Thursday, August 19, 2010


July 8,2010 is the day that my life - my family's life - changed direction in a way I didn't expect. Chris resigned from the ministry and chose to go into a new profession. (I should've started to blog right away, but our computer had died.)

The Refiner begins to stoke the fire in my life.

I'm generally a 'can-do' person and I'd like to hope that I've grown in my faith life over the past seven years, or so. But I've felt stress, fear, anxiety, and been generally overwhelmed to a depth I can't really put into words. Heart racing, thoughts jumbled, my whole being trembling uncontrolably. I cannot fall asleep or stay asleep. Quiet tears filling my eyes throughout the day...

And sitting in worship after Chris announced his resignation... well, the last four Sundays of his job... I was in mourning, grieving the loss of what I'd know for the past twenty-six years. For me, there is no one who can lead worship like Chris, no one who plays the piano with the heart that he does, no one who I can sing with who can 'breathe' at the piano at the exact same time as I do. It's always been my comfort and joy to sit next to him at the piano, as we lift our voices to offer ourselves to the Lord. I am mourning the loss of that.

I am also completely overwhelmed when I think of life without him at home. His new vocation is to be long-haul trucking. He'll be gone for long periods of time and home for short periods in between.

God has always provided for us. God has always protected us. God has always lead us.

But I can't see any glimpse of God in this at the beginning. The only thing I can see is the peace in Chris's countenance... the sure-ness in his steps. I haven't seen that in years. And it's the glimmer of hope that I cling to. The past month has been as though we are both walking in darkness. Normally, I'd be out front, swiping my arms around trying to feel my way. This time, I'm holding onto Chris, inching along in the darkness. I can't see a thing ahead of us, but he is getting glimpses of light and he's leading us toward the light. It says huge things about our marriage - leadership, trust, responsibility, submission.

To be continued...

This song, by Kathy Troccoli expresses some of my heart:

I've known laughter, days of fun;
Had many hours in the sun,been to many mountains, walked along the ocean shores.
I've seen rainbows fill the sky, counted stars on summer nights.
Oh, so many moments that have filled my soul with joy.

But, it's been the rain, it's been the storms, it's been the days when I've been worn
That I have found You, Lord, that I have found You, Father.
It's in the pain that I have grown; Through all the sorrow I have known.
But, if that's what it takes for You to lead me this far, go ahead and break my heart.

I have felt the winter snow, seen the beauty of a rose, sat by many fires and enjoyed the warmth of friends.
I've known love and it's embrace, have felt the wind against my face, watched the moon at midnight shine upon a sleeping world.

But, it's been the rain, it's been the storms, it's been the days when I've been worn
That I have found You, Lord, that I have found You, Father.
It's in the pain that I have grown; Through all the sorrow I have known.
But, if that's what it takes for You to lead me this far, go ahead and break my heart.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February... it's about time!

Okay, so I'm not the greatest blogger. I can forgive myself for that. I've never been a good 'journaler' either... always wish I had. There are those who would tell me it's never to late to start... right, Jan? My dear college friend, Jan, has journaled since she was a wee lass and has refreshed many of my college-day memories with notes from her diaries. Which, bye the way, are different from journals. Who knew? She does both.

The 'big thing' in our lives at the moment is that Chris's position at our church has been cut back to half-time with no benefits. We've prayed and talked through this issue many, many times - with friends and as a couple - and while I don't understand why the past two positions haven't work out, I'm beginning to see something. I believe that the Holy Spirit has been opening my eyes to the spiritual perspective.

Chris deals with depression from time to time - well, so do I... life is hard sometimes - and I do my best to encourage and support him through the rough times. When a husband and father loses his job, it's a hard thing for them and I see his self esteem and confidence waver. That hurts my heart. I've been seeing the last two job 'changes' as a sort of spiritual warfare issue. And I'm beginning to pray for my husband in a whole new way.

I believe that as a worship pastor/director Chris is on the front lines of the spiritual battles every Sunday morning. Don't think for a moment that the Enemy doesn't enter through the front doors of your church! For twenty-five years I have watched Chris develop in his music ministry. He's never been the splashy, one-man-show, performer that some worship leaders act like. He's got amazing talent on the keys and his head is full of musical knowledge. But it's his HEART that has made his ministry what it is. He loves God and he loves to bring the congregation into God's presence. He has always respected the senior pastor's vision and works with them to create a true worship experience. Not merely a program.

The age-old 'worship wars' have been present in the last two churches we've been in (as they have in others, too). And the Enemy LOVES to stir up disunity by having people focus on style, length, drums/no drums, speed, volume, hynms/choruses, contemporary/traditional. Constant complaints wear on a person's outlook and I hate to see Chris get discouraged to the point of wondering if he should choose another line of work. At that point, I feel he's focusing too much on 'man' and not on God's call for his life. He should continue to get on his knees and seek God's face. He should be bathed in prayer each week as he approaches that piano. He should listen to the Holy Spirit's guidance as he plans a path that will lead worshippers directly into the presence of God. Resist the Devil and he will flee. These past two churches have truly needed what Chris has brought to there worship experience. But, largely, the Enemy has won battles in those congregations as they have rejected the experience of true worship and have settled for comfortable, familiar, mere songs inserted within the morning's 'program'. So dead!

