Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Daily Life

Looks like another beautiful day in the Sandhills. It is suppose to be great weather for the rest of the week. I am so excited...

Not to much going on as of late. Andrew flew to Montgomery Sunday for a meeting on Monday. He flew back home yesterday. He decided not to go into work after he got home, so he spent the afternoon at home.

One thing he did find out on his trip is that they didn't get that other job here, so that means come fall we will be moving on to a new destination. Only God knows where, and He ain't talking, so I suppose we will have to wait and see. I am putting that in His hands and not worrying about it. He knows what is best and has placed us where we needed to be in the past. So I know that this is His plan and our steps are ordered by Him. So enough said about that...

Last week the kids and I went to the Cape Fear River Trail and walked it. It was four miles from one trail head to the end. Noah even walked the entire length all except for maybe a quarter mile of it at the end. He rode on Lauren's back for that part because his legs were getting tired. Next time we go I will take his running stroller and let him walk some and ride some. I can't wait until Andrew and I can take the bikes out there and ride it. It was very nice and had a nice view of the river at some points. There were several bridges and one covered bridge with a waterfall. The entire thing is paved and there are benches at points along the way.

On Saturday I decided to do my first walk/run to get started toward my goal of running a 5K. I mapped out a 2 mile track in my neighborhood using this neat website.

So I set out and walked for a bit then I took turns walking and running. I walked most of the time, but I did run. Then Monday I went to Curves early in the morning and planned to do another walk/run, but it started to rain. So I used the workout equipment in the garage for about an hour and got a great evening workout.

Yesterday Megan and I went to Curves and when I got home, I just felt so energized that I decided to do walk/run. So I started out walking again and added more running to the workout. I ended up running quite a bit compared to Saturday's workout. I felt awesome when I got home. I was tired and felt like I had really pushed myself. After I showered I really full of energy and glad I had decided to push myself more.

I am trying to get in a good workout everyday along with strength training at least three days a week. I am on an eight week training program that I hope will yield some great results. I have reached a weight loss plateau for the last three months. I just can't break through it. So I needed a radical exercise bump to get beyond the wall and lose more weight so I can reach my goal.

I want to push myself to see just how far I can get my body to go. I have never really put 100% of myself into weight loss/fitness. I gave some good pushes and would always reach a point and stop. But this time I want to go all the way with it. I will be 44 years old this year and I plan to be in the best shape of my life to celebrate my birthday in November. I am tired of just dreaming about doing it, this time I am going to do it.

It may seem as though I am a little one-track minded right now, and I have to admit that this fitness thing has consumed a large part of my life. The other parts are consumed by my family and family responsibilities. But it isn't going to be forever. Once I reach my goal, I won't have to put out as much time and energy toward maintaining as I have had to to reach the goal. I want to incorporate fitness into our family life and fun.

Since we haven't gotten my garden beds built yet, Andrew and I are planning to get out tomorrow and Friday afternoons and work on those. I am anxious to get the garden ready and planted. Since I know we aren't going to be here beyond this job, and we won't be moving until fall, I can move forward with my gardening plans. We are going to build two 3'x6' raised beds. With proper planning that should give us a great yield for our time and effort. I can almost taste a fresh, ripe tomato right off the vine, still warm from the sun. MMM...yummy!

It is almost 9:00 and the kids and I have decided to get up and go back to the Cape Fear River Trail again today. So I will leave you with these quotes.

Today's Quotes

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible

~Arthur C. Clarke~

You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind


First say to yourself what you should be; and then do what you have to do


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Starbucks gift card give away

Here is a Starbucks give away go here to enter.

Just Pics

Lauren took this one of Noah a few weeks ago. He is a ham! Wonder who he gets that from?

Lauren took this one of Megan. The more serious side of her.

Meg took this of Lauren some time back. And no, I don't have a more recent on of her.

I took these of Noah and Andrew this morning before we took Andrew to the airport. Noah was dressed for Sunday School and Andrew was not...

He loves his daddy!

