Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Need More Control in Your Life? -- Or-- Let's Get Practical

"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls."   --- Proverbs 25:28


So after a friend read that, at this rate, Tom and I will live at Hobbit Cottage, like, foreverrr, she wrote with my talent and motivation, I can do whatever I wish here. So go for it.

I nearly choked all over my computer screen.

Do whatever I want? If only! After 11 years my wish list for this house is still acres long--and impossible. Yes, I said that 'i word'. Me, the lady with all the talent and motivation.

Money's not the problem (mostly), but rather, my larger imagination (and wants) than our only 860 square feet, much of it beneath slanted (built that way) ceilings. 

After years of facing road blocks and impossibilities, you must change your dreams lest you become a great big, bummed-out whiner.

And you may quote me. シ

Anyway, some folks swear this is fact--

But not me. That's far too dark and not even true.

For one thing, if we're Christians, God has given us self-control. And hey, you should see Tom and me when tv characters say (usually regarding a wrong relationship), "We can't control the way we feel, you know." Both of us tell the tv screen, "Oh yes we can!"  ツ

Using self-control I can tell my feelings to knock it off if they are improper ones. I can choose to think a different, better way. I can seek more of God, move forward in obedience or even choose joy.

With Jesus, we are not helpless, you know.

Take my small kitchen (please! heh). Because I chose to keep Tom's most-used items on one side and mine on the other, peace reigns in there. 

And many years prior, when I collected tools of my own (and hid them), a bunch of "What did you do with my---" arguments flew out the window.

By purchasing lots of bookshelves for upstairs, I stopped most of my "this house has no storage" complaints.

When I chose to hang wallpaper both upstairs and down, my contentment with this tiny house increased (oh, how I love wallpapaper!).

We had no fireplace here--and Tom doesn't like real ones--so I bought a fake (gel) kind and it's one of my best-loved puchases, ever.

My backyard gardening felt too overwhelming, so this year I moved it to our front porch and the bed below. Everything felt experimental, but so much easier on me--and some items grew well.

I realized no longer can I remove the downstairs window air-conditioner, so we leave it over winter. I hired someone else to mow our lawn, and earlier, a company to remove our too-hard-to-handle 100 feet of hedges.

Unless you're reading this from a prison cell or a hospital bed, you still have more control than you believe. 

Yes, things like the weather and the way people these crazy days behave (and a too small house) may be beyond our control, but even there? Always we can pray, "Lord, your will be done," --

--and then proceed to choose and walk with His wisdom in all our ways.

Choices. Always we have choices. Yet sometimes they're not what we originally had in mind so we must remain pliable in our thinking.

"Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."   ---Proverbs 16:32  (Yes, even anger is a choice and can be controlled.)

I realized this week why I prefer tiny house videos. They keep me from viewing larger, space-for-all-ideas houses I'll never own (till Heaven) and instead, they show people dealing creatively with constrictions in even tighter spaces than I have.


Hooray! Finally we watched the Rose Marie documentary made shortly before her death. It's called Wait For Your Laugh and we viewed it 'free' via Prime. Greatly enjoyed by both Tom and myself.

For years I've been meaning to read Essays of E.B. White and finally yesterday I began it via Open Library. What a marvelous essayist he was just as everyone tried to tell me. 


We'll have our house painted next year and after double checking with our realtor friend, Cher, I've decided on these colors. Can't wait! (I'd love to swing it this year if we can after having the basement water-proofed.)

"My teacher told me that in the future I wouldn’t have to worry about spelling because of autocorrect. And for that, I will be eternally grapefruit."
-- Alice Mills


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

Monday, August 22, 2022

Where She Found a Friend In an Unexpected Place

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."   --- 1 Corinthians 6:19,20


Since 2000 I've occasionally searched online for Esther Ruth Silvey. 

Back in the 4th grade she and I lived on the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and one night she invited me to dinner to meet her six siblings, all with Bible names (perhaps that even inspired me to name Naomi, well, Naomi).

That June, my family moved away, but you know? Esther Ruth soon wrote me a comforting, funny letter. I'd always loved her natural quick, dry sense of humor. (Think 10-year-old Erma Bombeck). Fifty three years later I still see her smiling eyes.

Most likely I wrote her back, but Life went on for us both as it does at 10 until, as I said, I casually searched for her online.

This morning, after 20 years, I located her. She's lived in Heaven since 2020. 

Being human, part of me is sad. How I wish her obituary wasn't all that popped up. Yet amongst many hobbies, she enjoyed journaling and I appreciated how her family included this from her writings--

 "We come to a great awakening, our place in the passage of time is so very short. This awakening prepares us to turn our lives and future over to God who longs to bring us to Himself. It brings comfort to reflect God’s final day in Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”.

If only I'd found Esther Ruth sooner.

But you know? Heaven these days, to me, anyway, feels almost like nextdoor. Is Esther really all that far away?

Many nights I awaken, crawl downstairs to, uh, 'visit Mrs. Murphy', feed Daniel The Cat, then climb back up here, perhaps then to make certain the world is still spinning via my laptop. 

Afterward, I return to bed and picture Heaven and its people, houses, meadows, towns, animals, angels, flowers, buildings, parks, fountains and coffee shop bakeries. And my house there. My garden, the cats waiting for me. The friends. The relatives. And Jesus, always Jesus.

Each night, in my imagination, I stroll a bit farther inside and smile a bit wider as I fall back to sleep. Perhaps some night I'll walk so far inside that Jesus will ask me if I'd rather stay.

Heaven? No, not far away at all and neither are the friends who once lived here upon Earth. But am I feeling rushed to walk those golden streets for real? No, I'm more in agreement with the Apostle Paul on this one--

" ...  but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith ..."   --- Philippians 1:24, 25

Obviously God has more for me to do or else I'd be there now. And Heaven help me if I'm only all, "Come quickly Lord Jesus!" and care nothing about those folks He's asked me to love and to earnestly invite there. 

After all, Jesus never meant any of us to live only unto ourselves, but rather, to live as He did while He walked amongst us---

---and as He still does within our hearts.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.”
― Erma Bombeck

"We overcome evil with good. When evil is increasing, so should our good!"


On Saturday we watched the new film Belfast (via HBO Max which we get free thanks to a work friend of Tom's). Great movie! Just small bits of language and violence, but mostly, bittersweet and sentimental.

Another new movie that surprised us (no 'woke nonsense' that we could recall) was Secret Headquarters. Fun and lively and I don't recall any language. I can't remember where we found this, but I think we watched it, free.


And seriously, how incredible the way people of long ago are now brought back to life for us to behold. For example, check out what I mean here.

Oh, and this Kindle book is free today, 8/22, at Amazon. (It's still free now, 8/25.)


And in honor of Autumn which I'm greatly anticipating this year--

If you're hurting because a loved one is in Heaven, I suggest learning more about the incredibleness of Heaven from those who've visited. So many books out there! So many personal testimonies. So much encouragement, enough to make us anticipatory (dare I say jealous?) rather than grief-filled.


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, August 20, 2022

August This And That

Never stop creating, no matter what!


1.) Oh! Some of my most sentimental, genealogical-search-loving friends will enjoy this:

... and I dare you not to get emotional when she's staring at the porch chairs, picturing her loved ones who once sat there.  シ

2.) Seriously, I love the homemade chili seasoning mix I recently discovered. I use it on nearly everything, including crockpot chicken which finally comes out the way I like.
I shared this before, but here you go again:

5 tbl. chili powder
2 tbl. garlic
2 tbl. paprika
1 1/2 tbl. onion powder
1 tbl. oregano (but I use Italian seasoning)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Speaking of cayenne, last week I ordered some cheaply from Target. The Zatarains brand. Three large 7.5 oz. bottles should last awhile. heh.

