Tag Archives: family

Not Yet

I’ve been out of state and mostly out of touch for several weeks. I participated in a mission of mercy.

Upon my return an over-sized envelope, mailed to me by a close relative, stunned me. Two paragraphs detailed how the person does not “want to associate” with me anymore because, in that person’s opinion, me participating in that undertaking was “wrong”.

A long, long time ago I would have agreed.

Back then the person I had just paused my life to minister to had broken my heart, violated my family and then did everything possible to destroy me. For years afterward, staying close to my sons often took all I had.

 

But here’s the thing:

I didn’t mend my broken heart. I didn’t restore my demolished spirit. I didn’t drive away the demons or recover my life. Nor did my family.

Jesus saved me.

And then Jesus saved the same person who hurt my family and tried to ruin me.

What’s more, Jesus wants to save the person that now hates what I most recently did in His name.

“…And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on [Jesus]. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”
― Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place

I understand. If I allow myself I can still feel all the pain. Again and again I prefer to feel how Love wins.

Despite being rejected by a loved one, given the chance to redo the past month, I would do it again.

Had I realized the relative was still bound in the past I would not have mentioned I was away or why.

Not yet.

 

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

Images courtesy ABSFreePic.com

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Yeah, So My Son Wears a Skirt

Since not much has changed aside from the grandkids growin’, From 17 March 2016:

Sure, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, don’ cha know. Fresh buds are sheeting the landscapes with bright greens as if they too arrived for the Irish festivities.

jack meg 2016mar12

FirstBorn phoned me early this morning while drivin’ into Chicago for the first of the big parades this weekend. As we chatted, I envisioned he and his wife riding side-by-side, dressed in full celtic regailia.

Yeah, my son wears a skirt: a kilt, a sporran (or pouch), fly plaid (depending upon the weather), hose, garters, spats and depending upon the event they’re attending, either Balmoral or Glengarry headgear. An’ it’s proud I am of him – and all my family.

 

band of brothers pNdFirstBorn, FirstBride and OtherBrother are members of The Band of Brothers Pipes and Drums Corps. An annual tradition, they gather in Chicago with thousands of celebrants, for the Dyein’ of the Chicago River, The St. Patrick’s Day Parade  and the Southside Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

jack drum 2015mar18

 

crabby 2016mar7crab jack 2012mar7

bookends 2016jan10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bob jack 2016jan10

Sure, an’ it’s a fine day, indeed!

 

 

“For you have heard my vows, O God. You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.”

Psalm 51:5 (NLT)

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Notably Resounding

Aside from my physical addresses much has changed in my life since I first developed What Next. Other things remain the same.

This goes with some of my friends too. For instance, not only Christi at Feeding on Folly but also K. at The Blackwall Blog both recently blogged about their updates and changes.

Now they have me considering the inordinate amounts of stuff I’ve been hauling around for years. Things like my boxes of notebooks and journals.

With that I revisited my post from September 15, 2014. Again*:

Zoe couldn’t talk yesterday, but this morning we caught up. Unlike many of my friends and family these days, Zoe and I occupy the same time zone, so we don’t miss discussing much.

Fast forward 150 minutes; epic – even for us. We touched all bases; our work, families, mutual friends, political and social concerns. Then, for fun, we skimmed back over my notes from our past year’s conversations.

Yes, I keep notes, chronologically sequential, cross-referenced and color coded – on everything. This not only helps me keep my mind in the present reality and off the stories in my head, but has occasionally proven I heard someone right, long after the fact. I’m amazed at how much more important this becomes the longer I practice aging. Who knew aging well takes considerable practice?

Mostly my notebooks reveal I’m in better shape than I thought.

So… you may be thinking.

So, my thoughts today address perception and how my amazing, adult sons more frequently than ever suggest I’m either confused about statements from previous talks or I wasn’t listening to them. Always me.

How I imagine my boys and me chatting.

In all fairness, from my trusty notebooks, our typical conversations appear compressed into time restraints and are profoundly multi-directional. Still, though the subjects get jumbled a bit, I pen the statements accurately. Days or weeks may lapse between contacts, but when I need to be certain (even if only for my peace of mind), most often I am rectified.

As I am now cresting the peak of mid-life this is a kind of a big deal. More than ever before God draws my attention to details. Perhaps that’s because modern medicine has forced us to monitor ourselves and each other. The especially savvy peri-senior is watchful for symptoms of dementia, senility, disease and unnecessary stress.

Today God hath revealed unto me (okay, according to my notes), both Zoe and I are in good shape; at least between our ears!

Today.

“Blessed are those who keep [God’s] statutes and seek Him with all their heart – they do no wrong but follow His ways.”

Psalm 119: 2&3 (NIV)

 

*I’d already edited and liked today’s repost that includes friends, etc. Then I noticed “(3)” in the Permalink. I think everyone appears better in this version, so I tweaked the title and then ran with it. You be the judge.

Images courtesy Pixabay

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Nothing and Everything

A flashback from What Next, September 2015:

nothing everything

I was born in a Chicago suburb, surrounded by siblings and generations of family. We’d drive station wagons through gently sloped streets lined with maple, oak and elm trees year-round and lilac blossoms everywhere in the spring. Every weekend the entire family gathered at one or another’s home.

Family gatherings gradually changed after we all migrated to Phoenix. My grandparents and aunts settled over an hour’s drive away, my parents, siblings, and I on the opposite side of town. OlderBrother and I walked to school in a new, drier, hotter climate passing ocotillo, acacias, and towering oleander walls.

Discovering the areas surrounding our home gradually replaced weekly visits with family. For weeks we explored livestock pastures, orange groves and hay fields. Our favorite times were spent swinging from ropes tied to enormous trees over irrigation canals.

A week before I was to become an upperclassman at our grade school, we left my grandparents and aunts’ families behind. In two cars with trailers, our parents drove my five siblings and me across the dessert to southern California. Home became an apartment where there were more trees and a patio, but no yard.

Dad and Mother went to work immediately. Very used to caring for one another, my siblings and I took on the new climate, new society, a much faster pace and being strange, new kids in metropolitan schools.

Cool wasn’t about the weather anymore; you either were or you weren’t. In jeans, t-shirts and squaw boots, I wasn’t. My main concerns were hand washing laundry and getting dinner ready. When Mother and Dad were home together they usually argued. OlderBrother stopped being my pal and mostly worked on cars with friends. Still, we somehow got from day by day together. Some days were less together than others.

A few months later we moved into a house in a nicer suburb. Eventually OlderBrother discovered the bus lines to the beach, and went there often. The rest of us hoped to go with him some day.

Two years after coming to Los Angeles, one midweek day Mother pulled us from school and took us to Crystal Cove near Newport Beach.

The fresh ocean air lifted me from our life and for the first time in months I felt I could breathe. Tide pools, waves, kelp beds, sandpipers and sea gulls sent my senses and my imagination soaring. It was our last outing with Mother. Weeks later she left.

I couldn’t get to the shore often enough for my liking. But whenever I could, I would dig my feet deep in the sand as though that would keep me from spinning off the planet. The beach became my sanctuary.

I mostly came with nothing, only to gaze where the sky meets the ocean. Between that horizon and my feet I found everything I needed.

In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.”  Psalm 34:6 (NLT)

 

Featured image courtesy dstiel at Pixabay

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The Last Road Trip

So, it turns out I don’t bounce like I used to. This week a fall banged me up a bit. God is good – no major damage, just a few stitches and lots of color.

As I rest up and heal, I’m sharing photos from our last road trip for 2018, the drive to Potlatch, ID for a family Christmas celebration.

Outside Connell, WA:

Outside Potlatch, ID:

*

Until next year, peace my friends,

Blog on!

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.”
Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)

 

Sunset in Potlatch image* used by permission, Julie Kirk Weatherby, all other images (c)2018 RapturePractice! Publications

 

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Before Snow Falls – Walk #23

New treasures every day.
We only need refresh our focus.

A comfy home that is hard to leave.

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Crafty loved ones who share

Sunshine on a brisk morning

Gold in the most unexpected places

Silver burst

Cole, a brother when I forget I am not alone.

“The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.” Psalm 50:1,2 (NIV)

All images copyright (c) 2018 RapturePractice! Publications

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Already Been So Long

I’m not done here yet, Baby Bother, but I sure long to see you and talk with you again.

Richard Mark

November 30, 1957 – March 18, 2014

 

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord… Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6 & 8 (ESV*)

 

 

*By permission, English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

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Retired. Right?

