Thursday, May 24, 2018

"Set Me In A Large Place"

I love writing out scripture. When I was in high school I started my first journal at the age of 14.  I have been writing ever since. I use to think of the countries that did not allow Bibles. I thought, in my youth, that if I wrote out scriptures in my journal then it would not matter if my Bible was taken.

Clearly that has not happened. Thanking God for that. However I still write out scriptures as I go along in my daily time with God. Today I was chuckling over this passage. It was my favorite for today's reading and I wrote it out. I will typically write out the verses that are my favorite for the day. Today it as Psalm 118: 5-6

" From my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me. I will not fear. What can man do to me."

I do not think God expects us to be deep theologians with deep study into the scriptures for His words to speak to our hearts.  When I read this I immediately thought of where I live. I think of how God knows my heart for nature.  He knows my heart for being in the country. And here I am sitting sipping the mornings coffee on a beautiful farm. It looks more like three mornings of coffee here at my desk. Is this the large place He has set me in?

In reading this passage "set me in a large place." I could not help but think...what is that large place?  Where exactly has God put me?  And how does this passage reflect my heart today? Two years ago I prayed that God would provide some very specific things in my life. It seemed that my prayers were bigger than life. I am a dreamer. God designed me that way and when I look at scripture and how He has answered prayers. It is pretty hard to not sit back, drink coffee, read these passages and just smile.

Living on a beautiful farm is that "large place" for me. I was looking for a place to finish raising my boys. A single mom, wanting to provide space that would bring fun, joy, and work to my boys. I had no clue to even know where to start looking. And I just prayed. I lived on a beautiful farm in The Dalles and my heart yearned for that again. My boys loved the wide open spaces, too. And then to read that "the Lord is for me." I had to write these scriptures out today. Because truly the Lord is for me. And He is for you. I have called upon the Lord ALOT in the past two years. When we call on God, we can expect that he will see that His will is being done as we seek to know His heart. I had no idea what God had planned. One evening of God pressing on my heart to attend a friends event at her house, her farm, her family being raised in this beautiful place that the boys and I always loved to visit. One summer about 12 years ago, we came for a visit. No one was home, so we set up a picnic in their Orchard. Emily brought her violin, Emerson as about 4 months old, the two other boys toddlers playing. I remember praying that someday God would bless me with a property like this. I had no idea that this orchard would be the view from the kitchen window 12 years later. Here we live in this "large place".  Almost two years now. Eric was 2 years old and now a teenager playing in the same orchard.
I have had to overcome some very big fears in the past two years and even in a conversation yesterday, this sweet gal telling, "girl you have got courage, you have it in you."  I laughed and said that it was ALL an act of God. Through Christ Jesus and his promises, we ARE that person. Why?  Because the Bible tells us so.  So now that you have these two passages of Biblical wisdom how are you going to face today?

There is going to sad days, days of pain, days of uncertainty, days of just stress that we have no control over. What is your large place?  Actually another "large place" is my car. No, really my car. It's big and it is still running and it is easy to load up and take the kids on road trips expanding our large places. Even in the little things God has set aside a larger space. Step into that space with confidence that no matter your situation or circumstances "The Lord is for me" which also means you. Love & Cheers

P.S. You can find more fun pictures and comments with this hashtag. Each time I share a picture I try to remember this #farmlifewithcones


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Today Is A Gift

What is a perfect gift?  The unexpected? Something you have always wanted? Time? Sleep?  I posted on my Facebook today that, "Today is a gift. A perfect and wonderful gift."

I woke to  sunshine beaming in the window. I was certain it was noon. I checked in on the boys still sleeping. Did everyone sleep until noon today? It was around 6am. Wait!!!  I wanted to sleep until noon. Instead I ended up doing the dishes. Unloading a dishwasher, filling it with last night's dishes and hand-washing all the bigger dishes. I sipped on coffee. I looked at what I need to be getting done today and just smiled. Ahhhh what a gift. Today is a gift. A perfect and wonderful gift.

As I cleaned up the dishes I looked out across the apple orchard at all the green. Sprinkled with colors of flowers here and there. The sky blue. I thought that who ever is on dish duty today will get a surprise. A gift to them. The coffee was already made. I poured a cup. A gift to me. The sun beaming down from the heavens. Another gift for me. I stepped outside for a moment in my jammies breathing in the crisp Spring air. Oh the gift of life and the air in my lungs felt like another gift.  Thinking of what I would do today. A gift to have an unplanned day to make plans.

