Struggling…

Today is Sabbath. The local U-Pick community is putting on a huge harvest festival, every weekend until the end of October. There is a corn maze, tractor train, kids events, live music, hot pumpkin donuts and apple cider, vendors, and lots of fresh produce available to purchase.

This is the kind of event I have always wanted to do with my kids and grands. My older grands are only with my son every M-Th (school days/nights) and every fourth/fifth weekend of the month. It makes doing fun things with them on weekends very difficult. This is a good weekend to go. They are with our son and his wife, the weather is good, we have no plans today to go to a small group. I made plans to meet them there for a few hours, and our good friends are coming too, since they consider our kids/grands as theirs also. Sounds like a great day. So what is my struggle?

Today is sabbath. Our sons family and our friends observe Sunday as their day of worship. They attend church, and then Sunday is getting ready for work the next day. I always feel bad asking them to give up their Sunday to try to do these types of things. We’ve bumped heads about it in the past. But now, I feel like I have chosen a family day, outside the home, buying from people who are working to make a living over spending the day with my creator. What I will be doing I feel goes against God’s instructions for Sabbath. I want my father to be pleased with my behavior, not grieved. I want to walk in the blessings of obedience, not the curses of wal no go in my own ways. I know there is mercy and grace, but I also know about reaping what I sow. In the past, there has been conversation about no one being willing to give up their day off, their sabbath. So, do I resign myself to not getting to do fun family things because no one will give in? Or do I resign myself to doing something uncomfortable to have a family day?

I guess it all comes down to where my priorities are. Family or Yah? It seems like such an easy decision, and yet, it isn’t. It seems I haven’t made God the priority I thought I had. May he show mercy to me as I struggle with my weakness.

Lakeside sunrise…

After a very s tress full couple of weeks at home, my honey and I are finally taking a vacation to visit family. We all rented a lakeside cabin close to another family member. I was one of the first two awake in the house, and I couldn’t resist going out back to spend a moment in nature with my creator. And take some pictures of the beauty I saw.

It was fairly silent at first, but soon nature began to wake also. A squirrel began jumping from branch to branch and tree to tree. Two little Jack rabbits came out from the bulrushes to check me out and then continue on their way across the yard. an unknown species of bird perched on a post in the water and began chittering. I watched a flock of geese disturb the glassy water to take off and then listened to their honking as they glided effortlessly just above the water. There was a smoky mist gliding over the water to my left, and the homes across the lake to the right were crisply reflected in the water. I even glanced at the perfect moment to see a fish jump out of the water, and then enjoyed watching the circular ripples expand out until they were no more.

It wasn’t until I found myself waving away mosquitos that I thought I should go back in the house to start the coffee pot and get a bite to eat. I thanked my heavenly father for the incredible beauty and for loving us enough to make such a beautiful world to live in, and then headed indoors.

Mornings like this fill my soul with peace and a deep abiding contentment, that can last for days. I hope you have something like that, something to brings that deep abiding contentment to your soul. If not, I encourage you to search for that thing, or create something that does. hope you have an awesome day.

Outside time…

Today is Sabbath. I have no schedules to keep. No grandchildren to pick up at certain times. No chores to get done. No place to be, no one to see. It is a day of leisure, and I savor every moment.

Since the morning was cool, I decided to take the cats out for some fun. I let them out, then brought out my bowl of oatmeal with blueberries I picked yesterday with a grandson, and a few craisins. As they did their customary rolling around on the cement to begin the time, I positioned a chair in the sun and put two navy blue cushions on it. They went sniffing around the patio and patio furniture, frequently turning to check if I was still in my chair.

I decided to put my phone and daily paper planner down and really enjoy the moment. It wasn’t long before the big boy Waldo caught the scent of something and headed out uncharacteristically slow to the middle of the yard. It was interesting to see him in hunting mode, since he is usually the big, oafish playboy. His smaller brother galloped out to join him. I enjoyed watching them both stick their faces into the old vole holes in the lawn, and doing the super slow hunting movements. It was particularly beautiful to watch as a cloud would begin to cover the sun, and I could watch a wave of darkness move across the yard, followed by a wave of sunshine as the sun reappeared from behind the cloud. It made the scene somewhat… ethereal? It was like watching a beautiful slow dance.

That lasted for about ten minutes. Waldo got some ants in his pants, turned towards the house and came galloping back at full speed. I could hear his paws as they thudded into the lawn and could almost feel the ground shake. He is a big boy at 20 pounds. Twice the weight of most of the casts I have ever owned. Soon his brother did the same, but at a more relaxed pace.

As they were hunting, I wondered if there was anything I could learn from them that would apply to my spiritual life. I don’t want to be a hunter. Hunting is for preservation, or sport. Nope, nothing there. After they returned to the porch, they began to wander out of sight around the corner of the house. The rule is stay in sight, or you go in the house. They get one reminder. I will go pick them up, tell them they need to stay close, and put them down in front of my chair. The second time, if there is one, I pick them up and tell them, if you don’t stay close, you go inside, and I put them inside. Waldo did it first, then Statler. As I watched them graze on the grass I thought to myself, and prayed at the same time, that God would come after me to bring me into his protective sight should I ever wander out of his sight, and that he would be willing to shut me up in his house if I keep at it. I know his word talks about giving the disobedient over to follow their own lusts https://biblehub.com/bsb/psalms/81.htm. I don’t want him to wash his hands of me. Ever. I want to make my heavenly Father happy. I want to learn obedience, even if that means receiving some discipline.

By this time, the clouds weren’t little anymore, but it was mostly cloudy. With the sun hiding, the breeze was getting too cool for my jammies. I called the cats to come in, to no avail. I went after Waldo first. He did his little run away a few feet from me and flop into the lawn. His way of saying “aw mom, do I have to?” I carried him in without a struggle. His brother did the same.

I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that I can’t learn. I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that God washes his hands of me. I want his blessings. I want to know the joy of him being happy with the life I have led. I pray that you can find joy in knowing YHWH/the LORD, the creator of all things, and see his blessing upon your life when you chose to live according to his instructions for life. Oh taste and see that the LORD is good! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+34&version=KJV

Outside time…

Today is Sabbath. I have no schedules to keep. No grandchildren to pick up at certain times. No chores to get done. No place to be, no one to see. It is a day of leisure, and I savor every moment.

Since the morning was cool, I decided to take the cats out for some fun. I let them out, then brought out my bowl of oatmeal with blueberries I picked yesterday with a grandson, and a few craisins. As they did their customary rolling around on the cement to begin the time, I positioned a chair in the sun and put two navy blue cushions on it. They went sniffing around the patio and patio furniture, frequently turning to check if I was still in my chair.

I decided to put my phone and daily paper planner down and really enjoy the moment. It wasn’t long before the big boy Waldo caught the scent of something and headed out uncharacteristically slow to the middle of the yard. It was interesting to see him in hunting mode, since he is usually the big, oafish playboy. His smaller brother galloped out to join him. I enjoyed watching them both stick their faces into the old vole holes in the lawn, and doing the super slow hunting movements. It was particularly beautiful to watch as a cloud would begin to cover the sun, and I could watch a wave of darkness move across the yard, followed by a wave of sunshine as the sun reappeared from behind the cloud. It made the scene somewhat… ethereal? It was like watching a beautiful slow dance.

That lasted for about ten minutes. Waldo got some ants in his pants, turned towards the house and came galloping back at full speed. I could hear his paws as they thudded into the lawn and could almost feel the ground shake. He is a big boy at 20 pounds. Twice the weight of most of the casts I have ever owned. Soon his brother did the same, but at a more relaxed pace.

As they were hunting, I wondered if there was anything I could learn from them that would apply to my spiritual life. I don’t want to be a hunter. Hunting is for preservation, or sport. Nope, nothing there. After they returned to the porch, they began to wander out of sight around the corner of the house. The rule is stay in sight, or you go in the house. They get one reminder. I will go pick them up, tell them they need to stay close, and put them down in front of my chair. The second time, if there is one, I pick them up and tell them, if you don’t stay close, you go inside, and I put them inside. Waldo did it first, then Statler. As I watched them graze on the grass I thought to myself, and prayed at the same time, that God would come after me to bring me into his protective sight should I ever wander out of his sight, and that he would be willing to shut me up in his house if I keep at it. I know his word talks about giving the disobedient over to follow their own lusts https://biblehub.com/bsb/psalms/81.htm. I don’t want him to wash his hands of me. Ever. I want to make my heavenly Father happy. I want to learn obedience, even if that means receiving some discipline.

By this time, the clouds weren’t little anymore, but it was mostly cloudy. With the sun hiding, the breeze was getting too cool for my jammies. I called the cats to come in, to no avail. I went after Waldo first. He did his little run away a few feet from me and flop into the lawn. His way of saying “aw mom, do I have to?” I carried him in without a struggle. His brother did the same.

I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that I can’t learn. I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that God washes his hands of me. I want his blessings. I want to know the joy of him being happy with the life I have led. I pray that you can find joy in knowing YHWH/the LORD, the creator of all things, and see his blessing upon your life when you chose to live according to his instructions for life. Oh taste and see that the LORD is good! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+34&version=KJV

Outside time…

Today is Sabbath. I have no schedules to keep. No grandchildren to pick up at certain times. No chores to get done. No place to be, no one to see. It is a day of leisure, and I savor every moment.

