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Listen, Love, Repeat – Week 3 – Chapter 5 – My Bible Study Notes

26 May

CHAPTER 5 – THE SICK AT HEART – What To Say or Do When You Don’t Know What to Say Or Do

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Do you rejoice with those who rejoice or weep with those who weep?  I know I do.  I think sometimes in this modern society of ours we want to keep up with the neighbors.  We can be envious of what others have.  I can honestly say that, for me personally, God has stripped all that.  I don’t have to have the best shoes, the best purses, the best clothes, house, or car.  I have learned that to be the best that I can be that can only be obtained by spending time in His Word and learning to be more like Him.

Jesus shared in others sorrow.  He weeped with those who weeped.  Karen shared how a german lady at church had often said to her, “A sorrow shared is but half a trouble, but joy that’s shared is a joy made double.”  My husband quotes something similar out of the Bible that I love.

My husband uses a similar phrase in weddings.  He says something like, “When a joy is shared it is doubled, but when a sorrow is shared it is halved.”  I see how true that is in life just watching our grandchildren together and all the joy, and when we lose a family member or friend how that sorrow is halved comforting each other.

Karen shared how it is sometimes hard to know what to say or do so she had reached out to blog readers to share what had helped them.  Here are a few:

  • Miscarriage – Good friends called and took them out to dinner.  It was the last thing they wanted to do, but they were picked up by their friends and when they laughed the friends laughed, when they cried the friends gently and lovingly held the and cried with them.
  • Grief – A friend shared Bible verses.

I went to a memorial last week and heard several times words that Karen reminded us not to say and that is, “If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”  A reader named Aimee wrote that during difficult times the last thing we have energy for is figuring out what we need.  Ever been there?  Sometimes we just feel helpless and we do not know what we need at that moment.  Karen says to “show up, take over a task, and allow the person to concentrate on what they need to.”

Just show up.  Do whatever.  I remember the night a nephew died.  We went.  My husband and I got in the kitchen and just washed dishes at my sister-in-laws house.  When my Mom would be in the hospital or after long days at work and then visits to the nursing home I would come home and my husband would have dinner fixed and waiting for me, and usually he had washed a load of clothes.  I remember driving one of my sisters to her first cancer treatment.  She didn’t need me to.  She said she was okay, but something inside me urged me to go and be with her.

Karen reminds us of a good friend, Tammy who says during different stages of grief and loss she didn’t need friends to throw out Bible verses, but rather friends who stopped by with compassion and grace with coffee or food or who sent a text message or card.  She even had friends who stopped by and decorated her Christmas tree.  Can you remember a time you didn’t want to decorate a tree?  I sure can, and how so very hard it was to make myself do it.

One other thing shared in this book was that sometimes we do not need to say anything at all, but just sit there and listen.

One scenario Karen shares that could so be me, and where I find myself sometimes thinking about ME.  “You would love nothing more this weekend than a quiet Saturday morning all to yourself.  But you know that a friend across town is living with the fallout of a recent divorce – and for her, the Saturday morning quiet is deafening.  Could you kidnap her for the morning, take her out for coffee and a muffin and engage in some heartfelt conversation?  It will not only encourage her, but you will be blessed as well.”  OUCH!  Not just a recently divorced, but how about someone who has recently lost a loved one?

Here are some things I’ve done recently:

  • Cooked a meal for Mom’s with a new baby.
  • Babysit while a new Mommy took a nap.
  • Picked up at toddler at Mother’s Day Out for that Mom didn’t have to load up her new babies.
  • Mowed the yard for a neighbor who was in the hospital.
  • Took a meal to a grieving family.
  • Sent a card to our pastor’s wife with a little money for coffee, and invited her to coffee.
  • Painted an older ladies fingernails and toenails.
  • Kept children for couples could have date nights (mainly our son and daughter), but do you know someone locally or in your church who does not have family here.  Perhaps they need a night out.
  • Offered to do laundry for someone with a new baby
  • Picked up groceries for a neighbor while I was grocery shopping and I knew they could not get out.
  • Visited a friend who lost his wife.  My hubby and I walk down and just sit on the porch with him and visit.  Several times I’ve baked a favorite casserole or dessert and took it over and we invited him and his daughter over for a New Year’s meal and recently homemade ice cream.

