Golden Nuggets

Dad and Loretta

My Dad and his sister, Loretta.

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to do something I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time. I videoed my dad talking about his childhood, his parents, sister, & grandparents, and his military service.

My parents visited for a week in early July, which allowed us the time to do this fun project.

What did I learn about my dad? I learned that he would love to back to Italy where he served in the USAF in 1963. I learned about his first car and his first job.

Next time we get to have an extended visit, I’ll video my mom telling her story growing up with 6 brothers and a sister. I hope to have the video edited, with still photos and music added soon. I will edit the two projects into one video as a way for generations to come to know their roots.

What I see as the golden nugget in this project is that their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have this video and get to hear them telling the stories. They’ll know their voices, their mannerisms, their humor, and their desires for the grands to have a blessed life.

I want to encourage you to talk to your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or whoever might still have stories and information about your early family. Ask them questions. Ask them to explain their answers. Record that history for the next generations of your family.

 

 

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Leaving a Legacy

For thousands of years, man (and woman) has passed along the stories of their families and cultures. They’ve told these stories through verbal communication, storytelling, written word, and pictures.

It seems as though that has been lost in today’s world of massive communication outlets; be it Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs, vlogs, youtube, and all the other ways we “communicate”.

In the past, the storytellers weren’t just telling stories to entertain; they were passing along the past. They were ensuring that the next generation and the one after that knew where they came from. They wanted the future generations to benefit from their legacy and knowledge.

For so many in today’s world, leaving a legacy means leaving a pot of money for their children or grandchildren. Not for me.  For me, leaving a legacy means something completely different.

I’ll tell you why. Although my parents were the hardest workers I’ve ever known, I will never inherit gold or wealth from them. That doesn’t mean they haven’t left a legacy. They have!

Part of their legacy to me and my sister and our children is the knowledge that hard work pays. We know that lazing around isn’t going to get us anywhere.

Another part of their legacy is faith in Christ. They taught us to know Jesus and to seek Him. They taught us this by example; by taking us to church every time the doors were open.

My grandparents have all passed away, but they were what some might call poor dirt farmers. Again, no coffers full of gold. Again, hard workers that can compare. What I don’t have from them are their stories of growing up. I honestly don’t know the names of all my granddad’s brothers.

This gap in my knowledge is why I’m so passionate about writing Legacy Wills or Legacy Letters. If you hang around my blog long enough, you’ll come to see that it’s part of who I am. It’s a big part of who God made me to be.

Don’t miss the opportunity to pass along your legacy to your loved ones.

You can learn a little more about how to Leave a Legacy Here.

 

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Friends in Today’s World of Social Media

A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NASB)

Over a lifetime, thousands of people cross our paths. And in this age of technology, there is a plethora of ways we can communicate with one another. We post status updates, we tweet, we call, we write, we blog, we text. It’s never ending. How many FACEBOOK friends do you have? I have about 400+\- people on my friends list. About 35 of those are family. Twitter is another story altogether. I haven’t gotten sucked into that yet, but I’m sure it’s not too far down the road. Twitter Followers? Only 3…maybe 4. I’ve lost track! I have two blogs! I have a website that I update (or should update) regularly.

I’ve been thinking about all of this recently and have come up with a couple questions.

  1. how many of these people would I be “Friends” with in real life? Would I hang out with them if given the opportunity? How long would I be able to stay in the same room with my “Friends” if we did hang out?
  2. .if I find myself in a quandary, situation, dilemma, jail, would I feel at ease enough with any of my “Friends” to call and ask for help? Could I tell any single “Friend” a personal secret and remain assured that they wouldn’t share that information with their “Friends”?

I was going to answer the questions above, but I want to leave it open for contemplation and discussion. How would you answer these?

I have to remind myself often that when God allows people to cross the path of my life, it’s for a purpose. Some people are put there as friends, but more often they are a ministry for Him.

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Be Still and Know

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

All too often I try to work things out on my own. Small things! Big things! Huge things! WHY? Because I’m human and, unfortunately, that’s what us humans do best.

I know Ps 46:10, and I have quoted it many times. But recently, I’ve experienced it. I’ve always been a doer. I’m the person that you called if you wanted something done. I usually jump into a project with both feet, not even knowing how deep the water is. I see opportunity and ability in just about everything.

There is a quaint little saying that goes “Don’t just sit there, Do Something”. But in Psalm 46, God tells us to do just the opposite “Don’t just Do Something, Sit There”. God wants us, His children, to sit still and calmly, patiently wait on Him to speak to us.

Recently, I have had to put on the brakes for “Doing”. I am intent on “Being Still” and waiting on the Lord. I know that His plan is perfect and mine is not. I know that when I’m impatient, His plan is always on time. I know that when I WANT something so badly my heart hurts, He gives me what I NEED to carry me through.

I thank God for His word that encourages, reprimands, & instructs.

 

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Well, That Didn’t Go as Planned

detourWell, That Didn’t Go as Planned
Feb 8, 2017

No matter how well I plan my life, stuff happens. Notice that I said “I plan my life”.  I believe that is the primary problem…but that’s not today’s topic. I believe that the biggest Detour I’ve taken in my adult life has led me straight to this blog. As a kid, and then as a teenager, all I wanted to do was be an architect. I drew floor plans. I studied floor plans. I organized my life around this goal. But, one evening at a local gym I met this guy. He was tall, blond, and in the United States Air Force. It never donned on me what that would mean for my PLANS.

PLANNING! I am so good at that. I make lists. I make lists of lists. But I’ve had to develop, even more so, the skill of adapting (or Detouring if you will). This is difficult for someone with a personality that thrives on order. This rigidity in planning is where I find my peace. Detours upset that peace.

The detour that brings me to the point of writing this blog came the following Spring when that man and I married and I wasn’t able to continue pursuing a degree in ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN at Oklahoma University. Instead, I went to work in the bookkeeping department of a large bank. And as my husband was transferred time after time with the military, I found that I was changing careers continuously. I learned to reinvent myself with each move. This was actually fun to some extent. If I didn’t like what I was doing, I knew that soon we’d be moving and I could find a different “career”.

Eventually, I did go back to college. When our youngest daughter started kindergarten, I picked up my backpack and headed to class, also. BUSINESS MANAGEMENT at a community college in Arkansas. I was back in my element of learning. Then it was time to move…to Minnesota. At this point I learned that my academic life would be detoured, just like my original career plan had been.

But I was OK with that. I had discovered GEOGRAPHY and GIS, a wonderful new technology-based platform for mapping out city infrastructure. This was great. Loved the subject. Loved the classes. A wonderfully planned out career ahead of me. Then it was time to move…to Texas. With Universities all over the North Texas area, I figured I would just pick one and that would be where I would finish my degree.

DETOUR!!!! None of the universities near our home offered GIS degrees. I could drive an hour or more each way to a university that did, but with young children that wasn’t an option.  Now what do I do?

After a thorough search I found Texas Woman’s University, but the only degree plan they had that would accept all my class credits was…..wait for it…..MASS COMMUNICATIONS. That’s right. I was now in Journalism School; not only Journalism, but also Marketing, Advertising, Business Writing, Technical Writing, and Editing. I love this!!! No kidding.

So…seventeen years after moving to Texas (and 23 years after starting college again) I sit here in my quiet home office writing a blog, working on a novel, and talking about DETOURS.

While DETOURS are inconvenient, I realize they are not inherently bad. Yes, they are often inconvenient because it means that we have given up control of what we want to do or what we’ve planned to do. Detours can also be scary because they take us on a path that is either unknown or rarely used. But, they can also be a blessing and a lot of fun.


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.
Jeremiah 29:11  

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