Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Reversals


This was a big day for our little girl. She spent her first full day at her little school. How far we've come in a year! 

On the LPM blog a week or so ago, Beth Moore posted a video about reversals in the 12th month. She shared how it had been a rough year in her family and they needed a turn around to close the year  in victory. God gave her a word about reversals in this month of December. 

2013 was a year of great testing for my family, too. Already this month we have experienced reversals that had God's fingerprints all over them.

I took the month of November from blogging here and it stretched into December. I just had to share this with those of you who have faithfully followed my blog.

I will try to post a couple more times here before the year closes.  May God bless you with a Christmas turnaround, too!

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Transition


If you read my blog, you know that transition is a well-used word this year. So why not one more time? For the month of November I will be taking a break from Extravagant Purse and posting mostly on my photo blog- Wings Open. I hope to post a photo a day of something for which I am grateful.

My plate is quite full this month. I have two Bible studies going, a writing course, Unravelling, and real life happening. The holidays are fast approaching as well. 

I have been feeling like this is a time to spend less words sharing and more in gratitude and prayer.

There is always the possibility that something comes up and I just have to share it :) 

For the month of November, please make the transition and join me on Wings Open. 

See you back here in December. Blessings sister bloggers.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lily's Eyes



Lily has another cold so she stayed home from school this morning. At one point she grabbed my glasses and tried them on, making me laugh. I bundled her up mid-morning for a short walk. 

"Crunch, crunch, crunch." I kept repeating this as we walked through piles of crispy leaves. One neighbor's lawn in particular was covered in leaves, overflowing onto the street. I told Lily that they had fallen from the tree, getting ready for snow. 

That's when we looked up. There we stood, at the side of the street, our heads back, our eyes fixed on the golden leaves overhead, hanging by threads, fluttering in the breeze.

"I will catch them." Lily said.

I realized she thought they might hurt when they fell. 

"I will catch them." 

The magic of the moment pulsed through me. This is why I'm here. 

She may be trying on my glasses, but it's really me that needs to see life through Lily's eyes. 






Sunday, October 27, 2013

October in Flight


How can it be only a week ago that I drove home to the County? And one day more since we were in Portland watching our grandkids run a 5K or play soccer? I recall the heat of the sun warming my simple fleece jacket and its bright rays creating shadows as I took pictures. Today the sun peaked out for a few moments in the late afternoon, but it was a cold late fall day here in northern Maine.

It has been a busy week, but a good one. I managed to clean my house (clean is a relative word), finish office work, spend a day with mom, work on my writing course, and attend a women's conference to hear a friend speak yesterday. I'm afraid Susannah's "Unravelling" course is taking a back seat these days to my writing course through the University. 
I got in over my head, wanting to fill any empty hours I had, so I didn't let homesickness overwhelm me. Uhhh, I jumped in full force. Now I'm trying to keep up with "A Confident Heart" study over at proverbs31.org and do Beth Moore's study on the book of James. In all fairness to myself, I signed up for Unravelling and A Confident Heart before I realized my friend's church was going to do the Beth Moore study. Now that I live so close to the church, there was absolutely no chance I would pass it up. So I have had to decide where to focus my attention the most.
The book of James wins out, along with my University course. I feel badly about not participating fully in the other two, but all the pieces seem to be fitting together.

Tomorrow I will head three hours south to my home away from home once again. The weather is calling for a chance of rain or snow. Yes, it is that dreaded time of year when one never knows what the roads will be like traveling. As I was doing my James study this morning, I was struck by the thoughts that God often hides gifts in the testings and trials we face. Sometimes the gifts are simply character additions such as maturity or patience. But always, eventually there is joy according to James. 

It is always difficult to leave after a week at home, but I know gifts await me. My girls with smiles and hugs, a cup of tea with my sis-in-law, my little home away from home. Those are the things I am grateful for but I think God has other things hidden away for me as well.

Once again bags and totes litter my kitchen, ready to be packed and travel south. October is fast flying into November where we will set our clocks back and think about upcoming holidays. Change is in the air once again.




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wings, Rainbows, and Ordinary Days




Late yesterday afternoon, I collapsed in my comfy corner chair and my friend settled into the recliner. I just got home after a busy day and she popped over. We were chatting when I happened to glance into my art room. The setting sun was creating rainbows on a picture. I paused our conversation long enough to snap the photo. I haven't altered it at all.

This is the thing. My memory verse for this week is so close to the one on my picture. It's found in Psalm 36:7 GNT
"How precious,O God, is your constant love. We find protection under the shadow of your wings."

