Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday thoughts and pictures

It's been a lazy Easter weekend. That is one of the perks of being childless, all my weekends can be lazy. No running around caring for little ones, making sure they get to soccer or ballet or whatever. No Easter egg hunts to prepare for and clean up after. As much as I once wanted a child, I can see now that I really don't have the temperament for them. I enjoy my "me" time too much. :)

 Anyway! It's been a quiet, lazy day. I've got almost all my laundry done and I have been cleaning and reorganizing my bedroom since we installed my new bookcase. What? I didn't tell you about my new, handcrafted, custom made bookcase? It's beautiful. Nothing too fancy, because I am not really a fancy girl. Something just perfect for me. My husband built it for me and is at this moment out back in his workshop re-purposing the store bought storage center that used to sit where the bookcase is now so I can use it elsewhere. I do love a handy man! ;)

(I took this picture before I filled it up completely so you could see more of the lovely finish!

Isn't it beautiful? He worked so hard on this, measuring and cutting, fussing over each detail. This is only the second piece of furniture he has ever built, can you believe it?? I have been sitting on my bed half the day, just looking at it. I already have visions of the matching shelves that will go around the room and hold my stuffed animal collection (no judging!!).

Besides drooling over my new bookcase and doing housekeeping junk, I did manage to take some pictures this weekend. Of course, you know they are pictures of flowers. But I did manage to get one or two other things as well!

I never get tired of the simple beauty of a petunia

This is my Pepper. Isn't she pretty?!?
A Rose.

We saw this van on the way home yesterday, sitting outside a local business with a for sale sign. I thought it was cool. :)

My mom got 2 new puppies! They are so much fun!

This is Copper. His sister doesn't have a name yet. Mom is still working on it!

If you are a regular here (hi and thank you!!) you know that on Sunday's I like to share links to other blogs that I have read that have impacted me in some way. This week I have one written by one of my fellow contributing authors over at The Falling Skies Blog, Justin Mathai. Justin is a very talented writer who I am sure has an incredible future ahead of him. This week he posted a haunting short story titled Home. Go read it and if you like it, leave Justin a comment to encourage him in pursuing and honing his gift. 

That's all I have for tonight. It's getting late and I still have things to do. I hope you had a beautiful and blessed Easter weekend and are geared up for a great week! 

good advice!

I'm heading into this week looking for that new thing God is going to do for me!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Funnies

Happy Good Friday!! I only have to work a 1/2 day today, it is the first time in my 18 years of employment with this company that they have closed early for Good Friday. Will wonders never cease?!?!?! :)

I should be super woman by now, how about you??

If I did this to one of mine, I would be the one having nightmares dreaming of being smothered in my sleep!

Somebody had a bright idea!


Isn't he the cutest???

Easter bunnies at war!

 I hope these will help to brighten your day! I know collecting them to share with you always puts a smile on my face! Have a beautiful and blessed Good Friday and a Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thirty Days of Truth: Day 4

Day 04. Something you have to forgive someone for.

See, here is my problem. I am too forgiving. It takes a lot to make me hold a grudge. My husband actually gets mad at me for this character flaw, because I tend to let people walk all over me. I often joke that I wake up in a new world everyday. Yesterday's anger and hurt are a vague memory. Even deep hurts don't last too long, a few weeks, maybe a month, and I am ready to move on.

However, there is one thing you can do that will make it very easy for me to hold a grudge. Hurt someone I love. There are a few people in this world who have found themselves on my grudge list over the years. People who should have protected the children in their care, who should have seen and understood the hurt that they were causing. A life long hurt, a hardening of tender hearts. Lord help me, this is something I may never be able to forgive. I understand I should, but at this moment the best I can do is to put it away.

I don't play with my anger, I don't savor it. I do try to move beyond it, to leave it packed away in the closet of my mind. But I also can't quite let it go. Because I see first hand the long term damage that had been done to someone I care deeply for. And I see that the person who inflicted that damage has no remorse for their actions. How can I forgive when they can't even see what they have done?

Okay, that's enough of that! I will get myself all worked up and ready for battle if we stay on this subject!!

