August 15, 2013

God's Amazing Sense of Humor and Grace

The View from here has been pretty amazing lately.

As I watch God's plan unfold right before my eyes, I can't help but laugh with delight!  He's been planning and pondering and waiting for just the right time to reach out and bless our lives.  And I can't help but wonder at the glory and beauty of it all.  He is so good!

I had been helplessly watching a situation unfold that I just didn't feel right about.  But, there are times in your life when you just need to wait...and pray.  Wait on Him.  And PRAY!  Voice your concern and then pray. And keep Him in your lens because looking in another direction only slows down the ultimate plan.  He can't work in your life if your not allowing Him to direct your paths and are distracted by things that steal your peace.

To my great joy, I also watched as, through heartache (which was not the joyful part!) and hard lessons (a little more joyful because, sadly, they were lessons that could't be taught except through experience.) a beautiful thing began to emerge.  A return to a happier state of mind and confidence regained that had slipped away.

As I've watched and pondered this beautiful thing, it has begun to grow and blossom and bless those around it.

And now that it's blessing our lives, some of the most joyful parts are the ones that I didn't see happening before but am learning about now.  Things that were happening in other people's hearts and lives months ago that God has worked together for the good that's happening now. It's proof positive to me that God has been moving toward this lovely surprise for a while now.

And that's what makes me laugh!  Laugh with delight, laugh in relief, laugh at myself for doubting that He was in control, laugh at the foreshadowing, laugh at His humor and sigh in contentment at His grace that carries us through the valleys to the rolling hills and mountain tops that the light of His love has been saving for us until the perfect time.  And that time seems to be coming soon.

This is really a bunch of vague language that only piques attention but I'm afraid it's the best I can do right now, even if I'd really like to say so much more.  And that's annoying, right?  Well, just be happy for now and have a laugh or at least a smile and we'll see where God takes it.

I think God is just waiting to bring this joy into all of our lives if we'll just wait and follow instead of trying to lead Him in the way we want to go.  Dream BIG, but make sure you rely on God to direct those dreams and bring you the right person or people to share and support that dream.  For all you know, He's been preparing their heart for the same adventure all along.

Pondering My Meanderings...
with much herbal love,

August 8, 2013

The End is Here!

It's finally happened.
It's over and done.

When we began to prepare my youngest daughter's portfolio in preparation for her 11th grade homeschool evaluation, she asked me how many credits she needed to take in her senior year to graduate.  I pulled out past years and added this year's credits to it, and what do yo know?  She didn't need ANY more!  I added them over and over again to make sure I hadn't done something wrong.  I double checked the homeschool law for our state.  Nope she'd worked hard and I didn't realize how far she'd come.
Our evaluator reviewed her portfolio and the homeschool requirements and she agreed that there didn't seem to be any classes lacking.
To make a long story short, my youngest daughter is now a high school graduate and I am officially retired as a homeschool teacher!

Congratulations, Squirt!  You've become quite a young lady and I'm so proud of you!  I'll always cherish the time we spent together huddled over algebra, trying to work it out together.  And reading The Squire's Tales aloud over and over all those years ago.  All the reenactment fun we had, the soap demos and making butter.  Learning things together with you and Goosie!  May God bless you as you look to see what God has in store for your future!

Now what shall I do?
First, I think I'll sell some of these textbooks!  Ebay, anyone?

Pondering My Meanderings...
with much herbal love,

Way Down in Kokomo.... ....Indiana, that is.

My daughter's college roommate's wedding was this weekend. We really valued her friendship to our Goosie and wanted to wish her well, so when the invitation came, we made plans to travel from our PA home to Indiana for the big day. Goosie and our littlest pumpkin, now 17, made the trip two months earlier for the bridal shower. The night before they were to drive home (8 hours), a huge snow storm hit Indiana and they decided to stay another day until the roads cleared. That gave them the opportunity to attend a youth group sponsored by the bride's family. While there, Squirt met a group of young men and quickly became friends with in particular. From that night until the wedding, he never missed calling, skyping, or at the least txting several times every day. On the one month anniversary of their meeting, he sent her a bouquet of flowers with a sweet note. Both grew in their friendship and looked ahead to meeting again at the wedding. Now that time is here. Squirt was both anxious and excited but wasn't sure what would become of two kids, one 17 and the other 19, who lived 8 hours apart...but she knew she wanted to find out because their chance meeting because of the snow delay seemed like an event that was planned out just for her...and we all know what a sense of humor God has, besides the fact that he often works in mysterious ways. About a month before the shower, she ended a relationship with a young man who was a bit younger than her but had been a friend since childhood. Because of differences in their background, and some poor choices on his part, she decided that good friends don't always make good boyfriends. Much to her surprise, this Midwest farm boy of sorts, was able to show her the kind of attention and interest, from two states away, that she'd hoped for from the younger fellow but rarely received. Time for the road trip came and we arrived in good time. We found our hotel in Kokomo, checked in and got settled before heading down to meet her friend who had offered to cook dinner for us since we'd been traveling all day. How sweet. Since he and his brother have been on their own for about a year, they've been fending for working while the other finished high school overcoming some pretty big obstacles to keep their heads above water. In case I forgot to mention it, they are twins but you'd never know it from their appearance or personalities. But I'm meandering off my course here so let's get back to it. Dinner was delicious but because this was only the second face to face and MOM was tagging along, by invitation of course but pressure here, it was a little awkward at first. But as time went on, things loosened up a little and we all walked around the little town near their home and also where our friends live. Of course they were all busy with wedding preparations, etc., so we knew we wouldn't see them until the big event. Then we drove back to Kokomo to have a look around, found a little health food store and spent a little time getting to know the farmboy. Next day, his twin was graduating and Squirt went with her friend to see his brother graduate, after which I brought them back to the hotel to swim before the wedding.

Now for the wedding...all the things you can think to say about a lovely wedding would apply here. The bride was beautiful, the bridesmaids, too. Groomsmen all quite handsome in their gray and rose tuxedos. And since I'm particularly interested in one of said bridesmaids, my Goosie, who's been here helping prepare for the big day,...I thought she was the prettiest one of the lot! My favorite part of the ceremony was when the bride and groom exited the sanctuary to "I've Gotta Feelin'." The reception was fun with good food, fun and memories. Squirt and her date had a good time dancing and I think he enjoyed showing off his new friend to all his youth group pals. I sat with some interesting folks who have known the bride's family for a long time. They made me feel right at home.

 We helped tear down and clean the church gymnasium and loaded up all the beautiful decoations, etc. Then, even though it was late, our friends invited us to come to their house for a wind down visit. They have a lovely home that they built themselves and is an ongoing project much like our own home. We visited until our eyelids began to flutter and then headed back to the hotel, dropping Squirt's date off at his house on the way through. Our friends were shuttling folks to meet rides and flights Sunday morning so we went to church with the farmboy and his brother. What a nice church! Rock Prairie is in a little town called Tipton, Indiana. The folks there were so friendly! Shortly after the praise team greeted everyone, they invited everyone to move around for a meet and least 3 to 4 minutes long that led into another song by the praise team that continued the social fellowship for at least 5 more minutes! I thought it was so nice to spend that much time mingling. There was not a bit of pretention in any of the folks I met or observed this weekend. I began to understand about the friendly, relaxed, hospitable way of midwestern folks.

The sermon was about pride. The pastor's family met him on the platform and we watched as he and his sons humbled themsleves to his wife by washing her feet and admitting to taking her for granted, as well as complimenting her and apologizing for not trusting her wisdom in areas of her strengths. It was awesome to witness this.  The pastor had a very personable manner and was very sincere without making his wife too uncomfortable.

Although I want to be humble, I know that I often stray across the line big time. I think I may have done that with Squirt a few times in dealing with a few things lately, so when the pastor invited the congregation to step toward one of the many foot washing stations around the sanctuary with someone they wanted to honor or humble themselves toward, I asked her if she would allow me to wash her feet. She was surprised but agreed. And though they were feet that this mama has washed (and scrubbed!) many times throughout her childhood, I thought it was time for me to acknowledge that this child was no longer a little girl...and that I respect her for the many things she's become and just as much for the things she has stood firm on even when her choice wasn't the popular one. It was indeed a humbling experience that taught my pride a lesson...or two.

While we were connecting with our proper mindset about ourselves, the pastor was preparing for a baptism. I guess I don't get out much but I enjoyed seeing this with fresh eyes. The baptismal pool is under the platform and after removing some panels, we watched everything on two large screens at the sides of the auditorium. How nice to have such a close view of what was happening! The families of each person came up on the platform to witness the event. At times, there were about 20 people up there to support each one of them! I watched as an elderly father baptized his middle aged son with tears of joy on his face...I watched a man whom I got the impression was wanting to step up and be the Christian father and husband he believed he was called to be, baptize his children and then his wife as the pastor officiated. The story was that his request went like this, "You do the talking and I'll do the dunkin'!" These folks were loving the Lord, not by rules or tradition but from their hearts. I was blessed because of it.

Pondering My Meanderings...
with much herbal love,

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