Tuesday, October 30, 2007


My dad could use some few extra prayers. He hasn't been sleeping, his numbers are down and he's very weak and tired. There's that ache, a deep deep feeling inside my soul that only God knows about. I think it's one of those times where the Spirit will intercede on my behalf. I don't have any words.....it just goes beyond hurting.....for my dad, for my mom, for myself, my family....for everyone that loves my dad. He's just one of my favorite people...and I know if you knew him, he'd be one of yours, too. I love you, Dad.


This morning when our two year old Faith saw her biggest brother she happily said, "Hi Ca Ca (Kay Kay)!". About a minute later she saw her second big brother, David. Out of her mouth came, "No, Mine!". I think it was a preemptive strike on her part. A girl can never be too prepared for what's about to happen next.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Not sure if you all know that Pastor Gregg's sermons are online now.....

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Like ants to a sugar pile....one large daddy kicked a football randomly in the air outside...two boys....a twelve year old...and an eight year old inside.....drop their spoons in their hot chocolate and run outside to be with their daddy.

All I want for Christmas this year is a letter from my own daddy. Just a letter expressing his heart.

And then, my mind goes to our Abba. He's already written the letter....the letter which tells us how much He loves us. And, although I am too tired to run to Him....I can lay my head on His lap. I can rest in the shelter of the Almighty.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bathroom Story...

In honor of Erin's bathroom stories...I have one of my own. It's Friday, and it's time you heard it.

So, there is a toilet on the Lobby Level of Methodist Hospital, in Rochester MN that has an amazing quality. If I had not experienced it myself, shown it to several witnesses, I still may be questioning it to this day.

I sat down one evening after a nasty dinner in the hospital cafeteria. I was extremely exhausted from the days events. As I was sitting doing my thing, I felt a warm sensation on my ever growing ....well...you know.......my first thought was...am I having some type of allergic reaction (this is always my first thought when weird body things happen)? No, that wouldn't make sense.....why do I feel so hot and warm and steamy? It's not me....it ...is....the toilet......just to make sure, I quickly stood up, touched the pipe on the wall that leads to this steam making machine...and yes...ladies and gentleman...the toilet has hot steamy water running through it.

I was so amazed at this strange fact, I had to go and get my brother, neice and mother. We all stood outside, looking in....wondering.....why?

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Blogville...I'm happy to announce that my dad has traded his hospital gown for street clothes and he is currently home. And, the W.O.E.(see previous post) is probably still coordinated perfectly at this very moment. She always looks amazing. She changes clothes to go to the grocery store. Oh, mom..and then you had ME. (the comfort queen who loves her sweats). I love you both!!! So happy for a small reprieve..praying it lasts longer this time. Aren't you impressed that I figured out how to post pictures???? So much fun.

More shopping please....

Today I took my big three and a half year old, Bethany girl shopping. Bethany also happens to have autism. This is the first time that we've ventured out on our own for clothes. You see, a few months ago, she would've freaked just walking into a new store. It could be the black mat, the tiled floors, the high ceilings, the lights...anything. She would cry, scream, want to be picked up, hide her head and throw a huge tantrum. She tried on jeans in a fitting room. That NEVER would've happened before. While walking on a sidewalk that had small squares stamped onto it, she started to tense up and I could see her fighting for control. "What's that, Mama?" "It's just a sidewalk with squares." She tightly gripped my hand, but calmly said, "Oh, okay."

When in the store, we usually get lots of attention. A white mama and a beautiful chocolate girl. Many people said today, "What's your name?" or "How old are you?". Nothing. My girl is looking around, smiling, unable to process what that means. So, I answer for her. These are the next things we're going to work on. It will come, I just know it.

When we got into the car, I asked her if she had fun. Her reply, "More shopping, please."

Thank you, Jesus.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Can you wear a blue denim jean jacket with black denim pants? I did today and somehow it just didn't feel right. What do you think? I'd google it, but I trust your advice more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Woman of Excellence a.k.a. WOE

This is my mom. She received this award on Saturday night. Some young moms from her "MOPS" group, that she's led for almost 20 years, submitted an article about her to a magazine called "Womeninc." There were four different awards with a winner and another finalist. At the ceremony they shared all the stories about these amazing 8 women. Two stand out in my mind other than my mom. One woman's husband got MS 20 years ago. He is now bed ridden. She has devoted her life to taking care of him while working and being a single parent. Her daughters submitted her name. While they read her story, she had her head down and just cried. I wanted to just run up there and hug her and tell her that she is my hero. Another lady, is 80 some years old. She was widowed at age 50, yet went on to raise her family, work, volunteer, she still makes coffee every day at the senior citizens center for all the "old" people. She walked with a cane and was very shaky. She too, seemed extremely humbled and almost embarrassed to be up on the stage.