In other news, my dad is safely home from the hospital and doing well. I spoke to him last night and he sounded like his old self. :)

Don't forget to check out my Thursday Thankfulness post today. I warn you it is a bit controversial and it may offend some folks. But it's important to take a stand some times, to speak up and be heard. You never know who might here your voice and be forever changed.

On that note I will leave you to decide if you want to click the link. I hope you do. Regardless, have a great day! Go be a blessing to the world around you!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday thoughts and pictures

So, earlier this week I read an interesting post over on Faith in Ambiguity titled The Purpose of Weeds. First, I have to say that I love the way Tara's mind works. I always look forward to her posts and I can always find something in her words that makes me think, makes me look deeper into myself and reevaluate what I find there. The Purpose of Weeds is no exception. Tara takes a long look at something so mundane and equates it so beautifully to the human mind and spirit. A simple weed, an annoyance, a frustration, something to be pulled up and cast aside. Or are they? Certain weeds carry their own beauty, if we take the time to look for them. And those mental weeds, those endless circling worries and frustrations that grow in the dark places of my mind, what are they really and what do they say about me, to me? Tara says it far better than I can:

"Lying in bed with the thoughts I pull like weeds, I wonder what is their purpose. Are they out of nature, unholy, things to be cast aside—or are they instead the ugly nursemaids of my own nature, bringing up, from the deep, faint echoes of a source of truth I may not want to hear? Resentment, sadness, regret—seen in the correct light, are these not the pioneer plants, only first in succession to the restoration of a disturbed piece of mental land? Pull them out again and again and they come back, still trying to fill the emptiness that is always left behind. What courage and stillness would it take to allow them to spend their time, bringing life back to a damaged corner of my heart? To trust that later would come fuller plants, the shade of trees, the singing of birds—a system that was whole again?"

I hope you will go read the full post. I ended up printing it and putting it in my journal. I really think these are words I need to come back to and reexamine, to let them speak to me again. 
Speaking of weeds, yesterday the hubby and I went out to my mom's place and mowed. It was kind of a dreary day, with a cool bite in the air and some sprinkles to tease us into thinking it might rain. It never did, and all in all it wasn't a bad day. I took a ton of pictures, and some of them were of weeds. Seriously...and not on purpose. Just a happy accident! 

After I finished taking the pictures we mowed everything down. :(

I had to laugh at my hubby and my mom, who have become so used to me taking random pictures of anything that catches my eye (I took over 200 pictures yesterday, for example) that they don't even notice me anymore! They just keep doing their thing and let me do mine. I love my family!! 

And speaking of family, please keep my dad in your prayers. He is having some surgery tomorrow to remove a clot in his leg. He lives too far away from me, so I can't be with him. But God is with him and I have faith that He will bring him through safely. 

I want to leave you with one last thought, a scripture that has been nudging at my heart all week:

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Philippians 4:6

In every circumstance and in everything, with definite requests and thanksgiving, make your wants known to God. Tell him what you want, what you need. Be clear. Say what you mean. And be grateful for His love and His gifts in your life. Give him the gratitude of your heart, it is a gift to him. A precious and unique gift that only you can give. What a beautiful thing it is, this relationship He wants to share with us. He want s to know what we need, he wants to listen. And He wants to meet our needs. Don't give up, keep asking. Keep talking to Him and listening for His answer. You won't be disappointed if you don't give up.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Funnies

Before we get started with the funnies I want to ask you to pray for my dad. He is in the hospital right now, far from me and from my sisters. He wouldn't appreciate me sharing too much information here, so I will just say that he has a blood clot and some chest pain. Please pray that God will be with him and bring him through this health crisis and back to full health. Thanks.

And now the Funnies!

Well, She didn't!

yes, I can relate!



Smart butt!

spring is in the air, and all over my car, my house, my shoes........

Just because we all need random cuteness!

It is almost here!!
And a little something to inspire!
I hope you found a smile and a laugh here! Now, go share some joy with the world!! :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

being faithful to myself

So, over in Thursday Thankfulness this morning I talked about going to the doctor yesterday with the hubby. We talked a lot about the issues affecting my husband (many of which scared me pretty good) but we weren't there just for him. We did spend a little time going over my blood work and discussing changes in some of my meds.

