Pray Without Ceasing

Good Sunday morning to you!

The title to this post says it all. We ask for prayer for our loved ones, our friends, to help us get a job, to be patient, and the list goes on. At times, I just need prayer for myself…without ceasing.

This video was from many years ago. Back when our family was doing concerts. Back when our three youngest children still lived at home, and only our oldest was married. There have been so many miles traveled since those days! So much prayer needed for our family, and struggles we’ve had. Just like any other family out there.

Here’s Catherine Emily singing. She has a beautiful voice now, at almost seventeen years old. Alyssa Lynn is on the mandolin, and our son, Nathan on the guitar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcBA3Uc2XC8

Special memories!

A Walk With a View

Now that my husband is home more often…I think they call it retired, we have been trying to incorporate a morning walk into our routine. At some point, more than a mile would be great, but that will have to be after the temperature drops into the sixties. Walking in ’80’s and above with the sun beating down, and humidity at jungle level is not fun!

We are blessed to live in a small town with a lot of places to walk safely. Just from our front door, we could head to our River Walk in less than five minutes.

Those two trees on either side of the bridge are gorgeous in the autumn when they turn red. This past year, they have extended the River Walk once again, and you can meander along the Neosho River for quite a bit. Some amazing volunteers from our town also put in an amphitheater just down a bit from where we took this picture. It has been put to fantastic use several times in the past few months since it was finished.

Even though the River Walk is just a few minutes from our house, I always prefer to walk at the lake whenever possible. I love being near water, and in the summer, the cool breezes blowing our way make it very nice. Four times around this loop make it a little over a mile. This picture does not show the brilliant sunlight that day!

Our little town also has a portion of a rail trail running through it. For me, it’s not the best place to walk because of the vegetation nearby. (I seem to break out in a rash whenever I glance at something green and potentially itchy.) But it has been the location for a few family walks over the years, and great for bike-riding.

With lower temperatures just around the corner, our walking routine may pick up. Those cooler temperatures also make yard work, and kitchen projects a little easier to handle. So, keep checking in. I will post some after pictures of the kitchen soon. I haven’t forgotten.

Until next time, this is where I would love to be walking. Have a great afternoon!

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!

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

The Blizzard

Songwriters are pretty special people. They have the ability to pull you into a story in a very short period of time. That story may leave you smiling and laughing, or pretty sad and wanting to cry. We all have a list of our favorites.

One of mine is a song written by Harlan Howard called The Blizzard. From what I could research, Jim Reeves recorded it first on October 4, 1960, releasing in February 1961. It had many other talented people record it after that. Just goes to show what a great story it is! I won’t share the words on here since the Jim Reeves lyrics are property and copyright of their owners. But you may listen to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2fyFumisiU

If you would like to hear some other recordings, this is a site I found: https://secondhandsongs.com/work/54004/all

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As we all feel with a favorite song, we never get tired of hearing it. Songs can take us back to a time and place, even bringing to mind certain smells and emotions we experienced when hearing the song for the first time. Christmas songs are probably the most familiar for transporting us to other days, and recreating memories in our minds.

At Christmas time during my childhood, Christmas music was played from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Hearing it at any other time shakes me out of that happy place of Christmas memories and is comparative to a cold-water dousing. So of course, I’ve never been a fan of Christmas in July! When I was 17-18 years old, we lived in Tucson, Arizona. The scenery did not bring a New England Christmas to my mind. I think our entire family felt the same. So, my mother played the music, decorated as she always did and baked. She also sprayed all the windows with fake snow, and ran the air-conditioner. We arrived home from school those weeks of the Christmas season, lugging school books and our winter coats. The area we lived in near the base of the Catalina Mountains was known for being frigid, with maybe a dusting of snow in the early morning, but hot by afternoon. catalina-mountains-tucson-2928436_1920

It was a bit of a shock to walk into the house after a long day of trudging around the school campus. But my mind instantly went back to Christmases spent in Colorado, Vermont, and upstate New York.

Another ingredient I think is a trademark of a great story, is the ability to give you an emotion at the end…no matter how many times you hear it, read it or watch it. Each time I listen to The Blizzard, I am shocked at the end. As if that time, he would have made it to Mary Ann, or encouraged Dan to get up and walk home.

So now, if you’ve never heard The Blizzard, you know the ending. But have a listen anyway. It’s a great song! Happy Tuesday everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring It On!

A day spent with family is always fantastic! Our oldest had planned a day with their family at the  Walter’s Pumpkin Patch. It was scheduled for several weeks, and we were all looking forward to. Well, Monday turned out to be one frigid day here in Kansas! We drove to Burns, Kansas with a mix of rain and snow on the windshield. It didn’t get any better. But our grandchildren are a hardy mix, and they still tried out all the slides, bikes, tree houses and games the Pumpkin Patch had to offer. We had a good time, but will be looking forward to warmer temperatures next year. If you are interested in visiting, here is a link:

https://www.thewaltersfarm.com/index.htm

After a hot summer, you tend to forget what it means to dress warmly. Even though we had on layers, my husband and I were pretty cold. Here’s a picture of us having lots of fun!

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We even turned on our heat in the house! I baked a pumpkin dessert last night, and we had hot tea with it. Bring on winter! I hope you’re ready in your neck of the woods!

When Simple Was Special

If you are a city person, loving the lights and glamour, then this post is probably not for you! This post is about simplicity, and the pleasure found in having little, access to nothing.

