Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day 145 I Can't Imagine

May 31, 2015
Day 145

Saturday, Twin Valley Coffee was at A Taste of Weavers where all the vendors gave out samples. Life exudes from this place.The place was packed. What a blast serving samples and hanging out with Weaver employees.

Ed thanked us for being there. I thanked him for running Weaver's Orchard. As soon as I thanked him I had this horrible thought. What if Ed Weaver would decide to close Weaver's Orchard?  What if? Seriously, if I cannot go into B'B's without a pitiful and sad nostalgia due to the loss of Martins, can you imagine how desperate it would be for me to drive by a deserted Weaver's Orchard on Weaver Road? Traumatic! This place has offered me and our family such life that I cannot even let that apocalyptic thought sink in. ( so I'm dramatic-shoot me)

Wait, you have not been there? What?!! Get in your car and take a ride down Route 10, turn on Weaver Road and you will be transported. In a picturesque field you can pick whatever fruit is in season. You have the chance of talking with the owner. You can let your children play, see farm animals, and get an ice cream cone to boot. You can purchase unique products from local vendors or from unique vendors out of state. We love the working bee hive they have on display.

This was our first Twin Valley Coffee wholesale market. They gave us a chance and put us on the map. Some complain of Weaver's prices. I don't. I know too much. I know what it is to run a small business. Besides which, have you seen how many folks Weaver's Orchard employes? You never hear anyone complain of the setting, the customer service, the wonderful opportunity to pick your own fruit? This comes at a cost.

Weaver's Orchard is not only full of good produce and quality plants it is stock full of amazing employees. They are wonderful, kind, and helpful. You know this is a trickle down effect. The ones at the top make this a priority. Dwayne Musser would be one of those at the top that make working at the orchard a good experience. Dwayne is Ed's better business half. Dwayne, no relation to Ed, though they look like brothers, has offered so much to this place, more than many of us will ever know.
One day I shamefully admitted to Dwayne that I purchased apples elsewhere due to the price. Woah, Baby. The knife came swinging out of Dwayne's back pocket. Had I angered the gentle man? Nope, he just wanted to cut up apples for me to taste. From that day forward my buying habits changed. A, second hand, bushel of apples is a weekly staple at our home. We begin with honey crisp in the fall and right about now we are eating Fuji.  Sorry, B'B's, but this snack doesn't kill more birds with one stone it gives more life than one bag of cheap potato chips!

But thankfully, Weaver's is no where near closing, are you kidding?! They produce their own collective energy! They keep thinking, creating, and producing! For instance they just opened up a cafe which is run by Ed's youngest, Kimberly. You probably should stop by. Weaver's Orchard stays open based on customers. Go be one of them.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 144 Too Sleepy

 May 30, 2015
Day 144

Again, tonight my head is bobbing only to walk up with the computer screen calling. If we were to be face to face right about now, you would get nothing out of me except grunts and groans. Goodnight and tomorrow is another day.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Day 143 Lynn and Geoffrey

May 29
Day 143

Lynn's reflections did not make it to the Blog on Thursday evening. The dude is one busy man and all of Wednesday and Thursday he was carrying out the multitude of requests volleyed his way. Our games always begin  Love - Love. By the time he is finished with my volleys the score reflects his win. Lynn simply never stops. However, he did stop to write his response to my prompt: When I think of Geoffrey, in time to make the display for Thursday evening

The similarities between Lynn and Geoff are many. Geoff is Lynn and Lynn is Geoff. It has always been uncanny.  Between the two of them, there is nothing they can not create!

Lynn's Ode to Geoff:

"To know Geoffrey is to love him. He is free spirited and has an easy going sense about him, yet is very determined and aggressively pursues the things that interest him. When he has an idea of something he would like to do or try, he will research it relentlessly until he has a thorough understanding. And he is usually very good at whatever he puts his mind to.

Throughout any given day, it is not unusual to hear a variety of accents coming from Geoffrey, perhaps Russian, Irish, or British. And the spontaneous standup comedy routines late at night. Or how he has been schooling us ever since a very young age on dance moves. So much laughter! he loves the performing arts and acting. And is always eager to sit and watch a movie or documentary.  Nor is it unusual to find him advancing through many levels of a newly released video gam.

Geoffrey is a gentle giant. Solid and strong but with a tender core that houses a level of sensitivity that you might not expect at first glance. This leads him to have the strength be brutally honest in conversations and confront wrongs or misunderstanding head on.

And I'm not sure you could find a more loyal friend. He loves his family and friends deeply and it shows. It is an honor to know him.

Now if we could just find a way to wake him up in the morning...!!!!"

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day 142 Incoherent

May 28, 2015
Day 142

I am one sleepy gal. I can hardly stay awake to write this post. So I am off to bed. l am falling asleep between words. Tonight was surreal on many levels but I can not stay awake to write. So goodnight.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day 141 Some Thoughts For Geoff

May 27, 2015
Day 141

 The prompt: When I think of Geoff

Some of the Responses - 

Me, His Momma:
I think of a little boy hoping out of the car before I could catch him only to realize he was always heading for the person in charge. I think of a little boy, all of six years old leaving me in Good’s store only to find out he was doing a price check. I think of a little guy who loved snuggling. And he still does, my wittle bubber!  I think of his name meaning “heavenly peace” and him living up to that name. I think of a little boy always escaping out of his preschool class at the Learning Group. I think of a little boy with his little friends, Sam and Robert. I think of the six year old asking his momma to an action packed film and that being the beginning of our movie relationship. I think of the movies he has chosen and loving everyone (except the one the other night). I think of French Creek and the walks we would take. I think of the deep thoughts you have always had. I think of your intense honesty and you telling me more than most kids your age would tell their mother. I think of the junior high trip you begged me to chaperone and then you wanting to be with me despite how uncool it might look. I think of the trips we will take and hopefully to Europe, I have dreamed about these trips. I think about your kindness in the face of rejection and your ability to work through that. I think of the very stupid mistakes you have made and am grateful God has navigated you through them. I think of the massive fall you took and we ended up in the trauma unit. And God was oh so merciful to you. I think of how cautious you are. I think of how killing an animal just doesn’t seem right. I think of the restraint you offer in the face of your older brother begging for a fight. I think of the woman you will someday marry and the family you will raise and I am so grateful that this woman will be getting such a fine man! You have been saved for the best! I think of people you have reached out to when others turn their backs on them. I think of your relationship to God and am grateful that you know and hear Jesus and have wrestled with your faith being your faith. You are so funny, so insightful, so loving and so kind. I love you!   High alert Geoffrey...

