A Time of Refreshing

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Left to right: Annette, Linda, Pamela, Sandra, & me.

This weekend, I attended my second annual women’s retreat at Mission Springs with some lovely lady friends. It was a time of refreshing.

Sometimes as parents, our tanks run empty taking care of our families and homes. I desperately needed some fun, fellowship and good food (minus cooking and cleaning).

Our guest speakers were fabulous a mother-daughter team. The mom was a missionary to Congo, Africa for ten years and shared her extensive experience with us. Her daughter graduated seminary and shared her life with us as well. The worship team was amazing! The food was delicious.

We experienced a miracle as well. Our friend, Linda, joined us during the day and went home at the first night. Around 3:00am her heart went into AFib and her husband informed us at 7:30am by her husband. Immediately, Sandi, Annette and myself prayed for her healing. Later that morning, during worship, I was singing away and felt a nudge at my right side. It was Linda! Praise God her heart returned to its normal rhythm and she rejoined us!

We enjoyed the rest of the conference activities and said our goodbyes Sunday afternoon. I am already looking forward to next year’s get together.

Do you take time for R&R? If so, I’d love to hear the ways you do. Feel free to share with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

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Pay it Forward

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As we enter our third week of school, I thought I would share a story with you about a time when we received unexpected school supplies. I hope you enjoy it.

The Lord is good to everyone and His tender

mercies are all over His works.

– Psalm 145:9

On a hot June day, I received notice that my manufacturing managerial job was transferring overseas. How will I provide for my family? “Lord, I don’t understand all of this, but I trust You to meet our needs.”
Two weeks prior to my children returning to school, I rummaged through their dressors and closets. They needed several items for which I didn’t have the means to purchase. Just then, I received a call from my Step-Mom. “Bec, I’d like to buy Austin and Alicia’s school supplies this year. Meet me at the mall this week.”
“Sounds great, thanks.”
Friday arrived, we met and she purchased the kids’ winter jackets, school outfits and backpacks. Like frosting on a cake, she bought each of them a toy too. I hugged her, “Thank you so much Dinky!”
Five years have passed since that day. Each year, she faithfully, even during her chemo and radiation treatments, continues the tradition of shopping for her grandchildrens’ school supplies. It is her way of paying it forward.
Prayer: Thank you God for providing for the needs of my children.

How have you been the recipient or a participant of a pay it forward? If so, I would love to hear about.

Labor

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As we remember all who labor in our nation today, I am reminded of a bible verse.

That each may eat and drink, and

find satisfaction in all their toil – this 

is a gift from God. – Ecclesiastes 3:13

I agree with King Solomon’s writings, because today we moved furniture into our place. It was satisfying decorating together and enjoying the fruit of our labor.

How did you celebrate Labor Day?

Working Mom

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Do you ever struggle balancing working with motherhood? I think a lot of moms find it difficult to balance career and parenting.

When I was fresh out of college, a 60 hour work week was the semiconductor industry standard. Initially, I found my manufacturing management position rewarding. Down the road, I dreamed of having a family of my own. Most of my friends were married and had children. In fact, one day a co-worker of plopped in my office chair and said, “Rebecca, why aren’t you married yet?” I sat stunned, “I’m not sure. I just haven’t met the right guy yet.”

Fast forward a few years, my focus became my marriage and family life. Now, I enjoy watching my kids grow. My new challenge is balancing work, taking care of our household, and helping with homework.

One way that helps me balance my day is starting out with some quiet time with the Lord, praying and reading God’s word. Carving this time out of my busy schedule always helps me keep focused and makes my day go smooth.

Can you relate? If so, what tips have you found successful?

Back to School

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It’s hard to believe that our kids are back to school next week. Some children in our County are already back. Where did summer go? I can remember our excitement to start summer break.

With school, comes supplies. We have been shopping for clothing, shoes, paper, pens, backpacks, etc. It can be a fun time, but it can also be a stressful time financially.

If you find yourself stressing over school funds, there are agencies that will help your child prepare for the school year. Here are some I’ve found helpful:

Department of Education backpack program

– Church Stuff the Bus program

VCUM backpack program

Lynda’s backpacks project

I pray you and your children have a fantastic school year.

