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The year is half over and I am still in shock

The year is half over and I am still in shock. 
Last fall we put a new roof on our home, put in new windows, then repainted the new siding after that was put on and then added new gutters to finish the look. The house was beautiful and homey and ours to enjoy for many years.
Fast forward to April … we found ourselves living in a new single level home and after a whirlwind time of packing and moving we said good-bye to our home of 25 years. We had a 5 year plan to move but God… But God directed us into other plans.
The decision to move was based on a few things, the first we were not getting younger and the two story home with stairs was proving to be a hazard more than a help, the second it was a good financial move. It was so interesting because when we started talking about moving I had April in my head, I said to my husband, something is going to happen in April. NOT knowing what was a head of us.
We signed papers April 2nd and moved out officially April 5th.
Emotionally it’s been hard for me especially because I had my roots in our old home town and we could not stay there as the prices were too high for us to purchase.
We found a single story cozy small home and it is fitting us just fine.
We gave ourselves a financial raise and we paid off extra bills and freed us up to enjoy retirement in a more relaxing way. Isn’t that the goal?
The couple who purchased our newly renovated home were first time buyers, the lady who had our new home was moving to a care center and we could enjoy her simple single level cottage. It was a win all the way around. We are in a new area and have to learn where stores are, where we go for pharmacy and medical needs. Some things will stay the same as our old place, some will be new.
As I find myself getting older I like to have my circle smaller. My drive time less and my local stores closer. Our church is still drive on a freeway which I totally dislike, but I don’t have to drive it, and there is a back way that is easy too, it is a bit longer drive but no fast freeway driving. I love the country choice.
I am creating in this new space a cozy home for us and being very selective as to what decorations and furniture to use. We have taken loads to goodwill, and have given away or sold 10 pieces of furniture. It is shocking to realize what we have accomplished in such a short amount of time.
If you would have asked me last fall if we were going to move soon I would have said, No.
But God, through listening to His direction and stirring in our heart, we have moved and it’s a good thing we did.
Isaiah 32:17-19 New Revised Standard Version
[17 The effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places].
[And where there’s Right, there’ll be Peace
and the progeny of Right: quiet lives and endless trust.
My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood—
in safe houses, in quiet gardens.]the message
We thank you God for your leading.

Twenty years ago our lives were changed

 

Twenty years ago our lives were changed and a sweet baby entered our lives. It was our first grand daughter’s birth day. Her due date was in July so she surprised us with an early arrival and after a few ‘scary moments’ she was delivered weighing only two pounds eleven ounces and seventeen inches long.
Her eyes were intense, she was alert and ever so tiny.
I was in shock to know that on this day I was a grandma. Something that was dreamed about often but never realized in real time, until this day.
She was in NICU until she grew stronger and more able to eat and survive out of the setting.
When she was a few weeks old they let her go home weighing only three pounds, nine ounces. She had to be carefully placed in the car seat with extra blankets around her.
NICU is a special place for those tiny ones who cannot go home yet.
Trained nurses work hard to keep them comfortable and safe. It is considered a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
There are levels of care the babies get depending on the severe conditions they were born with, she only had IV on her head and monitors on her heart, she was not hooked up very much.
She was tube fed a few times then she was able to use a bottle. Her spunk kept her fighting and she was alert and healthy always.
For that we were very blessed and happy.
I always dreamed of being a grandma and she was such a blessing to us, when her mom (our daughter) had to go back to work I quit my job and stayed home with this very tiny baby.
It was a joy and a privilege to be with her every day and help nurture her and grow. It was very healing to me.
It’s hard for me to believe she is twenty and a beautiful grown woman now; we feel so blessed to be her grand parents.
Her name is Faith Elizabeth. Our lives were changed forever because of her presence.

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It’s more fun to talk with someone

“It’s more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, “what about lunch?” (AA Milne)
I saw this quote and although I am not sure it really came from the writer of Winnie the pooh stories, I like the concept, to keep things simple.
We have all met someone at some point in our lives; who try to convince you that they are more for show than for real honest relationship. They use lofty words, or random concepts that don’t make sense at first.
I don’t choose to connect with those kind of people. I generally have no problem reading body language or non verbal ques but sometimes it is hard even for me to figure it out.
I love honest people. You don’t have to guess where they stand or believe; it is just there in front of them. Church is a place where we sometimes pretend to have our ‘ducks in a row’; when really they are running every direction and we can’t ask for help. I would rather have someone ask for help and be direct with me, then make me guess. Guessing takes so much energy.
I love to go out for lunch with a good friend, where we can make the quality time for each other sharing matters of the heart. I have one friend when we would meet for breakfast sometimes we would still be there for lunch in the same booth. Good sharing. It’s more fun sharing with someone who listens to you, truly listens and gives their thoughts and opinions in love back to you.
Friendship. A gift we give to ourselves.

To all the mothers out there

To all the mothers out there I wish you a day of relaxation and rest.
To those women who wish for and long for and pray for every single month to be able to be called a mom.
I send you a hug, a prayer and a kind word. I understand it is a void and this holiday is especially hard.
Many can be very insensitive to you and I am sorry if I have ever been in that ‘role’.
To those who have been mom’s but for some reason your children are no longer living, it doesn’t make you a less mom; it just makes it more hard.
To those who have lost their moms; this is a hard day full of memories and tears.
I remember often times in church a Pastor would say, “to all the mom’s please stand up.”
What about those who have lost babies they never have seen? What about moms who have no story to share or picture on their phone to show off?
They are still moms who have lost a part of their heart.
I pray we be more sensitive to all those who are moms and daughters.
My own mother was not a warm fuzzy type of mom; so often I would find myself standing at the card aisle and wondering what should I purchase?
Sometimes in my journey I wished for a section just for us who were in therapy.
The ‘I don’t know what I should buy because nothing really fits’ group.
Years ago I would just settle on a generic ‘have a nice day’ with a little pansy on it and call it done.
You can’t go wrong with a pansy and it doesn’t require a lot of ‘thinking’ or planning.
I don’t have anyone to shop for now, my grandma’s are gone and our mothers are gone too.
So to all the women out there, I wish for you a peaceful day and a day for just resting.
Whether you are a mom, grandma, sister or cousin. This wish is for you.

I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds

“I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” John 20:24-29
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas was not with the others when Jesus came. (Jesus had visited them in the upper room behind locked doors.)
They had told him, “we have seen the Lord!” (But he replied I want to see, feel and experience it myself. My paraphrase.)
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them.
The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them.
“Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
I remembered this story and realized the Friday’s word prompt was the word touch.
Thomas had to touch Jesus so that he would truly believe in the resurrection and the final story. I often have wondered how Jesus knew just exactly what Thomas needed.
He didn’t ask him; HE just KNEW what Thomas would need in order for him to believe.
I find that fascinating and wonderful that He knew how to approach Thomas and how to create the scene for him to believe.
Thomas wasn’t being a bully or a problem he just needed facts in order for him to really believe.
I don’t really blame him; if he actually saw him crucified and treated horribly. Wouldn’t we all say that?
“Let me see for myself.” Jesus approached Thomas in a way that only Jesus could.
Here is the proof, feel them and believe.
This is a good lesson for us all. We don’t often have to say what we ‘need’; in order for Jesus to know in our heart what we need.
I love this ‘touching part’ of the story, it just makes it more real for us to understand the heart of Thomas.