Beauty Out the Rear Window

Itโ€™s been a rough couple of days…weeks, a year really, and I wasnโ€™t necessarily looking forward to a wet, overcast Monday today. Seeing my mom on two separate occasions last week just really broke my heart. ๐Ÿ’” It is so hard for me to see the suffering she is going through and feeling my hands are tied. The 26th will be a year since the doctor caused her stroke. And if I were to be honest, itโ€™s hard for me to enjoy much of anything in my own life because of it. She is always, always on my mind and in my prayers! I tried hard today to let God in, to take my heavy load, itโ€™s a continual load, but He reminds me He is STILL here and to look for beauty where I can. It is an attitude adjustment I surely struggle with but today, right now, I choose to focus on the beauty He has given me out my rear window.

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We Wonโ€™t Forget

I took this photo after traveling to Georgia to make some wedding plans for my daughter’s wedding several years ago. The sun was beginning to set as the planes took off. One by one they started to climb against the sunset backdrop till they disappeared. I quickly went back and grabbed my camera and headed over to the other side of the airport. I couldn’t help but think of the tragedies on 9/11 and what the passengers must’ve felt on that day. Those were some true heroes! May we never forget! God bless their families and the families of those that sacrificed their lives to rescue them!

College Bound

The Indiana University students are back! We observed many a mom and dad walking alongside their new college student. Boy, that sure brought back memories of me choking up all the way home from Missouri and Georgia.

My kids both left home within a year of each other and I found myself walking by their bedrooms to say something then would quickly realize they werenโ€™t there.

I ended up just shutting their doors. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Leaving our babies behind, wondering when weโ€™ll see them next is a difficult transition. And many of us are/were going through menopause at the same time! ๐Ÿ˜ณ I always said it was Godโ€™s cruel joke! We put in all these years of hard work, making lunches, sewing costumes, throwing parties, working in their classrooms, for all of it to come down to moments like this. This is when we do double duty praying that our kids meet professors that align with their upbringing, meet encouraging friends that have the same morals, that their minds only be open to things that will help them grow and become the people they were destined to be.

Weโ€™ve worked with college ministries as well as international students. And can you imagine leaving your child in another country? ๐Ÿ™€

We pray our young people come to know God and make a change in this world just by being who God always intended them to be.๐Ÿ™ .

Do I Represent God Well?

I took this photo on one of our walks nearby.

I have always loved Francis Chan and this quote came from reading his book “Crazy Love”.

My other Instagram acct deals with fashion, food, home decor and faith. @Morgie_and_Me

Iโ€™m a New Grandma!

Hey guys, I’m a new grandma! (Yep, I’m getting THAT old!๐Ÿ˜) This is my first grandchild ever!

We quickly packed our bags and took a trip down to Georgia because the baby was coming sooner than expected. She wasn’t expected till around the 21st so we were pretty surprised. But after a visit to the doctor, and some blood pressure concerns, they decided to admit my daughter-in-law that night. She was induced the next day. We were concerned at first but everything ended up going fairly wellโ€ฆ

Well, it was hard on mommy and she pretty much delivered naturally. Poor thing. She’s awesome!

So, the baby was born July 10th and four days later they all came home. At first the baby was a little jaundice, so they had to check all her numbers each day. And she slept under a little UV blanket a few times.

Now they’re just trying to get the baby to sleep which is so difficult!๐Ÿ˜ด My son didn’t sleep but six hours till he was 10 months old.

He never took a pacifier, nor a bottle, and he cried a lot! It’s a miracle I chose to even have a second child after that.

Dead. ๐Ÿ’€

Dead, I tell ya. I was a walking zombie for 10 months! ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™€๏ธ

So please indulge me while I share cute photos of my new, grandbaby, girl

Chloe Summer. ๐ŸŒž๐Ÿค—

New aunt right there! You’d think it was HER baby she was so excited!

Just doing a little tanning ha.

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Big Sky

I pulled over to take this pic after going up to an appointment for my mom. I call it โ€œBig Skyโ€.๐Ÿ˜

Easter is My Favorite Holiday

If anyone knows me well, they know I love Easter!

No I mean I really LOVE Easter!๐Ÿ’—

I was thinking about this the other day as we had a few sunny days and all this spring decor had me thinking about Easter and why I liked it so much. ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ‡


Well for one,  I grew up in southern California where it was always WARM and SUNNY, ๐Ÿ˜Ž so Easter had us buying new, spring clothes with all the beautiful colors.

My mom sewed almost all my clothes and Easter was extra special as we browsed through huge pattern books and admired all the pretty pastel fabrics.

Then, what followed was looking for the accessories: white shoes, purse and little white gloves, with lace.

I loved my little, white gloves so much that I wouldn’t take them off when eating chocolate in Sunday school. ๐Ÿ˜‚

And occasionally I had a “bonnet” or kerchief.

We had so much fun coloring Easter eggs.

And then there were the HUGE, SEE’S Chocolate Easter eggs beautifully decorated with pastel flowers. They were almost the size of an ostrich egg and usually filled with a rich creamy filling. That  big ol’ egg would be rationed to last me 2 weeks HA.

Oh, I just loved waking up to big, stuffed Easter baskets, putting on my Easter best, going to church with the family, singing all the special music, smelling the flowers in the air, then enjoying a big Easter spread.

Just lots of really warm memories.


Now, compare that to my first Easter in Indiana.

I was so bummed when I realized my pretty, new sun dress was going to be covered by a winter coat, and it was way too cold โ„๏ธ to even want to take it off for any pictures.๐Ÿ˜’

Year after year.

Why did we even bother getting new clothes for Easter?๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Yep, Easter in the midwest has pretty much always been cold, rainy or overcast. Sometimes it even snows! Just makes you feel all cheery inside when looking forward to spring. (Insert sarcasm) ๐Ÿ˜’

Then, I grew up and my own kids came along.

SAME STORY.

I’d try to dress them in cute, little outfits but worried their little legs would freeze off, so I added tights, a sweater,

a parka. ๐Ÿ˜ž

And we still tried to provide an Easter egg hunt…most were INDOORS.

But I mean, who wants to hunt Easter eggs INDOORS? ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ

And guess who else likes little, white gloves?๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

He just had to have a suit.

So, my thoughts going way back to sunny California have always brought fond memories. โ˜€๏ธ

As I reflect, I can say one constant has remained.

That Easter really has NOTHING to do with any of this.

Not weather, not new clothes, or a big yummy meal, not even another “holiday”…

That it’s all really only been about Jesus.

Easter always caused me to reflect on what Christ has done for me, personally.

Rereading the resurrection story and the hours Christ submitted to his father’s will just grips my heart every time. I try to slow down taking in each detail of what really took place.

The torture, the betrayal, the extreme love and sacrifice for all mankind.

Every year of my life, even as a kid, I tried to imagine the scene, and it always moved me to tears.

No matter how I try to contain myself, the tears always flow.

Because I know no one could ever love me that much, nor willingly sacrifice their life for me.

And so it’s not the new clothes, the candy, the sunshine…not even being with family.

It’s about pure love. Unimaginable tenderness for ALL mankind.

You never have to earn this love nor question his love for you.

Bottom line…

He came as a baby

to die as a young man.

For you and for me. โค๏ธ

He created us and He wants to see us again with Him someday.


Hope you have a very blessed Easter!

What are your traditions on Easter Sunday? Please tell me in the comments.

Today I Reflect

Have you ever been betrayed? Betrayed to the point it will cost you your life? Choices. Today, Maundy Thursday is observed by Christians everywhere…the Thursday before Easter. ๐ŸŒทIt also signifies the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his apostles prior to his betrayal and ultimately his death. Can you imagine loving another so much that youโ€™re willing to die for them including the one that betrayed you? Heavy, heavy choices. Today I pause to reflect on both the turmoil and burden Christ mustโ€™ve had in his heart. Life brings many choices… some, very difficult. You just pray youโ€™re hearing correctly. Yesterday, I had to help make such a choice for my mother who could not make the choice for herself. Seeing her cry, being continually scared ๐Ÿ’”(esp since her cardiologist stroked her) just put through SO MUCH since October and now yet another, major, choice followed by surgery. I sure hoped and prayed I was doing the right thing on her behalf. AND praying the doctors were right this time. My heart felt like it would burst. Only time will tell if we made the right one. So today, I lean hard on my Lord and reflect on choices and the heavy decisions that Christ would face as he walked this lone road. ๐Ÿ’— Life can be hard, not at all like we expected and yet we still have to believe this is the path God intended us to walk. Ultimately, he is in control and knows beginning to end. Itโ€™s our path to walk. Our story. Our testimony. Hard or not. May I make the right choices and may I be found worthy in the end. ๐Ÿ™Œ

