Saturday, July 30, 2016

"Your Perfect Day" - Prompt 14/21

I admire Elisabeth Elliot - wife of Jim Elliot who was savagely killed along with others trying to witness to them.

For today's prompt, "Your Perfect Day", Dawn suggested a few quotes from Elisabeth Elliot as a jumping off board for our writing...

I will wait to title my post after I see where the writing leads; but have chosen this quote to get me started:

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Elisabeth Elliot said it about the life of faith; it is to be lived "one day at a time."

Back in the 70's and 80's, the sit com "One Day at a Time" portrayed the life of a divorced mother (Bonnie Frankin) raising her two teenage daughters (Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli).  Each episode showed their lives dealing with their situation...

Much as I dealt with mine when I was also a divorced mother; but my children were much younger, at 4 and 6 years old.  It was still necessary to live life "one day at a time."

The lyrics of the theme song for the show says that they will "muddle through one day at a time;" 

But, there's a gospel song that says it even better; here are a few lines that hit home for me with this prompt:

"I'm only human, I'm just a woman,
Help me believe in what I could be
And all that I am.

"One day at a time,sweet Jesus;
That's all I'm askin' from You.
Just give me the strength
To do every day what I have to do.

Cheatin' and stealin';
there's violence and crime.
So for my sake, teach me to take
One day at a time."

I am only human; just a woman trying to understand who I am, what I could (or should) be!  I just need God and or Jesus to give me the strength I need.  There's so much violence right now, and crime and... well, it's hard to think that anything could even come close to being perfect.

The last verse to the gospel song may be a clue:

"Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus;
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord, help me today,
Show me the way
One day at a time."

God's Word says in Matthew 6:34:  "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.  Today's trouble is enough for today." (NRSV)

Elisabeth Elliot said it this way in the quote at the beginning of this post:  "It is today for which we are responsible.  God still owns tomorrow."

Isn't that how it should be?  We take care of the "today" that we have; and leave our "tomorrow" in God's hands!

 So, as to "Your Perfect Day"...(or my perfect day)?

Every day would be my perfect day because I wouldn't be dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future...

I'd be living my life to the fullest...

One Day at a Time!!

Tuesday @ Ten - RISK

It is time to link up with Karen for Tuesday @ Ten; I love connecting with others through our writing; but sometimes I have trouble with the word "clicking" and am writing at the last moment!

This week's prompt is - Risk

It's a risk, isn't it - opening your heart; baring your soul - with a friend, or someone you thought was your friend.

Or, sitting at the computer, pounding out your heart and soul on the keyboard, to share your words with many.

How will your words be received?  What will others do with them?

Will they stab you in the back with your own words; use them to push you out and take over your position?

{Yes, I wrote those last words from experience!}

Will they receive your heart-felt words and use them to create a bond between them...and you?

It's a risk, isn't it?  Sharing your life story is a big risk!

Yet, we do it day after day; sometimes more reluctantly than others...

But, we still share our heart and soul, wide open for others to hear or read.

I once told another blogger that I "loved to read her heart".  That is exactly what we do when we share our stories: we open our hearts, baring our souls to those around us.

It's a risk!  But, it's worth the risk, isn't it?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - July 25, 2016

For Today
July 25, 2016

Looking Out My Window
I really do love living in Florida - for the most part!  I don't love the heat; but I do love the "not having to shovel snow".

Today is a typical summer day; it was 82 degrees at 10:00 a.m.; and well into the 90's when I left around noon to meet my daughter and grandson for lunch.

It is an "inside" day for me anyway; Mondays are my laundry and "cleaning" day!

I Am Thinking
About the state of our State; our Country; our World.

Everyday there seems to be another "Breaking News" report about a shooting or death in other ways; a drowning; an accidental crash...

Does it seem to be so much because of all the media and quick ways of getting the news?

Or, is it really because there are so many of these happenings?

I am not really sure.  I know it is bothersome to hear it all the time;

I think I am ready for some Good News!

I Am Thankful
For others that I am serving with on our church's Pastor Search committee; and especially for our Chair person who has a lot on his shoulders.  Praying we are near the end of this search!!

One of my Favorite Things
An unplanned opportunity to join family or friends. It doesn't matter whether it is for a meal, as I did this afternoon when I met with my daughter and grandson; or a shopping trip; or even a few hours at the pool...

