1959 to 2012

Photographs document change.  See that baby in the corner?  That’s me.  See that man and woman on either side of me?  They raised me, cared for me, loved me…. and the time passed.   The grandfather in the left foreground has long been in eternity with his God.

Those parents of mine  – they sat at the table with me decades ago – and at my table for the recent Thanksgiving holiday meal.

I am so glad they are still here.

Somehow I am now holding a grandson in my arms and the photo documents the time together.  The evidence of time passing is in my face (and also the saggy neck) – but yes – I will be “in the photo” and hold this boy.   Time seems to pass quickly.

Grateful for the time.  Not excited about the effects of it.  🙂

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Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Books

Books contain more than words.   A book can guide, or open one’s heart or mind to a different point of view.  A book can expand an interest or inspire travel to a far away place.  A book  may explain and understanding may grow.  But some change the direction of a life.

I have been thinking about which books have very likely changed the path of my life.  Some helped me to understand, some influenced a decision I was contemplating, some created a world that became real to me.

The Bible.  (inspiring faith, revealing God, and guiding life decisions)

Family Medical Guide (Reader’s Digest) — (elementary age – looking at the plastic pages with illustrations of the human body and organs – grew an interest in “medical stuff” = ultimate journey through x-ray tech school, and after years home with kids, on to nursing school)

Reviving Ophelia.  Mary Pipher (helped convince me to finally say yes to homeschooling request of middle aged school daughters)

Women are from Mars, Men are from Venus.   John Gray  (oh yes – that book – actually helped me understand that my often quiet husband was not “mad at me” and helped me better understand gender differences – at least the ones that mattered to me and my husband)

Outlander.  Diana Gabaldon (Someday, I will get to Scotland, and Jamie and Claire are real (or feel like they are) and the series of novels starting with this book were a bit of an obsession for a long, long while…)

The Strong Willed Child.  James Dobson  (Discipline with love – one of the first books that helped in the challenging job of trying to raise children into wonderful adults)

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – LLL  (Helped me be more successful in breastfeeding my own children which likely unltimately influenced the fact that I am working in the job I am currently employed in)

Nancy Drew Mysteries (began and fostered a life long love of reading)

Then there are the books that stay with us for decades – or will – for a variety of reasons: The Hiding Place (Corrie ten Boom), The Cross and the Switchblade (David Wilkerson), Roots (Alex Haley), Gift of the Sea (Anne Morrow Lindburgh), Our Town (Thornton Wilder),  Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank), Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey),  To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) and a few more recent reads: Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand), Bonhoeffer (Eric Metaxas), Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller), Praying for Strangers (River Jordan).

Fellow readers – what books have influenced you? Or stayed with you for a long, long time?

Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blessings

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Today is the day.  The last of my unmarried children will change that single status before the day ends.

He left home 9 years ago to enter the Air Force.  He was 19.  And unlike with college – which involves leaving and returning cycles – when a child enters the military, the “arrow is shot”.  He was gone.  The visits home were never frequent enough and always felt far too brief.

This son has matured greatly from that man/boy who left.  Life experience will do that.  Each visit revealed hints of who he was growing into and we were proud.  Are proud.

I prayed and hoped for him to find someone to be in his life.  A mom’s heart hurts thinking of her son far away from his family and wondering if he is lonely.  Maybe he wasn’t (he’s a bit of a Mystery and all) but IF he was lonely, I hoped he’d find someone to love and who would love him back.

Then he did!

When he first introduced her to us, he was so excited to do so – and so very proud of her.  As I watched them together, I hoped that she would be the one.

And she was! As we’ve continued to get to know her, she couldn’t be more perfect for him.

They will make their covenant today.   The day will conclude and they will call each other husband and wife for the first time.   They will be a family.

I watch him with his (almost) in-laws and and am so very grateful to the extended family he’s gaining as well.  It’s clear he is part of their family as well as ours.

Today,  I will remember the baby I held, the boy who grew, will awkwardly dance with him at his wedding – and feel blessed knowing the man he’s become.  My heart is full and if there are tears, they will be such very happy ones.

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Published in: on November 10, 2012 at 8:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Marriage

I recently listened to a podcast entitled “Love and Lust” – a sermon by Tim Keller.   Tim Keller is a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC and I’ve been listening to many of his sermons lately.  This one, I listened to three times.  I read his book on marriage this past year and enjoyed that as well.

I have been married for 32 + years and have been quite blessed with a great husband and relationship.  With my last unmarried child about to exchange vows and marry, two others marrying in the past year and a half – marriage and its challenges are on my mind.  I hope and pray that my children will have strong marriages that will be lifetime relationships – but there are times when it will take work and commitment.  Serious commitment.    My husband said very early on in our marriage that he would NEVER divorce me – even if he no longer loved me.  It sounds kind of strange – but that is his level of commitment to marriage – to us.  Thankfully, I don’t think he’s ever been put to that test.

I will review the points of the sermon that spoke to me – but it’s well worth the download on ITunes,  even for those long and successfully married!

Pastor Keller discussed what changes (or should) with the exchange of the vows of marriage.  When a couple are dating or even living together, it is more of a consumer relationship.  When we are in a consumer relationship, we are “always looking or wondering about an upgrade”.  “What can you do FOR me?”  In our consumer culture, we are looking for a better price, a better person, a person who can meet our needs more or better and if he/she does not, we are on the lookout for someone / something better.

Once marriage vows are exchanged as vows before God, the relationship changes to a covenantal one.  A covenantal  relationship provides a zone of safety in which we can relax and be ourselves with our partner.  Ideally, there is freedom to be oneself because the promise has been made.  A covenant provides the opportunity to learn to give to each other rather than to solely take.

Another example of a covenantal relationship he uses as an illustration is that of parent and child.  There is long term investment for very little return for a very long time – and the child never truly catches up.  But the emotional reward for our investment is still very great.  The greater the investment, the greater the return.

Marriage provides an opportunity to trust, to give, to simply rest in covenantal relationship with one another.

He talks of sex as a renewal of this covenant.  Sex is an external sign of the invisible reality of covenant.  We are naked before one another physically;  this represents that our whole lives are now vulnerable and open before one another.  Outside of marriage, sex tends to be marketing or simply meeting of physical needs – a product to exchange with often selfish motivation. Additionally, he also talks about the impact of porn (the ultimate selfish consumerism), the marketing of sex, the integrity of sexuality in the Bible, the challenge of lust, and the future of love.

Our culture tends to quickly throw away the broken or damaged – whether stuff or people or marriages.   My prayer for my children’s marriages is that there will be effort and patience and love and commitment leading to the richness of a life shared with a best friend.

Published in: on November 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY

Outside my window…it’s dark now but there was a deer visitor earlier today crunching through the leaves I have not raked.

I am thinking…I have a busy weekend ahead with the babies and then there will be packing and then there will be driving.

I am thankful…for a great job and a weekend ahead with a great co-worker.

In the kitchen…there are dishes drying in the drain and leftovers to put in the fridge.

I am wearing…jeans that are a little loose. 🙂

I am creating…a playlist of podcasts and music for our many drives next week.

I am going…to Memphis to watch my husband perform the wedding ceremony that will join our son and his beautiful bride and this will be awesome.

I am wondering…if I will need lots of tissues at this wedding.

I am reading…C.S. Lewis’s book “A Grief Observed”.

I am hoping…for some lingering warm temps and sun for at least one more week.

I am looking forward to…a very special week.

I am learning…always learning on the big wide world of the Interwebs.

Around the house…the rooms are quiet and the empty nest stays clean.

I am pondering…starting my next book:  “Remains of the Day”.

A favorite quote for today…”What is a weekend?” (Dowager Countess of Grantham) (also said by nurses)

One of my favorite things…pumpkin scented candles in the fall.

A few plans for the rest of the week: see all of the above.

A peek into my day… Season 3

More Day Journals here: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Published in: on November 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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