember being sent a link from one of the mother's on Daniel's ski team and I must have clicked on a link connected to that site and registered him for the "wrong" one…but I didn't find this out until Daniel was on his way and he called me from a layover and told me he wasn't sure where he was going, but all of his teammates were going to a different camp.  A flash of panic passed over me and then I quickly told him apparently God had another plan for him.  I had spoken to the coordinator of the family run camp who had made quite a name for themselves many years ago with a story to match.  They had come here from Czechoslovakia and in order to make a living they ski raced.  I have heard that they lived in their van when they first began pursuing their dreams.  They worked extremely hard and won races and began to build their new roots and profession in America.  The matriarch of the family cooks home cooked meals for the kids during the camps and they are strict and unified and responsible for their racers.  The patriarch of this family is one of Izik's favorite people on the planet and all of their children teach during the camps…they are all decorated ski racers and many of them world cup athletes.  It is no wonder I was drawn to this family as I am always drawn to those who had to face the odds and overcome triumphantly and for a greater purpose.

Within a few years Izik began joining Daniel and traveling across the country and now living in the west, Danny drove the boys here (including Simon who is attending his first camp and loving it) and my husband is hooked himself on the training (and participating each and every day ;), the family and the opportunity that our kids have pursuing their interests as they are developing far more than racing skills within this experience each and every time.

When I pulled in to this place many visions and thoughts I have had over the past few years crystallized for me and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for God's work behind the scenes.  Maybe it hit me because of the sacrifices we had to make to enable it, perhaps it was because I realized how God is always at work and we often cannot fully comprehend just what his provisions produce, or it is even possible that it is being in touch with the struggles of life, heart's desires, disappointments and victories and everything in between but not ONE thing in the life of one who trusts in Him is wasted or not counted within His heart and when the manifestation of that is realized, the depth of gratitude is overwhelming.  

I have a saying:  God does not waste our pain.  While our journeys often cause such confusion, contemplation and sometimes even contempt, our KNOWING of our God's character even in our UNKNOWING of the outcome, can comfort us as He loves us and sees us in our sadness, He travels with us through our darkness and He shines on us as he reestablishes us within our purpose.  

I couldn't sit here this morning, surrounded by the majestic mountains, and not be in awe of such a God.  Sometime perspective is the most difficult virtue to embrace in the midst of our adversity but the reflective heart is born just there.  When we embrace the emotion of our difficulties and bring them captive to our Lord, ask for Him to illuminate their purpose and significance, we WILL reap their reassembled creation by the Maker's hand.  

May this Thanksgiving release a beauty from your ashes that you may never have considered had you not taken the time to reflect and absorb our God's love for His children.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.   
~1 Thessalonians 5:18

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Squeezed By And Squeezing Life

Have you ever struggled to get quiet before God?  If your personality is anything like mine, getting quiet is quite difficult.  Add 5 kids, a demanding life and challenging dynamics to the mix and it is no wonder that solitude doesn't seem to match with my personality.

I remind myself that God doesn't make mistakes and He brings things into our life so that we can learn from them and more about Him.

I have been in a healing crisis in my life for what seems like an eternity.   Healing isn't easy, it is often occurring when life is least exciting and for me, still finding time to enjoy the things and those I value within it is always of utmost focus.

I have learned so many things through various circumstances not only in my life but also in the lives of others, and now I am laser focused on going back to a root cause for many of the challenges I have.  I am trusting God for His headship in leading me to and through.  I attend a small trauma therapy group in which all have suffered some incredible disappointments due to unmet expectations.  They are all unique.  My battle began as an infant… and due to parenting that didn't show up in a way that nurtured me for the life I have been called to so that I could receive challenges with grace, this is something that I need help with and a mindset that matches what I know about myself in my relationship with God.  I believed I have received many of my challenges without self-pity (for the most part) and I am fairly confident of that because I was raised within a household with enough self-pity to go around that I made up my unconscious mind long ago not to travel that repulsive and most disappointing road.   There is always someone or something that can be considered to be the reason for our disappointments, but that doesn't mean we have an excuse to embrace it and act out of the wound it has created.  The most enlightening aspect of my counseling came through this group not long ago when I learned that we all have a framework built inside of each of us and when what comes at us doesn't make sense, we have no choice but to build a new grid in order to cope with those disappointments.  With enough of these disappointments and new mappings, we grow inept at many of the challenges within our life.  It happens to all of us one way or another.  Learning that removed my guilt.  It enabled me to understand that God isn't mad at me for not being all I desire to be but struggle to live up to.  HE KNOWS what has happened in our lives that prevented it from ever being possible but He also desires to put me back together…better than before.  Those adults that failed us are just like us…incapable,  due to their own brokenness.  This is one big broken world, Thank God He gave us Jesus!

When I learned that I had long since reached a point where I realized that God was up to something and it is beyond my understanding but certainly not beyond my involvement and while He has provided me with many things that I am naturally inclined toward, He has also left me depleted enough to force me to seek Him for the answers and direction as well as the perspective required to make it great!  Good is never enough for me…GREAT is where I want to be, impact, achieve and experience!

Being in this group has quickly taught me that most people living life have been traumatized but too few are able to look at it for what it is and grieve the sorrow connected with it and then MOVE ON…God has a plan, He allowed the pain, He chose the door to let us out as well as the LIFE to be lived that absolutely can be lived with such effectiveness (when we allow it to be) once we release ourselves from that bondage.

There is no path that is perfect, there is no thought process within that path that is traveled with absolute certainty or confidence, but there is a God in Heaven and His Name Is Jesus and I am here to bear witness that some things in life absolutely CANNOT be explained away…whether good or bad…with reason or none at all.

Faith is built during those times.  Life is restructured, confidence is even restored.

I chose to fast this weekend with a semi-quiet house with a few kids beginning their ski season away from home and their dad with them.  I am praying for time to write, time to think, time to reflect (better than thinking for me), and time to read.  Most importantly I am praying for time to remind God just how much I depend upon Him.  When all else fails, and it does and it will, what is there for us if it is not Him?   Sometimes He wants nothing more from us than total dependence (I actually believe He wants that from us always but He reminds us of it when we feel overwhelmed by life or simply all too aware).

Half way through my 4 day fast and I am thankful for the scene in my room right now…2 sleeping kitties and my dog on my bed :)

I am determined to pester God for healing of this wounded soul, and my disappointed child that still lives inside but simultaneously I am a proud wife and mother who has been called to a life of service, something that I am not great at as I never saw nor experienced it in practice and all that is accomplished in a day is already beyond my framework.  Nonetheless I am determined to offer more, to live from plenty and not from lack.

Whatever it is that you desire God to show up for on your behalf, remember that it will not happen unless you bring Him into it.  Pray it in, fast it in, cry it out and thank Him for ALL He gives…HE IS JEHOVAH RAPHA (The God That Heals).

Psalm 61: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

I find it never coincidental when God is working and how He works.  When His work is effective (and it always is), then we have to lay it down…all of it and TRUST Him.  So when you think about the purpose and focus of Your Thanksgiving, remember that there is NO Thankfulness without hardships or less than moments.  These are what brings our posture of surrender and praise to Him.  This is what enables us to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross and simply call His name and ask for His touch…the Only One that truly heals.  I believe that when we do this, truly reliant upon Him and Him alone, miracles happen!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Has anyone ever stopped and contemplated the concept?  In light of challenge, LEARNING is a word loaded with meaning.  I am not sure LEARNING can be separated from challenge...isn't that what we are while we are doing it?  The more significant aspect of the process is how active we become within it and how much we can let go of prior expectations in order to attain our next level of living.  Isn't that also true of LEARNING?  I think I need to settle in to this thought.  I have been digging at a lot of painful realities in my life and I can honestly say that until recently I have been unaware/ignorant of the depth of my own pain and consequently unaware/ignorant that perhaps I wasn't in touch with how my reactions were affecting those around me when I wasn't happy with shattered expectations.

It is no secret that my life has been filled with shattered expectations and tremendous disappointment.  Some of those are more obvious than others but they have been occurring since I can remember...and even before I can remember. We can look at the surface of situations (including me) in our lives and deny.  We can deny that we are hurting or hurt.  We can deny that we are lost within what we should be thankful for and we can deny that there is a consequence for denying.  At some point we will hit a crisis or perhaps God will shine that proverbial light that calls our full attention away from ourselves and toward a new chapter...He calls us onward and upward...and it will be precisely at the appropriate time of His choosing.  I have LEARNED that too...we can't choose when that will be.  I am speaking from experience.  I have longed for God to equip me perfectly for the work He called me to do.  I was even so bold and confident within it to know I was created for it.  And yet, the deeper and further I was immersed within it, the more I LEARNED just how desperately I needed HIM to perform it.  I also LEARNED that what He desired to perform wasn't an accomplished task, but an accomplished me!

I have already LEARNED so much, and there are times when I would even say too much, and yet, because I hate self-pity, I will not even allow myself to think it.  One day, as God allows and continues to heal me, I believe I will have greater impact and be able to embrace it without the regret of what the pain has caused me.  Until then I keep trusting Him to heal the wounded places within my heart and shine the love that He gives me to the world...that is where I am as I know that I have nothing because I began with nothing.  Anything that comes through me that is beneficial is coming from Him for purposes beyond myself. 

I am also LEARNING that when my effort is surrendered,  I struggle.  I never LEARNED how to rest.  I never LEARNED that resting is an action word so I  I am in the place of LEARNING how to allow God to win the battle that fights with me but not for me.  Only His plans win, both with us and for us.  Of that, I have already LEARNED!  There is a cost to LEARNING.  It is an investment, both of our time and our resources.  We have to abandon our notions and adopt new ones...which are often in direct opposition to everything we have previously LEARNED.   

Sometimes there is nothing more that can be done other than to UNLEARN and RELEARN.  Being aware of needing to do so is the first step toward healing.

"Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance...."
~Proverbs 1:5

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pain Produced for Purpose

Broken places of the heart
Do not fit the role

They leave us withered and beaten
And they cause tremendous pain to our soul.

At times I begin to wonder
How does God have the patience to fix it all?

Isn't His effort needed for the process
Far beyond His redemption from The Fall?

Trusting Him alone becomes a place
I would prefer to enter and not return

Until the battle has been won
But not with the further wounding and the burns.

I know I believe the promise
I live it out each day

I may look and sound a little tattered
My loved ones barely understand

But my hope is in Him and not myself
And that is where I remain.

~Merily Pompa

Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.” ~Shannon Alder

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gifts From God Come Wrapped In Overlooked Packages

I have a beautiful dear friend whom I love with all my heart.  She is now 93.  I think of her often and my occasional calls to her are more often than not met with her answering machine.  Very rarely do I hear from her now, but when I do it always reminds me of heart connections and the little gifts from God in relationships that are the most meaningful of all.

She also loved my mom and came to know her well through me over the years.  Since our move I haven't spoken with her although I have tried so I have texted her granddaughter to be sure she is still planting and tending her flowers and living on her own because when those activities are not able to be part of her day I know the end is near...or I should say the beginning of her eternity with God.

I find myself wondering if I will speak to her again on this side of eternity and it makes me sad to think not.  Last night she was heavy on my heart and I desperately want to see her when I go home to visit and intended to track her down, so when my phone rang when I was barely out of bed this morning and I saw her name on the screen I knew God had given me one of those special gifts today.

I had to call her back as she didn't realize it was me actually answering the phone and I came to learn later she didn't even know who she was calling but dialing a number that was on her appointment that she has used for many years to keep her client's information and appointment times in.
She was surprised but excited to know she called ME!!  Of course I was more excited because I had been wanting to talk to her and at 93 I realize any conversation we may have could be our last while on the Earth.

We quickly jumped in where we left off with the hurts of this world, the disappointments of those we expected more from, the failing economy, the destruction of Capitalism and the concerns of the preservation of The American Dream, and then we discussed the reality of when it all fades, disappoints, and fails, there is only one place where our confidence is never shaken and that is in our hope of all that God does in spite of it all...and of course in the anticipation of eternity that will surpass every conceivable expectation in a God who loves us and in whose sacrifice we trust.

She then told me that she woke up this morning from her dream and it was of her at the bedside of my mom when she was dying and her remembering how she consoled her just before her passing from death into life.  She told me that she couldn't believe she had dialed a number she didn't know and it was ME!

