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WHAT INSPIRES ME?

28 Jul

Today’s Five-Minute Free-Write Prompt:  Inspire

Link-Up here

What inspires me?  I could start with a list like the Bible, books in general, family, a sunrise/sunset, birds, butterflies, dragon flies, flowers, a new baby, and blogging.

My Bible – The greatest inspiration of my life has been the Bible.  Nothing, absolutely nothing inspires me more than opening my Bible and receiving a fresh new word from my Father.  Without fellowship with Him I would not be the woman I am today.  Without the inspired Word of God I would be a moody, unthankful wife, mom, grandmother.  My Bible gives me faith, provides me tools and directions to make me a better person, lifts me up on any day, teaches me to love others like Jesus.  How I wish I had loved this book so much more and spent more time in it when I was younger.

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Family – What can lift you up after God – family?  God created family so we didn’t have to be alone.  One of them can call or text and it makes me a happy wife, mom, Nana.  I mean really it makes my day.  Even interruptions of what I had planned for my day becomes full of joy seeing my grown-up adult children enjoying life with their family, seeing our toddler grandchildren playing together, and now watching three 4-month old babies smile back a me.  Those smiles are so BIG and so precious.  I think of how God smiles down at us when He watches us enjoying His creations or watching us in the Word.

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Books, books, books – I love books.  I can’t find the time to read novels like I had dreamed about when I retired.  I bought a bookcase of books at half-price books – books by Karen Kingsbury, one of my favorites and yes I have one of those I’m reading now – Take Three and Take Four.

I have had the privilege of reading books in my on-line Bible studies and in our women’s Bible studies at church.  I love an app called First Five that I read on my iPad each morning.  It has a new book that’s optional that I get about every day days or so.  It’s a perfect uplifting devotional each day that helps me grow.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this summer so far:  My New King James Version Bible, Take Three and Take Four by Karen Kingsbury, Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild (Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies), Covenant (a study of the Psalms) and about to start Suffering and Sovereignty (a study on Job, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes)

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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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DO YOU LOVE TO PLAY?

7 Jul

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The older I get the more I love playing.  I love playing and kidding around with my husband, and oh how much fun it is playing with our five grandkids.

See those push toys.  We have two toddler grandsons.  They grab those things and they start chasing each other thru the den around the sofa and love seat shouting get up Nana, get up PaPa and so we do.  It’s loads of fun and great exercise.

When we were in to see our doctor for our check-up in March she asked my husband how much physical activity he gets.   He said, “does chasing your grandkids around the sofa count.”  She said, “yes”.

There is going to be so much more playing around here.  We have twin grandsons and a granddaughter all who are turning 4 months old.  I can’t imaging chasing three of them, but I can tell you I loved playing with the new granddaughter today.  She just coos and talks to me already.

This weekend company is coming and both our adult kids families will be here too.  We’ll have five kids here old enough to be in the pool.  What fun will that be with the new toys we have!  My daughter bought some octopus toys that float to the bottom and light up.  Can’t wait to see what they do.  When I was taking the 2 year old home today he told me he wanted to play with the purple ?????.

If you haven’t played lately try it.

Joining Kate Motaung and the Five-Minute Friday Link-Up.  The word today is play and we have five minutes to write.  Come join us!

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Listen, Love, Repeat – Week 3 – Chapter 6 – My Bible Study Notes

4 Jul

CHIPPED CRACKED POTS AND STAINED CARPETS

This study is over, and yes this girl is so behind on her notes, but before I put away this book I have decided I will finish up my notes.  I don’t always get my notes done as we study the chapters.

This chapter is about living a life of welcoming.  Our home has always been a place of welcome.  

Chipped cracked pots and stained carpets.  You bet I have them.  When we bought this home over twenty-five years ago, we prayed that God would use us here to bless others.  We are so blessed knowing all that He has done inside these doors.

Karen talks about “who owns our stuff”, and how we think that “owning these objects will make us happy”.  I have learned cars, homes, things don’t make me happy.  What makes me happy is my loving husband and family and spending time with them and loving others around us.

Karen reminds us how David praised God.  If you read 1 Chronicles 29:10-17 (KJV), you’ll find David in front of a congregation saying things like “Blessed be thou……..for all that is in heaven and earth is thine, Yours, Lord, is the kingdom……..both riches and hour come from thine…….for all things come of thee……….

Because He has done so much for us shouldn’t we be using it for His glory to bless others using our homes and wealth as a ministry?

