How a Reclaimed Cedar Chest Reflects God’s Grace

I met Jill about a year ago at a writers’ critique group. I love her writing. She’s been published by “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and elsewhere.

Anecdotes from Along Life's Road

cedar chest 03

Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

by Jill Printzenhoff

Reclaiming Memaw’s beat up cedar chest was tedious and dirty work. However, I was determined to redeem its battered condition.

I poured hours into removing several coats of old paint, sanding the distressed wood, and applying varnish. Solvent turned layers of faded paint to goo, which clung to my paint scraper or landed in wrinkled piles on heaps of newspaper. The hand sander kicked sawdust in the air, and the dust particles covered everything in the garage including myself. The sticky varnish claimed multiple brushes and rags.

messed up trunkNeedless to say, by the time I finished with the outside process, I had accumulated several bags of debris.

Once the outside was complete I turned my focus to the inside. After vacuuming the felt layer, the finished product was ready for use and display. I filled the cedar chest with blankets, and gave…

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Hindrances or Appointments

 

I’ve been north helping with my grandchildren. They all contracted fevers days apart from each other, so time stretched out.

Two nights ago, I asked my daughter if I could borrow her computer so I could blog. It wouldn’t work.

Then, I used my old computer which she has for a back up for her job. That didn’t work either. So much for blogging while I was away.

When I got home, I went straight to a meeting. In the morning, I arose early so my sister could get to the hospital for an operation which got delayed for three hours.

I’ve been reading a book on and off for over a year now. Today worked perfectly to finish it up. Now, I’m highlighting the significant parts of this non-fiction book and working the exercises.

One suggestion the motivational writer said that I read today, “Take care of yourself.”

I’ve noticed that the older I get, when I’m busy writing or babysitting or cleaning, whatever I’m doing, I may not pay attention to changing my position, or using correct posture, drinking enough water, exercising, or grabbing a healthy meal. I appreciated the reminder.

(I found this photo at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/thinking-for-a-change-john-c-maxwell with more letters and symbols for the address on Google.)

Years ago, I read a John Maxwell book entitled, Thinking for a Change, copyrighted in 2003, which I bought. Warner Books, Inc., New York, NY published it.

I thought my husband may like it as well, because he’s studied management principles and applied them to his life for years.

I don’t know if he read it, but I remember John Maxwell saying that he worked hard to achieve goals throughout his life so he neglected taking care of himself.

At that time, he realized he needed to work on his well-being or he’d be sorry. So, he too, recommended paying attention to one’s health.

I love spending time with my grandchildren and my children, but after almost twelve full days together I told my son I hadn’t done any writing and sometimes I feel like time is slipping away. He asked me, “Don’t you think this week with the kids is the best use of your time?”

That stopped me longing for working computers. I began the first book I mentioned while the children slept. So, I did do something else besides cooking, washing dishes, babysitting and laundry. Also, we played games and read books and I got to understand the rhythms of their lives in a way I didn’t comprehend before.

Plus, extended time with my grown children is a rarity, which I thoroughly enjoyed as well.

It’s amazing how a well framed question can turn my thoughts in another direction.

My sister’s surgery went well today and she is recovering for a day here unless New York weather gets so bad that the roads get closed down tomorrow. Then she’ll be here for two days. I don’t remember such crazy weather. February had been so warm. I wonder if that’s why so many folks have been sick. Warm spells and then a few days of cold and back to balmy weather. A few years back, we had a warm winter, but it was consistent.

Well, God knows what He’s doing in regards to the climate. He knows what He’s doing in regards to my schedule. I’d been feeling like I needed to play some games and relax. I got to do that with the children.

May God bless you and watch over you and protect you.

A Day Like No Other

I wrote a blog for today a couple of days ago. I recently wrote about Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims book, Organize Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You, published by Revell Books, Grand Rapids, MI and copyrighted in 2009. The problem is, when I went to write this one I realized that I never posted the “Organize Your Day” blog.

My husband and I recently returned from a vacation and while he watched football, I pulled out my computer and wrote a blog post. My son is an IT guy, so I texted him and asked if he ever used the internet at a public place on his private computer and he said, “No.”

He’s probably got more security safeguards on his than I do on mine, so I saved the blog. Out of sight, out of mind, as the old cliché goes.

