Friday, April 29, 2011

5 minutes: if I knew I could

Today I'm linking up to Lisa-Jo aka gypsy mama, who chooses a topic every Friday and writes for five minutes.

Only five minutes.

And the rule is that whatever she writes about in that five minutes is what she posts. No editing her thoughts.

Today, her topic choice is "If I knew I could, I would…"

So I'm going to set the timer, write some thoughts, and then I'm going to stop.

Ready? Set. Go.


If I knew I could, I would open a window and savor the breeze before walking out my sliding glass door and fully savoring the wind. I would turn my face to the sun and soak in its warmth and put my bare feet in wet grass and let them settle into the earth.

If I knew I could, I would sit at a lake with family and friends, have a barbeque, eat things with cheese and butter and have a drink and dance.

I would dance until I couldn't. And then I'd dance some more.

If I knew I could, I would sing. I would sing until my lungs burst from the pressure of the air and then I would go to another place, another home, another church, another wedding, another funeral and I would sing some more. I would look people in the eye and make sure my song connected to their soul.

If I knew I could, I would walk the walk to my dad's graveside and leave my tears there with my family's. I would tell him how sorry I was it took me so long and I would lay on the grass and just be with him again. I would do that if I could.

If I knew I could, I would spend the rest of my life sitting with friends. Loving them. Talking to them. Hugging them. Laughing with them and crying with them and celebrating and mourning. I would spend the rest of my life living my life in the presence of people, trying to be His presence to them.

If I knew I could, I would take poor Riley for a walk.

If I knew I could, I would write the book everyone says they want. I would feel well and healthy and not take a moment of actual energy for granted. I would live free of pain and headaches and nausea and weakness. And I would still come here to talk to you all, because it's where all my friends can meet at once.

If I knew I could, I would.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Heavenly Perspective

I've thought a lot about heaven since Dad took up residence there. My view of life and death and heaven and Jesus didn't change when Dad died, but it intensified to a new perspective. One where Dad became a focal point.

For the longest time, every time I had a random thought it would occur to me that Dad knew what I was thinking. So every time I had an unkind thought I would stop and be mortified that I could in any way be a disappointment to Dad. That he could hear my thought and disapprove in some way. If I had any thoughts or feelings, I wanted them to be ones he would be proud of.

And then I thought, "Why wasn't I monitoring my thoughts before… when it was God instead of Dad knowing every whim of my mind?"

Dad being there brought this whole new perspective on my relationship with God. It made God even more personal to me. Suddenly it was the image of Dad and Jesus standing side by side that brought a humanness to the God made Man.

God the Father became more real as I envisioned my father with Him, as I have trusted them both with my life. And I trust letting other people go now, too. I trust that my Grandpa is safe in the arms of my dad and the Father. When my friend's father-in-law, Pat, passed away last week, she told him to look for my dad when he got there because he was a good man and would show Pat the ropes. It feels less like losing and more like passing them along to the man I know will take care of them.

It's how I felt about Jesus when Dad went there himself. That there was a good Man who would take care of him and show him the ropes. Just a heavenly perspective intensified. Made more personal. It doesn't make that deep ache for him any less, but I don't worry about him at all as he spends eternity in heaven. And that's a gift for those of us left behind.

One thing that was a huge gift to me in that time after Dad died was reading the notes and comments from all of you. When my (in)courage sisters got together and made it possible for you all to send me real, hold-in-my-hands cards in a beautiful card basket, it felt like a lifeline at my fingertips. I've kept them and cherished them, and now we have the opportunity to give that lifeline to someone else.

You may remember a few months ago when I made some canvases to sell at my friend Heather's etsy shop in order to raise money for her little girl, Emma, who was born with medical issues and had begun having seizures that impaired her communication. On Good Friday, Emma passed away at the age of nine. She was a beautiful little girl who was loved beyond measure, and we want to help in some small way by letting her family know how much they are thought of and loved.


So the amazing people at DaySpring have offered to sponsor a card basket for Heather and her family. We'd love it if you'd participate. You don't have to know Heather. You don't have to follow her blog, or mine, or anyone's. You just have to want to reach out to a mother who has lost a child.

Because DaySpring is sponsoring the card basket, you can send a card to Heather at absolutely no cost to you. DaySpring will gather up all of the cards created for Heather, package them beautifully in a basket and deliver the card basket to Heather's home.

To create a card for Heather's family, click here, or use the link at the end of this post. When you checkout, use HEATHER as your coupon code, and DaySpring will pick up the tab. We'll accept cards until midnight on Saturday, and I'm sure Heather would appreciate your prayers.

Thank you so much for helping us love on one of our (in)courage sisters like you all loved on me.

Link to Heather's DaySpring card basket:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gitz Bits: Week 16

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Monday, April 18, 2011


When Steve was here, he brought me this candle holder filled with sand from a Florida vacation they had been on. He said Avery was very detailed in the placing of the shells. :) As you can see, though, I skipped the whole candle idea and went straight for the sugar.

It felt like the right thing to do before Easter and all. :)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I'm not even kidding. My poor plants.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


This is the day I had written about my life verse over on (in)courage. Since I chose "I will take joy." as my verse, I thought a screen shot of my Padma home screen was fitting. Is there any better picture of unadulterated joy than kids laughing with abandon???

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Thursday, April 21, 2011


Translation: "Lady, enough with the paparazzi thing. It's nap time."

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Friday, April 22, 2011


This happy day is when I realized that the first five seasons of LOST are currently streaming on Netflix.

Oh, Sawyer. How I've missed you and your brazen attitude.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011


Starburst jelly beans = Happy Easter.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011


This is what you call over-and-above-the-call-of-duty.

My nurse, Tabitha, showed up with her entire family to wish me a Happy Easter and bring me a plate of food since she knew I'd be alone this weekend.

Ridiculous. Kind. Loving. Thoughtful. Crazy Blessed.

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Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Celebrating Life

In honor of my Grandpa Gerald, whose funeral is today, I've decided to repost what I had written about him in my grandparent series last year.

I'd love it if you all wouldn't mind taking a moment and saying a prayer for my family today as they gather to say goodbye to my grandpa. I don't think I'll ever get used to not being with them for these losses and celebrations.

I'm just so grateful that we know a loving God Who gathers us all together again in the end. It means we celebrate life even in death.

What a gift.


I know it's hard to believe when looking at this face:

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but the best word to sum up my Grandpa Gerald is ORNERY. I think that's why Riley adored him so much when Gramps was here visiting. Those two are cut from the exact same cloth. Ornery as all get out, but so cute they can get away with it. :)

It's so hard to pick just one or two things to tell you all about my grandpa, because what's fun about him is everything about him all wrapped up into one package. The way he goes about every undertaking with a whistle on his lips. The way he starts a story and somehow ends up telling it in an Irish accent because it sounds more entertaining. The way he concentrates when working on something intricate and bites his tongue out the side of his mouth. And the way he has, despite all that concentration, cut off almost all his fingers at one point or another.

Grandpa Gerald is simply never boring.

He and Grandma Rita would come to our house when I was little and Grandpa would place his fingers on the piano and pluck out a rousing Redwing for all of us to pair up and dance to. And he'd do this, despite the fact that he could never read a lick of music. I was shocked when he was at my house a few years ago and, despite him losing some of his mental abilities due to Lewy Body Dementia, he placed those hands [with a few missing fingertips] on my piano keys and played that familiar old tune from my youth. And I smiled, knowing Grandpa would always be Grandpa when it came right down to it.

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I'm sure he made all of his granddaughters feel special, but when he'd give me a hug and say, "So how's my little sweetheart?" it was hard to believe he felt that much love for everyone. He'd show love in the little things, like teaching me that vanilla ice cream just needed a little bit of warmed applesauce and cinnamon to make the perfect dessert. He'd make filling bird feeders or cleaning up the pontoon boat less a chore and more of a special outing. And he loooooved to stun you with grand gestures. Like the time we went to visit and renting VCRs at the video store was the big new thing... but the store we went to had them all rented out already. So he simply drove to the store and bought a VCR instead.

We thought he'd lost his mind. Or was magical. We were never sure which.

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As much as my dad had my Grandma Rita's personality, he had almost all of my Grandpa Gerald's mannerisms. They had the same hands, the same way of talking to themselves as they worked on a project, the same way of giving their attention to their grandchildren and making every task a learning adventure.

It's hard for me knowing that Grandpa won't ever be well enough to travel again, and that it's impossible for me to get to him. I miss walking into a room to give him a kiss on the lips and blowing a raspberry instead just to get him to laugh and say, "You little shit" through his chuckles. I miss playing cribbage with him and having him tell me to "Drop my voice" when I'm still trying to find a combination of 15 and he knows I have none left. I miss the twinkle in his eye when he's telling a tall tale and the sweetness of just sitting and holding his hand.

But now, there's a part of me that is ok knowing Dad will see him before I will again. That when Grandpa's time comes, he and Dad will be able to sit together and talk about all of us, about their lives and the stories that had been left untold between them. Heaven doesn't seem like such a faraway place to me anymore. It just seems like a place where loved ones are waiting. And when Grandpa's time comes, I know Dad will be the first face he sees.

And I kind of hope Dad tells Grandpa to "drop his voice." Just for fun. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

5 minutes: the hard love

Today I'm linking up to Lisa-Jo aka gypsy mama, who chooses a topic every Friday and writes for five minutes.

Only five minutes.

And the rule is that whatever she writes about in that five minutes is what she posts. No editing her thoughts.

Today, her topic choice is "The hard love…"

So I'm going to set the timer, write some thoughts, and then I'm going to stop.

Ready? Set. Go.


My Grandpa Gerald died this week. He's my dad's dad and no one told him during the past nine months that Dad went ahead of him to get heaven ready. And when Grandpa died I thought, "I hope Jesus is ok with swearing in heaven."

There are a couple reasons for that random thought. One, because I'm not sure I ever had a conversation with Grandpa when he didn't swear at some point [I get that trait from him :)]. And two, because I'm sure he saw Dad standing there waiting for him and said, "Mike, what in the hell are you doing here?"

What does that have to do with the prompt "the hard love"? Because without today, without Good Friday, there would be no meeting of the men I love in heaven.

Without today, without that brutal sacrifice born out of hard love for us, we would be flailing in the dark and alone in death.

Because no matter how much God loved His Son, he took the hard love instead of the easy for each one of us. He could have turned away and said it was too much. Most fathers would have, but He loved us as a Father, too. So He chose hard love for His son because of His love for you and me.

And no matter how scared Jesus was in that garden – scared enough that blood actually sweat from His pores – He took the hard love, the hard pain and the hard walk with that cross and let them put nails in His hands.

He did that for us. So my dad and my grandpa could laugh and hug and reminisce and even swear in heaven.

Jesus took every cruel word. Every cruel strap of the whip. Every fall and every stumble and every sweat bead of pain. He took the hard as a human man because He loved us.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

(in)courage: Life Verse, Anyone?

I'm writing over at (in)courage today, and would love for you to hop on over to read the post and let me know what you think.

Here's a snippet pulled from the middle to give you a "taste" of what it's about:


God has an intention for me. My life here is not random.

Soak that in a minute. You aren't here just to get through life. You're not even here to succeed with your plans in life. No… you're here to fulfill what He has intended for you.

It changes things, doesn't it?

I find myself looking at every moment and opportunity differently. Life isn't about what I am in the mood for or what can fit into my day. Life is about being open to what He may need from me and what He has intended for me to notice. I'm here to keep my eyes and heart open enough to be aware of the moments in which He has intended for me to act.

To read the post in it's entirety, click here: Life Verse, Anyone?


EDITED to include entire post:

I had never heard of a life verse before.

I know … {shock} … {gasp} … but even though my friends and I all grew up in Christian households, no one I knew had ever heard of the concept either. And then I joined the blogging world and people all talked about their life verses. How some had been given one by their parents, how others chose them for their baptisms or confirmations, how some felt it had been spoken to them in some way.

Nothing had been speaking to me.

When my nurse was at my house one day, noticed a canvas I had made and said, “Hey, that’s my life verse!” … I thought I officially should take this thing seriously.

I still hadn’t found an actual life verse, but I did find a little treasure on the DaySpring site that I splurged on simply because it spoke to me like I assumed a life verse should:

“Become all that God intended you to be.
Love Him. Love People. Love the life you’ve been given.”

It sits by my bed so I see it all day – the words I want to live by. And while I could write volumes about each little part of each sentence, the word that continuously jumps out at me is “intended.”

God has an intention for me. My life here is not random.

Soak that in a minute. You aren’t here just to get through life. You’re not even here to succeed with your plans in life. No… you’re here to fulfill what He has intended for you.

It changes things, doesn’t it?

I find myself looking at every moment and opportunity differently. Life isn’t about what I am in the mood for or what can fit into my day. Life is about being open to what He may need from me and what He has intended for me to notice. I’m here to keep my eyes and heart open enough to be aware of the moments in which He has intended for me to act.

Do you know what else it made me realize? That if He has intentions for my life, and has seen all that has happened and will happen, then I don’t have to worry about how I’ll make it through.

Because if I am still on this earth, it means He has intended for me to do something more. If I didn’t have something more to do, He would reward me by taking me home to Him.

Which means He already knows I can make it through another day of this pain and illness. It means He already knows my family will survive the loss of my Dad. It means He already knows I will survive whatever crosses my path today because He has intended for me to fulfill His purpose yet tomorrow.

I am a survivor. Not because I am strong or willful or unique. I am a survivor because God has intentions for me, and as long as I am here on this earth I have a job left to do. He saw that I would be sick, He saw that I would be devastated, He saw that I would feel weak, but He put me in this life because He also saw I would fulfill what He intended.

All I have to do is remember that this life isn’t about me… it’s about His intentions for me. If I trust Him with all of it, past – present - future, then He will make sure I am in the right position to fulfill all He intended.

Oh, and according to the life verse my friend helped me choose, I plan on doing it with joy.

“I will take joy.” {Habakkuk 3:18}

Do you all have a life verse? I’d love to hear it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gitz Bits: Week 15

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Monday, April 11, 2011


Translation: "I didn't do it. I swear."

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011



That card by the sprout of new daylily says the plant is called "Happy Returns." And it's true. The plant is returning and I'm totally happy about it. :)

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011


My neighbor Laura took the obsession a step further and found me DOUBLE STUFFED golden Oreos. I can now officially confirm I'm in it for the creamy center.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011


I'm not even going to complain, because it's not snow.

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Friday, April 15, 2011


How much do you love the face of my toothless Tyler? Susie and the boys were all healthy and had the night off of any sort of sporting or musical activity, so they camped out at my place.

I'm still without much of a voice or air power in my lungs, but luckily the boys and Suz had plenty to tell me about to keep the conversation going. :) Never fear… I don't let something like a bum voice keep me from getting my two cents in.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011


When I heard from Susie that they were coming over on Friday, I may or may not have said I would only let her in if she brought me a copy of Deathly Hallows that released on DVD that day. And I may or may not have stayed up into the wee hours of Saturday morning watching it after they left.

I love me some Harry.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011


And Riley loves him some steak.

My brother Steve, who is attached to the hand in the above photo, took off from Milwaukee early Sunday morning to come spend the day hanging out with me, chatting, listening to music and watching a movie.

For no reason at all.

To top it off, he made me a steak dinner.

I love him. More than I can tell you, and not just because of the steak. Riley, on the other hand, loves him because he fed him meat. I'm not going to lie.

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Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blog Peep Questions: Round 18

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What flavor of ice cream should be outlawed?

Oh, that's easy. Mint chocolate chip. Seriously… mint anything is hideous to me. And there are also great ice cream flavors out there that are ruined by almonds and pecans and pistachios and other gross nuts. There were so many times that I was wanting a good old fashioned Rocky Road but never got to have any because so many brands use almonds instead of peanuts.

ick. Just wrong.

And while we're on the topic of gross things, what ever possessed someone to put coconut in a candy bar?


If you could eat three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Cheese. Cheese. And cheese.

There are a great many foods I can no longer eat because my body has developed an allergy to different ingredients, but hands-down-without-question I miss cheese more than anything else.

Including chocolate.

I love cheese that much.

The funny thing is, I didn't realize how much I loved cheese until it was unavailable to me. Then I realized I ate it in everything, on everything and with everything. And yes, I know there are vegan options, but people… that's not cheese.

I miss it to the point where, if doctors ever tell me I only have hours left to live, I have friends who know exactly which restaurants to go to to get me food that has cheese in it so I can go out with a stomach full of happy.

For real, though, if I had to choose three things, I would probably say:

  1. toasted cheese bread topped with bacon and dipped in ranch dressing
  2. Mom's fried pork chops with mashed potatoes topped with milk gravy and corn
  3. a really good bacon cheeseburger with Countryside barbeque sauce and fries

Sorry I've now made all of you hungry. :)

What was your favorite grade? Would you go back to school [not for a new degree, but to a time]?

This question made me think of the movie Miss Congeniality when Miss Rhode Island was asked what her perfect date would be and she answered, "That's a tough one. I'd have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket."

Because the first thought I had to "What was your favorite grade?" was A+.

I wouldn't go back to the drama of junior high or high school for all the money or health in the world, but I would totally go back to some of my college years. I loved everything about it. I loved the newfound freedom, I loved the friendships I formed, I loved that college held new responsibility but also held enough whimsy that it was acceptable to be social and fun at the oddest times.

I loved my classes… I loved that it was my job to sit in a room full of people and discuss books and write papers. It wasn't even work because it was so intriguing to me. I love the memories I have of that time in my life, and I'm so grateful I soaked in as much as I did.

Does Riley's personality remind you of any human you know?

Oh my word, I hope not. It's amazing what is acceptable in a dog, because I think he is the most perfect animal for me. He is incredibly attentive and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

But he is incredibly narcissistic. If I had a husband who was this clingy, demanded that I give him food at his every whim, expected me to clean up after him and required my full attention at all times – including jealousy over me speaking to or looking at another human – we'd be divorced in a hot minute. :)

If you have any questions for me… just leave them in the comment section and I'll answer them in another post. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

5 minutes: on distance

Today I'm linking up to Lisa-Jo aka gypsy mama, who chooses a topic every Friday and writes for five minutes.

Only five minutes.

And the rule is that whatever she writes about in that five minutes is what she posts. No editing her thoughts.

Today, her topic choice is "On distance…"

So I'm going to set the timer, write some thoughts, and then I'm going to stop.

Ready? Set. Go.


Distance. It's such a relative term to me right now.

When I read what Lisa Jo's prompt was a few minutes ago, the first thing I did was look above my computer to a photo of the Shan Clan hanging on my wall and thought, "I hate distance."

Because I know I will only see them maybe twice a year since they live so far away. And my heart aches from missing them. Which is not a complaint… because missing someone means you have the privilege of loving them, and there's no way I'll complain about that. I'm just grateful they make such huge efforts for me.

And then I realized that there are people right here in town that I ache for, too. Friends who I love beyond reason who I only see maybe twice a year because I have to live in this bubble. Because they work around sick people or someone in their family has the sniffles at various times and it means I never get to let them in my house.

Sickness makes distance relative in my world.

And then I thought of my brother's family who, despite distance, used to stop by to see me every single time they took the trip home to Mom and Dad's. I only see them once or twice a year now, too... not because they don't want to stop by on their way home, but because illness means they have to keep driving. And I hear the pain in their voices because they ache for me like I ache for them.

Right outside my doorstep might as well be Tennessee. The distance is relative in this world I live in. One step is as insurmountable as 1000 miles.

And all of those thoughts, like everything these days, brings me to Dad. The distance is insurmountable. I've had so many people from his life tell me they feel him so close now that he's gone, but I have to be honest. He feels so incredibly far away to me. So out of reach. So missing.

But I know that distance is relative, too. And I pray that all this time we are away from each other is different for him. I hope, like the distance in mine, time is relative in his world so when we meet again it will only have felt like a moment to him.

Because, like everyone in my life, as far away as he is, I hold him so close.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Do you ever sit in the moments of your life and think, "Really?"

Because I do.

I sit in this condo and look out at the sunshine streaming down on the pavement and think, "Really?"

Really? This is how I'm supposed to live my life… looking through a piece of glass at the possibilities of what will never be?

Really? I'm supposed to sit here, forgetting despite my very best efforts what the smell of fresh air and newly mown grass smells like, and be ok with it all?

I mean, really.

But we all do that in different ways. We all look at the life we imagine for ourselves compared to the life we actually have and wonder how we're supposed to make it all good and full and fulfilling. And usually we go about trying to change our reality rather than work with what's in front of us, because we think something must be wrong with the picture we're seeing.

Every time I find myself saying, "Really?" and wishing I could change something that is unchangeable, I instead try to look at it with different eyes.

His eyes.

I was watching Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love recently {I don't recommend spending the money on the rental, by the way… it fell flat for me} and there was one line in it that struck me {I guess maybe getting a line for a blog post was worth the rental fee :)}.

She said the holy truth of her whole adventure at an ashram in India was: God dwells within you, as you.

