Saturday, April 29, 2006

Prom - April 28, 2006

Last night was Prom at our high school. It was supposed to rain - but it didn't and we had gorgeous weather. Somehow I can't believe my youngest can be this old.....

This is the group that went to prom together.

the girls

Carissa and the boys.....

Carissa and Paige

aren't they adorable?

Carissa at home before they left.

Friday, April 28, 2006

girls nite in...

So, after a "dinner" of eggs, bacon, pancakes, milk and OJ, the girls and I settled down for a girls nite in. It was nice. I don't think we've all been home with nothing to do on the same night for months. We snuggled in jammies and blankets, did our nails and watched Shopgirl on DVD. It was fun - and relaxing. Even the doggies settled in and napped.
Why don't we make time to do this more often? Of course, I guess if we did it would become normal and boring...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

leaving my growing up Faith.....

So, it's done. I'm done. We're done? I am officially gone from my church. I thought I would feel relieved - and better. But I'm sad and a bit at loose ends. Kinda like I have slammed a door impulsively and the help I need is still on the other side..... Weird I know. I think it's just that after being at that church for 40 years the breakup is bound to be difficult. Especially if it's not on good terms. Well, I thought it was on good terms, but apparently it's not on their part. So anyway. Things are tense and difficult and misunderstandings abound. As well as sadness and tears. If there is anything positive though in the way things have happened, it's that it has shown my husband just how much we differ from them philosophically, and that, yes, he needed to leave too. Unfortunately he had to be kicked out of the nest because he was afraid to fly on his own.
So the good news is, we have embarked together on a new journey - one that includes Via Christus as our new church home. And we are so excited to be there. Sometimes it just takes a kick in the pants to make you aware of what is so obviously the right thing to do.
Thanks to all of you who have been upholding us in prayer through this process. I can't begin to express how much that means to me.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Anybody have any thoughts on this?

"Standing in the center of a theater in the round-type setting with an audience full of business people, Bush spoke sympathetically about the plight of foreigners who risk their lives to sneak into the United States to earn a decent wage. He said the U.S. needs a temporary guest worker program to stop people from paying to be smuggled in the back of a truck.

"I know this is an emotional debate," Bush told the Orange County Business Council. "But one thing we can't lose site of is that we are talking about human beings, decent human beings."

"You can be a nation of law and be a compassionate nation at the same time," he said to applause."

They polled Americans to see how they felt about the deportation of illegal immigrants. Do the results surprise you?

Would you favor the sweeping deportation of illegal immigrants?
Yes 59%
No 41%
Total Votes: 10,328

Grace like Rain....

Shepherd, Your sheep are weary
Cold and tired, battered and bruised and torn
Shepherd, Your sheep are hungry
We got what we wanted but we still need something more
We need to hear Your voice
Whatever You might say
We just need to hear Your voice
Show us the way

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I'm not even sure how I got here
Wondered to this darkness from Your light
I still remember walking in the garden with You
Now I'm just stumbling through this night

I throw myself on Your mercy
I throw myself at Your feet
I throw my filth on the grace of One who's beauty is beyond me
And I wait
And I wait

I wait for Your rain to fall
The waves of Your grace wash over me
I wait for Your rain to fall
Strange how forgiveness comes so easily
When I call Your name
And wait for Your rain

Lord, this desert is killing me
My throat's dry from screaming Your name
I want to come home but the sands of time surround me
The dirt's finally covered my shame

So I throw myself on Your mercy
I throw myself at Your feet
I throw my filth on the grace of One who's beauty is beyond me
And I wait

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I need a little more sunshine in the middle of rain
Need a little more joy in the middle of pain
Need a little more color in the middle of this plain jane

I've looked as deep as I can see
And I think I need a little more You in the middle of me

I need a little more patience in the middle of stress
I need a little more beauty in the middle of this mess
Need a little more substance in the middle of this emptiness

I've looked as deep as I can see
And I think I need a little more You in the middle of me

Need more of You and less of me
More of You and little less insanity
More of You and little less complexity

I've looked as deep as I can see
It seems more of You is better for me

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O, there are ten thousand charms

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Open up the skies of mercy
Rain down your cleansing flood
Healing waters rise around us
Hear our cries, Lord Let 'em rise

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

all lyrics (except come ye sinners) by Todd Agnew

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's easier to rent....

