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Tuesday, March 29

March 29, 2011 (78/365)

Oh, and how these little House Finches bring me joy - as do all my little birdies.

Sometimes I can't help but be jealous when I see the wealth around me (I live in an extremely wealthy area of Western New York - although I am as middle class as they come). Yesterday a high school junior ran out of school - jumped into her leather seated, fine wood accented Lexus and drove off. Another of my son's friends has a Hummer (I call them houses on wheels)!

I often wonder why God has allowed me to always have 'just enough' when those around me have EVERYTHING their hearts desire.

This verse reminds me of the song:
  1. This world is not my home I'm just passing through
    my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
    the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
    and I can't feel at home in this world anymore

    O Lord you know I have no friend like you
    if Heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do?
    the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
    and I can't feel at home in this world anymore

    AND then I look around the world (yes and even my town) and see so many people with so much less than I have.

    God has blessed me immeasurably and I am truly thankful!

    Another song has just come to mind - Count Your Blessings.

    Today - that is what I will be doing!

Monday, March 28

March 28, 2011 (77/365)

Reposted from last year - our spring isn't this far along yet - still have snow on the ground and temps are in the 20-30 range. At least it is suppose to be sunny today!

And of course there is SONshine in my heart!

Friday, March 25

March 25, 2011 (76/365)


Scripture is from Psalm 1:1

Thursday, March 24

March 24, 2011 (75/365)




I just love the antics of this little House Finch!

Wednesday, March 23

March 23, 2011 (74/365)


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,

"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future"

Jeremiah 29:11


These are scary times in our town, our state, our country, and our world, wouldn't you say? How strange when you hear of so many losing their jobs and homes, it doesn't affect you (deeply) until it is someone you know. I am a music teacher in the public schools. You may not have heard, but New York State is just about as bad off as California. Just about bankrupt, but hey let's keep paying for all that pork ........ Let's keep spending money that we don't have Mr. President ...


Sorry, I digress. In looking to the future - and trying to save the state - the powers that be - have thought it most prudent to cut MILLIONS of dollars that go to the education of our children. Gee what do children need an education for anyway? They are only the next leaders of our country, they don't need to be educated, do they?


Well, that in turn has forced the school districts to find ways to deal with the fact that they do not have MILLIONS of dollars next year. So instead of cutting out administration and the GROSSLY DISGUSTING WASTE of paper and other supplies, they are cutting - go figure - teachers. And well - you DO know, that every child who comes out of school is going to be a doctor or engineer - right? We don't need the arts or athletics. You know, the things that make people feel, help people be healthy, you know, the things they learn to use to deal with life?


I learned yesterday that 4 elementary vocal music positions are in the plans to be cut for next year. I didn't hear about the middle school and high school music program yet, we have a meeting today after school. We are a K-12 department. All of us certified in Vocal and Instrumental music. They say they will cut from the bottom. There are 4 1/2 positions below me.


In all, they have advertised that 36 positions in our district are being cut. (NOT ONE ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION - and it takes about 3 of me to equal one of them). And oh by the way, our property taxes are going up too.


I am scared. (can you tell? I get negative when I am scared)


7 years ago, my husband lost his job. I was a stay at home mom. God made a way for us then. I was able to get this amazing job, and work for a year, when my husband could find nothing. He eventually found work - but, I had to keep working, too. A new normal for us. We always have just been able to make ends meet.


Earthquakes, tsunami's, wars, rumors of wars, floods . . . thousands have lost their lives.


I heard someone say, what else can happen - you know - I am not even gonna go there. I know I have my health, my children are healthy, we have a roof over our heads (for now anyway), and at least one of us has a job although who knows how secure his job will be.


Corrie ten Boom lost so much. After helping so many Jews to freedom from the Nazi's, she and her family were arrested. She lost her father and her sister in the concentration camps. She was released, come to find later, by a clerical error. All the other woman her age in the camp, were killed the week following her release.


She has been quoted many times (like the one above) and also here, "God does not have problems. Only plans." We sure can learn from our experiences (if we survive them). Life isn't easy. But God has promised never to forsake us or leave us. If God is for us, who can be against us?


Proverbs 3:5 and 6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.


So, I am trying to trust. It's so hard.




Tuesday, March 22

March 22, 2011 (73/365)

Known famously as the Serenity Prayer . . . adopted y Alcoholics Anonymous and other programs I am sure. I wanted to look up the definition of Serenity and got the following.

Serenity: The quality or state of being serene (The dictionary folk obviously didn't have the same English teachers I had - who taught me never to define a word, with the word itself!)

Serene: Clear and free of storms or unpleasant change,
Shining bright and steady,
Marked by or suggestive of utter calm
and unruffled repose or quietude.

(Is quietude a word? Really?)

All kidding aside, I am working on this, with all sincerity. My life is probably pretty much like yours. It isn't in an uproar all of the time, really it isn't. But I guess there have been too many storms that have risen in the past few days. Oh, to live life by this definition.
To rest in the knowledge that God is in Control, He knows the outcome, He loves us more than we could ever comprehend ... I am trying . . . to rest in Him.

This song is in my heart today:

I cast all my cares upon you
I lay all of my burdens
Down at your feet
And anytime, I don't know, Just what to do
I will cast all my cares upon you.


Monday, March 21

March 21, 2011 (72/365)


Yes, I know - they are not eagles. They are Canada Geese. But, since I probably will not see an eagle in my neighborhood - and the flight of these geese was so graceful (especially in this snapshot of them) - I couldn't help but connect this photo with that verse.

What is it like to soar through life, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not be faint? How can we be strong in most situations, be the encourager instead of the one who always needs encouragement?

We hope in the Lord, we depend on Him, we trust Him implicitly.

Day by Day - I am working on that.

Friday, March 18

March 18, 2011 (70/365)




In Memory of
Donald Pfennig
1931-2011

Mr. Pfennig passed from this life into the arms of our Savior last evening.
He was my sister's father-in-law. I knew him to be a very sweet, kind, generous, soft spoken, and humble man. He lent a helping hand to everyone in need. He took care of his wife and family. He will truly be missed.

My heart aches for his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his siblings and his friends. The pain of loss can be so unbearable at times.

I am praying that God would comfort and guide their hearts in the days ahead. Asking Him to give them the strength they need when the waves of grief are too much to bear.

Wednesday, March 16

March 16, 2011 (68/365)




I often find the scriptures very terrifying.
Comforting ...
and yet - terrifying.

Thursday, March 10

March 10, 2011 (64/365)


With my upcoming trip to Europe looming before, there are many things I need to get in check. I am sure it will be a physical strain - including the 26+ hours on a bus as we tour 3 countries, performing almost everyday.

I've been concerned about a lot of things - and I guess this has finally been the kicker to help me start to get in better shape. I have always loved walking. But in recent years - it just doesn't seem safe - unless you are out with a partner. That isn't always possible for me - so I resorted to the treadmill in the basement. We have wonderful bike path trails in our community - but a few years ago, a local mom was murdered - out jogging alone - by one they called the bike* path *rapist. They did finally catch him. And found out that he had been doing this for many years.

We came to learn, that we had lived diagonally across the street from him, in our first home as after we were married. Scary.

I chucked all that last week and said - nope I am walking outside. It has been chilly (to say the least) but totally invigorating! I've even lost 12 pounds!! (Lots more to go too!)

But more awesome than that - is the beauty of our Creator that I can contemplate on as I move thru my neighborhood. I was almost home, the other day, as the sun was beginning to set - and I saw it perfectly situated between these branches. I had carried my little Kodak with me (it was drizzling a bit so didn't want to chance the Cannon out in the weather).

What a blessed reminder that God is still in control and He always will be, no matter what.

Tuesday, March 8

March 8, 2011 (62/365)


Please pray for a family in my community, suffering a devastating loss yesterday. I wrote a short post over at Composition-Life.

Here is the story: LINK

Monday, March 7

March 7, 2011 (61/365)


Really .... is it March 7th already? Can't believe how this year is flying by already!

At first I was going to publish this - verse only - but that top right corner was screaming to me - words ... words ... I need words. The first thought that popped into my mind - was one drilled into my mind - as well as many others - by our moms ....

"If you don't have anything nice to say ... don't say anything at all." Were you ever told that?

I looked up the quote and they are attributing it to Jacqui Rivait - I am guessing she is a modern day person - but I can't find anything about her - except a bunch of quotes. I have to say I think it is much older than that ... my mom was saying it most likely before Jacqui was born!

Update:
H is feeling much better - slowly adding more things into his diet, and getting back to normal. Still no word on test results. I do have to say that perhaps this was the kick in the pants we needed to adjust our eating habits. We both are doing very well with that.

Hope today is the start of a wonderful week for everyone!

Valerie

Friday, March 4

March 4, 2011 (59/365)


What verse comes to mind to accompany this?
I was thinking:

"You created my inmost being,
you knit me together in my mother's womb"
Psalm 139:13

I am sure there are others.
Care to share?




Thursday, March 3

March 3, 2011 (58/365)



No test results back yet from yesterday. Although he did have some of the discomfort during the testing - so perhaps they were able to see what was going on at the time. He is such a good guy. God surely blessed me - when he brought him into my life 27 years ago. This year we will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary.

Why is it time seems to move so much faster when we are older? Since my oldest son moved out a few weeks ago - I am feeling quite old. My friends from high school are planning our 30th reunion for this summer. My second son turned 18 this past Sunday and was accepted to the college of his choice.

I just keep repeating . . .

God is in control . . .
He knows what he is doing . . .
Keep trusting in Him.


(PS: I am getting old - this picture looked so familiar to me - duh - I went back and noticed ... I used it on the 5th of February! Sorry for the repeat - at least the quotes are new!

I need some nice warm weather and some green stuff popping out of the ground - everything is so frozen and brown and dirty this time of year - not fun to photograph at all) Gee - after whining about life moving so quickly - now I am wishing the days away! Seems I am never content!

Okay - deep breaths ..
Time to make today a great one ... and enjoy every moment!
Hope you do too!

Wednesday, March 2

March 2, 2011 (57/365)


Thanks to all for your prayers and concern. We still don't know what the problem is for my dear H. Diet seems to be helping with symptoms. But they are not gone yet. Another big test this morning. We keep waiting and praying.