Thursday, July 21, 2016

One Path To Feeling Free Again



"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied."  ...   Proverbs 13:4


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Want to know what also helped yank me out of that mid-life crisis thing relatively quick? 

I took a chunk out of my What I've Been Procrastinating List. You know, finally obeyed that still, small nagging voice and I --


... washed the three white curtains that I've got hanging in front of shelves upstairs (also involved: ironing and hanging a new curtain rod). And washed my white bedspread.

... accepted that this old(er) body is more high maintenance now and I'm too young to just let it go. And went back to work on it.

...finally read certain books on my shelves. Gave away some that simply weren't 'keepers'.

... carried bags of clutter from the basement down the street to the Salvation Army drop-off bin. Worked on the basement a bit (it's never-ending, but I'm trying).

... spray-painted items that had needed painting for months.


And more.

And as always, oh, the shock at how quickly these tasks were completed. They did not take forever(!) nor were they dreadful. And wow, the near-giddiness I felt after flinging away that heavy cloak of All Those Tasks Left Undone.

I highly recommend un-procrastination. It's so freeing. It's nearly like taking a happy pill. 

No, really.




"Just do it." ... Nike


And I must add this: Bubbly On Your Budget, the book I recommended a few posts ago... That Marjorie Hillis was remarkable at making you want to jump up and clean and cull things and see your possessions within the light of luxury. Truly, she's reminded me of much I'd forgotten or let slide.

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Tom and I visited a church rummage sale last Saturday and I spent a whole $1.25 on these:




Speaking of procrastination, I had to toss 5 vintage aprons because I'd left them in a basement box for 4 years and darn that unremovable mildew smell anyway. This pretty blue apron was better than I deserve.  :)

And the funky Florida plate? It's unexplainable why I love that sort of thing. It actually surprises me I don't have more of it.


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Oh, and one estate sale house had a small room off the front door used solely for a library. Wow, the hundreds of old books upon open shelves and in barrister bookcases to the ceiling (I wanted to stand in that room forever).

That (perfect) 1930's house is for sale, but is priced higher than we'd like to spend, so I came home (and sulked awhile), then placed more books around our living room so to be surrounded by them as I had been in that dusty old library room.

It's not quite the same, but hey, it's a start:






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


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Calling all Lucy fans! The annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown, NY will be held soon. If not for the small matter of at least 25,000 other fans showing up, I'd consider going.  

But anyway, simply peeking at the itinerary is great fun. Go here and see if you agree. (The Topicana room dinner would be a favorite, as well as Lucy and Ethel's dinner show and all tours around town, etc.)


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Oh, No. You Did What?


"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"  ...  Matthew 7:3


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Nearly four years ago a certain relative disowned me. Well, pretty much, and has had nothing to do with me since.

Let's call this person 'Sam,' since it's rather gender neutral, ok?

Well, Sam was told by a relative about a conversation where I appeared to be unfair. Sam pretty much blew up at me online, publicly, even (though in a subtle way), and refused to listen to my side of that conversation. 

According to Sam, I'd always been an enigma, impossible to understand, unlikable, and writing in a blog is just plain wrong. "There's no need to tell anyone else about this, ok? It's just between us.", Sam added (passive-aggressively, I thought). Then click! Sam unfriended and blocked me at Facebook, making any further communication there impossible.

Well!

After the first moments of 'being disowned' by someone I'd always known, I felt shocked. Then saddened. Then steaming, hopping mad. The nerve! I recited Sam's words to Tom and he got a bit miffed, but not enough to unfriend Sam at Facebook. I told Tom if anyone had treated him that way, I'd have unfriended them in a mega-second. 

Tom said he'd think about it. 

Yet, four years later? Sam's still on Tom's friend list which ok, maybe means he's more mature than I am. Maybe. He's not communicated with Sam since then, though, but the 'princess part of me' rather wishes he'd have defended my honor. But neither has he done that.

Me? I still feel that, if anyone speaks to Tom the same sorry way, that person is gonna get unfriended after some firm words spoken/written by me, first. Then click will go the unfriend button and----

Oh. My. Goodness.

I'd be doing the very same thing that Sam did! I'd be forming an opinion after hearing one person's side of the story. I'd be snipping the line of communication, not allowing the other guy his 'say.'

I'd be a hypocrite, doing what had unfairly been done to me.

Wow. 

Oh, how subtle and righteous-sounding our own personal sin can be. The old 'big, fat log in your own eye' thing. 

Good gracious. What a l-o-n-g road is the one to maturity, even after God's already brought us quite the far distance.

And okay. So Tom was being more mature than me (darn.) Heh. Yet a tiny bit of sticking-up for me woulda been nice, too. But rather than force him to do so, I'll just stay ready to defend him.

I am responsible for my own choices, not others'. And God's choices for me don't involve forcing anyone to do anything. 

Oh, as everyone's asking today, "Why can't we all just get along?" But actually? I believe God's going deeper and asking, "Why can't you all just love one another?"

He's already even shown us how.




                               "The worst prison would be a closed heart."
                                                            - Pope John Paul II





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"But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."   ... Matthew 6:15


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Saw this at Facebook. Loved it much.






"So, on the way to work this morning, I noticed a State Trooper on the side of the road with his trunk up. I felt compelled, even with everything going on in the media, to stop and make sure he was okay. I never saw him, just the car. So, I creeped past at a snail's pace and turned around. I pulled up to the car and cracked my window, hands clearly visible. I saw a white trooper come from the side of the car. I said good morning and asked if he was okay and needed help. He smiled a brilliant smile and replied no ma'am that he was cleaning his windows. He showed the bottle and towels to me and I told him he had the good stuff. He chuckled and asked if I minded if he cleaned mine too. I told him I was OK but he insisted. Highlight of my day...state trooper cleaning my windows with the good Rain X cleaner. Every passerby had a stunned expression on their faces. Then an elderly white couple stopped by and asked if they could have theirs done also. Lol, so he cleaned theirs too. The lady offered to pay him and he said no, just say a prayer for me...so we did. Right along 46 in the wee hours of the morning parked beside the road for EVERYONE to see, we all linked hands and had prayer. White hands, black hands, officer hands, young hands, and old hands...gave glory like never before. I was late for work lol but it was truly worth it. Couldn't ask for a better way to start my day."
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Goin' 70's Because 2016 Is Not All That Great


"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."   ... John 16:33


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Warning: to be read with a sense of humor, although, Honey, I'm not altogether kidding.


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Thirty-six years ago, Tom told our pastor he'd like to be more involved in our church, have some greater responsibility. Oh, the visions of grandeur inside his head. 

Our pastor said, "Wonderful! We need someone to, every Saturday, lead a service over at the senior citizen's hospital."

Oh my. Not exactly what Tom had dreamed of. 

But you know? For two years of Saturdays, Tom and I ministered to the elderly folks and, in time, grew to love them. Of course, they really loved baby Naomi, but hey, being second best felt ok.  

Anyway, we noticed a popular thing amongst the elderly was to live as though tonight was 1940 rather than 1980. To let ones mind go back there (and stay back) and pretend and view Today through the eyes of Yesterday when they'd felt stronger, freer. 

Some folks did this by choice, others by just-couldn't-help-it. At age 21, I didn't understand all that, but, oh dear--I certainly get it now. 

Today's civil unrest and its aftermath, especially, feels so tragic and I find myself wanting to avoid all news forms. And sometimes God does say that's all right. But other times He asks me to read/watch the news--not bathe in it, though, and always while receiving Grace--so I'll know how to pray and speak with others whose minds are being shredded by all this.

But what I've found myself also simultaneously creating? A sort of 1970's home base for my head. A place where life feels calmer and predictable, even, while I watch 70's tv shows whose endings are always the same and where I listen to its tunes and gather colors, decor and funky trinkets of that era around me.

A retro place of escape world where God and I can talk. And why take it to the 1970's? Why besides the fact that I'm going all senior-citizen at just age 57?

I blame those crazy estate sale houses Tom and I visit every summer weekend. Yeah, it's probably their fault, for (I've noticed) I step away from their not-redecorated-since-the-1970's-ness all positively giddy. I like giddy. It's kinda rare.

Last weekend? I stood inside a boy's bedroom which still had Joe Namath newspaper clippings (and sports magazine pull-out posters) up on the grey-paneled walls. And trophies and Scholastic sports paperbacks and baseballs. 

That 'boy' is now at least 63 years old. 

Oh my goodness, another time capsule house, with swoony vintage music playing, even, and, after my tour, I had to yank myself out to our car lest I become willingly lost inside a (probable) vortex. All dreamy-eyed I left with these:




(That dish towel had to be from the 70's. It was quality. And orange.) We drove away and, like a magpie I chattered, asking Tom if he'd noticed the Joe Namath stuff from 1967 (he hadn't) and told him darn, the house had been sold and we so neeed one like it and---

---but Tom doesn't want to move right now. 

Oh well. So the challenges to my imagination and determination remain and I'll continue to create my own personalized retro 70's world because I can. I'm determined to be un-whiney and not hopeless and, instead, able to create my own better-suited-to-me world. With balance, yes. 

Maybe that's really something of value in 2016. It's gotta be better than just crabbing over at Facebook, certainly. 

And now, also, I'm understanding what those elderly folks tried to show me all those many years ago. Probably one must reach a certain age to see it.








"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."  ...Psalm 32:7


(My hiding place just has a 1970's flair to it. heh.)



We are not helpless! God will enable us to run our race well and strong and with our sanity intact till the end.



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Oh, and that Secret Language book in the photo? I'd owned another (not quite so nifty) copy, but lost it on our October train trip. I couldn't recall the title so to replace it, so wow! How kind of God to lead me to another one on a dusty upstairs shelf of an old house.

Happy sigh.

And did you love those cute custard cups, or what?  :) 


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Oh! Just discovered that a short story ebook by Deborah Rainey is free for the next three days. Hooray! Find it here.

And here's an updated version of her book, Nearly. For your Kindle, just $2.99.

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