... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Saturday, June 30, 2007

What Am I?

It's hard to imagine the life I've lived. It's been hard and rugged- not fit for any thing.
From the moment it began, my agony started- little boys throw me, cars forever run me over, people walk all over me, sweet little girls collect me, the snow buries me.
Everyday is just plain misery.
But, I know a secret! I am not very big- that's true- and, if I am thought about at all, I am considered useless.
Yes, I know a secret. I am needed even if am a __________________.

Fill in the blank via Comments & I'll share your answers.

Shalom, Connie

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

When Needlework Isn't Work

My grandson calls it "threading" when you make a picture using colored threads, yarns, beads, and other embellishments.

To me it is love in action as I stitch a picture of a basket filled with summer flowers for my niece's wedding.
To me it is an act of love when I knit a sweater for my grandchild.
To me it is privilege to finish the counted cross-stitch bookmark for a friend.
To me it is a passion fulfilled when I knit a prayer shawl for someone who is suffering.

Each stitch is completed with love and a prayer intertwined- they are my way of saying "I care!"

What do you do well that you can share?


Shalom, Connie

Cans of Adventure

As a child, my favorite place to go was to the Boreman's* house. The 6 children had a list of chores and responsibilities that had to be completed before playtime. Although lacking money, the Boerman's were rich in togetherness, creativity, encouragement and love. Talents were encouraged & there was an old upright piano for sing-alongs.

Mealtime at the Boerman's was always adventure as the pantry was filled with unlabeled cans, which a nearby grocery store saved for them at a very low cost. Each meal one child was designated to pick out whatever number of cans were needed for that particular meal. The older girls and/or their mother- me, too, when I was visiting- made a meal out of whatever was in the chosen cans. We would shake them to guess their contents, but often we were wrong. Sometimes we ended up with unique soups filled with various vegetables. Other times we put together a casserole or a meal in-a-dish. Many laughs, sighs, and "ooh,no!'s" were heard as each can was opened. What we thought was soup may have been cranberry sauce or a can of fruit would turn out to be carrots. Somethings went together well; others... well, let's just say there were unique flavors at some meals.

I have to say that I never had a bad meal there for Mom Boerman was good with spices and herbs, and very innovative. We never left their table hungry for there usually was plenty of flour, sugar, eggs, and oil to make bread, muffins or other tummy fillers. We often played hide-and-seek or chased fireflies after the dinner dishes were done. And on weekends we'd play Michigan Rummy around the huge oak dining room table as we nibbled on popcorn or caramel corn, and drank kool-aide while our parents played cards in the kitchen or talked about homesteading in Alaska.

Those were special times. I saw the saying, "If there's a will, there's a way" in action. People have called me creative, and innovative, but I am not. I rarely come up with a new idea, but I am great at adapting ideas to whatever is available. Missing a couple ingredients for a recipe? Using what I have, I'll come up with a variation of that recipe. Working on a new craft project, I'll substitute the materials on hand or ones that I can afford, and I'll end up with a alternative craft project.

I don't think I realized how much of an influence Mom Boerman was in my life. Now it is too late to tell her.
Tomorrow I am going to send some notes to some of the other special people in my life.

Who do you have to thank? Don't wait... let them know they made a difference in your life!


Shalom, Connie

* name changed for privacy

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Oh, no!

I don't believe I did it! Worse, I don't know what I did.

But I injured my right hand- yep! the one I surgery on.

Today the x-ray was fine. Whew, I didn't mess up the surgical repair. My hand hurts a bit, but that's probably a good thing as it reminds me to be careful.

So I will rest it for another day or two then begin my next needlework project. That's all for today...

Shalom, Connie

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On Empty


Is this where I can fill up with new energy?
I'm tuckered out & need to be refreshed, rebuilt, or something...

I'm traveling through my days running on empty, but gas and an oil change won't restore my soul or yours. So let's read what David has to say in Psalm 6:

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
I am worn out from groaning...
Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.

Like David I am faint, dizzy, and hurting. I cry out to You, O Lord, for restoration. Through faith I give thanks for refilling me with Your Living Water. As my soul is refreshed, You- the Great Physician- will heal my body as well. Your Word states that our groanings are heard by the Holy Spirit and brought to You to express what I cannot. Heal me body, mind & spirit so I can serve You as you have planned.

For my readers, I also ask Your mercy so we can reach out to others with the life-changing story of Your Son, in who's name I ask. Amen

Monday, June 18, 2007

R A F T'ing

I can't look...

Maybe a peek?

Wow, I am finding my way out from under the piles of papers. I'm RAFT'ing- no white water here- just pages and pages of white & pink paper, & other stuff.
I have created 5 piles:
ead & Save
Act on now
ing as for shredding

Next I am going to do the same with my e-mails by creating RAF folders; T is already there as Delete.

I think my life needs a bit of RAFTing, too. How about yours?

I need to:
Recognize what God wants me to be doing
Accept His plan & His timing
Faithfully follow His plan- without questioning it
Turn away from all the distractions & barriers


Shalom, Connie

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Three Strikes & You're Out!

I am not athletic- phys ed was always a challenge for me, but I did like volleyball, basketball & softball.
Yet I was always the last one chosen for the team- I wasn't a winner.

I enjoy the Peanuts cartoons that take place on the ball diamond... I can relate. I was better at taking care of injuries than playing ball. Or like Lucy, let me organize the team & give advice.

Over 20 years ago during a women's retreat, I wrote down what author/speaker, Joyce Landorf, said about playing ball:

"God, in the grandstands of life is throwing off His coat,
waving excitedly, as He points down at us on the field,
and proudly saying, 'That's My kid!'

"Not the image of a god with arms crossed, mumbling,
"I've paid a lot for those lessons; that kid better come through."
And keeping track of all mistakes- a scorekeeper.

"God paid dearly- the maximum price- when we win,
He shares proudly in the joy; and when we lose
He shares the sorrow. Yet always with pride."

I no longer fear the ump yelling, You're out!" I am sure glad that winning isn't a requirement just doing our best. For in God's eyes we are all winners! I am glad I am on His team.


Shalom, Connie

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


C.S. Lewis once said: When God moved in I thought He'd make everything cozy, instead He tore my house apart saying, "You thought I'd give you a cozy cottage; I'm making you into a palace!"
To enjoy the palace, we must withstand the mess first. For each of us "the mess" will be different, but together we suffer and will be blessed.

Are you in a mess today? I am! I am surrounded by piles of paper to sort and file, but I have hope that together we will persevere. Not because we are promised blessings, but because we desire to be what God planned for us to be.

While I had the cast on my right hand, I had to painstakingly write with with my left hand- it reminded me of learning cursive when I was little. I was intent upon forming each letter just perfectly and very neatly. It paid off! My handwriting is easy to read and folks- even strangers- comment on how beautifully I write. I purposed to write well. After all, I had lots to say!

Just as I perfected my handwriting skills, God wants to perfect me... and you. Even if it requires the messes of life, I am thankful that He loves us enough to be patient while we persevere and clean up each room in our house- the heart.


Shalom, Connie

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rhubarb Fenced or Forbidden Fruit

There truly are some do not's in life that we really should pay attention to; like do not slide down the basement door, do not drink perfume, and do not pick the rhubarb on the other side of the fence.

At nine years old I was learning a bit about independence, which included testing the don'ts:

The outside basement door was at a 40 degree angle and had to be lifted up in order to enter the basement. I sure had no desire to go down there, but the instruction not to slide down the door prompted the question, "Why not?" Asking would have been considered "talking back," so I decided to experiment and figure it out myself. When no one was around, I tried it out. First, it wasn't slick enough to slide down... you had to, kind of, scoot down. Not really much fun- especially when you end up with a large splinter in your posterior you can't tell anyone about. (I still have the scar to remind me.)

Don't drink perfume- especially the expensive, smelly stuff from Europe- because your mother's nose will sniff you out! (I have no idea why I drank it, but it's alcohol content did not affect me so it probably wasn't much.)

The rhubarb belonged to our backyard neighbor, who hated children; it was turning a beautiful rosy red- so tempting! I had never heard of, nor tasted, rhubarb so I enlisted my brother to try it with me. After all, we would need a lookout. I'm not sure which one of us slipped under the fence to break off a stalk, but I remember that it wasn't easy to pick. Oh, and we didn't know that rhubarb needs to be cooked.. I learned to spit that day! Now, I love baking a strawberry rhubarb custard pie each spring while I chuckle about the old adage that stolen fruit always tastes better. NOT!

I did learn that "do nots" are best listened to when you are a child; and they don't go away when you grow up either. Like in the game of Monopoly, you may have to pass GO and go directly to jail for breaking the rules. As a grown-up, I appreciate that my parents taught me right from wrong. As a parent and grandparent, I have rules also, but I try to explain the reasons for each one in the hope that splinters and bad tasting fruit are not the result.

I want my life to be a "sweet savour" to my Heavenly Father: "Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him." (Ephesians 5:2 NLT)


Shalom, Connie

P.S. Stop on by for a slice of rhubarb pie!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rocks In A Box

I was 9 years old with pigtails and a rock collection.

The world of words had opened new doors of adventure for me; and I had discovered the wonder of rocks. I had my own small hammer to break rocks open, numbered tags that correlated with my small notebook identifying each rock and stone using my library books.

It was a good pastime me, a shy girl with few friends. But, like my friends, I lost my rocks when we moved.

Now, over 50 years later, I wonder who found my rocks hidden under the back stairs of our house on Boerman Avenue. Did they realize how sad I was when my mother made me leave them behind during our next move? Did they realize the hours of work that went into finding new rocks and identifying them? Did they understand that those rocks became valuable lessons for my life? Or are they still hidden under those steps?

Lessons learned:
#1: Memories preserve all the important things in our lives- my rocks were never really lost.
#2: Each rock was and is unique- God's creations are similar, but always are a special blending of DNA.
#3: The beauty of my rocks was on the inside; & the discovery of that beauty was breathtaking
#4: Dirty rocks could always be washed cleaned- in fact, the dirt had to be removed in order to identify it.

Thus, the people in my life have been forever preserved within my memories. Each unique person is filled with great beauty, which is amazing when discovered once the troubles of life are washed away.

Dear Reader, that truly describes me and YOU! We are uniquely beautiful, a special part of God's plan. Always remember that we see the underside of our life's tapestry with its knots and tangles, and blotches of colors like blemishes hard on the eye BUT God sees the right-side, the perfect side that He designed just for each of us.

I left my rocks in a cardboard box underneath the steps, but God never leaves us. Our identification tags say Number One Child of the King!


Shalom, Connie

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Unknown

Do you, like me, find it hard to cope with the unknown or the feeling of not being in control?

That is my feeling as I write this due to some health concerns I am experiencing. The good news is that I am not dealing with depression & I am hopeful that a medication change will eliminate my symptoms.

Between my hand surgery and this I have had lots of time to read. Have actually read a new book every 1-2 days. That adds up to quite a few! I will share a few with you that I enjoyed:

Mysteries:: No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark- a woman-in-danger in true Mary Higgins Clark style
Twisted by Jonathon Kellerman- a woman homicide detective investigates a nightclub murder
False Testimony by Rose Connors- a woman lawyer must uncover the truth
This Dame For Hire by Sandra Scopettone- a sassy woman PI during WWII- a fun read!
Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas- an eccentric PI in Victorian London hires a new assistant
Fiction: The Glory Cloak by Patricia O'Brien- Louisa Alcott & Clara Barton's Civil War experiences as nurses
The Secret Live of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- about "divine female power"- just remember it is fiction
Pearls of Lutra by Brian Jacques- 9th book in the Redwall series- all about animals, food, good & evil
The Celibate Priest & His Secretary by John Maybury- a local author's first novel was a good read
Daughter of Lot by Bonnie Winters- a fictional account of Ruth from Scripture & her inner struggles
Non-Fiction: Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule- the story of murderer Diane Downs, a compelling but sad book
Loving God by Charles Colson- an excellent book about holiness- living to honor & love God

Reading is a great distraction so I think I'll pick out my next book for this my "unknown" period.

Shalom, Connie