Background HTML Whitewashed

Monday, November 23, 2015

Birthday Wishes and a Magnolia Market Road Trip

Sometimes a Birthday Wish is so easy to grant!

This weekend past we celebrated Katie's Birthday with a Road Trip to Waco and the fabulous Magnolia Marketplace!!!

If you've been listening to my rambling for long ;-) you know that we're a big fan of HGTV's Fixer-Upper and this daughter just couldn't wait to visit their new silo and storefront!

The Silos are a work in progress (I see another road trip in our future!), but the storefront was simply a delight...

Even the floors spoke Welcome to us!

And of course we registered our visit in the guestbook...birthday girl and all...

And then we shopped...

And if you're observant (which of course you are) you noticed I'm in a different outfit from the beginning of this post (I know, you just scrolled up to check, smiling), and that's because we might have had to come back 2 days in a row to take it all in... heaven for these 2 country girls!

And then, when you get all shopped out (or you just need to get refueled) we headed for the Food Truck Court...

Crepes in Texas... Another new favorite!
Watching the children play as we ate,
the perfect family place...
moms shop, kids play, dads wait :-)

Then we wandered over to the Texas Farm Garden...

We fell in love with this rustic tee-pee reading corner!

I might have decided I want one.
With wild jasmine and sweet honeysuckle climbing the cedar wall posts,
it will be the perfect "secret" garden for our grandkids out at the lake!

We met the sweet young thing that built it...
and she convinced me we could build one too!

The Farmer just smiles...

What's one more project?!

Our trip wound down with the requisite #milestomagnolia photo op
and then it was time to pack up and head home...

Chip and Joanna sent us off with their Blessing :-)

And indeed, we are so very blessed.

Mom would be the first to agree.
but it could never steal the joy she brought to our lives.

Mom's heart beat to see the family circled together...
this road trip would have thrilled her to no end.

And in these days of counting our blessings,
and celebrating Thanksgiving with love,
we can feel her smile and hug like a real thing.

It was the best Birthday!
Love you to pieces, Katie!

Always and Forever,
                                 Mom and Dad


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Strength of our Anchor...


It's the storms of life
that prove the strength of our Anchor.

Life is hard.
And you probably don't need a blog post to tell you that.  I know.
A pancreatic cancer diagnosis is like that.  Hard.  And how do you walk it out?  Reason it through?  Come to grips with it, even a little bit?

Would you be surprised if I told you that maybe you can't... Sometimes there are no words when life is this cruel.  When mothers are stricken with terminal cancers, and brothers are taken too young, and spouses lose the fight... What if life is just too hard.  And the storms just overwhelm? And there are no answers...
We've felt that way.  And in a grace-gift, my mornings devotion reminded me that we're not alone... For the disciples surely didn't seem to have a handle on the storm that nearly swamped them...
35 That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
                                                                                  Mark 4:35-41
We see it too.  These storms... they can just swamp us.  It's not the cloudy, overcast days.  Or the chilly winds that blow in.
The storms that send us scrambling for cover and quivering with fear can come up like a "furious squall"...  the disciples felt it.  That panicky, overwhelming desperation... the terrifying fight to stay alive, even while the waves break over you in a relentless, overpowering torrent. 
And yet, the moment the disciples called on Jesus, the storm broke.  The wind and waves obedient to His voice.  Perfect peace descended where once was fear and chaos. 
In the midst of our cancer storm, when the waves of pain and horror and grief threatened to take us under, when our questions keened the heavens...He was there.  
And we learned that no storm is big enough to prevent God from accomplishing His will. To draw us in out of the tempest, holding us close in Grace, replacing fear with Peace and pouring Mercy over the heartache.   
Perhaps that is why we have no answer for these storms, for when life is hard.  We were never supposed to have the answer. 
It is Jesus alone who Anchors our storm-tossed souls.  Who gives Perfect Peace to the grieving heart.  Who Calms in the fiercest of gales.
He is the answer.  Always, Jesus.
May you find a calm in the center of your storm this night,
that comes from resting wholly in the Strength of your Anchor.
His Hold is Forever and Always.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Honoring our Veterans

Thank you Veteran's!
Your service is a priceless gift,
hallowed by sacrifice.
Hearts spilling over in thanksgiving and remembrance.
May you be honored by the gratitude of a nation today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Everyone Poops...

Well, yes, that certainly seems to be the case, and small children seem to find the book by the same name hilariously funny...

But if you're a pancreatic cancer patient and taking lots of narcotic pain meds to manage the pain, it doesn't necessarily follow that everyone poops and can lead to not so funny moments in the cancer journey...

However, the point of this blog post has nothing to do with either the somewhat inappropriate but hilarious book or the pancreatic cancer pain management journey...

It's just true that everyone poops...

and now we can do it at the Lake Place!

And, really, this is an important development.  Especially if you might be one of the friends or family who visit our Lake Place...

First came the water well... now for the septic.
(and I have pictures.)
And when they were done, we just stared in awe at our wonderful,
amazing, super-exciting Septic Field... Yay!!
Then we got busy and planted some Native Prairie seed...
It might have been a little muddy...
But we got 'er done!
It might not look like much now, but just you wait...
come spring time, we'll be knee-deep in beautiful!
In the meantime, we'll just have to admire the real throne of beauty...
... because, you know, everyone poops...
It's the little things in life that make us smile :-)
Praying your day is blessed in abundance
 with all the things, big and little, that give you joy. 
My Love, Always,

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hope in the Dark...

Trusting in Grace to walk us through the shadow valleys...

there is Hope, even in the darkest moments of this journey.