Friday, May 31, 2013

Nip It! Nip It In The Bud.


"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."   ... Galations 6:9

***

So who here remembers Barney Fife's immortal lines, "Nip it! Nip it in the bud!"?

I do, and I recalled them again while I watched The Dog Whisperer this morning. (Another episode?! Shocker, huh?)

A family had a dog who, for ten years, had acted obsessive-compulsive anytime she saw one pine cone (or a ball or anything small) outside. She'd pick up the object, set it down, then stare at it for hours. Hours!

In an earlier episode Cesar asked a woman, "How long has your dog constantly barked like that?" She told him,"Five years." 

Cesar's eyes got wide. "Five years?!" he asked.

People, people, people. 

When something begins to go wrong, nip it! Nip it in the bud.

If your child smart-mouths you, correct him the very first time, the second time, too. Don't wait until he's 16 and his mouth has the whole planet mad at him.

If your marriage turns sour, nip it immediately! Communicate. Forgive. Pray about it together. Read marriage books. Seek counseling, go on a couples' retreat or on vacation, but do not wait to address the problem while you're sitting at a long table with two divorce lawyers.

If your dog starts biting, howling, eating furniture, hiding, etc., nip it in the bud! Seek advice right away. Take her for walks.  Watch The Dog Whisperer, read Cesar's books. Have her health checked, but don't let her spend years giving herself and you a sad or frustrated or frightened life. 

If you begin feeling depressed, nip it! Ask for help, seek counseling. Read online about possible causes and natural cures--put them into practice, discover what works and what doesn't. Make changes, visit the doctor or a friend or go on vacation but never, ever settle. Don't allow yourself, because of pride or fear or lethargy, to live sad, dark years sitting in corners, staring at people outside who are free. 

We've got just one life here and Jesus died to make it a set-free, abundant one.

God can make a way where there is none, but sometimes we must go on a journey to find it. But what helps immensely? Attacking problems early. In the bud before they've grown huge, before they've blossomed into--not things of beauty--but of ugliness.

Remember Barney Fife. Remember to nip it. Nip it in the bud. 

You, your family, your friends, your community, your life will thank you. Barney, too. :)





***** 

   "But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”   ... Luke 18:27

        "So that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."   ... Hebrews 6:12                       

Thursday, May 30, 2013

From The Front Page of Hobbit Cottage Times


The sweet little lilac bush which my neighbors gave me now blooms and scents our backyard. Don't you just love Springtime? For decades I was a larger fan of Autumn, but you know? I'm switching my allegiance. In Spring we have many weeks of lovely weather and outings and good times to anticipate, as opposed to just a few golden autumnal weeks then wham! A long, icy, cold winter to follow.

So now let it be known, my favorite season is Spring.

***

It's rare for me to have nightmares, but I had one early Monday morning. Just as it became especially scary, I awoke to the feeling of whiskers upon my cheek--Daniel The Cat had heard my frightened murmuring and came to rescue me. Sweet, sweet kitty... I felt grateful to him all day.

***

On Saturday, Tom and I saw Iron Man 3, in 3-D, even, and we both thought it delightful. Before it began,we saw an advertisement for the tv series, Longmire, and Tom nudged me, saying he would looove to watch that show (anything with an Old West feeling captures his heart).

So the next early morning I checked at Netflix and yay! I could barely keep from awaking Tom with the great news that the first season of Longmire was available through instant view. So guess what we watched all weekend? Yep, Longmire's entire first season over Sunday and Monday (hey, there were only 10 episodes. Don't have a cow). ...smile...

I came away shocked that I enjoyed it.

***

Naomi's arriving for a visit in June! It will be wonderful to see her again. Her last visit was all the way back in September, but you know? The three of us have so enjoyed our lives these past months, we've spoken on the phone pretty much once a week, so the months have sailed past (except perhaps a few dark, slow winter weeks...er hem ...) --and we've all been fine.

***

Oh, and yesterday I wrote-up the totals for my grocery and coupon savings so far this year:

I'm averaging saving $245 each month just by buying items on sale rather than full price.

