Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Fire, A Bloodclot, and the Gifts That We Recieve

This is a week that makes me wonder how people survive in life without the three Fs. Family, friends, and faith are what get me through the difficulties of life. Even in the what seems like the worst case scenarios we can see the upside and how even this could be worse.

Saturday-Natalie called to tell me how wonderful it is to live in our vintage 1977 motorhome. She and Nate had it all organized and set up just right. Their plan was to leave San Diego Monday for Washington state to begin school and new adventures. Nate just got out of the Navy after serving 8 years as a submariner. My sweet daughter was so excited with the next steps life has to offer with her perfect man by her side.

While she was driving to meet Nate about noon, she smelled a disturbing smell, then saw smoke followed by flames. She was just off the freeway and 2 blocks from Nate. She knew she couldn’t wait so pulled over and she and our granddog, Shibby, got out moments before the whole thing was engulfed in flames.

Wednesday-Natalie and Nate were able to get into the burned out RV to see if anything had been spared. They found a few pictures, some pages of her journals that weren’t lost. She also found her Nana’s Bible without the cover but the pages were intact. Precious gifts that are not lost.

Monday- Out of order! Ron was recovering splendidly from shoulder surgery the previous week. In the middle of the night he began having excruciating pain just under his right ribs. After spending the wee hours of the night in the emergency room they discovered a blood clot in his lung.  We came home on blood thinners and stronger pain medications.

I am beyond thankful for living with access to medical experts to protect my Ronnie B.
I am beyond thankful for all the prayers and support we have received from family and friends.
I am beyond thankful for a staff that steps up to be there for my bitty students when I can’t be there with them.
I am beyond thankful my girl and granddog got out of the inferno with only smoke inhalation.
I am beyond thankful that we share pictures and memories in this technological age so some irreplaceable treasures are not lost.

In Him,
Joyful
4-19-18

Monday, April 2, 2018

Butt Plunge

The promise of a new and improved home space is what makes remodeling worth enduring. Ron and I are 6 months into a 4 month remodel. We have been gifted  by so many friends who allow us to shower, sleep, cook and share internet at their houses.  Brilliantly,we purchased a 19 foot 1977 RV last spring which housed us until it began to freeze. I was always a bit skiddish stepping out in the early morning since our town had hungry bears roaming our neighborhoods. There was bear poop in our yard but I never met up with one coming out of our backyard home.

Today we moved back into our house and the Prairie Princess. There is no toilet, faucet, tub or sink in the house yet but between our RV, showering at the YMCA, a rented PortaJohn, and a makeshift kitchen complete with microwave, instant pot, toaster oven and bottled water, we will get by.

Unfortunately, there is no light in the PortaJohn and it is a bit chilly outside. I have never been that wife that complains about Ron putting the lid down. My thought has always been~why should he put it down when I don’t put it up for him. HMMMM. My thoughts have changed since stumbling out in the dark to use our outside commode. You have to laugh so you don’t cuss.  I am now coining the term   Butt Plunge. That is what occurs when my sweet Ronnie B. leaves the lid up and I don’t check first.

Our home is going to be gorgeous and we will be so spoiled and blessed by the finished results. But today I am whining about the chilly reality that is a home without running water.

In Him,
Joyful
4-2-18

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Just a New Keyboard, Really?

I have been away from blogging for far too long. It has been almost 6 months without my therapy blog. The only thing I can say is that during our remodel I have been exhaustingly busy, displaced from my home, had a lot of emotional upheaval and was overwhelmed with two jobs. But the truth is in the past all of these would cause me to blog even more. Bottom line~my iPad keyboard broke. With everything else going on in my life I just didn’t replace it until now. Pretty ridiculous when I admit it here. How many moments did I let slip away? How much healthier would I be emotionally if I had been blogging through the harsh moments of the past 6 months? I have been posting for over 8 years. Preserving my heart, my life stories and my faith is important to me but the main gift of blogging is the emotional health it brings me. So I am back with a new keyboard and a renewed need to write. I am convinced God brought me to blogging to heal my heart and keep me connected to Him. So here I am humbly pressing the keys once again.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Joyful, Prayerful, Thankful, It Takes Time to Get There



How is this even possible with the heartaches and heartbreaks that life includes? Be thankful in all things? Thankful for unbearable loss, for excruciating pain, for life's most horrible circumstances is that even humanly possible? It seems like a command that is beyond possible. Yet, as we get past the storms in life we get to choose how we move forward in life with our new realities. 

