Monday, July 20, 2015

Peaks, Valleys and Pits

We've all heard it, and most likely said it; Time Flies!  Yep, it's true, it really does. Life moves forward no matter what. I am sitting here at my desk, realizing that it's been over 6 months since I have written a blog. I'm surprised at this, I was sure I had written more recently, I know I sat down to do it, several times... but, for whatever reason, apparently I didn't actually write.

Life can take so many turns and bring us to so many places, those places contain peaks, valleys and deep pits. Peak's are the high points, joyous happy times. Valleys, well that's what I call the day to day, fairly smooth places in life. And pits... yeah that's the very low moments. Over the last 3 years I have seen them all. The last six months have been mostly valley time. But there have been some peaks of varying heights and also some pits of varying depths. 

Overall I can look back at the last six months and be thankful for so many blessings!

Some of the peaks -
  • I have transitioned completely out of Pizza Hut - a job that was right for the time I had it and I am thankful that it was available to step into when I needed it.
  • I am now blessed to be a foodserver at The Teapot on Wheels - Working with friends that are like family, overlooking the beauty of the Rogue River, and meeting new people.
  • Spending time with friends, enjoying coffee or lunches occasionally. - Something that may seem to not be a big deal to some, but to me, (and others that have been in similar circumstances in life,) a very big deal.
  • A trip to the coast - short and sweet, so very needed and enjoyed. Also a chance to enjoy the company of my youngest son on the way home, just talking.
  • And more closure this spring with the completion of the placing of Glenn's headstone. Nothing short of the Lord's hand on that one! Bittersweet but good.
  • Enjoying my family.

A few pits along the way-
Pits, potholes, what ever you want to call them-- they are still there. There aren't so many of them now, but spring seems to be when I have the bulk of them. Probably tied to the significant dates that I try not to think about most of the time. Some of them are small, potholes, bumpy moments in my day; the times when a memory crosses my emotions and creates a few tears. Then there are the pits; the days that I still miss Glenn so much it hurts, I miss our conversations, and our quiet times... yeah, those are the moments that suck!

Admittedly, there are a few of the potholes that are actually a bit humorous from a twisted perspective... like when I am dealing with a computer issue that was in Glenn's area of expertise, and I give his picture a dirty look and tell him off for just a little while. Pointless in the real world, but it makes me feel better.

A walk in valley - 
My life still feels a bit sideways, but mainly that comes from missing Glenn and his part in my daily life. In all reality, it is busy, but has settled down so much. With the job change has come a stable schedule, I can plan around. I know when I can set appointments, run errands or just have a coffee. All these are very good things to be able to do. This is most days in my life, just normal, some easy, some a little crazy, but basically normal, life is good.

I am confident in the knowledge that the valleys will continue to be the greatest part of my life, I know that I will be blessed with more peak times and the joy that comes with them, and at the same time I know that there will be more pits, but they will be less often and not as deep.

One thing I know, something that is reinforced through all that I have gone through, with God's help, I will continue to see life's glass as half full on the hard days, not half empty. God really is good all the time!  Each day I begin to understand more fully. Ecc 3:1 To everything there is a season, ​​A time for every purpose under heaven. 

Time does fly, enjoy the flight, there will be turbulence but we can look past the bumps of it and know that we are heading toward a future that will bring new and good things.

Here's to a life lived in Faith and Hope! Remember with the storms are the Rainbows of Promise.

a.k.a. Mary

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Resolutions or Goals?

It's the start of a new year and that means "New Years Resolutions." That's the tradition, right? The only problem with it, is more people fail at them than succeed.

So in pondering the year ahead, I decided that I'm not doing "resolutions."  I am setting goals;

  • Those that I know I can reach with minimal effort.
  • Those that I can reach with more focus and effort.
  • And finally those that I would like to reach, though some parts are beyond my immediate control. 
All goals take diligence and effort on our parts. I would rather set them and maybe not achieve all of them, than not set any and end up doing nothing. A friend once told me, just shoot for the stars and if you only hit the moon, that's okay. I agree.

Last year my basic goals were simple, pay my bills each month, plant a garden - which I did, and I learned where I will adjust and improve on things this year, a doable goal. And last was to make fudge for Christmas again, which I also did.

I realize that to some, those aren't really big deals, and that's okay. For me though, since I am still in the process of learning to live life without Glenn, they were significant. I am so much better at balancing life this year than last, those were steps I needed.
The bills, were a blending of faith in the Lord for provision, and making sure I was diligent with the finances He gave me. I can tell you this-- The Lord is faithful!

The garden was a desire to take some control of my food sourcing and it was simple to start. The maintenance wasn't, hard, per-say, but it required me to remember to water it daily and to take care of it... and this year I will build my own tomato cages, lol, I need sturdier and larger than I used last year.

The fudge, well that was an emotional hurdle, but it was something I enjoy doing and I wanted to do it again- in 2013 I just couldn't bring myself to make it since it was something I had always done with Glenn. This year, I was determined to make it, and I did, and I enjoyed it! I took back and area that brings joy to my heart, and that's huge.

At this moment some of my goals for this year, some are easier to implement than others:

  • First and foremost, continue to grow in God.
  • The garden- with improvements in place! 
  • Re-do my yard somewhat, I would like to replace the bark and do a bit of landscaping. This one has so much to it that there will be mini-goals along the way.
  • Lose 10-20 pounds... we shall see, lol. Really what I want is to continue improving my health.
  • Find a way to take a cruise sometime in the next 12-16 months. 
I know I will be adding more along the way, some I will make and others, well, we shall see. No matter how you look at it though, if I only achieve 1 then that is forward progress! 

Remember- goals are doable, resolutions are easy to push aside or give up on.

May the Lord give each of you a blessed and prosperous 2015!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Small Beginnings

Don't despise the day of small beginnings.

As I went out to my garden this morning, to gather some tomatoes, I was reminded of this basic principle of the Christian walk.

It's easy to look at our life from a microscopic view of what is going on at the moment... I have struggled in this at times over the last couple years... but at the same time I try to remember, what is going on 'right now,' is simply that- right now. There is a much bigger picture out there. 

Taken around Aug 10th
When I looked at my tomato plants in August, I wasn't sure how they would do, I had finally figured out how to keep them watered in the heat we were having. That was a huge improvement and they were growing. I thought they were almost as big as they would get, I mean, it was mid-August and they had taken so long to get to this point. But I was fine with it, there was a tomato- almost ripe, some small ones growing and quite a few blossoms. I was pleased with what I thought would be a nice amount of tomatoes, 

I had no idea that just a few weeks later these same plants would be so big that they would be causing the cages to fall over. (next year they will have better support!) I had no clue the true abundance of fruit (or veggies) that I would be getting from these plants. 

Sept 28th
But oh my goodness!! How they have grown. The poor little plants that I worked so hard to get to live through July, had spent August growing and now in September are putting out an amazing amount of tomatoes!! I had harvested a few a day before picking that bowl full this week, and then I gave some to my daughter in law, and there are still going to be a bunch more to pick before the season ends.

It was while I was picking those tomatoes that I began to think about life, my life in particular. Last year I felt like those struggling tomato plants that were in my garden, I was surviving, but a lot of the time I didn't feel like I was growing and I really haven't felt like I was thriving. But I know that the Lord is watching over me, I trust that He is with me and is guiding me, 

I am beginning to feel more like the early to mid-August plants now, I do see growth, I even see some fruit, though I may have to lift some leaves to find it hidden within. I even feel I have a few blossoms... and that is important, the blossoms are reflective of the life and fruit to come! So I will continue to press forward, having faith in Him that eventually I will look and feel more like the abundant plants of late Sept.

When we see a blank or partly done canvas in front of an artist, we don't know what that picture will look like when it is completed, only the artist understands the full picture that he is designing. In this case, the artist is the Lord and He has a masterpiece designed for each of our lives, we can only see the canvas that is near us, He already knows what the final work will look like. I look forward to seeing the masterpiece that He is painting just for me.