Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Good News. The Bad News. The Good News.


" ... stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."   --- Luke 21:28


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So the Good News: Since moving to Hobbit Cottage 11 years ago, I've been sick only twice-- 

A town-wide bronchial thing, the other time, a cold. (I don't count the occasional sinus or stomach issues since they arrive only after foolishly pretending I'm 30 again and can eat anything.)

ใƒ„

Yet the Bad News: Since the day before Thanksgiving, I've had what feels like 'old lady vertigo'. (Don't be offended: I'm the old lady in this story.) Lean my head down and woooo. Dizzy City. But only for seconds.

Nothing hurts, nor does my brain feel like it gained 10 lbs. Mostly I feel fine, well, until yesterday. Then I felt sinus-y and tired. But by late afternoon I felt fine again. And less prone to dizziness.

How odd to feel relieved that it's probably a slight inner ear infection. **Or not! (See below.)

Of course, as when anything's un-right, I've done my usual online research then taken the natural vitamins which seem fitting. And added a higher, fluffier pillow. Sat on my bed's edge awhile before rising. Etc. 

All of it helps. (What did we do before the Internet, well, besides galloping to doctors?)

Anyway, one website said older folks with vertigo often feel helpless, down, depressed and as though their good days ended. Immediately I thought, "Well hey! I'm not going there."

Helpless? With the Holy Spirit living inside me? Uh, no. I refuse to be one of those Christians who constantly complains, then misses all the miracles, like the one where two much-anticipated books (from different sellers) arrived in yesterday's mail. Plus, a stack of puzzle books. Oh, the sweet timeliness of a full mailbox!

Anyway yes, if this persists much longer I'll see a doctor. But in the meantime I'll keep looking up, searching for answers and moving forward in hope and belief and joy--

--because 'in Him I live and move and have my being'. And Life with Jesus, even in 2022, is still so very good.




**Hooray! Most likely the problem is this, instead (a blockage in my ear canal). Thanks so much, Pam, for sharing the video in the comments! I'm trying what the doctor recommended and am finding it works. Whew. It even involves looking up, literally. Loved that.


And as I shared at Facebook--

Just read this sentence in a book. Loved it.
"Often what he hoped for didn't happen, but something deep inside never stopped him from hoping."
--- from Home From The Hill by Margaret J. Baker





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Hooray! Another Ariel video. She made lovely changes to her bedroom this time.

Bunny Williams' NYC apartment. Really, her sense of style inspires me!

Mindy Mom does it again with easy holiday meals.

And here's one more cardboard snowflake idea.


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These are supposed to help with vertigo:

Vitamin C
Vitamin D3
B Vitamins like 12 and 6
Grapeseed Extract
Ginger Root
Magnesium

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And what I've added because I believe in them:
Acidolphulus
DMannose
Zinc
Avoiding milk products

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Adding foods like tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter, avacados, beans, bananas, walnuts, etc.
Skipping high fat or sugar foods, caffeine, alcohol, nuts, etc.
Drinking extra water
Making my pillows as high as I can still sleep on them.
Using a hot wash cloth so to help drain my sinuses.
Oh, and every winter I keep water steaming on the stove so to avoid dry air sinusitis. Makes a huge difference in how both Tom and I feel.

*****


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What I'm Reading:


The Mystery of the Locked Room by Carolyn Keene

Christmas at Fairacre by Miss Read

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Home From The Hill by Margaret J. Baker



And once more from Facebook--

Currently there's an attack against marriage going on in this world, but Tom and I? We have loved our 44 years together as man and wife. (We talked about it last night so I know he agrees.) ๐Ÿ™‚
Happy anniversary to the best guy out there, ever!







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 23, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving and a Gift (Of Sorts)



"So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up."  ---Galations 6:9


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On this lovely Thanksgiving Eve I'm wishing you a wonderful time with whomever you spend it tomorrow and beyond.

As always I'm grateful for you!  

I'm blown away that you visit here year after year and hopefully, you leave with the bits of encouragement God asks me to pass along.

Now, making a huge jump ... You know how we all have pet peeves? One of mine is when Christians insist, "They never make good movies anymore! I refuse to watch anything out there these days."

