Reflection

by Ellen

August 2016

I owe a lot to the people who have walked along side me.  There were dark days, many tears…  They helped me become whole.  One such person is having a birthday soon.  I miss her so very much.  I decided to make her a quilt.  The process was much like the help she gave me.  The taking of fabric, things not going ‘right’, making a new plan, doing my best, accepting that nothing is perfect, putting the pieces back together with love.lynda's quilt

March 16, 2016

I have found peace in relying on our Lord.  This new year was unlike any I have had…  From thinking I saw my husband die…to the truth that modern medicine could help restore him to relatively normal days…

I am grateful.

December 21, 2015

The snow is falling.  Our farm is white.  It is warm, mostly inside…  The animals need us in a way that they do not most of the year, but now they need us so very much.  I need God in this same way… I cannot fend for myself with the harder days of life…lean on the one who never leaves me out in the cold.

October 13, 2015

In a family of children, when one struggles…all struggle or learn about life in a different way.  I believe my sons are more compassionate people because of their childhood.  I guess I am realizing, that I am/was the eternal optimist…believing that over the next hill, it would be better.  Through the next valley of struggles My Girl would arrive to the place that provided a ‘even keel’…  I especially believed that if I could just get her through school, then life would be oh, so much better….and we did…and it is not…  This is part of my grief…that hope that I worked toward…and each day I must choose ‘joy’…and hope.

September 11, 2015

I am doing my best to stay in ‘today’.  To rest in knowing that we do not walk alone…  My Loving Spouse has been ill…for a few weeks now and we are waiting.  Is this leg that looks like it is getting better…but not really better going to put him down for 6 months?  We are waiting…one in fear…one in anger…together in whatever…with NO idea how to do this…praying for healing…for strength…

August 11, 2015

The nature of Grace….

Dictionary.com doesn’t get ‘it’…the ‘grace’ I know…that comes with love and hope.  Grace…the nature of love…especially in the times of mess…the essence of human-ness.  One of my children made a human mess…because this child is human…and in the mess he found…fear…embarrassment…financial cost…the desire to turn the clock back and make a different choice…and he found grace…Grace from other humans that we have learned from Our Father God…that he knows we mess up…and loves us still…loving in the mess…not being alone in the mess…that to me is grace and I am grateful.

July 18, 2015

Choosing Joy

This has become my little mantra as it were…  Most of life we cannot control… and yet we are left with our attitude…  a bad attitude can ruin a great situation and a good attitude or peaceful attitude or joyous attitude can make a difficult situation all the better…

…that I find is the odd part of life…

and what a difference it makes…for me…

April 23, 2015

Bad words that can suck us in…’should’ and ‘fair’…both are powerful and should be avoided at all cost unless, except for maybe…’people should have fun at a fair’, but other than that…

‘Fair’…who ever started this MYTH that life would be ‘fair’ was a fool…life is.  People get sick, people we love get more ‘junk’ than others…and we want it to be ‘fair’ that if you get a lot of ‘junk’ then the rest of your life will be better, because somehow you’ve already gotten your quota of junk…

My Skinny Cousin has gotten a LOT of life’s junk…and I mean a LOT…and now she is sick…cancer kind of sucking, stinking cancer kind of sick and trust me…if there is a ‘fair’ this is NOT it…but there is no ‘fair’ there is just life and all I can do today is pray…

She is the ‘better’ prayer between us…I believe in her prayers, more than mine…and yet it is the only thing I can do at this moment in time.

March 25, 2015

Grace….

is a powerful thing…

We have received grace from others…some that we know others that we do not know and it humbles us.

I have learned that although I worked so hard to protect my children…someone hurt them when they were small…and I am angry…and sad…and understand that we can work very hard to do the ‘right’ thing and still…things are not always ‘right’…and we are called to offer ‘grace’ to those who hurt us…and it is hard…and yet to live freely…I know in my heart that I have no other option.

March 5, 2015

Some times I feel as if our path is one with many switch backs and we certainly cannot see where we are really and truly going and stepping out in faith.  The change in job has been a huge learning curve for My Loving Spouse and he has found that he is good at it and it is a good match to his love of people….however…in all things there is must be truth, honesty and doing the right thing for others…and we have discovered that this is not the case with this organization and there is no question but to leave…  We do not take advantage of people…it is simply not right and so we feel that we are standing at the cliff and must jump off…because we must do the right thing…even if we have no idea how this will work out….

