Monday, December 19, 2011

December, Past & Present

December.   Just that one word brings to mind a whole realm of thoughts and emotions.

I think of the times as a child, we would all (5 kids, Mother & Daddy) load up in the car on Christmas Eve and go drive around town and look at Christmas lights.  When we would arrive back home, we would find that gifts had been left under the tree!  We would open them and of course, enjoy what we received!

As an adult and parent our family usually opened gifts on Christmas morning.  Most of the time we would have a meal there at home, but on occasion we went to spend time with family or friends.

Since my daughter is grown and has a family of her own, we now spend a couple days together before Christmas.  My way of thinking is that the date on the calendar isn't what makes it "Christmas" it's being able to spend time with those you love, so it's Christmas when they are here!  They have a tradition of spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together as a family.  I look forward to the time when they are here.  We have many traditions that we have put in place through the years and look forward to sharing each year.

Among the traditions are the "Bonnie cookies" that I make and decorate each year.  This year again, I baked 22 dozen and put them in the freezer, so I would have them ready to frost as I needed them for various Christmas happenings.  Week before last, my grandson, Caleb got to come spend some time with me and for the first time, he and I baked and frosted some together!  It was so much fun to watch him rolling out the dough, deciding which cutter to use, holding the frosting bag just right and frosting the cookies.  I must say that they are probably the most beautiful (and filled with love) cookies that I've ever made for Christmas!   (Caleb calls them "cookie cutters")

I have always (through my childhood & adult life) had a live tree.  In the past couple of years I have thought that I might watch the after Christmas sales and get an artificial tree, however each year I decide against that and again in December I go "twirl" a tree around and pick out the right one, take it home, put it in the stand and take it in the house to decorate!  I  even think having the pine needles all over the carpet to clean up is part of the tradition!

December also has some bittersweet memories for me.  My Daddy was sick and passed away on December 22, 2005.  It was his deepest wish that he not "mess up everyone's Christmas" that year.  And in reference to him saying that, we waited and had the memorial service on December 30th, rather than during the Christmas festivities.  From Thanksgiving till the end of December each year since, I have a varied range of emotions.  I miss Daddy every single day.  I miss him calling just to say hi and I especially miss the "Merry Christmas" call he would always give my family at 10 a.m. on Christmas morning.   I miss him calling and asking me if I wanted to take him to lunch (which I joyfully always agreed to).  I miss seeing him walk up EVERY Valentine's Day with a rose in a bud vase for me.  I miss hearing the silly little sayings he said.  I miss the bags of shelled pecans in my freezer that he shelled and brought to me.  I miss the times when I would hear a mower running and look out the door and he would be outside mowing our yard, just because he noticed it needed to be mowed.   I miss the times he would call me from Sliger's and ask how many bushels of tomatoes I would make into juice for him!   I miss him telling me that he saved the last quart of tomato juice each year until I made him more!  I miss the talks he and I had about anything and everything.

I have so many precious memories of the holiday season.  I have many, many blessings that fill my heart and life.   I know that the grief is a natural part of life.   I feel that it's part of what God instilled in us to deal with loss and change.  This year I have had an unusually tough time dealing with some things past and present.   I have been seeking to find the balance so that I learn and grow through the things that are going on.  I am thankful for so many things and am so blessed. 

My prayer during this holiday season is a peaceful, enjoyable time to reflect on memories of the past and make memories that can be put in place to reflect upon next year and for years to come!

 ~ Bonnie

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I am Thankful!

During the month of November I listed something for which I am thankful each day.  I realized this morning that it's a good thing to be thankful each morning, not just in November and am going to continue to do so throughout the year!