I'm averaging saving $233 using coupons each month.

I'm spending $220 each month on groceries, not including cat food. :)

Some people believe just because they tried couponing for a couple weeks (or months) and failed, that it doesn't pay to use them. Actually? There's a bit of pride in that. You know, it sounds a little too, "If it didn't work for me (me, me, me!) it just couldn't work for anyone, period. It's a flawed system."  

Uh-oh! :)

******



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Beauty of Work



"So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God."   ... Ecclesiastes 2:24

***

I've been extravagantly buying groceries this year and now we have a terrific stockpile for any emergency, overflowing kitchen cupboards and always enough food for our meals, including Tom's work lunches. I've gone a bit overboard and bought yummy items as treats, but also healthier stuff from the organic aisle. Wild, wild! Since January I've gone wild at the supermarket.

I've been spending $55 per week.

Heh. Now, that's not counting cat food or vitamins, but even so, I think that's pretty good, especially when you include my internal giddy feelings of extravagance while sailing my cart down grocery aisles. 

Of course, it's taken work to basically pay 1970's prices, even getting many groceries totally free. You've heard of work, right?

"Work:  /werk/.  To be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result."


What I've noticed? Because of this 'instant is better' society, it's becoming rare to find people who:

1. Love their work
2. Are excited about what they do
3. Go beyond what they're required to do
4. Finish what they start, even if that--literally--requires thousands of hours.

And I'm not just talking Monday through Friday, 9 - 5 jobs, either. 

No, I also mean faithfully giving thousands of hours to our God-given purpose. You know, all the sometimes small-appearing reasons we were set down upon Planet Earth in the first place. Things which, when bundled together, usually add up to an awesome, valuable, productive life.

In the past three decades I've given thousands of hours to (in no special order):

Couponing, reading books on using coupons, joining coupon groups online, organizing coupons, putting together deals, shopping... 
Blogging semi-daily for nearly 9 years, studying how to write concisely, practicing writing 
Bible study, spending time alone getting to know God better, watching and listening to Bible teachers, studying how to become a better teacher, myself. Encouraging people, studying from books, online and Life how to encourage people better, 
Homemaking and decorating, researching in books and online how to do both well and practicing ideas upon my own home, 
Gardening in many different yards, reading about growing plants, etc. online and in books, 
Researching health, natural cures and 'preventative medicine.' 
Most recently I've probably watched 70 hours of The Dog Whisperer, learning not only how to handle dogs calmly, but discovering deeper levels of calmness, myself--and their importance.

Thousands of my life's hours were given to those few areas, rather than just dabbling in myriad  places, flitting like a hummingbird. Why? Dabblers never fulfill their purpose. Dabblers wander off to every bunny trail, never completing their journey, then reaching the end, disappointed. 

Grace led me to these few specific places. Grace and great joy and amazing peace all nudged me toward God's individual plan for me. And it's taken thousands of hours of work. Yet when I figuratively turn my neck and gaze behind me, oh! Rarely did any of it feel like work. 

Mostly it felt like a life bathed in Grace... like a remarkable journey, like the pure, shining joy of obedience.


******


"Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to."   ... Deuteronomy 15:10


"You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours."   ... Psalm 128:2

"If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it."   ... Matthew 10:39


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Loving What You Do


Something short for you today--a favorite quote which can change your entire life if you put it into practice:

"If you can't do what you love, find ways to love what you must do."

That's your assignment for today. And tomorrow. And the next day and--

Although I'll add: Job-wise? God is incredible at opening doors for us to do what we love. What remains is for us to be ready when they open, prepared ahead of time, then to boldly step through those doors without fear, but rather, trusting that all will be well because God led us to that place.

****



“It is God who is at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13,14)

“Teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” (Ex. 33:13) 

"The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." ... John 10:10     

Personally? I believe Jesus means for us to enjoy--dare I say love?-- our normal days, not just the weekends or vacations or get-togethers or holidays or -- Yep, when we enjoy every single normal weekday, we've plugged into His secrets..... and discovered true life.




