Celebrating Andrew John…

andrew johnHow can it be that you are already 17….

I love looking at the pictures and remembering the years that have changed you.

But some things have stayed very much the same.

You are an athlete….

Always have been and I guess you always will be. But more than your athletic skill, you have demonstrated that you are committed toandrew the athlete becoming the best you can be. I have seen this in your commitment to hard work, the discipline to do what it takes to offer your best and the grace and courage with which you win and lose. You are exemplary in your leadership and teamwork.

You are a scholar….

I admire your commitment to do well in school. This is less about grades to me and more about how you set the bar high and set your behaviors to achieve your goals. For many ranking high in your class may be sufficient. I love to tell others that you are striving to achieve excellence in your academics, in hopes that it may graduate you top of your class. You are knowledgeable and articulate and I am so proud of your academic achievements and attitudes.

beppe and andrewYou are kind and considerate…

And perhaps this is why I enjoy talking with you, watching you in your athletics and with your friends and family. I believe this is what makes you successful as a leader and a team member. These traits make you easy to be with and delightful to converse with. You are well-loved as a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin andandrew graduation friend. I love how you enjoy family and engage your cousins no matter their age. Andrew John, you have integrity, character. maturity, playfulness and compassion. You my nephew will succeed because of who you are. I am a very proud aunt of my 17-year-old nephew. Thank you Andrew for being you. Cause YOU make this world a better place!  I am so thankful God selected me to be your Aunt. My life is better for it! Love Aunt Trish

cousins IMG_5982 me and my kiddo'scrazy cousins

 

Rest…

I am one week post op from eye surgery. I had a collection of abnormal cells on my cornea and so they scraped my cornea clean. I now have to wait for new membrane layers to grow back over my cornea. That my friends, is not a very scientific explanation, but it is what I understand I am waiting for. In the mean time, I am visually impaired as my left eye was affected due to my premature birth, I am learning much about limited vision.

I must say that I am keenly aware how I took my eyesight for granted. Even as I type, I can not see what I am writing, but trusting my body memory of the keyboard to put my thoughts on paper in some readable fashion. Normally I would write, proof, edit, rewrite, etc. Tonight you will get my raw thoughts.

There are many thoughts I could share from a week of being cared for and loved well by family and friends. But today, I realized that there is a life lesson I have learned this week. It is that rest brings clear vision. Now of course, as I heal, this is very evident. My blurry vision seems clearer when I have taken time to rest. When I worked today, I had a few hours of semi clarity after a good nights rest, but  as time passed, it was evident to me when I needed to rest again.

I have noticed at the end of the day, I am not able to make sense of anything that requires focus. I am reminded, after resting, it will be better.

As i rested today, I realized this isn’t just about my eyes. I know when I am too busy, my vision for clarity in my thoughts and actions is impaired if I have not rested well. I know of the importance of Sabbath rest, I understand the need for a good nights sleep, I have learned what it means to rest my heart, mind and soul, and yet, this reminder today feels important.

I wonder if you know what it means to lose your clarity of vision because of weariness?

I wonder if you have experienced the benefit of renewing rest?

I wonder what might keep you from resting?

I am thankful to have people in my life who remind me, encourage me and allow me to rest.

I am looking forward to clear vision in the coming weeks. And I am grateful for what God is teaching me as I live these days through blurry eyes.

And with that, I will sign off for now and hope my thoughts are spelled correctly and readable with your clear vision. May you also find ways to rest your body, mind and soul, so your clarity of vision for God, yourself and others will be crystal clear!

We receive your blessing…

Today at Church we ended with this song…

  • We receive Your blessing
    We receive Your grace
    As we walk in the light shining from Your face
    May the peace that You give
    Change the way that we live
    We receive Your blessing
    As we leave this place

I love the words and the tune and I have found myself singing it throughout the afternoon. If you want to hear the tune, click here: https://ca.songselect.com/songs/4519991/we-receive-your-blessing

I began to think of my own journey and how I had to learn to receive from other’s before I really understood what it means to receive from God. I had knowledge of receiving from God, but not until I was willing to become vulnerable with my family, friends and peers, did I really grasp the even greater blessing of receiving God’s blessing and Grace.

I wonder how you are doing with the act of receiving.receive

I wonder if you have ever considered how your willingness to receive from others may mirror your willingness to receive an even greater gift….

I am not one who believes in an all or nothing way of thinking. I believe you can receive from God and struggle with receiving from others. I talk with people who struggle feeling as if God may be withholding….

I wonder if it is less about God and more about our resistance to receiving?

But I am also someone who believes that God uses people to teach us even more about who He is and what gifts He has to offer.

I hope you have opportunity this week to practice receiving…

Receiving good things from those around you and even more receiving His blessing and Grace!

Be thou my vision…

It is a song I have sung often and today a song that is running through my thoughts…

As a premature infant, my need for oxygen affected my left eye, deeming it legally blind and so I have learned to live life with one good eye. I remember wearing a patch to allow the lazy eye to catch up, but my lazy eye chose to stay lazy and my good eye always served me well. I would often say, I am good as long as my one eye remains healthy…

be thou my visionWell, this week I am choosing to trust that God has a plan for my life and that my surgery on my one good eye will restore my vision to optimum clarity. I have struggled the last few months with double and triple vision when I am focusing my eye. I have learned the difference in scanning vision and focused vision. Although I am apprehensive, I am ready to do something. I have a new compassion for those who struggle with visual clarity. Tuesday is the day and I believe the surgery will be somewhat quick, but the healing will take time.

While my right eye heals, I will have very limited vision for two weeks to two months. I am praying that my visual stability will return within two weeks allowing me to function, work, drive and write and over the two month time frame, that healing will continue to occur. But what I am very aware of, is that it will be what it will be and I will learn much in the process. I have a wonderful family, great friends, amazing co-workers and a large community that will pray for my vision to return fully.

And so, the words to Be thou my vision are the words of my heart.

Asking for prayers for patience and healing….

18 and beautiful….

dekam kids 2Tonight I want to share with you in photo’s a little bit of the beauty of my ever sweet niece Anneliese.

Anneliese turned 18 this week.

She is the third born of five kids and has always maintained her unique self.anne at fair

She has always been a bit more reserved than her siblings and saves her words for when she has something to say.

anne prom 1She used to wish she was a horse, then all she ever wanted was a horse,

In the last few years can say she enjoys being on her horse, but has taken much more to people!

She is comfortable on the basketball court or all dressed up.anneliese bball

anneliese senior picjanneke and anne weddingShe enjoys and excels in school but also loves time to just be.

She has a special bond with her oldest sister and is a well-loved cousin…cousins

Anne, I am curious and excited to see what your days and years will hold. You are beautiful, kind, smart, and compassionate. I love how you live with a commitment to be the young woman God has designed you to be. It is my hope and prayer that you will always trust your heart to be good, your mind to be brilliant and believe in God’s plan for your life to lead you to places where you will make a powerful difference in this world!me and my kiddo's

I am a lucky aunt who has known you for 18 years and look forward to many many many more years to come!

Love,

Aunt Trish

 

 

10,000 reasons…

sunriseThe sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

I woke up this morning to this song and was struck by the words. Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me Let me be singing when the evening comes I have learned while journeying through grief and just plain crummy days sometimes that at times my song may be a lament or something that isn’t a joyful proclamation, but even on those days when my song may not be joyful, may my voice be singing of his presence, provision and protection and comfort. 

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger10,000 reasons
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Wow, 10,000 reasons for my heart to find to Bless the Lord O my soul…
There is a great invitation to consider all that God has blessed me with. I know so mnay of us have sung this song with passion and purpose, but do we live out the words? Do we trust God’s great name and kind heart? Do we keep on singing because of his goodness? 10,000 reasons for my heart to find?

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Having worked for Hospice, I can picture failing strength and those who have left this earth with the confidence that they will sing His praise unending… When my time comes, I am confident of that as well, but until that time, I will keep singing the words…

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Will you join me in living out the words to this song?
I don’t believe it is an invitation to deny where we struggle or deny when we can not find the words to sing.
I do believe it is a place to cling to God’s goodness, even in the valley!

Sing like never before….

Home again…

mission collageI loved being gone to Louisiana. and I love coming home….

I love volunteering for a week and I find myself so grateful for my job…

The warmth of the little bit of sun was glorious and the winter air felt refreshing…

I loved being with our team and sleeping with six other women in a bunk room and the quiet of my own room feels luxurious…

It was fun to meet some of the families we assisted and I realize we really know very little about the stories of those we assisted….

I enjoyed doing devotions with our group each day and I found it refreshing to journal tonight without a template…

We arrived home today after a 20 hour drive. I am thankful for much and I am ready to return to my routine. I am full of gratitude for new opportunities and an invitation to serve in new ways. I have my suitcase unpacked and I am still unpacking the lessons I learned this week. I learned some about others and more about myself. I am reminded of God’s kindness and love….

I am thankful that God invites me to fill my heart with many thoughts and experiences, even if they do seem to feel opposite or even conflicting at times.

But for now, I am going to sleep and delight in being in my own bed.

More later….