Category Archives: Empty Nest

Where are you Autumn?

Thanks to a local car commercial, we who live in Central Illinois will be saying much today…

It’s hot, Bob!

You have to live around here to understand…but if the surface of the sun has any kind of connotation for you, that’s what this week has been feeling to us here in Central Illinois.

The farmers out harvesting seem out of synch with weather that makes us wish the pools were still open.

For loved ones on the East Coast, though, as they wade through what used to be their streets and basements…it’s a different kind of struggle.

But still…too much.

And I am just going to say that for some sweet people I love, many are in a spiritual season of too much of the bad stuff and not enough of the good stuff and it’s hard.

Tensions keep heating up and it’s hot, Bob.

Or the waters are rising around your neck and you are just tired of dog-paddling every. single. day.

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There are seasons when we cry out to God and are being as still as we can be and yet … nothing.

We have confessed…and repented…and prayed…and spoken the Word boldly.

And yet, nothing.

The silence is deafening.

Our praise and worship seems to bounce off the ceiling and mock us as it lands around our tear stained faces.

The mess not only isn’t going away, it’s multiplying.

And we cry out…it isn’t fair.

It isn’t supposed to be this way.

But this, my dear friends, is when the rubber of the faith meets the hard road of the journey.

It’s a marathon friends.

Not a foot race.

He IS faithful.

He HAS NOT forsaken us.

He WILL do and accomplish and complete ALL that He has purposed to do in YOUR life and in the life of those you love.

Hang in there.

Be strong in Him.

You are loved <3

 

Monday musings <3

 

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Happy Monday!

We had a full weekend that just covered all the seasons of life. 

Prayers covered precious people who buried loved ones. Other prayers covered friends as they held vigil in waiting rooms for new grand babies to arrive. 

I survived the gamut of emotions watching the Packers and Viking’s game. 

There was a wedding thrown in and some sweet and bittersweet conversations with friends going through good and tough times. 

It was all the events of life rolled into a few days and I am hitting the ground running this sunny and hot Monday morning. 

So just a quick word of encouragement to start your day. 

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God speaks in themes and for the past week, just about every book, devotion or sermon has centered on Abram/Abraham. 

He was the topic of our pastor’s teaching yesterday morning and the portion of a book I marked up earlier in the week with hearts, exclamation points and much underlining. 

The part that jumped out at me and has meant the most comes from the description of God making a covenant with him. 

In Genesis 15: 9-21, God instructs Abram in what seems bizarre to us in 2018 PETA driven America. 

He tells him to gather a select group of animals – certain gender and age…and split them in half. They are to be laid in such a way that a pathway is open between the two halves. 

One of our class members shared this was the most serious of covenant’s because both parties would walk between those carcasses and symbolize their intent to keep the contract they were making. 

They were, in essence saying, may this be done to the one who breaks this covenant. 

But as we read the passage in Genesis, we see that only God passed through. 

It was God who made the fullness of the Promise, and God who keeps the promise…and when Israel…or any descendant of Abram…even an adopted daughter like yours truly here…breaks the covenant…it isn’t us who pays. 

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God paid with the death of His Son for our breaking of the covenant. 

When we look at the Cross, we see God paying our debt. 

To steal the words of a beautiful song…Amazing love…how can it be…that You would die for me? 

Be blessed with this truth today. 

NO matter where you go. 

NO matter what you do. 

If you are IN HIM…you are covered <3

For the long haul <3

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This week on the blog, I have been looking at a passage from Ezra that I came across in my daily reading through the Chronological Bible. 

In Chapter 7 of this book, Ezra has received the blessing of the pagan King Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. Ezra is given a letter of passage, provisions and the oomph to insure that the powers that be along the way also contribute to this band of people who are making their way back home. 

The focus of my thoughts though comes from the portion of Scripture found in Chapter 8, verses 21-23.

Because as Ezra and the people were ready to set out across around nine hundred miles…with women and children and elderly people…all they owned…he stopped, dropped and prayed. 

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He proclaimed a fast and cried out to God to protect them as they made their way.

They were toting a fair amount of gold, thanks to the King. 

They were vulnerable.

But they had been bold.

Ezra had told the King he didn’t need an army to go with him and the people. 

Apparently Ezra had boasted in God. 

And it wasn’t because he didn’t believe his God was able that he stopped. 

It was because as he and the people who had settled and made a life now stood with all they knew of their comfort zone behind them and the vast unknown before them, what they knew for sure was…they were vulnerable to attack. 

There were enemies along the way who had great interest in what they could pillage of their treasure and no interest at all in their well fare and safe passage.

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I am thinking this morning of some children I love dearly scattered across this vast country of ours. 

They carry a treasure of eternal value in their sweet little jars of clay. 

There is an enemy that desires nothing more than to sideline and strip them of it. 

He is powerful and crafty and has many agents working at his bidding. 

But I have boasted in my God. 

So this morning, I bend my knee to the God of heaven and I ask Him for safe passage for those I love as they cross the unknown turf of today and head toward the promise of tomorrow. 

Is the Bible relevant to us today?

Oh yes. 

It is indeed. 

Be blessed dear ones.

You are loved and your passage is being covered in prayer today <3 

Because it seems like it’s been for forever…

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Good morning to you on this post-Labor Day weekend Tuesday.

I am moving incredibly slowly this morning.

Trying to figure out how to best be efficient with the day ahead while I am also considering how soon is too soon to take an afternoon nap.

Probably should wait until after “noon.”

Since I have nothing profound to share with you, maybe just some pictures of our weekend and then it’s off to tackle the To Do list that is lurking around the kitchen counter somewhere near the calendar….

I will do a quick summary of the weekend highlights and let you get on your way <3

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Friday night, we went to our second game of the season…

this time to see our favorite cheerleader more than the actual game…

and since we had to eat dinner…

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there was this.

We decided I could do a fall football game food review so I can report that the Maroa Forsyth team made a pretty tasty burger last weekend.

Since I am not and expert on pork tenderloins, I have nothing to compare this one with but  Russ said Mt Zion serves up a good one.

I worked on Saturday and Russ held down the home-front.

He reported that the grocery and post office lines are ridiculous…yes, yes they are.

And I am so grateful he embraced the wait so I don’t have to do those tasks today <3

Sunday we headed to St Louis after church to attend…

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with these two…

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And yes this is a spliced together picture because we just snapped on the way to the car after dinner.

Details.

On Monday we celebrated Labor Day by laboring in the yard and taking a long walk.

Soooooo hot….

Then dinner with some friends and time to read before we crashed.

This morning we got a text from Rachel with pictures…

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pc/Rachel <3

Graham checked off one of his summer bucket list wishes…he caught a monarch.

In case any of you are activists for this beautiful butterfly, no worries…mom also said that they had a talk about what it might feel like to be a glorious winged creature reduced to living in a cage and so they set him free…

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pc/Rachel <3

And that is how we ended the Summer of 2018 <3

How about you ?

 

 

 

Rest stops on the journey <3

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It’s going to be a hot Labor Day weekend if the weather man is correct, but I love the perspective of the newscaster this morning.

Six months from now will be February and we know it will most likely be intensely cold – so nothing out of the ordinary for us to still be embracing the heat and humidity even though we long for all things Fall. 

Are you traveling this weekend?

As I remember back to my school days in Kentucky, back when we returned to the classroom after Labor Day, this would have been the week my mom and dad would head down to the Smokey Mountains for our last hurrah before their schedule revolved around my education and activities. 

We would stay at  a park with a pool.

By day we swam or made treks up into the mountains and by night we would wander the shops and such of Gatlinburg. This was back in the day before Dollywood and miles of developed area we know it to be now. 

Back when riding the chair lift up the side of a hill overlooking the few blocks that made up the tourist area was akin to going to Six Flags. 

My parents loved traveling and we logged many miles every summer after my dad retired from the Air Force. 

I read a lot of books and my peer group consisted of people who are my current age or older. We played cards and I listened to their stories and many of my fondest memories involve time spent with them in their world.

Road traveling in a trailer means you take your home with you and so when I pass by rest areas on the highway, I think back to what a haven those were for us. 

We would pull off for our lunches and while my dad opened up the windows to get a breeze going and my mom fixed sandwiches, I would walk our dog over to the open area to burn off energy for both of us. 

It was so much better than those places in travel where no place had been provided and we would take our breaks along the side of a highway.

The trailer would shake as cars and trucks sped by. Walking Tiger meant high stepping through the dry grass and tall weeds in the ditch alongside the edge of pavement. 

We need rest areas in life. 

We need places where we can hole up for a while and refresh ourselves. 

God tells us He leads us to these places. 

I hope and pray you will take some time this weekend – no matter what your schedule is like – and embrace the celebration of Labor Day.

Be thankful to God for the work He has provided, but also take time to just rest. 

God bless you in whatever you do and may you sense His peace leading you to quiet places.