Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adventures in Illinois

I'm back from the big eff. I'll write more later, when I'm not procrastinating the 19 million things that need to be done before the crazy-ness that will be my next, oh 3 months or so, but, I wanted to leave you a picture and a story:

My Grandpa was selected to go on an honor flight (read the story here) honoring WW2 vets.

As it was his first time flying, the Southwest crew announced that there was an 85 year old man who had never flown before and they gave him a pair of wings!

The Stuckemeyer-Ramsey-Miller-Winter Reception at the homecoming parade.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Today after preschool chapel, one of the the little girls was searching under the pews in the sanctuary, frantically, while the teachers aid was helping her search. The little girl was clearly upset, so I asked what she was looking for and she said, tears running down her cheeks, "I have lost my lipstick!"

Monday, April 19, 2010


Part of my responsibilities as a youth worker is to help plan the once-yearly high school weekend retreat.

This last week, we were talking about the theme of the next year's gathering and we began talking, amongst other things, what it would have been like to have lived in the time of Jesus and to be one of the disciples and how that would have affected their lives to the very end.

I wondered if, after Jesus ascended to heaven, if the disciples and other followers got together for dinner and told the wonderful stories about their time with Jesus on earth, looking forward to the time in heaven retelling those stories. If one of them would say something and another would say, "Hey remember when Jesus did this...?" or, "remember that time when Jesus...." before launching into a well-loved, often-told tale.

During that District meeting, we jumped from talking about the disciples being part of a story just as our youth (and ourselves) part of that larger story. To mis-quote Don Miller, we're the trees, but the story is about the forest.

In my house church, we are beginning to read the gospels as part of a larger, narrative story (instead of piece by piece). I'm so excited to get into this because I think that the stories are something that my soul is needing right now. I'm ready to hear and live the story.

The stories give hope and humanity to things that are otherwise boiled down to memory verses, sound bites and moral tales. The stories matter

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Song of the Week-Giving Up-Ingrid Michaelson

What if we stopped having a ball
What if the paint chips from the wall
What if there's always cups in the sink
What if I'm not what you think I am
What if I fall further than you
What if you dream of somebody new
What if I never let you win--
And chase you with a rolling pin--
Well, what if I do?

Cause I am giving up on making passes
and I am giving up on half empty glasses
and I am giving up on greener grasses
I am giving up

What if our baby comes in after nine
What if your eyes close before mine
What if you lose yourself sometimes
I'll be the one to find you safe in my heart.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I'm not sure if it's been this beautiful spring weather (the mornings, in particular), sleeping with the windows open or the fact that I'll be in Illinois next week, but my mind has been taking me there in my dreams many nights this week.

In last night's dream, I was back in high school and for some reason, needed to take my combine to school. While that's a little odd--particularly given the fact that I've never driven a combine--the REALLY weird part was the color of the combine.



My John Deere (Green and Yellow) loving family would be hanging their heads in shame.

Monday, April 12, 2010

For My Grampy

My Cousin called this morning to tell me the good news:

My Grandpa, a WW2 Veteran, has the opportunity to travel to Washington DC on an "honor flight," to view the WW2 memorial and be welcomed back home in a homecoming parade.

The best part? 3 of his children (my mom, my aunt and my uncle) get to go with him.

What an amazing experience for my Grandpa and for his children. What an amazing story for his grand-children and great-grandchildren.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

An Ode to Fitness

Dear Self,

While I'm glad that you're on this "fitness kick" that you seem to enjoy so much, please remember that you've got to have me around for hopefully another 50 or 60 years. You should remember that just because you walk 6 miles a couple of times a week you DO NOT USE THE SAME MUSCLES ON A BICYCLE.

When you overestimate your athletic prowess by saying to a friend, "Sure I can ride 9.1 miles around the lake, no problem," you will most likely end up cursing yourself about halfway through and realizing that there is no way to get back to your ride other than by dropping an f bomb and powering through to the end, even though it's like pedaling through soup because the wind is so fierce.

Also it's a good idea to remember that you have to climb stairs to your apartment, carrying your heavy mountain bike, so when your legs shake uncontrollably the first time only carrying your purse... you've probably overextended yourself.

If you could take notes and try to improve before the next time you decide to do something athletic (remember your first time skiiing?), we'll get along much better.

Kisses and hugs,

Your body.


I've been working on a couple of "personal challenges" that I'm really excited about from big to small.

This week's challenge: No TV week (to see how I fare without the cable tv). If there are shows I want to watch, I can watch them online the next day. Plus, with summer and its insanity rounding the corner, I'm not sure it's that continuing to pay for something that I barely watch in the evening is the best budgetary decision I can make at this point in time.

More on my "experiments" in the next few weeks.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Triumph, Easter Joy

Hallelujah! Our Savior is Alive!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Dark Friday

I wonder what the disciples were thinking on Palm Sunday, entering Jerusalem triumphantly, shouting with the crowds, "Hosanna, Lord Save us" as people laid palm branches before their king.

I wonder what they were thinking as they watched him cleanse the temple. Did they watch in amazement and trepidation or wonder who he was that dared such things?

I wonder what they were thinking at the passover feast, when he knelt to wash their feet, as he broke bread, passed the wine, told of upcoming betrayal, reclining with him, enjoying the time, one meal among many they'd shared... did they know it was the last?

What were they thinking when they went to Gethsemane? Did they understand his grief, his urgency, his prayers, the reason he was soaked with sweat, burdened with unseen weight?

What about when they saw Judas, one of them arriving, kissing Jesus on the cheek, handing him over to death?

What about when they saw him crucified?

Did they understand?