Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Now: My Favorite Place


I have lived in the Past, in the Future and in the Now and I've decided that Now is best. Oh, the peace here which comes only after much letting go...

(Thanks, Dolores, for sharing this photo at Facebook!)


Yes, I'm splashing around in early Springtime--even gasping on Saturday when I glanced out the dining room windows and saw that two trees had suddenly turned green! After 5 months of oh-so-brown, a yellow-spring-green is reason for wild celebration in the land of the heart.


Oh, it's all returning! Mary Jane on the front porch...

... and forget-me-nots...


... rosebushes

...and sitting outside, listening to birdsong, feeling content...
(and maybe creating a tiny brick patio beneath this chair and table).

Living in Now Land. Because that's where God lives. Joy lives there, also.

There is no better place for me and you'll not find me taking field trips to lands called:


Why go there? (Why, indeed?)


"Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable."   ... 1 Corinthians 9:25

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."   ... Matthew 6:34

"Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"   ... Mark 4:8


Saturday, April 27, 2013

What I'm Reading, Watching, Doing

So Tom's birthday was yesterday and he had a pleasant day at work, even went out to eat with his co-workers as a send-off to a guy who'll be working in Ghana for a couple months. 

Now, Tom and I are sooo much alike, but he would love to go to Ghana, too. (Yes, the one over in Africa.) He even hinted to the guy to let him know if he needed any help over there.

I so would not love to go to Ghana. :)

Anyway, we're toying with the idea of going to our favorite outdoor diner down the street then to the latest Tom Cruise movie. These things sound like fun! But oh, other weekends we keep opting for the lazy weekend way: ordering-out for lunch, watching something on Netflix-- and now we're feelin' the lazy pull again.

We'll see what happens.


Which reminds me... This week Tom and I have watched the most fascinating reality show on instant Netflix. It's called Flying Wild Alaska.

This show has everything for those who enjoy Alaska, but would never travel there, themselves (raising my hand to that one). I'm heart-blessed when people create a way for me to visit places I'll never actually see in-person. How kind of them, really.

Flying Wild Alaska centers around the Tweto family who own various Alaskan bush plane businesses/airports and the people (hunters, teachers, residents, etc.) who require their services. Jim Tweto took one family home to their cabin in the middle of nowhere and you could tell he was enchanted (reminded me of all the old back-to-the-land/wilderness books I've read). 

And it's about---- No, I'll just let you check it out. It's a delight, at least to Tom and me.


As for what I'm reading, I found another great free book for my kindle. I'm only on the third chapter, so if you read it along with me and it turns into something dreadful, well, I'll apologize now. :)

But I did want to share The Hollow Tree at Dead Mule Swamp while it's still free. 


Have a wonderful weekend!


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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Artist, A New Life, A Magazine

Remember my artist friend, Donna, who painted our farmhouse on canvas for us? Well, this is her in Allentown recently. 

Do you love this photo, or what? A painting in itself... 'Peaceful Painter'. An artist at work upon her portable easel. Old, old houses so close together, blue springtime skies after a long winter and sweet Donna still using her God-given ability, happily, even after losing her dear husband, John, one year ago this month, then spending weeks in the hospital afterward, then having knee surgery this year.

What a trooper! Donna still joyfully walks on, smiling, surrounded by many friends and living in her new, sweetest-apartment-ever on the side of the home she shared with John, but now shares with a good friend. 

I wrote about inspiration yesterday so here you go--an example. My friend, Donna.


Have you heard of this magazine? 

Me neither. :) But I came across this offer today which might interest some of you. You can receive a year's subscription for just $7.99 if you go here for more details. (This special offer disappears at midnight!)