This pic was taken by Lauren at the age of about 3 or 4 in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Probably in 1993. We were young and thin!

Look what 17 years can do...we aren't so young or thin anymore! But still crazy after all these years and more in love than ever! Noah took this one of us this morning.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Beautiful Saturday

This photo was taken in Seattle at Pikes Place Market

Today has been a great Saturday! The sun was shining all day, although it stayed a bit cooler than I like. Noah got outside and played for a long time. Andrew had to work until noon, then he came home and built the gate for the dog yard.

The girls just took it easy most of the day and I caught up on a ton of laundry that had piled up because I was gone Thursday and Friday all day. Thursday the kids and I spent the day in Raleigh doing some much needed shopping. We went looking for Easter clothes, but ended up getting a few summer things also. It was mostly the girls that did shopping, Noah is not fond of shopping and I spent most of the day trying to keep him satisfied so they could shop.

Friday I got up early and went to Cross Creek Mall here in Fayetteville to find Noah an Easter outfit. I ended up getting him almost an entire wardrobe for summer. I got just about all he will need until winter for less than $250. So other than a few little items, he is set. I just wish it were that simple and that cheap to dress the girls!

Andrew is flying out to Montgomery tomorrow until Tuesday. He has to be there for some type for meeting on Monday. I will drive him to the airport and run back to the church for most of the service tomorrow morning. The airport isn't very far from our church so I shouldn't miss to much of the service. I will miss him. I hate him being gone even for a couple of days.

I went for my first walk/run today. I mapped out a two mile path in our neighborhood and set out. I walked most of it, but at least I did run some. And I ran longer than I have run in the past. It is a start, a small step, but a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. I feel pretty good right about now. I eventually hope to work up to running the entire thing, but that will be a while before I get there. I must walk before I step at a time...trying to keep the end goal in mind but keeping my mind on the day to day progress. I plan to take it easy getting started. I definitely don't want an injury to side track my progress. So I would rather take my time, take it slowly, than push to hard in the beginning and cause myself an injury that could delay my goals even longer.

Well, I have a chicken on the grill and I need to get up and cook something to go with it. Need to make some plans for the coming week. I really need to go grocery shopping but I am trying to put it off as long as possible. However, I don't think I will make it past Monday before we will be out of all of the essentials. I am already out of oatmeal, so I don't know what I will have for breakfast for the next couple of days.

Leaving you with a few quotes to encourage you on your own path...

Today's Thoughts

When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on so long in the first place


Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can!


If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again

~Flavia Weedn~

A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn


Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do

~Liz Smith~

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it

~Lena Horne~

Friday, March 19, 2010


It is a beautiful, sunny day! Spring seems to have crept in and caught old man winter off guard. It is currently 73* and not a cloud in the sky. I am sitting on my deck soaking in some vitamin D listening to a few tunes as I watch Noah playing around.

Today we got a few seeds planted in a seed starter kit. I am hoping we can get my raised beds built this weekend so that we can start preparing for our spring garden. I am planning on planting plenty of tomatoes. I plan to can plenty because I use a lot of tomatoes in my cooking. I also plan to plant a few peppers, squash, eggplant, lettuce, some herbs, beans, and a few other odds and ends.

I found this awesome magazine put out by Birds & Blooms. It has some wonderful ideas for small gardens, container gardening and raised beds. It has several designs for planting in raised beds. We have decided on a couple that we like. I have picked the sunniest location in the backyard to put the garden.

Tomorrow Andrew is finishing the privacy fence across the back of the property and moving the existing fence forward. We are dividing the backyard so we will have an area to put the dogs when we have company over or just want to get outside without having the doggies climbing all around us. They will also get a little peace from Noah when he is outside. He likes to chase them and try to pack the little ones around. Once we do that then I am hoping there will be time to build the beds. If not, maybe next weekend.

We still haven't heard whether or not the company Andrew works for got the other job here. It was suppose to be awarded this month, but so far, nothing. If they don't get it, then we will be here through September or October at least. If they do, then we will be here at least another year an a half beyond that. It is all in God's hands, so might as well not stress over it.

