Saturday, November 6, 2010


I feel like I have all this information that I want to share, and yet I never actually sit down get it out of my head.  I have this dream of getting published, and so many people have told me I need to write a book, and yet- what does that look like?  How does one go about making it happen?  What happens if I actually sat down, wrote something resembling a book,  it got published, and then nobody bought the thing?  Do I have anything worth saying?  What makes me an expert on anything?  The flurry of activity of my life keeps me praying just to make it through the next hour most days.  God puts many opportunities in front of me, and I am so grateful for them.  I have an amazing life.  I feel abundantly blessed.  I also feel that I am not living up to the potential He placed in me.  I am not using the gifts He has given to the best of my abilities.  I waste a lot of time and squander blessings.  I could be doing so much more for God.  It makes me wonder what my life would look like if I did what I am truly capable of doing.  It is a bit frustrating because I know that I am the one who is holding myself back.  I fall into the same traps day after day.  I have only myself to blame.  God is there, calling out to me, showing me what to do, and I tell Him, "Just a minute.  I will be right there."  Before I know it, the day is over and I have thrown away 12 hours of possibilities for wasted time and broken promises.  I feel like I am watching my life go by.  I know what I want to do, and yet I am slow in getting it done.  A few years back I felt like I could not relate to St. Paul at all, and now I feel like I am getting to know him more and more each day.  Funny how God works and opens our eyes.  The good in all of this is that I know that each day when I wake up my Savior still loves me.  He still wants me to try to give him my best- no matter how pathetic the effort may be.  To Him, it isn't pathetic at all.  Each act of love I give to Him is beautiful.  No matter how small or insignificant it may seem to me, it is given out of love, and that means everything to Him.  He knows we are imperfect.  He knows we cannot be perfect.  That is why He went to the cross in the first place.  He doesn't expect perfection from us.  He just wants us.  However we are, to come to Him each day, in whatever state we are in, and offer ourselves.  He wants us to say "Here I am Lord- this is what you get today."  It may be a little, or it may be a lot.  Whatever it is, it is enough.  That is how I get through each day.  I give what I can, and know that He will bridge the gap.  His love paid that price and it is enough, and therefore, I, too am enough.  It is a beautiful thing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Yesterday was my birthday.  I am not really big on celebrating my birthdays.  It is just another day.  I don't have high expectations, and therefore am not often disappointed.  However, I do often wish and pray that for my birthday and Mother's Day ( and for the record, it does kind of stink that they are so close together) the children will actually get along.  Two days of the year without screeching would be beautiful.  Anyway- I woke up knowing that my grandma was with me.  That was a gift in itself.  I want her to live with me, and although I have not convinced her of that yet,  she is at least staying with me for the time being.  I walked down the stairs and saw that the recycling had been taken out, but not one bag of garbage had made it to the street!  Seriously!?!  It's my birthday!! It was not the way I wanted to start my day.  I was angry.  One of our daughters was told to empty the trash, and hadn't, but that didn't mean Jim didn't have to take out any of the garbage.  I was fuming.  I marched right into the victim role. Granted, this was on top of some other things that had been said and done recently, and it just added fuel to the fire.  The morning flew by and soon it was time to head to school.  As soon as I got there, the day morphed.  Child after child ran up to me with birthday greetings.  If I didn't acknowledge the greeting immediately, or with enough enthusiasm, the child would say it again, "Mrs. Woell, Mrs. Woell, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!" It was quite cute.  I forget how important birthdays are to kids.  When we got upstairs from recess, the whole third grade told me Happy Birthday even though many of them already had told me individually.  We went down to the computer lab and did our thing there. Near the end of lab time, the teacher had to step out to speak to the principal about something so I was having the kids finish up, log off and wrap up the head phones.  As the kids lined up, they sang Happy Birthday to me.  It was the never ending celebration.  As I walked the halls of ILS, I was inundated with well wishes.  It was amazing.  I don't know how so many people knew it was my birthday, but they did.  It was touching.  It changed my whole outlook.  It softened my heart.  I got  home and went on the computer and found message after message wishing me well.  I also    received  text after text.   Facebook is good for some things-  automatic reminders about birthdays!  It truly touched my heart- people taking the time from their day to let me know they were thinking about me.  I am blessed.  It brings a smile to my face even now.  I love that my children's friends even took the time to write messages.  It made what started as just another day and made it a celebration.  It turned anger into joy and made me realize how truly loved I am.  God is so good.  Life is a celebration and birthdays are indeed fun.

Friday, April 2, 2010

missing my friend

This Easter has been an emotional one so far.  The other day I was driving to school and listening to an interview with Amy Grant.  She was talking about her family traditions.  They have a big easter egg hunt.  She has a bunch of sisters and they all have kids and some of the kids now have kids.  Their hunt has some pretty big prizes.  She was saying that she feels that faith is a lot like a hunt.  It is a big adventure and you never know what you are going to find, but you know that it is going to be good.   Then  they played her acoustic version of "I can only imagine".  I couldn't help myself.  I lost it.  It was Maundy Thursday, and I was heading to Chapel, and I immediately thought of Janet.  I thought of how amazingly happy she was to be in Heaven and how she was no longer imagining what it was like, but I was.  I knew immediately that she didn't want me to be sad for her, but I wasn't.  I was sad for me.  I miss her.  I am sad for sweet Naomi who is facing each day without her amazing mommy.  I am sad for John who is trying to figure out life without his soulmate.  I am sad that  Footsteps to the Cross happened and it was amazing, and Janet would have been so proud, but she wasn't here to see it.  I am sad that this most joyous and triumphant of times is upon us and I am going to get to shout HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! HALLELUJAH!! and Janet won't he here to hug me and give me a big Easter kiss.  I miss our hugs, I miss our talks, I miss my Janet.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sunshine day

Where does the time go?  I have so  much to say and yet so little time to write.  The days have been flying by and my girls have been growing before my eyes.  I spent the fall in various doctors' offices.  I am still having daily headaches,  am still battling depression, am still 20 pounds overweight, am  still  living in a house that is hopelessly cluttered and disorganized.  In many ways, life is still crazy busy and I am still treading water.  However, I am seeing a new doctor, am taking a plethora of vitamins, am sticking to a workout routine, have lost almost 15 pounds, have found that I can tolerate acupuncture, and although my desk in the basement continues to feel overwhelming to me, I know that a journey begins with baby steps.  At this very moment, I do feel content.  In 15 seconds, that may change.  The sun is shining today, so that helps.  I feel the love of Jesus shining on me.  I hear "You got a friend in me" coming from the upstairs bathroom as one of the girls take a shower and it reminds me that I put it on one of the tapes I made for Jim when the girls were born.  It is on repeat so I am hearing it over and over.  It makes me smile.  Jim and I have been through a lot.  He is my best friend.  He has loved me through thick and thin.  He stayed when it wasn't easy.  He knows what it means to honor a vow.  I am so grateful that God brought us together and showed us how to tough it out and fight for our marriage.  It has helped us now fight for our health, for our kids, for our lives.  We know we are not done fighting, but at least now we are fighting as a team.  Today is a good day.  Thanks for the sunshine God.  Thanks for the love.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All is Well?

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    • Refrain: It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.

To hear Chris Rice sing It is Well

A while back I wrote in another blog about things being well with my soul. Well this weekend in church it came back to haunt me. Sort of. We were sitting in church in our usual spot listening to the pre-service music. Vera was playing piano. I love piano. It is just awesome. "It is Well With My Soul" starts lilting its way through the sanctuary. It is just beautiful. I literally stopped what I was doing. Not that I was really doing anything- we were in church- it was pre-service. I was sitting anyway- I had prayed and we were waiting for the service to begin, but I am pretty sure my heart skipped a beat. Somewhere behind me a woman started to sing. Softly, but still. We're Lutheran. We don't sing the pre-service songs. The tears started flowing down my face. The music was beautiful, the woman behind me singing was beautiful, vera's playing was beautiful. It is a blur to me now, but I do know that when the music ended, I applauded. I believe I saw Vera wipe a tear away as well. We then went to Sunday school and after that Taryn was singing at Immanuel so we loaded the kids up and headed over there. It is always interesting to attend church there- especially in the same day as POP. Anyway, you are never going to believe what song the middle school sang: "It is Well With My Soul"! My jaw dropped. I bring it up because it made me realize that all is not well. When I wrote it in the other blog, it was true. I had such a sense of peace. However, lately I feel as though I have been fighting a lot of demons. I feel that God is bringing things to a head that I have been refusing to deal with for a very, very long time. These things were all very present when I wrote It is Well, and it was well, but in only one aspect of life. When I look at my life as a whole, it is amazing. However, I do have afflictions. I do have crosses to bear. I am just beginning to realize how often I put those crosses on my own shoulders instead of relying on Jesus. I am realizing how I do not trust in Him to fully release me from burdens. I tell Him I want to surrender, but I then expect Him to let me do that on my terms. I enjoy the grace of the Cross, and I can certainly live out a life of Faith with some works done out of Faith from the Joy of that Cross, but all is not well. I am nowhere near where I ought to be in my walk of Faith. There is so much more I can do to be like Jesus. I fail on so many levels each and every day. It is a miracle that Jim and the kids tolerate me much less love and adore me. I do not know why Jesus has poured down blessing after blessing on me, and I will never understand it. Grace is like that, I guess. Life is good, but there are still demons to wrestle. Things can look awesome from the outside, but struggles can still be present. I often wonder about Paul's "thorn". What if I struggle with the same thing he did? Would that make me feel better or worse? Hmmmm You know, now that I sit here and sing through the words again, I realize that even with my trials and struggles, even with the crosses I bear, All is most definitely well with my soul. Thank you Jesus. I am so in love with you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Julie, Julia & Janet

Some friends & I got together last night to watch Julie & Julia. We had planned to watch it with Janet when it came it on video. Janet died before it came out, but we decided we were going to gather and watch it anyway. We toasted her and started watching. It is funny when you have a group of women together to watch a movie in a home. It isn't a theater. There was a lot of talking going on. We missed some parts of the movie. We had an entire table of food in front of us. It was a comfortable evening. I was with people whom I truly care about, who know me and my flaws, and still choose to spend time with me. Part of the movie was about Julie thinking that Julia saved her. Julie believes that Julia is perfect- that she never gets angry or makes mistakes in the kitchen. Julie's very wise husband tells her that it is the Julia in her head. I think we all do that- we turn other people into saints and forget that nobody is perfect. The best part of last night is that it didn't turn into a night of Remembering Janet the Saint. Instead, we gathered, we enjoyed each other's company, we had true fellowship. It wasn't as though Janet was present there with us- I am not going to tell you that I felt her presence in the room with us- as a matter of fact I think that would have freaked me out a bit, but I can tell you that the night was exactly as it would have been had Janet been there. It was fun and carefree. It was real. It was friends who love each other and know that community is important. It was sisters in Christ who know that God's plan doesn't always make sense, bit it does have a purpose, and His plan has done great things in all of our lives. It was women who were grateful to know Janet and were blessed by knowing her, and will always love her. It was a perfect night shared by imperfect women. God is good!