Thursday, May 19, 2022

Fixing Things




"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."   ---Colossians 3:23

*****

So the kitchen sink was (still is) draining so slowly that I shouldn't run the dishwasher and that large bald patch of lawn (over the repaired pipes) out front did not like the seed I planted, my rhododendron bush died and there's more, but it's complicated. 

Gee, I complained a lot last week. "I'm too old for this," I said too many times.

Life felt grey inside my head, like I'd opened a door to 'everything 'round here in 2022 is breaking' and couldn't shut it. I hate that feeling. Then eventually the Holy Spirit asked, "Had enough?" to which I replied, "Yes! I can barely stand to be in the same room with myself."  ツ

So He pulled me off the red couch (where I'd melted like a slug) then--

asked me to write a long gratitude list
and had me dust off my Weekly To Do List (long forgotten thing).

My oh my, things improved immediately. How life-altering is proactivity! I began fixing things (or trying) and rewarding myself with extra reading time and snacks (hey. One must do what she must do). And again I can say it's a wonderful life.

No surprise all the forces which come against us regarding
proactivity. Apathy will ruin what was meant to be a marvelous, creative life.

Life feels sweet and to be treasured again even if some things 'round here still are messed up.

Note to self: apathy is not from God, but these are-- 


passion
determination
creativity
zeal
enthusiasm

--and an overcoming spirit. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (or find help for the areas where we're weak). With Jesus living inside us gone are the excuses for living all defeated like those who've not yet met Him. 



(When we've truly come to know/experience how incredibly much God loves us, this becomes far easier.)


“He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.” (Yikes!!!) ---Proverbs 18:9


"I would challenge everyone to ask for abundant grace every morning and see if it does not change the way you walk through Life. It will bring victory!"
---Kat Kerr



******


Along these lines, here's an inspiring video, below. 

(You can do a fast-forward viewing like I did, but be sure to check out the final two minutes. Wow! The kind of tough, no nonsense talk we don't hear enough of these days.)  --  

The student got the worst placement in the dorm, but she turned it into a dream room!



******


                         (Had to laugh at the perfect timing of this one!)








It's important to know what can be fixed and what cannot--and then work through the necessary acceptances and adjustments inside our mind.



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, May 11, 2022

How's Your Personal Race Going?



"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it."   --- 1 Corinthians 9:24


*****

If you believe horse races are barbaric, Honey, move on to the next blog. シ This race did my heart much good, so here's my post.

Wow. The 2022 Kentucky Derby, right?

You've not yet seen it? Before reading this post, you may want to watch the last stretch, just a few seconds, here, first. 

Rich Strike, the horse. Wow.

Rich Strike ran most of the race without being taken seriously. Who even watches last-minute-replacement-horses in the back except for their owners/trainers?

But even though ignored, in the center of relative slowpokes kicking mud up on him, Rich Strike ran steady. His rider moved him to the right places at the perfect times, then urged Rich Strike to use his reserved energy at the end.

Speaking of which, did you notice (in the non-aerial view) how Rich Strike turned his face toward the two expected-to-win horses? Exactly as if--with his eyes--he told them, "That's all you've got? Really? Watch this!"

Then Rich Strike stretched out his neck, his body, his pace, and took the lead, shocking the announcer, then the world with his win.

The tired fighters of 2022's world were thrilled, uplifted, encouraged.
Folks who are soured by conspiracy theories, voiced those (can we really blame them?).

But Rich Strike? He was used to longer races and bit at those trying to slow his pace after the race. His great heart longed to keep running, even without an audience, even though, according to others, he was done.

I like what Jennifer Keyte wrote:


"Rich Strike, you just gave hope to every single person feeling hemmed-in against the rail in any part of life! Take the opening and Go For It!"


Today? Today if you've had all sorts of mud slung upon you and you feel you're running unnoticed, well, Jesus notices all details. Every tear floats inside a bottle and each effort to run steady in all faithfulness to Him will be rewarded. Some prizes come now; most are awarded in Heaven.

But you've got to stay in it to win it.







"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..."   --- Hebrews 12:1


Since 2020 while I've watched lots of Christians drop out of this latest race I've wondered, "What did they think future hard times would look like? They spent decades reading about them, but why were they blown away when they arrived?"


There are no prizes for those who quit early.


******



Oh, and if you didn't already know, this was the second biggest upset in the Kentucky Derby's 148 year history! 

People declare it can never happen again, but I'm holding out that it will. I love when impossibilities happen!

Here's the race in its entirety.



******








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, May 03, 2022

Where She Says, "Don't Care! I'm Moving Forward."



"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it."   ---1 Corinthians 9:24


******

Since 2020, the first 'covid year'? Probably 80 times I've said aloud (yes, to myself, all Scarlett O'Hara-like sometimes, er hem), "Don't care! I'm moving forward."

Each instance came after something. Like, after longtime friends unfriended me at Facebook (one lecturing me on how horrible I'd become).

"Don't care! I'm moving forward."

Or following times I made stupid mistakes, got lazy, procrastinated.

"Don't care! I'm moving forward."

Or after friends bailed out of social media, went dark, passionless, when they could've kept encouraging others.

"Don't care! I'm moving forward."

Or when favorite teachers/preachers/prophets at Youtube did "180's", changed their minds, or disappeared (or even died).

"Don't care! I'm moving forward."

When the Government made all the wrong decisions.

"Don't care! I'm moving forward."

When shortages came and prices rose, but people still intimated that prepping is unnecessary, useless.

"Don't care! I'm moving forward."

When a couple folks (pretty much) said my blog is an exercise in futility.

"Don't care! I'm moving forward."


Etc., Etc., Etc.


Remember how I've thought much about Heaven lately? Well, this verse tags along with those imaginings:


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."   --- 2 Timothy 4:7


When we step into Heaven, of course we'll be thrilled to see Jesus! We'll practically explode with gratitude! We'll love all the reunions with folks who left before we did!

But here's something else: We'll suddenly realize our life on (this) Earth is done. Over. Gone are all opportunities to finish what God created us to do here, to help others in His preordained ways, to experience certain adventures.

And that will matter, also. Did we leave anything undone? Did we ignore the special requests God asked of us? Did we become distracted, even veering off Best Road for Just Good Enough Avenue?

Today I would encourage us all to remain determined to finish our race. Even if we must run past equally obstinate ones laying there, waiting for an easier, clearer day ahead, may we keep running-- 

--with the very passion, Life, of Jesus.




"Noah didn’t stop building the ark to explain himself to every doubter and hater. Keep building and let the rain do the talking."
"It's not over until you quit."
--Real Talk Kim


And as I shared at Facebook:

I returned to Twitter last week and it's great to reunite with passionate folks who post things like this, below, and so much more.


(I'm also thankful for Gab where more passionate people have kept me inspired, encouraged, these past months.)


******



"Sinking ships can't pull others."   --- Patara from Appalachia's Homestead




From what I've seen? The most passionate Christians are those filled with overflowing hope.


"Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord."   --- Romans 12:11


******




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, April 30, 2022

Debra In Her Later Years Is Thinking --

  


"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." ---Romans 12:11



******


Remember how the Apostle Paul said: 


I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I've preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."?


Well, I'm not quite there yet.  ツ


But I'll tell ya. Being 63, many days I fight this battle:





I mean, I've cooked meals for 43 years! Four decades I've 
cleaned house, done yard work, gardening, laundry. Bought groceries, run errands, redecorated and shoved heavy furniture around. 


I've paid my dues, done my time. Don't I deserve a break?


Yes! And, well, no. 


In 2019 we had those 100 feet of privet hedges yanked and hauled away which still thrills me! Same with how we hired a lawn care company in 2021. (They returned this week and I almost raced outside to cheer. Almost.) Oh, and I discovered an easier way to do laundry in our basement and always I'm trying new ways to make meal times simpler.


Using a pine pellet cat litter, I change Daniel's litter boxes less. I no longer rearrange furniture. I work on my flower beds s-l-o-w-l-y, Naomi wheels the trash bins to the curb for me, Tom's much better at placing his dishes in the dishwasher (and feeding Daniel over weekends) and no longer do either of us eat dinner, only a healthy-ish snack.


And as I've mentioned here 50 times, I've decluttered over 1000 items and weekly I order groceries online.


Changes! I've made changes in my 60's and they've simplifed my life. Made it more streamlined, doable.


But still, I must remind myself of this: the goal is NOT to-- 


do away with all work

become lazy

hide from people, Life

no longer take risks

care only about me, me, me

dream constantly of vacations

yearn for retirement

twiddle my thumbs till Heaven.


Nope, I've preached much in this blog (let's face it) and like Paul, I'd hate to, in my 60's, 'be disqualified for the prize'. (Yikes.)


So balance! I'm seeking new balance. Fresh wisdom. Working smarter, not harder, using excellence(not mediocrity) and discovering, welcoming, new plans God has for me these later years--


--plans I can do, otherwise He'd not even ask me.


Newness of Life in one's 60's? Yes, with God all things are possible, even that. Even now in 2022, even in a world gone wild.




               (This is not me, but rather, a nice lady I found online in her garden.)



 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."   ---Psalm 73:26


"It's important to finish our journey well."   ---copied






******


Have you ever made a list of your Top 10 Favorite Songs of All Time? I created mine over last weekend. With the exception of two songs, I've listened to these for decades, at least 50 times each, and still they send my head and heart to happy places.  ツ



(Please don't judge me. Heh.) ---


Ventura Highway  (America)

Annie's Song  (John Denver)

Once Upon a Time (Andy Williams)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Israel Kamakawiwo'ole)


Fields of Gold (Eva Cassidy)

No More Night  (Glen Campbell)

When I Need You (Leo Sayer)

Our House (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)

Moonlight Serenade  (Glenn Miller)





 (Painting by Anna Smorygina)






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, April 27, 2022

The Only Post I Share Every Single Year




"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation."   --- Psalm 68:5


******

I share this yearly, but also, I tweak and update it. Read this before? You may want to again, rather like a checklist so to view your progress.  ツ


******


Ages ago, I chatted with a widow at church, probably 67+-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 and other relationships, like those with your grandchildren, church friends or neighbors.

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.

But my most vital advice? Learn to love Jesus, best. Better than anyone else, for He's the only one who, if everyone else fades away, will still be with you. Don't know how to do that? I once read, "it takes God to love God," so, well, ask Him for that love to flood your heart. Believe Him--and He'll do it.

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 newness 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 companion post to this one! 


"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."






******

Okay, now from 2022:


I found this video interesting and helpful:






******

Coming soon to a planet near you:


 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."   ---Mark 12:30



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, April 22, 2022

April This And That



"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."   --- Psalm 34:8


******

1.) Some folks believe if you eat from opened cans of food in your refrigerator, you'll die(!) I am not one of those people. For 43 years I've cooked from those food cans in the fridge and lived to tell the tale.

But lately I'd wanted to buy lids for those cans and hooray! The Simplified Saver shared some perfect ones from Amazon. They're more rubber than plastic and each fits 3 sizes of cans. Nice colors, also--I appreciate mine!

Check them out here.






2.) And oh! Something else I found on my journey to make my over-60-and-I-deserve-a-break life easier was these new-fangled chip clips. Very sturdy, should last for years. 




3.)Years ago I told you I was suspicious of Tom's doctor. That he mostly just prescribed pills rather than lifestyle changes or natural help. 

A few of my readers commented doctors know more than I do.

Well, Tom's former doctor is currently in prison. Why? For prescribing too many pills. Also--at the time of the court cases--6 families wanted to sue him for wrongful death of their loved ones, but when they saw him enter prison, they backed off, or rather, the news stopped sharing their stories.

The moral of this? If your gut tends to be reliable--trust it. Go with it, no matter who says you're all loopy for doing so.


4.) Have you ever tried crystalized ginger? It's an acquired taste (Naomi gave us some and at first I took the tiniest of bites, but weeks later, I was chomping them, whole), but it's wonderful for stomach discomfort. So are slippery elm pills, acidolphulus and carbonated water/ginger ale.

Of course, if your stomach issues are consistent, try eliminating certain foods/stress and see a doctor if the issues persist.  ツ

5.) Just when I believed I'd seen it all on Youtube, I discovered videos of independent lawn care companies who, one day a week, find local homes whose yards are overgrown (and tagged by city officials) so to help the owners for free! A couple workers even mentioned praying to find these homes.

Wow. Totally restores some good feelings about today's world. Here's one of my favorites of those Youtubers.

6.) From Patara at Appalachia's Homestead at Facebook:


Heh.


7.) With rising prices of everything, capsule wardrobes make more sense than ever. I love how the one I created 3 years ago still works for me and now only occasionally do I need to add a piece to replace an older one.

Last week I used some gift card money to buy this--




--and as I told my friend, Dolores, "Haven't worn it yet, but I do know it won't look as good on me as it does the model! Ha!" ツ


8.) How's your prepping coming along? I'm still loving the challenge of my stockpile. I decided to collect 10 months' worth of food rather than 8. Once you learn how to prep for 1 month, multiplying that is easy.

One mistake people these days make while adapting to all the changes we're facing? They view them as a big, fat chore. Don't do that, ok? Keep it fun. Keep it Grace-led and you'll still enjoy life, yes, even in 2022.

How we react to hard times will always be our own responsibility.


9.) I told you my phrase for 2021 was "Be slow to speak," and oh my goodness! That has turned into my super power. (Really.) Wow, all the tiffs I've avoided just by either pausing or altogether skipping what I was going to say.



Highly recommended, that 'be slow to speak' thing.



10.) Have you seen this young man at Youtube? He speaks several different languages and goes around NYC surprising mostly Asian folks by his ability to use their language. Often they're blessed that he's taken the effort to communicate with them (there's a lesson in that somewhere).

Though I'm not a fan of Youtube's policies, I'm a huge fan of all the lovely, talented, passionate folks I've met there.

Color me grateful.







******







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