Early Morning Thoughts

Definition of Steadfast:
1a: firmly fixed in place : IMMOVABLE
b: not subject to change
2: firm in belief, determination, or adherence : LOYAL
her followers have remained steadfast

This jumped out at me as soon as I opened the email: be firmly fixed, stand firm…not sure why but this morning I woke up early, couldn’t go back to sleep so thought I would get up for the day…came out to the living room and just see chaos and mess…don’t get me wrong. I love our little house on wheels but it seems so messy, so full, so cluttered. And that’s how I’m feeling inside: messy, cluttered, confused…

My heart aches for all the hatred and violence erupting around the country. I try to voice my thoughts and yet feel like when I do I am attacked for thinking, thinking out loud I should say…I have asked this before “what has happened to us that we don’t allow others to share their thoughts, ask questions, speak about what’s laying heavy on their hearts without being ridiculed or attacked.

A simple thing like wanting to gift something to someone and being told “sell your stuff” “stop giving it away” “let people buy their own stuff”…I just don’t get it…what happened to being friendly and just loving or blessing someone just because you want to.

I’m feeling unsettled where I am…trying to get settled into a new job, thinking about the motive of things being said, trying to feel comfortable and just be…but feeling like there is so much to do and not sure even where to begin.

And then I opened my email for Verse of the Day…steadfast…be steadfast, be firmly fixed and I am reminded that I am who I am, daughter of the King, right where He wants me to be. Working with others who have the same goals as me: live in peace and calmness, be content with what we have, where we are and in what we are doing. And stop letting others tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing…know what I know, know what I need and keep on loving as the Lord leads.

So my prayer this morning is “Lord, thank you for another day to live for you. Help me to see YOUR beauty in the little things, aren’t they all little in the big scheme of life? Help me to continue to trust that I am living my life as You would have me to live…loving on others in how I speak to them, blessing others as you bless us and remember that what I can get done today is enough…enough. That I am enough, just like I am … I am enough. Lord as I go through this day let my love for you show in my contentment. Help me to spread peace to others and in my little home. Help me to focus on what must get done and know what I do is enough.

Words to ponder today:


What word are you focusing on today?

Goals

I have been trying to focus on what I want 2021 to be like for me. I want to find BALANCE in my life. I have many things I like to do and if there is one thing I have learned over the years it is that I have to be intentional to make things happen. Just wishing for them doesn’t and won’t make them happen. I recently read the book

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

and decided to set up goals in the same manner…listing them one by one and then being intentional in focusing on each one as least once a week, some hopefully more than others.

My goals for 2021 include (not in any particular order):
* Writing ~ one thing I did for myself was to join a group participating in a the course “A Year of Writing to Uncover the Authentic Self”by Rachel Astor. It is 52 lessons, one shared weekly. My plan is to set up a separate page on my blog for doing this course.
* Daily time in the Word ~ last Sunday, January 3rd we attended Generations Church and the sermon title was “Detox in 2021” and at the end of the sermon Pastor Troy challenged each person with two things: 1) to be in God’s Word daily. He said you don’t have to read, just to read or to say you read the Bible. Let God speak to you through His Word by a verse, a chapter, a passage, a daily devotional…just something. He reminded us it is not a race to see how fast we can read or how much we can read but to BE in the Word.

This is something I have worked on for so many years…some years I am better at reading on a regular schedule more often than not, other times it is like a shot in the arm, every once in a while. So to get myself into the habit of BEING in God’s Word daily I picked up “Our Daily Bread” that is a small daily devotional that has a scripture reference and a little narrative.

The second thing Pastor Troy asked was for people to make a commitment to the Body of Christ. He was mentioning it in the context of being connected to a body of local believers. This got me to thinking about Ron and I, our work schedule of 7 days on/7 days off and so what would the picture of being part of the Body of Christ look like. One of our responsibilities as a house parent is to encourage the children in our care to have a relationship with the Lord. This can be through daily devotions, attending church regularly and those are two things we do while working. We have worked the last two Sundays. Sunday before last we went to Sonrise Baptist Church and the two residents we had in our care. This past Sunday, as I mentioned above, we along with the three residents in our care attended Generations Church. Our dilemma is that on our week off we like to plan trips which may or may not include going to church somewhere else. We have found that things can be awkward if we attend the same church as the residents in our care especially if they are younger children. So a lot of times on our week off we just don’t go to church anywhere.

