• yellow sunflower and red apple fruits on green table

    Thanksgiving

    For me, this year has been a journey through many hills and valleys.  Through it all I have been overwhelmed at God’s loving hand through each and every step. While I don’t understand all the God has allowed in my life, I am truly thankful for His grace and mercy that have seen me through and for His miraculous hand bringing about healing and restoration.    It is a year where I can truly agree with Billy Graham’s words: “Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”  While going through challenges this year I wondered if I would ever gain strength to get out of…

  • green leafed tree beside body of water during daytime

    Even Then

    Covid came to my classroom this week.  Unlike last year, our class is not required to quarantine.  While I am fully vaccinated, I fear for my little ones.  They are so vulnerable.  My risk level rises also.  It is hard walking into that classroom each day knowing that this disease is likely going to work its way through my students.   I have many mixed emotions over it all.  I feel anger over many things that I can’t control that affect my life – things like government decisions to open up everything this summer when it was inevitable that fall would see a fourth wave of this nasty virus.  Or……

  • sunflower during sunset

    The Baby Dress

    As I put the finishing touches on an infant dress for my granddaughter, the tears overwhelm me.  Each tiny stitch, made with love, draws out strong emotions.  While I am excited to have a precious new child to love, my thoughts continue to veer into sadness. I cry out to God.  “I don’t want to see my granddaughter in just this dress Lord, I want to see her in her wedding dress too.  Will that ever happen?”  The hurt and pain rush over me and it is hard to stop the flow of uncertainty and grief. When the biopsy shows difficult results, it is challenging to have hope.  The devil…

  • hay beside brown wood slab

    No Pain No Gain

    When aerobic exercise gained prevalence in the 1980s, a frequent message was no pain, no gain.  Exercise gurus encouraged their participants to work past their burning muscles, believing that would translate into much greater results.   We now know that this exercise philosophy is not the healthiest for our bodies.  Putting that stress on our muscles can lead to long term damage and discomfort.  Yet there are still many who think that making great gains, in many facets of life, is only achieved by going the distance through pain. While not something that medical professionals advocate, there is, however, a semblance of truth in the – no pain no gain…

  • rainbow over rippling sea in nature

    The Tide Turns

    As I sit down to write this, it is exactly one month since I was told I have cancer.  That day stands ingrained in my brain, with the days following feeling like I was riding turbulent ocean currents.  Over and over again I felt bombarded with waves of strong emotions and increasing fears.   Today, the tides of water move in a different direction.  I had a most interesting conversation with my oncologist.  The pathology from my recent surgery found absolutely no cancer in what was removed.  Her explanation is, that whatever abnormal cells existed were removed in the two biopsies I had. I am still in shock.  For months…

  • body of water

    Backpack Days

    I love to meet my students at the door each morning.  There are the usual morning tussles as they get their gear hung up and search their backpacks for needed items.  Those backpacks are an essential tool between home and school as notes and materials are passed back and forth between places.  It always amazes me what children think necessary to bring to school.  Their backpacks produce some surprising treasures some days. My children always used backpacks as well.  They were a handy catchall for all things school and helped in keeping my kids organized.  Most of the time, my children kept their packs relatively clean and orderly.   Still,…

  • green leaf plant beside river

    Peace

    Waiting is a challenging thing.  It is one thing to await a special event; it is quite the opposite process when time lingers before a challenging task or circumstance. The morning of my cancer surgery I struggle with what to do with my time.  I am not thrilled with my afternoon surgery appointment because I know that my mind will be racing in circles all morning, anticipating the events to come.  Trying to ignore my hunger pangs, as I hadn’t been allowed to eat for hours, I begin mindlessly surfing the internet to bide the time. Moments before I need to start the long drive to the hospital, an email…

  • scenic view of ocean during sunset

    Where Fear Treads

    Cancer.  It’s a word that strikes fear in even the strongest and heartiest of souls.  There are few people these days that haven’t had someone in their lives deal with this invasive disease.  No one wants or expects this diagnosis to be directed at them and it is extremely traumatic when the words are said – “You have cancer.” Just a few weeks ago I did something that has to rate as one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life – walk through the doors of my local cancer clinic.  As I struggled not to cry, I looked around at the multitude of people milling…

  • With This Ring

    Today is a day of cherished memories.  My wedding day was filled with joy and happiness, love and laughter.  Each year, as we celebrate another milestone, I am in awe of what God has done for me in providing my beloved husband.  He cares for me in a myriad of ways, the way God intends.  My life is full and rich with him in it. When my husband was ready to propose, he went to great lengths to find a unique engagement ring that would be especially meaningful to me.  Knowing my love for all things antique, my husband searched the world to find just what he wanted for me.…

  • white sailboat on water

    Shaking it Up

    I fondly remember waltzing around the room in the arms of my elderly uncle.  His joyful spirit encouraged me as I took fledgling steps in unknown dance patterns.  He was a spry little man, not a great deal taller than my ten-year-old self.  As he taught me the steps and whirled me around the room, his blue eyes sparkled with merriment.   His home was the scene of many special family events and celebrations.  They would peel back the carpet to reveal the polished hardwood beneath.  This dance floor served many as my father’s extended family loved to dance. I loved those events as a child.  It was a time…