I think of a mystery. He is lovable, we know that. He is motivated by his inspirations, those close to him know that. He confides only in those who care, only a certain few know that. But he was a boy who’s grown into a man that from day one has continuously shocked us.
He’s a mystery that unfolds as days go by and what new directions he grows and learns in he takes deep thought about and uses it to better his character.

He loves Jesus - evident and inspiring. He loves me - lucky sister.
I’ll tip my hat to this guy any day! Love you bro.

I think of love for a family. I never knew someone could feel so strongly at such a young age. I remember watching him express his love for us and I remember thinking how incredible it was. Weirdly strong, he was hulk hogan from the get go, there were no limitations for him. Dancer, he loved to dance as a child and would put on shows for us regularly as he made up dances on the spot that were surprisingly expressive. Always himself and unashamed about it. Geoffrey has no barrier when it comes to the people he is willing to talk to. He believes in what he does and he pursues his goals with fierce ambition.

He is a dreamer, a thinker and an idea man, he is not intimidated by people. He is gentle and kind, he doesn't like to hurt people even though he could
Break anyone in half. I know because he restrains me from fighting with him at which point I realize I am powerless. He is a wise man and deals with issues that most people would normally decide are better left alone. There is no one that can make me laugh as hard as he can. I think of our late night impromptu sessions, I can hardly make it through them because he is too funny for me. He desires truth and does not settle for less. He is the first brother I had and I look up to him in ways he cannot understand, I feel like the younger brother sometimes. He is most importantly a follower of Jesus and he wrestles with what that really means, and lovingly shares his process with us so we can learn together.

I think….so cute!
I think….my baby.
Geoffrey is broad and strong and tough and  handsome, but when I think of him I think precious and kind and silly and thoughtful.

He is an amazing brother and even more amazing man and friend. As his sister I have been grateful for his existence, very literally, since before he was born.

I’m so proud of his accomplishments and can’t wait to see what is next for him (as long as it doesn’t take him too far away from me).

Kathryn (Katie Burkholder Schwartz):
When I think about Geoff, I am immediately reminded of how much life we
have to offer one another. I think of the countless moments of hysterical
laughter that are brought about by Geoffrey's astounding ability to
sacrifice the promotion of self. Yet, he is never one to depreciate
himself. He is confident in who Christ has created him to be and lives out
this calling to the fullest; all the while recognizing how much growth has
yet to occur. The depth of humility that Geoff has is rare to find in young
men of his age. He has the capability to go from being doubled over in
laughter to speaking biblical wisdom and truth in nanoseconds.
All of this is driven by irresistible charm. When I think of Geoff, I think
of his uncanny ability to have everyone wrapped around his finger...the
best part about this, is that everyone is ok with it.

It is practically impossible to be mad and stay mad at Geoff.
His heart is big and oh so good. All it takes is a smirk and a wink from him
and all wrongs are forgotten. That is, until he walks out of the room and you suddenly realize
that he hoodwinked you with his charm. Even in those moments, laughter
quickly ensues because you cannot help but love him. To be Geoff's friend
(or in my experience, to have the honor of being considered a sister) is
the richest title to carry. You will never doubt his wealth of love for the
people around him. If you haven't had the opportunity to truly know Geoff,
please do so with gusto. He is one in a million.

Nicky Sue:
I think of late night movies and impromptu parties.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day 140 Unmerited, Totally

May 26, 2015
Day 140

To be at ease.
To relax.
To enjoy.
To rest.

How? When things are not coming together.
How? When people are not happy with you.
How? When you have so much more left to do.
How? When there are circumstances beyond your control.
How? When you need a bit more time, resources or maybe even encouragement.
How? When the decisions are not simply black and white.

It is only Christianity, the relationship with the sacrificial Creator, that beckons us to rest, relax, enjoy, and be at ease.

Religions ask us to do, to do "in order that." There is no "in order that" in Christianity.
We like "in order that." Why? Because it involves me. Religion is "in order that" I can do this, I can be that, I can think this. Let me do this "in order that" I can, I can, I can.

The relationship with Jesus is a "result of" what He did. There is nothing that refers to me or you. This is the rub. This is the turn off. I want me, me, me, me, me. But, but, but, I - I call out.

Rest without working for it? You have to be kidding. This is called freeloading, loafing, maybe even taking advantage.

To be at ease because of someone else seems, well, lazy.
To relax because of someone else seems, well, irresponsible.
To enjoy because of someone else seems, well, presumptuous.
To rest because of someone else seems, well, not right, ok?!

This is the gospel.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Day 139 Memorial Day - Remembering the Fallen: Part I

May 25
Day 139

Today, Memorial Day, I was scrambling for a way to honor the fallen. I wanted to know those in PA who have lost their lives in the Operation Iraqi Freedom. Google led me to . Here you will find the fatalities listed by state. Pennsylvania has many.