I cooked a large pot of Lentil Soup for supper. I got up early this morning and started it. I took about half of it to freeze for a quick meal on another day. That only leaves me to cook the cornbread in a bit. Just an easy Friday evening and hopefully a productive but fun day tomorrow.

I need to find some replacement grills to go in my BBQ grill. Last year Andrew tried to clean them and the coating started peeling off, so I really don't want to put food onto them with pieces of coating getting into the food. Lowe's didn't have the right size so I suppose I need to try someplace else for them. But I need to get it ready for summer outdoor grilling.

Well, just another post about day to day activities around the little homestead. Nothing to interesting just recording the events of our lives.

Well someone on a four wheeler in the neighborhood behind us is really ruining the enjoyment of being outdoors. I despise those things. They really have such a loud, annoying sound to them. It really messes up the peace and quiet of the afternoon. They are just riding back and forth, revving it up and making the worst racket.
Well, time to go inside and heat up the lentil soup I made earlier and make the cornbread. I will leave you with these quotes...
Today's Thoughts
One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure
~William Feather~
A better life will come your way the second you get up and start walking toward it.
~Jason Garcia~
Life at its essence boils down to one day at a time. Today is the day!
~Jim Stovall~
Living involves tearing up one rough draft after another.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Of Summer Days and Memories

Some of my favorite memories from my childhood are connected to one place; my Grandma's house. Actually we called her Mawmaw and her house was actually the house she had grown up in from the time she was very young. In the early 1900's my great-grandpa and great-grandma moved to a community that would later be known as Reids community, or Blackjack. They bought around 140 acres that had three houses on it. They lived in one of the houses while they worked on another one. After a time they moved into the big house at the curve.

For most of my growing up years we lived on part of what was originally some of the family land that had been sold to other family members. My parents bought a piece of it back from an uncle. Then again later in my life, my husband and I bought an acre of land from a cousin and we lived there for several years. So my kids, the girls, were the fifth generation of my family to have lived on the land.

As a child, I ran and romped all over from one end to the other; through the woods, across the fields and down to the creek bank. I picked flowers, climbed trees, crawled through hay bales in the barn and picked vegetables from the gardens. We rode bikes up and down the county lane, played on the tractor and learned how to drive in Uncle Ford's truck. We were country kids who were carefree and played from sun up to sun down. We swam in the creek and rode on the tail gate of pickup trucks, and jumped from the tops of the barn. Some how we all survived.

My mom grew up in that house and in her time it was unpainted. But for as long as I can remember it was painted green. The porch ran the length of the front and was a place that welcomed visitors. There was a large tree that shaded the porch and the roots spread out across that half of the yard. On the other side, was a Camellia bush. Which was much more like a tree than a bush. It had the prettiest pink flowers that we always loved to pick. I remember breaking off a handful and bringing them in and Mawmaw would put them into an old mason jar and set them in the windowsill or on the table.

My grandma was always in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning up after a meal. Every Sunday the family would gather there after church and eat and visit. Often times the pastor and his family would come to eat and there would be other cousins and family members and neighbors dropping in for coffee and a visit. There was always a pot of coffee for the adults and a pitcher of cool-aid for the kids. The coffee was Community dark roast and the cool-aid was usually grape flavored. There was always something good from the garden to eat. One of our childhood favorites was what we called Mawmaw beans and rice. It was actually lima beans but because Mawamaw cooked them, we called them Mawmaw beans. We would often add ketchup to the beans and rice and it was delicious.

