Happy Mother’s Day

I wanted to wish all the women out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.

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It’s been a great day for me. My family blessed me with a beautiful pink (my favorite color) rose bush and placed it outside our window so that I can enjoy its beauty and fragrance often.

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When I stepped outside this morning, to my surprise, I found a nice set of chimes. It’s been at least 7 years since I’ve had a set. So, I am really enjoying the sounds of a gentle breeze.

 

My husband treated me to a delicious mocha and walk this morning. As we meandered, through the woods, we reminisced about when we met at a coffee shop in Santa Clara, CA on a blind date back in 1998.

Because we are in a COVID-19 statewide shelter in place, we are not able to visit loved ones. So, we called our moms to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day and facetimed my brother Greg and sister-in-law Connie to catch up.

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At the time of this writing, my daughter is baking me my favorite cookies – chocolate chip.

In the Bible it says “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also…” – Proverbs 31:28 I am feeling blessed for sure.

I’d like to pass along a blessing to my readers this week. May 11-15 you will find 3 free books on Amazon. Happy reading!

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I Like Bugs

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Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure

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Am I Pretty?

What did you do today to celebrate?

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Quarantine II

On March 30, I wrote about the State of California issued a Stay At Home Order for its residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I wanted to give an update. The County has issued the quarantine until May 3rd.

The kids’ school is closed until the end of the school year June 4 and they are doing online distant learning from home. It’s been several weeks and they miss their friends.

Our son, Austin, is a Senior and missed his prom last Friday night. In addition, his graduation commencement is jeopardized due to the County restriction of public meetings of less than 10 people. The school is committed to celebrating Seniors when the order is lifted. For that we are grateful.

I’ve been home from work since March 13th and just learned that our camps have been canceled for the summer. Sad! My work furlough could extend through Labor Day Weekend. Intense!

My husband Randy had a reduced work schedule until last Wednesday when his camp received a Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses. As a result, his full-time hours were restored for the next 8 weeks. Thank the Lord!

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During this challenging time, we have been purposeful in getting outside for fresh air and sunshine. The week of April 8-15 all parks and beaches were closed. Fortunately, we were able to hike Mount Hermon’s trails and creeks.

We have spent a great deal of time working in our yard planting, pruning, clearing, painting, and pressure washing. It is coming along quite nicely.

Of course, there’s been time for R&R.

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As I mentioned last time, it is a blessing to be at home in that we are healthy, safe and together. It has given me time to try some new recipes and bake. Yum!

I’d love to hear what creative ways you and your family are handling the quarantine.

Blessings, Rebecca

Guest Blog by Tiffany Joy & Giveaway

This week my guest blogger is Tiffany Joy.  She is an author, poet and visual artist at ForTheJoyOfTiff.com that focuses on spreading love and joy to the world.  Tiffany is also hosts the writing group that we belong to. She has written a new book called To Love and and will share with us her story of how God showed up. I hope you enjoy her visit. Please welcome Tiffany!

God Shows Up

2019 had many rough patches, difficult changes, and surprises. That year knocked around. I’m grateful that God held on to me through the struggle. I am also thankful that he allowed me to go to the “2020 Refocus” retreat.

It seemed like every time I got on a healthy habit schedule in 2019 something would knock me off of it. With God’s help, I kept finding my way back to Him and the right path for me.

I went into 2020 with an attitude of being freer to explore what the right path for me is and simply be with God.

The first weekend of the new year I was able to do just that. I went on a 24-hour retreat called “2020 Refocus.” My friends had helped plan it and it was wonderful.

My expectations were low. Really I didn’t know what to expect, but it was amazing. God showed up multiple times for me.

The first session had a lot of good information in it. As I took notes I realized I needed to trust and obey God more and more. That had to be a major focus this year and every day within the year.

God can do such powerful things when we fully depend on Him and trust Him fully.

Another powerful fact that I learned was in my quiet time. I woke early and journaled by myself. Through journaling, I realized that I’ve been focused on earthly things.

Yes, I love God and I am following Him. However, my vision is only for this life and this world. I need to move my focus to eternity and God’s will.