My backyard

Donโ€™t Be Demanding During the Holidays

As the holidays roll around, I often talk with people and hear about how stressed they are trying to please their family members at this time. It makes me reflect on family dynamics and why people act the way they do, or get so bent out of shape at this time of year. I just heard a lady (while at the hair salon) speaking about how she works SO hard, is super busy, then has to cook a huge meal while off work…yadda, yadda, yadda, BUT this year she was choosing to stay home, just her and hubby, and she thought it sounded glorious. Why is the holiday season SO stressful for us…women, especially?

I believe it’s because some family members have preconceived expectations about how things should go. I hear friends say that their family members don’t understand their hectic life or work schedule, that they always are the one to cook and never get help, they mention they don’t get much time with one side of the family over another, or they ate 3 huge meals in one day just to please everyone. Geeze!

Why can’t people talk with each other and just be honest explaining their reality like grown ups should be able to?

As I grow older, I reflect on these situations and have created a series of posters entitled, “The older I get…” All are observations I’ve had while talking to people or while encountering certain social situations.

So, my own kids are now married. And I refuse to be that parent that pressures them (silent or not) into feeling they have to meet my needs or be somewhere that causes them undue stress. I don’t want to apply that kind of pressure to anyone! I haven’t liked it myself, in the past, and I don’t want it for them. No holiday, or get together is worth that feeling of guilt, or the added stress of trying to please everyone. You can end up resenting family holidays. I mean, even if it doesn’t seem fair at times, I refuse to put that pressure on my family because I’ve seen what that kind of hurt can do to relationships. It causes problems or misunderstanding for years! And I don’t want that! I want my family to visit me because they love me and want to be around me. I don’t want anyone feeling stressed over trying to make an engagement because they fear my disapproval. That’s not love, nor dying to one’s rights, nor is it even enjoyable when they do show up because it’s begrudgingly. Am I right?

I have seen so many family splits over such stupid nonsense.

I know of occasions when my own mother felt she didn’t have an adequate home (not completed due to constant remodeling nor enough beds for everyone), and she would ask if I could house family coming in from out of state. That really never bothered me because I liked hosting them and just being together all in one place was fun to me, and it brought joy to my parents. However, I always felt bad mom worried about many a holiday season. She wanted things to be just perfect, nice and cozy, creating good memories for grandkids she wasn’t able to visit with all that often, and I understood that. But, to be able to just do what you can, and be okay with that, and everyone giving grace to each other and just being thankful to be together…that would be more enjoyable. That’s what truly mattered, still does.

So, you can’t make it one year, or you’re cramped and everyone sleeps on the floor, or you’re not a good cook, so you get takeout, or you can only buy a few gifts…no biggie. It’s really not important and it’s sad people don’t realize that sooner. We really need to let go of OUR wants, OUR expectations, OUR needs, and try to put ourselves in the OTHER person’s shoes.

Not everyone has the same upbringing, not everyone celebrated Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas the way you did. Not everyone understands your traditions, norms, or your family’s customs. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine. We all are unique. We were all raised differently. And that’s okay, too! There is no perfect way to do things. Why do we think everyone should be like us, do like us, sound like us, think like us, celebrate like us or just conform to our ways? The way “we’ve always done it!!”

Life is a mix. A mix of people…ideas, wants, and needs. We all need to just chill and learn to enjoy one another because time is shorter than we even realize, even at this moment.

I’ve seen many a family go through extreme crisis, and I bet they would tell you that just being with their special loved one, doing nothing extraordinary, or having any great plans would be just fine. Letting go of any differences. In fact, I would bet they would be happy to just let go of everything and just be.

Be present.

Because, being there in the moment with their loved one, would be gift enough. โค๏ธ