December 31. 2014

I might be a year behind on my ‘word’… I’d have to say that I learned to ‘trust’ more this year…fell back into the loving arms of God, secure that he really does have a plan for us….  I’ll need to remember that as my daughter goes off to China for 5 months…I worry about her getting lonely, and the pain that can cause….besides all the other worries I can worry.

There is a new job now for My Loving Spouse…he oh, so deserved to have one…one where his efforts are appreciated and where there is hope of success….

My job does little more than provide insurance for me financially….and yet, I know that I make a difference there with the children…so staying there while we need a greater income has been…a dilemma…and yet has felt like the right thing to do…

So with this new year, I am grateful for ‘hope’.

August 4, 2014

Summer… a time of change for us… the knee recovery did not go as ‘planned’…overly optimistic, it was supposed to be easier…healthier…no additional problems like 3 extra weeks off of work…2 more than there was sick leave for…the ever dwindling bank account…often forgetting that this would be considered an ’emergency’ and that is what ’emergency money’ is for…

How anxious I get about ‘tomorrow’ seems directly related to what I am doing today and how connected I stay with God as well as trying to put forward some sort of plan…even when the ‘plan’ may not be the answer it is often in my willingness to try that we find an answer.

May 20, 2014

No surprise here, but do you ever get really bummed out…down, because of how others treat you…turn your words into something you didn’t say?  Do we ever stop wanting life to be fair!  Just like a toddler…wait, they don’t want fair, they want everything!  Okay…fair like a kid, who knows how to take turns etc.  People in power who lie omit information like…the person I just hired for the job you applied for is my son…, but I don’t want anyone to know… or that post you wrote…well, I am going to use it against you….  I know in the big picture of the world, such small stuff…but stuff that gets to you/me so well….  Ah..the Devil is in the details…I expect that is true…Lord help me stay close to you…not sweating the small stuff…which feel so big sometimes.

March 25, 2014

It seems inconceivable that we have been here for almost 2 years.  It makes me realize how much of this time, we have had our ‘nose to the grindstone’ in an effort to tackle the never-ending list of remodel, repair and restore…  It seems time to slow down.  We are excited at the thought of summer and although there will be a wedding and the first grand child born…this summer seems full of options for me to continue to repair our home, but at a slower speed…  I find it so interesting that my word for the year is ‘create’ and we are turning the library into a place for ‘me’…my ‘studio’ as it were to do just that…create…with a bit of bill paying thrown in…got to keep it real.  God is good to us…we have struggled with the costs this home’s remodel have taken, of course more than we originally expected both in time and money…and yet is all okay…God has blessed us, we just have to remember to realize it.

January 22, 2014

Tomorrow I head ‘home’.  The area I have lived for more than 50 years and even writing 50 years down in black and white makes me wonder…how in the world did I get as old as my parents once were…   You’d think I’d have learned more…and yet, I know in my journey I have learned a lot…mostly I think about being able to rely on a God of grace, who loves me and knows I am incapable of being perfect, but I am capable of learning to think of others more to give in ways that are authentic to me and to find joy in my regular day…the way my cows chew their hay, the way the horses prefer to be dirty, the comical way the chickens run and the dogs that just love us… and the way My Loving Spouse just likes to be with me.  Living in a contented space is wonderful.  I am looking forward to the ‘faces’ I love and to see them and hug them…but this is truly ‘home’.

January 3, 2014

“Create” is my word for this year.  I often find I need ‘encouragement’ or ‘permission’ to take time to create…stuff…anything…and yet, if all we do is work…what do we leave…  I am trying to enjoy my creativity more, reminding myself that is important to do.

December 2, 2013

Do other believers get in your ‘way’?  It is easy for me to ‘forgive’ or ‘go around’ the non-believers in my life, but the believers, well….they should be ‘better’.  Don’t ‘they’ know they are doing ‘it’ wrong…. sheesh… how many times to I have to look back at myself for my actions and wonder who I am getting in the way of… who am I turning away, irritating, not being Christ like, just being Ellen-like… my fear is that it is often.

November 10, 2013

“How Great Thou Art”

There are a few hymns that will always move me, that I am grateful to know all the words and be able to sing with my eyes closed, alone to my God.  Oh, ‘How great thou art’.  Such was today…singing in our church which the Lord brought us too…the place we have found the majority of our friends and our acceptance here..in this new and blessed place.  My Lord, how great thou art!

