Last night, as the credits scrolled on the television for the movie we watched...CRASH!
Did I mention we watched a suspense/thriller? I shouldn't watch this type of movie after dark as it is, so the loud BOOM and floor shaking didn't help the excitement.
All three of us instantly blamed the new kitten but she was in the living room with us. Upon entering the kitchen, the two shelves over the window had broken at the same time. When the shelves have away, the items they held bounced, flew, bobbled, and landed from one side if the kitchen to the other.
With the exception of the shelves, nothing broke. No one was in the kitchen at the time so no one was hurt. And Naomi is very thankful because she was climbing where she wasn't suppose to be.
As we picked up the items decorating the floor, stove top, and counters...we laughed. My first comment, "At least the large coffee maker didn't break." But then I noticed my Boom Box.
Okay, most if you just smiled and thought, "Boom Box, I haven't heard that in a long time." And then there is the percentage who are shaking their head because you don't know what I'm talking about. I included a picture above for those wishing to travel down memory lane and as an educational tool for the younger generation.
Not only is it huge, it's heavy. I'm guessing it's the culprit for our need to remodel the kitchen shelving. This beauty has detachable speakers, a CD player, a double cassette, and radio. How cool is that? It even had an antenna you have to extend up in order to find reception. Did I mention the knobs turn to find your station? No seek or search buttons on this relic.
All these options made it a fifteen pound, top of the line, music system. You are thinking that since it is still in our kitchen, all its features are stellar, right? Not so much, sadly. The CD player doesn't work, aluminum foil is wrapped on the broken antenna, and the static while listening to the radio was greater than the music or commentary. The cassettes both worked but the feature that triggered the second to start when the first finished, broke so I had to stand on the bench and push the button in all by myself. Can you believe it?
Why do I keep this memorabilia in the house? First and foremost, it works!! I listened to stations I knew came in clear, KLOVE is one if them. And I don't have many cassettes so My boom box only booms radio waves.
In the crash, one of the speakers came off and the wiring doesn't want to reattach. So do I toss the one speaker, reducing the weight and increasing the likelihood it doesn't break another shelf...or do I step up and join this generation?
What thoughts are you left with after reading today's blog?
Our educational system is a hot news topic these days; from student restrictions to CORE curriculum and other policies, it’s apparent there is a problem. Today I’m sharing information on a newly released book called Lifting the Curtain: The disgrace we call urban high school education. The book offers us an impassioned look at education through the eyes of a teacher. You may win your own copy of Lifting the Curtain by entering the giveaway!
About the book: From outside, the solutions look deceptively easy—simply replace a handful of bad teachers, increase money spent on education, and upgrade buildings. But the real problems are far more severe than these easy targets, and far less costly to fix. To restore quality education in our urban schools, we must address the systemic failures. But what are the core issues?
In Lifting the Curtain: The disgrace we call urban high school education, Russell clearly reveals the problems. Through a combination of surveys, statistics, and personal observations, he exposes the hidden bureaucracy, manipulation, and poor policies stunting our children’s education. He follows this with an eleven point solution geared to put the focus back onto the best interests of the children.
Written like a casual report, Russell makes a serious subject more palatable through the use of humor, personal anecdotes, and cartoon-like illustrations by a talented young artist. What really matters is the information—what is happening and what can we do about it.
Clarion Reviews said, “In Lifting the Curtain, Russell lends a passionate voice to the current conversation about the fate of our schools. It’s sure to spark spirited debate and discussion among teachers, parents, and principals.”
About the Author: D.A. Russell has spent the last ten years as a math teacher in one of the urban high schools used as an example in Lifting the Curtain. He is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College, and received his master’s degree from Simon School, where he was valedictorian of his class. Russell is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He has two children that he treasures, and four grandchildren. His son is a police officer who served in the US Army in Afghanistan, earning a Bronze Star for valor. His daughter is a lawyer and his most passionate fan and honorary literary agent.
Russell has taught and coached children for decades. Few things are more important in his view than to cherish the children who are our real treasures in this world.
Title: Lifting the Curtain: The disgrace we call urban high school education
Author: D.A. Russell
Illustrated by Jessica Fitzpatrick
Win a copy of Lifting the Curtain—either hard copy or Kindle Edition, winner’s choice!
