Day 24-Thankful For the L-Word


Is there anything better than love?  Being in love, loving someone else, feeling loved by your spouse, your family, your friends?  There are books about it.  Songs about it.  Poems about it.  Movies, art, and lectures on it.  It’s everywhere.  Inescapable even if you want to.

Today I am thankful for love.  Love is something of an anomaly.  It’s the biggest thing we crave but it can obliterate you within seconds.  Take our children for instance;  they are born and you cannot imagine a better feeling.  Your heart swells to unbelievable proportions.  It oozes from every crevasse of your being.  And then those children begin to grow and you start feeling a difference as they play on the playground, go to school the first time, or drive away in a car for the first time.  They start spreading their wings, and all you want is to hold on to them.  That love…can make you sick.  That love that you feel is now walking outside your body.  images

Or what about your family?  The love of family is an up in the air circus ride.  It can lift you up and toss you right back towards the ground.  It can be beautiful and coarse all at the same time.  On occasion you wonder how you can love someone so intensely and hate them all at the same time.  I think families have a way of calling you on things and behaviors that can build up and tear down.  They can be as sweet as honey or as bitter as acid.  Family love can leave you empty as well as overflowing, uplift or destroyed all in a matter of moments.  It’s a strange and unusual sort of love.

images-2The love of a spouse.  I have been with the hubs for 20 years.  We have moved all over the country, bought and sold houses, raised kids currently in the house and out on their own, traveled the World, argued, been in situations that we weren’t sure how we got into or how to get out, cried together, laughed together, prayed together; you name it, over twenty years there has been a multitude of life lived.  One thing about us, no matter the situation, is our fierce love and respect for one another.  It’s solid, resolute and unwavering.  It’s the thing of fairytales, chick flicks and romance novels.  It was truly orchestrated from above.  No other way around it.  When you meet and fall in love in a God-harmonized way, it is magical.  It’s a love that will never be severed.  images

Then….there’s God’s love.  Agape love.  So intense, so unconditional.  God’s shows us a love that transcends any earthly love.  It’s whole and complete.  Never failing.  His love reaches us beyond all circumstances.  It’s the highest sky and deepest ocean and nothing can separate us from it.  It’s never failing, and will never leave us abandoned.  He can pick up the most broken of people and put them back together with His love.  It’s earth-moving and tangible.  Isn’t that something?  Who doesn’t need that?images-1

love that God designed us to love and be loved.  He crafted our hearts to feel the intensity of this LOVE-emotion.  I love also that He has taught us how to love.  His “manual” is full of love.

Even on the worst days, I am thankful for love.  I am thankful that I feel.  I am thankful to know that no matter what this life hands to me, I am loved and am loved exceptionally and that I love exponentially.  Regardless of circumstance the love that fills me is outer-world, secure, stable, reliable, durable and hugely surpasses any love I will ever have on this earth.

I am thankful for that L-Word…even when my heart is walking around outside my body.. I know that something else is there that fills up every space perfectly and completely. Unknown

New Running Shoes-Day 9


images-1I am a lover of shoes.  Any of you that have stepped foot into my dressing room (closet) know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a shoe girl!  Boots, pumps, sandals, stilettos, Uggs, Chuck Taylors, flip-flops, high heel, low heel…  I get giddy when new shoes enter the house.  But…running shoes..putting two of my loves together, well that’s just magical.  I have had the go-around with running shoes this season.  Switching brands, loving them, then switching back…OYE!!  It’s amazing when putting in long miles how one can put such dedication into their shoes.  However, as any runner knows, if you chose wrong….it’s ALL over!!  There is a multitude of things that can go wrong OR right!  There is something about slipping your feet into new shoes.  It’s unbelievably wonderful!

Short and sweet today….GOOD running shoes make the list of things I am thankful for right

Day 7-Music



Music has always been  huge part of my life.  Growing up as a teen in the 80’s I listened to it all.  Cried over broken relationships to Air Supply and Journey, rocked out to Kiss, Quiet Riot and Def Leopard, and got crazy dance skills dancing to Wham, Michael Jackson and Cindy Lauper.  What memories!

It only seemed natural that God gave me a musician to marry.  Greg and I LOVE our music.  It plays throughout our house on an almost ongoing basis in some form.  Not always loud, but in the background with the occasional (OK not so occasional) dance party!  Cooking in my kitchen requires music, and depending on what I’m preparing, the genre changes.  A little Ray Lamontagne (whom our youngest daughter has sworn herself to marry) Josh Garrels, Joe Purdy or Passenger when I’m cooking Italian, all the way to opera, playing LOUDLY while I bake pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have Painting Music when we get the urge to paint a new wall in our home, which is usually The Refreshments, (who are also A MUST on any road trip) and CCR.  Yes, even the old stuff.  Our kids grew up listening with us, and love CCR, Jonny Cash and one of our all time favorites Etta James, At Last (who I know wasn’t the original artist) but is the version we love!  At any given moment when The Nilges’ are all together under one roof, our middle daughter will bust out singing this song.  She’s amazing!  Adore! Unknown-1

A lot of my time now is filled with worship music.  I run to it; HELLO TobyMac and Newsboys, I dance to it; HELLO Mandisa, I sing it, I bathe myself in the lyrics of adoration.

My hubs, who was a rocker when we met is now playing worship.  He’s still rocking’ it’s just for a different purpose.  I cannot explain how much I delight in hearing him home all day playing his guitar.  Those sounds permeate our home and I cannot help but have a smile on my face as well as the fact that is takes all unfavorable moods out the door.  Music brought my hubby and I together, and it’s a great glue for our household.  It gives it a peace and a joy-filled space.  I will never forget the look on our friends faces a couple of years ago while on a trip to Hawaii.  We walked into a Ukelele store and Greg picked up a Uke.  The friendly, robust, Hawaiian man sitting behind the counter asked Greg to play a little with him.  Within seconds the two were playing Banana Pancakes that trailed into Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  Our friends lit up!  The happiness and smiles that donned their faces were priceless and have written themselves into my memory. Unknown-2 As you can guess, I bought Greg a ukelele that Christmas as a surprise.  The music that comes from the uke around our house, takes me right back to the islands.  Feeling sunny and ready for flip-flops!  It carries me away.  It’s happy!  Music can make such an impact.

What is your favorite type of music?

I have to run now,  and break into a dance party for one!!