Sunday, January 31, 2016

Every One of Us Has One

The past several weeks have brought little reminders of why I began blogging.  It wasn't my intent to become a well-known blogger or have 2,000 followers or post so sporadically... well, I have certainly succeeded at 2 of the 3. However, it "was" my intent to share my values, beliefs and some family history for my future generations... I had wanted to post more regularly, but sometimes life simply happens and we just roll with it.  All of this "thinking" has brought me to this post that has actually been in-progress for the past several months
 (and I didn't even realize it).

   Have you ever noticed people around you?  It's not a trick question... and I'm not totally off-my-rocker.  This is something that I've tried to be more aware of lately. Of course there's people all around us and of course we notice them.  Now, for the next question... what do all of these people have in common? What do they have in common with you? And with me? The people who are around us... yet are total strangers.  What is it that bonds each of us together even through our differences?
Well... we all do have something in common.
the good ... along with the bad
the beautiful ... along with the ugly
the wholeness ... along with the brokenness
... and all of these make up our story ...
everybody has a story

How many times has God placed people in our paths... and we see them... and we smile at them... and they nod back to us... and somehow we all miss it.
everybody has a story
Over the past few months, I've had opportunities to share our story --
mine & Dan's story... our kids' story... our grands' story.
And you know what? 
It's been real.
Every single bit of it is real.
Their story. The day she tried to make normal through worry of the explosion...

the good is real... the bad is real
the beautiful is real... the ugly is real
the wholeness is real... the brokenness is real
We all go through hard times.  Period.  No exceptions
 I've shared our family story of Michael being combat wounded... Tag 11 days old at the time... Lucy staying with us during the week to still have her church activities & dance... our daughter giving back to the children of wounded warriors through her charitable organization...

Getting ready to see her Daddy for the first time since he was wounded.

She was getting ready to leave her family at the military hospital.

He spent 5 months living at a military hospital while his Daddy was recovering.

everybody has a story
Dan & I have shared our personal story of our fairytale elopement... that found us in divorce court on our 4th anniversary... to our patchwork reconciliation that ultimately brought us to our beautiful redemption...
and now heading toward our 32nd anniversary in May...

Celebrated our 30th anniversary... redemption is indeed beautiful.

everybody has a story
So, when we're out on our daily routines this week... remember that behind every smile and behind every word and behind every action...
there is a story that may not be seen in what is visible to us
 not everyone needs to know our story
and we do not need to know their story
but we just need to remember that
everyone has a story

May God bless you in your story this week,
my friends!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Our Snow Effect

I'm really not a big fan of snow.  I grew up in rural West Virginia and remember many hard winters of snow...
 and more snow... and even more snow.
But, there is something peaceful and quiet after the storm.

Dan & I took these pictures this morning... after we attended our online church service since all physical church campuses were closed this morning.

The storm began Friday mid-morning... and continued all day Saturday.  Dan worked from his home office all weekend.

I do love our little corner of God's creation.  We are thankful that Dan has the ability to work from home when needed... tax season has no snow days!

Chili... hot chocolate... and praying our power stayed on through the storm.  And these views will be around for the next several weeks as the sun melts this white blanket during the day...
and the night freezes to slippery ice.

And this week we'll do our best to get Lucy from her house down to ours for her dance classes as they begin to learn their recital routines... oh yeah, their military base is still on emergency lockdown with only responders allowed to drive on post until roads are cleared.

But for now...
we enjoy His seasons
and our views...


Have a wonderful week, my friends!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

No Two Are Alike

I cannot believe it's been almost a month since I last posted.  As much as I enjoy writing, it seems that life is hectic (and getting more-so since we've entered tax season)... and my mind is occupied with everything that is going on around me.  And so (even I as a Granny), I continue to learn and grow in the changing seasons of life.
We are preparing for this snow-storm that is heading east with its promise to make a total mess for several days.  I got Lucy back to her family safely this morning and then battled traffic back to our corner.  Everyone wanting to get to their destinations before the first flake falls.
We had a little system come through this past Sunday that made for an interesting drive to church.  I remember back to childhood days and growing up in the hills of West Virginia... snow was an annual event that came with winter.  We knew it would always come... we counted on school closings... and we welcomed being snowed-in for awhile.
I admit that as an adult, I really do not care for snow. However -- it is beautiful as it falls and covers the ground with the little white fluffy flakes that will never be like any other.
And that's mind-boggling to me...
no snowflakes are alike
God's wonder ... God's creation ... God's design
Just like each of us...
no humans are alike
we are God's wonder
we are God's creation
we are God's design

As I prepare for Dan to work from home this weekend and our household for the upcoming snow...
one thing I am preparing myself for ----
to remember that God made each snowflake with its own unique characteristics
just like He made each of His children with our own characteristics
Stay safe and stay warm, dear friends!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve ... A Decade Ago


Our daughter ...
Christmas Eve 2005 ...
10 years ago


They chose Christmas Eve because Michael would be home ...
then back to training on New Year's Day 2006 ...
and then deployment a week later ...


A lot of "life" in this past decade ...
2 wars
2 years unaccompanied stateside
many months of training
an explosion
and these 2 grandest gifts of all ...

Happy 10th Anniversary, Jacqueline & Michael ~~~
We love you both ...


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

There's Always A Song ...

It seems like every Christmas season I latch-on to a song that relates to whatever may be happening in my life at the time. And this year has been no different.
With everything that's been happening in my own family & circle of friends this year...
this is the song of the Christmas season for me.

And perhaps it may just be the song of my online blogging friends as well.
Light of the World  by Lauren Daigle

Behold your King
Behold Messiah

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Their New Chapter

 Sunday, December 13th was the first full day of being Retired military for our kids.
February 20, 2016 will mark Michael's 30th birthday and his 4th Military Alive Day.
And yesterday ...

... his retirement ceremony.
Mount Vernon -- the home of George Washington.
So the day began with us loading our SUV with tables, coolers, soft drinks, paper plates, napkins, cups, plastic silverware... even our fire-pit (semi) cleaned out & wrapped in industrial trash bags -- and to travel north.  We hung out at their house and welcomed more & more family who had traveled to share the day. And mid-afternoon, Dan & I were in charge of delivering the two most precious gifts to the ceremony ...
... these kids
oh my ...
no words

Presentations ... stories ...
even a letter that was read from President George W. Bush

And our girl ... she had recorded a video directed to those who are in command of overseeing the medical care and transitions of wounded warriors.
And she kept the message on the high road to encourage those who support our wounded heroes.
(if you're interested in viewing her video, please let me know)
 After the ceremony we went back to their house for a reception...
Mission BBQ brought their famous brisket & barbeque along with mac-a-cheese, cornbread, rolls, brownies (all of which was their gift to our kids).  They even brought their own Army catering truck!

Michael's aunt & cousin provided delicious cakes from their family bakery...

God truly provided a wonderful retirement evening...

A day that came almost 4 years after being wounded ...
Lucy had been 3 years old -- and now she's 7
Tag had been 11 days old -- and now he's almost 4
We never know what the dawning of each new day will bring...
but we do know that God is already in each moment
and He awaits for us to join Him.
And now
their new chapter begins ...