Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Non-Posting Blogger

So we're settling into our household routine with our kids being a couple of hours away.  Lucy stays with us a couple of nights so that she can continue her activities at church and dance.  So Tuesday mornings she & I head back to meet her Momma & brother so that she can go home with her family. 
And on the drive back ...
Granny writes blog posts
I write at least a couple of them while focusing on the traffic around me --
I can come up with clever titles & formats
I can insert pictures & captions
I can write some tear-jerkers & some comedy
and when I sit down at my laptop ...
absolutely nothing
... every line is lost
... every picture has disappeared
 ... everything simply gone
So, this Granny is seeking some input ---
if there's any readers out there in my little cyber-corner
of the vast world wide web ...
How do YOU write your posts?
What prompts you to write what you do & when you do it?
What motivates you?
How do you put aside all the tasks that lie in front of you?
I know, I know ...
I am probably coming across (at least, kind of) whiny and moody and self-pitying.
But I'm really trying NOT to sound that way. I'm just wanting to learn from some of my "posting blogger" friends. 
Let's face it --
every single one of us has "life" going on right now in our lives (makes sense?). 
Some of us are transitioning ... some have already transitioned.
Some of us have full-time outside-of-our-home- jobs ... some of us have already retired.
Some of us are searching for our niche ... some of us know exactly where our niche is.
Maybe once  When life settles down  After ...
Well, this Granny should just hit the "publish" button and mark it down that I actually posted to my blog today!
Until the next time ...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Granny -- Neil Diamond -- E.T. ::::: What A Combination :::::

Once again it's been a little while since I've posted on my blog.  We've had so much going on in our household and still transitioning from one household to two --- along with visits in between, birthdays & parties (more to come later on this), and Granny working on my time management skills (not going so well with it either).  So, let me just jump full-force into this post without leaving you wondering "too much" if I have totally flipped out with these references.
Yesterday I took Lucy back to meet her Mommy & brother so that she could go back home with them.  We'd had a fun-filled weekend with her 6th birthday party and Tag's "half" birthday (either late 2nd or early 3rd -- whichever you prefer to call it).  So, as with most Tuesdays, I was scrambling around to get Lucy some breakfast & the "normal" morning routine ... as well as loading my car with stuff to send to everyone to
(try to) help out a little this week.  On my way back home (alone) I really needed to stop somewhere to get a couple of things for Dan & myself.  As I looked in the mirror, I decided that I should never be "caught" going out in public close to our home just in case I ran into somebody I knew .... makeup a mess, hair pulled back in ponytail, tshirt, old jeans, workout shoes ....
and "those lines" under my eyes just popped right out at me.
Oh well ... so I stopped at an "out of our area" Target.  It was simply one of those days, so I started looking at CDs --- and ran across
The Essential Neil Diamond .... can't go wrong with this one! So, back in my car I cranked the volume a tad louder than usual (but realizing the busy-ness of the road I was traveling as well).  The 2nd disc played pretty much until I reached home -- but it was song #17 that probably "spoke" the loudest to me -- Heartlight
I've always been a Neil Diamond fan ... but really & truly NOT an E.T. fan.  Matter of fact, I couldn't believe that he would even agree to sing such a song when the movie came out years ago.  However, I realized yesterday that listening to Neil Diamond as a teenager is so much a contrast than listening to Neil Diamond now ... as a 50 year old. 
***So, here's the main thing that this 50 year old "gets" from listening to
Neil Diamond's Heartlight ...***
As life "happens" between our childhood and adulthood sometimes we lose sight of our goals and our dreams that we had a children. We all have more responsibilities as adults and that's the "normal" progression through our years -- family, work, friends, community, church ... but that doesn't mean that we stop dreaming and setting goals for ourselves.  When the house is quieter than normal and not as busy, it's the dreams that Dan & I hold on to not only for our kids & grands ...
but possibly more important are the dreams & goals for ourselves.  
Life still gets hectic and busy and chaotic for us although we call ourselves "semi-empty-nesters" ... as we focus on our next many wonderful years that God gives us together.  I admit that this is a complicated concept for me ... I'm still learning how to manage my time here at home.  When Lucy's here with me it's more simple -- we do her online schooling, dance class, then back to her house a couple hours away. 
But when it's just me ... well, time management is definitely NOT my gift. 
So, I'm taking Heartlight to heart ... there's goals I have for me personally as well as goals for Dan & me regarding downsizing our house -- so, I have a lot in front of me for the next few months.  And mixed in with these are time to explore "me" -- my interests, things I do well,
things I need to do better (time management is definitely on this list).
And to just simply realize that
*** it's perfectly okay for a 50 year old to take time to dream those rides across the moon that
turns her heartlight on for herself and those around her ***
PS -- if you didn't take a few minutes to watch the You-tube video of Heartlight,
I highly recommend you spare about 4 minutes or so watching ...
maybe E.T. will turn on your heartlight as he did mine.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Friendships Through The Seasons