Years ago, young couples wanting to marry and begin life together, didn’t start off with car loans, home mortgages or exorbitant rent. They didn’t plan for a vacation every year to an exotic place, running up credit cards to do it. What was a credit card?

At one time, life was based on survival. You hoped, prayed, and worked for a shelter to cover you, something to keep you safe and warm from the environment. Often times the home was built by a young man or couple. You grew your own food, made your own clothes, and were thankful to have loved ones around you. Maybe you had a small church to attend where you could fellowship with others. 

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Yes, life was probably difficult, a daily struggle, and your years on earth were not as long as they are now. But there is much to be said for simplicity, taking pleasures in the little things in life.

The world today, and those of us living in it, face a much different reality. Yes, we have beautiful homes, each child having their own space. A chef’s kitchen awaits us, while we spend a big percentage of our paychecks eating out. We have manicured yards that we may sit in once in a while, but much more time is spent keeping them that way. The lawn mower is more familiar with the grass under our feet than we are. If we have gardens, the goal is to grow big and beautiful, chemicals helping us along the way. The food harvested there is not for our survival, but a fun hobby.

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It is no wonder that the tiny house movement has become so popular. We are burned-out on surviving in this world today, trying to keep the pace at a fast and furious rate that our ancestors would not have tried, or even wanted.

I know I want off the merry-go-round. My head is spinning with all of the have-to items that we self-impose into our lives. I don’t want to have to be fashionably dressed, just decently clothed. I want to enjoy my yard in the peace and quiet of nature, and not worry about the town’s standards of what I should and shouldn’t do. I don’t want a career, but enough to meet our needs.

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I really wouldn’t mind living in a home such as these pictured, the only criteria being a porch for my rocking chair. For those of you that shake your head, saying I don’t know what I’m talking about…I do have a clue. I learned to cook on a wood cook-stove, baking seven loaves of whole-wheat bread every Saturday for several years. I’ve split firewood, unloaded cords of wood to heat a house for the winter. I am extremely grateful for my inside bathroom, and running water, but I could even get use to no electricity if needed.

It’s whatever we’ve become used to. What we’ve accepted as normal.

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I think I’m feeling nostalgic today. Autumn is playing for real now here in the mid-west. The trees are becoming bare, leaves scudding across the ground. My thoughts turn to outside chores needing to be done, and the holidays ahead. And like every year, I don’t want to be caught up in all the items that are expected of us. I just want to enjoy those people around me that care enough to be part of my life.

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In our world today, we have missed the bigger picture. We’re frantically trying to survive, by having the best education, successful career, showplace for a house, every opportunity for our children…and we have lost love for what life should really be about. That list above won’t last into eternity, and after we’re gone, we won’t care.

The holidays are coming and I challenge you as I will be doing myself to seek Him first in all things. Be thankful for what you do have in the forms of jobs, housing, family and friends. But strive to connect with what matters, and get rid of what doesn’t. All of us have much that we could put on a back burner…and especially during the next couple of months when we celebrate the holidays. Make time for family and friends. Put down the phone when in a public place and connect with those around you. And most certainly put the phone away and relate to the loved ones you’re with. They may not be there tomorrow.

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Strive to live a simple life among the luxuries of today. Think about those people and things that are really important to you, and make time for them. Don’t waste time on the other.

 

 

It Will Be Okay!

Some days the words to this song ring very true. As a human, I’m on a constant treadmill of making ends meet, and the day-to-day struggle of life in this world. It can be very exhausting at times!

This song is a gentle reminder to those of us that believe our home is in heaven, our hope is in heaven. A reminder that this daily life is but for a time.

Yesterday, I saw something that made me think. I will probably repeat it wrong, but you’ll get the general idea. It’s so true!

Spoiler Alert! I’ve heard the end of the story, and it will be okay!

Here’s some Jim Reeves for you on your Sunday. Have a good one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ndMZqT6i4I

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My Cup Runs Over…

Hi, my name is Deborah, and I write books.

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I feel the need to introduce myself on here. I knew it had been awhile since I had posted anything, but when I checked just now, March 3rd was my last post. Way too long!

I started working as the Activity Director of our local nursing home on January 15th of this year. This past week, I finished the course to be certified as a director. To say I’ve been busy is an understatement. Most days I’ve come home from work, and felt as though I didn’t have the energy to shower and get ready for bed.

Our yard is a catastrophe, my kitchen project is hanging in mid-air, and the third book in a series I began last year is calling me desperately. Usually around 2:00 am when I should be sleeping. I’ve taken to playing games on my Kindle rather than reading, trying to block out the constant barrage of that ‘to do’ list. People I’ve known for years probably think I’ve died. But I’m still here…

I love my job. The older generation has always been a joy to me. They have so much to share, so much to give, so much to express…in so many ways. I think our facility is especially wonderful, staffed with caring people that have been there for many years. It takes a very special person to work in a job setting such as a nursing home. Let’s face it…it’s not really just a ‘job’. And if you think that…you probably shouldn’t be there.

Today, I hope to read the first pages of the book I was working on. That other life is calling me, and if you write, you understand. If I’m really motivated, these fingers just may type a few words, a chapter or two over this weekend.

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My life is busy and crazy. But it is also overflowing, and a daily blessing to me. I’m so very thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given, and all the talents bestowed. I pray I use them for His honor and glory in everything I do.

Have a wonderful weekend!