Monday, December 31, 2012

My Holidays-and HAPPY 2013!

 I'm combining my Christmas and New Year posts. Being on the road... you get TWO :)

Today is Christmas Eve! Where HAS this year gone?  So quickly it has passed and it seems to me that sometimes it went by faster than last year but we all know that we're given 24 hours in each day-365 days each year (except for leap year of course.)

This day wraps up the Advent season-a season of anticipation and waiting.  Having given birth a time or four, I have some idea of what Mary might have been going through as she awaited the arrival of her firstborn. I know that I did!
Today as I sit next to the bedside of my firstborn, I wait too. I wait for him to open his eyes and show some sign of recovery; the chance to ask for a smooch and maybe even write on the white board to tell me something he wants or needs. WAITING!  Something I've always considered myself to be good at. But I confess, I get frustrated at times as I wait for John-MY firstborn to show some more action, more activity, more alertness ... just a little bit Lord!

I know my God is faithful and will give me that sign-but the waiting can be agonizing at times. I know it will happen, that occasion when I will see his weak smile, when he will be stronger-strong enough to make his needs and wants understood. WAITING! I quote scripture to myself to re-gain the patience, especially when John takes a step backward. When that happens my faith gets a little weaker, my hope waivers, and I cry-WHY!

As I think I've said before, when I get into the "why me God" place I remember Job who lost so much more and was also physically afflicted much more than my arthritis and achiness that comes with getting older.  I remember what the Lord said to Job: "Where were YOU when I created the universe" or something to that effect.  And then comes the comfort after the correction: "Be still and know that I am God". Not the easiest thing to do at times but then I find a quiet place and thank Him for loving me so much.

December 31, 2012

I never got around to posting my Christmas Eve thoughts.  And now, here it is-the last day of 2012! Son John had a setback and is back in St. Joseph's Hospital. Son Kevin had a birthday too! I was surprised by my brother Bud arriving here for a couple of days, from Las Vegas, too! And tonight, going to ring in the New Year with my grand kids Lily and Damian!

As I sit here while John sleeps, I'm also thinking about what 2013 will bring. For one-I'm going to turn SIXTY on my next birthday in February. At last I'm comfortable with this "getting older" stuff.  Well, sorta :). I'm trying to think of things I'd like to do this coming year. Goals, tasks big and small ,that never seem to get started, or if they do, don't get as completely finished as I'd like. Most of my hopes for 2013 I really have no control over. Productive work for Kevin, less stress for daughter Kim. Freedom for Eric, and of course, recovery for John. Peace for his wife, and all the joy and love that can be had for my grandchildren. All that being said-I truly don't want for much but desire much for my loved ones.

I DO have some habits I want to change... being a better wife and going to bed instead of crashing on the couch. More exercise, less clutter,  less TV (oh no-giving up Judge Judy & Milian!). I would like more consistency in Bible Study, a better prayer life, and to get my website up again. Quite a list to get started on-all on hold til I get back home to Jersey of course.

OK enough about me! May the Lord bless you MORE in this coming year! What ONE thing are you hoping to accomplish?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Purpose, Prayers, and Expectations

As I sit here looking at my firstborn, I was reminded earlier today in a guest post on Marc Cortez’s “Every Day Theology” that “This is my child, made in the image of God, called for a purpose.”

My baby boy’s condition is slowly but surely improving and many of my initial fears have been relieved to some extent. Realistically, I know that this can change at any time but being the optimist and woman of faith that I am-well, I choose not to go to that dark corner of my mind.  Sometimes it’s not as easy to do as I would like but my faith in God, the strength He provides through the many prayers and support of so many get me past those moments of weakness!  

One of the things that I’ve learned about myself is that I have hidden more scripture in my heart than I thought!  My daily morning walk from my “pod” (what I call my efficiency room) is my time of prayer and recalling and relying on the many promises of Scripture. And you can bet that I’m reminding the Lord of all those promises too! : )

I do seek answers and wisdom…especially as to the WHY. I am sure God has his reasons – and my mind fills up with many of the possibilities.  As I’ve stated before, I’m wondering why the Lord, in His wisdom,  thought I needed a refresher course in patience.  THEN He reminds me that maybe the lesson isn’t for me, but that I’m here to help someone else through the lesson. 

Most of all I wonder what God has planned for John. Today, things are looking up. The fever and infection appear to be on their way “down & out”. That being said, the “what’s next” bridge is getting nearer.  I’m praying for a complete and total return to health for him. Of course that’s what any mom would do. Until they can assess the damage the stroke/aneurysm caused-well, we just don’t know. I AM sure that he is cognitively still my son. He’s moving a little and that is good.  I know that regardless of these things that he’s going to need physical therapy. What I know most of all is that NOTHING is impossible for God. So I’m expecting miracles.

James 5:16 is my verse for today.  Please remember my son John in your prayers! Thanks!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What's a Mother to do??

It’s never easy being “Mom”-watching our babies stumble through this life and wanting to kiss their booboos and smack down anyone that hurts them.  It’s difficult to watch them make mistakes as they grow into their teen years. It hurts most when they do things that hurt so much that you’re not sure you’ll ever get over it---but you do, and welcome the hugs and presents and just get past it and bury the pain.

As they become adults, you hope that all the stuff you told them has made some sort of positive impact on their lives.  A bit of wisdom to guide them on this adventure called “life”.  Getting angry with them when despite all that you’ve tried to tell them, they make dumb mistakes and decisions that ultimately hurt them and all the hopes and dreams they had in their younger years are slowly eroded into what amounts to everyday living, Work, families of their own, and all the sweet simple stuff.

They settle in to their routine and you come to love and accept them just as they are.

As I write this, my first born is in ICU in “guarded” condition fighting for his life.  If you follow me on Facebook, you know the whole story so I’m not going to go through it here. Today, this space is for my selfish side.  To get out all that’s going on in my head. 

I never imagined for a moment that I would be where I am. And I don’t like it one bit! Realistically and logically I know the seriousness of the situation and the possible worst case scenario. Because of my faith, I’m just not accepting THAT outcome. 

Over the past week, since this trial began my faith has grown by leaps and bounds. While I pray all the time, I confess my prayer life in general hasn’t been my strongest spiritual discipline. However, the other day, as I was reading all the comments and support I saw a little seed grow into a prayer tree!  As I posted, I saw friends of friends tell me that their prayer group or church was also praying for John.  And as more folks posted…more groups and churches adding John to their prayers….and so this Prayer Tree is blooming and growing….and I do believe that it reaches all the way into God’s lap!

My laptop wallpaper says it all : “God is in control”.  I’ve yelled at Him, screamed at Him, and most of all, thanked Him for surrounding me with His love-and all of you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This year, I've made the decision to get past this day.  If you've read any of my previous posts, especially for this date, you know where I've been - you know where I was.  Today, I'll be sharing some past photos ... reflect, remember those who died, and please, remember those of us who survived that day, forever changed!


These were taken from my balcony pre 9/11 2001.  My sons Eric and Kevin came to celebrate entering into the new Millenium Dec. 1999

As you may know, I was there that day, in the heart of lower Manhattan.  You can read the full story if you like. This was taken 9/12/2001.  Nuff said.

I had a few months on my job before I was laid off...this was taken December 2001, NYSE

These were taken in June 2004...the first time I actually ventured out to face the past, to get beyond it. Needless to say, despite my resolve...I still cried, even as I gained hope.
Trinity Church

The Escalator-WTC 2 is one I took regularly before 9/11.  It was good to be able to ride it again!

Construction goin' on!

June 2004, the famous IRON CROSS

The WTC "bathtub" that restrains the Hudson

This globe originally stood in the WTC Plaza

The Eternal Flame
That day in June 2004, I came home sad, remembering and to some extent reliving that day-AGAIN
Having the awesome view that we're blessed with, I hadn't let go of what was done...

...the HOLE in my sky!                 

Last year, on September 13, 2011 I visited the 9/11 Memorial  ...and there I found solace and more importantly HOPE...these were taken that day, and if you ever visit New York City, please don't miss this beautiful place. I look forward to going again soon.

I'm sure that no one, especially in the U.S. will ever forget...completely. As for me, as I look out from my balcony this evening, I will look forward to a new Freedom.  Free of the anger, the fear and the horror of that day.  Full of hope and moving forward!
Taken by my husband, Scott Cole, from our balcony September 10, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Toward UNITY

Aren’t we glad the conventions are over?  I know I am! I’ve been silent due to a really horrendous cold (or allergies?)  which may have been caused by staying up too late to watch all the hullabaloo and post speeches commentary by all the newsies.

There is definitively a stark contrast and a choice that we, as Americans, are privileged to make in November! And I hope you will take the time and effort needed to let your voice be heard.  One of the greatest travesties in our 21st century America is that only about half of us that are able to vote, actually do. With the changes in some states’ voting laws, please be sure that you are properly registered with the proper credentials.  I am not going to go into the controversy surrounding the changes – my message on this is to BE PREPARED-GET REGISTERED-VOTE!!!

One of the things I’ve noticed is the increased proliferation of “picto-memes” on Facebook.  You know, those created signs, graphs and political statements posted to let us know what’s on their mind.  Much to my embarrassment, even as I desire to be a source of information rather than division, I’ve gotten caught up in a bit of discussion.  Thankfully, I nipped it in the bud before it became a battle of “your guy vs. my guy” and trying to prove the truth or fiction of it.

In my opinion, one of the reasons there’s so much division is because we all want to win; we all want to be right… our way really is the BEST! …and then, in the midst of the heatedness, I’m blessed to remember many of Jesus’ words that bring me back to what’s truly important-especially in the Christian community of believers I belong to and more importantly the Church as a whole.  As Christians our “first love” is to be our God and Lord.  Confession time: I get carried away as I support my candidate! I want him to win.  I believe in his values, his hope and vision for our country…and I bet that you feel the same way about your candidate too.  And it may be that our candidates are not the same!

The last few weeks, I’ve had to re-think my words and comments a number of times…and again, heard stories of anger and dissension because of political discussion.  Family members resort to name calling, friends removing friends from everywhere.  Saddest for me are folks leaving my church family because of the opposing views of others.  Being me, I sought out what Scripture says on how we, as Christians are to conduct ourselves, especially in these highly charged emotional times.  I hope you’ll take a little time to reflect on these things.

  • ·         Mark 9:35  Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.
    In other words, it’s not REALLY that important to win, be the best, or be right.

  • ·         Luke 20:25 “He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
    I suggest you read the whole passage in context.  But I like the statement as a reminder of what’s truly important.

  • ·         Matthew 5:9   Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (And check out James 3:18 for back up)
    We are all called to be peacemakers… and again, read the entire Sermon on the Mount-it’s a reminder of our need for perspective.

Paul wrote quite a bit also, and for a biblical view on all things government, check out Romans 13:1-10 and remember that we, as Christians are called to LOVE.
Submission to Governing Authorities
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Love Fulfills the Law
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”  and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Lastly, consider Paul’s warning in Romans 16:17 - 17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.

From the very beginning, our shared spiritual enemy has used lies, and division to keep us from our greater purpose which is to love God and our neighbor. Those are the commands, and true values we should seek in electing our leaders as well. These, to my way of thinking and believing are our HIGHEST CALLING.      

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


One of my favorite films of all time is “Fiddler on the Roof”.  As it opens the main character, Tevye, wonderfully sings of the joy and great importance of tradition and how it affects every aspect of Jewish life.  If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend that you do! Thanks to YouTube you can see what I’m talking about here.  Without spoiling the story for any that may not have seen it, Tevye has great conversations with God, much as I imagine Isaiah might have, in response to “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord” ( Isaiah 1:18).  As the story progresses, circumstances of his beloved daughters cause him to question the very traditions that he has relied on throughout his life-and reason with God as he seeks answers.
I’m betting that you and your family have some much cherished traditions.  A personal favorite in my family is calling up each other on our birthday to sing “the stupid birthday song”…. I’m almost positive that you’ve heard it… “Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey and you smell like one too!”  Family members are not subject to this humiliation until their 21st birthday, and presumably, after a long “first night” of legal drinking we wake up the celebrant as early as possible from a horrendous hangover.  I know, it’s cruel but so much fun!  In more recent years as my siblings and I have gotten older and no longer drink as part of celebrating our birthday, we tend to call a little bit later in the morning, primarily I suspect, because we hope the same consideration will be given to us.
Other traditions are passed down generation to generation.  Our faith, holiday and political persuasion are just a few that come to mind. How often have you heard “I was raised __________, so I am also __________________.”  Or, I am a Christian so I am for (or against) this issue, or that candidate.”  I venture to say that at least one of your views or values is based strictly on what is normal in your circle, or family, or faith.  That being said, can you honestly say with conviction WHY you hold that view? Could you effectively debate beyond "just because"?
As many of you know I’m sorta weird.  I’m a Bible-believing, God-loving, Jesus-following, born again evangelical “left leaning” moderate and (voter) registered independent.  I was raised in a “mixed” household.  Mom was “blue” and dad was “red”. Needless to say, politics wasn’t often a topic around our house, but when it was it was uh, heated, to put it mildly, and sometimes even reverted to slammed doors and name calling.  Being curious, I spent many hours learning about the country’s political process, how it works, and why; the Constitution and what it means for me.  And in high school, Civics was a requisite course for graduation.  Civics is the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship, its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government.[1] It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens’ ― as opposed to external factors ― in the operation and oversight of government.  (If you’re curious about Civics, and I hope you are check out )
Awhile back I wrote a post about the seeming conflict between my Christian faith and my duty and rights as an American citizen.  It indeed has been said that religion and politics should never be discussed in the same room at the same time!  The ultimate conclusion is that I follow Jesus, and use His teachings as a guide to how I practice the freedom I have as an American.
As we get nearer and nearer to Election Day, all the pix/commentary/and memes on FB get more heated.  I’ve heard rumors that people are “de-friending” others and even leaving the fellowship found in Church because of the political views expressed. Having been involved myself in some commentary and after a 20 day “fast from politics” and seeking God, I’ve decided to separate the politics from faith on this blog-and create a new blog strictly FOR assisting others to get beyond the political rhetoric (aka spin), beyond the vitriol and yes, maybe even beyond their tradition!  A little "truth in advertising" so to speak.  My goal and hope is to inform and provide, without bias, what candidates support, reject, vs what they say; for all to gain better understanding of how government works and most of all, to shed light on policies, candidate positions and law without all the legalese, in plain English.   In these difficult times, it is so easy to blame government for our problems, and granted, it is often justified.  However, we are truly blessed to live in a country where we do have a voice, and a vote.  Let’s not waste it by voting “just because” .  Instead, let’s stop complaining and let our voice be heard and vote based on truth…not just tradition!  If you’re willing, if you dare – the new blog is Well Informed Citizen. I'll have my first post up a little later.  I challenge you to go see it.  : )

Care to share your opinion on tradition? Or anything related to this post? I'd love to hear from you and hope you'll stretch your wings a little and take a look at the new blog.  I promise, going forward, that THIS space will no longer have political content.  Hope you'll hold me to it!