The Next Generation

My grandchildren and I watched Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” one recent morning while their mother caught up on some neglected sleep.

Image from http://movies.disney.com/snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs

It took a while to get my computer working. So, here I am, able to blog, finally!

On Good Friday, I offered to do a service at the Nursing Home like it was no big deal. I do the worship without too much trepidation, but when I needed to speak before twelve people stretched out in a line in their seats or wheel chairs, with a worker present, my heart beat sped up and I wondered what was I thinking to volunteer. With the busyness of the holidays and with company from Thursday to Monday, I wrote a blog on Saturday ready to post it and never got it typed, let alone sent out.

So, this is a modified version of that blog.

There’s nothing like sitting with little ones and entering into their world for a little while. Sometimes they want to watch too many shows or play electronic games, so their mom limits the time allowed so they interact with people.

We settled into comfy chairs to watch old fashioned scrolls with introductory words describing the setting and some of the plot as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” began. I read the first page a bit after it appeared to the children. I finished the words as the second page showed up. My older grandson’s eyes widened. “How did you remember the words from the first page and then read the second page like that?”

I know he was giving me a compliment but he’s at the age where it can go either way.  Sometimes I’ll tell him something and he’ll tell me I’m wrong. Then, after he finds out I wasn’t wrong he’s not sure how to act. I’ll say, “I did go to school, you know.”

Then he ponders it all. He’s a deep thinker. His mom tells me he may come back 24 hours later with a new angle and then be ready to argue again at 48 hours.

During the movie we talked about such a variety of topics: skulls, death, Black Magic, Christianity, meanness, kindness, jealousy, love, and imagination making things worse.

It’s amazing how watching a program with young people and being open to their thoughts and questions can get a conversation going. Sometimes I’d ask him what he thought of certain situations.

When the queen, who was sometimes called a witch, used magic to change her appearance so she could poison her step-daughter, I told the children afterwards that evil often backfires and hits the person set on hurting another. It makes the case for that logic in Proverbs and in the Psalms, but I didn’t quote them book and verse.

Today, I spent a good portion of the day setting the house in order. I love my family very much. So, it’s worth it to cook and do dishes and move the toys into the living room so we can gather together. They helped pick up before they left, but by the time the cars left, we’d eaten another meal and they needed to get on their way. I decided to do some extra cleaning beyond the ordinary after the company went home. I guess it felt good to get at things. I’m still organizing.

I finished the kitchen and now I’m on to the next room. It took me longer than I anticipated because of the curtains, which I had to point out to my oldest daughter. It’s funny the things that stand out to me and others don’t even notice.

May God bless you!

Married Life

I spent over two hours writing about marriage tonight, or last night since it passed midnight, and my husband asked me to finish up. So, I will do my best to blog tonights’ thoughts tomorrow, or later in this day.

I thought I’d write about communication some more but it took off with a totally different slant. Hopefully those interested in marriage will be blessed. Until then, I’ll say, “Adieu.”

Changes on the Way

 

I don’t get afraid to face a blank page as a writer, but I do have moments when I wonder what I can say that I haven’t said before in this blog. 🙂

My husband had a headache yesterday so he didn’t feel like talking. I tried to keep quiet but when we watched television, if I had a question I’d bring it up. He said, “You like to talk.”

Not mean-spirited, not jesting, just clarifying. I smiled at him; “Yes, I do.”

I like to talk and I like to write. There are times when I don’t get to write and it’s like the times when I don’t get into the Scriptures, I get grumpy. God wired me to write, I suppose.

I’ve been going through The Productive Writer to set up a notebook filled with categories. I read the book through a while ago and began reading it again to underscore in red the highlighted sections that really stood out- a tip I read from one of James Scott Bell’s books on the craft of writing.

The Productive WriterThis image is from: https://sagecohen.com/books/the-productive-writer/ 

Sage Cohen wrote the book, The Productive Writer and copyrighted it in 2010. Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH published it.

On page 189, she talks about social media: “A daily rhythm of just fifteen minutes a day can create a momentum of communication that grows your visibility and reputation.”

