Pastor, Boss, Mentor, Friend…

According to Mirriam Webster the definition of Pastor is a spiritual overseer. It’s etymology Middle English pastour, from Anglo-French, from Latin pastor herdsman, from pascere to feed. Pastors do feed their flock. You are blessed if you receive fresh, nourishing food from a Pastor.

The definition of Boss is to exercise control or authority over. A great boss leads in a way that the employee never feels controlled but yet will respect the authority and thrive under it.

A Mentor is a trusted counselor or guide. Someone who teaches in every situation and causes you to grow beyond what you imagined.

A Friend is one attached to another by affection or esteem. A long friendship often morphs from surface conversations to entrusting another with basically your life, knowing that a true friend will hold your life and tenderly pray, admonish and love you no matter what. A true friend can be sarcastic and joke while all the time reaching out with care.

We just returned this week from a trip to San Diego. We haven’t been there since Little Miss was born. We landed and the muscle memory of living there most of our lives took over. It was a weird sensation. At times I wondered what I had in my refrigerator in my kitchen in our old house. That lasted only a few minutes until I realized I no longer had a refrigerator, kitchen or house in San Diego.

Along with the muscle memory came the flood of memories in each turn of the freeway. A feeling of home, yet not home.

We walked into a home that held so many precious times, wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, baby showers, birthday celebrations, Boxing Day celebrations, church. It still held the peace and comfort it always had.

The babies that had showers for are now young adults. They tower over me, and bring joy to my heart in their smiles. They are the grandchildren of our friends.

I started this post with definitions. Each describe one man. He was our pastor, he was my boss for many years, he was our mentor, speaking truth and life and encouragement into our lives. Most of all, he was our friend.

We went to say good-bye. Sounds simple enough. Sounds like it should be easy as it is only two words. We all say good-bye daily. It flows off our tongue without thought. This was not a simple thing to do. Yes, we know where his home is now. We know that his diseases are gone, healed, never to be felt again. He is walking with ease, breathing with ease, laughing aloud with his contagious laugh. Yet, we here, only hear the echoes of his voice.

The time we had was bittersweet. We reminisced, we laughed, we cried, we sang. I watched teenage grandchildren move closer to adulthood. You could see it reflected in their faces. The boys who were teasing, laughing poking fun at each other became more stoic, jaws set, eyes focused, shoulders able to bear a load no one wanted them to bear. I saw a granddaughter perform tasks that she had learned in training to be an EMT. Memories of her as a flower girl rolling her eyes because her Papa was taking too long talking during a ceremony, when she just wanted to twirl in her dress and smell her sunflower. This little girl, was now professional, caring and diligent watching over her Papa while longing for a conversation.

My friend, his wife, being faithful and loving through this all. Moments of tears and laughter and song, sometimes all of them at once. I learned from her again, as her example to me just continued.

It was a bittersweet week. I had a plan on what I wanted to say and do and yet, when it came down to it, my tears fell freely, and the best I could do was hold a hand (well, several over the week), be a shoulder to lean on or cry on and just be there. It was one of the best weeks and hardest weeks ever.

But, Pastor, thank you for always giving us fresh bread from the throne of God. It fed us and nourished us. It gave us strength and encouraged us. We are better because of that, and after all a call to salvation is a call to ministry. That will stay with me.

Boss, I had so much fun in the office. It truly was my best job. You taught me that I could do things and do some of them pretty good. I never had such a great place to go each day, I never dreaded walking into the office. I learned how to prank from the best of pranksters. That truly is an art you had mastered.

Mentor, hubby and I would not be where we are or who we are without you (you too Lois). We learned how to be the best we could be. Thank you for the hours, days, months and years you poured into us.

Friend. John, you will be missed, but, we will see you again. And the four of us will spend eternity sipping coffee together when we aren’t praising Jesus, are there any Starbucks in Heaven? If so, find the one with the best seating where we can sit around and catch up or maybe find the best hamburgers there.

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, Hebrews 9:27

Cathi (DAF)

Winnowing…

The past few days I have had images of winnowing wheat and chaff in my mind. I have read scriptures about wheat and chaff and understand the basic thought of it.

Yesterday while looking at quotes I came upon this quote, “But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Dinah Maria Craik, A Life for a Life, “Chapter XVI: Her Story,” 1859″ Again with the wheat and the chaff.