Another wonderful memory was going to Mawmaw's on Saturday morning early and helping her make biscuits. She would give me a piece of dough so I could roll my own. We would put them in a pan and cook them along side hers. But somehow mine never turned out as good as hers did. I loved nothing better that to eat those hot biscuits with cold Steen's Cane syrup. It came in a yellow can and tasted like heaven on earth. I would pour some onto a plate and it would slowly fill the middle of the plate. Then break a piece of the biscuit off and drag it across the bottom of the plate, loading it with that thick, cold syrup. By the time you finished your fingers were sticky and syrup dripped down your arms. She would also cook bacon, not the kind of bacon you buy in the store these days, but thick, fatty pieces of bacon. The left overs would sit in a pan on the stove all day and if you were lucky you could come in later after being outside playing and sneak a piece of that cold bacon. It was delicious even when it was cold and hours old. Sometimes we would take a piece of it and put it on a string and go down to the creek bank and use the bacon to catch crawfish. I can remember a few times bringing back a few small crawfish and Mawmaw would put some butter in a skillet and fry up the crawfish for us to eat. Of course they were usually so tiny that you really only got a taste of them, but it was great, because we had caught them ourselves.

There were many days after the garden came in that we would all sit around on the front porch, to catch a breeze, and shell peas or beans. We would have a dish pan in our laps with a bucket filled with whatever happened to be ready that morning sitting on the porch at our feet. We had a ball just sitting there together seeing who could shell the most. Kids today just don't realize what they are missing out on. I wouldn't trade any of those times for all of the electronic gadgets that my kids have today. There was nothing like it.

Long hot summer days spent down at the creek, swimming with cousins and neighbor kids. Swinging from the rope that someone had hung from a tree in the deep part of the creek. Sitting on the log that had fallen across one end of the swimming hole, running down the sand bank splashing into the creek for the first time; wonderful memories fresh in my mind as though I did them just yesterday.

Often times we would have a watermelon floating in the water to chill and someone would use their pocket knife to cut it open and cut off pieces to pass around. The taste of that cold melon, the feel of the creek water and the sound of squeals and laughter; pieces of a happy childhood that I wish I could bottle and keep forever. I can remember riding in the back of Uncle Ford's pickup wet from swimming, the hot sun and summer wind drying me as we headed back up the road to Mawmaw's house. There we would often be greeted by the smells of the big Bar-b-Que grill that sat in the back yard by the car shed. Uncle Ford would be standing there with his little mop, mopping his homemade Bar-b-Que sauce onto the meat. If I close my eyes, I can smell it now.

His grill was a huge metal barrel looking thing that had been hand fashioned and welded onto a base of four legs and had a large smoke pipe coming from the side. It has long been left to sit unused for many years now. In 1986 Uncle Ford was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and passed away in 1995. The bar-b-ques that he use to host are only memories of those who were blessed enough to be a part of the family or the community. But when I sit very still and quiet, I can close my eyes and visualize it all again. I can smell the smoky smell of the grill, and I can taste his bar-b-que sauce.

A couple of years ago, after my grandma passed away, I begin to remember little pieces of yellowed paper that she would keep stuffed here or there in her kitchen. Some were in a small box that she kept in her pie safe in the dining room. These pieces of paper were recipes that she had written down through the years. So I had my mom, who still lives just down the road, start going through her things to find the recipe for Uncle Ford's famous bar-b-que sauce. She searched and went through things a little at a time until one day she happened upon the recipe. It is written on a piece of notebook paper. Yellowed and spotted by age, written in pencil. The handwriting is the familiar script of my grandma.

As I sit and hold this recipe in my hands I am taken back to a place, down a country road and around the big curve, right back into the 1960'and 70's. The memories of good times, simple times when people didn't have much, but were rich just the same. When love, family and community was everything. The pace was slow and easy, people were warm and genuine. The air was cleaner and water was purer, and life was good.

After all the complaining about the winter weather, summer will be upon us before we know it. I am making plans to plant some vegetables in a raised bed and I am getting ready to prepare the grill for summer cooking. Now that I have Uncle Ford's Bar-b-Que sauce recipe I am going to cook up a large batch to keep on hand for those summer evenings when for a few moments I can conjure up some long held memories of another place and another time. In a small way, I can share with my kids a piece of the past, a part of their family history. A time when days were long and carefree and the world was a much friendlier place for kids to live.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Easy Saturday

This has been a very good week. It seemed to just fly by. I did very well with my exercise plan. I made it to Curves three days and worked out at home five days. Andrew and I worked out in the evenings after he got home from work. I was worn out by bed time, but it was a good tired feeling. I slept very well most of the week, except for the two nights when Noah woke me.

