Twists and Turns

Things don't usually turn out the way you think they will.  

For good or ill, life just goes in a different direction. I thought I'd have a dozen, or at least six, kids - I have three. I thought I'd be a missionary teaching in a foreign nation - I'm on a mission in TeenLand. I thought I'd be a runner- I walk really fast. Our days are in the Lord's hands. In his Psalms, David wrote: "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." I'm glad He's not surprised by the twists and turns of life. Someone in the vehicle should remain calm...

This is a photo of me with my family about 25 years ago. My mom and dad, my two brothers - one with a new wife, me and my (almost) Husband, and my grandparents. Everyone was smiling for this photo, and no one had any inkling of what their lives would look like a quarter of a century in the future. 

Things don't usually turn out the way you think they will.


Last Lily

The time for daylilies is very nearly over here. This one was my favorite this year. There's always less of these lovely colors than the reliable old yellow ones. I've forgotten its name...

For more Wordful Wednesday photos, go to Angie's Seven Clown Circus!


We're Trashy

I'd like to send a little love out for the garbage man, or the "waste management specialist" who visits my house very early every Monday morning - Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July - it matters not - he is my faithful friend. We make a LOT of garbage over here, friends! I'm not very green....I think I have a really big carbon footprint. I'm not proud of it. I'm just telling the truth. And that's why the garbage man is my special, secret friend. I make all this garbage - he cleans it up! A partnership made in heavenly places! Oh, we've put some spectacular stuff out there, too! I hide behind the drapes, chewing a nail, wondering if he'll finally say, "Now that's enough! She can't get away with this!" I imagine him gunning the big Truck of Wonder and spraying gravel in his indignation at my nerve.        This.    Never.    Happens.          He always heaves our stuff into the crusher, never even shooting a glare in my direction as I spy from my window. It's amazing. Cheers for the garbage men everywhere!!!  But especially mine

You can calculate your carbon footprint here - prepare to feel enormously guilty.


Blooming on the Other Side

Look how this hydrangea has one bloom poking through the fence to bloom  on the other side.  Here comes an unexpected transition for you - We lost a baby through miscarriage back in 1998. While I wasn't very far along in my pregnancy, it was a loss of epic proportions for everyone in my little family, and I went down with it for a while. 

It was such a surprise that so many women I knew had also experienced this same sort of loss, so, unhappily, I had lots of support. Not a sisterhood I had wanted to join ...  I read a couple of books, had my hand held by the sisterhood, and asked "why" of my Lord. This passing was a refining fire for me, particularly in the "why" arena, a former favorite of mine. 

Some dear soul gave me a printed story that makes this photo special even today. It was the story was of a mom who had suffered loss through miscarriage - busy trimming her roses some months later, she noticed some buds had slipped between the rails to show their bloom in the front yard. God whispered comfort to her, showing her that her baby was blooming on the other side, in eternity. 

This simple story really spoke to me, and I've carried it around for eleven garden seasons now. That loss seems like so long ago now, and sometimes I worry that I don't think of that child enough - a person should be remembered well. But every summer, some plant manages to bloom on the other side of a fence for me, prompting thoughts of my son, maybe daughter, blooming in heaven, on the other side of this life. Now it makes me smile instead of weep - lots of smiles every summer!

"...you will not grieve like people who have no hope". 1 Thess. 4:13b


That Band

Nothing is more sexy about My Husband than that golden band he wears on his left hand.  He wears it day and night - the only times I've seen him remove it ... for intense games of basketball.   He did lose his band last year, though, when he took it off while digging post holes. There was a new band on his finger within a week. Good man!, I thought. Thank God, I breathe continually. I'm old enough now to have seen lots of marriages go down, and go down hard. My solid faith in my own marriage has been shaken at times by unpredictable acts of infidelity, unfaithfulness, and abandonment by many whom I believed to be in strong marriage relationships. Pollyanna to the core, it never fails to rock my small world here in this peaceful place. That's why at a recent picnic, I found myself focusing the camera lens on this fascinating sight. That sexy band of gold my husband now refuses to take off.        Thank God

So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.


Sky Blue on the Ground

Blue is my  favorite  color for summer flowers. Having blue flowers in the garden is like having a little bit of summer sky within easy reach. The sky blue of Nikko Blue Hydrangeas cannot be beat - unless they turn pink!   This bush produced especially large and very deep blue flowers this year.  Had to get a photo in of these!


