Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summertime and Raspberry Memories

Here's one of my classic posts. It's a perfect summer read.

I ate a bowl of fresh raspberries this morning. And when I took the very first bite of the little red fruit, I was suddenly eight-years old again.

I could see my younger self walking across the gravel road outside my grandparent’s cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin (what we called "Up North"). A patch of wild raspberries grew along that road and, most summer mornings, we'd pick them and eat them with cereal or right from the vine.

I can still remember those long summer days of freedom and adventure--just me and my two sisters at my grandparent’s lake cottage every two weeks, every summer. Bliss!

We'd take drives in the pine-covered countryside, go horseback riding, or go into town for supplies. Minocqua was a quaint nearby tourist town with water-ski shows and Mass on the lake. Leisurely strolling down the main street, we’d stop to buy trinkets with our allowance. Grandma would always want to look at fall clothes, and we couldn't image why anyone could even THINK about autumn when summer was right here, ripe for the picking.

I wanted to stay in my summer state of mind forever.

I remember the aroma of Folgers’s coffee brewing early in the morning. As I chomped on Frosted Flakes, I wondered why grownups drank the stuff when it tasted so bitter.

Most days Grandpa would take us for a boat ride on the lake. He taught us to fish (and made us bait our own hooks) and clean our catch. Then Grandma would fry up a fresh perch or bluegill dinner, complete with a baked potato and big green salad. Yum.

After dinner we’d take a short walk down the peninsula that jetted out into the water. As night fell, you could hear the distant sound of a loon singing his own unique tune and we'd return to the cabin walking on a soft bed of pine needles and mossy green ground.

But back to the raspberries.

Funny how a taste can incite a memory. Good memories. What foods bring you good memories?

Today mine was a bowl of red raspberries. It sure felt good to be eight again.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


One of the most popular questions I get asked from readers is, "How do I know if we are dating or just friends?" This post, one of the most well-read on A New Day Café blog, is listed below. May it give you insight and hope. -- Jackie M. Johnson

“Where do I stand? Are we dating or just friends?

If you've ever wondered about an ambiguous relationship with a member of the opposite sex, you are not alone. I call it “The Unknown Zone,” the peculiar place between friendship and dating where you don’t really know what your relationship is.

It hasn’t been defined.

Sure, you hang out. He comes over. You go out to eat. You talk or text--a lot. Or just sometimes. It may turn into something real and lasting, but it may not.

How can you know when he doesn’t communicate or his signals are mixed?

Michelle McKinney Hammond gets to the heart of the matter in The Unspoken Rules of Love. “If he does not ask you to have an exclusive relationship with him, assume that you are not in one.”

Big idea. Don't miss that one.

The guy needs to be initiating and pursuing you. If not, she continues, “Consider and enjoy your other options. Do not behave as if you are in a committed relationship when you are not. Doing so will only entangle your heart and set you up for disappointment and heartbreak. If he doesn’t tell you he wants to be in a committed relationship, consider yourself officially ‘just a friend.’”

You're not really in a real relationship and you're full of uncertainty and angst. That's a hard place to be: relationship limbo. 

A pastor I know once said, “The proof of desire is in the pursuit.”

If a man wants to get to know you, you will know his intentions. You won’t have to guess. Don’t give him excuses like maybe he’s busy, maybe he’s shy, maybe he’s had a family crisis, or maybe (fill in the blank).

Bottom line: For whatever reason (you don’t even have to know what it is) if he is not pursuing you, then you need to let it go. March forward with your life and trust God for the right man for you.

Sure, it may be hard to let go of the "thread" of a relationship. But when you do, you free yourself up for the Real Thing. Don’t settle for something, don’t even settle for “sorta good” when God want the very BEST for you.

You are worth being loved well.
Don't let him or her toy with your emotions and your time.

When the right one for you comes along, you’ll know—-because he will show you and tell you. That, my friend, is worth waiting for.