Friday, August 26, 2016

Tuesday @ Ten - FEEL




Once again it is time to link up with Karen for Tuesday @ Ten.  Karen posts the word (or sometimes a phrase) prompt on Tuesdays, and we have a full week to write our post.  It's just another way to connect with others through our writing...




So, here goes:

This week's prompt is - Feel

Today, I feel so blessed!

Yesterday, I turned 65 years old; and I feel so overwhelmed; and so blessed!

Feel - a touch on your arm, and you know you've been touched.  You feel the touch the moment you have been touched!

But, to "feel" a touch to the heart?  Deep inside your soul?

How can you know you've been touched?  How can you feel a touch to your heart?

Perhaps a shiver down the spine?  Or, little "prickles" on your arms...

On American Idol, Jennifer Lopez describes those feels to the heart as "goosies"; prickles she gets when somebody sings their heart out and really touches her!

Perhaps a lump in your throat or a tear in your eyes signals a touch to the heart?

You know you've been touched; you feel it inside, and know the moment you've been touched!

Feel?  Just watch a precious little one, quiet in an unfamiliar place, break into smiles when she hears her favorite cousin's name!

Or, the overwhelming feeling of being special when an unexpected envelope full of "happy mail" is received...whether on a special day, or just because!

I received both this week!!

Happy Birthday Mail
received from Bonnie


Happy Mail
Received from Tamara

And, as I read through post after post after post of birthday wishes on my Facebook page ... over 100 of them! ... I could feel the love and friendship of so many friends; some I have never even met!!

There's also those feelings we get when we see or hear someone who is in pain...

Physically, mentally, emotionally...the pain they feel is real;

And, sometimes we get a little glimpse of that pain...

Like the woman behind me at the grocery store.

I had to wait while the clerk checked the price on one of my items and I heard the cashier ask the woman, "Are you having a good day?"

When the woman answered, "No," I looked at her face full of sadness; and her hands were shaking so bad she couldn't even process her card.

She told the cashier, "I just put my husband in the hospital...cancer."

That touched my heart; that touched me to the core!  I could feel her pain deep inside...

What could I do about it?  I could give her a hug; I could pray for her; I could pay for her purchases...

It wasn't much.  But it was what I had to give at the time when she was feeling so low.

Did it help her husband, lying in a hospital bed, battling the disease we all dread; even hate to hear the word...cancer?!

No, it may not have helped her husband; it really didn't help her?  But, for one brief moment in her life, during a time when she had so much on her shoulders, perhaps it gave her just a little bit of hope and assurance that she wasn't alone.

Feel?  We all feel differently about different things.  We all act and react in different ways.

But, we all feel!

And, we can all give something of ourselves to help others, even if just for a brief moment in time.




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WORD WEDNESDAY - The Beginning of Joy




The beginning of this year...

I chose JOY!

I chose the word, Joy - or the word chose me - for my word of the year!

My intent was to write a weekly post on the word, using "Word Wednesday" for the label.  I've written and published 25, missing a few here and there.



Lately, I haven't felt much joy; not really sadness, or depression, but certainly not happiness or even joy...

But, joy is my word for the year!  How can I not feel joy?



Occasionally I receive devotions from Crosswalk.com such as "Girlfriends in God", Daily Hope with Rick Warren", Proverbs 31, "Upwords" with Max Lucado, as well as others.

Sometimes one just seems to pop out at me and I save it for future reference!  One such devotion was called "The Beginning of Joy," by Max Lucado taken from the book "The Applause of Heaven."

Here it is - it's short so I'll just share the full content of the post:


"In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and I will give you rest.” You’ve been there. You’re turned your back on the noise and sought his voice. You’ve stepped away from the masses and followed the Master as he led you up the winding path to the summit. His summit. Clean air. Clear view. Crisp breeze. The roar of the marketplace is down there, and the perspective of the peak is up here. Gently he invited you to sit on the rock and look out with him at the ancient peaks that will never erode.

Just remember, he says, you’ll go nowhere tomorrow that I haven’t already been. Truth will still triumph. Death will still die. The victory is still yours. And delight is one decision away--seize it! Joy begins by breathing deep up there before you go crazy down here!


Yes!  Jesus invites us to come to Him; to rest with Him.  He invites us to get away from the hustle and bustle, the noise and the chaos...

To join Him where we can look upon what is happening "down here"; perhaps gain a different perspective on what is happening in our lives.

Once we can remove ourselves from all that prevents us from our joy - from the hustle and bustle, etc. - maybe we can begin to find the joy once again.

And, when we find the joy again, we can share it with others who may have lost their joy.

Joy is around us every day...

We may just have to look harder some days to find it; but it's there!

Joy is in the small things; and it's in the big things, too...but, remember:



May you find your joy today and every day!



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"A Providential Moment" - Prompt 18/21


Today's prompt invites us to "write about a moment in our life when we experienced God's providential intervention or care in a powerful way".

And, Dawn adds to these words, "Sometimes I think GOOGLE is God's providential care for my blogging life."

That last sentence?  It reminded me of an incident, perhaps more than one, when God's care - providential or not - came via the Internet, specifically Facebook, and other bloggers!

I've been reflecting on this moment; but first, the "state of mind" I was in during this time...

{Since I've already journaled about this in my "regular" journal, I'll just quote my own words and the words of those who helped during this stretch.}

August 8, 2016, after being away for four days attending a scrapbooking retreat, I returned home on a Sunday evening - tired and ready to relax.  That evening was OK; but the next day was back to how things are...not really "normal", but for us, the way things normally are!  And, I wrote in my journal:

"...And, I'm home!  Back to the cat - who loves me, and is trying to make sure I stay HOME for awhile; and to the one who treats me like crap!

"Leave him?  Not possible!

I do think it's the dementia...or is it?!  I'm jut not sure; but I am so tired of being spoken to and treated this way in my own home!  I do know it's hard and when he gets that way - which is hard to predict - I am ready to leave...for awhile...forever!"

So, my mindset was one of discouragement, frustration, uncertainty...failure.

And, God knew I needed a lift; perhaps a few lists to help get me back on the right path.

The first was an Evening Blessing from Susie Larson (via Facebook):

"May God give you glimpses of the new beginnings He has for you.  May you stay in step with Him; and trust Him in the meantime.  May God give you joyful contentment in the place He has you now.  May you faithfully steward your current assignment, as you wait for God to move you.  May you see the treasure of trusting the timing of your dreams to god.  He is with you and He cannot, will not, fail you.  sing for joy today and trust Him fully with your tomorrows.  Sleep well tonight!"

These words were helpful, but I was still so tired from the weekend with late nights crafting, that I was becoming very discouraged trying to get my weekly blogs written and published...

And read these words from "The Happiness Dare" by Jennifer Dukes Lee, inviting us to join her for "the dare"...

"I believe the Holy Spirit is saying to each of us, 'Pay attention.  Savor the life God has given to you.  Thank God for the Good when life is beautiful.  And fight hard to find the happy when life is brutal.' (page 45, "The Happiness Dare")."

Yes, so much was put before me in those few days when I needed to read them...and, I'm not finished yet!  In fact, the really "weird" incident is yet to come...but, not yet!

First, some words from the Message Bible I found on an old bulletin or magazine:

"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah!  Father of all mercy!  God of all healing counsel!  He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.  We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of His healing comfort - we get a full measure of that, too!  (2 Corinthians 1:4-5)"

WOW!!  Talk about words hitting home!  I wrote...

"He comes alongside us when we go through hard times..."

Yes, He does come alongside us; when we go through the good times and the bad times!  He helps us get through the hard times and maes our good times even better!  And, He prepares us to help someone else who is also going through hard times; perhaps even the same hard times we have encountered.

Hmmm!  This is all coming full circle now, once I share this "weird" incident, which also relates to the discouragement I felt in my writing as well as my caregiving...

After finding that last scripture, and journaling briefly, I also wrote out a short prayer to "end" the entry, and the day:


"Thank you, God, for being 'alongside' me no matter what!  I feel at times I've come to the end of my rope; it's hard just going from day to day sometimes...yet, You are there to strengthen me...every day!"




Here's what I wrote in my journal about the "weird" incident":

"This is so weird!  I struggled earlier to get my Simple Woman's Daybook finished; but the words were just not coming.  So, I just quit 'til later...or even tomorrow!

"That was a few hours ago.  I just checked e-mail and had a notification of a comment on my SWD post for August 8th...the one I was struggling with!  Somehow it was published!

"And, I do not recall hitting Publish!

