good things come…

Isn’t it funny how some days don’t seem to start off on the right foot…and then by the end of the day, you look back and see how it was one of the very best days?

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The gorgeous moon at the end of my day! 

I woke up one day with a feeling of dread.  There were several things I had to do, and some days “adulting” is hard work, lol!  But there is an undeniable feeling like I’ve conquered the world when those tasks are accomplished!  I set aside my “feelings” and got right to getting my business done.

Around lunchtime that day, I stopped in to see someone who was in the hospital.  After the visit, I meandered through the lobby and heard the sounds of Christmas Carols being played on the grand piano.  I decided to sit for a few minutes to take in the music.  So often I am the one playing the piano- and it was so nice to be on the other end and to be able to appreciate this lady’s musical gift.  After a few songs,  the Lord prompted me to go into the cafe to get a cup of coffee.  It was a little strange for me to do- since I had JUST had a cup, but I got up and got into the line.  An older gentleman was ahead of me in the line, and he turned around to me and said this-

“I’ve been here a looooong time… and I want to warn you- this lady isn’t very fast.”  He smiled as he said it- so I could tell he wasn’t in a big hurry.

I said to him- “What’s that saying- good things come to those who wait?  Hopefully whatever we’re getting will be worth the wait!”

He asked me if I worked at the hospital, and I told him no- that I was visiting someone.  I told him I was a pastor and shared with him the various things I do at my church.  He then said he was here with his wife, who had lots of health issues. They used to go to church but recently stopped attending.  We had the nicest conversation and like that- the line had dwindled and he made his purchase.

I paid for my cup of coffee and saw the gentleman sitting with his wife just outside of the coffee shop.  I walked over to them and I introduced myself to his beautiful wife.  You would have never known she was sick.  She was stunning- I would even say she was glowing that day.

“Would you mind if I prayed for you?”  I asked the lady.

“I would love that.”

I knelt down and put my arms around them both and prayed.  I watched them reach for each others hands.  They were holding their hands so tightly together that I could see them shaking.

It was such a beautiful moment.

The carols being played on the piano across the room… people passing by… couples sitting in the cafe…

and you know who else was present?

Jesus.

Good things will always come when we walk with Jesus.

He Himself IS GOOD and He is always up to something good around us-

if we will keep our eyes open!

For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.- Zephaniah 3:17 

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Home

the place where I can wear 

my hair 

up in a messy bun 

the place where doggies blissfully 

 “happy dance” under the sun 

the place where I can look around 

and see love in a frame

family pictures scattered ’round

showing just how far we came 

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I sort of feel like Dorthy in Oz- “there’s no place like home!”   I have a always been a “homebody” and enjoy having the house to myself.  I can play piano, sing at the top of my lungs… snuggle with my dogs (and pet my daughter’s bunny- but don’t tell her!).  But I’ll say this- being a “homemaker” is not something that comes natural to me.  I don’t really have an eye for decorating, I’ve never been fond of cooking (except for baking- I LOVE making desserts!), and anyone who knows me well will tell you my home is “lived in”.

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But today I am finding joy in making my house a “home”.  I am praising the Lord that I have this day to sweep up all the pine needles and the little bits of trash on our hardwood floors, and for a new steam mop that makes those floors shine!  I’m praising the Lord for a brand new dishwasher- one that’s quiet and cleans and dries all my dishes to perfection!

And I’m praising the Lord for my two doggies- who always follow me and lay at my feet- no matter where I am in the house!

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And I’m praising the Lord for my two daughters who will be home soon and will help me put up our Christmas tree today!

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”- Anne of Green Gables 

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As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord-  Joshua 24:15

do stuff with your kids


one day I’ll look back-

grateful for the time I spent

being with my girls

I love haikus. They say a lot with few words. Sometimes lots of words make me tired, lol!

Like yesterday- for some reason I was really, really tired. I could chalk it up to the time change and still getting adjusted to that, but I was really wanting to take a nap when I got home yesterday afternoon.

And then my daughters got home. One of my girls has been begging me every day to take one of our dogs to the dog park (the other one of them is not so friendly, that’s for another post, lol…). I said earlier in the week that it would be too muddy from all the rain we have had lately- which was true. It is also true that I am tired and don’t feel like going anywhere extra once the girls get home.

She asked me again yesterday. My whole “muddy” excuse didn’t really fly after the few gorgeous, sunny days we have had here. I began to think about what a blessing it is that my 16 year old daughter really WANTS me to do something with her. I began to think about all the other things that will eventually get in the way of her time… a job, college (one day), future relationships, children… the list goes on and on. One day she will be too busy for me.

So I made an extra cup of coffee and said “Sure! Let’s go!”

Can I tell you what a joy it was for me to say yes to her?

