Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lesson Re- Learned ~

So it's been a trying few months for many, many reasons......
each day feeling the weight of it,

I'll jump to the point.
The day came where I thought,
I'm at my limit...
Feeling like I'd been drowning and just then realized it...
I needed a life preserver, yesterday!

A sweet friend shared an amazing devotional with me,
I felt lighter after I read it.
I was hopeful and felt some relief.


The next morning in the shower,
I heard myself ;
It's not about you debi.
Take the focus off you and put it back on God.
He is my life preserver.

This isn't the first time and likely won't be the last time I have
 to remind myself of this.

After my shower I couldn't wait to get to my favorite devotional, 
Jesus Calling
It's not by chance, this is what I read....

" I am training you to be aware of Me at all times.  Your assignment is to 
collaborate with Me in this training process......
Your mind goes off in tangents from its holy Center, time after time.  
Do not be alarmed by your inability to remain focused on Me.
Simply bring your thoughts gently back to Me each time they wander.
The quickest way to redirect your mind to me is to whisper My name."

Peace returns.

His Peace.
"Peace I leave you: my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:27

The Peace I give is sufficient for you.

Occasionally I need to remind myself,
it's not about me.
 When I make it about me,
my peace is lost........

I so hope you were waiting to hear the same....
that hope, is what echos from my heart today.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Two for Tuesday ~

My daughter in law brought the girls by on Tuesday...
sounds odd saying the girls :-)

Just wanted to share the love with ya'll ......

Our water baby to be sure!
mid air ....just prior to the splash!!
Recycled water, smart girl...

Ellery Grace with the O mouth :-)  
Myself with the little one...
So tired her little arm was just hanging in float tired to respond to the water Pa was drizzling :-) 

Love this photo, she loves being in the spray of the hose.....

Happy, Happy, Happy.
How I spent my Tuesday afternoon is still echoing in my heart today!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stories I Told My Sons ~ Problem Solved !

My sons are now 36 and 33, they of course know
they were just stories....
but they were for their own good!

Wet Hair
 I didn't want them going to bed with wet hair and my youngest really
didn't care for having me blow dry his hair.  He put up the biggest fuss.
My story solution,
" If you don't let me dry your hair you will permanently have hair like Cyndie Lauper"
Problem solved.

I had never had a fondness for trips to the Dentist so it was important to me 
as a Mom to help my boys prevent such trips!

Besides teaching them to brush properly I knew food and drink also had an affect.
I knew never to put a baby down with juice in a baby bottle, it sits around the rim of their teeth...
 and when they did get juice it was diluted with water.
I never bought soda when they were little, nor cookies.
We did Graham Crackers and milk :-)
A dentist told me one of the worst things on kids teeth, 
potato chips!  
When they chew them up it packs into the crevices and in between the teeth.
So of course sugar was a biggie for this Momma;
My story solution,

"There are candy bugs in all things sweet and they will eat holes in your teeth"
Imagine, the thought of bugs in their sweet little mouths,
Problem solved.
If given the option of a piece of cake or and apple,
they would take the apple every time :-)


Restaurant Do's and Don'ts

In an effort to teach and still have a life outside the home it was important to start taking my kids
to restaurants a an early age, high chair age in fact. Granted it was always to family restaurants until they learned and I was confident they would behave.  I never wanted my kids behavior to put a damper on someones night out to a nice restaurant away from their own children :-)
So of course we learned the basics, you sit on your chair, booster seat, high chair whatever.  You do not stand, you don't pound your silverware, you don't yell or all means do not throw a fit!!
In order to avoid a long process of teaching and frustration on every ones part....
The story solution,

" Do you see that man over there?"
(could be a manager, bus boy, no matter...just picked the biggest one
 "This is his restaurant and if you misbehave he will come over and have a word
with you and may then throw you out".
From then on they always kept their little eyes peeled for the "man".
Problem solved.


The Step Up
As we moved up to fancy restaurants at the age of about 5 and 8 the napkins of course became cloth.
Now the focus was ordering their own food, the best of manners, use of which fork, spoon, explaining why bread it on a plate and oil on another? 
 Step one was always unfold the napkin and put it on your lap....must be in place prior to taking a bite!

