Thursday, May 30, 2013

June Quests: Taking Pictures & Exercising

May is just about to be in the history books, and it's time to announce my June Quests!  I have chosen two Heart & Spirit Monthly Quests for the next month.  I am very excited about one of them and kind of sheepish about the other one...

But...before I get to my June Quests, I want to share with you my May Quests for the day: 

Pray for Someone
Today I prayed for the sweet little baby that was my Someone just a couple weeks ago. I think this is the first time I have repeated a Someone, but this little baby is in need of prayers and I spent the day lifting him and his parents up to the Lord.  I asked for God's protection over this baby as he grows and develops.

He was born so early....so little...and he's struggling to survive in this world.

Dear Lord...please be with this precious little life and his parents tonight. Please hold this family in your Mighty Hand. Please comfort them and bless them.  Please, Father, guide the doctors and nurses who care for this sweet little one.  I ask that You help all involved to know exactly what to do.  May this family feel Your love, strength, and comfort in these stressful, scary days.  And Lord...I ask You to lay Your warm, life-giving hand upon this tiny baby tonight and give him all that he needs to survive.

Do A Good Deed
This may sound like a funny one...but my Good Deed today was to be kind and understanding when I really really didn't want to be.  This afternoon a delivery was made to our home. It was not handled in a professional manner. From the beginning to the unsatisfying end, the customer service was poor....disappointing...frustrating.

My first reaction to was just let everyone involved have it. I mean...after all...I was, clearly, in the right and they were, most certainly, in the wrong. Something was ordered and paid for in good faith. I did my part correctly. I'm still not sure what they did on their end. All I can say is...they messed up...several times. They were...well...human. It was a chain reaction of human error.

As all these thoughts went through my mind... I decided that my Good Deed today would be to give everyone involved some Grace...a second chance....even though it didn't feel like they deserved it.

But you know...honestly...there have been plenty of times in my life that my family....friends....and yes, even strangers have given me undeserved Grace.  Of course there have been plenty of times in my life when Our Heavenly Father has bestowed huge helpings of Grace on me as well.

So today...I pushed aside what I wanted to say...and gave a little grace to several strangers.

And now...announcing my June Heart & Spirit Monthly Quests!

The Quest I am excited about will be to Take A Picture Every Day.  Recently, I purchased a new camera.  It is a little nicer and has a few more options than my old one.  I'm excited to try it out and see what pictures I can come up with in the coming month.  This is just a fun project I want to do.

My other Quest....the one I am a bit sheepish about....will not be fun for me.  It will, however, help my heart...and my spirit...and is something important I need to do.   Why am I sheepish about it?  Well...it's a Quest I've done before...twice before...and clearly I did not create the habit I was hoping I had created. 

Maybe it takes more than 30 days for me to create a habit....maybe it takes more than 60 days for me to create a habit....so here's to the third time.  Hopefully it's the charm.  This month I will Exercise Every Day.  ugh.  My goal is to do something....anything exercise related 30 minutes a day. 

I am looking forward to June.  I have high hopes I will enjoy using my new camera....and will finally create an exercise routine I can make a regular habit in my life.

I hope you will continue to journey on my Quests with me!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And The Winner Is....

And the winner of my first GIVEAWAY is......Tea Queen!  Congratulations and thanks for commenting, Tea Queen!  Watch your mail for your very own copy of the One Good Deed A Day journal!

Things have slowed down a bit around here as we are finally on summer break.  I've gotten some cleaning done, worked on a couple projects, and even completed a nice stack of scrapbooking pages.  Summer has always been my favorite season.  Of course, I am a lover of the sun and heat, so the warm sunny days of summer refresh and renew me in such a delightful way!

While enjoying these days, I have continued working on my May Quests as well. 

Pray for Someone
Yesterday I prayed for a friend who had surgery today.  I lifted her up to our Lord and asked Him to be with her, the doctors, and nurses during the procedure.  I also asked God to be with her during her recovery.  I pray she gets the rest she needs to fully heal.

Today, I prayed for traveling mercies for a friend's children.  They are moving to another state and I asked God to be with them while they travel and settle in at their new jobs and new home.  I prayed for my friend as well.  I know she will miss having her children near her.

Do A Good Deed
Yesterday, I was able to help a stranger who needed a little compassion.  I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to offer just what he needed.  I am grateful God gave me the opportunity to brighten Someone's day.

Today, was another opportunity to help Someone.  This time it was Someone very dear to me, but again I was so happy to be able to offer him a little assistance in a time of need. 

This month, I have learned that this Do A Good Deed Quest makes me more aware of little things I can do to be...well...Good to others.  I find myself looking for opportunities to do Good each day.

With just a couple of days left in May, I've been thinking about June and what my Quest for next month will be.  I already have one idea I know I'm going to do.  I am also thinking about another one I just might tackle as well.  Tomorrow, I will let you know what my June Quest(s) will be. 

Are you interested in joining me?  Is there something you have wanted to do, but never took the time?  Is there a habit you would like to create or some change you would like to make in your life? 

Maybe now is the perfect time to commit to just 30 days toward the Quest you have in mind.  If so, share it with me!  Let me be your accountability partner!  After all...you do that for me each and every month!

Monday, May 27, 2013

No Greater Love

Yesterday I shared with you some thoughts about honoring our military heroes. Today, I want to share a little about some heroes we spent time with this morning.

Today was a special day for our family.  We traveled down the road a bit to my childhood hometown where we attended a beautiful Memorial Day service with some of our family and friends.  As we sang, pledged, prayed, and remembered, tears came to my eyes in gratefulness to those who have given so much for our beloved country.

This rural "middle America" town with fewer than 1000 residents has seen some great tragedy in recent weeks.  In such a small town as this, the fireman are citizen volunteers.  As a matter of fact, back in the day when I was growing up there, Dad was one of those volunteer firemen.  I have such high respect for these men who volunteer their time to do a dangerous, but much needed service for their small community.

Recently this town's firemen had to deal with several emergencies that were new experiences for them.  They were well trained and were able to handle each situation in a professional manner, but they also were forever changed by what they experienced as the first responders on the scene.  My heart goes out to each one of them. 

So it may not surprise you to learn that my May Quests today honored the amazing brave heroes of this small town fire department.

Pray for Someone and Do A Good Deed
I spent time in prayer today thanking God for the selfless actions of each one of these upstanding men. I prayed for their safety. I asked God to help them to learn and retain all they need to know during future training.

I asked God to be with their families who love, support, and no doubt worry about them.  And I especially asked our Lord to comfort them and sustain them during this time of grief and recovery from the recent tragedies in which they were the first responders.

Today was special to Hubby and I because we not only were given an opportunity to honor those brave men and women in the military who gave their lives for our nation, but we also shared in a time of honoring the brave firemen of my childhood hometown.  Hubby and I delighted in an opportunity to publicly, and later privately show our support for them as well.

I was reminded again today of how our country is filled with so many truly brave people who are willing to go above and beyond for their fellow citizens. 

Hubby shared these words from Jesus today:  "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."  ~John 15:13

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Remember...

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  I am most grateful for all those who have served our country...especially those who gave their very lives in service to this great nation.  Hubby and I have known a few of these brave souls personally...and truly...mere words cannot express the honor it is for us to have known them. 

Hubby and I each have a grandpa that served in the American military.  Hubby's Grandpa served in the Navy.  His Grandma raised two little ones while his Grandpa was away for long deployments during war time. 

My own Grandpa Pastor served in the Army Air Corps before he became a pastor.  Grandma Gem was a young new wife when she packed up their car and drove across the country to be with him while he served. 

Thinking of both couples today, I cannot imagine the hardships they endured.  What I do know is that all four of them were part of something great and wonderful that helped keep our country free in a time of world turmoil and I will be forever grateful to each of them. 

They not only gave to our country, but to our families as well.  Their service of honor and sacrifice is a shining example to our children...their great grandchildren.  Today, I think of our Grandparents and their part in helping to maintain FREEDOM in our great nation.  It is my honor to know and love them.

In respect of such a special remembrance day, I share my May Quests with you.

Pray for Someone
Today my prayers are for those who are remembering their loved ones this weekend.  There are so many wives...husbands...children...parents...even grandparents mourning a Service Member this weekend. 

My heart goes out to these people.  They are my Someones today.  I pray for them as they honor...remember...grieve...and live each day without their loved one.  I pray today that God will hold them close and comfort them as they mourn.

Do A Good Deed
Hubby and I support The Gary Sinise Foundation.  It is a wonderful organization founded by Gary "Lt. Dan" Sinise.  He played Lt. Dan in the epic movie Forest Gump.  Mr. Sinise already had respect for all military members before taking this role, but after playing Lt. Dan he realized the good he could do with this celebrity. 

It was then that he founded this incredible charity that supports, honors, and serves the needs of military members.  Some of my friends recently had an opportunity to meet Mr. Sinise in person and happily reported to me that he is the class act we thought him to be. 

So, this Memorial Day weekend, Hubby and I will be supporting this foundation and the great work they do for our American Military Members.

This weekend I remember the sacrifices our American Men and Women in Uniform have made for this country...for me...for you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Just For Fun Friday: Free GIVEAWAY Edition

It's Friday....so....Just For Fun....I'm doing my very first GIVEAWAY!!!

Before we get to the details of the Giveaway, here's an update on my May Quests these past few days.

Pray for Someone
Wednesday, I prayed for a young man who was hurt in an accident at work.  He spent hours in surgery and thankfully the doctors where able to accomplish a positive result.  I will continue to pray for this Someone as he goes through recovery from this unexpected injury. 

Yesterday, I prayed for some of my family.  They are off on a fun Northwestern Adventure.  They are taking some time to travel from the Midwest to explore and enjoy areas of North America they have never seen in person.  I am so excited for the experiences they will encounter along this journey.  I prayed for their safety and their time together.  I can't wait to hear all about it when they return.

Today, I prayed for a family who is waiting for the return of their son.  They are not sure where he is or what exactly happened to him.  I prayed God would be with them while they wait for news.  I asked God to be with him and bring him home to his family safely and quickly.

Do A Good Deed
Wednesday our Engineer and I signed up to volunteer for a program this summer.  Our church will be delivering meals to children in need throughout the summer and we are going to help with this wonderful project.  We are both looking forward to meeting the children and helping with this wonderful ministry.

Thursday our family supported a Boy Scout fundraiser at a local restaurant.  The boys from a troop in our community were the servers at the restaurant.  They did an awesome job serving everyone dining there last night and we were happy to donate to them.

Today...well today my Good Deed is my very first blog GIVEAWAY!!

All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your favorite Good Deed.  It can be something that was done for you or something you did for someone else.

What is the GIVEAWAY you ask?

In honor of my Do A Good Deed May Quest, the winner will receive a copy of this Good Deed journal:
 


Inside this adorable little journal you will find 365 ideas for doing one Good Deed A Day for an entire year! 

Each page offers an idea, a place to document the date you did the Good Deed and also a few lines to journal a little about the Deed. 


My copy of this unique book is what inspired me to do this Quest in May. It is my hope that the winner will also be inspired by this adorable little book.

Please share your first name and one of your favorite Good Deeds in the comments below. 


I will leave comments open until Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 29, I will randomly choose the winner.  The Someone who will get this great little GIVEAWAY will be announced in my Wednesday night blog post! 

Be sure to check back on Wednesday to see if you are the lucky winner!  I really look forward to reading your comments!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Red Brick Home

The young family had already looked at several other houses when they drove up to the cute red brick ranch on the quiet street.  As they strolled up the walkway to the home, they had no idea all of the wonderful memories these grounds...those walls...would soon hold for them. 

There in the driveway, they will meet their neighbors who will become their best friends.  They will share laughter and tears, happiness and heartache, joy and sorrow.  They will become like family.  They will go to church together, celebrate together, and support each other.

In the front yard stands a lone little "Charlie Brown" tree.  That tree will drive the dad crazy as he digs it up and plants a new one several times over the years.  Those two little boys will run many many circles around that tree and have so much fun watering it...and each other.  The flower beds lined with greenery will soon burst forth in bright reds and pinks with the impatiens and roses the mom will plant.

Inside the home, the foyer will become the place of countless Nerf basketball games with the dad and his two sons.  Little Match Box cars will soon shoot across that very tile floor. 

Just to the left, the beautiful wood built-ins will come to be the resting place of family scrapbooks, framed photos of the sweet little boys, and the momma's special Christmas village each December.  Sitting majestically in the middle of those shelves is the feature of the house - a beautiful brick fireplace.  Oh the times the young momma, wrapped in a blanket, will sit there holding her little boys while snowflakes fall outside. 

Sun shines through the tall dining room windows where family and friends will gather around the oak table laughing, eating, and celebrating together. 

Out the sliding glass door will sit a little "Flintstones" car and a bubble mower on the patio.  They will be waiting for the two little guys to drive and mow all over the lush green grass.  When their "work" is done, they will enjoy many hours swinging and sliding on the blue metal swing set. 

Back inside the kitchen, soon the young momma will make yummy lunches and dinners.  She will bake birthday cakes and peach cobblers in the pretty little kitchen with the huge cabinet pantry.  At the counter the two little giggly boys will stand (one on his tip toes, the other on a little stool) dying Easter Eggs...their eyes sparkling in delight. 

Down the carpeted hallway a little baby will learn to crawl.   In the little hall bathroom, the momma and her boys will sit like ducks in a row in the bathtub with a baby mattress over them as sirens wail and winds swirl outside.

