hī-ā′təs noun A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break.
Life is challenging and confusing at the moment. I had a minor meltdown last night. It may or may not have involved chocolate. Lots of chocolate. And maybe a some peach Crown. Perhaps you could tell by my Memorial Day post yesterday that I’m a little wired for some reason. The post didn’t come out as I wanted. Delete.
I shut doors hard. I open windows hard. I type hard. My words are hard. I walk hard. I talk hard. My writing is hard. Everything I touch is powerful as if all my emotion is being forced out through my extremities. Maybe I’m just coming out as a super hero or something…or perhaps, a mutant.
I’m not sure what is bothering me. Maybe a combination of several things? I do not know for sure but I certainly wish I did so it could be addressed properly. I do know that something has been gnawing at me for a while now. I could feel it coming. Now I am so very tired and in need of time off. I wish I could get away from work and home for a bit but that’s currently an impossibility.
Writing is typically therapeutic. I imagine it still will be. I just need to not feel pressured to post when I’m not ready. I assure you, the pressure is purely self-induced.
So a hiatus is called for. I have some quiet soul-searching to do, along with some walks and talks with God. I could use some rest too. Prayers would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance. 😇
It’s all good. I’m not totally lost. I’ll get it figured out and find my way back here sooner than later. I’m sure of it. ♥️
A friend texted me this picture over the weekend. This is at the home of someone she loves deeply, her daughter. She mows her yard, does housework, and helps with personal needs.
Lately when she arrives at the home, she feels a heaviness due to her inability to help her daughter with debilitating health issues. Her words were, “I feel a bit broken inside.”
As parents, haven’t we all felt a bit brokeninside at times with our children?
There is nothing worse than to watch your child suffer mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, or financially. We have felt…no, it’s more like, lived…our children’s pain. Maybe not to the extent of my friend here with her daughter’s health issues, but struggles none-the-less.
I am like a sponge. I absorb their pain and confusion. I carry it as though it were my own. Maybe I feel I have relieved their burden some by taking it upon myself. Truth is…probably not so much. Now there are two carrying around the same burden with no where to unload it.
But God says to lean on him.
Psalm 55:22Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; ♥️
And he loved us so much that he sent Jesus to us to help us on our earthly walk. This is where parents can find some peace.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
I wrote a post in February of 2022 (link below) about a parent’s happiness. Another friend had inspired that post. His father would tell him:
A parent is only as happy as their unhappiest child.
I find it impossible for my happiness to rise above the brokenness of one of my children. At least it’s been proven true so far for me and my six.
Parenting never completely ceases. That’s kind of built into our design. It’s truly the toughest “job” we will ever have. Maybe though, God also sends compassionate friends to help us through the rough patches of feeling a bit broken inside. ♥️
Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
My friend, Robin, and I go back to 1977. We met in our junior year in high school when my family moved from Waukegan, Illinois, to a small rural town in Indiana. A few years ago we reconnected and started right where we left off, all those years ago. It’s been a sweet rekindling of friendship.
Yesterday, we spoke on the phone just briefly. Then out of the blue, she sent me this text:
Things that made me happy today…
Followed by these pictures:
I wonder if we would be filled with more gratitude, and sleep better, if we spent a few minutes every night reflecting on what made us happy during our day instead of all the things that went wrong.
Psalm 17:22A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
These things made me happy today:
1) Spending time with my son, Ezekiel, at an antique store.
2) Finding the most perfect guitar picture for my hippie corner. I love a good find.
3) I received texts and pictures from my son, Jet, who is currently in Africa.
4) The weather this Memorial weekend has been absolutely perfect. I mean perfect!
5) And after receiving another update, I know God is continuing to answer prayer on behalf of my friend. ♥️
Psalm 144:15 Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!
So tonight after you’ve cleaned up from today’s activities and are comfy in bed, what will you reflect upon? What brought happiness to your day?
I love when a friend inspires a post. Thank you, Robin. ♥️
My daughter and her husband, saved their money to take a vacation. They hadn’t had a vacation in a quite a long time. They couldn’t wait. A trip to Florida!
This trip was special. My daughter wanted to visit the area around St. Pete Beach where my dad had lived. He passed away two years ago. She wanted to visit his widow and also the Italian bakery, La Casa Del Pane, where my dad was almost a permanent fixture. Well, I guess he is now as they have a photo of him on display there.
They decided to go through a travel agent. They wanted to go to Disney as well but the amount of money was astronomical. Still the dollar amount was unbelievable. But they were excited!
As soon as they touched down in Tampa, everything you can imagine (and many things you couldn’t imagine) began to go wrong and continued even when they landed last night at O’Hara in Chicago and couldn’t get off the plane. Apparently, there was something wrong at their gate and the pilot couldn’t dock. So for 45 minutes he drove them around the airport. He jokingly said they would wouldn’t be charged those extra miles.
The trouble began when they tried to pick up their rental car in Tampa. Then the problems carried over to the resort. (I use that term loosely). This hotel, which is located right on the gulf, is where we stayed at as a family when the kids were young. Apparently, it changed hands since then and the condition has deteriorated greatly.
I will spare you all the details of this trip. You would not believe it anyway. Even Hollywood couldn’t have kept up with this one.
After some of the worst stuff happened, some of which involved the police, a very sick little girl, puke in a rental car and in car seats while stuck on the Sunshine Bridge in stopped traffic during a major thunderstorm, puke everywhere in the hotel room, using their vacation money to purchase cleaning supplies and disinfectants, not being able to board the plane to come home even with their already printed boarding passes because the travel agent used incorrect birthdates, being sent to another area to reissue boarding passes (all this with their little ones in tow), then being paged by name over the intercom for last call to board the plane….all the littler awful things became kinda funny. Like the faucet handles falling off when showering, the fridge having to be replaced twice, the TV not working, the dryer at the laundromat breaking while using it, my daughter being puked on, peed on, and pooped on, texting me all through the night with play-by-plays and memes….yeah, those became funny.
