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We headed up to Eagle River after I celebrated my thirty days of abstaining from wine with a glass of wine the night before.

It didn’t taste good. It made me tired. It kept me awake in the night.

For more than thirty years, I counted on my glass(es) of wine at the end of the day to pick me up. I’m part French! How could my “old friend” have let me down so?

I switched back to white grape juice, my “new friend.”

When God has called me to do something, I realize I may have to give up some of my rights and freedom to accomplish it. I may need to give up some of my activities, possessions and relationships to achieve the freedom I am longing for in order to fulfill his purpose in me.

I want him to delight in all the details of our lives, and have asked that we may live in a way that he can do that. We may stumble but we won’t fall because he offers good counsel, goes before us, levels the way.

I am traveling along a path where the pine trees are so tall and thin they look as if they could snap. I was in a hurricane once, and the tall thin pines in the forest around my house bent all the way down to the ground without breaking. God is directing our steps so we may bend low but not break. I have asked him to.

The day before the wedding, Todd was playing his guitar as I was going over my notes. Fannie and Mary were playing outside. They love it here on Meta Lake with a path to the water and I love the lush colors of the surrounding woods and roaming deer. Mary had escaped the night we arrived, and roamed the area like the deer for hours, unbeknownst to us. Feral that she is, after the four hour car ride, we thought she was hiding inside the house somewhere when we left for my sister’s barbecue.

Later that night, after we searched the house for the nth time, I called and called for her outside. “If she doesn’t come back,” Todd said, “it’s part of life. We have to be philosophical about this.” But I didn’t want to be philosophical, I wanted my cat.

I was headed out to sit on the steps to wait for her when she sauntered around the corner of the deck. “Mary’s back!”

I have put my hope in the Lord.

Traveling steadily along his path, I am moving, forward braver than before, less afraid, and surrounded daily in little miracles.

I center in on God’s unseen presence as the guitar music and Todd’s voice float through the air, the Spirit dancing between us, we are grounded in grace.

I woke at 3:00 am on the day of the wedding, worked on my words and message, and watched the sunrise with Todd, Fannie and Mary. Heading back to bed, I remembered when I was young; taking piano lessons, and how I prided myself on doing well without practicing. Glowing in the stars my teacher Mrs. Brown had placed on the top of each of my song assignments, I showed my father. ‘Just think how good you would be if you practiced,’ he said.

And now I have worked hard and practiced. I would only need to let go and trust. God can use someone who doesn’t know him, just imagine how much more he can do with those who trust him. I slept for two more hours.

There are great possibilities with God. I want the faith to follow.

The wedding setting was poetic and magical and beautiful. Autumn in the air, crisp and clean, the day couldn’t have been more perfect for marriage vows and a proclamation.

Now, day by day, dancing with the Spirit, grounded in grace, following in love and faithfulness, I pray we all may be like the wedding band, symbolizing our love ever flowing, ever enduring, new every morning, always persevering, and ever becoming who we were meant to be.

To all who mourn, God will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning. Praise instead of despair. We have endured our season of grieving. I knew my late brother would show up. I see him in his son, and in his son’s son.

They said my words were from the heart and that I stated what is real about life and marriage. What more could I have asked for?

What’s real? God’s grace is offered to us all, it has been sufficient till now and always will be. What more could we ask for?

Grand nephews.
My late brother’s son Christopher, an architect like his dad, and his grandpa.
Sunday Packer game with my younger brother and family.
Wedding day sunrise.
Waiting for her next escape.

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