Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017 Stories Upon Stories -

David Burkholder pulling his son Lynn Burkholder
 in a wooden box he crafted which
they called "The Ark"
My Father in law has stories upon stories upon stories.  The other day as I sit at his kitchen table I am overcome with emotion. He is telling me yet another one and I am about to wail. He informs me has something to get in the back room. This makes me smile, it just might be a back room getaway to give the daughter in law time to compose herself.

I am overtaken with gratefulness for the life he and his wife were privileged to live and I have been privileged to know. I am remembering the times in their modest, Red Lake, Canada, home. This is a place filled with love and always with music wafting from the Moody Bible Christian radio station streaming out of Winnipeg. The home is peace and I relish in all things peace. My tears flow.

I am in a candy store, feeling the love, and all I want to do is share all of this with you. I have payed attention to the stories over the last thirty years. And I am always asking for more details. I have listened to my mother in law and her siblings at family reunions. I have listened to them reliving memories with their former missionary friends. I have even spent time alone with their friends and family. And I am now thankful for all I know as I am helping my father in law pull together a book. It is a task with a mountain of stories before us.

Typical scene for the pioneer missionaries called
to the North Country
"Dad, I do not think there is anything for you to write. Instead you are surrounded by your written material. Our job will be that of curator and editor. You are sitting on a treasure trove." So Dad and I begin a blog and he calls it: Walking Ojibwe Trails in Ojibwe Moccasins. Our goal will be to post what we find and hope that maybe you and others might be able to help us with some fuzzy details. And beyond that, his earnest desire is that you will be encouraged; encouraged to hope, dream, pray, and maybe even consider following the call in

to mission work.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day - June 18, 2017

In 1986, Lynn and I upon saying "I do" acquired two fathers.  Lynn loves and adores my father. I love and adore my father in law. We both feel blessed with these two men.

We were raised in safety. Boundaries were maintained while love flowed. Jesus was freely discussed in each of our homes. People were flowing through our homes as we both witnessed hospitality exercised on a daily basis. Our dining room tables were always filled with amazing folks. The stories we have are book worthy.

David and Robert know and love Jesus. We both have witnessed our dads loving past sins spending time with people others leave behind. David spent his life serving Jesus as a missionary on a reservation. Robert spent his life serving Jesus as a social worker (missionary) serving in a number of hospitals. These men have impacted hundreds of people for Jesus' sake. Hundreds.

Lynn and I are equally grateful for the impact they have had on our lives and now are thrilled to watch them, significant players, in our children's lives. We love having our father in law every week for a meal. And when my father comes to visit he makes it a point to connect with our children in meaningful ways.

We have wealth that will never be robbed. Thank you David and Robert!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 13 2017 Sisters In Need

We pray, we talk, we are vulnerable, we are gut level honest, we are raw, we are captivated by one another, we are sisters. Sisters walking the line together, challenging one another to grow deeper in love with the One who redeemed us.

We question one another's point of view. We don't mess around but we go right to the deep. Group think is not our thing and I so am grateful for that.

We have met for the last three years at the most inconvenient time but it has never mattered because we get it - we desperately need one another! We are sisters and sisters do that! I love being challenged. I love being with people who think differently than myself. And this is why I cherish these women.

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5, 2016 Short Trip - Lengthy Memory

From Lt.toRt. Jenna, Diane, Me, Nicky
To wake up in Pennsylvania and go to sleep in Rhode Island is a fun privilege. I spent Saturday morning through the afternoon at Taste of Weavers handing out samples of Twin Valley Coffee. I then devoured gluten free portebella pizza in New Haven, CT in the evening at Kitchen Zinc. And past midnight finally slept in Riverside, Rhode Island. Car traveling is my style with engaging conversations, great music and fascinating podcasts. Pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds and coffee is all I need to keep wide eyes on the road.

The goofs - Geoff and Nicky
Traveling with Nicky Sue and Geoffrey is pleasure. I love talking, listening and especially laughing with them. Sunday morning we church on the Cliff Walk in Newport because to not go to the Atlantic Coast when in Rhode Island, well, is just criminal, confessional worthy. The coast calls and I beckon. The smell of the paper like white and pink rose bushes mixing with the salty sea spray is fragralicious.

Funny Man Tyler, The Graduate
Our reason for this under forty-eight hour short trip is Tyler, my nephew, he graduates. His party is on Sunday. Life is on the run taking him along for it was only yesterday, but I digress.

My parents are hospitable, staying with them is refreshing and always full of good conversation. Life is rich and I am blessed. I do taste and see that the Lord is good!

Grandfather and Granddaughter

Friday, June 2, 2017

June 2, 2017 Life Goes Forward

Friday Night Kids overflows with children and parents. The event this evening is seamless, joyful and fun. Children come to the pavilion in West Reading. Nicky Sue and I are privileged to be a part of this moment.

One woman who brings her son every year told me of her recent back injury. I ask, "Can we pray for more healing?" Yes, she thinks that sounds great. We pray asking God for more. I silently add, "Please God!"

Say Cheese, a corner restaurant on Penn Avenue, is the perfect place to end the evening. Jenny joins us. We catch up and move forward into good conversation over gluten free grilled cheese, tomato bisque and sweet potato fries. Lynn joins us. He was just down the street at Relish making sure the Nitro keg fit. They are serving our Nitro on tap this weekend. Good call Relish, good call.

Earlier in the afternoon, Saige and I speak on the phone of the new bible study she is forming. God desires for us to be involved in one another's lives. He is moving and we are following. Sisters loving sisters in more and more profound ways. We both believe this summer study will change lives, we are already seeing it.

I must sleep for we travel in the afternoon to Rhode Island to celebrate my nephews graduation party on Sunday. First things first.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1, 2017 No Lids

I open the Coffee Gazebo by 6 am leaving my bed at 5:30 am, give or take fifteen minutes. And when I take - I rush. This morning I discovered a problem, a big one. We had no lids for one of our most favorite drinks, the Iced Toddy. No lids. That's a problem.

We need to run into Reading to the Restaurant Store and purchase more lids. I volunteer. To stand behind the counter and tell customer after customer we have no lids, I couldn't and I wouldn't. I am often the one bearing bad news. Or at least I use to. "Sorry, we ran out of cold brew." No, I was not going to be the bearer of ill fate
So, I drive into Reading and sit in the parking lot for about forty-five minutes until the clock strikes eight. As soon as the doors open, I am in and out. I rush back to Morgantown and as one customer was leaving he rolled down his window and wondered if I would give him a lid.

The little joys amidst the trials. Truly this is a first world problem