Monday, July 30, 2012

Our "Love Story"... counting my blessings

For months now I've kept a journal of gifts...blessings. In honor of our anniversary, I thought I'd take a moment to highlight a few that I'm most thankful for when I think of our love story and the years that Sam and I've shared.

"Thereto I plight thee my troth"... 35 years ago Sam and I repeated this vow from The Book of Common Prayer to each other... such an old fashioned way of saying I promise to love you forever and always. For those of you who know our story, I think you'll agree that it's quite a miracle of sorts that we're celebrating today. After all, I didn't even know how to spell Sam's last name when I answered his marriage proposal with , "Yes." We'd only been dating for a month. Hoskin without an "s"... details. Praises for the blessing of knowing without a doubt what was far more important and that was that Sam loved God and wanted His love to be the foundation for our love.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry." ... a line from Love Story, an iconic movie of our generation. Just one line...another detail... but one that was sure to bring heartache if we'd believed it. Praises for the blessing of marrying a man who knew how untrue those words were. Love is all about saying, "I'm sorry"... they're the most healing words in any relationship. Over the years, we've both asked for forgiveness far more times than we can count... praises for God's gift of grace.

"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay." Ruth 1:16 This was the verse embossed on the front of our wedding invitation. Praises for the blessing of literally traveling around the world with my best friend. What wonderful adventures we've shared! Praises also for the valleys of heartbreak and disappointment. To be honest, I wish we could have skipped the valley tours. But then again, if I'm really really honest, it's in the valleys that Sam and I have learned what "plighting our troth" truly means.

Even a short list of blessings wouldn't be complete if I didn't count you, our friends and family, who are a part of our story. How blessed we've been for the past 35 years to be loved and encouraged... lifted up in prayer by you all. Thank you for sharing in our celebration by reading this blog... wish you could all join us for dinner tonight, but unfortunately Sam only made the reservation for 2 :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Most Precious Gift

Trying to put into words my feelings on this day of celebration. My godfather, my Uncle Simon, passed away this morning. I'm sad that our paths won't ever be crossing here again, but count myself so blessed and will forever celebrate his life and legacy. To honor him, I want to share the most precious
of many treasured memories...
the gift Uncle Simon gave me every time we were together.
Simply put, it was the gift of love, but it's how he expressed his love that I'll forever cherish. It was like he threw me a party as he welcomed me into his arms. He celebrated me for being me!
Could there be a more precious gift ?
What a beautiful legacy
of a most special man.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lifting up and Letting Go

I just love this hand...water rushing... love the memory of the wonder.... so symbolic of the heart journey I've been traveling these days... a journey I want to share with the hope that it might encourage someone somewhere to join me as I strive to lift up praise and let go of hurt.

In my last blog I shared that I'd begun keeping a list of moments I count as gifts. What a blessing this has been to journal, count, and recount the simplest of gifts given for my joy by the creator of ALL! Believe me, my hands and heart have been wide open as I thankfully and eagerly receive God's goodness.

On the other hand, though celebrating Lent is not a part of my religious heritage, I've been mindful of this season of soul searching and repentance... this time of letting go of the bondage of sin in preparation for the life giving gift of Jesus we commemorate as we celebrate his resurrection. As I've shared before, life, this past couple of years, has been hard and unfortunately, in the process, I believe that, I've become hard too... the hurts have taken a toll on my heart. If I'm really honest with myself, I'm guilty of claiming God's grace but not sharing it by forgiving as I should.

Matthew 6: 14-15 says, "For if you forgive other people when they sin againist you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." It's a simple as that.

It's as simple as living with my hands wide open... just like D ... lifting up praise and letting go of hurt... letting the precious blood of Jesus wash away all that would keep me from him... all that would keep any of his children from him.

Counting gifts...

20. Walking hand in hand with someone who loves you.

45. Rain! Sky darkening; Earth shaking; Ear splitting

56. The sound of shared mother/son laughter at the dawn of a new day

77. Out of the mouths of babes... Riley: "Grandma, do you love me big or little?"

93. Eating ice cream until my lips are numb!!

124. Morning babbling.... quiet thoughts I can only wonder at their meaning... music to my ears.

137. Hot bath... unrushed... quiet house.

143. Scripture written on my heart to wrestle with the demons of a sleepless night.

149. Bacon... the smell of "home" in the early morn.

167. Picnic with many that we could feel the wind of their wings as they took flight.

174. Riley: "Grandma, I love you the best!" Me: "Do you tell everyone that?" Riley: "Yes." Love this!!! The way we shoud love everyone... the best!

175. Lingering aftershave... so loving, reassuring, comforting, peace giving

185.Goodnight moon in a sea of clouds sprinkled with twinkle stars.

187. Friends to the rescue...

194. Home sweet home... Vanessa resting in her own bed.

195 Celebrating Sam- 60 years!!

204.Pei Wei take out and happy grandchildren... relaxed in the fireplace...cozy<3

220. Riley wearing skeleton jammies: "Dogs eat bones... but a dog won't eat my leg.. Right, Grandma?"

229. Friends joining me for dinner.... loving and supporting

230. Friendly Riley...Red, yellow, black and white... young, old... Riley befriends them all.

232. Dinner and loooong night with sister friends.

238. Trees ready to burst open... spring is in the air!!

240. Hope in my heart for happy days to come.... blessed!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Favorite Gifts

When I think of challenging years, 2011 has to take the cake! Our family faced what seemed like impossible trials... yet when I look back through the lens of my camera, I realize the blessings far outweighed the darkness. I think that's true for all of us. Life is hard, but God is good.... always.
One of the most inspiring books that I've read recently is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp. It's as though she'd been in my shoes traveling along side me. Her trials were not mine, as mine are not yours... but pride, fear, and feelings of a fist clenching effort to control what can't be controled are not that uncommon. What began as a dare for her, proved to be lifechanging ... a dare to simply list 1,000 list 1,000 moments that affirmed God's love for her and to give thanks.
I'm excited to have begun my own list for 2012 and will share moments as I can...
1. Morning coffee with Sam
2. The blessing of having someone to miss
3. Helpful neighbors... locked myself out of the house while wearing my Cookie Monster jammies :)......
8. Fall kissed leaves dancing in a sea of blue
9. Grandma's carved wood headboard

.....but before moving on, I wanted to share just a handful of the gifts God blessed me with this past year.

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And to think 2011 was a crazy hard year.... so very thankful for the blessings