Saturday, April 25, 2015

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Last Friday this Granny went to her first MLB game! Now, I will admit that I'm really not a baseball fan ... well, not until about 3 years ago.  When our son-in-law was recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he was given the opportunity to go see the
 Washington Nationals on a few occasions.  Normally he's been able to get tickets for all 4 of them and the little ones always love the games! While at WRNMMC, he got 2 tickets and took Dan to a game on Father's Day 2012.
So, I was the only one in the family who had not been to a Nationals game ... until last Friday!  Dan & I had been to an out of state funeral and then went straight to the kids' house ... and on to see the Washington Nationals!

Lucy is a big fan ....

This girl may be petite, but she knows her Nationals ...
and Tag YUVS his Nationals!!!
(that's "loves" to you & me)

The 3rd inning was the military recognition ...
a special salute and recognition to our wounded warriors.  They gave each of us W ball caps and we waved them during the salute ...
this Granny really wasn't prepared to see our family along with the other wounded warrior families on the jumbotron. I wanted so much to take pictures, but I decided to stand with our wounded warrior family.

Oh yeah, and since it was my first ballgame, I had ask "a few" questions
 (I wink as I type that sentence) ...
Are you sure that we can go in and out of the Presidential Club anytime?
And all the food is completely free?
Is baseball really a big deal?
Am I dressed okay?
What will this  ball cap do to my hairspray?
Are you sure our seats behind home-plate are good?
*** Yes, Granny was at her best game that night***
(more winks)
Washington sports teams do honor our wounded warriors.  They provide a much needed outlet that gives warriors, caregivers & their children a special touch of being appreciated and a much needed reprieve from their new everyday "normal" (which is anything but normal). 
Last Friday morning the 'Joe's family schedule ...
Jacqueline was supposed to be in a caregiver meeting all day (8am to 4pm) and 'Joe had a couple of medical appointments starting early that morning. Dan & I were going to be at their house early to hang out with the grands all day.
However ... last minute change -- Jacqueline had to leave her meeting early, take 'Joe to Walter Reed for an appointment (before we could possibly get to their house) ... so they had to take the little ones with them.  Jacqueline got back for a little more of her meeting and we were able to spend some time with Lucy & Tag before we all left for the game in late afternoon.
So .... yes, we are so grateful to these sports teams who honor our wounded warriors & their caregivers and their children ...
because they deserve every moment of a little time away from their
 life-altered schedules.
Even Dan & I don't understand it all, but
when we see relief and smiles ...
when we hear the squeals and the cheers ...
well .....
we are proud to stand beside our kids.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Faithful Friday

I had intended on writing on a different topic this morning, but God just did not give the peace and the words.  One day I may get back to that topic if God allows.  But this morning is all about His faithfulness.

in the midst of praises ... in the midst of prayers ... in the midst of people ...
God is faithful
in the midst of losses ... in the midst of struggles ... in the midst of tears ...
God is faithful
in the midst of triumphs ... in the midst of mountain peaks ... in the midst of successes ...
God is faithful

No matter the situation nor the crisis nor the circumstance ...

God is always faithful

A few ways God has shown His faithfulness to me over the past couple of weeks ...
(aside from the obvious of waking us up every morning & allowing us to awake the following days)

** Tag's foot healing properly & no current signs of a fracture
 (he jumped off their bed one morning and ended up in a splint)

** Lucy was practicing her cartwheels before dance class & landed in a perfect half-split
(totally unexpected and could have injured her foot as well)
{{cannot post the video until after her recital in fear that her Momma will freak-out}}
** we've logged a lot of miles on busy roads lately and although we've had a few close calls with non-attentive drivers, we have stayed safe
 ** health ... home ... food ... finances

God is always faithful

even if we are going through a season of struggle ...
God is faithful
even if we are going through a season of grief ...
God is faithful
even if we are going through a season of unknown ...
God is faithful

I simply cannot comprehend all the ways that God is faithful to me ...
But I know He is.

Have a blessed weekend, dear friends ...
and keep your heart focused on the faithfulness of our God


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Another "Thinking Tuesday" ... Legacy

Posting my "Thinking Tuesday" on Wednesday ...

We have been in a whirlwind -- but it does seem like that's the way our weeks go lately.  In a whirlwind.  Last week ... I spent a night with the kids & grands to help out while 'Joe had a new procedure ... tax season #31 came to an end for us ... Dan & I traveled to an out of state funeral for a close friend of his family ... from there we went straight back to the kids' house & to a MLB game that night ... then back to our house with Miss Lucy & her activities ... then she & I met her Momma & Tag Tuesday morning ... then another drive back home alone for me ...
yes ... whirlwind
{I'll post more on our time with our kids later}
As I was focused once again on traffic on my way home (my "thinking Tuesday") I had one main thought ...

What is the legacy that I will leave behind when God calls me Home? 
 I know, I know ... not really the warm & fuzzy topic that anyone would expect. But that was my thinking process as I kept a close eye on the fast moving traffic of the busy interstate.
So ... my thoughts ...

 Dan & I attended a funeral last week of a close family friend who was like Dan's second dad to Dan as a young boy.  Last Wednesday I had gotten home from spending the night at the kids' house ... Dan had just gotten home from their office end-of-tax-season-luncheon ... and we started traveling several hours on the road. Tired, but we both knew that he needed to be there for this funeral.  However ... it truly was not a funeral.  It was a celebration of the life of a dad, grandpa, brother, uncle, friend who had been called Home by his Creator. (Matter of fact, Dan commented as we started back on our journey that night "THAT is how I want my funeral")

Dan was able to see friends whom he hasn't seen in ages! 
And that was good.

He saw his first boss who had taken a chance on him over 30 years ago and gave Dan his first accounting job. They hadn't seen each other in about 27 years or so. This man is also the brother of the family friend celebrated that night.
And that was good.
 He was reunited with his close childhood friend who grew up as close as a brother. And Dan stood alongside of him as many musicians gathered to sing a closing song in honor of his friend's dad.
And that was good.

Several hometown friends came up to Dan & re-introduced themselves since they hadn't seen each other in many years. I was honored when he introduced me to them.  More than 30 years and I still melt when I hear him say "this is my wife".

It's easy to step back and look at the legacy of someone who has passed their earthly presence and who have gone to their heavenly home.  But what about the legacy that we have in our control to create for our future generations to remember?
What if we were intentional on creating that very legacy?
What if we were intentional in our everyday living while it is within our control?

I admit that I am far from the role model for this. I don't always make time to catch up with family & friends ... I certainly make mistakes ...
and I know that I cannot live up to most people's expectations of me.
However, I do believe that right now ... for this moment in time ...
I am simply

being where God needs me most

And so ... my point to my "thinking Tuesday" was this ...

live life in the center of God's will
and be where He needs me
{and you, my friend}
the most

And that will always be good



Friday, April 10, 2015

On Being "Glad in it" ...

My oh my .... how busy life gets!  Not enough time to get "stuff" done ... yet too much time to simply procrastinate and "do it all later." 
I think one of the things that has been my downfall lately is simply ...

It is "supposedly" springtime here in the mid-Atlantic.  Yet ... this is what it looks like more often than not from my front porch.  I know ...
I know ... and yes I am reminded of Psalm 118:24 too ...
This is the day that the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
There is always a beauty in each day that God has made -- created -- designed... for us.  It's always up to each of us to discover how to
"be glad in it."
And one of the days that God gave us to be glad in was this past Sunday ... Easter Sunday. My family during my childhood years had always been "traditional" on Easter Sundays. But with my parents as well as my sister & her family living over an hour west of us ... and our daughter & her family living 2 hours north of us --- well, we have simply adopted the "tradition of change" ... we simply "go with the flow" and see what the different schedules can pull together.
So, Easter 2015 for our family ...
Dan was working at his office (kind of blasphemy for some people, but when Easter falls in the hectic days of tax season... )
Jacqueline & Michael and the little ones went to church with me (then Michael had to get on the road to head back to the military post...)
Dan came home just after EB (you know, the Easter bunny from the movie Hop) had left Lucy & Tag's baskets ... just between us -- EB likes to leave his basket surprises when there's absolutely no humans lurking about... Jacqueline & Grandad must have given him a scare because EB left a trail of carrot-crumbs!

