Friday, August 04, 2017

If you would have told me 40 years ago that 40 years would seem like the blink of an eye, I would have laughed at you. I might have given you a little benefit of the doubt, but like any teenager, I would have been laughing inside. Time seemed to move so slowly then. All the things I wanted to do, wanted to be, and the freedoms I thought I would have seemed so far in the future, but looking back now, they were just split seconds of time.

40 years ago this July my world changed forever. Now, in reality, that happens a lot throughout our lives. Things that bring great joy, births, weddings, etc., bring monumental change. Traumatic things do the same. However, as I look back on this, it came at a time in my life when I was quite vulnerable. I was 13. I was awkward, geeky, chubby, and felt oh so out of place. I was struggling with everything life was throwing at me.

It was summer and I had been spending tons of time with my dad (in reality, my step-dad, but he was the only dad I knew then and he had committed himself to raising me, he was my dad). He was laid off from work, depressed, and struggling in his own life. He was just 36. He was cheating on my mom, but they were trying to work through things, it wasn't going all that well, though.

He and I spent lots of time the beginning of that summer going to get parts for motorcycles and the GTO he had been fixing up. We would sit and talk for hours about life, about the choices that would be looming ahead of me as a teenager, about how he wanted to be there for me in those choices and that if I wanted to try things, he would be there with me to teach me the right way. Drinking, smoking weed, nothing seemed off the table, although those things were really not on my radar at that point and never really did become a focus for me. I think years of watching people have no memory have the day before, or sometimes days, gave me a real wariness for partaking in altering substances, and I believe that God's hand of protection was already on me at that point in my life.

Suddenly, everything changed. He didn't come home. The phone rang in the middle of the night. A woman was dead. He was hanging on by a thread. I never say him alive again. Mom wouldn't let me see him in the hospital, he was in bad shape. I was there to hear the neurologist tell us that he was paralyzed from the chest down, he would never walk again. 2 days later, he was gone. He went into cardiac arrest and they couldn't bring him out of it.

I was 13, my mom was just 29. Everything changed from that moment.

I remember lying in bed at night with my window open thinking I could hear the sound of the motorcycle coming...on a still night I could hear him from a couple of miles away, especially when he had the straight pipes on the bike, but it was always a phantom sound, that bike would never roll up the road again. In fact, it had been parted out very quickly after his death, a tradition of bikers back then.

Even now, 40 years later, I long to hear that motorcycle come down the road. I wonder what he would think of me now.

In reality, though, it is a moot point. I fully believe that everyone has an appointment before the Divine Judge and his was that day, just over 40 years ago. I can't change that and in many, many ways, I don't want to. My life is what it is because it has been beautifully orchestrated by the Divine Maestro and I am thankful for that!

The memories have been intense this summer, but that is just what they are, memories. They are a part of who I am and they have helped to mold me, but they are not the substance of me. They don't define me, they don't hold me captive, but they are a part of me and I am thankful for that. My memories give me a perspective on life that most people don't have and I know that God uses that in a powerful way.

I will always love my dad, but after 40 years, I think I can finally say that while it was one of the toughest things I've ever gone through, God has used it for good.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Dear Summer,

It saddens me so that some people are trying to rush through you just to get to fall decorations and pumpkin flavored everything! Oh, yes, I know that you are beginning your wind-down, but really, you are no more than halfway through, and I want to continue to enjoy your benefits!

I am thankful for it getting darker a little earlier in the evening and for the slightly cooler temperatures at night, but I'm not ready for sweatshirts and socks just yet.

Summer, you help me to continue to strive to live in the moment. Living in the moment isn't always easy for me, in fact, sometimes it can be downright difficult. I want to rush ahead, but I don't know why I do that. I don't know why I can't just relax in the now, but, Summer, you are helping me to get there. It's easier to sit back and admire the view in the summer and it's easier to just let kids be kids in the summer, allowing for their current stages to just be.

Life moves by so very, very fast. Before we know it our kids are having kids and it feels as though it will just be a blink of an eye and those little ones will be having their own little ones. So, Summer, thank you for helping me to slow down and enjoy the moments.

