Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seeds of faith and trusting God...a sister in the Bloggeratte Sorority shares...

For quite a while, I've been thinking about how I was going to begin this particular post..to encourage you to chase your dreams and to share a little about my life journey. I truly never dreamed in a million years that I'd be a blogger. At the same time I never dreamed I would be having so much fun blogging. I'm taking more and more leaps of faith towards living the life I imagine, and you guessed it...blogging...and I call it 'living a little out loud'. This avenue of sharing seems to be the wind in my sail. Among so many things, I've always wanted to become an inspirational writer and/or speaker. I have MANY journals in large flowered trunk to prove it. It's a beginning for nothing is impossible with God. My inspiration comes from 1000 different directions. The strongest one is from God's Word (the Bible). Next the many insights from stwant2be (me)..the numerous places that God has planted me. I've thought often that words are containers of power? It's NOT that I want power...it's just that I want to make 'my point' or 'a point' with well chosen words to be completely understood. My hope is that through blogging, with our choice of well chosen words, we will be successful inspiring one another to build up the body of Christ. Hope...'expecting something good to happen'.

Can you believe that I've always been a pretty private person? It's true. I've never been in a chat room and it was just recently (confession...I'm so behind the times) I just took my first look at Face Book viewing my grandsons page a few weeks ago. He said "Grand ma ma, everyone has a face book page." I said "No, not everyone." Oh please don't get me wrong...I love modern technology and I don't have anything against chat rooms or Face Book...with good morals in place of course. I'm just a late bloomer but...slowly...I'm blooming. Everything is in God's timing. Lately...my life has been full and even fuller as I'm always thinking/planning my next post.

Once upon a time last winter...my beautiful, lovely, creative daughter got me hooked on reading her blog everyday. It was like I moved into her neighborhood...so cool! She brings so much joy into my life! We are the best of friends and since she began blogging the physical distance between us (3 hour drive) is almost invisible! I read her posts one new one after another and feel like I'm there in the moment. It doesn't get better that does it? I laugh, smile (SOL smile out loud), cheer for our grandsons when they are being recognized with good grades or birthdays, and cry when she shares about sweet memories of her sister, memories of growing up and other sentimental moments that she has experienced. After I catch up reading her blog, I off reading others having fun.

When I asked my daughter the reason she decided to blog she shared with me that at first she was an avid blog reader. After she started her blog...she enjoyed the fun of learning about so many new fascinating things. Often she'll leave me an e-mail..."Mom, you might want to check out this ladies blog...it's amazing!" Now, I have to share that she is the most amazing Mom, daughter, sister, friend, Aunt, neighbor, professional photographer and brand new daughter-in-law too. What a full life! She's someone who is VERY nice to know, always caring and sharing her love, time and talents.

One day we were at her computer she asked me "Do you want to have a blog Mom? It's sure fun." Nervously I answered "yes" and I was off the first time in my life...living a little out loud. There is no way I could have done it without her expertise...I know so little and she knows so much! Besides surprising a few friends who I've told that I have a blog spot (some still can't believe it and some don't even know), I've surprised myself. It's a big leap of faith and confidence being totally aware that anyone can read my posts and see the photos. The photos I include bring life to the stories I have so much fun sharing. I have many more stories...and I know that you do too. Can't wait. Actually, my posts are are pretty simple and honestly, I like the way God created me even with all I've been through, I wouldn't trade my life with anyone for anything in the world.

Sharing our faith journey is really important because we share the creative energy that God has blessed us with. When I was deciding a name for my blog, I instantly liked these three words: Blooming in Kansas. They have a sweet whimsical sound like 'Bloom Where You're Planted'. It was only in the last couple of days that I realized the best title for my blog should be Blooming in Kansas from seeds of faith trusting God 24/7. Adding those seven elements truly describes my life journey. Another reason for this post...is to share a little of my personal journey that has been most difficult.

In 2008 my family experienced the most painful tragedy imaginable. My biggest nightmare became a reality. Our oldest precious, beautiful, talented daughter, one of my best girlfriends ended her life. Yes, SENSELESS! All I will share about that subject is that she was severely depressed. There is no doubt to us, no question about her faith, we knew full well how she loved God and her family more than anything. Something died in me the day we lost her and the many, days and months that followed were nearly unbearable. Buckets of tears and then some. I have finally forced myself to let go and let God, trusting Him 24/7. God is the answer...He is always the answer. I am a woman of strong faith and have always been a big advocate promoting life from the moment of conception to natural death. All Life is precious. It is cause for celebration! I couldn't believe that this sort of tragedy could happen to me! ME? I questioned myself over and over, how can I possibly live through this depth of pain? The love and prayers of family and friends carry me through. It's not easy. There are days still days that all I could do is float. This experience it the heaviest cross to carry. Through seeds of my Catholic faith I have become even stronger and closer to Christ. I understand now, how we can grow stronger under life trails because we need God more that ever. God has a good plan for us. He paid the price for us to have and enjoy our lives no matter what! God is with us always. He is my strength and my sweetest joy and can be yours too. In my 'heart of hearts' I feel God smiling at me right this very second sharing these deep feelings of faith with you. I have learned that Christ sorrows right along beside us when we hurt. We are His creations. My daughter will always be one of the loves of my life. One of my quests now is keeping my daughters beautiful memory alive in my heart. She was an amazingly person with many talents. I pray for her and others like her. Prayer changes everything. We've all said that God doesn't give us more than we can handle...He must trust our family A LOT.

One of my wishes is to bloom with seeds of faith trusting God where I am planted, and currently that's right here in Kansas. One thing terrific about living in Kansas is we do get to enjoy all four seasons (fairly evenly). In my neck of the woods there should be an added season called flood season! Did you see the photo of our grand dog Mocha and the REAL Kansas driftwood? Wild...but true! My hubby scratching his head. "Why did you drag it on the veranda" he asked. I said "There's a story there...a real flood story!"

I am blessed with a the MOST loving, best of friends 'fire proofing' husband, two amazing generous adult children, terrific daughter and son in law and seven of the most wonderful talented grand children in the whole wide world. They are the other loves of my life...my family treasures. We persevere in faith.

I'm so happy to share, and let me be totally honest....it's HARD WORK to be chasing one of my favorite dreams again. For a while, it was necessary for me to put my big dream on hold, on a shelf in 'The Keeping Room'. God willing and the river doesn't rise I will write a new post sometime soon. The next post is going to be called something like 'The Little Women's Room' which I am in the middle of creating/preparing for our five sweetheart grand daughters who just moved back to the U.S.A. I am so excited because the room is turning out so cute with lots of special touches from Grand ma ma. We are all very thankful and excited to have them close, although we LOVED sight seeing in Europe! Our family will celebrate the 4th of July this Saturday. I can't wait to take pictures of everyone and celebrate! I'll be watching for yours too.

I've experienced that by placing God in the center of my life, everything...EVERYTHING has came together and God can do the same work in your life. Do you have a dream? Something important that you are trying to accomplish? Take a leap of faith! Do you need my help with anything? Just let me know. I'd love to hear about the seeds of your faith...and how you are blooming.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sister in the Bloggerette Sorority...Blooming in Kansas!

Hi there Sorority Sisters!

What a day it was! A fun interesting evening getting my Sorority ***RUSH*** project finished. I did as much as I could with my simple printer. It's hard to see...the art is set inside of the box. I don't know how or why the box looks lit up...kinda magical...like joining a Sorority at age...well...we won't go there. And yep, a couple of flashy butterflies...I put them on everything don't I?

Looking forward to getting to know you all better. We certainly have a lot in common don't we? Thank you for inspiring me to chase my dreams. We can live the life we imagine with one blog at a time...

Thank you to my sweet friend Karen 'Some Days are Diamonds' for creating fun for all and all for fun.

Hope everyone is having a great party day meeting your MANY new Sorority sisters! We are going to be busy!

May God bless you & yours.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Holy Family Camp

What a fantastic day it was for me Tuesday, June 15th! I took a vacation day and joined campers and volunteers at the 'Holy Family Camp' at Camp Hiawatha sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. The camp theme this year was "Dancing with God" and it set a fine tune for everyone. This unique five day Christian summer camp is designed for persons with special needs. The age of the campers varied this year from around age 16 to senior I believe. It's power packed with every kind of fun activity imaginable. I watched volunteer 'Friends' put their hearts into every hour and they sure inspired me to give more and be more where my help is needed.
At about 9am I gave my first of 2 puppet shows. Pickles the Porcupine, Joshua the Lamb and Lizzy the Lizard brought quite a few smiles. There were quite a few butterflies flying around in my stomach before I got started. I said a prayer...let go and experienced...honestly...one of the best days of my life!

After the puppet show I enjoyed sharing a few jokes. I'm NOT a natural at it but I gave it my best shot. Here's one..."Why don't lizards eat clowns?" Answer "Because they taste funny!" Next came a little presentation on the subject of how we can ask God to guide our lives. I loved sharing a little bit about one of my favorite saints 'St. Therese' who began a life of holiness at a very young age. She carried a string of beads in her pocket as a reminder to do good deeds. It is the littlest deeds that make the biggest difference sometimes isn't it? Then I talked a little about Father Kapaun who may become Kansas' 1st Saint. BSOL (big smile out loud) I wore my brand new pink Fr. Kapaun T-shirt. It's one of my favorite photos 'Father celebrating Holy Mass on the hood of his jeep'. My husband, grandsons and I took a road trip to Pilsen, Kansas just a few weeks ago where we celebrated Mass and special memories of Fr. Kapaun were honored. The Holy Sea 'Rome' is in the process of investigating possible miracles linked Fr. Kapaun's intercession. It is exciting news for our family. My husband is celebrating his 40th Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School Reunion next month. You may be wondering who is Father Kapaun? My best answer...one amazing person! He answered God's call to become a priest and became a Military Chaplain in the Korea conflict which later became a war. After becoming imprisoned, he died a Martyr giving his life up for some else could live. He made many endless sacrifices even giving other prisoners his food. What a holy man serving God and our Country.

Next everyone created 'Good Deed beads'...a string of 10 beads with a crucifix tied on one end. The beads are attached with a simple weaved design and the beads slide from one side to the other. It can be a special aid...after doing a good deed, slide a bead. It's a good thing to try to do at least 10 good deeds a day. Christina purchased a wonderful variety of beads for this project.All sorts of beads...rainbow colored beads, flower art beads, sport beads (foot ball beads, base ball beads and basket ball beads) and the polka dotted beads were the cheeriest ever. Next the campers shared good deeds ideas. I reminded them it's important that they remember that God sees everything...EVERYTHING and random acts of kindness can be the sweetest. Have you ever heard that the more you give...the more you receive? Oh, I know what you may be thinking...no...it doesn't work that way all the time. You may be right about that however...trust me...your reward will come later. I promise!
My favorite times at Holy Family Camp were celebrating Mass with Fr. Paul and everyone, seeing the smiles, hearing the laughter and giggles, being inspired by the many devoted volunteers and watching everyone DANCE! My friend Kay said it best..."The campers are so much fun!" And I found that to be so true..first hand. Some campers are already calling to find next year's camp date because they don't want to miss it. Makes sense to me. How about you?
Dancing with God...a very good thing!
Patty Cake

Friday, June 11, 2010

Something Old Something New swap! So much fun!

Where do I begin? The photos about are the swap gifts from Pam. Wow...here I go with my list of the many things I loved about the Something Old..Something New 'Swap for all Seasons' swap...

Meeting my new fabulous friend Pam! She is another amazing artsy new person in my life. We found we had quite a bit in common.

Being amazed at the beautiful handmade gifts she created. I will treasure every item. My favorite is the promise 'With God all things are possible'. I hold that scripture close to my heart.

It was loads of fun getting to know Pam. She and I e-mailed back and forth learning about one another and I even 'fessed up' that I had tried to embroider her name on the corner of one of the hankies I sent to her. At my age...all sorts of things like this happen....LOL...when I looked with my magnify glass...my stitching looked so bad I carefully took out the thread. Three simple letters and I just couldn't pull it off. So sad! What is it about getting old...do you suppose we start hearing and seeing less because God is trying to tell us not to worry so much? That sometimes the less we see and hear the better? I haven't figured it out...probably never will. I just truly believe God wants us to enjoy the life He gave to us and He wants us to live a good life in every respect. I'm trusting Him.

Reminiscing about the day I was married! I went back to peek at my very few wedding pictures. The 12 pictures are r-e-a-l-l-y s-p-r-e-a-d o-u-t in our Wedding Memories book. Our photographer (one of my husbands best friends) was very preoccupied visiting with the girls...too busy to take photos. I forgave him...he's a great guy.

The swap was a great reminder of wedding memories for me. After 35 years, I am still in love with my best friend. One of the biggest lessons I've ever learned was from a Marriage Encounter...many years ago...'Love is a decision'.

I sure had fun finding the just right items for Pam. Next, I searched and searched for the perfect wedding photo and found an extra copy of a photo I took of a beautiful Bride and Groom outside a Cathedral in Spain 2003 (from the 'Pilgrimage of Light with the Diocese of Wichita in 2003'). That was a great memory for me!

One more silly thing...I really didn't look closely at the wedding picture Pam sent...probably didn't have my 'eyes' on. I shared with Pam in an email that the bride maids sure had huge bouquets. OH! What a ditz I felt like when I looked closely....they are ALL brides! Very beautiful brides at that! I really think this was one of the funniest things about the swap!

'Patty put the kettle on...I mean Patty put your glasses on for you can see!'

Have a blessed weekend blogger friends! Patty

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Baba's Big Birthday Bash

This first week of June has been full of family birthdays! Our creative C grand son turned 12 June3, my Mother in law turned 80 yesterday and today our Jazzy J son is 34 today.

Yesterday, June 5th my sweet sister in law hosted a wonderful 80th birthday bash for 'Baba' which was loads of fun! 'Baba means grandmother in Russian' and that is what most everyone calls her. After a tasty cookout we sang 'Happy Birthday' and enjoyed banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Um mm..so good. Next we took turns reading the many memory slips from the Baba's Memory jar. One of our daughters created this idea years ago. We add new ones from time to time. The memories are typed on slips of paper...some short and sweet and some arranged like pages of a good book. "The little gentleman..." Memories, memories, memories...priceless!!! We laughed and cried both. Most of the memories express the highest compliments to Helen's character. She has so many witty ways and they are well noted! She can be a hoot!

Helen is living a remarkable life and it continues to leave prints of love on every one's hearts in a unique way. I don't know anyone loved more.

There were so many birthday gifts. The best part was 'just being there' in her presence watching her smile from ear to ear. Family traveled from Texas, Arkansas and Northern Kansas to share this day and four family generations were present. The living room smelled like a flower shop! One huge homemade card was filled with sweet messages for her to read. The surprises included a big pile of cards, telephone calls from family back East and Belgium, a stack of chocolate bars and frozen lobster tails...I'm certain there were many more I didn't know about.

This morning as I reminisced about Helen, I knew I wanted to share on my blog how very important this lady is in my life. She has a great influence on my life and I try to be a better person because of her. Of course, too, without her, I would not have met the man of my dreams, my best fire proofing friend, the man I've been married to for 35+ years. He only weighed a few pounds at birth and she literally nursed him to life and health. OH THANK YOU HELEN! Helen has always been there putting family first. She has shown us all how it's possible to love unconditionally. I must add too, because I have her, her son...I have the most amazing son whose life we celebrate every day not just June 6th. He's so much like his Dad and an amazing Papa to his daughters. I am so blessed!

What I admire most about Helen is her faith in God. She puts God first. When I think of the word devoted...all the Saints and Helen come to my mind. Throughout the many years having her in my life, she has weaved precious memories of love, care and a prayer that comfort us when the cold winds come. I love having Helen in my life. Her Grand children adore her and it is evident that she has a wonderful influence on their lives and has always encouraged them to stay close to God.

Helen is remarkable and I enjoy referring to her as the matriarch of the family because it's true. She smiles every time I say that. She is a princess!