Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

25 years – really?

This month we will finish our 25th year at our current church.

Lifeway Research suggests the average pastor’s tenure in a local church is 3.6 years – not even 4 years – other research suggests between 5 and 7 years. Wow!IMG_20160201_095513_479In the beginning it looked kind of like this picture.  We knew we were on the road God led us to.  We were moving forward, but we couldn’t really see very far down the road.

Staying 25 years means we know what it is like to go through the fire and not leave.  We have witnessed the worst in people and we have seen the best in people.  We see babies grow up and become solid Christians.  Lives are being changed and God is at work.

Personally, I believe there are way too many pastors that leave too early.  Just like there are parishioners that get hurt and church hop, pastors can do the same thing.  The other side is true too.  Sometimes pastors stay too long.  Listening to God’s direction is vital.

I remember a time of great personal hurt that I begged God to move us on.  I wasn’t surprised that people could be so mean, but I had never had it so blatantly directed at me.  I know what the enemy was trying to do and later looking back I saw how God used it.  (Years later, I just happened to stop at a garage sale that this individual also stopped at – still being here allowed her to make amends and move forward.  I assured her I had long ago forgiven her, now she needed to forgive herself and accept God’s forgiveness.  I wonder how many ministers, leaving too soon, never get to experience this?)

For much of our time here either both of us or at least one of us has had employment outside of the church.  This is a challenge that is hard to explain.  It is doable but not easy.

Over the years, I have worked at seven different jobs outside of the church.  This was always out of necessity.   The church was doing what it could, but if we were to stay then additional money needed to come from somewhere.  God said stay and He blessed me with some great temporary jobs.

Yet, there would be times when I would find myself struggling with the demands of my current employment, the responsibilities at the church and raising our boys.   During one such time I was asked how long I had stayed at any one job, but I could not count the ministry.   What kind of a question is that?  My primary job is ministry.    I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for ministry.

Ministry is so much more than a job.   It is a calling.  It is my heart’s cry.  I believe that where ever you are, as a Christian you should be letting your light shine.  I just happen to be called to shepherd.

Col 3:23 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” 

Ministry is so much more than a job but it is still a job.  What is the longest I have stayed at any one job?  As of this month – 25 years.  That is a real testimony to the power, love, and grace of God!

The danger of staying an extended period of time is to lose the freshness of what God wants to do.  How to avoid that is to guard your quiet time with God, make the most of opportunities that come your way, (most people know that if they come to me about a prayer need – I pray right then and there with them) be teachable,  and be transparent. Be real and people will want what you have — a relationship with the living God.

Whether it is your 1st year or your 25th year – take that step of faith.  It may look different each time but step out of the boat.

live out loud

What did we do on the 25th year of pastoring at our rural Iowa church?  In December we had our first service in a neighboring town.   We were either going to sink or walk on water.   We believed that God was opening the door and we were stepping through.

There is a reason why younger people do most of the church planting.   Adding a third service to our weekend, especially one that includes set up and tear down is a bit hard on this body.  My husband keeps telling me that God’s grace is enough and it is.  With God’s help we are walking on water.

25 years and I can say without a doubt that boredom has never been an issue.  I am pretty sure that word isn’t even in our vocabulary.  I have the opposite issue – sometimes I just want a time out.  The battle gets pretty intense.   It is then that I am reminded –   “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Tim 2:3-4

25 years ago, God called us to rural Iowa.  How long will we stay?  Until God says “It’s time to go.”  In the meantime we will embrace the journey, following God’s lead, and look for opportunities to let His light shine.  Keeping it fresh and vibrant!!

P1080733

til next time

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February 2, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

perspective – gratitude – wonder

live out loud

Some songs are as powerful the 100th time you hear it as it was the first time you heard it.    I hope you  still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.   PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

the Badlands of SD

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.”

This year we took our ’83 Yamaha on a Parks Run.  There weren’t any oceans on this trip.  There were lots and lots of mountains, hills and prairies.  I still felt small.  PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

climbing

thought I was going to have to slide down on my behind but my knight rescued me!

thought I was going to have to slide down on my behind but my knight rescued me!

