Marty & Mindy

My Cup Runneth Over

Written By: Mindy - Aug• 16•13

My Cup Runneth Over

Aloha Friday… we sat next to the river along a grassy mound in an open amphitheater watching the hundreds of people laughing, enjoying each others company and sampling local drinks from over 100 vendors.  The clouds were out in all their glory as if to say, “Hey – don’t forget about us, we’re the ones putting on the real show.”

sunset-clouds

In the distance I noticed a man sitting alone in his wheelchair.  I looked at Marty and he nodded knowing what was in my heart. I took our sampling mug and the 2 tokens we had and walked up to him. I introduced myself…his name was Jeff. I asked if he would like a sampler and I offered him our mug and tokens.  He smiled and said, “that would be very nice.”  The lines were long and crowded so I asked if I could go get it for him. Again with such a gentle spirit he responded, “that would be nice.”  I asked what was his favorite and he said Pilsner. It wasn’t long before I was back with a Pilsner sampler for my new friend.

MugHe smiled and said thank you.  His thank you came from deep, deep within.  I had  green and blue beads that were given me earlier so I took them off my neck and handed them to him.  His hand was weak so I asked if I could put them on him. Again he smiled … even deeper.  I took off my beads and gently put them over his head and around his neck. I gently leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.  And whispered, ‘Happy Aloha Friday’. He smiled again, deeply – very deeply.

Aloha Friday is everyday in our world – a day to share aloha – love.  And Jeff shared his aloha with me by simply being there and allowing me to enter into his world, if but only for a moment.

I went back to Marty and smiled – and shared a deep smile with him that Jeff had just given to me as a gift.

My cup, or should I say my mug,  runneth over!

Celebrating Motherhood

Written By: Mindy - May• 12•13

Betty RawlinsToday we honor and celebrate mothers all around the world. It is the celebration of motherhood – part of our divine nature.  Just as Eve is called the mother of all the living (before she had children) we as the daughters of Eve, whether married or single, maternal or barren, share in this divine nature being created in the image of God.  The name mother is a statement about our nature, not a head count of our children. And though I have not had the joy of personally baring my own children, I have the great privilege of mothering – loving, caring and nurturing many children.  My spiritual quiver is full. So to all you amazing women out there … today we honor and celebrate you!

WE CELEBRATE YOU WOMEN…

We celebrate you who gave birth to your children through pain and in great love.

We celebrate you mothers who sacrifice your life so your children may have more.

We celebrate you who opened your home & heart to the poor and needy children.

We celebrate you who adopted and fostered children and loved them as your own.

We celebrate you who spend your life teaching and training children of all ages.

We celebrate you barren beautiful mothers who have loved beyond personal pain.

We celebrate you Grand Mothers who selflessly give beyond comprehension.

We celebrate you Auntie’s who treasure children and help guide them in their way.

We celebrate you God Mothers who lead the children to God in all things.

We celebrate you Step-Mothers who embrace & love all children in your marriage.

WE HONOR YOU WOMEN…

We honor you women who have lost your mother – we grieve with you.

We honor you women who have lost your children – we mourn with you.

We honor you women who know heartache with your children – we hurt with you.

With great love, admiration and gratefulness ~ we honor women everywhere ~ made in the beautiful image of God.
Mindy 

Mom and me many many years ago.

Mom and me many many years ago.

(My beautiful mother awaits me in heaven…a joy set before me!)

Grow Old Along With Me

Written By: Mindy - Sep• 19•12

“Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be, the last of life,
for which the first was made.
Our times are in His hand who saith,
‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half;
Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!’”
(RB)

One of the greatest pleasures of our life is growing old together. As we sit and behold the majesty of God high in the Alps we feel like we could reach out and touch heaven. Long prayer walks, laughter, picnics…. these simple things in life bring such joy. Today we celebrate 14,610 days in love. It is not our official anniversary but it yet another day to celebrate love!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Fun love app:
Days In Love 

 

 

 

THIN PLACE

Written By: Mindy - Sep• 14•12

There is a Celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart,
but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.

Yesterday was a full day here in this simple Celtic community in foothills of the Alps. As we looked out the window of our lovely room the mountains seemed to be drawing us for a prayer walk. We drove a short 5 minutes to Lake Thun and began our walk.

We walked into an old church – Scherzligen.    It was empty (or so we thought). Marty walked up to the front and stood behind a small pulpit and began to sing in the spirit.  The acoustics were amazing. We smiled. There was something special about this old church. As we left the church and walked down towards the lake a man came out after us. He asked us in broken English if we would come back in 15 minutes and join him and a few others in a time of Taize singing.  We love Taize singing and worship.  We were with the Taize community in France a few years ago on our pilgrimage.

Needless to say we joined him and sang in German (made our best attempt) the distinctive and repeated prayer songs of Taize. We sang in an area of the church they call the “Thin Place”. In the Celtic tradition there are places that give us an opening into the magnificence and wonder of His presence. They are called “Thin Places”.

As we sang the echo of ages past seemed to ring and flow all around us – it was enchanting, divine, holy.  When the singing ended the gentleman said we must go see the giant sequoia tree behind the church. It too was known as a “Thin Place” to the Celtic christians.  You can see from our photo that the tree itself was magnificent.  We were standing in their “Thin Place“. Wow!  

We were then invited to join another group at 8pm in the small town of Aeschi with a larger group for an hour of Taize singing.  We drove the short 20 minutes and walked into candle lit church where 50 swiss men and women were humming in worship. A dear woman Caterine asked us to join in. We walked to the front of the church with the others and all we could do is cry, cry, cry and then cry some more.  The presence of God overwhelmed us.  The swiss were turning around to see who this was who was crying in the midst of their beautiful music.  But we couldn’t stop. Caterine turned to me and whispered in broken english, “this is a good place to cry – there are angles here”.

After what seemed forever we were able to join in the singing. They sang in Russian, German, Latin, English (yeah) and other languages unknown to me.  Then we all left the front of the church and walked up into the “Thin Place”. It was a small elevated rotunda behind the pulpit. Marty stayed below with a woman who arrived in her wheel chair, Rosa. Words fail to express the holy moments.  As we sang it felt as if we were joining countless others who had been there before, who were singing in heaven now. Holy.

Then during a song we all walked back down to the pew area and lit candles and waited in silence before God. Holy.  Another song, another hum and the night was over.  Something happened in us – God knows.

These dear people then invited us to join them at a hotel across the street for drinks.  They had all driven from different areas around Switzerland for this special night. We sat in a quaint lounge and celebrated life with new friends…Thomas a physicist on my left, across from me was Rosa  a par-olympic medal winner, Caterine an angel on my right and many others whom names I do not know but will one day worship with again in heaven.

We drove back to Einigen – filled to the brim in every way. 

 

Fish Stinks

Written By: Mindy - Sep• 10•12

Fish StinksOkay – I have come to a new awareness of what it means to be a traveling guest.
Fish stinks!
There is a couple across the hall who share the kitchenette with us. They arrived 2 nights ago and rather than joining in with all the gang here at meal time in the dining room they have made their own meals. Last night they made fried fish that stank so bad – I’m talking gagging bad! They are dear people but so unaware that we could barely breathe with the stinkiness.

Note to Mindy #1: Inconvenience is part traveling.
Stinky fried fish is an inconvenience – get use to it.
I went into the toilet and grabbed the can of peach room fresher off the back of the toilet and sprayed this gross smelling toxic spray everywhere. Now it smells like a dead fried stinky peach fish. Oh what I would give for a candle. Okay I get it – traveling can be inconvenient.
Stop Noise  As if that is not enough – tonight was worst. I was downstairs in a classroom when the fire alarms went off. The sound was so piercing I wanted to scream in harmony with the alarm. It went on and on. It never entered my mind that there might actually be a fire. Finally the alarm stopped – the sound of silence was golden. But less than a minute later the alarm was screaming again. People were running all around trying to figure out what was going on. Suddenly I knew the culprit. The couple across the hall. I just bet that they were frying up stinky greasy fish and set off the alarm.
I ran upstairs and sure enough when I opened the kitchenette door I was flooded with thick smoke from the stinky fish. They said there was no fire – they had everything under control. I brought them a fan but it was too late…the smell was now permeating the whole building.

Note to Mindy #2: You are not in control. You are a guest…be grateful. Okay, I get it, I am not in control.
SO…here I am sitting in bed with a super stinky fried fish smelling room. The smell has lured in flies who think we might be dead stinking fish. Inconvenient – yes. Out of control – yes. Crazy – yes.
I have had such a great laugh with Marty through it all and it has made for a good story. I am not in control but I am grateful for this “guest” room, and all the inconvienence of traveling. Wouldn’t trade it!

Traveling is a great adventure!

inconvenience

Time is on my side!

Written By: Mindy - Sep• 07•12

According to the town square clock here in Burtigny it is 3:30am and I should be asleep. But I’m not!
In years past I would get irritated with laying awake these 5 hours…but not anymore. I suppose that is one of the blessings of age. I learn acceptance of things that I cannot change. And as much as I would like to sleep it just isn’t happening.
Last night was the same. Only I know why…Abi.
Dear sweet Abi. I met Abi as he was vacuuming the dining room – a gentle spirited young man from India. His smile would melt any heart. He loves his native drum – a giant conga. And much to his joy he played it and played and played into the wee hours of the morning. Who could dare say anything…and no one did. So last night Marty and I were sarrenaded with a personal concert outside our window by dear Abi.  

Tonight – it is now 3:45am – there is faint music from upstairs – I think some dear soul is listening to music and being inspired…or he fell asleep with it on.

The guests across the hall must have drank too much water as in the past 15 minutes of my writing they have gone to the bathroom no less than 4 times – true! Our 3 guest rooms share the toilet together.

A new song is now playing upstairs so the inspired soul is not asleep – and neither am I.

So rather than fighting it – I bow and look for solace as I enjoy the company of the Royal Family…the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Sweet dreams.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world!

Written By: Mindy - Sep• 06•12

As I sit at a long table in the dining room  here in the small Swiss village of Burtigny, I am enjoying a quinoa veggie salad. Across from me sat Daniel, a thin young lad from Africa. Darker than a lost moon night and gentler than a newborn lamb, he shyly talked of his homeland in Africa. I can’t pronounce his country but I know it is near Ghana.

On my left was a kind elderly man from France. His broken English was childlike and endearing. He introduced me to his wife from Brazil – Ana who was strong and bold with her thick jet black hair. She took over the conversation and shared how they met and fell in love. What a treasure for them to have found each other just one year ago.

A handsome young man with dreads introduced himself to me, Billy. He was from South Africa. (He reminded me of my handsome dred warrior nephew Mattie). He had made the lunch and was quite pleased, rightly so. Just then a large Jamaican walked by and kidded with Billy that this is one meal she will gladly give up (not a big quinoa fan). We all giggled as she sashayed out the door.There were 15 nationalities sitting with us for lunch – a touch of heaven!

Finally on my right was a tender loving Irish man. His thick curly grey hair softly framed his gentle face. He looked at me with the eyes filled with love and years of wonder. He had no Irish accent but a true Irishman by all accounts. He was my Marty! My husband! My love!

In a time where the world is filled with so much war & violence, pain & sorrow, loneliness & loss I am overwhelmed with gratitude of this undeserved blessing of sitting in the midst of God’s royal family and breaking bread together.

…and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!

The Pilgrimage Begins

Written By: Mindy - Sep• 04•12

 

In the words of Mark Twain…      
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.


Our journey has begun! We have thrown off the bow lines of security and sailed away from the safe harbor of predictability and have caught the trade winds of adventure once again and have landed in Switzerland where Marty and I met and fell in love. It is here that our lives were transformed by our encounter with God. It is here where we spent months learning of His amazing ways. Our lives forever changed in Switzerland.

At home in the Swiss Alps
And now we are back. Our days will be filled renewing friendships, making new ones and long meandering prayer walks in majestic mountains of Switzerland. We plan on video journaling the 6 Youth With A Mission outposts during the month of September and celebrating what God is doing through YWAM. We will post them as we complete them on this blog is you care to see.

We have anticipation – a joy set before us – a pilgrimage of seeking, celebrating and loving God on this journey.
Like the turtle – we are sticking out neck out and moving forward.
Our pace may have slowed down a bit with age but not our desire.
We know where the fruit is – out on the limb.
We know there are unknown surprises from our Father along the way so we are off to enjoy the treasure hunt!

Stay tuned – we’ll keep you updated on our journey.

Learner

Written By: Mindy - Jun• 10•12
Knowledge verses LearningThe illiterate of the 21st century will not only be those that cannot read and write,
but those that cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn.

I just arrived home after being gone for 3½ months. I’m glad to be home yet my heart is heavy. During our absence my next door neighbor died. While on holiday in Italy he had a massive heart attack. He is Marty’s age and I can hardly imagine the loneliness of his dear wife.  I so want to have the “right” thing to say. I “know” the right words – but somehow they seem empty.  So I will buy flowers and go over and rather than knowing the right words I will bring arms ready to love.

“Enlightenment is not about knowing as much as it is about unknowing; it is not so much learning as unlearning. It is more about entering a vast mystery than arriving at mental certitude… A too quick and easy answer is invariably a wrong one.” Father Richard Rohr

In my present pursuit of life and God, I am discovering that there is just as much, if not more, that I need to unlearn as I need to learn. I don’t want to view life with answers, being right and rigid (signs of Knowers).  I want to be contagiously loving and delightful (signs of Learners).

In closing, with an effort to be light hearted…

FOR SALE CHEAP!
Complete Set of Encyclopedia Britannica.  
Excellent condition. $100 or best offer.
No longer needed. Got married last week.
Wife knows everything.

Smart Wives

Whose hands it’s in…

Written By: Mindy - Apr• 09•12

A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is worth about $33 million.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
A baseball in Roger Clemens’ hands is worth $475 million.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

A tennis racket is useless in my hands.
A tennis racket in Andre Agassi’s hands is worth millions.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A rod in my hands will keep away an angry dog.
A rod in Moses’ hands will part the mighty sea.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A slingshot in my hands is a kid’s toy.
A slingshot in David’s hand is a mighty weapon.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in Jesus’ hands will feed thousands.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse.
Nails in Jesus Christ’s hands produced salvation for the entire world.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

My life is in the hands of God.
My concerns, my worries, my fears, my hopes, my dreams,
my family and my friends are in God’s hands…
It is well with my soul!