Wednesday, February 4, 2015

TRUST

When you become a Christian and give your heart to the Lord, that doesn't mean the rest of your life will be smooth sailing. There are times when life can be messy and heartbreaking and there are times that life can bring great happiness.

In all times,good and bad,trust in the Lord.



"Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Uncle Bob

I've been a.w.o.l. from the blogging world for a while. Not because there hasn't been anything to blog about but I just haven't made the time to sit down and write. 

A short time ago, my Uncle Bob passed away from complications from ALS. That is an ugly disease. It takes your dignity as well as your physical abilities. 

Uncle Bob spent a lot of time at my Grandma Rufenacht's, especially in the summers, and I have some great memories of him. He was one of the good guys. One of those people who was kind to others. He always had a smile and encouraging words for you and he always seemed genuinely glad to see you. When you spoke to him he made you feel like you were the only one in the room and every word you were saying was important.

He was also one of those people that went out of his way to be there for others. When my mom was Old Settlers queen, he drove 5 hours to be there for a one hour visit. When my mom turned 80 years old he surprised her by again driving the five hours to get there. That's just how he was. He always made time for friends and family. 

It was at my mom's 80th birthday that I saw him last and at that time he hadn't been diagnosed with ALS yet but he had been battling some unexplained physical problems, one of which was a partial paralysis of the face which made if very difficult for him to speak. That didn't deter him though. He brought along a tablet and pencil so he could communicate with others while he was there. At one point, he and I stepped outside and 'talked' about everything that was happening to him and he began to cry. It just broke my heart to see him so sad. He has so much life and laughter inside and could no longer speak to share it with others. Shortly after that, he was officially diagnosed with ALS and his health deteriorated quickly. In true fashion, he battled back until he simply couldn't fight it any longer.

The last couple years the ALS ice bucket challenge has been very popular and millions of people have taken part in it but very few have honestly given much thought into the actual disease of ALS. It's one of those things that you don't focus on until it affects you or someone you know.

As I was driving home from his funeral in Wyoming, I told myself that I would do better at staying in touch with friends and family and not wait until a funeral to see them. And I realized that Uncle Bob didn't take one day for granted and he had his priorities right all along.

Friday, January 9, 2015

THANK YOU



You know how some Christmas gifts you get make you think “What am I going to do with this?” 


(** I can see you nodding your head. You’ve gotten a few of those haven’t you?**)


This year was not one of those years. This Christmas I received some great gifts. My sister, who has recently found her inner crafty self, made me a window with a beautiful quote in it.
I just love it. First because it’s really cool and I love that style of d├ęcor. Secondly, she really put some time and effort and thought into this gift. That makes my heart smile.   

Thank you Shell.  It is on my wall where I can enjoy it every day. And thank you for choosing that verse. The word of God will stand forever. Knowing that gives me the courage to keep moving forward in my day. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015




Instead of resolutions, for 2015 I’m choosing a single word as my mantra for the new year. A word to guide me throughout 2015.  My word is: GRATEFUL  ~  This is the word I choose to keep in the forefront of my mind every day. When things are going smoothly and I’ve settled into my comfort zone – when I’m feeling discouraged and need to be reminded of the countless good things in my life – and in times of uncertainty I will thank God for the situation and trust in the outcome. 

I know God has a plan for me and I trust in that. 
2015 is going to be a year to remember!
I wish you all a blessed, healthy, and adventurous new year.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

WORDSWORTH



My sister and I have found our creative selves. I’m not sure we knew we had creative selves. That’s no entirely true. I’ve always thought I was creative; I just haven’t expressed my creativity much until recently. We are surprising everyone with all the projects we are tackling. We are even surprising ourselves a little! But hey, why not? If it doesn’t turn out just redo it. :)

The other day I was at our local thrift store and found myself digging through a bin of wooden items trying to find one that would be our next masterpiece. It was like being on a treasure hunt. I seriously felt a bit like a dumpster diver. And I’m not going to lie, it was fun. 

