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chasing rainbows, waterfalls and sunsets

this summer has to be one of my most favorite.

at the beginning of the year, i prayed asking for specific words for 2013.  i got 4 words.  i asked for 3 but got 4.  the 4th one is truly a hearts desire for me but i realize i have stuffed it and kept it hidden (maybe not?)…..the 3 words are irrelevant for this post, but the 4th…..ah.  the word was travel.  i actually tried to dismiss it, but realized i just couldn’t and be true to myself.  i won’t go into all the travels i have done this year that make that word so meaningful, but one of the trips was red river, new mexico….we actually went 2 times this summer.

the first time we went, we stayed pretty close to base and helped how and when we could for the purpose we went.  the second time, i realized i was missing out on some things that were important to me, personally…..

in the valley of red river, the town, the sun rises and sets beyond the mountains.  we are in a bowl like setting and i never saw a full sunrise (not that those usually fit my schedule) or a full sunset.

we have one day completely to ourselves during the week of activities we went up for.  i told the kids (and the hubs) to be prepared to be gone from early (was not going to torture them for the sunrise) til after the sunset.  everyone was game……until the waiting game came along.  LOL….by about 5 they were READY to go home.

we  i, i mean, WE had a blast.  we ate out, got baked goods from a top rated bakery, shopped, got ice cream from our favorite place in taos, drove around and saw sites and then drove up the mountain to the ski area…..we hung out there for a bit and on the way back down, we saw a black bear.  that was pretty exciting and got everyones blood pumping just a bit.

while we were up on the mountain, the complaints began…..the need for a bathroom, the ‘i’m bored’ s started, the questions of how long this was gonna take and what time was it (they all have phones and watches, mind you), and ‘when did i say we were going home?’…..

this all started to chip away at me and at the same time it began to cloud over and rain.  i thought ‘well, cr@p….let’s just hang this one up’….so we started down the mountain and that’s when we saw the bear.

excitement….but no picture 😉

then, as we made it to the foot of the mountain the kids pointed out the rainbow.  they got so excited….everyone was taking turns out the sun roof, taking pictures.

we made our way to the gorge bridge.  i really wanted to see the sunset from there, but realized once there that the hill we were on would block us from seeing the sun hit the horizon.

that’s when the fun really began.  we raced back to the car and fled through the open roads to a spot we could see the sun set.  windows down, breezes blowing….it was so much fun.  everyone was laughing and watching the sun and having a great time.

i realized after the sun had gone down beyond taking pictures, that i was teaching my children to capture the miracles of God that we take for granted every day.

sunrises.

sunsets.

butterflies.

bears.

rainbows.

river rapids making waterfalls.

each others company.

i know they will tell you today that that day was torture on them.  LOL.  but i also know that that day will be remembered with great joy.  maybe not in my lifetime, but,

it will.

i know it.

 

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His angels keep watch

I got one of those dreaded calls moms get. The one with a huge sob on the other end and only ‘Mom’ would come out. The one that makes your heart stop, or at least jump into your throat. The one where you panic inside and try to keep calm and find out what happened. Yea. One of those.

it was gretchen.

she was on her way to work.

she tried to tell me what had happened, but i couldn’t make heads or tails out of it.  all i got was that the window was busted and she was ok.  i wanted to go get her, but she reassured me she was ok and she was headed to work.

later that night, she explained what had happened.  sounded like a near miss to me.  like a miracle.  like god was truly watching out for her. when i asked her about it, she felt like the near miss was a punishment of some sort.  i HATE that.  we talked about it and she came around to the fact that truly he was watching over her and protected her.

i felt compelled to go by the ‘scene’ to see what i could see.

i was shocked.

i could do nothing but pray and praise jesus for keeping my little girl safe.

the pictures will show how close she came to, probably, losing her life.  while i was there, the intersection was empty.  i prayed and asked god to put a car in the position gretchen was in at the time.  that is this:

an 18-wheeler came upon a red light and was, ahem, distracted, it seems.  there were cars lined up at the red light, so he swerved to miss them and went into the grass, hitting, knocking over and bending signs. the light was green (for what would have been this white truck) for gretchen.  she said she did not know what made her NOT move, but she didn’t.  she looked over and saw this truck coming at her and said she literally thought she was gonna die.

the truck came, it looks like to me about 2-3 inches from hitting her straight on.

he never stopped.  he just hit the highway and kept on going.

i am amazed and oh. so. thankful i have my 17 year old precious daughter still here.  and i am so glad she is beginning to see how much he loves her to protect her like he did.  and!  i am so glad he is not done with her yet and she is beginning to see she has a purpose to be here.

Jennifer - July 27, 2013 - 1:30 am

Ginny, this is just amazing–so difficult to take in. I am so thankful I came over here tonight to read this. Your sharing about God’s provision here for Gretchen–the reality that He is with us, our Protector, is just what I needed to hear right now. Thank you.

Barbie - July 27, 2013 - 2:39 am

Oh my goodness. So thankful your precious daughter is okay. I came across your post in my FB feed from another blogger I follow. Rejoicing with you in His protection over our daughter.

