Tuesday, January 7, 2020

faith

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.                                                                                                      Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) 
Before the new year began I saw a few Pinterest sites and Facebook posts asking what would you would choose to be your 'word' for 2020.

I thought about this and decided that my word for 2020 would be the same that it was in 2018 and 2019 -- FAITH.

When I was a little girl my mom and dad took us to church every Sunday. I learned all the Bible stories and all of Jesus' parables. The one that fascinated me is in the book of Matthew, chapter 17, verse 20, where Jesus tells his disciples that if they have the faith as small as a mustard seed, that they can move a mountain.

My mother had a necklace that had a clear round ball on the end of the chain, and inside of that ball was a tiny mustard seed. I remember just barely being tall enough to see above her dresser and playing with her jewelry. This necklace intrigued me. How did they get that little seed inside of that ball. I knew the story it represented but it didn't make any sense.

How can you move a mountain with a faith as small as that seed?  

In April of 2018 through January 2019, I became fully aware of how a figurative mountain can be moved with a faith the size of a seed.

My faith throughout that year wavered, I will admit it. But I held onto His promises and as of January 9, 2019, He showed us just how powerful faith in Him can be. 

I didn't want to ever lose that knowledge that a faith as small as a mustard seed can overcome. I also didn't want to ever forget just what the Lord did for our family throughout that year. So back in April of last year I went and had a tattoo with the word 'faith' placed on my arm. 

It is small and it is there just for me. I didn't get it to make a big show. I got it so that I am reminded of His power. And if anyone noticed it and asked why, I would be able to tell them of His power and His love.



Before going into a nursing home my mother asked if I wanted any of her jewelry and I was excited to see that she still had her mustard seed necklace. So now it is mine. 

Just a side note here, but if you are interested in a tattoo, I highly recommend Faith Tattoo in Golden, Colorado. And yes I feel like the Lord directed me to this tattoo shop because of the name.

Monday, October 14, 2019

only one person


At some point you're going to realize there's only one person
whose name alone can make your day better.
Only one person you look for when you enter a room.
One person that makes you the best you.

And when you realize that, your life will never be the same again.

(author unknown)


Happy Anniversary to my one and only!

 

Friday, September 20, 2019

crochet


When I was young, my mother taught me how to sew, embroider and crochet. I tried my best to enjoy sewing. I remember making a purse out of old jeans and I had to make a skirt for Home Economics class, which I hated every minute of sewing that skirt. I just couldn't get the hang of it. I enjoyed embroidery and crocheting more than sewing. I enjoyed most of all learning the things that made my mother happy and it felt good to be with her.

But over the years those skills faded and I didn't follow my mother's desire to make blankets and baby clothes and sweaters, scarfs and hats.

Several weeks ago I began to feel the urge to start crocheting again but I didn't know if I could do it. I didn't know where to begin. But then I remembered that a friend of mine crochets baby clothes and sells them at craft shows. So I asked this friend if she would help me renew my skills and desire. She gave me some advice, some instructions and told me that I could find tutorials YouTube. I got excited and started to believe that I could crochet again. 

Unfortunately my mother is not able to crochet anymore. But with the memory of my mother's instructions, the help of a friend and the help of YouTube tutorials, I am excited to learn anew this old hobby.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

are you a geographer or an explorer?

"I am a geographer," said the old gentleman. "What is a geographer?" asked the little prince. "A geographer is a scholar who knows the location of all the seas, rivers, towns, mountains, and deserts."
Idaho Springs, CO
He cast a look around him at the planet of the geographer. It was the most magnificent and stately planet that he had ever seen.

view from Mt. Evans
"Your planet is very beautiful," he said. "Has it any oceans?" "I couldn't tell you," said the geographer. "Has it any mountains?" I couldn't tell you," said the geographer. "And towns, and rivers, and deserts?" "I couldn't tell you that, either." "But you are a geographer!" "Exactly," the geographer said. "But I am not an explorer."

dirt road that goes up to old mines

remnants of an old mining camp



Echo Lake

views while driving to the summit

Mt. Evans Scenic By-Way -- Mt. Evans Scenic Byway increases in elevation to an impressive 7,000 feet in just 28 miles. Mt. Evans Byway is the highest paved highway in North America, reaching an altitude of 14,264 feet.

