Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memories of Summer's Past

Memorial Day is the official start of the summer season for us. These are some of my favorite pictures of summers past.  You may wonder what these two are looking at.

Well "Missy Miss" had bird seed on the brim of her hat and was trying to watch for birds.

"Big Guy" on the other hand had quite another thing he was interested in

Pop Pop on the tractor

Love summer days

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Time to Stop and Breathe

We have had another busy week attending to all the details involved with "sweet lady's" move from the mountains to the flat lands. Things are now beginning to fall into place, her ID came in the mail this week, we were able to get a doctors appointment and we think we may have found a place for her to live.

Coffee with a sweet friend helped me with some direction in finding the perfect place for "sweet lady" to live. There were many things I thought were important but she helped me see things differently. In her experience it was all about location, she told me the most important thing I should consider was how convenient it would be for us to get to her. We want her to be involved with our family and activities, we could make any place special.

The move will happen sometime in June. She gets to pick out paint color for the room, we will go shopping for some furniture, curtains and bedding. I don't think she has ever done that before. We brought all of her decorations and pictures from her apartment so things will look somewhat familiar. I feel overwhelmed at times, I cannot imagine how she is feeling.

We have tried to make this a smooth transition, when your memory is bad, change is hard. Most of her memories right now are when she was a girl on the farm with her grandparents, they are happy memories.

I am thankful for the friend who was willing to have coffee with me...she is a little further down this road...great insight...reassuring... encouraging. Wasn't God good to put her in my path, her counsel was just what I needed. I also received a message from another friend today with scripture that was perfect, for the way I have been feeling, it was in Joshua.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go"  Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The hummingbirds are back. We've heard them for several days now on and finally got our first glimpse of them last weekend. I decided to hang out at the feeder this evening to see if I could get a picture, actually it was a great excuse to just sit and chill. Soon enough this little fellow showed up, I watched him dart from one feeder to another.

This guy is pretty territorial, he sits on a branch in view of the feeders and chases any other interested hummingbirds away...we have other feeders scattered around the yard but he seems to think they all belong to him. We are thinking of putting a few more feeders out a greater distance apart to give the others a chance to feed.

We pass a lot of time each summer watching these guys...fascinates the grandkids...have to admit I'm a little fascinated myself. A much needed bright spot, thankful for this little blessing today.

"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you"  Psalm116:7

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Making God's Word a Priority

This new season I am in has required a little bit of adjustment, creativity when it comes to making time for devotions. If there is any time that you need to be drinking deeply of God's Word it's when you are in the midst of crisis and/or change. Ironically that happens to be the time when it's the hardest to find the time to sit down and get into God's Word, at least that has been my experience.

I had a schedule, a routine, I work part time, starting hours are pretty flexible, didn't have to be to work till 8:30,so could sit down in the morning meet with God before I started my day, and I was able listen to my IPod at work...easy to get fed.

I now start my days off running and what was getting left behind my time in the Word. Just like your body needs fuel to run smoothly, so does your your spirit...it's food, is the Word of God.

Tried getting up earlier, that didn't work, tried staying upstairs in my bedroom for quiet time before I started my day, also did not work. Then I remembered that when I was sick, my friend would read scripture to me. That was my jumping off point, remembered we have technology available to us...my husband recently purchased an IPad...it can talk to you.

We have a bible application on our IPad..."sweet lady" and I now get our coffee, turn the IPad on, and  listen to the Word of God, I can also read along. Then if we want more, I have multiple pod casts with great preachers on my computer. Is it perfect no...but it's a start, and it is helping me to get refreshed again.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path"  Psalm 119:105

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers"  Psalm 1:2-3

Monday, May 23, 2011

Caring Nature of God

Woke up this morning, thinking about what we needed to do today, formulating a plan, getting ready to sit down and do some devotions with "sweet lady" when I received a text from a friend. This is what she sent me

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am humble and gentle in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light"  Matthew 11:28-29

Timing was perfect,This was a reminder that  I needed this morning, God caring for us through his people. So I start my day knowing God is with me, he is interested in the details of my life, he wants to give me rest...turning my day over to him.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Standing on a Firm Foundation.

