Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gifts Found in July 2015 - Part 2

Continuing with "One Thousand Gifts" - check out Part 1 of "Gifts Found in July 2015"...

July 8th
3 Gifts Water

1.  The Gift of Refreshing Waters - Nothing refreshes better than a nice hot shower - water flowing over the achy shoulders and back, cleansing the body and refreshing the soul!

2.  The Gift of Reflection - Washing dishes - by hand - water running into the sudsy soap...

A time of "mindless" work; a time of reflection; whatever comes to mind...

Just letting my thoughts wander - and reflect - much as a reflection seen in the water when the suds clear...

3.  The Gift of the Ocean - I live near the ocean - well, about a 45 minute drive to get to a decent beach -

And, I am not really a "beach babe".

But, the sound of the ocean...

"...the gentle rhythm of the waves" (words from the Upper Room devotion for today)

...helps to calm me; helps me to realize how vast the ocean vast God's love is!

July 9th
A Gift of Rhythm, Rhyme, Reason

The Gift of Dance - I love dance, and music!  The swaying back and forth, to the music - whether it's in my head or is audible to all around...

The rhythm of the waves also are music and dance - flowing in and out; back and forth; up and down...

I am not a dancer - but sure love to watch it!  And, love to see the ocean's rhythmic moves!

And I will Dance to the Rhythm of the Universe!

July 10th
3 Gifts in Weakness

1.  The Gift of Strength - When I am weak, He is strong; I can depend on God's strength to get me through any situation -

2.  The Gift of Health - When I am sick - allergies, sinus infection, bronchitas - I ache all over; my mood is horrible; I get frustrated and shows all over!

God, I thank you for good health, and pray for over-all healing so I can be the person I should be for you...

3.  The Gift of Tears - Tears don't mean one is weak!  Washington Irving said,

Found on Pinterest

"Tears - they speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues."

July 11th
3 Gifts in Jars

1.  The Gift of Rest - Before I lay down to sleep, I opened my jar of Vick's Vapo-Rub and rubbed some around my nose - hoping it would help open my sinuses so I could rest - and feel better.

It worked!

2.  The Gift of Comfort - When I am sick, or upset, I want comfort - and food - comfort food!

A big bowl of ice cream; macaroni and cheese; a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly - spread on slices of toasted bread!

At least it helps the tummy feel better - perhaps, the whole me, too!

3.  The Gift of Blessings  - Counting my blessings - joys - used to involve dropping coins into a container...not necessarily a jar; more of a decorated box or other type of container.  These coins were added up, along with other "bills" and given to the "Blessing Box Fund" at our Christian Women's Fellowship meeting.

My "little" added to everyone else's adds up to "more"!

July 12th
A Gift of Life, Growth, Decline

The Gift of Me! - Yes...I am God's Gift; I am the only me there is...

My parents gave me life; they raised me in a Christian home, and were there to over-see my growth: physically, mentally, spiritually. And for nearly 64 years, I have continued my growth in those ways... 

Bringing me to the now; that phase of my life where health seems to decline; memory isn't so sharp; my step isn't as quick or sure; and my true hair color certainly isn't brown, or red, or even black!

God has seen me from the beginning of my the "now" of my life!

Thank you, God, that you have walked beside me all the way - and continue to do so 'til you bring me home.

July 13th
3 Gifts Curled

1.  The Gift of Safety - When a storm is headed our way, our cat senses it, and mews to get to her "safe place" - our bedroom walk-in closet!  There she curls up in the far corner of the closet where she is safe to wait out the storm.

When the storms of life get too close, I don't have a "safe place" that I can curl up in - but I do have a loving God whose arms surround me with love and comfort while I wait out the storm.

2.  The Gift of Sleep - There are many nights I have trouble sleeping - due to allergies, coughing, restroom "breaks" ...

It would be awesome if this worked:

"Can I curl up in Your arms and let the beat of Your heart soothe me to sleep?  Because that sounds absolutely lovely." 

Found on Pinterest
Shared by

3.  The Gift of God - God, I thank you for...YOU!  Your BIGNESS, and Your smallness!  Just enough to go around to all of us!  Just right for each of us!

July 14th
3 Gifts Yellow

1.  The Gift of Direction - Yellow lights beckon us to "slow down"; a directional sign points us in the right direction...

God's Word beckons us to "slow down" - "Be still."  And His Word points us in the right direction.

2.  The Gift of Joy - Not sure what this commercial is advertising - I think some kind of vitamin or something; but the JOY of it caught my attention...

Each person that is highlighted is wearing bright yellow clothing, while others around are in darker, gloomier clothing!  Those in yellow are dancing and singing:  "It's a great big beautiful day to be alive!"

