Thursday, March 22, 2007


I have moved my blog to a wordpress blog. That is where all updates are now.

It can be found at

If you have my blog on your blogroll, please update it and visit often!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What a Tangled Web We Weave

It's been a long time since I posted. I simply haven't felt like it and probably should not have freely added my thoughts to the internet at times over the past few weeks. Suffice it to say; things are never the way we think they are. Nor the way we wish they were.

But, thank God, I am not Anna Nicole Smith, her family or friends. Thank God I do not watch American Idol. Thank God I like to read fiction because it's so much more believable than most of the carp that is out there! (I do not mean to ridicule those of you who DO watch American Idol, I just find it to be like an organized circus and rather silly). I think there have been one too many media trainwrecks lately and we need a good dose of political or inspirational news to make us think. We run the risk of turning dumb.

My pain is getting better at times. Most of the time, though, I haven't noticed a great improvement over my pain prior to surgery. I'm told that may take another two months. It actually hurts in a whole new way now! I'm told I should lie down and rest for the next six weeks. They're nuts! Perhaps if I won the lottery and then turned into an entirely different person who LIKED to lie around, that would work. It's simply impossible on a number of levels. So...I learn to be patient about pain and wait for the day sometime this summer when I might not hurt. It's the complete exhaustion I wasn't prepared for! They didn't tell me about that!

I don't want to end on a complaining note; I'm really not complaining. I find that each day I wake up ready to do better and enough of the time I do. I have great plans and goals and hopes for this year. My family is in for a ride towards something deeper and greater than we know. It's starting already. It's fun.

And no, Jim, I do not wear my blue pointy shoes right now! That'll wait for August.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Deepening Roots...Growing Up....Growing Older

Last year at this time we found ourselves on the edge of so much change. When we entered 2006, Andy and I knew that the year was going to bring profound changes in our lives. I could almost taste it and it was exciting in an apprehensive sort of way. Nothing could have prepared us for all that happened, and certainly none of it was expected. Much of it was hard and painful; nothing was simple. And right up to the last minute of the last day of December, we were feeling things shift.

Kayleigh's decision to move to Michigan was the first change. At the time it felt like the biggest one; but it wasn't. The fact that she left impacted everyone in very different ways. Liam seems to have taken it more easily than anyone. He's angry sometimes, but the kid is amazingly forgiving and, although he doesn't understand what she did, he has decided to learn from it. He states over and over that he doesn't want to do some of the things Kayleigh was doing because he felt the fallout and wouldn't want his brother and younger sister to feel that way. He saw how hurt we were as parents and doesn't want to make us cry. He remembers how rejected he felt when she wouldn't spend time with him and knows someday Colin will look to him for attention like that. All very idealistic for a ten-year-old kid; let's hope he sticks to it! Erin just sits in her anger sometimes. For weeks at a time she's been moody, pouty and violent. She doesn't understand that she didn't do anything to make Kayleigh leave, nor does she understand that no matter what she does, Kayleigh will never be back the way she wants her to be. I can't imagine the heartache of having a big sister who embodies everything you want to be and then she rips your heart out. Erin deserves to be angry. But she is learning to deal with anger (not just with Kayleigh) and developed some new coping strategies. That's a good thing. Colin has stopped standing outside her door calling her name; she is now someone that comes and goes for holiday meals. He'll certainly have questions someday and we'll leave them to her to answer. Andy seems to easily tuck his hurt somewhere far away and to be honest I don't know how much hurt there really is. I know I'm no longer hurt. I think we're both just a little numb. After decades of verbal violence and psychological head games with K's mother, we got so used to tuning out the madness. It's been almost a year and we're just happy not to worry so much. We love her now from a distance and I think that's the better way for us to be. We will learn again how to be in a relationship with her, but as adults in the future, not as traditional parents in the present. Peace came to reign in our house and that was sorely needed. From this big change in our family make up, we all learned how important we are to each other and how desperately we want to stay together through everything. Kayleigh always had another parent to run to; the other kids won't. They are stuck with us and they know that! And we will all be in it together.

The career changes for both of us were huge as well. Andy left what should have been the job to retire from to come "home" to Lancaster EMS. Less travel, less headache (and less money) were the tradeoff. But he's so happy he did it and now has settled into his role there. Just in time to be present for the slaughter of baby girls in an Amish school. For such a time as this he was placed. Through that, Andy has been able to share his faith with his co-workers and with the press. He has learned about forgiveness (as we all have) and soon will get to meet Sara Ann and see how what he does really matters. I can't wait for that!

My career change from nursing to sales was just wierd and unexpected but has brought rewards on many levels and it is becoming clear to me that God knows exactly what He's doing and I should just shut up and deal. The schooling I'm starting is just another step in the road and one day ministry will be my "other job" while sales will provide the bread on the table. One has to fund the other, I think. God has a plan and His is much more long term than I could ever imagine.

Then, surgery came and went and now I wait to heal. I put that off for 13 years fearing the changes that would bring. By summer, I hope to be nearly pain free or as close to that as I can get. That just may be the most welcome change of all!

So, now we settle down in our new roles in our jobs, our new positions in our family and our new physical conditions. We wait on God to show us clearly where to go next. This year we sense His guiding hand very clearly and we know that if we trust Him, we'll be exactly where He wants us to be.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I have married the most amazing person on the face of the earth. I hope that anyone else reading this would feel the same way (about their spouse of course!) This guy is just exceedingly tolerant and longsuffering with me. I can be a real jerk when I am irritable, and boy, baby, have I been irritable lately! Pain does that to people I am told.

I also have the most wonderful mother God ever allowed to be a mother. She has given me and my family more than anyone could have imagined or asked for---ever. And we don't always ask; she just gives 'cause she knows what we always need. She is not only a fantastic mother, she's the best grandmother going these days and my best friend. I want to be just like her when I grow up. My dad's not too bad either!

Then, there is this guy I work for and these people I work with who are patient and willing to wait for me to recover to get back to work. That is such a reassurance and so needed right now. I need to work (for many many many reasons) and this is the best job ever and I can't wait to get back full steam. But until then, they'll let me gimp a little.

And the three most stunning people I have ever met. Liam, Erin and Colin Gilger for whom no introduction is needed and for whom I live each day more fully than the last.

This is a great big thank you to all of you who have stuck around while I was tired, crippled, less than perfect and coming alive.

I am eternally grateful and I'll owe you forever.

Love ya!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

This week was a week of introspection for me. So often I feel like I am walking on the fringes of life lately. Andy is so fantastic about getting everyone up and moving in the morning while I sleep in. I find that my body is exhausted all the time. This thing of healing takes so much energy and you don't even realize it until you can't stand up any more! He is an amazing man and some day I'd like to take him on a cruise; but he gets seasick, so the thought will have to count!

Theology is such a heady issue. I'm reading about and discussing the Non Violent Atonement theories; reconciling my peace issues with my fight-back instinct; Orthodox vs. Pentecostal vs. Mennonite....phew! It could get to be a full time job debating these things. And this week, I've discussed all!

I am yearning for a church that doesn't rely on heritage for it's theology. At the risk of offending people I love dearly; sometimes being Mennonite does not attract me much. It's like being born Jewish. It's what you ARE... and the faith, peace, smiles, dress, theology, acceptable behaviors and all those trappings are assumptions that you make for your life and assumptions that others make for you. Why have any questions? Why digress from "the path" when those before you have it all planned out? The problem I see is this: It is far too easy to fall into the label of Mennonite and have no idea what that means to others! If I tell someone I am a Mennonite, they often automatically and immediately trust me. And then ask me where my covering is! If I simply tell them that I am a Christian, they often automatically and immediately distrust me and wonder if I will judge their words and deeds out loud. There are many people in my community and circle of peers and friends who don't know that Mennonites are Christians (the way THEY understand Christianity). They see Mennonites in the sterotypical role of simple, peaceful and quiet. Not someone with real thoughts, ideas or any connection to modern culture! Most of the Mennonites I know don't have a large circle of close friends outside of that church...and I find that sad. I would say that my best friend is not a Mennonite; not an anything...maybe closely Quakerish....but ultimately not entirely happy with that either. And, she enjoys a great Merlot on occasion!

But, I think there are some Mennonites who would say that those that are not "Mennonites" would be so far into "the world" that their salvation would be in question. I remember as a younger person thinking that if someone wasn't Mennonite that they weren't
"saved." I don't know why; that was something I sucked in from my upbringing in a strict legalistic family and being surrounded by evangelical missionaries full of Child Evangelism fever! If I behaved a certain way; wore a certain type of clothing; listened to (SHOCK!) rock music and maybe on occasion had a glass of wine I was headed straight to hell! The rules and legalities became central to my salvation and Christ crucifed was a great story to make me feel totally depraved and when JUST AS I AM played.....boy I was on my knees!

I am grappling with the idea that Christ is an unresolved issue in my life. The formulas laid for me; the Sinner's Prayer; the promise of Heaven as a place in the so far fetched and unreal. So childish and simple. But...Christ, the Son of God, bore for me the sins of the world that I might be reconciled to God and be One with God; Atonement through the crucifixion and resurrection/defeat of death that Christ endured...that is something to think about! And, it doesn't matter if I am a Mennonite, Baptist, AOG, CMA or whatever denomination I think I want to be....He ultimately came for Me as a human being. How cool is that!

I just want to love my God and learn of Him more each day. To revel in the awesome power and glory he reigns in! To humbly bow, on my face, beseeching Him with my little needs and know He cares.

My Bible has become a frightening thing for me to pick up some days. It almost breathes. It jumps on the shelf and skitters around asking me to open it! I hold it and love each page. It is the living and breathing Word of God!! I need a new one (mine is disintegrating) and I cannot bring myself to buy one. Not only because I am broke and can't afford it, but because I'd have to break this new one in and it wouldn't be "alive" yet! I cherish each word; each day something new from oft read phrases jumps into my heart.

And that happens no matter how Mennonite, Anabaptist or whatever you are! God doesn't really care; he just asks for faithfulness, passion and mercy for others from us.

He simply asks for Love.

Let that break your heart for a minute.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Cutest Thing Ever!!!

You have to watch this. I've been looking at it for over half an hour on and off and I can't stop grinning!! Just click this link "laughing baby".

Laughing Baby

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Achievement Awards

I am so proud of my son! Liam earned the "Fritz Achievement Award" on Friday. The school gives this out to kids who exhibit respect, responsiblity and something else I can't remember.

Anyway, Friday morning, this kid was scrambling to finish his homework; he had forgotten it the night before while being wrapped up in helping his Dad take care of Colin at a meeting, so it's forgivable. Math was involved and this child is lousy at Math-in-a-hurry. He was getting really frustrated and can quite nicely beat himself up over nothing, but he got it done on the way to school. (Nearly a 90 second drive!). Completeing this assignment was crucial to achieving the award and he made it!!

How cool to get an award and then be able to clip the little thing to your backpack!

I wondered today what my achievement awards look like. I know that a couple of them have really beautiful blue eyes; one has an adorable dimpled little butt; one can't leave the house in the morning without her "good morning hug" and those are the best ever! I can't clip them to my backpack but I can carefully take them with me when I walk through my life.

Each season of my life will bring new achievement awards. (Maybe one day a book with my name on the cover!) Hopefully they'll all be for respect, responsibility and that other thing I can't remember.