Sunday, December 29, 2013

Kindness from a Stranger

2013 has been a tough year for our daughter (Young Sweetie). She's in the midst of signing a custody agreement regarding her daughter (Youngest Sweetie) and faces divorce in her future.

Life. has. been. hard.

Imagine my surprise when she brought Youngest Sweetie over for our weekly Sunday dinner and said, "I have story for your blog."

(Young Sweetie knows that I like to write about real life but life has been "a bit too real" this year.)

*******

Young Sweetie was shopping with Youngest Sweetie at our local K-Mart finishing up their Christmas shopping and picking up the basics of diapers and wipes when a woman approached them and struck up a conversation.

The woman praised Youngest Sweetie for being so cute (I liked this woman already!) and asked if she'd seen Santa yet. She asked Young Sweetie how her holidays were going and Young Sweetie said she gave her the standard answer of "Everything is going ok."

The woman explained that her employer had sent out their employees to spread some holiday spirit and asked Young Sweetie if she could give her some money to buy something "for yourself, your daughter and others for Christmas."

Then the woman handed her a $100 bill.

Young Sweetie's eyes welled-up with tears and asked if she could give the woman a hug.

Which she did.

She thanked the woman and while she was still mentally processing the gift....she realized she didn't ask the woman's name or what company she worked for and the woman had walked away.

She looked for the woman and never saw her again.

*******

I believe that God places all people in our lives for His purpose(s).

Thank you Lord for your hand in this gift. Thank you for the woman who was sent out by her employer to pass on some holiday spirit. And thank you for her employer who gave the incentive to the employees.

I am grateful that at the end of a tough year our family experienced this miracle of love and kindness from a stranger.

Amen.

*******

Have you received kindness from a stranger this year?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Texas Family

In August I flew to Texas to stay with my mom while she was recuperating from hip replacement surgery. Although my brother and sister weren't able to stay with her 24/7, it provided an opportunity to spend time together that we haven't had for years.


My sister, brother and I posed with a picture that was taken around 30 years ago. Wow! We haven't changed much at all! (That's the story I'm sticking with! Hee hee!)

********

My sister was a great help running errands, picking up items and always delivering them with a smile. I told her that in 20 years I'm going to hire her as my personal shopper. She was amazing!

My brother was just as phenomenal because when we needed a handrail installed to the lower level of mom's home he had his crew come over the next day and boom! New handrail! He came over that weekend to sand and paint it too.

He was also my chauffeur to and from the airport and took me shopping the first day so I could pick up some items that I didn't want to lug from PA to TX. He showed great patience while I ran into Bath & Body Works and Walmart.

May I show you one thing I love about the local Walmart in Texas?


The state of Texas and a football made from cases of Coke Classic and Mr. Pibb. Creative!

********

It was a blessing to spend time with my brother and sister and our mom. We reminisced about our memories of our dad who died 21 years ago. It was interesting how the three of us each had unique memories of our dad too.

My brother had the "strict dad" who was trying to mold him into a man.

I had the dad who tried to "toughen me up" so I could face the world.

My sister (who is nine years younger than me) had the "fun dad" who was older, worked less hours, and found enjoyment in a multitude of hobbies.

Do you have siblings that although you were raised by the same parents....everyone seems different from each other? Have you ever asked yourself, "How are we all so different? We were raised by the same parents!"

Listening to each others' memories explained the quirkiness we each have and who we've become as adults.

And the delightful insight is that although we are different, we love each other and got along quite well.

We are family.

*********

Finally, a picture of my sister, mom and me on the back deck of my mom's home:


I am thankful for our mom's successful hip replacement surgery! She showed great endurance while I was there and I admired her strength and determination during her recovery.

Yea Mom!

Yea Texas Family!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Texas Dogs Are Smart



Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.
1 Timothy 5:3-4 NLT

My mother had hip replacement surgery in August. She lives alone. Well except for her dog and although my brother and sister live somewhat nearby, I volunteered to stay with her during the beginning of her recuperation since they weren't able to stay with her 24/7. My brother runs his own business and my sister works full-time and takes care of her young son and newish husband.