Been thinking a lot lately, about everything going on in our lives. Crazy days to be sure, I honestly don't know what each day will bring when I wake up in the morning. One thing I can say for sure, God has been faithful. The circumstances in our life right now,  they might seem out of control to someone looking in from the outside but I know that God is in control, none of this was a surprise to Him, everything will be used for his purposes.

Our peace and joy is not dependent on our circumstances. So despite what everything looks like we are good. (not that we don't have our moments, we do, but we don't stay there) Our foundation is not shifting sand but a solid rock.

God's grace...sufficient. His mercies...new every morning.

So what's this post all about...just preaching to myself.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness"  Lamentations 3:22-23

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Changes

Last week my husband and I had to travel out of state to get his sister. This sweet lady had been living independently with the help of family and friends for thirty plus years. Her independence was quite an accomplishment and something she was very proud of.  She has told me many times over the last several days "I did it on my own"...yes "sweet lady" you did...but things have changed, she is no longer able to live independently.

We always knew she would have to move closer to us someday. Someone would have to help care for her, we were the only family besides elderly parents. 

I like my ducks in a row I'm a planner...you know the control thing I have going on. My preference was that everything would have been taken care of with "sweet lady" so that when the time came, her care would seamlessly transfer to us...God had a different plan...I don't understand it...but I will trust him.

So that's our life right now. On a positive note, my endurance has improved, seems like I got my stamina back just when I needed it. I have been able to do things, I would not have been able to accomplish just a few weeks ago. And I am at peace with what has transpired over the last several days...it has been hard, but it's OK. God bringing us to the end of ourselves...we can do nothing but trust in him day by day...sometimes moment by moment.

Praying God will keep my heart soft, compassionate. We still have much to do, we are not quite settled yet...decisions still need to be made. Sweet Lady is happy, we pray that this will be an easy transition for her...trusting God.

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us"  Psalm 62:8

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's a Done Deal

The last several days have been full of turmoil. Life, full of challenges, battles that must be fought.

We became aware of a problem several days ago, a need. There was never any question as to what we needed to do but we were desperately seeking God for wisdom in how to handle the situation. We are believers, we are not to respond like the world does.We prayed for wisdom, grace, compassion.

I pray we have represented Christ well. Like any battle, it's not always pretty, I never thought I was the warrior type, but God gives you strength when it's needed. He has also provided us with prayer partners, thanks to all who are praying, those I know and those I don't. I have been so blessed by the outpouring of support. Technology wonderful, I would text a need for prayer and would get a response immediately, knowing people are praying, cannot put a value on it.

God has been so merciful, he literally paved the way ahead of us. We were constantly amazing at different people who were helpful that "just happened" to be at the right place at the right time when we needed it. Different events that unfolded that were not typical, when something would happen that would never happen under ordinary circumstances we would acknowledge, OK this is God.

Our scripture throughout it all " when I am weak he is strong"

So our little nest no longer empty, at least temporarily. We need much wisdom for the days ahead, many decisions to make, laundry list of tasks that need to be completed. Please continue to pray for us.

"So do not fear for I am with you do not be dismayed, for I am your God I will strengthen you and help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" Isaiah 41:10

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

God at Work

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverence must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-3

We are in the midst of a family emergency, spirit is anxious, many things to do, going in several different directions. Sat down to quiet my spirit this morning and this is where God led me.

Stopped me in my tracks, looked at what is going on from a spiritual perspective, this is God at work again, consider this joy, he is working to develop my faith, to make me mature and complete. But there is more

If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  James 1:4

Wisdom is probably our most pressing need right now, God has promised to give it to us...all we need to do is ask.

