Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Vacation…All I Ever Wanted


It’s that time of year.  When all your friends and family are taking vacations.  It begins as soon as school ends for the summer.  First, Facebook is full of graduation pictures from Preschool to College.  Then before you know it, everyone is talking about going on vacation!  Where they’re going, who they will see, where they eat, what they eat, the beach, the sun, the fun.

Well, now it’s MY turn!

We are leaving tomorrow to go visit 1) A daughter and her family and then 2) Good friends who are about to be stationed in Germany for maybe three years.  We’re going from the Midwest to the East Coast.  It’s going to be a beautiful, fun and busy trip and we’re so looking forward to it.

Now, my boss has a little tradition that he has to do before he goes on vacation.  He has to have a little in-office celebration (rubbing it in?) by playing the following song and having a little dance (remember it from National Lampoon’s Vacation?):

Me? I’m more of a Go-Go’s kinda girl:

Either way, I’m outta here.  Glad to be off work, traveling with my hubby and seeing family and dear friends!  And yes, if you are “friends” with me on my personal Facebook, there will be pictures of it all! 😀

Find Thoughts From a Real Life on Facebook.


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Hello Everyone!

I haven’t written for a while.  But if you “like” my page on Facebook you’ll know I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.  I’ve just been either busy or too tired to commit to writing.

Today is the five-week mark following my total knee replacement surgery.  I’m doing pretty well!  I’ve returned to a few normal activities, but have a long way yet to go.

Last Saturday I worked for a few hours.  And plan to stop in the office briefly again tomorrow.  It’s nice to go on Saturdays though because I can get the most work done and am tempted less to chat with friends.

Then on Sunday I actually went to church!  It hadn’t been since before my surgery.  It was so nice to see everyone and just BE at church.  Then we went out to lunch.  Another big deal! On Monday we spent a nice chunk of a beautiful Labor Day afternoon on the deck of our favorite restaurant in town.  It’s right on the Mississippi River.  Perfect weather for a leisurely day.

Physical Therapy is going well.  It’s not fun, but there’s a little more progress every week.  I even ride the stationary bike for a while.  Nice and slow, but it’s a great exercise for the knee.

Today I have all to myself.  Hubby is working.  Daughter who visits a lot is working.  No PT.  I have been able to do some work from home and write to you while sitting on my back porch.  There’s been a sweet little hummingbird buzzing and chirping around.  It ate from both our feeders, sitting briefly at one.  And it ate from both the hanging flower plants bought especially for it.  I think I held my breath the whole time it visited! haha

As the end of summer approaches, I look forward to getting back into an even BETTER than normal life.  “Normal” to me wasn’t all that great.  But now, with both knees replaced, things should get better.  I’m looking forward to our favorite fall activities that include a trip north to view fall foliage.


How did your gardens do this summer?  Did you plant in ground, raised beds, or in containers?  Share pictures with us on my Facebook page.  Ours has done very well.  We’re buried in cucumbers right now.  And the tomatoes are amazing!  Hubby replanted some green bean and snap pea seeds several weeks ago in hopes that we would get another harvest before it gets cold.  They are doing very well!  The green beans are stretching skyward with all their might and should be just as good as the early plants.  I am so glad I planted a few sunflower seeds too.  They’ve been beautiful!  And the bees have been constant as they fly in and out of the flowers all covered in the yellow pollen.  We’ve done our part for the local ecosystem.  🙂

Well, have a great end of the week everyone.  I hope you can all get out this weekend and enjoy one of the last weekends of summer.  Be sure and visit me on Facebook for other news and brief updates.  And let me know WHAT’S NEW with you!

(Did I mention that I’m on Facebook? haha)

Our view on Labor Day afternoon.  So nice to visit this local favorite again.  Perfect weather.

Our view on Labor Day afternoon. So nice to visit this local favorite again. Perfect weather.

Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tomatoes!

Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tomatoes!

Garden Candy.

Garden Candy.

I know, you've seen them before.  But ain't they beautiful?! :)

I know, you’ve seen them before. But ain’t they beautiful?! 🙂

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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. 
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! 

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.

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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!

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I haven’t forgotten about you!  Been thinking for days “must blog about SOMETHING”!

To those of you who blog, let me ask…

How do you write about the REALLY personal stuff?  How do you blog about the deep down ugly topics you’d love to talk about, knowing that your friends and family might be reading?

I’ve got “stuff” I’d love to talk to you about.  But just cannot bring myself to type it and hit the ol’ “publish” button.

Words of advice from the experienced bloggers please!

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Hello and welcome to all my new subscribers.  Thanks for sticking around as I took an extended break from blogging.  This little story has been stuck in my head for over a month now:

In early June my husband and I took a wonderful vacation to Colorado.  On our way there we stopped and visited a few days with dear friends in Kansas City.  They have been our friends for a long time and each time this military family of six moves we try to go visit them at their new home.  Whether we go there, or they come here, we manage to see each other at least once a year.  Social networking helps a lot.  Facebook allows us to “see” each other.

I’m almost to my point…I promise! 🙂

One early June evening as we sat visiting with our friends in their living room, she got out a box of photos.  You see, their oldest son had just graduated from high school and we did some reminiscing.  This story is based on one photo.

It is a picture of a little boy, maybe a year old, sitting on the floor with a big bunch of fallen balloons around him.  Got a visual?  Good.  Now, here’s why this is so special…

When this young family (of only three at the time) moved to my town they didn’t know anyone.  She was scared and away from “home” and her family.  She was sad and felt alone.  The church secretary from her home town knew this and called the church with the same name in our town.  (Good ol’ First Baptists!)  After that secretary talked to our secretary, our secretary ordered a bunch of “welcome” balloons and sent them to the little family of strangers on behalf of our church.  (Are you following me?)

Because of that simple gesture, that this now retired secretary of our church doesn’t even remember, this little family came to the new town’s First Baptist Church.  And, as God had planned all along, bonded and became an instant and forever part of our family!

There we sat, 17 years later, looking at this photo of a little boy surrounded by fallen balloons.  Deep sighs and hugs to express our love for each other and our gratitude to God for working His will through two church secretaries.  These ladies never hesitated to do a simple thing that made all the difference in many lives.  One made a phone call to a stranger.  The other sent balloons to strangers.

What simple thing can YOU do to make a difference?  You may never know if you have been a part of a long-term blessing.  Just knowing you’ve touched a life and done what God is telling you to do is your reward.

P.S.  I am now the secretary at our church.  My prayer is that when (not “if”) God tells me to do a simple thing, I will hear Him and do it!

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The Body of Christ… the Church as God designed it:

But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12: 24b-28.

As many of you know, it’s been a very very stressful couple of years in our family.  (How many blogs have I prefaced that way?!  Sorry.)  This, and other physical issues, have taken a toll on me.  Tomorrow I have to go for a rather nerve-racking medical test. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing!

You may also know that I work at my home church.  On Wednesday mornings the older crowd gathers for prayer and Bible study with the pastor.  Today he came to the office and told me that my “presence was requested” by the Bible study group.  I figured they needed something so off I went with pen and paper in hand.

However, when I got there the pastor sat me down and the entire group got up and gathered around me to pray!

Time out for tears, BRB, hard to type.  OK, composure regained…maybe.

I’m trying to think of how many people are in the group this morning.  Enough to fill a rectangle of six long tables.  Pretty good size group for us.  The sight of all those older church members getting up and gathering around me was so amazing!  As the pastor anointed me with oil and began to pray I cried.  God’s presence was so comforting and my emotions overwhelmed me.  Can you say “ugly cry”?

So let me ask you folks, if we ARE the Body of Christ, then what are we all doing with that gift?!  Let me give you this challenge:  The next time you find yourself telling someone “I’ll be praying for you”, stop and say instead “can I pray with you about this right now?” and then do it!  That’s a win-win!  The person receiving prayer is abundantly blessed and you have done what you said you’d do on the spot.  No thinking two days later “gee, I forgot to pray for so-and-so the other day”.  You know you’ve all done that! 🙂

Now, go out and BE THE BODY this week!  Then come back and let us know about your experience.

But if we are the body
Why aren’t His arms reaching?
Why aren’t His hands healing?
Why aren’t His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren’t His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way
– Casting Crowns

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