Category Archives: Faith

Parents Do Not Take Sick Days

Vicks Vaporizer became my best friend for the past couple weeks!  (Well Vicks, hot peppermint tea, and my pillow!)  Maybe the bad cold would have not morphed into bronchitis with sufficient bed rest, however like the current running Vicks commercials confirms, “Parents do not take sick days”.  Those same little angels, who introduced the germs and viruses to the home, needed my attention and care-giving!

Since this all started during Christmas vacation, I will admit there was a brief moment of “It’s A Wonderful Life” without children, but those few short seconds within my imagination turned into real tears.  Real tears because bronchitis, dueling siblings, toddler temper tantrums, pre-teen rebellion and all, they are my precious gifts blessed by God.

So instead I donned the Wonder Mom Cape (all moms own one naturally) with an artillery of throat lozenges, tissue, and orange juice and managed to tend to their every need. Oh there were moments I wished I could just fold my arms and nod my head like “I Dream of Jeannie” to complete the tasks, but with God’s good grace……many prayers for strength helped.

While wearing the ‘cape’, I used what little steam I could muster to also plan ahead for mommy rest time.  Ice chest – check, snacks – check, juice – check, art and craft supplies – check, basket of toys – check, crockpot of chicken noodle soup – check, Disney films – check, children’s books and games – check….mom’s bedroom basically turned into a kitchen-entertainment-family-medical care room!  Because once I plopped into bed, I would be down for the count!  The usual 16 hour mom day was drastically reduced to just 8 hours and then the cape came off!  Thankfully my children were in recovery mode and more sleepy than normal.  (Lord forgive me for being grateful they were not back to 100% health.)

Fever, coughs, and cranky children actually ended up being a blessing after all.  Perhaps none of us were at our best, yet it was still very bonding…laughing at silly commercials, building empires with legos, giving random hugs, and even just resting confirmed that in either sickness or health, we love each other very deeply!

Maybe God allowed us to all to be ill just to stop for awhile – no working, no writing, no errands, no school and instead just be still.  We all need to take more ‘still’ moments and just enjoy the blessings bestowed upon us.  Sickness should not be the moment of revelation that our lives are too busy, unfortunately sometimes these are the times which bring us back to reality.

Vicks commercials are correct, we parents do not take sick days, however we should all remember to take “children dedication days” – shut all else down and just spend with them!  The time is really all the ‘medicine’ we need to get us through the hectic ‘cape’ days!



In our world today, we may not have “peace on earth” however we have the GOOD NEWS!!!  Merry Christmas to one and all!!  One day indeed there will be Peace on Earth!!  Sing Halleluiah!


Visions of a Not-So-Silent Christmas

Moving heavy furniture and boxes (see blog below) begs one to take a break!  With a tube of Tiger Balm, a reclining chair, and a television remote the one hour break commenced.  Channel surfing discovered a one-hour documentary on PBS titled “The First Silent Night” telling the origins of one of the most enduring Christmas hymns of all time – “Silent Night”.

The German carol’s lyrics were written by Father Joseph Mohr in 1816 and then two years later the music was composed for “Stille Nacht” by schoolmaster Franz Xaver Gruber in the Salzburg, Austria region.  The film mesmerized with history, emotion, faith, and the beauty of Austria which helped diminish any muscle pain!

The one hour program connected with my faith, love for Jesus and adoration of my favorite Christmas song that it immediately motivated me to set a one year goal of visiting Salzburg for Christmas 2015!  In fact, I have the entire itinerary already planned which includes a few days in Wagrain, day trips to Hallein, Vienna, Munich (Germany) and Bolzano (Italy) with several days in Salzburg for all the Noel Festivities!

Visions of a 20 hour flight with children, transportation hassles, bustling crowds, and freezing-below- zero temperatures does not dampen my motivation to achieve this vacation dream!  In fact I can already taste the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts with the scent of fresh pine trees in the air!  No more “Dreaming” of a White Christmas, because the blanket of pure, white crystal snow will be all around requiring a cup of warm-spiced-nog at the end of a cold, but joyous day!


Although it is still yet Christmas Day, the image of Christmas in Europe next year dances in my head – authentic Tafelspitz, Schnitzel, sweet Apfelstrudel, warm Jägertee, bright artisan Christmas ornaments, festive music, the grand Cathedral, local Advent activities, and even the visit by the Krampusses and Perchten beckons vividly!

However with just one year to reach the goal, this means focus and dedication to earn the funds required for such a jubilant holiday.  Now it makes perfect sense why God lead me to WakeUpNow!  It will take earning 5-6 figures per month to establish the healthy finances needed to even begin planning the trip.  Once the appropriate amount of income is earned, then I can book the entire merry sabbatical utilizing the WUN Vacation Club!  Plus I can use WUN Speak to learn German and refresh my Italian, because when in Rome – or this case Salzburg – speak the local language.

The past 7 years has literally been one of the most financially challenging.  In addition, the political involvement and watching the removal of “Christ” from America has dampened my spirit to some degree.  However “The First Silent Night” reminded me that God is always in control no matter how bleak the circumstances may appear.  Plus for the first time in years, I am motivated by a dream – a dream which began with faith and adoration of a hymn which stirs love and peace everywhere!

Perhaps Salzburg is not the location of Christ’s birth, however it is the location of the ‘birth’ of a moving Christmas song describing the most holy night of the year!  And the origins of the lyrics and musical composition inspire faith and enhance the beauty of the region.

Now back to reality and my still sore muscles!!  Merry Christmas!

Amidst the Clutter, Peace!

A long, chaotic few days and now a cluttered house – boxes and excess furniture everywhere.  One would think I just moved in – or worse that a housekeeper needs to be hired and quick!  (Well hired help would be nice right about now – where is that Calgon?)  However in the midst of the clutter and chaos, there is peace of the spirit – a man is now not homeless!!  (See “Reality or Illusion” blog below.)

In the background the sweet sounds of the Christmas Jubilee is filling the home renewing the spirit of the weary.  Many are broken in the world, lost in all the confusion, but the Good News is there is REAL hope!!  Real GRACE!!  Real LOVE!!

The Christmas season should be a reminder for those who BELIEVE to help those in need.  Do you know family, friends, or neighbors how are hurting?  Perhaps they lost a loved one?  Lost their job?  Lost their home?  Maybe they are suffering from depression or addiction.

Someone within your family or community is indeed hurting and the Christmas season creates even deeper pain for many.  We are called to be the “light and salt” in this world.  Bring cheer to someone who needs it and pray with them to bring this love and hope this season!!