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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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EXPECT MIRACLES- Five-Minute Friday

9 Jun

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Joining Kate Matoung today with the Five-Minute Friday #FMF Girls, and the word is EXPECT.  We write for five minutes without editing and stop.

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Do you believe in miracles?  I do!   As I look at birth and all it entails, how can I not?

I’ve seen miracles over and over.  I am a miracle, and you are too.  Sometimes our God, though, chooses to show off big, and I have had the honor of watching Him do that in my family over and over.

You see for years I walked through miscarriages.  I was able to get pregnant, but just could not seem to carry a baby.  It took us ten years of marriage to finally have our miracle baby boy through toxemia, c-section because he was coming bottom first, and then later a baby girl who came nine weeks early because of toxemia and pre-eclampsia and she and I almost died.  You can read more about that here.

God always has a perfect plan doesn’t He.  We were so blessed to have the children He chose for us, and would go through that pain again to know how it would end up today.  But both our children and their spouses have walked through even more pain then we did.   Both have experienced infertility, a child born with a horrible disease, and miscarriages.

It is all because of this that we have watched God work His miracles.  Our 3-year old grandson has a horrible disease called EB, but God has chosen to lighten that disease for him.  He doesn’t go thru the pain that other children and adults are.  He has some issues, but we praise God they are light.  You can read more about that horrible disease here.

If you had asked us over a year ago about having grandchildren other than the two we had, we would have told you we were praying.  We were as the kids suffered miscarriage after miscarriage or especially our son and his wife.  One day last summer I prayed as I never had prayed.   Both girls were pregnant and we had all suffered so much.  I walked through this house in tears and actually bawling, reminding God of His promises.  In March He blessed us with twin grandsons and a granddaughter all who are now three-months old and smiling and talking jabber to us.  You can read more about our three grandchildren and our prayers here.

This year has been a wonderful year just as we expected.   We are so very thankful that with God all things truly are possible.

I am not sure why God has chosen pregnancy in our family to show us His love and power, but truly we continued to believe even when there was no hope that God would show His power, and He did.

I expected the year 2017 to be a great one, and it has been more than great.  We were expecting three grandchildren in March, and all of them arrived in time – twin boys and a little girl.  We now have five grandchildren – 4 boys and 1 girl

We have not been disappointed.  They are all three-months old and as I hold them and feed them they all stop sucking that bottle, look up at me, and smile and jabber.

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For these little ones we prayed as their Moms walked through trials of infertility and/or miscarriage.  It was a very long journey that I prayed and prayed would one day end in grandchildren.

Remember all He has done.   Give thanks for all the miracles you see each day.

 

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WRITE 31 DAYS -DAY 14 – WE’VE GOT MAIL – I LOVE MAIL

14 Oct

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We’ve got mail.  I remember when I was a little girl I could not wait for our mailman to walk up on the porch and put the mail in our mailbox.  It’s not that I got a lot of mail, but for some reason there was excitement in it.   I can still remember to this day when I was in the fourth grade and we moved.  I received a letter from our neighbors who did not have children and she would have my sister and I over to bake cakes and cookies.   I remember writing them and asking him to be an usher in my wedding, and getting a “yes” response back.

Even after I married I could not wait to get mail.  Today that is another story some days. Forty plus years later most days I dread the mail and love the mail.  I dread that most of it has to be shredded or paid and stuff stacked up to file (because hey by the time I pay the bills, I don’t want to file the bills and I toss them in my “to file” basket).  Now, let’s talk about that basket.  I’m trying to improve on my filing tactics and file at least once a week, and this week I filed after I paid, but I was home a day to do that, but there is still a basket waiting on me.  PROGRESS!  I know some of you are saying why doesn’t she do auto pay or pay on-line.  I’m not there yet (do auto pay the newspaper and one life insurance), but I like controlling and my husband is not into technology, and I’ve already had my identity stolen through secure Government records at work  I trusted along with thousands of others, so I’m sure not going to pay on-line.

I love mail too.  I love receiving mail from friends, my Bible studies from  Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Studies, and then there are books and magazines that I love.  I LOVE to read, and two books came this past week that I can’t wait to read during our break of our Bible studies.

Look what came in the mail this week.  I love this kind of mail.  Four books and a tea/coffee package from a friend.

I love sending mail to my friends and family like cards and yes books I sent just last week to some of my Bible study team.

I love getting personal mail from friends and family – birthday cards, texts, private messages, etc..

How about you?  Do you like mail?

Joining Kate Matoung in Five-Minute Friday and the #write31daychallenge.

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

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

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LIFT

12 Aug

The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

Do you have a weary soul today?  Do troubles just seem to be stacking up against you?  Sometimes, or even every single day can be hard.  I’ve been there a few times, but I know what I know, and that only He can lift me up in times of despair.

During the hard times and the good times I wake up knowing that He raises me up just like a father or mother raises up a toddler.  I was raising my three-year old grandson up to the top of a door post this week with all the strength I could muster to get him up there (you know these old shoulders and it hurt, but it felt so good hearing him laughing).  He kept saying, “do it again Nana.”  That’s how our Father in Heaven is.   He keeps doing it again and again and again – lifting us up to so much more than we could ever be on our own.

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I don’t know what today or tomorrow may bring, but what I do know is that I can not make it through the hard times if I don’t have my eyes lifted high.  (Click to tweet here.)

It’s hard losing our parents.  I never knew how hard, but God lifts me up and sends little reminders like this little dragonfly who was just fluttering around last summer one evening.  Mom loved dragonflies, and now I do and each one I see reminds me.  After our grandsons birthday last year our son and daughter-in-love were on their patio and one flew in and landed on my son’s hand.  A sweet reminder on a day Mom couldn’t be with us celebrating, but she certainly was there in our thoughts.

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No matter what you may be going through today may He lift you up, as this song says, to where you belong.

Join us today at Five-Minute Friday as we write for 5 minutes on the prompt Lift.

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