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The end of an era for our grand daughter

The end of an era is coming up for our oldest grand daughter.
Faith Elizabeth our first born grand child, the one who changed our roles from parent to grandparent.
The precious bundle that not only blessed us immensely but helped heal our home.
Today, she will be walking across the stage and accept her graduation diploma.
It has been a long journey for her, one of hard work mentally and also learning who she is and growing into herself as a teen and then into an adult.
I am so very proud and the possibilities are many for her adult years.
I am praying for her to make decisions that are good and positive.
It has been one of my greatest joys watching her grow up from a tiny preemie baby to the beautiful young woman she is today.
She has a great little job, a nice boyfriend and a good perspective on life.
Her graduation party was fun with lot’s of people showing up to support her.
It will be a joy to watch as she moves into a new direction of change, as she makes new choices and new decisions.
Adulthood is not often fun and not really as easy as being a young teen.
As an adult one has to be responsible and follow the rules.
Soon she will be driving and this grandma will be praying for safety and calm.
Highschool is almost over, actually yesterday was her last day.
Today they practice and tomorrow is the real deal, graduation and the final exit.
The end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
Congratulations Faith, we are very proud of you.

 

 

Graduation is coming up

Graduation is coming up for four of our grand children.
Three are leaving middle school and heading to high school and one is leaving high school and heading to being an adult with a job and soon a car.
Life is passing us by so quickly, I can remember when each of them were tiny little bundles.
Then they grew up. Where did the years go?
This Sunday we are having graduation party for Faith, high school has been a journey of ups and downs, she will be very glad to leave this ‘time of her life’ behind.
She has a nice job at a auto part store and she has a nice boyfriend.
I am amazed at her maturity and her growing up in front of us, she started out so tiny.
Life will be different for her. The youth days are leaving and she is 19 now and navigating her way to adulthood.
What would I tell her now?
To not take life too seriously. To eat good and get enough sleep. Exercise is good for the body and spirit.
I would tell her to manage her money well and not get into the trap of debt.
Keep your faith for it is your foundation of your life. Don’t forget God, he has never forgotten you.
I would tell her to remember no one has the right to hurt you with words or with physical actions.
Be strong for yourself and remember who you are, never lose track of that.
Remember how far you have come and how hard you have worked to get there.
I would remind her of the sister’s who are watching her.
For the 8th graders, I would say to them almost the same things.
High school can be very positive and fun, make the most of it. Find one or two friends and keep them.
Stay out of ‘middle school’ drama you are not there anymore.
Find your niche, what you enjoy and what you are good at and create space for growth.
Remember it’s only four years and it will go by very quickly.
I would tell them to listen to your parents and don’t be afraid to talk to your grand parents, we might be old but we are wise in our knowledge and guidance.
I pray for all four of you. Faith, Hannah and Alexis and Samuel.
May God grant you good years full of life experiences and lessons to be learned.
Please know we will always be here for you. We will always love you no matter what you do or don’t do.
You are amazing and gifted. May you all use those gifts to be a better and kind person.
Congratulations… you made it.

This is memorial day weekend and a time for patriotism

This is memorial day weekend, a time for family, an extra day off of work for most and outings with friends.
The other part of this weekend is remembering the fallen.
Those who have gone to war, and not returned home.
Memorial, as in remembering. Also called Decoration Day. A day, May 30, set aside in most states of the U.S. for observances in memory of dead members of the armed forces of all wars: now officially observed on the last Monday in May. (from dictionary.com) Memorial: preserving the memory of a person or thing.
The first time I experienced a military memorial service for my best friend’s husband I was in awe of the uniformed military men who folded the flag ever so carefully. Then the gun salute… it was sobering and very sacred. The hush in the air made it almost an eerie silence.
We have a very large military national cemetery in the Portland area and when you go there you see the many stones with names on them. Each one were military or married to a military officer.
Those who served and those who lost the fight. I can’t imagine being a parent of a lost soldier. It’s hard to think about and imagine what it would be like to hear ‘they are not coming home’.
So often we minimize the sacred moments, the traditions, the flag which represents our freedom.
So often it becomes just another fun holiday to enjoy with each other, rather than a sobering remembering that freedom cost someone something.
When I sing God Bless America land that I love, I see freedom. I see patriotic moments. I see honor.
It is also a prayer request, God Bless America.
We need blessings, we have gone so far off in different directions. Yet I remind myself there are still good and honest people who are proud of our country and what our freedom’s stand for.
This is not just a weekend for fun and playing. It is a time for remembering and time to pause and say Thank You.
It is a weekend for patriotism and love for our country.

