Monday, October 22, 2018

Wedding Pictures

I really do plan to return to regular posting. Some day.
But there have been extraneous circumstances, and, well, that's my excuse! *grin*

Until then, I do have a few pictures from the wedding to share:
The happy couple before it all began.

The wedding cake, made by one of Elizabeth's best friends. (Notice the topper? Elizabeth loves squirrels, and Phil loves corgis.)
They made a wall hanging mimicking the cake topper. Bought out all the sunflowers from dollar stores around Michigan, cut the heads off, "pressed" them with a hair dryer to flatten the petals, then hot-glued them into place on a great big piece of tulle.
This is where I started sobbing. Watching my baby girl dance with her daddy.
The song? Butterfly Kisses.
There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Including theirs.
Annnnd, the waterworks continued when Phil and his mother took the floor.
But I think this one says it best.
Indeed, I believe Happily Ever After is in store for these two.
Because of their love for each other - and their love for GOD, which comes before all things.

Karen

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Bridal Dance

Ahhhh, the wedding was beautiful on Saturday.
And as I stood (surprised!) watching my daughter and son-in-law performing their bridal dance, I just knew I needed to share it with you here. Enjoy!!!


Karen

Thursday, October 04, 2018

"T" Minus Nine Days

That's how long we have until the wedding.

Nine days.

Soooooo, Imma sign off from the blog-world now in order to preserve my sanity and see if I can help my dear daughter locate hers. I anticipate being back (WITH PICTURES) after the 15th.

Grace and peace to you!
Karen

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Another Thing

Monday I told you about the wonderful thing God did Saturday during the retreat at which I was speaking. But there was more.
He didn't wait until the second break-out session to show Himself to me.
Rather, it began almost the moment I walked through the door.
As I entered the building and began looking for a staff person who could show me to the room in which I'd be presenting, I couldn't help but notice the keynote speaker delivering her message in the main auditorium. Couldn't help myself, that is, because she was speaking loudly and very passionately. In fact, at times I would say she was nearly yelling, and though I couldn't see them - I imagined the women sitting on the edge of their seats as they were listening.
As I made my way into the break-out room, I caught myself comparing my delivery style to that of the weekend's keynote speaker. I was having thoughts like, Since I don't present myself that way, I must not be good enough. And, If I want to be a sought-after speaker, I need to be more like her.

Fortunately, God stepped in right away and put an end to that foolishness before it got out of hand.

HE reminded me of my unique creation, and convinced me of HIS wisdom in the way He made me.
At times like that one, God admonishes me to quit the comparison and choose to trust Him, instead.
And I know He speaks truth in those moments.
I know He made me to be me, not "her" - whoever she may be.
But, oh, it can be so difficult, ya know? Because I think sometimes our enemy wants nothing more than to distract us from what God has called us to do. And what better way to fluster us than to get us to fix our gaze on someone/something else?

Nevertheless, Saturday God called my attention back to Himself and His work, and He led me down the path of trust. It was almost as if I could hear His words echoing through my heart. Karen, I made her to be her. I gifted her with certain ablities and I gave her a unique disposition. If I wanted you to be like her, I could have done that. But I made you to be you. Right down to the silly way you laugh at corny jokes. Dear one, will you just trust Me, and be the you I created you to be?

Anyone else need to hear those words spoken to your heart???

Karen

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

When Boys Get New Clothes

So, I think you know we have a wedding coming up in the family pretty soon.
What you may not know is that neither one of my sons have clothing which even resembles something-nice-that-you'd-wear-to-your-SISTER's-wedding. Thus we have been talking about the need to go shopping someday to get my guys some new duds.
Annnnd, last Friday was that day. Matthew informed me his schedule was open, and I'd better take advantage of the opportunity while I had it. So, we got in the van and went to Penney's. (Because that's where Google told me to go and they were having a sale on men's suits.)
Finding the right stuff was an adventure but we succeeded. Then we found out at check-out that we could save an additional 45% if I opened a Penney's card.
OK, typically when these offers are made I politely decline - because I really don't need another credit card, and because the offer is usually for 10-15% off. But this offer was 45%.
FORTY-FIVE PERCENT!
And the deal-finder in me just couldn't say "no." So I didn't!
Oh, but it gets better. When we were finished, the cashier told me the 45% thing was good for 24 hours.
As in, I could bring Josh back and get him suited-up for huge savings, too.
And that's just what I did.
Oh, but it gets better, still.
Matthew came with us to pick out Josh's suit, and the two of them had quite a bit of fun together. Sometimes I just stood back and watched. And felt all the feels.
Then it came time to pick out their dress shoes, and one of my sons (who shall remain nameless) put on a hilarious show of "walking the carpet" - at which time I was having flashbacks of a similar thing he used to do at about age 5. Warmed my heart right there.
And thennnnnn, we got home and I found my boys enthusiastically telling their soon-to-be brother-in-law about their new clothes. The three of them started comparing notes and joking about making fashion statements and all the things.
And I? Stood back and watched again.
I fully enjoyed their camaraderie. I didn't mind the noise, rather, I reveled in it. My heart delighted in the friendship and fun I saw playing out before my eyes. And I thought, Who'd have figured new clothes could produce all this???

Karen

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

When "Tough Love" Works

I try to be a compassionate person, and a graceful listener.

I really do.

But sometimes I have to draw the line. *ahem*

What I mean is, sometimes - under specific circumstances - I won't listen.
Like yesterday, when one of my sons was bemoaning his work schedule and school schedule and how much stuff he has to get done.
The full story is this: His employer has been scheduling him to work more hours than he wants (and really more than he should be working with his class load) but as of Monday afternoon, he hadn't told the scheduler to lighten up. (Even though I told him in previous days he needed to speak up and let someone know that he didn't want to so many hours.)
He kept going to work, struggling to try to fit everything in.

So yesterday, our conversation went something like this:
Son: Lamenting a 30-hour work week, admitting that - no - he hasn't talked to the scheduler.
Me: You know - and I have this same deal with your dad - if there's something wrong, and you could do something to correct the situation - but you don't? I won't listen to complaining about it.
Son: Awwwww. Walks away (over)acting dejected.
Thirty minutes later...
Son: Passing quickly through the kitchen. Look at me! Going to work early to take care of my problem!!!
Me: Thankful he listened, even if it was behind a veiled threat. Yay, you!!!

Ah, yes. Sometimes my efforts to teach personal responsibility are successful. *happy sigh*

Karen