Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I learned in March



This month I learned: 


Cooking grilled cheese sandwiches and blogging are NOT a good combination.  #burningitup


They guy in front of you at the UPS store may or may not be asking how he can overnight an envelope of "powder" to China and how much would it cost.  (In case you are wondering - $7200).  My daughter and I sat in the parking lot watching him because as you can imagine our imaginations were working overtime!  


I tend to misspell spinach (which I grow and love in salads) every ding dong time I type it. 


Hearing the lovely Irish music played more often during this month somehow makes me think I can get up and do an Irish dance equal to those on the television.  Sadly, it is only true in my mind.


Speaking of television, (this did NOT happen in March but I feel I must mention it all the same) the Parenthood TV series ended and I ugly-cried my eyes out during the last few episodes.  It was such a well done, pretty real to life program and one they wrapped up beautifully.  


You can be driving (well husband was driving, so technically I was riding) along on a four lane freeway, after dark with, might I add, no cross walk in site (obviously, hello - it IS a freeway!) and out of the corner of your eye spot not one but two adults half running, half WALKING across your lane (of, again, a four lane freeway with posted speeds of 60 miles per hour). Thankfully I was able to shout to my husband who slammed on the brakes barely missing them both.  They were dressed in dark clothing and he didn't see them.  Oh by the grace of God...#heartpoundingthanks


Even though I did not sign up for it, I received an e-mail from Purina inviting me to their Chicks Days Event, gave me instructions on giving the chicks a good start AND enclosed a $2 off coupon on feed.  A coupon!  IT MUST BE A SIGN!  Well, my husband apparently does not believe in the same signs as I do.  Whatever.  There is always next year and I don't give up that easily : )  If you want to follow someone who raises some pretty cute chicks check out this lovely lady.   


Just like many of those celebrating during the original triumphal entry we, too, can have the Messiah right in front of us and yet miss who He really is.  May God blow our selfish assumptions away that we may see Jesus for who He truly is this Easter season.        


Linking up with Chatting at the sky today.  


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Inside the cupboards



They were moving and we had come to help pack the last of their belongings - a feeble attempt at saying good-bye to a family who had been such a huge part of our lives for so many years.  

The men went to work on the heavy stuff while she and I went to work in the kitchen, the heart of the home, and my heart was beating quick as I tried to stuff deep emotions down from the surface.  They were leaving our community, one in which their impact was great spiritually.  They were going where God was calling.  But the leaving was hard.  Hard for them; hard for us.  

So we opened cupboards.  

Among the pots and pans, bags of tea and cans of soup, we found a forgotten package past its expiration date, some crystals of sugar from a hurried return of the container to its space.  Bits and pieces of lives lived to the full.  

We talked as we sorted and even laughed a bit as we boxed it up.  I wondered how I would feel having someone, even a close friend, go through my cupboards - to possibly find some stray pasta that had escaped its container or some crumbs of crackers that left the tin.  What would they think of my housekeeping skills? What would they think of me personally?    

We, as women (sorry guys who might be reading...), consider men the prideful species but us women have our issues as well.  It's a vulnerable thing letting someone in to the deep parts of your cupboard.  It's even more vulnerable when you let them in to the deep parts of your heart.  

But the deep is where the true connections are made, lasting  bonds are formed and hearts forever joined.  It was a hard day letting go but also a good day of growing a step closer as I saw just a wee bit more of this precious woman's heart.  

Now moved for a couple years, I get updates from her on Facebook and some personal messaging.   The family is doing well.  They are just hours away and connections here will undoubtedly bring them back for visits.  I hope so.  We had a special day out and lunch together the day or so before the moving van actually pulled away.  We talked and shared like we never really had before.  I regretted that we had not done it sooner.  I regret it still.  We started out looking inside cupboards, then peeked inside hearts where God's love drew us closer together and His grace sustains us still.



Linking up today with Jennifer for #TellHisStory and Kristin for Three Word Wednesday along with Barbie from The Weekend Brew.
  

