Kindness….

It was a day of noticing things….

I noticed a lot of kindness…

between peers…

between brothers…

between cousins…

between friends…

within the family and exchanged between strangers…

It was demonstrated in encouraging words…

a hug…high five…laughter…

taking a younger brother to the bathroom….

sharing a meal with great conversation of all ages….

I pray I will remember the importance of offering Kindness without the expectation of anything in return!

What if I won mega million….

I find all the media and conversation about the lotto quite fascinating.

I will admit that this morning I was annoyed by all the talk and focus on this crazy amount of money!

Tonight I feel differently. I will admit that my niece Anneliese and I opted to buy in with a few dollars, but that is not what changed my thinking…

What has changed my mindset tonight was the great conversation that Anne and I had talking about what if we won…

The conversation isn’t grandiose and crazy talk…it is great conversation, rooted in developing values and faith-based convictions and vision.

Anne is sharing about what she is learning in school and in life, talking about her commitment to live debt free and the importance of mutual funds. She is aware of interest rates and making wise decisions which allow her to save for her retirement, as early as her early 20’s.

I love the conversation I shared with Anne tonight. I loved hearing how if she won the money she would fulfill her dream, she has held as a very young girl, to own a horse. But from there on out, her spirit was generous in giving and sharing, investing and saving. She is wise beyond her 16 years and her heart is full of ‘God’s goodness and grace….I am very proud to be her aunt.

If we win the mega million tonight, our lives will be different, but our faith and values remain. (we agreed we will split the winnings!)

We are not planning on winning but the conversation was fun, enlightening and reminded us of the importance of our convictions and purpose.

I am thankful for the moments that Anne and I shared while out and about tonight. It is not the 640 million that gives me passion and energy…it is the maturity and wisdom of those I love….and tonight especially Anneliese Joyce!

Anticipating Good Friday and Easter…

Let us remember with devotion this entry which began His saving work . . . and let us follow Him with a lively faith.

 

I was struck by the quote…”We reveal to ourselves and others what is important to us by the way we prepare/celebrate.” I added the word prepare here because I believe this also is a way we reveal to ourselves and others…

I wonder how you are preparing to move through Holy Week. I realize that it could be another week where all of a sudden it is Good Friday and Easter. I don’t want the week to slip by me without proper reflection and preparation on my part. And I don’t want to just fall into line with a prescribed plan that  should prepare my heart. I am keeping my Crown of Thorns in a very visible place, holding, it, feeling it, wondering about it and remembering why the Crown of Thorns has meaning to me…deep meaning!

As I move into and through Holy Week, I pray that I will grasp again the depth of my sin, the incredible sacrifice of  Jesus death on the Cross and the magnitude of hope and new life that results from Christ’s Resurrection.

I do hope that in the coming days I will understand in even a deeper way which will allow me to live an even more lively faith.

I wonder…

There are lots of things I wonder about as days come and days go….

My mind thinks in wondering….

The last two days I have wondered often about my Pake. Let me sidetrack for a quick definition lesson:

The Frisian grandmother ‘beppe’ (bep-puh) and the grandfather ‘pake’ (pah-kuh). in Friesland you’d call your mum ‘mem’ and your dad ‘heit’ (height).

Yesterday was the anniversary of my Pake’s death. I was in fourth grade when he died. I wish I would have had more time with him. I wonder much about his life and his journey. I remember that he was a quiet man. I have heard that he was a good provider and worked hard. I consider him to be a risk taker because today is the anniversary of their immigration departure. This picture was taken 59 years ago just before they set out…

I wonder how it was for my Pake to set out from the land he knew to an unknown land…

I wonder how it was for my Beppe to say good-bye to her family (including two of her children) and gather her children to trust her husband’s vision…

I wonder how it was for my Uncles and Aunts to leave their friends, their school, their neighborhood to board a ship which would take them to a new place where they didn’t understand the language, came face to face with a different culture and felt like strangers in a new land they now called home….

I wonder about so much….

And yet I can see where God’s hand provided for the many people impacted by this adventure….

I wonder what adventure you are being called to or convicted of today. I wonder if it carries big risks and if it will change your family story.

I wonder what it will be like for you to say good-bye to what (who) you need to say good-bye to and what you might be embracing…

I have a favorite quote and when I read it I see my Pake and Beppe’s faces….In order to discover new lands, one must be willing to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

Thank you Pake and Beppe for being willing to lose sight of the shore and for demonstrating to us that trusting God can sometimes require big risks and bring about great rewards over time!

The Maasdam ship then…

and The Maasdam ship now….(maybe a Holland American Cruise on the Maasdam is in order! :-))

 

 

What song is in your heart…

Tonight I am thinking again about the song in my heart.

I know I have a song and sometimes that song is easier to hear than at other times.

I have written before about the words I see every morning as I walk down the stairs….Awake my soul and sing, and the song continues as I start my day….of Him who died for thee, and hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

And my calendar thought today is God created every soul to sing….

And I am carrying this song from Sunday….

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
~Stuart Townend

And sometimes my song is

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart   Where
Down in my heart   Where
Down in my heart    Where
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart    Where
Down in my heart to stay
And I’m so happy
So very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart
And I’m so happy
So very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart

Subsequent lyrics include:

I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart…
I’ve got the glorious hope of my Blessed Redeemer way down in the depths of my heart…
I’ve got the mighty Messiah that manifests miracles down in the depths of my heart….
I’ve got the wonderful Love of my Blessed Redeemer way down in the depths of my heart…
I invite you to name the songs that are held in your heart…
Sing them and dance to them and let them be heard!

 

Battlefield of the mind…

I am reading a good book by Joyce Meyer called The Battlefield of the Mind.  And as I am coming back from a lull in my nutrition and workouts, I realize that much of my battle occurs in my mind…

As I consider all my potential to reach my goals, I am aware of the words of the Knots prayer…

Dear God,
please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots, and
might nots that find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all, dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind
my heart and my life all of the am nots
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.
Amen.

I wonder where you hear or experience the Knots in your life…..

I wonder if you understand the battle field of the mind?

It is my hope that you and I will experience small and lasting victories each and every day!

 

 

The purpose of life….

It was a day today where the purpose of life was achieved…

From waking up in the silence of a beautiful sunrise, a drive to Church on rolling country roads, worshipping while being led by my sister and her family at their home church, singing songs where the words stirred my heart to fully embrace all worship was offering and to consider my role in Christ’s death and anticipating the glory of the Ressurection….and it was still only 11 am…

Then my friend Robin, her three kids and I headed out to Dick’s Sporting Goods where longings were expressed and disappointment was real as Robin had to say no to many things desired. 90 minutes later, we left the mall with very happy children and headed to the dunes.

A walk on the beach, the warm sand and cool breeze, a hike up to the top of a very big hill and a drive home were more of what made for a good day.

A dog who loves to play and a crew to play with her, a good meal out, a quiet evening of conversation, laughter, and being together…

A day full of living and life….

A day full of friends and family….

A day full of laughter, longings, disappointment, understanding, apologies, and joy,,,

A day I lived life with good friends and at the end of the day we will all rest deeply because we lived it well!