A Summer with Babysitting

I’m back North for a second stint of babysitting for my four grandchildren. The first day we readjusted to each other-a little testing on their part, me determining how strict to be.

Four Square fun https://www.playworks.org/game-library/4-square-switch-2/

            The last time I was here, in June we played four square with a red rubber ball. If some pushing or other roughhousing kept going on, I’d step in and tell the offender to sit on the porch and count to 120 while they composed themselves.

A few days later, the oldest came running in and said his sister needed to chill and count to 120. The others rushed in to tell their side of the story.

            My daughter quieted them down and said, “Use your words.” They all got a chance to explain.

            Turns out his sister didn’t need to count to 120. I thought, that was handled well!

            Please excuse the bragging on my daughter. I think following the Lord and being a Special Ed teacher helps her in raising her children. I’m back to reading Proverbs again, along with some other Scriptures. Not every day, but there’s so much meat in Proverbs, lots of good advice for relationships, for managing life, for handling money, and getting to know God.

            I hope you’re well. May God bless you!

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Stress Relieving Days

When my elementary school-age grandchild came to visit for a few days, I felt the stress melt away. We played games, watched children’s television shows, put a puzzle together, visited the library, read the Bible before bedtime, and sent texts to favorite people using my phone. We read non-fiction books on worms and another on insects, but there was no interest in two fiction books I chose. That surprised me.

This particular child loves fruit and pizza and sweets but there’s no overeating. Salad disappeared with coaxing and a bribe. “You can have ice cream for dessert if you eat lettuce and tomatoes.”

“Okay, Grandma, but not too many leaves.”

“Three works,” and as I tore it, the child thought the tiny pieces counted. We compromised at one and a half or more of romaine and five cherry tomatoes.

Tomorrow’s the last day here and I need a nap!

No wonder the Bible says that children are an heritage from the Lord, in the King James Version. May God bless you!

Remembering When

A few weeks ago, I drove north to spend a week at my daughter’s house because her kids had the flu. Whenever I told others I couldn’t fulfill my ordinary responsibilities and told them we’d have to cancel or ask them to fill in for me, when I said, “The kids have the flu,” these words came to mind: “but it’s sure nice talking to you Dad, I know we’ll get together soon, Dad. I’m sure we’ll have a good time, then.”

That’s how I remember the words to the Harry Chapin song, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” from a concert I heard many years ago at college.

That song reminds me of a verse from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament in the New King James Version of the Bible:

Malachi 4:6  And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.

Luke 1:17  He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

Loving Children

I have not written as much lately because I spent thirteen days with my children and four grandchildren. Three of the grandkids caught the flu, so I drove north to babysit them for a week. The rest of the time they visited us during February break from school while construction workers replaced ceilings, put in overhead lights, and refashioned an archway between two rooms, etc. at their home.

Image result for baby pictures

I love being with family-playing games, making meals and doing dishes, catching up on laundry. Fortunately for me, they just had fevers and coughs when I reached them on Sunday night. Although, I kept telling them to cover their mouths when they coughed and to turn their heads. “I don’t want to catch the flu!”

Recently, I lost some of my joy because I live in New York State. Our legislators passed a bill that if the mother of an unborn baby has any reason for wanting to abort that child, for whatever medical reason they can come up with, at any time before the little one leaves the womb, they can let the medical person know and the human being is killed. It may be hours from birth, a perfectly viable life and get snuffed out.

Then to add to my distress, living in the land of the free, the land of the brave, dear God, how far have we fallen, the senators in Washington, D.C., including our New York State representatives, voted that if a living baby survives the attempted murder during a botched abortion, no medical care will be extended. The tiny person is not offered a blanket or something to suck on for sustenance. It’s left to die. I never thought I’d hear of INFANTICIDE in this country.  

So, I haven’t felt like blogging, I’m sorry to say. I’ve taken joy from the children around me. I’ve cried out to God to soften the hearts of people that probably would be outraged at the inhumane treatment of animals and yet, disregard the lives of babies that God says He knows as they’re fashioned in the wombs of their mothers in Psalm 139:13-16.



I know times get worse before Jesus comes back and an increase in evil comes forth as people reject God and His ways. It’s just hard to see it and understand. When President Obama was a senator in Illinois, he was the only politician to vote to let a newborn languish on the table if the abortion failed. That wasn’t that long ago. The U.S. senate has two senators per state, and they only needed seven more votes to protect the little ones. They got 53 votes. That means 67 people said, “Let the infant die,” although I heard the weather kept some senators from reaching Washington, D.C. on time. But, did they wait for a larger turn out? No!

