A Tribute to Memories and Remembering – September 11th

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Today is such a hard day for so many people, sometimes there are just no words for the grief that can just be so consuming. Although I didn’t loose someone in the events that took place on 9-11-11, I just don’t think you can so the trauma of the event and not be affected by it in some ways.

For my family September 11th has a different meaning of loss. 10 years ago today my Grandma passed away from cancer. She was the light of our family, filled with kindness and joy. She loved everyone, always. No matter how much you messed up, she gave so much grace. She was the model for who I try to be everyday. I am so thankful to God for making her my Grandma.

For those of you who don’t know my Grandpa and Grandma raised me. My young life was full of turmoil because of a Father who had some major demons that eventually took his life and a Mom, who was trying to do the best she could possibly do for me. And it has taken many, many years for us to have a loving relationship and put the hurt and pain behind us. So when I ended up with my Grandparent’s at 2, it brought some much needed stability to my life.

As I grew up, my Grandma taught me so many things. Here are a few:

She taught me to respect everyone, no matter skin color, age, education level, etc.

She taught me to try new things, new foods, new activities, new friends.

She taught me to cook, clean and sew, I like to call it Loretta’s Wife In Training Class. And even though I’m not a wife YET, it has been so very helpful. Honestly, you have no idea how many buttons I sewed back on to clothes in College…

She taught me to love Jesus. Not just His word and who he was, but how to love Him with my life.

She taught me to be active and to exercise. She walked everywhere, I mean everywhere; shopping, school, restaurants; everywhere.

She taught me that I could do anything I wanted in life. She knew I was the creative one, that my life would be spent creating things. And she nurtured that and grew it.

So today, to anyone grieving a loss whether a fresh one or one you have lived with for some time. Know that you are seen, even if just by me. I pray that you will be filled with comfort, joy and happy memories of the people you have lost.

Have a very blessed day!
Heather

PS: the photo today is a tribute to my Grandma. She loved lily’s and so do I, so these are for her today.

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Where’s Jack? – September 1st

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The end of summer brings these Giants out, they guard our gardens, and reach toward the sky. Like the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, they start so small, like a little bean, and reach for the kingdom in the sky. I have felt like them recently, reaching for the kingdom in the sky, but never quite reaching it. And I am left to wonder what to do next with the wounded dreams. I suppose I will keep on dreaming, keep on hoping, it’s all I can do. Well that and keep climbing the stalk toward the dream, with trembling muscles and a wounded heart, and a smile on my face from the warm sun. I think before it’s done, I’m going to have even more freckles.

All I can do is lean into God in the midst of life, especially a life I don’t understand, all the time. For some reason the heart always hopes, that what God does, gives us the ability to hope when the dreams look like they will never happen.

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I know how you feel Mr. Sunflower, sometimes I want to hang my head too. On a sad note, we had a awful wind storm and most of these garden giants got blown down overnight. Sigh…

Have a blessed evening!
Heather

True Beauty – June 9th

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Been thinking about beauty a lot lately. Mostly because I at times don’t feel like a beauty queen, at least by the world’s standards. But I often wonder why we are so hard on ourselves. I think this was triggered by seeing a Facebook post by a friend. She was watching the Miss America pageant and posted that after watching it she needed to start eating more salads. And honestly my heart hurt, hurt for her and for a world that praises physical beauty like it’s the only thing that matters. How sad for us, honestly we are missing out on the best parts of people by only looking at the outside. Here’s a good analogy, let’s say that what we look like on the outside is the “wrapping paper” and what’s on the inside; our heart, talents, kindness; is the “gift”. Don’t we usually throw the wrapping paper away? If that’s the case we are missing out on the best parts of people if we are only looking at the “wrapping paper”.

Now back to my Facebook friend, she is a artist when it comes to cake! I mean a artist. They are amazing! If you were only looking at the outside you would miss her artist’s heart, her creativity, how she helps people, how she is someone’s daughter. How sad it would be to not know this about her, to dismiss her because of her “wrapping paper”.

Now I am not bashing people who are physically beautiful. But there has to be more to a person then the outside and the outside should not be praised to the point that it is. Because how many of us look through a magazine and get completely deflated because we can’t compete with that. Because those images aren’t realistic. I want to live in a society where I am known and valued for more then my “wrapping paper”, where I am seen for my heart, for how I love my friends and family, how I give my time, how my heart hurts for those who are discouraged.

Even now as I write this I am emotional, so emotional that I am holding back tears. Because this issue is something near to my heart my entire life. I have watched so many friends beat themselves up over this, I have best myself up over this. And so over time I have started to encourage the friends in my life, because they matter, they have value and their value shouldn’t be connected to their “wrapping paper”.

So today let’s encourage those who are around you, it may not be because of their physical looks but everyone needs encourage about something. Be it a dream, job, relationship; everyone needs a kind word. So today let’s do that, let’s encourage our friends and family and even our neighbors. Kind words mean so much.

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Beautiful Easter – April 21st

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Resurrection Day is one of my favorite times of year. I love getting ready with my family and going to church and having brunch. It’s always a celebration because of what the day means to me because of all that Jesus did for me. I think that is why I like being out in nature so much, nature speaks, actually cries out inn revival every spring. The trees and flowers, the birds and squirrels, the bees and butterflies; all frolic with newness and revival. It like the entire world is says something new has happened. How I love spring and all the newness it brings. I snapped this photo yesterday, it’s a flowering Crabtree, how lovely and such a sweet smell. That sweetness is so fresh on my mind right now, how sweet Jesus is to me and how gracious He has been. I hope you had an amazing Easter weekend and that is was warm and filled with revival and newness.

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Wisdom in Words – February 25th

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“Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” ~ G. K. Chesterton

This is such a true quote, how many times a day do I struggle with being really quite negative in my thinking about myself. And sadly it is so pervasive in everyone really, I was just talking to a friend over the weekend about this same thing. We need to realize how important our words to ourselves really area. Don’t tear yourself down, build yourself up today!

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Melting Ice – February 19th

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I think all this ice at Fellows Lake will melt in the next couple of days. It was funny to stand there and hear the popping of the ice as the weather has warmed up. It’s a beautiful thing after a very cold winter. I just love how desolate it looks in this picture, so quiet and peaceful, especially in the midst of a world at times that is just so crazy. I think if the violence that is picking up again in Ukraine and in the last day we have had our own horrible story here in Springfield, Missouri. It is sad at times how far this world and some of its people have gotten from peace and justice and really just acting with respect toward each other. At times it is just overwhelming, but then I realize I have a big God who can heal all things and make it all right.

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Prayer Night – February 14th

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Today’s new thing was decidedly different, not food related or a new place, but a new event. A time of prayer with new friends, sisters in Christ from all walks of life, different churches and different backgrounds. But a beautiful collection of God’s daughters! Truly an honor to pray with and for them tonight, to make new friends, to laugh and enjoy good food. What a beautiful thing, and it beats sitting at home and eating an entire box of chocolate and feeling sorry for yourself. Sorry the photo is blurry.

Have a blessed evening!
Heather

Valentine’s Day – February 14th

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“The event of falling in love is of such a nature that we are right to reject a intolerable the idea that it should be transitory. In one high bound it has overleaped the massive of our selfhood; it has made appetite itself altruistic, tossed personal happiness aside as a triviality and planted the interests of another in the center of our being. Spontaneously and without effort we have fulfilled the law (towards one person) by loving our neighbor as ourselves. It is an image, a foretaste, of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without rival. It is even (well used) a preparation for that.”

~ C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:10 ESV)

I am currently reading this book, it is so good and so challenging all at the same time. Interesting how sometimes the thing you want the most, long for the most, pray about the most, takes so long to happen. Oh the tears that have been shed over love or the lack of love, at least the romantic kind. Hopefully this to will end soon, I have certainly prayed a lot about it, and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. But I suppose the process of this is causing me to learn something, and grow my heart. Which it has, in so many way. If anything the idea of a Hollywood romantic comedy kind of love and relationship has stopped, reality of the hardness of relationships has set in. Like I said it is a growing and learning experience.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12, 13 ESV)

Remember to, you may not have a romantic love, but you always have love in your life. Be it family or friends, or most importantly to me the love of God, we all have love in our life. C. S. Lewis’ book The Four Loves speaks extensively on how important friendship is and how much it teaches you about love, the non-romantic kind of love. What a beautiful picture of life to not only have a romantic love but to have friendship love as well, it’s something that I have invited into my life more and more, because friends are the best! I have often been so grateful to God for the friendships he has given me, they are beautiful vibrant people who make life so much better. We talk, we laugh, we cry and in the darkest times we pray. What could be better then that.

So single or married, divorced or widowed, orphaned, lonely, whatever you may be, know that love doesn’t have a relationship status. It is beyond that, far beyond romantic, far beyond friendship, love is transformational for all who truly experience it. That would be my hope for all of you, that you would experience love in it’s truest and purest form.

All that to say, Happy Valentine’s Day! And know that you are loved and cherished!

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Something New Everyday – January 31st

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My Birthday is in February and I have decided I am going to try something new each day for the entire month. I don’t know that it will be big things, but brave things I think is what I am actually want to do. Trying new foods and activities outside of my comfort zone, because it takes being brave and actually doing it. I think as I go alone I will post things about my new daily thing here, just for the fun of it and accountability, and because maybe it will birth in me a desire to continue this beyond just February. Which is my hope in the midst of this year!

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

Have a blessed day!
Heather