Monday, December 11, 2017

Repeat the Sounding Joy

This weekend after a very long, busy, and emotional week, I decided that the Christmas movie of choice would be;
 The Family Stone.
I am of the cloth that has a collection of classic Christmas movies that have to all be watched in a matter of 31 days. 
The Family Stone is one of those movies. 
For many of you, this is a very sad movie that has quite a bit of controversy tied into it , but for me it's a movie about family, and life and all that, that entails. 
Well, maybe there is a bit more in this family that goes on that doesn't happen in every family... but all the same it's one of my favorite Christmas movies. 

This Christmas movie is a tear jerker for sure so I pick this movie on a night when I know I have a lot of emotions that just need to find their way out, and I make sure I'm surrounded by those who love me even when they see my ugly cry face. 
This time when I watched it, I knew going in that I would need more kleenex than I normally do.
I knew this because this past year has been filled with a lot of loss of loved ones that have passed on, and this movie definitely has that life and death element as a key note. 
But, a funny thing happened when I watched it this year.

Not only did I bawl my eyes out like I knew I would but...
A line in the movie stuck out to me and in the most random of places.
There is a part in the movie that an unlikely couple end up snuggling after a VERY eventful holiday, and the actor Sarah Jessica starts to sing the Christmas song, "Joy to the World" and her new found friend actor Luke Wilson keeps saying the phrase, "Repeat the Sounding Joy."


At this point in the movie, it is a strange song choice because this family has just had possibly one of the worst Christmas holidays in their families history, but also one of the most profound holidays because for one of the family members it  was their first introduction into this big family and it didn't go very well at all and for another family member it will be their last Christmas. 
But, when actor Luke starts to chime in with the phrase ;

its as if he knows thats what life is all about. 

Maybe it was just me, or the glass of wine I was drinking, but I really was feeling Luke Wilson's soul in that part of the movie, like he knew that LIFE is for the LIVING.... and you have to continue to repeat the sounding joy!
I have sung this Christmas carol so many times in my life, but the next morning was Sunday morning and it was on the list of songs to sing at my faith community Hillside Foursquare Church,... oh and I just happened to be on the worship team this past weekend. 
That particular phrase kept lingering in my head as almost like a life anthem for me to sing out; 
In the midst of heartache and pain, 
love and loss, 
I truly can repeat the sounding Joy of my life because of Jesus and the hope He gives me on the daily.
My eyes and heart were opened up at a very young age to truly know beyond a shadow of any doubt that I do indeed have a Savior from all the pain, loss and sorrow. 
That is not to say that I don't still have questions, and I don't type these words with a triumphant kind of attitude that I have arrived and have all life's answers figured out.
I have sucky days just like anyone else, and 
I am working out my faith on a daily basis. 
Thankfully I'm not alone on this faith walk.
It's just that,
His love for me and all those around me is what gives me Joy even in the midst of sorrow and grief. 
If I do nothing else in this life I will continue to repeat the sounding Joy of his love. 
I'm beyond grateful that I have this hope as an anchor in my life.
I'm not perfect, (no one is) but it is my life's goal to follow the ways that Jesus set before me some 2000+ years ago. 
His ways are perfect, and when I hang out with him HE perfects this messy road before me. 
It is my hearts prayer that everyone could know this unending love, hope, and faith in Jesus. 
I also hope that no matter where this holiday season finds you, you know that you are not alone.

There is a King in this Game of Thrones who doesn't see your life as a game at all. 
He left his throne, to come as an infant child and express love and mercy and give you hope. He is not so far removed that he doesn't know the pain and sorrow of loss. He walked this earth and was contained by the gravity that keeps our feet on the ground. He is not far from you, in fact just say the words, "I believe" and he's right there with you. 
Maybe you are reading this blog and thinking, Noël you don't understand ... you don't know what I've been through and you would be absolutely correct. 
I don't know, but there is one who does.  
To know that we are not alone in this life full of trials and tribulations is what I believe we all are looking for. 
If you are feeling depleted in the Joy department, just a take a deep breathe... now take another deep breathe.... fill your lungs with that life, and give Jesus a second glance. 

And then keep looking into this deeper thought that you are not alone. 
There was an infant named Jesus who more than likely was not born in December when we choose to celebrate his birth, BUT he walked this planet for 33 years.
He changed our calendar and how we measure time; BC and AD ... yea that's a thing!
He changed my life some 30 years ago.
He's changing lives to THIS day and it could very easily be yours.

Take one more deep breathe....

 Then, keep asking questions, and wondering and pondering and seeking.... and knocking... the door will open to a world of Joy!

Oh and don't forget to listen to Miss Whitney who at this very moment is in the presence of JOY!

Monday, November 27, 2017

WEEK 4 and 5 #graditudetrain I Love Right Now

It's the final week of the hashtag #graditudetrain (see blogs below) that I started on November 1st. 
I'm already feeling sad that it's almost over because even though I will continue to give thanks after the month of November is over, I know it won't be with the same attention and energy that these past few weeks have provided. 
I have been challenged in ways that I didn't think I would be when I started this little refresher course in giving thanks. 
It's been so fun to see others hop on board this train with me, and it truly has hit a refresh button in my heart and mind. I feel like I have grown in my "attitude of gratitude" and that makes me real happy. 
Now the challenge of taking what I've learned and using that growth about having a thankful heart is what I'm thinking about. 
If I were to teach a class on gratitude and how to stay 
in this place of contentment, gratitude, and thankfulness I think this scripture from the Message version of the bible is what I would start with; 

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are- no more, no less."

I'm thinking that this quote has become a motto of sorts in my mind. 
The older I get the more I'm realizing that in order to be content I have to accept the present moment. 
That's not to say there isn't always room for improvement, but finding a sense of contentment in the present moment is crucial to contentment in life as a whole.
"That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."

There are A LOT,  and I do mean a whole lotta things that can be bought these days.
But I want to be the proud owner of the eternal things that can't be purchased with a swipe or insert of a stupid plastic card.
I want to remain grateful for what I already have, as well as know that my love for those around me, and their love for me, isn't defined by, and doesn't hinge on what I give them from a retail store.
Finding worth in what can't be bought has got to be where true life is found. 
I know it's wrapped up in there somewhere.
I also think that you have to work at contentment and dwelling there.
It's a habit that is formed over many years of saying "Thank You" even in the midst of heart ache and pain. 
In the face of challenges and hardship is where we find our true selves. 

Our character is built in these times.
It's easy to say thank you when everything is going well and the sun is shining and unicorns are a plenty. But to remain in a grateful state of mind when everything and everyone around you has gone to the dark side this is the true challenge in life.
"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God."
Matthew 5:5-6
I have a thankful for heart because of the Lover of my Soul. 
(Insert old Petra song here)
I'm hungry, no starving, for knowing more of the heart of my Creator.
There are SO many things in this life that our energy,  and our appetites can be appeased with, but only one gives any return, and that is when I spend time with my Creator, the true lover of my soul.
That is why I can say, no matter what ...I LOVE RIGHT NOW!!
"Yet though you slay me I will still hope and trust in HIM!" 
Job 13:15

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WEEK 3- #graditudetrain -Keeping It In Perspective and Shout OUT to Barbara Owens

I'm full steam ahead on my #graditudetrain. 
(see post week 1 and 2 below if you're wondering what this is all about)
It's been so much fun to see some friends hop on board this with me. When others get on board this train of giving thanks in ALL things it gives me more momentum. Starting this train has truly been like hitting the reset button.

On Thursday of this past week I walked outside to the fresh smell of rain and I was tired, so very tired, but right away I took a deep breath and thought, today is going to be a good day. 
I know it is strange that rainy days invigorate me, but they truly do.
The above pic is our drive way up to the cabin in Washington. 
When it rains here, I can't help but think of this special place that now houses my oldest daughter Emma. 

I needed that rainy morning last week to stop, and pause because the few days prior had been all kinds of rough.

I feel compelled to share the things that have happened this past week that I wasn't so thankful for because, basically they SUCKED!!

First, My dishwasher broke.
(insert full blown crying emoticon here)
Which ok, it's not the END of the world because we have hot water and dish soap and sponges, and hands that work. I was reminded of the 4 years in the cabin where we lived without a dishwasher, or central heat, or more than one bathroom,  and I gotta say  I stopped in my tracks and's those little things like dishes piling up that can really derail a train of gratitude in a New York Minute!

But beloved reader,  I was determined not to let it.
I'm keeping the bigger perspective in mind, and the minute I almost started to be ungrateful I was reminded not only of the cabin life, but of another momma friend of 4 who is battling for her life right now.
It was a moment that I paused and thought, God thank you that I'm healthy enough to stand here, and do dishes by hand for hours and hours if need be. 
It was a true reset button when I thought about how my friend probably wishes more than anything in all the world that she was healthy again and able to care for her clan of 4 kids. 
I give thanks for Barbara because she is a warrior momma who I admire for her strength and courage and humor. 
I paused and lifted up prayers for her and her family and thanked God for her. 

IF you're interested in helping my fellow momma friend click the link below. 
Help Barbara fight Cancer for the 2nd Time

I started thanking God for all the things that are STILL working even though my BLASTED bleepity BLEEP dishwasher is broken!!

Then the place where I work got broken into right before our big Veterans day event last weekend. 
Which for me personally wasn't so bad, but I felt terrible for my boss/friend Mark who had to deal with this in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday. 
I started to think about how in life when you are going about your business something like that can happen and really shake things up. 
They are moments that cause us to pause in all our busy, and hopefully we remember what to give thanks for in those moments.
I felt a certain sense of violation and frustration toward this selfish, stupid person who thankfully didn't get away with a single thing, but still it caused all kinds of other work for us last week that we really didn't need to be dealing with.

Even in this though, I was thankful that nothing was taken, and no one was hurt. 
And I KNOW we did do some really good work for our community this past weekend when we gave away free tattoos to all the veterans as our way of saying thank you for your service to our country.

There are countless other little things that happened this past week that tried to derail this train, but I saw those things coming down the tracks and thought to myself ... NOPE...NOT TODAY! 

We all have those things that come to rob, kill and destroy the attitude of gratitude, but they are nothing more than the Punk Ass Devil messing with what really matters. 
When talking about giving thanks it's important to mention that not all things, obviously are worthy of thanks or gratitude. A lot of things in this life truly are horrible and there are no answers for the injustice. 
But, "in all things" we give thanks. 

Still, I believe there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

I'm not really sure how this works when faced with true tragedy. I don't pretend to have all the answers or even some of the answers, but I know that personally in my life if I look for gratitude in every circumstance I can always find it. 
It might not come right away, but it does come to me.

Again I will say, in this life we find what we are looking for. 

If you look for something in every life circumstance to be thankful for you will find it. 

This "graditudetrain" isn't about ignoring the horrible bad things that happen in life, it's about being determined to not stay there. 
We have to allow for times of grief and sorrow to fully heal. It can't be all sunshine and roses everyday because with out the dark times we don't know how to appreciate the light.

I do believe though, there is something to wrestling our way out of those dark times and the muscle we use to dig out of that pit of gloom is gratitude.  

So there you have it... week 3 here I go !
Keeping my attitude of gratitude and the determination to be a graduate in giving thanks in ALL things... "grad"itude  train for LIFE!!

Monday, November 06, 2017

Week 2 of the #graditude train

Last week on November 1st I decided I would start my own hashtag #graditudetrain on Instagram. 
I misspelt the gratitude(graditude) on purpose for two reasons;
one- so that the hashtag will only have people who come aboard this train with me, and 
two- because grad-itude has the word grad in it which is what I'm doing. 
I'm determined to become a graduate in this life of gratefulness. 

 This is a train that is full of people who want to come against all the negative in this world with an attitude of giving thanks. 
Even, in the midst of hardship and struggle I will give thanks.
"Like the homies on the night watch!" 

I have to admit that for me, this is not a hard exercise of the heart. 
Even though like everyone who has lived on this planet for 2.5 seconds I have experienced hardship and struggle in many different ways , my M.O. or resting stance of attitude falls very easily back into positivity and gratitude. 

For years, I have said I might not be rich in material things, but when it comes to what is really valuable in this life I am beyond wealthy.

The people that I'm surrounded by, and who I have crossed paths with are some of the most incredible people on the planet. 
I feel beyond honored and blessed to know each and everyone of them. 
Much like the above photo of my giant, (aka my husband) hugging my daughter on her home visit from Seattle last month... coming back to an attitude of thanks is like coming home for me. 

I feel the embrace of my creator everyday when I look around and see all that He has given me to enjoy. 
My  heart swells with gratitude for the people in my life. 
This first week of thanks has not only reminded me once again how rich in love my life is, but also how abundantly blessed  I am in the department of relationships.

There are 30 days in this month, and honestly every single one of these days could be filled with a shout out of thanks to certain people in my life that have shaped me. 

Just for fun, let's look at the numbers of my rather large family of origin and marriage.

I have 4 siblings, 4 children, 2 parents,  4 parent-in-loves, 1 husband, 4 nieces, 1 grand-niece, 1 grand- nephew, 6 Uncles, 3 Aunties, 2 brother-in-loves, 1 sister-in- love, countless cousins.... so you do the math! 
In my family ALONE there are more than 30 people to give thanks for, and I truly DO give thanks for them ALL!!
That is just my family that I didn't get to choose, but would choose each and everyone of them if I could. 
Then there are the ones that I call family that I did get to choose. 
My friends who are like family to me and who I choose to walk out life with, my inner circle if you will, I give thanks for ALL of them as well. 

I realize this is not the case for everyone. 

This gives some insight as to why coming home to a stance of gratitude is so very easy for me. 
Even with all of these beyond amazing people in my life, I still struggle (like any human "being" ) does. I put the word "being" in quotes because just being human means we will from time to time fall out of the character traits that we would hope WON'T define us in the end. 

Ya know, like... I mean we all have bad days! 

Days we wish we could push the rewind button and do that part of life over again. 
The great thing about this life though, is that we get to choose to push the reset button.
We might not get to rewind, but we definitely can reset our course. 
So, that is what this month is about for me.
I'm hitting the reset button, and coming home to a place of giving thanks for what truly matters in this life. 
I'm looking up instead of down.
I'm determined to graduate from this life with a masters degree in gratitude!

Who is with me?

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

On Being Thankful - Week 1 of the #graditudetrain

I've been really quiet on here. 
Some of that quiet came about because I've been really busy just living, but a good portion is because I've been letting the steam of my inner soul build up again. 
I read this quote on another blog a long time ago, and it never left me;
When the door of the steambath is continually left open, the heat inside rapidly escapes through it; likewise the soul, in its desire to say many things, dissipates the remembrance of God through the door of speech, even though everything it says may be good...Timely silence, then, is precious, for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts.

So that's kind of what I've been doing these past several months. 
I've been allowing the steam of my soul to build up again in hopes that I would come back  to share something that would be really good for you all beloved readers. 
That above quote also reminds me of something that my grandmother used to always say to her kids, and then my mother said to me several times as a child, and now of course I say it to my own children; 
"The smart one shuts up!" 
Well, I don't know if shutting up really does make one smart, but I've been working hard to appear real, real smart these days. 

I decided today, November 1st was a good time to get back on here, break the silence(even if I may appear stupid for doing so) and share some thoughts with you all.

You'll have to let me know if all that quiet helped me to become infinitely wiser these past few months? (wink wink)
In my quiet I've been contemplating the state of our world at large as well as my own personal little corner in it. 
I've been quietly mourning the tragedies occurring around the world, and at the same time still mourning the loss of my beloved friend Christeeny. In my mourning and grieving I've also been trying to attain a happy balance of gratitude and still have hope for the future.
I'm not faking the happy, and I always have hope in Christ,  but it is very much mixed with sadness at the same time. I feel as though I can't just throw my hands up though, and stop hoping for a better tomorrow because I have 4 children who need to be reminded that there is still so much good in this world. 

(Enter John Mayers song The Heart of Life)

I wonder if anyone else feels the same in regards to seeing how crazy our world is right now and trying to make sense of it all for your children's sake if not for your own sanity?
I know there are some things that will never make sense to me, but I desperately want to try and find a way to help my kids navigate the madness of it all. 

I have decided that to come against all this crazy from a different angle. I'm taking a totally different perspective than all the negative that is so easy to find these days. 
Like that saying, "You can't fight evil with evil" that's what I'm trying to do here. 
Fight the good fight.
Run the race,
Hopefully, Lord willing set a hopeful example to my children of what we do when the going gets rough. 

So today, I break the silence to invite you beloved reader to join me this month of November to get on a gratitude train with me. 
For the whole month of November I am going to post what I'm thankful for in an attempt to  maintain balance and come against the spirit of sorrow, depression, and crazy in our world. 
November is a good time to start, don't you agree ? 
With Thanksgiving on the horizon I want to get on a train that gives thanks even in the midst of madness.
I also know that giving thanks and living in a state of constant gratitude is a muscle you have to work out everyday. 
Some days are better than others. 

I know there are actual studies out there that prove that when you feel the funk of life creeping up on you all that is needed is a good dose of giving thanks.
My friend/pastor shared this past Sunday the very same state that I'm talking about so I know I'm not alone in this. 
I have a wooden sign in my house that says this;
"There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. "
and I truly believe it. 

Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, heartache, and loss there is always something to be thankful for. 

Today I am thankful for contentment and courage to change at the same time. 

I'm content with where God has me right now and at the same time open to what He might want to change in me for better tomorrows. 
I'm thankful for the state that I live in as well as the state that my heart is in. 
It has taken me a very long time to find this place of contentment, especially in regards to living in Nevada again.
Those of you that know me well, know that it has been a life long struggle for me to find the beauty is this place that I used to disdainfully refer to as 
"Brown Town!" 
I chose that above photo for todays post because, even though I have lived here most of my life and seen that Nevada fence in pictures countless times I never knew where it was located until today. 

Can I get a witness that in this life you find what you are looking for? 

If you look for the good in any situation you will find it , and vice versa. 
I have searched high and low for the good in this state and worked very hard to find the purpose in being here right now. 
I believe I have come to a place of true thanks for this season and the place where I live. 
I'm thankful that I live close to my parents and amazing siblings. 
I'm thankful that I get time with some of my nieces and being a part of their lives is priceless to me. 
I'm thankful for the lifelong friends I have here who have walked along side me, and my family and made all of our lives richer and deeper because of their influence and devotion to us all. 
(My friend/pastor very much included in that thanks)

I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that no matter what I won't look back on this time, on this season, and wish that I would've had a better attitude about it. 

So who is with me?
Let's put out the energy of giving thanks and get on this #gratitudetrain 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back to Building Things

My Giant has gone back to building things for work instead of drawing things on people. 
It's a shift in my home and my heart since we no longer work together for a paycheck.
We continue to work together here at home to raise this awesome family of 3 teens, and 1 young adult that God has given us, but I miss him at my other work place, ever so much. 
That's a blog for another day... today I want to talk about building things.

Several months ago my sister Jenny and I were having a conversation about a proverb found in the bible ;
"Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands."
Proverbs 14:1

Birthed out of this conversation my sister started this awesome blog;
 Proverbs 14 Project
Please check it out if you have a minute or two, but don't go just yet ; )

We talked about what it looks like to build a house metaphorically speaking of course, because neither myself or my sister Jen have real good carpentry skills.
She's a little more handy than I am with a hammer and nails, but we both know
all those building genes were given to our little Brother Greg.

The skills my brother Greg and My Giant have in the department of building things are off the charts.
But for real... Bob the builder has got nothing on these two genius builders!

Again, a blog for another day.

Back to the conversation with my sister Jen. We talked about how even before we were married women we were building in our life a metaphorical house, and even way back when we knew what we wanted that home to look like.
Now, having a young adult daughter who left to go build her life again in Washington, I am thinking about how important it is to have a good foundation in this life, before you go off to build, walls, doors, and windows.

(the cabin before we started building there)

Since our conversation some months ago, I've started reading all the scripture I can find on building....
Come to find out there's a lot of building going on in the scriptures.  
 I hope to kind of unpack the boxes so to speak of what I've been building over here, and what I will hopefully build with words today on this here bloggy poo. 

There is a different kind of building outside of wood and nails that happens from the day you were born until the day you die.  From our early years when we are just learning what we love, what we are good at, what makes our very own hearts sing, to the years later when we decide to build with someone else, if we decide to build with someone else, we are always either building or tearing things down.

I have come to know that in one lifetime there is a lot of building that takes place. 

Whether we build in a business, marriage, or relationships with friends we are always either building or tearing things down.
Right from the start we are building habits in our lives that if they are good can in return build a good foundation for life, but if they are bad will tear us down in the end. 

"Can we Fix it?

The things that you say yes, or no to in this life are the hammer and nails of this metaphoric kind of building.
 How they affect your person as well as your soul, and all the people around you become the walls and the doors. 
This makes me 
  wonder have I been the hammer or the nail?
Am I a wall or a door?

For instance, if you are physically active person with sports and exercise your building a body that will hopefully be able to like the song says;  "jump around, jump around, jump up and jump down" well into your 70s, 80s, and Lord willing even your 90s, maybe even your 100s!!

If you are person who loves to study and learn from books you are building a brain that will have a satchel full of information to pass onto to younger generations. 
"Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family)[*nation] built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation]. 
Proverbs 24:3

The house that these scriptures are talking about is the house of our lives. 
Our bodies. 
Our interest.
Our passions.
Where we live day in and day out.
In my young adult years I have been primarily focused on building this awesome family that God has given me. 
It started when I fell in love with a boy named Moses and promised my love and devotion to him at the young age of 19. 
We built for only 6 months before we committed to each other a covenant to be married 6 months later. 
We then had 3 years together before kids. 
Moses btw was the one who wanted to start a family right away... I wanted at least 5 years together just the two of us before adding on, and so we compromised, and 3 years later came Miss Emma Faith
 Oh how quickly we built this family! 
We built 4 babies in 6 years. 
That was a lightening fast build if you ask me... and honestly,  I think I'm still unpacking and settling into that major build. 
(wink emoticon here)
I have been building this house with the help of my genius builder husband and my master builder Jesus for 22 years!!
Whew, thats a whole lotta building !
But, even before I said "I do" at 20 years old  there were those childhood years with my parents and siblings, and even though I didn't realize it, I was building there too.

I would call those childhood years our foundational years. 

This is where we have to learn to build ourselves up, in order to go out into the world and build with others. 
I personally, was learning how to share coming from a family of 5 kids including myself.
I was given the great gift of my faith and the practice of it, and how God plays a role in every detail of my life. 
I was blessed with good foundational years. 
I had parents who encouraged me and really were my biggest cheer leaders in this life. 
They still are!! 
Thank you Mom and Dad if you are reading this <3 center="">

<3 center="">
But, if that wasn't your story your foundation years might look quite different, and at some point you have to go back to those years and re-build the foundations of your life. 

These souls that re-build the foundations of their lives are some of the most brave, and courageous people I know. 

I can't even begin to express the awe, and emphathy I have in my heart for the people who have had to go back and re-build their foundation. They are an inspiration to me, and truly some of my life's greatest heroes.

And now, currently these are the years that I feel I'm on the long home stretch of raising these 4 humans in the ways that they are building their foundations. I know that God has graciously given me, and my Giant these precious souls to guide and lead for life, but they are all quickly approaching the ages where they start leading their own lives. They will make decisions all their own that will shape their futures, and all I can hope and pray is that we've given them a good foundation.

At the same time while continuing to build here at home
many people say that your 40's become the years that you build your financial security. 
You begin to think about the years ahead, and how you might want to retire and stop building someday, and because of the ticking clock of your aging body, there seems to be a scurry of building that happens outside of yourself. 

Because of this I feel as though I'm being pulled in every direction and that I have all these mini- building projects going on!!

Can I get a witness ?

 In all this scurry and building, I have been reminded recently,  that this house here soon will change and already has. 
Physically as each child grows up and moves out and starts building their own house, but also spiritually as my prayers for these precious lives will change and so will the focus of my own life. 

In the process of letting go, and gratefully letting the changes happen, I don't what to tear down what I've worked so hard to build here on this masterpiece called my family.

"Unless the Lord builds the house the laborers labor in vain"
Psalm 127:1

There will come a day when the house we live in will be smaller because there won't be need for a lot of rooms. 
But that doesn't mean I get to stop building.
I don't think we ever get to stop building.
Aren't we continuing to build right up until our dying breath what we hope to spend all of eternity enjoying?

Even grandparents who are in their 60s and 70s are still building for the next generation. 
They are setting an example of what retirement life can or should look like.
Maybe we get to retire from our jobs that pay the bills, but we don't ever get to stop building in this life. 
I don't want to labor in vain on a building project that is not eternal and will soon turn back into dust. 

"[Put first things first] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home. "
Proverbs 24:27

Once you grasp the idea that everything you do in your life is a part of a larger picture and in a sense building something, you begin to see this even carries over into church, communities, and politics.
When thinking about the world at large and this amazing country that I was born in I start to see that even there I have been working toward building something.
I've been reading about things in history and how these nations were built. 
The laws and constitution and what our forefathers wanted to build was a place that was so different from the one they left behind. 
Overtime if those same priorities for building are not maintained then the outcome can be very different from the blueprint that was set before us some 200 years ago. 

(the cabin after some major re-building went down)

The foundation of this house has been shaken once again, and it has proved to me once again that we have a GOOD foundation. 
When life changes whether by a job change, a death in the family or of a friend it has a similar response like the feeling after an earthquake.
All you can do is stand and wait for the aftershock and you hope that the foundation of the earth won't move again. 

Gravity and the ground we stand upon, is something that we all take for granted. 

But when the foundation is not solid and can't be counted on then you begin to question everything. 
You wonder how was this house built?
Thankfully, and with an incredible amount of awe for knowing this at such a young age, I know my foundation is secure. So when the earth shakes I hold onto my anchor in this life and know that this house was built on solid ground.
I wait for the rumbles and shakes to pass and then look for cracks in the walls that might need to be repaired. 
I pick up the broken pieces by the grace of God and move forward without fear. 
"According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it."
1 Corinthians 3:10

Long after I am gone, what I have spent my life building with either continue on or like dust just blow away with the winds of change.
I'm taking the time to build well in every area of my life, and when I see areas for renovation I choose to be the hammer and not the nail.

There is still so many more thoughts on this topic that are rolling around, but before this turns into a novel I'm going to just put this out there.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this beloved reader.
Until I have more thoughts to share just know I'm over here singing ;

"Bob the builder
Can we fix it?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Shout Out To All The Dads

Is it just me or does Father's Day sometimes seem to get overlooked?

That is a rhetorical question that I would love to hear from you about beloved reader. 

I'm not sure if it's because summer is in full swing, or just because in this world we live in there aren't as many of you out there that deserve a day to be recognized, (sad but true)  but whatever the reason if you are a dad who SHOWS UP and has continued to SHOW UP since the day your kid/kids were born then I applaud you. 

I see YOU! 

Here are the dad's in my life that I have come to know, appreciate, and applaud.

I'll start with my baby's daddy ;()

When I first met Moses, and before we even were married, or had children of our own I knew he would be a really good dad. 
I watched how he treated my youngest brother Jeremy who was only a little over 1 year old at the time.
He studied him, and observed some very interesting things that Im not sure anyone in our family had ever noticed before. 
When he spoke to me about these observations he said them with love and laughter and not irritation or confusion.
I then watched how he reacted when my other brother Greg borrowed his truck without permission and ruined the brand new bed of the truck by taking it out off- road, and neglected the fact that their was a whole engine in the back of his truck.

He was frustrated, confounded, and  livid...but he didn't overreact.

He simply went and got my young teenage brother Greg and had him fix the back of his truck.

He has always provided a way for our kids to make things right when they go wrong.

He was patient.
He was quiet.
And he was and still is a stellar example of what a good dad figure looks like. 

After we got married and the conversation of having children came up I was astounded that HE wanted children so soon, and even believe it or don't BEFORE I did.
In most relationships that I know of it's the woman who begs to have kids early on, and not the other way around.
I'm still not sure to this day, why he was so adamant about wanting kids so young, but I have appreciated his love and devotion to them ever since.
Many times I chuckle about the fact that people think because I'm the one with the degree in Early Childhood Ed, and the one that was primarily home with them, that it made me the better parent.

But it's kind of an inside joke between Mo and I that we know who is the better parent. 

For the most part of raising this big family of 4 kids I have been the one who had the honor of being home with them, but only because the jobs that I could find have paid me a lot less than what Moses could make. 
(Ahem.. that's a conversation for another day)

There have however been a few times in our family life when I was the one who went to work, and Moses stayed home... and those were the times when it was quite evident that had the tables been turned in our life of raising kids, he in FACT would have made the better parent to stay at home with them. 

I can't possibly put into words the appreciation and gratitude I have for this man I married 22 years ago. The way he parents our children makes me fall in love with him all over again.
There are not many men who can balance it all and be this amazing, but somehow he has found a way  and we are all the better for it. 


Where did this Blue-eyed boy/dad/ wonder come from .... but from another blue eyed boy wonder named
affectionately known now as, Papa Russ.

My father-in-law or in -love as I like to call it, cause 
I'm not in-law... I'm in LOVE.

Raised as not only the oldest in the Scofield family, but THE ONLY BOY....Rusty you amaze me.

With three younger sisters is it any wonder he learned quick how to make his way in the garage fixing things?
My own brother Greg has adopted YOU as the mechanical genius of a dad that YOU are. 
I know he found in YOU a kindred spirit being the only brother of 3 sisters.
*And btw, he tells me to call you more often! (LOL)

I give you a shout out today, because honestly my husband who is the father of my children wouldn't be here without you.
The two of you started out together as just a couple of dudes, and all these years later I still love to see you two dudes together. 
I love hearing you talk of mechanical things that may as well be a foreign language to me. 
Pop you have saved us thousands of dollars over the years because you taught your son how to fix things. 
You taught him to "worry it out" and not give up.

You taught him what it looks like when your teen gets in trouble and you spend every last dime to get him out of it, and back on the straight and narrow. 

I'm thankful for you and today I recognize you for SHOWING UP!
You didn't turn your back on your wayward son in his teen years, and today on this day I appreciate YOU!


And then there's my dad...

Oh How I LOVE this man!!

He has shown me what it looks like to be faithful and true to one woman and 5 kids for 47 years. 
He worked every day to provide for said 5 kids and then some more kids along the way that weren't even his own. 
There is not one other human on this planet that I admire more for being true to his family and loving them so well.

My dad was born into a family of ALL boys...

And somehow he managed to raise three daughters who all love and adore him.
He instilled value and worth to us, and never, ever made us feel as though we couldn't conquer the world as women if we wanted to.
It still amazes me that he never batted an eye when it was that "time of the month" and he would buy feminine products just like he was buying toilet paper!
I mean that is a REAL MAN!!
He has loved my mom with such devotion over the years and instilled a trust in her, my sisters, and myself , that not all men look the other way!
He never left my moms side when the house was full and the chaos was more than any man could handle. 
He may have retreated to his man cave there in the house, but he never headed down to the local bar for hours on end with God knows who. 
He came home everyday after work, paid every bill on time, and bought flowers for my beloved Grandma the day before she died because the Bo Sox won the world series. 
The love and devotion that he still has for my mom after all these years is precious to me. 
To hear him talk about her with such love and appreciation for all the years they have been together, well ... it makes me weepy just thinking about it.
He is one of my life's heroes because despite the fact that early on in life he suffered some serious tragedy he never let it slow him down. 
He's brilliant, funny, and truly a devoted father.
Now that he's retired he calls weekly, sometimes daily (wink wink) to check in on his kids, and always lets us know what's happening, and who is going where, and reminds me to call my mom more often. 
*(Apparently, I'm not good about picking up the phone once in a while and checking in)
He doesn't wait for me to call him and check in, although he has mentioned a time or two that he would love it if I did. 
He let's me know that HE KNOWS how busy life is for me right now, and HE picks up the phone to check in.
I appreciate those phone calls more than he could ever know.

With both of these men in my life if I could use one word to describe them it would be;

definition- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness:

They both have raised their families and taken the role of fatherhood with such integrity, and they deserve this day of recognition.

Happy Fathers Day Moses!
Happy Fathers Day Papa Russ!

Happy Fathers Day Dad!

And to all the Dad's who show up with integrity in their back pocket to every game, every band concert, every recital, every wedding of walking your daughter down the isle, every day to work  to provide for all the fun...

You are my life's heroes and I give this SHOUT OUT TO YOU!!

Thank you for making this world a better place. 

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