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t connecting with the Body of Believers…we may connect via phone, email or video chats…all those count as connecting with the Body of Believers in our eyes. What do you think?

**** well as time would have it I need to cut this short as it is almost time to go into our staff meeting. Stay tuned and I will write more later…

I will leave you with a few questions…how do you fellowship in and with the Body of Christ?

…do you set goals? If so, what are some of them? Do you reward yourself when you accomplish a goal or is the reward in the actual completion of the goal?

Take care and Blessings to all who read this post.

Playing Catch Up!!

Sunday as Ron and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary I made the comment “what a ride it has been!” Our journey from Yoakum, TX to Southport, NC has definitely been that!! We left Yoakum, TX on Friday, December 11th. We ended up staying the night in Beaumont, TX at a rest area. On Saturday we arrived at our campground in New Orleans late in the afternoon. We got set up and then just crashed…I think the past 2 1/2 weeks were finally catching up with us.

Sunday morning we got up and went into New Orleans to Bourbon Street and walked around for about 2 hours. We then drove around a few different parts of New Orleans and decided we definitely want to go back and stay in a hotel in heart of things. Just before noon we decided to drive across the Pontchartrain Bridge…26 miles from one side to the other. It was amazing. We then found a little cafe, https://www.facebook.com/crazypigsouthernkitchen, Crazy Pig Southern Kitchen…I chose it for the name.

Oh my goodness was the food delicious!!! Definitely will go back there again.

I had two kinds of egg benedicts…yummy!!!
This was our appetizer…brie fries: roast beef
Ron had a Skillet breakfast. Everything was yummy but the biscuit was way different from anything he is used too.

We sat outside while eating…it was a beautiful day and a fun way to spend a day relaxing. We left New Orleans Monday morning and went to Jasper, AL for the night. Tuesday morning we drove the rest of the way to Arley, AL where we stayed at Hidden Cove RV Park, a Thousand Trails park. The park was nice and we look forward to going there again. The highlight of our time in Arley was spending time with our friends, Jerry & Lynda and Len and Phyllis! So good to see friends that we hadn’t seen in years!!! We stayed in Arley till Friday morning when we got back on the road and headed to Milledgeville, GA.

We arrived late Friday evening and spent two nights with our friend, Merel. Merel and I have been friends since we were both pregnant with our boys…Brandon and Jeremy are now 40!!! So thankful for Merel’s friendship, great to see her Mama and of course share some much needed hugs and laughter.

*****

Closing for now…as tomorrow is our first school day here at Providence Home and 5:30a comes super duper early. Stay tuned for more news in the days to come!!!

A Little Delay

No pictures today…it’s been a day!!! Left New Orleans just before 10a and headed to our destination of Hidden Cove RV Park in Arley, AL

We stopped at a rest area just after passing into Mississippi and the car wouldn’t shift into gear. We tried turning it off/on. Waiting a bit and trying again. Decided to call for roadside assistance. Then Ron wondered if the gear shift not moving had to do with something with towing the trailer. So he jacked up the trailer and had me try to start it and put it in gear…voila it worked!!! Just about that time a gentleman came to see if we needed help. Ron explained what had happened and what he did. The man said that is what he would have suggested too. I also texted our friend and wondermechanic, Tim and he said to check some fuse things…Ron understood, i didn’t. Also, Brandon from our church, not to be confused with Brandon our son, sent me a text saying to call him. I did and he said the same thing as Tim. And just as we were getting back on the freeway, our friends Mike and Chris called to say check XXX out…they were glad to hear we were back on the road!!!

We are so thankful and blessed to have the friends we have in all the right places at all the right times!!! God is faithful and puts us in touch with those who can help us right when we need it.

