Life-changing Love

Every now and then, someone comes along and rearranges my thinking. It happened again this weekend.

I’ve been following Vicky Westra’s blog, The Westra World, for a couple of years. Although we’ve never met, each time I read her words, they squeeze my heart–that soft place inside where God lives.

Vicky writes about  faith and fear. And courage.

She considers each day a miracle.

Vicky says, “I’m just a girl living the dream of being married to my superman, raising two active boys, and discovering more of who I am every day I am here. I’m currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer and learning how to expand my time, instead of worrying about extending it. So I am living my moments daily and blogging the whole crazy adventure.”

Recently, a few of Vicky’s friends did a fundraiser in her honor. They crafted door-prizes and selected five winners.

When I made my small contribution, I never expected to win. I was randomly chosen. I couldn’t believe it.

Me! A winner!

For sure, I never expected to win a life-changing gift.  

Saturday morning, my prize basket arrived.

From someone I’d never met.

In honor of Vicky in Minnesota.

A state I’d never visited.

In Fall colors!

I spread everything on the floor around me. Books! Coffee! Music! My favorite things!

Immediately, I was drawn into Bob Goff’s book, Love Does.

Good grief. This book.

The kind of reading where you forget to breathe.

It’s all about love without limits.

The same way Vicky writes and lives her life–the same kind of love her friends have. 

A quote from page 9:

“…the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It’s a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright.”

The first song on the Selah CD,  “You Amaze Us,” shares the same love message.

If you can’t see the video below, click here.

Of course, it’s not about the gift I gave.

It’s about the unexpected, unforgettable, life-changing love I received in return.

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put in your lap, “ Luke 6:38 ESV.

Have you ever had life-changing love rearrange your thinking?



Is There A Party Going On In Here?

This past Friday, Mother had her breast biopsy. Waiting hasn’t been easy for her.

My sister Jennifer, Mom’s husband Gene, and I joined her inside the curtained cubicle in pre-op. “Oh, good. Y’all are here.”

Pretty soon she asked for her big white sunglasses.

“You’re going to wear them in the hospital?” I said.

“The overhead light’s bright and I don’t have on any under-eye concealer.”

Jennifer fished through Mother’s huge Ziploc baggie and handed her the glasses.

“This is too funny–you in these glasses. Can I take a picture for my blog?”

“By all means.”

I handed Gene the camera and we crowded around her bed.


“That picture’s terrible. Looks like I’m lyin’ a corpse. Take a another one and I’ll hold my head up better.”

Only my mother. 🙂


“You and Jen look like nerd sisters from the sixties wearing your glasses. Ya’ll take a picture looking like that. It’s only fair.”


“Listen to all the chatter in the other cubicles,” Mother said. “Sounds like a party. Wish I could meet everybody and work the room.”

“You could in those glasses.” Jennifer said.

Who knew you could have this much fun in pre-op? We got tickled–started laughing hysterically, and then the anesthesiologist pulled the curtain back. Ahhhhhhh! He caught us snapping pictures. I’m not sure he understood our humor, but Mother’s doctor sure did.

“I should have known your mother would have a party going on in here.” He flopped down on the end of the tiny bed and laughed with us.  Mother laughed so hard she cried.

After surgery, Mom ate some of Jen’s homemade fudge. She said she had so much fun, she wants to come back next week and do it again!

When you aren’t afraid, sometimes life just gets downright funny.

A merry heart does good like medicine…” Proverbs 17:22 (KJ)

P.S. Tuesday, 5:38 p.m. Mom just called. Great report! Benign papilloma!