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fun Jesus joy Love memories Music

‘Let Your Soul Shine’

Peach here:

Batman and I decompress with music, I mean we just do!!

We decided ‘round here there will be Music Mondays!

As our introduction, we give you The Allman Brothers and ‘Soulshine’. 😍🥰😍

To me it speaks of letting the best in us, (which for me is Jesus! His LIGHT and His LOVE sparkling through us).

We have to fill our tanks up on the good days, right? Because we don’t always know when the darkness will hit, and we don’t want to be without the ability for our ‘soulshine’ to be able to help see the way to a brighter day!

Gonna share the lyrics here:

“Soulshine
When you cant find the light
That guides you through a cloudy day
When the stars aint shinin bright
And you feel like you’ve lost your way
When the candle lights of home
Burn so very far away
Well you got to let your soul shine
Just like my daddy used to say
He used to say soul shine
Its better than sunshine
Its better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Hey now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day
I grew up thinkin that I had it made
Gonna make it on my own
But life can take the strongest man
And make him feel so alone
Now and then I feel a cold wind
Blowin through my achin bones
I think back to what my daddy said
He said Boy, in the darkness before the dawn
Let your soul shine
Its better than sunshine
Its better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day
Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness
Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul
A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this
And when your world seems cold
You got to let your spirit take control
Let your soul shine
Its better than sunshine
Its better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Lord, now people don’t mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day
Oh, its better than sunshine
Its better than moonshne
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah now people dont mind
We all get this way sometimes
Got to let your soul shine
Shine till the break of day”

Hope you enjoy this little bit of Music Monday!!

God bless!

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children dads Faith family Father Fatherhood grandchildren Love memories parents

4 Things I’ve Learned

Peach checking in:

Some thoughts on 4 things I’ve learned. Being a parent is such a great gift. It teaches you so much about how we are supposed to live and our relationship with our Father. And the kids themselves teach you beautiful things, too.

Free Will: As a parent, the Lord taught me the power and purity of free will. We really don’t give Him enough credit for that one. It’s huge. And it’s like a boomerang, because you get to choose, every day, all the time, all these things. And you are attached to these choices, so you will own them, and He has grace for you to overcome and make more wise choices, and it just goes on and on. It’s a strong Father that can do that. No cajoling, no pleading, just free will. Because only what we WANT to do, with a glad and happy heart is what He longs for. ❤️

Unconditional Love: I’ll never forget learning this lesson. It was so painful. When our oldest son moved out (a longgggg time ago) the Lord showed me, that while I loved our son unconditionally, I had not shown that love to him unconditionally. It was a crushing realization, but we learn our most from our mistakes. It’s not enough to love unconditionally. You must communicate that love in a manner that shows it’s unconditional. People on the outside looking in, will judge. They will think they know better. They don’t. Nobody but you and the Lord really know. You live before Him. And Him alone. And He’s the best teacher of love and parenting. Anything I ever get right as a parent or grandparent it’s because I listened to the Lord. Anything I miss. Anything I get wrong, well, it’s because I went my own way, even though unintentionally.

Two things I learned from our sons:

Don’t rush. Be still, be slow, enjoy the moment, take it all in. Take your time. Breathe. Kind people are not in a hurry all the time. Gentle people are not rushing around. That’s it.

Acceptance: accept people for who they are, just like they are. Not as we’d like them to be. Or how we think they ought to be. But, just as they are, just like that. It might sound strange, it’s so simple a thing. Just accept. Here’s part of the dictionary definition: “the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.
“you must wait for acceptance into the club” – this is a quality of children, right? We tend to lose it as adults, but I don’t think either of our sons ever lost it. I think they got that from their Dad, and I learned it from them.

This is what happens when you’ve had the virus and been having too much time in your head! 😅💚

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beauty Encouragement Life Love memories photography

Thank you

We have received numerous compliments on the Daily Sunrise posts and I thank you, I started sending sunrise photos to Peach that I took everyday I could when I was working on the Police Boat, some were good some were ok and ALL were sent so my Peach would know I love her and always want her to see the pretty things God creates every day.

