Friday, October 31, 2014

F.F.F. - 10.31.14

It's a blustery day here in the heartland of America.  Time to cozy up inside and think about the blessings that have came my way.

1. October has drawn to a close and so has my blogging series, 31 Days of Life on the Journey. I've enjoyed the memories I have drawn upon to write my little vignettes of life. It's been fun, but I'm glad it's done. Time to go on to other things. The Thanksgiving season is upon us and I love to spend November thinking of all the blessings I have been given. So, come back in November and count gifts with me.

2.  I'm so glad I have a routine to slip back into after my week off. It was pretty painless except for the huge stack of account payables that had to be dealt with and mailed.

3.  I've been devouring the book, "Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good," by Jan Karon on my lunch hours this week. I just love visiting Mitford via Jan Karon!

4. What is it about these cuties that make me smile every time I see their photos?








God has been so good to our family with gifting us with these two lovable angels.

5.  Quote of the week:  I love Priscilla Shirer's words about the story of Ruth in the bible:


"If God can use  a woman who was grief-stricken, displaced, destitute, and seemingly hopeless to be the ancestor of the holy Messiah, then He can also use you and me."

And so wraps up another week of the Journey.  How did your week go? Leave a comment and share, or consider linking up at Susanne's "Living to Tell the Story," and tell us all about your week.



Day 31: Leave

Today's our last day together on this sharing of 31 Days of Life on the Journey. Some final thoughts I want to leave with you:

There are some things I needed to leave behind on my journey - things that weighed me down. Regrets, what-might-have beens, old dreams that don't fit the new me, all these things need to be left behind.

I can't change one thing that has already happened. If there is something to repent over and make restitution, I need to do that and move on.

Leave the bad stuff, and sometimes, leave good pleasant things that reach out and grab hold of me and keep me from moving on. You know, I sometimes like to just stay where it is pleasant. I get lulled into not wanting to make the effort to keep on growing.  Because growth means struggle ... I don't care much for struggle!

The thing is, if you are not growing, you are dying.  We were made for a challenge.  Life is richer and more rewarding if one has a goal and strives for it.  The journey to our heavenly Home is the most worthwhile goal I can imagine - especially if I am trying to influence others into making the journey with me.

I'm leaving the past behind. St. Paul said it in the Word, so I know it's God's heart, too. I want to leave it behind and press on.  

"... this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3:13-14

What about you?  Is there something you need to leave behind? 



This post is Day 31, and the final post, of a series entitled 31 Days of Life on the Journey where I share about my journey as a believer, wife, mom and grandmother.  I invite you to return each day to find the newest link here. Myquillin at The Nester is the creator of the 31 Day Challenge.  I'm linking this post to the category, "Faith and Inspiration." You can also visit Kate's blog, "Heading Home" to read the posts of all the other participants of the 31 day challenge who are writing on her daily prompts for 5 minutes. Today's prompt is "leave."


You can read each day's post in order as they are published by clicking on the link here. Or you could subscribe to my blog - I wouldn't want you to miss a thing! Just fill in your email address in the box below the words "Follow by email" second from the top in the upper right hand column.

Fall Gorgeousness

On my recent stay-cation, Jim and I went on a mini road-trip to visit two of our nearby state parks.  We were in search of fall color, and boy, we found it!  

I took 172 photos but will share just a few highlights. You're welcome.











I love the Master Artist's work!  I took all of these photos in different locations in about a 75 mile radius of where I live. This time of year, I'm pretty sure I live in one of the prettiest spots in the universe.  Winter? Not so much ...

What does it look like in your neck of the woods?



Mama's Losin' It


This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 5.) Share a favorite fall view. You can read other great responses at Kat's blog, Mama's Losin' It.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day 30: First

I was the first grandchild and great grandchild on my dad's side. My great-grandpa called me "First" instead of my name.

I was the first granddaughter on my mom's side.

As the oldest child in my family, I was kind of used to being in charge.

I would say that one of the biggest challenges on my Journey after becoming a Christian was learning to put God first instead of me.

I had to learn everything was not about me. I still need refresher courses from time to time.

It's not so much that I think I have to have everything, I'm certainly able to share. I don't want it all. It's just that my thought life is involved with what I want to do and how I'm going to do it. Don't judge, I'm just being real.

My goal for the rest of my Journey is to think on Him a whole lot more than I think on me.


John 3:30Amplified Bible (AMP)He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.]

Who's first in your life?



This post is Day 30 of a series entitled 31 Days of Life on the Journey where I share about my journey as a believer, wife, mom and grandmother.  I invite you to return each day to find the newest link here. Myquillin at The Nester is the creator of the 31 Day Challenge.  I'm linking this post to the category, "Faith and Inspiration." You can also visit Kate's blog, "Heading Home" to read the posts of all the other participants of the 31 day challenge who are writing on her daily prompts for 5 minutes. Today's prompt is "first."

You can read each day's post in order as they are published by clicking on the link here. Or you could subscribe to my blog - I wouldn't want you to miss a thing! Just fill in your email address in the box below the words "Follow by email" second from the top in the upper right hand column.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 29: Unite

A little white church founded in a previous century!
A discussion of life on my journey would not be complete without the mention of a church family.

As I've said before, my life is the church. I'm involved in full time ministry as a ministry assistant for two churches. More than that, I'm also a volunteer. Over the years I've served in almost every capacity of the church except nursery director and the Pastor!

The thing I love most about the church is the feeling of family. Really, if a church is functioning as it ought, it is a big extended family with many loving relatives up in your business! Regardless of how it sometimes feels, we all need to know people are concerned abut us and notice when we have needs.

I could not have made it through the beginning years of Jim's illness if our churches had not united as one and helped us. By united, I mean that not only did our home church help but also the churches where I have worked. As the body of Christ, they came together when they saw we had a need.

What do those who do not have a church family do when adversity comes their way? I daresay sometimes there are people who cannot go on because they have no one to encourage them.

I've written it time and time again, if you don't have a church home, please seek God and ask Him to lead you to one. And when you get there, stick it out even through the rough times.  Every family has rough times but you don't leave. Hang in there, it's worth it.

~~~




This post is Day 29 of a series entitled 31 Days of Life on the Journey where I share about my journey as a believer, wife, mom and grandmother.  I invite you to return each day to find the newest link here. Myquillin at The Nester is the creator of the 31 Day Challenge.  I'm linking this post to the category, "Faith and Inspiration." You can also visit Kate's blog, "Heading Home" to read the posts of all the other participants of the 31 day challenge who are writing on her daily prompts for 5 minutes. Today's prompt is "unite."


You can read each day's post in order as they are published by clicking on the link here. Or you could subscribe to my blog - I wouldn't want you to miss a thing! Just fill in your email address in the box below the words "Follow by email" second from the top in the upper right hand column.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 28: Wake

I was cruising along through life. I had achieved my dream. At last, infertility had been beaten and the object of our prayers and desire was a real, live, breathing baby! I was a stay at home mom pouring into my child all the love and attention I could possibly muster.

At the same time something else was happening, but I didn't notice it. I didn't realize my husband was becoming different. I didn't see it at all until I was forced to see the changes.



One day I had to wake up and find out that he had a mental illness. His initial diagnosis was major depression. Years later, the diagnosis would turn into bipolar.

It still seems crazy it happened to us. Life changed and things were never the same as it was before. One thing we did learn, though, is that God never changes, nor does His love and care for us. Through all the things we have gone through, we can still look back and see He has been with us every step of the way...

Just like He will be with us all our life, even up to, and including, our first morning waking up in Heaven.

~~~

What about you?  Did you wake up one day to find a new normal?  Tell us about it. Leave a comment and share.




From time to time, I share our story of living with mental illness in order for those struggling with situations like ours to realize they are not alone. There is no stigma or shame in having a mental illness, just as there is no shame in being a diabetic or having heart disease.  We pray for healing and expect healing to come.  In the meantime, we take advantage of the resources God has given us, such as medications, doctors, standing on the Word and praying believers.

This post is Day 28 of a series entitled 31 Days of Life on the Journey where I share about my journey as a believer, wife, mom and grandmother.  I invite you to return each day to find the newest link here. Myquillin at The Nester is the creator of the 31 Day Challenge.  I'm linking this post to the category, "Faith and Inspiration." You can also visit Kate's blog, "Heading Home" to read the posts of all the other participants of the 31 day challenge who are writing on her daily prompts for 5 minutes. Today's prompt is "wake."

You can read each day's post in order as they are published by clicking on the link here. Or you could subscribe to my blog - I wouldn't want you to miss a thing! Just fill in your email address in the box below the words "Follow by email" second from the top in the upper right hand column.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day 27: Free

Liss and I was at a yard sale last year.  It was a big yard sale in someone's garage with everything artfully laid out. The seller also had a bunch of Avon products for sale that was unmarked so a lot of people were asking prices. I was inspecting a cute set of fall vases when a lady came to the sale bringing with her a handicapped girl.  

The girl went right to the unmarked table and picked up one thing after the other asking how much?  Finally she made her way to a table that had some little knick-knacks. When asked the price the kind and patient seller said, "Oh those things are free.  I didn't know what to charge so I decided I would give them away."

"Free?" the girl questioned loudly.

"Yes, free.  Take what you want."

The girl excitedly spread her arms wide, her face to the heavens and shouted "Freeeeeeeeeeeeeee." She did it a couple more times and then said to the lady who had brought her to the sale, "She said I could have anything off this table I wanted. It's freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

Liss and I looked at each other, I quietly set my vase down, and in one mind and one accord, we quickly walked to our car, jumped in and sped off, laughing uproariously once we were safely inside.

Anytime we want a chuckle, we just say "freeeeeee," to each other.

The last time I thought about this, I felt the Lord say quietly in my spirit.  "You should be excited about the things you've been given freely like she was over yard sale treasures."

So, true.  Think about it, why don't we yell "Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee," when we have been forgiven? When we are given eternal life, shouldn't we get excited and let everyone know? When we realize we don't have to carry the burden of our sin any longer, shouldn't we shout it to the rooftops?

John 8:36English Standard Version (ESV)So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.



This post is Day 27 of a series entitled 31 Days of Life on the Journey where I share about my journey as a believer, wife, mom and grandmother.  I invite you to return each day to find the newest link here. Myquillin at The Nester is the creator of the 31 Day Challenge.  I'm linking this post to the category, "Faith and Inspiration." You can also visit Kate's blog, "Heading Home" to read the posts of all the other participants of the 31 day challenge who are writing on her daily prompts for 5 minutes. Today's prompt is "free."


You can read each day's post in order as they are published by clicking on the link here. Or you could subscribe to my blog - I wouldn't want you to miss a thing! Just fill in your email address in the box below the words "Follow by email" second from the top in the upper right hand column.