Tuesday, November 21, 2017

When It's The Things Left Undone That Blind You

The older we get, the easier it is to become all 'been there done that, why even try anymore?'. But don't let that happen to you, ok? Ask God to help you keep things fresh and rut-free.


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So.

At least I'm not all, "Here I am at 58 and what have I done with my life?" No, (mostly) I'm ok with my past.

Rather, I've felt so restless, wondering just what or who I should blame (the ungrateful whiners on the Net? The mean/violent people on the News?). But whatever, it's led me to, "Here I am nearing 60 and isn't there something new out there for me? Something vital? You know, before it's too late?"

Actually, in earlier years, I've often visited this place. And oh, the temptation to leap, whoosh! Dive, splash, into something bigger/different/adventurous just because it's there. Just because it's not where I've already been.

But darn, that's when Wisdom plops down beside me and asks, "You realize you're running, right? What about the undone things?"

Oh, those.

The four strips of wallpaper still left to hang in the kitchen.
The three strips needed to finish the bathroom and the flaking windowsill which needs repainting.
The backdoor I've wanted to paint a fun yellow-green.
The laundry. The ironing in the overflowing basket on the cats' tall scratching post. 
The books I've collected yet not read.
The emails I owe. The folks we should invite over.
The last outdoor hedge which needs trimming before winter.

And more.

And then it comes to me as it always does s-l-o-w-l-y: how about asking for a fresh, new attitude, instead? And new eyes which make old ideas appear bright and enticing--and then--seeing where things-finished lead you?

Hmm! Now there's a thought.

(Besides, who wants to leave this life with a whole embarrassing trail of half-finished tasks strewn behind her?)

And then, as always, when I calm my heart enough to hear it, that advice sounds--as Goldilocks would say--just right.






If God can paint Autumn this beautifully, I'm thinking He's capable of painting a pretty wonderful rest of my life, as well.




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Something I'm trying to finish? My new wardrobe. 

Lately I'd noticed women on tv wearing what resembles the whole vintage necklace selection from their local thrift shop.

I adore that look.

So, for pretty cheap, I ordered two lots of retro jewelry from Ebay. Here's the one that's arrived so far--






And this one will probably be here today--





And this will be enough

How good it feels to actually complete what one's begun! (Surprise, surprise.)  😉



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A main thing is to stay on the same page with God rather than jumping ahead to a later chapter. Go skipping a few pages and we--most likely-- won't be equipped to handle the new place gracefully.


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Monday, November 13, 2017

Life Lately With Mr. Atlas


“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."   ... Isaiah 43:18,19

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So the 8 weeks while ol' Debra's lolled on the red couch trying to heal from plantar fasciitis (and grown rounder from snacks, tv and books), Tom's turned into Mr. Annoying Healthnut. He tells Naomi and me 'new' health information from online (which we've told him for 12+ years), he consistently gets up at 4:00 a.m. to exercise at his company's gym, he's lost 25 lbs. and now resembles Charles Atlas.










@#$%^&?!

Okay, of course I'm proud of him. Really I am! But still.

You know those people who nearly always whine, "I'll be so glad when this year is over"? Well, normally that's not me, but Honey, this time it is. This was one of those "just one irritating thing after another" years--

The flea infestation.
Sammy The Cat's thyroid issues.
The too hot/humid summer.
My irritating plantar fasciitis.
The acceptance that we may never move again.
Our washing machine stopped working.
Six trees outside our windows were chopped down.
(There's more, but even I'm tired of all this whining.)

... and I need a fresh start.

But what I need more? To remember truths like this one --


"The only reason you get discouraged is because you forget who you are, who God is, & the fate of what opposes you."  --- Neil Vermillion


Yes. 

Today I serve a God whose mercies are new every morning--not just on a rare January 1st..
Today I can view my circumstances differently and-- 
Lean heavier upon God. Learn vital new lessons and--
Imagine creative ideas for now and other days ahead and--
Become stronger on the inside, even if the outside appears weaker.

Whew. For I certainly don't feel like waiting 48 days (till January 1st) before feeling refreshed and a brand new start free from the downward yank of self-pity.

Nope, now--today--is an extremely better time. Indeed.









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"Life happens. If you wait for all your circumstances to calm down to have peace, then you’ll be waiting your whole life. God never promised to keep us from difficulties. He didn’t say we wouldn’t have storms, but He did say He would give us peace in the midst of the storm. He calls it a peace that passes understanding. That means despite what’s going on around you, you can still be at peace."   ... Joel Osteen


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Those 'remember not the former things' verses are good for me right about now, for I'm still working my way through forgiving Tom for all the times he sabotaged my previous heath-kicks over the years. He doesn't get it and most likely couldn't help it. But now I hesitate to begin again lest he sabotage me all over. It would be less likely this time--but still--the fear remains that I'd see a redder red and the steam from my ears would be steamier. 

Issues. Ol' Debra has issues.  😳



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I remind myself to count my blessings, not my problems. The blessing number is always much larger!


And if you're wondering--my foot continues to heal and improve. (Though I am being typical and wishing it was happening light years faster.)


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Oh! And isn't this little retro-looking refrigerator adorable?


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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Putting Away The Playground Toys



"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..." ... Ecclesiastes 3:1


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On Tuesday and Wednesday I prepared the playground for Winter.

"Playground?," you ask.

Yes, my backyard. The place where--in early Spring--I burst from the back door, grab a spade, and start digging. The place where tomato seedlings pop up from tomatoes I grew last year and where I do lots of 'sit-down-gardening', using my hand spade and tiny rake to gather leftover leaves which leeched good nutrients beneath Winter snow.

You know--garden play.




But now it's Autumn and tomorrow snow is promised. So I yanked up blackened tomato plants and churned yellow-brown leaves via the lawnmower (creating confetti). I moved the big lavender plant from the driveway then carried plastic windmills, terra cotta pots and the big sunflower dish to the garage.

Every moment brought happy past remembrances and an anticipation of new sunny morning adventures in 2018.

And yes, a tad bit of sadness, too. But hey! I reminded myself. "This is not Spring--and you can't go skipping seasons."


God likes to mix things up. 
He created seasons to keep us relying upon Him, not our ruts.
He frowns upon our trying to skip uncomfortable seasons.
He realizes all seasons are necessary. That all grow our trust level.
He knows change brings growth, patience and beauty. If we accept it.


And I think finally this will be the Winter I don't sit at the windows wishing for Spring. 

This year I truly want to do Winter well, for I've moaned through far too many others. May I slow my pace, read, bask and create within the Inside Playground  where I must choose play of a different kind. And may I welcome that challenge, find new solutions, rather than wish all discomfort away.







Go skipping an uncomfortable season and we'll have avoided some necessary personal growth. And someday we'll have to go back--and learn the lesson well before we can continue.

Choices made today will help create our tomorrows--for good or for bad.



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Our across-the-street neighbors recently bought the old light-green house kitty-corner from us. I watched the first strokes of dark grey paint being brushed on and thought,"Ew! I hope that's just the primer."

But you know? As each wall was completed, then the trim, I found myself liking the change.

Imagine that. Waiting until something was finished before I expressed an opinion aloud. What a novel idea.  😊




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


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Speaking of creativity.... Does anyone remember when I wrote about the wonderful documentary called Amargosa which tells of the re-imagined theater in Death Valley? 

Here's a short youtube video/trailer about the so-creative woman who followed her dreams.

And here's the entire documentary which you can rent for .99 cents. 

For years, Marta Becket's incredible art has often been the nudge I needed to stop being all half-enough-is-good-enough, especially during long, cold Winters. What an inspiration she was!


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