Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Scary Thing Happened Saturday ...


"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ... John 14:27


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So while Netflixing a movie Saturday afternoon (Promised Land. We muted the language. Loved the twist at the end.), Tom and I jumped when someone knocked at the door.

It was Darius, asking if we'd seen his grandma. Sally. (This initially tickled me because Darius is a big, strong black man and Sally is a tiny, elderly white lady. Her granddaughter, Misty, is married to Darius.)

Anyway, turns out Sally was missing! My best friend in the neighborhood--eegads! Darius explained that he and Misty awoke around noon to find Sally gone. Buddy The Dog was still home so Sally hadn't gone for a walk (it appeared)--she always takes Buddy with her. They'd checked everywhere for Sally.

Tom asked a few questions. I replied, "I've not taken my walk today, so I'll do that now and see if she's in the neighborhood." Tom said he'd take the car and drive around. We could tell Darius felt better for our help.

So I headed out, asked Neighbor Mike (who was weed-eating...hmm... that looks odd, but you know what I mean) if he'd seen Sally, but no, he hadn't. So I continued walking.

Arriving home, I noticed Misty sitting on the red chair on their porch, so we chatted. What concerned her was that the backdoor had been left wide-opened and as she continued, I discovered one important clue Darius omitted: Sue (Sally's daughter, Misty's mom) had left her cell phone home, so Misty and Darius had no way to ask if she'd, earlier, taken Sally someplace with her. And hadn't left a note.

I told Misty, "I'm thinking that's what probably happened, but I'll go home and pray, anyway." She thanked me.

Tom arrived soon after and said that, yes, Sally had run an errand with Sue. All was well.

Whew. 

But you know? Each time I began to get afraid during this unusual turn of events, God nudged me to stay calm. Breathe. Pray. Believe for the best.

Often we must go deeper than our surface emotions. You know, set aside all the bad stories we've heard over the years and instead, calmly ask God, "What are you saying? How do you want me to react or speak or feel?" 

When we can do that, we're on our way to living a saner, less yanked-around-by-drama, peaceful life. And how sweet that is.









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"DO NOT BE AFRAID is written in the Bible 365 times. Thats a daily reminder from GOD to live every day being fearless."   ... unknown


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord."   ...Isaiah 55:8

"What time I am afraid I will trust in You."   ...  Psalm 56:3


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Years ago I made 'where I am notes' on index cards and still keep them in a drawer. On each is written something like, "I went for a walk." "I'm next door at Sally's." "I'm shopping at Tops." Etc. If Naomi's upstairs or due home soon, or Tom's in bed, I just grab the appropriate note and leave it on our kitchen island before leaving anywhere. 

Easy peasey communication.


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In 1969, I was ten and a favorite friend's oldest sister looked very much like this:





Oh, I thought that 'look' was so very 'with-it', enviable and cool!

The funny thing? Forty+ years later I still think it is.   :)

Anyone else?




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Speaking of long ago, by way of my buddy, Susan, at Facebook, I saw these marvelous 1950's photos of Seattle. Instantly they reminded me of Betty MacDonald's wonderful book, Anybody Can Do Anything, (even though her story took place in the 40's).  If you're also a fan of that book, I think you'll see what I mean.

(When you get there, click on the tiny photos on the right.)


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Monday, May 23, 2016

Far From Normal Days Since I Last Saw You


              "You do not have because you do not ask God."...James 4:2  (Or "You don't have because you didn't ask your husband like you meant it." --- The Book of Debra.)


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Glancing out the window, I spied those two ducks chomping down the birdseed again. Uh-oh. Ducks can turn all territorial (I've read) and then, always, you must peek out your backdoor to see whether you'll get chased and nipped.

And who wants that? 

So I slipped silently outside and slowly, stepped near the ducks and 'walked them' out to the street. In low voices they quacked together, "What's up with that lady? We don't need her cheapo birdseed anyway," right before they took flight.

They've not been back. My apologies to my extreme animal-loving readers--I had to do it.  :)

Then (another) large, heavy package for our new neighbors got delivered to our house, so I loaded it on our dolly and wheeled it across the street. Our other neighbor joked with me about again needing to do that (we'd discussed this earlier). I knew he'd tell New Neighbor. 

Next day while out on our porch, New Neighbor called out a thanks to me (first time we'd spoken) and I told him, "No problem." He's one of those a-perfect-lawn-is-everything guys so I'm happy he doesn't resent our so-imperfect lawn enough to not speak to us. (We've had neighbors like that.)

Well, New Neighbor's wife and sister held a yard sale, so I dressed more nicely than my gardening clothes, crossed the street and met the wife's sweet sister. Then returning home, I spied Buddy The Dog and Sally on her steps--oh my! She'd been visiting in Ohio nearly 2 weeks and while chatting, I told her the whole neighborhood felt sad without her. That she'd been missed.

A couple hours later while returning gardening tools inside our (dark)garage, who rides his bicycle up beside me? (Good thing I don't startle easily.) Our former neighbor, Paul. I caught-him-up on the neighborhood news, told him the deck he'd built on his new mobile home was terrific (Robin shared photos at Facebook), enjoyed talking with him and felt grateful for my recent garage-organizing-minutes.

For weeks I'd hinted to Tom that I'd like to do the shopping-yard-sales thing, but he's hemmed, hawed, wanted to remain recliner-bound after busy work weeks. So Saturday I drove to Salvation Army alone and found these books(!)



(The brides' book--from 1965-- was exactly the type I'd searched for last week online, but didn't find.) These were mostly, like, 15 cents each. 

Sunday, Tom wanted to buy a guitar for Naomi, but didn't feel up  to strolling around the musician's flea market, so they left for the home of a Craig's List guy selling a guitar. 

Hours later they returned. They'd gotten the guitar. They'd been to the flea market. They'd visited a couple yard sales. They practically floated into the house on a joy bubble.

But oh dear. Ol' Debra's feelings were hurt--and I didn't want them to be! Yet my musical duo housemates had headed out with only one destination, but turned the hours into the type of fun day Tom and I hadn't had since last year. I'd hinted that I'd wanted to do yard sales for weeks, but couldn't budge him.

Oh my. I tried to be a good sport. I lectured myself, firmly, with what I write to you here. With what God's taught me over the years. But still, tears stung my eyes, even though I told myself to grow up!

But still, I came here to the computer, looked-up yard sales, saw one, grabbed the keys and told Tom and Naomi that I was going to a yard sale. And left. Found the right street, but realized the part with the sale was across our town's busy street(and through a complicated maze) and I just didn't want to go that badly.

So I came home and you know? Tom was so sweet. Said all the right words, realized where he'd gone terribly wrong. I didn't even have to coach him on any of it.  heh.

He even took me to the (unadvertised) sale he and Naomi had gone to where I found these (only 25 cents, each) :





Some days God gives me (us) surprise days so to show us whether we've grasped the lessons He tried to teach us--or not. Can we treat strangers kindly and others with forgiveness? Do we relax and make people feel comfortable? Can we 'let our needs be made known' and handle disappointment? Are we (the real us) in charge of our feelings or do they boss us around? Can we give people a break, realize their intention was (usually) certainly not to hurt us?

Can we let reminders that we've still got a long way to go humble us--or--will we remain perturbed at ourselves for our failures? Can we forgive ourselves?

So much of my life feels like college courses and you know? I like that. Learning from God makes each new day easier to handle, especially when the unexpected comes along as it--eventually--always will.





You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. 

                                                                      Paulo Coelho


"... with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."   ...Philippians 4:6



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Free Kindle Books:


Sharpe Edge

Confection Connection

The Counterfeiter-Catching Cat


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Telling Dread To Hush His Mouth


"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”   ... Deuteronomy 31:6


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So for years, this has been non-yard-sale Saturdays at our house:


One of us: "We really should clean-up and organize the garage today. It's a dirty wreck."

The other one: "Yes! Best idea, ever. We really should."

One of us: "Oh look! Blue Bloods and Hawaii 5-0 are On Demand. And I forgot to tell you that _______ arrived yesterday from Netflix."

The other one: "Oh good! Hey, let's order out for lunch. Is Chinese ok?"

One of us: "Sure! Sounds terrific. Here's the menu and the phone number."



Heh.

Well, last week I had a lightbulb moment: I could keep complaining about our messy garage and waiting for Tom to help me clean it (and groaning whenever I stepped in there) 

--or--

I could spend 3 or 4 minutes puttering each weekday after opening the garage door for a soon-returning-from-work Tom. You know, putting 'like things' together on shelves. Sweeping. Gathering trash. Hanging stuff up on nails. Etc. Just for a few moments.

A decision was needed, for decisions get things done. Or not done, as the case may be.

And wow. After a few quick clean-ups, almost immediately the garage stopped feeling like a nightmare. I remembered that Dread lies--he tells you (even for years) that the thing you must do will be awful and you will hate it. 

Stupid, paralyzing liar, that Dread guy.

But tell him to sit down and hush and who knows what you'll accomplish! Maybe even happily. Or slowly. Yet slowly moving forward still counts as we grow older. Whew.







“Sometimes", said Miss Phillips, "the thing you dread doing is the very thing you should do, just so you can stop thinking about it.”
 
― Marci ShimoffChicken Soup for the Single's Soul



“Panic and terror aren't the only kinds of fear. There are deeper kinds, more terrible kinds. Apprehension and heavy, heavy dread.” 
― Veronica RothThe Traitor





                     What are you dreading today? Just do it. And be free.


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Have a bit of extra time today? Here's a post from 4 years ago detailing my (silly) dread of company dinners in fancy restaurants.  :)


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Free Kindle Books:


The Sweet Dreams Bake Shop

Who Murdered Mr. Malone?

Who'll Pick Me?

Dying To Read