"The comment has inspired me not to give up!

"So, thank you, Barbara - that is for real the person's name that wrote the comment - and thank you, God, for whatever happened to publish that "unfinished" post...and for Barbara and her words:"

"Just came across your blog from SWD.  I see by reading various links that you are trusting in God to help you through this touch season of life.  And He will continue to do so.  Your writing is what hurting people need so they don't feel isolated or...crazy.  Somebody's got to express this stuff and you are doing a good job of it..."

Boy!  Talk about hitting home!  Barbara's words hit the two points I was struggling with:

1) my journey with a husband who has dementia which is getting worse, and a hearing problem, and treats me like crap a lot of times; and,

2) my struggle with feeling discouraged trying to write and feeling nobody was reading or need to read my words!

Well, I guess she told me...

And, I guess God finally got to me!

One last scripture helped change my heart, and me resolve to do better:

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.  (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)"


And this scripture is the basis for my "change" for today and beyond...


Because I know it is I who needed to change!

And, with God's help, we can ride this journey together...peacefully, happily, joyfully!



AMEN!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - August 22, 2016





For Today
August 22, 2016


Looking Out My Window
Today is a beautiful, sunny day; so far we haven't had our daily thunder storm...maybe we won't!

It was around 76 degrees at 10:30 this morning; and at noon was in the 80's.  I haven't been outside yet; guess I won't be going out at all today!

I am Thinking
Following up with the above - that I haven't left the apartment today - I am thinking that some days it's just so nice not to have somewhere to go; to be able to stay home and relax, or do chores on my own time, or even watch 3 or 4 episodes of a Food Network kids competition...

Yes, that's what I'm thinking today...about how nice that can be!

I am Thankful
For family and friends who help me see when I am not being the person that I should be; for pointing out my faults in a way that encourages me to do better!

One of My Favorite Things
A bowl of salty popcorn with shredded cheese sprinkled throughout, and eating it while watching a favorite show on TV...

Like "So You Think You Can Dance - Next Generation" that we will be watching tonight!  I love to see the kids performing; they are sooooo cute, and also sooooo good!!

I am Wearing
I have been waiting almost a week to be able to say this...actually, I've been waiting longer than that!!!

Today, I am wearing a pair of tan shorts and a rust shirt; and I am wear my new pair of comfy black slippers that are replacing my dirty, worn-out crocs!!

Yes!!!  I finally found the perfect pair of shoes/slippers to wear around the apartment...I just can't stand to go barefooted; I always seem to step on something that irritates my feet!

I am Crafting
I spent some time at our craft place for a "Beach-y" themed crop and completed my interpretation of the layout for the crop; pictures to come later:

"Beach Babes"
August 20, 2016


Close-up of Little Mermaid


Close-up of Mr. Crabby

I also added photos to a page I completed a few weekends ago at the Cancer Crop:


San Sebastian Winery
Birthday Wine-Tasting
August 2013

I also promised to show photos of the two swap projects I was working on; here is the Paint Chip ATC (Artist Trading Card) that I sent to my "partner" in Arkansas:



And, the Ice Cream tag swap project I sent to my "partner" in Michigan:




I am Reading
I have been reading (again) "When Your Loved One Has Dementia - A Simple Guide for Caregivers", a compilation work of several authors, and endorsed by Peter V. Rabins and Nancy L. Mace, co-authors of "The 36-Hour Day" which has also been a welcome resource for this journey with dementia!

Once I finish reading this book, I'll go back to the Karen Kingsbury series; but the next couple of weeks will be quite busy getting ready for a trip to Louisiana - the north part, not the area that has been under water.

I am Hoping
Once I get back from Louisiana, I am hoping to spend a lot of time in my craft room...

Working on getting some things put away, thrown away or given away; that will help me be able to get the room more organized so I can do some crafts at home...

My plan is to make a few more things for a craft show the first weekend in December, just in time for Christmas buying!!

I am Learning
Slow and easy, calm and quiet is the way to "win" at communicating with my husband!  And, I have learned so many other things in the book I've been reading.  The last time I picked it up, I was just scanning a few chapters or pages.

Maybe one day I will have learned what I need to know for this journey!

In My Kitchen
Chicken is thawing so I can make a casserole for dinner; not sure what else, either biscuits or cornbread...

I think I feel like eating some cornbread tonight!

Shared Quote
From the July/August 2013 issue of "Angels on Earth", this quote (or blessing) by an unknown author:

"May you always walk with the morning star to guide you, the summer sun on your back, and an angel by your side."

So, I leave this as a blessing to all!  For more information on this inspirational magazine, click here: angelsonearth.

A Moment From My Day
I know when doing Random Acts of Kindness, it's a personal, private thing; yet, I have to share this one and ask for prayers for this lady...

While checking out at the grocery store the other day, the clerk had to put my order on hold so they could check a price: I thought I had picked up a BOGO item but was charged for both.

The clerk proceeded to check out the next customer, asking her "Are you having a good day?" and the lady answered "No."  She looked sad and upset, and showed how her hands were shaking.  She said she had just taken her husband to the hospital and that he had cancer...

She had a problem getting her card to go through, and was looking for another one when I told the clerk to put her purchases on mine.  The lady started to protest, but relented...I proceeded to pay for the purchases; but before she left, I had to give her a big hug.  The clerk, the lady, and I all had tears in our eyes...

I just couldn't let that opportunity pass.  So many people have stepped up to help me out in so many ways when I needed it...

Please pray for that lady and her family; no, I didn't get a name...names are not necessary; God knows who she is.

Closing Notes
And, so ends another week; another Simple Woman's Daybook.

I pray your week is eventful, fun, and full!  
Join me again next week - hopefully.



Monday, August 15, 2016

"Second Chances" - Prompt 17/21


Found on Pinterest
Shared by smile.amazon.com


In the movie, "Ground Hog Day", Bill Murray portrays Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman.

During an assignment covering the Ground Hog Day event in Punxsutawney, PA, Phil finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.

After numerous times of repeating the day, Phil begins to re-examine his life and priorities.

These words in Lamentations 3 may be helpful for Phil Connors - or anyone who finds themselves repeating the same day, or same situations over and over again.

Lamentations 3:17 - 21 (The Message Bible)

"I gave up on life altogether.  I've forgotten what the good life is like.  I said to myself, 'This is it.  I'm finished.  God is a lost cause.'  It's a Good thing to Hope for Help from God.  I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.  I remember it all - oh, how well I remember - the feeling of hitting the bottom.  But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:  God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.  They're created new every morning.  How great your faithfulness!  I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).  He's all I've got left."

Verses 22 - 23 from NRSV says:  "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

He gives us today ...



But, then we have tomorrow to "get it right" if we have failed in any way; or if we didn't get everything finished.

And, if we still didn't "get it right"; if we still haven't finished our task ...



There's always tomorrow ...

Again!

Like Phil in "Ground Hog Day," we are given the chance to examine our lives and - eventually - to "get it right!"

Emily Freeman says, "God believes in second chances, and even third chances ... He believes in moving past the mistake.  He believes in helping us to become who He knows we can become."

Thank you, God, that you give us second chances ... and, sometimes even more!




Simple Woman's Daybook - August 15, 2016






For Today
August 15, 2016


Looking Out My Window
At 9:00 a.m. it was already 80 degrees; I hate to think what it is now, at 3:30 p.m.  But, whatever it is outside...it is very comfortable inside; and that's where I am staying today...

The rest of the week will be BUSY!





I am Thinking
There's still a lot for me to learn in this "caregiving" journey!





I am Thankful
Today I am thankful for the words I read from friends and "strangers" who have become friends!  The quotes and comments and encouragement given by others is amazing and keeps me going when I just don't think I can!

One of My Favorite Things
Actually, I really love being home - alone! - and relaxing in the evening with my husband, too.  Especially during this summer that has been so very hot, home is where I love to be...

Most of the time!  There are times when I'm ready to leave again...but here I am!

I am Wearing
A pair of gray shorts, a light blue shirt with darker blue flowers, and...my crocs!

I am Crafting
While at our craft place on Saturday, I finished a tag for an "Ice Cream" themed swap and two ATC's for a "Paint Chip" swap.  Quite pleased with how they turned out, and now to get them mailed; but here's the "sneak peak" I shared on the group - I'll share the whole project after they have been received!

Ice Cream Theme
ATC Swap
Sneak Peak

Paint Chip Theme
Tag Swap
Sneak Peak

And, while I was at our craft place, I also started filling "goodie bags" for the upcoming Puppy Crop.  We have some time yet, but it's better to be ahead of the game!!

