Category Archives: Written blogs

Are you a Human Being or a Human Do-ing?

Standard

I’ve heard it before—Life is more about the journey than the destination. You’ve heard it, too? When I hear that statement, I nod my head in agreement, like I know. Uh huh.

Last week was one of those weeks. I was running from one thing to the next, pencil poised over the to-do list, anxious to check things off. A wedding loomed on Saturday, written on my calendar for months, staring at me every day that previous week. Don’t get me wrong. We are good friends with the parents of the groom. I love hanging out with these people. I just wasn’t in a good place. I was weary and preoccupied and simply worn out.

(Side note: I know that Christ is the source of my joy. He is my strength. Without even trying, I have a peace that rolls beneath all the turmoil of what goes on. But recently, my life has been kinda like a storm at sea. It’s calm deep down, but on the top? The winds are whipping the waves up into a frenzy!)

We went to the wedding, and it was like medicine to the soul. New love. Old friends. Crazy pictures. ☺ As I sat there watching everyone talking, loving, communicating around the table at the reception, it felt really good.

Life is a journey. Birth, marriage, baptism, missions trips, Bible studies, picnics, church services, concerts, plays, movies, vacations, dinners together and even the Super Bowl. Let’s break it down even further: laughing together, crying together, praying together, sharing together, learning together, playing together, helping each other. We want to share these episodes together. It’s what makes up life. Not the destination.

I know this to be true. But I get so caught up with crossing items off my to-do list. There’s a quote that says “Am I more focused on the ‘to do’ than I am on what I’m called ‘to be’? Since I read that, I’ve made it a point to “be” more. To help more. But I wrestle with my wanting to get things done. It’s a constant struggle.

There once was a little boy and a dad. One day, the little boy begged his dad to take him fishing. His dad looked at his to-do list, but his wife encouraged him to go. He reluctantly agreed. Afterwards, when the boy was helping the mom prepare dinner, she asked him how it went. The boy talked for 15 minutes straight in great detail about how wonderful the day was. He ended with “it was a day I’ll always remember!” Later that night, when they prepared for bed, the mom asked her husband the same question. He sighed and said, “I didn’t get a thing done.”

How often am I like that dad? I remembered that story almost daily when Kailey was growing up. Now that she’s an adult and moved out of the house, it still applies. That’s why I want to take more time out to relax and enjoy family and friends, pray, laugh or help others. I know very well how hard it is when life requires us to “do.” I’m just thinking it would be cool if we could work it in our crazy schedule every once in awhile. The journey is what makes life wonderful. Doing things with each other, for each other, enjoying each other.

Here’s a sample of the fun we enjoyed together at the wedding…

Have you ever seen the classic movie “White Christmas?”  There’s a song in there about sisters.  Here’s Libby and me trying really hard to be like them.  (haha!)

And then, in the movie, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye re-enact the Sisters song.  Complete with feather fan and headbands.  Here’s our husbands doing the same.  🙂  (We didn’t have to bribe them…much.)

Advertisements

The Booth at Panera’s

Standard

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day! (Hey, even if you don’t have kids, you have a mom, right?) Hope you all had a special time with your family and/or friends.

Second of all, thank you to all of those who attended or supported our family friend, James, with his fund raiser for his missions trip to Africa. It was quite the success! 🙂

This week, say hello to a good ole’ fashioned blog. (No video blog). I wanted to share with you something really cool that happened last week. I went home and wrote this right after it happened. Here it is…

It’s been a rough week. Something happened that left me shocked and speechless, and other times sad and confused. Over the past few days, I vary between handling it okay, and sometimes the whole thing really gets me down. Occasionally my mind wanders and I wonder a little where God is in all this. Now before you get all Bible-quoting on me, ☺ I KNOW in my head that God is there, but sometimes it doesn’t FEEL like it, you know? Are you watching, God? I know this is an age old question, but when it hit me personally between the eyes, I wondered it all over again–before I caught and reminded myself that “fair” isn’t the name of the Bible. It’s not the “Fair Bible”. It’s the Holy Bible.

Rats. I’d really like my Christian life to be fair.

But this is just the intro to the REAL story. That is just the set up. ☺

I’ve been doing okay. I’m hurt, and I feel misunderstood. But over the last few days, I’ve tried to look at the big picture and see God’s hand in this. I know he didn’t make this happen, but I’m asking what’s in store. He’s known for taking bad things and making good out of them, right?

Today I was at Paneras with Kailey. We hate coming around lunchtime, because there never is a booth available. And the tables are always squished together. There’s not enough room to sit comfortably, much less have a private conversation. When we got our food, there was only one table available, in the middle of everything and even skinny Kailey had a hard time wedging herself into the space allotted for us to sit. As we took our first few bites, a booth opened up! We made a rush for it, like two gold diggers, staking out our claim.

As we stealthy slid into the booth seats, I noticed an elderly gentleman hobbling toward the booth we just took over. He stopped, changed directions and then continued to move to our table we just abandoned. I realized after we sat down, we had just taken this booth from him with our quick and somewhat-nimble actions.

I watched as he poured himself into the same spot Kailey just left. He got frustrated and gave the table a good shove. I felt so bad. The older I get, the more I understand how it feels to be old. It stinks. Everything hurts. And being wedged into a table is not an idea of fun. So I got up, walked over to him and asked if he would like our booth. Told him I realized too late that we had taken it from him. Just then his wife walked up and he looked at her with a little look of surprise on his face. They accepted our offer, thanking us. We exchanged tables. I thought that was the end of it.

As Kailey and I were eating, another older gentleman came up and said, “I just saw what you did, and I want to give you something. Kindness like that should be noticed.” He then handed Kailey and me each a movie ticket voucher. It was my turn to be surprised. It felt good. And something inside clicked. I started crying. I couldn’t help myself. Right there, sitting at that squished table, in the middle of everything.

It was as if God was saying, “You’re okay, Laurie. I know you feel beat up right now. But in spite of it all, I’m watching and I love you. You are my child and just when you need it, I come to you looking like a 75 year old man, with movie vouchers.”

Then, when I could barely hold myself together because of the God moment I was having there in the middle of Paneras, the wife of the booth-trader came by and gave me a Panera cookie, thanking me. God again whispered in my ear, “Just in case you missed it the first time…you are a person of value and I love you.”

I’m no different from you. We all feel “beat up” from time to time. And in our finite minds, it’s hard to figure out. But God IS always there. Sometimes in human form. Thank you, Lord, for your reminder. ☺

I’d love to hear from you! Share a time when God came to you when you most needed Him.

Kony 2012, Cover the Night, and our Power

Standard

You may notice the absence of my face staring at you this week. That’s right, I’m writing a blog today, instead of a vlog! I had written the following little essay a couple weeks ago, in response to a young-adult friend asking me to join a cause.

Raise your hand if you have NOT heard of “Kony 2012.” It’s an intriguing marketing idea to help rid the world of Joseph Kony as a free man. He and the LRA are responsible for killing, pillaging and abducting children from the Sudan, Congo, Central African Republic and Uganda. The creators of Invisible Children came up with the idea of “Kony 2012” to make him such a worldwide household name, he will no longer be able to hide anywhere. Their video, Kony2012 became viral. People around the world are encouraged to “Cover the Night” on 4/20/12 with Kony 2012 posters. Now, there is an updated video. See it at http://www.kony2012.com/.

No one can deny the good that Invisible Children are doing. However, my young-adult friend was very concerned HOW the Kony 2012 did NOT warn other young people to not destroy other people’s property on “Cover the Night.” So, because April 20th is coming up in a little over a week, I thought I’d address it on my blog/vlog.

Here’s the essay I wrote in response to my young-adult friend:

As I watched the Kony 2012 video, like many others, I cried and got chill bumps. The atrocities of Kony must be stopped. And it’s thrilling to see how ordinary people like you and me can be a part of the answer. But the chills were also about a growing concern in me. And that is the power that anyone has in today’s culture. This power–the capability of reaching and influencing millions through multi media–can generate a whole lot of good…or a whole lot of bad.

I do have a few concerns regarding the destruction/defacing personal or public property on the night of April 20th. (Yes, I realize defacing property is small, considering the violence that Kony has created. But it still doesn’t make it right.) I can’t turn away from the fact that they have not publicized enough the respect-other’s-property issue. (New addition as of today…when I watched their latest video, they did have a short warning about not defacing property.) Both you (my friend) and Jason Russell (founder of Invisible Children) are doing what you believe needs to be made known. That’s what checks and balances are all about; one makes sure the other doesn’t go to extremes.

