Wandering Along…

Does the title of today’s post give you any ideas???

If you guessed “the Workentin’s are on the move again?” you are correct!!

And I’m sure y’all have lots of questions…so let’s see if I can answer them before you ask ~

Moving On by X50 on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

Ron explained to our co~worker (he hates to be called boss) that we (Ron and I AND Providence Home) are like two gears trying to work together. One gear has 14 teeth and one has 15 teeth and they are just not meshing together quite like they should. Neither gear is bad or wrong, they are just not working as they should. Again, nothing bad has happened, we just don’t feel we are doing exactly what the Lord has called us to do.

On our last trip to Florida to spend a few days with Brandon and his family we realized how much we miss being near and involved with their family and getting and giving Grammy hugs!!! And as we always do while traveling we had some great conversations. I shared with Ron how I felt like I couldn’t be ALL of me here at Providence Home…I love to have the kids helping in the kitchen, learning how to cook and trying new recipes. One thing we have found is that if the kids are able to help prepare the meals they are more likely to try new foods. As well it is a great life skill ~ being able to cook for yourself! Ron mentioned that he often feels like he has nothing to do ~ you can only mow the lawn so often, there is no workshop, no animals to care for and light bulbs only burn out once in awhile so don’t need to be changed every day. About that time in our conversation we drove pass a sign that said “Rodeheaver Boys Ranch” and so we checked them out online and talked about possibly looking for a new position in a setting more like BlueBonnet Youth Ranch.

Providence Home is a great place and we provide a necessary service for kids who need a short term, emergency placement but these kids don’t need a mama or a papa and that’s what we love to do. So we started praying about what should we do. Some of you may wonder how we find places to be Home Parents…we use the House Parent.net website to see what positions are out there. We have a few “must haves” in our search on where to work…the two biggies are health care insurance and working a 7 day on/7 day off schedule. And specifically we wanted to stay on the east coast (we have lots of places to check out) and no farther away then we already are from Land O’ Lakes, FL where Brandon and his family live.

Thus began the search for a new place to plant some seeds…we did contact Rodeheaver Boys Ranch as well as a couple of other places: St. Augustine Youth Services in St. Augustine, FL and A Kid’s Place in Brandon, FL (I smile every time I say that name because last time we were in Land O’Lakes, Ron saw that Brandon, FL was not too far from where Danalyn and Brandon live and had said…we need to visit Brandon, FL!)

Phone calls and emails commenced between the two agencies and then a zoom interview and then a job offer was presented to us from A Kid’s Place. A little about them, they are only about 31 miles from where Danalyn, Brandon and the little boys live! That means we get to go to football games, basketball games and spend more time being actively involved in their lives…which we always enjoy!

The set up at A Kid’s Place (AKP) is very similar to BlueBonnet Youth Ranch in that most of the kids are there for a long term placement, have sibling groups and have the 7 day on/7 day off schedule that we have come to enjoy. There are five cottages onsite, 10 sets of home parents with 5 sets working each week + YCW (Youth Care Workers) assigned to each cottage so there is always help with the children. We will once again live onsite while we are working and we found a sweet little campground which is only about 8 miles from AKP where we will park our little home on wheels for our off time. Though we expect like we have been doing here in NC that we will be doing a lot of traveling on our off time checking out places we have never been, seeing family and friends ~ now that traveling is opening up again and just enjoying our life wherever the Lord plants us.

Our last day here at Providence Home is June 4th. On Saturday, June 5th we will have lunch and fellowship with our “stalker” friends, Jen & Lee (there is a story there) and then begin our travels to Florida on Sunday, June 6th. We will first be going to Savannah, GA for two nights and then onto Orlando, FL for two nights and then arrive in Brandon, FL at Bethesda RV Park on Thursday, June 10th. Our tentative first day at AKP is Monday, June 14.

The word we have shared a lot this past week has been AMBIVALENT – we are excited for this new adventure, like a friend mentioned to me…time to sow more seeds in a new location ~ we may never know the impact we have made on the kids we have cared for or the people we have met but we know our garden has grown immensely. We are definitely excited to be closer to family or at least part of our family and yet there is sadness as we leave NC. We have met some wonderful people and look forward to continuing those relationships and love being near the beach so we are sure we will be back to visit as the Lord opens doors.

Blessings to each of you who has traveled this crazy journey with us!! We look forward to sharing more of our lives, what we do and who we meet with y’all!!

Have a beautiful day!!!


Ramblings through Life

I’ve had a weird few days…not sleeping well, lots on my mind, anxiety about one of our girls who went missing for 5 days ~ thankfully she has been found and is now in a safe place…oh what I would give to be able to give her a hug and let her know things will be okay. It’s been quite an emotional roller coaster as well with the passing of Ron’s Uncle Merv and once again reminded that our days are numbered. Lots of memories have been flooding my mind ~ memories of time with family and missing some family times. Being thankful for the family in my life…birth family, family by marriage and the family that God has blessed me with.