As I tried to sleep last night the thought of winnowing played over and over in my thoughts. I determined today to do some research on the subject and see if I was missing anything about the subject. Honestly, I wanted to look up the definition of chaff to see if I was correct in my thinking. Turns out, I was! Chaff is not edible by humans, but it can be used as fodder for animals, or it can be burned or blown away into the wind.

There have been seasons where I have felt like I have experienced winnowing. Those times when I have had chaff removed from what is truly me, being shaken and thrown to release the dry and scaly casing around me so that the true me is evident. These are unpleasant, but necessary times in my life.

There are also winnowing times in circumstances of my life. Those seasons when people and places are removed. Those seasons when things that are happening are out of my control, and I look to see situations that I wish to have a say in, but know silence is a better option. Wishing that explanations could be made to somehow make things easier, but again, with winnowing, the best will settle and what is not necessary will blow away or be burned.

As I read the quote above, I thought of the security of talking with a true friend. There is safety and security being able to be honest and open with another person. Not having to think of how to phrase things and being able to openly talk without fear of repercussion or offending others. This does not happen often. Few are those who will listen and gently and faithfully blow away those things that are not important and cling to the basic truth that is encased in the chaff.

I believe I am just in the beginning of my study on wheat and chaff. I truly do not know where it will lead me, but, I wanted to put down my initial thoughts so I do not lose them. Even in your mind, if you are not careful thoughts can dissolve and not only does the chaff blow into the wind the wheat can be buried in the muck and mire of our everyday life.

Therefore I will scatter them like stubble that passes away by the wind of the wilderness. Jeremiah 13:24 (NKJV)

Cathi (DAF)

Excitement…

I used to live in a major metropolitan city. Our house was situated on a hill and our property extended down the hill to the road. We had a deck on our upper floor and several times a week we would hear the helicopters circling overhead and see the lights flooding our lower lot. About the same time we would hear the sirens racing down the freeway which we could see from our home. I would race up to the deck and watch the action. It fascinated me. I also would pray for the officers involved in the activity. I would then watch the news to see what happened. Very rarely did any of the excitement make the news.

Now we lived in a rural area. It is quiet. We notice when a plane flies overhead, it’s that quiet. A couple of weeks ago we traveled to a couple of different places. The first stop we spent two nights at a hotel. The first night there we were awakened often by sirens. Turns out we were just down the street from the emergency response center, so sirens were going off all night long. The second night was a bit quieter.

On the way to our next destination we remarked at how noisy it was and how thankful we are to be in a rural area. We got to our next stop and it was quiet for the most part. We heard sirens but not like at the first place. The last night at that destination we were awakened by flashing lights and a weird noise. It actually reminded us of the scene in Polar Express where the train wakes the boy up. Hubby looked at me and asked what was going on. I leaned up and peeked out the window. What sounded like an alien invasion was just a street cleaner going down the street. We laughed and said we must be country bumpkins now. I remarked that I didn’t know street cleaners still existed.

Our next stop was to see our oldest and her family. We were only there a couple of days, but during that time we did get to see and hear the Navy’s jets fly across the sky. It’s a wonderful experience to see these pilots do their job.

So, we have been home for the past couple of days. It’s quiet and still. Hubby and I follow our community page on Facebook. We have read with interest about an incident with a particular vehicle and a driver who is not very considerate. Tonight while watching a movie we paused the movie to hear a siren. Yes, it’s that different to hear a siren that we pause a show to listen. After the movie, I opened my facebook page to read of the excitement in our town. There was a police action concerning this car and the driver. The post at my last glance had close to 200 comments. Still no one seems to know how it all ended. I told hubby I missed my upstairs deck where I could watch the excitement. He said he would build me one, but we know it would be impossible to see anything over the trees. As I thought of it all, I realized how things are the same. Lots of excitement and still I don’t know what is going on.

Thanks for stopping by tonight, Cathi (DAF)

Come and See, The Chosen. A Review…

I have never written a review. I don’t consider my opinion to be one that others would think would accurately describe something, so I have avoided such things. A couple of weeks ago, a Christian blogging page I follow asked a question if God had ever asked you to do something out of your comfort zone in your writing. This is it.

We watched the first season of The Chosen a year ago. We couldn’t stop watching. We have seen the first shows of season two. Each episode has brought tears to my husband and I. Our hearts have been touched by what we have seen. Still not enough to write a review. Then… How many times has there been a then…? In my life, there have been several instances where there has been that time and several times I have ignored that prompting. This time I cannot. So, here goes…

My husband and I were born again in 1977. We were overseas and I know most of our friends and family thought we had gone off the deep end. Our letters were filled with ramblings of the excitement we felt in ‘meeting the Lord’. Scriptures filled our pages as we desperately tried to convey our newfound love for our Lord. I can only imagine the groans of my sisters seeing a letter addressed to them from our FPO address, thoughts of another lecture on righteousness. I know that I have since appeared to be a goody two shoes, one who doesn’t do much. If only they knew how I truly am. They would see differently.

