Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day 85 Droning On

March 31, 2015
Day 85

"Look up and all around, children, and take in the beautiful site of an uncluttered air space above and around you. Do you know why I say this, children, because soon it will be no more."

Who is this talking? Who dare speak of such things to children who have more than enough anxiety issues to cope with let alone this apocalyptic thought better left in a science fiction book! Who dare?!!

It is I, Lynne Burkholder, who interjects such anxious thoughts into most conversations these days. I am hoping that one of these children, having known of the better days, will go on to do some work regulating drone usage. I am hoping that some of these children who find themselves in a robotic field will use their common sense. For soon children will only know of a sky full of drones, or so I suspect.

There are some who just listen to me with a patronizing smile hoping I'll move on to other pleasanter topics. And there are others who hope I never do anything about this fear, having their personal drone kit in their workshop and only anxious for regulations to shift in their favor. Then there are my drone fear buddies who enter into the conversation with even more thoughts for me to think on.

What will happen? I suspect the law will move in the favor of drone usage. For one cannot disagree with the innumerable and beneficial uses. But must we be so convenienced? I think not.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Day 84 Failure for Failures

March 30, 2015
Day 84

It looked like failure. It looked like complete failure. All his statements were false, obviously, look at him hanging. They knew he was a big talker, he certainly deserved to hang on these stupid pieces of wood. The criminals belonged on either side of him. He is one them. C'mon! You do not say the things he said and expect to get away with it. They knew he was lying all along. And now his end proved their point. He could do nothing to save himself. Build a temple in three days, how are you going to do that nailed to a piece of wood??

Death equaled eternal success. What you see in not always what you get.

Spiritual forgiveness was a result of the hanging. What you get is not always what you see.

Thank God for the failure. For it was for all failures. Thy kingdom come; the earth shook, the curtain tore and the rocks split. Thy will be done; the death of this one man freed all men. On earth as it is in heaven; the earth physically shaken by the spiritual reality of the kingdom of God moving onto planet earth. The failure for all who fail was a complete success!
It is finished. Those who nailed him are now forgiven. What grace!

What you see is not always what you get and what you get is not always what you see! Thank God for that!

Live on!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Day 83 The Lonely Road

March 30, 2015
Day 83

The road is lonely. "Then everyone deserted Him and fled." (Mk.14:50)
The road is narrow. Everyone deserted Him.
Is it your road?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Day 82 Play Weekend

March 28, 2015
Day 82

Play Weekend is one of the better weekends for me during a given year. It is a ton of work that is required to pull off a performance and this weekend is the culmination of everyone's hard work. Drama has something for everyone; the organizer, the pretenders/actors, the technicals, the decorators, and me.

Since 2001 the young homeschoolers in my life, some of my own and some from other mothers, have been involved in amazing dramas. The lessons we have learned, the struggles we have endured, the performances we have produced, the sets we have painted are beyond beyond. We have made some of the involved parents weep with joy and we have also made them weep with fatigue.  

It is so much work, but for my children, I work.  What they have gained from their involvement with the Community Homeschool Players is more than can be listed. The relationships they have had with the directors, the parents, and the other students is worth all the work.

Tonight is the last performance and this is when I cry. For no matter how much work it has taken, no matter how little sleep, for me, it all adds up to pure joy. I love watching the relationships that are built, love it. And until next year.............

Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 81 Insecurity

March 27, 2015
Day 81

An insecurity freak is sometimes what I am. Sometimes I am insecure and I doubt myself, I am timid, uncertain, nervous, anxious, and worried. Sometimes I lack confidence. When I am like this you can be sure that I am focusing on myself and not on you.

The problem with insecurity is that no one benefits, neither you nor I. And my insecurity sometimes encourages you to be insecure. Insecurity breeds insecurity. Why would I spend time doubting or uncertain, nervous or anxious? What would cause me to lack confidence? Who is telling me these things?

This is what I must mediate on, "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day 80 Ice Cream

March 26, 2015

We are watching "Flash" the new favorite television show about super human powers and eating ice cream. This is an all time favorite thing to do, yes, watching TV, but mainly eating ice cream. I grew up in an ice cream eating family. The bowls overflowed with more than two scoops of the delightful stuff. A full dinner never kept us from this tradition that happened about two hours after the meal.

Tonight my bowl is full of "no sugar added" Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream and a concoction of peanut butter, honey, and oatmeal. This is wonderful. And the bowl overflows with more than two scoops!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day 79 I Shall Not Want

March 25, 2015
Day 79

"I shall not be in want." (Ps.23:1)
Why? Because the Lord is My Shepherd.
But that doesn't seem normal.
Shouldn't I "want?"
What is wrong with "wanting?"
Isn't that what my society is based on, "wanting" more?

Eve, in the garden, had everything she needed.
But she "wanted" more. And her "want" brewed trouble.
Her "want" led her into deception and her husband into sin.
Our world was changed forever by others "wanting."

What does it look like to not be in "want?"
Is it when my spirit is satisfied with the Lord's leading that
I do not "want?"

To not be in "want" is freedom from
discontentment. You can relax with others, fellowship with
the Lord. But to "want" leads us to places
of sin.

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want." (Ps.23:1)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 78 Life is Good!

March 24, 2015
Day 78

"How are you Mrs. Burkholder?" Sam asked me tonight.

"Doing well, Sam, doing well." I responded. "I am not in a Syrian refuge camp or slated to be be-headed in the next couple of days."

Tonight, there are many of my brothers and sisters who have gone to sleep with a real understanding that life as they know it will never be the same when they wake up tomorrow.

