New Year’s Blessings!!

So this is the last post of 2008 as I won’t be back at this computer again this year, maybe Friday morning, but that’s 2009, imagine that~~

 

As I’m at the library again and the clock is ticking, I’ll be brief and save the deeper thoughts for the upcoming weeks.  And there are so many deeper thoughts.  Nothing like a bit of a holiday to bring out the “thinker” in one.  And it’s been so gorgeous here I can sit outside, read, study and write. 

 

I’ve been hanging out (reading-wise) in the book of John, chapter 21 and following along in my Maxwell Leadership Bible, a gift to myself just weeks before the brain tumor diagnosis in ’06, and in it Maxwell discusses how the Book of John covers every one of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and how Jesus led from Who He was.  How’s that for a leadership message?  I think about the Homestead and is that about who I am?  You bet it is and it’s where my heart is as well.  So I believe I may, indeed, be heading in the right direction – and there is peace in knowing that you are on the path.   Blessings to all and enjoy a safe and happy New Year’s  Celebration.  My Meghan and I will be having a quiet dinner and cuddle up with our books and perhaps a movie.  And again I ask, does it get any better?  Adieu. 

Share

Jump Out of the Boat!!

As mentioned earlier, we attended a great church, Seacoast Church, just blocks from Meghan’s apartment, on Christmas Eve, and then a satellite campus in Mount Pleasant on the weekend.   The young preacher had a great message and I have two points scribbled in large letters on a piece of paper that were made during the message.  He preached on John 21:7 and my two notes are JUMP OUT OF THE BOAT and FEED MY SHEEP.  There’s so much meat here that will serve me well in the coming year as a life philosophy and also as a theme for this blog and Her Father’s Homestead in general.

This was such a pointed message, like all those years of sitting in front of my dad as he was preaching.  How many times did I feel like he was speaking directly to me?  Way too many times to count and the same thing happened on Sunday morning.  I was being told to jump out of the boat, move toward the Lord, like Peter did – just dive on in and then Peter was told that if he loved the Lord as he said he did he should “Feed My sheep.”  If that isn’t a goal or a direction for the Homestead, I don’t know what would qualify!!

And while I’m thinking of it, I learned a whole new meaning for Sparkles (refer to earlier posts)  Instead of Sparkles occurring in the frigid cold of northern Wisconsin snow, we discovered Sparkles in the sea foam , the bubbles left behind by the incoming and retreating waves on the beach.  This, too, will work for future messages.  What a trip this has been been – full of food for thought, soul-searching and messages!

As this faithful computer at the Richland County Public Library is telling me I have eleven minutes before lock-out, I’m going to say adieu.  I’ll be back tomorrow as I’ll reserve time here before I leave.  The people here have been fabulous, friendly, helpful, to this obvious Northerner – obvious as soon as I open my mouth 🙂  So a quick visual preview will have to suffice for spell-check and again, forgive any errors till I get home and on to my own computer again.  Blessings!!!

Share

Just Catching Up

This is being posted without links or more than a cursory spell-check so please bear with me if you come across errors.  It’s hard for me to do things this way, but it’s either post or be done for the day and it’s only 10:30 a.m. so I’m going to close my eyes and just hit the button. 

 

Meghan and I spent a sensational weekend in Charleston, one of our very favorite cities.  Walking cobblestone streets, photographing beautiful old buildings painted bright blue, green, yellow, a myriad of colors!  There’s so much history in Charleston, a harbor city, as well as the Southern hospitality that we so love, the graceful lifestyle, not to mention FABULOUS food!!   So we walked and walked, reveling in the sunshine, the warmth and the smells of a harbor city in the South.  A great Saturday – antique shops, unique shops, a killer jacket for me, and a perfect “little black dress” for Meghan.  We had to chuckle as these great little shops were selling their WINTER clothes at 40% off.  So the jacket was a steal and at home it’ll be a blazer with jeans or khakis – UNDER my winter coats!  I have photos of me on the Battery, leaning against the railing, bare feet, and little jacket.  And I have many, may photos of my Meghan.  A late dinner of pasta (Meghan) and pasta and shrimp in a Gorgonzola sauce for me topped off our wonderful day together in the city.   

 

We stayed in an inexpensive hotel and headed out to a great church Sunday morning, the Long Road, Mount Pleasant, campus of Seacoast Church.  Excellent music and the message – it spoke directly to me.  You’ll find I’ve taken the title for my next post from what I heard Sunday morning. The rest of Sunday was, literally, a day at the beach – on the Isle of Palms, a place I’ve wanted to visit since reading a book by that title from the only fiction writer I read a Low Country author, Dorothea Benton Frank.    Sunshine, warmth, looking for shells, reading on a blanket next to my daughter with the ocean sounds as a backdrop.  Does it get any better than that?  Stayed tuned as the next post will feature insights from Sunday’s message that has been resonating in my head ever since – just a perfect message – God’s timing, always right on!

Share

Time Out!

Greetings from the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, South Carolina.  My daughter’s computer has imploded, but luckily the library is within walking distance.  And because I’m NOT in WI, I easily walked over here to the library. 

 

I anticipate being back at the blog on Monday, December 29th – my Meghan and I are headed down to Charleston for the weekend.  I am so happy and I am WARM!!!  Adieu……

Share

Countdown 57 hours – First Day of Winter

Okay not even the low number of hours till I’m hugging my Meghan can begin this post.  The feature here is, get this, minus 6° (6 below zero) air temp with a WIND CHILL of  minus 28 degrees.    That’s a wind chill factor of 28 DEGREES BELOW ZERO right now, as I’m writing.  Didn’t I use the words brutal cold yesterday?  We are there and it is indeed brutal. It even looks harsh out there and winter officially began just hours ago.

Am I heading out to church?  No, and I’m reasonably certain the Lord understands.  I will visit one of my favorite preachers online, Pastor Greg Laurie at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside California, and listen live because they stream the video during each of their services.  I can  watch/listen three times today.  In between their services I can pop over (virtually)  to Appleton Alliance Church, a wonderful place, but  difficult to travel there from here especially with blowing, drifting snow.  Pastor Dennis there was a powerful pray-er for me prior to my second brain surgery and is a gifted preacher.  I download and listen to his sermons regularly.

My own father, the most gifted preacher I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard many,  doesn’t yet have his sermons on their Web site.    I chuckled when I first moved out here and ran into some of his former parishioners.  The wife was telling me how they were out for a Sunday drive, flipping through radio stations and they heard “The Voice”  and knew immediately who it was. At 83, he’s still got it.  Having grown up with the best, I do admit to having fairly high standards for preachers.  While I certainly know that it’s supposed to be the message, not the messenger;  the messenger makes a difference.  And my father is a very powerful messenger.  Maybe he’ll get his sermons on the Web and you, too, can hear him preach.  Are you reading this, Dad?  🙂

So that’s my Sunday – I have my last transcription job of 2008 due tomorrow morning in addition to hauling out the snow-blower AGAIN and bundling up against the wind AGAIN, then more cleaning, laundry, packing, the usual pre-holiday (as in vacation) routine previously referred to .  Don’t think I’ll get to “wiping up the floor” at all  and to use one of my father’s famous lines once again – There you have it.

In 50 hours I’ll be at the airport in Green Bay, waiting to take off for Columbia, South Carolina, where my Meghan will be waiting to pick me up.  I will surely be dancing through the cleaning and packing today, amen 🙂

Share

Countdown 80 Hours – a New Day

One of my favorite Scriptures was given to me years ago by an adult student.  She often referred to Lamentations 3:22-23 where we’re told that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning!  There’s a thought with which to begin every day!  A whole new day and one less  until I’m hugging my daughter and being warmer.

So let’s begin true to form – a weather update.  More snow overnight, but the sparkly kind.  As sunrise isn’t for an hour-and-a-half yet, you have to look out toward the big yard light to see the sparkles, but they are there.  The dogs went out willingly and no “parts”  were brought home on the first round.  Yesterday morning in the driving wind I was trying to figure out what the “part” was  – rabbit, cat, part of a deer?  Trying to figure it out without getting too close and trying to get it into a trash bag without touching it, again, in blowing snow and driving wind, all before dawn.

The battle of the “parts” is a story in itself, to be summarized here.  I’ve done battle for months over a ribcage with an intact spine attached.  Suffice it to say that once bow season (archery hunt for deer) starts in the fall “parts” can become an issue that continues throughout the winter and once things are frozen, there’s no burying.  The humor in it, the bright side?  Last Christmas when ErinLee let one of the dogs in, he dropped the foreleg of a deer on her bare foot.  The squeals, “EUUEEEUUUEEEUUU – MOM!” brought me to investigate and there it lay on the floor of the back porch.  I’m smiling now remembering her reaction though I guarantee she’ll be rolling her eyes when she reads this.  Anyway, that’s “parts” in a nutshell and the mercies new every morning?  It’s above zero, there are sparkles and no parts came in with the first run of the day:)  Life is good and I’m one day closer to Christmas with my Meghan in a warmer climate.

So I’m into my new day – coffee with a former student home from college for Christmas,  blowing snow from the drive and the mailbox, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning – closets, drawers, etc., prep for tonight’s Celebrate Recovery, oh yeah, more cleaning, actually going to CR tonight with a snow advisory in effect and there you go, another day. Enjoy it, put on some music,  smile and dance around your kitchen!!  Adieu

Share

Countdown 4 days or about 96 hours!

So I started this on Friday and as so often occurs, time got away from me and this is now out-of-date.  Let’s see what can be salvaged.  I was excited about it being 4 days or 96 hours, and that is now reduced to three-and-a-half days and 84 hours – the inevitable passage of time.  Sometimes it seems to work against us, but now time is on my side, to quote an old Stones song.    In less than 90 hours I’ll be warmer and hugging my Meghan for the first time in too long. I’m focusing on how very happy that makes me, staying away from the thought that we’ll be missing one very special person, my other daughter, ErinLee, living in Seattle. Yep, opposite coasts.  Now there’s food for thought AND another post.  I know it can’t be helped that she won’t be with us and I’m grateful for the time I’m getting with one of them.  So I put a special letter in the mail to ErinLee yesterday, hoping it arrives before Christmas Day. Thankfully the mail carrier attempted to get through the pile left by the snowplow even though he had recently left me written instructions on proper access to mailboxes and  mine wasn’t quite up to par. Kind of right up there with garbage bags to the road by 6:00 a.m.

Does it sound to you like we may have gotten more snow? Sure did, several more inches along with big wind. We’re on a roll toward breaking last year’s record-breaking snowfall. As Meghan was telling me about temperatures in the 70s in South Carolina yesterday I was remembering looking out my kitchen window very early Friday morning.   The snow was coming down pretty hard and the wind – you can actually SEE the wind. Meghan and I talked about that – see the wind? Oh yes, out here in the country with large open areas, the wind moves across the front yard and the fields, picking up the snow as it rolls and blows along. You can see what looks like a wall of snow not unlike ocean waves rolling onto the beach, beautiful.

We’re above zero now – what a difference that makes – and may even stay there throughout the day though for tomorrow night they’re predicting wind chill of 25 below.  That is brutal cold and even for me, hard to find the beauty or the bright side there.  The only thing I can think of is that when it’s hitting minus 25° here I’ll be just 48 hours away from what will seem like a whole nother world.   So we’ll leave yesterday behind and go on to new thoughts in a new day –  à toute à l’heure…

Share

Countdown 6 days!

Actually I got an e-mail from my Meghan  – the South Carolina daughter with whom I’m spending my holiday – this morning and she had the countdown in HOURS – hours, not days.  How thrilling is that?  She had it at 152 hours and just happened to mention that it’s very warm there today, said she walked her new dog this morning wearing a tank top and drove to work with the windows open.  Beats the daylights out of a wind chill of minus 3°.  My dogs don’t even want to go out and we got more snow overnight.  And though the sun is shining now, the snow is NOT melting, which means that shortly I’ll take a break and head out to the back  steps to assess whether or not I can get away with just broom and shovel or if I need to fire up the snowblower.

So where’s the fun part, the bright side, LeeAnn’s way of looking at the world?  At 5:00 this morning  I was taking the garbage up to the road and there were sparkles everywhere, thanks to the big Mag flashlight and the dusk-to-dawn yard light.  It was absolutely gorgeous – another little gift to me outside in the cold, quiet dark at a very early hour.

Another little quirk of life out here.  Not all that long ago my garbage bags were left, as in not picked up.  The time was taken, however, to slap a bright orange sticker on both of the bags telling me that the garbage is to be out to the road by 6:00 a.m. And because I’m me, my first thought was,  what?  Someone from the county drives up and down these country roads at 6:00 a.m. sharp making a list (and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty – bags to the road late – or nice)?  Okay, bad joke, but it is approaching Christmas so forgive me, a little grace, please.

And there you have it, as my father often says.  Grace – another gift, so precious, yet so often missing from our lives, personally, within our families, relationships and even within the church.  But that’s a big subject and probably best saved for another day. So now I head into the great outdoors.  And by the way it’s warmed up to 12° and a wind chill of one degree.  A virtual heat wave and off I go 🙂

Share

Countdown 8 Days

One week and one day – I can hardly wait.  What does that mean anyway?  Of course I can wait.  How would I NOT wait?   I will do what countless women have done through the ages – clean something! In fact, I have closets, cupboards, drawers, all of which will be at least touched up before I leave on holiday.

What is it – something passed down from my own mother?  Absolutely! As a child, prior to every vacation the house was made spotless, including “wiping up the floor” on hands and knees as we made our way out the door. I haven’t done that lately, but in August of  ’07 prior to going in for a second brain surgery, I pretty much hit every closet, drawer, cupboard, you name it.  I even called in reserves to help.  My friend, Karen, gets it and answered my call for help.  Her job was to take the steamer to all the clothes in the laundry room, to make sure everything was steamed and properly put away before I went to the hospital.  Can I get an Amen here?  Surely someone can relate :).

This is a fairly literal interpretation of the Biblical putting one’s house in order,  II Samuel 17:23, which, by the way, preceded a suicide.  Short of working myself to death cleaning all these closets, drawers and cupboards pre-holiday, along with daily living, teaching, conducting business as usual plus several meetings, and participating in some Christmas socializing, I’m not intending to do myself in.  My girls would be grinning – they’ve lived through their mom’s pre-holiday/vacation ritual many times.

But action cures lots of emotional ailments and it certainly beats the heck out of sitting here nibbling on my nails.  Oh, note to self, add MANICURE to the to-do list, may as well make it mani-pedi as I’m not packing the five pairs of boots I wear out here from September through March.  These feet will be slipping into sandals or flips in just over a week now, late December, no less.

So how do I wait?  I’ll clean and organize, make a few lists, pack,  sing and dance my way through the chores, praising the Lord that in just eight days I’ll be hugging my younger daughter and maybe even tucking her in and saying prayers once or twice as we did so every often in times past.  Does it get any better?

P.S.  Check out the links for  “mani-pedi” and  “five pairs”  above – an online grammar guide and an URBAN dictionary, you gotta love it :)!              à plus tard …………..,  LeeAnn

Share

Countdown 9 Days, part two

So the last time we were together, the three of us, was eight months ago – EIGHT MONTHS!  There was a time that I didn’t go eight HOURS without hugging them and now it’s eight months and will be more since we shared a group – all three of us – hug.   I do not allow myself to dwell on that because I don’t believe in wallowing in the “depths of despair,” those emotional danger zones that really are not productive or good for one’s emotional health.  I have a photo on my computer desktop -one without me in it, just the girls – so I see those faces all day long and it warms my heart.  We speak on the phone often, sometimes daily and we e-mail back and forth.  We’ve moved onto a new level of relationship, one with me as a mother of adult children.  Though referred to by friends and family as “the girls” they are girls by gender, but at 23 and 24, most definitely young women.  And I am so proud of the young women they’ve become.

Sometimes they need advice – just this week, “Talk to me, mother, while I pick out a vacuum cleaner.  Which one do you think I should get?”  A new experience for me – shopping via cell phones a thousand miles apart.  Then a crate for the new dog, “he’s about up to my knee, maybe as long as ….”  That was definitely a new experience.  Can’t wait to meet the new dog and see how he fits in the crate – nine days to go 🙂

Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us that there is a time for everything, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.  In the five years since coming to the Homestead, I’ve wept, laughed, mourned and danced.  Now, I believe, I’m coming into my time – my time on the Lord’s timeline  – not day-in-day-out mom responsible for a household, family, etc., but time to give back, time to share, time to mentor, time to utilize the gifts with which I’ve been blessed.  And I would say it is my time to dance.  Adieu….

Share