40 for 40 {Experience 27} : Go to the Theater

Happy Halloween


We had a really wonderful Halloween experience this year.

I have actually spent tons of Halloweens in Salem, Massachusetts, which is quite an experience (see why here – I played a witch).

But I really think this may be one of my favorite Halloween experiences ever.

We went to the theater.

Here we are in front of the head shots of all the actors.  Those are our friends Thomas and Andrew.

Thomas (on the left) goes to the Boston Conservatory, so he shared his school with us a bit today as we were so lucky to see such an incredible student production.  These were some really talented actors.  And beyond that I wish I could have taken pictures, because the set was great and versatile and fun, the make-up and costumes were so good and the lighting was excellent.  I am usually a pretty tough critic, but I loved this show.  Here is a little snapped photo of the set . . . It is a brand new facility, and they used it magnificently . . .

Those big barn doors opened and out came a spinning house thing . . . and they had these great stairs that they used like art, all over the stage.  The ensemble numbers were incredible.

Here they are on You Tube:


So wishing I could give you a real glimpse it was sensational.  Since I can’t show you them, Andrew and I pretended we were in a musical . . .

A wonderful reminder today how much I love the theater, and how it challenges me to see things anew.  Thank you to Andrew, Andrew, and Thomas. (Thank you to Mimi and Skip for watching Cole).  And two big thumbs up to the Boston Conservatory . . . wonderful.








40 for 40 {Experience 26} : Attend a Wedding

I love the pictures we have of our wedding.

They were all taken by our friend, Craig.  He is not a professional photographer, but he did a tremendous job.  We have both adored Craig since we all worked together in Senior High Ministry at Grace Chapel, almost a decade ago.

Craig is a brilliant guy.  He is kind and thoughtful.  He has been on many adventures with the Sharpteam . . . Here he is at a David Crowder concert . . .

Andrew and Craig prepare to go into a Christmas Concert in Boston . . .

Craig is known for making goofy faces in pictures . . . but who is looking goofy in the pic below?

We love Craig.

And we are so excited about the amazing woman that Craig married this month.  Her name is Leah and she is beautiful.  An amazing woman with a kind and thoughtful spirit to match Craig.

You may remember a picture we took of the engaged couple in July . . .

We have been looking forward to October with them, because that is when they decided to get married – so wonderful!  Just wishing we had Craig’s photography skills . . . here are a couple of snapshots of the beautiful day . . . .

Craig danced his way into the room . . . here he is walking down the aisle.

Leah looked beautiful . . .


We were so honored to be asked to read in their wedding.  And the ceremony was a beautiful reminder of the gift of marriage.  I am so grateful to walk through life with Andrew by my side.

It was a beautiful day of celebration.


To Craig and Leah . . . and marriage.

Pictures here


40 for 40 {Experience 25} : Prayerwalk at My Alma Mater

My alma mater, Gordon College, is located on 450 acres on the North Shore of Boston.  It is a beautiful campus (Andrew and I were married overlooking this pond).  And it holds tremendous memories for me.

I have adored working with college students in the past.   For my 40 for 40 I wanted to return to the campus for me and I wanted to pray for those students as well.  Cole and I headed out on a prayerwalk.

When I meet one-on-one with students/leaders, I often check in on how they are doing in specific areas.  And that is how I prayed for the students today.

I prayed for them physically, that they would be healthy, that it would be a campus that encourages health and that students would find themselves embracing health.


As we walked by the Student Center, where I ate hundreds of meals, had dozens of meetings, and hung out at what was once the “snack shop,” I prayed for the students socially.  I pray that as they interact with each other they have healthy community.



As we walked by the “bell” that is traditionally rung when a couple gets engaged.  I thought of all the emotions that college students experience.  I prayed for the students emotionally. I do pray that there would be healthy relationships.


Students are on campus to learn.  So I do pray that while they are at Gordon that they are growing in wisdom.  I prayed for the students academically.  Here is the library and main academic building on campus.  I love Jenks Learning Center.



Gordon College is a non-denominational Christian College, a community of Faith and Learning.  I grew so much spiritually while I was at Gordon.  We walked by the “new” chapel, and I prayed for these students spiritually.  I pray that they are growing in faith and that these are tremendous years for them.


I didn’t just pray for the students.  I prayed for the faculty and staff.  I pray that they too are connected and growing and that there is a balance in their days physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.  Here is the building where many of my professors’ offices were.  It is also the building where Andrew and I had our wedding reception.


And I prayed for this little guy who is so quickly becoming a big boy.  I pray that he, like Christ, would grow “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” ~ Luke 2:52.








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40 for 40 {Experience 24} : Get a Massage

Not a picture of me.  I am too shy for such exploits, but this is kinda like my massage, though I was much more in the dark.

I got my first massage when I was in my twenties.  I was amazed by it.  I remember the best parts for me were having my earlobes massaged and my knees massaged.

The  massage I am to this day most grateful for was one I saved my pennies for and scheduled the day after a retreat that I had planned for 150 senior high students.

Liza covered in pudding (in red) at Senior High Fall Retreat 2000

Every retreat like that I gave everything I had, and it was so restorative to have a time that was scheduled where I had to lay down and just be.

It was a good lesson for me, to learn how good it is to pour myself out and how important it is to take time to be re-filled.


May you and I continue to pour out . . . and continue to discover ways where we are filled.







40 for 40 {Experience 23} : Time Travel

My love of history has grown over time.  In high school I found it mildly interesting.  In college I enjoyed it more.  Living on the North Shore of Boston increased my interest in local history and traveling brought new perspectives and new interests.  Cry Innocent certainly began a journey of learning history in a whole new way and tutoring it has really helped me understand history on a deeper level.  Moving to Texas made me miss history.  Andrew and I would drive to “historic downtowns” in little towns outside Houston and were always disappointed.  We missed New England.

So returning to Massachusetts, it has been a goal to get to Plimouth Plantation, and we finally did (with our Groupon coupons).

It was a wonderful day traveling through time and many different places.

We began in a Wompanoag village


We traveled by the water

And up to a seventeenth century English village

We loved exploring the village and the houses

We then headed to the Mayflower II

And Plymouth Rock

It was a great day where we learned and laughed and really loved watching our little guy explore whole new worlds  . . . with us.  Good days.







40 for 40 {Experiences 21 & 22} : Mani/Pedi and Haircut

These are not my feet.  I took a picture of my pedicure, but it is just not so pretty . . . so the pictures today are from the web.

I definitely got more manicures and pedicures when I was single.  Now it is a treat, but it has not been as much of a treat as of late.

I decided to treat myself for my 40th.  It feels like a luxury, and one that I definitely do not need to imbibe in often.

Then I got a hair cut, just a trim, but this time I went for the wash and the blow-dry.  I never do that because it costs more and just seems silly, but I thought it would be a treat.

I do love having my hair washed.  It reminds me of my summer in Mexico without hot water.  I crossed the border to get my hair cut and got it washed with hot water, such a wonderful luxury.

I did not love having it blow dried . . .

My head still hurts from the way she yanked at it.

So I treated myself . . . but lesson learned . . . these treats do not bring me any where near the joy of my times reflecting with family and friends.

40 for 40 {Experience 20} : Walking in Salem

I love Salem, Massachusetts.  This building is the Custom House, built in 1810.  Nathaniel Hawthorne worked here in the 1840’s and the opening of The Scarlet Letter is in this building.  It overlooks Salem’s port . . . I was sad there was a truck parked out here when I visited . . . the walk out to the little light was a favorite of mine when I lived in Salem.


I lived in Salem from 1996 – 2002 in two different homes.  I loved them . . . welcome to my Winter Street place


Then I moved to closer to the ocean to this sweet little place (this is where Andrew picked me up on our first date) . . .

So I love Salem because I lived there, because I worked there.  Because it is a city on the ocean and a city of history.

I think you would like it too . . .

So you know that I asked Heidi to come visit for my fortieth birthday and that we performed together in Cry Innocent. So what I really wanted to do was to visit Salem with Heidi, and I loved every second of it.

Here is Heidi in front of the Friendship.  It came into the harbor while we were working together in Salem.

The streets were filled with people.

We stopped at Bridget Bishop’s stone

And we did it . . . we snuck in the back door of Old Town Hall


We were both struck by the smell and it transported us back.  We snuck up the back stairwell

We peeked through the door as the audience voted on whether or not to hang this generations Bridget Bishop.  So many memories with my dear friend.

Thank you, Heidi, for peeking with me through the window of our past . . .

It was a beautiful view.