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Friday, June 21, 2013

It's Her Birthday

Nineteen years plus 9 months ago today, my life was forever changed when God saw fit to gift me a beautiful baby girl.  Before I knew of her existence...

He knew her...
He weaved her together...
He placed in her a compassionate heart...
He gave her beauty and grace...
He painted the midnight sky in her eyes...
He placed sunshine in her smile...
He knew the plans He had for her.

On this day, I fell in love with a child placed in my arms.  She stole my heart.  This girl brought joy into a room like no other.  Everyone who really knows her, sees it...singing and dancing her way through life, looking above the negative, seeing the good in others, touching the lives of those less fortunate. 

On this day, may she realize how blessed she is and how much she has blessed others and how much she is loved.  May she see her true path in life and know the peace that surpasses all understanding and experience joy unspeakable.  You will ALWAYS be my Baby Girl! 

Happy Birthday, Beki!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time with Friends

Most of you know, one of my favorite places to go is the Missouri Botanical Garden.  I promised a friend of mine who is moving soon one last visit.  We spent the afternoon with her parents and the kids.  It threatened to rain all morning, but once we got there, it was beautiful. 

Being retired military, I'm used to people coming and going in our lives.  But, it's never easy and saying goodbye to this family is no exception.  We have grown to love them and their beautiful babies...each a miracle in their own way.  We will sure miss them and hope to see them again.  Our prayers go with you as you begin a new chapter.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Babies Are Back

The baby cardinals came back!  It's amazing to me that such a simple thing can bring so much joy.  Sitting on the deck, I heard their little chirps, familiar but different.  Somehow, before I saw them, I knew.  When I looked to see what it was, there they were sitting on the wall. 

Read about their start in this world, here.

I didn't think I'd know what happened to them once they left the nest, or if they would even survive.  They were so tiny, so fragile, but they did and here they were tail feathers growing strong...soon strong enough to fly off on their own.  I watched them play and eat for a while.  It didn't take long for momma to arrive continuing to watch over, protect, guide. 

Does she know how short her time is?  Does she realize that soon they will leave?  Will what she taught them be enough?  I wanted to tell her that soon she'd have to let go.  That she will watch them fly away, she will watch them make decisions that will hurt them, she won't be able to protect them like she can now.  There is coming a time when all she can do is trust in what she taught them and that they will see the right way, trust in her God to guide their paths, protect them from harm, and bring them back.  I wish I could tell her that broken hearts mend, that peace that surpasses all understanding can and will replace the fear and anxiety. 

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.  3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  4Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
                                                                         Proverbs 3:1-4 NIV
Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
                                                                       Proverbs 22:6 NIV

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pine Table Memories

When I first met my husband, my mother-in-law had a pine dining table that was dark, heavy, huge.  Many memories were formed around that table and evidence of that showed on it's massive table top where years of scratches and writing indentations were worn into it.  For reasons beyond her control, the table went to friends who kept it for many years.  Later, the table was given back to her, stripped and reconditioned, but what remained was the evidence still engrained into it's beautifully refinished top.  She told me once that she would never want that table sanded smooth because her families memories were held in that table top every time she looked at it.  What an amazing gift she got back. 

So, with those thoughts in mind, I wanted to have a table for my new kitchen.  I wasn't complaining or asking for a new table.  But, I did want something to sit around with family and friends.  When my mom and aunt came to visit, we were driving down to Kimmswick and stopping at the red light right outside of the town, I saw a table sitting in a parking lot of a little "junk" market. 

I didn't expect it to be much, probably too bad of shape to even want.  But, we were surprised when I looked it over, sturdy table, tight chairs, just needed a little cleaning.  And on the top of this little pine table was years of someone's memories carved into the top.  I had to have it.  So for $40 bucks, I hauled this table home.  Without destroying the memories, I gently sanded the top and recoated it.

It was a gift.  Without asking, God knew the desire of my heart and that I would want this table.  So, the memories will continue as my family grows, as grandchildren come to visit and leave their mark on my little table.

184.  Kitty head butts
185.  Unexpected call from a long-distance friend
186.  A cool breeze after a hot day
187.  Lilacs in bloom

188.  Baby birds
189.  Open windows
190.  A woodpecker's chatter
191.  Grass between your toes
192.  Trees full of new life
193.  Courage to make hard decisions
194.  Yellow-billed cuckoo

195.  Visit with mom and aunt
196.  A surprise lilac tree in our front yard
197.  Gorgeous irises in bloom
198.  Photos that bring much needed self-confidence
199.  Clear answers
200.  A phone call on Mother's Day
201.  Sun on your face
202.  A whole week of photography
203.  A scratched pine table
204.  A child home safe

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Flying the Coop

We have babies!  Well, baby Cardinals that is right out front in our lilac tree.  I've been watching them the last couple of week. 

I thought, at first, they were barn swallows because I had two barn swallows, male and female, having a fit at me one day on the porch.
I showed them to Beki and then skipped a few days and what a difference a few days can make.  As I pulled back the branches to check on them, one of the pair flew right out of the nest and onto the driveway.
I was worried he was too small to leave the nest and, with gloves, I scooped him back up and put him back in. 
However, later I was watching out the window to make sure mom and dad were coming and they were, I saw him sitting on the top of the tree.  Of course, I ran to get the camera and as I came back he, again, flew out of the tree and landed in the garden.

He sat in the garden and watched me for awhile, then jumped up onto the porch. 

As mom and dad were chirping and carrying on, the little guy flies into one or our bushes and, finally, found himself down into the backyard and into the woods. 

I could hear him somewhere in the bushes and mom and dad were continuing to follow him.  You could tell they were worried by the way they were carrying on or maybe they were coaxing him to join them.  But, they never left him.  When I went out to check this morning, baby 2 was also gone.  I hope they make it ok out in this great big world.  I'm pretty sure they had really good parents who will show them the way.

Isn't that just like life.  We nurture and teach our children, then one day unexpectedly they take wings and fly the coop.  They think they are all grown up, that they don't need us anymore, but then you get that call...the one that says "I still need you." 
We pray that everything we teach them, faith in God, self confidence, respect for others, respect for money, taking care and having pride in your belongings, building relationships, work ethic, will stay with them.  Even though they are out of the nest, we continue to guide them.  Baby bird still needed mom and dad to show him the way just the same as our children will continue to need us and the same as we continue to need our Heavenly Father to guide us.  We don't always agree with the choices our kids make, but we will never forsake them, we are always there for them.  How much more so does God love us and wants what is good for us. 
He is always there and He will never forsake us.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.   Deuteronomy 31:8

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