Oh really?

Well, when I reach Heaven and a film of my life plays? Oh dear, may the majority not resemble this--



How much sweeter to create a life of hour-by-hour watchfulness for things going right and to be anticipated rather than the opposite.

And something gone-right for me in 2022? These films, below, each a delight, each a reminder that all is not lost in the media world.

So here you go, an early holiday gift and one way I've chosen to express my belief that, yes! Some good movies do still get created these days.

What matters is that we search for them, believing, never giving-up too soon and always passing along the blessings we, ourselves, have so richly received.








"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share..."   -- 1 Timothy 6:18


It's the seekers who find things, not the crabby giver-uppers.  ใƒ„


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Naomi did the sweetest thing. She bought lots of treats and then set up a 'giving station' beside our mailbox for all delivery people. This is something I've meant to do for years, but yeah, 'meant to do' doesn't bless God's heart.

Er hem.

Anyway, yesterday we had all sorts of delivery folks, but one especially was nice. He rang the Ring doorbell, smiled, mouthed 'thank-you' and shook one of the snacks in front of the camera. Naomi saw the film of that and felt very touched. 

I'd stepped outside as the guy neared his truck and he said thanks and wished us a happy Thanksgiving.

Color me more blessed than usual.



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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, November 21, 2022

Today? Just Cozy Things.




Did that huge snowstorm squash us? 

Nah. That happened in the Buffalo southtowns and they get snow even in summer. Well, kinda.  ใƒ„ But lots of friends checked up on us and that was sweet. Thank-you!

We received less than a foot and here's a glance from this morning's sunrise:


So here we are all cozy inside Hobbit Cottage and both Tom and Naomi have the week off. (Ol' Debra seldom takes time off, but she loves her job so it's ok.) 

Anyway, I stepped from room to room taking photos for you of some creativity happening 'round here. What a treat to discover I'd made a mistake in assuming I'd finished decorating our small house! (Extremely helpful hint: never assume anything!)

So here are a few peeks:


Upstairs in Debra's World:


I made a reading nook and this sits beside it, providing me a place to set cocoa and snacks. And finally I found the perfect spot for that Cherry Jeffe Huldah print.



And here's my oh-so-comfortable reading nook. Plenty of spots to place my books, reach for more, and also from there I view Youtube videos. I do have to watch my head at first when sitting, but after that, I feel as though I'm curled inside a hug.


Finally I reframed Eunice in Pink (as I call her. We discovered her family's history in photos on the curb decades ago. She and her sisters, Esther and Alice, are framed in my kitchen window). Her glass inside a cheap gold frame cracked years ago and finally she looks perfect. To me, anyway. (Lighting issues. I know.)  ใƒƒ


Also, super-finally I framed this Maxfield Parrish card a friend gave me in the 90's. Hey, these things take time. Heh.


Downstairs:

Why I'd never decorated the back of this post, I don't know. This month I added the Victorian doorbell cover and the newly-framed Randi Lynn Reed prints. (This is beside my kitchen counter's end.)


More Randi Lynn Reed art is beside our front door.


And Bunny Williams who I recommended in my last post? She reminded me about stacking coffee table books. So I added them to the clock top. (My camera washed out the deeper green of the wall.)


Blurry City due to low light, but last month I bought these tassles. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy them.


Oh! And remember when, ages ago, we bought our red couch? It's held up really well, except for the arm tops. They'd actually turned grey and worn-looking. Finally--finally--I thought to buy arm covers (here) and wow, I'm thrilled they almost make the couch appear new again.

What a wonderful feeling to fix things! Especially when it involves casting away procrastination and, instead, choosing a hope-filled sort of active creativity.

Highly recommended.


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Tom and I so enjoyed the new A Christmas Story Christmas movie! What a joy that many of the original cast returned. The last half hour was perfection.






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Oh! And Miranda Mills created two lovely holiday book recommendation videos (just listening to her British accent is alone a treat). I especially took lots of notes from her second video here.

My overall list of books to read is now officially Enormous!