Today Andrew and I had a lunch date. The last time I chose where we ate; Sushi Court. Today he chose; Buffalo Wild Wings. It was a challenge to find something fairly healthy on the menu, but we ended up getting the Naked tenders and I had a side salad to go with it. Basically it was chicken breast tenderloins grilled with garlic and some other seasoning with our choice of sauce on the side. It was okay, but there were large screen televisions on every square inch of wall space. So the noise level was uncomfortable to say the least. But other than that, we had a great time.

After eating we drove to Dick's and I finally broke down and bought a pair of running shoes. I didn't get my first choice, they were $125. That was well above what I am willing to part with for a pair of running shoes, since I am not sure how this whole running thing is going to work out. So I opted for the same brand in a different model. I got the Asics Gel 1150. They are the lilac color instead of the turquoise that I wanted but that was the only color in the size I needed. They were a little more than I wanted to spend but I figured the longer I waited the longer it would be before I could actually start running. The shoes were my last excuse.

After going to Dick's, Andrew bought a new sand wedge, somehow his got lost. I think he is planning to go golfing again in the morning and try it out. Then of course we finished our "date" out by going to Walmart and buying a few groceries.

All in all it was a great day. After coming home we all have just lazed around and relaxed. Getting ready for the hour we are going to lose tonight when we set our clocks forward...

Well not much else to report. I am reading The Coal Tattoo by Silas House. I am enjoying it so far. I am about half way through. After that I have another one by him, A Parchment of Leaves.

I am also pouring over all of my Runner's World magazines trying to learn all I can before I attempt this new endeavour. I just got the latest one in the mail yesterday.


Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
~Japanese Proverb~

You have a choice, throw in the towel or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring...could it be?

The sun is shining so nice this morning. Three mornings in a row we have enjoyed the bright sunlight coming in though the windows. My ficus' plants are loving it. They are waiting with anticipation for spring so they can once again take their post on either end of the front porch. But for now, they are bathing in the sunlight streaming in through the dining room windows.

Yesterday was a nice warm day, but not to warm. There was a gentle breeze blowing and the sunshine was warm on my back as Noah and I played in the backyard. I pushed him on his swing, we tossed toys for the dogs to retrieve, and we enjoyed a nice long, lively game of kickball. When it was time to come in and start supper, Noah was red faced and tired. Needless to say, he slept very well last night. In fact, he didn't wake up until nearly 8:00, which is late for him.

We are suppose to have another awesome day, weather wise. I had toyed with the idea of making another trip to Wilmington today, but decided to save that for another time. I wanted to give it just another week or so. Although it was a year ago this week that we were there at Carolina Beach and it was a great day.

I have to make my run to the grocery store today to restock my diminished supply. I really don't like going to Walmart, I am sure I have expressed my dislike of the place a time or two, but it is one of those necessary evils, I suppose. In some areas of the country anyway.

Andrew and I have started working out together in the afternoons when he comes in from work. I am trying to go to Curves in the morning and be ready to workout in the garage when he comes in. I have been a little sore for a few days, but I can tell it is getting better. Hopefully before long we can actually get out and run together. When the time changes and there is more daylight in the evenings that will make a world of difference. We've been slower at getting started than I had hoped. I am thinking of buying a treadmill, for times when the weather isn't cooperating...and it will make it easier for me to run on days when it isn't possible for him to go. I really don't want to run by myself. Maybe I am just paranoid, but I don't want to be a target for someone looking for trouble. According to the papers around here, there are a lot of people who seem to find trouble. I suppose it has always been that way near military bases. It is almost ironic how they seem to be more unsafe than other areas of the country. Anyway, the treadmill is something that I think would be a good investment for me.

