What’s Your Story….













I have been involved with Open Hearts Ministry (www.ohmin.org) for the last 16 years or so…..

Open Hearts is all about knowing and embracing your story. Open Hearts is not about getting stuck in your story, but it is about looking back, evaluating today and looking ahead.

Open Hearts provides you an invitation and opportunity to look at what you believe about God, yourself and others as a result of key events that have unfolded….

I find story very fascinating….

I find story work to be very productive….

I find story work to be a freeing experience of understanding why I think/act the way I do.

I find story work to be one of the places I deepen my roots in my love for God, my love for myself and my love for others!

I wonder if you have taken time to consider your story.

Who are the key people in your story and what did you learn from them? Consider this question at various ages in your childhood and young adult relationships.

What are the values you take from your story?

Where did you first believe in God and when did God become real to you?

I encourage you to start thinking, writing, talking, sharing your story…..it is valuable time spent and priceless conversation shared!

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we will ever do”. Brene Brown


I know of the importance of getting enough sleep. It helps with many things, but right now my focus remains health and wellness. And being a girl who likes graphs and charts, I wear a Lark to bed each night. The Lark tracks how much sleep I get and the quality of my sleep.  At first, in all of my good planning, I was doing great with getting to bed on time and adjusting my sleep and schedule to ensure my goals were met.

But then life gets busy and I enjoy people and I start making plans that infringe on my goal to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. And soon I see how my averages are dropping and soon I am pushing five to six hours each night. And I begin to calculate that in a week that leaves me almost 14 hours short of sleep.

And so, I realize that maybe we have it right when we encourage young children to get to bed on time and ensure that they are well rested…

How are you doing with your rest routines. Are you getting enough sleep? Consider joining me this week in scheduling your sleep to ensure you are sleeping for at least 7.5 hours each night. I am embracing this as one way to be kind to myself and those who hang out with me during the day.

And on that note, it is time for lights out and deep sleep!

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord….

Do you ever have it when you know a song and sing it often, but on a given day, in a given moment, the lyrics take on a whole new meaning…

Today I was at the funeral of an 11-year-old boy who died from brain cancer. His journey has been amazing in so many ways, but the weight of grief was evident today, even though we all believe in the hope of heaven and all of those spiritual truths! I am grateful that I have learned that grief is one of those things that can be difficult and painful even when we know and believe in heaven and eternity!

And so I sing this song today and I feel the words come from a deeper place in my heart.

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

I think of the land that is plentiful in my life and in the world around me. This is one of the easiest places to sing Blessed be the Name of the Lord….

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

I think of the desert place and the wilderness and how perhaps I cry out why more than I sing Blessed be the Name of the Lord….

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

I marvel at when the suns shining down on me and my world feels as it should be….May I never forget that every good thing is a gift from the hand of God….

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

I wonder when I will encounter the road marked with suffering again. It is my hope and prayer that I will confidently sing:

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

I reflect on the words He gives and takes away and I think of what I have lost and what I have been given….

And I know that it is a prayer of my heart that I will live the words of this song with all of my being….BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD

Celebrating life in three very different ways….

I am struck tonight how I am participating in  life being celebrated three times but each is uniquely different….

One celebration was with 12 people who were baptized in Lake Michigan today, each for their own reason, but a cheer of celebration went up with each one…..there was laughter and there were tears…

One celebration was tonight as I listened to the changes that occurred in the lives of the many who attended The Journey this past week. I heard many stories of small groups who loved each other well. There was life found in community where truth was spoken and kindness was generously shared. There was lots of applause, laughter and tears….

One celebration will be tomorrow at the funeral of sweet 11-year-old Gerrit. It will not feel like the same type of celebration. But when you see this picture of Gerrit, and you think of his new and perfect body, there is much to celebrate.  I am sure there will be some laughter and lots of tears….

Each celebration is about life in some way….

Each celebration includes a community of people….

Each celebration includes laughter and tears, looking back and looking ahead…..

Each celebration includes faith….

I am keenly aware tonight that each of the celebrations are about life and they are all because of Jesus…..


New life in Lake Michigan….

Tonight I spent time with a few good friends who will be baptized tomorrow in Lake Michigan. I believe there may be 13 people who are planning to be baptized!

The temperature will be chilly and the water likely numbing, but the experience will be unforgettable. 

For some it may be a first time baptism, for others, it is a re-commitment, but regardless, for all it is a celebration….a celebration of spiritual birth and spiritual maturity!

I am thankful for celebrations on ordinary Friday’s. It makes tomorrow very meaningful for my friends and all of us who love them! I am delighted for the new life that will be birthed in Lake Michigan tomorrow. Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                         “Baptism is faith in action.”  ~ Watchman Nee


She stayed for a moment…

Today a family member came by our office. We cared for her Mom back in 2008. Yes it has been almost four years since we have been in touch….

