Thursday, April 11, 2024

Our Grand Grands

 


Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. ~Proverbs 17:6

Every year that our family visits us, the grandchildren, even Virginia, want to have an Easter egg hunt in Gammie and Papa's backyard, as Easter has either just passed or is in the offing, as it is this year.  This year is no different.  Daughter, Sarah, and I fill the sturdy and colorful plastic eggs with cash and candy, counting carefully to make sure that each girl will find an equal amount in their designated search area.  While I keep the girls occupied indoors with a game of Uno, John and Sarah, along with Danny, play the role of the Easter Bunny.



The girls are eager to begin their search and do so with pure delight.







After their successful finds, the girls open their treasures, and all siblings will do, count their money and compare the amount to that of their sisters.  How delighted they are to discover that among their haul of dollar bills, there is that "Golden Egg" with a $5 bill inside.






How we wish the whole crew could have stayed with us through Easter Sunday, but we have to say our good-byes on Holy Saturday as they all have to return to school and work.  Our prayers for their safe travels are answered by a listening and loving God, and we are so grateful to Him for all our blessings!



Did you enjoy a special Easter this year?  Feel free to tell us in the comments!

Amen!

Thursday, April 4, 2024

A Walk in the Park

 


There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1


One of the many entertaining activities Sarah, John and the girls have while they are with us, is visiting a nearby park where their dog, Finn, can play with other dogs in the designated, fenced-in area.  Unfortunately, Danny and I have to opt out of going with them as we have to practice songs for Easter Sunday.  We give orders to take plenty of photos, and Sarah and John oblige big time!  I am so grateful that they did so I can share them here with you.

Getting ready to "unleash" Finn into the dog park.





Strolling leisurely on the many paved trails.




Mom, Sarah, with Alexandra and Savannah.





Virginia is no longer a little girl, but a poised, maturing young lady.


We're in the swing of things!  Don't ask me why Savannah and Alexandra thought they needed safety harnesses; I'm guessing they just wanted to try them out.







Mom and Dad, aka Sarah and John.


There are many more photos from our amazing time spent together, so I hope you will stay tuned!  In the meantime, be good to yourselves, get outdoors to relish God's creation all around you, and happily take that walk in the park.

Amen!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

. . . Good Tidings of Great Joy . . .

 


. . . Good tidings of great joy . . . ~Luke 2:10


Pictured above are my daughter, Sarah, son-in-law, John, and their three girls, Virginia, Savannah and Alexandra, when they were here visiting with us during their spring break last year.  The good tidings?  They are coming again in a few short days to see us!

This Gammie and Papa are beside ourselves with joy!  They will be arriving on Saturday, and won't depart for home until the following Saturday.  We will have an entire week dedicated to laughs, games, activities, and lots and lots of hugs to remember them by.

That being said, I will not be either posting or commenting on other blogs during this time.  Family is just too important to me.  I'm sure all of you out in Blogland will understand completely.

And when I do return to my blog, you can count on hearing plenty of stories and seeing lots of photos that show how our time was spent together over that week.

May each and every one of my precious readers have a reflective Holy Week, and rejoice on Easter Sunday!

Alleluia, the Lord is risen!  The Lord is risen, indeed.  Alleluia!

Thursday, March 14, 2024

I Weep

 


Jesus wept. ~John 11:35


I weep for hurting souls 

Who never saw the coming

Of travesty, now mourning

The ones who suffered

I weep for the children

Who never will see light 

Of day, God's promises

Denied because of

Choices, selfish, made

I weep for those whose

Health betrayed them

When it's needed most

And in the weeping, I

See hope and grace

In Father, Son, and Holy

Spirit, Three in One.

Amen!

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Tiny Droplet

 


For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. ~1 Corinthians 13:12


Tiny droplet

Clinging After

Rain has passed

Inconsequential

Fleeting until

I stop and peer

Into its orb

Amazed to find

Whole world reflected.

Amen!

