Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It's Crazy Out There, Right? But Grace Is Crazier.

"But where sin increased, Grace increased all the more..."   ... Romans 5:20


Perusing here lately, you'd probably not guess that I'm still reading The Economic Collapse Blog. You know, the one written by Michael Snyder, that wild-sounding guy with his dire predictions for our Country.

But I am. Still reading there. First thing every morning, even.

And, oh my. This week he's shared not one, but two posts about how he sees civil war coming to America. A fire-in-the-streets-so-maybe-you'd-better-stay-inside-awhile war. And really, a person with barely an imagination can probably envision this happening, what with folks behaving badly as they have lately. 

So now, is Debra panicking, all oh-nooooo!? All, the-sky-is-falling!-ish? Uh, no. Not even.

Actually, my head and heart are floating around in mega peace. Not because I don't believe a civil war could happen, but rather, because I do--and I'm calmly accepting the challenge.

I'm inventorying our food (and other) supplies. Making lists.
I'm ordering, online, items we're running short on, aiming to have at least one month's supply so to avoid trips to stores should streets become dangerous.
I'm discussing with Tom a couple emergency plans. Brushing up on prepper info., etc.

Basically, I'm peacefully doing what I believe God's asking me to, both the extra and the usual callings. Staying close to Him, balanced, focused. At least, aiming to.

Call me silly, but I believe Wisdom says,"Hey you. These days? Live prepared." In fact, since 'prepping' for around 3 years, I've seen fires, flooding, snow emergencies, evacuations or also being commanded to stay inside--and these just in my Buffalo area

Long, long is the list of dire happenings in the rest of America.

But today, here's my main point: the chaos is escalating, but so is Grace, even more, just as the Bible promised. 

God's not panicking or depressed.

He and Grace are more opposite this world than ever--and so should we be. And may all be well with our souls so we'll have something much different, much calmer, to share with those who are struggling. 

"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain..."   ...Hebrews 6:19

Anyone else thought often of these verses lately?

"There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
         haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,

        a heart that devises wicked schemes,

        feet that are quick to rush into evil,

        a false witness who pours out lies

        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community."

Proverbs 6:16-19


My fellow fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder--did you read this? Good grief. It reminded me of this from George Orwell's, 1984--

 “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

But alas, more signs of the times.


Speaking of books--here's one for those of you who collect unique ones:

It's written by a 3rd generation NY bookstore owner. It's a compilation of many paper items (photos, letters, receipts, etc.) used as bookmarks, some dating from the 1800's. Really cool stuff in there, in fact, I follow the author at Facebook and he shares with us bookmarks that he's still finding these days. Vintage fun!


Thursday, June 21, 2018

This And That (For the Desperately Bored. Heh.)

Just some fun today.

1.) This past month I've been addicted to studied The Middle. Yep, the tv series. 

My conclusions?

a.) The Middle is very Erma Bombeck-esque in its finding-humor-in-the-daily-grind dialogue . Watch it closely. You'll see Erma everywhere.
b.) I'd like to adopt Sue Heck. Her positivity mega-convicts me.
c.) To me, Neil Flynn will always be Mike Heck. He can never be another character, anywhere (though, certainly, I wish him well in future endeavors).
d.) The Middle reminds me to stay hopeful. To be patient, slow to speak--and so much more.

2.) Eegads! My coffee shop will be closed all next week, for the owners are going on vacation. Wonderful for them, a bummer for me.

Or is it? Perhaps this will prove a perfect time to (finally) visit the other nearby cafe, one combined with a dress shop. It's farther away, say, nearly 4 blocks, but after these kinda-daily walks of mine, maybe I can make it.

And yes, I realize I'm blessed to live within walking distance of two coffee shops. God often reminds me of many assorted blessings--and the importance of noticing them. And saying thank-you.

Oh, how important to remain on the Gratitude Track. It can turn even 2018 into an incredibly blessed time to be alive. 

3.) Remember how I've become a devoted online shopper? Well, recently while running errands with Tom, I stepped into a Family Dollar store, reached for a jar of spaghetti sauce and nearly said aloud, "Just think! I can take this home today. Today!"

Yep. Maybe I need to get out more.

4.) Naomi and Justin took us out to our favorite Mexican food place on Father's Day. As always, a treat to spend time with two of our favorite fun people.

5.) Oh, you've got to see this. Made me laugh over at Facebook:

6.) Speaking of shopping online, I always check Ebay before ordering DVD sets at Amazon. My oh my, often I save $5-$7 dollars per set of dvd's. That's nothing to proverbially sneeze at, certainly.

7.) The hardest thing (I've found) about ordering items online? Sometimes knowing what to call them. Gee, I've had trouble with this. Face it, search engines don't always respond well to phrases like: those-one-hook-thingys-that-you-can-also-use-to-hang-curtain-rods.

(Turns out they're called robe hooks.)

In fact, after seeing (just once, all bleary-eyed at 1:00 a.m.,) a commercial for a hair-dye-wand-that-looks-like-a-mascara-brush-for-the-grey-hair-at-your-temples-and-below, it took me a year to locate and order one online:

Want to plan ahead better? Need more patience? Just order nearly everything you need, online. It'll stretch you, make waiting just second nature. No big deal.

(By the way-- I use my No Grey brush every week. Makes me feel decades younger and isn't that what it's all about?)  😉

And now, let's end with this, something I often consider, something which, surprisingly, makes my Life simpler---

Happy sigh.


"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..."  ... James 1:19


This morning after walking home from the coffee shop (and the scents! The privet hedge is blossoming now) --

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

What's Going On Up There?

"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."   ... Proverbs 14:29


I forgot to tell you something. 

Always, I carry a small tablet and pen inside my book bag when I walk to the coffee shop (as I did this morning). I read a vintage book and, after the coffee kicks in, take the tablet and write my To Do List.

And there, with music softly playing, even 'vacuum upstairs and down' and 'clean bathroom sink' sound like pleasant, cool things to do while calmly gazing out the early-1900's display window.

Yeah, coffee can do that for you, I agree. 😊

But within a calm, unpressured atmosphere, boy, do I think clearly, almost like in my 20's. (Hey, I said almost.). When I keep my mind's atmosphere peaceful, God helps this aging-pretty-darn-fast lady remember what she should do--and what she can release. 

On my Short Road To 60 (as I'm calling it)? I'm considering how to finish my journey on Earth, well. To not be shell-shocked upon my arrival in Heaven by the peaceful, rejoicing, grateful atmosphere, but rather, to taste of it beforehand. Yes, even here, on this crazy, what-are-we-picketing-today? planet.


And you know? That's why I won't be participating in the increasing discontented, seething anger out there. Go watering anger seeds and wow, do they grow fast and ugly (headline news, anyone?).

And yikes! Looks like low-key fretting (moping, grieving, worrying, stewing) grows, also ... into evil(!) --

"Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil."   ... Psalm 37:8

So today I'm reminding myself to fret not. Keep your mind calm, Debra. Celebratory, even. Grateful for a good God who, in the calm, can guide our decisions--and our future--even in an economy folks say will go bad soon. In peace, may we remember God has a good plan for His kids who fret not, but hold Him heart-close.

And keep Him there, no matter what; our link, our preview of a glorious, awaiting Heaven.

"Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands."   ... Elizabeth Elliot

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.
    Author: Helen Keller

(We'll constantly think this way in Heaven--why not start early, like, right now?)


Around my house ...

At the base of our stairs, a favorite corner. And more of my books, mostly ones I'm currently reading.

My kitchen during its sunniest part of the day. At 4 o'clock I often sit on the couch and appreciate what I see here though, yes, sometimes I do still wish for white cabinets, I confess. Deal with it. heh.

                          A peek of late-morning sunlight. Love it.


Anyone else enjoying the latest season of Bear Grylls' Running Wild? This show makes Tom and white-knuckle nervous, but we still super enjoy it. On NBC.


I'm so grateful I can anticipate good days because I serve a good God. I need not keep looking backward to find His goodness there, rather, it's here, now, for He is here in this place called Now.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Visited His Kingdom Lately?

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."  ... Romans 14:17


So last night this Bible verse kept me awake awhile--

"... for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."   ... Luke 17:21

And the funny thing? I kept picturing this whole land inside me looking rather like this-- 

It's a regal, peaceful place, in there (I mused) where I can go to rest, anytime.

That is, if I forgive others in my 'outside land' rather than sulk. 
If I'm happy for others instead of resenting.
If I choose trust rather than worry.
If I'm more bold than cowardly and -- 

Gripping my 'right' to be upset/worried/shy then becomes like sending a dark, chaotic cyclone of enemies to that land inside-

For, like, if I refuse to forgive, then God can't forgive me and where's the peace in that?

There are reasons God asks that we die to self. 

Go turning your respite place all stormy and suddenly you start searching on the outside for something, anything, close. But it's never the same lasting peace or rest or joy out there. 

On purpose, God made it that way. So lets both, you and me, keep it beautiful within our own kingdoms, ok? These days, my oh my, do we ever need a place where we can receive from God all it takes to keep going. In joy.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."   ... Matthew 6:33


So since Tom's and my favorite tv shows are on hiatus, we needed something new to watch and oh! We found something delightful (at least so far) --

It's called Reverie, on NBC. Some very creative stuff there and rather relevant in Today's take-me-away-from-all-this world.


And here's something I shared at Facebook:

Last week on my walk, an adorable small boy asked, "Why do you carry that big hammer?" I smiled, stopped and told him it's a cane, actually, and I carry it in case, during the last part of my walk, I get too tired and need it to walk home with."

We both chuckled.

But actually, that's the 2nd reason I take that cane. The first? In case I run across grouchy dogs or wild-eyed men. But I didn't want to scare the little guy.


Thursday, June 07, 2018

Maybe Your Wimpy Best Was Actually Amazing

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. "   ...Romans 8:26



Where've I been, you ask? Oh, just here at home, just me and these annoying, wipe-me-out springtime allergies

Good grief. Ol' Debra's been achoo-ing on the couch like she hadn't this whole millennium. Weren't these days over for me long ago? Guess not.

I did manage to will myself to the coffee shop this morning and the gal said others had been allergy-moaning, also. And ok, yes, I felt a tad better. Hey, who wants to suffer alone?

Oh well. This, too, shall pass. Yesterday wasn't as 'poor, poor Debra-ish' here in my sealed-like-an-Ebay-box house. Whew.

Anyway, during not-fun times like these I just do what I can. Just. Do. What. I. Can.

Like, during tv commercials (oh, the episodes of The Middle I've watched and felt happier while doing so) I roll off the couch and load the dishwasher. Or vacuum. Or pull salmon from the freezer to defrost or clean the bathroom sink or zip outside and do 5 minutes' worth of weeding.

The best idea at times like these? Follow Grace. She knows exactly what needs to be done and what can be ignored. What'll create the biggest impact with the least amount of my poor, wilting-Debra energy. How to, shall we say, 'get the most bang for my buck'.

Grace, I've found, is super efficient. Wise. She never wastes time (or waning energy) and she sees ahead, something I certainly cannot do.

Grace helps me do my best when my best is oh-so-wimpy.

And you know? Doing my wimpy best may be even more meaningful to God than when, on normal days, I'm a cleaning tornado 'round here, able to, in a single bound, cross off every item on my To Do list.

Perhaps following Grace oh-so-close and totally relying upon God for strength (and trusting all will be well someday) is the way to go even on normal days. You know, when I've got everything under control.

Imagine that. Hmm.

"I can do all (necessary) things through Christ who strengthens me (even during allergy season)."   Philippians 4:13 (tweaked)


I shared this at Facebook after Mother's Day. Oh, how important to keep our sense of humor when things don't go our way! (Even ol' Debra needs to grow in this area. Er hem.) --

After visiting us on Sunday, Naomi and Justin drove the 2 hours to Toronto to see a concert, only to discover it was cancelled by the venue. Rather than be blown away and angry, this photo shows that they kept their sense of humor and chose to have a good time with friends anyway. How inspiring, especially since ol' Pollyanna Debra can't say for certain she'd have reacted with humor.