Rabbits & Hat Tricks

” I gave up and gained so much back not in income but in life.  The income will get rebuilt!” On better terms!

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When I was a small child I loved when our school would bring in Magicians to amaze and astound us!  Oh how to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat!  Or make things disappear.

As I grew and realized a lot of the magic I dreamed of as a small child was not magic at all.  It was just a trick.  Now that is not to say that there is not magical moments in my life!  This past 12 months of recreating my life and the magic all around me has been a true journey.  So much change.  a year ago I was living on the road and living on Mini Butterfinger Candy Bar’s  and Mc Donalds coffee!  I was tired all the time!  I was traveling about 150 miles a day running myself ragged.

As I look at where I am today,  honestly I am still recovering from 2017.  The key word is recovery.  The Magic I have in my life is from being able to hold my husband’s hand at the end of the day.  Drive to work in the morning knowing the road back is 25 miles.  Now that is comfort.  To shop with my 16-year-old for dresses for her Spring Concert!  This is magic!  To see her face light up over being able to get all three dresses!  Magic!

What I have learned is that you must have balance!  Balance is the key to having a good life for half the pain!  Money cannot make my family happy.  It cannot give me back lost time with my children nor my husband.

In the past year the financial loss has been over whelming.  I went from making three figure to a two figure income.  Result is living the good life for half.   I am here to tell you it has not been easy.  Nice meals in restaurants gone!  Wine membership gone!  New car traded off for older car!  Sold off things to make ends meet!  Started a small batch granola company really not easy!  Watched family members look at me like I lost my mind!  Why Granola?  Answer God!  All I know is that it made sense and as we grow I trust God!

Faith &  grace of God is always present.  I am so thankful for his love and never-ending love!  The Magic of life is the joy we get when we allow to let God be all the magic we need!

Three things I am doing now for balance

1.  Bible & prayer time!  I allow this to be removed due to time constraints.  I am scheduling into my day.  Afternoon time as I go home listening to Christian Radio

2.  Health changes cutting a lot of processed food out and eating a better natural diet

3.  Taking back my home from my daughter’s family!  I love my children but our middle daughters family had to be asked to go!  They have been here for three years.  I want the balance of coming into my home and feeling like I live here and that this is my refuge.  It was a tough decision because I love having our grandson right here.  Our faith and our morals do not match with a young couple and middle-aged parents who see the world completely different.  It has caused huge bouts of stress for all of us.

What is important to you will not always be important to others.  But being thankful to change is the only way I got thru the past 12 months.  My faith in God to give me a new perspective paved the path to a better life.  I gave up and gained so much back not in income but in life.  The income will get rebuilt.  I am thankful for what we do have.

 

 

SEEING THRU THE SMOKE

Last week as I last shared our family had a fire in our pellet stove that caused the house to fill with smoke last Sunday evening.  So I spent last Monday cleaning all the walls laundering all the drapes taking all the furnishing out to air out and cleaning all the walls.  I had a company come in to clean to the carpets on Thursday.  The house smelled even worse with the smoke damage in the carpets.

I finally broke down and called the Insurance company.  They are coming out this morning to assess because I am concerned about the smoke damage in the furniture.

Of course I it is week later and I can still smell the smoke.  However my family cannot.  It could be just that I am over whelmed by the whole incident.  You pay for Insurance and then you are fearful of using it.  Our Adjuster said that there is ionizing equipment that can remove all the smoke from our furniture.  My biggest consootcern is our grandson being in our home and being sick from the  in the furniture.

When things happen that cause suffering it is hard to understand.  God has a purpose for what he has planned out for our family.  Personal ownership for bad decisions,  Bryan’s ongoing cancer issues and debt all have been our struggles for since 2014.

God has not forsaken us.  At times I have to remind myself that I am not my own.  God redeems us and protects us.  The fire and smoke could have come in the night with the loss of our family as we slept.  Yet God protected us.  Bryan’s cancer has grown us as a family to see the value of each day.  Career changes has brought me back home and has helped me spend more time with God and family.  Our debt will be resolved.

