Thursday, December 7, 2017

My Anniversary ~

Wednesday – Yesterday was my thirty-ninth wedding anniversary - we were in fact married on a Wednesday in 1978.  We were young; Jim was young.  When we met I always imagined him older than me, rather, he carried himself as if he were.  We had met at J C Penney’s where we both worked.  He would tell you when he first saw me sitting in the office upstairs, that when he was walking down the hall and looking in my direction it was love at first sight.  I always chuckled when he would tell that story.  Jim though was being truthful.  This all happened in the year of 1978. 

I was a temp in the office while someone was out on leave and the management were pleased enough with me that they offered me a job on the floor in the Women’s Department.  Jim worked in the Men’s across the way so earlier in spring that year when I moved to the floor we spoke a few times on different occasions before he went off to boot camp.  

When he got back in August we spotted each other in Valley West Mall (now no longer there).  I was heading to lunch - he was heading towards Penneys.  We crossed paths and Jim ended up going to lunch with me.  I couldn’t believe it seeing him.  He was always very strong looking to begin with but wow!  Anyway, we headed to Old Roma! We sat in the mall just out from where we ordered at a table in front and Marty who we both knew was cleaning the tables off, I think he was the owner.  He said, “So you two know each other?”  Jim answered, “Oh yah in fact we’re getting married!”  Marty with a surprised look goes, “No way!”  And looking at me I said, “Yes it’s true!”  I have to add Jim was surprised that I played along.  So we started dating.  Jim was always the romantic while we were dating.  Sometimes I would use his car to get home after work and sitting on the drivers seat would be a present all wrapped in pretty paper.  Sometimes it would be flowers.  

We dated just a few short months before he asked me to marry him.  He took me out to dinner at La Rosa (at the time we loved Mexican food but not so much now,) and I said yes.  A few days afterwards we were talking about apartments and such, making our plans, I happened to ask how old are you?  He told me eighteen.  My mind was jumping around like crazy with doubts.  Which I’m certain he knew since he jumped right in to reassure me.  As I said earlier he always came across “older.” Jim was more mature than most and three years younger really isn’t a thought.  Or at least it disappeared and we were married.  Being the romantic on our fifth or close to it, wedding anniversary Jim planned with friends from our little fellowship a wedding.  It was to be a surprise, I went to get ready for church pulling something out of the closet he said, “Oh don’t wear that, and wear this today you always look pretty in it.”  So I did.  We got to church and I was speechless - that is hard for me!  Pastor Neil re-married us and his daughter had a wedding cake our close friends were there and our three little boys, it was wonderful!  We didn’t have a wedding before.  Wednesday was our day off, we went to the Justice of The Peace, my brother and friend were there to witness; my brother though was only seventeen so the judge had his secretary step in to witness.  We headed back to Jim’s folks had some sandwiches and moved into our apartment.   We were beat but went to work the next day.  We never had a honeymoon so what he did was very special to me.

Jim is truly very much missed by me, he would always make me laugh and he would say that of me.  He would tell me I looked pretty and meant it even if I knew I really didn’t look great that day.  Was he perfect? No.  Jim would be first tell you of his many short comings and mistakes he regretted but the one thing I know is he was a man that loved the Lord.  Honestly, when we first started dating I was a mess, mentally.  I wasn’t a happy person and lived with many deep regrets.  One day we went walking through a park and while we sat for a while he told me all about myself, things that he would never have known.  That was God speaking.  It was His Holy Spirit speaking through Jim; to me.  Jim was a Christian for a long time and giving his life to the Lord at eight.  Who said out of the mouth of babes? :) 

I always went to church with my one grandmother as a youngster, I always believed in God but never really comment my life as by asking Him into my heart.  After we were married I did and that changed everything.  Jim’s mom was never happy about us getting married she had other plans for Jim.  The one thing she said to me that I can agree with is that Jim saved me.  Not as the Lord mind you, he did by leading me to Him, and I will always be so very grateful. 

So I’m thinking of Jim and missing him.  I’m remembering his silliness and dry sense of humor, I’ve been reading notes he’s written everywhere, I’m thinking of how he prayed with tears for others, I’m reminded of who he was, just a man that wasn’t perfect and not to be put up on a pedestal.  But someone I loved that loved the Lord loved his sons, daughter and grandbabies and loved me.  He lived most of his life sick and now he’s better. 

Happy Anniversary Jim!  December 6, 1978 ~  With Love Always, Vicky

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Are you up for a little conversation?

I’ve been listening to Janine Turner and her bits on getting back to having /starting conversations with others.  We have gotten away from just sharing regardless of our beliefs and opinions.   Janine (Northern Exposure for those who remember or watched she played Maggie O’Connell), started short video clips she calls “Front Porch Philosophy” to encourage others away from focusing on all the negative things we see on the news etc.  By turning off the TV, unhealthy noise and garbage by striking up conversations, using our minds – simply talking again with one another – well you get the idea.  It’s been fun; enjoyable.  And, that’s something we all could benefit from.  Especially me!

One thing I’ve always found interesting is that people don’t seem to think much about things anymore or at least it appears that way, it’s become all about ME.  You could ask them about something and they haven’t a clue or rather couldn’t be bothered to even think on it.  Another would be the “fear” of confrontation, Lord forbid you have an opinion that defers.  Much to my chagrin, that happens most of the time in this ever-changing culture of ours and from those pushing tolerance, thinking they have it.  Have we truly forgot what it is to just talk and enjoy just having a conversation with others; respecting one another and what we may have to share?  Believing that someone is important enough to hear what’s on their heart and minds regardless the differences you have?  Sad.

One of the things I miss the most with Jim’s passing is the ability to have a conversation.  Just sitting and talking - I honestly took that for granite while he was here, thinking he was still going to be here.  We had our share of disagreements but that wasn’t a big deal.  Most things we agreed on and the things we didn’t kept things interesting.  He is very missed.

I went to lunch with a friend and was asked how I was doing?  For the most part I think I do ok, however, I do have not so awesome days.  We spoke of grieving that people go through and I was asked about anything I might be reading on grieving that was helping, (that’s to the best of my memory).  I believe a said no – that I actually was reading Tozer.  Of course that isn’t what my friend was referring to but I have been enjoying it and A. W. Tozer’s (1897-1963) writings are very thought provoking.  I have a number of books I haven’t even opened and Jim had tons he did open!  Tozer Speaks volume one and two are just a couple that is on Jim’s bookshelves and I’m hoping to make the time to read more often.  Possibly another lost art like having a conversation is enjoying books.  In a different way I think it has been helpful.  Reading Tozer that is ~ J and for the moment it’s good to think on things that are thought provoking and interesting.

Here is one I’d like to share that had me thinking. 

Chapter 5

THOU ART THE COVERING cherub…. Thy wisdom and beauty were created in thee in the day thou wast created.” 
            Consider the fact that there was a day when God loved the devil as He now loves the angels and archangels---because at the time He saw in the devil traces and proofs of His own wisdom.
            I believe God loved that being because it was, not an image of Himself, as man is, but a reflection of what God could do and an evidence of His artistry---His moral artistry, and His omniscience, too.
            But the devil sinned.
            The devil sinned in a way not quite like man’s sin.  He sinned in some way that erased forever everything of which God could be proud and in which God could rest, so that God no longer loved the devil.      
            He sent no redeemer for him.  There isn’t anything in Satan that could remind God of Himself. 
            The last trace of that which might have reminded God of Himself has been washed out in the filthy bilge water of iniquity that century has added to century.  God no longer loves the devil.
            Now, this is my speculation, and if you don’t agree, let’s not fall out over it.
            I believe the time will come when God will no longer love lost men.
            God loves all lost men now---in prisons, in asylums, in saloons, in houses of ill fame.  He loves them now because the last trace has not been erased, and He still remembers that His Son on the tree had a body like theirs.
            The day will come when he that is filthy will be getting filthier still---and therefore, the day will come when lost man will no longer be loved by God Almighty.
            God grieves over lost men now because man can still pray and believe and hope and dream and aspire, and there is still something to remind Him of the Man who died on the tree.  But when that is all gone, there will be nothing left for God to pour His love upon.
            What a warning to a man selling out to sin and to the transfiguring power of evil and iniquity, which in the end makes him a devil and not a man---and thus beyond the love of God!  A. W. Tozer (Tozer Speaks vol.1 chap.5)

Truly something to think on and perhaps for you will spark a little conversation with someone.  I wonder if Janine Turner has read Tozer?  Maybe I’ll forward this along ~

