Zukuka! God’s Answered Prayer

Imagine beloveds, a dream that lasts for fifty-five years. In it, the night sky is filled with stars twinkling so brightly, that at times it seems you must only reach slightly and you will surely touch them. By day this dream has deep red earth, a color you have never seen in the life you are living, and sunlight that glows golden beneath a copper sky. This dream is the place where God’s grace and mercy hold you safely when events in life feel intolerable and cruel.

Imagine growing up in a world where you see the real world that is around you, and just as clearly you see that one. There is no explanation for your calling out to Africa, and equally none for the divine spark of longing, and the feeling of connection you have there. After years of trying to explain this to people you simply stop, but you continue to hold that dream tightly to your chest. It never leaves, it is like a whisper, a promise – a hope dared. Off and on you pray for the people who live there, while reading accounts of their lives past and present. A couple of times an opportunity comes close and the dream is revived, but after four failed attempts you place that dream of being delivered to that land deep in the bottom of a shabby old box and pack it far away, where it gathers dust and spider webs.

All the while God is able. All the while he has already answered those prayers, but you don’t really believe you will receive the whole of the dream or the root of the tree that you have never experienced.

You go about your life, some good some bad and every once in awhile when routing around for something else you bump into or trip over that box, but you become less and less patient with it’s presence in your life … Until one day – one year plus 11 months and 21 days past the death of your mother, and one year after taking the leap of faith to finally be baptized and born again into a more committed life as a Christian …  God brings the goodness and honor of that calling right into your living room.

And now beloveds, 11 months after God called Zukuka! (Wake up) on May 29, 2015 at approx 4 am. my feet met that ground I had always known. I was handed my visa and told “Welcome to Uganda.” Outside Entebbe airport people were hurrying and running for the air was cool, the rain torrential, and the wind fierce, but all I could do was smile.


Over the next several weeks I hope you will join Samuel Bakkabulindi and I as we share the story of this amazing journey. For now, dream big and may God continue to bless you.

Beth Zwecher for bakka2thesource

Posted in eldercare caregiving rowing baking midlife enlightenment | 6 Comments

Return to Grace – Tata Webale

Return to Grace – Tata Webale.

Posted in Uganda | 1 Comment

Return to Grace – Tata Webale

Beloveds, the loss of interacting with you left a huge void in my life. I apologize for the long deafening silence but as you know, when we last spoke the struggle of learning to wait quietly on God for the how’s and what’s necessary to rebuild life was all-consuming.

So here we are quite some time later and it seems only a moment ago. I hope you will forgive my absence. Radical change is afoot. God has not only restored my life, but continues to answer prayers I had long ago forgotten or didn’t even know existed. This is amazing, and I am thankful  – beyond grateful. There is much to tell, but for today, I want to focus on the most exciting pressing change.

In June of 2014 I met Ugandan Master Percussionist Samuel Bakkabulindi (BAKKA) and we have joined forces to create a global partnership called Bakka2thesource. (more on that development later) Exciting? It gets better – B2S is preparing to leave for Uganda!

For fifty-five years I have dreamt of Africa, and God has answered that prayer. We will be visiting with children at African Orphans Care Association, with Livingstone Kintu, https://www.facebook.com/africanorphanage?fref=photo and various churches. Then we will head out to the countryside to work with musicians in preparation for our first documentary (which you will hear all about soon).

Master percussionist Samuel Bakkabulindi (BAKKA)

Master percussionist Samuel Bakkabulindi (BAKKA)

I hope you will come along, we will begin posting mid-June. For now much love. With God’s grace and mercy may we meet again soon.

Image | Posted on by | 24 Comments

Sparkle Ears

40594-diamonds-blue-diamonds-wallpaperYesterday, after making a Sunday’s worth of sandwiches, I excitedly drove to Nordstrom’s Rack to buy $9.97 worth of sparkle for my ears. I was happy. Truly happy. First, it was a spectacularly sunny day, work was over for the day, and had $10.00 cash in my hand. I laughed out loud as I snatched the cubic zirconia studs from the rack. Taking my place in line, I contemplated the journey that brought me to that savored moment.

A few months ago, in an effort to further simplify my life and yet again, reduce monthly expenses I cut my hair, short. From that moment to this one, I have often thought, that the silver that has been added as a result of my mother’s death would go well with a pair of diamond studs. In the intervening weeks I have belittled myself many times for entertaining such a frivolous notion in the face of what occasionally is experienced as never ending financial challenge.

Then one morning, while re-reading the book of Ruth I had an epiphany that led to a course correction of rippling magnitude. Considering all the many, many unexpected, unearned miracles and treasures that have come into my life in the last several months is it really so far out of reach to think that the cubic zircons of myself won’t eventually become diamonds?

Clutching my bright future tightly in my hand, I suddenly became aware that a number of people in line were complaining. LOUDLY – about the wait. Couldn’t they feel how blessed we were to be there? Weren’t they too experiencing the sweetness of acquisition? I thought of at least 174 people who would have gladly traded their places for ours.

Arriving home, I immediately put on those earrings then proceeded to laugh at myself, because they didn’t really look at all like diamonds. Then again, they weren’t pretending to be. I left them in and went about the rest of my day. I moved the last of the fire wood to the back fence and swept the porch to make way for the worn lawn chairs that have sat out there each of the years I cared for my mom.

Later, while washing my hands in the bathroom, I happened to glance at myself in the mirror. Not only were my eyes burning brightly, more importantly, they had finally become part of a familiar face.

I may not be totally myself yet, but at least my twinkle has returned.

Posted in Life, Life with Deli Woman, love, mindfulness, Overcoming Obstacles, Resiliency, soul, Success, truth | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

Thread of Life


From one end to the other, a single continuous strand. Deliciously delicate. Colorful and bright. Our job is to see it through without breaking it. At times, a breeze to follow, the pattern recognizable and clear. At others, an indecipherable tangle, with stops, starts, re-takes, and perhaps seemingly endless. Occasionally, we may become so confused, that it hardly seems worth the effort required to continue the project.

By times, entanglements can appear so limiting, that they feel hopelessly knotted or stuck. In these moments, the greatest of ease, loosening, lightness, and peace may be required to follow the thread where it leads. Moment by moment and breath by breath we may continue to work our way through some of the more challenging jumbles and snarls.

Incredibly long or way too short. However we arrive or depart. The only certainty – two finite points.

May the great divine mystery of your creation reveal itself to you – for the truly magnificent work of art that it is.

Posted in Dying, Homecare, Hospice, Life, love, mindfulness, multi-cultural dialogue, Resiliency, soul | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

One Meter, Stitch, Sandwich, Word, Compassion … at a Time

IMG_1066Like many people, I have spent a good deal of life setting goals. Some  have been easily achieved and others, despite high expectations have fallen by the wayside.

Perfectionist all or nothing thinking, has often led to my biggest setbacks and disappointments. Expectations that do not include room for humanity and beliefs that mis-takes can’t become re-takes have created times of looping back again and again through the same issues.

Many of us set unbelievably high expectations – saying we will never eat desert again or miss running a single day  – with no exceptions. The first time we do – because life intervenes, every step taken to the good of our goal may go out the window.

This is not to say we shouldn’t set our sights high, or that some people don’t achieve incredibly super human standards it is just to consider a both and approach that allows room for learning rather than just powering through at the cost of our humanity.

If caring for mom has taught me anything, it is to honor the pace and reality of life. This is by far the most challenging of all lessons to date. How do we continue to make progress towards our dreams or goals, while staying true to ourselves, honoring our responsibilities, and where we are in the moment?

As of last night I have logged 125,340m, or 77.88 miles so far in the Virtual Challenge. There are people in the challenge, and on my team that have already completed 4 or 5 times that amount. AND for me I see my meters as a HUGE victory.

There are women in my knitting group, who complete an entire project every week, while I continue to rip back, again and again the scallop edge of my shawl. I thought by now it would be finished and I would be posting a picture of it here. Yet row by row it still grows and it is beautiful.

Everyday, I go to work and make the same or similar sandwiches 50 – 60 per day. The next day I start again, and some days I even have to throw away the ones I made the day before. It doesn’t matter. I put my heart and soul into them by considering them works of art some how in service to the greater good.

All of these numbers – meters, sandwiches, knitted projects, goals are created one at a time. Most of us have the strength and resiliency to row one single meter, make one sandwich, knit one stitch or whatever and that is the success on which we must build. May you see this truth for the strength that it is, and experience small happy endings many times in your day.

Posted in Life, Life with Deli Woman, love, mindfulness, Overcoming Obstacles, Post grief recovery, Resiliency, soul, truth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Erging My Way Back to Life

IMG_1062It is clearly January, and as many of you know that means the Concept2 January World Virtual Rowing Challenge is underway. This is my fourth year erging for Ariel Toy, under the watchful eye of our Team Captain Bob Reichart. It is a fiercely competitive team made up of heroic warriors, including a US Olympian, US Military personnel, and most of the Detroit Boat Club.

Last year, I barely scraped by to exceed the minimum requirement of 100,000 meters in 31 days due to exponentially expanded caregiver demands. This year brings an entirely new challenge and even though my overall meters may not be as high as in years past, it is a triumph of infinite proportions to even have re-upped for the event.

You see each of the years that I have participated mom has served as my cheerleader, coach, and witness. Walks with Molly punctuated long hours out on the porch in all kinds of conditions. So I knew this would be tough. I did my best to prepare.

For starters, I moved my rowing machine off the frozen tundra of the porch and into the den. Next, there was the issue of having not erged much since early last spring. I have been pretty sedentary over the last few months of intense grief. So last month I started doing 10 minutes per day. Which doesn’t sound like much but took tremendous courage. The first three times, there were long periods of sobbing after getting off the machine.

Facing ‘the erg’ on January first, I planned for 20 thousand and managed 12. It was humbling, to say the least. I had to keep stopping every few hundred meters for water, and to adjust my feet which were pretty sore from work. Needless to say my total meters for the day, although a decent showing, took what felt like forever to complete. The second day I tried to recapture the joy of beginners mind – I put on music and did a shorter stint. The third day I was pissed off and feeling extremely sorry for myself. And then something happened….

I began to remember how much I like the motion, and the feeling of strong competence as my legs push back and my arms follow through. I thought about how at one time my erg felt like my best friend and the anchor that helped me stay and take care of my mom.

With each successive day the image of myself once again gliding across the water with the loons and swans of Lake Cochichuate in the predawn darkness has grown stronger. As of today, at 54,193m I stand at number twenty of forty-nine team members, while Ariel Toy currently runs ninth, out of two hundred eighty-two teams. There is still a long long way to go.

All I know is there is a new confidence beginning to grow. I am still here, altered though I may be. I will survive. I have purpose and direction.

My goal for this month is simply to row each of the thirty one days, and to finish strong. It is clearly a year when moderation will be key to making it through.

Each month a new goal and another step back to living. Next month is LICSW test prep class. In the meantime I continue to make sandwiches, knit daily, dream of spring, and erg. And that ain’t bad all things considered.

Posted in Life, mindfulness, Resiliency, soul, Success | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments