Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Something to Ponder


"As I ponder the power of the word to incite and divide,
 to calm and connect,
or to create and effect change,
 I am ever more cautious in what I say and how I listen to the words around me."
Susan Smalley

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Decisions...and Blessings

We have 9 chickens. One of which is in pretty bad shape- will probably die in the next day or so. We have had these chickens for an awfully long time. They are probably at least 6-7 years old or so. They don't lay anywhere near what they used to - sometimes not at all. We get an egg here and there - but not where you can count on them at all.

Today my husband and I discussed maybe getting rid of the few chickens we have left and ordering the 25 from McMurray. It is exciting to think of having baby chicks around again! And then once they start laying - that will be wonderful. Especially since egg prices have been going up and up. When I first started going to Aldi's - they had their eggs for 39 cents a dozen! What a great deal! Well since then the price has gone up and I believe the price is at 1.50 a dozen- which is still better then the price of a dozen eggs any where else. Plus fresh eggs are always better than store bought and probably better for you as well. I will certainly let you know what we decide!

So day I had a few errands to run and so while I was out I stopped my a favorite little thrift store. I found a few really great deals!

A friend of mine was sharing with me how this book had really been blessing her soul:
So I had it in the back of my mind that I would love to read the book. So I had not went looking specifically for any certain books. But as I was looking through the books - I found it and I was so excited!!
Another sweet friend had sent me Elizabeth Viera Talbots book - "Luke" and I have been reading it and have been thoroughly blessed by it. So When I found this book:

I just could not pass it up. The books are not very big - but they are wonderful books - that dig deeper into a better understanding of who Jesus is!
I found about 6-7 other books that I look forward to checking out. And who knows I might end up sharing tidbits from them as well!
I am always amazed at what I find at this thrift shop and I am so thankful that God guides me to the treasures He has for me there. Because there are about 5 -6 book shelves and so sometimes I don't look through some of the books like I did today. I just had a feeling I was suppose to and sure enough - I found some awesome books. I love blessings like that! God is so good. He wants to bless us in so many ways - and sad thing is He blesses us many times when we don't even realize that He has blessed us because we are not paying attention. Be sure to pay attention and see what you can notice that God does just to bless you. Oh and why don't you share in the comments how he has blessed you- I would love to hear your testimony of how good God is! :O)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Joy or Sorrow/ Rise or Fall

I read something this morning and I wanted to share it with you all today. I am hoping to get some input of what you all think of this quote. I am on some high powered meds and I feel like they are messing with my brain a bit. And when I read this quote - it seems to be quite deep and I am hoping that some of you will share what it means to you. Maybe with comments and all I can better understand this quote:

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. When you are joyous, look deep into your heart, and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, 'Joy is greater than sorrow,' and others say, 'Nay, sorrow is the greater.' But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits along with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall."

Kahlil Gibran

Thanks so much for helping me better understand this quote. I found it in a book I am reading. I am thinking I will be sharing more from this book as I go along. :O)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Love With All Your Heart ....series chapter 14

Love With All Your Heart

Linda Driver

Love is enduring;

Love preservers and endures everything without weakening.

George was a quitter. No one could count on him for anything. When things got tough, George just checked out. Nothing seemed worthy of exerting any effort to ensure success in George's opinion. He found it much easier to make an excuse and ignore his responsibility. George had a history of broken relationships, short term jobs, and broken contracts and obligations. George just drifted from one location to another, always choosing to leave whenever the pressures became too heavy. George had no concern for the people he hurt or let down because of his irresponsibility or broke promises. He felt no sense of obligation to anybody. He seemed to have no backbone, no convictions, no concern for others. George took all that he could from any situation and never gave in return.
Then one day George came face to face with the claims of God's love as found in the Bible:
"Love....endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:7
    "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
Hebrews 12:1
"and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble."
Mark 4:17
    "And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;"
1 Corinthians 4:12
 "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
2 Timothy 2:3
"not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;"   
Romans 12:11
"Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it."  "For love is as strong as death."
Song of Solomon 8:7,6
"For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:"   
Hebrews 10:36
Love is not wavering or weak, but is committed, come what may.
Love is firm and resolute no matter how it is treated or how unpleasant the circumstances.
Love dos not consider its own comfort and convenience.
Love can be counted on to fulfill its obligations.
With compassion and tenderness, love is willing to confront and rebuke sin in order to restore a brother.
Love reaches to touch people's lives so that they may experience the righteousness of God.
Love is not based on emotions or impulses, but on a holy decision.
Love is loyal, dependable, and unchangeable.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Clarification and More

