Tuesday, September 27, 2016

More Sadness at My School

I just couldn't bear to write this last night. When I arrived at school yesterday morning, staff members received news that once again a student passed away the night before. Two different students, two separate incidences, 5 days apart.

This time, the student was a senior. It was quite unexpected and shocking. There has been no cause of death that was revealed to us. Yesterday we were told that an autopsy would be performed.

Please pray for our students, his parents and his siblings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sad Day at Wayne

This morning I got to work to find out that one of our students died early this morning from injuries sustained in a car crash last night. He was a junior...age 17. He was 2 months younger than my own daughter. I'm heartbroken for his family. He was new to our district. I don't know if he had any siblings, but I only saw his mom listed as a parent. He was driving the car that crashed. No one else was in the car at the time and no other vehicles were involved.

I just talked to this student last week when he came into our library and signed out a book. I remember our short and seemingly insignificant conversation. You just never know when you will talk to someone for the last time. It's a reminder that the way we treat one another is so important. I'm glad my last conversation with him was not scolding him for something really trivial. I try not to do that with students anyway, but sometimes I've disappointed myself. This is a good reminder regarding that. Librarians can have a reputation for being crabby. I try to break that stereotype all the time.

Upon hearing the news, I immediately went into our circulation system, marked the book as lost, and removed the fine. I just don't want an overdue reminder or bill to be accidentally sent to his mom. Who cares about a book in light of this tragedy?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Beaver Camp Fun-Summer of 2016

This is the camp my daughter worked at this summer. Check her out at 1:38-1:43. She's also at 2:38-2:40...and a few other minor appearances that are quick. I'm really grateful for this camp. My kids went here as campers and 2 of them have worked here. Beaver Camp has made a profound impact on them spiritually.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The CBS Question that Stopped Me in My Tracks

This post was originally created on February 12, 2016...but I kept it as a draft. I think it is very insightful and that is why I'm publishing it today. I had published it one time before...but changed my mind. Besides that, it was buried in the archives where no one was likely to read it and comment. As the Lord gives me these insightful truths, it brings leaps of healing. I hope it can help and inspire someone else.

I wrote this post over a month ago...but was too self conscious to post it. I don't like people to know my personal struggles. I've been thinking about this post...especially since the anniversary of this loss is rolling closer. February is a difficult month for me. I struggle with Valentine's Day. I even told my husband once that I hate Valentine's Day and that I don't want to celebrate it. Buy me chocolate and flowers on any other day of the year....but don't buy it on that day. He hasn't always listened to this advice.

Anyway...in my quest to be more honest about myself, I've decided to post it after all.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭51:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬


For personal thought: which of the previously mentioned offerings would most involve genuine sacrifice on your part? Why? (Community Bible Study, Study guide for the book of Mark. Page 170)

The offerings mentioned:
  • a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:16-17....the verse written out above in red)
  • praise (Hebrew 13:15-16)
  • mercy and acknowledgment of God (Hosea 6:6)
  • our bodies and mind (Romans 12:1-2)

I stared at the question for several minutes while I considered each one of the choices, trying to decide what my answer would be.  I came to the first choice: the broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. "Well...I've gotten that one down," I thought to myself. I was about to look at the next choice when a second thought came into my mind. "But do you? Do you really have that one down?" I stopped and thought about it. I decided that I don't have that one down at all.

That one seems to be giving me the most difficulty. It seems like I actually hold onto my broken heart and my broken spirit. When I sense it slipping away...I grip it a little tighter...being afraid to let it go. I can't seem to sacrifice it entirely. Or is it that I won't sacrifice it? Perhaps I am afraid of losing the little bit I have left of something long ago lost. Really? Is that it? I can tell myself that this is foolish and faulty thinking. Do I really want this pain in my life? No! I hate it!

Then why can't I get rid of it? Why can't I just sacrifice it and be done with it? I know it is wrong...and yet I hold onto it. I can't...or won't really let it go. How do I put something on the alter that I have held onto for so long? There have been times when I've thought it is gone...but then there it is, back in my grip again. Must it always be a continual sacrifice? Again and again? Can't I just sacrifice it once and for all? Why must I see it once again in my possession?

