Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘blessed’

Hello everyone and HAPPY SPRING!!

It’s been a wonderful spring in our family.  We were all reunited with a grandgirl we hadn’t seen for four years!  She’s now 10-years-old and just as precious as ever.  It was a blessing to have 10 of the 11 grandchildren together just before Easter.  We hope to see much more of her this year.

Our yard has been alive with flowers and trees.  Although, not nearly as many tulips as we used to have (see this page’s top photo).  They just seem to have disappeared.  The daffodils were plentiful and beautiful.  And the lilacs! Oh the amazing lilacs!  (I hope Heaven smells like that.)  I’m even adding a few new bird feeders.  Later this spring or summer I’ll tell you about my birdbath project.

If you recall, last year my husband built a brand new raised garden.  This is probably the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken.  Also, a huge blessing to our family.

This year we are adding to the garden space and putting up a new fence.  And when I say “we” I, of course, mean “my husband”.

Planted so far in our raised garden are (in no particular order and some plants/some seeds): lettuce, green beans, carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, jalapenos, kale, arugula, onions, cucumbers…gosh I must be forgetting something.  Yet to be planted are: tomatoes, asparagus (which we will hopefully harvest next spring), spinach, Brussels sprouts, and all the herbs.  I’m also planting peanuts in two large containers and strawberries in a great salvage yard find which you’ll see in the pictures below.  I know it’s late for the strawberries, but we have the plants and should get a nice crop next spring for sure.

So, are you planting anything this spring?  Do you have raised beds or containers?  Or a good old fashioned garden patch right in the ground?   I urge you to plant SOMETHING this year!  Even if just one tomato plant in a container.  Be sure to give it something to vine on.  You won’t regret it!  PLEASE share your gardening stories and photos with us on my FACEBOOK PAGE!

HAPPY GARDENING!

 

Our beautiful spring tree.  It seemed to be much fuller and lush than usual.

Our beautiful spring tree. It seemed to be much fuller and lush than usual.

 

The lilac!  This is a very old bush that faltered for a while.  But the last few years it's been glorious!

The lilac! This is a very old bush that faltered for a while. But the last few years it’s been glorious! Yes, the little dog is cute. You want him? No, seriously.

 

I hope Heaven smells like this...

I hope Heaven smells like this…

lilacs 02

 

We get our plants and seeds at a local Heirloom market.  I encourage you to search for heirloom seeds and plants in your area.  No GMO!

We get our plants and seeds at a local Heirloom market. I encourage you to search for heirloom seeds and plants in your area. No GMO!

 

 

One of our little helpers.  She did a great job digging the little holes and getting the plants in the dirt just right.  And, she's little enough that she can stand right in the garden to get it done.

One of our little helpers. She did a great job digging the little holes and getting the plants in the dirt just right. And, she’s little enough that she can stand right in the garden to get it done.

 

It won't be long and this lettuce will be much larger and on our plates!

It won’t be long and this lettuce will be much larger and on our plates!

 

We had a couple of onions reappear on their own this spring.  But had to plant new seeds.  My daughter talked me into buying kale this year.  Wish me luck.

We had a couple of onions reappear on their own this spring. But had to plant new seeds. My daughter talked me into buying kale this year. Wish me luck.

 

And THIS is our fun salvage yard find!  A large metal gutter-type contraption.  I'm told it's a chicken feeder.  It's going to sit there on our NEW FENCE and be home to our strawberry patch!

And THIS is our fun salvage yard find! A large metal gutter-type contraption. I’m told it’s a chicken feeder. It’s going to sit there on our NEW FENCE and be home to our strawberry patch!

 

We have this great space available now too!!  But for this year it will be hold a row of sunflowers and the containers of peanuts.  We'll mulch over it this year.  Plenty of other projects to keep us busy.

We have this great space available now too!! But for this year it will be hold a row of sunflowers and the containers of peanuts. We’ll mulch over it this year. Plenty of other projects to keep us busy.

