Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Archive for the category “bestfriend”

What I Love About Father’s Day!

20140807_094555 (1)What I most love about Father’s Day is our Father God choosing the love of a Father to show us His love for us and sending His very own son to this earth to show us how much He loves us!

Secondly, I have and always will be a daddy’s girl so from the beginning, though I love and loved my mom with all my heart it is also my father’s love I sought. He was my hero, mentor, the one I followed around on Saturday mornings, went for hikes with ~ and on whose every word I dwelt.

Has this served me well in life? After all no father is perfect! Of course! Dad’s don’t have to be perfect to be good people to emulate and want to be like. Father God is the only Father who is perfect and who we should study and want to copy in all things. But Dad’s teach us lessons and show us the way in all aspects of their personalities.

I love my dad’s laugh. His witticisms, his personality, his work ethic, his outlook on life, his twinkle in his eyes, both of them, his stories, oh his stories! I love his way of laughing at himself. Laughing at my quirkyness. Our laughs together. Our conversations. His art of conversation. His tales of his young life, mid-life, yesterday. And of his tales. His writing. His speaking. His love of life. His love of his wife. His love of his children and his adoration of his grand-children. She has a really good heart, he’ll say of his generous wife. He’s a good driver he’ll say of his grandson on his latest job parking cars. You’re a good worker, he’ll say of me on my 102nd job. She’s so capable, he’ll say of my sister who is always on top of the family situations, so good with her children. He’s a worrier like me, but he doesn’t let that stop him from always asking what’s happening and keeping tabs on just what is happening. He cares so much for all his children and grandchildren. He must, but now have found a way to give things to God, or he wouldn’t still be here at 85-1/2!

We’re going for pancakes on Father’s Day. I tried to rally the troops and was unsuccessful. So many families. So many people coming in and out of time. We laughed together about it. He knows he’ll see all his children in and around Father’s Day. He’s not uptight about gathering all the chicks! I love my dad. His laugh. His ready smile. His laid back nature, he’s developed as he’s aged. He’s a wonderful Father. No matter how many Father’s days we have left. I will spend them all with him. My dad. My favorite first best friend. Love you dad!

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Dare to Run!

“Dare to Be”

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

20140812_195236I was trolling through Goodreads.com for great quotes as I often do and found this one Above, which I LOVE on so many levels. It’s how I want to live ~ fearlessly daring to be the best I can ~ following my Lord with confidence ~ my eye on the prize.

Like this verse in the International Standard Version:

Hebrews 12:1-2

We Must Look Off to Jesus

12 Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles[a] us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us, fixing our attention on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of the faith, who, in view of[b] the joy set before him, endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Bold is mine and I bold the words that show HOW and WHY the race is run! Keep running, don’t give up. Run with endurance the race set ahead of us in life by our God, you may say circumstance, Fix our gaze on Jesus our Lord. Laying aside all things (sin) EVERYTHING that tries to slow us down and RUN the race of our lives for the JOY that is set before us: JESUS the PIONEER and PERFECTER of our Faith! who is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Gee, I should just bold the whole two verses! Because to keep our eye on the prize is to keep our eye on Jesus and where is He leading us? To the right hand of God’s throne where he will be and we will be with Him and worship our God throughout ETERNITY.

Back to Poem by Steve Maraboli. “Dare to Be” is a blueprint for staying on the track in life. Dare to keep trying. Dare to help others. Dare to stay in the race. Dare to be a friend. Dare to do the instinctive things within you, The promptings of the Holy Spirit Dare I say? Letting you know what the right thing for you to do is. Dare to do it and lead a daringly-successful right-on life!

I’ve got a Bible. I’m going to by Maraboli’s book. I want to see if more of it inspires, meshes and gives me hope and a kick in the pants to get going, The Apostles were no slouches. Neither were the early Christians, or Mother Teresa, or my Mom. I’m not going to sit back in fear using my anxiety disorder or bipolar as a convenient excuse to be too passive. I want to fly in my life, I want to run the good race. I want to kick it up a notch. How about you? Are you with me? On our good days and even our bad? Let’s run the race set before us!

I Love Birthdays On Social Media and Otherwise!

Abby came down for Father's Day & My bday!

Abby came down for Father’s Day & My bday!

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
― Dr. SeussHappy Birthday to You!

 

Birthdays are a joyful time, not just mine…I love everyone’s Birthday.  I love that Social Media sites tell you when it’s someone’s birthday so you can say “Happy Day” to them. Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, it’s fun!

