Truth Be Told

When I first began this blog in 2015, my goal was to write about me and my family, and light issues that would help my readers connect with me as a person. I didn’t want to bombard¬† with just writing topics. For one thing, I don’t have a master’s degree in writing anything. I rely heavily on my editor to fix all that I do wrong. I don’t know much about branding or marketing. I go to others and read lots of other posts about it to broaden my knowledge base. And considering sales of my books…I have lots more to learn in those areas! ūüėČ

So now, four years later…I’m still a little mired down in this blogging world. I read other sites that are really successful. I try to figure out what they are doing right, and what I’m doing wrong. I wonder if my scope of topics is too large, or the site just not interesting. I’ve even considered starting over, but what would my focus be?

Truth be told, my knowledge base is marriage and family. It’s what I’ve done for all of my adult life. Sunday, the 20th will be my husband and my 35th wedding anniversary. It’s one I’ve looked forward to. Others celebrate by going on a cruise, having another ceremony to rededicate their married lives, or going out for a nice dinner. I thought that by this time in our marriage, we would be doing the same. We won’t be. I think spam is on the menu this year.

My husband and five children have always been the world to me. It’s what I invested all my time in. Some may say that was crazy, and that I didn’t plan for the future. I always thought it was the best way to plan for our future together. But children grow up and have families of their own, they move away, and they make their own choices in life. I am no longer in control of all of that…and maybe I never really was.

So, here I sit at almost 55 years of age. This past year as been beyond difficult in so many ways. There are days when I feel as though the rug has been yanked out from under us, and we haven’t hit the floor yet. But when we do, it’s going to be bad. My faith has taken a serious hit, and there are more days than not that I would like to run away and be a different person.

This Life is Real…and so are the Answers. I truly believe that. None of us live in a fairy tale world with light and laughter, flowers and fun, around every corner. Many of us deal with darkness and tears, an inability to breathe because of all that has been dumped on us. The flowers in our lives are dead and crumbled, blowing away in the wind, and a smile is hard to summon.

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I don’t have a master’s degree in anything.¬†Just a lot of learning through difficult experiences. I try to share that in my books. In my books, there is an answer for that struggling character. Writing helps me work through all that has been allowed in my life. This blog has been a release for me to express all that bottles up…whether it be good or bad. I pray that my books reach people and the struggles they have in their lives. I pray they find an answer.

So for now, I’ll stick with what I’ve been doing here, and I welcome any suggestions to improve.

Philippians 4:6-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [a]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Take a Moment…

and think.

 

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow morning and all you had was what you thanked God for yesterday_

When life becomes difficult, we tend to focus on the problem and trying to solve it. When life seems hopeless, and not worth living, we try a multitude of things to ease the pain.

What if we concentrated more on being thankful for what is?

 

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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This Too Shall Pass

Trials and tribulations seem to clump together. Rather like a large boulder in the middle of a merrily chirping stream. The water still rushes past, swirling around that stone for a few moments before gurgling merrily along. This is the same with life. Our lives are that water, and the tests the boulder. Life will continue on at some point. We may be a little bruised and battered, but we go on.

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Please pray for our grandchildren if the thought passes through your mind. They have all been struggling with colds, although I don’t think any have had the flu. This past week, two of the sisters spent the night at the hospital due to RSV. They came home today. Now the youngest, just a little over a week old is at the hospital, and she will be there overnight for observation.

It is scary watching your child struggling with sickness. Even more so when it involves a hospital visit, or surgery. I have been there more times than I want to think about. It makes you want to snatch them away, to protect them, and take on all that they have to endure. After all, you are stronger, able to understand all that is happening. Their little bodies and minds aren’t able to take it all in. I hurt for those families that have had children diagnosed with cancer, and diseases that their little bodies have had to fight off. It takes a parent to the limits of where no parent ever wants to go.

I don’t fully understand why these kind of trials and tribulations are allowed in our lives. I really don’t want to face them. I want to be swept down that stream, gurgling merrily along as the blue sky smiles down at me.

That little stream rushes to the ocean, and is stronger in the end. So are we. And this too shall pass.

Jeremiah 29:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11¬†For I know the¬†plans that I¬†have for you,‚Äô declares the¬†Lord, ‚Äėplans for¬†welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a¬†hope.

Those Precious Memories

When in doubt, I go to Jim Reeves and his melodious voice.

Our memories mean more and more to us as we grow older. I see this every day. It amazes me what the mind can recall. I pray your memories are indeed precious and beautiful this Sunday morning. Have a wonderful week.

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

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I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

This life we live is uncertain, filled with obstacles, lost expectations of our youth, and a lot of ‘just getting by’. Life is a journey that each of us has been given, and it is also a gift. Along with the struggles, and the not-so-good days, there is hope, and there is joy.

I’ve always loved the words to this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n3iLXHzX9k

It was written by Ira F. Stanphill in 1950, during a very difficult time in his own life. From what I could find, his wife left him to pursue a career of her own, at the zenith of his. If any of you know of different facts, or more, please share. I always enjoy learning more about a person. Mr. Stanphill wrote this song out of the pain, betrayal and loss he was experiencing at that time, and you can feel it.

So many items in this life are unknowns. We don’t know what the day will hold, we don’t know if any of us will be here tomorrow. But we do have today, and we can rejoice and take comfort in that. Make your Sunday… today, a good one.

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Peace to You

It is the second of January, 2018!

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So of course I’m going to write the obligatory post about my New Year resolutions. They wouldn’t be New Year resolutions unless they included health topics. You know the ones…diet, exercise, getting more sleep, etc.¬† This photo makes me think of health, and being refreshed. Can’t you just smell those oranges?

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A few years ago I was going to the gym faithfully. Every, single, day, except Sunday. I went around eleven in the morning when it wasn’t so crowded, after my morning chores were accomplished. The first of January saw an influx of new gym memberships, or at least people using them. Around March, the excitement would start to die down a bit. Just human behavior.

My list:

  • Continue the oil pulling I began back in the summer. For those of you that don’t know what this is…you put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for twenty minutes, before you eat anything in the morning. I experimented with this for about two weeks in July. I noticed whiter teeth and less plaque and tartar build-up. My mouth stayed more fresh all day, even when I did eat. This was my personal observation. Not a dentist’s recommendation or sell. I started with this once again this morning. It’s a bit disgusting at first, just getting that oily feel ignored, but after a couple days, no big deal.
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  • Stick with the Candida Diet I began the first of October. I managed very well through our anniversary, a trip to Branson, birthdays, and Thanksgiving. I even did fairly well around the Christmas festivities. New Year’s Eve…not so much. I’m feeling it now! It is very strict…no flour or sugar allowed, even fruit. But I’ve been totally amazed how much better I’ve felt. No more sore joints, and sleeping well. Sugars do cause inflammation in the body, so I’m sure this was part of the problem with my joint pain. Again, these are my own observations that I’m sharing with you, not a medical diagnosis.
  • Of course more exercise! I would love to be walking here:dunes-2191641_1920But my view will be more like this one, here in Kansas:tilted-2139864_1920
  • Start my newsletter! I’ve been wanting to tackle this for awhile now…just need the time to do it. I don’t want to start and then not follow through.
  • Finish up home projects, or at least get them more under control. I’ve been working on our kitchen, but we do need a furnace upgrade, dining room makeover, and another bathroom installed where the furnace is now. Each year I have a mental list of projects. I try not to share them with my family. It causes people to run!
  • Last, and certainly most important…keep my priorities straight. My relationship with God, my husband, my children, grandchildren, extended family, friends and co-workers. And yes, in that order. Some areas will over-lap of course, but there is a sense of order in our lives. I think that list also keeps everything else in-sync.

I wish each of you a Blessed 2018. I pray health, financial security, and great relationships for you. And when each of those areas comes under testing, and is stretched to its limit this year…because they will…I pray God’s peace for you, and the strength He gives to bear the difficult times in our lives.

Philippians 4:4-11 – King James Version

4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow is Christmas Day. The house has been draped in garland and ribbons, the tree twinkling, aglow with Christmas memories.

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The baking is done, lovely aromas of sugar and spices, a confectioner’s dream. The green and red dye has worn off from tiny fingers, the tongue will be tinged for days…until no crumb remains.

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If you are privileged, you’ve seen carolers, and listened to their sweet voices, and maybe not so sweet, lifted with joy in song. You’ve enjoyed a Christmas program or two, and delighted in your children or grandchildren, niece or nephew.

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The music has played, and set the tone, and all that remains is the opening of gifts, and a day filled with family, friends and laughter. The absolute best part about the festivities. That meal is also pretty special!

