Sunday, July 27, 2008

Anxiously Waiting...

Ben has been gone to a men's retreat since Thursday evening. It has been rough on us as it is the longest he's been gone away from home and we have had no contact with him since he left. We received word "through the grapevine" a couple of hours ago that he would be on his way home soon, but so far we have not seen nor heard anything of his return. So we're trying to remain occupied and patient as we await his arrival, but I am getting a bit antsy for him to get here and Em is getting VERY anxious for her daddy to be home.

All in all it has been a good, busy weekend, but I am so ready for him to be back. I've come to a new appreciation in regards to his helpfulness with household and family duties and have realized how truly thankful I am for him in my life. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder...

UPDATE: He's home! Lots of hugs...daddy/daughter laughter...some he's reading bedtime stories in her room. Life is good!


This summer I've really taken note of and gained an appreciation for dandelions. For some (including myself until recently), they are often thought of as a pesky weed that can overtake the lawn. But lately I can't help stopping to look at them and see their real beauty!

The bright yellow ones just seem so cheery (especially when I recall my fondest memories of great big hand-picked bouquets of them from my sweet little daughter)...

But I've been quite attracted to the ones that've gone to seed...they seem so significant and represent so much...

My inner child's thoughts often wander to all the wishes I've made over the years or could make as I gently blow the seeds away and watch them drift through the air... My spiritual nature envisions spreading the seeds of faith and watching the "new life" that results... My motherly instinct can't help but recall and ponder the joy of new life as it comes through a newborn baby...And just like the seeds are blown, land in various locations and then grow and bloom, so too can we bloom where we're planted when the things of this world seem to "blow us away" and leave us in new, unchartered territory.

Additionally, I am learning how beneficial and refreshing it can be to take the time out to notice the little things around us and find the hidden beauty in things that may at first glance seem to be unattractive and undesirable.

What "hidden treasures" have you noticed lately?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Baptism at the Falls

On Sunday, our church congregation took a "field trip" to a park to hold a baptism service in the swimming area near the falls. What a beautiful place...such great evidence of God's wonderous creations!

Here's one of the pics I took of the falls while we were there (with all the afternoon rainstorms we've been having lately the water was really flowing)...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A text message and the Holy Spirit

Our ladies group usually meets on Thursday evenings, but last week there were various reasons for unavailability (as there have been quite frequently lately). Usually we just try again the next week.

Well, last week was a bit I sat at work Friday morning I felt like we needed to meet and I couldn't stop thinking that I should contact them and see if they were free that evening or the next. NEVER before have we rescheduled to a different night if we couldn't meet on Thursday. So, it was a bit out of the ordinary but I had missed our time together, felt a strong urge to do so and decided to give it a try.

Before I left my office for home, I sent a quick text message asking if they were available. They were and we ended up meeting at our favorite place for some tea & biscotti (lemonade for the non-tea drinker).

After we gathered, we realized that we had been "summoned". What started out to be "about us" ended up becoming an opportunity to witness to someone in her time of need.

Lately I've been seeking to know what it is the Lord would have me do...when the ladies mentioned that I had received a prompting from the Holy Spirit to get us there that night, I felt encouraged in my quest for a greater purpose.


I used to think that summer vacation was a time for relaxing, but lately I'm becoming convinced otherwise! I am starting to feel a bit like a bee...landing briefly as I buzz from one thing to the next.

Don't get me's been a good busy but still just as tiring.

After we returned from our "camping trip" we got right back into the swing of things with church, work, errands, vbs, karate...

Even through these chaotic times, I have been trying to "be still" and spend a few moments reading a good book, praying, thinking of all that I have to be thankful for, etc. and I have noticed it having a positive influence on my attitude about certain things.

I have also been working to get our ladies group back on track and re-connected. We seem to let life get in the way of taking time out to be together and encourage one another. We so need that time with each other and with the Lord. (Last week's meeting was a good one and if we're able to gather tonight I have a feeling that it will be quite meaningful...separate posts to come!)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Birthday Update (better late than never)

It's official...I'm 33! Once again my birthday was a special one (Em always makes sure of it!). I was awakened at 6:30am by Ben & Emily bearing gifts and cards. What a nice wake-up call (even if it was quite early on my day off!). The day continued on with lots of fun including a handmade birthday party hat, a "girls" lunch out, some shopping and dinner with family. The grand finale was the cake that Em had baked me (with a little help from Nana). It was definitely a HAPPY birthday!

Disconnected for Recharging

After several weeks of hectic schedules we decided to "get away". So we packed everyone up (including Mojo the dog) and headed out on the 4th to my in-laws for a family picnic, campfire and campout.

It was so nice to "disconnect" for a couple of days. No watch...cell phone computer, no radio... We stayed in our pop-up camper and Ben's brother and his wife pitched a tent (that in itself was quite fun and entertaining...that's a story for another day). Some highlights of the two days we were there... A lacrosse game with the dog...

LOTS of tasty food...YUMMY s' music...lots of laughter...4 hours sleep (realized I'm too old for that now)...DELICIOUS breakfast at "Anne's Diner" (aka my mother-in-laws kitchen)...some more fun & laughter...a back deck mani/pedi session with the "girls" MG ride with my hubby...a visit with the sweet neighbor lady...and a family road trip to our fave ice cream shop for some freshly made waffle cones.

We all had such a great time. It was nice to "just be" not have a schedule and watch the clock trying to keep to it. I guess I hadn't realized how much I needed to get away from disconnect from the buzyness and distractions of life and instead "plug into" my family for a "recharging of my emotional batteries."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


As I prepare to celebrate my 33rd birthday tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on the blessings I have had so far in my life and make a list of things that bring me joy...

So here's 33 things that make me thankful and happy (in no particular order):

1. My loving husband
2. My precious daughter
3. My parents, sister and other family members
4. My Lord
5. Daisies (especially handpicked by blessing #1 or #2)
6. Dandelion wishes
7. Rainbows
8. Sunsets
9. Sunrises (YES, I have gotten up early enough to see a few…and while on vacation no less!)
10. Home mani/pedi with Em
11. Friends
12. A cup of tea
13. Ice cream (my BIG weakness)
14. A good book
15. Photography
16. Bedtime stories & snuggles
17. “Secret” goodbye handshakes
18. Fireworks
19. My “Box” (XB)
20. My 30th birthday gift! (BMW)
21. Our furry family members
22. Receiving mail (that isn’t a bill or junk)
23. Smores ‘round a campfire
24. Butterflies
25. Mediterranean pizza from our favorite pizza shop/café
26. “Leaf days”
27. Apple picking
28. Fresh donuts and hot cider
29. “Refrigerator Art”
30. Hugs
31. A neat and tidy desk (though it doesn’t happy often at home…when it does it makes me very content!)
32. The scent of a summer afternoon rain shower
33. Starry nights

And an extra...Snow Angels

P.S. I am also SO VERY thankful that Em seems to be finally over the nasty virus that hung on for a full week.