As I looked at the impersonal chart I decided to list the names and in the meantime do what I could to make it more personal. As I retyped names it helped me to rest on the person, see when they died, where they died, how old they were, what their branch of military was and what particular division they were part of. It made me stop and wonder if they had a wife or husband, did they have children, what were there family members doing when news reached them of their death.  I wondered about their thoughts when they realized death was at their door. Who of their comrades witnessed their death and still have nightmares? These thoughts and questions came too fast to collect.

This simple act of rewriting their names (hoping it was correct!) brought me to their door, allowed me to feel their living and dying breaths. Each individual has their story and this simple act of rewriting their names has made me want to know them all of their stories.

~Captain Wesley J. Hinkley, with the U.S. Army, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, age 36, died April 4, 2011, non-hostile in Baghdad-he was from Carlisle, PA.

~Specialist Ross E. III Vogel, with the U.S. Army, 67th Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, age 27, died on September 29, 2009, non-hostile in Kut-he was from Red Lion, PA

~Lance Corporal Robert D. Ulmer, with the U.S. Marines, 1st BN, 8th Marine Reg, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, age 22, died on June 5, 2009, non-hostile in Al Anbar Province-he was from Landisville, PA

~Specialist Chad A. Edmundson, with the U.S. Army, 2nd BN, 112th Infantry, 56th Stryker Brigade, age 20, died on May 27 2009, hostile fire IED attack in the eastern part of Baghdadwit- he was from Williamsburg, PA.

~Staff Sergeant Mark C. Baum, with the U.S. Army National Guard, 1st BN, 111th Infantry Reg, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, age 32, died on February, 21, 2009, Hostile small arms fire in Mushada and died in Baghdad-he was from Telford, PA.

~Private 1st Class Christopher W. Lotter, with U.S. Army, 3rd BN, 7th Field Artillery Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, age 20, died on December 31, 2008, hostile small arms fire in Tikrit and died in Balad- he was from Chester Heights, PA

~Staff Sergeant Brian P. Hause, with U.S. Army, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, age 29, died on October 23, 2008, non-hostile medical in Balad Air Base- he was from Stoystown, PA

~Lieutenant Colonel Ralph J. Marino, with U.S. Army, U.S. Army Central Command, age 46, died on September 14, 2008, non-hostile illness in Camp Beuhring- he was from Houston, PA 

~Lance Corporal Travis M. Stottlemver, with U.S. Marine, 3rd Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company, Marine Corps Security Forces, age 20, died on August 17, 2008, non-hostile in Manama-he was from Hatfield, PA

~Aviation Boatswain Mate 3rd Class Daniel R. Verbeke, with U.S. Navy, age 25, died on July 14, 2008, non-hostile accident on flight deck in Paoli, Pa- he was from Exton,

~Private 1st Class James M. Yohn, with U.S. Army, 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, age 25, died on June 25, 2008, hostile fire IED attack in Mosul-he was from Highspire, PA

~Private 1st Class Joshua E. Waltenbaugh, with U.S.Army, 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, age 19, died June 3, 2008, non-hostile in Taji- he was from Ford City, PA

~Specialist Jason C. Kazarick, with U.S. Army, 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, age 30, died on April 7, 2008, hostile fire RPG attack- he was from Oakmont, PA 

~Sergeant 1st Class Shawn M. Suzch, with U.S. Army, 1st BN, 64th Armor Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, age 32, died on March 10, 2008, hostile fire suicide bomber- he was from Hilltown, PA 

~Captain Nathan R. Raudenbush, with U.S. Army, 3rd BN, 7th Infantry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, age 25, died on February 2, 2008, hostile fire IED attack in Busayefi- he was from Royersford, PA 

~Specialist Luke S. Runyan, with U.S. Army, 2nd BN 23rd Infantry Reg, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, age 21, died on February 17, 2008, hostile small arms fire in Diyala Province-he was from Spring Grove, PA

~Sergeant Timothy R. Van Orman, with U.S. Army, 2nd BN, 22nd Infantry Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, (Light Infantry) 10th Mountain Division, age 24, died on February 5, 2008, hostile fire IED attack in Mugdadivah died in Balad-he was from Port Matilda, PA

~Chief Petty Officer Michael E. Koch, with U.S. Navy, Navy Seal, age 29, died on February 4, 2008, hostile fire small arms-it is not reported yet where- he was from State College, PA

~Staff Sergeant Ryan D. Maseth, with U.S. Army, Ist Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), age 24, died on January 2, 2008, non-hostile negligent homicide electrocution in Baghdad- he was from Pittsburgh, PA

~Staff Sergeant David A. Wieger, with U.S. Air Force, Air Force Office of Special Investigations - Detachment 303, age 28, died on October 1, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in Balad near Balad Air Base- he was from North Huntingdon, PA

~Private 1st Class Adam J. Chitjian,  with U.S. Army, 3rd BN, 8th Cavalry Reg, 34d Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavlary Division, age 39, died on October 24, 2007, hostile small arms fire in Balad-he was from Philadelphia, PA

~Sergeant 1st Class David A. Cooper Jr., with U.S. Army, 2nd BN, 23rd Infantry Reg, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, age 36, died on September 5, 2007, non-hostile weapon discharge in Baghdad-he was from State College, PA

~Captain Erick M. Foster, with U.S. Army, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, age 29, died on July 29, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in Mugdadivah and died in Balad-he was from Wexford, PA

~Sergeant 1st Class Michael J. Tully, with U.S. Army, 2nd BN, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), age 33, died on August 23, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in Baghdad-he was from Falls Creek, PA

~Specialist Michael A. Hook, with U.S. Army,  2nd BN, 35th Infantry Reg, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, age 25, died on August 22, 2007, non-hostile helicopter crash in Multaka-he was from Altoona, PA

~Specialist Camy Florexil, with U.S. Army, 1st BN, 28th Infantry Reg, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, age 20, died on July 24, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in Baghdad-from Philadelphia, PA

