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Thursday, April 18

April 18, 2013

Lillacs as the buds begin to open

 We never know what the future holds. Why is it we think we do? Why do we think that life should go on - day by day ... always the same.

 Change is usually pretty challenging. It's hard in the fall to say goodbye to all the flowers as they wither and die.  But how awesome is spring with the joy of newness and possibilities.

Today I am thanking God for His constant faithfulness and the peace and comfort I have been surrounded with the last couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 11

Wednesday, April 10

April 10, 2013

Okay - enough of being sad and depressed. It's time to move on and be strong and confident and quit worrying!!

I know I am not an eagle. And guess what? Those are not eagles in the photo either. (You didn't think they were did you?) Although they look pretty when they fly - the Canada Goose  sure can be a messy bird!

But, God didn't say we would 'BE EAGLES.' He said "Those who hope in the Lord will soar LIKE eagles."

I am not an eagle.

Goodness, I am not even a bird. I don't have wings ... but I'm ready to soar.

I am ready to run and not get tired, to walk and not be faint.

I am ready to have my strength renewed.

Tuesday, April 9

April 9, 2013

I captured this Light House (called Buffalo Main Light) on our walk Sunday afternoon. 

Well, so far it is not good news. With the extra money from the state the Board of Education has restored 3 full time positions and 2 half time positions - non of which is mine.  Of course nothing is ever set in stone until September, but for now, things don't look good. 

I guess down deep inside it is bothering me, go figure. This morning my alarm went off and I fell back asleep. The next thing I knew I was in the middle of a nightmare.

It was Thanksgiving and I had to run to the grocery store to pick something up. I don't remember what I had to get - but I do know I was in a very unfamiliar area. I didn't know the store.  I parked my van and went inside. When I got in everything was strange and I couldn't remember what I had to get - so I went back outside. But when I got to where I parked the van it was gone. 

I walked all over searching for it and beeping the horn on my car key. I couldn't hear the horn - because there was music playing. I ended up meeting some folks from church - who put me in their van and drove me around until we found a van that looked like mine. They dropped me off and left .... but it wasn't my van. So I started walking again. Finally someone told me, security didn't like where I parked my van - so they moved it. 

I found the van. Got in and drove away. But that isn't the end. I ended up on a street that turned into lots of ice and water (like the photo above) on one side and thick gross mud on the other side. I was going too fast and as I tried to turn - I got stuck. It turned out that I was in some sort of a garage. Three guys came out (that I didn't recognize) and I asked them if they could help me. All they did was smile and closed the garage door (with me stuck inside) and everything went black. Then I  woke up. 

When I told Larry, I ended the story by saying - I guess I am lost and stuck. Wow - isn't that the truth right now. But as I came down to prepare my post for this morning - the first thought in my head was the Light House we had seen on Sunday. 

Light Houses were used to help the lost - and to keep them from getting stuck in shallow waters or wrecking on the rocks of the shore. 

How many times have we seen photos of Jesus being the Light House. John 8:12 says, "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Matthew 5:14-16 says this, 
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

In many foreign countries, missionaries report that people believe in dreams telling them something.  In reflecting on this dream, I can say that at times I do really feel lost and stuck not knowing how to get out of this mess, and putting my hope in people to make the difference for me.  

But I can't put my hope in people. My hope needs to be in God. 

I have a lot to think about. 

Monday, April 8

April 8, 2013

While downtown at the Buffalo Waterfront yesterday the seagulls were flying nice and low - and gave the opportunity to capture some nice 'inflight' photos.

This morning I am praying this evenings meeting brings good news - but as I have said before, I know that God is in control and that "God causes ALL THINGS to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to HIS purpose. " (Romans 8:28)

I may not be able to see what that purpose is - but how often is it that we have heard that it is thru the trials and hard times that we are drawn closer to God and become more dependent on Him.

Even yesterday we had a wonderful sermon by guest preacher and friend Vince Antonucci (CLICK HERE FOR VINCE'S BLOG)  who just wrote his 3rd book: Renegade - Your Faith Isn't Meant to be Safe.

I surely hope with God's help, we are up for whatever lies ahead.

Sunday, April 7

April 7, 2013

Wishful thinking on my part I guess. Yesterday as we drove to the grocery store I asked Larry - "When do you think "the greening" will begin? You know - when the grass starts to show new life - after the brown dullness of winter."

So this morning as I came across this photo - of one of my favorite places to photograph - the green made me smile.

As I get ready to leave for worship - the song in my heart is ... "This is the Day that the Lord has made" - no matter what today or tomorrow brings, He is in control, He makes the sun rise and set, the wind blow, the rain fall, and the flowers bloom. I will rejoice in this day and everyday - because HE IS!!!

