A New Year Message 2024

Happy New Year to all my dear friends and family. I have a back issue I”m dealing with that means I must use a cane most of the time to get around until I get it fixed. I have an MRI coming up soon. In the meantime, Larry and I are both using canes to get around and occasionally we have a cane fight. All’s fair in love and war. Here’s my latest post.

I got up after a good night’s sleep and sang my heart out at church. I came home inspired to see what I could do to make someone else’s day better. God gave me many ideas. Then I read the Tribune that addressed the Chicagoland migrant issues. No matter how one may feel about the problems, the people are here and need our help before subzero temperatures plunge us into an artic terrane. There are so many needs out there that most faith-based churches and other organizations are addressing, I hope. Matthew 25:31 on talks about the sheep and the goats and what Jesus says about both. You definitely want to be on team Sheep, not Goats.
We rarely buy new clothes items, the resale shops give more for dollars and it’s a great way to recycle clothes and help more in need. Christmas is over, but kindness should extent throughout the year. So I end with a quote that goes along with our weather report. “Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers.” K Gibran

Motorcycle Madness

by Sue Schuerr

It was a very hot and humid day in Chicagoland when we hoped on our motorcycle making our way toward Wisconsin. We loved the beautiful scenery, but missed talking to each other having misplaced our communication device. We stopped for a delicious fish fry dinner just over the Illinois border and were surprised to run into a dear friend.

After dinner and visiting with Rosanne, Larry secured my new helmet on me, and got on his bike. I tapped him on the right shoulder and told him my plan. He took off on the gravel road kicking up rocks as he made his way to Rt 12. It was an hour ride back to our home in Chicagoland, so Larry turned on his radio and was deep in thought. When he got home, he stood up which was my cue to get off. “Yikes, Where’s Sue”? he thought. “Did she fall off of the bike?” “Was she abducted by aliens?” But what he didn’t realize was that I had never got on the bike. What I said while touching his back was, “I’ll get on the motorcycle on the other side.” That was my stronger leg.

Seeing him take off, I yelled and laughed, “Larry, I’m not on the bike.” “Honey, I’m not on the bike.” But he never heard me. All my belongings were in the trunk of the bike including my telephone and wallet. Surely, he would return quickly, I thought, as I walked back and forth along Rt. 12 by the gas station. I was quite the spectacle being just under 5 feet with this humungous new black helmet on my head.                          Many stopping for gas, and offered to let me use their phone.  I made 11 calls for Larry from various kind hearted strangers. I couldn’t get the new helmet off and sweat was dripping down my forehead. But finally, a young man was able to help me get it off.  Freedom! I went back to the restaurant and Rosanne was so surprised to see me holding my helmet. “What happened?” she said. When she heard the story and realized I was OK, she roared with laughter. “How could he forget his wife?” she said.  By night fall, I was sitting in his truck and not on the back of his motorcycle. It was another life with Larry day.

Travels in Lisbon Portugal

I am writing from the town of Lisbon. We are staying at a new beautiful hotel called AMMA near the airport . Although we had plans to stay in a room with a family, we decided to stay at Hotel AMMA instead. It was a great decision since the service is excellent and the staff speaks English. Fernando and Ana answered all of our questions and gave us lots of advice for a wonderful time. We started out our day with the most delicious buffet breakfast which was open until 10 am. We have traveled to many cities, but never have we had a breakfast like this one. Today there were many Indian and American choices. We didn’t have a reservation, but fortunately a room was available through Booking.com. The room had a large TV, a King sized bed, a couch and a desk.

We also have had a wonderful hot shower each of the three days. Yesterday we visited St Michael’s Cathedral on the Atlantic ocean. We love all the history connected with Lisbon. It is a safe and friendly country filled with wonderful people and the cuisine here is healthy and delicious. It’s a cosmopolitan city much like Chicago where we live, but without crime. Later, I will write about our time in Sintra at the Casas de Biquinha. It too was a great experience with places that take a person back to the 10th century. To answer questions, I can be found on Face Book Sue Schuerr Chicago or Instagram. My email is [email protected].


