Five Minute Friday: Visit

Visit.  When I think of the word visit, I think of my friend of 12+ years, Lisa.  I met her through the hub, as her hub and my hub used to attend graduate school together.

Our first meeting was at a Chinese buffet in Champaign, IL.  She had recently given birth to their first baby girl, Miss Olivia.  What I remember about that first meeting is Lisa’s beautiful red hair and how calm and collected she was handling a newborn while eating her dinner.

Over the years, she, her hub, and their now three children have visited my family often, and our friendship has flourished.  Besides tasting levee-high pies together and attending a local “luau” (in Illinois) together, we have shared our hearts with one another.  During several visits, she generously answered my many questions about her faith and theology in general.  This is a woman of great belief as I have learned over the years.  Repeatedly, she turns to the Lord in times of sorrow, worry, and thankfulness, truly unwavering in her connection with her God.

Recently Lisa sent me a picture of a cake creation she made for a friend.  A stay-at-home mother who homeschools her children, Lisa’s talents often always leave me with a sense of awe and renewed motivation;  I can never wrap my head around how she does all she does.

Despite her multifaceted expertise, Lisa’s response to my “oohs” and “aahs” over her latest creation was, “All from God.”  Visit.

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Five Minute Friday: Finish

Finish . . .  Reading Lisa-Jo Baker’s response to Finish makes me think of my own “passing the torch,” so to speak, on a not grand scale at all.

In October of 2011 I went on a women’s retreat with an amazing group of women blessings from Troy United Methodist Church.  Prior to this weekend, I had my first mammogram at the age of 40 which called for an ultrasound and then a breast excision.  So, my upcoming surgery was definitely on my mind.

The women’s group leading workshops at the retreat published Between the Lines.  Inspired and refreshed from the weekend, I read through the magazine and decided I wanted to have a similar publication for the women at my church.  Also, I thought the creation of Ruby Magazine would make for a welcoming distraction for what turned out to be a diagnosis of breast cancer.

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The magazine/blog ended up having an amazing three-year run with women blessing interviews, personal essays, recipes, and prayers, but I felt it needed to come to a finish this summer as the contributions dwindled.  It was time to finish.

When I put out a request for someone to take over, woman blessing Steph went above and beyond by creating The Gentle Yoke, an open faith forum and digital magazine.  Now, I have the pleasure of reading her posts and responding to them.  So, my finish was really just a blessed beginning.