Saturday, March 31, 2012

Another Survival Show

So. Not that Tom and I neeeeded to find another survival-in-the-wild tv series, but we did. It's called Man, Woman, Wild and we discovered it at Netflix.

In each episode, this husband and wife team purposely get themselves stranded out in dangerous terrain and, basically, they take nothing with them, which Tom and I think is quite stupid. 

I mean, the show was created to enable people who get lost in the wild to survive, but hey! Most hikers at least carry a bottle of water and a granola bar (or something) with them. But not these folks. No, usually they just have their clothes and a long knife dangling from their belts. 

(Okay, in a few episodes they bring a tiny bit more with them, but in only one episode out of the 7 or so we've watched, did they have a bottle of water.)

Often it's a hoot. The husband is a former Green Beret, survival expert (tho' sometimes we wonder) and his wife (with a lovely English accent and quirky way of naming things) is out there to learn from him. Tom and I laugh most when they're exhausted, nearly starving and they have tiffs, though pretty mild ones (compared to how Tom and I would be. er hem.) 

As with all these shows, I so enjoy watching human nature.

I must warn you--we've fast-forwarded a couple parts where, in order to survive, things got a bit too realistic.  But if you're a die-hard tree-hugger type who wouldn't kill an animal, even if you were rolling around, dying, well, you probably won't like it much. 

(Though, hmm. That pretty much describes me and I love this show. Oh well.)

Oh! And while they were lost in the Smokey Mountains they came upon a grassy clearing where once, most likely, a cabin had been, but now there was just an apple tree left and some strawberry plants with lovely red, ripe strawberries. Inspiring! 

After that episode I used part of my birthday-gifted amazon card to order strawberry plants from the same company I ordered from while living at the farm. Each plant grew to be a beauty, gave me the illusion of eating off the land and left our little farm a better place than the way we found it.

And that's how I'd like to someday leave Hobbit Cottage, as well.


Oh! I found the prettiest blog. Wow. I thought the first page was incredible and then I went to the second one(!) Gorgeous. All of it.


Friday, March 30, 2012


So! Have you wondered how Naomi's doing way down there in Nashville?

She loves it. Her job, her home, her new fellow-musician friends, her city.

And here's a little story she shared with us: The people she lives with have a parrot, a dog and other animals, but the parrot is hilarious. He'll go, "Squawk, squawk, squawk!," then immediately he'll say, "Polly! Be quiet! Be quiet!" Then when the dog barks, Polly will say, "No, no Rover! No!"

Love that.

So our own little bird is livin' the dream and Tom and I are thrilled for her. We had our season of having her near and now we cannot wish her back here with us--that would be too selfish of a wish. 

So we just keep praying for her and enjoying her joy.


Let's see.... oh yes! A couple days ago I mentioned to you that we had company over to lunch. They were the parents of the woman from whom we bought our farm. Back in 2008 they dropped by to meet us on the 4th of July while I was outside with a wheelbarrow picking up downed branches and 'livin' the dream,' myself. Tom was inside, sleeping, for he had to work the night shift, but I brought Roger and Elizabeth inside anyway to show them a few of the changes we'd made to the kitchen and dining room.

Anyway, after that I began reading Roger's blog and he read mine and I kept telling him we'd have him and Elizabeth out again soon, for dinner. But nearly 4 years later that still hadn't happened.

And yes, I'm hanging my head about that. But hey! Rather than just write-off the whole thing out of embarrassment or condemnation or just assuming it was too late, we went ahead and made it happen. And it was a lovely lunch, indeed.

There's a lesson in that, you know. Namely, don't put things off--but if you have--don't let Procrastination tell you "It's just too late, Sucker."

Learn from past mistakes and simply make things right today, before it really does become too late, before people pack-up and move away either to different lands or to Heaven, itself.


One more update-- our friend, John, still really needs your prayers. There's some kind of blockage in his liver which the doctors can't find so we need to pray they'll locate it and that it isn't a tumor. Thanks to all of you who've told me you're praying for him--please keep the prayers coming, ok? He and Donna are just about the best friends we have locally and they both mean so much to us. 



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stepping From The Tunnel

Well, I'll tell ya... These past ten days (or so) I've felt kinda like a biblical Job Jr. 