What if we all did just that?!

3.  The Gift of Rest - (This "word" or gift may be over-used; but for one who doesn't slow down until forced to...well, this is yet another gift of rest!)

So, here I sit in my yellow gown with little blue and red flowers; it's after 11 pm and I am tired from little sleep the past few days.  But, I can't settle down to rest without coughing.  I may as well stay up 'til midnight now so I can take another dose of cough medicine and tylenol...

Praying I rest well!  And, if I don't rest well, I know that eventually this will pass - and I'll feel better!

Thank you, God, for a much-needed rest - He knows what is best, even if it means a "slow down" so I can rest! 

Continued in "Gifts Found in July - Part 3".

Simple Woman's Daybook - July 27, 2015

Linking up with

Well, linking up with Peggy again this week; but it's Tuesday ... after an awesome weekend, needed a day to get back into the "routine" - 

And ended up going off with my daughter for awhile!

But, here goes:
For Today:
July 27, 2015

Outside My Window:  The sun is shining and it is already 85 degrees at nearly 11 am; but it is a beautiful day!

I am Hearing:  The whirring of the ceiling fan; all is quiet inside and outside - so far!

I am Thinking:  How blessed I am to have such a loving family and a bunch of friends who love me, too!

I am Thankful:  For those above family and friends!

I am Praying for:  A friend undergoing chemo for cancer; a friend who just had hip replacement surgery; other friends who are undergoing testing, or have illnesses, or are mourning the passing of loved ones (including pets).  I am praying for my church - our organist/choir director retired in June; and our minister will be retiring in August.

I am Wearing:  Floral pajamas!!  Very comfy!!

I am Creating:  I was very productive this weekend:

  • completed titles on two layouts;
  • finished my die-cut swap - a gator with sunglasses and flip flops;

  • completed two layouts of my granddaughter - "Simply Gorgeous" and "Baby Dolls";

  • completed a layout of my (now2-year old) grandson - "Beach";

  • completed a mosaic title page for a SC/NC Trip in 2008;

  • stamped, cut, and completed several Prima dolls (paper dolls!).

All of the above in addition to playing a few games; visiting with friends; going out to eat twice; and just sitting at my table contemplating what to do next!

It was a FUN weekend!

I am Going:  Nowhere today; need to get my craft stuff put away and do some laundry!  (Sounds like my typical Monday-morning post, but it's Tuesday!!).

I am Wondering:  If I really should continue to do taxes, starting classes this fall and working January - April...

I pondered this last year; and was so free of stress when I decided NOT to do it!!

I am Reading:  "Old-Fashioned" by Rene Gutteridge; it is "a novelization of the motion picture/screenplay by Rik Swartzwelder".  I am enjoying the story and know that it will be passed on to my granddaughter (almost 18) or my grandson (almost 16)...very appropriate for a young person making decisions about dating and what relationships should be, as Christian young people!

I am Excited That:  I get to see all four of my grandchildren this week!  Haven't seen them in a couple of weeks due to being sick...I did see my seven year old grandson yesterday when I went to lunch and shopping with him and my daughter.

I am Learning to:  Understand how my husband must be thinking in the "quirky" things he has taken me time to figure it out; and thanks to my daughters, I am able to put some sense to it (some sense; but not completely!)

In My Kitchen:  Clean dishes in the dishwasher; a couple of dirty dishes; chicken thawing for dinner - Parmesan Chicken.

Around the House:  As usual after a weekend away, all of my crafting stuff is sitting around, waiting to be put away some place in my craft room (which is very cluttered and in major need of organizing - just need more storage shelves to really get it organized!).

I am Pondering:  God's plan for the rest of my life; I will be 64 years old (young?!) in just a few weeks and feel so old and useless (sometimes)!

A Favorite Quote for Today:  This one is written in a notebook I keep of quotes I want to remember; and I don't have any idea where it came from -

"I don't have to be perfect.  All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life.  It's a trip more wonderful than I could have imagined."

And, these words should help in my "pondering" above!

A Fave Scripture Thought:  From my devotion this morning -

"I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.  You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence."   Psalm 139:2b, 4 The Message Bible

And, that, my friends, is my Simple Woman's Daybook post for this week!  Can't wait to read yours!!

Friday, July 24, 2015


Time for this week's Tuesday @ Ten, where we have a week to write on the prompt that Karen provides for us...

So, this week's prompt is:

I Find Faith in...

And.  Just what IS faith?

So.  What does that mean?

So.  If faith is "the indefinable certainty of God behind everything..."

Then.  I find faith in the smile of my little granddaughter;

the giggles of my youngest grandson;

the mischievous little four-year old;

the "super hero" seven-year old;

and the "growing up-too-quickly teenagers"...

The faith I have in our future; in their future!

I find faith in the decisions my adult children make - even if they don't always seem like the best decision; for them, it usually is!

I find faith in the words that God gives me to share with others on my blog; words that I pray inspire and encourage others, and words that I pray lift up God and His awesomeness.

I find faith in the beauty of a sunset or a sunrise;

or in the magnificent sky, black with a thunderstorm headed our way.

Found on Pinterest

I find faith in knowing that when I cry out to God - which I do often! - He will be there to hear my pleas.  He will answer those pleas; but not always the way I want.

I find faith in knowing...

...God does have a plan for me!  He knows the journey I have been on for these sixty-some-odd years!  And, He knows where it will lead me.

I find faith in knowing - He is there; I need not be afraid or discouraged...

Found on Pinterest

And, my faith will stand...

This is what I find faith in...

How about you?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook - July 20, 2015

Linking up with

Another Monday; another link-up with The Simple Woman's Daybook!  Check out Peggy's post and all the others this week...

For Today:
July 20, 2015

Outside My Window
A little lightning;
a lot of thunder,
and very close!
A little rain,
slowly moving on.

I am Hearing


I am Thinking

I have so much to do...
getting ready for another retreat!

I am Thankful

For my daughters;
No explanation needed!

Cathy and a new "do"

Melissa and a "new" hat

I am Praying for
My friend,
who is scheduled for
hip replacement surgery

I am Wearing

Gray shorts;
blue, gray and white stripped shirt;
and bare feet.

I am Creating

Finished the projects I needed
for the retreat next weekend.
to organize and get my stuff ready!!

I am Going

To the store to pick up
another prescription
the doctor called in...
hope this helps!

I am Wondering
Is it going to rain
all day today?
Will it continue
all week?

I am Reading
"To Kill a Mockingbird"
by Harper Lee
(almost finished!)

I am Hoping

To feel better,
so I can get ready for,
and enjoy,
next weekend...
out of town
for a retreat!

I am Excited That

It's RETREAT time!

I am Learning to

Listen to my body,
and rest...
when I am sick or tired.
I have learned - am learning -
not to over-do things!
There is a good reason
why I am "disabled".
This chronic cough and whatever,
I am over it!!
Enough is enough!

In My Kitchen

The usual mess!

Around the House

Another mess...
called "getting ready
for retreat."

I am Pondering

These words from my devotion
the other morning:

"But sometimes, in life's darker moments,
you may lose sight of these blessings,
and when you do,
it's easy to lose hope."

And, I wrote these words:

'Have I, God, lost sight of your blessings?
Have I lost sight of what you have so graciously given -
Your own Son who paid with His life...
for me; and you!
So I (we) could have eternal life!
What a wonderful blessing...
Thank you, God, for your priceless gift...
may I show you how grateful I am to you.'

A Favorite Quote for Today

Found on Pinterest
Shared by

Well, that is all for this week's Simple Woman's Daybook; join me again next Monday...

Now, for my "surprise":

Today I received a "surprise" in the mail - well, not really a "surprise" because I was expecting it to arrive!

Check out Peggy's post from July, where she announced the winner of a give-away she sponsored:  July 13th Edition 

As the winner of that Freeset give-away...I would like to say a heart-felt "THANK YOU" to Peggy.

Make sure you go to the Freeset site and check them out....  I love this organization (and others like it) that is a "fair trade" company that offers employment for women trapped in Kolkata's sex trade (or other situations).

Here are my "goodies":

A large bag,
a key chain
(the black thing
on the "orange-y bag),
and a smaller bag.

Thanks again, Peggy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Today has not been a very good day for me;

As a "caregiver", we must be "ON" at all times.  Even if we are sick, we must still be "ON" matter how bad we may feel.

That is where I am:  my allergies are worse than I can remember them being; my eyes are so dry and itchy and swollen, it is hard to concentrate on reading (and writing); and this coughing has me aching all over...

But, I must still continue as if nothing was wrong!

So, when I read Facebook this morning, and read Karen's prompt for today's Tuesday @ Ten, the words were there for me to share...

And, I furiously wrote them in my journal!  I just wasn't sure if I could share what I was thinking on a "public" blog post!!

But, I was able to make something out of the words that I wrote; and here is this week's prompt for Tuesday @ Ten:

If I Could Change Anything...

So, yeah, if I could change anything, I'd love to have somebody that knows me; understands me; loves me; will take care of me when I am sick - or hurt, or upset!

Someone who sympathizes with my pain or allergies or bronchitas, or whatever!

Who doesn't think it's "all about him"...thinks he is the center of everything!

Someone who knows how to talk to and with me; who knows how to communicate; not just be the only one talking, and not listening if anyone else does try to speak.

Someone who knows how to empathize, sympathize...who can be in a relationship with another and not think everything revolves around only him!

OK, so now I've said it!  I would change HIM!

But...that is not going to happen!  He is the person he is...and the one I married - just as I am the person I am!

I cannot change him; but I can change me - or, how I react to him...

And, when I really stop and think about it - talk to God about it - I do have someone who knows and understands me; loves me; will take care of me; he will sympathize and empathize; and communicate with me...

I thank my Heavenly Father for being all of these things and so much more!!  I thank Him for listening when I cry out to him...for lighting my pathway when the way is dark.  For He is the one who cares for and loves me so much more than I could ever imagine -

And, He helps me to be the person I should be in my caring for a seemingly ungrateful spouse.  I realize my husband cannot help some of the things he does; I also feel he can...

But, with my Heavenly Father guiding my way...

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" -

Even change myself when needed!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook - July 13, 2015

Linking up with

Time for another link-up with The Simple Woman's Daybook!  Be sure to check out Peggy's post and all the others this week...

For Today:
July 13, 2015

Outside My Window
The temperature is 97 degrees;
it is partly cloudy,
which means it may rain...
somewhere in Jacksonville,
sometime today!

I am Hearing
"Judging Amy"
on UP Channel...
before that, I watched
two episodes of
"Touched by an Angel"...
both of which I have seen before;
and I bawled as hard this time
as I did the first time (or two)
that I watched them!

I am Thinking
About my family and friends...
and how lucky I am -
how blessed I am -
that they are in my life!

I am Thankful
For God's blessings...
for my family and friends;
for online friends,
most of whom I have never met;
for the many Gifts He has blessed me with.

I am Praying for
My friend who is beginning his
chemo-therapy "journey"
on his birthday.

I am Wearing
Gray light-weight sweat pants;
black and white stripped night shirt...
I dressed earlier to go to the doctor;
then changed into my comfy clothes
so I could rest after taking my meds!

I am Creating
Tried working on a project Friday...
it would not do what I wanted it to do!
But, then again...
I wasn't feeling well either!

I am Going
No place else today!
Scheduled to go to breakfast
with my husband, in the morning,
for his high school alumni
monthly breakfast;
hoping I feel better by morning!

I am Wondering
How long this "crud" will last?!

I am Reading
"To Kill a Mockingbird"
by Harper Lee
(I keep on reading
because it is a classic;
but am really put-off
by that "certain" word
that I hate!)

I am Hoping
To go to the breakfast in the morning!

I am Excited That
We will all be together on Wednesday
to celebrate another birthday...
my grandson will be seven years old!

I am Learning to
Rest when my body says
I need to rest!

In My Kitchen
Dirty dishes;
and a dish washer full, too...
taking care of it later!

Around the House
I actually started cleaning,
before I got sick!

I am Pondering
God's path for my life...

A Favorite Quote for Today

Found on Pinterest
Shared by

A Favorite Scripture Thought
"Seek the Lord and his strength,
seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles..."
Psalm 105:4-5 NRSV

One of My Fave Things

"I am One"

Birthday Fun!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Gifts Found in July 2015 - Part 1

July starts my 4th month counting "gifts" with Ann Voskamp's book, "One Thousand Gifts"...

The first three months opened my eyes to the many gifts God gives us every day -

And they are right in front of us/me...

So, I continue with another month; after finding 238 gifts (and more!) the first three months, I am excited to find what God has in store for me in July!

July 1st
3 Gifts Loved

1.  The Gift of Surprises - Cathy (my daughter) handed me something, wrapped in a plastic bag...

A colorful turtle magnet from Daytona Beach, FL where they had recently spent a few days' vacation.

Photo by BJLondon

2.  The Gift of Family Time - Our original plans were to meet at the pool at our apartment; but Cathy wasn't feeling well...

So, we all went to her house to hang out - she was OK with that - but just wasn't "in to" the pool or outside - neither was I, for that matter!!

Spending the day with my two daughters and five grandkids is always great, wherever we spend it!

Always love spending time with family!

3.  The Gift of Flexibility - One thing about being retired is the flexibility of my time.  I can make or change plans from one moment to the next, if I choose to...

And I can also choose to do nothing, and just relax at home!

