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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 13 – A Trip to the Dallas Arboretum

14 Oct

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We made our first trip with two of our grandsons to the Dallas Arboretum today – the oldest two who are 2 and 4.  It was a warm, muggy October day here in Texas.  It begin to get warm after lunch, the 4 year olds feet were hurting, the 2 year old was wanting to go to Nana’s house for cheese crackers, Nana’s shoulder was hurting from carrying the camera and holding the boys hands.  Not sure about PaPa – he wouldn’t admit it if something were bothering him.

We stopped and rested twice on the way back to the car, and the last stop PaPa grabbed two juices and a water.  The boys slurped the juices down faster than they ever have around us.  It was getting crowded and we were glad we got there when it opened.  My pedometer says we walked four miles over more than three hours, and we didn’t even visit one side of the park – we spent our time in the children’s areas.

It was unseasonably on the warm side – 93 degrees, average is 79 for this time of the year, but changes are coming early in the morning with rain and a drop of twenty degrees.

It’s a North Teas about face, and come Tuesday the low is 49.  Brrrrr!

Look at those pumpkins right in the center – the white ones.  They were really neat – peanut pumpkins.  Looks just like peanuts on them.  I read where the peanuts are excess sugar buildup.

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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

Day 10 – Refrigerator Thingy Notes – Free Printables

Day 11 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – My Notes Week 3 – Chapters 12-15

Day 12 – I’ll Worship Him In The Waiting

 

 

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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 12 – I’ll Worship Him In The Waiting

13 Oct

 

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Ever been in limbo in a waiting period?  I have so, so many times.  The older I get and the closer I am to my Savior, the easier it is to trust Him in the waiting, the quiet, the wilderness – learning to depend on Him to carry me through.  And, you know what He always has, and I know He always will.

How do you worship in the waiting?  I certainly was not worshiping during many of my waiting times.  If you aren’t in one of those times now, you will be.

I can remember vividly the season in our life when I was in the waiting wanting a child so badly – watching my friends, my sisters, my cousins, my church family, and my work partners having babies, and I was losing mine.    I am thankful I didn’t become bitter.  I worked in the church nursery and loved on babies, was the pre-school director and taught four and five year olds.  Today I look back and wonder how I did it.  How did I handle the pain?  Honestly, I don’t remember but I think at some point I surrendered it all to Him, and we started keeping foster children, and stopped waiting, and it happened – I got pregnant.  He gave us a son and then a daughter.  You can read about that here.

Some years back I fell down the stairs, or actually missed the last 4 as I was carrying down winter clothes, and to save trips up the stairs stupid me carried two huge containers at once, backing down (stupid me again).  Anyway, they put a horrible looking contraption on my arm attached to my wrist.   I looked like someone from outer space.  I remember when I finally went back to work one of the girls almost passed out looking at it.  Actually, I wanted to pass out.  After weeks of wearing that and horrible therapy the wrist had not set and I had little use of it.  I remember that limbo being told I would have to go to Ft. Worth or Dallas to have it rebroken and set and probably some bone taken from my hip.

The broken wrist was a long year of waiting for it to heal and later not knowing if it could ever be sort of normal.  I remember some prayer warriors at work coming in and praying with me day after day that God would heal that wrist, and I remember going to Ft. Worth not feeling comfortable with the doctor and trying to find another on our insurance, and days later driving to Dallas to an unknown doctor and crying out in tears as I drove for God to show me what to do, and He did.  I ended up unknowingly with the Texas Rangers wrist doctor.  Today it’s almost normal, but did require a plate and some bone from the hip all of which should have been done in the first surgery.

We waited for grandchildren for years.  I wonder what God wants us to know in all this waiting for kids and now grandkids.  Our first grandson was born with a disease – a horrible disease – but we have watched God perform miracles of healing on him that just does not happen with EB.  We have watched as our children have walked through infertility and miscarriages, and also watched how he changed infertility to a testimony of birth of another grandson, and just this year our daughter gave birth to a granddaughter and our son and daughter in love adopted embryos and gave birth to twin boys.  We are blessed with five grandchildren now all four and under.