Crest House Ruins at the Summit
 Here is a picture of the Crest House when it was in operation. The Crest House was a restaurant, gift shop and observation point, built in 1939-1941. It was a popular tourist destination until it was destroyed in December, 1979 by a propane gas explosion.
1970 postcard of the Crest House


"It is not the geographer who goes out to count the towns, the rivers, the mountains, the seas, the oceans, and the deserts. The geographer is much to important to go loafing about. He does not leave his desk. But he receives the explorers in his study. He asks them questions, and he notes down what they recall of their travels"  ~ The Little Prince, written by Antoine de Saint Exupery
Pictures taken while we were exploring the Idaho Springs, and Mt. Evans area.

Who are you? The geographer or the explorer?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

new memories in estes park, colorado


Last week the Preacher and I took a few days off and went to Estes Park, here in Colorado. We stayed at the Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort, which is becoming one of our favorite campgrounds. It isn't near the downtown area so you will have to drive to and from the shops and restaurants, but by it not being near any of the tourist areas, you are left in a relatively quiet area.

The views from the campground are breath-taking. The picture of the Preacher and of our camper show Long's Peak in the background.

When driving up the Big Thompson Canyon, Highway 34, on our way up to Estes Park, we always have memories that seem to coming flooding back. I first visited Estes Park when I was 14 or 15 years old. 


My family came to Colorado for a family vacation and I remember walking around the town visiting the shops. I took this picture of my ice cream cone because while sitting in front of the ice cream shop, I noticed they were advertising taffy. Taffy was one of my dad's favorite. He would always buy a box of taffy in various flavors.

The Preacher and I vacationed with the Preacher's mother a couple of times, and with our son. Those memories are the freshest, of course. We remember the Preacher's mother's favorite restaurants and her stories of when she and the Preacher's father came to Estes Park on their family vacations. We remember the hikes that we took with our son - Old Man Mountain, the Twin Sisters, Long's Peak, and so many more. 

I was laying in bed on the second day of our trip, again remembering all of the good times that we have had in and around this mountain town. I began wondering how many more memories are there to be made?


Later that day the Preacher and I decided to take a small hike up to the Birch rock cabin. It sits up on a knoll that overlooks the town. Albert Birch, City Editor for the Denver Post, built the cabin in the early 1900's, and then it burned down in December of 1907. The shell of the cabin and the fireplace still stand. A piece of history and a new memory!


This is the view from the rock cabin, overlooking Estes Park
On the day before we were to travel back home, the Preacher got up early to take our dog, Porter, out for a morning walk. He left and then came right back in and asked me why was the driver's door on the truck open. I, of course, had no clue. Upon further inspection we found out why. A bear had visited our campsite the night before and had opened the truck door and proceeded to climb in and walk around the front seats. Thankfully we did not have any food in the truck and the door had not shut back on him, because we were told later, that that is why the bears will tear up cars...they can't get out. 
The bear paw print where he placed his paw on the door when opening it.



Bear snot, where he was smelling the back seat where our Porter dog sits
This definitely is a new memory!

We look forward to many more memories in one of our favorite mountain towns here in Colorado...Estes Park!



Tuesday, July 2, 2019

pay close attention to your dog


Your pet is a part of your family. They are there for you to love and in turn will give that love back. Just like you look after them, they too will be there for you when they sense the need.

This post is about our Porter boy, but before I talk about him, I need to give you some of the back story.

A few weeks ago the Preacher and I were having a very stressful week. He was preparing for a memorial service, a wedding and his Sunday message, all of course happening in one weekend. And on top of all of this the Preacher injured his eye, causing us to go to an ophthalmologist for an emergency visit.

During that same week he also was dealing with a person who was homeless and needed a place to stay. The Preacher found her housing for a couple of days, but she was not happy with the people she was staying with and would call the Preacher complaining about the help that he provided and wanted to argue with the Preacher every time he would give her a suggestion. Also, during this same time, we found out that another person the Preacher had counseled was very upset with the Preacher because he didn't like the counsel that was given to him. After some friends of ours, who also had tried to reach out to this person, contacted the police because he seemed to become obsessed with them, we found out that the police suggested we keep our doors locked and I and my friend were not to be at home or our offices by ourselves.

Needless to say my stress level was now heightened by all of the chaos that seemed to be surrounding us.

I took the advice and began keeping the office doors locked. But one day the Preacher had come into the office to discuss what the rest of our day was going to look like. The Preacher then left to go on a bike ride to try to take a break and clear his head. Little did I know that he didn't lock the office door when he left. Upon his departure, I turned my back to the door and began to go back to work and then I hear the door opening.

This was someone new. He was very dirty and his clothes were hanging very loosely on his small frame. His one eye was half way shut and his hair was very dusty. You could tell he had not had a bath in quite some time. I saw that he had a bicycle parked outside of the office and it seemed every thing he owned, mostly bicycle pieces parts, were hanging off of the bike. From what I saw in front of me I immediately knew that he was homeless.

I grabbed the door hoping that he understood that he was not to come into the office, but I also asked him how we could help him. He looked down and saw Porter. He began to mumble about knowing someone with a border collie and still in a low mumble told me how he had lived in Texas, New Mexico and Illinois. He also wanted to let me know that the Governor of Illinois had killed one of the Kennedy's. I could sense that this was not a good situation. 
If you have every met Porter, our Border Collie, you know that he is a very loving dog and you can see that he wants to be friends with everyone. He will jump up asking you to give him some rubs and anxious for you to play with him.

I immediately grabbed Porter, thinking that he would start to jump up on this man, and possibly run out the door. Porter immediately began to try to wiggle his way out of my hold, and as soon as he did he didn't do any of the things that I thought he would do. 
He came up to me and laid down at my feet. Actually he laid his head ON my feet and stayed there the entire time I was talking with this person. 

The Preacher came back and saw that I was very upset because this man was not talking coherently and I did not know what to do with him. When Porter saw the Preacher he took off out of the door to greet him. Porter then went over to the man, sniffed his leg, and immediately came back to me. 

Not once did Porter jump up or invite the man to play. Although he was not showing any signs of being aggressive, he was there to protect me. He understood that this person was not someone whom you should be around.

I didn't quite understand his behavior until the man was gone and I could think through the things that had been said and done.

I am glad that Porter was with me. He is just a cute, loving dog, but I now know that he is here to help me discern who I should and shouldn't trust. I know that he is there to save me if ever the unthinkable should happen.

Pay close attention when your dog changes his behavior around a certain person. You don't know when it just might save you.




Friday, June 7, 2019

reading


So many books and not enough time.

These books, whether they are self-help books, biographies, or fictional, will teach me something. I will close the back cover upon reading the last word and I will somehow be better for reading the words contained inside.

Some will teach me about the lives of real people, how they met and how they lived their lives. Some will teach me about history and how others lived in a different time and a different place. Some will teach me how I should be living my life, now and for the future.

Some I have started, read the first chapter and put it down in order to finish another book that was started days or weeks before.

This stack won't get any shorter because there will always be more books to add to the stack.  

Inside the pages of books is where I go to lose myself.
"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are."    ~ Mason Cooley


Thursday, May 30, 2019

happy anniversary to mom and dad

This is the cake topper from my Mom and Dad's wedding cake from May 29, 1954. Yesterday was my Mom and Dad's anniversary. If Dad was still alive they would have been married 65 years. I love the fact that Mom has saved this for all of these years.

They met on a blind date at an Arlington verses Morristown basketball game. Mom was a cheerleader for the Arlington Wildcats. That's the only part of the story that I've been told, but I would like to know more.

I enjoy listening to stories of their travels. For instance, she told me that she had always wanted to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. So on their honeymoon they traveled to California and they paid twenty-five cents to cross the bridge. That quarter had been saved since before the wedding.  

This past week, while visiting with her, she told me about how much Dad loved the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 500 Mile Race that takes place every year in Indianapolis on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Well since they were married on the 29th and that year the race was ran on the 31st, Dad was not able to attend the race. So while on their honeymoon somewhere near the Yellowstone National Park, they asked someone where they could watch the race. No one that they talked to knew of the race and didn't know where they could watch or even listen to it. She tells that she and Dad could not believe that no one knew of the Indy 500. Dad and Mom didn't miss many races after that.

My Mother told me that she liked to tell people that she and Dad were married in May and in July I was born. She doesn't tell them until after the confusion comes over their face that they were married in 1954 and I was born a year later in July. When telling this story she laughs because she thinks that was so clever of her.