Since the morning was cool, I decided to take the cats out for some fun. I let them out, then brought out my bowl of oatmeal with blueberries I picked yesterday with a grandson, and a few craisins. As they did their customary rolling around on the cement to begin the time, I positioned a chair in the sun and put two navy blue cushions on it. They went sniffing around the patio and patio furniture, frequently turning to check if I was still in my chair.

I decided to put my phone and daily paper planner down and really enjoy the moment. It wasn’t long before the big boy Waldo caught the scent of something and headed out uncharacteristically slow to the middle of the yard. It was interesting to see him in hunting mode, since he is usually the big, oafish playboy. His smaller brother galloped out to join him. I enjoyed watching them both stick their faces into the old vole holes in the lawn, and doing the super slow hunting movements. It was particularly beautiful to watch as a cloud would begin to cover the sun, and I could watch a wave of darkness move across the yard, followed by a wave of sunshine as the sun reappeared from behind the cloud. It made the scene somewhat… ethereal? It was like watching a beautiful slow dance.

That lasted for about ten minutes. Waldo got some ants in his pants, turned towards the house and came galloping back at full speed. I could hear his paws as they thudded into the lawn and could almost feel the ground shake. He is a big boy at 20 pounds. Twice the weight of most of the casts I have ever owned. Soon his brother did the same, but at a more relaxed pace.

As they were hunting, I wondered if there was anything I could learn from them that would apply to my spiritual life. I don’t want to be a hunter. Hunting is for preservation, or sport. Nope, nothing there. After they returned to the porch, they began to wander out of sight around the corner of the house. The rule is stay in sight, or you go in the house. They get one reminder. I will go pick them up, tell them they need to stay close, and put them down in front of my chair. The second time, if there is one, I pick them up and tell them, if you don’t stay close, you go inside, and I put them inside. Waldo did it first, then Statler. As I watched them graze on the grass I thought to myself, and prayed at the same time, that God would come after me to bring me into his protective sight should I ever wander out of his sight, and that he would be willing to shut me up in his house if I keep at it. I know his word talks about giving the disobedient over to follow their own lusts https://biblehub.com/bsb/psalms/81.htm. I don’t want him to wash his hands of me. Ever. I want to make my heavenly Father happy. I want to learn obedience, even if that means receiving some discipline.

By this time, the clouds weren’t little anymore, but it was mostly cloudy. With the sun hiding, the breeze was getting too cool for my jammies. I called the cats to come in, to no avail. I went after Waldo first. He did his little run away a few feet from me and flop into the lawn. His way of saying “aw mom, do I have to?” I carried him in without a struggle. His brother did the same.

I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that I can’t learn. I don’t ever want to be so disobedient that God washes his hands of me. I want his blessings. I want to know the joy of him being happy with the life I have led. I pray that you can find joy in knowing YHWH/the LORD, the creator of all things, and see his blessing upon your life when you chose to live according to his instructions for life. Oh taste and see that the LORD is good! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+34&version=KJV

My Dear Child…

Years ago, I came across a poem that I wanted to keep, as it expressed so many things about aging that have helped me as I deal with my father. I don’t know where I saw it, or how long I have had it. I only know that it has been in a file on my desk for years. This morning as I went through my desk stack, I found it again and thought that I should share it. So, here it is.

The original text was in Spanish by Guillermo Peña. It was translated to English by Sergio Cadena.

My dear child. The day you see I am getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say, “You said the same thing a minute ago.” Just listen, please. Try to remember the times you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and please don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a child.

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things, like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I am going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing is for me to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand, the same way I offered you mine when you were first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter, my handsome son, my beloved grandchildren.

I hope this touches your heart, as much as it did mine.

Mice, Mice, Baby…

Statler is a mouse hunting machine! With summer weather, we eat dinner on our back porch regularly, and have started letting the cats out with us. The first night out, our black cat, Statler, slowly made his way out to the vole holes in the lawn, and crouched. There he patiently waited for about 10 minutes. In a flash he pounced and threw something into the air. He had caught a mouse that was now using the defunct tunnels! He quickly brought it back to the porch where we were, and played with it until it stopped moving. We then made sure it was dead and disposed of it.

It was amazing to watch his hunting instincts kick in so quickly! We weren’t sure since the boys have been inside cats for almost two years. what an amazing miracle to watch. And it was repeated the next night also!

A few days later, Waldo decided to prance out to his brother and try to “help”. He was not stealthy, or slow, but awkward and quick. We think he would be more of a bird cat. He lives playing with a feather toy on a long stick. He also seemed to want to patrol the perimeter of the yard. It was interesting to watch.

Watching animals of all kinds make me praise our Creator, God. It is amazing, and humbling. But, it makes me feel… significant. Because I am also one of His miraculous creations. I hope you have one of those moments in the near future. A moment of feeling significant.

