Day At A Time

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The other morning my husband and I were discussing the summer and wondering what had happened to it. It is so hard to believe that we are already in August and the stores are having “Back To School” sales.

Somewhere in the middle of wedding plans…..moving elderly parents….floods and day to day summer things the time just blew right by us. We have now moved to the phase of harvesting the stuff in the garden, trying to keep weeds under control in the fields and the garden and keeping the lawn mowed.

When we get to wondering how time seems to move so fast; my husband’s favorite line is, “One day at a time…one day at a time”. He is right, of course. Each day starts full of promise and before you know it….the day is done and it is time to call it a day.

It is good on these seeming fast days to stand and watch the sun come up. It is good to take that minute to marvel at the beauty that is around us….the blue of the sky, the lush green of a lawn, the fawns that wander onto that green lawn,  and the vibrant colors of the flowers that are in bloom.

Those moments are a gift. They are a wonderful free gift to us to stop and take a breath….to stop and really enjoy that moment of the day we are given. They are an invitation to forget the busyness for a very brief time and just enjoy the moment that is.

In all the busyness that is our lives, may we enjoy the gift we are given. May we remember to take that small moment and watch the sun rise and the sun set. And may we enjoy all those moments between the rise and set. May we remember to take a day at a time and maybe even a moment at a time……

 

 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11

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Boundaries and Fences

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I spent a little time this past week catching up in my garden. This included hoeing to get rid of those pesky weeds that seem to spring up the minute you turn your back. It also included picking my beans.

As I was standing in the fenced-in, rabbit proof portion of my garden (at least I thought it was rabbit proof) I heard the noise of something smashing against that chicken wire fence. Every time I looked the animal seemed to have disappeared.

I finally discovered a rabbit hiding in my beans and with the help of my husband; that rabbit was escorted out of the garden. (No he was not harmed in his removal.) I proceeded to finish with my gardening chores and had a little time to ponder as I did so.

It kind of amazed me that a rabbit actually made it through the fence that we had so carefully built and put into place. It also caught my attention that once that rabbit had made it into the enclosure he could not figure out how to get out.

I think our lives can be a lot like that. There are rules/bounderies set in place that are intended to keep us safe….much like the fence was intended to keep my beans etc. safe. I wondered why so many times we look at those “fences” as something that is meant to keep us locked in, rather than to keep the “rabbits” of our lives out, and to keep us safe from those “rabbits”?

Thinking that over, gave me a new perspective on the boundaries that we all have in place in our lives. It made me think of the parent who allows their child to do anything; because they feel that to discipline them, means they don’t love them. It made me think of the friend who is afraid to speak truth in love to a friend because they are afraid it will ruin the friendship and hurt the other person.

Reality….setting boundaries for our children, for ourselves and for each other speaks love. It says we care enough to hold ourselves and others accountable for actions taken and words spoken.

I used to tell my children that if I did not love them I would not give two beans what they did. I also told them, that I would be loving them till the day I died so, unfortunately (or fortunately??) for them, I would be holding them accountable for that length of time. Hopefully, as parents, they now appreciate that logic more than they did when they lived under our roof!

In my pondering I also thought about the fact that even though we do build those fences of protection..life happens and rabbits do end up where they should not be. When that happens….it is always good to get help to escort those “rabbits” right out of your life…..because that is what friends and family are for.

May this week find you checking your “fences” and making sure you have someone to help you with the “rabbits” in your life! May your boundaries be clear and your fences be strong.

Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures.
Edwin Louis Cole

Wedding Memories

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It has been nearly a week since my middle son was married. For some reason it has been a week that has flown by. We have spent time “slothing” this week and also trying to catch up on things that did not get done in the weeks before the wedding.

There has also been time to reflect on last weekend. So many of those memories just bring a smile to my face. Whenever I see a photo posted on Facebook to do with the wedding it brings the joy right back.

I am going to share a few of my favorite photos of last weekend with you. Most of them I did not even take as I was too busy being mom of the groom. So credit for these goes to pretty much everyone else. To be honest I am not sure who took which photos!

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I loved the fact that this wedding brought family from Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and other parts of Iowa. For my husbands side of the family it was the first time in a long time that this many of my nieces and nephews were able to be in the same place at the same time. Only one niece was missing, as she was on a mission trip to Korah, Etheopia. (The three guys in tuxes belong to me!) This is the standard photo taken of this bunch. Ever since they were born we have been lining them up according to age. (They did make the comment that the guys on the left seemed to have more hair that the guys on the right!)

It was such a blessing to watch the generations come together before, during and after the wedding. Our grandchildren connecting with their Great Grandparents was something that made this Grandma’s heart full.