I did some climbing and found that the Badlands are made up of lots of loose rock.  It was a snap to climb up, but it was getting down where the challenge came in.  PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

Mt Rushmore

Depending on the angle that you are viewing  the presidents and whether or not you have binoculars – will determine how big they seem.  PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

in comparison

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance.  Never settle for the path of least resistance…….. And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance — I hope you dance.” 

I take lots of pictures because pictures are right up there with my most favorite things.  Pictures tell the story.  Keeping things in perspective reduces stress.  Does it really matter?  Is it worth getting frustrated?  In the scope of the next five years – will it even be remembered?    Don’t fear those mountains.

Every time we take a long motorcycle trip, God does a deep work in me.   It is one of the things I love most about our trips.  — 13 days of just me, my hubby and God!  It is the closest thing we seem to get to a sabbatical.

blue skies, green grass and gorgeous scenery

blue skies, green grass and gorgeous scenery

“Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along.  Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone………”

I don’t want to miss out on living because I was too busy to notice.  I have heard it said that “life is what happens while you are making other plans.”   I challenge you to stop, look around you, and really take in the moment.   Allow yourself to be right where you are, not looking ahead to the next thing on the agenda or playing the “I’ll be happy when” game.  This is a flower from my garden that was blooming whether or not I took the time to notice.

look what was hiding

PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!  The flower is now in a vase on my dining room table.

mighty close

 

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.”

We had a number of these close encounters with Bison.  He is just out for a stroll.  I have not lost my sense of wonder.  I am ever grateful that he kept strolling.  It certainly put things into perspective.

be careful where you stand

be careful where you stand

There were many signs warning you to stay on the path because the earth was unstable.  There were many places at Yellowstone where I felt small and would just stand quietly in awe and wonder.   What a vast area of land filled with beauty that words or pictures just don’t do it justice.  Our God is so very creative.  PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

postcard perfect

beautyOn one side you could view the top picture.  The next picture shows the view on the other side.  So many thoughts filled my head as we would walk the trails viewing the upper and lower falls.  I have not lost my sense of wonder.    Have you?

elkLast picture.  This one I had to climb over fallen trees to get to a spot where I could truly capture the beauty.  Sometimes in life there will be  obstacles that  stand in our way.

I received a bracelet from a friend that says “When God guides, God provides.”    He will enable us to conquer the mountains that come along our path.  2 Samuel 2:30 and Psalm 18:29 both say that — For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.    Sounds like taking life by storm and making the most of all that God has for us!!

If you haven’t listened to this song in a while – here it is.  I hope you Dance!

Til next time

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August 3, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, motorcycle, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

there’s gonna be a little rain

 

joy in rain

What do you do when the storm rages?  What do you do when the pouring rain of difficulties seem to linger and the sun refuses to come out from behind those gloomy clouds?

Back in high school I had a t-shirt that said “Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you deal with it.”   Even back then, God was instilling in me the importance of my attitude and that whatever was happening was minor compared to how I chose to deal with it.

As a kid, I loved the rain.  Puddles were the best!  I remember riding my bike through the puddles and squealing with such joy as my legs would get splashed.   With carefree abandonment I would jump in the puddles and twirl in the rain.  It was glorious.

Somewhere along the way my attitude changed.   I hated it when it rained.  My hair would respond with ginormous frizz,  rain made me cold, and the thought of getting splatter by puddles  was atrocious.

The rain hadn’t changed.  The way I respond to the rain had changed.

So it is in life, the carefree days of adolescents turn into the responsible days of adulthood. Yet, sometimes we forget that life is meant to be enjoyed.  After all, God created and then said “It is good!”

While we do have responsibilities, there still needs to be a balance between work and play.  Most importantly, even in our work we have the choice to enjoy life.  My daddy always told me that if I had to do something anyway I might as well do it with a smile.   Try it.  It does make a difference.

