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Thursday, June 30

June 30, 2011 (154/365)

I don't usually use people in my photo's on this site, but as we were walking back from our dinner with my husbands family, this past weekend, this precious photo of my husband and his brother with his 18 month old son called to me.

How special those moments are, when our kids are so small and dependent upon us, to hold them up and protect them. Ironically, we were walking back from a celebration of their sister's son and our son, who both graduated from high school and will shortly be pulling those hands away from us as they continue to strive for independence.

It's okay. That is what we raise our children to be. Independent.

I just pray that their hands will always reach toward their heavenly Father - for support and strength in good times and bad. I pray they always remember that He is always there with a hand held out to them.

*Check out the blue jays visiting my yard at Composition Life

Wednesday, June 29

June 29, 2011 (153/365)

The scripture quote is from Hebrews 12:1-2. The actual verse says:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Tuesday, June 28

June 28, 2011 (152/365)

I've been missing in action a bit - -the last week has been filled to the rim.

I did successfully pack up my classroom at school all the while combining the school music materials into one place (my room) as my coworker and colleague has been laid off. A very emotional week. I am terrible at saying goodbye. Often I just avoid it. It is just too hard.

My second son graduated from High School on Saturday. My husband's brother's beautiful family came to stay with us on the weekend (but I never had time to clean my house). They came into town because my husband's sister's son graduated this weekend too.

We had a nice combined graduation dinner for the two boys on Sunday night.

Of course my youngest had a double header baseball game on Sunday - 40 minutes away. They won both games, and even though we had sweatshirts on - because it was so cloudy and cool (temps in the low 60's) I got sunburned!!

But it is time to take stock of what matters:
I am so very thankful - for my son's successful completion of his high school years.
I am so very thankful for a healthy family.
I am so very thankful to have my job for (at least) one more year.

I am so very thankful for my home - but spring cleaning that should have been done 2 months ago - is finally getting done this week. I am thankful to have the time to do it now.

Does time ever slow down? No, not at all. And I guess that is why the scripture and quotes work so well for me today.

* check out the rest of my blue jays over at Composition Life

Friday, June 24

June 24, 2011 (151/365)

A weeks worth of work - needs to be completed today.
Praying for strength and the ability to get it all done.
Summer vacation begins tomorrow!

Thursday, June 23

June 23, 2011 (150/365)

Today - my mom would have been 83 years old. She taught me many things. First and foremost I was introduced to the King of kings and the Lord of lords - Thank you mom (and Dad too). She taught me about life and about love.

I came across this quote this morning - I always used to say - I would not be able to go on, if I lost my parents. This quote sums it all up though . . .

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.”- Winnie the Pooh

But more importantly - I know I will see her again. What a blessing it is to have that comfort.

Tuesday, June 21

Monday, June 20

June 19, 2011 (148/365)

As the school year comes to a close - and other chapters in people's lives are ending - new things are beginning.

I often struggle as I live in the moment - and see the mound of responsibilities that are immediate concerns - always looking for the task to be completed - so I can feel some semblance of accomplishment and joy .

I have to finish this so I can enjoy this ....

And yet - how many times do I rush thru moments - forgetting that once the moment is over - I never can get it back, it is just a memory ... How I long for many of those memories once again to be reality.

And so those thoughts crossed my mind as I put this post together. My middle son graduates from High School this coming weekend, several coworkers are being laid off - and we all know how life goes, you hope to stay in touch, but the reality is often we can't keep up with everyone.

My mom used to always say -the only things that are ever constant are God - and change .. .. ..

And so today - I will look for the joy in the moments - and not at the end of the week.

Friday, June 17

June 17, 2011 (147/365)

The big trip is still on! It is still unbelievable to me at times. But, steady progress is being made in getting ready. One big concern, was what camera I would take. If you have followed me for a while, you know I shoot with a Canon Rebel xti. Within the first year (2009) I ended up with a bent pin, so I have been unable to change my storage card. Knowing that I shoot about 300 photos in one 2 hour baseball game - I knew 400 photo's would not be enough for this trip - so I had thought I would take my little Kodak.

I had been saving and saving to buy a new camera - but - my oldest son needed tires for his car - and well ... that is how it goes.

So my husband said, how about our middle son's camera. He shoots with a Nikon D3000. Why not take that one. So, I asked him (and told him I would get him a zoom lens in the bargain) and he said yes. So I will be taking his Nikon with his kit lens (18-55mm) and a zoom (50-200mm).

