Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spellbound by the sea...

The little cabin on the Umpqua River in this post is only about twenty miles inland from the beach. Our favorite little beach town is about another twenty miles north. When we visit the cabin, my husband and I usually take an afternoon to drive there, eat lunch at our favorite spot, do a bit of antiquing and looking in the shops, and of course, walk on the beach.
Those of you who've read my blog for any length of time, know that I think a walk by the sea is a good cure for just about whatever ails you.

I'm not sure when the sea first cast its spell over me, capturing my heart forever. I've always wondered if it's simply in my DNA.  My mama was born on Prince Edward Island and her relatives still live in the family farmhouse where mama was born.  My grandparents then moved from P.E.I. to the shipbuilding town of Bath, Maine, where Mama grew up.  Mama was born surrounded by the sea and grew up by the sea. Maybe I inherited my longing to be near the sea from her.
I grew up 80 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, and we are living about that same distance now. That's not near close enough in my opinion, but I'm thankful it's close enough for day trips and frequent visits. In our early years of marriage we lived in a coastal town for about five years. I loved it.
(The Heceta Head lighthouse can be seen in the distance in this photo.)
 When I was a little girl I thought that living in a lighthouse would be the best life ever. I guess I'll just have to settle for frequent to the beach and as many walks by the sea as this inland girl can squeeze in.

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Flower Friday

Monday, April 16, 2018

A great way to begin a new week...

A few days ago we got a text from our oldest daughter saying that our two youngest granddaughters wanted to be water baptized.  She was concerned if, at ages 6 and 9, they were old enough.  The consensus from her dad and I and her sisters, (our family has a perpetual group text going at all times), was that if the girls understood and could articulate what this public confession of their faith meant, then they were old enough.  And so, on Sunday I was able to sneak away from our church, (unfortunately my husband was preaching and couldn't do so), and to attend our son-in-law and daughter's church for the baptism.  What a wonderful beginning to this new week! It definitely helped my spirits after last week's loss.
(Here's a link to the best video I've seen for explaining water baptism to children -

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-taxes done for another year, Praise God!
-a bouquet of dandelions from my grandson
-this warm sunny day before a very rainy forecast

-taking my youngest daughter to get her birthday gift
-homemade spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove with homemade french bread in the oven
-our small group

-our youngest daughter's birthday
-a slow, lazy morning after a late night
-God provision
-birthday dinner at a favorite restaurant with our girl and family

-my oldest niece, healed and whole in the arms of Jesus
-an answer to prayer about the visas for some of our Ghana team members
-my husband telling me to stay home from our midweek prayer service and rest after the loss of my niece

-the passports and visas all arrived safely and on time
-my husband surprising me with a new Rae Dunn mug
-a good day off together

-writing time
-God speaking to my heart from Psalm 37:7
-dinner with our church's Homebuilder's group

-our two youngest granddaughters got water baptized!

-a good report of how things went at our church 
when I was at our daughter and son-in-law's church for the baptism
-a fun lunch with our grandgirlies to celebrate 

still following,

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Be still and rest in the Lord...

I came home from four wonderful days away at our youngest daughter's in-law's little cabin on the Umpqua River feeling much better from the weariness I'd been struggling with.  Two days after we arrived home we got the news of my husband's spiritual mentor's death, and four days after that news of the death of my oldest niece. I'm currently feeling a bit like a deflated balloon-unable to pump myself back up to normal. 

Psalm 37 is one of my favorite Psalms. Today, verse seven really spoke to me.  It gave me permission to just rest and lean on the Lord during this time. It brought to my mind the picture of holding a baby or toddler. Once they begin to rest in your arms, and perhaps even fall asleep, they become dead weight. They are no longer helping to support themselves, instead all of their weight is resting on you.

I'm not very good at allowing myself to be weak.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, April 15th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with the lovely

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

At the little cabin on the Umpqua River....

I never tire of the scenery from the back deck of the little cabin on the Umpqua River.
We were so blessed to spend a few days at the cabin, owned by our youngest daughter's in-laws, last week.
We arrived there just as the sun was going down.
 The next morning we saw the moon bright and clear in the sky 
for quite some time after the sun had already come up.
Most of the days we woke up to fog which would clear up after a few hours.

I'm so pleased with how these blue hour photos turned out.

Our last day at the cabin it rained most of the day-
a good excuse to stay in our pajamas and spend most of the day reading and napping!

still following,

Flower Friday

Monday, April 9, 2018

God knows what we need when we need it...

Last week we had no mid-week activities at our church due to it being spring break in our state.  My husband and I, rather spontaneously, were blessed to take some time away at our youngest daughter's in-law's little cabin on the Umpqua River.  God knew it was just what we needed.  We slept and napped a lot. We sat on the back deck of the cabin and enjoyed the amazing view.  I read three books in four days! (Two light reading fiction books and one non-fiction book that God knew was exactly what I needed to read at this time.)  One day we took the short drive to the beach, ate at our favorite restaurant, did a bit of browsing at the antique stores, and took a long walk on the beach.  The time away was wonderfully relaxing and refreshing.

Sadly, when we got home, we got word that my husband's spiritual mentor and a spiritual father to us both, was not expected to live.  Early Sunday morning he went home to be with Jesus.  I'm so grateful for the privilege we had to have him in our lives.  He will be greatly missed.

I believe that God knew we would need our little getaway to be strengthened to face this loss. When you're weary and worn down these things are much more difficult to get through.  God truly does know exactly what we need when we need it.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp. I continue to count my thankspiling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-a beautiful drive to the cabin after my husband got done working
-the instant feeling of peace and quiet in this lovely place
-my husband saying, "You're so pretty" after I washed off all of my make-up and put on my old flannel pajamas and put on my cozy, warm "grandma sweater"

-morning coffee on the deck
 (though it was only 34 degrees when we woke up there's a propane heater to snuggle next to)
-a completely lazy, relaxing day to read, think and watch the river
-laughing at our own techie ineptness when trying to watch a DVD

-a huge, beautiful "morning moon" shining clear and bright in the sky well past sunrise
-driving to Florence after a slow, relaxing morning (one of our favorite Oregon beach towns)
-browsing in antique stores
-lunch at our favorite spot
-a wonderful walk on the beach
-seeing the elk herd on our drive from the beach back to the cabin
-lots of time to read

-a completely lazy, rainy day-I even took a nap
-a book that was just what I needed to read
-our youngest daughter, son-in-law and grandson surprising us and showing up at the cabin
-cobbling together a pretty good dinner out of the random groceries we had
-playing Rummikub together til bedtime

-Papa and youngest grandson sitting out on the deck together
-a safe drive home
-a beautiful spring evening
-our home

-catching up on the She Reads Truth Timothy devotional after not having reception at the cabin
-cozy candlelight on this windy, rainy spring day

-God ministering to me as I wrote today

-the hope of eternal life
-babysitting our youngest grandson while mama and daddy went to Cirque de Soleil 
-snuggling up to my warm blooded guy on a chilly evening

still following, 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

But this I recall...

Lamentations 3:19-26  [O Lord] remember [earnestly] my affliction and my misery, my wandering and my outcast state, the wormwood and the gall. My soul has them continually in remembrance and is bowed down within me. But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word]. It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord.
Have you ever noticed how the enemy torments us with negative thoughts when we are most vulnerable?  satan* loves to torment us with thoughts of fear, failure and frustration, when we are feeling weary, worn out and weak. I also notice that he will try these tactics in the dark of night or the wee hours of the morning.  he loves to try to get us to start our day off with heaviness.
A couple of weeks ago, after a few months of dealing with the pain of some broken family relationships on my husband's side of the family, and the normal, but still not easy, bumps and bruises that come with ministry life, I had one of those kind of dark of night times. I woke up in the darkness with my mind under an onslaught of memories of every hurt and every failure of the past and tormenting fear about the future.  I got up before the sunrise, begging God to deal with the heaviness and hopelessness these thoughts had brought on.  Not being one who is given to turning to the book of Lamentations for comfort, I knew it was the Lord when I was directed to Lamentations chapter three.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, April 8th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

(*I choose to never capitalize satan's name or pronouns used for him while I always try to endeavor to capitalize all names referring to God.  This is my small way of noting the truth that the enemy is a defeated foe and that God is always transcendent, in control and victorious over him.)

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