Then comes this show, The Chosen. I see my sisters talking about it, glowing reports of how wonderful the show is. I watch. Once more, they are right.

I half expected when I tuned into the show that I would see Jesus portrayed as a constipated person. I don’t mean that to be sacrilegious it’s just that most actors are so stern at playing Jesus, they come off looking constipated. At least that is my opinion (again, why I do not review). This Jesus is how I have pictured Him. Real. Approachable. Smiling. Exhorting. Encouraging. Laughing. Dancing. Caring. Healing. Restoring.

The writers, the actors are portraying onscreen what I have fumbled and failed to convey when talking about my Savior. They have expressed the comfort, the love, the safety I feel when I look into the eyes of Jesus during prayer time or when I am reading my Bible.

The episodes give a backstory to the people we know through Sunday school, sermons, reading. You see the humanity that most likely we could see had we lived in that time. Instead of the glossed over images that covered felt boards in a Sunday school classrooms, you see a living, breathing human being, flawed and normal. The disciples did not walk around with halos appearing over their heads. They were like me. Having a temper, having doubts and fears, having good days and bad days. They laughed, I have always believed my God has a sense of humor, after all, He created me. They cried. They danced and rejoiced. Same as we do.

This series is a gift to me. A boost to my heart. It does not replace my need to fellowship. It does not replace my need to read or pray. What it does is encourage me to be more. It reminds me of that excitement I felt in 1977. When, for the first time I had my heart opened up by my Creator. He sparked in me a joy I had never experienced. I truly felt alive for the first time. Like Matthew, in the series, when he was called, he left everything behind to follow Jesus. I have experienced that. I have felt that call and walked away from how I was raised, what I was taught and followed. Again, this series reflects what I have failed to convey happened deep within me.

I recommend this series to those of you who have not seen it. You can catch some episodes on You Tube, you can also download the app on your app store. Come and See what the hype is. I know you will enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)

A Memory of A Friend…

Friendships grow out of a shared experience, a shared time, a shared interest. Sometimes you are thrown together unexpectedly, and it turns out that it was a divine appointment. A meeting that was ordained from God.

Such was a friendship that began so many years ago. When we arrived in Japan in 1976, we were put onto a housing list. We could not get into government quarters (translated an American type home) until our name came to the top of the list. We arrived in June of 76 and until November of that year we lived in a cute little Japanese apartment.

When our name came to the top we drove up to Yokohama to look at houses. There were three couples who were looking at three houses. As typical in military communities, rank took priority. Hubby and I had second choice of the three couples.

The first home was cute, and the couple ahead of us commented on how cute it was. So, we knew that house was taken immediately. One to the second one, it was nice, not as nice as the first. I knew I could live there with no problem. I heard the wife of the third in line couple say, ” I really like this, but, it will most likely go to the other couple.” The third place we were unable to go into. We went to the third place, which overlooked a cute little grassy area. I loved it. So, each of us got our wish for our houses.

We settled into our place and thought no more of the other couples, until one day I was grocery shopping and ran into the second couple. They invited hubby and I over for tacos. We went and from that simple beginning, a friendship that became family developed.

So many things I do in daily life remind me of them. And like family, thoughts, prayers and memories happen with the simplest of things. Last Saturday, Cindy passed away. Her health has been failing the past few years. We have talked, but, as is true, not often enough. Hindsight is generally filled with regret. The should-haves flood your heart as you think of missed opportunities. Such was true for me.

When I heard the hard words from her daughter whom I have known since before she started school, my heart broke. I knew she was now whole, able to see again, able to walk and run (although I could hear her laugh at that thought) and that she was once more healthy. No more would she be trapped in a body that was failing her, she would be free and looking into the face of her Creator.

Cindy was a dear friend. One who listened with a caring ear. She would encourage me, laugh with me, cry with me, and challenge me. Her quiet way was filled with strength. When we talked we would say our hellos and then start to laugh and cry at the same time each telling the other we needed to not take so long between calls.

She leaves behind her husband who is my brother from another mother, and three beautiful girls all with their own families and stories. We were able to spend time with them and it was like walking into home to be with them. They had grown, they had families, but, it was still the same in so many ways.