God has opened doors and closed doors in my life.  He has taken me places I would have never known!  I am so thankful for this.  I have never taken the easy road in life.  It is not my life plan!  I challenge myself!   Even thru all of what has happened God’s grace is sufficient.

Personally we all have dark days.  Do not be deceived or manipulated to stay in the dark. PSALM 23:4 reminds us ” Even though I walk through the darkest valley,  I will fear no evil for you are with me.   PSALM 23:4

I own my hardships.  God knows my heart and he knows my failings.  He knows my nature.  In tough times I have had to lean on him and not on me.  I really stink at this.  As I look back on things I decided without God!  I have suffered!

As I close this blog today I am inspired to be excited for this day!  Truly blessed.house_fire_s1

 

 

HARVESTING EVEN IN THE WINTER

Recently I have had to realize that shame is God’s way of humbling our hearts.  We bring shame upon ourselves.   It becomes apparent that in life it becomes hurt that can keep us from our goals of being closer to God.

As I grow in my life toward the woman God wants me to be, I have realized that my mistakes become shame.  I read a note card that gave good life advice.  it said do not go to bed angry, show up and stay late and think before you speak!  Really good advise.  We sometimes need to remind ourselves that sometimes what we start is not going to turn out just like we expected.  However it might turn out better!

I have set some huge goals this year for my life.  I look to the small victories that God will send me as I work toward these goals.  However my goals mean nothing if they do not grow me toward God.  Recently I have been humbled by new people who God has placed in my life.  He sets our feet toward new directions!  He asures me that I will be doing his work.  It might be a co-worker,  A family member, or a stranger that is placed in my life for his glory.  I have learned to be thankful for all.

Being humble is when you realize what you have to say is not necessary!  You become quiet and more willing to let others speak.  Being humbled by what happens to me instead of torn down by circumstances.  Learning to let go of strife and being ok with a new road.  These are the things of growth!

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Clocks & Coffee

Today I choose to stop and to reflect!

Good Morning WordPress!  As I start my day in the great State of Nebraska.  I am pleased to say the day started out with the alarm clock going off at 5 AM and me hitting the snooze button several times.  I am not a good morning person!  It is not a natural part of my nature!  I finally called it at 5:37 AM and started the day with thanks to God for this day!  As I waited on my morning splurge,  of Keurig Starbucks coffee of caramel to brew in the kitchen,  it dawned on me how fortunate I am.  I wake to home that is warm.  We live in a place that is filled with history and we have seen so many great things happen right here.   Along with the saddest moments of our lives.

This home was where we have brought into the world our children, played with our grandchildren, celebrated birthdays & holidays.  Where we celebrated our children’s life successes.  Where we hug one another and where we are blessed to be.

I hate that I do not spend more time within the walls of this place!  It seems as if we are running in and out!  We both have to commute into our jobs daily.  It is rare these days that the clock and coffee are things of rushing out the door to meet the world.

Most mornings I get a moment to reflect at home.  It is rare indeed.  Wishing you a day of clocks and the best cup of coffee!

 

It was something was calling me to slow down.  I think we all can take time to do this very thing.  When I am happy I want to get home to share with my family my victories.  When I am defeated I want to go home to be greeted with love and get thru my defeats with my loved ones.  When I am hungry for real food I want it from home!

Today is about thankfulness and being right where I need to be for me!  Take time to just be!  The world can wait on me to greet it later!

 

HMMM-WHAT-WANT!

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Hmm…..What….?…..Want!  I can only say that because January becomes this thought process of hmm what will this year hold?  What will be and what will happen and what do I want to do or accomplish!

Last year all I did was allow my hope to be striped by caustic people.  I allowed time to be lost over business situations that did left me deeply depressed.  I am still recovering.

God became very big to me.  I will forever be happy for this!  I had no idea how I would get thru it and I was just fine.  Bruised and about fifty grand lighter but so much happier.  What he gave me in place was a new adventure!  A new career!

I am looking forward to spending time with God and growing this year.  I am committed to writing daily this year along with painting.

We all deserve to reinvent ourselves.  A fresh 12 months gives me the perfect template.

Heres to new adventures, and hope that I will not allow to be taken,

“You are the hope for everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas!

PSALM 65:58

 

 

THE TRAP OF FUN!

 

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In the area that I live, I have seen some really terrible things happen to people who have become involved with drugs.  I am about six hours from Denver, Colorado where smoking marijuana is legal.  Our youth from the area will travel to ancillary’s to fill their order for their smoke of choice.  I am told all the time by people who this is not an addictive drug.  It is all natural and has a tone of good uses.  I am not disputing any of this.  What I dispute is that people in surrounding states are willing to break the law to smoke and sell this to one another.

Marijuana is a huge business and growing.  I am sure in time it will be legalized in all states.  However the facts are that those who use are looking for a high.  So they will try other drugs to get a different high.  Meet Methadone a drug that is created in kitchens and even cars leaving deadly residue on all surfaces when it is cooked and the user smokes it.  Heroine is on the rise in our area as well.  We have seen crime rates in our area increase due to the street drugs.

Two years a young Mexican man-made the news.   He was found by a farmer stuffed into a barrel. The man was stuffed in the barrel by his former friends.  They were mad at him for a drug deal that they felt did not go their way.  The man who shot him and then drove around.  When he would not die the girlfriend switched places with the boyfriend and put her hand over his nose helping the poor victim suffocate to death.  The young couples were questioned about the friend and people who knew the couple went to the police.  The sister’s brother who also had a drug issue and was his sisters alley always was shot to death in Fort Collins Colorado New Years eve 2016.  The trial for the young man was to start on January 2nd, 2017.  No one could coo berate what happened the night this young man died. The case was closed in Fort Collins as an apparent accidental death.  The girlfriend had been held in jail due to death threats until the case was to go to trial.

I watched this family suffer the loss of their 27-year-old son.  I saw a sister so all about herself consumed by her addiction not care that her brother lost his life as retribution against her testifying against the boyfriend.  She had a child with the boyfriend.  Neither parent can grasp what a child of eight years old could go thru in a small rural Nebraska community and what she will endure for rest of her life. A father who was given life.  A mother who made a deal with the County Attorney’s  to get out of going to jail!  Two lives lost.  Neither families will see either life be success. To overcome addiction.

A Morrill County District Court judge has sentenced a Bridgeport man to life imprisonment in the shooting death of a Colorado man.  In January, a Morrill County District Court jury convicted Zachary Mueller in the November 2015 death of Pedro Dominguez, 33, of Greeley, Colorado. Judge Leo Dobrovolny sentenced Mueller Monday, March 13 on charges of first-degree murder, a Class IA felony; use of a weapon to commit a felony, a Class IC felony; and possession of weapon by a felon, a Class ID felony

The sentence of life imprisonment on the murder charge was mandatory. Dobrovolny sentenced Mueller to 20 to 40 years imprisonment, to be served consecutively, on both weapons charges.  Mueller’s attorney, Sarah Newell, asked the court to consider Mueller’s drug history in deciding sentencing. She said a pre-sentence investigation showed the man had first used alcohol at the age of 9 years old and methamphetamine at the age of 11.  He realizes the real consequences of his drug addiction and struggles with it every day, she said.

“He will wrestle with it every day when he doesn’t get to see his daughter,” she said.

“For out of the heart comes evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”  Mathew 15:19-29 NIV

Here is praying for a changed heart of all who were involved in the loss of two men’s lives.

IN A LIFE FUNK

ca7bc7ef887ebb354762f24c1f73043fI would say 2017 left me in a funk….. Yeah just not really feeling great about anything.  Not being unhappy nor being over exuberant either.  I said good-bye to a few things that was unexpected.  I had to take a sabbatical with my sister to help me get thru some family things.  I spent a lot of 2017 reflecting on me.  Upset over decisions, career moves, children and really life challenges.