Yesterday was a birthday to celebrate

Yesterday was a birthday to celebrate for us.
Our oldest grand daughter Faith Elizabeth turned 19. Now she is a full fledged adult and almost ready to drive. Ready to graduate from high school after a few little glitches. We are so proud. She has a nice little job and a nice boyfriend, too. Hard for me to realize she is grown up.
When she was born she arrived almost 8 weeks early weighing in at 2 pounds 11 ounces.
She was beautiful and very alert and strong. She was 17 inches long with very skinny legs. I was amazed at how tiny she was and in reality she was a pretty big baby in the NICU side where she slept.
I remember how we prayed over her and asking for her health to stay strong and her ability to eat good. She was able to go home after 3 weeks weighing just over 3 pounds 9 ounces. So tiny and so precious.
I like this picture it shows her tiny hands.
At 5 1/2 months she weighed not quite 8 pounds. The normal size of most newborns.I love this pre-school picture of her, it was one of my favorites.
I watched her for almost four years then she went to pre-school and a new babysitter who we trusted. It will forever be a special memory for me, the days and hours we spent together.
It is a great thing to be grandma and caretaker too.
. She is grown now and she is beautiful 
Our Faith Elizabeth.

Today I saw a question on face book

Today is saw a question on face book and it made me stop and think.
It said, “You have 168 hours each week to spend on something. What are you choosing?”
That is a great question and sort of goes back to what I just wrote about.
Frittering away our money, our time and other resources is just plain wasteful.
What would it look like if we purposefully laid out our ‘time’ in focused chunks?
I know when I am writing I set aside a few hours to do that, since it takes time to process.
How much time do I fritter watching TV?  or on my phone? or on the internet?
It is a great question of quality vs quantity.
How do we spend our time and how do we decide what matters?
I try to find good honorable choices. Books written by my friends are good.
Reading blogs of those who I know and encourage is good.
How much time do I prepare for meals, or shopping? It seems like the store is my go to place at least a few times a week. Maybe I could better plan using a list (gasp) Yes my husband has suggested a list.
I don’t use one but would it make it easier if I did?
How much time do we waste in a doctor’s office waiting room or sitting in the car in traffic?
Time is a gift to us. If we wake up and we are breathing the rest of the day is a bonus.
It is truly a blessing to be alive so let’s make the best of it and be productive.
Let’s choose to be wise in our time use. Let’s choose to be positive and encouraging.
Let’s choose to be productive and mark off those ‘to do’ items that haven’t been done.
Ready for the challenge?  ready to change the chapters of your life for the better?
Let’s press forward and do it.
picture from Toby Mac – speak life

Our Pastor has continued on the new theme

Our Pastor has continued on the new theme of the time is now.
I find it very encouraging and also challenging, for the time is now for many things.
Our personal lives sometimes have new changes coming as we prepare and wait for the ‘newness’ to settle around us in a new home or in a new job.
The school year is soon to be over and the children will be anticipating summer, or making plans for jobs or college if they are old enough.
There will be many choices as to how to spend our time and also where we choose the direction of our goals.
Our Pastor talked about how the enemy prowls around and waits for any thing that can distract us.
He said he hustles our heart for the treasures inside for where our treasure is kept, there is our heart.
That is hard to grasp sometimes.
God doesn’t want something from us he wants something for us.
It is a blessing of spirit, and a generous attitude.
That is way different than we have been told throughout our life time.
When we give our lives to the Lord many blessings rain down upon us as we serve him.
Choices about generosity determine where our heart is resting in.
For instance my husband and I sponsor three little girls in Haiti through compassion ministries.
I feel the small amount that we pay is nothing compared to the larger amount that we fritter away each week; not counting each time we go out to eat, or purchase a ‘must needed item.’
The time is now to make decisions as to where we spend our time and our money in the future.
It is more blessed to give than receive and I see that when we get a letter from these three girls.
Their prayers for us, are precious. Their thank you notes are genuine.
As Pastor said today, “we do not give from our wealth for we all are wealthy.”We give from our heart. God was generous to us first by sending us his son.
He looked at humanity and said, “you can’t ever earn your way to heaven, I will do it for you.”
It was a generous gift. It is for believers only. Pastor said, “it’s like receiving a medal in the Olympics on a raised platform that is used for presentation of what is due.”
We receive it just as a new graduate receives their diploma.
Pastor said, when we are generous we receive our joy. It is all about a heart condition.
The time is now for us to decide, about giving, keeping and being genuine.
It is a blessing of spirit and generosity of choice. What shall we choose?