Here are some great ideas Karen shared to use when we interact with the sick at heart:

  • Give them space
  • Remember their loved one out loud
  • Invite them along
  • Etch important dates on your calendar.  Make plans to reach out during the holidays and other special dates.
  • Frame a favorite picture or put it on a Christmas ornament.

Show up, look for something to do, and do whatever you can.  Do what matters TODAY!

I’m joining Kate Matoung and the “FMF girls today and the word is visit.  Love how it goes along with this study.

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WRITE 31 DAYS – DAY 20 – WEEKEND

23 Oct

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I love weekends – always have and think I always will even in retirement now.  This weekend was no exception. We went with our son, his wife and our grandson and his in-laws to Galveston to fish for big reds, and it was an amazing time.  As our son says this will probably not happen this way and marvelous again.

That’s a catch of one of mine on the second day.  It was 22 pounds.  I caught a 26 pound the day before and well you won’t believe it, but I had forgotten to put my card in my camera that morning when I was posting pictures from the day before.

Here is a small one I caught on the first day.  These boys wore us out.  My hubby reminded me I have been wanting to strengthen my arms.

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And here is the last bad, bad boy.  I moved away while my son unhooked this one.

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This is our second year to catch big reds in Galveston.  Our son knows just where to guide the boat to find them. We didn’t even have to move all day.  Thanks to him and Whitney and Colt for treating us to this awesome trip and sharing with us.  Memories we will savor for a lifetime.

And yes we threw most of them back in.  We could only keep them if they were between so many inches so the smaller ones we measured each time.  The big ones got to go back in.

So what did you do this weekend?

This post is part of the #write31 day challenge.

I would love for you to check out my other #31 days posts.  I’m trying to write every day in October:

Day 1 – God Painted The Skies For My Walk This Morning

Day 2 – God Paints Masterpieces

Day 3 – Wardrobe, Baby Cribs/Beds, Infant Items – Ideas/Necessities? Day 4 – Brew – Jehovah, Java and Tea

Day 5- Silence

Day 6 – You Living Life Fully and Abundantly

Day 7 – Tests Into Testimonies

Day 8 – Sometimes Life Seems Like A Muddled Mess

Day 9 – Post-It Sticky Notes To Self and My Man with some FREEBIES

Day 10 – Unknown Twins Revealed

Day 11 – Thanks and Reveal of our Fifth Grand baby

Day 12 – Sky

Day 13 – Aware of Precious Moments Day 14 – We’ve Got Mail, I Love Mail

Day 14 – We’ve God Mail, I Love Mail

Day 15 – Moving Forward Into The Seasons of Life

Day 16 – Finding Joy In The Little Things – 100 Little Things

Day 17 – Bible Studies I Love

Day 18 – Neighborhood Coffee/Tea, Be A Gift To Your Neighbors

Day 19 – He Notices Me – El Roi

 

 

 

 

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WRITE 31 DAYS – DAY 18 – NEIGHBORHOOD COFFEE/TEA, BE A GIFT TO YOUR NEIGHBORS

18 Oct

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Who are your neighbors?  Do you even know?  I’m just talking about the people in your immediate neighborhood even though neighbors can anywhere.  Biblically everyone is our neighbor. I am focusing on my neighborhood because ever since I saw the book How to Love Your Neighbor and also ever since I went to a church coffee on Wednesdays at church just called Coffee I have wanted to start something to involve my neighborhood ladies.

I have been talking about just having the ladies over for coffee.  Some of them I know well, and others not so much – I only know them by walking by and stopping to chat a minute or waving when they drive by, or through another neighbor.

I need to plan a date and just do it!

So what can you do to bless a neighbor.  There are so, so many ways.  I’ve baked things, I’ve made jams and shared, I have taken baked goods to new neighbors, take them on an errand, loan the something they need like our tractor gets used a lot because none of the neighbors have one.