I plan to post the article about the book tomorrow, but for tonight I just want to say, I decided to take Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims up on the idea to keep a running tally of how I use my time for a week in half hour increments, and it is eye opening.

I knew I was going to rest after a full two weeks of being gone because we kept irregular hours and I caught a cold, plus I got up early to prepare for Bible study this morning. I wanted to join my husband as he entered his office today because his secretary called me while we were away to ask for his favorite paint color. They wanted to freshen his office for him and re-decorate a bit. I was sworn to secrecy. I wanted to see his reaction because even though he’s low key, I knew he’d appreciate the effort they went to and he’d surely like an office in his favorite color.

He kidded one of the board members, “I need sunglasses in there now.”

The previous pastor chose a darker wallpaper with lots of trees on it. They chose a color just a bit darker than a pastel.

So, we celebrated our return with a lunch date at a new restaurant in town and then his secretary called to tell us that when our church had a number of police around it today, as we studied God’s Word oblivious to our surroundings, they were making plans to re-capture an escaped convict. Apparently, he’d been seen in the vicinity of our building. She asked how long our doors had been unlocked and was there any chance he could be hiding somewhere inside. I told her we would have heard him. She wasn’t so sure. We had talked, read out loud, laughed, reminisced, and then prayed. I told her all the places I’d been, looking for supplies and even for a can of paint in a storage room out of the way, before and after the study.

The next time I called her after taking a moment to consider, I thought maybe she should leave if she felt nervous. When she didn’t answer, I thought, Ah, she’s gone, good.

I texted her about leaving and she texted back: “I’m at the dentist and I won’t return until tonight’s Bible study.”

I went home to have some time with God and to do light housekeeping since I chose to rest. Occasionally, I called my husband to see if there was any news. “None that I know of,” he responded.

I’m praying the convict gets returned behind bars. It makes me wonder how he happened to escape and to hope he’s not a violent offender. I’ve been praying he’ll get saved if he’s not already, and that he won’t hurt anyone. I love the fact that God stays with us, no matter what we go through. It occurs to me that if I’m that curious, I could search the news to see if there’s any change in the situation.

I hope you had a nice day, one in which you didn’t hear of escaped convicts possibly hiding right nearby. I expect to share a little about our vacation, but I never know what a day will bring.

God bless you!

Marriage Helps

 

 

 

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/managing-marriage-conflicts-in-healthy-ways will take you to a site that enables you to hear their daily broadcast on September 26, 2017 at Focus on the Family radio.

 

It features Greg Smalley and his wife Erin, talking with the show’s host, Jim Daly. The featured resource that Focus on the Family offers in connection with the program is pictured below:

 

Erin, Greg and Gary Smalley wrote book, The Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship, which was published by Tyndale House, Carol Stream, IL and copyrighted in 2014.

 

The Smalley’s and Jim Daly discussed the benefits of conflict and the dangers of unrestrained conflicts that cause harm.

 

“Focus on the Family” radio’s input blessed our family dynamics numerous times over the decades that I’ve listened to them and to the experts they interviewed. If you’ve never heard their broadcast, I invite you to check them out now.

May God bless you.

Elections

I ended up working the New York State Primary election yesterday in a small town.

I got to meet a few people I never knew before. The last election I worked drew hundreds of voters.

This time with lower positions in government and less people running for offices, the turn out was decidedly smaller.

I think citizens take our government system for granted. For those who are cynical, my husband says a vote not cast definitely doesn’t count.

In Proverbs it says that God sets princes on the throne. In America, I figure that means presidents in office. To God be the glory, He has everything under control.

Enjoy your day.

 

Made to Move

I believe people are made to move around and to work. Since I go to a nursing home on Fridays and when I went to visit an elderly lady in her home a couple of weeks ago, this thought came to mind: exercise helps us age more gracefully.

www.pinsdaddy.com

 

The lady living alone teeters as she walks with her cane. She used to own a dog, but when he died she didn’t get another pet. She can’t hear well and I never see her outdoors anymore. She used to go to the grocery store, but she insists on the driver accompanying her into the store. Then she visits with whoever will listen to her, she examines the products carefully. The lady with her is chained to her in a manner of speaking and so she finally told her to give her a list with the money and she’d pick up the groceries and bring them back. It is a volunteer, so she can’t force the chauffeur to allow her into the car.