Their trip began on Monday and by Tuesday night my daughter and her husband were exhausted and just wanted to go home.
But this picture…this picture tells the story. It was taken by Mando of his precious wife and children on their flight home yesterday.
My exhausted Denae is asleep with her babies who mean more to her than life itself. She was strong throughout. She did what needed to be done to take care of her family. She went without sleep. She worked hard through the days and nights. She is lovingly dedicated to her family.
Every time I look at this picture it touches the very core of my heart and brings tears to my eyes. I feel her pain of the expectations they had and of what went down. But I am so very proud of her for holding it all together and for being the mommy and wife that she is. She amazes me. I love her so much.
If my dad were here he’d say, “She did good.”
This picture to me is worth more than a thousand words. It’s priceless. ♥️
From the time we are born until we die, we are thrown into countless relationships. Most come and go. Others are deep and intense, and forever. The most important are often the most challenging.
The family relationship is intricate. You have multiple people living with or near each other. Everyone knows your business; your moods, your likes and dislikes, the way you look when you first get up in the morning. And while that’s a good thing, it is, indeed, a challenge. You argue and disagree knowing it’s okay because you are family and kinda stuck with each other…no matter what.
Work relationships are unique in design. There are so many people coming from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences…all gathered together mostly in one place. The diversity can really be a plus when it comes to sharing ideas and filling different positions. Strengths vary from person to person so that can be a bonus for an employer as well. Sometimes though, work can seem more of a competition than anything. Who can get what the fastest. But that’s not always how it is. I’m thankful that my current job is not that way.
Friendships can be forever…or not. I heard it said that if you have three close friends throughout your lifetime you are very fortunate. Well, then, I’ve been very blessed in that respect.
Love relationships can be exciting as you figure out what makes your significant other tick. What is their love language? What can you bring to the relationship to make it more amazing than any other? But it can also be tricky as expectations of each other might be raised to a higher standard than with any other relationship.
A fact of life is that while many people may adore you, there may be just as many who don’t. Having hurt feelings because you don’t click with someone is human nature. But rising above is confidence. If you do everything in your power to be a good person realize it’s not your problem. It’s theirs.
I hope the relationships in your life lift you up and not knock you down. But if they do just get back up and dust yourself off. They can be difficult but they can be rewarding too.
My circle is fairly small but what I have is pretty special. Relationships are a gift. Let’s enjoy them to the fullest. ♥️
Kids nowadays might not really grasp the whole concept of a broken record. You remember the saying…you sound like a broken record? While I do see that LP’s are making a comeback, I think music is still mostly purchased from iTunes or Spotify, or whatever. Me…I’d love to have a turntable again for my collection of vinyl.
I remember we kids would tussle in the living room when Mom and Dad were playing music on the stereo. Once in awhile, we’d land on the floor a little too hard and the record would skip. The parents didn’t appreciate that so much. And then there were times when the record somehow got scratches on it and the needle would get stuck on those marks and play the same word over and over again until someone manually fixed it.
Well life can be like a broken record. It gets stuck in a rut and cannot move past it without help. I’ve been stuck a lot. Many times I cannot get myself out on my own so I needed the help of God.
It’s okay to get stuck once in awhile. That just life. But every so often, when things are the toughest, I need God to lift the needle out of the scratch and place it on a smooth portion of the vinyl. Then my music can play once again. Friends and family often help me as well. We need each other to lift us periodically.
In the same line as a broken record, I seem to repeat my thoughts in my posts over and over again. But that’s kinda how life is. Not exactly like the movie Groundhog Day, but close. Life cycles. Issues cycle. Situations cycle. Seasons cycle. And so do my posts.
Hopefully today you’re playing your own sweet music without interruption. But should you hit a rough patch don’t be afraid to ask for help. God will adjust that needle for you. ♥️
Communication is the key to every single relationship. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement.
When we begin a new relationship, a relationship that absolutely clicks, we cannot talk enough to each other. We share our histories, our likes and dislikes, our beliefs on every topic ranging from religion, to child rearing, to diets, to hobbies, to politics, etc. We share our dreams and goals too. EVERYTHING. We can’t seem to find enough time to share enough. That’s a good relationship. Whether this is a BFF relationship, or a prospective marriage partner, we rejoice in the closeness we found in this person.
Relationships also include people in our life like coworkers, neighbors, church members, or those who marry into the family. Communication is still just as important. Maybe it’s not as intimate as other relationships, but it still requires the sharing of ideas and information in order to get along in the best way possible. So while things are good, we talk. We determine boundaries and expectations. And life is pretty awesome.
Sometimes, though, things start to cool off for one reason or another. Communication is the first to go when, actually, this is the time we should be talking all the more. Relationships break down. Marriages fall apart. Best friends back off. Not always, and certainly not in every relationship. But many do.
The problem is that when a relationship is in a downward swing, our expectations are still at the same peak level as when everything was going great. Inevitably, when communication slows down or stops, those expectations become thorns in our side when they are not met. We get angry, and actually expect more and more for some reason…all without communicating. It makes no sense really but I’ve seen this many times. We don’t talk. We just expect the other to know, and to do, accordingly. We assume…they should know what I’m thinking. We also have a tendency to become extremely hypersensitive to anything said, and especially to what’s left unsaid. That certainly doesn’t make matters any better. And so discord abounds.
