Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rainbows, Black Clouds, Unicorns and Ogres

Hi All!
It's been awhile I know.

I miss writing here but life happens and well here I sit.

I wish I could say it has all been rainbows and unicorns around here
and maybe it has
and I've just missed it.

I tend to get in a funk and what seems to be surrounding me are black clouds and ogres.

Something happened this last year,
and it took me awhile to put my finger on what it was, 
what it is.
I'm not sure if I've nailed it, but I think I have.

I've struggled with the season of life I'm in.
Not because it's bad or tough,
but because it is.

Changing seasons can be hard.
Especially when that change is because of circumstances outside my choosing/control/desire.

I kept finding myself saying, "it just wasn't suppose to be this way".

For the last 20 years I had this picture, 
this dream in my mind of what life would be like when I was 40.

I'd have no kids at home.
I'd be working at or toward my new "dream job".
I'd be working outside the home.
Steve and I would have evenings to walk the beach,
weekends to sleep in,
romantic dinners,
I figured about now we would be considering a move back north...
...and the list goes on.

But that's not my reality.
I have a 3-year-old,
a 21-year-old living in back bedroom (a room that has become a ministry bedroom)
and my youngest son is moving back home after a year away at college (he realized commuting to college is cheaper than living there).
My job is the same as it's been for 22 years and looks like it has another 15 to go.
I work inside the home still,
Steve and I rarely walk the beach, if ever,
my weekends certainly do not involve sleeping or
romantic dinners and well let's just say my home is here, south of the Mason-Dixon line in the sunny south.

I've had to let go of some dreams
and really let them die.
They just won't happen in my time frame or happen at all.
I've let them go.

It's only when things die that new life can come;
new dreams can grown.

Perhaps God is in the business of raising some of those dreams back to life,
perhaps He has something new and fresh to grow from the ashes?

Whatever the case, it's been a tough.

A tough changing of seasons- not much looks or feels or is the same around here.

New is happening.
New is good.
I have chosen to embrace the newness,
of course this embracing followed a tough season of depression and negative self-talk. Hashing out my inner most thoughts with God, crying out, soaking my pillow. 

Oh how thankful I am that He is there, ready to listen, take on my pain, catch my tears;
ever so gently and full of mercy He helps me up and on with my life here on planet earth. 

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, from Psalm 103

In some ways I've come full circle.
In the same place I was 22 years ago.
Embarking on a new parenting journey, stepping into a new land, a new place. 
I find myself in a place I didn't dream in my own head
instead a place God has dreamed for me.

I have new opportunities and a growing event planning business
my love of travel is hopefully, Lord willing, taking on some form of a more public platform, visit that blog over here.

Life with a 3-year-old is a blessing, I learn so much from her every day, she reminds me of how fun life is, even when it doesn't go as planned.

How to laugh more,
love more,
play and get dirty more,
embrace the moment, the wind, the birds, the sun, the rain,
oh the rain- we dance in it a lot;

and to stand up and say no, because sometimes a firm hands on the hips, single foot stomp "no" is in order. 

I've learned the joy and the pain of moving children out of the house ----
and the joy and pain of moving others in.

I have learned that it is through living under the same roof with strangers that we learn 
and practice grace 
and mercy 
and love.

So that's where I've been,
cleaning off sticky messes,
peeling my head off soggy pillows,
moving furniture
and trusting and believing God that this new season is worth all the pain, disappointment, letting go and dying.

I am looking at where He's brought me.
The waters that have been parted
and the dry ground I have had the opportunity to walk on.

We've come full circle God and I and this time I can look at my rocks of remembrance and bravely enter this new season.

So while it hasn't been rainbows and unicorns
the black clouds have reminded me of how brilliantly the light of Christ shines with a dark backdrop
and the ogres, well they aren't unicorns but they sure do make me laugh!

enjoy your day and smile

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

January Recap

January came and went quickly.
Here's our month in pictures.

Vaughan and Sarah wanted one last date night before baby #3 and so Steve and I hunkered down for a night with the grands and their niece!

Aubry and I took advantage of a nice, sunny January day in Florida and headed 30 minutes south to hike and check out Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.

Aubry and I also took an afternoon and evening and headed north to Jacksonville where we learned a lot about that city, including seeing this oak tree!!

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time and you haven't tried Geocaching yet then I'm sorry because you are missing out. We grabbed our friend Sanja and hiked a new loop trail in town with 9 caches!! 

For Christmas I gave Steve a years worth of dates.
Once a month we will be "traveling" to a different place. January had us going to "New England". Steve doesn't know where the date is until the night before when he opens an envelope. This month New England meant the Chowder Fest on Flagler Ave. Who knew you could fill up on chowder 1 ounce at a time!!

I have this new travel blog going on and my son Vaughan and his family took advantage of one of the trips, of course he had been there before, and visited Ravine Gardens State Park. It was a perfect day out before baby #3.

Speaking of baby #3, let me introduce my newest grandchild!! Jackson Timothy, born peacefully at home and delivered by mom and dad.

So that is what the month of January looked like. 
Beyond that I am working to update the travel blog so local Central Floridians can get out and enjoy all our state has to offer as well as build relationships and make memories. I have dreams for this blog to be a blessing and maybe make me some money at some point? God knows and with that I am satisfied.

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Push for My Travel Blog

I am trying to get all the vacation drafts I have going from throughout the years up on my travel blog.

Please go check it out, let me know what you think
local Central Florida people-
please set a date and go on one of the trips. You'll be glad you did.

Take your kids,
your family,
your mom,
your sick friend,
your sad friend,
your best friend,
your new friend,
your kids friends,
your families friends.
Just go!

Anyway here's my latest post.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

This Could Be About You...

My house is quiet.
All are sleeping,
except me.

As I look around my living/dining/kitchen I began to think of all the people who have graced the inside of these walls.

Of course it all started with the boys in a back room while Steve and I put down all the tile expect like 5 pieces.
The boys grew and soon the Lego table first appeared in the living room during the hurricanes of 2004.
You remember them,

Then entered my friends,
Oh if these walls could talk.
There seemed for several years to be a steady stream of crafty high school girls and their mentors, aka my friends, filling up every bean bag, chair or spot at the bar. 
pre-teen boys shooting stop-motion Lego videos, growing to teenagers where X-box and poker became the new fav.
my grandmother, 
my grandkids,
high school friends,
elementary friends,
Florida friends,
cousins form Indonesia, Alaska, California, Virginia and Maine.

We've had movie nights and Lord of the Ring Marathons,
birthday parties and a bachelorette party (please Lord may I never have to plan one of these again, we should have just got drunk at a bar).

Tons of people have welcomed in a new year here, I know because you signed the guest book!! 

Homeschoolers have carved their first pumpkins here
and the walls were bursting for
2 different graduation parties.

You've watched my kitchen get tore apart,
our lawn be transformed
and I'm sure you can't figure out where the heck I've moved the trash can to now?

For all of you who have done life here at our house,
around my bar or wherever-
Thank You
I am thankful for you.
and please do come again.

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