thankfully, another year

Like most years, as this year draws to a close, it brings pause for reflection and a little optimism for a new start with another year. Did you ever see the Disney movie, “Pollyanna?”  It is a classic and well worth your time if you haven’t seen it. Pollyanna is an orphan of missionaries who comes to live with her aunt. She shares new perspective for her Aunt Polly and much of the her new town as she plays the Glad Game. The Glad Game involves turning bad things that happen to her and to others into a positive, all based on how they choose to look at it. I believe that game can be played on most of what life hands us. Find the good in everything, even challenges.  In almost any situation, circumstances aside, life can be so sweet and rich and full all by how we perceive it. And that is the trick.

The year ahead will be filled with both wild good and most difficult. As we peek around the corner to take a look at 2019, I see challenges ahead for us, but I know that we will tackle each one with all the grace God gives us as we commit to focus on the sweet moments. Mike’s parents will be joining us here at the ranch and that will be a gift to us to spend time with them and take a more active role in their care.  I want this to be a gift of care and love to them as well, but I also know Mike’s and my patience is not what it should be. So, while we approach this task with trepidation, we recognize what a privilege it is to have them with us as our mentors, our example of what love means, and our sacrifice of joy. It will be a privilege to be part of their lives as they round the next corner of their story.

We also will be sharing in the lives of our seven grandchildren as they show us how to look at life with wonder and enthusiasm and wild imagination. We are very blessed to live near them. It is a rare week when we haven’t seen at least some of them.  We will never take this gift lightly, and will continue to soak up every moment, as time goes so very quickly.

Other things I hope to pursue in 2019 will be to return to photography and learning more about light and developing an eye for the shot, and return to writing more here on the blog, whether it’s about spiritual revelations or spicy recipes. It is my plan to share here more, and it might be a place to come to vent a little, too. I suppose that is yet to be determined. The story continues, and one thing is certain. Whatever will appear, it will be from my heart.

How about your new year? Are you looking forward to your next chapter? I surely hope you are. Wishing you a most blessed 2019! Love and hugs~ annie


Mike and Annette in Denver. Aug 2018


another decade

I know you can turn over a new leaf any time you want, but there is power in having a whole new calendar page to say, “I’m leaving the old behind.” I’m a new creation. I have a blessed clean slate to do better and renewed strength and resolve to let my wondrous God complete in me that good work that He started. 

I am so ready for a new start. Weight issues, age issues <grin>, soul issues <grimace>, all call for new commitment and blessed new energy to accomplish the somewhat ambitious if not lofty goals. I’ve said before how I don’t call them resolutions, probably out of fear of failure. However, especially this year, as I begin my jubilee decade, I need something to shoot for. You know the old “Aim at the stars, and you may hit the top of the gatepost; but aim at the ground and you will hit the ground.” So no more ground grovelling for me.

 I have some plans for this blessed New Year. For one, I’m taking piano this semester–finally. I’ve never wanted to go back and learn theory because I play by ear, and am so impatient to learn how to “really” play. If I continue to blog more (another goal), I am sure you can look forward to hearing about some of these frustrations. Also, I am starting a weight loss program. Yes, again.   I am serious though–I need it for heart health, and I really detest the idea of being fat and turning fifty all in the same year. It just doesn’t seem right.  And more importantly, and the point of this post, I am planning on doing some serious soul connecting with Bible study and fellowship this year. Two of these we’re doing online.  The first is a book group called The God of All Comfort by Dee Brestin. If you’re interested in doing this with us, you can read more here. The second is reading the Bible in The Message this year in conjunction with Larry Crabb’s new book, Sixty-Six Love Letters: A Conversation with God that Invites You into His Story.  Bev Brandon is inviting others to join her in working through the Bible and writing what touches our hearts as we journey together again through His magnificent Word. Both of these ventures will be with a group of blog buddies. If you haven’t spiritually walked with a group online before, I cannot tell you how much it encourages me to stay focused and adds dimension and love to each study. As Dee states, “A log alone means a dying fire, but logs together burn brightly!”  Please pray about joining me this year as we walk together through the Bible and study Dee’s book.

Well, the homemade granola (recipe here) is ready and the black-eyed peas are on the stove. We’re cooking up the traditional meal to bring in the New Year, and we still have the kids here for a short while longer. Nothing is sweeter to me than my house full of loved ones and a lot of chaos!  

I wish you all much love, good health, and the Peace of the Christ-child in your hearts and homes in 2010!