Big Sky

I pulled over to take this pic after going up to an appointment for my mom. I call it “Big Sky”.😍

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Time

A Hydrangea Heart

hydrangea heart flower in spring

One day, I was walking around my yard and saw this cute, little hydrangea struggling to be a big pom pom. All of the blooms just didn’t quite fill in.

But I loved the shape I saw!

The uniqueness of a heart-shaped hydrangea.


I later thought of an analogy.

If left with our thoughts, we tend to overthink and struggle too much to try and be something we are not. Others often see the uniqueness and beauty (in and through us) but somehow we are just too busy being consumed with trying to be something other than who we were created to be. Why can’t we step back sooner to see this…what others see?

I’m not sure if it’s a lifetime of experiences, age, access to mentors…

But I sure wish I could tell young people these things and have them believe me.

However, as a teenager once myself, I’m sure I would not have believed my wiser self, either.

Why is that?

I don’t know why it sometimes takes so long, but I guess as we age, life has a way of growing us deep and providing a comfortability with self.

So, be at rest young person (or maybe old) in how you were created.

Stop comparing, stop worrying, forget the “what ifs” because the sooner you do, the sooner you will enjoy your life the way you were meant to.

Life passes so quickly, that someday when you get older, you’ll look back and wish you had relaxed with who you were are a lot sooner.


I love being older only for this one reason. I can just be me.

I don’t have to impress anyone or try to be something I’m not.

I guess time and life experiences have a way of teaching us depth and truth that was there all along.

So BLOOM!

Whatever your shape!

hydrangea heart flower in spring

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.

cry-poster-w

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.

29 Years Ago, I Married

1987 weddin day

Today I’ve been married 29 years.

October 23, 1987. The year of oversized shirts, big earrings, and mullets.

We met at church when I was home for the holidays; I was a junior in college, and

he was a sophomore.

He was attending school, here in Indiana, and I was in Missouri.

He studied business, and I was in education.

Can you believe an old boyfriend introduced us?

Fast forward…soon after we were engaged, I left to teach in China for a year.

I was 23 and he was 22.

Yep, an entire year.

me-teaching-in-china

(me and a few students)

Some people thought I was nuts to do so, but it all worked out in the end. 🙂 Obviously.

We both knew I had to go. Felt it was my calling, and I knew we’d both regret it if I didn’t.

I think it made us stronger, actually.

Long before we were serious, I had planned to teach there; so, off I went.


Communication was tough.

Oh, I did try to make a call this ONE TIME.

I had to “make an appointment” to get help with getting a call out to the US, and it had to be done through the government officials’ office. Three men sat around STARING at me as I uncomfortably began to speak. I constantly was trying to hear my fiance over the multiple Chinese voices I heard coming across the line.

I grew increasingly frustrated. :/

They were all  trying to talk over me as I struggled to hear my fiance’s voice; it was a true Chinese, party line!

I don’t know what happened but in the midst of that chaotic, but short call, abruptly the phone went silent. Ended!

Later on, I found out my hubby/fiance thought I hung up on him. Whaaaa?!

us-and-kids

Yeah, right. I finally save up money to call you, clear around the world, and in the middle of our conversation decide I need to hang up?

Anyhow, I found out that he really couldn’t hear me, thought I was in the middle of a big party, with a bunch of Chinese friends 🙂 , AND… I hung up the phone.

Clearly, that process was never attempted again!!

(I wanted to stay engaged. HA)

Plus, it was so expensive.

So, the only way we could communicate was by cassette tape.

Late nights consisted of me lying on my cot, head on a bag of beans (pillow) surrounded by a mosquito net, talking very low, into my handheld tape recorder. (I didn’t want to  disrupt my roommates, nor have them hear my conversations.)

Now that we were engaged, I had more serious questions.

I mean, we WERE still getting to know one another…

“How many kids do you want? What are your thoughts on where we should live? What did you do today?” Then, I’d rehash the day usually adding all the funny cultural differences and stories in full detail.

(I like lots of details.)

Then I’d WAIT.

Wait for weeks.

And another tape would arrive with all my answers. 🙂

It was fun, and a daily diary of sorts. It helped the time pass.

It was a lifeline, and  it helped me get through the year.

One Christmas tape, had me and my roommate singing all the familiar carols while adding our own hysterical lyrics that reflected living abroad.

Our families really got a kick out of that one.

We worked really hard on those lyrics.


me and tim

So, we still have all those tapes.

LOTS of them.

We haven’t relistened to all of them, in full, but a few years back I started to play one for my teenaged kids, and hubby walked in very confused asking whose voice that was.

He couldn’t quite wrap his head around it.

It was a time warp, really.

Finally realizing that low, “mushy” sounding voice was his own, he quickly asked  demanded we turn it off. 😉

I think he felt somewhat embarrassed as our kids listened intently, hardly believing what they heard.

I don’t think the kids thought that was truly him! 🙂


I remember times while living in China, I’d go outside and look at the moon (thinking about life) wondering what he, or my family members, were doing clear across the other side of the planet.

And thinking…we look at that same moon just at different times.


So, here we are 29 years later.

Still together. We’ve seen a lot of life.

We’ve weathered some really tough storms, too.

But, together.

That’s KEY.

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WE honestly grew closer, not further apart.

Through some of the toughest times that LIFE’s curve balls could throw.

Many of them my health battles.


BEST of FRIENDS, STRONGER!

That year apart just may have taught us a whole host of things that would later keep us grounded, and working together.

I think I’m just now realizing this as I type.

Perhaps, that year apart solidified a firm foundation for the rest of our lives and getting us through many more years together!

God has surely been with us the whole way.

family-wedding-pic

NOTE: I dedicate these reflections to you, honey. I thank God for the gift he’s given me in YOU!

Be THAT Parent

caring kids

Be THAT Parent

I saw this on my friend’s Facebook page, today. (It was originally shared from the Scary Mommy page, I believe, but thought it too good to not share.)

I always had hoped I taught my children these important lessons.

Well, I know I had.

I saw them display this type of kindness from time to time as they were growing up.

After a prayer/object lesson each morning, I would say, “Now go let your little, light shine.”

Hoping to remind them to let God use them no matter who they encountered.

And when they’d return with a story, similar to this saying above,

well…it’d make THIS Mom’s heart swell!