I have to be careful when the memories are running as it is easy to go down the path of “what if?? what could I have done differently in different relationships?? is there anything else I can do to build up old relationships or strengthen new ones???”

But I just can’t seem to shut my brain off. One part of my brain says “hey lady, you need to get some sleep” the other part is saying “what if you do XYZ? or how about ABC? or even KLM?” and the thoughts just keep running and jumping, twisting and turning.

After getting about 3.5 hours of sleep last night I finally got up. I made my way downstairs and opened my laptop and Bible…

First thing to come up was my daily devotional from FaithGateway about Unswerving Authenticity and Our Daily Bread titled Walk, Don’t Run…a double whammy to get my thoughts really flowing.

Being who you really are means lowering your defenses.

Authenticity…once I was told that was what someone liked about me…I was authentic…and that has stayed with me all these years. Thanks Benjamin for sharing with me. When I was a child I used to pretend to be this or that I did this and as my walk with the Lord progressed I found I just wanted to be true, true to me, to my husband, and to others and I wanted to teach and be an example of being authentic to those who came into my life.

“Real isn’t how you were made. It’s a thing that happens to you,” said the toy horse. “When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.”

This old toy horse in Margery Williams’s classic children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit not only squarely identifies the second essential step to health and wholeness, but wisely notes that it is the result of being loved.

I have thought about the little toy horse many times in my life and have to totally agree…when we are loved, when I am loved is what life is all about…needing and wanting to be loved. And when I am loved I can be who I truly am.

This past year I have questioned myself many times over ~ am I doing what the Lord would have me to do? am I the wife to Ron that the Lord would want me to be, what about being a Mom and Grammy, being Mama Ali to our littles and then to the teens who have come and gone in our lives…and maybe I will continue to question myself about just this. And maybe that’s a good thing because it keeps me from getting stale and stagnant.

Another quote from my devotion

“Authenticity is all about being rather than doing.”

Oh how I struggled with just BEING! I remember being so sick with pneumonia that I couldn’t get off the couch and that was after a week in the hospital and I was talking or more like crying with Pastor Charles on the phone and he said to me “just BE!” I didn’t even know wha that meant…to just be. At that time of my life I didn’t feel I was worthy to be loved or even liked if I wasn’t doing…

I have learned to BE ~ and Paul tells us in Philipians 4:11-13

Contentment is Person. Not that I speak according to lack, for… | by Bob  Forrest | Medium

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

just what that means: to be content with what we have and in whatever circumstance or situation I find myself in to be content…doesn’t mean I have to like it, doesn’t mean it is the best thing going, but to be content and remember that God is in control.

Continuing the them of BEing and content in my circumstances

Micah 6:8 Art Print by jennajordanstudio | Society6

that I am to act justly, love with mercy and kindness and to walk humbly (Micah 6:6-8). If am following the directions of the Lord than I will be at peace in all circumstances.

And so I continue my day today, though I am tired I know I am loved, I know that the love that God has shown me I am able to show the children in our care and to remind them that though at times our lives feel like one giant storm we are never alone and we don’t walk through the storm alone and that if the storm can’t be calmed how we think it should be calmed, God will walk through the storm with me/them and though it may be storming all around me I can have the peace of the Lord within me.

My question to you today is

How do you calm your raging storms?
How do you help yourself fall asleep when it seems to be alluding you?
Do you have a favorite verse you cling to in difficult times?


Darkness to Light

The title of my devotion today…immediately I thought about a time in my life where all I could see was the darkness or negativity…ALL the TIME! Thinking back to that time I am surprised that I survived, not only survived but thrived. I still have dark days but nothing like in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s ~ so many things were going on with me during that time that every day seemed like a horrible day (well in my memory anyway).

Even though I know not all the days in those 30 years were filled with darkness many of them were. And today I am so thankful for the light that is in my life, my heart and my being.

The scripture reference for today is Isaiah 9:2-6

Thus It Is Written: Isaiah 9: 2,6 | Alphabet and numbers, Alphabet, Isaiah 9

Darkness is disorienting and leads to negativity but focusing on God’s Word and claiming His promises brings so much light in my life.

My bestie, Dee posted a link today on Facebook, 3 Ways I’m Learning Limitations as Someone With Chronic Illness and the article really spoke to me…1) learning to say No, 2) being loose with plans (being flexible), and 3)everything is morally neutral…all things I have come to learn and am still learning today. And how this article goes along with my devotion today:

That I can have peace even in the midst of both good and bad times, hard and easy times, when we are abounding or struggling in ANY situation or circumstance.

biblesocietyoz on Twitter: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every  situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests  to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all

This past week has had some difficult times: learning our sweet Uncle Merv went home to Jesus, no less than on Anne’s (Ron’s mom) birthday ~ what a great gift for her ~ to see her brother who she hadn’t seen in 13 years!!! What a reunion that must have been!!! Finding out one of our girls ran away from care ~ no one has heard from her (five days as of today) and all we can do is pray that no matter where she is or who she is with that she is safe.

