Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Butterflies & lizards

This past week I was visiting in Florida. The butterflies were everywhere. At first I thought they were Monarch butterflies. But after Googling them, I learned that they are called the Gulf Fritillary, also known as the Passion Butterfly.  These butterflies migrate to the Florida area in late summer. Not only were these butterflies everywhere; they were friendly. It was fun to approach them because they didn’t fly away and acted like they were happy to have you nearby. 

Also in large populations were lizards. Called Anoles, these lizards make their presence known year round. But, for some reason, they seemed to be more heavily populated than usual. I’m wondering if they were trying to compete with the butterflies. 

So here’s the deal--the butterfly’s job is to pollinate; the lizard’s job is to eat icky bugs. Which is more important? I don’t know. I can tell you though, the butterflies were pretty and happy. The lizards were slippery and afraid of people. Pretty or ugly, they both serve very important roles in nature. I don’t really have a big point to make here except to say: this is truly an example of “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” 

So then, my prayer for today: Lord, help me to love people equally--no matter what they look or act like. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Going all-the-way-under for the first time

My nephew Max came to visit me in Florida this past summer. He loved swimming in the pool. In and out. Splish-splash. On the raft, off the raft. Throw Superman and Spiderman in the water. Retrieve. Repeat.

And so it went for several days. Each day, we got a little closer to going all-the-way-under the water. It started with blowing bubbles. Then advanced to leaning his face into the water. Until finally, he just went under. All the way. And then it was over. A new pool life had begun. His daring discovery allowed him all kinds of new adventures.

How exciting to be a witness to this first experience! It has me wondering--what new experience have I challenged myself to lately? Is there something I need to do that I have never done before?

Well, certainly, there are things I could do that I haven't done before. Sky-diving. Eat a raw oyster. Own a hamster. But I'm feeling the need to do something daring with my faith that will open my life to all kinds of new adventures--like going all-the-way-under.

That's what Jesus did, right? When he walked this earth, He was all-in.  I want be like Max & Jesus. Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spending time with friends

Today was a great day because I flanked my day with friends. What I mean is, I started my day with a girlfriend and ended my day with a girlfriend. Best day ever.
Leslie & me at coffee

This morning, I met Leslie for coffee. We had the most wonderful caffeinated beverages. It's fun sitting in a busy coffee shop with a friend and discussing important stuff like kids, vacations, church, and iPhone tips.

This evening, I went with my friend, Joby, to see author Anne Lamott. First we had dinner, then we hurried to the venue.  (I like to get to these things early, because it's more fun to sit close to the front. We were on the second row.) Anne is an interesting speaker who talks the way she writes:  irreverently. She shared some of her thoughts, read from two of her books, and answered questions from the audience.  I wrote down a few of the things she said  in the back of my copy of Some Assembly Required.

  • The forgiveness of self is the way to God.
  • We don't have what it takes to forgive the hard things, but the Holy Spirit does--and we do it together. 
  • Even though we are messy, we are holy, blameless and chosen.
I'm refreshed by my day with friends. Flanking is a good thing.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day and remembering Mom

On Valentine’s Day I had the chance to celebrate love along with the memory of my mother. Here’s how I celebrated Mom's life:
  • Slept in--Mom loved sleep.
  • Read the newspaper--Mom read the paper every day. 
  • Read my Bible--Mom had a contagious faith. 
  • Called a friend for a long chat--Mom used the telephone as her ministry. She called everyone: shut ins, the sick, and friends that lived both near and far.
  • Went to the mall and bought someone else something--Mom always thought of others first. 
  • Had Caribou Coffee--Mom and I discovered and fell in love with Caribou Coffee on our first of many visits to Mayo clinic.
  • Toasted Mom with a friend while drinking our Caribou coffee--Mom loved drinking coffee, but mostly loved sharing it with friends.
  • Hugged my husband--Mom loved her husband (of 52 years).
  • Ate a Godiva chocolate-covered strawberry--Mom loved dessert (and fruit). 
  • Went to see Carol Burnett at the Kauffman Center--Mom enjoyed Carol Burnett, Saturday nights and laughing.
  • Thought a lot about love--Mom loved deeply, unconditionally and wholeheartedly.
  • Thanked God for my mom--Mom was the best and I miss her.
Hope your Valentine's Day was both sweet and memorable!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Have a (you choose) day!

The other day, I had the great privilege to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of my dear friends. We had such a grand time. That very same day, another friend emailed to ask for prayers for a newborn baby who was struggling with heart issues.

These two gigantic events got me thinking...isn't is amazing what only one day can bring? One event--a special birthday--involved celebration, happiness and frivolity. The other event--a critically ill baby--involved tears, worry, and sorrow. It was one day with two extremely different circumstances.

We all wake up every day, but none of us can predict exactly what the day will look like. For some, your day may be happy, fun, and fulfilling. For others, your day might be predictable. Yet for others, your day may bring you challenges you have never faced before.

Here's the encouragement that I leave you with: Whatever your day is (you fill in the blank), please know that your Heavenly Father is as close to you as your day. He's not an earshot away. Nor an arm's length distance. He is with you.

So if you are celebrating today, share the joy with Him. If you are struggling with the challenges that life brings, allow Him to carry the burden. If you are having a predictable and ordinary day, ask Him to ignite you.

Have a (God Almighty) day!