Thursday, July 26, 2012


A number of years ago, I had the privilege of having my cousin, Missie live with me for a short period.  During that time, she was the “right-hand man” in my Medical-Legal Consulting business.  Not only did our strengths and weaknesses compliment one another as working partners, we had a lot of fun in the process!  It wasn't unusual for one or the other of us to break the tension of what could often be an intense undertaking with some kind of shenanigan.

While traveling together one day, we stopped to use the restroom.  At the rest area, we waited in line for our turn.  Two stalls opened up simultaneously and we took our respective positions.  The day was likely a stress-filled one and I concluded that it would do us both some good if we had something to laugh about, so... after I finished my task, I stood on the toilet seat, hung over the stall wall and said, “Hey, Lady!”  Much to my chagrin, it was not my cousin in the stall next to me!

While the poor victim of my unruly humor grabbed her knees and threw herself across her lap in an effort to protect her personal privacy, my cousin nearly fell off her throne laughing in the next stall over!

Obviously, I do not always prayerfully consider all things when making decisions; instead, I sometimes rely on my own senses!

I now had a new decision to make that would affect both me and this frightened lady:

  • Should I hang out here over the stall trying to explain and offer an apology?
    • She’d likely not appreciate that!
  • Should I try to sneak out of the restroom, hoping that she doesn’t come out and greet me eye to eye?
    • I was so befuddled that I wasn’t sure that I was ready for that!
  • Should I slide down to the toilet and quietly sit there until she leaves?
    • Right or wrong, on the spur of an embarrassing moment, I concluded that this was the best option for both of us!

When we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation, isn’t it common for us to shoot from the hip rather than taking time to consider our best option?  More times than not the best policy is to sit quietly and pray,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes…
Proverbs 3:7a

I was reminded in this situation that my fleshly understanding is not trustworthy.  Isn’t it ironic what circumstances God chooses to use to reiterate that our focus always needs to be on the Him and His ways?  Would I be remiss, however, to admit that I would have loved to have been a little mouse listening as the victim of the scene recounted this story to her family and friends?


P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Measuring Stick Are You Using?

A number of years ago, Gary and I counseled a couple who, after thirty plus years, were struggling in their marriage.  The husband was a very patriarchal sort and the wife was becoming a bit too independent and “sassy” for his comfort.

It didn’t take long to discover that this man was not only verbally and emotionally abusive to his wife; he was physically and sexually abusive, as well.  While he believed that he was simply fulfilling his God-given role, his wife and children were afraid of him.  Even his large frame, towering stature and domineering demeanor were quite intimidating.

Having been raised in a very male-oriented religious environment, this fella wasn’t too excited about having anyone tell him how he ought to function, especially a woman.  Consequently, in the initial days of our counseling them, I was very careful to not cross that line.  I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to help them by moving across his comfort zone too quickly.

We had been counseling this couple for a few months when the husband made this comment, “Well, at least I treat her better than my dad treated my mom.”  I knew in my heart what I needed to say, but was hesitant because I knew it would make him angry.  The Lord prompted me, “Say it now.”  I swallowed hard, looked “goliath” in the eyes and said, “Your measuring stick is wrong.”  He glared at me and retorted, “What do you mean by that?”  I responded, “Jesus Christ should be your measuring stick for how to treat your wife, not your dad.”  His eyes moved away from mine in silence.

It isn’t uncommon for us to use others as our point of reference for how we approach life,

“At least I’ve never done that!”
“I wish I could be more like her.”
That’s the way my parents and grandparents always did it.”

The reality is…

We are all imitating someone.
No one is an originator!

However, God’s Word warns us to be careful of whom we imitate; Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God (3 John 1:11).

We are to be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us…(Ephesians 5:1-2).

What measuring stick are you using?


P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Move Right On Over, Lord!

 A few weeks ago, we were at my brother, Art’s helping to prepare some land for a new building.  Art needed me to follow him and Gary, who were taking the bulldozer to the construction site.  I proceeded to get into Art’s truck and was about ready to pull out when Art motioned from the dozer asking if I would bring his dog, Pearl with me.  I was delighted to have the opportunity for the ol’ red hound dog to ride along.

In order to reach the handle on the passenger’s door, I slid over onto the console, opened the door and called for Pearl.  She was so excited to be asked that she jumped right past me and plopped herself in front of the steering wheel!  What a scene!  Pearl is full of excitement, I’m stunned and Art is laughing!

How many times has the Lord asked me to do something and I’ve gotten so excited about the opportunity that I jumped ahead of Him and positioned myself in the “driver’s seat” ready to lead the way?  I can guarantee ya that I became an “expert” driver through the years, or so I thought.  My responses to His requests were typically something like this,

“Now that I understand what You want me to do, move right on over, Lord!

