Friday, November 20, 2009

Alaska...sigh...smile


"If we were on the top of that mountain right now, we'd be in a cloud." me to Ryan, AK '09

Saw a show on Alaska "giants" tonight...Denali, sled dogs, mushing, bear, moose, bear eating moose...you name it, it was mentioned. This, on top of seeing updates from Traci and Heidi about the beloved frontier, only made me long to be there more...especially in the winter. Maybe one day...
Until then, I remember and I smile.

God is good and gracious. He gave me Alaska two times...and I am so thankful. If I never step foot there again, my heart will be happy with the memories.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

grandparents


"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." Psalm 71:18



As Thanksgiving approaches, I can't help but thank God for my Grandma and Grandpa Miller. I realize that my life is blessed and enriched by having them in my life...and for such a long time, too.
Growing up with the farm as a second home was awesome. I might not have thought that all the time then, but now looking back I wouldn't change a thing. Grandpa always let us help with the chores and gather the eggs. My first experience driving was in his truck out by the pond while he was in the back picking up hay bales...or at least trying to as I jerked him around. Many a summer day was spent in the fields watching Grandpa and Uncle Mike work...and helping drive the tractor occasionally. A smile comes easily thinking on these times. Grandpa was always ready for an afternoon of fishing, too, if the day's work allowed. He'd take us to creeks in the area or we'd just go out by the pond. Many a great fish were caught on cane poles right off it's bank. Beside the pond stood my favorite tree on the farm...a weeping willow. I probably caught that tree as much as I did fish. The tree is no longer standing, but the memories are held close in my heart. Grandpa taught me how to climb up ladders and over fences...how maneuver a wheelbarrow and a pitchfork...how not to walk right behind the cows so I'd be safe...how to feed baby calves from huge bottles that were so slippery that I had to hold on with both hands so I wouldn't drop them while the calves drank...how to appreciate the variety of smells that go along with farming - the good and the bad. :) Most of all Grandpa taught me, and still does today, how to treat all people the same, leaving judgment aside...that Bible study is important every day of the week...and to take things in stride. He is a wonderful man and I love him!
When not outside with Grandpa, Grandma always had things going on in the kitchen or garden with which she welcomed help. One of the things that I remember from when I was little was that Grandma always went out and swept the sidewalk every morning (except Sundays). I never understood that, but faithfully that sidewalk was swept whether it needed it or not. :) Grandma is a great cook and I learned to love to do it myself while watching her and Mom work together in the kitchen. Nothing tastes as good as something made in Grandma's kitchen. (I talked about alot of this in my blog "the kitchen table"). Grandma taught me so many things about being a good housekeeper...I wish I had her tenacity to do it better. One of my favorite things that she would help us make was homemade peanut brittle...with peanuts grown in her very own garden sometimes. Grandma was good at writing letters to others and keeping in touch no matter how many miles separated them. I loved as a child looking at all her stationary and stamps in the secretary. Grandma is a great quilter, too. Many years later, I started to quilt, but it will take a lifetime to be as good as she is. I have some very precious gifts from her that she quilted. How she had time to do everything she did in a day I don't know. It's probably because she had no tv and no computer to distract her. Maybe I should take a lesson there and spend less time being distracted by technology, too. Oh, what I could accomplish! Grandma's greatest lessons to me are those that include being productive, effective and gracious in all areas of life. I love you, Grandma!

The picture above is of the farm that I love on Thanksgiving evening 2006. Thank God for Grandparents and the heritage they represent.

Monday, November 16, 2009

God's display of His splendor...









"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:3-9





Monday, November 9, 2009

To every thing there is a season...






“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss




Missing someone has to be the worst feeling to experience. Over the past several months, I've had to say goodbye to some pretty special people in my life. I would rather not have any more practice at saying goodbye, if you don't mind, please.
There are two sides to goodbye...the one leaving and the one being left. I started thinking about this more the other day when I realized I've been saying goodbye more this past year than I like...and then further realized it's harder because I'm the one being left. Most of my adult life it's been reversed...I'm the one leaving after a time here or there. Being the one leaving, there's almost always something to look forward to ahead of you. No matter how much it hurts to leave those behind, there's an unknown awaiting that brings excitement. Being the one left, brings a void...and it seems unfillable. Normal isn't normal anymore.
So, here I am redefining my normal...missing the ones who have gone on to new places and other things. Happy for them...knowing God is going to use them where they are now, but missing them and dealing with the void in their place. I like the quote above from Dr. Suess. It makes alot of sense to me.
Today, I start smiling again...
Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall + Leaves = FUN





Yes, my friends, it is time again for raking of leaves into piles for the sole purpose of jumping into them and scattering them hither to yonder all the while doing it. Gotta love it! And love it we do. In the three seasons of fall that we've lived here this day is looked forward to with great anticipation...and today was a perfect fall day for our annual leaf pile jump-a-thon.

Our previous yard had no trees...it is quite a different story now. Trees, trees, and more trees who are more than willing to shed their leaves for our pleasure. I've been amazed since moving to GA that the trees down here are not like those in the Northern states. These are just plain stubborn and refuse to drop their leaves around the same time. We know fall is coming when the leaves of one certain tree turn red and proceed to all fall off before any others even think of changing color. It's hilarious to hear the boys refer to "the naked tree". Other trees don't ever lose their brown, dead leaves until the new ones sprout in the spring. So, yeah, we have leaves falling from late October until March...nice. :)
The boys and I enjoyed our afternoon of raking and jumping...and relaxing in the leaf piles together. So much joy on their faces as they prepare for the first jump of the year...as well as joy in my heart because I know they are having fun doing something so totally provided by our Creator, God. He indeed is good...all the time.