Friday, November 26, 2021

Something We Kinda Forget

"He answered, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”   ---Luke 10:27


So yesterday was Thanksgiving (I hope yours was pleasant like ours!), but something else occured on Thursday.

What was that, you ask? Tom's and my 43rd wedding anniversary. 

Oh my! Forty-three years have passed since our wedding and yet that white-lace-and-promises,-a-kiss-for-luck-and-we're-on-our-way day still remains vivid in our minds. No really, vivid.

How grateful am I to be growing older with this 'husband of my youth.' To have whole reams of treasurable memories from which to choose and cherish anytime.


Speaking of love ... I'd read probably 5 books about Heaven, but this past week I bought one via Kindle and wow! If I could only keep one 'Heaven book', this would be Imagine Heaven by John Burke. 

It answered many questions, but more? This book reminds us of things easily forgotten in Today's so-distracting world. Here are a couple reminders:

"Love matters most to God because he is love at the core of his being ... God is also just, but his justice is his loving response to evil when it hurts the people he loves. ..

God must be our first love because only then can he teach us how to love others as he loves us... all other things we put first in our lives make bad gods that will let us down. We were made for God's love first. His love rightly orders all other loves.

'I clearly saw that every action, every decision and every human interaction impacts the bigger world in far more significant ways that we could ever be capable of appreciating.'

'I felt the presence of the Lord beside me and he asked in my spirit, ' ... 'What have you done with the life I gave you?'"

That last line? Haunting. To me, anyway.

Just a taste of this remarkable book which I couldn't put down and dreaded finishing. So when I did, I returned to the start and reread the (many) portions I'd yellow-highlighted.  

Seriously, this isn't only a book describing Heaven, but one instructing us how to live our best prepatory life upon this temporary Earth. It feels (to me) kinda like a cheat sheet, in fact (I say that reverently).

Over and again, Imagine Heaven reminds us how God prefers that we live this life He breathed into us here. Most highly recommended, indeed.

"Let all that you do be done in love."   --- 1 Corinthians 16:14

It's not just about 'being nice'. Doing what we can to help push back Today's darkness is also a form of God's love for His people.

"And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."   ---Colossians 3:14

So God gave me a time of rest after our nephew and his wife left, for their visit wore me out more than I'd thought. And oh, I needed to rest my poor little plantar-fasciitis-ed foot.
But uh-oh.
Ol' Debra enjoyed her vacation a bit too much and stretched it past God's boundaries (I'm thinking) so He sent along this Youtube video which straightened me right up! ツ


Speaking of Youtube, only this week did I discover that--sometimes-- you can speed-up people's speaking and so watch these videos quicker(!) Just click on 'settings' then 'playback speed.' (I find this fun. Your results may vary. heh.)

These were spiffy:


Oh! And this Thanksgiving I found myself feeling especially grateful for each of you, my Readers. Thank-you for reading here, commenting and encouraging me!

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, November 20, 2021

The Ruined Lawn And Other Stories

"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


So. Our front lawn? Pretty much it's a ghastly mess. Ugh.

Maybe I should've taken pictures of men standing in a 5-foot-deep trench changing-out broken pipes, but no. Barely could I handle peeking from behind the curtains, myself. 

Some pipes needed replacing when we moved here 10 years ago, and well, thousands of dollars later, they now are. Replaced, that is. (Thankfully we had money in savings.) And now we're left with a long, wide mound of dirt, tire marks and dried leaves everywhere (the lawn guys stopped mowing at October's end).

The plumber guys said they'll return in Spring to level things out better. Sigh.

Now, the younger, insecure Debra? She'd be frazzled. All what-are-the-neighbors-thinking-about-us?-ish. But this older, 62-year-old model, she's more like, "Oh well. Stuff happens and I'm too old/tired to fix it this time. I can't do what I can't do."

Maybe it's a tad like the way we keep the captions on our tv. Always. Captions used to interfere with my tv-viewing experience, yet now? They enhance it. 

I've accepted that.

Or perhaps acceptance of the lawn situation is akin to the way I've given-up ever finding my dream house this side of Heaven. Or that I can only eat two meals a day, no longer have boundless stamina nor is there much left for me to decorate. Or the way some dreams are far past ever working out.

But you know what makes all these type things feel trivial and unimportant? This:


Go loving God with all your heart and you discover Life doesn't require appearing 'perfect' to others anymore. You're fine, better than. In-love-happy! Contented, accepted, and at peace, assured that--somehow--everything is gonna be all right. In time, with God's strength and wisdom, things will work out His way.

You realize what God thinks and knows about you is what matters most.

Whew. And this cloudy autumnal morning you can color me grateful for all that. Indeed.

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place."   ---Revelation 2:4,5


Oh my, I've watched hundreds of Youtube videos, but yesterday these, below, shook my soul. Made me teary. You'll wonder at my sanity, but ..... I felt like I was viewing myself in the backyard of my house in Heaven.


The long hair. The dresses. The pretty face of a woman contentedly fixing-up an enchanting summer cottage.

I had to still my heart as I watched. And watched. And watched.

Be sure to use the captions on these. Unless you speak Russian, of course.  ツ


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, November 17, 2021

Popcorn For Dinner--Or--November This And That

1.) Months ago Tom and I stopped eating dinner. You know, an evening meal. 

It's like we can't(!) We sleep horribly if we do. So now our main meal is at noon, then around 4:00 pm I might, for myself, make popcorn the old-fashioned way. Or perhaps a corndog. Or I'll have a little dish of vanilla yogurt. Or a slice of peanut butter toast.

Tom? Nearly always he has Greek vanilla yogurt with a bit of frozen fruit, granola and nuts sprinkled over it. 

We both sleep much better. Much. Better. (My main point here? Keep seeking until you find what works for you. Never give-up early!)

2.) This is an odd movie recommendation, but here you go--

Last night we watched a 2021 movie, one based on a true story of an English artist: The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain. Benedict Cumberbatch (as always) was incredible and we liked this rather-old-fashioned-type film. 

But I cannot recommend it if:

You are close to anyone with mental illness.
You're feeling depressed.
You're experiencing problems with relatives.
You hate cats.  シ

Just a tiny smattering of language, but the mental disorder stuff is the real 'problem'. Yet Tom and I, overall, enjoyed this film, especially the moments with Louis and Emily.

3.) I found this fascinating reading:  Inside The Oldest Farmhouse In Manhattan. My, my, my. I'm shocked it's still there.

If you'd rather, you can watch a video about it here.

4.)  I shared this at Facebook:

"When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents, and those moments weren't in vain. You are not the same. You have grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday."
― Morgan Harper Nichols

5.) Autumn. A lovely time for dreaming outdoors.

6.) Having trouble finding canned pumpkin? Remember, you can always make your own pumpkin filling from the pumpkins you've used as decor. It's easy. Here's a recipe.

These are the kind of days, I believe, when we need to retrain our thinking this way. Don't have something? Need it? Can't buy it? Make it.

7.) Here's something I find helpful: At Facebook I joined a page called Word Of The Day. Each morning on our homepage we receive a new word with its definition. So easy and as I stated, helpful. Love it!

8.) Now, here's a great verse for these crazy days of ours:

9.) If you like neutral farmhouse decor, this video will certainly scratch that itch, perhaps forever. heh. ツ 10 Antique Farmhouse Home Decor Tours.

10.) Oh, and regarding our Country? Hang in there! Good things are happening now and are coming ahead.

(I hope you've found a few folks 'in the know' who encourage you. Dr. Steve Turley is one guy who can find a positive spin for anything and Tom and I have felt grateful for him this past year.)

God bless the encouragers!

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, November 12, 2021

The Games She Loves And Those She Hates

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."   ---Proverbs 17:22


Sometimes friends tell me they still enjoy board or card games. I gaze at them fondly and wonder, "Are you insane?"

See, 37 years ago Candy Land, (an eternal game where no one ever wins or loses) ruined all board games for me. Naomi and I played Candy Land until I'd slump over into a comatose heap, my last thought being, "Will you ever remember to hide this torturous game far up in a closet?"

Also around then, Tom and I spent oodles of bleary-eyed nights playing the card game, Spades, with four in-laws. ("Just one more game!" they'd shout.) Later years we played Pit then UNO, two games I'm thinking were designed by proponets of addiction.

And hey, most addictions at first are fun. But as I always quip, too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing.

Well later, (besides playing Chess and Monopoly with a pre-teen Naomi), for the sake of mental stability, I fanagled ways to avoid playing cards or board games with friends. 

Sometimes one must do what she must to survive. heh.

These last decades? I choose to create my own games, ones which consistently add spice, fun and progress to Life. 

And I'll tell you... only occasionally do I tire of these 'games'. For instance, I do housework chores in between chapters of books or during tv commericials or I'll work while listening to a song (or two). It's the meeting (or beating) of time restraints which keep it interesting.

Or my prepping games: my alphabetical food list online, the asterisks beside items of which I need more (for quick reference). The challenge to find (for instance) cat food or ice melt elsewhere when Walmart's website is sold out (and our Country's food supply chain is getting iffy).

The attacking my most physical chores during morning hours while I have strength and so I can relax during afternoons.

The finding ways to arrange things so my house can practically clean itself (talk about another never-ending game. Er hem.). 

The searching for recipes for my own cleaners, room deodorizers and fabric refreshers (etc.) so I can spend more money on actual food.

Discovering ways to improve my memory or lose weight while barely changing my lifestyle (ha!)-- these are two of my most recent games.

The key to a pleasant, everyday life? 

For me, it's about keeping a grateful attitude and knowing Jesus is beside me 24/7. Giving myself rewards, not punishments. It's setting goals, but not kicking myself if I don't meet them perfectly. And it's staying as organized as possible, picking up after myself and learning from mistakes.

Oh, and it's never, ever playing board or card games.  ツ

"Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him..."   --- Eccleasiastes 5:18

After we've taught ourselves to appreciate our challenges for the growth they'll bring, Life becomes far less annoying.


Speaking of creating a house that cleans itself... 

Tom bought these sink strainers for our kitchen sink and bathtub and wow! They're terrific and totally keep unwanted stuff out of our drains. Whew. Should've bought these eons ago.


And for those of you who enjoy lots of color in your home, here you go!


Oh, and I shared this at Facebook:

Some will disagree, but this put into words what had only been floating, unconnected, inside my head. Awesome analogy shared by Dr. Steve Turley.
"There is a time to expose evil and there's a season for everything... a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace." from Ephesians 5:11 and Ecclesiastes 3:8


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, November 09, 2021

Facing Forward Or Backward?

"In the spring, at the time when kings march off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem."   ---2 Samuel 11:1


These days? Almost never do I buy books.

Basically, after collecting over 30 years I have plenty of dearly-cherished books and feel truly grateful. A bit spoiled, even.

Yet last month, oh my. A book I'd craved for years dropped to an awesome price so I snatched it up. This one:

Wow, it arrived in the mail and I ripped away the packaging, began reading, and days later stepped away bleary-eyed from the nearly 400 pages of behind-the-scenes information.

What a rush.  シ

But yeah, I discovered some facts I'd rather not know. Whenever you do true, deep research you--eventually--discover your heroes' (and their contemporaries') flaws. That's guaranteed because hey! Every single one of us is flawed. 'For all have sinned,' and all that.

Yet true 'grown-ups' accept that all heroes are imperfect. They learn from others' mistakes, make corrected turns, and move on richer, humbler and warned. They do not erase History or rewrite it with a prettier ending.

What I re-learned from this huge, thick book? Basically, people have not changed in the past 150 years. 

Some are kind, some are cruel.
Some are lazy, some are excellent.
Some are honest, some are cheaters.
Some are wimps, some are warriors. 

Anyway, years ago I stopped speaking of 'the good old days,' especially after reading this verse:

"Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions."   ---Ecclesiastes 7:10

Frankly, the more I've delved into History, the more I've realized that sin has always abounded. But also grace. Times of plenty come, yet so do times of want. Life has always been rather pendulum-ish. 

We're showing our ignorance when we recall any era as an all-good kind of Happy Days 1950's shangri-la. 

Why share this? Because lately I'm remembering when Tom and I, in our 20's, ministered on Saturday nights to folks in the elder-care wing of a hospital. I still recall what these gray-haired folks had in common: their minds were stuck in their own good old days from 50, 60 and 70 years before.

And yes, that's natural, but scary, also. Never have I forgotten being in that room surrounded by people whose minds were locked within the past.

This is a longer post, but I'll end it here by saying this: these last 19 months I've watched various Facebook friends post about the good old days and oh dear, it's whisked me back to that elder-care room of 1980, the one that used to shake me.

Folks, these are the good old days! 

God made certain each of us appeared upon Earth the exact year we did. He's spent decades preparing our hearts for battle in 2021, for such times as these He's prepared us with 'a full armor so we could stand when the day of evil comes'. He's 'readied our feet with the gospel of peace' and strengthened our arms to carry the sword of the spirit, to certainly face forward in the fight!

But to look behind us? To spin backward at long-gone wispy-remembered times of incomplete, cold-comfort memories while the battle rages around us?

Oh dear. May we awaken before it's too late, before we find ourselves prematurely aged in soul, holding onto nothing real or strong, but only things partially recalled--and gone.

"Where there is no peril in the fight, there is no glory in the triumph."Pierre Corneille

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."   ---Ephesians 6:10 - 17

Justus Ondieki
DAILY WORD /Daily Inspirations

Because I have the Holy Spirit in me…

My difficulties can’t stop me.
Other people can’t break me.
This world can’t silence me.
My insecurities can’t discourage me.
The devil can’t defeat me.


Speaking of facing battles and not quitting, this was kinda awesome:    Stubborn Homeowners Who Refused to Move  シ


I'm feeling stronger after what I've experienced, not because of what I avoided.


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, November 04, 2021

Offense Not Welcome Here

"And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another."   ---Matthew 24:10


So these past two weeks I felt a bit, well, bored. 

One excuse? Go living over 60 years and you discover that you've shopped, read, gardened, written, cooked, watched tv, decorated (etc.) for decades and isn't it time for something new, especially when you've not had a (real) vacation in six years?

Eventually I roused myself from this sluggishness and recalled something I've encouraged you to do: pray the "restore unto me the joy of _____" prayer. You know, the one taken from this verse--

"Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and renew a right spirit within me."   --- Psalm 51:12

-- except that you fill in 'thy salvation' with the specific area in which you've lost your joy. This time I added, "daily homemaking."

That 'restore unto me' prayer, for me, always works. It just does, ok? And this time, I felt nudged to reread this lovely book about creating a home and a life of one's own--

Wow. Instant improvement! Suddenly I wanted to feed the birds. Declutter. Wash and fold dishtowels. Even iron(gasp!)

And yet? Still there was this strange weight around my heart, not huge, just bothersome enough to block the full river of joy. Hmm. What could it be?

Then this morning at Facebook I spied this:

Uh-oh. Last month I'd become offended about something(s) someone told me. Now, I'd already asked God to help me forgive the person. Said (a few times) I didn't want to feel offended. Was tired of it.

And yet I'm not certain I asked forgiveness for becoming offended. For allowing a seed to be planted, especially over such a trivial thing. I mean, good gracious, that weight persisted. I could not 100% shake it off.

And my deception? Perhaps believing, "It was no big deal. Not my fault. Nothing's really wrong. This will go away in time."

Except that it didn't. 

Not until I asked God to forgive me, my part, my latching onto offense in the first place. And after I did ask for forgiveness? Fully flowing river of joy. Now all is well again. Whew.

"Catch for us the foxes. It's the little foxes that spoil the vine."   --- Song of Solomon 2:15

Excuses are not repentance. We cannot expect to have daily peace if we do not daily forgive.



May we stay awake and on fire with godly passion no matter what!

In Today's wild world? Oh my, the opportunities to become offended are endless! So may we guard our hearts from offense like never before.


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