Monday, June 30, 2014

Lost and Found

Should I loosely place these on the desk?  They will be fine.  After all, where can they go?  I probably shouldn't set them here. 

I distinctly remember mulling over these words before laying my most cherished pair of earrings on the desk in our hotel room before falling into bed for the night.  I was out as soon as I hit the pillow.  
Morning came and we had touring to do.  We got ready to go and I went to put my earrings on.  Reaching for one, I soon realized that indeed, there was only one.  My prophetic thoughts were coming back to haunt me. 
Searching madly for the earring, my husband nonchalantly asks, "Whatcha looking for?"

"My earring.  You lost my earring."

"Me?  How did I lose your earring?  What are you talking about?"

"You were fumbling through papers last night.  I saw you.  You lost my earring." A tear running down my cheek, I continued my quest to find my treasured earring.  My earrings.  The ones I bought while in England.  Not just England, but at Althorp.  Princess Diana's childhood home.  

 On my hands and knees I found plenty of dust bunnies and a gum wrapper,  but no earring.  I ransacked the bed, emptied the garbage on the floor and shook the curtains. 
Tears flowed easily.
"Why didn't you see them on the desk?" 
We had been in Rome less than 15 hours and managed to so far:

Miss a flight
Lose our luggage
Get ripped off by a taxi driver
Only have sandals.  My feet were killing me.
Lack of sleep
No toiletries to feel clean
Get in a fight with my husband over an earring. 

Ugh.  So far this trip made me want to get back on the plane and go home. 

I went to be alone for a few minutes reading my devotions.  I read:  "...steadfast love surrounds those who TRUST in the Lord."  Psalm 32:10

Taking a few breaths, I looked around.  I was in Italy.  Italy.  Were my earrings something I was putting too much pleasure in?  I didn't think so, but then again, maybe.  Blaming my husband wasn't good.  I needed to be grateful for this wonderful day ahead of me,  and not be angry at my husband for something that was my fault too. 
Apologies were said and although discouraged, I tried not to think too much about those earrings.

The day came.  We had to leave this hotel!  I had to face the fact that we were leaving Rome without my earring.  I looked all over the hotel room once again.  Nothing.  I left the room praying that God would help me to let go. 
I had decided to leave my address with the hotel and if by some small chance they would find it, could they please send it to me.  I asked first, "Is there any chance that housekeeping may have found an earring that looks like this one?"
The concierge pulls open the drawer behind the desk and states, "housekeeping found this while emptying out their vacuum.  I'm not sure it is yours, but lets look."

THERE WAS MY EARRING!  I could not believe my eyes. 
The story went :  housekeeping vacuumed and went to dump the contents in the garbage.  While doing so, something shiny caught her eye.  She rummaged through the dirt and there it was.  My earring. 
I screamed with joy and cried and went behind the desk and hugged her.  "You have no idea what this means to me," was all I kept repeating. 
She simply said, "I think I do!"
I think the best part of this experience was learning that God cares about what I care about.  He showed me that if it matters to me, it matters to Him.  Even an earring.  

Have you ever lost, and then found something important to you?



Thursday, June 26, 2014


Water fascinates me. 
Ice cold water seems the only cure to cooling off on sweltering summer days. 
In Rome, there are fountains everywhere.  We learned quick to "do as the Romans do..." and filled our water bottles whenever we came across one of these fountains.  This woman and I could not speak to one another due to the language barrier, but who needs words.  It was an extremely warm day.  We understood each other completely as we cooled our faces and arms with the chilly water flowing from the fountain.    Giggles and smiles, and then splashing each other broke any barriers that may have invisibly been there. 
This was a happy water moment. 

    With a little work hiking, this spectacular water view was our reward.  Boats float along gracefully.  Notice the calm of the water.  A vast amount of water and yet, it can only go so far.  It knows its boundaries. 

Fish swim and so did we!  Boats are anchored just off shore.   We swallowed more than our share of the salty Mediterranean Sea water. 
I haven't lifeguarded for quite some time now, but I sure do enjoy taking some laps in the pool.  This pool in particular.  The views of the Tuscany landscape were awe-inspiring. 

 Our bodies cannot survive without water.    We crave it on hot days.  It is the only liquid that truly quenches our thirst. 
And yet, water can do so much damage.

It is never good when you are out of the country and about 2 in the morning, the cell phone rings. 
That would put it about  6 p.m. our time in the states. 
"You have water in your basement."  Rubbing our eyes and trying to determine what is being said to us we say, "What did you say...we have what in our basement?"
"Did you say we have water in our basement?  It must be bad if you are calling us." was bad.  They spared us the horrid details but needed some information from us.  Over the next few days, all we could do was call or text and wonder what was going on.  We were helpless.  It was a despairing feeling.  Water. in. our. basement.  Oh no.  We wanted to get home.  We thought of the blessings.  One for was at the end of our holiday.  Friday.  We were to return home in just a few days.  The blessing that this did not happen at the beginning gave us peace. 
Peace.  The significance of this picture brought us tremendous peace. 
It was taken more than a week before getting the news that we would be coming home to a mess. 
With the Atlantic between us, another body of unwanted water was taking up residency, and in no particular hurry to leave, in our basement. 
We are home now and the water still is our unwanted guest.  It is getting better...just a little.  The news that insurance does not cover this overwhelms us, but we will be ok. 
Thank you just does not seem to adequately convey our deepest gratitude to our families:
Judy and Jerry
Jon and Becky, Jackson and Claire
David and Susie
And our dear friends...Richard and Brenda.
To our baby girl, Kayla.  I bet you are going to think twice when we ask you to "watch over the house while we are gone!'
And to her friends...Zach, Lindsey and Ethan. 
Thank you.  We much prefer to be on the giving end of help, instead of the receiving one.  We are quite sure you won't soon forget wading through inches of water trying to save what you can.  Thanks for not saving the carpet!  Really.  Thanks.  You gotta laugh. 

So, has water ever done a significant amount of damage to your home? 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Boys of Summer

Playgrounds were a great form of entertainment while growing up.     
At summer's start, the giant slide stoically stood.  We dared the risk of falling from the ladder that seemed to climb above the tree line.  Remember  the burn to the back of the legs while gliding to the bottom?
Swings kept us pumping back and forth until our feet touched the branches, and somehow we never threw up as the merry-go-round went round and round, faster and faster. 

I enjoyed taking my children to the playground.  We spent hours in the summer engrossed with these classic pieces of equipment.  It was big enough for them to roam, yet small enough that I could keep my eye on them. 

This summer, the playground got bigger.  Ginormously bigger.   This play area  involves mazes, sandboxes, and  a view high from the air. 
Meet my son Mark (that's him on the right) and his college buddy Nick.  Last year, Mark was a fly fishing guide in Alaska for the summer.  He had so much fun helping clients catch "the big one",  wake every morning to views of Mt. McKinley, and the adrenaline rush that comes from being chased by a bear...not kidding!......he just HAD to go again.  This time, Nick wanted in on the action too.  So, yesterday our families  had to say goodbye for the WHOLE summer.  The WHOLE summer...sigh.    Life is an adventure and these boys are going to live it....grizzly bears and all!!!
Ready or not Alaska playground, here come my boys. 
I've got the first care packages just about ready to mail! 
What about you?  Any playground plans this summer?

*******NOTE*******I am taking a little break from blogging.  I will be back on June 26.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Robert Robinson

The above is a link to information on Robert Robinson.   Who is he?    I had not heard of him before yesterday either.  However, I would bet that many know his famous hymn.   Mumford and Sons, along with David Crowder Band must have thought well of the hymn.  Each band has recorded their own versions of it. 

He was born in England! 

Some general information :  Born in September of 1735 in Swaffham, Norfolk, England.  His father died when Robert was very young...I have read conflicting data on this...some say he was five, others eight.  Regardless, losing a father at that young age is tough.   At 14, he was sent to London.  During those turbulent teen years, he seemed to be a lost soul.  A wanderer.   At around age 20, he made peace with God.  It was around that time he penned the famous hymn:

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

Some words from the hymn:

"Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Here's my heart O take and seal it." 

I heard a great sermon yesterday.  It was based around this hymn. 
I have pondered a few points since. 
Some of the notes I took..

Am I aware of my own weaknesses?
I have a weakness for ______________________?

And have you heard this acronym before?
These 4 dangerous stresses could aid us in saying or doing something we would never have imagined  otherwise.  We definitely do not make good choices when we are weak in these areas do we?

A hard right is always better than an easy wrong.

And to think a hymn started all this thinking!
My favorite hymn of all is Amazing Grace. 
What's yours?