All smiles, she was, as we got into the car with our friendly fur baby! She beamed from ear to ear the entire drive. She kept saying how she hoped there would be other dogs there that ours could be friends with. And sure enough, we pulled up to the dog park, and there were several dogs playing.

Our dog pranced around the fenced in park- reveling in his newfound freedom. I sat on a bench and watched as my daughter went up to strangers to talk to them about their dogs. I was so proud of her. She is shy and it takes a lot for her to initiate conversation with strangers, but dogs are her love language. Bring a dog around her and she can’t help but be joyful.

It was a perfect afternoon.

My other daughter asked me to do something with her today.

This time I didn’t hesitate.

I can’t wait for our afternoon together 🙂

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
 Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their opponents in court- Psalm 127:3-5

ice cream is a necessity

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Since I was a kid, I have had a love affair with ice cream.

A friend through thick and thin, ice cream was always there for me in my time of need.  Summer heat and need a treat? Ice cream to the rescue.  Boyfriend breakup and need a pick-me-up?  Ice cream always did the trick.   True story… when I was in college, I noticed that the roof of my mouth began to peel.  Thinking I had some sort of disease, I asked the dentist about my issue and sure enough- too much ice cream was the culprit!

Eventually, I realized that moderation was the key when it comes to enjoying my ice cream.  And it’s so awesome that we have tons of great options- even for those who are watching their carbs- like Halo Top ice cream!

 

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My personal favorite- Chocolate Covered Banana 🙂

I happened to be in the grocery store yesterday evening and like always, I bumped into someone I knew.  We chatted for a few minutes and caught up on life, and then I noticed a mom and her middle school aged son hovering around the ice cream.  Mom was looking for the staples- milk, eggs… while son’s eyes were glued to the hundreds of cartons of ice cream.

“Mom, WE NEED SOME ICE CREAM!”

I heard the desperation in his voice.

“Honey- we do not NEED ice cream.  Now come on.”

 “But mom.  We NEED ice cream!”  A brief second later, he looked in my direction and I could see it written all over his face.  He was losing hope.  He needed some help.

I did what any ice cream lover would do…

I looked at the mom and smiled as I said, “I have to agree with your son.  Ice cream is definitely a NEED when it’s 100 degrees outside.”

The mom paused for just a second, and then gave the go ahead.  Junior got him a carton of heaven… umm…I mean ice cream.

I think often about how short life is, and how we have to enjoy the little things.

Ice cream is definitely one of them.

 

want a treat?

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Like every other morning, I heard the whimper of a lonely dog at my bedroom door.  One dog sleeps in my younger daughter’s room (Jack thinks it’s actually HIS bedroom!) and the other sleeps in the hallway- on guard, protecting his sleeping family.  But around 5:30am, Remy will put his nose right up to the crack at the bottom of our bedroom door and whine- just loud enough to wake me up.

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I got out of bed and immediately made a cup of coffee.  I sat on the couch as I sipped my steaming cup of love, but that wasn’t exactly what Remy had in mind… then comes the tail wagging and the barking at my feet.  I got Jack out of his room and then the two dogs romp around in the foyer.  Honestly, I wanted to finish that one cup of coffee… but it wasn’t going to happen until I took care of business.

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And then I caught the sunrise out of the corner of my eye- something I have missed lately! I leashed up both of my boys and took my phone outside with me.  It was a nothing short of a miracle- I held both leashes in one hand and even took a picture with the other!  I came inside and asked the boys the usual question as they wagged their tails and barked with excitement- “Want a treat? Want a treat?” 

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a beautiful sunrise.

But you know something? I wouldn’t appreciate it nearly as much if I got to see it everyday.

As my dogs ate their treat, I realized He gave me one this morning,  too!

All eyes have turned toward You, waiting in expectation;
    when they are hungry, You feed them right on time. 

Psalm 145:15

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take the picture

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 blink too fast 

and before you know it 

the moment is gone 

with nothing to show for it 

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tick tock ticking- 

time’s passing me by 

so I’ll keep my camera 

close to my eye 

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I had the joy of spending the entire day with my oldest daughter this past weekend.  It was a perfect day.  I have spent a lot of time with both girls recently as they have had multiple snow days off of school, added onto the 2+ weeks off for Christmas break… let’s just say the girls were getting a little tired of one another!  They are as different as night and day, and being with the both of them can be emotionally and mentally exhausting.  And honestly, we were all ready to get back into a routine!

So back to my day… we took a road trip, and my normally quiet, tired teen was bubbly, giggly, and chatty the entire day!  We talked about everything from school to politics to her friends- all the things I wish she would talk about with me ALL of the time!

Having her all to myself allowed me to appreciate her so much more…how she likes peace and quiet,  how she, too,  loves coffee (just like me!), and her desire to have as many dogs as she can possibly take care of when she’s on her own.

As we were heading home that evening, I noticed the sky was brewing up a beautiful sunset.  I wanted to enjoy every second of that evening.

“Living in the moment is so overrated, ” my daughter told me.

“What do you mean?” I asked her.

“Like how everyone says not to take pictures- to just enjoy the moments… that’s silly. Take the picture. Then you’ll always have something to look back on to remember the moments.”

Wise words from my (almost) 15 year old-

and I even have a few pictures to remember it 🙂

You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. 

Ecclesiastes 11:9

 

stayin’ alive

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I basked in their peak today

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rose petals unfurled

all the way

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oh how I wish

I could make them stay

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alive

for even just

one

more

day

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My hubby brought home these lovely peaches roses for me last week to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  They were the same color as the roses I held on our wedding day.  They were so lovely, and I wanted to take a few pics of them before they wilted…

ah, ha, ha, ha stayin’ alive!

I bet you’re singing that song now 😉

Which reminded me of something my youngest daughter showed me recently…

She came running in the room, snickering, to show me what she had pinned on Pinterest-

“Mom- this is TOTALLY you!”

Now, I could have been TOTALLY offended, but instead I laughed.  Both of my girls crack me up.  They are becoming more teenager-ish by the hour.

I actually did LOL at that one…because I do LOVE taking pictures!  Of practically everything!  

So, maybe I’m not a “professional” photographer- but while I may not make a single cent,  I am paid in full in the joy it brings me to capture beautiful things and moments on camera!  Just the other day I was looking at pictures on my phone and happened to scroll through over a year’s worth of pictures, and I was so grateful for every single moment I was reminded of.  Even my youngest daughter’s numerous crazy selfies brought a smile to my face!

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And you know what is so special about looking back at all the pictures we take?  It’s not about how we looked in them, or where they were… it’s about who we were with and how we felt during those moments.

And these flowers, well they are going in the trash soon…but when I see these rose pics I will remember the love I felt for my hubby as he ran up the stairs to surprise me that morning last week.  Priceless! 

So whatever hobbies bring you joy- even if you aren’t the greatest at it- keep on doing what you love!

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

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If you love something, set it free…

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Sometimes as a mom, we have to let go of our own dreams for our kids so they can pursue their own passions.   I’m not ashamed to admit that I sometimes live vicariously through my girls. We want for them to experience the same joys we had as children, while at the same time- we want to make things better than we had it, too.

One of those things for me was being involved in chorus.  Although my girls love to sing, they have NO DESIRE to sing in chorus.  It broke my heart a little bit, but both of them have been playing in the band at school.

My youngest came home the other day and begged to take a different elective next year.

But you are so good at the clarinet!  You will regret it if you don’t continue! I told her.  I secretly wanted to cry when she told me she didn’t want to do band anymore.  She loves art and wanted to explore other things in school.

Honestly, I wanted to put my foot down and not give her the option of quitting.  I think as parents we have to encourage our kids to do the things that they excel at- because if we don’t, who else will? But my husband and I talked and he asked me if I wanted her to do band because it was something I wanted for her.  He felt like we should give her the option to choose what she wanted to do.  I thought my heart was going to break, but I told her that evening that it was her decision. I had to trust the Lord and let go of my own desire for her.  She chose to not take band and I begrudgingly signed the form for her.

This past week was my daughters’ band concert. I was so sad that my daughter opted not to do band next year, I didn’t even want to go that night.  I watched my youngest walk onto the stage and she found us instantly in the audience.  She smiled the whole time she was up there. I was so proud.  I watched all of them tapping their feet to the beat, bobbing their heads up and down to the tempo. They finished, and my youngest was brimming with pride.  I held back tears, knowing it was the last time she would be sitting up there.

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It was a bittersweet evening.  I can’t explain why, but every time I go to a band or a chorus concert, I get really emotional. If it weren’t for my involvement in music in school, I don’t know where I’d be today.

And then later that evening, my youngest daughter sat near me and began to cry.

Momma, I DO want to do band!  And I want to play all through high school.  Please, can I change my schedule?   I don’t ever want to stop…

I hadn’t imagined it. She really does love to play.

If I had put my foot down and made her take band next year, she may have not had that epiphany. I was so thankful that she realized how much playing in band meant to her that night.

It was truly the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could have received this year.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;  Proverbs 3:5

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Living for NOW

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Looking for the perfect Christmas ham, I ventured into a high quality food store- only to be shocked by the extreme prices of their meat!  Why, I could buy an entire week’s worth of groceries for the price of one of those fancy hams! So I went to store #2 -and much to my dismay there were no hams.

I got everything else I could find from my list and found my way to the check-out line.  The store was so crowded, I couldn’t go anywhere- I was stuck in the farthest check-out line, which also happened to be the longest one. Sigh

“Are you trying to get past me?”  the lady ahead of me in line asked me.

“Oh no, just waiting in line… I love your coat, by the way!  It’s so festive!” When she turned, I noticed how beautiful she was- she wore a cranberry colored coat with ruffles down the front and a silver scarf around her neck that made her salt and pepper hair shimmer.  Her eyes were sky-blue and her face glowed.  I felt an instant connection to her.

She gave me a half smile and admitted that she had bought it a long time ago, and that it used to be big on her. With tears in her eyes, she confessed that she had looked in the mirror that morning and was disgusted with herself- for the weight she had gained and for how she looked.

“And the crazy thing is that this was my dream… when I was a young girl, I was tall and skinny- when it was so “in” to be plump.  I wanted to be plump and curvy when I grew up! Now that I am living my “dream”, I want more than anything to be that skinny girl again.”

She spoke with tears in her eyes, and I found it so ironic that this gorgeous woman (who, by the way, was NOT overweight at all…and was stunningly beautiful) did not recognize the beauty that was so easy for me to see.

“Oh my goodness!  You are beautiful just the way you are!” I said to her.

We hugged one another, as she poured her heart out to me- right there in the grocery check-out line.

Then, with determination, she exclaimed that she was going to live for the now…and that she was going to stop lamenting over who she was, or who she wanted to be. We talked about how blessed we both were.  To have good health, a family, clothing… to be able to buy the food that was in our shopping carts. I told her of how I was searching for the perfect Christmas ham, but hadn’t been able to find one that was reasonably priced.

“You know, I have a friend that owns a butcher shop.  I will give you her phone number when I get out to the car!  That is where I go to buy all of my meat these days!”

Both of us had left our phones in the car. I told her where my next stop was- just across the street.  She said that was her next stop, too.

“I’ll see you there, and I will give you her phone number!”

I felt an immediate connection to this lady.  It was like God put her there to just give me that message-

live for NOW… not yesterday, not tomorrow… NOW! 

I got my groceries, put them into the car, and headed to my next stop.

I searched up and down the meat aisles looking for a ham, and watching for my new friend and her festive cranberry coat to come waltzing through the door…

And just when I had lost all hope of finding a ham, I found an entire aisle of them- perfectly pre-baked honey-glazed-to-perfection hams at a fraction of the price of the first ones I had found!

I never saw that lady again, but I will never forget her honest, earnest words- and how she said to me the exact thing I needed to hear-

live for Now… not yesterday, not tomorrow… NOW!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  

Matthew 6:34

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Back in my day…

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“Back in MY day…”

Yesterday I had the joy of sharing one of those “back in my day” stories with my daughters…

While I was looking through some pictures from a trip my husband and I took to Paris-B.C. (before children), I found something from my childhood that I have been looking for for years!

When I was about 10 years old, I wanted a tape recorder for Christmas.  I remember the day I got that red tape recorder and a set of blue “k-mart special” blank tapes, and it was the best present ever!  My sister and I spent countless hours recording ourselves singing and recording songs off of the radio.

Imagine my delight when I found one of those k-mart tapes last night in the box with my old pictures! It was like Christmas all over again!  I patiently waited until the next morning to play it in my mini-van… (yes, we have probably one of the last mini-vans to have a cassette player in it!)

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best.gift.ever!!!!!!

I carefully slid the tape into the tape deck, not even sure if it would still play- but sure enough, I heard the crackly sound of the tape loud and clear.  It was like going back in time 28 years… I heard snippets of songs we recorded from the radio while we played in the background… then my sister and I sang our little hearts out.  We sang “The Greatest Love of All” in perfect unison, a cappella- and the sound was eerily familiar.  It could have easily been my own two girls belting out that tune.  My sister and I sounded just like my girls!

When my girls got into the van with me, I had to explain what we were listening to.

“Back in my day, we didn’t have cell phones with video recorders… or cd’s or youtube or iPods… We had to make “mix tapes”.  We had to actually *gasp*  wait for our favorite song to come on the radio and then time it just right to record it on our cassette tape.  Then we had to be really, really quiet so that we couldn’t hear ourselves on the tape.”

They looked at me like I was an alien. They were not impressed.

We continued to listen to the tape, and I had to stifle my laughter as I heard my sister and I telling each other “Shhh!!!”.  And then we couldn’t help ourselves… as soon as the chorus to a song we were trying to record came on, we belted it out.  The funny part was that we never, ever knew the words to the verses- we just made them up.

And while I was deep in nostalgic thought, listening to my childhood mix-tape, my own girls were bickering and belting out their own favorite tunes in the back of our mini van…

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!