So one day, I was walking home from work (in the rain) and  I made the decision that I was going to splash.  Maybe it was a mid-life crisis or maybe I was tired but whatever the reason, I splashed. Then  I laughed.  If anyone was watching I am sure they laughed too or shook their head and said that woman is losing it.

Later, I managed to get my husband to go walking/singing/dancing in the rain.  Of course it was dark of night and we stayed away from street lights.  Although our son did take our picture when we returned home covered in water and mud.   What a night!!!

dancing

Later I happened upon this saying and had to have it.  “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”    Rain took on a whole new – or maybe it would be more accurate to say old- meaning.  I added the Dove chocolate saying that a young  guy from work gave me  because it reminded him of me.  “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”  

What reminds others of  you?

Since then we have ridden through many rain storms on the motorcycle.  We joke that it really isn’t an adventure unless there is a little rain.

that is wetThought we were going to miss this downpour and then the road curved.  Thank God for safely getting us off the highway and through the puddles deep enough to come up to the tail pipe.   This was on our Grand Canyon trip.  We had it all — extreme heat, torrential rain, a blast of wind that just wouldn’t stop and a trip of a lifetime!

torrential rain

virginiaOur Beach run trip.  Going back home through the mountains we had sunshine and blue skies!

beach run

So it is with our lives.  A little rain must fall.  Sometimes it is a torrential downpour.  You have two main choices.  You can grumble, complain and be in a poor mood or you can put a smile on your face, remind yourself that God is still God and very much in control, and He is the reason you can dance in the rain.  Don’t let a little (or a lot of) rain stop you from making the most of each day.  There are no do overs.

Once again, I love to walk in the rain.  Better yet,  I love to dance in the rain.

Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV)  “….for the joy of the Lord is your strength”

Philippians 4:4-5 (MSG)  “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!”  (KJV – Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I say rejoice!)

Psalm 64:9 (MSG)” Everyone sees it. God’s work is the talk of the town.  Be glad, good people! Fly to God!  Good-hearted people, make praise your habit.”

As for the physical ‘rain’, it has been 14 weeks today.  I go back to the doctor Monday.  I am grateful that I have seen improvement over the last four weeks.  I am hopeful that surgery will be avoided.  In fact tomorrow I may be trying my first motorcycle ride this year.   I wonder if it will rain??

Psalm 30:5b (NASB)   “…Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.”

John 14:27  (NASB) “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Philippians 4:6-7(MSG) Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

til next time

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June 27, 2014 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

sweetly broken

It has been almost nine months since I quit my job at the clinic.  Nine months, hmmm, makes me think of my pregnancy.  There are some similarities.

With both my pregnancy and quitting my second job I didn’t really know what to expect.  It was clearly uncharted territory.  My hormones were all over the place as a pregnant women.  Now as a Peri-menopausal woman who needed to find a new ‘normal’, my emotions are affected.

Another similarity  was the uncomfortable feeling of change.  While change can be exciting, there is something comforting about the same old, same old.  Embarking on this new adventure means embracing change and lots of it.   One huge change during my pregnancy was morning sickness.  It was a common challenge all throughout my pregnancy.  While I haven’t gotten sick, there have certainly been an abundance of challenging issues to deal with the last nine months.

One of the best similarities is the love of what is going on inside me.  Of course being pregnant for me meant two beautiful babies were developing.  Before they were ever born I was already absolutely in love with them.  This time around God is  working on and developing me.   My love for God and others has reached a much deeper level than I would have imagined possible.  My heart is full!

Stretch marks come with pregnancy.  While it seems like for a long time I have been stretched in more ways than even I realized, these stretch marks are important.   With babies, stretch marks are a result of making room for what is developing.  Stretch marks in my life now make room for my faith to continue to grow.

My boys were born a month early.   Around eight months into this new adventure I realized that I was finally starting to get into what I would call a rhythm of grace.

