The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Our oldest titled her pictures of their Christmas decorating with those words. It reminded me that it always has been for me, and it really is this year.

When our children were small, the Saturday after Thanksgiving was our day to decorate. I wanted the most time possible to have decorations up and displayed. Some of you may recall that in Christmases past, many people did not decorate until Christmas Eve. Some even set up their tree that night as a way to surprise children in the morning. Talk about no sleep the night before! But, it would be rather magical to be a child and get up, seeing all the decorations and presents. In our house, Santa Claus was a fun concept. We visited him at the malls, our second oldest absolutely terrified on one video we have. But our children knew that he did not bring the presents, even if we joked about it on Christmas Eve as a way to get them to bed and sleep. We were more diligent about teaching them the act of giving to others, and buying gifts for others. At least I hope that was the end result!

This is the first year in a couple that we actually have our decorations up! It was on Sunday, but we are enjoying them now. And that makes me happy! We even have lights outside this year. We have an entire month to enjoy the sparkle, color, and coziness of the Christmas season. And I’m looking forward to it!

Here are a few pictures to share.

Christmas at our house, 2020

 

Now for some cold weather and snow to really set the mood! Have a great day, and a Blessed Christmas Season!

The Year 2020

I sit here trying to remember my last post date. I know it’s been far too long.

It’s been long enough that the format for this site has changed again. Why do we have to mess with what works? Is there always a ‘new and improved’ way of doing things? As many of my older readers know, it’s not so much the fear of change, the dread of a learning curve, but just missing the old and familiar. The comfy chair that fits you just right, and you know you’ll feel safe and secure in.

To say it’s been a wild and crazy year world-wide is an understatement. We’ve all had the ‘old and familiar’ way of doing things knocked from beneath us. Our lives have spun out of control, and some are still twirling, hoping to cease that motion on some remembered ground of what life was once like. Here in the United States, we are still in a political mess of who will be the next President. I don’t do politics on here, and generally not on any social media. I definitely have my opinions, but I don’t care to spend precious time battling them out. God is in control, and I have faith-rest that it will work out in His timing. It may not be an easy ride, I may not agree, but it will be taken care of. My job is to keep applying what I know the Bible says about each and every situation. My biggest responsibility is to applying it with love, using patience and consideration for all. My biggest battleground is myself, and each minute of the day at times, reminding myself of that love, patience and consideration.

Long before Covid-19 hit everyone’s radar, my personal life began it’s own spiral. With all the items that were thrown at us, by the time the Virus hit, it wasn’t much to consider for me. I had too many other devastating items taking place. This post isn’t about feeling sorry for the last year and a half, no matter how much I would like to wish it all away. It’s about sharing with my readers. The one’s that follow this blog, the one’s that read my books. And if you’ve read my books, you know I write about the hard parts of life. The parts we’re ashamed of, the parts we want to forget, the parts we don’t want anyone to know about. We all have them, and they have been forgiven, and forgotten in the broad scope of eternity. Out of the rubble, there is hope, and sunshine to be shared.

I left my job as Activity Director at our local nursing home in August of 2019. I loved the job, but my health wasn’t fairing well with the stress of working full-time. My husband was also struggling physically. Acting in ways that were very different for him. Ways that were scary to me since I had worked in nursing homes for so many years, and knew about some of the symptoms. Ways that a 59 year old shouldn’t be acting. After a general diagnosis from our local doctor in September, my husband was referred to a neurologist. After waiting several months, my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the end of February.

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My world, our world was forever changed. Hopes and plans for our future were swept away with just a few words. I was devastated, hurt, angry, and I wanted to run away. Very far away. My husband has never been much for expressing his emotions, and I know he felt many of the same things. But I’m a fighter, and he buries his head. The more sand he can scoop for protection, the better. All the while I’m shoveling it away in bucket-loads. It has probably kept us together for 36 years now. But I know it has not been the peaceful existence he would have preferred.

In the midst of all this, two of our daughters were struggling in their marriages. One ending in divorce, another in separation. Four precious grandchildren involved. Again, not what we would have planned or wanted for their lives, and I know not what they wanted. But this road of life is treacherous at times, and it takes all of our being to get through the dangerous curves and drops. Both daughters are now living further away than what I ever would have wanted, but they keep close contact, and we have had wonderful visits with both of them just recently. Those times are precious!

Selling the house we had lived in for 15 years was another hurdle. It was the only home our youngest remembered. So, the first of June, we moved in with our oldest daughter and her three children. Her husband had started a job a couple hours away and was staying with friends from their church until they could move. For four months, during lockdown, we had the privilege of having three of our grandchildren right with us. God knew the timing, He knew I needed help physically and mentally. It was a cherished time for me…for the grandchildren, it may have been different! Our daughter and husband are now living a couple hours away, but they are so good about traveling to see us almost weekly.

As I read back over what I’ve written, I shake my head in amazement. I wouldn’t have planned the last 18 months. I would have run if I had known! Recently, my mother has been moved to a memory care unit. My father cared for her for several years while still working full-time. Again, with the Covid-19 restrictions, it has been frustrating. But she is doing well, and I talk with her often now. I am relieved for my father, and have appreciated the time we’ve been able to spend with him.

I have debated on whether I should take down my posts from when our daughters were married, the pictures I shared on here. I’ve had this blog for several years now, so I’ve shared our lives.¬† I’ve used it as a way for my readers to get to know me better, or at least that was what I was thinking when I started it. But it is therapy for me to write on here. I still cherish those posts, and the pictures. Those men our daughters married will always be part of our family…the fathers of our granddaughters. Nothing will change that. So for now, I will leave them, and I hope our daughters will understand that it is not for disrespect for their lives now, or for our new son-in-law. But it is what has made us what we are as a family. The good and the rough times we’ve shared.

