Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thinking Tuesday ... On Being Tired

Today I am physically tired.  Lucy & I had a very early wake-up at 5:15am (my normal wake-up but with only a couple hours sleep last night).  We were on the road at 6am to go to their house 2 hours away. The 2 hour journey actually took us 3 hours ... and considering we were in rush hour, we were very fortunate that it took us only 3 hours (no stops along the way either).  Our daughter & son-in-law had a 9am meeting that was explaining their med-board process, so I was staying with Lucy & Tag for the couple of hours
 (which turned into 3 hours --- and we 3 had a blast!).
But ... Granny is tired.
 
But, it seems that all the adults in our household are all simply tired ...
 
This is a long tax season and Dan is wiped out.  He works at least 12 hours at the office and another 4 hours here at his home office.  It's now to the "stage of tax season" that he works 7 days a week.  We know it's only for a "season" ...
but Dan is simply tired.
 
Our kids are tired.  They've been on their wounded warrior journey for over 3 years now.  'Joe still hasn't gotten all the treatments that he's really needed.  They have been told several differing processes from several different departments and still cannot get any clear-cut answers.  They have been in an uphill battle (so to speak) for over 36 months ... they have 2 young children ... they need a vision of what their future is going to look like ... yet they keep getting conflicting information. 
They are flat worn out tired.
 
If ever we as a family household were tired ... it is now.  Or, as my Mother would say ...
we are worn to a frazzle
I'm not exactly certain what a "frazzle" is ...
but that's what we are ...
my household is that worn frazzle.
 
 
And so ... on my "Thinking Tuesday" ...
as I was driving back home by myself, I started pondering what it means "to be tired".  Now, I truly was focused on the traffic ... watching my speed ... praying for safety & protection amongst the fast-moving motorists who needed to get to their destinations the same as I did.
 
But I was thinking what God's Word tells me of my tiredness and how He can use it for His good.  Romans 8:28 promises that God will use all things to work for His good ... ALL things ... and I do believe that includes being tired.
 

 
Here are some verses that God brought to my memory as I came home today:
 
Matthew 11:28-30 ...
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
 
Romans 8:25-26 ...
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us ... 
 
Psalm 73:25-26
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
 
... and so many times, Granny gets this whole concept of 
my "tiredness" all wrong ... as hard as I try to do it all myself ... Paul reminds me
 
   II Corinthians 12:9-11 ...
And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
 
 
My Thinking Tuesday in a nutshell today ...
 
it's not me
it's not my strength
it's not for me to do alone ...
 
It's His strength working through my tiredness -- my weakness ... for Him.
You see, we never know who draws from our weakness or our strength. 
 Our future generations are looking to each of us as to how we handle situations ...
how we act -- react ... and WHO we draw our strength from.
 
And just as Joshua proclaimed whom he and his household would serve and draw their strength from ... so we do in our household as well:
 
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord ...
 
 
 
we draw our strength from Him
we rest in His arms when we grow tired
we proclaim Him always
 
I hope you all have a blessed week.
 
 
 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My "Thinking Tuesday"

Okay ... so that's my little catch-phrase for the day. 
It may stick or it may not. 
But, here's how it came about ...
 
Tuesdays are the days that Lucy goes back to her house. I normally like to take the farthest leg of the trip when we meet, so the 120 mile one-way trip back home (alone) can bring about some good thinking time and praying time. I normally don't have any music or anything in the background without Lucy in the backseat. It helps me focus on the traffic around me and again -- some quiet time with my thoughts.
 
The quietness of our driveway last summer
 
So, in honor of my very first "Thinking Tuesday" post here's a few things that went through
my head today ...
 
{{could be boring or scary ... probably boring}}
 
** I'm always praying for safety and protection on this busy Interstate! I know -- not very "noteworthy" ... but there's always lots of traffic and only 2 routes that will go the direction we need to travel -- and both are always busy. {So maybe, if you think about it, please say a little prayer for everyone who travels and for their protection.}
 
** I'm slowly reading my way through Lysa TerKeurst's Made To Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food  ... Truth is, I've been really down on myself for not achieving my goal weight.  A simple sentence from her book that I thought about so much coming home ---
Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.
By allowing "circumstances" to take over from my desire to eat healthier I have gained some "numbers" back from last year. But if I renew a focus on God instead of food & numbers, then I truly will be healthier in my walk with Him. At this point, I'm not a person who feels like I have to completely stay away from certain foods ... I just truly desire to set my eyes on God & His design for me rather than simply food.
 
