Friday, December 28, 2012

Love Story - Love to Be Together

Many people are divorced by the time they are married for 21 years.  I remember telling my husband that we need to be careful and not take for granted our relationship.  There are many friends and family members that have gotten a divorce around 21 years of marriage.

Yet, I find that our relationship is getting better and better.  He loves me more than last year and I love him more.

Recently, we got together with some family who came to visit.  They were sight seeing and exploring as much as possible.  I was thrilled they got to come to Utah and see us and such a great state.  But, Shae chose to stay with the kids and I when everyone else split up on hikes.  He wanted to drive us around or explore with his younger children and wife.

I didn't make him stay with me.  
I didn't guilt him into spending time with us.  
Manipulation was not used or any type of fear tactics.  

He loves me.  He loves his family.  We are all so close and have a great time together.  

Why would we want to be apart?

(picture above taken at The Weeping Rock at Zion National Park, Utah by
Hanna Smith   She is my daughter.
She does some of the graphic art for me.)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Sock Fiscal Cliff

With the economy in the pot as well as a fiscal cliff larger than the one my children peered down at Angel's Landing in Zion National Park, we are trying to be debt free and teach our children to be even more fiscally responsible.

I get up early to write before everyone wakes up.  I had the news on, Ch 4 ABC out of Salt lake City, Utah.  The anchorman on that news show is a riot.  He tore apart our elected leaders and gave his very pointed opinion.  He stated that if we didn't have a budget for four years and we didn't pay our bills then we would be in jail!  Yet, our law makers can do just that.

It is sad we cannot use our government as an example to teach our children financial responsibility.  But, we can start in our own homes.  

Hence, the next year.

We are cutting back and forward and sideways - everything we feel we can do without.

My children have always been taught the value of the dollar and being caretakers of what they own.  When my oldest two turned 15 yrs old they had to save their money to buy clothes and the items they needed that were beyond what mom and dad would provide.  

So - when my son walked out of the bedroom yesterday I almost cried laughing when he told me his great idea.

He walked out and said, "Mom, I got a great idea.  My socks are wearing out on the bottom so I turned them around so the heel is on the top.  Now I can wear them longer!"

My husband replied while I doubled over in laughter, "I guess you will get blisters on the top now!"

I laughed all day about it.  He is such a nut - but frugal!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hope for the New Year

Holidays come and go and it seems they bring a mix of memories good and bad.

As a wife of a ill husband, the holidays were not easy or even inwardly joyful many years. I remember the sadness and compassion that filled my heart as I watched my husband suffer through the normally joyful days surrounding Christmas.  He put on a good show, and so did I.  But, always in my heart was sorrow mixed with joy; sorrow over his illness and joy over him being alive and the wonderful blessings around me.

Every year I can't help but reflect on the difficult years of the past and remember the hope that the New Year brings.

Hope for healing.
Hope for happiness.
Hope for fun and laughter.
Hope for financial favor.
Hope for outward love not just the knowing in my heart because he can't say it because of pain.
Hope for a better year than the last.

As a spouse of an ill loved one, the New Year brings a Hope for something more and something better.

But, what if it doesn't come?  What if this year is worse than the last?

Hope and Fear combine to bring Anxiety and Anxiousness.

Do not worry about tomorrow for today has enough trouble of its own.   - God.

Do not lose your hope for a better day.  But, in having that hope do not rest your happiness upon it.  Our happiness must come from within not in circumstances.  I learned this sometime during year 10-12 of my husband's condition.  I was always looking forward to when his pain would ease up but God showed me that I was not to live for another day but find an inner peace and joy in today.  He didn't get better right away, in fact it got much worse for many years - even close to death numerous times.

I give you hope for this year - a hope that no one can take, no pain can steal, no anxiety or anger can destroy.

Find your Hope in Jesus and his Love - Peace He will give to you, not like the world's peace.  It is a peace that passes all our understanding.  Just start by reminding yourself of little things to be thankful for.  Forget the big ones, like - "At least we don't live in a box!"  Or how bout' this one, "At least he isn't dead."  Honestly, it just hurt more when people would try to remind me of how much easier it was for me.  The fact is - It Is Hard!  So, I tried to find little things in my day that were good.  I was thankful for the little he would eat, or the picture my kids made us that day, the call from a dear friend, or a beautiful sunset.

I do understand.  I do remember.  I won't ever forget - not in unforgiveness, just a reminder and a fact.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Winter Storm

The kids could hardly stand it - one day until Christmas.  We opened up the name exchange gifts for them to enjoy before the big day - tomorrow.

While the kids played and their 18 yr old sister watched them, my husband, son, and I went for our daily hike.  We barely got out of town when the storm hit.  The light snow fall turned into what seemed like a blizzard.  The wind whipped and the snow blew sideways.

I was so thankful we were not further up the valley towards the mountain.  Safety wasn't an issue just the thought of having to hike through the strong wind and snow would have been freezing.

The temperature dropped and the wet roads almost instantly turned to slush.  Being from northern Wisconsin, I have seen my share of blizzards and winter storms, but this one was definitely one of the worst to whip up so fast and hard.

What a great adventure and memory but now I am glad to be  back in the cabin - warm and cozy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Give Up, Let Go, and Let God

There are some things we have to give up on.  Things in life may not change - I call them unchangables.

To lose hope in an area is not always a bad thing.  After years of wanting a certain person to change in an area I have finally given up.  They are not going to change.

So, what do I need to do to be able to accept that person for who they are and not who I need them to be?

If it is a problem that can hurt me physically - than I have to remove myself from that relationship.

But, what if the problem is one that hurts me emotionally?

There is an excellent book called,Boundaries.  It talks about how to love others with out letting that same relationship destroy you.  I've learned a few things:
It is OK to say no.

It is OK to have emotions.

It is OK to not be in a relationship with a person who is destructive.  It does not mean I am in unforgiveness or bitter - it just means that that person cannot be in my life in a deep way.

A counselor told me that our life is like a pie.  We only have to let some people see a piece of it.  We should not let them have it all.  And then there are others who can handle the entire pie and will honor and respect it.  The counselor told me that some people will know the Sheri who was in the military and another person will know the homeschooler side of me.  Yet another will know me by my travels and others still will know my goofy side.  Not everyone can and should get all of me.  It is not healthy for me or those I love.

So, I evaluate my relationships and remind myself when I am serving them too much of me.

Back to the unchangables.  I have lost hope in certain people changing.  Losing hope is extremely freeing.  I hand that person over to God and pray I will learn to love them just the way they are.  Does that mean that my love for them will mean I talk with them all the time or get together with them - no.  It means that I know God is bigger than any problem, fault, or hurt and only He can reveal some things.  So, I give up and let go.  I let go of the relationship and let God be in control  of my life, emotions, relationships, and future.  I can't talk with that person anymore but God will and does love them.

It is OK.  I am telling myself this.  I will be OK.  As long as God is for me - who can be against me?  Take the pole out of my eye.  Help me to not be blind to my own faults.    Help me to see where I need to change.  Heal my heart.  I speak peace, joy, and true love.  Bless those who persecute me.  Help them see their actions and consequences.  Soften their hearts.  Bring true, lasting change where it needs to be and repentance for their sins.  Thank you Lord that vengeance is yours.  Yet, I pray for mercy and restoration with You for me and the person who hurt me.  Show me what to do.  Help me. I need You.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Betrayal -
according to  betrayal/betray means:

1.      to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty:Benedict Arnold betrayed his       country.
to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray atrust.
to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: tobetray one's friends.
to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret.
to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferablyconceal): Her nervousness betrays her insecurity.

Betrayal is something that can come from an enemy or a friend.  It hurts most when it is a loved one, someone dear to your heart.