I think the bigger issue here is recognizing the power we all have these days to persuade people. Each of us has a responsibility to decide–are we going to be a good influence in our sphere or a bad one? We need to point out the things that need adjusting, regardless of the nay-sayers, all the while encouraging the same project that just needs a little realignment. (Just like my young-adult friend did. ☺ )

Another example of the power we hold in our hands today is how we can “take down” a strong, guided mover-and-shaker like Jason Russell. No, we didn’t literally tackle him, strip off his clothes and make him bang his fist on the sidewalk. But, according to the news reports, the barrage of attacks he endured over the last four weeks sent him over the edge. Russell is doing great things! But like all of us, he needs help. He’s human. Something may slip up. Again, that’s why we all need those checks and balances to keep us on the right path.

Here’s the bottom line: I love the fact that we have easy access to Youtube and Facebook and making and editing videos, etc. We can make a video that can influence literally millions. I commend Jason Russell for his video and his Herculean efforts. But just as easily as Jason did something good, many can do harm. Like Bob Dylan said, “Everybody’s gotta serve somebody.” We’ve got the power within our grasp. Who are you going to serve?

Ode to My Right Knee

Standard

Ode to My Right Knee

As I prepare to say goodbye to my right knee, I thought I’d pay it homage.  I know an “ode” is a sonnet or poem, and this ain’t it, but it does come with great emotion attached.

I’ve spent a great deal of time complaining about my knee and how it hurts and how it’s just not working up to par.  But when I stop and think about it, over these past 53 years, it’s been a big part of giving me much pleasure as well.

Let’s see, over that time, my right knee has taken me through…

  • The Walk for Water (10 miles) and Hike for Hope (25 miles) when I was in high school.
  • Countless jumps and knee bends while cheering for Greece Olympia High School and Geneva College.
  • Dancing the night away as Disco Queen of Geneva College in the late 70’s!  J
  • Riding Lynnie’s bike (my only transportation) on my way to work in Greeley, Colorado.
  • Taking the brunt of a fall off of Lynnie’s bike (with scars to prove it, still 30 years later.)
  • Kneeling at the altar at Pine Castle UMC.
  • Standing, standing, standing for 10 years of LynWorks art and craft shows.
  • A hike up a neighboring mountain to overlook Lake Louise in Banff, Canada.
  • That hike up to see The Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in 100 plus degrees.
  • Many treks around many stages as I acted and danced my way through parts.
  • Rough, uneven cobbled stone streets of Ukraine, five years running.
  • Playing tourist in 50 states and 41 countries
  • Playing Round Robin Ping Pong with the Northland youth, around and around the table!
  • The everyday walking up and down my stairs at home.

On second thought, I don’t regret one day God has given me this knee, broken as it is.  Goodbye, dear knee!  Thanks for the memories!  J

 

 

 

St Simons Island, here we come!

Standard

I’m pretty excited (and only a little terrified) to do my first storytelling presentation called “The Christian’s Secret to a Messy Life” at the Winning Women Conference in St. Simon Island this weekend!  (ok, I’m only kidding about the “terrified” part.  I’m actually really pumped!)

I used to do more speaking a couple years ago, but took a break while my daughter finished high school.  I started a job teaching drama, that kept me closer to home and continued doing that her freshman year at UCF.  But God called me back…but this time I really wanted to do something more up my alley:  storytelling!  I love the rise and fall of a good story.  I love how a story can make you laugh one moment and cry the next.  It’s the actress in me.  But it’s also because Jesus used stories to get a point across.  It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity.  Simply tell the story.  God will do the rest.

So on this night before I leave, I’m leaving this post, wondering what new friends I will meet this weekend.  And I’m hoping they will join me here on this blog!

Give me a few weeks, and hopefully I’ll be changing this blog into a “vlog”–video blog.  I’ve got a total knee replacement coming up on 10/26, so please give me a little grace if it doesn’t happen before then.  🙂

Seriously, I can’t wait to see where God leads us next.  Join me!