Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Trusting...

God's sovereignty -

         Yes, I believe this to be true - in all things -

         over all the earth and the heavens

         over our country

         over our lives

         over me...



Trusting that His plan still places Him in control when so much seems out of control - in regards to the world - I do have confidence in Him.  We are the ones who are messing things up and leaving Him out.  But I can believe Him and trust Him that He "has the whole world in His hands"


So, why do I struggle so much with the whys in my own life? Why do I struggle with the path I am on when I know He is with me?  Why, when I know He is sovereign over my life and desires the best for me, do I travel down one direction, trusting that this is the right direction and find later that it  wasn't. Was it because I didn't listen well and desiring something for me believing I had His blessing - to find that I must have taken the wrong road.



Or was it the right road, and God still needed me to learn more and lean on Him more to bring me closer to Him?

 Or am I making excuses?

Looking back on my life's journey so far, I can recognize His handiwork in many moments of my life - even during the weekend my husband was called home.  I have had to pull myself together and rely on Christ. Something I don't always do very well. Yet, I know I can't do this job alone.  I have argued with God some days about why I still have to struggle with even little things?  But even then, He helps me see how much more I need to trust him. Deep down I know He has a plan for my life.  That I am here because I still have work to do - serving Him in whatever direction He leads.  Do I struggle knowing what that is - absolutely; do I struggle trusting I am making the right decisions - yes and do I struggle when the path I have been on takes a difficult new direction - definitely.



This past year has held many personal firsts for me -
- starting my own little business


- traveling to China - a country I really had never put on my wish list to help bring home my daughter's adopted son.  Fears accumulated with trying to communicate in a difficult language and just not having any idea of what to expect in this vast country and everything involved in adopting this sweet baby.


- and entering into a relationship - with all the joy and fun of being with someone again, loving again, mixed with the struggles of figuring out how to love someone and blend our family histories.

In each of these, God has stretched me to trust Him more, and to trust Him when I have felt so unsure about taking the next step and to continue to trust Him when what I had hoped for isn't going to be.   I am clinging to God's word that He is sovereign and He knew the path I was on and I am thankful He is with me now as I work to become content again on my own and fulfill the role He has for me now.

Trusting in His mercy and faithfulness.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Finding Serenity

Sunday afternoon I was enjoying a beautiful evening down at the river - the boat traffic had all but disappeared and the sun was warm and inviting still.  The barn swallows were racing to gather small insects to feed the little ones crying out for dinner from their nests on my neighbors boat house and the fish were jumping to try and beat them to it!  Above me our national bird was dipping and soaring playing in the wind drafts.  It was so completely calming and lovely.  Witnessing nature interact with each other - all God's plan - was being played out like a well rehearsed orchestra. To top it off - that majestic eagle - swoops down and skims the river glass and reaches down just below the surface and snags an unknowing trout!  Dinner for him and maybe his eaglets down stream.  As my daughter and I watched we both apologized to the fish - "we're sorry this is your last day" but  awed by God's wondrous plan.

Sometimes we find it hard to be still - to stop and just enjoy the day we have been given.  To be thankful for the "treats" of everyday life.  God has placed them before us in so many ways - small blessings that we might not have even noticed - but they are there for our joy.  Finding joy in everyday has become a goal for me.  I don't want to let one day slip by and not recognize the gifts He has given me - no matter what size or shape or sound.


It is not always easy - there are days when I think if one more thing breaks down - I might just have a pity party, too.  But, He has not forsaken me and when things break and plans fall apart or I am simply tired and lonesome or overwhelmed - He bears me up and reminds me to come to Him.  He knows every detail of my life and when I will need to come crawling to Him for restoration.  Then he opens my eyes and heart to see what gifts He has laid before me today - grandchildren smiles, giggles, stories and hugs.  Family gathering for a meal.  Unexpected lunches with friends. Family home for a visit.  Projects completed.  Warm sun filled days.  Flowers everywhere and water glistening like diamonds spilling across the surface.