I am Reading
I picked up several old issues of "Angels on Earth" at church and have just finished reading them.  I am now reading the current issue of Guideposts magazine.

Once I've finished the magazine, I'll go back to the second book in the "Sunrise" series by Karen Kingsbury.

I am Hoping
Everything works out as we are planning for my daughter and I to attend my granddaughter's wedding in September.  So far, I haven't mentioned anything to my husband...reasons I won't share; but some may be aware of the issues.

I am excited, but anxious - as in breaking the news to my husband!  But, so far, we are still planning to go.

I am Learning
Every day, I learn a little more; or at least, realize a few more things that I can do to make things a little calmer around here.

As the above quote says, it's a "constant learning experience."

In My Kitchen
Chicken is thawing for dinner; I think I'll use bar-b-que sauce and bake it.  Not sure what sides I'll make with it...

But, I'm already getting hungry!

I have gained 10 pounds since my last doctor's visit; I really need to lose that plus more!  So, I'm trying hard to eat better...Grocery shopping this week should be a real fun adventure!

Board Room

Found on Pinterest
Shared by Craftster

I came across this sample while searching Pinterest for an idea for the Paint Chip swap.  I have the perfect person to create this for, actually two people!  But, it may take a long time to get it finished!


Shared Quote

Found on Pinterest
Shared by Deseret News

I used this quote on my post for Karen's Tuesday @ Ten link-up; the word for last week, ending tonight, is Dream.  Check it out here.

And, check out Karen's blog here.

A Moment From My Day
I took a break to have a salad for lunch; relaxed on the couch for about 30 minutes...

Guess who joined me?

Midnight is enjoying my lap

Closing Notes
That concludes this week's Simple Woman's Daybook...I didn't get one posted the last two weeks and am happy to have finished today!

Join me again next week - hopefully!








Tuesday @ Ten - DREAM





It is time to link up with Karen for Tuesday @ Ten; I love connecting with others through our writing ... but, unfortunately, ran out of time to write on the word "LOVE".

And, here I am, once again, writing this week's post at the last minute, or almost!  But ... well, here I am!



This week's prompt is - Dream


Though I felt last week's word was an easy one to write ... I didn't!

And, this week's word kept running in and out of my mind all week.  So, here I am to write ...

I had a dream!

Nothing as life changing or earth-shattering as Martin Luther King's dream; he has been remembered many years after his famous speech.


But, I had a dream!


My dream was to work until I couldn't work any longer.

My dream was to save my pension or 401(k) so we could enjoy our retirement together, when that day came for us both.

After my husband retired, we took vacations, paid off some of our debts, helped finance our daughter's education; but I was still working.

And, when we were having issues with our house or cars, we used some of his "retirement" money for repairs and other expenses; but I was still working.

So, when I lost my job at almost 60 years old, we had no savings and none of my husband's retirement funds to help us out.  We ended up using the small amount that I had accumulated for living expenses while I was out of work.  But, we made it!

And, when I was approved for disability, everything seemed to be working out for us.

And, I still had a dream!

I dreamed that our retirement years would be full of travel and fun and adventures and being with family and connecting with family and friends we hadn't seen in a long time.

I dreamed we would enjoy our retirement life - together!

Yes, I had a dream ...

But, that dream was not to be.

Well, at least not as I had dreamed it would be!

Found on Pinterest
Shared by InstaGram

That's right!  My dream did not match my bank account!

But, with faith in God, we carry on with our lives.

And, though I may not have the money to do all of the things I thought I wanted to do...

I do all of the things that I enjoy doing!

Most of the time, it's with my family or my friends without my husband; though he joins us when we have any family gatherings for special occasions, or just to hang out together.

But, I really am enjoying my retirement; I really am living my dream!!


Martin Luther King had a dream; though his dream may not have come to be exactly what he wanted, he still had a dream and still believed in that dream.


And though my dreams for retirement didn't quite turn out as I wanted...

I still have a dream!




In fact, if my dreams don't have an expiration date, as this quote says...

I can continue to dream about the things I want to do; and who knows, perhaps my dreams will come true!!


So, what is your dream?  Share it if you'd like!!

And, that ends last week's Tuesday @ Ten...just in time to learn the prompt for this week!!