Friday, November 4, 2016

THE GOOD LIFE, AND RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE EMPTY NEST



I am not sure where I got the idea that the empty nest would be a season filled with 
hours of leisure, 
schedules that were perfectly organzied with no interruptions 
and more time than I needed to nurture friendships,
advance my interests and organize all the parts of life that were pushed to the back burner and remained slightly unorganized thru the wonderful years of teenage drivers, high school sports and graduations, college acceptance letters and marriage proposals and weddings.   

Me and Rick, reflecting on life, in Anchorage, Alaska
I would propose the empty nest is more of a process than a one time event.  It signifies one job completed, but so many more new ones beginning, one chapter written, yet so many more chapters to write upon.   

The moments of "mourning the loss of life as we've known it for so long" and creating new normals as a couple have been real and existent.  But really, for us, it's been more of a shift than a loss.   Putting 18 years into making each of our children a "whole person" has been both exhausting and incredibly gratifying.  Along with the calling of being Godly parents and building a happy, healthy home, comes the grace and wisdom to embrace every season with open arms (even if that means an occassional prying open at times). 

Its an opportunity for us to lay hold of and walk in the promises that we've spent so many years investing in and believing for.  

"Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed."                        Psalm 112:1-2 

"Store my commands in your heart, for they will give you a long and satisfying life.  Never let loyalty and kindness get  away from you!  Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart.  Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation."  Proverbs 3:1-4  

Sarah and Me -- out to lunch for her 23rd birthday
Matt- Junior year at Grove City College 

As parents we never stop being a sounding board, we offer wisdom for decisions when asked, we never stop praying them thru and cheering them on.  Becoming great friends and watching our children enter adulthood with good reputation, holding fast to loyalty and kindness, seeing God's favor being poured out,  
It is something to be celebrated and never ever taken for granted!

I am however, still waiting to celebrate that idea of a perfectly organized schedule with no interruptions (wherever it came from) OR enough hours in a day to accomplish all the friendship, interests and leisure time that awaits.  Until then, I press on...... 



KNOWING AND GIVING THANKS FOR LIVING THE GOOD LIFE...
 IN THE EMPTY NEST. 

CRYSTAL 












Saturday, September 10, 2016

ALASKA IN OUR HEARTS

A long day of travel and time adjustments on Saturday left us feeling rather exhausted despite all the exhiloration from this amazing week.  We opted to unpack, do laundry and get a good nights sleep before completing and sharing our final leg of the journey.
Earlier in our week we had tried to schedule a hiking tour to Exit Glacier when we discovered guided tours for the season were over.  Hiking it ourselves was an option, so that is what we planned to do until we got up Friday morning to an overcast, damp, rainy kind of day.  Not really having the proper weather proof gear needed for a hike of this nature,  a change in plans would prove providential in allowing us the ultimate prize!
Driving 4 hours back up to Talkeetna to get a majestic view of Mt Denali in all of her glory (it was sunny and clear up there). 

Our view of Denali, the never ending wilderness, breathtaking landscapes and glacier fields as well as our scenic hikes and walks through the mountains, and this great state of Alaska is what will stay with us forever.  

In the grand scheme of things, our time was short but we feel blessed beyond measure to have had this opportunity of a lifetime.  We made the most of every minute and would love to return someday to continue
 discovering the trails and rivers and glaciers that time didn't permit us to explore this time around.  Although we did see quite a bit of wildlife, the good stuff requires more time for going much deeper into the National Parks and wilderness.

At the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center

As we made our way back to the airport we spent our final hours in the city of Anchorage.  That is where we discovered a bike trail that beckons us back.   Time didn't permit us to bike it, but we did walk a piece of it and got a few  photos.  http://anchoragecoastaltrail.com/




We shared one last meal together at The 49th State Brewing Company, overlooking this great city from rooftop seating....brrrr, the sun was shining but a chill was in the air.

In closing, our time shared with you wouldn't be complete without at least one "crazy tourist" moment too.    


For so long we only talked about Alaska.....NOW, she will forever be in our hearts!   
Thanks for sharing this most amazing journey with us.
God Is So Incredibly Good. 
Crystal
#Steimling25

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A DAY OF GLACIERS AND GOD'S PROMISES

A DAY OF GLACIERS AND GOD'S PROMISES
I wasn't sure I'd get to post again before our return....but after a day like today, making time to write about it and share pictures is an absolute must!   Just when we think the day before can't possibly be outdone with wonder and amazement, it is!  Each day bringing with it inspiration that reaches us in places and ways we never dreamed possible.  




Aialik Glacier





5 hours of grand and breathtaking beauty, meeting new people (we met another couple from Conshohocken, PA who was also there celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary) and allowing just another piece of this place to find a special place in our hearts.   
As we headed back to port, it began to rain a little---but no one seemed to even mind.  As Rick and I reflected on 25 years together, and our promise of FOREVER to each other, God gave us this. 
To the next 25 years.....God's gift, A promise!

Being one of only two people on board to capture this on camera, we received it as God's blessing and promise to us as we look to the next 25 years.  Sometimes you find the most unexpected gifts, in the most unexpected places.     

As evening drew near,  we warmed our hearts by the fire and savored the contentment in our souls. 

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O     LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.                             1 Chronicles 29:11 



ALASKA......you've been so good to us!  

I still have a few treasures tucked away for Saturday.....stay tuned. 
  
Crystal