~Specialist Zachary Clouser, with U.S. Army, 1st BN, 26th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, age 19, died on July 18, 2007, hostile fire IED and small arms fire in Adhamiyah-he was from Dover, PA

~Sergeant 1st Class Raymond R. Buchan, U.S. Army, 1st BN, 18th Infantry Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, age 33, died on July 1, 2007, hostile fire small arms in Ta'meem- he was from Johnston, PA

~Private 1st Class Larry, Parks Jr., with U.S. Army, 1st BN, 30th Infantry Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, age 24, died on June 18, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in Al Jabor-he was from Altoona, PA

~Private 1st Class Robert H. Dembowski, with U.S. Army, 1st Bn, 504th Parachute Infantry Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, age 20, died on May 24th, 2007, hostile fire small arms in the western part of Baghdad- he was from Ivyland, PA

~Sergeant Allen J. Dunckley, with U.S. Army, 1st BN, 15th Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, age 25, died on May 14, 2007, hostile fire IED and small arms fire in Salman Pak-he was from Yardley, PA

~1st Lieutenant Colby J. Umbrell, with U.S. Army, 1st BN, 501st Parachute Infantry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, age 26, died on May 3, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in Musayyib- he was from Doylestown, PA

~1st Lieutenant Travis L. Manion, with U.S. Marine, 1st Reconnaissance BN, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, age 26, died on April 29, 2007, hostile fire in Fallujah- he was from Doylestown, PA

~Specialist Jeremy E. Maresh, with U.S. National Guard, C Battery, 1st Battalion, 213th Air Defense Artillery, age 24, died on April 24, 2007, non hostile suicide in Baghdad- he was from Penn Forest Township

~Staff Sergean Steven R. Tudor, with U.S. Army, 210th Brigade Support BN, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, age 36, died on April 21, 2007, hostile fire indirect fire in the eastern part of Baghdad- he was from Dunmore, PA

~Private 1st Class Aaron M. Genevie, with U.S. Army,  1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Reg, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, age 22, died on April 16, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in the southern part of Baghdad-he was from Chambersburg, PA

~Specialist Jason A. Shaffer, with U.S. Army, 1st BN, 12th Calvary Reg, 3rd Brigade, 1st Calvary Division, age 28, died on April 5, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in Ba'qubah- he was from Derry, PA

~Sergeant Curtis J. Forshey, with U.S. Army, 129th Combat Sustainment Support BN, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne, age 22, died on March 27, 2007, non hostile illness in Homburg- he was from Hollisdaysburg, PA

~Master Sergeant Sean Michael Thomas, with U.S. Army National Guard, 28th Division Support Command, age 33, died on March 27, 2007, hostile fire rocket attack in the Green Zone in Baghdad-he was from Harrisburg, Pa

~Private 1st Class Orlando E. Ganzalez, with U.S. Army,  5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Reg, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, age 21, died on March 25, 2007, hostile small fire and IED in Ba'qubah- he was from New Freedom, PA

~Lance Corporal Dennis J. Veater, with U.S. Marine Reserve, Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, Marine Wing Support Group 47, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, age 20, died on March 9, 2007, hostile fire in Al Anbar Province and died in Balad- he was from Jessup, PA

~Sergeant Ashly L. Moyer, with U.S. Army, 630th Military Police Company, age 21, died on March 3, 2007, hostile fire IED attack in Baghdad- she was from Emmaus, PA

~Private Wesley J. Williams, U.S. Army, 163rd Military Intelligence BN, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, age 23, died on March 2, 2007, non hostile injury in Baghdad- he was from Philadelphia, PA

This concludes part I. Part II will come. When? When it comes. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Day 138 Sweet Woman

May 24, 2015
Day 138

It is lonely. Everyday she wakes up to the reality. He is not here. But, he was suppose to be.
Words were spoken of his healing. Her faith rested on the words. The healing did not happen. Everyday this lonely fact is confirmed.  Everyday she wrestles with his death wondering why not a healing.

The bed is empty. Once it was full. She had years of him and now she will have years without him. Loneliness has arrived. There are conversations with others from which she has to walk away. They say things that cut to her heart. They had not thought.

Alone, she travels on familiar roads remembering their conversations, dreams, and tears. Certain landmarks remind her of exactly what was said.  The road becomes blurry, the tears come without warning. She never knows when his memories will overwhelm her.  

She misses him desperately. The years were filled with the good, the bad, and the ugly and she would do anything to have them all back.  He left a whole man devoted to Jesus but he left his children. His shoes will never be filled. He left his grandchildren, they will never know his grandfatherly ways.

No, Life will never be the same. She knows God is good but this truly stinks. She loves Jesus, she rests on Him, she seeks Him. But she wants to rest in the human arms of her man, just once more. D'Lury would give anything for this.  

However, the spiritual intimacy she has experienced with her Lord no one can wrestle this from her soul. God has blessed her and now she limps. Jacob understands.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day 137 You and I

May 23, 2015
Day 137

On most Tuesday nights I can be found on our property in a studio with a collection of women. Some of us come every week, some of us come when we can. There is one thing we all have in common, ok two things: We love Jesus, and we are studying the Book of John together.

This week my heart caught what my head had contained for a little under four decades. It has to do with an uncomfortable practice: Foot Washing. EEWWW. Foot washing is not something I am going to ask to do. "Pastor, it has been a while, please, can we?"

A good foot washing, well, do they exist? I do not like them. It sits in the category of "Uncomfortable Social Requests Within the Church Walls." It is akin to the pastor asking us to turn to the person next to us and after giving them a big hug, look them directly in the eye, and tell them how much we truly and really deeply care for them with the love of Jesus. Oh, boy. Awkward.

I have a feeling I am in good company. I can not tell you when the last time is that I was involved in a foot washing. I run in the right crowd, or do I?