Saturday, April 6

Friday, April 5

April 5, 2013

We drove downtown (Buffalo, NY) a week or so ago. It is only a 30 minute drive for us. But it was rainy and dark and cold. I did have my camera with me, so as we passed City Hall I snapped this photo out the window - as we passed by. (My hubby gets frustrated when I ask him to stop in the middle of the road - so this was a drive by shot).  It isn't the greatest  - but as I looked at it today, the first thought to enter my mind was the 'streets of gold' that will be in heaven.

Then my mind traveled to the verse in Revelation that says, "He is the Light and there will be no need for lights in heaven, because of that." No need for the sun or the moon and certainly no need for human inventions. Just God. Just Jesus. Just us.

No worries, no tears, no sickness, no failures, no mess ups . . .

Oh what a day that will be!

Thursday, April 4

April 4, 2013

Deuteronomy 6:4 and following:

 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

 Impress them on your children. 

Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Sounds to me, that these are some pretty important verses. 

Wednesday, April 3

You Might Be Interested

I love to read! Christian and Inspirational Fiction are some of my favorites. In my 'many' years as a reader - I have come across some awesome authors. One of those is Liz Curtis Higgs.

I follow her on Facebook and her blog.  This morning I saw that she is going to put together a Wednesday Bible Study that focuses on the 20 Verses you Love Most.
After everyone comments - she will tally them and then focus on a verse a week each Wednesday.  I am so excited.  So I thought I would share it with you.  Here is the Link to Liz's Blog:

The 20 Verses You Love Most | Liz Curtis Higgs

I made the following comments on her page sharing ONE of my favorites - but definitely my 'GO TO' verse  each morning as I wake:

When the bible was written – it wasn’t divided into chapters and verses and so when sharing the scripture that inspires me and keeps my head above water during trying times (and there have been toooo many!!) I have to include both verses in Proverbs 3:5-6. The second … completes the first thought. They are my heart song. “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.” My finite mind – cannot grasp the totality of my life and those around me. Watching parents die of cancer, having children with serious medical concerns, loss of job (facing this one for the second time right now) I see how “I think” that things are supposed to be – I set my heart on that – only to be disappointed. But with my heart set on Him – and His words, and His life, and His promises – I can have confidence that He is in control of every situation – and even though it may not be a path that I would choose – I trust that He will bring me to the place that will bring Glory and Honor and Praise to Him, because isn’t that what we are to be about?
I have been going thru some very trying times since the clock struck 12:01am on January 1st of this year. A big reason why I haven't had my camera out in a while - and haven't been posting. 

One of the major issues (there really are too many) is the looming threat of losing my job. My principal came and spoke with me in February to let me know that it looks like one music position will be cut this year (that makes 6 plus the marching band position in the last 3 years), along with 28 other teachers in the district. (That is also a total of 100 positions cut in our district  the last 3 years)  Even though they didn't know how they were going to cut the music program yet (Middle School or High School) since I am the low person on the seniority list - I will be let go. 

In 2005, after staying home with my 3 sons for 13 years (during which I created a prayer network for my local congregation, led the children's choir and vacation bible school, and led worship) my husband was laid off with no prospects of a job.  God blessed me with an awesome mother - who had told me, back in the day, to get my degree in case I ever needed something to fall back on. Well that was the time.  I was  (am) dual certified in Music Education (K-12 Vocal and Instrumental Music) and General Elementary Education (N-6) with my Bachelors Degree in Music Education and my Masters Degree in Elementary Education. 

I walked up to my sons school and got myself put on the substitute teachers list. In April of that year I was hired as a long term sub for a first grade teachers maternity leave. The following year a position opened for a part time music teacher in the district. I was hired. That led to a full time position, and 5 years ago I transferred back to the school I started at and have been there ever since. 

After a full year without work, my husband was able to find employment, but I needed to continue to work as well to help support our family. And I love my job and the kids that I work with. I always say, "There is no happier place in the world than the elementary school I work in when the halls are filled with the smiling precious faces of children." 

But we are at a crossroad again - and Proverbs 3:5-6 are my rock these days. 

I will find out for sure if my position is definitely cut on April 8.  If it will be saved - there is the other hurdle of getting the budget passed in May. They are asking for a huge tax increase. If they don't get it - they are saying that the entire music department  as well as 60 more teachers will be let go. 

And so (I normally don't post so much here - but as I come back to blogging it felt right to share what's been going on these past few months).

So finally here is my verse for today: