Friday, August 28, 2009

Mackinaw Island 2009

Almost every year since our marriage in 1989 Tim and I, and then later of course Tyler and Emily, have gone to Mackinaw Island every summer. We missed a few years for varied reasons....but it's a traditional visit for our family. We really enjoy it there.
If you've never been, you get over to the island by boat naturally (or plane...which Emily actually did with friends earlier this summer)...and there are no cars on the island. With horses and bikes as the only form of transportation, it's very laid back and slower paced. It's a very relaxing place to be.

A handful of times we have stayed overnight on the island, and that is an additionally peaceful experience. After the last group of visitors have left to go ashore on the last ferry of the night, it gets quieter still on the island....Ah, to walk along the edge of the island and just listen to the waves of Lake Huron....I just love that sound!
The past two years we have skipped the ferry ride (and the price tag that goes along with it) and have had the fun adventure of going over from mainland to the island in our own boat - and what FUN that is! It's about a 15 minute ride....and Tim's a great captain. :) We dock at the Mackinaw Island Marina, and enjoy the perks of having our boat with its belongings there with us all day, and enjoying private facilities of the marina. We also take our bikes over on our boat and have had them there with us to ride around the island. Fun!
During this year's visit to the island we stayed overnight at a cute little bed and breakfast: Pine Cottage. We had a wonderful time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pictures from Sarah and Jim's Wedding and Reception

It was a lovely day. The wedding was held at a small chapel, with around 60 people in attendance, then the reception was held at the new family's farm! What a fun day!
Congratulations Jim and Sarah!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wedding Day Tomorrow!!!

Tomorrow will be a time of GREAT celebration! I have a friend who is getting married and we will be greatly rejoicing and celebrating God's goodness!

Many of you know that our friend, Chad Schieber, died on October 7, 2007 while running the Chicago Marathon on an unusually hot autumn day. His heart gave out; he had Mitral Valve prolapse, and while his doctor had cleared him for running this marathon, Chad's heart did not have what it took to run in those extreme conditions, even though he was extremely lean and fit, a well loved police officer who was trained for tough physical conditions.

Chad left behind his wife Sarah and children Abbi, Noah and Micah. Sarah is one of my dearest friends. She and I used to sing together in a trip called Sojourn, and we have been very close for many years.

Sarah had just released her first solo CD in August before Chad died in October. The two were going to use the CD and Sarah's gifts in singing ministry as a tool to compliment a marriage ministry that was just launching.

The title song of Sarah's CD is Gratitude, a song I wrote. It was also one of Chad's favorite songs. I sang it at the very end of Chad's funeral, and the lyrics stood as the family's remarkable statement of trust and faith in God during such times as we were going through. Here are the lyrics....

With gratitude to You for all You've done
And all You're going to do,
O Lord, I thank You.
You're in it all, working out Your plan,
Though I cannot see Your hand,
My hope is in You,
Accept my gratitude.

With gratitude to You for who You are,
Mighty King who won my heart,
Beautiful Savior.
I was bound in chains until You set me free,
Once was blind but now I see,
Gracious Redeemer,
Accept my gratitude.

You have blessed me, Lord,
So much more than I deserve.

With gratitude to You for all You give;
Every day of life I live
Flows from Your mercy.
Your gift of grace is far beyond belief,
Providing all I'll ever need,
You are so good to me,
So good to me!
Your gift of grace is far beyond belief,
Providing all I'll ever need.
You are so good to me,
You've blessed me so abundantly.
Accept my gratitude.
(c) Head For Home Music - w/m Paula Davis-Stitt

My friend Sarah and her three young children mourned and grieved, long and hard; and still do to this day, of course. Never will their life be the same without their beloved husband and dad.

Many times this scripture came to mind from Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 which says: It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

The Schieber family was SO there; many of us were. We mourned, we pondered the tragedy of death unexpected, and such a very wonderful life of a remarkably wonderful man, cut so very short. Way too short. We thought long and hard about how terrible things happen in life for which there is never any answer that makes sense.

Fast forward to January 2009.

By January 2009, Sarah was a 34 year-old widow with her children ages, 13, 11 and 8. She had become a strong woman, stronger in God's strength and provision as well as her own. She had matured so very much in her faith journey;and ever since right after Chad died, we would often hear her say "God is good, period - no buts! God is good." Such a remarkably strong woman she was, and is.
However, Sarah's life lay empty and lonely ahead of her; she was young, her children were young, and she had begun considering that it might be time to start dating again. She was praying about this, praying that when the time came that God would please not drag things out, so that she'd not have to "kiss a lot of frogs to find her prince" (my words not hers....but that was the sentiment!).

Well, some mutual friends of hers set her up on a blind date with a man named Jim. Sarah didn't expect it to go anywhere, just looked at it as a date to give her some 'practice' in the dating routine at this new point in her life at which she found herself.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Jim is a wonderful God-following man, and as it turned out it was pretty much love at first sight for both Jim and Sarah. Things have progressed, and a wedding is going to take place tomorrow, August 15, 2009. Jim has three children of his own (yes, I'm sure you may be thinking 'Brady Bunch' - even hearing remnants of the theme song playing in your mind...). His children range from age 9 down to age 4 - Laurel, Michael and Izzy.

So now, today, this verse from Proverbs 13:12 is the one that is going through my mind as I look forward to says: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Also, Proverbs 17:22: A cheerful heart is good medicine!

Tomorrow friends and family will witness the marriage of Jim and Sarah, as their 6 children, (3 wonderful boys and 3 beautiful girls) stand in the places of honor as their attendants. Tomorrow I will sing once again the song Gratitude during the lighting of Jim and Sarah's Unity candle, very appropriately celebrating and thanking God for what He has done.

We will celebrate the healing that has taken place, and we will celebrate the faithfulness of God, which is as strong and enduring as a rock, through many tough times getting to this day. We will look forward to new blessings, new life experiences and know that whatever is ahead, God will always be there. No matter what. God is good - period.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TYLER is Coming Home TODAY!

Ok, I'm not sure if you've been faithfully reading my blog enough this summer to know that Tyler has been gone a LOT! But he has!

In June he went clear across the world for 10 days, in Africa on a missions trip.
In July he was gone for a week to New York at youth camp.
And this month, he has been gone for 10 days to New Hampshire on vacation with friends.

How do we feel about all that, you may ask? WE MISS HIM! He's been gone too much!!
So we look forward to our guy returning home today!
Can't wait.

And we're locking him in for the rest of the summer!
.....Yeah, right. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

See the Fun!?!

The Orchestra at my church (which I have the privilege of directing) has done some fun things together this summer.
Last week the Brass players played the national anthem at a home game for our Minor League Baseball team...the Whitecaps, and yesterday, the Orchestra had a pool party!
Go to and see pictures!
As you can see, we enjoy being together. :)