When I was younger I would hear older people say how dear Heaven is. I never quite understood that saying. I thought how can Heaven be so precious when there is so much of life here. I now understand, with the passing of each person I know Heaven is becoming a treasure, a place I long to be, to be reunited with friends and family and once more laugh with my friend Cindy.

Thanks for stopping by today, Cathi (DAF)

Easter…

Sunday is Easter Sunday. For some, a time of Easter baskets filled with chocolate, jelly beans, marshmallow bunnies and other goodies. For others a time for a new spring dress, hats, accessories. Still others go to church for their yearly obligation to be fulfilled.

I was raised as a Catholic. Easter week was spent mostly in church. I truly loved the tradition of the church, the services that were held, the music on the pipe organ that resounded in the cathedral-like church with the stained glass, the gothic arches and the brick flooring. Thursdays we had communion in remembrance of the Last Supper. But, Good Friday was my most poignant of memories. For on Good Friday the church was silent. Stillness echoed inside, no music played in respect for the death of Jesus on the cross. All statues were covered. All was darkened, still. It was a somber reminder of what the holiday was truly about. On Saturday we went to Easter vigil. It started later in the evening, I believe it was around 10 p.m.. The beginning of the service was to bless the new candles and to do the traditions, most of which I have forgotten over the years being a non -practicing Catholic. But, at midnight the pipe organ rang out in glorious melody. The statues were uncovered, voices rang out, Christ the Lord is risen today! The celebration began.

The Savior rose, He defeated death and it’s power.

Long ago I became a born-again Christian. I know it caused confusion to my family and to my friends. Me, who had talked of taking vows to be a nun, became one of those ‘Jesus freaks’. But, it was one decision I have never questioned or regretted.

Now, each day is a celebration of that resurrection for me. I remember fondly those times in my growing up church with love. They formed a foundation in me to honor our Lord. They established in me the awesomeness of the meaning of Easter. They gave me the desire to know more deeply our Savior.

This week I have thought of last year. At first I tried to remember what we did last Easter. Who we spent it with, what we had for dinner. It then occurred to me that last year my Easter outfit was pajamas as we watched church online. I did make a nice dinner as we had to have something for Easter. Last year we were alone, as was everyone else in the world. There were no family gatherings, no church services, no joining in together in song and praise. Each of us were alone, eating our holiday dinner alone, no joined in laughter over old family stories. Just caution for what was going on.

This year, we are going to church. It is still not normal, the sign to refrain from hugging and shaking hands prominently displayed in the foyer. The temperature taking station at the door. But, we can see one another and steal a hug in disobedience. We can worship together, praise together and celebrate the great news, Christ the Lord is risen today!

We were created to be together. We need one another. We were made to encourage each other, to hold another up in prayer, to give that reassurance that troubles last for a season, and while we can we can prop each other up in support.

I look forward to Sunday. To be reminded in song and sermon that Easter is much more than the chocolate rabbits (although they are wonderful and delicious), more than the pretty spring wardrobe, that Easter is truly a celebration. Christ the Lord has risen indeed.

The One About Waiting….

I am a good wait-er, not to be confused with being a waiter (that would be disastrous). I have written about waiting several times in this blog and I find it is a subject that I come back to often. We all wait, we all know what it’s like.

As a child, we would wait for the bell to ring for recess, lunch, or dismissal. We waited for summer break. We waited, although to many, it was just life.

This past Monday I was waiting in the car and started to think of all the times I have waited. A number of times came quickly to mind. Waiting for my wedding day, waiting for orders (this was a regular occurrence in the Navy), waiting for babies to arrive. When hubby was on a ship, waiting for my ship to come in (literally!). Sometimes it arrived on time, other times, it could take up to 3 hours past the docking time. Later, waiting for my girls to come into the car after school, waiting for them after choral rehearsals, or waiting for them to get off work.

I have spent countless hours in a car waiting. I would hate to tally up the hours, honestly. We have all done it though. You sit in the car, looking around. Watching people park their vehicles wondering if they are going to hit the other cars. Watching people get out of the cars. Some people jump right out of the cars, and move swiftly through the parking lot. Others take a long time, like they are cataloging everything in the car and checking and rechecking to see if the car is in park. They lumber getting out of the car and are purposeful in closing the door behind them. The walk through the parking lot is fraught with caution and care. Still others race into a space, parking quickly, taking up several spaces and are putting themselves together as they go across the lot.