I think the senate should have been mandated to go to an abortion clinic and see what happens before they cast their votes. And if they came to New York State, they would see that the providers don’t have to be a doctor to perform an abortion. So much for the safety of the mother.

I took science fiction courses in college back in the day, and some of the stuff that I shuddered over back then and felt would never happen is upon us now. So, I pray for people to wake up and consider what they believe and why they believe it. Is it worth killing babies for the convenience of the mother? Many women suffer after they’ve taken the lives of their child with depression, breast cancer, and infertility. One thing I’ve heard-the younger generation is not believing the embryo is fertilized tissue with no life at conception. So, I try to remain hopeful and I pray that people won’t want to use these so-called “freedoms” of choice. Then it won’t matter what’s in the law books.

If you read through my rant, God bless you. Maybe if enough people stand up and say this isn’t right, the politicians will understand their tenure is on shaky grounds.

May God bless you and protect you from the evil one.

Reality Strikes

Last week, I thought I’d return to Celebrate Recovery but that morning I woke up with rashes on my feet and hands. So, I stayed home.

Yesterday, I went to a doctor and he asked questions and listened for over an hour and a half. Looking at three blood draw results from the end of October, he said I’m definitely getting better, but I’m run down. So, he told me to continue resting and hydrating and eating healthy. He doesn’t know what I have, and he gave me another lab slip for more blood tests.

Last week, when the rash showed up, I told God, the great “I AM,” the Creator of the universe, that I give my health to Him. When praying, I’ve learned that in addition to having faith that God wants to answer prayer positively according to His will, that letting go of the results and trusting God-a prayer of relinquishment, can be one of the most important steps I take.

I’ve been reading in the book of Jeremiah for a while now, and God likes it when we turn to Him. He likes it when we don’t seek stuff and relationships with people and spend hours watching sports with rarely a thought for Him-when we don’t put those things before Him. He knows we need housing and clothing and food. He understands our need for close ties with people, that’s why He designed families. He realizes we need to unwind and relax. In the book of Matthew in the New King James Version it says:

Do Not Be Anxious

Mat 6:25  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Mat 6:26  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Mat 6:27  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Mat 6:28  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

Mat 6:29  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Mat 6:30  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Mat 6:31  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Mat 6:32  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Mat 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Mat 6:34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In my own case, I don’t think God minds me going to the doctor, and this particular one happens to be a Christian, and I have been praying and seeking God while I’m laid up. Yesterday, the doctor told me to continue to rest so I can recuperate and then don’t fill up my schedule. He doesn’t want me to relapse. So, apparently, I’m still on the shelf. I asked if I ought to eat some meat and he said it’s probably a good idea because my red blood cells are low. My husband took me to eat in a restaurant in town and I ordered a Reuben sandwich on rye bread. I could only eat half because my appetite has been low and I don’t have the room to fit too much food in now. Which is not a bad thing. I wanted to lose a little weight.

I hope this finds you well. I’m asking God to direct my steps as Thanksgiving is approaching and we’re expecting company. I warned my youngest daughter that I may not be as much help as usual. My family blesses me.Multi Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgivinghttps://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-multi-generation-family-celebrating-thanksgiving-image28082785

May God bless you!!

Set on the Shelf

Sunday night I wrote: My husband is at church without me. For the last five functions we usually attend together, I’ve been at home resting with feet stretched out and blankets bundled about me.

Today, I’m actually warm enough wearing a light weight hoodie and a crocheted cap. I chanced the stairs yesterday to do laundry and to do some easy chores.

Somehow, my potassium got low, which hurts a person’s balance, and down I went, about a week ago. As I continue to write, I’m mindful of the goodness of God. As the body heals, being alone with God refreshes my spirit. At one point, I sensed Him encouraging me to write for His sheep.

I was supposed to go to the doctor’s again, but they couldn’t see me until today. From the very beginning, I’ve felt sure God was going to heal me. Around two days ago, it finally showed up in my eyes. My husband came home from evening service and said, “You’re feeling better!!”

“Yes, I am,” I told him.

I caught up on my Bible reading when I could finally focus over the past two weeks. I do well, then I slip behind. When reading three Old Testament chapters and one New Testament chapter a day, when I get busy over the weekend and don’t get it done, I think, Uh oh, I’d better read. Then the next weekend another four chapters behind, etc. It adds up.

I always think, if I can spend hours on a novel, surely I can read the Scriptures to catch my place.

I’ve been reading Isaiah and Jeremiah-not the most cheerful of books because God is mad at all the idol worship and putting babies in the fire for a wooden god. Blows my mind.

That’s why I’m not surprised that God is allowing tragedies in America. We’ve killed over six million of His precious babies. When I worked at a crisis pregnancy center in a city years ago, a young couple from a prestigious college came in to abort their baby. They appeared to be from China, he looked mad, she looked humble and afraid. When they found out we didn’t offer that service, he stormed out of the building, his wife behind.

Another client struggled over the decision to keep her baby-a lawyer in her late forties. The worker came out to me and said, “Pray! What a battle going on.”

I was the receptionist. Other clients included single moms with an African heritage, white teens living with older men they knew would provide for their baby, a Muslim girl looking to love a little one.

A young man came in with his girlfriend to help her choose to abort. When she left the room, he said, “She’s already got a baby. When I leave, who’s going to want them?”

That would have been his first child. When I called the home, he always answered the phone so I couldn’t speak to her. I wondered what she finally decided.

Margaret Sanger, from Corning, NY began Planned Parenthood with the idea of infanticide for African-heritage folks. She got some of that and more. All nationalities, with various levels of intellect and talents fell to the god of self as babies’ hearts faltered to a stop. God have mercy!

I went to the doctor’s again today. She ordered more blood work and told me to continue elevating my feet. If God wants me resting and not volunteering, going to a birthday party, or to church, I’m His to direct. Just makes me want to cry a bit.

I hope this finds you well! May God bless you.

Changes Discussed

 

Image result for how many lightbulbs does it take to change a person?https://www.newhopepublishers.com/shop/how-many-light-bulbs-does-it-take-to-change-a-person/

 

In our Ladies Bible study yesterday, we were on Chapter 12 in How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? with the subtitle: Bright Ideas for Delightful Transformation. It’s written by Rhonda Rhea, published by New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, AL and copyrighted in 2011.

The title of the Chapter is “Sometimes the Key to Change is…Change”. I almost anticipated her talking about pennies and dimes throughout the whole section, but I guessed wrong.

One of her favorite things is chocolate and it made the pages once again. She mentions candy bars and the various sizes available nowadays, but she got to the point of the title. We can’t change unless we’re willing to change. We have to shift gears and think differently, she tells us at one spot. God helps us with that, if we’re willing.

Then she quotes Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I love that Scripture. There are days when I need lots of hope, maybe more for others than myself, when I hear of losses and diseases from friends and on the news. Not that I don’t have stuff rear its ugly head, but I’m blessed with support from my family, our church, and friends. Scripture gives incredible comfort and prayer does, too.

I know some folks that sell or own essential oils and they’ll offer me a chance to inhale whatever fragrance that might help my mood to improve. I’m not against that, but today I anticipated someone saying, “Oh, you’re stressed. Let’s pray.”

They didn’t. They kindly opened first one bottle of diluted oil mixture and then another, suggesting I give it a try. I did feel better, but I think it was more because the person listened to me and the stressing agent wasn’t nearby. The aromas probably helped some, but it wasn’t a scientifically proven result.

Now I’m home, ready to continue my day. I haven’t written much lately because of housework and working on a story for children and babysitting grandchildren and practicing guitar for Sunday’s service with a pianist friend, etc., etc.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you!

What Helps You?

I’m with some of my children and got to see all of my grandchildren. I love it when my son and his wife get vacation time. Grandparents Asian Grandma Grandson Grandphttps://pixabay.com/en/photos/grandparents/

For two weeks before this I drove north to babysit for four of my “grands” and scooted home for the weekends. At the end of the two weeks, I was worn out!

Every once in a while, my husband and I will look at each other and say, “I’m not in my twenties anymore.”

An advantage of seeing my son-he takes the time to work on my computer, which keeps freezing up and gets in the way of my blogging. Another reason I love being with younger people is because by the time you reach grandparent age, you’ve seen a lot of disappointment and sorrow with the joys of life balancing things out.

When I get overwhelmed with hard things, I hold onto Phil. 4:8, NKJV: Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.