These ladies inspire me. They didn't give in to self-pity. They didn't crawl back in their beds when there were things to be taken care of (what I feel like today). Somehow, by the grace of God, they not only survived, they thrived. And they made a difference.

The magazine doesn't even know my mom's whole story. It'd be a book all on it's own. The short version...she grew up in an alcoholic home, was taken out three times and lived with her aunt and uncle several states away. She was the only one out of five kids that had the opportunity to leave. She met my dad at age 13, married him at 16. Raised three little boys in a one room apartment. She didn't have a license until many years later...walked with the three little boys to the grocery store, one on a trike, two in a wagon...all four seasons. There's so much more. I'll continue on another post.

For now..I'm going to move my lazy bum and get going in honor of all the women before me who have overcome obstacles much greater than my own.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

In case you ever wondered....

Just in case you ever wondered, it is possible to listen to your ipod and file your nails while taking a bath.


Our two year old locked us out of the house today. She likes to fiddle with the button on the handle.....we were keyless, everyone loaded in the truck and I went back in to get my keys..nope..can't get in. The ever ready to help boys were getting the ladder out to try the windows on the house..in the rain...when suddenly Mama remembered that the neighbor has a house key and she was home. Went to meet Beth, who took the girls (one screaming the whole time I'm wrestling two car seats into her van).....by this time, Mama needed coffee. Went to dig money out of my purse...where is my purse? Back in the garage...at home. Trailed all the way back home. Got the purse. Still need coffee. Headed to Hastings to Dunn Brothers. "Mom! I've gotta poop!" Younger son does his thing. Older business man follows younger son into the bathroom, apparently the toilet is clogged and overflowing from younger son. Great...there is only one bathroom and now Mama has to poop! Quick....get the boys in the car...try the door on the ice-cream shop next to Dunn Brothers...it's locked. Nice lady opens the locked door and asks if there was anything that I needed. Yep! Could use a bathroom because the other one in Dunn Brothers is running over (didn't tell her why). Kind lady lets Mama into the candy shop to do her thing. (too much information, right?). On our way to Rochester at last! Arrive at the hospital, take the elevator down to the subway level...where's my phone? Thankfully, not in Dunn Brothers. Back to the truck, get the phone. Maybe I shouldn't have left the house today.


Hope comes in many different forms:
1. A dad putting on those funny glasses with the nose and moustache attached and making a funny dance move.
2. Laughter while he watches Red Skelton with my boys.
3. The brightest rainbow that I've ever seen and my mom's voice in my head, "God always keeps his promises."
4. Belting Chris Tomlin's cd alone in the car....the song about the cross..."What can make a dying man, raise to life and whole again?"
5. Stable numbers of all blood counts for several days......
6. Color in my dad's cheeks...no more grayish tones.
7. A pastor telling his congregation about my dad in Haiti and all 400 of them pray for his healing.
8. Deacons willing to find an alternative clinic for my dad....
9. A church full of people, a small town, many friends checking his blog and praying...
10. Scriptures that tell of God's love and faithfulness
11. A husband who supports me running to Rochester and .....
12. Knowing that God loves my dad more than me.
13. Friends willing to help me do the practical things of life, watch my kids, make meals and even clean my house.

It all adds up to hope. It's terrible when you feel like hope is missing. When it returns, it is like a cool breeze on a humid day. Thanks, God.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Do you believe in miracles? Because that's what it's going to take for my dad to get better. I feel like I'm riding on a teeter totter...remember those? One moment I'm up and I believe, the next, I'm on the ground in unbelief(usually because the other person jumped off quick and remember when you went crashing down to the ground). Right now, I'm crashed and I'm just so sad. It's hard to know where to put your thoughts. Is this just a hard time, and he'll pull through? Or is this the beginning of the end? Is this the best that he will get? I wish I knew, because then I could just deal with it. Instead....nobody knows. God does. I'm hanging on, don't worry. I'll always ride the teeter totter of belief because the alternative isn't very good. Life without God would be hopeless. But, there are times in our walk where life is just very hard and God hangs onto us.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My view...

My view from my dad's hospital bed.....he's sound asleep in his recliner...iv full of antibiotics going in.....a dark sky outside with lights everywhere.....a low hum of nurses outside in the hallway.....the tick of the clock and a slight snore here and there.

