Friday, December 6

Advent Is Upon Us - How Are You Preparing?

The season of Advent is the time of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas - How are you preparing your heart?  I know this post may be a little off topic for Advent, but when thinking about preparing my heart I have to think about what it is my heart craves and what it is that Jesus wants from us.  If my heart is craving other things that are 'of this world', I have no room for what is truly important, the stuff 'not of this world'.  So, in preparing my heart and mind for the coming of Christ this season.  I am going to try and focus on what it is that He wants for me, not what I want.

Well, when I was at a potluck for my Bible Study last night, the scripture below was quoted during the evening at some point.  My ears perked up when I heard Philippians 4 mentioned as 4:13 is one of my favorites!  But, I seldom include the other two verses before when I quote it, 4:11-12. Paul learned to be content with whatever his circumstance was, but how?  How do we learn to accept where and what God has chosen for our lives?  How do we accept our circumstances?  Paul knew that giving his heart to Christ, completely and fully regardless of his situation meant a closer relationship with His Saviour.

That is what I am longing for this Advent Season, a closer relationship with Him.  So, this year as we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, I hope that I can remember to make room for Him, I must purge the things of this world that distract me from being content.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:11-13

Sunday, August 4

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Simple, right?  Yes, it is when we give up the belief that we are strong enough on our own and don't need God.

These past few weeks have been so crazy busy that at times I've attempted to handle it on my own and forgot that I should be giving it to God because I am NOT strong enough!  That doesn't make me weak, admitting I can't do it alone, but it gives me relief to know that I don't have to.

God will walk along side of me through whatever it is providing me with the strength and courage that I need to face whatever crosses my path.  I just have to believe and then remember every day that, through Christ I can do all things!

Monday, May 20

Live Where You Live

It's been awhile since I've posted, but life got in the way!

A recent devotional I was reading by Suzie Eller simply stated 'live where you live'.  She was possibly going to have to move and had such anxious thoughts about what the future would hold for her and what location, etc.  But, she was losing sight of what was around her happening right this moment.  A wonderful neighbor, a small child sharing her pet, the flowers blooming in the garden........

What a great reminder that while we are worrying about the future, the present is happening.  We need to live where we are now, today.  If we focus so much on tomorrow, we miss what is happening right now.  So, I am determined to 'live where I live' and rather living with my thoughts and heart wrapped around what is yet to happen, I will begin my days asking God to show me His plan for the day and to help me accept it and not to miss the miracles all around me!  I will celebrate the small gifts of this day.

Well, with that said we've had a lot going on.   My thoughts have been focused on the future a lot and the days are flying by as I worry about what is to come.   I finally got a job offer from the City of Riverside to help run a 9 hole golf course that they recently have taken back from a lessee.   It looks like I will start on or around June 14th with the opening of the driving range.  Looking forward to the new opportunity to work with the City and get this course back in shape and celebrating the challenge as well as getting a paycheck!  We also are awaiting the birth of our new grandbaby girl whose arrival is quickly approaching, a visit from Leanna June 14th -21st, and then Makenzie and Gillie July 9-17th, lots of graduation celebrations, weddings and whatever else pops up over this summer.  But, as I make plans that are necessary, I will not lose sight of what is happening right now, today and at this moment.  I will rejoice in what miracles are taking place on this day.

One thing that we certainly enjoyed living in the moment was our trip this past weekend in Palm Springs for dad's annual CCCA conference  What a wonderful time hanging out with family and relaxing around the pool.  Just what we needed after moving into a new place, job searching, several unsuccessful job interviews in recent weeks and two car repairs that set us back a few dollars.  It was a welcome getaway; we celebrated my new job, laughed a ton, enjoyed meeting new friends and being with family - we certainly just lived in the moment.

I'm hoping that I can learn to 'live where I live' without my thoughts constanty wandering to the future.  I may miss something special that God has planned for me!

Dear Lord, help me to be content where I am and thankful for this day that you have set for me to enjoy!