I can’t actually be retired when I daily work more now than I ever have. Oh wait, I’m talking about retired phones.

Part of the mystique of how I manage my life with such modest resources is first, trusting God my provider for everything. Then, showing my gratitude (while I dream about having a 50″ TV, tablet or new laptop I could put to good use – soon), I employ 3 cell phone devices.

My life is not really as complicated as that may sound, but my resources are limited. To maintain a very good credit score (despite many setbacks – jes sayin), I pinch every penny till it screams.

Electronic devices are an investment, so I take great care researching before funding something that can so easily be lost or destroyed. For example, I take into consideration I rarely watch television. I can’t stay up that late for programming in our area that I care to see. I actually use my 32″ flat screen as a computer monitor and both houses utilize old-school indoor antennas. Yep, Cole uses rabbit ears.

Since we only pay for cable internet service I am thankful for Hulu, Netflix and CBS-on-line to keep me attuned to life outside the ranch.

So every couple of moves, after changing carriers I also upgraded devices and “retired” my previous phones. This means I continue to use them for almost everything except talk and texting. Most apps work fine without cell service and some without a WiFi signal.

This will work even better for me once we hard wire the router into my cottage – past the metal roof and siding. Until that happens (hopefully this spring) I make do with a repeater. I can also leave my comfy little nest to work in the main house while Cole works in town. SchnauzerOne and ChueyTwo appreciate the company.

Yes, though Samsung recently released the Galaxy A9 and the Tizen OS, my vintage S3 (from 2012) brings me hours of digital and audio books, radio, weather and news.

But wait there’s more. I use the retired 2016 Samsung Galaxy Core Prime (a knock off) for Social Media, including the WordPress app, Gmail, Google calendar, alarm clock and banking.

This all frees up my current knock-off phone which is connected to the local knock-off  server (mobile virtual network operator – MVNO) for less costly talk, text, video chats and photography, of course.

Except for the GS3 this all extends battery life between charges. No worries, I acquired 3 extra GS3 back-up batteries and an outboard charger while they were available.

 

While a new iPhone X R 8, a Tablet or a Kindle Paperwhite would be nice, I thank God I may look rather impressive (at the senior center) when I’m actually making the most of what He gives me.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

 

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Thanks?

For what?

So what?

What next?

 

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday to one and all!

 

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4 (NIV)

 

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Catch It!

I honestly could blame it on Cole – he brought it home.

I’m hyper-vigilant about protecting myself from colds and flu but this year I let my guard down.

Part of running errands for Brother last week included picking up a remedy and taking it to him on the job in town. Standing at the truck door, he popped the pills into his mouth and took a big swig from the water bottle I’d taken from his ‘fridge in the main house.

He swallowed hard, coughed, shook his head and then fussed about the water tasting awful. Saying he was being silly, I took the bottle from his hand like a bottle of tea on a hot afternoon. Then as if God hadn’t given me a lick of sense, I masterfully waterfalled a mouthful (a college-day drinking technique, pouring without a lip touching the bottle).

What a shock to instantly discover the water was effervescent!!

Once I recovered, gifted as I am, I showed him by proceeding to drink the remaining few ounces.

After Cole.

Who just took cold medicine.

Yeah, ’cause his mouth on the bottle didn’t contaminate it. I’m that smart!

 

So, with the cold now racking it’s way through my body I’ll share the remedies that usually get me right back to, well, right:

1. Salt water gargle immediately, then 2 – 3 times a day.
2. Honey for sore throat and cough.
3. Crystallized ginger snacks (or juice)
4. Elderberry syrup
5. Bee pollen
6. Steam with Eucalyptus and peppermint oils (and topical oil application)
7. Yogurt
8. Fresh Garlic-Ginger-Chicken soup (Chicken soup is not just a wives tale)
9. Epsom salt bath

And best of all, rest!

Honestly, I thank God not only that I’m strong and healthy, but for time to rest, and maybe catch up on some pleasure reading. Oh, and some extra wisdom in the future, .

Zinc up friends, ’tis the season!

“The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.” Psalm 41:3 (NIV)

Plush bear image courtesy Needpix.com

Sneeze Face image courtesy Pixabay

Healing Garlic-Ginger-Chicken soup recipe courtesy Genius Kitchen.

Featured image courtesy image courtesy Productivetothemax.com

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