Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Michigan Mostly Wild Flowers

 Hubby, Dino and I took an overnight trip to our favorite place last weekend – Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. I still haven’t gone through all the pictures, but I did pare it down from 160 to 122. 
 I thought that I would share at least these theme pictures – flowers, most of them wild and along Lake Superior. 

 No flowers here. But can you pick out the beauty that I spotted as we were driving along the road. One of the few times when Hubby appreciated me shouting “stop the car”.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wedding Day Countdown

I can do all things through Christ because he gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 International Children’s Bible

One of the first blog posts I wrote had to do with sewing and my daughter’s faith in me. Click here to read it.

That baby girl of mine is getting married in less than two weeks and she is once again placing her faith in me. Here are just some of the things I have spread around my house in my quest to answer her plea to remodel her wedding dress. 

All I can do is turn around and place my faith in Christ to get me through, not only the sewing of the dress, but the entire wedding day and these two weeks leading up to it. 

God, Heavenly Father, grant me Your peace to endure these stressful days. Be with Val and her fiancé and bless their marriage. Amen

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Just Sharing a Miracle Baby

I don’t like reposting other people’s blogs because it seems the lazy thing to do. But I’ve been following this family’s story since March and thought it was time to share it.

Click here for the first link that chronicles Baby Annalise entering this world and her first week. It is a long post, but you can skim it if you need to.

Annalise has hydranencephalus and hydrocephalus. From another of her mom’s blog posts: Hydrancephaly is where the brain’s cerebral hemispheres are absent to varying degrees. So from what we understand right now, Annalise does have brain tissue and her hemispheres. It’s just that the ventricles, where the fluid is stored, were larger than they should be when formed. So the brain had to form around the ventricles in a sense. Because of this, the fluid was building up so much that it just pushed the tissue to the outer rims. All that to say, the brain is somewhat there, it just isn’t fully formed. Her brainstem and cerebellum are completely developed though which is why she is doing so well. And from another post: Hydrocephalus is the excess fluid in the brain. This is the cause and reason for her abnormally large head.

The first pictures of Annalise haunted me at first, but as I have followed her story and watched her grow, I can see how precious and beautiful she is. I share her story to remind you that each life matters and each baby brought into this world, each baby conceived, is a gift from God. Also, if you have read about her, you will realize what a miracle she is; she wasn't expected to live more than a few hours. She is now five months old!

In the more recent posts of Annalise here, you can see how adorable she has become. You can also follow her progress on her parent’s Facebook page.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Psalm 37

I haven’t shared anything from the Book of Psalms in a very long time. I kind of like this one and can’t think of anything that needs adding. It is a long chapter though, so I didn’t reprint it all. You might want to check it out or maybe I will copy it for next week.

Psalm chapter 37
Don’t be upset because of evil people.
    Don’t be jealous of those who do wrong.
2 Like the grass, they will soon dry up.
    Like green plants, they will soon die away.
3 Trust the Lord and do good.
    Live in the land and enjoy its safety.
4 Enjoy serving the Lord.
    And he will give you what you want.
5 Depend on the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will take care of you.
6 Then your goodness will shine like the sun.
    Your fairness will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Wait and trust the Lord.
    Don’t be upset when others get rich
    or when someone else’s plans succeed.
8 Don’t get angry.
    Don’t be upset; it only leads to trouble.
9 Evil people will be sent away.
    But people who trust the Lord will inherit the land.
10 In a little while there will be no more wicked people.
    You may look for them, but they will be gone.
11 People who are not proud will inherit the land.
    They will enjoy complete peace.
12 The wicked make evil plans against good people.
    They grind their teeth at them in anger.
13 But the Lord laughs at the wicked.
    He sees that their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw their swords.
    They bend their bows.
They try to kill the poor and helpless.
    They want to kill those who are honest.
15 But their swords will stab their own hearts.
    Their bows will break.
16 It’s better to have little and be right
    than to have much and be wrong.

(from the International Children’s Bible)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nearly Missed a Birthday

I was going to write yet another story of my sister Pat, in honor of her birthday today. I kind of ran out of time, so plucked some pictures out of the archives. 

Happy Birthday, Pat. Instead of turning 56 today, you will always be 39.
1972 -in our basement, surrounded by a few of our favorite things. 
1985- the night before my first wedding.
1985- with our mom at my first wedding
1981 - at a waterfalls in the UP
1993 - at OKunDeKun Falls in the UP
1997- in Las Vegas
1998, June - at Lake of the Clouds in the UP.
Possibly the last picture I have of Pat, taken just a year before she died. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Broken Heart