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Tomorrow, let us recall the reason for it all. That babe in a manger, so very small. You may not be surrounded by family and friends, your house a delight of colors and smells. You…alone physically or emotionally… have the most special of days, the time spent with a Man, that died for you…the same. He now sits at the right hand of the Father, waiting for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB3Fo6yG2n0

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I wish you a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for reading, for being part of my life.

 

That Christmas Feeling

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I love this time of year! The aromas wafting through the house…cinnamon sticks and pine. Well, normally our house smells of those items, but today it smells of burnt toast thanks to our youngest. I’ll have to light some more candles tomorrow. At one time, I had a can of pine scent to spray through the house since we had a fake tree, but those kind of smells lead to a whopping headache for me these days!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas:

Snow drifting lazily outside your frosted window,
The fire crackling merrily,
The orange and yellow flickers mesmerizing with their glow.
The fresh-cut tree being dragged through the house,
Just “one more inch” to help it clear the ceiling.
The winter crispness emanating from those needles,
The pine scent filling the air.
Then commence the decorating,
Lights weaved over the prickly branches.
The “oohs” and “aahs” of each ornament plucked from the box,
A kaleidoscope of memories besieging your heart.
The stockings are hung, the nativity displayed,
The routine of the festivities replayed.

A candlelit house, smelling of pine and baked goods,
A hint of cinnamon and spice.
The gentle pause in the daily routine,
A soft snuggle by the twinkling lights.
These are my memories,
This is what the Christmas season looks like for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGBie5pT9nw

Christmas is the time of year that we set aside to remember that our Lord and Savior came to earth as a baby. The decorations, the lights, baking and presents are traditions handed down from many countries for many generations. They are what they are…pleasant traditions that I look forward to sharing each year. For me, they don’t take away the importance of that tiny baby, humbled, but still a King. They add to the feeling of home and family…my memories. And I cherish them.

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I pray your Christmas season is one filled with joy, and many happy memories…

This Is My Father’s World…

I love music…in almost any form. I have a tremendous appreciation for those that play musical instruments, and those that have been gifted with voices to sing. (There are those of us that sing anyway!) ūüėČ

I have written before about the few years that our children and I had a family group of mostly blue grass and gospel. This was because of our children’s musical talents. I was just along for the fun ride. Our son learned guitar, our daughter played the mandolin and just about anything else you tossed at her for a few seconds. Our son could handle that aspect pretty well too. I watched them with amazement. Our second oldest wrote a couple songs that we used in our concerts. Well, we used one of them. The one that was happy and uplifting!

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When our son and daughter went away to Cornerstone Bible Institute in South Dakota, our little group was no more. Children grow up and want to have their own lives for some reason…and that makes me a bit sad. But, I have wonderful memories, and they still share their lives with us. I am very thankful for that!

If I am remembering correctly, I’ve shared a little about our son, and why it is even more special that he has the musical talents that he does. In his mid-to-late teens, he was diagnosed with cholesteatomas in both ears. Since he did not have chronic ear infections while growing up, the doctors said they were congenital. Since he had other difficulties at birth, this was not a surprise to us. Nathan had surgery on one ear just before he left for Cornerstone Bible Institute. Because of repeated surgeries on both ears…several on each ear, he missed his last semester of school. He is now at Cornerstone completing that year.

We were told the cholesteatomas were very bad, and each surgery came with lab work to  assure they were not cancerous. A couple times, the growth had come very close to crossing into the brain. We were told he could completely lose his hearing.

Nathan is now at Cornerstone, finishing what he began several years ago. He did not lose his hearing, but he does have implants behind each ear that help him hear. And he still plays the guitar and harmonizes beautifully. God has gifted him with these talents. He is also our electrician and carpenter when he is home…so he is greatly missed in many ways.

It was an honor for Nathan to be asked to do the video (that I will share the link to) with Luke E. Boy. https://www.facebook.com/LukeEBoyArt/

Luke is another very gifted young man that Nathan met through Cornerstone. Luke and his siblings have also attended the Bible Institute. He builds tiny houses, makes his own instruments, composes his own songs, does his own photography…and the list goes on and on. I do apologize to Luke if I missed anything! You can check out his Facebook page above. Please like it and check out his links. He has some interesting things on there.

Now here is the video of Nathan and Luke…two very talented young men. We hope to be hearing more from them in the music area! Traveling mercies to Luke as he travels across the United States once again, and shares all that he is doing with his beautiful photography, art and music. And to God be the Glory!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/NKhwc69UH9w