I have been asked numerous times about more photos we have taken, Peach and I take photographs almost daily wherever we see something interesting or pretty, if you would like to see them they are on the web at: peachandbatman.smugmug.com

Thank you again and I will post the Daily Sunrises until I exhaust my supply, which hopefully will never happen.

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coffee death faith family Father grief Life Love Marriage memories

Always

Peach says

Pretty sure this was taken by our almost three old grandson, Lukie Poo 💚

A solitary son

No sisters

No brothers

Him and his parents

Thank God for cousins

He had so much heart

Too much to be alone

Paid his way from 10 years old

Learned how to defend himself through grit and necessity

All his life before his wife, God was preparing him for his job

There would be a woman, young, broken and beautiful who needed him and his love and his patience

Together they would beat the odds and make a life and build a family

They would together discover a stained glass faith, with solemn and steadfast prayer as it’s heartbeat

He was fiercely loyal and tenderly kind

Always forgiving

Always loving

Always kind

He once had a red corvette

Boy, was he fine in that ride!

You never had to wonder where he was

Or what he was doing

He was an open book

And a steady hand

Just a glance and you were corrected, as he gently tugged on his mustache

He was generous and frugal all at the same time

He was old school in every way and we are richer for it

As the years rolled by the world grew alarming

He wanted better for his family but knew he couldn’t stop it

So he prayed

Often three times a day

For the world, for his family, for the Church

He’d forget to eat

But never forget the coffee

His loving nature and nurturing ability caused a crowded, beautiful menagerie of a garden in the back yard. Two green thumbs. Something he inherited from his father

Without him the family cannot be the same

Of course

His was the heart that pumped the blood that fed our hearts

Now we must carry on, each with the parts of him we got

Be steady

Be kind

Pray

Love and forgive

We love, we pray, we endeavor to live in a way that honors him

He couldn’t stay another day

It was time for his reward

We understood the need to go, we do not begrudge the much earned rest

We just wish we could have him for a visit, one more time

One more hug, one more twinkling of an eye, one more slow smile, one more talk, one more walk about the yard

When it’s my turn to come, Daddy O, I hope you put the coffee on for me

It’ll be awhile

A lot left to do

Categories
faith family Life Love nature outdoors

Lightening Bugs and Whip-poor-wills

🥰
For me it’s the beanie!

Peach here-

How are y’all doing? We hope life is treating you good!

Tonight we had a little bit of porch sitting! First lightening bugs of the season! I just love all the glitter they make, sparkling here, and sparkling there. So lovely!

Then there were the wonderful Whip-poor-wills! Even a peacock or two!

Fun fact – Other than a one year stint I have never lived away from the sound of peacocks!

Being able to walk outside, take in the flowers, have a sit in the evening, have the occasional bonfire a few times a year, see and hear the wind in the leaves of the trees, watch Ole Glory wave in the wind on a summer evening, or a blustery day…these things matter to me more than I can explain.

I am obsessed with our hibiscus!! They make me so happy!

Just going outside for a few minutes a few times a day is such a treat. My heart doesn’t understand how people who are surrounded by skyscrapers can get by like that. I know there is a different energy and benefit there. But, I would be lost.

Grateful for where the Good Lord planted us. There’s a verse I like in a favorite Psalm of mine. It comes from Psalm 16, which is just a short but powerful psalm.

“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance” —
Psalm 16:6, NKJV
. I often tell the Lord this verse, ‘The boundary lines You have given me are good, Lord, they have fallen in pleasant places! I have a good inheritance! We have a good inheritance! The life You have given us us good! It’s better than we knew how to do on our own! Thank You, Father! For everything!’

That’s all I have tonight! Just grateful for my Batman! Grateful for our porch sitting time! Grateful for lightening bugs and Whip-poor-wills! Grateful for our wonderful sons, and daughters In loves, beautiful and handsome grandchildren, sweet, sweet siblings, and their spouses, nieces and nephews!

Oh! That reminds me! Batman got the honor to help a nephew get his tie just right for his prom date tonight!! So sweet to see!

I got to see him be born!! It was a first for me so it was a big deal!! where does the time go?!

Melting my heart! 🥰

Before you go to bed, I hope you can step outside and look up at the night sky, feel the night air! It’s just good for your soul!

Good Night, Everyone!

Sweet Dreams!

Categories
Easter Faith forgiveness God grace Hope Jesus Love

Day 3 He is Risen

Matthew 28: 1 – 6

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

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Choices

“…I PLEAD WITH YOU TO WALK holy, IN A WAY THAT IS SUITABLE TO YOUR HIGH RANK, given to you in your divine calling. WITH TENDER HUMILITY AND QUIET PATIENCE ALWAYS DEMONSTRATE GENTLENESS AND GENEROUS LOVE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, especially toward those who may try your patience. BE FAITHFUL TO GUARD THE SWEET HARMONY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AMONG YOU in the bonds of peace…” — Ephesians 4:1b-3

Peach says:

A wise woman who I miss very much, taught me when I was very young, that when we become elderly, and are at or near the finish line, we can at times, become sort of caricatures of ourselves, depending on the choices we make in our lives.

Sometimes, as the end is in sight, we may not have all the strength of our reasoning in its normal state. Our reasoning, or our governing of ourselves, I should say, may be a bit relaxed or off balance from in our younger days.

Whatever we have fed in our lives may end up holding the larger sway. All the more reason to each day, walk in the Spirit, because when we do, then we do not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh”, Galatians 5:16b, as each decision makes a path in our heart and in our mind. The Word tells us, to not to be “conformed to this world” but instead to be “transformed by the renewing” of our mind (Romans 12:2).

The wise woman I knew, she worked in healthcare, and had seen a lot of this latter stage of life for people, who were not feeling themselves. It was a cautionary tale for sure.

I guess I have had some cause to think about the culmination of the daily little choices we make, and what those choices do to us in the inside of us, the most real part of us. Those things we choose to think about, and either appreciate or fester over. I don’t want to be one who festers. I want to be one who appreciates. The sunshine, my husband, our good health, our children and grandchildren, our siblings, that we have had good parents, greatest of all our salvation and relationship with Jesus!

I don’t want to waste time on the real (hurts) or imagined (worries). I want to process them, somewhat like laundry, learn from them, forgive myself or others, give it to Jesus, move on. —“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” — 1 Peter 5:7

I know some hurts are monumental, and it’s easy to say. “But, you don’t know how badly they have hurt me” and to that, I say you are right. But, I also know you deserve to live and love, and enjoy what is here right now. Don’t let them rob you, not one more day. Not one more minute.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this ONE THING I do, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, and REACHING FORTH unto THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE, I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” — Philippians 3:13-14

Love either near (those in your now circle) or from afar (those in your past), pray for them all, every day, but that doesn’t mean they get to sit in prime real estate in your head carving their initials. Evict them from your heart, as well as the well rehearsed pain.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be ANY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS.” — Philippians 4:8

Remember, our Father God sees our end from our beginning (Isaiah 46:10) He has good for us, if we will accompany Him to the future He has yet ahead for us!

This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. BUT THEN I WILL COME TO YOU AND DO FOR YOU ALL THE GOOD THINGS I HAVE PROMISED, and I will bring you home again. For I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,” says the Lord. “They are PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR DISASTER, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE. In those days when you pray, I will listen. IF YOU LOOK FOR ME WHOLEHEARTEDLY, YOU WILL FIND ME. I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU,” says the Lord. “I WILL end your captivity and RESTORE YOUR FORTUNES.” — Jeremiah 29:10-14

What inspired this? The passing of time, the loss of relationships, the finality of the passing of a good and precious life and the vacuum that has made. The choices we who remain make now, to hopefully live leaving a trail of love, hope, joy, affirmation, faith, and much grace, for our loved ones to follow. May our trail be clear, filled with good things to help them along their way!! — “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 11:1

Thank you for stopping in!! It means so much to share these thoughts in hopes it might encourage you along your way!!

I leave you with the closing of a favorite poem of mine, by Robert Frost, who I so enjoy!