3.) Do you remember Bill Cullen, the  tv game show host? This week I learned that, as a child, he had polio and throughout his life he had physical and neurological difficulties, but he 
kept moving forward. 
Check out the short video about him here.

4.) My simple definition of success? 

Faithfully doing whatever God asks of you.

5.) Probably Mitzi Reads and Writes is my favorite booktuber. We have reading tastes in common, plus, she's adorable! 
Today Mitzi began a More Montgomery Book Reading Challenge so if you're a fan of LM Montgomery's books you might enjoy playing along. Check it out here!

6.) Speaking of books, so does anyone else go bonkers when you can't find the book you wish to read upon your shelves? So lately I've super organized my books, all alphabetically by author, with these labels upon the shelves:

Adult Fiction and Non Fiction
Kids' Lit. General
Kids' Lit. Mysteries
Teen Lit.

A dream come true, this library of mine 35 years in the making. Color me ultra grateful.

7.) And speaking of that, here's something I shared at Facebook:

When I reach Heaven, 
I don't want to regret expressing so little gratitude here. 
So now? 
My goal is to say more thank-you's.

8.) Always!

9.) You remember that Youtube has some free audio books, right?

10.) And let's end this with another creative, inspiring video by Ariel Bissett. She built a lovely diorama for her wall! 

And although not that brave, I am now considering creating a diorama to place upon a bookshelf.

Stay tuned to see if Debra actually follows through on that project! ツ

Feeling sentimental lately with a yearning for the old days? This music from vintage years Kmart might help. Pretty much I guarantee this will whisk you back in Time. Quickly... woosh!

One last thing--

Remember to never let go of your joy, even if someone else currently is playing tug of war with you over it!


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, August 16, 2022

When What You Sowed Comes Along And Blows You Away

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


So from mid-July I became a zombie. Darn ol' heat and humidity, anyway! Plus, my lower back's been bugging me and--

Big sheets of bark fell from the sycamore trees all across the lawn and flower beds. 
The lawn guys rarely arrived to mow and crush up the bark.
People drove by slowly to stare at all that bark (so embarrassing).
The birdfeeder got stopped up.
The back patio furniture desperately required new spray paint, but I felt too heat-weak to paint it.
The living room carpet needed professional cleaning, but I'm growing too old to move the furniture. Plus, last year our much-appreciated carpet guy said ours was the smallest space he'd come and clean and that was before Tom bought a huge piece of unmovable glass for his office floor and now there's even less carpet to shampoo.
Early summer, the kitchen drain became clogged again (and we're careful with it!).
And of course, our trash can's wheels kept falling off, then the trash truck ate one.

You know, those Life 'tests' which come along then rain on your brain at night upon your pillow. And you realize the peace of God is more powerful (yes!), yet oh my. Those nagging, sleep-poking thoughts. Sigh.

But then yesterday! I stood outside in 78 sunny, not-crazy-humid degrees after our lawn guys left. 

Ninety nine percent of the bark was gone! And after 6 weeks, its falling has slowed. Not ceased, but slowed. 
I gazed over at the patio and 2/3 of the furniture I'd slowly, on rare, cool mornings, repainted.
The bird feeder? I'd unclogged it last week.
Tom and I had, weeks before, cleared the kitchen drain.
This weekend I'd cleaned the carpet, myself, with a small electric cleaner I purchased online.
The trash can wheels, after months, got replaced.
Oh, and after doing back exercises, it wasn't hurting.

I smiled. Rejoiced! Recalled what that guy from The A Team used to quip: "I love it when a plan comes together."  ツ

Oh, I felt like celebrating! How light I felt. How grateful.

All those nagging tasks--if not wholly completed--then at least greatly diminished. True, they'd all required time, waiting, effort, money, energy and patience (oh, so much patience), but the long process had created this special, celebratory Monday.