Losing our son to suicide seven years ago seemed like one of the most impossible moments to be thankful for. Don't misunderstand. If I could go back and have my precious son back I would at all costs. But our life includes this loss and always will. That moment forever changed our lives. Nothing will ever be as it was before we lost our Ryan. So with our broken hearts how are we thankful? Not thankful for our loss but for the opportunity and understanding to reach out and be there for other families going through similar loss. My prayer is that we don't ever need to use this connection with others but the reality is that too often over the last seven years we have been there to hug, hold onto and understand the grief that is drowning families. 
JOY for me is Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself. It is one of my goals to live my life this way. There is no way I could endure the pain that others are going through on my own. Only walking toward them with prayer and hand in hand with Jesus makes it possible. Others~putting others first always brings me more comfort than I could ever give them. In both putting Jesus in the center and others before myself, I actually have healed enough to be grateful for the loss of my son. Not grateful for the loss but for the opportunities his loss has opened for Ron and me. What I am joyful for is that I know that Ryan would be filled with joy that his love and heart for others is continuing even through his death.
Prayer has always a big part of my life. The quiet conversations with Christ through the good days and bad are my favorite part of the day. My prayer for others is that they don't blame Him for the heartbreaks of life but that others turn to Him for their comfort and strength. 
A pastor said 'Jesus is not my crutch but my stretcher. I don't lean on him but lay my whole life on Him.' 
I know that I could not have survived the loss of my Ryan without the friends that surrounded us with their love, the family who held us up, and Jesus' wrapping us in His arms. My life and my heart will always have a painful tear where Ryan's death tore out this huge hole. My life and my heart have also expanded with the love and connections to others because of our loss.
Our purpose in life is~
To know Him and to make Him known.
To build our relationship with Jesus through prayer and reading His Word/ the Bible and to share His love with others. I know that through our loss of our son, Ron and I have spent more time in relationship building with Christ and with others who need Him in their lives as they move through their life.
Thankful In Him,
Joyful
10-17-17

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Green Chili Eclipse Corn on the Cob

We are up in Washington for the. Eclipse and to see family. The dinner menu was rib eye steaks,baked beans and corn on the cob. I decided to use some of the New Mexico green chili to spice up the corn. Before wrapping them in aluminum foil  I added  a little olive oil, Mrs. Dash and wrapped the corn in green chili. Experiments don't always work out but these heat infused corn were incredible.

When we got to Steilacoom we made a second batch for Cam and Britt. She told me I had to share on my blog. It was just that good. It is always fun when I learn a new way of doing something. Especially when it turns out so delicious.

In Him,
Joyful
8-23-17

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Receiving the Answerrs I Desire-This Time

Retirement life with a full time job has been a gift this past year. Finding my right fit at FIT was just the direction God intended for me that I hadn't even thought of. Thank you Heather for being able to see what I couldn't see. Working with babies and wee ones who have developmental delays, are exposed to harmful drugs at birth and families who just need support and encouragement is such a gift in my life.

I couldn't conceive working all summer when I am used to a work free summer What about going on adventures with my Ronnie B. to spend time with family? Then in a staff meeting a former coworker was coming back part time since that was all that was available. Poof. I had my part time position and she had a much needed full time paycheck. Summer solved.

The last couple weeks it has occurred to me that even part time I don't have the flexibility to spend time with my Mom or see our kids and grandkids enough. I took some flack at work for once again going on a trip. My heart says I have the job path that I am supposed to be on but my head was thinking I may need to quit and just substitute. That seems logical since I would have no paperwork and complete flexibility. So I prayed for direction. Last Friday I got a call from a family I love working with. CYFD called them and the mom was in a panic. She said she called her husband and he was on his way home to support her. Then she said I was her second phone call. Not that I could solve anything but she just needed to talk to me.  Yep, I had my answer. Early Intervention is the place for me..Today God gave me even more confirmation in a staff meeting. I was getting teased for my upcoming trip to the eclipse when my director spoke up. She said she got approval for me to work     80-100 hours a month instead of 20-25 a week. YES! Now I can have the flexibility to spend time with my family while supporting and encouraging families with needs in my community.

God is good
All the time
All the time God is good

Of course I don't always get the answers I want. Lissa is not with us for her 8th grade year and my grandkids don't get to meet us for the eclipse. But this week I asked for direction and I not only got confirmation but a second message to confirm I had heard it right. So FIT-Families, Infants and Toddlers remains the perfect FIT for me and my retirement/work lifestyle.  

In Him,
Joyful
8-9-17

Monday, August 7, 2017

Our Stuff, Ridding Out and Boxing Up

What do moving, remodeling and garage sales have in common?
You rid out stuff you no longer need, want or should have bought or kept in the first place.

We all store stuff for a variety of reasons. Some things are given to us by treasured people in our lives so the thing itself becomes precious for how it makes us think of them. We have a drawing that our grandgirl, Kayla did for us. It doesn't hang on the refrigerator which might make sense. This creative piece is taped lovingly to our bedroom door. It has been there for a few years now right where she placed it. 

As Ron and I go through packing up stuff to protect our stuff from the destruction and construction of a major remodel, we are noticing all the things we love and all the things we never should have given a spot in our home. I can't tell you how many times yesterday we called out to each other asking 'Why do we have this?' or 'Where did we get this?' Or who the heck does this belong to?.

Each of us has tucked away stuff that we never use or display. As we rid out all this stuff  in our house we are thankful for an upcoming, block garage sale and for online garage sales. Heck, our old analog TV hasn't even been picked up when we posted it on Free Cycle free of charge. I see a few dump runs in our future. Repurposing is preferred and if we can make a buck or two all the better. 

This cleaning out phase of construction takes longer than we thought because we are also encountering boxes of pictures and infant handprints that belong to our now adult children. Taking pause to breath in the memories of our life together is well worth the time spent. In a few months we will be placing the stuff we decided was worth keeping onto its new place in our refurbished home. I am convinced we will pause once again to appreciate just how precious life is even with all the sawdust and construction noise that will inevitably take longer than we expected. Like unwrapping those Christmas ornaments we are so happy to see again each year, our stuff will be with us again. There will just be much less of it. Hmmmmm~room to go shopping to fill all the extra space our old TV and so many other items left behind. Now I am excited!

In Him,
Joyful
8-7-17