Don’t Get Sidetracked

The Fact, Faith Feeling Train

Life is much like a train and we certainly don’t want to have a train wreck for any reason.

I can’t believe the difference I feel from one day to the next. So much depends on getting proper sleep and not falling into the worry abysses. I’ve done research in the past that shows that 85 % of what we worry about never happens. When counseling friends, I share this statistic with them. But when it comes to myself, it’s a different story.

For instance, I have a daughter with colon cancer and I find myself often going down the rabbit hole of worry about her even though her doctors believe she will have a positive outcome. By October, she will be done with her chemotherapy treatment. She lives in Bozeman Montana and I’m in Chicagoland. Every day, I fight worrying about her. I put her in God’s hands again and again.

The fact is she has colon cancer. Faith is praying that God will use all means to bring health to Deborah again and the feelings change from day to day for many reasons.

The weather in Chicagoland has been beautiful and I’m very much an outdoor person. I’m writing this blog today sitting on my deck looking at a plethora of beautiful flowers, a blue sky ahead and occasionally a humming bird flying from flower to flower enjoying a variety of nectar. I have every reason to be content. But I often battle with my feelings-the caboose-wanting to run my life train.

What’s the problem with feelings running my train? Yesterday I had a bundle of energy and happiness. I got so much accomplished including ending my day with a 10-mile bike ride. I felt like the eagle described in Isaiah 40:31. In fact, I didn’t want the day to end since I enjoyed it so much. But I couldn’t relax enough to fall a sleep until around 2:30 AM and then I know the next day will be difficult. I will lack energy and will fight worry and depression.

I want to accomplish so much more with my life than I have. After retiring from teaching, I stepped into many volunteer programs. It’s important to find one that fits the individual. I love playing the piano once a week during Thursday lunch hour at Good Shepherd Hospital. But it’s not enough for me. I would like to play the piano more, teach more and help children.

My adult children and my grandkids are at the time in their lives when they don’t need my help much at all. It’s a sad time for me, but it’s reality, a fact, and I need to find other ways to engage with those who could use my gifts of listening, teaching and music.

So, there you have it—the train of Fact, Faith and Feelings. I try to run my life by the engine of Facts and Faith that God will use me to help others. I’ve learned not to trust the caboose-feelings. They change from day to day and can’t be trusted. Stay well and enjoy the Labor Day Weekend.

The beautiful bay in Hawaii

A New Bike for Larry??

After finishing two cataract surgeries. Larry was now ready to ride a bike with me again. He bought a new bike that was more adaptable for his foot problem. Today we went on his first maiden voyage, but he could not get his feet out of the cleats. Yikes! I could just imagine him crashing again and needing another surgery. He has had 25 surgeries already. We were ready to finally engage in activity again—- And now this? But we are resourceful and came up with this idea. He made his way to a fence in the nearby grave yard and grabbed onto the fence coming to an abrupt halt in his 4 mile journey. I got his feet out of his size 12 bike shoes and he walked home wearing his colorful bike socks. As for his shoes, they were still attached to the clips. Yes, another lifewithlarry.org moment—an adjustment solved the problem. Now how many times has God given us a fence to grab on to while catching us before disaster strikes. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of need. ” Psalm 46:1