I think when we put all of our faith that people will do and say everything perfectly, we are let down…and, of course, we fail others as well. Relationships need to be nurtured, fed, and cared for. After awhile we tend to neglect and forget. We begin to see faults instead of all the things we loved about that individual. I can’t begin to explain all the scenarios of why or the how comes. All I can say is that we are human. We are not perfect. And often times we are selfish. Sometimes the changes in communication are so gradual we hardly notice until we find ourselves in a really bad place.
EXPECTATION WITHOUT COMMUNICATION IS A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION.
People always get hurt and too often the damage is not repairable. We need to be mindful of others. It’s not always about us either. In fact, it’s less about our own self and more about others. Consider that a person will ALWAYS remember how you made them feel. And even though offenses can be forgiven, the emotion tied to them will most likely never be forgotten. Life is stressful enough without constant breakdowns in communication when it certainly can be prevented. Especially in those relationships that need to function in a healthy manner because they are long term.
So what am I suggesting here? I am suggesting that we pay close attention to our relationships and how we communicate with each other. I don’t believe that every issue that arises needs to be considered critical or is battle-worthy though.
Be kind and considerate. Do all things with humility and in love. Nurture relationships. Not every marriage has to end in divorce, or your best friend kicked to the curb. We should be doing a whole lot more of mending fences. Talk to each other! ♥️
For the past couple of weeks, when I randomly open my Bible ESV, the first word I notice is steadfast. This has happened numerous times. Sometimes it’s written steadfast love and sometimes the word trust would be used in the same sentence.
What is God trying to tell me?
Synonyms for steadfast: Loyal Faithful True Dedicated Devoted Constant Study Fervent Passionate
Psalm 52:1 The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
Psalm 57:10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 103:17a But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him.
Psalm 32:10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
Lamentations 3:22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
I need to trust in God’s love for me. That he will not remove his love for me even though I may disappoint him with my doubting moments and many transgressions.
I’m am coming up out of a season of struggle. I doubted. I didn’t trust as I should. It was dark and I felt very alone. But I’m the one who allowed the darkness to cover me. The other power that walks this earth wanted to keep me in the darkness and away from the light.
So maybe God is trying to get through to me just how devoted he is to my life. Steadfast.
My goal should be to have the same affection for God as he has toward me. ♥️
Psalm 57:7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!
Original post: July 7, 2020, during the initial Covid days. Edited.
Last evening, I decided to do a little writing from my back porch. I was able to sit peacefully outdoors without the heat chasing me back inside. It was a gorgeous evening. I watched Amber, my daughter’s golden retriever, and Herc, my German shepherd, meander around the yard while I thought.
I admired the field of beans. As the sun lowered in the western sky, it created long woodsy shadows in a golden glow across my yard and field. My favorite time of day. And I thought some more, trying to focus on just one topic for a post. But there were many.
It’s not easy being me. My mind and heart are in a constant state of disagreement. Maybe because I am a Gemini and the twins are always at odds with each other. I don’t know. I do know that my heart pretty much always wins over my mind. Maybe that’s why life has been tougher for me. I don’t always listen to the realities that my mind tries to force my heart to believe.
I live by my heart. I write from my heart. I dream from my heart. I speak from my heart.
I really don’t expect this will ever change. And, truthfully, I don’t want it to. I’ve made it this far in life. Not unscathed, mind you. I carry within me the scars and the brokenness of many battles lost. But it’s okay. I am finally liking the person I am becoming. God is the potter. I am the clay.
But the clean, white pages stayed clean and white on my heavy-duty thrift store bargain clipboard, who someone named Daniel once claimed as his, as this internal battle raged on.
I slipped on my Andrea Bocelli playlist and shut my eyes. I felt the breeze. I breathed in mask-free air. I love being outside.
Still…I couldn’t come up with a single topic to focus on. My mind was preoccupied with sorting out the troubles of today. My heart didn’t want to go there. When my mind tries to override my heart, posts don’t get written.
Eventually, the mosquitos were too much. They typically don’t bother me, but since Charlie wasn’t with me, they decided I wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t able to stay out long enough to watch the lightning bugs dance in the field. I went inside and put my clipboard away.
I am writing from my bed now as I woke up early. My heart is restless which makes me restless. It is time to write.
This post is really about nothing but yet it’s about everything. It’s about being in tune with yourself. Loving who you are and knowing what makes you tick. It’s about glowing sunsets and summer breezes. It’s about living and loving and caring. And it’s about gratefulness.
I will continue to dream dreams. I will continue to hope. I will continue to love deeply. And I will continue to feel, even when it hurts. My heart rules.
Sometimes the simplicity of life has to override the complexities so we can find a place of peace.
Today is a new day. Explore it. Love it. Cherish it. And be thankful for it.♥️
Blessed beyond measure with greetings from so many. Phones calls, cards, text messages and online wishes. I was able to spend all day with three kids out of six, and then a fourth stopped by for a short visit. He is on his way to Africa tomorrow so he had much to do today. The oldest son and oldest daughter live far from here but I could feel their love.
I received a very unique card from Kota Bear. It is a hug. I love it.
I sent the above picture to my daughter and Kota asked if I had “used it yet”.
So I did.
I made a fruit pizza this morning and it became my birthday cake. We skipped the key lime pie. I will fill that craving another day.
My youngest daughter decorated the house with streamers and confetti balloons, which keep popping on their own.
I had a very nice day. Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I am blessed. ♥️
What have I learned in the approximately 22,900 days of my existence on this earth?
Well, let’s see.
I have learned that not all love is the same.
I’ve figured out that my way is the hard way.
Golden retrievers have the best smiles.
She who laughs last…doesn’t get it. 🙋🏼♀️
Not everyone who is nice to me is actually nice.
There’s not much difference between when I cook or paint, as I have to shower after both. And clean the floors.
