Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Tree

                                                    A beautiful tree on Pefferkorn Road.

I know a tree and it's beautiful. I passed it every day on my drive to and from work. When I turned on the road where it stands, I always looked forward to seeing that beautiful tree.

One of my favorite fall snaps is that tree (below). I snapped it early in the morning and the cows across the street lent their presence to the scene. The owner of the house was in the yard so I chatted with him a few minutes and told him how beautiful the tree was. I think he thought I was a little nuts!

So I knew exactly how Mark Hirsch felt when I read his story in September's Guidepost magazine. He'd lost his job as a photojournalist and was in a bad car accident. The doctor told him he couldn't do anything for three months. Just rest and relax.
He bought an iPhone and laughed when a friend said how great the camera is on it. A camera on a phone? "That's for amateurs," he said. "You've got to treat it like a regular camera," his friend said.
He found himself drawn to the old bur oak tree he's passed so many times and took the challenge from his friend and took a picture of the tree. That began a year long project of taking a picture of that tree with his iPhone. One picture every day for a year.
He published a book featuring those pictures. I was fascinated by the project and ordered the book. His imagination and artistry is beautiful. I was amazed at the number of different snaps he took and loved drowning myself in the scenes. At $40 it was a little steep for me for a book. But I'm so glad I did it!
I want to be like that tree that stands tall and beautiful, firmly rooted in God's soil and drawing others to Him. Unfortunately, I'm human, and I have a lot of flaws and weaknesses. But I still press on, reaching for the SON to sustain me, grow me and maintain me.
Kindred spirits we are. Maybe I can take a drive to Pefferkorn Road and see my beautiful tree once again!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Refreshment and Trust

Following is a post I shared in August, 2010. I chanced upon it and thought it was worth reading again. The title was: Lessons from Emma.

This post comes from my second book, “A Note For You.” The book contains most of the notes I wrote to one woman to encourage her for an entire year, and remarks I added as to why I wrote each particular note. The two notes that follow mention Emma, shown above during a silly moment, who is now in doggie heaven.

Refreshment . . .
I watched my dog, Emma, a large furry dog, soak up the afternoon sun, as she laid on the hot blacktop driveway just huffing and puffing away. I wanted to say: ‘If you’d get in the shade it would be cooler.’ I know God says that to me when I’m huffing and puffing: ‘If you’d get in the shade and be refreshed by My word, you’ll feel a lot better.’" God’s breath would surely flow through me and restore my soul.

If I don’t stay consistent in my time with God, I feel the consequences. Short-tempered. Uninspired. Unkind attitude. I also get mad at myself for roaming from my routine.

That’s why I try and live my life based on discipline. I don’t want to get out of the shade!

Thomas Kinkade agrees as he wrote in Lightpost for Living:” “But I learned long ago that I need routine in my life–and that I have more freedom when my days can rely on a predictable rhythm . . . Such repeated and dependable activities anchor my days, providing a sense of stability.”

Trust . . .
My dog, Emma, is the most relaxed dog I’ve ever known. She rolls on her back and lays with all four legs spread apart. She has no concern or worry about being attacked, even though she’s so vulnerable at that point. I wish I could be that free from concern and worry. I must continue to have complete trust in Jesus, for I know He is my protector. Nothing can come my way except through His perfect will for me. My sweet Emma is a good example to me of displaying complete trust.”

I wish I could be that carefree. Concerns and worries are hard to overcome. When each new problem arises it takes a while to completely turn it over to God. There’s just something about trying to figure out what’s happening myself before I can let it go. My turnover time keeps getting shorter as the years grow. With each situation I conquer, I learn to trust even more.

Refreshment and trust . . . each are necessary as I follow Christ. Below, Emma and I love on each other.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Reason to Smile

Aside from my moanings and groanings from recent days, here's a smile for today . .

What I couldn't achieve in retirement I achieved through my surgery: A new life with my girls!

After three and a half years of retirement, I still could not sleep past 6 each morning. Years of 5 am awake time to start the day was hard to break. Then I got the girls and 5 am seemed to be their wakeup call. Living in a barn, they were up with the cows and ready to go!

That is until now. The first morning I was home after surgery, the girls were up as usual. Jerry had slept in the recliner in the living room to be near by in case I needed anything. We were both beat. I told Jerry, "Go ahead and feed them and let them out. Maybe they'll lay back down." I certainly didn't expect that to happen but it was worth a try.

Were we ever surprised when Abby and Jo did lay back down and we woke at 7:15 am! We felt like they'd given us an extra lease on life! So we tried it the next morning, and the next and each morning they laid back down and let us sleep.

That routine still carries on three weeks later! Jerry's back in the bedroom now, and I'm able to get up and feed them and let them out myself. My friend, Brenda, said, "They were in control. Now you are." It certainly did take long enough, Carol! Even so, a reason to smile during a stormy trial!

It may seem like a small thing, but oh how those little things make all the difference! I'm now not getting up until 6:30 and everyone is happy.

