header

header

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking Back



Christmas is over, things are kind of quiet this week. This is the time of year I get a little reflective, with one year ending another about to begin.

This has been a year of change for our family and we have much to be thankful for

My youngest son has moved closer, so we are able to visit more often. A nice little benefit, he is a short commute away from my extended family, he has been able to see my parents twice since he has moved.

My SIL now lives near us, God met us in so many miraculous ways during the crisis that prompted that move. We are all still adjusting to the change but God continues in his faithfulness.

Due to various circumstances, extended family has begun to communicate more, I now talk to siblings on a regular basis

We have a new grandchild, another little girl. I am a mom of sons,  so it has been a real treat to have little girls around the house.

Good report from physicians, health issues which seemed to have taken center stage most of the year have quieted down. 

That was our year, despite the challenges, there was much to be thankful for.

Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance  Psalm 16:5-6















Friday, December 23, 2011

Pulling Out Stored Treasures


I have had this little chorus that has been playing over and over in my head the last couple of weeks. Another one of those songs we sang in church years ago based on scripture.

                       My soul escaped like a bird out of the snare of the fowler
                       My soul escaped like a bird out of the snare of the fowler

                       The snare is broken and we are escaped our help is in the name of the Lord
                       The snare is broken and we are escaped our help is in the name of the Lord

A simple little song, we sang a lot of scripture in that church. There is some value in singing scripture,  case in point....I remember it, it's like treasure buried deep in my heart.This is a scripture I needed to be reminded of, another one of God's truths

We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth   Psalm 124:7-8

Friday, December 16, 2011

Memories Made


Part of the purpose of this blog is to help me remember days past....our everyday life, so today's post is simply about marking a milestone of sorts in our family. 

We have been helping to care for our grandchildren two evenings a week for the last eighteen months. They would come to the house in the late afternoon and stay through the evening. We helped with homework, dinner and baths. These regularly scheduled evenings are now done, (their mom is excited) and although we will miss this routine, it's a good thing .... and don't feel bad for us, we will still see them pretty frequently.

The things I want to remember;

All hands on deck for dinner preparation. Stools pulled up to the counters so little hands could reach.

Table setting, it was a big deal, the kidlets took turns choosing the placements they wanted and the plates they wanted to use (I have a lot of thrift store mismatched)

Miss B and Big Guy's discussion on who's turn it was to sit next to Pop Pop at dinner, every time!

The white step stool Little Miss claimed as her own the first time she saw it, that was her dinner chair

Miss B and her books, each week there would be a new one

Helping them memorize their scripture verse for the week

The hats and tiaras Little Miss would insist that I would wear for the duration of the visit...she of course would wear one as well

Big Guy and Pop Pop playing Angry Birds

Little Miss sitting on Pop Pop's shoulder as he took her out to the car, he would gallop, she would giggle...giddy up horsey

Little ones grow up quickly and you have a tendency to forget the things that made you smile, this will help me to remember. Counting my blessings one by one.






Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thorns

We continue on our journey through the gospel of Mark in church today with our passages focusing on Chapter 4:1-20, the parable of the sower and seed.

How many times have I heard this parable, I know it pretty well.... usually think of it in terms of someone hearing the gospel and whether the Word takes root into a person's heart. Today with the help of our pastor I thought about it in terms of my day to day, especially with the busyness of the season

You have the seed that falls on hard ground that never take root, then those that fall on rocky ground, seeds are shallow, never develop a deep root system. Then you have the seeds that fall on good soil but it has thorns... those pesky thorns...my bible describes thorns as tough thistle-bearing weeds that use up avaliable space, light, and water that a good plants needs.

Thorns can be a real challenge for me this time of year, there is so much that competes for my attention. My to do list is long and my quiet time is short. I know the thorns are starting to take over when I begin to feel a little overwhelmed. Can you relate?

We have made changes in an effort to avoid the thorns from taking over. We have trimmed the list, simplified, resisted the need to do just because it's expected (that's a real hard one) and have decided on things that can just be let go.

Our tree is up, grandchildren decorated it (the one in the picture is from a lovely hotel we visited last winter) so it looks a little like Christmas at our house. Praying for contentment with a dose of daily weeding

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me  Psalm 119:133

Friday, December 9, 2011

Think About This


Listened to a teaching today from Charles Stanley, November 18th podcast "Trusting God" I heard some reminders that I knew but always need to hear again and again.

Three things to remember about God
  • God is perfect in His Love
  • God is infinite in His wisdom
  • God is sovereign in His control

Now if I really believed these truths, why would I waste time fretting about anything?  Now in case you think I have "arrived" in this area, nothing could be further from the truth. There always seems to be something that grabs my attention with the temptation to "fret" about it. Trusting  Him, intentionally surrendering my life, I find it's a daily thing for me (some times I have to do it several times a day) Can any of you idenify?

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his mercies never fail. They are new every morning, great is his faithfulness Lamentation 3:22-24

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose Philippians 2:13

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus  Philppians 1:6

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mail Call


Going to make this short and sweet, we received an early gift this morning, the mail contained a letter from my gastroenterologist, and after a couple of months of testing, we have been informed that my most recent MRI has shown no evidences of malignancy (with one exception this has been his preferred method of informing us of test results) He is done for now. I still have a couple more appointments this week, but anticipate all will be routine, then Lord willing, a break from appointments for awhile, it almost does not seem real, but it is! Thank you Lord!

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust  Psalm 91:1-2

Thank you to all the prayer warriors and encourager's, you are appreciated!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Smile

I love to take photos and the best people to practice on is my family. They are pretty easy to please and give lots of grace. The last couple of years we have taken pictures of our grandchildren to give to their parents at Christmas...they know we do this so no secrets spoiled.

There are now four grandchildren, so getting the picture was a bit more challenging, but in the end lots of fun. 

                                              The baby started pulling at hair right away


So first few pictures are of Little Miss crying


Then the baby started to spit up all over Miss B's hand, everyone thought that was hysterical


Then the baby started crying

And I think we are done here

We did get a picture that was usable, of course I'm not going to show it here, it's not Christmas yet

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tunnel Vision


I was having a discussion with a sweet friend the other day, catching up on everything that was going on in our lives. We see each other regularly but don't often get into the "weeds" I was talking to her about my weariness of ongoing medical issues, we keep waiting for this storm to end, but the rain bands keep coming ashore. From my perspective this was all about me, this storm was someting God was using in my life to change me, show me things, teach me. Obviously I wasn't getting it, right?

She wanted me to see the bigger picture. Her thoughts....others are watching, they are watching my response to the storm, they are watching to see where I put my trust, where I get my strength, how do I let this effect my day to day. They are watching. I also have some opportunities I would not have had, people who would not necessarily cross my path had I not had cancer. Opportunities to let the light of God shine. Perhaps, just perhaps this isn't about me anymore but the people that God has put in my path. Just a thought 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven  Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratitude Not Just A Thanksgiving Thing


Gratitude is something the Lord has been cultivating in my heart over the last year. He has shown me that there are always things I can be thankful for regardless of the circumstances I find myself in.

I began to keep a gratitude journal a couple of months ago, it is a disciple that helps me stop and take account of how the Lord has blessed me. There is something about keeping a list that helps you realize how blessed you are and how much you have to be grateful for, I find it helps to cultivate a heart of gratitude.

I am not always faithful about keeping up with my little gratitude journal, so easy to get busy and forget. When I don't pursue gratitude, discontentment, complaining, murmuring, apathy and envy creep in. I am aware and that's a good thing, God always faithful to show me my heart.

Took a look at my gratitude journal today, probably should do that more often, reminded me of the many things in my life that I had to be thankful for. Reminded me that I am indeed blessed.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever  Psalm 107:1

Friday, November 18, 2011

Don't Miss It


My family and friends all know Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I enjoy everything about Thanksgiving, the planning, the preparations, the smells, the house that is full of noise and activity and of course the food.

Thanksgiving kind of snuck up on me this year, I think I just realized about a week ago that I needed to get with the program. It's not like I haven't been reading all the wonderful thankful posts for the last two weeks, but somehow I thought I had more time.

This is my favorite holiday of the year, but I have been so preoccupied with other things that I almost missed the simple pleasures of preparing for the holiday that I enjoy so much. The Lord showed me that I have been spending so much time in the worries of tomorrow that I was forgetting to live today. I still have a week, I didn't miss out, still lots of simple pleasures to enjoy in preparation for next week.

One other note, I love all your comments, they are so encouraging and appreciated. Many times a comment will be just what I need to hear. The Lord used a particular comment the other day to show me my heart, (and todays blog post resulted) thankful to that friend who was willing to share what was on her heart, God used it to change mine. I am thankful for all of you, those I know and those I don't (but I feel like I do) what a blessing you all are.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus  Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, November 14, 2011

Because I Forget


I need to be reminded of God's truth because I forget. I need to be reminded of God's truth because I listen to myself too much. I need to be reminded of God's truth because I am bombarded by so many other unbiblical messages all day long.  I need to reminded of God's truth because it is the only thing that gives me peace.

I need to be reminded that He is sovereign, he is in control, nothing takes Him by surprise and it is He who directs my path, He has a plan and a purpose. His ways are not my ways (thank goodness for that!)

I have been battling anxiety, mostly at night when all is quiet. Waiting is a difficult thing for me, the longer I have to wait the harder it seems to get. That's where the trust part comes in, that's why I need to be reminded of God's truth

I know O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps  Jeremiah 10:23

Saturday, November 12, 2011

His Handiwork is Everywhere


               This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it  Psalm 118:24

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day


Today is Veterans Day, a day that has special meaning to us because we live in a community where you either are a vet or you know one. We are familiar with the sacrifices they make to help keep us free.  Today is not about shopping or great Veterans Day sales, its about honoring the men and women who have served this country. To them I say thank you.

This would include my sweet husband, my DIL mother and my husbands "brother" (you know who you are) who all spent over twenty years in the United Sates Navy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Photo Books

                                                          


I enjoy taking photographs, my favorite subjects being family and friends. I am seldom without my camera and with digital you can take hundreds of photos and only print what you like. When giving gifts I try to incorporate my photography in some way. I have always done scrapbooking and more recently have started to do online photo books to give as gifts. You can find lots of places that offer this service, Walmart, Walgreen's etc

The books are pretty easy to do. You download the pictures you want to use, pick the templates, colors and style of the book and you are set. Price ranges vary depending on the number of pages, size and whether you want a hard bound or soft book. The soft bound books usually run around 10 dollars, they make great gifts. Some of the ways I have used these books
  1. I did one for my nephews wedding, which I gave to my sister, I included lots of shots of family and friends in attendance.
  2. I made one for my FIL and SIL, both in the early stages of dementia. I included pictures of all the family members, and added names and birthdays to these books to help with memory.
  3. I made one for a co-woker that was leaving. We got photos of everyone that she worked with (individual and group shots) then once the book was put together the people we took photos of  hand wrote messages by their picture. I have also seen this done for small group leaders who were stepping down, or for a family moving out of the area.
  4. I made one for my parents 50th anniversary (though not digital) Friends and family were asked to provide photos and a memory. You can scan those photos and upload. Each family member or participant had a page dedicated to them. My dad carried this book with him for weeks after it was presented to them
  5. I did one for a vacation that my husband and I took. (if you traveled with family or friends you can make one for them and give as a gift)
  6. You can make one of children, or grandchildren with the year in review and present it to whoever you think might enjoy it the most
This does take a little time but it's easy and if your are thinking Christmas gifts now's the time to get starting putting these together

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Keep On Dancing

When the sun is shining all the time and you never get rain, the land dries up, and it eventually turns into a desert. I remember our summer this year, lots of sunshine, very little rain, consequently my garden did not produce much, the earth was hard and dry. When you have a lot of rain, you have growth. We lived in Scotland for a couple of years, it rained all the time but it was green and lush all year round.

This can be compared to our lives, when the sun is shining all the time (life is good) we don't always grow...OK I am speaking of myself here, but when it's raining (when life is hard) I tend  to press in more, seek God more, Allstair Begg used this analogy on his podcast the other day and it really stuck with me. Reminder that its the times when things aren't going as planned that result in the most growth.

