Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Man, Let's Go Someplace! (Yes, Right Now.)

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." ... Isaiah 55:12


Hey Everybody!

Let's go to a cottage on a lake!

Or how about to The Tonight Show? (And here.)  (And here.)

Or hey! Would you like to drop by Joanna Gaines' home while she makes zucchini bread?

Or how about visiting me in my new upstairs office?

After that we could go shopping and buy some cake and muffin mixes! (If you purchase 2 mix-and-match packages of 12, you're paying just a tad over $1 for each mix.)

Need to pick up a few more items? Let's ask Adam The Woo to take us with him to his supermarket. He makes it interesting and fun, even these days.

Perhaps we could stop by the library and check out some books and then listen to a Top 5 Favorite Song of mine from all-time?

Oh! Then how about a walk beside the sea? Or perhaps through a forest?

Maybe we could end the day with this concert? Or this one from a prison?

Whew! Well, that sounds like a lovely, full day to me. Join me, shall you? (Yes, I totally stole that.) ツ

And when your cake mixes arrive? This chart, below, may come in handy. シ 

"I have peace right now. I know things are chaotic. I know the stock market keeps crashing. I know these are scary times, but I have peace in the middle of a storm because of my relationship with God." ---Greg Laurie

And never forget this-- 

Inside your mind--always--you are free to travel wherever you wish!

Here's a useful website. You plug in the ingredients you have on hand then they'll give you a list of dishes you can make with them.

Or if you'd like to learn how to make 16 meals in one day you can go here.

"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

Sunday, March 29, 2020

"I Wish I Could Stay Home."

"She works with eager hands. 

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar...

she provides food for her family ... 

out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 

In her hand she ... grasps the spindle with her fingers. 

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 

When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet."   ... From Proverbs 31


For 40 years Tom and I would introduce ourselves to women behind desks in banks/real estate/tax offices. They'd turn to me (eventually) and ask, "And what do you do?", to which I'd smile and respond, "I'm a happy homemaker."

Most often they'd quip, "Oh! I wish I could stay home." Then they'd add one of these--

"I've tons of books I'd love to read."
"I'd so enjoy spending more time with my kids."
"If only I could garden all the time." Etc.

Well, good gracious. If only I had $5 for every sentence I've read these past 2 weeks beginning with-- 

"Now that we're all stuck at home," or 
"My kids are making me crazy," or 
"I can't wait until social distancing is over cuz I've got to get out of this house!"

One celeb even said, "I knew retirement would be like this and that's why I'll never retire." (Don't get me started on how wrong the comparison presently is.)

Anyway, it reminds me of all the times Joyce Meyer stated, "We never know what's really inside us until we're being squeezed. What comes dribbling out is who we truly are."


Now, here's where I could take many tangents, like, how wild that folks spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their homes, yet don't even enjoy being there. Or---

But no. Let me, instead, express that I hope these isolation times stir up a new empathy in peoples' hearts for homemakers, nannies, shut-ins and others who stay home. 

And perhaps? Maybe? Even a new, open-mouthed respect for we who've used our imaginations and created a happy, inspiring, welcoming place inside our 4 walls over the decades we could have just slumped here, made no one feel loved and cared-for and, instead, complained. Whined. And died of boredom.

But yeah, I don't quite have faith enough to believe for that.

But what I do have? Extreme gratitude for the home-loving attitude God's helped me cultivate. And how He's taught me to welcome challenges because they make us grow. They teach us skills like making something from nothing, leaving us with a joy of satisfaction and no need to compare ourselves with others.

So where am I all these home-loving decades later? Let's just say if a day within my home (and yard) fails to delight or challenge me to make today better than yesterday? Well, it's just my own darn fault.

The possibility for wonder, creativity, was there. It always is. Grace always is.

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men..."   ... Colossians 3:23

An imagination. Don't stay home without it.  シ

"And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze..."   ... From Exodus 35

The possibility for creative activity at home? Endless.

Here's a fun, interesting story for lovers of all things vintage:

This Purse Was Lost Behind A Locker From The 1950's


"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, March 28, 2020

Trust: Full Of Headaches Or Hope?

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days."   ... 2 Timothy 3:1

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."   ... James 1:12


This post is from 2006, but it's rather timely. At least, I believe so.

Yesterday while I walked all across Blogland during the big Home Tour, I came across a Christian woman who was all in a dither

Bees buzzed inside her bonnet because of the current Mid-East crisis, and she was troubled and mad that all the rest of us in Blogland were not. She'd visited some of our blogs and scoffed that we spoke of trivial things, instead, and now she felt even more sick than ever because of us.

And ok, there is that. 

There is choosing to view Life that way and seeing the rest of us as clueless morons if we don't join you in becoming sick with worry. And there's believing oneself more spiritual if one always has a headache, a heartache and an I'll-take-you-down sermon.

And if that's your idea of being truly spiritual, well, go for it. Go in God.

But as for me and my house? We will lift our head because our redemption draws nigh, more nigh than ever before. We'll not dash around in panic just because the world is going exactly as the Bible stated it would, but rather, we'll use these times to get out our Bibles and read them for God's perspective.

We'll pray for Jerusalem and those who stand against her. We'll give money, comfort and hope to various places where God leads and we'll trust that He's just as mighty and in-control as He ever was.

And in drawing closer to God as we watch The Times, we will come away refreshed, renewed and excited about the days in which we're living--days when one can see all of History being brought to an adventurous close.

We'll laugh and trust as children walking beside their Father with their hand in His, singing down paths with His joy unspeakable and full of glory--

--and keep on singing, even when we've discovered--oh my! We've stepped across the very threshold of a Light-filled Heaven.

Ok, from here down is from 2020:  シ

Already I'm praying that--when I later recall these isolation times-- I'll be grateful for my daily attitude rather than disgusted by it.

I am passionate about these:

Counting, listing, my blessings-- not things going wrong.
Being a bright light-- not a sad shadow.
Speaking God's words over situations--not words of worry.
Representing Jesus-- not the world's fear.

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You."


"God gave us Spring to show us what hope looks like." 
--- Eric Metaxes


"Problems don't have to rule your thoughts. You have the ability to stop fear and anxiety in their tracks by focusing on God and His ability to change circumstances. Remember, there isn't much you can do sometimes to make a situation right. But God can do anything . He can give you the wisdom you need and the right words at the right time. He can give you peace in a time when the world wants to make you lose your mind."                 

---Jesse Duplantis

"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, March 26, 2020

Probably You're More Prepared For This Than You Thought

"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. "   … Proverbs 16:3


So I forgot to tell you Tom's worked from home since last Wednesday.

That used to be my office, now I've moved upstairs to the guest room which, in essence, has more light so I'm happier. Besides, one must come to the aid of her Country in these times so color me doing my patriotic duty.


But yes, my life, as has yours, has changed. No need for me to detail what's different here: you already know--and can guess--because of what you, also, are dealing with.

Yet what I'm thinking? On some hidden levels God prepared both you and me for these coronavirus social distancing days. Really. Perhaps for months/years--

You taught yourself to plan ahead. To keep on shelves not only extra groceries, but those tiny things you forget about until you need them. You create weekly meal plans, know how to shop like a pro online, have a household system in place, etc.

You developed peaceful, daily rituals which comfort you in their doing, especially now. You made your home a happy place.

You learned skills which help you today. Crockpot cooking, creating something from nothing, growing your own food, easily locating information via the Internet, (etc. to infinity and beyond).

You collected books, dvd's, craft supplies, song playlists, favorite teachers, etc. which are whisking your mind to more peaceful places.

You discovered friends who are making you smile via social media or phone calls, ecards, emails. You've learned to notice when someone may need encouragement and to speak up when you require some.

You chose boldness and met your neighbors who now help you and vice versa.

You developed disciplines which keep your stress level down. You exercise, don't over-watch the News, take your vitamins, drink water, walk, stay calm so you don't snap at your family, etc.

And the hours you spent drawing closer to God? Your experiential adventures with Him?  Priceless now.

Well, you know. Especially if you've learned to listen to the Holy Spirit via your conscience? 

I'm thinking you're finding lately that all this our-world-has-changed stuff isn't world-ending. Or you're nearing that place, calming down. That stress pressure in your stomach is vanishing, or at least, lessening. The grey, vague sort of grief cloud in your head is dimming.

And acceptance is finally here. Now you can think more clearly, even write lists of the delights remaining and all the good that is still to come.

And in our acceptance? This. Always this--

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."   … Romans 15:13

Whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

                         The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

                                        In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 

                                    Do not be anxious about anything...

Stars over snow, 
And in the West a planet
Swinging below a star.
Look for a lovely thing
And you will find it.
It isn't far--
It never will be far.

--- Sara Teasdale


"The more experience you have with God, little by little the more you begin to trust Him. And pretty soon it just becomes natural. You don't worry or need to have the answers for everything because you know God is faithful."   …   Joyce Meyer

Need to go someplace beautiful? I recommend here.

And would you like to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines in their home during isolation? Go here.

"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

Sunday, March 22, 2020

My Toilet Paper Story--Or--You Expected The Holy Spirit To Shout?

"God wants to give you inside information.
The Holy Spirit in you will "show you things to come." Jesus shocked the disciples with a description of coming troubles, but followed up saying, "See that you be not troubled because these things must come to pass."   ---  Lance Wallnau


Way back in The Normal Days (February), I stepped down to our basement, spied our toilet paper supply and thought, "Hmm. We've enough left for 3 months, but for some reason? I think we should order one 12-roll package. That will last us an additional 4 months." (We buy 1,000 sheet rolls.)

After 6+ years of prepping for any trouble, I know the math on this stuff. It's branded upon my brain.

So I climbed the stairs, sat down at the computer and put together an online order with extra a-bit-low-on items.

Before Tom was laid off in 2010, I'd always stock my cupboards and freezer around November for winter, yes. But toward the end of 20 long months of unemployment? I vowed, when paychecks returned, to live an always-prepared lifestyle.

I wrote here (a lot) about that adventure because, Honey? Learning to become a wise prepper requires years.

You need years to (truly, wisely) learn how to--

Stock your cupboards/freezers sensibly, to rotate items for no waste. To safely store certain items which last 'forever'.

Cook whole meals from simple, stored ingredients. That you can eat most canned foods past their date if they're not rusted or dented. How to give foods their longest shelf life.

Not buy, say, cornmeal if your favorite online prepper swears you need pounds of it, but your spouse hates the stuff. You learn how to make substitutions in cooking and everything else.

Store a few items so to aid your neighbors. Stay in good physical shape so you can do what you must.

Every few months, walk through your home, take inventory, write down your shortages, then purchase what you need. 

Also include medications, pet foods, beauty items and other often-forgotten stock-up items.

Budget so, especially at the beginning, you can stock-up while also purchasing your current supplies.

Always live prepared so that you'll never have to battle panicked, wild-eyed supermarket crowds in a disaster. (Did you see the video of long lines snaking through the parking lot of an L.A. supermarket?!)

No way will you see me shopping amongst crowds any time soon. No. Way.
shared what I was learning, all while wondering if anyone cared or would heed my warnings, ones like-- "The time to prepare for emergencies is before they arrive. After is generally too late."

But what I've also learned? To just obey God's instructions--and leave the results to Him. That's the key (I feel) to never burning-out in ministry or becoming upset with folks who will not listen.

I'll rejoice that I obeyed God, not in any supposed success or readership. And I'll keep stepping forward, in love, completing my calling.

Anyway, hardcore preppers learn more, skills like how to build campfires and/or outdoor stoves, cook over open flames, heat a room with candles, do first-aid, plan to live without electricity, provide alternate sources of heat, cut their own hair and--

Jesus told us--

“I will send you the Helper from the Father. The Helper is the Spirit of truth[b] who comes from the Father. When he comes, he will tell about me."   … John 15:26

And sometimes I wonder if we believe that's all the Holy Spirit was sent for. To help us tell others about Jesus and to explain Bible verses.

But no. The Helper came to help us with everything. With Life, actually, upon a divided, crazy planet in a Last Days, who-knows-what's-next era. 

And today I'm saying He still does all things well. He knows the future and He still leads us, by His quiet voice, to be prepared in all ways: emotionally, spiritually, mentally, supply-wise, etc. Even when we've no clue what's creeping near. 

But! This all works only if we'll humble ourselves, keep a quiet heart, listen--then obey, even the silly-sounding stuff.

"But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”   … Proverbs 1:33 

"Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future."   … Proverbs 19:20

Gracious! By 8 pm tonight we in New York will be pretty much confined by law to stay home. Yeah, we can get groceries and essential workers can still go out, but the remainder of us the rest of the time? We're not even supposed to visit with our neighbors. Nor have anyone over. If we're good little citizens we can stand outside in our yard, tho'. Alone. heh.

But oh dear. My sweet little neighborhood coffee shop is closed until further notice.  And yes, that news got me teary-eyed.

Gee, what a super blessing is the Internet, right? How wonderful that we can still fellowship this way, in fact, I'd love to hear how you are handling our new way of life!

And lastly, I shared this at Facebook---

Prepper vindication. How sweet it is. heh. I spied this comment at a video called, Preppers Aren't That Crazy Now, Are They?
"Hi Mike, I never thought I would be at the point where I would ever have said this. But I owe every single prepper an apology. While I never trolled preppers directly in any way, I have laughed at and mocked preppers to no end for years now. And now I find myself, like many others, realizing that preppers have been right all along. You have probably seen it's not just sanitizer and toilet paper anymore. Very little meat, even less produce, and no cows milk to be found anywhere. And I am not prepared. That ends as soon as things normalize. I am going to begin taking steps to prep for things like this in the future. I look forward to seeing more of your channel."

"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

Friday, March 20, 2020

That Time Tom Had Ebola

"Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us, we’re going to drown!”He replied, “You of little faith! Why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm."   --- Matthew 8:24-26


So remember when, at the end of January, Tom was hospitalized for a kidney infection, pneumonia and more? 

Well, at home one night three weeks later during a tv commercial, he calmly said, "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. When I was in the hospital, a nurse told me I had Ebola."

"You had WHAT?!" I replied, sitting up suddenly from the couch.

"Ebola. They did tests and found it."

"Oh. My. Goodness. And you're just now telling me? Didn't it shock you when she said that?"

"Not really. I felt so weak and they kept listing sicknesses I had so I was more like, 'Sure. Why not?'"

Gracious! Well, the next day I researched Ebola and yeah, he'd had quite a few symptoms. But you know? For years God has only allowed my heart to race (and me to worry) at a very low level. Too high, and He firmly reminds me to calm down, lest doubt creep in.

See, He's invested 50 years into me so by now? If I fell apart whenever bad news, trouble arrived? I'd consider that a tragedy. Trust and self-control reflect Jesus and that's my desire--to represent Him and His ability to change a heart.

Anyway, Tom arrived home, I mentioned my research and said, "Well, they say once you've had Ebola you're immune to it for 10 years. So let's just rejoice about that part, ok?" He agreed and we went on with our lives.

But then, get this. 

Two weeks later Tom comes home from a doctor visit and says, "Oh and I didn't have Ebola after all. It was e coli. I got the word wrong, but hey remember, I was quite sick at the time."

Seriously. Men, right? ツ

But oh, to have a history with God! To know Him as Friend over decades, to have seen His might by allowing Him to powerfully change us inside.

To believe He'll calm each inner storm so that we may, with experience, ride with assurance the lessened waves---and not freak out at all. 

"A real relationship with Jesus Christ means a rebirth.... When you accept Jesus as your savior, He transforms you, changes how you look at things, and just as importantly, He changes how you act. That is a testimony to God’s transformative grace. In other words, your life is evidence of God’s grace."     --- C.S. Lewis

Oh, and I'm not a fan of the late night shows, per se, but I do enjoy Jimmy Fallon's Hashtag Segments on YouTube. Here's one to get you started. There are many more available. (Okay, okay. Here's one more. heh.)

"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.  He humbled you..."   … Deuteronomy 8:2,3

"You can trust God and enjoy life while He solves your problems. A refusal to worry is proof that we trust God and it releases Him to go to work on our behalf."   --- Joyce Meyer


"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