1 - God's patience with me, 2 - my grandson, who is my pride and joy! , 3 - my children, my daughter and son in love are amazing examples of God's greatness! 4 - My friends, God has blessed me with friends who love me unconditionally - what a precious gift! 5 - My sister, Happy Birthday Sis! 6 - Having the freedom to worship God! 7 - Life, I was reminded again this weekend how things can change in an instant. 8 - My job, I am blessed to have a job that I love, doing what I feel God intends for me to do! 9 - My home! 10 - Cool, crisp fall mornings and the sun peeking up behind the trees! 11 - Freedom, thank you to all who have given their all for my freedoms. 12 - Today I am thankful for my son in love. Yes I did mention him on the 3rd, however today I have an even greater appreciation for him after learning that my "forever friend's" son in love was killed in a wreck last night. JMP I Love you! 13 - The beauty in nature this time of year! 14 - My sister in law - Happy Birthday Millie! 15 - I am thankful for my parents. 16 - Friends who love and support me, always! 17 - Memories! 18 - I am thankful to get to go to a Joyce Meyer conference! I am so excited! 19 - The amazing blessings I received at the conference! 20 - Safe travel! 21 - My friend Mark - Happy Birthday! 22 - My nieces and nephews ! I am so thankful for each of them and grateful to get to be an active part in their lives! 23 - A day filled with lots of "wow" with my grandson! 24 - A wonderful day with family and friends! 25 - Leftovers! 26 - Safe travel getting Mother home from her visit! 27 - The blessing of rest! 28 - Joy in the midst of uncertainty! 29 - The warm sunshine shining through the window on me! 30 - Abundant Grace!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Shoulds"

A friend has brought to my attention how often in life the word "should" is used.  I have taken notice and am surprised not only how often I hear it used, but how often I use it. 
It seems that the word is used in reference to expectations placed on ourselves or others.  In reality it's not my job to put should's on anyone.  I have my view and opinion based on me, but it is only that, not a guide by which anyone is to think or act or be.
I take the "shoulds" of my life experience and the "shoulds" of my mind and the "shoulds" of people in my life and use them as guides to decide how I live my life, how I think and how I act.  Wow!  That is not God's plan and yet I let myself listen and be influenced by them.   I have a responsibility to be what God intended for me to be, period.  When I achieve and when I fail, I have the same responsibility. 
When I look at others and put in my "shoulds" concerning how they "should" act, what they "should" say, where they "should" go, who their friends "should" be, what course they "should" take, I am not only being judgmental, but I am also limiting my influence and impact in their lives.  By making a choice to put "shoulds" on myself or others I am in essence saying, I am in control and know what is best.  This could not be farther from the truth, however often it's how we live our lives.  The word of God tells me that my responsibility is to love
"Above all, love each other deeply (earnestly)"  ~1 Peter 4:8  

"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other."      ~ John 13:34

~Bonnie


 






Thursday, November 10, 2011

Believing in Me

I have been doing some work on me and as it's always been it goes back to my self esteem (or lack of) in certain areas.   I realize that I am very confident in certain areas and don't have the slightest doubt in my ability there.   I also realize that in some aspects I am totally not confident and when they come up (whether within me or in my daily life) it affects me the same way each time.  

I have traced some of the reasons that I think attribute to this, but in many ways there are things that are a part of my past that seem to be a part of who I am today and directly seem to have molded me.  Being able to believe in myself in all areas is my ultimate goal.  I sometimes feel like I am making progress and then other times it seems that I have made none. 


I am thankful that God is patient with me and that He won't give up on me!  I am thankful that I have people in my life who believe in me, even when I don't believe in myself.  
It doesn't matter where you are right now; God has moments of favor for you. You may not be able to figure it out, but that's okay. That's not your job. Your job is to believe. God's already figured it out. ~ Joel Osteen Ministries
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

