Monday, August 31, 2009

A New Season

This morning I sat on my screen porch swing clutching my warm cup of coffee. It was just over 50 degrees, so I also had a fleece blanket close at hand in case I needed it. I love this time of the day. I had just been for my last walk of the summer with my mom and was ready now for time with my Maker - Creator God. I was a little more contemplative today as this is the last weekday morning before going back to work tomorrow. So even though it was rather cool, I was determined to be out on the porch.
This is the seasonal change that I like the least. There are too many changes at this time of the year. I’m one who likes things to stay the same. Status quo - don’t rock the boat – that type of thing.
I opened my prayer notebook and read the prayer requests that I had written since the beginning of summer. I was overwhelmed as I reread all that had been on my heart the last 2 ½ months.

*A young girl’s complication from brain surgery
*An unborn child’s heartbreaking diagnosis
*The death of a dear friend’s dad
*The flooding of a friend’s basement and the loss of almost everything that was in it
*A cousin diagnosed with cancer
*Mom-in-law’s broken leg and surgery
*Job loss for some we know
*Another friend’s dad passing away
*Praying for God to be honored in all things
*The start of a new marriage
*Direction for those seeking God’s guidance
*A teen's life-changing choices
*Students who I’ve had the privilege of knowing and loving heading to college
*Changes for families that we know

But, there were also many “thanks” recorded.

*The celebration of Zach & Christina’s wedding
*Being in Holland, MI early to help with last minute details of the wedding
*Time with family all together
*Getting to know little Ruth - our granddaughter
*For a dear friend making all of the delicious food for the WI reception
*For “my girls” who helped serve that day
*For rain
*For sunshine
*For time with God
*For worshipping with others on a Sunday
*Healing physically in those we love
*For time camping with family

Dale and I have recently sat and talked about this new season. Not about it being Fall, but about our new “season”. We are officially empty nesters. Where do we go from here? What do we do now that we are at this point? In what direction do we sense God leading us? And how do we best accomplish what He lays on our hearts?
One of my requests from the summer was that we “not run aimlessly” but to be deliberate in how and where we serve.

None of us knows what the next season holds. But, my prayer will always be that in all things, God would be honored ~ in how I respond, in how I live, in how I serve the One who gave His all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"I say, Governor!" *

Yes, but it was Governor Dodge this year for our camping outing with family. We, along with Mom & Dad and my brother, Terry and wife, Sandy spent 5 days at the state park. It had been quite a few years since we’d been there. The last time we were there the kids were all along and we had an uninvited guest during the night. We left a van window open and a 4 legged masked bandit got in and proceeded to open a bag of garbage that we were going to be taking out in the morning. Unfortunately the garbage had fish guts in it from a successful fishing outing. The van was a mess and later in the heat of the day it was also rather fragrant - in a not so nice way.
But, this year there were no visitors of that kind.
My brother, Kim and wife, Missy came 2 times for supper and bonfire. They live close by. Saturday we had supper at their house.
My niece, Eva and friend, Jason joined us for supper on Wednesday night.

None of them were masked and we didn’t have fish.

We each take turns making supper for the group. That is so nice. I only have to plan one supper.
The men golfed while we shopped on Thursday. The Land’s End store is headquartered nearby and they had their annual sale. Who knew?!? There were some great deals on their outlet prices.
We also hit a local winery. Well, we didn’t hit it, just drove up and walked in. It took us a while to find it winding through the hills.
After supper we usually played the game, Jocker. It’s a board game- sort of, with cards & pegs you move around. It’s Men vs. Women. We can get rather competitive. I do believe that the women ruled! ;)

It rained some of the time which limited Dale’s fishing. Actually he didn’t fish at all, hindered at first by the fact that he forgot his fly-rods. Oops!
Was it me that had taken them out of the truck a week before and didn’t put them with the rest of his fishing gear?
It wasn’t until he stopped at a bait shop and found rods that his hopes were again alive. But then it rained 2 inches during the night and the streams would have been too muddy for successful fishing.
So thankfully his fly-rod selection has not expanded – again.

The terrain is beautiful with many rolling hills. It’s called the Driftless Area. Apparently the glaciers weren’t that far south which meant they left no “drift” behind. (that’s the rocks, sand etc… they push along to fill in the valleys)
Mineral Point is one of the state’s oldest towns and is known for the mining of lead and zinc oxide.
It’s now home to many artists who you can observe creating in their shops. They also offer many different types of classes for people to take to learn a new craft.
There also was a great place where we enjoyed a pizza from a wood fired oven. The sculpture around the oven in the picture was created by one of the artists that we talked to who was originally from our area.

*From the Christmas Carol

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wedding Memories

Click on the small pictures underneath to go faster or to return to a different photo.

Monday, August 03, 2009

With This Ring...

I sat staring at the ring on Zach’s finger while Pastor Jon continued with the ceremony. In an instant I was back in the delivery room twenty-three years ago. Then it was as if someone pushed the fast forward button while the memories skipped through my mind. From a blond haired little boy with a quick smile to the brown haired young man staring into the eyes of his bride - I wondered, where has the time gone? When did I take such a long blink that I could possibly now be sitting in this little chapel at his wedding day?

It is a day of celebration as we watch them become man and wife. A day with family and friends new and old. A day of seeing the answer to prayers. It is a day of sunshine when rain was in the forecast. A day of smiles, pictures and great food.

And now, just finishing with the Wisconsin reception, I am again so aware of being blessed by those same things.

This is some of what Zach and Christina wrote in their wedding program.

“Our parents began praying for us far before we were born, and continue to pray for us today. Mom and Dad, we are eternally grateful for your endless support, encouragement, and advice. Words cannot express our love for you.

Each one of our family members and friends have played significant roles in the seasons of our lives. We are truly blessed by your presence here today and always. Thank you for celebrating with us; it wouldn’t be the same without you.

And finally, how deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure! It is His love that we desire to exemplify as we embark on our marriage adventure together. We pray that you see His patience, faithfulness, and selflessness through us. To God be the glory.
Thank you for being part of this truly incredible day.”

First 2 Photos by Nick DeMaster. Thanks for sharing, Nick.