Don't breathe too deep
Don't think all day
Dive into work
Drive the other way
That drip of hurt
That pint of shame
Goes away
Just play the game

.....You're what you own
So I own not a notion
I escape and ape content
I don't own emotion - I rent

RENT - What you Own

He wrote the songs.....

How is it that every time I have had something huge going on in my life Casting Crowns has a song that speaks to my heart? Not necessarily dealing with the specific issue, but with what I need to remember, to understand. Why is it this group's music reaches into my heart and touches me deeply at those times? This time it's a song I didn't initially care for. It seemed like just a song - not bad, but one that I could take or leave. Until this week - and it is really ministering to me. It is so amazing how much God can get through to me through music. When nothing else CAN get through. And how very much I can feel his presence through a song. It seeps into every crack in my heart and brings healing.
I am so thankful for music......

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


caught off guard
pain swirls to the depth of the soul
deeper deeper deeper
implanting in the tender ground of feeling

refusing to release its grip
tighter tighter tighter
even when reason valiantly tries to intervene

sending roots deep, intertwining
growing growing growing
unwilling to let tears loosen the knot

unable to see another way
searching searching searching
uproot the quickly growing weed

have to gain perspective soon
grasping grasping grasping
unable to let go of the pain

sorrow looking for release...

Lord, I hope this day is good...

Lord, I hope this day is good
I'm feelin empty and misunderstood
I should be thankful, lord, I know I should
But lord I hope this day is good

Lord, have you forgotten me?
I been prayin to you faithfully
I should be thankful lord you know I am
But lord I hope you understand

I don't need fortune and I don't need fame
Send down the thunder, lord, send down the rain
But when you're plannin just how it will be
Plan a good day for me

Lord, I hope this day is good
I'm feelin empty and misunderstood
I should be thankful, lord, I know I should
But lord I hope this day is good

You've been the king since the dawn of time
All that I'm askin is a little less crime
It might be hard for the devil to do
But it would be easy for you

Lord, I hope this day is good
I'm feelin empty and misunderstood
I should be thankful, lord, I know I should
But lord I hope this day is good

Don Williams

Monday, April 17, 2006

If you don't have anything good to say.....

I wanted to post today about my terrific weekend - Easter is usually my favorite holiday. I was all set to write an upbeat cheerful post. Nope. Sorry. Since I have very little good to say, I will just hit the highlights (lowlights?). Friday I cleaned and did laundry. Enough said. Saturday night I went to Chicago with a friend to see RENT. I had the tickets for quite awhile - before I had any info on Via Christus. So, by going to Chicago I missed the big Kick-off/Easter celebration in Yorkville. And instead of enjoying RENT my thoughts were consumed with Via Christus.... Sunday was my last day at my old church. Nothing good to say so I am moving on. I will say it was hard, and today I feel a bit like I have lost a limb.... The rest of the day I didn't do anything. Just tried to relax and get over the weekend. I am glad it's Monday. And I hope next Easter will once again be the joyous celebration I have always known it to be.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

They call me mellow yellow.....

These are in my garden. They made me feel better today just seeing their sunny yellow faces. I thought I would share them with you in hopes that they might brighten up your day as well!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

This too shall pass......I hope!

OK, that post yesterday was just rambling. I swear it's the new meds. Or the fact that they haven't kicked in yet. In that case I have two more weeks of this randomness/off the wall behavior in me. Sorry. For example, the other day I couldn't begin to get right and left straight much less north and south. And I am not directionally challenged. Never have been. Yet I adamantly argued left vs. right, literally seeing the turn correctly while calling right left. So if I argue with any of you for no apparent reason, and you are obviously right, just pat me on the head and send me to my room.

Monday, April 10, 2006

So what did I do this weekend?