July 2nd
3 Gifts Read

1.  The Gift of Relaxing - Some weeks, I am busy every single day, with no "down time" or "me time"...

Other weeks I hardly have anything to do, and I relax or rest -

Or just be lazy!!

In the book, "Soothe" by Jim Brickman, he cautions us not to over-schedule our day; even in retirement, we can manage to over-schedule; he says...

"How do you know if you're over-scheduling yourself into a total stress ball?  According to research, the clearest indicator is that you're short-tempered".

Perhaps this may be why I get short-tempered, or defensive, or upset and frustrated...

Am I stressing because I'm over-doing things?!  Perhaps!

2.  The Gift of Encouragement - Reading the blogs of other people sometimes brings things to mind that I may not have known or thought of.

Even though I don't like "discussing" religion, politics, or how I feel about race issues or the gay/lesbian issues, I am open to read others' blogs and encourage them - as they encourage me.

Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions, without expecting that everyone will agree 100% with their views.  I don't expect my views to be what others' feel; but it is how I feel...

3.  The Gift of Inspiraiton - Well, my friend, who is being treated for cancer, has posted another inspiring message on Facebook!  He is so special, reaching out to others during this time in his life.

God has blessed him with the words - the heart - to share!

Thank you, God, for my with him during this time of so many changes; so many decisions to make.  Help him have the strength, wisdom, perseverance, whatever he needs, to face the days ahead.

July 3rd
A Gift in Faith, Family, Freedom

1.  The Gift of Faith, Family, Freedom - Not choosing just one of these amazing words!  I thank God for Faith...that though I have not seen God, I know he is there, right beside me - everyday!

And, I thank God for my family; all of my family - even though I do not see them everyday, they are my family and I am thankful for them...

Those who are no longer with us; and even those who may no longer be a part of the family due to separation or divorce.  In my heart, they are still part of my family.

And, then there is freedom!  So many things fall under this word "freedom" -

And I thank God for our freedom:  of speech; to gather as Christians (or Jews, or whatever!) and worship; to peacefully protest!  The freedom to choose whom we will marry...

But with freedom comes loss - so many Americans lost in wars that gave us our freedom.  God bless those who still do so; and hold closely those who lost their lives - for our freedom.

Thank you, God - for Faith; for Family; for Freedom!

July 4th
A Gift in Red, White and Blue

The Gift of Celebrating our Freedom - Using Ann's words for this 4th of July - because, well...her words say what I cannot put into words...

"What really unites this great land is more than a flag - It's an idea.  The idea that all peoples under heaven are the idea of a Great God."

And because she is an amazing young lady who does awesome work, here is another piece of art from Candy Waters (Autism Artist):

So, today as we celebrate our freedom, and the gift of God's love for us...

Let us remember - Our freedom is not free!

Thank you, God, for those who died so we could be free; and for your Son, who gave his life so we were free from our sins!

July 5th
3 Gifts of Persistence

{Persist - continue doing;
Persistence - refusal fo stop doing}

1.  The Gift of Writing - So many writers try and try and try to get their words published.  They persist - continually writing and sending their words to publishers - and in their persistence, eventually become a published author.

{Though my goal is not necessarily to be a published author, I persist in writing my blog, to share my story, my life and my journey with dementia's demands!}

2.  The Gift of Prayer - I use to think I wasn't getting it right - praying over and over and over, for peace, or patience or whatever I was needing...

Why did I have to keep asking for it?  Was I not praying right?

But, God knows our needs; He is always there to hear our prayers - and knowing He is there, always, I can continually ask for those needs.

I will persist!

3.  The Gift of Success - And, what is success, except the end of that which you have worked so hard to achieve!

So, remember:

July 6th
3 Gifts of Enthusiasm

1.  The Gift of Learning - Ask a four year old to help with a "big boy chore"...and he will do so with enthusiasm!

My grandson was a big help getting the table set for dinner, while MeMaw played with the little ones and Mom could finish cooking.

2.  The Gift of Work - "Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."  Ephesians 6:7

Maybe this was my problem when I was working - trying to work for (and please) people rather than God!

3.  The Gift of Creativity - "Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm."  Earl Nightingale

I am definately enthusiastic with my creative outlet - scrapbooking, card-making, and other fun crafts!

July 7th
A Gift of Challenge, Conflict, Change

The Gift of Compromise - In every relationship, there may be conflict at times.  It can be a real challenge to compromise our needs, thoughts, desires...for that of another's.

We must change our thoughts to one of compromise...

A shared need or desire; the thoughts of your mate (spouse, boy/girlfriend), even other relationships like parent/child, or siblings, must compromise at times...

It isn't always easy; but it may be necessary in a relationship.

Continued in Part 2...