Stranded But Not Alone

It was a very hot day close to 90 degrees and after our volunteering obligations were over, I suggested to my husband that we take a motorcycle ride toward Lake Geneva, WI. We have new helmets that I’m learning to take on and off. Our communication devises have not arrived. So, we listened to the radio on the way to WI and ended up finding an outdoor supper club just over the Illinois border. It was a delightful ride and we had a delicious fish fry. On the way out, a friend from our past tapped me on the shoulder. It was a surprise to see Rosanne and her friends at the restaurant. We hugged and visited for a while and she said, “Now I’ll pray for you that you have a safe trip of about 50 minutes home.” Larry helped me adjust my helmet and then he jumped on the motorcycle. I started getting on the left side, but I said, “Honey, I’ll get on the right side instead.” Larry didn’t hear me and thought I was on the back. “Wrong” He took off without me like a strike of lightning. I yelled out and ran frantically towards him shouting, “I’m not on.  Stop! Stop!” but he never heard me with the sound of traffic and the sound of his radio. All my belongings were in the back trunk. I didn’t have a nickel to my name, nor my phone.  I walked a couple of blocks to the nearby gas station just over the border between IL and WI, and waited patiently for him to come back and get me. Surely, he will soon know that I am not on the back of his motorcycle. But after 20 minutes my hope depleted. Here I was on a hot summer evening walking back and forth along the highway with my helmet on. There were many who stopped to help me. They would say, “Would you like to call him.” You can use my phone. There were three wonderful people that offered their phones but Larry did not answer. I tried to take off my helmet since now I was sweating, but I couldn’t get it off. Finally, a young man helped me and yeah, I was now helmet free. I decided to walk the two blocks back to Rosanne at the restaurant. They burst out laughing that I was left behind. She also tried calling Larry. I then went back to my post by the highway hoping he would return. Larry made it all the way home to Fox River Grove, IL before he realized I was not on the back. He contacted Rosanne and came back in his Ford truck to pick me up. It was another lifewithlarry story that we will never forget. I’m really looking forward to the communication devises. And I’m so happy there are people like Heidi and Scott who tried to help me that night.

What’s Happened to Our Mother Tongue????

I grew up with a mother who was a stickler for good grammar. Being raised on the south side of Chicago, i would hear lots of incorrect grammar which I started to blend into my everyday language. Thinks like, “I seen” instead of “I saw” and “She ain’t” instead of “She isn’t”. And swearing wasn’t even in our vocabulary at home. We’d probably get out mouth washed out with soap. “Swearing is a feeble way of expressing oneself forcibly.” But today it’s just part of an ongoing dialogue. What’s happened to all the wonderful and creative expressions we could use instead? Yes, I am my mother’s child and when I hear “F’ this and “F” that, I cringe. I walk into high end stores now and I see it on cups and plates, etc. What’s happened tp our mother tongue? Is our vocabulary so limited?” “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” Matthew12:34.

Granted, I might not use the “F” word, but I use others which I’m ‘ trying to weed from my vocabulary. We are judged by the words that come out of our mouth. When my husband, Larry, worked with his dad on the North Shore, his father told him to be sure he doesn’t swear while on the job.” His go to work when he made a mistake in construction was, “Rats” from Peanuts. That continues to be his go to word. So do you want to join me in improving our limited scope of creative language? My mother sure would like me to carry on her torch for better use of the English language. i

Easter 2023

The trees are budding, the crocuses have pushed their faces toward the heavens and the days are getting pleasantly longer. Yes, what looked like death is certainly now alive. Nature is such a beautiful picture of the resurrection of Christ. In the background, I love listening to Handel’s Messiah and the song, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives”. It is the perfect Passover/Easter message. Even Kelsey Grammer has spoken about the power of his faith to get him through life. He tells of the uniqueness of Christ who taught us to love our enemies.

Looking at the sunset one evening, I began my dialogue with God. “I’m not sure if you are there or not; but if you are, show me you exist? If you are there, you can have my life.” I was intrigued that maybe there really was a God. I dusted off the Bible tucked away in the corner of my dorm closet and began reading the book of John. Jesus was just an historical figure to me, not a living and resurrected being. I started keeping a journal on how He demonstrated his existence to me. I was a skeptic but I saw Jesus as someone worthy to commit my life to if he was who he said he was. If you are feeling like something is missing in your life, could it be because you were created for so much more——a relationship with the living God? He has a significant plan for your life. We have a God shaped void in our lives without Him. Nothing will fill it. How do you find Him? He said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:12).” If Christ was the Messiah and there is such a thing as abundant life here and life after death—————–wouldn’t you want to know? Anything this important cannot be ignored.