My how those girls have added to my life. I'm sure I would have been very depressed through my cancer treatments if not for Abby and Jo sticking close to me and giving me a reason to smile.  And as I continue with out patient therapy for the next few weeks, I know they'll be close by and keep a smile on my face! hat a difference a lick makes!

My first out patient therapy was yesterday and it went well. The journey begins!

Friday, August 14, 2015

I Shed a Few Tears

                            Enjoyed seeing this colorful row of containers earlier this season!

The doctor said, "How are things going?" I said, "Hard. Very Hard." He said, "It's a hard surgery."

The last two weeks have been very difficult. I don't think either Jerry or I realized how hard they would be. It isn't just the exercises. I couldn't get up by myself the first week which was an added burden for Jerry and his back.

The surgery went well and the doctor is pleased. We saw him yesterday for the two week follow up and he said everything was going as needed to. He told me not to rush from the walker to the cane. To continue using it for two more weeks. The Home Care therapist started me on the cane Monday. So I'll back away from the cane taking it a little slower. I apparently have reached the early goals with Home Care. Out patient therapy starts next week.

I've certainly had some depression along the way, and a few tears. I don't think I've ever experienced anything as hard. The doctor's going to let me go three days a week for therapy. I think that's a good decision. I do have a major goal. I'm going away the 22nd-25th of September, and I need to be able to walk fairly well by then. That' five weeks away.

The girls have helped by loving and caring for me. Jerry has helped with watering my containers and hanging baskets, and putting fresh water in the bird baths. The pain pills aren't helping as much as I'd like them too, but I'm getting by.

The morning of surgery, when I finally got to my room, my friend, Faye, knocked softly on the door and came in with a big smile. She had been through knee replacement surgery before and knew exactly what I'm going through.

She carried a box of gifts. Have you ever been part of contributing to"a gift each day to encourage you?" I have a few times, and it's a nice thing to do. I've enjoyed opening a new little gift each day to help me along. Simple things like chap stick the first day. Tylenol, Kleenex, hand gel, etc. There was also a lovely CD of favorite hymns and quotes by Oswald Chambers. Thank you, Faye!

Friends have also brought meals, came to visit and sent cards. I'm thankful for the many expressions of kindness to help me along my way.

Last week I was pleased to see "our" first fawn for 2015. It was walking up to the back gate with it's Mom. I've seen it another time since then. We don't get them as much as we did several years ago, but it's nice to know I have a new one to see occasionally.

Please continue to pray for me as I undergo therapy. I know it's still going to be difficult for a while, but the results will be worth it.

I was planning to have the other knee done in November if all went well with this one. That will certainly NOT happen. I think I've been through enough this year.

Cheer me on now as I strive to improve enough to go away in September!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Walking Again

"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it." Kierkegaard
This morning, for the first time since surgery, I walked out back in the cool of the morning. It was a wonderful feeling! And it didn't take long for my camera to find my new hibiscus bush and smile at the blooms. It has made remarkable growth since May and will be a bright spot in the 4th garden on the north side of the house.


During this recouperation time that walking has been slow and difficult I've picked up Richard Paul Evans' "Walk" series to read again. It's kind of encouraging me to not give up.

He reminded me that "any place is within walking distance if you have the time." I got encouraging words from my therapist yesterday morning that I was on track and doing well. Of course, that doesn't make the exercises any easier.

I like what Kierkegaard said. Sometimes we do have to walk away from things for both good and bad reasons. But we can always walk towards good things, the right path, pleasant scenes, doing the right thing.

God sets us free to an abundant life lovingly prepared by Him. My friend, Karla Dornacher's print of a bird set free from it's cage sits near my computer screen and always makes me smile.

So thank God this morning that you are able to walk, and if you're walking takes place with the help of a wheelchair or walker, be thankful there is help each step of the way.

May each step you take shine for Jesus!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Saturday Morning Parade

My Saturday mornings of fawn spotting are now over. Tomorrow (the 28th) I undergo knee replacement surgery. I ask for your prayer support for the surgery to go well, and that I will be diligent in the physical therapy exercises.

I normally go fawn spotting through August, but I can't complain. I've snapped some nice pictures this year.  I may miss a blog or three while I'm recuperating so I dedicate this post to all the fawn snaps I so enjoy capturing! God always gives you the desires of your heart if your heart is one with His.

Loved the way I saw only the head and ears! Not positive this is a fawn, but I like it anyway!

The thrill of a moment!

Are you babysitting or did you adopt?

Tender moments.

Quiet scenes

Everything alright?

She gave a kick at another doe and then made sure she didn't return.

Hello little one.

An unexpected snap on the way to the grocery store.

A little one indeed! What a thrill!

My you look pretty!

Little one follows Mom into the woods.
Another lovely moment between doe and fawn.
I got to watch them for 10 minutes as they ate and walked around.
Reminds me of my girls always sticking together!
I find my Saturday morning fawn spottings to be relaxing and peaceful. Watching them play and walk around with Mom is a delight!
Thanks so much for your prayers to come. Surgery's at 7:30 am tomorrow, the 28th. I'll be back soon with one good knee! One to go.