To enter, visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LiftingTheCurtainOnEducation
SHOUT OUT TO OTHER BLOGGERS ~ There are other prizes to win!
If you have a blog or other social media site you can join our promo party.
For more details visit Sign Up Genius at: www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0548A8A82DA2FF2-lifting
Win a copy of Lifting the Curtain--either hard copy or Kindle Edition, winner’s choice!
To enter the giveaway, go to the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LiftingTheCurtainOnEducation
Thank you for taking time to read about this book.
Is there a NCMEC office near you? If so, volunteers increase each office's ability to disseminate posters and bring the missing home.
Will you share your stanza
While this summer has been much different than year's past, it's offered opportunities to stretch, grow, trust, and weather another storm.
We have choices in this life, to sit under an umbrella when the storms of life arrive ~ waiting for them to pass, or at least settle down..OR we can step out from the security and face the storm, devising a plan to survive storm, regardless of its length.
Psalm 23:4 opens with, "Even though I walk through the darkest of valleys,..." the key word, THROUGH!
God never said we wouldn't face a valley or storm BUT, He does promise us comfort and freedom from fear. Psalm 23:4 continues with, "I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
As I write, edit, and revise this next book, I'll keep you updated each week on the TOP's Tuesday blog. If you have me speak at your church, women's organization, or event thought - you may learn something sooner. Be sure to visit the blog on Saturday to learn the title and see the draft cover and learn a little bit more about this new and upcoming book in the works.
Are you ready to read what's next, after Where's Heidi?...I hope so.
I first “met” teen author, Alyshia Hull, via Facebook. Our first formal meeting was at the book release for Where’s Heidi? One Sister’s Journey. Miss Alyshia, with her mother, came to the River’s End Bookstore in Oswego on April third, so Alyshia could get a book, have it signed, and meet me. She is this tiny bundle of adorable energy. We posed for a picture with hopes of seeing each other again. Not only have we had the opportunity to see each other since this, we’ve done a book speech at the Mexico Public Library together along with another local author, Amy Quonce. We have enjoyed the Oswego County Fair’s Author’s Corner the past two years and crossed paths at different school events. We didn’t need to “hope” to see each other again; God continues to orchestrate ways for our paths to meet.
Getting to know Alyshia over the past year or so has heightened my love of this book and its deeper meaning. Alyshia’s heroin prevails in the end and so did she by seeking and obtaining publication of this book. A Young Adult book even an adult would enjoy reading.
Miss Alyshia keeps herself very busy and released her second book this year. The Visionary. I must admit, it took me much longer to read this one. It still has her style and voice yet the topic slowed my reading down. Here is the storyline from the book jacket:
“Taylor Lee Parker, who once lost herself to the city of Bridge Port has found home again. But her new life in her old world doesn't remain peaceful for long. Her gift as a Visionary soon connects her with a seven year old child named Gracie Johnson. Taylor Visions the next chapter of Gracie’s life, and is shocked by the horror. Immediately Taylor rushes to save the young girl's destiny... but ends up finding herself along the way. Between love, horror and loyalty, Taylor is thrown through a whirl wind of emotions. Gracie's life now depends on Taylor's next decision. Will she succeed or loose it all in the process?”
While this genre or subject is not one I read, once I was a few chapters in, I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Gracie and if the story would end well. I won’t tell you how the story ends but I’ll say this, once you reach a certain part towards the middle of the book, you can’t put it down. My husband, Ed, had to fill my coffee for me because I didn’t want to stop reading long enough to walk to the kitchen.
If you are a paranormal reader, you might enjoy a lighter read in your genre. Miss Alyshia writes with heart and tackles a difficult and sensitive subject using Gracie’s kidnapping to leave you hopeful at the end of the book. Alyshia also does a variety of book speeches at local libraries. So if you are looking for the Young Adult book to spur a young reader on or a teen author to come and speak at your school or library, connect with Alyshia Hull. She’s taught writing classes too. This girl is using her gift to write to encourage other young aspiring writers while investing in her community.
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Thank you Miss Alyshia for another great book and addition to the literary world! Keep reaching for the stars ~ you are reaching them, one at a time.
Keep inspiring and shaping lives. God’s gifted you to write and I pray you channel His love and gifting as you continue to encourage, inspire, and teach other kiddos to do the same.
Miss Alyshia, thank you so much for the acknowledgement at the end of your book. It was a wonderful surprise and I’m honored to be mentioned in your book and it’s a joy to mentor you.
I’ll close with my favorite quote from the book:
“Taylor, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. I don’t care if you’re four years old or ninety-seven. If you have a gift, it’s there, no matter what…” From Alyshia Hull’s The Visionary
Thank you Alyshia Hull for reminding us, young or old, it is possibly to reach our goals if we strive to reach them and never give up!
Run for the Border is a 5K to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis while raising funds to support research for this disease.
The inspiration behind this run in beautiful Upstate New York. Rather than tell you about Carter Gates, let me share his words to you.
"Hello, my name is Carter Gates. If you were to meet me, you would think I was just another typical 14-year-old boy, and I am. I love to play lacrosse, snowmobile, and train at Parisi Speed School. I am also living with Cystic Fibrosis. No one knew I had Cystic Fibrosis until I was 8 years old. Before being diagnosed, I was sick a lot, but no one could figure out why. I am doing better now that I have been diagnosed and I hope that never changes! My doctors have told me that the more active I am, the healthier I will stay. Playing lacrosse and working out at my speed school has been helping me to be bigger, faster, stronger, while making me feel more confident about myself. Sometimes..."
To read the rest of Carter's note, visit the Run for the Border website.
If you'd like to print & complete registration form to bring with you, select "Download File" below
Race Day $35.00
Race Director: David Vonholtz
Run for the Border is an
annual run to support
cystic fibrosis research.
The event is held in
Mexico, NY and the
run takes you
Run for the Border Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/RunForTheBorderRunForCysticFibrosis/info
Run for the Border Website
To View the Course
There is parking available at the corners of Academy and Liberty Streets in Mexico.
The race will start at 9:00, see you there.
You can still register the day of the event!!
Tomorrow ~ Starting at 7:30 a.m.
Race at 9:00 a.m.
I'll see you there!
Except for when it came time to cook, that is. Ed said, "Whose cooking? It's my birthday." I laughed, because it seems each time we plan a BBQ style gathering, it rains. No, it pours, and this wonderful man stands out in the back dodging hail, rain, and branches to cook on the grill.
I was prepared, I grabbed my umbrella and went to the grill prepared to continue to enjoy this day, in spite of the damp weather.
Life is about choices. I chose to endure the storm so my hubby could enjoy time with his friend and family. It was a great day!
One thing happened that hasn't happened, yet, while I was standing at the grill holding my umbrella...the birthday boy left the party on the deck (in the rain, lol) and came down to hold the umbrella for me. Isn't he the best!? I think so. I've never left the comfort of dryness to help him, he is such a gift.
We ended up standing down by the grill under the umbrella until the meat was finished, visiting with his buddies and family at the same time. They remained on the deck and in the house where is wasn't quite as wet but the laughter echoed all around.
During his birthday party, he knew my distaste for standing in the rain to grill yet knew I did it because my love for him is greater than any storm life might bring into our lives. Ed, doesn't like parties (at all) but knows this is my heart's desire, to celebrate life and rejoice with those I love, so he let me throw him a "gathering with cake" (I didn't call it a party, lol). What did we learn - when we set aside our pride and our own agendas, much happiness follows.
Twenty-one years later, we still love, and like each other. My aunt told me, if you can survive the first ten years, the rest are a piece of cake. We still kid about this today because we decided if we survived the first year of our marriage, we could and would survive anything.
You see, within the first year of our marriage, my sister was abducted while working alone at the D & W Convenience Store in New Haven, New York. A couple of my great-aunts passed away, a cousin, and uncle...to name a few of the life events that were thrust at us. Each making us stronger, in the long run.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature" and complete,
not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,
because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life
that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin,
when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth,
that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
James 12 - 18
Celebrating another year of survival, strength, love, and marriage!
