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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 11 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – My Notes Week 3 – Chapters 12-15

12 Oct

You’ve got to pick up this book.  My blog can only hit on the BIG things that captured my heart.  There is so much stuffed in this easy to read book.  It is so good, and I am wearing it out and loving every single page.

Chapter 12- Sleeping By The Window – Nurturing Your Soul 

Chrystal talks about sleeping by the window on the floor even as she grew older, and reminds us that somewhere on the way from being a child to an adult we move away from the window that nurtured that girl inside us.

One reminder I loved was that she says, “we work too hard and play too little………….we forget what it means to simply be.”  Ponder on that – what does it mean to simply be?

This chapter reminded me of all the to-dos and my need to-dos.  I was and am still doing all the time.

What was I doing?

  • Full-time job as a Contracting Officer
  • Housework
  • Cooking
  • Carrying two kids to school, sports,  (soccer, volleyball, baseball, football, cheerleading) and an hour and a half round trip to school from our home.
  •  Church duties of singing in the choir, pre-school director, 4s and 5s teacher, church clerk, associate pastor’s wife………
  • Helping with an elderly Mom after the loss of Dad with many nights in the hospital

NOTE:  I miss sports with the kids.  I miss having them here.  I miss my Mom and Dad most days – so many memories.  I don’t miss my high stress job, but I miss friends I made there, and do get to meet some of them very occasionally for lunch because retirement has been a busy, invigorating, fun time for me.

What I’m doing now

  • Retired and loving it.
  • Watching our five grandchildren when I am needed and that’s usually two or three days a week.
  • Substitute teaching.
  • Volunteer Coach for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies – Have changed my life.  That’s where I am doing this study.  Our next one starts on November 4 and is Max Lucida’s Anxious For Nothing.   Come join us!
  • Trying to organize my house, and it is not going well.

So how do we learn to embrace life and love ourselves and delight in the simple joys?  She shares three ways – your senses, your significance, and the Spirit.

SENSES

Why did God create us with sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing?  She says it was God’s way for us to “perceive and experience your world.”    For her it is a “favorite book, watching athletes at the top of their game, hear music that inspires, or touch the soft fur of a puppy, and Bath and Body Works smell of “spa”.”

For me I do love books, don’t love athletes unless it’s family, Christian music especially when I’m cleaning or walking.  I really don’t want a puppy and all that goes with it, and I need to go check out “spa.”

Her Mom loves sunsets, flowers, and Cadbury Fruit and Nut chocolate.

I love sunsets, sunrises, flowers and chocolate.  I really need to try that Cadbury Fruit and Nut.  I love watching and listening to our  grand babies learning to sit up, crawl, stick out their tongues, walk, and even sleep, and our toddlers running around the den chasing each other.  I also love seeing animals,  butterflies, dragonflies and remembering Mom, kissing my husband goodbye in the morning and hello in the evening, folding his clothes and praying for him.  I love watching the rain come down and the birds all year-long – red birds, hummingbirds, doves, and blue birds.  There are always some year round feeding on the feeders my husband gave me when I retired.

YOUR SIGNIFICANCE

Chrystal says, ” relationships fill our cup – relationships with people who know us, value us, and treasure us.”  She also reminded us that significance is not only a gift to be received, but also to be given.

My relationships primarily center around family and my on-line Bible study sisters.  I can share with those folks because I’m not a real trusting person after being hurt by close family and friends.  Who can keep a trust – my husband, my kids, but honestly I haven’t found a friend that can.  Still looking for her, but I have found sisters in my studies that I can share some of my heart with.

Giving significance to others is easy for me.  Like Chrystal it’s easy to give a smile.  I’ve learned to stand in the hallways of school and smile and greet every child walking by.  I love waving when I am out walking to neighbors and school busses.  This morning one of the three busses that passed me stopped and opened his door as I waving and I said I was just saying good morning.  He said, “good morning and thank you.”  I learned when someone is on my mind it’s so easy to text, message, email or call.

THE SPIRIT

Chrystal reminds us that “the joy that can fill your soul through your senses and significance is temporary, and that kid of joy doesn’t last.”

True joy and peace for me comes from my Savior.  Let’s face it life is hard.  People disappoint us, they hurt us, don’t notice us, betray us, offend us.  His joy and peace are there for us no matter our circumstances.

