Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

No Longer a Drought

I briskly walked toward the water as the cool breeze blew my hair from my face.  I was breathing it all in, soaking in the sun, smelling the freshness of the the moisture from the recent rain.

Rain, rain, rain, we have been having much needed rain.  We have been in a drought.  A drought that left boat docks dry, bridges expanding over dry land instead of lakes, fear of lack of water supply and economy hurt by lack of summer activities, that kind of drought.  Drought that you believed would only be resolved from years of rainy season.  Then came the spring of 2015.

We were starting to wonder when the sun would shine again, yet, we knew we needed this precious rain.  As I continued to joyfully move toward the water I let the Lord speak to my soul.  It was a continued lesson He has been working in my heart.

It is so easy to get stuck.  Stuck in the mud would the right term around here.  Stuck mentally, stuck physically and stuck spiritually.  Lessons you thought you had learned you see are being repeated again, you haven't mastered it yet.  God gentle speaks.  He easily reminded me how last summer the drought made many wonder if the lakes would ever be full again....................and yet, the rains came and they are now FULL!!!

Oh daughter of such little faith.

As I drove through what had been all my life just a small, sleepy town in Texas, the message had already started to play. " It just takes ME and things can change.  I can rise up who I want, and where I want and how I want.", seemed to say the gentle voice of the Lord in my spirit.  The sign on the side of the road reminded me how God has taken this small town and put her on the map, because some people said "Yes" to His vision.
Their world has changed and so has this small sleepy town.
Even the college has become known throughout the country.  Baylor's new football stadium rises up over the skyline of Waco.
Things have changed.

I visited the store in September.  We were able to park in the front parking lot, and no one was in the store.  Not anymore!!!   You now have to park next door to the store.  On a Monday afternoon the shoppers were filing in and out in one long line.  Everyone was taking pictures of the store and the salesgirls needed to assist everyone were double from our first visit.

Stuck sometimes makes you mentally feel things will never change.  Now there is change in our home....more babies on the way, but there are other struggles that seem to be in drought.

Then there is God...............and Rain...........and visions and dreams met..........and change.

Reflecting on my renewed soul thoughts as I reluctantly strolled back to my car from the lake, I thanked God for His gentle rebuke.   I resolved  to plan time at the lakes this year and enjoy the abundance that His rain has provided.  May I say "yes" to changes that need to be made, to get out of  my own drought.  May I not fight the RAIN!  God can change everything in just a wink of an eye.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Adventure Begins

The text came through............HOUSE IS CLOSED!!!!  He sent it to us, his Dad and Mom, and today the brother of construction (my steady son) and the dreamer son will start on a large adventure.  They have walked this path together on a smaller project two years ago.   Our son and his wife had bought a 1920's home that our eldest helped to bring up to date, and at the end they were still friends.

Front of house...overlooks a golf course across the street from the front yard.

 This is a garage apartment over a three car opened garage.  A workshop under the apartment and a porch extends out from the front door of the apartment.  Very private and relaxing.

Today they step into a 1950's home that hasn't been touched since it was built.  For weeks our son has met the architect, the lawyers and all that was needed to close on his dream home. His wife patiently and encouragingly walked with him through each hurdle. There were surprise, just like you hear about on the TV shows, before the demo even started.  A garage was built on the property line. Since the home has stayed in the family this is the first time for it to change hands, some things needed to be approved.

This is the original wallpaper in the formal dining room.  Through the door you can see the kitchenette connected to the kitchen.  This all will be torn down to extend the kitchen.

The subdivision was started in the 1920's in this suburb of Dallas, Texas.  His is one of the newer homes in this subdivision.  My son even discovered the ads placed in the Dallas Morning News advertizing the opening on this up coming neighborhood.
 This is an indoor grill...wood burning!! I don't' think they can keep it but they are going to try to keep the hood that was above this grill.

Yes pink bathroom everywhere!!!

 Intercom system still in it original spot.
 Large basement, which is very unusual in Texas.   Windows allow the light into this storage space. Here is where the washer and dryer functioned, which will be moved upstairs.  Fascinating.
 More wallpaper

 Full picture of grill.  They hope to be able to use the hood vent.  It was an interesting walk through this time capsule.
 The Den, which also has a map that covers the side wall, map is from the 1930's.  They hope to save the map.

Of course the drapery maker in me had to take pictures of all the custom window treatments from the 50's.

This is the entry way looking into the back den.  Look at that door bell.  There had been carpet over the wood floors, which were removed.  Walking through this home was like watching old sitcoms from the 50's and 60's.

Our oldest Kenny on the left, the builder, Allen our second born, and home owner.

Waco may have Joanna and Chips Gaines, which we all love, but Dallas has Kenneth Graham Construction and a brother who is going with his dream.  These boys also have a mother who is yelling from the side lines.....GO BOYS!!!  The text to his parents began our journey of watching our two oldest sons work together, what a blessing!!!  Today my husband is starting his birthday walking through the house where his sons are meeting to start the demo.

Stay tune!! The projected finish date is this time next year.
These are just a few of the pictures.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tip Toe Through the..........

If my title has you singing, then you are showing your age.  Who can't remember that tune and the ukulele playing hit of the early 70's?

Texas isn't known for Tulips, but that is just where we were going to go tip-toe through the tulips.

Before I tell you about my adventure I need to express how nice it is to receive something you didn't even know you needed, or wanted or ...............................  There are just some deep soul needs that are so stuffed away that I  don't even know they were there, until one need was met.

Last fall I returned to FB, I am not a big FB fan, so I reluctantly entered this social media to promote my business.   While looking through my feed I noticed that a friend, from decades ago, was moving to our area.  Through messaging we re-hooked up.  They bought a house our son remolded...our son was a pre-teen the last time they had been around him.  Reunion was sweet.

We had shared belly time...meaning both were pregnant at the same time, decades ago.  Those babies were born just weeks of each other.  Today the four of them are in their 20's.

So starts the adventure.  We now live just 20 minutes away from each other.  The years that separated us have fallen away, as we venture into our new season of friendship.  We are having soooooooooooooooooo much fun.   That is where my soul need comes into play.  I didn't even know I had a need so deeply hidden until we went out to.............................tip-toe through the Texas Tulips.

An advertisement caught my eye sharing the first year opening of a Tulip Farm just north of my home.  I called my friend to see if she wanted out of the house for an adventure.  As we drove up to the field we both gasp over  the beauty.  This Texas Tulip Farm was started by a family from the Netherlands.  Their accent greeted us as we stepped out of our car into a whole new world.

Baskets waited to be filled with fresh tulips.  Now aren't they just the bees knees?  Yes, there were also bees out among the flowers. As we picked up the baskets we kept reminding each other we couldn't afford to totally fill our baskets, even though the baskets made the little girl in me want to skip.

The rolls of beauty were overwhelming.  We kept pinching ourselves to remind us that we were truly in Texas, not Holland.  It was easy to let your mind think differently as the owners rode around on their bikes and spoke to each other in their native language.

Donna opened her arms to the beauty.  A beauty that Only  God could create!!  We were speechless at times as we soaked it all in.  Refreshing our spirits and our souls.  We also talked and talked and talked.  When you stand in His handiwork you Praise Him.

Who knew?  Who would have believed that after 18 years our paths would cross again, in a very different season of life?  Who would have believed that we would both be up for adventures that would meet a deep level soul need?  Only God knew and He knew just when to deliver His gift.

 As uncommon as a field of tulips in Texas can be, which just takes your breath away, so is a God who loves His children so much that He can reunite friends for a new adventure.

Donna and I have decided to make a list of adventures to come.  A visit to a Lavender Farm, a day of learning to make cheese, and a trip to a small town for a restaurant mentioned in Where Women Create Business, have started our list.  We have already made  a trip to a wonderful spice store.  I will be sharing more, as we venture out and enjoy the goodness of our God.  As life goes forward and changes, what a nice gift to have a friend from earlier days join you for the ride.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Strong Women!

(My Granny C with three of her great-great grandchildren, two great-grands and me)

On Monday we will celebrate the life of my 98-year-old grandmother.   She went to be with her Lord and Savior on April 7th....just days after I went to see her.  These pictures are from June 2014.

Both of my grandmothers were younger than my mother-in-law.  Yes, wrap your head around that, but it will probably be the same way for my two youngest sons, but I will be the older one.  My mother-in-law will celebrate 100 years in June.

As I walk around realizing that my Grandmother is now in heaven, after being part of my life for 54 years, I reflected on both of my grandmothers' strengths, all of their strengths.

Science will say that I have a legacy of long-life, but that isn't the part that I hope I glean from my grandmothers.  Both were women of faith.  I'm not talking about the kind that says they believed, but it didn't change their lives. I am talking about actual relationships with their Savior.   They knew that they only made it through life's struggles because He was with them.  They knew It is Well with My Soul and not just by singing.
(Benjamin with my grandmother...the last of her great-grandchildren. She didn't live to see her great, great grandchildren)

Granny Mac - was widowed in her 30's, left with five children
                      lost two sons to cancer
                      lost a grand daughter to cancer
                      widowed again later in life when her second husband died from age
These alone would take some people under, but not my Granny Mac. She expressed her relationship with the Lord with her singing, (my Sunday Singing posts are dedicated to her), as well serving Meals-on-Wheels well into her later mature years.  When she wrote a card, she always wrote of God's faithfulness and grace.

Her love for life was heard through her laugh.  She also could hand-sew and would always volunteer to do the hand-sewing I hated.  Later she would hand-quilt me a wall hanging.  One thing that I shared with her was she also had four sons and one daughter.  I passed her up on the number of boys with Benjamin, only because she was widowed so early.

She was one strong woman, but her strength was from the Lord.

My Granny C was my strong, farm Grandmother.  She was by far the best cook I have ever been around and her biscuits were amazing.   She also taught me how to quilt.  My graduation gift from her was a quilt she made for me from scraps of my own clothes.   She lived on her own, on a farm, well into her 90's.  She taught me the love for the land.  I always felt so close to God at her home as the wind blew through the screen porch. She taught Sunday School well into her more mature years. She also knew how to allow boys to be boys.

Struggles she walked through
     - widowed for 29 years
     - lost her only daughter to cancer, 22 years ago
     - became my cousins' "mother", whose mother had passed, and walked them through the loss of their mother, as well as growing up

She was one strong woman, but her strength was from the Lord.

(Our daughter and her grandmother during her first pregnancy)

My mother-in-law also belongs with these women of strength.  She has been a widow for over 20 years.  She walked through the struggles of seeing her husband recover from a broken back and a near-fatal accident that literally blew off part of his face.  Multiple surgeries restored many of his facial features and in his later years, he suffered from Alzheimer's disease.  She also lived on her own well into her 90's.  She loves her family.

She is one strong woman, but her strength is from the Lord.

These women have endured many hardships and not walked away from the Lord. Instead, they have all been strengthened by their relationship with Him.

If I have any legacy, or my children inherit anything from these women, I pray it is their faithfulness in their Christian walk.  May I also remember, when I even think life is hard, that these women blazed a trail for me that points me to their source of strength.  As I walk through my grief, I mourn a lot of what I wish had been, but I stand secure in what was..............and that is more important than what my earthly flesh would desire.

Miss You Granny C and Granny Mac...thank you!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Eternity and Life on Earth

Reflecting on the season which holds all the truths of the gospel, I was humbled as the Lord reminded me that He died for our sins and life in eternity.  I was reminded that this world is temporary.

This was brought home when I visited my grandmother, who is 98, and will see the Lord soon.  We were able to visit a little through her medicine and pain she is suffering in this closing act of her life.  My reassurance is her wonderful relationship with the Lord, and the comfort that she will see Him soon.  She is looking to eternity.

Benjamin came into a new understanding of the Gospel this season, partly due to our daily reading of the Word and part from the Passover Experience we visited.  If you are one who serves in Easter Programs my I say thank-you. If you ever wondered if others are affected by your efforts, may I be one to say YES.

As we gathered early for our family celebration I enjoyed being creative with our food for the Saturday brunch.  I made bread cones and then stuffed them with chicken salad with dill coming from the top to make them look like a carrot.  World Market helped with rabbit, eggs and spring pasta for our pasta dish. I also set up a Soda bar, which was so much fun.  Salad on a stick gave a salad a new twist.  Fruit topped off the brunch.  Spring...a season of bright colors.

Of course there were also pictures of  the grandsons. 

We had fun getting to know our son's girlfriend and the fact that she took violin lessons as a child.

Our daughter had pregnancy pictures..twins are doing great!!  Still looking toward June.

Our oldest son and wife will be expecting their third in September.  My precious Joshua also celebrated his 4th birthday last week.  What a miracle these last two years have been.  Joshua came to live with them 2 years this March.

A season of watching the circle of life and Praising God that He holds it all in His hands. 

Rejoice, the Lord who has redeemed you is worthy of your love and worship.
Paul David Tripp - New Morning Mercies

Happy 29th Birthday to our son Allen!  He and his wife just bought a huge home that will be undergoing a huge re-do...pictures will be coming.  It is a 1950's Mid-century and our oldest son will be bring it to life with is gift of home building.
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