Friday, June 25, 2010

Thoughts As I Head To Cannon Beach!

OK...this is even hard for me to believe! I changed the template on my blog all by myself. :)
A good sign as I head off for a week of respite, fun, nourishment, and time with a dear friend.

This week has been beyond chaotic, and I have been challenged to again and again turn EVERYTHING over to God! And while there have been challenges, my heart is FULL of gratitude for all of the blessings that are overflowing. It's all about how you frame it! Here are a few of this week's events in no particular order.

Yesterday was a magical marker kind of day. Thirty three years ago, on June 24th, Jessi was born. Talk about nostalgia...it seems like yesterday. So many memories flooded in yesterday about her birth and the deep sense of wonder about carrying a life and seeing her born. What a gift it is, an honor, to be part of helping to grow someone. Jessi from day one has always been a "go-getter", a take-it-on kind of gal. Back then she rode her big wheel in the dirt with her party dress on. Today she is a triathlete and still ridin' in style. As I've watched her become a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, athlete...and more...I have been amazed at God's gift to me and to those around her. I love you Jess Jess! I always have and I always will! Happy 33rd birthday sweetie! I can't wait to celebrate with you when I am back! 

Not only was this week marked by Jessi's birthday, the unexpected event of Jacob's emergency appendix removal left us all shaken. One minute Jacob is running around and having a great day, and the next day he is in lots of pain and having trouble walking. That evening we are all gathered at Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart in the waiting room... waiting for a surgeon to let us know Jacob is OK. My heart was in my throat. Between tears I just keep praying..."Please God, let him be good as new".  And God kept that promise. While Jacob is still in the hospital recovering, he WILL make a full recovery. What a great relief! I love you Jacob and I am so, so glad that you are getting better!

Besides Jessi's birthday and Jacob's surgery, a major event this week was SCC's graduation on Monday and getting my grades in. I also came back on Tuesday and Wednesday to start to get ready for next year. What a great year of teaching at SCC and how amazing and blessed I feel to get to teach with Amy! Her presence at SCC has been a gift to her students and also a gift to me! I love watching her teach! Thanks for a great year Aim! I can't wait to do it all again next year! It has also been a gift to my heart to see the kind of Mama she is as she has ministered to Jacob during this time.

And not to be left out, two of the unsung heroes of this week have been Ryan and Bert. Ryan, I have loved watching you minister to your family as you have given and given and put them first.
Not only did you finish a clean up at your old house so the new buyers could move in early, and you did it at 3:30 in the morning after Jacob's surgery, you have shown love and leadership at every turn. I am so grateful that you were there to remind us that God was taking care of it all! Love you!

And to my dear Boppa...who also helped to hold down the fort...I am so grateful for you every day! Your deep love for us shines through all the time, but especially in moments when things seem scary. You are my rock! Love you so much!

What a week! And now it's time to move my clothes for the trip from the washer to the dryer.
It's time to breathe and get revitalized. It's time to hear the ocean, read books, laugh myself silly...and just have fun!

Life is good, and I am grateful! Loves and hugs as I head off.
God Bless!
Love Linda

Friday, June 11, 2010

Time For A Change!

I can feel it in the air. I can feel it in my bones. I can feel it in my emerging smile. I am wistfully waiting for school to end. Closing the book on another year of teaching. What an intense year it has been...but that is for another post.

What I'm struck by this morning is my desire to extend my cuppa, cuppa coffee time, plant some new and less drenched plants in my planters, get the house super clean and organized , do all the laundry, clean my car and get on with the simple pleasures in my life that take care of me.

I need to catch up with some special folks and have quality time, time that is measured in luxurious hours, not clock-watching minutes.

But most of all... I need to catch up with me!

I.need.some.order.
I.need.a.change.in.focus. 

I am grateful for an extended break where I am able to re-find myself...and not the one who grades papers, chairs committees, and does marketing for my department at SCC. That super-productive, always-in-top-gear girl needs to be put on the back burner until late next September.

Where oh where did the whimsical, artistic, book reading part of me fly off to? I'm not sure, but I know I'll find her!

The sun may come out
Or it may choose not to
It doesn't matter.

Rain or shine, I feel a smile coming on!
It's time for a change.

God Bless!
Love Linda


Thursday, June 03, 2010

GOD IS GOOD!...even when life isn't..the story of Zac Smith

Please view this:


The Story of Zac Smith from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

It's a simple equation, almost a mathematical certainty. Life has ups and downs. There are times when life putts along and all seems fine. And there are times when, in a moment's notice, life turns on a dime.

And.everything.changes.

I'm not sure if I am more aware of this phenomenon as I age, or if it has always been this way and I just didn't notice.

But I am noticing now.

More and more I see how precious life is. More and more I see how precious my marriage is. More and more I see how precious my grandchildren are, my adult children are, their spouses are, my students are, my friends are, my co-workers are. The list goes on and on.

There's a song in church that has a chorus:
"You give and take away
You give and take away
And still my heart will say
Lord, blessed be your name."

On most days, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God loves me, has my back, and is in charge. I know, deep in my soul, that having a daily walk with God, praising His glory, and not just "talking" about God when it is convenient...is at the core of all that I am.

I truly believe that for many of us (me included) when crisis hits, a child is diagnosed with cancer or a marriage falls apart, the prayers flow. "Oh God", we find ourselves praying,"please don't let this happen." Until that moment we (I) have had God on the back burner. Now, we need something, so we turn to God.

I have to wonder how that must feel to God. He's a God of convenience for so many of us.

Every day I turn to God, talk to God, walk with God...but is God at the heart of all that I am and do...not so, sadly.

This has been a season in my life that is marked by enormous changes. Lost friends. Surgeries for loved ones. My own unexpected eye surgery this week. Changes in relationships. Disappointments. Victories. Confusion.

And then I stumble on to the story of Zac Smith. Stumble is the wrong word. It wasn't an accident or coincidence. God led me there. It's not an easy video for me to see. But it's a reminder. An important reminder. God is good, even when life isn't. Even when it doesn't turn out the way I want it to, or my prayers seem unanswered, God's plan is greater than my own.

Zac Smith died last Sunday. But I am so grateful that his faith touched me this morning and reminded me that no matter what...God is good!

God Bless! Love Linda

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