I’ve heard that said before, “just 15 minutes a day…” at writers’ conferences.

I need to go back to her Chapter 13 so I can understand the balance between social media and writing time. It almost looks unread. By the way, I recommend her book.

May God bless you.

Givers Receive

A lady from our church is generous. The other day she gave me a thick adult coloring book with Bible verses in it to give to one of the ladies at the nursing home. I have it ready to go for our Bible study tomorrow morning. I never know who will be there, but it’s usually a pleasant experience.

This same lady gave her sister and brother-in-law a used car when she was ready to get a newer vehicle herself. They felt such gratitude, they’d tell everyone they ran into about her gift, it seemed. The other day she also brought in some tomatoes from her garden to share with us, even though she couldn’t stay. She was on her way to the hospital with a friend to pick up the gal’s husband. He’d had surgery and they needed to make a minor repair later in the city north of us. This friend of hers went to the hospital with the lady from our church, every other day for months while she recovered from an illness.

This lady was so pleased to be there for her and her husband. I’ll bet her friend sat by her side for all those days because they’d been there for each other over the years. I imagine their circle of kindnesses have gone around and around for some decades now. There are people where we live that have stayed put for all of their lives. I can’t even fathom that. It’s just not been our lot in life to stay in one place, although my husband would have liked to. Sometimes it seemed better to move on to a better job or a different opportunity.

I was reading a blogger yesterday that quoted Augustine of Hippo. He said someone who’s never traveled is like opening a book to read and stopping after turning one page. That’s how I remember it.

I was trying to find the site, but my computer is acting weird. (It was logicalquotes.com). I hope I can reach WordPress so I can post this blog tonight.

Anyway, I don’t know this lady at my church well enough to understand the scope of her finances, but I do know what the Word of God says about giving to God and to those He cares about:

Mal 3:10, (ESV),  Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

Mal 3:11  I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts.

Mal 3:12  Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts.

May God bless you!

Willing to Change?

Have you ever tried to make a significant change and think, oh, this isn’t going to be hard? By day two, you find that you’re behind by half the amount expected or even more than half?

When I was young, I found a system to help me clean my house well. It worked and my husband and I liked the results. It’s not that I don’t like cleaning. It’s that I like a lot of things and I think I’ll get back to cleaning the dishes and suddenly I’m washing mirrors thinking I’ll just let the dishes soak a few minutes. Two hours later, the dishes are still soaking, the water is cold and I end up fishing the stopper out of the sink and replenishing the water.

So two days ago I decided to re-set up this system devised by Pam Young and Peggy Jones and I broke the “3 x 5” file box I’ve had for many years now. 

So, I went to about eight different stores trying to find a file box. The stores don’t carry them anymore. Lots of 3” x 5” index cards for sale. It occurred to me, people don’t use paper like they used to.

I decided to get online and order a cleaning product that none of the stores carried either, and found a box online. The problem is, there were so many choices and some were vintage and I’m wondering if I want to spend more and possibly have a collectible I can sell years down the line and I look at the clock and two hours are gone. Arrrgh!

I went with a cheaper variety with free shipping and got back on track with less energy and less enthusiasm. I didn’t even blog last night, or write either. Bummer!

Tonight when I’m done here, I am going to re-organize the cards and take advantage of the skip function for those I didn’t get to, and start fresh in the morning. I recognized that I’ve failed at the follow through on this system in the past. I made up my mind that I’m not going to quit this time. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Phil. 4:13, (KJV).

Anyhow, my husband has been invited to a men’s retreat with our youngest son for the weekend. The last time they went, I stayed home. This time, I called my daughter. She lives near the drop off point and I asked if she’d like company. She said they’d love to have me over for the weekend.

Sometimes when I overdo things, my productivity goes down. I need a mini vacation. So when I set the cards up for the month, I left those few days blank. I’m looking forward to enjoying family and pitching in around her house and relaxing.

I hope this finds you well! God bless!

Internet Down

I started to blog earlier today but our Internet was down. I went to blog tonight and after my husband used Internet most of the day, it was down again.