~ Proverbs 3:5
~Bonnie
 

Monday, November 7, 2011

In an Instant

On Friday, I got word from my daughter of an accident involving students and faculty from ACU who were traveling to Medina on a mission/service trip for the weekend.
Having gotten the information that a couple from their church were involved, as well other facility members and several students, plus at least one fatality made it a situation where things had to be absorbed.  
God is in control.   Our lives and our worlds are what they are this instant, however that is all.   There is no promise of the next minute, let alone the promise of tomorrow.   In an instant everything we "know" to be true and "know" to be our world can be forever changed. 
As a human, we try to understand and make sense of a situation that is not understandable and does not make sense.   I feel it's God's desire for us to simply lean on Him when these situations arise.  
Many families are hurting right now, including those who had loved ones involved in the accident.  Join with me in praying that God will not only bring healing to the bodies of those injured, but healing to the hearts of those hurting.
I want to live this moment to the fullest, taking time to love, because as I was reminded it can all change in an instant.

~Bonnie

Friday, August 26, 2011

God is still God

Yesterday was one of those tough days in life where I had to hang on to God just to make it through some of the day's events.  And God is still God.

My Mother, who lives here in town has had her dog, Kinzee  for (from what we can figure) over 16 years.  Kinzee has been having some problems with her hips and having trouble getting up and moving around for the last couple of months. The vet had told me on the last visit that it more than likely was an arthritis type problem and would continue to limit her movements.  It has gotten worse this week, she could stand when we picked her up and took her outside, but spent the rest of her time laying on her rug.   And God is still God.

I went over to Mother's yesterday morning and realized that Kinzee was hurting more and sat down and had a talk with Mother.    I think Mother "knew", but of course wanted to hope that there would be something the vet could do to fix what was going on.  And God is still God.

We got out the sheet that I always used in my car when I took Kinzee anywhere and Mother wrapped Kinzee in the sheet and carried her out to my car.   The next couple minutes were spent with Mother talking to Kinzee and then me hugging her and telling her I would let her know when I knew anything.  And God is still God.

When I got to the vet I went in and talked to the receptionist and then took Kinzee into an examintin room and the vet came in.  He examined her and told me that he could give her something to insure she's not hurting, but there was nothing that would "fix" her at that point.   And God is still  God.

He then asked me what I had in mind.  I had been praying the last couple of days that when it was time, that I would make the right decisions and handle it the right way for and with Mother.   I told him I thought it was time and that the best thing was not to let her suffer.  And God is still God.

He talked with me about the procedure and gave me the option of staying with Kinzee or not and of having them take her afterward or my taking her and burying her.  I felt a peacefulness and opted to stay with her, because I knew that Mother would most likely ask and it would be comforting to Mother to know I had been.  And God is still God.

I decided that I would take Kinzee to my house and bury her there.  That way there was a familiar place, where Mother would know she had been buried, as a point of remembrance.  I went to the house and changed clothes and began digging.  I'm not sure exactly what all the emotions were that I was experiencing during that time, however I know there were a flood of them.   I realized that I had never buried a pet by myself.  I realized that this was going to have an emotional impact of loss on Mother.  And God is still God.

When I finished, cleaned up and changed clothes, I went and got Mother some lunch and went to her house.   I walked up to the door and hugged her and told her.  She was shaken and sad.  We sat and talked for a long while, giving her time to take it all in and feel what she was feeling.  And God is still God.

As I felt comfortable leaving Mother for a while, I told her I was going to go back to work for the rest of the afternoon.  I called her early in the afternoon to check on her and could hear the sadness in her voice.   I went by after work to check on her and give her a hug.   And God is still God.

I am not completely sure what all God has and is teaching me through this experience, however one thing I am completely certain of it that God is still God and I am SO dependent on that fact in my life!

~Bonnie

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy

Tuesday, August 23rd.    Daddy's 82nd birthday.   It is hard to realize that he's been gone almost 6 years.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of something that he taught me, one of his silly sayings, how much I would like to call and talk to him about something like we always did.

I am thankful for the example he was to me.  His most evident way of showing me the right way was in the way he lived.  His integrity was something that he didn't talk about, however his life spoke loudly of it. 

I miss you Daddy, Happy Birthday!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"First Day"

Caleb,

Here it is the day before another "First Day".   Seems like life has many of them planned for each of us.  Some are less emotional, some are extremely tough, however I know you and I know that God is going to help you be successful in every one of your First Days!

As you begin 2nd grade (wow, how time flies!) I want to remind you

......how very much I love you.  That love is unconditional and unending.

.........to always do your best!   I know that in your heart and your way of doing things, that is part of who you are, however it's what my heart needs to say!

.........to let your light shine!   I said that to your Mommy each morning after we prayed as she was going off to her school day and will always say it to you in my heart as I pray for you each morning!    You have already shown me in so many ways how God is working through your life and I am excited and anxious to see what God might do this year!

......I am proud of you!  You are my pride and joy and those aren't just words, they are my heart.  

Caleb, as you begin a new school year, remember that Gramma loves you and is always here for you!

I love you "the number" !

Gramma

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Boy!

August 12, 2011  : )

To my grandson, Caleb,

I am so thankful that God sent me such an amazing and wonderful grandson.

I am thankful that you and I have the special bond we share.

I am thankful that you love to play and laugh and learn.

I am thankful that you always "let your light shine" and are proud of the faith you have in God and His ability to take care of everything.

I am thankful that I know you know how to pray.   I know that when you pray that you believe and that God hears you.

I am thankful that each year you come up with a special theme for your birthday party and you and Gramma get to figure out what the cake will look like, as well as the "cookie cutters" that you love!

I am thankful that we send each other letters in the mail often.   (even ones we send back and forth to give each other a fright)

I am thankful that we get to talk on the phone often to share about our day!

I am thankful for the joy and excitement with life that I can hear in your voice and see in your face.

I am thankful for our songs.

I am thankful for so many reasons, but to sum it up,
      Thank you God for giving me this precious Grandson to bless my life!

I love you "the" number, more than a thousand acres!

                  Happy Birthday to my boy!

Gramma

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wrong Turns?

Have you ever been driving and been pretty sure you knew where you were and where you were going and made one wrong turn and ended up completely off track and ultimately lost? 

Have you ever thought about the fact that regardless of how completely lost you become, you are able to find your way back to familar places?   


Have you ever noticed that at times the familar places aren't necessarily the most ideal place for you to be, however you still go back there rather than strike out in a search of the ideal place?


Are we as humans more determined to not be considered lost on our journey than we are in being true to ourselves and being in the ideal place?


Do we make the decision to go on the path more traveled rather than making a decision to step out on a path that is the right path for ourselves?

Just some thought provoking questions that have been going through my mind!

Bonnie



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

I am blessed with two of the most amazing children a parent could ever have!   (Yes, I am partial)

My daughter and son in love have been married for 10 years today!    My how time flies!    I am so pleased to have seen how they have grown as a couple.   Recently I went through some pictures of way back then and it's so cute to see how they have both changed!!   


I have noticed that regardless of what circumstance arise, they pull together.  It's so comforting as a Mother to see that they are completely in it for each other.  They are both dedicated to each other and their son and their words and actions reinforce that to everyone around!

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful children - I am SO proud of you both!

I love you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Services

I had the opportunity to attend a Maundy Thursday service last week.    A friend of mine invited me and I felt like it was the right thing to do.   The service was absolutely wonderful, very thought provoking.  A verse would be read and then a "life application was told and then a coordinating song was lead.  The verses were from the time of the passover meal through the crucification.   The service was very meaningful, due to the contents and causing me to once again realize the huge sacrifice that God made, sending his Only Son to die for ME! 

One of the life applications touched me in a way I can't really explain.   It was as though the words were being spoken directlly to me.   This is such a blessing and I am so thankful that God would take the time to make the circumstances occur so that I would be there to hear those words.   

It's nice to have those reminders of just how much God does love me!

~Bonnie








Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I am Blessed!

I have so many blessings in my life and the last week or so I have had so many "little" reminders!
With all the talk of school finance cuts, I am thankful that today I have a job! I have realized that nothing past this minute is promised to me and I feel it's important to be thankful for what I have today!
A dear friend of mine is going to get married this coming Saturday. I have felt so blessed to be a part of some of their preparations! I am so blessed to be able to see that they have "IT" and their love will just grow as they begin their new life!
I have been doing some rather deep (even for me) soul searching type thinking lately. For the most part, I have been taking inventory of the things in my life that are most important and making sure that I value and cherish those things. I know also that often times, change is hard for me to accept. I realize that God has placed specific people in my life and I need to make certain that they know that I'm thankful for them! It is often said, but I've been reminded to tell the people I love that I love them every time I talk to them and in between just because!
I received some special mail today. My daughter and I love to write cards and letters and often share packages of cards. She sent me some new ones she found and split with me. Also in the package was a baggy with some lemon heads in it, along with a note from my grandson which read: I am sending you some lemon heads. Do you like lemon heads. You can write back in a letter and circle YES or No! I am blessed!
Often I have "thoughts" that I consider God given. A way of Him speaking to me about the simple things in my life, as a way of taking care of me. On Sunday I was driving and had a thought come to mind that I needed to check my records and see how long I have had my battery on my car. When I got home, I got out my little notebook (I write down everytime I do anything to the car, from getting gas to any maintenance) and went through it and discovered that it had been long enough and that I should get another battery. (this is something I learned from my Daddy - staying ahead when I can!) Anyway, in my mind I made a note to do that this week. Early in the morning Monday, I woke up with a stomach virus and had a long dreary day, just trying to feel better. Tuesday morning I still didn't feel 100%, but went to work and made it through the day, just didn't have any appetite! This morning I could tell I was a little better, however still not all the way well. By noon, I had decided I would go get a hamburger and try to eat and see if that would help me feel better and give me some energy. I went out to my car and turned the key and nothing happened! I sat there and grinned! God gave me the "sign" Sunday and I let my focus go in other directions and was sitting there with a dead battery! A friend of mine pulled her vehicle over to mine and I used the cables from my trunk and got it started! She followed me down to a local parts store and the man there told me he would check the battery and alternator and have it ready to go when I got out of school this afternoon. My friend took me back there to pick it up and thankfully it was just the battery. I have to smile at the thought that I really do need to take time to listen and HEAR when God talks to me!!!
I love flowers and flowering plants and have several blooming in my yard already! I planted 2 tomato plants among the flowers along my fence flowerbed and it's such a nice treat to see the tiny tomatoes already on those plants! I am blessed!
~Bonnie (wonder why it is bunching all this together?)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Springtime!

I must say that Springtime is my favorite season! I love seeing the green pop out after the winter rest. Usually I am ready to begin planting things before the frost chances have passed! It brings me so much joy to work in the yard and then be able to watch the plants grow and bloom! I noticed a tiny little bird going into one of the birdhouses on my front porch and later looked and there is a nest inside it! Amazing how God works it so that the plants and creatures are in sync with the seasons! Sometimes when I have those feelings of wonder and let worry take over my thoughts and I get out of sync, I need the reminder of God's divine guidance that is always available! ~Bonnie

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Blessings of Today

Today was an emotionally exhausting day. There was an unexpected, unplanned event at work, which basically over took everything! I have the ability to stay calm and think in such a situation (for which I am thankful) and went into the "do what needs to be done" mode. At the end of the day it was satisfying to know that the situation had been handled to the best of our abilities and that everyone was safe and sound.
I am thankful for the blessings of today. For the breeze coming in the window as I was getting ready this morning, for the birds I heard singing as I went out to the car, for the vehicle in good running condition to get me to work, for the job I love, for the boss whose leadership is always in the best interest of others, for the rocker on my front porch (where I sat to relax when I got home), for the newly planted flowers in the pots on my front porch, for those who care and aren't afraid to show that they care.......... I am thankful for the blessings of today.