Please, Lord, help me never to forget.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 77 Play Week- "The Importance of Being Earnest"

March 23, 2015
Day 77

Play week is one of my favorite times of the year. Our homeschool community has performed dramas for over twelve years. My oldest to our fifth has been on the same stage in the local Middle School Auditorium. They have all been big fish in a small pond and all five of them have benefitted from this amazing opportunity. The director of the three oldest mentored the woman who directs my three youngest today. She is an alumni. This blesses me more than I can express. I love relational activities and doing drama has it all going on. It really fills my cup as well to watch our daughter, Kathryn, working on the sets. Pinch me.

My youngest Jesse begged me last year for him to do lights. "Jesse, there will be time."
His response caught me off guard, "No there won't."
"Jesse, of course there will be" I responded back.
"Mom! You're fifty-two!" He articulated clearer than I appreciated.
"Hmmm.....you might have something there buddy..." I weakly replied.

This year, Geoff, our senior, will be one of the main characters in "The Importance of Being Ernest." This is his gift! I love watching my children on stage, they have my utmost respect. As outgoing as I am, I am shy when it comes to acting. What gives with me? Who knows! I'm complicatedly simple. But Geoff is a natural and I am never disappointed.

Nicky is part of the stage crew along with some of her wonderful eighth grade friends. This is too much. I love these kids and tonight I encouraged them to make executive decisions as we were cleaning up the music department's mess on stage.  "Mrs. Burkholder, where does this go?"
My response, "Make an executive decision and stick with it!"  They did.

Friday night will be magic! These eight high schoolers will come out on stage and make us believe they are someone different. The crew will move on and off stage creating scenes. The audience will provide the energy necessary for the actors' electricity.

If you have nothing going on Friday at 7pm, come to the Twin Valley Middle School auditorium and enjoy, "The Importance of Being Ernest." Or you can come at 2 pm or 7 pm on Saturday. Either one, you will love it!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day 76 The Beautiful Ship

March 22, 2015
Day 76

Church life can be a real mess. You and I both feel it, experience it and know it. We have watched friends, sick of the mess, jump ship from the entire boat. And because of the ridiculousness they have experienced, we do not blame them. Even we sometimes feel that slogging through the messy drama in church is better left for a couch, bon bons, and a good soap opera. But not really. Why then do you and I stay on deck? Ah, we love the Captian, and we love the Ship, the Body of Christ. He rescued a jerk like us and we owe our life to Him.

The Beautiful Body of Christ keeps me slogging and sloshing through church life. Interestingly enough, the very points of frustration that happen in the church are the tools with which have sharpened my siblings and I in the Body. It is important for me to remember that church life consists of all sorts of folks, some believers and some not. But the Body of Christ consists of believers only, who are clearly aware of the grace offered to them while understanding what jerks we were, what jerks we are, and what jerks we will still be. We know that if God saved us, He can save you!

Today as I sat in church amongst folks from different walks of life, personalities, and races I was reminded of our common ground; Jesus Christ. Lord knows, it certainly has nothing to do with anything else, we are all so different. In that moment I heard Jesus saying to me, "Remember, Lynne, you are loving me when you decide to love your siblings in the Body." That does help.

There is nothing creative about the conflict that happens in church life. In fact I marvel at the redesigning of the same ole, same ole. We put each other's faces in the mix blurring the true issues at stake. We nit pick. We point fingers laterally. And, in love, we judge and shove, at least we say it is in love. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C!  Have you noticed who often fans the flames of discord? Yes, it is disappointing but not surprising.

How could I forget that Jesus made it possible for me to be patient and kind? I am now free to enjoy life without being envious of you. I am free to listen to you and feel no need to boast about me. I do not need to puff myself up in your presence. And if I am rude to you it indicates my forgetfulness that being rude is so old school. I do not need to be irritable with you or resentful. This is not a denial of my feelings, this is a privileged choice. I am now allowed to be moved by Him to a position of love rather than pulled and tugged by my feelings. Instead of fear, shame or sick intrigue I now am thrilled, delighted, and invigorated by the truth.

Yeah, church life stinks. But the Body, oh the Body! It is beautiful. Jesus' love allows me to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things. Jesus is wonderful, encouraging, inspiring and enriching and He keeps drawing me and the others closer through the conflicts. He shows us how to let Him. Who knew?!

He knew.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 75 Time Travel

March 21, 2015
Day 75

My memories convince me of time traveling. The smells, the colors, the mood and sometimes the feel provide another run through. These are classic memories, old movie favorites. And out of the many memories there is one where the feel is right there.

My father behind a wheel was one of those controlled drivers who pushed the envelope as far as he could but with a level of caution that made it fun. Unlike my uncle who made me spitting mad as he took our lives to a level of uncertainty with his led foot. Oh, I hated driving with him. As a little girl I questioned his level of driving maturity. But driving with dad was fun, a mixture of thrill and trust. We, therefore, knew every place on a strip of a road that offered a micro-rollercoaster experience. We anticipated these like waiting in line for a thrill ride.

My brother and I were always in the back, free roaming, anticipating the drop in our stomach as Dad would gun it and pull out at the crest of a hill in the road. He always timed it perfectly. Dad loved this kind of stuff and gave no thought about the impressions it was leaving on impressionable minds. Suzanne would just scream, "BOB!"

However, this time my brother and I are wondering if Dad has somehow lost his way. This was not the first nor the last time we would wonder this. But back to that day, Doug and I know it is coming, Mom knows it is coming and Dad is running through the details. He is timing the thrill. However, none of us anticipate this one.

The need for acceleration is applied, Bob is in control. Doug and I  anticipate the stomach drop and my mom has begun her car scream, "BOB!" My Dad guns it and I mean guns it. The drop over the crest is postponed, Dad's acceleration is a little out of control.We are off roading, the wheels are air born!