By Saturday I'll have gotten all these items free in three smallish trips to my supermarket all thanks to local coupon bloggers who alert me to coupons and unadvertised specials, also, upon the shelves of my favorite store (which I'd, otherwise, just zoom past with my cart). Let this inspire you to hang in there with coupons, too! :)

7 cups organic coconut yogurt
2 bottles of Pure Leaf Tea
1 Neutrogena Naturals lip balm
8 jars baby food (for my stockpile: I chose banana so to bake it into banana bread)
4 St. Josephs aspirin (can use this in gardening)
4 Weight Watchers cream cheese wheels
1 box of Puffs facial tissue
1 Earthbound farms spring lettuce
1 Degree women's deodorant
1 bakery fritter and 1 croissant
1 4-roll bath tissue
1 Wonderful pistachios
4 Seafood Snackers crabmeat 
4 Duncan Hines frosting stir-ins
1.5 liter Pepsi
4 El Monterey Burritos (Dollar Tree)


Isaiah 41:10  fear not, for I am with you;  be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Matthew 17:20  He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”


There's another $1 off coupon for Roman Meal bread here (!)


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Oh Inspiration, Where Art Thou?

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."   ... Isaiah 43:19


Where is inspiration? You know, those nudges to create. To think differently. To seek healing for our aging bodies. To pull ourselves up off the couch or away from the computer.

Everywhere. Inspiration is everywhere.

But--usually--we must seek it. Inspiration to move and live and create differently seldom flutters down from the sky upon our heads. Rarely does it flow through the people we see every day (though sometimes it may), so it becomes unfair for us to turn all moody when they can't provide it. But mostly? Mostly inspiration must be sought and searched for and wanted.

Seek to view Life differently. Stay open when someone tells you something you never heard before. Don't give dismissing, pat, religious replies before you've researched that new idea for yourself. You just may miss an opportunity to be set free from what cages you.

Growing requires stretching our minds, adding foreign ideas and thoughts which never before crawled through our brain waves. 

And if we're not growing? Well, I think we are dying. Slowly, like in quicksand of dull boringness. Sadly.

And do we really want that?


This passage from the book, From The Ground Up, always(!) inspires me to rush outside and continue creating a fun garden, one which, hopefully, will someday inspire others to create their own outdoor growing place:

"(Those gardens) were wild and untamed, but entirely welcoming at the same time. You could have fun in gardens like those. They were full of surprises: the poppies that went to seed in the lettuce bed, the alyssum that sprang from cracks in the sidewalk, the flowering vine that snaked its way up an oak tree and bloomed there all summer. These gardens were not afraid to be different from the rest. They spilled over their borders, they clashed with the neighbors, they ran amuck.

"This was the kind of garden I wanted: a lively and boisterous place, part miniature farm, part playground, part zoo. A place where I could grow purple tomatoes and plant rainbow stripes of lettuce and let the sparrows pick seeds out of the sunflowers. A place that would abound with bugs and butterflies and the faint, rustling sound of things growing."

Don't you love the picture that paints inside your head? Don't you appreciate the inspiration, the gentle push it sends?


"Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!"   ... Psalm 96:1

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."   ... 2 Corinthians 5:17


Yesterday I sat in the sunshine upon the garage patio and planted lettuce, radish and spinach seeds in little pots. What an amazing, longed-for thing, I thought to myself. Sammy The Cat laid inside his carrier upon the lawn and watched me and we both looked up into the blue springtime sky with many smiles.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Want to Feel Closer to God? Forgive.

"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."   ...Romans 5:25


Joyce Meyer says whenever she asks her audiences if they're mad at someone, always 80% of the crowd raises their hands.

That's thousands and thousands of angry Christians and it's not even counting those folks not in her meetings.

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins"   ... Matthew 6:14,15.

Held-onto-anger ruins things: Our closeness to God. Our relationships. Our health--mental, physical, emotional. 

Unforgiveness spoils everything. It hangs-on like a low-grade fever and we are never really free. And we never walk the path of joy God meant to keep our strength renewed.

So today I would say let go. 

Let go of anger about immigration and guns and stricter gun laws. And the President. And terrorists, WalMart, Facebook and all things unfair and cruel. And bad neighbors or parents or traitor friends or the fact that you couldn't go to college. And money woes, awful co-workers, job losses, family deaths, war, failure, sins, nasty weather and how God disappointed you and the loss of your one great love ...