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Love, Peach

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Faith family grandchildren Gratitude joy Law Enforcement Life Love retirement thankful

The Goodness of God

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.”

Psalm 19:1-4

Peach says:

So much happened during the past year, the Lord was so good to bring us through so much, bestowed so much sweetness and goodness on us in the past year, it’s hard to know how to get back started again in writing. But, write we must. So like any big, monumental mountain of laundry facing you, you just get in there and start sorting through and making piles.

The best I could figure as I sorted through photos from the past seven months, by way of remembering the overall big things, I felt it might be best to start with a giant thanksgiving post, to the GOODNESS, astounding goodness, of our Father God.

MeMa Heaven!!

We saw Batman through his final year in law enforcement! He finished many little things, details, he wanted to accomplish before retiring. He’s whole, healthy and so ALIVE, something you have to celebrate every day in law enforcement!

He was blessed to be a part of so very many great adventures in his career. Things that in my mind were too numerous and too good to not have been ‘steps of a good man’ ‘ordered by the Lord’

He is now permanently assigned to retirement life with me! AND our kids and grandkids, and there will be lots of very different adventures to come! Albeit, gardening, fort building, putt putt golfing, fishing, real golfing, traveling, coffee on the deck in the morning, more picture taking, more writing, and generally enjoying and growing and learning! Still side gigging, but at a sedate pace! So grateful! The possibilities are endless and every day, we literally can’t believe how awesome it is!

And the flowers!!! Well, we will talk more about them in a future post I am sure!! He’s the bomb, y’all!

We welcomed sweet, sweet grandsons (Kylan, in August) and (Henry, in November), and we just cannot get enough of them!! Overwhelming love and joy and great expectation and hope, a sure hope, for the future! Brand new, little humans to love and enjoy and teach and just relish life and the wonder of God with and watch them take on the world and make their way!!

Babies, babies, babies!!

Our oldest son battled the dreadful virus and whooped it, by the GRACE of God and his whole family whooped it, including his pregnant wife! Somehow, the Lord helped them navigate the purchase of their first home in that crazy month. Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. The joy! The gratefulness. The wonder.

Our youngest son came to work with me in my dear brother in law’s company, during the fall!! I can’t even EXPLAIN the astounding joy and wonder at getting to share this with him and watch him in his element!! Being so gracious to customer after customer, going out of his way, as a matter of refined, routine, over and over, and finding a way to connect with and secure a client, oh so many times, while encouraging coworkers. It’s like a giant Christmas gift! Every day!

The holidays brought all the joy we could imagine and more! But. The season was not without pain. But, I’m not ready to talk about it. We will save that for another day. I will say, however, that even in pain the Lord provides, there is love and shelter, and grace and provision, if we will let Him in, let Him guide and provide. He is so faithful.

I would love to post more pics, but, I want to respect my sons’ privacy and I’m not sure how much is ok to post! I’m just so proud of them!

My heart!!! ❤️😍

You and me, Batman!! Forever! So far to go! So much LOVE to live!!!

See y’all real soon!

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Landslide

Peach says:

First apologies, profusely, for being so late! Life is so very full right now! Jerry put out a fantastic group of sunrise photos! ‘Morning’s Glory’! We are both so glad to get some of the glorious beauty of the Lord into people’s hands, in order for people to appreciate the hand of God at work for us.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” — Psalm 19:1

So, how are y’all doing so far this year? We are running our race this year strong and steady, counting the literal work days and until Batman retires! And counting the months and weeks until each two grand babies are born!

Not gonna lie, having a hard time processing all the emotion of joy of this year and the work to make time for writing or making podcasts. But, my heart is so here every day, looking for opportunities. I am sure we all struggle with that juggling thing though.