I wish I could stop the clock. But what will be will be. My dad has pnuemonia. I'll keep the FCC blog updated. I don't know what this means..I just know that we know what we're treating now. And, I'm here all night long...keeping vigil. What an honor to watch over him. So many times during my childhood, it was the other way around.

One time, I had a really high fever and I needed an antibiotic. It was expensive and there was a snowstorm outside. My dad drove the 18 miles on country roads to get the medicine that I needed and he couldn't afford. I still remember him standing by my bedside with his dorky grandpa fluffy hat on, his winter parka and his cheerful voice saying, "You need it...I'm going to get it! That's what dad's do."

My heart aches for those who haven't had the love of a daddy. I've been blessed beyond measure.

please pray bloggers

Friday, 3:15 p.m. My dad has a fever of 103.4. Please pray for him. It could be an infection that takes him...they don't know what's causing this...I'm so scared and frustrated to be so far away.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The best part...

The best part of yesterday was.....Dad was sitting in the recliner in his hospital room with his head back and his eyes closed, Mom was sitting on the other chair typing away on the laptop like a pro and I was curled up in my dad's hospital bed. No words, not even any music on in the backround. Just a quiet moment of peace...and a heart full of memories when it was just the three of us (my brothers are all alot older than me). I was loved like no other daughter. I am so thankful for my parents and the refuge that they gave me while I was growing up. The moment didn't last long as medical people kept coming in and the day spiraled a little out of control...but for the brief time....on my fridge it says...

we do not remember days...we remember moments.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Underwear Lady

I need your writing gifts out there..people. I spent the day at the Mayo with my mom and dad. I don't have the energy to write about that. It was a very difficult day today. (You can see the FCC post..I toned it down a bit for the congregation....emotionally....it was exhausting.) Anyway....the "other" story.

So I met my mom's new friend on the cancer floor. She also has acute leukemia and has been in the hospital for over a month. She's mid-fifties, mother of three grown children, and an administrator of a christian school for 20 years. She is currently bald as a sweet nurse helped to shave her head because she kept finding clumps of hair on her shoulder and that was devastating to her. She is awaiting a bone transfer from her brother, she just has to get strong enough to take it. It's sitting in a freezer in a zip lock bag with her name on it.

This sweet woman is called, "Underwear Lady" because all of her friends and family have been anonymously sending her new underwear as a joke. She has bikinis, thongs, striped, hand decorated, grandma bloomers..maybe 30 pair. Her sisters pinned them up on her hospital curtain and many of them have crazy sayings attached. The best part is, when she walks the halls she takes the iv cart with her that is fully decorated with sexy lacy undies, boxers...all kinds of crazy underwear. She herself is not attached to the iv pole anymore, she just pushes it to bring people joy. She said, she carries around her underwear so that everyone will be curious, come into her room, and read the daily Bible verse up on her wall and they will experience Jesus.

She told many funny stories about the doctor's reactions, etc. One nurse comes in more than necessary just to be around this amazing woman. She is full of joy, laughter, yet her pain and grief are real. She looked me in the eyes and told me that it was all going to be okay. Even if my dad died suddenly, God was still good and we were going to be okay. Coming from this woman, it meant so much. We hugged, we cried, she told me that she loved me and my mom and if we needed anything at all, to call her in the middle of the night. She would pray. This saint, who has her own burden to bear, wants to lift us up. Only God could put that kind of love into someone who doesn't even know us. She told us that we were family. And, because of Jesus, she is right.

I told her underwear lady wasn't a good enough name for her....as I was walking out, she said, "Lingerie...and all I could think of was Lunatic". We laughed and laughed. But, she still needs a classy name. Can you guys help me think of one?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Prayer for my dad....

Somewhere along highway 90 between Fairmont and Rochester there is a godly couple driving quickly to a hospital. Please pray for their safety, that nothing happens to dad's health on the way, and that my mom would feel a peace like she's never felt before.

My dad has been having fevers again and they are increasing. The doctor wanted my dad to come by ambulance, but he didn't want to go without my mom. Mom told me this morning that he didn't look good.

Okay...here's where the rubber meets the road. Praying and believing, not giving into fear and panic. I'm headed to the green ottoman and getting down on my knees....you can check fcc's website if you want updates on my dad. Thanks. (www.faithcommunity.info....you click on community, then forum).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Money for grades....

Caleb, our 7th grader tonight at the dinner table.

"At my school, kids get money for A's and B's. I get a "good job!".

Dear Caleb,
That's right buddy! My dad didn't pay me! What's up with paying for school work? I seriously don't get it. Your reward is that you learned your stuff, and you have the grade to prove it. Keep those grades up and they'll save you money by giving you scholarships for college. Cuz, guess what, sweet thing...my daddy didn't pay for college either.

Love you....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Defining moments...

I had an opportunity this weekend to do some reflection on defining moments in my life. One such moment sticks out and I thought I'd blog about it because that's what I do now. When I was a little girl, around 7, my dad was at the Mayo with a blood count down to 4. We didn't know if he was going to live or die. My mom said we were kneeling at her bedside praying and I told God that if my daddy died, that Jesus would be my daddy. I don't remember praying this prayer, my mom often reminds me of it. I'm struck by a faith that I don't remember, but just had. Fast forward to when I was 17. My dad was again faced with a terrible circumstance (all because of his crohn's disease) and he was heading into emergency surgery once again. I'll never forget his last words to me, he said, "Always remember that no matter what happens, God is sovereign." This was a defining moment. It helped to lay a foundation of faith. As I've been thinking about that, I am overwhelmed that God in his sovereignty, was preparing me for my future faith tests.

The big ones were when I lost two babies to miscarriage, a couple months after that, I had emergency surgery and they diagnosed me with crohn's. Four years later I was told that my baby girl had anencephaly and she would not live beyond my womb. Three years later, I was told that my little 3 year old had autism. And now, my sweet dad has cancer. I know other people suffer much greater than this. I had a wonderful childhood with all the love that I needed. I am not trying to make it sound like "poor me". I am truly in awe of a God who goes before the suffering, prepares us for it when we don't even know it.

I still don't get the why...and I don't need to know. I'm fighting to look past my pain and look at the God who is faithful. To have a deeper trust. A deep knowing that no matter what happens, He will never leave me. I am not alone. And it is all part of his plan. And that Jesus can fill the void when my dad is no longer here. This somehow feels like one of the greatest tests yet. I just love him so much. I feel like I'm losing my safety net.

Jesus, grant me the faith that I had when I was 7.

Friday, October 5, 2007

How do you know if you have PMS?

If the friendly drive-thru lady at Wendy's ticks you off when she asks..."Hi, Welcome to Wendy's. Would you like to try our (*(*(^(&^&^% combo today?" First of all, I can never understand what in the world she just said. And second of all, if I'm in the drive-thru, I already have my order ready! Do people actually say yes to this question? Would it not save about 10 seconds of my time to just say..."Welcome to Wendy's...I'm ready for your order." Then, after I ordered this same friendly drive-thru person asked if I'd like to donate one dollar to their adoption fund. In my head I said, "No thank you, I am already donating my whole life to that right now. Thank you very much." Yep...I've got PMS.

And God...thanks for David.

Comic relief this morning in the kitchen. We're doing the whole routine to get the boys on the bus. I'm trying to get David's attention, but that boy gets so distracted (just like his Daddy). Finally, I raise my voice ever so slightly and say, "David! Focus!" He looks up, undaunted, and in his best Tigger voice says, "I am! I am! I'm focused on multiple things!" Then breaks out into song, "It's hard, it's hard, it's hard to focus on multiple things." Over and over again. It was so good, I asked him if that was really a Tigger song...of course not. It was a David original. That's my boy.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Day 2 - Rom. 8:28

I'm working through this short series that Piper is speaking on....Rom. 8:28. Today's thoughts are about God knowing, planning, allowing all things to happen to us, good and bad. Piper gave the example of Joseph. Do you know it was 17 years from the time he was sold until he was put in charge of the lives of a whole nation. In those 17 years, his father was grieving for a son whom he thought was dead. Joseph was given small windows of relief, but kept being put back in prison and forgotten. Piper was saying that God worked all of this out for Joseph's good and to bring glory to himself and to save a whole nation from starvation.

The next example was Job. And as he was describing all of this, he read a reference of scripture from James 5 that the reason God did this was to show his mercy and compassion. Now, I have be honest. I was challenged in my thinking for a second about God's nature. From the outside, it would seem that God hurt his own "son" Job in order to show him his mercy. Would we do that to our children? Hurt them only to show them comfort? Immediately I knew this was stinkin thinking because we're talking about God here. Then, he made the statement, that God also did this with Jesus. And I was humbled to the depths of my soul.

God allowed his son to die on the cross.....Jesus took on my sin...and everyone elses so God could show his mercy and his compassion on me....the undeserving sinner. The daughter who deserves hell.

Then he said this.....if God was a God who came in and cleaned up only after something terrible has happened...what does that say about him being God? Is it not comforting to know that God has control before the horrific event, during and after? God always shows up in our pain. He always does something good out of it for those who love Him. He has to, because he said it. And he's faithful.

