Friday, March 16, 2018

Of Birthdays And Growing Older

"God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well." .... Voltaire


So! Ol' Debra has another birthday today and that's ok. Really, it is.

But uh-oh. Next year she'll turn the big 6-0.

Eegads. Me? I'm so close to that number? Well Honey, this is gonna take the next 12 months to come to peace with for this gal. To reach a calm acceptance of that new decade, of this surprised stranger's face when I look into a mirror, will take much introspection and well, mental work.

And oh, I know some of your fingers are poised to send me your happy, happy stories of Life After You Turned 60, but please, uhm, well, no thank-you, ok?

I mean, I believe a person's acceptance of age is so unique, individual and personal, that she must wade through the Acceptance Waters alone, within the deepest rivers of her heart, remembering her youth, letting it go and putting on this new season which, once, loomed so far ahead in future years. 

Well, alone--and with God. Together they, we, must swim through those waters--and only afterward--can we be set upon the high road where our own happy adventures will begin.

At least, that's how I feel. And it's ok, for even now, over on this side of the bank, I realize everything's gonna be all right. All will be settled and upright, not topsy-turvy.

In time.

"One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind."  ... Romans 14:15


Well, this early morning I got all prettied up, threw on my coat and gloves and braved the 22 blowy-snowy degrees so to walk to my coffee shop. 

First I bought a gift card (more about that later), then hot chocolate and a warm banana muffin and sat at my favorite table near the huge steamy window and read and dreamed and counted the good changes since last March 16th.

Before leaving, I thanked the counter gal for the great food and such a relaxing way to begin my birthday. Her eyes widened and she said, "Oh, happy birthday! If I'd have known, you could've had your drink for free. Would you like to take one to go?"

Wasn't that so sweet of her? But I told her, "Oh no! That's ok. Thanks so much." And it really was ok, for I love doing my financial part in keeping this place going. May it always bake its way into my neighborhood's heart.

Then over the slippery sidewalks, with head bent against tiny pelting snowflakes, I made my way to 7-11. I found a couple bananas and a sandwich then took them to the counter where, after paying, I gave the clerk the coffee shop gift card because hey! It's her birthday, too, today. I'd remembered from two years ago when I'd bought ice cream there for my birthday breakfast (I told her) and she said it was her birthday, also.

Well, she was delighted with the gift card and that I'd remembered and you know? Whatever good also happens on this day, this will be my favorite memory, sharing a gift with a woman who has to work on her birthday, but who will, I hope, do so now a bit more happily.

"Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years."   ... Ausonius


Love this!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Where She Comes Out Of The Closet

"But the multitude of your enemies will become like fine dust ... and it will happen instantly, suddenly."   --- Isaiah 29:5


Before lying down each night I'd gaze around and think, "This is my favorite room I've ever decorated. It delights my heart, even if it is just a closet."

Seriously. Loved that place.

But uh-oh. I almost never spent any daylight hours there anymore. The large windows downstairs pulled me, like a moth, to them, and that's where I'd read, watch tv and use my iPad--with my face almost pressing against window glass, especially during Winter hours.

But my upstairs' closet has no windows. Lamps, yes, but just a 3' by 5' clear, no-stuff-on-it floor space for reading (the ceiling slopes too low for reading in my homemade bed). And it felt like watching tv in a hallway, for it sat outside the door where no windows could be seen, either.

Ol' Debra needs windows--so for the final time--she let go. And came out of the closet. And now it's back to the spacious (16' x 24'), bright, windowed guest room.

And you know? After I moved in my favorite books, dvd's and the tv, changed the sheets and moved out Sammy's large nighttime crate (to the walk-through room, the area nearest the stairs), I felt as though I'd moved to a whole other house.

Suddenly, I felt a new excitement, what with--

A room in which I can walk around!
A place where I can read in an oh-so-comfortable chair!
A room with a window!
And now I have a super cute closet in which I can actually hang and store my clothes. Imagine.

The funny/odd thing? This whole idea came to me just an hour after I told Tom on our way back from having our taxes done (yeah, we know-- old school) that our house is in such a perfect location--let's just try to make it the perfect house for us.

Hmm. The lesson. Like, how acceptance opens avenues I'd have seen no other way. 