I digress. The reason I need to study the Word of God with other women or people in general is because I need to be corrected, herded, and gently led to correct interpretations. I can not tell you how many times I have been way off. Though, if you and I are friends, I am sure you can imagine. This past Tuesday night was embarrassing as a dear friend kinda had to repeat a number of times what was truly going on in John 13, surprisingly enough, one of my favorite chapters. But, Tuesday is when it exploded into crystal clear focus.

Foot washing has nothing to do with salvation. These disciples were clean. It has everything to do with posturing, perspective, and living out a true picture of what is and what's not.

When I wash your feet I am affirming my position, my posture, my relationship with you. I am no better than you. I might have something to say to you, it might be profound, and you might want to take notes. But you and I are the same and furthermore I am only the messenger, not the message. The servant is not greater than his master. And the master washes feet.

When I am washing your feet I am saying directly to you, "I am your servant. I lead you by serving you. You and I are on the same playing field. I am no better than you. My desire to show you Jesus is to first let you see that I am nothing special, I am a foot washer of an infantry of foot washers. "

Jesus gave this example to his disciples the night before He was killed. He meant this. They would look back on this and sip deeply the meaning. Though He was God, He washed every disciples' feet. He, the Creator of every foot, washed them. Amazingly so, He washed the "bad guy's" feet as well. Foot washing is affirming a humble truth, I am no better than anyone, not even the bad guy.

This takes on a new level of meaning. This is a practice that allows for me to witness humility in all its truth. When I am bent over your feet I am telling my heart, "don't rise up in an attitude of superiority, stay down - Lynne Beth Treichler Burkholder. STAY DOWN."
Serve and serve the feet first. We serve well the brain, feeding it with knowledge, but if we don't wash the feet, we know diddley squat about serving.

This understanding led to sadness. Why am I not involved in more foot washings?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Day 136 Jesse and I

May 22, 2015
Day 136

Jesse and I went to Scott's Run on Wednesday morning.

We enjoyed.

The dragonfly's wings looked brand new. I was thankful my phone focused.

 The time with Jesse was filled with delight.

This fun picture was at the expense of a hurt knee. "I always get hurt when you tell me to do something." Good to know. I'll quit asking.

There is nothing better than an eleven year old little boy who still enjoys close proximity to his mother. If he reads this, I'm hosed.

My android phone never ceases to amaze me. This dandelion's array of seeds pulls my mind beyond a finite mentality. One makes much more.

I see two women in a heated discussion. One with her arms behind her in utter frustration and the other using her arms to explain.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 135 Scott Bentley - VideoRay

May 21, 2015
Day 135

Monday, the Wider School visited VideoRay, a Robotic company in Pottstown. This company "is the largest volume producer of Underwater ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) in the world. Established in 1999, VideoRay has worked with technology and mission partners throughout the world to develop and prove the small ROV tool for a wide range of applications." We had been studying the field of Robotics and to have this successful Robotic company in our backyard, well, it only made sense for us to visit.

As I rallied the students in the parking lot to give them a pep talk, it looked like VideoRay's mechanic was walking down the handicapped ramp. "I'll be right with you. I just have to plug in my car." We became uncertain of our perceptions as we watched him hook up his Tesla car to the outdoor electric plug.

What did we know?! This was Scott Bentley, the owner of VideoRay. He was too rich to care what he looked like, but full of purpose, direction and intentionality. When I had originally called to inquire about a field trip, Diane, the woman whom I spoke with at VideoRay, did not tell me the owner would be organizing the field trip. Had I known I might have freaked a bit.

This field trip will go down in my history as being fully charged. Not only did Mr. Bentley allow every single student an opportunity to test drive the aquatic robot, he arranged for every head of department to come speak about their position and lend advice. He sat on the sidelines and guided his employees making sure these students would walk away with solid guiding principles.

Latter on in the evening I could not stop shaking my head, repeating over and over again to my husband, "Those students had no idea what they just experienced."

Oh, but I did. Nothing was lost on me, absolutely nothing. I left wondering what makes Scott Bentley so interested in pulling together a field trip for a bunch of homeschoolers. The students walked away from VidoeRay not only with keen insights but with a directive to do what you are good at no matter what. They saw for themselves proof in the pudding!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 134 Prayer Equals Power

May 20, 2015
Day 134

We are terrible Saviors. So, it is a good thing, we were never asked to be one. However, we are called to pray. And prayer calls us into His presence where we can affirm how wonderful He is. Prayer is where we reminisce with Him about all the stories in His book that allow us to see His mighty hand always bringing victory. Prayer calls us to recall these mighty stories.  Prayer is where we fan the flame of faith. Prayer is where we say, "God we know you can do all things. God we know you are mighty. God we know you brought water on the land to judge the land. God we know you make the sun to shine on the godly and ungodly."  Prayer is where we cheer God on to be all that He says He is. Prayer is where our faith is fostered, asked for, etc.

As we pray, we never have to be nervous about a situation. As we pray, we never have to spend time figuring out a solution. As we pray, we do not and should not spend any time fretting.  Prayer is where we build up our faith in the Only One who can do mighty things. Prayer is where we work out our frustrations trusting that He can handle our honesty. Prayer is a safe place yet the most powerful place.

The most amazing aspect of prayer is that it can be used to affect those in crisis all over the world. Though we are terrible Saviors, not so good soldiers, we can be mighty prayer warriors. And this will make all the difference in the world.

I will pray that God, who I know is able, will do all for you that needs to be done. I will believe in Him and in His power.  Amen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day 133 Open Meadow of Grace

May 19, 2015
Day 133

Grace is a meadow that goes on and on and on and on and on.  A meadow that allows room for many, many, many people. It is unmerited and there are no boundaries. Acceptance, because of no boundaries, is wonderful for us. Acceptance, because of no boundaries, is questionable when it is offered to others.