Well actually, I did a lot of stuff. It used to be the weekends were the days I slept in and then did mountains of laundry. Well, I did do laundry, but I did other stuff too. Fun stuff.
Friday night Kelsey and I didn't have anything to do, so we went to the video store. I am so dorky when I go to the video store. I can't just get one video. No, too many call my name or jump off the shelf into my arms. Seriously. So we went home with five. Duh, like I had time to watch them all. We rented: Speak, Yesterday (it was up for Best Foreign film a year or so ago, and it is in Zulu with English subs. Has to do with Aids and a mother struggle in South Africa), Southern Belles (a Sundance film, but kinda fluffy and mindless), Paper Clips (a wonderful documentary about children in Tennessee and their Holocaust project - If you like Documentaries, rent this one. It's good.), and Honey for Oshun which we haven't watched yet. It's 2 hours with subs so I gotta save it for a time I can really concentrate. Tho if the movie is really good, and this one is supposed to be, I forget about them after while.
Saturday I attempted to finsh my taxes. Cough. I started a load of laundry - neccessary stuff of course. The rest of the mountain could wait. At noon I went to meet D at Olive Garden in Lombard. We had a great lunch and good conversation. We then went to a small playhouse in Glen Ellyn near COD to see Wonder of the World, a cute, silly, but pretty mindless comedy. But I love theater, so we had a great time. Then we (yep D came too!) jumped in the car and went to pick up Kelsey and Karen and headed to Via Christus for church. Emma time. :) Love Emma time. (of course that's the only reason I come...) Church was great and very thought provoking as usual. It seems when I am there something always gets me - and this week we talked about temptations/tests and how we deal with them. We didn't get home til 11:00 or so.
Therefore Sunday morning came fast and we had to get up because we were going into Chicago to go to church with friends. Yep. Church twice this weekend. :o One sorta big and one tiny. Both great. We attended Church of Wrigleyville and enjoyed it immensely. Loved the music, loved the pastor, love the city. And then we went to Samm's place for lunch. Oh and the best thing was that we go to see not only Samm, but Jack and Sarah and baby Jack! Two babies in one weekend. :) We took the scenic route home (don't ask) and then I attempted to file the taxes I finished, do laundry and watch a movie....Why did I rent 5 anyway? Finally that evening I gave up, cried uncle, threw my hands in the air and ran away. I met D at Chili's for dinner. Ooo-Eee, busy weekend. Not much time to breathe. But I was antsy. Not wanting to sit and read, or think or anything. Activity was good. (or not depending on how you look at it since I was using it to not deal with some stuff.)
So I was busy, busy all weekend. I need a weekend from my weekend. I just need to slow down a bit. Right now I feel like a run away train about ready to derail.....

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Deja vu

I was sitting thinking this morning about changes, doors closing and others opening. About things in general that have happened over the last year. I remembered a short little thing I wrote in my blog about a year ago and I went back to find it.
It's 9:04.
The sand is almost through the narrow neck of the hourglass,
small grains dropping to completion.
How can this be? As much as we knew this time was coming, who ever thought it would arrive?
So final.
So done.
Time has escaped our grasp. Eluded our comprehension, our sensibilities.
Finality is denied. Hope is briefly entertained.
Reality intrudes yet again.
A new chapter begins, wide open and expectant.
Time, defiant, marches on.
Raindrops begin to fall.
Tears of God.

I wrote that during a hard time in the life of a friend and those of us his life had touched. Who knew a year later I would pretty much be in the same situation? Only I wasn't forced out of a paying job, with all of the stress that entails.....just out of an inflexible, unforgiving church.
But the irony of the whole thing hit me this morning..
And the weirdest thing? When I went back this morning to find the post I found I had written it exactly one year ago today on the 6th of April..... How weird is that?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Matzah and Wine ~ an introduction to Seder

Well, yesterday was one of the last Sundays I'll be at my church. But I am glad I went....(the music sucked, but that's beside the point....) Instead of a sermon we had Roy Schwarcz from Middle East Ministries as well as pastor/rabbi at Adat Hatikvah (Congregation of Hope) in Evanston, IL, (a Messianic Jewish congregation) present a Passover Seder in our morning service. The cups, the wine, the matzah, the clothing, the candles, the Seder table - it was all set up in the front of the sanctuary. He explained all the steps and the meanings. He read from a Haggadah - there are many, and this was a Messianic Passover Haggadah. Haggadah means "to tell", and it is a compilation of the passages and rituals used for the Seder Service. Interestingly there are now over 1200 versions of the Haggadah. Which I guess would make sense if each Rabbi's "yoke" is different eh? Anyway.

He explained about ridding the house of leaven,the lighting of the candles and men's and women's roles in the Seder.
He explained the Four Cups of Wine: The Cup of Sanctification(The Kiddush), The Cup of judgment, The Cup of Redemption and The Cup of Praise.
He said Kiddush (in Hebrew) - I love the way it just rolls of the tongue, the beauty of it.
He did hand washing - although he says in his congregation they do foot washing, and then the dipping of the parsley in the first cup - again with the Hebrew recitation. Red Wine represents blood of the lamb, parsley represents hyssop, and salt water represents the tears shed in Egypt and the Red Sea. That was so interesting - all the purposeful symbolism.
Then he moved on to the next step, which amazed me. Because we see the obvious symbolism, and the Jews don't really get it. It is The Yachutz . There is a special napkin divided into three parts with a matzah in each. The napkin is called the Unity. They bypass the first and third sections and remove the middle Matzah, break it in half and return one half, hiding the other in a small napkin called the Afikomen. That is used later. Jewish tradition says there are three Matzahs because daily meals use one loaf of bread, Sabbath uses two and the third is used to honor Passover. But if you ask why the middle Matzah is broken the answer is always - "Tradition" and the meaning beyond that is unclear. Often when learning about Passover for Bar Mitzvah the answer is "Don't ask." The obvious meaning to a Messianic Jew is the Unity of the Trinity, and the middle matzah is broken as they see it because that is the picture of Jesus the son.
Then Rabbi Schwarcz read The Maggid or the story of the Exodus.
The second Cup of wine is poured.
After this he had a child go up and ask the Four Questions. I won't be specific here, but it explains the leavened and unleavened bread, the bitter herbs, the saltwater and finally why Passover is celebrated reclining at the table. (Reclining was the sign of a free man long ago and Passover was the freeing of the Jewish forefathers.)

When they recited the ten plagues brought by God on the Egyptians a drop of wine is poured from the the cup at the mention of each plague.
There is more retelling of history - the killing of the firstborn and the symbolism. Then the Dayenu (We would have been satisfied) is sung by all the participants.
Pesach (shankbone of a lamb) follows and the reason lamb is not eaten was explained. Matzah is lifted up and explained. It will be broken and dipped in Maror - which is the bitter herb. Horseradish is usually used. They want it to bring tears to the eyes to symbolize great sorrow.This is followed by dipping Matzah in sweet honey & apples (The Korekh) - to remind then of the Lord's blessing and the promised land. As well as to remind them that life contains both the bitter and the sweet. The praise that follows is called The Hallel. After this the second cup of wine is drunk. Hands are washed again. Then the three matzahs are held up and a blessing is recited and the things that have been explained above are eaten, followed by a full meal. The Birka Hamazon or the blessing after the meal is recited. This is followed by the third cup. Again, passages from the scripture are read. The third cup is drunk.
Elijah's Place is celebrated - an empty place setting - reserved for Elijah who must come before the Messiah. They then open the door and look for Elijah - who they never find. Messianic Jews believe he has already come in the person of John the Baptist.
Hallel, the fourth cup includes a responsive reading or recitation. It is a praise ceremony. They drink the fourth cup. Upon the unified recitation of "Next Year in Jerusalem" the Seder is ended.

It was very, very interesting. Enlightening. I didn't do a real good job of explaining, but he did, and it was amazing - all the meaning behind the rituals. Both the obvious meaning, and also the "hidden" meaning that believers see. I find myself really becoming interested in Jewish culture/history because it makes everything we as Christians do/believe have so many more layers of meaning. We shouldn't and can't really divorce ourselves from the Jewish heritage of Christianity. Neither can we truly understand our faith without this critical background information. I think I would like to study this more. Anyway. It was just so cool I wanted to share it with you guys and I apologize that this is such a long post.