I stepped back into the house, my heart singing, and I even made a mug cupcake just for me.

Throughout the Bible, God says He's all for celebrations. And yes, true, every single day of our lives as long as we're here, breathing and living with Jesus we should rejoice!

Maybe no one says that more than I. 

And yet? Days like mine yesterday are sent to remind us that all our work, all the fixes, all the obedience are worth every single sacrifice we made. Every. One.

In other words, hang in there, move forward, even if, at times, it all feels like baby steps. Someday they'll add up to a huge, celebratory leap, indeed.

"I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man."   --- Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."   --- Galations 6:9

Complaining is not accomplishing.


And as I said at Facebook, I love it when people release the art from their heart!

My Mug Cake Recipe (tho' I don't use a mug)--

1/2 cup cake mix
1 tbl. powdered creamer or powdered milk
2 1/2 tbl.'s water

I oil a custard cup. Mix the ingredients in my one-cup measure, stir 100 strokes. Pour into the custard cup then place them in our counter-top little oven upon a rack (preheated, one heat setting, maybe 325?). Oh, and this is a Rhoda Stone recipe and she uses her microwave. 
Then I bake it 14 minutes or so. And no, I don't make frosting for these. heh.

(And now you'll understand why I'm not meant to write cookbooks!)  ツ


Oh! And one of Glenn Beck's sponsors recommended these hard, small spiky balls to roll beneath your feet to improve stability and do away with a fear of falling.

 I watched the whole long, can't-forward spiel on video (don't you hate it when they take 20 minutes to get to the point? heh.) and these are what the balance expert guy recommended. 

He said they wake up a certain muscle of our feet which goes dormant, especially if we usually wear shoes (I don't actually, but hey, I'm open to anything helpful like this, especially if it's cheap and easy!)  ッ

Ours just arrived yesterday so I don't have a miracle story to share yet. These things take time. Ha!


Well, this is an interesting idea for times of real emergencies!--

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, August 11, 2022

Got Your House In Order?

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."   --- Jeremiah 29:13


So. Tom and I are not moving to South Dakota. Or Florida. Or even to some cute, cheap little house down the street.

God pretty much keeps repeating, "I'm doing you a favor by holding you in this paid-for Hobbit Cottage." And yes, through this new calm, I can see all the stress and bills and complication He's saving us from.

Probably He's extending our lives by a few years. Hey, who knows? ツ

Finally I'm, as they say, facing facts. I may not love them, but I'm accepting them and with acceptance comes peace. Well, only when you're accepting God's will (as opposed to accepting being a too-early quitter. Don't do that.).

Sometimes we must let dreams die. That is, if we wish to live our precious days with God and Grace and Joy instead of angst and disappointment and the blues.

Now, I'm a girl lady who's learned to thrive on challenges and I thought I needed new ones in a different house. But I'd forgotten one important thing: I'm no longer the young, work-for-hours decorator lady I once was. 

Big decorating projects are, well, in my past.

No, smaller challenges are a better fit for me now at 63 and Hobbit Cottage? She has tiny challenges galore, enough to keep my imagination rolling for years, that is, if I stop considering spinning it around a different home.

Like, a whole set of challenges revolves around 'getting my house in order' (as they say), something I've concentrated on (or tried to) since that what-the-heck? year of 2020.

Frankly, I'm in agreement with many folks crying out, "Huge changes are coming! Huge changes are coming!" and now they're nearer than ever.

Many of those changes, I'm thinking, will be good!
Some, not so great.
But nearly all will be, well, shocking for, I believe, God has some huge points to get across to us all. 
And the exposure of sin! Oh, the exposure winging its way to us. 
Oh, what's already begun.

So until they arrive I'll continue to: 

stock up on groceries, water, emergency items
stick to my vitamin regimen
collect inflation-proof recipes
inventory my linens and clothing
gather savings in easy-to-access places
become acquainted with more neighbors
form an exercise plan
collect alternative means of light and heat
brush-up on gardening (and other) skills
keep helpful books and lists in paper form, not just online
seek to make wise financial decisions
keep caught up on all correspondence with loved ones ...

... and most of all? Grow closer to Jesus every single day. This is the secret of a fulfilling life. In His presence is fullness of joy, peace, wisdom and a calm that will carry me through absolutely anything, come what may.

Adventure! What an adventure since 2020, trying to view this world through Jesus' eyes and do what He instructs--with boldness. Courage.

I'd not have missed it for anything, even while just living in this same ol' house now for 11 years.  シ

Wherever I may be, I can still create lovely rooms inside my head. May I always keep adding to my imagination!


As always, color me grateful for Youtube. How wonderful to watch others creating such lovely rooms these days.

In fact ...

Ariel Bissett is back at creating! She built a pretty reading nook in her cute house. Check it out here.


Oh! And have you found these music videos yet? Lovely things for a hot summer evening. Check them all out here.


"Becoming the woman God designed you to be will cost you friends, relationships, plans and material things. Become her anyway." ---Lisa Lim @allbygrace_

And with all my heart I believe this to be true:

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, August 04, 2022

When She Thought Her Happy Days Were Over

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.... You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”   --- John 8:12, Jeremiah 29:13


Debra. In her home library. Fallon, Nevada. 1992.

There I stood before my bookshelves, all depressed. Nevada was a hard place to live (all those folks bringing their grubby, selfish, gambling demons from the world over) plus my wonky, wrong thinking I'd picked up over my 33 years.

Suddenly, the weirdest thing. In my mind I heard, "This is your future," and instantly I 'saw' fog swirls. That's all. Grey, dismal, gloomy fog.

"My future?" I pondered this for seconds. But then I rustled up some wisps of courage and said, "No! In Jesus' name, I'll not believe that."

Well, that helped. This jolted me, though, and I tried not to recall it later.

The following year, we moved to New York state and right off the plane, wow. I stood staring at the people and oh my! They cried out their greetings to one another, hugged, and practically danced along the floor.

Everything felt different. 

Oh, for weeks both Tom and I missed our Nevada friends and felt continents away from all we'd ever known out West. But that eventually left and then 1994 came.

But 1994! The worldwide time of godly renewal hit us and changed us inside-out. That's also when I discovered Joyce Meyer who challenged all that aforementioned ridiculous thinking. I hadn't known how to release it, but Joyce showed me.

Basically I came away from 1994 feeling like a new, started-all-over person totally in love with Jesus and people and Life and excited for each new morning.

I remember feeling as though I woke up after sleeping 35 years. And because of this minute by minute awareness of Jesus, these past 28 years have shined bright and joyous and brought much contentment and inner peace.

Today's lesson? Never believe a lie! Satan lies to us at our most vulnerable times--and often--right before huge, wonderful changes are set to happen.

Satan wants us to use our faith to believe for horror rather than happiness.

Instead, always ask Jesus to reveal truth both through the Bible and what He downloads to your heart.

Never waste any time of your precious God-given Life believing lies, ok? Seek Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and you'll live within His bright light...

...a light so intense it burns off all fog and reveals an incredible joy, instead.

"Look at the good future that God has planned for you. When you look behind you, whether what you’re looking at was good or bad, it’s still a dead thing. It’s done and finished!" --- Joyce Meyer

(Yes! We can always ask Jesus to help us look ahead through His eyes. There's a world of difference in doing so.)

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."   --- John 1:5

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."   --- 1 Peter 2:9


I hope you've read Joyce Meyer's most popular, life-changing book, Battlefield of the Mind. 

You haven't?!?   シ

You can read it here, free.


This was sweet:


Anticipating this!--

Remember: satan's lies are often subtle and expressing the exact opposite of what Jesus is trying to tell us.


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