Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two Roads Diverged in a Wood

'and I, I took the one less traveled
and that has made all the difference'

Our family is beginning a season of transition. It's exciting and scary all at the same time.  We are following God in this journey called life and faithfully taking the next step... 

... which leads to Philadelphia.

Beginning in January, I will be working at Eastern University.  I'm excited about a new job, a new city, and the chance to be closer to family. 

This new chapter in life will be hard and yet I think that God has good things in store for all of us.

Saying goodbye to AIM and my wonderful friends there makes me feel a bit sad.  It is a great ministry and I will miss it.

But I look forward to what is around the bend in 2011.

Happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


My daughter posted this on Facebook recently:  "Everything about today hinted at fall. The woodsmoke smell, the crisp cool air, the few scattered leaves on the ground, the rustling of wind in trees and the taste of hair blown into my mouth. Each lingers teasingly in my sensory memory."

Autumn is beginning to reach Georgia now.  The sky is so blue.  As I sat under the shadow of some pine trees today I was struck by the beautiful contrast between the deep evergreen and the azure sky and also by the gift of the senses that God gave us.  As I enjoyed the feel of the breeze in the cool air, I smelled that distinctive smell of sap from the trees and enjoyed the intricate variety of God's creation.  

The ability to form pictures from words is a gift given to some, but enjoyed by many.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stop and Smell the Roses

This could be a philosophy of life, but today I just want to talk more about the particular smell of a particular place.  On my bike today I stopped to look at all the boats moored in the bay and noticed the smell of honeysuckle, beach roses [rosa rugosa], salt water, and seaweed on the rocks.  I think even the sand of this island has its own distinctive smell.  The trees themselves smell familiar.  Each house has its own fragrance.

So often in life we don't take time to notice our surroundings, let alone the smells.  God gave so many sensory clues to remind us to "Be Here Now", to live in the moment.  I'm currently reading Love at Last Sight which is about building stronger relationships.  In it I am confronted with my habit of only half listening as my daughter talks to me.  I need to slow down, stop and focus on what she is saying, look her in the eyes.  When I look at her she knows how much I value her and love her.

On my way home I saw something completely random; there was a man fishing in the field beside the elementary school.  A peaceful spot, but the bay was teeming with fish just 1/2 mile away.  I suppose he was practicing his casting, or perhaps trying out some new rods.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Places: Lighthouses, Small Towns, Farm Stands

"People need to know where their place is, and lighthouses acknowledge a sense of place that resonates in a real primal way." said Jennifer Radcliff, president of the Michigan Lighthouse Fund in an interview for the New York Times.  There is something about place that pulls us. 

Yesterday I walked down to the bay and visited a small organic farm stand before walking back through town.  How I miss that small town experience where the gal at the farm stand called my mother by name and chatted with all her customers.  Last night at a fund raising dinner, my dad knew many of the donors and guests.  Today watching a boat race, he could identify various boats and their owners.  Mom has cousins here, dad spent his summers here growing up; everyone knows everyone else.  Yet, they are open and friendly. 

There is only one blinking traffic light in this whole town.  Yesterday I went for a bike ride and enjoyed the warm sun even as I struggled to peddle into the wind.  There is a familiar smell when I return to this town and so many memories associated with being here.  The views and fresh air are invigorating.  The sun sparkling on the water, the breeze rustling the trees and picking up to create white caps.  I feel alive in this place.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Del Tackett says, "Our personal worldview is the total set of truth claims that we have bought, consciously or subconsciously, which drive our emotions and what we think and so in unguarded moments - reflecting what we believe to be really real."  We all have a set of ideas about life and the world in general, but many of us hardly give it any thought.  We take for granted so many things: consumerism, the sunrise, life itself. 

Our worldview affects the decisions we make and how we choose to live.  Our worldview can be passed on to our children, and I feel we should be intentional about this, thinking through our beliefs and helping our children to understand our point of view.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Some great poetry is found in the Psalms.  Psalm 1 talks about those who read the Bible ... and love the words so much that they think about them all the time.  They are described "like trees growing beside a steam, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves." [Contemporary English Version v.2-3]

What is your focus in life; what do you think about day and night?  God, our Creator, has a purpose for us and desires to be in relationship with us.  Francis Chan says, "God wants His Word to be a delight to us, so much so that we meditate on it day and night."    Some of my favorite Psalms are: 1, 8, 23, and 100.  Don't have a Bible?  You can read online at or go to any bookstore and look for a modern translation such as the New International Version or a paraphrase such as the CEV.  That image is so inviting; don't you want to be that tree refreshed by the stream producing fruit and flowers and providing cool shade?

