“The reason one writes isn’t the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald


"But how could you live and have no story to tell?" ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky


"Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph" ~Matt Hardy


“A mother keeps a garden of the heart, planting the seeds of faith and character that give her children hope and purpose for the years ahead.” ~Anonymous


“If your story is never told, it becomes something else...forgotten.” ~Anonymous

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Passed Over...A Good Thing

Passover...unless you know the "celebration" it makes you think of being "passed over"; almost a negative meaning..."I was passed over for someone better."  No, this PASSOVER, means you were chosen...you were singled out.   You were passed over to give you LIFE...

Today is the first full day of Passover (having begun last evening).  For those who are not familiar with this Jewish celebration, it is the commemoration of God "passing over" the Jewish people when the plague of death took the first born sons in Egypt.  They marked their doorposts with blood and God passed over their homes and saved their first born.  It was the last act of the plagues before Pharaoh set God's people free to return to their homeland and Moses led them out. (Exodus 11 and 12)

It is the feast of Passover where the Israelites remember where they "were" and what God had done.

A reminder they were once "slaves".

A reminder WHO delivered them.

An Old Testament story which opened the door to a New Testament covenant.  Jesus said the same thing at the Last Supper....His body and blood...do this in remembrance of Me.

Today, a simple thought from my heart to yours.

It is as real today as it was when Moses led His people out of Egypt.

It is as life-giving today as it was when Jesus said it to his disciples moments before He died.

"Remember who you are and where you were. Remember who God is and what He did. Remember your redemption for “all the days of your life.” **

(**above quote taken from "The Feasts of Israel"; a study of the feasts by Precept Ministries International....precept.org )

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring, Sunshine and Shoes

Dinner finished....

Checking emails....

Scrolling through facebook....

Resting with heat on my back before the lower back exercises...

And realizing it is March 18th and have only participated 3 days in the photo challenge, two of those days I haven't even posted the photos.   But I did have a daughter return home of which I am still soaking in the moments she is around.  And I did remember to turn the clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time.  And I did remembered to get my husband a card and his favorite chocolates for our anniversary.

Tonight I felt like blogging....it's what I do, sometimes, once in awhile....like tonight :)

I am homesick for England...

Actually, I haven't lived in England, but I love most things British (including Doc Martin, MI5, Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lewis and yes, Downton Abbey) and if I had lived there, I would be homesick.  The above magazine recently released has me dreaming and I just had a cup of tea.

Last Thursday's photo challenge was "tasty"

Today's challenge was "shoes"

I think I got carried away...

Hmmm....my legs hurt just looking at them....

More in my comfort zone...

Somedays my camera just aches to speak; other days she falls silent.  And it always makes me laugh to see what catches my "eye".

Tomorrow's challenge is "sign"....wonder if I can come up with one :)   Is it looking like springtime where you are?  She is due to arrive in about 29 hours. I hope her arrival brings warm sunshine, daffodils and cherry blossoms to my neighborhood and to yours.

From my heart to yours...

Friday, March 15, 2013

190 weeks and going strong :)

Today we are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary!  Wow!  That sets a stage for reflection :) The actor and actress on this stage have come a long way...

When we say "I do" at the altar, we have no idea what is ahead.  Dreams, hopes and happiness are all at the forefront of life at that moment.  The honeymoon is all we can see and we are pretty sure that will last forever :)

Those who have been married any length of time are chuckling about now.  Honeymoons are great - I wish we could have one every year :)   However, the dust settles, the gifts are put on the shelves, and life moves forward at the pace of a cheetah chasing his prey.

How is it that my oldest turns 26 next month?  My youngest graduates from high school in June?  The first words out of our mouths when we climb out of bed in the morning are ... "ouch" :)    Is that a grey hair I see...no, I really think it is the lighting...

Where did all those years ago???

If I could describe OUR years in one word....27 of them....it would be "adventure".

For better or for worse.....there have been great adventures and there have been tough ones.

For richer or for poorer....months of abundance and months of leanness

In sickness and in health....we've been so blessed to have good health as a couple and family.  Injuries have been few and far between.  We've only met our very high deductible twice - actually as of March 1st this year, we met ours for 2013 ALREADY (thanks kids!)

