I Can No Longer Feel My Fingers

My family and I moved to Ohio seven and a half years ago. Even though I am originally from Maryland and my husband from upstate New York (so yes, we know cold and snow) with lengthy stops for each of us in Texas and Tennessee–there is something to be said for the cold AND wind here in rural Ohio. The wind makes things one hundred times worse!

Today our high is supposed to hover around 10, with (yes!) a windchill of -15. Even with insulated gloves on, my hands are cold by the time I get over to the barn to feed our horse, Jazz. I’m not complaining, because over all I enjoy winter. I just wish I could feel my fingers.

When Scott and I were building our farmhouse in the middle of what was once a cow field, I remember we were building (well, okay “we” in the sense of we were paying for it, not “we” as in actually building the house) and it was February and it was snowing and the wind was blowing. I was suited up like Nanook of the North. I should have known!

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Light In A Dark World

 

My family enjoys seeing the lights at Christmas. There are some families that go all out decorating their houses like light show extravaganzas. You know what I mean. They are a sight to behold.  (Although, I always wonder about the January electric bill for these homes) The lights I enjoy seeing, made me think of something I read on another friend’s blog post the other day. She said, “See  the lights. Be the light.”

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Light that cuts through the darkness.

Light that brings joy to those who see it.

Much like the Light that cut through the darkness of time and space…

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Flashback over 2000 years ago… A dark night. A man and a woman who needed a place to stay. No one could help them out. The city was busy and there was not one room available. They were bone tired. The young woman was not feeling so well, she knew that this child that she had been carrying for the past 9 months, was ready to be born. But where?  The man managed to talk an inn keeper into allowing them to sleep in his stable, which was really not much more than a cave.  A literal hole in the wall.

In the stench of barnyard animals, the greatest gift to mankind was born that night. A night where people were running to and fro, busy with their lives. A night where no one was really paying much attention. A night not so unlike what we have now. God came into the world. Jesus left Heaven to come to this earth in human flesh. AND THE WORLD HAS NEVER BEEN THE SAME SINCE. A divine gift. A gift of love to humankind. A light to the world. Light that split the enveloping darkness of that night, as well as all the days and nights to come.  –(excerpt from my archives)

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I Have To Catch Up

It has been several weeks since I’ve posted. I think it might be the longest I’ve gone without posting, in YEARS. For those of you that don’t know, I’m working on my Masters Degree Autism Spectrum Disorders. There is a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and a lot of researching. There is also a lot of tired (according to me). That is no joke, people. Working, taking grad classes, and having a family, and dealing with, well you know, stuff…. it makes for a bit of crazy. Sunday night I finished, and turned in, my last paper for the semester. I did a little happy dance once I hit the “submit” button. What a relief!

Now I can relax and enjoy my time, and write some blog posts! Tomorrow I will begin my blogging marathon. I have to catch up, after all.

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This Is October In Ohio

The colors of the late October leaves are muted against the smudged, gray sky. The air is moist, and the wind blows cold as I make my way across the front yard, on my way to the barn, where Jazz anxiously awaits her breakfast. I look up to see geese moving across the sky in formation, their honks reminding me of their arrival.  I glance across the field to where our back fence posts share the property line with our neighbors. The fields are now brown, combine machines having worked diligently to harvest in the two weeks previous. The wind causes the stubble that remains, to rustle in the chilly air.  This is Autumn in Ohio.

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The Fire of Resentment

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Have you ever read something and knew, just knew, that God sent it directly to you? Like a target was on your forehead or something? Two days ago, my calendar devotion by Sarah Young (Jesus Calling) spoke about rebellious tendencies, and resentment. As I read it, I thought to myself, “I don’t want to read this. I don’t want to even think about this.” I suppose a lot of us are like that, huh?  God wouldn’t let me drop it. It kept playing over and over again in my mind.

Sarah Young wrote, “When something interferes with your plans or desires, you tend to resent the interference.” Ouch. That stings. Yes, I admit it, I want what I want. When other plans, especially things in which I feel I have no choice or control, happen, I resent it…..and, not just a little teeny weeny resentment, either. I’m talking about a massive, fire in my gut, that burns hotter than any California wildfire. She went on to say, “The best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise.” Oh, no. Not that. I don’t feel like praise. I feel like anger. I don’t want to praise. I want to sulk. I want to yell. I want to stomp around and be upset.

Of course, that is not what God wants for me. He wants for me to see Him in the everyday. Each moment, both good and bad, and be thankful. Maybe He is attempting to teach me something, or show me something. Instead of complaining about the inconvenience, I need to be grateful for the opportunities.

Tomorrow is a new day.

The Christian Life Isn’t Always Easy

IMG_1163The Christian life isn’t always easy. I’ll be honest. There are days when the words of my heart, are not pleasing. When my thoughts are selfish or downright mean, or when I’m screaming on the inside…even though I look calm on the outside. I wish I could say that I always have my thoughts under control, that my first reaction to stress isn’t to freak out. If I said that, I’d be lying.

Thank you God, for your grace. For forgiving me. For giving me a second chance. For your faithfulness and your mercy. Just thank you.

( I was going through my blog archives and found these. Some things I wrote a few years ago…….) 

There Is No Going Back

Each day is filled with grace. It washes over me, I breathe it in. God’s choice, for His pleasure. Amazing grace.

Time moves on, and over the past week or so I’ve thought hard on transition and change. It occurred to me that I am at a point where there is no going back. As a mom, I have had to let go, breathe deep, and trust God. Trust is more than a word, it is action.

This life is filled with so much. Many days I am thankful, but some days it is difficult…and my fist clenches tightly on all that I have, all I don’t want to lose. Will the God that loves me so, bless me more? Or will I accept if His answer is not what I want to hear?

I am sharing one of my past posts that speaks to how I am feeling today…..

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It is what Ann Voskamp, in her book One Thousand Gifts, says……is “hard eucharisteo”.

I’ve not had any terrible things happen to me lately. I am thankful for that. I know that life will throw me another curve ball someday—and I pray that I am ready for it.

Most Mondays I blog about thanks, along with other bloggers, over at A Holy Experience. Many of my blogs are happy thanks.

Eucharisteo….to be grateful.

Sometimes… I don’t feel grateful.

I should.

But, I don’t.

I’m working on it.

Hard work.

God has always been faithful…and He will be again.

He is my anchor in all of life’s unpredictability.

I am thankful, grateful, in awe of, a God that is strong.

That is powerful. Whose grip on me is firm.

So, today I thank for the hard stuff…….

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*I am thankful for doctors and their skills. Physicians that care for those I love…Even when it hurts.

*I am thankful for family members that love each other through good and bad, and they feel my love for them even when I can’t see them regularly.

*I’m so very grateful to be able to send love across the miles, when I can’t be there in person.

*I’m thankful for sticky floors that I have to clean, even when I didn’t make the mess.

*I’m thankful for a vehicle to get me from one place to another, even if it isn’t new.

*I’m thankful for times when I am weary, times when  God’s strength and power, alone, are shown.

*I’m grateful that I don’t have to have all the answers, all the understanding of the “why?”.

*I’m glad for having the opportunity to make choices…even when I choose poorly.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you… Isaiah 43:2  NIV

I am thankful, that in darkness, even a small light can help people see.

I Hope You Dance

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This is one of my favorite multi-media journal pages. At the time I created this page, I wasn’t intentionally thinking about the song, “I Hope You Dance”, but since then it has sort of stuck with me. Lee Ann Womack’s words resonate with all of us that want to enjoy the moments, even the hard ones….and just dance.

I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)