A place of encouragement:

Living By Faith, Walking in the Light, Saved By His Amazing Grace

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Sometimes words, they don't speak like pictures do but, then again pictures, they don't speak like words can. And I must tell you seeing their faces does this Mama's heart good! Because I'm learning what it's gonna be like some day when all they'll have time for........ when the only communication will be through Words and Pictures.

And I smile at their goofiness. I miss their wit and their charm that surrounds me day in and day out. And if I could morph into the screen I believe I would, just to hold them both. I get up close to the web cam, smack my lips. They laugh and can't hold it back until it comes bursting forth, this thing that I like to call monkey doodles. It takes control and takes a hold of them. They take the web cam, pass it back and forth until all I see are smacking lips and the giggles fill my ears.

And I guess I didn't realize how much time I was spending with them until I wasn't spending any time with them. We catch up and I ask if they are coming home tomorrow? They both laugh and I smile, but inside I hurt cause I remember a time when they couldn't be two feet away from me, let a lone 1200 miles.  In the same way I rejoice at the fact that my Man and I, we raised good strong, stable kids.

We come to the end of our call, yawning on both sides. And Gentle Giant says "Ma you hang up first." Ok son we will count to 3.....Ready 1.....2.....3.....Go, "no you go." And this goes on for a couple of minutes. He doesn't wanna hang up on his Mama and I don't wanna be the first one to say goodbye. I finally click the mouse. I go to bed... My man got there before me......We lay there, TV lights flashing light and then dark. And I know it goes through both our minds.........Where did the years go? We both agree We've got Good kids! Really Good Kids! And we LOVE...........We will go on loving until it comes full circle, until it's their turn to be where we are......We will go on loving ALWAYS

And I'm not ready....Can we count to 3....Ready 1.....2.....3 Go, No you go......1....2.....3 Go........."I love you Mama!"

Monday, June 27, 2011

His Light Shines on the Little Details

I never tire of His Tapestry every night. This is our view, This is what we see before the big yellow ball in the sky sneaks away and the lights go on in our home. And right before it slips away I capture this.......

Little round muffins of yellow. And I smile and remember that it will soon be 19 years since I asked Him to be the lamp unto my feet. When His light shines, won't you take the time to notice?

We always seem to notice the Grand  scheme of things. But doesn't He dabble, Doesn't he create, wasn't some of his best work  found in the small and insignificant?...His light was shining on the little details That make the big picture.

His light was shining on Noah, His light was shining on the little Shepherd Boy, His light was shining on little Moses in the basket, His light was shining on Ruth, His light was shining on The Woman at the well, His light was shining on the blind man, His light was shining on The little man in the tree.

His light was shining and still keep shining To show you and I that He is in every detail that creates The Glorious Victory we have, if we choose to let His light shine. You see we are so very small when it comes to the Grand scheme of things.......But oh how he can use us in a mighty way.......Won't you consider being a part of his plan? Another light in the Darkness?

I've been in the dark places and I stayed too long. But I remember that little flicker of light in the cold corners of my heart, how one day it grew! Forgiveness is a powerful thing.......It's the light house on the shore and with every beacon of light shines Grace and Mercy.

I am thankful His light is shining on small, insignificant, little me. May He use me in mighty ways.......

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The List

They say you should make a list. A list of all the things you need/want to accomplish. And so she writes her list. To them, days seem like years before the sleep over will ever get here.......One, making a list and counting each and every minute, the other packing and repacking her bag.
Anything that was of any importance made the list.....I remember friendships like this. Being so excited that I thought I would split in 6 different directions.
And I wonder what lists have I made lately if any.......I scratch here, I mark there. Put a list in my purse take it shopping. I jot down curriculum and thoughts, Favorite recipes and goals. I fumble through my lists and no where on the list do I find what's really important.

If anything of importance is suppose to be on the list than why do I struggle with putting Him at the very top? And my mind, it's been so very fuzzy lately. I can't keep a single thought in one place. The lists they get scrambled and I stumble and the important things don't get done.....Oh to be little and have their kind of list again.......
And I know the reason for my fuzziness I need to go get my lists....put them all together on one sheet of paper, and on the very top I'll put His name....

In all I do I want to do for you.....In all my thoughts I want to think of you........In all my ways I want to go with you.......In all my lists, they will start with you.....And Precious Father when I stumble and become all fuzzy headed will you gently guide me back?

Do you know those girls accomplished everything on their list at least twice!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Never Close Doors!