Marriage is work, raising children is a full-time job....and I wouldn't have traded my employment in this for anything.  The stage God set for us in this journey my husband and I have been on has had many acts, many changes of costume, many laughs, many tears, scenes where we forgot our lines or the role we were meant to play, times when we felt the curtain could come down at any moment, but then God shows up and there is applause.

As I penned a few thoughts on facebook this morning honoring the man God gave me, I thought "I wonder if this seems gushy and sentimental.  My words are my heart.  I honor and respect this man more than I can even express.  I will go to the ends of the earth with him (which by the way could very well happen if God has anything to say about our adventure :).   I am in love with him and would say "I do" all over again.  I have had a great life with him."   This month I've seen many anniversaries celebrated vocally on facebook.  It is wonderful and honoring.  But friends ... and singles.... those years and couples being honored have not come upon the celebration without a struggle.  We do not take anniversaries lightly.  The years of marriage are held together by the rolling up of our sleeves and working all things through....the deepest form of commitment.  Through the fires which destroyed everything, through the injuries or illness which wipes out the bank account, through the leanness of no employment and there is a family to feed, through the challenges and through the victories.   Through the losses and the gains. Through the times when misunderstanding, criticism or being judgmental can destroy it all.   And the intense joy and yes, happiness, that comes from years of side-by-side living.

The results of 27 years....joy, deep commitment, character development (sounds cliche, but this ole' girl is not the same as she was 9,855 days ago... all credited to God's patience with me and what comes out of the iron sharpening iron of marriage and raising children), having a husband who believes in you to be all God created you to be.  And to believe in your husband and children to see them living out the purposes of God in and through them.

If we wives (and husbands) are gushy about our anniversaries, indulge us, please.  We have come a long way.  We have seen God come through.  This marriage is about more than just happiness, it is about vision, a mission and seeing God glorified through each and every year we had together and for the years and adventures ahead.  Revealing Christ to a world that needs to see healthy relationships...not perfect, but healthy and surviving.

I love this man and I am sentimental today.  As I was praying for him this morning, he walked into the room with a dozen red roses....I felt like the actress at the end of the play...roses presented and God applauding.   I love you, Jim!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Love, Laughter and Ligaments

There are 14 main ligaments in my back (and yours btw :)....and a couple of mine are in a lot of pain!  Somehow through normal living...and lifting a heavy box :)  ...I have stretched ligaments in my lower back and am somewhat "out of commission" for a bit.  I have spent the last 4 days either lying down with heat or slowly walking and trying to get something done.  I don't sit still very well on normal days, so this is a test for me.  Going to the doctor on Monday was my outing for the week.  Five times a day of lower back exercises and hopefully, someone being around to get me up off the floor is providing entertainment for my entertainment-starved family :)    However, during these days I have developed a deep appreciation and heart of mercy for those with chronic pain.  I am saddened that those who live with constant pain have to do so.  I pray for God's grace to be real to them.

But enough of that....my daughter is home!!  After 6 months of schooling, missions outreach and adventure, she is back and sleeping off her jet lag!  Only a mom (and a dad) can understand the feelings of joy when a child is safe and back home under the same roof.  I have no idea how long she will be under that roof, but I am happy all the same she is here now!  This is the word finding a resting place in my heart today...

'Your servants' children will have a good place to live and their children will be at home with you."   Psalm 102:28 The Message Version

We met her at the airport in party hats and wild sunglasses...sorry, no photo; I was too busy convincing everyone to wear the glasses!  We are laughing, loving and enjoying the family altogether for this time.  I don't in any way take this for granted...I am enjoying every minute!  (She got to be my ride to the doctor on Monday!)

We had a small "family" dinner (plus two and minus one)....does that make sense?  For those of you with busy and larger families, you understand how difficult it is to get them all together for a meal sometimes.  The day after she arrived, we were able to gather 5 of us, plus two boyfriends, and minus one son, who had a snowboarding competition at the mountain.  He again won second place in his division (had to throw that in!).

He deserves a photo here :)

And the family, plus...

I find myself in these quiet moments of sitting still being thankful for what I have.  Our lives seem to be changing constantly...and I am sure change is up ahead...but for now, in this moment, life is good :)  .... except for a few painful ligaments :(   

From my heart to yours, whatever moment you are in today and this week, there is a blessing to be found.  Sometimes, it takes just sitting still to see it :)  

More blogging to come, but I need to go do some exercises...uh, oh...there is no one here to get me up off the floor.  Hmmm....you may not hear from me for a while :)