Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thoughts Behind the 'Tiller

Dan & I have been doing quite a bit of yard-work over the past couple of weeks.  And when I've finished for the day, I am completely worn out! And that's good. My Granny always said that hard work never hurt anybody ... and she worked hard all of her life. 
One of the areas we're working on is a little triangular piece between our front sidewalk and house.  Up until the other day, it was a pesky little piece of grass to mow and keep weeded ... until this ol' Granny pulled out her rototiller ...

Have you ever used a rototiller?  Or been anywhere within hearing distance of it?  Let me say this -- they are loud ... LOUD!!!!  When I use the 'tiller (yes, me... for some reason I would rather use it & let Dan work on something else... so, when the 'tiller is needed - Granny works it) I cannot hear anything but the 'tiller.  I cannot hear anything at all.  This morning I thought about the 'tiller and this picture that hangs in our sunroom for us to see as we enter our house and as we leave our house. It's our reminder...
Make time for the quiet moments
as God whispers and the world is loud.

And so I envisioned my rototiller as "the world" ... the world is just as loud as the 'tiller.  The world can drown out any message that God whispers to us...
When the world shouts that's not fair!
Do you hear the psalmist whisper
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want
When the world shouts they don't deserve your forgiveness!
Do you hear Jesus praying
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
When the world shouts you're not good enough!
Do you hear God whisper
I began a good work in you and I will complete it
When the world shouts but you're entitled to more!
Do you hear God promise
your every need is already supplied
When you hear the world shout you'll never be good enough!
Do you hear Paul's encouragement
I am not perfect but I press on for Jesus
When the world shouts give up!
Do you hear Jesus quietly welcoming you
Come unto me and I will give you rest
When the world shouts you're a nobody!
Do you hear God reflecting
I know the plans I have for you
There's so many "things" the world shouts at us.  And just like my rototiller, the world can drown out any and all other sounds around us.  But ...
there's always HOPE in the promises of
God Almighty
And just like the many different household projects that Dan & I have going on around our place, we are all a work in progress.  We take one step at a time to move forward into the direction that God leads us. 
 I like the way Lysa TerKeurst phrases it as we all are making "imperfect progress" ...
we may fall into listening to the shouts of the world from time to time -- but the very next decision we make will be the most important...
listening to the quiet voice of God as He whispers to each of us.
God bless you all, my friends!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Snuggles ... Recitals ... Anniversary

This weekend was a busy one in our household.  One of snuggles, recitals & an anniversary ...
Jacqueline & the little ones came down on the train Thursday evening.  There wasn't much time before bedtime so we played and got beds ready and we said our bedtime prayers. When Dan & I were ready to leave their room so that "Mommy" could get them to sleep,
Tag said "I wanna snuggle with Nanny" ...
and so I was more than willing to snuggle between these two grands.  The 3 of us chatted about Disney, sang lullabies and had lots of squeals & snuggles. And then Tag said ... "Nanny, you're the sweetest grandmother" ...
and I was completely lost in them.

Michael drove down on Friday after his appointments.  Traffic was horrendous as usual for the start of the weekend. But ... with only 2 major road systems --- we do what we have to do.
Saturday was a very busy day ... hectic but so worth every moment.  Lucy's first dance recital performance was at 10am!  My parents drove an hour & a half to get to the school where it's held every year. They are so supportive of their grandchildren & great-grandchildren...
 and Lucy & Tag absolutely LOVE their great-grands!
Lucy danced her heart out Saturday and Sunday! Dancing is definitely her "thing" ... she travels back & forth between our homes during the week -- she's homeschooled online -- she & Tag go to some appointments & meetings with their parents during the week...
so dancing is just "her". (Tag will be getting into his activities soon in preschool -- not sure yet what "his thing" will be, but his time is coming too!)

And Tag was so supportive of his big sister!  He went to both performances -- Saturday AND Sunday... he endured the pictures (although he really did not want in any of them)... and then during Sunday's performance ...
he fell asleep sitting on my lap. 

He is a trooper!
And in the midst of the busy family weekend ...
Dan and I celebrated 31 years of our married life together.  I know I bore everyone with our story ... but here it goes again.
He was the new kid in high school ... 2 years older than me. We knew who each other were but never said a word to each other. He graduated from high school with 3 of my cousins (and he didn't know they were my family).  We started dating September 1983 ... then the morning of May 16, 1984 ... we decided that we would elope.  And we did.
A whole lot of life has happened in the past 31 years.  We've been on the mountain peaks and we've been in the deepest valleys ... but this weekend we celebrated every moment that brought us to our celebration of 31 years and the family that God gave us.  Even when we were so close to ending "us", God told us to hold on tight to Him because our road to redemption was about to get very rocky ...
but He promised that it all would be worth it.
And it was worth it ...
and it still is worth it ...
and it will be worth it for generations to come.
And so, just a little word of unsolicited advice from a Granny whose "been there" ...
keep God as your Center and hold on tight to Him
 because it'll all be worth it sooner than you think.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Upcoming 31 ...

Last year I wrote several posts that revolved around mine & Dan's 30th wedding anniversary.  My posts included The ABCs of 30 ...
 Once Upon a Time ...
 When Our Fairytale Met Real Life ...
 Celebrating 30 Hawaiian Style

Well, our 31st is approaching this Saturday, May 16th.  It's amazing how the clock has kept ticking the seconds away over this past year.
It's been our year for several changes and our biggest has been becoming semi-empty nesters for the first time. We've spent time doing some much needed projects around our house ... future planning ... just hanging out with each other.  Seems like the more we do around the house -- the more we want to do!
{{and just so happened that we now are the proud owners of 10 cubic yards of mulch,
new Leyland Cyprus trees, Japanese maple, Hydrangeas...
waiting to be shoveled and planted!}}

Thirty-one years ago we were kids ... Dan had just turned 22 & I was 19.  Honestly, we did not have a clue.  We were blindly in love and really had no idea what lie ahead of us.
We had talked about getting married ...
he asked my parents for their permission to marry me ...
we picked out my engagement ring on Monday May 14th ...
and then we eloped Wednesday May 16th.
{you can read "more of the story" from the above links}

We know that eventually our "semi" empty nesting will evolve into empty-nesting,  but for now ... we enjoy our time with each other and our time with all of our kids.
Every moment of the past 31 years has brought us to where we are today. 

 We've risen to the mountain tops ... we've forged through the valleys ...
we've been blessed

When I think about those kids 31 years ago ... and where those 2 kids are now ...

God is so much more than "good" ---

when we didn't know our way ... God was our Light
when we gave up ... God was our Redeemer
when we choose each other every day ... God is our Center

On Wednesday May 16, 1984 --- Dan & I traveled the road to elope and began our married life as one
On Saturday May 16, 2015 --- Dan & I will travel the road (with our kids & grands & my parents) to see our granddaughter dance in her recital

You see, we didn't have a clue as to what our life would be 31 years later, but ...

... Life is beautiful ...


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Our Family of Women-Folk

We've been having a very hectic schedule for the past few weeks.  Our son-in-law is in the middle of appointments with the VA which will eventually lead to his military medical retirement (well, after possible months of review-time) ... I've been back & forth between our two houses to hang out with our grands during some of the appointments ... and we have an upcoming weekend of appointments, dance recital rehearsal & Mother's Day. All I can say is ...
except for God.

Even in the midst of the chaos & the hectic ... I get clear visions on the "how" it all gets done.  I know that God simply carries us through each moment.  Dan and I stand in complete awe of how our daughter carries the load everyday ... every single day.  'Joe's appointments -- Lucy's homeschooling -- Tag's preschool development -- caregiver meetings -- advocating for fair treatment
of wounded warriors & their families -- never-ending list.
 But ...
except for God.

You see, God knew the exact family and the exact lineage of women-folk that our daughter would need to come from.  And here's what I know of our family of women-folk ...

We are women who depend daily on our Lord & Savior to carry us in each moment and to direct every step that we take.
We are women who do not shy away from sacrifices or hard work.
We are women who know that for every crisis we go through, we are blessed ten-fold beyond by God and His faithfulness.
We are women who acknowledge that everything we are is because of God Almighty.
We are women who put God first in our lives.
We are women who are courageous to follow His path every day and to still be ready to meet our family needs.
We are women of strength because we know that our strength comes from God.
We are women who know our purpose here on Earth is much more than getting through each day.
We are women of faith in God.
We are women who walk through the fire and know that He is walking along side of us with each and every step ...
and when the fire gets too hot for us to move forward --- we know that He carries us through it.

As I approach this Mother's Day weekend, I'm reminded that in the middle of family ... schedules ... work ... hectic ... unknown ... waiting ...
God simply

And our future women-folk ...

will follow in our very footsteps
and they will learn from us who have gone before them
and we pray they will depend on God Almighty for their own strength & direction
just as the generations of women-folk who came before them.