The Apostle Paul continued in Phil. 4:9: “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

If I get hit with fear or my thoughts are all over the place and I can’t remember what I was doing or what word I need to describe something, I stop a minute and breathe. Then, I repeat 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

The Word of God is true and works. I also consider the physical aspect. Am I feeling tired or thirsty or am I trying to focus on more than one thing at a time? I take care of those things if it’s possible.

Have you used a Scripture and seen God fulfill it? I would love to hear from you! Have you taken a vitamin B tablet to help when you’re in a stressful situation? Or exercised? What helps you?

May God bless you!

Softball in the Spring

What a glorious day in Upstate, NY. I’m at my granddaughter’s softball game which is lasting longer than I anticipated.
Some of the parents are freezing in their shorts and t-shirts, wearing flip-flops on their feet. The breezes are picking up and I notice the cheers accelerating. “Come on, you can hit,” while some nearby mutter sincerely under their breath, “Please, Lord, help them get a homerun so we can get going!”

Image result for family friendly picture of a seagull

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Suddenly, diving sea gulls attacked a blanket for some chips or popcorn. A tall, husky dad walked over to the offending fowl and off it flew with a couple of others, to boot.
The coach’s wife removed the tempting foods and folded the blanket within seconds.
The low-flying birds reminded me of a time when I went to Florida to visit my uncle and aunt. Our family went on a picnic to the beach and as I brought a sandwich toward my mouth, a sea gull swooped down and hefted it skyward.
As I related the story, a white-winged fowl glided about two feet above my head and I let out a shriek in perfect timing with the telling of the theft of my lunch, and my kids and I laughed.
In the meanwhile, the game warmed up and two fine hits got the players on the bases and a third brought some of the runners home. The other team got last-ups and they quickly struck out.
“Thank You, Jesus.”
My oldest daughter’s goose bumps had grown proportionately to the amount of time we sat and from the brisker breezes. Then, as soon as she could, she made her way to the car.
Sports in the fresh air for families and friends is one of the marks that winter is far behind us!
“Thank You, Jesus for making a beautiful world and amazing birds-even close flying sea gulls.”

May God bless you,  friends.

From Creation to Confusion

 

My husband is teaching Genesis Chapter One to Chapter Eleven and he’s entitled it: “Creation to Confusion”.

Tonight, we went through Chapter Two verse by verse. This is where Adam gets put to sleep by God and Eve is fashioned from a rib or part of Adam’s side.

After Adam named all the animals, perhaps he noticed they were created male and female and as of yet, he didn’t have a female counterpart.

In Chapter Two, God speaks prophetically about man leaving his father and mother to unite with his wife as “one flesh”.

Adam and Eve didn’t have earthly parents, which is why leaving parents and cleaving together is for future couples.

The first man and woman at the end of Chapter Two were “naked and not ashamed”.

They were alone with God; they knew nothing of evil.

Next week, we’ll study Chapter Three in Genesis, when sin entered the world. The difference in Adam and Eve’s life must have astounded them and brought great regrets.

I like going to Bible studies because the leader digs into other resources. In our case, commentaries; dictionaries; experts; and of course, a thorough reading of the Bible and prayer for guidance are employed.

We decided Adam must have been more intelligent than we are now because he named every animal and bird. “How many could you name?”

One of the classmates said maybe thirty.

We guessed there must have been a huge multitude of animals and birds represented. It occurred to me, not only did the names need to be created, but remembered so he didn’t repeat himself. Yowza!

Adam lived to be eight hundred years old, so the children, grandchildren, and on and on, his following generations could have asked, “What was the garden of Eden like?”

In Genesis 2, it says God formed trees before Adam’s eyes.

So, for eight hundred years, he could tell of his personal experience with the Creator to anyone willing to listen.

I’ve read Genesis over the years. Tonight’s conversation brought some insights I’d never considered before.

That’s what’s so amazing about the Bible. There’s always more to learn.

My husband asked, “As God brought forth the animals living on land and the birds of the air to Adam, to be named, how would this newly formed man relate to God?”

I said, “He would have been in awe of God and His amazing creativity.”

When we considered that Adam hadn’t been around for more than a matter of hours, this was an opportunity for Adam to get to know God in a way we’ll never experience this side of heaven.

My husband and I believe Creation occurred over six twenty-four-hour periods of time. Adam, Eve and all animals, (with trees and herbs for food), came into being fully grown so they could function and then eat the produce immediately.

Genesis is an extremely important book in the Bible. If I don’t believe Genesis is God’s Word, inspired and given to men, then what else in the Bible can I pick and choose to believe or disregard?

May God bless you!