Yesterday in church was a sweet day.  Lucy and a couple of her friends had "graduated" to the next level of children's ministry.  Granted, Lucy still has some anxiety over being in a class with some older kids but the class is well divided & I got to hang out with some awesome Kindergarteners & 1st graders. And Lucy & I both learned from the lesson, had a great time worshiping through songs
and met some new friends!

Okay -- so to the "sweet" part ... during prayer request time, Lucy spoke up and asked prayer for one of her best friends from preschool -- a little girl she hasn't seen for over a year.  Her friend started Kindergarten a year before Lucy did.  But Lucy remembered her friend had been very sick and wanted everyone to pray for her. (Lucy's Mommy is sharing this with the little girl's parents as well.)

At this point several aspects of life went through my head:
*how I seriously want to have the heart of a child when I grow up
*how I truly want the heart of my granddaughter who cares so much for the feelings of her friends
*what kind of "friend" am I to others
Since one day I hope Lucy & Tag will read the thoughts & words of their Granny through this blog, here's a little of what I have experienced through having "best friends" at different stages of my life.

My cousins were my first "best friends". We all lived around our Granny and quite a few of us were within just a few years apart.  We were always at someone's house playing dolls, spies, tag, made up games ... we were always with each other ... sharing toys, clothes, "secrets".  And to this day, we all still talk about our childhood days at Granny's and what a special childhood we all had there.  We were never "bored" and we would spend the night at each other's houses although we may have spent the whole day playing together. We shared a bond that has continued throughout our adulthood. 

I also had a best friend in high school.  Sometimes I would spend the night at her house and catch the bus with her to school the following day. She was the only friend my parents would allow me to sleepover with on a school night. I dearly loved her parents ... they treated me just like I was a part of their family. She & I would do different things together -- roller skate (she took lessons with me although she was the one who actually knew how to skate), we were in band together, we talked and talked about teenage girl stuff.  She was truly a wonderful friend. And, the best part -- not only did we reconnect a couple of years ago through Facebook but we've caught up with each other over dinner one evening when she & her family were close in town. (Wish I had taken a picture but we were so busy catching up!)  We may live several hours away, but I am truly thankful for our reconnection.

Then I started working during the 2nd semester of my senior year in high school. I was cashier at a grocery store "in the city" about 25 miles from my house. I would leave school at lunch every day then go to work. I became close friends with a girl I worked with and stayed close to her for the next couple of years during college. We would meet up before or after classes/work ... I spent time at her house ... she, her brother, her parents & her Aunt became a special part of my college years. I have also reconnected with her over Facebook as well.

I've had two other pretty close friendships in my life that I could say that I could truly "be myself".  Both were ladies I worked with many years ago -- one in the commercial development company we both worked at and one was a teacher that I had substituted for while she was on maternity leave. These 2 ladies have known "me" in my adult-age.  I've reconnected with my office colleague/best friend.  Although we live in different states it's always good to "see" her and her family.