After people watching I tend to start rolling down windows, getting some air to circulate and relieve the stuffiness inside. I grab my phone and start going through my pictures. Do I really need that picture of the play-dough rose I made for Little Miss? Will she truly miss seeing it the next time we are together? Will hubby actually use that picture of a screw that he found when he didn’t have his phone on him? These questions are usually answered in the negative and the deleting of photos commences.

After the three minutes of that activity I play games until I can no longer do that. The glove box is next in my sights. I go through the coupon book in it and wonder if I will ever really use any of the coupons or if, this December I will just toss it. This all happens within the first fifteen minutes.

Since we can no longer sit in the waiting room with our spouses, this is becoming a ritual, especially if you need to be there in case you need to drive your spouse home after the appointment. Such was the situation this past Monday. The appointment was last minute, so I expected to sit for a while. It was a pleasant day so all the windows were down quickly. The breeze had a touch of chill to it, but the sky was bright blue and the temperature was spring-like.

Like I mentioned, I thought about waiting. Some waits are easy and quick. Some seem endless and ominous, like waiting for a dental appointment. That feeling of unease and dread while listening to drills resounding in closed off rooms. Some waits are exciting. Seeing wrapped presents under a tree ready for little hands to tear into them. Waits vary, but we all do them.

After all the musing of waiting and the different types, it occurred to me that presently I am in two concurrent waits. Ones I don’t give a lot of thought to, but nevertheless they are very present in me. One is waiting to be called home to be with the Lord. A wait we all are doing at the moment. I know it’s morbid, but death is one thing no one is going to avoid. The other wait is for the glorious return of our Lord.

I Thessalonians 4:15 – 18 says, “15-18 And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.” (The Message)

So, wait, I will. Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate your visit, Cathi (DAF)

66 and holding…

A couple of weeks ago, I turned 66. Honestly, I never thought I would see this age. My mother was in her early 40’s when she passed away and I always thought that the best part of life would happen before that age.

So, when it appeared that I was going to outlive her, I thought that aging should be graceful. Thoughts of elegant women in flowing clothing is how I pictured coming to this age. I figured that somehow I would reach this age and be elegant. HA! I reached this age like I have all the previous ones. Rushing headlong, like the proverbial bull in a china shop.

And now, that I am here, I confess that although I creak and crack a bit more, mentally, I still feel and think like I did at 16. Well, truthfully, some thoughts are different. I may have some of grumpy old lady tendencies lurking in the corners, but I am not ready for the rocking chair full time.

I suppose I should take inventory and make goals as to what I will miraculously do this year, but, the older I get the more honest and blatant I get. I dream of doing so much, but the reality is that I get tired. I grow weary and I hesitate. I could say this is part of aging, but, I have been this way for a good forty years! I do know that I am still trying to put my mark in this world. I strive to be everything our Lord created me to be. I know the bulk of my life is behind me as I know I do not have another 60 years left (what a frightening thought!). So, this year I wait to see what happens. Will I write more than the opening of that novel that lays dormant in my mind? Will I teach and minister to women? Will I actually clean out my junk room? It all remains a mystery. So, instead of flowing, graceful clothing, I will once more put on my raggy jeans, stained tee shirt and tennis shoes and live my life just like that bull in a china shop.

Thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)

Oh, There You Are…

One of my all time favorite movies is Hook, starring Robin Williams as a grown up Peter Pan. In one scene one of the lost boys goes up to a grown up Peter and takes his hands and moves the cheeks to reveal a younger looking man. At that point, the lost boy says, “Oh there you are Peter”. The boys did not recognize the grown up Peter, but, hidden underneath the age is Peter Pan.

I thought of that quote last week as my hubby and I had lunch with some friends. I glanced over during a conversation and there in the middle of talking came this quote, although the name was different, the thought was the same. “Oh, there you are Debbie”

Beside me sat my first true grown-up friend. The friend I met after growing up. I didn’t know her since kindergarten or from high school. I met this women after being married and living away from all my established friends and family. She is a kindred spirit. The kind of friend you recognize immediately. You don’t often find these precious individuals and when you are blessed, as I have been (for me, only a couple of times) you cling to these friends and hold them near to your heart. They take up residence in your heart and when thinking of them you wonder how you ever lived without them.

Debbie and I met in Japan. We lived in the same housing area. We would walk back and forth from our homes. We laughed often. She drew me in with her contagious laughter and her expressive communication, mostly with her hands.

