Socks and Sisterhood

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There are times in life when you meet someone or several someones who just seem to “click” with you. The weekend of the women’s retreat I attended, was a great time to gather with those special someones and also get to meet some more new someones.

What really ends up being wonderful, is the fact that so many of those “someones”  turn into friendships….a sisterhood of sorts. That is a real blessing!

I think I love going to that particular retreat because of the very fact of all those relationships. It is a great place to reconnect with women who share in the joy of praising, singing, laughing and serving. It is also a great place to build new friendships.

This year, I ended up working in the same room with a gal who is a fellow chicken owner lover. (She may be even more of a chicken lady than me…..Her girls sometimes get their toenails painted!)

At one point in the weekend she came up to me with an envelope, stood 2 inches from my face and informed me I needed to open the envelope she held in her hand. She then gave strict instructions that what was contained in that envelope needed to be used that very day. I am here to tell you, that it is impossible to refuse a woman who is that determined!

I should have had some premonition that the package was going to contain something unusual. I also should have known that, knowing Vickie, I might be doing something I was not totally sure about…..a journey of sorts without knowing your destination!

The package was opened and out tumbled a pair of socks…..not your typical pair of socks….but a pair of socks. I had already agreed to her terms, so I did have to wear them, for a time, that very day.

I will say it made for a lot of fun, a lot of laughter and memories were made. I have a feeling that some of those memories may come back to haunt me. I also have a feeling those socks will become standard apparel for at least part of a day the next time I work that retreat weekend.

Looking back, I realize that part of the reason I agreed to those terms was trust. I was trusting the bond of the special sisterhood of this group of “someones”. Over the years I have grown to know these women; and to love these women as family.

Like sisters, they may tease, pull pranks and push you out of your comfort zone…but like sisters….they will always have your back, always love you and always hold you accountable. They may not be sisters by blood….but they are sisters of the heart.

Everyone should have that special set of someones in their life. I pray that your life contains a few of those someones and that they form a wonderful sisterhood or brotherhood for you. It is indeed a blessing.

 

 

Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.
Herodotus

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/herodotus_402187

 

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ralph_waldo_emerson_105261?src=t_friendship

 

Adventure is Where You Look

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What a difference a few days can make in our Iowa weather! Last week we were enjoying warmer weather and suddenly this morning we woke up to winter again! I did not run out and take any pictures as I had seen enough snow during the season that WAS actually winter.

I chose, instead, to remember the weather last week when my husband invited me for an adventure along the river. We heard that people had been morel mushroom hunting and thought perhaps we should give that a go.

After climbing up and down slippery banks, hanging onto low hanging tree limbs to keep from sliding back down and stepping over fallen, rotting logs, we had not caught sight of anything resembling a mushroom. We decided that we  were either worthless at this ‘shroom hunting thing, they just weren’t growing yet, or they do not grow where we were looking.

Fortunately, for us, there was so much other stuff to enjoy and take in. We got to see an old apple tree, in full bloom, hanging out over the river. We did wonder how long and how many more years before the river bank eroded and that tree would topple into the river. We also wondered what kind of apple it was. My husband tells me it gets small, crab apple sized apples on it and they are quite tasty.

We rounded a corner and the air smelled like perfume. We then spotted where that wonderful smell was coming from………. there was a plum thicket in full bloom. I shoved my nose into the flowers and just inhaled as deeply as I could! I wish I could bottle that scent…it was absolutely beautiful.

I discovered that sometimes the best adventures are the ones where you find what you weren’t even looking for. We didn’t find any mushrooms; but in many ways we found something so much better.

We found beauty in the water rippling over the rocks. We smelled something far better than any bottled perfume, in the blossoms of a plum thicket. We saw the tenacity of an apple tree hanging onto a river bank and still blooming profusely. And we watched a hawk sitting in it’s nest in a tree high above us.

So much of life can be an adventure. Sometimes, even our Iowa weather can be an adventure. The day can start out looking like winter (in the springtime!) and 12 hours later the snow is gone, the grass is once again green and not snow-covered, and the birds are singing their end of day songs. Life, in all it’s variety, is an amazing, wonderful thing.

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The one sure thing about weather in Iowa is the fact that it can run the gamut of two to three season……..all in one day. It is hard to know how to plan for that but you are never bored! I believe the key to surviving that kind of day is to keep in mind the adventure of it all and that the joy really is in the journey.

“I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it.
I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
-Diane Ackerman

 

 

 

 

 

The Journey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVlV1fKYk2o

Today has been a really busy day and my brain is a little too frazzled to come up with a post!  I apologize for that.  Today I am going to champion the cause of just enjoying life’s  journey and not getting worked up about getting everything done! I should probably also let you know that I am not sure if I got this YouTube video on here correctly or not!  (Oh the joys of being computer and techie illiterate!)

I am finding out there are more of you out there with extremely busy lives also. So for you (and for me) I am going to share a song that I really love.  You can just listen and enjoy without having to read a lot!

It is by Colton Dixon and titled, “Through All Of It.”  I absolutely love the lyrics.

Through all of It

There are days I’ve taken more than I can give
And there are choices that I made
That I wouldn’t make again
I’ve had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times
This is has been the story of my life

I have won
and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

You were there when it all came down on me
When I was blinded by my fear
And I struggled to believe
But in those unclear moments
You were the one keeping me strong
This is how my story’s always gone

I have won
and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Through all of it

And this is who You are
More constant than the stars up in the sky
All these years of our lives, I
I look back and I see You
Right now I still do
And I’m always going to

I have won
and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life’s been a journey
I’ve seen joy
I’ve seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

Songwriters: BEN GLOVER, MOLLY E. REED
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., CAPITOL CHRISTIAN MUSIC GROUP

I wonder if I love this song so much because it speaks of life’s journey without glossing over the hard parts. It acknowledges that life is not always easy and it is not always joyful…..sometimes it is just plain hard, too busy, and we feel like we are being torn in too many ways. I hear this from more people, friends, family and fellow bloggers.

It seems to be a common ailment in today’s world…..too much something and not enough of what we really need.  And so, today, you get a short read and a song to listen to. Crank up the sound and enjoy it while you take the time to live life.

May you be blessed, where ever you are on this journey called life. May you take the time to just breathe and give yourself permission to let some stuff go and not worry what those around you will think. It is okay.

And let’s try to remember…..sometimes we get it right….and sometimes we do not. God is still God and He is faithful so take a deep breath in, breathe out and enjoy the journey, wherever it leads.

 

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new  every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/21-bible-verses-on-gods-faithfulness/#ixzz4dQ63p27S

Garden Maintenance

Weeding Tomatoes

It is amazing to me how fast the weeds seem to grow in my garden. It does not seem that long ago that I spent a couple days, hand pulling weeds, hoeing and mulching that garden. Here one week later I need to do it all over again.

After hanging up a load of wash I thought I would venture over to the garden and unfortunately no one had taken care of the weed problem.  I crawled over my chicken wire panels (to keep out the rabbits) and started pulling them out (the weeds).

In my years of gardening I have found out that you must be diligent in the care and maintenance of a garden plot. In my years of living I have also found out I must be diligent with the care and maintenance of my spiritual life. In both cases if I do not maintain them regularly the “weeds” will outgrow the plants and eventually kill them. I digress….

I also discovered that I have been having a visitor to my fenced in garden area. I found two new “doorways” along the back fence. A woodchuck has burrowed under the fence and been helping himself to my lettuce and carrots. I have filled his “doorway” back up with dirt but I have a feeling he will be back.Chuck

This is an old picture of a woodchuck that we named Chuck (very creative right?) He used to come “visit”  our house quite often.  He even spent the winter in our garage back when we had a dirt floor. I think our new visitor might be one of his descendants that is terrorizing my vegetables. Now if I could just train them to eat the weeds and leave the vegetables.

For some reason he does not seem to eat the onions. This fact is totally understandable to my husband who doesn’t want to eat them either.

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Gardening is an ongoing struggle to stay ahead of the weeds and various critters who think I have planted it just for them. It is worth the struggle!

Much of life is like gardening.  It can be a lot of work that needs to be done over and over again. There are always plenty of “weeds” waiting to take over and just suck the joy out of life. But don’t give up. There is a harvest coming. That is a promise I am hanging on to.

Until then I will water, weed, and enjoy the journey of life and gardening.

Enjoy your weekend and may you find joy in your journey.

In simple humility,
let our gardener God,
landscape you with the Word,
making a salvation
-garden of your life.
James 1: ~21