I know she misses my dad. She misses the life that they had together and now with her poor health and not being able to get around by herself, I know that she wishes she could go and be with him in heaven. I miss him too and think about him almost every day. I miss his laugh most of all. He had a great smile and could make you smile and laugh right along with him.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

unplanned

This past week, the Preacher and I went to see the movie, Unplanned. A local movie theater was showing the film for a one time showing and we had announced to our congregation and community that we needed their support in viewing this movie.

Honestly I didn't want to go. I had no desire to watch and listen to the horrific scenes that I knew would be portrayed in the film.

The Preacher and I have been, and always will be, Pro-Life. There is nothing that can deter us from this. With all of the craziness that is going on in our world, in our country, I think we who want to save babies, in the womb and outside of the womb, need to take a stand for what is right.

The Preacher and I have been involved in Crisis Pregnancy Centers for more than 20 years now, and we feel that their work is vital in the communities that they represent. We have even been the ones who stood on the other side of the fence praying and asking for the Lord's help and forgiveness.

The movie did a good job in showing all of the different reasons that Satan has lied to us about who should be getting an abortion and why. Everything from a boyfriend not wanting to be strapped with a baby, a father not wanting his family to be shamed by a daughter's unwanted pregnancy, a woman who just doesn't care about the baby and doesn't want another child to feed. And then the lies about how the baby is no more than just a blob in the womb and the baby/blob won't feel anything during the procedure. The movie gave you an insightful look into Planned Parenthood itself. This organization is nothing more than a large corporation wanting to make as much money as possible, with no regard to the girls and women AND babies who step foot into their "clinics"

If you have the thought that your body is your body and you'll do as you wish with that body then I ask that you watch and listen to this video by Kirsten Watson.


When did it become normal for a mother to want to kill her own child? 


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

you are mine


While praying one day, a woman asked, "Who are you, God?"
He answered, "I Am".

"But, who is 'I Am'?", she asked.

He replied,
"I Am Joy
I Am Love
I Am Peace
I Am Grace
I Am Mercy
I Am Safety
I Am Shelter
I Am Creator
I Am Strength
I Am Comforter
I Am Forgiveness
I Am the First and the Last
I Am the Beginning and the End
I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life."

With tears in her eyes, she looked toward heaven and said, "Now I understand. But who am I?"

God tenderly wiped the tears from her eyes and whispered, 

"You are Mine."

To a woman who showed me how to have joy, love, peace, grace, mercy. Gave me safety and shelter. Showed me how to be creative. I saw her strength and yet she is a comfort. Who gave me forgiveness. And showed me Who was the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Way, the Truth and the Life...

I love you Mom!




(Poem ~ Author Unknown)


Monday, April 29, 2019

grandma's potato salad


This is my mother-in-law, the Preacher's mother. She was the sweetest woman, and I could not have asked for a better mother-in-law.

She loved to bake, especially fruit pies. Her pie crust was amazing. It was so flaky and buttery. Sometimes all I wanted was the crust. I could pass up the fruit but not that crust.

Another dish that she would make was potato salad. We all loved her potato salad. If there was a pot-luck dinner scheduled at the church, people would request her salad. It was so creamy and sweet with a little crunch from the bacon.

No one in the family would attempt to make it. It was her salad and only she could make it! She would boil the red potatoes and her eggs. And then see would gather all the other ingredients, place them on the table and there she would sit and make the magic happen. 

After she passed away in 2010, among the hundreds of things we missed about her, we missed her potato salad. The Preacher and I would attempt making it on a few occasions but it never seemed to come out right. 

A couple of weeks ago the weather was beautiful. The day felt like we were finally coming out of winter's chill. The Preacher decided to grill some steaks. I cleaned the patio table, excited to sit out in the spring's sunshine.

The Preacher asked me to fix a salad to go with the steaks and we both knew what we needed to make -- Grandma's potato salad!

I boiled the red potatoes and the eggs and I fried some bacon. I set out the other ingredients: mayo, mustard, celery seeds, salt and pepper, and I chopped some dill pickles. When it was all combined we had a potato salad that was as good as my mother-in-law's! 

We were very excited that we had replicated her recipe and it felt good to honor the Preacher's mother, Joan Smith.

faith

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.                                                             ...