Thursday Doors – Rescue

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Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I recently ended up getting a new laptop.  I haven’t transferred my old photos and the recent ones are sorely lacking in doors. Today, I was determined to find a photo to participate in Thursday Doors hosted by Norm 2.0 (you can pop over and click the blue link to check out other amazing doors).

Low and behold, I found a photo of a door on my phone (which is only there because I actually backed up my old phone and put all the information on the new phone.  WooHoo!)

This was from our summer vacation to Carolina Beach, North Carolina. This door is on the alley between the two main shopping walkways that run parallel to the wooden boardwalk.  The Carolina Beach Fire Department takes care of fires, medical responses, and the Ocean Rescue Life Guard Program. There are 20 lifeguard stands spread across approximately 3 miles of shoreline. The lifeguard season runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  During the season, they are there at 10:00 AM every day of the week and stay until 4:45 PM Monday through Thursday and until 6:45 PM on Friday through Sunday.

I need the sea because it teaches me – Pablo Neruda

I have three kids who love surfing, skim boarding, and boogie boarding, along with everything else the ocean has to offer.  Given the fact that injuries can happen and also that the ocean is filled with animals who can be unpleasant, I appreciate the fact that this door exists.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf – Jon Kabat-Zan

I hope to never need lifeguard services, but have peace of mind knowing that they are there!

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

Time Travel Tuesday

Some of you have asked more about the historical quest I’m taking with my DNA testing and genealogy research.  If your wondering what in the world I’m talking about, you can check out this post, where I got back my DNA results.

I took my DNA test through Ancestry.com (disclosure: this is not a sponsored, paid for, whatever…post).  I used them because my mother has a membership through them for her genealogy research and had taken the test through them.  From the date I ordered the test until I received my results was 6-7 weeks. They ship you the test, which must be activated with the special number.  I hadn’t asked my mother what type of test it was.  Be prepared that this isn’t a swab your cheek test.  It is a saliva in a tube test.  I’m just gonna leave that right there and move on.  You send it back in a pre-paid box.  They send you an email when they receive it and then the wait begins.  It really does take between 6-8 weeks before that email pops into your inbox saying that your results are in.

You should know that your ethnicity estimates are unique to you. Because there is randomness in the nature of genetic inheritance, they can differ.  I would guess that they are still pretty similar, but I am not a geneticist, so don’t take my word for it.  You also have a list of DNA matches.  These are people who have also taken the test through Ancestry.com and share DNA with you.  It lists how many are 4th cousin or closer (in my case, the number is now at 460.  My husband is at 693!)  A 4th cousin is pretty far removed, but can still help with the tracing of genealogy.  It breaks those down into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins.  These are estimates based on the DNA, but I’ve found them to be pretty accurate.  They also list the confidence levels at: extremely high, very high, high, good, and moderate.  There are also distant cousins, if you have the time to go through them all, (my page totals are 326- 9.5 pages are 4th cousin or closer).  I find them helpful when I am searching my matches by surname or birth location.

I wanted to be able to research my family tree so I joined Ancestry.com to have access to the historical records.  I’m not sure if it’s just through the membership or if all DNA test takers have access, but they have this amazing thing called DNA circles. These are created around an ancestor in your tree that shows who shares DNA with each other and is related to this ancestor.  Not everyone in the circle with share DNA with each other, but they share enough DNA with enough other members to be confident that they are indeed related to this ancestor.  They also will show you potential ancestors who are not in your tree based on the fact that you share DNA with enough members that there is a 70% likelihood you are related to said ancestor.

This has been a great jumping off point in seeing if I am related to the person.  For example, I recently had one show up and when it said he died in Airdrie, Scotland I knew which side of the family I was seeking.  My great-great grandparents were married in Airdrie.  As I dug around, I discovered that his grandmother and my great-great-GREAT grandmother were sisters!

I am finding out many amazing tales along the way.  I’m hoping to be able to share them here as I travel backwards (and sometimes sideways) through time.  I tried to cover the process, but if you have any questions about it you can comment below or shoot me an email at bedlamanddaisies@gmail.com

Let your light shine!

Amy

For My Mom

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She smiled the day we met.

Little hand placed in hers.

Passing of time marked in years.

She has laughed with me at the silliest things.

She has wiped away my tears of heartache.

She has shared in my times of joy and in my times of grief.

She has stood beside me as I gazed upon each of my children for the first time, knowing that I had begun to understand her love in those moments.

She gave sacrificially to her children, not because she had to, but because she wanted to.

She loved us deeply, not because she had to, but because she wanted to.

So today, on her birthday, I’m taking a moment to say “Thank You” and “Happy Birthday, Mom!”.  I am very blessed to be able to talk to my mother almost daily.  She is my sounding board, my voice of wisdom and reason, and one of my best friends. She shines her light wherever she goes.  Perhaps that’s why she’s so aptly named Dawn. 🙂

Use today as a chance to let somebody know that you love them and/or that you are thankful to have them as a part of your life!

Let your light shine!

Amy

Her children arise and call her blessed.  Proverbs 31:28a

 

 

Closer, Closer….

I was testing out the zoom capabilities of the iPhone 7 Plus.  These photos haven’t been edited.  I’m hoping to get out and really put it to good use in the coming days! 🙂

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I hope that Tuesday has brought you many smiles!!  As a side note, I’ve discovered this is my 100th post!

Let your light shine!

Amy

Turning my eyes to the hills


It’s confession time!

I’ve been in and out of the blogosphere and in and out of social media.  I’m trying to keep up because I genuinely care what everyone has to say and share.  My mind has been overwhelmed with processing stuff going on in my life.