Here the story deal/solution;
If you forget to do so you must step outside the restaurant door and sing your ABC's, if in a home one would step in to the adjoining room and sing their heart out for all to hear.
Once my husband forgot his napkin at a dinner we were invited to....was he embarrassed when the 
boys reminded him of the deal.
Yes, he stepped into the next room and sang so
 so all could hear.
Problem solved


My all time favorite was not a story, it was the rule!
Attitude Re-adjustment Rule
If you have a bad attitude you will go into your room, lay on your bed and think about changing your attitude.  If and when you choose to change your attitude to a pleasant respectful one, come on out!
Sound easy...the catch,
no t.v., no music, no books, no magazine, no toys.
Just a boy and his bed :-)
 How long was up to them, either way no bad attitude was in the family living space.
My oldest caught on fast...he was in the room not 5 minutes and was out stating he had a better attitude.
My the room for a good hour....strong willed little guy :-)
Bad attitude, problem solved....

That's all I've got in the memory bank today ...
reflecting on some things that worked, is what echos on in my heart today...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gary Johnson ~ His Families Loss and the Joy ~ Lost and Found

What exactly is joy?

noun: joy

a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
"tears of joy"
Synonyms: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, triumph, rejoicing, jubilation, happiness, 
ecstasy, bliss, glee, euphoria.

If  you know joy, as I do, it's not just happiness,
it's a step above!

When I don't have joy, I'm depressed, I've suffered some type of devastation.

The clearest this ever was to me was when my Father passed away.
For approximately 18 days I was in that beginning stage, of the funk.
The best way to describe it was the word, surreal. 
A season of deep sadness.

Your in a fog, just going through the motions with no real sense of time.
I would wander through the day in disbelief ...having to continue to say to myself,
this is real, it really happened.
Wondering how I now would live my life without him?
It's such a change.
Life goes on, the fact is it's a very different life.
For me the surreal lasted a long sometimes still feels surreal,
and its been over four years.
I do recall not being able to imagine for a second that I would ever feel joy again.
I received the phone call.
I was in Montana and my sister called to tell me that her daughter had given birth to
 our sweet, sweet Ruby Lou.
It was like when your pregnant and feeling that first kick.
I felt the kick of joy deep in my soul.
In that moment, I knew I could and would feel joy again.
The circle of life never made more sense.
My Father no longer with us, but our Ruby Lu was just beginning her's.

My grand daughter Ellery was born last Thursday.
Approximately four hours earlier my cousin Dona very unexpectedly
 lost her precious, sweet, amazing husband. 
Her children lost an amazing Father.
Her grand children, their much loved Grand father.
The rest of us a dear friend you couldn't help but love.
I'm so thankful I was able to see Gary and their family at our 
recent family reunion in Montana, so thankful for that.

August 20th...
It was an odd day.
Here I have this beautiful healthy newborn, a sweet little baby girl to love,
I couldn't have be happier.
At the same time, my heart was so heavy for my cousin Dona and her family.
It seemed so unfair that our experiences of the day were so opposite.

Then I brought myself to some level of peace with it.
Though Gary lived a life cut way too short, and I'm sad he is gone...
Ellery's had just begun, something to celebrate!
It's often how life goes.......
Not to mention, I know my cousin Dona would want me to celebrate this new life.
She's just that special of a person.

Gary, assured a place in heaven by decisions made in life.
He is now celebrating life,
a life everlasting!
Though he will be  missed, I think none would really want him back if it meant that 
what he is experiencing now and forever more would be taken away.
He is now in a place with no tears, sorrow, pain, worry or grief.
A place where joy is permanent.

The best part is, for those of us who've made the same decisions as Gary in 
regard to our spiritual life....
We have the promise we will be reunited with him in heaven,
for eternity.
What a reunion it will be.

For my cousin Dona whom I love like a sister, 
I pray for her and her family, as they muddle through this new place they've found themselves.
I know for sure,
though the life they live has forever been changed, a new way of living will begin, 
and though they may not know it yet,
they will find joy again.

I can not share this story with out you really catching a glimpse of the 
beautiful woman of God Dona is...
the kind of woman I aspire to be....

This is her post this morning on Facebook......

Day is dawning. Light behind the silhouette of trees on the ridge above our meadow. I am watching the day begin. Today I am not despairing. My grief is not scaring me any longer. It is my friend which is reminding me there must be this time of emotional and physical transition. This is a precious time of wrenching from my heart despair and welcoming love and memories and thankfulness. It is life work and it is good. In the meantime God surrounds me with his love, He is faithful. I am leaning on my God who is caring for Gary. Our marriage of three is still thriving with God at the center. Even in our parting for a time we are connected as we are on each side of God. I am content now to wait on this side of heaven resting in the knowing that my Gary is there in heaven where he belongs because God said so. And I believe it and now I am embracing it. Life is good because God is. Yes it is. 
Yes, God.

