Down the Drain

So, a very sad event happened this evening. I’m not quite over it yet: I accidentally poured perfectly good espresso down the drain!!! 

I almost shed tears…

I know there’s probably a lesson in this, but I don’t see it yet. The horror of wasted italian espresso is still searing my thoughts. I could smell it as it swiftly filtered down the pipes. But none reached my lips. 

Hmm. there is a lesson here: goodness only seen and smelled but not experienced will do nothing for you.

Or – remember to reserve the leftover espresso from your cafeteria before it’s too late.

Looking back on yesterday’s Memorial Day…

Soldier's Memories

Have a Memorial Day…

                                Remember the Fallen…

                                                                                Remember their Families…

I was speaking with my dad at the end of the day; my husband, kids, and I had finished our day with a few tribute videos, standing to the National Anthem, and praying for the families who have lost loved ones. My husband can number friends among those fallen in the recent years, as can I. My dad almost said “Happy Memorial Day” then said, no that is not fitting. We talked about how it should be said: Respectful Memorial Day, Appreciate Memorial Day, Consider Memorial Day… and then we came to a thought at the same time. Have a Memorial Day. If you took time to consider the fallen, show respect for those who gave all, and made your gratitude and appreciation visible by either wearing a patriotic symbol, having a moment of silence, saying a prayer, or visiting a cemetery, you did just that.

We also need to remember what those men and women gave their lives for: Freedom. And I’ll warn you that this is a moment where I will speak ‘un-politically correct’ for a second. There are people who want to give up those freedoms for nothing. There are people in power that want you to de-value the things men and women have fought and given all for – don’t sit back and let it happen. I read an article this morning that spoke out about this. Scott Greer wrote very well about not giving in to the control that some want to exercise over a people who have been free for over 200 years, so I won’t re-iterate what he said, go read it for yourself.

The bottom line is, don’t ever forget. Don’t ever stop standing. And thank you to the men and women who continue to do just that.

 

Life’s Bumps and Turns

realphoto

The Wrong Place

At the Right Time….And the ways God uses the mishaps, speed bumps, and what not

Okay, so the pictures have nothing to do with the experiences I’m about to tell you. But I think it is an appropriate (and humorous) reminder that not everywhere you go and everyone you meet are just happenstance. Look around for the ways that God intends for you to be an example of His presence and love. He has so many people He’s speaking to every day. And if we take a minute to look up or give someone a chance, we will be part of that communication. And just being a part is so rewarding, as was my experience here:

There are two things that have happened in the past couple weeks that I want to tell you. Both were related in that the misdirection and difficulties were leading to telling two strangers the same message: Jesus cares about you so much, He brought me here at this time just to tell you, He loves you.

The first happened on a normal day: our little family went out to purchase a grill for the summer and a German picnic table. I couldn’t find a large cart to save my life to carry the picnic table to the register. In fact, I was beginning to get frustrated with this – and for the second time that I went outside, I found one!.. just to  see that I didn’t have the right change to get the cart. But God placed this delay there on purpose; because, on my way back to the Jeep, I asked a family for change for my 2 euro coin. We talked a little as they spoke English and the wife is Filippino. Then I went back in with the cart, loaded up with my husband and kids, and headed to the cash register. Well, when we went back to the car, I felt a tugging to write the family a note and give them a cd of my piano music – which I had just ‘happened’ to put in my purse before we left the house earlier. And you know what? God ordains every detail just perfectly – I couldn’t find a pen, wrote the note on the back of an envelope with a crayon, and then (AFTER I was finished) my husband realized I needed a better writing utensil. So he uncovered a pen and real paper 🙂 and I wrote it again. God had this other little speed bump for a reason: as soon as I finished writing the note to tell this family about the Lord, they came to their car. So I spoke with them in person. I asked the man if he has a relationship with Jesus. He said no. Then I told him that the Lord cares for him so much, that God ordered my steps just so in order for me to tell him that – that Jesus loves him and has a plan for him.

The second similar circumstance happened just the other day. We were spending our last day with some dear friends from Italy who had come for a visit. Our last day was spent in Frankfurt, and we were all tired and heading back to the hotel on the tram. As this was our first time in this big city, I wasn’t totally sure of what tram to take, and I’ll admit – I am horrible with directions. As we were discussing and making sure we had taken the right train, a lady overheard us and informed us that we were going in the opposite direction than we wanted. So we file out of the train…just to find out it was the right train after all, and the lady had misunderstood where we were going. Continue reading

Old-Fashion Letter Writing

DSCN0260  Countryside in Dormremy, France

 

Imagine getting to sit on this bench and read a hand-written, good old-fashion letter, listening to good old-fashion tunes, like my version of ‘Nearness of You’

Ah…well I wish I could write this blog as a hand-written note to you that you’d be sitting outside somewhere like that, listening to some relaxing music like this. You know why? It’s soothing, food for our souls. When I sit at the computer, I walk away most of the time feeling drained. When I open a letter from my sister-in-law and read it sitting in the sunshine while my kids run around in the grass, I’m revived. Why has this beautiful art disappeared? I’m not going to blame it on computers. I blame it on you and I. But this is supposed to be uplifting, so listen:

When was the last time you put pen to paper for someone? ‘Oh, I don’t have time.’ I understand. Me neither. But when I find the time, it is so rewarding. I just finished a special letter to my dad for his 60th birthday, I’m sending it this afternoon. And as I’m reviving this beautiful habit for myself and encouraging my kids to write to their grandparents and cousins, I am realizing that I love it! And I’m beginning to write more often. and guess what? There’s time to do that!

Now I know, being moved across the ocean is pretty good motivation for renewing a love for letters. You might not have that push. So let this be your inspiration, and motivate you to write. You know, half the New Testament is letters. I think that’s significant. Words written down to tell someone hello, you are thinking about them, encourage them, recount a funny event are more than just a piece of paper stamped and sent. It carries with it an unwritten message: I think about you and love you enough to invest my time and money (even though only 49 cents or so) to let you know that. I went out of my way to make sure you felt it, and had something tangible in your hands to prove it.

Continue reading