Memories!

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Memories, come and go and little things or big things trigger them…the past few weeks I have been reflecting on my memories with our home church Northwood Alliance Church, Blaine, WA.
Changes are one of the things that gives rise to memories and change is coming to NAC as Pastor Charles & Margaret prepare to retire from ministry there this coming Sunday.  I wish I could be there but it just didn’t work out…so I find myself sitting and thinking…
We first met Charles & Margaret when our sons, Jon, Jamie & Brandon played soccer together and Margaret being the school nurse and my working in the elementary and primary schools.
We first began attending Northwood in November 2001 after my dad passed away and the struggles and issues that arose at Birch Bay Bible Community Church happened.  I could bring up the negative but what good would that do?  So let’s just say, for the better of things, our marriage and relationships we moved on from BBBCC to Northwood and it was a good move for us.
Northwood is and has been my family for over 19 years.  And like most families we have had our great times, our good times and even some hard times but what family doesn’t share some hard times AND hard times allow us to grow and become stronger.
I was our church secretary for 7+ years and I remember when Ron and I left to go to work for the Carnival (Spring 2010) Charles put in the bulletin…”it’s not often one’s church secretary runs away with the local plumber to join a carnival!” ūüėć
My memories consist of family diners, Thanksgiving and cooking/serving a 48+lb turkey, Christmas Eve Candlelight services, potlucks and Bible studies, lots of hugs and even tears but through all the memories is woven
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LOVE
and my devotions this past week have also focused on love, loving one another, loving unconditionally, loving others and showing grace.
Memories of coming together when we were hurting over the loss of a special friends…specifically thinking of Dee and Jack Nixon…they showed so much love to me, my family, our boys and demonstrated how to love one another through the difficult times 
AND THEN
celebrating marriages:
Julie & James
Jon & Rayna
Elizabeth & Chris
and so many others…
I’m thankful for my Northwood family
and as they/us face this new change of selecting a new pastor to shepherd the Northwood clan
and as we encourage and celebrate Charles & Margaret
and our Northwood family grows and expands
I’m thankful that we can love from afar for those of us not living in Blaine right now.
I’m just thankful for my Northwood family!
Blessings to Charles & Margaret!!!

U is for Unique


U is for Unique

Unique is

one and only; single; sole: a unique specimen

having no like or equal; unparalleled: a unique achievement

highly unusual, extraordinary, rare

unique

I remember hearing when I was a young child my mom saying “you are unique and there will never be another one like you” and then she would laugh and say that’s a good thing. ¬†At times I took those words as a compliment, that I was special and at other times I took it to mean “thank goodness there are not two of you – I (my mom) couldn’t handle more than one of me.

And then as I grew in my relationship with God I realized it is a good thing to be unique and to use the things that are special about me to bring Him honor by sharing who I am with others as well as working together with others to make a whole.

Romans 12:3 Р8 talks about being unique yet part of a whole.  We are all uniquely made and each of us has strengths and weaknesses yet when we work together, sharing our individual talents we can become one wonderful body.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

What is unique about you?

What is unique about where you live?

What is unique about something you have done in your life that has left a positive impact on others.

What is unique about me?  Some people would say having only one eye is unique.  I would say that I am who I am today due to the many struggles and life issues I have had to deal with over the past 55 years.  I have a heart of compassion and service which I use wherever the Lord leads me and I believe those gifts are due to the circumstances I have faced.  I can see where my struggles have allowed me to become a loving and nurturing wife, mom, grammy, aunt and friend.

What is unique about where I live? ¬†Well we live in a 37′ Class A Motorhome and move our home wherever God opens the doors for employment for us. ¬†Most recently, with the closing of Branson View Campground the Lord led us to apply for work with Amazon in Coffeyville, KS. ¬†Right now our home base is at Big Chief RV Park in Liberty, KS which is right across the street from Amazon Distribution Center in Coffeyville, KS.

What is unique about something I have done in my life that has left a positive impact on others.  I would have to say that I have turned a rough childhood and teenage years where I suffered lots of pain from abusive parents and relationships into being an encourager to my family and friends and sharing that no matter the circumstance you find yourself in you can always find something positive about it.

G is for Grateful

G is for Grateful

Grateful = Gratitude = Thankfulness

The definition of Grateful: 1.  warmly or deeply appreciative  of kindness or benefits received; thankful   2.  expressing or actuated by gratitude   3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing

I am grateful for my hubby and the upbringing he had. ¬†I am grateful he had Christian parents to raise him¬†into the wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather and friend that he is to so many. ¬†I have been thinking of his parents a lot today. ¬†33 years ago today his dad, Pete, went to be with the Lord after a long fought battle against cancer. ¬†I remember that day so clearly in my mind. ¬†It was a day full of crazy happenings: first I got my wedding rings stuck on my finger and had to have them cut off (Ron’s first trip home from work), then Anne (Ron’s mom) called and said Pete wanted to speak to Ron ~ kinda hard because Pete could not speak above a whisper so I called Ron’s boss, told him what was going on and he sent Ron home for the second time in less than two hours. ¬†After making arrangements for a friend to keep Jamie (2 1/2 years old), packing a suitcase for us and Brandon (almost 2 months) and getting the truck loaded we headed from McChord AFB to Blaine, WA. ¬†About 3 1/2 hour drive. ¬†We had reached Everett (half way) and made one of our usual stops at the rest area. ¬†Ron’s driving was pretty erratic ¬†so I told him I would drive. ¬†As I began driving towards Blaine I prayed “Lord, please let Pete still be alive or have him pass at least 15 minutes before we get to the house.” ¬†I think I said that prayer over and over all the way to Blaine. ¬†Selfishly I didn’t want to be the one responsible for Ron not being able to see his dad one more time. ¬†God is Good and for that I give thanks – Ron was able to have a few minutes alone with Pete before he breathed his last. ¬†And in sixteen days it will be five years since Anne was reunited with Pete. ¬†And even though his parents and I didn’t always get along, I am so grateful for their parenting of Ron, their love for us as a couple and parents and for our children. ¬†One happy memory I have of Pete is him babysitting Brandon. ¬†At meal time, we would put Brandon on the bed next to Grandpa and Grandpa would keep an eye on Brandon. ¬†Another memory is when we were visiting at their home when Jamie was 15 months old and I was scolding Jamie for climbing on the coffee table and Grandpa telling me “Jamie can climb on table it is not going to hurt anything.” And once Ron was scolding Jamie for throwing his paci on the ground and Ron telling him he was going to spank him if he did it again and Grandpa Pete saying something about spankings not really being necessary and Ron telling him he should have thought of that 20 years ago when Ron was a little one.

I am also grateful for the people God has brought into our lives over the years.  I am grateful for friends who encourage me in new adventures and remind me that God has never failed me yet and that He also meets all of our needs.  Today we were blessed by some friends here in Branson and so grateful for their friendship ~ we will miss you Jw & Wanda!!  We have many friends in our life who have blessed us time and time again and we look forward to making more friends as we continue working and traveling around the USA.

What are you grateful for today?