My Elijah Moment

It has been quite a season for me!  My first book, The Widow Wore Pink launched.  I had lots of speaking engagements and God gave me inspired, transformative messages to share.  I prayed and laughed and cried with women in cities all over the midwest.

It was wonderful.

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Have you had a season like that, busy but beautiful?  

God has moved or whispered or you have had a break through.
You are sure he must love you more than most.

Right after Elijah has one of the biggest God-moments in the Bible, we find him hiding in a cave, fearing for his life (see 1 Kings 19:1-9).

What?

Don’t judge. That happens to me.
A lot.
I have an encounter with God at an event.
I experience God’s presence and pleasure in worship.
I pray with a woman and she is set free!
I have a conversation with an event planner that’s a perfect fit for my talks.
My hair turned out perfectly.  (remember, don’t judge)
Life is so good!

Then I get slammed.  

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WHEN A PLAYBOY BUNNY JOINS BIBLE STUDY Guest post from Shannon Popkin

She wasn’t still a Playboy Bunny when she joined. But she wasn’t yet a regular Bible Study girl, either. She was climbing from one world into the other. And sometimes that’s tricky.

The Widow Wore Pink Hard Cover Book SmallEven though Robyn Dykstra is my friend, I hadn’t heard her story before I read her newly released memoir: The Widow Wore Pink. I never would have pictured her as a Playboy Bunny. I only knew her as a Christian speaker, a godly woman, and a kind friend.

It was so interesting (and also funny!) to gain her perspective, as she segued from her atheist/feminist/intellectual background into the world I’m far more familiar with–Bible study and church ladies.

Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite parts of the book:

Jake’s head was on my shoulder, he was dry, fed and burped, well on his way to sleep. I had one hand on his perfectly shaped head and the other supporting his little bottom. Moonlight was cascading through the bedroom window, refracting off the snow and lighting the warm room in the quiet house. How does a woman like me end up here? I wondered. I have a husband who loves me, a fine house, and a healthy baby boy. 

It was exactly then that I heard the voice of God and he said, “Robyn, what are you going to tell your son about me?” The masculine voice spoke gently but with complete authority. There was no condemnation, but there was a question–and an answer was required.

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Where do you turn when life gets hard?

IMG_074368 degree days in October are rare in Michigan, so when the forecast matched the weather on Saturday, I decided to take my adorable 7 and 4 year old boys on a walk, maybe rake some leaves, toss a few balls around and breathe in the fresh air.

After breakfast dishes were washed, I asked my mom, who was visiting from Wisconsin, if she would dry them while I went to see if my Hot and Hunky husband wanted to come along.  I found him still asleep on the couch, with the little boys sitting nearby watching TV. I admired him from the archway, debating whether to wake him or let him sleep.

My family was getting used to our new normal.  My father-in-law, who had been living with us on and off for a of couple years, had died 3 weeks earlier and while it was a relief in many ways, Hot and Hunky was grieving the loss deeply.

I moved closer and whispered his name. It was then I noticed how pale he was. I put my hand on his forehead to check his temp.

He was ice cold.

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What do you do when your past tries to hijack your future?

I came face to face with my past this morning.

In an effort to purge items in my closet that didn’t fit my style anymore, or to be perfectly honest, didn’t fit my mature, more generously padded frame anymore, I stumbled across two of my dead husband’s favorite shirts.

It stopped me in my tracks.

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Remembering the First Day of School

Now an empty nester, I watch the school bus drive by my house filled with other mother’s children. While I do like my french fry & debris free car, a refrigerator from which food does not mysteriously disappear, and the peace and quiet that comes with this season, I’m reminiscing about the first day I took my oldest to school. This 20 year old bittersweet memory seems like yesterday. Maybe you can relate?

The wind blew hard today; it was a sign of the times.
A change of season in the weather and in our lives.

schoolbus sign

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Lost and Found … my keys and my temper

keysToday I’m VEXED because I’ve lost my keys.  

Also, my new barrettes (still in the package),
two socks (not a pair),
and my temper!

It wasn’t a world class Rumpelstiltskin snit;
it was a slow-burning internal squawk.

Do you do that?
Pretend it’s all good, but sizzle inside.

I do – more than I care to admit.

Here’s the issue …today.

I don’t lose things.  
I just don’t. 
I’m organized. 
I’m tidy. 
I put stuff away.

You could say I’m borderline arrogant about my organized tidiness.
There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place!
But today I cannot find my things.  

Where. Are. My KEYS!!!!!
Ugh.

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Burning Coals and Great Rewards

Do you have anyone in your life that’s a handful?
You know, really irritating?
Downright challenging?
Yeah, me, too.

One of my fathers-in-law was a cop.  He bragged about riding motorcycles year-round in the ‘60s. “Heck, yes, (except he didn’t say heck) it was cold. We’d wrap our legs with newspaper as insulation under our uniforms. The department wasn’t full of wimps, women and weaklings like it is now.” 

A real charmer, that one. 

At least when I had to be around him, his sweet wife kept the peace by buffering his insults and verbal assaults with graceful scoldings and smiles.

Then . . . his wife died. 

Suddenly, I became the primary caregiver for that cantankerous man! 

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Bathtubs and Bibles

Are you a bathtub or shower girl?  

Do you like standing under pelting water in a shower or sitting in a mini sea of calm waters in the tub?

BathtubJust from my descriptions you can probably tell I’m a bathtub girl. I take showers if I have no other option, but my preference is always a bath. Even when I’m in a hurry, I can take a “skinny” bath and get the desired result—cleanliness—which is an imperative for every day. But I much prefer a deep, hot, relaxing soak. When I get out of the tub, I’m not just clean, I’m refreshed, ready for action . . . or for bed. 

A bath sets me up for what’s next: a full day of work or a good night’s sleep. I’m ready.

Sometimes I read in the tub.  

You can’t do that in the shower! 

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From Wreckage to Redemption

September 10th is a big day at my house. It’s our redemption day.

It’s the day my Adventure Boy husband’s plane was located after weeks of searching for it.  Our hope was that both Adventure Boy and the plane would be recovered safely and intact, but that isn’t what we found.   A pilot error, a thunderstorm, and a dark mountain created a trifecta of disaster.  Adventure Boy was found inside the crumpled wreckage.

crash site

He’d been killed on impact.
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Here comes the groom.

You know what’s crazy? Well, maybe not crazy, but disconcerting?  Watching your son grow into your husband’s looks, moves and dreams!

I watched Eli walk down the aisle wearing a black tux and a big smile. He married the girl of his dreams and they ate and danced and schmoozed the night away.

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And I couldn’t help but see how he is his father’s progeny.  His smile, his hands, his dance moves and his laugh were all very reminiscent of his father.

I only wished my Hot & Hunky husband had lived to see it with me.

Ours was a love story resembling a fairy tale.I was young and beautiful and Hot & Hunky was fearless and handsome. We met in college and it was love at first sight … for him.

He just wasn’t my type.  Hot & Hunky was a Christian and while I didn’t know any Christians, from what I had heard in general and seen on 60 Minutes, I didn’t think they could not have any fun.  Hot & Hunky didn’t seem to fit that stereotype. While he did have preposterously high standards: he didn’t drink or smoke or use drugs or sleep around, he
didn’t judge me for doing all those things.  He went to movies, and came dancing.  He told (clean) jokes and was easy to be around.  I liked him a lot.  Like a prince, he continuously rescued me: he picked me up when I got stranded, he took me to ER when a date went awry, he loved, encouraged, and cherished me.  He treated me with respect and adoration.

After our freshman year of college I took a summer job as a Playboy Bunny,

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