Posted in My thoughts, tagged beauty, cabin, camping, christian, cottage, emotions, family, feelings, forest, gift, God, gratitude, grief, healing, hike, hiking, introspection, Laurel Lake, marriage, nature, Pine Grove, soul, spirituality, thankful, women, woods on October 17, 2015|
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Never Say “Never”
I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve said I would NEVER do something only to wind up doing exactly what I said I’d “never” do.
- I said I’d never live in a white house–I now live in a house with white siding.
- I said I’d never ride a bike–I now LOVE riding bicycle.
- I said I’d never like eating wings because it was ‘barbaric’. Well, I now thoroughly enjoy sitting down to a heaping plateful of messy wings and tearing into them like a ravenous dog.
- plus MANY more……..
One thing I said I’d never do was to have any kind of vacation place. My husband had been talking about it for years and I’ve always said that was something I’d never do. Well………yep, you guessed it, we now own a cottage in a nearby state forest. As my husband kept showing me picture after picture of cabins, cottages and homes in the woods I continued to adamantly tell him that it wasn’t something I wanted. Then, one evening he showed me a picture of a cottage that had recently been listed. To call it ‘love at first sight’ might be an overstatement, but for some reason my attitude changed and I could immediately see our family spending time at this little cottage in the woods. Knowing how much our kids loved camping in this area when they were young, I knew they would want to spend time at this little place. We went to see it with family members and it was unanimous—everyone loved it. We became happy owners of a little cottage in the woods.
“Fern Gully” (aka Adelaide)
Even though I loved the place and expected to enjoy it, I had no idea how much I was going to NEED it. Just the time we began to spend time there things began to happen within our family.
- My daughter delivered our granddaughter 4 weeks early after an extremely difficult pregnancy.
- My father, who had been ill, passed away suddenly.
- Other things happened within the family that brought sorrow.
As all of this was happening, I found that spending time at our peaceful, little cottage enabled me to process some of my emotions. Many nights were spent sitting on the porch praying and crying while coming to terms with some of the grief and fear. Sitting on that little porch in the woods, listening to the sounds of the forest as nightfall came filled me with a sense of calm. My soul began to heal as I rocked, cried, prayed and yes, sipped wine
The “Special” Porch
This cottage has been something our entire family needed. We have had several wonderful weekends at the cottage with the kids/grandkids enjoying many things as a family.
- sitting around the fire
- enjoying dinner together
- falling asleep under the same roof and then waking up together
- seeing our first bear
- working on projects together
Nothing beats sitting around a campfire.
One of our hikes
When I first looked at the pictures of the cottage, I knew it would be a fun place for our family, but I had no idea how healing it would be. Even though I didn’t know all those things were about to happen-God did. He gave me something I needed before the need was even there. I can’t help but wonder how often God does this and we don’t even realize it. I hope I can become more and more aware of all the ways I’m cared for by my loving God.
I encourage you to never say ‘never’. You might be saying no to a special gift that God wants to give to you. It might be something you never wanted, but turn out being exactly what you need.
A Gift from Above
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Posted in My thoughts, tagged accident, bicycling, bike, biking, broken bone, cycling, emotions, feelings, gratitude, healing, hospital, injury, marriage, philadelphia, ribs, surgery, thankful, tourdeshore on January 27, 2015|
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The Phone Call
I’m sure we have all had phone calls that changed our lives. Some calls impact our life for a day or so and cause only a minor change of plans. Others may affect us for weeks or months and then there some that may have an impact on us for the rest of our life. I received a call this past summer that would impact my life for several months.
It was a Sunday morning and I was ready to walk out the door for church when the phone rang. My husband was bicycling in a charity ride from Philadelphia to Atlantic City – Tour de Shore. I did this ride last year, but chose not to do it this year because the roads were very rough. The caller identified herself as a woman who was riding in the group with my husband and she informed me that he had taken a bad fall which resulted in a fractured collarbone.
Immediately after ending the call I begin to think all of the ways our lives were about to change. My plans for the day changed right way. My first task was to figure out how to get to him home. After taking the train to Philadelphia, getting a cab to the hotel where his car was still in the parking garage and then driving to the hospital in New Jersey I found my husband not just with a shattered collarbone, but also six broken ribs. (OUCH!!!) I then had to drive him the 2+ hours back home while trying not to hit bumps or do anything that would cause him pain. (Thankfully he had taken 2 Percocet.) For a “country girl” much of this was out of my comfort zone.
This is a Percocet smile. 🙂
Life the first week was consumed with caring for him both before and after the surgery to repair his clavicle. It was broken so badly that it required a plate, screws and a bone graft. The surgery did help with some of the pain in his shoulder, but the ribs were excruciating any time he moved. Pain medication was his best friend for several weeks, but slowly, the pain level began to subside. Each time he would accomplish a task that had been impossible before, it was cause for celebration…..i.e. getting out of bed by himself, putting on a shirt that didn’t button down, driving, etc… Eventually life began to return to a somewhat normal routine.
Day of Surgery (cute hair net)
That phone call definitely caused upheaval in our lives, but we were very aware that it could have been worse. Luckily, we were able to be grateful for the things we could still enjoy had rather than focusing on those we couldn’t. I found myself hoping he would be back on a bike at some point, but I was thankful that he was able to spend evenings with me listening to music, sipping wine by the fire pit and watching the sun set. We both developed a deeper appreciation for the simple pleasures that we are able to enjoy together.
View from our deck
Since then he has continued to heal and even went for a short ride with me a few weeks ago. He now has full range of motion in his shoulder and other than a scar, he is back to normal. Yes, those kinds of phone calls can change our lives in small or large ways, but life goes on and it is how we handle those changes that determines what kind of life we will have.
Wine by the fire………something to appreciate.
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There are many amazing gifts that can be given at a wedding, but I think I received the best one possible. It is something for which I am very thankful and will always treasure. This gift didn’t cost the giver any money and it didn’t need to be wrapped. Another unusual thing about this gift is that it came from the groom, but I was not the bride. Curious? …..The groom was my son. The gift was given to me the night before the wedding. My son gave me a big hug and then said 4 words that every mother longs to hear—“Mom, I love you.”. Needless to say, I cried tears of joy. (Heck, I’m crying now just writing about it.) Those were words that I needed to hear from this son and they touched me deeply. It truly was a ‘gift’.
Being a mother of adult children and knowing how special those words are to me, I make a point to say them to my mother as often as possible. (and my father too) For those of you who are young adults, please consider giving your mother a call or going to visit her and possibly giving her the gift of those 4 special words. Mother’s Day is coming and it just might be the perfect gift.
I received another gift on the day of the wedding as well—a truly amazing daughter-in-law. This was my last child to get married so I now have 6 children—3 through marriage. I have been blessed with a granddaughter who often says “I love you, Me-maw” and another grandchild on the way. “Life is Good”.
Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering, the bride was wearing jewelry “by Brenda Elaine” . 🙂
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