Tag Archives: family

Shifting Sand?

Today's post is a follow-up to That Time of The Year .  Cheryl, a long time friend, ended her comment with this;
After they are gone I don’t know what I’ll do with myself…..
Cheryl is a mom of two, who has given 110% to raising her children and in a few short years, they will be on their own. My first thought when I read her comment was 'how could she say that?' My sneaking suspicion and  judgemental thought was 'how could she not have anything to do after her kids are gone? Was her entire life her kids? But truth be told, she is me. I've had the very same thoughts and voiced some of my fears to some of you. You can check my categories posts to find me talking about some of those fears. Yes, our kids leave a void, sometimes a cavern so gaping we don't know how it can it be filled.  Again, we can fill in the blank about what we fill our lives with and then that thing, person or how we live is stripped away. It's not just mothers who ask, 'now what?' Friends, we don't have to be mothers to have the feelings of life turned upside down. Life is ever-changing, daily joys and sorrows are proof of that as my husband gives me a daily dispatch on the community he pastors. The cavern of 
  • A spouse passing away
  • Retirement bringing the same question of 'what's next'?
  • Cancer report brings us to the end of ourselves.
  • The ongoing bad news around our nation and world floods the evening news.
You fill in the blank. There is nothing new under the sun, but when it happens to you or me, it is new. Unexpected, devastation, depression, and fears are just some of the raw emotions we can face. But the good news is... There is the gospel of good news. There is a Savior we can know who will fill the cavern, our hearts, giving us joy and peace that cannot be explained.  I took the timely advice of Elizabeth Elliott, which I heard many years ago. 
Just do the next thing.
Focus on what is before, not focusing on the future.
  • Prepare for the future today by saturating our hearts and minds in the living Word of God.
  • Pursue spending time getting to know a loving Heavenly Father.
  • Point your focus on Jesus every single day.
  • Practice loving God and our neighbor every day.
Today is the day to do the next thing, gaze on our Lord and glance at the shifting sand of daily life circumstances. Because, like the sand that is easily blown about, so our days come with changes and challenges.  May we find our foundation not in the shifting sand but in Jesus, who never changes. 
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled? (How Firm A Foundation~~John Rippon)

Vacation ’15

I was born and raised in Iowa and have been back to my first home to visit more times than I can count. My brother-in-law, Mike, who is the director for Marshall County Conservation, took our family to a place we have never been, and I was naive' to the fact it existed. Marietta Sand Prairie is only a few miles from the farm I grew up on. On our recent vacation, we walked through this protected sand prairie at sunset. It was the highlight of a hot and humid day.Sand prairie     Sand Prairie 4     Sand Prairie 5Hopefully, my sisters and mom won't mind having their pictures here.  I'm not much for selfies, but I couldn't resist these crazy girls that I love. Julie and Janet could be twins and I've often wondered if I was adopted. For those of you who know my extended family, you will often hear me say I got the Lynk's gene. And just a reminder about my beautiful hair... it was the end of a very hot and humid day!!!Sand Prairie 6 Sand Prairie 2Check back for more Vacation 2015 posts. I'm still recuperating from driving....well riding...1000 miles Monday into Tuesday morning. Rob put the pedal to the metal and we drove straight through. These two clowns kept us company. Vacation '15Do you know what the best part about coming back from vacation is? Vacation '15 1Finding money in the bottom of the dryer after doing the first vacation load of laundry.    

I Confess

I confess... I sinned this week. I confess the past six months have not always been the easiest. Why am I always looking for easy anyway? Yep, this post may ramble, but you will keep reading, right?!! It was September 2014 when Justin and Melissa decided to make good on their threat  dream to leave New York and move far west to Wyoming. Not two weeks later, I drove with Hannah cross country to move her to Arizona where she is happily living and working.  In January, Kelsey left dreary, snowy, cold NY for St. John Virgin Islands. She too, is having a blast. Who wouldn't where it's hot and humid in the winter? Lauren still lives at home, but is busy with school, youth group and friends, and I know she too is dreaming and planning of what her future might hold. None of this is new 'news', I've written about family here before. So, what's this about confessing sin? If you  know me well, I have a few mantras, one being, family is huge. Extended family, siblings, my own dear family, church family and life long friends. I love BIG. Is it possible to love too much? Is it possible to sin when I put people whether friends or family in the place that only God should be? Is Jesus, who loves me more than I could ever imagine at the center of my heart, mind and soul, or is it my loved ones? Enter sin. I won't go into the gory details. If you want details, ask the guy who has loved me no matter what when I put my kids where the Lord should be. I confess they have been my joy for a long time. And now that they are adults and we are beyond the terrible twos and the challenges of raising teenagers, I love them and my heart is full of joy over the beautiful people they have become, which I credit the Lord for. Earlier this week I found myself focusing on what I no longer have and not what I do have. I confess I was sad for me, I was focusing on me, that day was a day filled with self and self-pity. I will spare you the rest, but will tell you what God did for me that evening. I was reading in the Psalms, Psalm 87 and the last verse declared me guilty of finding joy somewhere else.
Singers and dancers alike will say, 'My whole source of joy is in you'.
Owww!! I was guilty of trying to find joy solely in my circumstances, my family, my surroundings, when all along my WHOLE source of joy should be found in God. Yes, our families, homes, jobs, friends, hobbies and pastimes can bring us joy, but if any of those things are my whole source of joy, well...I have sinned. I am the first one to say God gives everything to enjoy( 1 Timothy 6:17), but our focus should be on God who richly provides all things to enjoy. We find ourselves with adjustments, seasons of life and transitions. Babies grow up and live their own lives, jobs come and go and we find retirement brings a whole new way of life. Sickness and death interrupt our tranquil lives, and the snow never stops in the Northeast. Despite circumstances and the weather, the goal is to find our whole source of joy in God bringing true contentment. (Philippians 4:11)