I often come upon moments.......Moments often come upon me when the words aren't there to give. When I am wordless. I'm one that needs to soak in what I hear....So I soak all night thinking of what to say, how I can help. And somethings are greater than any word that can be given. I reach deep and I come up with "Never close doors."  "Always leave one open." No matter how upset, no matter how great the hurt. And sometimes you need to look with in.....Sometimes He wants you to pull from deep with in. Is it really "them" that you need? Are you depending on "Them" too much? My emotions they rise and they fall. I breathe deep because I honestly don't have the answer to what you question.
In all my pregnancies my emotions ran high, then dropping to a crashing low. I tried hard to decipher the "real" between the blown out of proportion made up moments......Now don't get me wrong I'm not taking sides! I can't. I'm not called to take sides. I'm called because when either side needs me I want to be there. I want to leave that "Door Open" ALWAYS! And life is hard but....You always have someone on this side of heaven....You always have me. And I'm not perfect. I too, stumble and fall

And through all of this.... The God/Man wants to show you something.....That your stronger than you believe yourself to be. My precious friend your as strong as the Faith that's planted inside you. Cling to Him, talk to Him, All you ever need is Him. Not me, not them.....There will be those times where "we" will fail you. Oh not on purpose, not intentionally.....Remember I'll always be sin soaked. We are all sin soaked.
And in the morning light, things seem to be not as they were when you were in the moment. And little Mama maybe it's time to cut the strings that attach you too tight.......Dependency is a funny thing when it comes to the sin soaked here on earth. It's good to be able to, but in the same way it's crippling. Don't be crippled. It's not going to be easy Nobody ever said Life is easy.  But it's bearable. Dependency only works when you depend on the only one you can trust. He will NEVER let you down!

Be Joyful in all things! Give thanks for all things Good or Bad.........He is mighty, He does great things with the ugly in our lives. Never lose sight of how precious you are to Him and when others let you down, when I let you down....Remember His Promises!

And little Mama I'm always here, always have been. So when you get a chance, stop in I have something for you......

Monday, June 20, 2011

She Studies Their Faces

When your afraid, walk in the light.........
She runs out the door asking to borrow my camera.....my Sunshine Girl.  That's just who she is, a beam of radiant light. And she captures this.........

She was never one who needed socializing to brush up her God Given skills...........She's  fearless when it comes to making friends, when it comes to lending a hand.......And she captures this.....

 And I'm amazed every day to see the beauty God is pouring into her. Part of me wishes I had what she has when I was growing up.......Courage, Boldness, Selflessness, The Light Giver in my heart..... And she captures this.......

She walks in the light, always has. My Beautiful Sunshine Girl......Her eye and my camera capture how she looks at life. And there is life all around her and amazingly she stops to take the time to notice......you......me.

She was once in a room full of people. I'd say about 20. Everyone was asked to state their name and how old they were......I was the teacher, I needed their names. And one by one I tried to remember and she knew I was struggling...."Mama let me help you." And do you know she went around the room to each child and told me each and everyone of their names with out hesitation, after only hearing them just once. THAT'S A GIFT, A GOD GIVEN GIFT!

I stood amazed and later I asked her how she did it....."Mama it's easy, I study their face and then I remember their name."
Oh to be where she is already. and this dear girl puts me to shame. She studies their faces. She doesn't just glance at them she looks at them, notices them.

And I learn from my Sunshine Girl, that life is all around you. I just need to stop, take the time and study it.....study them.

And by her light people know that she cares. They know she is love. And all at the ripe ol' age of 13. I can't wait to see what The God/man has in store for her life! For those who are illuminated by her/His light.......

Friday, June 17, 2011

Moments Not Meant To Be Missed

And I promised myself this time I would try not to miss any more moments...............
 The pictures have been too scarce over the last few years. You never know what you'll capture when your not afraid to hang a camera around your neck. When you silence the ones who don't want to be captured......
 I capture them anyway. Because that's what some people have left, Picture paper. And the prints make them remember moments missed, make them smile.
 Daddy's hands..........
 And what I capture, captures my heart......
 She laughs, tells me to stop and I capture this.......Pretty blue eyed, sunshine girl. She captured my heart 13 years ago.

 Daddy says "no poses!" "What are you doing?"
 And I capture this....I tell him someday you will cherish this, this almost missed moment.
I missed her before she even left, my sunshine girl. Two are gone and three are here, but still there is a void.....I keep myself busy, but busy is not enough.
 Before he leaves , he pulls out a small album. And in it are picture paper memories of his brother, the one that passed away. And I tear up. He doesn't see me as I flip through the pages. "I keep it in my truck, Just to have it to look at." So he can remember.....So he can smile when he is feeling blue. And to him, it was just  yesterday they were running around the hill tops together........Making memories he still talks about today.

These days I swear I could stare at that crooked smile all day....Just to have it engraved in my mind. He will always be my first true love.......

And life will capture your heart if you capture the moments not meant to be missed. How precious this life, how precious the memories life holds.
How quickly your present becomes your past, your today's become your yesterdays. And I'm holding on with a tight grip only to lose my grasp......But I embrace what's to come. More picture paper moments.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Love Like This

He's my little man now......And I don't know where to begin. My oldest is gone to NY for the summer..... I'm missing him, not just for the summer but for when he really leaves home. And lately my mind has been swimming with memories of a little blond, curly headed boy. The first of five....The first to steal this Mama's heart....And the tears they won't stop cause I'm the sentimental one......

Little man says goodbye to Gentle Giant. He's riding his 4 wheeler with tears in his eyes. He's trying hard to hide beneath the helmet with no mask. "I'm just happy he won't be here to yell at me!" then he drives off to hide even bigger tears that had welled up inside.

