Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Uh-oh! Busted.

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."...John 3:17


Oh! You simply must hear Reba sing Back To GodMy, my, my. (I'll wait for you if you'd prefer to listen, first.)


Last night I sat here listening and thinking, "Wow, Anointed Song City!" And words like these made me cry---

"In these darkest days
Are you not afraid
That it's too late?
. . .  We gotta keep on prayin'
Cuz we're still worth saving.

We can't go on like this,
And live like this,
We can't love like this.
The only answer is
We gotta give this world back to God."

---and ouch! I became super-convicted. I mean, how many times lately have I rolled my eyes and muttered, "All those hysterical morons in the streets need to go home and get a clue."? And I've said more. Much more.

Reba sang on and I realized I'd become annoyed/frustrated/mad and dismissive of those folks rather than loving them and caring as God does about their concerns.

Frankly, somewhere inside my head I'd placed millions of people into the Oh-Just-Shut-Up file box. Oh dear. Gulp.

But, yes! We are all still worth saving. Jesus did die for everybody--and I know that, of course. Yet I'd allowed my Frustration Levels to grow taller than my Love Levels.


More? Suddenly I experienced some of the pain God must feel while watching chaotic masses arguing, friendships imploding, threats being hurled at our President, people assuming only the worst and not listening to reason.

It all must break His heart.

How vital that we trust God knows what He's doing! That we remember He's had a mega plan for, like, forever. And that we not panic when His ways aren't like ours, but rather, that we let our faith shine like bright peace, which comes from knowing, personally, the One who's still got the world in His hands, after all.

 "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."   ... from Ephesians 6



And because this is the middle of winter, here are some yard photos (for hope and inspiration) of a local house for sale. The house looks similar to mine, but has just 1 bedroom(!) I like the low wall around the porch and I have this thing for brick walkways ----


Monday, January 30, 2017

Hairy Outside, But Peaceful Inside.


"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."    ... John 16:33


Monday morning and the sun's gleaming off tiny, sparkly snowflakes, votives burn in our fireplace and easy-listening music wafts on the air while Daniel and Sammy The Cats lay, napping.

The Country may be chaotic right now, but our home and hearts remain calm because Tom and I choose peace, instead. And I'll announce here that we'll not be taking part in the Fight Every Single Decision President Trump Makes protests.

Uhm, no.

Rather, like Jesus' mom, Mary, we'll 'ponder these things in our heart.' Then pray. Then believe God's answering our prayers. And we'll stay calm because Wisdom does that, you know, so it can hear explanations better in silence. 

And then, hopefully, we'll understand before speaking. And moving-on.


For my kindred spirits only ---

Here's a local house for sale, built in 1929 (only $39,900, but in a so-so, dare-I-say-dicey? neighborhood) and it has an inglenook!

 Wow. Of the hundreds of local houses I've viewed online, this may be a first. Be still my inglenook-loving heart!

Also, there's a darling entryway with a coat closet(!) --

A pretty bay window  ---

A built-in hutch --

And a you-can't-help-but-smile kitchen, with a transom window, even--

There's an enclosed porch and a large garage, but only two bedrooms.

 Oh well. Tom and I really enjoyed perusing the photos of this one and it made me think that, perhaps, it's not that I long for a colonial, but a house with original makes-me-swoon built-ins.


But whatever, how wonderful (I often think) that Today we can peek inside hundreds of old houses anytime via the Internet. Remember the days when we'd all drive past houses and only wish we could see inside? 

Some things do change for the better, you know. May we never allow the arguing crowds out there to make us forget that.


Need to watch a tv show where people are being good to each other? I recommend Undercover Boss. It's still currently on (CBS) and you can also watch older episodes at Netflix. 

I often watch it -- and always cry at the end! :)


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Celebrating and Feeling Marvelous!

Boy, there are some bad online reviews for taxi's out there, but I asked God to help me choose a reliable one so I'd arrive at the oral surgeon's on time.

He did.

With no snow anywhere, we made it easily and the driver said he hoped the dentist would be gentle. The oral surgeon told me I had wonderful hair (then shared with his helper and me how he lost all his at 32), then he must have shot me up with a ton of caffeine. 