My husband is doing very well on the medication for Parkinson’s Disease. He went from struggling to dress and shave to being able to do those ADL’s on his own. I am thankful. It gives us a bit more time to process this Disease and what our options are. For now we are renting from our oldest daughter and son-in-law, our son and youngest daughter living with us. Their help and support right now is making life easier.

That’s been our life in a nutshell. Again, not to feel sorry, but to let you know that I’m still here. I appreciate your prayers, and support for my books. I will write no matter what happens. I always have a story to tell. But my readers make it real, and very dear.

My newest release was in June. It is the first book in a series of four books about a very special family. Of course! ūüėČ The books are all written, several years ago as a matter of fact. I’m currently doing rewrites on the second in the series. I had hoped to have it out by the end of the year…but you just read the post! You may find the first book right here:¬†https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Hope-Jonathan-Elisabeth-Defined/dp/1708481419/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=deborah+ann+dykeman&s=books&sr=1-1

I’ve enjoyed sharing our life with you. Thank you for reading! Now go and make this day the best that it can be!

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Merry Christmas!

The day has arrived! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey over the past month. I know it was a great reminder for me…the Christmas story. Christmas Month Social Media (3)

Especially remember verse twenty in the above. We may continue the Christmas spirit throughout the year…glorifying and praising God. Merry Christmas to you!

What Child is This

Classical guitar has always been one of my favorite to listen to. This arrangement reminds me of a place called The Carrot Barn in Schoharie, New York. They always had beautiful music such as this playing while you browsed the antiques, clothing, and even sampled a few goodies. It has grown a lot since we were regular visitors back in the 1980’s. You may visit Schoharie Valley Farms right here:¬†http://www.schoharievalleyfarms.com/index.php

I love classical guitar so much, that my husband gave me one for my birthday about 25 years ago. No, I never did learn to play it. After a few times of trying, I gave up and decided to really appreciate those that could play! It is an art form, and I really enjoyed this arrangement for that reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPRFk8sLIPw

A Place in My Heart

Rubyville, Book #4, A Place In My Heart, is probably my favorite of the four books. I say probably because I do love this series, and it is very difficult to have a favorite, the same with children.

Believe it or not, I learned a lot while writing this series. The research for the different eras that are traveled through was really fun and interesting for me. But I also learned a lot about myself, and the way not to handle a situation. Below is a meme I created for the release of the book.

Rubyville Book #4 - Prom

Get your FREE ebook copy today! https://www.amazon.com/Rubyville-Place-My-Heart-Book/dp/1537096826/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=deborah+ann+dykeman&qid=1574790687&s=books&sr=1-5

We Thank Thee

Good Sunday morning to you! This week our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving here in America. We will gather together, family and friends, to remember and celebrate this day. This song is just a reminder of some of the things we should be thankful for in our lives. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pXzge4uhVs

Dysfunction

What was once thought of as dysfunctional, seems to be coming more of the normal these days. This does sadden me. I believe God designed a very good system, and when we take different paths, situations become difficult and murky to travel through.

But we all take different paths from time to time, and none of us travel the straight and narrow. God knew this, and yet He still loves us. He allows us that different path, sometimes for years or a lifetime. When we fall, not once, but over and over, He is there. We only need to call on Him.

My key verse that I sign all my books with is, Psalm 118:24. 

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (KJV)

This is the verse that I call to mind each day that it’s difficult to get out of bed. It’s the verse that reminds me that I’m still here, and I have an opportunity once again, for at least that day to forge ahead and make better decisions for my life. One more day to rely on Him. There are days when I forget that verse…shove it to the back of my closet full of troubles. Days that I have to reclaim it several times. But the verse, and God are always there.¬†

The tag-line I use for my writing is, This Life is Real…and so are the Answers.¬†I write books about dysfunctional families. People that are struggling in their Christian walk. People that don’t always get it together and have a happy ending. Because that is not what life is about…and it certainly isn’t the Christian life. I should know…I’ve lived one for over 45 years now…and it hasn’t always been pretty. But the bottom line is, I know God is there, He has a plan for me and my life, and my hope is in heaven. And those truths are where all the answers lie.¬†

This past week, the third book in the Rubyville series has been FREE as an ebook. Today is the last day of this promotion. This book has jumped around a bit on the lists, but it has stayed fairly constant around this all week: #21 in Dysfunctional Relationships.

https://www.amazon.com/Rubyville-Place-Heal-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01ITR2RDI/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=deborah+ann+dykeman&qid=1574442773&s=books&sr=1-4

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Book #3 – Rubyville

At first I thought it strange based on me not listing it under keywords such as dysfunctional. I thought I had stuck with the christian fiction genre…and I talked about all that the other day in my post about algorithms. But the book is about marital abuse, and the struggles that mothers and daughters can have in their relationships. So it is categorized pretty well on Amazon. Being #21 isn’t too bad either. But more importantly, I want people to read it, and get answers for their own marriages, and relationships in families. And to remember that bitterness eats at your soul, and destroys the person that God designed you to be.

And that’s a tough lesson. It’s a lesson I’m still learning about, and an area I stay in constant pray over. It’s rather like pruning away all the dead branches after a long, frigid winter, and finding new growth.

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I’m looking forward to that time of flourishing once again. Have a great week end!