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.


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


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