Along the Path

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nothing. Everything.

a person or thing of little to no importance.

Nothing can be everything and everything can be nothing. Two words that in first thought mean complete opposite. But do they. I believe in theory they can mean the same. How many times I have witnessed that those who think they have everything.....really have nothing at all and those that appear to have their heart, soul and spirit, actually, have everything.

I was given a writing assignment.

Begin with Nothing. End with Everything.

I asked Gregory about this. What he would write.

Within minutes, basically with little thought at all, he said:

"Nothing is a word that means the exact opposite of Everything."

He left the room. Came back about 15 minutes later. He then said,

"but mom, that isn't necessarily true. Jesus had nothing and still he had everything. Some of the Head Start kids you read books to. They don't have nothing but when you spend time with them they smile as much as some kids that have all the best things. Even more. Some people that have everything they want seem sadder than people that don't have anything".

His 10 year old statement had such an impact on me.

I thought about the mission trips those at our church have taken. The photos they have sent back. Photos of people with seemingly nothing at all.....yet this spirit, and inner glow that says completely different. They may not have all the wants of life.....or even many of the basic needs. But do they have nothing? They do not look like people of little or no importance. Yet quite the contrary. Their inner light shines. They glow. If you did not look at the clothes on their back or the dirt floor on which they sleep. You would think they have everything.

And I think you would be right.

I look around at those in my community or people I pass by. Seemingly never satisfied with what they have. Always wanting more. Beautiful houses filled with stuff among stuff. Everything you can imagine. Yet there is no inner light. There is no glow. If you did not look at the clothes on their back or the 400 thread count sheets on which they sleep. You would think they have nothing.

And I think you would be right.

Nothing. Everything.

Interesting words.

Opposites or synonyms.

What meaning do they have in your life?

Make It Yours

Today I had a cake tasting. We all know how I LOVE cake tastings.

One of my favorite parts of my job.

The couple for this cake tasting is the cutest couple. I am planning a very eclectic wedding for them. We have a school bus picking up the guests, we have a "middle" party between the ceremony and reception where we will have an outdoor picnic with lawn games, food and an ice cream truck. Following that a beautiful reception, where actually you helped me choose the location quite some time ago (click here for link to that post).
For this elegant reception we are having a lovely.......................

Cow cake.

Yes, you read that right....a cow cake. He raises cattle and they wanted something fun, and what could possibly be more fun than a cow cake! :)

They will not have the cow and pig on top nor the braiding between the layers. We want to make it "elegant" (as elegant as you can make a cow cake :) ) and we are going to have fresh daisies on top and white pearls between the layers. We are growing grass to set the cake on.

I love fun couples. A bit of whimsy and making the day YOURS.

A cow cake may not be for everyone......but it is for them and that is what it is all about.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Island Picnic

It was hot here yesterday.

When the going gets hot.....the hot go to the river! Well, at least that is how it is around here.

I love living on the St. Croix River, but I particularly love living on the St. Croix River in the summer!

We decided yesterday it was time to dust the winter cobwebs off of the picnic basket and mini grill and head to our favorite island on the St. Croix River for an evening picnic.

We got everything ready to go while Dave was at work and as soon as he got home we were off.

It was delightful. The river is always its calmest about 6:00 and last night was no exception. It was like glass. It felt so good with the warm air blowing on our faces and cool river mist coming up off the water.

We got to "our" island and were so happy to see it. It is a great little island down the river near Prescott. We can pull the boat right up on the sandy shore. It is the most peaceful spot.

We have been going there for years. Many times we break out the fishing poles and have always had good luck here. Tonight we didn't do any fishing. Just relaxing, swimming, grilling, and watching the few boats that passed by.

Justin wasn't with us tonight, but I got some shots of Kyle and Gregory. I looked in my photo archives and found some from a couple of years ago. The island and the river haven't changed much.....but boy the kids sure have!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sit a Spell

It seems like getting the porch ready for summer has taken forever!!

With all the rain we have been having I have had flowers sitting around in their containers, with planting spurts in between rain spurts.

I have needed to clean the carpet and get all the dust bunnies vacuumed up from the walls and windows.

I also needed to find my decorations that had yet to be found from when we moved last summer. I literally looked in at least 60 different tubs (some of them twice) looking for the summer porch things. Back to the (some of them twice) comment. I don't know if you ever do this......but for some reason.....I will look in the tubs and then go back to them and look in the same ones again....I don't know if I didn't trust my first look or if I think they are going to magically appear between the two looks.....but I catch myself doing this and laugh at how ridiculous it is......but do it anyway!

I planted a little flower garden around my light pole. I had to dig up the grass and put in some good planting soil, peat and manure and then had to plant and mulch. It wasn't hard to do, but did take longer than expected because of the need to do it between rain showers.

I didn't have any hanging baskets, so that was a bit of a chore. I had a hard time finding ones that I liked. I scored big at Menards. I found some on an end cap that were on clearance. I loved them and they had exactly the amount I needed and although they were regularly priced $25.00 each, I got them for $4.00 each!!! Pretty much my find for the summer.

The little coffee cup I have in the garden was almost not there. I had spotted it at an arts and craft fair and thought it was sooooo cute. I had forgotten my wallet so I had to come back the next day to get it. When the next day was pouring out.

Cats and dogs pouring.

I gathered my umbrella and Dave and Gregory came with me. We walked to the art fair and looked everywhere where we thought it would have been......because we couldn't remember....and for some reason in the onslaught downpouring of rain grenades everything looks different.

I was about to give up and then I came upon a booth that I thought might be the booth, but they had nearly everything packed up and were getting ready to head out. I asked if it was them, just to satisfy my curiosity.......and it was!

She immediately began unpacking boxes and throwing newspapers around. After several different boxes, and me telling her it really wasn't necessary, yet her insisting "she knew right where it was" :) she did come across a box full of newspaper wrapped mugs. She found the one I the bottom of the box..............of course.

It is now full of blooming flowers and planted in my garden :)

I am so happy to say....I finally have everything planted, cleaned, found and in place and can now spend the rest of the summer (don't I wish that statement was true.....but at least when I am able ) on the porch sitting a spell and enjoying it.

FYI: I am always interested in exactly where a phrase came from or what it means. I was curious about "Sit a Spell".

The "True" definition:
Originally it meant; "to talk, narrate, tell stories." and then the meaning became "sit for a talk," i.e. stay and spend a significant interval of time with someone". Those were back in the days of the "charmers", thus the word "spell". Somehow the word "spell" shifted to an interval of time (such as in a spell of bad weather, a rainy spell). Following that it took on a meaning of a bit of combination of both "An interim of relief at some task or chore", which was found to be "enchanting" (small reference back to the "charmer" definition").

Another place I looked up the definition I had to laugh. The question was posted "What does Sit a Spell mean. I am from New York City and do not understand it when I have been traveling and heard it". The definition was provided to him by someone else from New York City: It's Hillbilly: For "sit down and rest for a little while".

I guess I'm Hillbilly......because that's what it means to me......and that's what I am looking forward to doing as much as I can this summer. I hope y'all get plenty of opportunities to sit a spell this summer as well!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Schools Out For Summer!!

Today is the last day of school.

All the kids go to different schools (next year Kyle and Justin will go to the same school), and Gregory's was the last school to get out.

Today is his last day!!!

I spent last night and this morning making treats for the teachers and the kids in his class.

I made the teachers chocolate dipped strawberries. I found the most gorgeous strawberries at our grocery store in town. The grocery store just remodeled and made every thing bigger and better. They even included the strawberries!!! These strawberries were amazing, and on special two large packs for $3.00! After I added my own special touches of dips and dribbles of rich dark chocolate and white chocolate.......yummy!!