I got a text or an email (I can’t remember which right now) from my Bestie…give thanks for the Lords protection from whatever we missed!!! She is so right…who knows what we were protected from or avoided with our delay and we were in a safe place…a nice big rest area!!!

As we continued on our drive today I found myself playing chicken with the crochet Christmas placemat I was working on…if you don’t know what that means…trying to have just enough yarn to finish a project…but alas, not to be. BUT I have the bestest hubby…he told me to find a Hobby Lobby along our route and he stopped for a few minutes and I ran into and bought 4 more skeins of yarn…and no, I didn’t have that color in the twenty-two containers/drawers in the back of the Expedition. Thank you my sweet hubby…and now I am already on to color #2 of the 2nd placemat!!!

I am one happy passenger when I can crochet and Ron does all the driving. He says he likes it better that way than if I was the one driving…LOL!!!

It started getting dark so we thought we should call the campground to check to see about checking in and finding a spot to park…good thing we did. They really don’t like people checking in after dark since the campground is really dark. So we did the next best thing…we found a Walmart along our route in Jasper, AL…and pulled in. Stopped and asked the manager if it was okay to park in the parking lot for the night…sure as long as it was towards the back of the lot. No problem…when you are 50’+ long you always park away from the front of the store.

We walked back to the rig just as one of the local police officers pulled up behind our rig. Ron went over to double check to make sure it was okay to park…he said sure…and he and his buddies will do a couple of drive by’s in the night to check on us. Ron offered him a cup of coffee and he said thank you but no thank you…it was almost time for him to go off shift.

So we settled into the trailer. Ron got the generator going, we pulled some cheese, meat and crackers out, made some coffee and hot chocolate and turned the furnace on…dang it’s cold here in Alabama!!! It’s 43’…this transplanted Washingtonian to Texas girl is not used to this cold weather.

So that’s it for today…we will write again soon. Hopefully tomorrow will be an uneventful travel day but either way we keep our faith in the Lord and trust HIM!!! Like Ron has said a lot…He hasn’t failed us yet!!!

On the Road Again…

Well we finally got on the road. A few years back my word of the year was Flexible…and boy have I/we had to be flexible the past few weeks. Our original plan was to leave Thursday, 12/10 around 10a. It got bumped back to late afternoon then to Friday morning at 10a. Well we actually got on the road at 11:01a!! And it was raining…reminded us both of many a day in Washington state with a light drizzle but then it began to pour ~ a good Texas rain!!!

First planned stop was in Houston at Cracker Barrel to meet up with our friend Merel’s daughter, PJ for lunch. We had a delicious lunch but even better conversation. Thank you PJ for the special treat and most of all for taking time out of your day to spend 90 minutes with some old folks. And for driving an hour to meet up with us!!! Your mama will be proud.

We had decided we would start looking for a campground about 4:00p and we did look. But we can’t justify paying $50+ for a few hours to only use electricity and no amenities so we opted for a rest area. We were settled in and ready to sleep by 5:45p!!! And we slept off/on till about 3:15 this morning when we decided it was time to hit the road…we have 303 miles to go today!

We will then be parked for two nights in New Orleans. Ron has always wanted to go there and we have this opportunity so we are taking it…who knows when we will get back this way. Not really sure if anything will be open due to Covid but that’s okay…it is what it is and Ron will be able to say he’s been to New Orleans!!! We are hoping to be able to at least walk down Bourbon Street and we will be wearing our masks…neither of us wants to get sick or spread anything and we want to continue to feel great!!!

Hopefully we will get some pictures and I can share them with y’all later.

Thankful for my hubby

I have said so many times “I am so thankful for Ron. He loves me just the way I am. He understands me or at least pretends too! He is a good sport and makes me laugh quite often.

Last night we celebrated Christmas with our girls ~ it was one of our ways of letting the girls that even with change they are loved.

Here are the girls snuggled under their new blankets.

And then the girls asked Papa Ron if they could polish his nails…and this is one reason why I love Ron ~ he is so loving and kind and he likes to let the girls do things that make them happy and so here he is getting nails done by A & I!

And here he is modeling the great job ~ the girls chose his special colors and A said it was for cancer awareness!!

Thank you Lord for blessing me with the best hubby and papa for our kids and grands ~ he is so good at letting us know that we are loved!!!

Change is Constant

Once again we are preparing for a move. We have accepted a position as Home Parents in Southport, NC! Our last day here at Blue Bonnet Youth Ranch will be Wednesday, December 9th. We are due to report for our first day of work at Providence Home on Tuesday, December 22nd!!

We are excited for this new opportunity as well as the opportunity to travel and see parts of the great United States that we haven’t travelled to.

Our trip to Southport will include a stop in New Orleans ~ Ron has always wanted to visit there! And then Arley, Alabama to see friends there and in Cullman. Then onto Georgia to see our Georgia family before making our way to Southport! While traveling we will celebrate our 45th Wedding Anniversary. How can that be??? We often talk about how we knew we would always be married but who would have thought we would make 45 years!!! Only the Good Lord!!!

Stay tuned for more updates!!! Now to get to my ever growing To Do List!!!

What Have We Been Doing?

First off ~ here is my warning for the week !!!

Image may contain: text that says 'BUCKLE UP Buttercup THIS WEEK'S FORECAST INCLUDES A HURRICANE, HALLOWEEN 2020, A BLUE MOON, AND A TIME CHANGE! Baton Rouge AiFamily A Family Fun'

It has been awhile since I have even looked at my blog…life seems to be crazier and busier than ever…why….I need life to slow down!!!

We made a road trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado for a Celebration of Life Service for Ron’s Uncle Kenny.

It was nice to see family, meet family members that we had never met, reconnect with cousins that hadn’t been seen in too many years to count. And most of all to share hugs and stories about Uncle Kenny. He was well loved, he loved hard and always had something positive to say and he will be missed!!!

One nice things about road trips is I get to crochet!!! This is what I worked on during the Colorado Trip. Now working on Frog to go with Toad.

Just need to add his buttons and tack down his jacket!

And of course, finding lots of other projects that I would love to do…too bad work and life gets in the way of my crocheting…LOL Though I am thinking of doing more crocheting to make a little money…need to keep my yarn stash supplied you know.

We now have two teen girls living in our home…can I say girls are definitely different than boys…we have lots of laughter going on. It’s fun to here the girls “talking like Ms Ali” they are pretty good…Mr Ron better watch out.

One thing I have been thinking about and talking about with my bestie…she really is a good listener and I miss her so….one day, some day we will have our in person coffee date and a walk at the beach…like we both say…we just don’t know when!!! One thing we have been talking about is how for so many years we have held so much in, tried to be the people pleaser and the many reasons why….old habits and learned behavior are hard to change at times. And when we do make changes and stand up for what we believe or how we perceive things to be the backlash is sometimes enough to want to make us run. We are both tired of running. Thank you sweet Dee for helping me to grow stronger and to be me, more me for me!!!

Dee and I don’t always agree on things YET we agree to disagree and talk things out like adults. Yes sometimes we get snarky with each other but we love and care for each other and we have weathered a few major big storms in our relationship but through it all we have learned that our relationship is important to us and the bottom line is we love and respect each other.

I’m saying this out loud because sometimes Dee is one of the few who lets me be me…just the way I am. And I am so thankful for that. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few other friends who love me for me and I am so thankful but I’m realizing I need more people in my life who love me for me, like me for me, and if we don’t agree on something we talk things out, agree to disagree, still remain friends and yes sometimes we even get snarky with one another but in the end…we love and respect each other.

One of these issues is

Eight new COVID-19 cases reported in Coweta - The Newnan Times-Herald

And the wearing/not wearing of masks. Hot Topic I know. Today I saw on Facebook a comment made about why all of a sudden some schools in a district are closing and not others…I am probably as confused as the next person and know that not everyone will agree with my opinion on things. But I am me and just for me, I want to put into writing what I think…and at the same time, say “please feel free to comment, let’s discuss things, but be nice…no name calling…I was called many names as a child and all it did was cause me pain…being known as an Idiot Child really does make it hard to think I am smart, I am important…and it took many years to see myself as a smart person…those old tapes are hard to turn off sometimes…but I digress…so let’s talk or not talk, but please no name calling.

