Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married….

 

I posted this picture of my nephew Noah the other day. He is getting married Saturday. He has been with Lauren most of his growing-up years. They met in 4th grade, best friends since 6th grade, and started dating in 9th grade. I always hoped we would get to this day, the day they became husband and wife.

Noah has always been his own person; tender, funny, curious, inclusive, and kind. I consider Noah to be a man of courage and deep values.  He landed his first teaching job in Detroit, and Lauren is finishing up her MSW at U of M. They will both leave their imprint on those they work with in powerful ways.

Now, this nephew of mine in his striped onesie is all grown up. He has met the love of his life, and they are about to take on life together as a married couple. They have been doing this for a long time, so I am confident about this next season. They will live life as it works for them; they respect each other, embracing their strengths, and navigating the struggles. They will make decisions that honor one another, throwing norms, expectations, and gender roles to the wind.

I feel the tension in my soul this week, the wanting to weep in joy and squeal in delight. This wedding will be fun, and as a couple who has navigated planning amidst COVID, they will breathe a sigh of relief when it is over.

We are down to the final hours, Noah and Lauren. So let’s make this one of the best weekends of your life!

Blessed be His Name!

May be an image of 7 people, including Lauren Alyssa and Noah Borgdorff, people standing and indoor

 

The unexpected blessing…

There was a popular book when I was in High School called The Blessing by Gary Trent and John Smalley.

Children of every age long for the gift of “the blessing” — the unconditional love and approval that comes from a healthy relationship with their parents. This life-changing gift, essential for instilling a deep sense of self-worth and unshakable emotional well-being, contains five essential elements: meaningful touch, a spoken message, attaching high value, picturing a special future, and an active commitment.

As a woman now in my early 50’s, I have come to understand that The Blessing is given in various ways, considering both the giver and the receiver. I believe The Blessing can come as a one-time event but also can come over time.

And so today, I wanted to share with you an unexpected delivery of a blessing years ago. Len did not know these words would be a form of blessing in 2021. When Len said this, he did not know his life would tragically end on December 23, 2012. And yet, there is something in this that communicates his blessing to Noah and Lauren many years later. I am delighted, dear Lauren, that Len and Noah picked you! Our lives are better with you in them!

 

When Joy and Sorrow meet…

I am writing tonight knowing that I am not alone in the reality that joy and sorrow often meet in one’s heart. As we anticipate a weekend full of joy and delight, I am aware that there is also a stream of sorrow that will flow in the coming days.

This stream of sorrow is not a tsunami. This stream of sorrow isn’t even turbulent. But I would not be honest to say that this stream of sorrow is non-existent.

May be an image of 2 people and people smilingI will miss the presence of my brother at his oldest son’s wedding. I will miss his laughter and his tears. Yes, Len would have surely shed a few tears. I will miss how he would beam in welcoming guests and how he would dance with his bride. But, I will miss my brother this weekend more poignantly. He would be so proud of Noah. He would have such a vision for Noah and Lauren. I am aware again how grief is a river of sorrow that flows through life. It isn’t a tsunami, and it isn’t even turbulent, but it is present, so it feels honoring to name that.

And even in the midst of sorrow, there is an abundance of joy that we will celebrate and embrace this weekend just like we have done in the last 9 years. Even in the sorrow and in the season when our grief felt more like a tsunami and turbulent waters, there is goodness. God has been faithful in more ways than we can count. We will marvel and delight in Noah and Lauren. In how they have grown to be mature, kind, faith-filled adults. We will laugh with them and shed a few tears with them, and we will delight in the future they have together. Noah and Lauren understand firsthand that we are not promised to grow old before God calls us home. But I know that they will live fully, every day God gives them, with humor and sincerity, and praise Him for His faithfulness!

May be an image of 9 people, including Suzi Borgdorff Bos, Janet Borgdorff, Noah Borgdorff and Karolyn Dekam, people standing, outerwear and tree

Wedding Week

May be an image of 4 people and people smilingThis is wedding week in our family. #RaineyBorgdorffWedding is approaching with only 5 days to go. Noah and Lauren have been friends since 4th grade. They are truly a love story that has unfolded over time. They are a hand-in-glove fit and complement each other in the perfect ways. Because we have been with Noah and Lauren for so many years, we have an abundance of pictures. I have included some that will show you the flavor of the fun they have together.

May be an image of 1 personNoah and Lauren have worked hard to make their wedding day the best it can be. They have navigated COVID with intention, making hard decisions along the way. They have had to let go of some things and have handled that with grace and honesty.

As we look forward to this coming Saturday, June 12th, 2o21, we learned of a delightful tidbit today. May be an image of 2 people and people smiling

Little did they know that the day they picked for their wedding is also known as “Loving Day,” a celebration marking the day the Supreme Court struck down state bans against interracial marriage.

USA Today shares the following:

May be an image of 2 peopleJune 12 is Loving Day, a celebration marking the day the Supreme Court struck down state bans against interracial marriage.

The day is named for the monumental case, Loving v. Virginia, and the interracial couple at its center, Richard and Mildred Loving. The 1967 Supreme Court decision struck down 16 state bans on interracial marriage as unconstitutional.May be an image of Lauren Alyssa and Noah Borgdorff and people smiling

“Over the long haul, it changes America,” said Peter Wallenstein, author of “Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving v. Virginia.” “It’s just a stunning case.”

In the five decades since the decision, interracial marriage has increased dramatically. In 2015, one in six newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, which is more than five times higher than the number of intermarried newlyweds in 1967, according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. May be an image of Lauren Alyssa and Noah Borgdorff, people standing and indoorI am grateful for these two and their long friendship and upcoming wedding. I remember clearly how Len, my brother, and Noah’s Dad, who died in December of 2012, clearly stated, she is the one for Noah. It comforts my tender heart knowing Lauren knew Len, and Len so enjoyed Lauren.

We love you, Noah and Lauren, and look forward to celebrating you this weekend and in all the years to come. I am thankful for Loving Day and your love for each other.

Blessed be His Name!

Showing up

When my Dad died, my sister, Suzi, read the following:

I’ve struggled my whole adult life to be able to describe my dad. Was he an introvert or an extrovert? Was he flexible or rigid? Was he serious or silly? Was he patient or irritable? Traditional or progressive? Diligent or reckless? The answer to all of these questions is yes. He was all of these things depending on the space and the company and his mood. I wrestled with how to remember him with you today since not all of you got to see him as we did. So, instead of trying to describe him with elusive adjectives, we decided to listen to his life. I asked my siblings and nieces and nephews to spend some time reflecting on what Papa’s life taught them about who he was and who we are. What comes next is a compilation of seven things we heard when we listened to how he chose to live. 

  1. Show up. Show up to church when your community gathers to worship. Show up for your friends when hard things happen. Show up for your family when they perform or play in a game or celebrate a milestone and lock their keys in their car again. He loved to solve our problems. If someone he liked was stirring the pot for a just cause, he would grab a spoon, show up and stir that pot with them. He was with us, and I dare say many of you, in real and tangible ways when we needed someone just like him to show up. 

I have thought of this often in the last year. I share a bit more for context, but this phrase is what has stuck with me all during COVID.

Show up to church when your community gathers to worship.

I will admit that the break from the Sunday routine was a welcome gift for a while. There was something different to experience that was never really an option in growing up as an active family in the Church. However, as weeks went into months and months became over 1 year, there were times I wondered how it would be to resume Sunday worship. I missed people, but I was really starting to like my Sunday mornings.

Today, I went back to Church. I didn’t think twice, and it felt so sweet to be together. It did not feel like it had been a year. Things were different, and different did not take away the goodness.

I am grateful that my parents taught us to show up to church when our community gathers to worship. So I can say that, especially today, the words of the Psalmist rang true: I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

As you reenter into your post covid routines and feel like something more is needed, consider finding a local congergation. I hope and pray that you will find what your heart longs for in showing up!

The Joy Of Worship | The Heaton File

Is good enough good enough?

Lately, I have heard the phrase, it is good enough, and it has caused me to think about where I settle for good enough? In this blog, I am referring to good enough and how it reflects what we do, not in who we are.

Good Enough: Am I Good Enough? — Pathway Community ChurchWhen I hear that phrase, I realize there are spaces I settle for good enough, and it comes from a place of apathy. Sometimes good enough for me is a place to throw in the towel.

I know that good enough may be a place of release for those who struggle with perfectionistic tendencies. In that case, good enough can mean more than enough. I can stop striving.

Good enough can be a place of giving up or giving in. It can be a place of struggle or growth. The same phrase can mean something different to different people, depending on what motivates it within someone’s being.

Sometimes we don’t speak the words, but we know the feeling. So be curious and aware as you move through the activities of the week.

Blessed be His Name!

The mystery and delight of words

I am a word lover. I believe words have power, and when I write and speak, I choose them carefully. Sometimes I can become an overthinker of words. I would rather give my words too much thought than not enough, as once they are released, there is no way to take them back.

Words can also cause me to think, wonder or smile. So today, I share with you the light side of words. I hope they bring a smile to your face!

 

The gift of the windchime

I will never forget the first time I went to the cemetery to visit my Aunt Sim’s grave. She was buried in the windchime section and there was something so beautiful to that. In the silence of the remembering, there was a gentle lulling sound. I remember in those moments the sound of the windchime allowed my thoughts to reflect while also keeping me anchored in the moment. I am not sure if words can make sense of the feeling, but it was then that I realized the gift of a windchime in the midst of sadness and sorrow.

When my Dad died just over 3 years ago I received the gift of a very soothing windchime that hangs in my backyard. I often hear it in the background and I am reminded of the goodness of my Dad’s presence in my world. When we joined in a family cottage purchase during COVID 19,  I received a gift of windchimes to hang at the lake. The note simply said, “because we know the presence of your Dad and brother in this new space is important.”

If you want to offer a gift to someone in memory of a loved one, consider gifting a windchime. It is a gift that will soothe someone’s soul for many years to come.

Blessed be His name!

Relating to Jesus…

I was involved in a small group ministry for many years, and we would spend a good part of a small group session looking at various pictures of Jesus and asking which one resonated in your heart. I am aware of how almost everyone has an image of Jesus, shaped from their childhood story.

When I looked at this post recently, I had a feeling in my heart of the Jesus that resonated in my soul. I find it fascinating how culture has reshaped and shaped us at every level. Perhaps this is what happens, but I am more convicted all the time that as responsible and mature adults, we must engage the forces that shape our perceptions and beliefs and be discerning and honest about the impact of those forces.

How I would love to dialogue with you…

Blessed be His name!

May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'COLONIZER JESUS VS HISTORICAL JESUS WHITE .MIDDLE EASTERN BROWN SKINNED CHRISTIAN JEWISH PATRIOTIC COLONIZED BY ROME JUSTICE THROUGH RETRIBUTION JUSTICE THROUGH RESTORATION DIED FOR YOUR SINS KILLED BY CHURCH AND STATE SENDS SINNERS το HELL FRIEND OF SINNERS & OUTCASTS •SILENT IN THE FACE OF OPPRESSION LIBERATES THE OPPRESSED CONDEMNS SINNERS CRITIQUES RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ENDORSES CHURCH AND STATE SUBVERTS EMPIRE AKING HOMELESS MAN CHILD REFUGEE UPHOLDS TRADITIONAL FAMIL UNIT .HAD HALF SIBLINGS ENDORSES HOLY WAR NON-VIOLENT'

 

Tragic and grateful

Do you ever feel two conflicting feelings at the same time?

A few weeks back I introduced Jazz and the up and coming app called TurnSignl. As I share this update tonight, I remain aware of how my heart can feels so many different feelings about the same event. I do believe it is tragic that Jazz Hampton had to come up with this amazing option. It is indicative of where our culture is today. I long for the day we will not need this option.

And I remain so grateful for the innovative and forward thinking brillance of Jazz Hampton and his team.

Even in our brokeness….Blessed Be His Name!