Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Different Sort of This And That

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever."  ---Psalm 107:1


Last week? Celebratory. Finally my energy returned (!) and after carrying a bag of clutter and also this 'Simply Fit board'--

                                        (minus the arm bands)

--to the Salvation Army drop-off, I didn't even feel weary. Oh and yeah, ol' Debra no longer believes it's wisdom for her to twist around upon that green thing. Other forms of exercise still exist, though, she reminds herself.

Anyway, may I forever recall this deep, joyous gratitude of our having survived covid. Truly God can bring good out of dreary, renewed strength from extreme weakness and a clear head out of fogginess.

And all that during February? Surely that's saying something. ツ

My hearing's improved a bit, but guess who (while lecturing herself not to feel old) purchased hearing aids? I mean, in time, the infection will clear and the tinnitus will return to its normal 3 phones ringing rather than 6, but since a child, I've grown used to the ringing. Some folks never do. Yikes.

So a special thanks to all youtubers who are helping me via their let's-fix-your-ear-problem videos and to God for reminding me that, if I truly believe He'll heal me, I'll not obsess over this. Oh that temptation!

And lest I become one of those folks speaking only of their ills, let's move on. (Pul-ease, right?)

Last night our neighbor brought over a still-warm loaf of homemade bread. Oh my! What a treat and an obvious reaping of the good Naomi, especially, has sown into his and his sister's life.

And wow, the thick layer of ice outside! I can't even chip away at it now. Fortunately 6 days ago I cleared two small sections outside our doors, but even so, Tom and I did not order food delivery on our Saturdate. Why risk someone slipping? Instead, I made spaghetti (easy), my favorite food (yes, seriously).  ツ

Thankfully not every winter brings thick ice which refuses to melt and how grateful I am that we need not travel from Hobbit Cottage where life is sweet, no matter how the world's behaving

And not every year brings the same trials to any of us--none last forever and God, always, loves and heals us through them. Remember that.

What a blessing during my recovery February to discover videos like these --

The Great Chicago Fire: A Chicago Stories Documentary  (It wasn't Mrs. O'Leary's cow!)  ツ

These two books:

And this film (which ok, was predictable, but much better than I'd hoped)--

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."   --- Philippians 4:6,7


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


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

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Giving Myself Permission To Be a Slacker

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness."   --- Romans 8:26


(Oh, and this post is for anytime any of us are thrown a 'curve ball season'. Doesn't have to be sickness.)

That first night with covid inside my (dearly loved) light blue and white striped closet bedroom? 

The Holy Spirit whispered, "This will be only a short season. If you'll express gratitude rather than self-pity, this won't be terrible. Rest upon your pillow, welcome God's sweet presence."

And of course, what a difference that made.

Yet also, in my near delirium, self-pity tried to yank me down to depths God never meant for us. But I fought--limply, but still. And through my opened closet door, I Love Lucy dvd's played and I dreamed, drifted, and thanked God that--still--these are a delight.

(What I think He told me? Satan hates it when people laugh and because God gave Lucy and Desi Arnaz extra portions of humor and creative intelligence, they faced enormous evil pressure. Satan's goal was to shut it, them, down early, to deprive us all of their gifts.)

Anyway. The permission to be a slacker part. Yes, the early weeks, especially, I'd think--

--- but I need to carry the bucket of snacks out to the porch for the delivery folks!
and feed the birds!
and clean the kitchen counters, what with all their bottles and cups!
and vacuum the living room!
and trim my hair!
and encourage people online!

But oh, the Holy Spirit. Gently He'd say, "No, Debra. You need to rest in Presence. In Peace. You're expecting more from yourself than even God does--again. I'll lead you in what must be done. You can do those things in Christ."

So I Love Lucy played on (and on) and somehow I made breakfast and lunch for Tom and myself. (I recall breakfast, but oh my, lunch is a forgotten memory. How did it get done? Besides the meals Naomi made us, what did we eat?)

Oh, the strengthening, encouraging presence of God, especially when one is sick! Especially when we actually trust.