Man, it's been one thing after another. Daniel The Cat had a life-threatening infection. He's needed daily antibiotics and has pretty much gone postal around here, what with Spring and all. We still can't trust him and Sammy together. Some days, we can barely trust him and us together. 

My printer died. Tom bought a new one and it works great with his computer, but it still won't let me print coupons from mine. 

We couldn't find certain tax receipts. The bank lady closed the wrong bank account so basically, we had no money in the bank. Tom had to make lots of phone calls. Our bank ATM card is now invalid. The bank sent a check with the money from our closed account to us, but it's either lost or was mailed to our old farm address. 

Tom received a letter from the unemployment check people who said they tried to deposit his check but couldn't because the account was closed, so they put that money, instead, on the old visa card they first gave us 75 weeks ago before we went to automatic deposit. Tom threw away that card months ago.

Plus, for days my lips became all blistered because of some evil chapstick. (Took me awhile to figure out the source.)


And you know? I'd love to tell you that I've been sweet and patient and have watched my words carefully all during these past ten days. But that would make me a big, fat liar. No, a few times I've worried. Spoke some doubt and unbelief. A couple times, complained like there was no tomorrow.

But I did try to recall all I've learned and to trust God, but oh, these tests were so hard for me. I probably got a C+ (C-?) and you know what that means, don't you? Someday, most likely, I'll have to take those tests (similar ones) again, for God tends to wait till we pass with an A before He allows us to move on. To another, different class. With more tests.

Oh well.

But today? Today feels like the end of a bad dream. As though we've stepped from a dark tunnel back into the light. Daniel The Cat is much, much better (though still a pest, albeit a beloved one) and hopefully in one week he and Sammy will be able to be together without a cat carrier between them. We found enough tax receipts (crossing our fingers). Our bank situation is 90% resolved. The unemployment check was deposited into our account, after all. 

And today? We had a sweet couple over to lunch who we've been meaning to have over for nearly 4 whole years. The sun poured in through the windows and a lovely time was had by all.

Here is my reason for writing this all out today: if you are having a rough time, please, please hang in there. Do not give up. In just a few days (or maybe even tomorrow) God may just choose to iron out the vast majority of wrinkles which are making you want to run/scream/cry, iron them out in ways you've not yet thought of.

 But you must hang in there and believe for those better days. And cling to God while recalling all you know to be true... and do your part, while trusting God to do His. For He will, in time.

The main thing is that we learn to wait well. And that's where I still have a ways to go. But I'm choosing to believe I'll get there--some day, with His help.


Oh dear. Immediately after writing this post I received an email from my friend, Donna, as in Donna and John who I've mentioned here many times. John's not been well these past few weeks, but he'd been released from the hospital and was home. But Donna injured her back and her email stated John's returned to the hospital with serious liver problems and so please, I'd appreciate your prayers for our friends. 
Thanks so much.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Long Ago and Far Away

Oh my. I decided to return to Facebook on a small-scale basis, keeping my friend list to only around 30, or so, and what greeted me the next day? This photo from the time I was in The Music Man at age 17. (I'm standing against the wall, first on the far left.) 

Wow. Truly a blast from the past.

And you know? Some people long to return to 17, but not me. Well, I'd still love to fit into that dress which my mom made for me (oh!), but otherwise? Forget it. I'll take Today.

Six months before that picture was taken, I went through a terrible time--we moved from a town I'd grown to cherish and a church, especially, packed with encouragers who made me feel special for the first time in my life (which is huge when you're a teen). I'd left the first high school I'd attended up until the second week of my junior year and frankly, I felt devastated, almost to the point of having a nervous breakdown. I cried all the time, wrote letters constantly to the people I'd left behind and missed a ton of days at this new school because my misery weakened my immune system.

I was a mess. 

But after a couple months, God blessed me with a special friend, Tara, who's also in that photo, but standing behind the leading man (Scott, who I had a wild crush on). I'd never before had one very best friend and she became mine and oh! The crazy things this formerly shy mouse and Tara did together after school, on field trips and on weekends. 

God used Tara to help snap me out of my grief. 

And of course, there's more to all this, but this is a blog post, not a book, and this former 17-year-old needs to get up and do some old-fashioned housework. Happily.


In case you're wondering, yes, I'm still in touch with Tara after all these years. She was also my maid-of-honor when Tom and I were married. I'm also still in contact with the young man seated on the far right who was two years younger than Tara and me and who had a crush on me at the time of this play. He and I were on the school newspaper staff together. 

Ah, memories.  


"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."   ... II Corinthians 5:17


Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Delight of Pauses

"The joy of the Lord is my strength."  ... Nehemiah 8:10


I so appreciated Pat's post yesterday, one called Tired of Being Tired

It was timely for me, because--as soon as the warm, kinda-humid weather sailed in this week--I became reacquainted with that ol',  "It's 2:00 in the afternoon and I feel drained" feeling. You know, when you do ten minutes' worth of sunny, outdoor work and then must spend 30 minutes (or more) inside resting-up from it.

And during those times I'd recall when I was in my  mid-30's in our other suburb house. How I'd get Tom off to work in the mornings and then I'd get dressed, feed the cats, eat breakfast, wash dishes, dust, paint two walls of a room, clean-up the paint supplies, mow the lawn, put in a load of laundry, clean out the refrigerator and then stop for lunch at noon. heh.

Ah, those were the days!  But you know? This 53-year-old woman has had to accept that those days are gone forever. Well, this side of Heaven, anyway.  I simply cannot work like that anymore--and I'm in good health, even! Ok, ok, adequate health. (If I'd always obey God when He convicts me to exercise and eat better, I'd feel better than I already usually do. Gulp.)

But it's my stamina, I'm finding, which has changed most. I just can't seem to work as steadily, as long, as I used to. I must take many breaks in order to keep going and you know? A couple years ago I realized I just had to accept that fact, and accept that--actually--it's the new wisdom for me. It is wisdom that, as a woman who's lived for more than half of a century (!), I need to accept a lifestyle of pauses.

Pause: a temporary rest, an intermission of action, a stop in order to consider, to reflect.

Oh! When you put it that way, pauses sound lovely.

But in order to see beauty in these pauses? It requires new eyes of acceptance. Acceptance that I've stepped into a different season. 

So I'm no longer 35, but the reverse, 53. Oh well! As long as I keep desiring God every moment---all will be well. He will complete what I cannot, as I move into these later years. And may I learn to receive more of His mighty strength, not my faulty type.


"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  ... Philippians 4:8


My favorite place to pause? On my own front porch where I gaze down at the shining river and watch seagulls circle lazily in the quiet afternoon sky.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Just Fluff

Lightweight stuff today.

Being a normal human being, I love getting stuff for free.  So see that photo, above? Those are just some of the things I've gotten free--totally free--from online.

Free shampoo, calendars, cologne samples, toothpaste and coupons for free items from the supermarket. Free laundry detergent samples, an issue of The Good Old Days, 3 cappucino packets, breakfast cereal, a Woman's Day subscription for a year, travel guides and tea bags.

And my favorites? Twelve free hot chocolate k-cups (yum! I just sliced them open since we don't have the 'correct' machine). Also, the sweet cookbooks along the bottom of the photo--they blessed my old-fashioned-lovin' soul.

Something else I love about this stuff? The vast majority is meant to be used, then the packaging, discarded. That means it doesn't all pile up around the house--and my new decluttering self loves that.

So how do I find these offers? They're sent to me by email. Just sign up here:

Shop 4 Freebies
Thunder FAP
Simple Deals

Now, if an offer seems too complicated, too long (or invasive) of a form to complete or if you must promise to give them your first born child, well, I skip it. If I must give my correct phone number, I pass by that offer, too. And I never, ever do any offers where a credit card is required. Never.

So there you go! Why not hop over to those sites and sign-up today. I must admit, during these months when Tom and I have seriously cut back on any unnecessary spending, it's become a delight to step out to the mailbox and discover treats inside. Makes me skip into the house with a smile.


And here's your other lightweight item for the day. 

Anyone remember The Patty Duke Show from the 1960's? Well, did you know they made a reunion movie a few years ago? It's called The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights, and if you have Netflix you can watch it instantly. 

Now, is it, like, the most incredible movie ever made? Uh, not even close. heh. But don't you just love to see how dear ol' favorite actors have aged and then watch them interact with each other, imagining the fun they must have had being together again? Well, I do. :)

So there you go.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Of Respecting Unity

So don't laugh, but Tom and I watched the first two Lord of the Ring movies again this week.

I know, I know. But lately I've wanted to watch only shows with substance and those certainly have that. And after watching all the gorgeous scenery of the Shire and Rivendell and the courageous journeys and long, hard-fought sword and spear battles, etc., my main thought was: 

... truly, I need to stop getting annoyed with Tom over tiny things.