He wonders if it’s because many people are using the Internet to watch the Olympic Games.

So I’m using my phone to blog and it will be short because I have the worst time on this device.

Occasionally I wonder what would happen if the Internet tanked. We’re so thrilled to use this wonderful device, many young people pay all their bills on it and do online banking.

I submit writing on my e-mail instead of using the post office many times.

I hope the Internet stays available, I really do,  but I wonder how will we manage if it shuts down for more than a day or so. It’s something to ponder.

No worries. God is on the throne and He tells us to be anxious for nothing in Philippians 4:6 by Paul’s  pen.

May God bless!

 

Rarely Late, At Last

I tend to write my blog after a full day. Today is no exception. I never intend to write so late, but things need to be done so I get to them first.

This morning before Bible study I got a phone call from one of my sisters. She wanted to tell me some news, so I listened as I got ready.

I’ve had difficulty being on time for most of my life. Sometime over the last couple of years it started to sink in – this has got to change.

It’s embarrassing, it’s rude – or at least inconvenient for others, my husband hates it, it gets adrenaline pumping which isn’t healthy when it’s too often, some doctor’s offices will turn a patient away after fifteen minutes late, airplanes take off without their customer, and it began to occur to me that there must be control issues involved.

Enough of this, I decided. So I snuck my way around this bad habit.

  • I set my timer to leave fifteen minutes earlier than normal.
  • I wrote appointments fifteen minutes earlier in my planner.

That alone gave me a thirty minute cushion. I began thinking about what to wear including accent pieces a day or two ahead of time.

So after talking to my sister today and arriving a few minutes late for Bible study, I felt off kilter, almost as if I was leaning slightly to the left.

We ended a few moments later than usual, which was no big deal and then my next few appointments ran as scheduled.

But I noticed a temptation to dawdle before leaving the house the second time. Uh oh.

I went South to visit my son and his family. His wife and I and two family members needed to leave the house by 3:30, she said. At 3:20 I’m at the stairway waiting, and I could have left at 3:15. At 3:29 no one is ready to go, so I asked her what was going on.

She blushed. “Your son told me to expect you to be a half hour late, so I told you the wrong time.”

I hadn’t seen him for more than a day or two for a year and a half. I said, “Doesn’t he know people change?”

That’s why I love being a Christian. My husband and I will be married 41 years this summer and by the grace of God he’s changed some and I’ve changed some, which makes for more peace. We are not perfect, but we live with hope.

I pray God’s blessings on you.

 

 

Parenting by Choice

I’ve been spending time with family more than usual lately. I asked my husband what the date was today and realized the end of the month is closing in. I still haven’t sent out the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” stories which are due by June 30. So, I’m going to look at them one more time and then send them out.

 

I also realized I’d slipped up on my commitment to blog daily except for Sundays lately. So, even though I’m a bit weary, I revved up the computer and here goes.

 

My son and his wife paid for his children and his sister’s children to go to an indoor jumping, climbing, etc. type of facility. What an excellent opportunity for family fun and exercise and it’s a way to avoid inclement weather. We weren’t sure if it might rain. So, we went with them and it didn’t hurt to have two more sets of hands and eyes on the active youngsters.

 

I love having grandchildren. We laughed with them and later, I got ice for one of the boys when he hurt his knee. He seems fine tonight.

 

Psa_127:3,(KJV) Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

 

When I was a young lady, I wondered if I should have children or not. The culture seemed to be preaching against having children. It would be bad for the overextended planet. It’s hard to bring children into a messed up world, etc., etc. What about the mother and her right to work or play unrestricted?

 

I remember speaking to my older brother about it. He leaned more towards having children. They’ve added so much to my life and provision always came along. I’m so glad I ignored societies’ subtle and not so subtle injunction to severely limit child bearing. My life would be much different without offspring.

 

God bless!

 

Commit Your Works

Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. Proverbs 16:3 (KJV)

 

I have this written on a 3” x 5” index card attached to the file cabinet near where I write, so I can see it.