We made a plan to make a plan and I will either visit or we will go out to lunch soon but she reminded me that more importantly than our plans, our hearts are woven together and we have been through a lot together and that she has always wanted and believed the best for me and knows how difficult and hopeless my battles have seemed and yet God has brought us through with a deeper faith, a greater reward and a far greater purpose than we ever could of imagined.

And then she said something that made me chuckle despite the realization that at 93 with that type of call, I may not be hearing from her again, and that was that she is glad she dials numbers she doesn't know.

ME TOO, my sweet Theresa, ME TOO!!

“You will remember this when all else fades, this moment, here, together, by this well. There will be certain days, and certain nights, you’ll feel my presence near you, hear my voice. You’ll think you have imagined it and yet, inside you, you will catch an answering cry. On April evenings, when the rain has ceased, your heart will shake, you’ll weep for nothing, pine for what’s not there. For you, this life will never be enough, there will forever be an emptiness, where once the god was all in all in you.” 
― John BanvilleThe Infinities

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Moms, Memories And Mothering

I was thinking that after almost 6 years without my mom on the planet, I may have another perspective about my my mom, meaning who God chose to mother ME.  As I have needed to become increasingly aware of how pain affects us, I have also learned that without our ability to understand or even process (sometimes for many years), we become who we are and even HOW we are as a result.  I also realized that it is not what we are when we begin that matters most, but how we finish our life's journey of purpose that matters most.

There is comfort in that for me as beginning this life as a young child, I remember being lonely above all else.  Other than lots of pets, a lot of unused land to distance me from a curious world,  a grandfather that over-indugled me with himself in an effort to stay clear of an over-worked wife, an absent mother who I knew loved me but didn't know how to love because she didn't experience true and committed love herself, I was a child of a divorced and single mom, and I only had one true friend all through elementary school who found her next best friend when we went to high school in 7th grade, I have finally begun to more clearly understand how it is the repeated disappointments in life that, while not intentional, leave us incomplete for ourselves...and others.

Learning how to leave the guilt for what you are, and why you are not all you thought you would be and RELAXING in the process as you become sanctified from the journey at the foot of the cross, are just a few of the challenges that I have begun working through with greater anticipation of God healing within my soul...finally and completely.

While each battle we are called to fight takes something from us that never returns, what and how God replaces "it" with Himself and His appointments and approvals are constant reminders of a faith that is being lived out and a God who lavishes mercy and purpose upon us.

I can especially relate to the challenges of circumstances that change everything about your life.  I have experienced life-altering events more than a few times, but if there is one struggle I have above every other, it is how to be the "substitute" mother to Dylan and Olivia.  While I have never desired to replace Lisa, I always knew that what God called me to was unique and going to be the greatest challenge of my life.

I didn't think about it,  I just jumped into it and allowed my faith to take over...after all, He put that mindset there too.   It was not and is not as if I am able to focus on that role independent of the others I am simultaneously immersed in and also often challenged by, but I had to and continue to adapt..and adapt quickly, but not always most effectively.  There are times when I also realize how God knew that.  He knew what I was, what I wasn't, who I was, and who I wasn't...and still He chose ME!

Nearly 10 years into this journey, I have become more dissatisfied with myself but more satisfied with Him.  I have let go of the expectations of others and continue to look for and find peace within the journey, that is lived out each day.  I have found that the most destructive thing I can do is listen to the voice inside...or even those outside.  Regardless of where it comes from, it is the voice of the father of lies that presents itself in the recesses of our heart that allows our wounds to be magnified...both to ourselves and then consequently to others.  We find ourselves sensing the disapproval of others as everyone has an opinion of how we should handle our challenges and how it should be perceived so that it is an instant blessing and  benefit to what God is up to in our lives.   If we embrace the opinions of others, we are left wondering why we are not "better" at  it and we get "stuck" there and consequently we often make excuses rather than try a new approach realizing that it is in new approaches (that are often created and recreated with new seasons of life and maturity) and we learn what He wants for our lives is NEVER easy to accomplish, but it is FILLED with blessing and favor and grace that sees us through and leaves us more satisfied than we ever would have imagined.  I have also learned that the key to the progress is accepting that we have no idea what we are doing...and trusting Him to lead us through it.

I am not nearly where I hope to be within my journey, but I am more aware, more surrendered, more thankful, more forgiving and more understanding that what God allows into our lives has purpose that will transcend all pain...and it always occurs in the areas of our lives that need the most healing.

Trusting Him at a level that began in my own life with depletion and lack early in life, eventually to what I thought was satisfaction with a solid marriage, to shattered expectations when Danny got sick and then when we gave up what our family was for what God chose our family to be, and loss once again through the malicious efforts leveled against us due to another's bitterness, anger and resentment, and now to living the promises of God on the other side of the pain with a completely new understanding of being satisfied and complete with a journey and even greater purpose still ahead.  The journey and the learning and the reality of God within it is absolutely indescribable.  It has allowed my faith to not only have feet but also wings.  I have believed God for many things, many times over, but what is on the other side of pain that robs your heart and steals your soul is absolutely without adequate words to articulate when your trust is ONLY in Him.

That is what I keep in mind when I struggle with daily challenges of what should come naturally...under normal circumstances.  I always said I didn't want to live a normal or average life and I now know why...I am not normal...or average and therefore to produce from me what God wanted, He had to take me through certain paths that stripped me of self and reminded me of my utter dependence upon Him and my need for Him as well as my reliance upon Him to carry us to our destination against all odds.

I know that as I continue my journey substituting for the loss of Lisa in Dylan and Olivia's life, I will find that the more I learn, the more I do not need to try. I just need to trust. I will again receive that same understanding of how God rewards our faith...a process I often struggle to understand, but one that He honors.  And as I have learned in many other challenges, God does not disappoint us even though His ways are not ours.  Nonetheless, He exceeds our expectations...time and time again.

God uses time to give us peace with Him. ~Jon Nellermoe

Take time to follow what God has put in your heart.  Be willing to be inconvenienced.  You don't know what kind of impact it will have on another person.  ~Joel Osteen

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mom For Tomorrow

Mom, I think of you often...even today.
It was you who came to my mind,  I quickly should say.

You left on another journey and your will not be back,
But regardless of your leaving, I still know no lack.

I wrote these words today, not for you but for me, 
And I share them with you so that my heart can be free.

I learned yet again, as I do when I write,
That I don't blame you for what I am not, if I stay focused on His power and might.

I am not dissatisfied with all that I am not, 
Instead I see great value in all I was taught.

This moment in time would not be complete, 
Without reminding myself that it was YOU who was perfectly chosen for ME!

You taught me His ways, as He chose you to do,
You honored Him greatly, despite what you knew.

I think of you now with a smile on my face,
And wish I could hold you for one more embrace.

I want to say Thank You for doing what you could
And to tell you how He has finished your work, and that it is Good.

I have a feeling this is something you already know, 
But to share my heart as it heals, I know would impact you so.

Our relationship could finally have all that it lacked, 
Which was compassion and maturity and a love that wouldn't hold back.

So I write this today, knowing you already understand,
The moment you entered that Great Promised Land.

I am now living in mine after much pain and sorrow,
But I am writing to testify that God is not just a God of tomorrow.

He is with us today, Sitting upon His Great Throne,
Looking to have the final say and teaching us to trust Him even as we groan.

Whether we struggle, or stumble and fall,
It is Him who ultimately is in control of it all.

So I thank Him today as I honor His plan, 
And thank Him too, that I released my pain to a far greater plan.

I miss you and love you and wished you too received more,
But God allowed it perfectly for what was in store.

For more reasons than I yet even know,
But it is YOU I still carry in my heart wherever I go.

To heal from my hurts is yet another gift I have been given,
It didn't come packaged or contained in a small slice of heaven.

It came instead through adversity and much pain and sorrow, 
But I am beyond thankful that there is always tomorrow.

It shines more brightly now with a greater understanding of more,
And it comes in the form of goosebumps that purge pain from my pores.

God, I marvel at Your ways and hear Your Great voice, 
It sounds like fresh and rushing water, and no longer noise.

The lessons I have learned are taught in no other place,
And the gift is like the feeling of winning a race.

There is much preparation and blood, sweat and tears,
But the Victory is only understood by those who are near.

Thank You again from well within my Faith-Filled Soul, 
I will continue to remind myself again and again what it is that is making me whole.

I will share of Your goodness and Your promises given,
Beyond that,  my broken heart has now risen.