Sounds odd, I know, but God reminded me that--to keep satan out of our home--we must keep love, agreement and unity in. Especially during these 2012 days when tons of relationships are being blown apart.

So I decided to stay in unity with Tom, as best I could. I pictured everything becoming smooth sailing around here, because hey, now I'd be more loving and patient and we'd get along better (lately I've been the cranky one, I confess. sigh). But now unity would keep the uglies away.

Oh boy. Things changed all right. On Tuesday we began gathering our receipts for our tax return and always, always Tom and I have hated paperwork. You know, keeping track of it, filing it and the way you always can't find those two most important receipts which The Paper Snatchers steal every single year, the cruel ol' meanies that they are. :) 

And well, it happened again. We couldn't find some very important receipts. But in the midst of the rising tension, before it got anywhere, we decided to just gather what we could, make some notes, then search for the missing papers tomorrow. After all, a good start is a good start--and it felt terrific to at least make a dent.

Then came Wednesday. Gah! 

We searched through files and brief cases and drawers for the missing papers/receipts and could not find them anywhere. They are still missing. And oh, the tension rose, even while I whispered to myself over and over, "Remember Lord of the Rings, remember Lord of the Rings," and prayed and tried to remain calm.

And then in the middle of all that, we got a phone call. Remember our dear local dairy who we'd gotten home delivery from for years and who we had to release weeks ago because of our financial crunch? Well, the woman in the office called to say our check had been returned with an "account closed" stamped on it (!) and we now would be charged $20 more.


Good grief. Last week Tom went to the bank to close a tiny, extra account we no longer needed and, obviously, the bank lady closed the wrong one! Our one-and-only main account had been closed, for I'd used a check from that one. 

And what do Tom and I hate just one notch below paperwork? Incompetence. Grrr.

And so then, as Tom stormed into his room to get dressed so he could drive back down to the bank, Sammy The Cat pushed past him out the door. Tom shouted, "Sammy's out! Sammy's out!" and then Daniel the Cat tore after him down the basement stairs with me racing after both cats, shouting, "No! No!", picturing another huge veterinarian bill if Sammy bit Daniel again.

But alas. In the midst of all the boxes and junk down there, I was able to chase both adrenaline-fused cats back upstairs and Sammy flew straight for his room again and Tom shut the door.

Obviously satan did not appreciate my quality decision to love Tom better. 

Well, to sum this up, Tom drove to the bank (and I cleaned the house which is what I do in times like these) and the manager apologized profusely for the person who'd pushed the wrong button. She said the bank would send any letters of explanation if needed and would pay all the check-return payments necessary. Then Tom came home, made three phone calls to companies I'd written checks to this week and patiently explained to them what had happened. 

And then we ate the ice cream he'd brought home with him (which we certainly deserved) and watched the movie, Hidalgo, an old favorite, in the sort of peace which comes after a storm. 

Still in love, for love is the greatest, most vital relationship protection there is, especially in this troubled century. Still standing strong in that love, lest the enemies of our souls burrow in through rifts ... and lest they intrude to permanently spoil what God has given us here at our sweet Hobbit Cottage.


A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.   ... Ecclesiastes 4:12

"And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint."  ... Galations 6:9


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

When God Says "Leave it Alone"

Truly, I love to read.

And although I still prefer good old-fashioned books, I've become a fan of essays, books and articles online, also. And I've grown to love reading comments from people who leave their additional positive thoughts and revelations, thus enriching my reading experience.

But then there are the negative comments. 

You know, the unmerciful ones where people, like wolves, rip apart what and how a things been said and the people who were written about. Mean-spirited words and religious-spirited words, too, for of course, we know there's a difference between being truly godly and 'having a form of godliness'. 

There's being filled with almighty God and then there's being filled with a religious spirit which loves legalism, The Law and flogging people when they make mistakes, real or imagined.

Well anyway, God's been telling me (again) to leave those negative comments alone

He asked, "Since you realize I don't want you to be negative and mean and critical, why would you keep reading words from people who are?"

Why, indeed?

All that fault-finding stuff wears me down, makes me mad and colors my inside world all grey, zapping out the light and joy.

So note to self: For goodness sake, knock it off.  Leave the negative comments alone. You'll be happier--not only because that stuff brings you down anyway--but because you'll be obeying God and obedience opens doors for more joy.