Thank you for our new "hobby". Who knew that we would enjoy camping?! Maybe you did, Summer...maybe we just weren't listening before. Granted, it's not like we are really roughing it, but having the camper available to us is a wonderful blessing! 😎

Summer, you've also brought a few surprises our way, too, this year. A deeper faith, a few new convictions, major changes in some areas. I appreciate all of those things, too.

So, as August begins, Summer, and as the grasses and trees get heavier with the growth of the season, and as the crops begin to turn to brown, help me to stay in the moment, help me to not rush the seasons...of the year or of our lives.

Thank you, Summer, for wrapping me in your warm sunshine, brilliant blue skies, and velvet green of a lush landscape. You have given me lots to smile about this year and I'm looking forward to more smiles for the second half of your season!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

He is here!! Our handsome 1st grandson made his way into the world 4 days ago. It was a wonderful experience! We are so very grateful for everything going well and for his safe and very quick arrival!

Monday, September 19, 2016

It's fall already....

The entire summer has gone by and I haven't blogged! It's been nearly 5 months! It's is good! It is busy and filled with darling little people, fun times, and lots of studying!

The grand-girls are growing by leaps and bounds and they bring us so much joy and laughter! They are so distinctly different and yet, so similar in some ways. It's exciting to watch their little eyes open with wonder as they learn and experience new things every day! Our oldest doesn't turn 5 until December, but she is already doing first grade math and reading...very proficiently. She is so engaged in learning, as are all the others, but she is at a new level and it thrills my heart to watch as she moves forward academically. However, academics are not the goal in this life and I am beyond excited to watch their faith grow. All of them love to learn about God and His creation, His Word. They are now going to Sunday School and enjoying Awana's. On one hand, it is difficult to comprehend how fast the past 5 years have gone and that they are old enough to be doing these types of activities, and on the other hand, time continues to show just how quickly it goes as we grow older. I try to seek the blessing each day in both of those differences.

To add to all of the joy, we are eagerly awaiting the births of our two youngest grandchildren! Our daughter's child is due to make his/her arrival in just a few weeks! Baby is growing quickly now and Mommy is getting uncomfortable, but all is well and we are bursting with excitement! Our youngest with make her arrival at the end of about 5-7 weeks later. Mommy and baby are also doing well and we are thankful to be able to share this with her while Daddy serves his deployment. It will be difficult having Daddy gone, but we hope we can help to make it a special and wonderful time and we are very grateful for all the technology available to us today that will allow him to be able to see his new child in real time.

I am also thoroughly enjoying working on my doula certification. So much I had learned in college is serving me well now, but there is so much that is significantly better than what I was taught. I am excited to put into practice what I'm working through in order to help women recognize the power in and of themselves, places there by God to do the job He created them to do! Birth should not be medicalized, pregnancy is not a disorder or disease, technology has really done a disservice to the labor and birth process. Yes, technology and medical intervention has a place, but it should be a last resort, and can be if women are supported properly during pregnancy and labor/birth.

Some days I just like to sit quietly for a few minutes and bask in the mercy and grace of our wonderful God and Savior! This morning is one of those moments. The sun is shining. The breeze is gently stirring the drying corn and coming gently in through the front window, keeping it cool and comfortable in here. Our cattle are lowing...their babies are at the vet getting their check-up. They will soon be reunited and all will become calm and quiet again.

Life is good. It is not easy. It is hard to miss those we love so many miles away. is good because God is good and His mercies are new every morning. May we never forget or take for granted His goodness.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Big "D"

The Big "D" is here. Not divorce....Deployment.

We always knew when our son joined the military that deployment was an option. His being gone for basic training and occupational school was good preparation for it, but the big "D" hits you a bit differently.

Deployment means, usually, foreign soil. In our case, yes. It means more months apart than we have experienced yet. It means a bit of uncertainty in an already uncertain world.

Despite the unknown, there is the knowledge that our son is willing to serve his country. There is pride that he is doing it as a part of an elite branch. There is pride in knowing that he is doing well in his occupation. I appreciate the fact that he is going to be exposed to a different culture and that he will grow even stronger as he faces his current challenges.

Even so, he is away from his wife, who is expecting our grandchild (the 2nd of two this fall!), and his darling B. He will miss birthdays, anniversaries, and favorite holidays. Thankfully, technology exists that makes it possible for us to communicate in real time and that is a real blessing! I am so very thankful for that.

