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!!

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Time Flies, Two

Hi! This is the Monday following Thanksgiving in the USA, and I’m recovering from lack of sleep, too much to eat, and lots of company over to our home.

Sunday evening when I headed for church, I left my oldest daughter and her family packing their belongings. They’d arrived Wednesday night. I join the worship team on Sunday nights, but I stayed home until just before the service started, so I expected them to say, “No practice, no singing.”

When the leader invited me to join them, I repeated the rules. She said, “Rules, shmules.”

Well, I’m unsure of the spelling, but she’s a Christian not worried about appearances, but more about the heart of God and what does He want. Not that she’s perfect, so she’s told me, but she’s a delightful person and I gladly joined the team. When I didn’t know the song, I sang softly. Come to find out, since I didn’t arrive in time for a sound check, my microphone was off. 🙂

When we talked later, she asked me about it. I thought it was off once in a while and at other moments, I decided it might be on after all. Anyway, how do you tell the guy doing sound that the mike is off without disturbing everyone? So, I sang and was content in the knowledge that if I flubbed up, no one would know it. 🙂

When we got home Sunday night, it felt so quiet. We had four grandchildren since Wednesday and on Sunday afternoon, three more grandkids joined us. On Thursday evening two single moms came over and their time overlapped. So that day we had the four grandchildren and then two boys ages seven and three, plus a sixteen month old.

The two boys used to attend our church on a regular basis until I told the mom about a church that might interest her. They found it a better fit so now we only see them sporadically. The boys really bonded to my husband. He fell asleep on the recliner so the oldest boy quietly crawled up next to him and played a hand held game as my husband slept. Then the three year old climbed up on the other side of him, which woke my husband up. So he began to tickle and gently rough house and they were delighted. He loves kids and they love him.

On Saturday, my older brother and his wife came by to see the family. They had a gift for my oldest daughter and she appreciated that. My house is the central location for the two families, so when she is planning to arrive, I try to give them a heads up in case they can free their schedule.

On Monday morning, I told my husband that the time seemed to fly! No more hide ‘n go seek – I don’t find as many places to squeeze into as an adult. 🙂 No more sleeping bags stretched out. No more crying, no more laughing, no more hugs, no more chasing the three year old trying to get a hug. No more scolding the boys to get their toys out of the kitchen.

As I left for church Sunday night, knowing it was an early goodbye, I told my daughter I wouldn’t be crying when they left this time. “We’ll see you later for the Christmas play,” she said.

That helps to know we’ll see them again.

I often think where does the time go? I didn’t get as much time in the Word with them here, so I made up for it today. I asked the Lord if there was any place in particular He wanted me to read. I waited quietly – nothing. Then I read a while and asked again. This time I thought I heard Revelation seven. It felt incomplete, so I asked again and this time thought it was Revelation 1:7 which is: Rev 1:7, (GNB),  Look, he is coming on the clouds! Everyone will see him, including those who pierced him. All peoples on earth will mourn over him. So shall it be!

This made me feel as though Jesus is coming back soon. Then I read Rev 1:3, (GNB),  Happy is the one who reads this book, and happy are those who listen to the words of this prophetic message and obey what is written in this book! For the time is near when all these things will happen.

God’s timetable may seem slow and then, suddenly it speeds up and His purposes are being accomplished.

There’s an old saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

That time warp happened to me this weekend when I got to enjoy people to the maximum. Then on Sunday night the worship leader prayed for Jerusalem because there are fires burning there. I asked for prayer for TN because I heard there are fires raging there, some of which have been set by arsonists. A friend told me today that GA is also on fire and there has been some arson there as well. So I’m praying that God will send rain and that people will look to God for reassurance from their fears.

I missed blogging. When I visited my daughter last month I tried to blog ahead of time and schedule it to appear on the chosen date, but it didn’t happen. So, I didn’t bother this time.

I blogged once while they were here. After that, I tried again but the internet was down. I think one of the grandchildren hit a button that disconnects the internet on the top of the computer case, if I understood my husband correctly. Another day I tried, but I’d let one of the family members borrow my computer and it took a long time before it was free. By then, I was tired.

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

Writing and Life

This morning I picked up a book from a shelf in the living room that I dedicate to writing books. A year ago or so I went into an area at the library where they sell used books as a fund raiser. I bought The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, published by Harper & Row, Publishers; New York, NY. Annie Dillard copyrighted it in 1989. I bought it because it looked interesting. Later, it was listed in another writing book as a book writers should read.  So, I was glad I bought it. It’s a fun, serious book. Her wordplay delights the wordsmith in me. 🙂

The Writing Life

Inside the front book cover on the leaf it starts out, “In a surprising narrative, Annie Dillard describes the working life of a writer. These are vivid and ironic encounters at a desk.”

