Soccer, Anyone?

Little boy playing football | Flickr - Photo Sharing!http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.w8ewEE5uYEYhJ7YyPBWtOwEsDH&pid=15.1&w=173&h=114&p=0

Last week, my husband and I drove a couple of hours north to see our children and grandchildren. The eight year old got placed in the defensive section of the soccer field after having had a taste of offense and the heady experience of kicking the ball into the goal. I noticed he stopped an aggressive players well placed boot which would have caused another scored point. He effectively sent the black and white sphere in the opposite direction to one of his waiting teammates.

I congratulated him on a game well played. “I didn’t make a goal this time.”

“I know it, but you stopped their team from getting the ball to the goal posts twice.” Then Grandpa added, “You kept your focus.”

Mom said, “You stayed in position, and that’s important.”

She played soccer for many years, even though at a young age she wasn’t sold on the sport. Her dad asked to stay on the team for the season and then if she didn’t like it, she could quit. She is our oldest and I was inclined to let her off the hook. When he explained that her team was counting on her, it made sense to me to have her stick it out. She agreed and after a few more games, she fell in love with the sport.

I remember in ninth grade, I think, she got up at five a.m. to practice soccer with her dad in the summer hoping to make the team. He went to college to be a physical education major, played soccer throughout high school and whenever he could after graduating, and he coached soccer teams for many years as a volunteer. It amazed me that they were so dedicated. I wondered if her coach had any idea how hard she worked, only to be cut during the tryouts. At her young age, she was philosophical about it. “Mom, you should see the girls I competed against. Their talent and speed surpasses mine. I get it.”

I forgave the coach, but I saw him at a meeting once and he came across as a person that made up his mind and there was no changing it. I felt better after she explained the circumstances. Then the next year she tried again, and that coach apologized to me for having to cut her. She went to a smaller college in her freshman year and they put her on the team, so I rejoiced with her.

As I watched her oldest face competitors, he took it all in stride. I don’t know whether he’ll continue playing soccer or if he’ll go for swimming like his dad. He loves to read and he’s a deep thinker, so he may not pursue sports at all. Only God knows what his future holds. All I know is that I’m privileged to be a grandma.

May God bless you.

 

Advertisements

Mindfulness

9781594862748: Speed CleaningThis photo is from: https://pictures.abebooks.com/isbn/9781594862748-us.jpg.

 

I thought I’d start a blog about cleaning and use a quote I got from a book in our library called Speed Cleaning. The book was published by Rodale Press in 2005 and written by Jeff Campbell and the Clean Team and copyrighted from 1985-2016. Their website sells some products for less cost than those that I bought elsewhere. I obviously don’t know the quality, but that was impressive. Their website is www.speedcleaning.com.

I can’t give the author’s exact quote, but it was about being mindful of what I’m doing when cleaning so I’ll enjoy it more. Keeping focused on where I’m standing, what is nearby so I don’t trip over it, and paying attention to what I’m doing throughout the job came up as well.

I’ve heard it said that people find fulfillment in whatever they’re doing if they give full attention to the activity (if it’s not a painful thing).

So, when cleaning the refrigerator if I concentrate on the fingerprints disappearing and a shine taking their place, the endorphins in the brain should get released, right?

On another subject, on Saturday night, I made a mayonnaise cake and when I finished it, it felt so good to see it completed and not sagging in the middle. I went to bed after blogging about it. At midnight, my husband noticed it sank to the middle but he didn’t want to disturb my rest. One of the ladies at our church is such an encourager. She told me it really didn’t look bad. I ended up running out of mayonnaise and used a substitute vegan style for the last half cup. I ran out of white sugar and used a little less brown sugar instead. It tasted the same as normal and looked similar. I ate a bit too much of it, so I put the left overs in the freezer. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s one food item I don’t want to be mindful of. I gained weight after eating it two days in a row.