O Lord you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my way. 
Psalm 139:1-3

Monday, May 9, 2011

This Stormy Season We Are In

The last several months have been challenging for our family, we seem to be in a season of storms. One thing after another, barely coming out of one trial when another hits. God keeping us dependent on him because we have no strength of our own left. My husband and I were talking yesterday and he compared what's going on in our life right now with being on a battlefield, running from one fox hole to the next with artillary being shot overhead. Little breaks here and there, but the fire being relentless.

I was driving to work today thinking about a prayer request I had made to a few people a couple of months ago. I wanted to have a more consistent prayer life. Nothing like being under fire to keep you on your knees, and give you a more consistent prayer life. Wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I made this request but it does look like God has answered my prayer.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed" 2 Corinthians 4:8

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day in the Gardens

The rose garden in Botanical Gardens is in full bloom. Perfect way to spend Mother's Day afternoon. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there

Friday, May 6, 2011

Making Memories

Today I spent the day with a very special person, my grandson. This little guy is the only boy among two, soon to be three girls. We thought it would be nice to give him a day to be totally alone with us. So when the girls left last night, he stayed behind spent the night and was my companion while I ran my errands today.

I had already done my "serious" errands yesterday so these errands were strictly for fun.

First we went to the thrift store...you never know what treasures you will find there...spotted a small NASCAR car for .99...had to have that... son and grandson are big NASCAR fans. He wanted to get his big sister a "chapter" book, got one of those. Found a few other few odds and ends and we were off to stop number two.

Met Pop Pop for lunch, there was a lady doing balloon animals at the food court, she made him a mouse out of a balloon. Spent the next hour talking about how he didn't like real mice but the balloon mouse was OK.  "Do you like mouses grandma?" nope don't like real mice either!

We then went to the Gardens for their annual plant sale...got to train the boy young. Picked out my "treasures" then we went to the Children's Adventure Garden. They have fountains and swings and pumps and places to play. It's a child's delight. Although it was a little too cool to play in the water he enjoyed discovering all the little nooks that were spread throughout the play area. I liked the swings, they reminded me of old porch swings but these were made of metal and painted bright colors. We did a lot of swinging.

Nice to have a day with this little guy by himself, doesn't happen too often...the day ended with him fast asleep in the back of my car...I was ready for one of those myself!

Our new motto is "don't wait for opportunities, take opportunities" that's what today was all about.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Work in Progress

This week has been full of ups and downs. Sunday was great, good message at church, annual picnic afterward...perfect weather! My youngest son called later to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. He didn't realize he was a week early, we had to chuckle over that one, it still makes me smile thinking about it, made my whole day.

We found out about a week ago this son will be going to school a little closer to home this fall. We are thrilled, it will be nice to have him four hours away instead of eleven.

Our garden is taking shape slowly but surely. We were able to plant some flowers yesterday before the rains came.

 So what's the down side of things this week....it's an attitude...mine. Focusing too much on limitations instead of blessings. Giving God my burdens one day then picking them right back up the next. Saying God is in control, then getting frustrated when I am not able to do the things I want to do.

So I surrender once again, leaving my burdens at his feet, trusting that I am right where God wants me to be and that his purposes will be fulfilled in my life. (in spite of my perceived limitations)

"Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need"  Hebrews 4:16

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Time for a Change

I have been thinking about this for awhile. Resisted it, but the time has come to change the profile picture. I remember all too well the day this picture was taken. I had been recently diagnosised with breast cancer and was in the midst of testing, decisions.

We had decided to go out for the day to one of our favorite places to visit. Get some needed distraction from all the cancer stuff. It was a gorgeous day, but one that was filled with tears and concern over the future. I remember sitting on a bench crying just prior to this photo being shot. I think about that day every time I see this picture.

I  already have reminders of the cancer, the scars I see everyday, the daily dose of Arimidex and all the side effects that goes along with it, the doctor appointmets that will continue to be part of my "new normal"  I didn't need to see this picture each time I opened up the blog, so off it goes! A small thing perhaps, but it helps me move forward.

"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