What are you listening to lately? This year has brought some wonderful praise and worship music and just uplifting music in general. My sound track this year has included Dante Bowe and his album Circles. All. Of. It. What I loved about this album is he is a devout Christian artist writing and singing with so many in the current Praise and Worship circles, like a bee from one group to the next, cross pollinating from one part of the Body of Christ to the next, which I think is one aspect of the epitome of healthy Christian living. The kicker though for this project, in my mind, is it is a Christian singing his faith as it looks in his every day life, like we ought to live every day, not as a praise and worship project but just reflections on life, naturally reflecting his faith. Totally relatable to anyone, whether they care for Christian music or not. Every song has a reason to choose it. I think ‘Joyful’ and ‘Family Tree’ are great choice to give a listen.

The Maverick City, Elevation Worship project called ‘Old Church Basement’ is a whole experience!! There is no skip song at all, on this or any of the great albums I’m digging this year! Some faves? ‘Wait on You’, ‘Shall Not Want’, ‘Million Little Miracles’, ‘Come Again’, and ‘Build Your Church’. It just transports you.

And can I just say I am superrrrr late to the Crowder party???? The Crowder ‘Milk and Honey’ album is a whole entire planet of wonderful!! A Southern Rock girl to my core, this music feeds my soul because it magnifies Jesus AND gives me that bit of the South sound that makes my heart happy. Again, no skip songs! Listen to it all…twice or thrice!

Also, I forgive y’all for not telling me about ‘We The Kingdom’. Did I mention I’m a Southern Rock girl? Yes! These people are making music that just isn’t out there, Jesus and the Kingdom and sung in Southern! ♥️♥️♥️ My heart sings and my windows rattle as I’m driving down the road! ‘Don’t Tread on Me’! Kicks the devil in his teeth and EXALTS our Jesus!! All the while making my Southern roots tingle! ‘Take Me on a Ride’ is such a great picture of the adventure our faith walk is supposed to be. What a great witness and joyful song!

An extraordinary experience I had one Friday before work, back in early May, was impulsively purchasing an old album by Pastor Clint Brown, from about 12-15 years ago.

Background: The church I spent 20 years in, and raised our boys in, sang so much of his music! He visited a good number of times and preached with fire and he’s just a work horse for the Kingdom of God. Good man. Super anointed. Well, I had been missing Praise and Worship from my old days at Family Worship Center. Which inspired me to get ‘Fall Like Rain’ that fateful Morning.

WOW! It lifted my spirits so much. I had not realized how VERY MANY songs we did of his until that day! It blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined, because I knew literally every song, and it was such a wonderful, joyful experience to get to sing these songs at the top of my lungs, while also remembering Sunday after Sunday and Thursday after Thursday doing the same, and it took me back, in the best way, to service after service of knowing that the Holy Spirit had just done surgery in my heart before the preaching even had begun! Again, no skip songs, some of my faves being ‘Awesome God’, ‘I Can’t Get Enough’, ‘I Will’, ‘I’m Forgiven’, and ‘Fall Like Rain’. He’s from Louisiana. And it shows!! Fan-flippin-tastic!! Music is such an incredible gift of God.

What brought me here tonight though, was Batman discovered a YouTube channel by the sweetest, most fun young couple, it’s called ‘Rob Squad Reactions’ . Not only are their music choices SUPERB! But, their heart shows through every upbeat amazed reaction, as they discover old music that Batman and I just love because it’s music from the soundtrack of our lives as younguns. They are all about the joy of musical craftsmanship and it’s a lot of fun to watch them discover and/or just enjoy it with us. Like us, they see music as a unifying element that people across all groups can appreciate and take pleasure in. We all need more of this!

Tonight as we sat listening to Stevie Nicks signing ‘Landslide’, I actually was overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion that made my eyes tear, which is not a reaction I have to music hardly ever. So many thoughts about appreciation for Batman, and our life together. It was like a wave washed over me. Or maybe bubbled out of me is better expressed.

I met him 5 March 1982 with friends on the way to an Alabama concert in a neighboring city. Our journey amazes me. It’s not that we have a flashy story. Nope. We are not flashy people. But, we were kids. Born to people who were extremely working class. Salt of the earth people. Our parents were born to people born and raised during the Great Depression. They had some wisdom to live by. And we had things to learn beyond that. Like every generation does. Just very grateful how the Lord has helped us to learn and grow and GROW TOGETHER. What a gift.

I think listening to these old songs and the memories and joy and the tears and the MILES the Good Lord has brought us through just has really moved me tonight! So, I wanted to jump on here and talk about what the gift of music is doing in my life this summer!

I hope you will be inspired to catch a sunrise, and try out Rob Squad Reactions, and maybe Dante Bowe or Crowder and ‘Milk and Honey‘, or We the Kingdom.

So tell me, whatcha listening to lately?

“It is of the Lord’s MERCIES that WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, because his compassions fail not.

They are NEW every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” — Lamentations 3:22-23

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Family!

Peach says:

It’s been a minute since I could slow my roll and make a post without likely falling asleep!

I think I may have mentioned we have two new grand kids coming this year! 🥰🥰🥰🥰

Our youngest son and his sweet girl had a ‘Gender Reveal’ party at the first of this month. She is very organized and really gifted for decorating and doing so in a thrifty fashion!! I’m so amazed at and proud of her mad skills! Everything was super cute and pink and blue, with lots of ways for the attendees to stake their claim on if the baby is a girl or a boy!

My heart was so full for about a week and half I couldn’t process any writing! Then it was work, work and here — take some more work!! 🤣🤣

But you know, I do not say that in complaint! Work is absolutely a blessing! We are made to sharpen our skills and accomplish and serve and lead and train and help and provide! I’ve been both ways, and working is BY FAR the better! Whether I worked as a housewife and homeschool mom and writer or keeping a friend’s child or as a Sergeant in a law enforcement agency that was leading the way for Florida back in the day, or in insurance sales and firearms training, there are so many ways we contribute, we grow and we learn.

It’s only that I need more sleep than I use to, so I can’t burn the candle at both ends like I did back in my 20s and 30s and somewhat in my 40s!

Alton Brown’s Banana Pudding

So, the days have been so full and among them has been seeing to little details for Batman’s upcoming retirement. There’s a lot of paperwork. Lots of questions with answers sought and comprehension eventually acquired! I remember the days when we longed for and sought for this job, this calling. I remember the struggles and sacrifice and much heart ache, adrenaline rushes, exhaustion, and steady grinding. I’m not entirely sure he understands the depth and breadth of what he has accomplished. All with and through the Grace of God and his own willingness.

I am so grateful and excited for his upcoming next. Scriptures tell us, our latter shall be greater. The path of the just is as the shining sun, shining more and more unto the perfect day!! I’m completely believing that for him, and for me with him! Just. Getting. Started.

Early morning on his work day patrol.

We share birthdays so to speak, my birthday being the day after his! Which is awfully handy!

We started last year getting some of our family together to celebrate on Batman’s birthday and this year was just overwhelmingly everything good and joyful! He grilled and I cooked side dishes and baked. And my brother and his tribe came and our sons and their families!

There was a little friendly horseshoe competition between the guys and lots of wrangling the littlest of the younguns!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese!
A bit of much needed shade! 😎

We are blessed to have so much family to enjoy! I know this sounds sappy, and I’m quite ok with that! The last two years prior to this, while filled with much of The Lord’s much needed Grace and blessings, were very painful in lots of ways. So, I believe celebration for accomplishments, progress and just altogether sweetness of life are important to life! 😍👏🏻👏🏻

We capped it off by sparklers, and the youngest three of the affectionately known as Sugarboogars, had not so far had an opportunity to experience such things just yet!

There were much squeals of shock and awe and utter delight! Oddly none of them were afraid! Even the almost two year old Loved them! I can’t imagine where they got that from! 🙃 But, I will say my second favorite holiday is Independence Day!! 🎇🎆🎇🎆

Just a bit of sparkly!
‘Taking cover’ behind the woodpile while videoing the sparklers with their cameras their Daddy got them last year! They get SO MUCH pleasure out of them!

I am praying this year draws Batman even closer to the Lord and fills his heart with joy and peace and old dreams fulfilled and new dreams dreamed! That the Lord teaches me how to be more of a surprise and blessing to him! He’s beyond good to me! So very grateful for him!

In closing:

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” — Psalm 138:7-8