Author Archives: Sue

Father’s Day

My Dad passed away 12 years ago and I miss him still.  At certain moments, I miss him so much it makes me sob like a baby.  It might be in the middle of the grocery store or while watching a commercial or making dinner.   Often, it’s when we are on vacation.  Vacation reminds me of my childhood.  I look at my children and I wish they knew him.  I see grandpas with kids and I wish he was there with his grace and his humor and his charm.  His eyes sparkled and his confidence was never shaken.  He was a man who was comfortable in his skin and when he was on your side, the world was your oyster.   

My dad was warm, funny, intelligent, and kind.   He was steady and calm.  His advice for a happy life was to work hard, go to church, and love your family.  I love the quote by Leonardo Da Vinci that says “Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication.”  My dad was sophisticated.  He was classy, loyal, and reliable. 

My dad was a Marine in World War II.  This meant our shoes were always shined and we were fined a dollar if we didn’t wear a belt!!  I cringe to think of what he would say about all the young people with their “pants on the ground” today.  I wish I had asked more about the war.  I wish I knew what it was like and how it changed him. 

One time I told my dad I wanted to marry someone like him because, “You know everything.”  And he said, “Oh, no, honey, you want to make sure someone marries you because YOU know everything.”  Good advice, don’t you think? 

Thanks Dad.  Thanks for talking to me and listening to me and telling me I’m beautiful and smart.  Thanks for thinking I could get into Northwestern (his alma mater) even though there wasn’t even a sliver of a chance that would happen.  Thanks for working hard for our family and for taking us to church.  Thanks for loving mom and disciplining us (mostly my brothers).  Thank you for showing me my own worth, for holding a mirror up to me so I could see what you see.  Thank you for being simple, grateful, faithful, and kind.  I know that you are with God in Heaven and I know when you arrived, He said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  Well done, Dad.  Happy Father’s Day!

Just ASK

You know when you have those experiences that seem surreal?  When you are looking at something and you feel like God is there?  Or you hear something and you get chills?  What about when someone tells you something and you start to cry with empathy? 

This is the Holy Spirit.  I know some of you right now are thinking, “Oh boy, here we go, I knew she was crazy!” 

But seriously, let’s think about this.  I believe God has a specific and individual purpose for each of us.  I believe we have our own gifts and talents and we were born for this time and place to manifest our higher calling.  But when we get here, we forget where we came from, we get caught up in things and stuff and reality TV.  We are distracted.  We are so distracted, in fact, that when someone mentions the Holy Spirit, we want to laugh or turn away because we have removed ourselves completely from our origin and our purpose.

Now maybe it’s the term, “Holy Spirit” that scares you.  I remember they used to call it, the “Holy Ghost”.  That’s really scary.  Some people call it “energy”, “karma”, “the universe”, “divine intervention”.  Regardless of name, this “something” exists.  Are you with me? 

 If you are not “with me” and you are still thinking I’m completely nuts, pay very close attention for awhile and I’m sure you’ll have a similar experience.  Now you may have a lot of unlearning to do.  We all have to let go to let God in.  We have to literally empty ourselves to make room for God. 

I know stillness is difficult but awareness can be fun.  Often, it’s just a matter of changing our minds about something.  For instance, today, if you say something like this, “Okay God, I’m ready for you to show me your presence.  I want to experience you.”  Or you could say something like, “Okay God, this lady is crazy but I’m going to humor her and try this – show me your presence today.” Either way is fine.  Actually, any way you ask is fine.  Just ask. 

 Remember, ASK stands for Ask, Seek, Knock. 

 Ask and you will receive;

seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you.

                                                                                     -Luke 11:9

 And when the door opens, TRUST and walk through it.  Make sure you open your eyes so you can see.  You won’t want to miss it.

 01 Whenever God Shines His Light-click here for a great song by Van Morrison

Meet me at the table

“I’m ready to go home and back to school where we don’t see each other 24/7 but only at dinner.” 

This is what my 12 year old daughter said to me about 5 days into our Orlando trip.  Who can blame her?  We had been to Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios).  We had also been to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and Aquatica and Wet and Wild.  This was the whirlwind tour of Orlando led by my husband who had a plan to get us on every thrill ride within 30 miles.  We were exhausted. 

Her statement made me chuckle…isn’t that the truth of relationships?  I love you but 24/7 is a little much.  This is why many happy marriages thrive because of separate his and her bathrooms.  This is why we redid our basement.  We wanted the kids to have a place to go so we could be alone upstairs.  Yes, we love them but too much togetherness can often just be too much. 

I did love that she recognized we see each other at dinner.  I have tried to make dinner time family time in our house.  I don’t always succeed but most nights, we have dinner together.  It may be hot dogs or macaroni and cheese but we are together.  The fact that she acknowledged dinner time as together time says many things to me as a mom…she relies on that time, she appreciates that time, she knows that whatever else is going on, she can count on dinner with the family. 

All of this makes me think of our relationship with Jesus.  Often, we are too busy or too tired to be with Jesus 24/7.  We find it difficult to constantly be in a state of prayer or thanksgiving.  We can’t read the Bible all the time.  Our faith is important to us but as my husband put it not so lightly, “It can’t be JC 24/7!”  We find pious people who constantly talk about their faith tiresome and judgmental.  We want to have some fun!

My daughter knows that she can have access to her family when she wants us or needs us.  We will always be there for her.  As her parents, my husband and I see this as a blessing.  She can go out into the world to experience life and she will always have a home, a place to feel safe and regroup and know love.  Our heavenly Father must want us to know this too, we are never alone… Jesus is waiting for us at the table.