I made chocolate brownies dipped in chocolate (white and dark) with sprinkles and all types of embellishments on sticks (so browniesicles ?) for the kids. They were all soooo excited when I arrived with them. They had never seen a brownie on a stick :)

Gregory came home from school and he had all his friends write their names on his arms.

I remember the days of :
2 sweet
2 b
4 gotten

and BFFL!)

It has been so crazy around here lately I really haven't made many summer plans. I have quite a few weddings, so, of course, that will keep me busy, but as far as family plans.....don't have much on the schedule.

We are going to go to Breezy Point for a week in July and really, thus far, that is about all that is planned.

We spend so much of the winter months driving......tight schedules......our time dictated and nearly every minute accounted for, it is rather nice NOT to have a bunch planned.

Looking forward to a wonderful, carefree summer with lots of bonfires, tubing down the river, cookouts, luscious gardens, glorious days on the boat, toes in the sand, warm evening walks with the dogs and kids, baseball games and just sitting on the porch in the swing.

If I could have one request it would be doing all the above with NO BUGS.......but I don't think that is going to happen!!! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Random Rambles

I am feeling the need to post. But I can't get my mind around what.

I am feeling stressed, wiped out and a bit of hyper-nervous energy all at the same time.

My mind is jumping from one thing to the next back to another thing to a completely different thing.

All over the place.

That is where I feel my mind, heart, emotions, and even my body have been today.

I am a pacer. When I am nervous I pace.

I only found this out about myself about a year ago.

I had a client that was extremely stressful. We had to make significant changes in their wedding the last week of their wedding. I was finding that after my lengthy conversations with them on the telephone I was physically tired. Like I had been working out.

My husband pointed out to me that of course I was feeling that way.....because I had been. He told me I had been up the stairs, down the stairs, outside, inside, down in the basement, out in the garage....even standing out in the backyard and walking down the sidewalk. I really had paid no attention to the fact that I did this. Since then I have paid more attention, and yes, indeed, when I am stressed I do make some ground. I don't pace back and forth in a straight line. I am a distance pacer!

When I am stressed I am also a writer. So when I am not pacing, and my legs moving me back and forth.....I guess my fingers are pacing....moving back and forth :)

I find writing to be a tremendous relief.....although most of my most stressed writing consists of little notes....lines.....nothing that really makes any sense. That is why, although I have been feeling very stressed lately, I have not been on my blog as much because I haven't been able to formulate in my mind what I really wanted to say.

Actually, today is no different.....I just happen to be typing it down anyway!

I don't really know what it is. It is hard to pinpoint because it is not one particular thing.....but a combination of many things.

It is also odd because I am not particularly "stressed", just agitated, annoyed, concerned, clueless. Many different emotions, again not about one particular thing.

Have any of you ever had these feelings. Just sort of tapped out?

I have court on Thursday for a very unpleasant situation and I know that is where a lot of my anxiousness and clueless feelings are coming from. I am faced with going into court to defend something I firmly believe in by myself.....on my own....against someone who I feel has brought forth this matter for very selfish and compromising reasons with what I have been told "the most expensive attorney he could find".

That right there is one source of my annoyance, and something that drastically sets the two of us apart. Does expense directly correlate with good, honorable, and the best?

I don't think so.

Yet, I have seen so often that in our legal system much good, honor and just has been sacrificed for expense. One of the greatest enemies of justice......loopholes. To achieve this one must find those who specialize in them. Those, who have invested great time and research in perfecting them.....and with those we are back to expense. Those kinds of efforts, practices and "talents" do not come cheap.

I am simply keeping focused on:

He is in control.

I am also keeping in mind Galatians 6:

Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

What a conflicted world we live in. All the different things we come up against that test our character and faith.

There is also a "possible" scam going on in the internet world. It involves a young "mother to be". She has been posting for many months about her pending delivery. The "baby" was not healthy and it was determined unlikely to survive the pregnancy and most certain to die during birth or shortly after.

I have read her blog for months. I have prayed for her and cried for her. She has touched so many.

She "had" the baby on Sunday and posted some photos of the baby on Monday. Many believe the photos were of a doll. Many believe she made the entire thing up and it was all a scam. Many are heart broken and disillusioned.

I do not know what I believe at this time but most certainly am broken and disillusioned.

How awful if there really is a young mother with a child near death that is need of support and prayer and the focus is instead on a possible "scam". How awful if there is a young woman that would make something like this up for monetary gain, attention, or some other reason. How awful if it is not a woman indeed, but some other individual or group of individuals preying on the kindness and loving hearts of others.

I believe in any instance prayers are needed.

Many are upset that they have been praying in this regard. Many have made comments about the need to stop helping others, stop praying for others, some have went so far as to say stop caring about others so that we protect ourselves.

I firmly believe that is something drastically wrong with society today. How many times I have heard.....I'm worried about me, myself and I. So many....only concerned about their own little world. I don't believe that they are all uncaring about others or what is going on around them.....but so many are afraid to get involved because of what it may mean for them.

I ask for those that have prayed or invested themselves in something that wasn't as it was made out to be: WAS YOUR HEART IN THE RIGHT PLACE WHEN YOU PRAYED OR ASSISTED?

If you are a Christian, does it really matter what the motive was behind what you were presented? We pray and assist because we think there is a need. OUR heart is in the right place. Isn't that what is important? If you have prayed, believed, and given because of what was in your heart........isn't that what He asks of you?

I told you....there are a lot of different things. All weighing heavy on my mind and heart.

I have my answer....which is Trust in Him.

I am feeling tapped out....but I know He will fill me up. Even as I pace around I do it with my head high. Psalms 3:
But you, O LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high!

Because this is a random post and to keep it very true to that I am going to include something TOTALLY random.

I mentioned in the beginning I wanted to post, but didn't know about what. I was originally just going to post about our recent trip to Montana/Wyoming/South Dakota. I began by going to download some photos. I only downloaded two before my mind switched gears and decided to post about what was really on my mind...much randomness. All the while I have been typing I have been moving along these two photos I had downloaded. I went to delete just now.....but decided not to.

So here you was of our Theodore Roosevelt taken in Keystone, South Dakota amongst George, Abe, Tom and Theodore's namesake.......the OTHER Theodore Roosevelt. The other is Gregory on a fake buffalo and if you have ever been to that part of the know where!

How much more random can you get than that?

Have a wonderful day everyone and thanks for letting me vent!! :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Congratulations Leah!

Congratulations Class of 2009!!!!

Leah graduated from high school last night.

The room was filled with great pride, joy and appreciation for all that contributed to this achievement, albeit, we recognize, none greater than He.

Father, as parents we once again find ourselves “dedicating” our sons and daughters to You; as we recognized 18 or 19 years ago, You created them each “fearfully and wonderfully” and we recognized that they actually and ultimately belong to You; that you placed them in our care to “raise them in the nurture and admonition of Jesus Christ”.

And we acknowledge that the schools they have attended have been a significant part of the task. Father, we realize once again—as we did then—that this dedication, this “giving over” of our sons and daughters is not a one-time-event; it is a continual, day-by-day dedication.

We this day give them again to You; we dedicate them to you. For your good pleasure; for Your glory. Lord, we pray that our sons and daughters long for nothing but You, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Your will.

May they recognize that You have given me these desires, and You alone can give them the thing desired. May their souls long for communion with You.

Father, may they never seek in the creature what can only be found in the Creator. Father, we deeply and passionately love our sons and daughters today; You have blessed our lives with them; we are the richest of people because of them.

Let them learn by paradox—

That the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high; that the broken heart is the healed heart; that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit; that the repenting soul is the victorious soul; that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown; that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

O Lord God, You have commanded them to believe in Jesus. We pray that they would flee to no other refuge, wash in no other fountain, build on no other foundation, receive from no other fullness, and rest in no other relief.

And we ask all of this in no other name but the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

Congratulations Leah......We Are Proud Of You!!