Do you have something you’re struggling over? I remember reading a book on weight loss by Steve Arterburn some years back. He took time to taste his food and enjoy the meal. This is a more recent book by him that I haven’t read, but it sounds good. Lose It for Life: The Total Solution--Spiritual, Emotional, Physical--for Permanent Weight Loss  -     By: Stephen Arterburn, Dr. Linda Mintle
 This photo is from: https://www.christianbook.com/solution-spiritual-emotional-physical-permanent-weight/stephen-arterburn/9780849947261/pd/947260?event=ESRCG#CBD-PD-Description.

I believe it’s an updated version of the book I read with more offerings: exercises and other beneficial information.

I hope you are keeping your eyes on Jesus in this world with the turmoil and with the good. I heard my daughter read some Psalms today after telling me she’s concerned about her elderly and much loved cat. He’s not eating well. God’s Word is a comfort. She’s experiencing His peace in the midst of her trial.

May God bless you.

Could You Ever Become Homeless?

 

The Sign Painter(Photo from: http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Davis-Bunn/45097965 )

I recently read The Sign Painter by Davis Bunn, copyrighted by T. Davis Bunn in 2014. It’s the story of a woman with a five year old daughter. The summary offered by the publisher states: “A young mother struggles to get back on her feet after a devastating loss leaves her and her daughter alone and living on the street.”

 

Howard Books published this tome; they are a division of Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

 

I know a lady that lost her husband to a deadly disease and the medical expenses wiped them out. She moved to New York from Florida because she lived in the northern state as a child and as a young adult at least. I don’t know what happened to cause her to live on her own once her husband passed away. She has some family in the area.

 

It took some time for this friend of mine to regain her footing. She went from one place to another. Now, she has her own apartment and she volunteers in a handful of places to be of use and to fill her time. A Christian auto repair person discovered she didn’t have a car, so they’ve leant her one to use. This family pays for everything for her except the gasoline. She beams with gratitude.

 

I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book, but Davis Bunn is one of my favorite authors. He tells a story with people based on real events in our world in such a compelling way that I knew I wanted to engage with the characters. I just waited a couple of days after I got the book to adjust to the idea. I didn’t know what the novel was about from the title. I chose it based on the cover and the author.

 

I’m on the third book in the series by Jim Cymbala called Fresh Power. The first two books are entitled Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire and Fresh Faith. Dean Merrill is the co-author of the volumes and Zondervan published Fresh Power in 2001 and it was copyrighted by Jim Cymbala in 2001.

Fresh Wind, Fresh FireFresh FaithFresh Power(Photos from: (https://www.christianbook.com/fresh-power-jim-cymbala/9780310251545/pd/251540?event=Christian-Authors|1006349)

Fresh Power is a non-fiction book documenting the ability of the Holy Spirit to move on people’s hearts and lives for the good. The life events that drew some to Christ seem so overwhelming, yet a way opens up for them to find hope and practical steps that kept them on a new path.

 

The Sign Painter is a fictional account of individual’s becoming desperate and it shows how they cope with their plight. Some choices work out well. Some folks turn to people and habits that only make things worse. The Sign Painter represented real quandaries that could come our way. I don’t think I’d ever have to live on the street, but one never knows. Many homeless never dreamed they’d end up without a postal address and/or a job.

 

When I see what a person does in trying circumstances, I’ll wonder why they took that action. It seemed clear to me that they were heading for trouble. I don’t know the whole story. Oftentimes, I don’t have permission to speak into their lives. That’s the benefit of reading life-like situations in books. It gives me time to meditate on how I might handle certain situations. Davis Bunn’s book had a number of questions about the novel for those interested in participating alone or for a book club to ponder after the end of the story.

 

If you haven’t read Davis Bunn’s books or Jim Cymbala’s real life anecdotes, you might want to try them out. You never know how God may use them in your life.

 

May God bless you.

So Much Today

 

So much to do, so much to say, so much to consider – that was my day today.

I drove to my youngest daughter’s house today because I felt as if the Lord was saying to go there for my place away from home. I wanted to take a day to finish my Life Plan from Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy’s book, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. It’s published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI and copyrighted by the authors in 2016.

I’m excited about the Life Plan because it helped me focus on what is important at this point in my life and what I can let go.

 

  (photo from https://www.christianbook.com/living-forward-proven-drifting-life-want/michael-hyatt/9780801018824/pd/018820?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9780801018824&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG )

So, I got it all done and later tonight I hope to plug some things into my planner. I wrote out some thoughts, I talked and listened to my daughter, we went out for lunch, then back for more planning. I spoke to a couple other family members. I drove home through a storm. Quickly typed up a rough draft of a query letter and then drove half an hour to a writers group.

My brain was a little fuzzy after the full day, but I’m glad I went anyway. Those two hours or so fuel my brain for days afterwards. We discuss everyone’s particular projects, marketing advice, the pros and cons of self-publishing and traditional publishing, and insights into Internet opportunities. I always learn something useful.

Just before we left, the leader prayed for one of the ladies and that prompted me to pray for the leader. Then we went our separate ways. The storm caused the river near the road to swell, but in the dark I didn’t even remember that. I remembered honest critiques expressed with the intent to help the writer grow in their ability to communicate. I remembered prayer for the well-being of another. I saw a mom and daughter interact in a loving manner. We parted with wishes for a great summer and the promise to see each other again in the Fall.

When I got home, I noticed my husband had tidied up the house and we exchanged thoughts about our day. After a while, I told him I intended to blog and he turned on a favorite television show I don’t mind missing.

I may have had a full day with lots to do, but it lacked the stresses of some previous days and for that I’m grateful to Jesus, my Lord and Savior. I hope you had a great day today, too.

May God bless you.

 

Marriage for Life, Uhuh

My youngest daughter stopped over to the house today. She does that on occasion and I took advantage of her company by asking her to lift a heavy bag for me to move to another location because I pulled some muscles in my back over the weekend and they’re still a little touchy. She had an agenda as well. “Do you want to spend some time talking about the marriage book you want to write? Do you still want me to collaborate with you?”

We spent a few hours shaping our ideas. She read my synopsis while I wrote a letter to a publisher explaining who we are and what our perspective is. I figure we might as well have a publisher on board if we can interest one, because why write a book if they want a different slant.

Cute Married couple fall photo shoot! 2013 | Photo shoot | Pinterest ...(photo from :http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.BJ8qz4_CIX9mBktgl7ZJhQDGEs&pid=15.1&w=77&h=116&p=0 )

It will be a richer book with her input because she wants to address issues people in younger generations are dealing with, and when she asked for advice from her parents and other couples, some almost seventy years old, they gave her a blank look. With all the years of wisdom accumulated, they hadn’t run into some of the issues she’s dealt with and others are facing.

We’ll see if God wants this project to go forward. We plan on praying our way through it.

I hope this finds you well and able to sit up easily and type without pain. It’s amazing how I take my health for granted. I’m grateful for a fairly rapid recovery.

By the way, if you’re married, there are lots of good reasons to stick together if you and your spouse aren’t sure at the moment. Of course, when there is abuse, I always tell folks to separate until the abuse stops through a changed heart and new, healthy behaviors have become the norm.

May God bless you!

Disappearances

My husband called to see if I could find a necessary receipt to prove we’d paid for something. Then I got online so I could let the agency know we’d paid. I looked at the clock and two hours had slipped away.

I went to the library today and got rewarded with a dark chocolate candy today because I “got caught” reading. While my friend dished out the sweet morsel, she got serious. I waited a moment and then she said, “*Marcy passed away at the end of April.”

“I’m so sorry to hear your mom is gone. I loved your mom.”

“Me, too,” she said.

I’m invited to her memorial service at the place where her mom worked because she loved it there and it seemed appropriate to her daughter and Marcy’s  boss is all for it. They had a lot in common.

Later in the day I did some typing for someone and the last time I worked, I put the info from the flash drive onto my computer. I thought, I don’t really need to do that, but there’s no harm in it and I think I have lots of room on the hard drive to save it.

Tonight I decided to type for at least an hour and when I searched for the thumb drive it was gone. I didn’t search high and wide because I didn’t want to waste time, but I couldn’t believe it wasn’t where I normally store it. After I post this, I’ll look slowly and thoroughly and if my husband is up I’ll ask him to check. He’s been known to find things that are in plain sight that I’ve not been able to see when it was right in front of me.

Sometimes I get ideas to do things that don’t make perfect sense to me and then I realize that it saved me stress and I thank God that I did that.

Well, I need to cut this short because I’m busier than normal because I prayed for work and God answered that prayer the very next day. Now, I have a commitment to do the work.

Speaking of commitments, I usually attend a Bible study on Fridays, but my husband’s cousin who has been sick for a long time now, gave up the fight and he’s no longer with us. I’d like to attend the funeral. I guess I’ll have to see if someone is willing to fill in for me on short notice or I’ll have to stay home and send my condolences with my husband.

A friend of mine tried to find me once and I was missing from all the normal places I might have been. Finally, I was able to answer her voice mail. She said, “I thought you got raptured and I missed out on it.”

I laughed and told her I was pretty sure if I got raptured, she would too. If there truly is a Rapture, when it occurs, there’s going to be lots of folks disappearing.

At the second coming of Christ, Jesus said to be aware and to be ready, for He is going to return like a thief in the night in Matthew, chapter 24.

May God bless you!

* Not her real name

Companionship

My youngest daughter called me this morning to see if she could spend the day. I told her it was okay but I needed to work on the kitchen. She needed to do some paperwork, so that would be fine.

As I washed some breakfast dishes, she picked up the towel and began to dry as we visited. When I cleared off the refrigerator to clean it, she chatted as I removed some items off the top. After I washed the door, she asked if I wanted her to work on a spot I missed. Of course, I said yes. 🙂

She and I were both heading to a meeting to hear a Christian speaker we enjoy and they ask for a snack from the attendees. So, we made banana bread. She mashed the bananas she brought from home while I blended the sugar and shortening, etc.

I needed to return a book to the library that was due today and she stayed at my house to start her paperwork.

Christian Writers Market Guide 2017  (image from https://christianwritersinstitute.com/all-books/christian-writers-market-guide-2017)

Later, I ordered the 2017 Christian Writers Market Guide, published by Christian Writers Institute and a couple of 2017 market guides published by Writer’s Digest publisher F & W Media, Cincinnati, OH which I’d been meaning to get to.

When we reached the home of the lady hosting the speaker and the group, there was expectancy in the air. As a worship leader strummed her guitar and sang the first song, “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin, many voices rose in reverence and praise. Two teenagers accompanied their parents, single folks and married couples attended, young to elderly folk interacted, Caucasian and African-American and one Jamaican held hands to pray. Some of the people have received the gift of prophecy from the Holy Spirit and words of encouragement or admonition were given in a loving manner.

I sensed a nudge from the Holy Spirit to pray for a lady that I’d never met before. Her throat was bothering her so I layed my hand by her neck and asked God to heal her throat and because I felt a lump I asked God to heal her thyroid. When we got done, she said that she’s been diagnosed with thyroid cancer but the medical community has told her to go elsewhere for treatment. She feels God told her He’s going to send many people to pray over her. I didn’t expect to pray for thyroid when I started.

One man was told that he has been empowered with the gift of bringing comfort to people, but that he needs to open his mouth and start speaking words of comfort to people. He hesitated so a pastor asked him to start right then if he pleased. He did and the speaker took hold of his hand and eventually asked his wife to take hold of his hand. They looked visibly moved.

I’m never sure what a day will bring.

This day was filled with more accomplished in the kitchen, a great day with part of my family and some special time with God in the Word and then in fellowship with believers I don’t normally run into. The speaker and his wife flew to NY from FL. I felt privileged to hear him share what God had been teaching him lately and to hear his encouraging words.

A different pastor read a Psalm and said it was for me. Then a man spoke about re-writing my novel. I don’t know if he was prophesying or just suggesting it, but he did say God would help me with it, so it might have been half a prophetic utterance. God knows.

There were a number of pastors there, now that I think of it and all from different denominations or non-denominational houses of worship.

May God bless you.

Flexible Moments

My daughter called today to see if I could head north to fill in for an unexpected childcare need.

I got ready to go and had half the stuff needed in the car for a sleep over when she called to say one of her appointments wasn’t going to work out. So I quickly backed out when she said I could still come up for a visit.

I had started to clear the pantry before leaving. I also wanted to grocery shop, so even though I was disappointed, I re-adjusted my plans back to the original.

Then, just before I left the house a second time, a good friend called to catch up and we spoke for almost an hour. I did some straightening while we visited, so that was a plus.

The weather forecasters said we were in for a big storm tonight and tomorrow, so I felt better about staying home after I heard that. Some of the store shelves were empty, especially in the produce section. The first time I saw empty shelves at our store I was startled. It’s a rare occurrence. People must have shopped earlier because the store wasn’t that busy.

Sometimes I thank God for His provision because I’m mindful that some people face hunger due to shortages where they live or because of a lack of money to buy food. It’s a wonderful thing when people help others out. Jesus spoke of helping the poor. Matthew 25:31, (KJV):  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Mat 25:32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Mat 25:33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Mat 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Mat 25:35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Mat 25:36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Mat 25:38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Mat 25:39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

I hope you are having a great day. May God bless you.

 

Cold Up There

We drove north today and got to see my daughter and most of her family. The kids were sick last week, so it was nice to see them so much better.

Leaving the nursing home after Bible study today, I almost entered my car when I saw my son-in-law’s stepmom, so to speak. I called out to her and she didn’t recognize me at first. Then she remembered me from my daughter’s wedding. She was about to walk about three miles in the cold to her home and I was heading that way. So she asked what direction I was going and we ended up swinging by her place. I told her it was a God moment. She wasn’t even wearing a hat.

It was cold but not snowy, probably 20 degrees Fahrenheit out at the time. Not icy either which I prayed about because we’ve been getting rain the last few days and then the cold arrived. I went to the library on Wednesday night to see an Alaskan writing professor. Our 20 degree weather in winter, he said, is balmy compared to their weather. Their temps may be minus 20 degrees F to minus 40 degrees F. I can’t even imagine!

I get cold in winter in NYS; 40 to 60 degrees lower blows my mind. So that is why the man lives in Alaska and in Louisiana. If you live in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere I hope you are keeping warm.

May God bless you.

Made New

I was talking to my husband about journaling in accordance with a book on organizing. He said, and I’m sort of quoting here, “whatever happened to 2 Corinthians 5:17, (ESV):  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”?

So, I sighed in relief and then called my older sister to ask about the past. 🙂 We had a nice visit. One of the concepts in different books on organizing is paying attention to where your time goes. Forty-five minutes later or more, I hung up the phone.

I was delighted when my youngest daughter showed up unexpectedly and I offered to help her with some writing projects. Then I got a bit cranky because time was moving right along. She asked what was going on and I told her, so we got that straightened out and chose to meet at a later date. She was tired, I was getting tired.

This morning, I took some stuff to the library to work on without interruption, but I didn’t get there early enough. Interruptions kept me from leaving the house. 🙂

Tonight because my daughter needed to send her writing to my e-mail account so I could print them out for her, I ended up checking out my e-mail after she went home. I don’t even want to think about how much time I spent on that.

God is good. He’s helping me to be more aware of poor choices. This morning I kept texting people or calling people when I could have waited until later or even later on in the week.

I did some cleaning before I left and that felt great. So, I think I’ll end here, consider my planner for today’s priorities and possibly do one or two small chores or a joyful thing like read a bit. I asked God to direct my path today around 1:00 p.m. and I got some groceries that blessed my husband. I got to see my son-in-law for a few moments when he stopped to see his wife. I want him to do something for the house – he’s a contractor and he’s somewhat of a perfectionist, so the job gets done well. He tells me he’s amazed at the changes in his life since he accepted Christ. He never thought he’d be a businessperson, for one, or married to the pastor’s daughter, for another.

Anyway, at the end of the day it’s kind of nice to look at the blessings of the day. I’m certainly glad I got to blog tonight, because I miss it when I don’t. I get to see what the other bloggers are up to when I send something out.

May God bless you and encourage you.