Happy Fall!

Happy fall!

Although, here in Indiana it’s still in the 90s.

I felt so bad for all the men working to replace our roof for the last three days! We noticed all the neighbors were getting their roofs replaced, so we had ours checked as well.

Yep, that’s what happens when you get some pretty large hail.

All the banging and mess made me think of all those in Texas and Florida, Puerto Rico, everywhere it seems…are having to totally gut their homes and rebuild; it is so sad to see everything people are going through.

And then there’s all the fires as well. (My dad used to help fight the fires in California when he was a young Marine.)

We keep praying for everyone affected by these tragedies; it must be so devastating to have to start all over. I can’t even imagine!

If anyone is looking for a place to donate, we feel confident with Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing or Convoy of Hope https://www.convoyofhope.org/donate/.

I have personally worked alongside the founders of Convoy of Hope; they are good people and 100% goes to relief efforts. Many times they are first on the scene with the other organizations I just mentioned above.

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A Simpler Life: The Amish Could Teach Us Some Things

Sometimes I think it would be better to live like the Amish.

It just seems like a simpler way of life.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I realize they work hard.

Extremely hard!

It’s VERY EVIDENT by the immaculate farms they keep.

There are times I tell my husband I’m going to get rid of all our technology and become Amish.

I just think that kind of simple living could be a blessing we are missing.


Now, if you knew more about me you would find I really have enjoyed learning all about website development, graphic design, videography, film editing, you name it.

And, my brain is swimming most days; it’s all been a huge learning curve for me.

(I knew nothing of jargon like: SEO, widgets, affiliate marketing, meta tags, web hosting…)

The last few years have been like learning a foreign language. 

But teaching myself kind of made me feel proud… learning all this in my 50s. 😉

I’ve always been a lover of learning and believe in being a student of multiple subjects.

A lifelong learner I will always be. 👩🏼‍🎓

I just feel God blessed us with a thinking mind and great opportunities, so we shouldn’t squander it, and should always be looking to broaden our knowledge by learning something new.

Now, I know I could easily get wrapped up in trying to learn one more thing about my phone, website design, you name it…

I also feel it could be harmful, if not careful.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel we should totally absolve technology or refuse to buy the latest gadget,

I just feel there’s a fine,

VERY FINE, balance as with everything in life.

For instance, my husband and I have noticed, especially while eating out, that a lot of families are just not communicating anymore.

They’re all on their phones throughout their entire mealtime even when it’s obvious it’s a special occasion like Mother’s Day or a birthday.

It’s like face-to-face conversation is nil.

I don’t know, maybe they feel awkward or easily bored and need entertained by a device.

But isn’t there always something to be learned from another person?

At least I feel that way.

Often, we’ve  discussed how sad it is that families no longer sit and talk with each other, at length. What happened to long talks by the fireside or singing Christmas carols around the piano?

Many times, we would visit with our in-laws, go out to an early dinner (they liked eating early😉) and then we’d head back to their house where we’d sit for five or six hours just talking.

Even as the hour approached 11, 12 PM, knowing we still had an hour’s drive home, we still really never regretted it, one bit.

Talking.

Just talking.

And, almost always, we would end up praying for different family members that weren’t even there at the time.

Not long ago, my daughter (who now lives out-of-state) traveled back here to our home. After we had all traveled together to visit with other family, she shared she had never heard a particular story that had just been shared.

During the drive home she acted surprised, and her exact words were,

“I didn’t know that!”

And later I thought, you know, she would have TOTALLY missed out on that information had she been on her phone or maybe that person would’ve never shared their story had they felt everyone seemed more interested in their phones.

Possibly, our family history would’ve been missed for all generations to come.

I feel like I became more aware of the influence of technology on our relationships about two years ago. Family had traveled in for the holidays, and as I looked around the room I noticed just about everyone was on their phones.

Both old and young alike. 😒

And I began thinking, you know, there are elderly people in the room and they just may not be here next year. I mean, one never knows, right? Or, maybe that person is  younger, but they’ve had some major struggles, and their health isn’t that good.

I also thought, what does that say about us if we travel to come visit family, yet can’t even sit long enough to talk face-to-face with each other. When that might be the only few hours we’re all together?

We either have to leave to go and find something “fun” to do, turn on the TV, or pick up our phones.

No one can even sit still any longer!

By taking the time to be present, I just think there are many wonderful lessons to be learned, values to be passed down, wisdom to glean, and like I said, family history will be lost if we don’t pass it along to the younger generations.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I really enjoy people and like hearing their life stories.

Heck, a person might just learn patience. And that life is not all about them.

Imagine that! (said in a sarcastic tone)


I had to quit work eight years ago, because my health was so unpredictable and failing fast.

“Life” couldn’t be planned any longer, and I had spent many a weekend, sometimes months at a time, feeling like a prisoner in my home.

Just the simple things like grocery shopping, or going to a social event, even visiting family wasn’t possible. (Sometimes, that still is difficult for me.)

And I used to think I was really good at nurturing relationships and putting into practice all these things I mentioned above. I always loved talking to and listening to people.

But now I see I could have done even better.

I view things from a TOTALLY different perspective now.

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I realize time is too short, life can change in an instant and every moment is precious.

To be present is WAY more important.

Things/activities really can wait.

One should never be too busy.

You really can always say, “NO”….

you don’t have to do everything, ya know?

AND, you can choose to limit things in your life.

If people don’t understand, that’s their problem.

That’s why I referred to the Amish as possibly having the right idea.

Life “can” always be busy, and be assured IT will always try to stress you and just maybe, technology has added to that problem by robbing us of our interpersonal relationships.

In January, my thoughts were validated when I watched an interview with Simon Sinek.

Maybe you’ve seen it.

If you haven’t, you really need to go watch it. He describes how social media has affected us, young people, especially.

But, he also addresses how the mind responds to social media and feeds addictive tendencies in the brain.

The entire video is REALLY interesting!

This video went viral, and was all over the internet including fB, (which is kind of ironic) but I think it became so popular because it really made people stop and think because it resonated TRUTH.

I was like, YES! Someone is clearly describing exactly what I’ve said/felt/observed!

I found his comments both fascinating and quite alarming.

Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU&t=483s


Now, I’m sure there are some Amish kids who would prefer an iPhone over hearing what their chores will be for the upcoming week.

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But maybe, just maybe, we would be wise to step back and evaluate just how much time we spend on our phones or other social media for that matter.

Think about how much quality time we truly are giving other people.

By listening to others, there are so many lessons to be learned, values to be passed down, and wisdom to glean.

And by observing someone’s body language and voice inflection, you will better understand where a person is coming from rather than trying to decipher their text.

It makes for a lot less misinterpretation. IT’s A PROVEN FACT!

Most importantly, by being face-to-face it might even make us human beings a little more patient–providing more understanding and compassion for where another person has walked.

Changes, and A Good Cry

The leaves and needles are falling, there’s change all over my backyard.

Nature is transitioning, and the cold is coming.

Nature mimics our lives.

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Change/transition can sometimes bring the cold too:

problems,

heartache,

and pain.

At times, ABSOLUTE TRAUMA.

Life can change out of nowhere, with not even a hint of warning…

loss of a job, a bad report from the doctor, a friend’s unfounded betrayal,

death.

And with it, brings heartache.

Deep, deep sadness.

The deepest pit.

Heartache [only YOU know] because it’s YOURS.

You own it at its deepest level.

bird fighting the snow and cold in Indiana


Yes, people can offer advice, words of comfort, even wisdom…

BUT words feel like a band-aid. You can’t really take them in.

You don’t want any more words.

You dread to see anyone. I mean how do you answer?

You feel you just can’t take anymore.

Finally, your body breaks down in a good cry. A hard cry. A shaking kind of cry.

A cry your body can’t hold in any longer.

And it pleads for a meeting with God.

A quiet, still place where He brings His presence. HIS sweet, wonderful presence.

It’s POWERFUL.

No one’s talking. It’s just still.

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That undeniable presence consumes your space.

You KNOW He’s near.

You.Can.Sense.It 

in every part of your being.

Only GOD can do that.

Only GOD really gets you.

He knows your deepest pain like no other.

Only HE can comfort.

Yes, HE knows you intimately.

He promises to get right in there and feel your sorrow with you.

He’s present…He really is.

Right alongside you.


We live in a fallen world with many hurts and disappointments.

This isn’t how we saw our lives.

This wasn’t the plan.

People weren’t supposed to be so mean.

My loved one was to be here for many, more years.

But..life happens and you’re caught off guard.

There’s no stopping it, or asking for a do-over.

You can never be prepared.

Lean on God, pour out your heart.

Feel embraced and loved today.

He gets it. He really does.

More than anyone else.

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And yes, someday…

Someday…IT WILL ALL MAKE SENSE.

That is the HOPE I choose to lean on;

to cling to.

It’s my ONLY choice, really.

Taking the Fun Out of Fall for Everyone

When I first saw this, I thought…

well, if that doesn’t take all the fun out of FALL for A LOT of people!

Then, I thought…

a lot of my friends are going to be upset when they see how someone broke down their Pumpkin Spice Latte! HA

At this time, every year, I read all over facebook how people can’t wait for this season to roll around, just so they can go out and buy one,

or two, or three.

Thus, this poster jumped into my head.

spice-latte-poster

Her First Wedding Anniversary

wedding couple

Yesterday was our 29th wedding anniversary but today is my daughter and son-n-law’s FIRST.

My husband and I reflected on our first and thought of how many, many years have passed.

Some years seemed very slow. but as we age

and age…

THEY.SPEED.UP

Almost too fast!!

Sometimes, it seems sad.

We’re empty nesters now because our son just got married in August.

My advice to young people. (Yeah, you know you want to hear it. ha)

Barn wedding in Georgia

Yes, have fun.

Yes to adventure.

But don’t be going, doing, talking, moving so often that you don’t slow down.

You may just risk burning yourself out. And then, it’s too late.

Always take the time to be purposeful. Purposely slow down and take in the moment.

Be present.

Put your phone down.

bride and groom on a farm

<script
Have meaningful conversations face to face.

You’ll never regret it.

I promise!

Someday, you’ll be right where I am thinking about how you could

have slowed down even more.

wedding-couple

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Let things go.

Choose your battles.

Schedule in reflective time.

Make a memory.

family wedding picture

If you want to see more wedding pics,  I wrote about the wedding day here:

http://wp.me/p5ntHO-aZ


*all photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com