~Bonnie

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Son!

On this date, 32 years ago a very special little boy was born. Although it wasn't quite that early that I began to pray for God's hand on "the one" whom He had chosen to be my daughter's mate, I know that indeed God had already put His plan into motion!


When I did begin praying though, I would always include some specifics (although I know God is very capable, it's just how a Momma thinks!).


I prayed that He would prepare a man who first loved God and that had a huge capacity to love his wife. One that would be a friend and companion to her. One that would laugh with her, hold her when she cries and support her in whatever decisions she had to make. A man who would be a caring, active Father in their children's lives. A man who would be "at home" in my home.


In February 1998, I met this man! We were visiting our daughter at college for the weekend and several of her friends spent the evening playing cards with us. I remember writing in my journal later how I noticed the way he looked at her and that I thought I had met my future son-in-love! Indeed, on Saturday, June 2, 2001 he and my daughter were married!


Happy Birthday Son! I love you!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Girl!

Thirty two years ago today (at 11:20 a.m. to be precise), the young lady that would capture and keep my heart was born!



I am so thankful for her and the blessing that she is in my life.


She and I have always shared a close relationship and I am grateful
that through the years, though circumstances have changed, our bond has not!



It makes my heart so proud to see the amazing young woman she has become. She is a wonderful wife and Mother, as well as a compassionate, caring friend.





(Some of you also follow her blog and may want to go by and wish her a happy birthday at ( http://www.raindropsrainbows.blogspot.com/ )


Happy Birthay to my Best Pes!


I love you!


Momma

Monday, February 21, 2011

Feelings

There are days when my feelings seem to just be bubbling inside and the happenings around me cause them to bubble out. Sometimes in laughter, sometimes in question, sometimes in tears and of course sometimes in wonder.

I have always been an emotional person, however I think over the course of the last couple of years I have become more comfortable with that trait. For me it's always been my view that I can handle anything, I can hold it together whenever I need to, I can be the strong one. I realize more each day that I can't handle everything, I can't always hold it together and I can't always be the strong one. And I also realize that it's okay!

I have faith that God is with me always, that He can handle anything, He will hold me when I can't hold it together and He is always the strong one.

I am thankful for my faith, for the peace it brings inside and knowing it's okay to let myself feel what I feel!

~Bonnie

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is........

I remember seeing the little cartoon type characters with the phrase, "Love is" and then some cute little ending to the sentence.



I feel that often times we use the word love without thought to what it really means - I love this candy bar, I love your shoes, I love.....



4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13: 4-7 & 13



It's a good idea to be reminded of this and to check myself to be sure that this type of love is growing in my life!



Happy Valentine's Day!



~Bonnie



Monday, January 31, 2011

I love you - "The Number"

It seems that my grandson, Caleb and I have always made little additions to our "I love yous".
He has always been a very caring little guy and sometimes out of the blue will say, Gramma and when I say yes, he will say I love you!
At one time we would add words like wider, taller, deeper, higher, stinkier to the end our I love yous. Some times he would point in one direction and then the other and tell me I love you from that sky to that sky!
Recently on one of our visits he told me I love you and I told him I love you more - to which he started saying I love you and adding numbers. He finally said listen to this number and rattled off a very large number (I think in the billions) and said that's how much I love you Gramma, "the number". Now often times when we talk, he will say I love you "the number" Gramma! Of course I love him "the number" also!
I had always heard what a precious experience it is to be a grandparent, however there is no description that completely explains it! The closest I can come is to say we love each other "the number"!

~Bonnie
aka Gramma :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy New Year!

My Daddy always use to say that the older you get, the quicker each year goes by.

I have found in the last 5 years or so the truth behind that statement.

At times throughout my life I know that I have not taken time to enjoy the blessings and people in my life as fully as I could have. It's my goal and desire to continue to learn to live in the present. Not taking any of the blessings for granted.

We are not promised tomorrow. We are given the gift of this day.

~Bonnie