The meadow of grace speaks of space, wide open space. We don't do well at offering space. Funny thing is, we don't make the rules for this meadow.

Grace is a meadow of free open range
and safety in the meadow
has everything to do with the owner.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 132 Serious Dude

May 18, 2015
Day 132

In our home, over a century old, we are electrically challenged. And on account of this challenge, I have been told countless times to remember one thing, "Do not turn on the tea or the microwave when we are roasting coffee!" It flips a breaker.  When this happens, Chris or Lynn run down the treacherous basement stairs and quickly flip the switch.  Though things are marked, the lighting in the cellar is minimal to non existent and so sometimes it is a challenge. The basement is over one hundred years old, let's face it,  there has to be something lurking.

It frustrates me to constantly be reminded of the same thing, over and over. It is so patronizing. I am not a child. Unfortunately, I kinda don't have the best track record. My lack of remembering just rankles Lynn. I think he needs to loosen up. I wake up so happy.  His ability to laugh it off is, well, nonexistent.

Tonight I went into hysterics. I just could not help myself.  I asked Lynn to put on some tea.  He is a dutiful guy and so He does. Then he forgets everything. He struts out to do some nightly roasting completely forgetting about his stern instructions he offers me regarding tea.

The next thing I know you hear the breaker go. I look out to the kitchen and the lights are off in the kitchen as they are in the garage. I can hear him rummaging and just like that the door flies open! This is where I begin to giggle and  I can predict his face before I see it. He walks in the door, a man on a mission with all the sternness of a navy shipman on a battleship in the middle of a war. It seems as if life is about to end.

No! I am not going to say a thing. But I can not keep myself from laughing, HARD! He has to navigate his way into the basement with whoever it is that lurks and stumble to find the switch. It now goes to hysterics as it takes him a little bit of time (we're talking seconds folks).

He didn't even laugh as he went back out to roasting.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day 131 Sunday Sundays

May 17, 2015
Day 131

This is a day to rest in knowing that:

I am not in charge.
I am not my deliverer.
I am not my provider.
I am not my sustainer.
I am not my Creator.
I am not my counselor.
I am not my comforter.
I am not my wisdom.
I am not my righteousness.
I am not my goodness.
I am not my peace.
I am not my understanding.
I am not my provision.
I am not all knowing.
I am not all seeing.


This is the day I rest in knowing:

He is my All in All.
He is my provider.
He is my comforter.
He is my peace.
He is my righteousness.
He is wonderful.
He is my counselor.
He is my teacher.
He is my sustainer.
He is Good.
He is my goodness.
He is my understanding.
He is my peace.
He is all knowing.
He is my provision.
He is my sustenance.
He is all seeing.
He is Wisdom.
He is pure.
He is in control.


Today is the day my heart has been preparing for all week. Today we affirm our need to keep one eye on eternity. Our needs our met in the I AM. So, the lawn mower will be still, the garden clippers will stay put, the need to do - will be quiet, and the mind will rest on eternal truths.

Yes, today I will rest.
Yes, today I will trust.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Day 130 Women

May 16, 2015
Day 130

At one thirty today, twenty-seven years ago, my life changed. Forever. A little bundle was born, Robyn Elizabeth Lynne. On her way out she aspirated meconium. The nurses knew something was different. They were monitoring her abnormal breathing unbeknownst to me.  Dr. Gross, the local pediatrician labored  to tell me that we were not able to take our new daughter home.

The nurses transferred me to a private room and for five days Robyn was in the NIC Unit. They had to determine what was the spot on Robyn's lung. So we stayed and waited.  It was our induction into parenthood - a walk on the faith side. A new daughter hooked up to tubes, this was not the way I envisioned the start to motherhood.

The day came when Lynn and I put the sweet little girl into an oversized car seat and drove her down Rt. 176 for the first of hundreds of drives she would take on this road. When we walked into our home and placed her car seat on the kitchen counter we looked at each other and wondered what we were to do next. That question has been answered.

She is a wonder woman. She is a wonderful wife. She is a loving mother. She is an excellent daughter. She is a faithful and consistent sister. And she loves Jesus! What more can her father and I ask for? !

Happy Birthday Robyn!

Day 129 Loving Life

May 16, 2015
Day 129

Life is packed, to the gills. When people say, "Wow! You are busy!" I reply, "I am, but I like everything on my list!"

Yesterday was no exception. In the morning I was off to Wider High School. After that I came home to work on my thoughts for the time of sharing/speaking at Hopewell Christian Fellowship. Unity and Diversity is the main focus of this Women's event called The Porch.  A while back as I was sharing with my friend Dale what I was going to speak about for this event, she helped me see I was off topic. What a mess I am.

In the afternoon, Dale came and we shared out in the backyard. We were both busy, trying to slash things off of our To Do list, but we took time to sit and connect anyway. She left and I then cleaned the Studio in preparation for a Deacon's meal that would be occurring in an hour and a half.  The deacons have been meeting once every two months to be together. It has been rich fellowship and tonight was no exception.

The meal came to a close and we were saying our goodbyes at ten thirty. Brandon Hertzler and I, however, were only finished discussing and praying a little before midnight. This was precious time. We spoke and prayed of life, love, his coming marriage, and Jesus. When I hopped into bed never once did I think about writing. I simply slept!

Life is packed. Now I am collecting my thoughts for today. And this is what I know, I will not be coming in cleverness of speech, I can't. I have not had time to be clever.

May the cross of Christ not be emptied of its power. (1Corth.1:17)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day 128 To Be

May 14, 2015
Day 128

Everyday I find there is a need to be. Not do, just be. I stop and I listen.
During these times I am redirected in my actions, thoughts, or attitudes. This time
is essential to my soul.

I connect. Sometimes I charge and sometimes I wind down while connecting. Regardless, I just allow myself to be and I am quiet.

I am no one's Savior and that is a good thing. I would surely disappoint.  I am a sojourner assisting and in as much need as those I assist. Those moments of simply being confirm my pilgrim status.

There are loose ends everyday for me. Simply being brings perspective. Though the loose ends remain, my focus changes. A myriad of dots surround me and lack order, but being allows me to remain calm. My eyes are directed toward my Maker. He is peace.

In the beginning God created the earth. He created everything that is in the earth out of n - o - t - h - i -  n - g. This very first verse in the very first book of the bible fills me with peace. It allows me to simply be.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day 127 Flexible Nicole

May 13, 2015
Day 127

So I was off to bed and then I remembered....I made a commitment to write. Every time I mention my need to write, my fifth child, Nicole Suzanne, suggests I write about her. She lacks not in self confidence and has no problem suggesting this.

She would like for me to share that today she accomplished a major feat. She touched her feet. My husband has passed on to some of our children a lack of flexibility, in more ways than one. I am flexible and he is not. He can not touch his toes and I can. My hands even go flat on the ground above my toes. I know, impressive! Nicky is suggesting that I am veering off onto a rabbit trail, she would like for me to hone it in. This is translated; Write only about me.

She is encouraging me to list off the things I like about her. So here I go. She is calm. She is not calm. She is sweet and sometimes not so. She is helpful, to her sister. She is an opportunist especially when work surfaces. She is hilarious and could care less what other people think. She is easy and she is sneaky.

I do adore this child. She is an excellent companion. I am thankful for her bright spot in my life, in our family, and in our community! I love when she talks about someday possibly
working for Twin Valley Coffee. It would be a great fit since she is obsessed about coffee!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day 126 To Hate One's Life

May 12, 2015
Day 126

Brenda Goss lets nothing get by. Bible Studying with this woman is awesome. Her questions have led us into some great discussions. Tonight it was all about John 12:25, and she led the discussion to further understand this verse.

What does Jesus mean? Seems a bit harsh to be told to hate your life. So, we looked at the context of the verse and went to one of my favorite trusty Commentaries, given to me years ago by Mary Emerick, the Believer's Bible Commentary.  This quote summed it up and kinda too real, where is the delete button? Ah, just kidding, not really.

You tell me what you think about the quote. Here it is:

"If we refuse to be corns of wheat - falling into the ground, and dying; if we will neither sacrifice prospects, nor risk character, and property, and health; nor, when we are called, relinquish home, and break family ties, for Christ's sake; then we shall abide alone. But if we wish to be fruitful, we must follow our Blessed Lord Himself, by becoming a corn of wheat, and dying, then we shall bring forth much fruit." 

T. G. Ragland  (If you want to know more of this missionary to India - Here is a link to a free E Book: Rev. T.G. Ragland  )

The commentary then summed it up quite nicely, "To hate one's life means to love Christ more than one loves his own interests." My own interests pale in light of eternity.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Day 125 Plowing/Gardening/Freaking Out

May 11, 2015
Day 125

To receive a Plant and Soil Science Degree from the University of Rhode Island is impressive. To be exact, Field Crops was the specification. However, someone else really should have this degree. I am a poser, a true poser. My flowers are impressive but my vegetable garden is, well, lacking. Where was I during those classes explaining the differences between raised and conventional beds or any of the other classes for that matter on interesting topics that would intrigue any foodie in the area? Where was I? I even worked at the Experimental Station for two summers slaving over beds of produce. I love the labor and yet the information did not take root.

Here is the deal, I am all in, in the spring. I just love being in the soil. And, I am all in throughout the growing season. I love to work in the garden. I love the heat. I love the sweat. I do kinda mind the allergy/sinus headaches that result but hey, a little aspirin here and there kicks out the pain. The weeding and the digging tills my mind. The thoughts, the new directions, the insights that come from a good dig in the soil are many and often productive.

Here is the problem. It's the harvest that gets me, or doesn't. I am so ashamed to say this, but, sometimes I don't even harvest. It has nothing to do with laziness, I love to work, it has everything to do with..........and that is what I am trying to figure out. I think it is pathetic. But I don't honestly know why I lose interest.

And what would keep that interest alive. In the winter I can taste the interest, in the spring I can smell it but at the end of summer I don't even have it. Am I cooking with enough intentionality, uniqueness and creativity that demands an abundance of red peppers, a goodly amount of tomatoes, onions, etc.  I am wondering if it boils down to my cooking which boils down to taste, taste, taste.

If you have any thoughts on this, any advice, please offer freely. I will weed out the bad and plant the good. I want to harvest and harvest well. I am going to have to dig deep in the recesses of my mind and go to the root of this problem. What happened in my childhood. Who planted this seed of indifference towards the harvest?

I really should weed out some of these corny puns!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Day 124 Mothering

May 10, 2015
Day 124

Suzanne Jean Harrington Treichler you are something! Doug and I might be the only children related to you by blood but that detail has never kept you from collecting more children along the way. The many, many individuals you have blessed by your mothering ways are more than we can count. You are indeed something. Here are some of my Suzanne stories and recollections from the daycare.

Suzanne started a daycare business in her home with Zoe Street, her first infant.  Doug and I doted on this little lively vibrant child. Zoe's siblings would also find their way into Suzanne's home. Suzanne moved the daycare to Barrington Baptist Church in 1982 deciding it should be a ministry rather than a private buisness. It has remained a vibrant ministry option for working parents ever since that day. What a credit to Suzanne.

Any woman who was determined to not work and raise her own would waver with one foot in Suzanne's daycare. Her's was probably one of the best daycare options in the state of Rhode Island. Your child would have a schedule that would include a time of being read to, playing outdoors in the yard with sand, water, sticks, whatever they could find, collectively strolling to a neighbor's home and feeding the very fat bunny with strands of grass, listening to books read by Suzanne and her workers, eating scheduled snacks, and laughing and learning to play nicely with other children.