I’ve been in a waiting  when my Mom had surgery for a broken leg and got a horrible bacteria, went septic  which later caused the removal of her leg.  I remember months in the hospital waiting to see if she would ever go home, her being unconscious of anything those months as we sit and waited and sit and waited and watched her sleep.   Waiting to see if the bacteria would take her life, and eventually I truly believe it caused the pneumonia that took her.  But in that waiting each time there were friends coming and family to love on us and minister to us and His Spirit there comforting.

I remember being in limbo looking for a nursing home when Mom could no longer walk and she could no longer stay with us girls.  I remember the heartache of going in all those places and I just kept on through much prayer, and I know the place she ended up that had just opened was where God sent us even though it was a bit further for me to drive.

We’ve waited for  new homes, waited to move to the country, waited for a business to recover, and I could share many, many more limbo stories.  I know that always in the waiting He was going before us and He’s brought us through all of it.

He has never failed us.

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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

Day 10 – Refrigerator Thingy Notes – Free Printables

Day 11 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – My Notes Week 3 – Chapters 12-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 9 – Prayer Walk

9 Oct

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This is Day 9 of write 31 days, and it’s getting harder for me to come up with things to write about, and I am behind already.  I hope you are not getting bored, nor getting tired of these posts in your emails.  I promise come November 1 there will only be one or two a week.  Guess what I’ve gotten behind with so much going on in my life right now, but trying not to give up.

I’ve been walking a lot lately to get healthier and lose weight, but some mornings I include a prayer walk.  We are in the country so the houses are spaced out.

I love leaving right before daylight because I get to see the moon and  then the sun rising.

I throw on my old radio and head phones, listen to Christian music and worship.  This morning I have a lot on my mind with some upcoming tests and even that “c” word, but I’m choosing to praise Him and pray for others today.  God sent a beautiful sunrise this morning, and the worship music was just the words that I needed to hear this morning.

THIS:  “Surely my God is the strength of my soul Your love defends me, Your love defends me And when I feel like I’m all alone Your love defends me, Your love defends me Surely my God is the strength of my soul Your love defends me, Your love defends me And when I feel like I’m all alone Your love defends me, Your love defends me.   We sing Hallelujah You’re my portion My salvation Hallelujah You’re my portion My salvation.”  Your Love Defends Me by Matt Maher  

AND THIS:  “Jesus Messiah, name above all names Blessed redeemer, Emmanuel The rescue for sinners, the ransom from Heaven Jesus Messiah, Lord of all All I hope is in You, all I hope is in You All the glory to You, God, the light of the world.”  Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin

I love waving at neighbors leaving for work and taking their kids to school, and the busses driving by.

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This morning I finally got a young boy (probably high school) to wave back.  I’ve waved at him for several weeks now with no response, but this morning he smiled and waved back.

So what is a prayer walk?

I shared about prayer walks, praying God’s blessing over our homes, our neighborhoods,  friends and schools  in 2014 here.  There is a whole lot of information there for doing all of them.  I love walking around the perimeter of my home and praying.

During that prayer walk in 2014  I listened to Christian music and would pray some of what I was hearing in songs for my neighbors.  Today I prayed for them based on what I saw at their houses.

For instance:

  • One house had their porch lights on and I prayed that they would shine the light of Jesus.
  • Another house had a travel trailer and I prayed that they would love traveling with Jesus as much as they love traveling in that trailer.
  • Several homes had gates.
  • Several homes had circular drives and I prayed for a circle of love for them with Jesus in the center of their lives.
  • Homes with flags I prayed that they would love God as they do our nation.
  • One home had about 7 cars in front of it.  I prayed for all those that live in there that each one of them would come to know Jesus.
  • Leaves are starting to fall and at some homes I prayed they would fall in love with Jesus.
  • Several busses passed.  I waved and I asked God would touch each one of their lives.
  • Flower pots on front porches and I prayed that God would bloom in each of their lives.
  • Rocking chairs caused me to pray for them to sit in their rockers and see all of God’s beauty and be thankful.
  • A large training farm for horses and I prayed that just as those horses get excited and come to the fence that their owners and the farm owners will get excited about our Lord.
  • A couple of houses had large rocks in front of their homes and I prayed that they would know who the true rock is.

There were so many other things I prayed about but these are the ones I can remember.  I think the next prayer walk I do I will pray through some of the words in music again.

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

 

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