Thursday, September 28, 2023

My Early Autumn Days

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace......  that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”"   --- 1 Peter 4:10, 1 Timothy 6:18


So I'm watching those Youtube videos where lovely women share their Autumnal celebrations with us. You know, with their --

pumpkin-flavored coffee, 
Fall crafts,
comfy sweaters, 
strolls through the woods,
soothing music, 
autumn-centered movies,
bookstore visits 
and their red, brown, gold and orange seasonal home decor.

Oooo... Color me addicted-but-who-cares?  シ

Sometimes? I'm surprised when I discover most of these ladies are married, for their videos illustrate the peacefulness and beauty of hours spent in worlds of their own intricate, imaginative making.

And as I share with you once each year, it's vital to craft a warm, sweet, much-treasured part of our life. One where it's us and Jesus, then whatever else adds vibrancy to our days and heart.

Something no one else can snatch from us, no matter what the reason, even by their sudden, sad disappearance. (Yes, Heaven forbid that last part.)

But still, even so, what I've noticed during my 60+ years is the happiest Christian women have all created something uniquely theirs, usually involving a God-given gift they've perfected over the decades.

And today I'm simply saying I hope you, my friend, have found, crafted, and built upon a creative task like that, also. Something yours, yes, but something-- a base, if you will--from which you can add beauty to the lives of others, as well.

As you were created by God to do.

The saddest women I know? Those who sit in their chairs waiting for someone else to come along and fix their life-gone-wrong.

Here's another, different one, of my posts which may help: Why Create a Life Of Your Own?

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them..."   --- Romans 12:6


My current season is a redecorating one. (Love those.)

For months I'd craved the perfect thing for the window sill above our kitchen sink, but couldn't find it. That is, until I recalled this iron thing, below, out on our front porch.

I brought it inside, washed it off, placed it there--and felt such contentment, greatly appreciating the autumnal vibe, what with the leaves and grapes.

And one-fourth of my hutch top just didn't look right, again, for months. Then, probably because of watching the in-love-with-Fall-ladies, I thought to place autumn-colored books there. And again, instant contentment.

I ordered a white tea kettle to replace the stainless steel one I'd never really liked (free with store credits eons ago). I also replaced my large silvery-designed crockpot with a smaller, easier to handle plain white one (only $2.90 using credit card rewards).
Oh, and our house number sign arrived yesterday. Lovely against the yellow, just as I'd imagined.

I read that our winter isn't due to be severe this year (hooray!), and yet I'm feeling an inner deadline to get all this ordering finished beforehand, including my usual stocking of the pantry.

And with Grace here to help with these? It's all so enjoyable, step by slow, doable step.


Here's a very autumnal-feeling older book which you can read at Open Library. One of my new favorites.

For those who prefer more traditional home decor, here's a lovely Youtube video. Wow. Some gorgeous rooms there.

And here are some of the ladies with the special autumnal videos: lots more. See how many you can find!


Last weekend we watched such a sweet, biographical movie. It's called A Million Miles Away and we saw it 'free' via Prime. 

--and weeks ago at Youtube we watched a Biography video of Kenny Rogers. Loved that, also, and we were all teary-eyed by the end.

We need what God created you to share with 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

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Where She Came Home From The Doctor And Then ---

"As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance..."   --- 1 Peter 1:14


All summer I said, "If this disgusting cyst on my head isn't miraculously gone by August's end, I'll (finally) seek to have it removed."

Well, summer left (heat-wise), but the cyst remained.

Tom sweetly volunteered to find someone to remove it. His own doctor emailed back that a plastic surgeon would be best(!), but ha! We thought that overkill. Was he imagining this thing huge and on my face?

So Tom found a local dermatologist in our network and you know? Surprisingly, I felt no dread about a consulation and eventual removal. None. Timing and Grace were all over this.

Monday morning there we sat in the dermatologist's office. When she and her assistant stepped over to peek beneath my hair, she said, "Oh my! That is a cyst, all right," fortunately without backing up in terror (or gagging). heh.

The dermatologist said if it was smaller, she'd recommend just watching it over time (made me happy because that's what I'd done), but now it was parting my hair and showing. So she explained how she'll remove it next week.

Twice she and her assistant asked if there was anything else they could do for me, probably while scrutinizing the two moles on my neck, and beneath my make-up the chicken pox and acne scars and crows' feet, wrinkles and --

--but I said, "No thanks. I just need that ugly thing removed. I'm tired of wearing hats."

So next week, after 15 years, this cyst will be history. Only this past year was it a visual nuisance (and it's never hurt), but still. Whew.

Anyway, we arrived home and you know how once you've been in a minimalistic place, your own house can appear so cluttered? Yeah, it was like that.

Oh, not all of it, but our office and pantry room majorly irked me. Too much stuff!

But here's the encouraging thing--and the point of my post today. Immediately I reminded myself that hey, 4 years ago God asked me to 'get my house in order' and since then I've released over 2,000 items.

With consistency and time, one can do huge things. She can! Especially when Grace is there helping as she always does while we're obeying God in His timing.

So the excuses we make for procrastinating? It's all just whining to God--again if He asked us to do the task.

And because of the easy calendar notes I've kept while decluttering, I know the numbers of what I released. So when it appears I still have much to toss, I can 'encourage myself in the Lord' by repeating those numbers--

--and knowing I'm moving forward, even though some days, oh Honey, it doesn't look that way.

Yet how important to remind ourselves that real truth is stronger than appearance. It's much deeper. Always.

And although I love my red and black knitted slouch caps, ones to cover that cyst when people knocked on the door, oh boy, they sure got hot this summer!  ツ

Lists! I highly recommend them. In fact, this year I'm using a spiral notebook for my weekly lists of things to do, as well as other lists:

Books to read
Foods for Tom so to avoid gout.
Movies to watch
Things to buy
Things to remember
Changes we made

How terrific to have these all in one place, one notebook, usually beside me on the red couch. I find lists to be stress-reducers: they do my remembering for me.

Of course, if you have a smart phone, you can keep all those there, but as for this gal, she shall stick to paper.  heh.


For fellow lovers of Autumn, this was achingly beautiful.

And oh wow, this Fall Home Tour inspired me more than I can say. Usually these days I lean toward more minimal decor, but when you pack in everything so perfectly? Well, I'll take it.  シ

And if you, like me, will probably never visit France or Italy, this was lovely. Oh, the sunlight and blue, blue water!


... including when your calling is to get your house in order.  ツ


It's often futile to wait for other people to encourage us. Why not encourage ourselves?

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, September 13, 2023

Tests, Reapings or Attacks, Oh My!

"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands."   --- Deuteronomy 8:2


All spur-of-the-moment-like , this morning I stepped out the backdoor with paper towels, my vinegar water, and some spray paint, then proceeded to paint our blue back patio furniture upon the lawn.

In only 60 shady, luscious degrees, I smiled then whispered, "I'm baaaack!"

Summer: almost did you demolish me! Yet Jesus, through all the changes and heat and days I felt 95 and sickly, kept me standing.

I wobbled, but I didn't fall down.  heh.

Not the most victorious testimony, but I'll take it, especially during a Buffalo summer.


Which reminds me... Often I speak of tests we experience which show us how far God's brought us (and how far we've left to go).

Also, I mention reaping from what we have sown, be that lovely things or dire, what-was-I-thinking? ones (er hem).

Yet I'm not sure I've written about attacks. You know, ones from satan which often come at our progressive times so to knock us back into the silence, the regretful, do-nothing box, no longer aiding any troubled folks. 

Yeah, those.

Sometimes, when you experience a long, hard summer like mine, deciphering the difference is difficult:

Is this rough, stretching time a test from God?
Am I reaping from foolish seeds I earlier sowed?
Is this an attack from satan to discourage me, to slide me into a 'safe' non-productivity?

But whew. If we'll listen to the Holy Spirit, if we'll know our Bible and know ourselves (including our weaknesses) we can hear what's what:

Where we veered off the road, 
or what we did right.
Who's trying to do what, God or satan.
How to stand,
What to change. 

Oh, how we need discernment, especially these 2023 days. And wisdom, the every-minute, peace-of-mind type, for:

"Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life."   --- Ecclesiastes 7:12

Wisdom can save our physical life, sure, but it also keeps it from spiraling. Wisdom washes away confusion, the nonsense, the doubts and the over-thinking headaches.

"Above all, get wisdom." 

No, really. You'll thank me later.  ツ

God's tests inspire us to be more like Jesus, to love others more. Satan's attacks make us doubt, dread, and hide away all reclusive-like from loving people as Jesus did.

Part of this message came from rereading Martha's Vineyard: Isle of Dreams. Oh, how satan fought Susan Branch on becoming, well, Susan Branch! Her books are such a comfort for many people and what a loss we'd all have had without them.
(Click on the link to read this wonderful book at Open Library.)

I'm seeing on Youtube that satan is attacking many Christians with constant thoughts of what they did wrong years past. Watch out for that one and remember that, through Jesus, we are forgiven!


To celebrate Hobbit Cottage's new paint, I finally (after 12 years!) ordered a house number sign like this one:

It'll look especially lovely against our light yellow. Can't wait till its arrival.


Why is it so darn fascinating watching Ariel work on her house??

Oh! Clutterbug has a very sensible video about celebrating Autumn without lugging in a bunch of decor.

Yet if you enjoy a bunch of Fall decor (and walking through Autumn woods), go here.  ッ

And if you'd like to take a walk through Boston in the Autumn, go here. (Check out their other Fall videos for that "and you are there" feeling.)


Tom and I watched the movie, The Ultimate Gift. A little bit of something for everyone and very thought-provoking.

Had to smile at this!

And here's something special to remember and aim for--


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, September 08, 2023

Mostly Just Checking-In

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


Whew. Probably this was my hardest summer, ever. 

Humidity, smoke-filled air, dark clouds, steamy-rain, Daniel the Cat's back injury then death, Tom's gout, the passing of my sister's daughter-in-law, and more, including a pain in the neck this past week whenever I read or went online (hence no post here), two favorite things. The pain had lessened until I sat down to write this.


Yet this morning? The return of cool, September-like temperatures, here to remain, most likely, and my heart is singing gratitude songs to God who helped me survive not just bad summer months, but an altogether rough year so far.

And yet, lovely things happened, also, and you must see Hobbit Cottage's new coat of paint:

I'd like to snap one with better lighting.

                       This one's closer, more realistic with the glow.

       The mailbox was all chipped, the walls stained, but both are gleaming now. And I still love our red door and the barely-visible-here green door knocker.

Larry the Painter did everything himself, alone, because no longer can he find partners who show up or put down their phones. (A theme we all hear these years, right? Something for which to pray.) 

No problems! No headaches. In six days Larry left us only excellence and beauty and on mornings I sit upon the porch listening to geese honking overhead, watch the school bus kids waiting and the falling leaves--and overflow with gratitude.

May we remember that praising God during dark times brings us rays of light for this present day and the road ahead. Always His hope shines brighter than our problems, ones here or yet to come.

How much better it is to repeat, "And all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well" rather than moan and complain over everything gone wrong.

"Everything was fine until the humidity settled in."   --- Susan Branch


Speaking of gratitude, I discovered this woman last week and her sweet appreciation of gifts from Walmart totally blessed my heart.

And here's her video where she shared how to fry chicken on the stove with no oil or flour. (Looks yummy!)


I appreciate many styles of decorating, yet perhaps this type is my favorite. Oh, how I kept gasping throughout the video! Truly, some of the most dreamy rooms, ever.

Books I finished reading in August:

Welcome Home (by Melissa Placzek)
Yours, Truly
The Phantom of Walkaway Hill
Mystery of the Green Cat
Mystery of the Red Carnations
Mystery of the Strange Traveler
Romantic Country (by Mary Emmerling)


Don't let this happen to you.  ッ

Yes, there is!

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