Just Fishing…

No, we aren’t fishing just yet. This picture was taken a few years ago of me and my boys fishing at Itasca State Park. (The barn wood frame was made by my husband.) One of my favorite songs is a country song – Just Fishin’ by Trace Adkins. It talks about a dad fishing with his daughter. She thinks they’re just fishing, but they’re really bonding, talking, spending time together. While we tend to focus on big things to do with our kids, sometimes it’s the small stuff that means the most. As my kids get older, I tend to wonder if I’ve done enough with them. Did I do enough of the things that help create those bonds that last forever? Did I listen enough to them when they were smaller to make them feel comfortable talking to me when they get older?

I wonder about these things, and then my 13 year old goes on and on about fishing tackle, kayak modifications for fishing and different kinds of bows and bow hunting… and I think, maybe I’ve done ok. He did his radio commentary for his speech meets about fishing, and how you should go fishing as a family & how it brings you closer as a family. He did this on his own, and reading it kind of made me melt. I’m not telling the story to make you think I’ve got it all together- far from it. I’m telling you so that maybe you realize you’re doing a better job than you think. To my 9 year old, I’m still a super hero but I know that won’t always be the case. This 13 year old boy thing is new territory for both of us though. We are figuring it out together & sometimes I get clues that it’s going to be ok.

 If fishing is something that opens the door to other conversations, then I will get my rod and reel ready. I’ll also be prepared to cook up a fish dinner. And he thinks we’re just fishin’.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. 

Sometimes you just need to say, “why not?”

Last Saturday, we went skiing for the last time at Andes Tower Hills in Alexandria, MN.  Through the generosity of some wonderful friends & the people at Andes, we were able to enjoy a great skiing season this year. I didn’t count how many times we went, but it was quite a few. We enjoyed our time with family and friends in the crisp northern winter. Saturday was unusually warm… 60+ in March isn’t very common. It was the last day that they were going to be open, so we went. Even by 11am, there were areas of slush on the hills. They have an event called “the pond plunge” – where you ski down one of the steepest hills into a pool of water at least 10 feet long. Most people end up falling in & the water is very cold. Only a few glide across. Some people dress up in shorts or scuba gear or Hawaiian outfits as they go down. My husband decided to ski down the bunny hill instead of the big hill as Elf on the Shelf. “Why not?!” The kids thought it was great. The people who know him didn’t bat an eye – of course it’s something he would do. He got asked, “oh you must be doing the pond plunge?” He said, “Nope, just having fun!”

This month, I’m trying an Ayurveda digestive reset. “Why not?” One week of food journaling, one week of clean eating, one week of kitchari, another week of clean eating. The first week, I said goodbye to some downfalls- donuts, burgers, pizza, etc. This week, I’ve gone 3 days without added sugar. I’m admittedly a band wagon jumper. I’ve tried lots of things in the past, but this is more about jump starting a healthier eating style & finding my triggers. I eat when I’m frustrated or bored… I bake when I’m stressed. If I want this past year’s cancer to be my last, I need to make some changes. “Why not?”

Change is scary. Adjusting to the new normal takes time. Learning to adapt is something they don’t talk to you about after the active treatment is over. Similar things when you have a tragic event – PTSD. Doctors treat your physical body and send you on your way. Lots of emotional things change too. One thing that might happen is a realization that life is short, so don’t wait. Tell your friends and family what they mean to you. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Do something scary. Try something new. Ski in an Elf costume or try a new diet… “Why not?!”


  Ok, I know I jump around between cancer, survivor stuff, family issues and faith… I’m kind of like a dog after a squirrel some days. Today, I’m sharing some thoughts on a recent scripture reading. Stay with me…

The story of the Prodigal son was one of my least favorite Bible stories. It always made me uncomfortable. Why does the son who does nothing & squandered his father’s money get accepted back like a hero? It annoyed me, and went against the “hard work will reap rewards” idea. Regardless of how many times I heard the sermon related to this passage, I still never got the meaning behind it.

Then a new song came on Christian radio – “Prodigal.” It’s a catchy tune, but more importantly, it made me think of it in a very different way. “Wherever you are, whatever you did, it’s a page in your book but it isn’t the end. Your father will meet you with arms open wide, this is where your heart belongs. Come running like a prodigal.” Ok, in all of the years that I’ve heard this story, I’ve never thought of myself as a prodigal and God as the father in the story. It somehow clicked because of this song – WE are the ones off doing our own thing, and God will run to us when we are ready to come “home.” Yes?! 

Unconditional love – whenever you’re ready, He will be waiting with arms open wide. Wow, how cool is that?! Do you ever feel so messed up in your day, frustrated by little things, constrained by your past that you think you’re not “enough?” (Obviously I do since that’s the name of the blog.) How comforting is it to know that we are accepted for how we are, messy and all? Wheew. We are lucky. To God, we are enough. We were His idea & he smiles like a proud, happy father when we decide to come running back home. 

I’m not sure what compelled me to post this, but I’m guessing that someone needed to hear this message. Peace be with you on your journey of enough. 

Why are we sheep?

 I Googled to see “how many times are we called sheep in the Bible?” The answer was … over 200 times!! We spent a nice Sunday at my nephew’s farm with hundreds of sheep and over 150 new baby lambs. We joked about being called sheep in the Bible and how that’s not really a compliment. But then again, if Jesus is called “the lamb of God,” then maybe it’s not totally an insult. And, if you have seen new baby lambs, they are super cute. We brought some friends with us and their girls got to experience the farm. They chased and held baby lambs. They learned so much & had a blast.

As my brother-in-law, sister, nieces and nephews explained things about the farm and how they worked, I stood back and watched in awe. The way that they care for the sheep & the new baby lambs is just amazing. They know how much they eat, how many there are, how many babies there are, when the lambs will get weaned from their moms and when they will go to market & on and on. As much as it is a business and a job, it really is a labor of love. They love to share it too, to take time out to explain things to interested new comers.

I was just so proud of them and how this farm unites them – how it always has. In good times and bad, they always stuck together. The kids all learned the value of hard work, got to witness the miracle of birth, and to understand death & loss. They’re no longer little kids, but have grown into wonderful adults and young-adults. They have each other’s back, and are great examples of being a good neighbor or a good shepherd.

My brother-in-law was in a serious farm accident less than 2 years ago. It was an event that, as tragic and scary as it was, drew them closer together. It drew us all closer together. And people came to help them, to stand in and be the shepherd for a while until he could recover. To see him this weekend – walking, lifting baby lambs and telling all about the farm, it literally warmed my heart. He is still “the miracle man” in my book – the fact that he’s here today is certainly a miracle.

Maybe being a sheep isn’t such a bad thing. You see, we are all a part of God’s flock. As much as we don’t want to admit it, we are sometimes lost and wandering & we need a shepherd to guide us (& maybe a good sheep dog.)