Sunday, August 29, 2010
Have you all been busy the past couple of weeks getting "Back At It" in some area of your lives? I got back on track with writing my normal blog posts after several weeks of Time for Photo Fun, and I hope our "Back At It" theme spurred you on to get back on track with something as well.
Let me leave you with some thoughts that can help us all be "Back At It" winners -- thoughts that can inspire us to stick with it and be victorious in whatever our "Back At It" efforts may be. Hope one of these quotes hits the spot for you!
"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." Abraham Lincoln
"Energy and persistence conquer all things." Benjamin Franklin
"There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul." Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American author and poet, 1850-1919
"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." 2 Chronicles 15:7
*Flickr photo by Richard Moross
**Please be in prayer for our blogging friend and frequent commenter here on the blog, Elaine. She recently found out that she has breast cancer. Let's support her and her family with our prayers!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
You guessed it. For the past few days my summer season has been invaded by an unwelcome visitor who usually makes the rounds in the late fall and winter months. My conclusion about the whole thing? Flu bugs in August just aren’t right. After all, they’re not on the list of expected activities.
Yes, this flu bug hit during the wrong season, but you take what you get, right? And this time I got a flu bug and had to change my life accordingly for a few days. Not a big deal, but unpleasant just the same.
If only every wrong-season event were as easy to deal with as an unexpected flu bug. Think about some of the other things in life that may come to us at the wrong time. Illness or physical limitations that hit in the prime of life, losing a loved one way too early, an unexpected pregnancy (yours or that of your teenage daughter), job loss—especially well into your career, returning to school as an adult, or even dealing with some things not happening in the season they should. Each of these circumstances carries its own set of challenges or grief.
If something serious has hit you at the wrong time, you, like me with my little flu bug the past few days, may find yourself saying, “What season did you say this is?” If so, let me encourage you as you’re struggling to change your life accordingly. Remember, we have a God who is the Father of all seasons, and no matter what happens, He is not taken by surprise. He can see us through the most unexpected circumstances. In fact, our God, our Father, specializes in challenges.
“‘I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything to hard for me?’” Jeremiah 32:27
*Flickr photo by Horia Varlan
**Be sure to enter the "Back At It" Giveaway. Deadline is noon CST this Sunday!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Anyone else lucky enough to have a best friend who has a birthday within a couple of weeks of your own and actually turns the same age as you? Let me tell you, it's flat-out fun -- not to mention comforting when the ole number of said birthday bothers you more than usual! Not only do we have someone ready and willing to take a day out for celebrating and having fun, we have the moral support needed for whatever number taunts us during any given year.
Come to think of it, celebration and moral support sum up friendship pretty well, don't they? In fact, it reminds me of the scripture that exhorts us to "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." (Romans 12:15)
Teri and I live this scripture out in our friendship continually. We celebrate birthdays and other special days together, and we rejoice with each other over answers to prayer as well as successes or blessings we and our family members enjoy, along with the good things that happen to others. But we are also there for one another when things aren't so rosy. The times when grief or illness or disappointment or concern for our loved ones darken our present light. And of course, we stand ready to offer help when help is needed. What can I say? We're friends.
I hope you have a friend or two or three who stand ready in your life. Ready to rejoice, ready to mourn, or ready to help carry the load. Or do you find yourself wanting in the friendship department right now? After all, friendships -- like other things in life -- ebb and flow. If you're currently caught in an ebb, begin praying about it. Ask God to bring some friends into your life and then be ready to reach out in friendship yourself. Take it from me -- and God's Word -- two are better than one!
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
*Be sure to enter the "Back At It" Giveaway. Deadline is Aug. 29!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Don has acquired many titles as a result of being married to a blogger :), but Roof Man may be the one that's required the most will power to attain. First there was Canyon Man and then Paint Man. Next Tax Man made an appearance, and soon after that, Lawn Man and Marathon Man followed. Each of these super heroes had his own set of challenges and glories, but Roof Man was birthed out of sheer determination and perseverance -- and the fact that Don can't stand to hire work done that he thinks there's any chance he can do himself :)
After gathering every ounce of will power he possessed, he attacked the beast -- I mean job. This particular task -- the repair of our carport roof -- involved a black glue, much like tar but even stickier. So not only was it a blistering hot job, it was a filthy, sticky job as well. The only thing that kept him going was the fear of a summer downpour, Gatorade, and heaping bowls of ice cream.
