Tuesday, June 29, 2021

When God Asks You To Let Go

"In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."   --- Proverbs 3:6


Remember how I've amassed the best library in all of New York state, that is, for me? Well, days ago God asked me to aim for releasing half of my books. Half!

So am I bummed-out? Resentful? No. Oddly this is my favorite project since stocking my shelves with food all prepper-like.

See, on these mornings when I'm nearly risking my life (in my mind, anyway) to just water my gardens out in all that humidity, the day's remainder I'm lolling upon the red couch, reading. With dusty fingers I'm skimming books-- 

the ones I'm not certain I'll keep forever
books I'd forgotten I owned
ones I'd not reread in decades
books I'm only oh-hum about.

Any books I don't love nor require for my temporary wall of books (don't ask)? I'll drag to the Salvation Army drop-off bin down the street. That is, when the weather cools.

The kindness of God and Grace! The wonder that they can give me the 'want to' regarding letting go of things.

On these humidity-off-the-charts days when, even with air-conditioning, I'm just a shell of my former self, they've presented me with a delightful-though-significant project. About the only type of job I can handle on a hot summer's day.

Reading and sorting! On a steamy June afternoon even I can handle reading and sorting.

Actually, this all came after my epiphany while mowing the lawn last week, the one where--while the rusted lawn mower spat-out tree droppings at my face and I sneezed (and sneezed) and sweated-- I whispered, "I can't do this anymore! After 40 years of lawn-mowing, I quit."

And yes, you who still mow your lawn at age 70+, I'm probably being a baby. But one thing I've learned to recognize? Grace. While she's still here or when she's left the building (or yard, in my case).

Following my pride/bright ideas or keeping-up with the big kids instead of Grace, will lead only to struggle.

Grace sees ahead. She shows me what can stay and what must go so to make my final years, easier. Simpler. Grace and God wish to save me from the unnecessary exertion of caring for items no longer meaningful.

Items Grace removed her blessing from a very long time ago will never serve me well in the future, and hey, I'm believing for better.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."   --- Isaiah 43:18,19

"As we age, we will face different types of opposition... Does opposition weaken your resolve and discourage or even depress you--or does it make you all the more determined to keep pressing forward?"
--- Joyce Meyer from her book, How To Age Without Getting Old

If, at an advanced age, I'm stuck with cleaning things I no longer enjoy or need, it will be because I did not act with wisdom while I still could.


What I'm also doing lately? Watching 50-year-old reruns of Let's Make a Deal at Youtube.

Fun, but bittersweet as well, for oh my! All those young folks are 50 years older now. Or gone. Alas. 

But still, I watch. And wonder what kinds of lives they lived.  ツ


Had to smile!


"Have nothing in your house which you do not find useful or beautiful."   ---William Morris


Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ol' Debra's Personal Reasons For a Mental Rest

                                    The strong know when to rest.


That rest I spoke of in my last post? Mine has been a mental one mostly. Oh, a bit of a spiritual rest as well, but mostly mental and you know? Being physically tired is easy to recognize, but a mental tiredness is more subtle.

Being mentally worn-out can be like walking around in a fog. We're still walking, still moving forward, but not in the I love life! way we used to. No, it's more like a I-just-need-to-survive-today thing and far too easy to grow used to.

God created us for much better and sometimes we just need to be shakened awake from that misty fog from which we've grown accustomed.

Why have I, these past weeks, needed my mental rest? I'll give you a short list, one which perhaps you can identify with, if only a little. (Each of these could have a 100-word explanation--please keep that in mind.)

Tom came home to work and pretty much my 40 years of do-what-I-want-when-I-want homemaking, ended. Forever. If a day comes when he's required to return to the office full-time, Tom will most likely retire, though he loves his job (the post polio thing, etc. is involved).

The months-long caring for an ailing cat nearly around the clock (with fading grace) wore me out (in all ways) far more than I told you.

Watching cities being burned down and violated by clueless thugs was shocking. Seeing evil take over our government was even more so.