September 29, 2013

Today we moved forward together, becoming members of Ellensburg Presbyterian Church.  We stood together declared the simple statements…simple that are the most important… Jesus Christ is our Lord and we will follow him and work for his work through our church.  A blessing to move forward together, for what is the most important….what a blessing.

July 1, 2013

There are times in life when our hearts are heavy.  My husband’s heart is heavy and there is little I can do, in fact nothing I can do, but to love him, and pray for him.  I cannot really change a thing.  I thank God for all who’ve walked beside me…it is how we people are wired, not being alone is the only thing that makes the hard days easier…I do not understand it, but I am grateful for it.

May 24, 2013

Today is a day off from school…it is a ‘snow’ day!  Our first one ever, not because it is snowing, but because they plan well, in case school was canceled earlier in the year.  All is still new… my daughter who has struggled to learn, who was gifted in many, many ways, but whose brain worked in a different style than our educational system is going to graduate from high school.  Many, many of the children like her have not graduated, nor will graduate and it has been a long, long road for us both.  God has been very faithful to her, not by making it ‘easy’ but by providing the tools, the resources, and the right people to help her, love her and keep her moving forward and as she chose for the words for the graduation announcement… “with God all things are possible”… amen

April 13, 2013

Sometimes the size of our home and ‘land/garden’ overwhelm me.  How do we make it our own?  Show our care and personality…?  I think part of my problem is forgetting that it takes time…  We’ve done so much and it looks good, but it needs so much more – we have so much still to do – finding balance with this is tricky for me… And then there are these seasons here, which I love, but they change and the weather changes and what you can do changes and I love that, but it is unpredictable and different and new to me and I am not able to find my way yet… I remember words of a trusted friend.. “Be gentle to yourself”.. and I usually want to say, “What me?  REALLY?”  Be gentle to yourself… a reminder that I do not need to be all and do all today…

February 24, 2013

The Teen was baptized yesterday.  We had baptized her as a baby…but this step now was hers alone, well…hers and God’s.  Part of the miracle I think, seeing the consistent faithfulness of a God who has never left her side.  “God’s Grace is sufficient for our needs…

God’s Grace takes so many forms and we can see it so plainly in our life.  God does have a wonderful sense of humor and sometimes he makes things so, plain as the nose on your face kind of stuff….  God’s Grace…

The Teen has a wonderful friend here… a life friend I think… and her Mom is My Sweet Girl Friend, one I need so much and she is as dear as can be.  They came to The Teen’s baptism yesterday, as it was not at our little church but another congregation that The Teen has found to also call her home.  One of God’s greatest gifts is our friends…such is his Grace to us…  sometimes our friends are even called… Grace.

Grace & the Teen

January 2, 2013

A new year…. for me a settling in, like snuggling down deep in a warm bed.  Even though it still feels as if we’ve just ‘gotten here’, this is now home.  To imagine how different this year is starting out from any of my other years is quite remarkable.  The icicles hang almost two feet off of my bedroom window and I’ve never really even seen ‘real’ icicles before.  There is snow on the trees and all over the farm, even though it has not snowed in days.  I am not used to things not thawing out!  Hahaha..it still surprises me when there is a bit of snow outside on the porch and it just stays  there!  There are two horses outside anxiously waiting for me to come and feed them, to say nothing of the cow, chickens and barn cats.

The year is new and I have been challenged to find a word to focus on this year to grow with God.

Trust 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  Prov. 3:5,6

In all that is new around me, in all that will continue to be ‘new’ in this coming year, my loving Lord is not ‘new’.  His love and care for me is very, very old and it is this that I need to stay connected to and grow with when I become overwhelmed or over joyed.

December 19, 2012

I knew there would be items we’d gotten use to having in California, that would not be found here at the local stores.  So goes it with any move, I think.  Two days ago I was anxiously looking for a memorial candle.  Not a big item, but significant.  I haven’t noticed a large Jewish population here, so I became even more sure, that I was looking for something, that I would not find.  How deeply pleased I was to find them here.  My emotions were of awe and a deep contentment, that I could honor and remember my brother’s passing, as I have for 17 years.  A simple Jewish tradition, (the only one I follow), the lighting of a 24 hour memorial candle commemorating and remembering the date of a loved one’s passing.  So grateful…

November 30, 2012

Our farm is being over run with moles!  We have mole mounds everywhere and we’re not alone, which I take comfort in.  I was thinking it would be nice if they could be decorated for Christmas…  mole holes.  Reminded me for a moment that I am just like that… God loves me, even though I am full of holes, lumpy and I mess nice stuff up sometimes.  I don’t do it on purpose, it is just what we ‘do’, and yet I am still loved.  I’m going to take my mole mounds and try to use them as my daily reminder how much God loves imperfect me and be grateful.

September 22, 2012 Signs

I don’t know how I ended up with political minded kids, at this stage of my life, I hate politics.  I don’t want to be on a ‘side’.  I don’t believe one ‘side’ has it all right and the other ‘side’ is the embodiment of evil, sorry guess I’ve heard or seen too many political rants on Facebook.  I’d love to change the political process, the media and while I’m at it limit who is allowed to wear tank tops out in public.  I’m glad my kids are interested and opinionated, good for them.

One of the kids put some political posters up in the windows of our home.  Not really a big deal, but I found for me it was.  Not because of ‘who’ the support was for, but just because it seemed to say that this home had a ‘side’, a view-point a belief and we were ready to share it with the world.  The signs came down quickly as I realized that there is only one ‘side’ for me to be on and to reflect, that is our Lord’s.  Glory Farm is our sign and to God be the Glory.

August 9, 2012  “To God be the Glory”

Sensing that we were to name the farm Glory Farm was a testament to all the blessings in our life.  Now that it is named such, it challenges me sometimes to act appropriately.  I never wanted to put a Christian bumper sticker on my car, as I do not always drive in a loving manner, sorry sometimes I get irritable with other drivers who do not drive as I would wish them too, imagine that!  Such it is with life.  I am often challenged by the actions of a few toward me, and in these few relationships I get to really learn to be careful, set appropriate boundaries, but also learn to not lash out, keep my mouth closed until I can figure out the truly right thing to say.  I do not always get it done, but I am getting ‘closer’.

July 26, 2012

This time last year, I was waking up from cancer surgery.  “Good” cancer, so after removing my thyroid, I was left very worn out with a very swollen throat, a scar and cancer free.  I know that it could have been something much worse, but it all makes me stop and be grateful.  Grateful for the opportunity to make a change in my life.  Grateful that the cancer wasn’t worse.  I don’t always see my scar when I look in the mirror, but when I do, it makes me pause.  Making a change in my life is one of the most powerful things I’ve done and amazingly it has given me the opportunity to see so many blessings God continually showers on us.

 

July 19, 2012

Matthew 6:26

Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.

Moses Squeaker Pants is a very small bird.  He reminds me of this passage and how much we are loved.  How easy it is for me to look at the weeds of the fields not the beautiful fields themselves.  God feeds these tiny birds, usually without our help, how he will take care of our needs.

July 9, 2012

Gratitude….

I love this beautiful place, even the dust, the weeds…. not too sure about the moles.  I am so grateful to be here, but especially when the kids are here.  What joy there is to have room for all.  To spread out and find some quiet or to gather together on the porch.  To watch the youngest light fireworks with the oldest.  To make new memories, to speak of those family members who are gone and to gather together as a new and blended unit.

This farm truly is appropriately named… “To God be the Glory”.

June 14, 2012

What do you miss when you move….  curb-side recycling, green salsa from La Cabinita, singing in the choir, but of course most of all being known.  You miss your friends… those people who cheer you on, cheer you up and have walked the path of your pain and joys.  Those people who understand how badly I miss my second son, who has yet to be at the farm with us and those people who understand how deeply we are blessed at Laura’s life here.

I am so grateful for this blog that connects me to my friends, family and encouraging folk.  So grateful for the phone, the internet and all the links we have in this age to stay connected to one another.  It doesn’t replace a good hug, but it helps.

May 28, 2012

I am task oriented and this works against me in such a long project as this one.  Due to moving, my old forms of restoration through groups that gathered to reflect, center and work on keeping things in balance are not available to me here.. yet.

I am surrounded by what I find to be great beauty and a surprise of nature daily.  Yet, working with an emptiness that comes from connections with people in a deep way and for that I do not have at this time.