Don could have ignored the problem or given up in the midst of the work when the going got tough, but he stuck with it. He worked night and day and accomplished a chore he didn't want to tackle in the first place. He didn't let the heat, the grime, or the long hours deter him. He persevered, and I'm proud of him -- even though I couldn't get him to use sunscreen! :)
I wouldn't be surprised if some of the rest of us have some dreaded tasks (or trials) looming in front of us. Some things we simply don't want to do. Will we ignore them and put them off, or will we summon every ounce of our will power and attack the beasts?
The good news is we don't have to face tough times on our own. We have a Savior, a Father, a Pillar of strength who will give us the gumption and the help we need to meet our challenges. Let's remember Roof Man and go forward undeterred!
"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." 2 Chronicles 15:7
*Have you entered the "Back At It" Giveaway yet? Scroll down to the next post and join the fun!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
So...to celebrate school, books, writing, and learning, I'm offering the "Back At It" Giveaway -- a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card to one lucky commenter. To be entered in the drawing, just leave a comment on this post by noon (CST) Aug. 29th. If I don't know you personally or cannot contact you via your own blog, be sure to leave your email address in your comment or you won't be eligible for the drawing.
To make it a little more fun, tell me what you'd like to buy with the gift card if you get the chance. Is there a particular book you've been wanting to read? Or maybe you'd like to get a new journal or pick up a few magazines you don't normally treat yourself to. What would it be? Go ahead and dream -- you might be the winner! :)
While I'm busy getting back at it here on the blog, what do you need to get back at? Maybe your exercise program or healthier eating? Maybe some of those New Year's resolutions or goals? Sometimes there are things in our spiritual lives that we need to get back at as well. Time in God's Word, prayer, serving, loving... Whatever it is, now is a good time to start. Let's get back at it together!
"And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right." 2 Thessalonians 3:13
*Flickr photo by striatic
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Even though we helped them move further away from us this past weekend, we were so happy to get a look at their new stomping grounds and be a part of this new chapter in their lives. Not only are they crossing the threshold into a new home and marriage, they are crossing the threshold into a new city, a new school for Jake, and soon a new job for Kelli -- as well as all the other new stuff that a major move entails. And yes, all prayers are appreciated! :)
Through our photos, I hope you've enjoyed sharing in all the excitement that's been going on in the life of our family the past several weeks. I'll be getting back to more of my regular posts soon. I appreciate each one of you!
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
*Don's mother was dismissed from the hospital on Monday. Thank you for your prayers!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Back in the days of Easter bonnets, my sisters and I proudly sported ours (above - Debbie on the left and Janice on the right). And then...
...a year or so later, we sported them again -- though Debbie and I exchanged bonnets, trying to capture a fresh look. Don't ask me about my bangs, please :)
"I love you so much that I am delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but my life as well, because you have become so dear to me. (my paraphrase of 1 Thessalonians 2:8)
p.s. In the photo above, Debbie is behind me to my left.
p.p.s. And yes, I have three sisters, but my baby sister Carolyn didn't come along until I was almost through the 8th grade! :)
*The current issue of Life Notes, my inspirational quarterly email newsletter, came out last week. It's not too late to get it. Sign up is free and to the right!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Mom is holding me in the photo above, and below, my older sister Debbie has the audacity to look cuter than me in the same shot :)
Next, we move into our matching dress phase...
*The current issue of Life Notes, my inspirational quarterly email newsletter, came out Monday. It's not too late to get it. Sign up is free and to the right!
**Don's mom had to go back into the hospital last week. They are treating her for a blood clot again, but she has developed another problem as well. They are trying to find the right balance of medications so that she can go home soon. Sure would like life to slow down for us before long...
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Before the wedding activities took over full force, we spent an evening just hanging out together. With our son-in-law Shawn's help, we managed to get this timed family photo in our hotel dining room. The staff probably wondered what they were in for when we began rearranging furniture and making the place our own. We redeemed ourselves, though. We put everything back just as it was -- or pretty close :)
As I continue my Time for Photo Fun celebration here on the blog, I thought I'd share a few pics shot during our wedding weekend turned family reunion. Hope you enjoy!
As the gang arrives...