I don't seem to have this one down at all.

"Oh, Heavenly Father. I sacrifice it to you. I lay it on the alter! I don't want it anymore!  It is yours."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On Being Wounded

I have been listening to the Chronicles of Narnia series on audio. I read it aloud to the kids when they were little...and decided it was time for someone to read it to me.

I've always known about the Christian symbolism in the book, but somehow it has hit me anew while listening to The Horse and His Boy. There is one part of the book where a lion attacks Aravis while she is riding on Hwin. She ends up with scratches from the lion's claws down her back. She is laid up with these wounds for some time afterwards. Later on in the book, Shasta discovers that it was Aslan who wounded Aravis. He asks Aslan why he would do such a thing. Aslan answers that he will only tell Shasta his own story, not Aravis's story.

I have a story. I have been wounded. As I look back at my life, I see indications that the Lord knew what was going to happen to me all along. He knows my story even better than I do. I couldn't prevent my deep wounds from happening even though it seemed as though I should have been able to. I wanted to set the record straight with those who misunderstood me, but the Lord would not allow me to. He closed the doors time and time again and sometimes didn't open the doors at all.

 I really believe that He wounded me. I have gotten into discussions about this very topic in the past with people who disagree. They would say, "Oh no. The Lord never wounds, but he only allows us to be wounded." I disagree because the scriptures mention that the Lord afflicts. (Psalm 119:75) Besides that, if He doesn't do it...then is He asleep on the job when it happens? Does He hire the devil to do his dirty work? Is He actually a cruel God who stands by and watches us get hurt without coming to our defense? No! Of course not.

God is good. He is just. He has purposes that we don't understand. It really was His plan that I be terribly misunderstood and consequently rejected by people I loved deeply. I don't know if I'll ever understand the reasons why on this side of eternity. I am coming closer than ever to being totally at peace about this. I know the truth is that it was supposed to happen.

Here is a quote that I love from the book. It occurs while Shasta is speaking to a mysterious traveling companion after getting lost in a fog. He concludes that he is the most unlucky boy. This is what Aslan says to him:

"I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you."

He has greater purposes for the "misfortunes" that we encounter during our lives. He is working in ways that we are not aware of. I'm getting closer. Yes...I am.

I only now ask for your prayers that the ruminating about it would stop. It sounds easy to others to simpy stop thinking about it...but it isn't easy. It is like my thoughts automatically gravitate towards this deep groove running through my mind. I would appreciate your prayers about this.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

My Beautiful Children

It has been a while since I have been here. Allen and Audra are home from college. In June, Audra will be going to Beaver Camp up in the Adirondacks. She will spend the summer working as a life guard and camp counselor. Allen had planned on going to Colorado to work on maintaining trails in the Rockies, but his plans have changed. Instead, he will be staying here for the summer. He already has gotten a job with a landscaping company. He will start on June 1st. In the meantime, he has gone up to Beaver Camp to work for a few days. This coming weekend he will be driving to NC to join his ultimate frisbee team in a tournament. Next week, his girlfriend is coming here for a visit. She lives outside of Chicago. Alicia and I haven't met her yet. Jamie met her when he went to IWU to pick up Audra.

This weekend was Alicia's junior prom. This is my favorite picture of all!

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Winter Hike 2016

Every year my husband and son, along with Ed (a family friend) go on a winter hike in the Adirondack Mountains.
Allen is now up to 42 high peaks. Only 4 more to go to become a 46er! Jamie is up to 9 high peaks.

They hiked 2 high peaks. Tabletop and Colden.

Here are Allen and Jamie on Mt Colden. Allen has hiked to the top of this mountain before, so only added one new high peak on this trip. Both Jamie and Ed added two. That is Mt. Marcy in the background.  They had a great time. I picked them up from the thruway exit on Monday night around 7:30. I'm proud of them!