Throughout the passing years,  I've often wondered about other friends that I've lost touch with from years past.  I'll be the first to admit that friendships evolve and grow through our various seasons of life. And in those seasons are an array of circumstances ---
joy to sorrow
encouraging to challenging
words spoken to words unspoken
But I believe there is one common theme that runs through each of these ...
and that is simply

It is through prayer that we hear God's direction in our friendships ...
we know the time to rejoice and the time to weep
we know the time to encourage and the time to challenge
we know the time to speak and the time to listen

My family faced crises when I was younger ... and I was so very thankful for my best friend and her parents. They were always there for me for anything I needed.  They simply were there for me.
I believe that sometimes friendships go through times of testing. When a friend is going through a crisis, what do we do? 
offer advice ...
tell them how to "fix it" ...
say "well, if you hadn't of done blah-blah-blah"...

It gets back to hearing God's direction. Sometimes we all need to hear challenges ...
but sometimes we simply just need a friend
to pray
to listen
to encourage

I will admit that I am probably NOT the greatest expert on friendships.  When there's a bit of life going on under one roof of 3 generations, sometimes friendships take the back seat.  Sometimes our "seasons" may last for a different duration than someone else's season.  The thing is this ... although we may walk alongside our friends, we cannot actually "live" their seasons for them.
Each of our circumstances is as unique as we are unique individuals. 

God has His plan ...
God has His timing ...
our friendships need to be focused on "His" -- not "ours"

So, if you know of a friend who is facing a challenge, I believe the very first action that needs to be done is simply prayer.  And through this prayer, ask God for HIS guidance on how to be a blessing to that person.  I haven't always taken the time for this step ... but I truly believe that once that step is completed, God will direct the steps that follow.

I pray that my grandchildren will always be blessed in their friendships
and through their prayers. 
And I pray that each of us will have the tender hearts toward our friends
just as Lucy has modeled for me.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Wordless Month

So ... I had this post all laid out with words and pictures ... then I must have hit a button on my laptop (still in the learning phase of this new touch-screen) ... and every single thing disappeared -- except for the title and the labels. 

So, in a nutshell (since I cannot remember everything I had previously written) ...

We're still transitioning in our household and sometimes the words just aren't there for me.  As much as I try to write a post, sometimes my mind gets so cluttered with things that are going on & I simply just have to "abide" (CLICK HERE to read the significance)
Over the past several weeks ...
GG and Grandpa came for a visit when Jacqueline & the 2 little ones were home.  As you can see, it's always a great time with all the "greats"!

 And then our family vacation to Disney World ...
Granny knocked over the "50" ---
we celebrated "everything Tag" since he's a tax season kid ---
celebrated Lucy entering her school career ---
 and on our last night there, Lucy lost her first tooth!

I've got more pics to show of the past couple of weeks, but will post them in a day or so. We've had a wonderful weekend and now it's time to get ready for a busy week ahead...
As I may not have posted as often over this past month, it is always my desire that
my words are HIS words.  It's quite often that when my words are quieter or
perhaps even unspoken ... that His words are my focus and my meditation. 
And it's a reminder to me that He always directs my path as well as (hopefully)
the words to my posts.
Have a blessed week, dear friends ...
and may God direct your steps through each and every moment of your days.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My 50 Things ...

Some people view "knocking over another decade" as a milestone ... I am the opposite.  The one birthday that I truly considered my "milestone" has come & gone. I won't clutter this post with links, but a few posts from August 2012 and 2013 give some details on my "milestone" birthday and the events that led to it being my milestone.

Now my 50th birthday is coming around very soon ... in less than a week. So, in honor of the "big 5-0" I've written 50 things I am grateful for & what I consider as blessings.  There's been lots of changes & transitions in our household lately, so I'm looking at this next chapter positively.  After all, God breathed the promise that He would work all things for the good for His children. And, as I am a child of God -- I can not only count my blessings but I can also see when things weren't necessarily a piece of cake to live through ... but He turned those into the good for where I am now. 
These are not in any certain order of importance or my gratitude for them, they are simply "some" of the things I am grateful for ... this list does not cover everything I'm thankful for either.  I will say that the most important blessing to me is the blood of Jesus Christ -- God's one & only beloved Son -- who took the punishment for my sin so that I would live eternally with Him. Every of thing on this list stems from God's mercy & grace to me through Jesus Christ.