I have started practicing with the camera - it is really different - and really challenging. I am glad for the opportunity though - because I can compare a lot of things and really decide which system I like better.

The photo above was with the Nikon. I love the color of the grass as it blurred so nicely - but although it is a straight out of the camera shot - the colors are not true. I have to work on shooting in manual mode to figure out how to get a truer color.

Wednesday, June 15

June 15, 2011 (145/365)

Praying especially for our soldiers in harms way today.
Praying that God would protect them and keep them safe.
Praying for their minds to be alert to the danger that surrounds them.
Praying for the exhausted and weakened bodies - that God would allow them rest to be fortified.

Praying for their families who are beside themselves with worry.
Praying God would strengthen them so they can give the burdens to Him.
Praying God would comfort them in the knowledge that He loves their children more than they ever could.

Praying with Thanksgiving for those who step out to protect and defend those who cannot.

Sunday, June 12

June 12, 2011 (143/365)

Reposting from last year - it's report card time - and I have about 300 to get done by tomorrow!

Sunday, June 5

June 5, 2011 (138/365)

Although the daisy is often referred to as having a 'simple' beauty compared to a rose - I still think they are the prettiest of flowers, with an intricacy all it's own.

Saturday, June 4

June 4, 2011 (137/365)

My middle son's Senior Prom was last night. I am working on a post over at Composition-Life of the photo's I took at his date's parents home. As I looked at all the photo's, there is one of him standing alone that just kind of ripped at my heart. He is 18 now and so grown up in many ways, and yet still so young.

As I was preparing this post this morning, this photo of one of my peony flowers screamed to me 'layers.' I searched and came across the quote above. How true it is. Adults down deep inside (hopefully) still carry that inner child full of inquisitiveness, joy and unconditional love with them.

And we are to come to God with the faith of a child - pure and innocent. Full of Trust.

Makes me me want to dig deep and discover what is hiding under all of my layers.

Friday, June 3

June 3, 2011 (136/365)

When I see this fountain I am reminded of the chorus I learned so very long ago . . .

"I've got the joy, joy, joy joy, down in my heart,
Down in my heart, down in my heart.
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Down in my heart to stay"

and I remember as a child, how that joy, bubbled up like a fountain and spilled over into every aspect of my life.

I am sad that I have let so many things and people get in the way of the deep joy that was once such an integral part of who I was. It is sad that when we see evil succeeding, it is often easier to chuck it all and walk away, rather than deal with the situation.

After many years of watching my parents and others around me, seeing the struggles (and the joys) of relationships with other people, I always thought it was best - not to cause waves. To walk away instead of being one to cause division and problems.

It seems though, when you walk away - you are the one that suffers the loss. When you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Such a sad commentary on the lives we live. I include myself in that, as I often find myself so busy with little things, that 'people things' aren't a priority. I am glad God makes people a priority.

How I long to be more like Him.

And so I continually wait on Him. Trying to be patient as I wait for direction. I continue to pray that this is just a season of our lives and that we will soon move into a new spring. New growth, blossoms, joy and the fragrance of Jesus once again permeating every aspect of our lives.

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful season of spring, and that there is also a spring season of renewal going on in your heart as well.

Thursday, June 2

June 2, 2011 (135/365)

This is the little walk that leads to my front porch. Guess I should have taken the time to straighten the bricks. I am bad. They used to line a flower bed down by the road, and when we took the bed apart and planted grass down there, we just brought the bricks up to line this side of the flower bed by the sidewalk. I should have straightened them out before I took the picture!

It is a mixture of annuals (marigolds, geraniums and zinnia's) as well as my perennials (peony, coreopsis, daisy, hosta, rudbeckia, echinacea, sedum, and iris). This is the flower bed we enjoy at the end of the day as we sit on the porch reflecting the days events.

We talk about our day, and reflect on the past and hope for the future. I have been so blessed thru all my life, to have people to share life with, and reflect on the past, dream about the future and share in the moments of each day.

Many of you have become part of that for me. And I thank God for you.

Hope today is a good one for you -
The weekend is coming. (yeah my mom's voice is in my head again - don't wish your life away Valerie). And I am not. My middle son will be going to the prom tomorrow night. So I am a bundle of nerves. Praying for God's protection and common sense for him.