Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tuesday @ Ten - THANKFUL

Today I am joining my friend, Karen Beth, for Tuesday @ Ten.

This link-up, writing from a prompted word or phrase, is one of my sure to check out the others' posts, and link your own!

Today's word is:  THANKFUL

This is the time of year when we look more closely at the things we are thankful for...yet, should we not be thankful every day of the year, not just at certain times?

The answer, of course, is a BIG YES!

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Looking back on the past few days, there are so many things I can be thankful for...

Family - the ones we get to spend a lot of time with; and the ones we look forward to seeing for special occasions; 

Friends - those I have met and see often (or not so often), and those I have never met, but have such a connection with that it seems as if we've known each other for ages!

Sharing our Resources with those in need, in whatever ways we can find to do so;

Sharing a Holiday Meal with others who would have been alone;

Waking up each morning to a new day;

Having a place to live, plenty of food, and a way to get around;

Hugs and Kisses from the Grandkids - and the "kids";

Gifts from Friends (my Elfster Sister knows me sooooo well; wonder who she is?!)...

Yes, there are so many things to be thankful for!

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Short and sweet... this is my Thankful post for this holiday season, and for this week's Tuesday @ Ten!

Blessings to you all...

And, being aware of so many that may not feel thankful during the holidays, may God bring you a little brightness to make your days just a bit better.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook - November 23, 2015

Linking up with

November 23, 2015

Outside My Window:  Breezy, clear blue sky, and temperatures in the 40's...YES!  I said..."in the 40's!"  So glad it is cooling down around here!  I need to get my summery shirts put away and get out the wintry ones...YES!

I am Hearing:  The TV, of course!  Can't tell what is on, but it is all chatter, chatter, chatter...probably some morning talk show that is not clearing my brain yet!

I am Thinking About:  What I need to get done today, this week.

I am Thankful for:  My family and friends; church family and friends; crafting family and friends; and to God for them all!

I am Praying for:  Continued patience and understanding; to be able to keep my mouth shut when I am provoked, so I don't "re-act" to the words that come to my ears from my husband.

I am Wearing:  A pair of pj's - black pants and a black top with minions - there are eight black, gray and white ones and one colorful one with the words "One in a Minion".  I bought these pj's for our last Puppy Crop because the theme was "Minions" with the phrase "Our Volunteers are One in a Minion."

Minion Display at my Work Table

Retreat Layout
{almost completed}

I am Creating:  I promised photos of the projects I have recently completed...and here they are...

Cards made at Retreat;
Left two - challenge
Right one - make 'n take

My Page
for Page Swap
(20 of same page made!)

"Thankful" Theme Crop
November 21st

Now, I have a Christmas gift to finish; and my goal for next year is to get projects done so I can include them in a few craft shows that usually come up in the Fall.

I am Going:  To a doctor's appointment {actually, it's for a "mammo" that I always dread; yet, I know it is one of those necessary things in life!}

I may also stop by a store (or two) while I am out by myself...still looking for something to complete the above-mentioned Christmas gift!

I am Wondering:  If my term as chair of our Deacons has come to an end?!  I was willing to continue; but I think my term is up...and that will actually be a good thing for my "over-whelming" and busy schedule, and I can slow down a bit and concentrate on getting some things done - around the house cleaning and organizing; craft projects done...that kind of thing!

I am Reading:  The sequel to the last book I finished - "Beautiful Lies" by Lisa Unger.  Yes, I did go by the used book store and bought "Sliver of Truth" so I could read it...this is a "can't put it down" kind of read!

I am Excited for:  The holidays!  First, gathering at my daughter's home for Thanksgiving with both of my daughters and their families, as well as a close family friend and her son and father.  And son and granddaughter will be with us for Christmas!

I am Learning:  Not only do I need to ask for patience and understanding with my husband, I need to learn to not provoke him; and to not to let him provoke me!

In My Kitchen:  Need to pull something out to cook for dinner...leftovers will come after Thanksgiving!

{We ended up opening cans - potato soup for me; chili for him...just what I needed!}

I am Pondering:  The story of Hannah - whose name means "Grace" - and her life as one of two wives, the one who could not conceive and was provoked by the other wife who had several children.  Hannah was blessed by God, giving birth to Samuel.

A Scripture Thought:  Psalm 18:6 has come up in my morning devotions, and also on blog or facebook posts I've seen in the past couple of days...

"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.  From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ear."

God is assuring me that He has not forsaken me!

A Quote:  "Even if we cannot seem to walk that mile in someone else's shoes, we are still capable of standing beside them to be a supporter until the day they learn to smile again" - Hannah Brencher, Lewy Body Dementia Association site found here.

