Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh my's almost Spring!

Life is just flying by. I knew I hadn't posted in some time, but didn't realize it was way back on New Year's Day. I started a job the next day, and life just got away from me! However, it was short lived, so I have a little time now while I'm job hunting, so a blogging I will go!

So, what's happened in the last couple of months? We're going to be grandparents in August. We are so very excited. Joel and Robin got pregnant again, and this time things have been going along smoothly. Bless the Lord. I can't wait to meet "my baby" as I call him/her. But I'm already thinking about how hard it will be to have so many miles between us!

As I hinted above, I had a job, but now I don't. It wasn't meant to be - they were busy at first, but then the economy took it's bite and my hours became less and less, and then there were none. Oh well. It was not my dream job, but since we need the income right now, I am job hunting again. Hopefully something will open up soon, and it will be the right thing for me. I am trusting the Lord to provide for us as he always does.

Otherwise, life is good. I turned 51 this month, so I'm officially OVER 50! Whatever! I feel and look better than I did at 40, so no complaints there. I'm find it funny that at 51 I'm still trying to figure out what I'm gonna be when I grow up. I hope I always keep growing and changing and that life never becomes old and stale.

So, I'll stay on this roller coaster ride, and love every minute of it. Hope you have more ups than downs in your journey, but remember that each part of the ride brings a different thrill.

Enjoy the ride!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Well it's 2009 and it's gonna be fine! I know I haven't blogged since late October, but I have no real excuse. Just nothing of great importance to share I guess!

It's the beginning of another year and I am very curious to see where this year leads us. It's amazing how fast the years go by now. We saw some changes this year, Louie became our church administrator, I sold lots of soap, Josh is almost as tall as me and his voice is changing. We thought we were going to be grandparents, but Joel and Robin's first pregnancy ended at 6 weeks. Ups and downs, always. Life is like a see-saw.

I feel like 2009 will be a year with many forks in the road. Where would God have us? What should we be doing jobwise? Should we continue to homeschool, or is it time to give public school a shot? Ultimately we just have to seek God's face, and in doing so, we will never miss his will. Forks in the road don't scare me too much...I just wonder which direction will lead to the biggest blessing and best service to the Lord. I don't know that he is so all concerned with exactly what we do for living, just that we seek him in all we do.

I admit that I would like to see the Lord bless us financially this year. My goal is to be out of debt and in line for expanding my soap business. I like to listen to Dave Ramsey, and we're going to try to follow his baby steps this year - setting up an emergency fund, starting the debt payoff snowball, expanding the emergency fund, putting away for retirement, saving for Josh's college, being able to give. Ok, it's in writing - let's see what the year can bring!

I wish all of you a wonderful and prosperous new year. May you be both blessed and a blessing!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And you thought I'd never post again!

Well, I am probably the worst blogger in the mountains. What can I say, I get busy and forget about keeping the internet world at large posted on my comings and goings. I hope you haven't missed me too badly!

Life is busy! Fall is here and the mountains are beautiful. We actually had our first snow on Tuesday morning. SNOW!!! It's not even Halloween yet! It was just a dusting, built up on the roof of the barn and on the tree stumps in the yard, but it was snow none the less. It's been chilly, and I am always cold now that I've lost my insulation. My coats are all too big...I've gotta hit a Goodwill or something and get some warm stuff to wear.

Since it's fall, the Leaf Lookers are all here, and that means it's Craft Show and Festival time! Yeah! I've been making soap, and making soap, and making soap! And then on the weekends I've been selling soap, and selling soap, and selling soap! It's fun, but hectic.

Well, Election Day is almost here. It's quite the amazing race! I will be voting for McCain/Palin, as I believe that the ProLife stand is important. There are things I like about McCain, and things I don't. I can say the same thing about Obama. I don't worry about the election though. I just do my part, and I figure that God will still be in control, and will have his hand on whoever ends up being our President. You may call me simple minded. I just believe what I believe. No apologies for that. Ok, enough about that. (Except to say that the SNL skits with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin are just too funny....)

Our church is going through a project called 40 Days of Love. It's been good, and it really makes you look at the relationships in your life and how they can all be better if we learn to love like Jesus loves. Sounds easy enough, right? Not always. This has made me really look at how I treat others - do I look for ways to help them? Do I really listen to them? Am I willing to speak the truth in love when necessary? Do I trust my loved ones? Do they trust me? Do I put their needs before my own? Do I try to love the unloveable? Hmmmmm.