What I've noticed lately? Holding onto what's gone, what's over, is like being a bud which never flowers. It's like when we accept sadness or helplessness as a lifestyle, the life-giving sap dries up.

 But with the expectation of faith! God can make all things new and suddenly there's--

A fresh attitude 
And blossoming, even in a personal winter, for 'nothing is too hard for the Lord'. Nothing--unless we refuse to move when He does. 

Yet let's not stop, but step ahead in faith, with a hope which doesn't die, even if our prayer, our dream, arrived in a whole different way.

Even then--with God--there is joy unspeakable and full of glory. If we choose a lifestyle of godly anticipation of what He has for us. Even here upon this imperfect planet.

Some day/year I'll actually iron and put on the white bed skirts I bought years ago. sigh.

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." ... Hebrews 11:6

Sometimes we must decide do I want to remain in a past I know or do I want to trust God for a bright, yet unknown future?

It's a cinch to anticipate a most perfect Heaven. Anyone can. But the harder thing is to believe God still has much good here for us, with Him, because of Him.


A project I hope to begin there in my new room? To makeover my current sad little dollhouse, upon a folding table I don't yet have. To totally change its 4 rooms, using this pink and white theme-- 

Does that make anyone else swoon? (Or want to crawl inside and stay?) Oh my.

Gadgetz Overload shared that photo at Facebook, but I've still not seen that dollhouse available at their website. Doesn't matter, though--I'll just be using this photo as inspiration for my current sad little dollhouse.  😊


Oh, and for years I've collected bookmarks, but what did I normally use to mark my place in books? I'd tear any ol' nearby envelope in pieces or use a dollar bill, rubber band, magazine subscription card, etc., etc. 

But finally I came up with a perfect solution. See the bunny cookie jar (which Naomi gave us) below?

Well, I spend hours at that table reading so I placed lots of bookmarks inside that cookie jar. And now I just remove the bunny's head and grab a bookmark when needed. Easy. (And only took a year to think of this. heh.)


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

A Little Thing Happened At The Coffee Shop ...

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body."  ... Proverbs 16:24


Way back on last Tuesday I trekked through the snow to our local coffee shop where the young lady behind the counter greeted me with, "And how are you today?" as I removed my coat, draping it across a chair at my usual table, telling her, "Oh, just fine."

Now a teeny, tiny voice within said, "Now ask her how she's doing," (as many times I do), but there I was fidgeting with my coat and gathering my bag with my wallet inside, and everything, and just proceeded to pleasantly, after reaching the counter, ask her for hot chocolate and the orange-berry muffin.

I'm no ogre, after all. Really.

Well, she brought my order to my table and of course I thanked her, then I proceeded to read my books and partake of my breakfast. Later, a bundled-up woman entered the cafe and after Counter Girl asked her how she was, the woman in turn, asked, "And how are you doing?"

Whereas Counter Girl replied, "Oh, I'm doing fine. Thank-you for asking me, though."

Oh my goodness. Right to the heart. 

That's how I felt, a bit sliced, and of course, maybe the young woman hadn't meant to phrase her reply in just that way to convict me--or perhaps she did. Didn't matter, though, because it might as well have been Jesus, Himself, standing there some  feet behind me, saying, "See? You should have asked her, coat-and-bag-placing not withstanding."

Well. I promised God and myself that next time (and forever after) I'd be certain to ask her or anybody,"And how are you?" And still I felt pretty convicted, even after making certain to voice aloud how delicious everything was before leaving, something I nearly always do.

So Friday came and I'd planned another coffee shop trip, but drats. Via Facebook I saw that, because of snow, they'd be closed. Darn, now I'd have to wait even longer to make up for my error. To show God I could do this.  😉 

Sunday came along, Tom went to work to catch up on some reports and I considered going while he was away. But no. At Facebook, Coffee Shop Folks said due to circumstances,  etc., this day, also, they'd be closed. 

Sigh. More waiting to do the right thing.  Well, I began reading a Christian book on Kindle and of course, what did the author say? Pretty much this: always sincerely ask people how they're doing. Wait, pause so they'll know you care. Or ask even better questions than that.

