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The month of February started out normal

The month of February started out pretty normal and then we had an ice storm.
Not your normal kind of ice storm, this was after a few days of snow that was too wet to enjoy.
Then we got a deep freeze.
It was very thick and very cold for our area.
It snowed but with the snow there was ice, so I still couldn’t walk in the snow.
Our backyard had a beautiful shade tree that we enjoyed in the summer.
Notice I said, “had”… yeah it broke in three places and it is in the process of being removed.
I am sad about that but determined to find a nice small leave maple to put in it’s place.
The power was out from Friday night to Wednesday.
The house temp plunged to low 40’s and my husband finally got our trailer in our driveway.
We had batteries running the furnace which was a blessing, the house had hot water because it’s gas.
At first I didn’t know we could shower or wash dishes, couldn’t use the dishwasher but they could be rinsed.
Found out with a gas water heater, you can still use the water and it’s hot.
That was a blessing.
We dressed in layers, with wool socks and heavy coats.
I worried about our neighbors who are seniors and maybe not so able to get warm.
We cooked in our trailer or we bought take out meals.
We were not able to go to our grand daughter’s 17th birthday party.
It was too icy to travel so we tried to see them a few days later.
There are still many homes around that have no power.
The linemen are amazing and it is a job that is full of danger and fatigue.
I cannot imagine the pressure those guys had on them to ‘fix it’.
We see the damage all around us, almost every block has trees that have broken.
It will take weeks to get it all cleaned up.
We even have a huge pile of tree branches to take somewhere.
We had to take everything out of our refrigerator and throw it away, and most of our frozen items we took to family.
I think now that we have heat, we have power, we have somewhat of a normal life now.
I will forever remember and be grateful for this season of testing.
The month of February started out normal until it changed dramatically.

A birthday to remember as the years move

A birthday to remember as the years move past us.
My sister Mary has a birthday on February 11.
We have a long history of good and bad that was shared between us.
She was the middle sister.
Her life was hard, and confusing and she struggled a lot.
She also survived way more than anyone should have in her life time.
She was at times funny, and at other times harsh, although I personally never experienced that side of her.
She had what is called an addictive personality and in high school (which she never finished) she was into drugs.
Later she moved into the alcohol to numb the pains of her past.
She did not know how to cope with life in a normal way.
I was her voice when it came to important decisions as she aged and needed more care.
It was always hard, and challenging for her.
She had a husband who loved her to the very end; until he passed away before her in 2006.
At that time in her life she was very much into the bottle and very toxic to herself.
She was on hospice when she moved into our home, even before her husband passed away.
Our family detoxed her from a fifth of vodka to six ounces in six weeks or less.
It was a determined effort and it was extremely hard.
We had an amazing doctor who worked with us and we had to get her well enough to move.
There was no way she would ever survive on her own, she was too ill, and near deaths door.
In time she healed, in time she stopped the alcohol, in time she moved from a foster home, to an assisted living home.
They were able to take care of her and keep her safe.
Eventually years later, she moved from there to a family members home.
My sister passed away June 8th, 2019.
I will always remember our times together.
The hard, the sweet, the tender and the challenging.
Before she left the assisted living home, my husband and I would go to visit her.
At first we would take her out for a meal and then that became such an ordeal for all of us,
we decided to just take her a box of doughnuts.
She loved her sweets and she enjoyed the treat.
So now every year on her birthday, I get a doughnut in memory of her.
She was and always will be a part of my life. A sister to me.
A birthday to remember as the years move past us.

