Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Do This And You May Just Feel Better

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness."   --- Romans 12:6-8


So I watched a video, Baby Boomer Life Skills That Are Useless Today and wow. Made me think.

Oh, not about whether the skills listed actually are useless today (I disagree about a few), but rather this:

With their examples in mind, perhaps I have more than 5 or 6 skills, myself, after all! シ

So in a draft folder, I created a quick list and who knew? My list grew to 55 skills, not counting various detailed subsets.

Need some examples? Well, because I'd love for you--today--to make your own list so to encourage yourself, here are a few of my 'skills'--

Cooking. Baking. Keeping a clean-ish house. Gardening for food and flowers. Wallpapering. Painting walls. Driving. Writing in cursive. Shopping at stores online. Using a computer. Traveling by train. Caring for children. Being a food prepper. Using a toaster oven. Teaching Sunday School. Making coffee. Unclogging a sink. Riding a bicycle. Mending. Composting. Making candles. Creating photo books online. Crocheting, Reading Roman Numerals. Decorating. Encouraging.

You get the idea. 

Some abilities sound tiny, ok, but you know? I've watched Youtube videos where young folks had no clue how to do some of those. And at various points in my life, neither had I, that is, until I took steps to learn. Then do, risking failure, but not quitting early.

In other words, many skills require a simple desire to learn, then a boldness to step out and try. Then rinse, repeat (as they say) until that skill becomes second nature. 

Today's homework? Create your own skill list. Surprise yourself! List all the detailed subsets if you wish (like for me, being a food prepper requires keeping lists, discovering storage ideas in my small house, rotating food by dates, cooking over an open fire, etc.). 

Make your list as lengthy as you wish!

What might happen after you create your own list? You may step away encouraged. Relieved that you didn't reach your advanced age with few abilities. And more? Challenged to try new skills, ones you've perhaps procrastinated learning for decades.

As Joyce Meyer often says, "Step out and find out." Learn, try, make mistakes, gain experience, move forward.

Become the you God intended.

We can do this, especially if Jesus has asked us to s-t-r-e-t-c-h for who knows why? Maybe He needs us to be a bit more skilled for the next thing He asks of us.

And how marvelous to be prepared ahead of time!


This was lovely: 15 Things to Declutter Before the Holidays. Not just your average decluttering video! Lots of ideas I'd never even considered before.

Oh! An upcoming movie about Bonhoeffer. (I keep telling you good things are coming.)  ツ

And Ariel found a secret room (!)

Aww... I'm seeing snow outside my window, but you know? On November 21st I was still pulling cherry tomatoes from my experimental front garden, so am I going to complain about a few flakes? Probably.  ッ


Have you ever tried ThredUp? They bill themselves as the largest online thrift store. I used it for the first time last month, bought three winter tops for cheap, no shipping cost, and was delighted with my purchases--although--they did take 2 weeks to arrive. 

Oh well, the growth of patience--its a good thing.


Is this so cute or what?

(A stunning photograph captured by Polish photographer Jacek Stankiewicz is making headlines in various media outlets today.

His work has earned him a finalist spot in the Wildlife Comedy Photography Awards.)

And always remember ... none of us are helpless!


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

Saturday, November 25, 2023

When You Think You Can't--But You Can

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, even releasing what I love if He asks me.


In March of 2019, I felt God asking me to give away 350 of my books.

"Whaaat?" I asked. "Three hundred and fifty? That's probably nearly half of all my books." (It was.) "You know how much I love these books I've collected for 35 years. Most libraries don't even still offer many of these! I don't think I can do this."

Yet the conviction persisted. And persisted. And persisted to the point where I knew it would be disobedience for me to simply pretend I'd not felt this nudge within my conscience.

So I began. 

One shelf of books at a time, I lovingly fingered the spines then pulled the easier-to-release books, first. I noted on paper the number liberated, then placed them in bags with various household clutter and walked them down to the Salvation Army drop-off. 

(If the Little Free Library 'round the corner had existed then, I'd have carried the books there, instead.)

Of course, after weeks of culling the not-dearly-loved books, then came the oh-this-hurts-now books. Or ones I believed were painful to release. Many I'd do a quick read-through, (beginning pages, a few middle, some ending ones), then I'd think, "Hmm. At this point in my life, this book doesn't feel as special." 

Clunk, it would fall into my bag.

Months sailed by. Years. Then this morning I added '7' to my Books Given Away list. The total? Four hundred and one. 

Yes, 401 books given away since 2019. Wow.

And ok, some were Tom's, probably 30, but still I exceeded that 350 number and my mind is blown. Four years ago I truly doubted I could release that many books, even with God's prompting and His help.

Yikes about that last part! Oh me of tiny, doubting faith. Ouch.

Well Honey, lesson learned. Now may I recall this one in the future when God asks of me other impossible-sounding tasks. 

I can do all things He asks of me, for He also supplies the strength and grace for body, soul and spirit.

He does! Only when I say yes, that is. And move forward in obedience with Him beside me. Succeeding.

What's on my Christmas list this year? Okay, okay--it's books. ツ 

And that's a major reason why I pulled 7 books from my shelves today. I'm making space for fresh, new books. This is something I do throughout the year and now? My shelves, more than ever, hold only books I currently love. 

And that's yet one more lesson to remember: Always fling away the unused, unneeded, unloved things (anything!) so to make room for what's beautiful and currently appreciated.

It's the loved things, and people, who are not a burden to care for.


Thank-you, Dolores!  シ  --


Happy anniversary to Tom and Debra! Forty-five years ago today we tied the knot and it's been an adventure ever since. I'd not have traded any of these years.


Oh! Anthony Hopkins has another movie coming out soon. Watch the trailer here

And what's doubly interesting is the documentary about its original story which you can watch here. What a joy to learn how folks obeyed God and helped people in remarkable and even scary ways!


And wow! Mark Wahlberg has even another family-friendly movie coming out. Arthur The King. Very cool.

Oooooo.... if you love watching people be kind to each other, go here. (Watch with a tissue. Or two.)


Need some encourgement during your large projects? Keep a simple written record of what you've accomplished. On days you feel you've not done much, refer to your lists and be assured you've made progress.

Sometimes we lack what we'd love to have simply because our life is too crowded with what we don't even like.


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

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving Notes

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."   --- 1 Thessaloninas 5:18


Thanksgiving! We vowed to make 2023 a whole entire year of Thanksgiving and what we got? Eight months of one bad circumstance after another.

Oh Honey.

But color me extra grateful today that we made it through. That with God pulling us along and reminding us of everything we'd ever learned--we came through stronger. More hope-sighted. I think.

Way more appreciative, anyway, of these past 3 just-tiny-troubles months and much more likely to dance with deep joy, inside, over daily, small blessings.

And what I learned, especially since last October (2022) when something scary happened in our driveway and Naomi needed to move inside our basement? -- 

-- when real friends hear you're facing a hard time, they say/write something. They do not read your Facebook or blog posts then just poof! move on with their day.

Call me what you will, but I'm thinking it's that simple.

And using that definition it actually surprised me to discover who my true friends are now. And who had, instead, er, uhm, moved into the acquaintance slot.

Hopefully that doesn't sound harsh. For me it feels like truth setting me free, truth which simplifies, clarifies and sweeps wrong imaginings out the door. 

You know.

Anyway! Today I am especially grateful that:

--those first 8 months of 2023 are over.
--that embarrassing cyst is off my head.
--this is a snow-free, sunny, warmish Thanksgiving(!)
--little Charlie The Cat joined our home
--Tom, Naomi and I are here together

---and more than ever I realize if God designed your 'village', then it's certainly good enough, even though it may not resemble other families in your address book.

Whew. And I could write on and on, but I'll stop here and say, Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, my appreciated faithful readers!

Gratitude. It's a daily thing.

Yesterday from the Little Free Library I snatched an old (1970's, ok, ok) copy of The Illustrated Walden. My blessing for the day!


A special thanks to my friend, Dolores, for sharing this at Facebook!

Ooooo.... this week my favorite decorating style is French Provincial and country. 

Two upcoming movies:

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful."   --- Colossians 3:15


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