 

Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV) says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”

 

I planned to write for four hours today and clean house for four hours today. I flip flopped my choices. I’m at the library writing and will clean four hours after the library closes. They offer shorter hours of operation on the weekend.

 

I dropped into K-Mart on my way to the library for a quick purchase – one personal and one for organizing some of my files. As I headed home I prayed: “Library to write or home to clean, Lord?”

 

The library seemed best and I’m writing this blog entry early in the day because of the choice. I also ran into a lady that started her business – something about being a helper while people are at work – running errands, waiting for repair people to show up at the house, helping to close down summer cottages, a “Jane of all trades,” about the same time I decided to write professionally.

 

She asked for my business card. I gladly found one tucked in my wallet and handed it over. One never knows.

 

She’s crazy busy in the summertime, but in the Fall her business drops off. So she has other irons in the fire.

 

I, too have busy times and less busy times, so as a freelance writer I look for opportunities. I sent my fiction contest entry in on the fourteenth of the month and today I’m working on the Chicken Soup of the Soul story to submit before June 30. I’m thinking I’ll send two stories about teachers and teaching.

 

I pray this finds you well. God bless.

 

 

Why Do We Do What We Do?

 

While we had devotions last night, my husband began reading Romans 7.

Rom 7:1 (RV) :Or are ye ignorant, brethren (for I speak to men that know the law), how that the law hath dominion over a man for so long time as he liveth?
Rom 7:2 For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while the husband liveth, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the husband die, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be joined to another man.
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Rom 7:6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were holden; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Howbeit, I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet:
Rom 7:8 but sin, finding occasion, wrought in me through the commandment all manner of coveting: for apart from the law sin is dead.
Rom 7:9 And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died;
Rom 7:10 and the commandment, which was unto life, this I found to be unto death:
Rom 7:11 for sin, finding occasion, through the commandment beguiled me, and through it slew me.
Rom 7:12 So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good.
Rom 7:13 Did then that which is good become death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might be shewn to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; ––that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful.
Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I know not: for not what I would, that do I practise; but what I hate, that I do.
Rom 7:16 But if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but to do that which is good is not.
Rom 7:19 For the good which I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I practise.
Rom 7:20 But if what I would not, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then the law, that, to me who would do good, evil is present.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself with the mind serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

The Apostle Paul thought he was all that when he sat at the feet of Gamaliel – one  of the Pharisee leaders and one of the best teachers in Israel.

After Paul fell off his mount when Jesus spoke to Him from heaven, he changed from a religious zealot, a legalistic law follower without mercy and compassion to a devout follower of Jesus. He made a total transformation. Paul went from gathering up Christians so he could have them killed, to becoming a chief speaker for the deity of Jesus Christ. God enabled Paul to preach the gospel effectively, and to lay hands on the sick or the dead so they could be made well. The book of Acts shows God at work in the people who chose to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

When Paul calls himself the chief of sinners in 1 Timothy 1:15, (RV) “Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief:”
and laments that he doesn’t do the right things he wants to do, and he does the wrong that he abhors, my husband proclaims, “This is the Apostle Paul! The man who wrote half of the New Testament. If he’s a sinner relying on Jesus Christ to wash him and to help him to walk right, how much more do I need Jesus?

Romans 7 gives my husband hope. I love Romans 8 as well. The first verse says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

I just stopped following a blog tonight because it started showing pictures I didn’t need to see. It was a writers’ blog and I knew the author didn’t mention faith, but I don’t always see it, and I didn’t realize the content was changing.

Our friends reminded us on Monday night that we’re always in a battle with the enemy of our soul and as 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us, The devil, our adversary roams about seeking whom he may devour and we need to be on the alert.

So, I take comfort in God’s mercy and I pray He’ll help me to do my part to stop sinning and to repent immediately when I do. Then I don’t have to deal with a guilty conscience and be dragged down. Another thing my husband says is that in heaven we won’t have to worry about sinning anymore. Won’t that be incredible!

Because we all struggle with choosing to do good instead of evil. That’s who we are. God is great and He has our best in mind. Just read Ephesians 1 for encouragement. God bless!