Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I've Moved! Don't Let Me Lose You!

My blog has now moved to be part of my website at . Please click on this link: to see my new look. PLEASE go ahead and sign up either for the RSS feed or by email. I appreciate all of you and don't want to lose anyone.

Again--my new address is

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Anniversary Thoughts

My husband Steve does two things consistently that would keep me desperately in love with him even if he were an inconsiderate slob. (Note I did not say “abusive.” That’s too far over the line for me.)

Last Saturday we went to the dedication of a new church building in Bedford, Indiana. The old one, where Steve’s family always worshiped, burned two years ago. Steve spoke on “Beauty for Ashes,” and compared the building and the church to the phoenix rising from the ashes to be better than ever. He did a great job and I was very proud of him.

And true to form, later, he said to me, “I’m always proud to have you with me. You were the best-looking woman there!” And he says it with such pride and confidence that, amazingly, I know he really means it.

The second thing is that he says I am so much smarter than he is. He doesn’t say it in that way people sometime have of saying it so you’ll disagree and compliment them. Instead, he slides it into conversation as a matter of fact. “I love being married to a woman that’s smarter than I am,” he’ll say, giving an account of something we’ve done together. And he gives advice to young men: “Marry a woman that’s smarter than you, like I did. You’ll never regret it.”

Now these are clearly his opinions, not necessarily fact. But his believing them so devoutly are two of the most endearing characteristics of my husband of 46 years today.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Alert: New Blog Address

In case you're wondering why I haven't posted anything recently, it's because I moved and didn't give you my new address: .

From now on, you will access my blog through my new website,

This is a part of my new website makeover that includes link to my new blog. You can go there and sign up again (sorry for the bother)to get my Musings.

The focus of my blog may be changing soon, too, but it will still be in the same location: While you're there, check out the new website, too.

Hope you'll still come along for the journey!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Culture of a Marriage

I’ve known very well many couples who have been married to each other for over 50 years and many couples who are very sweet to each other; those two characteristics do not always go together. As one of my own relatives said, “What’s to celebrate about being married to him for 50 years?”

The culture of some marriages is to argue, to disagree, to fight verbally. Some "break up to make up,” as the song goes, and for a few people that seems to work. Not us. We like our disagreements to be resolved quickly and fairly. We understand that one of us must have a better position than the other and we just have to figure out which it is. (The fact that it’s usually me does not always go over well….) Often we simply agree that it doesn't matter.

But there are some pleasant accommodations that come with a marriage that’s lasted almost 46 years, as ours has. And here’s an example.

Tuesday we each had morning appointments. Steve left before I did. I knew I wanted a few items from the grocery store, so I looked in the refrigerator to see what he needed. Often I’ll tell him I’m going, but I didn’t call him since he was at his appointment and I thought he’d be out all day.

When I got home, Steve had been there a few minutes and was leaving again. As I started putting away what I’d bought, I had to laugh. I put a half gallon of skim milk beside another new skim milk, a quart of half & half beside another new one, and my two bananas joined four that hadn’t been in the fruit basket earlier that morning. Each of us had gotten a few different items as well, but there were noticeable duplications because we each thought the other wouldn’t have time to go to the store.

But here’s what I think is so funny: neither of us has mentioned it! I’m sure he saw the extra bananas and by the next morning the extra milks. But why bother to discuss it? There was a time in our lives that one of us would have said, “Why didn’t you tell me….and saved one of us some time?” But no longer.

Yes, being semi-retired may be part of it, but mainly it’s that we’ve reached an understanding. There’s no use complaining about—or even discussing—something that can’t be changed. Grace and mercy are so much easier to live with than condemnation.

But we’d both agree that there’s a lesson to be learned here. I’m sure the next time either of us stops to pick up some groceries, we’ll call the other one first!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


I began this post by pondering some of the small everyday things we all deal with, skipping across a shallow stream of my shortcomings and those of others. Then my pondering got away from me and I began to drown in the deep waters.

Why do people leave lights on in a room no one will use all day?

Why do people leave cabinet doors open?

Why do people leave toys strewn around when the child won’t return for days?

Why do people drop or spill something and not clean it up?

Why do people wear worn-out shoes and clothes when they have better in their closets?

Why do people bemoan gaining weight and keep eating too much?

Why do people cling to people who destroy them?

Why do people give in to temporary pleasures and sacrifice long-term joy?

Why do people give up on life?

Why do parents desert children?

Why do people bring children into the world when they cannot care for them?

Why do people make promises they know they cannot keep?

Why do people fall for promises that experience says will not be fulfilled?

Why do people read the Good Samaritan story and then turn from those in need?

Why do people seem so put together and then fall apart more than others?

These are just a few questions I’ve pondered lately. I may have more later. For the questions about my own behavior, I have ideas of what the answers might be. For the others, I’m clueless. If you have any answers, please comment below!

Monday, August 01, 2011

So Far, So Good

Last night I visited my friend in the ER and today in ICU. She is still sedated so I'm not sure how she's doing. The nurse was optimistic that she'd be back on her feet in a few days.

I talked to another woman who has mentored her far longer than I have. She is equally concerned and was actually at the apartment when the police arrived. God has obviously put her in this girl's life, too.

I fear my friend will be angry at me for sending help when she was willing to give up. But I know this gives me more chances to talk to her about her brother Jesus and God her Father. Now she will have a chance to have the love and the family she never had.

What can I tell her about the loneliness of her life? I can offer her a loving church family and my friendship, but she also needs the friendship of peers who are good influences. I know many loving young adults who will gladly embrace her as a friend if she'll only let them in. A lifetime of being let down is hard to overcome.

Any suggestions out there for how I can convince her of God's love and acceptance and forgiveness?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Can I Do?

I have a new friend, but I won’t give her name because if she’s still alive I don’t want to embarrass her.

She was raised “in the system,” meaning that the welfare folks were always in charge of her life. She was in orphanages or group homes most of her life.

When she was once enrolled in a junior high, she was only there two weeks before she was kicked out. During that time, she organized students to stuff all the toilets with paper and at an appointed time to flush all at once. What another person might fantasize about, she actually did! As I told her, it took lots of leadership skills to make that happen in just two weeks with kids she had not previously known. So much for that school experience.

The only time she was in a foster home was the best time of her life. I wonder if that foster mother ever realized that. For her last year and a half of high school, she lived with a widow who was a good cook and good gardener and who taught her many things about an ordinary life.

But she has yet to live an ordinary life. For a while, she worked at a factory and “made good money.” But when the opportunity to go to college arose, she took it. Beset by health problems, she was constantly having to drop college classes, so she didn’t graduate until she was almost 26. She registered for Steve’s class four times before she actually completed the course. That’s how we met her.

Last week she turned 27. She is holding down two lowly jobs, trying to figure out how to repay all the college debt, and desperately ill. Two months ago it was pancreatitis; she doesn’t know what it is now. A friend took her to the emergency room, and she was so sick she didn’t even know what hospital she was in.

I called her Friday night, when she was in the unknown hospital. She sounded awful—speaking in a low, strung-out kind of voice. Her voice is husky anyway, but this time she was hard to understand.

I called her back Saturday morning around10:30. I asked which hospital she was in and she said she was home.

“Did they discharge you?” I asked, unbelieving. No, she just walked out of the hospital and got a cab home. She needed to go to work because she needed the money. I reminded her that she needed to stay hospitalized long enough to get well so she could work, but she dismissed the idea.

I called her again at 2 and she said, “I just feel so bad about everything.” I asked if she was in pain or feeling bad mentally and she said mentally, feeling bad about everything that had happened (whatever that was.) She said things couldn’t get worse and I assured her they could. I reminded her that she had two jobs with people who understood when she was sick and didn’t fire her.

I called again at 3 and she was no better. I kept asking if I could come get her, or just go stay with her a while, but she said no. Now I think I should have gone anyway.

Around 5, I looked at her FB page and saw a picture of a handful of pills. A friend had commented, “Antibiotics?” and she’d answered, “Antipsychotics!” That’s her kind of humor, so I thought maybe she was regaining balance. I left a message for her.

Around 9, I went to FB to see if she’d responded and her page was GONE. Her name is there when I look it up, but the page will not show up. I texted her to ask what was going on. I texted her again this morning but no answer. I called several times this afternoon. I went to her apartment and talked to people there when I couldn’t raise her. I called her workplace but because it’s a weekend got no answer in the offices. I texted her again that I am worried about her.

I had talked to the apartment manager and gotten his number, so I called him and asked him to go to her apartment and check on her. He said he is not allowed to do that. He also said someone saw her walking down the street last night. I doubt it, but I have no proof.

Now what recourse do we have? None. We have to wait till she’s not responded for 24 hours before we call the police. At least that’s what they say in the movies and tv.

I am mainly worried that she died without Jesus. I have had ample opportunities to talk to her, and I kept trusting the Spirit to guide me as to when to speak. I didn’t want her to think I was her friend just so I could convert her. I love her for herself, but I so want her to know Jesus as her Savior and friend and God as her father. She never knew a father’s love, and I desperately want her to rest in God’s embrace. Will I get another chance?