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Throwback Thursday

Project98A sweet picture of my daughter and me in 1988 🙂

Throwback Thursday

Aug06#11Taken around 1961 – My family.  I am the baby 🙂

Meeting A Certain Miss “Daisy”

Daisy is the name of a certain Bichon Frise puppy that we are adopting in two weeks.  We went to meet her yesterday where she lives with her mom, dad and brothers and sisters – almost 4 hours from our home.

When we arrived we were greeted by the breeder, Monica and all the adult Bichons, Tara, Meggie (the mom) and Gig (the dad).  They were warm, loving and embracing upon first meeting us in the yard and followed us into the house with kisses and hugs.  Monica then took us downstairs to where the puppies were and they have to be the cutest and sweetest puppies I have EVER SEEN.  All fluffy white little clouds of “puff” with big black eyes and noses.  They all wanted to be picked up and held and we tried to hold all of them.

When “Daisy” the tiniest one of the bunch was handed to me, she was shaky and not too sure about the strange new people – but after a few minutes we were great friends.  Her sister really seemed to like me too – and is only a little bigger than Daisy.  It took me a few minutes to see how they both would react to me – or “choose me”.  And once Daisy was back in my arms again and began licking and chewing on my fingers – the choice seemed pretty clear.  When a puppy does this and looks you right in the eye as if to say, “you’re mine” – it’s all over.

Needless to say we took many videos and many pictures too.  And we have such wonderful memories we were able to take back home that will always be with us.

I would say that this puppy got into our hearts – and we feel very blessed.

Enjoy the following videos from our adventure with “Daisy”.

God Bless




We Like Sheep (From October 2010)

Listen to what this guy has to say about sheep – very interesting and goes right along with an article that I wrote last year at this time – hope you enjoy them both!

I am like a Sheep.  I am a Sheep.  And so are  you.

I find it interesting that of all the creatures on earth, Jesus compared us to sheep.  The first reason is clear – He took ordinary things in people’s lives and used them for illustration, to make His message understandable by the ordinary working class.  But there is also another reason.  Those that have worked with sheep and been with them for any length of time can testify that there is nothing quite so dumb as a sheep. The comparison is true.  It is speaking of you and me.

Sheep wander, they get lost, and believe it or not – they DO NOT LEARN.

It’s almost insulting to be compared to these hopelessly ridiculous creatures – and yet…

I am humbled by the words of Jesus.  And touched by His protection over me – just like a shepherd.  Protecting, leading and guiding.  Watching, hoping and believing that I’ll finally get it right.  All the while knowing that it is a stretch because I am a sheep.Hopelessly dumb – and constantly wandering and yes –  even getting lost.  I break away many times in my much-anticipated freedom – breaking off the restraints that hold me safe – only to find that I am more lost than ever before.  I blow it – get off track and wander even further away from His loving arms of protection – it is then that I realize – I am nothing without the lavish love of the Great Shepherd.  Will I ever get it right?  Will I ever learn?  And this is why – we need a Savior.  Jesus came to save His lost sheep.  It wasn’t enough that the lost were found – He loved them so much that He died for them.

Sheep-flock with shepherd.......
Image by Astrid Photography. via Flickr

Isaiah 53 (Message Bible)

We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. 
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him.

Who else do you know that loves you so much?  Would anyone you know really die for you?  How about someone you didn’t know?  How about then?  Is there anyone you can think  of that would do that?  This is exactly what Jesus did.  He died ‘while we were yet sinners’ still living far from Him – wandering around and doing our own thing – getting lost and messing it up – just like sheep.

Are you in need of a Shepherd today?  Call out His name – He’ll be there in a hurry to rescue you and to lovingly embrace you with His protective arms – keeping you on a safe path.  Stay close to Him and He will watch over you with a relentless love. Always.

God Bless

30 Years Ago #4

30 years ago – tomorrow 🙂

God Bless

30 Years Ago

This month marks 30 years that Greg and I have been married. So for the next five days (our actual anniversary is on Labor Day) I will be posting a “blast from the past” picture.

The above picture was taken when we became engaged the end of March, 1981. Look how young we were. Can anyone really tell what life is going to be like when you are that young? We certainly did not. We had not known ministry jobs and complications – financial reversal and two children – who would grow up to make us so proud. We only knew that for us – the world was pretty small – as we planned our upcoming September 5th wedding, and tried to get through another semester of college.

Where were you 30 years ago?

God Bless

Not TOO Close And Personal

A couple of nights ago I accompanied my husband, Greg on a work assignment in downtown Seattle.  He “moonlights” as a contractor for Starbucks doing light maintenance after hours – or any “emergency” situations.  This was one of those.  A homeless person decided to “take a dump” as it were – right outside Starbucks back door where their dumpsters are (it could have been worse – and sometimes is, but not this time). He gets paid a lot of money for being the on call emergency clean-up guy.

While we were driving from the east side into downtown Seattle – the skyline of the city was breathtaking.

This lead to some great conversation.  You see, from afar – the city looks beautiful – but careful – you don’t want to look too close – you may see some things that are – well – kind of disturbing and not so pretty.

The inner city life and all the dirt and grime.  Not so pretty.  Drugs and alcohol abuse.  Street walkers and dealers after hours.  The raw and the gritty.  Not pretty.

 

While we were discussing this great truth – I was reminded of a movie that we had seen recently “Soul Surfer” about the young girl who had her arm bitten off by a shark.  In the story her Bible Study leader, played by Carrie Underwood, shows them several pictures of things up close and personal – things that looked AMAZING up close – and then when you backed up – you were seeing an ants eyeball.  And then things that looked so HORRIBLE up close – were actually things that were surprisingly beautiful – like a flower petal.

Things are not always as they appear.  Hardly ever.  First impressions can be killers.  And sometimes our imagination is WAY better than the real thing.  A little like every day life.

I love the way God takes me just as I am – up close and personal.  He is not afraid to go deeper and see all the ugly things lurking beneath the surface.  And He loves me just the same.

What have you discovered to be different up close and personal?   How are you about accepting the good with the not so pretty in others around you?

 

God Bless

My Thousand Word Picture

A picture worth a thousand words?  Yes.  I think so.

What’s your picture of a thousands words look like?  I’d love to see it!

God Bless

Living On The Edge

I recently ran across this article from my new blogging buddy  Elizabeth Esther.  She explains how her daughter wanted to jump into their pool with her dance recital outfit on – to know what it would feel like to ‘fly’ with it on.  It’s a sweet story complete with a picture of her ‘in flight’ after Elizabeth finally relented to letting her daughter ruin her outfit for that ‘thrill’ of flying through the air.

Absurd?  Impracticable?   Foolishly frivolous?   Yes.  All of these – and more.

A chance to ‘let go’ – to ‘run with reckless abandon’ and do something spontaneous – just because.

We lose this ability as we mature.  We become responsible and (gasp!) practical.  We think in terms of conserving and ‘pulling in’ – often times squelching any creativity or spontaneity.   Because we are grown up and have to act responsibly – I mean if we don’t – WHO WILL?  Right?

Do you remember a time when you ran through the sprinklers in your yard (or someone else’s) and got soaking wet?  Even your hair?  And it felt SO GOOD, didn’t it?  Just kicked off your shoes and ran through!

How about the time you risked your life swinging on a rope swing?  The kind that was on its last few precious strands of rope weeks before and everyone that was swinging on it – you just knew they were on borrowed time?

When was the last time you had a popsicle?  The kind you used to get when you heard the ice cream man coming?  My favorites were banana and root beer.  How about a slurpee?  When was the last time?  They’re not just for kids you know 🙂

We grow up and get ‘careful’.  And not just ‘careful’ – but ‘cautious’.  Life becomes so serious to us – and granted – there is much to be serious about.  There are bills to be paid – and family situations – but there is also a mind-set that creeps in – if we’re not careful.  The mind-set that fun is for the young – and life becomes very mundane and predictable.

Well – that may be okay for you – but NOT FOR ME!  I love excitement – I even have to have something exciting for breakfast!  No dull and dry cereal for me – NO SIR!  I need something – ANYTHING with a little pizzaz! A yummy bagel with flavored cream cheese – or a wonderful mouth-watering scone – or a Danish with a little something extra – you know. Greg likes the same thing for breakfast everyday. (Boring) He really likes it like that!  Amazing!

I like to ‘live on the edge’ – LOVE adventure, romance and just plain living! Greg likes consistency and routine.  That’s where he is comfortable and safe.

Greg knows that I just can’t ‘exist’ – but that I love to express myself – share love and friendship with those in my world and – love to explore new places and get to know new people – and love to encourage others to LIVE and LOVE life!!   And in this ‘new season’ that we find ourselves in – it is nice that we are both now self-employed and can do some of the things we’ve always wanted to do – it doesn’t always take money to do them – (we don’t have any – so that’s good!) and I’m thrilled for that!

We do something fun everyday. Each day is an adventure.  We had been married far too long – raised a couple of children before we realized that the ‘fun’ and ‘spontaneity’ had been robbed from us.  I blame so many things on that – the families we were both raised in (duty, work and responsibility) and the church we found ourselves in for years (appearances and being an example) – and yet I know that these only served as a guide – and did not mean to suck the joy out of our marriage – but somehow – they did.  Add to that the stresses of life, family situations and burdens from those in crisis close to us – and even some dysfunctional behavior from others and mix it all together and you can get a very dry and tired marriage. With no joy.  Safe, predictable, practical and boring. A slow death sentence for me.

Bringing ‘fun’ back into our marriage was a choice – but also a necessity. Without it – we would not have made it.  We took a step toward excitement – and I’m happy to report that keeping things ‘fresh’ and ‘new’ has become our theme song after 29 years of marriage.  We were both Christians since we were children – so our faith was never in question – just our ‘duty’ and commitment’ became old and stale and we needed a better reason than that to keep doing the same old things over and over and over again.  Like a worn out song that never ends – is how our marriage was becoming.  We were becoming that couple with an ‘arrangement’ but that really wasn’t very happy anymore.  And it scared us.  We refused to be that couple and live that way – with separate lives and interests – pulling further and further apart.

How did we turn it around?  We brought FUN back into our relationship.  We looked closely at us.  Not the ‘us’ as parents of our two wonderful children – not the ‘us’ as a ministry couple (as most people had known us) – not the ‘us’ as wonderful obedient children of our own parents – but we just stepped back and looked at us. And we had to go back and remember just what it was that sparked that interest and kept us – way back then.  The ‘little’ things that meant so much back then.  We started doing that again.  We started thinking of ways to be creative without much money – going and doing something interesting everyday together – being spontaneous and FUN!  Not holding back or squelching each others creativity – but allowing each other to be exactly who we are. And that included allowing each other to grow individually without feeling threatened by it.  I have a lot of friends and love each of them in their own special way.  Greg now understands how important that is to me and does not limit me – nor is he threatened by it.  I understand Greg’s need to feel ‘safe’ by routine and his work – and encourage him to do the things that make him most happy and fulfill him as a man.  It is a win/win – born out of necessity – and has grown into something secure and trusted – a mutual respect and understanding for each other – two completely different people who decided to grow old together and two people who chose each other.

Here’s wishing you and yours some fun and spontaneity – as you endeavor to ‘live on the edge’ in your marriage and in your own personal life.

God Bless

Birthday Girl

I remember 23 years ago today very well.  I had my first baby – a baby girl we named Ashlee Renee.

It’s funny how some events in our lives we never forget no matter how much time goes by – or things happen to us – good and bad – as a mom – I will never forget the day I delivered both of my babies.  And the first baby is very special.  I remember feeling very ill prepared for the task ahead.  I remember being very emotional.  And I know that was normal – and still today I feel the same when I think about those days.

My labor was not text-book at all.  I was admitted to the hospital because I was a favorite of my doctor – and I think he took pity on me not having any air conditioning in our home.  We lived in New Castle, PA – a VERY hot a muggy summer!  And since it was cool and comfortable in the hospital – and I was having some signs of labor – he let me check in.  At first I was happy – in no real pain and left to watch TV or play games with Greg – talk on the phone to relatives and just relax.  My sister thought it was really unfair that I had no pains and was dilated – but I was pretty happy about it ☺  My mother told her, “they will come”  and so they did – after they had to break my water.

5 hours of labor later – our baby girl was born – 7 lbs 10 oz.  And they put me in a room to try to get some sleep – she was born at 2:27am – and I did not sleep the rest of the night.  I had sent Greg home to get some rest – but then called him back first thing in the morning – and tired though he was – he actually came back!

That very day Greg locked his keys in the car – he’s never done that before or since – so I know how befuddled he was!  Being a first time parent was certainly taking its toil – and the excitement was more than he could handle!

We look back at those early days of parenthood and laugh at some of the silly, crazy things we did – and poor Ashlee was our experimental child – so I know we did many things wrong with her – I’m just so glad she didn’t hold it against us – and in spite of us – she turned out beautifully!

Blessings on my married daughter of 23 – may the next 23 be even more wonderful – filled with parenthood and many other precious memories!

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