Another Countdown

I like countdowns; they help me remain organized in the process of leaving on a trip and generally are the source of good memories – preparing for the numerous road trips taken with my girls.  I’ve posted others, counting down to leaving on holiday, going to spend time with a daughter for Christmas, memories from childhood of my mom before vacation and the quirky habits I have now, for which I swear my mother is responsible, though she remembers differently 🙂

This countdown?  One week from today I have to be ready to leave for the rolling hills of Kentucky and a week with my youngest brother and his family – an amazing wife and two very special boys.  We’re spending Easter together, having been apart since August, when they moved away.  So having just started a new trimester of school, I have much work to complete before I go as you never know the reliability of the Internet once you’re gone.  The goal is to complete the first two week’s assignments and be partially through the third week before I leave.

Add that on top of the cleaning, laundry, packing, arrangements for pet care, banking, mail, etc.  I know what I need to do, and it’ll all happen, it’s just a lot to remember 🙂  So KENTUCKY COUNTDOWN is on!!  I’m excited and looking forward to a very effusive group hug upon arrival and many more throughout the week I’m there.  Forgot to mention that we’ll celebrate my brother’s birthday together, too.  It just gets better!!!

I’m off – the to-do list is calling and it’s now almost 8:00 a.m.  No music in this post, but not for lack of looking.  There are lists of songs about Kentucky and songs about travel, but remaining focused is the focus so no time to search YouTube today.  Blessings to all and send prayers this way for clear thought processes 🙂  Those who know me will be smiling….   Adieu!


This isn’t a problem; it’s a feature …

As my dad says, “There you have it,”   My title for the day – a statement I heard from an unnamed source.  I just love it; in fact, it gets better.  The speaker went on to say it was a  “feature” strategically placed to help the listeners learn a lesson. I cannot wait to actually say that to someone and see the expression.  Hope I can do it without laughing 🙂 Don’t you just love words?? I’ve got to take a break and find some music to go with this one; I’ll be back…

Kind of a futile effort so because it’s Friday and I’m feeling the challenge, I mean, feature, of daytime sleepiness with no time for a nap, we’re going to fall back on one of my all-time favorite pick-me-ups, a rousing rendition of Tom Petty’s, I Won’t Back Down. It kind of fits the theme of the day, don’t you think?  So moving forward, here it is.  Sing it with me and let it stand you up.  Nothing like a little feature to brighten your day:)


This, too, shall pass…

A quick google of today’s title finds it defined as a proverb; not a quote from the Bible – you gotta love a phrase that has its own wiki 🙂  It may be based on the oft-repeated phrase,  “And it came to pass,” first used in Genesis chapter four and depending on your source and version, anywhere from 120 to 630 times in the Old and/or New Testament.  One of my favorite authors,  Barbara Johnson, no longer with us, used to say that it’s important to note that the Bible never said, “And it came to stay.”  And like many of us, Barbara knew of what she spoke!

Does it help?  Well, those who know me know that I believe words matter;  when it comes to unpleasantness, discomfort, pain – physical or emotional – you have a choice – dwell or pass through it.  Personally, unless it comes covered in milk chocolate, I believe in letting it pass or passing through it. And while we’re at it, let’s look quickly at the word dwell, a favorite.  It sounds so much nicer to suggest that someone not dwell in or “stay focused” on their perceived misery, than to suggest that they’re wallowing 🙂  I’ve come a long way from the days of being famous for saying something like, “Oh for Pete’s sake, buck up, buddy!”  Now I strive to be nicer, so I use gentler words like dwell.

But when it came down to it, when the walk met the talk, it really was a matter of speaking the result.  I spoke healing and more healing, to myself, my daughters, my extended family.  Fear was not an option, not ever, not allowed and it truly comes down to that.  Cancer, two brain surgeries, chemo, radiation, all came to pass.  Did not come to stay, but came to pass!!

As we move toward Easter 2010,  four years from that fateful day of brain tumor discovery, it came to pass and pass it did, an event in my history that has been handled by my Father in heaven.  And I encourage you, no matter what the situation or challenge you face, it, too, shall pass.  And that can be a most comforting place to dwell as you go through the passing of your challenge.  Be encouraged and be blessed!!



Seasons …

Here’s a switch, music from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, this piece being Spring; not my usual rock’n’roll, but it fits the title and I am a pianist/musician so enjoy! We’re rapidly approaching a new season on the calendar; Spring is a week away and definitely in the air. But in the last week I’ve had a couple conversations in which I used the words, “it’s a season; not a permanent state, but a season through which we pass.”

Got me thinking about the seasons of our lives.  We may have fantastic seasons of growth and beauty, then we may have seasons of darkness and what feels like dead-of-winter, harsh and unrelenting cold.  We may have friendships born of the season and perhaps limited to the season.  We might experience a rainy season and move toward the end of it to see a glorious double rainbow. There are seasons of health and  seasons of illness, seasons of laughter and seasons of tears.