Coughing, remaining in pajamas, feeling feverish, blowing my nose and extreme fatigue. Ugh. Yet what I'll always remember most?  Sleeping better at night than usual, I Love Lucy, and the comfort of Presence whenever I refused self-pity's wooing (both cannot co-exist. Remember that.).

Yes, for nearly a month, ol' Debra gave herself permission to be a slacker (while the Holy Spirit reassured her He'd not let it become a lifestyle).  ツ

The Holy Spirit, Wisdom and Grace? They do all things well. They place  hands on fevered brows and repeat and repeat, "This is only a short season. Soon all shall be well."

And it was. And is. And will yet be to come.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."   --- Romans 15:13

Oh, the varying length of Life's many seasons!


What also helped us through covid? --

Sleeping on our sides, not back
Pineapple, pineapple juice
We did breathing exercises
Resting whenever we felt the need.
Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, elderberry pills, zinc
Hot tea
We ate eggs for breakfast
Not stressing out about it
Holding our faces over steam
We walked around often, flapping our arms (read this helps)
Homemade carbonated water, sometimes with tonic syrup
Not feeling rushed to return to real life
Lots of water flavored with a bit of juice
Oh, and asking for prayer online... and lots of chicken soup!


Okay, this was wild! (I'm still trying to figure out how he did that.)

Oh, and I enjoyed watching this young woman build her dream library (or did I share this already?)  シ


The Asbury Revival? What a joy to watch and only a beginning of the Great Outpouring of the Holy Spirit! 
And oh how it reminds me of the incredible renewal we experienced back in the 90's. That, and learning from Joyce Meyer (especially) how to sustain renewal/revival--both--changed me forever and left me with such love for Jesus, a desire to obey Him and a longing to remain in His sweet presence.

‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
And streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring
And My blessing on your descendants..."

“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days."   --- Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28, 29


After the first two weeks of covid, the sun finally shone and outdoors felt like Springtime! What a dear, dear gift.

Yes. Oh my yes, indeed.

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, February 15, 2023

Books. Just Books.

So here's a sort-of, kind-of, late Valentine's Day gift for my fellow book-loving bibliophiles. 

(If that's not you, please check back next time when I share a 'Giving Myself Permission To Be A Slacker' post.)  シ

Gee, if only I'd discovered booktubers sooner than just 2022! They hold up books for their camera and describe what they did/did not enjoy about them. They show us their bookshelves. When they review books I've no interest in? Doesn't matter. Still their excitement inspires me to grab books from my own shelves or begin journeys to find new ones.

Basically, passionate booktubers challenge me to become the big-time reader I once was.

Anyway. I still prefer books I can hold in my hands and yet Open Library? They have my gratitude, for they provide books I could never afford. Also, they supply books I wouldn't otherwise find, as well as, save me money: only if I love a book there will I later order a real copy.

At Open Library I can create my own folders:

Books I'm Currently Reading (My list has 23!)
Books I Finished 
Books I Did Not Finish
Books I Want To Read (but aren't yet available). This is especially handy because I can check later and discover that, hooray! They've finally provided some of those books.

And each book on those lists includes a link which takes you not only to the book, itself, but to the page you left-off reading. Well, usually.

One of the most remarkable things about my 22 years online? Open Library.

Yet back to booktubers... At this post's end, I'll share a partial list of books they recommended, but once more, I'll share a link to Chantel's Read Your Shelves Challenge for 2023. It's not too late to join that bit of fun. 

In fact, yesterday I read my February choice, a reread of my treasured Stand In The Wind. You can now read this at Open Library! It's a middle-grade book, yet has more depth than many adult books. The final page brought me to sentimental tears, perhaps for the 12th time.

Books! How wonderful of God to provide such remarkable presents for His kids.


“You're never alone when you're reading a book.”
― Susan Wiggs

“Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.”
― Paxton Hood

Books! When friends are absent, books are present--and waiting to bless.


These are Goodreads links for the sake of synopsis'. Open Library has some of these, but not all. A few are middle-grade, but hopefully all are morally decent.  ツ


Some favorite booktubers:

Oh! And I hope your Valentine's Day was lovely. Mine was sweet.

“Each time we come to a book we give it a different reading because we bring a different person to it. It is not you who reads the book, the book reads you”
― Jack Lasenby


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, February 13, 2023

I Refuse To ---


"I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead..."   --- Philippians 3:13


"First of all, when you said if something were to happen to you, one of your regrets would be having Tom and Naomi going through your possessions. When I read that, I thought, hallelujah, you've shared your lives for a long while now, said what needs to be said, helped each other, and loved one another, always. I guess what I'm trying to say (I'm still sick with some virus and a fever so my brain lags a bit)is that most people would be overjoyed if that were the main drawback to (their) demise."

Pam's comment (above) to my last post reminded me of a huge reason I'm different than many Christians: I refuse to roll around in condemnation. Or fear. Or yeah, regrets.

(Oh, and the 'loved one another always' line isn't, uhm, accurate. Some days we 3 barely even like each other.)  ツ

What I believe? If we desire to consistently "love life and see good days" we must be tough in the Holy Spirit! 

Determined. Unshakeable, focused, asking for forgiveness when we mess up--then moving forward deliberately next time remembering our lesson--then doing what we learned. 

"For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death."   --- 2 Corinthians 7:10

And who wants anything which produces death?

What does determination look like in my life?

I refuse to believe God's mad at me.
I refuse to even think God's no longer performing miracles.
I refuse to compare myself with what God has other folks doing for Him.
I refuse to believe God hasn't forgiven me for certain sins.
I refuse to worry about high prices, bad government and my future.

And I refuse to hold onto past regrets, but instead, fix, repair, what I can then move forward in a joy which believes next time I'll make better choices.

Growing in grace, moving forward in joy is a struggle, difficult, when we view ourselves differently than God does: dearly loved. Forgiven. Unique. A delight to His heart.

So today? Let it go! The unfixable regrets of things done--or undone and impossible. Release the doubts that God can still do what He's always done: miracles of change.

Let's all guard our hearts, only allowing seeds of faith to land, germinate and grow there. Refusing all bad seeds the moment they appear, again and again, until they no longer even blow our way.

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."   --- 1 Peter 5:8

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."   --- 1 John 1:9

Thanks, Pam, for wording your comment as you did. I knew it would lead me to a new blog post and that's always much appreciated! Oh, and the Holy Spirit never overwhelms me so that's why, I believe, He gave me just one thing to work on--decluttering for the sake of my family.  ツ
And I do hope you and your granddaughter are both feeling much better today!


" A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways....So refuse to worry..."   ---    James 1:8, Ecclesiastes 11:10

Ariel Bisset's latest video is a delight as always. Wow.


Oh, and finally I'm sharing this: The 10 favorite books I read in 2022:

1. Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus by Joyce Magnin
2. The Exiles by Hilary McKay
3. Never Sit if You Can Dance by Jo Giese
4. Cake by Joyce Magnin
5. You Can Start All Over by Marjorie Hillis
6. Revealing Heaven 2 by Kat Kerr
7. By The Light of the Study Lamp by Carolyn Keene
8. The Mystery of the Fires by Edith Lavell
9. Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn
10. Mystery of the Red Carnations by Mary C. Jane

There comes a time to actually live what we've spent our lives learning.


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, February 10, 2023

My Regret. (But Whew. It's Fixable.)

"Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise."   --- Jeremiah 17:14


Remember when I had vertigo? Eventually I felt it only while lowering myself into bed each night. (At least 'falling into bed' is safe.) 

I prayed, had you pray, took colloidal silver and vitamins (etc.), believed it would vanish and it did. Not until last week, though.

While down with covid I lost my sense of taste. Yikes! Took 8 whole days (believe me, I counted), but it returned the perfect day--our Saturdate. Wow, my honey chipotle chicken, corn on the cob and coleslaw delivery never, ever had tasted so divine. 

Such gratitude and celebration within me, even now. (And more good news? Yesterday, 3 1/2 weeks into this, I noticed a marked improvement, well, except my hearing is 'off'. Any prayer would be appreciated.)

Sickness. What a test, especially when, while in our weakened state, satan comes along whispering myriad lies. Probably his favorite is, "You won't recover. Never will you return to the health of your former self."

Now, I attempted to stay strong inside with gratitude and praise, pushing the lies away, standing against them. Yet I did (calmly) ask myself: "If I don't survive this, what are my regrets?" 

Scary question and mostly I thought of small (but are they really?) examples of my humanity. The times I hesitated out of doubt or chose fear, not boldness. Or I procrastinated and things (or people) fell apart because I hadn't followed God's timing.

Yet I'd long ago asked forgiveness for those and had vowed to move forward, improving the next time(s).

But. While lying upon my bed a bit delusionally, one regret did nearly light up my whole closet room. Which regret? That--if I didn't survive this--Tom and Naomi would have to sort through and discard all my stuff.

Stuff! Even after these past 3 years of decluttering, I still own too many things. And I know this thought came from the Holy Spirit, for no condemnation arrived with it. Just pure conviction and hope and a strong you-can-do-this! nudge.

Years ago I told you that hopefully I'd be wearing make-up if family (especially) found me deceased. I mean, hey. My make-up-less face would scare them more. シ Rather a humorous post (considering the subject), but interestingly? A friend wrote that she'd not care at all about how she'd look to whoever discovered her for--after all--she'd be dead. Gone.

And although I understand that reasoning, still, I can't adopt it as my own. To have my family and friends work harder than necessary carting away my own special hoard which I could have, slowly over years, disposed of, myself? 

No, even after I've peacefully floated away to Heaven I'll care about that because I'll still care about them. And about you. 

And may my legacy not be "Man, she sure left tons of cool stuff!", but rather, "Didn't she leave us lots of inspiration, encouragement, much to think about and a more loving picture of Jesus?"

"A man could walk away for a thousand mornings carrying something with him to the corner and there would still be a home full of stuff."   --- E. B. White
(My oh my, is that ever true!)

This might sound strange, but this post, Cleaning Up After The Party, has been the biggest help for me in letting go of things. I keep thanking God for giving it to me in that light, those words.  シ

Oh, how wonderful when we finally get on the same page as the Holy Spirit. That's when He begins providing folks who will inspire us to do what He's asked. 
Like, this week I discovered the Clutterbug lady and she's a delight! She encourages us to declutter then organize what's left in the manner that suits our personalities best.
Here's the first video I viewed and it's still my favorite.


I'm enjoying the Tiny House Expedition videos, for not only do we see tiny homes, but we hear their owners' unique stories of why they chose tiny over normal/large. Interesting stuff.

When God asks us to do something, He's certainly there to help us do 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, February 07, 2023

Nearly Three Years Later: Bitter Or Better?

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."   ... Colossians 3:23. 24


While trying (and failing) to write a new blog post, I spied this one from nearly 3 years ago. Oh my. 

Now I'm asking myself, "So how well did I actually live out the pandemic, the self-isolation and all the wildness we've witnessed since? Hmm?"

I'll let you know later. Maybe. ツ 

But in the meantime, here you go, my post from April 13, 2020 with new links included at the end:

Way back (less than a month ago, eegads) when the powers-that-be first ordered us to burrow at home, I sat at the dining room table putting on my make-up. I called over to Tom in his recliner, "I'll apologize right now for just slapping on my make-up during the duration of all this."

He chuckled. I smiled. 

But the Holy Spirit? He rolled His eyes. "Really?" He asked. "You're aiming for mediocrity already?"

Gulp. He got me there. 

Hey. I know how mediocrity works. You start small, say, let the laundry slide a couple weeks, skip sweeping the floors, eat only carbs and chocolate and bam! Suddenly you're in stained, too-tight clothes stepping around sticky kitchen floors, searching messy cupboards for chocolate bars long ago scarfed down.

Sloppiness always starts with tiny compromises.

So yeah. Next day I put on my make-up with care so I'll look pleasant for my husband who's locked-up spending his quarantine time with me. And for myself, actually. Daily I wear make-up so I'll look presentable for me during my one and only life upon Earth.

(I know, I know. You don't wear make-up. I get it. And if I had your scar-free, smooth, sweet skin I might not either. But I don't so I do, ok?) シ

Moving on.

I'm determined these coronavirus days will make me better, not bitter. That someday I'll step out our red door, not just free, but more educated, creative, skilled and compassionate.

That I'll have spent the majority of my hours focused on learning how to better keep --

our food pantry supplied
trying new recipes
meals cheap, but varied and interesting
the house running efficiently
the garden growing well
informed, but not overwhelmed (nor frustrated or scared)
exercising when I'd, ugh, rather not
encouraging everyone I know.

And also? Keeping the Holy Spirit, my for-everything healer(including a sometimes-too-conspiracy-minded attitude), so close. May He need only whisper--not shout--when I even think of becoming sloth-like because, hey, it's just home.

I have my excuses to be a slacker, of course. We all do. But there comes a time--and this is certainly one--when God expects us to practice what He spent decades teaching us.

And wow, what He's taught us. And taught us. And taught us.

Ninety percent of our lives is the everyday, over-and-over stuff. Why not discover new ways to absolutely love that 90 percent rather than only the special occasion 10 percent?

My favorite Youtubers are those who bubble over with joy in the 'small things' like homemaking and especially cooking. Oh, how I appreciate those who encourage this tired ol' meal maker!
And as for the rest of creative homemaking, no one makes it more happy and joyful than Kathryn at Do It On a Dime.  ツ

Oh, and while out with covid, I watched lots of Dry Bar Comedy, keeping in mind that laughter truly can be the best medicine, especially when everything is tempting you to just sink and sulk.

     "Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind..."   --- Psalm 26:2

Never stop searching for those who God places nearby to inspire you to live a sweeter, more 'present' life. Oh to grow in gratitude of this precious life He gave 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

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Where I Was

"However when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak from Himself, but whatsoever He will hear, that will He speak; and He will show you things to come."   --- John 16:13


Oh dear.

Last month covid struck our Hobbit Cottage and even now Tom and I are rather zombie-like. (Naomi recovered quickly. We're thankful she was here to help.)

On the first night I thought,"I can go through this complaining and full of self-pity (like usual) or I can praise my way through with gratitude." And in all my so-exhausted delerium, I attempted to keep choosing thankfulness. What a battle, but I tried and felt emotionally better as I lay in my sweet closet room watching I Love Lucy dvd's in between dreams.

Which variant did we have? Ha! I'm thinking all of them. I read down the lists and can check every box. Oh, and for two weeks a cloud bank darkened our windows, worsening everything.

But you know? Always I'll be thankful that years ago the Holy Spirit told me to buy what I needed just in case. So back then I purchased liquid ivermectin, tonic syrup, all the recommended vitamins, juice, tea, cough drops, ibuprofen, canned chicken soup and pineapple. I had a list of instructions and tons of kleenex, some colloidal silver and easily we ordered eggs and things from Aldi.

Even so? Man, this was one rough ride. Extreme fatigue is the worst and I had to give myself permission to do only enough to get by. I slept for days and oh dear, lost my passion to help people. The strength to care was gone.

Honey, that part was scary. Yet it taught me the importance of staying healthy so that never again do I venture there. Anytime we stop caring about encouraging folks, something is wrong.

Anyway, you get it.

Just know we're so grateful we survived this. The sun finally burst forth two days ago and immediately I felt 20 percent better and could dance on the inside.

Oh, and don't worry about any quick return to working too hard and relapses or anything. Even during the best of times no one takes more rests than I do. No one.   シ

"Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise."   --- Jeremiah 17:14

"Complain and remain. Praise and be raised."   --- Joyce Meyer

Oh, and a few funny things happened over those 2 weeks, like this as I wrote to a friend:

"The fatigue is the worst. The other day I came down the stairs and told Tom, "Well, I finally feel caught up on rest." Then I looked at the clock and said, "Man, it's just one hour before my bedtime!'"  シ


I read 4 books last month and here is one you can read, as well. It's a middle grade book, short, but is well-written, has awesome illustrations and is thought-provoking, a book that sticks with you.

Ariel posted at least another 2 videos! Go here to check them out.

Here's another NYC apartment I enjoyed touring. And while we're at it, one more.

A huge thanks to those of you who prayed for us! This was yet one more time I felt grateful for Facebook and the ability to give everyone updates.

Has everyone bought or made their Valentines yet?


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