Wednesday, May 08, 2024

May This And That



1.) Springtime! Love it and color me grateful we had Hobbit Cottage repainted yellow. I wish it to be a bright, sunny beacon for all who walk past, especially. A light in a dark place (Today's world), so to speak.



The afternoon sun gleams upon my Prayer Garden's side of the house and oh! Lately I'm using a special suet which draws songbirds. How thoughtful of God to have created birdsong concerts outside our very own homes.


2.) Don't you love it when God gives you a new idea? Lately I hold my morning quiet times here:


The light is brighter in Real Life. 


After moving the chair back a tad, I sit upon the carpet beneath the sunlight-like lamp, facing my reference and non-fiction/fiction books. Usually instrumental 70's music softly plays and wow, how I anticipate these times!

3.) My current quiet time books? These:



And actually, I have quiet time throughout the day (most often on our front porch and yard) and even night (upon my bed when I awaken in the early hours). Anytime seems right for drawing near to God.


"Seek the Lord while He may be found."   --- Isaiah 55:6


4.) I forgot to mention something about Instagram, namely, I'm using it only for beautiful things. Inspirational things. 'Things of a good report' (as Philippians says).

I appreciate this idea. My other social media places are mixtures of everything good, bad or ugly, but Instagram remains my 'Calgon, take me away,' only-sweet, rejuvenating place.


5.) Tom and I rewatched The Electrical Life of Louis Wain and you know? I believe we enjoyed it even more the second time. Bittersweet (very), but we found Louis' life so creatively interesting.


6.) Here are plants that are toxic to cats, making it wise for cat owners to never own these (best) or to place them in impossible places for a cat to reach--

  • Aloe
  • Azalea
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Lily
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron
  • Tulip
  • Holly


7.) During my recent time of trauma, I kept a draft folder of helpful, timely online quotes. This proved so encouraging for me. Here was a favorite:


"Never doubt in the darkness what God showed you in the light."   ---Tim Sheets

Oh, the temptation during traumatic times to forget that!


8.)   ジ




9.) Books I finished reading in April:


Farewell by Horton Foote
The Curious Affair at Heron Shoals by Augusta Huiell Seaman (favorite of the month)
Best Friends by Mary Bard
The Mystery at Number Six by Augusta Huiell Seaman
Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand by Donald J. Sobol
The Girl Nextdoor by Augusta Huiell Seaman


10.) Another new morning ritual? Listening to someone funny, like this lady.
Anytime is right for visiting Stowe VT online in the autumn!
Here's what the eclipse was like in my neck of the woods. Oh, and this happened there, also... so cool!
And for anyone else who happens to be aging, this was rather nice.


11.) Remember those Bible verse cards I bought a couple years ago to use as bookmarks?




I began leaving one or two inside the books I give away. Perhaps they'll prove helpful to people and hey... everyone loves getting something for nothing.  シ






*******




Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 

 *** 

 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Monday, April 29, 2024

The Sweet Morning Out



"Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain." --- 1 Corinthians 15:58.


******

So Friday was Tom's birthday.

We decided to do something wild and different, so we ran errands together. シ (Ol' Debra's been quite the homebody this last forever.) 

After visiting the Salvation Army store (which reminded me how different I've become because gone were the giddy feelings of decades ago, though I did buy 2 cozy mysteries and a middle grade book), we drove to the library. Remember when I wrote how I'd wandered the halls and said good-bye to that no-longer-relevant-for-me place?

Yeah, well, I also said never say never. Heh.

Anyway, Tom had been unable to, recently, watch a movie online for he'd needed a library card number. I told him he could use mine, but I'd have to renew it, yet searching through my purse there in the parking lot, could I even find my card? Uh, no.

So we ambled past the windows of the former jail cells (always interesting), then to the circulation desk at the end of the hallway maze. Two folks helped us both get new cards. The woman, reading Tom's license, said, "Hmm.. April 26th. Wasn't that, oh, it's today! Happy birthday!" She looked at Tom. "Do you have any special plans?"

To which I quipped, "This is it." She and her male co-worker laughed aloud, then Tom added we'd order out for lunch and watch movies.

Afterward, we drove through a favorite neighborhood of adorable post-war houses. Then a slow drive past the unfinished Michael's store where men wearing hardhats worked (wasn't Michael's due to open in March?). 

Then Tom decided he'd like to check out Goodwill. Once there, I remained in the car with my new books (didn't want to overtax myself on this rare day out. Ha!), while he shopped.

Oh, and did I mention the sun sparkled in blue skies?

The day's remainder resembled our 'Saturdates', with added lovely birthday wishes from Facebook for Tom. Good food and movies and more sunshine.

A perfect kind of day, we agreed. One I, especially, needed after the past 7 emotionally-difficult weeks (though this past one, finally, felt more normal).

Truly, God can heal our hearts. If we choose healing over holding on, that is. And though, honestly, I feel like our recent tragedy whisked me from God College waaay back to the 5th grade in God Elementary School--still--I know better than to wallow long in pools of regret, guilt and grief.

That would help no one, especially me who wishes to end her Earth Journey with a life she can smile about for eons to come in Heaven.



"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."   --- 1 Peter 5:10

Perhaps this will help someone: 2 weeks ago I felt so I-can't-do-anything-right-ish. Suddenly it came to me to write a list of things I've done right (or well) since 1978, the year I married (and felt like an adult). The list? An encouragement to my heart and a reminder of the things God's done through me to bless others. 
(Always fight the lies with truth!)


******




On Tom's birthday, we watched the cutest, funniest Paul Hogan movie (from 2020). Still makes me smile to think about it! The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee. I can't even recall any warnings about it to pass along to you.  ツ

I so enjoyed Ariel's latest video








Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be.
 
 *** 

 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Finding Her Way Back


"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (so sulking in her house probably isn't a good option)."  ツ  --- Proverbs 11:25

*******

(My final post about Charlie Cat.)



Oh. My. Goodness.

No other 5 weeks in my 31 New York state years were this emotionally traumatic. The loss of Charlie Cat shocked my mind. Devastated me.

He was meant to stay 11, 12, years with us and instead? Seven months, only, did he capture our hearts and enchant us. Oh, that young cat loved us! Every day he showed us unconditional affection. 

And how much of that do you find these days?

Wow. I lost ground, like being yanked backward, whoosh! This was different, not just the death of a pet, but rather, an attack. Questions, anger, confusion, self-pity, numbing grief, disappointment, crying at the memories, wondering if I'd made mistakes. Silence instead of speaking. Not wanting to move forward, but rather, to be allowed another chance.

But after death there are no do-overs.

I had to extend much forgiveness toward the situation and everyone involved, even God, who never messes up, but which mostly became forgiving myself for not understanding His reasons for allowing this. For not seeing any good--and doesn't He turn all things for good?

The not knowing why, the possible 4, or so, vet-listed possibilities, one maybe an accidental dropping of a pain pill (a simple aspirin can kill a cat). But again! The not-knowing for certain. The guilt, deserved or not.

Yet after time, I spied comments online from women still bitterly grieving for their pets 5, even 10 years later and I knew that certainly was not God's plan for me. 

I began to choose healing.

God created me to encourage others, to write in this blog, not to hide or open myself to a spirit of grief which focuses only on oneself, her pain and all things gone wrong now and before, even.

"Heal me and I shall be healed," I told God over and over. "Restore unto me the joy of this life you breathed into me." Because Honey, I'd lost that. My future no longer appeared joyous, fulfilling or anticipatory. Just sad until a heavenly homecoming.

Then I felt God tell me, "How about if, instead of finding new cats to restore your happiness, you wait? Wait to return to a simple daily joy in Me, first?"

Two weeks into that, some days I succeed, others I fail, but since Saturday, finally, I'm experiencing more emotionally good hours than sad. At least I'm recognizing my old self and oh my, she's grateful for a God who hung in there with her.

And continues to do so.




I did think of one good thing this tragedy brought about: now if you tell me you've been traumatized, I can sympathize with you much better. I will never forget this devastation.


******


I kept reminding myself to not let my emotions push me around, but still, I too often sank beneath them. In the mire.

But I discovered good lists, things to do when the initial shock has worn off--

Exercise
Take walks
Talk with friends who'll understand.
Eat right
Spend much time with God
Take your vitamins
Get out and about
List your blessings
Read the Bible
Be gentle with yourself, but tough against the lies
Begin a new hobby (or return to an old one)
Watch encouraging videos, movies, etc.
Peruse uplifting books
Find a helpful place online (Instagram greatly encouraged me)

---And ask for help if nothing seems to be working or if you can't make yourself do anything helpful.




*****

Some good news:

Naomi has a new job: she's a tour guide at a local vacation spot! So far she's liking it and I enjoy her tourist stories.









******










Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 

 *** 

 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15