There’s a Wedding

Ah, my last morning in Ireland and the first night that I’ve actually slept somewhat soundly! This is what the past 10 days or so have looked like….

Ten days ago, my husband and I flew to Michigan to attend Dr. Mark Barclay’s Ministry of Helps conference. Every one of his conferences are amazing and I wanted to take the whole 5 sessions we were able to attend, bottle them up and bring them home to our church. If people who are serving in their local church (and those who attend but don’t serve, especially!) could just grasp whom they are serving and the excellence in which we should be doing so…but so many go through the motions when it’s convenient and treat serving like it’s optional dependent on whether it’s raining outside, sunny, there’s a football game or if they’re “tired” (my personal favorite) and miss the blessings intended for the cheerful giver.  Commitment and a spirit of excellence is missing at workplaces, in marriages, and in church…. but I’ll save that post for another day.

From Michigan, we went to southern Ohio and had a quick dinner out with my mom, my sister, my niece and her boyfriend, my daughter AND my sweet little grandson, Killian Thomas.  Too short of time to spend together but oh-so-sweet to me. Alas, the dinner was cut short by an early morning schedule because several hours later, Rick, my mom, and I drove to Cincinnati to board a plane for NYC.  This trip, thus far, has been so special to me as I’ve watched my mom take in sights and sounds she’s never seen. She loved St. Patrick’s Cathedral and I am smiling inwardly now as I anticipate what she’ll think about all of the equally and exceedingly beautiful churches she’ll see in England and Rome. A couple of days ago, we wandered through a Catholic Church here in the little town of Adare (Limerick County) that was built in 1270. What a gift to have seen that, walked the Cliffs of Moher, eaten clotted cream and scones, visited with our rented farm cottage’s owner, Bryan, shopped through the narrow streets of Kinsale, played cards by the fire on the quiet evenings, and the many other things we’ve been done in the past 4 days in this beautiful country of Ireland. Beautiful memories. 

In a couple of hours, we’ll leave this sweet little cottage and say good-bye to Miller, the farm dog (a border collie) who greets us by our door every time we’ve come and gone. We’ll leave the greenest green grass and board a plane for London Town! I have to say that taking all of this in with Rick has been so, so sweet. The last time I visited Ireland, it was a little bit of a “pub crawl”. This time has been vastly different; vastly richer. Life is so much sweeter on this side of things.

When I have a little time, I’ll blog the photos we’ve accumulated! So… I’ve got to get dressed and get my British accent polished and ready to go. Who am I kidding~ I’ve been speaking in a horrendous British accent all week while trying to mimic an Irish brogue…. linguistics is not my thing. I try but it’s pretty laughable.

We’re slowly making our way to Rupacanina, Italy where my son will be marrying his stunning girlfriend of 10 years….but there are many adventures that lie between that day and now. My mom and other sister, Denise (who flew in to Shannon and met us a day or two ago) are packed and ready to tackle the UK and the weather forecast looks amazing!


Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Have you ever found yourself ready for a shift? This blog needs a good shift; a good, swift kick in the behind. Today is the day for a new direction, a new commitment and a new focal point but a few things will remain. I’m still the author and so the writing will continue to be raw and always unedited. I DO spell correct (and if you do not, please do) but I don’t get to the end of a post and go back for re-writes or to remove what I’ve said. If I said it, it’s out there and I leave it. I just sort of figure someone must have needed to read it and don’t give it a second thought. The blog will still be about my family, though some of the characters have exited stage left (stage wrong?) and new characters have emerged from stage right. God will move into center stage here on this page just as He is in my life and won’t merely exist as a support cast member.

So if you are catching up and haven’t read my entire post history since this blog began in 2010, a) where’ve you been?  b) you can always bore yourself by doing a quick search of the archives over on the right column or  c) I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. Please tell me you know what that means. 

Readers Digest version: I got married when I was 20 to another 20 year old and we spent about 15 years doing most things right: raising kids, growing careers, carpools, sports bleachers, family vacations and packed lunches. We spent the next 15 years struggling to hold it together and destroy it. Ultimately, respect, vows, love, like and tolerance were obliterated and the white flag of surrender was launched out of a cannon. There you go~ that’s called abridged.

So let’s talk about that word SURRENDER. Wow. I could write a book on what I’ve learned about that word and there would still be a library full of books covering surrender that I’d still have to learn… but I embrace that word like never before. When I finally fully surrendered, my life took a sharp u-turn and I found myself on a path that had been laid out and intended just for little ‘ol me. That’s what God does~ takes what was meant for harm and uses it for good. Who else but God could do such a thing?

So after I waved the white flag of surrender~ now hear me, this isn’t a “I’m defeated and I give up” flag. NO! This is a “I’m not in control but You are, God, so take this messiness and direct my steps” flag. See the difference? That flag you fly is going to make ALL of the difference so make sure you wave the correct one. I’m not even going to charge you for that valuable piece of wisdom~ it’s all free and you can go and grab it for yourself. Okay, back to my waving the surrender flag….when I did that and finally got out of the way of God, He did some pretty miraculous things in my life.

If you don’t know my current husband, go find him and become his friend. You won’t be sorry~ he takes loyalty, kindness, authenticity and the serious business of having a deep relationship with God to a level rarely seen in today’s world. I’m a very blessed woman.

We got married, we started a church and life hasn’t slowed down since. We are crazy busy~ he has a book about to be published, I am forming my thoughts of whether to write a fiction or non-fiction book of my own, we have grandchildren, we have 4 amazing adult kids, we have a church family, extended family and….. this is pretty incredible…..I’m typing this from a farm cottage in Ireland. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why we’re here and what we’ve done and where we’re going and who we’re with. Are you ready to begin a journey with me~one that has a little to do with physical locations but far more to do

with the position of our hearts and who we are surrendering to? Oh the places you’ll go.

You have no idea what God can do with a fully surrendered life.