Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Wish

I'm thankful for Corrie Ten Boom. She is one of my favorite heroes of all times...she and Harriet Tubman. Both were extreme followers of Christ. Gotta love that!

I recently read how Corrie once said, "I wish -" but then she stopped. She looked upward, raised a hand to heaven and said, "Father, you do all things well. Thank you!" A friend of hers had never forgotten.

When I read this, I immediately loved it! I read it again. I memorized it. I bookmarked it. Throughout the day, I tested myself to see if my lame long-term memory could actually remember it along with "stop and grab bread, pick up Meredith at 7 and start laundry."

I did! :)

Only a few days later, I was driving to South Bend, Indiana to meet my sisters (all 5 of them) and my mom and dad, to celebrate my dad's 75th birthday.

I was elated. Just the girls and mom and dad fun! I really couldn't remember the last time we'd done something like this. I mean, I knew there were times it happened without me...a ten hour drive to Ohio is a little hard to make for a supper.

But this time, I got to go!

On the way, as I was making my 5 hour trek, the thought occurred to me, here I was drinking McDonald's sweet tea and pounding down Aldi's mixed nuts (the cashews and almonds, first) to stay awake and they were all together in one van telling funny stories and laughing...without me!

The funnest part of our whole time together could be the way there...and I wasn't with them!

A deep sadness settled
like sugar in unsweetened tea.

Then I thought it...

I wish I were in their van-

The Holy Spirit kicked in "You wish?"

Involuntarily, I raised my hand upwards to my precious Father, who knows everything, and said, "Father, you do all things well. Thank you!"

And I even meant it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Loss?

"Winning is fun!" That's Michaela's quote. I agree 100%.

That's why on a Thursday night in Dubuque, Iowa we were left feeling anything but...Matt's Greenville College soccer team had made it to 'the big dance.' They were in the NCAA accomplishment only 32 teams in each division in the country can boast of.

At halftime we were leading 1 to 0. Within 4 minutes of the last half, Loras College scored. Within 8 minutes they scored again. They added a 3rd goal in the last ten minutes of the game.

I felt sick to my stomach watching the last ten minutes of the game.

Matt played with a whole heart the entire game. My mama's heart was 100% proud.

As the final seconds ticked away and the deep chanting voices of the Loras fans filled the stadium "Season's Over" clap-clap-clap-clap-clap, "Season's Over" eyes remained glued to son.

His face hung. He whipped off his headband letting his long hair fall over his face. I searched to see him, his eyes...his slumping shoulders said it all.

Bobby then realized we left the bags of trailmix for Matt in the Durango. He left to go get them.

Inwardly I panicked as I watched Matt and other players slowly cross the field. Oh no, he's going to get here before his dad. What am I going to say? What can I say? His dad is so darn good at knowing how to do these things...what do I-

Matt had reached our side of the field. He swung a leg over the bleacher rail and pulled himself up. He flicked his hair back..then quickly looked down again.

I was speechless. I reached out and pulled him close. Tears filled my eyes.

"I love you, Matt. I'm proud of you," I whispered.

He pulled away, looked up and after a few seconds of silence said quietly, "It just stinks. For Terrance and the rest of the Seniors, it's over. Soccers over. I feel bad for them."

I swallowed hard, to hold back more tears.

Bobby arrived.

I watched him, with relief. I mentally focussed all of my pitiful listening skills on my man. What would he say? How could I learn from his gift of knowing just what to say?

He smiled sympathically at his son. Then he shrugged and said, "You got here. Most teams never do."

Matt nodded.

"You do have trail mix," his dad said with a grin.

"Trail mix will make it better?" Matt said with a twinkle in his eye.

I stood quietly. That's all? Is there no more we can make him feel better? To give clarity? To make it make sense?


Yes, Michaela. Winning is fun...and yes, Matt, losing does stink.

As your mom I feel inept to know what to say, how to help, how to encourage you in your faith during the poopy times of life.

I don't.

I do want to be there. I'm not sure exactly how it makes a difference, but it must. I'm sorry I can't give you more. It stinks that I can't give you more.

But wait...

Maybe 'the more' can only come from another place, another source...and praise His name if it isn't Jesus.

The only One who can take an L and make it a W.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The smell of turkey, a warm kitchen packed with family, laughter, noise and running children. Thanksgiving brings lots of memories. I also quickly think of my mom because it's her favorite holiday. As a kid, (I mean 'child' - my mother hates the term 'kid') I never understood my mom's favorite holiday choice. I mean, who picks thanksgiving as their favorite holiday?

My mother...that's who.

I am majorly tearing up. My mom totally embodies the spirit of thanksgiving. So many of my memories are of my mother happily whistling around the house. She actually whistled hymns. She told me once that her dad whistled tunes and that's something she picked up from him. But she didn't just whistle any tune, her favorite was "How Great Thou Art."

My mom is not a woman who has had it easy. She had 6 children in 8 years. She definitely worked in the home and out. The air hockey and pool table downstairs always looked they they were regurgitating the junior miss section of J.C. Penneys. Did I mention the ever wet basement...running girls around to basketball games and working full time as my father's dispatcher for his trucking company of 100 plus trucks?

If any woman ever had a right to complain or grumble or be overwhelmed it would be my mother...Eunice Hackenberger.

She rarely did. She worked hard. She still does. She chose to look at the blessings in her life...her man, (like that mom?...notice I didn't say your boss :)), her daughters, her God.

My mom is truly amazing. For her thanksgiving is not a holiday, but an attitude, a way of life. Thanks mom!