Friday, July 31, 2015

Locks, Gates and Walls

This blog post is 3 years over due. I had told a friend of mine I would write it when I got home but well....time got away from me and the post never happened. It's not one of my "usual" posts. The subject matter is as relevant today as it was 3 years ago.

Three years ago August 25, 2012 I was at a scrapbook retreat in Canton, Texas. This one is a little different than the ones I usually attend as it has a spiritual bent to it. It has been nicknamed "Revival at Ragles Retreat". Six women come together over a weekend to share a hobby and their love for God. There just isn't anything else like it!

This retreat I did what I always like to do and that is take some time away from crafting to explore my surroundings with my camera. This time was no different. I'm not the best photographer but I rarely take pictures that I don't have an encounter with God while viewing His wondrous creation through a camera lens.

I will write this post as if it were today.

I went on a walk as I typically do when I'm on a retreat. It helps clear my head and stretch my legs.As I begin my adventure, my eyes are drawn to a clearing that the sunlight is shining on. From my view its as though Papa has put a "spotlight on that area. There are trees all around and its shaded where they stand but in the clearing it's bright. It reminds me of a quote a preacher made one time "Be dancing when the spotlight hits you."

As I continue walking down the road I hear an animal sound of chatter. I've heard this sound before. It sounds like a very agitated squirrel. The closer I get the louder it is. I am intrigued and want to see where this squirrel is and why he's so upset. I spy the squirrel in the tree. I don't see anything else in the tree but he's still giving something the "what for"!

Then I see what has the squirrel in such a tizzy! This sweet looking little kitty. When I enter the yard the cat comes up to me for affection. I give her a few strokes then resume my walk while the squirrel continues to berate her to no avail.

I don't walk very far before I see this beautiful scenery. A field of yellow flowers. They are stunning against the bright blue sky and white fluffy clouds.

In the very next pasture are my most favorite animals....horses! They are beautiful! One in particular is a tri-color paint. He's a bit leary of me but does pose for me. Such magnificent creatures!

As I'm walking down the road I begin thinking about using my pictures to blog about my walk and what I see. I think about how good Papa is to me. How He provides things I enjoy. I smile and tell Him "Thank You". About that time I see a closed gate. It's a week day and I'm sure many people who live along this road are at work.

There is another road next to this one. It's gate is closed too but I take a picture through the gate to get the shot I wanted. There is something about roads like this that are inviting to me. It's as if they say "come see what lies ahead".

Another "inviting" road.

A little farther down the road I see a sign on a fence that says "Private Property. No trespassing". It is then that I realize Papa is speaking to me. I began to make a connection with what I was seeing in the physical. I don't usually carry my journal when I walk but I chose to that day. I am so glad I did. I took it out to start writing because I was afraid I would forget. I began with jotting down key words then quickly realized I just needed to stop and write what I was hearing.

Everywhere I walked by there were closed gates

and fences.

Not only were gates closed but chained and locked.

I began to see the parallel between the gates and locks and my own life.

There are places in my heart where I have signs that say "Private Property. No Trespassing. Keep out."  These are because of hurts and wounds in my life. Harboring offenses and unforgiveness.

And to insure that no intruders invade I have placed locks on the gate of my heart. My soul told me "if you don't let people in they can't hurt you. Guard your heart at all costs!" Has your soul ever told you that?

Papa speaks - "It's not good enough to just remove the locks from the gate. The gate needs to be open so I can have free access at anytime."

I told Him I wanted to be a treasure hunter. That is someone who looks beyond the dirt (mistakes and mess-ups) in someone and draws out the gold (their true potential and destiny). I wanted to see people the way He did.

Papa says "You can only be a treasurer hunter when you take down the locks, chains and open your gate wide.

It's okay to have 'fences' (boundaries). These are good as long as your entry (gate) is open to me. It's okay to close the gate and lock it at times. It's important and sometimes very necessary. Trust Me. Listen to My voice. I will tell you when it needs to be closed and if it needs to be locked. Most of the time you choose when it is to be closed and locked. You lean more toward keeping it locked. 

What's locked and closed not only keeps things out but it keeps you"in" and separated.

There are different kinds of fences and gates. Some are solid and you can't see through them.

Some you can see through. You can see what's on the other side but you still can't enter."

Let the road to your heart be open and inviting.

Open up, ancient gates!
Open up, ancient doors,
and let the King of glory enter. Psalm 24:7 NLT

The things of God are not easy to understand. They are treasures, mysteries to be discovered. As His children it is our birthright, our inheritance to know the "secrets of God". When we seek them as a treasure, He reveals the truth, the mystery with great reward. 

Isaiah 45:3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness - secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord the God of Israel the One who calls you by name.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Creative Inspiration

A fellow scrapbooker and friend has cancer. She is scheduled to go to MD Anderson on July 20th. It was suggested that we each create a page to encourage her that would be put in a book to give to her. This is my creation. I went back to my "Mixed Media" for this project. I hadn't done any of that in a while but really had fun creating this. This page is 8 1/2x11. I do not do much drawing but I did have a stamp in mind that I wanted to use. It is from Unity Stamp Company and designed by Phyllis Harris. Those of you that follow me know my fetish with Phyllis Harris stamps! (to see the picture larger just click on it). The phrase "You Make Me Brave" comes from a song we sing at our church. I wrote some of the lyrics at the bottom of the page. The teal colored ribbon was part of a Unity Stamp set. I colored the ribbon teal as that represents the type of cancer my friend has.

A closer look at the bottom of the page.

Here is the other side. The title on this side is also from a song we sing at church. The image is another Unity Stamp designed by Phyllis Harris.

Lyrics from the song Oceans.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Changes Coming

Vanessa and the kids came over on Monday night July 13th for dinner. She had called and asked me what I was doing. That usually means she wants something. Yep, she wanted to know if I was cooking and could they come eat. Sure! After dinner we spend time together in the living room.

When Keannon is out of town on the job this scenario happens quite frequently but its ok. I do enjoy it. It's just the figuring out what to fix!

By the end of August the kids will be living in the Peanut Palace for a few months. The lease on their house is up the end of August. They have decided not to try to purchase the house they are in. Due to some issues with finances they are not eligible to apply for a loan until December. They have decided to save some money so they will be in a better position to buy what they want. This will be interesting to say the least. I can already visualize a worn footpath between the Palace and our back porch from little feet! Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face! If at some point it gets to be too much I can always go ride, or go to the scrapbook store.

I do see some benefit. Vanessa and I have already talked a little about cooking together and maybe doing some trade offs.

In the midst of them getting ready to "downsize" Vanessa has been going through the kids toys. She brought one of them over her for Kashton to play with. He absolutely loves it. It's a mini train set.

This will be a great toy to keep him entertained!

Little Miss Priss will be 10 months old the 26th of this month.

Here's a short clip of Korin.

Have a good one!

Helping Feed

July 14th Vanessa was attending a church women's event. She had the kids with her but when she was
getting them out of the car she discovered Kashton was soaked and she didn't have any spare clothes with her. She asked if I could come get him until she was through. I said "sure".

I bring him home and look through the clothes I have. Kashton hasn't stayed with me as much as the girls. I discovered I didn't have ANY boy clothes! I didn't want to take him to feed horses with no clothes so this is what I came up with! It was the least "girly" thing I could find. I sent a picture to Vanessa and she said "Don't take him in public!"

He's a good little helper! He helped me feed another time not too long ago and Vanessa said she overheard him tell Kennedy "I feed the horses!".

After we put the hay out he wanted to sit in it!  We didn't run into anybody while we were "out in public" so I think he's reputation is safe. Wait....I blogged it! bad :) At least I didn't put it on Facebook!

Have a good one!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Me and Little Man

Vanessa was scheduled to work and asked if I could keep Kashton. Kennedy was celebrating her little
friend Mikaela's 4th birthday.

No matter how hot it is Kashton wants to be outside. I'm not sure why but he seems to have a thing for cows and horses. There are a couple of cows not far from my house so I tell Kashton we'll go see them. He wants to ride in the wagon.

He was being silly

It's this look that just melts my heart! Poor little guy ran into the corner of a piece of plywood being used as a table. Smack dab right between the eyes earlier that day.

We finally begin our walk to see the cows. Its so hot the cows are in the middle of the pasture under the trees and we can barely see them. He gets tired of riding in the wagon and decides he wants to walk holding my hand.

We came upon this unusual looking Mesquite Tree.

We walked by a house that had goats. Kashton was intrigued by them. They were laying down under the shade when we first arrived. I thought it was cute that he tried to call the goats to come to him but as you can see they didn't.

Have a good one!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Little Red Wagon

July 6th Vanessa and Keannon went somewhere and chose not to take the kids so I kept them for a
little while. Of course they always want to be outside. Kennedy's bike was still at my house from the day before so she rode her bike on the rode in front of the Peanut Palace. This street is not as heavily traveled as the one in front of our house. Kashton wanted to ride in the wagon. At one point both kids were in the little wagon and I managed to get a few pictures of them together.

There is something so cute about the way Kashton "cuts" his eyes! He is such a cutie!

 Oh the faces he makes cracks me up!

Kashton wants his turn at pulling the wagon.

Have a good one!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day After the 4th

Kennedy wanted to spend the night with me then she learned that Daddy and Mommy had fireworks
they were going to shoot off at a friends house. We made plans to connect on Sunday after church and lunch.

One of the first things she talked me into was making a trip to the "Candy Store" as she calls it. We have a little convenience store a block from us. It has been there for YEARS.  I think it was there even when Doyle was a boy.

Kennedy had gotten some candy that you lick then stick it in a colored sugary powder mix. The mixture of colors gave her a green tongue. She thought that was too funny and wanted me to take a picture.

After a trip to the store, she wanted to ride bikes. The neighborhood we live in isn't very safe for riding so I took her on part of the trail now that she can ride without training wheels! We got on the trail by Fire station 2.

We rode about a mile. I thought that was pretty good for her.

We got back to where we started just as the sun was setting. We weren't very far from the Fire station and Doyle was working so we went to see him and get a cold drink of water!

It had been quite a while since I had brought Kennedy to the station and she wanted to look in the fire truck and ambulance.

Pretending to be the patient.

We were saying our goodbyes when a call came in for a fire alarm at the High School across the highway from the station. We watched them as the rolled out of the station. We learned later it was a false alarm but Kennedy got to see the guys in action.

Have a good one!

Friday, July 17, 2015

4th of July

I spent the biggest part of the day crafting with my friend Teresa at her house. We had a blast and the time went by way too fast. I had dinner plans at the kids before fireworks.

Keannon and Vanessa had invited another couple they are friends with. They have a little girl who is in between Kennedy and Kashton. She turned 4 on July 11th. She and Kashton were driving around in the jeep. They were so cute!

She has the prettiest eyes! Her name is Mikaela. She is going to be a big sister to a little brother in November.

 After dinner we head out to watch our local fireworks display. Granddad getting some time with Korin.

She will be 10 months on the 26th.

Kennedy enjoyed sparklers while waiting for the fireworks show.

Mikaela enjoying sparklers.

Kashton was afraid of the sparklers at first but he finally got brave enough to try them.

Hamming it up for me!

Silly kids!

Kennedy wanted to take a picture. We were supposed to be making silly faces!

Also while waiting for the fireworks I got to see and photograph a pretty cool sunset.

We had a good time and the fireworks show was pretty good too. I didn't try to get any pictures of that. Just enjoyed watching them with the kids.

Have a good one!