Wednesday, December 31, 2008

sleeping problems

We all have them. Don't we?

Reagan and Addie have sleeping problems - the whole getting to be on time and staying there.
Reagan goes to sleep and often Addie is still bright eyed and wanting to get up.
And so she often goes back and forth and back and forth - to and from the bed and family room.

Last night Alyse spent the night and there were huge sleeping problems. Neither Reagan or Addie wanted to go to sleep in their beds. There were tears and complaints and finally (11 PM) they ended up in Marnie's bed.
Marnie and I heard crying and it was Alyse who just wanted to go home. She missed her Mommy and her Blankie. And so at 11:30 PM Kacey showed up and took her home.

I have distinct memories of being Alyse's age and literally walking home in the middle of the night because I just could not sleep in someone else's house.

But now, my sleeping problems. I count it a victory if I get 7 hours of sleep. Chuck is happy if he gets 5 hours in a row. He frequently wakes up in the middle of the night and leaves our bed to go to sleep in the basement. And we know that there are many married couples that do the shifting beds in the night routine.

There is nothing worse than waking up at 3 AM and wondering if you are going to get back to sleep!
But for me, last night - 7 HOURS! A Victory!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Reflections so far

Our Christmas still is not over. We are going to Lisa's today to see Lisa, Harve, Shane, Brock and Rachel. Then it will be over.

It has been a good time.
What was wonderful for me was that the biggest part of the gift giving was over last Monday and I really felt I had time to spend on Christmas Eve making sure that the servicde was done.

And it is a blessing to do that without feeling rushed. The service was good - even though we had a glitch at the end with the screen frozen. But seeing families together and hearing again the wonderful story of hope, peace, joy and love made me remember that it is all about that.

My family was there in force - all the girls, the grandkids, plus Karen and Paul (Brett's mom and step dad) and Erik and Lindsay (Brett's sister and brother in law) so they took up space in every way. Someone said to me afterwards: "I love watching your family, they are so Rambunctious" (Hmmmmm. what does that mean?)

Christmas Eve night fun afterward at our house with Chuck making 2 fondues and plenty of wine for all. And we played "Seinfeld Scene It" and exchanged a few presents with those who spent the night. I bought Marnie some pJ's that seemed perfect for her - they said "Funny" except - ooops! - they actually said "Bunny!" Am I getting old? Or in a hurry shopping?

Christmas morning we had Cheese and Sausage strata and played lots of games and saw the Benjamin Button movie. It was really a wonderful film - with lots of meaning and great acting and of course, Brad Pitt. What could be better than that?

Friday we said goodbye with linch with Audrey and Caroline and then I had a second lunch later in the day. We met with Lisa, who is a 30 year old cancer survivor from Pennsylvania who has been having chemo this year here in Columbus so that her family could care for her. Our reiki team has been giving her reiki periodically through the year and she was part of Bible study I did last year. She is almost done with her treatment - today she is having reconstrcutive surgery. It was so good to see her - she looks so good. Her hair has grown in and she had on make up and just looks fabulous. Plus she is really like an angel - we have been so blessed by her.

Saturday I went to camp to lead a Bible study on the Demonic Man healed by Jesus as they were spending a day learning about addiction. It is always fascinating to do a "Lectio Divina" and this was no exception. The young people saw so much in the text and it really related to addiction and the way in which there are forces that work against it.

Sunday afternoon we all Lisa a reik treatment to prepare her for the surgery and then I went to a church service as Christ Memorial Baptist Church where Charles Ferguson, our gospel praise service preacher, got ordained. The Baptists do it differently than the Disciples - as went through a process because he now has a church to pastor on Sunday morning. The service was long by our standards (2 hours!) but inspiring. Charles mentioned our church and seemed happy to have us there.

I certainly have a rich and full life - with family and church and everything. But on top of that - Audrey introduced me to a new website which may become my downfall. It is There are games on there and there is a game where you are making words out of 6 letters. Every round is only a minute. Ten rounds is a game - only 10 m inutes and wait - I think I can do better next game - only another 10 minutes. Right? Have I played for an hour? How did that happen? You know.
It's fun. I think I should think about the Bible study I did at camp about the man and the demons. Video games are mine!

But after all, it's the holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Party

Last night we had Christmas at Kacey's house and it was really fun!

There were 9 adults - Brett, Kacey, Marnie, Audrey, Caroline, Jason, Dawn, Chuck and me and the 4 kids.

We started by playing a new game that Audrey got for Christmas - Jumblaya which I really loved. I hope Chuck and I can find it to buy each other for Christmas.

Then dinner - from boston Market - Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, Ham and my cheesy potatoes. Of course some wine, etc. And some appetizers ahead. It seemed like not a lot of work for Kacey - I hope so.

Then opening presents - lots of presents. Even though we try to keep it down - $20 limit per person - there are still a lot of presents. And a lot of fun.
The kids were great - they would each open a present and then disappear for a while and then come back when it was their turn again.

Then dessert and then we opened stockings. As usual that seems to be the most fun. We each bought something for each person's stocking and did not spend more than $10 for all the stockings. I did all my shopping in the dollar store and had fun getting stuff like - a magic trick for Jason, lotion for Dawn, a Jesus candle for Audrey etc.

I feel so blessed to have a family that really enjoys each other and knows how to have a good time together. I wish I could have stayed longer but I am doing a funeral this morning and knew I had to get home to rest.

The next big Christmas event for me is Christmas Eve worship. Looking forward to that.
The church really looks gorgeous and there is nothing like the end of the service when we all stand together holding candles and singing "Silent Night."

God is good. All the time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Letter

Well, I still do a Christmas letter and Christmascards - but maybe this is the last time.
I wrote the letter today and then addressed a bunch of cards and now I am taking time from writing notes on the cards and tucking in the letter.

Maybe all I should do is post the letter it is!

Dear Friends

There are years when this letter comes early and quickly, but this is not one of them. It is hard to believe that the big day is in less than a week and there is still much to do

As I look back on the past year, there has been much that has been good and fun but there have also been some struggles. Starting there: my sister Ellen was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in April and literally everything has changed for them. We are so grateful for the successful back surgery, radiation and rounds of chemo. And thankful that after 6 months at home recuperating she is able to be back at work. Please keep her and her family in our prayers.

This summer Marnie and Todd separated which has been, of course, difficult for them and for the kids. The good news for us is that we have been able to have Marnie and Reagan and Addie move in with us and it has been a true blessing. Chuck loves having them to cook for and we both love their company. Again, please keep all of them in your prayers.

This fall marked five years of our life here in Columbus and my serving Karl Road Christian Church. And as they say, time flies when you are having fun – and we are!. Chuck continues to stay VERY busy with golf, cooking and doing various projects at the church. I could not have a better “wife.” Life at the church is very rich for me and I am awed by the ministry that happens here. We are now at the place where the building is being used every single day of the week between worship, AA meetings and an after school program. It is exciting and I marvel at what God is doing here.

This fall I also embarked on a two and a half year course of study to become a spiritual director. It means that I take classes every other Saturday morning and Wednesday evening. It has both stretched me and settled me spiritually. Being back at school gives me a different kind of energy and perspective. God keeps showing me that I can trust God with my life, my family and my work.

We look forward to a cruise in February to celebrate by 60th(!) birthday next year. I have invited friends and family to come and so far we will have 24 of us on the good ship “Fantasy.” We have so much to be thankful for – but this certainly is a “biggie!”

I pray that the holidays will be HOLY days for you. May we all continue to live into the life that we have been given and grow and learn and love.

With Love,
Margot and Chuck

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weight Loss and Money

Well, I saw a headline on yahoo that people lose weight more when money is on the line.
I didn't read the article, but pondered that thought.

And then approached Marnie with a challenge. Marnie has said to me that she wants to lose weight and certainly I do. We have a cruise coming in about 7 weeks and I would love to lose 10 pounds before the cruise. (actually more than that....but let's be realistic!)

So, he is what I proposed. A weekly weigh in - just the 2 of us. And $5 for the week on the line.
Whoever loses the most that week gets the other's $5. I mentioned it to Christy this morning on our morning walk and she and Dawn are in for that too. So now, we are looking at the possibility of making $15 a week if you are the one who loses the most that week.

We are going to try this for 6 weeks. Every week a new possibility!
Pray for me that I win the most money and lose the most weight.

(PS - I am at a disadvantage you know, because I am so old and have old lady's metabolism!)
(PPS - further disadvantage - living with Chuck!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend of Grief

It is Sunday afternoon and I have 15 minutes before I go to church again for the Gospel Praise Service. I did something I rarely do - I took a nap this afternoon. I could not get the sermon finished - and last night got to sleep at about 2 and woke up at 7 and have been kind of tired.

Yesterday was packed.
First I went to my Wellstreams Class for half of the class. We spent time with John of the Cross. He is famous for our understanding of the "Dark Night of the Soul" which can certainly last more than a night. It is the times when we are struggling and suffering with letting go of our attachments. Some of the things that were said:
  • John is for adults - and he learned what he learned through the lens of hsi own suffering
  • John articulates grief - and that life can only begin when we topple idols in our life
  • John helps us to learn how to become contemplative - to move from simple prayer to deep prayer.
  • This process is emptying ourselves of our illusions and those things that get in our way - so God can fill us
  • It is a process where we move from relying on outside authorities to get in touch with the God within
  • "we have a huge responsibility to form our own conscience"
  • John really understands the suffering that purifies - as 2 mysteries are being met - the self and God
  • The journey of conversion is to get rid of the false ego so that the true self is going to come into being.
  • "God is a mystery to be lived and not a problem to be solved."

It was all a lot of food for thought and much that i have experienced. The truth is that we live in a culture that discourages going deeply into suffering - instead we try to avoid the pain and then miss the meaning.

Anyway, I feel blessed to have this class in this time in my life.

Unforfoturnately I had to leave early to go to do a funeral for an 85 year old man. And it was - as it always is - wonderful to be able to sit with a family and help them through their grief. At my funerals I always will say - that as we remember and celebrate this person - we always have to be open to grieving. These days frequently people want to talk about celebrating and not grieving. I think there is a relationship with John of the Cross!

We had snow and so I rode with the funeral director (slowly) to the cemetary and back and then drove VERY slowly home. Got home just in time to put together a 4 minute talk for the funeral home up the street.

They do a memorial service every December and invite family members of those who have passed away. The service started with a choir from a local church, then I did a brief message about remembering and grieving and trusting in God. And then each family came forward and said the name of the person who had died. There were lots of tears and people would say - "It's been really hard" etc. The room was just so full of sadness. But obvious.y, it is important for us to remember and to outwardly mourn.

This is why my sermon came so hard, I think. The day took a lot out of me emotionally and I really could not get focussed until about 10 pm last night.

But I have to say - it was satisfying to be able to learn and to use what I learn. God is good.

All the time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Katie Couric got a new haircut and I like it

And I think it is time for me to do the same - get a haircut like Katie's.

I am spending more time on my hair than ever and I don't think it looks that good. I dry it and put this spray stuff on it that is supposed to fluff it up
And I don't even know how to do that

So, is it time to get it cut off?