I grew up in Texas but haven't lived there in years. May I describe the August temperatures as "stinking hot?" 100s during the day and maybe dipping into the 80s or 90s overnight. I stayed for three weeks and it rained briefly one time. Ack!

I sweat like I had never sweat before.

It was not pretty.

***********

I arrived on a Saturday while Mom was still in the hospital. My brother picked me up from the airport and we went to visit her briefly before we went to her home. Upon arrival, we let Blondie outside and I read over the one full page of dog instructions which began with taking her for a walk each morning around 6:30 a.m.

Doesn't Blondie look like an angel?


Well she is not!

I read my mom's instructions very carefully about how Blondie knows her walking route and the next morning off we went: Blondie in her harness, me holding her leash and being oh so responsible. I had poop bags at the ready.

My mom lives by a lake which is the lowest point of the neighborhood. Blondie and I spent the beginning of the walk going uphill. She had a lot of enthusiasm being out for a jaunt and I was already sweating like a piggy and probably looking a bit purply too.

We went all the way to the top of the neighborhood, walked down an alley type street, wove our way down toward my mom's street and then....instead of taking a left turn toward home, Blondie turned right.

We walked to the end of the road that dead-ends at a locked metal gate which separates my mom's neighborhood from the neighborhood on the other side. Blondie looked longingly through the gate which had a huge lock on it and I thought, "What the heck?"

I was starting to catch on that something was amiss by this point so instead of wasting brain-power on how to pick the lock and go through that area, I tugged at her leash and turned her around where we wove our way back toward home.

********

A few hours later, my brother arrived with our mom and after getting her settled upstairs, I questioned her about the one hour walk I'd taken (?) Blondie on in the morning.

My mom look startled and said, "What? One hour?"

And then she started laughing.

Yes, that dog had "taken me for a ride." Her walks are usually 30 minutes tops.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that dogs are dumb.

They are actually smarter than some people.

Well....at least one person.

Have you ever been outsmarted by an animal?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I Need More Jesus

I have the best daughter.

I can say that because she is my only daughter and she is 23 years old of awesome!

For example, I can make a list of praise songs and she works magic in purchasing them in record-breaking-time from an online music store (with my credit card of course).

I burn them onto CDs and rotate them playing in my van.

If you ride with me, you get to listen to my music.

Lucky.

****

I drove Young Sweetie to the mall to shop for clothes one night after work. After visiting a few stores at the mall she was successful in finding black dress pants but we were both a bit tired and she suggested stopping at the coffee shop in the mall because she needed some caffeine to finish out the day.

I started thinking about the commercial I'd seen about a new blend the coffee shop had introduced, it could have been named some sort of hair color (Blonde) and I'm game to try it since I find their usual coffee to be a bit on the bitter side.

Let the adventure begin...

Young Sweetie ordered her frozen coffee concoction and I had a couple questions for the barista about the new blend of coffee. I could feel my excitement building.

Finally I'm ready to order, "I'll take a grande, Vanilla Blonde, iced coffee...." and he interrupted me to say that he couldn't ice the Vanilla Blonde coffee. It is only served hot.

I may have asked, "Are you kidding me?"

OK, I did ask and his answer was that he was not kidding me.

So I told him to ring up my daughter's order. I wouldn't be ordering anything after all.

****

Young Sweetie and I were exiting the mall and I'd worked myself up into quite a tizzy. Possibly heading toward a full-blown rant. I might have been saying something to the effect of "All you can serve me is bitter iced coffee? Do you want to see bitter?" (Picture me waving my hand in a circular motion in front of my face.)

Oh yes, I was in rare form and we got into the van, I turned the key, the engine started and the praise music began to play....and without missing a beat my daughter turns up the volume and says, "I think you need more Jesus."

That took the "wind right out of my sails."

****

I have the best daughter and she is correct.

I need more Jesus.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring in PA

On my daily drive to work, I pass a house with a front yard overflowing with colorful tulips.


Day after day I wish I had a picture before all the tulips are gone because every day this yard brings a smile to my face and a lightness to my soul.

(Too bad I haven't learned how to hold my phone level while taking a quick picture yesterday. Ha!)

I am thankful for the people who cultivate this yard.

It is an annual Spring gift.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I've Been Quiet for a While

I don't know if anyone has noticed that I've been quiet for a while.

There are many reasons but the main one is that I'm set to host an (in)RL Meet-up at my home on Saturday, April 27th.



Do you know the back story to the (in)RL Meet-up? Instead of the website (in)courage planning a conference and women having to travel to one specific location, their idea is to have hosts sign up and meet in their locale. This happens mostly in homes but if large enough crowds sign up then they figure out a more amenable venue such as their church.

As I'm writing this the numbers are 1,591 women have signed up in 497 cities. These aren't all U.S. cities either. Amazing!

It's an opportunity to view videos covering this year's theme of "The Challenge to Stay in Community."

Last year I waited for someone to volunteer to host a Meet-up in my area.

It never happened.

So this year I decided to volunteer to host and not miss out on the opportunity to meet women in my area for this event.

This is a big deal for me personally because I'm opening of my home to really eight strangers.

In anticipation of the Meet-up I've been cleaning my home....you know the nooks and crannies where dust bunnies lurk and I've even gone outside to battle my amazing weed collection.

That is a benefit to hosting....the house will be cleaner looking than it's been for a while. Ha!

Are you comfortable opening your home to strangers?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Easter 2013

Wonderful Husband, the Teacher and I attended the 7:00 a.m. Easter Service at the United Methodist Church. It was early, lovely, and celebratory! It could be our new Easter tradition.

Happy Easter!

The day began with sun and just in time for the Easter gathering, the clouds rolled in, the sky began to drizzle, then rain lasted the rest of the day.

The Toddler Easter Egg Hunt was held inside this year since the weather didn't cooperate.


video

I wish I could have captured (on video) the Young Adult Outdoor Easter Egg Hunt. Ages 23 - 34. Too funny watching "the kids" scamper around the backyard in the rain!

I deemed this Easter "The Year of Crying." You can hear it during the Toddler's Egg Hunt. There was crying during the Young Adult Egg Hunt too. (One of toddlers, not the Young Adults.)

Then I had to include this picture of the younger generation:

Too funny!
Grandparenthood is the best season of life so far because after all the Easter excitement...we went home to our quiet house.

How was your Easter?



Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Week 2013


*What I am reading this week:

The Triumphal Entry, Jerusalem, Sunday (Palm Sunday)
Matthew 21:1-11

Jesus curses the fig tree, Monday
Matthew 21:18-19

Jesus clears the temple, Monday
Matthew 21:12-13

The authority of Jesus questioned, Tuesday
Matthew 21:23-27

Jesus teaches in the temple, Tuesday
Matthew 21:28-23:39

Jesus anointed, Bethany, Tuesday
Matthew 26:6-13

The plot against Jesus, Wednesday
Matthew 26:14-16

The Last Supper, Thursday (Maundy Thursday)
Matthew 26:17-29

Gethsemane, Thursday
Matthew 26:36-46

Jesus' arrest and trial, Thursday night and Friday
Matthew 26:47-27:26

Jesus' crucifixion and death, Golgotha, Friday (Good Friday)
Matthew 27:27-56

The burial of Jesus, Joseph's Tomb, Friday
Matthew 27:57-66

The Resurrection, Sunday (Easter)
Matthew 28:1-10

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

Easter blessings to you and yours!

*from my archives - an annual reading tradition

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Google Reader July Shut Down

I've heard "the whispers" online and googled to make sure that what I was afraid of was really going to happen.

Sure enough, Google is shutting down its Reader on July 1st.

Yikes! That's how I keep track of the blogs that I have followed over the years!

I thought I'd send you to Kristen (We Are That Family) to read her easy suggestion on how to load your Reader page into Feedly.

I did it last night and although it's a bit different from what I'm used to, at least I won't be "left out in the cold" (missing the blogs I follow) when the Reader shuts down.

There are other alternatives so take time to explore them....just don't wait too long.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

also known as our daughter's birthday!

Wonderful Husband was out of town so I met our daughter, her family, and her in-laws for dinner at:

P.F.Chang's China Bistro

By the way, did you know that this upcoming Wednesday is the First Day of Spring?

Here is what this morning looked like from my front porch in PA:

Clumpy snow. Are you kidding me?

The snow melted as the day progressed.

Hooray!


Our granddaughter, Youngest Sweetie arriving for dinner.

Happy Birthday Young Sweetie and thanks for the dinner invitation!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Too Much Technology?

I read the following essay from Tiffany Shlain entitled "Tech's Best Feature: The Off Switch."

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/techs_best_feature_the_off_swi.html

Tiffany wrote:

"Just as we discover -- the hard way -- what constitutes too much sugar or too much alcohol, I believe we are only beginning to truly understand the effects of too much technological stimulation on the brain. As we rush into this era of hyperconnected human evolution, we need to evolve and adapt to be mindful of what we are doing online and when we should get off."

I've been pondering where technology is leading the younger....and older generations too.

I remember working on a computer for the first time and how it seemed to make my world spin like a top. All this technology was rushing toward me at a lickety-split pace.

Now I have days when my computer at work seems to move in slowwww motionnnnn. My brain has been re-trained to expect fast results and sometimes technology doesn't seem quick enough.

That also carries over into other parts of my life as I rush into and through the grocery store...then need to "re-program myself" to stand patiently in line, pay for my items...then I walk quickly toward my car.

I live a life of fast and slow and only during the slow do I have the time to see God, His blessings, and have relationships with others.



Have you ever made the decision to turn off technology for a specific amount of time?

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Church Decision

The reasons I began this adventure to find a new church were:
A need for life application from the sermon, 
stronger leadership, 
more Christ, 
and a need/desire to be a part of a faith community.

****
Near the end of 2012, we received a pledge card from our Presbyterian church in the mail.

I believe that pledging is important so that the church can develop a budget for the upcoming year. So after much internal debate, I called the Financial Secretary to tell her that we would not be pledging for 2013, explaining that we have been searching for a new church, and actually had not been to this church since May of 2012.

Coincidentally? Later that day I arrived home to a message on our answering machine saying that although we had not participated in the pictorial directory at the church, there were some openings over the next few weekends, and to call and make our appointment.

So.....I made another call to say that we were not going to participate since we were not currently attending the church.

Later that day (not coincidentally) I received a nice email from the pastor asking if we would like to meet with him, if a discussion would be helpful.

I had to laugh because I knew that Wonderful Husband was not interested in a meeting especially since looking for a new church had been my idea. But just to make sure, I did discuss it with him and yes, I was correct.

I made an appointment with the pastor telling him that it would only be me attending since I initiated the idea of visiting other churches.

The meeting with the pastor went very well. I explained why we had been visiting other churches (see bolded list above). But I also told him how thankful we were for the years we've attended the church. The Sunday School classes that our children attended, youth programs, Women's Bible Study, and the many people of the church who had impacted all of our lives. I thanked him for his Christ-like grace in reaching out to our unexpected (yet blessing of our) granddaughter and really left the meeting filled with peace.

Peace in explaining our decision to him and peace in moving forward (with his blessing) toward our next church.

****
Initially I was going to use the title "Our Church Decision" for this post but after having a discussion with Wonderful Husband, he has decided not to join the United Methodist church with me. He will be sitting beside me on Sundays but will wait until he retires and we relocate to join a church.

I could go into my explanation of his decision but that is really his story to tell. 
Maybe one day he'll start a blog and explain?
Nah, probably not. Ha!

****
I have been attending a weekly Bible Study at the United Methodist church and after Easter my plan is to meet with the pastor and ask how I can become a member of the church.

****
I am very thankful for God leading me through this journey in finding a new church. He has been faithful in directing my steps and my decision and I am blessed.

****
If you're interested in reading the entire series, I've linked all my posts below.

The series recap:
From Thought to Action
Wonderful Christian Women
United Methodist Visit
Non-Denominational Visit
Presbyterian Visit
Lutheran Visit

Thank you for following along.

Have you ever changed churches or thought about it?

I'd love to hear your story.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

No Calorie Donuts

I went to the grocery store and saw these scrumptious looking pre-St. Patrick's Day donuts:


Just looking at them made me experience a sugar high and no I didn't purchase any.

I sent the picture to my St. Patrick's Day born daughter though.