And so ... here it goes:

~~~ Our family's little "holler" where I grew up having my parents, my Granny, cousins, aunts & uncles all around me -- Granny's house in the center (and my sister coming along almost 9 years after me)
~~~ The close-knit community I grew up in {a community which had a population small enough that we all knew each other's families}
~~~ My hometown church where I was baptized in the creek that ran behind it
~~~ My Granny's front porch where the grown-ups would swing on the porch while all us kids would play in Granny's front yard
~~~ My Granny's back porch where memories were shared & made ... from the glider to the swing to the rocks to the trees -- and the old well-pump house stood to the side
~~~ Teachers who were family or friends, and probably had taught other family members -- and knew all families of their students
~~~ My Granny's gardens where I would work alongside to help plant & harvest vegetables/flowers

~~~ Memories of good times growing up in our little corner of country-life
~~~ The old dipper of Granny's that was used to water her flowers as well as hung over her kitchen sink so that all of us could use to get a drink of water when we wanted
~~~ Wisdom gained throughout the years ... even through some tough lessons
along the way
~~~ Swimming in the creek across the road and the old swinging bridge that crossed the creek & bike rides with my uncle leading the way
~~~ Relationship values ... family values ... Christ-centered life
~~~ The little blonde girl who always dreamed ... and still dreams as
she approaches her 50th
~~~ Friends who walked alongside during the crazy years & stayed around for years to come

~~~ For God's grace during life-changing crises
~~~ For dirt roads that teach us more of life's lessons than we imagine
~~~ For best friends' parents who become just like 2nd parents
~~~ For technology that has brought many new friendships into my life
~~~ Today ... these truly are the "good ol' days"
 ~~~ New community with new opportunities & the city that would be now known as "home"
~~~ Circles of friends to share with as our kids grew up in our church ministries

~~~ Reconciliation ... restoration ... redemption
~~~ God's unending mercies & grace when we had all but given up
~~~ Hometown pastors who were more than pastors -- and counted as life-long friends always
~~~ Nail-scarred hands to welcome loved ones who are still missed everyday
~~~ For pursuing the dreams that God had instilled & knowing we walked in His center
~~~ For the miracle of life when the doctor gave no hope of becoming parents
~~~ For the promise that He will work all things for my good since I am His child
~~~ Laughter, giggles & chaos as well as quiet times
~~~ Walt Disney's vision of family fun togetherness
~~~ Being stretched beyond my comfort zone when sometimes I'd rather become a recluse

~~~ Social media reconnecting me with old friends
~~~ Work ethic, character & integrity (hopefully mine as a positive)
~~~ For hiking the hillsides of my country community
~~~ Birthdays & celebrations ... anniversaries & births ... weddings & reunions
~~~ Out of the whole world, my country is the United States of America
~~~ Those who have prayed, sustained and held up the arms of our kids especially during these past 2 1/2 years
~~~ For the Internet that provides reconnection with life-long friends

~~~ Friends who simply walk alongside me although we may be miles apart or just do not get together as often as in the past
~~~ Past friendships that may have been for a season ... but will always be with me
~~~ God's unfailing grace toward me ... although I sometimes fall short of extending grace to others
~~~ My daughter Jacqueline & the heritage of her namesake of her great-aunt
~~~ My 2 grandchildren Lucy & Tag who carry family names & heritage to pass down to future generations
~~~ My Mother who taught a very young girl to pray
~~~ My Daddy who taught that young girl that your character matters
~~~ Challenges that grow me ... and peace that sustains me
~~~ My Granny ... who was always there for me

~~~ Changing seasons that illustrate so vividly that God never leaves us where we are
~~~ My husband who followed God's design for him before he accepted Him ... 
we're going on 31 years together ... and it just gets better
~~~ Every breath is the most precious gift from God ... and not taken for granted


These 50 things certainly do not include every detail on my thankfulness ...
but I'm looking forward to sharing more blessings in the posts to come ...

I'm looking forward to "knocking over another decade" very soon!



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Reflection Week

Seems like this time of the year I tend to be a little quieter ... yeah, I go about my daily routines, conversations & everyday life ... but to be perfectly honest, this is probably one of the most reflective weeks I have every year.  My husband has seen me through the past 30 years of
"this week" every August.
And I'm everso reminded that "this week" will be "the week" for so many others who experience the freshness of loss within the past few days.  One of Dan's friends and music buddies has lost his dad just in the past few days ... one of our friends from our former church ministry lost her mother on the same day ... and the world has experienced the loss of all of our loved actor Robin Williams.
This week I reflect ...
on God's goodness
on God's faithfulness
on God's graciousness
It's especially during this week that I see God's glory as I reflect
on family ... on relationships ... on legacies ...
My hope is for my future generations to value their relationships just as I was brought up to do.  That's why this week has always been the reflective week for me just as I'm sure it is for my family.  This year is the 34th year ...
my beloved Aunt was met at Heaven's gates by His nail-scarred hands. She's the reason I do not drink alcohol nor does my family.  My daughter carries her name and (I know) some of her characteristics. She is missed daily ... she is celebrated always.  This week marks the date of her car wreck (August 15) ... and the date of her birthday (August 18) which is also the day we said our earthly good-byes to her.
I know it's a tough week to get through for so many in my family ... especially my Mother.  So, my sweet blogging friends, please say a little prayer for her this week. 
And please remember those who have experienced loss this week ---
we never know what even a small prayer will do for them.
My Granny & her girls -- my Mother sitting on her lap. Aunt Hilda is last on right.

Monday, August 4, 2014

On Being Tucked In ...

Our wonderful daughter and sweet grands were home over this past weekend. 
Lucy had her Summer Showcase Dance Recital in which her little heart led her dancing every step of the way! 
Through her jazz ... and her ballet ...
our girl is really growing up too fast on us!
And then, the quick weekend was over ... time for them to head back to their "new home".  Dan & I are transitioning into the new household arrangement just as the little ones are -- and their parents as well. 
So, last night we Facetimed with everyone!  We've often said that the cartoon "The Jetsons" was so beyond it's time back in "our day" ...
visual telephones -- who ever heard of such a thing!
Well ... somehow Tag was put in charge of his Mommy's iPad.  And he was just chattering away with his Grandad & Granny.  And then his Mommy came back in the his bedroom & started "ahhhhhh"-ing.  Then she took a picture on her cell phone ...
Our sweet little boy had tucked us in for the night -- in HIS bed!!!!!  Oh man .... he sure knows how to get to his Granny's heart! 
 And then I started thinking about it ...
Isn't that how relationships are supposed to be?  At the end of the day ...
 this is all we have ...
our relationships ...
We may not always agree with each other ...
we may not always understand each other ...
we do always have each other.
One of our former pastors always asked this:
Would you rather be in fellowship or be right?
Unfortunately I know there've been times in my life where I have not put my relationships as priority.  However, there've also been times when both Dan & I have tried to restore relationships with those who are simply unwilling to accept restoration. And those are the times that we accept that we've done all we could to restore and we simply have to leave the rest to God.  I've learned over the years that I have to do all that God instructs me to do in restoring relationships ... then I leave it at the foot of the Cross.
I cannot force someone into accepting and restoring.  I may not understand why,
but God knows their hearts -- and we still pray for restoration.
I think back on my Granny ... her whole life was centered around her relationships ...
her relationship with her Savior Jesus Christ
her relationship with her family
her relationship with her community
her relationship with strangers who were in need of help
This is what our lives are all about -- our relationships.  And this Granny & Grandad are so very thankful for the relationship with we have our daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, family ...
we don't have to be right ...
we don't have to agree ...
we don't have to understand ...
we simply just need to be
At the end of the day
it's a good thing to be "tucked in":
tucked in the prayers of those who care
tucked in the hearts of our family & friends
tucked in our eternal relationship with our
Lord & Savior
There's a much higher price that's paid for not being tucked in ...
personally, I don't want to pay that price.