Life is not fair. Nor, will it ever be.
If there is trash on the floor everyone will walk around it.
Men are born knowing how to mow nice straight lines in their yard while mine looks like a corn maze.
Every flat surface quickly becomes an open storage unit.
Cats and I don’t get along. Our attitudes conflict.
Turning the stove on high heat and then taking a nap isn’t such a good idea.
I’ve learned that my kids never liked squeaky eggs.*
Fighting my hair for decades was a waste of a lot of time. I should have just let it do its own thing, which is way easier. Duh.
When water boils out of pan of hard boiled eggs, surprisingly, the kids really don’t enjoy cleaning egg off the walls and cabinets on the other side of the kitchen as I run off to work.
I learned through the Pepsi Challenge that I really like Coke better.
Animals are often smarter than people.
After having a three day weekend, Tuesday becomes the new Monday and it’s just as rough.
It’s not so much the vacation as it is who I’m with.
My daughter, Charlie, and I can scale a wall better and faster than most of the men in a Warrior Dash.I know because we did it!
I have learned that patience really is a virtue.
I figured out that every family has dysfunction on some level.
Slow, deep breaths really do help to calm my spirit.
A scarred heart can still love.
I’ve learned that not everything is about me.
Fisher Price’s Corn Popper is as old as I am.
I learned to embrace writing as therapeutic.
A best friend is priceless.
Dogs forgive much easier than people do.
I learned my heart can break in numerous ways.
I have learned much from my children by listening.
The true gift is in the giving.
I have learned that some people actually give without expecting anything in return.
The heart does not set a limit on how much it can love.
Life is extremely short.
Too much time is wasted on what ifs.
I have learned that overthinking is not in my best interest.
A heart can shatter into a million pieces.
I learned that I tend to forgive and forget too easily with some people.
Communication is key to a great relationship and humor is second.
I can still be shocked by information.
There are way more narcissists in this world than I ever imagined.
I realize that politics is really a game of chess between elites, and We The People are expendable pawns.
God answers prayer.
Listening to what others don’t say is sometimes more important than what is said.
When I don’t know how to pray for someone, the Holy Spirit does, and he graciously fills in the blanks.
Everything circles back and the old becomes new again.
I know that naps are why afternoons were invented.
I discovered that crocs can melt in the hot Indiana sun, and that trail mix will melt in my daughter’s hands when watching Captain America.
Love can mean something different to every person.
I learned that in my gullibility, I trust and believe every.single.person. To a fault.
Divorce is awful and children suffer.
There’s nothing wrong in telling others I love them. Only everythingright.
A single phone call can change my life forever.
God continues to love me even though I’ve let him down. Over and over again.
Well, I could go on and on. These are just a few of the things I’ve learned. And, I have learned a lot. Some things are quite useful while others add just a little color to who I am. It’s funny what my mind wants to remember.
I have the day off and so do four of my children, so I will be spending this day with them. And I hope to eat a small piece of key lime pie!
One more thing I learned:
I can see God’s blessings in every day. I just have to look. ♥️
Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset; forbearance, tolerance, restraint, long suffering.
Virtue: behavior showing high moral standards; goodness, righteousness, morality.
One of my favorite scripture verses begins in Galatians 5:22. I can remember this verse because it happens to be my birthdate.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ESV
It should be our earthly goal to embrace these. That often takes much self-control. We need to weigh our words and deeds before they ever leave our body.
Why do we rush things? Do we speak too hastily, or out of turn? Do we use harsh words that we regret later? Are we patient in the wrong situations and not so much in situations that require long suffering? I know that I failed in this more often that I care to remember. We hurt others. We get hurt in the process. Situations spiral out of control. Friendships are broken. Maybe even souls lost. All because our thoughtless sense of urgency overrides patience.
When you think of God observing His creation and all the evil that is running rampant upon the earth, you wonder how He doesn’t destroy the earth now. But God is long-suffering that no one should perish (be lost). That’s true love.
2 Peter 3:8,9
8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but all should reach repentance.
Patience. I am a work in progress. I still fail all too often but I truly am trying. All I ask is that others might continue to be patient with me.
I am learning. ♥️
Photos: orchids at a greenhouse; the white one came home with me. I love orchids.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It’s hard to give problems up to God because, honestly…we can’t see Him. We’ve never seen Him physically. He doesn’t call us, send emails or text messages. At times He just doesn’t seem real. And when we are in way over our head, He seems to be even further away. Or, even nonexistent.
I’m just being honest here. Maybe you have felt the same too from time to time. I don’t think we should feel bad when those thoughts arise because we are very human but we cannot let those thoughts linger in our hearts as doubt will settle in. And doubt is our enemy.
When you think things can’t get any worse they often prove us wrong. The last few weeks I seemed to have been waving the white flag while crying uncle. I’m okay, really. I don’t need sympathy. It’s just a rough season of my life in many aspects. But what I do want to do is take the time to encourage you if you are experiencing a difficult season as well, and find yourself beginning to doubt the presence of God. In encouraging you, I will help myself.
God is, was, and always will be. The Bible gives us our history upon the earth in great detail. We don’t always understand why things happened the way they did, but we can see the connections and references between the generations of people from Genesis to Revelation. And that helps to solidify Truth.
Not only that, but God’s handiwork is clearly visible throughout nature. Only a Master Designer could have possibly created all the intricate detail and wonders of this earth. These are gifts…reminders…of God’s love for us because we as humans have a tendency to forget. We need to read the Bible too. Enclosed is the beautiful message of hope through His Son, Jesus. He’s also given us instructions on how to keep safe and happy…and doubt free.