Yet the week had lots of sweet times: seeing our friends Barb & Roy after 3 years!!! So glad to spend time with them, laugh and cry together, hear their sweet singing and meet new friends! And seeing part of this beautiful country where we had never been. Seeing where history took place…there is just something special walking on ground where others gave their lives for our freedoms ~ something we should never forget.

Good news came our way as well ~ finding out there are no signs of diabetes in my eye. And only having one eye that works that is GREAT news!!!

Another blessing ~ reconnecting with old friends!! And seeing how the Lord has been working in their lives over the past 40+ years!!! Watching how the Lord opens and closes doors in ways no one expected. And hearing that one of the young girls we cared for in the past is graduating this year ~ what an accomplishment for her!! Excited to see where the Lord takes her in the days to come!!!

How do you deal with darkness in your life?
Do you ever look back to see where you’ve been and give thanks for where you are today?

I saw a question someone posted on Facebook the other day ~
“Would you go back to high school and live your life over?”
My first thought was NO Way!!! but then I thought if I had the wisdom of the past 45 years that I could take back with me then maybe but then again maybe not.

I will just do what I keep trying to do now ~

Live my life to the fullest,
Extending grace and mercy
Reminding myself no one is perfect
And I just need to keep doing what the Lord has called me to do

Love one another!!! Just as He loves me!!!


Day 9 ~ 31 Days of Writing still going on!

A loaded question for sure!!! It seems I am constantly working on myself and maybe that is a good thing. As I have committed to copying my journals from paper to the computer it has allowed me to reflect on things. The most recent writings have been from July and August 2016 ~ a big change in our lives. We lost one job due to restructuring of the company, got hired by another, had a quick trip to Texas and was able to spend almost two weeks in Blaine.

I had some great time with my bestie, Dee, good friends Jim & Mary, great discussions with Pastor Charles as well as time to see all of our grands!! And then we moved to Texas for the next job which was as Home Parents at Methodist Children’s Home/Boys Ranch.

Who would have ever thought that becoming House Parents would allow us the second chance at parenting? And eventually to girls.

In response to the question above I want to continue to learn how to extend grace to myself that I have learned to give to others. And to continue to learn to make good choices about eating and other aspects of my health.

Ron and I recently just joined up on MyFitnessPal.com. My user name is Ali1257 and Ron’s is RonbestPapa. Send us a request if you want to join us on our journey of getting healthier. One thing we like about this app is that we can scan bar codes and pictures of what we are eating to make it easier to choose the right food items.

Another thing I continue to work on is my relationships with people and to be more intentional. I think this is an ongoing project that I will continue throughout the rest of my life. I try to be more intentional with my time, be in the moment when I am with people whether chatting via text, on the phone or in person.

And then the thought came to “I am constantly working on myself ~ why is that ~ because I am not perfect!!! What a concept…I say that while laughing. I have known for a long time I am not perfect by any means and all I can do is make better choices today than I made yesterday. One way of doing that is not dwelling the past but focusing on today and looking to the future for the opportunities to be and do what the Lord has called me to … and that is to love one another. And realizing that loving one another may look different with different people.

I think about my relationship with my sister Joanie and I usually do think about her this time of the year as I think about my sister Kathy, who on the 12th of this month would have been 67. And how she has been gone from this world for almost 13 years and I think about all the conversations Kathy and I had about Joanie. How sad I am that she has cut off all communication with me, Ron and our boys as well as her not knowing our grandchildren. And with it being Mother’s Day I think about my mom and how sad she would be to know that her only two girls left don’t even know what the other is doing. Or that they don’t speak to each other. Oh how I wish it was different.

I am thankful though for the relationship with my niece, Christi, Kathy’s daughter. We may not see each other often but we text and communicate through Facebook and it excites me to see her growing into a beautiful young woman who I know her mama would be proud.

Another benefit of rewriting my journals to the computer is the memories that come flooding back of the many friends, who I like to call framily (you know more than friends but not blood family). One pleasant memory I was reminded of was when we spent a week in our Pastor’s home, helping out with the dogs, seeing lots of friends in Blaine and some great conversation with Pastor Charles…at that time, we had been friends for 15 years and reflected on how God became such an integral part of our lives and how we learned to really lean on Him and trust Him and now 5 years later we have even more examples of how the Lord has guided us and taken care of us.

And all the places we could never have imagined seeing but here we are ~ moved clear across the US from one coast to the other. The moves haven’t always been easy but looking back we can see how the Lord just kept opening doors when some were closing and brought people into our lives at just the right moment. And it all just shows me that

God is Faithful I am Blessed - 3T Xpressions

I hope that whatever you are doing today and whoever you are with that you too feel blessed!