“Star of Hope, A Season of Waiting”

Christmas from Stock exchange

Christmas from Stock exchange

Star of Hope, A Season of waiting.

Prepare, Watch, Behold and Rejoice.  These are the words on our banner at our local country church. Each week a new strip has be added and hung each Sunday through the season of Advent.  Tonight is when we celebrate our Saviors birth. Have you been preparing? It seems we have for the entire month with decorating, shopping, baking, gift wrapping and card sending to our loved ones. It’s done. It is now time to watch, behold and rejoice. A time to celebrate the Prince of Peace who has come gently into the “far-from-peaceful” world.  What a gift it is to rest in the joy of his coming to bring Hope to every soul who seeks Him.

”Star of Hope” was a service held for a local Hospice House. A time for families to come together to remember and reminisce about the loved ones they have lost this year. A time to remember when families spent time together with their loved one caring for them. A time to share the life they led and thank them for all they did for each one of us.  A sad time but a time when we could reassure them that we loved them and were grateful for them. The service gave those present the feeling of hope.

Life is a Journey.  It is about everyday struggles of lives and how people can move on stronger than ever after a conflict has happened to them. My father was in this “Star of Hope” Season this year. We siblings cared for him, in his home. With the help of a local Hospice Care unit we managed to keep dad’s wishes and cared for him. What a Blessing it was for me. Tough days mixed with rewarding days. The journey ended January 18, 2012 after many years of battling cancer.

It is time to behold and rejoice. As you celebrate this Christmas Season with your family remember the “Reason for this Season”.  Jesus came that we may have everlasting life.  We need to rest in the assurance that we will rejoice at the end of our earthly life. Today I am wondering what Christmas will be like in Heaven for my dad this year. He will be rejoicing with other loved ones, celebrating the Christmas Season with the heavenly angels for the first time.

Be prepared, keep watching, behold our Savior, and rejoice with your families with Christmas Joy.

“It is in darkness that one finds the Light….”   Keep looking. Merry Christmas and remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Merry Christmas Dad and all my loved ones.

 

 

“The missing Piece”

“The Missing Piece”

Piece: A part broken or separated from the whole. It is any single thing, a specimen, a piece of music.   Piecing: To add pieces to as in repairing, to join together pieces.

I haven’t taken time to write a blog for some time.  The pieces just don’t fit together with summer here and all the activities to enjoy. Winter stayed too long with our last snow storm May 2, 2013. Spring and summer arriving very late. In a farm community that is not the right combination. Concerns turn to prayers now that the crops are in that could get in.

Puzzles are joined pieces together.  While my father was in our care we put puzzles together. My brother had completed many in the past and it became something that we all worked on while we spent our time with dad during his final days on earth.  He shared with us the decision he made to no longer have any doctor appointments, diagnosis or treatment in October, 2012 and entered into Hospice care soon thereafter.  He was very fortunate that his four children and a grandson and granddaughter could help care for him, lovingly in his home, until his death January 18, 2013. I enjoyed the time spent with my siblings. As our lives stay busy we don’t get together as often and I loved the time we had together caring for dad.  I miss the connections.

Those puzzles completed allowed us to sit at the table and visit. Dad wasn’t much into the puzzle work. He would rather have a card game of huckley buck or 500 and that we did lots of.  The puzzles would become a conversation piece and when we couldn’t find a piece we were sure it was missing.  Then the next day it would appear. Friends and family would stop by to visit with dad and usually try to find a piece.  Two wild life pictures were completed and mounted.  The final puzzle we hesitated to start because we knew that it would probably not get completed in dad’s time.  However, we started it anyway.  “Nothing like a Jonathan” by Robert Duncan was given to us by a cousin. The picture of two little boys picking apples and their dog reminded her of the family dog, Patsy, that we grew up with and my two little brothers. Dad, the missing piece, shows up often in thought.  My daughter misses him awful and my son is caring for his land with a difficult spring.

The day of dad’s funeral service I rolled up the pieces completed in felt and moved them to my home.  I enjoyed working on it in the parlor by a nice sunny south window in the middle of winter.  As I completed sections I realized that I had a “missing piece”.  The color I needed just wasn’t among the remaining pieces. It really was missing.  Somewhat how it felt this past Sunday, Father’s Day, with dad no longer with us. He is now a missing piece of our family.

When I completed the puzzle I decided I wanted to mount it.  I made a piece from the cover of the box, with just the right color, and carefully shaped it to the missing piece.  It is visible but if you didn’t know the piece was missing you may not catch it. My husband got the board ready while I worked on getting the piece cut out just so with the correct color and shape. We bought the right puzzle glue and the project finished.  A few days later, while vacuuming, my husband said “guess what I found?” I knew what room he was in and I knew what he had found. I said “the puzzle piece.” It was the puzzle piece. Now I keep the missing piece in my desk drawer and every time I open the drawer I see the piece and I think of dad. A belated Happy Father’s Day to you dad. You are missed by your children, grandchildren and friends. God Bless you.