It was once very hard for me to reach out to people and ask for their help, I suppose I have reverted back to that place and must continue to reach out to those that God loves me through and allow myself to be filled with the caring that they provide.  I know we are not supposed to ‘do this life alone’ and yet, I do often forget.

“Lord, help me today to not try to do it alone, but to reach out for connection.  Thank you for blessing me with others”.

May 8, 2012

Halal – to boast, to shine for God

The hardwood floors are being done.  Strong beautiful wood even with the nicks and dings.  All the dirt and grim will be stripped off of it and the beauty will shine through once again.  I guess this is so similar to what God does for us.  Not just by dying for us, but by grace.  Forgiving us, loving us more than I can usually fathom.  Day in and day out.

Our hardwood floors are being done by Halal Hardwood.  When we asked the owner what the word meant, he said,”I wanted a name that would glorify God.  I had thought of Hallelujah, but then I read in Hebrew that Hallelujah was two words.  ’Halal’ to shine to boast for God”

April 29, 2012

“I have called you by name, you are mine”  Isaiah 43:1

There is a loneliness in moving. Our area is beautiful, the people kind and friendly.  Yet it takes time to be ‘known’.  Probably hardest for women, but maybe I just think so because I am one.  Laura ‘knows’ the most people here, but they don’t really ‘know’ her beyond 3 weeks.  We have no history, they don’t know our story, our joys, our pains…

Such as it is in moving.  It takes time to be ‘known’.

God knows us. Deeply and completely, and this is the place I find my solace.  Perhaps it  explains why this is one of my favorite verses.  It speaks to my great desire to be ‘known’ and loved still.

 

April 25, 2012

The beacon of the red barns…

I must acknowledge the depth of the dream God has answered in our move here to Glory Farm.  In my path, I have know that God loved me.  For most of my life I believed he loved me with “left-over” love.  If there was enough to go around, then there’d be a bit for me.  A handful of years ago I started spending a lot of time with my mentor, reading and praying.  She believed God loved me, uniquely and richly.  One day I gave my God ‘the day off’ and decided to believe in the God she knew.  This was a step toward the truth.

Here at Glory farm, I can only marvel at how much this God loves me.  The dreams he has answered were so deep-seated, some from childhood (which was a long time ago) that they were almost forgotten.  The peace and beauty here astounds me.

When I drive down the road toward our home, you can see our big red barns from a long way off.  This can only remind me of how much I am blessed and so richly and uniquely loved by God.

April 20, 2012

The man on our roof.. 

The man on our roof this morning told my husband that he had spoken with his Heavenly father this morning and he told him, “He has everything under control”.  The roofer is also a Baptist pastor… and walks the walk.

So much, no all, of this move has been showing us God’s deep love for us…..

  • Jason

    Hola Ellen! I hope all is well with you! Always enjoy your posts…keep ’em up!

  • Gallion

    Ellen…I was impressed with you when Pat first brought you by the house…and at the wedding…this is my first visit to the blog….impressed again…Love you guys and am so happy that the new life is working so well, the Lord does intend for us to be happy…try Psalm 91, I am believer…your old friend dg

    • Ellen

      Thank you so much dear Gallion,
      Trust in the Lord…

      I appreciate your love and support

  • I love this blog very much. I couldn’t have written it better. 🙂

  • Amy Johnson

    Hi Ellen,
    This is the first time that I have made it to your blog. Wow… it is beautiful. As is the farm. It might become my reminder that this can and should change as I am in such a dark place these days and I know you have been there! Trying to figure out what changes are needed. By the way, I think that “My Loving Spouse” should become MLS so that those of us who miss your real-estate help feel that you haven’t strayed too far. Are you still using your old email address as well?

  • Aaron Bergmann

    Hello Ellen,

    My name is Aaron Bergmann and I work for Laurie Candelora. She gave me your email address but it bounced back to me as undelivered. She also gave me this blog, so this is my second time trying to contact you. (Feel free to delete this comment after responding)

    I am applying for teaching positions and have been offered a position at Village Christian School. I was quite impressed with the (new) principal Bruce Osgood, but I want to hear about your experience there.

    I understand that everybody has their own perspective on VCS, but the impression that Bruce gave me was that they were rebuilding and growing after some difficult times 5 to 10 years ago. I would very much like to hear your impression.

    Thanks!
    Aaron
    cell 626-616-5872

  • Diane Brown

    I count on Him to have everything under control since things feel so out of my control!

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