But there is hope. God loves you and has a plan for your life. “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. Just like nature is filled with a diversity of flowers and trees, so God has many ways to call his own to himself. Most of us have a thirst for more than this life can offer. We know deep inside that the end of life is not the end. It’s written in our hearts. “God has set eternity in the human heart.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

I was an agnostic at the University asking God, while watching the sunset, to bring meaning and purpose in my life. I told God if he was there, He could have my life. Then I added, “Make something wonderful happen, if you truly exist.” That night, I met Larry, my husband and soul-mate, at a dance. Over the years of our marriage, we have seen the hand of God in our own lives, our families’ lives, and so many others.

My search for God, brought me to a study of the Old Testament prophecies pertaining to the coming Messiah. We are thankful to the Jews who faithfully and accurately penned the Old Testament with the prophecies of Christ. (See Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, and google the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls) Also read Acts 10 and 1 Corinthians 15.

My thoughts and prayers are with you this Easter season 2023 as we deal with a divided nation, record levels of violence and the war between Russia and Ukraine. But there is hope and peace when we open our lives to Christ. This is the perfect season to do your own search. I will post more on my research about why I believe Jesus was the Messiah in the coming days. For now, enjoy what might be our last snowstorm for the year. Let’s hope.

I Felt the Earth Move Under My Feet

Have you ever had the sensation of being upside down when you are squarely on your feet? Have you had to have someone hold your hand while you’re spinning around uncontrollably? That is what I experienced not long ago. You may think you are right when you are in truth wrong. John F Kennedy Jr thought he was right when flying a plane into the ground with his wife and her sister. The probable cause of Kennedy’s accident was spatial disorientation-which results in a person being unable to determine their position or relative motion, commonly occurring during periods of challenging visibility. The auditory system within the inner ear and other sensory receptors work to coordinate movement and balance. My experience with Vertigo, caused by a problem in my right inner ear, made me think of how perceptions in life can be skewed. We cannot trust ourselves and our own perceptions or we could make a decision that could have dire consequences and plunge us into an abyss.

I was taught that we have five senses, but indeed we have many more. Here’s what happened when I had my experience with Vertigo.

When I woke up not knowing I had Vertigo, I stepped on the ground, but the world was spinning and I crawled on the floor calling for my husband, not knowing what was happening to me. After two days of Vertigo/nausea, I got the help I needed. A pill took care of the nausea. I reached out for my husband’s hand when we worked on a medical exercise to correct the problem in my right inner ear which was caused by the calcium crystals coming loose from their normal location on the utricle, a sensory organ in the inner ear. It was scary, as we tried the procedure, because the world was spinning but when i stood up, the problem was corrected and the world once again was normal.

We need a compass to tell us which direction is correct when driving. We cannot say that any direction is fine in order to get home. And for me, the Bible is my moral compass giving me the directions for how to live a fulfilled life. It tells me the way to live and how to have the abundant life I now live. I find the words of Jesus fill my heart with wisdom, love and peace. He said, “The thief comes to kill and destroy, : but I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.

We have seen first-hand the damage the thief has done to our world, but know that there is a better way to live.  If you want to communicate further, leave a comment on my blog. www.lifewithlarry.org or Sue Schuerr Face Book.

Damean Bivin’s Life Gives Hope

After all the political division these last couple years, with supposed Christians cozying up to threatening organizations and questionable un-Christlike people, I was very dismayed that there would be a large fall out of believers.  Our churches are down in attendance by a third from pre-pandemic days. If Jesus walked the Earth today, would many who call themselves Christians embrace Him? He lived a servant’s life and had a heart for the poor and marginalized. He warned about how difficult it was for the rich to inherit the kingdom of God.

But I turned on the radio, and while listening to part of the football game, Damean Bivins went down and without intervention would have died. I watched as both teams were on their knees rallying around him in prayer. I was so grateful to see the demonstration of faith and team support. The real Jesus still inspires people to reach out to him in time of need.  Yes, the Spirit of God is still moving on Earth. People do believe in prayer and in miracles. We are the hands and feet of Jesus and God wants to use us as he used those who resuscitated Damen and the wonderful doctors who helped bring him back to health.. Damean’s doctors are calling it a miracle.

 I am given hope that after all the horrible division that has separated us as a nation, that there is still hope for the future of true followers of Jesus. 

A view from Hawaii 2019

Tips on how to live a long and fulfilled life