Life has been full lately! We had a week long visit from our son and family before he left for deployment. We enjoyed pizza night, supper at our favorite restaurant, lots of good family time and family pictures.

After almost 6 years of being empty-nesters, on a semi-regular basis, I feel that a door is finally opening for what lies ahead for me and in many ways it has been lying dormant for quite awhile. Not only did my emphasis in high school prepare me for it, my choices in college and my experiences the past 15 years or so seem designed, in retrospect, to be the perfect catalyst for what lies ahead. In combination with building my oils business, it seems almost to perfect a fit, but I am trusting God and have more motivation than I have had in years! The prospect of studying and growing in not only my faith, but also in advocating and working in an area that I feel deeply about is invigorating!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

March the 20's. These are complicated days for me. 15 or 16 years ago this week I had a nervous breakdown. I had a major panic attack and then spent months dealing with insomnia, mild agoraphobia, pins and needles, and feeling overwhelmed by life. My children had to suffer through seeing me go through it and had to learn how to deal with some things on their own. I spent a lot of time riding in the truck with hubby, just trying to avoid the realities of life.

I had had too many things on my plate...lots of groups, ministries, homeschool activities. I had lost 70 lbs, but not through healthy eating, so I had depleted my good vitamins in my body and just couldn't cope when the anxiety and panic hit.

The Lord put many things in my path that helped me to learn how to eat better (I'm still working on that one!), to learn how to handle the anxiety and panic I often felt. He helped me to learn to say "no", especially when my husband felt I was going to reach my limits again.

I honestly don't know why this time of year is such a challenge for me, but it seems to cycle around pretty regularly. The simplest of things can trigger it. Last night hubby said he was going to have to get up a 3 AM to get some field work done that almost requires freezing temperatures. The butterflies started to flutter and whirl around inside of me. I didn't want to go back to bed without him, I didn't like the thought of being all alone in the house. We don't even have a pet that could have kept me company.

I prayed about it before going to bed. I prayed about it when the alarm went off. I prayed as I laid there after he had gone out while I occupied my mind with games on my phone and facebook. I made it through the night and even fell back to sleep for a bit.

I awoke to sunshine and promise and then found out about a meeting a friend of mine was having later in the day. As much as I tried not to let it get to me, by late in the afternoon, anxiety was knocking on my door. Hubby is still outside getting this chore done and I am on my own. I cheated with some pringles and a little real sugar, but did much better with my supper.

I had thought that I was moving on from leaving our church of over 20 years, then the annual meeting was held last week and it stirred it all back up. Sadly, it is not a place I want to be any longer. I know this is helping to feed the anxiety a bit...I have to let it go.

We did receive wonderful news this weekend and have much to look forward to this year. God is good! He is still on His throne! Hallelujah!

Friday, March 04, 2016

I am still planning on blogging about the Big "C" (not cancer) and the Big "D (not divorce), but that still lies ahead. Maybe in a day or two.

It's March. Dreary, dragging March. I know that spring lies at the end of the month, but some days it just seems soooo dreary and feels like winter is here for good. My head knows better, but my heart, my motivation, and my energy feel very differently.

I have this huge list of things I need to be doing...

  • Learning more about THM and implementing it more and more into my life. I'm am thankful for the first 6 pounds I have lost and for feeling a bit better without all the white stuff in my food.
  • Working on getting my essentials oils class ready for next weeks class
  • Writing! This blog has been neglected, as well as a private one that I've been working on that I want to take public soon. I also want to get back to working on my children's book and a non-fiction Christian book on the subject of service.
  • I need to block 3 shawls!
  • Finish a couple of other knitting projects and, of course, start a couple more!
  • Exercise.
  • Clean out my kitchen cupboards and take unexpired things to the food bank.
  • Plus...the basics of keeping a home...dishes (no dishwasher here, my friends, just my own two hands), laundry, sweeping, etc.
  • TAXES!!

I'm sure there is more, but it seems to have slipped my mind....

It doesn't really seem like much, but each thing seems so time consuming and I'm having trouble prioritizing what should come first.

Psalms 136:1 (NASB) 
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.