Monday, June 26, 2017

Let's Communicate and Not Get Mad, Ok?

"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."   ... Colossians 4:6


So there I was lying in bed at 1:30 a.m. after feeding the cats (spoiled ol' things). Then during a late-night episode of Frasier while trying to return to sleep, a commercial for a Simply Fit board came on with that catchy Wipe-Out tune.

My bleary eyes widened. I thought, "Hey. After 5 years of wishing we had space for an exercise bike (but none poof! magically appearing) maybe I should get that Simply Fit board and twist around on it. I could even store it under the couch. Easy."

Weeks later I used a gift card from my credit card rewards and bought one at Amazon. Last week after Tom got home from work, the board arrived in a box on the front porch and, while peeking from the window, I told him, "Oh look! My Simply Fit board got here. Yay!"

To which Tom replied, "Now, you'd better be careful when you use that thing. I won't be able to pick you up if you fall, you know."

Good grief. What encouragement.  😉

Heh. Fortunately, I knew he was referring to his recently-diagnosed torn shoulder rather than my too-huge-to-lift body.

But still. I did tease him, anyway, about how it sounded. You know, like I was a bloated, klutzy ol' whale.

Communication in marriage. Sometimes it gets easier, other times, not so much.

(Continue to my next little story---)


Well, I'd planned to ask you, "So, what am I doing wrong with this plant?" --

.... but then this morning I actually read the directions on the tiny plastic stake. 

Good gracious. 

When Tom gave this to me he said, "It should be in direct sunlight," which means of course, I heard, "It should have indirect sunlight."

Gah. We've been married for, like, forever, but these types of misunderstandings seem to happen daily. From both sides. Not being as bright as we once were,  Tom and I have been forced to discover new ways to communicate. To state things more clearly, concisely. We've had to---it's easier than always being exasperated and annoyed with each other.

Besides, all relationships are worth the effort of making occasional necessary tweaks, especially in today's volatile, "You offended me so I'm outta here," world.

Anyway, the little stake also said the plant should be fertilized weekly and guess who's fertilized it only once in 4 months?

Man, Debra. Read the directions next time, ok? (And listening a tad more closely wouldn't hurt, either.)

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, 
slow to speak, slow to anger..."   ... James 1:19

"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."   ... Proverbs 12:18


So did anyone try my tasty pineapple Spam recipe yet?  😃  If you did, let me know what you thought, ok? Well, unless you hated it. Maybe don't tell me if you hated it. heh.


Isn't this a super nice picture of Naomi and Justin? ---

They took us out for dinner in honor of Father's Day at Tom's favorite Mexican food place. Happy sigh. (And gee, the camera loves both those kids. Must be nice--I've yet to have a camera love me.)  😃


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Where She Got Pretty Darn Upset With Herself

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time   ...   do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."   ... Ephesians 5:15-17


Maybe you recall my birthday post of 2016, you know, the one where I walked over snow to 7-11 to buy ice cream for breakfast and then oh! On the door of an abandoned store front I spied a sign saying a coffee and sandwich shop was coming soon.

Gee, I was excited that day. I'd wished over recent weeks that our neighborhood had a cafe I could walk to.

Well. The coffee shop opened that May and many times I walked past it on my way to yes, 7-11, for milk or eggs, etc. I'd covertly glance into the shop's windows and think, "Way cool! It almost resembles Luke's Diner (ala Gilmore Girls)--

--what with it's vintage formica tables, cafe curtains and cozy decor. I'd switch the milk to my other hand and think, "Someday I'll go there and take a book with me. How pleasant it would be to sit and gaze outside the tall window." A couple yard sale Saturdays I even asked Tom if he'd like to go, but (kinda weirdly) he always hem-hawed and we'd just drive by.

I walked past that place probably 20 times and for one whole year I procrastinated stepping inside. One whole year.

Then two weeks ago on my way to 7-11--oh dear! A 'For Rent' sign was taped to the door. Nooooo! I'd waited too long. I'd blown it. I'd procrastinated and assumed they'd be there longer.

Man, Debra.

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”   ... John Greenleaf Whittier

Well, the shop appeared the same (tables neatly in place, etc.) and below the 'For Rent' sign was a letter so I stepped closer and read that the owners would love to see someone else make the cafe even better. Yet if anyone wanted to rent it for a different purpose, they'd auction off the furniture and supplies.

Eegads, I kicked myself all the way home. For days afterward, too, but I also promised that, should it open as a coffee shop again, I'd be one of their first customers.

I've often told you here that both Tom and I love supporting local businesses and we're naive enough to believe it makes a big difference. By ignoring the nudgings from Grace I'd felt the past month, especially, I missed my chance to help, to encourage, to have a cozy time of reading and enjoying a morning snack.

Don't let this happen to you.

Today's lesson? Never assume anything. And always obey those nudgings you even think might be from God and Grace.

Always, they know what's coming down the road.

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” 
― Pablo Picasso


To end on a lighter, happier note, here's what I wrote at Facebook on Saturday morning (what a way to begin that day!) --

I opened our curtains this misty, moisty morning, stared out dreamily, then oh! A young man silently rode by on his old bike with a gorgeous white cockatoo leaning into the breeze upon the handle bars.

Don't you love it when that happens? (Happy sigh.)


For those who also enjoy Unsolved Mysteries (the 'revamped ones' with Dennis Farina) you can watch them free here. Just look for any which do not have the little arrow pointing up and to the right.  :)


Thursday, June 15, 2017

When I Saw Heaven In Her Smile

A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.... he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."  Proverbs 18:16 and 11:25


Before I explain my title, here's a little story ---

Three weeks ago, Erin from Joyce Meyer's new Partner Care Team emailed me, saying she'd be in our town and would Tom and I like to meet her for coffee and prayer about any problems/concerns?

I wrote back, saying, aww, that was a lovely idea, but we were fine, greatly due to Joyce's excellent teachings these 20+ years. And that we're happy homebodies who'd rather free-up her time to meet with other Buffalonians with more urgent prayer requests.

Erin said that was sweet of us, and instead, would it be ok if she left a free gift at our door? Of course, I couldn't pass that up.  😉

Well. Last Sunday evening came and no free gift lay at our door. But I totally understood and all was well! No problemo. I know things happen.

So Monday morning there I was in our yard, taking pictures, after having mowed the lawn and trimmed the hedges in my black shorts, grey shirt and the ugliest oh-so-comfortable black shoes on Planet Earth. I'd done my make-up, but my nose was red since the lawn mower had set-off annoying allergies and my hair was mussed after recuperating upon the couch.

And that's when, like a vision, Erin stepped into my Prayer Garden. 

Oh my goodness. She had gorgeous, long blond hair, a trim figure, a sweet smile and an adorable black summer dress.


At first I wanted to sink into the lawn. Disappear. But then God told me to cut it out, I was home, working, so forget about myself, smile and receive (then give) His graciousness. So I went with that--or tried, anyway, and Erin and I had a pleasant chat. I quietly marveled at her kindness, then she handed me a gift bag, we said good-bye and she stepped back through our hedges.

A lovely Monday morning surprise, really, but being human (and a woman) I couldn't help but think this --

Sigh. Won't it be marvelous in Heaven when we'll consistently be dressed-up and looking our best for everything?   😃


And speaking of Heaven --

Remember when I sent you over to watch Darci Lynne, the amazing young ventriloquist?  --

Well, next day, I noticed Darci's smile immediately upon finishing her performance and a 'scene' came to me. It's like I imagined a young girl in Heaven (not Darci, but someone like her) performing with a puppet on a stage before huge crowds who, afterward, heartily cheered and smiled and praised God. 

And it's as though through her smile, I heard this girl say, "Wasn't that an enjoyable thing? Our Father gave me this wonderful gift with puppets! Isn't He a good God? Isn't He so creative and marvelous with the gifts He gives us to share?"

It's like the puppet gift/calling was a separate part of her, not belonging to her, but to the audience for their enjoyment and uplifting.

You know, as our gifts are meant to be spread here, creating avenues so God can share His endless creative facets with us before Heaven, even. So although we're 'seeing through a glass, darkly,' we can begin to understand the glorious days awaiting us, above.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."   ... James 1:17 

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[a]
    --the things God has prepared for those who love him—  ... 1 Corinthians 2:9


Have you shared your Father-given gifts lately? They matter here (especially during these Divisive Days) and will matter in Heaven, too. I just feel it.

All gifts matter, all are important since all are from God's heart and His big-planet plan.


And the free gift from Erin? A so pretty leather-like-bound copy of this--

Tons of Bible verses inside. Love it.