I live with a new found awareness of the pain and the sorrow, 
But I wrapped it all up and released it and I call it Tomorrow.

God can accomplish in a moment what would take years on your own.  Seek Him and His path - watch Him open the doors to your Destiny. ~Tony Evans

Wednesday, May 1, 2013



Our son Simon is a beaming and bright light in our family.  Since he was able to speak he asked questions constantly about everything.   He also asked them repeatedly to be certain our answer didn’t change.  

Simon was born at home and that evening was quite an experience for us all.  With Daniel only 5 at the time and Izik 3,  they were quite excited to witness such an amazing event. By being part of the birth, I wanted them to see the most amazing miracle of all in life…a baby being born into the world.

With yet another boy in our home, we instantly knew he would be called Simon.  Since Izik didn’t have a name for 2 days after being born as I expected to have a girl (for no reason ;), when I thought of how much I liked the name Izik as did my husband, I also thought of (at the same time) and liked the name Simon. Instantly, we called him by name.  I always say it was the experience of the day he was born that created such energy in him…and clearly it and he is here to stay J

When Simon was just a baby, he would throw food all over the place and make the biggest mess of any of our kids…he would also have the biggest smile on his face while doing so.  We had a sweet woman that spent a lot of time in our house named Esther and often fed Simon and no matter what he did, she always called him “an angel from heaven.”

When Simon was 3 years old on a warm spring Sunday evening in late May, the boys were outside playing baseball.  They had school the next day but they asked if they could stay out just a bit longer. I agreed as the weather was so nice and they were having a great time.  Within just a few minutes Daniel came running into the house yelling that Izik hit Simon in the mouth with a baseball bat.  Simon lost his first front tooth immediately and his dad (being the doctor that he is) pushed the one that was dangling back into place but a few days later Simon tripped on the carpeting in the hallway and it didn’t survive.  He was front toothless for more than a few years and one grew in when he was about 6 but it took a little longer for the other one to come in.  But as you can see, they are just fine.

 I always say that Simon has a brain like my husband:  filled with curiosity and wonder of how things work and what makes them work…and do they work well enough to be satisfied with?  If not,
he will likely come up with another idea to improve upon what isn’t working according to his understanding or expectations.

Simon was (and is) a busy boy:  he was the one who got into EV-ER-EE-THING!!  He would try on my shoes when I would take them off (which had no less than a 4 inch heel) and try to walk in them when he was not even 2 years old and usually wearing nothing more than a diaper.  When he was 3 he had a yellow bike and pair of yellow Hunter rain boots and he became recognized by everyone in both of the neighborhoods we lived in by his yellow boots ;)  He wore them so much that he wore holes in the bottoms of them (even with just a diaper on) and I still have them and I will keep them forever!!

Simon wasn’t interested in reading books when he was young but in swimming and fishing and catching toads and biking in the woods with his dad and brothers.  He wasn’t much for video games or TV but preferred to build things out of legos.  He enjoyed it as much as his dad and he would wait until he got home and force him to make airplanes out of legos.  He always wanted to make a bigger airplane than the one before…and there were times when they almost looked ridiculous.  Simon didn’t care though and he would begin adding to them and rearranging their parts and when his dad would come home the next night from work he would often have to take them apart and redo them because he couldn’t let them be the new way Simon designed them ;)

 When Simon was in Kindergarten our family went through a big change and we moved to the mountains about an hour or so from where we lived in Pennsylvania.  This was in February of 2010 and the drive was about an hour and a half from where Simon and the other kids went to school.  Simon and his brothers and sister had a few months left of school still, and we didn’t want to put them in a new school so late in the year so we drove them every day to their school.  We spent a lot of time in the car each day and because Simon had morning Kindergarten and the trip to school was 70 miles, he was often late.  I didn’t know that he wasn’t learning to read and his teacher didn’t tell me. Ever since, until this year and him coming to Park City, and having Mrs. Ingle, and being in a great class with kids that make him feel welcome, Simon struggled to learn.  I have begun to understand that while Simon can learn to read (and has), because he doesn’t think in a way where text books interest him, it takes a special teacher and a special class to bring out his unique learning style and enable him to thrive.  Many extremely intelligent people often do not learn so easily in a classroom unless they have a teacher like Mrs. Ingle.