I encourage you to lay your burdens at the feet of Jesus and to not be anxious. And I encourage you, most of all, to not doubt that God is who He says He is, or of His divine ability to answer prayer.
Matthew 14:21Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Mark 11:23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
Luke 24:38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?”
James 1:6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Luke 13:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.
Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
May you see the abundant blessings in this day. ♥️
Psalm 55:22a Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you.
An Update: As far as my friend is concerned, this has been a most difficult and scary week. I had lost contact with him so I knew things were bad. And they were. I wasn’t sure what to think or how to pray but I continued. God knew what was needed and what I was asking. My friend made it through all the obstacles and scary moments. Things changed in other respects, and he reversed a previous medical decision. He was then transferred to another hospital last night to begin evaluation – which is the step we’ve been praying for. All I can say is THERE IS A GOD and HE IS GOOD. And…He answers prayer. ♥️
Photos: beautiful Lake Michigan, June 2017, St. Joseph, North Pier Lighthouses
My favorite version of the Bible is the English Standard Version (ESV), and that version is what I typically reference in my posts. But today, I will be referring to the King James Version. I don’t know…I guess because I want to use the word “ye”. In the KJV, “O ye of little faith” appears four times.
Matthew 6:30: “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
Matthew 8:26: “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
Matthew 16:8: “Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?”
Luke 12:28: “If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
As we travel life, we definitely encounter highs and lows, hills and valleys. Of course, we’d love to sit on the mountaintop more than often than not. But in reality we spend a large amount of our time in the valley.
The valley, though, is the place to prepare for our journey upward. We do an a boatload of learning in the valley. Many times we tackle that treacherous mountainside without preparation. We tumble back down until we hit rock bottom and we stay there until we think we are strong enough to attempt the climb again. This is especially frustrating when you see people seemingly always on top of the mountain. They may be up there more than in the valley. And you wonder how is that possible.
There are all kinds of terrain in the valley, and of course, on a mountainside. Thick forests, rocky pathways, rivers, lush meadows, briar patches, etc. All presenting their own trials of learning and growing. And, of course, there are the pathways that come to a place of decision, a fork in the road.
God must be first and foremost in our life. Conferring with Him should be in our daily walk not just when we reach a place of indecision, or carry a heavy burden. He is not to be nicely folded and placed in a dresser drawer until we need Him. I have a history of doing just that. I want to handle things on my own but that certainly doesn’t work out very well. Do I do this because of my lack of faith? O me of little faith….I believe this to be true. I think I often haven’t trusted God enough to make decisions.
When life finally beats us down enough, we have a tendency to start looking up. When things are going great, we tend to forget God. At least that’s how I roll. Eventually, we tumble off that mountaintop. Each tumble should be a lesson to strengthen us.
O me of little faith…
My relationship with God has been improving greatly but there are still things I want to be in charge of. I’m not as wise as I think I am. The forks in my road are numerous. Maybe I’ve been praying for direction half-heartedly. Maybe I haven’t had faith that I could trust God with my many decisions. I do realize I have to hand it all to Him. There is just too much for me to handle alone. I believe I will see a fork narrowing into one path. And I am grateful. While there is still much on my plate, and many directions that call to me, I will remember the graciousness of God as I know he is answering my prayer.
My life is not really all that different from yours. We each have our own trials and problems. Mine are just mine, and yours are yours. Our own just seem so much bigger. Which we prefer to handle alone because we see ourselves are wise in our own eyes. But I encourage you to reach out to God…with trust.
O ye of little faith…
When I think of people standing on top of the mountaintop and everything they touch seems to turn to gold, I think of an old song called “Farther Along. I can hear my old friend, Buddy, singing it. It was his favorite song.
If you read the words to the song it mentions that later, farther along, we will understand why to the many questions we have. Truthfully though, maybe we don’t need to have the answers to every question. Especially questions about those on the top. We just need to focus on what we need to do to keep on climbing. Nothing else matters.
Find the beauty and blessings in life, whether in the valley or on your trek upward. Pray for guidance and direction. Keep learning life lessons along the way to make you stronger.
Rejoice when you reach the top!
And try to stay there this time!
I encourage you to lay your burdens and decision-making at the feet of Jesus and no longer be “O me of little faith”.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
Photos: Maine adventures, October 2019; Karen on a narrow pathway at the bottom of the mountain; Greg & Karen walking a rocky, mountain pathway; music for Farther Along; Karen and I on top of Sargent Mountain **please excuse the repetition of pictures. I try to only use pictures that I take and typically I try to use pictures that convey the message. ♥️
Silence is a good thing. We need to turn off the static of the world and just chill for awhile. It would be in our best interest to turn off the TV every so often. Maybe even leave the car radio off on the drive home from work. I believe silence really is golden.
I like silence. I like it a lot. Mostly, the silence away from people noises, like cars, mowers, machinery, and, yes, talking.
I love listening to birds, frogs, and cicadas, and a field of corn rustling in the wind. The chatter of squirrels. The crackling of a bonfire. Water rushing over a falls, or waves breaking across a rocky shore. All sounds I’ll never tire of.
I remember as a young girl I‘d sleep with my window open whenever I could, and I’d listen to the night sounds. From the east, I could hear the harbor sounds on Lake Michigan, of ships and fog horns. From the west, I’d hear the rhythm of a distant train. I’m fortunate I can hear trains where I live now too, but I sure do miss the sound of the harbor. Some sounds are peaceful to me and I consider them to be a part of silence. Often that’s where I do my best dreaming.
Other times silence may not be so good. Silence between friends or family can mean any number of things. Silence on the other end of the line usually isn’t a good sign. Neither are unanswered questions. Reading between the lines is troubling and taxing on the heart. Here, silence isn’t golden at all.
Then there’s social media. I haven’t been on social media for about three years now. Even as I would read controversial posts, the comments filled with rantings and raging, were as loud and disturbing as the constant revving of a car engine, or of a fire alarm that won’t shut off, or even of rap music turned up on high volume. So silence, for me, would also include staying away from controversy in social media, newspapers, news stations, magazines, etc. Anything that excites my mind in a disruptive way, and makes my body feel like a beehive, is noise to my soul.
While I enjoy associating with people, I like to return to my quiet place. Preferably, sooner than later. I need to refill my bucket for my next social interaction. That’s the introvert in me. But I also believe you can be with someone and enjoy silence together. Holding hands quietly speaks volumes. That is a wonderful kind of silence.
I hope you find a quiet place today. Use the time to unwind, to reflect, and to dream. I think even extroverts benefit from quiet times. I think I am an introvert with a touch of “extrovert-wanna-be”. But I embrace the introvert in me. And I appreciate silence.
Forever that person who gets really excited when the sky is in pretty colors. ~ unknown
This would be me for sure. The older I get, the more I love and appreciate nature, and rejoice in the simpler things of life. But mostly I’m drawn to the vastness and beauty of the sky. God’s canvas is an ever-changing masterpiece. Every sunrise, every sunset, and all the sky in-between have a beauty all it’s own. I hope the majority of those skies fill you with peace.
No matter where you are the sky is a constant. You can enjoy the beauty of it from a rocky mountain top or while kayaking through a river gorge. It’s not always brightly colored but it is always beautiful, and sometimes, mischievous.
When the skies are grey and heavy, I picture myself on a plane. As we take off and head upward, we pass through those clouds. And what do we find on the other side? The sun. Try to remember that, especially during the long, sunless winter months. The sun is always shining. We are only separated by clouds.
While I enjoy the early morning sunrise, I think I love sunsets best, but I’m really thankful I don’t have to choose between the two. I believe that sunsets over water are some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.
I am forever that person who appreciates the beauty of a changing sky. I hope you are too. ♥️
I pray that God will hold you close tonight and give you peace as you rest. I’ll ask that His healing hands be placed upon your heart and that your burdens be lightened. And I will pray that He might give you wisdom for the days ahead, and strength for your tomorrow.
My heart is very heavy tonight. Maybe yours is as well. I thought I’d encourage you through prayer and lift you up.
Throughout the Bible we are taught to trust God. And because of our faith in God, we place our trust in him even when we do not understand. God says to not even lean on our own understanding.
Sometimes this is how we have to work with family and friends when they make choices and decisions we don’t necessarily agree with. We need to trust that they are considering everything that’s at stake when making life decisions. Trust them, without understanding. This is a very difficult thing to do. We tend to feel that we know better. Sometimes we want to take control.
Trust without understanding. It is possible.
If you have trust in your friend, trust their decision-making abilities. And love them no matter what. ♥️
A friend of mine said he was at the store over the weekend when he came across a woman with a couple of young children. She was asking for help. So my friend walked her and her children around the store and let them shop. He said her children were loving on him the whole time. They got to the checkout and the bill was over $100. He paid and then followed them out of the store. This is where she proceeded to get into a brand new vehicle where her husband had been waiting for her and they drove off.
This is so wrong on MANY levels! My first thought was what are these parents teaching these children?! These parents have 0 conscience. And they are raising their children to not have one either.
I posted about the conscience a few days ago. A conscience is trained. It is taught what to believe by the things seen, heard, and taught. These parents are abusing their children. There’s no doubt about that.
All day today I’ve been faced with the reality of just how sinful our world is. It’s been one scenario after another. My heart hurts bigly tonight and I am in anguish. I grieve for the condition of mankind. And I wonder why does God keep this world spinning? I cannot handle just this one day from what I have heard, and he witnesses every bit of it across the globe…as it happens!
I just can’t tonight…💔
…..yet, there is a LIGHT of hope for all who desire something better. Jesus is the light in the darkness of this world. And as the world grows colder and darker, we need to cleave to him all the more closely. He is our place of safety. Our refuge. And our promise of heaven. ♥️
I wonder if perhaps a part of why we find it so difficult to find peace in our soul, is maybe our perception of what peace is.
Do we believe peace is where there is no more conflict, pain, or heartache? That struggles will cease to exist? That tears will no longer fill our eyes, and everyday we can blissfully live in Mayberry, NC? Is this the image of peace we are chasing?
Well, honestly and realistically, we cannot, will not, find that peace in this world. That peace is reserved for Heaven.
Today, we live here. We live in an imperfect world because of imperfect people. God created this world perfectly. He said his creation was good. But the people became not good.
So we will continue to faces challenges and daily strife. We will face all the realities of what an imperfect world has to offer. We will experience joy and sadness, and everything in-between.
The peace we need to set our sights on while here, is the ability to know we are doing the best we can and handing the rest to Jesus to carry. He said he would do that for us. It’s trusting him enough to carry our burdens, so we can have the best peace this imperfect world offers.
When you are trying your best to overcome setbacks, comprehend what doesn’t make sense, heal your heart, to move forward with optimism, to find closure, and to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, but yet you still find yourself stumbling, crying, hurting…as long as you are giving it your all, and doing it with a positive attitude, find some peace in that. We tend to be more critical of, and the hardest on, ourselves.
I know I’m doing my best right now. I am still learning my own limits and abilities. I realize many expectations that I place upon myself are often unrealistic. I can only do so much, and it is a day-by-day process.
Give Jesus all the extra baggage you carry. Rest. Take care of your person, which includes your mind, body, and soul. Connect with God and nature. Love yourself and appreciate what you have accomplished. Remember that it often took time to get to this place. It will take time to come out of it.
Coming to terms with peace. If I am getting closer to it, so can you. ♥️
Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the days to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband praises her as well: Proverbs 31:25-28
This is what we do:
And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. Luke 2:51
We treasure all the beauty and wonders of our children. Even those pregnancy moments when we felt such love from within.
This is how we feel:
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4
I have always desired that my children love God. That they desire to walk with Jesus, even when they do not completely understand his ways. That they will carry his light with them always as they travel this earth on their own journeys.
Because I have learned so much throughout my life…even though I’m not above correction and am still continuing to learn:
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck. Proverbs 1:8,9
And above all:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
LOVE. We love deeply and completely. There is no limit of love within a mother’s heart.
Moms are not perfect by any means. But through the thick and thin and all the bumps and bruising along the way…if you know your mother loves you, that is a blessing.
My mother did not have it easy during my growing up years, but I knew she loved me and my siblings without a doubt. We were her world. And we kept her “together”. I am forever grateful for her. I miss her today and everyday.
I was going through pictures this morning and I came across this one of my son, Jet, and his brother, Ezekiel’s, daughter, Belle. They are in the waiting room of the hospital where I was having my hip replacement.
Children are most precious because of their innocence and vulnerabilities. All of a sudden, they just came into existence.They know nothing of yesterday. They are absolutely starting from scratch. And they, most definitely, live in the moment.
So with a knowledge of nothingness, they have to start somewhere, and it all begins with those with whom they live closely with and their surroundings.
They talk in the same as what they hear.
They act the same as what they see.
They walk the same path as the what they are shown.
They believe the same as what they are taught.
My young grandchildren ask a lot of questions. I also have a granddaughter who has to touch absolutely everything. I mean everything. And, honestly, it wears this grandma down at times. But I try to remember that this is how they learn. The world is still very new to them, even to the six year old, who is my oldest grandchild. Heck, even I’m still learning about this earth and life. So I try to be patient. They deserve that.
All children are blessings. And should always be treated as such.
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Children. We need to give them the absolute best start in this life. Take the time to talk with them. They have some of the best questions and thought patterns. Even good ideas. Unlike Jack, who out of the clear blue said, “I don’t have a good idea, Dad.” Jack is four. We have no clue what he was referring to, but it makes you wonder what was bouncing around in that little mind of his. He was trying to explain something to me a little bit ago and I bet he repeated and no less than 12 times before he got his thought out. Their little minds are quite busy minds. And as a warning, their little busy minds will fill in all the blanks in their life with their own “wisdom” if we don’t help them fill in those blanks first.
On the eve of Mother’s Day, I couldn’t think of a better post than honoring those who make us moms.
A situation that requires something be done a certain way because one believes it is the only right way. -Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Sometimes we are faced with a harsh reality which forces us to make a decision based on a matter of principle. It isn’t something I’d call fun. I know that I don’t get enjoyment out of making these decisions as they are often very difficult. But we make them because we believe it to be right, and often there is a moral value attached to it.
Consider each difficult decision and measure the pros and cons accordingly. Do not sacrifice your morals or principles to keep something the way it is because of fear. If a situation warrants a change, then you should do it.
Decision-making isn’t my strong point. I’ve lost and won. I’ve been challenged. I’ve been right. I’ve been wrong. A lot. I’ve lost friends, and I’ve gained some too. Not making decisions often means that someone else, or a condition, will end up making the decision for you and that may, or may not, be so cool. It’s best to take charge and make decisions with things in your control. (Pay attention, Andi.)
If you make a bad decision (like I have done), learn learn learn from it. Don’t beat yourself up (like I do). Get back on track and deal with the results the best way you can. It happens to all of us.
Be grateful God has given us principles and morals to guide us in decision-making. ♥️
🎶…And always let your conscience be your guide…🎶 ~ Jiminy Cricket’s famous advice.
That’s the one line of the movie Pinocchio that sticks out the most to me. And one that I disagree with wholeheartedly.
The conscience must be taught. It will guide by whatever it is being fed. It can be trained to be good or bad. Or, maybe a little of both. But it needs to have instruction in order to lead.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in listening to your gut. There’s a book everyone should read called, The Gift of Fear, written by Gavin De Becker. My gut isn’t guiding me but it will definitely warn me of danger.
Little Pinoc needed guidance as he was just all over the place. Of course…he was made of wood. Duh! Jiminy was assigned the job of his conscience. But Pinocchio listened to and believed whoever approached him, and he was easily persuaded into doing all the wrong things.
Pinoc went from no conscience of his own to having a good one after he suffered from many wrong decisions. He was taught the hard way. He didn’t listen to the conscience that was appointed to him. Probably because it wasn’t his to begin with.
According to the Bible, once we become Christians, the Holy Spirit becomes our helper. But we must do our part by feeding our conscience with the right food, otherwise, our conscience will lead us away from the Holy Spirit and ultimately, God. But we have been given that choice. That is called free-will. The decision to follow God or not.
When it comes to matters of salvation we do not have the privilege of living by what we think is right without conferring with God’s word to see if we are crossing any lines. And there are lines. The Holy Spirit will speak to us through our conscience if we are followers of Christ.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
There are many decisions we can make on our own that are not matters of salvation. This is not necessarily called free-will though. Free-will is simply the choice to follow God or not.
Using the concept of free-will to back a decision that a Christian wants to make has a defiant tone to me. Right or wrong, that’s how I look at it.
I use the term matter of salvation loosely. I am referring to such things that God insists will prevent one from entering heaven. Being a Christian does not give us a free ticket to express free-will to do what we want, when we want, and still remain in good standing with God. A Christian can fall. A Christian can still lose his soul with an unrepentant heart.
I wrote a similar post about Jiminy and his famous line a couple of years ago, but this post explored a little more into free-will.
I decided this was a good time to revisit this topic. Writing is therapeutic and helps me to sort out the jumbled mess in my mind. So I needed this for myself. If it happens to benefit someone else too, I consider that a blessing. ♥️
There is a book called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is a very interesting read and one I suggest to anyone who desires to understand love more fully. This particular book is for couples. It would be beneficial to read prior to marriage but it certainly isn’t too late after. There are other versions for different types of relationships, such as with children, for singles, and for the work environment, all by the same author.
Love comes in all sorts of packages. We are each unique in design, so love is unique. Our needs and desires have been shaped during our growing up years and will reflect in our adult relationships. But the basic need for love is about the same for everyone. We want to love someone and we desire to be loved as well. It’s all the specifics that vary. We each bring something different to the table and that can be a good thing.
Loving someone isn’t as easy as a fairytale, storybook love. It actually does take work to maintain. Many give up after years of trying to understand their spouse, and always seeming to miss the mark. Some know right away when it’s the right one, because sparks fly. But still it takes dedication to make a relationship work. Knowing what makes your companion tick, and what does not, is a gift that you give to them. This book is a great guideline for you to get started on a more fulfilling love relationship. And you will also learn much about yourself.
Music is a huge part of who I am. The hopeless romantic in me sees a song in everyone. A beautiful song unique in its melody with all its chords and notes, it’s sharps and rests.
Learning someone’s song will make your relationship better. Listening not only to the lyrics, but to the music itself, allows you to be more supportive when something seems off key in your love relationship. Listening is crucial. It is the most important part of communication.
To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and sing it to them when they have forgotten. ~ Arne Garborg
Loving someone is a gift. True love is not selfish nor is it blind. Love is patient. Love is giving. Treasure the one by your side. Be grateful you have someone. Learn their love language and sing their song.
Be grateful for the languages of love and for their beautiful songs. ♥️
Just a note: As I read through my old posts, I see that everything was written with myself in mind. My younger self is writing to the older me…and just when I need it most.
I have been struggling ever so much lately. That hasn’t been a secret. I’ve questioned God’s presence in my life. I’ve wanted answers but only heard silence. I have felt stretched to my limit; almost to the point of snapping.
But I do see now the areas where God has been working behind the scenes. I see where he wanted/ needed me to handle things some things on my own. I believe this was to strengthen my character. Makes me wonder what lies ahead.
I am rejoicing at the bits and pieces of my brokenness coming back together. I’ll be good as new soon. Maybe even better.
I am grateful that God is still working on me. It shows his great love and that he still cares. I had allowed my humanness to get the best of me. The mind is a powerful thing. My apologies if I brought you down with me.
With all the hatred in this world, always let those in your life know how much you do love them. Never leave home angry, or go to bed mad. And never allow trivial issues to shadow your true feelings for one another.
Be kind to those you associate with and be extra kind to strangers who come across your path during your day. You never know how much they may need your kindness. Let love and compassion radiate from you as you travel throughout this day. One never knows how this day will end. With, or without, you in it. Plan as though this is your last day upon the earth.
Leave no doubt with anyone about how you truly feel for them. There’s no regret or shame in telling someone you love them. Those words, that beautiful sentiment, positively affect you both…whether you receive a response or not. Everyone deserves to know they are loved.And how wonderful it feels to say it!
God created the world for us. He designed it to reflect His glory. And His theme is L*O*V*E.
Love is good. ♥️
Photos: pretty flowers in arrangements I’ve made in the past.
This week I’ve had difficulty focusing on scripture. My mind has been a whirlwind of thought with a touch of anxiety. I read the Bible but nothing makes sense as I drift from verse to verse. It’s like looking into a bowl of alphabet soup (do they even make that anymore?) and the letters float around independently of one another. No rhyme or reason. Just floating aimlessly. But still I tried to force myself to concentrate which caused only more frustration and anxiety. I would get angry at myself for not being able to concentrate. And then I began to doubt my own Christianity. Don’t do that.
This happened on Friday morning for the umpteenth time this week. I finally just closed my Bible and shut my eyes. I felt the early morning breeze on my face and in my hair. I heard the sounds of crickets. A lot of them. I opened my eyes and saw the lovely morning in front of me. I have tall ash trees in my front yard. Most are dead now, but they are still home to the woodpeckers and squirrels. This view is my favorite view from my front porch swing. The breeze blew through the tree and moved each leaf independently. In the early morning sun, the whole tree looked as though it was twinkling.
Next to it, a couple of woodpeckers sat at the very top of the dead ash tree. One of them would hammer away at that old tree for its breakfast in-between their very loud conversation. Woodpeckers are quite noisy.
There were no human sounds. No cars, planes, trains, or mowers. Unusual. Only nature sounds. And I thought to myself that maybe this was all I needed to fill my spiritual needs at that moment. The books, chapters, and verses weren’t coming together, but my senses were filled with God’s glorious creation. And it was soothing to my soul.
1 John 3:20b God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.
God knows every single thing that is happening in our country and in our world. The good and the bad. He knows the truths and the lies. The beautiful and the ugly. He knows what is going on in my own life and all that weighs heavy on my heart. He knows all the reasons why I cannot concentrate. I believe that is the reason I closed my Bible and shut my eyes. I needed a little timeout.
When I opened my eyes I was in a different place spiritually and that was more helpful to me than fumbling through scripture making sense of absolutely nothing. He knows what we need and when we need it. I needed something simple to calm my mind. Simple can still be very spiritual. I was grateful for this moment. It was a gift from God.
Be thankful that God is greater than our heart, and knows everything. ♥️
Photos: the view of my trees and of a woodpecker, August 17, 2020