Blessings, Rebecca

A Divided Nation

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This past weekend we took our children to our favorite breakfast house 60 miles east of our town. It had been approximately three years since we visited.

While enjoying our delicious meals, I looked up at their mounted television and saw violence in Virginia. My heart grew heavy as I remember the famous quote of John Dickinson, “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!” It saddened me that our fellow Americans were hurting each other over their differences.

In the Bible, Moses asks a similar question of his fellow countrymen in Exodus 2:13. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”

Would you join me in praying for peace in America?

Aging Parents

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In June, I wrote about a family cancer diagnosis with my step-mother. She’s in her third week of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. My dad accompanies her to her appointments faithfully every day; some lasting nine hours.

However, a few days ago, she called to tell me my father’s right lung collapsed.  Surreal! I am told he woke up feeling like an elephant was sitting on his chest. He was whisked away to the ER, underwent exploratory surgery and now is in ICU recovering.

Needless to say, I’ve been in heavy prayer for their healing, strength and endurance during a very difficult season. Also, I pray for wisdom to guide me through this new season of my life of aging parents. Would you join me in prayer for my folks? Thank you!

Do you have aging parents? If so, what carried you through illness? I’d love to hear about it.

Company Picnic

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Starting at Top Left: Husband Randy, Son Austin, Brother Greg, Sister-in-Law Connie, Daughter Alicia and Me…

It had been several years since went to a theme park. So, when my Sister-in-Law invited us to her company picnic, we jumped at the chance.

It was held at California’s Great America in Santa Clara, just about 45 minutes north of us.

We had a blast riding all the rides. The Gold Striker is the fastest roller coaster in Northern California. It’s top speed is 54mph, is 3 minutes long and tops out at 4.2g. Talk about exhilarating! My brother and I rode the Flight Deck, an inverted roller coaster, together.  It had been over 20 years since we did that. What a hoot!

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Her company also reserved an area in the park for volleyball, tetherball and other picnic games. There was a raffle as well.

We were also visited by the park’s characters as shown above.

The BBQ lunch was finger licking good chicken, ribs, potatoes salad, bread and all you drink soda  fountain. Oh, I can’t fail to mention a freezer stocked with various ice cream…help yourself!

The weather was a perfect 75F with cool bay breezes.

All in all, we had a fantastic family time.

How about you? Have you visited any fun places this summer? I would love to hear about it. Please feel free to share with us.

 

Get Away

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It has been 2-3 years since our family took a vacation. So, when our friend called to offer her cabin in Arnold, California, we jumped at the chance to get away.

We drove 3 1/2 hours north of Santa Cruz redwoods/ocean and discovered a whole new world of pine/oak trees and beautiful lakes. The top picture was taken at Lake Alpine in the Stanislaus National Forest. It was absolutely gorgeous! We rented two double kayaks and paddles around the lake. We stopped on a rock island and jumped into the snow melt water. Brrrr…

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Our cabin was a quaint 1950’s A Frame. It was delightfully retro. We enjoyed the community resort which included a golf course, swimming pool, lake, table tennis, basketball, tennis courts, and snack shack. We even won a round of bingo. The middle photo is of our 15 yr-old son Austin and 12 yr-old daughter Alicia sitting on a boulder in the Sierra mountain range.

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We had a blast on our family vacation and hope to play again real soon.

Did your family enjoy a summer vacation this year? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Please share with us.

Summer Camp

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This week our son attended high school camp 4.5 hours south of us in Santa Barbara. It is the first time he has been far away from home for a week.

At the same time, our daughter attended a junior high camp nearby. It is the first time she has attended a two week camp.

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So, lots of firsts for everyone in our family, because it was the first time in 15 years Randy and I were without kiddos.

To add tension to the week, a fire broke out 29 miles east from where our son was set to camp. Hats off to the FRSB staff for for a great job of pulling it off despite the the threat of fire and CHP road closures. There is great summary video of their week on Mission Spring Frontier Ranch Youtube. I tried to insert it for you without success.

In the end, fun was had by all. Thanks be to God for keeping everyone safe.

Have you had any family adventures this summer? If so, feel free to share with us.