What is a funk?  Well for me it was not being able to really establish any outcome.  It was letting time just take care of itself.  Letting go and allowing God to work things out for me.  I found myself almost in a place of being numb to the hurts of life.  I found myself wanting to run away.  I never like that feeling.  I found myself trying to acclimate back into what I believed my life was.  Living on the road and being away for long periods of times have a lot to do with this.  I decided I did not want a career that kept me away from my family and thank God I now can work from one location and consult on the side as I work toward new goals in 2018.

The funk that I was in made me look at doing things I had not.  I have always wanted to write.  I set down in April and this blog was born.  I believe that we all have something to say.  Everyone can relate to another if we try.  I think life is little when we make it so!

It was a way to heal some hurts as well as look toward the future.  I went thru something very similar when I was 45.  I was working on several projects and running non stop.  I knew I was not feeling well.    I just did not realize to the extent of my illness.

I had been having headaches and really was exhausted.  Our family always takes vacation the end of June.  our eldest was back for a visit with her family and was staying with my husband’s family.  Bryan and the girls were visiting.  I had stopped at the grocery store on the way home for some basics and then stopped in and stayed briefly because I was tired.  When I got home I went right to bed.  I remember setting straight up in bed with terrible pain in my chest.  I got up went to the bathroom and then returned to bed.

No idea that I had a mild heart attack!  I think it was great that I did not realize what had happened.  If I would have had that knowledge I might have not done as well.  In all reality it was a good thing.  I did not give in and God had me in his hands the entire time.

I did learn of the actual heart attack until the end of August when I got ill with my tonsils. I am really thankful that all this took place.  It gave me a new perspective to focus on what is important.   But once I got  involved and did things my way,  God became smaller!  Let me explain,  Our reality becomes about the health issue, the financial struggle the what’s in our lives!

As I look back God has been with me the entire time.  But instead of carrying me I was just allowing him from afar to watch me like a little child try to learn to walk!  I was in charge!  As a follower of Jesus,  we are to ask him and wait!   He will give the correct direction.   Deception can and will look like it is from Jesus!   When that snake who tricked Eve to eat of the tree of life will come as great offers to good to be true.

My focus became about trying to build something for the girls and for Bryan.  Not my job!  God will provide for my children when it is my time to go.  Nothing that I use here is mine.  I live in a home he provides the wage to pay,  I drive his cars he has provided, Things on this earth are provided for me to use.  I am to honor God and take care of what he has provided.  It has taken me a long time to understand that the suffrage I have put myself thru was because of my own ignorance of not being in Gods word!

I can do all things thru Christ!  I am not so great on my own.   end of the year always seems to put me a place of uncomfortable facts that life does not always go the way we see our lives.  Putting my trust in God.  As I look at 2018 I will focus on setting goals that are around God and family!  A career is what we do to earn to provide those we love.

Remembering Elizabeth Ann

It is Christmas Eve,  A very special time!  My heart is happy as I think of Jesus this morning is with my Mother in law Ann Petersen in heaven.  Elizabeth Ann know to all of us as Mom or Ann!  She never went by Elizabeth.  I never knew why not.  What a pretty name.

Ann was a good woman who had a great life with a man who loved her with all his heart all the days of his life.  Homer and Ann made Christmas special for their family.

This is our second Christmas without Ann.  It seems just like yesterday she was here.  She loved her daughter Lorie so much.  Ann loved doing things with Lorie.  When Lorie married and grandchildren were born Ann & Homer spent most of their time with Lorie’s family.   They attended the same church and for most of Lorie’s children’s life dinner was spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s Petersen’s home in Mitchell.  Lorie’s daughter Ashley was the favorite grand daughter of Ann’s.  Ashley brought into Ann’s life her Brooky!   Broklyne her great grand!  Oh Ann loved this  little girl.

Ann never went anywhere without coming back with gifts for Lorie, Ashley and Brooklyn.  They were her buddies.  When Ann passed Lorie was right there cheering her on to let go and ascend to heaven with Jusus!  At Ann’s funeral Lorie spoke of the beauty of the last moments with Ann as she left this earth as beautiful.  She was with Jesus.

I am thankful that we all got to love Ann and we will  miss her at our dinner table on Christmas day.  We loved her and it was my honor to have her as my Mother in Law.

The love she had for Christmas was special as the pies she baked for Christmas.

I will always be thankful for Ann & Homer Petersen as they gave our family love as they showed us what love looked like!

WHEN THE SNOW BLOWS

b81ca0b013d12a46290d3a5961848954Our first Winter storm is  blowing across the Panhandle.   Today was the first day of Winter and we are now getting the first real snow!   It is quite flat with not a lot of trees to break the wind.  I always just want to cuddle up with a good book & a big cup of coffee.   It as if I am trying to escape the entire event out doors.

I think we all need a place to escape!    To be with our thoughts and things that bring joy to oneself.   I escape to my Master Bedroom where I have things surrounding me that I value.  Pictures of my family.  My books, my bible and things my husband has made. I  Look around the room I am comforted as I lay in our Sleigh bed looking at all the hand-made flutes my husband has made.  the shelves he has hung that holds the mementos of our lives together.

I am comforted by this place!  When the wind blows even the smell of our home is comforting.  It is a place that is my refuge.  It is a place where I know I am loved.  It is a place that is full of hope, faith and grace!  Where I can just be me.  No one looking to put me down!  No one to judge me!  This special room wraps me with warmth of my life with my family.  So many amazing memories wrapped in the space.

As I awake in this special place, It is the place I spend time with my Jesus.  I thank the Lord for my blessings and spend time in fellowship and end my day in fellowship.  It is my room where I held each of my children.  Have loved grandchildren and held the hand of my amazing husband.  Where he tells me he loves me and “God bless you to one another.”  Where ever I am in life this place is my space that my husband built for us.  This refuge I am thankful for because it is a place of peace.

“Blessed are all who take refuge in me”  PSALM 2:12 NIV reminds of God’s presence and never-ending love.  I am thankful for our first day of Winter and all the beauty this too shall bring.

Wishing you a place of refuge in all-weather and all storms.

SORROW OVER SIN

Oh how sin creates such sorrow.  This past has been filled with so much sorrow.  Loss of loved ones, living and gone.  The living lost hurts the most!  Hurt relationships or worst lost relationships.

This sorrow does have hope thru God’s restoration.  God heals our brokeness.  Getting thru the brokeness sometimes is the hardest.  We need to celebrate our victories and those we love.  To be strong and not give up when Satin is spinning his lies.  When I look at the sorrow that has been spun in my life, out of not giving God my life!   I am ashamed!   God is my father whom will chasten my life and behavior because I need to be held accountable out of love.  Satin will whisper lies and get me to question my decisions.

This year I have seen many people who I know God removed. These people did not truly care about me.  They used me to get where they are.  Now I want my readers to know I am thankful that God placed me in these folks lives.  His reasoning for me to serve others is never a concern of mine.  I allow God to work thru me to serve others.  I trust God to help others.  I just really have never trusted my God to take care of all of me.

As I drove to work this morning, I was listening to Pastor Adrian Rogers talking about how we are called to give 1 tenth of our earning to the Lord.  We are do this because God provides everything for us.  My sorrow is over my sin of not giving to the Lord!  As Pastor spoke of the following passage.  I cried as I drove to work.  Primarily because I have sinned when it comes to giving to God and to being a good steward of what God has provided.  I prayed and cried out my heart to the Lord as I realized how I have not understood what I am to do in regards to what God has asked me to do.

Ten percent of my wage to God seems hard to reach when things are tough.  However I am reminded what Jesus did for me.  He did not hold back he took that cross for me.  A sinner!  God knows my heart and I will get there where I can commit to God what he is worthy of.  I tend to be very generous to those in need and people whom God has appointed me as a leader.  We are to confess with our mouth our sin.  I shared my sin with God and asked him to forgive me.  In doing this I also seek ways to serve the Lord.  This Blog is one way I can give.  I can be a testament of what God has done for me.  I can also humble myself to those who read my blog and know that I am a work in progress!

Thank you Jesus for being my savior and for allowing me the words to help others who may be struggling with their own sorrow.  God I know I can do better and ask you to help me do better.  In Jesus name AMEN-

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“Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase; So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10