Watching my husband care for our youngest grandson was truly a joy. He has a gift for dealing with our grandchildren….maybe that is because he has been growing older but not quite growing up?

I also must confess I did enjoy the mother/son dance. They let me choose the song and my choice was, “I Hope You Dance.”  It has long been my hope and prayer for my children.

The smiles on the faces of my children and their families was a gift that was precious indeed.

 

20180714_185706.jpgWhile all these photos are precious I truly loved the one that someone took of the newlyweds as they watched the video of their lives.

I love the way my new daughter-in-law rests her head on my sons’ shoulder and he has his arm around her

It speaks of trust…… It speaks of protection…..It speaks of love.

My prayer and my hope is that they never forget that feeling. That through the ups and downs that come with being married and navigating life together….this moment comes back and is fresh in their minds through all the “stuff”.

I pray their hearts and minds stay faithful and that they look to the example of their grandparents and parents. It was an incredible witness at the wedding that there were four sets of grandparents and two sets of parents in attendance…..all still married to the spouse of their youth. It was a witness to the perseverance of love and trust through all the things that life throws at you.

May this weekend find you remembering the joy of your youth. May you remember what it was that you loved about your spouse when you first met them. May the “bumps” in the road of life smooth out as those memories come to life again.  And above all…..I Hope You Dance!

“I Hope You Dance”

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance, I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance, I hope you dance
I hope you dance, I hope you dance

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful Busy Days

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I had really intended to write a blog post this past Monday…and when that day passed I thought sure Tuesday would produce a piece of writing….nope. Then came Wednesday and now it is Thursday and time to actually sit down and get this done!

My only excuse for taking this long is that last week was really busy due to son #2 getting married Saturday night. It is also due to the fact that my husband declared Monday to be a day of “sloth”. (You have no idea how I enjoyed that day of sloth!!)

I confess we “slothed” like the best of them. Other than returning tuxes and a roaster we did absolutely nothing……and it was wonderful.

Last week we kind of hit the ground running. Tuesday was spent retrieving the cupcakes that I had baked a few weeks earlier and stored in a large walk in freezer that a friend offered. (She is a gem!) I also went to the grocery store to get those last minute groceries that I needed to have for the rehearsal supper Friday night.

Wednesday, with help, 400 cupcakes were decorated and stored in 11 tubs. Of course we had to sample the various frostings that were used and also the extra cupcakes that we ended up with. We had 5 varieties: Lemon Gluten Free, Red Velvet, White Almond Raspberry Filled and some unfilled, Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. No one became ill and they were declared a success.

 

Thursday was spent delivering cupcakes and several rustic crates for decoration, to the event center. We also loaded our pickup with chairs, a gas grill, paper products, condiments and so on to take to a brand new shed on the home place of the bride’s sister. (This was in preparation for the rehearsal supper).  Time was also spent setting up and a bit of decorating was done there.

I found out later that our new daughter–in-law had texted our son, her groom, commenting on our loaded pickup…..yes….we resembled a cross between hoarders and the Beverly Hillbillies minus grandma sitting on a rocking chair on the top. In our defense it was a 40 minute trip one way from our house to our destination, and we wanted to make that trip count……we have become master packers!

The Friday schedule included decorating the church and the event center. Then it was 20180713_141636.jpgtime to get our nails done. It was a lot of fun spending time with the bride, bridesmaids, flowergirls, personal attendants and the moms. I then headed back home to get the baked potatoes in the oven for the rehearsal supper, pack the food and get ready for rehearsal and the supper to follow. I am eternally grateful for siblings who came and helped us as we hosted the supper. They grilled, set out food and kept things running smoothly.

Saturday dawned cooler and clear…..a perfect day for a wedding. Hair appointments were first thing in the morning, then helping with the children (all the nieces and nephews of the bride and groom) who would be ring bearers and flower girls. Photos were taken and before we knew it; it was time for the main event….the wedding and reception that followed.

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It was a sweet time of gathering and celebrating. There was so much packed into that week that we are still processing all the details. It would seem that it would be hard to take it all in, but we found if we took an hour at a time we really had time to enjoy every part of the week.

I will be posting more and reflecting on that oh so sweet time……once I do a bit more “slothing” and get those thoughts in order.

(Oh….I also need to let you know that I did not take many of these photos. They were taken by various people who attended….I was much too busy being mom of the groom!)

“For some reason when you are busy…
you are never long enough where you are…
and never arrive soon enough at where you need to be.”
~Faye~CG~

Faith and Farmers

All right… I am not sure why this post first appeared in reader the other day and now it has disappeared??? I am trying the reblog to see if I can at least get it to post…So here goes nothing….