You know, we really do have so much to "be glad" in each and every day that God makes for us. Sometimes we simply have to "look" ... and then we realize that the "glad" has been right in front of us all along.

Looking at this same picture ... I see a tree full of buds ... and pretty soon all of those buds will bloom into some of the prettiest leaves and covering for our birds. I hear the birds singing at this very moment even through the dampness and the fog of the morning.
And our cherry tree in our front yard on one of our sunny days ...
And the hope of all that ...
 after winter, there's always spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Story of "The Jesus Eggs" {It Still Gets to Me}

{{The following is a post I made on March 29, 2013 ...
it still gets to me ... she was 4 1/2 years old at the time she told me ...
The Story of the Jesus Eggs ...}}

The Story of "The Jesus Eggs"
This has been a very short week for Lucy's preschool.  Monday was a snow day and there is no school today for Good Friday.  Preschool has been so good for Lucy and it's a bonus to have her in preschool at our home church.  She & her classmates get to hear about Jesus and other Bible teachings everyday at school and in their activities. 

On Tuesday Lucy brought home an egg carton filled with 12 plastic eggs.  She was so eager to tell me "the story", so she took me in my bedroom, climbed upon the bed, and began telling me the story of  "The Jesus Eggs":

 EGG #1 ... "This is the palm branch, Granny.  People waved this when Jesus came into town riding a donkey."

EGG #2 ... "These are the coins that one of Jesus' friends gave to the men. I think his name was ..."  Was it Judas?  "Yes, yes.  His name was Judas."

EGG #3 ... "Granny, this was the bread that Jesus gave his friends to eat. And He even washed their feet!"

EGG #4 ... "These hands mean they prayed. And Jesus prayed too."


EGG #5 ... (Her whole little body flinched and she buried her little face in her hands) "Oh Granny, this is the whip they beat Jesus with. Oh they hurt Him so much!"

EGG #6 ... (Flinching again with tears in her eyes) "Oh Granny.  I was afraid this was the crown of thorns. They shoved it on His head and made His head bleed. They hurt Him really bad, Granny."      

EGG #7 ... (Clasping her little hands together)  "I was afraid this was the nails, Granny.  They pounded nails into His hands & feet on the cross. Why did they want to hurt Him so much?"

Throughout the process of Lucy telling me the story, I would rub her back or pat her leg to encourage her.  
"Lucy remember -- this has a happy ending, right?"
"Yes, Granny. You're right, it does. But it's just so sad now." 

EGG #8 ... "I really don't understand the dice, Granny." 
Well Lucy, they rolled the dice to see who would get Jesus' clothes.
"Why would they do that to Jesus?" 

EGG #9 ... "Oh Granny. I was so afraid it was this -- the sword. They jabbed it in Him and made Him bleed even more."


EGG #10 ... "It's the cloth! They wanted to wrap Him in it after He -- He died, Granny.  Jesus really died. They hurt Him so bad that He died."

EGG #11 ... "Granny, this is the tomb that they put His body in after He died."

EGG #12 ... "The angel came to tell them  
'Do not be afraid for He is not here.'
Granny, Granny --  
And He's with His Daddy in Heaven!!!" 

And I can honestly say that in all of my 48 years here on earth, I have never ever heard the Easter story of Jesus told with as much emotion as I heard from my 4 1/2 year old
Lucy Michaela.

And all of Heaven rejoices at the sound of the little ones ...