Friday, October 31, 2008


I have debated about writing about the recent news from Cascade. Blogs and comment boards everywhere in our community are saturated with reactions to the news. It is true, some people are not bitter, but so many are and it makes me sad.

I hear words of anger, disbelief, mistrust and misunderstanding. I want to say, "But if you only knew..." and explain how hard it was to watch men who could barely speak through their tears when they told staff and faculty, to see the broken hearts and hear the explanation of how the pain-staking decision was made. I want to tell people that this terminal diagnosis has been delayed because remarkable and loving people have been performing financial CPR on a situation that began to give out years ago... that telling churches in the area about the difficulty would not really have helped... not in the long run. 

I feel hurt when I hear people say how angry they are... as if anyone had any other possible choice to make... I want to say that it would be like dumping money into trying to fix a car except the only parts you can find are the wrong parts. But you are determined to keep it running because it used to be your best friend's car and so you spend money... on the wrong parts. - It feels like they are angry at people like me, who have accepted this end, even though it is so sad. I am made to feel like some sort of traitor because I don't intend to jump on the "Save-Our-School" band wagon. - That is hurtful. And so I walk away... because I don't think they would hear me anyway.

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, 
along with every form of malice."
Ephesians 4:31

I feel ashamed when I hear brothers and sisters in Christ using defeatist and hateful words . How in the world can we pretend to know what it was like in that board room, sitting among a group of people who wanted to see Cascade survive... knowing that there was only one choice to make... but no one wanted to make it? How can you assume the people who made those decisions are cold and pious people? 

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen."
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) 

That Cascade is closing its doors is sad, this is certain. The ripple effect will be far reaching. Things will not be the same. - But to say that God's kingdom will be considerably and negatively affected by it is both faulty thinking and shameful. The Lord will not see His people lost in this. 

"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Hebrews 13: 7&8

"Everyone grieves differently," my friend says. She is right. And people are grieving. I understand this. 

And so I make one request, to those who are grieving, who are peaceful, who are angry, who are hurt, who are searching for answers or making decisions about jobs and schools...

Please, please do not forget what we are and who we stand for.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Back on track

There isn't a limp in my walk any more. In fact I remember the day I noticed that I wasn't limping, walking confidently and  without pain. It was a pretty emotional realization and I shared it with Suzy and Logan, tears and all. That was at the beginning of the summer... in late June. I had been working out 5 days a week for about 8 weeks or so. 

Now more than 30 weeks into my work outs, even with some off weeks and screwy weeks I still do not limp. This is the goal that I began working out for. I was angry with the doctors for not being able to even name the pain I had been suffering with since Kevin was born, and decided to take it into my own hands. This is something I have realized I should have done several years before, but just wasn't in that place of personal honesty - to tell myself I could actually do something about how I was feeling and that I didn't need to rely on doctors to fix it. 

There was no magic pill. And there still isn't.

So my hip is doing 100% better. With regular exercise and good stretching I have hip-pain-free days. So what's the problem here? More than 30 weeks in and I am gaining weight?! I spent the last couple of days feeling sorry for myself about this and pondering how I've gotten so far off track. But now I'm just plain irritated. I think a medicine that I am taking to ward off Fibromyalgia pain is contributing to the weight gain, but I'm also rather sure that lack of consistent calorie counting and exercise is also contributing to it. So, once again, I take my life in my own hands (and sharing life-changing-motivation with Kristi) I will do something about it.

The God-factor in this should not be ignored. About 12 weeks in on this adventure I was doing great, I was super committed and strengthened each day with the belief that God was all wrapped up in my success. Well, I still believe God is all wrapped up in this. I am the one that has lost focus. And so once again I lift my head up and see that He is there, waiting for me to follow him on this path again. 

I love you Lord; you are my strength. 
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my strong hold.
part of Psalm 18

Thursday, October 16, 2008

An Old Friend

I scampered up the little metal steps excitedly and there she was, washing dishes. The sound of the water pump whirring and the clank of the metal sink with the utensils was comfortingly familiar. Directly to my right, the carpeted steps up to the bed. In front of me, the cream and brown striped couch-bed. To my left, the kitchen fit for one person with a table and two cushiony bench seats set for four. Out of the miniature refrigerator/freezer came the ice cream, chocolate sauce and freshly ground walnuts. The perfect treat for "a break". The whole place smelled like their home on Orchard Avenue in Grand Junction. They had brought their home to us, for a visit and most excitedly, a sleep over. 

After our break I knitted with her and followed him around. There were wash cloths to make or sweaters to finish and leveling to do, anchoring to put into place or a truck to turn around... and around... and around. And after all of that and dinner we would fold down the couch-bed and get ready for the sleep over... of course, after we watched "Dallas".

Then my old friend would appear, soft and snugly, smelling of fabric softener mixed with their home. Memories and feelings would flood my mind and my heart and I would feel that peaceful contentedness. Being with family, being warm, being comfortable.

That was so long ago... 

I remember sleep overs as young as 5 years old... and my friend was there with me every time. So when they were no more and new places were found for the things from their home, I took my friend to live with me and until yesterday it was with me in my home... through moves, new life, life lost, life lived and remembered I have had my friend by my side. A comfort really, nothing extravagant or extraordinary... just comfort. 

But my old friend is worn and weary. I have loved all of the comfort out of it and it is beginning to come apart. So I have washed it and folded it and tucked it away in a place of rest and protection so that it doesn't fade away completely. - I have been surprisingly emotional about putting my old friend away. It has wrapped my shoulders in warmth and security in many different things in life, provided comfort in it's silky folds and even comfort to ill babies... because it smelled of fabric softener and home

I'm sure I will take it out from time to time... to remember life lived, loved and lost... to think about Grandmother and Grandpa, the home they brought to us, and the memories we shared... remembering and missing... and loving. In silky peace and comfort and warmth.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"...and they will see me there."

Matthew 28 
 1 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

 8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. 9 And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

Can you imagine being Mary Magdalene or Mary? What an experience, to be the first people who Jesus spoke to after His resurrection! I think I would fall down at His feet too. My heart races as I imagine being there, in the presence of the risen LORD! And what an important message they carried. They went to tell the apostles where Jesus would meet them. It's probably a good thing that the angel and Jesus both told them where to meet because I tend to think in the middle of all of that I might not remember the meeting place, having witnessed Christ moving about as if nothing had happened to him and all...

Jesus said, "... Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there." They were discouraged, grieving people but Jesus was going to be able to show them this time that prophesy had been fulfilled (and hopefully they would finally get it). Everything that he had taught about had come to fruition and that meant that the apostles' mission was just beginning.

Brent spoke at church today about this part of Jesus' story. I'm glad he did. I found meaning in what he said. My walk-away-thought from his lesson today is that we are not done yet. There are a few things that are changing at PUMP, and change can be uncomfortable in many ways. But Brent reminded us today that our mission and our purpose remain the same. In fact, our work is just beginning. ~ I can think of several people who I hope found encouragement in that today as I did. 

Thanks, Brent! 

What a game!

I don't watch or understand most of the things that happen in a football game. I like to spend time with the people I know who like it so I ask questions about why things happen and about the rules, but left to my own devices I would not necessarily choose to watch football. Personally football ranks right under golf for the most boring sports to watch (sorry football fans). Maybe that's why it's so easy for me to nap on the couch while it's on. But the game that just ended between Chicago and Atlanta was pretty amazing. Chicago came back and made a touch down with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter leaving the game at Chicago 20 / Atlanta 19. Just when you think the game is over, with 11 seconds Atlanta both made a long play that landed them halfway to the goal posts AND with 1 second left made a 48 yard kicking attempt and made it! 

That was pretty darn amazing whether you like football or not. 

Monday, October 6, 2008

Obedience School

I was invited to contribute to a new blog. Check it out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Say It's So!

I heard on the radio yesterday that Jonny Depp just signed to do a fourth "Pirates". Please say it is true!!