Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I am on a frantic, frentic pace this week. I have been writing devotionals, packing, cleaning and making lists all prior to my departure Thursday for Lost Canyon. I will be gone 3 weeks as the Women's Summer Staff Coordinator. So I feel like life is just going by so fast.
Yet, I had the wonderful time remembering yesterday how just one year ago we witnessed the marriage of Katie to Nate. Our yard has never looked better than it did that magical night. We had lights twinkling throughout our yard. We danced under the stars and tried to keep warm (dancing and drinking wine helped me!!). But it was such the perfect evening to celebrate the newlywed Bruce's.
I am grateful to have the time to reflect on that.
This past weekend, we had the enormous pleasure and fun of watching our two grandsons.
What absolute joy they bring Scud and me. Kellen who is 3 was in little boy heaven. He played baseball literally for hours pretending he was Cody Ross and Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez and Miguel Tejada. I seriously loved watching him. He truly has the potential, according to his uncle Todd, of being the biggest Giants fan ever.
Our dog, Cody, loves to chase and find lizards. Well one unfortunate little lizard tried to hide under a big rock. No obstacle for Cody...she just dug and dug and dug to get under that rock to catch the lizard. The best part for Kellen was that the dirt was red. Just like the infield of any given ballpark. So in order to truly be a baseball player, you must slide and get dirty. And slide he did. Over and over and over again. "Now I really look like a baseball player Grammy". I was a bit concerned that the red dirt wouldn't come out and would face the chagrin of his mother, but it did. Well, except for his socks. For some reason, red dirt never gets out of the socks, no matter how much bleach I use!!

And if he wasn't playing baseball, he was hiking around our yard. He took Gramps on a trail-going thru bushes and discovering all sorts of things. Grammy and Gramps' house is really an oasis for little boys.
And then there was Jax, who is 10 months old now and fast. Did i say FAST? Because if I turn around for just a second, he has moved so far out of my vison that its truly a sight to see. He is the happiest little guy. Not much bothers him-except if he sees his bottle or his food, he wants it NOW and lets you know in no certain terms. Oh how I love these little guys that I am blessed to be their Grammy. What a marvelous, wonderful amazing thing grandchildren are.

I do know why we have children while we are younger tho. These little guys keep me hopping. I am just as tired as they are at the end of the day. Kellen and Jax are non-stop busy and I get such joy watching them.
As I mentioned earlier, I too, have been extremely busy. Often when we get busy, we can tend to overlook the things that are truly important to us. Like spending time with Jesus. I have learned in my almost 40 years of walking thru this life journey with Christ, that the busier I am, the MORE I need to spend time with HIM. I need to get His perspective, I need to hear His Words. I need to be calmed by the promises of Scripture.
Yes I am busy. Yes I am tired and feeling a bit depleted. But oh how I need to find rest from my weary soul..and Jesus promises He will be all I need...if I just show up. I hope I am never too busy to be with Jesus. I need Him desperately. I suppose you do too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I love being with people. Having meaningful conversations. I love listening to what they have to say -whether its just about themselves or their deep thoughts on issues of life. But I have found that in today's world, it is extremely difficult to have someone's full attention.

I so appreciate the advances of the technological age. To be able to send an email across the world in a matter of seconds is mind boggling. To let someone know by text, either a message of why I am tardy or that I am thinking of them is wonderful. And Google?? well it has helped me find information faster than I ever could. I remember going to the Library and hoping that I could find the info I needed: were the periodicals in?? Do young people today even know what periodicals are?? Probably Not.

And cell phones?? They are truly amazing. And how far they have advanced. You can get any information you want on your cell phone today that you can from your computer-that too is something that I cannot fathom how they made that happen!!

And then there's Facebook. What an ingenious thing that Mark Zuckerburg invented. How fun it is to find old friends from high school and keep up with my friends daily. I love it. But I have found FB to be both a curse and a blessing. Truly it is addicting.

But I believe we have lost the art of communicating.

Today's youth communicate more by texting, Facebooking than they do by actually speaking words to each other. Often they are in the same room with each other, on their laptops and they communicate via chat on their computers rather than speaking words out loud to each other.

So today I am going to let you in on my pet peeve: that today's technology and all its advances have hindered us from being fully present with others.

When we are with people, we constantly check our phones for messages or the latest on FB.

Are we that important? Are we the President of the United States, where we make decisions that can be life saving on a moment to moment basis??

We have become what used to be known as rude.

Some of Webster's dictionary definitions of rude are: lacking refinement, discourteous,unmannerly as in ill mannered.

Granted, I am guilty of this too. But I try not to have it be often.

How often am I in meetings, when numerous people are checking their iPhones or Blackberry's?? All the time.

How often do I meet with my college friends and they check their texts?? Constantly.

Why have we lost the art of being fully present to those we are with??

To be fully there. To listen intently. Or to enjoy the activities we are engaging in together??

Why do we check our phones at a ball game??? Haven't we spent enough money on those tickets to be invested in the game??

And for us, as followers of Christ? Can we not be fully present to HIM?

Recently I was at our Regional Staff meeting, and we were given the TREMENDOUS privilege of spending an hour in song worshipping Our God. And while I was singing, the person in front of me was checking their Facebook and one to the side of me was looking at their emails.

I wanted to scream. Cant you even be fully engaged with the LORD?? Can't you put down your phone to just be with JESUS?

How much time are we on Facebook, checking our emails, texting our family and friends?? How much time is that in comparison to the time we invest in our relationship with Our God?? with our relationships with our family and friends? When we are giving them our undivided attention?

When I am with my 2 grandsons, I put my phone away-in another room so I won’t be distracted. Why? Because I love these 2 little boys with all that is within me and I don’t want to miss anything that they are doing or discovering. And it is such a special time.
And when I happen to be with my friends in San Jose.? Well my phone plays no part in our time, because my time with those dear ones is so far between, that I just want to be with them and never even have to worry “than I might be missing something”. Nothing beats spending quality time with Mary Kay, or Ruth or Pam or Jean or Karen (if I’m lucky enough to see her!), or my dear June.

How much time do we spend on our phones. Interrupting our being with someone to take this call??

Again I ask, are we that important?

I know this might rattle some of you. But can I just encourage you to try for a day, even half a day, to put your phone down when you are with someone? To be fully present to them?

It might surprise you the joy it could bring you, seeing things you might have missed!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

the Heart of Spring

It is finally spring at Woodleaf. It has been a very long time in coming.
We just finished the longest, coldest winter I have experienced in the 5 winters I have lived here. We had record snowfall and record rainfall. But hopefully it is over. But I remember last year. When we thought it was over and then on the night of May 22nd the snow came back.
You might ask how I know that was the date. Oh, because our daughter Katie was getting married here on May 23rd. Everything we had planned was for an outside wedding. We didn’t panic the night before, I actually laughed and wondered out loud “Really God?? at Katie’s wedding? After all she has been through?”
And the next day we woke up to blue skies and sunshine. It was a brisk day but it was beautiful. And I thank God for our many friends who prayed for a sunny day as they experienced the snow with us on the eve of Katie’s wedding to Nate.
I love springtime because it shows off the newness of life. When what has died in the cold realities of winter, begin to sprinkle the earth will beautiful greens and vibrant colors of yellow, pink, orange and red on the fields. Spring shows me that life has a way of starting again. That new beginnings are always possible. That the gloominess of winter bursts forth in the delightfulness of spring.
Wonderfully, it really looks like spring. The daffodils and tulips are blooming at camp. Yesterday I weeded two of the flower beds in front of the hotel.
And today I ate my lunch outside on my patio furniture that Scud had brought out yesterday. It was sunny and warm. I can’t tell you how blissful it was to feel the sun on my face and body and to be in shorts for the first time this year here.
I was delighting in the artichoke I was devouring. Its a California thing you know-these artichokes. They come from Watsonville and I wait for them each year and love peeling off the leaves and dipping them-today in a dill mayonaise.
As I was peeling them trying to get to the heart of the artichoke, I would cheat and pull away some of the leaves so I could be closer to the heart-the very most delicate and delicious part of the artichoke.
And then all of a sudden I had the realization that this is what God does with me. He pulls off the leaves to get to my heart. All the things that distract me, all the things that keep me from seeing Him in the midst of my everyday life. All the things that I think are important and deserving of my time. All the things that I want to give me pleasure. But often times, all the things that keep me from seeing who Jesus really is and what He is trying to say to me.

Its all about the heart. My heart. Your heart. He is trying to get to our heart so that we can see that He is really what is important. He is where we should turn, He is what should make our hearts beat. That the closer we get to Jesus, the more we should begin to pulsate with the heart of God.
Often I try to skip over the leaves of the artichoke to get to the heart. 
But always God goes directly to the heart because He knows that it is there that we truly feel, truly show our true selves. It is our heart that He can penetrate so that we see HE is what is what is absolutely vital to our existence.
And so as spring begins to show itself at Woodleaf, I am praying that God can begin a new work on my heart. A heart that is open to Him and all that He offers me, a heart that will let Him transform me so that my heart looks more like His.