Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bloomin' Sunday



Can you believe they opened up in one day? What a delight, especially with me leaving in the morning!

What's with all the rocks? I honestly don't know. It looks like a stream ran through and deposited a line of them.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Springtime in the County


A sharp intake of breath could be heard as I rounded the corner of my house to find this blossom. It seems like a lifetime ago when Vicky and I transplanted plants from her yard to mine on a cold fall afternoon. Somehow in the midst of everything, I dont think I really expected to see anything - at least not yet.
There is still snow in my yard as you can see and the waters are running high and fast in the stream over the bank.
I am delighted to be welcomed home by such beauty and the little robin prancing around the yard letting me take his picture.







Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Favorite

 
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Friday afternoon at 5:00 trying to write a quick post, getting stuck in Picasa, Mac freezing up...delightful :(

I wanted to blog about my day, conference planning, highlighting daughter's hair, a week in photos. Not to be.

Here is one of my favorite pics of the week that I found on iPhone as I scrolled through.

Heading for the County tonight. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bench Warming

 
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I was driving through downtown when I spotted an open parking space, where there never is one. Even though this wasn't my destination, it was Sunday afternoon and I had time to spare so I pulled over. Grabbing my camera, which I always carry with me now, I was ready for a little exploration. I took a few pics from the small bridge nearby, crossed the road and found myself in a little park with a few statues, scrolled fences, birds and this bench. You can check out more photos of my mini-excursion this week over on Wings Open.

An hour later and a stop in a favorite shop, I was back in my car headed home. I never did end up where I planned but I ended up with a few good pics and a smile on my face after eavesdropping on a conversation between two women in the store. Not that they were trying to be quiet actually. At one point I broke out laughing with them and they in turn smiled delightedly.

As I look at this bench photo, a tiny stirring inside reminds me that I need to take the time to write. The difference between would-be writers and the real thing is just doing it. Set aside a time like I do with my blog every day or perhaps even weekly. In the daily scheme of things, there are no romantic park benches beckoning with the sunshine on my face and inspiring birds flying around me. There is just life. A few hours window - to nap, to read, to clean, to write? That is the question. 

So here I am with my window nearly closed for the day. I ate lunch, raked a little more of the  lawn, edited my photos, and posted for two blogs. Lily stirs, the day is shifting and no great novel has begun. But I have written here, put pen to the pages of my journal as is my daily practice, shared a short text with a friend, and commented on a couple of blogs. Not the destination I had planned, but sometimes its the ability to enjoy the simple things that is worth much. 



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring in Sight




Watch closely:
I am preparing something new;
its happening now, even as I speak,
and you're about to see it.
I am preparing a way through the desert;
Waters will flow where there had been none.
Isaiah 43:19 
Voice Translation
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

One Week Left to Mourn




Sheaves of grain would be opened up and the stalks spread across the threshing floor. Pairs ofdonkeys or oxen (or sometimes cattle, or horses) would then be walked round and round, often dragging a heavy threshing board behind them, to tear the ears of grain from the stalks, and loosen the grain itself from the husks.
After this threshing process, the broken stalks and grain were collected and then thrown up into the air with a wooden fork-like tool called a winnowing fan. The chaff would be blown away by the wind; the short torn straw would fall some distance away; while the heavier grain would fall at the winnower's feet. The grain could then be further cleansed by sieving.- Wikipedia.org

I have been thinking about the threshing floor all week, ever since I re-read the chapter in Mended referring to this subject. A scripture caught my eye this time around, so I looked it up.  In Genesis 50, Joseph is traveling home to bury his father and he has a large entourage with him, including Egyptian dignitaries. They stop at the threshing floor and there they mourn dramatically for 7 days. When the week is over, so is the period of mourning.
In the novel, "Jesus Wept", a fictional account of Lazarus, the Thoenes describe a period of mourning for a loved one in Jewish culture as a set time and then its over. 
As I pondered both of these scenarios, I felt as though God were speaking to my own heart about a hidden grief. My heart was broken over the past six months for my girls and grief can hide deep. I sensed Holy Spirit moving inside me as I read about the threshing floor, a place of brokeness, separation,yet harvest.
When David purchased the threshing floor in 2 Samuel 24, it later became the site where God's temple would be built.
How do you move out of the breaking season into the rebuilding? I have wanted to post all week about this but felt and still feel my thoughts  are ambiguous. Yet in my spirit, I have sensed that God is doing something, moving me, perhaps even healing me. It is His work, one that flesh and blood is unable to perform.
I am beginning to believe that a part of healing  is accepting the broken pieces of me as a part of who I am, a part of my whole. Stop striving to be something else. Letting go of my ideals, time tables and perfectionism.
I love what Elizabeth Lesser has to say about the process of brokeness. 
"I have noticed that the most generous and vital people are those who have been broken open by change, or loss, or adversity. And not just broken open on the outside. Indeed, it is the internal transformation that matters most. If there is one thing that has made a difference in my life, it is the courage to turn and face what wants to change within me."

"What wants to change within me."

What wants to change within me? What wants to change within you?

I have done nothing these past seven days since first reading about the threshing floor to mend myself, but God has been slowly mending.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bella



I wish so much I had moved that water bottle from the table, but i would have missed this smile. Maybe tomorrow I will find time to play with Adobe and see if I can remove it. Another party favorite.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More Birthday Pics


Everyone was excited to see the Birthday boy try out his new dirt bike.

 Love this shot.

I am not sure who was having more fun- the little boys or the big ones.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Big Picture Class

Me in Frontlight

Hubby in Sidelight

Oldest Son & Wife in Backlight
Hubby left for home today. I've spent the last few hours working on a new class I am taking through Big Picture Classes. I decided I needed something specific for me to look forward to and I have great opportunities to take photos while surrounded by three beautiful girls. 

This class is titled Get Great Photos With Any Camera and it runs four weeks. 

Week One is all about lighting. So here are my mostly unedited (I lightened one a tad) photos from the weekend. My favorite is the one of Hubby.

I know these are pretty basic for many of you, but I need to learn this over and over until it comes naturally. I watch my daughter take pictures and she effortlessly notices light and uses it to enhance her subjects. That's one of my goals for this class.

I will share a bit here and there and would love your input as well as any links to your photos on the same subjects!





Saturday, April 13, 2013

Portland Family




I am in the car posting on my iPad. It has been a busy day. Hubby and I left Bangor early this morning and headed for Portland. Its 9:00p.m. and we are headed back.

Kobi turned 11 today. I hope to post birthday pics tomorrow.

We hadn't seen Ben and Bella since January. It was wonderful to go into their rooms and see what they love and share their domain, if even for a short time. I was sad to leave so soon. Grandchildren are a precious treasure.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Resting






Resting this afternoon with my Kindle. Finished "Jesus Wept" by Bodie and Brock Thoene. It's the story of Lazarus. I loved it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Treaures and Gratitude



I often mention my daughter and her family here because I have been living with them for the past six months for the most part. We also have two sons that we love dearly along with their wives and children. The boys drove north to accompany their dad to a doctor's appointment for moral support. That meant taking a day off work and driving five hours one way.

Monday morning we stood at the window just as the school bus was picking up the neighbor kids. The boys teased each other about being ready because the "bus is here." 
I watched as they walked down the driveway and over to the shop to see Hubby. So many memories. Where does the time go? When you are raising children, the day to day pressures crowd out the joys of small moments. Often it's not until later that moms are able to savor those moments.

When we become grandparents, we realize how much we may have taken for granted in our youth.
 Today I drove 2 1/2 hours back to my daughter's home, much of it through snow and slippery roads. By the time I reached here, the weather had mellowed to 40 degrees and rain. I sat in the little entry of Lily's school, anxiously waiting to see her. 
It took her a few minutes to transition, but by the time I lifted her into the carseat, she looked at me and smiled that beautiful grin. I kissed her dimpled cheek and thanked God for this child.

I treasure my family, from the youngest to the oldest. Thank you Lord.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Wrong Turn and Saturday Ramblings

 
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I held my iPad in hand, reading directions to my hubby for the antique store in Nobleboro, where we were to meet my son and his family last Saturday. All went well, until I neglected to read the fine print resulting in a wrong turn. Fortunately, a friendly sheriff set us back on the right path. If we had not taken the wrong turn, I wouldn't have asked hubby to pull over for a moment so I could quickly snap this photo. 

How I would love to camp out on that bench beside the water and soak in the warm sun, listening quietly to the running waters!

Instead the sound of bitter cold winds whipping outside fills my ears today. The pellet stoves hum as they work hard to heat our house. My thoughts are filled with the ladies conference coming up in a month, where I am expected to speak in one of the sessions. How many times over the last six months have I written in my journal the words broken, empty, discouraged? It has been a difficult season in our lives and even with a miracle thrown in, weariness overwhelms me at times.

I dont know where to begin.

So I turn to google, researching the Perfect Storm, how to survive a storm. Time magazine lies beside me from last November when we were feeling the first effects of our personal storm and the news media was reporting the devastation of Sandy. Under the magazine lies an article  I printed from the Elijah list on a dream Julie Meyer had about the intercessors losing heart. It is eerily similar to a dream I had a couple of weeks ago.

Of course, the word of God will be my foundation, but I seek direction, theme, something...

I watch Angie Smith on Youtube talking about Mended which will be a part of our theme and has ministered greatly to me these last months.

This is process. This is the time to let it go and do something else. When it is right, Holy Spirit will bring the pieces together. Maybe that is what truly trouble me - fear of staying broken. Un-mended. Weakened. I know much of this has to do with the weakness in my physical body and my intense longing to be whole. One step at a time. Trusting that He goes before me.

My memory verse for this past week has been Deuteronomy 31:8 : "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged."

Even if you take a wrong turn, He will be there to gently guide you back on the right path.

Perhaps the wrong turns are a part of the plan.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Damariscotta Driftwood, Cattails,Strolls, and Smiles











We had such a wonderful day last week that I wanted to highlight more pictures from our afternoon at the slightly-frozen Damariscotta lake.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Transitions and Visuals


Transition is a word we use regularly when talking about Lily. Because of her autism, transitions can be difficult. We are learning to use visuals to make these times easier for her and for us. Meal time or bedtime used to be a struggle. Then we used a visual board and a little timer to prepare her for sitting at her table or going night-night. Now we rarely have to use it for these things because she understands more readily what we are talking about. There are other transitions challenging her now, such as adjusting to a few hours at school uniquely suited to her needs. Our hearts break to leave her but we know this is ultimately for her benefit.

One evening as I was writing in my journal about all of this, I realized something. I don't like transition either!
It has never been my strong suit. It feels strange to get out of the car after traveling north for three hours and be surprised by the frigid air. How can I not remember that it is so much colder here at home?

 I must say this time the transition has been easier than in the past, settling back in for a week at home. Perhaps I am becoming more flexible or maybe it is simply that I am open to grace.

Nevertheless, I wish sometimes there were two of me. I miss my girls when I come home. It's a bit lonely. My days are filled with to-do lists as I play catch up.
Silver Lining =  my favorite time of night, when I turn on the  little lights throughout my home and settle down with a cup of candy cane tea to watch a little television with hubby. We sit in our recliners and text our girls, laughing about something one of them said or sharing a concern.

One thing I am certain about - change is here to stay. I think I may need a visual board.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Father & Son