How many people does it take to change a town?

As I drove up with the Bus Boutique to Winton LifeLine Community Center today, people were already standing in line for the USDA food distribution. Inside about 20 volunteers prepared the boxes for 453 people to have food this week.
There wasn’t much space to move the old school bus into place and I needed some help. One gentleman guided me along so that  I would avoid the parked cars… but there really wasn’t much space so a professional truck driver helped with his expertise to move the bus into the right place… having only 2 inches to spare. Then volunteers helped getting the bus ready that served over 100 people today.
We met with a representative from Friends of the Library trying to help them keep the branch library open. We had a volunteer drop off the wood for the computer stations he is building, another volunteer cleaned up some old discarded furniture. Someone donated a Christmas tree and a volunteer was putting it up. Another volunteer created a database to help with some of our chores, he also is setting up the building for the VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). Another volunteer looked at a way to put our mural up that Jr High students created. Then there were phone calls and conversations and brainstorming about the upcoming Christmas store… and a number of other things.
Today I saw it again. The beauty of volunteering, the beauty of giving back, the beauty of making your place more liveable. The beauty of friendship. 

So tomorrow, if you should go to Winton… stop by and see what it takes to “put Winton on the map for something good.”

I hear a voice outside my bedroom window



We woke up this morning to a voice outside our window. As I listened to it, I realized that  a person was walking down the street and speaking to herself.

I got my tea and my iPad and went in the back yard. There I sat and then I heard my own voice. You know the one that states you can’t do it. That the day has too many things in it to get it accomplished. The voice that questions why I think that I can make a difference in this world, this community.

I had to silence my own voice and sit quietly listening to God’s voice speak truth into me. The voice that states that God is in control, the voice that God will take care of the lilies and sparrows and for sure will take care of me. The voice that brings peace to my soul.

Now an hour later she is still walking back and forth and I can hear her conversation of heart-break continue. Will I be brave enough to go out there and speak God’s peace into her? Maybe get her the help she needs? Or will I leave her struggle with her own hurt?

What if she s aggressive? What if she is mean? But she, just like I, needs to hear God’s voice of peace, maybe through me as I listen to her for a few minutes.

Well, I went out…. brought her a cup of tea and listened for a while. She did not make sense, but I looked her in the eyes and listened! By  now neighbors had called the cops but they drove by us to investigate another crime. I am sure they will be back; hopefully they will get her some help. (by the way – nothing brings neighbors together better than a nuisance or crime.)

So, off to work I go. Today I want to listen to God’s voice… hear that He still active in our neighborhoods and that he uses ordinary people to accomplish bigger things.

Happy Mother’s Day

My mother taught me survival. Despite an unplanned pregnancy, an unfinished education, a child that died at age 1, polio that made her fight for her life, a life confined to a wheelchair, a husband who drank too much, a son who was a psychopath and a struggling family with 7 kids…. She was a surviver.
My aunt taught me how to love and nurture. While she never was allowed to keep me, she loved me unconditionally.
Martilde taught me how to love people to Jesus. She introduced me to Jesus in a deeper way. While I was a hand-full she let me share life with her. She was the hand and feet of Jesus for me.
Joy taught me how to see the best in people. Her home was always open and she has influenced many people with her contiguous laughter and her joy in people.
Judi showed me how to trust Jesus and praise him in times of deepest despair.
Helen, my mother in law, was gracious, loving, and accepting of this German girl. She taught me to love Jim in deeper ways.
Judy, (I know you are not old enough to be my mom ;)) has been the best sister in law I could have imagined, knows what to say at the right time, is an amazing listener and counselor. She taught me to enjoy life to the fullest.
There have been many other women in my life that have shown me ways to live right, to love God more, to take responsibility, to have fun, to enjoy life. I have been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by women from whom I can learn.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women that have influenced my life, you are a blessing to me.


Of crabgrass and habits


I am spending most of my day digging crabgrass out of a neglected raised bed. As I pry out the shoots, loosen the root and try to rid of as much as possible, I realize how much easier it
would have been had I done a little every day or so and kept up with the weeding. But I got busy with other things and now it is a major undertaking.
Which reminded me of life: there are things I shout be doing regularly; things I should keep up with, but then life gets busy and it now is a major undertaking. There are the habits that I have neglected or developed, the routine things that should happen or shouldn’t, the sins (you know the stuff you know that is wrong) that have crept into my life and now are a major undertaking to rip out again.

…. My break is over. I need to go back to digging some more… And while I am at it I will think about other stuff in my life that might need some tending.