The season for me now?  On this rainy, foggy Saturday morning, I’m  in transition, still in the season of  “higher education”, successfully finishing,  just yesterday, another trimester of school, and  did indeed dance around my kitchen last night. I completed two excellent classes, learned so much and had the opportunity to engage my dad in good discussion in the course of completing Theology  for Today and Survey of the New Testament, both with an A, I might add.  Now, as my favorite Auntie Arlene said when I started those two classes, “That’s right up your alley,” and how right she was.  All those words, English and Greek, all the “ologies” and “isms” and writing about them – I was in my element and had a ball.  How very different from algebra, but a just reward as far as I’m concerned.  Having traversed the season of Algebra – very ugly, I emerged to religion/history and getting to write about it!

The season continues, with nuances of change.  Two new classes begin after a week off, no idea what to expect and the season of higher education while living daily life continues.  A challenge?  You bet, sometimes I’m so very tired, but it’s the chosen path for now and as I counseled the other day, it’s a season through which we pass, not where we dwell.  We’ll wrap today with a favorite Scripture, “To everything there is a season,” and get this, a proverb, “This too, shall pass.”  I just may have found my next blog subject:)



No Good Deed Goes …?

Surely some of you know the rest of that aphorism.  Because of my belief in the power of words, often stated here – words matter – I won’t be finishing the statement;  in fact today we’ll  do a test run on a new ending, give it a new spin. And I do love spin 🙂

So if I say No Good Deed Goes Unrewarded, what do you think?    The question becomes unrewarded by whom. It doesn’t matter. Since I operate under the belief system that says you don’t work your way to your final resting place, the reward for a good deed is internal.  You saw something, you addressed it, and you know in your heart that you did a good thing.

The person or persons for whom you did this good thing may or may not even realize it.  Doesn’t matter. Let me clarify, it doesn’t matter on an outward level.  Here we go again, semantics.  You bet, I love it 🙂 So where does it matter? Inside, inside you and that’s what counts in this discussion.

Every time you take the opportunity to  do a “good deed” however small, it matters in you.  Note I say IN you, not to you.  We grow every time we take an opportunity to make a difference, something as small as smiling at the elderly man for whom you hold the door, every time you offer an encouraging word or turn aside an angry retort.  It matters IN you and that’s why I’m pretty comfortable saying that No Good Deed Goes Unrewarded.

The reward is the growth that comes inside because you stepped out and did it.  That’s what matters.  Keep doing it and you will keep doing it.  It’s a mindset, a way of looking at the world, a philosophy, if you will. Go on out and have a fabulous day and when you have the chance (not IF, WHEN) take it.  Look for these opportunities – they’re everywhere.  Here’s to growing as we go …..

À plus tard


TA DA! and TA DA! again…

A two-TA DA! evening – quite a way to end the weekend!!  Not time-for-sleep end as I still have a transcript due in the morning, but the challenging  part of the weekend is successfully completed.  Top that off with a fun conversation with a special  niece and a “night-night” phone call with my ErinLee and if I didn’t still have to work and it wasn’t past midnight, I’d crank up some music and dance around the kitchen 🙂  because two TA DA!s is pretty all right!

Isn’t that just the way things go sometimes?  I’ve been studying lots, loving my current classes and as my favorite Auntie Arlene said, these classes are right up my alley.  I’m dealing with words – this week all the ologies and isms that come with a class titled Theology for Today.  Add to that my General Survey of the New Testament class and I’m in my element!!  Reading, studying, learning and best of all writing – working hard in addition to life in general, and then to be well rewarded for these efforts with great feedback from fellow students, a maximum grade on a tough paper, and finally 100%, the second week running, on the theology test due each Sunday night.

I’m feeling very blessed and believing  that, as challenging as it’s been to add  this education track to an already complex life after so many years, these successes may indeed be confirmation that I’m on the right path.  And that is an even bigger TA DA!        … Bonne  soirée


Bon Voyage, My Friend

I spent two hours yesterday with an amazing young woman whom I’ve come to know and love.  She’s smart, funny, musical, bilingual, beautiful and though she’s young enough to be my daughter, I call her Friend.   As I’ve told her parents over the years, she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  And in a few days her life takes a new turn as she heads to Europe. I’ll miss her, became teary-eyed during our goodbye hugs; I am so very proud to know her and so privileged to be part of her life.

We shared a sandwich, talked and talked and talked some more – about the world in which we live, goals and dreams, family, mutual friends, politics, you name it; we covered a lot of ground as we always do.   Thankfully we have the Internet and she’ll be blogging, so I can track her experiences. And I am certain that she will absolutely thrive and return to us an even more beautiful person than she is today.

We share important characteristics – our faith and the fact that we are both pastor’s daughters – for starters.  While we have a fair amount in common,  as women of different generations – very different life experiences.  It is so inspiring and encouraging to observe her moving confidently into a world substantially different than what was available to me 30+ years ago.  And she’s made wise choices.

As I think of her now and reflect on our time together, I’m hopeful.  The future is bright with young women such as my friend – women who’ll be the mothers and wives and leaders of tomorrow.  So as she goes off to foreign lands to live and learn and grow, I pray she soars like the Biblical eagle lifted high on the wings of the Lord.

Travel well- Godspeed.  And I say with love, Bon voyage, my friend!


Cows on the Loose and a Mouse in the House

cows-centre-crop1How’s that for just another Sunday afternoon on the farm?  All I was trying to do was get a head-start on the trimester of school that begins tomorrow.  Way too simple a plan for the day apparently.  The mouse was and still is more unpleasant than the cows – smaller, but more intimidating.  Who wants to deal with that?

So I do what I always do in times of distress on the farm  – call my Cousin Dan.  And to the rescue, as always, Dan appears.  We baited a mousetrap and placed it strategically – actually Dan did the placing, I applied  peanut butter, crunchy, all natural, by the way, to entice the intruder to its demise.    Now I have to stay away so the intruder takes the bait.  That’s what Dan said when I asked about getting the soon-to-be-deceased out of the house.  I’m supposed to stay away until tomorrow;  stay out of my piano studio and pretend I’m not waiting to hear a !SNAP! for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

The cows?  We’ve had this before, even posted about it before.  A call to the neighbor got them here to corral their animals, not before there were some in the road, which drew spectators, some fearful to keep driving, and two local sheriff’s deputies in squad cars.  Thankfully no lights and sirens – could have caused a stampede 🙂

Isn’t that the way things go?  Your plans get turned upside down by a rodent and some bovine escapees.  I’m sure there’s a lesson here – haven’t figured it out yet.  I’m thinking there has to be some appropriate music as well, but I cannot imagine what, besides Old MacDonald or Hickory Dickory Dock and that won’t do.  So I’m off to salvage what’s left of the day and perhaps to ponder that potential lesson I mentioned.  If anyone has an idea, you know how to reach me through this site.  Bénédictions …


Greatest disaster in over 200 years?

How do we even begin to comprehend the scope of what has occurred? Comfortable here in the US, yet watching the nightmare happening in Haiti, what do you do?  How do we help?  It’s heartening to hear of all the good still in people’s hearts, as folks from around the world pull together in a time of human need.  Disheartening to hear of the scams already in operation to defraud well-meaning people.  As usual in times of crisis, we see the wide range of human behavior, from very good to very awful.

How do you share hope with others in the midst of such devastation?  It seems trite to quote the platitudes that get spoken at times like this.  How would you react if it were your loved ones far away in the midst of great trouble?  What’s your security? To what do you cling?  We’ve talked about this before.

I won’t presume to lecture or instruct today.  I’d just encourage you to look inside and clarify the source of your strength.  As many of us have discovered, personal tragedy can be right around the corner.  We have no idea what’s coming our way, but life means that something is coming our way; personally or on a large scale, we don’t know that either.  I urge preparation, know what matters and  what doesn’t.  And while you’re at it, reach out to family and friends and let them know that they’re loved.  Mend the fences, forgive past hurts.

Go to sleep tonight with a prayer of thanks for all you have and breathe a prayer for comfort for the many who have less. Blessings ….



My last post of 2009 from my home.  In 12 hours I’ll be arriving in Green Bay to catch a bit of sleep before flying out  at 6:30 a.m.  And in 28 hours I will be hugging my beloved Meghan and seeing her new home for the first time.  Am I excited?  You have no idea!!!  As my cousin Jane reminded me, this will give me the energy I need to get everything done.

So what’s the TA DA for?  I have completed another term in school.  I have done battle with algebra and am still standing.  More logical than ever?  I’m too tired to say right now, but I’ve done it, it’s history.  Will I dance around my kitchen as mentioned in a post back in August?  Very likely as I’ve got to keep moving through this day, checking off the list.    Sounds like time for a song, one that contains two of my all-time favorite song lines – check it out and sing with me.

Quickly, what are the two lines?   “Just remember this my girl, if you look up in the sky you can  see the stars and still not see the light.”  Amen to that.  The other is, “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.”   It’s time for me to get on my feet.

Blessings to you all in these last pre-Christmas days.  And while I’m anxiously awaiting the gift of time with my Meghan, I’m mindful of the reason behind this celebration – the best Gift ever.  Hope you have it in your life.

Merry Christmas, 2009.  Cherish your friends and family; reach out to those in need.  Coming to you next from the warmth of  South Carolina …