The Encouraging Push

We picture an encouraging person as a feel good huggie person, and they often are. Sometimes, in addition to offering encouraging words, they offer words of wisdom. They offer direction that pushes us, much like a mother bird pushing her babies out of the nest. I think that’s a good analogy for my relationship with Dr. L. Dale Potratz, my Bible teacher from Christ Unlimited Bible Institute.  Continue reading

Steel Sharpens Steel

When you think of an encouraging person, you usually think of someone who is warm and fuzzy. We all need those kinds of people in our lives. We also need another kind of encourager – those who encourage us to do more. They push us out of our comfort zone and push us to do more than we think we can. They don’t mince words, they tell us exactly like it is because they know that’s their job. It is like steel sharpening steel. They make us better. Dr. Al Metsker was just such a person. Continue reading


Have you ever had that feeling where you just don’t belong? I had that pretty much through high school. It wasn’t that I didn’t have friends. I did. It was just that they always had other friends who were their best friends. I didn’t really have that one or two bffs. I existed on the edge of other people’s lives. I didn’t expect it to be different when I went to college, but it was.

Continue reading

Mary Kay

Aunt Kathryn

Aunt Kathryn, as she was known to our family, passed away this past June. When I think back to my memories of her, I think of all the things she taught me. They are words that everyone wants to pass on to their family – words like responsibility, hard work, perseverance and encouragement. She lived out these words every day. Continue reading

Aunt Faye

  Not many people live to be 100, but my Aunt Faye did. She died two weeks after her 100th birthday on January 2nd. I thought that I wouldn’t cry. She had lived a long and full life, but I surprised myself by how sad I was. I saw the pictures of her. Some of them brought back warm memories. Other pictures showed the essence of what made her the person she was.

My favorite memory of my aunt Faye was the first time she met my baby gitl. She looked down and with awe in her voice, she said “Oh, what a sweet dolly!” The love that I heard in her voice stole my breath away. She never had children of her own, so her nieces and nephews meant the world to her. I remember spending one Christmas Eve at her house when I was young. I was afraid that Santa wouldn’t be able to find me. Aunt Faye told me not to worry that she had told Santa where to find me. When I woke up the next morning, it was obvious Santa had some help because there were a lot of presents.

Aunt Faye survived some of he hardest times that our country has gone through in the last 100  years. She married Uncle George during the Great Depression. She traveled with him while he sold auto parts. They made it through that and World War II. During her lifetime, she owned Dairy Sweet and then when I was in elementary school she owned a paint store. She also sold gifts in the store. She would come to the city where we lived to buy things for the store. I loved going with her and seeing all of the neat things that she bought. 

She taught me so much. She taught me to work hard and to be a fighter. She was tenacious and had remarkable perseverance. If I could only use one word to describe her, it would be spunky. Uncle George died 25 years before Aunt Faye, but she lived her life. She had her own apartment in a senor center for years. She had friends and learned to go on with her life. Even as her mind went in the nursing home, she was still spunky and ornery, sometimes a little too much. She knew her own mind.

I hope that I can take some of that spunk and tenacity with me as a tribute to her.