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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring Thoughts

This spring will be spent waiting.  The bursts of color from the flowers, the popping buds on the trees, and the birdsong floating on the air all shout their message of newness and joy to my heart.  This day was spent with Fernando at The Morton Arboretum, since where else would I find so much color and spring?

The daffodils covered the field, as they do each spring.  I never knew there were so many varieties; I tried to capture them all.

Walking down one of the paths on the west side, we encountered the early mayapples!  Their umbrellas were just opening.

I love the redbuds with their beautiful little blossoms.

This was my first time capturing the waterfall from below.

I love trying to capture texture, as in this photo of standing water, twigs, and pieces of tree.

And oh, the glorious meadow with all its bright beauty!

Yellow magnolias.

Sometimes, and especially in spring when there's so much beauty and color surrounding me, I have to dig to see the special.  I have to get down on the ground, just lie there with my camera, turn to the side, to see something beyond the ground cover.  Pretty little white flowers, sweetspire (some call it lily of the valley), blossoming where no one looks, where no one even bothers to search.  Most don't even know it's there.  But I do, and so I lay down and search, then snap.

Hidden treasure.

Back to life,

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Monday

Last Monday after work, we had bad news.  This Monday...

Thomas gave us some news.  I won't share just now what it is; that'll have to wait for Thomas' timetable.  For now, all I can say is that I came home from work, walked into the kitchen, and saw Fernando and Thomas standing there.

Fernando hollered for everyone to come to the kitchen, and announced that Thomas had something to say.

Thomas said it, and I'm sorry, but my reaction was less than Christine-like.  I started bawling, I mean really crying.  I don't do this.  I don't.  But after everything, every letdown, every setback, every bit of having to step back and change course--this was a huge thing.

I'll share more in a few weeks when I'm allowed to, according to my youngest son.

Back to life,

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He is Risen

Our pre-Easter week was a wreck, much like this airplane we found in our front yard on Easter Sunday morning.

Plane--wings sheared off--crashes on front lawn of suburban home!!

But Easter came, bright with the news that He is risen!!

We went to Danny's and Jacob's church for Easter service, and we were blessed to hear them sing an introductory hymn with their friends.

At home, we had our family over for a celebration.  Easter Sunday was also Danny's birthday, and Dad's birthday was a few days prior.  So, a triple celebration was in order!

The table is ready for the feast.

My brother Jeff and Dad hanging out in the family room.

Fernando manned the grill, as usual.

I posed with Char, my sister-in-law.

Char's "beer-butt" chicken, as we call it!

While waiting for the feast...

We had to get their ages on the cake somehow!
The 5 was a wax candle; the other numbers were plastic.  Hey, it worked!

My older brother Matt with Char.

I couldn't get Joseph to smile.

Mom and I with a few photobombers thrown in.

Jeff and I.

The birthday boys and I.

Back to life,

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

New Every Morning -- His Plan, Not Ours

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

Hints of purple on the redbud trees, a splash of promise that spring has arrived.

I almost have to laugh.  Almost.  It's getting tiring, boring even, typing these posts.  Yes, it's a great thing that I can blog about what's going on in our family.  But, you know me--I'm not a drama queen.  I like steady and sweet, making a plan, then enjoying the journey as the plan plays out.  This is apparently not meant to be.

His Plan, Not Ours

Monday, April 10.  After a warm weekend (is it spring, or summer??), I went to work.  Fernando needed the car since we were still trying to fix our BMW, so he drove me in then picked me up that evening.  It was a regular Monday evening at the store, nothing unusual, and we closed up and were out by 8:30, our typical out-the-door time.  Fernando was waiting in the Suburban for me.  He got out, greeted my co-worker, we watched til she got in her car, then we hopped in.  Fernando put the car in drive while I was getting my seat belt on.  He pulled around in a semi-circle, and just after I buckled in, he braked and parked in the middle of the parking lot.  I looked over at him curiously.  He just looked back.

"You're not going to believe this..."

And I knew.

His next words, unexpected, were not a surprise.

N** had let him go.  The reasons were suspect, the circumstances were strange, and the company itself isn't even your typical company.  Nevertheless, life changed.

I don't know why I haven't learned yet to not make plans, those long-term attempts to right my tilting world--if we just do X, then Y, and if Z happens or if we work at this long enough, all will be right again.  But this is not His plan.  Life had been so steady, so in-the-groove, for so long, then four years of upheaval still drives me to think we can get that life back.  But His answer is No.

I've tried to accustom myself to His new reality for me, tried to reason it through, tried to accept it.  My mind thinks in terms of permanency, and I don't want this "new" life to be permanent.  I must trust Him.

My faith is all over the place, stumbling here and there. I've said it before, and I repeat it now: Yet will I trust Him. I must take the next step, trusting in Him. I must move, put one foot in front of the other, even if the ground is unsteady, even if I trip. I must move forward, and trust that He is guiding me. I'm still alive, right? I'm still breathing, right? Not knowing changes nothing, except my cry to Him to help my faith.

Out in my early spring garden, just looking around, I see signs of spring, of life springing up from winter's ground.  The green leaves on last year's sage plants, the garlic already growing tall.

The rhubarb sprouted up almost overnight, promising tart sweetness to cakes, crisps, and jams.  Just as life continues on, and spring arrives as sure as He is Lord, I step once, then twice.  I'm unsure, unsteady, but I will trust.  This is what I blogged about in my last Our Journey post, and I blog about it still.

Spring is here, new life has returned, and I will trust.

Back to life,

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
Broken Path

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

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

April's Beginning

April started off cool, with some beautiful days.  I just had to take the photo below; our driveway was getting so crowded!  We have our Suburban and our BMW, Danny has his VW and Jake his Nissan, plus Thomas bought a BMW.  I think that last car there is my parents'.  Either way, it was a fun photo!

Cool spring days means toasty grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup...

It also means Dad coming over and us working on finishing his crossword puzzles together.  These have become my cherished Dad-daughter times, and my treasured memories.

Then it turned warm!  One of the rare times our old BMW was running, I got to drive it to church.  We put the sun roof open, plus our windows--my driving name then becomes Wind in Her Hair.  Yep!

Feels like summer, but welcome to April!!

Back to life,

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