Photobucket

Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)I would love to hear from you, if you don't have a blog you can still comment, join google it's free. I appreciate hearing from you.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who is that person in the mirror?

Oh Lord, I caught myself in the mirror today. I usually really do not take a lot of notice. I mean, I clean my teeth and wash my face. Sometimes I put on makeup, but when I do that I am really just looking at what I am doing. Its very difficult these days not having sight in one eye. You cant close the other one to put on liner or shadow. Anyway I am not taking much note of what I look like. Well today I thought I saw my Auntie Georgie looking back at me, and she just died so that was sort of scary. My eyes have changed......now I look like my dad's sister. I stood and looked, and I remembered her. Made me think. I always thought she had a pleasant face but it was always old to me. I don't want an old face. I want my own face. I took care of it and do not really have a lot of wrinkles for my age..........there....that's it from now on. Not bad for her age.......ahhhhhhhh!!!!
I am not vain, I never really liked my looks. I prefer something more classical but well if I am honest and look at pictures from when I was young I was not that bad. Well youth is always OK. My teachers said I looked like young Elizabeth Taylor. I was insulted at the time. She was old. Oh to be of an age when a woman in her 30s is old. I did not know that she had been a child actress back then and I did somewhat resemble the child Elizabeth. Not as I grew up though. One thing I did have in common was the eternal struggle with weight. When I was young I was slim. In my teens and 20s my waist was always 22". It was not really until I turned 40 that weight was an issue. After that, well the thyroid didn't work so well and its been a struggle ever since and I hate it. So anyway.......now I do not see any part of that young me in face or form. Could I have been done better? Maybe if I had done this or that and kept the weight off and exercised and ......well.....I did not. Could not. I never liked the idea of being that involved with what I looked like. Then I wanted to be better at 60 than 50 and it was a bit late to change the devastation the years wrought. Maybe I can say I want to be better at 70 than 60......is it even possible?. Now I have Tristen with me and the poor kid will have an old hag for a (stand in) mum. Maybe I can at least try to look a few years younger. Maybe if I make a big effort I can get into all my new jeans I bought at the end of last winter that do not fit me now. I am darned if I am going to replace my winter and then summer wardrobe when I have all this new stuff hanging in there so..............diet here I come. Its exercise I need and I am getting that chasing the little wee beastie around. I need to get off my lazy butt and make this the year I don't scare myself when I catch sight of ME in a mirror unexpectedly.
I am not Auntie Georgie and not my mum so lets get this act together
Photobucket
Photobucket

Safely Home
I am home in heaven, dear ones;
Oh so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in Heaven at last.
Did you wonder I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh! but Jesus love illumined,
Every dark and fearful glade.
And He came Himself to meet me
In the way so hard to tread;
And with Jesus' arm to lean on,
Could I have one doubt or dread?
Then you must not grieve so sorely
For I love you dearly still;
Try to look beyond earths shadows,
Pray to trust our Fathers Will.
There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remaineth
You shall rest in Jesus' land.
When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you Home.
Oh the rapture of that meeting,
Oh the joy to see you come!

Miracles in Action.......

Miracles in action is a group of wonderful people who devote their time and energy helping those less fortunate.

Photobucket

My friend Lois started to go with them many years ago now, down into the jungles in Guatemala. She flew down with them the first time and her husband stayed home. He did not like the idea of flying over the jungles but now he is retired he goes too. They then take jeeps up the muddy roads up into the hills packed up with supplies. They build hospitals and houses, school rooms and put in water lines. Lois teaches the kids crafts and plays games with them. They just love their visits out there. I think she now goes at least twice a year. Ken has been going with her since he retired and works on the buildings. In fact they spend 6 months of the year there.
This organization puts every donated dollar to work for them, none of it goes to funding and managing. Here is a link.

http://www.miraclesinaction.org/

They send detailed accounts of what is done with the money. So if anyone has issues with some of the charities that seem to be wasteful these days. This is one that you can trust to use every penny you give.
I asked my kids to donate to them instead of a gifts for me. They do a great job and its certainly worthwhile. So much can be accomplished with so little in these countries. We have so much we can afford to be generous with time and money.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quandry of Faith..................


Photobucket




Why is religion so hard to talk about. I see both sides to the quandary. So many Christians take offense when others question them and get hot and snippy when their answers are doubted.
God gave us free will. It is up to the individual to decide what they believe. As a Christian I do believe it my obligation to talk about my faith when its appropriate. It is the only way to bring others to the Lord. However it does not mean I have to hit people over the head with my bible to make them listen. I will talk about my faith when people bring it up. I can state what I believe and if I get ridicule I can take it. I know how it sounds sometimes to those who do not have that personal relationship with our Lord. Especially women who believe they are not answerable anymore to anyone, especially men. I do not agree with that but its their right to believe it as ifs mine to disagree.
I do not think my body or my life is my own. They belongs to God. I am by nature a rebel. Not a good thing sometimes, I question way too much but thats my personality. I believe in proving all that can be proven, but....I can now accept that which I can not yet prove because of the answers that I have already found.
I enjoy a good debate. I don't have all the answers and I like to hear others opinions and to concider them.
I do believe that the bible is the word of God, I believe in God's ability to protect His word. Is every word true?. I don't know that because I believe that books have been left out. What I do know is that in context, it is true and shows us the way to Christ and salvation. The rest is to teach us life's lessons. To me it is almost a magical book because it does mean different things to different people. That's not contradictory, its how God can help us and answer prayer. Enlighten us.
I believe that we are not meant for this world in the end, God has a higher purpose for those who love Him. I love the world, the natural world and treasure it. However this world will someday change, will pass. We as Christians who have been saved by the blood of Christ will go on to fulfill our destiny. What that is I do not know, just that its good, that there will be a new heaven and new earth. That we Will be with God, have access and friendship with God as man was created to do in the beginning.
I know a lot of people can not understand why terrible things can happen to innocent people and God does not stop that. They forget that this life is not everything. That God does not often intervene. He does not promise us a long and happy life. Sometimes tragedy promotes good, if it happens to a Christian they can be a huge witness to the unsaved and bring people into the knowledge of God, see God's love and support in harsh times . God only promised to help us through difficult times not to stop them from happening. Does he stop bad things, sometimes........I am sure that sometimes He can and does. Mostly though He hopes we can work through things and trust Him. He did not close the mouths of the lions when Christians were thrown in at the Roman games, but He did give them courage to face what was to come in the knowlege that it would last just a short time before they were face to face with God Himself.
I think that if Christians looked more to what Christ would do in situations they might be a bit more popular with the mainstream of people who do not believe. Rather than the holier than thou stance that some take.
The fact is no one is perfect. If we could get to heaven based on our own goodness, our own good works then Christ died in vain, was sacrificed for naught. We do need Christ though, He is the mediator between us imperfect people and God almighty. Without Christs intervention we would never ever be good enough to be with the Creator who can only accept perfection and can not accept sin.
Sin.....just a word for being imperfect people. Sinners. Wrong in thought or deed, just one and we are not perfect. We need Christ.
Jesus came to die. No one took His life. He could have called upon 10,000 angels to save Him but instead he looked upon the sin of the world, every bad and terrible deed and thought ever done. He took that burden on Himself. He who had never sinned and He did it for me. For you..........so that we do not have to pay the consequences for our own mistakes and sin.
That does not mean that once forgiven we have a clean slate and can sin over and over again. No....it means that we must confess and not do it anymore, or at least try. God sees our hearts and intentions. He can help us to change and does.......He works in our lives if we allow it and changes us gradually into something better than we were. Even so we are still human. Still imperfect, still sinners, still making mistakes.
The church has a lot to answer for. In the past and present..........many have been misled. Many turned off of religion, many will not know Christ because of the hypocrisy in the churches. They will answer for that. Even so, each of us is ultimately responsible for our own salvation and finding our way to God because if we do not make the effort, then we are lost.
All we have to do is ask.....if we are honest and willing God will find us. He will send someone who will tell us what we need to know and do.
We need the faith that a child has in its parents. We need to cultivate faith, the ability to believe when something does not make sense. To trust that God can not lie, that God will always show us the right way.
He may not stop trouble from coming into our lives but will help us through it. For the most part our own selfishness brings on the trouble, and our wrong living shapes our future......that can not change. We just might make better choices in the future and that will then change our lives for the better but we will still have consequences to deal with. Salvation is not a free pass out of our problems in this life, just our ticket to the next one. This is not our reality, we are the catapillar, death the crysalis and the butterfly is our eternal life.

My Baby Poodle..........


Photobucket



Bridget was a tiny toy poodle. She was under 1 pound when we brought her home. She was bigger than life from the beginning. She was sweet and sassy and too big for her britches. She thought she was as big as a lion. She only lived until she was 5 years old. Its hard to believe she is gone from us and sometimes its hard to believe she was here .....except for the fact that she left such an impact in our lives. Every time we loose a beloved pet it just breaks our hearts. It never gets easier. After Buttons died I thought I would never recover but we got Bridget and she helped us through. One pet never replaces the other but you fall in love all over again.
Buttons was the love of my life when it comes to poodles she was so dependent on us. She had epilepsy and a lot of health issues that just endeared us all the more. Our lives revolve around our poodles. Once our kids left home they became everything to us. Every one was a blessing.

This is Bambi and Buttons


Photobucket


We had a silver poodle named Bonnie Prince Charlie. He played more with the kids, he was the little boys play mate. They put stickers on him and called him the president of the United States (probably the best one we have had) he was a country kid. When we moved into town he was killed by a car after someone left the gate open. He didnt know city life and the dangers. We soon got another poodle we named Bonnie, after Charlie. She was a wonderful girl and we had some great times with her. She trained us and was a beauty.



Photobucket




When I had my horse out at Golden Valley a guy named Alex had some poodle pups and I just had to have one. Thats how we got Buttons, she was cute as a button. Bonnie tollerated her at first but soon got used to her and they were close. One day someone at work found a little white poodle in the woods near their house. It was October I think. At least it was right before first snow. She was a pistol. We called her Bambi because she came from the woods. She fixated on the men in her life and all us women have scars. She was mean but sweet too. She never did get over whatever her problems were but we loved her anyway. For a time we had 3 poodles.
We will always have poodles in our lives. At this time we have 4 and I will talk about them later.

Bluebells ....Emily Bronte

Photobucket


The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit's care.

There is a spell in purple heath
Too wildly, sadly dear;
The violet has a fragrant breath,
But fragrance will not cheer,

The trees are bare, the sun is cold,
And seldom, seldom seen;
The heavens have lost their zone of gold,
And earth her robe of green.

And ice upon the glancing stream
Has cast its sombre shade;
And distant hills and valleys seem
In frozen mist arrayed.

The Bluebell cannot charm me now,
The heath has lost its bloom;
The violets in the glen below,
They yield no sweet perfume.

But, though I mourn the sweet Bluebell,
'Tis better far away;
I know how fast my tears would swell
To see it smile to-day.

For, oh! when chill the sunbeams fall
Adown that dreary sky,
And gild yon dank and darkened wall
With transient brilliancy;

How do I weep, how do I pine
For the time of flowers to come,
And turn me from that fading shine,
To mourn the fields of home!
Photobucket

We are all of us a product of our environment and of our family. There comes a time for us all to question our family values and our family beliefs. This is a good thing. We come into our selves and we listen to our own hearts. We make our descisions based upon our life experiences. We either thrive or fail. At some point we must be responsible for who we are. Who we have become. We can not ever blame someone else when we fail. If we never fail then we have never taken chances we have never tried.

A Mum at 65?...............

When Alexandra died she left behind her 18month old son Tristen.

Photobucket





At the time of her death they were still living with me. In fact Tristen has always lived here with us. So it seemed the best thing for him that he remain in an invironment that he was used to. After all his little world was terribly shaken. Thank God he was not in the car with Alex that night. It had been a great day for everyone and so he had his first day of sledding. He is too young to remember that but...........if he on some level does remember Alex it will be her smile, her energy and her love for him.
Now he has me and Granddad who are both in our 60s already. We just love him and will always do our very best for him. His grandpa Dan, Alex's dad is co guardian. We set it up that way in case something should happen to me before Tristen is old enough to make descision. He will never lack for people who love him that's for sure. We have a large family and he is a popular young man.
I can not think ahead yet to school days, to sports days, to concerts and all the things that go with that. Dan will then play a major role in his life. We will make descisions together and I would like to try to get Tristen into private schools so that we dont have to cope with the things that go on in public schools. I want him to get a good education with sport as an aside sort of thing, not the main focus. Alexandra was a cheerleader and athletic as I am sure her son will be, but not his main focus. Study...languages, knowledge and hard work. I want to cultivate a love of nature and animals and appreciation of the world around him and see for himself what God has blessed us with. He will follow his own course but his early years do help to form the man he will become.
Pray for us..........

Photobucket

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Shooting Star.............

She was a shooting star in the summer sky, burned so bright and intense and then was gone to soon. Those who she touched will never forget that brilliant light.... the smile that lit up the room. Alexandra
JKS FEB 2011

Photobucket

What we take for granted.............

For many years I have bought and collected books, art supplies and well, anything that I felt I needed for later. I figure if I don't read them right away that's OK because at some point I won't be in a position to spend money like I had been when I was working. Well that day came quicker than we thought. The economy as it is now........however I am pretty well stocked with unread books, with magazines I want to keep to read again. So....what is the problem then.
What I have always taken for granted is my eyesight. My kids called me Hawkeye......sometimes because they thought I had eyes in the back of my head but not only that. I could find a pin on the road or find almost anything because I had great vision. I could see at a distance just about anything.....I also had good observation skills that helped too.
So what went wrong. My right eye started to change colour. Rather strange. My eyes are hazel but the right eye started to be more so, almost green. I pointed it out when I finally needed to get glasses for work when I was about 40. No one thought anything of it. Then later the pressure seemed high in that eye, again no alarm, it came and went but my vision was not so crisp in that eye. Then a few years ago I went for new glasses because there was a good deal at Sears. The optician sent me to a specialist because the pressure was up again. She said I had something called Fuch's and gave me some eye drops. She said it was a rare condition and she had not seen it before and she brough someone else in to confer.
The drops did not work, in fact made it worse. My sight started to get blurry. I started to get cataracts in that eye. She thought maybe surgery but I could not afford that and so she gave me more drops. They did not work, she exhausted her supply of choices in drops and my sight got worse the more she tried to control it the worse it got. So I just left as it cost so much for exams all the time and it was not resolving anything.
Well...........I did not go back until a few months ago when I got a different doctor. He too said it was rare and by this time my pressure was 15 in the left eye and 60 in the right one.......to make a long story short. I will have lost the vision in that eye. It happened quite quickly. I am now learning to adjust and its sometimes funny, as perspective is off. I am not sure what I can do and what I can not but will be rather cross if I have accumulated all this stuff and can not use it. So
..........don't count on tomorrow, all we really have is today. I better start reading, painting and sewing while I still can. There are no guarantees that I wont develop this in the other eye but I pray not.
I just told the doctor to keep the other eye healthy and I will be happy with that. Poor man is upset that he cant help, I said hey I still have another one. That is why God gave us two of everything.
Appreciate what you have and take good care of it........it may not last.
Think I am better off not driving unless its an emergency. I can handle that. I can see on the computer just fine. I just have to be aware and careful I can handle things. People are not used to me not seeing well and I frequently walk into people. Anyway I am truly grateful for what I once had and appreciate how amazing my vision once was because not everyone was blessed with such an amazing gift.


Photobucket

Alexandra

Photobucket


My granddaughter Alexandra........what can I say. I will begin with the reason for examining my thoughts. Alex died a few weeks ago in a head on car accident. She lost control of her car on icy roads and died a few hours later.
To say it was a shock, well anyone who has lost someone unexpectedly knows what I mean.
Alexandra. She was always a beauty. I mean movie star beauty. She knew it too. She played to the camera. As a small child she was always the rebel. She was stubourn and contrary. Always in trouble. Maybe because of that she had low self esteem. She tested everyones patience including her own. She was born here in Michigan but was soon to move south as her father was a US Marine. Alex was a cute kid but sassy, always sassy and defiant. I loved her spirit even though she would try the patience of a saint and I was not that. I only smacked her once and she never ever forgot it. Alex was the middle child, Danielle was the eldest and the little mother Gabrielle the baby. When her parents divorced her father kept the girls. It began as a rather bitter divorce but over the years became amicable and now quite friendly. The divorce effected all the girls in various ways. A lot of the problems stemmed from the Marine corps life, deployments every 18months for 6 months at a time does not make for a close marriage in most cases. When her dad retired they moved back up north and lived with me for about 6 months or so while the dad went to college and became a nurse. I suppose in making a secure future for his girls he somewhat overlooked some of their emotional needs. That happens. That's life. Alex was a troubled teen. She loved horses and my old horse was a constant love for her. She enjoyed going to the barn with me. High school was a place to be with friends and she discovered boys. Her father remarried a woman with 3 children of her own. That made 6 kids in the house. To say Alex rebelled is to put it mildly. Her dad asked if she could move in with me for awhile and she did. Eventually going home again but not for long. By then she was involved time and again with boys and was somewhat promiscuouse. Eventually causing so much friction in the home that again her father came to me asking for help. She moved in with me again. She had met a boy that she thought she loved. Long story but eventually he became the father of her son Tristen.
They broke up time and again, more dramatic every time. She was always emotional, dramatic and suicidal to the point we had her commited. Her mother was by now living here in the same town. So it was that the 5 of us. Her mum, dad, step mum, and sister Danielle talked to her doctor with Alex present and she was diagnosed as narcistic, depressed and with a personality disorder. She was also ADHD and so on. They had her living at the homeless shelter for a time. By now she was pregnant after once again leaving her boyfriend after he beat her and threatened her and the unborn baby. She had a very hard road and always seemed to choose the wrong path. We were there to support her but we made her go through it all.......she did. She grew stronger. She learned about herself. She grew up. She moved on. During her preganancy she met another guy and was hoping that would work out. She was desperate to marry and have a home life. When the baby was born every one was there with her going through it and when she left the hospital they came back to live with me. It was not long before she met the guy who was to become her fiance. It was all she wanted in life. That stability of a home and family of her own.
She went to college while I watched the baby, she got a job and took care of Tristen. She was happy. She still had doubts but she was overcoming.
Her and her fiance broke up for a short time and had just got back together when she was killed. She had also got a great job lined up for when her class was complete as a dental assistant.
So.......the day she died she had taken Tristen out to her aunts house for a sleding party with all the family. Including her mother and her husband, her dad and step mother step siblings and sisters and cousins. They had a great time. Her dad left early and brought Tristen home.
She died that night.
So......................just as things had turned around she had found what she was looking for she was working hard on changing the things she now realistically saw that needed to be changed and seemingly had it all why then did she die?
So many people ask why?
There is no reason. God did not take Alex. God did not cause this. It was an accident pure and simple. God did not intervene. I believe that she is with her Lord and saviour. She is in a better place and some day we will be with her again. Its hard, always hard for those left behind. We are here for only a short time and then when our lessons are learned we have no reason to stay. Every life is intertwined with others. We all have lessons to learn. I was never good with children (ask my own) but have learned over the years to be more patient and kind with my grandchildren and now with Tristen. He lives with me now as he always has. For Alex maybe we are already together because God said we will be raised in the twinkling of an eye and so the dead in Christ are raised first but it all happens so quickly and in another dimension so that maybe already we are all reunited. I know in any case my Dad will have been there to greet her and introduce her to other relations who are there. It wont be long and we will all be there. Meanwhile there is a job to do. We have a baby to raise. He will unite the family as nothing else could. He has so many adults who love him and young people too. Life for him will be complicated but in this day and age it is for most people. Relationships are complicated in todays world. In our family we think of all the blended children as full family and do not use the words "step".............all are equally loved.
Alex fiance still had her engagement ring, they had agreed to wait until he had taken his boards (to be a nurse) before they sorted out their relationship and set a date. She died before that happened but he put the ring back on her finger as she lay in her coffin..........she would have liked how it shone and sparkled there under the lights. She was still vain (smile) and liked the "bling"
She was my shooting star who shone so bright for a short time and burned out way too soon.....................Alex, I still can not believe you are gone. Your little boy is so much like you. We will not be able to forget you because I see your eyes shining out from his when he is being mischieveouse or being naughty. We will try our best for him, we all will. Where we failed with you we may succeed with him. Alex why did you die? I don't know really, just a simple accident that we all thought you would recover from. Then upon finding out the extent of the inside injuries who knows, would you have wanted to live? You were the cheerleader and athletic and yes vain, could you have handled the scars and being an invalid? All I know is that you are OK now. That you will see everything clearly now and as I spoke with you the night before you died, I told you what a great mother you were. You will believe me now. Tristen stays with people, likes people, likes attention and is a credit to you sweet girl.
Rest in peace we will see you soon. I love you Alex
Nanny