Summer had been a flurry of activity and stories and sunflowers. What would fall hold? I had a choice to make. Sit on the sidelines as a spectator or enter into the hurting schools.
If these were your last words to your loved one, what would they be or what would you say. The risk is worth it. Say I love you even when it feels risky and complicated.
It has taken me four months to work up the strength to write this post. How do you say good-bye to a dear friend, co-worker, a partner in mission, prayer warrior, and someone I had loved like a daughter?
Where to begin. In the last blog I posted before this October, I was in the process of helping my husband renovate the main floor of our home. We did get the house pretty much pulled together. The patience was well worth the outcome and carried me into fall. I enjoy fall, but it has … Continue reading What a Difference a Year Makes
I’d love to tell you that this was the last of any drama or pain in our story. Ironically, I thought if I get through the worst of this, then nothing else could harm or distress me. Life happens.
May 2020 I can remember a few times when time seemed to stop. Twice when I was on bed rest trying to stop preterm labor. Once when my dad was critically ill. Another was fall of 2014 when my daughter was away at Bootcamp (ok, that time was terribly long) I tried to mark the … Continue reading When Time Stops
Madie's sunflowers were planted in early July. In Minnesota, that means that these have to be vigorous and a little faster growing than the average to bloom in the short season of frost free summer. My estimate put us into early October. Fortunately, Johnny knows a thing or two about the types of sunflowers and … Continue reading Madie’s Blooms- Perfect Timing
I told you about my dear Madie, but I didn't tell you that she loved sunflowers. She even had a sunflower lesson that she regularly used with the teens we mentor. Sunflowers are bright, cheerful, and have a unique design that allows them to follow the sun! Incredible. This could also easily describe Madie. Bright, cheerful, and bringing sunshine into any room.
This is the third story on hidden gems discovered in everyday. Last fall, my husband and I headed out on our extended RV road trip and along the way, we made stops in some of the most scenic parks in the country. One of our stops was in Wyoming in Glacier National Park. It was … Continue reading Masterpiece
This is the second story of hidden gems discovered in the everyday. In my work with students in local middle school mentoring clubs, I get the opportunity to hear other people’s stories. One of my favorite activities with students is our field trip to local senior housing facilities. We do this at the end of … Continue reading Ruth
This is the first post on some of the hidden gems I have discovered amongst the everyday. Over the last several years I have had numerous medical appointments. I have worked with many different healthcare providers on a lot of different levels. I learned early on that these appointments are a lot more enjoyable when I … Continue reading Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve
One of my favorite things to do is beachcombing. I find it very relaxing and mind clearing. It amazes me to discover the overlooked and often passed over shells and stones. With a little focus, my eye soon uncovers hidden mystery and beauty amongst the sandy shore. As I run my hands over and through … Continue reading The Beauty Discovered
Christmas and New Years have long felt like a balance between endings and beginnings. The places where things are brought down to their very simplist of forms. Firsts and lasts. This year it felt especially stretched between the two extremes. In October we lost a family member in a most unexpected way. In her sleep. … Continue reading ‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple
After chemo and a metastatic cancer diagnosis, I found it tough to get through many books or movies or even tv series. My favorite genre has been nonfiction as I love to hear other people’s stories. They inspired me. They introduced me to another’s perspective and experience. I could more easily empathize with them after … Continue reading Finding a Friendly Voice in the Wildnerness Areas
(if this makes you roll your eyes, that's ok) I’m on vacation with my “foster fail” and observing her taking on this new adventure. I know she will love it once she figures out what we are doing, but initially every little step and experience is causing her a little anxiety. It’s fun to help … Continue reading Lessons Learned from My Dog
Some seasons (weather and life) are more challenging than others. The waiting. The struggle. The cold. The dark. Sometimes it is the cold and sometimes it is the dark. Sometimes it is waiting through the challenging and wondering if you will see the other side. But like the seasons, nothing lasts forever. Sometimes the change … Continue reading A Time for Everything
Definition of CONFLUENCE 1 :a coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point • a happy confluence of weather and scenery • a confluence of cultures 2 a :the flowing together of two or more streams b :the place of meeting of two streams • the Mississippi River's confluence with the Missouri River … Continue reading Confluence
Summer. The season that doesn’t last nearly as long as I would like it to. The season I wait for all winter. And it goes by way too quickly. As I look towards fall I get a little angsty. The grieving of the season not even done yet. Why can’t I just settle and be … Continue reading Being Patient and Present
My friend, Barb, has one of the most generous hearts of anyone I know. She inspires others to love completely and with abandon. I love her story even though it rips my heart in two. She has similar strengths to mine and yet lives hers out in a way I could only dream of. She … Continue reading Barely Surviving, Trying to Thrive
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We recently had the opportunity to see a presentation on the Declaration of Independence while we were in South Dakota. … Continue reading The Pursuit of Happiness
This was too good to wait for this weekend's post. You won't likely see me sharing a lot of my picks for reading. I can tend to be kind of particular in the books I choose and what I enjoy. Typically, they tend to be nonfiction and first-hand accounts of people’s stories. I know, not … Continue reading Fun Summer Read!
I met Garrett a few years ago after a stranger told me about his remarkable story of resiliency and perseverance. I then had the opportunity to hear his incredible story when he volunteered to speak with a group of middle-schoolers I was mentoring in their strengths. What struck me most in his story was how he … Continue reading When the Ground Falls Out From Beneath You
I’ve been nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award by Mitch Teemley from The Power of Story! Here is someone who speaks my language: Stories. The Versatile Blogger Award was created to introduce people to up-and-comers. My task is simple: To tell you 7 Things About Me, and to introduce you to other Up-and-Comers (or new … Continue reading The Versatile Blogger Award
Art can tug at your heart. It can capture an emotion, a time, or even a season. When I saw this particular piece of art it was all of the above to me. It captured my attention. It took my breath away. This painting was what breast cancer looked and felt like in my life. … Continue reading Seeing Past the Pain
This is the fourth part of our story as written by Patrick Durand. After we informed our girls of the new diagnosis, I immediately felt relief from the constant tension I had felt over the preceding weeks. I had been so worried about how they would react to the news, particularly Emily, since she was … Continue reading This is Our Story, Part Four
I will be weaving parts of my story throughout this blog. How can I challenge others to bravely share if I am too timid to do the same? My husband, Patrick, and I have had the chance to share our story with our church a couple of times over the past year or so and he has a gift … Continue reading This is Our Story, Part One
I have sat on the idea of this blog for over a year now. I didn't want to put myself out there. This was not the story I had thought I would tell with my life. Certainly not the story I would have chosen. I didn't want the cancer, that took my life into a dramatic detour, … Continue reading Stretched To Do The Hard Things
Kelly suffered a profound and unimaginable loss. She discovered that there is a season of necessary grief and perspective gaining produced after loss.
To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time … Continue reading This Season of Spring