A sweet gift with no messy calories to regret!



Monday, February 18, 2013

Always Thankful

Continuing my journey beyond one thousand gifts....

Doesn't he see everything I do and every step I take?
Job 31:4 (NLT)

This verse made me think of what Priscilla Shirer wrote in her study of Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted, "Knowledge of God's nearness can be most comforting to anyone seeking an intimate relationship with Him, and yet it can be the most burdensome reminder for the one who is seeking to avoid His direction and correction." pg.41

Yes I remember years ago when it felt burdensome and now, years later it is comforting and freeing to strive for a deeper relationship!

This week I'm thankful for:

1097. the snow outlining the trees' branches

1098. a mist hovering over a snow-laden field

1099. snow looking like powdered sugar on the bushes

1100. finally, the braces coming off my teeth! Hooray!

1101. Wonderful Husband making BBQ brisket AND chili

1102. Lent and sending encouraging, thankful cards every day

This post is linked to:



Do you practice a Lenten tradition?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Brace Yourself

My granddaughter has always known me looking like this....



a mouth full of braces.

Last Tuesday, after 20 and a half months of wearing braces....




they're gone!

(Side thought: I wish I had a sun tan.)

After my braces were removed, my orthodontist handed me a bottle of non-alcoholic, sparkling cider.














Later his assistant took me for "after pictures" and I said, "Gee, this bottle is nice....but I was kind of hoping for a bag of candy."


A few minutes later I was handed this....



and although I offered to return the cider, I was told I could keep both.

Score!

If you're wondering if my granddaughter noticed the difference....the answer is no. She did not.

So much for my thinking she'd freak-out over her newly improved Grandma.

Now I'm off to chew gum, or eat popcorn, or a Rice Krispies Treat!

Hooray!



Monday, February 11, 2013

Trusting Him

Continuing my journey beyond one thousand gifts....

Every day is a gift,
every moment is a blessing,
every life holds a beauty of its own.

Last Monday, a co-worker's daughter tried to commit suicide.

I say "tried to" because she didn't die.

And I am thankful.

The daughter has struggled with life ever since beginning college two years ago. This was her loudest cry for help and she called her mom after swallowing a handful of pills.

I watched my co-worker shaking with fear and frustration and offered to drive her to the Philadelphia hospital while her daughter was being transported by ambulance.

Confession: I have fear while driving to places outside of my immediate area and called Wonderful Husband but had to leave a voicemail explaining what had happened and where I was traveling.

I started saying The Jesus Prayer. Have you heard of it?

Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.

I silently prayed this prayer over and over and felt the calming presence of Christ as I started driving us toward Philadelphia.

We found the hospital and she went in to assess the situation. Her daughter was conscious and my co-worker came out and said her husband was on his way. I asked if she wanted me to wait for his arrival but she told me I could leave. I asked if she had money for food and she said yes. I told her that I'd be praying for her and her daughter and their family and pulled away from the hospital.

When I left the hospital I turned on my CD and the song "Beautiful" began playing by MercyMe.

(Please click the link below to hear the song.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C2o0jHNRuU

How I wish the daughter could have heard these words.

Words of love: how she is treasured, and sacred, and His.

She is more than this moment of her life.

You see, I have compassion for young women struggling through life.

A few years ago our daughter imploded while attending college and living away from home. She layered bad decision on top of bad decision and we couldn't stop her or help her.

Only God can save. And He did.

Yet in the midst of the turmoil, God prepared me because He knew what was coming.

My Word for 2010 was Hope and what it took a year for me to learn was that I couldn't place my hope in a place, different circumstances, or a new situation.

I can only place my hope in the Lord.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13


I have empathy for mothers whose children struggle with life.

Because another lesson I've learned is that I don't have control over my (adult) children. I pray for them and pray that they turn toward God because they can place their hope and trust in Him.


Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:4

My Word for 2011 was Grace. God showers me with His grace, I in turn show His grace toward others and because of living the word Grace for that year, my daughter and I have a good relationship today.

