The beauty of color…

There is just something about springtime and color that brings my soul a sense of hope. As I get a little older, I am 51 now, I find that pausing every day and noticing Spring buds’ progression, the way the grass greens up, how green onions sprout in odd places, and the smells of rain, cut grass, and spring flowers are all moments of awe and amazement for me! And it really is true that the birds will sing every morning. I really could put my alarm clock away this time of year!

This past Christmas, I gave a few of my tribe spring porch pots as gifts, and I placed an order for a few early Mother’s Day gifts. It was a gift that felt anti-climatic on paper in December. This weekend the gift produced the joy I hoped for. There is no greater joy than giving a gift that brings hope and beauty while supporting a small local business!

If you don’t have color in your yard or on your porch, I encourage you to find something that invites you to pause and remember the miracles of spring

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Celebrating Siblings

I have seen a lot of sibling sets today. It is fun to glance through the pictures and wonder what the stories are of each sib group. I believe I have the best sibs, and you likely believe you do. We can both be right. I think you have the best sibs for you, and I have the best sibs for me!

And today, I do not just acknowledge my siblings but all of these amazing sibling groups. I am grateful for the ways that our stories have intertwined!

My Dad’s siblings: The early picture is missing Aunt Tina, and the more recent picture is missing Aunt Joan. My Dad and Aunt Joan are no longer living, but their lives carry on through all who loved them!

These are my Mom’s siblings. TheKuperus 12 were a sight to behold.

We took the second picture at my Dad’s funeral in 2018. Aunt Simmie, Aunt Anita, Aunt Follie, Aunt Trina, and Uncle John are no longer living, but their lives carry on through all who loved them!

And these are my siblings. As I said, I believe we are a pretty formidable bunch. We show up for each other, and we laugh and cry together. We venture into adventure, and we enjoy the quiet spaces of little to no activity. We share wine, whiskey, food, faith, and so much more. Len is no longer living, but his life carries on by all of us who loved him.

 

And from this group, these sibling groups are celebrated as well.

May be an image of 3 people, including Nicholas BorgdorffMay be an image of 9 people, including Matt Cole, Karolyn Dekam, Dan DeKam, Ellie DeKam and Arlene Borgdorff DeKam, baby, people standing and outdoors

May be an image of 6 people, including Sonta Joseph Borgdorff and Marcia Borgdorff and people smiling

May be an image of 5 people, including Sonta Joseph Borgdorff, Marcia Borgdorff and Noah Borgdorff and people smilingMay be an image of 5 people, including Suzi Borgdorff Bos and Andy Bos and people smilingAnd this is why I say “Thank you, Jesus” for making the matches of who will be whose sibling. You did good work, and I am grateful for the ones chosen for me and everyone who has come from them!

Blessed be His name!

Maintaining your voice in healthcare

I have been reading through many emails written by my Dad after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in April of 2018. I am struck by the clarity he and my Mom had regarding their desire to choose the quality of life over the length of life.

Clarity does not mean that it is a decision made without struggle or emotion, but there was peace with the decision made not to pursue aggressive treatment and live each day as fully as my Dad’s health allowed.

I have many conversations throughout a week and remind individuals, some of whom I know and some who I will never meet, that the choices of next steps always lie with the patient and their family. So often, it feels as if medical professionals direct care. I could spend every waking moment advocating for education on maintaining your voice in your own healthcare journey.

Please talk these things over before you face a decision needing to be made in your own life. Have you considered how you will journey through a diagnosis that might lead you to the end of your life? What variables factor into your decisions? Share this conversation with a loved one or adult children. You may never face the situation, but if you do, you will be in a stronger place because of your willingness to discuss some difficult things in the comfort of your own home.

Be brave, bold, and honest in what these questions provoke for you. The conversations and outcomes can guide your decisions or strengthen your relationships, but I have not spoken with anyone who has regretted seeking clarity for their own journey!

Live honestly,

Trish

 

 

 

Hey, that is my space…

Have you ever crawled into bed only to find that your puppy/dog claimed your spot 30 seconds before you? I absolutely was going to kennel Wilhelmina at night for at least the first year. She has made it exactly 1/2 of one night in a kennel at her young six months of age.

She comes and goes freely from my room at night and now will snuggle in after I am sleeping, and I don’t even wake up. But tonight, she beat me to the punch and was snoring with her long body fully extended and her head on my pillow. This picture is from yesterday, but this is what I mean by looooong body extended!

It used to be clear that beds are for people, but after I acquired Dutchess, I was ruined for that clarity. Wilhelmina has not offered me any sense that my ways will shift back to my before-dog mindset. Especially when Willa is so fast asleep.

 

I know I am not the only one who shares a sleeping space with a pet. As much as I don’t know that my head can reconcile it fully, my heart is 100% sold!

As I close tonight, I am so grateful for these two faces that bring me such joy!

 

A taste of freedom

Today my nephew received his permit. He completed his class yesterday at 5 pm and today managed to get to the Secretary of State for an 11 am appointment. He was turned away due to an error on his paperwork from the driver’s training school. Then by the sheer grace of God, we managed to snag a second appointment for 130 today, and they were able to bring a corrected form, and he proudly took his spot in the driver’s seat.

He and I enjoyed 9 holes of golf today, and he chauffeured me to the golf course, to get gas and to drive him home. He is a good driver who is attentive to the road and moves with intention and confidence.

I know I am “just” an aunt, but my heart was tender as I thought about how quickly we went from this where he is meeting my dog Dutch as a new puppy almost 14 years ago to this where he is driving me to golf!

In all of today’s events, I am delighted that this young man is tasting the sweetness of freedom. In the coming year, he will grow more confident and master his driving skills even more.

I am committed to praying for this nephew of mine in his new driving responsibilities. May we all remember the new drivers on the road, not all of whom are 15 years old. Some are new to our country or just pursuing this freedom at a later age. Be patient, have grace, and remember when you first tasted the joy of freedom and followed the speed limited as posted!

God protect us all on the roads,

Blessed be His name!

 

Best Friends

It is almost 11 pm and I have these two girls sitting on my deck enjoying a bonfire. They love being together and are blessed with such pleasant personalities that they are not hard to be with.

Evy and Johanna have been neighbors for years. They have grown up together and reflect on when they were younger and dream about being older and still hanging out and enjoying life together.

I have enjoyed them hanging out at my house during Spring Break this year. They had a sleepover here last Thursday night, and they came back today and are filling my house again with their chatter, laughter, and thoughtfulness. As I watch them, I reflect on my own friends from middle school and the fun we had. Recently my friend sent me a picture from a middle school gathering. I look at it and laugh to myself at how young we all look, (and I chuckle at how we look) and I remember such fun times we shared together. No description available.I am thankful for Johanna and Evy tonight. For their delight in life and their gentle spirits. For the ways they like to bring joy and hope to those around them. I appreciate their generous offers to do anything I may need help with. Our world is a better place with them in it. My life is richer because of their presence. I hope you have good young people around you. If you don’t look around you and establish a relationship with a few, you will be glad you did!

The gift of art

Lately, I have been noticing art.

I have been drawn into color and life-giving art.

I have stopped in my tracks as some pieces speak to the deep gut level ache that life can bring either in our own stories or in the stories of others.

Tonight I leave you with a few pieces that bring both joy and reflection for me. I wish I could sit with each of you and hear what they provoke in you!

Take time and notice art, and even more importantly, be curious about the art, the artist, and how the same piece can bring such varied responses in so many people around you!

Street artist Kevin Lee called his work "the invisibility of poverty". :  interestingasfuckArtist Kevin Lee called his piece: The invisibility of Poverty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelsey Montague Art speaks life and adventure to me and has a sense of inviting me to stay and enjoy a while! No photo description available.Never pass up a swing. They're good for... - Kelsey Montague Art | Facebook

Statue

Melancholy, the emptiness that incapacitates us through grief

Melancholy, a sculpture created by Albert Gyorgy, portrays the void that grief leaves us with. The sculpture depicts a figure made of copper sitting on a bench slumped over, with a giant hole in its center. This hole represents the massive void that we all feel when we lose someone dear to us, and many people have expressed their appreciation for this sculpture for it portraying the exact emotions they feel but perhaps haven’t been able to quite put into words.
Grateful for expression in so many varied forms,
Blessed be His name!

The joy of home…

I love the adventures life brings, and I don’t mind sleeping away from home, but in the end, it is always nice to come home as well. It has taken me time to fall in love with my home. Little by little and year by year, I have found that every space within my home feels like part of me.

I have worked hard and invested some dollars in cozying up my outdoor space. I love the ambiance of my spaces. I find that people often comment on the outside appearance of my home. I feel deep contentment when I can receive compliments and feel so deeply grateful for the space I call home.

I hope you have a space that holds your heart and you are delighted to return to. If you do not, keep working to accomplish that goal. I never knew how important that feeling contentment at being home is.

Ready to call it a day in the comfort of my own home.

Blessed be His Name!

 

Our broken world needs Hope

It has been quite a year.

Last year at this time, the whole idea of a shutdown felt foreign and unknown. A year later, we can see and feel the impact of COVID-19, 2020, racism, violence, suicide, and a broken world.

Headlines every day speak to the despair we feel in our Nation, States, City’s, and in our homes.

The headlines read like this today. I can assure you the topics sound familiar every day.

  • A 16-year-old will be charged with open murder and felony firearm, and police say he will be tried as an adult. Arraignment is expected to happen sometime early next week.
  • Suicide rates among people between ages 10 to 24 have been steadily rising over the past decade. The pandemic has accelerated the trend. 
  • A man has been charged with trying to poison a woman he worked with at a Sparta plant.
  • A U.S. CAPITOL POLICE officer died after a driver rammed a vehicle into him and another officer outside the Capitol complex, authorities confirmed on Friday afternoon.

It is for this reason and so many more that I am thankful for Good Friday and Easter. I am thankful for Jesus and the hope He has brought to a broken world. Easter does not magically fix anything about the brokenness surrounding us, but it reminds us that this is not our home, and there is hope to hang onto in the brokenness of this world.

Tonight I am grateful for the cross and the empty tomb!

Blessed be His Name!

The crown of thorns

I remember seeing the crown of thorns for sale in the book store. It felt *sputton to buy it. But I kept circling back. I was fascinated by something so tangible about Good Friday.

I bought the crown of thorns that day, and it has remained meaningful to me, not just on Good Friday. I will walk by it and handle it, feel the sharpness, the odd sense of meaning this ruthless piece holds.

But then I found my heart and cross piece and found how beautifully the crown of thorns framed the cross and the heart. This image below is my favorite picture to hold in my heart on this (or any) Easter weekend. It is the power of the crown of thorns, the cross, and the love that embodies those that leave me with no option other than deep sorrow, repentance, and profound gratitude for this glorious scandalous night of Christ’s crucifixaition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed be His name,

 

*sputton

Sacrilegious; not displaying the socially expected reverence for implicitly sacred ideals.
Dutch or Dutch-American slang,