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Grandchildren

Spending time with my grandchildren is one of my true delights. I have found that going to the park, the pool, doing crafts, reading books all of these things feel different as a grandmother.

When God blessed me with my own daughter, Samantha and then shared Erin with me at 8 years old I was raising them but also trying to figure out how to make ends meet and go to school, work and fit everything in. So when sitting down together to do a craft, or go play a game or play outside, there was always a tug to get other things done. This isn’t something I’m proud of I wish I would have taken that time. These things were important but as a young adult I felt hurried.

Now as a grandmother; when I walk around our yard for an hour with Carter so he can get his cars stuck in the mud,IMG_20131003_080553_033 go spend the afternoon with Zoe in the pool, IMG_20140621_113437_416rock Camden while he falls asleep in my arms, IMG_20140406_131514_825hold Aurora and chit chat with her safe in my arms.IMG_20140521_201717_153 I have nothing more important than that to accomplish.

It is a privilege to have the joy of children in our life at this time. I miss them terribly living so far away. We have to be purposeful in pursuing time to spend with each family. Oh this spring has been lovely! I was able to see them all.

Blessed beyond measure, Susie

Preparing for a party.
Preparing for a party.

 

 

Fear vs Trust

It’s been quite a year. Heartache and joy. We’ve (my sister Micki and I) made the decision to celebrate everything. Yes anguish, fear, pain, grief can paralyze and hold your soul captive but don’t get stuck there. If you look back at your life and see how many times God has answered the call, “Help, I need You!” you can use those experiences to press through whatever it is you are needing of Him now. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I’ve learned that the little knee scrapes and goofs prepare you for the catastrophic events that knock you to your knees or  the blindsided blow for the knock out.

Thanks to Beth Moore in her Bible Study Esther she goes through a scenario of If _____ Then God. Meaning there is nothing you can go through that God isn’t the answer. I have used this to get me through the darkest days. No matter what, I have God and I have seen Him provide and stabilize my entire life.

I’ve been spending time reading about Jesus, spending time reading in the book of Luke about His life here on earth. Over and over again we see how he changed lives. See, He came to change us not to leave us the same. Our times of mourning and tragedy can be used as times of change. Please don’t think I am calloused, I do hurt and mourn over the death of my sister or a move that has taken me thousands of miles away from my family and all that is familiar. Know this. Philippians 1:20:21 whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. “Then God”.

Everything is …. Then God. He is our refuge. Try Him. Oh believe me, it really has always been “A Matter of Trust”. How to trust Him to make things right, or to heal the hurt that weighs so heavy on our hearts, or put just the right person at the right time in my life to walk along the way?

As we walk into a season where the river has risen, all of the memories of Mary’s tragic death come flying to the surface. I have to choose Life or Death. I will choose life.

Psalm 71 is so beautiful, reading it guides us from the time we saw God in our need so we can lean on Him again through this time.

Verses 1-5

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD;
You are my trust from my youth.

Then God,

Susie

Quiet

House built ~ Check

Landscaping in ~ Check

Well Drilled and hooked up ~ Check

It is all quiet on the Hualapai Front.

We are settled and are excited about moving forward.

Hmm, Father’s Day. I was buying Father’s Day cards yesterday and really missed Mary. See we didn’t talk often. She was not like Micki and me, she was happy talking occasionally. But there are always givens. One given is Father’s Day card shopping. Mary and Micki and I had a bond that no one else would know (Well our mom knew). We are the 3 little girls. We are connected in a life that no one else shared. We are witnesses. We are confidantes. We are secret. We giggled and made eachother laugh through all of our milestones and all of our dispair. We shared joys and triumphs.

Moving forward and loving life.

Giggling about my cherished memories.

God is only Good ~ Susie

Blessing in the Storm

The Truth shall set you free.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

No matter what season we are in there is one Truth. Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I have experienced some incredible highs in my life when I am singing, dancing and rejoicing in the love of our Lord. On the contrary I have been through some doozy trials and tragedies still to find, singing, dancing and rejoicing in the love of our Lord.

Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say Rejoice.” There was a time when I looked at that and thought. What if I was faced with a devastating trial? Is Rejoice the right word?

Well, I’m here to tell you, yes, Rejoice in the Lord always. God is only good.three girls

While spinning through the disappearance and death of my sister I asked for clarity. He gave it (mind you, I had to ask often, I spun and spun). Tragedy and death of someone dear to you brings out emotions and thoughts you never imagined. God was faithful from beginning to end. He is. Romans 12:2 be transformed by the renewing of your mind. This isn’t just once, this is constant. Our mind thinks crazy thoughts, we constantly have to renew it to keep our imaginations and arguments captive to the obedience of God (2 Cor 10:5).

There is a song by Kirk Franklin that says, “There’s a blessing in the storm, just help me see it.” Well, the midst of the storm that was my sister Mary’s death, our family saw blessings and miracles unfold right before our eyes. Our lives are changed. And we saw and continue to see the generosity and compassion of people who love us and know us well as well as complete strangers and acquaintances.

God is good and His mercy endures forever!

I’m so thankful I can see through faith eyes when my own are clouded with despair.

Loving the Truth ~ Susie

My Girls

Long ago and far away there was once a dreamer who dreamed her daughters would live down the street, ok or at least just a few miles away. The dreamer would run over and have coffee, discuss marital issues and successes, babysit in a moment’s notice, etc. But alas, unbeknownst to this dreamer weddings pass and dreamer moves to the desert. The desert holds many treasures and many adventures with her beloved and she loves right where she is. Her heart can not help but break and long for the shiny eyes of miss hazel and blue eyes.

Miss blue eyes is on to new adventures in the hills of Tennessee. She and Mr. Blue eyes now have baby boy blue eyes who is filling their hearts with joy. They are incredibly blessed with family in the hills and an environment rich for growth.

Miss Blue, planned the party, carved the pumpkin, made the costume and continues to create a loving home for Mr. and Baby boy. Mr. Blue callused from hard work, runs home to see his beauty. This delights me to no end. This makes me so proud. I love her so. She has grown strong and learned to survive without Muah! Oh how could I hope for anything else?

Miss Hazel has found her prince. They married on a beautiful June day. She fulfilled her goal to become a cosmetologist, danced out on her own, launched her career and in walks Mr. Hazel. What? She did all of this without Muah! I am so incredibly proud of her. 

I am so thrilled with the life she is creating in Michigan with her fishing, softball playing, hardworking Prince Hazel. She makes people feel beautiful and better about themselves. She loves to love Prince Hazel. I am overjoyed with the road she has chosen; to create an environment that her man finds intoxicating and can’t wait to get home.

These are my girls, my joy. Can’t you see why I would love to live down the street from them?

Hazel and Blue, I long to see them soon.

Philippians 1:8-10 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.  And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.

Overflowing ~ Susie

 

Leo Daniel equals Unconditional Love

I’m in a temporary home with all my pictures lurking somewhere in my garage so thank you for the pictures I just gleaned from Facebook.Leo and his only real daughter, Melissa 🙂 His favorite girls are below.

When I was a little girl there were constants in my crazy life. Mom always loved me. Nanny was always down the hill in case we needed anything, Grandpa always fixed things and you would find him in the kitchen. Leo would always show up and there was an instant party. 

Leo loved all of us, all eight of us kids, our spouses, our children, our friends, the more the merrier.

My mom and Leo became friends at age 14. Through their marriages and Mom’s divorce and through the many years they have remained friends. Let’s not forget to give credit to Joan, who through Leo put up with all of the chaos for low these many years. Haha, now I really think Joan secretly enjoyed every minute of it.

Leo spent his time entertaining. He was a school teacher by profession but an entertainer by heart. As long as I have memory I remember Leo playing the piano and all of us singing along. The songs go on and on. We all have our favorites, the Irish sing alongs, Sound of music, I’ve been working on the railroad. He could belt out The Impossible Dream and Climb Every Mountain like no other. Then there was Polonaise, he would play to remind himself and us of the classics. Polonaise is on my running playlist.

He unselfishly opened his cabin in the woods for us. If it had not been for That cabin we would have never vacationed away from home. We would pack up on weekends, or for a week in July and pile in their home. The fun we had playing outside, swinging on the swing, playing capture the flag and oh dear, piling in the back of the pick up and going on some wild rides in the woods where Leo had been wandering all his life.

Holidays; Christmas, New Years Eve, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day all came to life when Leo was there or we were at his house.

He loved us. It was never conditional, He just LOVES. Leo and my mom treated everyone who walked through the door the same. They were welcome and loved. Leo taught us in a tumultuous time of racial unrest that everyone, yes everyone was the same. 

My pa is in the hospital not sure of where he is but with Joan, Melissa and Michael constantly at his side. My heart hurts. Leo taught us, albeit unconventionally (giggling) and a bit groovily (is that a word?) this one thing; John 15:13 (NLT) There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

I’ll end with Elelweiss; we tuck ourselves in bed and he plays our lullaby….

Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss,Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever.

Love you Pa ~Susie

 

 

 

Happy Birthday America!

Silly day here in Kingman, AZ. We are in the desert, the recent temps have been in the 90s and it is sunny everyday. This morning we woke to clouds, cool morning and then rain. The clouds have not gone away it is currently 69 degrees. CRAZY!

Dennis and I watched the movie The Patriot last week. I am so thankful that we had so many men, women and children who sacrificed to give us freedom. Dennis is currently reading Glenn Beck’s book on George Washington and he loves it.

I am also so thankful for my mom who instilled a sense of patriotism, well by a sense, haha I mean we woke up 4th of July morning to John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever performed by the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. All day long we heard the classics, God Bless America, All of the Military Service hymns, etc!

So I looked up 4th of July desserts and made this.

We went shopping last year and my mom wanted to make sure I had something patriotic to wear so she bought this T-shirt

So I’m ready to join in the Independence Day celebrations. Love Fireworks and I do love the USA!

Thank you Lord for blessing our nation. I pray for the soldiers, sailors, marines, coast guard and airmen who are now protecting us from anyone who wants to steal our liberty and freedom!

An American blessing God! ~ Susie

Quite a lot

Sorry folks, it’s been 12 days since my last post. Wow, a whirlwind of terrific things happening all at once. Like this….and this….

Mayhem!

Joy of my life..

And the icing on the cake…..

The wedding was splendid, I believe the bride and groom had the day of their dreams. I got to meet Angela, got to know Pete better, spend alone time with Samantha and Erin and a grand baby sleepover. We saw Pure Michigan at her best; sunny skies, green grass and trees, summer flowers in full bloom, Lake Michigan never disappoints showing itself bright and bold for Brett, Angela and Zoe and last but not least, lawn games.

We are back to the western high desert and fulfilled. We are so unbelievably blessed by God. He has sanctified us and I celebrate our family and give God all the glory!!

Proverbs 20:7 says; The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.

My dreamy husband chooses life. He makes decisions based on truth, God’s truth and because of that we have an abundant life surrounded by children and grand children.

Beaming ~Susie

Promises Promises

April 1986 I sat in the radiology department at St. Mary’s Hospital with Dr. Hartman by my side facing yet another procedure to remove the ill-formed tissue from my uterus. Instead of a baby I had a mass of tissue which gave all indication it was a normal pregnancy until the 20th week of growth.

After the second D & C in one year I was beside myself wondering if I would ever have another baby. I was so happy I had Samantha, my beautiful three-year old daughter. I really thought I would have many children not just one. Life at that time was so full of turmoil and pain, my marriage ended and Samantha and I were a small family just the two of us surrounded by so many who loved us. We had years of ups and downs and heart ache and many victories. I faced the fact that having any more children was probably out of question.

In 1996 Dennis and I married. We discussed, briefly 😉 having another child, at this time Samantha was 12 years old an only child of a single mother.

The beautiful promises of God happen right under our noses as we are pushing through life not even realizing He has delivered. Maybe it wasn’t the way the little girl playing with Barbies fantasized but it is the fulfillment of a promise and dreams that came true.

Number 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

See, On December 7, 1996 I had know idea the plan that was being set before our feet. Sure I believed I was marrying the man of my dreams. The family that God was creating is far greater than I could have ever imagined. On December 7, 1996 I became the step mom/other mom to Brett and Erin Dunning. We became a family of 5.

Brett, Samantha and Erin are all so different and add so much joy to my life. Oh God is so faithful, I love them so much.

All I know is that at age 23 having two miscarriages, an ugly marriage falling apart and a three year old daughter looking to me to forge the way into a scary mixed up world, I had know idea at 48 years old I would be so incredibly blessed with three children, two new wonderful sons to add to the mix and lets not forget about Zoe Girl and Carter.

I can’t say it better than the psalmist Psalm 34:4-10

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

Blessed beyond belief ~ Susie

Emotions gone wild

What a week. Wedding, New Home, Kingman, Grand Rapids, Texas, Tennessee wow.

I have gone quite a while without a picture of my Zoe Girl. Really missing her these days. I feel a skype date needed in Texas. On the Tennessee front; Carter was in his car seat while I was talking to his mom today and as soon as she said, “Josh”. On Que Carter was in the background saying, “Dada!” Oh be still my heart. Fortunately for all of us Samantha and Pete are getting married right around the corner and we all get to spend some much-needed time together.

Samantha and Pete plow through this prenuptial time. The rest of their life is coming up quick and they are full board on. It makes my heart so happy to hear Samantha talk about the commitment and the things they are learning from videos they are watching, premarital counseling with one of our favorite married dynamic duos and experiencing life.

My struggle with being separated from Samantha while planning her wedding is eased by my friends picking up the slack. Micki, Kirsti and Cindy are the epitome of true friendship and unconditional love that God gives.

On the home front, my contractor team (they will now be always mentioned in the plural) The Humphries, Doug and Teri have skillfully supported me through decision making here on my own. They are building one beautiful home, they are artists with a touch of counseling 😉

A lot going on above the ceiling in the master bedroom.

Dennis and I feel we are home. We have settled into a church family. We are both greeting for the services and we are making friends in and around the Kingdom of God here in Kingman, AZ. Oh and I think I mentioned I am playing on the co-ed softball team and for the first time in my life hit the ball past, yes I said past 3rd base!!

Ha, this is the front yard, which faces the Northeast

I am so unbelievably nurtured by our heavenly Father. I am in awe of how mindful He is of me.

Psalm 8:3-5When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

In the palm of His hand ~ Susie

 

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