The Hunt

Over the weekend, we arranged a scavenger hunt for a picnic our kids were participating in.  I moaned when I found out that Wonderful Husband had volunteered to set up the hunt - I thought we'd have to go to the park, which is some distance away, and spend time finding things for them to find! (I know, I'm so unselfish and giving...) He found one online, copied it, made a document and was all set to go within one hour.  show-off   The kids and adults ran off to search for their items and returned one team at at time to have their finds judged. This is somebody's loot! The zipper bag is for collecting 'animal scat', which all the kids were delighted to be challenged to find - parents were horrified - which delighted the kids even more! Hey, it's part of nature, people! Some teams would NOT collect scat, notice empty bag above, but it didn't count against them. Winners received a $5 gift card to Dairy Queen...YUM

For more Wordful Wednesday photos, go to Angie's Seven Clown Circus!


The Annabelles - Late Spring

In the late spring, the annabelles have their lovely snow-white blooms. In early summer, they start to go green - a lovely, pale, apple green. The first big storm bows them a little, and they aren't so upright as this photo shows for very long. The rain gets trapped in their heads and they bend down. 
Been there? Done that?
One more photo, and I'll have shown you a full season of annabelle hydrangeas!


Glad Tidings

These glads....

make me...


1 Chronicles 16:10
Glory in His holy name;Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be 

1 Chronicles 16:31
Let the heavens be 
glad, and let the earth rejoice;And let them say among the nations, " The LORD reigns."
Psalm 9:2
I will be 
glad and exult in You;I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psalm 46:4
There is a river whose streams make 
glad the city of God,The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
Psalm 69:32
The humble have seen it and are 
glad;You who seek God, let your heart revive.
Revelation 19:7
 "Let us rejoice and be 
glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."


I've Got Flair

When they turn into teens, sons just don't run up and give those wonderful, sloppy kisses anymore. That's one of my favorite memories of their babyhood - uninhibited, demonstrative, unpredicatable gestures of LOVE. It disappears, let me tell you! If you're not enjoying it to the very fullest now, then start today!  

However, we need not grieve too hard, friends! My Oldest sent me pieces of "flair" from his Facebook account to mine! One says: Mean Moms Have Good Kids - that makes me feel highly praised ... and hopeful! The other flair says: Moms, like buttons, hold everything together  - well, that shows how well he know me! It's just like two big, sloppy kisses - teen style! 

I tried to post them, but they won't stay on here!

Hold On!

Three generations - holding on tight!

The ride is about to begin...

For more Wordful Wednesday photos, go to Angie's Seven Clown Circus!


Too Big

Look at my little boy getting ready to ride away on that roller coaster train!  Those seats don't look very secure to me, do they? Where are the over-the-shoulder harnesses? It looks like they're getting ready to watch a ball game and eat a hot dog, not go screaming down the biggest hill in the park...
That's them at the very top! If I knew how to make an arrow, I would have it pointing at the very tip top of the hill --- where my son is about to take the first big coaster ride of his life.
So many moments in parenting are just like this one! All the anxiety and uncertainty pressed into the hour it takes to move through a line you're not sure you're supposed to be in with your child. Decisions like  - sending them to the nursery by themselves, sending them to kindergarten, sending them to high school, dropping them at the mall or the movies by themselves, waving goodbye as they go off to camp alone.  Is it the right decision? Will they have a bad experience? Will something go terribly wrong when YOUR child is the one involved? 

Thankfully the roller coaster ride results come back within 3 to 4 minutes, instead of the months or years it takes to know the outcome of other decisions we make as parents. He came off the ride saying how Totally Cool it was.  Hope it always turns out like that!


Flying the Flag

American freedom is so very precious and dearly paid for! Let's cherish it while we have it ... 



Upside Down Life

"Watch this, Mom!"  The words most dreaded by moms of sons everywhere!

My Youngest is hanging upside down from the basketball hoop that they positioned over the trampoline. He can hop himself up there, hang on, and flip upside down in the flash of an eye! 
What crazy stunts have you photographed your son doing? 

For more photos and lots of words, go visit Angie for Wordful Wednesday!