Love In An Elevator – The God Version

I have a story I hope to tell you soon. A story that has been in the making since the time that I was born. A story that will probably change this space, forever…and so it is bittersweet. Although I would love to gush forth all of the beautiful details, discretion begs me to wait.

Photo courtesy of Mark Coggins

Sometimes it is in the waiting room of life that the real work is done. Change of heart. The labor of patience. And then come the words, “The Doctor will see you now.” It is at this time that the real butterflies begin, as you wait in the office clothed in a hospital gown that barely covers you, and you feel exposed and nervous about your future. What will the doctor say? Will your life be changed forever by his words?

photo courtesy

Recently, I found myself in a high speed elevator, actually the world’s fastest elevator. After stepping into the tiny room, with far too many passengers, the door closed. The air seemed suddenly compressed and I felt slightly panicked. I was going to be translated almost 100 floors in less than a minute. I would travel confined to this tiny room full of strangers for pilgrims. The floor suddenly met my heart. And once the elevator began to move, I couldn’t tell whether it was going up or down. I wished that I could change my mind. I didn’t really need to see three states away, did I? But the doors were shut tight, and there was no turning back. And actually, other than the occasional popping in my ears, I couldn’t even tell that I was moving…Until the stop, when my heart was reintroduced to the floor. And when the doors opened, the people around me began to file out. As I stood on tiptoe to get a peek at the view, I saw a hint of blue sky. Suddenly the ride seemed worth it, because as I crossed the threshold from the uncertain and unplanted elevator onto certain and solid ground, I found that I was somewhere completely different than where I had I started. “Todo, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,” I whispered. Because in a moment, I had been transported from a world of black and white reality to a 3-D movie in technicolor far above the clouds; a world in which I could see clearly everything for miles.

photo courtesy of wallg

My life has been like that as of late. A few months ago, I was grieving the end of an era. I felt frightened, because I wasn’t sure what the purpose of my future would be. The focus of my every day for the past fourteen years had been home schooling, my children, husband and family. One by one, each of those roles have changed. For certain, I will always be a mother, but the boundaries in this position change with time. Of course, I will always be a wife, until death do one of us part. Obviously, I will always be a daughter, until one empty day sees my lonely body looking down on freshly opened dirt. But now that my youngest has completed her high school work, my husband has a new job which rarely sees him home, and my widowed mother is a whole state away, my place in the world, has become ambiguous, at best. I thought that maybe my purpose on planet earth was completed. My elevator jolted to a stop.

But in actuality, it just started to move. For I had been on the ground floor for so long, that I was terrified to leave its comfortable confines. At first, I was certain that this elevator was going down, down into the depths of despair. Then after the initial jolt, when floor met heart, I was positive that I was going nowhere. Occasionally, my ears would pop and sometimes I even felt a little dizzy, and I wondered what was happening. Was I ill? Maybe I was dying. What were these strange sensations?

Instead, I suddenly felt my knees buckle…the doors have opened and I can see a hint of blue, and the promise of where the elevator has taken me….I’ll let you know soon…

Where have your elevators taken you in your lifetime?

262. For faithful friends.
263. For the Shepherd’s leading (even when I don’t recognize until years later.)
264. For an amazing church.
265. For our neighborhood Bible Study.
266. For the Heights co-op.
267. For shopping dates with my girl.
268. For grills that keep cooking mess down.
269. For the Holy Spirit who reminds me that it’s all about Him.
270. For SELAH co-op
271. For dates with the Holy Spirit
272. For inspirational ideas.
273. For the best women’s conference EVER!
274. For marriage in innocence…
275. For the privilege of serving Him.

Counting with dear Ann:

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

…hanging out with L.L.: On In Around button

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I Want To Soar Like A Spider (Repost)

So, I’ve had a bad cold the past few days….which really stinks because my Mom is here and I had all kinds of fun things planned. All she has done is serve me. I am so disappointed as it is almost time for her to go home. Anyway, in order to spend what little time I do have with her, I’m reposting something from a long time ago. If you’ve never read it before, I hope you enjoy it! It was published in an on-line Chicago magazine which is pretty cool. My son took the amazing picture! Gotta fly…or should I say gotta soar like a spider! 😉


Today my son and I went downtown. He edits video promotions for our church and he needed some good footage for an upcoming conference. So, he asked me to come along. Actually, he asked someone else, but they couldn’t go. It’s interesting how moms are always last on the list…

So we found ourselves romping around the city for a few hours. One of the places at which he decided to do some shooting was at the Hancock building. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about going to the ninety-third floor on the fastest elevator in North America. (It takes only 40 seconds!) The things we will do for our children. But, once we arrived the view was spectacular! It was a beautiful, clear day and visibility was particularly great.