I love that I can just randomly "drop everything" to do something fun!

I Am Wearing
A pair of jeans shorts, a t-shirt with turtles my daughter bought for me:

And, of course, those stubborn crocs that just won't be thrown away...probably because I just haven't found the right replacement!

I Am Creating
Last weekend I was out of town for a scrapbook retreat...nothing unusual about that!  I was able to get several things completed:  

Two 2-page layouts
with 2 of my grandsons

An ATC Card and a regular Card
for an "Anything Outdoors" swap

An ATC Card and a Tag for the theme, "White and Gold" for another Swap.

{An ATC is an "Artist Trading Card" and is very popular in swaps.  It is only 2.5 x 3.5, or the size of a baseball card.  These are new for me, and the two above are only the 3rd and 4th I've ever made!}

I know there were other things I worked on during the weekend, but these were the main "projects" I wanted to complete.  And there are also other things like games and socializing and eating to be done!

I Am Reading
"Sunrise" by Karen Kingsbury; this is the first book in the "Sunrise" series which continues the "Baxter Family" story.

I Am Hoping
The weather cools down just a little; I want to enjoy some outside time before I head to Daytona Beach for a scrapbook retreat - when I will be inside for four days!

But, I will be having FUN!

I Am Learning
To let my writing come as it will and not to stress out over being "behind" or not being able to get certain posts done "on time"!

I love linking up with Peggy for the Simple Woman's Daybook; with Karen for the Tuesday @ Ten linkup; and also with Dawn for the 21 Days of Journaling in July.

The last one is actually for journaling, not necessarily to be shared on my blog; but I started sharing and will get the others on...eventually!

In My Kitchen
Dirty dishes in the dishwasher; kitchen is somewhat clean, except for maybe the floor!  We will be eating leftovers since there is already rotisserie chicken, potato salad and a few other things to be eaten.

Shared Quote
One of the women I admire is Elisabeth Elliot (12/21/26 - 6/15/15).  She was a Christian author and speaker; and wife of Jim Elliot (her first husband) who was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca of eastern Ecuador.  Mrs. Elliot later spent two years as a missionary to the tribe members who killed her first husband.  More can be found on Wikipedia, where I found this information.

I used the following quote in one of my "21 Days of Journaling in July" posts:

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A Moment From My Day
While scrolling through my Facebook posts, I read one indicating someone had mentioned me in one of her posts.  I assumed just acknowledging the rough time I was having because I was behind with my journaling...

Then, I listened to her video of encouragement to all of the journalers; perhaps it will encourage you, too:

on YouTube

She mentioned me by name!  Yes, my friend...I will stop beating myself up and let the writing come as it will!!

Closing Notes
Well, I have just about completed this week's post for Simple Woman's Daybook!  Hopefully I won't be skipping a couple of weeks again any time soon!! 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tuesday @ Ten - STRONG

It is time to link up with Karen for Tuesday @ Ten; actually, it's just about the end of the time period to get a post written!

I love linking up with Karen and her "followers".  I love connecting with others in our writing; the time just gets away from me and I usually end up at the last minute.

Actually, I sometimes have trouble with the word "clicking"; but it finally has...So, here I am Sunday night hopefully getting a post written...

This week's prompt is - 
Strong or Strength

I wouldn't exactly say I was strong; last week I wrote about being Secure ... read that post here.

But, being secure isn't the same as being strong.  I don't mean strong as in having the strength to lift things; but strong in my beliefs and feelings.  Perhaps strong and secure may be alike after all?

As I was pondering this word today, the words to one of my favorite hymns came to mind:

Just a Closer Walk with Thee
{author unknown/anonymous}

"I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I'll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.


Just a closer walk with Thee;
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea;
Daily walking close to Thee;
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

When my feeble life is o'er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o'er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

Just a closer walk with Thee;
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea;
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be."

The only line I could remember at first was "I am weak, but Thou art strong..."

I know that my strength comes from Him; and even though I may not be strong enough for whatever task may lie ahead of me...

He is strong enough for both of us, and will give me what I need for the journey, wherever that journey may take me!

No, I may not be strong enough in my faith or beliefs or how I feel about politics or religion;

I may not be a great speaker that can capture the attention of many and share my views.  And, I may not be the greatest at expressing myself, either in writing or speaking...

But, I do know that as I walk with Him daily, and grow closer to Him, I can stand strong in how I feel and who I am...and will walk confidently with Him until I reach His "kingdom shore."

"Let Them Come" - Prompt 13/21

Today's prompt is titled "24 Hours with God in History" where we choose a time we would like to spend with God.

Actually, I am calling this "Let Them Come" because I would love to spend time with God's only Son, Jesus, with the little children.

I don't know if I would want to be one of the children, or to come to Him as I am, at whatever age or state of life I happen to be in.

I just know I would love to be in His presence!

The disciples tried to stop the children from coming to Jesus; they didn't want them to "bother Him".  But, Jesus stopped them from keeping the children away, saying:

"Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14).

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For a whole day - 24 hours - I would love to be part of these children surrounding Jesus, faces smiling joyously as He speaks with them; as He reaches out His hand to brush away a stray hair, or a stray tear.

Jesus would spend time with the group of children, then reach out to them individually.  I would wait patiently for Jesus to reach out His hand to me...and would anxiously place my hand into His as we walked away together.

I would share my joys and concerns with Him; and listen intently as He eased my concerns and celebrated my joys.

Found on Pinterest

I could learn so much in Jesus' presence, even for that short time.  His acceptance of me, for who I am, would ease my anxiety and allow me to open up to Him.  We would share with each other, friend to friend!

A fave hymn of mine is "What a Friend We have in Jesus" (by Joseph M. Scriven 1820-1886).  The second verse says,

"Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer."

The 24 hours would end before I could blink my eyes.  Yet...

He is always beside me; "He walks with me and talks with me..."  (from "I Come to the Garden Alone" - also known as "In the Garden.")

Found on Pinterest

All I have to do is reach out to His outstretched hand, waiting for me, and grab hold!

Friday, July 22, 2016

WORD WEDNESDAY - "I Call it Joy"

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This year I am choosing JOY...

But, what IS JOY?

Where does JOY come from?

In "Surprised by Joy," C. S. Lewis says:

"I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and from Pleasure.  Joy (in my sense) has indeed on characteristic, and one only, in common with them:  the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again.

"Apart from that, and considered only it its quality, it might almost equally well be called a particular kind of unhappiness or grief.  But, then it is a kind we want.

"I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world.  But then Joy is never in our power and pleasure often is."

I am certainly not an expert on C. S. Lewis; nor am I an expert on Joy!

And, I won't even try to interpret what Lewis was trying to say.  

Joy is not Happiness, nor is it Pleasure.  

But, Joy is that bubbly feeling one gets from the Happiness or the Pleasure they receive.

And, according to Joy from the movie "Inside Out", Joy is Everything!

Joy is a passion and can be described by many other words such a "excitement"; "gladness", "exultation", and "exhilaration"...

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Some mighty big words to describe that feeling we all have from time to time; hopefully, many times!

Yet, Joy is a mighty big emotion!!

And, Joy is also an assurance that God has it all under control...

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Joy is all around us; and I choose Joy because I'd rather be joyful than to be unhappy and sad!

I find Joy in the smiles of my grandchildren; the giggles and laughter I hear when they are around.  I find Joy in watching as my two daughters share with each other...not like they in their "childhood", but as they do in their "adulthood".  I find Joy watching children and dancing and singing and happy movies on TV.  And, I find Joy connecting with many friends through my hobbies of scrapbooking, cardmaking and other crafts, and that of writing and blogging.

Today I Choose Joy!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Literary Love" - Prompt 12/21

Today's prompt invites us to "explore the background and biographical information of one of our fave authors"; or to "write about our favorite Devotional Book"...

I will attempt to highlight both!

The author I would like to highlight today is Ann Voskamp.

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The caption for this photo was:  "Having an Attitude of Gratitude; Ann Voskamp 1973".

Upon first entering Ann's blog, A Holy Experience, she invites her readers to "Come on in!"  Following that invitation, a brief bio is shared:

"It's quiet in here.  Come rest a bit?  Nice to meet you!  My name's plain & simple Ann, without even the fanciful 'e.'  I'm a farmer's wife with a happy mess of 6 kids, a crazy camera & a bunch of books that landed on the NY Times bestsellers lists, but hey, could I just get you the relief of some easy words right now?  You know - relief for those dry days that are kindling for burning bushes...for holy experiences with God."

Her words issue a very welcoming invitation to enter her space - her blog - and enjoy a moment or two of her life on the farm with her family and the many "creatures" that surround them.

Ann's words are packed with down-home truths that captured my attention from the first time I read her beautiful words.  She has opened my eyes to the every day gifts all around me.

I discovered Ann's "One Thousand Gifts" online as I was searching for books to read or devotionals to use for my morning quiet time.

I found both!

Last year I started following the "One Thousand Gifts" concept of finding God's blessings - or gifts - in the everyday things around us.  Part of the appeal is that she gives a "prompt" for each day, just as some of the blog posts I publish have followed a prompt!

Earlier this year, I started including the companion devotional in my morning routine:  1) read the day's scripture and meditation in "The Upper Room" devotional; and 2) read from a second source...I finally found "One Thousand Gifts Devotional" by Ann Voskamp at a used book store; and added it to my morning routine.

Though I haven't read any of Ann's other books, it is on my "to read" list.  I just love the way she writes in such a poetic, inspiring way...

Found on Pinterest

And, I definitely feel that Ann's "gift" is from above!!

That is my "Literary Love" for Prompt 12!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A "Rich and Famous" Dream - Prompt 11/21

In my dreams ... there was a pile of dirt in the backyard!  Lying on top of the dirt was a folded up piece of paper - the map!

I grabbed the map before the wind could blow it away.  Right in the middle of all the lines and spaces was a great big X ... marking the exact spot where the treasure would be...

Found on Pinterest

The treasure that was sure to make me Rich and Famous!

I wasn't sure what the treasure could be; but my heart sunk as deep as that hole in my backyard!  Someone had found the map and already started digging.

Who could it be?  Who had stolen my map?

And, did they find the treasure and leave with all my dreams of becoming rich?

Carefully I stepped to the edge of the hole and looked down into the deep dark nothingness.  that's what I saw ... nothing!  Just a deep dark hole!

I looked at the map again for any other clues ... was it the right map?  Did that "someone" count the steps exactly as instructed, or did they miscalculate - you know, that new math is really hard to understand sometimes!

Once I turned the map around, I realized it had been upside down!

As I counted the steps required, I felt a pull stronger than any I had ever felt!  I was heading straight for my treasure ...

As I was getting closer and closer to the mark, I felt chills up and down my spine; an eerie sense of being watched.  Just a few more steps and I could start digging for my treasure.

Then ...


Something hit me in the head with such force that I nearly lost my balance.  Slightly dazed, I stumbled ahead and tried to continue counting ...

Where was I?  Number 23 or was it ...


Before I could continue, another blow to the head.  This time I fell to my knees; trembling and scared, I looked around ...

Someone was running from me with the map in their hand.  I couldn't tell who it was; but I couldn't run after them.  Quickly, I pulled my phone from my pocket and dialed the only number I could remember.

Not far away, I heard a phone ringing!  And, I heard laughter!  Loud, boisterous laughter!

Whomever had the map to my treasure, and had hit me in the head, and ...

It must be my ...

No, it couldn't be!

Just as I closed my eyes to try to figure it out, I felt someone shake my shoulders.

"Hey, it's time to get up!  You're late!  You've been in here laughing your head off over something.  Are you OK?"

"No," I answered.  "I've been hit over the head and ..."

Laughing hysterically, my sister replied, "What have you been dreaming?"

"Nothing," I said.  "I was just about to become Rich and Famous.  Guess I won't be after all!"

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday @ Ten - SECURE

I am trying to get a head start so I have time to link up with Karen for Tuesday @ Ten.

This has been a very busy week, getting ready to be out of town for the weekend.  There is always so much to do...

But, I am exhausted after that weekend!!

Since I never want to overlook my blog, I am writing a short bit on this week's, here goes:

This week's prompt is - Secure

I am secure in who I am.

I am secure in my family.

I am secure in who my friends are.

And, I am secure in who I can talk to and share my deepest feelings...

For the most part!

I am secure in my future.

I am not secure in where I live.

I am not secure in this city; or the state where I live.

I am not secure in this country...

I am not secure when I go out in public.

I am not secure that everything will be OK.

I am not secure in who will lead our country in the future.

I am secure in some things - perhaps the day-to-day living;

But I am not secure in other things - perhaps those around me I do not know.

What I am secure in knowing is that my future is secure in Him!

I'm afraid that is all I have...