Thursday, July 19, 2012


One of my favorite movies is "Roman Holiday".  It's a wonderful classic with Gregory Peck and the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. She is Princess Ann, who runs away one night and meets up with Joe Bradley (Peck), who is a newspaper reporter out for a good story. It takes place, of course, in Rome. I love how the story unfolds and their relationship grows. They each carefully tiptoe around who they really are, knowing that if the truth were fully known the relationship would end. It's a story of love and laughter, and learning what is really important and of how once we know what really matters - it affects our choices.

Now,  you might be asking, "What does that have to do with Summertime?"


At the end of the movie, when the Princess is back on "duty", she is asked by a reporter, "Which of the cities visited, did Your Highness enjoy the most?"

She begins with the answer that was prompted to her by one of her generals. It was apparently the answer that she had been trained to reply with. Then... she shows her heart.

"Each in it's own way, was unforgettable. It would be difficult....Rome!
By all means, Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as I shall live."

There it is!  Let's just change the wording a little.

Brenda, which season do you enjoy the most?
"Each in it's own way, is unforgettable.  It would be difficult....Summer!  By all means Summer!"
I do love all of the Seasons that we get to enjoy here in the Midwest. I get excited about different things in each of them.
But, Summer, by all means Summer!

With working in a school district, I have the Summer off. 
Two and one-half months of Summer!
I usually have my "to do" list, but I don't let that bother me too much.  :)

I love the lazy mornings...
being able to stay up late...
having time to read...
enjoying our pool...
vacation time with the family...
time to evaluate involvement in ministries...
work on projects...
time to weed in the flowerbed...
or not...

Shasta Daisy
Asian Lily

Blanket flower
Rose - of some kind
or time to sit and enjoy a cool drink in the screen porch.

If you haven't seen the movie,  "buy all means" do!

And enjoy your Summertime!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Open Hands


How are you with changes?

When life forces them upon you?

Or when God leads you to something else or somewhere other than where you’ve been?

Are you one who with excitement embraces the changes that you know lay ahead?  

Or are you one who prefers to have things stay the same?  A status quo type of person?

Years ago I took one of those personality tests so that I could know what my strengths were and to help me to know myself better.
It was also helpful in getting Dale and myself to understand each other and why we do what we do.

I don’t remember the “label”, I’ve never liked those. They always had strange names.
But I do remember one thing.
It told me that I don’t like change.  I’m a “don’t rock the boat” person.

As I’ve looked at different events in my life, this has helped me to understand my emotions at those times.

Didn’t make it easier.
Didn’t mean that I now was ready to embrace change with open arms.
It just let me know that I would regularly struggle in dealing with change.

Do you see the problem with that?
I do

As we all know, change is a constant thing in life.  

Yet, I continually try to hold on to my routine.

My status quo.

Keeping what I am able to - the same.  

I rarely even move the furniture in our house!

God knows me. He knows that I need time.
Time to process
Time to think things through
Time to remember that I can trust Him

I love when we have communion at our worship services.

Going up to the altar –
listening to God’s word being spoken –
being encouraged in His love for me-
reminded of His ultimate sacrifice

It is a place where I force myself to pry my closed fists open and lay them before my God.

With a head that wants to hold onto some things of the present, I struggle to have a heart that will allow God to lead into the future. I struggle to let go of what I know I can not control. But, God, ever so gently and lovingly, reminds me

He is faithful
He is trustworthy
He is enough

I pray that you find him to be the same for you.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Taken Unaware

Have you ever been surprised?

I don't mean like with a surprise party
or surprised to see someone.

I'm talking about being surprised by your emotions,
surprised by your own reaction to something or someone,
to be totally caught off guard.
How about being in the middle of something going on
and you realize that
you are being overwhelmed
with emotions and
can't even figure out why at first?

That happened to me the other night
and it caught me by surprise.

I was busy working on something away from home
enjoying all that was going on around me,

the laughter...

the conversations...

the excitement...

when all of a sudden the emotions started to take over. Tears started to fill my eyes.
It didn't take me too long to figure out what was happening.
You see, my heart knew...
even before my mind could grasp what was happening.

I knew...
    that these people had what I don't think I ever will and my heart ached because of it.

It really doesn't make any difference what that was.

I'm sure that for each of us there are times when we look at someone or some situation and wish we had what they had.
We wonder - "Why not me, God?"
Not that we don't want others to be blessed as they have been,
we just want that same blessing for ourselves.
You see, we want to choose our own blessings.
I've heard it said that emotions are neither right nor wrong.   
They are what they are.
But, what I do with them,
how I react to them,
makes the difference.

Thankfully, I was able to rejoice with those around me that night at what was happening in their lives. I'm so excited for them. I honestly am!

Scripture says to "Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." Romans 12

But, why is it so much easier to "weep" with others than to truly "rejoice with" them?

Is it because that when they weep, I'm thankful that it isn't me?
And when they rejoice, I wish it were me?
Am I really that selfish?
Oh, Father, I pray not!

I pray that my heart,
your heart,
will be willing to come along side others, no matter what the occasion, and weep or rejoice as God asks.

It isn't about me.

It's about God and what he knows is best for me.
Can I trust him?

There are days when I'm still working on that.
When I need to pry my fingers open...
fingers that are wrapped tightly around my life and those in it...
again and again releasing it into my Father's hands.

I, like you, am a work in progress.