Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cathy turns 50!

Unbelievable! Where does the time go? 50 years!! When I turned 40, I remember thinking "I can see myself living longer than 80, so I'm not middle aged yet." Now that I'm 50, I can't really see myself living to 100, so I guess I'm officially middle aged.

I must say turning 50 has been great. I have enjoyed a month of celebration. So, I guess this is a big deal. I really don't feel much different than when I turned 30, despite when I look in the mirror and I see some affects of aging (wrinkles, some gray hair, more aches & pains).

My birthday has been celebrated in many fun ways. The people in our ministry threw me a surprise party. We had a fun BBQ, played some softball, volleyball, and corn hole. We ate good food and had super conversations. Of course, no 50th birthday party should be without a pinata! [Don't you just love the great form I had swinging the stick to break the pinata?!]

I was blessed with some fun and special gifts. I received many birthday cards in the mail. I am the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family. My mother decided to remind all of my cousins, family and close friends that I'm the first to turn 50. So, I received several cards from folks that I typically don't get birthday wishes from. It was really special!

My dear hubby took me on a 50th mini-moon to Slovenia. We spent 2 days exploring Lake Bled. A quaint town with a beautiful lake and mountains. It was wonderful to have a few days to totally relax and be together.

I wish I could say that I have great words of wisdom as I begin this new decade. I have learned that relationships matter most...not my job or my ministry. Relationships are what gets me through the joys and sorrows of life. My relationship with God, my amazing husband Lou, my daughter Katie, my friends! So, as I begin this next phase of life, I look forward to many more years growing deeper in my walk with Christ, loving my husband and daughter more and strengthening the bonds of friendship that I have been blessed with over the years!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Reflections

What does patriotism mean to you? Don't we usually think of that on the 4th of July. Patriotism, fireworks, freedom, independence -- these are the thoughts & ideas we reflect on this special day. Webster defines patriotism as love for or devotion for one's country. I love my country, I love what it stands for, I love the hope it gives me and others. I appreciate my country more now that I'm living in Germany. My pride for my country has deepened since I've been serving the military. Our freedom does not come without a price and I hope we never forget that!

As a child, my parents hung the flag on every national holiday. This was a family tradition and it instilled in me a sense of honor for our country and its flag. Here in Germany, it's very different. In the two years we have lived here, the only time we have seen flags flown is during the Soccer World Cup. Right now, the Womens World Cup is going on in Germany. Now, I must confess we don't know much about soccer. We are a baseball & football family. [I know my brother Chris would be very sad -- since he played soccer.] But Germans love their soccer! They love their teams and when the soccer tournaments are going on -- their patriotism shines.

Here is a picture of one of our neighbors cars. Bob & Liz Motley live right across the street from us. Bob is a retired Army servicemen and Liz is a German national. As you can see, two flags -- American & German -- being flown to show their allegience to their country soccer team.

Yet, it has caused me to think why this is the only time that their flags are flown. Outside of this sporting event, there doesn't appear to be the same love of country among the Germans. So, today as we celebrate our independence. Reflect on what our freedom means to you, reflect on what our freedom has cost others and be proud to be an American!