Wishing I were near my sweet cousin during this time, is what echos from my heart today.....

I'm seriously hoping Gary is now fishing along side my Dad :-)


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Little Girls are Made of ...Everything Nice ~

Ellery Grace
7lbs. 5 oz

Holding Daddy's hand while held by Momma....

The girls .....

Khloe's first look at her little sister Ellery Grace :-)

Her new bestie for life.

All is well, Momma pushed twice!

Feeling full of love is what echos from my heart today......... 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Keeping Things Straight, Or Not ....

Do you have trouble with memory?
I do and it seems to be worse when I have lots on my mind.

I actually keep two calenders, 
one in the kitchen/living area and one in the office.
I try to check a calender prior to answering a question as to 
availability on a particular day...
as to not double book,
just plain old so I won't forget.

Memory loss stinks,
I've always tried to hang on to my most treasured memories
such as when my son's were little.
Of late I try to keep fresh in my mind, the sound of my Mom and Dad's voices.
How soft Mom's hands were had strong Dad's hugs were.
Those which I hope to never forget.
It's all the day to day's .....

It's been a busy few months with the hubstirs two surgeries, the follow ups and trying to stay on top 
of the household day to days, and little things he was not able to do.
  Add to the mix several Doctor appts. for myself, Pilates classes to strengthen this 
tired body, hair appointments, monthly meetings, travel plans for two separate trips, staying on top of 
the bills, the laundry, social dates such as book club and our dinner group, retreat planning meetings...
 Of course, I'm always trying to be available to watch the sweet beans when needed.
Time with her makes everything better,
 I'm glad to see that her parents get time alone for each other.

You get the picture of busy, I'm sure I'm not alone.

My poor memory is exactly why I try and write a thank you note as soon as I have
someone to thank.
I never want to forget to thank someone that has done something special for me,
it's very important to me that I always remember to do so.

I'm not complaining about all that fills my calender, it's just
really bothering me lately.
 I'm finding myself so frustrated when I mix things up,
 miss an appointment, which I did twice in one week....
 then gave wrong dates out for a particular event, geeze......
Sometimes it's scary on top of frustrating!

Looking to empty my mind of that which is just taking up space in my memory bank.
I'm told we hang on to a bunch of junk we don't need :-)
Please don't think of me as crazy,
my memory just stinks.

You think it frustrates you when someone is always forgetful ?
What do you imagine it does to the one doing the forgetting?

Going to be praying for clarity in all things,
praying for the ability to remember all I need to remember,
and the ability to empty out all I don't need.

Thankful I'm not loved based on the ability of my memory :-)

 I welcome any ideas for improvement!

Wanting a better memory is what echos from my heart today.....

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gathering our Family ~

 Three days after returning from Montana we were off to the mountains for sometime
with our kids and grand kids.
We rented this house for three days so the kids could come up as they chose..

Has a nice pond that you can hear bubbling from inside the house.
Just steps down from the back porch is the hot tub set in awesome surroundings.

My favorite window in the house...

Staircase up to the loft and Master bedroom and bathroom.

Step down living room.

Side porch :-)
Bar in living room.
The view out my favorite window...
Back of house looking up to forth level...

Lunch with Son Brian and girlfriend Brittany .

Grandson Gavin, Grand daughters Aubrie and Julia with Pa

Love these crazies...and the fun they have together.

Pa and Khloe

Aubrie, Khloe and Khloe's Momma, Katie.

Ready for this new baby!!
Beans explores the bridge with Gramma..

Ice Cream every night!
Daughter Jackie and Son-in-law Everret

Getting ready for some dancing on the deck.

Son Mike and Katie, Khloe's Daddy and Momma

More Ice cream

Jenga fun!

Pa making waffles for breakfast!

Sunscreen hair :-)

Aubrie poolside

Katie getting some relaxation in...

Bean bag toss

Daughter Jackie and Ev :-)

2nd Grand, Aubrie

Our oldest Grand, Julia !

Oldest Grandson, Gavin
Best place to watch the "beeps" aka birds.

Never enough ice cream

Exploring down below at the creek.
Gramma and Pa were happy, happy, happy!
Our son Joseph who is stationed in Kansas and family were not able to join us...hoping they can do so next year! It's always better when everyone is together :-)

Thankful for the last little trip of the summer.
The rest will be spent waiting for Khloe's little sister to arrive!!

A good life, is what echos from my heart today.