I do believe Covid is real…I have known a few people who have tested positive, many who have tested negative, some who have had symptoms and some who have not. I do wear a mask when I go to the grocery store and yet at times I have to pull it off my face because breathing is difficult at times BUT so was wearing an oxygen mask when I was in labor and delivery having babies….even though the oxygen mask was there to help me breathe, it FELT like I couldn’t breathe. It just was what it was.

Do I wash my hands more, probably not, but I do use hand sanitizer a lot more than I used to … washing my hands has never hurt me. Well except for the time I had a cut on my hand and the sanitizer went into the cut…boy did that sting!!!!

What I don’t understand is why people have to be ugly at people who don’t agree with them or do things the way they do.

Just imagine how boring life would be if we were all the Image

What I do know, for me is that I can’t keep hiding and not living life. I need to be out with people…I miss my coffee and breakfast dates!!! I miss walking on the beach and being at the park. Yes people get sick, yes sometimes people do dumb things like go out when they are sick and sometimes people don’t even know if they are sick and they go out. How do I know, because it has happened to me, to our boys. I remember a time Brandon was at summer school at the UW when he was 13 and we got a call that he had a case of chicken pox!! Ugh…how did he get chicken pox…some how some way he was exposed…do we know who passed it on…nope but he got them and thus exposed 15 other students and another family….we only knew he had chicken pox when it showed itself.

I don’t have an immunity to chicken pox…I have had it 6 times! YES SIX TIMES!! And I have had shingles three times!!!! Do I hold it against those who exposed me…no, it’s just something I deal with when it happens. And believe me, as an adult chicken pox and shingles are NO FUN!!! But life happens.

And that’s how I see Covid…it happens, does everyone know if they have it or are a carrier…probably not…so we do what we need to do…when we can’t social distance, we wear a mask, do I like it, nope, but we still do it. And we do other things, we don’t go places if we know someone is sick. And yes, we wash our hands a bit more and we take our temperatures every evening plus those of our kids in our care…we are doing what we can and life goes on.

Life can be so simple yet at the same time it can complicated. . How you  choose to live yours is you… | Morning motivation quotes, Adulting quotes,  Gods love quotes

BUT Please stop bullying others for them not believing or doing what you think is the only right way to do things.

7/13 ~ Rambling on…

Logos.com

I have much on my mind and heart today and just don’t know where or how to put it all into words. The verse above is a reminder to me to just do good, one step at a time, moving one foot forward and trusting the Lord through each moment.

Psalms 37:23-24 | Scripture Pictures by Verse | Amazing Facts

Another devotion this morning reminded me that God knows each step I have taken, each step I am taking and each step I will take. Step is another word for decision…we make constant decisions each and every day and my goal is to try to do what the Lord would have me to do…to love one another.

Even when I don’t understand the reason for something I need to cling to and ……

8/18…another post I had started and didn’t finish for who knows why….just putting it out there….

Began 8/5…Thinking…

I feel … I don’t know how I feel…I wrote this on August 3:
Do you ever just want to say “Hush Up” to everything and every one!! I sure do today. And nothing has happened, just tired of all the crap going on in my world and our world….what happened to just being kind, treating people the way you wanted to be treated, being forthcoming instead of beating around the bush, being honest. We spent the last six days just resting and relaxing…not a single headache…I have been at work for three hours and 10 minutes and my head is killing me!!! Kids are not the issue, co-workers are not the issue, just a feeling of restlessness and feeling the urge to do something but what the heck to do…who knows???

And shared this last night:
I’m just so friggin tired of everything. Taking a break from Facebook.

I’m not sleeping well…lots on my mind:
Changes…sometimes are exciting, sometimes scary

Dreams…with people I haven’t seen or talked to in years: previous co-workers who I thought were friends and yet turned against me. I woke up this morning asking “how come people turn on me?”