I hope you are loved today!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My, my...time flies

Time is a funny thing. We have it all segmented out - down to the milisecond. Just think of Michael Phelps winning a close race at the Olympics! How strange then that the passage of time can feel so very different for different people, or even dependent on what's happening in our life.
Remember when you sat in class, waiting for the bell to ring? Five minutes felt like forever. Now that I'm 50, I blink and the week is over.

I was reading my friend Jen's baby site for her son Austin, who just turned 2 yesterday. His birthday is a wonderful event, but it also reminds us of the unexpected death of his sweet father, Thomas, 2 years ago on 8/19. I cannot imagine how the time has passed for Jen. When I think of Jen and Thomas, I see his sweet smile in a picture I took of them before their wedding. I think of the wedding itself, almost flooded out due to some particularly wet Florida June weather - but soooo beautiful. I see Jen and Thomas dancing in the courtyard after the rain had stopped. It seems like yesterday, but in fact was 5 years ago. Time flies indeed.

I look at my own sweet boys. Joel at 26, a married, working man. I still picture him at 7 years old, laughing and clowning for the camera, his little Polk County southern accent saying, "Daaiddy!" The Polk County accent is gone, replaced by the generic Manatee County non-specific only slightly southern drawl. He no longer calls Dad "Daddy", but he will still ham it up for the camera on occasion. And then there is my baby, Josh. Now almost 12, and he outweighs me by 50 lbs. Where is that baby that I carried? Seems like it was just yesterday and I was feeling the Bug move around inside me. Now he's starting 6th grade, dreaming of the car he will buy someday, telling me he likes brunettes more than blondes....AAAAAH!!

Well, regardless of how time is flying, the best thing we can do is to live in the moment. We can't change what's passed, and tomorrow may or may not come. So NOW is what we have and what we should live in. I've been thinking lately about that. About why we save the good china for "special occasions" and why we put things off til we are thinner or more financially secure. I don't want to waste today, dreaming about a tomorrow that may never come. I want to enjoy today, and live it to its fullest. Clean my house like company's coming, fix my husband's favorite foods, wear a dress once in a while instead of jeans, take a drive just to look at the mountains, burn the candles I bought that smell so good, wash my body with that homemade soap, go to lunch with my friends, tell someone how much I love and appreciate them, do it now - not tomorrow!!!

I need to stop now, so I can enjoy today. You have a good one too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In Memory of Andrew Widman - A true Servant Heart

I have some dear friends in Ft. Myers, Florida. Their names are Bonnie and Tommy Rickards. We met when I was in high school. Tommy became our Youth for Christ/Campus Life director, and I became the babysitter for their two small boys, David and Mark. These were some precious times for me. These 4 people became family to me, giving me all the love that I wasn't getting from home. (Hey -now that I know what it's like, I can understand what my mom and dad were going through with 4 teenagers!) I learned so much from this couple, about love, friendship, committment to Jesus.

As time went on, another little boy, Joshua came along. Then finally a girl - Susanna Ruth! By this time I had graduated from high school, and soon after Tommy and Bonnie and the kids headed for Texas so that Tommy could go to seminary. I remember visiting them when Susanna was about 3 or 4, so sweet...walking around always on her tippy toes...a tiny little fairy girl.

Fast forward many years. The little fairy girl was now a tiny, beautiful princess in her wedding gown, marrying a handsome prince named Andrew Widman. By this time I was married and had 2 kids, and it seemed amazing that this little one that I held as a baby was now a radiant bride. I was so happy for her, that she had fallen in love with a man who was good, and loved Jesus and her so much.

Although I haven't had personal contact with Susanna and Andrew, Bonnie and Tommy have been good to keep me up to date as their lives progressed. First a son, Samuel. We prayed as they sought to be missionaries in Thailand. Then little Sasha was born, and we prayed as she went through some health issues. And most recently they brought baby Sylvia into the world, and Bonnie and Tommy shared with us that Andrew had become a policeman with the Ft. Myers PD. It looked like everything was going well. Everyone healthy and happy.

Until 2am July 18, 2008. 30 year old, just a year on the force Andy responded to a domestic disturbance in downtown Ft. Myers, and was shot point blank and killed instantly. His fellow officers took down the suspect out. But that doesn't bring Andy back.

From what I know of Andy, he was a true servant. He loved the Lord and loved his family. He loved being a police officer. This was his mission field. He swore to serve and protect. He prayed with victims of violent crimes, and probably even for those he arrested. He was a unique and special man in all his ways.

My husband and I have kept up with the news, watched the funeral on the internet. How proud I am of Susanna - her grace and strength in such a crushing time, sharing a piece of her heart with us during the service and showing us just a little more about this Andy, this man we would have loved to have known better. We cried as we watched, wishing we could be there to do something - anything - to help ease the pain of our friends. There is only one pain reliever though, and his name is Jesus. Right now, I'm asking him again how this will bring him glory...why does a young, vibrant, good and loving father and husband have to die? We have another friend who lost her 37 year old husband 2 years ago, and delivered their son a week later. My heart breaks for these young women. Each of them had indeed found their soul mates in their wonderful husbands, and now they are gone. They will raise their children without these special men who were and would have been great fathers.

I love the Lord, I really do. I have no personal fear of death, I know that it is just step into eternal life. But man, I really don't understand why some things have to happen. And I do ask WHY? I think my God is big enough to handle my asking. I don't think he always answers, but I know he hears me, and all the others who ask why. And he holds us while we ask, and he sends a peace that passes all understanding.

I hope that if you've read this, you will pray for Susanna Widman, and for her children. Pray for peace, comfort and guidance. Pray that they will be able to mourn, and that they will be able to go on and to lead the lives that Andy would have wanted for them. I know Andy is just fine. He's home. The Lord says, "Precious in my eyes is the death of my servant." It's the ones who are left behind that need our prayers, our love and our support.

Hug your family. Each day is precious.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Shack

If you have not already done so, read The Shack, by William P. Young. It is the story of a man who has gone through a great tragedy, and receives a note, maybe from God, to come to The Shack - which is where the tragedy occurred. This book will make you look at God, his love for us, and why life happens the way it does.

I loved this book. It may not be theologically perfect, but it touches some deep areas regarding our trust in God, and whether we really feel that he is good and trustworthy and in control. For me, this reaffirmed what I have known (especially in my head) and has pushed these things deeper into my heart and soul.

The more of life I experience, the more I realize that I have to trust in my loving Father God, even when the more of life I experience the more I wonder why I trust him!!! Does that make sense? Read this book and maybe it will make a little more sense to you.

There are so many layers of I AM that we have not even begun to touch. We are wrapped up in religiosity and in the corporate church structure...we forget about the simple act of relationship. Getting to know Jesus, loving him, loving Father, understanding his ways, hearing the Holy Spirit as he guides and directs us. Realizing God in trinity is with us at all times, expressing his love for us in ways we can't comprehend. And relationship with one another..loving each other should be our foremost priority, and as the Apostle John has said, if we just did that one thing...loved one would be enough.

My goal, after reading this book, is to be more intentional in my relationships...with Abba, with my husband and sons and daughter in law, with my mom and siblings and other family, with my dear sweet friends. Relationship and community with one another is where the heart of Jesus can be found. I want his heart - beating and loving through me. I want the wind of the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear, and I want to be aware of what is being spoken to me. I want to be wrapped in the arms of my loving "Papa" and to know that he is especially fond of me.

Go get The Shack and read it...and pass it on to someone you love!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shorts...a new hair cut...What?! Winter weather?

We had a great day on Saturday 4/26. Put on the shorts and headed out to a festival in Sylva called Greening up the Mountains. Then, during the last day or so, it got cold again. I think we had Dogwood Winter and maybe now it's Blackberry Winter. Whatever. I'm ready for Spring!

Today, I got my stringy hair cut. It's been a long time since I've had it short, but I like it pretty well. I may even have a few layers cut in after I play around with it for a week or so.

So those are the minor changes in my life at the moment. Time just seems to fly by! Josh has his end of year testing this Friday, so school will be coming to a close soon. We have a trip to Michigan planned for the end of May, and look forward to seeing my brother and sister in law, and my older son Joel and his wife Robin who are also coming up. The guys will have a fishing trip for walleye on Lake Erie. I guess the girls will shop!

All in all, life is good as usual. Can't wait to see what new things are coming our way!