How Long O Lord?

Say it with the prophet Habakkuk! Believing as I do that our Lord has a sense of humor among His many attributes, I believe He’ll get my use of the title phrase. Sitting here home-bound by 18.9 inches of snow on March 23rd, I think it’s a fair question, don’t you? Not to mention that after the last “big storm” of the season, on February 20th, the starter motor of my fabulous, work-horse of a snowblower – electric start, self-propelled – burned out, dead, done, no start. Being so late in the season, I passed on replacing the motor till off-season. Big mistake as here I am facing a fairly large amount of snow, along with counties throughout the state, armed with nothing more than a shovel.

The photo shows what stands between me and getting my truck out of the garage. To be honest, I have help with that – usually – but back to that sense of humor. As things happen, the farmers that plow are having challenges with equipment and it’ll be awhile before they get everything cleaned up. Meanwhile claustrophobic woman, as many readers may remember, is sitting telling here herself not to be silly. Of course I can breathe and it’s all in my head so get over it 🙂 At least those who know me well will hear that I don’t coddle myself any more than I do anyone else so there you have it, as my father is famous for saying.
Being the positive person I try to be, I’ll tell you that the sun is shining brightly, the sky is a gorgeous blue and the temperature is twenty degrees north of zero – all a plus. But I will still ask how long and I still believe that the Lord is smiling right now and is certainly big enough to handle all my wonderings and I’m in good company. Besides the prophet Habakkuk, the Psalmist, David, asked a similar question.

I leave you for today with the thought that no matter what – a zillion inches of snow, brain tumors, family sorrows – no matter what, feel free to ask the questions and search for comfort! Have a fabulous day!

Share

WHERE’VE YOU BEEN?

I certainly have heard that question lately and I will admit to being MIA these last eight weeks, more specifically the last three weeks. Where have I been? Finishing the first eight weeks of the sixteen-week spring semester, then last week a break before beginning the final eight weeks of this semester today. Between working and school and life I was staying under the radar, even missed church for a few weeks. I figured the Lord would understand as I was deeply involved in the study of Revelation/Daniel (by whose infinite wisdom do those two books make one course anyway?) and the Book of Acts in the other course.

Folks who know me get that on a good day I’m not big on phones or checking voice-mail, for that matter. Send me a text or an email, but when time is tight, I’m not likely to answer the phone unless you’re one of my daughters, in which case I would know you by your very special ring-tone and definitely answer if at all able. Hey, I’m a mom and some things will always take precedence. I managed to continue teaching and to stay in touch with and share lunch with my special Auntie Arlene now and then, a priority for me. Lots of things have taken place in the last eight weeks.

There have been two major world events and and an ongoing piece of Wisconsin political gamesmanship – enough said there. The point is, I’ve been absent from a lot of daily events, but the world and life kept spinning as it should and always will. Family and friends had birthdays and vacations, ups-and-downs of all kinds. In the world -at-large, there’s been a disaster in Japan and it appears we’ve become embroiled in another war or an act thereof. Those things make me and my life challenges seem fairly small. As I wrote recently in a post titled It’s All Relative, it really is. My stressors seem minimal compared to earthquakes and tsunamis and pending radioactivity.

Where’ve I been? Flying low and taking care of business, thankful for continued health and the approaching five-year anniversary of my life-changing experience. Life is good and I’ve resurfaced successfully – having just received final grades in those last two classes and yes, folks, my withdrawal from the world paid off.
New adventures are ahead; two more classes before taking the summer off, a special trip to celebrate Easter, my birthday and being cancer-free for five years!! New endeavors on the business front and leaving an old one behind. Where’ve I been? Right where I’m supposed to be, I believe. The Lord’s leading, opening the doors and I’m moving through them. What a wonderful place to be! Blessings!! Continue reading »

Share

To Everything There Is a Season…

I’ve written about seasons before , how there are many seasons through which we pass on this journey known as life. My trip to Seattle, just ended, was a wonderful season filled with new memories made and great insight into my ErinLee’s day-to-day life, some things I’ve not seen before. I returned to a new season, actually a new year, and of course, new challenges.

That’s right, I came home to a truck with a dead battery, missing keys and, oh yeah, a brake challenge on the truck as well. If I believed in cosmic jokes, I’d believe this was my payment for a wonderful trip. That’s not my worldview; thankfully. I know lots of folks believe differently than I do, but I’m comfortable in my belief system and have enough life experience within that system to keep me moving forward. Batteries can be charged, keys located and retrieved, brakes repaired and in my world, you’re not made to pay for the good things that come your way as a matter of course; the cosmos isn’t in charge.

So I’m back to my real life, dealing with the challenges and savoring the time spent with my daughter – another season. literally, through which I’ve passed. I have great memories and new insight and I’m ready to take on this new year and make a difference because that is what I believe – the gifts and blessings I’ve received call me to bless others. So I’ll move forward, sharing the gifts and cherishing the memories of my Christmas season, 2010.

I’m excited about the possibilities and to see how the plan plays out in this next season of life here at Her Father’s Homestead – new classes begin soon, new goals for my business and new opportunities, likely some surprises. Isn’t life great? It’s all in the spin, in the attitude and the approach. And there truly is a season for each new phase. Savor them, cherish the good and enter with hope and a sense of healthy anticipation!

Share

How much farther, ErinLee?

This is a bit of a change-up, as we noted laughingly earlier this evening. For the nth time in the last four days, I’ve asked that question or another – Are we there yet, ErinLee? Reminiscent of days gone by, only the daughters were asking the questions then 🙂 As I admitted to her, I had had ample opportunity to prepare; I was warned, but as tight as time got leading up to my trip, I didn’t do the incline work I should have. And I am telling you, as much as these folks out here are into food, they’re also into walking and there are hills everywhere. Now we could have taken the train or bus more than we have, but I lean toward the proverbial “When in Rome…” So I’ve been eating and walking with the best of them, but today was definitely a challenge. Are we there yet, ErinLee? Almost. Really? “Only seven more blocks,” Does that mean seven more hills? Good thing I ate so much today – all vegan, healthy and delicious – or these hills would do me in.

So we laugh and keep moving and talk about our next meal as we’re climbing those hills. I did get some great photos along the way as well, maybe to provide photographic evidence that I really did all this. Tomorrow morning I’ll likely be feeling the effects of today’s efforts, but we’ll head out again, going downtown to the Seattle Art Museum for the Picasso exhibit – a fairly big local event! As for food, we’ll start fresh, having given my fabulous leftovers from dinner to a homeless man; I walked by the first one, carrying my take-home tray like a pro, but I couldn’t pass the next one. I asked ErinLee if she’d mind and then asked the guy if he wanted some dinner. We shook hands and I wished him Merry Christmas and handed over that fabulous falafel and went on our way feeling lighter and better. Good thing, too, to lighten the load for the rest of the walk home.

So the day is coming to a close and I’m ready to put these tired feet up and won’t have to ask How much farther until tomorrow, when I’ll take her arm and she’ll pull me along and we’ll laugh and keep moving because there’s so much for her to show me yet! Stay tuned …

Share

Another TA DA for Me!

It’s nearly 10 a.m. on Saturday morning and I am NOT studying, NOT rushing to beat a deadline, NOT frantically looking for one more resource to beef up a reference list. I AM having a ball here in my special kitchen, just me, some great music – Transiberian Orchestra turned up loud – a couple phone conversations, plans to visit my favorite Auntie Arlene in a few hours and NO deadlines for the next several days at least. I AM a happy woman. This is in stark contrast to the last two weeks. I had talked to Auntie Arlene and told her I’d visit in two weeks and probably not call before then either. What a great niece 🙂

The fall term ended last night at 10:59 pm CST – with six minutes to spare, literally, I was submitting my final exam – too close for comfort! Two exams last night – went okay, As, but not 100s; results of the last two weeks’ papers still out, but I’m done! I told my brother, Steve,this morning that I can breathe; the heavy weight is off my chest. And I can dance around my kitchen, having a blast with my own self. God is good.

Less than five days till I’m hugging my ErinLee – counting down and so looking forward to holding her and burying my face in her hair!! Now I’ll do some laundry, begin to pack the bags, clean the house, all those weird /”>going away things I inherited from my mom, though she denies it:)

As the French say, tu connais la musique – translated you know the deal (literally, you know the music) I do know the music and I’ll be doing my thing today, thankful to have completed the term, happy to feel so much lighter and off for a day of visits and errands and life is very good!

Share

Sparkles Revisited…

I haven’t written about Sparkles in a while, but I got a good-sized dose of them today.  In with the beauty was a lesson and that is another Sparkle in and of itself.  What is this about anyway?  To keep y’all in suspense (ancient literary secret) we’ll talk about the lesson first.  Let’s begin with a question.  Is okay really okay or is it just acceptable and maybe not okay at all?  Don’t you love words?

I had an experience at the end of last week that several people told me was okay.  Obviously I wasn’t feeling that way or folks wouldn’t have felt the need to tell me it was.  Regular readers will know that I don’t believe in dwelling in the negative – word or thought.  So I had my experience, was disappointed, expressed it to three people close to me and received that okay response.   I processed those responses, my own reaction, chalked it up to did-my-best and moved on.  Healthy, right?

Today, it was brought back to me in a most Sparkly way!  An unanticipated action  far beyond my control and the picture was altered.  I felt amazingly different.  Why?  Had I changed?  Was I a better person?  Not at all and a lesson I love to share looked me right in the eye.   I was good enough before this Sparkle occurred; I was just as worthy and valuable last week as I am today.  Why?  Because, my friends, my worth and my value is not about what I do, it’s about who and what I am.

Nothing like having your attitude adjusted with your own words, like a cosmic kick in the behind, though I’m not as into the cosmic thing as I am the belief that my Heavenly Father makes use of every teachable moment.  That was my Sparkle for the day – another reminder that we have value because we have it; it is unconditional and not tied to any achievement.  What a gift!  I’m accepting it and thanking my Father for His blessings and His lessons.

Oh yeah, the disappointment, the okay thing?  I got a B instead of an A on a tough class just completed.  The Sparkle?  Found out today that the professor rounded up, if you will, and gave me the A after all.   And B was okay, but bottom line, in all honesty, I’m lovin’ the A.  In my secret heart, A is still better, but I’m a work in progress and will absolutely get this value and worth issue more deeply embedded in my heart and soul as I grow.

My prayer is that you, too, will have a deeper sense of your worth and your value and if you want some encouragement, come on along – it is a worthy journey.

Share

Choices !!

Don’t you love choices??  Today, after a really tough week, is turning out beautifully and it’s not yet noon.  Today is my Meghan Lee’s 25th birthday.  We spoke early, I waited for her call – I’m learning, didn’t want to wake her too early on her birthday.  I sang to her, not the traditional melody, but the Beatle’s rendition favored by my sis, Joanne.  I cannot hear that song without thinking of Jo, nor can my daughters.  Meghan and I shared a laugh and she went off to work.  I went to the Internet, knowing I’d find the song out there somewhere.   Here it is, shared with you – crank it up and sing along!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztoSUhbNntQ Wasn’t that fun?

About those choices – having completed the research papers, I’ve got another song in mind, my next choice.  Enjoy this one, too, and picture me singing along with Daltrey and the London Symphony Orchestra 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4zufwCudU0&feature=related

Do you get that I’m having a ball, all by myself, sun shining in every window, my newly seeded indoor garden sprouting in the southern exposure?  Life is good and I am so blessed; thank you, Lord, for this marvelous day!!

On to the next item, two finals by Friday as this term ends.  After those papers, let me tell you, two finals, while not exactly a walk in the park, will be almost a walk in the park.  So here we go – enjoy the day, celebrate the victories and tell the people  you love that you love them and sing and dance in the sunshine – that’s what I’ll be doing!  Au revoir and the happiest of birthdays to my precious Meghan Lee!!



Share

It’s a Mom Thing…

Not everybody would get this, but if you’re a mom, I’m fairly certain you will.  Everybody knows my Meghan Lee was here for eight days.  She’s gone, four days already.  It’s harder than I’d have believed.  I should be used to it; my daughters live on opposite coasts, I’m in the middle and this is a pretty big country.  I’m proud of them, proud that they have the skills and the confidence to head out into the world, to follow their dreams, to create interesting and rewarding lives. But the “missing” doesn’t go away just because I understand how things are.

Being a mom, I have ways  🙂   This one is simple.  Before her visit, I’d prepared her room, had help, even, from my cousin, Susan.  The bedding was washed and hung on the line to dry – the way Meghan likes it.  Now that she’s back in her own home, I’m not doing the typical post-guest clean-up.  Im not pulling her bed apart and washing all the linen.  It’s staying just as it is and when I’m in need of a Meghan fix, I’ll lie down on her bed and bury my face in her pillow.  Heck, I may throw back the comforter and crawl right in.

That’s the part that moms will understand.  Being me, I won’t dwell on the “missing” piece.  I spent part of this morning organizing and editing the 62 best photos of our days together, posted a couple on Facebook, started a new album.  Had a couple e-mail conversations with Meghan, sent her two favorite photos.  In true Meghan fashion, she sent me back a humorous list she’s creating for work.

Life goes on.  There’s school, work, acres of lawn that should be mowed ahead of tomorrow’s predicted rain.  A 10-page paper on a book I’ve yet to finish is due in four days and there’s a test to take before Sunday.  A family birthday celebration is on the calendar yet this week and a fundraiser dinner, which is just going to have to be axed.   The French have a saying, Tu connaît la musique.  Literally translates to: You know the music; used conversationally, it’s you know the deal, the routine, and that’s what keeps us all moving despite how we may feel at any given moment.

I do, indeed, know the music – I’m savoring the memories, making a collage, organizing the photos, cherishing the time and tucking it away into this mother’s heart.  And that, my friends, is a mom thing.    Enjoy the photo and smile with me.

Meghan and Mom, a fave

A mom and a daughter


Share

Furiously Treading…

Last year about this time, a little later actually, I wrote about doing battle with algebra.  This summer I had a great time with my counseling class and am finishing an interesting time with philosophy.  Note: ” interesting” is LeeAnn-speak for I’m not going to tell you what I really think. Here’s a hint:  in one of the papers I wrote in PHIL so far, I compared it to having conversations with a precocious two year-old.  “Mom, why is …?”  “Well, Daughter, because …,”  “Why, mom?”  “It’s about …”  “Are you sure, Mom?”  “I believe so,” ” But do you know, Mom?”  “I’m thinking so,”  “But mom, how can you be sure?”  And on and on to infinity it seems.  So goes philosophy.

Don’t get me wrong – I love all the words – isms and ologies and arguments and proofs, however, there comes a point of absurdity, at least to me, no offense to my professor.  He didn’t begin the whole philosophy thing, we can thank Aristotle, Plato and Socrates for that.  And it’s been interesting, a lot of it, in the true sense of the word.  I believe I’ve learned a fair amount, discovered a new (to me) author engaged in Christian apologetics and resurrected an old friend, yes, books to me are friends and this goes back 35 years.  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – used as a textbook for my first philosophy class many years ago.  It became a favorite, perfect for summer reading and reflection.  And for many years, I read two books every summer – Zen… and Gone With the Wind.  I pulled Zen off the shelf this year – turns out it was the book that influenced my professor toward philosophy.  And the book is by my bedside, to be finished with pleasure after I finish this class.

And what has me furiously treading – reminiscent of the days of trying to pass a lifesaving course, treading water as best as I could to keep my chin above so I’d pass? Completing this class well in the next four days.  That entails finishing a paper worth 20% of the grade and passing a final exam.  I’m aiming for more than just passing; I’m pretty used to As with an occasional B, but this has been a challenge.

So now is the time for me to get back to work – write, write, write, and study, study, study.  You’ll hear from me again, but not till next week when this class is history!!  By then I’ll have started two new ones, the fall semester with two more counseling classes in the first term and two in the second.  Back in familiar and very enjoyable territory.   And back to being a philosopher for me right now 🙂

Share

Reflections on a summer Sunday morning

It’s been quite a week, filled with the usual ups and downs common to women everywhere – highlights and low-lights and life does go on.  Because I’m me, let’s start with a big highlight.  My favorite Auntie Arlene, mentioned often in this blog, had a birthday, 92, to be specific.  Below you see two photos of us, one taken 53 or so years ago here at the Homestead and one taken three days ago on her birthday.

Auntie Arlene and me circa 1957

92nd birthday lunch 7.22.10

We go way back and as I told her yesterday, I treasure our time together. That would be a definite highlight of the last week!

There are more –  a fun cousin’s lunch – hours spent together looking at photos, sharing stories. memories and laughs.  That would be a highlight.

Then there are low-lights: a dear friend receives a cancer diagnosis, another loses her mother, disappointing behavior from someone close to me, rain with what feels like no end.  Altogether a typical week, I guess. We give thanks for the good and take the concerns to the One in control.

On this summer morning of reflection, I’m thanking the Lord for family and friends and casting all care onto Him.   Have a beautiful day!!

Share