The other day our Pastor started

The other day our Pastor started a six week series called, “The time is now.”
I love to write in a series, it keeps me focused and structured in topic so I am not bouncing around not making sense of anything.
It keeps the message clear and straight forward too.
He started out with the word OP-POR-TU-NI-TY which is a set of circumstances that make it possible to achieve something as in a goal.
Something – is a key word, and circumstance is the other key word.
He said to make the most of every opportunity, asking yourself, what am I doing that will leave the greatest impact on others?
I pray my blog writing does that in some way or other.
He said, opportunity also means time. In the root of the word Chronos refers to time, clock, minutes and hours.
Kairos refers to substance, richness, experiences that have great meaning and quality.
Time can be our biggest enemy if we allow it to be or it can also become our greatest friend.
He said the time is NOW… Never Omit Wonders.
N ever
O mit
W onders
I honestly think this can be also used as a life goal.
Do you want to lose weight and be more physically fit? then eat better and exercise.
If you want learn how to publish articles and be more mature in your writing? then take time to practice.
If you want to change a habit and move forward to a new one? then you must do what needs to be done.
They say it takes six weeks to change a habit.
Six weeks in a series, to reinforce the movement towards growth and maturity.
I read about a guy who was a severe diabetic who had neuropathy so bad he burned his feet and didn’t even know it.
He got a wake up call, to change and to do a 180 turn and learn better life skills and with new ways of eating.
He lost a lot of weight, got healthy and has no more diabetes.
The time is NOW … Never omit wonders… the amazing can happen. If you believe.
The new awareness can be a lifestyle you have wanted for a long time.
It takes effort and decision making to change the something and the circumstance.
Are you ready to start?The crossing over from what was then and what is becoming is NOW, it’s time to begin to never omit wonders.
Do you believe in yourself enough?

Yesterday my daughter lost her cat

Yesterday my daughter lost her cat temporarily. She has two cats and they are indoors only.
It was scary and hard to think about as the temp outside was 90 and very hot.
It moved me back into a memory when we lived in a different city.
At the time our children were pretty little and we had an assortment of dogs and cats at the house.
One of ours was named Moses and he was a yellow striped cat and one day he went missing.
I worried and fretted and didn’t know how to find him.
I walked the neighborhood calling out, “Moses”… wondering if the neighbors were concerned about me.
My husband saw my distress and went for a drive. He came back with a very angry hissing cat.
When you think about the experience it had to have been pretty comical. Here he was fighting this cat.
He was scratched and showing signs of war, the reality was; he had removed someone’s beloved pet off their property and kidnapped it. Poor kitty.
I had the terrible task of telling him it was not my cat and he needed to take it back.
To this day I am not sure what ever happened to old Moses and I chuckle at the thought of the other cat.
The story he could tell if he could talk human language.
The second funny event was in the same house when our black cat went missing for a day.
His name was Spook. Again we were sad and worried and my husband found a black cat on the road.
He for sure said it was Spook and even though I wanted to see him, he didn’t want me to be disturbed.
So we told our children he was killed and they carried on and cried, as we all did.
We planned a time for burial and had a service in a prime spot in the back yard.
We sang songs and discussed with the children how life is sad sometimes and death happens.
A few hours later our friend was outside in the driveway when a ‘black cat’ rubbed against his leg.
Looking down we realized it was OUR cat, our beloved Spook and we obviously buried the wrong cat.
Then we had to explain to the children that ONLY Jesus resurrects from the dead, NOT cats too.
It was a pretty sad but funny time in our home.
Life sure has it’s moments, and my husband is pretty funny too, in his great love for us he would do just about anything.

 

This Sunday is another Mother’s day

This Sunday is another Mother’s day. It’s a day for Hallmark cards and flowers and words that say, “Thank you.”
My mother is gone now, and my husband’s mother is too, neither of us have grandmother’s and it’s ok.
We all know mom’s who we can encourage in this journey of motherhood.
It is hard and sometimes weary. If they are married or single it is still a road to walk of sacrifice and giving.
I remember being a young mom and how many times I asked the question, “will I ever rest again?”
Looking back I can say, Yes rest comes, and as we release the burdens we put on ourselves it comes much easier.
If I were to talk to a young mom today I would first say, “chill out.”
“The to do list will always be there, the work is in front of you when you see little smiles, hear little giggles and listen to endless questions, it does get easier and it also gets more difficult. Both are true.
When they are tiny you worry about teething and sleep, then they start to walk and you worry about safety. Then they move into the years before preschool and you wonder if they will ever get out of diapers.
My answer is always yes. I have never seen an older child in them, it does work and they will graduate into the big boy or girl pants. I promise.
The school years you worry and fuss over them and you don’t know if they will grow right since they don’t eat their vegetables or drink their milk. Believe me they will be fine.
Grade school is rough and the kids can be harsh but hang in there and be involved.
After they graduate from junior high you worry and gasp at every ‘thought’ of them going to dances or dating.
Believe me I tell young mom’s it is so much easier when they are tiny ones at least you know who their friends are and where they sleep at night.
High school is whole other topic. They are growing into themselves, they are making choices on their own.
They must do that in order to develop and mature. Do not take that away from them.
You cannot make all decisions or do all things for them. They must grow and in that growing they will fail and make wrong choices.
Your job is not judging your job is encouraging and walking alongside them like a cheerleader.
They need a mom who believes in them with a knowing ‘deep in their heart’, “My mom will be here no matter what.”
The role of a mom is a difficult one. We are asked to give our selves on many levels for many years.
It is a great honor to watch your child develop and grow into a man or woman of character and maturity.
At the end of that road you can pat yourself on the back, put lotion on those praying knees, and thank God that it all worked out. Believe me mom’s your heart will stretch and stretch more when you become a mom.
I say, chill out, and enjoy these moments, from a mom who has grown children. This too will pass much more quickly then you can ever imagine, then it all starts over when you become a grandma.”

In the middle of a stress filled week

In the middle of a stress filled week; I am listening.
Seeking the direction of my writing and searching the ways that I will continue to share.
There is power in the seeking.
There is also power in the waiting and resting.
I cannot always allow myself to feel overwhelmed or fatigued by ‘personal goals’.
This place of writing is a sacred place for me.
It is not only my outlet for others to share life with me but also a place of healing.
I have shared matters of my heart to those who read and choose to understand me.
I have also shared struggles and joys.
It is good to be open and vulnerable and also know that even in the word it says, “be still and know.”
Life has taken a little skip these last few weeks; as I have had dental appointments and vision appointments.
Growing old is not for the faint of heart.
I have had to push myself deep in order to do the testing or the correcting that was needed.
Both appointments pushed my comfort zone far into the ‘non’ wanting to be there zone.
I am strong and resilient and did survive.
It was not easy but who said life is? We are here to grow and I feel I did through these experiences.
I do not like doctor appointments or dental appointments. I really don’t like to be messed with.
Sometimes we must do what we don’t like in order to find out what is wrong.
I learned to breathe.
I learned to push myself into a place within me that is a ‘survive and it will be over soon’.
Have you ever had those moments where you just don’t want to be there?
WE all have those at some point in time.
The moral of the story is this, we will get through it and we will then have something to share.
It might be good or it could be not so good; but either way we will take our experience and learn something from it, I think it’s the only way to survive those uncomfortable ‘moments’ in this path of life.