God touched an ordinary moment, an everyday picture hung in my home with his light and spoke.

Ordinary life is His holy ground.

Oswald Chambers puts it this way.
"It does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary life, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred that we have to do exceptional things for God, but we have not.
We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes."

I am home in the County this week. I know, it's hard to keep track of me. :) I will tackle the mound of bills and billing to be done on my desk today. I will be submerged in the ordinary and sometimes meanness of life. I will look for the glimpses of God as he pulls back the curtain separating eternal and earthly and let's me know He's here, in each un-extraordinary moment.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Autumn Travels


Beautiful traveling skies this evening as we head south to see our sons and their families this weekend.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Past Meets Present


When I was 21 years old, I asked Jesus to come into my heart and take over my life. "Streams in the Desert" was my very first devotional book. I used it for years and then I must have loaned it to someone. What was I thinking? That I'd outgrown it? Oh, foolish pride!

When I went to purchase another, all I could find were revised, updated versions but they weren't the same. Finally in a second-hand bookstore I discovered an original copy. The owner had marked it profusely with pencil so now everyday I take my eraser to those marks and pen my own.

The last several days it's as though God has been speaking the words straight to my heart. Today's reading described how the children of Israel moved from faint discontentment and complaining to full-blown rebellion.
"Let us give ourselves no liberty ever to doubt God or his love and faithfulness."
I have given myself way too much liberty. God has given me grace, but I have been stuck.

I am sitting in a new home away from home this morning, a little two room apartment provided by friends who live below me. It's lovely but it's not home. 
It's in the heart of the city, no clip-clop of Amish horses going by or quiet country nights. 
I am tempted to doubt but I have lived too many of my days in doubt this past year and in discouragement, the tools of the enemy to turn my heart into a rebel.

God is teaching me to trust him. He wants me to recognize my rebel heart and repent, turning to him, yielding to His all-knowing view of my life. 

I am here until the process is complete getting Lily established in all-day care. Yet over the past few days, God has been quietly whispering that He has a plan and I am here for more reasons than I can see.

"We can set our will against doubt just as we do against any other sin." 

Doubt is sin. Whoa. Now there's a thought. Doubt is a weapon of darkness and it often is accompanied by discouragement and sometimes sadness. 

I love what she goes on to say. 

"I like to cultivate the spirit of gladness" 

Isn't that a wonderful thought? 

My heart turns toward the Lord today in gratitude for:

My daughter whose birthday was yesterday. I celebrate her life.
Peace of mind and heart, never over-rated. I can't get enough.
Old time devotional writers who have gone before us.
Journaling, a great outlet
God's limitless grace

Monday, October 14, 2013

Direction, Doctors and Devotional Thoughts


Poor neglected blog :( . It has been a busy time, moving, regrouping, head spinning.

Last night I tried to blog and had all kinds of problems, no wifi, links wouldn't work, iPad kept shutting down safari. Crazy.

It was a beautiful Columbus Day here in the middle of Maine. Hubby said it drizzled and was dreary up north. I started out my day finishing some shopping for a birthday present for my daughter. I found one Kelly Rae figurine in the city. She was beautiful with wings but when the lady went to put her in the styrofoam, her wings fell off. The clerk offered to hot glue them on (?) but I quickly refused. 
"This has been a tough year for her ( I didn't tell her who it was for), and I don't want any wings falling off." 
So happy it happened in the store. Definitely not the right birthday gift.
I did find the right one later.

In the afternoon I had the long awaited doctor appointment (9 or 10 months). He was very thorough and now I will need a bit more direction.

That's the word today: direction. I shared a devotional on Instagram by Joseph Prince on that very subject. He quoted from the book of James. God wants us to ask for wisdom. I'm asking.

Tonight I sit in my little home away from home and think about my day. About my visitors :), hubby up home, God's plan for me to be exactly where I am at this moment.

We don't always understand his plans. Somewhere in Proverbs it says a woman makes her plans, but God directs her steps. I am beginning to understand that a little better. 

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian Bloggers out there!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Change


Last day at the camper. 

Tomorrow we will load up the vehicles, hubby will winterized the pipes and we will leave until next year. I am not sad to go because I won't miss the long drives back and forth, but I am sad to leave summer behind me.

This will be a busy weekend as we move me into my home away from home. 

Today I am grateful for:

A gorgeous day
Caramel almond decaf ice coffee with one cream at Dunkin Donuts
Watching Ramona & Beezus for the umpteenth time
Beautiful sunset
A friends son who had a miracle in surgery today

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Saying Goodbye


It's always difficult to move into late fall because I know what is coming. Closing the camper signifies the shifting. It's the time of year when the leaves are falling, though still beautiful, and the nights are colder. 

I've waited nearly ten months to get into the specialist here and yesterday, with plans in place to go home for a week, I got the call. Monday. Even as I listened to the receptionist, inside I was thinking I would cancel it. I've been here before and never gotten help. Short of corrective, fairly new and uncertain surgery I have to live with a pancreatic defect which affects my ability to digest food. What will make this time any different?

Yet today, in the midst of totes and the messes of packing up a camper and all my stuff, I pray. Should I cancel this appointment, Lord and go home?

I feel the quiet nudge and hear "green light." 

Yesterday as I was listening to Graham Cooke and traveling, he was saying God has given us a green light to keep going forward, until he gives us a red light. I know that even now He can change the appointment, but I must move forward at this green light and trust. 

After lunch, hubby went out to wash the camper. I made my way through the totes and bags and lay down on the couch with my book. Soon I was asleep. My body reminds me of the problems within today and I rest until the ringing phone awakes me. 

What will spring look like in my life? These golden wet leaves will be ready to rake where we leave them and that is all I know for sure. 

Grateful today for:

Naps
Peaceful afternoons
The sound of hubby outside working 
Tinkling chimes with a message from my sons 
Lily's dance with a friend

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Cloak of Humility


When you lay down that sense of entitlement, you move into gratitude.

There is a fine line between faith and entitlement.

 As a daughter of the King, I learned over the years to stand in faith and covenant for the promises of God. The problem comes when He doesn't come through the way I think he should. My defaults are either self- doubt or underlying anger, a sense of entitlement. Most of the time I land in the first one but God has been showing me the latter one hanging around my heart this past year. 

The problem with an attitude of entitlement is that it shoves out servanthood, gratitude and worship. It means I left my cloak of humility at home.

Remember the elfin (or is it elvin?) cloaks given to Frodo and Sam on their journey? One time they used them to hide from the enemy. What is it that makes Frodo and Sam our heroes? Bravery, innocence, simplicity, companionship, loyalty and yes, humility. I've always thought the cloaks represent humility.

I was reading in my "Stuck" study this morning and Jennie Allen shared a little section about a young woman who deserved better in her life. She really did. But her whole perspective changed when she realized we don't get what we deserve because of grace.

 "It is Gods grace that we have life at all."

Immediately I was reminded to check my attitude today, to put on the cloak of humility over the armor of God and move into gratitude. I felt my focus shift.

As I move out of the camper this week and into a new place, instead of dreading another move and grieving that I'm not going home, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve, to find joy in a new community, to count my blessings. 

I noticed on another blog which I will link to when I get on my laptop, that she lists her blessings, her gratitude list with each post.

Today I am grateful for:

McKenna
Sunshine
Colored leaves
Friendships
Stuck Bible Study


Monday, October 7, 2013

Leaning Hard into Grace


"When we step into faith with Him, God shatters everything, not just our Saturday night plans. He changes every relationship, how we spend our time, our motives, our passions, how we live and how we die. He strips us of performing and pretending and lays us bare, fully aware of our need for Him. While it is costly and even threatening, it is what we are designed for."
                                                      Jennie Allen

I am looking out the window of my camper on this dark, rainy Monday. I realize the people across from me are pulling their camper out today. My body is achy, my ears feel full, definitely fighting off something. I can't be sick. This is the week we pack and close up the camper, the place I've called home since May. 

Another transition lies ahead of me. 

On her DVD "Stuck" Jennie says that there is one thing God wants from us. He wants us to need him. Not in the way that He can crush us, but so that He can break our chains. 
The problem lies in the pain.

 I recall a quote by someone once.
"When the pain of change becomes less than that of staying the same, we will change."

That's when we say, "Anything, Lord. I just can't stay the same."

In The Lord of the Rings, Galadriel tells Frodo that he is the one chosen to be the ring bearer, only he can carry this burden and play a key part in bringing freedom to the world of men.
 
Frodo suffers.
The world is changing.
 He is never the same after this journey. 
Oh, how he longs to return to his beloved Shire, but there is a bigger picture, a call on his life.
He would not turn back.

Our world is changing.

Your personal world may be changing and shifting, even shattering. Or it may be the daily mundane sameness that tries you. Loneliness, fear, finances, illness. Fill in the blank.

Even though it seems overwhelming, this is what we are designed for. 

The kingdom of God lives within us. 

Frodo never knew what he was capable of. Neither do we, until we have to lean upon God.

Over a year ago now, I heard Him whisper, "lean hard."

Lean hard on his grace today. He will hold up. You will hold up and if you don't, he will carry you. Chains will be broken. Shattered pieces will be mended.

It's been a mere week since I was asking the question, "Does God live in me?" 

Yes, the answer lies in believing his word and not my feelings or circumstantial evidence. But it's more than that. His word is proven in the fire, tested in real life. Does He live in me? Does He live in you?

Let's test that out together, shall we? Lean hard today.








Friday, October 4, 2013

The In-Betweens


My Instagram pic today is an even better shot of this beautiful scene.

I've been pondering my verse from the other day. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."

Lily has been sick all week with an awful virus that turned into the croup. She lay in the recliner with me for a while today and then next to her mama. This down time gave my daughter and I the opportunity to talk, which we don't often have time for.  

As we talked, I kept thinking about this verse from Proverbs. I realized how hard we have been trying to work things out in our time frame to make life a little easier. The problem is just that its not working. The answers are not in my head. There are times when we have to lay down our own ideas of how things should work and follow the path God has laid out before us.

 The in-betweens are the tough places.
 The weeks and months when nothing seems to change, when all paths seem to lead right up to the same wall with no way through. 

When I was sitting on the rocks Tuesday, overlooking this beautiful ocean scene, I felt like something opened up. I can't explain it and maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like a path opened up before me or inside of me.
 I read something the other day by Joseph Prince that I wrote in my journal.

"Trust the Lord to position you at the right place at the right time to experience His provision. Believe that He has gone before you and prepared a provision that will exceed your expectations."

Notice how much that trust word keeps popping up.

This past year has been a year of trust shattering and now in process of being restored, on several levels. This can't be done in our heads either. It is a step-by-step process, walking it out through every circumstance, every memory, every fear, each new day.

God didn't say the paths would be easy, but He did say he would direct them, He would make them straight before us so that we can find our way. He promised to take a firm hold of our hand and stay beside us. He also promised to gently lead those with young children and carry them close to His heart. (Isaiah 40:11)

I am counting on those promises tonight.
In this uncertain world, when so many things are being shaken, there are few things we can count on.  The Bible tells us that when everything is being shaken, there is a kingdom that remains stable.
The Kingdom of God.

For what its worth, these are my thoughts at the end of the day.



Thursday, October 3, 2013

God Never Shuts Down



Yesterday was a glorious fall day. I had been wanting to go to Otter Cliffs for a month or more. My friend, Nancy and I made plans to go, which is rare because she is one busy lady and we can't make our schedules sync. The night before our appointed day, Hubby called and told me that we would have to cancel those plans because the government was shutting down all the National Parks. I was devastated. Otter Cliffs is a must for me once a year and I really needed this.

When Nancy arrived, I told her the news and she said she thought we could still make it work. She was right! We went in by a road near the cliffs, parked outside the gated entrance to Acadia and walked in. Many bikers and hikers were doing the same.

Now I'm a follow-the-rules kinda gal, but seriously I felt like God opened this door and my heart. We walked in, sat on the rocks for two hours ( oh, for a pillow!) and I breathed the salty smell of ocean air, let the sun soak into my skin and listened to the waves breaking over the rocks. 

I kept saying to my friend, "I can't believe you got me to Otter Cliffs." 

It was exactly what I needed and a treasure I will look back on this winter.

p.s. Do you remember my post a day or two ago about God living in me? I got the coolest email today from Faith Gateway. Check it out here. http://www.faithgateway.com/christ-lives-in-me/

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Word at 2:30


In the wee hours of the morning I heard the whisper, "Trust Me."

Trust in The Lord with all your heart. Don't  lean on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge Me and I will direct your paths.
                                          Proverbs 3

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Does God Live in You?


Does God live in you? 

A simple question that I would have breezed through a year ago.
 This was in my "Stuck" study this morning.

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, the answer, according to scripture, is no. 
Colossians says the mystery of the Gospel is "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

I did ask Him in, decades ago. I've lived my life grounded in that knowing. "He who has the Son has life."
 I John 5:12

But today, looking at the question in black and white, I ask myself:

Does God live in me?

Almighty God
Prince of peace
Most High
 sovereign LORD
Leader of numberless angel armies
Worker of miracles
Love Incarnate

Does that God live in me?

I don't know.

No pretense, no fancy talk here

If this life I'm living right now is God living in me
 my God is too small.

I begin October with these thoughts. 

What is God beginning in me?



Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stay Stuck or Get Real



I opened the box today. 

Identify three places where you feel stuck. 

I did. 

Can you?

"We are all flawed...Why are we pretending?"

Perhaps because we are expected to pretend, expected to cope, to praise, to believe, to rise to the occasion as a Christian.

What if we can't? What if it gets too hard for too long and we don't have what it takes in the moment? 

What is the price we pay for being real? 

Friends may turn away in disappointment. Quiet guilt plagues us, telling us we couldn't cut it. We might end up standing alone. Lonely. 

Or Jesus might draw near.

 Maybe. 

It's possible. 

I hope so.








Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Ending of September



I snapped this pic a few days ago as I was leaving the camper. I've barely lifted blue watering can to their blossoms all summer. The rain has taken care of it for me ( and my neighbor Hazel a few times) and this plant has thrived, unlike the wooden sign. Soft orange petals manage to be restored after pounding rains, rocking winds or near- freezing nights. 

September has been a roller coaster month. It started on a high note as hubby and I spent two days in Portland with our sons and families, then celebrated Lily's third birthday here at the camper. 

The weeks in between were filled with ups and downs. The ups consisted of Lily smiles, a visit from Pam, a lovely belated birthday gift from Vicky, good books, and a new writing course (so far that's up:).
The downs were dark nights or lonely days here at the camper when my thoughts turn to home. 

September ended on a high note as I had an amazing opportunity to go with my girls to Portland yesterday to hear Temple Grandin speak. There were two other engaging speakers as well. The conference was  both reaffirming and overwhelming. 

We shared on the drive home what the main point for each of us was throughout the day. For me , across the board, was the thought that you can not shelter your autistic child from the world but the key is to push, stretch and expect something from her beyond where she is now. Wisdom is needed to sense how much and what that looks like for your child.

As much as I want to draw Lily under my grandmother wings ( and I know her mom does too), and keep her there, I must let go as she takes a tiny step into an hour of mainstream day care and only 15 minutes of that hour looked like success to us. We can say only 15 minutes with discouragement or "yay, Lily, a good 15 minutes."

God is treating me the same way these days, pushing, stretching, expecting something more out of me. He won't allow me to retreat to my comfort zone but constantly challenges me to "move to the other side of prayer" with thanksgiving. Ann Voskamps 
I stand and cry for much of the time then somehow make it to the other side of tears and despair to choose gratitude. 
Everyday I am learning that I have much to learn. 

As September leaves, I celebrate moving into a month of color and crispness and more change, praying for grace and wisdom and eyes to see all the blessings of my life, and strength and courage to celebrate my 15 minutes of success.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Send Us Ezekiels


I am sitting here at the camper this Monday morning reading through the scriptures in some of my favorite places, Isaiah 35, 32-33, 43; Exodus 33, Psalm 68 etc. I have been thinking about God's daughters. So many of us are walking in hard places, discouraged, broken, and dry. 

While reading this morning, a friend texted me. She's a woman of strength in the Body of Christ, a warrior, now broken and worn down by the battles of this past year. 

A prayer rose up in me.
"Lord, send Ezekiels to prophesy over your daughters."

I turned to Ezekiel 37 and read. "They said, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone. We are cut off.'"
Have you heard these very words come from the mouth of a woman recently? Perhaps your own mouth?

I read on in the chapter, then wrote in my journal: 

"Lord, heal, restore, bring us up out of death and darkness and hopelessness. Stand us on our feet together. Breathe on us. Fill us with your resurrection life and power once again. And settle us in the land you have given us." 

Won't you join your prayer with mine for the women across this land today, for each other? Leave it in the comments or the link to your blog. Let us link in the spirit today.

Monday, September 16, 2013

One Step at a Time


Taking one step at a time can make it seem like something is taking forever. In all truth, it's the only way we make any progress. It's part of the process.

Being home for a few days has been unsettling. The weather here in the county is much closer to winter than a few hours south. I dug out my heavier fall jacket, turned the furnace on and doubled the blankets on my bed. Dread sits heavy in the pit of my stomach as my thoughts turn to slippery roads and flu and outright snowstorms. 

Perhaps the fact that it has rained nearly every day has something to do with my mood or that I've eaten too many things off my grid and tea is my diet today. Maybe I am thinking and pondering too far ahead. There are seasons when God shows us the next step and that's all. We have to trust that He holds the future and that He knows what He's doing.

Trust. It always comes down to that, doesn't it? 

I don't know about you, but trust seems easier on warm summer days with laughter and sunshine than on rainy cold Monday mornings.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week in Review


Where did the week go? 

Pam and I had a good week together. She tagged along while I watched Lily a couple of days, always a delight for sure.  We watched a few movies back at the camper, ate chocolate with our peppermint tea, worked in our visual journals, had long talks and took short walks.

The picture above was taken on Wednesday in Bar Harbor. It was a gorgeous day and busy as you can see with tourists who came by car, bus, or cruise ship. We walked around town enjoying the sunshine and the hustle and bustle in the little shops.


We were trying to take a pic together but the sun was blinding, so this is the best we could do. Pam is in the blue. I truly hated to see her leave on Thursday.


This is me Thursday evening, dripping on my kitchen floor. I drove home Thursday afternoon. The four hour trip grew darker and cloudier as I neared Easton. I unpacked the car in drenching rain and its been raining ever since. I won't even talk about the state of my home after a two month absence and hubby here alone. Not good.

So I'm here for a week and hoping it doesn't fly by as quickly as this one did. 

Happy weekend!
 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Musings



The air has changed. Last night the windows in the camper were covered with moisture and the furnace, set on 60 degrees, kicked on at 1:30 this morning. Seasons are seriously shifting. 

This is the time of year I usually tackle the last of my refurbishing home projects, plan a quilt and think about Christmas. A year ago all of that changed with the changes in our family. 

Transitions are difficult but they move us into something new.

Pam is here for the week with me. We've been starting our day with prayer together and talking about where we are in our life journeys. She, too, is in transition having left a ministry/job after eighteen years.

Life is about change. Soon the geese will gather to fly south. I'm not sure if I will see much of that here but I know in the County, it's a sure sign of things to come - the W word. I don't want to mention it yet.

Another week begins and my thoughts are quiet for blogging. 

If you come and I am quiet, hop over to Wings Open to catch my photos and patiently wait for creativity to flow here once again. Meanwhile, enjoy each day of autumn wherever life has positioned you.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weekend


Another week has passed and this blog has been neglected.

 Check out my Instagram to get a peek at my days. I am participating in a September challenge there and on Wings Open. 

It's been an up and down kind of week.

 I began a new online writing class with a local university so it's been a challenge adjusting to Blackboard and assignments that have a due date. 

My heart has been heavy for someone close to me going through an intensely difficult time.

Hubby came down and spent a night. Nice surprise.

A morning of prayer with a friend.

Encouraging phone  conversation with my other "human." Sister, you know who you are

Lily time with flowers and veggie tales.

Coming home late last night, I happened upon the Brewer fireworks. A special surprise at the end of a long day.

I had a time of repentance over my lack of gratitude. Hope it takes.

Caught up on three weeks billing. Phew!

Pam arrives today for a visit. Yay!

I hope you will stick with me this month as I navigate the waters of change and added courses. 

Blogposts may be a bit sparse but I'm not giving up.

Have a good weekend!





Monday, September 2, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things This Summer


Lily talking
Reading a book in the sunshine
Vacation week with the family
10 days at home in July
Scrabble games with Ken
Emails and calls from Vicky and Barbie and Steph
A week with Pam
Dunkin Donuts Butter Pecan Decaf Iced Coffee
Hazel's Laughter
Nancy's Prayer
One day in Bar Harbor with Amber & Ken - sunsets, rainbows, stuck in a great shop when it poured
Maxwells' visit
Bella's school and game
A day at the zoo with the grandkids- Bella, Ben and Kobi
Blue butterflies
Old movies
Sister's visit
Ferris Wheel ride with Hubby
Lily's Birthday

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Labor Day Weekend in the Air


My view from the Ferris Wheel at York's Animal Farm


Gorgeous view of the ocean and York beach


Looking Down


It was the first time in years that I had ridden the Ferris wheel. It was my favorite ride as a teen. I think this Ferris wheel was a throwback from those days. It creaked and moaned as we made our way to the top while other passengers boarded. The guy running the controls sassed adults and children alike, instructing them to sit back and absolutely no rocking! 

I looked at Terry and said," I think this thing is an antique." 
I was hoping for reassurance. Instead I got a "yep."

 Oh boy.

 I was ready to get off before the ride began. Although I was brave enough to take a few pics with my iPhone, a sigh of relief escaped my lips when my feet touched solid ground again.

I must say it had a few moments of fun and I can't recall the last time Terry and I laughed together that much.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Sacred Moment


After a busy morning, Lily and I took a quiet walk through the cemetery. A golden statue caught my eye, so I let Lily get out of the stroller for a bit. This will remain one of my favorite photos along with its companion that can be seen on Wings Open or Instagram. Sacred moment on a Monday morning.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Uncommon Love


Cindy and I snapped beans from her garden today while listening to Cd #2 in this series. I loved it. Graham Cooke shared how grace hovers over a sinner, waiting to cover through forgiveness. God sees us as His Beloved and doesn't call us to performance but to Love. As he talked, he shed a whole new light on receiving and giving forgiveness. Beautiful Grace.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Love in Person


Two of my favorite people, Cindy and John, open their home to me once again. I'm lying on the guest bed in the "blue room" as I affectionately call it. I debated on traveling back to the camper tonight but just didn't have the energy. Stomach problems are acting up too. Cindy went off to VBS and I turned on the fan and opened my iPad to catch up on emails and blogs. 

VBS was a little too much for Lily last night, so we decided not to go that route again this evening.

I don't have any great words for you tonight. I can see God's love through these two people and their giving hearts in practical ways all the time. I thought they would fit nicely with my August filter. Do you remember what it is yet?

Our purpose here on earth is to be loved by God and then to pour that love out on others.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hope, Prayers, and a Bear in the Night


I was sitting on the camper sofa yesterday reading and looked up to this. I had used it to pin up the July schedule for campground activities. The schedule was long gone but I neglected to remove the clothespin.
I needed that.

I'm feeling better today, although I only slept a few hours. After tossing and turning for hours, at 3:00 am I was wakened by something outside in the garbage. I'd forgotten to take it to the dumpster. The noise got louder as my tin can with bird seed was drug by my mysterious visitor into the woods. I quietly climbed out of bed and crept to the back bedroom. In the moonlight or camper lights, I could see the tin reflecting but couldn't see what wrestled it. Getting more nervous by the minute that my intruder was the bear who had visited this spring, I snuck back to bed and covered my head. Once I drifted off to sleep, I dreamed of a bear stuck in my window and my inability to find escape. 
Morning revealed garbage strewn all over the yard and my can too far in the woods to retrieve. Dandy.

Nevertheless, its a beautiful summer day. I am sitting on the deck, all packed and ready to head to my sister-in-law's home for the night or a few days. Not quite sure. It will depend on how Lily does when we take her to her first vacation Bible school tonight.

Pondering the fall, praying over my family, petitioning for my needs. This is Monday.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Frustration and Reminders





I can't believe I am sick again. I've gone over all possible causes from food to allergies to camper smells now that the windows are closed at night to a virus. For years I've cried out to God for complete healing and now when I need it most, it seems worse! One more thing piled on to the daily struggle for good health.

Listening for his voice this morning. Writing in a new journal. Reading through the achy, dizzy, sinus, slightly nauseous feelings. 

T.D. Jakes says that our problems are security guards over our promises. Now ponder that one!

Remembering my August Filter: my purpose here on earth is to be loved by God and then to pour out his love on others.

His love does not depend on my circumstances and they are not a measurement of His love. 

There are days that understanding must bow its knee to love, regardless.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Beautiful Lady


Hello Beautiful Lady.

I greet the morning dove who has become my daily visitor. Last year's morning doves were fat and plain and gray. She is slimmer with a hint of peach gold on her belly.

She looks at me atop the bird feeder. I don't move but look directly into her face from my perch on the deck.
I feel sad for her. The new bird feeder poses a challenge for some reason. She seems timid, almost fearful every time she comes, about finding a spot on the narrow ledge. Most of the time she settles for the seeds on the ground. Today she flutters her wings and makes a perfect landing on the feeder. I am happy.

A tiny chickadee joins her, yet she isn't frightened. I can hear her pecking away at the seeds, despite the noise of a barking dog across the way.
The buzzing of a large black and yellow bee distracts me as it disappears inside the orange flowers hanging beside me. Normally I would move away, but I am too much at peace. I remain in my chair.

Birds are chirping in the trees. A breeze lifts their leaves in a comforting rhythm. Neighboring campers, husband and wife converse as they work around their yard, a welcome change from their earlier argument. On the other side, I hear Hazel hosing off something. She is always cleaning or watering her flowers or entertaining friends with her husband, Carl. I never hear an argument from their camper. Its more likely laughter ringing out from their covered deck, the sound of Hazel's my favorite.

The sun is shifting from my bare feet and I sit mostly in shade now. Life is beautiful in this moment. My book lies against my chest, one I've merely begun by a favorite author. She writes about Italy, the countryside and the everyday comings and goings of its common people. I fall under her spell within a few pages.
I want to travel to Italy, but not to Roman coliseums nor museums filled with tourists, but to small simple villages where the whole community gathers for supper. Outdoor ovens, fresh vegetables, wine offered generously to a humble visitor. This is a dream.

Beautiful lady, come to flutter her wings and inspire my pen today.

Written a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Constant Change, Constant Love




Part of my life is lived in the city. I needed to return library books today. Because I was a few minutes early I took the opportunity to observe people coming and going. These two women seemed delighted to see each other so I snapped a quick photo for August Break's theme of the day- books. 
I left my books and picked up the one I had on reserve , only to find they were still in conversation when I emerged from the building.

Amid all the hustle and bustle, there is something about this scene that warms my heart. Relationship, taking time, women that read. I am reminded of a friend I miss. Two years ago her son was injured in a car accident that drastically changed both of their lives. Her time was not her own. Then I made the move three hours away. What I wouldn't give for a slow conversation in front of the library with her today!

Life is about change. My August filter pops into place. My purpose here on earth is to be loved by God and then to pour that love upon others. God's love for me is not determined by or dependent on my circumstances. He is the constant in the midst of change.

It was cool outside waiting for the library to open. The mornings are beginning to feel fall-like and the afternoons still heated by the August sun. Seasons promise change in the Northeast. Life promises change. God eternal promise of his love is the anchor that holds, no matter what.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Winds Down


As summer winds down, my granddaughters visit the camper and make more memories. Ken and I played our first game of scrabble this summer. They grow up too fast!


Sissy was a good sport and took Lily in the pool. Mama and Mammy got to stay dry.




After several walks around the campground, Lily refused to leave the wagon. We propped up the iPad with Dora playing and gave her blankie. 

It's been a good day.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Blessing - Maxwell Style



August Filter: My purpose here on earth is to be loved by God and then to pour out that love on others.

Three active days blocked my blogposting. I was busy enjoying family and friends, as well as fighting my way to Bangor in Friday's hurricane-like rain. As you can see by the photo I took on Saturday, it cleared off nicely.

I was blessed last week to have friends staying on our site, which I hadn't seen in three years. Their peace and joy spread over me like a comforting blanket and I slept better than I had in weeks. Although I reached out to them with the offer of our pop-up, it turned out to be God's plan to bless me. 

I missed them when I awoke this morning to a beautiful day and a quiet campsite. Then I got a phone call from my granddaughter who is coming to spend the afternoon. What a good way to begin a brand new week!
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

In-Between Days


In my "in between' days, I have been reading by the hours. I seem to be weary these days. Maybe its the ongoing rain, but I have taken advantage of sunny afternoons to sit and bask and read, as well as rainy ones.

I've read a few good fiction novels, but this week I landed on non-fiction. Yesterday I spent hours reading the entire book "Freefall to Fly"by Rebekah Lyons. It reminded me a little bit of Jennie Allen's "Anything" yet with its own personality and a focus on staying in the pain on the journey to finding and using our gifting. 

Tomorrow looks like a busy day so I leave you with my favorite excerpt to ponder in between posts.

"Surrender changes everything.
But we cant choose surrender. It chooses us.
It finds us and meets us in our pain.
When we are at our lowest point. Our weariness. Our longing.
It enters in when we have run out of our own strength.
When we start to believe that things may never actually change.
that our lives don't really matter... and we break.

How could it be?
How could God create a life that doesn't matter?
So we cry out, and we ask for rescue.
Because somewhere deep down we know we are missing it.
Our own attempts have failed us.
This life we orchestrated falls flat and leaves us lying in a corner, 
huddled in despair in those dark hours of the early morning.

Then we see it. The crack of sunrise. Just a glow on the horizon.
Pink and orange starting to rise and create a hue that colors the sky.
It's God whispering: I am here. I am true. I am strength.
I love you as you are. Broken and fragmented. Let me carry you.
Let me show you a life you never dreamed or imagined.
Let me take you on a journey so marvelous you point back to Me.
Let me rename you.
Let me bring you back to your truest self.
The way I ordered you from the beginning.

All this for My glory."



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gratitude in Bloom


It's a beautiful day. Some of my flowers have survived the rain here at the camper. I am grateful for the sunshine today. Taking a break from much reflection and enjoying the moments. 




Monday, August 5, 2013

No Edits, No Filters


I took this shot today in the backyard before lunch. No edits, no filters, just Lily in the sunlight.

My August filter: my purpose here on earth is to be loved by God and pour out that love upon others. 

That's the plumb line for my thoughts this month. 

God's love, no edits, no filters, just me in the Sonlight.