Daddy tells little man that he has to take over....step in and take Hunter's spot while he's away. "I'm gonna need you now that your brother is not here." Little man looks up and smiles that shy smile.

And this morning Big Brother calls to let his Mama know that he made it there ok. "can I talk, can I talk?" Little brother runs off with my phone. Comes back with his work boots. I ask where he's going in such a hurry. He tells me with eyes all red that he has work to do. "I have to feed Hunter's ducks"....his mouth quivering, voice trembling trying to hold the tears in. I wrap him in my arms and remember that this is how it felt with Gentle giant only now Gentle Giant wraps me in his arms..... It's ok to feel blue...I know you miss him, I do too! He holds on even tighter because Mama struck a cord.

"Daddy might need me at the shop, there may be a truck coming in today and I'm gonna help him grease it."

He is growing up too. And soon there will be two Gentle Giants instead of one. And there are times when I think I can handle this thing called the empty nest......but then there are those times when I just know I can't. This is one of those times. Oh, I know I'll be alright I just need time.....time to let it all sink in.

In the mean time Little man has stepped up to the plate. And me? I'm holding him a little bit more, holding on to moments a little tighter, counting the days until my "first little man" returns...........

And Mama never told me I could LOVE like this............

Friday, June 10, 2011

Son Worn

Sun worn and aged with years. They used to lug grapes, over in a little town called Naples, NY. And I'm surprised they are still here. After all these years of being out in the weather. I keep them because they have character. And because I like old things......
And even though they are not in use for hauling grapes down a hillside. I keep them for a different purpose. I keep them to put flowers in. Although now they are sitting empty waiting for pretty blooms to spill out and drop down the sides.
And I've been thinking lately how I'm where my Mama use to be. How Mama is now Grammy........I think of the years that have passed...... how they all are sun worn. How we weathered the storms that blew through. How the years have let the age set in.
It runs through my mind that when I'm yet again, where my Mama is now.......I want to be dripping with His beauty. May the blooms of this life spill over and cascade down into the next generation. May they remember for years to come that even though  I may have been sun worn, they could see I wore the SON. And in all His Beauty He shined bright with in and through out me..........

I really need to get those grape lugs filled.....Maybe this weekend.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

When Your Roots Are Planted Deep

I was planted in the same area for 24 years of my life before I met my man and he swept me away. I pulled up my roots and packed my things.....I remember turning back and seeing my Mama at the door, waving with tears streaming like small rivers down her soft cheeks. I remember the pulling and the tearing of my roots. How it hurt to watch home stay in the distance and me, I was in the passenger seat looking back, crying my Mama's tears.
So when words were being softly spoken back and forth about up rooting. I was anxious, scared and homesick for them. This is their home......my home. It's what I know, it's where they are. It's where I keep them in my heart. To up root them would be to up root me all over again, but for good this time.
And although I want to be near them, to be close to them, I want what's best for them. I want what God wants for them. And as the talk would go back and forth about how nice it would be to be together again, for them to be with their grandchildren, there was always still this ache. The ache I felt 17 years ago when I felt my roots TEARING OUT OF THE GROUND.
I know each tree on this property. I've walked this way hundreds of times taking snap shots to take home with me.......My how these trees have grown in just a few years. Roots all deep, reaching into the earth.
My memories here are planted in rich soil and they reach deep into my heart. I didn't know it at the time, but my Mama and Daddy were feeling the same way. I got a phone call today. Daddy said "I just wanted to let you know I think your Mama and I better stay planted here for a while until we figure things out." And I have to admit that I felt my roots sinking back into that rich dirt  again. No more pulling and tearing.....Just letting them grow.

I don't have all the answers but what I do know is when life is bigger than you, you must wait on the Lord. And to be honest I don't mind waiting on the Lord this time around......
 And sometimes what we want is not what is best for us right now........but it could be down the road. I pray that as He speaks to them His voice will be crystal clear. No tearing up roots, when they are not ready to be replanted.

Now don't get me wrong I was ready to pull up my roots and make a life with my man......but I'm not so sure I am ready for them to tear up roots, to leave this place that they have worked so hard to make a home. I don't know how I could come home if home is not there to come home to...
And my Daddy, he says he's not ready to retire and move south....not ready to dig up roots planted deep..... And Mama, she wants to do what's best for him....."I just need to slow down some."  he tells her.
I would take walks often where the old pine stands strong and firm. Down where we all call it "the lower lot"....One time as I was passing by I glanced up and there on one of it's low branches, a little family of baby owls all fluffed up for the evening. Waiting on Mama to bring them dinner. And I swear you can't capture this stuff just any where. Nature all wrapped up in moments on a tree rooted deep.
This old pine, she has seen many a winter and I hope to go stroll by her again real soon...Because this is home to me...to them.....Always in my heart of hearts this will always be HOME where my roots grew strong enough to eventually be replanted.
And come what may....your roots there, mine here..... You and I, we share the Son and He lives in our hearts And someday we will all share a place in heaven called HOME. And there will be no more tearing up roots because they will be planted deep in the soil of forever love. Where it will always feel like home.