I have no desire to sing songs with a dull mind and a dead heart toward God. Oh Lord, soften my heart! Open my eyes to see your glory! Don't let me comfortable within myself! Draw me to yourself and let me see You and then change my heart toward you.

I know that Chris's heart is to serve God and bring honor to Him and to lift up the name of Christ so that others will be drawn to worship Him. I am blessed to be his wife, but I am also greatly blessed to worship under his leadership each Sunday.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Wow! my last post was in JUNE??? Seriously?!??!?!

It's been a good summer. Weather-wise, I'm loving this 'mild' MI summer we've had. The humidity of this past week is bringing me down a little bit. But I won't complain about the gorgeous (and mild) weather we've had so far.

I continue to enjoy my work with Sunset Home Services. In June I added another 'aide' position within Sunset Manor, working 6AM-10AM four days a week 'on the floor'. Home Care is my favorite of the two positions and I've kept all my home care clients. So on T, Th, F and Sat I finish my shift at the Manor and hop in my car to go see my home care clients. I've obviously had to adjust my sleep schedule.

We were blessed to be able to go on a vacation to NJ in July. So many good friends and great memories in 'the Wildwoods'! We spent time on the beach and at the boardwalk. We took a day trip to WA D.C. And we drove through Lower Manhatten on the way home just so the boys could 'see' New York City a little. Great memories from the road trip. Great family time.

We arrived home on a Monday evening from NJ and four days later my three guys left with other teens from our church on a chartered bus for North Carolina where they attended Youth Unlimited - the national CRC Youth Convention. They had a great time... came back changed, each one had their own unique experience.

Following convention we were all together at home for a week. Then Chris and I had another week of vacation time. We had a 'staycation' - turned off the phones, went to movies, out to eat, celebrated our 25th Anniversary, spent two days in Chicago... was nice and relaxing.

As much as I enjoy my work, I've decided to cut one of my mornings at the Manor. As of Sept. my new schedule will be T,Th,Sat mornings. School is starting and I will be able to get the boys off to school on M,W,F. Chris will be there on T & Th when I'm not.

Wow. I guess that's where the summer has gone! working... I'm ready for Fall... School, new Bible Studies at church, Driver's training for Jonothon, drum lessons...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

As I write this Timithi is at Cedar Point, in Ohio, with his 8th grade class! They left from school at 5:00 this morning and will return at 11PM. I'm sure they're having a great time! He LOVES coasters so this park should thrill him. Tomorrow night is 8th grade graduation. Not a celebration I grew up with... Kindergarten graduation... 8th grade graduation... I even heard someone say they had a 5th grade graduation upon entering 'middle school'. Goodness! The High School 'open house' is also something I didn't grow up with. We had family over on Sunday for cake... I got a typewriter... there you go! After having participated in several open houses, here in MI, I am convinced that they are a wonderful way to celebrate the completion of grade school and the opening of of new chapter in life. (For 8th grade graduation, it'll probably cake on Sunday!)

Jonothon completed his last final today and was home by 10:30... buzzing from the 'Amp' that he drank at school. Those things are wicked! Nice buzz that they give you, yes. But when they wear off... you drop like a rock. (Yes, the mother did buy it for him, so it's my fault.) Right now he's in the living room laughing his head off at Mark Lowry dvd's!

I had xrays done last week and I do indeed have a heel spur. OUCH! Dr. told me to ice it and use ibuprofen for a couple weeks, then come in to see him if that doesn't help. I've been dealing with the pain for more than two months, so I have my doubts that it will help, but I'm trying it. I guess I should try to stay off it, also, but that's hard. I can't stay off it at work. And yesterday I mowed the front half of the property and my foot was 'screaming' at me all night and this morning. Now that the boys are out of school the lawn mowing will be ALL THEIRS for the summer.

I'm needing a new Bible Study... not sure which direction to go... personal? or with a group? I get so much out of hearing about other people's experiences with Christ... I'd like to do a group study. Could just do both.

I'll be starting a new job as a Resident Aide at Sunset Manor.... soon. I will still work for Sunset Home Services as a Home Health Aide, but where the Home Services hours come and go.... the Resident Aide position will be regular shift hours. I'm so thankful for the work and that I enjoy it, too! I realize what a blessing God has given me in providing this job in a field that I enjoy so much.

Thanks for visiting!
See you soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Laundry on the line...Thunderstorms... Laundry on the line a little longer...

I love my clothesline! I love the fresh smell of wind-blown laundry. And I love NOT spending money to run our ancient, wheezing, dying dryer.