Don’t You worry Yourself any.

I can show You how to get there,

when we can expect to arrive


exactly who’s coming along for the ride!”

You would have thought that I’d have learned a valuable lesson the first time that I ended up on a “dead-end” road using this approach.  But, Nooo!  Not this girl!  Given any assignment, I was on it like ants on honey leaving God and those who were supposed to be along for the ride in the dust!  Being as determined and independent as I’ve been through the years, God had His work cut out for Him and I was in for a big surprise!

In order to help Pearl understand what I needed for her to do, I got out of the truck… on the passenger’s side, went around to and opened the door on the driver’s side and gently said, “Move over Pearl.”  Without hesitation she obeyed my command and, without further delays or obstacles, we were soon at our destination.  Unlike Pearl, I didn’t always move over quite so easily.  I was so determined to be faithful in fulfilling the assignment that I couldn’t even hear Father’ s voice when He told me it was time to pull over and let Him do the driving!

It wasn’t until I completely ran out of gas while driving for far too long on the same ol’ road that I took my hands off of the wheel and admitted, “Jesus, You’re gonna have to drive.  I’m not sure where I am.  Everyone else has bailed out and I have no idea how to get back home.”

I don’t ever want to be on that road again!  Thanks for the reminder, Pearl!



P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:

             Bonnie Jaeckle

             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

             Diagonal Progress

             505 Jefferson St.

             Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Funeral – “A Final Act of Love” Part 2

It wasn’t until the Civil War that preservation of bodies through embalming was used in America.  Prior to that, funerals were held at home and families were responsible for and cherished the opportunity for “laying out of the dead” loved one.  “The grave was as familiar as the cradle.”

Why are Americans typically more fearful of contamination from a buried body with a potential communicable disease than a body pumped full of carcinogens, laid in metal coffins in “sealed” vaults under chemically fertilized lawns?

Turning the care of a dead loved one over to the “experts”

is a uniquely American custom,

whereas families fully participate in other countries.

Rather than paying an “outsider” thousands of dollars

to mutilate our loved one’s body in order to preserve it for a few days,

doesn’t it seem more respectful

to personally, gently and lovingly care for them ourselves,

yet allowing their corpse to appear as it is; dead?

Why do we try to make dead people look alive anyway?

“That surely can’t be legal; can it?”  It absolutely is!  Attorney Lisa Carlson’s

Caring for the Dead – Your Final Act Of Love - A complete guide for those making funeral arrangements with or without a funeral director is a wonderful book that offers funeral law for the consumer in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.
In this thorough, well-written book you’ll discover that the funeral “industry encompasses much more than embalming chemical companies and national professional associations.  Casket manufacturers, florists, cosmetic corporations, automobile companies, cemetery associations, insurance agencies, and other related businesses played a role in the financial triumph of the industry, which was generating billions of dollars per year in economic activity by the end of the twentieth century”.  Rather than feeding into this multi-billion dollar industry, we do have another option.  Most state codes are very clear about the privilege of burying our own dead:

  • Embalming is routinely not required.
  • There are typically no regulations regarding caskets.
  • No state requires liners or vaults.
  • Grave markers are not required.
  • Burials on private property are normally allowed, with a few reasonable guidelines.

The cost of an average traditional funeral is $7-10,000.  This is 13% of the median American family’s annual income!  Most families simply can not afford this!  Enters… the “need” for Funeral Insurance.  Considering that obtaining a death certificate and a permit to transport the body for disposition, building a casket, digging a hole and making a personalized grave marker costs only a couple hundred dollars, is Funeral Insurance truly a necessity?  Americans are surely inclined to think so.

Karen Russell, director of the National Grief Support Services correctly states, “The biggest myth of all time is that time heals all.  Time does not heal; it’s the action that heals”!  In seeking a Whole-Hearted approach to every aspect of my life, I’ve come to realize that even my understanding of what’s “necessary” for the burial of loved ones has changed.  While I desire for my actions to demonstrate respect and devotion to those I love, American tradition need not be my model.  In fact, it often gets in the way.

How well our loved ones are presented in their casket doesn’t offer a genuine expression of our love for them or bring healing to our hurting hearts.  Instead, it is through ongoing acts of love that healing comes and honor is expressed.  A dear brother in Jesus worded this so beautifully when he shared with me, “there need not be any finality to the acts of love that we express for those whom we are forced to surrender up.  We continue to act out our love for them, as you have done, by our testimonies concerning them and by our deliberate practical ‘imitation’ of what we saw of Christ in them.  What God brought into our lives through them will continue to honor them, when we give expression to it.”

I pray that I never stop demonstrating honor and love for Momma through what I say and how I live my life.  May I never stop giving thanks for the blessings of being her daughter!