Doug and I are scared, nervous, and loving every single minute of this carplane experience! All four wheels are off the ground and in those split seconds we all know what this means; Doug, Lynne, Suzanne and Bob are flying. Our stomachs are not tickled but kicked with the thud of the car crashing down on the pavement. Our eyes need to be repositioned and our jaws re-aligned. Doug and I are incredulously delighted as the memory is indelibly fixed in our minds with the thud. Time travel pulls the moment to the center and I relive the thrill.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Day 74 Schedules Are For Changing

March 20, 2015
Day 74

The day comes with the turning of the earth to view the sun and this one never knows what the day will hold. Though I have peeked over the fences of schedulers and have seen their green grass I have never been able to maintain one. My lack of a schedule means this, I will always have time for you. My lack of schedule also means this, I don't have time to clean.

A tightly scheduled day today would have been frustrated by an unexpected trip up Rt. 176 to The Reading Hospital ER. The snow is falling with such daintiness and my mother in law and father in law are quietly being pulled in the car to another hospital visit. Mom was not feeling well and Dad with his wisdom knew that he better act on this Friday rather than Saturday. Everyone was silent thinking through various scenarios.  The weekend was coming.

Reading Hospital has offered my family such kindness over the years. Their professionalism is warming and calming. During a time like this I contemplate going back to school to become a doctor (like it really is a choice, geesh).  Tomorrow is another day and I pray that our God will heal my mother in law!                                          

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 73 You Must Leave, Now!

March 19, 2015
Day 73

The questioners barge in the front door uninvited, they never use the doorbell. Relentlessly they question me every day. They've got to get out. They are rude and obnoxious, speaking over one another with bullet speed questions. I'm sluggish as I crouch, hands over my head, deflecting the well aimed missiles. Sometimes, these questioners have familiar faces.

Are you sure this is what you want to do? Why did you wear this today? Do you really know much about this? Are you leading people down the wrong path? Do you know as much as you should? Why do you still have those extra pounds? Don't you want to look sharper than that? Shouldn't you be more concerned about this, what about that, or this, or that? Don't you think you are coming across a little too condescending? Are you not being a little black and white? If you say this, what do you think they are going to think? Are you really convinced about how you are doing things? Who do you think you are? Are you really going to do it that way? Why haven't you finished this? Why are you not doing it differently? Why did you say that? How do you feel about the way they reacted to you? Do you think they really like you? Did you see the way they looked at you? Did you notice the way in which they responded? Are they over there discussing something disparaging about you? Why didn't you do that? Should you have made that choice? Are you being too vague? Why have you not done this? Don't you wish you could be like them? Don't you wish you had that? Why are you not concerned about this? Why did you send that email? Why did you post that? C'mon can you not do things right?

Yet while the obnoxious ones clamor there is a gracious and kind Savior knocking on my heart's door. His voice is gentle, kind, loving, patient, encouraging, motivating, never rude, boastful, nor angry, but protective, trusting, and hopeful. He asks me to dine with Him. He tells me I "clean up nicely."

He knows my words before they exit yet loves me still. He knocks and waits for the door to open, barging in is not his style. He is gracious. His thoughts and His voice lead me to still waters, green pastures. The unwanted guests, however, like a robber, bully and push their way in, they are never invited. Their thoughts and voices lead me to distress.

When the questioners come I must remember the following:
1. They are never invited - shove them out!
2. Accusatory questions are never from Him.
3. His voice is gentle even when He rebukes, it always feels right.
4. Everything He says is right because it is based on Truth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 72 Walking on Sunshine

March 18, 2015
Day 72

The sun! Our new position makes the sun shine stronger and the days longer. Tonight it was seven and the sun was still high in the sky. This season is a thrill ride, I hop in the front car and my hands are in the air! This rivals any rollercoaster!

The earth has shifted, the angles have changed and the call from my gardens is increasing. It is March and while the rest of us have our feet firmly planted on terra nova the energy boom underneath is happening. Green explodes from below, gravity is defied. And I can't take it. I am excited. 

The seasons are a delight, a true measured surprise. I embrace the cold winter months seeing them as strengthening exercises. I sip at the spring enjoying the small doses of constant change. I soak up the rays in the summer fortifying my insides based on my theory I call temperature memory. In the winter months when the wind is whistling where you don't want it to, my theory proposes that all you must do is remember the August heat, better than drinking whiskey. The Fall is warm, cozy and the darkness is needed for it is time to wind down. I love how Fall tricks you into thinking it is so late.

However, there's just something about Spring. The different shades of green impress me as if it is a new show. The twigs with their delicate buds lure me to come closer. We are children in a toy shop. This is the endless feeling of enchantment. The birds are busy gathering, gathering, gathering, preparing their new birthing beds. Everyday something new is showcased. I see it as hope on display. But, oh the sun!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 71 Get Me?

Day 71
March 17, 2015

Did you understand what I meant by what I said? Cause if I think that you might not understand what my intent was behind my words, run! Hard and fast. Just head for Dodge, though I will probably find you. When I want to be understood, well, I want to be understood. And I will talk a tin ear off you until you give me the hint that you finally understand exactly what I am trying to communicate.

I might have just uncovered for you what might frustrate you about me. I frustrate myself when I get into the zone. It is my insatiable need to be understood. If you think I am wrong, yet you have given me enough assurance that you completely understand what I am communicating, I am happy to stand corrected. But when I hound you it has nothing to do with wanting to be right but everything to do with wanting to be understood!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 70 You are Marvelous!

March 16, 2015
Day 70

Dedicated To my husband, my children, my parents, my brother and his family, my husbands' family, my extended family, his extended family, my friends, The Body, my neighbors, my community, my state, my country, the world, humanity.

You make me smile. You have a unique way about you, I like that. It fascinates me that there is no one like you nor will there ever be. For me this is the intrigue. I love one of a kind sorts of things, my house will never look like an IKEA showcase. You offer me diversity. You are set apart. It is great that you are not able to be found anywhere else. You truly are one of a kind. I am awed that you and I are made the same way yet completely different.

Look at you, you differ from me in almost every way. And our thoughts are sometimes like ships passing in the night. Yet, I enjoy using the spotlight to find you in the depths. I actually enjoy the mental workout when I have to work hard at understanding the way you use the same word bank. This is the kind of stimulation that I crave.

Given a set of options, I like that you might choose this and I might choose that. It is a swim through a corral reef, simply brilliant. The way you perceive something is amazing, it gives me a different angle while looking at the same thing.

I need for you to use your uniqueness. It is so refreshing and I learn so much. I need for you to stand apart just like you were intended to do. I am inspired by your views. I need for you to be free to be exactly who you are. I appreciate when you rise above your circumstances finding your voice, your uniqueness, not allowing it to be squelched.

Thank you for not "tapping out" as a wrestler does when it is too much but rather for forging ahead. It is critical for you to understand your uniqueness. The world needs your touch. You are meant to be a mouthpiece, a signature of the Creator, a piece that only is you.

There is no one else who I relate to like I do to you. Our relationship is as different from my other relationships as you and I are from one another and to the world. Thank you for being you. When you freely are you, you really make my day. I love your interests.

I need the difference you offer it challenges me, grows me up. You and I both know that we need to be challenged. We want don't want to just grow chronologically we want to grow in wisdom.

Thank you for providing me a view into the Creator's mindset, His enjoyment, His creativity. He wanted you for His world and I have benefitted!

 You are fab you oooo so!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 69 The Includer and Organizers Clash

March 15, 2015
Day 69

The "inclusion," we tried to stop it. And we did. We knew it meant trouble. We are the Organizers and we know chaos when we see it. This Includer spoke of pulling two different types of people together into One. An inclusion of sorts. And on what would you rally? Right? We thought it sounded whacked as well.

The Includer made no sense. He wanted to bring people together based on Him. Well, we were not motivated to become one people group.  Are you kidding, we loved our groups, our people. We appreciate seeing things the same way, we find that to be really helpful. To gather around common interests seems only fitting, manageable and appropriate. We love distinctions, we call ourselves the Organizers. And why wouldn't we? We are really good and efficient at it.

We know that separating and segregating is innate, human, a normal part of everyday life. We do laundry this way and things get clean. We organize our tool boxes this way and it helps us fix things faster. It just makes sense. We even spend a good portion of our time teaching our little ones how to group accordingly. This block goes here, this block goes there, and so forth and so on. But, like a toddler shoving over a tall tower of blocks, the Includer's ways seemed destructive to the fabric of humanity. And we knew it had to be stopped. And so we stopped it.

The Includer included too much, way too much. His seemingly lack of organizational skills went beyond the boundaries of reason. He was clueless and obviously lacked an understanding of human nature. His definition of normal was also severely challenged. We all know and have experienced first hand the fact that you can not get anything done with people who do not think like you. The breadth and height of a project is based on our ability to center and focus around our commonalities.

We, Organizers, are bent and committed to distinction for the purpose of order. We stand a little taller when things are well defined. We work a little harder when things are in order. Knowing who is who and who is not is integral to accomplishing much.  Inclusion blurs lines and fills a room with smoke. We can not see to find our way. And we, Organizers, love to see, we love to know, and we love to hear.

Cogito ergo sum is our mantra; I think, therefore I am. Our thinking establishes our existence. So,of course we depend on our ways and thoughts. Our ability to think through complicated situations and issues is an important element. There are some who are really good at this in our group and we allow them to decide for us. The Includer wanted us to lean on Him. That made no sense.

The Includer also spoke of dependence, following, forgiving, and repenting. Sure, in theory, this might be good but honestly how does one expect to accomplish anything focused on these vague ways. It seems like a lot of waiting around for things that you can not really put your hands on and in the meantime there is stuff to be done. His inclusive ways also are too tolerant, too fuzzy, too something - we just can not find the right word for it. Due to His lack of distinctions, the room always seemed hazy with Him around.  How do you navigate in a room like this? We pride ourselves on a good sense of direction.

To Organize feels right and yes sometimes it might seem like we are excluding. But it is for the good of the group. We as humans sometimes do wrong things and do need to be punished, we know this. So in order to keep peace we sometimes have to be exclusive.

There are some who claim that the Includer carried through with the Inclusion. But did you see the way He died?  He uttered words that spoke of finality, "It is finished." Sad to watch. They say the heavens, the curtain in the Temple, and the Includer's Body broke. The Includer's Body definitely broke and landed in a tomb. Sure it was a different day, a very dark day, but stranger things have happened.

There are groups who call themselves includers. They try to come together based on the Includer's death and resurrection. You did hear me right. Yes, they thought He came back to life. And we witness, almost on a daily basis, firsthand, how difficult it is for them to unite and come together based on Him, the Includer.  Uniting is important. We unite on our ability to organize. But they are trying to unite around what the Includer supposedly did for them.

But there's hope. We chuckle because some of the includer groups are doing great. You know why? They operate more like organizers than includers. C'mon, we all know it just makes sense to gather around who we are, what we like, and what we want to do. But honestly, these high level functining includer groups, are not the norm. The Includer made it difficult, these guys need to still rely on Him. He pushes words like grace and mercy. In fact you are not going to believe what one group says to their people at the end of their gatherings, "Be wrecked by His grace and mercy! Oh, that's impressive! (Jeanne Stevens church IF:Gathering)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Day 68 Why?

March 14, 2015
Day 68

Kathleen and I are sitting here on a Saturday night talking about the word why and how it has led us into trouble. When we ask why it comes from an insatiable curiosity and not from a point of challenge to the questionee. We have been called rebellious by those in authority. We propose it is due to their insecurity with our need to know why. Why? We wish we knew! Please, we don't have time for your insecurity, nor do you, we just simply want to know.

When we are questioned we admit that our insecurity flares up. Internally we have answered the question "Why am I upset?" when someone asks us why. Not only do we have an insatiable curiosity to know things, we also have an insatiable need to know ourselves. And so we ask ourselves why all the time. And that's ok.

(Kathleen Stoltzfus and Lynne Burkholder:blurry photo does not take away from the charm of the friendship)

Kathleen and I have known each other since 1985. When I called her at 6 pm and asked her to spontaneously hop in her car from Holtwood, I knew she would be game! She might be the only one I know as spontaneous as I am. I even knew the fog would not hinder her answer. This is a treasured relationship.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Day 67 Jealous

March 13, 2015
Day 67

I really do want what you have. Without working for it, If I could get that substantial degree you hang on your wall, I'd take it. If my alma mater could be from your's I would switch out my diploma. If I could have me some of those good angles you got going for you I would find a way to do a quick operation and switcheroo the hips. Your house, if I could find me a moving truck to load it up in one good transfer I would do it. But you know I want your property as well, if I could figure out how to come back and bring it with me I would definitely do it.

Your fashion is so chic, I want it. Your jewelry is stunning and makes a statement, please can I have that? The way your lips form against your teeth, I love it and want it. And you know what, your profile doesn't sag, need it. I want to replace my wardrobe and I dig all your clothes. I like what you got.

I really like your furniture, I don't think you'll miss it, you can probably replace it. I like all of your vacations, can I take your place and can I bring who I want? Those places that you rent, can I have the rental agreement? Those trips to Europe, I didn't think I had the traveler bug but, man, you make it look so fun, so accessible. Can I have your tickets?

Coveting runs rampant with me and I want what you have like an addict wants a fix. I tell myself to stop but then you walk by. You make me want it even more.

There is only one person who told me that I could have everything that was His. And you know what? He gave me everything, and it cost Him His life. Do you see what is so wrong? I lack nothing. I have everything.

I am heading off to go and do some serious business, I'll be back.
Good Read! Ps. 23 and 73

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Day 66 Blue Blur

March 12, 2015
Day 66

Last Monday we had a funeral to attend. In the morning, my back was a bit sore and instead of toughing it out I decided to go to the feeble, almost non-existent medicine cabinet. My glasses were not perched on my head to flip down for a quick read so I decided to go with the bottle that might have said aspirin. The blue colored pills seemed a bit odd but they came out of the maybe aspirin bottle. I popped two pills in and swooshed down some water and decided to tell Lynn, just in case he needed to tell the ambulance driver. "Just before she hit the floor she came in to tell me she took two blue pills. Sir, I'm not sure why she told me."

I went out to cover for our Wider School Study Day. The world swirled. We have no mercy for the sick in our home, there is no time, what do ya mean ya don't feel good! Who cares?! C'mon, move it! Robyn arrived to take my place.  She was irritated, I taught her well, "What's wrong Mom! What do you mean you don't feel well?"  I stumbled back into the house. "Lynn, I feel really weird." My mind had already gone to that place, it was not good. Lynn started his research, I had already given him a lead.

"Lynne, you took Excedrin PM!" Chris and Lynn are howling. Chris informs me that I will feel this way for, oh, another ten hours. My brain is being massaged and I do not want my brain to be massaged! All I want to do is lay down yet I have a funeral to attend, fitting. I slump in the front seat with an unzipped coat, I was in no shape to bend down. For once I was speechless. I was also dopey, dizzy, dazed and definitely weird.

We arrived and as Lynn is parking I groggily inform him in a monotone voice that I will just stay out in the car and sleep. "No, Lynne, you are coming in." Okey dokey, ya meanie. My balance was challenged and I needed assistance. I walked in and saw people I had not seen and all I could think was chair. I slumped in an overstuffed motel looking funeral chair. I was clearly not all there and there was nothing I could do. My unzipped coat provided a fashionable look; hunched football shoulder pads.

I finally managed to push myself off the chair and go and say hi to the daughter of the deceased woman. "Hi, Kaaathy, I'm so sorry for your loss, I took the wrong medicine. I feel so loopey." There was no transition from this statement to heading back toward my chair. There was no emotion in me, no highs, no lows, just weirdly monotone voice and emotions. I existed like this almost the entire time except at the luncheon. The unexpected sound of the windshield wipers scraping against the front window was enough to send me OFF! "Lynn, hey, hey, hey, puhleeezze waaarn me." They just laughed. Mean.

I was a little annoyed by how long the pastor went on about Eleanor Roosevelt. It was not Eleanor's funeral. They said told me there had been no mention of Eleanor. I don't trust them.

Robyn wanted to talk shop over the phone while we were on our way home from the funeral. I couldn't. I hung up the phone without saying goodbye. When I returned home I slowly pushed my mind to try to work out our Wider School dilemma, anyone walking into the office would have thought Robyn was counseling a homeless woman. Slowly using my magic eye it all came into view. Robyn called my plan genius.  "Mom, next time we have an issue I need to get you loopey (she said something else, I censored)."

Note to self:  Search for glasses before popping something into my mouth.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day 65 My Unrest is a Result of My Rest

March 12, 2015
Day 65

We think of unrest and it makes us restless and uneasy. We are ill at ease and we try to make ourselves comfortable. We are uneasy and we strive for a sense of control. Much of our motivation for further education, another certificate, a job promotion is fueled by our need to control circumstances and outcomes. We look for solutions, for remedies, for answers or for understanding. The slush fund, retirement fund, yearly vacations, renovations, college fund, savings, stocks etc. are all ways in which we try to achieve a sense of rest in the here and now. We assume our goal is to iron out our unrest. Furthermore, we try to anticipate the unrest. We purchase insurance for our health, our teeth, our eyes, our household objects in case something goes out of whack. We are companions with our unrest, we use our unrest to get to a new level of unrest. The world fuels our unrest, our economy rides on our unrest and adores our unrest.

As a believer my restlessness is all because of the rest I enjoy. There is nothing I need to achieve for a "so that." I am allowed to rest because everything has been done, accomplished, fulfilled and achieved for me.  I am restless while at Rest.

My unrest is indicative of where my heart lies. The racing, achieving, king of the mountain pursuing, jars with my inner peace. I am at Rest because someone finished all my work and allows me to enjoy life. My unrest with the world's ways and means is a true result of My Rest.

My Rest is Jesus. His kingdom is to come and His kingdom is now, therein lies the tension. But the tension is because the Rest is so Good!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day 64 Blue Ray High Definition

March 10, 2015
Day 64

Imagine, we are in heaven before Jesus. We see the huge video screen showing the lives of famous Christians. We imagine some of the videos, clip after clip, filled with amazing heart wrenching stories of christians and their good deeds! It's those guys. The ones who always manage to humbly, with extreme modesty put us to shame. And now we have to watch all their courageous deeds on a Blue-Ray disc in High Definition. We mask our disappointment, our humiliation with serious, yet stretched smiles across our faces. This is heaven and we are suppose to be happy for one another, right? But this is not going well. We are not being featured.

Wait one minute, just stop! This is simply not how it is going to be. Those moments will be consistent with what scripture has revealed. Where did we come up with this awful idea? We have all thought this. We think of the video being played and sometimes it has actually kept us from grave mistakes. (yeah, intended) But there will be no such thing!

Why is this impression, or view of the moments before Jesus inconsistent with scripture? From what I have gleaned, and you will agree, your good works are none of my buisness! What you do and what I do is Christ's business. If you are not to tell your left hand what your right hand is doing then what sense does it make to come to heaven only to see this reversed?

Jesus does the good works. There is no need to tell the left hand what the right hand is doing because it is so trivial, so unimportant, so mentally ill. It is an exercise in futility. No one is listening to me while I rattle on about my good works. They know I am blowing my own horn. Equally, no one is paying attention when I modestly rattle on about my good works. It would be like speaking with you about my breathing habits and patterns. No one cares because they know I am not the one to give myself breath. We breath because God has given us another breath to live this very second. There is nothing different when the subject turns to good works.

All of our good works are laced with stink, smell, and motives that would shame us. Have you forgotten why you are allowed into God's presence? Because Jesus has said to you, "I've got you covered!" Jesus makes it possible to be in God's presence. All of our good works are perfumed, infused with grace and mercy, aka, Jesus. This is why it is so uncomfortable to receive compliments regarding what you have done. You feel like a poser, your spirit knows that something enabled you to go above and beyond yourself. This is why the pathetic person rattling on about his good deeds at the end of Matthew seven hears the deadliest words ever, "I never knew you!" He referenced himself with his good deeds and good deeds should only reference Jesus, the only true good deeder.

Who is to increase? Yes, Jesus! He increases and we decrease. Our aim is to run to Him, to refer to Him. It is all about Him. Who gave us this faith? Jesus. Who keeps us in the faith? Jesus. Who finishes our faith? Jesus. We have done nothing. There is nothing we can do. Why would there be a video featuring our good works at the end? This would mean we are in the wrong heaven or maybe even, HELL.

Honestly, this view of the Blue-ray disc of high definition footage featuring only the survival of the fittest christians is bogas! If there is a video, you can bet your last bucket of popcorn, it is of Jesus. This will be too good for the Oscars!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Day 63 Fleece Fabric

March 9, 2015
Day 63

Goodville Fabrics provided sixty yards of fleece for fifteen knotted blankets for fifteen veterans for one hundred and ninety dollars and eighty cents. Booyah! Terri Leamer and I were at the right place at the right time. A very tall man encouraged us to purchase two yards instead of a yard and a half. He's biased, he likes his feet covered. What we did not know, however, is his ownership in the company as he negotiated a deal before we could even ask for one. He forgave us for our homeschooling tendencies, his wife- a public school official, and allowed us to purchase fleece for three dollars instead of six a yard. This enabled us to increase the size of each blanket to two yards instead of one and a half. Had we been there fifteen minutes, a day, or a week earlier we would have paid around three hundred and sixty dollars. His theory distilled into this; veterans plus students' project plus familys' money equals early sale.

He educated us about the substantial wall of fleece in his store. It was slated for JoAnn fabrics, but their retail space would not handle the fleece's  bolts' dimensions. Their stupidity is his gain. This fleece is top of the line. And now it will keep another fifteen veterans warm!

The veterans meal is for another blog. But needless to say, this meal prayed up, out, and over is full of wonderful twists and turns such as we experienced today. This is added to our first miracle, all twenty-six students are able to do the meal on the same day.

What an honor to be involved in yet another meal for men who risked their lives for our country. This will be the third veteran's meal. Geoff, my son, was the originator of the meal. He had three things he wanted to accomplish; warmth- give them a blanket, food- give them a really good meal, and honor- let them tell their story!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day 62 Day light Savings Sunday Drive

March 8, 2015
Day 62

The thought plopped in my head, "Your mother in law would love a Sunday drive." A phone call to her and Elva is game. If that woman is feeling good, she is good to go. We headed off to her old stomping grounds, Intercourse, PA. The sun was bright, the snow white and the mood was light! We smelled spring.

I never tire of drives, especially backroads. We went off-roading outside of New Holland and made our way to enchanted Rt. 340. Daylight Savings might have sprung ahead, but we were driving back in time. The buggies were prolific, the black capped couples walking through the white fields were more than one, and this was photo heaven. However, out of respect for the Amish, oh, ok it was mainly bad angles, I was unable to get many photos.

The homestead always intrigues me, I see little Elva walking down the long lane, I hear her Aunt Annie giving bible stories while doling out the candy in the cleaned out chicken shed.  Aunt Annie is legendary and I never grow old hearing about this woman who served the Lord leading children to Jesus. This is Elva's heroine. And no, this Aunt Annie did not sell pretzels.

We were in pursuit of an illusive covered bridge. We will have to find it another time, it moved.  We were winding our way around the country side and Elva decided we would drive down this particular lane. Needless to say, trespassing with her, warning signs and all, was plain fun. It is an orchard, she knows the owners, they are her relatives, the fines should not be that high. I guess.

We stopped at a double wide trailer. "Roll down the window and ask were Ray and Minerva are," she directs me.  The young man with his little toddler responds, no, they live just down the road and to your right.  She yells past me, "Are you, there son?" He responds no, he is their grandson. Elva and I look at each other and smirk. Time just doesn't stop.

She directs me to a home on a corner. "Pull in," she commands.  "I am going to run in and see if they are home." She has lost twenty years on this trip. I look at her with a wide smile and ask, "Run in, aye? I gotta see this."  She laughs her hearty Elva laugh, the woman's sense of humor is keen even if she can not find that covered bridge. I watch her go to the door and hope she finds someone home. Soon enough I find myself inside. There is nothing better than to be in a peaceful Mennonite home on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Elsie Kauffman gives Elva a hard time for coming in without a cane. She backs off when she realized Elva is only eighty-two, numbers are getting wonky here. We visit, we laugh and she is ready to go, in all of twenty minutes. She will never wear out her welcome. She is not a gossiper and when she has mined the facts she is out the door. She is an honest woman and sometimes does not mince words but a gossiper she is not. They give us directions to Ray and Minerva's home and as we walk out the door they tell us to come back.

Ray and Minerva welcome us in also. This day was planned, I just knew it. Coincidence does not exist. Ray is Elva's cousin and he tells me of how close he was to her brother, Art. I never had the privilege of meeting Art, a wonderful man who loved Jesus till death. However, since Art's family speaks of him often I feel as if I know him. Elva's family reunions do well at keeping alive the memories of their loved ones gone before them. To be part of the Kauffmans has been joyful for me and today just drives the joy in deeper still.

I love to visit. I love connecting and today has satisfied me to the bone while satisfying a spry woman who defied her aches and pains and acted like this was per usual. This is just another Elva and Lynne story, we have a few and today we add to the list.  We ushered in Daylight Savings with a good Sunday drive and spring can now begin. "What do you think Elva, would you say so as well?"

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Day 61 Brother Love

March 6, 2015
Day 31

This man and soon-man are goons. They sit out in the studio writing lines, scenarios, and comedy routines. Then they come in and practice on me. And sometimes they have me howling and sometimes just chuckling.  The two of them this past year have learned a rhythm. The one doesn't taunt the other and between the two of them there is much conversation about substantial things.

Witnessing healthy interaction between siblings is joy.  I am thankful for these goons and know that the conversations of the heart will be discussed with their younger brother when he comes of age.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Day 60 Pushing Faith

March 6, 2015
Day 60

There are some days when you are pushing faith, pumping it into your mind, cramming it into those cynical spots, stuffing it down like the blanket you are trying to get back into the chest. You see the facts, you know "what is what" and you know that to get through the day you have to go beyond the sight, the facts. You have to live by faith. You need to shove the "buts"  out of the mindspace, kick those puppies out for good. It is plain work but you have to do it.

You know the sight, the facts, that need to be dealt with. However, faith is how we deal with them. You know it is not by might but by His Spirit. And you have to continually remind yourself of this today. We live in the physical but we must react in the spiritual. Faith in THE TRUTH is our energy source. Many times we think the energy source is our physical realities; our bodies, our assets, our degrees, or whatever comes to your mind when you think about what you rely on.

Today is a day for listing all the facts; the realities of who Jesus is, what Jesus did, and why Jesus did what He did. This fans the flame of my faith. Days like today are spent in the Word reading reality at its best. Some might call it "lazy" but I call it refueling. This is the fight, the race, the expecting eagerly as I wait!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day 59 Thank You Social Media for the Connections

March 5, 2015
Day 59
(post might remind you of Day 28 -if you are paying attention)

Social Media has ushered me into your front door and allowed me to watch you and your family do many things.  And no, I am not stalking you. The posting of your pictures and videos bless me as they turn the door knob to welcome me in. This is heaven on earth, I am one curious gal and this satisfies my need to know. Some might call me nosey, but, whatevs!

Pre-children, I loved visiting. Post-children, the visiting squealed to a halt. The humiliation that follows you into a home with children in tow was more than I could handle. And I'm pretty chill, but not that chill. So, my visiting happened in my home. However, you can only have so many people over at a time.  Now, to visit on the internet is living in a college dorm with everyone on the same hall.

Thank you for posting pictures of your family, events, projects, and your vacations.  I especially love the videos. They have made me smile and warmed my heart. I have enjoyed watching your family grow. I am as proud as you are of their amazing accomplishments. Maybe this is why Christmas cards are difficult to send anymore. We are keeping each other current.

There are so many events I would have never even heard about, not because you didn't want to tell me but because our time together is limited. I loved watching your child's engagement, so creative. I have loved seeing the weddings, the surprise visits caught on video, the silly happenings that might have been private but you allowed me in. Thank you. I am full and overflowing with wonderful people in my life living rich and fulfilling lives. Keep in mind I am not talking money.

Your grandchildren ARE adorable and I appreciate the way you interact with them.   I liked watching your children graduate, receive military awards, or just a kindergarten certificate.  Your house projects are fun to watch, your gardens are productive and your vacations have been a blast! I also am delighted to watch you explore new ways of expressing yourself. Thank you for posting your art work, your photography, your sculpting, your work of art in the kitchen (better than an ad to get me to food binge) and even that old car you are refurbishing.

Thank you for looking me up and reconnecting. I loved going back to your page after we talked and wandering through your life. I think we have probably accomplished more on facebook than we would have at the high school reunion I never attend.

