Friday, September 30, 2016

Las Cumbres, My Path

Life's next adventure is beginning to unfold. I am becoming a part of my new work family after taking a slight wrong turn at a wrong for me job. Las Cumbres Community Services worked with my Natalie from birth to three years old. They provided her with services so she could be the best Natalie she could be. What a beautiful support at the beginning of her life. Now I am fortunate to be in a position to go from guiding middle schoolers to reaching out to families with these wee ones. Each of their story will be different but I get to be a part of their first chapter.

FIT~Families, Infants and Toddlers is a federally funded program ran by states to provide services to any child who is at risk or has needs that shouldn't wait to be addressed until they are school age. I love that our government recognizes that early supports make for more successful lives. My gift now is that I get to be a part of several families lives. It seems I bring an insightful perspective having worked with older children and adolescents who struggle. God has placed me right where I am supposed to be in my next step after retirement. So thankful I am this path and moving forward.

In Him,
Joyful
9-30-16

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Surrounded By Others Who Love Us

New beginnings, new challenges come into our lives. The closing of one chapter and the opening of another. Often our lives are sectioned by major events, some heartbreaking loss and others joyful additions. The adding of a spouse after a beautiful wedding or the birth of a child held in new parents arms are both those precious additions in life. While the loss of a loved one or the hurt of divorce bring us to our knees. The greatest treasure in life is that we surround ourselves with family and friends during each of these life changing moments. Others who walk beside us, celebrate with us or simply hold us in their arms as the tears flow. Those angels in our lives are surely our greatest gifts everyday and most especially during the great transitions of life.

Robert Frost wrote- 'The best way out is always through' I claim this as one of my life mottos. But what it really should say is the best way out is surrounded by people who love us.  If you counted those 5 people who have walked beside you on one hand? Who would they be? For some of us it would take both hands to count those who have poured into our lives. Who would count you on their hands as someone who has been there for them? Take some time and let those people in your life know that they are your one of your life people. I am sure they already know but boy is it nice to hear the words.

This week one of my people has been walking beside a family through the death of a husband, father, brother. Her heart for them reminds me of how she and others have been there for me as my life unfolds. What a gift we have in each other.

In Him,
Joyful
9-29-16

Monday, September 26, 2016

Reflections~Reflecting

Reflections on the lake. Reflecting of our lives. These seem to go hand in hand out here on Lake Powell. Sitting around our gourmet dinners or sitting around the beach fire seem like the perfect times to share our lives with these special people. There are family and friends who lived our lives with us so know our history first hand. But those who come into our lives midway through just see who we are today but not how we became who we are. 

Spending time reflecting on our past is enlightening. Our lives were greatly impacted by the forming of our family through adoption. That whole process of infertility, joy and loss involved a lot of heartbreak. Having adoptions fall through and babies who were in our arms taken back was painful. Living it was exhausting as well as unsure. Looking back to the distance of those days knowing that our family came together just as it was meant to be brings a comfortable sort of pride. Pride in us as a couple that we kept the faith that we would have a family if we persevered. 

When I was a little girl I used to be sad that I was born on Wednesday. Wednesday's child is full of woe is what they say. My sister was born on Sunday and the saying goes that Sunday's child is full of grace. Reflecting on our journey, our life it is true that my life has been full of woe. More challenge and heartbreak than most. But what I know now that I am on this side of life is that it is okay to have woe or grief in my life. The important thing is not what storms we live through but how we come through those storms. This week of reflection has been such a gift of relaxation and healing

Ron and I have a life that anyone should envy. We have each other, kids and grandkids. Our lives are full of love, family and friends. This child of woe feels blessed to be a Wednesday child who has just the life, just the memories that I was meant to have. This week of reflections has been such a gift of relaxation and healing. Twenty years down our life's road we will have even more to reflect on. There is bound to be more heartbreaks along the way but I am confident Ron and I will come out with our arms and our hearts wrapped around each other.

In Him,
Joyful
9-20-16

Jetsetters No~Jetskiiers Yes

Jetsetters maybe not but we are now jetskiers. Soaring over the water on this water motorcycle is invigorating. Being on Lake Powell adds the colorful canyons to explore on our machine built for two. We have found narrow canyons that no boat could enter with steep cliffs that soar toward the sky. These have become our favorite spots to stop and swim. The water below is as deep as the walls are tall. It is simply fabulous to go from skimming over the lake at 50 miles an hour to floating completely still. This must be heaven on earth. There is really no other way to describe it. 

It is wonderful to be on the water but I have to say my preference is still to be in the water. Just being enveloped in its coolness brings complete peace and relaxation. I could stay in the calm of the lake for hours. The cool water with the warmth of the sun on my back is definitely my happy place. How blessed to have had this week on a houseboat. 

Fantastic friends, delicious food, spectacular views, a few good books, lively music at times surrounded by this endless lake has been a dream come true. I couldn't have imagined it more perfect than it is. This is the life. LIG~life is good.

In Him,
Joyful
9-19-16

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dickie Doo and Wrinkles Too



Do we ever outgrow the thrill of getting a sneak peek at the forbidden? If our lake trip is any indicator, we do not. Jeff and Ron spied some naked sun bathers on their houseboat's upper deck. Now trust me, these were not bikini models by any means. But the giggles of seeing what you are not supposed to see kept them glued to the eye piece. Ron even sounded like my Mom giving a narrative of what they were doing, what they were reading, who was going up and down the stairs and who was scratching where. Too funny!

Melissa and I were both more amused by our guys than the thought of seeing a pair of saggy boobs or wrinkled ball sacks. It was sort of adorable how the guys with telescope and binoculars in hand would try to look nonchalant when they thought the sun bathers might have binoculars and be looking back at us. Ironically, Ron and Jeff decided to cook up the link sausages rather than bacon for breakfast this morning. 

The nicknames started to flow from 10 inch Tommy to Dickie Doo. Jeff explained that Dickie Doo was when your belly sticks out farther than your dicky do..... His dad shared that when Jeff was younger. Surely his dad was looking down and smiling at the thought. We would feel bad about invading these people's privacy but the fact is they were on display. We may be peeping tom's but they are certainly inviting our attention. 

So what Bible verse is there to go with this blog? Seek and ye shall find. Guess that works.

In Him,
Joyful
9-18-16

Oh The Music We Were Raised On.

It occurs to me that we all are raised and then raise our kids on various musics. Last night we were on a houseboat in Lake Powell with friends. They brought their favorite tunes and we brought our old standards. Each family has their music. Usually it is what the parents are drawn to and the little ones get familiar with.

Jimmy Buffet and Harry Belefonte rang out with familiar tunes. So familiar that we could sing the words out. Our kids grew up in the back of our 1975, yellow camper van belting out Margaritaville and Matilda. We threw in a bit of Weird Al Yankovich to keep it normal. One of their favorite Belefonte had the lyric~ Shut your mouth, go away Mama's had a booboo day. It still makes me smile remembering how they loved to tease me about that one. At Paul and Cindy's wedding we have sweet pictures of Katie and Ryan, who were about 5 years old, dancing together to Buffets~Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw. Appopriate? Probably not. I liked to crank it up.

My parents raised Teri and I on Hee Haw and all the artists that made up that TV show. When my dad put a record on the hifi it was usually Porter Wagner, Buck Owens or Jimmy Dean (Yes, he was a country star before he made breakfast sausage) Some of my fondest memories were of dancing around on Dad's feet listening to the old country classics.

Each of our kids will certainly raise their own families on the music selections they enjoy. Maybe they will include a little of the tunes that we shared when they were young. Who knows maybe Ron and I will learn a few lyrics from their playlist along the way. 

In Him,
Joyful 9-17-16

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Three Heart's Desires

"Today is the day!" This is a positive, persistent outlook that Mel Fisher lived each and everyday while treasure hunting for the Atocha. Sixteen years of hard work, tremendous sacrifice and positive persistence paid off when he finally found his treasure. Each of us has a treasure out there to pursue. For most of us it will not be emeralds and gold bars but something even more valuable. A life lived fully with a career path that is satisfying and rewarding along with family and friends who support us through all the good times and bad. The task is to remain positive and focused leaning toward what matters to us in life. Rather than settling by surrounding ourselves with fair weather friends or remaining in jobs that don't spark our souls we need to strive toward being fulfilled.

For me being Ron's wife, a teacher and a mom were my three heart's desires. Falling in love with my high school sweetheart was my hope for a year. Every time I left the house I told my mom to tell Ron where I was when he called. He didn't call for almost a year and when he did, my mom almost dropped the phone. Becoming a special education teacher was the goal. No one in my family had ever gone to college before. My mom worked at JC Penneys and deposited her whole paycheck in my account. She did this while juggling all her other jobs including bookkeeper to my dad's construction company. I worked to pay my way through school as well. First, I studied to get the grades to get an academic scholarship then I worked at a drugstore throughout college. Even becoming a mom was a pursuit in positive persistence. When the docs found endometriosis the first step was to get healthy then see how to get pregnant. When the day came that made it clear that even with multiple surgeries my womb was not only closed for reproduction but literally in the hospital trash, I immediately reached toward adoption options. Our family of six was formed, chosen, created through the generous, loving hearts of birth moms who shared their most precious gifts with us.

My heart's desires all came to be. They didn't just happen. I had to be brave enough to stick to it even when the odds seemed stacked against ever achieving my dreams. Ronnie B. could have been quicker on date number one. I could have been born in a family that college was a given. My body could have been built to give birth. But life is what life is and I could have settled and given up on my hopes and dreams or I could have done what I did. Worked hard to make those dreams a reality. Looking back as a now sixty year old I am so glad I never gave up but believed in and worked to make my life~this life.

Today is the day. The day I am sitting on a houseboat with my Ronnie B. My teaching days may be behind me but the lives I have touched and the relationships will forever exist. This is the day that my kids are grown and I already have five wonderful grandkids. Positive persistence. Certainly there were days of despair. Days I thought it was hopeless but faith, family and friends are the support and drive that got me through. My heart and life is full. The journey has been more than I could imagine or dream of. Today is definitely the day I am grateful for my life.

In Him,
Joyful
9-15-16