While sitting in a chair waiting for my son, I noticed a spider in the corner of the window…on the OUTSIDE of the corner of the window, thankfully. I wondered how he got up there. Did he walk? If so, how long would it take a spider to walk from ground level to the 93rd floor? Fascinated, I asked my son to take some pictures.

I couldn’t stop thinking about these spiders, and after some investigation I found several of them all around the observation deck. When I got home, I did a little research and this is what I found…and I promise, I am not making this up.

Fellow blogger Mom2Mom stayed on the 15th floor of a hotel across the street from the Hancock building recently and received the following note left on the bed:

Dear Guest:

We request that you do not open your windows in your suite during this time to avoid the annual migration of High Rise Flying Spiders.

A Chicago Phenomenon…..

Lake shore high-rises, Willis Tower and Hahn Hancock are noticing the annual influx of flying spiders spinning mini-masterpieces as high as 95 stories.

Baby spiders release silk from their spinnerets to create a balloon-like contraption. The spiders then use the balloon to hitch rides on uplifting air currents from the lake. The spider is the Larinioides sclopetaria, an orb-weaving spider that is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In natural environments, these spiders live on rocks overhanging water. In the city, they have found the next best thing; tall buildings and high-rises. What makes high-rises so appealing is the light shining through the windows.

Thank you for helping us provide you with a comfortable stay.

There are no “rocks overhanging water” in Chicago so they found the “next best thing”. I want to be found as adaptable as these little critters. When they find themselves outside their typical environment, they don’t complain, they don’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves, they adapt. Then they use their spinnerets to create little hang gliders that carry them to the most spectacular view in the city, where they construct a beautiful home for themselves.

May we be like these little creatures, using the resources God has given us to create a beautiful environment for ourselves and those we love. And may our creation cause us to go soaring on the wind to greater heights. May we be undaunted by a change of environment and plans. Yes, it’s official, I want to soar like a spider.

Giving thanks with Ann:

68. Pine cones with a touch of bronze glitter.

69. Snow swirling snow globes.

70. Taking walks with my beautiful mother, downtown.

71. Golden light from a globe lamp.

72. Tis the season to be thankful for your KitchenAid.

73. That I’m feeling better. 🙂

And learning with Michelle:

On In Around button

And I have a playdate with Laura:

Where Do We Go From Here? An Announcement.

Last week, I was excited to see that one of my articles had been chosen for publication on website featuring fun things to do in Chicago.  The site is called What Are We Doing?  It features unusual daytrips and tours.  If you live in the Chicago area, or if you’re planning on visiting you should definitely check out their services.  In the meantime, if you’d like to see my article check it out here.  It’s the first time I’ve been published on this type of website, so I’m very excited!  Thanks for all of your encouragement.

Spiders, Marilyn Monroe and Superman

Last week, as I mentioned in a previous post, I went downtown Chicago with my son.  He works in the media department for a large international church and he needed urban video footage.   I was not his first choice, but was as excited as a puppy to tag along.

We got on the train by 7:15 a.m. and exited at the beautiful Museum Campus.  The bag he had asked me to carry was very light, but he kept asking if it was too heavy for me.  After getting about an hour of random city shots and walking at a roadrunner pace, I suggested that we go to the John Hancock building so that he could have a panoramic view.  He loved the idea.  I experienced a rare moment…a moment when I was respected by my teenager not because he should or had to, but because I actually came up with an idea that was in his estimation a good idea!

As we approached the building, he held the door open for me.

“I’ll wait here while you go up,” I tried to sound nonchalant.

“No, Mom, I don’t want to leave you here alone.  I might be awhile.  Let me buy you a ticket.  It will be fun,” he encouraged.

Did you know that the elevator in the John Hancock building is North America’s fastest elevator?  I do.  It only takes 40 seconds to get to the 93rd floor.  So chewing imaginary gum to keep my ears from popping, we arrived at the observation deck.  The view was spectacular.  I found a colony of spiders hanging on the the 93rd floor window.  Fascinated, I asked my son to take a picture, because I knew that there was a blog post in that story.  I wrote about it here.

On our way back to the train station, we saw a giant sculpture of Marilyn Monroe.

“Look how huge her feet are, Mom.”  I was glad it was her feet he noticed.

At the train station, my son insisted on buying me lunch in order to thank me for helping him.  After lunch, we saw Superman.  He looked really tired, so he must have taken a break from being more powerful than a locomotive.  Maybe that’s why he was buying a ticket.

Other than the spider picture, these pics were taken with my phone…so sorry for the lack of quality…

These few hours will be etched in my mind as some of the most pleasant in my life.  Why?  Because even though I wasn’t his first choice, my son treated me like I was.  My, what a fine young man God has made of him!

Linking up with the lovely Jen at Soli  Deo Gloria!

 

I want to soar like a…..spider?

Today my son and I went downtown.  He edits video promotions for our church and he needed some good footage for an upcoming conference.  So, he asked me to come along.  Actually, he asked someone else, but they couldn’t go.  It’s interesting how moms are always last on the list…

So we found ourselves romping around the city for a few hours.  One of the places at which he decided to do some shooting was at the Hancock building.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled about going to the ninety-third floor on the fastest elevator in North America.  (It takes only 40 seconds!)  The things we will do for our children.  But, once we arrived the view was spectacular!  It was a beautiful, clear day and visibility was particularly great.

While sitting in a chair waiting for my son, I noticed a spider in the corner of the window…on the OUTSIDE of the corner of the window, thankfully.  I wondered how he got up there.  Did he walk?  If so, how long would it take a spider to walk from ground level to the 93rd floor?  Fascinated, I asked my son to take some pictures.

I couldn’t stop thinking about these spiders, and after some investigation I found several of them all around the observation deck.  When I got home, I did a little research and this is what I found…and I promise, I am not making this up.

Fellow blogger Mom2Mom stayed on the 15th floor of a hotel across the street from the Hancock building recently and received the following note left on the bed:

Dear Guest:

We request that you do not open your windows in your suite during this time to avoid the annual migration of High Rise Flying Spiders.

A Chicago Phenomenon…..

Lake shore high-rises, Willis Tower and Hahn Hancock are noticing the annual influx of flying spiders spinning mini-masterpieces as high as 95 stories.

Baby spiders release silk from their spinnerets to create a balloon-like contraption. The spiders then use the balloon to hitch rides on uplifting air currents from the lake. The spider is the Larinioides sclopetaria, an orb-weaving spider that is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In natural environments, these spiders live on rocks overhanging water. In the city, they have found the next best thing; tall buildings and high-rises. What makes high-rises so appealing is the light shining through the windows.

Thank you for helping us provide you with a comfortable stay.

There are no “rocks overhanging water” in Chicago so they found the “next best thing”.  I want to be found as adaptable as these little critters.  When they find themselves outside their typical environment, they don’t complain, they don’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves, they adapt.  Then they use their spinnerets to create little hang gliders that carry them to the most spectacular view in the city, where they construct a beautiful home for themselves.

May we be like these little creatures, using the resources God has given us to create a beautiful environment for ourselves and those we love.  And may our creation cause us to go soaring on the wind to greater heights.  May we be undaunted by a change of environment and plans.   Yes, it’s official, I want to soar like a spider.

Summer Silence – A Tribute to Ron Santo

The sound of summer will never be the same again.

For the past thirty years, my television or radio, has broadcast the fate of my beloved Cubs.  This year, I just don’t have the heart to listen.  It could be because they are having a lackluster year.  But I don’t think so.  I’ve been following them through bad years my whole life.

At first, I listened to Jack Brickhouse with his “Hey-Hey!”  Then it was “Holy Cow!” with Harry and Steve Stone.  But the departures of Jack and Harry didn’t leave the hole in my heart that Ron Santo did.

Ron was a Cub through and through.  Not only did he play for the famous 1969 Cubs, but he experienced the famous “black cat”.  That particular year was one of the most monumental Cub disappointments ever.  And that’s what made Ron special.  His determination, love and loyalty amidst disappointment.

There were times when his personal life could have felt disappointing.  As a young player, Ron was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, before anyone even knew what juvenile diabetes was.  He kept his condition a secret, afraid MLB wouldn’t let him play.  Later, the disease would claim both of his legs.  He’d have heart surgery and have to learn how to walk with prosthetic legs.  He did.  He never gave up.  Not on life, not on the Cubs, and he gave you the feeling that if you knew him personally, he’d never give up on you either.  I never heard him complain about his body once, except maybe about his lack of hair.  He was famous for his toupees, in fact once during a game, one of his hairpieces caught on fire.

He endured the monumental disappointment of never having reached the Hall of Fame,  even allowing his son, an independent filmmaker, to document the weeks, days, hours and yes, even the moment he received the crushing phone call.

He endured one disappointing season after another, along with all of the die-hard Cubs fans.  With every bad play, it was “Oh Geez!”, or even worse, “Oh no!”  I could tell within thirty seconds whether the game was going well or not, just by the sound of Ron’s voice.   He was the genuine article Cub’s fan.

So maybe you can understand, why I shed a tear, even now, because my summer will never sound the same.  No more weeding gardens next to the radio.  No more running errands with Pat and Ron.  No more exclamations of occasional delight or, more commonly, distress.  The birds are still singing.  The lawn mower still humming. But the sound I long for is forever gone…

PS.  A few days after I wrote this, I do have to admit to watching the Cubs vs. Sox games…I guess just like Ron, I’m incurable…

The idea for this post came one day when Frank, the brilliant author of A Frank Angle, and I began talking baseball (via comments on our blogs of course).  After reading his amazing post On All Time Harrys, the topic of Ron Santo came up.  We decided to collaborate on a pair of posts.  I would do a post about my thoughts on Ron Santo, he would do a post On All Time Rons.  It was a lot of fun! 

Frank’s blog is chock full of everything from science to religion; from politics to baseball.  He has such a wide range of interests and is so intelligent, there’s truly something for everyone.   He is on my All Time Franks list!  😀

For more information on the life and career of Ron Santo purchase the newly released book:  Ron Santo:  A Perfect Ten by Pat Hughes and Rich Wolfe

Some Grown Up “Make-Believe”


“He (Jesus) even told us that we had to be like little children ourselves if we wanted to understand God, and yet the world (and too often the church) taught then, and still teaches, that we have to outgrow our childhood love of story, of imagination, of creativity, of fun, and so we blunder into the grown-up world of literalism.” Madeleine L’Engle

But aren’t children the greatest literalists in the world? I wish I could ask Madeleine that. If you tell a child something, don’t they take you quite literally? One thing about what is literally true to a child, is that the line between reality and make-believe is very ambiguous.

I remember playing “farm” with my two best childhood friends. For some reason, I got it in my head that we might buy my great grandparent’s farm in Nebraska. I’d never even been there, but my mother had told me much about it, and we had a few old black and white photos of a grand farmhouse. My guess is that they had recently passed away and my mother sighed out loud that she wished she could buy that farm because it had so many precious memories for her. From that statement of yearning, I decided that we were very probably buying that farm.

So, I rounded up anyone who would play with me and we pretended we were on my great grandparent’s farm. I still remember the rooms I imagined and the grove of pine trees I “sat” under even though there wasn’t a pine tree in sight.

I suppose in that way, we, as children have given up our “love of story, of imagination, of creativity, of fun” and have blundered “into the grown-up world of literalism.” We think that those times of “make-believe” weren’t real. But what are we really saying when we say “make-believe”? Are we saying that we pretend and imagine to the point where we make ourselves believe something is there when it is not? And if so, isn’t that a type of faith? A kind of calling things that are not as though they were? (Romans 4:17)

Maybe if we imagined and played “make-believe” about the things we have been promised by our Maker, we would be having faith like a child and would see more things happen in our lives.

I am not suggesting that we live in denial. After all, was it denial for me to imagine and “make-believe” that I was on my great grandparent’s farm when I was really standing on the tiny plot of land in front of our Chicago bungalow? Of course not! As soon as my mother called me in to eat, I was in Oak Park, Illinois again. I would gobble down her lovely lunch and run outside to make a mud pie for all the field workers.

So, which was more “real”? You tell me.

 Linking with the lovely Jen:

and Michelle at: