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When Elizabeth was six months along with John

When Elizabeth was six months along with John, an angel met with Mary who was engaged to be married to Joseph.
Gabriel appeared to her in Luke 1:28 and he said,
“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Now we must stop for a second and remember she was only 16, not quite a woman; but God knew.
It said she was, confused and disturbed as she thought about what the angel had said to her.
Wouldn’t that be the normal response when hearing a greeting like that?
The other thing to remember; women who were pregnant and not married were often stoned to death.
It was a serious issue not only for her, for Joseph and their families involved.
She must have had many questions and concerns.
Then the angel said,
“Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So, the baby to be born will be holy, and will be called the Son of God.
What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age!
People used to say she was barren, but now she is in her sixth month.
For nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary’s response to the angel was,
“I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true,”
Then the angel left her.
{I truly think the angel brought the news about Elizabeth to Mary, so she would believe more intensely and with more reality.
She knew Elizabeth was old and barren. She also knew she must go see her and see for herself what the angel had said.}
When Elizabeth was six months along with John, Mary went to visit her.

It was all taking place to complete the story

It was all taking place to complete the story.
When I think of the Christmas story; I am in awe and in amazement of the number of players that were used to create the scenes.
It is orchestrated like a screen play with everyone doing every little part, to make the whole, story complete.
God was so wise to use a simple teenager, and a humble man.
Of course, HE was wise, He is God the Almighty Father.
It was perhaps a love story; that would be tested from the moment the angel met with Mary.
She was a teen, so young and being told. “You are to be the chosen one.”
She had a tender heart full of acceptance and honor.
Can you even imagine how it started? Being startled by an angel in the room?
“Don’t be afraid.” (Of course, he would have to say that!) I would be terrified.
I have always been amazed over the fact that the angel spoke in a language Mary could understand.
We don’t think of angels having language or sound other than singing.
I wonder if sometimes WE get an angel among us telling us things that we hear, but not realizing Who was telling us?
Mary was the chosen one to be the mother of Jesus.
In Luke 1: The story is written and played out and it unravels with each and every character.
The beginning of it began with Zechariah and Elizabeth who were relatives of Mary.
It was the miracle before the miracle.
Their son, John would be born before Jesus.
Elizabeth was barren for many years and then Zechariah was told they would have a son.
He didn’t believe the angel and so the angel told him to be quiet until the birth took place.
I don’t blame him for doubting, that would be the reaction of many in the same situation.
But God… can do miracles.
A miracle before the miracle.
When I think of the Christmas story I am always in awe of the details and the obedience.
It was all taking place to complete the story.

There is an empty chair

There is an empty chair when someone in the family passes away.
Traditional seating becomes a reminder that this holiday will be different, and the chair will be empty.
We have known two people who were very significant in their family leave this month.
One had celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, and three days later his heart attack happened.
One had been fighting cancer for two years. Long struggle, sweet memories made while saying goodbye.
One had a tragic death of a grandchild.
Around the table it will be a reminder that someone who was loved, is now not here.
I know it is life changing, and very hard.
Grief is not easy at any point in time.
Around the holidays it is magnified.
Things that were traditional reminders, getting the tree at Christmas.
Decorating the tree, hanging socks with one less, on the rack.
It is not easy, and it is always a very intense reminder, it’s different now.
Thanksgiving is a time of being together.
The chair that is empty is a reminder that life won’t ever be the same.
I don’t know how those who grieve move through the moments.
It is very hard to walk through the stores with festive music and celebrations when one has a broken heart.
I am very aware that this is a sad and difficult time.
Then we also know that the last few years many have lost loved ones.
The quarantine didn’t stop the loss. It magnified it.
Life It is empty but filled with memories that are sweet and good for the heart.
I don’t know how those who grieve move through the motions.
It would be tempting to curl up under blankets and tell others, “Not today”.
There is an empty chair when someone in the family passes away.
Nothing can change the tears that fall as the heart remembers.

It was 49 years ago

It was 49 years ago. A fall wedding featuring the colors of fall.

We were young. I was 18 and he was 19. At the time I had no place to go after I turned 18, so we got married.
It worked for us. It wasn’t easy growing up together, but God was with us, and we did it.