Monday, August 9, 2010


"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." - Henry Ward Beecher

Your art, be it watercolor, poetry, music, or photography, reflects who you are.  The creative impulse is deep within us.  Our creativity is a gift from God, a reflection of His Creative nature.  When we create something of beauty, we feel a sense of satisfaction because we are following the instinct to create beauty.  The act of creating something allows us time to reflect, to use our hands and our brains, and to produce something which can be enjoyed. 

Monday, August 2, 2010


In The Outermost House, Henry Beston says, "Nature is a part of our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery man ceases to be man.  When the Pleiades and the wind in the grass are no longer a part of the human spirit, a very part of flesh and bone, man becomes, as it were, a kind of cosmic outlaw, having neither the completeness and integrity of the animal nor the birthright of true humanity."

He talks about the "meditative perception of the relation of 'Nature' to the human spirit."  This classic book is about his experience living on the shore of Cape Cod for a year and observing the natural world.

Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made."  Through time spent outdoors in nature, savoring the creation, my spirit is refreshed by communion with God's Spirit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Spiritual Health

Just read an interesting article on Soul Care from Christian Leadership Alliance.  The article talked about the many ways you can feed your soul.  With so many options for spiritual nutrition, it's easy to burn out on the spiritual disciplines by overloading your plate with too many spiritual activities.  The author, Stephen Macchia,  suggested that you major on the majors by focusing on Scripture, prayer, and reflection.  I was particularly struck by this, "the recipe for vitality included three basic ingredients: time and space set apart to receive the gift of God's Word, the joy of prayerful communion with the Trinity, and the gratitude of the heart that emerges from personal reflection on life."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Do you have a special place; somewhere that feeds your soul? Where do you feel most at home? What kind of atmosphere resonates with who you are? Is it mountains or beaches, cities or small towns, rivers or meadows? What feels like home? When are you most relaxed? 

For me it's a small seaside town that I have visited every year of my life. There is some indefinable quality about this place that feels like home. Architectural styles, beaches, bumpy roads, boats in the harbor, all speak to me of rest and relaxation. I come to visit and leave feeling refreshed, but long for the day when I don't have to leave.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


This morning as I got ready for the day, I noticed the cat in the middle of the floor. I stopped for a moment, despite my busy-ness, and sat on the bedroom carpet. The cat, Sox, climbed in my lap and relished my attention, purring. We had been away a few days and the kitty just wanted to spend time with me. It struck me that this is how our time with God should be. We just want to be with Him. To relax in His presence and enjoy Him. To be still.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Musings on Turning 49

How did I get here so fast?  Seems like just yesterday I was in my 30's.  Raising small children ... now they are almost grown.  My life in these last few years has mostly revolved around the kids and their school activities and my work.  Soon we will enter a new season - about the time I turn 50 our youngest will graduate high school.  One more year in which to impart our faith and values so that she will stand strong in an increasingly crazy world. 

I feel young in some ways, yet glad for the years and experiences and all that God has taught me.  And so thankful for His grace in my life ... may it continue to make me more grace-filled.  I'm so glad that with God we are continually growing.  That He is ever patient with us and wills us to grow in love and mercy.  May my life shine with joy and peace in order to bring Him honor and glory.

I am thankful for my family and good friends who celebrated with me and made me feel special.  I love my life!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother-Daughter Road Trip

Driving my mini van from Atlanta, via Chattanooga, Nashville, and points north all the way to Chicago.  Packing all her stuff from her dorm room into suitcases and boxes.  A trip to the storage unit she and three classmates are sharing.  Pack the car.  Very comfortable hotel.  Sightseeing around the campus and a great lunch at Red Robin.  Into Chicago for a day on the town.

Lincoln Park Zoo is very cool and also free!  First we saw the big cats.  The tiger was having his lunch - a big shank of meat which he gnawed on and licked and chomped.  Beautiful cats in all shapes, sizes and stripes.  Well, mostly just cat shaped ... but the serval had long ears.  Then on to the small mammal house which was cool.  Then we crossed a bridge over a pond where a Trumpeter Swan and a rabbit were facing off - the rabbit kept hopping across the stone dam and the swan kept snapping at him.  Then there was a tiny duckling trying to avoid its mother so it could have some fun, hopping on the rocks, swimming thru small crevasses and trying to get away while mother scolded and chased.  The duckling was pretty fast.

To avoid a sudden downpour we ducked back into the lion house.  The male African lion came in from the rain and had a roaring contest with another big cat a few cages away.  We watched from twenty feet away and got some great video.

Finally we saw a mother wolf with her four cubs, just 3 weeks old and tumbling all over mom and each other while she fed and groomed them in a shallow hole she had dug under a tree and somewhat hidden from the zoo crowds unless you knew where to look.

After the zoo we headed to Navy Pier.  We rode the ferris wheel and had great views of the city skyline at sunset.  Walked around the pier and the shops, bought a few souvenirs.  Had a hot pretzel and later a soft ice cream.  Enjoyed the stained glass museum.  Saw part of a magic show.  Watched a bunch of teens all dressed up for their prom.  Took lots of pictures.

Began the long drive home.  Listened to some Donald Miller and lots of music.
Indianapolis, Cincinnatti, Louisville, Knoxville and finally Atlanta.  A great Mother's Day dinner at Outback on the way.  Gotta love those bloomin' onions.

from a PC to a Mac

Well I'm really excited about my new Mac, but it's definitely not 'apples to apples' ... there is a learning curve here and some work in transferring all the files.  I'm still trying to figure out how everything works on this machine, but I think I'm gonna love it. 

Now if I could just figure out how to make more hours in my day to get everything done ... end of school year for my high schooler, picking up my daughter from her freshman year at college [road trip anyone?], work, summer vacation plans, summer camps and summer jobs, managing a household, volunteering, etc.  How does any working mom get it all done?

I love my life, but sometimes sleep is the thing that gets sacrificed!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just Stop and Think

The God of the universe is crazy about you! Francis Chan talks about it in this video.  Check out more about his book and other great videos at  

Look around at all that God created. It's AWE inspiring.

The magnifigance of creation is so clearly the handiwork of a Creator. 
I love watching the sunrise!  Being outdoors is how I connect with God.  All of nature shows His glory.

Friday, March 19, 2010

User Friendly Sidewalks

Just reading online about an interesting new concept: Livable Streets  It is a movement to make our city streets more pedestrian friendly and safer for bicycles.  New York, San Francisco and other cities have added bike lanes, benches, plazas with tables and market umbrellas for people to relax amid the frenetic pace of the city.  People can read their newspaper, visit with friends, have coffee or lunch and enjoy the outdoors.  What a great new movement for urban life!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What I'm Reading

I am an avid reader and always looking for great books ... novels or how-to books, historical fiction or theology, adventure or christian living, contemporary thought or mystery.    I read at least one book a week, reading in the evenings, on my lunch break and on my exercise bike.  A new author that i've discovered and i like, Margaret Feinberg recently had a challenge on her blog to inspire people to read more.  Here's what i'm currently reading:

Finding Meaning in Life

My friend and colleague, Jeff Goins, had this Manifesto published recently by Change This.  it's a great article entitled "Wrecked for the Ordinary: A Manifesto for Misfits".  It makes for some great reading about not accepting the status quo, but seeking your purpose in life.  Is there more to life than just 9-5 bringing home a paycheck and enjoying the recreation and accumulating stuff in your free time?

Spring is Coming

eventually ... i think ... i hope!  we've had lots of rain and too much cold weather this year.  the daffodils are here and the trees have buds.  can't wait for the warm weather to stay.  the night before last it was so windy that the lake had 6" waves, then in the morning it was like glass.  i love seeing the many moods of God's creation throughout the day.  i love to look at the goldfish in my pond and see them come up for food.  the water is warm enough now that some birds have come to splash and take baths in the pond.