Friday, September 19, 2014

Giving Thanks Friday Special: Thankful for those who give

Most Friday's (although I slacked off a bit throughout the summer) you will find me here with my "Giving Thanks Friday" post.  Today I am not here with my usual list but am giving thanks indeed for a lovely local who is putting her skills and heart to good use by bringing hope and help to the wee babes of Rwanda.  I am so pleased for you to meet Marcia here today: 

Marcia finds needed peace away from work here with her horse at the ocean
As a neonatal nurse in the Pacific NW I have come to realize that we have the potential to save the most fragile and premature of lives.  The technology afforded us can keep infants of 24 weeks gestation alive until they are able to support themselves.  Yet in other countries such as Africa infants that are Jaundice are dying on a regular basis because of lack of education and equipment.  After working as a pediatric nurse for 9 years I found myself working in a level II neonatal intensive care unit for the last 7 years.  Truly God has blessed me with this job!

In life, all I ever really wanted to do was to try and make a difference.  I was blessed as a single person to adopt 5 children, three with serious medical issues.  Eventually I became a nurse and then I was married and added a step son to the family.    As we all know, when you are working hard to make a positive impact on those around you by serving the Lord the devil always tries to foil those plans.  In 2008 I was diagnosed with cancer.  Over the years I have had 12 biopsies, 15 surgeries, and continue to fight the rare cancer I’m inflicted with and will until the day the Lord calls me home.

After being diagnosed with cancer it became all too clear that each day is a gift and that the only thing we are promised is the moment in which we are living.  It was then that I decided I wanted to go big or go home!  So I have tried to make a difference in the lives of each little one I touch here but I found my heart longing to help those little ones that are underserved in Rwanda.  

Rwandan little ones

So the planning began.  I contacted numerous medical companies and international Aid corporations and have been blessed with donations of medical equipment to the tune of $20,000 which I will be able to hand carry with me to Rwanda when I leave on October 10th, 2014.  One of the tools I will be taking over to the NICU there is a much needed bilimeter.  This meter is a noninvasive meter that will tell the nurses how jaundice a baby is and then allow them to start the necessary live-saving, yet simple, treatment of phototherapy.  I am also going to teach NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Program) to the nurses, helping them improve their life saving skills of compromised newborns, as well as working on improving their assessment skills.  

Kibogora Hospital

With the recent and spreading outbreak of Ebola in Africa I found myself seconding guessing if I was making the right decision in going.  After receiving an encouraging word from a dear friend my decision was final!  This was God’s plan for my life!  I have been blessed with 6 more years of life than I ever thought I would have and truly when the Lord wants to take you home He will.  Until then I hope to carry on trying to make a difference in the lives of others. 

The NICU in Kibogora is supposed to be a 7 bed unit but often has 21 infants they are caring for at a time.

I would be ever so appreciative of your prayers not only for traveling mercies but for Gods light to shine through me as I have the privilege of meeting and caring for the smallest most fragile children at Kibogora hospital in Rwanda.

This little guys Jaundice was not recognized until he was 4 days of age.  He is now in heaven singing with the angels.

May you and your family have a blessed day,


Please join in me in praying for Marcia as she reaches out to the little ones of Rwanda and brings light to those around her.  She is not traveling as part of a team but on her own (with God's help).  It is a long journey to reach Rwanda with many, many hours in the air as well as stops in areas where Ebola is of concern.  Pray for her protection, safety, health and peace as she truly serves as God's hands and feet to those in need.  

Sweet triplet boys!  Multiples are very common in Rwanda.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Remembering and celebrating: September Sixth

Happy Anniversary to our beautiful daughter Bethany Rachelle and handsome son-in-law Tyson.  
Wishing you, this day and always, abundant love, treasured blessings and a lifetime of joy.  

Since I was not yet blogging during the time of their wedding, I wanted to share some memories today.  Please indulge me...

Note the worn wooden floors of the one room country church just feet from our own house.

Flanked by her bridesmaids carrying her train, she walked out out our front door and to the church where her Dad was waiting.

Mom was overwhelmed with details but Dad was caught up in the moment, tears and all.

Bethany and Tyson had a big hand in planning the God-centered ceremony - 
one of the most touching I have been witness to.
(Of course I could be biased...)

I love the look on her face!

Note the shadow to the right - so sweet.

Such a beautiful September day for a wedding.
The dahlia's were from a local farm across the river.

and blessed hands

Note the groomsman in the back left (a neighbor to us) and the maid of honor in the back right (my niece) - they are now married to each other!

This was a picture specifically requested by the bride who wanted to document every friend and loved on who shared their day.  It is such a special photo.  

My Granddad (who had passed away before the wedding) Blaine's car, Buttercup.
My aunt and uncle who own it now loaned it to us for the day. 

The sign says it all

This was, and still is, our daughter's baby and a big part of her life so it was only fitting we retrieve her from home to be a part of the pictures.

The guest list had to be kept to a small number due to the size of the church.  Extra guests joined us for the reception.  

Happy smiles and bubbles being blown just beyond the doorway.

From the wedding program: 

"I love you not only for what you are 
but for what I am when I am with you."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thank you for sharing these precious memories with me today!

Monday, September 1, 2014

What I learned in August

This month I learned: 

Sometimes bats DO come out in the daytime and they CAN fly right into someones greenhouse when the door is open and that someone is standing right by it causing said person to almost have a HEART ATTACK when she sees it clinging to the window beside her.  (My first thought was rabies because, really, how often do you see bats during the day?)  Thankfully my husband was home and could somehow interpret my garbled language of fear and take care of the "situation" wherein no lives were lost, not ours or that of the bat. 

