Wednesday, November 30, 2005


This week has been difficult, not just for me. Someone I considered a friend passed away suddenly. My heart breaks for his wife and his children. My heart breaks for the rest of his family. My heart breaks for his close friends and all who were lucky enough to know such a wonderful man. I wish there was something I could say to bring comfort and peace to them. I wish I could help in some way.

It is times like these where I begin to understand that maybe the best thing I can do is pray. I prayed that God would give them comfort, strength, peace, and love. I prayed that they were surrounded by His love and surrounded by all those around them. I prayed that they lean on each other and just continue to support and love each other now more than ever. I prayed that they remember the great life he lived and the wonderful memories he created. I prayed for them. Sometimes, that is all we can do.

Philippians 4:6 (New International Version)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Get Out of the Way!

I had an amazing conversation and just inspirational and uplifting time with a great friend this past weekend. I shared with her my concerns, my questions, my worries, and my feelings. She shared with me and it was wonderful. During this conversation she said something that really stuck with me.

"Get Out of the Way!"...No, we weren't talking about slow drivers. No, we weren't talking about someone blocking the television. We were talking about questioning God. We were talking about our impatience sometimes as we anticipate the future. We were talking about trying to hear what we want to hear from God, not what He has to say or wants us to hear.

God speaks to us if we truly listen to what He has to say and He guides us. We have to be completely open to Him and agenda-free. We have to get out of His way...out of the way of His plans for us...out of the way of His love for us.

So put as nicely as I can put it...I pray that we can truly "Get out of the way!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


"Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible. "
Corrie ten Boom

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. My faith was weak. Yet, I turned to some very important people in my life who lifted me up. They encouraged me and gave me strength. I cried to God who held me. I turned to Him and he gave me hope.

I hear of people who question God or turn away from Him when they face tough times. They feel that He has let them down...that He has left them and they start to lose their faith. God never promised sunny days all the time. But He did promise to hold us during these difficult times.

I felt His presence in my heart yesterday as I cried. I felt His love as those close to me lifted me up. I was held.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Reaching Out

It is amazing the way God has been touching my life through this journey of reaching out to others. Last night I was re-energized and refreshed as I attended a Praise Team service. The church was full of people singing with our praise team. We sang song after song lifting our hearts and our minds to God. We sang for almost 2 hours. They were prayers set to music. It was wonderful. A couple individuals came up to me last night letting me know that if I ever needed to talk that they were there and that they were praying for me. It was comforting and nice to know that though I don't know these individuals too well, that they care about me and have me in their prayers.

This morning I turned to some close people in my life. I asked them for encouraging words of support and love....and faith. I know we all have those days where we just need to support and comfort from friends and family. In the past, I had been closed off from others...facing things on my own and just trying to stand strong. But now, as I reach out to others, my eyes are open to the many people reaching out to me. I am so comforted knowing that I can lean on them sometimes, and just allow them to be there for me.

Thank you God for holding me and for blessing me with wonderful people who are reaching out to me!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Changing Seasons

Well I made it to work this morning. Hooray! I know it isn't that bad outside. It is just windy with flurries which are starting to accumulate. Most people who know me know how tense I get driving in such winter conditions. After an accident last year, which could have been a lot worse, I find myself gripping the wheel and just trying to stay calm when I "feel" like my car is sliding. I drive at a slow pace as large SUV's and even small cars speed past my jeep. Yet even though I struggle driving in winter weather, I find myself really enjoying the snow and this time of year! My sister and I talk about how we could never live in a place that doesn't have a winter...doesn't have snow. It is the time of year where I realize the importance of slowing down...both while driving, but also in life. The year is almost over and what have I accomplished? How have I made a difference? It is the time of year when I think more of family and friends...and of just curling up on my couch with nice cup of coffee...flavored of course. It is just a comforting time full of memories and reflection.

Thank you God for the different seasons of the year and of our lives!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Turn

Today was an important day. I had some visitors who have really supported and encouraged me and have taken such good care of me. Even when they visit they provide meals for me and bring with them stuff that they think I might need. Today it is my turn to provide for them. I planned, organized, and prepared a special dinner for my guests. I wanted to show the kindness to them that they have and will always show me.

It is definitely nice to be taken care of, but sometimes we need to be the ones to take care of others. We need to thank those who care for us and say to them, it is my turn to take care of you. What can I do for you?

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I know it has only been 6 days of looking outside myself and hopefully touching hearts but I came to another big realization today. As I spent a large part of the day helping an individual prepare for a major project, I begin to think of the word "worthy". I felt the feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious that he/she was feeling. I saw the concern that he/she had. I was surprised that I didn't once think about what I could be doing for myself or what I was missing out on...such as taking a nice Sunday nap or watching football.

It was because he/she was worthy of my time, my love, and my help. Seeing him/her calm was important to me. Seeing him/her prepared was important to me. Seeing him/her confident that he/she was ready for this project was important to me. Seeing him/her happy and being able to relax later on in the day was important to me. It was more important to me than my Sunday nap. It was more important to me than watching football. It was more important to me than cleaning my house, doing laundry, watching movies, reading, painting, spending time with my oh so adorable cats.

The point is that we all are worthy of being helped, of being reached out to, of being loved. When I think of the times that I turned away from helping someone or reaching out to someone in order to do something that I enjoyed, etc...I was in a way saying that they weren't worthy of my time, of my gifts, of my love. The same way when I used to put God in the background of my life. I was saying to Him that He was not worthy of my time and love.

Thank you God for helping me get my priorities straight!

Friday, November 04, 2005


I spent this past Thursday and Friday at a conference in Indy connecting with other grantmakers and just being inspired about all that we each can do even if being a grantmaker isn't our career.

Many people believe that philanthropy is just the giving of money and it is only what the wealthy can do. But they are mistaken. They are also mistaken when they think that philanthropy has to be a large gesture.

I wondered how I could help someone each day at this I could help perfect strangers. It was easy to reach out to those I knew, but definitely a bit scary when I don't know someone. But I stepped out of my comfort zone, kept my eyes and heart open, and helped with what I could when I could. They were simple acts of kindness...such as helping someone carry something when it was apparent that they had tried to carry too much...lending someone my cell phone when I knew that she needed to reach her husband...talking to someone who looks a bit distant and is a bit uncomfortable joining into conversations...sharing materials with other conference attendees...saying thank you every time the hotel staff served me.

Philanthropy isn't just about giving money or spending money, but sharing with others what we are blessed with.

Thank you God for all you have blessed our lives with, please guide us and show us how we can share our gifts with others. Whether the gestures are large or small, let them come from the heart.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Encouragment and Support

Well it is day two of my challenge and right off the bat, God showed me exactly what I needed to do. There is a certain amazing individual who is facing a couple of different transitions in his/her life. There is a lot on this person's plate right now, and though he/she is facing them with faith and strength, I wanted to let this person know that he/she is not alone and that we all are "cheering" him/her on.

I think we all feel overwhelmed sometimes and question whether or not we can accomplish all that is before us. We feel like we have to do everything ourselves or we fail. It is a wonderful realization that we can lean on our faith and in many circumstances the support of our friends and family. Life isn't always easy, but we don't have to face things alone.

Thank you God for our network of support and encouragement. Thank you for your unconditional love and faith in us!