Well I went to the Dr again today. I have just continued to feel worse and worse as the days went by - so I was able to get in to see the Dr today. We are trying another round of antibiotics. If that does not clear this mess up - I will end up needing to have a chest xray and some blood work done. I could have opted to have that stuff done now - but I am pretty sure that a round of antibiotics was the cheaper route to go. I take them every 12 hours so I am going to be taking my first one in the next hour or so. Hoping to see a difference soon because I have been so very tired and worn out - not to mention tired of coughing and my throat has really been hurting awfully bad.
So I got a sweet surprise today! My husband's buddy at work - went on a cruise and while he and his wife were in Mexico they bought some vanilla and they brought me a bottle of it! 16.9 oz of Villa Vanilla - Vanilla Concentrate. It smells good! I thought that was super nice of them.
I make stuff every now and then and send it to him and his wife. Once I get to feeling better I will have to make something to send to them using this special vanilla. Any of you have any experience cooking with this? Any pointers would be appreciated?

Ok - I also wanted to clarify something - the photo of my hair showed it very red- well if you were to have seen me in real life I think you would come closer to saying I had dark brown hair. Now in the photo there is light hitting the hair making it the red show up better- so when I was outside in the sunshine I think that the red would show up them - but not always. I just wanted to clarify since my hair was not really as red and what the photo might have showed.

So we have had several days of beautiful weather along with the sunshine. It has been great. Well today you could tell we had a change coming with the clouds and all. Now we are getting rain and I think we will continue to get rain for the next 24 hours. I am so glad that I made it to town today to get some groceries. I knew we had bad weather coming tomorrow so I wanted to get that trip out of the way. I had not realized that the rain and all was going to arrive today though - that was a surprise.

Well I think I will close now. I need to finish cleaning up the kitchen and then I will be resting. Hope you all are doing well. :O)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Love You...with a twist

Today I wanted to share an exert from this book that I am reading. In the chapter titled- "You Can Defeat Depression." What I am going to share today was like some healing balm was used on my heart and I wanted to share it with you all just in case you too needed some of this healing balm.

God loves you. 
  " 'I have loved your with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness' " (Jeremiah 31:3). When someone says, "I love you," isn't that a sweet feeling? How much more wonderful when those words come directly from the heart of your Creator who tells you,
 "I've always loved you."

Wow- do you see what I mean? "I have ALWAYS LOVED YOU!" It's like we hear Jesus loves you so often and so we just don't understand the depth of His love for us. Or that He has loved us always.

A cool thing happened after this healing balm found my heart. Several hours later, as I was driving, I saw a road runner just sitting on the side of the road - just out from the brush. And as I watched him- start to go run back into the brush - I remembered how when I see roadrunners it is a special "I love you" from God. But this time- it's like as soon as I thought - I love you - I thought - I remember.. "I have ALWAYS loved you!" I hope that each time I see a roadrunner I will be reminded of not only God's love for me - but that He has always loved me.
Oh and don't forget - if He has always loved you - it also means He will ALWAYS love you --- forever!

*photo was a photo shared with "Friends of Big Bend National Park" I just thought it was too cool not to share with you all. I have never had the pleasure of seeing a roadrunner up close, maybe one day. :O)

Monday, January 19, 2015

One Year Ago...and more

Today as SweetPea was leaving- I felt a sadness- more so than I usually do when she leaves and I know it will be a few weeks before I get to see her again. Anyway as I thought about it I realized what today was.... One year ago today was the day that once SweetPea left- my husband cut and shaved my head. My hair had started falling out a few days before - but we tried to hold on as long as we could so that it would not be so sudden for the granddaughter.

That last day - Sunday was so hard- when I washed my hair a large clump came out (so much so that I even gasped at how much hair was on my hand) and so I just let the water run over my hair and that was it. I did not comb it much at all. As soon as our granddaughter left it was time. The rest is history.
After my husband cut it I realized I would want to get some of my hair so that I could compare hair color later on- so many people said that my hair would come different. And maybe it has- it is dark- there is not as much red in it as what shows up in this photo. I am guessing that my the sun had maybe caused there to be more red in my hair.
Anyway I wanted to share the photo my hair today. I wish I had have thought at my last hair cut to take a sandwich bag and collect some of it to compare. I might the next time I get a hair cut.  
We are having such a beautiful day here in Texas today. It is 70 degrees outside. The sun is shining and it is wonderful. I even went to the park and walked. I am still trying to feel better. So I am trying to make much better choices of what I eat and drink. Here is what I had for lunch today - a beautiful salad! It was delicious! :)
Just wanted to share a cute photo of our SweetPea! While she was with us, we celebrated her #5 birthday!
Oh one more thing - I wanted to say thank you to those of you who have been commenting! I really do enjoy comments. However, over the last few days things have been very busy here so I have not kept up with responding to each comment like I should. I will try to do better. Thanks for understanding. :O)  

