Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought

Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought ~~~ A place to share what I am thinking, reading, feeling & contemplating as I travel on this journey called life.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections of 2012

As I have gone through my day today I have thought about this past year.  Some of the struggles I have faced, the joys and sorrows that have come my way, seeing how the Lord provided when I could not see a way, making new friends, losing friends, questioning why somethings happen, and rejoicing in new blessings.

As 2012 began we thought we knew what our life would be like for the next 16 months - continuing as managers of the Alamo Area SKP Co-Op, the Lone Star Corral.  We had a great vacation planned, lots of fun activities to look forward too, traveling around and checking out new places in Texas, continuing to hang with those we thought were our friends, content to know we didn't have to look for a new job, and just enjoying going through life...but...God had other things in mind for us...

March found us making a nine day trip to Washington & Oregon to see family and friends.  So good to give lots of hugs & kisses to our grands ~ even Max humored us with a few hugs (when you are almost 14 that is just not the fun thing to do).  Visiting our church home, Northwood Alliance Church, staying with friends, sharing meals and lots of coffee and seeing as many people as we could in a short amount of time.  A trip that was fun, fast, tiring and exciting that I wouldn't trade for anything.

Lone Star Corral - we had hit some rough spots with the change in the Board of Directors, we seemed to be stumbling and being criticized from behind closed doors but not to our faces.  Things were being told to us  by some people and then hearing from others that other things were being said.  Tears were shed, confusion of what should we do or do we do anything and then on April 4, 2012 we were fired from our jobs! Shock, disbelief, now what, we had a signed 2nd year contract ~ didn't that mean anything.  And questions of what do we do now?  where will we go?

Well we went to Medina Lake Thousand Trails and just rested, prayed, relaxed, prayed, sought counseling with our pastor, sought the prayers of others and trusted that God would keep his promise.  And claimed

Jeremiah 29:11-13  "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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

And thanked the Lord over and over that those were the verses He gave me the morning of 4/4/12.   And once we kept our focus on the Lord, His plans became clear.  Alice was offered a part-time job in Branson, MO so we moved there on 4/15/12.  Thinking Ron would look for work once we got settled.  But God had everything under we were offered and began full time work as campground managers right there in Branson.  

We have faced some struggles ~ like finding a Ladies Fellowship group and a church but we have found those groups that help us keep centered on the Lord.  We have been loved on and welcomed with open arms.  

We have been blessed with some "perks" as campground managers: free tickets to Silver Dollar City, won tickets for the Branson Belle where we got to see a show and enjoy a nice dinner where we celebrated Ron's 37th birthday.  Saw many of the shows at Grand Country, was honored on our anniversary with special greetings from Michael Patrick & Jamie Haage, seen Neil McCoy and the 3 Redneck Tenors, enjoyed the regular and Christmas show at the Dixie Stampede and have met lots of nice people who have come and stayed at Branson View Campground.  Even today, got a phone call from one of the couples that stayed here a month who just wanted to wish us a Happy New Year and see how we were doing.  We have been blessed to hear some of the most beautiful music ever as well as see some beautiful country. 

We have seen Amish children playing in the school yard, attended our first ever Amish Produce Auction ~ saw watermelons go for $1.50 each (selling at the grocery store for $6 each), been swimming in Lake Taneycomo, driven on some old country roads and enjoyed the Fall Colors as we have never seen before.  We have worshiped and shared the Lord's supper with new friends.

We had visits by family: Jim & Sharon Tuck, Lee & Karen Wheeler, Erv & Anita Bach - and cheered Anita on to the finish line of her first ever marathon!  Visited with Uncle Rex & Aunt Erma.  Met some of our Facebook friends in person and met the needs of some of those we have come into contact with.  Ron helped a friend move to Fort Wayne, Indiana and I was able to see my grands in an unexpected way.

We have struggled financially yet seen God meet our needs in a supernatural way - receiving $2000 from friends and family to cover the cost of a needed new eye.  Food appearing at our door unexpectedly.  Phone calls out of the blue just to see how we are doing.

Most of all we have become closer as a married couple and welcomed a new grandson into our family as well as welcome a new puppy (Linus) into our traveling family.  We are thankful for the many blessings of family and friends, saddened at the loss of some in our lives that we thought were our friends but most of all we are thankful for our boys, Jamie & Brandon, their sweet wives, Suzanne & Danalyn, and enjoy every time we get to talk or see (via Skype or Facetime) the joy of our lives: Max, Opal, Christopher, Treyson and Alexander!!

And as we look forward to 2013 we are thankful for our continued jobs as campground managers here in Branson, the anticipated trip to Washington to celebrate the marriage of Jamie & Suzanne, seeing our granddaughter, Opal and spending a few days in Oregon with Brandon, Danalyn and the four boys along with being able to meet and greet many new guests here at Branson View Campground.  We look forward to seeing more of this beautiful country we live in and seeing how the Lord uses us to minister to others.

Wishing each of you a joyous and Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy 77th Birthday Mom

Today my mom would be 77!  She has been gone from this world for 7 years!  I want to think of happy memories of her today but instead woke up crying and feeling discombombulated...don't get me wrong, I loved my mom, she was my mom yet when I think of my mom many hurtful and painful memories crowd in.  I didn't have the best childhood but has anyone had the perfect childhood?

My mom and I didn't agree on a lot of things and yet some things she shared with me I am so thankful for so those are the things I want to share ~

~ my mom shared with me the gift of reading.  One that I have passed onto my kids and it is exciting to see my grandchildren also love books and reading.

~ my mom told me I could go to any church I wanted as long as it wasn't Jehovah Witness.  I was raised in the Catholic church but in my teen years I went to a small Assembly of God church where I met the Lord.  And when I was 17 I accepted him into my heart and he has been with me through the thick & thin of things in life.

~ my mom told me when I said I was going to marry Ron I could not just run home when we had a problem, "I made my bed and I had to sleep in it."  And I know my mom and many others didn't think our marriage would last - but in two days we celebrate 37 years of marriage!!!  I just love this guy and I know my mom did too.  Sometimes I think she loved Ron more than she loved me but that is for another time.

~ my mom told me the morning I flew to Holland to join Ron as I was blubbering that I was too scared to get on that big ole plane "go in the bathroom, wash your face with cold water, pick up that baby (Jamie) and do what you need to do."  And I did and when I think of that morning so many years ago I have to chuckle because I did exactly as she said and I am so thankful I did.  And sometimes I still have to repeat those words to myself, like I did this morning after crying through some thoughts and things laying heavy on my heart.

~ my mom taught me to make her gumbo recipe (not the typical seafood or chicken gumbo you hear about from Louisiana) but her gumbo and every time I make it, I think of happy thoughts of my mom.

~ and she taught me there is nothing better than a York Peppermint Patty, especially delicious when it is wrapped in the colors of Christmas and frozen
(so I may be going to the store later today to get some 
York Peppermint Patties and the makings for gumbo)

~ she gave me the gift of enjoying long rides, hey maybe we will do that this afternoon, just go for a ride and see some of this beautiful country we live in.

and so I say "Happy Birthday Mom!"  And I really do love you!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kicked in the Stomach - Leaving the ? ~ Now What

A Good Verse to Remember

Just got notified that we have lost our case with the Texas Workforce Center in regards to Ron's unemployment.  My first thought ~ now what?  Second thought ~ how can that be?  More thoughts ~ why did the truth now win out this time?  What and how is it God wants us to respond?  Can they (The TWF( just pull the money paid to Ron out of our account? If so, we are screwed as there is very little money in any of our accounts.  I should just go to bed and dream of things of revenge.

AND THEN  I heard a little voice say ~ "you trust God, you believe in God, and you say this is all in His hands ~ is it really?"  YES!!!  So I stopped, asked for forgiveness for even thinking of wanting to get revenge and instead  I claim God's word:

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

My life verse came to mind:     Proverbs 3:5-6             
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

1 Timothy 6:17b
  but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our needs.

And now I feel at peace again.  Still perplexed but know God has things under control.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ramblin' Thoughts

A lot has been going on and I was going to try to catch up but that makes me get all stressed out so thought I would go back to my mine reason for this blog...just writing whatever comes to mind or thoughts that just keep running through my mind.

I have been thinking about my blog and why I have it, why I write it and what I want from my writing.  Yesterday I was at Forever Friends, a ladies group where we gather to pray, share our burdens, study God's word and someone mentioned how important it was for us to each write out our life story...something I have wanted to do for a long share the life lessons we have learned and how God has worked in our lives.  I've felt for a long time that with all the trials I have gone through and the many things I have learned that maybe there was a nugget or two that I could share with someone to help them through some part of their journey of life.

And then today we were asked to be a part of a news program on healthcare and the struggles of finding good healthcare, affording necessary medications, eating healthy on a limited budget and meeting our obligations and living expenses on a limited budget without health insurance.  I posted in a group on Facebook about the possibility of the interview and was encouraged to share what is going on with us because there are many who are in the same situation as us and maybe getting the story out there would help us and maybe others.  So we did the interview.  Not sure how it will turn is on KSPR 33 tonight at 10 p.m. and then will be online at sometime later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Which brings me back to my questions:  I have been thinking about my blog and why I have it, why I write it and what I want from my writing. ... I write my blog as a way to journal what thoughts run through my head, how God talks and encourages me, what struggles I face and how God leads me in working through them, to share the many blessings I have in my life, to share my goals and ideas, to be an encourager to others and share who I am with family and friends.

In reflecting on the past few months I have let busyness be in control, spending way too much time on Facebook and not doing the things I enjoy like crocheting & cross-stitching, writing, sending cards to friends and just enjoying time with my hubby, family and friends.   So today I had a long talk with myself and realized I need to get back to taking care of me, having time with the Lord each morning, being "intentional" in my actions  - my word for 2012 that seems to have been lost the last couple of months, being in control of my time (as much as in control as I can be) and nurturing my relationship with Ron and with our son's and their family's and my friendships near and far.

So stay tuned for more thinkin' and sharin' on my part.  And know there may be no rhyme or reason to what I write BUT know it will be from my heart.