Saturday, December 21, 2013

Home IS where the heart is!

Home is Where the Heart Is....

I have been contemplating that a lot in the past month. After selling our "house" several weeks ago it has  been made clear to me once more that it was just that..a HOUSE.

HOME, you see, goes with you where ever you are.

In the 46 years that I have been a wife and then a Mom home has taken on many shapes, forms and sizes. I have nested in an apartment, camp trailer, tent {with my husband and 4 children] a beautiful house and now will be settling into a motor home for a few months to come.

The past month has found us in "temporary" housing..offered by the kindness of our neighbors. Finding ourselves surrounded by someone else's treasures has been both a blessing and challenge all wrapped together. The most amazing thing happened each time a friend or family would walk through the door, "Welcome to OUHOME!!" The excitement of seeing one another and the love shared transformed the unfamiliar to all that really matters, bringing the warmth to the heart that only being home can do.

With most of the familiar treasures from life packed and stored it is an opportunity to incorporate some of the old into smaller forms of itself bringing that "look" of HOME. The comforting thing is knowing that minus the room, minus the "things" the love and hugs of family and friends will assure that we will never be "HOMELESS."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tis The Season

"Tis the season"

We are in a new phase of life and to say it is proving adventurous, exciting, challenging and sometimes a little unsettling would be putting it mildly.

 A little over a month ago we sold our home and have NO idea where life is leading us. Now, I must say, that a similar adventure when I was in my twenties (even with 4 small children) was much easier to deal with. (At least it was in my!)

Thanksgiving found us in a 'Temp" home provided by the giving hearts of our neighbors. We had a quiet day with our son and family counting the many blessings that had fallen our way over the years.    The next couple days brought our twin sons and their families 'home' to join us and fill the house full of the laughter and activity that can only be heard when children join the fray.
As the stories of 'do you remember when..." filled the house it proved the old saying "Home is where the Heart is" to be true.

Because we are nomads for a time and our belongings are hidden in boxes locked away in storage..our Christmas decorations and traditions are packed away for a time also. Now THAT has been a challenge for a Mom and Grandma's heart to settle into. But, new adventures are to be had and maybe some new traditions will work their way into our lives as we endeavor to keep the REAl reason for the season alive and well in our hearts.

This year found us sharing dinner with our son and family and then joining them for an evening of Christmas music and joy provided by a home school choir with our grandchildren as members.

We have traveled to Oregon and I was blessed to catch some sister time as we made our way to the Oregon coast for a little quiet time. Funny how even though it is "just us" now, we still require a little 'break away' from time to time. A walk on the beach always seems to be just the ticket!

Tomorrow we will head to Washington and settle in with our daughter and family for some old fashioned Christmas time. The days AND nights will be filled with the anticipation of Santa 's arrival, the sounds of children, and most importantly celebration of our Saviors birth!!  With a new baby in the mix we will surely be aware of that birth so many years ago, that now provides the REASON FOR THE SEASON, and all HIS birth has brought into our lives.

As I think of Christmas I am reminded that it is because of this gift of a tiny baby, sent from God Himself , that in this new era of my life, I can experience Peace, Joy and "settledness"even though all that is familiar is boxed and stored!

My prayer for this season is to be aware of those new traditions that may be in the making while my heart finds a new hunger to Seek after the ONE who made this season possible for us all.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Reflection on Thanks

I had probably the most quiet relaxing Thanksgiving Thursday of the last 40+ years. Due to the recent sale of our home and Jims' knee surgery life has been a bit on hold. We are living in a neighbor's home while Jim recuperates.  So the Thanksgiving level for provision and health is running high.

Thursday while taking a short break I was cruising through Face Book checking out my friends posts when I came upon one that encouraged a reply. The friend was commenting on the need in today's society for commitment, goal setting and taking responsibility.
Several friends had commented and so I of course added my thoughts, which led to my cause of reflection....

The year was 1965 and I was a Senior in high school (now I am just a SENIOR). My brother had run out of gas on a country road.  We were standing between his car and mine attempting to get things going again.  A drunk driver came out of nowhere and before we could remove ourselves from the mix we were crushed in the middle.
The result was a short hospital stay for my brother and a whirlwind of doctors, surgeries, tears and love, and a full year snatched from any form of "Normal" life for me.

It was was definitely another day and time. Neither the medical procedures nor the hospital accommodations were close to being what is common place today.  As a result my recovery time was extended and the opportunity for expressions of love and care by friends and family was limitless! Let me tell you they went above and beyond many times over.

Let me share a few of the reflections that have once again spurred a heart of Thanksgiving for some incredible acts of kindness by some amazing people....

The stranger who held my head in her lap while waiting for the emergency crew.

The hospital room was just that ..a my Senior class rented a TV...wheeled into my room, providing a source of distraction and moments of reprieve, thanks to the generosity of some pretty cool teenagers.

The principal arrived at the hospital the morning following the accident with a local pastor. The principal to assure me that I WOULD graduate with my class thanks to the generosity of the school district paying for a tutor. The pastor to offer a prayer for peace and healing.

At the time of the accident I had been working lunch hours, afternoons and weekends at the local Fountain and Variety. The customers were all part of a large community family. One of the rough and tough loggers provided stamps, stationary and grape vines (candy) so I could keep in touch with those on the outside :) A radio, lounge robe, (just right for the bed and wheelchair) purchased from donations of other customers.

A visit from a teacher, bringing his new baby to my bedside to share the joy of new life. :)

Daily visits, games and "outside food" from friends and family.

Visits nearly weekly from my high school sweet heart, later to become my husband, who traveled from college. He would often arrive late after a football game and the nurses would watch for his arrival, sneak him in and provide ice cream and goodies..their way of rewarding him for his love and sacrifice as they had become involved in my life.

A  'day with the class' made possible by the time and effort of many classmates and teachers.

All of these things were wonderful memories of  what could have been a horrific time in a young woman's life.
But as I interacted with my friends on FB one shared with me a nugget I had not known. She shared with me her memory of that time and mentioned remembering the morning that a prayer had been offered for my recovery over the intercom at school. REALLY!! ?? :) :)
That was a new revelation that brought the flood of memories and a heart renewed with Thanksgiving for a community that walked through a dark time with a young woman. They provided hope, and brought the light of love and  caring into a life spun out of control by an unexpected turn in life.

So many acts of kindness and words of encouragement that made it possible to imagine that things WOULD return to normal.

Yes, I did graduate with my class...have gone on to get married have 5 children, blessed with 16 grandchildren and friends to numerous to count.
This last September, 48 full years following what many thought would be a crippling accident, I walked the Susan G. Komen 3Day 60 mile walk, in Seattle,WA. The ability to complete the walk meant setting a goal, discipline in training and commitment to follow through.I finished strong and am continuing to train for the 3Day in San Diego 2014! A miracle to be shared and celebrated.
Every step I take is with gratitude and thanksgiving. But the greatest gift of all is taking those steps to bring HOPE to someone else. An opportunity to "Pay it Forward."