 

 

 

Thursday, February 29, 2024

God's Wisdom, a Gracious Gift

 


If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ~James 1:5


Curious about the photo above?  Danny and I buy flowers together for Valentine's Day.  While it's lovely to have cut flowers adorning our dining room table, we're aware form the moment of purchase that these will not last forever.  Danny trims and refills the water multiple times, but their fate is inevitable.  He decides to simply toss them out of the vase and into the woods; some get caught up in the tree limbs, giving the illusion that they are blooms on the tree.  Whimsical, don't you think?

The nicest part about an early spring, for me, is seeing the gorgeous daffodils come to life in our yard.  I plant most of them in late fall in the early years of our marriage.  They have faithfully blossomed every year hence, although usually in the month of March, not February.  I can recall as if it were yesterday kneeling in the leaf-covered mulch, digging holes in the ground, and carefully covering each bulb with soil, full of hope for a cheerful spring.

It's a good thing I did so then; just the thought of getting down on my knees and trying to plant either flowers or bulbs, fills me with consternation.  Would I even be able to get back up without help?  What a difference this aging process has meant for me and done to me!






Aren't they breathtakingly lovely?

And for me, today, they are an exceptional treasure.  You see, March 1st is my birthday!  Such a perfect gift!  Not that I like thinking about getting older, especially when I'm physically challenged by chores I once did with ease.  But I hope and pray that with my age has come wisdom.  God's wisdom.  Filling my heart, mind and soul.

I'd rather have God's gracious gift of wisdom and to love as He loves more than anything else I can imagine.  And to think, all we need to do is ask Him, and we will receive it from our generous Father.  He doesn't withhold any good gift, but showers us with grace and mercy at every turn.

May I live out my days with gratitude for all my blessings.

Amen!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Investments

 


Do not be wise in your own eyes;  fear the Lord and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment for your bones. ~Proverbs 3:7-8


It seems the older I get (too quickly, I might add), the more supplements I've introduced to my body.  Although some have truly made a difference for the better, there are some with which I part ways.  Their promises for more energy and better health ring empty.


I've also ditched my daily tumeric I have been taking for joint pain, especially in my wrists.  Too much time on the keyboard?  Probably.  Instead, I've opted for this:



Danny researches this product thoroughly, and in only two weeks of taking it, I can feel a measurable improvement in pain-free mobility.  It's a win-win for me since it also helps with hair growth and skin health.  I'm already takin Nutrafol, recommended by my dermatologist, for battling thinning hair.  Who would ever think that the product, so widely advertised, would actually do the trick?



I highly recommend it to any of you who are struggling with hair loss.  However, keep in mind that is by no means inexpensive.

But in my book, Nutrafol has been a worthwhile investment for me.

Yes, good health and nutrition are the bulwarks for living our best physically, but what about spiritually?  How can we boost the quality of time we spend with God each day?

We invest.

In His Word.  In prayer.  In quiet contemplation.  In listening for and to His still, small voice.  Not just daily, but moment by moment.

And as we do, we come to realize that all our surroundings speak to the sacredness of life and living well.



(I will be reviewing Sacred Surrounding by my good friend, Jean Wise, soon!)

God is with us, for us, in us.  At all times and in all places, no matter what circumstances we face or what troubles may come.

No matter how much our joints might ache or how disheveled our hair looks, God loves us just the same.

Every one of us.

Amen!


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Alpha and Omega

 


"I am the Alpha and Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." ~Revelation 1:8


Tenuous times

Temporary times

Uncertainty rules

Obedient hearts 

Now wander, wonder

Pray unceasing

For closure sure

A future hope

In faith reveals

A promise made

A promise kept

He is the Alpha

And Omega

Today, forever.

Amen!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Just Then, the Bed Broke!

 


In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. ~1 Timothy 6:19


My grandmother, whom I called Nana, had a unique way of always looking on the bright side of things, no matter what the circumstances.  She had a favorite saying when it appeared as though everything was going downhill fast: "Just then, the bed broke."  In other words, life happens in ways we least expect, and we have no other choice but to go along for the ride.

One time, when we were visiting her and my Grandpa, Nana had all of the grandchildren piled on one of the beds, giggling, bouncing, and creating genial chaos when, lo and behold, the bed actually broke!  We kids were momentarily shocked and dismayed at what our rambunctiousness had seemingly caused, until Nana, with her ready smile, declared, "Just the the bed broke!"  Oh, how we screeched with laughter and relief!  No one was going to get in trouble that day.

I wish I'd inherited more of my Nana's indominable spirit.  The other night around 3:00 in the morning, our bed frame gave way out of the blue.  Can you see it listing in the photo above?  The slope it created made it impossible to sleep there.  Danny takes the small double bed in our guest room.



I take the living room couch, where I'm used to taking my naps.



We weather the night fine, but when morning dawns, we are left with an unexpected dilemma - how are we going to remove the damaged frame to allow the bed and box spring to rest on the floor itself.  Because of his recent surgery, Danny is prohibited from moving or lifting anything heavy with his right arm.  Our thoughts turn to Nicco for help, but we quickly realize this is too big of a job for him to do successfully on his own.  The bed is just too cumbersome for any one person to maneuver.

Danny wonders if some new friends from church might be able to help.  They've been checking in on us since the recent incident, and as soon as we contact them, dad, Matt, and son, Joe assure us they'd be glad to help out.

Such a welcome turn of events!  In no time, it seems, the three guys dismantle the frame, move it to another room that can easily store it, and put our bed to rights for the time being.  Once again, we have a firm foundation upon which to thankfully enjoy a rejuvenating night's sleep.



Our bodies certainly need a firm foundation, but so do our souls.  Are you depending upon Jesus for that flawless foundation He has prepared for all of us?  It is there where we can grab hold to the life that is truly life, and rest peacefully in His arms.  No bed can break there!

Amen!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Our Refuge and Strength

 


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ~Psalm 46:1


This has been a week when Danny and I have turned continuously to God for refuge and strength.  With every breath, we have asked the Lord to walk with us, to hold us up in His righteous hands, to turn the seemingly impossible to the absolutely possible for us.

He has done it!

Here's the background story:

Last Thursday, we set out on a trip to Brunswick, Georgia, in order to attend my SIL's mother's memorial service on the following Saturday.  We think, too, that this could serve as a mini-vacation for us and a chance to physically reunite with family.

We book an Airbnb on St. Simon's Island within walking distance of the beach; a perfect place to visit during the off-season.  Friday morning, after breakfast, we take a stroll on said beach.  As you can tell from the photo above, it is an extremely foggy day, and the nearby fog horn loudly sounds its warning.  Danny likes nothing better than being in the midst of a misty day.  We are yet to discover just how foggy this day will become.

When it's time for lunch, we drive to the Village on St. Simon's to dine at Barbara Jean's, a restaurant renown for their excellent crab cakes.  Oh, my, their reputation proceeds them!  Such a lovely treat we enjoy, and look forward to chowing down on more seafood during our stay.

We return to the Airbnb; Danny is fine for about an hour.  Suddenly, he tells me he's feeling woozy.  I suggest he go to the bedroom and rest for a bit.  No sooner does he recline, then he shouts, and I mean SHOUTS my name.  His pacemaker is shocking his heart with a force he's never experienced before.  As I hastily dial 911, I'm trying not to panic.  I've never seen Danny in such excruciating pain, a pain that has his body flailing beyond his control; and we are praying and pleading, confessing our forever love for God and each other.

It seems like a week before the ambulance finally arrives and the medics sweep Danny out of the house and on to the hospital.  I don't ride with them because I need to get in touch with my brother.  Of course, Bill is more than willing to get me to the hospital as soon as humanly possible.  Why don't I drive myself?  I am shaking uncontrollably and certainly not confident being behind the wheel in such a state.  The last thing we need is another crisis on the heels of this one.

Once at the hospital, the nurses and doctors successfully stabilize Danny with the utmost are and attention.  He is transferred to the ICU for observation overnight, which is the safest place he can possibly be.  By the time I see him, he is calm and the color has returned to his face.  Talk about feeling encouraged and hopeful!

Long story short, the resident cardiologist sees him repeatedly (how many times does that happen on a weekend???).  It is decided to replace the pacemaker on Monday.  Now, I'm a bit concerned, because the last time Danny had an issue with his device, we were out of town, just like now, and the wound became infected.  I am praying, praying, praying!

While all this is transpiring, Danny's two boys, Giovanni and Nicco, are heading our way at a clip.  I don't know how we would have navigated these stormy seas without them.  Danny is released from the hospital on Tuesday, we stay in a hotel that night, and the next morning, we hit the road for home.  Giovanni drives our Subaru as wife, Hope, takes his car back to Florida.  She is a life-saver, too!

Giving thanks and praise to God is just as natural as taking a breath.  It is non-stop.  Now that we are home and settling back into our usual routines, Danny and I are slowly adjusting.  Both of us have experienced PTSD-type episodes; fortunately, they don't linger too long, but certainly indicate the severity of the trauma we've experienced. 

With God's help as our refuge and strength, these, too, will dissipate in time.

Because life goes on, with or without us. And while we have breath, we should never cease to love God, seek Him, thank Him, praise Him.

Until the Lord calls us home, let us cherish and live life to the fullest.

Amen!

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Faithful Steward

 


Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. ~1 Peter 4:10


The source for this blog comes from a Lifestyle article I found on Fox News at the beginning of January.  In reading it, my heart was so touched, I just have to share the story with y'all.

If you live in Pensacola, Florida, and frequent the Scenic 90 Cafe for your morning cup of joe, chances are you've seen Mr. Lee, a retired Navy veteran, sitting at his usual seat at the counter.  The restaurant staff look forward to him coming through the door like clockwork every morning.


Mr. Lee's preferred breakfast?  "A house special that includes an over-easy egg, chees grits, a biscuit, and a sausage patty."  Sounds good and hearty to me!

While he dines, Mr. Lee regales the staff with stories from his 30-year service in the Navy and shares tales about his wife, who is now deceased, and his children as they were growing up.  Server, Kelli Gomez, has been waiting on Mr. Lee for at least a year now.

"He loves watching us separate filters for the coffee machine (and) watching us grind the coffee - and one day, he just started helping with this," she said.


Lee's daughter, Tracy Rutland, says he does so "because that's just how he was raised."  She has fond memories of her dad being the first to offer a helping hand to anyone in need in his community.

Owner and head chef of the Scenic 90 Cafe, Gus Silivos, says, "The people that come in and sit there primarily are either single people or widowers who come and really socialize with our staff."  And it's a great opportunity for veterans living in the community to connect with young people.


In March, Mr. Lee will be celebrating his 90th birthday.  According to the article, the restaurant staff had already planned decorating his customary chair with balloons, but then got the idea to expand their scope.  Since they'd already shared a bit of news about Mr. Lee on their Facebook page, and had received such positive feedback, they decided to go all out, asking people to send Mr. Lee a birthday card.  Can you just imagine how many cards this delightful man will get, especially as the address was published in the Fox News article?  Danny and I have already sent ours, and it's not too late for you to join in.  Here's the address:

Mr. Lee c/o Scenic 90 Cafe; 701 Scenic Highway, Pensacola, FL 32503.

I don't know about you, but I wish there would be more inspiring and uplifting stories like this one in the news.  There are simply so many folks out there who are using, joyfully, the gifts God has given them to serve others.

And we should celebrate them every chance we get!

Amen!

Here is the link to the original article.

Our Grand Grands

  Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. ~Proverbs 17:6 Every year that our family vi...