I know these are heavy posts. But it is so helpful to write them out. I want to be faithful, yet I can't deny the struggle. And my prayer is, in the struggle, that I will believe and trust Him deeper and the dark corners of my soul would be lightened by Him. I want to be faithful. I want God to be my rock.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

God is the Gospel

This is the title of John Piper's new book. He has written all about the following in it. Haven't read it yet, but I listened to an online sermon that expounded on Romans 8:28...one of the most quoted Bible verses of all time.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

The past few days I've been cringing when I hear, "God is good.". I know it in my head, I believe it with my heart, but I don't feel like it right now. I have these pangs in my gut when I think about my dad. Maybe it's another step in digesting the reality that he has cancer and he doesn't have much longer on this earth. Here's a man who is sold out for the kindgom, in the last chapter of his ministry, and it's being cut short.

Yep, I know all the right responses to the above statements...God's plans are better than ours...He is going to do a great work through this suffering...I'm not making light of this, I believe it. But, I'm not there emotionally. In my heart, I don't want this to be my dad's last Christmas. I want my girls to know their Bapa. He's a fun grandpa. I want to be able to call him and hear his voice. When he's at the office, my mom and can I call in and reach him at any time. He told his secretaries to always put us through, even if he's in a meeting. I can always call and hear his voice. I want my mom to have him to grow old with. I don't want her to be all alone. Lots of "I" statments, I know.

So what does one do with all of the thoughts, the pain, the heart that desires something different...something that doesn't seem to be God's plan? I've been listening to sermons every night when I go to sleep. I'm working on filling my mind with the truth, and praying and giving God all of my laments. Here's what I was reminded of this morning, as I relistened to this sermon again....(this is Piper's words..not mine)

Loving God is not a response for God being good to me. Loving God is not something that we do. It is not a response to being saved. (He said he's been working 30 years to put this in writing and to understand it)...

Loving God is in its essence:
desiring God in and beyond His gifts
treasuring God in and beyond His gifts
delighting in God in and beyond His gifts
being satisfied with God in and beyond His gifts
cherishing God in and beyond His gifts
Savoring God himself in and beyond His gifts
Valuing God in and beyond His gifts
prizing God in and beyond His gifts
revering God in and beyond His gifts
admiring God in and beyond His gifts

We can be trapped with wanting God to give us his gifts, but according to Rom. 8:28, we have to love him first. So, do we love him first, so we can get his gifts? And round and round we go. He offered a way out of this. He said the escape path for my heart is to look at the promise of God (Rom. 8:28), look through it, before it applies to me, and look straight at God. See Him, taste Him, feel Him, linger with God, look at Jesus, think about his life, what He did for us, watch God's actions in History...and then pray Deut. 30:6.

"The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your decendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live."
So, my prayer is just that. God, change my heart, help me to have the faith to believe, because even that comes from you. Help me to love you and savor you for who you are, not what I think you should do for me to live a comfortable life.

My dad said it in the hospital, "Either I believe what I preach or I don't. I choose to believe."

(The sermon is on the radio broadcast archives..."All Things for Good..3/22/07 - 3/29. There are six 24 minute segments..I'd give you the link, but I don't know how to find it.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Clean Kitchen Floors

Today I cleaned my kitchen floor. I love a clean kitchen floor. It makes me want to bake. So, I made banana bread, carrot cake cookies, and a warm yummy dinner for my family. I always try and maintain my clean kitchen floor for at least the day that I washed it. This, is probably not a good idea. So, my question is...how long does a kitchen floor stay clean in this household? Today, it was about 1 hour and 45 minutes. (Keep in mind, this was nap time and there is no activity what-so-ever during this time.) Here's what happened:

warm banana bread crumbs (from 3 out of 4 kiddos)
crumbs from the carrot cake cookies
wet banana bread crumbs spewed from a child trying to talk while eating
bread crumbs from dinner
fluffy ball strings (from the yarn ball that is slowly falling apart)
au jus spilled in a sprawling manner (from the 8 year old trying to walk it to the counter)
the muddy ladder from under the deck
the old ceiling fan coming down...dust..screws...
the outside shoes that are now being worn on the muddy ladder
crumbs from the bedtime snack...did I mention it was a blueberry cereal bar?

It makes my frustrated explanations seem ridiculous...."I just washed my floor!" I think the lesson learned is, I am going to be thankful that underneath all the crumbs and dirt, I still have a clean floor. For at least another day. Don't you think?