Thursday, May 28, 2009

My friend Sarah....

The above link will take you to a TV interview that ran this week with the story of my good friend, Sarah Schieber. Sarah and I used to sing together in a trio, Sojourn, along with Sarah's brother, and Tim played bass.

Sarah's husband Chad died while running the Chicago Marathon in October 2007. I am so proud of her and how she is allowing God to use her life.

I have the honor of opening in worship at her new CD release concert in Midland on Friday night.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Twists and Turns On the Road to Therapy

Dad was scheduled for a speech therapy appointment today, at a place they were referred to by their doctor. They showed up for the appointment, surprised to see that they were at a place that Dad had gone to before for a session or two of Occupational Therapy (a place, by the way, in which he did not feel comfortable...). And when they went in to inquire about today's appointment FOR Speech Therapy, they were told that (surprise again...) this facility does not offer Speech Therapy. Somewhere there was a communication gap, obviously. :(
This place referred them to yet another location where Dad now has an appointment for next Monday afternoon.

I will say, that from experience in attempting to find a suitable place for Dad to have speech therapy back in the winter, that it is more difficult than you'd think to find a GOOD location for Speech Therapy. You'd think that it wouldn't be that hard. There are Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists abundant, but when it comes to Speech Therapists the choices are fewer and 1st impressions are not always that stellar. So if you want to head into Speech might want to consider opening up an excellent facility in Florida. I think you'd have lots of customers.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Update on Dad's Speech Therapy

For all of you who have been praying as requested that Dad will hang in there with Speech Therapy, the update is that he is trying out a new speech therapy facility this coming week on Wednesday. He will meet then with the new therapist, so keep praying that it will go well and he will get the additional help he needs!

And I also want to report that on his own initiative, Dad decided that the game of Scrabble would be a good way to help himself, sort of assigning his own therapy...and so he went out a few weeks ago and purchased the game and brought it home, and he and Mom have been playing it together. Mom says he gets better each time. Isn't it terrific that Dad did that on his own!? He's one smart cookie and a super motivated guy! He's willing and determined to improve and I am so proud of him and thankful for this!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009


This morning I met a friend for coffee whom I had not seen for ten years or more. We used to sing together in a singing group way back in the day when my kids were babies....and we had a great time doing that...we had lots of fun doing that together. Then after that group broke up, so did our reasons to get together.

It turns out that my friend's daughter is getting married next month, and I've been asked to play for the wedding. So today provided a good 'excuse' to get together; to chat about wedding music and to catch up with each others' lives.

And after spending time with Lynda, I am surprised, yet again, here is yet another good friend whom, despite the fact that we have not made an effort to keep in touch over the past decade, even still, the time we sent together today was as though the years had not been many between us. It was easy to jump right in and connect on a level more than surface deep....and share freely what God's been doing and showing us in our lives.

So, here's something I'd like to say to all of you who are reading this: whether our paths have crossed once, twice, multiple times too many to count; daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, once per decade,I am glad to know you, friend. Your role in my life is important to me. There are things I can learn from you, and I have things I am eager to share with you as well. Friendship is a wonderful gift! And today, on this prelude to the Memorial Day weekend, I am savoring memories of good times, and I am grateful for friends! I am grateful for YOU!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Leaky Eyes and Lumpy Throat Syndrome

The oddest thing came over me on Saturday afternoon. I sat with several other hundred individuals to witness the graduation ceremony of 2009's graduating students from the West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts Association.

This year there were no children of mine graduating, no students that I am even terribly close to, yet, I sat there most of the time with leaky eyes and a lumpy throat. Sometimes it was almost uncontrollable. I listened to students give wonderful speeches and saw parents give their children diplomas and hugs and receive roses and smiles. Tyler sat beside me and I am sure wondered at times if I was going to be alright. I sort of wondered the same thing...

Then it occurred to me that this happens often at this time of year. It's not a spring allergy, but it's just as predictable. It's the time of year that causes me to reflect on this bittersweet role we have, as moms.

We raise them to let them go. This is our role, and if we've done it well, they will fly! That is our hope, our prayer and our desire. But when they fly they are flying away... And things will never be quite the same. Agh...these are the thoughts that always float around in my mind and in my heart at this time of year.

And this year, the effects of these thoughts came closer to home than ever, because next spring, Tyler will be among this group of students graduating from High School, walking down that aisle, receiving the diploma, switching the tassel to the other side, then throwing his cap in the air. What happens then? Truly, only God really knows.

But that is also what makes it not only bitter, but sweet. What a great adventure this thing called 'life' is. God knows the plans he has for us, plans to bless us, not to harm us, plans to give us a future and a hope....Jeremiah 29:11....and this is true for each and every one of us...for Tyler, for me, for Tim, for Emily, and for you and yours as well.

So what I am resolved to do is to savor, to the best of my ability, each and every moment of this upcoming year, as I have attempted to cherish each moment of the past seventeen and a half years of being a mom...and know that the days ahead will bring much JOY! many reasons to CELEBRATE...despite, or perhaps due to the occasional leaky eyes and lumpy throat.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Two years ago, in May 2007, we bought a boat. And it was one of the best investments we have made. Truly we all can totally unwind out on the boat. It is so being in another world. It's fun to take our family of four plus the dog, and even more fun to take friends...and spend some hours relaxing on the water.

So, last Sunday we got the boat out of winter storage and brought it home to our own garage. Now we're watching the weather forecasts, and the first time is hits 80 and we have a free evening or day, we'll get it out on the water. I can hardly wait.

Here's some pictures from last year....great memories. Here's to making more again this summer.

Who wants to go along?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


This morning as Pastor Wayne was teaching at Oasis, from 1 Corinthians 16, the passage of scripture had the word "opportunity" in it several times. This caused my mind to wander, to, of all things, a joke my dad used to tell.
If you know my dad, you know that he is a great joke teller - always has been, and he also is a piano tuner. So this joke he told was:
There was a piano tuner whose name was OpporKnockity. So this tuner, OpporKnockity tuned a piano for someone, but sadly, after the tuner had left, the customer realized that the tuner had not done a satisfactory job, and he called to have the tuner return. And the tuner's response was "No. OpporKnockity tunes only once."
Get it?
If you don't, let me know and I'll help you out!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mothers Day, Dad! :)

So yesterday afternoon I called Mom to wish her a Happy Mothers Day. This went so much better than normal, first off, because despite Mom's mostly deafness, and my only having one bar of reception on my phone from the location I was calling her, Mom heard me REALLY WELL! So that was great! I was able to talk with her for a few minutes, then Dad got on the line.
He was totally in the mood to talk, and frankly, sort of stole the conversation from Mom and me, but I don't think Mom minded. :)
The conversation with Dad went very well. In fact I related to my husband and to my in-laws afterwards, that you really wouldn't have known, from that conversation, that he had had a stroke. It was a blessing! He continues to improve...and when he is well rested, he can converse very well.
Dad also played his bass in church last night for the first time in two months, and that is definitely a good thing. :)
There is so much for which to be grateful!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I have coined a new word....wrun. It is my attempt to blend the words "walk" and "run". Wrunning is what I have done the last two mornings. It has surprised me that this shot of motivation has surfaced!

You see, I was exercising fairly regularly until a year or so ago. Then the "spring bug" bit, with its busy schedules and beautiful weather, and I didn't want to continue taking time out of my busy days to go to the gym to pursue my regular workout times. Laziness... not a priority, whatever the reason, by last summer my regular routine was gone, gone, gone.

No worries, right? Come fall, I'll get back at it again. Sure.

Fall came, and my attempts were rather admirable. I met a few times with my workout buddy; bless her heart, she was faithful to call and work my time frame into her schedule as best she could. But I didn't try hard enough...didn't make it a priority, and whatdya know? It just never happened; I was out of sync and becoming more out of shape with every missed exercise opportunity.

By November, when my dad had his stroke, and I consequently started traveling to Florida every month or more, this whole sequence of events got my regular routine in every area of life totally hijacked, and exercise, being probably the lowest thing of importance in my list of how I want to spend my time, totally got axed.

In the back of my mind....always, I knew I'd had to start doing something again sooner or later. Everyone needs proper exercise to enjoy the highest level of good health, but I also have heart abnormalities which are totally fine unless I allow myself to get out of shape, then I start getting unwanted symptoms. To this point, thankfully, those symptoms have not surfaced. But always lurking is the question - when will I have neglected my health long enough to bring the symptoms back? Not a positive thought...

So it's time to do something about it; long past time.

Enter yesterday morning: Fridays are usually a free day for me, and my calendar was clear. Sometime after 8:00, after I had been up about an hour, the thought occurred to me that it might be a good morning to take the dog and go out, down the path by our house and enjoy the beautiful morning.

And I didn't want to just walk. Walking has great benefits, no doubt about it; it's been proven. But I've always been one of those runner wannabees. But yet, I can't hack it....I feel like a total wimp when I run, like I'm totally going to cave in. It's not pretty. So I thought - how about mixing it up - running, walking, running, walking, etc? So I did.

And it was a great experience for both my dog, Jake, and me! We had a wonderful time! I felt SO GOOD after doing it! Ah! All those endorphins were kicked into high gear, and I thought "this could be a great thing to work into my routine". It took less time than driving to the gym, gave me a great workout, and I was able to enjoy the closeup views of God's creation along the way in the beautiful spring colors of the varieties of trees, very green grass and blooming flowers.

So I planned to go again this morning, Saturday.
However, I woke up and it was raining... a hoo. So much for my good intentions...

So I waited. And the rain stopped.
And I wran - again. And I am pleased with myself for doing so.

Jake didn't go 'cause I didn't want to bring back a dirty dog.
This time is was admittedly, more fast-walking than running.
I didn't love it so much this time. :)
But I still feel better because I went.
I did it.
And I want to do it again.....not every day most likely. But as I can, I will make it a priority. In addition to changes I've implemented in my eating habits to become more healthy over the past year or more, it's good for me to take care of myself and this is one way I can.

So here's to wrunning!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dad's Speech Therapy Woes...

Alright - time to get praying for Dad again...
This time I would ask that you pray that he will decide to remain in speech therapy.

Way back several months ago when he began his speech therapy his therapist was a girl named Penny, whom he thought highly of, and with whom Dad really 'clicked'. Penny promised good results and hopes were high. Dad did indeed improve under his sessions with Penny, and things were going well.

Then Dad had to take time off from speech therapy while he had the surgery on his aorta. He took two weeks off, then when he was ready to go back, Penny was sick, then the insurance ran out and more sessions had to be petitioned and granted. Finally, last week all came together again and Dad returned excitedly for his first therapy session in 6 weeks or more, only to learn that Penny, who had been promoted to a managerial role over the speech therapy department, decided that she could no longer take the time to give Dad his therapy, and turned him over to a new person, named Nicole.

Last week Nicole evaluated him and today she had a session with him, and Dad is not impressed. :( He is tempted to give up on the speech therapy sessions and stop going altogether because of this switch. I am going to do whatever I can on my end to convince him to hang in there a little bit longer. He needs speech therapy so badly right now; it is absolutely the best thing for him, to help him continue to improve from the remaining effects of the stroke. He has a window of time where he can still keep progressing, and my prayer and hope is that he will make the most of it. Please pray with me that he will continue to press on in this!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Everything is Fine :)

The doctor's office let my mother know this morning that the stress test took she took last week came out 'just fine'. So that is certainly very welcome news. She will go in to the doctor on Tuesday for a follow-up visit, so hopefully we will learn more specifics.....but meanwhile, 'just fine' works for me!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Still waiting to hear results....

Mom had her chemical stress test one week ago, and, for all of you who are wondering about the results of that test...I'm wondering right along with you,still waiting to hear the report.
As for how Mom did during the test itself, it didn't seem to be a problem for her at all. She was glad to have it over, but she said that the process was not too uncomfortable for her, so that's a good thing.
Be assured that when I do learn something about her test results, I'll let you know. Thanks for asking and checking in on her.