Choose Joy

Last week was an enjoyable week as most are anymore. It seems we recognize how much joy there is in each day God gives us. I use to hurry through life looking forward to going to bed at night but not anymore. Moving south is not what has changed my perspective….that happened almost 2 years ago when I realized I didn’t know how many tomorrows l might have left.  God has shown me each day here is a gift to open, share and enjoy so here is a glimpse of our blessed week. BTW…unwanted happenings still occur but we know from past experiences God knows they are coming & is already at work on the solutions.

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We rode our bikes a lot. So much fun! I always wanted to try town living & this was one of the reasons.

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Went to the beach a few times. This wasn’t built by us but we enjoyed seeing someone else’s creativity.

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My little piece of self expression combining Ohio & Florida! The hens & chickens were from my parents home years ago.

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We played with this little cutie a couple of days. So worth the move!

And had a wonderful time of worship on Sunday! Christ Church Camden

I could list all the negatives that came our way but what good would that do? I’d miss out on a whole lot of happiness. Enjoy your life whatever comes your way…..we only get one! 🙂

Love & Blessings!

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My Version of a Gazing Ball Lol!

Since we’ve moved to a “different” culture I find myself doing things I would have never thought of before. The weekend we went to the Shrimp festival I was amazed at the upcycled art that was selling for much more than I could believe. I have no designs on becoming a paid artist but am not above upcycling things around the house for fun. So here’s my latest project: A memory gazing ball.

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Terry’s bowling bowl acquired from Mason Bowling lanes when he worked there. And yes, he gave me permission to use it.:mrgreen:

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This was at the end of our front deck…we don’t know why but it was there.

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Since we love the beach I decided to use shells from the many beaches we visited over the years…. Virginia, Tybee, Jekyll, American etc. I glued them with Gorilla glue but Tile paste would work too.

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And here’s the finished project. With a little bit of paint and a lot of shells,we now have a memory Gazing Ball. Honestly we laugh every time we look at it because we think it’s funny. So yes, we’ve moved to Florida and I am now officially a starving artist. Lol!

Blessings and laughter! 🙂

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A New Start (pt. 2)

I truly had planned to finish this earlier in the week but life got busy so here I am today.  Happy Mother’s Day!

The rest of the house buying journey (with a little background)….Last spring we decided when we finished camping in Georgia we would return to Ohio to sell the house.  So after several weeks of cleaning and downsizing, we were ready to put it on the market.  We had several lookers but our first solid offer was in November which was the month we had returned to the RV park in Georgia.  We accepted the offer, moved the greatest part of our belongings in storage, packed the RV and returned to Georgia believing we would be living there for a while.  Then after 6 weeks the buyer’s financing fell through and the house was back on the market.

In February, 2016 we found the cutest little bungalow in Fernandina Beach (FB), Fl.  After securing financing, we made an offer on the house. Unbeknownst to us, the house was a foreclosure.  A few days after we made our offer, we were told we were the highest so it appeared it was ours.  3 days later our realtor called and told us we had lost it.  Uh….ok.  I have to admit we were disappointed. The following day we were on our way to Savannah, and I came across Psalms 27:14 “Wait with hope for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart be courageous. Yes, wait with hope for the Lord.” I shared it with Terry and I said I know it doesn’t make sense but I think we will have another chance on the house.

The following week our realtor called and said he didn’t know why but they had opened the bid again. Did we want to make our highest and best offer?  Of course we did.  This is where the story should end, right? But it didn’t.  We received the same response, we didn’t get it.  Truthfully, we kept believing it was ours.  Crazy…I know.  The following week the realtor called and said the same as the week before.  We did this dance for the next 2 weeks…making the SAME offer and being told we didn’t get it and then it happened.  Mike the realtor sent us a text and said he thought we had a contract.  Within the next two days we had signed paperwork and a closing date.  We were ecstatic!  But the story doesn’t end there….you see, we were getting cold feet about making payments and caring for 2 places so we had also been praying God would lead the right people to buy the Ohio house before we had to make the first payment on the FB home.  5 days after we received our paperwork for the Florida house we were signing a contract on the Ohio house. God is amazing!

Now before you get the wrong idea I want to clarify something.  From the beginning we felt God was leading us to move closer to our children.  We have 2 of our kids nearby and the 3rd may eventually come this way too.  God did not have to answer our prayers in the way we asked but in His goodness, He did.  Our little home is a dream for me.  I’ve always wanted to try ‘city’ living in a beach bungalow.  The house was built in 1954 but in 2007 someone had the same dream as me and totally renovated it.  If I didn’t know better, I would say Terry designed it because it was well planned & whoever did it, had his good taste.  Downtown Fernandina Beach is only a mile down the road and the beach is 2 miles.  Last weekend was the Shrimp Festival and we walked to town everyday to enjoy the festivities.  There is no way we could have achieved all of this on our own. 

Only a loving Heavenly Father could put all the pieces together and make a beautiful picture designed just for us. And He wants to do the same for you if you will only trust Him.  His plans will be different for you but His plans are always going to be for your good because He’s a good, good Father.:)

Love & Blessings…..

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A New Start (pt.1)

Wow! Can you believe it’s been 4 months since I last wrote on this blog?  Frankly when I began I never dreamed we’d be making such major changes in our lives…at least not as quickly as we have. 🙂  I thought we’d be living in the RV for a while….little did I know how God would pave the way for us to a whole different plan so let me bring you up to speed.

As we continued visiting the beach, we fell in love with the area.  The more we visited, the greater our longing to move but the sell of our house in Ohio had fallen through and honestly, we couldn’t afford to go into debt for anything.  Houses in Fernandina Beach, Fl (from here on referred to as FB) were more expensive than our home area and it seemed when anything came up in our price range, it was either purchased immediately or in such disrepair it would have cost more than it was worth to fix it.  Yet one day we were truly interested in a place that had possibilities and that’s where we met Mike the realtor.  After looking at the place, we soon realized there would be more expense than we expected due to permits, contractors, etc. so we told him we’d call him if we saw anything else.

About this time I started thinking about the equity in our Ohio home (it still hadn’t sold)…could we use that to purchase in FB?  To be totally truthful, we weren’t worried about making the equity loan payment…it was the thought of keeping up with 2 places that fightened us.  We both knew we couldn’t let our home of 30 years be uncared for….we loved it too much. Yet we forged ahead with the help & encouragement of our long time friend Des who happened to be a loan officer.  If it didn’t work out, we could always close the account and only be out a few hundred dollars.

Once everything was in place we contacted Mike (the realtor) and said we were ready to look.  And that’s when we found a cute little 900 sq. ft. bungalow on the island….just a mile from town and 2 miles from the beach.  Little did we know what the next few weeks would hold after we made our first offer but let me close with this….if God has a plan no one is going to stop Him.  Til Next Time…Blessings

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New Beginnings

I’m so excited about another New Year.  Why? Because I’m here to enjoy the ups and the downs, the struggles and the victories, the new and the old.  For so many years, I lived in the future….totally missing the present.  Of course I noticed when something great was happening but to see the miracle of every day was dimmed by looking forward.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming, planning or shooting for future goals UNLESS they take precedence over enjoying the blessings of today.   When my children were small, it was an easy task for me to live in the present moment.  I didn’t dream of them going to school or leaving the nest because I loved having them at home.  I’m embarrassed to admit I cried when they began kindergarten through college because they would not be nearby.  It seemed back then, I was so much better about living in the moment yet this may also be when dreaming of the future took over. Looking forward to every visit or phone call became a goal for me.   I was living for the next time I heard from one of them and when it didn’t happen as quickly as I felt it should, I became upset, angry and worried because I was sure they needed me.  It was an exhausting time.  Looking back, I’m not sure how I or my marriage survived.  The whole scenario was so unhealthy!

Due to circumstances out of my control, in 2014 life threw me a curve.  No longer was my focus on my children, it was on survival, loving my wonderful husband and living in the moment.  It was the beginning of 15 months of concentrating on the goodness of life. Everything became clear for the first time in a long time. My perspective continued to evolve throughout 2015 when I finally realized I was not God.  Surprised?  I was! LOL!

Not only did I believe I was responsible for everything that happened in my children’s lives but I was also trying to fix everything for my husband too! I believed it was my responsibility to fix everything that went wrong.  As their struggles grew, my perceived responsibilities grew and they were much bigger than any human could handle.  Why?  Because I believed they needed rescued from life and it was my job to be their ‘savior’.  Trust me, this is not how God ever intended for His kids to live.  I was making my own prison, growing more unhappy by the day because I no longer could ‘fix’ everything or trust God to handle it.  Then it happened! Although God did not send cancer to rock our world He sure used it to wake me up to see how blessed my life really was and how out of control I had become. 

So here we are in 2016 looking forward to whatever lies ahead.  Do I have dreams for the future?  Sure nothing wrong with that as long as I realize Who’s leading the adventure.  I can enjoy the moments of today & be at peace because I know He will be there no matter what lies ahead for all my family.  I wish for you this wonderful peace I have found.  Happy 2016!

~Blessings~

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Making A Difference

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If you look closely you’ll see starfish in this picture.  When we stumbled upon it on the beach yesterday, I was amazed yet saddened for it seemed they had become entangled in a mess of seaweed.  We carefully picked them out but it appeared we were too late.  😦

We continued our walk and I began to think of a story that was one of my previous pastor’s favorites.  As a man was walking down the beach, another noticed he would bend down, pick up a starfish & toss it back into the ocean.  After observing this for several minutes the onlooker could contain himself no more.  Finally he asked, “Why do you do that?  There are so many, what does it matter?”  The man replied, “I may not be able to save them all but it matters to the one I can save.”

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As we continued walking with Terry carrying them, I thought…”I wonder….”  They were so beautiful, could there still be some life in them? We turned them over and believe it or not, their tiny little cilia were moving. We both got so excited….these little guys were still alive!

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So Terry waded out into the water & tossed them back in!  What happiness we felt!  I can only imagine the joy God feels when one of his “little starfish” are tossed back into the fullness of life He wants to give.  Yes it’s true.  “It does matter to the one who is tossed back in….it’s the difference between life & death!”

Blessings! 🙂

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Hello O-H-I-O

 

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We’ve been back in Ohio for 10 days on a journey we thought would close one door so another could be opened.  That didn’t happen.  The buyers’ financing for our house didn’t go through so we’re starting over.

I’m not complaining or having a pity party.  We were blessed to share Thanksmas with Misty & Ryan so the trip was well worth it.

There have been many good things happen while we were here.  We packed up more goodies we aren’t going to be needing here & got a great deal on a 2 in 1 tablet on line. Yet the best part was getting to see all of our siblings & church family. There’s nothing like it! God blesses us in so many ways!

If everything goes as planned we will be returning to Kingsland tomorrow.  The RV is ready & waiting.  Upcoming days look to be much brighter than those we’ve been experiencing here.  Just notice the temps are in the 70’s with sunshine.  Now that’s what I’m talking about! Til Next Time, Blessings!

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