Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jumping Tandem Has Moved

I did it! I moved! And the internet is still working, right?
Here's my new address:
If you followed me through Google, you'll need to resubscribe when you get to the new place. If you subscribe through Feedburner, you should be all set. And, if you've got me bookmarked, please update with the new address. 
Thanks so much! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

To Celebrate The Moments

The President of the University kept telling us the same thing through the entire weekend. At the Awards Dinner and the Baccalaureate Service and the Commencement ceremony. He kept saying, "Celebrate!" As if he knew we could let the celebration slip right by us.

I guess he's been a University President long enough to know the craziness of graduation weekend. He knows we're all exhausted from the traveling and moving and sleeping on hotel beds and eating restaurant food and sitting in traffic and trying to get everywhere on time. He knows we have family dynamics and we have debt and we have children who are leaving us despite the fact that we're the ones who will get in the car at the end of it all and drive away.

I think I finally heard him when he said it the third time: Celebrate. You know those movie scenes where the character stands still, but all around her the world keeps moving? Yeah, it was like that.

Yesterday, I stood on the sidewalk and talked with my neighbor about the tree she'd had cut down while we were away. We stood in the shade of the tree that remained and a monarch butterfly flew low and easy overhead. We could see the sun shining through its filmy orange and black wings. We both stood silently, my neighbor and I, and watched the butterfly glide against a backdrop of turquoise sky.

Last weekend, when I finally heard the president giving me permission to let the world keep spinning while I stood in one spot and soaked it all in, it was just like watching that butterfly with my neighbor.

Most of the time, I hold too tightly to frenzy and the next thing on my schedule. I need to be reminded that the bible doesn't say, "Blessed are the frenzied, or the overbooked, or the fastest, or the busiest, or the one who finishes first."

Sometimes I get the American message confused with God's message. I need someone who's walked this road before to gently and persistently and kindly remind me to go ahead, look up, and celebrate.

You too?

{This is it. My last post on Blogger. I'm moving over the weekend and will host the Sunday Community at my new place. You can find me at I hope you'll bookmark my new address, or subscribe when you get to the new place. Come on over. I'll have a place saved at the table just for you.}

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Makes Community Work


When I sat on the wood floor in front of the fireplace and gazed around the circle of women gathered there, I knew I was surrounded by greatness. I knew these women carried stories that would change the world. I don’t know why I had worried there would be gaps in our conversation.

I asked one open-ended question and these women of words and of The Word and not so sure about The Word or even their own words, breathed hope and healing into all the empty spaces between us. I stretched my legs out long in front of me, leaned back on my hands, and took it all in. Just one question was all it took.

Today, I'm thrilled to have been invited over to Sheila's place. Come and join me over at Godspotting for the rest of this story. 

Monday, May 14, 2012


By the time you read this, we'll be on the road - headed back to Nebraska from Pennsylvania. We had a blast, and we are filled with family and fellowship and pride and love and joy. We're exhausted, and happy, and excited, and giddy, and tired, and all of the other words I can't grab hold of right now because my heart and mind are so full. But I'm sure thirty hours on the road will settle me down just a bit.

We'd love it if you'd pray for us as we travel. And for our daughter, who moved into an apartment with two other women, and who begins her full-time-with-benefits job tomorrow. Thanks so much for all the ways you cheer us on. Thanks to God for always watching over each of us.

How about you? Do you have good news to share? Do you need someone to pray with you as you face a long stretch of highway yourself? Let us know about it in the comments today. And let's rally around each other, and talk to God about each other. Let's cheer each other on today, and fill each other up so full with grace that it spills over into all the places where we find ourselves today, making the world a better place with every step we take.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Welcome to Sunday. Join us! Please, use this as a space to let the Word speak, and let's keep our own words small today. Link up with a photo and just a few, brief words of inspiration. Then, grab the Sunday button from the tab at the top of the page to post at your place. If it fits into your day, take a minute or two to visit the others who've linked up here. (Remember, next week, we'll all be over at the new place. I can't wait to see you there! Please pray I don't blow up the internet!) Grace and peace to you...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Testing Unfine

The Monday after (in)RL, I decided to give  Lisa-Jo’s “unfine” a try. I decided, when I went to work on Monday, that I would not say I was “fine” if I wasn’t. And lately, work has been way less than fine. We’ve been in a season of crazy expectations, unrealistic deadlines, limited resources, and overworked associates. No. We have not been fine.

Today, I'm over at (in)courage, saving a place for you. Come on over!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Extended Days of Grace

Yesterday, we left the house at 5 AM and traveled over the highway for fifteen hours before parking the car in the driveway in front of the townhouse where my mother-in-law lives. She is 92 (just like Marge) and feisty (just like Marge). Over the past seven years, my mother-in-law has had multiple heart attacks, multiple hospital stays, and scared us to death multiple times. But, each time, she rallies. Because she's feisty.

The first heart attack seven years ago was the scariest, and we thought for sure we'd lost her. H spent many days at her bedside while I took care of trying to create a stable home for our two teenagers in a new town, new school, new house. But Nano grew stronger and stronger, and before we knew it, she was moving back to her very own house, her very own bed, her very own kitchen where she could cook her very own food. We were stunned. And grateful. And H decided to name these days the Extended Days of Grace, realizing that every moment - every extra day we get with her is a gift of grace.

We're spending a couple of days here with Nano before we continue driving to the east coast. When we get there, we'll meet up with my side of the family, and watch our youngest daughter graduate from college. Right now, I'm sitting in Panera (Nano doesn't have wi-fi - doesn't need it, because of the community that surrounds her; but that's a different post for a different day). I'm waiting to meet up with one of my best girlfriends from high school. When she gets here, we will hug and squeal and cry and jump up and down and talk really loudly. The manager might put us out.

If I were keeping a list, these days would surely be on it.

These are the days when social media takes a back seat to face-time. For the most part, I'm kicking my phone and my laptop to the curb. I may be hard to find around here for the next day or two, and I ask for your grace with that.

I'm thinking about Sara. The one we called Gitzen Girl. Before she died, she taught us to live face-time completely. To be all there when we get the privilege of sitting face-to-face with one another. To turn off the phone, close the laptop and give the other person our full attention. If you ever had the chance to talk with Sara, you know she lived that. I only spoke with her once, face-to-face. It was through the computer screen, just about two weeks before she died. It felt as if I was the only person in the world. It was a gift that touched a deep place in my soul. I know there are two sides of the "regifting" camp. But I think both sides would agree that grace is one gift that never gets old, no matter how many times it get passed along.

When was the last time someone extended grace to you? What would you need to give up in order to experience face-time more fully?