Second Chances Part Two

Where does the time go? So many things happening every day.  An incredible second chance for beloved family members – a second chance at creating the best possible family together in a place that they love.  For me, confirmation again of victory over illness, a second chance for sure.  And back to school, not the season, but for me, for real.  I’m in college again and lovin’ it!  It’s exciting, totally challenging and just plain good for me.  Talk about a second chance!!!

Life is good, even when it’s crazy busy.  If we always remember from whence we came ( couldn’t find who said that)  we can only be grateful, even at the craziest times.  As I said to someone lately, do we or do we not serve the God of second chances.  Yes we do and I’m living proof!!

How many chances have you had?  And what are you doing with them?  Be well…


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Thinking About Eagles

I saw one again today, not that uncommon out here;  I saw one yesterday, too.  But they sure are fascinating.  I’ve always loved birds, little birds that come to feed in your yard, big birds, birds of prey – hawks, owls, osprey, eagles.  This morning’s message delivered by a guest preacher referenced eagles, too, one of my favorite Scripture references in fact – Isaiah 40:31, but he went on to remind us how eagles learn to fly and that took us to another favorite, not so much a favorite verse as it contains words we don’t use – like pinions – but a favorite image.  An eaglet learning to fly, having been coaxed out of the nest, then the parent flies beneath and protects the trainee, ready to uplift when needed.  Have you ever seen it?  I have, just recently.

There’s a nesting pair on the west end of the nearby lake and eagles do “flight training” all around here.  It is so majestic to watch.  An eagle up close is a fierce-looking creature.  To think of the bird – that beak, those talons, yet a nurturing instinct – teaching its young to fly is very cool.  I’m sure there are multiple lessons here, but for me, for tonight, I’m heading to the comfy zone.  With the message of Isaiah – go ahead, read it – on my mind, I’m closing down for this day. Night, night.

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An Angry Man

I was screamed at, flipped off – with both hands, no less – and called a name I really hate!!  All  by a guy with at least three small children watching him and in front of a store employee!   Mentioned the incident to my ErinLee and sure enough, a similar thing happened to her the same day in a grocery store across the country.  Did I provoke?  No, I motioned for him to move his truck so I could get around him and be on my way and the three vehicles behind me as well.

I haven’t even said that he hopped out of his truck and was moving toward mine while  flipping me off and growling obscenities.   My mind flew back in time and I was ready.  I quickly hit the door lock, checked my window – how far was it open – and calculated, “He’s coming at an angle.”  In those few seconds I figured if he kept coming I could use my truck to back him up and give him a little vehicular hug if he chose not to back off with me moving toward him.

I hurt for those children, knowing the stats on boys raised in abusive homes;  not just the boys, but their future spouses as well.  And his daughter, if one of those children was a girl – what would she look for in a husband someday?

An angry man setting the stage for generations to come.  It’s everywhere;  if you pay attention in your daily encounters you’ll see lots of anger.  Road rage, ErinLee hollered at in the grocery store, name-calling, scowling faces.  It’s all around us.  It is said that  anger flows from hurt. If so, why are we in so much pain?

How are you?


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LAND OF THE FREE ….

Coming up on the Fourth of July.  While it’s not a holiday I’m sentimental about like Easter and Christmas, I’ve been thinking about freedom and bravery. Are you free? Are you brave?  The song says we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  I know brave women who’ve fought for their freedom, not in a foreign country wearing a helmet and carrying an assault weapon, but they’ve fought nonetheless.   They’ve fought for themselves, for their children, and some, for their very lives.

This morning I ‘m thinking of these women.  I’m praying for their safety, emotionally and physically, and for any children involved.  I’m praying for continued courage when things get ugly and bravery in the face of danger.  I’m praying that they have someone in their lives to whom they can reach out and if they don’t, that such a person will be placed in their path.

So on this third of July, my brother’s birthday, by the way, I’m thanking God for freedom – from abuse and tyranny in my own home, for the safety of my daughters then and now, freedom from cancer,  freedom from guilt and shame through my faith in Jesus, and for the freedom of new beginnings, with which I’ve been  blessed several times!!

Enjoy the holiday and remember that freedom comes at a price.  Honor the blood that was shed to set you free physically and to me most importantly, spiritually.

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About Those Cows …

Toward the end of the last post I asked if your fences were secure.  Now I’m asking, can they ever be secure, really? My belief system says yes, they can, but not because of what I might do.  And not necessarily in the way I might think.

The farmer who came to corral the cows and secure them again figured it out.  They had made a hole in the fence – that one’s not electric – and pushed it apart enough to make an escape.  Kind of explains the origin of the old English proverb: the grass is always greener on the other side.  Don’t know who the ringleader was, but three followed.  So we had four cows looking for greener pastures, wandering toward the road when a passing neighbor saw them and pounding on my door while hollering, alerted me that “my” cows were heading toward the road.  Two quick calls got the farmer who owns them here and after herding them back into the feedlot (barnyard), a handful of nails and some hammering, he felt they were secure.  A few nails and some wire and 1000-pound animals were “secure.”

Got me thinking about security.  Five nails and some wire fence or a bit of electricity running though a single wire?  What’s your source of security?   Give it some thought and we’ll talk again.

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The Tyranny of Should

You should go …  You shouldn’t ….  I should… I should have ….  A loaded word, one syllable, indicates that the subject of the sentence has some obligation to execute the sentence predicate.  So the subject, in this case moi, has an obligation to do whatever follows the should.  How does that work?  Who’s deciding that I have an obligation and how do they have that right?  Did I hand it over? And failing to fulfill the obligation am I then supposed to feel guilty?

Say it’s me who’s deciding I should ….  Why?  According to whom? So many questions from a single word – did I say I love words ?  🙂  I have a challenge with this “should” thing.  A dear friend, one of my brothers, actually, called me on it AGAIN in the last day or so.  He said, “LeeAnn,  you have GOT to let this go.” One more of many conversations we’ve had over life challenges – mostly mine. I know he’s right;  I regularly struggle with  “should” thinking.   That said, then we know what follows – the guilt thing.  And that is what he’s referring to as having to get out of my life – false guilt.  Done, over, the price paid, victory won.  The guilt carried to the cross on my behalf and who am I to pick up again?

I really like one of the origins of the word tyranny: The word derives from Latin tyrannus meaning “illegitimate ruler.”  Illegitimate ruler – how’s that for a description of should and it’s baggage in my life?  As we can have only one Ruler in our lives, the shoulds and the accompanying illegitimate guilt have no home in my heart and life.  So while Her Father’s Homestead is about home, not everyone is welcome, nor every thing.  In this home it’s all around wholeness,emotional and spiritual health and wellness, no illegitimate rulers here.

So my campaign of improving my outlook over the next 30 days is to rid myself of the tyranny of should.  I Can, I May, I Will, even I will not, but no I should.  What a lighter world I’ll be dwelling in, wrapped in grace.  I extend it to others, now I accept it for myself.  I look forward to the progress I will make in the coming month – being kinder and more grace-filled to myself, remembering that Amazing Grace has been granted me.  Reminds me of one of my newer favorite songs, Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) Stay tuned as I move forward with my purpose to let go of an illegitimate ruler and fill the space with  amazing grace.  Amen!

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“It Doesn’t Happen in a Neighborhood Like This”

That’s what the neighbor said on TV.  Another woman is dead, killed this morning in a nearby county by her husband and people are shocked because it doesn’t happen where they live. Sound familiar?  It sure does to me.  I’ve been there and even said those words.  People in my former neighborhood weren’t out brawling in the front yard with their spouses, let alone being  abused or even killed.  But behind closed doors….

When I finally began to deal with my situation, to feel it was perhaps time to speak up and speak out, one of the things that kept circulating through my mind was  “Who would believe me?”  Look at us – we looked pretty good.  We had the house, a great house, a great yard, a great pool.  I had a cleaning service, a lawn service, help with the laundry, help with the cooking.  I had jewelry, clothes, the fur coat, awesome vacations, vehicles, the grand piano.  I gave fabulous parties in my fabulous home.  We were the go-to people in our church to get things done, in the pew every week 20 minutes early.  Who would believe me?  Look at us….


Jesus described us perfectly, though.  He wasn’t addressing a domestic situation.  But He could have been standing on my deck, looking through the  patio doors into my beautiful kitchen when He referred to white-washed graves full of dead men’s bones and all unclean things. (Matthew 23:27)   We did indeed look beautiful on the outside.  Who would believe me?

The neighbor being interviewed on TV today was shocked.  “It doesn’t happen in a neighborhood like this,” and another woman is dead at the hands of her spouse or significant other.

This isn’t the post I had planned for today, but I still struggle.  When I  hear about another abused or murdered woman my heart aches for her.  Did she have children, children in that home?  children who  feared  for their mom’s safety?  I sit here now in tears.  Did she wonder if anyone would believe her?

And though I wondered aloud earlier this week about whether I was on the right path with this big dream of Her Father’s Homestead, I know in my heart that there is a need, greater than most people even want to acknowledge, for this dream of mine. And I believe as firmly as when I first arrived here that this old farm will be the place of healing for others that it has been for me.  There is hope and there is healing and there is wholeness.  I thank the Lord daily for bringing me here.  And now it’s my turn to give back.

If you have a need, reach out, I will listen and I will believe you.   Fill out the Contact form; I will respond.  Together we can find a way.  Blessings……

statistics on domestic abuse/violence

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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!!!

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AFFIRMATIONS aka LITTLE SPARKLES Part One

If you live where I do, known by several names, among them Lake Country or the Northwoods, you may know what I mean by Little Sparkles.  When it’s really cold as it is today, minus four degrees this morning, thankfully no wind, the snow becomes  drier and it appears that someone shook glitter over it.  If the sky is bright and blue sometimes it is so cold that the very air seems to sparkle, again like glitter, or like being in a real-life snow globe.  Those are special moments partly because they come at a time when many of us are downright uncomfortable – we’re COLD!!  Isn’t that just like our Father, to send us little sparkles of beauty to remind us that even in the midst of discomfort He’s with us, aware of our situation and urging us to look beyond our current circumstances.

I received Little Sparkles this morning in the nick of time.  As I said already it’s cold here, “Too early,” said the neighboring farmer, “don’t bode well for the rest of the winter.”  Why on earth was I outside talking to him?  Because my truck needed to be warmed up before going to church and he happened to be in the barnyard (called the feedlot) that he rents from me and where he keeps pregnant cows.  More on all that later.  Anyway, didn’t want to go out, wasn’t in the mood for people, a little cranky, in fact, frustrated with other things, oh, and did I say cold?  Okay, even encouragers have their moments – it’s what you do with them that counts.

But I’ve learned that when I don’t want to is probably the time I most need to head down the road to my church out here in the country, aptly named, Hope Community Church.  So off I went, bundled in 4 layers plus my warmest coat, hat, boots, gloves, pre-warmed truck, I know how to do this.  STAY TUNED….for Part Two.

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