Ever since losing that tooth, I've felt giddy.

But oh dear. It did take forever to yank it out. Twenty minutes (more?) of actual pulling and etc. Someone gently placed her hands on my head to reassure me (an angel?) and the surgeon, when he'd finished, stared and said, "Wow. That's some strong jawbone. It must always be a struggle for you."

With a crooked smile from the gauze in my numbed mouth, I said, "I forgot to warn you about that." Over the years, all my dentists say that. (Killer bone density, I'm thinking.).

But you know the wonderful thing about pain, right? After it leaves, suddenly Life feels marvelous. And glorious-with-God, fun, joyful and an adventure.

You vacuum, dust and empty the trash with glee. You know, now that your strength and desire to clean has returned.
All the best times you've ever experienced return on a wave of gratitude.
Anticipation and hope for good days ahead bubbles over.

At least, that's how it's been for me. Oh, this feeling good again! Hooray, woo-hoo and hallelujah--and may I never, ever let this overflowing gratitude trickle away again. 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."   ... Romans 15:13


Thanks so very much for your prayers!

"Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It's the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps."       ----- Sharon Draper


Pretty exciting times these days, politically, right? Wow. Interesting stuff and so much to keep praying about!


Awww... R.I.P. Barbara Hale, the one and only Della Street from the Perry Mason series. I'd see her in interviews and she'd always remind me of my grandmother---very kind, sweet.

Good for her to live so very long!


                      And hooray for the March For Life yesterday!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Shooing Away Self-Pity

Oh for goodness sake.

When I tell you that tomorrow I'll be having another tooth pulled, you must promise not to picture me looking like this----




----because I don't. At least not yet, anyway.

A filling I had done on Tuesday only made things worse (the dentist feared that), so I walked back over there, gripping my umbrella with gloved-hands this morning, had more x-rays and they made an oral surgeon appt. for me. I'll have to take a cab there (something I've never done alone), but there's a chance Tom can pick me up afterward.

It's been another painful tooth week. Two in a row in a brand new year. Ugh.

But you know? Every single time that I've sat on the red couch and felt myself slipping into self-pity, immediately I said, "Stop it! Go there and it'll be so hard to climb back out. Don't even think about it."

Self-Pityville! Now there's a place of sad lies, hopelessness and gratitude-suckers. Always covered by grey clouds, Self-Pityville makes you resent people without your exact problems and not notice they have different ones. You'll cry a lot there and forget to be kind to others and--as I said--it's super hard to locate the exit within the darkness.

Besides, so what if I inherited the teeth from my dad's side of the family who usually end up toothless and with dentures? What's the huge deal? It could (I remind myself) be ever so much worse. 

Much, much worse.

But having teeth yanked from ones head isn't all that horrible. That is, unless I carry my woes to Self-Pityville where they'll only grow faster, uglier and more painful.

And why would I ever choose to do that?

“When we pity ourselves all we see is ourselves. When we have problems, all we see are our problems and that's all what we love of talking about. We don't see the good things in our lives.”
― Ann Marie Aguilar


“Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.” 
― John Gardner


I was so sorry to hear about the death yesterday of Mary Tyler Moore. The Dick Van Dyke Show is my all-time favorite comedy and I also enjoyed The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well. I own dvd's of both and will most likely watch a few episodes today.

How grateful I am that Mary didn't hide her gifts, but rather, shared them with us so they can still be enjoyed even after her death.

And how important it is that each of us share what we've been given!

.... here are Dick van Dyke's words recalling Mary.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Well, My Saturday Was Different

"But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high."   ... Psalm 3:3


My winter Saturday afternoon? I brought my wicker chair down from the front porch onto our sidewalk where sunshine splashed upon it. Then, before I sat down to read, I searched our yard in our remarkable 60 degrees for fallen branches which I tossed away.

Then, picking up my copy of Blandings' Way (the sequel to the movie I'd recently re-watched for the 15th time), I alternately read, lifted my face to the sun and thanked God with all my heart for His goodness toward me.

What a rare gift on a Buffalo January day! When I later stepped back into the kitchen I told Tom, "That warm, sunny hour outside certainly did this body some good."

But of course, meanwhile in Washington D.C. (and elsewhere), women screamed and ranted and said they marched and spoke for all women.

Well Honey, no thank-you! 

You were not marching nor speaking for me, nor representing my personal spirit. Heaven forbid! I choose, instead, to speak for myself and allow God to defend me when the need arises. (No one tops Him at that. No one.)

So there you go.

"From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people."   ... Psalm 3:8


Speaking of Blandings' Way, here's something I shared with Tom from it. He said he'll have to try this. heh.  

(Mrs. Blandings was dropping off her husband at the train station so he could ride to work.)  ---

"The heavy mountain locomotive rushed in, dragging with it five noisome cars and an intolerable breeze of newspaper scraps, dead leaves and stinging dust.

"G'bye," Mr. Blandings shouted. He kissed his wife's cheek and could not hear some injunction she was shouting at him.

"I'll try to," he bellowed. Years of marriage had revealed this as a response that rarely went wrong."

Ha! Don't you love that? (This isn't the best book I've ever read--and there's occasional 'language'-- but there are some delightful passages.)


Back in 2004 I watched the second Growing Pains reunion movie and, instantly, regretted not video-taping it. The first reunion movie had disappointed me, but not this one! 

I recall thinking, "Man. This is the kind of tv movie which never gets put on DVD. If I see it again, it'll be a miracle." Sometimes I tried to believe I'd re-watch this movie someday. It was hard, though.

Well, 13 years later (13 years!) the miracle happened. 

I bought the recently-made DVD of Return of the Seavers and Tom and I watched it over the weekend. Oh, how sweet was the viewing.

It's good for us to wait for things. To not always receive them instantly, learning, instead, to wait really well, patiently and full of hope.

Never, ever give-up! (Well, unless God tells you,"Move on, already! I'm finished with that area and you should be, too.")   :)


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Oops! Your Fence Fell Down.

"Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."  ... Ecclesiastes 4:12


Well, you can't say 2017 isn't interesting, anyway!

I found the inauguration, awesome. I cheered a lot, especially over the Bible verses, prayers and mentions of Jesus, and Daniel would look up as if to say, "What? What's so exciting? I don't get it."

And like Daniel The Cat, lots of people don't get it, either. We really do, I believe, live in two different America's (as I heard on the news this early morning). 

Since 2004 I've shared tons of posts warning us all to prepare for spiritual battles ahead, to keep our armor on, to spend time with God getting to know Him and His ways. The preparation, I've said, will someday matter Big Time. 

Now, is one of those times.  

No, really. We're being asked (I feel) to take a stand for our basic beliefs--stands which will cause us (more) lost friendships in the weeks ahead. To which I say--oh well! 

See, in my 12 years of blogging, I've lost friends because of my words here, words I used to hide in social settings. And today (I'm thinking) the days have died when we could easily step silently upon a fence. We're now at the threshold of Boldness Required Days, with all fences tipped over, left or right.

Yet can I tell you something? Be not afraid. With each friend I've lost via blogging, God's introduced me to one (or two) new friends who, in turn, help me stand stronger than the gone-away-ones ever did. 

And united we stand, after all. 

Especially when we stand with that 'third cord' who binds us together and makes us invincible as we walk-out what His Word so clearly states.

And He'll never leave us alone.

"  ... then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve  ...  But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."   ... Joshua 24:15


You are only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with. So be brave enough to let go of those who keep weighing you down."      --Unknown

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."   ... Ephesians 6:10


I'm feeling all new-year-and-new-purpose-ish, so something's gotta change with my out-of-date blogroll. 

Too many blogs over there  ------->  

.... haven't been updated in months or no longer speak good, relevant things to me.

So, well, it's snip, snip, snip time.  And I'm going to probably hurt some feelings. (Hate that.)

But you know? Grace is always lively and pertinent and I wish to keep my blogroll the same. 

So please, if you have plans to return to blogging, let me know. I'll keep you there for now-- I'm all about giving people a chance to do and become better! (Hint, hint re: our present administration, also.)

And do you have terrific blogs to recommend? Please leave links to them in my comment box or at Facebook. I'm always excited to find uplifting blogs!

We all need each other's stories, as well, in these turbulent times.


"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, ..."   ... Ephesians 6:10-18


And no. What we're seeing today is not just about politics. It's about more. Far, far more.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Inauguration Tomorrow (And All The Other Tomorrows)

"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


After watching news reports about possible inauguration violence, I glanced over and told Tom, "I'll be glad when Friday is over." But whenever I say, "I'll be glad when ...", always I hear Joyce Meyer's voice saying, "Instead, why don't you just be glad now?"

Love that. Would rather choose that.

Frankly? I've felt bad for my Christian friends who nearly lost their minds after Hillary lost the election. And super-frankly? Some of the rabid chatter--on both sides--made my eyes nearly pop.

Some Bible verses become incredibly-relevant at certain historical times and here's one of them, I believe, for this moment:

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."  ... Proverbs 4:23

Oh, baby. Please, please guard that heart of yours in all the tomorrows ahead. Never forget that--

God has a huge, specific plan for our Country. For you, also.

God provides for His kids who love Him and trust Him to do so.

No man can close a door God, Himself, has opened.

In hundreds of verses, God tells us,"Stop fearing stuff!" (Debra's paraphrase). And personally, I believe it hurts His feelings when we skip courage and choose chicken.

God said He's overcome this world and given us peace, instead, which was meant to cheer our hearts. (So cheer-up, already!)

And how much more to list! These truths aren't just Bible verses to me--they became my life decades ago. They've never disappointed me. God has never disappointed me.

In fact, they've set me upon a solid foundation which--good gracious! Certainly will not crumble (or make Truth, untrue) because of an incoming political administration.

The God I serve is far mightier than anything this world could ever toss my way. Ever.


"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. ..."   ... Psalm 95:1-11


"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”   ... John 16:33


And yes, believe me, I've been praying about tomorrow's inauguration and all the tomorrows afterward for President Trump and his people.

And will continue to do so------!

"In the Lord's hand the king's heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him."   ... Proverbs 21:1


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Where She's Back In The Land of the Living...

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever."   ... Psalm 136:1


Oh for Pete's sake. Ol' Debra had a rather nightmarish four days.

Beginning Saturday, an abscessed root-canal tooth nearly made me bonkers (think I'm exaggerating?) Regular rounds of Vitamin C, ibuprofen and googled home remedies helped, but early Monday morning I was sitting in my like-a-circus dentist's office where I decided to just get the frustrating (back) tooth pulled.

But the nearness to the sinus cavity concerned my dentist, so he made an appointment for me at an oral surgeon's for Tuesday. Tom left work early, came home, then through the bleariest grey day, ever, and loads of rain, we traveled 15+ miles, which felt like a scary eternity over the New York State thruway.

But then, doesn't it always?

Anyway, (oh, the details you're being spared), back home with one less tooth, I thought I was gonna die before the ibuprofen kicked in (poor Tom was like, "What can I do? What can I do?"). But then hallelujah a million times! The pain stopped.  

And today I feel nearly normal.

Normal! How incredible you are. Wiping down counter tops, rinsing pans and loading the dishwasher never felt so heavenly. (Though yes, I'm also taking it easy, mostly watching my new Season 6 of Growing Pains which arrived yesterday.) Always I recall how Almanzo Wilder got up too soon and forever walked with a limp afterward. Oh dear.

One wonderful thing about dealing with pain? When it's over, gratitude spills everywhere and you recall what matters and what certainly does not (a whole lot of headlines, anyone?). Suddenly all is bright and incredible and you're reminded this is a wonderful world, for we have a huge God beside us, in bad times or good, to point out all the amazing things He created for us to enjoy.

Wow. Is He terrific, or what?

..." put your hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."   ... 1 Timothy 6:17


Once again, Facebook proved a huge blessing. I asked for prayers there during all this and many friends assured me they'd pray--and honestly--I felt those prayers.