#NorthernLightsBook Blog

For over 24 hours, I have been trying to compose a review for a book by Cathy Parker. I have never felt as inadequate and as lost for words! She has written a book that will rock your world in a way that will leave you wanting to get up and get busy helping others! The manner in which she tells her story will light a fire in the depths of your heart and make you want to know God the way she knows Him!

She describes the process she went through to ensure the community of Barrow, Alaska and their young people were given a field on which they could play football. The problems she had to face and fight through would have made most businessmen and women throw in the towel time and time again. It took faith, perseverance, and lots of stamina, strength, and willpower to see her dream through to a successful and wonderful beginning for Barrow, their youth, and their football program.

Northern Lights is a true story of a wonderful woman’s dream, her willingness to get out of her comfort zone, and the awesome group of people who joined her and worked to change the lives of a community and their young people. I read the book in one afternoon because I could not put it down. I laughed, cried, and even felt the closeness of God as I read of the miracles that occurred during the fulfillment of one woman’s dream. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves football, learning about the Alaskan culture, or hearing about God’s Miracles!

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Dilemma— What Should I Do?

Truth!!!! I am faced with a real dilemma! I went through my pantry, freezer, and refrigerator! I try not to be wasteful; however, as I took inventory, I realized I truly have a “sugar” problem! In my refrigerator, I had almost a full gallon of peach lemonade and three six packs of 16.9 ounces of Pepsi. I also have plenty of water.

In my pantry, I won’t even begin to list the sugar filled items; but based on the refrigerator, I will allow you to imagine my pantry (at least three packs of peeps reside there)! I love orange slices (not the fruit ones), circus peanuts (not the roasted or boiled ones, although I love those, too), and various chocolates! I suppose one would say I am a junk food addict!

The freezer is a whole subject of its own. Ice cream, oh my goodness! It looks as if they announced a coming shortage of snicker ice cream bars and nutty buddies! A 10 layer chocolate layer cake greets me each time I lift the freezer lid. I am sure if I searched further, I would find many other sugary items.

Now, for the dilemma! After reading several articles about the effect of sugar on my body, I have decided I need to eliminate sugar from my diet. Since I don’t want to be wasteful, I am sure it will take me years to eat my stockpile because I don’t want to poison someone else’s body. However, I don’t want to continue poisoning my body either! Do I eat my sugary bounty or do I wait until the expiration date and discard my spoils?

All this thinking about what to do about my dirty little habit has made me hungry. I think I will get a Pepsi, a package of Peeps, and a nutty buddy and consider my options a little longer.

Until next time, Hester

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A Pathway

I was contemplating some of the paths my life has taken. At times, I have allowed myself to drift away from goals and plans, and I have had to work at getting back headed in a direction better suited for my life. Those times cause me to have to hewn out the weeds and thorns which have blocked my journey.

It’s odd how we get the idea that doing good things causes God to give us good things. It is generally true that when we live life God’s way, things go better. Abraham is an example of how God keeps his promises even when we lack faith. I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness, love and mercy, even when I deserve the opposite.

I believe Jesus is waiting to return because he wants more people to have time to trust him. Maybe God delayed the birth of Isaac to give Abraham the chance to become the man he should be before becoming a father. God’s timing is perfect, and he considers things we don’t even know about.

One example is when the angel tells Hagar that her son will live in constant conflict with his relatives; a prediction that is fulfilled in the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors today. Everything that occurs is a part of God’s plan even though it is sometimes difficult to understand. The safest place to be is doing what God says. It doesn’t always feel that way in the moment, but it is true.

When I redirect my steps and actions, I experience more success, joy, and happiness! The peace I find is so much sweeter. The realization that my Heavenly Father is and has been right there all the time through my sadness and struggles gives me an abundance of security and an amazing feeling that one day I will join all my loved ones who have already entered an eternity in paradise that God has prepared for us.

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One Person’s Junk Can Become Another Person’s Treasure

As I begin to assess my belongings, I realize I have spent a lifetime collecting material things that have no real meaning. If, for some reason, I had to gather the most valuable possessions to hold on to, I would not take anything that cost money! The most precious things would be memories that I hold close to my heart. For that reason, I am cleaning out my collections of “junk.”

As I search through treasures I have stored up, I vow to rid myself of things that are binding me and keep only mementos that hold precious memories! For over fifty-five years, I have weighed myself down with possessions that are of little value to others, who will have to dispose of them when I leave my earthly home and reach my heavenly home! As a gift to my loved ones, I am disposing of my junk, and I pray that they will become someone’s treasures.

Books were the first things I started collecting. A few years ago, I donated several boxes to libraries and groups who helped people who were struggling. However, the books seem to have multiplied like rabbits. I have so many that need a new home. They will be the first to go and extremely cheap.

Through the years, I have amassed a lengthy collection of VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, and Albums. I know, these are outdated, but there are some real “jewels” among this collection. They are in “mint” condition and just begging to be adopted. All they want is a new home.

Furniture fills my personal space, and I truly need to downsize. Also, I have collections of angels, Santa’s, toys, and miscellaneous other items that clutter my home and my mind! Why did I do this to myself? I have been retired from teaching for nine years, and I still hold on to materials for some reason I cannot fathom. I certainly won’t be going back to my beloved career!

I have all of my yearbooks from my years in school and for every year I taught – over 30 years of memories! What does one do with all of this “stuff” now? It is definitely difficult to dispose of, but I certainly can’t take it with me! I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to be burdened with the task of going through and tossing my “junk!” Well, I can see I have at least one more important task to complete! Lord, help me!

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Letter to Clyde in Heaven

For the past five years, as March begins to end and April 1 approaches, I have a hard time facing each day, struggling to make sense of your death. I cry before bed each night. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry you had to leave so soon. I didn’t want you to leave, but please know that although you had to go, I know you are never far away. Those chills I get when I am all alone, it’s you giving me a hug. You are still here. That is why I find it so difficult to leave our home! You made it our home! At times, I can hear your laugh and feel your presence! Those beautiful rainbows that stop me in my tracks are you saying hello. Those butterflies that flutter around me are you reminding me I am not alone. I hear you say goodnight to me as I drift to sleep each night, and I whisper “goodnight” back. I wish you could hear me saying, “I love you” every day.

You would be so proud of our children and grandchildren! Although they miss you, too, they are doing exactly what you would want: taking care of me and their families, helping others, serving God! Our children have made sure I am happy. Our grandchildren are maturing into wonderful young men and women. They are all beautiful, handsome, talented, and caring people. They all love you and are carrying on your legacy. You gave them a wonderful foundation!

I miss you with every breath I take, every joyful moment is also filled with sadness and wonder. The wonder of what you are like, what you look like, what you have become. I know you are happy, free, and well now. I know you are at peace now. That knowledge makes it a little easier to make it through the days. I know how much you loved me and our precious family. We can still feel your love, it reaches us all the way from heaven. Although there are days that I think I can’t keep going, days that I can’t wait to join you, I realize that my purpose here on Earth is not finished.

I am doing some of the things we said we would do together. I have ventured out and taken trips, gone to concerts, attended shows at the Fox Theater, and ate at so many different and interesting restaurants. I have even done some things you would never have thought I would do. I went zip lining with Heather and Spencer. I went to IFly with Cason and then again with Debbie, Emily, Ellie Scott, Connor, and Cason. It was exciting, and I somehow felt like you were smiling and saying, “You, go girl!”

I have created a “bucket list” of things I want to do that we talked about doing! At the top of my list is a trip to Graceland and a trip to Niagara Falls. I plan to do as many of the things we talked about doing as I am able. All my adventures would have been so much more fun if you could have been here to enjoy them with me! I love you and will join you when God says “Come Home, My Child!” Until that day comes, I want to help others and be the person who would make you proud. ❤️❤️❤️

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We Are The Church; We Are America!

When I started this blog, it was originally a means of sharing my memories with my children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends! Lately, I have visited and revisited the idea of the country I am so proud to call myself a member – The United States of America. We have always had problems of division in our country, but nothing like we are experiencing now! It can be likened to the time of The Civil War. We are faced with things that could seriously be our downfall from within our society.

While we are fighting against each other, our enemies are fueling the fire and preparing to end the freedoms that we have enjoyed. We are becoming the fodder for their jokes and enjoyment. Have you ever witnessed a schoolyard fight? The ones involved in the fight are not the ones who are enjoying it. Those on the sidelines, who are not brave enough to take a stand are the ones who are benefiting from the entertainment. We need to step up and join hands so that we can bring our country back together and fight the real enemies. The truth is politicians benefit from war and unrest within. It is the means to keep being re-elected.

There is an old saying that the church is not the building, it is the people who make the church. The same thing can be said of our great nation. America is not just a country, it is the people who make our nation. With all the diverse ethnicities in our country, we have to be tolerant and accepting to the different beliefs. That does not mean that any group should be favored above another, but it also does not mean that any group should be persecuted because of their beliefs.

Our actions and reactions to laws, rules, and regulations causes the hatred, unrest, and negativity that is being perpetuated in our country! Our opinions don’t make us better people, but our behavior does! One man, neither Obama nor Trump, caused all these problems. We have a government with checks and balances that assures us that we are not ruled by a dictator. When our government is functioning properly, it protects us. However, when our politicians have their own agendas, they get in the way of the process! Some of our politicians need to retire and let change begin to happen. The greed, hate, negativity, and lying needs to be replaced with the ideals for which our country was founded. Term limits would solve most of the problems. Then, we would not have comfortable politicians who are just taking care of their own agendas. However, having said all of the above, this is just my opinion and that doesn’t make it better, but my behavior will be such that I am determined not to stoop to criticism of those who disagree!

Until next time,

Hester

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Cry Me A River

Tears have always been a large part of my life. I cry when I am happy, sad, and nostalgic. However, tears can be healing, cleansing, and motivating. Tears are caused by many types of emotions. I have felt them all: Joy, grief, fear, depression, stress, frustration, laughter, empathy, anger, pain, sadness! I have ridden the merry go round or ferris wheel of all emotions during my life.