And I thought, "Really."

Because if God dwells in me, as me, then He needs me right where I am. Right as I am. Even in the impossibly confining space of this condo. Even in the impossibly debilitating pain. Even in the impossibly limiting energy. He is still in me. As me.

I am in His image. I am His hands and feet.

Right here. Even in my seclusion.

What do you feel confines you? Debilitates you? Limits you? And is there a way God can use you, not despite those things, but in those things?

It makes me wonder.

It makes me wonder if all this time we spend trying to change our circumstances would actually be put to good use trying to serve Him within those confines.

Maybe we are limited because this is where He needs us to work, even if it's not our ideal. Maybe if we serve Him in our circumstances, our purpose may be fulfilled in that instance and our circumstances would change as His need of us changes.


So, today, I'm trying to look at my circumstances differently. I'm trying to think about how I can serve in my confines and debilitations and limits. I'm trying not to miss it.

Not because I believe it will change my circumstances. I will still be looking through the glass at the outside world. But because maybe I am put in my circumstances so I can change someone else's reality. Maybe, just maybe, He is dwelling in me, as me, so I can be Him to you today.

And maybe you are right where you are – this minute – so you can be Him to someone else today.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gitz Bits: Week 14

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Monday, April 4, 2011


When Janella and Ron came to visit last weekend, we had said goodbye and then she ran back in because she forgot she had made something for me on their way here. She knitted me a washcloth on the drive over – just "whipped one up" were her words, I think.

The creativity of people never ceases to blow my mind. Look at those tiny stitches [do you call them stitches when knitting?]… anyway, that's a lot of stitches for a quick road trip. And although she assured me it was sturdy and meant to be used for a washcloth, I think it's too pretty and too much time was put in to get it wet.

I know, I'm kind of ridiculous.

So I'm using it on my bedside table to set the camera on so it doesn't get scratched. It seemed like a more important job for the work put into it than washing dishes. :)

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Dawn was here cleaning on Tuesday when she ran back into my room saying, "Did you see that crazy man in that thing?" Which made no sense to me until I looked out the window.

Because that is a thing. Some may call it a car but I'm pretty sure half a windshield held together with duct tape and what looks like a bird's nest in the back seat doesn't qualify. However, she swore to me that someone drove the thing… that it is a car that actually starts… and parked it right there in front of my house. And she swore he was a normal looking, well dressed man and it made no sense…

…until I remembered that my neighbor Dave sometimes buys junk cars and restores them. And then I breathed a sigh of relief because I'm really not convinced that thing should be allowed on the road. :)

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011


But I would probably believe anything Dawn told me at this point, because the woman told me of this miracle.

A miracle called Golden Oreos. Did you all know this existed? And if so, WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME????

Finally… after becoming allergic to cocoa I have a way around it to still eat that Oreo filling.

Apparently God loves me more than I realized. :)

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Thursday, April 7, 2011


I told him to give the camera some love and this is what he came up with.

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Friday, April 8, 2011


This little treasure is hanging on my closet door. Nicole's daughter Sophia made it for Riley when they were here… the girls had made me quite a few drawings and they wanted to make sure Riley didn't feel left out when they were gone.

Can you say sweet?

She was pretty proud of her spelling when I figured out right away that she was sounding out the word "love" – I think the fancy bubble letters may have gotten in the way of the order, but she definitely captured the pup's love of carrots on the side. :)

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Saturday, April 9, 2011


It's proud Auntie time. :)

My Nie Nie had a dance competition this weekend and I was absolutely blown away when they sent along this picture. Yes, the one trophy is taller than her little sister!

Shannon told me they bought the DVD of her solo performance, so I'm waiting on pins and needles to see it myself. Considering she got first place in her age division, first place for her Junior solo AND first place in the overall competition, I'm preparing myself for quite a dance.

The thing I'm most proud of though? This kid's heart. She knows that she dances because she has a gift from God and that using it brings Him glory. And she's not afraid to tell you that very thing.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011


Janella had brought me a couple of canned goodies from her garden last weekend, and I was about to move them to the counter to take a nice photo of them when I realized you're probably more interested in how they really look before I pose them.

Sitting on my poor, cluttered dining room table next to some unopened mail, recent cards in the center bowl and random syringes my nurse left for later.

Welcome to real life. :)

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Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well: