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

Good Things to Know

Once upon a time, there was a girl who grew up in the city, she ate her meat out of a package that came from Meijer, tomatoes out of her mom’s garden or from the Meijer produce section. She never lived further than 3 miles from a grocery store. Enter knight in shining armor otherwise known as the hunter. The hunter was disguised as a man about town; he dressed the part, lived in the city, loved the finer things in life for instance; the theatre, fine dining restaurants, travel, etc.

Suddenly the hunter exposes his comoflauge and cowboy boots and sweeps the scraped up princess to the mountains of Arizona. The hunter and now mended huntress build a home on the mountain. With their Year and a half project drawing to the end she is outside spraying the porch when she hears her contractor yell, “Susan, you have cows!!” Immediately she thinks, ELK, because the hunter has trained her to the proper cow verses girl elk when referring to the female of the species. With excitement she runs across their newly landscaped yard to find…

2013-03-22_15-45-00_560

not the beautiful female elk she was hoping to find on their land but the gigantic cloven prints of CATTLE across their beautiful vibrant new grass and landscape! The bohemoth divots left in the new turf, turned up infant plants, chewed up and left to dry, and the recently, lovely, flowering crabapple tree now looking more like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree is an on going reminder of midnight visitors.2013-03-30_15-25-51_12
Even the sandy hill was not left unscathed, they trampled across easily as if flat ground. 2013-03-30_15-17-22_319The Yellow Page ad keeps running through her mind, “Phone First!”

This would be when due diligence would have come in handy. A country girl may have know better. Perhaps a call to the neighborhood association to find out this beautiful mountain side they are building on is FREE RANGE!! Who knew? Evidently the residence of Lazy Y U on the Hualapai Mountain Range knew, the sheriff knew, the builder knew. 😉 2013-03-21_16-57-46_12The kind ranch owner, was out the next day in search of his wayward cattle that drifted onto our lovely landscaped and irrigated land.

The sheriff, I’m sure with his tonguedeeply embedded in his cheek answered my questions with, “Free Range ma’am, if you want the cattle kept out of your yard, build a fence.”

Teri, my lovely sherpa, tries to keep me from embarrassing myself and normally stops me from making these sort of calls allowed me to make the call to confirm Free Range.

Well another lesson learned for this city girl living on a mountain. Next week I will be hiring  a fence builder on to phase three of the Dunning, Mohave County, Hualapai Mountain experience.

Schooled ~Susie

 

Recovery

I have been running for almost twenty years. I started because I gained quite a bit of weight and was cramming my mouth full of Oreos. I have done some sort of fitness throughout my life, I couldn’t afford to join a gym, I was working two jobs and had a goofy schedule so I thought a pair of running shoes would be a reasonable investment. My pastor was a runner so I asked him, “I want to start running what should I do?” He told me where to buy shoes and how to get started. So it began. I didn’t know how much I would love it. I have been so blessed to travel; I pack my shoes and running gear and see city from a different perspective. I’ve run the streets of Barcelona, SpainD&Sbarcelona Grand Rapids, MI with Kirstiend riverbank The streets of New York, Central Park was a dream come true. The street vendor hot dog was a treat.356_44764532867_2358_n Steamy Panama370_44758357867_3620_n Running through the streets of our nations capitol is the creme de la creme!356_44739647867_3785_n Completed the Austin Marathon with Brett417312_10150740556087868_711770847_n Yes I ran the streets of Jerusalem (Jane my partner and I ran and ran)206911_10150183937392868_4070684_nThe streets of San Francisco have felt my feet hit the pavement, The stale beer smelling streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans have had these fresh morning feet trod along, Honduras, Georgia, Florida and on and on. I have never been injured. I have had a few aches and pains but I met my match…   283532_10150320623972868_1872657_nThe roads of the Hualapai Mountains think they won but I will be back! I think it’s my new shoes. Why oh why does Brooks have to change their shoes every year?? They have been working for me, why change?

So I have some sort of Achilles tendonosis/itis and I am grounded. Hmm, I biked these brutal hills for my “light biking” that I can do with this tendon issue. I am going to be back hitting the pool and maybe a little more consistent with Tony and the P90X gang.

All I know is;  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~Phil 4:13 I will thank God for where we live and the privilege to be here Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

All this to say; Psalm 91:9-13 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

Oh how I love the Lord ~ Susie

Good Morning

I woke up this morning singing, “Open the eyes of my heart” by Paul Baloche.

A simple prayer lifted to the Lord. I want to see God in His majesty, be close enough to Him that I know in my heart what my next move should be. I will take on giants with His will on my side!

I Left my blog, in August. Whew, it was quite a whirl wind and I feel like I fell asleep and went into auto pilot. So we are now moved in our house, settled with a few minor details here and there. At the end of April we will celebrate two years in the desert. God is so faithful. It’s been 3 months since I saw Zoe, Brett and Angela sure do miss them. I got a glimpse of Erin and Carter, that helps. And of course celebrated Samantha’s 30th birthday and St. Patrick’s Day with her and a mound of other family in Grand Rapids.

Off to start my day. Stay tuned 🙂

Illuminated ~ Susie

Excitement and Frustration

Wow what a week it has been. It has definitely been a week of peaks and valleys. We came home from a relaxing weekend here….. My adventurous husband and I hiked/climbed this hill!And we got to see them….What a treat to visit with Joey, Lauren, Robin (Poor David got sick), Linda and Sofia. By Monday night we had this going on. Pure excitement to see the progress.Our kitchen taking shape.Our appliances have been anxiously awaiting their home since December, they are ready to be used in their new home.

Outside we saw the arrival of our rockDennis and I rode the Harley past Ashfork, AZ and and saw miles and miles of mined Flagstone. We didn’t know that a year later it would be sitting in our driveway waiting to be placed on our home. When I saw it I hoped 🙂 Speaking of Harleys. Here is a handy place to set helmets and hats with hooks below for leather and chaps.

Monsoons come in the summer on the mountain most times partnered with a rainbow because the sun can’t help but shine in the high desert.Frustration comes when progress slows, people that were supposed to keep their end of a contract don’t follow through. One little thing can halt a project….. So the end of the week was a little disappointing. We continue on and smile and anticipate being in our new home soon.

Anxious ~ 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

 

Progress

This is like an old west movie, there was a storm brewing and the winds were whipping, Gus and I went outside to watch it come over the mountain. There was a swarm of vultures flying over head. Gus and I watched them, I think the vultures were doing what we were, just enjoying the smell of rain and the wind in our face.

The house on Stallion Dr. is moving right along following are some pictures.

The ceiling on both front and back porch is complete and beautiful!

Final trim!

This is a busy place, talented people all doing there thing. Pictured is Jonathan the landscape architect and Jim, framer, painter, talented trim work, etc!

Tadah!! we have shelving in the closets! This is getting so exciting. We are enjoying the process but I have to admit, move in day can’t come soon enough. Being settled is a feeling I haven’t felt for a while and that would be nice.

Anxious ~ Susie

Full Steam Ahead!

The drywalling is almost complete. Jeffrey is in the home stretch in this marathon of mudding and we are ready for primer. My beautiful wood floor should be arriving from Kentucky next week, trim and such is ordered and we are off!!

Doug, our contractor told us it will seem as though everything comes to a halt during the drywall process. It did. My, just as in everything in life we need to keep our eyes on the   goal and not the current circumstance, don’t get bogged down and impatient just because it seems as though things are not going as planned, press on toward the mark.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

Don’t miss this, this is good!

Philippians 3:12-14 (MSG) I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

“It was mush, mush, mush all the way!” ~Bugs Bunny

Pressing ~ 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