This summer on my birthday I decided to be a gift to my community and actually I set out doing things not only in my neighborhood and community, but I also drove south to another town and east to another town to bless others.  I talked about what I was planning that day in Be A Gift.  It was my 66th birthday and I gifted 66 things, but I never came back to share pictures from that day.  I can’t believe that was in June and here it is October, but today is a perfect time to cross that off my list although late.

As I started that day I loaded up the car.  Granted this was before I bought those huge things of cookies, fresh flowers, and nuts.

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I started the morning first by leaving our mailman a little gift.  It was a really hot day and I was going to be gone all day so I couldn’t leave a bottle of cold water or anything that would melt.  I settled for a package of Gold Fish crackers.  My grandsons and I love them.  I hope he did.  I wrote a little sticky note to him.

 

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Next, I went to my next door neighbor, my mother-in-law.  I picked a few flowers out of my flower bed and put them in a cute little vase and took her some of the homemade zucchini muffins I made the night before.  She wasn’t real thrilled about the picture without make up and so early in the morning, but it’s cute:

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I left Mom’s and headed two doors down to a widow neighbor.  He is always bringing me vegetables and I had some zucchini he gave me.  I made muffins.  He got a bag, my mother in law got a bag and our preacher.

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So next I headed to a town about ten miles away – Waxahachie because that is where our Baylor Hospital is, and I wanted to bless a whole lot of nurses.   I stopped at a grocery and picked up some cookies, and bought some flowers to add to some more vases, and gave one of those to the receptionist.  I carried in a newspaper and coloring books and crayons to leave in the visiting rooms.

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Stopped at 2 McDonald’s to buy a gift certificate to put in a coffee cup I bought for our pastor because he loves McDonald’s coffee.. He got this cup and a muffin and money for coffee. Neither McDonald’s had gift certificates so I just put in some money.

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While at church it was also time for my ladies Bible study class, and since we were doing The Best Yes, I had some calendars laying around I had picked up months before and I presented one in honor of my birthday to our leader.

See those Butterfingers. I went to the credit union – needed money and I made a small deposit as a gift to the grandsons in honor of my birthday. I passed out Butterfingers to all the workers and all the customers.

Next stop Schlotzsky’s and someone behind me got a free meal and then off to one of my favorite stops today. I went to a water area we have at our outdoor mall for kids It was so crowded. I had only 2 very large bags of Tootsie roll pops and a large container of rubber type stickers. I only made it thru a quarter of the park, because all those gifts were gone but everyone was so nice. These kids sang happy birthday to me.  They were a gift.  They are behind that white circle.

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I headed from there to our credit union to make a deposit and get some cash and I gave everyone in there working  Pay Days with a cute little note and I passed out Butterfingers to the customers.See those Butterfingers. I went to the credit union – needed money and I made a small deposit as a gift to the grandsons in honor of my birthday. I passed out Butterfingers to all the workers and all the customers.

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Off to Costco more, more cookies and large cans of peanuts. I stopped at the post office first to mail our bills and did the drive thru there and a postal lady was emptying the outside mail bins. She took my mail and I told her happy birthday and I was gifting the town and handed her 2 Butterfingers.

Next was our dentist office. They all got cookies but the precious receptionist got flowers.

They all got cookies but the precious receptionist got flowers.

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I drove back to my town and stopped at my bank.  I took a vase of those little flowers in to a lady who had helped me with Mom’s stuff when she died.   I also took more Pay Days for the workers and Butterfingers for the customers.

I stopped at our city park and found 2 mamas with their boys and some grandparents with their granddaughters. Left 2 giant bubble blowers and 2 pkgs of chalk.

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Next stop the car wash. Passed out quarters in baggies with a message their car wash was on me. Loved the mama and teenager I handed some to.

I went to two fire stations – one in my city, and one down the road in another city.  We are serviced by both – one for ambulance and one for fire.

Here is the first one.  It was awesome, but I barely got to see it except for the computer room, small lounge and kitchen. As we sit down the giant apple pie and cookies all the lights and alarms went off and off they went. I was disappointed I never got to thank them or see the rest of the fire station. Also disappointed I didn’t take a picture of that giant apple pie from Costco. But I did get two of them in a picture as they were pulling out.

Then I went on to the other one and took them cookies and nuts.

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And I didn’t forget the ladies at the water department.  I took two vases of flowers to them and didn’t get a picture.

I would love for you to share some ways you bless your neighbors.

would love for you to check out my other #31 days posts.  I’m trying to write every day in October:

Day 1 – God Painted The Skies For My Walk This Morning

Day 2 – God Paints Masterpieces

Day 3 – Wardrobe, Baby Cribs/Beds, Infant Items – Ideas/Necessities? Day 4 – Brew – Jehovah, Java and Tea

Day 5- Silence

Day 6 – You Living Life Fully and Abundantly

Day 7 – Tests Into Testimonies

Day 8 – Sometimes Life Seems Like A Muddled Mess

Day 9 – Post-It Sticky Notes To Self and My Man with some FREEBIES

Day 10 – Unknown Twins Revealed

Day 11 – Thanks and Reveal of our Fifth Grand baby

Day 12 – Sky

Day 13 – Aware of Precious Moments Day 14 – We’ve Got Mail, I Love Mail

Day 14 – We’ve God Mail, I Love Mail

Day 15 – Moving Forward Into The Seasons of Life

Day 16 – Finding Joy In The Little Things – 100 Little Things

Day 17 – Bible Studies I Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#write31days – Day 8 – Sometimes Life Seems Like A Muddled Mess

10 Oct

 

picmonkey-image-21Sometimes life does seem like a muddled mess even when we know it’s not because God always has a perfect plan, and eventually we will see that what we thought was a muddled mess was actually the time we should been grounded in our trust in Him.  Have I always?  I have been a failure in many of those seasons, but the longer I know Him the more I see how He has turned these messes into beautiful things.  He can turn our trials into triumphs, messes into beauty, victors into victorious.

What are some of my muddled messes/trials:

     Miscarriages

      Watching my Mom suffer depression when Dad died.  Watching her suffer from a bacteria she caught during a broken leg repair and then she lost her leg and spent months in the hospital.

     Seeing a grandson born with a horrible disease not knowing if he would live.

     Watching children suffer through infertility and miscarriage

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Lessons I’ve learned in the muddle:

    God is always in control.

    It’s may not be okay, but I am going to be okay as long as I lean into Him.

    He is the only one that will never hurt or harm me.

    He makes my messes a testimony, a story, His story.  My history is His-story.

    He gives me strength to power through those muddled messes.

Are you in a mess today?  How are you turning it over to God?

I would love for you to check out my other #31Day posts:

Day 1 – God Painted The Skies For My Walk This Morning

Day 2 – God Paints Masterpieces

Day 3 – Wardrobe, Baby Cribs/Beds, Infant Items – Ideas/Necessities?

Day 4 – Brew – Jehovah, Java and Tea

Day 5- Silence

Day 6 – You Living Life Fully and Abundantly

Day 7 – Tests Into Testimonies

Blessed – Some Days I Forget!

29 Jul

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The last few days have been hard.  Sometimes life is just hard even though our lives are going well, we seem to dwell on the little things and sometimes a couple of big things rather than dwell on all the good.

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Today I was reminded by someone very SPECIAL to me that even with all that is going on in my life, that I have my health, a wonderful marriage, two beautiful kids, two AMAZING kids-in-law , a grandbaby on the way who is healthy and will only be 3 miles away (something I’ve prayed for for so long!), a beautiful home, a fun dog, and cute granddogs, an awesome Bible study ministry through which God is using me to touch many lives (even though it can feel stressful at time), beautiful memories to cherish forever of my parents and those in my family who’ve passed on, a great church, the hope of Heaven, salvation, knowing that God will never leave me nor forsake me, knowing that everything that comes into my life first passes through the hand of God (nothing is out of his control, so if He brings me to it, He can/will bring me through it!), tasty food, retirement, an opportunity to serve and love on the families in my community (subbing), Hallmark movies … the list goes on and on! Many reasons to smile and feel blessed today!

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