One thing I am not happy about, my A1C is high. This is a blood test that gives you a 3 month overview of your glucose levels. Something a diabetic needs to know. Especially one who hasn't been taking very good care of herself. And my A1C definitely showed that. It has been sneaking up a few points at a time for a while now. Currently it is at 7.2. This is the highest it has been since I was diagnosed about 10 years ago.

Back at the first of the year I spent promised myself I would be more faithful about tracking my blood sugar and taking better care of myself. Obviously I have not been doing this. So, I am going to (reluctantly) rededicate myself to taking better care of myself.

This mornings fasting blood sugar was 110, which is actually pretty good. Of course, last night at around 11:00pm it was 150, which is not so good. It was 2 hours after a meal (I am going to have to start eating earlier) and it should have been around 120.

And speaking of exercise, I am going to have to start. Again. Blah.

I am really going to try to make the lifestyle changes I need in order to get my A1C back down and lose some of this extra weight I am carrying around. I just wish the whole process was easier.....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Us versus Them

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

Did you know them is US? And we are THEM? Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of that, to let our focus narrow into a definite US versus THEM view of the world.

I have an introvert living inside me. She wants to hide, to stay in her safe comfortable little shell. There is nothing really wrong with being somewhat introverted. The problem comes when I become so inwardly turned that I stop connecting to the people around me. Gradually I start to think of everyone as "them". And "they" are always somehow the enemy. "They" mistreat me, neglect me, ignore me, don't understand me. "They" are bad. But they really aren't. They are just people. Perhaps the true enemy lives inside me. Fear and doubt are the true enemies. As a Christian I have the power to drive out that enemy, but somehow it finds a way to sneak back in, dividing me from the world.

 God doesn’t call us to live divided lives, to have divided hearts. He calls us to live the hope and the glory that is Christ in us. We are called to reflect that hope to the world, not hold it so close to our hearts that no one can even catch a glimpse.

I needed that reminder, maybe you do to. Be blessed! :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thirty Days of Truth: Day 3

Day 03. Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Well, the biggest thing is not something I am prepared to share here. I am a pretty open book, but some chapters are too private and painful to read aloud. That's okay though, I think I can still come up with a pretty long list of things. Of course, the prompt only asked for one....

I think that if I have to distill it all down to one thing would have to be not doing enough for the people I love when I had the chance. Not taking the time to go that extra mile to meet their needs. Not saying "I love you" enough. In general not being super human and all things to all the people in my life. This is something my rational mind knows is impossible. But my heart....well, it keeps trying. And when it fails we fall hard.

It's true. I do fail. I can't be all things to all people. I can't meet everyone's needs. And that's okay (right??). See, my mind knows it really is okay. But my heart still questions, still wants to find fault. Still wants to take the blame. As if I were the one truly in control of this crazy life. I do fail, but my God doesn't ever fail. And He is the one in control. And since I know that He doesn't want me to live in the shadow of my past, I really have to work on forgiving myself and moving forward in His grace. So, I'm's the best I can do.

Okay! That's 3 questions down! I am making progress! Right?!?!? Tune in sometime soon for Question #4 which is "Something you have to forgive someone else for". Well, this should be FUN!!

Hey, do me a favor if you have made it this far, say a prayer for my sweet hubby. He has been having some bad days lately and is really struggling. We go to the doctor later this week and I am asking God to please guide us and the doctor to find what is wrong. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday thoughts and pictures

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" Isaiah 30:15

I have heard  this scripture many times through the years and it has always spoken to my spirit. Repent and rest in God's forgiveness, be quiet and trust. Like so many other people, this is something I struggle with. My life is so full of noise, so busy, so distracting. It often times seems impossible to find that quiet place I need so desperately to reconnect with my Father and renew my spirit. But nothing good comes without sacrifice. So I need to work at it, to sacrifice to find that time alone with God.

I found this little gem of a poem during some of my quiet time this week. A Quiet Heart is a lovely piece I found at CHRISTian Poetry By Deborah Ann. Deborah writes beautifully simple prose that resonate in my heart (which says a lot since I am not a huge fan of poetry). Go check her out, you won't be disappointed.

That leads me to my next gem I found. This one is over at Titus 2 Tea and is titled "Awake In Prison". As always, Karen's words inspire me. Here is just a taste: "The Bible is true. God is real. Jesus is alive. He is awake. Every day He is walking with me on my journey over uncharted paths. And I would choose to sleep through such an adventure?" Yeah, why would I? :)


Yesterday I spent some time out in the yard with my flowers (no, I haven't killed them yet) and the hubby and I re-potted several seedlings (his project). I took a ton of pictures. Wanna take a look?

This one is coming back from last year, I have no idea what it is!

I just point and shoot. Sometimes the results are pretty good.

A new Gerber Daisy is coming up

Hubby's Holli-hocks

He has a gentle hand with these babies

All lined up

Can't wait to see how he grows up :)

pretty pretty!

so lovely!

Well, that's it for today. I hope your weekend was as relaxing and beautiful as mine was and that you have a week full of blessings. :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Becky

taken in 1999 at our class reunion, the last time I saw you.
Today would have been your 42nd birthday. Lord, I miss you. I can't believe it's been almost 12 years since you left us. I still remember the phone call we received the night you died. We had just returned from a birthday dinner (for me) with some friends. When I listened to the answering machine and heard Daryl's voice, I knew something was wrong. I called him and after he gave me the news I told him that he would have to tell James. I couldn't do it. You were my friend, but you were his family. And honestly, I wouldn't have been coherent. I laid in his lap and cried and cried. The poor man couldn't really grieve for you himself, he was so overwhelmed by my tears.

The next day I went to the house to see Daryl and the girls. I will never forget little Laurie (only 5 years old) telling me "My mommy died". All I could say was "I know baby" and sit on the couch cuddling her and Ashley and watching a movie or cartoon with them. It broke my heart all over again, but I think I was past the tears (for the moment).

James and I went to see the accident sight that evening and found your Dad and Cindy there (with Finley, I think) all I remember is looking at the spot and thinking how senseless it was. One moment of inattention and your life was over. Later I went with your aunt to see the car. I will never forget that. I am grateful that James wasn't with me, that is a memory no one really needs.

Oh, I miss you so much. I think of you almost daily. Your beautiful smile, your laugh, your unfailing love for your family and friends. So many times over the years I have wanted to talk to you, to gain your insight into my precious husband who was like a brother to you. I want you to be here, to see your girls and the incredible women they have grown into. Ashley is gonna have a baby, a little girl. Her name is Rebecca Leigh. I love it, but I hope they won't want me to call her Becky. I'm not sure I can. (And look at me, borrowing worries from the future!) Laurie is in college. Where did the time go?? Your girls are wonderful, Daryl really did a great job raising them. I know you are proud of them all.

Life has moved on, as it does. We have learned to live without you in our days. But we carry you forever in our hearts. You are so deeply loved and missed.


To my reader,

I'm sorry if this post confused you. You probably have no idea who Becky was or why she was important to me (unless you know me in real life). Becky was my husband's cousin and also my best friend growing up. She was killed in a car accident in 1999 and her death effected me so deeply. Even more so than the deaths of my step dad (who I wrote about this week) and my grandmother (who I write about often). I attribute this to the fact that we were the same age, and because we were family I just assumed that she would always be here. Sort of an extension of my marriage, the 3 of us would grow old together. She wasn't supposed to leave me. Which is an unfair and totally selfish statement since she left behind her 2 girls, who lost so much more than I did. 

Anyway, this week is always a tough one for me, with dad's birthday and Becky's basically back to back. But the week is done now and I am using this post as a way of wrapping it up and moving on. For a while anyway. 

If you made it all the way to the end here, do me a favor. Leave a comment for me and then go hug someone you love. Call a friend you haven't seen in a while. Make some dinner plans. Don't waste a single second. Make sure the people who matter know it. Do it now.

Friday Funnies

I did it

You have no idea how true this is. And with luck you never will!

yes, they will.


(evil grin)

I really really do!

In case you missed it, here is a link to my Thursday Thankfulness post this week!

Now, get out there and share a smile or two! :)

Because God loves you just as you are and you are a blessing to someone (me!).