We cared for her Mom for only a few short weeks before she passed away from breast cancer.But her daughter stopped in today to say THANKS.

She stayed for a moment and shared words of kindness and affirmation.

She stayed for a moment but came in with joy and deep gratitude.

She stayed for a moment and because she came, we were reminded why we do what we do…..

It only takes a moment to bring encouragement, hope, kindness, clarity!

It took a moment…..

She stayed for a moment….

She offered us a gift we will remember for a long time!

She lived out on of my favorite quotes and we were blessed: “Never suppress a generous thought.”

An App for Everything….

This morning I found out that something must have happened to my hair dryer over night and it no longer worked. A bit distressing in the morning and you can be sure that I set out this evening to replace it. As I was considering my options, I was surprised to see that one of the hair dryers has an App at the app store. I began to wonder what that App might do? And then I chuckled as I set that box down, I do not need an App for my hair dryer.

I remember when I was doing adoption training to families and we would discuss how much stimulation there is for a child in the cereal aisle. The images they recognize from TV, the colors, pictures and prizes that lure them to this cereal box and that cereal box. And when a child thinks they pick the one they want, they see another one and the difficulty of choosing starts all over again. For children who grow up shopping those aisles, they learn to process the stimulation, but for an orphan from another country, the experience of the cereal aisle can be physically painful.

And now children and adults alike are navigating the App Store on their productivity tools (Smart Phones, Ipads, computers). 500,000 apps to choose from. Honestly, how can a choice truly be made?

Within 500,000 apps there are apps that list 7800 Beer Brands, 170,000 Recipes, 18,000 jokes, 50,000 baby names, 9,999 ring tones….

I think you get my point. Has this also gone to far? Do we really need so many options?

I recently was told to shop at Aldi’s because the best thing about it is they keep it simple. I read this on their home page: At ALDI, our philosophy is also the foundation for our less-is-more approach to grocery retailing.

I wonder where all the choices we face ever day, from cereal to apps (and many other spaces of our day-to-day life) create more confusion than freedom…..

I will be considering this in my life and commit again to simplifying where ever I can! And tonight that was by drawing the line on not buying a hair dryer that has an App…..

Choose well and live freely!



Childhood memories….

I wonder if you have a favorite picture from childhood?

I never really paid much attention to that, but over the last few years, find myself much more admiring of my early pictures.

I find it very intriguing that I struck the same poses in pictures taken when I was six months old as I did in my senior pictures.

I am not a big believer of the whole child within movement, but I am finding it more fun and freeing to be curious about the child I was. I am curious about my strengths, struggles, joys, spontaneity and my reservations. I am having fun remembering more about what made me laugh, what made me cry, what made me giddy, what made me shy….I am having fun remembering how my brothers would cover themselves with a big brown blanket and be a double horse for my sister and I. I remember the fancy formal dinner in the middle of the week when we learned my Mom was pregnant with my younger sister. I remember singing hymns at night with Arlene (extra loud when we knew our parents had company) and I think we fell asleep every night with a no more talking contest. (no wonder we are competitive!)

Last night I posted a few pics on Facebook. My five-year old picture and a picture from last week happened to stack on top of each other. I found it so amusing to see how my hair seemed to lay very similar and my eye’s squint in the very same fashion. I have a bigger nose and some orthodontic work has aided in my bite, but so fun to see that many of my traits today were evident way back then (37 years ago)

I wonder if you have taken time lately to pull out a few of your childhood pictures….

What do you notice….

What do you remember…

What makes you curious….

Take some time and marvel that although the years change many things, there are somethings about us that are unchangeable!

Vision and choices….

I just got off of a conference call with my U 1st Fitness friends. There were so many good things said, but this is the one that sticks with me tonight as I wrap up my day. 

Will your choices support your vision this week?

I often set my mind in motion for the week, but I don’t always commit to setting my actions to follow!

It is my hope you will join me in pausing with each choice this week and ensuring that your choices support the vision you have for the person you want to be and the impact you want to have on your world!

Live intentional in the coming days and live well!

A delayed new year wish….

Tonight I was remembering again my tapestry party and just love all that evening represented. As I reflected, I also remembered that I had planned to share my New Years Letter with you all, after I mailed them out. I am sad to say they did not all get mailed out, and so I am sharing it here, with all of you. It is not a time sensitive letter for the most part, because it shares with you honestly the journey of my heart.

Dear Friends,

It is hard to summarize a full year in a page or two, but I trust what I share will show you of why I have much to be thankful for as I transition from 2011 into 2012.

I still can feel the joy and delight of my Tapestry Party which was celebrated in September of 2011. A concept I had created, mulled over, reshaped and refined, discussed, dreamed of, and resisted for at least five years. Let me share a bit more of how this event transpired.

I am quite content as a 42-year-old single woman (although always open to meeting someone you may know) and found that as I left the weddings and anniversary parties of friends and families, I had an ache in my heart. Now, I must be honest, the ache was not for the marriage, but for the celebration that occurred. The ache was to have an evening with those who are important to me, in one place, celebrating the journey of life. I recently wrote the following in my blog: Over the years, as I journeyed and explored my story, I began to realize that my life was a tapestry of many different threads. I began to recognize that the threads of dirty colors and rough textures were not my favorite and I didn’t care much for them. But they were woven in and I could not deny their presence. I began the process of embracing instead of denying those threads and I began to explore stories that came out of those darker times. I began to search out answers to hard questions and found that there were threads of hope and brightness that ran alongside of these darker threads. The threads of hope and brightness included faces of people who have been weavers in my tapestry. During my journey of discovery, I grew in love and admiration of my tapestry (life). And as I grew in love and admiration of my tapestry, I had a greater understanding of myself, my family, my friends, my community and my God. In my 20′s I was running from the design and threads of my story. In my 30′s I was sorting, sifting, grieving, and trying to make sense of all my tapestry held. In my 40′s, I am enjoying the beauty of my tapestry. I am thankful for all the threads, even if they were painfully woven into the design. I believe that my tapestry is still on the loom and there will be more threads that represent pain and sorrow, heartache and grief, of that I am sure.

And with that concept, and the amazing support and blessing of my family, the planning for a tapestry party was underway. The process of creating was delightful in itself and I began to envision the guests I would invite. One evening as I listened to these lyrics Because I Knew You, I Have Been Changed for Good (from For Good in the Broadway musical Wicked), I began to realize I wanted to celebrate very specifically those people who have been weavers in my tapestry. With the creative gifts of my sister Suzi, invitations were created and mailed. It was a diverse gathering of friends and family, mentors, colleagues, and teachers and professors from elementary, High School, College and Grad School. There was skepticism and questions. What on earth is a tapestry party was the most common question. In the pit of my gut, I wondered the same. In the depths of my heart, I knew exactly the answer

I believe I bought 12 dresses as I searched for the one I felt was perfect for the occasion. You will be happy to know that I returned 11 of them before the event. My Mom and sister and I went shopping for beautiful jewels and I found such fun high heels. I was ready and it was an evening that unfolded as if time stood still.

Upon arrival, each guest received a thank you note for their contribution to my tapestry. There was wine and beer, good food, beautiful words given to me in toasts by dear friends and family and there was dancing. There were hugs and laughter, smiles and tears of joy. There was energy in the room of life and gratitude and it was a perfect night. And so you can see why my Tapestry Party was the highlight of 2011, but it by no means stands alone. I had a year of God’s goodness, faithfulness and provision in my work, play and rest.

Visiting Angels of West Michigan remains a strong and growing business. I am grateful for a multitude of Angels (70+) who work daily to assist with errands, companionship, personal care and many other activities that come their way. If you know anyone in the West Michigan area who would like to join our multitude, please do have them call 616-243-7080. We continue to look for caregivers who are available to work at least ten hours a week and be available two weekends a month if their client’s require weekend care.

I enjoy the company of my parents, Aunt Dot, and my siblings and their children regularly. It may be around the Sunday dinner table,  a sleep over at my house, four days of Cousin Camp, or travels throughout the US, Canada or Europe, but wherever we gather a good time is had. Although my almost three-year old pup Dutchess does not travel far from home, she is at my side almost every day, at the office and out and about town with her head hanging out the car window. A faithful and funny companion she is!

I continue on my journey of wellness. It is a journey that I will be on as long as I have breath. I have enjoyed bike riding many miles with my Mom this past summer and visit the gym at least once a day. I am anticipating a week-long adventure to U1st Fitness in Texas in early January, 2012. I marvel at the weight loss I have had in the past year and hope to exceed it in this coming year. I will then enjoy and celebrate maintenance in future years

I have enjoyed blogging every day in 2011 and am surprised at how writing at the end of each day has given me time to reflect on all a day holds. If you would like to follow my days of 2012, please visit. trishborgdorff.wordpress.com.

And as you journey through each day of 2012 it is my hope that your days will be filled with all you stand in need of. May you experience abundant joy, everlasting peace and love that knows no end. May your days hold laughter in your delightful moments, comfort in your sorrowful moments, hugs in your lonely moments, quiet in your reflective moments and a heart that is filled with gratitude each and every day. And above all, may hope anchor your soul!

And so as 2011 comes to a close, I am thankful for a tapestry that displays many colors. I am thankful for many weavers who have taken time to weave and create on this tapestry of my life. I am thankful for my parents (and family) who have encouraged, supported and given me freedom to live as a woman who is alive to feelings, passion, community and celebration. I am thankful for a community who joins me when I visit the valley or stand atop a mountain. I am thankful for another year and pray that every morning I will live out the words I encounter as I come down my stairs to face my day:

Awake my Soul and Sing!

All my love,



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