My new aloe vera plant in the kitchen is very handy for when I burn my face with the curling iron, which I am known to do on occasion.  My husband is threatening to take it away.  (The curling iron - not the plant.) 

Eating at an outdoor table in our own backyard with the simplest of meals makes me feel as if I am on a most wonderful vacation.

It's handy to have your daughter in the dressing room next door to yours just in case you (or I, whatever...) happen to try on what you thought was a really cute printed, longer top, cinched at the waist, only to find out (after you were thoroughly stuck in the crazy thing) that it was, in fact, a romper and would, in fact, NOT go over your head.  

You can spend the better part of a day picking your garden tomatoes, washing, blanching and chopping them, whipping them up into a large batch of homemade tomato soup only to discover that your husband prefers the Campbell's variety...yep.  

It is way more fun to imagine the things I could buy with my birthday money (from July) than to actually spend it.  I have almost bought so many great things!    

Linking up here today: chatting the sky


Friday, August 29, 2014

Giving Thanks Friday

This week I am thankful for: 

An impromptu dinner of Subway sandwiches in the park.  What a lovely way to start out the long weekend.  

A deer who happened to visit some neighboring property.  (Apparently he is camera shy because just as soon as I got back to the window with the camera he turned to leave.)

A loved one whose health has made a dramatic turnaround.  So very, thankful!

Sun filled mornings come to life with the music of cooing doves.  Such a peaceful sound.

Tomato plants heavy with the last of the season's fruits.  

A life filled with so much love..

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) 

Monday, August 25, 2014

It is well

It's been a while hasn't it?  I have missed being here and am ready to find my way back. This summer has been one of many outdoor projects for ourselves and our parents as well. It has been good to keep my hands busy.  It provides time for my mind to unwind, my spirit to quiet.

I don't know about you all but my heart has been weary these past few months.  News from afar of kidnapped girls, rockets fired, a murdered journalist and the beloved fleeing to mountaintops.  News a little closer of civil unrest and two grieving families.  Even closer news of depression, suicidal ideation, addiction and families torn.  So much hurt; so much pain.

In the processing of it all I felt a bit overwhelmed, asking hard questions of myself, of God. Wondering what possible difference I could make from where I sat.  

But the thing is, it wasn't about me at all.   My eyes had become out of focus.  You see, it wasn't my job to figure it all out.  It's God's and I was trying to do it for Him.  So in my mind, and in my heart, I prayerfully began to place the seemingly impossible before the God of the possible. For it is only at the foot of the cross that real healing can begin for them, for me.  

Sometimes we are asked to help, to raise awareness, to donate money, even to go.  But this time my job was to be still and know.  Know that I serve a BIG God.  Know that He is moving in ways I may never understand.  Know that He is our unfailing Hope.  Know that He is our (beyond understanding) source of Peace.           

On a warm and breezy evening a couple weeks ago I sat in that stillness outside.  I felt God's love in the warmth of the sun, His touch in the rustle of the bamboo leaves and as the night sky filled with diamond like stars I could hear His whisper:  Those stars?  I made them for you.  I see you.  And those same stars that shine down on you, shine down on the hurting, the hungry, and the lonely everywhere. I see them too.  I hear your prayers and I am grieving for this world in greater ways than you can imagine.  Keep your eyes on me.  Trade your pain for peace.  Give me your weary heart and I will make well your soul.

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.

(Horatio G. Stafford)

The beauty is when we inhale the peace of God, we are free to exhale His great love - a love that can move mountains...


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I have learned this summer

This summer I have learned: 

There is beauty all around, we just have to be still long enough to see it. 

The first tomato from the vine tastes heaven sent.

I am much less picky about the way the interior of the house is kept during the summer months.

Losing a loved one is never easy but carrying their memory is.

I can appreciate the different ways individuals express themselves through fashion but I also learned (thanks to the lady in the tire store parking lot) that adding fringe to the bottom of your midriff baring t-shirt does not in fact cover your bulging, bare midriff.  

Sunflowers are happy flowers and looking at them makes me happy too.

God never, ever gives up on anyone - and we shouldn't either.

Burned veggie chili will mask the funny odor caused by your oven having been in the self cleaning mode.  It will also cause an entirely different odor to deal with...

Eating outdoors makes everything taste better.

I will never tire of gazing at a star filled sky.  

And finally, when


turns into


all is right with the world : )

I am linking up with Emily, from Chatting at the Sky, and other summer learners here:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good intentions

Life is definitely unpredictable isn't it?  I had every intention of participating in a 30 day photo challenge at least on most days of July but it hasn't quite happened.  Really, it was a silly month to take on such a challenge in the first place since I have little time to snap photos let alone try to make them look nice for you all.  Secondly, most bloggers are busy during the summer and who needs 30 days of posts from me cluttering up your in-box...

It was fun in the beginning but I lost steam when we lost my Grandpa.  His memorial service is this week.  At the end of last week I thought well, I haven't missed that many days so maybe I will pick up the challenge again.  Enter a camera issue that has yet to be dealt with. 

So, yes, good intentions but this photo challenge is officially over.  Maybe I will get to do one in the future.  Maybe not.  (Life...unpredictable...) 

One of the days I missed was animals so I decided to grab a few photos from my archives to share on this last day.  Whether is is neighboring farms or our own back porch there are animals, birds and bugs a plenty around here. 

Love this mama cow and her calf.

The buffalo farm across the river from us.

These birds come back to nest each year.  This farm has built them a platform to ease their nest building.

Ducks and more ducks.

A turkey ready for flight.

An insect rather than an animal but I love when these sweet creatures visit. 
And finally, some very hungry pigeons.  Thank you to everyone who has followed along on this challenge and for your kind and encouraging comments.  I pray the remainder of your summer is filled with all things beautiful!