Monday, March 30, 2015

Links That Will Whisk You Away

Often in my email draft folder I keep links I believe you will enjoy and wow! So many had stacked up lately.

So here you go. Let me know the one(s) you enjoyed most!

Calling a Girlfriend -- Many of you will adore the old-fashioned whimsy and artwork of this.

Wonderland Photos --gorgeous photography!

Confessions of a Fed Up B & B Owner  --- What an eye-opener! Made me doubly glad Tom and I never followed up on those dreams of owning a Bed And Breakfast Inn. (Oh dear.)

The Truth About The Sound of Music Family -- find out what the movie got right and what they fudged on.

Grandma's Funny Obituary --- just for fun...

Goodwill Shopper/ Vince Lombardi's Jacket --- Tom and I have shopped thrift shops for decades and we're still waiting for this sort of thing to happen to us.  :)

Thunder Snow and the Meteorologist -- I may have already shared this, but it's worth another go around. I so enjoy watching people who love their job!

English Country Gardens-- be still my heart! Especially during this brown time of year.  (A very special thanks to my friend, Wilma, for this one.)


Free Kindle Books:

Out of the Storm

You Are a Writer

Frugal and Delicious

How to Keep a Journal


Sunday, March 29, 2015

When Others Feel Differently

"... and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,"   ... 1 Thessalonians 4:11


From August of 2013. 
(The Flat is still available instantly through Netflix. Did anyone watch it after my recommendation way back in 2013?)

I just finished watching The Flat through Netflix, a documentary made by the grandson of a Jewish woman who lived in Israel, in the same flat, for 70 years. So many decades to spend inside the same rooms, especially to do so contentedly. When the family pulled out drawers of her possessions from the past century, it felt rather like standing at another estate sale. Loved that.

Anyway, if you're interested in genealogy, old Germany and the way Jews were told to get out, family relationships and the ways people react differently to grief, war and The Past, well, you'll like this, especially if you watch it while in just the right contemplative mood.

There's a mystery involved. Travel. Meetings with people still alive who knew the film maker's grandparents. Old photographs, history and family angst. There's more, also.

But what I took away? We need to not expect everyone to feel as we do about the big things like Life, Death and War. In many ways we are all alike--yes! Yet God, Himself, placed unique, varying differences within our minds and hearts.

One way we differ? We each do what we must in order to process what happens to us (or our families or ancestors) so to pass through this life peacefully, sanely:

Some people don't like to ask questions; they prefer to keep a childlike trust in the goodness of God foremost, no matter what evil things have touched them.

Others keep asking questions until they find answers which finally give them a sense of peace.

Some people choose forgiveness. Some seek to forget, compartmentalize. Others learn to live with resentment and anger.

You can probably add a hundred more variations of all of the above.

But The Flat reminded me to respect peoples' feelings rather than believe they should feel as I do. For the first three decades of my life I didn't even realize how prideful it all was, you know, to believe my feelings about Life were all the correct ones, especially when they appeared to be 'biblical.'

(In this documentary, the film maker questions his mother about her way of leaving The Past alone, asking, "Don't you care that you don't care?" To me, that sounded too much like, "Don't you care that there's something wrong with you?")

Only God knows best and gets it right 100% of the time. After all, He's the one who created us as one-of-a-kind individuals and only He can make us more like Him. And He's the one who created freedom to be who we are, to dislike what some people enjoy (or vice versa), to choose Him or deny Him...

A scary freedom, that last one, especially. To me, anyway. But one I must always remember to respect while living as I believe He's asking me, personally, to live.


"Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."   ... Jeremiah 1:5

Around twenty years ago I began trying out this 'minding my own business' thing. 

I've been much, much happier ever since. 

Ranting when people make choices I'd never make, is a most exhausting, unfulfilling way to live and frankly, isn't pleasing to God who gives everyone freedom of choice.


Free Kindle books:

The Lanvin Murders


Sara in Montana


"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."   ... Galations 5:1

Often, much of our own misery is homemade.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Patience, Mercy and Not Throwing Stones

"For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment." ... James 2:13


Saturday! My biggest day off of them all.

So via Netflix I watched a couple episodes of Property Brothers and Fixer Upper and--again--became wild while imagination-less couples stood in fixer-upper rooms, whining, "We just can't see it! We can't picture this house ever being open-concept and what we want. We're not sure you can do it."

Oh for goodness' sake.

You should hear me lecturing the tv screen. "People! Open your eyes and your mind. Stop complaining and just imagine the walls gone. Imagine a new kitchen, pretty furniture, wide expanses and that the experts are capable, not novices. Is that so hard?"

Apparently, for some people, it is. (If I were the Property Brothers, I'd have slapped a few clients by now. heh.)

Of course, you know what always happens next, right? God reminds me that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Maybe those folks are weak in their imaginations where I am strong, but then, they're strong in areas where I am weak.

On purpose, He leaves a few weaknesses inside us so to keep us humble, needing each other, rather than all proud because we're terrific at all things and need no one.

Also, some weaknesses are temporary, more like signs of yet unlearned lessons. Like, recently I watched the Netflix movie, God's Not Dead. I enjoyed it and afterward, came to IMDB to read about some of its stars. A few actors profess to be Christians, but oh, the commenters in the message boards! They love (seriously) to shred to pieces anyone who calls himself Christian yet still makes mistakes with his mouth. 

You'd think the ripper-aparters easily live this Bible verse 24/7:

"...  if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way."   ... James 3:2

We all grow at different speeds. God changes us how He sees fit, in His timing, and we all 'know only in part.'  Nobody is strong or perfect all the time and only God understands our hearts.

But God does call all of us to be merciful. It's only the merciful who will receive mercy the next time they mess up. And if that doesn't humble us, I'm not sure if anything can.


"We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves."  ... Romans 15:1

"Let him who is without sin throw the first stone."   ...  John 8:7


And yeah, I probably shouldn't still be reading message boards/comments. I don't peruse nearly as many as I once did and--mostly--I use them to remind me how not to be and how badly this world needed a Saviour.