Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Living a New Way Within The Same Ol' Circumstances.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him...Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness..."   --- Psalm 34:8, Psalm 30:11


This week at Hobbit Cottage? Life feels sweeter, like it used to. Whew.

Did we buy a new house for our later years?
Is Daniel The Cat walking on his own?
Is Tom The Husband walking on his own?
Did we install a first floor laundry room?
Did we solve the squeezing between Tom's office chair and treadmill problem the 10+ daily times I climb the stairs?
Did we install a door so I don't have to listen to Tom huffings and puffings on the treadmill?
And ---------------

Uh, no. No to all.

Instead, God helped me work through my disappointments. 
He reminded me of everything going right
He ushered me into a sweet acceptance. 
He poured energy into me for creatively solving issues, leaving me with renewed openness to challenges.
And He didn't try to rush me through this. Most days I had that 'waiting room feeling'. (Gee, I read many books this May!)


Attitude can make your small house feel like a palace. Attitude reminds you of loveliness still yours. Attitude enables your eyes to view Life through hopefulness. Attitude can lead you to 24/7 gratitude... 

... and a new creativity, a making something from nothing, smiles erasing frowns and a thankfulness blowing complaints to places far, far from home.


Pam asked to see our gardens, so here you go, Pam. A few peeks of my much-appreciated perrenials--

     My Herb and Etc. Garden out front. This 'woman of a certain age' can easily water it from her porch rail. Chives, oregano, green onions, catnip, mint, lettuce, garlic, forget-me-nots, peonies, daylilies; all do well with only bright morning sun, shade all afternoon.

Finally I created a bird bath, one I can fill from the porch. It's an upside down flower pot with a vintage bowl glued on top. I'd seen this idea in videos--another 'what took me so long to do this?' project.

                Snow-in-Summer around the flagpole. Thrives on neglect! Love it.

The early morning sunny end of my Prayer Garden. The aforementioned snow-in-summer, daylilies, begonias, other plants not seen and the bushy stuff is an 'autumn daisy', my name for the best little .89 cent pot of WalMart flowers I ever bought.

... and this was taken in early Springtime, but see that small 'tree'? It's not a tree, but rather a stray root I dug up from our now-gone privet hedge around 11 years ago. Yearly I shape it more and more to resemble a tree. Tiny scented flowers will burst forth from it soon. (Gotta love a free tree!)  ツ


This weekend Tom and I enjoyed a refreshing movie: Jerry and Marge Go Large. Based on a true story, very little 'language'. I can't describe why I liked it so much other than it's a story about folks our age who found a fun project after retirement. Highly recommended.

I don't even like Formula One races (Tom really does), yet we both super enjoyed Downie Live's travel to one. (Some things just cannot be explained.)  ツ

Here's a recipe for getting rid of weeds in sidewalk cracks. Haven't tried it yet, but will soon.

And I appreciate many types of decorating, but perhaps this is my favorite. I couldn't even finish watching the video--I loved what she'd done too much and envy threatened to flood my heart (this was while I was healing from some disappointments, so perhaps that explains it.....). Cozy California Home Tour.

We can fill our mind with complaints or creativity. But seldom is there room for both.

Contentment doesn't mean settling in an unhappy circumstance, rather, it's being happy where you are on the way to where you're going.


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 23, 2023

The Land of Acceptance: Anyone Else Out There?

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful."   --- Colossians 3:15


Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but lately it's felt all 'best of times, worst of times' around here.

We purchased this for Daniel the Cat so I can walk him around:

We've prayed much for Daniel and what a test not to be consumed by concern, but rather, keep the hope of belief. Stay balanced in our living.

Then there's Tom who, we've realized, can't really walk anymore, himself, without a rollator or 2 canes. Oh, he 'goes like 60' on the treadmill while holding the horizontal arm bars, but then can barely hobble to his office chair 2 feet away.

"No more vacations", we muse. Even to do any walking locally is rough on Tom. We're still working through those levels of acceptance.

And no moving to an easier one-level house, either. Neither of us could survive that (unless we HAD to), even with having others do most of the work. At this time I don't mind our two sets of stairs here, rather, I appreciate the exercise. Yet years from now? I'm uncertain.

I'm grateful that Tom can do one-level living here, though, including stepping out to our wide, morning-sunny front porch.

As for decorating one more house on Earth? I'm working through the acceptance that will not happen. Perhaps I could redecorate Hobbit Cottage, but I like what I've done, what I've collected. So well, uh, no. Probably not, unless the changes are tiny. Easy.

Man, every night before bedtime I still peek at local real estate online. Not sure even why, other than I love old houses. Only rarely do I find nearly perfect houses like this one, below. Is this adorable, or what?

Then there's Neighbor Sally who I watch from our front porch as she now uses a cane or walker. Last week she turned 85. Twice lately we've chatted awhile on her front porch.

Then yesterday while feeling sad about all these walking, aging, problems, I opened an email from Joyce Meyer (for whom I'm so grateful). She'd had back surgery and had broken a leg bone afterward. She will turn 80 in June.

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

Another Acceptance Season. We all have them and usually I keep quiet, meditative, pensive during mine, working through the feelings, disappointments, with God, one at a time. Hence one reason I've not written here much lately.

Yet oh, how grateful I am for that 'stop and give me 20 gratitudes' challenge I described to you last time. What an attitude saver that's become.

How grateful I am for what's probably the most beautiful Springtime I recall in our 30 years here.

---and all my front porch hours, reading and staring at the river down the street.

---having Naomi here to help us (and the way she makes our Sunday afternoon lunches and shows us early episodes of The Goldbergs via Hulu).

---all my friends and books and Open Library and my gardens and cute upstairs rooms.

And the Holy Spirit without whom I'd probably have gone bonkers years ago.  ツ

How good this Life that God's given me! May I never take it for granted nor complain it all away, even during (temporary!) Acceptance Seasons like this one.

Often not until we release old dreams will God give us new ones which fit us better in our present circumstances (she tells herself repeatedly).

Let it go and thrive!

Oh, and please do today (or, well, soon) what you may not be able to do when you're older. How thankful Tom and I are that we took those vacations, those train trips, bought that tiny farm, decorated houses, and attended those car shows, estate sales, those concerts, those ----


Wow, this video, The War Over Your Perspective, was timely yesterday! Focusing on the negative only makes life dark when we could have had  light, instead.


Yep, unfortunately some days lately ol' Debra's been like this---

... but always remember--we walk by faith, not by sight and oh, how sweet when faith floods our heart, pushing the lesser stuff, out.


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, May 11, 2023

Speed Gratitude--Or--Drop And Give Me Twenty

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."   --- 1 Thessalonians 5:18


Back in December while head-complaining upon my pillow one night inside my tiny (tho' adorable) closet room, it's as though the Holy Spirit said, "I want you to list 20 things for which you are grateful."

Remember those old tv shows/movies where men in charge would quip to an offender, "Drop and give me twenty push-ups"? Yeah, it was rather like that, yet in a kinder tone.  シ

Listing 20 gratitudes was a way, it seemed, to correct, erase, the previous whining. To make-up for earlier offenses.

Well, this became a habit and whenever I (or the Holy Spirit) catch myself with a complainy heart, I 'hear', "Stop and give me 20 gratitudes! See if you can do it speedily, in less than 1 minute." 

As with everything in Life, this is easier said than done, especially when God asks that I mix it up a tad. But I'm a gal who appreciates a valuable challenge:

Don't always repeat the same list, He instructs.
Add some from-years-earlier gratitudes.
Include unique thank-you's: people, places, things, memories, provisions, your current dreams for the future, etc.
Be creative.

Really, I'm hoping to become a Professional Gratitude Person. Anyone else want to accept that challenge?


Oh dear--the past 2+ weeks! Test after test which I did not always pass. Er hem.

Tom's ingrown toe nail nearly turned into a sepsis issue(!)

Daniel The Cat injured his spine. At first he favored one leg, then couldn't take more than 3 steps. Currently he's on 'bed rest' inside a giant dog crate in our living room's center. Any prayers are appreciated.

My friend, Donna, passed away.  How grateful I am that God, since 2021, led me to books and testimonies regarding Heaven! Daily Heaven's on my mind and I feel even closer now that Donna's there. Closer, and more comforted.

My favorite post about Donna is here and always I'll be grateful for our farm-time season of friendship. Thank-you, Donna. You'll greet me when I arrive and I can't wait to see you and your lovely new home, art studio and garden, as well. 

...and as I wrote at Facebook:

A friend entered Heaven last night and I'm taking a quiet day, time to contemplate and remember what she meant to me and all the special times we shared.
For those of you, my friends, who are still here? I want to say aloud, thank-you for the immense good you have poured into my life. I appreciate each of you.

My new 'gratitude game' has proven so helpful these past two tough weeks!

... and also Donna is the one who painted this picture of our farm for us:


Don't you love it when God leads you to something which encourages you much during hard times? Yesterday this video reminded me about the value of doing projects, especially during difficulties. (And her current list outweighs mine. Oh dear.)

Oh my! There was just something so peaceful about this Bahamas home. Anyone else think so, as well?


Last weekend Tom and I watched Jesus Revolution. Enjoyed it. Mostly.  シ

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..."   --- Ephesians 5:20

... and may we all voice our appreciation of our friends while we still can.


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, May 01, 2023

My Little Yellow House In The Land of Goshen

(Not Our little yellow house. This one's cuter.)

"You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have."   --- Genesis 45:10


Way back in the mid 1990's I read about the land of Goshen and thought, "Ohh, I'd have chosen to live there!"

Joseph (the rainbow coat guy) settled his family in Goshen during the drought and they had plenty, for Joseph had planned and prepped ahead (hint). ツ 

Years later, Goshen folks didn't even experience some of the biblical plagues: it's like God placed an invisible fence around them.

Goshen belonged to Egypt, yet stood on the outer edge, near the Nile. Belonged, but didn't belong. Egyptians hated shepherds (probably farmers, too)--they detested anyone living the country-life instead of being city slaves, making Goshen a land of the happy hated (in my mind).

Goshen means “drawing near” or “the best of the land.” Goshen has become synonymous with “a place of comfort and plenty.”

I picture parts of Goshen like this:

And this--

Anyway, these days? I'm making my own little yellow house on a tiny city lot into a sort of Land of Goshen. A 'place of comfort and plenty', a place to draw near to God. A separate place. Part, yet not a part of my city.

A sunny place (evident or not sky-wise)
A little yellow house surrounded by birds, breezes, and tiny, prosperous gardens.
A protected, favored, peaceful land even in the midst of drought or a Country at war with itself.

A land where God is honored, trusted, no matter what wind's swirling around our little corner lot of Goshen-in-our-hearts.

And when forgiveness, hope and anticipation reign, joy just sort-of Nile-like flows and bubbles around us. 

It's a sweet place. A good, godly one.

"The land of Egypt is before you. Settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land. Let them settle in the land of Goshen... Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly."   --- Genesis 47:6, 27

There comes a time to realize we have choices. As Christians, we do not have to live the same ol' sad way everyone else does. Almighty God lives inside us and we are not helpless!

 "If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."   --- John 15:19


Here's where the saying, 'keeping up with the Jones' began (and also, sadly, where it can lead).

And more of the cautionary tale (in photos) which is Grey Gardens: Grey Gardens Before And After And After

The books I read in April? These:

Mama Makes Up Her Mind
The Case of the Calico Crab
Sleeping at the Starlite Motel
Emma's Island
Becky's Island
The Four-Story Mistake
Then There Were Five
Spiderweb For Two
The High House

And the challenge of the day:

Rampant creativity! We can aim for rampant creativity.

(More Goshen: I may live in a city suburb, but the inside of my heart resembles that farmland, above.)

Happy May Day to you!


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