In a little bedroom, the brothers will spend hours racing cars around a figure eight race track, hammering plastic nails on their work bench, and lining up their knights for a great battle around their castle.  They will snuggled into their beds and listen quietly as mom and dad read Goodnight Moon every. single. night.  Then, after being tucked in and the lights turned out, they will "shhhhsshhh!" and giggle as the family cat cuddles up at the foot of one of their beds.

In the next room, the momma will set up a little home business.  She will teach scrapbooking classes, sell scrapbooking supplies, and host her friends at scrapbooking crops.  Sometimes, late at night she will crop, tape, and journal these very memories into her own family albums. 

At times, the entire family will end up in the master bedroom at the end of the hall.  A little thunder and lightning will be enough to send the little guys scurrying through the door to pile into bed with their mom and dad. 

In the big garden tub, those same two little guys will enjoy baths full of bubbles and little toy boats.  There will be bubble beards and so much laughter the dad will hear them all the way in the living room. 

This home will be the very first house they purchase. 

This home will be the very first home all four of them will live in together as a family. 

But before that can happen...they will need to go to the Federal Building to sign some papers.  Just a few days before they are scheduled to do that...two men will blow up that very building.  It is then that this young couple will discover the Oklahoma Spirit.  They will watch with amazement how this state comes together to love, support, and help each other get through it.  These people show the world that "Okies" are survivors. 

Four years later, the little family is settled into their life in the pretty red brick home on the quiet little street.  The dad is away on a business trip when the mom gets a call from those neighbors they met in the driveway.  The ones that have since become like family to them. 

The young momma learns there's a storm coming.  It's a big one.  It looks worse than the others.  She gathers up her little boys, and hurries them over to the neighbor's house where they take cover in a closet with their friends. 

They listen to the reports of devastating destruction on the radio and soon realize the tornado is headed straight for them.  They pray...they comfort each other...they listen.  Then fear turns to astonishment as the storm changes course.  It turns.  It heads north.  They are spared.

The days that follow are filled with helping each other, gathering supplies, cleaning up, making phone calls, checking on friends, reading the stories, and watching in awe as once again these Okies show the world they can survive. 

The people of Oklahoma rebuild...stronger, safer homes.  They learn lessons.  They become even better survivalists.

A year later the young family packs up and moves on to a new state, new job, and a new home.  They never forget the years they spent in Oklahoma.  They never forget the people and they never forget the Oklahoma Spirit that they witnessed through two great tragedies.

Fourteen years later, the family has moved a few more times.  Yesterday, the mom watched in horror the news that came from her beloved former home state of Oklahoma.  The memories came flooding back and the tears sprang to her eyes.  Her heart hurt.

She picked up the phone and dialed the number of those best friends still living in the house across from that red brick house on the quiet little street.  It rang busy...so she wiped away the tears..and dialed again...and again until finally she heard her friend's voice on the other end.  They were okay.  They had survived.  Again.  In the same closet.  Relief filled her soul.

This story is a true story.  It's our story. 
We are the family that lived in the red brick house on the quiet street.

Pray for Someone & Do A Good Deed
Today...I did my May Quests in honor of our beloved Okies.  I prayed for them all day long.  Tonight Hubby and I will send money to the Salvation Army and Samaritan's Purse to support their efforts in helping out our Okie friends.

We know the Oklahoma Spirit that lives in each and every Okie we know. They are hurting. They are digging out. They are cleaning up. They are comforting each other. They are helping each other. They will rebuild. They will survive. 

And they will be in our hearts, prayers, and tears in the days to come.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Update

I wrote the following post before I learned of the horrific tornado that hit our beloved former home state of Oklahoma.  My heart, prayers, and tears are with Oklahoma tonight.  Maybe tomorrow I can post more...for now I pray.

I didn't get a blog posted about my May Quests this weekend, so here's what I was up to the past three days...

Pray for Someone
Saturday, I prayed for a friend's daughter.  She graduated from college, packed her belongings, loaded them into her car, and drove through several states to a brand new place to start her new post-college life.  She was raised by two military parents who taught her (by example) what it means to be brave and independent. 

She is moving to a new state, a new home, all new friends, and a new career which adds up to a completely new life.  I prayed for God's protection and guidance over her.  I prayed she relies on all those wonderful lessons she has learned from her parents, and I prayed this is a beautiful start for her adult life.

Sunday, my Someones were all the new high school graduates I know.  There are several young men and women finishing up high school and preparing to head off to the start of their adult life.  Some of them are family friends.  Others are former students of mine. 

I am proud of them and what they have accomplished in their young lives.  I prayed for God to be with them and guide them as they prepare for the future.  Some will remain home with parents, so I prayed for that situation as new challenges and experiences will arise.  Others will move away for the first time and I prayed for them as they take on more responsibility. 

All of them are off to college.  There will be a new school, new friends, new instructors, and new rules.  I prayed they handle all this newness with good judgement.  I asked God to bless this summer time of preparation for them and their families as they deal with the emotions, concerns, and needs that come with change.

When I woke up this morning, I wasn't sure who was going to be my Someone today.  I didn't sleep well last night, and then didn't feel well this morning.  So I didn't go down to the basement, get on the treadmill, and pray like I like to do most mornings. 

Instead, I took care of some things I needed to work on, and it was later in the day when I stopped to pray for my list of prayer requests. It is unusual for me to get that far into the day without praying for my Someone, but I think that's exactly what was supposed to happen because as I was thinking about who I could pray for today, I saw on Facebook a prayer request from a friend, and I knew that I was supposed to stop right then and pray this Someone.

My Someone today is my friend's husband who was rushed to the hospital in the early morning hours today.  And while I am not sure what is wrong, and they are not sure what is wrong, and even the doctors may not know what is wrong, God knows.  So I went to Him and asked Him to be with these friends. 

I asked God to lay His powerful healing hands on this man.  I asked God to guide his doctors and nurses to know how to care for him.  I asked our Lord to comfort him and give him peace during this scary and confusing time. 

I prayed that God would be with my friend.  She is a faithful servant and loving wife.  I asked God to comfort her and help her rest while the doctors care for her husband.  I prayed today that God would rule over this entire situation and there would be no doubt in the end that He was there and that He was in control of a confusing and concerning time for both of them.

Do A Good Deed
My good deeds these past few days included taking the time to talk to a complete stranger who is expecting her first child, a boy.  It was fun to watch her eyes light up as I asked about her special arrival.  I shared with her a bit about the joys of raising little boys.  It was a fun conversation and I was glad that I could brighten her day a little as she seated people and checked people out at a busy restaurant while eight months pregnant.

Another deed I did was something little, but seemed to mean a whole lot to my little neighbor boy.  He kicked his soccer ball over our six foot fence, and while he really wanted to get it back, my cute, but very loud barking Twins made him a little fearful. 

I took him by the hand and lead him past my puppies, showing him they are all bark and no bite, and then helped him retrieve his ball from our yard.  I made him a promise that if I find his soccer ball in my yard again, I will throw it back over.  Bless his heart.

Today, I took care of something for someone and they didn't even know it needed to be done.  And here's the fun part.  They may never know that it needed to be done...I'm not going to tell them...but they would have had a lot of problems in a couple months if it hadn't been done.

Sometimes that just the fun of Good Deeds.  Many times we do them and the person who benefits doesn't even know about it.  Or maybe they don't know who did it.  When that happens, it can turn into a blessing for the person who benefits and the person doing the Good Deed. 

I felt blessed to get to do that today!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Just For Fun Friday: Calvin & Hobbes Edition

It's Friday...so...Just For Fun:


Thank you to the talented Bill Watterson!  As I try to live life with a Rosie Outlook, this cartoon just cracked me up! 

Hubby said he didn't get it....  hee hee

I also worked on my May Quests the last two days:

Pray for Someone
Yesterday I prayed for Sister.  She has a demanding career that she loves, but it can be stressful at times.  She supports her loving husband who also has a demanding career.  Their days can be long, but rewarding.  She is a loving and supportive mother of two twentysomethings.

Sister's days are busy, but she is happy doing what she loves to do - making a difference in the lives of her family and students.  So Thursday, I spent the day praying for her as finishes up this school year, takes a little break, and then begins preparations for the next school year.

Today, I spent the day in prayer for a couple that are very dear to me.  They have a deep desire to start a family.  It has been a long journey for them.  There have been disappointments and heartache.  My heart is with them every day as they wait on God to fulfill the desires of their hearts.  I prayed for God to sustain them until His plan for their family is revealed.

Do A Good Deed
In the last couple days, I have had the opportunity to leave a tip for someone who did a service for me.  Having spent my college days waiting tables at Aunt and Uncle's restaurant, I know how hard people in service jobs work.  I also know how important tips are to people in those jobs. 

It was my pleasure to have an opportunity to "over tip" a bit with a couple people.  Yes, they did an great job, and certainly earned a tip, but it was fun to leave just a little bit more than expected. 

Even though it's been a very long time since I waited tables, I remember some of the times I got an extra tip.  It was a blessing to me.  Many years later, I am now in a position where sometimes I can do that for someone else.  I guess you can call that paying it forward.

Another little deed I've been working on is to smile at strangers.  I am trying to slow down...take a little time to really take in the people around me when I am out and about.  I'm making a better effort to make eye contact and smile.  I want the people around me...whether I know them or not...to feel they matter.  Because...people do matter. 

In fact YOU, dear reader matter to me.  So...if you have a prayer request, please feel free to contact me, and I will pray for you!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Letting Go of Expectations

Sometimes we can get caught up in expectations...especially when it comes to "Hallmark Holidays".  I think it sets us up for disappointment....or stress...or hurt feelings...which is so sad because each of those feelings are the opposite of what is supposed to be accomplished when celebrating someone.

Expectations can really ruin things...especially when someone tries to show their love, but it's so "off the mark" that we miss the opportunity of being blessed by the gift.  Unfortunately if I asked everyone who has ever done that to raise their hand...well...umm...my own hand would be in the air.  A younger, more self-centered Rosie did that. 

Somewhere along the way, I learned to let go of my expectations, and receive gifts with thanksgiving instead.  Does that mean that I'm never disappointed?  Of course not.  I'm human.  And female.  I'm a human female.  So, I do have to shrug those feelings off sometimes.  Thankfully I have come to see the selfishness in those feelings and am much better about just letting them go when they creep up on me.

About a week before Mother's Day, our Engineer took a little trip to the bookstore.  He is very careful with his money.  He works hard for it, and he doesn't usually spend it without great consideration.  He really enjoys browsing the bookstore, but he doesn't purchase a book every time he goes.  As a matter of fact, he can go several times in a row before actually choosing a book to purchase. 

So, when he came in from that little shopping trip with a book in his hand, I was happy he found one that he thought was worth his money.   The surprise came when he handed me something.  It turns out he purchased something for me as well. 
This adorable little block sign:
Now...I don't know if you are familiar with teenagers...but really, no matter how great your relationship is...to get a gift like this from a teenager is more precious and special than words can truly convey.

But the story gets even better...because I soon realized that this gift was:
1. Purchased from a display of Mother's Day gifts...and

2. Our Engineer had no idea that Mother's Day was a just a few days away....which made this gift...

3. All the more special, because it truly came from his heart and not because he felt he needed to purchase a gift for me. 

And honestly...our Engineer is a true boy and really doesn't enjoy shopping for gifts...especially for his momma...who happens to be a very girly girl...

AND the story gets even better, because a day or so before Mother's Day...our Engineer casually mentioned..."remember that little gift I got for you, Mom?  Uh...yeah...that was really for Mother's Day."     hee hee

I just loved it, because I totally saw that coming and it truly delighted me!  I reassured him that I loved it as my Mother's Day gift, because I knew it came from his heart. 

Now that I have shared my heart with you today...here's what I did with my May Quests these past two days.

Pray for Someone
Tuesday, my Someone was a tiny little baby born at just 24 weeks.  A friend of mine shared this prayer request along with an amazing photo, and I have to say, this itty bitty miracle weighing in at just over 1 lb captured my heart immediately. 

His daddy was in the photo with him and two things really stood out to me.  One was the concerned look on that daddy's face, and the other was how very very tiny this fragile little baby is.  They, along with the mommy, have a long road ahead of them. 

So I prayed for this new little family.  I asked God to gently hold them all in the palm of His hand while this baby develops and grows strong in the days to come.  As you know, babies are very precious to me and I know this baby is very very precious to his entire family.

Today I prayed for Someone very dear to me that lost a long time pet.  Having mourned the loss of a few pets myself, I understand her heartache, and I pray for her and her family as they say goodbye. 

Do A Good Deed
Yesterday, I was in the process of writing my blog post for the day, when a friend-in-need called.  I closed my computer and spent a couple hours listening, talking, encouraging, sympathizing, and even laughing a little. 

By the time I got off the phone, it was late, and I decided this post could wait until today.   It was a blessed time for her...and me...and I'm so glad that when she needed a friend, she called me.

Today, I worked on something special for our Engineer.  He has a desire to do something new and it's going to take some effort on my part to help him make it happen.  Today, I spent a good deal of time helping him work toward this goal.  I'm happy to give him a helping hand, and hopefully it might lead to him reaching this new goal.

As a momma, I always try to keep things even between my boys...so I'll end tonight by sharing the other surprise I got for Mother's Day:
Roses....from our Scientist. 

They were an equally touching gift, because he is still far far away at school...this was our first Mother's Day apart...ever...and he is very busy with college life.  Clearly it was important to him to make sure I knew he loved me and was thinking of me even if we couldn't be together.

In the end...it didn't matter when or why the gift was purchased.  It didn't matter the amount of money spent...or the amount of time or effort put toward it.  Those things are all expectation issues.

No...what mattered was..my boys love me...and I love them.  Truly...that is the best gift of all.

Remember...if you have a prayer request, please contact me and I will pray for you!
 

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Mother's Love ~ No. Matter. What.

Now that another Mother's Day has come and gone, I have a few minutes to share with you my May Quests for the past two days. 

Pray for Someone
Sunday, I spent the day in prayer for Mom.  She is such a huge blessing in my life.  She is fun, loving, happy, encouraging, nosy, funny, prayerful, faithful, talented, caring, crazy, thoughtful, helpful, giving, understanding, smart, involved, stylish, musical, and a wonderful grandma.

And really...those are just some of her fantastic qualities.

I know without a doubt that Mom is there for me.  She is my best cheerleader.  She always supports me.  She loves me unconditionally, and she has been a shining example to me on how to truly love my children.  No. Matter. What. 

My siblings and I are prayed for and loved over every day. Every. Single. Day.  I am more grateful than these mere words can fully express.  I love Mom dearly and yesterday, Mother's Day, I spent the day in thankfulness for Mom.

And even if she doesn't get on the computer to read this...it's okay. I love her so much anyway!

Today my Someones are a little tiny baby and his family.  This four month old child is in the hospital undergoing major heart surgery tomorrow.  He has been living with health problems since birth.  His amazing parents have been so careful and have taken such wonderful care of him to get him to this point.  My prayers are with him and his family as they go through this very scary and amazing time. 

Do A Good Deed
Yesterday I worked on helping our Engineer with some paperwork that he needed to complete.  While he did work on most of it, he asked me to help him finish it up, and I was happy to give him a helping hand.

Today, interestingly enough, I got an email from our Scientist's school.  He needed to complete some paperwork for next semester.  So, knowing he is busy with a short semester class, I took care of the paperwork for him without him even having to ask. 

Both tasks took a small amount of my time, but helped each of my boys in a big way.  While I am excited to see them grow up and take on more responsibility for their own lives, I'm still happy to help them from time to time. 

After all...Mom still helps me out from time to time.  Yes, I've been taught well. 

Whether it's a grandma mom supporting her grown children...or a young mother caring for her tiny ill baby...or a momma trying to help her high school and college kids ease into adulthood, it's not just our job...it's our love...a mother's love...to help our children.  No. Matter. What.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Butter Pecan Ice Cream...and Prayer

Tonight Mom and Dad came to visit the Engineer, Hubby, and me.  I got to make dinner for them and then surprise mom with her favorite ice cream, Butter Pecan.  We picked it up from a local restaurant that makes their own ice cream and it was so yummy.

It was so relaxing to sit around the kitchen table...talking....laughing...and enjoying some time (and ice cream) together.  I am blessed with two wonderful parents.  They love God...each other...my siblings...and me.  Even as an adult in my forties, I have such a feeling of love, comfort, and security when I am with them.  Yes...I truly feel blessed.

Any time I get to spend with my parents is special, because for most of my adult life, I have lived far far away from them.  I haven't always had the opportunity to spend special days...like Mother's Day with them.  I cherished our time together tonight.  I do not take it for granted, that's for sure!

Later in the evening, we Facetimed with our Scientist.  He's still away at school for a few more weeks, and I miss him very much.  I am getting anxious to have him home for a while this summer. 

This will also be our first Mother's Day apart since he was born.  As Hubby says...it was a good 20 year run.  Thankfully we live in a time of amazing technology and even though he will be many many miles away...I will get to see his face tomorrow.  Yes...I truly feel blessed.

That thankful feeling for the blessings in my life has been quite evident these past few days as I worked on my May Quests.

Pray for Someone
Yesterday...oh my...my Someones were a mom, dad, and brother.  They are the only ones left of their family after a horrible house fire that took the lives of the four other children in their family.  It is a heartbreaking story and has been on my heart since Mom called early Friday morning. 

With tears in her voice, she asked me to pray for this family.  And I did all day yesterday...and truly all day again today.  I also prayed for the extended family, the first responders, the friends, and the teachers.  My heart goes out to this family more than I can express in words...I just pray for them.

Today, I prayed for a child that is very ill and in the hospital.  One of my dear friends is her teacher, and when she asked for prayer for this cute little gal, I knew she would be my Someone today.  I pray for God's healing hand on her.  I pray for her doctors to figure out how to help her parents manage her health.  I pray for relief from her pain and discomfort.  I ask Jesus to sit with her and hold her hand...

Do A Good Deed
Yesterday, our Engineer and I got a last minute request to meet friends for lunch.  I don't know if this truly counts as a good deed, because it was a huge blessing to me...but I shifted plans and said yes. 

These friends will be moving on to a new job, home, and life soon.  I know our face to face time is precious and I was so happy to take a little time out of my schedule to meet with my sweet friend and her beautiful daughter. 

Today was the Letter Carriers' Food Drive.  This morning, I went into our pantry and filled the blue bag I found in my mailbox a few days ago.  We left the bag full of yummy goodies by our mailbox.  It's such a heartache that so many people are in need of food in our country, and I thank all of the Letter Carriers who worked even harder today collecting for the food drive.

Tonight...I ask you to join me in prayer for a dad, mom, and young son whose lives have changed dramatically in a very short amount of time.  And as always..if you have a request you would like me to pray about, just contact me.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Just For Fun Friday: My Stormy Outlook Edition

While I did my May Quests today...you will have to wait until tomorrow to read about them. 

Today is Friday...so Just For Fun:
As I have mentioned a little more than once on this blog, Hubby and I are very different.  We most certainly have an "opposites attract" kind of relationship which makes life very fun and interesting!

Last night Hubby mentioned that sometimes my Rosie outlook can be a bit much for him...and that if he ever wrote a blog, just to balance things out, it would be called My Stormy Outlook. 

I know...it made me laugh too!

You see, Hubby is my editor.  Yes, it might surprise you that I have an editor and still have mistakes on this blog sometimes.  We usually work on this blog at the end of the day, and because we get up at some crazy before-the-sun hour...sometimes we are a bit tired and miss the mistakes. 

Either way, the reality is I need a little editing...because I'm really very good at communicating and every once in a while I might get a little carried away with it.  As with any other writer, I get a bit defensive at times when it comes to Hubby's editing recommendations...and yet usually he's right, and I really do need another eye to read what I write. 

This is the conversation we had last night as I bristled at his corrections.  I guess the truth is, I do have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my blog editor at times....well really I just love him.  I'm very thankful because he's my most ardent supporter, and I am very very grateful to have his editing in several areas of my life.

If that's a bit too much mush for you...or a little too Rosie of an outlook...or if you are one of those who can only take so much Rosie...maybe someday...when Hubby has a bit more time, he'll write a blog for you. 

I guess you better keep coming back and reading this blog...because you never know when Hubby might "guest blog" His Stormy Outlook.  And for some reason...if he ever does that...I'm thinking it will be a whole lot of Fun!

Check back tomorrow to read about my latest Quests and please contact me if you or someone you know has a prayer request.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just Let It Go

There comes a time to let things go.  One of Hubby's favorite sayings is "Just let it go....".  It seems to be easier for him to do that than it is for me.  As you might imagine...he says that phrase to me...every so...um...well...frequently.

It's true, I tend to want to hang onto everything.

Sometimes it's good stuff...like happy memories.... our grandma's dishes...grandpa's bow ties....cute little baby tennis shoes...albums and boxes full of photographs of those we love...a special pet's dog collar...favorite toys....much loved teddy bears...high school mementos....and a few boxes filled with words of love on cards, letters, and drawings.  It's good to keep those kind of things.

But then...sometimes it's things I shouldn't hang onto...like clothes that haven't been worn in years...rugs, curtains, and decorations from three houses ago...games long forgotten...toys that boys have outgrown...movies we never watch...and kitchen appliances rarely used.

Why is it so hard to pry my fingers off these unimportant things cluttering up my live?

Even worse though...is the other stuff I have a hard time letting go...the icky, bad, don't-need-it-in-my-life stuff...like bad memories, words spoken in anger, hurt feelings, slights, painful truths, hateful lies, and ugly mental images.  I know I don't need or even really want those things in my life...so why do I fight so hard to keep them sometimes? 

It's become a worthy goal this year to rid my life of these kinds of ugliness.  It's one of the reasons I started these Quests..this year long adventure...and writing this blog.  And I'm so happy to say, it really is working. 

Thankfully, focusing on the stuff worth having in my life has really helped me to just let go of that which is not.  So with that in mind, I worked on my May Quests these past couple of days.

Good Deeds
First, I worked on getting rid of that which I do not need in my life:
Yesterday, I spent time going through my closest. I cleared out a trash bag full of clothes to donate to the Salvation Army. They were all nice clothes in great shape, but they were either too big, too small, or I just haven't worn them in a very long time. This was a long overdue project and my hope is now someone else can enjoy these clothes.

We have a few other boxes of household items that we have gathered over the past few months, so today I called Salvation Army for a pick up and soon these items will be available for someone else to use.   Maybe by letting it go to the Salvation Army, we can bless someone in need.

Pray for Someone
Then, I turned my attention to that which is good...praying for others in need:
Yesterday, I prayed for Someone I do not know, but she's a mom and is very important to her daughter.  One of my sweet friends sent me the request, because her friend's mom had a stroke.  So I prayed for this lady, her loving daughter, and the recovery journey ahead of them.

Today my Someone is the daughter of my dear friend, Southern Belle.  Her daughter had surgery on her foot today, and I prayed for her surgery which thankfully went well.  I also prayed for the six weeks of recovery ahead of her.  I pray she heals quickly because she will be heading off on a choir tour this summer.

What about you?  Do you struggle with "just letting it go"?  If so, would you like me to pray for you?   Contact me and I will be happy to join you in prayer.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Celebrating The Good

Well the special days of May continue....yesterday, May 6, was National Nurse Day.  I happen to have several very special friends who are amazing nurses .  Not only that, but while we have been a fairly healthy family, the few times we have been in the hospital, we have been so incredibly blessed with wonderful wonderful nurses.  So here's to all the nurses out there!  You are most certainly appreciated by our family!

Today, May 7, is Teacher Appreciation Day.  This is a special day in several ways.  As a student, I had some fantastic teachers...just thinking about it...several immediately come to mind.  Their influence on my life is unmeasurable and I am forever grateful.  I had some really really good ones. 

As a parent, our boys have been blessed with the best of the best in teachers.  As I think about the various teachers they have had over the years, I mentally start making a list of those treasured instructors and the blessings they each were in the lives of our children.

As a teacher, I smile at the thought of the incredible men and women I was so blessed to work with over my five years of teaching in a classroom.  Their support was huge...but they were also so free to share with me ideas, training, and help.  They made me a better teacher and I am so much better for knowing each one of them.

As a homeschooling mom/teacher, I hold years of precious memories in my heart.  Teaching our Engineer to read....hours snuggled on the sofa with my two little guys lost in the wonder of a great novel....sharing in an eyes-sparkling-lopsided-grin as an A+ is marked at the top of a paper....little brother asking big brother to teach him how to do math....watching goggle-covered eyes dance with excitement as little hands chip away at a block of sand "digging for dinosaur bones"....and a teenager's shy, but very proud grin at the score earned on a college entrance exam...

You see...for me...this is a day I can sit back in appreciation to God for the teachers he has brought into my life and the lives of my children...and for the years He gave me to delight in the teaching of my own two boys. 

If I've never said it, Lord.  Thank You so very much.  I really really appreciate it all.

With a grateful heart to all nurses and teachers, I worked on my May Quests these past two days.

Pray for Someone
In the spirit of appreciation....my Someones yesterday and today were Hubby and our Engineer.  Over the weekend Hubby and I had a slight disagreement.  It wasn't a big blowout crazy fight.  I think/hope we have outgrown anything like that...now that we are older and more mellow, we just don't have quite the fight in us we once had...(Thank You Lord!) 

Anyway, we had a little disagreement and stumbled through a couple days of not being where we like our relationship to be...which is more of a "two as one" team attitude, not the "I want my own way" feeling that was hanging in the air.  So...knowing I had added my fair share to that feeling...I decided I needed to make Hubby my Someone.  I prayed for him all day on Monday.

Now, as you may have guessed, I do pray for Hubby each day, but Monday I spent time thanking God for all of the good and wonderful qualities I love about him.  This helped me to have more of an attitude of gratitude for the awesome man that he is...instead of focusing on the injustice of having to live with the couple of little things that bug me. 

And let me tell you...it was a long prayer...because truly...God has gifted me with the very best help mate for me.  I love this man deeply.  I am more grateful for him than words could express in a blog post.  Sometimes I allow little silly nothings to cloud that truth.  So when that happened...I spent a day of praise and thankfulness for all the good that is my man.

Today was another celebration of prayer.  This time for our Engineer.  His first two years of high school were not exactly what we had planned for him.  We moved him far away from his school and his friends.  We decided to return to homeschooling after several years in a private Christian school.  We had to start life over several states away from all he knew.  And it certainly wasn't easy...especially at first.

He made new friends...and then most of them moved away.  He was lost in a new big youth group at church.  He felt like the odd man out wherever he went.  Did I mention his dog (the one he had had since he was three) died suddenly after the move?  Then his great grandma passed away....then his great grandpa.  It was tough...especially at 14.

But he persevered.  He spent time reading his Bible and in prayer.  He grew closer to God as he worked through the first difficult year.  And slowly things started to feel more comfortable.  Life got a little bit more enjoyable. 

He matured, smiled more, laughed easier, began to cherish his time with Hubby and me.  He learned to drive and became more independent.  He grew up so much in the past year....right before our very eyes...and we have watched it happen with such thanksgiving. 

Today, I spent time thanking God for all the blessings he has bestowed on our Engineer.  I am most grateful for all the good work God has done in him and I am excited for the next couple of years we have with our Engineer at home. 

Do A Good Deed
I have come to realize that Good Deeds don't have to be big, planned out events.  Sometimes the little things just might mean even more...

Yesterday, as I checked out in the grocery store, I found myself hurrying...as usual...when my bagger asked me a question.  I had been busy loading bags into my cart, and had not even given him a glance.  I stopped, looked him in the eye, and with a smile answered him. 

My bagger was a little older than me and had some special needs.  When I stopped to pay attention, I was so taken with him.  We chatted for a few minutes...even continuing the conversation after he had finished bagging my groceries. 

He was delightful and I enjoyed the few minutes we shared small talk and laughter.  It only took a few extra minutes of my time...what was I in such a hurry about anyway?  When he realized I was willing to take a few minutes to talk...to listen...to laugh with him...well, he just lit up.  And I'm so glad I did that, because I truly would have missed out on the blessing of meeting him.

Today, our family celebrated Someone's success.  Someone we love achieved something worth honoring and Hubby and I took some time to make this Someone feel special about this great accomplishment.

These past two days have been focused on good happy times.  While there are so many worthy prayer requests that have come to me, and I am honored to be trusted with these concerns, it was nice to take a couple of days to focus on the good gifts that God has given. 

Please contact me if you have something you would like me to pray about for you.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy 5th of May!

On Thursday, I joked that every day in May might have a theme.  While I was just being funny at the time...it sure has turned out that way so far.  We've had May Day, National Day of Prayer, Happy Family Day/Just For Fun Friday, National Scrapbook Day (plus Star Wars "May the Fourth Be with You" Day), and today is Cinco de Mayo (yes...the 5th of May). 

Hmmm...maybe every day will be special in May.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

While we are not big drinkers in our family, (What? That surprised you?) Hubby and I are pretty big fans of Mexican food.  We spent several of our married years living in the Southwest and we do so enjoy the delicious food of that region. 

So what better excuse than Cinco de Mayo to delight in yummy goodness at our favorite little Mexican restaurant?  First, Hubby, our Engineer, and I attended church this morning, and then after a wonderful time of worship, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican feast.

Since I didn't blog yesterday, let me catch you up on what I've done these past two days with my May Quests.

Pray for Someone
Yesterday I spent the day in prayer for a young woman and her little one year old baby girl.  They recently lost the most precious man in their lives: the woman's husband and the baby's father.  While I don't know them personally, my heart breaks for them.  Without warning their lives have changed dramatically and will never be the same again.

I have to admit...the sadness for this young mother has hung heavy on my heart.  As I walked on the treadmill yesterday, I struggled to find the words to pray.   It was one of those times, when at a loss, I just softly asked God to be with them.  He knows much better than I what their needs are now..and in the future. 

So I just kept asking God to be with them.  And I know He will be with them because in Psalm 68:5 we are comforted with these words:
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling."

I will continue to pray for this young family as I am sure they will be in need of more prayers in the days to come.

Today, I prayed for a friend that I have mentioned before, Faithful Warrior.  I pray for her every day, but today, I spent the day really focusing on her and all that she is going through right now.  She is one of my friends with breast cancer and she has had a very difficult fight.

This is her second bout with breast cancer.  She recently finished an incredibly difficult treatment plan, and then had to go right into another one.  I asked God to be with her today and throughout the days ahead as she completes this next round of chemotherapy.  Today I spent time in prayer for my friend.

Do A Good Deed
Recently we got a phone call from someone letting us know of a financial need.  Hubby and I discussed it and decided it was a worthy need and helped out with a donation.  While we do know people associated with this need that might benefit from our donation, we decided to give because we believe in this group of people.  We believe in their sincerity.  We believe in their mission and their goals. 

Today, I reached out to Someone I know.  I just sent a little note letting her know she was not forgotten or alone.  It was just a little something good I could do to help Someone else going through a tough time.

These Quests this month help me keep my focus on God and the good that I might bring to this world each day.  If you or Someone you know has a prayer need, please contact me.  I will be happy to focus on your concerns and spend time in prayer with God.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Just For Fun Friday: Good Deeds?

Today is not only Just For Fun Friday, but also Happy Family Day in our house because Hubby was able to take a day off from work.  We got to sleep in and eat out for lunch, and then he was able to work on a big project that he has wanted to do for awhile. 

While Hubby worked on his project, I spent time on my May Quests for the day.

Do A Good Deed & Pray for Someone
I put some of my plans on hold today to call Someone when I knew she might need a friend.  We talked for a bit on the phone.  After we hung up, I made a cup of tea and prayed for her, her family, and a difficult situation.  As the day went on, we chatted back and forth through text.

My heart hurt for her and the issue of concern.  It stayed with me all day.  So I spent a good deal of time talking it over with God.  Thankfully later in the day, good news came for my friend and we praised God for His mercies. 

As it turned out, my Good Deed today was to drop what I was doing to be there for a friend.  Because of her needs of the day, she and her family were also my Someones to Pray over.  I thank God for promptings from another friend to reach out to this friend and make her my May Quests today.

Just For Fun Friday
After such a heavy-hearted day, I am happy to share with you something Just For Fun...because it's Friday!

As you may know, I got the idea for my Do A Good Deed Quest from a little book I picked up at Target. 

This week I have flipped through it looking for Good Deed ideas and I have to say...some of the ideas in the book are great, but others...well...see what you think of these...



Really? 
Give yourself a pep talk? 
That just makes me laugh! 
How is that a Good Deed?




How about this?
Treat yourself?


Do a little dance and be silly?
Seriously?

{And by the way...so sorry for the poor photography tonight!
I was in a hurry and didn't take the time to get good lighting.
I just wanted pictures to prove to you that these pages are really in the book!}


Play hooky? 
How in the world is that a Good Deed?



Go for a swim? 
Huh? 
I don't get this one at all!



Now this one really cracked me up! 
I can see how this would be a Good Deed. 
I'm personally not a fan of swearing and it would be nice to not have to hear it on TV, in public, etc....



Shovel the snow for a neighbor...oh I really hope this is not an option in May...but with our crazy weather this year...it just might be possible.


Floss....yes, that's what this page really says... Floss.
How funny is that? 
I guess I was Doing A Good Deed the whole month I worked on my Floss Quest!  Who knew? 

I hope this brought you a giggle tonight!  I know it did me! 

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sending Prayers To Heaven & Goodies To College

Yesterday was May Day...today is the National Day of Prayer...tomorrow is Happy Family Day around here because Hubby gets to take the day off.  I'm not saying every day in May will have a special theme...but it's looking good so far!

Today, our Engineer joined me in doing one of my May Quests.  How blessed am I to have a sixteen year old willing to do a few of my Quests with me? 

Pray for Someone
Since today, May 2, really is the National Day of Prayer, our church offered a special prayer service at noon.  After a morning of 10th grade, our Engineer and I lunched, and then drove over to our church for the service. 

We attend what we consider a crazy big church, but this service was in the middle of the day during the work week, so as I expected, it was a fairly small service.  For me, it truly was much needed quiet time to stop and spend a bit of the day with the Lord. 

Our church leadership spoke and prayed.  A beautiful rendition of The Lord's Prayer was sung.  We were given time during the service to pray quietly.  And then we were sent back out into the beautiful sunshine with blessings for a wonderful day.

In honor of this day, I chose for my Someones to be our government leadership.  At the service we prayed for local, state, and national leaders.  I have continued praying for them throughout the day. 

There are times when I think about our elected leaders and I get so frustrated because I don't feel represented.  I don't always agree with the choices they make or the ways they spend money.  Sometimes I feel like my votes didn't really count.  It's during those times I really need to pray. 

I need to pray for the decisions they make on my behalf.  I need to pray for the choices they make and even the words they say publicly because they represent me.  I need to ask God to give them eyes-wide-open wisdom and discernment in what is truly best for all of our citizens.

Of course there are times when I agree with our government leaders.  There are times when they speak and I feel proud of the words they say or the actions they take.  It's also during those times I need to pray. 

I need to remember to thank God for the good leaders we have.  I need to ask Him to give them strength as they stand up to the wrong in this world.  I need to pray for those leaders too, because I want them to have the will to continue to fight the good fight for what is best for everyone.

As our pastor put it today, "we need to remember to pray for the burden and the blessing."

So today...on this National Day of Prayer...I prayed for our elected officials.  I asked God to be with them.  I asked Him to guide them, equip them, and to put His hand upon them, because I truly want what is best for our country.  I want us to be a good nation.  I want us to be a nation that bows to God and accepts all His good and gracious gifts.  So, yes, I prayed for our leaders today.

Do A Good Deed
The other day I went shopping in anticipation of this Good Deed.  I purchased a bag full of fun goodies to send to some very special college students I know.  One of them happens to be our Scientist, but I sent goodies to several of his friends as well.

Over the past two years, we have spent some time visiting our Scientist at his campus.  That is important to us because, of course, we want to spend time with him.  That is clearly our number one reason for going to visit him at college.  But another great reason to visit him is to get to know his friends. 

In our family, our boy's friends become our other children.  We enjoy getting to know them and developing relationships with them.  If these people are important in our son's lives, then they are important to Hubby and me as well. 

We have enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know our Scientist's friends.  It's fun to send them little notes, gifts, and some of their favorite treats in a box from "home".  Today, I carefully packed my purchases into a box, taped it up, and mailed it off.

Hopefully it will arrive just in time for finals week and the specially chosen goodies will bring a smile to their faces as they get through these stressful last few days of the semester. 

I have certainly enjoyed celebrating these past two days in a special way that intertwined quite well with my Quests for this month.  Now I am looking forward to Happy Family Day tomorrow.

*If you have a prayer need, please contact me and I will pray for you.* 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

It just so happens that today is May 1st - May Day and I celebrated it by kicking off my May Quests in a special way.

Do A Good Deed and Pray for Someone
Have you ever left a basket of flowers on your neighbors front porch on May 1st?  I had never done it...until today.  And here's the sad truth....I had planned to do it for years....and when I say years....I mean for at least the last 10 or more years.  Now doesn't that make you feel better about some of your procrastinations? 

For many many Springs now, I have thought about surprising my neighbors with a May Day basket...and that is as far as it ever got. 

This morning I thumbed through my Good Deed journal thinking about what I might want to do for my first Good Deed Quest of the month, but nothing was exciting me...then I happened to look at my calendar and was reminded it is May 1st - May Day. 

Right then and there, I decided that THIS YEAR would be the year I would finally surprise my neighbors with May Day baskets. 

Now...first of all...my apologies to all my former neighbors who have to live with "the thought that counts" while my current neighbors actually benefit from this over-a-decade-long idea.

And to make this an even crazier story...I don't even know ANY of my current neighbors.  Yes, I have met them...but I couldn't tell you any of their names and I bet they don't know ours either.  It's not that I'm a snob...or that they are...it's just sadly how neighbors in the suburbs tend to live now. 

I'll admit I haven't made the biggest of efforts with my neighbors here.  They haven't either.  I wish I knew them and we were all friends, but people in my neighborhood drive into their garages, lower their garage door, and only hang out in the front yard while mowing. 

It's kind of hard to make friends...connect with people...when they are either inside their homes or running very loud machinery.  At least that's been my experience in this neighborhood....

Anyway, today I decided I was going to do a little Good Deed for my neighbors...and then the more I thought about it, I decided I might as well combine my Quests for today and pray for my neighbors as well. 

Of course, I don't even have any idea what their concerns are, so I prayed for each family and left it to God to know what they need today.  I pray maybe we will get to know them and be friends before it is time to once again move on.

After deciding on my Good Deed, I enlisted our Engineer to help.  To my delight he was happy to join in my effort, so after a morning of 10th grade school work, we loaded into the van and he drove us to a local plant nursery where we picked up five beautiful flowering plants.

Next, we drove down the road to a little Dollar Store where I didn't find any baskets, but I did find five cute little metal pots decorated in happy spring designs.  Liking the little pots much better than baskets, I purchased them, jumped into the van and headed off to lunch with our Engineer. 

After enjoying a little lunch, I sat a plant down in each pot and added a "Happy May Day!" card to each one.  Once our little May Day baskets were ready, we headed out to deliver our surprises.  Our Engineer loaded three pots into his arms and walked across the street to leave them on the doorsteps of those neighbors. 

I took one pot and walked next door and sat it on a little chair by the front door.  I turned to walk back to our house and I heard a car coming around the corner.  I was disappointed that someone would spot us as we tried to secretly do this Good Deed. 

Well wouldn't you know it?  Inside that car was my next door neighbor.  Of course she hollered out to me to see if I needed something, so I confessed to her that I had just left a little May Day goody on her front porch. 

The look of surprise on her face tickled me, because...yes it would be a surprise that your neighbor that never talks to you...and you never talk to her...and you don't even know her name...and she doesn't even know yours...would leave some May Day Flowers on your front porch.  Hee hee. 

By this point our Engineer had made it back to our front porch and I handed him the last pot of flowers.  We agreed that he was much more "stealthy" than me, so he delivered the last one to the neighbors on the other side of us. 

Of course he found it quite funny that he was able to anonymously leave four May Day flowers without being caught and I could not accomplish that even once.

Clearly the neighbor that caught me was surprised anyway.  I think our mission was completed whether they knew where the flowers came from or not. 

Because...truly in the end...it was the thought that counted.  Of course actually getting real flowers in a cute little tin on their doorstep made it all the more fun, I'm sure.

*Don't forget...I'm still taking prayer request for another month, so please contact me with your concern and I will spend a day in prayer for you.*