"Okay! Okay!" I told God, looking up from  my iPad. "I get it, already. I'll definitely go to the coffee shop tomorrow and speak your way."

Of course you know what happened, right? Yep. Via Facebook, "Unfortunately we'll be closed Mondays from now on." 

Oh for Pete's sake. Never ever will I forget this lesson. All the waiting has been rough. 

And finally on this Tuesday morning, as I opened the coffee shop door-- after the young Counter Girl asked me how I was--I quickly asked her, "And how are you?" in a I'd-really-like-to-know tone. Then told her, "Oh, I'm happy you're open again!"

Second chances. Sometimes we get them, sometimes we don't. But fortunately we can teach ourselves to slow down, to pause, lest we plow right over that still, small voice which waits always to direct us toward kindness.

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience..."   ... Colossians 3:12

“Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.” 
― Thomas Carlyle


That book I was reading? Prophetic Evangelism Made Simple. If you often wonder just how to make a difference in this world, you'll love this one (you don't even need to know what prophetic evangelism means). This is the kind of book I prefer--simply-written, easy to understand, with lots of real-life examples. Very uplifting, highly recommended.


Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you — not because they are nice, but because you are. 

~Author Unknown


Saturday, March 03, 2018

The X-Files Made Me Do It :)

"To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams."   ... 1 Samuel 15:22


Eegads. What a wild latest episode of The X-Files Tom and I watched last night! Of course, that show always sends messages, yet this was a vivid one, namely: beware how plugged-in you are. Someday all those devices and app's of convenience just may terrorize you.

The scary part? Scully and Mulder's devices weren't even sci-fi, but real. Oh-hum typical in most cases, and oh, what a cold, automated world they displayed on screen (the stark, peopleless sushi restaurant was ultra creepy).

I mean, Scully carried her phone everywhere, paid for dining services with that phone, used a no-driver Uber-type service, owned a home security system tied into her lights, fireplace, etc.. She had a roam-around-vacuum, a reminder system for upcoming events and drone-delivered packages. She probably wore a Fitbit watch, also.  😳

Well, both Mulder and Scully end up frightened and running because of their devices. And oh, of course, we in the audience saw the over-the-top-ness. We're no fools.

And yet. It's the underlying message which shook me, that actually--get this--made me, afterward, go to Goodreads and delete my I-spent-hours-on-this account.

Why? Because maybe I don't, after all, want strangers and friends (no offense) knowing which books I'm currently reading at my dining room table. Or which ones gather dust on our little Hobbit Cottage shelves or which books I've read during my 58 years. 

Maybe I don't want this 2018 public world to know everything I do-- and on which day and time I'm doing it. 

Maybe I want to keep some thoughts and privacy for myself rather than feeling so, well, watched.

All of us online have lost oodles of privacy--you realize that, right? (Think again if you believe otherwise.) And yet, why should I voluntarily give away what I don't need to?


All this reminded me of how Tom and Naomi went online in 1998, but ol' Debra fought it until 2000. That's when I felt God asking, "Can you use the Internet to encourage people if that's what I'm asking of you?"

Hmmm. What a novel God idea. So I gave-in so I could help others. First I used email, then oh! Blogging found me in 2004--and changed my Life's course. And although not quite one smooth, happy joyride, still, I've found my niche and one of my strongest callings, if you will.

And yes, within this blog, I do share a ton of personal information with you and I've lost the luxury of complete privacy. 

Yet it's because of obedience to God that I willingly share (and feel protected) so you'll be encouraged in areas where I've been helped. I tell you about books, movies, articles, scripture, quotes, tv series which bring light to me in this dark world, reminding us that not everything meaningful in this World has departed forever.

There is still goodness, kindness, light and laughter Today because God's still here. He's aiming to keep His promise that He'll never leave us--and may we never stop searching to know Him better. And then share what we've learned--

--even if it means sacrificing certain parts which, without God involved, we'd  have kept hidden all for ourselves. Thus, how important it becomes to be God-led rather than dragged around by self. 

And oh, how much more adventurous.

"And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left."   ... Isaiah 30:21

How wonderful/freeing/safe when we can hear from God, from wisdom, when to choose a thing or when to leave it alone.

"You will seek Me and find Me when you seek with all your heart."  ... Jeremiah 29:13


Seriously, I highly recommend this episode of The X-Files (titled Rm9sbG93ZXJz) if you've felt any conviction lately to back away from at least some technology.

This'll do it for ya.  😁  (God can use anything, anyone, to teach us. Always remember Balaam's donkey.)

You can find it at the link, above, or at Hulu or your On Demand function of your cable provider or --


Tom and I will travel back in Time this weekend(!) We'll be watching the film, Dawson City: Frozen Time. Can't wait.

Read about it here where you'll also find a trailer you can watch. Looks fascinating.


Uh-oh, Folks! If I disappear for awhile, please don't panic.

Here's my explanation via my post at Facebook this morning (3/4) --

Yikes! Since last night my computer has given me messages rather like this: "Hey you. I'm a senior citizen laptop and I may be dying soon. Just thought you'd like to know. Sincerely, Laptop Louie."

So if you don't see me here or at my blog for awhile, please don't worry. Eventually I'll return. I'll still have email access on the iPad Naomi gave me so you can email me anytime. Perhaps I'll have her load FB, my blog, etc. there also while we figure out where to go next, again, in case aging ol' Louie does bite the dust.  Thanks!


Monday, February 26, 2018

Perhaps You're Wasting Time--Or Maybe You're Not

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy."   ... Ephesians 4:23,24


Goodreads! Perfect for lovers-of-list-making (like me) and you know what I've noticed? Almost never do I read/finish books I don't like.

And yet? I've known women who actually feel guilty if they don't slog through a book (especially if they paid for it) even if it proves to be dull/wordy/risque. (Unfortunately, I know women who feel guilty about nearly everything.)

Come on, Folks. Life is far too short and Earth is crammed with better, change-your-life books! 

So please, set the not-for-you book down and either 1.) try again when you're in a different mood or 2.) return it to the library or donate it to a shop where someone can celebrate her wonderful find (sow the money you spent 'upon the water and it will come back to you'. I know this.). Or--as I've done thrice--if a book surprised you with what this verse hints at:

"For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret."   ... Ephesians 5:12

-- just toss it into your recycling bin so you'll not spread its words.

Seriously-- there comes a time, a decade, for each of us to finally become bold. Decisive, knowing what God wants us to do--then taking steps to do it. And to stop being wishy-washy-silly. You know, like this:

"... one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."   ... James 1:8

To me? Reading books which don't hold my attention is an example of wasting time.


Speaking of wasting time, oooooo... I know (and know of) many people who would accuse me of wasting away my whole life. Why? Because most of my days/weeks you'll see me--

straightening my house
reading at our dining area table
commenting/sharing posts at Facebook
relaxing at the coffee shop, drinking coffee or chocolate
writing in this blog
taking walks (started back up only lately)
sitting on our front porch, reading, staring at the river (in good weather)
watching tv

But hey, go peeking hurriedly on just the surface of anything and we come away, clueless.

We can straighten our house 'as unto the Lord' and who wants to make Him cringe by our living in filth/not being a good example, anyway? And reading books can help us become better people, even in tiny ways, and sitting at a sunny table can keep winter blues far distant.

Facebook is a dream-come-true for encouragers. I mean, have you wanted to be a minister, yet thought if you weren't like Billy Graham, it didn't count? Think again. Facebook is a hotbed of hurting, think-God's-mad-at-them, lonely souls. (So stay eagle-eyed.)

Of course, we can walk into a coffee shop like a zombie and drink and think nothing, zzzzzzz. Or we can sit and pray that this business will prosper, always be there and that all who step inside will suddenly feel a deep yearning for God, Himself. (And hey, we can buy someone's coffee for them.)

We can share God and our heart in a blog. We can prayer-walk our neighborhood--

--or invite others to sit on our front porch with us or pray for neighborhood revival. And we can watch tv, good shows, while feeling the very presence of God beside us, healing and teaching us, with gratitude circling, swirling.

With our limited eyes only, we view so little. Longing to see the way God's eyes do, keeps us humble and more compassionate. Patient.

The real time wasters, imo? Those hours, months of guilt, fear, timidity, arguing, not forgiving and regret. And trying to grasp what has gone away forever, killing the growth God imagined for us.

May we seek to know God better so that we waste time, less.


"How much time are you spending thinking about what that person said about you at the office, stressed out over that thing you read on social media, trying to straighten out that friend that made you look bad? You don’t have time to waste on all that pettiness. It’s not between you and your destiny. It’s a distraction. You have a defender. God said He will protect your reputation. Let that go in one ear and out the other and use that energy to move toward your God-given dreams."   ---Joel Osteen

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free."   ... Galations 5:1

"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."     ....  2 Corinthians 9:6


Oh! Did you see this Billy Graham tribute? Purely awesome. Wow.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Where She Goes On A 'Just Do Better Diet' (And Other Stories)

While Tom and I waited for Naomi's gig to begin last Sunday, I shouted into his ear (music was playing), "Hey. Since we both look pretty decent, maybe you could take a selfie of us." 

So he whipped out his phone and spent the next five minutes figuring out how to attempt this great feat. (Heh. He's not a picture-taking kind of guy.)

Well, the first three photos were disappointing. Mr. CamerasLoveHimEspeciallySinceHeLostFortyPounds looked fantastic, but the woman next to him appeared old, grey, heavy and tired (and here she'd imagined she glowed). He snapped one more photo and yes! Perfect. His face looked angelic and just one-eighth of my face showed.


And that was the night I decided it was time. Time to go on a Just Do Better Diet.

That's where you do not--

count calories,
weigh yourself daily,
drink powders and potions,
take a ton of vitamins,
exercise yourself into an early death,
starve and despise yourself.

No, instead, on The Just Do Better Diet you--

actually do your exercises (rather than think about them),
you eat less bad stuff and more good,
you take walks,
you don't sit at the computer all day, 
you don't stress-out if you messed-up,
you skip your favorite sport if that sport is Snacking While Reading
and you love yourself through it all.

Yep, that's the diet for me. It's much better than doing nothing constructive at all and just maybe it'll help me lose a little weight, say, seven or so pounds from my face.


Yes, I can do this. Grace is here to help me with this now and I know better than to tell her, "Come back again next Spring when I'm 
thinkin' it'll be more convenient." 
With Christ and Grace I can do anything, especially this Just Do Better Diet.

Stay tuned.


And here is my 'before photo' which I re-sized at this free site here.
Oh! Tiny, tiny photos. Now, there's the way to go.

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me."... 1 Corinthians 15:10


re: Commenters--some of you will be happy to see that I changed "Eating While Reading" to "Snacking While Reading." There's a difference between eating a meal you need to anyway while reading and mindlessly snacking for hours--and I'd forgotten it.  :)

Oh and nothing like a few special effects, plus, my buddy, Judy, suggested taking selfies from weird angles and hey! It works. I actually didn't hate four out of the five photos I took this morning. Thanks again, Judy---


"Well, that's an improvement. It's better--and better is better."  What Debra has often been heard to say around her house.


Finally I joined Goodreads and wow, color me addicted. 

I'd used this site for years to read synopsis of books, but I'd never signed-up to create my own lists of books I've read and what I've thought of them. You can compare your book lists with your friends', find books you'd love to someday read, take reading challenges, write reviews and even add books which Goodreads has no record of (I've done that once already and need to do so again. Really, I read such funky books which not even huge enterprises like Goodreads has heard of).

If you're there and would like to be my Goodreads friend, email me at and I'll send you my link,ok?

Oh, and speaking of books, here's the latest one I'm loving so much--

So funny, yet detailed, deeply felt and with some tragedy, as well. It pulls you into the Chicago of 1911 and reminds you that unkindness existed, yes, even back in the good old days and measures being taken Today against bullying, especially in schools, is good

Ol' Debra gives it 5 just-what-she'd-needed stars.


And here's what I shared yesterday at Facebook--

Part of me feels sad, but the other part is so excited for Rev. Billy Graham and all the wonder and joy He's experiencing now with Jesus and millions in Heaven, our real home. Mr. Graham fulfilled the special calling God gave him here and now's a wonderful time for us to ask ourselves if we're faithfully fulfilling our own God-given calling. All callings, huge or small,
matter because each comes specially-designed and given from God, Himself. 

 “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."   ... Revelation 14:13