Late January heading back-home
 
 
A few more thoughts ...
 
** I love Pollyanna -- she's perhaps one of the most misunderstood people (ummmm, "characters") who may actually need another look ... {more on her in another post}
 
** I thought big trucks were prohibited in the far left lane
 
** There's much of life's nuggets that can be found in watching movies/tv shows kids -- we can make these teaching moments for our little ones as well as ourselves ... {note to Granny -- need to finish watching Isabelle on DVR}  
 
** The couple of things that I really want to accomplish this week is clean the kitchen, mop the floors, finish organizing the wash room, get that big tote out of the middle of our bedroom floor (and doing something with its contents), catch up on reading posts from my sweet blogging friends, workout everyday, crocheting, maybe try a little sketching (never been an artist, but who knows?),
write a couple more blog posts (I'm half-way there!) ...
 
okay -- maybe a little more than just "one" thing!  
 
Hoping you have a blessed week, dear friends!
 
Mine and Tag's first dinosaur drawing from a couple weeks ago ... yeah -- he laughed too!!!!
 
 
 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Celebrating His 53rd ...

I've had the honor of celebrating the past 31 birthdays with this guy. 
We started dating in September 1983 ...
he turned 22 on March 9, 1984 ...
we eloped on May 16, 1984.

Lots of changes through the years ...
lots of "life" through the years ...
lots of us through the years.

Monday was a busy day at his office (corporate deadline coming up!) He met Lucy & me at her dance class & then off for a Sweet Frog birthday treat (Granny forgot to take pictures!) So, this evening (Wednesday), his office building had a mandatory evacuation so he & I went to dinner.  Now home for the evening and he is settled in at his home office to do a little "offline" work ... their office may be "paperless" to a certain point but it's good for him to have hard copies to keep the work flowing! I love my husband & all that he does for his family. Here's a few pics through the years.

 From the boy of the '80s who caught my eye one day in the hall at our high school  ...
 


 
 
 ... the girl who adores her Daddy ...
 
 
... the little ones who simply love Grandad ... 
 
 
 
 
... and I'm thankful that he chose me to share all of his birthdays with ...
 
 
 



I look forward to sharing many more birthdays with my husband!
 
Have a blessed week, my  friends!






 
 

 




Thursday, March 5, 2015

On Being Deliberate ...

Sometimes life happens ...
 
okay, every-day life happens!
 
Too often I have simply allowed my days to get away from me.  Being "semi" empty-nesters means that Dan & I have several days to ourselves -- depending on if the kids come down for the weekend or if we just get Lucy for a few days.  Every week can be a different schedule for all of us. Many days I find when I am here at home while Dan is at his office ...
I am cleaning, straightening up from our visits, sorting & organizing, painting (I really have to get back to this project) ... well, you get the picture.  I can allow my days to get away from me without really doing "anything".

 
So this is where I have begun with this year ...
 
on being deliberate
 
Here's a few areas in my everyday life on which I am on a simple endeavor
to be deliberate ... 
  • Time management -- I'm the type of person who has always been task-oriented.  From being a student with class projects, tests, assignments, etc ... to the various jobs I've had in which my daily responsibilities were pretty much laid out ... to my teaching days that I had to plan lessons and teach my kids ................... and now being a stay-at-home wife & Granny -- well, my days can certainly get away from me.  I've made a few little organizational changes that are actually helping me lay out my days more effectively.  There's always always always "things to do" around the house.  But my deliberate "time management" brings my awareness to my forefront on "what" I do with my time ... from my time with God to my chores around the house to my writing & creativity ... so, yes I'm very aware that I'm the type of person who needs to spend my time deliberately.
 

