Welcome to Life!

I feel as though I should begin this post with a “Hello”, and the lyrics from Adele’s song. As you already know, I haven’t been around much lately. Life is happening at a pace that I’m having a hard time adjusting to. But I will…eventually.

We now have seven grandchildren, as of 6:36 pm on the 22nd. Her name is Josie. I had the privilege of being there for her birth, just as I have for all but one of our grandchildren. Eden decided to be born quickly in the middle of the night, so I stayed with the older two children while her parents made a trip to the birth center. When I say privilege…it is! At one time, I seriously considered being a midwife, or at least working in labor and delivery at a hospital. I love being with women in labor. The process of labor and birth is absolutely amazing to me…and it never dulls. So, it is a privilege to be a part of that very intimate time in a couple’s life, no matter how many times that process occurs. Mother and little Josie are doing well, and big sister Ashlynn is taking well to her new responsibilities.

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I am now also working full-time as the Activity Director at our local rest home. I do love this job…even if it seems strange to call it that. But it is hectic, and it takes the stuffing out of me by the end of the day. I love being more active and walking for much of my day. The sitting at my desk all day was wreaking havoc on my back and hips, but I’m adjusting to the activity. Sitting is about all I can handle by the time I arrive home. I am hoping that with warmer, spring air and sunshine, my energy level is back. After all, I’ll have a yard to tackle!

Renovation projects…of course have come to a stand still. I’m happy I accomplished as much as I did before Christmas. I really do want our son to have a life of his own, but I hope he has a couple months after he finishes with school in South Dakota to help me get caught up. Then I think we should sell the house and move to an apartment! 😉 We shall see. The little house by some water is still extremely appealing. And of course my lap-top will travel where no desk-top can. A row-boat in a middle of a pond with frogs croaking and birds chirping is beckoning me.

So, I’m still here, and I check in every now and then. Thank you to all of you that keep stopping by and commenting. It is a real encouragement! Have a great week…spring flowers and painted toe-nails are just around the corner!

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Up, Up and Away!

We’ve all been there. And we’ve sat on one side of the aisle or the other. We’ve been the parent of a child or children traveling by plane, or we haven’t been.

Deep words… right? But you know what I’m talking about!

I used to love to fly, back in the late seventies. Remember when you boarded the plane, carrying half the items from your house with you? You crammed them into the overhead storage, holding the doors shut and hoping they wouldn’t pop open. You checked in the other half of your house. If you were on a long flight, they served a leisurely meal, asked if you would like a drink…anything of your choice. They stocked the beverage aisle of a grocery store on those jets. Then you could watch a movie, take a nap…and they even offered you hearing devices, pillows and blankets at no extra charge. What a concept! Oh, and you could stay dressed before boarding your flight.

Those were the days, and I miss them!

Those were also the days when I didn’t have children.

I really don’t know why I flew so much when our children were young. I was not a career woman, very content to stay home. But I did fly a few times, and once with three children under the age of seven. The youngest two months old. We landed in New Jersey, and that’s a complete post all on its own! Needless to say, I was very happy for a few minutes to have my oldest with me to crawl under the stall door and unlock it so we could use the facilities. I didn’t happen to have change on hand while juggling a baby to pay to use them!

But I digress…again! When you are traveling with children, you board the plane with armor on. You walk that long aisle, trying to focus on your seat assignment, and you make eye contact with no one. Those that see you coming lugging your child, your stroller, car seat and diaper bag, scoot down in their seats and pretend to sleep. Cover their faces with a magazine or begin looking for people to trade seats with. Seriously!

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And I have done the same.

While having the privilege to fly child-free a few times, I prayed that family would pass several seats beyond me. I just wanted a few hours all to myself. But, as you can guess, I was the lucky one. A little boy of about three was my seat companion for one flight. He was fairly well-behaved, coloring and chattering. I could deal with that. I just went into Mommy-mode once again. The six-year old on another flight that stood on his seat behind me, taking the clip from my hair and spilling juice down my arm was another problem. If the flight hadn’t been so crowded, I would have been begging to trade. I would have even served drinks.

Flying with children is a challenge and I was blessed several times with seat mates that were special. While traveling with our son when he was very small, one older lady actually said out loud…I was shocked…that she was hoping I was next to her so she could travel with a baby. I almost ran because I thought there had to be something wrong with her and I had better protect my child! We sat with her for three hours. She held our son so I could eat, and while he was napping. She even fed him a bottle. We had very pleasant conversation and that flight was a joy! Another flight  with our three oldest, a gentleman asked if he could assist me with the diaper bag and car seat on my way off the plane. He said his wife traveled alone with their children and he never understood what she had gone through until he had watched our little family.