She and my oldest now live minutes from one another. With each visit to our daughter, hubby and I meet at least once a visit for lunch with our friends. Last week was no exception. We have found a place that has become our place. It is the usual spot to meet. We find a table and spend an hour or so catching up, laughing and continuing the conversation started forty-three years ago. It is wonderful.

During lunch last week, as I mentioned, I had a lost boy experience, I looked over at my friend, now older, a bit heavier(aren’t we all?), and a face of an older woman. I looked at my friend talking and my mind raced. Here was someone that I have great respect for, she has been an example to me of unconditional love, she gives love and support to her family in a way I admire. She gives when she has nothing left to give, I know that is a cliche, but for her it is true. She is a woman of faith and freely shares that too. She has bolstered me in several times of hardship. And, here she sat beside me, talking (yes, with her hands) and I saw the younger Debbie. The dark haired, energetic and bubbling Debbie. I smiled, yes, there you are Debbie. I see you. I recognize you. To others around us, we were four senior citizens, maybe talking louder than normal in our excitement. I am certain the young people thought it was nice that we four were still able to get out and about, To me it was a gathering of devoted friends. Age was erased, gray thinning hair was replaced by full heads of hair, clear eyes, young bodies and lives that were not worn down by experience.

I loved the time together and look forward to the next visit. It has been a bit since I last wrote, and this I felt needed to come out of my thoughts. As it is December 22nd, I wish you all a very blessed and Merry Christmas. I had one of my best gifts during lunch last week, I spent an hour with my friend.

Thanks for stopping by. Cathi (DAF)

Scrapbooks….

Almost forty-two years ago we left Japan for Maine. I remember standing in the living room of our government quarters in Bangor, ME with tears running down my face. I was homesick. Not homesick for my hometown, but, lonesome for the familiarity of living in Japan. I wanted to be able to walk down the street and turn down to where my friends lived. To knock on their door and see a familiar face and know I could laugh and cry and be myself. But, I was standing in my living room of my house in Bangor not knowing many people feeling sorry for myself and praying.

At that time I felt like the Lord showed me a scrapbook. As I remember it, I looked at the book and it was filled with people and places and adventures from Japan. I had stopped crying while this went on. As the scrapbook closed, I remember feeling like the Lord told me I could go to that scrapbook any time I wanted, but, I could not live there, it was time for a new adventure.

Maine was a wonderful place to live. It was filled with so many dear people and it’s own adventures and events. I loved living in Maine and when it was time to leave I left a part of my heart there. We were moving to San Diego and I really did not want to go to San Diego, although we felt like we were being sent there for a purpose. We left Maine and arrived in San Diego in late July. As we crossed the mountains from Yuma, AZ into San Diego, I felt a heaviness inside and I knew that we would be there until the Lord moved us.

We were there for almost 27 years. During that time we bought our first home, raised our babies into toddlers, little girls and adults. We had recitals, concerts, proms, first kisses, broken hearts, broken bones and life.

What brought all this to mind was memories that appear on facebook. The past few days the memories have recorded what was going on eleven years ago. As I slowed down tonight, it occurred to me that eleven years ago this week we left San Diego for a new adventure in South Carolina. I remembered as I turned the key in the lock of the front door as we left that it was closing the chapter of our life that I had reluctantly began so many years previous. I got into my car and cried going up the driveway. Memories flooded my mind, and they are still crisp as I write this. Seeing glimpses of my daughters growing up, hearing echoes of conversations. But, eleven years ago this week the big moving van backed down the driveway and in two days filled the truck with a lifetime of memories.

A week later we were in Charleston, SC in an empty house waiting for our things to fit into a new space. And fit, they did. The past eleven years have seen us move two more times, and now we are in our forever home as we call it. We have seen health concerns, cancer diagnosis, broken bones, torn tendons, Little Man born, Little Miss born and memories made.

As I think on my life, I remember the scrapbooks I have had. Those I have filled up with ticket stubs and old love letters, and post cards, and those that are carried in my heart. The ones filled with faces of friends we have loved and lost, friends who have become family, and family. Those heart scrapbooks hold the tears of joy and sadness. Celebrations, births, weddings, funerals. Each event tucked carefully into the recesses of my heart. I pull them out often. On nights like these I dwell on certain pages, people I would like to hug once more, people I would like to have lunch with or a cup of coffee with. Laughter echoes and smiles linger, tears roll down the cheek easily at these times. These volumes of my life that I cherish and hold dear.

Thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)