In my family we have a tradition…my dad always calls us kids and sings happy birthday. He still does. This year on  my birthday last Thursday, I missed the call and got his rendition on voice mail. At first I was disappointed, now I realize it’s great…I’ll never erase the voicemail. I’ll keep this one forever if I like!

On birthdays, like Dr. Seuss says, we honor the person for just being alive, just being them. They don’t have to accomplish anything that day but be YOUer than You. Birthdays don’t discriminate. Everybody has one. They are good for stopping to take stock of your like, or just having fun. I did both. Here is the video I made just before my birthday on my webcam where I waxed philosophical:

God is good…He holds the Future and Life is worth the Living, Just Because He Lives!

And I had lots of FUN on June 19th! My sister Suzy took me to Lunch, my husband Mike took me to Dinner! I went shopping with Suzy and got a new outfit! 🙂 I tried like everything to keep up with the well wishers, my friends on social media and couldn’t! Isn’t this a wonderful world we live in. Sure there are drawbacks and lots of times we think about the good old days, but when did hundreds of people wish you a happy birthday and many blessings and hugs before now? It’s a pretty great world in many ways, I think!

There were pre-birthday celebrations. When old friends got together:

Bday Party Beforehand!

Bday Party Beforehand!

 

 

 

 

 

Pre Bday and Father's Day with Dad!

Pre Bday and Father’s Day with Dad!

So I have to say that on Social Media and Off! With extraordinary family and friends…Birthdays can be Youer than You! And a BLAST! Happy Birthday to YOU!!!! Love ya! Libby!!!!! And thanks for attending this party! xoxoxo

Families: Made Of Love

“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.”
― Trenton Lee Stewart

Bill, Dad, Suzy, Me, Scott, Sara

Bill, Dad, Suzy, Me, Scott, Sara

I love my family very much, like them too. I’ve written lots about them.  You should know them quite well. 🙂 Here is a picture of my Dad and brothers and sisters. Next is a picture of my beloved husband Mike and my dear daughter Abby and her new puppy Elli!

Abby with Elli the Pup and Mike

Abby with Elli the Pup and Mike

I also have best friends I consider family. An entire family I would definitely consider family and that is the Heather and Christian Siebens family and their daughter Tory. 

Here are pictures Heather took of all of us out to dinner the other night, two days before the Siebens’ sixth Wedding Anniversary:

Best friend Heather and I

Best friend Heather and I and our families 🙂

1264073_10202182980316485_55436388_o As you can see there was a lot of love in the room that night. We all get along so well. Mike and Christian were talking so much, especially Mike, that Heather and I were teasing him that he wasn’t eating his food. Christian was getting in his time too talking about their work as men tirelessly seem to be able to do.1268466_10201915820964510_1510282527_o Heather and Tory and I talked about everything from fashion to art to horses to giggling at the boys in the room, Mike and Christian specifically, you know, girl stuff and had a wonderful time doing so. It was a warm and loving evening. With comforting chat, food and company. The more time we spend together the more we enjoy it, it seems. Our families are close and feel so at home together. We both love Jesus, we both love each other. We love our friends, art, painting, driving the freeways, some of these interests are not shared by Tory! She is only in middle school! 🙂 She loves horses and talking about her friends. She is good in school and I love to help her with her writing. With her math, well, we will just say ~ She is better than it than I am and will have to ask Mike if Christian or Heather are ever stumped!1277217_10201915816204391_997687658_o (1)This is a lot of fun for Mike and I. Abby is 30 and lives up North. We don’t see her as much as we’d like. When we do we have a blast and we keep in touch, texting, calling. The human heart is expansive. There is always room for more love. That is its nature and with Jesus in your heart this is even more the case.

Never close your heart or let it be influenced with bitterness, jealousy or any kind of negative emotion. That is not what God wants for your life. He wants you to open your heart and let more people in. People from Church, people from work. Your neighbors and friends. “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together in Christian fellowship. Hebrews 10:25” does not just mean Church on Sunday ~ rather it is a way to live your life ~ inclusively.

Generous Souls

Mom's 83 Birthday

Mom’s 83 Birthday

On this page I have pictured the most generous souls I have ever known. The first being my mom. She and my father both were generous. My mom was giving of her time and energy. My father as I got older became busier and less able to give of his time, but he gave unselfishly as much of it as he could. He did however, become a very successful business person and gave tirelessly to his children of his earthly goods, as much and more as he could spare. He met our needs and then some. As he got older and retired, he was able to be very generous of his time again!

