Who We Are and Where We’ve Been
We are Mike and LuAnn. We are Ordinary Pilgrims on an extraordinary journey. This web site is our ongoing and ever-expanding story.
We were both born in a small, Northern Minnesota farming community in 1954. We were high school sweethearts. We’ve been happily married since 1973. We have four wonderful and very interesting children—James, Anna, Nathan, and John.
We’ve relocated twenty-six times living in several states and a couple countries. Very little moss has grown on these rolling stones and now we are rolling again. One might even say we have become vagabonds. We have, for the unforeseen future, chosen to call ourselves Ordinary Pilgrims.
We both have a deep and abiding faith in God, an undying devotion to each other, and an expanding love for all our fellow pilgrims along the way.
We’ve had a good and an exciting life. And, we’ve had a hard life—harder than some, not as hard as many. But it’s been our life. And we’ve decided, within the pages of this web site, to share it with you.
We invite you to come along.
How We Arrived at This Place at This Time
Most of us wouldn’t want to measure out the differences and contrasts between each other’s lives, nor weigh out the comparisons in this life between what we have gained and what we have lost. That serves little to no purpose and only leads to a futile sense of the inequality of life.
However, sharing our lives—our losses, our pain, and our grief—can lead to a sense of solidarity and, eventually, hope. As such, I’ll give you a glimpse into LuAnn’s and my story.
Unable to survive the financial sacrifices LuAnn and I willingly made in the attempt to save our beloved son, Jim, from cancer (Jim died on November 11, 2005) and the success to save our precious daughter, Annie, from drug addiction (Annie has been clean since April 22, 2012), we were pressed into bankruptcy and obliged to surrender our home just before Christmas 2015.
How much immeasurable loss and unbearable grief can be packed into one single sentence?
The early months of 2016 found LuAnn unemployed. Her life-long vocation as a medical transcriptionist was displaced by technology’s voice recognition software and the entire department at the hospital disbanded. My job as a workplace chaplain was terminated only weeks after Jim died and, despite my best efforts, I’ve been either underemployed or unemployed ever since.
That, at least in part, is what has happened. That is what has come to us. If we knew what it felt like to be marooned on a desert island or lost at sea we might say our lives have come to feel a lot like that. But, enough about what has happened.
As we all eventually learn in this life, we cannot choose what comes to us. We can only choose what to do with what comes.
And that, for the most part, is where this web site begins and our ongoing journey and story continues. The stories here will reveal what LuAnn and I are choosing to do with what has come to us.
If you would like to join us, please subscribe to our newsletter which will recount our Stories Along the Way and alert you to new blog postings.