Pregnancy and the birth of my sons meant many firsts.  Each one was exciting.  Some of them were a little scary.  Sometimes I didn’t feel that I was qualified, yet God made up for what I lacked.   Eight and half months into this new adventure there have been many firsts.  God is still making up for what I lack.  Sometimes it is a little scary but I am not afraid.

Resurrection Sunday is right around the corner.  Here is the song I am singing this year.  It pretty much sums up the last eight and half months.

“At the Cross You beckon me.   Draw me gently to my knees  and I am lost for words so lost in love.  I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.”

 Matthew 10:38 (NASB)  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

til next time

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April 16, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

in awe

When was the last time you stood in awe as you gazed at something beautiful?

beautyThe Conservatory at Como Zoo surrounds you with beauty.  Yet beauty is not just reserved for greenhouses.

 Creation sings praises to God.  Beauty is there for the beholder.  Are we too busy?  Do we just hurry past?

How long has it been since you took even a moment to allow your mind to grasp the wonder of  our Creator?   Or have you subconsciously tucked God away in a tidy box?   Is God reduced to one hour on Sunday?

Have you lost sight of the enormity of our God?  He is Omnipresent — everywhere.  He is Omniscient — all-knowing.   AND He is absolutely in love with you!

I am grateful for our opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon.  It was easy to be overcome with awe and wonder as I stood on the rim of such vastness.

on top of the worldIt was the same way this past summer as we took our beach run.  Yes, I still felt small as I stood beside the ocean.  What magnitude!  What power!

Atlantic beach

What a reminder to me that I am alive to live a life of purpose on purpose!

No matter what is going on the waves continue to roll.  The tide comes in and the tide goes out.  The ocean is doing exactly what it was created to do.  Mankind was created in the image of God.   (Genesis 1:27)  God has a plan and purpose for each of us.  (Jeremiah 29:11)  That plan is bigger and better than anything we could come up with.    No matter what is going on, I choose to keep following God, keep moving forward, keep growing, keep loving, and to keep on keeping on.

But I cannot just pop over to the Grand Canyon.  The ocean does not border Iowa.  My flowers do not come close to the flowers at Como Zoo.  Yet each day I can choose to be in awe of the wonder of my God.  His creativity is evident all around me.   I am learning to cultivate an awareness of His presence.  You can too.

my patio

my patio

married to my best friend

married to my best friend

always something to laugh about

always something to laugh about

having fun

having fun

life is too short to not enjoy it

make memories

beauty right in my living room

beauty right in my living room

finding the hidden beauty

finding the hidden beauty

time in the Word opens my eyes to wonder

time in the Word opens my eyes to wonder

   Romans 11:33-36 (Amplified Bible)

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)!  And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!

 For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor?

Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid back or that he could claim a recompense?

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it).

I hope that you too will choose to be in awe of the wonders of God.  I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are ALL things.  Yes, that causes me to want to shout and dance.

til next time.

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November 4, 2013 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

roller coaster/carousel

I enjoy Amusement parks.  A day of adventure and funnel cakes.   By the end of the day we are exhausted but oh what a day it has been!    On the ride home everyone but the driver is fast asleep.  It has been a great day in the sun.

As much as I enjoy the day, I wouldn’t want to live at an amusement park.

Yet, sometimes my life seems to resemble an amusement park.

The various roller coasters are some of my favorite rides.  Although I have noticed that since my auto accident, my neck and shoulders do not appreciate all the jerking.  Even so, I still enjoy most of them and I will wait extra to be able to ride in the  front seat.

Laughter and anticipation on the way up  – with hands up in the air on the way down.

roller coaster

Roller coaster rides last a couple of minutes.  You can wait in line for a long time.  Patience is needed as you wait your turn.  Slowly, ever so slowly you wind around until it is your turn  to take the plunge.   Although there have been times when we would pull up to the gate and the conductor would send us through again.  Good times!!

In life, sometimes, the roller coaster doesn’t appear to stop.  I would gladly get off and wait in line for the next one, but it just keeps going and going.   Patience is now needed to be able to hang on until it eventually stops.

Then there is the carousel.  I love the carousel.  I always have.  The gentle up and down movement of the horses as you go around in a circle is so soothing.   The greatest challenge is getting on or off the horse if it has stopped in the highest position.  Some people get bored with the carousel because it just does the same old – same old thing.carousel

Two of my favorite rides.  There are some huge differences between the two rides.

The differences —  One is a calm ride, the other is a wild ride –  even the tempo of the music is different.   One ride  has a steady pace, while the other varies from creeping up a hill, to soaring down the other side, with some loops thrown in and some wild corners.   One ride may involve screaming and laughter, while the other one does not move you to such emotion.

There are also similarities between the two.  Both of them go around in a circle.  Both of them require waiting til the ride is over to get on or off.  Both have an up and down motion.  Both have a bar you can hang on to or you can go hands free.  Both of them would get old if you were not allowed to get off.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NASB)

 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

(Click here to read sermon notes from this past Sunday including this verse)

Sometimes it can seem that all I am doing is going around in circles.  Depending on the situation it can be a fast, wild circle (roller coaster) or a same old – same old circle (carousel) but the truth is that  in all of it God has a plan.   There is a purpose.   Whether you find yourself waiting in line, riding the roller coaster, or riding the carousel don’t let circumstances move you.  Be steadfast!  Don’t let the  ride cause you to take your eyes off of Jesus.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

til next time

August 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

adjustments

This new chapter in my life will require some adjustments.

I was awake at 5:30 yesterday  morning.  No, my alarm did not go off.   My body is programmed to wake up early on Thursday because I open the office at 7:00.  Make that I used to open at 7:00!   Yes, this will take some adjustment.

I found myself rushing around picking up this and throwing laundry in the washer and then realized that I didn’t have to be any where until 12:30.   What a wonderful adjustment to make.

I have given lots of prayer and thought to what my new schedule will look like. What does it mean to finally place my focus on home and ministry?

One thing I know about myself is that I will have no problem filling up my schedule.  The possibility of being even more crazy busy, than I was as a bi-vocational minister, is very real.

I have no fear of laziness or boredom setting in.  That is just not how I am wired.   Knowing this about myself is why I am taking a couple of weeks to regroup and not adding anything to my schedule except study time and some much-needed house work.

swapping this office

swapping this office

for my new office

for my new office

what a great place to study -- my moon flowers make a beautiful wall

what a great place to study — my moon flowers make a beautiful wall

the flowers open up in the evening and close up during the day

the flowers open up in the evening and close up during the day

surrounded by beauty

view from my swing –  surrounded by beauty

as you can see the flowers are as tall as my clothes line pole

as you can see the flowers are as tall as my clothes line pole

 

Sure I have an office inside the house – two of them in fact.    I also have an office at the church that I will be using.  For the next couple weeks, though, my office will be the one pictured above.  One more adjustment that I am ready to make.

Of course there will be a financial adjustment to be made.  I am grateful for a husband who is a financial guru.  Long ago we made the decision to not buy on credit.  We live off of  a budget.  Most importantly, we depend on God to be our provider.  We are firm believers in the principle of tithing.  We trust that God will bless the remaining money (after tithes and offerings) and cause it to meet our needs and even some wants.  We are blessed!

Jeremiah 29:11-13  (NASB)

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Following God, no adjustment needed there.  I learned the truth of this scripture years ago.   His plan is so much greater than anything I could come up with.

The key is to follow God’s leading, to not let fear hinder you, to not be in bondage to needing answers to all the ‘what if’  questions,  and to let your faith rise up removing the doubt that would try to stop you.

God has a plan for you!

til next time

August 2, 2013 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

gave my notice

Do you hear that?   I do.  The wind is shifting.  There is a change in the air.

Imagine with me that it is a hot sunny day.  The temperature is rising.  When out of  what appears to be nowhere – comes a cool breeze.  I can’t help but take a deep breath and soak it all in.