I had an interaction with somebody that I thought went wonderfully, and then things led me to believe that perhaps I’d been mistaken.  This situation made me question whether that task I’d been pursuing was even worth my time. I had been sure that my prayer for direction had led to this pursuit.  I was left with my mind reeling.  Did I hear wrong?  Was this a sign to stop the task?  Was this task even worth my effort?  I replayed everything over and over.  I wanted to walk away from it all.  I wanted to scream from the rooftop. It made me feel as though I had lost my voice.

That I was less than…

And should be silenced.

I was angry about that.  Angry, bewildered, and upset with this person. Their choice had created more decisions for me.  The whole situation was mind consuming.  I prayed for clarity.  I wanted to understand, wanted answers, wanted direction…and wanted to blame. I wanted to blame them and those surrounding them.

On September 13th, I read the daily devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  And there, in part, were these words:

Give your mind a break from its habitual judging.  You form judgements about this situation, that situation, this person, that person…

And I was stopped.  I felt as though my breath had been knocked out of my body.  As a child, one of my favorite verses was Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  I clung to that verse when I would feel under the weight of judgement.

And here I was, judging them.  I don’t know why they made the choice that they did, but that is not for me to understand.

I then read the devotion that I receive via email written by the women at Proverbs 31 ministries.  In it, a verse was contained that I had been reflecting on the day before:

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”-Philippians 1:6

He has begun a good work in me and he will complete it.  Of this, I am sure.

I ordered some books about a month ago.  I was so excited when I ordered them, and so excited when they came in.  Then school began, and they sat forgotten.  I think it’s because now is the time for me to read them. The one that I’ve started is 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit by Nicki Koziarz.  It’s based on the book of Ruth.  If you’ve read my marriage post, then you know that verses from Ruth were spoken in our vows.  I’m only a chapter in, but in this moment I know:  I won’t be silenced.  Until God tells me any different, I will continue to pursue that which he has called me to do.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. -Psalm 121:1-2

Music and its lyrics always speak right to my soul.  This song has often come on the radio during this time and every word holds so much truth for me.

 

I realize that some of my readers have different religious or spiritual backgrounds than me.  I also have friends who are atheist or agnostic. And if all those overlap and I’m using the wrong terms, I think you get my point. We are all on a journey and I’m pretty sure most humans can get behind the two main things I try to live by (not saying I don’t fail miserably quite often, but I try):

Do not judge & Love your neighbor as yourself.

Here and Now, I will continue to try to shine my light into the world and I hope you keep beaming out your awesomeness!!

Let your light shine!

Amy

 

 

Reflections On The Day Before My Birthday


If the title didn’t give it away, tomorrow is my birthday.

Birthdays always seem a time to ponder and reflect about how far I’ve come and where I’m heading.  What do I want to accomplish?  Am I being true to who I’m called to be?


September 11th is a day of remembrance.  A day forever seared into my reference of the past.  Most of us who were alive in 2001 can recall that day with vivid memory.  My oldest child was 1 1/2 and the middle child less than a month old.  My mother had come over and we were going to head over to my aunt’s a little later for our weekly lunch.  My husband called to tell me to turn on the news because a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.  I turned on the news and watched as a second plane collided with the other Tower.  My mother and I watched in shock.  The world became a very surreal place.  It didn’t feel as though this could be happening.  We would travel to my aunt’s and watch the news with towers on fire, the collapsing, the dust, the anguish.

…And life would be forever be changed.

I had plans for an evening out with friends the next night in celebration of my birthday.  We thought about cancelling, but life continued even in the midst of tragedy (something I would feel firsthand during my oldest’s brain injury).  It was a somber occasion with our thoughts constantly on those hurting and those searching for their family, those seeking answers.  In the days following, we would find relief when somebody was rescued, feel thankful to those whose sacrifice averted even larger tragedy, and worry if another attack would happen.

…And life would be forever be changed.

My husband had a birthday two weeks later. I had planned a trip to North Carolina as a getaway.  But I just couldn’t bear to leave my children to get on a plane so close to the attack.  It was an optional trip and the fear was too fresh.  I still wanted to make his day special so we planned a weekend getaway to Disney World.  We lived in Naples, Florida still so it was a short drive.  The time there was very surreal.  If you’ve ever been to any Disney theme parks then you know that standing in any space empty of people is unheard of.  There were people there, but it felt like you were the remaining people after an apocalypse.  Most people were avoiding places that were typically large gathering spaces, in fear that those places would be a target.  And to be honest, I was apprehensive about being there, but I also didn’t want to stop living.

…And life would be forever be changed.



14 birthdays have come and gone since that day.  Tomorrow I will turn 39.  I had planned to prepare a 40 before 40 list of things I wanted to accomplish.  I made it to number two

And life would be forever changed.

 My words and thoughts remained locked in a place I couldn’t access, my photography visions became stagnant.  It felt like the constant decisions I needed to make would engulf me.  I did the only thing I could do and pressed more deeply God’s promises.  My life verse in this season is:

 

I don’t have all the answers that I want.  I just know that I am faithful that he has a plan.


He always seems to send a word when I need it and when I would get into my car, this song would come on as a great reminder of his daily presence in my life

Reflection is always an important component in life.  It helps you realize what adjustments you might want to make as you continue on your journey.


I hope that you are all having a wonderful day and thanks so much to those of you who took time out of your day to send well wishes and good vibes for my kids to get over the sick bugs they picked up at the beginning of the school year.


Kindness is something we can offer those we pass by on a daily basis.  Even a smile can change somebody’s life.  Be a world changer 🙂

 

Let your light shine!

Amy