On Sundays I usually write an inspirational blog. Over the years, something that has happened in the past week has sparked an idea which I was able to support with Scripture, finding a Bible verse which went along with my job or my running or something in the news, for example. Not that I ran out of things to say, but a while back, I started sharing random Psalms, because they are beautiful. A few months ago, I switched to Proverbs, because it never fails to amaze me how they are still relevant today.
In all these inspirational posts, I have avoided preaching and avoided controversy.  I don’t want to offend anyone and I don’t want to start anything. I just want to share my feelings and what’s in my heart, and my hope is that someone will have a better day because of it.
The end of June, I ran smack-dab into a wall, one which has left this big gouge in my heart and it feels as though blood is still oozing out of it. I’ve had a lot going on and have a ridiculous amount of stuff to deal with in the next three months, and I don’t seem to be able to deal with any of it because of this wound. I know that I need to hand it over to God and let it go, that as a believer, God will take care of things, that He has it covered, but my soul just keeps screaming out in pain.
I’ve wanted to share this with you for two weeks (it’s only been two weeks? It feels like months), but I didn’t know where to begin and now I don’t know where to go. OK. I just need to say it.
On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in every state. That Sunday morning, I shared the following image: 
And got slammed for it. As much as I wanted to unfriend some people or take down my Facebook account completely, I tried to stay out of it as much as I could. But here is what I believe and you will not sway me. This is not up for debate. Anyone reading this can believe whatever they want. I do not hate anyone anywhere for their views, but if you feel the need to share, I won’t respond. Because, as already stated, my beliefs are not up for debate. (And yours aren’t either.)  
I believe that a Christian marriage is between one man and one woman. If any government wants to make marriage that looks like anything else legal, that may be the right of the government and then the right of anyone within that government to seek such a marriage. And everyone can call it a marriage, but I do not believe that it is a marriage which the Triune God that I believe in condones.
I believe that this God of mine is the only One who has a right to judge anyone. If you are straight or gay or lie or cheat or steal, there are things you do which I hate, but just because I do not like some of your actions, does not mean I hate you. I want to love all people, but I am a sinner too. I screw up a lot and ask God for a lot of forgiveness.  And God sees the sins I commit as the same as the sin which homosexuals commit. But it is up to God to judge me and everyone else.
I believe that everyone needs to recognize their sins and ask for forgiveness. God gave us some rules, the Ten Commandments, so that society would run smoothly. He knew it would be impossible for us to follow them, so that’s why God the Father sent His Son to die for all those sins.  God will forgive everyone’s sins and He wants to welcome everyone into His loving arms.
I believe that it breaks God’s heart to see the world falling further and further away from Him. He knows what’s coming, He knows how the world will end. But God the Father also knew how His Son would die, and He knew that it had to happen that way. The legalization of gay marriage in the United States is only one in a long list of events pushing us closer to the end of the world as we know it. 
I believe God will bring me back for the New World, and I want as many friends and family to join me for that glorious day. But I don’t believe God has called me to preach that message to you. I do believe that He is calling me to at least share this post. Do with it what you feel called to do. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tour de Timm's Hill

On Tuesday morning, I posted a blog about getting back on track, running the race, pushing through the pain. Or maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. It was ironic however that later that day, I would do those things, but again, much less dramatically.

Years ago my cousin’s wife Mary was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It is one of those sucky diseases that rob people of so much of their lives. And I won’t go into detail, but Don’s family had already had enough of another sucky disease, Huntington’s, and it sure didn’t seem fair that something had to hit his wife next.

A while back, while waiting for his car in the shop, Don saw a spot on TV for the Tour de Fox. He sent an email and before he knew it, he had signed up Team Mary to participate in a walk up Timm’s Hill, just down the road from where we all live. 

(This wasn’t the spot Don saw that day, but it’s all I could find on YouTube.) 

So a group of us met at noon on Tuesday out at the highest peak in Wisconsin. And showed our support by hiking the 300 hundred feet to the summit. 

Some even went up the tower. 

I hung out and did what I tend to do too much of – took pictures. This is Don talking to Sam Fox, the guy who started this whole thing. And what a nice guy he is.
Everyone else taking pictures after we got back down the hill. 

And of course the day wasn’t complete without some driving around and taking more pictures. That’s the tower on Timm’s Hill as seen from Hill of Beans restaurant. I thought I had blogged about it before, but couldn't find it. Hmm? I may have to do that next. 

To learn more about Mary or donate to her team, click on this link.  It's not too late. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Getting back on the track

Both of my grandfathers had passed away well before I was born. I was only a few years old when my mother’s mother died so I don’t remember her at all. The memories of my father’s mother are sketchy at best – mostly things I put in my head from the few pictures I have of her. I didn’t know the feeling of loss or sorrow until a few years after she died, 40 years ago today.

I know I’ve shared this story before, maybe not in great detail, but I’ve still written it. This summer, though, having just missed running in my second 5K due to bursitis and tendinitis, this story seems more pertinent. I never thought I would miss running, but for the last five weeks, I have felt like a lame racehorse on a short leash, my ability to run curbed completely.

When the greatest filly to ever run broke her leg in the Match Race against Foolish Pleasure on July 7, 1975, she didn’t know how to stop. Her jockey tried pulling her up, but Ruffian kept running until her leg was shattered and bones were sticking out. She was rushed into surgery but when she came out of the anesthesia, she was still running. Her thrashing undid all the work the vets had done to repair her leg and she had to euthanized.

I’d like to think I had that kind of spirit, maybe not the kind that does me in, but at least the kind that keeps me going against the odds. Or at least keeps me going when I am in pain or have writer’s blog or have too much going on and don’t have a spare minute in the day or have many minutes in the day and waste every one of them.

You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged in a while and those are just some of the reasons why. I haven’t had a surge of inspiration or an “ah-ah” moment that is going to motivate me, but hopefully I can at least get back on the track.