New Name

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

I’ve changed the name of my blog from Mary Blaustone, to Grace Land Living.  Cool, huh?  I took it from Chris’ teachings on living in the land of grace. 

Speaking of Chris’ teachings.  I’ve also added a “Land of Grace” page at the top.  It’s sort of a brief explanation on why the name “Grace Land Living”.  The only thing is, when you click on the link that should take you to Chris’ teaching on Galatians 1, all you get is a Mac page saying something like “no can do”.  So…I’ll work on that one.

Just a note.  I’m heading down south to be with Chris and his family.  Chris’ mom, Carol, is at the end of her battle with cancer.  The family is surrounding her with love, doing all they can to make her comfortable.  Hospice says it’s only a matter of days now. 

There’s so much going on right now.  So many emotions to sift through. 

As my dear friend Karen said Wednesday night, “When in distress, call 91:1”

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”         Psalm 91:1

Sedona, Arizona is where Bob and Carol Blaustone lived for 18 years.  They recently moved back to Orange county for Carol’s health.  Sedona holds wonderful memories for us all.

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1983

“Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints, nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchble.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.  But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;  They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”   Isaiah 40:28-31

It was the winter of 1983 when I first heard these verses.  I was baby new in Christ.  I had just given my life to Jesus about 8 months prior, and was attending what I believe was my first Highschool winter camp up at Twin Peaks…Calvary Chapel’s conference center/Bible College, back in the day.

I remember everything vividly from those days.  I was so hungry for anything and everything Jesus.  Hearing the Word of God was like eating a delicious 5 course feast after starving in the wilderness for so very long.  I wanted it anywhere…all the time.  It didn’t matter to me who was speaking.  I didn’t know any of their names anyway. “Chuck who?…Richard whats-his-name…Raul?”  As long as it was about this “Jesus” who I belonged to now, well then you bet I’ll be there.

So, back to the winter of 1983.  My first Highschool winter retreat.  I was 17 years old.  Snow was falling in beautiful Crestline in the San Bernardino Mountains, and it was time for early morning devotions.  I remember trudging through the snow, sleepy eyed, but non the less excited for what I would hear when I got to the small, round auditorium.  I must have been a few minutes late, for when I got there the room was already filled with teenagers, and resonated with the beautiful sounds of guitar praise.  Oh, how I loved that.  It was like walking into Heaven.  Sounds corny, I know…but so real, and still such a wonderful memory for me.

Our singing came to a close, and a young, fresh faced, what I would have called  “surfer chick”, got up to give us the Word.  She sat right at the front of that little round stage (I know some of you remember it).  She didn’t sit in a chair.  She sat cross legged on the floor, and opened her bible.  She then read the above passage from Isaiah 40.  She didn’t give an incredible dissertation on the passage.  No three point study.  She just read it.  But, every once in a while…she would comment.  “Oh, can you imagine it?  It says we will mount up with wings like eagles, and run and not grow weary…and walk and not faint…”  She was so sincere.  So in love with Jesus.  The words she simply read were life to me, and life changing.  I remember thinking, “I wanna be just like her…cute, surfer chick, completely in love with Jesus, sitting on a stage, reading the Word of God to whoever wants to listen.”  Well…maybe not a surfer chick  😉 

I’m going through the book of Isaiah right now in my personal devotions.  So, when I got to this passage in chapter 40 it triggered this wonderful memory.  It brought back so clearly the simplicity of what it felt like…what it meant to only want Jesus.  To want everyone else to want Him too.  I’m feeling such a need for that First Love these days.  There’s too much trial and tribulation going on in these United States, not to mention the whole world, to not give people the simple truth.  It’s real.  It’s the only thing that will satisfy, and people are starving in the wilderness.  They need to know they can mount up on wings as eagles.  They can run and not be weary.  They can walk and not faint.

“Give me Jesus, give me Jesus.  You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”

simply in love with Him

Mary

p.s.  No offence meant toward Chuck Smith, Richard Cimino, or Raul Ries…their names are well known to me.

 

 

 

 

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I’m Back!

And I’ve moved.  I’ve decided to break away from Blogger and move my site on over to WordPress.  Yippee!  It’s taken a while…but now it’s done.  Hopefully the user friendliness of this blog site will be just the encouragement I need to write more.  If you’ve subscribed to my posts, you will continue to receive email updates whenever I post.  Yep…I’m excited.

Natalie and Justin’s wedding was absolutely beautiful, amazing, and dreamy with yummy food and wonderful friends and family to share it with.  It’s crazy how so much blood, sweat, and literal tears go into planning this one day event.  But, it was more than worth it.  Our prayers, as well as the prayers of so many people, were answered above and beyond what we could ever ask or think.  We continue to hear reports of how hearts were touched and lives even changed by being a part of the day.  That was Chris’ and my prayer.  We wanted people to leave having encountered our Lord, Jesus.  And they did.  God is so good. 

So, now that the wedding has passed, and our lives seem to be moving on a more…shall I say, less hecktic path, I will try, try, try, to write more.

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Countdown Wedding Day

Wedding planning has been a daily task these days. We are down to the last 2 months. Invitations are out. Venue is booked. Dresses are being made, suits are being rented, photographer is booked, and the D.J.’s ready to rock. We even chose the cake at a wonderfully, delicious cake tasting last night. I can’t tell you what it is because we want it to be a surprise. The above picture should give you a hint. And I have two words for you….YUM!

In light of all the tremendous progress we’ve made in planning, there still seems to be a million things left to do. Linens and chairs to rent, finalizing the food, taking candles over to the fire department to have them fire tested and approved for use, hiring security guards for the reception (what do they think we’re going to do for heaven’s sake?). And then there’s the flowers. We still have to get the flowers. And the decorations, and…oh dear…I still don’t have a dress. Friends, as well as my mother keep asking me, “What are you going to wear, Mary? Have you gone shopping for yourself yet? Whata ya mean you haven’t gotten a dress yet? You can’t wait till the last minute!” For goodness sake people…I haven’t had a chance to think about it. Who knows, maybe I’ll just pull my own wedding dress out of the box and wear that. It still looks good.

But in all seriousness. This truly has been an amazing experience. I already feel like I could write a book on what to do, and what not to do when planning your only daughters wedding…and I’m not even finished yet. The time I’ve spent with Natalie in the planning and preparation has been so precious. I treasure every moment. She won’t be here much longer; in our home that is. The very thought of that…well, I just can’t imagine it. How blessed I am to be so intricately involved in the planning of this glorious celebration. Stress and all…I wouldn’t change a thing.

Trying not to countdown to quickly,

The Mother Of The Bride

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A day in the life

I haven’t really used this blog as a means to let people know of the everyday events of my life. Not that that’s a bad thing. It just hasn’t been the direction I wanted to take.But that’s about to change…at least in this post.

 

Here’s a brief, and in no way complete, recap of recent events in my life.My children are growing up

 


And talk about anticipating the empty nest. It’s happening as I speak. I’m planning my daughters wedding, as well as getting ready for Nate’s graduation from High School. The two of them are gone more then they are home. What with school, work, girlfriend, fiance…you name it and it’ll take them away from home. At least my baby boy, Zach, is still around. But wait! He’s turning 16 this summer. He’ll be getting his drivers license. And he too, being the skater dude that he is, seems to be gone more and more these days.

 


And Mom just watches. Sometimes helplessly, but not hopelessly. I believe this is what we raise them for. We pour ourselves into our children, teaching them to the best of our abilities to be respectful human beings, good communicators (at least the Blaustone’s do), competent in their abilities to take care of themselves and to be financially responsible. Then, as always…you pray, pray, pray. You let go, and let God work in and through their lives. But I have to say, my heart still hurts these days.


 

 

Chris in Sedona

Chris took a trip to Arizona to spend some time with his mom. Carol has been fighting the battle against cancer for almost 5 years now. She gave up a lung the first time around. Now she fights with one. Her chemo has been changed to a pill that she will take once a day, every day…probably for the rest of her life. The goal is to shrink the tumors and provide a remission.

Carol Blaustone is a fighter though. She’s a little spit fire who loves to talk. Let me say that again. She loves to talk…which sheds a little more light on my husbands passion for gab. She has been through so much over the last 5 years. The first lung removal, radiation, and then chemo. After this last remission more cancer was found and a second, little surgery happened. When you have one lung you can’t just remove it, or pick at it for that matter. After this, another round of chemo. And now the once a day chemo pill. But like I said, she’s a fighter, and she’s strong. She blows everyone in the family away in that regard. I love her dearly.

To get a job, or not to get a job…

That is the question. I had the fun privilege of working at a Christian book store for over a year. I hadn’t worked in a number of years before getting that job. I ended up quiting back in November and have been jobless ever since.

Now, the thought of going back to work isn’t the most appealing to me, but it is necessary. I mean, hello…wedding. So, needless to say, I NEED direction. There aren’t a whole lot of jobs out there these days. Not to mention that making more than $8 an hour would be special 😉

Anything else?

Lets see. It’s very windy outside. And, I’m going to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull tonight!

I said it would be incomplete.

Blessings to all

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Filed under Children, Chris, Graduation, Job, Wedding

Quote for today…

“Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for:
to make them worth it.”
C.S. Lewis

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Guarded Heart


“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

As I was looking through my journal, I found some thoughts I wrote down at our women’s retreat back in April. The theme of the retreat was “Pure and Simple”, taken from Philippians 4. My journal entry came from the above verse.

“What is it that allows me to dismiss the guard which my Lord sets around my heart and mind? Peace leaves as I take my eyes off of the Giver of Peace. Trust seems distant when I stop trusting in the Father of Truth and I open my ears to the father of lies. I exchange thankfulness for emptiness; gentleness for fear; And joy? Joy is traded for the fleeting, temporary, cloaked happiness…which always fades away.

But I know what to do. I will call on the Lord, Jesus…the Guard of my heart and mind. The One who loves me, protects me, comforts and fills me. The One who hears me before I speak, saw me before I was born, and called me by name to be His own. The One who saves me forever. For at just the mention of His name, the Name of Jesus…Light fills the dark spaces. And even as I say “Thank You, Jesus”, emptiness is filled with blessing; fears are vanquished in His gentle love and protection. And Joy? Joy makes its home permanently in my heart, no matter what may come.

So come, God of Peace, and guard my heart and mind through Your Son.”

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