Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From My Life Around Here


I did some rearranging on our porch yesterday, painted the loveseat and the chair near the curtain, also.(Click twice to supersize the picture and you'll see the cute cat pillow--a yard sale find-- on the bed.)



I sit at this table on mornings and cool afternoons reading books and taking long pauses to watch the birds at the feeders. Lennon and McCartney lounge out here in the mornings after their breakfast.




I love this angle of my garden in the afternoons.



Yesterday the temperature was so perfect that I accomplished all sorts of things. Sixty-eight degrees! My idea of summer perfection.

At our last house, the songs of Glenn Miller were current faire. His songs fit our walls perfectly and spun on my record player like they were created for our home's theme music. But here at this old farmhouse? Oh, it's Andy Williams all the way. His songs waft all echo-ey from upstairs as though they were written for this time, this place. Songs especially from the album where you'll find this one:



Which singer(s) best supplies the theme music for your home?



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Of Setting Personal Boundaries

So lately, Tom picked up a bad habit. I call it the 'We Need To' habit."

I mean, we'll be driving along country roads or else walking up people's driveways to their yard sales and he'll look at all the lovely landscaping and that's when it starts:

"We need to plant more trees on our farm."

"We need to make a brick patio."

"We need to spread mulch on all our flowerbeds."

"We need to put up some picket fencing, plant some brighter flowers, make a flower bed around our mailbox post, clear the weeds around the septic well and prune our grapevines and our meadow trees."

The problem? His "we" means me. Debra. Those are the kinds of tasks I've volunteered to do around this farm. Tom's tasks are to mow certain parts of the yard on his tractor and organize the garage and barn.

We're both still waiting for the garage and barn fairies to magically organize things on some enchanted starry night.

So anyway, I noticed how tight my stomach would feel after a few hundred We Need To's. And how often those We Need To's led to my telling Tom, "I know, I know already! I've got to get my gardens in first, ok? I keep telling you that." (Add to that additional whining.)

And then finally one day I put up a necessary, mind-saving boundary. After driving alongside Tom and listening to more We Need To's, I told him, "Look. I need you to stop with the We Need To's because your 'we' means 'me'! You realize that, don't you? All the things you're suggesting are things that I'm responsible for. And I'm feeling so pressured to do more, more, more, that I can't even look around our yard and enjoy it any longer. I just look and see all the extra things you wish I would do."

He got the point. Thankfully, I can't recall hearing one We Need To since then.

Boundaries. They're vital. We all need to set them if we wish to keep our sanity.

And I hope you've already put up a few boundaries of your own--without feeling guilty about them, either.


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Speaking of boundaries, Joyce Meyer's message yesterday, Living on the Edge, was incredibly timely for me. I could actually feel my muscles relax, un-tense while I listened. You can hear that message here. Click on the smaller screen which says Living On The Edge.

The larger screen (today's message, Setting Boundaries in Relationships) is wonderful, too, especially if you have trouble knowing where to draw the line with people you're trying to help.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Of Aging. Of Acceptance.

So it was Saturday morning and I was fixing my hair at the bathroom mirror and I thought, "Hmm. Right now I look about as good as it gets nowadays. I should have Tom take a picture of me."

Well, something dreadful must have unknowingly happened to me between the time I stepped from the bathroom to the dining room where I gave the camera to Tom. Why? Because each of the pictures showed a frumpy, tired-looking middle-aged woman.

I hate it when that happens.

Gah! It's such a weird thing to feel like you're 30, pretty and physically-fit inside your skin and yet on the outside look about 60. And tired and fat. And it's rather wild to have a 30-year-old daughter, too, when you, yourself, feel only 30. "How can this be?," you often ask yourself.

Acceptance of how one looks--I think I'm still parked there. (I know, I know.) I've accepted the fact that I reached 50 (took me a whole year. Seriously), but I still can't quite accept that I look the way I look (there's a reason my Facebook photo is from 14 years ago and my blog photo isn't even me). That is taking some time.

Time! I'm always wanting to hurry people through their healings, but may this remind me that--often--time is required to work through various personal crisis' and God does not shove and push us along.

God is so not in a hurry.

And in the meantime? I'm trying my best to stay far away from guilt and condemnation about the part I've played in how I've aged, for they only worsen things. I mean, there's the consideration of my genetics and pollution and all that, but there's also the way I've eaten (too much sugar ages you, you know, as well as carrying around excess weight), sun exposure and the way I've handled Life's crisis' emotionally. Those kinds of things are within my power, (or God's power within me), to either handle with wisdom, calmness and trust or a raging kind of upset, non-acceptance or non-caring (as in, letting myself go).

So often the choice is mine--how will I react? And how will I treat this God-given body of mine?

Ah, so much responsibility. So little time.




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And don't even think about asking to see those pictures of me. :)




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Galatians 6:7-8: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Weekend Fun

So it's another rainy weekend here and I was searching online for some ideas to make our farm more, well, farm-like and fun, especially for visiting friends. (When you have no farm animals, you must try extra-hard to get that down-on-the-farm feeling.)

And oh wow. Here is a place which captures the kind of feeling I'd like.

You should see my list of all their ideas I'm planning to steal.


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(Click on each category on the left. Be sure to check out each lovely photo. Enjoy.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Victorian Cottage

Oh! You simply must see this tiny Victorian cottage. Read the article and click on the slideshow, the one for the cottage (there are other good ones though, too).

That cottage made my day. Gave me ideas for our downstairs bedroom, the one I've done nothing with so far. Placed dreams and plans inside my head for other rooms and our yard, as well.

It just might encourage you that bigger, truly, is not always better.

Of Spinach Posts And The People Who Read Them

Very occasionally I've received emails sounding rather like this:

"Hey Debra, you might not remember me but I used to read your blog all the time and I left you a few comments. But then I stopped reading your blog because, well, I hated you. And hated what you wrote. Of course, that was because I knew your words were right, but I just didn't want to hear them anymore because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. But that hasn't worked out too well so now I'm back. Just wanted you to know."

You might think those kinds of emails bother me, but honestly? I love them. They bless my socks off and make me laugh.

Why? Because I realize I serve up a whole lot of spinach around here. Liver and peas and carrots, too. You know, grow-up-and-stop-complaining stuff. Stuff which God has had to drill into my head and heart, like, a zillion times, until I finally got it, accepted it, and let it become a part of me so that I could stop stumbling around, bumping into brick walls and find peace, instead.

And for those of you who have stayed with me all these years (or gone and then returned again) I want to not only thank-you, but let you know that , if you've hung around this place very long, well, you must be wanting to die to self and grow to deeper places in peace--and in God. For as I said, I serve lots of spinach and liver in between my cake and pie posts. And trust me, not everybody likes those spinach posts, but I'm always blessed when they--when you--read and ponder them anyway, year after year.


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"Deep calleth unto deep... " ... Psalm 42:7

Thursday, June 24, 2010

They Probably Don't Decorate Like This In Los Angeles

We had an earthquake yesterday! The third one I recall in our 17 years in Western New York. You should have heard all my dishes chinking.
I stood in front of our refrigerator and watched my 1940's metal canisters above it shaking together, but I felt nothing beneath my shoes, so I wondered if our refrigerator was considering blowing-up. But then that's when I heard all those dishes in the dining room.

Nothing fell, nothing shattered. During our escrow time in 2008, our inspector told us this was a good, solid house. Yesterday he was proven right.



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In other news.... I keep getting complaining email forwards about our government leaders from certain friends and read their bordering-on-bitter updates at Facebook. And lately my silent reply has been this: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things..." Heh. You know, from Luke 10.

But what I want is to view things the way God sees them. And He is not worried. He is not sitting in Heaven mumbling about the U.S. government, nor having stomach aches and throwing up His hands while asking, "Well, what are you gonna do?"

There's a verse which says God sits in Heaven and laughs at His enemies. And there are verses saying His day will come, The Day when vengeance will be His and all will be judged and righted right-side-up--including us here in Blogland (lest we forget). But in the meantime, He's not having a miserable, worried time. In fact, Jesus is interceding for us all, He wants no one to perish and He's not rejoicing when people mess up, either, for 1 Corinthians 13 says love doesn't do that.

So count me out of emailing flurries of worried, complaining political emails. Instead, I so long to choose the other half of that Martha, Martha verse above, the part which says, "but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

That's why I ask myself often, "Hey! Are you becoming more like Martha or Mary?" To me, that's the real question of the day.


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Now, am I advocating being passive and all que sera sera? Uh, no. If God has called you to physically go out and make changes in our government, well, more power to you! Go out and prosper and be blessed. But it's just that I can't believe God calls any of us to huddle in little groups and whine and complain and worry and pass around the aspirin bottle for our stress headaches just because things aren't happening the way we wish they would. Prayer, is a better choice--confident, unafraid, believing, trusting prayer. That's what I believe, anyway.


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"Peace, be still." ... An excellent verse for the heart.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Around The Ol' Farm This Morning

I wish you could hear all the bird song and smell the sweet woods behind us...













And here, below, is a cottage-style cape we passed last weekend. The pictures do it no justice, though. It's for sale and I had to talk Tom out of falling in love with that place. Hmm.. But I know how it is. I'm all the time seeing places I think I'd trade for ours in a second. (So disloyal and fickle. I know.)





(Click to enlarge.)



Acceptance Vs. Settling

Some people hate the thought of accepting problems and negative situations. They believe acceptance is the same as settling, giving-up.

Uh, wrong.

Acceptance is an important beginning. It's vital, actually.

An example? Arthritis runs in my dad's side of the family and in 2000 I began having some real problems with stiffness in nearly all my joints. I couldn't reach behind me to zip up dresses and Tom even had to button small cuff buttons for me. It was bad. Scary.

So, at first, I had to accept that the ol' family arthritis curse had caught up with me. My time had come--to lay down and give into arthritis? No way! But rather, to deal with it. To fight it. I'd watched far too many relatives lie down with it or park themselves beside medicine cabinets.

But acceptance had to come first. Otherwise? Otherwise I'd have continued on in denial or ignorance, even. And people in denial do not make changes, but rather, they continue along their not-so-merry way living as they always have and eventually standing in the center of their consequences, paying awful prices.

Acceptance had to come first so that I'd know what I was dealing with. So I began doing research--I went online and read and searched for possible causes and I found one. I found a study of 500,000 women who drank two or more cups of decaf coffee a day and huge amounts of them were coming down with early cases of rheumatoid arthritis. And most of those women came from families with arthritis in their bloodlines. But when they gave up the decaf, they were fine again!

Wow. Guess who was also drinking 2 cups of decaf a day? So immediately I gave it up and within 8 days I was back to normal. I felt wonderful and oh so relieved. And I still continue to make other dietary changes in this area--I've discovered, also, that the more dairy and sugar I eliminate, the freer my joints feel. And staying peaceful and forgiving and calm. Oh, the value of those.

Acceptance has been vital. Denial would have been tragic. But did I settle for the problem? Did I lie back and let it wash over me? Did I make allowances for it and give it a place in my home? No. I fought it.

And not with medications, may I add. And all these years and websites like Dr. Mercola's and Dr. Colbert's later, I'm more determined that medication for any of my aging problems will always, always be a final resort. First, I will exhaust every natural remedy I can discover. And so far, I've successfully discovered natural ways to deal with each problem with aging that has popped up. Again, so far.

No to denial. Yes to acceptance. No to settling. And yes to discovery, to doing whatever I can, whatever God leads me to do.



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Here is one of the studies linking decaf with rheumatoid arthritis. It is not the study I saw ten years ago--I have since searched and searched for it but it appears to have been pulled as so many similar articles have been over the years. Naomi and I have watched this sort of thing happen over and over--the pulling, the hiding away of information which will affect sales of big companies--and have been shocked that such things take place in our Country all the time.


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I also like much of Dr. Oz's disease prevention advice.


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"We don't know what we don't know." ... copied

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Woman I Hate



Really, I try not to hate anyone. I remind myself that satan is the one to hate and he is, in some way, always behind every snide remark, every unfair assumption and all things evil.

But, even so, there is still one woman I do hate. She is our GPS lady.

Oh how Miss GPS bugs me! Tom and I will be tooling along lovely country roads and I'll be telling him something ever so meaningful and deep (heh) and suddenly there she squawks! Miss GPS drowns me out with her annoying, "RIGHT TURN IN FIVE MILES."

Due to some deep-rooted psychological childhood issues, I detest being interrupted (and being told to go to my room. Alas.) And so I must pause until she finishes speaking, for Tom can't hear me otherwise (I can barely hear myself). And because I must stop, and because she irks me no end, I sometimes forget what I was saying.

Ack! I do hate that woman.

So I try again. "And when I see these things happening, I feel..."

"RIGHT TURN IN FOUR POINT FIVE MILES."

"Gah. Now, what was I saying before she interrupted me?" (I pause to remember because my brain is over-50-defective now.) "Oh yes, when I see these things happening, I feel..."

"RIGHT TURN IN FOUR MILES."

"Argh! I can't stand that woman. Tom, can't you turn her off for the next three miles?"

Tom chuckles (he thinks this is all hilarious) and says, "If I do, I'll forget to turn her back on and we'll miss our turn."

Oh well. At least our early days when Tom still held out hope that I'd learn to read a map are long, long gone. Miss GPS gets us to where we wanna go without arguments about a certain someone who is a map moron. So I guess chalk one up for a bit of electronic progress.

Although, sometimes Miss GPS is the new map moron (how fun for me to hear Tom blame her). She'll take us three blocks out of our way, run us around in a circle then decide on a different route. Or she'll tell us, "YOU HAVE ARRIVED," after we've already bought our yard sale treasures and are a block down the road. She instructs us to turn when it's too late or too early, sends us off in the wrong direction or speaks of roads which do not exist. (Tom does not chuckle at these times for he pictures all the dollars we might have to spend to replace Miss GPS.)

Of course--to me, but not to Tom-- that's what makes Miss GPS loads of fun. Serves her right, anyway. And besides, it's always interesting to listen to someone who appears to have lost her mind. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Camping In The Desert (I Don't Recommend It)

"... but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God..." Romans 12:2


Tom, Naomi and I camped in Death Valley eons ago on the longest, most miserably-steaming summer night of our lives. Good grief. Not our favorite camping trip, though later-- after we escaped--we laughed about our adventure.

But actually? I returned home from that trip to a desert as well. Not only did we live in a dry, sandy land an hour outside of Reno, NV, but the very inside of my home, my heart, was a desert, too. Oh, the wandering around in the desert of depression I was doing!

So why the desert inside my soul? Whew. Lots of reasons. I was arguing with God about something, I was determined that happiness in Nevada was impossible, I complained constantly and I wasn't letting-go of something God was finished with years before.


And (a big one) I would listen to sermons with my head filter on. You know, the filter which tells you, "Yes, I believe what he said at the beginning, but uh-oh, not this middle part. Don't believe that. Hmm, but yes, now I believe this later part. Oops, but now I don't believe that final point."

Good grief. Want to stop growing in God? Listen to teachings that way. Read books that way. Respond to Life that way. It's that head filter that keeps us stuck where we've always been, the same place we'll still be wallowing around in when we die. Unless we change. It's that head filter which keeps us in clueless disobedience to God, as well.


We did move away from the desert, the Nevada one, but sadly, I also packed my stubborn head filter, the one guaranteed to keep me in the wilderness and carried it to New York.


But then, one year later, God tore that filter off my head (long story) and wow. The light! The light was so bright. And everything changed.


That binding, blinding head filter was cast away and wow, the unlearning I had to do! Whole decades of it. But the walk out of the desert was immediate and over the following years, Joy replaced the desert atmosphere inside my head--Joy and Grace and Gratitude and Growth.

Oh, how much a person can grow when she humbly begins again, when she starts all over and leaves her church lady creation lying fried back there in the desert. When she begins flying, believing what God tells her is true, rather than the opinions and wrong, desert-dead, desert-stifling thoughts of her stubborn, faulty head filter.



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It is fear which keeps us from welcoming new ideas and new ways of living and thinking. Fear brings torment and who wants torment?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Most Important Thing I Know

Probably in this blog I've told you dozens of changes God has made in my life since 1994. You regular readers could probably instantly list a few.

But there is one change which outshines all the rest. One change which began the avalanche of other changes which then led to nearly constant peace and joy during normal ol' days.

And that one major, major change comes from this verse:

"He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." ... Matthew 10:37

See, I used to read that verse, hang my sorry head and think, "Wow. I greatly admire God and am grateful for Him, of course. But oh my. I think I love just about everybody more than I love Him!" And that brought guilt. And guilt! Guilt is like a wall which blocks out His light. We hide behind that wall because we are embarrassed that we mess-up. A lot.

And oh... how much we miss while crouching behind that wall.

Well, 1994 rolled around and God showed me the key to breaking down walls of guilt, to allowing His incredible light to shine upon me and to truly loving Him more than everybody else.

What's the key?

Wanting God. Wanting more of God. Wanting God more than anything or anyone else.

More than a larger house, lots of friends, nicer furniture. More than wanting people to think well of me, more than a job, a vacation, or more money, a healing, a godly family, great clothes, Bible memorization, or paying-off loans in the name of stewardship. More than even being viewed as a loving, giving person or having a greater ministry or being the most amazing, sold-out Christian who ever stepped upon the planet. (Yes, really, more than even that last one.)

Again, the key to continual peace and joy begins here:

Want God.
Want to know Him, not just about Him.
More than anything else, want more of God.
And mean it.

What if you don't currently want Him like that? Well, just want to want it, then. Even the desire for more of Him comes from Him. All true, real, permanent things come from God. Nowhere does He say that we must spin around and try real, real hard and chant things over and over and strain and struggle to get what He's holding out to us in His opened hand.

All good gifts come from the Father. Our job, then, is to receive. Receive what He's aching to give us if only we'd stop trying to earn it. There is no earning God. There is only receiving.

He so wants to give us Himself. His presence. Oh, His life-altering presence! That is the key, too. It's within that presence where we'll know the fullness of joy. And it's with that joy that we find our strength to do all things. And acceptance--blessed, blessed acceptance as only a Father can accept His child, warts and mistakes and all. And it's in His presence where bondage is broken and we are freed to fly.

Want to want Him.
More than anything else.
And see what happens.
I dare you to begin this adventure.



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"It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be. He may not be as full as he wishes he were, but he is most certainly as full as he wants to be." ... A. W. Tozer


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"... I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

That I may know him..." ... Philippians 3:8-10



"For every one that asks, receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened." ... Luke 11:10

Friday, June 18, 2010

Helping. That's What It's All About.


Did you used to watch the tv drama, Early Edition?


I loved that show, still do, still often watch my dvd's and ancient, thinning videos taped from the tv.


