Warning: Monkeys Ahead

monkeys ahead-3Ever had a run in with a monkey?

Not too long ago, my husband and I traveled with friends to Bali, Indonesia to escape the cold and enjoy the sun!  After a few days of rest and relaxation, we decided it was time to see the sites so we hired a guide to take us to one of Bali’s most historic spots.

As we neared our destination, our guide shared with us some of what we could expect.  He said there would be a very long walk, about a half hour uphill and then a half hour down.  He told us that the view of the Indian Ocean was amazing on the path and he shared with us the cultural events that are held at this place.  He went on and on, speaking about the history and the beauty, but as we neared the path, his tone changed.  He held up his finger as if pointing out a warning.

Our guide began to speak in a more serious tone, and looking at us, he said, ‘There are monkeys ahead. Watch out for the monkeys.  Continue reading “Warning: Monkeys Ahead”

Seen and Loved

I tell this story often.  It’s a love story.  It may be a different kind of love story than what you might think when you hear that phrase, but I think you will understand.

For years, my husband, Dan and I struggled to have a family.  If you have lived through the valley of infertility, you know the pain, the loss, the emptiness that road can take, the stress it can put on a marriage. It was a valley, a very long, empty valley.  After several years of trying to make it happen on our own, we did what we so often do when we can do nothing else.  Continue reading “Seen and Loved”

Do it Different

Dunkin Donuts was always our destination on Sunday evenings when I was a young girl visiting my grandfather.  After evening church service, we would excitedly pile into the car on our way to what I had anticipated all day!

I remember so clearly the many times my grandfather and I stood in line as I tried to decide which donut would be mine!  Waiting patiently for our turn to order, my eyes were fixed ahead, taking in the colorful sprinkles and icings in front of me.   My grandfather, however, wasn’t looking ahead at the selection of sweets.  He was looking behind.  Continue reading “Do it Different”

The Ugly Christmas Sweater

Ugly Christmas SweaterIt was a Christmas morning in the early 80’s.  Together as a family, we were sitting around the tree as my mom opened a gift from my dad that he had wrapped himself.   She pulled away the tissue paper and pulled out a sweater.  It was the most beautiful sweater I had ever seen!

This sweater was unlike any sweater before it.  This sweater was a Christmas sweater.  Covered with red dots and Christmas wreaths, it gathered at the waist and had the puffiest sleeves available at that time.   Around the neckline was a red and white checkered bandana with a cream colored lace border that tied in a bow at the front.  All I could think was, ‘Someday, I hope that I will wear that beautiful sweater!’

A few years later, my mom was going through her clothes, cleaning out her closet, and I saw the beautiful Christmas sweater in the give-away pile. My mom and I had both worn the sweater several times and she was now ready to pass it on.  I didn’t want to let it go, so I took sweater from the pile and stored it in my closet.  As the years passed, folks were not wearing beautiful Christmas sweaters anymore, so eventually it was pushed out of the way, out of sight, to the back of my closet.

Fast forward 30 years later.  My teenage daughter’s school was having a Christmas party and they were all told to wear ugly Christmas sweaters.   Continue reading “The Ugly Christmas Sweater”

She Serves

She went to the river that Sabbath morning.  It was the place where she connected, the place where she prayed, it was the place where she worshiped.  Those who worshiped at the river were usually women, but this morning by the river, she noticed some men.

You see, while Lydia was making her way to the river, God was orchestrating the steps of the apostle Paul to do the same.  Their paths would cross in this place of worship and her life from here on out would never be the same.

God’s Word tells us that Lydia was a God worshiper.  Continue reading “She Serves”

Be that Tree!

The mangrove tree makes its home on the shoreline of numerous countries in southeast Asia, particularly those closest to the equator.   No one on a mission to landscape a home or beautify a city would request a gardener highlight this particular tree as part of his plan. An obscure tree that is not particularly attractive, the mangrove tree is not known for its beauty, the mangrove tree is known for its roots.

The mangrove tree is not planted by the water on the shore, the mangrove tree is actually planted in the water by the shore.  Between each tree, seen resting on top of the water’s surface is a tangled mess of what appears to be sticks and debris, twisted and entwined to the place where it’s difficult to decipher exactly where the mess begins or where it ends.  This unattractive compilation of sticks and debris looks messy, neglected and unpurposed, but when you look a little deeper, you see the truth.  Continue reading “Be that Tree!”

Share Your Struggle

Share Your Struggle PICI am usually pretty good at packing a suitcase.  This summer, however, it was a whole different story!  For our 25thwedding anniversary, my husband and I went to Rhode Island to tour the old mansions and enjoy the tastes of the waterfront.  We travel for food and we are not ashamed to say it!  We arrived at our hotel, threw down our suitcases and headed out to explore the town. It wasn’t until we stopped back at our hotel that I realized I had done the unthinkable!

When I unzipped my suitcase and opened it up, what I saw took me by surprise!  Inside of my suitcase, there were NO clothes!   There were no clothes in my suitcase!  I clearly remembered getting my clothes together, I just never had that moment when I put them in the bag!  I was on my 25thwedding anniversary trip and I had forgotten to pack my clothes!

I stood silently staring into my empty bag, hoping that I was just seeing things, unsure of how to break this news to my husband.   Continue reading “Share Your Struggle”