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Posts Tagged ‘uncle’

My Lent blog posting adventure (marathon) is complete, but I’ve kinda, sorta gotten into a routine writing again so I don’t want to stop completely. Really enjoyed writing the Five Favorites post last week, so you’re going to get another list of five of my current favorite things.

(1)  Spring Flowers! You have to be honest – this winter in Iowa was brutal. Cold. Snow. Cold. Snow. The cycle that never ended. But within the last week or so, we’ve had some absolutely lovely weather and so spring has sprung in the gardens, trees and bushes around Cedar Rapids. I love to take nature photographs with my little iPhone so if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a few flower shots. Such a reminder of fresh beginnings. Something we all need occasionally.

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(2)  “Lay It All Down.” Saw a friend post about a song she has on “repeat” this week. I love it when friends share music because I don’t always know when good stuff comes out, especially with artists I’m not familiar with. img_2563It was a definite perk of having music-loving sons living at home. So when I began listening to Will Reagan’s “Lay It All Down,” I also put it on repeat. All day. Each day. I have Spotify so I listen to Will’s music on my long walks, but you can also enjoy this on his YouTube video. Please listen. You’ll be singing along in no time.

(3) Iowa Coffee Roasters. My Lenten caffeine fast is over!!! My wonderful husband took me out for good coffee on my first day back but I am blessed to have a wonderful friend who roasts coffee. A personal coffee roaster! How cool is that? Well, he roasts for lots of people (and my office, and many other offices, too) but I hope you’ll check out Lee’s website and retail space in Marion, Iowa.

(4) My Uncle Dan. img_2561Today is his 80th birthday. I was so glad I was able to attend his party last weekend. My nephew Matt took some wonderful pictures of Uncle Dan out at the farm he was raised on (and lived at until the mid-90s). Matt posted the photos on his Instagram account and I was in awe (and a little teary) when I read some of the comments. Dan, a life long bachelor, is a retired middle-school English teacher who has touched so many lives through his teaching, volunteering and church work. He enjoys attending local school sports and music events and is a well known and loved member of the community. We are so blessed to have him in our lives.

(5) Monthly Bible reading plans. Since the first of the year I’ve been using Rachel Wojo’s Bible reading plans to focus on one characteristic of God each month. In May, she is using God’s magnificent power. She provides a journal to download, plus a daily reading that only takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. I’ve been using a plain notebook for my journal, and as I read the Scriptures each morning, I also write them out in my own words. It has been a powerful exercise for me – to get those life-giving passages deep into my spirit for the rest of the day. Rachel has many plans to choose from – you don’t have to do them in any particular order…confident trust, pure joy, perfect, names of God, and more…I have enjoyed every one.

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand, it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:10-13

 

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See the little serious flower girl? Somehow the last 28 years have passed in a blink on an eye because she’s getting married tomorrow. 

  
My niece Kim – a flower girl at my wedding and sweetest cousin to my boys – heads down the aisle to marry her Prince Charming Travis. She is lovely and smart, cute and sparkly, brave and loyal.

Five years ago she was in Japan during the horrible earthquake & tsunami, only a few short miles from the horrific devastation. For many hours we didn’t know if she was safe or even where she was. Completing her year as a kindergarten teacher in a Japanese school, she stayed after the earthquake to help restore some normalcy in the lives of her kids. She even went back a year later to once again aid in rebuilding a country she had fallen in love with. She’s one of my heroes. 

  
The middle child sometimes becomes overlooked by the antics of older & younger siblings, but Kim was always the picture of grace. I’m sure she had her moments but I lived 250 miles away so I never saw it.  She spent a week each summer with her childless Aunt Kris & Uncle Don, but I’m sure she enjoyed it more when I had babies to play with. 

  
Don is so honored to be included in her ceremony. He used to take her to the donut shop when he lived close and before he married me. In fact, she wasn’t so sure about her “Unca Don” picking a different “best girl” when I showed up. Took me the better part of my first weekend to win her over…pretty pathetic to see a grown woman jealous of a 3-year-old.  
Tonight I’m writing this blog as they rehearse tomorrow’s ceremony. The maneuvering of the bridal party, the squirming little ring & sign-bearers, the music, and giggles, and nervousness…all in preparation for the beginning of her new life as Mrs. Travis Barnhart. I love her and I’m so excited to see my flower girl become the bride – a little girl all grown up. 

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