The information in this letter is to be about Simon and what a special kid he is, but I would not be sharing the complete story of Simon and his success in this classroom as a new student in Park City if I didn’t also tell you all how amazing Mrs. Ingle is. I have interacted with many teachers having 5 kids, and I want to tell you that teachers like her are to be celebrated and forever remembered and thanked for their selfless devotion to their class.  It is because of her investment into Simon (and all of you) that he now has the confidence to read and to feel that he can learn anything he wants to. 

 God did not make us all the same and we all have different strengths and weaknesses and remembering to help those who may appear to be struggling with something is always a way to feel good about yourself and also to remember there is sure to be a time when you may be that person needing help as we cannot all be good at everything all the time. 

You will meet Simon’s dad tomorrow morning and while he struggled to read until he was in 6th grade, he is now a brilliant doctor who helps people all over the world.

Simon is now making up for lost time with his learning and he is excited to come to school each day.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to each of you for welcoming Simon into your class, which isn’t always easy part way through the year.  You are all very special and I am quite sure you are all going to do very amazing things in this world to make it a better place.

And to my youngest and incredibly special child, I know for certain that every hurdle you have overcome was a choice.  You chose to not let the areas of weakness become stumbling blocks in your future but to become the reasons why you will become successful…because as you have already learned, when you discipline yourself to be greater than what you struggle with, you will always come out on top!!

I love you bunches and bunches and more bunches and I am beyond proud of you!!!

And will you succeed?  Yes!  You will, indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.  ~Dr. Seuss

Saturday, March 23, 2013


It has been 17 years of marriage for Danny and I tomorrow...a decade and the perfect number...all wrapped into one relationship. When I think of a decade, my first thought is to think of a season of life that I quickly connect with emotionally as a child.  So much occurs in the first 10 years of our lives.  It is beyond comprehension actually.  We live through it and we can't really contain it but we are who we are because of it.  I can honestly say that my marriage has been like that.
Then there is the number 7.  God uses that number repeatedly in the Bible as a number of completion and also sanctification.  Perhaps that is why I am compelled to write about it.  I don't always understand, but I always trust in Him who created the significance within His words. And again, my marriage has been like that as well....
I was reading something about God's references to the number 7 and then I read this: "the symbols God embedded in the design of His Word continue to build one upon the other, endlessly and effortlessly amplifying their mutually coherent implications. Each independent thread in this Divine Tapestry strengthens every other thread until they unite to form an absolutely unbreakable cord." That is very profound and yet makes perfect sense to me...especially within my marriage.
I immediately thought of the verse of scripture that was on my wedding program the day Danny and I were married on March 23, 1996.  It was Ecclesiastes 4:7 and it says: "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." 
I thought of how often this has been true in our marriage.  We have been teased, tackled, kicked, tossed, slapped,  and punished in many ways as we have served, loved, honored, hoped and dreamed.  We have stood tall, walked without understanding,  crawled on our knees and surrendered to pain and here we are 17 years later in our marriage, a lifetime it seems of serving an enormous purpose with incredible battle scars in our family and in the mission God has chosen for us and we can feel as we felt in those first 10 years of our a child without understanding and yet looking to the ONE with all of the answers.  
I am so thankful to know that God loves us and understands our completely faulty and incapable selves.   I feel blessed to know that things in life do not have to make sense to be acceptable...and for those things in our lives that are not, I can trust Him still...and even more.
Very little matters even though life can offer many distractions.  Remembering what it is that you value more than your own agenda is one of those priority principles that you must put in focus.  When you are walking your walk, your journey of faith, your pursuit of purpose, or whatever you may refer to it as;  always think on what matters more than your circumstances? For me: I must be able to answer myself with a confident response that it is WHO I am aligned with in my journey that matters most.   When the assurance of that answer is tucked firmly in my heart as well as in the foremost part of my head, then I can make that journey with an ever-expectant posture and an ever-present hope and know all is well.  I am quite confident that is what matters most.  I believe the WHO you are with is far more important than any WHAT life throws at you.
So as Danny and I celebrate 17 years of infancy, adolescence, adulthood in our marriage as well as press on toward completion of purpose and sanctification of mission, I am grateful that God chose well for not just me, but those that He gave to our charge.  

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
~1 Corinthians 13:4-7