I’m doing some heavy thinking…this is part of what I shared with my boss yesterday~

Last night when we retired to our apartment Ron and I were talking.  Needless to say my anxiety flared…so many questions, who has the answers and being Ron when he laid down he was out like a light switch.  Me on the other hand could not shut down my brain.  I played some games on my phone, played some worship music and then decided to pray…that usually helps me to fall asleep…but it didn’t.  I even thought I heard someone knock on our apartment door 😮 so I got up, nope no one there.  Went back to bed and prayed some more and finally fell asleep about 3:30 this morning.  Thankfully Ron let me sleep until I woke up on my own at 8:09a.

But when I woke up I felt this calmness and started giving thanks to God for the rest I did get, the calmness in my spirit and as I was doing my morning routine I felt God talking to me…Do you trust Me?  YES!  Have I ever failed you?  NO!  Then trust ME…everything will be okay, you don’t need a ton of information you (me) just need to do what I have put you here to do…love on these kids for the time I have given them to you.  Okay Lord BUT WHAT IF…and I felt God put his hand out to stop me…just trust ME…and everything will be okay.  Do what you need to do and I will provide for you.


I found myself sitting on my bed just remembering many times when I have felt anxious/uncertainty and seeing/reflecting on how God has always provided.  I shared with Ron my time with the Lord this morning and we both feel like we are to just do what we need to be doing and to continue to trust the Lord.  Yes we still have questions and wonder what is all going on but neither of us are feeling anxious this morning…we are in the place where the Lord wants us and look (with wondering eyes) at what and how the Lord is working.  

All this to say…just keep trusting the Lord, we may not know what He has in store for us but we do know that He has never failed us!  So keep marching towards Zion!!

Today ~ I tossed and turned from 4:30a on…finally got out of bed about 7:15. After doing what I needed to do to be ready for the day I opened my devotional “90 Days of Faith, Hope and Courage” and this is what was written:


So much has happened in our lives in the last 30 days, kidlets moved…yes we are doing foster care, yes we know we only have the kidlets for a time, yes we bond with them ~ how could we not, yes we love them and yes sometimes they drive us crazy YET it is hard to say good~bye. I remember my Dad saying “don’t say good~bye, say see~you~later.” But this time we know its good~bye till we meet again in heaven and it’s just plain hard.

Yes we got two new kids: a 6th grader and 12th grader. Older kids are different then little’s. They don’t need so much hands on but at times they are no different then the little’s when they have a hard day. A hard day whether from their own doing or circumstances of life.

We worked 20 days straight due to what was happening with the kidlets and the big kids and then we had six days off…went to our favorite place to camp locally ~ Colorado River Thousand Trails…just about 90 minutes from Yoakum. We spent time swimming, went for a drive, chatted with neighbors and binged watched “Person of Interest.” Oh and we slept. But there still seemed to be angst and anxiety.

Yesterday morning, while chatting with Ron we think we finally figured out what was going on with us…we lost three little’s whom we loved a lot. Normally there would be time to grieve and adjust to the loss but that didn’t happen as we got two new kids the Wednesday before the little’s left. Therefore we didn’t get the chance to grieve for the kids we said good~bye to as we had to immediately help the two new ones adjust to our home. SO TRUE!!!!

On top of the little’s moving on how it was handled was difficult. Yes we are fluid and flexible and change is the only thing that is constant and we expect change but when you are dealing with kids who have had more change and trauma in their life one of the things they needs is a good transition. We were informed the children were due to leave on Sunday afternoon but after watching another child who had the same case worker, transition be moved from one day to another to another to another I kept saying that the little’s would be moved earlier and without warning. And that is what happened. And that is what is hard. We had planned a couple of last activities with the little’s ~ they were excited, we were excited and just like a wave in the wind…without thought of what the little’s were dealing with we had less than four hours notice of when the little’s were moving on.

Yes, we are fluid and flexible but knowing transitions are hard for a lot of people and especially children who have had lots of trauma in their lives…transitions are even harder. So plans were dismissed, a few quick prayers, lots of tears and the kidlets were gone. Just poof!!!

8/18…started this post 13 days ago…and got waylaid….this morning is a new day…so I will just leave this right here. Just to have as a reminder of where I was 13 days ago.