How do we get that joy and peace?  She reminds us that we have to “cooperate by opening your Bible, making time for prayer, and walking in obedience.”

All these years I went to church and opened my Bible at church or to prepare for a children’s class.  It was not until I retired, found on-line Bible studies, and changed churches where we have women’s Bible studies that I truly learned to open my Bible.  The Word has come alive and I’ve found joy and peace no matter what I’m walking through.  I didn’t say it’s easy – it’s not – but it is amazing that when I am walking through tough times that He always sends a special verse, the right Bible study, or Christian song to bless my heart.  I feel Him daily.

His joy is my strength.

Chapter 13 –  A Labor of Love – Finding Purpose In Your Pain

Pain.  There is so much of it in life.  I’ve seen it over and over – miscarriages, infertility, death, sickness, disease.  How can it be a labor of love?  I know because I have found purpose in my pain.

Some of my favorite things from this chapter – too many to list them all.

  • “If we skip the pain, we skip part of the process.”
  • “Your pain is part of your journey.”
  • “Our pain affects how you see the world, and therefore how you see yourself.”
  • “It’s part of your experience, the stuff God allowed to impact your soul.”
  • “God wastes nothing.”
  • “Never forget that it’s in the darkest of spaces and places that the light of God’s hop can shine the brightest.  He is a master of making miracles out of our messes.”
  • “Pressing through your pain is always a push for life.  And ultimately, that push for life is a labor of love.”

This morning after writing all this I had to go get some of my favorite stone ware I hardly use and fix a cup of that “rockin’ hot chocolate” with a little cool whip on top.

 

 

Chapter 14 –  Rockin’ Hot Chocolate – Do What You Can With What You Have

You’ve heard that.  I’ve heard that, but what do we do with what we have?  We are reminded to not “delay making memories or sharing your life with your friends.”   She says, “do what you can to live your life well with what you have.”

Have you delayed making memories because your house is too small, too dirty, you don’t have the right dishes, don’t know how to cook?  I think we’ve all been there over the years as we were starting out.  So how do we live our lives with what we have?

I wonder, too, how many of us don’t pull out the good china, the cloth napkins, the crystal saving them for another time.  I’ve learned to enjoy those things.

I loved this – “We’re tempted to wait until just the right moment to do the right thing or a “big” thing.  And while we wait, we do “no” thing.”  I thought about this.  We do “no” thing and someone dies, gets sick and we never do anything.

What has God placed on your heart?  Do it.  I know I’m guilty.  It is not about the house for me, but it is time.  I have been talking for a year about having neighbor women over for coffee/tea brunch.  I have not done it.  It just needs to be on my calendar, and I am thinking I need to do this during Christmas holidays when school is out.  We can have some of that “rocking’ hot chocolate”.

We were reminded about Mother Teresa and how famous she is.  Chrystal reminds us that Mother Teresa embraced opportunities.  Let’s embrace the opportunities that God places right in front of us, but we are so busy we miss those blessings.

Chapter 15 – An Answer, Not The Answer – The Process of Your Progress

What are you doing today to make tomorrow better?  For some of us we are looking for answers, and we do not know how to make a life happen for ourselves that we will be proud of.

Let me remind you what Chrystal says, “Your job is not to find the answer that leads to a master plan or purpose.  Your job is to move forward as you become aware of an answer that you can act on.  You must accept that an answer is part of the process to getting to the answer.”

What have you become aware of?  What have you been afraid of?  Oh let me tell you this girl has been there, but it’s been small steps even when I was afraid for all my life.

  • Working through high school, after school at a furniture store
  • Typing and shorthand classes in high school preparing for a job.
  • Upon graduation took a job with the Navy in contracting using my typing and shorthand.
  • College – a few night classes here and there while my hubby was working part-time and finishing his degree, and eventually completing my business degree.
  • Willing to take risks and apply for new jobs in my office working my way up to one of the first two women who were Contracting Officers.

I had no master plan, but the Master did, as I continued to move forward and act on things that came about.  I never thought I would finish college – that all happened once I was as high as I could go in my office as a Team Leader and a Contracting Officer without being upper management one grade higher and that was not something I aspired to do.

Enjoy the rest of my 31 Days Series below:

Day 1 – 31 Days of Faith, Family, Home, Fitness, Coffee and Joy

Day 2 – Love

Day 3 – Did Someone Say Coffee-eeee?

