slowly... getting... there...

books. i love books.

I picked up Les Miserables again, the 1460 pager by Victor Hugo (who was getting paid by the word - if you were getting paid by the word, you'd write 1400 applicable pages and 60 on the battle of Waterloo too.)

I haven't read Les Mis since the plane on my way home from Africa. Every time I pick it up, I think of the many hours I spent sitting on our porch against the pole reading Les Mis while others worked on their homework. It reminded me too much of Africa, of the good times and the hard times. I don't know why I chose this week to pick it up again.

But I'm glad I did. As I sit here, in the library back at Tree of Life, it suddenly dawns on me that this book is one large story of redemption, at least, that's what my mom always says. I'm remembering it now. Redemption, forgiveness, a second chance. Hmm, sounds a lot like my life at this moment in time.

I needed time to process Africa, before I could pick this book up again. I've had that time. Those memories still come back. I still have to deal with consequences of my mistakes. But there is redemption, a wonderful redemption because of my Savior, who has forgiven me, and called me to a new and beautiful life. (hopefully more to come on this new life later!)

So even with the craziness of life right now between subbing and VBS, I'll hopefully finish the last 200 pages of Les Mis, completing one of my life goals of reading the entire unabridged version, and view the story in a whole new light.



I should be asleep. By my normal standards, this wouldn’t be late. But tomorrow is different. Yes, I am going back to school tomorrow to sub, but that’s not even why 11 at night is late. The reason is breakfast.

Bob Evans.

I don’t normally get excited about going to Bob Evans. It’s not like it’s my favorite restaurant or anything.

But there’s this group of people that get together and go to Bob Evans before school. I’m lucky enough to be one of the original five, along with my brother Matt, and our friends Anna and Dan Starkey and Alex Aurand. I’m lucky enough to be as crazy as these other four people that go to Bob Evans with me once or twice a year.

We’ve gone ever since I was a senior in high school. We went on special occasions, birthdays, end of the year, etc. When I left for college, the other four were still in high school and when I was home on holidays, we would go again. We’ve had special guests go with us some days, but it’s not the same if one of the original five is missing.

When we were all in high school, I would drive everyone in the mornings. For convenience, everyone would stay at the Termeer household the night before the Bobs breakfasts. Alex holed himself up in the guest bedroom so our cats wouldn’t bother his allergies. Dan was content to sleep on the couch, Matt slept in his room, and Anna and I would cram ourselves onto my twin bed. Those nights before, the morning breakfasts, and the crammed rides to school in a little Hyundai are some of my favorite memories of my senior year.

Tomorrow is the end of an era for Bobs. Anna and Matt graduated two years ago, and are home now. Dan and Alex graduate this year, and once that happens, our Bobs tradition will change. And that’s okay, but I know Bobs is something I’ll remember. And maybe one day, once all of us have been through our various schooling and we’re at home for something, we’ll wake up before 6 and go to Bobs for breakfast.


the meaning of a pink mug

There’s this scene in Return to Me when Minnie Driver is at the zoo with Bonnie Hunt and all her kids. She has this pink letter in her pocket that she has been carrying around for a year. It’s a thank you letter. For a heart. You see, Minner Driver had a heart transplant (and received David Ducovney’s wife’s heart, she later falls in love with David Ducovney, but that’s not the point of this post…) Anyways, she can’t bring herself to mail this letter. And Bonnie Hunt is yelling at her to just mail it. And Minnie Driver stands there, shaking the folded pint letter in her hand saying, “a thank you letter for a heart… it seems so… not enough.”

So… not enough.

That’s what mother’s day is, a day to say thank you to your mother, but the thank you seems so… not enough.

So, mom, here’s my not enough thank you for everything you’ve given me…

Thank you for:
Dollar theater movies.
Instilling in me a love of musicals, books, and Steel Magnolias.
Sharing your friends and Bible studies with me.
Shopping days.
Random gifts.
Putting me through college.
Always being involved in my schooling.
Not holding me back as I travel the world.
Wanting to visit wherever I am.
Being the one who’s always been there, who knows me better than I realize and for seeing past my mistakes to my heart.
Your love and grace.

And thank you most especially for your hugs. I and anyone else who’s ever received one know that yours are the best. I highly doubt I could survive without them.

The real meaning of the pink mug is this: I love you, more than I say, but I wanted you to know that you’re the best and I am thankful for you everyday, not just on mother’s day.


blessings of the unexpected

It has been nothing less than an interesting week. I think I could appropriately title it “Change and Growth” but that really just doesn’t sound cool enough. Don’t worry, I’ll work on it and come up with something better. But for now, I’ll just say that basically everything I am doing this week is included in the list of things I thought I would never do. Seriously.

1. Direct a VBS. Monday was a now-typical Monday. I meet with the other VBS director on Mondays and talk about everything we need to get done. Normally, these meetings last quite a while, and Monday was no exception. Most people don’t enjoy meetings, I understand this. And sometimes, I hate them too. But these VBS ones, looking ahead and getting a picture of what the week will hold, it makes these meetings exciting. And while it is a lot of work and many days I still feel I have no clue what I am doing, I’m learning and getting to work with people who have been so gracious and loving.

2. Go back to high school. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. This, I NEVER thought I would do. And for the record, I am officially blaming Sheri Aurand and Laura Stier for my return to high school. Yes, I went back to high school. But not as a student (which is strange being that’s all I’ve known until now.) Yep, you guessed it. I’m a substitute teacher. At the small, wonderful high school I attended only four short years ago. Those years went by really fast… Substitute teaching has been more than an adventure. It has really been hilarious. And apparently, now I’m an adult. Although I sure don’t feel like it. Maybe I should be worried about things like getting a car, having health insurance, and other adult-like things. But I find myself strangely NOT worried. Somewhere inside my mind I know that God will provide for me. And it’s slowly reaching my heart, so that I am really truly believing this. And there’s this peace, this peace which passes all understanding. And that’s really all I can say about it, because I don’t understand it. All I know is that it’s there.

Life takes these strange turns. And I’m never sure why or sometimes even how they happen. But in 5 years, when I can look back, I wonder if I’ll see this week or month in a whole new light. I wonder if the craziness of May 2009 will make sense to me then. Sometimes I wonder where I’ll be in 5 years, but then I get overwhelmed and just stop thinking about it.

All I really know is this… God is in control (just like the old Twila Paris song). He WILL provide, in his own way. And if it’s directing VBS, substitute teaching at Tree or something else I don’t really expect, I’ll take it, because his adventures are always greater than mine. All I have to do is look back and see what he’s already done.