"... because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."   ... James 1:20

Let them go. That is, if you want to stand closer to God, so close, you can feel His warm breath upon your neck.

Yet what if God has called you to do something about any of those things? Then get out there and do something! Something God-led-awesome, wonderful. With God leading you, marvelous changes will surely happen.

But start from the home base of obedience and compassion. Not anger. Begin right to finish right.

Complaining and sharing angry statuses at Facebook or in emails, reopening other wounded hearts God's trying to stitch closed? And being eaten away by the anger inside your own stomach? Those are not valiantly fighting God's enemies. Carrying great compassion for others and asking God to help us understand--that will recreate our world, love being the most powerful thing.

Today, forgive. Let this be the Springtime you walk in your garden unencumbered with harsh thoughts, knowing instead, the presence of Jesus matching your steps with His.

Knock down the brick Unforgiveness Wall between you and God, run to Him, cling to His arm, then move forward, together ... and you'll soon find yourself and your world very, very changed.


Acts 3:19

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord..."

Oh, those times of refreshing! And how wonderful that they can take place in the center of any bad time, God being the God of the opposite world.

"Be wholly joyful..."


Aww... if you like farms and baby goats, you'll like this little film.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Martha--She's a Moanin' Big Time

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,but few things are needed--or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."   ... Luke 10:41,42


My oh my. In blogs and news stories and at Facebook folks are 'worried and upset about many things' and they're complaining, supposing and accusing like wild and sharing links to stories I wonder if God even wants us to read (you know, the "It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret" thing from Ephesians 5).

And then they're wondering why their head hurts and they're depressed and forgetting What Is Better.

Well. I had to get away from it all. 

So I spent the afternoon in my garden. I played the Springtime Game which is to fill empty flower pots with the wintered-over compost and any potting soil around and then dig-up whatever I can find around the yard for free and pot them. Forget-me-nots. Daylilies. Ivy. Mint. You know. And then hobble around, placing the pots here and there until I must sit in the sunshine and give my lower back a rest. (Poor Lower Back. If Debra wouldn't get sloppy while it snows, she'd not gain winter weight. Bad Debra).

Anyway, so I sat outside on my yellow chair and rode on waves of deep, deep gratitude for Hobbit Cottage and Tom's dream job (which he loves) and Naomi's happiness in TN and for Jesus and the way He minds details so we don't have to.

What is better? Oh my goodness--He is. A million times better, all the time, no matter what dreadful events swirl in the wind. And He will not be taken away from me. Ever.


"And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp."   ... Numbers 11:1,2

"... speak of all His wonders." ... 1 Chronicles 16:9

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in You."   ... Isaiah 26:3


A passionate love for Jesus changes everything.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

Do you love that idea for planting seedlings or what?! (My local coupon blogger posted this photo.)

Last year Tom installed shelves in our garage, greatly annoying me that two of the shelves extended across the window. I mean, a cute garage window should have two little white tied-back curtains and not shelves, right?

Well, after seeing this photo, my annoyance flew away, for I'd been searching for a safe no-cat-zone so to start seedlings indoors, but I'd given-up. Yet those shelves across the garage window! They'll be perfect for seedlings, well, once our nighttime temps decide to stop plummeting. (It actually had the nerve to snow on Saturday! gah.)


But hooray! Today has glowed with sunshine since minute 1 of sunrise.

Sunday afternoons! Don't they always feel ten hours long to you? They have to me ever since age 17, and trust me, I didn't always appreciate that. But now? Now since I love my life and weekday hours positively zoom past, any slowing down of time is welcome.

And something odd? For whole decades on late Sunday afternoons, I've often rushed around doing a few of Monday's chores. Why? Because it feels like cheating. Like getting away with something. Like working without any effort, really, gifting me with free time on Monday to do whatever I want. 

Anyone else ever feel this way? 


Today while rearranging books in my kindle cloud reader, I began reading one and could not step away from this computer! Oh my, Linda Hall's Steal Away grabbed my attention and would not let me go. I'm so thankful I snatched this ebook while it was free at DailyFreeBooks. Highly recommended, especially for you, Anne G.!  :)


"The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places..."   ... Psalm 16:5

A passionate love for Jesus changes everything.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Freebies For You

Busy, busy.... with good things.

Seems like only three days ago I ordered a free copy of The Gardener's Idea Book and it's already arrived! You, too, can order your own copy here. Such amazing colorful photos of gardens inside as well as gardening info. You'll love it!


Oh, and are you acquainted with Recyclebank? You learn about recycling and 'going green' there and then earn points for coupons and prizes of all sorts. 

In fact, today I sent for a free subscription to All You Magazine! I had to earn 400 points, but it was well worth letting my housework slide for hours to do so. heh. All You is known for its abundance of terrific coupons and of course, its helpful articles. (But of course, I'm most excited about the coupons!)


I learned about that All You offer from my favorite local coupon blogger, Christina, (who I'm signed-up with at Facebook, too). She and other coupon ladies have alerted me to tons of deals I'd hated to have missed! 

Once again, I must recommend finding the local coupon bloggers from your own area. They're invaluable. Christina even sent us her extra coupons by mail and we're all helping each other in lots of ways there at Facebook. This even reminds me of the contesting ladies who helped one another in Prize Winner of Defiance, OH. Happy sigh.


Aww... I adore reunion stories like this one. Have kleenex handy!


Oh and just a reminder--

----when it comes to watching today's news--follow Grace! If she's there watching with you and you still feel fine, hopeful and prayerful--great! But if you're slunk down in your recliner all bummed-out, depressed and full of oreos, ice cream and donuts, well, you may want to get up and go see where Grace is waiting for you!  ツ


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happier Stuff

Oh my, yesterday was so very grey, but today! Blue, blue skies, tons of sunshine and 50 soft, spring-like degrees. Love it.

I felt awed and amazed by the film showing official responders and regular folks running toward the danger in Boston so to help, rather than running away to safety(which is what chicken me would have done). Their courage inspired me to become a better, braver person and they've reminded me that tons of wonderful, helpful people still live in our Country.

Please, please don't grow bitter because of the terrible things you see on the news or within your own family or circle of friends, even--that will only result in a lack of love for mankind, generally. And without love? God says we are useless. Noisy. Not accomplishing anything lasting.


My neighbor gave me a lilac bush in a pot this week. Guess I'd better get outside and start digging a place for it! I gave her one of the too-many dozen eggs I have in my refrigerator thanks to coupons.  :)


I'm reading the fourth of the Cats In Trouble Mysteries by Leann Sweeney. These cozy mysteries have the perfect amount of drama and lightness and mentions of coffee and desserts. I sit at our dining room table in the sunshine and feel grateful while reading these, especially since they help keep me balanced. 

Too much pro-longed intensity in any area, even spiritual ones, is likely to result in brain explosion. heh. Or hey--at the very least-- burn-out... and then talk about useless!

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."   ... Deuteronomy 31:6

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."   ... 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

"The law of kindness is upon her tongue." ... from Proverbs 31


Can't get enough of small houses? You'll enjoy Brenda's post.


A passionate love for Jesus changes everything.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

After Boston

"You are my hiding place; you will deliver me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."   ... Psalm 32:7


One of the best-remembered days Tom and I ever had? One in 2000 in Boston: a guided bus tour throughout the entire city (but oh, those skinny streets!): wandering with a tour group through the old ship, USS Constitution in the Boston Harbor: lunch at an outdoor table on the Boston Common. All recalled with dreamy smiles.

And now we are still reeling from yesterday's tragedy.

And yes, there's the Mr. Rogers' look-at-the-helpers thing. It comforts me a tad.

But oh, most of us need so much more.

People who lost family--that is forever. They cannot get them back and it will require time to heal--for those who can heal.
People who no longer have legs, arms. They and their loved ones will be forced to live different, complicated ways. Some relationships may not survive that.
People in our Country who permanently lost their sense of safety. Who will now fear standing in any type of crowd--or who will never again risk it--and stay home. 
People who emotionally will park on April 15th, 2013 and never step away.

I must look at those people, too. And how our world is broken, how satan is rearing his demonic head and how the Bible promised these (and more) tragedies in the Last Days. I look at it all--that's how I am.

And I must pray and carry comfort, encouragement where I can. Yet one thing comes first: I must retreat to my hiding place with God, the one right up next to His beating heart, for I can't spread healing if I, within myself, am mortally wounded.

Already, we've got too many wounded healers. Parents with gaping, bleeding hearts trying to help raise strong, whole, confident-in-God children. Church leaders whose only sense of pain relief comes when they're audibly praised or promoted. Teachers who leave their classrooms with extreme heart-emptiness. Medical personnel still hurting over patients they lost 15 years ago.

Only Jesus can heal the deepest wounds--only in that hiding place and only when we believe He holds that kind of power... and then allow it to wash over us.


"... mourn with those who mourn."   ... Romans 12:15

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear: then your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard."  Isaiah 58:8

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." ... Psalm 91:4


A passionate love for Jesus changes everything.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The House Colors of My Heart

So last week when I looked at the blue of that lamp (and frame) and the red of our door, well, I nearly gasped. "How pretty they are together!," I thought.

Then I laughed, for--if I lived alone--my whole house decor would scream Carnival Board Walk.

No, really.

Contrasting bright, cheerful colors! Love, love, love them. Brown-stained furniture? Eh. Not so much.

Oh well. Like I told you before, my home in Heaven will look like Kim's Daisy Cottage. I know that already. Happy sigh.

And I can wait a while longer to live within all those bright, bright colors. After all, they'll be mine for, like, eternity.


Meanwhile back at the ranch (heh).... we're due for 70 sunny degrees today. Is there really such a thing as 70 degrees?! Oh, the excitement around Hobbit Cottage this morning! Even Daniel and Sammy feel it.


On Saturday afternoon Tom and I watched We Bought a Zoo while eating Subway turkey sandwiches on flat bread (yum). And even though I long ago overdosed on what Naomi frowningly calls 'family feel good movies', I loved this film on many different levels, including the one that it's based on a real story/zoo.

Oh, and Friday night we instant-Netflixed a spiffy documentary travel-type film called Where The Yellowstone Goes. One of those pieces which makes you feel as though you actually traveled somewhere (when in reality, you were a slug on your couch). 

But you'll enjoy this only if you appreciate slow, meandering-down-the-river types of stories. Which Tom and I do, especially on weekends where relaxation is our theme.


A passionate love for Jesus changes everything.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Insane, But Happy

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light..."   ... 1 Peter 2:9

Clearly, I'm insane.

For 14 years I didn't use our (brand new) dishwasher. Over the next 5 years I ran (other dishwashers in other homes) just once a month. Then last August I used our dishwasher almost solely, running it pretty much every other day until three weeks ago.


That's when our dishwasher began dribbling water at its front left corner and--when I tired of stuffing paper towels there--I just gave up and began washing dishes again by hand...

... and found that I preferred it. I remembered that hey! I actually enjoy washing dishes the old-fashioned way, especially on days when sunshine pours through the window above the sink and sparkles upon the soap suds. For 21 years I had no kitchen sink window and now I count myself one blessed woman, indeed.

Oh well. At least I'm happy in my insanity.


Need more proof that I 'don't have all four chairs under the table'? Look at this photo:

Those are my library shelves upstairs here in Debra's World. Yesterday I squirreled away my books, here, there, everywhere and replaced them with part of my basement stockpile. 

This had to happen sometime. Debra's Mini-Mart.  😃


"And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams."   ... 1 Samuel 15:22

"But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy."   ... Isaiah 65:18


The top photo? The reflection of sunset outside my window two weeks ago.


A passionate love for Jesus changes everything.