A change is in the air for my husband and I.  While I love the smell of the air right after it rains, I am not talking about a coming storm or even about a storm at all.

For much of the last 27  years I have been bi-vocational.  Along with being a wife and mother I found myself  needing to juggle between  church and employment outside the church.  Multitasking has become second nature to me.

Being bi-vocational is challenging.  I do believe that God has used my employment to shine His light on those I work with and come in contact with.  It has been an extension of my ministry.  It has had a huge price tag on it.  Yet God’s grace pours into all avenues of my life.

It has been 11 years since I had a break from outside employment.  There have been times when I just didn’t think I could do one more thing, work one more day, or pick up one more thing that someone dropped.    Yet each time that came around God was strong in my weakness.

That said my heart’s desire is to be able to pour myself into ministry with no restraints.  While my current boss is a Christian and has no problem with me taking a moment to encourage a patient, I am still on his dime.

This past weekend things just came together.  The time is now.  Change is now.  On Monday I just happened to be scheduled to go to our satellite office with the boss.  It was on that drive that I gave him my resignation.

my office at church is not quite so spacious but I am looking forward to spending lots of time there

saying good bye to this office –my office at church is not quite so spacious but I am looking forward to spending lots of time there

It knew it would be hard, and it was.   It has been seven years that I have worked there.   I love my job.   I love my office.  I would have liked to spend more time in my office, but it is what it is.  I will miss it, especially the  great people who I work with.

To say that I am looking forward to this is an understatement.  To say that I am surprised that it is happening at this time in our lives would be accurate.  I had resigned myself to at least one more year.

I actually typed up my resignation last November.  At that time it was out of  desperation.  We had been short-staffed for months.  I longed for the moment God would say yes and I could hand it in.  Yet the release to hand it in never came.   What did happen was God used that to do a deeper work within me.

This time there was no desperation.  I had to rewrite my resignation.  It was just time.  Isn’t that so like God?

When God closes a door, He opens a window.  Sometimes we must wait for that window.   Eleven years later the ‘window’  opens and the breeze blows in bringing with it change.

I love my daily time with God in His Word but I am so looking forward to having time once again to study!

Thy Word have I hid in my heart

Thy Word have I hid in my heart

My  job at the clinic is complex.  There are many facets to it.  Knowing it will take time to train someone, I gave Doc til the end of July.    I just realized that this is one week for every week I have worked there.    How cool is that?

Financially it is a step of faith.  Our faith over rides our fear!

Six weeks left!!

til next time

June 14, 2013 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

is it a bridge or a tunnel?

One of the seven engineering wonders of the Modern World  is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  We hadn’t planned on traveling over it.  Frankly I didn’t even know about it until we walked into a tourist trap (souvenir shop) and I saw a post card of it.

We had already experienced the under water tunnel on our way to the beach but this was a 17 mile bridge with 2 sections of tunnels.  We were so close that we decided to take the extra hour and check it out.  While an hour seems like no big deal, when you are traveling by motorcycle an hour can be the difference between making your next destination comfortably or enduring the last 60 miles.

17 miles

17 miles across the Bay

up ahead is the tunnel

up ahead is the tunnel

It was quite windy that day but what a view.  After a few miles out I look around and land is nowhere to be seen.  Then comes the tunnel.

here we go Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel

here we go
Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel

The two bridges merge together and reduce down to two lanes.  Initially you can’t see the end of the tunnel.  Pretty amazing.

tunnel under the water

under the water

 

3 miles in there is a restaurant and gift shop

3 miles in there is a restaurant and gift shop

Before leaving the Virginia Beach area we also went to Fort Story and climbed the old lighthouse.

this lighthouse replaced the old one

this lighthouse replaced the old one

beach run 2013 088

I love lighthouses and was very excited about climbing to the top.  Little did I think about my space issues.  Thanks to a patience and wonderful husband I made it to the top and down again.

at the top - with the working lighthouse in the back ground

at the top – with the working lighthouse in the back ground

a ladder at the top

only way to the very top is by ladder

lots of stairs

lots of stairs

going down

going down

Whether out in the middle of the water or high up at the top of a lighthouse God’s beauty is breathtaking.

til next time

June 12, 2013 Posted by | motorcycle | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

beach run 2013

Recently we returned from our Beach Run 2013 trip.  With each trip my admiration grows for those who travel across the country by motorcycle.

