Moving On

I never thought I would begin my life as a newlywed and live in a 3rd story apartment near college, and then “retire” to yet another apartment, near college.

Recently we left the home we owned for 15 1/2 years; the home we lived in the longest.

My old backyard friends

I worked at downsizing, for the sake of getting rid of too much stuff we don’t need. As I try to make things fit in our 2-bedroom apartment, I find I didn’t downsize enough in some areas. There are those books you know…

I don’t care to talk about life changes anymore. What is a normal life without change? The strongest lesson I have learned in my life is that change affects everyone; no gender, race, religion or age is exempt-–it happens to us all. Enough said…

In the midst of unpacking boxes and settling in, there was another school shooting in America. Once again people express the wonder of how it could happen in their town, and always the question of why can’t someone do something about violence? It is always the same—the feeling of hopelessness.

Our hearts break for more children gone, and parents and siblings left to deal with the grief. We cry and pray with them, as their lives will never be the same. How can they move on? They are broken, just as this whole big planet is. The world cycle is running bumpy, with dark holes and dead spaces. Climate change and human behavior seems out of control.

Since when did we think we had things under control?

We were made to be the keepers of the planet, not destroyers. All was well until Adam and Eve believed a lie and we tell lies ever since.

How can we help the broken when we are all broken up ourselves? Will we just pray and after a while…move on?

 

“This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

11-12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!”

1 John 4 MSG

Could we possibly love the way God did at the beginning, and does so exactly the same today? This is how we can love others; with self-sacrificing love…true love…coming from the Father, through us.

After a week or more, will we just move on from what shooting happened this week, or will we keep reaching out to the broken? Let’s not just pack it away like a box I don’t know where to put.

Be still and listen to the broken so you might bear their burden.

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Christmas in Texas…or Everything is Bigger in Texas

I found out a few new things coming to Texas this winter. On the drive down we visited Larry and Donna in Kentucky. Uncle Larry says if you go to Florida for winter you are called a snowbird. If you go to Texas for the winter you are called a Winter Texan.

I’ve also been on a search for another name for Senior Citizen, but everything I heard sounded old, until I got the perfect word from Uncle Larry…Seasoned.

Yeah, I like that one.

You have heard the term—Everything is bigger in Texas and it seems to be true.

Things I have noticed are larger than life: Nativity scenes, large cinnamon rolls, large kolaches, large Texas stars, large American flags flying…large everything.

Biggest boots in Wimberley
Texas blue sky
The American Flag

 

Not the largest Nativity I have seen.

 

I was also pleased to see signs such as Keep Christ in Christmas, or Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Then there are the light displays…

New Braunfels Courthouse

This morning we walked to the Naegelin’s Bakery in New Braunfels. At 8:30 in the morning there was a line to the door for Christmas baked goods. Next year the bakery will be 150 years old, the oldest bakery in Texas. I saw twisted sweet pretzels, kolaches, Christmas cookies, and three types of strudel: apple, peach and cherry.
The owner told me at this time of year they mail out 300 boxes of strudel each day! Not only that but the boxes of strudel were over two feet long. Plenty of strudel for a large family to enjoy.

Less than a mile walk round trip from where we stay. That’s dangerous.
At 8:30 am the bakery shelves are starting to look empty.
Kolaches
Twisted sweet pretzels

 

Naegelin’s Bakery

 

I love the Honey Baked Ham vs. the Kelly baked ham commercials on TV where Kelly wrestles with the dog and chainsaw to bake and then cut her ham. Texan cleverness!

We saw a wedding reception a few days ago. The bride and groom were outdoors in a photo shoot. The groom was in an all black suit including black cowboy hat and boots. He looked sharp.

When we walk in Landa Park most everyone, including birds and squirrels, greets us. I love this slow life.

The best morning I had was coming out of the condo and two young men came by. Tall strapping men in jeans and baseball caps. As they approached I couldn’t miss the huge belt buckle worn by many Texans. Both tipped their hat to me and said, “Howdy Ma’am.” I love respect from the younger generation, I felt ten times lighter. Some might say, it’s just manners—exactly!

When we are in traffic I wonder what the percentage of trucks are to cars, and also the percentage of white and black cars/trucks compared to other colors. I know, these thoughts are strange, but I wonder about many things.

This year is a strange, weird or different Christmas for us. Here we are in Texas and all our children are back home in Upstate New York. It’s interesting when life can go by for the longest time in the same way, and then suddenly God changes it up. He’s an amazing God, and as I try to roll with these changes I’m reminded of the consistency of God.

He never changes.

He is always faithful.

He is up to good for you and me…

And at this time of year, He gave Christ to us as a babe, but already He knew the end story.

Christ would die for us, so we might live.

Possibly God was thinking way ahead…past the cross…the end…eternal life with us.

 

Have a blessed Christmas and wonderful new year.