A Special Gem

A special gem I can across last week that went along with what I have been sharing:
"I will bring the one –third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them.
 I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ”
Zechariah 13:9 NKJV

 "The traumatic process of testing and trial will result in the remnants being established in a special relationship with God."
~ notes for this verse in my Andrews Study Bible.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just some of my Favorite Verses

A friend asked me for some of my favorite verses. Her Daddy passed away just a week or so ago and she is going to put a memorial book together about her Daddy. She is really suffering right now and just wanted some help getting some verses together. So I opened up my favorite Bible and started reading through the verses that I had highlighted and picking out my favorite ones. The ones that had really been encouraging to me - especially over the last year or so. And since I had gathered them together I thought that I would share them here with you all just in case some of these verses might encourage you as well. :O)

 "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."    Exodus 14:14

 "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

"As your days, so shall your strength be." Deuteronomy 33:25b

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

"But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."
Job 23:10

"Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" Psalm 27:14

"For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18

"To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. 2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. 3 He has put a new song in my mouth-- Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3

"Be still, and know that I am God; " Psalm 46:10a

"Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

"From the rising of the sun to its going down The Lord's name is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

"Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

 "But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

"To comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."     Isaiah 61:2b-3

"Thus says the Lord: "Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16a

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

  "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" Jeremiah 32:27

"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

"The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

 " 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 4:6b

 "Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

 "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
(In my Andrew's Study Bible - it has a note under this verse that says - I can cope with anything. That really helped me to better understand this verse.)

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19

 "Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8
(This verse is important just by itself- but I like it with the whole section of the Bible as well- shown below)

"6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:6-11


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Precious Angel

Thank you to all who have been praying for our sweet granddaughter. She still is not feeling good. She goes through time periods of feeling alright and then she will go down hill again. She slept for a couple of hours earlier and is now up - she actually ate a bit and then she is wanting to play. I am sure hoping that she will be ready to go to bed in about an hour so I can get some rest tonight(yes- she is spending the night with us tonight).

Just thought I would share this sweet photo. Thanks again :)

Love With All Your Heart ....series chapter 13

I know it has been a while since I have done a posting on this series but since we only have a few more weeks left - I thought I would go head and get back to posting them. They always encourage me and help me better understand how to love with all my heart. I hope these chapters bless each of you.


Love With All Your Heart

Linda Driver

Love is hopeful:

Love's hopes are fadeless under all circumstances


Edith considered herself a realist. But the truth of the matter was that Edith always looked on the dark side. In every scenario Edith always imagined the very worst thing that could happen. She told herself that by preparing for the worst, she was protecting herself from being disappointed when it did happen. And so she continued to paint gloomy and dismal pictures for the future. Life was rather depressing from this vantage point, and Edith just couldn't keep all this gloominess to herself. So Edith would spread despair and discouragement around to all those she met. If someone was ill, she made solemn comments about the possibility of a fatal illness. She predicted failure, divorce, and disaster as the end result of any minor troubles around her. She doubted the power of God, and her prayers were simply sighs of hopeless despair. Edith felt that if she were to smile and express a cheery thought, she would be denying reality. Her burdens were heavy, and she wanted everyone else to have heavy burdens, too.
The one day Edith came face to face with the claims of God's love as found in the Bible:
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7
Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.
Psalms 31:24
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.   
Romans 5:5
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Psalm 146:5
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.   
Romans 15:4
    And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.   
Romans 8:28
    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.   
1 John 4:18
Love dwells on the positive and always hopes for the best under all circumstances.
Love is not discouraged or disheartened under difficulties.
Love believes that God is at work in every situation, knowing that He will bless His children.
Love does not get depressed or focus on the obstacles, but look beyond them to the future with confident expectation.
Love does not keep expressing doubts and fears, but with an unwavering faith repeats and claims God's promises, praising Him continually.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Prayer Request ~ Up-dated

Just dropping in to ask for prayers for our granddaughter. Within 2 hours of our son picking her up - her temperature spiked to 100.8- and was 102 by the time they got her to the ER. She is there now. I would just like to ask for prayers that they figure out what the problem is and that she will feel better soon.
I have been very busy today - there is a memorial service at our church on Sunday and I am helping out by making up the deserts for it and I have been working on what I can get made up and freeze till then. That way I could spend more time with the granddaughter. So it has been a very busy day. That and I had to run a couple of errands and get groceries. And oh my goodness- I don't know what the problem was but I was so indecisive at the store - it took me much longer than it should have taken me. I am still struggling with not being back at 100% from my bronchitis. I don't want to have to go back to the Dr since we will have to pay all of it till we hit our deductible -so I am putting it off. Have tried some natural stuff but still not being able to kick this stuff.

We had 8 days straight of cloudy, cold damp weather - but Praise the Lord! We have had sunshine the last two days and the week end is suppose to be wonderful weather, like temps in the mid 60's and sunshiny - beautiful! Hoping our granddaughter will feel better soon so she can enjoy some outside time.

Please be praying for her. Thanks so much! :O)

Updated: Ok it is 11:11pm - and our Granddaughter is home. She tested negative for strep and the flu. They are thinking she has a bacterial infection. She threw up while she was there - and they gave her a Zofran. She was acting like she felt better on the way home. Thanks for the prayers- please continue to pray for her to feel better. :)

Want to Raise Your Happiness Level? part 2

Today I wanted to share one more pointer on how to raise your happiness level. Now onto what Mike Jones had to say in his book ~"Sometimes I Don't Feel Like Praying!"
Focus on the vertical if you want to be happy.

We get out of balance and go sideways when we don't look up. Diane has a longtime friend who is chronically unhappy. She is totally focused on herself and on the horizontal. She resists Diane's attempts to point her to the vertical- the Lord- and prefers to talk about suicide or about committing herself to a mental institution.

Philippians 4:8-9 offers this good advice: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things....And he God of peace will be with you."

Focusing on the horizontal can drive us crazy. When I first started writing this book, the horizontal told me that I had significant health issues, a large tax bill I couldn't pay, and concerns over a son who was departing for a year in Afghanistan, leaving behind a wife and two young children.

Even now, the horizontal reminds me that Diane and I may have to sell our home and downsize, that a family member who refuses to quite smoking may have a life-threatening illness, and that our beautiful view of a tree nursery with Mount Hood as a backdrop may soon be lost to a housing development. I can go crazy if I focus on the horizontal. (By the way, many months have passed since I wrote the preceding sentences, and none of those things has occurred. Even my son who went to Afghanistan has now returned safely.)

So what does focusing on the vertical do for me? It tells me that I'm in a war, but that God is in charge, and that's enough.

Focusing on the vertical tells me that I've been saved for eternity through the blood of Jesus Christ, who died for my sins and who calls me one of His friends. Focusing on the vertical tells me that I don't need to sweat the small stuff- and everything is "small stuff" as long as I'm Jesus' friend.

Focusing on the vertical reminds me that someday I will sit with Jesus on His throne(see Revelation 3:21), assisting Him in the administration of the universe. (4) In light of all that lies ahead for us, the horizontal doesn't really matter all that much- not even if we die.

So be happy! Focus on the vertical, and let the Lord take care of the horizontal. He's up to it.

(4.) " 'He will put him in charge of all his possessions' " (Luke 12:44)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Want to Raise Your Happiness Level?

I just love how if I am open to following God's guidance~ He leads me just where I need to be or what I need to find. And it happened again- So I was looking for something in a bag and found a book that I had been reading on - off and on.

I decided to read the next chapter. And it had a list of "6 things you can do to raise your happiness level." Can you guess what one of the main things I found - you guessed it! Another reminder to put God first. I would like to share what this author had to say today:

Invite God into your life every day before you do anything else and you will be a much happier person.

Jesus said, "See first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and your basic needs will be taken are of" (see Matthew 6:33)

Your first inclination may be to say, "Yeah, yeah, Ok, I agree." But how many of us really do this before we do anything else? I've learned that one of the dumbest things I can do when I get up In the morning is to start looking at the newspaper or turn on the TV for the weather report before I get reconnected with the Lord.

I'd like to suggest to you that in this matter, processing is everything. And when we don't process- don't do our "reps." to use a sports term- we lose out and live in the shallows of this life instead of in the deep riches of God.

"Lord-please-come-into-my-life-and-help-me-to-have-a-good-day" and I'm out the door simply doesn't cut it if I want real joy and happiness in my life.

Can't we at least give God five minutes at the start of the day? Or ten? And then more time as the Holy Spirit enables us?  Christian author Ellen White wrote:

"If you will seek the Lord and be converted every day, if you will of your own spiritual choice be free and joyous in God; if with gladsome consent of heart to His gracious call you come wearing the yoke of Christ- the yoke of obedience and service- all your murmuring will be stilled, all your difficulties will be removed, all the perplexing problems that now confront you will be solved. (Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pg. 101) .

The Bible puts it this way: "Taste and see that the LORD is good." (Psalm 34:8). "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)
Come back tomorrow because I would like to share another pointer to being happy. See you then! :O)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Value of that Hedge

So on Monday after I wrote out my blog post - I opened up my devotional and was amazed at what I found! A devotional that directly related with the post I had just written. I had already felt that God had brought the post together and it just re-enforced my thoughts when I read this devotional:

 Devotional for January 12 from "Streams in the Desert" ~

Reckon it nothing but joy... whenever you find yourself hedged in by the various trials, be assured that the testing of your faith leads to power of endurance
James 1:2-3 Weymouth

God hedges in His own that He may preserve them, but oftentimes they only see the wrong side of the hedge, and so misunderstand His dealings. It was so with Job (Job 3:23). Ah, but Satan knew the value of that hedge! See his testimony in Job 1:10.
Through the leaves of every trial there are chinks of  light to shine through. Thorns do not prick you unless you lean against them, and not one touches without His knowledge. The words that hurt you, the letter which gave you pain, the cruel wound of your dearest friend, shortness of money -- are all known to Him, who sympathizes as none else can and watches to see, if, through all, you will dare to trust Him wholly.

The hawthorn hedge that keeps us from intruding,
Looks very fierce and bare
When stripped by winter, every branch protruding
Its thorns that would wound and tear.

 But spring-time comes; and like the rod that budded,
Each twig breaks out in green;
And cushions soft of tender leaves are studded,
Where spines alone were seen,

 The sorrows, that to us seem so perplexing,
Are mercies kindly sent
To guard our wayward souls from sadder vexing,
And greater ills prevent.

 To save us from the pit, no screen of roses
Would serve for our defense,
The hindrance that completely interposes
Stings back like thorny fence.

 At first when smarting from the shock, complaining
Of wounds that freely bleed,
God's hedges of severity us paining,
May seem severe indeed.

 But afterwards, God's blessed spring-time cometh,
And bitter murmurs cease;
The sharp severity that pierced us bloometh,
And yields the fruits of peace.

 Then let us sing, our guarded way thus wending
Life's hidden snares among,
Of mercy and of judgment sweetly blending;
Earth's sad, but lovely song.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Good News for Those in the Storms of Life

Are you going through a storm? Are you wondering how your will make it through? Well I have some good news for you today!

I have a friend who was sharing with me about a book she's reading that I want to check out.

In this book the author says that most people are in one of 3 places-Just came out of a storm, in the middle of a storm, or about to go into a storm. If I remember correctly she goes on to ask - "Are you telling God how Big your storm is or are you telling the storm how Big your God is?" In my own experience I'd have to say both. I did both of these during the last year. And although the cancer storm is not raging in my life right now- I still have other storms going on in my life.

This morning I decided to check my phone's app for Biblical Inspiration- it gives a Bible verse every day and I just felt like I was suppose to check it out. And when I did my heart was thrilled when I read:
"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?
Jeremiah 32:27
How much clearer could the words be? What a powerful reminder to me not to allow my storms o get me down, but cause nothing is too hard for God! My problems may not be solves overnight, obviously, since some of mine have I've dealt with for years, but I can not give up. God will work on my behalf.
It may not be today, it may not be this month, it may not even be this year, but I can rest assured that God will answer my prayers. And He may not answer my prayers the way I would think He would. God doesn't have a box in which He has to work in. The scriptures tell us that:
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 5:8-9
And verse 11 is an excellent promise for us to hold onto:
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.   
What comfort these words give to the restless heart of those going through the storms of their lives, I know it did mine.

So to break it all down - if you are facing a storm right now be assured that

*Nothing is too hard for God
* God's ways are not our ways
*We can trust God with our problems

Monday, January 12, 2015

An Amazing Thing Happened

An amazing thing happened when I put God first! Let me explain. This past week end I heard a great sermon on stewardship. Not your normal sermon about stewardship. I might try to share more about the sermon later in the week. On Sabbath our pastor shared about putting God first, not just with our money but with or time.

Guess what happened Sunday? I did not follow that advice and I was left floundering like a fish out of water. And what is even sadder is I was so distracted I did not even realize what was going on.

I had gotten into a bad habit of getting on my phone and checking emails, facebook, weather, words with Friends- all before my quiet time with Jesus. Now all these things I was doing are not in themselves bad- it's just when you put them before God you are the one that is losing. I had wasted that first part of my day when my mind was fresh and clear. When there are not hundreds of thoughts darting around your mind you are better able to hear what God has to say to you.

This morning I experienced the blessing that comes when you put God first! No longer am I feeling as if I am floundering around. No, I feel content and happy. Not only that but amazing things happened as well. As I was thinking, God was able to speak to my and direct my thoughts and a blog post came together smoothly. And when I got done with it and I was reading my devotional - I was amazed to find a great devotional that would be a great thing to share going a step further from the post I had just written. And that is not all...

As you all know, I have been struggling with drainage which has caused me a lot of coughing up mucus. This morning God reminded me of some natural things I had in my cabinet already that could help. And when I went and checked them out - Praise the Lord - they are all in date still!! What a blessing. I now have a plain to help me feel better physically.

So I learned a very important lesson, God needs to be first in our life's - all parts of our life's. Not only with our money but also in our days. The first part of our day needs to go to Him. In my personal experience - it was such a blessing. It gives clarity. It will continue to be a priority for me to put God first. May God protect me from the temptation to allow other things to take priority. I look forward to sharing the special insight that God has given me this morning(so be sure to come back tomorrow and Wed) And I am sure that as I continue to put God first, He will continue to bless me with wisdom and understanding of His Word.

Why don't you give it a try? I know that many of you already put God first I your life's, but if you don't, I would encourage you to do so. And see what a difference He can make in your day hen you dedicate the first portion of your day to Him! May God bless you richly!

Friday, January 9, 2015

When the Heart Softens ~ Me - then/now

This past year has been such a hard one for me. And I think that through the brokenness I allowed myself to get a little hardened. I noticed I did not have as much compassion for others as I used to have. I think that I cried so many tears since my diagnosis that I just ran out of tears, not literally but I was so tired of crying that I pushed my feelings as far back as I could.

My husband and I would watch movies - and at moments in the movies that I would normally need a towel or kleneex I was finding myself emotionless- maybe a bit sad but not at all like I used to feel. But somewhere in the last week or two something happened - I remember the moment but don't remember what led to it. It was like - I can feel again. As I write these words I hope that I am not giving the idea that I turned into a stone wall - because I didn't swing so far the other direction as to become that hardened - I just worked hard to protect my heart. I didn't want it hurt any more. And when you allow yourself to feel emotions deeply - you hurt. Before the diagnosis I had been through some situations that I had felt had totally broken me - but I was wrong. Coming to terms with cancer and all the feelings that go along with it tends to cause least for me it did. And it hurt. I can't even begin to tell you how many tears I cried over the loss of my hair. Some might say that is pure vanity - and it might be. But when your hair is your best feature- it really is hard to lose it.

This is a picture that is actually a couple of years before my diagnosis:
Anyway now I am beginning to feel again. When I am watching "Chopped" and hear of a man who is raising his 3 children alone now because his wife died of inflammatory Breast Cancer last year- I tear up. My heart is saddened for him and his children. And although it hurts- it also feels good because I am beginning to allow myself to have compassion again. I am not afraid to cry. I might not be back 100% - but I know that I am not where I was.
Here is an updated photo of me taken yesterday:

Sorry for the fuzziness. I need to try to figure out what I can do in order to take clearer photos.
I had a hair cut earlier this week. It has been about 2 1/2 months since my last hair cut and I needed to get the split ends off and shape up some.
Notice also that my mole is gone. There is a red spot there where it is healing. So glad that is behind me. Glad I did it when I did- especially when I looked at our insurance website and noticed that it cost over $200.00 to remove it and then about $150. to send the mole to a lab to have it tested- thankfully it was not cancer. Praise the Lord for that blessing.
Anyway I just wanted to write my feelings down and process my thoughts- wish I had have done it when I first noticed that I was allowing myself to feel again - it would be neat to remember more of the details. What ever the cause - I am glad because in order to share God's love with other's it pretty important to have a heart for people. And I had been trying desperately to protect my heart. Still wanting to protect it but wanting to allow God to love others through me as well.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Making Some Gluten

Ok - so today since it is quite chilly outside and I am staying inside as much as possible- I have decided to make Gluten. If you are interested in finding out what all is involved in making gluten- click on the link above. I love gluten and my husband who loves his meat- really likes my gluten as well.

So today I am making up 2 batches of it. I am hoping to be able to freeze at least 2 meals worth and have a meals worth for this week end. I am thinking of making Gluten more often so I can keep gluten in the freezer. It takes a lot of work to rinse the ball of dough to get all the starch out - so that is why I am starting with 2 batches today. Then I can work up to more batches as I make it up. But today I think that this will give us a good amount till I can make up some more.

So what are you doing to stay warm?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What a Day! with lots of photos (updated)

Today will be a post full of photos. Sorry they do not always show true color of item.
Since yesterday was going to be the best weather day of the week, I decided to combine all my running around errands and such for that one day. It made for a long day - 6 hours of actually being gone - but thankfully I was able to get a lot of stuff done, had fun and found some great deals.
I had not been to a thrift store in over a month- since before my 2 surgeries of December. So I decided to hit 2 of my favorite thrift stores in a town nearby.
At goodwill I found some nice clothes for our granddaughter. I found 1 long sleeved top and 3 summer tops for her.
 I also found 2 pairs of pants - the photo does not show it but these were both practically brand new- each of them only running about $2.49.
 This was a great deal that I got - a Rapunzel pj set - it is a summer pj set - but for only $1.25 I couldn't pass it up. Especially since my granddaughter really likes Repunzel.
Here are the things that were in the back ground of the photo above:

There is an awesome dot to dot book - that has over 300 pages- it has all sorts of animals in it - one side is the dot to dot and on the page across from the dot to dot - is a page that tells about the animal. $1.00
Then there is a Christmas activity for next year. And a brand new package of some foam letters that will come in handy when I am taking care of SweetPea this summer.
I did actually find one top for me- sorry no picture at this time. Will try to take one and share it later. It is really pretty.
Not only did I hit my two favorite thrift stores, but I also went to the Quilting Store. And bought some fabric for a quilting project that I have planned. I was happy to finally get this fabric. Keep in mind that the beige fabric is not quite so light as this photo shows. I was using my flash on my phone to make a better photo but I made the fabrics look a bit off from the original colors. 
Funny me thought that I had left way too early in the day and that I would have a long wait for my 1pm appointment to get my hair cut after my stopping at my thrift stores and quilt store, but I was wrong. When I left the quilt shop - I had about 10 minutes to drive across town for my appointment. And I made it just in time!  

Come to find out my hair was not growing as lops sided as I had thought. My hair was at about 3 1/2 inches. It is a bit more manageable now and does not have the split ends any more.
I also hit 2 different groceries stores and got the groceries for the week. Which ended up being a good things since it looks like we may have some wintery weather by Friday, if not by the week end.
Disclaimer - what I am about to share with you - I did not get done yesterday. 
These Cherry Kiss Cookies I made up for this past week end. We had a potluck to go to and I had wanted to try these cookies but wanted to try them when I knew more of them would get eaten(not just making up a batch of cookies for my husband and I to eat on). They turned out pretty good. And I did get some compliments from them,  but not as much as I got on the Rocky Road Fudge that I made. Oh I also made a batch of them yesterday again. The first time I had followed the directions and had put almonds in them. But my husband had thought that he would like them even better with pecans so I got the stuff to make another batch and made them up for him once I got home from my busy day out.  
This past week end I also was able to get my Block of the Month made up. Last month I had hated waiting till the last day before BOM and having to make them that day. I do not like to feel pressured into sewing.
There is another good thing that came out of getting the block done. I was then able to focus on a project that I had wanted to get working on - hence the purchase of the fabric above. So now I will have some free time to work on that project. I will be sharing about it as I work on it.

Anyway so now it has gotten colder outside and is suppose to be dropping as the afternoon progresses. I had not gotten all my stuff done yesterday - so today I had to run to town to pay my trash bill - due today. And oh my goodness - the wind is STRONG out there. So glad that I can stay inside now. Still trying to get rid of this drainage and the coughing that goes along with it. But I am trying to get back to eating more healthfully and drinking more water and hoping by doing so I can be feeling better soon.
Oh and one more thing that is exciting!
I have been looking for some of this fabric for a while. Problem was - I did not know a name of the fabric or the name of the company that made the fabric - and every time that I would type in butterfly fabric into Ebay or whatever - I would get pages and pages of choices of great butterfly fabrics but not what I was looking for. Well this week - I was looking again- and I started typing in other information with butterfly and I actually found what I was looking for. And I ordered the fabric! Yeah - now I can move along in finishing the quilt that had this fabric as the center of each block - that was the hold up. I really wanted some of the fabric for the border as well. And I had been afraid that it was just too late to get any of this awesome fabric. So I am totally thrilled to say that I have 1 3/4 yards of fabric on it's way to me. Then I will need to pick out 2 great fabrics that go with this and I will be on my way to getting that quilt done! Yay!!!
I hope you all stay warm and dry.
Have an awesome day! :O)

Monday, January 5, 2015

P P Pie...That's what's for Supper

Hello~ Goodness I have hardly been on lately. So sorry - that had not been my intentions at all. I really am not sure what is going on with me. I am thinking it may have something to do with the antibiotics that I am on. I just feel very quiet. I have also felt kind of run down and tired. I have just a couple more days left of my meds, so I am hoping after that I will begin to feel better. I am still coughing up stuff - so I am not totally well yet.

Today I guess I took my medicine without eating enough because I seriously got nauseous and I thought I was going to throw up. I had to get crackers out and start eating on them. And thankfully I began to feel better. But oh my goodness - I felt horrible. So I will be certain to eat a good meal before taking any more of my medicine.

I have set up an appointment to get my hair cut tomorrow. It has been over 2 months since my last hair cut so I really think that split ends need to be cut off. Plus - this is going to sound weird but I think my hair is growing uneven. My right side seems to be growing faster than the left side of my head. Isn't that weird? I wonder how normal that is and what causes it? Anyway thankfully Kathy was able to get me in. Not quite sure what I am going to do with my hair. I think my main thing at this point is to trim my hair and shape it a bit better. Not thinking of taking any real length off of my hair at this point. It is basically to clean up my hair and make it healthier. It is so nice to be at this point. My hair still has so far to go - to get back to where it was prior to the diagnosis, but it has come such a long ways since I had NONE.

Tomorrow will be the warmest day of the week at temps in the mid 50's. That is the reason I am planning my errand for tomorrow. I am going to work on getting a menu made up and a grocery list so that I can get groceries while I am out - so that later in the week I don't have to worry about that.

I heard a great sermon this week end and I have been reading a great book. I am pondering some spiritual things- gems I have found but just need to find the best way to share them here with you all. Hoping to be able to pull the thoughts together and get them written out for a post to share here.

Oh and where I got the title to this post.... Well as I was deciding what to make for supper - I found a bag of what looked like some cooked chicken or turkey, in the amount to make up a potpie for supper. So as I am telling my husband about it I said ok we are having poultry pot pie. He said oh we are having P P Pie? lol - yes we are having P P Pie for supper. Poultry Pot Pie that is!

Well I just wanted to check in a let you all know that I am still here. Hope you all are doing well. :O)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

What Changes a Year Can Bring

My husband and I spent New Year's Eve at home, like we usually do. I started a puzzle for us to work on and was very proud of myself for getting all the outer pieces put together. Usually I get frustrated and end up asking my husband to finish it for me. So he and I worked on the puzzle - flipping around a few different channels that had New Year's Eve specials going on. Then we went to the computer so that he could Youtube some of his favorite songs. As we sat there I felt happy and content. And I marveled at how wonderful it felt to feel so peaceful and my mind wandered back to last year and innocently questions why I hadn't felt this good last year. Then it dawned on me- 1 year ago I was recovering from my hysterectomy and from having the port put in and just 3 days I would be facing my first chemo session. No wonder I was not at peace. I continued to think of all that had been faced in 2014 and was reminded at the fact that God had been there every step of the way. He had been faithful to His promise "As are your days, so shall your strength be." Deut. 33:25b And many other promises. This is not to say that it was an easy year- it's to say that even though it was a very challenging year God supplied the strength and courage and so much many different ways. And as I paid attention to them, God brought many blessings to me here and there to help substain me. He used many different ways. The love and support of family and friends. Kind gestures of cards, flowers and even some ginger ale sent to me to get me through. Friends shared special songs with me that reminded them of me- Overcomer by Mandisa becoming a favorite of mine. Phone calls from friends and even a couple from church who really didn't even really know me but wanted to let me know that they were praying for me and shared verses with me. Many hugs and care from my church family. I actually could see the hands and feet of Jesus at work. And it has encouraged me to strive to better be used by God to help my fellow man.

I have also learned the ways in which I can help others who have just went through surgeries and have limitations on what they can do around their homes. In these ways I can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

So although 2014 was a tough year - it has taught me so very much. It has opened my eyes to the importance of allowing God to use you to bless others. And so this will be something that I will strive to do in 2015 and beyond.

A special Thank You to each of you who have encouraged me and helped me through this last year. I look forward to this new year and the blessing that it will bring to you and me both! :O)