I have reluctantly been looking around at "new" vehicles. Old Blue has been a good one, and I don't want to think about getting rid of it. I especially don't want to think about having a car note again after so long. But I suppose that is the necessary evil of traveling around like we do. If I lived in one place and didn't have to be on the highways like I do, I would keep Blue till her wheels fell off. Unfortunately I don't know how many more long trips she will make without us possibly having trouble. And when it is just the kids and I on the road to no where, I don't want to risk having trouble. So I have been looking...I am hoping to work it out that we will have a large down payment so that we only have to finance a small portion and get it paid off quickly. I am considering a Ford Edge. I haven't driven one yet, but I like what I have seen. I am looking for an '08 model with low mileage. I don't want to buy new, in my opinion it is foolish to buy new off the showroom floor. You lose entirely to much equity in a new one the moment it rolls off of the lot. I have had great success in buying two year old vehicles and think that is definitely the way to go for me. I am taking my time in this decision though, not being to quick about it. I am waiting for the right one...I am trusting the Lord to direct me so that I will know it is right. It has always worked for me in the past and I know this one won't be any different.

Noah and I are planting today. We have a seed starter kit with some herb seeds that we are going to get started. I really want to start a garden but I am waiting on Andrew to build my raised beds for me. We are holding off to find out if we were going to be here for another job or if we will be leaving after this one is done. We should find out this month if they got the other contract here. Until then, the herbs can be grown in pots on the deck and can be taken with us if we go...

Well, I haven't posted in over a week, so I needed to write something. Nothing exciting or thought provoking, just daily updates on life. My writing slump continues...perhaps when the sun is high in the sky and I have been able to enjoy it more, maybe then my SAD will have gone and I can enjoy the great outdoors again...maybe then my muse will have returned and I can write more engagingly. Until then, this is all there is...

Today's Quotes
If you don't know where your going, any road will get you there.
~Lewis Carroll~
Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you could lose.
~Tom Krause~
Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.
~Shaquille O'Neal~
Obstacles are things a person sees when he take his eyes off of his goal.
~E. Joseph Crossman~

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mindful March Monday...

It is the start of a new week, and a new month. Hopefully the beginning of spring as well. This winter has seemed to drag on forever. I am tired of the cold. I am anxious to get outside, dig in the earth and be active again. I feel like I have been hibernating all winter and now it is time to live again.

This morning I stood at the back door and watched as the sun begin to peep over the rooftops and through the pines in the backyard. It is such beautiful thing. So natural that most of the time we take it for granted that the sun will rise. This morning I am trying to be more mindful of the day to day things that I often don't stop to pay attention to. Like the sound of Noah's footsteps coming down the stairs for the first time in the morning. He is so joyous. Happy to be awake and ready to explore the new day.

Even the little annoyances such as the guinea pig squealing for food each morning, and the dogs scratching to get out for the first time each day are things I want to remember and pay more attention to. These are all parts of my life, parts of the present. So quickly these things will be only memories for me to hold and a rifle through like old photos in a shoe box. Pulling out each one and trying to remember the details of who, where, what and when. If we aren't mindful of each day, then when we review our memories our minds will rebel and not allow us to bring each memory back with clarity.

The memories that I hold most dear are the ones that I was fully present in the moment. Some of those were times of sorrow or pain; such as recalling in precise detail every thing about the morning that I learned that Daren had been killed. I can call to mind the exact details as though it were yesterday. When it was actually seventeen years ago this month.

There are images that I recall when closing my eyes, as though looking at a photograph, because I was mindful and present in the moment. I will never forget the approach by plane into Seattle. Flying over the city, then banking and turning to go into a landing at the airport. I recall with clarity the details of flying out of Seattle and looking out the window of the plane as we flew around Mt. Rainer. The beauty was breathtaking...I took it all in. I was there, I didn't want it to end. I wanted to drink in the beauty until I was intoxicated by it.