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passing the baton

i really wanted a picture of harrison passing the baton to one of his teammates for this…..for obvious reasons (ahem, the title)…and didn’t have one that was clear enough to use……so, i decided this picture would work…what it says to me is….that at the end of the day…as in THE END OF MY DAYS, what will i have passed on to my children?

i have been contemplating this for a while.  a long time, actually.  i even thought about writing about it before–i have a draft of a post from 2 years ago.

last night it became clear…well more clear.  more like a little more mud removed from the screen.

i have LONG beaten myself up for the fact that i have, in many ways, repeated and passed on unhealthy and even abusive ways of relating to my children/husband/family/friends.  i can see so many ways i have failed to take a stand for what is right along the years.

i see so many other ‘healthy’ families and want that so badly for me and mine.  i see families that have (what seems to me) to have a deep connectedness, all willing and working on healthy conflict resolution, doing life together……i see families that have grandparents completely involved in their grandchildren’s lives.  i see divorced families working things out peaceably.

i want so much more for my children.

don’t we all?????

i heard a story last night from a dad…a man who’s dad came from horrible abuse.  a dad who (from my view) was JUST surviving his childhood.  this younger man told of the horror stories his dad told him about how he grew up.  the anger, the rage, the abuse.  The speaker told of how he had learned to not look at what his dad DIDN’T do for him and look at what his dad DIDN’T pass on to him.  He learned to not focus on the times he felt he missed with his dad, because his dad just didn’t know how to do those kinds of things….what he chose to focus on was how his dad STOPPED the horrid from being passed on and down the line.

this story gave me SUCH HOPE.  i have had such a longing to know i am doing better for my children than i had done for me.  and with that story last night, i saw that i have done that–that i am doing that.

i may not be taking my children as far as i wanted to…and yes, there is still time.  but to know that they will take the baton and go further with their family than i did….and their children will go even further…away from the devastation, the neglect and abuse  i grew up in and live a freer life from the beginning.

Kaye - July 21, 2013 - 5:38 pm

Someone once said to me regarding our children…our ceiling is there floor…I love that!

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cole slaw….the easy way ;)

better late than never?  i hope so….its now great b-b-que time.  so i am finally sitting down to write out the cole slaw recipe.  cheese potatoes coming next!

to read about the origins of this recipe, read here .

cole slaw

  • 1 cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonaise (i’ve never gotten brave enough to try another brand)
  • 3 T. lemon juice (bottled works just fine, but fresh does take it a notch
  • 2 T. sugar (can use honey)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. horseradish (the one of the secret ingredients)
  • 3/4 t celery seed
  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped find green pepper

whisk 1st 6 ingredients together.  combine vegetables and add sauce mix.  Stir well.

that’s it.  so easy and so good.

now….i do take a short cut in that i purchase ready made shredded cabbage mix.  it does have carrots in it, although not 1 cup.  so, i just decide in the moment if i can make that happen or not.  the bell pepper is a non-negotiable.  it is the other secret ingredient.  i usually just put it through the food processor.

 

Wanda Williams - August 1, 2013 - 6:22 pm

YUM! Worth the wait. Thanks!

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When pictures don’t work

Having just spent 24 hours in Moore, Oklahoma serving food and just helping where needed in the moment, I’m a bit overwhelmed at the devastation and destruction this town (and several surrounding towns) were hit with last week.

Being a photographer, I really wanted to come back with some great pictures to communicate what I saw. I couldn’t.

Oh, I took some pictures.

I hope I took pictures that mean something. But not lots of pictures of what it looks like there.

I just couldn’t.

I woke up several times in the night last night and asked why. I feel like God spoke and told me why.

Now-when I say He spoke, I mean impressions or mental images come to me that speak a message to what I just asked.

What He showed me was some images of watching the news. Of seeing images on the Internet, of watching tv shows.

I asked about this.

What came to me is the fact that with television and the Internet, we see so much. We have seen destruction in movies and with special effects and photoshop, images can be made to look so much more graphic than real life.

No amount of pictures could communicate the horrific experience these communities are walking through. Nothing can capture the smell of rotting food mixed with gas leaks mixed with sewage leaks. No amount of photoshop can show the emotion (or shock) these people are walking through life with, in this moment, just to keep walking. No image can capture the block after block, street after street, mile after mile of nothingness that was once thriving neighborhoods.  NO picture can shout the sound of silence that screams, and the echo that a single car can make.

and i do have pictures.  the pictures i chose to take are the ones that speak of the chosen condition of humanity when hard things happen.  pictures that tell of humor, hope and hard work that goes into making the best of a rotten situation.  I truly don’t want anyone feeling like I am gawking.  Or taking advantage of them.  while there are stories of great tragedy, there are stories that tell of the goodness of God in the miracles that happened.

 

the humor and practicality in these next 2 pictures was great.  things like this were all over!

I loved this!
at first, I thought this tent was someone who didn’t have a house.  it actually was someone who came down from Chicago to serve.  He came with his dog and was staying as long as he is needed…..now that’s heart!
OU pride was EVERYWHERE!  Our American flags were flying all over, too!

some pictures were given to me by a coworker who took pictures while I drove 😉  Thanks, Angie!

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