The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Friday, October 28, 2016

Walking the Path

End of October.

A day off afforded me the opportunity to walk in the woods again.  I really don't have words today, so I'll just leave these photos here for you to enjoy.

Sometimes it's just easier to walk and let my mind wander.  Just walk and look around, and see things through the camera lens of my eye, then hold my camera up and capture that scene, that thing I see, the frame and the canvas through my eyes.

Even in death, nature can be beautiful, the browns and grays twisted together against a backdrop of colored spots and leaves.

Leaves--green, yellow, red.  They've served their purpose and have fallen to the ground to become part of something bigger, to change and continue to serve a new purpose.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring for me, as I stare down at the leaves at my feet.

I love to pause before entering the spruce grove, and take in the scene as those magnificent trees welcome me.  I know it'll be quiet inside, a hint of breeze, softly swaying trunks.  I love the silence of the grove.

And I love this tree, out on its own, just standing there bursting with color.

Help me stand, Lord.  Help me walk.

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


October 24.

What does one do when one loses one's job?  Go to a hockey game, of course.  This opportunity came along, and Fernando jumped on it so I could experience attending my very first hockey game.

I didn't bring my camera.  This was an experience I wanted to just be in.  I let Fernando take a few photos with my phone, and we mostly watched the game and cheered.

It was a super exciting game, a tied score and overtime, and sudden death.  The Blackhawks lost after several shots on goal back and forth, but it was still a thriller and I'm glad we went.

See?  I can still smile when things around us have crumbled.  And I can smile knowing I have one more experience with my hubby to treasure and remember.

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Next Thing

End of October, 2016.

I'm posting this photo of me, smiling.  It's a numbing thing to do, but I do it anyway.  Fake it 'til you make it, they say.  It's really true.  I put on my makeup, I get dressed, I even ask Thomas to take my picture, smiling.

I look around me and see--my home (probably bigger than 97% of the homes owned by people around the world).  My health (probably in the top 5% of healthy people in the world for my age).  Yes, and my age--doing great for my age.  My family--five amazing guys still running to and fro in my life, still intertwined, making me crazy but making me laugh, too.

I'm blessed.  I have to look around and see.  And I'll tell you something.  This doesn't automatically give me the warm fuzzies.  Does it change my perspective?  Definitely.  I have so much, so I can't complain, and I shouldn't despair.  Do I feel better inside?  No.  I just let God know I'm thankful for what I have, and move on to the next thing.  Which on this particular day, is work.  So that's what I do.

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Every Morning -- Broken Path

The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB

I typed the Scripture above because I've included them in every Our Journey post.  I'm having a hard time believing them, but there they are.  The words sit there on my screen.  He is faithful.  Another verse comes to mind, and I cling to it...

If we are faithless, He remains faithful,
for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13 NASB

We were beginning to see the lighted path before us, we were walking, working hard, making plans to get out of the hole in which we find ourselves after three years' struggle, and now this.

The Broken Path

Tuesday night, after my walk in the woods, after the peace and the determination and #threewords and the hope of recovery, Fernando called.

"Are you sitting down?"

He would not be finishing this job.  He would fly home Wednesday morning from Dallas.  This leg of our journey was over.

Details aren't appropriate here, but I spent a restless night, Fernando a sleepless one.  He caught a flight to Midway; I struggled out of bed, drove to the airport, sat numbly at the waiting lot, got his text, picked him up, and drove him home.  Half an hour later I left for work.

What path is this?  Where are we headed now?  I'm at a loss.  I don't know.

What we thought was the road, is no longer.  There isn't just a tree trunk across it, blocking the way.  It's a dead end.  A cliff.  It now leads nowhere.  And I don't know where to go, turn around, turn aside, wait.  It is all darkness and uncertainty, and it takes all my strength to stand there, to keep my eyes open and breathe.

Back at my favorite spot, the yellows have appeared, not quite at full brilliance but they're there.  I've captured it with my camera at least, to look at later, to close my eyes and remember.  This is what He wanted me to see--His faithfulness, leading us through.  I can't see it yet.  Some day I'll look back and I'll be able to see it.  But not yet, not now, not with these eyes.

My faith is small, insignificant.  But He is faithful; it's there in black and white in those words, His words, His Word.  He is faithful because that's who He is.  I have no idea what He's doing, where He's leading us.  The whys hang there, big black words in my head floating around.

Even so, I cry out to Him, I trust You.  I don't know what You're doing, why You're doing it.  I hurt, Lord.  I trust You, though.  You're my Father and You're completely trustworthy.  You'll lead us to that green meadow, where I can rest and be at peace.  But right now I just hurt.

My shaken faith; faith which is the evidence of things not seen, and I'm blind right now.  I can't see.  I know I'm His, but faith?  Yet I will trust Him.  It's all I have.

Broken road, broken heart, and trying to breathe...


Read previous segments here:

The Beginning
The Injury
The Furnace
The Waiting
The House
The Phone Call
The Truck
The Car
The Business
The Gift
Eight Days

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Peaceful Walk

I tried doing too much this morning, time got away from me, but I determined to take a walk at the Arboretum.  I ended up going late afternoon, and had a beautiful walk through the woods with my camera.

I thought of the path the Lord has us on, this lonely, hard path that--to me--is a road to recovery:  recovery from three very hard years in our journey, recovery from the continuous valleys we found ourselves in, recovery in our finances, and recovery to a new life of travel, of holding down the fort, of a four-days-a-week job for me, of adult men in my home.

I'm still trying to figure out this new life, how to juggle life with four men in my home, but they're still sons, and how do we work out meals, laundry, chores...  It's confusing for me, since I was a stay-at-home mom for so long, and now they're grown but still home, and I'm gone much of the time.

This afternoon, however, is a time for just me and my camera, and the beautiful woods that is The Morton Arboretum.

A tree had fallen across the path.  It was easy enough to climb around, but it reminded me to stay on the path, reminded me of #three words--whatever it takes--to make this new life work.  Fernando and I have a long road in front of us, to dig ourselves out of this valley (financially, anyway) we've ended up in.

But, the sun is shining, and our path seems lit with His peace.  We'll keep walking this path until He shows otherwise.  We'll keep hoping for permanency with this company, as we work hard and spend little time together.  We know there's peace as we both work toward the same goal, for His glory.

I reached my favorite spot, the place past the spruce plot where the tree trunks have fallen along the path.  I stopped, just breathing, taking in the scene, knowing that in a few days, or a few weeks, this place will be awash in yellow.  It will be a brief, glorious time, and then it will be gone.  I'm determined to see it.

Back in my car, I drove toward the exit, but just had to stop since the sun was turning this tree on yellow fire.  I had to take in this moment, knowing it would be gone the next time I visited.

I love the brief brilliance that is autumn, the bright bursts of color, as if the Lord is telling me--store this up, this beauty, because you have a bleak winter ahead, and you must remember my glory through it.

Storing it up...

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Day at Home

I had three days in a row off from work!  Today, Monday, was the second day, and I had just the morning with Fernando.  I ran errands with him, since I'll take whatever time I can get with him.

Meanwhile, Thomas (no longer in school!) received a special delivery for the mechanic's tools he purchased.

His tool box arrived!  This is just a little bigger than your average tool box.  :)

Before Fernando left, I took his picture, and he took mine.

I like to take the photos of me and post them on Facebook throughout Fernando's travel time, so he has fresh pictures of me to look at; plus, it's a sweet reminder that I love him and that I'm committed to #threewords (whatever it takes) for us.

And he left, on this beautiful blue-skied day, headed down south to Texas.

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Red, White, and Blue

Right after Thomas' graduation, Fernando left for a job.  He came home late, late Saturday night (early this morning, really), because there would be two trucks in our driveway.

Meet the trucks--Rachel (Red) and Wendy (White).

My quirky names for these trucks continues; this was my first meeting with White, and I took a few simple photos then let Fernando and N. do their thing with the trucks.

We lined up our cars in front of our house so the guys could park the trucks in the driveway.

After an afternoon of work, we splurged for Nancy's Pizza and had N. join us.  Fernando and I shared the evening together, because he'll be leaving tomorrow morning--hence the Blue part of my blog post title.  :)

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website

Friday, October 14, 2016

Congratulations, Thomas!


You did it.  You stuck it out, you persevered.  And you did it with flying colors.  We're so blessed by you!

A few days before your last day, we borrowed the car, then picked you up at the end of your day.  We knew that would be the last time we sat out in the parking lot in the car, waiting for you to finish up inside and come through the door to hop in and ride home with us.

A few days later--which was this morning--I rode with you as you drove back to school for the ceremony.  You looked so purposeful and determined, and I had a hard time believing this would be our last ride in to school.  But it was.

Even though the ceremony was much smaller than Jake's and Dan's, I was just as excited at this step in your life.  And I gotta tell you, I almost cried--just choked up, but I held it.  After all, you're my baby, and this moment in your life was huge.

Look at all those Student of the Course Awards!  And your last course was your tenth award, after the fact (you had taken the final tests just this morning).

You were also a student peer tutor.  What an honor to see you receive this recognition!

You excelled, and you exceeded all expectations.  We're so glad you stayed the course and finished well.

Students, please move your tassels from the passenger side to the driver's side!

Now the hard work begins.  We know the Lord will lead you, as He has throughout these past two years.  I can't believe my baby boy grew up so fast!  I love you, son.

All my love,

Back to life,

Visit my photography blog
Visit my photography website