The excellence of love is a gift

The Excellence of Love is a gift
13 If I speak with the tongues of mankind and of angels, but do not have love,
I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I give away all my possessions to charity, and if I surrender my body so that I may glory,
but do not have love, it does me no good.
4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.
5 It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit;
it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered,
6 it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with;
if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
9 For we know in part and prophesy in part;
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with.
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child;
when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully,
just as I also have been fully known.
13 But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1st Corinthians 13: (found in the New Testament)

February is the month for love, with Valentines promoted as the Hallmark thing to do.
I see it very different.
When reading the above words, there are powerful words that represent what really matters.
Being patient and kind, not being jealous, not having an arrogant attitude.
It doesn’t keep account of wrong done to us.
Boy wouldn’t that be easy to keep a little book with whatever anyone did wrong?
I don’t think that would bless anyone in fact, it would be quite hurtful with a wrong motive.
Childish behavior leaves when we grow up.
We learn to believe in others, hope in others and endure what is necessary to make it work.
In this month of ‘love’ may we be challenged and motivated, to think a bit different than our normal.
The excellence of love is a gift we give ourselves; and we give to those who mean the most to us.

February is the month of love

February is the month of love.
It is also Valentines day and remembering those who you love and care for.
I tell my husband to not give me something just because Hallmark tells him to.
Give me something when I don’t expect it.
When I am having a hard time, an emotional time, a frustrating time.
Not when I think he should bring me something, the element of surprise is always nice.
Although the flip side of that, is I don’t like to be surprised.
I want to know what is going on and when.
Mostly if we are going somewhere.
So he has on occasion surprised me with special things.
I think it is very meaningful when they do that.
Even after forty seven years of being together, it is nice to be thought about.
This last season and year was a bit rough with the recent health scare.
When you have a history of cancer, it is always a ‘cloud’ that hovers.
Oh I do my best to be positive, but it is good to be honest and to be true to oneself; especially when one is recovering from any kind of surgery.
It’s important to give oneself a lot of grace in the recovery room.
I am often reminded of how God loves us, no matter what we look like.
I have noticed my radiation history has aged me. I am not the same as when I began.
It is ok, just a bit unsettling at times.
I think it’s important to remember, God cares for us.
He loves us.
It is spoken over and over in the word.
We should never doubt it.
I challenge you today to sit back and appreciate His deep and abiding love for you.
Let the words soak in and minister to you. He loves you.
He LOVES you.
In the bible the word love is found 686 times.
As far as the fruit of the spirit given to us when we believe, the first word is love.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23
February is the month of love. Let us grasp onto the overwhelming love HE has given us.

Today is my best friends birthday

Today is my best friends birthday. We have been friends for close to 40 years.
We have grown and changed and encouraged and prayed for each other, as we walked and shared.
Throughout the years, she has been the one person I can share openly with and have no worries about her reaction.
She counsels me with wisdom and thoughts. She is bright and educated and has a heart of compassion.
I used to live three blocks from her, we spent many hours walking and going through unfinished homes being built.
I remember me asking, “Is this ok? can we really go inside?” She had a heart for new building and yes; we did go in.
It was always an adventure.
She challenged me and also reminded me of God’s gifts given.
The first time we met it was at a bible study and she had been praying for someone to sit with her.
I walked in and said, “can I sit here?” It was a friendship that began and still is taking place.
Our boys played together and we would watch them in her big yard, it was so funny because my rule was no guns.
You didn’t pretend to shoot someone, didn’t even let my son have a squirt gun. I was against it.
Her boys didn’t know what to think of that, as they played cops and robbers all the time.
My son would take the pretend gun and point it at the ceiling, leaving her sons to wonder why.
It was actually quite comical and to hear her tell the story is even more funny.
As they grew up my son became a police officer. How funny is that, he ended up with at least three guns on him.
That’s ok I wanted him safe. In fact I wanted even more protection on him.
As we have grown and changed, she has had new health issues and I have too.
We pray and encourage each other and I am thankful for any conversation or any visit I can have with her.
We all know time is not always on our side, and every minute we are able to say, ‘Hi, happy birthday’
is a gift we both give ourselves.
I miss her. She moved away and it’s a three hour drive just to walk into her door.
We always begin where we left off. It’s like there has been no time difference.
I wish I could walk down the road and see her.
But the reality is, she is happy, in love, and is healthy and in peace.
What more would I want?
Today is my best friends birthday, and today get to say to her, “Happy birthday.”