  • Health -- This is the area in which I have been a bit lackadaisical.  I've given up my gym membership because I cannot justify the monthly fee & going only a couple of days a week.  So ... Dan I bought a treadmill and now I can workout anytime at home and watch tv or movies on our own television.  (And I do use it several days a week anytime during the day.)  And I am "more" deliberate on eating more nutritiously ... it's much easier to grab this or grab that, but I truly am more conscious on "what" I  put in my mouth.  {Reading Made to Crave by Lysa TurKeurst has helped me put my eating habits in perspective}.  I'm really not a "creative" cook, but it's fun to try new healthy recipes cooking for two!

  • Mind -- The things I tend to clutter my mind with ... whether it's books, tv, movies, music, Internet ... I am becoming more deliberate with the "things" I put into my brain.  We used to sing this song at church when I was a little girl "O be careful little eyes what you see. O be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love. So be careful little eyes what you see."  And then of "little ears what you hear" and "little tongue what you say" and "little hands what you do" and "little feet where you go" and "little heart whom you trust" ... you get the picture.  I've read over and over again Proverbs 16:1-3 {taking an excerpt here but please read the whole chapter} ... The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.  Being deliberate in my mind is part of my overall attitude and effects not only me but my husband, family and everybody I come in contact with during the day.  

By no means am I saying that I am "perfect" in all of my deliberations. 
What I am saying is that I am now committing ME to the purpose that God has for me.  
Being deliberate helps me focus on what I do ... what I say ... what I think ...
and it keeps my focus on living to honor the God who created me to be me.
  
 
I hope you stay warm & safe if you are in the middle of this winter storm weather ...
and just remember that after every winter ...
Spring brings a new beginning for growth and promise.
 
Have a blessed week! 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

O February -- Snow, Birthdays, More Snow


 
 
 
 
February brought "a bit" of snow to our little region of the world ...
 
 
Did it snow in your corner?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When Lucy & Tag saw this pic, they wanted to come to our house to jump on their trampoline right then!  (The 2 hour commute would have
taken all day in the snow that was falling) 
 
But there is something peaceful and serene about snow ...
 
 
 
 

... and there's something that simply brings out the kid in all of us ...
 

 
 
  
 

 
 
We celebrated our daughter's birthday ...
 
 
... 'Joe's birthday was a week later
and Jacqueline arranged for him to meet with the General who pinned his Purple Heart 3 years to the day
 (which was exactly on his birthday) ...
 
 
Not finished celebrating yet ...



 
 
 
 
 
 
Dan & I are now the proud grandparents of ...  
FIRST GRADE Lucy!!!!!!!!
 
 
This smart and sweet girl completed her online public school Kindergarten program and
is now a 1st grader!!!!
 
Dan and I simply love our family ...
we are blessed.
 
 

 So this is pretty much where I've been for the month of February ...
 
Tag's birthday (see previous post) ...
snow
Jacqueline's birthday ...
snow
GI Joe's birthday ...
snow
Lucy's Kindergarten graduation ...
snow
 
... and yes, we are expected to have more snow this week!
I think I may just have to hide out during this one ...
Tag may be back at his house, but this is the perfect spot to escape more snow!!!
 



 



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To Crave God in Every Aspect

One of my newest purchases on my Nook is Made to Crave by Lysa TurKeurst.  The sub-header of the book is possibly (in my opinion) the true core of what this book is truly about ...
Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food.
 
 
 
And it's in that statement where I have been finding my deepest conversations with God.  I have been on a conscious endeavor over the past few weeks to not only be aware of what I put in to my mouth and body, but also to be aware of what I put in to my mind and my actions. 
 I have experienced some victories in some areas ... as well as some defeats.
I have made some progress in some areas ... as well as some regression in other areas.
I have taken up my determination ... and I refuse to set it aside.
 
The first couple of chapters of this book have been quite challenging to me.  I've had "good intentions" over the past several years to improve our nutrition and health, but I've allowed some of life's challenges to defeat me in completely giving in to our life-style of healthy habits.  Seeking "comfort" from food is simply not as satisfying and beneficial to my overall health as seeking comfort from God's Word and His promises. 
 
As I was driving home this afternoon I began thinking of this post.  I knew I wanted to start postings during my reading, so why not start now?  In her introduction to this book, Lysa gives the example of the rich man who tells Jesus that he has kept all "the rules" but there was something that he knew was still missing from his pursuit of God. (Matthew 19)  Jesus then tells him to sell his possessions and give it all to the poor.  And then (in Lysa's words) the "rich young man then goes away sad because he won't give up the one thing that consumes him."
 
