Sunday, August 31, 2014

From My Favorite Posts - "How I Met Your Father"

Since I will be away from my computer more than usual the next couple of weeks, I thought I would post some of my favorite "old posts" from the past few years of blogging. My hubby, Ken and I met close to 30 years ago. We've been married 27 1/2 years today!! (January 31, 1987) I love telling our love story, as it is a bit unique. I also am thinking how thankful I am to have him in my life. In 5 days (September 5) he will turn 58 years young!! We are actually taking a long-needed 2nd honeymoon/vacation, just the two of us!(no kids) Yes, this is one of my favorite posts. If you happened to read it the first time, I hope you don't get too burnt out by reading it again!

 from Sunday, January 27, 2013

How I Met Your Father....

No, this post isn't about the T.V. show. 
That actually is called, "How I Met Your Mother." 
But you might say it is the story of how my hubby and I met.(I never have written our story out before, so I decided this is a great time to do it, with Valentines Day around the corner. Plus our 26th wedding anniversary is Jan. 31st. Maybe our son or daughter will keep this story to tell their kids someday.

I think our story is a little bit unconventional, at least for someone like me. Today, it's a little bit less exciting, with the internet and how technology has come so far. But for the 80's, it was unique. I also believe there were some events that made it obvious that God had His hand in bringing us together. 


It was my last semester of senior year of college.(Around March of 1984, I think.) My little sister, who at the time was working in our hometown, was living at home, as was I, to save money. We shared a lot with each other about our relationships. A few times she had helped me find a date at the last minute or even helped me to get bold enough to ask a guy I liked out. (I was a little shy back then. But she definitely wasn't.) 

There was a free newspaper (called "The Paper". Very original, huh!) The Paper had a section that advertised singles wanting to meet other singles. I guess you could say it was what people did before internet dating sites became popular, let alone computers. I don't even think the internet was discovered yet. (Yikes, I'm getting old!) My sister would write into the singles ads to meet guys, as well as answer ads guys posted. One day, we were just looking through the ads for her to see if there was any that looked interesting, when I came across one that caught my eye. I wasn't looking for someone to date, but for some reason, his ad struck me. My sister said, "Why not just write to him and see if he is interested." I was like, "No way!" That just wasn't my style. But my sister was pretty persistent and eventually she talked me into it, but only if she would help me write the letter. How the service worked was that a person would respond to an ad (which had a specific number) and send it into the paper, who then sent the letter to the corresponding person who wrote the ad. Then that person had the option of responding or not responding. I really didn't expect to hear from him and put it behind me. But about a week later, I got a phone call from a guy named "Ken".  I was so shocked that I almost didn't know what to say, but I must have somehow impressed him over the phone, because we decided to meet the following week. I was so flustered that I forgot to even get his phone number. After thinking about our plan to meet in a parking lot in his home town 30 miles away, at night, alone, I started to panic. I didn't even know what he looked like (so it was a blind date.). And I couldn't call him to cancel, since I didn't get his number. My sister, once again, came to my rescue. She had been going out with a guy, also from the singles ads, and said they would just come along and if this guy didn't like it, we would just leave.  I was quite impressed, for some reason, when "Ken" told me to look for a blue Camero. (Oooh, a sportscar!)

The evening finally arrived. My sister, her date, and I headed for Warsaw to get to the meeting place. We got there a little early and kept our eyes pealed for a shiny blue Camero. All of a sudden, a rusty old, loud Camero pulled into the lot. Oh, boy! That wasn't what I expected. He got out of the car and we did introductions. Obviously, he was a little set back to see two other people with me, but later said he understood my cautiousness. I thought right off, this guy is very cute! Tall, with dark, curly hair! He worked out regularly and was pretty buff, too! We had dinner at the Pizza Hut across the street. The conversation between us all went really well, so we decided to go bowling, after having eaten. The bowling alley was down the street a little, so Ken offered to drive us all over in his car. I didn't realize it at the time, but my poor hubby-to-be wasn't the richest guy on the block. The whole floorboard of the back seat had holes in it and we got what I would describe as free air conditioning. Bowling was fun, too. In fact, I got the best score ever and haven't been able to top it since.(149, if you must know. I'm not that great a bowler.) By the end of the date, I'd decided I really liked this guy and would enjoy seeing him again.

The following week, Ken called me. We talked for awhile. The conversation seemed to go well. Then, right before saying goodbye, he said that he had something to tell me. Oh, no! What could it be? "Well," he kind of mumbled, "I just felt I should tell you that I'm divorced." Oh! I  swallowed, O.K. "And something else. I have two kids." I was so flabbergasted that no words came out. "Is that O.K. with you? If not, I understand." He failed to mention this in his single's ad. (This was God intervention #1, for I know I would have never responded to the ad if I had known he was divorced, with kids). Well, he was so nice, I just couldn't  bring myself to tell him that I didn't date divorcees with kids! So, I said, "No, that's fine." We decided to go out again, and the relationship began.

About 5 months later, I was a college graduate, deciding what I wanted to do with my life. Our church(denomination) had a short-term(up to 1 year) volunteer mission program for young people in the U.S. I had considered missions and wanted to try it. There was a need for teacher's aids working with deaf and hearing impaired kids in Ohio. Since I had taken some sign language classes in college, I felt this was a perfect match for me. My relationship with Ken had kind of come to a stand-still. He wasn't really ready to marry again yet and I wanted to go on the missions in Ohio. So we parted ways as friends. In reality we didn't even stay in touch with each other after I left for Ohio. 

Fast forward to 1 1/2 years later. I moved back home, after completing my time in missions and spending some extra time working in Ohio. A week after my move home, Ken called me just to see how I was doing. Again, I was floored! "How did you know that I just moved back here?" He replied, "I didn't. I just happened to think about you and thought I would see what you were up to." (To me, this was God Intervention #2. He brought us back together just at the right time.) We started dating again...well, it took a little work at first. I was recovering still from a broken relationship with a guy I dated while in Ohio. I actually almost ruined our chance to get together again, when I kind of was rude and abrupt on our first time meeting again. But, thankfully, Ken was willing to give me another chance to see if I was just having a rough night. I made sure I was a lot nicer after that. I also had to get over the shock that he really didn't have naturally curly hair. The first time we dated, he had a permanent (Definitely an 80s thing). When we met the second time, no curls were on his head! 

A year later we were married and the rest is history!

Last year, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows on a beach in South Carolina!
So many wonderful memories! So many amazing times with the man I love!

Linking over at these blog parties:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monumental Moments!

Have you ever felt the excitement and anticipation of a great adventure that is ahead of you? That is what the past few weeks have been like for me, as the earnestness I've had begins to pay off and dreams are becoming a reality.

The avidity of the next few months grows. I feel that I'm going to experience some monumental moments....yes, I like that description.

"Monumental Moments"

I just know it!
Some will be long awaited experiences that have been a dream of mine for years! Other moments will include new endeavors, with both my blog and in person. I may even have some moments of change in my physical status...but that all will have to wait to be seen. 

Today, I'm living fully in the moment! I want to enjoy life in it's fullest...whether it's with my family, friends, co-workers, or even new acquaintances. 

"Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!  Live full lives, full in the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:18-19 (The Message)

One way to memorialize those Monumental Moments is by listing God's many blessings and gifts in my life at "Multitudes on Mondays", as I  Dare to Share.
1,773 - Spending time with my two favorite guys!
 1,774 - And enjoying a delicious pizza, besides.
 1,775 - Any time with my son is monumental!
 1,776 - Enjoying the beauty and sounds of a flowing brook!
 1,777 - Enjoying creative artwork in a large college town.(Bloomington, IN, home of Indiana University)
 1,778 - Always finding a reason to smile, when I'm with my hubby!
1,779  - The excitement keeps building as my hubby and I plan for some time away.
1,780 - Even as I go through some physical struggles, I feel God's presence and care over me. My fears are calmed and I find peace in Him alone.

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Some Exciting Things Happening, Lately!!

Hello, friends!!
I'm SO excited you are here today! There are so many things God is doing within my life and as a writer/wife/mother, serving the Lord, I'm bursting at the seems to tell you all about it...but I'm only able to share a little bit at this time. :(
So many new and fresh things are just in their infancy stages. Yet I can see how God has and will continue to use them to encourage others and allow me to answer my heartfelt calling from God.

First, I want to share a dream and a tug from God that I've had for several months. I have spent many hours in prayer, as to what He would have me do. Back when my son attended middle school, I attended a group called, "Moms In Touch". You may have heard of it. This international organization has been in existence many years, but have since my days of being involved, changed their name to "Moms In Prayer".  They mostly pray for some of our elementary, middle, and high school students, teachers, and leaders.  But I have felt the draw to also pray for our college students, professors, and young adult children, who also struggle with issues in their lives. We can't stop praying, once they graduate from high school. Anyways, to make a long story, longer...I have felt the tug to start a Moms In Prayer group in my area for not just our adult children, but those who are prodigals, that have wondered from the faith, also.

Then, last week I got this message on my Facebook page about an upcoming event...
Put on by none other than "Moms In Prayer" International. Once again, I felt the tug to take some kind of action. I gave the info. to my church leaders, but we have a very large church and they are so involved in the next few months in other activities, that it may not be something we do during our 3 services. That didn't stop me, though. I have set that day, Sunday, September 21 as an event on my Facebook page. I'm planning on spending time in prayer that day, probably with some sisters in Christ, as well as spend some time online, asking for specific prayer for our teachers, students, etc. If any of you would like to participate online with this event, feel free to go over to my page and join....

Bless Our Schools Sunday

 Along with this, I have felt that somehow, the Lord is wanting me to tie this in with my use of the internet/blogging. I will be sharing some more exciting news on this subject in the next 2 to 3 weeks. So keep checking back in here.

God is so good! I want to give Him all the glory for what He's doing and will be doing in future days!! 

I  continue to share  God's many blessing and gifts in my life at "Multitudes on Mondays", as I  Dare to Share.

1,765 - Enjoying reading some books I purchased recently, as well as a book that was a gift from my mom.

1,766 - Having another awesome time with our Ohio friends, who came to stay with us, while they visited their daughter, who attends college here.
1,767 - Enjoying God's beauty in the flora that adorns my yard!

1,768 - Visiting with our older neighbors, who don't get out very often...what lovely people!!
1,769 - Being reminded to make a joyful noise unto the Lord! ( a decorative rock in my garden area).
1,770 - Attending a church staff Bible study, where several members shared their recent mission trip encouraging!!
1,771 - The excitement of planning for a trip to the coast of Maine! (Several weeks to go.)

1,772 - Hearing from my son, who said we could come to visit him this coming weekend!! Yayyyy!!!

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Straight From My Heart: Expectations

Hello, and welcome to my blog! Today, I want to share Part 2 of a series I've been writing, on the subject of disappointment. To read part 1, go HERE

I left you with a few questions in my last post that are good for anyone who goes through times of disappointment to answer...

1. What causes me to be disappointed?
  • Expectations -To cling to your expectation is to decide ahead of time how things need to turn out for you to be happy.
  • Disillusionment - When life doesn't go as we hoped, some degree of disappointment is normal. But at times, that can become disenchantment and develop into deep frustration or even anger. 
  • The Role of Expectation 
    • "Giving up on expectation so we won’t be disappointed is not really a viable option. Much of our excitement and enthusiasm in life comes from eager expectation. We look forward to things when we anticipate a desirable outcome. In fact, often times that excitement makes up a large percentage of the joy we experience."
    • "Expectation can also work the other way. If we are anticipating a painful outcome we don’t call it excitement, do we? No, we call it anxiety. In the case of a negative expectation (anxiety), then we are glad when things don’t turn out the way we expected. It’s a relief instead of a disappointment."
 When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be. -Mandy Hale by deeplifequotes, via Flickr
2. What can I to do with the very real sense of loss, disappointment, and heartbreak I encounter along life’s way?

Know the difference between expectation and expectancy (or HOPE):
 - Expectation is premeditated disappointment, often characterized by unfulfilled desires.
 - Expectancy involves faith.
  •  "To embrace expectancy is to engage your faith that God will move on your prayers AND that He may come through in a way that’s different than you expect.”
  • "To the Christian, hope is the knowledge that we are being changed for the better as we trust in God's promises (Romans 8:28). It is the conviction that no matter the circumstances, God's plans for our lives are "for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11b NLT). 
 The best things in life are unexpected - because there were no expectations. Eli Khamarov
3. How do I keep my disappointments from tangling me up, from strangling my joy and skewing my perspective?
  • I need to release the picture of how I think things should be. It’s time to hand it over to the One who knows me best and loves me most 
  • I also need to give Him time and space to work in, through, and around me. This is often the most difficult thing to do. It requires patience and giving up "my" agenda.  
  • I have to rejoice in the Truth and through that knowledge, realize that my disappointments are stepping stones to God's great blessings for my life and His glory. Again, not easy. It requires trusting what we can't see or even imagine.That's why knowing His Word becomes so important.

4. What does God want me to do with my expectations?

6 Steps to Overcome Disappointment... (This has only been my own path of dealing with disappointment. It may not be others experiences or needs.)

What I need to do:

  1. Let myself grieve. Things have not gone the way I wanted. My hopes and expectations have been defeated. I need to spend some quiet time being sad, understanding that my emotions are just that...emotions, and "this, too shall pass."
  2. Pray.  Spend some time talking to my Heavenly Father. Tell Him my heartache. 
  3. Listen and wait. Big things happen when we pray. Sometimes, they are blessings beyond our expectations.
  4. Search for the good. This is the time when it’s hardest – and most important – to find the good, grab onto it with both hands, and celebrate it.
  5. Adjust my expectations -  It might make sense not to set my goals so high. But who wants to settle for mediocrity? The proper balance can be elusive, but also worth the effort in finding it.
  6. Believe in God’s plan. "Paul found strength and hope through his friendship with God. He wrote, "If God is for us, who can ever be against us?(Romans 8:31-32)  The more we stake our security in God's enduring love, the less power disappointments will have to undermine our hope."
Read more at "Feels Like Home"
 and "Dealing With Disappointment"
 Bible Verses and Quotes | Shinzoo Quotes
5. What to do when you feel disappointed in God?
  • Especially, when you pray day in and day out, week after week, month after month ... and nothing changes.
  •  It’s hard to say it out loud: “I’m disappointed with you, God!” (Do we honestly think we will shock God if we tell Him how we really feel? Do we imagine that we do our souls any good by pretending?)
  • Listen, God is big enough and His love is fierce enough to deal with anything we feel or must face. So let’s stop right here and acknowledge the truth: life can deeply disappoint us.
  • This is a chance to learn and grow, a pathway to real hope. For this reason, we must learn to recognize disappointment as a turn in the tide and not the end of the journey.

Trusting God in Disappointment

Are you weighed down by disappointment in yourself, in others, or in God? Tell Christ the whole truth. We will never understand this side of heaven the depth of the love of God. But we have a glorious invitation to trade our disappointment for the sure and certain hope we have in Christ."
Psalm 34:18 - The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
 Psalm 40:1-3 "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord."  

The Christian life can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride when strong hope and faith collide with an unexpected unexpected storm. 

I don't think we should stop hoping -
  • I know for me, the lessons I've learned and the intimacy with God I've gained in the process of not getting what I hope for, is probably more impactful than the excitement I would experience when my hopes are actually fulfilled. 
  • The bottom line is that God has a master plan and He will work everything together for our good, whether we get what he hope for at any given time or not. At the end of the day - our true hope in God will not disappoint.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. 
For we know how 
dearly God loves us, 
because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5
New Living Translation