CLEARING THE AIR

We have a wood pellet stove in our home.  We have enjoyed this stove.  The stove really has reduced our fuel bills.  Something went wrong last night and my daughter came running into my Master that is in the back of the house to tell me the stove was on fire.  I went out to see what was going on to find the door of the stove was open and the house filled with heavy white soot smoke.  we opened the windows to clear the smoke.

Well this morning the smoke is just as heavy.  I called my employer to let them know I will be working from home on cleaning the house.  Just checked website on smoke damage.  I have decided on a combination of a mild detergent with baking soda and vinegar.  well it is has not removed the smell.  I covered the furniture in baking soda and damped it with vinigar. it seemed to work on the furniture.  However the walls and ceilings still smell of smoke.  More than half of the house was effected.  The throw rugs in the livingroom I contacted a professional carpet care company who will come on Thursday and shampoo.  All the drapes, blinds and throw pillows were taken out and laundered.  All the wall hangings are on the patio with all the baskets that needed cleaned with mild soap and vinigar.  I am so thankful that I am cleaning furnishings and that we did not die from smoke inhalation or worse in a full house fire!

God’s grace and love once again has prevailed.  Even though it cost me a day of work we still have time to thank the Lord for this day and to rejoice in his glory.

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The QUIET BEGINING

“As I write this, it is apparent to me that I am different!  Different than I used to be. “

As I write this, it is apparent to me that I am different!  Different than I used to be. Why?  Well it happened almost without my realization.  All of the sudden when I would get in my car I did not want to listen to music.  How I took time to think of others feelings more so than my opinion.  All of the sudden I was wanting to read more and seek the scriptures to get a better understanding of what I needed for my life.

My staff laugh because they know I am walking into the building just as Franklin Graham comes on the radio right after Adrian Rogers.  Why would they know this? Because I listen to Pastor Adrian Rogers everyday as I drive to work.  I would love to listen to Franklin as well but I cannot.  I have shared with all my team that I feed my morning drive with Pastor Adrian so when I am walking into the building I am equipped with the message and I try to pray to the Lord to allow me be a blessing to him as I conduct myself and how I treat my team!

The high standard of what I want my people to see in me is important.  I need to be prepared to greet them with a solid mind and a Christ Centered behavior!  I love it when I am able to wake early and read something amazing here on WordPress that inspires my heart.  However being a morning person is not a NATURAL part of who I am.  I like my sleep!  When I do not wake early I miss on my time with the Lord.  Oh I miss this!

I love spending time with God.  As I grow in my walk this time is very important to me.  I am hungry for learning.  He truly restores me and help me meet the day.  I love to close the door on my office and read my New Testament at work as well.  If we want a time for God we have to block time out.  I feel God working in me.  I am growing because I am hungry for God.  I am so thankful for this.  Here is hoping that you can set time aside to be thankful to God and to spend time praising everyday!

EMBRACING CHANGE

All though life changes our outer being the inner being still feels young without boundaries. It is only when I am playing with my children I realize that the shell is getting older.

Change is inevitable with every year our lives change.  This year we saw our daughter marry and have her first-born.  I remember being deeply in love with my husband and the night he proposed and yet this was 34 years ago.  Oh how I have changed!  When I look in the mirror I can still see that girl who said yes!  All though life changes our outer being the inner being still feels young without boundaries.  It is only when I am playing with my children I realize that the shell is getting older.

Age is not always a welcome visitor.  Vanity of what and who we perceive who we are changes with each passing year.  I guess that is why we need to focus on who we are today.  Today I am a better person because I have accepted I cannot do this life without Christ.  This was the best change I made.  I will forever be thankful for accepting Jesus as my savior and my sister-in-law and best friend Lorie who was there who prayed with me as I accepted Jesus.  Embracing this change has been a lot like to evolution of me going from a young woman to the older woman I am today.

When we decide to accept and be thankful for what God has done in our lives it becomes really fun to see where that change will take me.  I am set apart in the body of Christ.  But being set aside does not mean that the challenges and changes I will embrace will always be fully understood at the time of these changes.  We have to open our hearts up to what God has in store.  So Embrace change today

 

BEING BRAVE

I was thinking of all the brave people who triumph over great obstacles.  David’s own people could not believe that he would defeat the Giant Goliath and help his people take back their land.  And yet he did!  His own brothers begged him to not go thru with this.

Yet David had prayed and was encouraged and sure of his decision.  No one believed in David!  Yet he was sure of his decision. He was brave against all obstacles. He was small, He was a Sheppard Boy,  He was small, He was not a warrior, He was laughed at,  He was told that he would die!  Yet Goliath mocked him from a far, He even proclaimed to be God!  He did not believe this little guy would knock him down and that the sword you demanded his servant to get would be the same sword David would use to take off his head with!  David was victorious because he knew that God was with him.  He knew that he would destroy the giant and that he would take back his land.

Being brave did not just happen.  It was his faith!  David knew that God would deliver him!  In my life I have had brave moments!  However never as brave as what God called David to do!  He was in line with what God called him to do!  d58f4ce1f2fbd3254bfa958ec9e2bb42

No matter our need for bravery God will be with us!  Find comfort in knowing that God has a plan for your life!

THE TRY OF IT ALL

I believe that we all need someone in our corner. Who will be strong enough to tell us that we are wrong! Strong enough to fire us when it is necessary. Strong enough to be there from a distance asking them to consider a different approach.

Have you ever tried to help another and they just don’t see it! They act like they are on the same page only to not care about what you are trying to do! I have been working with a young man who is truly not helping himself. As an employer I want to retain employees by getting them on board with our goals.

Well just like that employee God gives us children as well. I can recall several conversations with my children about what they were doing or proposing that I did not agree with. So I would try to influence their thinking by asking them to consider my opinions. However that was never going to work!   Because it would mean they would have to change their opinion. It is all about trying that becomes more of a compromise that will help both of us. A give and take!

Both scenarios are about two young people.  My insight is from life!   They have not lived to see failings.  They both are still happy to rely on their families to get their needs met.  The young man is not willing to change his conduct that will eventually lose him his employment.  The child who thinks she is correct will find out she is not once she is on her own struggling with the reality of her life.

We can only try to get others to see the reasons why we still try!  I believe that we all need someone in our corner.  Who will be strong enough to tell us that we are wrong!  Strong enough to fire us when it is necessary.  Strong enough to be there from a distance asking them to consider a different approach.

Look at your life relationships and see if you see who has been the brave ones in your life!  Who said “No you are wrong!”  the Bible teaches that God cares for us.  He will hold us accountable.  “In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you but only for a moment.  It’s with lasting love that I am tenderly caring for you.”  Isaiah 54:8

As the above scripture reminds,  we must know that he God has an opinion of our choices and he will be stead fast in his love to bring us back from our own errors.


Continue reading “THE TRY OF IT ALL”

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Snow covered corn fields are a regular site when it comes to living in the State of Nebraska.  Our worlds revolve around farming and railroads.  In my career I have driven past this old church several times.  It is as if it is left there as a testament to the past.

Setting back  with no sign of a road anymore.   Just the shell of what used to be.  Sunday Pot luck’s,  Bible studies,  moments of birth’s and wedding celebrations.  Along with the passing of loved ones. the past of community.

The memories of this place,  I am sure someone holds.  We forget that just like this building we deteriorate and one day we will leave behind remittance of our lives.

Everything we are is being built up or torn down!  As I grow toward God in my daily walk, it is evident that I have to think before I act.  I have to wait on Gods wisdom.  I have to be realistic about my own mortality.   My life will end and tears will flow from those who have been part of my story.  My story has been one of non belief to accepting Jesus as my savior.  He took my sin and has me whole!

When we are forgiven it is done!  the Bible reminds us not to focus on the past but to mindful of the day at hand.

“Lift up my eyes to the mountains.  Where does my help come from?”  “My help comes the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. ”  Psalm 12:1-2

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!

 

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.

SIPPING & PAINTING

An afternoon in the country at the local winery sipping and painting!  What a great time.  My daughters and one of our dear friends went with us.  We had done this last year and it was so much fun!  What a glorious day to relax and to spend quality time with one another.  It was just very special to spend this time together.  we created very unique pieces of art!  I tend to be extreme with color.

It is amazing how each of us were given the same instruction and yet the way our art turned out was very different!  All unique like each of the people who was in the class.

It reminds me of how God works on us and thru us for his good.  Just as the paintings turned out similar they were individual pieces of art who reflected the person who created it.  Our identity was only for us as individual.   PSALM 119-73 says “With your very own hands you formed me; now breath your wisdom over so I can understand.

Just as we created our art today,  I was well aware that we started with a blank canvas and really did not have a full understanding how it would turn out.  It took time to see the picture come together.  I think we all start out as a white canvas and our lives and personal growth begin to start coming together with color!

I am still working to understand what God has in store for my life.  I know one thing for sure!   In God I Trust!

In him all my faith is full.  In him I am one!  He fills in the colors of my life with his knowledge.  He fills me with hope and gives me direction when I am not sure.  He opens me to new opportunity because he gives me with assurance that he is with me.  I am his!  God’s word assures us that “his presence will be with us and he will give us rest.”   Exodus 33:14

It was so much fun to have the art come together.  To see each of us in our group celebrate the joy of their art.  originals one of kinds!  Just as God has made each of us.

Wishing you a day to appreciation

When I Was Twenty Something-

“When I was twenty something I could call my Mom and she would help me if I needed help.”

When I was twenty something I was so smart! I knew everything. I was up on all social and political issues I thought. I was going to change the world! Well I am now in my fifty’s and the reality is I did not know a damn thing.