For the past two weeks, I have been binge watching the series, “This is Us.” I have cried a river of tears watching each episode. The characters and the incidents brought back memories of every stage of my life. At times, I felt like my heart was being ripped right out of my chest. I believe I chose a time of the year when I was most vulnerable, but I imagine I would have felt the same way regardless of when I chose to watch it. I am just glad I watched each episode alone because I did some “ugly” crying. I read somewhere that God collects all our tears, and I know during the past few years He has collected enough for a flood from me. I stopped wearing mascara because I was getting permanent black marks on my cheeks and under my eyes.

Holidays make me very emotional, and I am sure this is true for many people. If you have been a person who usually spends holidays with a special someone and they are no longer with you, it can be a difficult time. My precious family tries to make up for the fact that my soulmate is no longer physically with me. I try to explain to them that I am okay. The statement that misery loves company is not necessarily true. The thing is I cannot simply replace fifty-one years with new traditions and memories. It is not that easy. As time slowly passes, I make small changes, but I do not want to replace all the memories. I am not being melodramatic or stubborn. Some things just cannot be replaced, and I do not want them to be. Therefore, at times I will cry me a river, and that will allow me to plant seeds that can grow into something beautiful. After all, that is what life is all about: the ups and downs, ins and outs, highs and lows, and even the old and new!

Until next time,

Hester

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Moments in Time

A kiss, a hug, a smile, a tender touch, a joke, a soft laugh, a big full out belly laugh! A tear, a sob, a misunderstanding, a disagreement, an estrangement, a loss of friendship! All of these are moments in time, but they do not define us! How we deal with these moments is what defines us. We cannot take them for granted, but we must cherish the good times, look for the best in what happens to us, and learn from both the good and the bad.

When I was younger, many times I let the smallest things upset me. I gradually learned that I was only hurting myself because I could not move on to better things if I allowed myself to wallow in the negativity and hurt feelings. In addition, if I felt someone else had wronged me, I was giving them permission to continue to have a hold on me. I learned it was easier on my emotions to forgive them and move on to other things.

Even as an older adult, there have been incidents involving deceptive acquaintances which almost turned my life into a major disaster. However, my faith in my Heavenly Father and the support of my precious family gave me reasons to hold my head high and continue my journey. Family and friends are absolutely important to living a healthy and full life! Just like watering plants and feeding our pets, it is vital that we nourish and cherish our relationships.

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Friendship – Not Just a Word!

One of the things that enriches a person’s life the most is true friendship. The dictionary gives different definitions for friendship: the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends; a relationship between friends; a state of mutual trust and support. In addition, a friend is defined as a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal. Having a true friend makes a person richer than any amount of money. When that friend IS a member of your family, it is a real blessing not to be taken lightly.

A friend is someone who is happy to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing at all,or someone who doesn’t mind driving you on a stupid errand. A friend will get up at midnight just because you want to go on an adventure and doesn’t have to talk to really communicate with you. The bond between friends should never be taken lightly.

A friend is someone who not only does not care if you are ugly or boring, but does not even think about it; someone who forgives you no matter what you do, and someone who tries to help you even when they do not know how. A friend is someone who tells you if you are being stupid, but who does not make you feel stupid.A friend is someone who would sacrifice their life and happiness for you. A friend is someone who will come with you when you have to do boring things like watch bad recitals, go to stuffy parties, keep an appointment with a doctor, or wait in boring lobbies. You do not even think about who is talking or who is listening in a conversation with a friend.

A friend is someone for whom you are willing to change your opinions. A friend is someone you look forward to seeing and who looks forward to seeing you: someone you like so much, it does not even matter if you share interests or traits. A friend is someone you like so much, you start to like the things they like.A friend is a partner, not a leader or a follower. If you are fortunate enough to end up married to your best friend, it is without a doubt the best situation in which you can find yourself. Life will take you on an adventure of joy and happiness like no other that you can experience.

Until next time,

Hester

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Law Enforcement

The crimes that are committed against our LEOs are at an all-time high. Every day, we hear about another shooting and/or killing of one or more of our men or women in blue. My heart breaks for our law enforcement officers. The majority of them are dedicated, selfless, and driven to protect our society and provide a safe environment in which we can work, play, and live. When they put on their gear and head out to do their job, they don’t know if they will return to the safety of their homes and families! For most of them, the pay is not all that good, but they don’t do their duty for the pay anyway! They have an inner desire to serve their community and country by giving their lives in serving and protecting!

I have witnessed these men and women interacting with members of our society only to be rebuffed and criticized. Many of them give of their own private resources and time away from their families to help young people and other members of our society expecting nothing in return. The current attitude of certain elements of our society is horrendous. Just imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have these brave men and women. What if no one wanted to do the job they do? The chaos that would consume us could result in circumstances we can only imagine. Riots, death, and loss of material things would abound. No one, even criminal elements, would be safe.

My prayer is that God will convict people who are so filled with hatred, and their hearts will be changed! I pray that jealousy, division, and greed will be replaced with understanding, love, and generosity. We are one nation under God, and we are all brothers and sisters in the Family of God! We should have each other’s backs just like God has always had our backs!

“For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.” Psalm‬ ‭11:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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