Give me Jesus…

I had a day today that was filled with mystery and wondering…

I found myself humming this song and repeating the words as I wondered what God might be up to….

It is a simple song…

It has powerful words…

It brings me comfort…(click on the link and listen to the clear and simple words)

Give me Jesus

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus

I have been a Christian for many years, and yet when I sing this song, I often find myself asking if I believe that all I need is Jesus…

I believe we are created for community….

I believe Jesus gives us much on this earth, inviting us to experience Him in very tangible ways…


I believe that the words to this song offer us an invitation….an invitation to know that it really is this simple…and I want to continue to believe, live and embrace the words…you can have all this world…give me Jesus!

Happy Birthday Nick….(and Henry)

Today is my big brother’s 46th birthday.

We have this competition in our family to see which sibling can call first to say happy birthday. Let me share with you a bit of Nick’s humor…

Arlene Ann Borgdorff DeKamHappy birthday, Nick! I win

Nicholas Borgdorff Congratulations. You have won the 47th annual “Who can say Happy Birthday First Award, Facebook Division”. Prizes may include a trip to Hawaii, a Caribbean Island, or a hat made of plain white paper (some assembly required). It will probably be the hat.

Ryan Borgdorff but we said it yesterday…

Nicholas Borgdorff Yes. You win the 47th annual “Who can say Happy Birthday First Award, Home Division”. You also win a hat.

Now, maybe you need to know Nick, but I am laughing again as I type this. Nick has always maintained a great sense of humor, even when life hasn’t always been easy. I remember when I was really struggling and trying to sort out a real messy time of my life. I was talking about getting counseling and digging into my stuff and Nick said, “maybe you should take a photography class. ” That has really stuck with me. Nick has taught me to have balance in my life and to not always carry the shovel that keeps digging and searching. He has taught me to laugh and enjoy the moment. To savor what is good….

Happy Happy Birthday Nick. I love watching you interact with your growing boys and how you teach them in so many ways about life and living!

And when I realized it was the 23rd of August already I was hit with the realization that I missed Henry’s birthday blog on the 18th. Henry John, I love that you are already 17. In the last year I have seen you go from a timid driver to a safe and confident driver, a kind and sensitive boy to a fun loving boyfriend (lucky Courtne), and an even more admired favorite cousin. I watched you struggle through the decision of whether to play High School baseball because you were feeling  busy after a successful high school basketball season. I was proud that you chose to take a season of down time as opposed to choosing to please other people.

It has been fun to have you drive to Grand Rapids this summer. You made great memories at cousin camp, you have enjoyed some golfing with Papa and you are a great hired hand at my house. You’re not even scared when you have to dispose of a dead mouse! And so Henry John….I love you and love watching you grow up. You are growing up good! I hope this 17th year of your life will hold many delightful moments with family and friends and an abundance of recognizing God’s presence, goodness and grace! I am so glad God chose me to be your Aunt…..

Losing our filters…

I started my day on the elevator at Holland Home. It made me smile big and got me thinking…

You see, I was on the elevator for a very short time with three older ladies. I wasn’t even fully off the elevator and I hear one say….”WHO IS THAT?”

To which another replies she see’s me there every day. (not accurate, but she was sure of it!)

And another who thinks my voice was to loud, but she really liked my pink shirt.

I don’t believe it occurred to any of them that I was able to hear their immediate reflections. I was grateful that was all they had to say!

I often share with family members, that as we age, we seem to lose our filters. Thoughts are spoken more boldly with less awareness of the impact. 

I often smile at comments made when filters are lost.

They often it seems as if  the statements shared are quite truthful.

They often offer a bit of refreshing humor.

They often stop us mid sentence and draw us into conversation.

I wonder where we have filters inserted that limit us from being who we really are?

I wonder what it would be like for us to remove a filter or two and speak more boldly and honestly (with compassion and curiosity.)

I can think of some places I am filtering…

Maybe I will try to live more like the three woman on the elevator…willing to speak up and share what is really on my mind!

Just some flaws….

I love to watch how God is taking root in my the hearts of my nieces and nephews. I see it differently in each of them and it is less in what they know or commit to memory and more in how they make their decisions and what shapes their character.