Happy Anniversary to the best man, God could of blessed me with.
What is TOP's Tuesday all about? The first TOP's Tuesday posted back in 20__. There have been many a Tuesday since then - some highlighting upcoming speaking events and/or information about the release of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey, or other books written by me, Lisa M Buske. Some of share a different aspect of WHO Heidi was, before she became of statistic and one of America's missing children.
New Blog Ideas, Blog Tours, and Fun to come on the blog soon...
For today...REFLECTION AND REMEMBRANCE.
When are you the most reflective? A time of year or after an event?
As I made a typical drive last night, around 8:30 pm EST, I was caught off guard when it started getting dark before I reached my destination. Usually, it's still light and I can look into the fields and see the deer feeding and frolicking. Not yesterday. By the time I backed my car into a parking spot, it was pitch black in the field across the way.
My first thought, "Summer isn't over yet, is it?" While the calendar day to bring summer to a close hasn't happened yet, the season is winding down. It starts with the darkness coming earlier and the evening temperatures providing a refreshing night's sleep after warmer days. I don't know about you but I haven't felt hot or warm days this week, cool and rainy maybe, but not summer.
So what is my point, with the daylight hours shortening, is there anything this motivates you to complete because the change of seasons is quickly moving in? Is there an emotion or feeling this stirs up within you? So you grumble and complain or do you get out and become more determined to seize the beautiful daylight hours to the best of your ability? Or, have you yet to realize the days are getting shorter?
According to the ALS Association's website, "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed." What is ALS?
"I might have had a tough break,
but I have an awful lot to live for."
~ Lou Gehrig
One thing I learned rather quickely, ALS is also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease". This I had heard of, now I know the medical term. ALS, a disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. With more than a million ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Videos on Facebook - awareness is spreading, or is it?
While not everyone doing the ALS ice bucket challenge is referencing Lou Gehrig's Disease or the impact of this disease on one's nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord...according to one article, awareness and fundraising is skyrocketing! This is awesome news and the purpose of the challenge.
Depending on what source you look at, there has been between $3 and $5.5 million dollars raise since the latter part of June because of the ice bucket challenge. This is wonderful.
I've seen friends having a "Ice Bucket Challenge" party, with everyone bringing their own bucket and ice to the party. They did a group challenge with everyone dumping their ice water over their head (with the exception of the videographer of course) In addition to dumping the water, they took up a collection to donate to ALS too. How fun is this?
When I first wrote this blog, it read, "I haven't been nominated to do this challenge, although I've been asked, 'Lis, do you want to do the challenge. I'll nominate you.' by a friend. I told him 'No, thanks anyway.'" BUT, within the hours between writing this blog and posting it, my sister-in-law, Rose, nominated me and my husband's brother-in-law, Scott, and his cousin, Debbie, nominated him. So, instead of doing it as part of this blog ~ we did it as a couple because we were challenged. God has a sense of humor doesn't He?
I'm thankful for the amazing friends and family I have in my life. I'm thankful for the health in my body and freedom from the intense pain patients affected by ALS live with on a daily basis. It is my absolute pleasure to be a tiny part of increasing awareness of ALS, aka "Lou Gehrig's Disease", and hopefully bring a smile to your face today. A special thanks to Mags for taping this for us.
Video may take a moment to load...thanks for your patience.
To dump ice water over one's head might seem silly to some
BUT if one of the millions of videos posted increases
awareness that eases the burden on a family
or raises the money to find a cure...
it's worth every ice cube.
Thanks for joining in the mission to raise awareness by sharing this blog with someone that might not know what ALS is.
It was on this bus ride, in May of 2014, that Derek invited me to be on his and Jon's Spreecast to share about Heidi. I agreed and asked if we could wait until July or August when school was out. After school let out, we firmed up a date, never expecting or knowing how events would unfold at the latter part of July. I had a decision to make, to keep my scheduled interview or postpone.
Looking below, you know we kept our date. Last night's spreecast was about Heidi Allen, an eighteen year old girl, kidnapped from her place of employment on Easter Sunday, 1994. She remains missing today. This hasn't changed in the past few weeks. The truth is, Heidi was kidnapped and REMAINS MISSING! As long as she is missing, as her sister, I will do my little part to keep her name, memory, and disappearance on the hearts and minds of those I cross paths with.
God created the opportunity to meet Derek and while we both lost our siblings to kidnapping, God is also using both our losses to help others. Derek is founder of Ryan United and strives to help others.
Please visit Derek's site, Ryan United, to read more about his brother Ryan, and the family's mission to make a difference in the lives of others. I'm blessed by our friendship and watching how God uses Ryan and his family to encourage others, especially me.
Thank you Derek and Jon for sharing Heidi with your viewers ~ may this help to bring her home. I enjoy watching your Spreecasts. Your compassion and concern for the missing and their families is refreshing. Thanks for being you.
Be sure to watch the Spreecast and visit Ryan United...
Links provided with the photos too.
Families of the missing can't give up...Always Hope.
Thank you for remembering Heidi and
sharing this blog to increase awareness of Ryan United!
Some might be trying to figure out what I mean, while others might have already filled in the blanks. As you read the following question, replace the question mark with the word "blank".
For instance, "To blank, or not to blank" Over the past couple weeks I've asked myself this question a few times, my blank, is the word "blog".
To blog or not to blog...a reflective thought? A question? A statement?
Why am I asking myself such a silly question when I know how much I enjoy sharing with all of you each day.
Why would I stop doing something others find comfort, solace, encouragement, and hope in?
What does my blog really have to do with the grand scheme of life?
Would anyone even notice if I stopped blogging?
HOLD THE PHONE SISTER! Talk about a lot of negative thoughts and back sliding. Have you read Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey yet? Have you heard me speak at one of your churches, libraries, or events? If so, you probably see why the all caps and bold to hold the phone, right?
I spent more than a decade following my only sister's kidnapping hiding, fearful, and doubtful...with a negative attitude to boot. This is not a healthy or happy condition to live one's life in.
Recent media attention and court document filed have our entire community on the edge of their seats again. Heidi's disappearance seems to be the discussion in the grocery store, department stores, and even while putting gas in my car.
Excerpt from Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey
This has both positives and negatives. A positive is when you think about how quickly a missing child's photograph is disseminated because of this new technology. A negative, to the family waiting, praying, and hoping...sometimes the news update hits before all family can be notified or brought up to date.
Another positive, our easy access to the Internet and news makes it possible to share breaking news with the friends or family we think might be interested. The negative, sometimes these conversations while sharing occur when someone related to, a friend of, or directly involved with the breaking story are within ear shot.
This was one reason I curled myself into a ball and tried to stay away from people as much as possible in the initial years, if not decade. When stories broke or updates happened, I didn't want to hear the commentary by concerned community members while getting my groceries. It was easier to avoid people, hide, if you will, when we knew something was about to break. This isn't an option in today's society.
I completely understand why people are talking about Heidi's disappearance and case, may God use current events to bring Heidi home. Yet, this doesn't make it any easier to be leaving your brother-in-law's apartment building and have someone start a polite conversation with, "So what do you think about all that Heidi stuff. Do you think they'll find her body?" To say I was speechless, an understatement.
Or while pumping gas and the couple on the other side of the pump are talking about the search in the woods and "what they might find after twenty years" and continue with details of the decomposition process. They didn't know I was on the other side of the pump, they were just talking about Heidi's case, hoping for her discovery, and having an intellectual conversation. But for the sister of this potential decomposed body they discussed, my hand shook so much I could barely finish pumping the gas. Fighting back tears, I decided there was enough gas in the car and headed home.
My mind has been boggled lately as the heightened level of waiting intensifies the simplest of tasks. In 2010, I started to blog to share God's love with others and encourage others that it's possible to survive and thrive after tragedy. It's possible to overcome your fears. It's possible to see and feel The Light when we have our eyes fixed on God, in any and all circumstance.
“You are my lamp, O Lord;
the Lord turns darkness into light.”
2 Samuel 22: 29 NIV
As I spend some quiet time each day, I listen and seek God's plan for the day and current events. While the thought of escaping somewhere offer the illusion of easier days, this is nothing but a facade. We can't run away from the things that are difficult. We also can't face them alone. So in His strength, putting on His armor, and trusting His plan...I wait.
Hoping, trusting, and waiting. One day, Heidi will be found. One day, the missing pieces will be placed.
One day might be this year, next, or when I reach heaven but until that time...I will write and speak for Him, and blogging is one aspect of writing that keeps my mind and fingers nimble and focused on God. To blog is one way to encourage others going through a difficult time. We can't give up. I'm not a quitter. YOU are not a quitter.
Let's join together in prayer as we move forward each day.
"To blank or not to blank"
What is your blank today?
How will you choose
to face your fears
and the negatives
to turn your no or not now
...into a YES?
Thank you for the Birthday blessings today!
A twist on our weekly TOP's Tuesday blog this week, it's my birthday. This is one of those days when I miss my sister, Heidi Allen, a little bit more than normal.
Birthdays are a big deal in our family. Growing up as a child, each Sunday we gathered at my Gram's house for supper. Any birthdays during the week, were celebrated again on Sunday. So typically, we had two birthday parties. The first with our friends and a second with our family.
Today, after waking up to the sound of rain and a gentle breeze moving the leaves I received my first phone call of the day, from my parents to say, "Happy Birthday". After the coffee was brewing, dogs were out, and some quiet time spent...I checked Facebook. Oh my...overwhelmed by love.
Don't get me wrong, we all need a little appreciation, love, and encouragement in our lives. A little extra on our birthday, it is the day God chose to gift us to our parents after all. BUT...we don't deserve God's grace and mercy, He simply enjoys encouraging, uplifting, and blessing us. And one way He does this is through people like you on our birthday.
Some don't like social media because of the evils that lie within but there are evils in most things we do in life, just as there are many positives and blessings. Rather than focus on the negatives, let's celebrate the blessings. While I miss my sister, the funny birthday card she always gave (we had a competition of who could give the funniest card to the other each year), and the special sister time we spent...I'm thankful for all of you.
You've made my day so special, it's only 10:30 a.m. and I've received 167 FB birthday messages on my home page, not counting the private messages or texts received. This touches my heart so much that this many people took time to send a birthday message to me. Thank you ~ God's using your messages to encourage and help me to not miss Heidi so much today. As if this isn't enough, my parents called and are treating me to lunch! Yum!
A friend "gifted" me Zephaniah 3:17 one year for my birthday,
do you have a birthday verse to share?
THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY BIRTHDAY SO SPECIAL!!
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Consider a man riding a bicycle.
Golding's poem reminds us we need to keep moving or we'll fall off. This is the same with life - if we don't keep moving forward, life can become dark, depressing, and very lonely. There are going to be bumps in the road that might bump us off our seat for the moment but as long as we keep moving and stay on course, when we get to the end of this life, we should be able to say - It was a great ride!
I'm thankful for the much needed love, encouragement, hope, hugs, and inspiration absorbed from these amazing individuals. A special thanks to De Anna for helping with the surprise visit and your patience with my uncertainty. It was a beautiful day!
Thank YOU for encouraging us!
Since its release, the number of rainbows I see has multiplied because of you. It's fabulous, there are days I receive a notification on Facebook and when I click to see what it is...there is a photograph of a rainbow shining brightly with a note from a FB friend. Such joy. It's wonderful to think God used this little book to help slow some people down to enjoy the beauty he's created.
One day, there were many photos of the same rainbow from all different places across New York - it was neat to see the different intensities in light and various hues of blue in sky behind it as people posted and their locations. I shared some of these online.
The past couple weeks returned my family, Heidi's friends, and this community back to April 1994 within minutes. Prayers for Heidi and to bring her home. Prayers for truth and justice. Prayers for all involved. We all are hoping and praying for the double rainbow yet as we wait, we need to focus on the color of the day, or days.
Today might be your red or violet day. Some will transition to the next color of the rainbow tomorrow, while some will remain in the first color for days or weeks. Whether you start with the red or the violet ~ regardless of how long you spend at each color ~ and regardless of the intensity of your color...there is one thing to remember.
There is a RAINBOW within you ~ don't give up, keep hoping, and let your inner rainbow shine and use each day as a building block teaching you strength, endurance, and offering wisdom for the days yet to come.
Does your RAINBOW start with red or violet? It's time to shine...
It's the 1980's Again...Yippee!
First, to my close friends, close your mouths. I know this is a novel and unexpected turn of events but I was overtaken by peer pressure. Seriously! This morning we went to the mall before an appointment so our daughter could do some school shopping. Neither Ed or I planned to get anything. As she walked through the store, sifting through the clearance racks (as trained by her Momma since she could walk), I decided to look around and see what was "in" this Fall.
My first observation, the eighties have returned. Yeah! Regretfully I said, "I should have kept my clothes, I could be dressed like the cool kids." and without missing a beat, my sweet daughter responds with, "Uh, no. Yours were meant to stay in the 80's." We both just laughed. I think she is right.
And then it happened...
No sitting on the bench today, this was serious business. Mary looked at the number of clothes within the changing room and hanging outside the door (because I was over the 6 limit).
She said, "Cool Mom, it's about time you tried something on. Let me know when you're ready and we'll come out at the same time." I just smiled because she was so excited and such an encouragement to me. Ed sat on the bench and waited for his girls to emerge as models. I was not prepared for what happened next.
Mags and I both appeared and without blinking an eye she said, "WOW Mom! You look great!" Then I looked to Ed, his face, priceless. No words spoken but I know he liked the outfit too. Teehee He did say, "You should get shoes." I picked out a pair and they worked perfectly.
So what does this outfit look like? I can't show you, at least not yet. I'm saving it for my 25th Class Reunion. I showed my parents and they both were shocked too. Dad asked, "What's the occasion?" With a deep breath, I responded, "Peer pressure Dad, you weren't there to help me say no." We all laughed. I so look forward to seeing my friends from school this weekend. I didn't need a new outfit to impress them but I think I needed a new outfit for myself, to feel good. Sometimes, a girl just needs to do something frivolous ~ shop without coupons, off the clearance rack, and not at the thrift store.
The whole ensemble cost just over $71 after the sale so Ed said, "You did good and you looked great!" I can wear the shirt as a new back-to-school shirt in September and the jeans on "jeans day", and the cute shoes will go with the skirts I already have for school. So instead of stressing over being a little spontaneous shopping today, I've decided to say, I've got a new back-to-school outfit...early. lol
A few sharp turns on the roller coaster the past couple weeks
but one thing about this roller coaster,
we continue to Move Forward...One day at a time.
Bring on the reunion and a little relaxation...
When is the last time you splurged on something new?
A few days later, the photographs were downloaded and we looked at them and this verse from Psalm 23 came to mind. Mags came up with the caption to "dive in" because this is what it looks like to her, and verse four from this well known Psalm popped in my head. At the time, I simply created the blog in my draft folder because I wasn't sure of its direction, or connection for that matter.
With this past week's current events, I'm trying to get back to some routine and post my blog daily. My brain is still foggy so I decided to check what type of drafts were waiting and looking for some TLC to develop into a blog to share. I saw this, smiled at the memories from that day, and then smiled after reading "Even though I walk through the valley", THROUGH!
God used a photograph and Scripture verse tucked away a couple months ago to remind and encourage me today. For more than twenty years, Heidi's family, friends, and community have "walked through the valley" each and every day. Heidi has never been forgotten and remains on so many people's hearts and daily prayer requests. While recent news has heightened the discussion of her disappearance and the case itself, it's also renewed and strengthened the hope for all involved.
Heidi remains missing and we remain hopeful. The days, weeks, and months ahead are going to stir up emotions, alter lunch conversations, and darken the valley we are going through BUT we all need to remember, the Bible says we go "through". So when you are feeling down or a little hopeless, look up.
God is steering this ride and with hope in our heart and so many people praying...God will answer prayer. He always does. It might be yes, no, or not right now...but He is faithful to answer. We need to be faithful to continue to pray and wait for His answer.
"Be persistent in prayer,
and keep alert as you pray,
giving thanks to God."
Don't Give Up...God knew the valley was coming
and He'll see us through!
Thanks for walking with us...
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