Some may think I am crazy - but I have found one of my very favorite places to find serenity is while working in my garden - just pulling weeds and pruning and planting.  A friend of mine refers to it as my sanctuary.  This is where I spend time with God.  Time to praise Him, time to question and ponder what direction my life is going, time to be thankful.  Amongst the weeds, worms and bees I become calm - believing and reaffirming that He has promised to know when a bird falls from his nest, He has also promised to know everything about me.  Maybe He lets the weeds grow so well in my gardens so I will come and spend time with Him!

This is my prayer for you....To find time to relish the gifts God has given you - even if it is the rainbows we see in our little ones bubbles.  Spend time with Him and His word.  He desires to share it with us and get to know Him.  Rediscover what brings you joy and rejoice in the moments of serenity - your little ones playing together and not squabbling, gathering together at the table for dinner and conversation, time outside to really see all that He created for us to enjoy and relax in, the beauty of the intricacies of a single flower or birds soaring and singing or a favorite piece of music..
the list is endless.

Enjoy the journey as you discover how to find serenity - with God - as your director.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Unexpected Journeys

Finding my way on this life journey provides joys and struggles - embracing challenges and accepting that sometimes you have to let go of the past to move forward.  It has been a long time yet still seems like only a few months ago - moving away from our beloved home in Jackson - to start a new beginning in Oregon.  Where have all the days gone in between? 
How can it be that I still shudder at letting go of our home in Wyoming? Am I afraid that somehow I will be erasing our memories or will keeping our little homestead provide a way to forever return and relive some of them.  If I let go of Wyoming - am I embracing all that is in this small hamlet of Oregon?  Will I not be able to call myself "A Wyoming Woman" (we are a special breed after all.)

Yet as I trust God in this journey - at least I have tried to most days - He has provided for me here - new beginnings - not always packaged with bright ribbons - in fact many as I look back were tattered and worn as I tried to figure life out with out my spouse.  But God has never failed me and is bringing me to new places in my life - some now wrapped in delicate paper to be opened carefully and not rushed.

I desire to be the woman God has planned and created me for - but how I struggle with letting go of what I believe He is saying and what He may actually be showing me.  Most of my struggles are those I have placed on myself - that "I" word and  "me" mentality - finds me questioning my decisions over and over instead of leaving them in His open hands.  In what possible scenario could I ever have a better idea than His - 

With His blessing - stepping away from my job at the flower shop was the right one - the relief I felt to be able to address the areas I needed to take care of or at least help with was undeniable - but this past week I was able to step back into the shop to help with Mother's Day flowers and although so tiring - I loved it - being back with staff who had  become my friends and catching up with some of the "regular" customers.  A little winsome ...

But trading the flower shop for my own little business journey is also exciting - and hopefully will actually produce the opportunities to bless a bride and groom.  Stretching my imagination to find ways to promote it are daunting but it is good for me to stretch beyond my comfort zone - trusting God to use the ideas He has placed before me.

My life continues to unfold in ways I never imagined and even though there have been several ups and downs in it lately - I am thankful and joyful for this unexpected journey. Being able to treasure past memories to make room for new ones is a huge step for me.   I am thankful for His presence in all of my life and pray that I will honor Him in the gifts He continues to shower me with on this journey.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gifts Laid Before Me...

Sometimes it is hard to write - probably not because I don't have something to say but is it share worthy?  This past week has involved a few new firsts for me - some that have lifted my spirit and filled me with joy and anticipation of what is to come and a few others that have caused me to pause and be reflective - both are gifts laid before me.

Do the littlest gestures make your heart swell?  Mine did this week with the simple treasured gift of my grandchildren calling and wanting to "face time" with Nani.  My heart literally skipped all afternoon.  Their big smiles and excitement about going to a Mariner's game had me giggling with them.  They have no idea how much they fill my heart and I am so thankful for each of my seven little grandchildren - each so uniquely created and lovable.  I am blessed.

The past few months I have been searching for a new church to call home - and though I am still in a quandary because I have the joy of worshipping along side my son and his bride where they have chosen to attend, I have also found another church that I am growing to love.  Both have great teaching - the Good Friday service at one was perhaps the most reflective and beautiful service I have experienced in a very long time.  It encompassed worship, prayer, reading the passion of Christ, thoughtful sermon and communion on our knees at the Lord's table.  Easter Sunday was full of joy and worshipful songs - arms raised in praise - and a deeply meaningful sermon - and of course shared with my children.  

While still in a quandary - the church I found offers a women's Bible study - which I have been wanting try.  So many blessings that morning - women who have chosen to be "all in" in their walk of faith - all so welcoming and full of compassion for each other.  The speaker choosing to follow what God had not 'let her let go of" all week and speak with confidence about getting out of our comfort zones - not letting them keep us from the work that Christ has for us in His plan.  How many ways do to I try and stay where it is comfortable and not have full faith that God is in control and He has great plans for me?

I believe God is growing my heart the desire to know Him so much more intimately than ever before and to serve Him in ways I am not even sure about yet.  Reading Ephesians everyday and truly studying His words for us - to be His hands and feet - I look forward to what this will be.

My granddaughter's name is Selah - found in Psalms and means to pause and reflect - this is what God is laying before me - to take time and reflect on Him and what He may have in store for me.  

While feeling showered with His blessings I also recognize that I need to be the vessel He wants me to be - not to be so selfish and focused on me and what I believe or think God wants me to be doing.  Giving myself to Him on a daily basis - a task that is not  easy for me  and I want to take control of again and again - yet when I do actually give myself to Him - the peace of knowing He is there beside me - alleviates so much anxiety.  

This week one of my sisters will be going under some medical tests and we are all concerned - yet we are collectively trusting God's plan for her and that the results will be hopeful and quickly bring healing or better yet find nothing wrong.   What a gift to be able to share our lives - our hopes and fears with a Savior who loves each of us and stands with us as we wait for further news.

This week has also involved working towards promoting my new business - Blossoms and Blessings -  marketing is something I am not very adept at but desire to be - because I hope to be able to be that florist for a bride or family member who dreams of having someone come beside her, truly listen and dream along with her about their wedding day.  I want this business to be the hands and feet of Christ during a time of anticipation, love and joy without adding any stress.  

So, I press on - trusting God to use me as He desires.




Monday, March 30, 2015

The Blessings of a Learning Curve


So many things to learn...

In my dream - opening Blossoms and Blessings was going to give me the opportunity to share my love of flowers and  their unique language while ministering to a newly engaged couple as they plan out their celebration.  Somehow I believed I could maneuver my way through all the steps without too many hiccups!  Well I have a lot to learn.

Registering for the license wasn't too bad once I actually spoke to someone and had a few questions cleared up - but that was the easy part.

Figuring out taxes, accounting details, business cards and even a web site has been a little more daunting.  Thankfully, I have family to lean on and walk me through some of the biggest early steps - without them - well the web site especially might never have happened - at least not without a lot of tears.

Bringing my dream to reality has resulted in lots of computer time - which has been a blessing  - perusing pictures from some of the weddings I have done (outside of the weddings through the store)  - many were family or friends - friends close enough I considered them family - joyful celebrations - all unique.  

Starting to write again - another blessing - taking time to be thankful for the gift of being part of someones wedding day and for Christ's blessing on these special couples. Being able to share a little of their love story as witnessed through my eyes makes their pictures more memerable.  Taking time to actually reflect on what God is doing in my life and putting my hopes and fears into words continues to bring healing and joy.   My God has never forsaken me - and I desire to be His vessel.

It has been several months since I have worked in the flower shop and God has blessed me during this time with refreshment with my family both here, in Washington and Wyoming and a very special trip overseas.  There are still a lot of things on my to do list most of which do not involve setting up my new adventure - but they will get done - now hopefully without all the pressure I was carrying before.   A blessing of time.

So I have discovered  I have a pretty big learning curve to master  but God in His wisdom is showing me there will be  blessings all along the way.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Continuing my journey - time to write again....

How can it be that I have not actually written in over two years - two years that have been filled with many new wonderful moments so why haven't I written when there has been so much to celebrate?  I think, for me, I sometimes have a hard time letting myself truly celebrate all the joy God has graced me with when the one person I really treasured celebrating with was watching from the heavens wrapped in Christ's arms.

Ryan and Emily were married - it was glorious - so many family members and friends came to Emily's grandmother's farm to celebrate with us.  The farm was beautiful, the back drop of the mountains - seemed to envelop us with God's creation, the crystal blue waters of the river glistening just behind the wedding couple shone with Christ's blessing for them and all of us who witnessed their marriage vows. 

September 8th - so much to be thankful for and to be remembered and most of all to be celebrated.  For thirty-four years we had celebrated our anniversary this day and I was and am overjoyed to celebrate it now with Ryan and Emily and through their love and commitment to each other - there is much to rejoice!

New little ones - how thankful I am for the new lives we have been blessed to love and raise.  Hope Julianna arrived in a flourish July 28 - Mom and Dad racing to the hospital - literally!  What a bundle of love and fun - sweet, gentle and loving mixed in with a little bit of impishness. Now she will be turning three - hard for this Nana to comprehend sometimes.  Now, we are awaiting the arrival, again in July, of baby Wachob number five - if this little one is a precious little boy - mixing toy trucks and lots of blue - he will be a wonderful surprise - and if a fifth little princess arrives we will be overjoyed as well. A quiver full!

In early June, Kinsley Ann joined her brother and sister to add more love and laughter to their family.  She is the spitting image of her big sister and now approaching two - full of antics and smiles.  Life is never quiet with these angels and if it is - mom and dad better go check out why!  

So why haven't I written in two years - I am still not sure - a part of me feels that when I put my thoughts down in print - that I can't take them back and I don't always want to face what is going on in my heart and to share that with my family and friends - questioning myself if it was okay to be celebrating with my heart so full of joy and still honor my beloved husband...God has been tending to me for awhile.  I know His desire for me is to be so full of joy and understanding of who He is in my life and that the love I have and cherish for Al will always be present -  reflected in the gifts of newly married children and new babies and the blessings of growing families He has already showered me with.  So now I  am beginning to write again...pressing forward toward the life God has blessed me with ...to consider it all joy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Finding Joy

Sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes it feels so long ago - sometimes I wonder how I have made it this far - October 1, 2007 - the day my life and that of my families changed forever.  It will never be just a beautiful fall day or even a normal ordinary day.  This day my sunshine was greeted by angels and Christ Himself at the gates of heaven.

I have learned that for me, the days leading up to October 1st are often as difficult or more than the day itself.  Trying to prepare my heart for all the last memories that seem to fill my soul - wishing and hoping that it still some kind of horrible dream and I will wake with him beside me.  But morning comes and it is not a dream.

My heart's desire the last few years, is to cherish my memories and to celebrate Alvis and the man he was not only to me and our children but to all that may have known him.  In trying to remember him as husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle,  father in law, friend, physician, athlete, gardener I am reminded how his life impacted so many and how well he was loved.  And what an example he left behind.....

We have tried to spend this day, not filled with only tears and heartache but with joy - Al was full of joy.  When I read through his Bible, so many of the verses underlined are instructions to live life with joy - the joy of knowing who Jesus is as our Savior and the joy of believing and knowing of His unfailing love.  Al understood true joy - and this was the example he left with us - to live our lives with joy and expectation of our future with Christ; to experience this life with exuberance and to savor learning something new.  To live our lives with the anticipation of a life even more exciting and glorious.

So, today - things we did to celebrate Alvis' life - taking a bouquet of flowers all from our yard - filled with roses, hydrangea, anenome, gladiola, cosmos, dogwood, jasmine to lay beside his headstone; a batch of rice krispie treats, sharing the afternoon with Ryan and Emily on the river; water skiing (even with out a wet suit!), dinner outside - toasting Al with a pale ale, and phone visits with Michelle, Colleen and Amy.  We laughed and we smiled and teased "what would Al (Dad) think?"  or "You know Dad would get in the water!"

And though my heart feels like the hole is not any smaller - I know Christ is healing the edges and softening the aching feeling especially on days when I don't want to get out of bed or get out of the shower hoping the emptiness will wash away.  I know He wants us to feel joy again and to live life fully - just as my Sunshine did.  So today, I choose to find joy - even in amongst the tears.