Month: July 2017

Wild Blue Yonder

It’s been two years since we settled in at our Wild Blue Yonder Ranch.

We are diligently putting our mark on our home and our little patch of land. JB, my handsome handyman, has framed windows, painted furniture, created living room shelves, constructed a front porch, built a beautiful hall tree, painted and installed a new front door, made a HOME sign for the mantel, painted a bathroom, dug up old plants and planted pretty new ones, put in flowerbed border, trimmed trees, hung back yard lights, framed a giant Texas wall map, fought crab grass, built an armadillo trap, and moved furniture…and then moved it again…and then maybe even one more time.

Basically, I dream up stuff and JB makes my dreams come true.  We have been a great fixer upper team long before Chip and JoJo came on the scene.

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We have “hiked” our little acre of land…all the way down to the creek. We have spent countless evenings sitting on the back porch watching our deer enjoy their nightly feeding. Every once in a while a roadrunner or bluebird stops by. Hawks soar overhead in our big Texas sky. We catch daily sightings of cotton-tailed bunnies and the beautiful Cardinal couple who live in our backyard tree. We have even had a wild turkey wander through our yard a time or two.

Oh…and it’s hardly worth mentioning, but…one tiny snake once ventured into our yard by mistake…he met his fate at the end of my hoe..and thankfully his family and friends seemed to have gotten the message.

It truly is a bit wild at Wild Blue Yonder.

I am now teaching parenting classes and JB is at a nearby school helping junior and senior high school students develop a love for science. He’s also back to coaching basketball…which means I am once again keeping the book at the scorer’s table. Our oldest son, Jake, married his college sweetheart, Bek, and they have set up home thirty minutes away. Our youngest son, Lucas J, is enjoying a few more weeks at home before he heads back to college.

Most days around here, it’s just JB and me…and our wild kingdom. Our dachshund, Max, is still hanging around…usually causing trouble. His little sister, Holly,  opted to move in with the newlyweds a year ago. Truthfully…we are all happier with that decision. Holly still comes by to visit from time to time and there’s all kinds of tail wagging and barking that ensues.

Honestly, this retirement from our military life is not at all what we expected…or planned…or even hoped for in many ways. And yet, life on our little Texas “ranch” is pretty darn good.

As you know, more often than not, our plans are not God’s plans.  JB and I are in jobs we never planned to be doing. God sent each of us down a path we would never have even thought to walk by ourselves. Until a few years ago, Texas wasn’t really on our retirement radar. And yet here we are.

His plans are always so much better than ours. This is why I love these verses from Jeremiah:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. ~Jeremiah 29:11-14a (NIV)

Long ago, JB and I decided we did not want to be outside of God’s plans. We don’t always understand the journey He wants us to take, but then again, the verses above don’t speak of understanding the plans…just hope and a future and God listening to us, and being there for us. When I think about what He does promise in these verses, understanding the plan doesn’t really seem all that important.

What we have come to learn is this:

When you trust God’s plan, He will give you more than your wild imagination could think up out of the blue, and take you far yonder than you could ever envision!

 

 

 

Be Still

From 2012 – 2015 I wrote a blog called My Rosie Outlook at myrosieoutlook.com. It was my first attempt at writing a blog and it was intended to be a one year project.  At the time I was struggling a bit and found myself in an awful funk.

I had hoped that trying something new would help with my daily state of mind and it did. I will always be quite grateful for those who took the time to read my posts. Their encouraging responses made a genuine difference in my life.

It is something I haven’t forgotten in the years since I stopped writing My Rosie Outlook.

Our family went through some major changes in 2014 that lead to us packing up, putting all of our household goods in storage, and moving to Texas with what we could stuff into our minivan.

We moved into an apartment with a plan to live there for just a few months…which turned into 12 long months. We put mattresses on the floors in the bedrooms, patio furniture in the living room, and literally lived out of our suitcases for a year.

An entire year.

It was during our time in the apartment I stopped writing. I was overwhelmed by our circumstances. It became clear to me it was time for me to Be Still.

I spent a good deal of time each day sitting on our tiny little balcony reading my Bible, working through Bible studies, and praying. It clearly wasn’t time to write, it was time to listen.

Be Still is not a new concept to me. It’s been one of my family’s verses since my brothers were little. In the small country church where we grew up, we sat in the same pew behind the organ every week. One Sunday, we walked into the sanctuary to discover someone had hung a plaque right by our pew with these words:

 “Be still, and know that I am God”  ~ Psalm 46:10  (NIV)

As you can imagine, finding such a plaque hanging over the place where our family sat each week, made a memory.

Another verse my family has relied on more recently was spoken by Moses to the Israelites as they fled from Pharaoh. Moses told them: 

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.  ~Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

As challenging as our year in the apartment was…2016 would bring two of the most immense challenges our family would face, and we truly needed the Lord to fight for us.

So much has happened since my last post in March 2015. Without a doubt, the Lord has fought for us and there is much to share. After a time of being still, I am ready to write again.

It’s nice to start over new and fresh, so I have created this new website. It is still My Rosie Outlook…this is just the Texas edition.

I am thankful for times God calls us to Be Still. It is a reminder that He is in control and we can rest while He takes care of whatever we can’t.  I’m happy to be back.

See you next Monday!

 

 

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