Day 4 – Worthy an Online Bible Study of She’s Still There – My Week 2 Notes, Chapters 6-11

Day 5 –  Books I’m Reading, Cuppa Tea and Joy

Day 6 – His Mercies Are New Every Morning

Day 7 – Things I Love About Fall

Day 8 – Free Printable Lunch Box Notes

Day 9 – Prayer Walk

Day 10 – Refrigerator Thingy Notes – Free Printables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 10 – Refrigerator Thingy Notes – Free Printables

11 Oct

 

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I wanted to share a few more freebies today, and I am calling them refrigerator thingys to remind you and other visiting you that God loves YOU!

That picture with that little bottle of flowers is from my daughter.  She is grown, has children, yet she still shows up with flowers often.  Love, love, love.

I keep all kinds of reminders on my refrigerator.  How about you?

Yep there are pictures of our grandkids and one of my hubby and I kissing.  There is a school calendar for me because I substitute teach.

I also keep a little pegboard in the kitchen my daughter gave me with invitations, doctor’s appointments, and sometimes little things the grandkids make or are happy about.  This is how it looks today.  It changes often.  I love this board and I love that verse on it – one of my favorites.

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Enjoy these – more of my favorites.  Print them and that top one and be reminded how much He loves and cares for YOU!!!

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Enjoy the rest of my 31 Days Series below:

Day 1 – 31 Days of Faith, Family, Home, Fitness, Coffee and Joy

Day 2 – Love

Day 3 – Did Someone Say Coffee-eeee?

Day 4 – Worthy an Online Bible Study of She’s Still There – My Week 2 Notes, Chapters 6-11

Day 5 –  Books I’m Reading, Cuppa Tea and Joy

Day 6 – His Mercies Are New Every Morning

Day 7 – Things I Love About Fall

Day 8 – Free Printable Lunch Box Notes

Day 9 – Prayer Walk

 

 

 

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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 3 – Did Someone Say Coffee-eeee?

3 Oct

Coffee.  I can’t wait for my first cup of the morning, and it’s so good in the Fall and Winter.

I  get up, wash my face, make the bed and drink a big glass of water, then breakfast, and then depending on the day, it might be two cups or six cups of coffee.  If it’s cold outside well there is no telling.  I begin my Bible study about 5:45 and that’s usually with my very first cup of coffee.

I do not like coffee black, and it needs to be sweetened.  Most of the time when I can find it I buy the low-fat whip cream.  It’s really good in the coffee, but this time of the year I am shopping for creamers.  I love the Fall flavors, and at Christmas gingerbread is my favorite.

Today I had a doctor’s appointment and it was hot and muggy.  Stopped and bought this salted caramel mocha frappuccino. YUM!

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Here’s a few more I’ve had the last week:

Peanut Butter Cup Flavor

Need I say more?

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Salted Caramel Mocha

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Pumpkin Spice

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Whip Cream

 

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Plain ole’ coffee with sweetener

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Told you I love coffee.  Do you?  What’s your favorite?

See my other 31 Days Posts.

Day 1 – 31 Days of Faith, Family, Home, Fitness, Coffee and Joy

Day 2 – Love

 

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Am I Collecting People Or Things

25 Jul

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Am I Collecting People or Things?  As I ponder that question over the years I think you would agree we all spend so much time collecting all sorts of “stuff”.  For me it’s been anything from the latest laptops, phones and iPads, gadgets, clothes, jewelry, shoes, purses and so much more.  WHY?

Now don’t get me wrong.  We can be frugal around here, and I shop sales.  I am shopping now for a new washer and dryer.  My old Maytags are still going and I bought them when our son was a baby over 37 years ago.  I’m looking at Speed Queens because they say they are built to last 25 years and if that is true they will out last me.  I can be thrifty, but I also don’t mind spending money on things that last.

I admit I have gotten much better the older I get.  The older I get, the more I realize how important people are – not my things.    I can go shopping and come home with nothing.  I do it often because the house is full of too much “stuff” I don’t need, and truly I need to purge and purge.  I have spent the summer trying to clean out closets, and still trying to find the time to work on them.  So far I’ve donated a trash bag of shoes and a trash bag of clothes, and I took some nice work outfits to the resale shop.  There is a box upstairs collecting all kinds of things for donating.  There is still so much to purge – like 3 closets of clothes, 2 closets of coats, and eight chests of drawers of mostly my stuff.  I suppose us women fill up the house, and our men fill up the garages, their sheds and barns.

When we lost my Mom a few years back, I learned what happens to all the stuff:

  • You take a lot of it home so you have more stuff.
  • You have several garage/estate sales, and in the process you bring in some more items that remind you of Mom and Dad.
  • You give away and give away and give away to friends and neighbors and organizations.
  • You store it for more sales that never happen,  and then you give more away.
  • You throw away and throw away and shred and shred.
  • You wear yourself out going through all the “stuff”.

I also learned when we lost Mom and Dad, and many other loved ones it is not the things, but the memories of all the times we spent together making memories, and all the little things that I brought home that bring back memories – the pictures and the little teacups and a few dishes, an old radio, and old wall phone, those precious Christmas ornaments Mom gave us each year – little things that remind me of them.  Memories, pictures, moments, smiles are what matter.

I also learned that our kids are not going to care about most of this stuff that I cling to so I have been tossing and throwing so they don’t have to.  While I’m cleaning I have those thoughts of what mess am I leaving them.

Collecting People – Not Things.   What are we doing that will last a lifetime because those cars, houses and gadgets won’t?  Or how about that closet of clothes and shoes and purses.  Cars get old, gadgets crash, and homes have to be remodeled over and over (unless you are buying new ones all the time), nice dishes are never used, and those clothes and shoes go out of style.  At what cost have we or are we,  harming our families because those things can become more important than them?

Collecting people – not things.  Your husband has his eyes on a ball game, a fishing show or even that awful RFD channel.  Does it drive you crazy or do you take the time to enjoy it with him?  Sometimes I try and usually give up unless I am sitting here blogging (like now), tracing my family tree on Ancestry or working on my Bible studies and doing my own thing,   BUT at least I am sitting here next to him and not in another room watching something else.  People more than things.  When he turns on a movie or program I like, I love laying my head in his lap and enjoying the movie or sometimes I fall asleep.  Naps are a great way to get a little snooze in, but an even better way to get a lot of cuddling in.

Does your spouse have to compete with your cell phone, your computer, or your television when you go out to eat?  Honestly, I try not to answer the cell when we are at a meal or doing something together unless we are expecting an important phone call.  

Collecting people – not things.   I substitute teach and see so many students and parents placing emphasis on things – tennis shoes, shirts, pants, purses, backpacks, cell phones.  I’ve even listened to kids make fun of another’s  tennis shoes when I am subbing in gym class. It’s sad judging someone by their shoes or clothes.   Is that how they are being taught at home, rather than judging one by his/her personality or heart?  I still remember a girl walking up to me in school when I had a new, cute dress on, and she commented it was out of season.  It was September and it was beautiful green colors (not summery at all)  so not sure why, but I’ve never forgotten it or the rudeness of it.  For the rest of the day I was miserable in my new dress.

Oh how must our Lord cry out “people are more important than things.” You might hear me talking back  in a nice way to someone at school putting another child down because of their clothes.  Oh how I wish I could talk to them about Jesus like my teachers were allowed to do.  How different would this world be if we could love like Jesus and share His love!  I just want to cry sometimes because a child is hurting and I want to say, “Jesus loves you and died for you.”   I can’t but our students can.  Oh to share the love of Jesus and not the love of things breaks my heart most days when I’m at school.

You might also hear me giving a lesson on phones.  Last year I asked to borrow a charger.  Not one single student in any of my classes that day had a charger for my “older” phone.  They made fun of my phone because they always have the latest new iPhone.  Mine was an old iPhone 4 as they called it.  I do now have the newest phone out, but I don’t go out and buy to have the newest.  When I buy it’s because I can’t download an app anymore or for me the last one was because my Bible study app had stopped working, and we were about to have new grand babies and I was wanting a new phone for me and my hubby to take better pictures.  By the time school starts another phone will be on its way in and mine will be old again, but it will be here as long as it works and I can read my First 5 devotions each day.

Collecting people – not things.   People put down those cell phones when you are out with family.     I mean really people, why can’t we put them down for thirty minutes.  Aren’t people more important than things?  Isn’t that smile from a grandchild or a comment from your family more important than that text pinging on your phone?  Can we just feast on real life with our friends and family.  I am thankful our family does ignore their phones.  My husband even commented on Christmas Day about all of my family and how they were involved with the games we were playing and not sitting there texting but enjoying family.

Collecting people – not things.  One last thing, but probably the most important.  Don’t look at a cell phone and drive.  How can we even think of it with someone else like children in the car, or other cars around you.  Are you guilty?  Please don’t do it.  If you have to look pull over.  I do talk on the phone in the car, but my car has a phone so both hands are on the wheel and eyes on the road.  If the cell phone pings or I need to dial a number it can wait until I stop or pull over.  Don’t go through the tragedy of losing a loved one because of a second on a phone, or causing so much pain to another family by taking their loved ones.  Every single time we are on the highway we see people with a phone reading or texting.  You can always tell when you are about to pull up beside someone doing it. It’s scary at 65-75 mph seeing someone weaving.  You always know you will see a cell phone if you have the courage to go around.

How can we collect people and moments – not things?

  • Have lunch/coffee with friends, neighbors or family.  Turn your phones off.
  • Get in the floor and play with your kids or grandkids – blocks, puzzles, cars, etc..  Turn off the television unless you are watching a movie together.
  • Go for a walk or run with someone.  Hold hands with your hubby.
  • Go for a drive and visit while you do.
  • Visit a neighbor.  Take them some cookies or cake.  I especially like to do this for a recent widower and his daughter.  Find a widow or widower in your neighborhood or church.
  • Sit down and read a book to your kids or grandkids.
  • Call someone and really talk instead of texting.
  • Snuggle up and watch a movie with your loved one.
  • Have a date night and ban the phone.
  • Cook a romantic dinner and sit down and really talk.
  • Call your husband/wife at work and ask how their day is going.  Focus on them and stop fussing about your day.
  • Meet your loved ones at the door and welcome your spouse with a kiss as they walk in the door.  Kiss them as they leave in the morning.
  • Pray together as a family.  Sit down and ask for requests and pray.
  • Visit a nursing home and take some small jars of flowers and visit some folks who don’t have family.  Ask the nursing home.  They will share with you who you can visit.
  • Take a meal to someone who is shut-in.
  • Offer to keep some children so a couple can have a date-night.  Many young adults in your neighborhood or church don’t have family around to help.

Let’s stop basing our happiness on things and base them on others.

“Love people, not things; use things, not people.”  Spencer W. Kimball

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WORTH – Is Blogging Really Worth It?

16 Jun

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Is blogging really worth all the time I put into it, or don’t put into it?  That’s a question I have pondered many times.

I sit here and think why am I really here.  I started during some on-line Bible studies with Proverbs 31.Org because they had a weekly blog hop, and I loved writing about what I was learning.  At some point they did away with the weekly blog hop, and I continued to blog about life and studies and recipes and joined other hops like this one.

I have dreams of one day writing a children’s book.  I even have a few words written, but the subject I was writing about died, and so did those dreams.  I know that a book may never happen now with the busyness of life, and it has been hard to even think about writing because of the loss.

I don’t know how bloggers do it all.  Honestly I see so many in business, having books published and sometimes I feel so far behind.  I have occasionally wished I was as far along, because a woman in her mid sixties is thinking how much more time will I be able to continue.  But it is in these times I hear the Lord whisper to me and I know I am exactly where He planned for me to be, and this is all in His timing, not mine.

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TODAY I know why I continue to blog.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about fame.  It’s not about publishing a book.  It’s not about followers.  It’s all about Him.  It’s about me becoming to know and love Him more.  It’s an audience of one even if no one else ever clicks on my posts.  It’s about leaving a legacy so my kids, grandkids and future generations know a little more about who I am or was, and a whole lot more about Him.  It’s about maybe touching one heart here and there.  It’s about my friends and family coming to visit (maybe), and just perhaps they will receive a little encouragement exactly when they need it.

It is ALL about my my Lord.  It’s not about me, and where I want to be.  It’s why I blog and continue even in those drought times when the words don’t come.  I come here, open my laptop, and hope the words that He would have me share will come to life and touch my heart and others.

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May my story be HIS story!  Not unto me Lord, but unto you!

YES, YES, YES blogging really is WORTH it!

Welcome to Five-Minute Friday #FMF.  This week’s prompt provided by our host, Kate Motaung is worth.  This is a free-write – not editing, no over-thinking, just write for five minutes.

Thank you Kate Motaung.  Your prompts make it so much easier to blog.

 

 

 

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