"They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! "  ... 2 Timothy 3:5

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cat Tales

Man, oh man. I don't recall Lennon and McCartney the Cats ever being so complicated. In two weeks of having cats again we've already experienced probably 2 months of complication.

Take today, for instance. Tom arrived home from buying a printer at Target (remember, ours bit the dust a week ago, which has meant a vacation for me from coupons, which, ok, has been kinda nice). So anyway, he rang that doorbell thingy I told you about from the car so I ran down the stairs, then out the backdoor, making sure I unlocked the door on my way out.

Well, I carried the bag with the printer back to the house and Tom opened the door, except that he could only open it two inches. Oh dear! That darn ol' Daniel The Cat had taken that short moment of my being outside to sneak down to the basement, knocking the board we had across the basement doorway just far enough back to where it wedged against our back door and the interior wall.

There was no getting inside that way and though our front door was opened, the storm door was locked. And neither of us had ever added that storm door key to our key chains, though you can bet we've done that now.


So Tom said, "What about a window?" and instantly we both remembered that the window of the front bedroom (where we must keep Sammy until he stops trying to tear Daniel apart) was fully opened (the only other unlocked windows were the small ones upstairs). 

Thank-goodness Sammy loves to sit in that opened window in his room. So I ran around to the front porch, lifted the screen in that bedroom window, then crawled inside, let Tom in, then took that board down to the basement where it will stay, now that the weather is nice and we can leave that basement accordion door opened all the time, which we might as well, since Daniel's always trying to get down there anyway. (And yes, we'd already made a search of the basement to make certain it's safe for him.)

Oh, how I crave simplicity. And I'll do just about anything to get it.

But I also love these silly nuisance cats, so sacrifices must be made when you desire two polar opposite things--and the test comes in not complaining about these sacrifices, but rather, accepting them and accepting more Grace so to deal with them. And just doing the best you can, using your imagination if that will help, too.

Fortunately. Tom and I watch Daniel learning to be more obedient every day and that encourages us to keep on being consistent, even if it means getting up from the couch over and over to remove him from the table and place him on the window sill, instead, while saying, "Window, window, window." And what we saw earlier today? Daniel jumped up on the table--but when I said "Window, window" from the couch--he moved to the window,  himself. I didn't even have to get up.

Ah, progress. And maybe someday we'll actually have some simplicity like the good ol' days, too.  :)


 And the top photo is not of Daniel, it just looks like him a bit. I'm finding myself rather too tired to go around chasing him with the camera right now, what with crawling in through windows and everything..... heh...


Saturday, March 17, 2012

More Lessons

A lovely birthday was mine yesterday.

I did all the things I told you I'd do, plus, I raked leaves beneath a sunny, warm sky, read more Gladys Taber on our front porch and ate pineapple-upside-down cake. I also read delightful birthday ecards and your wonderful comments here (thank-you!), a friend gave me a gift card to (a total surprise!) and Naomi called us from Tennessee.

Tom and I had lunch delivered and watched more Lord of the Rings and they reminded me of more lessons I need to incorporate into everyday life.

What a peaceful, perfect day.


Truly, I appreciated each of your comments so much! They totally made my birthday, completed it, like icing on proverbial cakes. Thank-you.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Birthday?! My, My...

So guess who's having another birthday?

Wow!... these things sure add up after a few decades.

Yes, it's another birthday for me and I think I'll keep it simple. I'll probably drive the few blocks to my favorite supermarket and maybe have some coffee there and sit with a couple magazines while tapping my toes to the retro tunes, something I've not done since we moved here. Then I'll buy a few cans of cat food for these crazy cats of ours. Alas.

Oh! And here's a picture of Sammy in case you're wondering what he looks like:

Then later Tom and I will order out for Chinese and perhaps finish watching The Two Towers (for the fourth or fifth time), but you know? I like all three of those Lord of the Ring movies because they speak to any recent questions rolling around my brain. They remind me there's a battle going on for our very souls--and always--to fight bravely. 

And never set my shield down, all forgotten-like.

And oh, that reminds me. For the second or third time, Tom has the option of extending his unemployment insurance checks. Wow! We've already been receiving them for something like 73 weeks and we'd thought last week was the final one. 

But two days ago they said we could have more, though Tom will have to hop through some extra hoops to receive them, but that's ok.

 In all these weeks we've cut back so much spending, so much so, that these checks have seemed like more than enough, especially when you add the way God has swooped in a few times to cover the major expenses which arrived unexpectedly.

And you know? I've come to love this new simplicity. Really. 

And Life does become much simpler when you have lots of choices removed because you just don't have the money to travel certain places or buy that big (or small) new gadget/book/trinket. And what is left? A peace which comes from knowing God will provide for the necessities.

I highly recommend simplifying ones life. Tossing the clutter, then refusing to load other, new clutter into the house. Keeping ones mind uncluttered, also, and at peace, by being obedient to God and trusting in the middle of all hard times. 

And setting aside whatever it takes to fall in love with Jesus. That's what I recommend the very most, because--once you have that love--everything will look differently, good even in the midst of bad, and you'll always have a friend sitting there beside you, comforting you, gladdening your heart. 

Come what may.


"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."  ... Ephesians 6:16

Oh! Y'all know how I love out-of-the-box stuff, and well, this certainly qualifies. Oy!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Latest

Oh for Pete's sake.

Gah. Gah. Gah.

Daniel the Cat was only nibbling at his food. I even went to the store to buy a kind he'd liked before. He ate part of it, but otherwise, seemed ok.

Then came this morning. 

Daniel growled and hissed at us from across the room. Snapped at us if we touched him. Coughed like he had a hairball, but differently. Pitifully meowed and then suddenly began limping.

Oh my goodness. Within 24 hours our new cat fell apart.

And you know how it is--at 5:00 in the dark morning light everything looks worse, especially when you discover that your new veterinarian takes Wednesdays off (of course).  And it is sooo hard not to worry at times like these.

So ok, I worried. Prayed, told myself not to worry, then worried. Watched Joyce Meyer, then worried some more. 

Went back to bed and thought, "This is all just too hard and too reminiscent of losing our two cats last year at this time." But then I remembered something Joyce Meyer says--- "We are anointed for the hard things. God gives us the strength to face anything we must."

Whew. That certainly helped.

Well, we had to go back to the vet. So a couple hours after we left Daniel there (we got coffee then sat at the nearby park in the sunshine.... oh, I'm so thankful for the light!) we returned to the office and turns out that--during Sammy and Daniel's one moment of unsupervised time together (when we'd been so careful to keep them apart for 2 weeks)--Sammy bit Daniel in the leg and it became one big, dangerous, infected internal mess. And without antibiotics, Daniel could have lost his leg or his life.

Allow me just one more (*&^%$*& and Good Grief!

So many lessons, so little time. Lately we've had all these huge bills just as we're entering a time with no income and truly! God is staring at my heart and watching its reactions. Will I panic? Or will I trust? Will I worry and scheme and try figuring-out things only God knows? Or will I remain calm and obey Him one step at a time?

Well, stay tuned. Most likely Tom and I will have to dip into our retirement account before Financial Phase 2 kicks in and I so do not want to be like the elderly people I mentioned here who refuse to use an air-conditioner because it costs a lot, only to be found dead of heat stroke on their bed. 

Instead, my desire is to do my part, then trust God to do what I cannot--and to live inside that balance, always remembering God cares for me like a good Father who provides basic necessities lovingly, happily. 

And right on time, especially when worry isn't there to hinder all my prayers.


A good note--Daniel is eating again and seems better already! And too, he came with insurance from the shelter for a month, so hopefully this little escapade to the vet's will be reimbursed. At least, most of it.

And at least we did get out of the house and sat at a park and read and drank coffee and munched on something like in the old days before we moved to Hobbit Cottage. 

We truly need to get outside more, though I prefer a happier occasion!


"You will remember all the way the Lord your God led you in the desert these forty years, to humble you, and how He tested you to know what was in your heart to see if you would keep His commandments or not." Deuteronomy 8:2 

"Whatever is not of faith, is sin." ... Romans 14:23


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Receiving Better Things

Lots of people have lots of bad Monday mornings. Not me!

Except for yesterday. Good grief. 

I awoke grouchy because that silly Daniel Cat kept trying to push me off the bed all night and we all know what interrupted sleep will get you. And well, I must have kept him awake because in the morning he acted like a maniac with spring fever and looked like the poster boy for the definition of Wild Eyed. Up on all the furniture. Wouldn't eat his food unless we sat with him. Racing up the stairs. Then down. Grabbing my ankle. And it was too cold outside to open up the windows so to air out the house from various cat smells.