I am by nature a very visual person. I find enjoyment in the simple act of viewing things of beauty. It isn't necessarily things that others would call beautiful. Although somethings are universal...many people find beauty in scenes of the ocean or mountain views. But there are other things, small things that I find beautiful. I can sit for long periods of time looking into my basket of seashells. Taking them out one by one, turning them over and over in my hand, feeling their texture.

I have a small bottle filled with white and green beach glass that I picked up at Lake Michigan. It sits by my kitchen sink. I often pick it up and look into the glass, sometimes taking out the pieces and holding them, feeling their smooth edges, know that only time caused such a thing. It wasn't an overnight process. Time and consistency brought about something of beauty out of brokenness. The water and sand working day after day polishing away the sharp edges. Wearing down the thickness of the glass. Rounding the jagged edges of the broken pieces.

It seems very poignant to me, standing in my kitchen in North Carolina, miles away from Chicago, maybe even many more miles from where the bottles originated. Something that as a whole piece someone considered trash and tossed aside mindlessly, now is considered a treasure to me. How it was broken and the smaller parts of the whole were cast into the water for who knows how long.

Now they are considered treasures to someone who herself has been broken and tossed on the sea of life. Realizing that everything that life has brought my way is something ordained by God who is trying to make something useful of me. Each blow was designed to soften my rough edges, to remove the jagged, sharp corners so that they can no longer injure. I see my life as a work in progress. Each day trying again to move a little closer to that image that God has for my life.

Some days I feel as though I may be learning, understand a little more, moving the right direction. However, there are times when I know that I should have learned something and things should have gone differently, but the old human nature rises up and flesh becomes more dominate. A rough edge needs to be smoothed. But for that day, I wasn't able to overcome the very nature that tries to destroy us. For that day the score is flesh 1: spirit 0.

So I keep this little bottle of beautiful beach glass where I can see it, all through out my day it stands as a visual reminder of the work of God in my life. If something were to happen and we had to leave quickly. I would grab this little bottle and carry with me.

I don't wear jewelery of diamonds or gold. I find no value in those types of things. I do have a wedding ring set that Andrew bought me when we married. I also have a diamond that he gave me on our anniversary one year. Those are special because they are part of our life together, a reminder of the past. I don't wear them, simply because I don't wear jewelry anymore. I keep them in a special place and one day the kids will have them to keep. But I do not desire to have more, I find no real value in those types of things. But my bottle of glass is a treasure to me, something I value, something I hold dear. It has meaning to me, it is a talisman of sorts. Not that I believe within it lies some magic power, but the effect it has on me when I look at it, when I remember, it changes my thinking and my understanding. It takes me beyond the moment, the place where my feet are standing.

It serves two purposes. It carries me back to the place and time when I walked along the shores of Lake Michigan and reached down into the sand to retrieve this beautiful glass. I recall the enjoyment of spending time with my family and reveling in the last few days of summer, when my kids were still with me; still children. It also carries me to a place somewhere in the future, knowing that one day I will hold that bottle and everything will be different. The house I live in will be different, my children may be grown and on their own. God only knows the changes that will have occurred between now and then. But I will be able to hold that bottle of small chards of glass that have been worn down by time and elements, and I will remember.

At the same time I can take a piece out of the bottle and hold it in my hand, letting my fingers touch and feel the smoothness and the rounded edges, understanding that God has held me in His hands. Finding the sharp edges and jaggedness of my life, yet seeing what I could be with a little more polishing and wearing down. Hopefully by the time my life is done, and God calls me out of this world, I can be a smooth, polished and shining example of God's love and His endless mercy. A thing of beauty to the Lord. A treasure that he finds enjoyment in, and receives glory from. I want to be a reflection of Him. I want to reflect His light and love, His goodness and power.

To most, the beach glass is just a bunch broken pieces in a jar, nothing of value, but to me they are a treasure. In the same way I hope God sees me when He looks down at my brokenness, my uselessness. Only through Him can my life be a thing of beauty. Only to Him can I be of any value.


Related Posts with Thumbnails