Shattered Dreams….

Tonight I was going to blog about advocacy……

Then I read this article and have chosen instead to ask for your prayers for this young woman who is living through an awful nightmare….

I found that I know people who know her and the families so tragically affected. I can’t quite imagine all tomorrow (and for many days to come) will hold for them. So many people were planning to celebrate a wedding and now funerals are being planned.  And let us continue to pray for the young man who was driving the car.  I can’t quite imagine all he must feel either.

Today has been a day of perspective. Advocacy often reminds me of all I am blessed with and very aware that life can change for any of us in a moment’s time and each breath is a gift.  Won’t you join me in praying for those who are living in the valley or grief and loss or illness

Groom, brother-in-law picked up wedding tuxedos before fatal crash in Holland

Published: Friday, September 30, 2011, 1:20 PM     Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011, 1:38 PM
Samantha Stille Chad Bradbury engagement photo.jpg
Mark Copier | The Grand Rapids Press

HOLLAND — With his wedding two days away, Chad Bradbury had just picked up his wedding tuxedo on Thursday and was heading to dinner with friends when he and his future brother-in-law, brides brother, died in a crash near Holland, a family friend said.

Instead of celebrating a wedding on Saturday, the grieving bride and two families are now preparing for funerals, the friend said.

Bradbury, 24, was marrying Samantha Stille, whose brother, Michael, 22, also was killed in the crash. All three are from Holland.

“How can you sit here two nights before they’re supposed to get married, you’re celebrating, so happy. The day’s finally here, and you have to bury them? I don’t know,” said the woman, whom Bradbury’s parents asked to speak on their behalf.

The woman said she’s known the Bradbury family since Chad was a toddler. She didn’t want to disclose her name.

The SUV the men were riding in hit a ditch and flew through the air before landing against a house in Graafschap at 6:45 p.m.

The car was driven by Jeffrey Hinds, 25, formerly of Holland and currently living in Wisconsin. He was injured in the crash, which is still under investigation by police.

listening in silence….

I learned something new today…

I did not know that the word listen uses the same letters as the word silent.

I love that….

I have always known to be a good listener, you must be silent while listening….

But I have also learned that to be a good listener is not only about silencing my voice…

I have learned that to be a good listener, I must silence my voice, my mind and my heart. It has taken me lots of practice to know how to settle myself enough to really hear when I am listening. I want to be able to offer specific words back, be curious about the layers of what is being shared and listen for where I may want to say, tell me more about this or that….

I must remember to set aside judgement and thoughts that I want to be sure to share….

I must remember that to listen well is to not finish the story or add insight into the story based on what I am thinking or feeling…

And so, I find it simply fascinating  that silence has the same letters as listen. Simply fascinating!

moving towards greatness…

I used to think I was the only one….

The only one who struggled….

The only one who battled with weight….

The only one whose internal conversation was self-defeating messages….

The only one who desperately longed to be loved by God and those around me….

I used to think I was the only one….

Then I learned about being honest with myself  and being realistic about others…

I learned we all struggle….

I learned we all battle something….

I learned we all have internal conversations that battle between truth and lies….

I learned we all long to be loved….(after all we were created and designed for relationship)

I learned we are all more alike than different, and in that likeness, we are wonderfully unique!

And so today I saw this….

And I began to identify the areas I need to start (or start again)….

And I know that all of us have an area we could choose to start and move towards greatness…..(wellness, relationships, kindness to yourself and/or others, grace giving and/or receiving, trusting, attention to detail). Live honestly and name an area that you want to start and move towards greatness…..

I know where I am starting again today….how about you?


20 words to change your life….

I love words and my mind processes in words more than in pictures or color….

I think in headlines and am known to be a word critic, not really finding a sense of completion until I feel confident the words have a crisp and deep meaning.

And so I was intrigued when I found 20 words to change your life on you tube.

It is an interesting list…





















I do believe life is more than these 20 words, but if we were in a small group together, I would ask you which one of these words resonates with you and why? Is it a word you understand because it has deep meaning for you or is it one that you know you need to free up in your own heart and soul. I wonder which ones you are living fully and which ones you may need to embrace and plant in the fertile soil in your heart.

Lead me….Guide me…

I find that often I sit in Church and am struck by how appropriate the song words, the reading or the preaching are to my life. I think about how I will reflect on the words all week and I am excited to see what else God has for me….each Sunday when I sit in the pew….

And then I walk out of Church and I start to move into my week…and often I don’t return to my thoughts as I had planned or hoped….

It happened again this morning….the words to the song My Shepherd will supply my need and Lead Me, Guide Me….

Today Pastor Jim had an excellent teaching about fear being a critical element in faith. Pastor Jim invited us to lean back and trust God and if leaning back into God’s hold was to much, we could begin by leaning into our doubts…

So many thoughts…

So many truths….

So many invitations…

It is my hope that this week is different. I want to reflect more on what I feel stirred by today. I wonder if any of you have been stirred by your Sunday happenings. I believe God speaks in Church, BUT not only in Church….I would love to know what you hope to hang onto and reflect on this week….

But let me leave you with the words to one of my favorite hymns….

Lead Me Guide Me
Verse 1:
I am weak and I need your strength and power
To help  me o–ver his weakest hour
Lead me through the darkness your face to see
Lead me Oh Lord, lead me…..

Lead me, guide me along the way,
For if you lead me I cannot stray.
Lord let me walk each day with Thee.
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

Help me tread in the paths of righteousness.
Be my aid when Satan and sin oppress.
I am putting all my trust in Thee:
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

Lead me, guide me along the way,
For if you lead me I cannot stray.
Lord let me walk each day with Thee.
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

I am lost if you take your hand from me,
I am blind without Thy light to see.
Lord just always to me thy servant be,
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

Lead me, guide me along the way,
For if you lead me I cannot stray.
Lord let me walk each day with Thee.
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.


If only….

Do you ever read something and wonder if only….

I read this quote this week and I find myself wandering back to it often in my thoughts, I wonder how different would life be….

‎”If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” thomas edison

I started wondering….

What is it that holds me back from living up to my full capacity….how might my life be different if only

How would my community, Church, work place, or family be different if only…

How would marriages be more solid, how would children be different, how prevalent would obesity or abuse be if we did not allow our minds to be tricked or our voices silenced…if only….

(in case you forget the if only….‎”If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” thomas edison

And then I come back to the reality that as much as i long for change and dream of differences, I can not change anyone but myself….and when i consider the if only I did the things I am capable of, I would literally astound myself…well, not sure what I am waiting for. I will begin to weave this truth into my thinking, believing and being and see what astounding myself might be like….

Enough of if only….the time is now!