 

This person doesn’t get exercise, doesn’t see others much, and is aging more rapidly than most people her age, it seems to me.

 

One of the gals in our Bible study group is in her nineties and sometimes her legs hurt. Today she told me that when she’s in pain, she maneuvers her wheelchair out the door to the main hallway and makes her way around a huge circle of rooms and the nursing station. Last night she did that near her bedtime, which is unusual. She said the pain in her legs left once she began moving. “I just needed some exercise! The pain left and I slept well.”

 

When I find myself sitting more than normal, at the end of the day I feel fidgety.

 

Another person I know suffers from “restless leg syndrome.”

 

She can’t move around a lot because her weight has crept up along with her age. Lately she’s been acting like she’s ready to lose weight. When I asked her if she wanted toast one morning since she didn’t get breakfast, she turned me down. I think she’s trying to avoid too many carbohydrates.

 

I hope she will lose the extra pounds and find greater mobility. I’d love to see her age gracefully!

 

I am convinced I need to work heartily as unto the Lord and that means if I’m typing all day, I also need to shake my arms and fingers, and get up and walk around every hour. I went to our church to help with the gardening in early spring. When I yanked some weeds out of the ground on a dry day, a muscle by my upper arm pulled. I never expected that, and that’s when I realized I’m not building up strength. Now, I’m doing stretches, walking, and more resistance type exercises.

 

Our bodies weren’t meant to sit in a chair or on a couch every hour of the day. Note to me, get up and move around on a regular basis!

 

May God bless you. Hope you are able to choose healthy foods and exercise. I’d like to hear how you improve your health when you need to.

Quotes on the Resurrection & Historical Jesus

I didn’t realize so many historians wrote about Jesus from the earlier years in A.D. and then later as others looked back in time.

Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Education Innovation, & Base of the Pyramid/BOP Solutions

“There are, very clearly, at least nineteen early pagan writers who refer to Jesus Christ as an actual, real-life, historical figure: Tacitus, a great historian of Rome; Suetonius, also a historian; Pliny the Younger, one of the leaders of the Roman Empire; Epictetus; Lucian; Aristides; Galenus; Lampridius; Dio Cassius; Emeritus; Annianus (or Anianus); Marcellinu; Eunapius; and Zosimus. Some wrote entire works about Jesus, such as Lucian, Celsus (the first great antagonist, who wrote a whole book attacking Christianity), Porphyry, Hieracles, and Julian the Apostate (p. 75)
–D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the Christian Faith, 1997

“Flavius Josephus was the most highly reputed Jewish historian. Born in AD 37, shortly after Christ’s death, he wrote about the Jew’s history and wars. He also was a general in the Jewish army.” (p.76)
–D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from…

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Medieval Days

Product DetailsPhoto from www.Amazon.com

 

The Door in the Wall cover.jpg  photo from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Door_in_the_Wall_(novel)

About two weeks ago, I took my grandchildren to our local library. Then three days later, we went to another of the branch libraries.

While there, the six year old insisted on a chapter book like the oldest was getting. I said, “No, you’re not able to read it yet.”

It was close to supper time, Mommy was due to return the next day, they all had busy days so their patience was almost gone; mine, too, so I gave in.

We picked two middle grade chapter books for this kindergartener, which never got opened.

Before one of them came due I decided to read it. It’s a Newberry Medal winner entitled, The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli.

She wrote and illustrated it beautifully and had it copyrighted in 1949. It was published by Doubleday & Company, Inc. from Garden City, NY all those years ago.

I really like books about medieval times. I read one that I own, written and autographed by Ethel Herr, called Dr. Oma: the Healing Wisdom of Countess Juliana Von Stolberg (Chosen Daughter), copyrighted in 2006.

P & R Publishing from Phillipsburg, NJ published her book.

As much as I like reading about medieval times, I always think I’m happier living now. Women didn’t have much of a chance to live a life of their own choosing. Living in America gives me opportunities that other women may not have as well. I’m aware of that. Something else I understand is that I don’t really know what it’s like to be in situations outside of my ken.

No matter where I live, I’ve purposed in my heart to follow hard after Jesus. That will keep me as content as any human being can be this side of heaven.

May God bless you.