The Chicken Grandma

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So many things in life take faith. In the years I have been married to a farmer I can testify to the fact that farming is one of those things.

Every year my husband diligently heads off to the field to prepare and plant the crop he hopes to harvest in the fall. Some years that works out really well…..and other years not quite so good.

This past year we experienced some of the worst flooding on our fields that we have ever seen. We watched that water come up, go down, come up and again, very slowly go down the second time.

My farmer husband patiently (sort of) waited for the fields to dry enough to get back in them. He would walk out to the bottoms and stand in the middle of brown dead corn. He never said much when he came back…..he just waited and wondered what…

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Faith and Farmers

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So many things in life take faith. In the years I have been married to a farmer I can testify to the fact that farming is one of those things.

Every year my husband diligently heads off to the field to prepare and plant the crop he hopes to harvest in the fall. Some years that works out really well…..and other years not quite so good.

This past year we experienced some of the worst flooding on our fields that we have ever seen. We watched that water come up, go down, come up and again, very slowly go down the second time.

My farmer husband patiently (sort of) waited for the fields to dry enough to get back in them. He would walk out to the bottoms and stand in the middle of brown dead corn. He never said much when he came back…..he just waited and wondered what the best course of action would be for those fields.

This past week I witnessed an act of faith. I saw him once again haul out the disk and planter, prepare that bottom piece of field and plant it. It is rather late in the season but he has faith that there will be something that can be harvested from that piece. He is a quiet witness to perseverance, hope and faith.

I am reminded that we have never experienced a total crop failure like those farmers did in the 30’s. I often wonder how they kept hope alive when the rains never came.

It is a good lesson for me to learn…..that things are probably never quite as hopeless as it looks at the first look. That with a little patience and perseverance things might turn around….that sometimes the only thing you have is faith and the hope that faith brings……and that is enough.

“A farmer has to be an optimist 
or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.”

Will Rodgers

 

“He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate-
bringing forth food from the earth.”
Psalm 104:14

 

Celebrating The 4th!

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A gray start to the day

The day dawned gray and a bit stormy looking but my husband and I loaded the car for our annual 4th of July celebration. We headed for the lake to join family and friends at my sister and her husband’s lake home.

We did make our way there slowly, as we tried to stay a bit behind the storm. Our road trip there took longer; but we got to investigate new antique places, small towns and garage sales on our way. (There is usually an upside to even rainy days!)

We made our annual stop at Trapper’s Bay on Silver Lake. My husband spent many hours fishing there as a kid and loves to drive through the small park. We arrived there not too long after the wind and rain had made it’s way through that town. Lots of trees were down and the people there were spending their holiday cleaning up.

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Docks underwater due to lots of rainfall this year

Typically the day is hot and excellent for boating, swimming, and just enjoying the water…..not so this year. After having had some very hot days leading up to the 4th, we started the day with rain…and we ended the day with rain.

The lake was so high that there was a no wake rule for all the lakes in the county. We did get a very leisurely boat ride in the afternoon. I must admit there was something wonderfully relaxing about that slow boat ride. It was quiet, with very few boats on the water.

Another storm moved in early in the evening and the big firework show was cancelled….but not the fireworks my brother in law had purchased! We sat in the dark, under umbrellas and watched as our guys attempted to keep the wicks on the fireworks lit.

This was the first year I had ever seen them lighting fireworks while standing under an umbrella. There was lots of laughter, much encouragement and we made sure to oooohhhhh and aaaahhhhh as the sky lit with colors.

It didn’t take too long and we had to abandon the effort, as it just became too soggy. (Much to the relief of my future daughter-in-law who had given my son stern instructions that morning; that he was not to get injured, as their wedding was only a week away!)

The guys did manage to get a wonderful finale firework lit to end the night. I wish I could have downloaded the video my sister took but I just am not quite tech savvy enough to know how to make that one work; so you will just have to make do with a still shot.

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The Grand Finale~photo credit to my sister Andrea

The rain did put a damper on the day, due to the fact that we were not able to do the things we normally do on the 4th of July.  In looking back on that day, I am realizing that the most important things still got done….

We remembered the sacrifices made for this country. We prayed for our country, our leaders and those who serve. We gave thanks for family, friends and good food. We laughed, enjoyed each other’s company, and we did get wet….just not in the lake.

Sometimes it is good to not have a day go how you planned. Sometimes it leaves the door open to see the holiday from a different view. It is good to realize that joy in family and in friendships is not dependent on weather or circumstances. It is totally dependent on being together and that is enough.

 

“Cherish your human connections
– your relationships with friends and family.”
– Barbara Bush