How could they say that?

Do they not love me?

What kind of person would do that?

How could they just sit by and not say a word?

Betrayal is extremely difficult to deal with.  Jesus was betrayed by not only his enemies, but his friends and family.  He felt the ultimate betrayal and died with that hanging from the cross with him.

He understands betrayal.  He knows how much it hurts.  I'm so thankful He loves me.  I'm so thankful that He always has my back.  I'm so thankful that He will always be there for me.  I'm so thankful He understands.

The only thing I can do in times like this is to pray and not let the devil steal my joy.  The devil uses people and betrayal is one of his favorite tools.  I know it will take time to heal the hurts but I will not let the devil steal my joy, my peace, or my life.

Guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life.       God.

Do not cast your pearls before swine.     God

Mat 5:43-48  You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy."  (44)  But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,  (45)  so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  (46)  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?  (47)  And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax-collectors do so?  (48)  Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

As with all things there is balance.  I must guard my heart and mind.  I cannot put myself into spiritually and physically destructive situations.  Yet, God wants me to have peace in my heart.  So, He helps us come to that place of peace and no bitterness by encouraging us to pray for the betrayer.  There have been times that I had to remove myself from a relationship that was very hurtful for me, but over time I was able to find a peace in my heart and mind and to eventually even pray for God to bless them with His presence, love, and justice.

Sometimes this process is quick other times it can take more than a year.  The result may be reconciliation and other times there can be no relationship restored but only a peace that passes all understanding in my heart.  There are people out there that only want to hurt us and so there can be no communication or relationship.  It is not that there is unforgiveness.  There can be forgiveness but a need for boundaries.

I'll be putting up fences for a long time.  Someone drove on my lawn with a dump truck and dropped a load of poo in an attempt to destroy my home.  I will pray for the driver.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Love Story - Mountain Views

It is so special to take a long walk with my dear hubby up to the mountains.  

We left the cabin and went west towards the base of one of the snow topped mountains.

It began to snow on us, little flakes falling all around.

We tried to keep our talk about positive things - I don't want to waste my alone time with him on negative subjects.  Although there are times that I just need to talk about issues in my life and he listens to me, oh so patiently, as I vent and steam like a hot volcano.  If I had done that today - in the snow - there would have been a lot of steam!

After 30 minutes, or so, we turned around and began hiking back.  The view to the east was even more spectacular than the one to the west.  Snow was falling heavily on the tops of the mountains surrounding the cabin.  

The sun even tried to break through in areas to make an even more spectacular view.

Such beauty with such great company.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Complete Evil in Connecticut

There is no other word to describe what happened today at the school in Connecticut but EVIL.  
Dark days 

Anyone that would shoot children is EVIL.  

Anyone who would shoot his mother is EVIL.

It is hard to write a funny post when families are mourning the loss of their loved one.

My heart and prayers go out to all the people involved in this tragedy and I hope you, the reader will continue to pray for them, through out the years to come.

Healing may take a long time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Peace to my Soul

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

We can be set free from the captivity of emotions, just as this wild horse from Wyoming is free.

There are days when my emotions and feelings seem to be overwhelming.  When they are I always try to remember what Jesus said about peace.  He also said there is a peace that passes all understanding.  Sometimes I can't understand my heart or mind.  I want to be happy and content.  I don't want to be grumpy and short tempered.  That is when we can take a moment to be by ourselves.  Think of all the things we have to be thankful for and remember, there are times that we can't have peace in our own strength.  There is a peace that we can have in Jesus' power, though.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Crazies

Christmas Crazies

don't fall for it.

Spending too much

Last year old friends and a business tried to pull us into their nastiness.  

Once again, this year, more people are trying to bring strife and drama into the holidays. 

But I refuse!

I will not allow any thing to ruin my holidays with my family.  
Brush it off. 
Shake it off.
Blow it off.  
Pray it off.