***

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hating What God Loves?

"The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God."   ... Leviticus 19:34

***

Happy Memorial Day! Among many things, I am thinking of all those people who traveled here from other countries and ended up fighting in our wars.

Unless you are American Indian, you, too, came from another land, either by plane or boat or by way of your ancestors.

 "Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers."   ... Romans 12:13

Think about it. What if your grandparents left everything they owned so to escape an oppressive, dictatorial country where they were dirt poor and crime happened daily outside their windows only to arrive here in our Country and be told:

 "You are not welcome here--you will only take our jobs away from us. The way you were raised by your parents is different than how we live here--so if you stay--your family's traditions must be kept secret, within your own home. You must speak only our language and you must learn it quickly, no matter your age. Do not expect any of us to go the extra mile for you, to give you any leniency or make you feel welcome. Because you aren't welcome. You are less than us because we got here first and there's no room for you. There's only room for us. You don't belong--and you never will."

What if angry people treated your grandparents that way? How would you feel to discover what had been done to them?

I've written in this blog for nearly 9 years and you have never, ever read any criticism from me about immigrants, aliens or so-called illegals (ones who are actually not). And you never will. Whenever I receive incendiary media in my mailbox about how I should be angry about souls from other lands wanting a decent life, I recall these Bible verses I'm sharing here today and I rip that paper into shreds. And then I must calm down my heart.

"Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."   ... Acts 10:34

If you can read these same verses and still view all foreigners in our country as job-and-welfare-stealing, lazy, terrorists-waiting-to-blow-something-up ... and if your dream is to live in vanilla, monochromatic cities where everyone speaks the exact same language and dresses and looks the same, well, fine. That sounds mind-numbing boring to me, but to each his own.

I do not want plain ol' vanilla wherever I go and I never, ever will. My eyes, my very soul needs more, more color and variety and creativity as a sign that God's fingers passed this way.


"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.... Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me."   ... Matthew 25:35,40

My God is huge enough to provide a home and job for any of us who trust Him and He was loving enough to let His son die for every single, God-created foreigner on this planet. My job, then, is to love His foreign kids, as well, and to keep my heart willing to welcome them and lend them a helping hand.


****

"In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all."   ... Colossians 3:11

*******

Some subjects are worth potentially losing a few readers. This, to me, is one of those subjects.



Sunday, May 26, 2013

What Grade Did You Get For Standing In Line?


You've spent hundreds of hours of your life waiting in lines, right? 

I thought so. We all have. Hundreds. Of. Hours.

But how did we handle those hours? If God gave grades to us while we stood in line, what would your grade be? An A? A C+? An F- ?

Anything we spend hundreds of hours doing, matters

When we approach a line do we become an eye-roller? A sigh-er? A complaining, worried-I'll-be-late, sorry-I-didn't-get-out-of-the-house-earlier, Life-is-so-unfair and where-did-all-these-people-come-from-anyway(!?) grouch?

Or do we step into a line and think, "Ahh... Good! Some quiet downtime in which to think delightful, grateful thoughts."? 

Do we begin a we're-all-in-this-together conversation with the person in front of us (and view her as a potential new friend)?

Do we pull a tablet and pen from our purse and write down To Do lists or ideas for our next blog post or conversation? 

Do we stand there and consciously let every bit of tension drain from our shoulders down to the floor while picturing our self laying beside our favorite lake or mountain or backyard fountain? 

Do we take out the book we're carrying and read a few more pages, transporting ourselves to a whole other era? 

Do we look around at the annoyed faces of our fellow line waiters and begin praying they'll come to know Jesus? 

Do we face the person beside us to see if they perhaps could use an encouraging word?

Oh, the potential value of lines!

This may sound wildly controversial, but this is how I feel: The way we wait in lines shows what's going on deep inside our hearts. 

... Whether we live on the surface or from way down, deep. Whether we're learning lessons God is aching to teach us, growing more patient, or whether we're learning to act like people who haven't even met Him yet. Whether we truly love humanity or have a long, l-o-n-g way to go.

Waiting in line. It's a fact of Life and it's an amazing opportunity to shine that Bright Light from the inside, out.


******

Have we accepted that lines are just a part of Life or do we (er, pridefully) believe, "*I* shouldn't have to wait like this!"?

******

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."   ... Galatians 5:22,23


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Learn. Share. Learn. Share.


"Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."   ... 2 Timothy 2:15

***

Now there's a verse which people put in a box. They see those words and think they must study the Bible like crazy at home, behind a desk or in a comfortable chair--because if they don't--they'll be embarrassed, inept, and God will be ashamed of them. Then they carry around this black cloud of condemnation if they can't get into the Bible this way, thus helping no one, for they can't even help or like or love themselves. That's what condemnation does to us.

It's time to knock that stuff off.


There are thousands of different ways to study, to become a 'workman' and to 'rightly divide the word of truth.' And when we accept that truth--everything changes.

Some people learn best by listening. Some listen best inside a building (a church or college or home or theater, etc.). 

Others listen, study, best outside: in a yard or forest or mountaintop or while  walking down a neighborhood sidewalk.

Some folks learn best by reading: from books or magazines or online or from ipads, kindles, etc.

Some grasp lessons best by doing: by observing people or plays or Life and God's ways of doing and being or while taking part in group activities or shopping or aiding or even teaching others.

(If this was a book, I'd spend pages on those ideas, above. But it isn't. A book, I mean.)

Once we believe there are thousands of ways to 'study' and then rightly share what we been taught--we become free. And the lessons come hot and heavy, from everywhere and everyone, and every single day feels like college.

We go to work or the store or the beach and learn how to be--and how not to be. We put what we've learned into practice. We find out whether what we have inside is Real--or just 'head knowledge' or parroting the pastor, meaning we must go deeper, ourselves. 

Because we've allowed God to change us, He then begins changing people through us--and the very atmosphere around us changes: calmness when everyone could be panicking, humor when all could be grouchy, forgiveness when everyone might hold a grudge. In actuality, we become a light.

Today learn. Watch. Listen. Give. Laugh. Release the huge God inside you to touch others and change and charge the very air around you.

Whom the Son sets free is free indeed..... so spread that freedom wherever you may go and today--just Be. Yes, even while you are yet becoming who He designed you to be, even while you're still learning--teach by sharing what He's taught you already. 

Share what has been made Real inside.




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Just This. Just That.


So! Yesterday our neighbors across the street got new windows and they look terrific. Ordinarily I'm not a fan of prairie-style, but these look perfect for that type of brick house (click to view them more clearly).



I like their patio, especially the brick planting boxes.


Aren't pansies such happy flowers? They always remind me of little girls' faces surrounded by big floppy bonnets, you know, Disney style.


I love my Herb & Etc. Garden. Smells great and makes me smile every morning when I visit.


Here's my favorite yard bunny. Sometimes he brings his wife. :) I'm using Cesar Millan's advice to stay calm around animals and now this bunny comes quite close to me without fear.


And here are just a few recent totally free groceries. Gotta love coupons and sales!

*********


Need some cupcake baking cups? Here's a great coupon whether your store doubles or not. (Click on 'select this coupon to print', then click on the purple header which says you have 1 coupon ready to print.) After doubling at my store, these will be just .9 cents for me. I'll be able to get four since I have two computers and got two coupons from each.

And yay! More free yummy organic ice cream sandwiches. Rice Dream once again is offering their $2 off any product coupons at Facebook. I have four of those now, also (Tom and I love these things).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why Create a Life Of Your Own?


Why create a life for yourself? 

We become too clingy, too needy or even morose without one. Ever seen a woman who’s always calling her husband and kids to check up on them? One who’s overly-involved in her children’s activities? Or one who crumbled, zombie-like when her grown kids left home?

Who wants to be anchorless like that? Life will not always be as it is today, so it behooves us to prepare for any future by creating a life within us which cannot be taken away.

Besides, God gave us all a purpose before we arrived on this planet, something He wanted accomplished through us, uniquely, and we’re now responsible for carrying-out His plan. We’re necessary to making this world go ‘round.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart..."   ... Jeremiah 1:5

How do you create your own life apart?

You begin by listening closely to Jesus, our original designer who knows exactly what we should be doing. And then you answer questions: What am I good at? What do other people say I do well? What comes a bit easier to me than others? What do I lose track of time, doing? What do I enjoy and has the potential to bless and help other people?

Always, the goal of our calling is to help others--and in doing so--we come away with such joy, ourselves. You don't see how what you're good at will help anybody? Don't worry--God doesn't want us trying to reason-out the future. Just begin studying, practicing, becoming proficient at whatever you're meant to do.

Finding our purpose was never meant to be confusing or anything near rocket science. God’s got a specific plan, a certain life for each of us and He wants to get on with it today. Waiting until nearing our death bed only leads to a half-lived, could-have-been-more life.

Why do we sometimes miss this whole exciting, custom-designed plan? We don't believe we have one. Or we're fragmented, flittering around like hummingbirds, spending time here, there, trying this activity, that one , then moving on. Or we say yes to other folks and help them advance their purpose (which is fine if that’s our calling) while our own purpose remains in some dark corner. Or we spent years focusing on our own plan, not God's.

There’s a type of happiness which comes only by doing exactly what God always meant us to do. If, since young womanhood, we dreamed of becoming a circus clown yet God created us to be a dog walker—even if we become that clown—the joy and grace will be fleeting. Walking dogs will bring an underlying joy which remains, which becomes our strength, even if no one applauds.

God’s plan for us is never about applause anyway. Instead, it’s about changing this world into something closer to what He had in mind when He first created it--by bringing back men’s hearts to Him. And He’s found specific ways to do that through each of us.

All that remains is for us to get on board with His ideas, His ways, His custom-made plan... and then let the joy of obedience begin!

******

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."   ... Luke 6:38

"The greatest of these is Love."   ... from 1 Corinthians 13

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Dog Whisperer and Me


So what did I do over my weekend?

I went to see a movie with Tom (Oblivion. Strange flick.), I worked in our yard and during my breaks, Tom and I watched lots of Fringe. I cleaned bits of the house, shopped for groceries, lugged more bricks and bags of soil home from Home Depot, fed the birds and oh yeah, absorbed wisdom lessons from the Dog Whisperer.

Cesar Millan has become my new Joyce Meyer. :) 

No really! And hey, I'm not even a dog person (sorry, but it's true) and will probably never own one this side of Heaven, although I'll not say never. And yet? Cesar, the best dog whisperer, ever, has re-confirmed for me lessons about the power of calmness in humans.

Ah, calmness! It's a sign that, over the years, we've come to a deeper level of trusting God (not just saying we do, then at home, worrying the hair off our heads, literally.). No, actually trusting that our lives are in God's hands and relaxing upon His palms, in total calm.

A calm spirit shows that we desire peace rather than worry--for we've realized we can't have both. 

Calmness is a sign to others that God is our 'pack leader' for real--fear and dread no longer control us, causing us to make foolish, panicky choices. God's ways control us, instead, and oh, the good we reap from them!

To be calm is to be strong.

Well, I could go on and on, but there's housework to do and more Cesar to watch. I long for wisdom, but seldom see it around me, so I've actually become thirsty for these shows which feel a bit like swimming around in a refreshing wisdom pool.

(Which sounds odd, but some of you will understand.)

Please do take a look at the photo, above. With all my heart, I believe those words and today I'll be putting them into practice. :)


********

"For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her."   ... Proverbs 8:11

 "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy."   ... James 3:17

"A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top ."   ... anonymous

*********

A very special thanks to Clarice for sharing that photo at Facebook.

********

I've been using Cesar's dog advice on Daniel and Sammy the Cats. Wow! It works not only on dogs and humans but on cats, as well. Just call me the Cat Whisperer. 

You can watch The Dog Whisperer for free here. Be sure to wave if you see me there, cheering, splashing around in the wisdom pool.

"There is no common sense in fear."   ... Cesar Millan

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bringing Life to Life!

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”     ... John 8:12

*****

In and around my home there's French music playing from my retro kitchen radio and breezes flowing through the windows and two cats racing up, then down, the stairs. Cesar Millan is teaching dogs and clueless people on my computer, the washing machine is churning, coupons sit nearby needing clipping and the ceramic animals up on hutch tops smile down at me while soup simmers upon the stove. 

Sometimes the phone rings and earlier today, two men rang the doorbell offering us free smoke and CO2 alarms, but I thanked them and told them we're all set. Sunlight shines through the south side of the house and earlier I ran the vacuum and then some soapy water into the shining kitchen sink.

Outside? Oh, there's the hum of traffic over the bridge and a quieter hum of plants and vegetables growing. Birds swing upon the feeders, squirrels and baby doves skitter below for falling seed and a rabbit hopped down our sidewalk earlier. My neighbor-gifted lilac bush is topped with tiny violet buds, our yellow siding glows in some places, dances with leaf shadows in others. Sunflowers hopefully poke their leaves above the ground and I'm already picturing their happy faces, though they're weeks away.

There's Life around here! And oh, I respect it, create more of it and bask in it, for all life is fleeting, much too short to spend it in sour, negative moods, gazing into the dark side. And I don't need a carload of people, a bag of money or cards of appreciation in order to feel alive, complete and happy. I just need Jesus and this life He breathes through us.

So give yourself permission to celebrate, ok? Each day create more life, for God loves a cheerful giver so give, give and then give some more until your corner absolutely pulsates with His life released from within you. This sad, stressed-out world is in dire need of it. Of you. Of Him.



Colossians 3:16
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”


“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.”

*******

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Morning


"... but trust in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy..."   1 Timothy 6:17

*****

Before I mowed the lawn this morning, I sat outside on our front porch and inhaled sweet, 65 degree springtime air while birds sang different songs in the green(!) trees. Sammy The Cat lounged in his carrier behind me while I read my books, pausing at times to peer down the street at the sleepy blue river which--always--calms me to an even deeper place.

No dogs barked, no one mowed their lawn or bounced her basketball for two hours straight (long story) or revved-up his Harley repeatedly or leaf-blowed anything or pounded the sidewalk into pieces to get at the pipes beneath (another long story) or blared their radio or --

Nope, it was all just so good out there, too good, even, at times, and I recalled how Cesar Millan always says dogs live in the moment and we should, also. Not dragging the (noisy)Past around inside our heads or worrying what might happen ahead, but just calmly, lovingly, living in the Now, lest we find ourselves unable to find the freedom only this present moment can give us. 

Cesar is so right.

So then I mowed our still-feels-awfully-large lawn and now I'll heat some hot chocolate and carry it back outside to the porch and maybe give Daniel a turn in the carrier. The air will smell even sweeter because of the clipped grass and I know already what I'll be thinking--that even when I'm alone, I'm never alone-alone. No, Life is what I make it and think of it and really, I feel so very rich on this incredibly average, but oh-so-sweet Spring day.







*****

Anyone have any advice for keeping wildly annoying suburban squirrels out of my flower beds? I've used red pepper flakes and pieces of oh-so-hot peppers and they helped just a bit. I'd rather not use chicken wire or a gun. heh. 

Someone online swears that sprinkling blood meal around the soil will help so that's what I'll try next, but if you have other suggestions, I'm open!






*******

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 
― Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience


“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” 
― C. JoyBell C.



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Yay! You can watch some Dog Whisperer episodes for free here.


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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

So You're Not Intimidated?


"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted..."   ... 2 Timothy 3:12

***


Let me guess.... Many of you don't believe you're being intimidated, right?

I'm thinking I wasn't specific enough in my last post, for hey! I believe if no one is intimidating you, well, you're in the wrong place. You may only be walking within your own, lesser, no-big-deal-to-satan plan.

'Hidden examples' of intimidation?

You wanted to stay home with your children while they were young, but relatives/friends/the news media told you it wasn't financially possible or smart for you/your children.

You felt God asking you to bake something for your neighbor or ask if they needed help, but you thought they'd find that silly so you reasoned the thought away. 

Out of conviction you began a blog, but few people commented or someone made a cruel remark or no one cared and someone said you shouldn't share your feelings online with others, anyway--so you gave up.

God nudged you to go back to college, but you/others said you were too old/poor/slow and where would you find the time to study and still get things done?

For decades you longed to become an artist/writer/equestrian/farmgirl/actor/singer but others told you to be something else, so you chose a different path. Or you kept waiting until you could give yourself 100% to your dream, rather than starting with tiny goals, then later, working your way into it, heart and soul. That time never came.

God nudged you to share yourself and Him at Facebook, but friends and news stories told you it was a dangerous/pointless/waste-of-time place. Or you're avoiding connecting with tons of old friends at Facebook simply because one or two 'frenemies' might find you (and you've not realized you can block them and customize your own experience there).

You feel convicted to walk for exercise, but you're afraid of dogs/men/cracked sidewalks out there or that you'll just eventually quit anyway like others have. 

Your friends/co-workers all criticized something you deeply believe in, but you said nothing when God gave you the right words. It's a rare day that you step outside of The Comfort Zone.

(Wonder how I came up with some of these? Guess...)  :)

Fear intimidates us more than anything else. Fear switches the course of our life and aims it toward a sort of nowhere land. Fear changes our minds and our God-designed destiny. Saying yes to fear makes us disobedient to God and snatches away all our potential peace, happiness, fulfillment. 

Me? My goal is to reach Heaven having lived the life God mapped out for me, with the fewest regrets possible, and to fly away from Earth with amazing memories of what obedience to an awesome God made possible...

... so fear and intimidation must be cast away. Daily.


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"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."   ... 1 John 4:18


"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you."   ... Psalm 56:3

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Need more good verses dealing with fear? Go here.




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Walking Right Past Intimidation


Intimidation:

To make timid; fill with fear.
To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats.

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If you've ever stepped out to do what God specifically created you to, someone has--I'm betting--attempted to stop you. 

They've tried to make you feel too weak for it or too uneducated or just the wrong sex, as in, "If you're a woman, forget it. God created women to stay home and not only keep house, but keep quiet."

Trust me, I've heard it all before. And who's the person most likely to intimidate you? satan--the accuser of the brethren. He'll use anyone (even ourselves) to make us feel fear-filled, unworthy and incapable of doing what God created us to do. He always aims to ruin God's perfect plans.

It's up to us, not to let satan foil God's plans for us.

Don't let anyone confuse you or keep you from fulfilling your God-created purpose in Life. You have a specific job to do--do it. Burst through any wall of fear, if you must. You won't know peace or feel complete until you do.

But! Not with a growling, "I'll show you! How dare you try to hold me back!" attitude. Uh, no--for motives matter. Always have, always will--and love matters most of all.

"Let all that you do be done in love."   ... I Corinthians 16:14

Instead, just continue down your road, walking beside Jesus, listening intently to His instructions and then carrying them out in great peace, in joy, in love. And someday, perhaps soon, maybe faraway, everyone will comprehend your calling... and stand in silent awe.




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And in case you're wondering, no, no one has tried intimidating me lately. Last year, yes, (and various people over other decades), but not recently. This subject just came to mind--ok, I'll say it--while I was watching another episode of Fringe.... and it brought up some old memories. :)

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"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."   ... Galations 3:28

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..."   ... Jeremiah 1:5

A person's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?"   ... Proverbs 20:24  (or as I like to say, 'If half the time we don't understand what God's trying to do with us, how can we expect other people to get it?')