Our wedding was beautiful although I remember very little of it.
Too much to process and take in and we were young.
We had two children a son and a daughter, and our son had three sons and our daughter had three daughters. We are incredibly blessed to be called grandma and grandpa.
Years later we met our pastor who married us. It was very special to see this giant of a man and share in our journey with him.
We are older now.
The golden years is what they call them.
So much has taken place for us. So much memory making, with our kids and their kids and just life in general.
We have lost siblings, parents and friends. Life has a way of doing that, loss is always a part of it.
After 30 years, we moved from our two-story house where he has had double knee replacements and shoulder surgeries and recovery was a part of our journey then. The Lord blessed us with a small cozy home now and really that is all you need.
(These pictures are just a few of us in the years. They are not recent.)
We are at a time in our lives where the golden years are good. We will continue to make them good.
My recent journey was going through breast cancer recovery. We did survive it and we did ok.
It was not easy going through surgery and radiation, but I was able to ring the bell and God willing it won’t happen again.
It was 49 years ago, and our wedding was the beautiful colors of fall.
This picture is from the Hood River area of the Columbia River area near the gorge, The pacific Northwest in Oregon we took it on a fall drive.

Summer is over and fall is here

Summer is over and fall is here.
The air is cooler and the days that were full of heat and sun are now full of cool and rain.
I love this time of year.
I have waited for cooler days, and drizzle of rain sprinkling around the areas.
I am a sweater person; I love to bundle up and hunker down in the middle of rainy days.
Having a hot cup of tea in a large mug given to me by a friend. Is comforting.
I took down some of the normal decorations of the home and added in fake leaves and pumpkins.
It is fall. It is almost our anniversary. Forty-nine years this November.
That is a long time.
We just had a close friend of ours pass away, they were married 50 years and he was gone a few days later.
Makes one realize that life is short and unpredictable, and nothing is ‘for sure.’
It was shocking to hear he passed away, but we know he loved God and is in the ‘peaceful’ place now.
Heaven is our goal if we are believers.
He was an incredible man, and HE KNEW and walked with God.
I feel bad for the family left here to grieve. It is always so hard.
The holidays are soon to be here, and traditions will be different.
I pray for my special friend; I have a heart for widows.
It is a journey that is lonely, and sometimes empty and always alone.
I think for now we can be thankful that we KNEW him, and we KNEW his life to be a good one.
I am thankful we knew them as friends in the Lord and we remember the times we shared together.
I pray for all of those who are heading into this season with new heart pains and new losses.
It is very hard for many.
Summer is over and fall is here. We move through this time slowly and intentionally.

So many changes

So many changes are taking place.
Our three grandchildren are moved into college now and adjusting in little ways.
It’s nice because they all three are at the same campus and they can keep each other company.
It’s hard when you move away from home.
Your comfort zone is now a new one, your safe place must be established in the middle of college days and new people.
New rules or none are the norm now. Although when one is 18 the rules that work for an adult is what they have to pay attention to.
They are learning to manage daytime structure and how to navigate the expansive campus.
One has already changed her direction of study. The other two are doing the tasks to make it work.
I miss them a lot, but I know this is necessary for them to grow and become independent.
The weather is still nice and so far, they have had no difficult roads to navigate.
How are the parents doing? They are missing them.
It is a road of life for them. When I was their age, I got married.
None of them are ready for that. I am not saying we were either, but it was what everyone did in the 70’s.
We pray for them always. We try to encourage and keep an open wallet, if they need something.
They have no jobs at this point.
It is a major life change and how it all works out will be a wait and see for us adults waiting at home.
Soon fall will bring rain and the mountains will be harder to travel.
Thanksgiving and Christmas will be vacation times if they can come home.
I actually think this time of learning for them is good.
Becoming an adult is not easy and if you can do it together it is much easier for everyone.
They are becoming close cousins.
So many changes are happening in our lives, and we pray and turn our hearts to our loved ones.

I am waiting for autumn to arrive

I am waiting for autumn to arrive.
Fall foliage and crispy air, with sweaters and warm pants. My soul is peaceful in this setting.
Soon we will watch the trees change.
I read a message about how the trees teach us how to let go and right now we are feeling it.
Next week three of our grandchildren move from home and head to college.
Life changes for all of us. They are 18 and considered ‘adult’ but wow it is a big world out there.
I pray always for safety. I pray always for wisdom in their decision making. I pray for health.
It will be a change for sure to have them gone.
When I was 18, I graduated in June and got married in November.
I am not recommending that these days, but it worked for us.
One granddaughter thinks she wants to pursue a forestry program, one wants to be a writer, (they are twins).
Our grandson wants to pursue criminal justice and maybe law. It’s really hard to know what you want to do at this age.
Autumn is a time for change and a time for renewal and a time for school for many children to return to.
The leaves are always so beautiful and often times we get in our car and go for a drive to find the colors.
It is amazing. Not as defined as some states but we do have some beautiful valleys.
I am also waiting for the rain.
The parched land and rivers need it desperately we have had forest fires and without water it’s difficult.
The firefighters are doing their best to put out the fires by helicopters and by land.
It’s definitely a serious time and a time for rain to come and stay for a while.
I am waiting for autumn to arrive.