We had to grow used to our daughter living on the streets in her van and trying not to worry about her staying warm in the winter (and now cool in the summer).

Our local cafe, my only real getaway place, closed for months.

The having to wear a mask when I felt it was stupid, well, the going against my conscience was upsetting. 

The exposure of before-unknown chasms between friends and I was emotionally rough.

We had plumbing problems (drainage) pretty much the entire year. Finally they were taken care of, ($1,300 later), when invasive roots were discovered.

I've still not reseeded the trench the electricians left when they ran electricity to our garage and added outside outlets to the house.

Immediately the robins built nests in the new garage light. Daily with a rake I had to reach up to take them down. (The robins incorporated the shiny swirly stuff meant to scare them.) For over a month they also built nests over our dining room window. At least 120 times I've used the rake to remove those. I. Hate. Robins.  ツ

I've listened to hundreds of hours of preachers, teachers and pundits in order to learn and to stay relevant in our changing world. (And watching them being 'cancelled' is horrible.) I've aimed extra to listen to God, to share the words He asks me to. 

Many were the nights I awakened at 3:00 a.m. to make stock-up and grocery lists. To find ways to store our supplies and oh, all the groceries I put away after their deliveries in the mornings. 

Actually, my days felt like they were on fast-forward. And even though, all along, I've known God's incredible peace, still, these shocks took a toll, what with their intensity and my being human, after all. (The Christians who cannot admit their humanity? They concern me.)

While reading Joyce Meyer's, How To Age Without Getting Older book, I'm seeing my mental rest is exactly right. For me. For right now.

As I said in my last post:

The quota on unhealed wounded healers is, I believe, full.

God knows my heart's wish is to help others. That's all that's left, basically, for me to do. He also knows that my resting time with extra doses of Him will enable me to do that better, His way, for years to come.

"Sometimes when I share with people that my doctor prescribed 18 months of rest for me, they respond as I did. They don't know how to rest. They, too, want to know what to do while they rest. The point isn't that we need to sit and do absolutely nothing in order to be resting, but that we need to do something that is relaxing and enjoyable. It can be anything that isn't work related. Different things bring refreshment to different people and each of us needs to find our own pathway to get the result we need."   
--Joyce Meyer, from her book, How To Age Without Getting Old

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!"   ---Psalm 37:7

Evil lasts for a season. God, His love and joy last forever.



Thanks for sharing this at Facebook, Tracy!


Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Saturday, June 19, 2021

When You Have The Faith To Pause Awhile

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]"   --- Matthew 11:28


So while Tom and I recently watched Chicago Med (which has turned so soap opera-ish, but hey--) a character said:

"This has been a difficult year. The madness, the heartache. I have to admit I'm a little bit shell-shocked."

Wow. Probably describes tons of us world dwellers. Oh, what we're all watching/experiencing/living through since early 2020.

That shell-shocked term stuck with me. Here's the non-soldier-related definition:

"...mentally confused, upset, or exhausted as a result of a highly stressful or disturbing and often unexpected event or experience."

Can you relate? Sometimes I've even sighed to Tom, "Man, I need a vacation," to which he'll reply, "Yeah, let's go!" But then my mind jumps to that list, you know, the "Tasks You Must Do Before Leaving On Vacation" list.

Uh oh. That list exhausts me. So what to do, what to do? 

I can rest within my mind, that's what. Rest at home. Rest in God. Read cozy books. Sit within the silence of the front porch. Listen to music. Stretch. Watch vintage tv. Visit the cafe. Putter in the garden. Take walks. Cut way back on social media. 

Relearn lessons of contentment, gratitude. And think. Like, how the world still spins without my help.

Actually? If I confessed the number of afternoons God's nudged me to rest, to recuperate in 2021, you'd not believe me. He knows how 2020 stretched my brain (like a rubberband?) with not fear, but rather, intensity, excitement and (inner) adventure and He knows what it'll take to return it to a right normal. To heal.

The quota on unhealed wounded healers is, I believe, full.

Which reminds me: even during rest God can still use us. At the cafe last week, with my nose in a book (as they say), a woman approached me, got my attention. "Hello! I've not seen you in ages."

I looked up at her and replied, "Oh my, yes! I think it's been more than a year. Wow."

She quickly added, "It's actually good seeing you there at the table again. Reading your book. Like back when things were normal."

Gee, that made me feel good. I'd left the house an hour earlier than usual, perhaps because God wanted to remind this woman of the sweetness of normalcy. Of the tiny ways it can return after a time of loss. You know, like back when we took simplicity for granted.

So today if God tells you to rest--without guilt!--well, rest, ok? In whatever form that takes. Perhaps not just you, but others of us will benefit from that rest, that healing time you took. 

Today or some future one our wholeness may greatly matter. You just never know.

Walking home from the cafe in the early mornings, I spy my Prayer Garden and feel such peace.

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." ... "And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”   --- Genesis 2:2, Exodus 33:14

Our healing today can help bring about another person's tomorrow.


And perhaps this which I spied at Facebook will bring a sense of comfort to your mind:

Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be.
God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident.
Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God.
Train them up in the authority of His Word.
Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control.
Empower them to know they can change the world.
Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it.
Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan.
He knew Daniel could handle the lions den. 
He knew David could handle Goliath.
He knew Esther could handle Haman.
He knew Peter could handle persecution.
He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it!
Don’t be scared for your children, but be honored that God chose YOU to parent the generation that is facing the biggest challenges of our lifetime.
Rise up to the challenge.
Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers and Peters!
God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world.
He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth.
Don’t let your fear steal the greatness God placed in them. I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.


"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!"   ---Psalm 37:7

Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Friday, June 11, 2021

Where She Reset Her Mind's Default--Or--I Can Still Do This!

"Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save."   --- Isaiah 46:4


Yikes! It took me nearly 16 whole weeks to finally begin reading this book--

Months ago, my head kept repeating, "You need that new Joyce Meyer book." Yet did I order it? No, not until 3 months passed. Then the book took nearly 2 weeks to arrive. Then it sat upon my shelf another week.

Finally I sat at our dining room table, began reading it and good gracious. I recalled this  so-important truth:

Satan fights us hardest on discovering the things we need the most.

Oh, what I'm learning and relearning and being ultra convicted about! But to keep this short, I'll just concentrate on one facet.

Remember that post where I shared how Tom's using a roll-around walker now, we might not be able to travel again and neither of us are the strong young kids we used to be?

Well, Joyce's book showed me that those types of sad thoughts had become my mind's default. After digging holes and moving backyard plants around? Automatically I'd think, "Man, I don't know how many more years I can do this."

When the humidity rolled in? "Ack! I feel wearier than ever before." Then I'd camp on the couch, discouraged (and feel lazy).

Watching young people on tv I'd think, "Long decades ago I used to be able to walk/think/shop like that. Those days are pffffft. Gone City." 

Other "I used to's" nagged me, as well.

Then, thankfully, this paragraph in Joyce's book shook much sense into my sorry head--

"There are always things we cannot do, especially as we age, but there are also things we can do, and we should focus on those things. We can let the loss of things we were once able to do depress us, or we can decide to be happy with what we can still do."

Those and similar words switched my head's default from the What I Can't Do Anymore button to the What I Still Can Do one.

After some practice and persistence, automatically now my mind leaps to What I Still Can Do. What a much more pleasant place for my mind to rest and you know? That Can Still Do list is far longer than the other one. Far. Longer.

In fact, I noticed--in one day--I'm still able to clean (part of) the house, pull weeds, make lunch and iron Tom's shirts.

Hmm. Maybe someday I'll actually enjoy playing that What I Can't Do Anymore card, after all. For certain things it just may become handy.  ツ

"Focusing on what you do have instead of what you don't is a wonderful habit to develop. The aging process is a normal part of life and developing the right mental attitude toward it early in life will be beneficial later. Your latter years can and should be beautiful."   ---Joyce Meyer, from the book, How To Age Without Getting Old

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."   ---Philippians 4:13  (That is, all things He wants me, specifically, to do, as opposed to any old thing I may wish I could.)

I super recommend the above mentioned book for anyone who's kinda shocked at this growing older stuff. Lots of wonderful information all in one spot and she speaks much about the dangers of too much stress, as well.  Oh, and she urges us to ask for help when needed, etc.
(And as a side note, I've listened to Joyce for 26 years, yet have never seen her quite this open and vulnerable before.)


Oh! For those who enjoy Leave It To Beaver (or simply 1950's and 60's home decor) here's something totally enjoyable.

Say what you will, but my heavenly home will--in a few ways--resemble this one.  シ  

The light coming through the windows nearly changed the whole interior look of this home in the video. Light changes everything.


Gee, I enjoy the Somers In Alaska Youtube videos! What a delightful Christian family. I never tire of these and a new video is always an event in my heart.

I've mentioned these before, but thought I should again. During these turbulent days in our Country these are especially calming.


A good reminder:

Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

The Importance Of Having Your Own Life

Yearly I share this post. That's how important I believe it to be. Well, I did forget to share it last year, but hey. It was 2020. Enough said.  シ

Oh, and I left a few 'Debra advertisements' at the end which I'd included in 2019.


Ages ago, I chatted with a widow at church, probably 65-years-old, and sweet. We spoke of mornings and I told her, "Usually I'm out of bed before 6:00 a.m.." When I asked if she, too, was an early riser, she nearly gasped, "Oh my, no. That would make my days feel eternal. I try to stay in bed as long as I can."

Oh wow. 

I could only suck in my breath then change the subject for I felt surprised and sad for her. Her words haunted me while I drove home that afternoon and they haunt me still.

Since then I have watched women lose their husbands either by death or divorce and here's what I've seen: The women who'd created another life separate from their husbands, those are the women who survive. Thrive, even. After the initial shock, they do well, smile real smiles and discover other worlds and the people who people them.

But then there are the others. You know, those who clung to their husbands for all their support, encouragement and companionship. Oh, they had outside acquaintances and activities, yes, but no close friendships or passionate interests. Mostly, their spouse was their whole world.

No need to draw you pictures of what happened to those women after their losses. 

You can imagine how they fell down hard, splattered, crumbled, and then needed whole truckloads of Christians to help peel them off the floor of despair.

So today? Today I would tell those of you who are married: Get A Life. You know, a life apart from your spouse, separate from him/her. A nice life, certainly--I mean, hey, I'm not hinting at a secret, tip-toeing-down-alleys-behind-his-back kind of life. Uh, of course not.

But I mean please search-out something you are passionate about. If you're still not sure of God's unique calling made especially for you, now is a marvelous time to discover it.  How can we use and refine those gifts/skills to help people if we don't know what they are? 

Even something simple like learning to love your daily rituals is big. Teach yourself to find the joy and peace in drinking your morning coffee, washing your dishes or folding your laundry. Develop good habits like taking walks (staying in shape--it's vital for your new life), deadheading your flowers, reading inspiring books and learning new hobbies and skills each year. 

Find and keep and tend to good, solid friendships.

Oh, and learn to pay bills and where to go for help with your investments, insurance, home repairs and all that annoying stuff. Do it now while you still have someone to show you how.

And above all, discover who you are in God and who He is in you. With all your heart, seek to love Him best. Better than anyone else, for He's the only one who, if everyone else fades away, will still be with you. 

Discover and learn and do and be you today--the you apart from your spouse. Learn what you like (and what you don't) and what you do best. And step away from any fear of the new or the future. 

But don't wait for your spouse to join you. No, this has nothing to do with him/her. This is for you, this is for now and this is for later, also.

Not sure what you can do for others?  Go here.

My friend, Susan, shared this link to Volunteer Match with me. Looks like a perfect match to this post!

"You are significant. Even alone."        ... Jan Kiemel Ream


The first time I posted this, Kristi (a widow, herself) left this very insightful comment which I appreciated much:

"One little postscript: When you still have the gift of life on earth, you can always use it to think about and help other people. I think the poor woman in your first paragraph would not have found her days so long if she had involved herself in helping others. I hope she has discovered this by now."


"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."  ... 1 Corinthians 16:13


A favorite surprise for me this past Christmas Day? 

Tom and I sat talking about my much-loved tv series, Early Edition, and I told him, "But seriously, I've given up believing the final two seasons will ever come to DVD. I'm just resigned to owning the first two seasons. Forever."

Then Tom said, "Have you checked lately? I'll bet the last seasons are out by now." To which I pretty much said no-way-I've-checked-every-year-for-like-15-and-they're-never-there."

Tom then said, "You never know." 

I said, "I know."

But then I got my sorry self off the couch, stepped here to the computer then clicked my way to Amazon where, oh. wonderful. day! I spied this--

Wow. All four seasons! Something I'd dreamed of for at least 18 years. And by Christmas Day's end, I had Amazon gift cards with which to buy this new set.

Happiest of happy sighs.

So again--never, ever give up! Well, unless you're hoping for something that God's pretty much told you isn't right for you.

If that's so, you can then begin believing for what He does want you to have (or do)--and never give up on that.


The very best book I read in 2018? This one--

Fixing-up-a-house-dreamy and vintage wonderful. Read about it here.

Unfortunately it's not at Open Library. Darn. Maybe it's available elsewhere to read online? Or your town library may have it?

But you can purchase it via Bookfinder, etc..  Costs more than books I usually recommend, but trust me, this one--if it's a genre you love--is worth it.

I reread this in 2020 and truly, it's a book I'll never let slip away.


And is this an adorable idea or what?

                     (Thanks to my buddy, Dolores, for sharing this at Facebook.)


Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Just Do It. Without The Stress, Though.

"Now may the God of peace ... equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ..." ---Hebrews 13:20, 21


Often Joyce Meyer says, "You cannot make anyone love God."

That's so true, but yeah, sometimes I forget and give it the 'ol' college try' anyway. ツ

What I've also realized? I cannot make anyone--

... stock their shelves with food before emergencies, shortages or hyper inflation.
... view Facebook, MeWe, Gab, etc. as the huge mission fields they are.
... research how to create a powerful immune system.
... grow some of their own food.
... sow money into small businesses, charities, food banks, etc.
... use their God-given gifts/callings to change this world.

But what I can do? I can simply, quietly, do those things, myself. I can write about my adventures as God directs here in my blog, keeping everything as uncomplicated as possible.

Whew. What a relief. There's barely any stress in doing what God's equipped me to do. Only when I reach past His arm, do I experience angst.

Basically, He expects me to just do it. He'll hold me accountable for only doing what He designed me to--nothing extra. Rather than inquiring, "How many folks heeded your words?" He'll probably ask, "How many times did you simply obey me?"

It's that wearing of a false sense of responsibility that ruins everything. That clutching burdens myself, rather than handing them to God. Those feelings of failure if others keep suffering because of lessons they refuse to learn.

Oh, some folks do change! Grow in joy, wisdom and freedom. But others choose not to. 

And that's the risk we take, a risk God has accepted since He created man in the Garden.

And yet after thousands of turbulent years and zillions of stubborn people? Still God loves, with all His heart, and requires us to love each other in like manner.  Anyway.

  My snow-in-summer plant. It's almost as though it relies wholly upon God, for I do nothing to it, yet it blooms beautifully. (There's a lesson in there, I think.)

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]."   ---Matthew 11:28

"So then each of us will give an account of himself to God."   ---Romans 14:12


And as I shared at Facebook:

Wow. Tom and I have watched other movies re: alzheimer's, but never like The Father, starring Anthony Hopkins. Throughout the film we were never certain about what was real or imagined and I felt just as confused as Anthony--which, yes--must've been the writer's intention. At the end, I gathered up Daniel The Cat and cried into his fur, feeling shaken, coming away with a greater compassion for both victims and caretakers of those with this disease.
So memorable and highly recommended. PG-13 with just a small smattering of language.


Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15