But last night I was apparently oblivious to the approaching weather patterns as I happily hung out TWO loads of laundry on the line. At 11pm when the rain and thunder started... well.... by then it was too late. So, now the laundry will stay out a little longer. The fact that clothes were on the line only slightly subtracted from the joy of the thunder and lightening! And today my car was looking cleaned off (until I drove down our dirt road)... so hey! It's all good!

Memorial Day was a great day. We started the day in Jamestown, watching Jonothon march with the Unity Christian HS Drum Line (he was the sole cymbal player). Then we came home and grilled and enjoyed the company of good friends and a couple of new friends (our neighbors to the West). Hamburgers, homemade cherry pie AND brownies, lots of laughter, sitting in the sun, moving inside to play cards - Mary and Lori beat Mike and Chris at Euchre!

In the evening, after our friends had gone home, we made corn salsa and headed to Holland to see the Rosema's and the Peerbolt's! Roasted hot dogs around the huge fire (built in an old washer tub!) and shared lots of laughter again! Got back home around 11pm. It was a great day.

The boys are counting down school days left. Jono has HS finals next Mon, Tues, Wed. then he's done! Timi's 8th grade graduation is next Thursday night, the 4th. On Wed. the 3rd he's going with the eighth grade class to Cedar Point Amusement Park - Roller Coaster "King Of the Hill"! He should have a great a time!

Trying to plan summer.... perhaps a chance to get away? New Jersey sounds great! So does a camping trip down near Mammoth Cave in Kentucky - never been there. Summer may also include braces for Jono (shhhh! He doesn't know that yet!) and probably Driver's Training. The boys and Chris are going to Youth Alive (CRC) Convention in North Carolina at the end of July.

I'll be back again soon! Bye!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

It's here... and that means summer will soon be upon us! The weather has been beautiful... some 70's, some 80's... little rain. I LOVE spring in Michigan. The freshness, the sunshine, the laundry on the line, the lilacs in bloom, fresh cut grass. And we've enjoyed the hammock a few times already. It's a blessing to be able to relax in it, reading or just napping.

And Lucy loves to lay out side for hours at a time. Occasionally she will tangle herself up around the clothesline posts and someone needs to run outside and 'guide' her back in and out and round and round until she is free once again!

The boys are finishing up their (half) school years and we are looking ahead to having both of them at Unity Christian High School in the Fall. Jonothon has enjoyed being in Freshman band and is considering Pep Band for the Fall. Timithi is excited about the Computer classes and opportunities and he has registered to be in Freshman band... trombone.... next year. (We'll be making a trip to Meyer Music very soon, so he can practice this summer!)

It was an adjustment in returning to 'institutionalized' schooling. So different from Homeschooling - both being very valuable and equally positive in their own ways.
I've struggled in not taking offense to the slight condescention I've encountered at the High School - as if homeschooling's not "real" schooling. They've no idea, really, if all they've ever experienced is school-in-a-box. (No condescention in that comment, right!?) I've seen and experienced public school, private school and home school. All have positives and negatives. I'm thankful my boys have had the experiences of Christian schools and home schooling. This blessing of Christian High School is wonderful for this season of our lives. And I am grateful for the people and education they've been exposed to.

Memorial Day weekend.... Jono's marching in a small parade in Jamestown, MI (Hudsonville) and then friends are coming over to grill and hang out. We'll set up the badminton net and the 'hillbilly horseshoes'. Just a relaxing day spent together!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hello???? Is anybody there????

I'm still here... well not here... not very often. I'm having a hard time getting 'online time'.
I'm not even working fulltime, but I really feel the change in working 20+ hours each week. I think it's the mental and emotional nature of my job that is exhausting... especially working with dementia patients. Providing personal care for people is extrememly rewarding to me.. I LOVE my job. The weariness comes from the growing care and concern I have for my clients as I spend time week after week with them, getting to know them. It's a "good" weariness... but I'm tired, nonetheless. It's a very relational job.
At home, I'm struggling with some teenager 'stuff' (attitude) and it's blowing my mind!?! "Who are you and what have you done with my son?!" I am frustrated with the sarcastic, impatient, eye-rolling responses to simple questions. The other day, I received such a response to my question and I'm tired of the "you need to respond with respect" talk. So I had him pull up a chair while I continued to do the dishes and had him read Matthew 5-7 aloud to me. (Praying throughout, that the Word would not return void, but would accomplish it's purpose.) I continue to pray for wisdom and insight into my son. He's an amazing young man and I know God can do great things in him!
The Maundy Thursday service at our church was awesome. There was a time for foot-washing, and I really wanted to go to my boys and wash their feet. But I wasn't sitting with them and I was afraid that they'd be more embarassed than appreciative. Chris was at the piano the whole time. We've done the footwashing at home on past years and it's a moving experience for us.
Easter was a great celebration with our church family, followed by dinner with our MI 'extended' family!