Busy times…

Over the past month, we have committed to hosting a wedding in August, a Bar Mitzvah in September, a wedding in October, and a ten year anniversary wedding reception in our barn.

I babysat a friend’s three kids for a few days, during which I got very little done besides cooking and keeping the house somewhat clean. I dealt with a sprinkler station that had a major leak due to voles (underground field mice) eating holes in the plastic piping, leaking backflow assemblies, a rabbit in the garden, a squirrel on our patio, bored tween/teen grandkids, the family dynamics between my son and his ex-wife.

I have had to start files for all the events we are hosting, and figure out how to shore up a weak pergola for the wedding. Tomorrow I have to get the wood for that project and get it stained for the workers who arrive on the 18th. Hopefully it is ready to use by the 24th, when we are hosting an outdoor bridal shower.

I have flowers to plant. A garden fence to finish putting up, raised beds to move into the garden space, and an irrigation system to design and install.

My freeze dryer gave me a vacuum pump error message, so I spent part of today going through their troubleshooting process. After I think I got it working again, I installed a software update. We’ll see how it works tomorrow when I put a batch in.

My honey needs a ride to his specialty chiropractor and hour away, and somewhere along the way, I would like to spend a few minutes making some 3 dimensional flowers for the wall in my office. We have 10’ ceilings, which make rooms look bigger, but can also lead to a lot of bare spaces.

The list is never ending. What doesn’t get done today, will be forwarded to tomorrow’s to do list. Someday, maybe I’ll finish. Probably not, but, hey, hope is good for the soul! I have to Lear. To carve out time for fun things, for building relationships with other women, with my grands, with my Creator. May today be one step closer in your life to finding Balance.

Our Anniversary: Day 3

Day three began with another early morning, followed by another morning in the hot tub. We enjoyed the time, but we’re a bit disappointed that the music wasn’t playing. We enjoy reminiscing about the good old days.

After showering, it was off to a cafe in town known for their breakfast menu. We had a 30 minute wait, but it didn’t disappoint. Tummy’s full, but not too full, we headed out to explore, with no place specific on the agenda. We drove to one little town and walked around. Nothing spectacular. Then we headed to the lake and drove around it for a while, enjoying the scenery and a couple artsy fartsy towns. we saw a cool place that looked busy and pulled in, only to realize it was a wedding venue. We aren’t wedding crushers, so we headed back onto the open road. We decided to head back grab some ready to eat food from the local supermarket and head home early for dinner and a movie.

We had such a nice time just being with each other. And, my honey’s clients left him alone for the most part! It was a good day!

Our Anniversary: Day 2…

My day began at 5ish. After a few wake ups, I finally decided to get out of bed. I quietly slipped out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. I helped myself to some cashew yogurt and fixed myself a bed on the couch. I figured I would lay down and pray until I hopefully fall back asleep. I put my earplugs back in, and pulled my sleep mask over my eyes.

It was 8:44 when I opened my eyes again. I could hear my honey reading the newspaper in the bedroom. I sneaked in for a quick snuggle, then made him some oatmeal. To my surprise, he decided to come out into the living room to eat instead of going back to sleep. We talked, then flipped through the tv channels available. We eventually landed on an original episode of Batman. We laughed so hard!!! Oh my! It was so ridiculous! And to think, as a child, I loved that show!

Around 10:30 we decided to check out the Sauna, which was a quick walk across the parking lot. One minute in, my honey decided he would prefer the hot tub. He left, I stayed. Until I realized he would prefer having me with him. So I hopped out the extra large, swimmable hot tub. There was a music channel of the best of the 70s, 80s and 90s playing. We both exercised our warmed muscles. Him his bad knee, me my bad ankle/foot. We swam around a bit, and played “who sang it?” One of our favorite games. I am fortunate that as my honey ages, his advantage in the game is giving way to a bit of forgetfulness. It levels the playing field a bit.

After showering, and changing clothes, we got in the car for a little explore. We took a back road into the nearest town and found a very old lodge on the lake. It was stunning, and we decided to eat lunch there. I had a lovely cauliflower crust “flatbread”. Not sure when pizza started being called flatbread, but it was delicious! Wild mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes with fontina cheese. I ate the whole thing and it didn’t bother my stomach. After walking the property and taking pictures, we drove into town to walk around.

It had a cute business area, about 3 blocks long, made to look like the old west. We were grateful that there were covered walkways everywhere, since it was a rainy day. We stopped at an ice cream place that had rave reviews. It was good, but not great. Between the sugar and milk, my gut started hurting. We decided to stop and buy some veggies at the local supermarket. I bought a salad, some cantaloupe chunks, and a small bowl of chicken wild rice soup. My honey bought a salad and a sandwich. We headed back to our condo to eat and ended up watching a mission impossible movie with a bowl of popcorn before retiring.