It’s All About Perspective

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Sunshine!!! We finally saw the sun beaming brightly for most of yesterday. I told my husband I thought it had been 3 weeks since the sun has beaten out the clouds. Those cloudy, gray, rainy days were probably a blessing for my photo-sensitive eyes those weeks…but it was so good to feel the sun.

My husband hauled a lawn chair off the porch and parked it by an old open front shed yesterday afternoon. My girls (also known as chickens for those who aren’t regular readers) are very partial to this shed as it has a dirt floor and provides safety from hawks and eagles who are always looking for a chicken dinner.

We talk every so often about taking the old shed down as our kids think it is an eyesore. We have a different perspective than our children….we see a building (that is probably using that term loosely) that still has function.

That old open front shed provides shelter for the girls, a place for them to dust bath all year long, and is a great place to store my feed as it is not too far from the coop. I think in it’s former life that shed might have been the original chicken coop for people who owned this place years ago. Maybe the girls feel at home for that reason?

So much of life is about perspective. Right now, I tire easily and being dizzy and a lack of balance has become a fact of my life. Going to therapy has become my social life, though I did make it into the grocery store this week!

I know it is a long road to recovery from West Nile but I am choosing to look back and see how far I have come, rather than look at all those therapy appointments that it will take to make a full recovery. I know people always say, don’t look back, but sometimes it is good to do that; just to see the progress made.

I am choosing the perspective of “look how far I’ve come” to keep me heading towards where I want to end up! Like our weather beaten open front shed….there are things I can accomplish right now…in the shape I am in.

Let’s choose, in the coming week, to see the blessing in the rainy gray days, to see the value in an old shed and to be grateful for how far we’ve come and the ability and opportunity to go further.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed
is always to try just one more time.
Thomas A. Edison

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I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 ESV

 

 

It Is……. What It Is.

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I can tell I am starting to feel better. When my husband asked if I wanted the tub of fall decorations today, I told him “yes!”  It took me a long time to put this bit up and it was done while sitting on a chair….but, I feel rather triumphant that I got it accomplished. (I must confess when I was done I went and sat in my recliner with my eyes shut!)

Somehow while in the fog of my West Nile journey the season seems to have changed on me. My husband is picking my pie pumpkins and tells me my two plants were over achievers this year as he has counted up to 40+ pumpkins out there in the garden. I have no idea, as I have not been near my garden for 5 1/2 weeks now.

I also discovered that while in this “fog” of healing; another event passed me by. A couple weeks before my illness I became part of a book launch team for a gal that I know. She has written her third book for women called, “It’s All Under Control”.

Part of being on the team was to help promote the book, read the book and let people know what we thought of the book by word of mouth and social media. I did this for approximately two weeks, then got sick, crawled in bed, went to the hospital and cocooned myself in my home with outings to the doctor and the physical therapist.

So…….now I am getting on top of things and would like to do a book and workbook giveaway…..A few weeks late as the launch is over…but better late than never….right? Before I get to that I want to introduce you to the author and how I know her.

Her name is Jennifer Dukes Lee and she is a farm wife and mom who lives about 1/2 hour from me. I first met her when we were both speakers (as lay women) at a Christian women’s retreat in our area.

The day I met her we gave our “practice talks”. She was polished, professional, had her power point ready and even used the “clicker thing” to run it! I, on the other hand, had no power point ready, would not dream of using the “clicker thing” myself and once I started talking, could feel my mouth dry up and turn to cotton.

As I talked I could feel my upper lip creeping up my teeth and my gums and knew it was not coming down as there was zero spit in my mouth. I tried getting a glass of water to my mouth and watched in horrified fascination as my hand started to shake halfway up. I put it back down since having your lip in an odd sneer, stuck on your teeth and  water sloshed over your shirt is not a good look. Maybe some can pull that look off…..but I cannot. ( I did survive giving my talk at the retreat. I found that with a tic tac in your cheek and God …..you can do anything!)

A few years later found Jennifer and me again at the retreat. She was in charge of the speakers and I was in charge of workers the weekend of the retreat. I went to her home to help plan.

I sat at her kitchen table and confessed that I was incredibly intimidated by her. She looked at me with big eyes, walked to her counter and came back with a pan. There was lots of crumbled brown cakie pieces in it.  I ventured to ask what it was and was told they were box brownies she had tried to make. (They did taste wonderful.) I learned from this woman that we all have our own God-given gifts and the gifts we are given, are good enough.

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Back to the book launch – I did get two chapters read before I became sick and knew this was a book I needed to read. I do have to grin at how many times during those first weeks, when the launch was taking place, I looked at the cover, read, “It’s All Under Control” and wondered about the message God was clearly giving me. (Due to West Nile impacting my vision, I was not reading, doing screen time or much of anything!)

I have, on hand, a spare book and workbook that I would love to gift a woman. I specify, woman, because this is a book written by a woman for women. So, if you are a woman and would like this set please put GIVEAWAY in your comments. If you are a man and know a woman, a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a daughter in law, a neighbor that you would love to give this book to, please feel free to also put GIVEAWAY in your comments.

You do not have to be a regular reader to participate, you do not have to have your own blog to participate. This is open to anyone. I have never done this before so I will give it a couple weeks for comments and then figure out how to do a fair drawing and also how to get the books to you!

May you have a blessed weekend. May you find that letting go is okay and may you find freedom in that letting go. And may you echo the words I have said often these passed weeks, “It is what it is.”

 

“Bravery is letting go
when you want to hang on.”
JDLee

 

 

 

In Sickness and Health

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In answer to those who are wondering if I have dropped off the face of the earth……Nope!  I have just been spending time in the hospital getting over fevers of 100-103 and dizziness, achiness and pretty much feeling miserable.

Sooo,,,,,,this is just a very short message to let you all know that I am going to be out of blogging commission for a bit as I recover from West Nile. I am discovering that West Nile takes a lot out of a person and makes me exhausted.

Please bear with me and I will eventually get to reading posts and writing them.

“Every sickness has an alien quality,
a feeling of invasion and loss of control
that is evident in the language we use about it.”

― Siri Hustvedt,

Endings and Beginnings

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There are some events in life that are bittersweet. Farm sales are one of those events. There is the excitement of attending a good sale, but there is also the fact that farm sales can be intensely personal for those doing the selling.

What might look like a jumble of tools and machinery to a bystander can really be pieces of equipment that contain an amazing amount of memories for the family selling those items.

Last weekend my husband and I attended the farm sale of his cousin.  Some of the reason we went, was so my husband could take a trip down memory lane..and some of the reason was we felt it was important to be there for family.

My husband did enjoy wandering through the barn and the grove. He also did a lot of reminiscing when he was looking over the older tractors. He recalled helping his uncle when it was baling time and the old H was the tractor pressed into service for that task.

 

It was fun to visit with the family and catch up on where the kids were at and which grandkids belonged to who.

It truly was a bittersweet day, as this farm place had been in the family for a very long time. Seeing the equipment sold and knowing that soon this family would not have any relatives living on this farm spoke of endings.

The day of the sale also spoke of beginnings. Beginnings for the new couple that will be moving there and starting traditions of their own. Beginnings of new dreams with new people and new events.

In thinking about it…..it really isn’t an ending at all….it is just turning the page to a new chapter.  The land will still be farmed. A family will live in the big old farm house. Eventually children will run across the yard and search for kittens in the barn in the spring. It will not be an ending at all….it will just be a different kind of same.

There is nothing permanent except change.
–  Heraclitus

 

 

 

Early Mornings and Quiet Time

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It seems like most of our mornings lately are foggy, damp, and turning into that quiet season where the summer birds have decided it is time to head for winter homes.

It always amazes me how this time of year just seems to sneak up on me. I am not sure if it sneaks up because life is too busy or if things just change so slowly that you really don’t realize they have changed till you actually stand quietly and allow yourself to feel the change.

The other morning, was such a morning. I headed out, geared up in my yellow chicken galoshes (due to heavy dew on the grass), and went to let the girls out for the day. They had been patiently waiting (okay…maybe not so patiently waiting) for me to come open the door of their chicken run.

As I stepped out of our garage, the quiet took hold and seemed like a physical presence. It demanded that time be taken to just be still, take a breath and turn in all directions to take it in.

The shadows were long from the old boxelder that refuses to die. The early morning sun seemed to light the side of the barn and cast a glow into those dark shadows of the tree. Fog hung thick over the river and the only thing breaking that quiet morning was the steady drip of dew from rooflines and trees.

It was a hushed holy moment…..that space between the earth sleeping and waking for the busyness of the day. It is an amazing experience to be able to stand in that space and just be. There is something healing and comforting about that beautiful space.  It is a space that is full of promise and hope.

It is a peace that soothes the soul, quiets the mind and reminds us that life is to be lived and experienced. It reminds us that life cannot always be lived on our own terms or in our own time, but must be enjoyed when God presents it to us.

Such mornings are a gift and I treasure them. I often wonder if there were mornings like this when I was younger. I suspect there were….I also suspect that I never took the time back then to just stand in awe outside of my home and inhale the morning.

There is much to be said for getting older. Age does not always equal wisdom but it does slow us down, so that we may appreciate what is put before us. It makes us realizes what a gift it is, to just stand in the cool of the morning, see the treasure and wait with confident expectation of a wonderful day.

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one.
Each day is a different one,
each day brings a miracle of its own.
It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.
Paolo Coehlo

 

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly
(Psalm 5:3).

 

Building Relationships

Lake Okoboji

Last week was a busy week but such a good week. I love days that include time spent building relationships with those around me.

We attended an ice cream social with my in-laws and then we had the honor of attending their birthday party that was held, at the assisted living facility where they live, for those with August birthdays.

Friday saw us having supper with friends. It was wonderful grilling burgers, making s’mores and just relaxing around the fire pit. You can discuss a lot of topics while gazing into those dancing flames.

We spent time solving the world’s problems….not that the world will take our advice..but I thought we had some pretty good solutions. We caught up on the lives of our families, laughed about crazy things we had done in our youth and compared notes on a variety of things.

We capped our week off with a day at Lake Okoboji. Our oldest son and his family spent the weekend there. For some reason their entire summer had gone by without having a family time away. It was a blessing to share a day with them and I am so grateful they let us crash their vacation.

My sister and her husband graciously took us for a long boat ride around the lake and we had fun watching our grandchildren swimming around the boat to cool off.  It still makes me smile thinking about asking my granddaughter if she was a guppy.  She replied quite firmly that she was NOT a guppy but that she was, indeed, a mermaid!

The week was very busy but, oh so rewarding.  I hope that the memories made will last long into my children and grandchildren’s lifetimes. I hope they remember their grandpa and grandma as people who showed up.

I hope that the thought of us brings smiles to the faces of those who know us. I also hope that the thought of these times together makes them long for more of those times.

It reminds me that God longs for relationship with us. He longs to spend time with us. He wants to know our hopes, our dreams and to celebrate special events with us. Relationships with people and with God take time and effort.  It is not easy but is so very worth it.

May this week find you building relationships with those around you. Whether it be in your prayer time, building s’mores, or swimming with a mermaid…take the time for it…you will not be disappointed.

 

 

Our relationships are precious,
valuable treasures from heaven,
and we should handle them carefully,
always looking for ways to build bridges to each other’s hearts.
Victoria Osteen

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