I delight in all of this social media. It speaks of creativity, ingenuity, and most importantly connections. Technology will never supersede what we humans love to do best - connect! For in the end, with all the technology available, it is all about being together, being human. You did see my grandson, Theo, right?    I know, I know!  I think so too!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day 58 Kathryn

March 4, 2015
Day 58

Kathryn Marie Lynne is graceful, peaceful, purposeful, mindful, and full of life. From little on she has been watching, thinking, pondering, and charting her own path. Today, she blew into the studio ticked off at me. Unaware that tucked under my ear was the phone, she started talking to me. "You never answer your phone!"

Her father, in the studio as well, mentioned to her that I was on the phone. It is times such as these that bother her. Looking directly at me, caring less about the phone I am on she states, "Did you know I was even calling??? Probably not!" She was about out the door when she saw my finger pointing for her to wait. "Oh! You want me to wait?!" She was not having it.  Yes, I nodded, really trying not to laugh. I love it when she gets indignant because behind that face is a laugh ready to burst and I know how to get it out. Most times. It never worked with her older sister, but Kathryn, my record is pretty decent.

It took five minutes and I was off the phone and Kathryn and I moved into conversation easily, it has always been that way with her. Let bygones be bygones. She doesn't even know how to hold a grudge. A chip on her shoulder would just fall off.

When she wants to talk she will stick around and when she doesn't, well she just does not show up. She's easy. We began talking at 12:45 pm. She was processing and Lynn came out to the studio with a bowl of chili. Kathryn wanted some and asked if I did as well. She serves others, always has. She went in fetched two hot bowls of chili and came back out and continued the conversation with Lynn and I.

We moved our conversation to the tables so that Lynn could use the whiteboard showing business projections. None of us had planned for a meeting but that is exactly what happened, a Twin Valley Coffee meeting. It was rigorous, they always are and productive. Kathryn is a significant player in the company and she has gracefully moved into a daughter/business partner relationship with her father. She is not afraid to challenge him, call him out, and her father loves this about her!

There we were, Kathryn, her father and I sitting around the table. "Kathryn, you had things you needed to do today but all you really wanted was to be with your father and I." She nodded. When all was said and done it was 4 pm. Time flew with this daughter of ours. She is pleasure, she is joy, she is peace and she is powerful. What a gift this feisty woman is to her father and I. Butter on bread....

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day 57 Loving Others

March 3, 2015
Day 57

Loving others often times means overlooking many, many things. The phrase mercy triumphs over judgment has become more meaningful over these past couple of months than it ever has before. Jesus loves and loves past a multitude of sins. We often find His grace to be so offensive. "How can they be forgiven of that?!" we ask in horror.  How can it be that we who have been offered the gift of salvation forget the magnitude of our debt and find it difficult to offer mercy to those who owe us?  Let alone forget the depth to which the debt was paid. As law riders we forget that we are called to be mercy riders.

To be in the presence of believers who know rejection and continue to love those who are rejecting is to be in His presence. There is no law against love.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Day 56 Daughter and Colleague

March 2, 2015
Day 56

Never did I see this coming - the privilege of working with my oldest daughter. When she called two years back and said, in essence, "Mom, I'm ready," I wasn't sure for what. For years I had been trying to rally specific folks to do what she was proposing but I never thought it would be with her. That day on the phone began our new relationship, we became colleagues. We needed a new one anyway. Tonight, as she and I worked tandem giving another Wider School presentation, I thanked God for the millionth time for the opportunity of working with her.

Robyn at age four asked me a series of questions for which she did not like the answers.  The first question was, "Did your mom talk about homeschooling?" The second question was, "Did your mom ever want to homeschool you?" The third question came on the heels of my negatory responses, "Then why do you want to homeschool me?" My answer to that question was, "I don't." Almost the next day she was signed up for the  kindergarten class at the local private school. Everybody who had loaded on board the homeschooling ship curiously watched me get off the ship. Trust me, they would have walked down the plank as well with this four year old lawyer in tow.

However, the next year I did bring her home and, along with Carol Hoke, part-time homeschooled. It was not real pleasant. She would sit and stare me down with eyes that communicated disbelief in that I had anything worthwhile to share. Fast forward to today, she brags about me. Who knew?

We meet, we decide,we execute, Robyn/Lynne style. We get things done! We both are direct, we get to the bottom line and, though we are emotional, nothing gets in the way of progress. I love working with her. Our angst has now turned into joy.

Tonight, together, we spoke with two families considering joining The Wider Family. We love what we do and want to grow this school. To have my daughter working side by side is more than I can handle. Though the sides of our desks are as different as night is day, we do not let that hinder our working relationship.  At least I don't, but then again, my side is the messy one!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Day 55 Words

March 1, 2015
Day 55

Words. Words, Words, Words!  I spew forth words in strings of complicated messes. I put words together like I am speaking Latin. In Latin the order of words is not what lends meaning but rather their endings. But hey, in English the order IS important. Over the years because of my overuse and ill placement of words too many have left my presence with the opposite meaning of what I meant to say.

"Lynn, did I say too much?" I will sometimes ask my husband as I did today.

Today he responded as if I asked him to be completely honest, "Yes, you wear people out with too many words." Thanks buddy! Note to self - "Don't ask if you don't want to know!" But I do...

My goal in life is to hone my words in writing and in speaking. This goal is not to impress but rather to effectively communicate. Time is running out and there is a need for all of us who are kingdom seekers and expanders to be clear communicators.

To listen to someone clearly communicating an idea, a concept, a mission, a scientific discovery, an insight is mesmerizing to me and gripping. Ted Talks do it well.  I seek to do it well. I must continue to remind myself that it is where you end up that matters and not where you start.

This blog is helpful in honing my words for the written page. I need to do more processing in my brain space before the words exit. I need to be comfortable with the bare minimum. The lack of leaves is beautiful in the winter. I must remember that bareness communicates.