Party in the Park

So whoever said that moving to the country would be “quiet” was…well, wrong. At least when it comes to Johnny’s and my experience! I suppose “quiet” may have different meanings to different people. But to us, quiet means slow-paced and relaxed. The thing is, we moved just far enough away to be in a rural setting but still close enough to family and friends to be able to stay connected. This is what creates that lack of slow-pace quiet that I am talking about! We love our little town, but we love our family more. So…this means that we are always driving back to the bigger town to be with them.

But not on this particular day! This day was different. They met us part way and we partied in the park!!! This week was Lindsay’s birthday. We choose the Sunday afternoon before her birthday to celebrate because it was the day that we all had off work together at the same time! We met up at a wonderful park where…

We lay in the sun.

We had a take-out lunch and a playful dessert.

We made kites out of her birthday balloon.

We gave gifts.

We spoke blessings over Lindsay.

We relaxed.

We enjoyed the babies playing…and the guys playing their share as well!

We talked.

We loved!

It felt like the most decadent gift that I had been given in a long while. My spirit was rejuvenated. That drive became a “Sunday afternoon drive”.

Birthdays are always heartwarming, special and fun to celebrate. But, seeing my daughter and husband raising their beautiful children made my heart even fuller. They are doing such a stellar job trying to figure out their lives. (Proud mama here!)

And they are going to make me a Lolli a third time! So that means one more birthday to celebrate!

Oh JOY!!!

My Surprise Visit!

My surprise was delivered in the midst of a crazy weekend! My 60th birthday gift was my son coming to visit me!!! My sweet husband and son had come up with a plan to fly Bradley out here to help to celebrate our grandsons 1st birthday (this little guy has the same birthday as me!) and as a gift for me. What a blessing to have Bradley with us for a couple of days. He lives and goes to school in Montana, and is studying to be a nurse. I am so very proud of him!!! He is determined and succeeding in his goals. Did I say that I was proud? Well, I am!!!

Bradley has been forging his independence and finding himself in Montanna. He needed to do it that way. We all have ways that we need to discover God’s plan for our lives. Sometimes the plan unfolds easier than others. It took Bradley “breaking away” to find his calling. Over the past many years he has demonstrated his desire to serve and help others. He has worked with troubled boys, he has been a CNA at nursing homes and he now is going to take this calling of his, and turn it into a career.

His sister Lindsay has been a nurse for many years, and has encouraged him in this journey that he too, is now on. How blessed I am, that these offspring of mine are such caring and giving people.

God is faithful.

God is good.

God is a redeemer of broken lives.

God uses all our life’s experiences for HIS good.

God is gracious.

I am blessed…

God’s Grace In Our Lives

This photo was taken 25 years ago on April 8th, 1994. This morning 25 years ago on April 9th, 1994, mine, and my children’s lives would be changed forever. Jeff (my husband of 12 1/2 years and their father) died of massive heart failure at age 38 on Jeff’s parent’s 50th wedding anniversary…the reason this photo had been taken.

It is no surprise that Lindsay, Bradley and I have been through much these past 25 years. But, God has been faithful to our little family. We are fractured…as really all families are in one way or another. But we are a family just the same, and we now have Johnny as a wonderful beautiful addition to our lives.

I so want to say just how proud that I am of Lindsay and Bradley. They are 30 and 25 years old this year. They are working things out in life so beautifully and I am so blessed to have had them in my life to watch them grow and mature. I will never know why God took Jeff home 25 years ago and left me here to raise these precious people. But if I were to try, I would guess that it would be because I had more to learn about His (God’s) love and grace…something Jeff maybe already understood. I am grateful for what the years have taught me and so blessed that I now know His GRACE rather than the legalism and religion that I was trying to live out before. God is a gracious God. He forgives and gives second and third chances. Wow!
Truly, I am feeling very emotional today, for I look at today as a milestone. My children are adults who actively are seeking to know God better and seeking and finding their purpose in life. I am grateful.
Neither of my children nor I am without scars from this loss. But those scars bring us character. I will embrace what the scars represent…growth and grace.