So it's raining just a little here, I have not been given the "all clear" yet, tests and appointments are continuing, we are in a sense, in God's "waiting room" but it's not time wasted, that I can assure you

Life continues, responsibilities don't change. I  have times when fear tries to creep in, but mostly God is giving me peace and much grace. He continues to use this time to show me things about myself, there will be more about that later, for now just know all is well with my soul

        "life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain'"
                                                      author unknown

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; greeat is your faithfulness     Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pesto


Temperatures are dropping at night, it won't be long before we get a frost, time to take the tender plants in and harvest the basil. I will dry some basil but most of it will be made into pesto.
Lots of pesto recipes out there, this is the recipe I use

Pesto
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients together in a food processor and process until it is smooth.
I then spoon out it out into portions using an ice cube tray and freeze, after it freezes pop out and store in a freezer bag. (not an original idea, got this tip from a Southern Living magazine years ago)

No ice cube trays because you were decluttering and got rid of them, (that would be me) you can use a Styrofoam egg container to freeze portions. (I wasn't going to buy an ice cube tray after I just donated mine) 
One of the nice things about making pesto is the lovely smell that fills the kitchen, an even better thing  about making pesto is eating it on pizza later this winter

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Call



Ever had one of those situations where things go steadily down hill and before you know it, there's a meltdown, it's not a pretty sight. Had one of those last night, details unnecessary, difficult week, a little battle weary, long story short, broken people living in a fallen world, results often messy.

Here is the amazing part of the story, in the midst of all of this drama we get a call from a woman who was instrumental in leading me to the Lord when I was a young bride. I have not seen her for 32 years, I talk to her maybe once a year, her explanation for the call, she was praying and the Lord put us on her heart, so she called. That call changed our evening.

It was also a reminder to me to respond when the Lord leads. When the Lord puts someone on your heart, pray for them, then respond as He would lead, call, send that email or text,  write that note or make that visit.  You never know what that person may be going through, but the Lord does, you could be used  to change that persons day, glorify Him, and get blessed in the process.

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus
Philippians 3:13b-14

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Sorting We Will Go


We have been trying to declutter around our house, it's not that my home looks like it could be on an episode of hoarders or anything but there are things that we have stored that could be used by others, we are to be good stewards

That being said, cooler temperatures have arrived and its time to pull out all the sweaters and winter wear, perfect time to sort and purge. This year I am also doing it for my SIL, she doesn't live with us but because of limited storage space we keep her off season clothing at our house. I started this sorting process for her this summer and thought I had done a pretty good job but when it was time to bring out the winter stuff I realized there was still work to be done.

Sweet Lady lives in an Assisted Living, this is what we have learned about her clothing needs
  • Keep it simple. She likes separates, we made sure all the tops went with all the bottoms, so no matter what she chose it worked well together
  • Keep it minimal, too many choices is confusing
  • Make sure everything is machine washable, no dry cleaning, no ironing, no special care
  • Shoes need to provide support, no heels, no mules, no slip on shoes
Those were the guidelines I used, then of course the climate is totally different than where she lived, no parkas needed here. I also eliminated it if it wasn't the correct size, had any wear and tear or didn't fit her lifestyle needs. So Sweet Lady is now ready for winter, I have her summer clothing neatly stored until next year and I have one bag to donate. Now on to my wardrobe, you know a lot of those guidelines could be applied to my own closet.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

She Smiles



My youngest grandchild is now almost four months old.  She is very aware of all the activity going on around her and is just a wee bit mobile, she can turn over and wiggle and squirm. Her older siblings love to talk to her and show her toys. Sometimes grandma worries because they get a little close with toys that are not exactly baby friendly, mostly though, this little gal finds her siblings quite entertaining




                                                          And best of all she smiles


Thursday, October 20, 2011

With Eternity In Mind


A comment from a friend made me stop and take notice the other day. We were talking about praying for unsaved loved ones. She said simply, I just pray Lord, do whatever you have to do. That's trust talking, that's letting go and giving the person to God.

 I  pray for the salvation of loved ones..."but do whatever you have to do"... think of the implications of that statement, I had conditions, I hadn't really given those loved ones over to the Lord to "do whatever he had to do" to bring them into fellowship with him?

The discussion continued, I was reminded that God's plan often does not look like ours and what would seem like a horrible scenario could be just the plan God would use to bring someone to the end of themselves, and yes it can be painful. Could I get to the point where I could trust God with the life of one I loved? OK not just say it but really mean it?

I know God is good, I know he is sovereign and in control, now I just need to live as if I believed it.

Who has understood the mind of the Lord or instructed him as counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who has taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?  Isaiah 40:13-14

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of heaven and earth, He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom  Isaiah 40:28


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Promise


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Kidlet Time

Weekend flew by, three oldest grandkids spent the night with us Saturday, we love spending time with the kidlets and will make any excuse to have them over. They came over this weekend so mom and dad could have a date night. Baby too little to spend the night but she got to have some Nana time with her other grandma.


They came over Saturday afternoon and we spent some time gardening. We took the planters apart, they were looking very end of summer and replanted with pansies and mums. Kids love digging in the dirt.

After our gardening duties were done and the little one woke up from her nap we headed to the beach playground. Our thoughts were, kids could play and we could sit and watch from a nearby bench. Nice thought but that wasn't the way it happened. Playground was big, couldn't sit and keep everyone in sight, especially the two year old, so we decided to divide and conquer. Husband kept track of two I kept track of the other, then we would switch. When I told my husband later that evening that they were gonna sleep well tonight he looked at me and said, you mean we are going to sleep well tonight.

When I am tempted to get frustrated with life's events, which seems to be daily, I know I need to remember the many ways I am blessed instead.

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord, for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he breaks down the gates of bronze and cuts through the bars of iron   Psalm 107:14-16

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Walk in The Park


This past year has been a whirlwind for our family, so many changes, new responsibilities, some challenges, in the end its all been good but sometimes I feel like I am on a treadmill and just need to get off...so we did...



...for the weekend anyway, we took care of the things that had to be done and then we just disconnected for a little bit (and in the process reconnected) The weather was beautiful, so an outdoor destination was the plan and although I don't really consider what we did "hiking"  we did do some walking and it was wonderful.



We headed out to York River State Park for a picnic and later that day we went to Williamsburg. Its a pretty area, lots of history and because we are local we don't do anything except walk the streets and wander through the shops. One year we took our bikes and rode through the colonial section. I think fall is one of the best times of the year to go


So we had our break and did come back refreshed...yup just what we needed. What surprised me was that even though we were much more active than we have been, we felt more rested than if we had napped all weekend. Guess we need to get moving a little more, little less napping after church on Sundays. There is a time for everything, there is that time when you have to do the things you have to do, but I think we have realized you also have to take the time to rest and refresh. This is going to look different for each person but for us it was grabbing that picnic lunch and heading to the park.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It Will Be There When We Get Back


There will always be projects to do but time together without distractions can be precious and few. Our picnic basket is packed, camera battery fully charged....we are going to take a little break.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

To Paint or Retreat


My husband and I have a long weekend coming up. The weather looks to be perfect, sunny with mild temperatures. We have a decision to make, what do we do with the time.

I have a kitchen that has been in the process of being redone. Wallpaper was pulled off the walls two weeks ago. Paint has been purchased and my husband has even begun taping around the windows and yet we are at a standstill. My kitchen is still quite usable so there is no pressing reason to get it finished....and that's the problem.

Back to my original dilemma, three day weekend coming up, we could get so much done around the house, yet feeling the need to retreat, the need to get away, to spend some time together away from the demands of everyday life.  Feeling very weary and sense it in my husband as well. What ever we decide to do, just having some time together will be nice. We shall see what happens...this is pretty typical of us.... indecisive to the last minute. Should be a no brainer right?

On another front I continue to weave through the medical maze, with appointments that are starting to stack up like cord wood. I won't be through them all until the beginning of December. The good news is my most recent MRI was negative for cancer...thank you Lord! I still don't like having to do them but I have accepted the fact that it's going to be a part of the routine. Being reminded daily that the control I think I have over my life is an illusion...continuing to learn to trust the Lord.

I have asked for friends to pray that I would have peace and that is exactly what I have experienced, that unexplainable peace, that peace that passes understanding, so thankful for that.

Decision will be made tomorrow on what our weekend plans will be...I think we did this very same thing last year...last year we ended up staying close to home to get things done...ended up being a good decision but it was a very different time.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus  Phillippians 4: 6-7





Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grandchildren


WARNING...Shameless grandparent post

 My son and his wife wanted to paint this weekend, it was a big job so we offered our help. We were told the best way we could help was to take some of the children. My oldest granddaughter wanted to stay and help paint and the baby is too little to be away from mama too long so it was decided the two middle children would come over to our house. To make things even easier for everyone, we would make it a sleepover and exchange at church the next morning.

No real plans, we just hung out at the house. Kids played with their toys, then we watched a movie, they helped Pop Pop with some chores and to make the evening a little special we did smores My husband said his favorite part of the weekend was when he took "Big Guy" to the grocery store. I had sent them out to buy the ingredients needed for smores, husband said grandson helped him buy just the right brand of what was needed and talked nonstop the entire trip.

A great way to spend a fall weekend. We know we are blessed and do not take it for granted for a second.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Missing Umbrella


This past weekend was rainy, days that required umbrellas if one was to venture out. Umbrellas tend to disappear at our house, I don't know where they go.

It hadn't been long since we had seen them, the weather had started to get rainy a couple of weeks ago and my husband had dug two out of the closet. What had happened to them? No children to blame, it's just the two of us.

We searched high and low, checked the closets and the cars. Each was sure the other had misplaced the needed umbrellas. I was convinced that my husband had put the umbrellas somewhere...after all I hadn't used an umbrella in months. I was very insistent that I was not the guilty party

Husband eventually found one of the umbrellas on a hanger with a coat over it...he remembered doing that..other one was still missing in action.

Well can you guess what happened when I went to work on Monday, there sitting right next to my desk was the missing umbrella...my husband was right, it was me!  When did I take it to work?

I could have just taken it home and he would never have known the difference but I knew I needed to tell him that I had found that umbrella and that it was indeed me who had misplaced it...lots of grace was given, his response when I told him...that's OK, we both forget things.

God graciously continues to show me things about myself that still need changing, this time using a lost umbrella

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Been a Year


Tomorrow will be an anniversary of sorts, it was one year ago that I began this blog. I was in the midst of my cancer diagnosis and my DIL suggested I start a journal to record my thoughts, she meant paper and pencil...blogging never crossed her mind, but that was the first thing I considered

Now if you knew me, you would know I am NOT the blogging type. I am not a writer, not really computer savvy, and not one who would be willing to have emotions out for display. In fact I was a closet blogger for several months, only giving out the link to a few trusted friends and family. I would visit other blogs but would never comment because I did not want to be found.

From the beginning of my diagnosis I believed God wanted to do something in my heart. I was influenced by the article written by John Piper  "Don't Waste Your Cancer" Wouldn't it be a terrible waste if I came out of this unchanged. Might I add, whatever trial God is using in your life, don't waste it, see it as an opportunity for God to grow you spiritually. Let him mold you and shape you according to his purposes. (note to self, remember what you just said)

Cancer put me face to face with my own mortality, again would I let him use this as an opportunity to change me. After some prayer I believed the Lord was leading me to be more transparent, more honest about what was going on in my heart. My blog was a great vehicle for that, but I knew it had to go further, it also had to include the people God had put in my day to day life....people that could ask me the hard questions.

I considered stopping the blog last spring, I didn't want a breast cancer blog anymore, but I was encouraged by several people to continue. Just so there is no misunderstanding, I  have blogs I follow of those that have battled cancer, I just knew if I was to continue this blog my direction needed to be different. So I tweaked the title a little, changed the focus and carried on. I also started commenting on different blogs and to my amazement got comments back. There was a whole community out there.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has encouraged and supported me in this endeavour. I remember when I pushed publish for the first time...my thoughts...what are you doing??!!

 A special thank you to my fellow bloggers, your support, encouragement and prayers have been overwhelming. There have been times when I may have had a particularly hard day and a comment would just bring me to tears. People I don't even know caring enough to encourage. Such is the body of Christ.

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father, we are the clay you are the potter; we are the work of your hand  Isaiah 64:8

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Attitude Change Needed


Fall is definitely beginning to take root here. Temperatures are beginning to cool down, there has been rain with more forecasted. My garden is looking a little "end of summer" leaves are turning yellow, not as many flowers. We have started, once again, to take our outdoor stuff in for winter storage (trial run was for Hurricane Irene)  and there is a festival at the oceanfront this weekend that will "officially" mark the end of the summer season.

I seem to be tying my peace and joy to my circumstances as of late and thought what I needed most right now was a big dose of gratitude. Change of focus is in order, gratitude can change an attitude. This is some of what I have to be thankful for (and honestly there is so much more, if I count the day to day stuff I take for granted)
-For friends near and far and for those I only know through your blogs. I am thankful to all who are so willing to pray and encourage and point to the Word of God

 -For cooler weather, and rain. We had our backyard dug up last spring to put some drains in and were never able to grow any grass back because of the heat.

-For my grandchildren, we are blessed to have them two evenings a week. The baby is a little colicky, but a swing found at a yard sale has been a huge help

-For the hummingbirds that are still sticking around, love watching them go feeder to feeder and their mid air acrobatics as they chase each other off, it always makes me smile

-For a job that allows flexibility. I only work twenty hours a week and they have been very flexible with my schedule. They allow me to choose the days I work and the hours.

-For my sweet husband who started to get up a little earlier so we could have some devotion time together before he goes to work

-For the bits and pieces having to do with Sweet Lady's care continuing to come together, God has shown us much grace. There is no doubt in my mind that she is happy she is living closer to us.

-and last but certainly not least, I am thankful for my Heavenly Father, who despite my failings and fears continues to pour out new grace and mercies each day for the taking.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching   Hebrews 10:23-25

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Summer Odditity


What you are looking at are two identical planters. Each planter holds the same three plants, a Mexican heather, a geranium and a sweet potato plant. Same dirt, same location, identical pots, and each plant was the same size when I planted it...so what's up with this?

The sweet potato plant has completely taken over and crowded everything else out,  it seems like it grows an inch a day and will soon be completely blocking the steps


 You can see more clearly what was planted in both pots.


So what happened with this one. If you move move the leaves around you can find the Mexican heather and geranium but they are real small in size. Worse part is this plant seems to be a haven for mosquito's. Any ideas on how this happened? More garden oddities, my gardenia bush is blooming again, it's never bloomed in the fall. The vegetable garden we had high hopes for, never produced much of anything but some basil and a few tomatoes, disappointing.

So how have your gardens done this year? Plagued by weather problems like we were? Thinking of some fall crops, maybe some greens? Any other suggestions? We do have cold frames we can use.
Hope you all have a productive Saturday, it's finally cool here, inside project underway.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

His Plan


September is doctor month for me. I am still on an every three month schedule for my surgeon and oncologist. When the time rolls around for the appointments to happen we go through a little bit of anxiety in our house, is it because we don't trust God with our lives's? I do trust him, but with some things it's harder.  I know each one of you can relate to this on some level. We all have things in our life that are harder to trust God with than others.

So my two appointments are behind me, but I m not done yet. I have to have a repeat MRI, nothing new has been found, this was something they had recommended last June, I just didn't know about it, and it sounds like something I will be having done on a regular basis. Ironic because this was exactly what I was trying to avoid when I made treatment decisions last fall.

So meaning no disrespect, but the Lord and I have been having this conversation the last couple of days. I was down right honest about my fustration, dissappointment. What he has been speaking to me is this...You had your plan but this is the path I want you to walk. You still want control of this situation but I want you to trust in me.

So that's my life right now, oh and least I forget to mention they also want me to see an endocrinlogist and a gastroenterolgist sometime in the near future.

Like I said earlier we all have things in our live's that we find it harder to trust God with, mine just happens to be health issues. This blog won't dwell on what is going on with me physically, there is too much life happening that's far more interesting, but when he shows me something about myself as I walk this path I'll open the curtains to let you take a peek.

He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord  Psalm 112:7