Monday, July 17, 2017

Complain And There Goes Your Brain(!)



"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life..."   ... Philippians 2:14

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First, Sammy The Cat got sick. Now I must give him meds and keep him in a large crate upstairs because for two nights he used our newly cleaned carpet like a litter box.

At this same time, my alarm clock became undependable. Then died. I bought a battery-operated one which works--when it feels like it. So then I bought an electric one from Ebay (and during all this, lost sleep while wondering if I'd wake up on time to get Tom out of here for work.)

Last Monday a black round thing fell off our dishwasher door. Fearing it might leak now, I began washing dishes by hand till Tom could look into the problem over the weekend.

On Wednesday, our 12-year-old washing machine filled with water, agitated ok, then refused to spin and rinse. As I pulled sopping wet clothes from the dirty water I willed myself not to cry (but cried a little anyway).

This is only a test. This is only a test. (And those were just the ones I care to mention.)

It's hard to keep a sense of humor and hope during these times, right? But I'm trying anyway, reminding myself that complaining displeases God--oh--and now articles like this one are popping up --

Complaining Is Bad For Your Brain


Wow. Better brace yourself with some coffee before you read that or the many similar articles out there.


These lines stood out for me--


"The problem with many complaints today is that they can become a way to vent, as opposed to a way to problem solve .... rather than resolving problems and creating change, complaining can become ineffective and create unnecessary stress.


The stress caused by complaining can have a lasting and negative impact on the brain... even a few days of stress damages the neurons in the hippocampus (the part of the brain used for problem solving and cognitive functioning), and impairs its ability to create new neurons.
Over time this can result in the hippocampus shrinking, which can cause a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and the ability to adapt to new situations."

Oh. My. Goodness. At 58, I certainly cannot afford to have my brain become any smaller. Heavens, no.
I want to solve problems rather than just become one (the type people unfollow at Facebook). I want to hold onto God's peace rather than man's stress (which brings that dark, discouraged feeling). I want to remember God is able. He is, you know.
Even during these trying days, may I choose shining like a beacon of Light rather than moaning like just another whiner with a negative, shrinking brain.


We can do this. We can live and believe positively even in Today's world because hooray! There's more grace available now to do so.
Whew.

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Progress report (as we've been trying not to complain, but to fix things, instead) --

Sammy The Cat is improving!
Both my alarm clocks are (mostly) working great. (Here's the vintage Ebay one. Cute, right?) --

I can use our dishwasher while we're waiting for the replacement part!
The washing machine, though ... We'll have to use our hopefully-not-complaining brains (what's left of them) to figure-out how we'll deal with that. Stay tuned.

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"Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them."   ... Ephesians 4:29

"Complain and remain. Praise and be raised."  --- Joyce Meyer

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Lightweight Friday

Recently, for 20 cents, I bought this edition of Jean and Johnny at Salvation Army--





Yet although I'd read this before, I just couldn't get past 6 pages because the cover felt all wrong. Jean and Johnny was written in 1959 (an excellent year, indeed, hint, hint), but that book cover! So dreadfully 1980's. Or 70's, whatever. Ew.

And ok, I get why book covers are updated--young folks (and old) supposedly won't even open a book if the cover is dated. Judging a book by its cover--it's still rampant today, sadly. 

We're only human and all that, I guess--and here we thought we'd come so far.

Anyway.

Not for the first time, either, I simply had to order a more honest, true-to-the-book's-heart copy. Which yes, is probably a reverse type of cover-judging. Alas. --







But wow,  what a difference. This time the book (an old hardcover copy) 'went down easy' because the cover belonged to the words inside--and to me, that just makes more sense.

Think I'm wacky? Well, thanks to the Internet, I discovered whole crowds of us behave this way. So there.  😄

These (troubled) days, people whine about how, online, we're all so different, but me? The Internet introduces me to kindred spirits galore, ones I'd never have otherwise met this side of Heaven. And how lovely to feel like I fit-in.

And isn't it far more pleasant to meditate upon our similarities rather than our differences? I believe so.















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See this bathroom?




I've not been able to shake it from my head--so--it's the new goal for my own bathroom. In my own style, of course. Probably these walls are white in real life, but I'd like to paint mine a palest pink. A huge help is that everything currently in my bathroom will look pretty surrounded by pink. No need to buy all new stuff.

I'd also love to replace our vanity with one similar, above, but let's not all hold our breath regarding that, ok?

The main thing is that now I have a plan. Rarely does anyone go anywhere meaningful without a plan.

Stay tuned.


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Sammy The Cat is improving! He seemed to begin eating better immediately after you began praying(!) So cool.

Your prayers are still so welcome, though. Thank-you!


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Did you know that HGTV's Good Bones is back? I appreciate how this mother-daughter team takes horribly-treated houses and turns them into gorgeous homes for new families to love.  Happy sigh.


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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Prayer Which (Nearly) Always Gets Answered



If you've read here long you might recall my Restore Unto Me The Joy of __________ posts. In fact, here's one.


Those  Restore Unto Me Prayers! They always seem to work. Simple prayers like, "Restore unto me the joy of ---

... cooking dinner.
... dusting. Vacuuming. Washing clothes.
... keeping up the yard.
... giving. Doing what I must. Blogging. 
... exercising. Writing. Reading. 


Seems even before I step away, poof! The joy, the inspiration to do good is back.

That is, unless I'm still sulky in heart, preferring to cling to recent unfairness. You know, like how certain dreams just aren't happening and probably never will so why even try?

Go playing the resentment card and uh-oh, answers to Restore Unto Me Prayers start crawling like snails. I've noticed when I hold onto pouting, I let go of fun and invite a type of grey boredom, instead.

And who wants that? What kind of a pouting disappointment is worth losing ones peace and energy? 

What I want, instead, is this --


" ... let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..."   ... Hebrews 12:1



--and God, always, is standing there, waiting, to help me.

Whew. (Now, if I can just remember, every time, to ask for that help.)













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Speaking of prayer, if you're into praying for cats I'd appreciate it if you'd pray for our big black Sammy. He'd been losing weight so Naomi took him to the vet for us and well, he has thyroid issues. I'm giving him his pills and other med.'s but he still looks bad and I'm having to discipline my mind not to let this darken my whole world. Sammy's nearing 14 years old. Sigh.


Thank-you.


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While browsing local real estate (just for fun! Relax.), I saw this second story bedroom with a great old-fashioned vintage vinyl floor cloth--



Nifty, right? And did you know they still make and sell these today? They're probably made differently, but I found it cool that they're still around.


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Oh, and recently, Tom and I watched 5 Flights Up. Have you seen it? I really enjoyed it, probably because of my constant interest in houses and decorating and HGTV. Check out the trailer here to see if you might like it, also.


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