Tonight my creative and fun-loving niece Olivia Grace posted this and I wondered where she had picked it up. I found out it is an original piece. I marvel at the balance she has in her recognition of her sin (her depravity) and the confidence she has in beauty of God’s grace. I believe that this balance of depravity and dignity allows her to live in a very free-spirited fashion! I love you so much Olivia Grace….

With her permission I share this with you tonight. I invite you to consider the list of your flaws and ask you to consider making a list and then marvel at the freedom you have to write the same words over top if you have entrusted your heart and life to Jesus…

just some flaws :
i put people down
i judge people
i laugh at mean jokes
i give dirty glances
i complain
im selfish 
im rude
i discourage
i don’t put god first 100% of the time
i don’t have christ like motives
i want things my way
i look to boys for attention
im not humble
i fear
i don’t have faith
i don’t love
im not kind or compassionate
i don’t look at the bigger picture
i don’t look thru others eyes
im spoiled
im ungrateful
im ignorant

I’m Saved ♥

And if you haven’t….consider what it might be light to journey there….it is a journey I am very glad to have taken!


scratch and sniff now called 4d

Tonight I went to see Spy Kids in 4D with Peter and Isaiah. I am all for paying a little extra for the kids to experience something new. Peter was pretty sure 4D meant 3D in the Imax theater. I kind of believed him because he has that very convincing 8-year-old voice.

Well, when we bought our tickets we were handed our 3D glasses and a card with 8 boxes on it.  We were instructed to scratch and sniff when the number came up on the screen. I was a bit skeptical but thought I would give it a try.

As I sat in the theater, I thought this is comical.  Scratch and sniff has returned as 4D.

Let me tell you this. It is NOT worth paying the extra dollars as all three of us thought all 8 boxes smelled pretty much the same.

This reminded me of a display I saw at Meijers the other day.  It caught my eye since Johanna (age 2) can have that runny nose from time to time. I saw that for three something I could buy a container of boogie wipes.  Quickly I realized that for 59 cents I could buy a pocket Kleenex which does the exact same thing.

It is funny to me how simple things such as Kleenex and scratch and sniff have been marketed in a way to make more money.  I know this has happened and will continue to happen with many products. I admit I am more of an impulsive buyer and often go for the new and upgraded product. Today I realize I am going to exercise more caution and am committed to being a more discerning consumer.

Oh to be 10….

I have had the wonderful opportunity today to assist at Caili’s 10th birthday party!

Caili came to live with my dear friend Cathy just over four years ago.

I have been amazed to watch Caili adapt and adjust, grow, develop, learn and mature over these last years. Today she is a curious, smart, talkative, compassionate 10 year old.

She has learned about having a mother, living in a family, having friends, learning English, mastered reading, and loves Soccer. She is concerned about others and wonders honestly about her birth mom from time to time.

And so, to watch Caili enjoy her birthday with Sarah, Tessa and Anneke is wonderful. To remember where she has journeyed from and to wonder what God has planned for her future is a thought that often wonders through my thoughts. I am honored to participate in Caili’s celebration and now I must go load up these 9 and 10 year olds for a mystery trip. Cathy and I decided there was no better place to be at midnight than Ihop to celebrate with the girls. 

Ten is a wonderful age. An age when there is a growing awareness of others and a desire to be responsible. But is also an age when moments of sheer laughter and screams can overcome these girls, and in those moments, I sit back and smile. It really is fun!

Happy Happy Birthday Caili Mae. I am thankful you joined my world!

A tribute…

Tonight I read an article that spoke volumes. I got to know Charlette and Tim while I was on staff at Sunshine Community Church. For a season, Charlette worked on the Children’s Ministry Staff with me and as I remember those days, I remember wonderful times. I have not seen Tim and Charlette much over the last 15 years, but when I read the article below, it made me realize how again, what wonderful people Tim and Charlette are.

It isn’t any one thing that I would say is so remarkable, but it is their commitment to each other, their children and their community.  It isn’t about the short-term victory or about the hype that may stay for a season, but it is about creating life changing opportunities and recognizing that not everything comes easily.

I am not sure what you think of when you read this article.

I envision the faces of those I know and love who understand the unique challenge of parenting, being a sibling to or caring for those with special needs…

I admire those who honestly delight in a winning season or love the thrill of sports, but also understand that at the end of the day, life is much more than that…

I hope you read this article and are inspired…inspired to live true to your conviction and calling…inspired to live out of your passion and to love deeply those who are important to you.

Thank you Tim and Charlette, Haley, Sydney, Cole and Isaac for uniting as a family and living life honestly!

GRAND RAPIDS — Charlette Muller would have loved to take a girls basketball team to the Breslin Center, and she will miss the unique bond with her players.

But Muller understands better than most that priorities can change.

There’s her love of basketball — such as game strategy on the fly, teaching the proper form on jump shots and preaching the value of footwork on defense.

But there’s a greater love. After two highly successful seasons at Grand Rapids Christian, Muller’s priority now is teaching her 5-year-old special needs son.

That means foregoing a dream of taking a team to a state final, and the likelihood of coaching two daughters at the varsity level.

Her soul-searching led her to put it all in the backseat for her son Isaac, who has Down syndrome.

“God worked on our hearts a long time,” said Muller, who has resigned as Eagles coach.

“The world of special needs needed someone with my ability and passion. God changed my heart and said, ‘Charlette, there are other doors I want you to go through.’ I felt pulled in a totally different direction.”

Muller leaves behind remarkable success in her two seasons as head coach. A former assistant at four different stops before landing her own head coaching position, Muller elected to trade in a 44-5 record and two OK White titles for additional time with her son.

Muller, The 2010 Associated Press Class A Coach of the Year, is at peace with the decision. Still, the change affects a family whose lives revolve around athletics. Husband Tim has been an assistant with his wife at East Grand Rapids, Calvin College and Aquinas College in addition to Grand Rapids Christian.

Daughters Haley, who is 15, and her 12-year-old sister Sydney, are both excellent basketball players, and Haley has a chance make the Eagles’ varsity team this season as a sophomore. The Mullers also have a 10-year-old son, Cole, whom they joke is torn between one day becoming a professional basketball or football player.

Muller plans to work with Grand Rapids Christian trainer Joe Cebulski to start the “8th Day Gym,” an after-school facility designed to involve special needs children with physical activities.

In working at least 20 hours at the facility, Muller said there will be little time leftover for coaching and spending quality time with a growing family.

Cebulski said Muller is a natural at working with special needs children.

“They broke the mold with her. She’s a fantastic person and a great loss for Grand Rapids Christian,” Cebulski said.

“For us doing the things we do, she’ll be a vital part of working with special needs kids.”

Something had to go and it was coaching, said Muller, who was as assistant coach under Al VanDenBosch when Isaac was born.

Muller said VanDenBosch and her husband were supportive of her coaching career. But as her career progressed — and girls basketball switched from the fall to winter — Muller found two roles to be too much.

“I made the right decision, but I can also say I would have enjoyed coaching 10 more years,” Muller said. “For some families, (the schedule) can work. But I’m a stay-at-home mother, and I need to be with my kids. That’s an important thing in the Muller house.”

Muller said the family of a special needs child passes through many stages, from the original grief to acceptance to recognizing a teachable moment for the other children.

Isaac’s condition, she said, has enabled her other children to develop traits such as patience, responsibility, forgiveness, learning that everyone has their own place in a family and, especially, unconditional love.

“I will teach them,” Muller said of her children, “but they are living it.”

Tim Muller, a former basketball player at Grand Rapids Christian and Grand Rapids Community College, said the entire family recognizes the challenge and commitment of a special needs child.

“It’s not something you can do by yourself. It’s important to spend 24/7 with them,” he said. “Our kids are tremendous. They understand what a team effort it takes in day-to-day in helping Isaac live his life. We understand as a group what our commitment is.

“As a family, we’re very active and we enjoy our kids’ participation in sports, but Issac certainly creates an opportunity that at the end of the day reminds us there are things more important in life than making all-conference. It’s a whole another barometer or measuring stick of what success means to a family. It’s changed our family’s goals.”

In dealing with changing priorities and hopes, Charlette Muller said there is one piece of advice she is quick to offer other families with special needs children: Take nothing for granted.

“You can’t lead a life where you take everything for granted. Whatever you have a passion for, use that to dictate how you deal with your child’s differences with other children,” she said.

“I know I’m giving up coaching both daughters, but I hope people understand that I am following a nudging of the heart, that I’m doing what I’m doing because I think it’s right.”