Our trip  was amazing.  Our destination this time was Virginia Beach, Atlantic Beach and Myrtle Beach, but it isn’t just about the destination.  It is about the journey.

It rained going through the mountains heading to the coast.  Sunshine through the mountains on the way back.

taking a break - lots of rain in the mountains

taking a break – lots of rain in the mountains

on the return trip we even had a few tunnels - this one was also a huge curve

 return trip we  had sunshine and a few tunnels – this one had a surprise curve inside

Our older cycle with Iowa plates brought about  some interesting conversations.  One guy’s comment still makes me chuckle.  “You aren’t from Iowa are you?”    Or the comment, “How old is that bike?”

In my last blog I mentioned about ‘walking a mile in my shoes‘ and I guess that is why my admiration just keeps getting larger with each trip.  Before we took our first long trip up the North Shore in MN, my thoughts were about how cool it would be and just how much fun it was going to be.  It was all of that, but it was so much more.

With each trip I am getting an education.  I am finding out what I am made of.  Just when I think that I have a great endurance – the winds of OK and TX challenge that.  When I think that a little rain just makes it that much more of an adventure, I come through a torrential  downpour with my contact in my eye but not where it belonged.   I  now have a full face shield.

When we have topped over 450 miles in a day, I then talk with someone who puts in over 500 miles day after day.  Yes, my admiration grows.

My faith also grows.  Leaving the Grand Canyon last year, driving through barren land for miles with nothing – temperatures rising above 100 causing the heat to bounce off the black surface — yes my dependence on God and my trust in Him grew.  (To read about that trip – click here)    The bike just sailed through that barren land and purred through the mountains.

Miles and miles with nothing but the sound of the wind, the purr of the engine, the traffic sounds, an occasional conversation with Curt (we do not have mics) — gives me lots of time to think, pray and sing.

I have come to the conclusion that boredom must be a mind-set because not once have I been bored while  sitting very still on the back of the bike.  My son (Andrew) says that boredom is a symptom of the unmotivated.  Hmmm.

view outside our window at Virginia beach

view outside our window at Virginia beach

3 of the 5 nights at the beaches we had an ocean view -- 2 of those mornings I got up early enough for the sunrise - Gorgeous

3 of the 5 nights at the beaches we had an ocean view — 2 of those mornings I got up early enough for the sunrise – Gorgeous

 

got to enjoy the moon the first night at the ocean

the moon combined with the sound of the ocean – incredible

 

Myrtle beach -God blessed us with an empty lot right next door to our  ocean front view condo - the price was shockingly low - Thanks God!

Myrtle beach – God blessed us with an empty lot right next door to where we were staying.        Thanks God!

 

soaked it all in -- 3 oceans - each one a little bit different but the same ocean.

soaked it all in — 3 oceans – each one a little bit different but still the same ocean.

I have learned much about myself, about the man I married and about the God I serve (with all my heart) while riding on the back of our motorcycle.

To sum it up I have learned that I am a lot tougher than  I think and when it comes to ministry –  there are people, no matter how much they love me, who  still won’t understand the price that is paid.   In thinking about this I realize that God thinks outside the box 🙂 and brings along encouragement in surprising ways.

I have learned that the man I married is so much more than the guy I fell in love with all those years ago.  We are in this life together.  We are a priority to each other.

While riding the motorcycle I have used that time to cultivate  my awareness of the presence of God.  I see Him and His fingerprints all around me.  God’s goodness, His love for me, and His way of working all things out — I grow more and more in AWE of who He is.

til next time

June 8, 2013 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, motorcycle | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment