Tuesday, October 24, 2023

If I'm No Longer Having Adventures, Whose Fault Is It?

"Behold I am doing a new thing. Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? ... If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land--"   --- Isaiah 43:19, Isaiah 1:19


Perhaps you've noticed I've not visited the neighborhood coffee shop in, like, a year and a half. Remember when I'd sit there with my books 2 or 3 times weekly?

I've not stepped into our local library in, eegads! Probably 4 years. I'm not keen on having deadlines in which to return books (er hem) nor am I a fan of driving down there--or anywhere, really. 

Regarding driving, I'm rather all been there, done that, now at age 64.

And you may recall how I often wrote about estate sales, yet oh my. The last one I attended? Can't remember. But then 4 years ago God asked me to begin major decluttering, so hey. Why tempt myself to lug items home when the rest of the week I'm dragging others to the Salvation Army drop-off?

Why make things harder on myself, hmm?

Always we are changing, even if we say we don't like change, even if we're not noticing differences when we do.

But it's ok. There is no growth without change, after all. 

If I'm the same now as I was at 35, oh dear. What a huge amount of stubborness I must have had to hold me back. What great losses of adventures, maturity, friendships, thoughts and delights I'd have skipped. What parts of my present personality I'd be lacking.

And because we follow a moving-forward-God, oh the times I would have had to tell Him, "Uh, no. I don't want to do what you're asking. I just desire to be comfortably me, behind the red door at home, not reaching out to others-- 

--not growing in compassion, not becoming stronger through stepping-out-of-the-boat obedience."

Heaven forbid.

What I'm noticing? When I most desire God's ways, He gives me new ideas to make up for those He asked me to leave behind or ones I can no longer physically handle. Tasks I can do at my present age. Lovely things, anticipatory ones.

Will I ever return to the cafe? Sure. But that 'ministry season' of sitting there, praying this new business would thrive, well, that's over. Amy's shop is doing exceedingly well. Now when I go, I'll just lean back with my decaf, scone, books--

--and I'll smile with gratitude that I accepted that earlier mission, that God gave me that adventure, that He placed the cafe there after I prayed for it to appear.

Too many Christians fear the will of God, but what if we anticipated it, instead? Maybe then at the end of this life we'd fly away with a head and heart full of the sweetest, custom-made adventures, ever. 

Satisfied with the life we'd lived.

The one thing God has not told me is, "Okay, Debra. You can now retire from loving and helping other people. You've earned it."  シ


Oh, I have some beautiful videos for you today:

And this video meant much to me. Tons of confirmation of what I'd been feeling this past month!  God Told Me It's Time To Start The Project!


Often I aim to make my home (the downstairs, that is) more autumnal-through-the-year-ish. Noticing I don't have many autumnal-gold items, I ordered these dishtowels from Ebay:

Ooo, they're nice and just the right pop of gold-orange for my always-Autumn kitchen. Since they're not linty at all, I can wash them with our regular clothes (gotta appreciate that, as well).

Just thought I'd mention those in case anyone else likes them and their vintage-looking-ness.


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, October 19, 2023

What I Thought On My Autumn Vacation

 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said.   --- Mark 7:37


Of course, God is always good, but this Autumn He especially is around Hobbit Cottage.

Charlie the Cat doesn't jump and skitter away when I approach him, his frustrating food-finicky-ness is fading (kinda) and he actually snuggles up against me on the red couch.

Ahh, the necessity of patience while waiting for a cat to fall in love with you.

Larry the Painter returned so to concrete-plug the holes he'd discovered in our foundation wall. One entire corner needed major repair: surprisingly it hadn't earlier gone tilt-tilt-splat.

Color us grateful indeed for Larry.

Sunshine returned this morning having left our sky (apparently) last Thursday. Oh my cold, grey bundled-up mornings on the front porch speedily reading my devotional books before giving up and seeking the house's warmth.

Yet the lovely Autumn ladies on Youtube encouraged me to find grace, coziness and creativty in grey and orange Fall days, reminding me of my own advice to you: if something feels wrong, fix what you can, but never allow self-pity to wash over and sink you.

And true, one cannot fix grey skies, but she can adjust her attitude toward them.

How good of God to, when we ask, introduce us to encouragers and what I've noticed? Many of the best encouragers are unique folks who spend much time alone because of that uniqueness.

So anyway, I fixed things. Remember when I added the books, framed print and lights to our entertainment center?

Well, I was hiding stuff behind the books, mostly candles (I asked Tom for a couple candles from Goodwill and now he can't seem to stop lugging bags of them home), then reaching blindly around and grabbing candles (or whatever) by feel-and-guess. 

Such a lack of excellence. Then one day I recalled our longish (22 inch) wooden tray hidden beneath the couch. After washing it then pulling out the stuff behind the books, I sat the tray on top and now I have a shelf for candles I can actually see.

When you live in a small house (and you're a stuff collector) it helps to keep an open mind instead of resisting change and remaining frustrated.

Oh, the control we do not have of that big outside world right now! Yet if we remain calm listeners to the Holy Spirit within us, He can bless us with ideas we'd never have thought on our own here in our own spaces.

And His ways? They're always better than our own and always doable (if we need help He'll show us whom to ask).

Some people insist God holds them back, but I believe He'd only do that to keep us from carrying-out our Honey-that'll-get-you-into-trouble ideas. 

His ways, His plans work and do not lead us to grief. And oh, to crave only God's wisdom, even though often it doesn't appear best or most sensible or fun at first glance.

Hence, that's when our faith must kick in. After all, without those faith steps, it's impossible to please Him.

"Artists of the everyday excel in elevating the simple to the level of the Sacred."   --- Sarah Ban Breathnach


Such lovely rooms in this video about decorating in dark academia style. This one also. Both these ladies helped me realize I already have bits of dark academia happening in my living room. Probably comes from watching all those cheesy scarey movies while growing-up.  シ

Speaking of which, I've begun again watching the Basil Hathbone and Nigel Bruce movies about Sherlock Holmes. You can find them all free here.

My favorite lovely autumn lady, Darling Desi, recommended this book--

--and wow. The best cozy mystery, ever! Especially since each page oozed Autumn. Made me a tad crazy to read it, though. I wanted to devour it, yet make it last. I anticipated finishing it, yet hoped it would never end.

Highly recommended.


Oh, and I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this, but around the corner from the Salvation Army drop-off down the street is a Little Free Library.

 For whatever odd reasons, last week was only my second time to visit it. I dropped off a book, brought another home which is good so far, but I'm wanting to read two others before I continue.

Do you have a Free Little Library near you?


In so many instances, it's never too late to begin again.


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, October 10, 2023

October This And That

1.) Well, I'm on a journey to live a new way inside my same old house. Part of that involves not just making things prettier, but easier on this aging ol' body of mine.  ツ

So rather than repainting, every 3 years, this kitchen dresser top, I placed my marble cutting boards together, creating (what feels like) a new countertop--

This feels niftier, covers the scuffed top, although technically, one day I may replace those with white marble or perhaps a piece of granite. We'll see.

But I do love 'shopping my house' whenever I can for improvements as I also did with this, below--

2.) Back in all the chaos of 2020, Tom began working from home. Answered prayer, really.

Yet in 3 years never did I think to remove my so-favorite painting from his office where he spends tons of time, but I never do.

So now beside me on the red couch where I loll away my days (heh), that painting hangs, nearly feeling like a hug:

How incredible that such a tiny change could make me love a whole room more and--

--it reminds me of how, last week, Joyce Meyer shared Philippians 4:8, the verse about thinking lovely thoughts, (etc.), then she added, "Do your best to surround yourself with beauty".

Appreciated that, and perhaps that's my underlying motivation for these recent changes to my home. It's easier to consistently think admirable thoughts when you're surrounded by Spirit-led creativity. 

Complaining will only ruin everything.

3.) How did I not know, until the lovely autumn ladies (scroll way down) told me, that a Fall Bucket List was a thing? Sheesh. And here I've been a year-around autumn lover for decades.

Anyway, Etsy has tons of those lists you can download, but I wanted this metal one from Amazon, instead--

Now it hangs merrily upon our fridge front (all alone) and I'm more grateful than ever for my daily video dose of lovely autumn ladies.

4.) Need some inspiration to switch over your clothes closet for autumn and winter? This lady makes it an art form.

5.)  The books I finished reading in September:

Truly, Madly, Sheeply (absolutely loved this new autumnal book by Heather Vogel Frederick)
Be Joyful (by Joyce Meyer)
Isle of Dreams (by Susan Branch)
The Cat, The Quilt, and the Corpse (by Leann Sweeney)
The Summer Book (by Susan Branch)

.... oh, and for fans of Joanne Fluke's books, Open Library has many of them available.

6.) Yesterday I watched two outstanding videos which clearly explained to me what is happening in Israel--and why. Go here and here. And pray, oh my goodness, do pray.

7.) We watched a marvelous biographical movie: Dreamin' Wild. Wow, I'd never seen a more encouraging-to-each-other family. Highly recommended, especially if you are a musician (or know some) or if you're a fan of Beau Bridges.  ツ

8.)  Isn't this abandoned library wild and mysterious?

9.) Something I've thought about lately:  
these are very different times so God will be doing new, life-changing things through His people. 

Hang in there!

10.) Oh! And just a reminder to always check Bookfinder before buying books online. They show you where to find books for the lowest prices available.  I nearly forgot last week, but doing so saved me $8 on a book. So worth it!

Now more than ever we need to resolve not to be shaken. This is a "these times must come" example, and with Jesus standing beside us, within us, we need not fall apart like those who've not yet met Him.


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, October 05, 2023

Ways Heaven Is Changing My Days

"I am already in eternity." --- John Fenn


One of the books I'm reading during my morning quiet times? Susan Branch's, Autumn From The Heart of Home. Today I read this quote (and swooned) --

"All the way to Heaven is Heaven."   --- St. Catherine of Siena

I think that appeared nearly in bold type to me because lately I've also thought much about this--

"Your kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."  Matthew 6:10

After you've read books regarding Heaven and listened to stories of folks who've visited there, well, you're left with a comforted heart and a challenge to prepare here to one day live there.

At least, I've found that.

I mean, I sit at our dining room table to pay bills and immediately think, "Imagine! In Heaven I'll never sit down with envelopes, stamps, pens, etc., so to pay bills. Bills won't even exist! Nor will money.

Honey, that's one happy anticipation, indeed.  ツ 

Yet can I experience a tiny bit of Heaven on Earth regarding bill-paying? Yes, for I can sign-up to have at least some paid automatically online, ones I feel comfortable adding to my credit card (or Tom's). (We're not yet at ease with connecting bills online to our bank account. Perhaps that will arrive in time.)

So far, though, smile if you will, but yes. Automatically-paid bills do make my life on Earth, lovelier. Simpler. Sunnier, even.

In Heaven there'll be no cleaning of our homes(!), so now I seek ways to make Hobbit Cottage self-cleaning.

In Heaven, outdoors will be gorgeous (I'm thinking my neighborhood will be constantly autumnal), so now I spend much time outside, especially early mornings. I dip into my bookbag and bring out a delight to peruse, often gazing up at the sky and the river down the street.

In Heaven we'll all get along--no arguing or silent fuming or gossiping-- so here on Earth? I seek to do this-- 

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."   ---Romans 12:18

-- and of course, at times, that involves forgiveness.

In Heaven we'll use our 'helping gifts' (scroll down a tad) so here I try consistently to sharpen my gifting skills. How embarrassing to show-up in Heaven as a bumbling novice when I could have, with Grace, become a pro at kindnesses.

And in Heaven, people will overflow with gratitude for all God's love shown toward us and oh! How wonderful to practice that upon Earth, reaping much joy, especially during times when we're told Life's no longer good (it's glorious to prove them wrong by living and thinking differently).

Okay, there's more of course, yet this is only a blog post, not a book. You get the idea, right?

And I'll end here by adding this: what a comfort to learn about Heaven and to spend hours imagining it--not only for ourselves--but for those who've moved there before us. 

Why? Because we'll know we've grown closer to Heaven, to God, even while upon Earth, when we stop wishing our loved ones back. When we can be thrilled for their constant joy, their new experiences, their adventures in such a perfect, love-fueled place. When we accept they would not return here, even if given a choice.

And someday we will join them! Yet in the meantime, may we enjoy God here and love others and do our part to see His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

All with the strength of God's joy within us.

"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."   --- Colossians 3:2

 “... 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 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭18‬-‭19‬ ‭

In other words, there's much of Heaven we can begin living here if we'll simply ask God to show us how.


A special thanks to all who prayed for the removal of the cyst upon my head. The painless procedure went amazingly well! Oh how celebratory I still feel and really, how cool to no longer have a misshapened head.  ツ

---and what a blessing to view Ariel's new post while resting that procedure day upon the red couch. I considered that a personal gift from God (no, really).

And wow! This living room. I'd never seen so many different textures/treatments upon walls in one room, nor as many mixed patterns--but it all works together (a lesson, indeed)! I absolutely love every detail, but oh dear. This is another one my minimalist friends will want to skip watching. heh.


... and did you know there's a book town in Scotland?!  ... and that NYC still has many decades-old bookstores? Wow. Makes me want to rethink my never having visited there.  ツ

If we're consistently living with the same sort of misery of those who haven't yet met Jesus, well, something is wrong. But Jesus can correct all that! In fact, most likely, He's at this moment, trying to do so. One step at a time He can lead us out of any darkness and bring us into light. All it requires is our willing obedience and surrender.


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