The missing puzzle piece

The missing puzzle piece

Community – Ties That Bind us together

We all belong to a community. It can be a family unit, co-workers, service organization, Church, Political parties, sports teams, volunteer groups, and many more ways of tying together. Some of these you joined to be an active supportive member.  Your family unit you became a part just by being born.  Whatever community you are a part of you have something in common and it binds you together. Lots of glue holds people together. That Glue is Love, Respect and caring.

I am going to pick just a few of these communities to share with you.  Family, especially our siblings, is our first and oldest community. They knew us as we grew into who we are now. Family communities might be delightful or difficult or both. Family builds deep and complex bonds.  Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts and uncles, as well as cousins, become part of this community. It will last a lifetime. My heart swells as I think of all my siblings and I have been through as a family.  Some delightful days, and some that we might struggle with.  However, the bond that ties will always be there to hold us together.

The Church is a distinctive community, unlike any other. It is not based on us at all. It is the stirring of the Holy Spirit, who calls us, gathers us and enlightens us. Our little country church, Red Oak Grove, has a mission statement that says, “Gathering in Grace, Growing in Faith and going forth to Service.”  What a blessing it is for me to be part of this family. For me being part of my church enables me to be quilting with the ladies for local and world missions, being apart of the Women’s organization that does so much for the church and allows me to grow my faith. We recently celebrated our 150th Anniversary of “Celebrating God…Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. May it continue to grow for another 150 years in God’s Grace.

Next,  I will pick two, as they fit together, Service Organizations and Sports Team.  Our little town just won the Boys Basketball Sub-Section Seat and will play for the section title this Thursday. This has not happened in over 40 years.  This draws a community together to support the team. Our  school is one of 80 schools in the United States with a one-of-a-kind nickname “Awesome Blossoms“. Our name was just in “most unusual mascot competition sponsored by USA Today. Unfortunately we lost to a much larger community by votes. Lots of votes were cast and we tried very hard but still came up short.  I live in a small community that cares about the people who live here.  While the Boys Basketball team brings lots of excitement and joy to our community a house fire, one day ago, brought sadness to a family and the entire community will rally around them to pray, support, comfort and help them anyway that

Boys Basket Ball "Blossoms" Team

Boys Basket Ball “Blossoms” Team

we can.  When you live in a small town people truly care about one another and show it. This small community supports a Chamber, Education Foundation, Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance, Cancer Group, Lions, PTO,  Semcac,  Scouts, Knights of Columbus, VFW-Legion and Auxiliary, Women of Today, Ministerial Assoc. and Local Boys and Girls Club that all work together to make this a wonderful community. Which organization are you a part of?  I am so proud to be a “Blossom” and live where I can count on my neighbors if and when I should need their leaning hand.

Whether you like it or not you are part of a community.  Being a part of a community has been God’s design for human life. Our lives will be better for being a part of a community and it will give us purpose.  Communities help us enjoy life, contribute to the well-being of our neighbors.  It helps us to learn new things and maybe we will live longer.  Let’s celebrate Community.

Christmas Time

Evening of Christmas Day - Sky Lantern

Evening of Christmas Day – Sky Lantern

                                                                               Christmas Time

 It seems Christmas comes more rapidly ever year.  Why is that? Because things are more essential to me as I get older? Do I find more happiness in everything I do? My family is so important to me? Could it be all of the above? The answer is, yes, yes and yes.

 Getting older makes me recognize that I may not have the time to make a difference in someone else’s life. I gave each of my Grandchildren an item with this saying on it: “I can’t promise that I will be here for the rest of your life, but I can promise I will Love you for the rest of mine”. The days turn into years so rapidly. My Grandchildren are becoming their own unique person, each of them.  I love who they are becoming.

 It is not hard for me to have a good day.  I can usually come up with a way to try and make my day very pleasant.  It can be spending time with Grandchildren, family, friends, doing something at church or doing something for someone. The schedule can hold wrestling matches, basketball games, dance recitals, school programs.

 At the present time I am spending some time with my siblings.  Our father is in hospice care at his home and we are doing our very best to make each day as pleasant as we can for him.   As we each have our own families, it is harder to spend time together. We are getting some reminiscing done and it is fun to talk about some remembered events. We recently had our family Christmas and our dad couldn’t be with us.  Each member of the family makes visits to his home when they can.

 For our Christmas Eve, I and my husband enjoyed the most wonderful time.  It started with evening Church, supper with those available to join us at our daughters’ home, Christmas light viewing and games. It was a magnificent time and elegantly completed. Christmas day our entire family joined us, at our home, for food, games and gifts. The night ended with a sky lantern being lifted off in honor of dad. Now our concerns turn to 2013.  May you each find Joy and Peace in the New Year.

 We want to Wish Blessings to you all.