When I was twenty something I could call my Mom and she would help me if I needed help.

When I was twenty something I took risks in all areas of my life. I was a terror of facts and what a goal setter. None of this is bad. It is just Naïve thinking that makes us think we know things we do not. Life changes when all of a sudden you have to stand on your two feet and you fall down!

It’s all in how we pick ourselves up! When I was in my twenty’s I attended school to be a teacher. I went into this field and within nine years because I knew everything, I burned out!   So I took my experience to  Well Fair reform.   Educating the parents of the children once taught how to go get a job to be self-sufficient.

In my twenties I still had passion and believed in everyone. I still try today to hold to some of that naïve thinking when I am working with a client on a project. If you can see it you can achieve it. I hold to this because for the most part it never failed me. I have failed me!  Owning my own failings have helped me see I can overcome my own errors.

I think this philosophy I hold has been passed down to only one of three children. One really took it and two did not. the one that has this attitude is a trail blazer and is willing to reinvent her road just like me. The other two tend to question things and then talk themselves out of what they want. I wonder where I got this attitude from? I have traced it back to my husband Bryan and a neighbor women who was more like a mother to me in my twenties.

Betty was the nosey neighbor who came to see who was cleaning up the worst house in town. Sally Slegar and Betty Garrett showed up with chocolate chip cookies and forever changed my life. Both were retired and wanting to revitalize our town. They could not wait to share with me about the Better Community Group that they were forming. Of course they wanted me involved. I am sure that I was rolling my eyes at the idea of me being involved in a community group!

Betty had been a Ranchers wife and after her husband passed she went back to school and got her degree to teach school. Betty never had children but she had Fostered when she was young on the ranch. She spoke of her experience and told me that it was a way to give back to children who did not have a family to take care of them. Because of Betty my husband and I later fostered. When Betty met me I was just staying home and we were living on a very tight budget. She told me that I needed to be the best wife by making sure I had a meal on the table for Bryan and our daughter every night and to make sure to keep the home and garden. I remember thinking how “old-fashioned” she was. Then I visited her at her home. WOW!

Wow is the only way I can still today describe this home. She had asked me to assist in serving for a tea she was hosting at her home for the ladies auxiliary. I had never seen dishes nor a table set the way she set her table. It was life changing. the fine dishes, linen napkins, fresh flowers. The silver set that she had me pour the tea from was heavy. The smell of scones and fruit salad. I had never seen blueberries or strawberries in February with water melon. She had it shipped in special for her event. Today all these fruits are available year round but not in 1985 in Nebraska. I remember asking her why did she not make another salad and she said that “You should always show your guests they are worthy by going above and beyond!” This has stayed with me all of my life.

In my twenties I really did not see myself making friends with a women in her seventies. When I married my husband I remember thinking my mother in law and father in law seemed so old. I am just a little bit older today then my mother in law was back in 1984.

When I was in my twenties God sent me a gift in these women who got to be part of my life experience. Betty challenged me and made me feel like being a stay at home mother was important. She made me see that I needed to think outside myself. To put my husband and daughter first. To care about my yard and my home. to put my best forward. She taught me to look to the future and that I could do what ever I wanted to do.

Betty got sick! I loved Betty so much. I remember praying that if she passed away that God would let me know. Betty had been moved to a nursing home after being diagnosed with liver cancer. She was so upset and had told me I do not want to die of cancer. The night she passed I set up in bed and woke my husband. I told him Betty was gone. Bryan comforted me and told me to go back to sleep. I remember looking at the clock it was 11:20 PM. At mid night Frank her nephew called me to let me know that she had passed away at 11:20 PM.

I know that God is huge and when we love one another we get human experiences that are unexplainable. It is pure grace. Betty loved me so much and I loved her I think it was Betty letting me know that she was gone.

I feel her love when I am stressed about something and start doubting myself. I here that voice saying “YOU can do this!” We all need cheerleaders in our lives and we need to recognize them.

 

 

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Our daughters have had the pleasure of attending school in a farm community where God has placed Julie Black in our lives. Julie worked very hard with our middle daughter to challenge her to fill out applications for scholarships. Julie has been a voice with both our middle and youngest daughters. She does not agree with them just because they would like her too. She will give them solid advice. At times I think the girls have not appreciated her.

Just like Betty, who in my twenties was, glad to tell me that I was wrong. She challenges our youngest who has high anxiety.   She gets her to see that she can! She has celebrated each of their victories.  She has expressed concern when it was necessary. Julie is a life changing woman who I am so glad God placed in our children’s lives.  A true cheerleader.

In my fifties I would love to tell Betty today how much she influenced m.  I am so thankful that she was part of my life experience. I wish I could show her how I set our table for guests, What type of wife and mother I grew into. Take time to be old-fashioned. Write a note of thanks when you can. show others they matter because they do!