What ever you may have going on in your life at this very moment, I know without a doubt God has an extended hand right now for you.  Things look bad – they are bad why deny it.  I do struggle daily myself but I can’t stay there by dwelling.  I give it up to Him who has the answers.  And, whether or not you have a relationship with God there is a real enemy so evil that isn’t going to let up.   He will do whatever he can to keep you from trusting or seeing the truth, by relying on yourself anything that separates you from God.  The only saving grace you /we have is a Heavenly Father, for now, if you accept His gift.  And if you have – well start up a conversation, enjoy that front porch idea – and shut out the junk.  Philippians 4:8-9

If perhaps you are interested in the short clips by Janine Turner you can find them on Youtube.  All different - here's today's.

She also does God on the go minute.

This might not be your cup of tea but I enjoy seeing what others are doing and are interested in and if for no other reason I hopefully shared enough to take your mind off some things and possibly encouraged you to do the same.  Vicky 

Oh and the deep breathes help! :)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

This Memorial Day

Looking upon this Memorial Day I'm flooded with heartfelt emotions.   While all of us celebrate in different ways I think of my husband today and the journey he was on, we both were on.  Not to be confused with Veterans Day, Memorial Day was set aside to recognize all those whom lost their lives in service to our country.  This is truly an honor we all should take part in recognizing the men and women that lost their lives and let their families know we've not forgotten those that sacrificed dearly for us and others.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.   John15:13 ESV

My Jim didn't loose his life serving in a war but I can't help not think of him today and how he served.  He truly believed in the verse above.  When he entered the USCG he went in to serve and for the time he was in he gave his all.  He ended in an early retirement do to illness, yet still served helping other servicemen and women.  Later still served in what ever capacity he could until he could no longer.

It should be needless to say how proud of Jim we are; "We are so proud!"   After Jim's death I had to go through so much paper work- still do, to be honest it has been less the past few weeks. I find it interesting how you don't think of all that should be taken care of or neglect when you are preoccupied with trying to be well, believing you will get well or just life.  In the process of all the paper stuff, I had sent off for Jim's records from the National Archives.  We actually had all that was sent except for a few things.  As I looked over everything I found a copy of an award he received when he retired.  I had forgotten what the award said, also read by his commander.  It was a very proud moment as we listened also sad since he wanted to finish his career in Coast Guard.  We have the real citation framed and packed away so I couldn't share it, the copy will suffice until I find it.  I am as proud reading the copy today as I was hearing it being read, and you do forget things, particularly all that Jim accomplished in a short time at his last duty station.  He had spent much of his life devoted to things which he accomplished in like manner at other duty stations and while a civilian.

Jim cared for all who served as well as the spouses of those fallen, as stated in the citation.  He prayed for them as well.  However, Jim himself would be the first to tell you that he was not without fault and failed many times. Like many people we love they might not go recognized by the world for what they do, Jim was recognized by those that loved him and others who knew him as someone that cared and was admired.  I believe that where man may fail and knowing you have the forgiveness of a loving Savior that is the best recognition there could possibly be - knowing God's grace.  Jim would have told you this, and his walk and work ethic was one that was to please God not man though he was not perfect.  Jim was a blessed man for his relationship with a loving heavenly Father not through a religion.

Jim often looked at the page(s) of the men and women listed in The Retiree Newsletter that served and are of course no longer with us.  Jim had seen many that he'd known and met over the years.  I've often looked at that page for people I might have known and this month I saw Jim's ~  I know how the families feel seeing their loved one on the USCG Taps pages.  I also know how I feel having the loving support from those that care for me and my family - thank you all for the calls and visits we have together, Jim would have been pleased with that.  Possibly using a friends phrase "Good on you!"

Lastly, I don't know what Jim would have thought, will yes do :) and it's pretty cool we're happy that there is something that families can have.  Jim would grieve at how those in service are many times treated and forgotten, take the time for them and say a prayer with a thankful heart.  Jim started a blog, he was a gifted writer and had so much to share but wasn't able from his illness.  I've been thinking about his blog with the possibility of working on it with his thoughts and where he was going with his theme using his journals.  But we'll see I'm having a time of it keeping up with my own.  I miss him ~ Vicky

7/30/60 - 2/4/17