Thursday, September 27, 2012



Life is a series of footsteps and heartbeats… and/or pedal rotations.  With every step, beat and pedal we come closer to understanding who we are, why we are, and Who made it all possible.  The bike path of life is worn by the multitudes who travel her.  The comfort in the journey is knowing it isn't traveled alone.  We are companions connected by a cord of humanness and createdness.

Have you ever squeezed the Charmin?  Have you ever put peanuts in your bottled Coke-a-Cola?  Have you ever entered the wrong public bathroom?  Have you ever gotten clothes out of the dirty clothes hamper and worn them one more day? Have you ever been afraid?
See, we are the same, but different. We are God's most prized creation. We're all made from the same recipe with just a few different ingredients. To some are given a singing voice, strong and beautiful; to others, calculus or Shakespeare are old friends; A white sauce and chocolate mousse are works of art to the gourmet; Capturing the beauty on canvas or in needlepoint is the talent of a few. Connected by our sameness, we are enhanced by our individual uniqueness. We should embrace this, not be afraid of it.
Mankind melted in a pot means neighbors, friends, family, all with faces, all with names. God knows the names. He sculpted the faces.
With each beat, step and pedal, I'm coming closer to accepting my sameness all the while discovering my own uniqueness. We may bump shoulders along the path. If we do, will you walk a ways with me? Will you hop on your bike and join me? I can't be missed. I'll be the one on the pink bike wearing the day-old clothes.


Monday, September 24, 2012

First Steps



I've had a rough time with God lately.  For a while life has hurled questions at me at a pretty fast clip. What should I do about this? What should I do about that?             

So, what did I do?  I took these questions to God expecting answers.  I told myself I could and would accept whatever the answers were.  I stood, ready, listening, and waiting. 

I heard nothing.  I felt nothing.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  I felt everything  Fear. Doubt.  Frustration.  Hurt.  Answers.  I just wanted answers!
I processed.  I waited.  I re-processed.  I continued to wait.  I evaluated.  I waited. I re-evaluated.  I waited.

Today, I stopped waiting and walked out on a limb.  I took a deep breath, gave God a nasty look and inched forward.
I'm now sitting here lighthearted, a little shaky, but confident I did the right thing.
“God, You knew I was hiding behind You didn't you?  You knew I was playing it too safe and You wouldn't let me get away with it.”
Faith has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with taking first steps and praying while you run.
I have so much to learn.


Thursday, September 20, 2012



This morning when I left out on my morning ride on LuLu, I exited the house through our back sliding doors. I had to laugh. On the glass doors at about knee height were oodles and oodles of fingerprints left by my grandchildren from their last visit. Little, sweet smudges to remind me they were here.

 I got to wondering as I began my bike trek where my own fingerprints still lingered. I mean if Sherlock Holmes were to dust the city for my prints, what would he find? Okay, true confession time: My prints are at the grocery store, Hobby Lobby, and all over Diary Queen.

Think about it. When your kids left for school this morning your fingerprints were probably on their lunchboxes and backpacks, but where they on them?  Did you hug them?  Did you hold their sweet faces in your hands and wish them well? Did you rub noses?

My mailbox bears my paw prints. You never know when that million from the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes will arrive.  But how many of my fingerprints were made sending out cards of encouragement to those I know who need them?  Mr. Holmes can't tell me that.  But I know the answer.
When a friend is sick, does her washing machine bear my fingerprints and clean, folded towels my mark? Will her bowl of chicken soup be hard evidence that I was there?
When you left work today your fingerprints were on the water cooler, but will anyone take them home with them because you patted them on the back for a job well done?
Driving home from the grocery store when I see someone in obvious distress along the road will my fingerprints be found on their gas can or on my door lock? 
My fingerprints are probably still on my neighbors hedge clippers, rake, and garden hose- all things I've borrowed.  But can hers be found around my dining table?
Yep, I wondered what ole Sherlock's findings would be?  Fingerprints are telltale little witnesses that testify what I've been up to lately.  If they were more visible, would I make different choices? Would you?

Just thinking…


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A new season...


This morning’s ride on LuLu was a teeth-chatterer—forty-two degrees, folks. Last night we were warned that there might be frost so I brought in some of my potted plants, the ones I want to keep over the winter. You know, the ones I want to die a slower torturous death from my lack of attention and neglect. Yep, there’s been a change of the guard; a new season has begun. Autumn has arrived.
A new season. I love it. September is like my New Year’s. I love the hope and promise it brings. My schedule shifts a bit. The landscape changes from greens and pinks to oranges and yellows. Short sleeves are traded for long ones. Capri’s turn into big girl pants that cover the entire leg; and, my two favorites come into play, socks and sweatshirts! Bring it on!
Lately, I’ve noticed that not only are the earth’s seasons changing, but so are mine, and I’m not quite as excited about mine. Aches have settled into joints that used to be lubricated and strong. My hair has changed from a vibrant brown to a… battleship gray. And, I find myself putting my pajamas on earlier and earlier in the evening. I figure at this rate soon I’ll be wearing them all day long.
Well, I decided something had to change. At age 61, I figure there’s a good chance I’m still going to live for a while, so instead of moaning and bemoaning the change of my season, I should embrace it and figure out how to appreciate it and well… do it better. So, I started looking for books to read that would help with that. I mean, I’ve read books about every stage of my life, from dating, to marriage, to giving birth, to parenting, to empty-nesting and they’ve all either helped me prepare for the next season, or been a life-saver when I found myself overwhelmed by the season itself. So why not this? There really must be a way to age gracefully, don’t you think?
Of course one of my first steps in this process was to bring LuLu into my life. My pink bike has done wonders for my body and my soul. I’m now half way through a pretty good book that tells me that I’m actually, at the age of sixty-one, the ‘teenager of old age’, more accurately, I’m a pre-teen.  I’m liking that thought, because I know I’ve seen teenyboppers at the mall in their pajamas pants. I think I’m going to like this season.
More about this as time goes on…

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

As we remember...


All of us remember where we were on September 11, 2001 when we heard about the World Trade Center. I had stayed home from work recovering from pneumonia, and was propped up in bed watching the Today Show with Katie Couric. The banter had been light and I had only been half listening as I drifted in and out of sleep. Suddenly, the tone got terse as Katie went into your serious-reporter-voice with breaking news that a plane had just hit the WTC. Instantly live footage of smoke billowing out of the tower popped up on the screen. As Katie reported speculating on the whys and wherefores of this accident, I, along with thousands of others, watched the second plane crash into the other tower. That’s when I knew, we all knew, what we were witnessing was no accident.
Eleven years later we can instantly recall the emotions, the disbelief, the sorrow and the fear that struck each of us that day. Vivid images still haunt us of ash and debris-covered New Yorkers staggering down the middle of the street dazed and mute; Firefighters and police officers running toward the towers as panic stricken civilians ran away from them; and finally, once visibility cleared, that haunting image of those ripped and mangled steel girders protruding up out of that horrid mess as a monument of our lost innocence.
My best memory of that day and the weeks that followed, however, was the unity I felt with complete strangers. In stores we’d look at each other and know—we’d know and understand what each of us had been through. We were the survivors, the ones left to mourn. Gone was bi-partisan politics, replaced with clasped hands across the aisle. Gone were any one’s objection of suggestions to pray, in fact, there wasn’t a newscaster I watched that didn’t end their broadcast each evening with a mention of God or prayer.
Disagreements were forgotten.  Issues put in perspective. And to the forefront came the overwhelming belief that the sanctity of life was all that mattered. Helping each other through this tragedy was given priority. Money and manpower was sent to our New York neighbors. Church pews filled up as we reacquainted ourselves with our beliefs and faith. We turned to God and His help because we had nowhere else to turn.
We became our best selves during this time of devastation. Everyone mattered. Everyone wanted to help. Candle lighting, prayer vigils, and bravery joined hands around our country as we held each other up. This was who we are. This was the American people as we were meant to be.
I want those people back. I want us to drop the rhetoric, the spin, the self- centeredness and nonsense of the past couple of years and remember who we are again. We are Americans. We are one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
September 11, 2001- may it always remind us exactly who and Whose we are…

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I am woman...


When I was a child, I thought being a girl was the pits!  My brother got to do all the fun stuff light years earlier than I did and got all the cool toys. He got an English Racer bike with thin tires built for speed. I got a little blue bike with training wheels. (Of course, I now have a pink bike with big, fat tires. I win!) When he and his friends went camping, they actually got to camp out in the woods. When my girlfriends and I went camping, we got to pitch a bedspread over the kitchen chairs in the back yard.  My brother got a BB gun and went on adventures. I got a Barbie doll and played house.  During the summer my brother got to play baseball under the lights. I got to keep score. It wasn't until I matured a little that I could appreciate my more feminine qualities and my exclusive opportunities.

It took awhile, but I finally realized that I was not created second best or ever expected to travel through life second class.  My life is important and God expects a lot from me.

Man and I are not rivals.  We are fellow-sojourners on the same walk.  Our differences enhance our humanness.  Our sameness makes us partners.  How can we claim victory if both are neutered by today’s rhetoric?

In the 1950s, women were beat over the head with the word and idea of ‘submission’. But, I’m here to tell you, that in this new 21st century, I am not afraid of that word or it’s meaning.  I greet it as my greatest challenge.  I don't want to fight it, but rather to grow enough to become it.  Submission isn't a "woman's thing" like we were always told, it's a "people thing".  Submission is the corner stone of servant hood, which is the foundation of love, which is the bottom line of life.  A friend of mine says, "Authority is not the first word in leadership, submission is."    I like that.

I am woman.  I am a vital part of mankind.  Actually, there are no un-vital parts.  The question isn't am I better or equal, but rather, dare I make a difference?


Monday, September 3, 2012

Angry words...


My late afternoon bike ride with LuLu had me thinking about relationships. I have been blessed by many dear people in my life. However, as I was pedaling on my pink bike on this hot, cloudy afternoon I was thinking what would it take to destroy a friendship or build a wall between a loved one and me. I didn’t have to think too hard.

Have you ever wanted to bite your tongue right off because of something you said in anger?  I'm constantly amazed at the abundant amount of stupidity I am capable of in a heated moment. 

My anger can cause me to shoot darts through hearts.  I search and grope for words that are meant to hurt. I am Ninja-like when it comes to insults. When they hit their mark, ka-boom! I’m amazing. I'm also instantly ashamed of my actions and that wicked justification I feel for one brief moment. If not kept in check, our anger makes us irrational.  It can get us to turn on those we love in an instant. And, if you’re like me a misunderstood word or an innocent jab temps us to breath fire and singe all in my wake.

Is it ever 'just' to hurt anyone by our angered words?  What kind of victory is it when you stand alone in a lake of ashes?  And, what can be done after the words have been hurled and the victim is wounded?

Two and a half of the toughest words to utter are "I'm sorry".  They can set you up and make you vulnerable for a counter attack.  But, if they are not spoken, the wound inflicted could be fatal.  The uncontrolled word shouted in a flame of anger can ruin all that you hold precious and destroy dreams leaving devastation in its stead.

Think about it.  There is no victory in ashes.