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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 16, 2022

Did She Quit? Or Did She Temporarily Enjoy a Different Season?



"There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens: ... a time to tear down and a time to build ... a time to search and a time to give up ... a time to keep and a time to throw away... a time to be silent and a time to speak..."   --- from Ecclesiastes 3


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Back in late 2019 God began preparing me for 2020. You remember 2020, right? What a year. What. A. Year.

Anyway, He sent all sorts of new people, ideas, missions and projects my way and I enjoyed them! I did.

But suddenly for the first time, I stopped decorating my home. And I missed it. I didn't understand this departure from a since-childhood love, other than to blame it on my you-can-only-decorate-a-small-house-so-much disgruntled whinings.

Fortunately I loved every creative change I'd previously made here, but as for trying new things? The decorating lady living inside me, well, she died in 2019.

But three years later she rose again.  ใƒƒ

Of course, I could become all analytical. Why those 3 decorating-less years? But I hate analyzing things, for so often I get them all wrong. I prefer listening to God's explanations.

Pretty much? I think He said He'd rather have me peacefully productive than overwhelmed and hit-and-miss. 

And you know? I can accept that. Rather than blaming my sometimes-lazy-and-wishing-for-another-house self, I prefer this explanation. Oh, the peace it brings.

And wow, my recent happiness at the restoration of creativity! The sweet tranquility. The timeliness of it all, what with Naomi now living in our 'downstairs apartment' (as I named it) while her fears daily dwindle farther away.

More than ever she needs her mom to walk around here in that type of all-shall-be-well calmness. That kind of creativity. That kind of deep joy.

God's timing. Perfect. Always.






One of my projects since 2019? Decluttering our house. So far we've let go of 1600+ items. If this is also your goal, give yourself time! You can do this.


If something disappears, it doesn't always mean it's gone forever. Sometimes, yes, but always, no.


Oh wow oh wow! Last week I discovered the decorator, Bunny Williams. (Youtube has lots of videos where she shares decorating hints.) The way she decorated her Connecticut home--be still my heart. Gorgeous.
Though yes, my minimalist friends should probably skip this video, too. heh.


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While searching through basement boxes, I discovered my pretty green candle holders and a smallish supply of vintage tapered candles (and re-fell in love). Probably I found them all at yard sales.
Tapered candles have really gone up in price! But they can still be found sanely priced at Dollar Tree and a few are at Amazon (here) and Target (here).
But with my recent rewards from my credit card, I did splurge and buy some beautiful, like-vintage candles from Amazon at more than my 60 cents each cut-off price. 
I must've bought the last ones, for no longer is the original box showing fullsize. All I could find is this tiny one:


Such pretty candles/colors, right? Just like vintage-long-ago.



This isn't decorating-related, but isn't it cute?



In real life, it's more of a deep-but-brighter wine red. I love it. Wear it all the time around the house and out. I also bought 2 black ones, one for myself and one for Naomi.






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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 12, 2022

Ways To Create Room For All The Collections of Your Heart

"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy."   --- 1 Timothy 6:17


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Years ago after writing a post about my book collection, a reader commented that she had trouble making room in her home for all her books. "Do you have any suggestions?," she asked.

I'm unsure that I answered her question (forgive me. I'm so hit and miss with replies.), but I'm certain my answer today would differ.

You see, right around when covid became a thing, I 'heard' within me, "It's time to release 350 of your books." Very much it seemed like a Holy Spirit instruction.

Yikes! Oh no! I proceeded to (roughly) count my books and discovered that meant half. Half of all my dear book collection needed to disappear?

"I'm not sure I can.," I whined mused. But rather than disobey what I believed to be God's request, I determined to aim toward releasing 350 books.

Two-and-a-half years later I've given away 334 books and wow. I'm as surprised as you are.

Was it a somber, painful task for this book lover? Only perhaps in 4 instances. But (I've noticed) when God leads me by wisdom, truth and common sense, all is--mostly--well. Done with a heart peace.

Some helpful notes? I --


--kept only books I loved. Ones I'll reread repeatedly.
--skimmed through books of uncertain devotion. Read their endings. In most cases I felt like, "Why am I even holding onto this book?" Then flung it away.
--checked Open Library for the books I kinda-sorta loved and if they had a copy? I released mine. (This also applied to books I have on Kindle.)
--also, I gave away the books I'd collected because fellow book lovers had. You know, a 'keeping up with the Jones' thing.' (Tsk. Tsk.)


Well, you get it. Mostly, I kept the books I truly loved (or needed, as in reference) and let go of those which lost their purpose. 

And wow, all the new, empty shelf space in my little house! I'd unknowingly created space for an upstairs' 'pantry room' which in turn, made lots of shelf space for Naomi in our basement before she even needed it.

All by following one simple instruction: "Give away 350 of your books."

Now, is this post simply about ridding one's life of books? Uh, no. Perhaps you don't even collect books. Rather, it's about releasing anything unloved, non-beautiful, unnecessary, non-holy from--not just our home--but our heart.

It's about living the freely-received, freely-give lifestyle Jesus asks of us, so that we don't bog down in our journey's middle.

And it's to create flowing, incredible space for more joy. More adventures. More blessings. And more knowing of God, Himself.










"Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys."   ---Luke 12:33


“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
― Steve Maraboli


Oh, to release anything holding us back from our best life!


Just a few of my books which survived the Great Culling of 2020 - 2022.ใƒ„ And I forgot to add I now have lots of room for more books--oh my! Of course, that's only good if I don't go crazy and instead, remain super selective in what I purchase.



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Has anyone else discovered the This Home Youtube videos? So many lessons there about the futility of 'storing up for yourselves treasures on Earth'. But even so, oh Honey. I'm currently addicted to those fascinating videos, the ones about the mansions of long ago. ใƒ„


Oh, and my crafting friends may appreciate this cute (and simple!) paper roll snowflake idea. 









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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, November 07, 2022

Healing Time City




"Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security."   --- Jeremiah 33:6


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So what do you do during your healing times? 

These past two weeks were Healing Time City around here for me. You know, after that scary incident in our yard.

And what I love is--with Jesus sitting beside me--it's all good. Oh, the feeling of concern and love and warmth He pours into my heart during Healing Time.

What kinds of things does He lead me to do within this waiting room type of time? Just simple things:


Extra quiet time staring out windows (how incredible when I behold Autumn out there).
Listening to the Holy Spirit's whispers of comfort.
Gratitude counting.
Playing dreamy music.
Dreaming of the good ahead.
Remembering the good of my earlier years.
Basking in favorite rituals, like, watching Sunday afternoon football with Tom and Naomi, each in our week-after-week spot.

And also:

Fixing things. Using my hands to make forward-feeling accomplishments.
Reading comfort books. Searching for new ones, as well.
Viewing happy, contented people on Youtube.
Watching favorite old movies or tv shows.

And ok. For the first time in years, I did order, from Aldi, a box of chocolate Pop Tarts. ใ‚ท


Oh, what a joy to follow God! Even while He binds up our wounded heart we can feel His warm, restoring love making all things new, even better--

--so that we can then offer to others the healing we, ourselves, have known by divine experience.






There does arrive a time of healing, times to stay alone with God within our closed-off walls of comfort. But is that meant to become our lifestyle? Uh, no. But rather this is--


 "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light...
let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."   --- Luke 11:33, Matthew 5:16


Far and wide, spread the light God has placed within you!




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Wow, just when I thought I'd discovered all the best autumn-loving ladies (tsk, tsk to abandon hope) at Youtube, I found her. So peaceful, like coming away from hours at a spa.


And oh my! After watching this video together, Tom and I had to yank ourselves back to 2022. Vintage train cars as you've never seen them before.


... and Ariel completed another home project!


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Cute Idea, right?--




Taking time off for healing is vital. I've watched too many folks pile hurt upon hurt upon hurt and oh dear. Their heads and hearts become clouded, heavy, sometimes swirling down, splat!, in a hard-to-come-back-from spiral.



Your healing times don't resemble others'? That's ok. What matters most is that you come away knowing this happened to your heart--

"Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved..."   --- Jeremiah 17:14


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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