Karen tells us that when she has others over that, “we don’t offer hospitality to them, in order to impress them with our house or our food or our decorating prowess.  She says she wants to “refresh them”, “give them a place where they can relax and unwind”.  Most of all she says she offers her home to God to be used as a ministry tool in building his kingdom-temple here on earth.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves_ for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the.png

We’ve been opening our home lately, and it’s been a little hard because we have furniture all over and can hardly walk with removing wallpaper and painting two rooms.  I’m sitting here now and can’t recline because we are cleaning carpet tomorrow so furniture can’t go back in the rooms until late Wednesday or Thursday.  I’m sitting with grands on Thurs and Fri so not sure who is going to get all this done, but I bet I can put it in high gear.

Last week my sister and a great nephew came to visit our new grand babies, and I loved treating them to my homemade chicken salad.  It’s good stuff!

This weekend we had our adult children and their children over.  They spent time in the pool with the toddlers following up on what they had learned in swimming lessons.

In three days we are having company from out of state with their three children, and our kids will be back over for a hamburger/hot dog cookout and more swimming.  I sure hope we get everything back in place and I have time to clean, but really I don’t think any of these special people will worry about how the house looks, and if they do well that’s okay.  Karen says that “well-used items often mean that we have loved well.”  My carpet is a stained mess in one of my main living areas.  It’s been loved well by two special little toddlers drinking juice and eating snacks.  Yes, I could make them eat in the kitchen, but why?  And several months back I spilled nail polish on it.  Sure hope that stain comes out tomorrow.

Honestly, I haven’t been in the pool yet.  With all the rain in this unusual Texas summer it’s been a little cool, and on Sunday I was watching our three new grand babies that are about four months old.  More rain came this morning, and it looks like more in the morning.  Yes, I am loving it because I am not having to water yet with everything else that has been happening

I am hoping next week that I can have some neighbor ladies over for some girl time.  I’ve been trying for months, but it just hasn’t worked out.

In August we will have another swimming party to celebrate our oldest grandson, Colt’s fourth birthday.  Where has time gone?

If you are longing to open your home and your heart Karen shares some ways to:

  • Prepare your heart – For me I try to prepare mine for babies, toddler (yes, we have 5 grandkids under 3), with diapers, swings, toys, puzzles, and books.  The toddlers love coming.  Comfy places to sit and watch tv for the adults and magazines.
  • Prepare your home – I try to have a clean home and work especially hard when others are coming to visit.  I remember the first time my daughter-in-love came and how she said she felt special with little things I put in the dressing area and fresh flowers.
  • Stock the pantry – My pantry is always ready for kids, grandkids and friends.
  • Roll out the welcome mat – My door is always open.  Sometimes I may cringe if I need to clean or somedays I might still be in my pajamas.
  • Refrain from preaching – I never preach when others want to share and open up.  I need to refrain and pray for them in the coming days.
  • Perfect the art of follow-up – I have not been the best at this.  I need to start texting ,  phoning them or sending a Facebook message and follow-up and let them know I’m praying for them

Karen shares much more in this chapter including some ideas for cooking for a crowd and what to serve.

Are your carpets stained and your pots cracked from love like mine?  If not, it’s time to use them for His glory.

 

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We’re Expecting MORE Grandchildren soon

17 Sep

Say WHAT!  We are expecting MORE grandchildren.  YES, it’s TRUE.

What a story God is writing in our family.  This precious little boy is my grandson, Colt and he is holding two pictures which are twins.   My son, daughter-in-love and grandson, Colt and all of us are anxiously awaiting next March.  If this isn’t a big enough story, God added a sequel and that is  our daughter is also expecting a baby in March.

We are so stinkin’ excited.  So, so many prayers, some heart-break and tears this past year, and now THIS!  God’s plan is perfect.

My daughter-in-love wrote the below blog about their journey to have more children.  Colt was born with a rare skin disease which prevented them from having another baby.  Their journey has been a lot  of heartbreak for us, and now a whole lot of JOY!

If you know someone who is walking through infertility,  or is carrying a rare genetic disorder and cannot have children there is HOPE!

Read and be BLESSED!

My husband and I met online in the summer of 2008. While we were busy “cyber-smooching” (as his dad liked to call it), God was busy creating two of our future children for us—literally. (Mind. Blown.) Here’s how it all went down: In the summer of 2008 (while my husband and I were first getting […]

via God’s plan for our clan — Frozen love

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