Friday, March 20, 2015

Giving Thanks Friday



This week I am thankful for: 



Spring!!!  It is officially here.  Here is to hoping it arrives, not just in name, for everyone soon...   


Honest sales associates.  A couple weeks ago my husband bought some "thing-a-ma-bob" that attaches to a tool he owns.  It was an inexpensive purchase (less than $5) and he paid cash.  After a few more errands we decided to get lunch.  Up at the counter to pay he discovered that his wallet was mostly empty and realized that the clerk had mistaken the fifty dollar bill he had given her for a ten.  I paid for lunch (so nice of me...) and we discussed returning to the store.  Even though there would be no official proof, after talking with him further the sales clerk had taken him from a busy register to a seldom used one which made me realize that it would be fairly easy for them to count their till and find the error.  No need.  He returned, (while I whispered a quick prayer) explained the situation, and she took him straight to the till and gave him the correct change.  Yay!  So grateful. And I think the Mister will watch closer for correct change next time. : )                


The sounds of tractors plowing in the morning and trains whistling at night.     


A neighbors new goats across the road.  They are SUCH fun to watch and the bonus is I don't have to take care of them (grin)!  


All the new baby calves that we are beginning to see along the road as we drive into town.  (Also thankful that the escaped chicken from one farm decided to NOT cross the road in front of me at the last minute.)


A phone call from a friend currently out of state - such a fun time to catch up and feel like she is not so far away.


Survival (and good outcome) of yet another yearly mammogram.  Ladies, get screened if you are due!  Also thankful that the imaging place where I go for screenings recently obtained a new 3D machine for better (and might I add, more comfortable) results.  


God's unconditional love.  For me.  For you.  For us all.            

                    


What are you thankful for?


May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1) 


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Love of two


This is my commandment:
Love each other 
in the same way I have loved you.


Love each other with genuine affection,
and take delight 
in honoring each other.


Two are better than one.



Thank you Lord for the one you gave me

who loves me

who is willing to get wet with me

to swim along side

in the calm waters

and in the rough.



(John 15:12, Romans 12:10, Ecc. 4:9 NLT)


Linking up today with: 

Kristin for Three Word Wednesday
Jennifer for #Tell His Story
Stephanie with the Enchanting Rose link-up.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In living color

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_funlovingvolvo'> / 123RF Stock Photo</a> (for picture collage of flowers)



The sunshine warm upon my shoulders, I gaze out at the yard to survey its ever-changing pallet.  I see the most brilliant yellow of the mini daffodils near the office window, the purest white of the snowdrops beneath the maple tree, a warm and glowing pink of a primrose peeking among the yet to be scraped up winter leaves and the wonderful green of the rhubarb springing to life once again.  Color.  Alive and beautiful color.

But the color that thrilled me this morning was an amazing shade of brown against the white sheets in the bed as I rose from them.  My skin.  

There is a lot of talk in the news these days about color - skin color in particular.  It is conversation that needs to happen and conversation that is far from over.  There is talk of judgment because of color and benefit because of color and we know that neither are right. There are uneasy answers given to hard questions and hearts being searched for truths.  

Through it all I hear a recurring word: colorblind.  I did a bit of reading and one particular description referred to colorblindness as "a color vision deficiency".  The phrase immediately pricked at my heart.  You see, I spent a long time thinking I was/wanted be colorblind, trying to treat each person I came in contact with as equals by ignoring their skin.  On the surface it sounds good but I have found that theory to be flawed.  A deficiency even.  

Webster's dictionary defines deficiency as this:  "a lack of something that is needed : the state of not having enough of something necessary"  "a problem in the way something is made or formed".  Deficient.  

We (that means me and you and all mankind) were created (formed) in God's very image, breathed into life by him and when he was done, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."  

VERY GOOD.