Only God could have worked the mess into the goodness we live today.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

# 1089 - 1096 on my list beyond One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

1089. the daughter making it to the hospital and living

1090. driving my co-worker to the hospital

1091. Christ's calming presence during our drive to Philadelphia

1092. safe travel to and from the hospital

1093. Wonderful Husband's calm (Blue Tooth) conversation when I began driving home alone

1094. feeling God's comfort through music

1095. our daughter and where she is in life now

1096. God, and my hope and trust in Him

Please pray for people who struggle with living. Their lives are precious to Him.

This post is linked to the Faith Barista Jam with the writing prompt of "Trust"



and

Monday, February 4, 2013

September - October 2012

September 2012

I discovered my love of candy corn



Found a giant spider living outside our home.



And viewed a rainbow from our backyard.




October 2012

Happy yellow mums



Strolling with our granddaughter




Beautiful fall foliage



Superstorm Sandy brought gray and rain



And trees branches split and fell



Yet the month ended with our granddaughter in her hatching chick costume.



A Happy Halloween indeed!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Artichoke Dip

is happiness in a white, round, casserole dish.




Artichoke Dip

1 cup Mozzarella cheese (grated)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup (Hellman's or Kraft) mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic (pressed)
1 8 oz. can artichoke hearts (drained)

Cut up the artichoke hearts, then combine with all the ingredients.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. (I used a round 24 oz. casserole dish.)

****

The plan was to try-out this new recipe for Wonderful Husband on Friday.

I left work 45 minutes early because of the snow. We've had brutally cold temperatures all week and the prediction was that the snow would be sticking to all road surfaces.

The dinner menu was Artichoke Dip served with Wheat Thins, adult beverages (beer), and relaxing while the snow fell outside at the end of a long week.

Wonderful Husband gave the recipe two thumbs up. Hooray!

The snow shimmered like diamonds.



Yes, an empty nest is a great place to be with warm food and each other.

Friday, January 25, 2013

July - August 2012

July 2012

I began writing a series called "Finding Church." Wonderful Husband and I began visiting different churches and I must admit that I haven't finished the final post of this series. (I guess I had to leave something to write about in the new year!)

I was searching for life application from sermons, stronger leadership, more Christ, and a need/desire to be a part of a new (to me) faith community.

Meanwhile the month looked like this....

Wonderful Husband assisting our neighbor in
balloon removal from his tree.
The family Pig Roast.
A hot air balloon traveling over our home.
(Not the balloons that were stuck in our neighbor's tree.)

August 2012

I felt surrounded by blogs, books, and sermons speaking to me about church. A spiritual month filled with stretching and growing in my faith. 


The Teacher read to his niece.
Had to include her sweet "Fishy Face."

On August 24th, I began reading The One Year Chronological Bible (again). 

Yes, I realize I said August.

"Better late than never" is an encouraging old saying.

It seems very forgiving too.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Some Things

never change.

I wanted to take a video of our granddaughter walking.

You'd think I'd learn that kids don't "perform" just how we want them to...



Did you notice that she starts by crawling then goes into "walk mode?"

She is a blessing and makes me laugh!

Free entertainment people!

Monday, January 14, 2013

May - June 2012

May 2012

A month of pondering what tithing means to me, celebrations with mostly cards for nine birthdays, attending a bridal shower for our future niece-in-law, and my sister got married.

I notice a trend in my taking pictures of
chocolate while attending our
niece-to-be's bridal shower!

June 2012

A month in which we attended a wedding of my friend Terri's son,

Sweetest Wedding Favors Ever:
Pretzel rods dipped in white or dark chocolate!
I read One Perfect Word: One Perfect Word Can Make All the Difference by Debbie Macomber.

We vacationed in South Carolina


and enjoyed days full of sunshine, blue skies, ocean breezes and beach time. Golf for the men. My time spent at the pool, reading Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman, highlighting, contemplative thinking, and relaxing. Thank you South Carolina!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

One Word for 2013

This is the fourth year of my choosing a word.
Hope in 2010,
Grace in 2011, 
and
Fellowship in 2012.

I remember as an elementary school-aged child when my mother would suggest writing out my New Year's Resolution(s). I sat down and probably wrote out 20 things because I was all about high numbers back then. A couple items I remember from the list were feed the dog and shine my father's shoes. I probably fed the dog a few times that year, yet not on a regular basis (don't worry, my mother saw that the dog was fed).... but I can guarantee I never shined my father's shoes.

In August of 2012 I began reading The One Year Chronological Bible.

Please understand that what I mean is that I didn't read it from January through July.

And I wish that I could tell you that I finally read through Revelation for the first time in my life.

But I can't tell you that either.

Yet on December 29th (while reading Revelation) I read the following scripture:

Anyone with ears to hear
  should listen and understand.
Anyone who is destined for prison
  will be taken to prison.
Anyone destined to die by the sword
  will die by the sword.
This means that God's holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.
Revelation 13: 9-10 (NLT)

This means that God's holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.
Revelation 14: 12 (NLT)

My One Word for 2013: Endure.

At first glance you may think I'm expecting horrible things to happen this year but I have to say that I don't know what 2013 holds for me.

When I was a young adult with young children I could "bank on" certain things happening. Kids going to school, playing sports or musical instruments, vacations in Wildwood, NJ, etc. (In fact last year was the first time in I don't know how many years that we didn't go to Wildwood.)

But the older I become I see life as much shorter, and a gift to be thankful for every day.


en·dure

[en-doo r, -dyoo r]  Show IPA verb, en·dured,en·dur·ing.
verb (used with object)
1.
to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding;undergo

2.
to bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate

3.
to admit of; allow; bear
verb (used without object)
4.
to continue to exist; last
5.
to support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently
6.
to have or gain continued or lasting acknowledgment or recognition, as of worth, merit or greatness

from Dictionary.com

I looked up and (ok I admit) I highlighted the words endure and endurance in my Bible, where I read more encouraging scripture about how God's faithful love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34), the one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13), and about the patient endurance that comes from Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:5).




Yes, I will endure and have endurance in 2013.

I look forward to seeing what God will teach me this year.

As a side note, I read Debbie Macomber's book One Perfect Word: One Word Can Make All the Difference in 2012 and highly recommend it! Great ideas on how to choose a word and work with it throughout the year.

This year I'm linking to these two blogs:




The Lettered Cottage
















One Word 365


Do you choose a word? If so, please share.

Friday, January 4, 2013

March - April 2012

March 2012

While reading through my journal, I realized that I was living with and leaning more closely toward God. I focused on sending cards to whomever God placed on my heart and most were easy to recognize.

March was a month filled with sending 27 cards and adding to my list of One Thousand Gifts. A month when I was a part of one of the Growth Groups at our church, the ladybugs once again invaded our master bathroom, and our sweet granddaughter slept like a baby.




April 2012

The remaining six cards were mailed during Lent. Yes, some days were a challenge but at the end of 40 days it was a blessing. Hopefully for others, definitely for me, and a tradition to be continued in 2013.

I was definitely enthralled with everything either beginning to bloom or already blooming....

Phlox from our yard

Daffodils from a neighbor's yard

I saw God leading me through my word for 2012 (Fellowship) using scripture, blogs and books. It was a wonderful month of God showing me connections and my sharing time with my Growth Group, breakfasts with former Bible Study Buddies, and the (in)RL 2012 webcast.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 In Review

Last year I read Mary Elizabeth's 2011 Year in Review and asked to borrow her idea. She gave me her blessing so here I go...

January 2012

Began with my almost having a heart attack from a mistake on our water bill. Previous quarter was $221.26. The following quarter was $9,769.32! Ack!


The problem? The township installed a new water meter and it was running backward. The problem was resolved but I still don't know how many years were "flushed from my life" from receiving this bill! Ha!

The good news was that after a deer ran into my van in November....


I brought LaVania home all undented and pretty in January. I guess I could have included a picture but you know what an undented van should look like, right?

February 2012

A month filled with love....

Our daughter was married at the courthouse.




Our granddaughter was baptized.


Valentine's Day gifts from Wonderful Husband.


I finally began reading my Kindle Fire and really appreciate the compactness of it all.

Karen Ehman inspired me while I read her post entitled, "Don't Give Up Something For Lent." The idea was to send a card of thanks or encouragement every day during Lent. Seven cards were mailed this month.