I make lists for the week. Thinks I hope to get done this week. Very few items have day/time limits because I can put next week on this week and be ahead of myself. I found my way back to my desk after dishes, and coffee. And I sat thanking God for today. Today is an unexpected gift. A day off from work. No, really a day off.  Most of my days off are planned vacations, appointments, and errands which involved planning, organization, and then being the leader of my family and seeing that everyone is in the car, and off we go into whatever we have planned. Something I have wanted for almost a year is just one day. A day to sleep in until noon, drink coffee, and stay in my jammies. I had five of those days last January. But it does not count when you have the flu. I have wanted time. Time that is wide open with nothing scheduled. I wanted to sleep in. All would be a gift.

Today is that gift. The unexpected day off. A gift from my boss after a long week last week. Recognizing that I gave my all and yesterday after only two hours of work she instructed me to go home, and take today off, too. She said I had gone above and beyond the call of duty. So the unexpected started yesterday and the boys and I took time together doing things like shopping together, hanging out at a park. That unexpected gift has spilled into today. I was up at 6am ready for the unexpected gift to be opened all day long. I guess in my thoughts I thought sleeping in until noon would be fun and drinking coffee all day, but that is not really me. I love to be moving and doing. It's how I am wired. Today I am moving and grooving here on the farm.

I am thankful for good health, truly a gift. To take walks in the country, work in the garden, and even working in the barn today. What is your idea of a gift?  Whatever it is, look for it in your day today. It's waiting for you.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Five Tips on Navigating the Sadness & Grief in Your Life

I have learned over the past two years that there are so many different parts of grief. I wrote a post on grief here: 

When I wrote that I remember thinking that in all my life I had never felt so much pain in my heart. I had felt pain before, but after a few days of dealing and processing life just moved on. Only seven days after I wrote that piece another devastating event happened in my life.  And the pain of that event caused even greater pain to my heart. A pain I never thought was possible. Right now as I write the details, as important as they are, those details are not the message of this blog post. The message is a continuation of overcoming the sadness and grief in your life.

A few months ago I met with a counselor. Asking her how to help my children in navigating some hard family stuff. Her words were wise. She said to remind your children. Remind them of who they are. Remind them that these events are hard, but this is WHO WE ARE. And her words hit me hard. I need to remind myself of the same. I love to write, but in this season I have been paralyzed in my writing. I have felt lost in the events that got me to time and season in my life.

My daughter and I have always gone into situations with this this understanding, "Plan for the worst and expect the best." Seems kind of funny. As a musician it was always a mystery as to what a venue might be like. When she was 18 we were hours before a big music event and we had no sound system. We were cool about it. Because in that situation the worst would have been, no sound system and we had already prepared for the worst. And God stepped in with a beautiful miracle of a sound system. When my children and I make plans we always plan for the worst and expect the best. You know extra food and water bottles on road trips. Extra cash in a secret hiding place if we lose our wallet.

What if you have no idea about what is about to happen and life takes you by surprise. There was no time to plan for the worst and expect the best. Only the worst is happening and continues and no matter how many people pray for you or tell you it will get better you live it daily. No matter how many blog posts you write on grief you are still in in. Your children are living it with you and looking, watching and needing YOU to help navigate. What do you do? You have already checked all the boxes for the different stages of grief and you ran out of boxes to check. How do you wake up and continue every single day?  Here are some ideas on what to do when you don't know what to do. I encourage you to use these tips with your children as you help them navigate through the sadness and grief.

1. Read the Bible
I admit that there are times I am just reading over the words. Nothing sinks in but I keep reading. What does happen is there is a peace that washes over the heartache, the sadness.  Once that peace sets in the words jump off the pages. Filling my heart with clarity and understanding. One day we will know why God allowed such heartache. Keep  your Bible by your bedside so when you have those sleepless nights you are armed and ready for God to pour His word of hope, encouragement, peace and love.

2. Listen to Worship & Praise Music 
I have no idea who the woman is in this picture. What I do know is her face is what I feel in my darkest hours. I put on my headphones. I drive to work every single day with my headphones on. Listening to worship music. Filling my heart and my soul with a fresh start. The sadness is covered and the grief is pushed away for a little while. I keep my headphones and music by my bedside. When thoughts of sadness want to consume me, I consume more music. When I have read the Bible until my eyes are blurry I put on music. My heart begins to sing. Even when the words are heavy on my heart and tears fall I am in worship with God.