Hearing From God

In the main prayer time, I also heard from God, which if you aren’t familiar with prayer I’m sure sounds weird. “To Love “will be done this year. It’ll be with God and God’s power that I succeed.

With that statement, I’ve changed my focus. When I got home from the retreat I started to work on getting a Kickstarter project up and going. I have also scheduled more time in order to work on “To Love.”

Iron On Iron Activity

The last time I saw God show up, during the retreat, was with an activity called, “Iron On Iron.” It is where 2 people encourage and strengthen the 3rd person, then the roles are rotated until all 3 people are strengthened.

I sat down with my preassigned group and judged them. From their appearances, I thought it was going to be a weird and awkward time. What could we have in common? I figured I’d go first and get it over with.

Well, all 3 of us are artists. True our lives are different, but that allowed us to see things differently and help. It was a great activity. By the end, I really felt connected to them.

I was vulnerable with them. In return, they accepted where I am and who I am. Through them, I felt God’s love and guidance.

It was a truly beautiful weekend and an apt names retreat. I did refocus on God at the beginning of 2020.

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Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read To Love by Tiffany Joy as she is thrilled to give away 2 copies. To enter go to her Facebook page, like the page, and post a comment, either on the wall or in a post, that says, “I’d love a copy of To Love.” The first 2 that do this will each receive a free copy of To Love.

I too am giving away 1 FREE copy of Believe in Miracles  by Chicken Soup for the Soul for which I contributed a story. To enter simply comment on this blog post by April 17, 2020. Your name will then be placed in a drawing and I will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than April 23, 2020. One Free copy of each will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address (Continental US only) provided.

Blessings, Rebecca

If you’d like to connect with Tiffany joy, she can be reached at the following sites.

Twitter and Instagram = @TiffyJoyBerry

Quarantine

states

New York Times 3/28/2020

The State of California issued a Stay At Home Order for it’s residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The kids’ school is closed until May 6th and they are doing online distant learning from home. It is like a scene from George Jetson cartoon from the future where their teachers and classmates are on a screen.

My husband and I work for two different camps which host events that center around gathering people. The Center for Disease Control has implemented meetings of less than 10 people and both camps have closed until approximately May 10. As a result of these changes, I am not working at the moment. We are thankful my husband is able to work a reduced schedule, because their Maintenance team is working on necessary projects during this shutdown.

It is challenging to stay home for an extended period of time and the kids’ teachers frequently remind their students to get some fresh air and sunshine. We are blessed to live in the majestic Santa Cruz mountains where we can hike in the serenity of God’s nature. Sometimes, we will throw a frisbee at our local meadow, ride a bike, play basketball, etc..

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It is a blessing to be at home as well in that we have purposely slowed down and made intentional family time by reading our Bibles/books, watching movies and playing board games together.

Is your area mandated to stay at home? If so, I’d love to hear what creative ways you are handling it.

Blessings, Rebecca

Comfort & Confidence

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Capitola Beach

Sunday we took a drive to the Capiola Beach to grab a mocha and slice of pizza with the kids.

It was good to take a break, get outside and breathe some fresh ocean air.

Afterwards, we went to the mall to get a few essentials. I had never seen empty shelves at a grocery store. Wow!

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Target 3/15/2020

During these uncertain times, it is easy to let fear creep in.

Our friend, Kathy, sent us a text encouraging us to read Psalm 91 together as a family. It has given us comfort and confidence. I’d like to share it with you.

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust! 3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; 6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. 7 A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. 8 You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. 9 For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place. 10 No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. 11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. 12 They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. 14 Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 15 He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation. – Psalm 91

I hope this Bible passage also comforts your family and builds your confindence in God.

If you have never invited Jesus into your life and would like to, just know that He loves you and His arms are open wide. Simply confess your sins and ask Him to be the Lord of your life. Here’s a link to help walk you through the process.

Blessings, Rebecca

Mothers & Daughters

20200208_102906For the past four years I’ve enjoyed taking my daughter to Moms & Daughters camp.

In 2019 we had fun making bath bombs, hiking and doing archery.

In 2018 we enjoyed a petting zoo, knife throwing and shooting bb guns.

This year, Alicia asked if we could do moms and daughter’s a little differently.  She suggested we hang out for the day with her best friend Heather and her mom Yvette.

So, we kicked off our adventure at their house for brunch.

We spontaneously decided to do a little shopping.  We went to a local garage sale and picked up a couple household items.

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Next, we drove  to the coast, parked a few blocks away and walked along the Boardwalk.  It was a gorgeous sunny  day.  A bit chilly, but beautiful. We grabbed some delicious garlic fries, Marini’s taffy/chocolate and headed back.

I too care previous commitment in the afternoon.

Later that evening, we met up for dinner at one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants. It was a night of good food and great company.

Afterwards, we parted ways.

It is a new season for my girl and me. She  is growing up. I am proud of her for asking to do age appropriate activities while spending time together.

Are you in a new season with your child? 

Blessings, Rebecca

 

We’re Moving

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Hi Friends! I wanted to apologize for not posting Monday. It has been a bit hectic this week, because we’re moving.

We’ve been praying for nearly three years to rent a bigger staff cabin and the Lord has opened a place for us. We are thrilled!

I hope to return to writing in a couple of weeks.

Has God opened some special doors in your life?

Blessings, Rebecca

Love is in the Air

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Courtesy of NetClipArt

As we approach Valentine’s Day, it feels like love is in the air. As I stroll down the grocery aisles, I see red, pink and white stuffed animals, candy and greeting cards.

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Years ago, our church small group studied a very good book about love. It is called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. In it, details the ways in which people enjoy receiving love: Quality Time, Touch, Giving, Serving and Affirmation.  I thought I would share with you simple things I do to love my family.

Quality Time

I enjoy spending time with my family. We go on hikes, play games or just hangout together.  Here’s a photo of Austin and I at a Santa Cruz Warriors basketball game.

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Touch

I didn’t grow up with affectionate parents. So, I decided to be intentional  with my family; hugs all around.

Giving

I like to surprise my family with what my stepmom calls “Little S” aka “Litle Something.” When I am out and about I may pick up a treat such Girl Scout cookies. It just so happened there was a local troop outside the store this past weekend.

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Serving

This is my natural love language.  I am very comfortable with a todo list. It’s not a chore to support my family by doing the laundry or shopping for groceries.

Affirmation

Words of affirmation are important in building someone’s confidence.  I make it a point to tell my loved ones “Congratulations, good job or I am proud of you.” It’s amazing how easy it is to encourage one another with a simple gesture such as kind words.

Dr. Chapman wrote another book called Love is a Verb which I was blessed to share one of my stories.  The book showcases love in action.

In the Bible, there are many verses that talk about love. I’d like to share a few with you.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting love. – John 3:16

My beloved friends let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. – 1 John 4:7

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13:35

What’s one way your share love with your family?

Blessings, Rebecca

Believe in Miracles

Believe in Miracles 3 copy

Miracles are just waiting to happen to all of us. Read my personal story in the new book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Believe in Miracles. http://bit.ly/2sJgBjU

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About a year ago, I attended a class with BJ Taylor at Mt Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference and she encouraged us to submit our personal stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Today, I received my author’s  copy and I  am thrilled to share my story with you. I hope you enjoy your read…

Blessings, Rebecca

PS Have you ever experienced a miracle? I’d love to hear about it.

Happy New Year 2020

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Lake Tahoe, Ca

Happy New Year! It’s the start of a new decade. It seems surreal that the 2010s are over.

We enjoyed the Christmas season with family eating a savory ham dinner with all the trimmings, watching Hallmark movies and putting together a puzzle.

Below is a picture of us at Eastridge Mall where we watched the final episode of Star Wars.  My brother, Greg, reminded me we watched the first episode as kids in 1977. Wow! Here we are forty-two years later wrapping up the saga.

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Connie, Greg, Austin, Alicia, Randy & me San Jose, Ca

I didn’t grow up in a family that made new year’s resolutions.  Although, I don’t have any resolutions for 2020, I am looking forward to our son graduating high school and our daughter learning  to drive.

I pray you and yours have a happy and healthy year.

Did you make a resolution? I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca