Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Faith Builder

This past summer out family camped alongside a couple other families in our area

It was hot, buggy, and a blast!

One story that came out of the weekend I will never forget. It built my faith.

At one point when we were at the beach, one of the older kids lost a ring, a special keepsake that belonged to his grandfather. I could tell right away that this was really hard for him. It seemed hopeless to dig around in the sand to look for this small treasure.  But he did look and a few of us helped. We prayed too and the kid's mom and dad tried to encourage him to not be so upset, but to let it go.

The next day I went to the beach to read my book and watch the girls swim. I went back to the spot where the ring was lost. A man was in the exact spot laying on a large towel. I was moved to just walk towards that spot and ever so discreetly pray and walk through the sand hoping to find the ring. I knew that it meant a lot to this kid. I really wanted to find it.

I told the Lord that I didn't want to leave the beach that day without the ring. I prayed in faith, confident that it would be found one way or another before we left.

Then, I let it go myself. I enjoyed my book and conversation with the other adults while we watched our kids.

A couple hours went by.

It was nearing the end of our time at the beach.

Ben walked towards the water to give the kids the "10 minute warning" that we would leave to go home.

He came back and sat down and casually said, "Look what I found."

The ring!

He didn't even know whose it was. He had no idea any of us had been looking for it or what our prayer was.

In a moment of utter amazement I told him who it belonged to and what my prayer had been.

It was one of those genuine "Thank You, God" moments. God, you answered a simple, but important prayer.

We returned the ring to its rightful owner. I was grateful he got it back. He had his keepsake once again.

And maybe his faith was built up too.

I know mine was.

Good Husband, Great Marriage

Ben read it, I am starting it. I think it will be transforming.

It is a no nonsense-speaks-directly-to-men-book. Doesn't beat about the bush. Doesn't mince words. You get the idea.

Wives should read it too.

We found our copy at Half Price Books.

More later.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


In a lot of ways, this captures the epitome of our life now.
(Somewhere behind those boxes on the dresser is my bed.)

But in the grand scheme of things, there are always better and more beautiful images to gaze at.

Like these.

I'm loving the matching color of the carrot and finger nail polish.
And the imagination inside that head that continues to inspire sand art.
 And the absolute glee over this ear of corn.
And the joy that exudes in her gorgeous face.  (Maybe because she turned six today!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

She's Off - For Real This Time

Six years ago I was dropping my first off at school and this lovely girl was one week away from being born.

Each year at this time this little gal dons her sisters' uniforms and backpacks and plays school. Finally its her turn.

She was eager, up early, took charge of her getting ready and happily waved (and hugged, with my prompting) me out of the classroom.

Okay, I get the hint. You are ready.  You have been ready for years now.

So, what did I choose to do today?

I walked around Lake Harriet.  First exercise for me since last May.  It felt good to go for a brisk walk with the breeze off the lake, the sun shining, and "Get On Your Boots" in my ears.

I shopped. I planned meals for the week. I locked myself out of the house with a load of groceries in 90 degree heat.  I was resourceful and got back in.  I'm not telling how.

I missed the little gal today, she is a great buddy. (She would have been holding the door for me that I let shut accidentally.) But she will absolutely flourish at school.

Can't wait to hear of her adventures in learning.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Scarf

We've seen it with jeans, pants, skirts, dresses, coats, blazers, short sleeves, long sleeves, t-shirts, tank tops you name it.  I have a couple of sisters-in-law who wear scarves beautifully.

My friend found this video showing 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf.

I am fond of the "Celebrity" and "DIY Infinity".  Saw the "Braid" a couple years ago and like that one too.

Pick a scarf this season that you really, really, really, like and wear it all kinds of different ways with just about anything. Your wardrobe will get an instant boost.

P.S.  The "European loop" was in full swing in Paris in 1999, years before it hit our fashion market here.  Those Parisians know what they are doing. With clothes anyway. And architecture. And coffee. And cheese.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Favorite Corner of D.C.

With three of my favorite people.

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Never Mind

The owner of the head from last post has been found.

This is him (as told by Shel Silverstein in Where the Sidewalk Ends)

The Loser

Mama said I'd lose my head
If it wasn't fastened on.
Today I guess it wasn't
'Cause while playing with my cousin
It fell off and rolled away
And now it's gone.
And I can't look for it
'Cause my eyes are in it,
And I can't call to it
'Cause my mouth is on it
(Couldn't hear me anyway
'Cause my ears are on it),
Can't even think about it
'Cause my brain is in it.
So I guess I'll sit down
On this rock
And rest for just a minute....


This head.

On our kitchen island.

Is it yours?

If so, can we keep awhile longer?

It is helping cheer up a sick 5 year old still waiting to attend her first day of kindergarten.

Thank you for understanding,

A Grateful Mom

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Monday, September 5, 2011

What is POP?

A long time member of the People of Praise and groomsman at my parent's wedding (!) shared this on his caring bridge site recently.  It beautifully summarizes a lot of what we are about in POP. 

I often wonder what people around me wonder about in regards to my life in this particular Christian community.  I wish there could be a lot more conversation about it since it is my whole life.  But, I can understand it also seeming to be this foreign thing that I do or have joined and it belongs to me, therefore, not really anything anyone else needs to get too deep into understanding it. But, to begin to understand it, is to begin to understand me, us, my family.  And vice versa. Anyway....

Jerry addresses some common understandings and misunderstandings about it. What it is and what it is not.

Jerry writes:  “I had men's group later this evening and each person shared quite personally about some personal struggles-health and otherwise. It doesn't always happen that way every time but I shared a little bit of that word about approaching the Lord and each other with an unveiled face. By each member of the community having close relationships with a few other people, each member becomes a part of the entire group that way. No one of us can be intimate and personal with a hundred people and certainly not a thousand, but by opening our lives to a few, the Lord sees that as opening up to Him as well. He also uses that intimacy to glue the whole body together.

The converse is also true (I didn't share this part at men's group). If I attend all the meetings, participate in discussions, listen to teachings etc. etc. but never grow close to a handful of special brothers and sisters in Christ, I will begin to feel like a spectator at all those gatherings. Christian Community is not a club, where we participate as good members with lots of action. Many churches are organized around participation also. People bond around certain projects or missions in a church but are seldom asked to share their whole personal life with others for its own sake. We in People of Praise do that and I think that is the single most way that we are not a church. 

Of course we practice no sacraments within the community either. All our members are encouraged to do that according to their own beliefs in their own church. Nonetheless, it has seemed especially hard for some non-sacramental church members to not see us as no different from their own church. They see us as centered around fellowship. Here is where I personally think that a mistake is made. It sort of depends upon your definition of fellowship (No, it's not a boat with guys on it.). To me, we are building personal relationships that are rooted in a covenant together. That covenant makes us family, permanent lifelong and probably generation after generation family of families. This is not a club. This is not getting to know other Christians or other couples for a few years until God calls us to somewhere with a better pastor or better teachings or more life or more whatever. This is my family. Most people, even who reject their family members still acknowledge that they were their bad brother or parent etc. etc. We're all stuck with our families. We don't choose them. That's exactly like covenant community. The guys in your men's group very seldom would be your choice for best friend out at your bowling league or at work or anywhere else. But the Lord is uniting as family all those who have Him first in their lives and His grace and His Holy Spirit is as thick as blood.

We know in the Joe Wind (my dad) family that we love each other and many of us have community relationships and that does not threaten our blood ties but actually makes them stronger. And of course as the larger group of Wind's are extended all over the Twin City area, there are too many of us to try to even start to be real close to each person. Nonetheless, we are a much closer large group because of our common Catholic faith and culture. There is a prevailing sense among our family that we are Catholics who practice our faith and love Jesus. Now on a personal level I think there are some who might call their own faith marginal but deep down they know the cloth they are cut from and who is drawing them upward. Christ always makes a group closer to each other that has Him in it somewhere. God seekers unite. His ultimate kingdom building goal is that all who seek Him will find Him and live together in total unity forever.

So back to Christian community. We come to the Lord and together with each other with "unveiled faces". We're poised to be intimate, to be close. Not, of course with each and every person but with those that the Lord seems to put us in those situations with. We don't slander. We don't gossip and so we seek to provide a family environment where weaker  or less talented members can be loved, esteemed and respected because of their sonship of the Heavenly Father, not based on their skill set or "gifts" (that is an oft-misused word to me but that is a topic for another windy night). That brothers and sisters is more than fellowship. That is a state of being, a way of life, a spirituality rooted in charity. It is only out of that BEing can we DO in Christ. 

Any Christian (or non-Christian for that matter) can do social action or give alms or do a good job at their work. We can never minimize the millions of ways to follow God's call BUT only members of People of Praise can follow God's call to BE the family of POP and then go do whatever His action call is to us as a member of the family. Who you are then is not just an individual serving Him only as an individual any longer. You are a member of this family serving Him. But, remember this BUT, you are more of a unique individual in His eyes and in the eyes of others because you have come to Him and many others with your face unveiled. You know how to be close to many others, to live with them and for them. By doing so, you are not diminished personally as if the individual is somehow absorbed in the group. In eternity we will be more one with each other and a closer family than we can ever imagine now. Yet each of us will have a whole room in the mansion all to ourselves and we will each have a name that only the Lord and I know (as well as our name that everyone knows). So get used to it. Community will be everywhere and 21st century Americans will finally have to embrace it. 

Then we will know as completely as we are known. No longer will we use that old veil to keep our pride  and individualism and selfishness protected. The veil will be gone. We can never pitch it away completely (John Vogel has a wonderful sharing/teaching about that) in this life but when we truly open up our hearts to Jesus and His Spirit, it is He that almost drives us to others. Then, however, we often get scared like Hinds Feet on High Places (the book) or like Peter sinking on the water after a few steps. Getting scared, protecting our "selves" causes us to veil that face back up. What an image. It's those with faces unveiled who will be transformed from one degree of glory to another by the Holy Spirit. Who wants to pass that up? Who wants to pass up being truly known by the Lord? Build community and our individual life in Him by opening up to those we love, period.

Go Jesus!”

For a current look at how we view our ecumenical nature and some practical applications of it in our life, check out the recent issue of our magazine Vine and Branches here.


Thursday, September 1, 2011


From Left To Right: Miss Multi-Talented; Mrs. I Can Juggle Anything That Comes My Way Amazing Mom; Mrs. Happy to be Mrs. Reed; Mrs. I am Feeling Old; Mrs. I Hate Being Called A Matron Of Honor But I Look Like a Model (one who also can achieve a 4.0 in college.)

Or, you could just identify us as "Sisters".

You Pick.

Photo curtesy of Gosia, Wedding Photographer Extraordinaire and becoming a Ferber Family Favorite.

Find her work here.

The photo above is blurry here from the download. Her stuff is really gorgeous.

On a more personal note and general note: Blogging is difficult for me these days. I have random ideas that pop into my head at the worst times, lots of pictures, much to say and little time to organize thoughts and channel the creativity in this way. Thus, I anticipate posts in the future not necessarily in chronological order, or any order for that matter, and probably fewer than I would like. Some really fun or important events or adventures might not make the cut.  I will have to be selective. For the foreseeable future anyway. Pray for me!