So no, I don't want to be colorblind.  I want to see diversity of skin as beautiful and necessary.  I want to see every God-created, God-breathed individual as the unique person they are - including the beautiful skin wrapping they arrived in.  I want to celebrate the exotic brown of my half Indonesian cousins, the beautiful tan of my half Native American niece, the gorgeous freckled cream of my friend's daughters, the stunning Ethiopian black of a family friend.  The red hair, the black hair, the brown, the blonde, the ash.  The curly, the straight, the wavy.  The green eyes, the blue eyes, the brown eyes.  The short, the medium, the tall, the very tall and the very small.  All shapes, all sizes, all makes, all models.  All equally yet uniquely created.  All beautifully created with promise and purpose inside.  None deficient.      

Each are precious in His sight.

 You are precious in His sight.

Loving the skin we are in, loving the skin other's are in might not change the race dialogue - but it's a start.  Color.  Alive and beautiful color.  Will you celebrate with me today?


     
Linking up with Kristin for Three Word Wednesday and Jennifer for #TellHisStory and Barbie  at the Weekend Brew.  

Update:  This post is currently featured on Simply Fresh Dinners  Tuesday Tidbits.  
    

Friday, February 27, 2015

What I learned in February

(My niece's two cutie pies)

What I learned this month:


There is nothing like snuggling with a wee baby (or two!) to set your perspective of life back on track.  


Some days you have the camera to capture the moment but some days you need to leave it at home and just experience being in the moment.


Reaching out to someone is never a mistake.  A little bit of encouragement can go a long way.  

(Therefore encourage one another and built one another up just as you are doing.  I Thes. 5:11)





Some days you just need a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Period. 


Laughter truly is the best of medicines.  I have a Facebook friend who shares funnies like these on a regular basis.  I love her : )



     
Finally, today, February 27, 2015 is National shine a light on slavery day and I learned this: 

According to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services an estimated 199,000 incidents of sexual exploitation of minors occur each year in the UNITED STATES. That's one incident every 3 minutes.
Slavery is the 2nd largest global organized crime generating $150.2 billion per year. That's more than the COMBINED revenues of Amazon.com, Google and ebay every year.

Let's pray, let's educate, let's strive to end it!  




Linking up with chatting at the sky for what I learned in February.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Giving Thanks Friday


Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_antuanetto'> / 123RF Stock Photo</a>


This week I am thankful for: 



Extra time with the hubby even though it was due to him having oral surgery (which went well).  It was fun hanging out without any agenda and leaving some of my usual routine behind.  I did inform him that one day when he retires I will have to get myself on a schedule because my household chores went by the wayside for those couple of days!  Today he is back to work and I am catching up double time.   


Seeing four bald eagles in the span of just three days.  One was sitting in a tree while I was driving in to town and it was so close to the road that I put on the breaks (a rural road with little traffic) and slowed to a crawl to be sure I wasn't hallucinating.  The second was a pair in a tree near the riverbank on our way to church and the third one was a very large bird along the freeway just sitting there.  No matter how many times I see these beauties I am still amazed at their majesty.  God's creation is awesome!              


Negative results on a test that a nephew had.  When lymph nodes and mention of the "C" word are involved there is always concern so very thankful that all is good.      


My parents and my mother-in-law - each blessings to us in their own unique ways.        


Pandora.  Our satellite package comes with Pandora music stations and I love that I can program in a favorite artist or genre to suit my mood.  Today I have been catching up on cleaning with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble'.   


Love, not the easy kind with hearts and flowers (though our anniversary was Valentine's day and I can get behind a gesture on the day) but the listening ear when you would rather watch your favorite TV show love, the sit beside you when you are sick and rub your shoulders even though you might catch it yourself love, the I know you are scared but we will get through this together love, the stand beside you and hold your hand while a loved one is laid to rest kind of love, the I am frustrated with you but still love you kind of love, the we are in this forever kind of love.  The love that not only made the vows but keeps the vows.  

I STILL take you, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.  (Amen.)     

                    


What are you thankful for?


May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1)