Days of Thanksgiving…Day 16

My life would not have been the same without my sister.  Almost all of my memories are her memories and vice versa.  We grew up on ranches and had the best childhood any kid could hope for.

We go back aways…yes, we really did share that little old bath tub! We also shared special Christmas memories like the one above when we got our fluffy warm hand muffs. The sledding picture was taken in Fairfield, ID.  We had so much fun on that hill, and Duke our sidekick was always with us! The last picture was on the Double Bar J Ranch in Healdsburg, CA.  It was a beautiful horse ranch. We shared so many memories there. That tree was an apple tree.  I remember we used to stand on top of that fence and pick apples for mom to bake pies for supper.

Today I am thankful for my best and longest friend…my sister!

sisters Church

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Days of Thanksgiving…Day 15

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Mom, Harriett Wells Craig

November is full of family birthdays for me.  Today is my mother’s.  She is celebrating in heaven.  Although she is 89 today, I know that in heaven she is as young and vibrant as she is in this picture.

I used to mourn my mother, but not anymore. How can I mourn for someone who is in the presence of Jesus? Not only that but I know she is also in the presence of many members of her family. She is full of life and joy.

Because I don’t mourn her anymore doesn’t mean I don’t miss her.  I miss her a lot. I know someday I will see her again and that fills me with joy overflowing.

The first few years after Mom’s death, when I thought of her, I thought of her as dead. That left me feeling sad and burdened.  I knew she had given her heart to God, so I knew “someday” she would live again.  It wasn’t until I surrendered to Jesus and really started seeking Him that I discovered something that changed my outlook.  It was the passage in 2 Corinthians which states that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Her body (tent) may have worn out and died, but her spirit is indeed with Jesus! That is what enabled me to stop mourning and rejoice for her

My Mom was the most beautiful woman I have ever known.  She was full of grace, mercy, kindness, and love.  She always had a sincere and radiant smile. I don’t believe she ever met anyone that didn’t love, respect, and admire her.

Today I am thankful for my mother.  Happy birthday sweet lady!

 

 

Days of Thanksgiving..Day 14

Here He Comes!

There is so much pain, darkness, and strife right now in the world. It breaks my heart.

Christians around the world are being persecuted and martyred just because of their belief in a loving and just God.

Mass shootings and terrorist attacks killing innocent people for no apparent reason happen so often now that it doesn’t seem to shock me anymore.  Saddens me, angers me, drops me to my knees in prayer, but doesn’t shock me.

Natural disasters occur continuously, changing with the seasons and seem to be intensifying with frequency and destruction; tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, floods, and fire.

Right now it is the California fires that torment my heart.  I used to live somewhat close to that area.  The pictures of people in cars trying to flee that didn’t make it, whole towns and communities destroyed, it is horrible! The death count now is up to 50 and the possibility to climb into the hundreds. I can only imagine the pain of survivors and family as they wait for news of their loved ones.

I took this picture this fall when a thunderstorm was building.  When I saw it, it gave me goosebumps. The bright spot right in the middle looks like an angel to me.

All I could think of was a couple of lines from the song, “Days Of Elijah.”

“And though these are the days of great trial, of famine, and darkness, and sword……Behold He comes, riding on the clouds, shining like the sun at the trumpet call. Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee and out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes!”

Today I am thankful for God’s promise, that we will soon see that bright spot, Jesus, coming back, riding on the clouds, bringing eternal life to all who love him.

Days of Thanksgiving…Day 13

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Bob Campbell

Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday. He is married to my only sibling, Pat.  Bob is a goofy, and somewhat daredevil sort of guy.  He likes practical jokes, motorcycles, boats, “jeeping”, which means in his case, driving a jeep in the desert over rocks and tight spots that doesn’t look anything like fun to me!

When I was fresh out of nursing school I went to live with Bob and Pat for almost a year. He was gracious enough to let me share their home and always made me feel like part of the family.

We used to go to the mall, lots of time just to window shop.  His favorite practical joke on me (along with my loving sis), was when we were walking back to the car.  We would get almost to the car and they would take off running, get in the car, drive off and leave me standing in the parking lot by myself. Of course they just went around the corner and watched me for a couple of minutes and then came and picked me up.  We would all be laughing hysterically.  That was funny the first time, amusing the second time, and came with a theat that I would get even with him the third.

That came a couple of weeks later when again we went shopping. Pat and I were walking in front of him with the kids in the stroller.  Every time we walked past a few people, I would lean over to Pat and say in a whisper, but loud enough for people to hear, “He is still following us, what should we do?”  When there was a pretty good group of people we were walking by, I repeated  the line to Pat, and then stopped, turned around to him, and said very loudly, “What is the matter with you?  Quit following us!!”  He was so embarrassed that he turned around and left. He didn’t catch up with us until we were half way across the store!

It was my turn to laugh hysterically.  He was a good sport and said “that one was a good one, Sherry.” ….. That also was the last time he left me in the parking lot.

Today I am thankful for Bob.

Days of Thanksgiving…Day 12

 

Like Michael Martin Murphy says in his song, I come from a long line of love; both above me and below me.  If you click on the individual pictures you can see who they all are.

I knew and loved everyone in these pictures except for my Great Grandparents Harriett and Absalom Wells, but hope to meet them in heaven someday.

I have been so blessed to have been raised in such an incredible family of love. This is my direct line and of course there are many extended lines of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

We were all pretty close growing up.  Time and distance has separated a lot of us, but thanks to social media, those ties are now being refreshed.

Today I am thankful for my family.

 

 

 

Days of Thanksgiving…Day 11

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Jim Craig

 

My Dad Jim Craig served in the Navy during WWII.  Three of my mother’s brothers also served in that war.

I have several cousins that were in the service, one wounded in Viet Nam. My husband had two uncles in WWII also, both Purple Heart recipients. He also had several cousins who have served our nation, one badly wounded in Viet Nam.

My husband and I both have family that are currently serving in our military.

So as you can see, loving our military and its veterans is a personal thing to me.

My husband and I went to breakfast at Perkins this morning after church.  A banner honoring all branches of our military stretched across their counter. There was a group of veterans sitting across from us.  Perkins paid for all their meals.  I thought that was very cool.

Our country enjoys freedom most countries can only dream of. But our freedom is not free. If you see a person in our country’s uniform today, thank them for their service.

Today I am thankful for our veterans.

 

 

Days of Thanksgiving…Day10

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I used to live in California near the Santa Rosa area where last year wild fires devastated entire communities.  It destroyed the Christian school where I attended for two years.

Now fires are raging through California again. The news is reporting that 20 plus people have lost their lives, many in cars trying to flee.

We lived through the Derby fire in Montana a few years ago, which burned a small portion of our ranch.  We were lucky.  Several lost homes.  I know of the fear they are going through.

When I see the pictures of the destruction and devastation, I ask myself, “what can I possibly give thanks for today?” My heart grieves with them all for what they are going through.

My husband, daughter, and two sons-in-law plus other family members have all fought on wildfires through the years. They risk their lives running into the fires that others are running from.  They are well-trained and knowledgable in fire management and safety.  I can tell you first hand that helps very little when you are the one sitting at home praying they will return in one piece.

Firefighters. They are what I am thankful for today.  May God protect and keep them and those they risk their lives to protect.