In case you've not seen it, Gary would get tomorrow's newspaper today and so he'd have to go racing around Chicago trying to keep people from accidents/decisions which would hurt or even kill them. In his daily newspaper were all the details he needed to know in order to arrive in time to 'save the day.'


Doesn't sound too difficult does it? Just show up and warn people they were making unwise mistakes, they were in danger, they were headed for a big fall.


Huh. You know how we are, don't you? We don't want to be told what to do. We hate making changes, especially when another person tells us our current choices are going to kill us, make us sick or fill us with regret. And we must know all the whys. Why do you think I'm making a mistake? Why should I change? Why do you think you have a right to tell me what to do?


But well, it wasn't like Gary could tell everyone, "Hey. I get tomorrow's newspaper today so you'll just have to take my word for it." (Like that would work.) No, mostly people had to simply trust that Gary knew something they didn't. They had to humble themselves and act in a type of faith. And rethink their decisions.


Not everyone did that, though. And mostly, Gary was misunderstood, always in a hurry, always sacrificing his own life and wants and he received very, very few thanks.


Anyway, I could write a book about all the ways Early Edition confirmed what God was teaching me about ministry to others at that time. How even now it keeps me from giving-up on myself and others over and over when ministry becomes messy and unpleasant! For ministry to others can get sticky, you know.


But instead, I'll just share a short, valuable quote from one of the 4th season episodes. Gary's counterpart, a man who received tomorrow's newspaper over in New York City, traveled to Chicago to find Gary after he (NYC guy) had not received the NYC paper for a couple weeks.


Joey Clams appeared to want to help Gary not lose his own newspaper, but in reality, he hoped that, by helping Gary save other people, he'd start receiving his own New York City newspaper again. He missed the fringe benefits (betting on sure-bet horse races to win tons of money, being one), but beneath all that, he also missed the looks of gratitude he received from the people whose lives he saved. He missed making a difference in the world.


Well, Joey never did get the NYC newspaper back and near the episode's end this is what he told Gary:


"But you know? I got to thinking. I've been making too much of this paper thing. See, Joey Clams is not a passive spectator on the stage of History. No, my friend. He's a man of action. And if I want to help people, who's gonna stop me? No one, that's who. I don't need the paper to do that."


Wow. If only we all kept it that simple. Because it is, you know. Anytime night or day, we can help people. No great, super, behind-the-pulpit callings or gifts needed! No, just kind, sympathetic-hearted folks who want nothing for themselves, but everything for the hurting people out there who are praying, even now, for a helping hand to pull them upward to an amazing Saviour.






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Of Dealing With Disappointment




So much for traveling around our countryside for yard sales today. Tom is not feeling well, something stomach-related. Alas.

I never learned how to drive a stick-shift--Tom tried teaching me when we were first married (huge mistake) and I never could switch gears without looking down, making the car veer to the right and nearly crashing us. I never did learn to shift gears gracefully.

Well, even now, I still have trouble 'shifting gears' when my plans fall apart. I'd so looked forward to those yard and estate sales! I'd even mowed the lawn yesterday (a big part of it) and did some weeding and watering so that I could ride away from home and anticipate our return, seeing the yard clipped and in order. Which is not what usually happens on Fridays. Or Saturdays, even. Usually we drive up and the word, "Ugh," comes to mind while seeing all things undone.

Switching gears! Choosing to do something else without feeling like I'm doing something less. And thinking of an alternative project which I feel like doing, instead. Those are still hard for me.

So this morning I paced around the house awhile, gazed out the windows, imagined driving here, then there or over there to that store or this one. I could go out for coffee, I mused, or travel to buy groceries or clothes, even, in our former town (which now feels like The Big City, comparatively).

But no. Today, traveling alone didn't sound as satisfying as it used to. I could go anywhere I wanted! Yet all I really wanted to do was go to yard sales with Tom as I'd planned all week. Oh the fun we have whether we unearth treasures or not.

Disappointment! The way we deal with disappointment separates the women from the girls. It is children who pout when they can't have their way. Kids whine and think, "Well, if I can't do what I want, I won't do anything. I'll just mope, instead."

Sigh.

Eventually, after giving myself a stern lecture, I brewed some coffee and carried it and my books and Mary Jane magazines out to our patio where I sat, read and had an amazing, peaceful time. And reminded myself of the myriad times I swore, "If I only had a patio and an old farmhouse and land in the countryside I'd never complain again. I'd be perfectly content forever."

Oh, how we fool ourselves. And oh, how it takes some of us an entire lifetime to realize that contentment based on owning stuff (or traveling) is so fleeting, lasting only weeks or days. Then afterward, how often we begin a new search for new things which will keep us 'fixed.'

But always it comes back to this: Only God can fix us. And keep us fixed. Only contentment based on all He is, all He has become to us, will keep us steady, joyful, even smack dab in the center of disappointment.

I did return to that today and at least it required less time to get there than it used to. Maybe, just maybe, I am growing-up.

Bitter or Better?


Another rerun post today, but alas, Tom and I are headed out to yard sales again, and well, lately I've been taking my own Bitter or Better review test, so here you go.

And I'm not just talking Christmas cards, either. :)

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Sometimes Tom and I have spoken over the phone to old acquaintances and after their dire predictions, lists of complaints and the general gloom they spread, I've looked at Tom and said, "If I ever become like that, you have my permission to shoot me."

Some days I pause and ask myself, "Am I becoming bitter or better?"

This month for example... I know I've become better about receiving Christmas cards. You should have seen me years ago each December.

No, I'm glad you didn't. I mean, I would mail out my Christmas cards (with handwritten notes and tiny surprises) early and then day after day I'd trudge outside into a cold, wintry blast of snow to our mailbox where it seemed, inside, an even icier blast would slap me because there would, generally, be no Christmas cards until, like--can you believe it--three measly days before Christmas.

And because those were the days when I based my happiness upon the mail I received, if my dearest friends signed only their names to the card or sent a long, type-written page of brag--, uhm,memories, well, I'd frown and fume and be totally, totally blown away.

That, my friend, is called becoming bitter. Not better.

But now? Now I'm one happy Christmas camper. I mean, each year I sign-up on two Christmas card exchange lists from my favorite online groups, and those ladies keep the cards coming in a regular flow all month long, giving me my Christmas card fix. Not to mention the cards I receive from other online friends I've made over the years.

As for the simply-signed cards or long-missives-but-no-personal-message from old friends three days before Christmas? Heck, I love them all--now. I've come to realize that people are different... that I need to give them the freedom to be themselves and to do the best they can. And somewhere along the way I even began sending out my own type-written letters and wonder of wonders, I love every similar letter I receive, no matter how long, how braggy or how fine the print (definitely some God-made changes there!).

But the biggest change I've seen in myself is this: When I stopped trying to get from people what only God, Himself, could give me, I began to relax and just accept people as they are. Probably because for the first time, I could finally accept myself as I am since God accepts me as I am, too (something I never quite could believe before).

And now each year I'm accepting December and Christmas, itself, in a whole more kindly manner.

And that is better. Not bitter.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Daughter's Childhood



Today is our neighbors' tiny daughter's second birthday. She was born four days after we moved into this old farmhouse so that's how I know.

I remember when my own daughter turned two. That day Tom and I kept telling her, "You're two now, Sweetie!" But she'd shake her head and say, "No! I'm three. I wanna be three now."

Ha! All that year she pretended she was three.

Oh, we had fun raising Naomi. Of course, when she was really tiny, I recall feeling tired an awful lot, but mostly? Mostly I remember the adventure of having my very own young child, how my goal was to give Naomi a dreamy, creative childhood she would remember fondly.

We put one of those baby seats on the back of my bicycle and Naomi and I often rode through old neighborhoods to the supermarket in our tiny country town. I'd place her back on the seat then plop a sack of groceries on her lap and we'd ride home, sometimes singing. Of course, the day came when she refused to hold that bag on her lap and I said good-bye to that grocery-getting convenience (I had no driver's licence at that time). But with a child, you're always saying good-bye to something.

Other times we walked to the town library inside a 1920's log cabin by the river where we'd skip rocks, then amble over to the post office to pick up the mail. We'd return home for lunch, a story and a nap, then afterward we'd play Candy Land for hours until Tom got home and I'd plead with him to play a few rounds.

We'd have company over to dinner, relatives, friends, for those were my favorite memories while growing-up and I wanted Naomi to keep similar ones. The three of us went tent camping most summers, I'd reach my hand to the car's backseat and she'd hold it (we later all laughed about that, though teen Naomi's laugh was more of a grunt) and we'd eat bad food and swim a lot and play in the sand. I'd lie in the tent at night in between my little family and feel inexplicably happy.

I grew Shasta daisies, cosmos and marigolds so Naomi would look back and remember there were flowers. We had birdbaths so she'd remember birds, strawberries and raspberries so she'd recall picking fruit in the backyard on clear, summer mornings.

As Naomi grew we let her have parties for any occasion, birthdays or Just Because days and weekend slumber parties, too. One year she had an invitation-only birthday party for our cats and I still remember standing at the door and thinking of Little Women while watching the five girls in the shady front yard reclining upon blankets on the lawn, relaxed, singing happy birthday to our cats, eating sweets and giving our cats their own treats. Watching that scene, I felt enchanted.

And grateful. I remember feeling so grateful for Naomi.

She and I had craft nights and I'd watch her tape and staple new clothes and make creations from the project box. While watching her I reminded myself that someday she'd be grown and gone away so I needed to memorize that little girl, age six, upon the living room carpet. I tried so hard to slow down time, to will it to stop for just one moment, but it sped by even faster at those times, as if laughing at my attempts. I thought it wasn't fair.

But it was fair and it was Life. And I would say that those years are gone, but you know? They're still here. Anytime I wish I can pull out a memory, shine it till it gleams, then put it back again. Because even in the midst of my tiredness during those early years, oh, I reminded myself to stay awake, to not turn my head, to not miss one single moment of my daughter's childhood.





Naomi at thirty...





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Want another young Naomi story? Here's one.

And another with mentions of feeding seagulls.


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Of Callings Discovered

I hope you've discovered what God wants you to do for Him and how He wants you to specifically be and live and view things.

Why? Because once you discover all that, Life becomes simpler. Ideally, anyway.

If I know that God wants me to write faithfully in this blog, to always keep an ear leaning His way so I'll know what to write, well, then I won't be spending weeks and years, say, seeking to get myself over to Africa to become a missionary. Or feeling guilty that I'm not in Africa being a missionary.

I'll not be wasting time seeking to start my own church or get a place on the worship team or become president of The Ladies Aide.

No, I'll spend my time here at my blog, writing things for you to read. I'll walk through my days with you and God on my mind, listening to what He wants me to tell you next. And allowing Him to take me places where I'll learn new lessons so to pass them along--real places with real adventures and places inside my heart where real changes happen.

And if I know that God wants me to become an excellent wife, homemaker and farmgirl around our four acres, then this is where I'll be--here on our farm--learning, being and doing. Not, instead, seeking to be anyplace but here. Not traveling elsewhere trying to discover ways to become famous or more appreciated or a world crusader. No, most of my time will be spent right here at home learning and living and just becoming better at what God has called me to do

Does that mean I never go anyplace else to become better at what God's called me to do? Nah.. God uses other places, other people to teach me. People down the road, across the state or on the Internet. Good teachers are everywhere.

But today I'm just speaking of most of my time. You know, the majority. It's the main part of my time and energy of which I'm speaking and today I'm grateful to know what God has called me to do and be, for that hasn't always been so. Years past, I believed I had no clue, but you know? I think my cluelessness came from wishing God would give me a more public calling rather than the 'small', quieter ones, deep inside, I knew He'd given me.

And it was in looking for 'fireworks callings' which could bring larger amounts of appreciation that brought about my confusion and my blindness to His actual gift(s) for my life.

But now, the confusion is gone. The seeking, the racing around, the wasting of years of time have vanished.

Now there is acceptance and great peace, instead.



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What are you good at? What comes easily for you? What do you enjoy? Chances are, those are the ways God wants to use you to help others. (He never meant it to be a great mystery, for where's the logic in that?)


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We've had visits from a few new, exciting types of birds lately. Here is what appears to be a Baltimore Oriole! (I would say click to enlarge but this new blog design won't let you do that. Well, not at this moment, anyway. Perhaps later? If I didn't love the new look so much, I'd switch back. Oh well.)

P.S. A special thanks to Kim for telling me she was able to enlarge the photo. Must just be that my own computer isn't used to the new design. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

For Anyone Who is Growing Older



Sara has been on such a roll lately with amazing blog posts.

Here's one you simply must read. I read it aloud to Tom last night while we were eating chocolate chip cookies and sponge candy. (Eegads.) Sara's words really, really convicted us and almost made us stop eating all that chocolate. ("Almost thou hast persuaded me...") Tom and I are tough nuts to crack and that's why we need to read lots and lots of posts like Sara's. Someday the summation of them will cause us to 'straighten up and fly right.' To take seriously our personal responsibility.


We hope.

So skip on over there while you still can. (You'll see what I mean. heh) Sara will give you something to think about, something which will haunt you for days. At least, I'm certainly being haunted... in a good way, but of course.




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Psalm 111:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Attempt at Random Thoughts


Judy always posts delightful random thoughts lists. They inspire me, make me smile.

Don't count on my random thought list doing that for you, though. I just thought I'd try it and see what transpires.


My Current Random Thoughts:



1. The morning birds in our yard sound like those lovely bird song recordings you hear with titles like, "Bird Songs For People Who Don't Get Out Much."

2. I'm tired of June rain and June clouds. Shouldn't June be so sunny, humid and hot that we're complaining about that?


3. It bothers me a lot that we've all been taught that--when we don't feel well-- treat the symptoms rather than the cause.


4. I found two great books at our country fair's book sale. The Christmas Mouse by Miss Read (am loving it). And In The Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith, one of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Both are hc and cost only $1 each.


5. I love discovering people who think outside the moldy, oldy traditional box. The people who staunchly plop inside the box make me tired and tempt me to shake, shake, shake them awake.


6. Tom and I have twice spied a bird in our yard which we've never, ever seen before and are making ourselves crazy trying to identify it. It's almost a solid deep blue-grey charcoal shade, about the size of a cardinal. Hmm...


7. I ordered twenty strawberry plants online and miraculously, each one survived the transit, my procrastination in planting them and my actual planting of them. They're looking quite pretty now (remember, when they arrive by mail, they look like stretched-out green worms. No leaves.).

8. Jimmy Dean died yesterday, but I would have sworn that he died two years ago. Hmm... Did he come back to life but no one told me?

9. This weekend Tom and I visited a new coffee shop in Lewiston. I ordered a warm cheese danish... and fell in love. "This is one of the best things I've ever eaten in my entire life," I told Tom. "Give me one of these every single day of my life and I'll never complain about anything again." Of course, my life would then likely be shortened (all that cheese and sugar!), thus giving me fewer opportunities to complain.

10. Last week I finally hooked up my record player upstairs and the first song I listened to was Karen Carpenter's Rainy Days and Mondays, even though I anticipate Mondays and even though thinking about Karen Carpenter, after having not thought about her for months, always makes me cry. After that, I can proceed to listen to my album over and over, though the melancholy never quite dissipates.

11. Wonder of wonders... Tom and I are actually organized enough this year to be flying a flag on Flag Day.

Happy Flag Day to my readers!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Day At The Country Fair




You might not believe me, but yesterday Tom and I finally did a fun non-yard-sale-related activity(!) We went to our Little Town In The Middle of Nowhere's annual country fair.

You would have loved it.

The fair was tiny, held behind the town library in the parking lot and surrounding lawns. No rides, no fireworks, no big, exciting shebangs. Nah, just a classic car show, line dancers, food, a book sale and plant sale, raffles and pony rides and an Idol contest with adorable little farmgirls all under 12 or so. And tractors! Probably 100 tractors were lined up, some participating in the tractor games, which, when announced, I leaned over and asked Tom, "Is that anything like reindeer games?" heh.


We sat beneath a tent eating hamburgers and chips, watching people, and Tom smiled and said, "This is our town." And that seemed to say it all.



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If I were Queen, all sheriffs' cars would look like this:
(Do check out the cherry light on top.)

And most cars would still resemble these:





And most tractors would look like this:



And half the dogs people bring with them to country fairs would be as sweet and beautiful as this one:



As I said, you would have loved it and in a way, you all were there beside me. I do tend to take you along wherever I go and oh, the old-fashioned places we see together!







Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Lamp and An Anniversary




Okay. I know we're not supposed to loooove stuff and things. I know that, ok? But oh my, I do so love my new yard sale lamp.



Does that look like ol' Debra, or what? And only $2! Another weekend present from God--that's how I like to view it. Just this week I wished for a different, 'warmer' lamp for that spot. Gee, imagine what would happen if I'd remember more often to pray and not just wish! (Sara wrote a fun post about that here.)

And perhaps it's an anniversary present for alas! Two years ago on this day, Tom and I moved into our old 1880's farmhouse. Wow. And what an adventure it has been... and continues to be.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Facebook, Friendship and Fun


I must be a rare soul, for (it seems) I'm one of the few people not complaining about Facebook. But I just can't think of a reason to complain about something which makes me so darn happy.


Like yesterday. My Facebook friend, Pat, mentioned the song, You've Got a Friend, performed by James Taylor so I went to YouTube and listened to it. And listened again. And cried for no reason. And thought of how I've only had one friend who would come whenever I needed him. Only one. Jesus.


Ah. "Ain't it good to know that you've got a Friend?" Yes, it is. Indeed (as Spock would say. ...ha.)


Then another FB friend yesterday, an old pal from high school, sent me a link to his favorite version of On The Street Where You Live. (The day before, we'd been both listening to that song. A wild coincidence!) And wow. I needed that, too, for all day I'd been drippy with rare allergy problems (achoo! achoo!) and the skies were cloudy again and I felt, well, bleh, until though the sun broke free at 3:00. Then that zippy song came along and pushed me into dancing around the house and yard and sunshine.

Oh, I have stories of other kind Facebook friends! But I'll just share how one dear old friend from childhood (I was 8, she was 5 when we first met) inspires me. Every weekend she and her family go out and do things. Fun things! Things which do my Old Homebody Heart great good to read.



What do they do? Here's just a partial list from the last few months:


She and her husband ride motorcycles with groups and friends.


They attend themed festivals. They picked peaches at a farm during one of them.


She attends the roller derby with friends.


They go to fun themed restaurants. (She shares photos of all these things.)


They went to a golf tournament then to a dinner afterward at their friends' home.


They attended a classical music concert.


They had a luau at their home 'because there was a great sale on pineapple, mangoes and chicken.' Everyone dressed Hawaiian. She often creates the most exotic dishes and invites friends over to share them.


On weeknights she goes to dance class and learns different dances weekly.


Wow! Now there is someone who will not grow old before her time. (She does all this even while holding a real job, too.) And someone who reminds me, not only in words but in deeds, that I need to get out and have more fun, too.


So thank-you, Facebook, for reuniting me with friends I'd believed I lost many years ago. Friends who bless my heart every day.


I found this adorable tiny bench at a yard sale for just $1.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Of Being Very Slow to Speak


Some things cannot be explained.

Like when a wife can miraculously lift a car off of her husband. Or the way God can be with me and a zillion other people simultaneously. Or why some people like sushi.

And why I so enjoy the show, The Office.

Heh.

I'm speaking of the Steve Carell version, the one they began airing at our house at 7:00 p.m. instead of our favorite old standby, King of Queens, whose episodes we had memorized. Naomi had always enjoyed The Office--she shared an episode with us years ago-- but I told Tom later, "Eh. It was ok, but rather foolish. Kinda Dullsville. And I've never worked in an office so I can't identify with that whole concept."

But then I gave the show a chance. I watched it more than once (imagine that) and found myself giggling, yes giggling, and loving the whole Pam and Jim romance, especially. (Are they adorable or what?) And how cool that we become closer acquainted with the characters each week and the way it isn't all smash-ups and murders as so many shows are, but rather, it's character-centered. And I confess--I've come to care what happens to these people. Perhaps that's why I like this show.

I've been taken by surprise. All that giggling and laughter coming from me, a simple homemaker, who's never held one office job, night after night while Tom and I sit together, both tired after working all day. Wow.

And again the lesson is reinforced: If I wish to be taken seriously--and respected-- online and in real life I should:

Never criticize a tv show I haven't watched or seen only once (it may have been a bad episode). Viewing tv commercials about upcoming episodes does not count.

Never criticize a movie I haven't seen (again, viewing previews or even studying reviews isn't the same as watching and deciding for myself).

Never condemn a book I have not read, not even if my pastor or favorite mentor condemned it after, or even without, reading it, themselves.

Never judge or criticize a church I've not visited or a pastor I've never sat down beside and talked with heart to heart.

Why not? Because condemning what I do not understand drives non-Christians, especially, wild with anger. Offends them, too. Message boards all the time illustrate the terrible way that Christians are spoken about--deservedly--when they speak of things they've never even seen/read/experienced for themselves. And instead of calling it ignorance on their part, these Christians then recoil and whimper about being persecuted.

Come on, people.

We are being watched, observed, even, and it's time that we be slow to speak--or even remain silent-- when we're inside unfamiliar territory. Even the Bible says that a silent man will be more likely to be thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut.

Wonderful advice when it comes to subjects of which we are not acquainted intimately. Things of which we are not familar and certain.



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Now, am I giving an all-clear recommendation of The Office? Uh, no. Occasionally Tom and I must turn the channel over to Wheel of Fortune when the characters are speaking of something, well, not-so-nice. In this post I just shared what has been a learning experience for me lately.


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"Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”
... Benjamin Franklin

“He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.” ...Voltaire

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Every blue moon, or so, I share a very personal story. This is one of those blue moons.

Around 15 years ago, a relative of mine went to prison. I'll call him Relative A. This happened just before Relative B passed away which made Relative C very angry. He thought it horrible that Relative B left this earth knowing that Relative A had done something terrible, making her wonder if she, herself, had somehow failed Relative A. She questioned if she (the sweetest soul on Earth) was somehow, in part, to blame.

Relative C was also humiliated that Relative A would bring such a black mark upon our family name and for a couple years he became bitter, sick even. Then eventually Relative A got out of prison and he and Relative C did spend some time together and, I like to believe, made some peace between themselves.

Then Relative C passed away. Shortly after that, Relative A committed the same crime and was sent to prison again where he'll be until he dies. He's nearly 80 now.

All these people were Christians.

Back when this first happened I tried to calm Relative C, but he'd have none of it. He insisted upon holding a grudge and so he did. I wanted to tell him that Relative B certainly wasn't upset over all this now that she was in Heaven (!) so he should let that part of it go, anyway. But with Relative C and me it was rather like what Jesus said:

"A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house."

I was just a relative. Only a housewife. Why take my words seriously?

And so why dredge this up today? To share this: When I stand before God, He will not ask me, "What about Relative A? He royally messed up, didn't he? He sure put an ugly black mark on your family name, didn't he?"

No. He'll ask, "What about you, Debra? Let's review how you handled your days upon Earth. Let's talk about whether you loved people--or not. If you forgave them. How you reacted to hard times. Or how faithfully you showed Me to a hurting world."

Those are the things that matter. And it also matters that I keep my mind on the prize (as the Bible says), not on all the mistakes, grievances, sad and bad times I and my family have encountered along the way. But rather, on how God held us up and brought us out of each one.



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Matthew 6:14
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you..."


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"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." ... Philippians 4:8,9

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

There's Always a Way


For years in various places I've heard this saying:

"We do the things we really want to do."

Some people don't believe those words, but I do.
My favorite people? They're the ones who, if they can't have exactly what they dream of, they work to cleverly create something quite close.

If they dream of writing a book, they write. In between all their daily tasks and emergencies and imperfect snatches of time they jot down words. They don't complain that they are too busy to write, that other people (i.e. tiny children) yanked away their time or that they didn't have enough education, a writing room, an agent or a published volume.

Those who want to paint, well, they paint. They ask for supplies or gift certificates to art stores for birthdays and Christmas. They fit in an occasional art class or collect books and learn from them. They don't just talk about painting or wish they could paint, they paint. Upon any surface they wield a brush whether the time is perfect or imperfect, with or without a special art studio.

The people who dream of traveling, travel. They take day trips or vacations, they buy travel books or dvd's and travel that way, too. They make sacrifices, do without what others deem necessities to save their money for 'someday trips' to places they've always wanted to see. They, too, ask for Christmas and birthday gifts which will contribute to future traveling adventures.

The people who dream of having a horse or a farm or an expensive hobby find creative ways to have those things. If a horse can't be had on their suburban lot, they save their money for riding lessons or learn where they can rent a horse for day rides. Farmers without farms volunteer to help at local farms or take their families to visit farms open to the public. They learn all about farming life and do what they can to create one in their own backyard. Expenisve hobbies are done in layers, started small. People who seek them learn all they can first, save-up for what they want, but as with all these things, they make a start, not excuses.


People who desire friendship go out or go online and show themselves friendly. Those who want to have parties, have parties today instead of waiting to buy a bigger house to hold them tomorrow. Folks who want to lose weight by exercising, well, they exercise--they do not sit on a couch complaining they can't afford a gym membership. People who want to change their career learn all they can about a new one, take classes when they can and volunteer to work, at first, for free with mentors who will guide them.

Complainers and blame-ers don't begin. They don't self-start. They never go far, but rather, drift backward, become old, miss out. It's the hopeful, the doers who move ahead and do what they really want to do.

At least, that is what I've seen.



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The dreams God plants in our hearts, happen. That is, if we cooperate with Him. The dreams He gives always contain His purposes, they always spread His light.


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"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; will you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." ... Isaiah 43:19


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"We need more backbone, not wishbone." ...Joyce Meyer


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Excuses are the easiest things on the whole planet to make. Anyone can make them.

Monday, June 07, 2010




Since Tom and I didn't have quite enough unfinished projects around here, we bought 270 bricks at a yard sale this weekend. And guess who is now making a walkway, a sort-of cheater's type?


Yes, I am. And if you once created a walkway like this and it turned out disastrous, please do not tell me. I prefer my blissful ignorance. I plan to just add a few bricks each day and hope that eventually this walkway will lead out to the wicker chair and fairy pool which are not working out in the back meadow so will be moved to the Bunny Pasture. That is, when I don't have to swim out there. Sheesh, this weekend we had record rains and most of our lawns are like cold grass soup.



And here's the raised bed in the Bunny Pasture. I made it the way Jenna recommended in Made From Scratch, namely, after making the frame you just lay down newspaper and start loading in the dirt (rather than ruin your back digging up the sod). Much easier. Now I just have, oh, ten more raised beds left to make. Alas.


Oh, and don't ask about the tiny, flooded stone patio next to it. It's one of those live and learn things soon to be replaced by bricks. Well, someday to be replaced by bricks, anyway. I try not to promise that anything around here will be done soon, inadvertently making myself a liar.



And remember those mystery flowers out there? Well, I discovered some even higher up! (Click to enlarge and peer at the center of the middle tree.) Amazing. Soon they'll disappear, though, so in the meantime, I've often wandered back there to inhale the glorious scent.


When I reach Heaven I certainly don't want to be shocked that my life could have been so much more than it was. That I'd been surrounded by blessings but never even noticed them. So I'm attempting to always keep awake to Life now. Arriving in Heaven with few regrets is a goal of mine.



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A special thanks to each of you who have helped me name flowers and given suggestions for our landscaping! I appreciate your thoughtfulness more than you realize. And more about what we've decided to do in the corner of our yard across from the (main) patio later..........

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"Inch by inch, anything's a cinch." ... copied

Or as I tell Tom (who likes big projects done in a hurry): Mile by mile, everything's a trial. (I made that up all by myself.) :)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Need Any Business Cards?

Last week I shopped online for cheapo-but-pretty business cards and I (after much searching) discovered some here. I wanted just 100 and at this website, my first order was free. I paid only for standard shipping, though they did have a lower, cheaper tier of shipping which I liked to imagine as Pony Express since it could take up to a month to receive the cards (they said). But with standard shipping mine arrived in only three days(!)

I absolutely, positively love these cards. I chose the design, above, and at the top mine say Healing Acres. There's no website scarring the trees and only one phone number on the right. Ideally our names and address would have been on the right and thus not obscure the barn, but alas, I didn't have that option. But still, I do love these things.

Just thought I'd pass this offer along.

If I Was Depressed



Twenty years ago I was a depressed mess. Seriously.

That depression has not returned, but what would I do if it did? Here's what:

1. I would ask God to show me what was wrong, for there is something wrong somewhere. God certainly did not create us to be sad, depressed beings. Uh, no.

2. I'd immediately begin taking Vitamin D3, at least 4,000 units in divided doses. I'd force myself to take walks and sit outside in the sunshine. I'd begin faithfully taking Vitamin B, also.

3. I would ask others to pray for me.

4. I would change my diet over to healthy foods and extremely few processed ones. I'd give my body a couple weeks to get over the shock of such a change before I expected myself to actually feel better. I'd study good health from all sources: the Internet, books, tv, etc.

I'd force myself to do all these things, including exercising indoors and out, for I remember the great pull of not feeling like doing anything. 

5. I'd learn all I could about serotonin levels and how anger, especially, affects them. 

6. I would spend extra quiet time alone with God basking in His presence and the Bible. In His presence is fullness of joy and I would so desire that fullness of joy presence and do whatever it takes to live in that joy again. And not give-up until it was mine.

7. I would find a Bible teacher who lives the kind of joyful life I want, myself, and listen to her/his tapes/cd's/dvd's over and over for hours. (I have been incredibly helped by Joyce Meyer. Daily her program can be watched at her site.) 

8. I would help the people God leads me to. I'd give, show love, even in small ways, even inside the depression. I would go out into the real world and live what I'm learning. I'd grow and stay far away from the stagnation which comes from thinking I've already learned it all.

9. I'd not blame circumstances, other people, nor God. I would not believe a depression lifestyle was His perfect will or incurable for even one second.

10. I would give myself time to heal, yet wait expectantly for God to heal me at any moment. I would notice and praise Him for every tiny improvement along the way. 

11. If, after doing all these things for at least one month, there was no improvement, I would visit a doctor, a holistic type, to discover if there was something physically wrong. I would take the doctor's advice if I had peace with God about it. But prayerfully.

And that's what I would do if I were ever to feel depressed again.





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"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." ... John 15:9-11




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Did you know ...

... certain foods, even healthy ones, may affect your own mood negatively, but not affect your friends/family in the same way?

... certain chemicals in foods and skin care products may affect you negatively, too? (Shampoo, cream rinse, lotion, cologne, etc.) Also, chemicals in candles, insect repellent, fabric refreshers, surface cleaners, detergents, etc. All can be extremely toxic.

... exercise releases endorphins which elevate your mood?

... pent-up anger and disappointment affect your serotonin levels?

... a lack of sleep affects your memory and your general well-being?

... too much or incorrectly-handled stress also affects your memory and mood and health negatively?



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What You Need to Know If Your Life Has Become Dry



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