And so ... Lysa's healthy-lifestyle journey continues ...
 "If we want to conquer our cravings, we'll have to redirect them to God." 

And so, in 2015, I want to not only pursue a healthy lifestyle of feeding my body ... but also a healthy lifestyle of feeding overall self ...
my thoughts ... my actions ... my non-actions ... my reactions ... my relationships ... my everything.
(Just an aside note of an extra dose of encouragement/ support/ challenge  -- our future generations are watching ... they learn from us ... we are their role models whether positive or negative)


 One verse that she expounds on that I have been filtering into my mind is I Corinthians 10:23 ...
Everything is permissible -- but not everything is beneficial
 
This verse can be used in other areas of our lives as well ...
 
the things I fill my mind --
the way I treat others --
the things I watch on television --
the music I listen to --
the stuff I buy --
the things I count as priority --
the way I spend my day --
 
Do you see where I'm going with this concept?  I am on an enormous endeavor this year ...
not only to get on a healthy eating track, but also to get my whole-self on a healthy track.  I know it certainly won't be easy (I've already seen defeats along with a few victories) ... but it's a road that God will lead me down and pick me up when I fail and carry me when I can't move forward on my own.
 
If anyone has ever "walked a mile in our shoes", it's been the apostle Paul.  And if anyone could give us an ounce of encouragement that we need to press forward, it would be him.  He tells us in his letter to the church at Philippi (Philippians 3:13) ...
... I do not count myself as apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead ...
 
Each day ... each moment ... each blink ...
is a new beginning to set our eyes on the prize of all that God has in store for us to be.
I look forward to continuing my journey of developing a healthier lifestyle for me, Dan and our family ... not only food-wise ... but in every aspect of all we are to be for His glory.

{{If any of my readers would like to come along with me on this journey, your can either leave a comment or go to my profile to send me a private email.  I look forward to what God has in store for all of us in His year of 2015 ... 
this post will be continued throughout the year.}}
 
Have a blessed week, dear friends!
 
Our wonderland last week ... we haven't had a "bad" winter ... but this Granny is ready for Spring!  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2015 ... Where Grace Abounds

And so we are six weeks into our year of 2015.  I can say that our family has seen the
mountain top and we've seen the valley. 
We've rejoiced ... we've prayed ... we've cried ... we've celebrated.
But one thing has been the life-line of hope that I can honestly say that I have felt through it all ...
 
grace
 
God's grace has been the very breath I have breathed in every moment of 2015 ...  

There are positive changes occurring at Dan's office & we just simply thank God for His hand on Dan's career and provision for our family. Dan has always put God first even in his business profession ... and God has certainly blessed my husband & our family values.

 
 
And then ... early January found my family praying hard and diligently for my cousin whom we learned was beyond the level of sickness that anyone had imagined.  And so, we prayed ... and we cried ... and we prayed ... and then we gathered to say our earthly goodbyes to him in our hometown.  During our drive "back home", I simply prayed for grace ...
this was perhaps one of the hardest funerals I have been through.  He was the first of my generation that we said goodbye to ... and for my sweet aunt & uncle who laid their child to rest ... and his sister & nephew ... and for aunts & uncles & cousins ...
it was (and still is) simply hard ...
but for grace
 
 
 
 
 
And then ... we celebrated.  It is so unbelievable how fast time goes by with grandchildren. 
Our little guy turned THREE!  Where has the time gone? 
His whole existence has been centered around grace ...

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
he's the baby who was formed soon after their miscarriage
he's the baby who was a mere 11 days old when their Daddy was wounded in action
he's the baby who brings a completeness to our family
 




 

Grace ...
simply grace ...

no matter the circumstances
no matter the journey
no matter what happens

it's simply by God's grace that we draw our next breath
 
 
So, as we go through our every moments of 2015 ...
let's be ever-so mindful and ever-so longing for His amazing grace

Grace that rejoices with us on the mountaintops
Grace that leads us while we travel through the valleys
Grace that is simply our next breath


My childhood home-church ...
where the hurting is taken care of through
His grace