This scripture from Philippians may help us all focus on today's events and keep our minds and anxious thoughts away from the future.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11 (NIV)

Thursday, April 4

Moving On

As I watch the sun peeking through the clouds and fog this morning and the visibility outside is clearer, my mind clears as well as I look to the future and the road we are headed down.

We are about a week and a half away from moving to our new place, picking up the key on the 14th and getting delivery of our household goods on the 15th.  As we begin the packing process my mind is racing through all that needs to be done to set up our new house, but I am calm.  My thoughts are going a mile a minute as I create list after list in my mind, but I am peaceful.  God has truly touched my heart and I am changing, just as He wants me too.

Packing up and leaving is certainly bitter-sweet.  We are leaving the never-ending hugs and kisses from princess Gianna, and the loving arms of our kids who have graciously allowed us to invade their space for the last three months.  Although we are leaving the confines of the house and the daily activities, we will remain so much closer than we have been in the last 14 years and that makes my heart happy!

As we go down this path, we do so with a skip in our step and thankfulness in our hearts.  We are moving on, but as we go we look to the future and what God has in store for us.  Luckily, we have family and friends nearby to support us every step of the way.  And in anticipation we await baby Stuck's arrival in June, Tucker's high school graduation, Kayla's college graduation, Cameron's 21st birthday celebration, a visit from two granddaughters this summer and whatever else is on the busy calendar for the rest of this year!  (Otto would probably add 'a job for my wifey')

God is good!

Thursday, March 21

Praise Him in This Storm

First off, let me start by saying we are so thankful and grateful to be here in California, closer to family, friends and for me, the BEACH.  With that aside, I need to vent a little, and what better place than this blog where only about 10 people will see.  LOL

So much going on.....finding doctors, filling prescriptions, looking for (and finally finding) a place to live, coordinating (and negotiating) final move with relocation company, resume writing, address changes, registration, license renewal and job hunting!  Whew, throw in a few visits with friends and family, trying to stay fit and eat healthy and there you have it!  The Perfect Storm.  Okay, thanks for letting me vent.

I have to say thanks to J and Corynn for letting us crash here, their lives are just as busy with work, doctor's appointments, coaching, day care and taking care of a toddler; plates are full all around the table at 8724 Pine Ave! 

As I throw my frustrations out in this post I feel a weight lifted and a sense of peace and settling in my soul.  How is that possible you ask?  What I do know is that the Lord's Hand is in on all of it and there is really no need for worry -  I guess the best way I can put it is He is there beside me, He is calming my soul, not the storm.  Sometimes the storm passes and we are okay, other times he quiets us and amidst the chaos, we are calmed.

I know a few posts back I wrote how unsettled I was and realized I wasn't turning to the right source of strength and power.  I guess now I am releasing it all to Him and allowing the Almighty to work in my life!  As I review the list above, it still exists with tasks slowly getting checked off, but still I feel a sense of peace and positiveness as I move forward this morning.

Thursday, February 7

Gloomy February Day

These gloomy days are not helping my motivation I'll tell you!  It's been cooler here with cloud cover all week long.  I've been hounding the Internet job boards and sending out resumes again, it seems like I've been looking for a job for a year, oh wait, I have been. 

We are settled in at J and Corynn's, I'm looking for a job,  I've joined back up with the old Bible Study from St. Margaret's and am helping lead a group of young women, so at least I have a ministry here.  I'm attending my AZ Bible Study through Skype every week and Otto is all settled in at work, and yet I seem unsettled within.  I can't figure out why I feel so low, so tired and lack motivation. 

What is this nagging feeling that I have?  I need to figure it out.  

Well, hello quiet time!  Here is the answer for sure, what was I thinking trying to figure it out on my own.  The first words of my devotional this morning said "Come to Me for rest and refreshment.  The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary.  Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion.  Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life."  Duh!

Romans 8:28 proclaims  "We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose"  His purpose, not mine.  All my scrambling and planning, controlling and worrying are not necessary, because all I do should be for His purpose not mine.  Yikes, how did I miss the mark so terribly?  Because I am human and am of the world.  So, the worldly battles I face are typical, but without me including God I surely will fail.  What He has planned is for good, that I need to remember.

Psalm 42:11 says "Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."  Put my hope in God?  Have I forgotten that along the way?  So, the nagging feeling I have is me just trying to do it all on my own and the lowliness is because I am not praising God and putting my hope in Him.  Okay, okay, I get it!  Let it go and let God, right? 

Tuesday, January 15

Minnesota Christmas - 2012

So, for the rest of our time in Minnesota I'm going to send you to Leanna's blog as it would be quite repetitive for me to publish another post!  Thank you and Happy New Year!

Happy reading!

Sunday, December 30

Christmas and Sledding

Christmas at the Hanson's - after several delays and waiting on planes we ended up in Minnesota late Saturday night with Leanna and William facing the chilly evening to pick us up.  Christmas was coming and there were lots of last minute preparations and shopping that needed to be done and as with tradition, we found ourselves at Target filling up our baskets with lots of goodies and gifts!  What a fun time we had - Christmas eve we attended the late service and then cooked up some pasta and other yummy sides for dinner.  We shared our meal then played games and watched a movie and when the kids where finally tucked in, us grown-ups headed up to wrap and watch 'Christmas Vacation'  We laughed and wrapped till 2am and finally went to bed in anticipation of what Christmas morning revealed!

Christmas day was spent enjoying our gifts and each other, movies, games and ping pong and more food.  We celebrated with double chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter frosting and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, compliments of Gillian, the baker!  The next day held a soccer match at Brit's and celebration of William and the arrival of J, Corynn and G.

Finally all together, the Stuck and Hanson's celebrated and caught up with all the happenings and as we all gathered around the table, sang Happy Birthday to Will who turned 11 years old!  What fun.

We decided to sled the next day and headed to Staring Lake for some winter fun.  It had been snowing all night and day so the ground was covered and promised some fresh snow for sledding.  And, it has been snowing on and off the last few days as well.  Enjoying FAMILY TIME for sure.

Friday, December 21

Packing Day and Snow!

As I sit here listening to the sounds of pots clanking, tape tearing and paper crinkling, I watch the soundless snow falling to the ground and my mind is already traveling to California where the warmth of the sun's rays will soon be hitting my face.  Today is the first day of winter, and boy it sure rolled in with a vengeance, it is cold and the wind chill probably has the temps in the low teens.   It is hard to keep the chill out and seeing the house slowly emptying of its contents the cold sets in a little further.  Deep in my heart I long for the sunshine of California, but I know I will miss the beauty of Pennsylvania and all the wonders we have seen, even on days like today.


The emptiness of the cupboards and bare walls remind me that as easily as things come, they also go so I need to enjoy this moment.  I am looking forward to the time in Minnesota with family, but I am here now in this moment, enjoying the sights and sounds that surround me on this chilly winter day.

So, wow, it is really happening.  We are moving, again.  What a whirlwind of activity that has brought us to this moment.

As we close out the last few weeks of 2012 we look forward to whatever God has in store for us in California and along the way but we remain ever grateful for our time here in PA.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 15

California Here We Come!

Okay folks, drum roll please!  We are moving back west and will land in Riverside (well J and Corynn's) the first week in January.

It's been rough recently trying to get our arms around this move and make some life-changing decisions.  But, it really wasn't that hard as family was beckoning us home.  And, with the birth of our 6th grandchild next summer, well that kind of sealed the deal!

Today the 14th of December Otto gives notice at Supervalu, I inform my employers and the next chapter for the Stucks begins.   Otto starts work with Kroger/Ralph's @ the Riverside DC on January 14th.

And, as we say good-bye to Pennsylvania, the state that welcomed us with the beauty of fall colors, amazed us with the promise of new things in spring and the fun-loving greens of summer, we head to the west with anticipation of memories to be made and adventures waiting to be had.

Although we say so long to the bone-chilling winter, and sadly some very cool and awesome friends and neighbors, we leave with our hearts full of this town and the many wonderful and amazing memories of our time here in the east.