Grandchildren Went Home

photo from: http://www.best-childrens-books.com/oh-say-can-you-say.html

 

 

Well, the house is quieter and the neighborhood bereft of indignant squeals between siblings. We went to two libraries for books and videos and a bagful of puppets. Tonight I read, Oh Say Can You Say? by Dr. Seuss. It’s a BEGINNER BOOKS, A Division of Random House, Inc. and was copyrighted in 1979.

I wish we would have read it together. It made me laugh a tiny bit on my own as I stumbled over the phrases. Together we would have shouted with joy, I’m sure.

I hope it’s okay if I type a couple of pages. Minus the pictures it won’t have the same impact, but if you want to read these aloud, you’ll get an idea of the juxtaposition of words and the easy chance to mispronounce them.

“Pete Pats Pigs”

“Pete Briggs pats pigs.

Briggs pats pink pigs.

(Don’t ask me why. It doesn’t matter.)

Pete Briggs is a pink pig, big pig patter.

 

“Pete Briggs pats his big pink pigs all day.

(Don’t ask me why. I cannot say.)

Then Pete puts his patted pigs away

In his Pete Briggs’ Pink Pigs Big Pigs Pigpen.”

 

Isn’t that a hoot? Aren’t words fun? I give the typists at Random House Beginner Books a lot of credit. It wasn’t easy typing those words, let alone reading them. And the layout of pictures and the bright colors. It makes me want to buy the book for my grandchildren to grab ahold of, and maybe I will.

Grandchildren are just grand, fun to have around, makes me sad to see them go, and yet I sleep like a baby after they’re on their way. Not my problem to discipline them, just my job to love them and give their parents advice if they ask.

They receive my prayers, whether they know it or not. I receive their prayers and sometimes I get to hear them, which warms my innermost being.

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

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Listening Skills, II

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Have you ever noticed that before you say something if you start meditating on God and His ways, you may change your mind and your words? I asked my husband to go to a store 50 minutes away from home because he was going to be nearby.

He agreed but didn’t want to because I needed one and a half yards of 45 inch wide fabric to make a curtain for a door. I wrote out the size needed, cut off a swatch of the remnant and told him he could ask the saleslady. Usually he calls me, but my note told him to ask for advice. My mistake was forgetting she was a SALESlady. They didn’t have 45 inch wide fabric – it was 44 inch wide fabric. I would have said, “Fine.”

She said, “Let’s go to 92 inch wide fabric or somewhere near that width. As she measured for the yard and a half, they came to the end of the bolt. “Would you like the extra yard at the end for half price?”

“Okay,” he said.

When he got home with a large plastic bag with lots of folded fabric inside, my eyebrows lifted. “Here’s your fabric. I don’t like shopping in a store mostly for women.”

“Why didn’t you call me?” I asked after he explained his purchase. He might have said, “Be glad I got it for you.”

I don’t remember.

I told my daughter. From my peripheral vision I saw him standing there, listening. I snuck into another room and called my other daughter. Now I’m telling her that I’ll certainly have enough fabric and there he was to get something and he’s listening.

So, I prayed about it and thought about it. Just because I’m trying to eliminate clutter, it’s not that big of a deal. I did thank him for going out of his way a bit and taking the time on a busy day.

The next day I’m telling a friend at church but now I’m saying, “Maybe there’s a reason for the extra material,” and he comes into the room and this time he joins the conversation and we’re laughing.

I did buy fabric for curtains for another room and I told the young girl I needed more than the bolt held. She assured me that there was plenty. I bought it at a store an hour from home and sure enough, the length was off. I called some fabric stores and got online to find there wasn’t any available. This extra material may allow me to add some length.

The thing I realized is how often my husband listens to me when I’m unaware.

Occasionally I’ve started to relay something and he’ll say, “I know, I heard you on the phone.”

This got me thinking of verses Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34, (ESV): “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Mat 12:35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

Mat 12:36  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Mat 12:37  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Being an extrovert, words come easily to me at times, and one day I got worried. My spouse said if I spoke in a way that offended God, repented and asked forgiveness, I wouldn’t need to be concerned on judgment day. Big sigh of relief!

Not only have I found out that my husband listens to me when I’m not sure he is, but I realized that he’s good at reading non-verbal communication. If I’m mad about something but I’m not sure if it’s a good time to bring it up, he’ll see me avoiding eye contact, biting my lower lip and being extraordinarily quiet, possibly tapping my foot or doing other restless gestures. Then he’ll ask, “What’s the matter?”

I got online today to see what Focus on the Family’s website had to say about communicating. I read two articles out of many, and here’s the link to one of them: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/effectively-communicating-with-your-husband

I enjoyed what I read, but it just helped me to springboard to this idea for this blog. Although I couldn’t find the reference, one comment about communicating being hard work struck a chord with me. When I’m tired, I have to force myself to pay attention to the other person and to try and decipher what they mean.

Hope you’re communicating effectively. May God bless you!

Don’t Hoard!

A couple of weeks ago during my time in the Word and prayer I felt as if the Lord was speaking in His still small voice to me, “Don’t hoard.”

Since writing was the topic at the moment, I felt sure He meant that I was hoarding my words. I have a file cabinet with a long drawer in it filled with creative writing. A few items have been published by magazines and newspapers and one devotional made it into a compilation book. I also have a portable file holder with more creative writing in it.

Image result for file cabinetphoto from dawnreader.blogspot.com

 

 

I know God doesn’t want people to hoard stuff, but it never occurred to me He doesn’t want me to hoard words. There are many more secular voices in the world than Christian ones, I think. There are also many writers that write for other religious viewpoints than Christianity.

I happen to believe Christianity is the one true way to heaven because Jesus said so, even though believing in Him did not cause His followers to be labeled as Christians at the time. Jewish people that believed Jesus was the Messiah were called Nazarenes, another sect of the Jewish faith.

So, between the prompting I felt in my spirit and the admonition of writing teachers, I’ve been blogging every day. Although Friday night, my blog didn’t get sent out until 12:07 a.m. so it’ll look like two blogs in one day when this one gets sent out. Oh well. It’s Christmas time and I’m in a card stuffing mode. Company came over and plans shifted some. That’s life and I’m content with it. Most of the time. 🙂

So I finished the cards up the next day, (today) after a few minor frustrations. I thought I deleted my address list. Then when I got instructions, they weren’t complete, so that didn’t work. They’re all ready to go, but now it’s late, so they’ll wait. That too, is life. Things don’t always go the way I think they will. 🙂

My mom used to say, “This too, shall pass,” when she ran into difficulties. She also loved the Serenity Prayer. God bless! Perhaps we’ll converse again on Monday when I expect to be at the keyboard again.

Yay for Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference!

I recently attended the Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference in Montrose, PA near Binghamton, NY. I am not a regular attendee, but when I can make it there, I always leave encouraged, challenged, determined to persevere in the world of words and ideas.

Suzanne Kuhn, author promoter, gave us tips on how to interact with readers and how to garner positive feed back. Her brand, “Suzy Q” looked classy on a banner large enough to be seen, yet compact enough to fit into a classroom,

Larry Leech, author coach, gave his “Time Management Class” a time sheet and asked us to track our time for two weeks, if I remember correctly. This is not a new idea, but what is new is my following through on it. I made fourteen two-sided copies and began keeping track yesterday.  Today, I noticed by early morning I was an hour behind what I thought I’d be doing. I’m not stressed over it, but it’s enlightening. Now, it’s time for me to jot down “blogged” for forty-five minutes on my daily tracker. To God be the glory for the good things He does. He never gives up. He helps me not to give up, although I have times when I falter. 🙂

Tomorrow I intend to mention other authors and presenters at the conference. Any questions? I’d be glad to answer them for you if I can.