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Toes Up!

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I am sooo loving the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer! And here is why…

After being so sick this winter that I had to quit my job, thus bringing in no income to defray the winter bills for the motel. I felt like I failed.

So fatigued from this mystery illness that has twice had me in the ER. Add to that what seems like a million tests ($$$), and still no definitive answers. Which quite frankly was making me feel a bit like a hypochondriac. I attended more doctors’ appointments in the last months than in the 10 years previously combined.

I spent money we couldn’t afford to go to Mexico to finally get my teeth, and the last implant fell out minutes before my new dentures were to go in. 😞 I came home with no new teeth and no money.  (I took Tetracycline as a child A LOT because I was allergic to Penicillin and had persistent strep, so all my teeth had to come out).

I didn’t even complete any home fix up projects (we are so behind on those) or set up my new studio to paint or write the book I am so excited to write…on and on it goes.

Because of the stress of not producing, I was not even feeling rested and ready to pick up where I left off. In fact, I was feeling a bit (okay a lot) like a failure.

I have been praying A LOT. Begging for wisdom, asking God to show me what He wants me to do and how to handle EVERYTHING.

In the wake of this HARD, SNOWY, DARK WINTER this is what I learned:

MY VALUE IS NOT DETERMINED BY WHAT I DO OR DO NOT PRODUCE.

God is our provider, not Liz or even Dave. We have seen His hand of provision in miraculous ways this winter. Ways that even a non-believer in my best friend Jesus would have a hard time writing off as a coincidence. I could tell you stories!

A long time ago, a dear wise friend, (Janice York) cautioned me to slow down. She said if we don’t take time to rest and seek His wisdom for what He would have us do; He has a way of getting our attention by getting us “Toes Up” for a while.

So here I have been, TOES UP this long, bleak winter seeking Him for what He would have me do.

I am hopeful:

that this coming season at the motel I will work smarter not harder;

that He will send good help to aid me in my quest to achieve this goal;

that I will remember to put my relationship with Him first, before any tasks I may “need” to do;

that He will send the business we need to be successful this year, so that we can even more than usual, reward our employees as they deserve for their hard work;

that Dave and I will be wise in all, and that we will be together in every decision;

that we will make All the guests that comes to the Inn feel the love of Christ through each of us;

that my love for Jesus will shine through to every person I meet, both in Dubois, and to each of our guests and friends;

that my hope in Him will be revealed at every opportunity, to all I meet.

Usually, my to do list for the motel season is chocked full of tasks, and we of course have those too, we have to “run the business”. But this year my focus is a bit different.

This year, I want my witness to be of someone who Loves Jesus unashamedly, boldly, with the evidence of this relationship to be that of a changed life, one that honors Him and everyone I am honored to “make s’mores around the campfire with”.

How about you? What are your goals for this upcoming summer? I entreat you to take the advice of my friend Janice (and virtual friend Priscilla Shirer) to seek Him first so you can learn from my mistakes and avoid a TOES UP episode. 😉

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From Fervent by Priscilla Shirer Page 141

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When Women Wonder If They Can

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Dawn Wilson asked me to be a guest on her blog; Upgrade with Dawn. Here is the link to the article that resulted from that invitation.

If you have ever wondered if you can do something God has called you to do, this ones for you!

 

http://www.upgradewithdawn.com/blog/2015/5/19/when-women-wonder-if-they-can.html

What I didn’t have time to log in her interview was how many times we failed at so many things before we succeeded. We were several years in the red, endless improvements that I didn’t know how to fix had us so discouraged at times. But what we learned is that perseverance pays off.

We were determined to make it work. Author Andy Andrews said that a person who doesn’t have a decided heart finds a way out when the going gets tough but a person who has a decided heart finds a way where there is no way.

So the thing that really matters is that we never give up!

 

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We leave at dark thirty in the morning tomorrow to Dubois to open the motel, the thought of it makes me excited…and tired. We WILL perservere, will you?

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks for Amazing Blessings!
The Crew (part of it)Unbelievable but when I went to post today’s blog I realized that this post never hit the wall. So late as it might be here is the Thanksgiving Post…
Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year! 
Such a sensory rich experience; the smells of turkey roasting, stuffing baking, pies browning; the tastes of pumpkin, dips with assorted edible spoons to nibble; the sights of happy reunions of much loved ones and colorful autumn leaves around; but most of all the sounds of laughter and happy chatter. 
Last Thanksgiving we had our two oldest boys who are in college home with many of their friends and many beloved family and friends join us.
After dinner and dessert about half of the guests had to leave but 15 or so stayed and we played Apples to Apples. At one particularly hysterical moment I leaned over to my oldest sons friend and said “Look at that Adam.” As I pointed to the guests around our big table. “Don’t you just love seeing all of them laughing and having such fun?” He smiled back at me and answered with a grin, “It’s what keeps me coming back every year.” 
I was stunned, I thought it was my cooking-ha ha-and everyone else’s as everyone brings such amazing dishes every year, that kept all those teens feet under our table. Later after everyone had gone home I mused over Adam’s observation. 
We are social creatures, created to be in relationships with others and with our creator. In Hebrews 10:25 it says “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” 
I believe it would be safe to say the day is definitely approaching. Let us not forsake the meeting together as the verse encourages. Let us rather rejoice in every opportunity that presents itself to reach out especially to those who have not met their Savior yet. Happy Thanksgiving.

Perceptions

The Elm Street House...35 years later.

We went on a day trip to Cañon City, Colorado where I grew up this week hunting for fossils.  We went to the Royal Gorge  Bridge too. http://www.royalgorgebridge.com/

It was a blast! I love Cañon City.

On our trek we went by a couple of my old houses…ugh. Both the Elm house and the Cedar Street houses were trashed, especially the Elm one. Made me sad as I loved that house.

But 35 years later, they have gutted it and made it into a storage shed for hay. I went inside and was shocked to realize the house was probably only 800 square feet total, maybe less even. I remembered it much bigger! But then I was smaller. :0)

The last time I was by the Elm house, a few years back, all the windows were broken and there was trash everywhere. Matthew our middle child was with me and when we left he said, Mom were you guys really poor when you were growing up?

I was surprised by his question. I told him how wonderful my Mom had decorated that house. She planted flowers and a huge garden.  I shared how great it was to walk down to the river to fish any time we wanted. We had pigs and chickens and a pony named Silver to ride, and a hillside where we found shark teeth fossils right there on our property. We had acres to play on and we even discovered and old dump site from probably a hundred years ago on the property…oh the treasures we dug up from there. I remember an old brown whisky jug we found.

For a kid it was paradise…I didn’t feel poor for a minute. Hardly any of my friends were so blessed to have a pony to ride, the whole river to fish just steps away, and a Dad who liked to take his kids fishing. Autumn there was glorious too, all those yellow cottonwoods. We even had fruit trees and a walnut tree.  Heaven on earth.

Maybe we were poor by the world’s standards but my folks did a great job of making what we had seem wonderful. My mother made holidays magic. Looking back, I now know that she worked her buns off to make it special for us. I wonder if I even appreciated all her hard work. I don’t think I even realized it was her. I have thanked her many times as an adult but I don’t know if I did as a child.

I suppose that anyone who looked at the 5 homes we lived in from the time we moved Cañon City when I was in second grade to when I graduated high school 10 years later might think we were poor. But we didn’t know we were. We had food and parents that loved us and in my book that makes a person rich.

So take heart in these tough economic times. If you are feeling like you aren’t able to provide all the things you would like to for your kids…it is probably better for them anyway.

Just love them and spend time with them and do bunches of things together and they will grow up feeling rich. And while you are at it introduce them to JESUS and they truly will never be poor.

I once heard a story about a wealthy man who took his son to their “poor” cousin’s house to show him how blessed he was to be rich. After the visit the father asked his son what he thought. The son said I see what you mean Dad. We have a swimming pool but they have a river that runs forever. We have a fenced yard and they have the woods and acres and acres to run in. We have a big house and they have a big barn full of animals for pets while we have one dog. They really are rich Dad. Thanks for showing me.

One of my Mom’s signature lines while I was growing up was Bloom Where You are Planted and another was When Life Gives You Lemons~Make Lemonade. She had them posted in our home, but more than that she lived them.

 

I guess it is all about perceptions.

The Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? What, you ask, is a bucket list? A list of things you would like to do before youkick the bucket.  Mine is quite lengthy, but today I will share just one with you.

When in college, I was an avid runner. For several years I ran up to 40 miles a week. Hard to imagine myself running that much now, as I sit here at my computer writing.  I ran in 9 Bolder Boulder 10k races in Boulder, Colorado. I always wanted to make it an even 10. The last one I ran was in 1991 while pregnant with our first son Martin.

My OB doctor told me I wasn’t allowed to run that race, I had to speed walk. So upset by this piece of news that I really speed walked and had a better finish time walking  than I had running the previous year. Isn’t it funny the things we get upset over?

After the ninth race, I had a baby, then another and another and running that 10th Bolder Boulder didn’t seem as important somehow. But this year for some reason I am feeling like it is time.

For the last several weeks I have gone out to “train” for the race. What I discovered, is that even though I thought I was in pretty good shape, I am not. I felt more like a train wreck than a person in training. The first day I could only run a couple blocks and then walked the rest of my two mile route.

At our motel, The Black Bear Inn, www.theblackbearinn.com by Yellowstone we work 16 hour days in the summer. We go up and down the walk a zillion times a day cleaning and renovating rooms. We ride our bikes everywhere all summer; hardly ever drive. When I come home in the fall I am in great shape. But in just a few short winter months I’ve lost it.

I find it vastly annoying that getting in shape is so hard, but what’s even worse is that if we stop exercising for even a few weeks or months we lose all the ground we made. I discovered that to be true in my faith walk as well. When I am in The Word every day and spending time with Him on a regular basis, I feel I can handle anything. But let a week go by, where I don’t make time to spend some with my best friend JESUS and I am toast. That wonderful peace like a river runs dry.

His mercies are new every morning as the scripture says but we have to read it to experience it. ?search=Lamentations%203:22-24&version=ESV The good thing I’ve found is that when I turn back to Him, it doesn’t take weeks of back breaking exercise to get back into spiritual shape. GOD is so gracious to take me right back.

Every day now heading out the door to go running, that old familiar voice in my head starts up, it is too cold, it is too windy, it is too icy. But NO, I am determined to get back into running shape and conquer that last Bolder Boulder, so I can cross one off the bucket list!

Once out there on the road, I spend time talking to the LORD and listening for a change. That half hour has changed my whole perspective. I am more positive, more patient, more energetic, I think clearer and am happier than when I was not exercising or listening to my Father.

Lately, I have heard from several different sources that Americans are seriously deficient in Vitamin D and dehydrated. Both are critical to our mental health. Why do you think folks are more depressed in the winter months when we stay indoors and don’t see the sun behind the snow clouds? We need exercise, vitamin D and water to be healthy. And we need time with the Father.

If you live in Colorado and would like to join us in running that 10th Bolder Boulder, just let me know and register here www.bolderboulder.com . But even if you aren’t in Colorado, or don’t want to run a 10k, take my word for it, get off the couch. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, go to the gym or hop on that dusty treadmill and while you are at it strike up a conversation with the One who created you. I am willing to bet that you, like me, will feel better for it.

Check out this You Tube of the Bolder Boulder