My sister has always been a negotiator. She will haggle over a $2 item and try to get it for 99 cents. I have to admit she gets some really great deals by doing this though. She even bargained on the price of wine when we were Italy! And she got us a great deal! It was so funny. My daughters were so embarrassed.

Well wouldn’t you know it, I’m either mellowing in my old age or maybe it’s that I’m finding some extra courage in my old age. Either way, I’m finding myself becoming more and more comfortable at bargaining. This morning I was in a little shop looking for something to become my next work of art and I found some old maps. I’ve been wanting some old maps for a project I’m working on but hadn’t found any until today. They wanted $2 for these maps and I heard myself say, “I’m not giving $2 for these maps.”  (I immediately thought of my sister, she would have been so proud.) And guess what? I had to pay $1.25 instead of $2. Whoo! Hoo!  *It’s the small things in life that make me happy.*

I’ve also been looking for old books for another project so I asked if they happened to have any.  I started looking through the few books they had and really didn’t see anything that caught my eye. There was one old book of Gene Autry but I didn’t really think I wanted a story of Gene Autry for this particular project. For some reason an old book caught my eye and I had to lean in closer to see the title and subject matter. I tilted my head up so I could look through my trifocals (*sigh*) and saw the word Wordsworth. What a great word. That alone made it worthy of buying. The pages were that lovely golden old. The kind of old where you know time has just settled in on the paper. I thought this might be the perfect old I was looking for. The price was $6 and of course I wasn’t going to pay $6. I offered $4. Sold!


 Once I got home I started looking at this old book a little closer and realized it was a book of poetry. I’m a sucker for poetry. Its title is The Works of Wordsworth. Now that’s a great title isn’t it? It’s a poetical works of William Wordsworth. After a quick Google search I discover William Wordsworth was an influential leader in English romanticism and a part of the most influential poetry in Western literature. How amazing is that?
What a great name for a writer, Wordsworth…. I turned to the copyright page of this newly found treasure and saw it was printed in 1905! 1905! No way. I am holding a book in my hands that was published 110 years ago. I am holding a piece of history.….


Undoubtedly this book will not be used in any craft projects. I think I may have stumbled upon my new favorite book. I cannot wait to read it!


And something else ~ when I was looking through those old maps this morning I found a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog from 1900! I did have to pay $2 for it. *ha* I’d say this was my day for great finds and good bargains.
 


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Grateful



Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.                1 Thessalonians 5:18



We are grumblers by nature.

You head out the door to work, only to find a flat tire on the car. You’re already running behind schedule and now this! Your boss is not going to be pleased when you’re late for work-again.  You try your best to change the tire without getting dirt on your work clothes but somehow you manage to get a black streak of ‘something’ on the cuff of your white shirt. Ugh! The grumblings grow deeper. Your thoughts turn negative. In your mind the whole day is ruined. Stupid flat tire!


 Your spouse pops her head out and asks how you’re doing. In an instant hurtful words escape your lips and land on the shoulders of someone you love. Now there is guilt along with your grumblings. This day is getting better by the minute.


Life’s problems don’t get much smaller than this…. It’s a flat tire… In the scheme of things it seems so small...


 And yet, we fall into that ‘poor me’ of wallowing. (Believe me, I’ve wallowed plenty. It’s not a fun place to visit) Grumbling causes us to see what we want to see and not the reality of what is. The more we grumble, the more destructive our attitude becomes. We grumble when we feel like we deserve more than we’re getting. Or we get something we didn't deserve. And who is it that decides what we ‘deserve’? You? Your kids? Your boss? Society?  

We develop tunnel vision, only focusing on what we wish we had and simply overlooking and forgetting what we do have. We forget to be grateful. We forget the many times we received gifts from God and didn’t ‘deserve’ it. God gives us far more than we will ever deserve. Be grateful.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

MARK 17

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach about the sin of telling a lie. To help you understand my sermon, I would like you all to read the seventeenth chapter of Mark."
The following Sunday, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many people had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. 
The minister smiled and said, "Before I begin my sermon about the sin of lying, I would like to remind everyone that Mark only has sixteen chapters."