Then there is my brother Scott pictured with mom and I. He was always a very generous soul. I don’t mean to focus on the material. But since Scott was very young he was a giver. He would give you the shoes off of his feet and did so to a homeless man when he was living in California. More remarkably, when he was a young teen, he gave his younger cousin his 10 speed bike long before he could drive…when he still needed it. He felt somehow that his cousin needed it more than he did!

Generosity goes against the natural man, our selfishness so deeply ingrained within us.  Jesus was the first and most generous soul ever. All these souls I mention with their selfless generosity are showing the love of God, the love of Christ to others. I pray I will be more like them. More like my savior Jesus to others too. For that is the commandment He left us all with. To love the Lord Our God with all our Heart and Mind and Soul and our neighbor as ourselves.

Scott lives that way. I wish for all of you such wonderful people in your life. Thank you Lord for these blessings in my life and for my whole family of faith and my other brother and sisters. May they be blessed at this reading. My sister-in-laws too. My stepmother who is more like a best friend. Not one unselfish act goes unnoticed by the Lord, even if I fail to mention it in this little blog. Bless them all Lord and thank you dear God for the wonderful network of family and friends you have given me. Bless these Big Hearts, these Generous Souls too Lord and give back to them in joy and love and extra measure! Love them so much! Thank you Lord! AMEN.

Never Alone With Brothers and Sisters!

When my good friend Lynn’s mom died she was all alone in the experience. She had her faith, like I do…but she had no brothers or sisters to lean on to help her through her darkest days, or even to laugh with, or make decisions with. She had a few best friends for which she thanked God and I thank Him everyday for mine, especially Heather who has been my rock in the best friend department.

But, brothers and sisters to go through the trenches with really do help and that is my subject tonight. Some days you are closer than others to your siblings, but the fact of the matter is you have known them all your life. My sister Suzy and I are only 17 months apart. That’s hardly anything. And Bill and I are five years apart and Scott and I seven. Now Sara, she came along with our new step mom and is fifteen years younger than I am, but she was so wonderful. She drove all the way from Madison on her own to be there for us for Mom’s service and all the way home again. She stayed with dad and Trisha and was a comfort to him as well. Dad had a hard time too. He’s been unmarried to mom a long time but they had a lifetime of friendship and respect and four kids they raised between them. A lot of history.

momvideo20History is the word. Shared history when it comes to brothers and sisters helping you through the loss of a parent. And they know you so well. My youngest brother Scott knew how close Mom and I were, best friends really. He was looking out for me as emails were flying about carrying out her wishes. He knew I would need a sit down and sit down we did.  At the very malt shop my mom hung out at as a teenager and discussed where to and how to scatter her ashes. My brothers split a chocolate malt and Suzy and I a coffee malt. Maybe it doesn’t sound reverent, but it was high Holy Baker Tradition as we reminisced, discussed the service and decided on what to do next. Mom had made it clear so it was a matter of doing what she wanted.

We’ll keep that part to ourselves because it’s private. Let me just say it was legal and beautiful and one of the most memorable days of my life as we let go of the earthly ashes that were our once glorious Mom’s outer shell and thanked God that He had given us such a great Mom and now had her with Him in Heaven.

While we thanked Him for her and what a great mom she had been, we remembered. I will never forget that day, neither will my sister or brothers. It was something we shared all the way together, in responsibility, in reverence, in relief and release as we said our last “so longs”. For it isn’t really good-by is it? We will see her again someday.

That is our “sure and certain hope” the scripture says. I believe it with all my heart because the Word of God says it, Jesus lived and died this truth and rose again and our Mom lived the testimony of this truth beautifully. We live it now. Daily. And will until we join her and those who have gone before us in the Faith.

Miss you Mom. I’m thankful I had such a great Mom. You will be missed every day until I see you again my precious: Mother, Sister in the Faith and Best Friend. Love, Libby!!!!!!!! (which is how you always said my name) 🙂

The Riches of Friendship

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
Elbert Hubbard

Heather's Pics 643-10  There is no one that fits this Elbert Hubbard quote better than my husband Mike. He is my love and he is my very best friend. I treasure him more than I can say. He is always there for me and that it saying something! I am an emotional person. I don’t glide easily through life. I feel things very deeply. The Lord knows this. Mike knows it all too well. And he is there for me through my troubles as he calls them.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful friend for life. He is almost as blessed to have me! lol! Today I am thankful for the many wonderful friends I have. I have reflected about them this afternoon. They bring great riches to life, great character, great depth and meaning. They also help a lot when the chips are down!

My dad is one of my best friends. He introduced me to this guy here. This is one of my very favorite pictures of he and I ~ took it myself. I’m not too experienced with cell phone self-photography!

dadandI

My dad knows me pretty well and I don’t want to leave him out. He loves me fiercely and with great  humor too! We are a bit alike and he also says I remind him of Grandma Dorothy, his mom. That’s a big compliment. She was a very strong woman and I thought very funny! My family is close-knit so let me just say they are all my dear friends. My sister was out-of-town when I messed up some medication I was taking and I almost didn’t make it without her to talk to. She is fantastic! I love her and we’ve been best buds since she was born. We are 17 months apart.

You are rich if you have friends, no matter what you have in the bank. When we had to move a while back, due to my health. My girlfriend Mary rallied behind me and got her husband involved. I didn’t realize he was a gifted mover! It’s not his trade, it’s his gift! One of many. He can look at a piece of furniture and know if it will fit in an elevator for instance. My poor husband had lugged our huge couch up three flights of stairs with my daughter and her friend ~ when we moved in ~ because of the tract lighting in the elevator. It simply wouldn’t fit. Mary’s husband and my brother got it out in the elevator. Easiest move we ever had and we thought it would be the most difficult. She had it on her heart to help us, so she did. That is a friend.

My dear friend Heather and I have been together through thick and thin and surgeries and many prayers together. We will always be best friends. Yesterday her daughter turned 12. She lives in Arizona and I couldn’t be there. She made me feel so much a part of things by rapidly posting pictures of the evening before I went to sleep that evening, with two hours difference in time it was a feat! That’s one small thing her big generous heart of love has done for me over the years.

I love my friends. Social media is a goldmine for making new friends and reacquainting us with old friends. I so like my friend Joe. We met on Twitter and have continued our friendship on Skype and Facebook so that now we are old friends! He likes to talk on the phone like me! I guess we are of the same era. We hope to work together someday. We love to talk “shop” ~ social media, marketing, product promotion, development, websites, blogging, you name it, we are discussing it! Now all we need is a company!

Kathleen and Debi and I went to the same High School. Now we are terrific friends thanks to getting reacquainted online and going to lunch together. We are drawing some more Edina High girlfriends into our friendship bunch to rekindle and develop new relationships where old memories exist and new ones are being built. This makes life so rich and exciting!

There’s an old Girl Scout refrain that keeps going through my mind, many of you know. I believe it was true for that time: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.”

I don’t think it is the case anymore. I think all friends are gold. A gift from God, as dear friend Heather says. She is so right. Friends are a treasure. Every moment spent with one is a gift. I am so blessed to have many good friends. I am so loved and I am also very grateful.

There is a whole group of people that haven’t been mentioned, the fabulous social media family I have in the #UsGuys group on Twitter and Facebook, many of whom I have met in person and many more I hope to meet. God bless all of you and thank you for making my life all the more deep and beautiful for knowing you all.

Thank you my dear friends. For your support. For your listening ears. For your wise words. And for your love and acceptance. We may not always agree, life would be a dull place if we did, but we will learn from each other and go on.

“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.”
Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You

Thank you all for being a comfort to me when life gets difficult. For keeping things from being hard to bear. For your love and prayers when I need them. Be assured you are always in mine. And in my heart.

Life Is What You Make It

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“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soul mate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” ― Marilyn Monroe

I have said it before in other posts that I know Marilyn Monroe was a very wise woman. These words prove it. And they are very much similar to the way I feel about life. It is tragic that her life ended so tragically and a terrific blessing that mine is still going strong at almost 60 years old.

I have been blessed with wonderful sisters and girlfriends I call my sisters because they are so dear, Heather Siebens and Mary Triviski to name two. My sisters Suzy Miller and Sara Zeiss both Baker girls like me are dear and have been since the day they were born. Days I remember well, seeing as they are my younger sisters.

I have not had certainly the string of men in my life that Marilyn had, but I have an ex. He was not the best for me and I have a wonderful soul mate now whose life I cherish and celebrate and thank God for with each passing day.

She had a great attitude about failing. She expected it to happen, as do all great minds, Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” when inventing the light bulb. You just have to pick yourself up to start once more and try again.

She had a zest for life that I feel. I wake up every morning anticipating the surprises the day has in store. For each day is a surprise waiting to happen, a blessing from the Creator waiting to unfold. It is up to us to discover it and live it.

Believe in yourself. I do. I also believe in the One who made me and gave me a purpose on this earth. I believe I am here for a reason. For a plan. To give to others. To share love and life and joy. I live that plan every day. His plan for me. Because He believes in me, I have confidence. Lots of it. For if He who built the Universe has a plan for my life I can flow with it, love, live and fulfill it.

Now there you see a departure from the wisdom of Marilyn and the wisdom of Libby. And maybe the key to why I am here, about to be 60, and the world did seem to swallow her at a much younger age.

Perhaps a strong Faith is the difference. His presence, His Love, His Strength, His Peace and His Power. Ask me about that sometime. I will be glad to elaborate! Love to all….Libby

The Greatest of These is Love!

I  Corinthians 13:13

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NKJV)

My husband Mike and I were  married on July 27, 1979 at Colonial Church of Edina. It was a ceremony that we planned ourselves, involved our dearest friends in and gave our hearts to in every way. One thing we did that was especially meaningful for is was to recite the entire love chapter from the New Testament, I Corinthians 13 back and forth to each other one verse at a time. It is a powerful, beautiful chapter and so much of it has remained in my heart and is there for meditation. I read it, and I treasure the memory of it. I like to try to recite it in my head to this day. “If I speak with the tongues  of men and of angels but have not love I am as a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” That part gave me pause today when I lost my temper at a circumstance in my life. Not at Mike. I was frustrated. But he heard the brunt of it. Boy was I a NOISY GONG. Not my best moment!

Later as we were reflecting on the evening before sleep, we remembered the doctor had given me a medication to take for a few days, effective in stopping rebound headaches —  a cortisone type medicine. The side effects are sleeplessness and irritability. AH HA we said. That’s where that came from. It’s not like me to blow my stack like that. I felt so badly for the calm dear man I married who heard me.

For better or worse, in sickness and in health. God has prepared us for the health problems that have taken their toll on both of us. Nothing so serious as to give is cause to fear for life or limb, except maybe once. But, they have been enough to be wearing and came mostly from me. Now we believe we are seeing the end of them for a while and rejoice in the goodness of our Lord and His faithfulness through it all.

I am especially thankful for Mike. Dear one, patient, strong and always kind. Best friend of my heart and mind. Caring and loving man that I married. I will always think the best of him, do the best for him and trust him with my life. He won my heart, earned my trust my faith in him and he is filled himself with the faith of the Lord. I honor, respect him and find him wonderful, funny and huggable. The rest is ours.

Thanks Lord tonight and every night for this good man you gave me. Bless him. Bless his days and his health and work. Lead he and I in your way everlasting. Thank you for the gift of unselfish, giving Godly love and all the wonderful kinds of love!

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

– (Harry Burns) WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

The Only You God Made

“You are the only you God made… God made you and broke the mold.” ― Max Lucado, Cure for the Common Life

So many people try to be someone they’re not! My daughter Abby never had that problem. She was true to herself. She liked computers and sports and dressing for the game not the sidelines! Her dad and I encouraged her to be the person we was not what a more traditional culture would have pushed her to be.

Like the culture one I grew up in. I liked to play sports and was called a “tomboy”. I was no kinda boy I just liked to run and play and move fast and climb trees and build forts. Fortunately I had two parents who encouraged me to be myself.

What if you are an introvert being pushed by this culture to be more outgoing? Take time for yourself. Be like my husband. He is strong and sure of who he is and happy to be himself. He takes the time to be alone and I honor him for it.

What part of your personality is unpopular to those around you? Don’t squash it, express it. God made only one you! Let us know you. We don’t want to miss the opportunity.

I have a friend, my very best really. We go way back. Friends since Junior High. She has always been true to herself. Always unique. So much so that many people in High School tried to be like her. She was popular, but for the right reasons. She is fun and funny and kind and thoughtful. We lost touch after High School, Cooley and I and I always missed her. Come our 10th Reunion time I got on the committee to help plan it, partly because she was on it and I wanted to see more of her. We renewed our friendship and kept it strong over the years.

I try to surround myself with people who are true to themselves. Genuine and honest. God has made them the way they are and they bring so much blessing to others. I’ve mentioned here my family and best friend in my life. There are so many I’ve met online. Stephen Caggiano, Heather Siebens, Mary Triviski, Dave Reynolds, Tom Wall, Denise Barlow, Mark Bernhardt, Mimi Baker and Sumner Musolf to name a few.

I hope you have been as fortunate. If not, start by being true to yourself. I believe you will draw the same kind of people to you! God bless and have a great day!

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