And another Simple Woman's Daybook is completed!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Five Minute Friday - DWELL

I am linking up with Kate for Five Minute Friday; check out her blog Heading Home  to link up or read other posts.  I haven't done an FMF post since we ended the "write31days" in has gotten in the way in a whirlwind of activity; and the holidays are just now starting ...

{although, with Halloween comes also my oldest grandson's birthday the next day, and my daughter's birthday on the 12th of November; so continuing to be busy even before the "other" holidays!}

So, here I am again, writing on tonight's word:


Dwell - v. to live
Dwell on - v. to refer to at length (to a subject).

The place where I currently dwell is a two-bedroom/two-bathroom apartment; we are in the building near the back of the complex, at the back of our building, overlooking the back of a car dealership.  It is rather quiet back here, except for the occasional alarm sounding on one of the cars beyond the fence between our building and the dealership.

Our complex is surrounded by trees and a creek that runs throughout.  It is a (fairly) quiet place to dwell...

Even so, there are times when I am weak and sad and depressed and...well, just "out of sorts".  And in these moments, I dwell on what could have been; what would life be like if...

I know these types of "dwellings" are not good for me.  I should take my life for what it is, at this time and this place, because I know that God has me here for a reason!

Yet, that reason is so hard to find!  That "purpose" is getting harder and harder to find...

And, when I dwell on my circumstances too much, I do become weak and sad and depressed and..."out of sorts".

So, I know the thing for me to do is not dwell on those things!  Live with them; but don't dwell on them!

I know, easier said than done!

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So, today is barely beginning; but as the day goes on...and is over, I need to {try} and "let it go"...

{If I were to add a video clip here, it would be the "Frozen" version of "Let it Go"; but I will let that one go, too!  I am sure everyone will be happy I chose not to use that song - though I really do love the music from "Frozen"!}

So, as I end my Five Minute Friday post for this week, remember these verses from Ephesians (another "easier said than done" quote):

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tuesday @ Ten - IMAGINE

Today I am joining my friend, Karen Beth, for Tuesday @ Ten.

This link-up, writing from a prompted word or phrase, is one of my sure to check out the others' posts, and link your own!

Today's word is:  IMAGINE

It is hard to imagine what life will be like in five years; or even in five months!

Everyday goes by in rapid motion; everyday brings new challenges, new worries, uncertainties for the days ahead.

I know I don't need to worry or be uncertain about what lies ahead; I know that God has my future in His hands...

Matthew 6:30-33 in the Message Bible says:

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers -- most of which are never even seen -- don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?  What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving.  People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.  Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.  Don't worry about missing out.  You'll find all your everyday human concerns are met."


It is still hard to imagine...

What will life be like in five years; or even five months?

Will I still be living in the same apartment?  Or, will we have moved on...or, will I have moved on to another place?

How will my husband's health be?  How will my health be in the months and years ahead?

I can't imagine five years; I can't imagine even the next few hours, or anything in the future...

Using the scripture from Matthew 6, Kristen Strong, in her book "Girl Meets Change - Truths to Carry You through Life's Transitions", says:

"God doesn't want us to worry about the tomorrows of change because he wants us to see all the ways he's taking care of us today.  He wants us to look in the rearview mirror and remember all the ways he's taken care of us in the past.  And he wants us to have eyes of faith to believe that he will care for us tomorrow too."

Although I know in my heart what lies ahead will be beautiful; I also know it is unimaginable!

These words from the song, "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me, help me look to the future with the eyes of one who "can only imagine" what it will be like!

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side.

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me.

I can only imagine,
I can only imagine.

Surrounded by Your glory,
what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for You Jesus,
or in awe of You be still?
Will I stand in Your presence,
or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah,
Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine,
I can only imagine.

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son.

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever,
Forever worship You.

I can only imagine,
I can only imagine.

And, listen with your eyes closed; meditate on the promise of that day when we stand in His presence...

What will we do?  Dance in His presence?  Bow in silent reverence?  Stand in awe?

I may not be able to imagine my life five years, or even five months, from now; but I do know "he will care for us tomorrow", just as he cared for me in my past!

And I can imagine that whatever my life is like in five years or months, it will be good!

I Can Only Imagine!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Caregiving is a Gift {Guest Post for Barbie Swihart}

The past few months I have been searching for the gifts that God blesses us with each and every day.  It has been amazing to intentionally look - and find - God's gifts...right in front of us!

Thanks to Ann Voskamp and her book, "1000 Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" , I have been following this practice of searching for God's gifts every day for eight months.  Nothing has surprised me - 

or has it?

I am honored to have been invited to Guest Post on Barbie Swihart's blog; read the entire post here ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook - November 16, 2015

Linking up with

November 16, 2015

Outside My Window:  The temperature today, this morning, was in the high 70's; a much better feeling of "fall" in this area!

I am Hearing:  News?  Yes, this is true, even though it is almost 6:00 husband has to "catch up" on the news whenever it's on TV.  Nothing new!

I am Thinking About:  The next project I want to work on...writing {I did not post any of my "Gifts Found in October" during the 31 days we were writing.}; or crafting {so much I could be doing}.

I am Thankful for:  My family and friends who love me for the "me" that I am!

I am Praying for:  The person that we are considering as an Interim Minister to be with us for three to six months as we prepare to search for a permanent Senior Minister.

I am Wearing:  Jeans and a pink shirt, and my crocs fave comfy old dirty crocs that are my usual for "around the house" wear! 

I am Creating:  Working hard this week to finish the 20 Travel themed layouts that are due this Friday or Saturday for a page swap...that is 20 of the same layout!  They will be done!

I am Going:  No place today; tomorrow is payday which means "shopping" day!

I am Wondering:  What meals I want to fix in the next few weeks, hoping the weather turns cooler so we can have things like beef stew, chili, soup, etc.

I am Reading:  Just finished reading "Beautiful Lies" by Lisa Under; and discovered there is a sequel to it!  Guess I need to visit the used book store again to find the next book and start reading it before I forget this one!

I am Excited for:  Thanksgiving next week!  We will gather at my daughter's home with both daughters and their families; a friend of my oldest daughter and her son, as well as her father; and my youngest daughter's mother-in-law.  We will have a wonderful day of thankfulness and togetherness!

I am Learning:  Still learning...and not a very good be patient with my husband!

In My Kitchen:  A mojo-flavored rotisserie chicken my husband bought for dinner; I need to cook some sides to go with it.

I am Pondering:  Change and what it has been like in my life.  Reading "Girl Meets Change - Truths to Carry You through Life's Transitions" by Kristen Strong, following Barbie Swihart's book study on her blog My Freshly Brewed Life.

A Scripture Thought:  Psalm 95:2-3  "Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the Lord is the great King above all gods."

A Quote:  From the book, "Girl Meets Change" by Kristen Strong:  "...hope is still there, even when we can't see it.  It waits quietly, easily overlooked next to attention-seeking change.  It's there because God is there, reminding our hearts of this truth:  'When you're tempted to despair about this change, just reorient your heart's location to me because I never, ever change.' "

And another Simple Woman's Daybook is completed!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Random Journal Day - November 6, 2015

{Well, the thing about "scheduling" a post gotta check it to make sure it is actually "scheduled"!!  So, here it is Sunday night - I've been gone since Friday morning, which did not include checking my blog before leaving.  So, I just discovered this did not post...

Well, better late than never!!}

One of my favorite bloggers to follow is Dawn, who blogs at  On the first Friday of each month, Dawn hosts Random Journal Daywhere fellow journalers share an entry from one of their journals...

Whether we share an entry from yesterday, or last month, or even one from several years ago...we just share what's on our hearts or in our journals!

Today I want to share an entry from March 2008, when I was able to "check off an item from my bucket list":

Checking My List - March 9, 2008

"Today I realized one of my long-time dreams: to see Anne Murray in concert!!"

{Anne Murray has been my favorite female singer for many many years!  Her beautiful alto voice captivates my "romantic" side; and pulls out the emotions that may be buried deeply withinl!}

"A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail notification from Ticketmaster with the dates of various artists to be in Jacksonville - one of which was Anne Murray!  I decided this was the time to realize what I have been wanting to do - go see her in concert!

"I work hard and feel I deserve to do a few things I want to do - within reason, of course...and this was within reason!"

{I purchased two tickets and gave first choice to my husband to attend the concert with me; he shocked me by actually wanting to go!}

"And, I was not disappointed (in the concert!) - she gave a wonderful performance; included dialogue with the audience in reading some e-mails she has received; invited the audience to "sing along" with our favorites; and also took requests from the audience.

"After a short break (during which she changed clothes!), she continued singing - and invited her daughter, Dawn, to come on stage to sing a couple of duets with her.  Dawn also sang one of her own originals.

"As Dawn left the stage, her mother "whispered" that Dawn would be signing her CD after the concert; unfortunately, Anne did not.

"Of course, Anne sang my favorite, "You Needed Me" - among many other favorites!!"

From YouTube

Now, I'm really not sure why I love this song so much...listening to the song and following the lyrics, it can be taken a couple of different ways...

Just take a moment to read through the lyrics to this beautiful song; perhaps as you listen to Anne singing on the YouTube video above; and I am sure you'll see what I mean about the lyrics!

You Needed Me

I cried a tear, you wiped it dry
I was confused, you cleared my mind
I sold my soul, you bought it back for me
And held me up and gave me dignity
Somehow you needed me.

You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me.

And I can't believe it's you I can't believe it's true
I needed you and you were there
And I'll never leave, why should I leave, I'd be a fool
'Cause I finally found someone who really cares.

You held my hand when it was cold
When I was lost, you took me home
You gave me hope when I was at the end
And turned my lies back into truth again
You even called me friend.

You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me
You needed me, you needed me.

Writer(s): Randy Goodrum
Copyright: Miranda Millsap D/B/a Ironside Music,
Chappell & Co. Inc., Ironside Music

And now, back to the journal entry:

"...of course I bought two autographed CD's during the break (an oldie and a newbie); and after the concert, also bought Dawn's CD.  I also stood in line to have Dawn's CD autographed; and spoke to her briefly while she signed.  Dawn told me she was 24 years old and that this was the first time for her to be in concert with her mother!  What a way to jump-start her career!

"Speaking of careers, one of the e-mails Anne read (during the concert) asked if she would ever go back to teaching - after 41 years and a wonderful singing career, why would she?!  But, it was interesting to hear she had once been a teacher - especially since I have a daughter that is also musical and a teacher!

"Well, I am so excited to have realized one more of my:

'Thing I want to do' or 'Now that I am 50+, these are some things I want to do - before I can't!

"My 'bucket list' (or things I want to do before I 'kick the bucket')...

"But that is not what I call it!  Mine is more of a 'Now that I am 50+...' list!"

As for those lyrics -  when I wrote today's post, and listened to them again, some of the words touched me in a completely different place...

Not in the "you needed me" or "I needed you";

but, in the "I need HIM"...the One who "...gave me strength to stand alone again, to face the world out on my own again"; and the One who "...even called me friend"...

Yeah!  That One!

And that, my friends, ends this month's Random Journal Day entry!  If you want to read more of my "Bucket List" (or whatever it's called!), click here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tuesday @ Ten - CHANGE

Today I am joining my friend, Karen Beth, for Tuesday @ Ten.

This link-up, writing from a prompted word or phrase, is one of my sure to check out the others' posts, and link your own!

Today's word is:  CHANGE


Simple as that!  I do not like change...who does?

Change means, well...that things are gonna change!  That things will not be the same anymore.

Is change a good thing?  Sometimes change can feel like the worst possible thing that could happen!

For instance, back in September 2010, I was "let go" from a job I had, at one time, really loved; but was becoming more and more stressful for me.

I was devastated!  What was an "almost 60 year old" woman going to do?!

Well, life didn't end; it just changed!  And now, five years later, I can see how that change was a good one!

This is what I learned:

1)  I could find a job at 60 years old; I used my skill at computers and my helpful attitude to assist people in applying for food stamps while working a temporary job with the State of Florida; and I listened to their stories, as we sat side by side at the computer.
2)  I found blessings I had forgotten about in family and friends who provided gift cards for food and gas; who brought food and sent cards; who listened as I cried and wondered what the future held.  I knew they cared; I was blessed!
3)  I used my limited knowledge of filing taxes to work in a tax office, where I worked for four seasons.
4)  Once my health determined the need to be hospitalized, file for disability, and stop working...I learned that my flexible time was what I wanted needed, so I could spend more time with my family and friends.
5)  I was able to work on my crafting - scrapbooking - more often; and eventually, my writing...

So, yes!  I think I know that change is good...

Afterall ...

Found on Pinterest

Look at the struggles and struggles and struggles to come out of its' "shell", to unfold its' beautiful wings...

And fly away!  From cocoon to butterfly!

Change...beautiful change!

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"Happiness, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."  - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Back in 2005, while on my first cruise, I visited the Butterfly Gardens in Key West, FL.  The videographer (from the cruise) was following our group, and I asked him to take a photo of me sitting in the "butterfly" chair (pictured below).

Barbara at Butterfly Garden
Key West, Florida


As I was sitting quietly in that chair, a beautiful blue butterfly landed on me.  Unfortunately, the videographer was unable to capture the butterfly in the photo...but he did capture it in the film!

Remember the butterfly!

Change...beautiful change!