 

Don’t forget to visit my Facebook page and let me know how your garden grows! 🙂

 

Read Full Post »

I woke up this morning, too early of course, and was feeling the same uneasy anxiety I’ve been feeling for weeks.  Tomorrow is my second total knee replacement surgery.  I do not yet know what time my surgery will be.  They’ll call me some time today and let me know.  That doesn’t help the anxiousness!  When talking to hubby about how it would be nice to know, we decided it really doesn’t matter.  Not for this day.  We’ll know before it’s bed time tonight and that’s all that really matters.  My little bag will be packed and ready whether I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. or I’ll be able to sleep for a while.

While getting ready for work this morning I was listening to KLOVE Radio.  As I usually do.  I’ve heard the particular set of songs many times, but today the meaning of some of the peace-signlyrics meant so much more to me than usual.  The words of the song writers were so comforting and encouraging.  If you listen to Christian music, you know that many of today’s writers are inspired by Scripture.  So it feels as if it’s God’s Word in song, touching my heart.  I’ve had the radio on all day at work too.  Which is also the norm.  Songs I’ve heard every day forever… hearing in a new light today.

Peace.  I’ve got peace today about my surgery.  God is so good!  I know what I’m going to go through.  But I also know that a few things will go differently.  Because I know what is coming and I know what to say to the nurses and doctors tomorrow.  I know what I need to speak about…loudly if need be.  And I know what to expect once I get home.  Do I WANT to go through any of this?  Heck no!  But I still have a peace today that passes all understanding.  God’s Peace.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4: 6-8 The Message

And that’s that.  I doubt I’ll be blogging for several days.  I look forward to touching base with you all again soon!  Remember to find me on Facebook for updates until then!

Also, a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have left me encouraging messages.  Your kindness means so much!

Blessings!

Read Full Post »

A dear friend of mine posted this today (I say as I copy it word for word without asking her!):

3 years ago I began a journey to a healthier me.
In the process I was told I was selfish, I was called ugly names and I was accused of terrible things. 
But I did it.
I lost 92 pounds. 
Alone. 
Without a gym.
Without supplements. 
Without support. 
Without praise.
Without accolades.
I did it with a healthy diet and daily exercise. 
I did it for me. 
Then I had a little setback. 
Spent a year nursing 3 bulging discs in my back and found out that I have Lupus.
Between the depression and the steroids, I put 30 pounds back on.
Today I’m starting over.
But this time, I’m not alone. 
This time I have a small, but mighty team in my corner cheering me on! 
3 years ago, I overcame some emotional hurdles that seemed insurmountable, but I cleared every one with quiet determination. 
This year I have some physical hurdles that seem HUGE!! 
But….this time I have 3 very supportive, loving people pushing, helping & praying for my success. 
I’m not going to subject all of Facebook world to updates of every meal, workout and blister.
This is my journey. 
I just wanted to thank the people that cared enough about me to push me back onto the path and love me enough to walk beside me for the duration. 
I got this. 
WE got this! 
THANK YOU!

I won’t share with you some of the personal details of her life over the last few years.  But please know that she is a caring, honest, sincere friend.  She’s the real deal.  She’s a strong mother to adult children and a great grandma to their children!  She’s a blessing as a girlfriend and I’m honored to call her that.Proverbs 31

I tell you this today to ask you all to be in prayer for my friend.  She’s strong, one of the strongest.  But she needs the love and support that comes through the prayers of others.

Thanks everyone!

Have a wonderful week!

Remember to find me on Facebook.

Read Full Post »

Hello everyone and happy Monday.

After a sleepless night, my day started feeling like a typical “Monday”.  You know what I mean.  You need one more day of weekend, you are tired, you aren’t ready for whatever the week will bring.  In my job I see a lot of people.  A lot of strangers.  All with a sad story and in need.  Now and again it takes a toll on us.  It’s usually the “BS” that occasionally comes with people that gets us down.  I asked God out loud this morning “please no people today”.  As I knew I was not in the right frame of mind.  Well, we’ve already had people.

But before people came, God gave me a little reminder that He is here.  On my desk this morning was a gift and a note.  The note said,

“I hope this gift will bring you joy and that you will be able to look at it and know that someone out there is thinking about you and pryaing for you.  Thank you for all you do.  God bless!” (No signature)

Inside the bag was this sweet homemade gift:

06-17-13 gift

What a touching display of love from a mystery friend!

My mystery friend obviously knows me well enough to know I am struggling as I prepare for another knee replacement surgery.  I’m guessing she is a Facebook friend and maybe even has read this blog.

It brought to mind the scripture that tells us to be “strong and courageous”.  So before I began writing this I looked it up.  The http://www.biblegateway.com web site gave me ELEVEN references that use the words “strong and courageous” together!   All in different context.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

What a great boost for my spirit today on many levels.  It’s so nice to have a friend who thinks of you and encourages you like this.  And it’s such a blessing to be reminded that God is with me and helping me be strong and courageous!

DEAR MYSTERY FRIEND: Thank you with all my heart!  You blessed me this morning.

Have a great week everyone!

Read Full Post »

Hello everyone!

Anyone else still reeling from a busy week?  Everyone?  Sounds about right.  Many trials and stresses raised their heads this week.

A few things we did this past week:

  • Last Saturday, hubby had a minor accident at an intersection near our home.  Had he not been paying close attention he could have easily been T-boned by a driver who ran a stop sign. God is good.blessed
  • Work was crazy.  One of those weeks where we needed a revolving door to the building.
  • Our family did Father’s Day Thursday evening since hubby is working this weekend.  My youngest daughter organized this and it was wonderful. We had eight grandkids ages infant-10 playing in the back yard.  It’s an amazing sight and feeling that I’m not sure I can put into words.  They’re wonderful children and we are so blessed.
  • My knee replacement surgery was rescheduled (by doctor’s office) and will now be one week later on July 31st.
  • On Friday, I was scheduled for the first of many out-of-town appointments that prepare me for my knee surgery.  I was to have the MRI (then x-rays) from which they construct my new knee.  I got a phone call Friday morning while in the shower.  The message told me that my MRI would have to be rescheduled because their scanner was down.  (End of list and on to my main story)

FRIDAY…

It takes a lot of mental work to prepare yourself for a surgery such as total knee replacement.  The first time around I was dealing with the fear of the unknown and an over-active imagination.  This time, I’m dealing with fear of the KNOWN and dread of going through it again. Even though it’s ONLY an MRI I had to remind myself all week that “this is the easy part” and walk through the first MRI in my mind to reinforce that it is, indeed, the easy part.

So when I learned that I had to reschedule this appointment…the one that gets the ball rolling… I was pretty upset.  And how odd that this is being rescheduled a week after my actual surgery was rescheduled!

I allowed myself a few minutes to have my emotion and talk to hubby about this change in our day’s plan.  Then I called back the MRI lady who’d left the message.  She was very apologetic and I could just hear in her voice that she’d been verbally beat up more than once that morning as she contacted everyone on her schedule.  And it wasn’t even 9:00 a.m. yet.  It was that moment that God chose to thump me along side the head and instantly change my perspective.

It wasn’t this woman’s fault that the machine was down.  I became sympathetic to her  instead of focused on me.  As I got the new MRI date set I kept the mood light and smiled as I spoke to her.  I could hear her mood shift a little and her voice lightened (does that make sense?).  I asked if she would also be contacting X-ray and rescheduling that for me.  When she said she would I told her “you’re the best, thank you”.  I could practically hear her shoulders drop as she signed the words “No one has said THAT to me today”.  God bless her.  By 9:00 she was ready to be done with people for the day.  She said how everyone was pretty mad at her when she called them I said, “Well, I was at first, but I’m OK now.”  She said, “At least you’re honest, that’s nice.”

As the thoughts came into my mind I shared with her how the Nina and the Pinta ships are currently docked at our town’s Mississippi River Marina.  I continued as I realized that our afternoon would not be spent at the MRI facility, but rather on the outside deck of our riverfront restaurant enjoying the view of said ships.  Lunch and a Friday special margarita were surely in my new afternoon plan!  At that point she said “OK!  Stop right there! (humor in her voice)  Now I just hate you!”  To which I slyly replied, “Oh, so now the tables have turned!” haha  We also agreed it was very odd that my surgery was delayed by one week and now my MRI has been delayed by a week as well.

I believe we ended our conversation with both of us feeling much less tension and stress.  God had instantly shifted my focus and my perspective.  He had seen to it that my words and attitude gave someone else a little lift.  I hung up the phone and looked at hubby who was present for the entire call and I just chuckled.  I repeated my standard saying “Because Nice Matters”!  People, IT JUST DOES MATTER!  I could have been just one of the many who were pissed off at this poor woman that morning.  But I took a few minutes to feel my emotion and deal with it privately before I called her.  And as I talked to her I spoke politely and with kindness.  It made all the difference!  And here’s the great part.  It made all the difference to HER and ME!

So on I went to work for the morning as planned.  But the timeline of the day had changed dramatically.  I could slow down a bit; I didn’t have to be in another town by a certain time.  After work, instead of laying in and MRI machine for an hour, I sat quietly with my husband on a deck overlooking the river and the beautiful historic Nina & Pinta.  Watching people enjoying the perfect weather and touring the ships.  Eating lunch and sipping a margarita.  God is good.  I am blessed.  And my appointments and surgery will happen in His time.

And now a few photos from my life.  Have a great weekend everyone!!

A common find in our yard.  Too bad our Snake Whisperer granddaughter wasn't here.

A common find in our yard. Too bad our Snake Whisperer granddaughter wasn’t here.

I'm here to tell you that my hubby makes THEE best grilled salmon anywhere! Add another garden fresh salad and you have a delish supper.

I’m here to tell you that my hubby makes THEE best grilled salmon anywhere! Add another garden fresh salad and you have a delish supper.

06-15-13 01

Hummingbird attracting flowers.  Yet the birds are scarce this year.

Hummingbird attracting flowers. Yet the birds are scarce this year.

The Pinta docked at our marina for the weekend! (see http://www.thenina.com for more about these ships)

The Pinta docked at our marina for the weekend! (see http://www.thenina.com for more about these ships)

The Nina docked at our marina.  With the Twilight riverboat from LeClaire, Iowa passing by!  What a wonderful afternoon.

The Nina docked at our marina. With the Twilight riverboat from LeClaire, Iowa passing by! What a wonderful afternoon.

Remember to find me on Facebook! 

Read Full Post »

Why don't YOU tell me some of the things you've learning in your lifetime.  Share with us the good, the bad, and the ugly things that have built you into the person you are today.


Why don’t YOU tell me some of the things you’ve learning in your lifetime. Share the good, the bad, and the ugly things that have built you into the person you are today.

Well here we are.  Tomorrow is the day.  The dreaded birthday.  I’ve tried and tried to think of something important and philosophical to say.  Certainly at this advanced age

I’ve gained some wisdom I can share with you all.  And what kind of writer am I if I give you nothing?!  GASP!

I really don’t have a clue what to tell you.  Looking back I can clearly see my mistakes and successes. Mistakes that hurt me and others.  Those that led to an entirely different life that what God probably had planned for me.  Those that continue to hurt me (see Ch-Ch-Changes).  But what has been learned from the mistakes and the successes?

Let’s see if I can come up with a short list…in no particular order:

1) Use your brain! My mom used to say “If in doubt…don’t”.  Damn if she wasn’t right (oh that hurts).  If your gut and your brain are telling you “NOOOO!” then it’s wrong and you should not even go there.  It’s your conscience, your built-in sense of right and wrong.  It’s God.  Teenagers are good at ignoring that inner voice that screams NO and listening to the outer voices that say “go for it”.  Pause and think, and most often you’ll hear the voice telling you it’s wrong.  Listen to it.  In 30 years you’ll be glad you did.

2) Take good care of yourself physically!  If you are going to eat whatever you want while you’re young…we all do… then keep active.  Work it off.  And don’t stop as you get older.  KEEP MOVING!

3) Never stop saying “I love you” to those closest to you.  Even when you hate your parents…and we all do…suck it up and say “I love you”.  Something I’m still learning.

4) Have faith. No matter what your family background, find a place to learn and worship God.  It matters.  It matters to your spirit and soul.  It matters to your family.  It matters to your community.

5) In connection to point number four, never stop studying.  My church holds a weekly Bible study.  Most who attend the morning class are older folks.  We have one dear old soul who is 88-years-old.  This week she didn’t attend the church Bible study because she was leading a different study at her retirement residence.  It made me wonder what this women who was a pastor’s wife, a foreign missionary, is a regular church attender, and an every day Bible reader could possibly have left to learn.  Maybe that’s why she chose to teach that day?  I’ll have to ask her and see what wise words she offers us.  Stay tuned!

6) Separate from point number five, keep learning.  Someone once said “you learn something new every day”.  You really do.  Or you should.  Life has a way of teaching us lessons when we least expect it.  We learn from life experiences, from our parents, from our children, from our friends.  We learn in organized ways like school or reading.  Keep learning.

7) Be nice and use your manners!  Smile, say “please” and “thank you”, be polite.  No matter how crappy  your day is, or how awful you feel.  First, it makes you feel a little better.  Second, the person you’re dealing with may very well be having a much worse day.  Nice matters!

8) Don’t take yourself or life too seriously.  Lighten up.  Unclench. Life is messy and you’re going to look foolish now and again.  At this stage of the game even my granddaughter laughs at my forgetfulness.  If I don’t laugh with her, I’m doomed.

THERE’S MORE – PLENTY MORE!   But this is getting to be a long blog.  Why don’t YOU tell me some of the things you’ve learning in your lifetime.  Share with us the good, the bad, and the ugly things that have built you into the person you are today.

You won’t see me tomorrow.  It’s the big day and I have to find my black clothing to wear to dinner.  Juuuust kidding.  Have a great weekend!

Read Full Post »

The word of the day kiddos is “BLESSED”.

This morning my husband proclaimed that he had “bad news”.  He, of course, followed that proclamation with a dramatic pause.  Irritated already I urged him to tell me “What?!”.  It seems that we had no hot water and the water heater was leaking.  Therefore, it must be immediately replaced.

Naturally, I was concerned about the financial burden and the fact that he would have to do this laborious project.  NOT!  I had not yet taken my shower and was not happy at the prospect of getting under ice-cold water so early in the morning.

Hubby assured me that we have the money in our “emergency savings” so it won’t be too bad of a financial burden.  (Thank you Dave Ramsey!)  He also had a flyer from a local home improvement store that has what he wants to buy on sale.

Once past the shock of a cold (quick!) shower, it occurred to me…we are so blessed!  We live in a

Thank you, Father, for blessing me so abundantly.

country where we can literally drive a short distance and buy a new water heater and have it up and running by days end.  The realization of this hit me hard.  I was not born into a country where I have to walk half a day to get a jug of muddy water for my family and carry it home on my head!  I simply turn on a faucet and there it is.  Day after day I rely on fresh hot water at my fingertips.

As my morning progressed the abundant blessings became more and more apparent:

  • I drove my car
  • To the local coffee drive thru
  • Where I was greeted by a friendly face
  • And purchased fresh water coffee beverages.
  • I dropped off said beverage to my daughter
  • And got to see my granddaughter’s smiling face.
  • I ate my purchased bagel
  • On the way to my job.
  • I drove on our town’s riverfront dike
  • Enjoying the amazing Mississippi River view as I do many days.

You get the idea.  Every step of my morning was a reminder of how abundantly blessed I am.  By the time I got to work this was all a bit overwhelming.  The emotion of it all was upon me.  The things I take for granted every day are blessings!  In the midst of all the yuckiness of life, the hardships and the pain, I am STILL blessed!

I shared some of this with my friend at the drive-thru coffee place.  She says to me “you’re awesome”. “No”, I say, “I have an awesome God.”  She looks at me agreeingly (is that a word?) and I drove off.

Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember Your abundant kindnesses, But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Psalm 106:7 (NASB)

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

AND ANOTHER THING…

Earlier this week I had one of those days where something I read just struck me wrong and I was going into that whoa-is-me-boo-hoo pit.  Felt sad, felt the tears coming.  I’d already written down a list of names of a few people I wanted to call that day.  I felt led to just touch base with a few friends from our church to see how they were doing.  Thankfully, I picked up the phone and made these calls.  After a lot of good laughs with my church family members I felt much better.  It took the focus off me and put it where it belongs.  On others, on God.  Calling others when you’re sad and asking about THEM will bless YOU!

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

How has someone blessed you recently?  How have you been a blessing to others?  How has God blessed you in every-day ways?!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: