Monday, December 31, 2012

An Inspiring Field Trip

Oh! Today I will direct you over to a scary, but inspiring post!

Wow. Such powerful words.

They even inspired me to let go of more stuff, in fact, to stop procrastinating the Flylady thing, you know, where you get rid of ten things each day. This New Year's Eve is a perfect time to begin decluttering that way.

But then, anytime is wonderful for letting go of what we don't truly need... and reminding ourselves of what matters.

Anyway, I'll let you go now to Stephanie's post. And again,well, wow. Just wow.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Old Lady In The Snow

Heh.  

We had a snowstorm which dumped nine inches of snow on us and after I shoveled a path from our backdoor to the street, I stood still, huffing a bit, looked all around me at the (what seemed like) miles of snow still needing shoveling and thought, "I am too old for this. I've shoveled snow for 35 years. Thirty-five years. I've paid my dues. I deserve a break."

So I went inside and told Tom that I am now officially too old to shovel snow and we need to look into hiring someone else to do it, the cost be darned. "We can take it out of that $2,600 I saved this year with grocery sales and coupons," I groaned as I threw myself upon the couch. 

Besides, God always seems to give Tom and me enough money to share with other people. He's great that way.

So Tom looked through the newspaper for someone to shovel for us, a bit online too, and didn't find much. Then I had a great idea--the guy who lives behind us. He's still so thrilled that we paid to cut down his (grandmother's) trees, that he's always volunteering to help us in any way. 

Tom said that Mike would probably insist on shoveling for no money in return (he'd shoveled our driveway for us that day), but I said, "Then the deal will be off. I really feel we should pay him the going rate to shovel for us all winter."

A couple days later (after a few more inches of snow) I caught Mike shoveling out front of his house and asked him if he'd be willing to shovel for us for payment all winter. Of course he said he'd do it for free, but I said, "Nope! We insist upon paying or the deal is off."  He smiled and said we could pay him whatever we felt was right. He also told me he needed to keep busy anyway because he's currently going through a divorce and too, this time of year he's unable to work because he mostly does construction. 

And well, I'm glad to help out by keeping him busier.

Happy, ecstatic sigh. After 35 years I can finally take it a little easier.

This getting older thing... sometimes we just need to know when to say when, to release any pride of accomplishment, lest we run beyond Grace and find ourselves hurt, confused or insane. And I am not too proud to say 'when' at nearly 54. :)


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Proverbs 14:8

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. 


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Oh, and for those like Elizabeth who wondered about the 28-hour-beeping smoke alarm (previous post)--yes, it is hard-wired into the electric, so even after I wondered for hours how to take out the battery (a hidden tiny door), then got the battery out--still--it beeped. Sigh. What a relief for my head to finally stop that $#%^ beeping! Whew.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

More ... And Less


It's baaaaack... The snow, that is. Oh well, what are ya gonna do, except maybe move away someday.

And times like these, I dream of doing just that. sigh. Especially after Tom fell backward down three of our (inside) back porch steps yesterday. (He told me I didn't need to scream, but oh dear... when people on tv tumble down steps they tend to, well, die.) It really would have helped if he'd replaced the little railing that fell off the day we moved in, but these things take time, I guess. grrr.

***

So we're nearing the end of another year and I'm thinking New Year's Goals (since some of you get all weird about 'resolutions'). I love goals because they point me toward a better place--aim toward Nowhere and that's likely where I'll end up.

This year I'm considering becoming more and less...

More of a coupon queen and home economist ... and less of a lazy complainer.

More of a Bible scholar and proficient writer ... and less of a tv watcher.

More of a believer ... and less of a worrier.

More of an exerciser  ... and less of an eater.

More of an organizer and tosser ... and less of a clutter collector.

More of a reader ... and less of a checker-of-email-and-blog-related-stuff addict person. (Er hem.)

More of a doer ... and less of a procrastinator.


Basically, if I become more obedient to God, all those things will just happen naturally, kind-of like the way I stood in our basement earlier this month and realized my annual grocery stock-up was 90% complete for the winter-- without my doing the usual Big Time Planning and Shopping Trips!

Instead, I'd just been faithful to buy things on sale all year, using coupons, too, and got so many greatly-reduced-in-price deals that my cupboards and freezers just naturally filled-up. Like magic almost.

Well, obeying God is kinda like that, anyway. He knows the best ways and right times to do everything--and when I stay plugged into Him--oh my! How the wrinkles seem to iron themselves away.


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Forgot to tell you that-- the week before Christmas--Naomi sent us a lovely box of organic dried fruit and raw honey. She'd told us to not wait to open the box so for over a week Tom and I have been enjoying her yummy gift. It's the perfect thing--no leftover clutter involved. 

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Also forgot to tell you that--because of certain circumstances beyond my control-- our basement smoke detector beeped for 28 hours last Sunday and Monday. Thought I would go insane. :)

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"He must become greater; I must become less."   ... John 3:30


"But be a doer of the word and not only a hearer, deceiving your own self."  ... James 1:22



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Joyce Meyer has a great New Year's Eve message about finishing what we start here.


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Oh! I just now thought of another resolution goal: add five new powerful, inspiring Christian blogs to my blogroll. Oh, how I would love that!


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Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Christmas Report

I'm back!

Took a couple days off... watched Extreme Couponing, got all re-inspired to get groceries for nearly free and printed out many coupons from my email box. I'd gotten behind because--by December--most companies have already handed out their best coupons so we're left with not-so-hot ones. But come January--yay! All the fun and big savings will start up again. 

Tom worked his six hours for that young dad on Christmas Day then he came home to turkey (courtesy of Jennie-O), gravy, potatoes, etc. and the episode of Alias we'd not been able to watch the night before because of Netflix's big let's-blame-it-on-the-Amazon-cloud black-out. Came away rather bummed because one of our major favorite characters got killed off....smile.... but yesterday we discovered that no, he/she (can't give it away) didn't really die, after all. Whew. 

Tom and I opened just one gift each (we loved our Christmas-lite) and Naomi called us, too. We enjoyed speaking with her and hearing the happy-to-live-in-Nashville-ness in her voice.

We ventured to the theater yesterday and watched The Hobbit and--although the 3D effects were awesome (how amazing that two huge birds could come from behind us, then fly into the screen. How do they do that?)-- Tom and I felt the film lacked the heart and soul of the previous three (beneath my black wool coat, spread like a blanket, I nodded-off twice). Probably 6 times we've watched the earlier movies, but will we watch The Hobbit again? Most likely, well, no. Bummer.

Yet The Hobbit did remind me of one good thing... this verse:

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."   ... Ephesians 6:12


... and how we must keep fighting against--not bad people--but rather, the dark kind of sadness whose goal is to defeat us, keeping us forever sunken into our couch cushions eating comfort food and just wishing Jesus would hurry back to swoop us all up to Heaven.

But God wants way, way better for us, His soldiers, than that. He provides all we need to fight the good fight of faith, and makes all His joy available, which keeps us strong.

May we always remember that as we watch the news--and live our lives-- in the years to come.




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A special thanks to those of you who wished me well on Christmas here, at Facebook and in emails. Thank-you!


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And what was my one Christmas gift I opened? It was the single thing I asked for this year: The Charlie Brown Holiday Collection

Hey. The heart wants what it wants. heh.

Sometimes I get such cravings to watch those three films! And now I can, anytime I wish. :)


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Oh, and by the way.... I was so sorry to hear that Jack Klugman passed away. Just last week I'd gotten out my Odd Couple dvd's and enjoyed them again so much. I even prayed for Mr. Klugman, but then, God so often nudges me to pray for stars and has since I was 10. Anyway, I'm so grateful he shared his acting gift with us and we have him doing so on film for us to keep.


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"He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his 
God and he shall be My son."   ... Revelation 21:7



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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Night Before Christmas

Wishing each of my wonderful readers a lovely Christmas filled with love and the very presence of God.

God bless each of you. Much.


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And....... (technically from last year)  .....


  Rather than just give you the same oldie moldy christmas gifts year after year, here are some new ones. Just for you. Just for reading here faithfully and for being the encouragers you are. 

For Christian novels you can read online, go here.

And you can find Christian books of all sorts to read online here.

Here are lots of legit ways to make money from home.

Watch tons of free movies and tv shows here.

To take many fun home tours, go here.

To watch my favorite teacher anytime, any day, go here.

For freebies and great coupons, click here and here.

For lots of free chart printables to keep you and your home organized, go here.

To watch my current favorite tv show, go here.

To listen to old radio shows online for free, click here.

Here are some free Christmas gift tag printables.

To read hundreds of classic books online, go here.

To read thousands more books online, click here.

You'll find hundreds of fun vintage dress patterns here.

Learn how to decorate each room in your home in a retro style here.

My favorite nature photographer is here.

Watch free Christian movies online here.

Daily find hundreds of free books for your kindle here.

And for some lovely music, silence and peace of mind, go and stand out here.




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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Poor Ol' Rudolph... And Us.



Each year I re-post how I feel about the horrible treatment of Poor Ol' Rudolph, so here we go again.

Forgive me. (Hey, what else are ya gonna do with someone who rants about a much-loved classic?)

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The movie, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer bothers me and I roll my eyes each time I hear the song on my kitchen radio.

I mean, think about it... Here's this adorably-cute reindeer who just happened to be born with a bright, red nose. As if he could help it! And suddenly he grows up, goes to reindeer school and gets ridiculed (dare I say bullied?) by his intolerant, bratty little schoolmates just because his bright, cherry-red nose isn't small, dark and boring liking everyone else's.

And because of that one little difference, he's laughed to scorn and the majority don't take the time to discover that, really, Rudolph is a darn nice kid... uh, reindeer. He loves his parents, he's sweet and he just wants to be accepted like everyone else at reindeer school. But no, that's asking too much. Even his teachers laugh at him (shame on them!).

But then, poof! Suddenly, Christmas Eve rolls in all foggy-like and since Santa can't see to drive his sleigh, Christmas is nearly cancelled. But then someone remembers that goofy little kid, Rudolph, the one with the nose like a huge red lantern, and Rudolph is whisked to the head of the reindeer pack and Christmas is saved, thanks to that funny little kid... uh, reindeer, who, just the previous week, was considered a royal loser.

Oh but now--now!--Rudolph is a hero. And then how the reindeer 'loved him' (if that's love, I'll take spaghetti). They even shouted-out with glee, because of course, now, Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer is going down in history.

But only after he proved himself a useful member of society. Only after his 'disability' saved Christmas for all of mankind. Only after Rudolph became a valuable asset, a famous reindeer and a credit to his family and the entire world at large.

Give me a break.

Right there is the kind of stuff which is messing us all up, stressing us out and making us appreciation-hungry nuts. The fact is, Rudolph was valuable before that foggy Christmas Eve. He was a creation of God, a son, a friend, a member of woodland society and just a sweet little deer. And here is the truth:

Today you are valuable to God.
Today God loves you just as you are, famous or unknown. For you are not unknown to Him.
Today God would have sent Jesus to die for you, even if you were the only person on Earth.
Today, with God, you are a winner, not a loser.
Today, you do not have to prove yourself to God. He knows your weaknesses and He's standing ready to give you His strength in those areas.
Today, even if you overcame all your weaknesses, God would not love you any better than He does right this minute.
Today God is thrilled that you are His child and He wouldn't trade you for all the perfect, got-it-all together, famous, Christmas-saving people in the whole World.

Really.

And I hope you'll remember that.



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Friday, December 21, 2012

Venturing From The Waiting Room


"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."   ... Isaiah 40:31



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Trauma:

  
  1. A deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Emotional shock following a stressful event. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.

Sometimes we've been traumatized and don't even realize it. We try to ignore it, race through it, compartmentalize it. We chide ourselves for not feeling like we normally do, telling ourselves to just snap out of it. These will only push our healing farther away.


*****


I've told you before that when I experience hard times mentally, emotionally or otherwise, God sends me to a type of waiting room. A place to wait until I heal enough to resume my normal life.

These waiting rooms--they're not full of good times or lots of people. I sit in them alone, mostly, though this week I spent much time with Tom there. We watched a gazillion episodes of Alias (one of our new favorite shows, ever) and ate Chinese food and Debra's cooking and waited. Simply waited to heal from last Friday's horrible shootings.


Mostly that's what I do in these waiting rooms. I wait. Pray. Meditate.


But I've noticed there's something God won't let me do there--He won't let me meditate on what went wrong, what could have gone wrong, what's liable to go wrong in the future.


No, He asks that I think, instead, about how He's leaning right up against me on the couch, waiting along with me until I feel better. He's whispering encouragement to me from His Book, holding me, assuring me that everything will be ok--someday.


And I can't hear the good stuff if I fill my head with the bad. He also doesn't like it when I condemn myself for needing to stay longer in the waiting room than other people do. He reminds me (again) not to compare myself to others... and to feel what I must feel, allowing the healing to reach completion, otherwise I'll become a bag of opened wounds.


One more thing He often asks me to do from the waiting room? He asks that I encourage others in simple ways as He leads. He knows that's some powerful medicine, indeed--encouraging others who sit in waiting rooms of their own.


Well, anyway... the time to leave this current room is nearing, I can tell. Oh, I never permanently leave this place, but after the healing arrives, there does come a time, His time, for me to venture forth back into Real Life and help others find their healing, too.


And move forward.



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Be still and know that I am God..."   ... Psalm 46:10



"... but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."   ... 2 Corinthians 10:12



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When You're In The Mood for TV


I majorly updated this TV Series From Netflix List this morning and thought I'd share it with you. There's something for everyone here who likes tv. I promise.

Happy Not The End Of The World to you! :)

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I was thinking... (uh-oh!). Sometimes when I mention watching a tv series through the instant view option on Netflix, some of you tell me you didn't know that series was available.

So in this post I'll make a list of various tv series I've enjoyed watching whenever I wish, day or night, at Netflix through the years or only recently as they've become available. A few of these Tom prefers more than I do, some I've only heard about, and too, I tried to keep most family friendly, or well, nice adult friendly. heh.

So here you go... in case others of you Netflix Heads were unaware these series are available instantly. 



24
Abbott and Costello
Adam 12
The Adventures of Tin Tin
Agatha Christie's Marple
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alias
America's Funniest Home Videos
The Andy Griffith Show
The A Team
The Bernie Mac Show
Best Food Ever
Bob Hope Comedy Hour
Bones
Charlie Brown (various episodes)
Chicago Code
Clean House
CSI Miami
Coach
The Cosby Show
Date with the Angels
The Dead Zone
Dennis The Menace
The Dick van Dyke Show
Downtown Abbey
Dragnet
Emergency!
The Event
Everybody Loves Raymond
Extreme Couponing
Family Ties
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
Father Knows Best
Flash Forward
Flashpoint
Flipper
Frasier
Freaky Eaters
Friday Night Lights
The Guardian
Gunsmoke
Hack
Hawaii Five-O
Heroes
Hoarding: Buried Alive
Ice Road Truckers
Iditarod
The Incredible Hulk
I Shouldn't Be Alive
Knight Rider
Lassie
Leave It to Beaver
Lie to Me
Life with Elizabeth
Life's Funniest Moments
Little Men
LOST
McLeod's Daughters
McMillian and Wife
Malcolm In The Middle
Man vs. Wild
Mission Impossible
Miss Marple
Monk
Mr. Bean
The Munsters
Murder She Wrote
My Hero
Mythbusters
Numb3rs
Our Miss Brooks
Out of the Wild: Venezuela
Ozzie and Harriet
Pawn Stars
Portlandia
Private Secretary
Psych
Quantum Leap
Quincy
Rawhide
The Rockford Files
Ruby
Saved by the Bell
Spike Jones
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Star Trek
Switched at Birth
Take Home Chef
Touch
The Twilight Zone
Ugly Betty
You Bet Your Life
Wings
The Wonder Years
The X-Files




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There are many more tv series available, of course, including ones only viewable by discs-through-the-mail.

Personally, I'm going to print-out this list to help me remember what's out there for the days when I feel like watching something, but I'm just not sure quite what. :)


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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Things


Ok. I'd rather not leave my last post up at the top (even though it's really how I'm feeling, though I'm a bit more healed today), so here are a couple stories to cheer us all. At least a bit.

*****

My daughter, Naomi, is a server (waitress) at a place in Nashville. She's served in many restaurants the past 15 years and from each place she's usually received deplorable paychecks, sometimes just $30 for a week's pay. That is no reflection upon her--but rather, a reflection upon the whole pathetic, shady restaurant industry. 

When they say servers survive on their tips--they're not exaggerating. It's sadly, grossly accurate.

Er, moving on....

Tom and I always enjoy Naomi's waitressing stories because they're colorful and show Naomi's true character which comes off rather glowing in each one (heh), but hey! She is our glowing child. 

In this week's story, Naomi had a table of a family who was celebrating their teen daughter's birthday. There were two parents, a grandmother, the birthday girl, her sister, and two of their friends. Seldom do servers start-up the Happy Birthday song for their tables at this eatery, but a server began singing at the next table and Naomi saw that her birthday girl, at first, thought the song was for her.

But it wasn't and the birthday teen's shoulders sagged a bit in disappointment. Seeing that (thoughtful people notice that stuff), Naomi knew she'd have to begin the birthday song for her table later in the evening--and that's what she did. The birthday girl blushed and enjoyed the attention and the family seemed to have a good time.

They divided their meal into three separate checks (kinda odd, but oh well) and, at first, gave Naomi two of the checks, one of them being from the grandmother, who told her to keep the change. Naomi took the money to her cash register and noticed that the grandmother had given her a $50 bill for just a $13 meal ticket and--while reeling--wondered if she'd been supposed to be given a $20 bill, instead, since that would have been a generous tip in itself.

At that moment, the grandmother came up to her and said, "Here's the other check we owed you," and Naomi said, "Oh! But you already gave me more than enough money!"

The kind woman smiled and said, "Oh, no I meant that extra bit for you. You did a great job and well, Merry Christmas." After which Naomi gushed her thanks and hugged the woman and wished her a Merry Christmas.

Ah... Just a reminder that good things still happen out there and sweet, generous people still exist.

(And please, whenever you dine-out, remember that servers get paid peanuts and your tips most likely pay their rent.)


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And for all you rabid fans of  It's a Wonderful Life, here's a short behind-the-scenes video you'll enjoy. If you'd rather just read an article about it, you can do that, instead (I often prefer to read news stories rather than watch them since 'regular people', when speaking, can take forever to get to the point. heh.) You'll find both choices here.

This video was just one more reason I love where I live.... Tom and I appreciate all the many 'Bedford Falls-like" towns near us, but now I'd like to visit Seneca Falls and see the magic for myself.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In Case I'm Not Here....

Oh boy. I shouldn't even be in Blogland today.

This latest shooting--the innocent children gunned down--it's been like a punch to my stomach and I'm still not breathing normally. I'm not worried or condemning myself about not snapping back yet, you understand. Frankly, I'd be way more concerned about myself if I was all let's-just-move on-it's-been-five-whole-days-already.

I'm thinking God would be worried about me, too, if I felt that way. There is such a thing as feeling divine compassion for those in pain, after all.

No, I'm still healing. Still walking around the house in a fog, doing only what must be done, not even finishing mailing my Christmas cards, not caring about them anymore (I confess. Sorry.), and well, wishing Christmas was over already (but then, most years I just don't like doing Christmas the way the world does. I don't like doing anything the way the world does, actually.).

I know. I know.

And then I'm disappointed in my friends who truly believe that no changes in our gun laws need to happen. How they believe we should just return to the days of The Old West where people shot each other in the streets, in their homes, anyplace, anytime two enemies sneered at each other. How wild to hear my Christian friends at Facebook and in Real Life say, "Just let someone break into my home--I will shoot them dead!"

 Oh wow, no hesitation, no thinking how they would feel after stopping a beating heart. Nothing, just a puffed-up, "I would be in the right and that's all that matters."

Gah. Stop the world.... Right about now I'm wanting to get off.

And well, at least in today's world we do have ways to get off, as in, we can unplug from technology. And right now, I'm thinking that sounds heavenly. 

So if you don't see me here the next couple days, don't worry, ok? I'll be fine. 

In time.


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"Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."   ... Galations 6:2


There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace."  ... Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today. It Is What It Is.


"But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].  ... 1 Corinthians 9:27



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Gah. Lately this mega-introvert (me) has been ever-so-tempted to hole-up inside her sweet little Hobbit Cottage, toss her computer from her top-story window then sing, "Make The World Go Away."


All those angry, divided people out there! Oh, they are royally bugging me, even a few Christian bloggers who wrote non-thinking, untimely posts which would have devastated Newtown parents' hearts. And why I keep reading message boards, I'll never know, other than perhaps I don't want to become so irrelevant here in my blog because of never daring to touch my fingers to the pulse of this struggling 2012 world.


Love is messy. Real ministry to others' pain and God-ignorance is messy, too... just ask Jesus who died on a horrible cross for us so to prove His Father's great love.


So I must refuse to leap out of the Love Boat for calmer waters and a quiet, deserted isle--and instead--discipline myself to do what is right, even when it's oh-so-uncomfortable and people are stressed-out-mean-and-clueless and I'd rather be tucked into a recliner, watching Leave It To Beaver, eating pie.


My hope is to become fit, stand the test, be approved and not rejected as a counterfeit. And my oh my, that requires much discipline, a huge God and buckets and buckets of stick-with-it love.


And love does not hide away, voiceless, inside a tiny yellow house, even a God-given one. "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."  1 Corinthians 13:1.


Amen.





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Hebrews 12:11


 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.










Colossians 3:12-13 


Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.










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If you've written a blog post about the Newtown shootings, please reread it, this time as though a parent who lost a child there is reading it. You may be shocked at how different it comes off sounding.


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Monday, December 17, 2012

TCM Remembers 2012


Found the latest TCM Remembers this morning online. Here you go. These always put me in the mood to watch old movies in dark theaters/rooms, to escape into other places (especially now) and I loved this year's TCM idea of using an old drive-in movie theater. Perfection.

I'd not heard, though, that Celeste Holm passed away (at 95!). I thought about her earlier this year and had meant to find her on IMDB, but I must have gotten distracted and done something else. Her movies were pleasant, but where I really enjoyed her was in Promised Land. A little-known series, but I found it good.

What a difference in letting go of those who knew Jesus and those I only hope knew Him.


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"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."   ... Psalm 116:15

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My favorite TCM Remembers of all-time is last year's. Though, wow... while watching it again, it seemed like we lost twice as many stars in 2011 as in 2012.

2003 was another favorite montage. I can't believe how many faces were so very recognizable to me.


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just Checking-In

Still here.

Still healing.

Still reading.

Reading a deeply theological, comforting book, you ask?

Nah. My book is comforting, but doesn't even pretend to be spiritual. It's Betty MacDonald's Onions In The Stew and when I finished it an hour ago, I began rereading her The Plague and I. Yes, the book I reread two weeks ago. I need it again, it's perfect for how I'm feeling and I don't care what anybody else thinks I should be reading--these books are truly helping me recover from that horrible Friday and all the other horribleness in the news since then.

Each of us must know what works for us, what helps restore our peace and equilibrium. And then do it, whatever it is. Just do it, even if your Great Aunt Sophie whines that you're being ghoulish or weak. 

These days it's vital that we specifically know our needs so to keep our sanity intact--and never allow anyone to convince us their way of coping is  right, ours, wrong.

Anyway. Did you know that you, too, can read Onions In The Stew online? Yep, I discovered that just today and you don't even need a real kindle or a pretend one like mine. Just go here and start reading for free:

Onions In The Stew

I usually skip over Betty's description of her island's history near the beginning. Oh, and here are my very favorite chapters:


Bringing In The Sheaves (oh my, I love this chapter)
Advice, Anybody?
Adolescence, or Please Keep Imogene Until She Is Thirty
Onions In The Stew


So there you go and here I go back to Debra's World, alone. Well, not alone-alone. But you already knew that.

And may each of us continue to receive healing from the One who gives abundantly.


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Psalm 147:3 
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (NIV)


Isaiah 58:8 
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. (NIV)



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Oh, and yesterday I found an extremely cool Betty MacDonald slide show. It has lots of  information and assorted links about her family and photos and essays and kept me busy for an hour. (Click on 'Click here to start the slide show'.)

And today (December 30th) I discovered Betty's The Egg and I online, as well. Read it here.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Still Reeling, Still Listening.

I took today off to 'grieve with those who grieve' and 'weep with those who weep', namely, our whole Country and many in the rest of the world. And to heal from this attack upon all of us, really-- our minds, our hearts, our sense of safety. I watched very little news and mostly read a light book and sat quietly and thought.

Some of you will not like what I was thinking, though. 

See, another school shooting almost took place also on Friday. This one at a high school in Oklahoma, but the teenager (who'd planned to gather teens in the auditorium, chain the doors, start shooting, then set off bombs at the doors when the police arrived) was arrested early Friday morning, before 5 a.m.

Can you imagine if there had been two horrendous attacks in our Country on one day? Two such enormous tragedies? No, I can't either.

This is spinning out of control. And you know that one saying -- 'insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results'? Well, that's how I feel about the refusal to rewrite our gun laws. Our nation has changed--its people are not what they were decades ago, families do not live or believe as they once did--and I feel our 18th century gun laws must change to coincide with this new (sad) 21st century world.

Yes, parents need to step up and everybody needs to pay closer attention to everybody else's kids ... and on and on. And in some cases, those things work. But obviously, after the horror of yesterday in Connecticut, it's not nearly enough.

Remember these (shortened) verses?


 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves .... abusive, disobedient to their parents.... unholy,  without love, unforgiving ... without self-control, brutal...  treacherous, rash...
 They are the kind who ..... are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth... They are men of depraved minds."  2 Timothy 3:1-8

At one Christian website, they linked this verse, below, to those when speaking of yesterday's school shooting tragedy:

"And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should  kill one another: and there was given unto him a great  sword. "   ... Revelation 6:4

You'll get no argument from me about linking those verses together. And with these attacks happening weekly now, please don't ask me to blame chemical imbalances. We've moved too far beyond that... especially when, years ago, we shut the doors on God in our communities and thus opened other doors to demons.

Yes, I believe that. And I also believe portions of Revelation are happening now and will continue to unfold in the years to come. Only time will tell, of course... and in the meantime, I will keep running to God for the healing only He can give any of us who will seek Him with all our hearts.

He is truly our only hope.


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Friday, December 14, 2012

Needing The God Of All Comfort. Again.


"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you."   ... Isaiah 26:3

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I drove to the post office to mail a Christmas package to Naomi and I'd planned to just go home afterward, but I reminded myself I've only been to the supermarket lately and Target (mostly just to buy 'Boots and Barkley' for the finickiest cat on Earth, a.k.a. Sammy) and rather than become a recluse, I need a little push sometimes to get out more.

So after the post office (where I had to place Naomi's gifts in a cheaper box due to the postal guy's wanting to save me money--though I didn't really care since this was the only package I'm mailing this year), I forced myself to drop by Salvation Army where I bought two Beverly Cleary books (Jean and Johnny and Fifteen) which I'd given away years ago. Then I took a different route home so to avoid making a left-hand turn on the main road--and got lost. Well, not super-lost, just a tad, but I didn't mind because it was a glorious sunny December day, in the mid-40's, and days like these cannot last.

Our gas tank was nearly empty (especially after my I'm-kinda-lost two mile excursion) so after finding my bearings, I headed for the station at my supermarket and filled the car for less than $3 a gallon because of the gas points I'd earned there. That felt good and the sun still shone so I picked up a kids' meal at Burger King and drove to that park I've shown you, the one beside the huge river and bridge and I sat inside the warm car and read bits of Jean and Johnny while I ate my lunch and looked out over the gleaming water there in my secret place. Not the park, really, but the secret place inside me where God and I hang out. I left the park feeling relaxed and calm and glad I'd stretched myself like that.

And then I got home, climbed the stairs to my world up here and read about the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy. And cried.

Oh, what this world of ours has become... 

... and how anyone without a secret place and a huge, huge God will get out of it sane, well, I don't really know. All I do know is that God is still God, He is still good and He is the only one who--in these demon-traveling, troubled years to come--will be able to keep our minds and hearts from breaking into tiny shattered pieces.


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"He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty"   ... Psalm 91:1.

 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."   ... 2 Corinthians 1:3,4


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