Those sentences made me want to look inside. The day before Thanksgiving, I had pies to bake and beds to make. My husband sat in his recliner chair eating brunch and watching a comedy sitcom. So, I joined him in the living room, eating my brunch, reading this book and watching television. I felt so relieved when he turned it off. I told him it was sucking me in and I had stuff I needed to get to.

My pie crusts are like puzzle pieces straining to connect. My youngest daughter said, “Mom, they always look like that. The insides taste great though, and that’s what counts.”

I smiled and then as my husband turned to YouTube for yet another kitchen appliance tip, I got reminded by him that if I wanted to improve my pie crusts, I could always find a demonstration on YouTube. His turkey is prepped for the morning, with all the fresh spices and a lemon and onions in the interior. Butter everywhere. We’ll see if we like it.

I listened to the Bible while preparing the pies since I didn’t get an early start to my day, as I mentioned above. 1 Thessalonians is where I started, and I might have finished at Hebrews. I listened to Paul admonishing believers to work or they shouldn’t eat. He made mention of refraining from arguments. Then he talked about being hospitable. A lot of points got mentioned, but I thought the few that got highlighted to me really hit home on the eve of a holiday. My daughter invited a single mom and her two young boys to our full house tomorrow. Then she said something about inviting another single mom and her little toddler boy.

She said, “It’s funny, when I lived here, I didn’t feel so free to have people over. Now, I just tell them that we’re eating at mom and dad’s, come on over.”

When we talked about the difference, part of it is because God has changed me, I told her. If things weren’t completely tidy, I was embarrassed. One afternoon listening to Dr. James Dobson on Focus on the Family some years back, he said the reason people don’t open their homes to their neighbors and friends is because of pride. That resonated with me. Pride is a downfall. I’m not perfect by any means, but when she told me she’d already invited the families, I checked with my husband, and he was okay with it, and then I gave my okay. Avoiding having people over because my furniture is getting old or I have some clutter on the kitchen table made for some lonely days in my younger years.

If you’re alone for the holidays, maybe you can bless someone else who is alone or participate at a food center. One year in the city, our young family helped the church we attended provide Thanksgiving meals for hundreds of people. My kids said that was the best Thanksgiving they’d ever had. Our church does a Christmas meal for anyone who wants to show up. If the attendees can bring a side dish, that’s great. If not, come along anyway.

May God bless you this November day.

Order for Life

I started working and getting ready for Thanksgiving and a friend came over so we could work on her etsy.com site. One of the things to do before Thanksgiving according to Regina Leeds, One Year To An Organized Life, is to clear the kitchen table completely. Then, put everything from the counter tops onto the cleared table and only return the essential utensils and appliances back onto the counter. That way, there is plenty of room for food preparation on Thanksgiving Day.

Regina Leeds book on “getting completely organized for good,” part of her sub-title, was copyrighted in 2008 and published by MJF Books, New York, NY.

For the last two days I planned on clearing my table, but I’ve been typing, baking for a commitment, being at church with my husband as he counseled a female from our church, doing housework, a few other responsibilities, and a little bit of leisure for balance.

It’s amazing how quickly I cleared the table when I knew she’d be arriving. Now I can clear the counters in a snap and get ready for our company.

I like to read books on time management and organization because that’s not my forte. I usually get some piece of advice from each one that I can begin to do. A good friend of mine told me when she goes into her basement, she always looks for something that needs to go down there so she can do two things at once. The same for going upstairs.

So, I’ve done that for years. If I forget and have to make an extra trip, I don’t mind. I consider it exercise. I park my car far from the store entrance when the weather isn’t harsh, to work extra steps into my day.

Being a writer, I need to move around since it’s a sedentary occupation.

I told the young mom today to do herself a favor and squeeze in time in her day, early on if possible, to read the Word. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, it’ll help her connect with God and set the tone for her day. At Friday morning Bible study, we moved to read the first two chapters of Colossians. I love that book because it talks of the deity of Jesus Christ.

In chapter 3 it tells us we are seated in heavenly places now, if believers and followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us so much to chew on.

When I take time for God first, not only does He clarify my thinking, but I work through my list of priorities more efficiently. He clears my sleepy head and opens the door for continued communication throughout the day.

He is a good God, even though I’ve had non-believers wish He didn’t give them free will. They couldn’t believe in Him at that moment in time.

I always counter with the statement, “He wants us to love Him back; He didn’t want robots.”

Anyway, I hope that as you are preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas and any other celebrations that are unique to you and/or to your culture, that you will consider talking to God and possibly ask Him to order your life. In Genesis, He tells us that He created us all in His image.

May God bless you.