If Suzanne felt your child needed a hair cut you would find your child's hair cut when you picked them at in the afternoon. She never felt the need to ask you. This always made me chuckle. My mother's confidence sometimes went beyond the normal bounds, but hey, you put your child in her care and she defined what that meant.

Suzanne always gave each family a video of their child. It was her running commentary I loved listening to. These videos were treasured by the working parents as Suzanne captured their children engaged in wonderful play. I can still see the chubby little toddlers in their bathing suits with their little butt cheeks hanging out gleefully playing in water in the front yard of the Barrington home. Oh, the silliness that was captured. The videos were her way of offering them connection to their child's daily routine.

Suzanne would sooth a little one for how ever long it took in the morning. Her heart would break with their little sobs. I can see her rocking a child back and forth as she would wait for them to gain a peace. Out of her mouth never came disparaging words about the parents who had to work. Suzanne, to this day, is not comfortable with gossip or negative comments. She and her mother, Emily Harrington always discourage it. Being negative with them left you feeling like a jerk, for good reason. They are the defenders of the world.

Suzanne has mothered many children through her daycare providing security for so many little ones now adults well into their 30's and 40's.  There were many parents who struggled with one thing or the other and Suzanne would listen and many times follow that with practical help or prayer. The answered prayers of this woman would fill a good sized book, quite the interesting read.

What a gift to have a mother who has blessed so many individuals in life. She is one amazing person and I am so honored to call her mother. Oh, the stories that have come out of the daycare are many and so very interesting. Suzanne and Bob have books in them. They need to start writing!

I love you Suzanne Jean Harrington Treichler! You are someone I am so very proud of! Thank you for being you.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Day 123 The Ferry

May 9, 2015
Day 123

There is a ferry that leaves every half hour 24 hours a day from Staten Island and Battery Park. The ride is free. The shared experience of the ride with hundreds of strangers exhilarates and intrigues me. As we waited for the ferry we began to congregate one by one. A group of musicians entertained us while we waited for the next ferry to take us to Battery Park. We swayed, we danced, we clapped and we gave tips while we waited, we even purchased their cheaply made CD's. Then the ferry came and we all went aboard.

I will never see any of these people again but we shared moments together that were only ours to share. We were going to NYC for different reasons but we were all arriving at the same exact time. Subway rides, museum visits, bus rides and elevator rides are shared human moments with people I will never see again. I enjoy them.

The men who work on the Ferry were kind and helpful. I wanted to ask them questions but they were busy and I cared more for my safety than their knowledge. Everyday they do this, sunny days, rainy days, windy days, and calm days. I imagine they know the forecast every day and dress accordingly. They would have learned, over the years, that their job can either be enjoyed or endured simply by their attire. They looked like they were enjoying it on Friday.

To see the Statue of Liberty was thrilling. Our eyes were joining millions of eyes who have viewed this lady over the past few centuries, many of whom were so thankful for her welcome.

The free ferry was one of the major highlights of the day. Shared experiences with strangers never cease to intrigue me. But, honestly, to experience it with Nicky Sue, Jesse, and Lynn was just plain fun. I will take this to my old age and will always remember the enchanted day in NYC with three wonderful people. I hope to do more of this again, soon.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Day 122 Love Hard and Well

May 8, 2015
Day 122

Today is another day. For some this day will bring increasing sadness, there is nothing more they can do. For others the decision they have made continues to haunt them, there is something they can do but they are trapped. There is someone who woke up today deciding to end their existence. There is someone else who decided to give life another chance today. There is a family who needs a house today. There is a family who is purchasing, somewhere, a house for over a million dollars. There are so many stories.

Today is full of people all over the planet making millions of decisions. Today you and I will likely go out of our houses facing people with scenarios we will never be privy to. When we meet them in the aisles, on the road, or the sidewalk, let's be mindful of their backstories. Their grimace, their angst, maybe even their disgust is full of pain, pain that needs prayer. You and I, we can make a difference by our reaction to their pain.

Today, let's do this thing. Let's love and love hard. We can do this because He brought us to an existence of love.  Even skunk cabbage has a beauty of its own. (at least I think this is what it is)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Day 121 Full Days

May 7, 2015
Day 122

I am falling asleep. Last night was late, it has been a full day. Life is so very, very good! I keep falling asleep between words. Honestly, sometimes there is no time between times to write at length. That is fine. The Lord knows what I am to do, the schedule I am to keep.

Wider students celebrated my birthday. It was wonderful, they are wonderful. I love each and everyone of them.

Tonight I was at Red Lobster with my birthday girl, Kathryn. Twenty three years ago I gave birth to her on this day. What a pleasure, pure pleasure to have her as my daughter and friend. She is something.

I am going to bed overflowing with joy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Day 120 Talking Into the Night

May 6, 2015
Day 120

Kimberly, Damaris, Amanda and I practiced a worship set tonight around my piano and we are still relishing in deep and fruitful conversation. We have an event we are involved in and the topic is Diversity and Unity. It is 11:30 pm and we are still at it. We are speaking of relationships, church life, family life and our need to be in the Word. We are united by the blood of Jesus and we are grateful the Lord has brought us together. What a refreshing evening!

In the Body diversity is united not by our commonalities and not by our diversities but by one person who died on the cross. Jesus humbled himself one day to unify us. We are now unified and to remain in unity involves humility.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Day 119 Nature

May 5, 2015
Day 119

All things nature,  I love. Walking today at Scott's Run was a step into wonderland. I listened to the birds calling back and forth. I laid on the ground to take pictures with my trusty phone. The greens, the blues, the grays, the whites, the purples, the browns surrounded me like I was on a canvas with all these amazing colors.