Monday, December 19, 2011


Life is a mystery.  We cannot see the bigger pattern.  According to author and speaker, Richard Rohr, life is a river.  He asks an interesting question, "Are you trying to change the course of the river? Or are you in the river?"   So often our focus is on how we can change things instead of simply living in the moment.  One of my favorite expressions I learned in college during a LaVida trip with Rich Obenschain .... "BE HERE NOW!"  It means that we should soak up every moment and enjoy life.  Jesus said, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34   God wants us to be able to experience all that He has for us in each moment.  Life is so often about "letting go."   Let the river carry you.  Trust that God is in control.

Quote From Richard Rohr on Contemplative Prayer

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The importance of Interior Design

Found this quote in a Dick Francis mystery [Enquiry] and it articulated something for me.  "The kitchen was white and brown and copper and yellow.  The colors pleased me.  Colors gave me the sort of mental food I imagined others got from music.  I disliked too much music, loathed the type of stuff you couldn't escape in restaurants and airliners, didn't own a record player, and much preferred silence."

I love silence and solitude; and particularly in a place that is aesthetically pleasing ... light and bright, pretty colors, comfortable furnishings.  My surroundings are important to me.  But I often wonder if I am alone in this.  The fact that an author describes me so well is enlightening.  There are others out there for whom environs is key.

My Typical Day

up at 7 to exercise
off to meet a friend for Bible Study at 8 at the local Starbucks
an unexpected opportunity to encourage an acquaintance and pray for him
stop at the post office to mail a package
pick up daughter and take her to extra help session for math [logarithms anyone?]
grab lunch
drive daughter home for more homework
accomplish 8 hours of work for full-time job while juggling life
drive daughter to volleyball game
cheer for team
drive home
fall into bed
get up and do it all again

ah, this is the life.  I wrote this just over a year ago.  little did I dream how different things would be one year later: new city, empty nest, quieter life!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Season of Travel

Where have I been?  I am beginning to lose track of all the places I have been this year - it's been hectic. Fun, but crazy.

Rhode Island [4 or more times]
Norfolk, VA - Feb
Virginia Beach, VA - Feb
Philadelphia - Jan onward
Brewster, NY - Jan
Stuart FL - Mar
Gainesville - Feb, Mar, May, June twice
Boston - Aug

Washington DC - April, November
Jersey Shore - Sept
Seattle - Sept
Chicago - November

I don't know about you, I get tired just reading the list.  Some of the travel has been for work, but mostly for visiting family ... it's been a huge blessing even though it has been exhausting at times.  I've been delighted to get to see so much of our beautiful country this year and tried to spend time outdoors enjoying it.

Will we stay home for Christmas or go to Florida ??

Empty Nest

Got to visit beautiful Seattle again this fall.  Sunny and warm, dare I say hot? at 85 degrees.  SPU is a beautiful campus.  Discovered a nice trail along the canal nearby.  Got to see Lake Washington and visit two old friends.

Dropped my younger daughter off at freshman orientation ... the emotions took me by surprise.  Until I realized that this has been a year of too many goodbyes.  As we fell asleep in the hotel the night before orientation started, I began to pray, realizing i would be alone in the hotel the next night.  Pray, pause, wait for response, pray, pause again, realize that she is sound asleep!  Not surprising since we got 5 hours of sleep in Denver the night before and traveled 3000 miles and adjusting to a 3 hour time difference.  Bittersweet moments.

We said goodbye in January (twice - once while at a funeral saying goodbye to a beloved grandpa), then again in June when she went off to sailing camp, and then finally in September.  The adventure of college begins for my youngest - and the adventure of a new stage of life begins for my husband and I.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I completed my goal of bicycling the Schuylykill River Trail this summer over the course of several different rides ... parking my car at one site, biking 4-6 miles then back to the car and then choosing a different location for my next ride.  From the Art Museum to the end is about 22 miles ... I did some sections more than once on rides with various family members.  I also did a portion of the Audubon Trail and the Wissahickon Trail.  For the most part it is a pleasant trail... wide and 95% paved. I got to enjoy various portions of the trail with both my daughters, my husband, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and two nephews and one niece.  Next year perhaps I will attempt to do the whole trail in one ride.  Our longest ride was 14 miles just last weekend.  It's great to live so close to a nice public recreation area.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fifty for 50

My friend Liza turned 40 last year and celebrated through the year with 40 experiences which she then blogged about.  I thought this was a really fun idea ... and I will be turning 50 this spring, so I am beginning a list of 50 fun things to do this year to celebrate ...

Here is the beginning of my list:
  • go to an art museum and make a sketch of one piece of art
  • go cross country skiing (done - blog photo coming soon)
  • go to Virginia Beach
  • bike along the Schulkyl River
  • see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.
  • go to the Smithsonian
  • climb the Rocky stairs
I'm open to suggestions for more creative experiences to enjoy life.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Embracing the True Meaning of the Gospel

I heard a Reverend Nathan Coleman today talking about how we honor Martin Luther King, Jr.  He asked an excellent question, 'do we celebrate him as a hero or do we work to make his dream a reality?'  In order for global Christians to embrace the truth of the gospel, we must work for education and justice.  He suggested that the issues most important to MLK Jr were racism, economic justice and war [or peace]. 

According to a quote by King, "America is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world."  If he could say that then, what would he think now?  We are too comfortable and neglect to stand up for what is right.  We allow our children to see and participate in virtual violence.  Martin Luther King Jr had the courage to speak and live truth and justice.  Can we do any less?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Job

Enjoying my second week at Eastern University.  I'm working with a great team of people.  The campus is beautiful with paths, ponds, interesting buildings, and lots of snow. 

My office is on the edge of (almost off) campus in a three story tudor house.  The photo gives a glimpse of the building and lawn which seems to be popular for sledding.  I'm in a tiny little office on the 2nd floor. 

The student center is in a fabulous old stone mansion which was the original house/estate donated to form the college.  There is a nice coffee shop/grill where I have had lunch twice.  I was able to take Deryck & Gennie there and on a campus tour.

I'm excited to be part of a team and look forward to being able to serve the kingdom in this atmosphere of higher education and dedication to justice and faith.  My boss has encouraged me to interact with students and get a flavor for the school in that way.  I'm also supposed to spend time in reading and other professional development in the library and/or coffee shop.  Just my idea of a great way to spend a winter afternoon.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

man, that first step is a doozy

we have taken the first step in this new journey and it was a big one.  the fog rolled in and the path is completely obscured.  but we walk in faith.

the day after i arrived in PA, my father in law passed away.  we are moving here to be close to our in-laws and to other family, so this was a big shock.  we are confident that this is God's plan for us and that this is His timing.  He is the giver of life and the only one who knows the number of our days.  Life is in His hands.  So we give Clayton back to  him and rejoice in the knowledge that we will see him again one day on the streets of gold. 

but in the meantime, we struggle with sadness and grief.  the fog threatens to overcome us.  we are distracted and confused.  we are human.  yet we know that our family needs us in this hour and we are thankful to be among loved ones and offering love and support.  Deryck and the girls will arrive on Saturday and we will be together for the funeral and some family time. 

thank you all for your love and prayers.  we are sustained by your prayers and lifted up.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

2011 is a year of new beginnings for our family.

A new job for mom, a job hunt for dad, a relocation to a new city, a daughter who will graduate and go off to college, an empty nest for mom & dad, hopefully a new house.

One of the early challenges will be finding a new church where we can feel at home and also plug into ministry using our gifts.  A church of just the right size and one that is Bible based.

I'm excited about being close to a major city and all the arts, culture and recreation available.  Walking and biking along the Schuylkill.  Climbing the Rocky steps on a warm day. Visiting Germantown and its historic homes. Someone suggested The Barnes House.  I hope to go see the cherry blossoms in D.C., something I've always wanted to do.  Go to the Smithsonian.  Maybe go to NYC for a day to visit museums.

For those of you we haven't yet had a chance to connect with personally, you may wish to know more of the story ... we have been wanting to be closer to family in order to spend more time with them.  As the end of one stage of life approached [kids at home], we began to explore opportunities.  I found a job rather quickly at Eastern University, just 15 minutes from family.  I'll be starting in January.  Gen will stay in GA until she graduates mid-May.  Deryck will stay until then or until he finds a job in PA, whichever comes sooner.

We are sad to be leaving AIM.  It's a great ministry and our time there has been wonderful.  Our boss wrote a nice tribute to us on his blog yesterday.  Our lives have been enriched by our association with the great people at AIM.  Deryck will continue on part time there until he makes the move.

Ringing in the New Year from Rhode Island this year ... started off with a sunset drive along the ocean, a nice dinner, a movie marathon, some games, and a midnight drive down to look at the harbor.  Heading for a New Year's Day Brunch and then perhaps a walk.

Happy New Year!