A vacation to remember

A vacation to remember happened a few weeks ago in the Central Oregon location.
We were camping in the Lapine State Park, and it was very hot the first day we arrived.
We found lunch in a town called Sisters which on a normal day is fun to explore.
It was so hot, and we were standing outside waiting for a lunch and I thought I was not going to make it.
I am not by nature a HOT weather fan and it was scorching.
I tried not to complain. I just wanted it cooler.
We did the best we could to make it through the first day after we set up our campsite.
The second day was a cooler day, and we were surprised by a storm or lightning, thunder, then rain and then hail.
It was glorious and I wanted to go outside. Of course, I did not.
We were concerned about the overhead windows in the trailer.
The rain was very hard and pounding sounding like rocks.
One trailer in the area had a tree fall down on it, the people were inside but not harmed.
The trailer was very big and very expensive and very much damaged.
We managed that day and night, and the next day was just a day for hanging out in the camp.
Then the following day we went to see Crater Lake.
I am a true Oregonian and I had NOT ever seen it in person, in real life.
I was NOT disappointed.
The weather was about 76-78 degrees, with a soft wind. It was beautiful.
So majestic one cannot even imagine the beauty.
I have not downloaded my photos yet off my phone but believe me, it was beautiful.
After that day we packed up and headed home.
The cats were ready for mom and dad to return, and I am always a home body.
Even though we had our trailer which is a home away from home.
Not the same as actually being HOME.
I will try to get a few pictures for this writing as I can figure it out.
A vacation to remember is always one for the memory books.

My recent experience with the medical system

My recent experience with the medical system, was a lesson and a new awareness.
First of all, with all the virus stuff around there are a lot of questions that are being asked before they see you.
Do you feel nauseated, do you have a fever, do you test positive for covid? do you have chills, so many questions.
I said to the provider, NO I think I have bronchitis and I need an antibiotic.
The first discussion was in my chart, the provider said, if it is bronchial that is bacterial and won’t respond to antibiotics.
Now I have to say, there are very few of them that I can take without getting secondary issues like hives all over my body.
So, there is one called Azithromycin or Z-pac, I have had it many times and it helps.
I finally decided to go to immediate care and see what they would tell me.
The provider listened to me. Really listened.
I said, “I am using my inhaler, I am using homeopathic cold and calm tabs. I just feel I need something a bit stronger.”
This provider actually LISTENED, and I felt validated and heard. That’s a big win.
I was told I might not need to fill a prescription, but I could have one anyway.
YES, the only way this will go away is to treat it.
I have had it many times and I know how I respond.
My lungs were clear, ears are fine, the doctor just diagnosed me having bronchitis, which I already knew.
So, I left the clinic feeling heard, and carrying my paper RX to drop off at the pharmacy.
I am not a drug seeker, when I worked at the pharmacy there were many calls for ‘drug’ choices.
I am not doing that; I just want to feel better and needed to get what I needed.
I am old enough to remember the old-time doctor who actually knew you and your family.
Those days are gone now.
It is not the same. Masks, face shields, and distance is what it is all about now.
How sad, what a world we have become, less personal and more ‘fearful of being sued’.
My recent experience with the medical system, was a lesson and a new awareness of many things.

The beach is our happy place

The beach is our happy place. Although my husband loves to go to central Oregon too.
Every Thursday he goes down to a camp at the coast to help do maintenance it is a kind of relaxing workday for him.
We used to live closer, then we moved thirty minutes more from the drive, so it adds a little bit longer.
I often go with him. It is peaceful and relaxing but today it was not a good choice.
When they have kid’s camps there, I am very limited as to where I can walk or hang out.
For safety reasons and for camp rules.
When we take our trailer, it is easy for me to set up a chair and read or do whatever outside the trailer.

Up on the hill stands three crosses, because it’s a Christian camp.

There is a bench, and I told my husband when the time comes for me to leave here,
I want to be scattered near the bench so anyone can sit and remember me while watching the ocean.

I remember one day walking on the beach with our little granddaughter who was almost 3 maybe 4, we were talking, and she was picking up shells.
Then all of a sudden, she looked up and said, “OH MY GOSH, three people died.”
It was quite the funny moment for sure.
I was remembering when an accident happens sometimes there is a cross left on the side of the road, and I guess she thought three people died up there.
You just have to laugh at these little kids, they can be really funny. And it became a time for teaching the truth of the cross to her.
I will always love the beach. It is relaxing, and centering for my spirit.
The beach is our happy place.
Where do you like to go for a favorite ‘relaxing’ spot?