3. Get In Your Car and Go Somewhere
I was invited to an evening out. I TOTALLY wanted to just curl up on the sofa and get lost in a movie. A heavy hearts wants to hold you captive. A heavy heart of grief wants to keep  you alone. Have you noticed that?  No one to ask you questions. No one is checking in on you. Because the story is still the same sad story. But listen to me. Get in your car and go somewhere. I did not want to go. I threw on some lip gloss, brushed my hair and wore black. Why black, because no matter how messy you may feel black is class and style. You may not feel like class and style but it helps. That night I was with people I love and people who love me. And it was a wonderful evening. I took a selfie that night to remind myself that no matter how much grief and sadness I feel I am going to make myself get in my car and go.
 4. Social Media is A Good Thing
Tell your story. Social Media is a good thing. Your story matters. Your story could be the story that helps another person in their journey. You can tell your story without going into the details. My story is a messy one. And the enemy of lies, deceit, and destruction would like to keep you alone and in the dark. That is when the enemy can destroy your soul. Get out of the dark and stand in the middle of the ring. There are millions of books published with a story. Why do we read these stories? Because there is a beautiful thing that happens when you realize another story. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You can paint a very pretty story on social media. It's easy to post just the pretty, the happy, and the highlights. But is that your real story.  I have posted my journey. And there have been those trying to discredit and destroy my character who have tried to use those stories to hurt me. But God is in the house and what HE is doing in my life is bigger than my story. My story has reached out to others who have contacted me, and I can help encourage. Social Media is a good thing.  It's in a very strong way, your own self publishing without the hardcover and numbered pages.
5. Talk To Your Friends, Your Family, Your Community
I love this picture with my nephew Spenser. He is full of energy and joy. No matter what is going on in life, he can make you laugh. Hanging out with my kids, and even if it feels sad or hard just DO IT!!  You will never regret showing. And everytime you do, you will be reminded of who you are long before all the sadness. People you know and love know you. Talk to your friends, your family, your community.
I am blessed to have both a daughter and daughter-in-love who have carried my heart there and back and there and back again. Even with the lingering thoughts we all have of this sad season we find JOY. We live out that joy when we are together.  We live out that joy because we know that God allows this for a bigger reason. Even when we do not have the answers. These girls have made sure to love me hard.
My brother and sister always make me smile. I love when my sister says, "you look good."  You look good. And if I am a reflection of her in my life, then yes I do look good.
My oldest Elliot is a strong leader in our family. He has made sure that I have not forgotten who I am. His text messages, always loving and sharing the mom I am to him and to his siblings. This is what you get when you
These boys, oh my oh my. They will keep me from going to bed and pulling the blankets over my head. And if I do, they bring me coffee, and hug me and love me as I am.

I write today from a place of still grieving. Yet I also write from a place of healing and helping. Healing comes. It really does. It has come through these five tips. I write from a heart of experience, not just good ideas. God knows all of this. I know that someday soon God will give the reasons for all of this, but in the meantime I submit to you to keep moving forward and if you are at a loss, them simple read this five tips. Try them for a week and I promise you will be blessed.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day 2018

How about another "Mother's Day" blog? I never thought that I was the voice of wisdom when it came to being a mother. As a matter of fact when asked, over the years, various questions about parenting I always circled back to the greatest teacher of motherhood, God's Word.

One thing I have learned in being a mother is this simple and powerful truth. From 1Corinthians 13:8 the passage starts with "Love never fails."  This truth is what has been the foundation of being a mother. Love, what does it mean?  The passages before this verse are as follows and build the founations of what love is.

1 Corinthains 13:4-6

"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

This is my answer to being a mother. In any and all circumstances God's Word taught me to be a mother. Read this passage and ask God to pour His words into you as you mother your children. Those days when you need extra patience, when you need to be kind look to God's Word. In a world of social media conversations I ask that you NEVER dishonor your children on social media or any where.  I have actually messaged mama's carrying on about the negative behaviors of their children and believe me when I say, it was not easy, but it was not honoring to their child. And when you feel your temperature rising, take a walk. Hold that anger in check and be an example to your children of grace in difficult times. Protect, trust and hope because love never fails. 

One day they will grow up and you will leave a legacy of motherhood. What will that look like? I posted on instagram today this picture of my children. A picture taken a few years back. Here is the message I sent to my children...

"My dear children, you have no idea the absolute JOY my heart feels to think that God would choose me to be your mama. The greatest gift you each give me is your love and passion to be like Jesus and your friendships with each other. My heart is full."

May you find peace in this day. Remember that love never fails. If  you have lost your mother, may this be a day to honor and reflect on her goodness. If you have a strained relationship with your mother, remember she chose you. She may have not known how to be a good mother, but she did choose you. For that you can thank her. May you go and in peace today knowing that you were chosen, and loved. Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Professional ON

Last night I sat at dinner with the boys. We have this Mexican restaurant which is a favorite. They had lots to share after spending the day with their big brother and sister-in-love. I listened, asked questions and then asked them, "What did you learn today?  Did you learn anything new today?"  I admit it was the opening of a topic I wanted to share. I wanted to tell them what I learned. And in telling them I believed it would give some clarity to having a working mom.
I added this picture as this picture as a calming image of what it means to refuel.

For my entire life, and I do mean my entire life I have been told over and over that I have the energy of 5 people. And because I have been told that I always had grace for those who could not keep up with me. I thought, maybe there was something to my diet. I eat well. Or maybe it had to do with the fact that I typically get 8-10 hours sleep, which refueled and charged me up I thought maybe because I outwardly process life, schlepping of the stresses of the day. I have had many people actually ask me, "How do you have so much energy?"  I have said, "no" to anyone who ever wanted to sell my nutrition products. Because they boast that you will have more energy, sleep better and have improved health. I rarely get sick and have enough energy, and sleep well so I took a pass.

However I learned something very important this past week. It actually took me about ten months to learn this, but it was like BAM-BAM over my head. I finally understood. And as I began to share with my boys we all sat quiet and it made sense to them as well as I explained the "Professional On". 

I am going to start by telling the story of my first born son, Elliot. When he started school he loved it. He made friends easily, he had the typical struggles of learning, but once mastered built his confidences. Every day when he came home from school he went to his room. This rambunctious boy would sit at his desk for 1-2 hours every day and quietly build and play with his Legos. I would ask if he was okay. His father and I worried that maybe there was something going on at school. Yet Elliot was content. Then one day I did the parent helper in classroom thing. And I, as a first time mother, experienced the kindergarten classroom. After two hours of time helping out in class, I had to go home and sit on my bed in absolute quiet for an hour. As I lay on my bed, it hit me and I began to understand Elliot. Elliot made sense. He was in the environment 7 hours a day. He had to be "on" for seven whole hours. A six year old boy had to be on five days a week, six hours a day. I could not even handle two hours.  It was also after that day I thanked God for the decision to keep my kids out of daycare. To be in a room full of people every single day made me feel overwhelmed, and disturbed my mental piece.

As a business owner I have always had the blessing of having really good employees. Even as I began to wind down the brick and mortar of Skip To My Room I had good people working for me. ( Shout out to Lauren, McKenzie, Fred and Emily) People think as an entrepreneur you are running 24/7.  That was not me at all. I had my calendar and I scheduled meetings in blocks of time that allowed for lots of down time between meetings. Sometimes 2-3 days of down time. If I was working in my store. I may have been there from 10am-6pm, the store's hours, but I had people to cover the showroom, and at any given time I could go into a private office, close the door, kick my feet up and refuel. There were many days I would call into the store, ask how the day was going, and decide to work quietly at home. I was not "on" all those working hours. I could come and go as I pleased and even end the day at noon if I was feeling like it. Believe me I thank God every single day for the kind of business that allowed this, because I was able to leave, pick kids up from school and be done. If I decided to work at 10pm, a quiet house, kids in bed I could do just that.

What people never saw in me was that down time. Daily taking time to get away, be in a quiet space and refuel. As I reflect back over 28 years of being an entrepreneur there were many times of marathon working, but there was an end to projects. My kids have the fondest memories, as they tell me, of eating pizza and renting movies as I worked in the showroom after hours.  As a consultant you show up for the meetings, or the business trips, but always an end. And then days to refuel and regroup because I managed my own schedule. Being home with children all day is not the kind of "being on" I am talking about. I could decide to crawl out of bed and sit in the middle of the playroom with a cup of coffee while toddlers are using me for a human jungle gym. And still not be that "professional on". 

Yet in all my years I never understood where my mental and physical energy came from. And it was just this week I was able to put the pieces together.

For the past 10 months I have had a job commitment. Daily "Professional On". That job owns me about 30 hours a week. I have to be "ON" 6 hours a day. What is the result of that being "on"? I come home and crave quiet. I mean the sit quietly and refuel my brain. And I am exhausted as in tired like I have never been. The emotional and intellectual part of my brain is 100% on for six full hours daily. Oh sure I have had many many days of being tired after a long day. Traveling and putting on events for clients is typically a full four days and long hours commitment. But then you go back to your hotel room, and you sit in quiet. You order room service and you refuel for the next day. After the event, the meetings, the fast pace you are back on a plane and home. Kids go off to school and you have an entire day of being quiet, refueling and having that down time, or "off" time. This is what people never saw in me. That down time. That off time. Doing things that bring me balance. Like crafting, or wandering through antique or thrift stores, or reading. Reading 3-5 books a week.Being home, in the quiet of a house while children are in school.  There was no "Professional On" during these times.

This has been a brand new experience for my children. Mom is tired at the end of her work day which ends early afternoons. This mom has been "on" for six straight hours daily. I love my job. I mean I have been over the top blessed with this job and no one thought I would last 3 minutes with a long term commitment given my foot-loose and fancy free life-style. It is a new season in my career. And I love my work, but being on daily, every single day, six full hours has shown me something I was not even aware of. It had me reflecting back to my first son, and his coming home after being "on" all day at school and needing to take time to be alone, refuel, and a break from human interactions.

My kids have always had a mom with an abundance of energy. I was able to manage and balance my "on" and "off" times around my kid's schedule. When picked up from school, I may have put in a full day of work, but during that day there were many moments of down time for refueling. Thus allowing the after school activities with kids to be tackled with bursts of happy and positive energy.

I drove home from work yesterday and I started crying. Crying for every single mama I have ever known who worked a full 8-10 hour job and then picked up kids from daycare and had to still give as much as they had left to their kids. I can honestly say I could never have done that. I chose to keep my kids out of daycare. Having my own business has always allowed that. I could drop them off at school, work during their school hours, and be done whey I picked them up. My kids are older now. They are now experiencing the mom working away from home and coming home tired. As teenagers their need for me is different. They want me to sit and listen to their outward processes of their day, their thoughts and their ideas. I can sit and listen, and as I sit quietly I am secretly refueling. No diapers to change, or no feedins in the wee hours with a baby. How on earth do single moms work all day and come home to young little humans who need help with a sippy cup?

As we sat through our dinner, we talked about how they feel after being in situations where they are "on". Now being home-schooled, life is.... "easier and less stressed" "I feel like I can take my time and am really learning" "It's not that I did not like the people in my class, but most of them I would never choose to be around" ......and after all these years it made sense to all of us. Being "ON, the "Professional On" day in and day out is hard. No matter what age you are. Imagine right now being in a room with 20-30 people five days a week 6-8 hours a day. Whether your kids are in daycare or school, that is what they experience. I could not do that. I mean I am honest in saying, no matter how much I love people I could NOT do that.

Even with a job commitment I have been able to orchestrate my "off" time and my kids love it. I may not be watching the baseball game, but while one kid is watching baseball on TV I am just sitting and quietly refueling and having some kid bonding time. I now understand why my friends, who work full time, are keen on a night in rather than going out. The emotional energy it takes every single day is not one that I had never experienced until working daily for another person.  Not even a full day. My bosses are great. I can take an a break any time I want. They have said, "Where do you get all this energy?" I can run out to take care of personal matters if there is need, but the reality is I have a job commitment and regardless I am "on" 20-30 hours a week. And I never understood how I had so much energy. And the reality is I had a normal amount of energy, I was just able to remove myself, whenever there was a need, for a few hours to regroup and refuel. Something that is not an option when you work for someone else.

Every day I thank God for this job. I decided for the second half of my life to take on a new challenge and career path. Every day I thank God, that as a consultant I can, and am still able to take on new clients and work around a schedule that allows me to bring my best. My best is that "Professional On". God took me down a path of entrepreneurship. And that "Professional On" requires all of us to be 100% present. Present emotionally and intellectually.   That is ALOT of brain power going out daily. Give yourself grace if you are tired at the end of you day. Give yourself a pat on the back if you have been working for someone else your entire career. I have only been at this for 10 months and I can understand my family and friends so much better. And most importantly take time to refuel and regroup. On the days I have activities with the boys after work. I listen to my favorite music on the commute home. I listen to it loud and I sing at the top of my lungs.

I appreciate my family and friends so much. I appreciate that they all had to adjust to my working on someone else's schedule. Most importantly is taking the time doing something that gives you refueling time. As a single mom, it really is not the "mom's night out" that refuels me. It's the "mom's night in." I think I have a new blog post idea. I am certain it's been written a gazillion times. I think I will call it "Ten Ways To Refuel". I spent a career as an entrepreneur with balance. I may have a few good ideas in my back pocket. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Accepting The Techy NEW normal.

I have a confession. A few Sundays ago while waiting for church to start I ordered my daughter's birthday presents on-line.  I looked to my right and my daughter-in-love was taking selfies with my youngest. It has been a hard road to accept this new normal in tech at your fingertips.

I realized during this church service that I was using my phone to look up the verses shared, and then to look up deeper meaning in an online commentary. I actually got more out of the message by answering some of the questions rattling around in my head by going to my phone and looking up deeper insights.  It turns out that I am getting better at accepting what has now been around for well over 10 years.

Why has it taken so long for me to NOT be offended that a phone interrupted my time with face to face meetings? I think the detest started with my daughter, who at the time was 16 years old and texting was introduced. She started dating someone and she sat in one spot in the family room for over an hour texting with this young man. I mean how do you have a conversation without actually using your voice-box?. "Oh mom, you need to get with the times." I honestly recall her saying something like that. That was over 12 years ago.

The texting thing led to dinner table rules of "No phones at the table" which led to that wonderful thing of calling your phone service provider and asking that that texting feature be removed from my daughter's phone for three months. I was not about to let my daughter go down this path of disconnecting with human souls. That is what it seemed like to me 12 years ago.

I am an older mom raising young teen boys in the fancy phone culture. None of my boys have their own phones. I am not that popular around here. They do have access to some of my older phones and get phone time. I admit I love that the sports enthusiast can watch games on his phone. And learning to play cribbage with an app. And I love face-timing with my kids, and we do have specific rules which so far comes with some grumbling. I am okay with that,too.

Here is what I do not understand. When parents say they can not get their kids off their phones. It's pretty easy. Take the phone, hide it and insist that rules are to be kept or phones are taken. I had one kid go three months without a phone. It was pretty easy. Argue with me over your phone and you lose a week. Keep arguing and you lose even more time. I have been a little more flexible during vacations and holiday seasons but the bottom line is mom is charge of it all. I have their social media passwords and at any given time mom can take the phones. And the kids have learned to comply with the rules.

It really is not a "new normal" if you are under the age of twenty. This is your only normal, but for us older folks it does take a little getting use to.

And who does not love a good selfie of your kids when the sneak your phone. I love those goofy pictures and can say with confidence we have figured out how to navigate as a family. It has come with some struggles, but overall nothing makes my heart happy than to be tucking kids into bed who are reading books because when all is said and done, the phones are turned off and life still does have the old normal lingering.

I think I will write a post on five ways to stay connected with your kids. As I am happy to say my kids allow me to comment on their social media sights. They are not embarrassed of my sharing and I may be a bit more hip than most when it comes to teenagers and phones.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year 2018

I am not starting the new year out as well as I had hoped. The flu bug that is ravaging many I know hit me. I think I have my sister Suzanne to thank for this. However after a wonderful post Christmas vacation in her home, I would carry the weight of the flu all over again for the fun we all had.

I have just spent the better part of two hours sitting at my desk and telling my body to, "be well and overcome this sickness." And then I look over at Eric who is not feeling well and I think..."dang this flu bug." When your head is foggy and you ache and have a fever it's easy to think it's the end of the world. Reality is I have sat here for two hours cleansing the old, and in with the new. And thinking about how 2017 is a reminder of God's amazing love for me and my family.
 I have been writing thank you notes. Not the kind you write after gift giving. Writing thank you notes to people and families who have walked out 2017 with me. The hardest year in my life and I can sit here today and thank God for each and every person who boldly stepped out to help carry the burdens of this past year and hung close to our family. Our family is so very blessed. I mean the kind of blessings where you sit for two hours and could write for days to thank people for staying the course. I could shout out names from a mountain top, but if you are reading this, you most likely are one of those people. Thank you.

Now into 2018 we go. And if you are reading this and know our family you know that we are a very strong unit. We have always be a close knit family and even with the events of this last year that has not changed.

As we venture into a new year it's easy to look back and feel all those pains and sadness all over again. I am not a look-backer. I look to the future with a a hope that comes in knowing that God knows all of 2017 and He will sustain and care for me and my family in 2018.

As I recover from the flu-bug and continue to sit at my desk there are three words I look to the future with.
Restore Rebuild Release

These are important words and words that come with great meaning as I look to God's word. Watch how God shows up to restore, rebuild and release. He has got 2018 in his hands. May your 2018 be one where you meet God in new and wonderful ways.
Happy New Year.