Oh, and my lips were blistered because of some kind of chemical reaction between some healthy popsicles Naomi left us and my lipstick/lip balm.

And then just as I moaned to Tom that Life Before Cats had been blissfully simple and I now officially regretted  having two cats, Grace raced her hand and said, "Uh, what about me? You've forgotten to receive me to help you be patient and wise and strong."

And boy, was she right.

By afternoon? Grace revealed to Tom that if we moved the table away from the bay window, Daniel could sit on the sill in the sunshine and watch the birds and squirrels contentedly for hours. So we did and he was. And I gave Daniel a different can of cat food which he devoured and which made him calm down even more, so Note to Self--don't buy him beef flavor anymore.

The afternoon continued that way, peacefully, as it does when I stop trying to use my 52-year-old (sorry) brain and ask God and Grace what I should do, instead. 

Some people thrive on brain power and their ability to spend hours figuring out problems and then proudly discovering an answer. But, uh, not me. In fact, this will sound extreme, ok? But I've grown to hate any of my ideas or so-called good words or kind deeds, even, which do not first come from the heart of God. 

 Why? Because the Bible says our own righteousness is as filthy rags in God's sight. And who wants to go around acting and looking like a filthy ol' rag to God? Who wants to waste their time, their whole decades on this planet that way? Not me, certainly.

No, I'll choose Grace and Obedience and Joy. Anyday, especially on Boy-Do-I-Need-Grace Mondays. :)


"I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing."  ... John 15:5


There's a big difference between me trying to look like a good little Christian lady and just plain obeying God.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Peeking Into Heaven Early

"... nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy..."  1 Timothy 6:17


Oh! On Wednesday we had 61 sunny, glorious degrees and I got outside to rake and pick up fallen branches (we  have more here than even on that ol' farm of a zillion trees!) and I had to keep removing layers of the sweater tops I wore.

Glorious, just glorious. Even saw a tiny purple crocus or two. Wow.

And all those testimonies of visits to Heaven I've been reading came to me out there and you know? I thought, "Really, I should be having lots of visions of Heaven, too."

And oh now, don't start worrying about me. I don't mean those like the ones I'm reading about online where God zooms peoples' spirits up for a heavenly peek or where others have near death experiences.

No, I mean if I'm truly obeying God, doing what He says, going where He says go and being who He's created me to be, well then, I believe I'll be having peeks of how God meant this world to be from His Genesis beginning--a reflection of how He's created the Paradise which awaits those of us who know Jesus.

Which is rather an involved way of saying if I have a godly attitude, I'll love caring for the yard He gave me, rather like the way He gave the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve to care for. That garden was His gift to them and God enjoyed it so much--He enjoyed them so much--that He took walks around the yard with them in the evenings. And wow, how they must have enjoyed Him(!)

And that, folks, is truly one huge peek of Heaven and something all of us can have, even in our own backyards, since He's given us the Holy Spirit to walk around with us here. Yes, even now.

And just as He created Eve for Adam so he'd have companionship, Tom and I can know a heavenly type of companionship here on Earth when we're careful to get along. To love each other as God has loved us and to set aside our annoyances at our pesky differences or any pressures due to a lack of trust in God's care for us at this 'limbo time' of our lives.

In Heaven, people get along. And here on Earth? Well, that's possible, too, for the Bible says in as much as it's up to you, be at peace with all men. So here upon this planet full of all sorts of turmoil and mega-problems, peace can still be found amongst those who'll set aside silly squabbles to keep it.

I believe I've already seen houses similar to ones I'll visit in Heaven and I've seen similar types of kindnesses and acts of service which we'll see there, and also, times of praising God in one accord in big crowds of people. 

Oh, I could go on and on with those kinds of heavenly glimpses. To me, they're like peeks of what God meant for this world to be when He first created it, before sin got in and ruined much (but not everything, for God's more powerful than sin).

And when I reach Heaven for real? I want to be able to stand before God (when I'm not flat on my face because of His awesome power) and tell Him that I experienced every ounce of joy He enabled me to have on Earth. That I found and noticed and thanked Him for each blessing, be it under a leaf or a rock or in front of my face. And that I saw every single glimpse of Heaven which was possible to behold while on the planet He created for us.

I so don't want to miss one single good thing He drops down for me here.


"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."  ... Psalm 16:11


Friday, March 09, 2012

This Semester of God College

Oh wow. This semester of God College is an awesome one. I can't even wait until afternoon sometimes--I begin the classes in the mornings and then they continue for hours.

Though of course, God gives me breaks. Let's me stop for a snack or lunch recess and an episode of Numb3rs, chats with Tom or chasing cats around or washing dishes while the sun pours through the window.

But all the reading He's leading me to do (mostly online) and the re-learning of some things and the 'special assembly speakers'! It all fascinates me to see the myriad ways God uses people to wake up other people and to teach them truth. And Truth, itself.

In my last post I gave you a list of some biographical sketches I'd been reading and well, here are some more:

A.W. Tozer

Andrew Murray

Charles Spurgeon

Charles Price

I'd learned about these men years ago, but what a delight to become reacquainted.

I highly recommend letting God lead you to your own special course of study at God College. Walk into the right classrooms and you won't want to leave.


Sunday, March 04, 2012

Good-bye. Hello.

Ah, how brave our mother's hearts must be!

For 32 years Tom and I were blessed to have our daughter either live with us or near us and I knew--I knew--that such a thing was a special blessing from God, especially given the fact Naomi's our only child.

But today... Today our little-girl-all-grown-up packed her car and her two cats and then Tom and I stood with her in the kitchen and prayed for her and we all got teary-eyed. Then our daughter left us for a whole other state and whole other adventures far away.

And of course, after she left, I cried. Didn't want to because I know we must give Naomi the freedom to live her adult life and I'm trusting God like crazy with her, asking Him not to let me doubt or fear anything for one moment. But still, I cried anyway.

It's that darn Mother's Heart of mine. It knows this is the right thing, that it will lead to more good things for us all, but still, it grieves over the letting go.

Tomorrow will be better, though. Today an old era is ending and endings do hurt, but tomorrow a new era begins for all three of us. New eras, new seasons, always come with new promises and new ways of giving, living and being. And I'm grateful for that.


Another era ended this week... We had to let Tom The Milkman go. Sigh. I wrote a nice note for him explaining we'd had a financial crunch and would need to suspend the service for a few months (my way of leaving him --and probably myself--with hope). I thanked him and his dad for all their combined faithful years of service to my family and our community.


Naomi is so sweet... She told me this morning she wants to start making good money so she can help Tom and me, too. I told her she didn't have to think that way, but I was so blessed by her thoughtfulness.


Saturday, March 03, 2012

Choosing Faith, Not Worry

Oy! It's been one thing after another around here.

My computer messed-up, the printer broke (oh no, my coupons!). and Naomi, our only child, is moving hundreds of miles away, so there's that emotional stuff I'm so hoping to keep a handle on. She's staying an extra day with us (though that's not a bad thing, in itself, her stuff is all over our living room and kitchen with only a little trail in the middle).

 And Daniel threw-up. And he keeps trying to go down to the basement so we cram things in front of the accordion door in what's already a too-tiny space in which to go outside or down to the basement. We still have to keep him and Sammy separate.

And soon we're entering a phase where we'll have no income for awhile (till Financial Phase 2 kicks in) and no medical insurance (it's under control, it's just that there's a waiting period of 60 days). And there were those little matters of the money we'll have to put into our drainage system (fortunately that can wait--we hope) and Naomi's car repair yesterday(which couldn't wait, though it's a blessing it got repaired in time).

So what to do? Worry about the future? Uh, no. The Bible says whatever isn't of faith is sin, so who wants to sin by worrying when we can make a different choice, instead? Not me!

No, I'm choosing to get excited about seeing how God will pull some miracle rabbits from His hat. Ever since Tom was laid off we've seen a few of those rabbits -- they're exciting! God has worked hard and long on us, taught us so much, and it's about time that we face some tests without worrying just how God will help this time. Our time is better spent by recalling all the instances He's flown down some help to us before.

Always, there comes a time to see what we know, where we are, how far we have left to go and how real God has truly become to us. Hence, the tests.

So anyway, I'll try to keep up here at my blog, but don't worry if I miss an occasional day or two, ok? There's much on my plate right now and there will be my part in doing what needs to be done and God's part will be to do what I/we can't. Fortunately, He is so good at doing His part!