Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer is ending and Fall is here.

I guess it's true, as one gets older time seems to go by faster. There must be a formula in physics that can actually prove this phenomena. One of you doctors of physics that happen to be reading this blog, put way all your other less significant work and get right on this won't you? :-) I recently read in several articles that the Speed of Light is slowing down. It's true. It's proven and it's measurable. What it means - no one knows. But every since I found this out I've been telling my husband, "Hey Love, it's 3:00 PM and the Speed of Light is slowing down, we should go take a nap."

Actually, I think we can all agree that time goes by faster when you're busy. Roseland is always busy. We're a seven day a week business and frankly, we could use a few extra hours in the day and another couple of days in the week. The preparation involved for our Bed and Breakfast guests, Wedding Events and Afternoon Teas is a big deal to us because we want every detail to be as perfect as possible. But I must say, it is so cool to see everyone running around, doing their job, and seeing everything coming together in an extraordinary way. What a team we have here! Whenever there is that rare down time, we all look at each other and say, "It's too quite. What's going on?" Then my husband says, "Enjoy the moment, because it won't last long." Then invariably, the phone line and the fax line rings just as someone walks in the front door! Ahh yes, back to normal. :-)

We've been blessed to host several church/Christian ministry sponsored Afternoon Teas this summer. The next one coming up is by Grace Baptist Church in honor of a Philippine missionary. This is very special to Steve and I as we have been to the Philippines ourselves on a mission trip. This is how it happened - Our church in Denver has a practice of bringing in missionaries once a month to tell the church what they, the missionaries, are doing to reach people for Christ and what we can do as a church to help them. We were always amazed to see what the missionaries had to struggle through to get even the littlest of things accomplished. Most requests were the same, prayer and funds. When Mark and Fredda Alston, missionaries from the Philippines came to speak to us however, their request was a little different. Fredda Said, "Yes, like most of the missionaries you hear, we covet your prayers and we need funds. But we are asking for more, we need you. We need you to come to the Philippines to help us with the training center. We need carpenters, framers, plumbers, and electricians. The work is great and the laborers are few. We need you to come help us." My husband turned to me and whispered, "We should go." I smiled at him and said, "Yes, we should go." My very next thought was, "God, why couldn't these people have been missionaries from France, Italy or Hungary? Why did they have to be from the Philippines of all places?" We stayed with our new Philippine missionary friends for three weeks, ate the local foods, participated in their outreach program, made repairs to one of their training centers, and Debbie even got to speak to a local cancer survivor group. It was an honor to participate for a short time in the work these amazing missionaries do every day. We were blessed far more than we bless them. Isn't that the way it usually works out though?

The fall/winter months are very busy around here - just the way we like it. The Bed and Breakfast, Wedding and Afternoon Tea business is wonderful. We love to meet all the fabulous people that come through our doors. What a blessing - thank you Jesus!

Love, Joy, Peace,


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A beautiful person.

Let me tell you about a beautiful person we briefly met the other day.

My honey and I were leaving to go to the store and we decided to take the trash out on the way. As usual, we threw several bags on top of the car to drive them out to the dumpster at end of our long driveway. Well, we were deep in conversation and completely forgot about the trash bags on top of the car! We were a couple hundred yards down the road when we heard “thud,” “thud,” and then a “smash!”

“Oh, no,” we cried, “we forgot about the trash on top of the car!”

My honey made a quick U-turn and there it was, the smashed bag all over the highway! Further down a few yards were the first two bags still in tact – yea! So, Steve pulled over and picked up the whole bags from the highway. Since we were right in front of Roseland Plantation, he swung in and threw those bags away. Then we drove to the house to pick up trash bags and a rake. Yes, a rake. My husband wanted to rake up food mess from the grass. I didn’t think we needed to actually rake up small biodegradable material like food scraps, but he was insistent so we picked up the bags and a rake.

By the time we got back to the highway, no more than two or three minutes, there she was. A beautiful young lady, nicely dressed, probably just in her twenties, pulled over (nice car too) by the side of the road picking up our trash! Can you believe it? My husband jumped out of the car and started picking up the paper trash. When I got out of the car, I was his bag holder while he picked up and raked the small stuff. Please don’t underestimate the job of a bag holder. It really is very helpful and besides, Steve said it made the work go faster. Eventually, as we drew near her, we were able to talk to this lovely young lady. No, she didn’t see it happen. No, she didn’t know whose trash it was, but it didn’t matter. To her, it was trash on a beautiful east Texas highway and she for one was not going to just drive by. Wow! My honey and I were blown away.

But wait, that’s not all folks - there’s more. As we were talking with her telling her our story of how it happened, and thanking her for stopping to help, she thanked us. Yes, that’s what I said, she thanked us for coming back to pick up our mess. She said most people would have just driven off and not bothered turning around to pick it up. Steve said that would have been unconscionable.

Now all this is more interesting as we were just reading about the Good Samaritan. As you know the Good Samaritan was the foreign guy who was driving along an east Texas highway, minding his own business, when he came upon local boy who just got robbed and beaten. OK, he wasn’t driving and it wasn’t east Texas, but those details really don’t matter to the story. The point is, the Good Samaritan wasn’t related to the guy and it wasn’t his mess to deal with. He didn’t have to stop, spend his own time and money to help - but he did. Now here’s the part that got me. Steve and I were blown away by someone who would simply stop and help pick up a bunch of trash along the side of the road that wasn’t their trash, but the Lord Jesus Christ is expecting us to do much more than that! He really expects us to spend our precious little time and our ever-shrinking money to help people. Even people we don’t know! To do otherwise is unconscionable.

Isn’t it interesting how the Lord brings home lessons like this in everyday situations?



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Aaand, we're off!

IMPORTANT: I'm putting an APB out for two very important items. I saw them here a minute ago, but now they are missing! This is very serious, as I cannot do without them. The items are ... January and February, 2009. If you see them, please return them ASAP!

Whoever said that January and February were "down times" for the Bed and Breakfast and Wedding business was fibbing to me. I don't believe things have let up one little bit since Christmas. Of course, you will tell me it's my own fault, I know you will, because between weddings, bed and breakfast guests, tours, etc., we've been painting the chapel, and the pews, and the ballroom, repaving the walk from the Windsor House to the chapel, landscaping, building an owner's quarters, and an office, and more. Yes, yes, I know much of the busyness was of my own creation, but I still think it was rude of January and February to just up and vanish the way they did!

We're heading into a very busy 2009 and our first spring wedding this weekend. The weather has been unusually warm and our pear trees are blooming already. This will make a lovely backdrop for the wedding. We'll bring out the ferns and other plants that have been in captivity all winter to decorate the facility. I know it will be a beautiful event.

I'm glad our dogwoods haven't bloomed yet. I hope they hold off until later this spring. We have many, many weddings in April and May and the dogwoods are just spectacular when they bloom. The gardens we put in last year are looking very well. We will have roses galore in a month or so.

God is good all the time - all the time, God is good.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where did my blog go?

Honest, I started a blog post a few days ago. I saved it as a draft so I could finish it later, but now I can't find it! Where did my blog go?

Well, I cannot start another whole post now. It's late and I've got to get going. I'll have to try to get one done sometime this week.

So sorry.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Hey Look what I found - the lost blog! Happy New Year!

Wow. 2009 is here already. Amazing! What I wrote in my September 7, 2008 blog came true - the end of the year was so busy that "in a blink" 2009 appeared. And, now that we are receiving Wedding, Bed and Breakfast and Tea event inquiries and bookings for 2010, I'm going, "Wait! Hold on just a minute! We haven't had 2009 yet!" My husband and daughters are saying, "Mom, you go ahead and enjoy the moment; we'll take care of the future." Works for me. Somebody has to stop and smell the roses. :-)

Let's reminisce.
We've met many, many lovely people in 2008 through our Bed and Breakfast, Wedding events, Tea events and Tours. Local folks and others from all over the world have come to east Texas and have found themselves at Roseland Plantation for one of these events. And that's the best part of this business - the people we are blessed to meet and get to know. Many guests come to get away from it all and want to be recluse - and Roseland Plantation is a great getaway for peace and quite. Other guests love to socialize and Steve and I really enjoy sitting in the library and visiting with them. We'll talk about our families, work, east Texas, who's who and what's what. We have hosted ministers, Realtors, computer programmers, authors, lawyers, judges, teachers, construction workers, police officers, firefighters, military men and women, housewives and househusbands, bankers, tellers, musicians, retail workers, doctors, health care workers, television show producers, conservatives, liberals, Christians, atheists, Hindus, Jews, white, black, Asian and more. We may not agree on every issue, but we'll generally have lots of laughs and most of the world's problems solved, more or less, before we call it a night and go to bed. Ha! Ha!

Our owner’s living quarters is still a work in progress. Projected completion dates have come and gone. It's very, very frustrating. I keep trying to focus on the blessing it will be once it's completed and try to be grateful. Hopefully we’ll get to move in mid-March 2009. I had to type in “2009” in the last sentence because it feels like it could very well be 2010 before it’s done. ☹

Let’s look forward.
Steve has several projects for early this year. January, February and March are considered “down time” and the perfect time for maintenance. It’s fun to spruce things up for the New Year. We are painting the entire chapel and pews, the ballroom, repairing and expanding the brick walk from the Windsor House to the chapel, adding an office and doing much landscaping and adding gardens. There's more of course, but I can't remember everything right now.

Our spring/summer 2009 calendar is pretty booked and our fall 2009 and spring 2010 is filling up – yea! Who could ask for anything more?

Let me just say that through all the ups and downs, trials and joys, fears and great expectations of 2008, God has been faithful. The economic recession is difficult on many and, OMG, who could believe the $4 per gallon gas prices we had last year! On top of everything else, the return of my cancer in early 2008 was completely unexpected. The extent it had spread throughout my body was shocking. But look at me now, still alive and kicking due in no small part Dr. Seidel of Tyler, Texas who I believe God used saved my life. He referred me to my wonderful oncologist also of Tyler, Dr. Vukelja and I am in one of her studies. God continues to save my life through her good work. Though I had a rough 2008 with many hospital stays, currently my tests are excellent. Dr. Vukelja says I should be “The Poster Child” for the study I’m in because I am doing so incredibly well. I could live with that, having ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of my internal organs plastered in medical books around the world showing the effectiveness of the study I’m in. True, it’s not American Idol, but since I can’t sing or dance, I have to take what I can get.

So why am I still here?
If you are a Christian, you know the answer – to proclaim Christ and the good news of eternal life in heaven through His incredible gift of salvation. But there is an urgency I feel now. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.


*the word catholic here means the Christian Church as a whole, not the Roman Catholic Church

I pray grace and peace to you in 2009 and beyond,