The flight attendants were always very helpful and cheerful. Such a need for a worn-out, travel-weary mother.

Yesterday, our second oldest flew with our grandchild for the first time. And yes, she had the same looks. I think it was her second flight that she had the seats to herself and she said that was just fine! Does this little one look like she would give any kind of grief?

Thank you to those of you that see a need and help. And to those that hide and pretend to sleep…I won’t fault you. I understand the fear! Have a great Saturday!

Walk the Talk

Sunday morning…a day when most people would think of attending a church of their choice. Now it’s just another day in most people’s minds. A day to sleep in, barbecue, go to the park or watch a ball game. I can understand the thinking behind that. People today are rushed from one activity to another, usually working a couple of jobs to get by. We are tired physically and emotionally…and we want a break.

This post came to mind because of the readers on here that have clicked on the link, The church is called to be churchy, so deal with it. I don’t know why, but this site is no longer there. So I do apologize for those of you that have tried to read the article. It was a good one. He had several posts that really made you think. Maybe that’s why the site is gone…too much conviction going on.

I was also thinking of something our second oldest daughter asked about. She and her husband are experiencing some testing. She didn’t understand why it seemed like every time they decided to make a commitment to read the Bible, attend church, and just generally get things together in their lives spiritually…life became tougher.

What a question!

When a person first accepts Christ as their Savior, the world is pretty bright and new. It’s a wonderful feeling. You skip along, finally understanding a bit about the Bible and trusting in your destination.

But then life happens.

Many times a new Believer does not have follow-up. They don’t continue to grow in their relationship with God. They don’t find a church to attend where they can have fellowship and support, and learn about God’s Word. They don’t make time in their lives to read the Bible or pray. That new-found joy begins to evaporate until all there is left is the burden of life. This is a very sad scenario, because the new Believer never has a chance to develop that relationship with God and other Believers. They don’t have the opportunity to have the rewards and blessings of the Christian life that make this worldly life more bearable.

Then there is the older Believer. They have been plugging away for years, and that first joy has disappeared. Sometimes the thinking is, “What does it matter if I go to church or read my Bible?  Who cares if I pray? I don’t see any results.” They lose heart and just rest on the fact that they will go to Heaven someday. That is good enough.

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But is it? God sent His only Son to die for us.

1 John 4:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 2:2(NASB)
and He Himself is the [a]propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

So why can’t we as Believers put a little effort into our Christian Walk?

I think that God allows a new Believer a chance to get their feet wet. They can stroll down the path of that new gift of salvation. The canopy of trees overhead shades them from the bright sun, and the birds chirp merrily. No stones impede the progress as the Babe in Christ drifts along.

But God doesn’t want us to stay there! A mountain climber isn’t content stepping over an ant hill. A surfer doesn’t want to dabble their feet in a brook. The long-distance runner won’t be motivated by a casual walk around the block. A pastor won’t only teach on salvation, but give the whole council of God. Any new mother loves her baby, but she wants them to grow up someday. And that’s what God wants of us…His children.

A mountain climber doesn’t get better by stepping over ant hills. He or she has to climb higher and more rough terrain to progress. The surfer has to find bigger waves to hone their skills. Someone that runs marathons has to run…a lot, or they aren’t ready for that race. A pastor that really wants to lead his flock and teach them God’s Word has to study and pray so that he knows what his congregation needs. Parents gain knowledge of their children over the years by caring for them and then instructing them in the ways of life.

So why do so many Christians just want to be saved…and call it good?

The Christian Walk is all of those items I mentioned above, put together and then some. In order to grow in Christ and abide in Him, you have to put the time in. The more time you grow, the harder the journey becomes. Often that path is strewn with rocks and boulders, deep crevices beside the road. The shade is intermittent and the glare of the sun is blinding. There are days, weeks and sometimes months when the birds stop singing. The Believer that perseveres finds great blessing and reward at the end of their journey, just the same as the mountain climber, the surfer, the runner, the pastor and the parent.

But the rewards for the Believer are so much better! I love this conversation that Jesus Christ has with his Disciples in John 14. It shows that people have always been human, struggling with the answers. It also shows Christ’s patience with us.

John 14 (NASB)

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; [a]believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, thatwhere I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Oneness with the Father

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; andgreater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Role of the Spirit

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [b]Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 [c]After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”22 Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father,[d]I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.

For me, I desire the close relationship with God. I want to abide in Christ and seek Him first in all that I do. No, I’m not always successful…and no Believer is. My path is often rocky and full of crevices and there are days when I want to sit down and not continue. But prayer and God’s Word strengthen me so that I may get up and forge ahead…because I know the rewards…the medal, is there at the end.

We’ve all just watched the Olympics. We’ve seen people from all around the world dedicate their lives to one event…for a medal. That medal won’t last into eternity. Think about your own life, your priorities, the daily chores you put so much effort into. Will they be there for you in eternity?

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As a Believer, my life should be centered around God and His priorities. Spending a Sunday morning in church with other Believers, reading my Bible, spending time in prayer rather than complaining, shouldn’t be too hard. Let’s put forth the effort.

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Always hold something back

Some very good advice…and I often do it. It helps me get started the next day…and hopefully I haven’t forgotten too much of that ‘feeling’ for that scene!

And Then What?

You sit down to write having wilfully ignored the distractions around you: the distant ringing telephone (yours), the barking dog (your neighbour’s). You pay no heed to the bells and whistles of Social Media which continually beckon you away like a siren’s song. You make all that effort but when confronted by the computer screen and your work in progress you find you have nothing to say. We have all been there, haven’t we? It’s so frustrating particularly if you have limited writing time and need to make it count.

Frustration Frustration by Peter Alfred Hess courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

https://flic.kr/p/5x3DF6  https://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

You can coax the creative engine into life but it can be a slow process like trying to get an old car started on a cold and frosty morning.

Give it a good pushjpg Give it a good push by Christopher Amrich courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons…

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I’m Not a Procrastinator!

Yes, I am procrastinating! I love to write. I adore getting into that very special little space where the ideas, dialogue, and story is flowing faster than I can type. But some days, I keep putting off the begin time. This is one of those days.

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I’ve accomplished all the ‘tasks’ I set for myself each day before I write. You know the ones. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, and just general upkeep of a home so you don’t have to shovel out after a couple of weeks.

But I just can’t seem to ‘jump’ in this morning. Maybe it’s because I was interrupted during a really great, pivotal scene last night. (Really…I can’t write when I’m being stared at!) And now I’m afraid to try again because of plans I have later. I don’t want to be side-tracked . If you are a writer, you know how frustrating that can be. After you try to write a scene several times…in my case it just loses some of the ‘oomph’.

Life is rather like that for all of us at times. The best laid plans and that sort of thing. I’m not really a very flexible person. The humor is there, in the fact that I had five children and a husband that drove over the road. Anyone with children understands that your day doesn’t always, (almost never) goes as planned. But we all survived.

That last statement brings me to why I started procrastinating this morning. It was Face Book…again. No, it’s not their fault, but it’s probably the number one time waster for me. I stopped writing last night because our second daughter had given me a challenge to post pictures of my husband and I when we first met, and then a recent one. I posted that last night, and then this morning I had to check it…of course!

So, I will share the pictures with you all. That statement about survival also pertains to these pictures. My husband and I have survived. We started out as children, young and full of exuberance, and half our size. The first one was taken right after our wedding rehearsal on October 19, 1984. The second one was taken last fall, October 4, 2015. We haven’t changed a bit, have we? 😉

The third one is just a bonus shot for all of you. It was taken on October 19, 1984.

October 19, 1984 day before wedding.

We were raking my parents yard. Cleaning it up a bit before our reception at their home the next day. My parents had just purchased the property in upstate New York, the Catskill Mountain area. It was a mess when they moved in, as you can see from the roof of the pump house. But it was beautiful when they moved fifteen years later! My husband and I were commenting on how it looked like we were on a set. Then our youngest daughter asked who the man was.

This last one was of us in September 1984, just after we were engaged. We were taking pictures for the newspaper to announce our engagement.

September 1984 engagement picture for newspaper

So many memories…and that’s how I got off-track in my writing last night…and now this morning! I know you all never do that! Have a great Thursday…and now…back to that scene!

 

The Power of Word-of-Mouth

I’ve been coming across some great posts lately…that I’ve just had to share! For the writers out there…enjoy! For the rest of you…I’ll be back soon! 😉

Marketing Christian Books

A few years back, I was lounging around the pool with some ladies from my neighborhood. One of the ladies suggested that we all go to Rita’s. I knew Rita’s was a new establishment about two miles down the street because I had seen the sign. However, I had not paid much attention to it, so I did not know what Ritas’ sold. Upon inquiring, the ladies all began to gush about the Italian Ice Rita’s serves, convincing me that I had to give it a try.

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I tried Ritas because of the recommendation from these ladies I knew. Word-of-Mouth is ten times more powerful than advertising. Here is why.

1. It is more persuasive.

It boils down to trust. Which do you trust more: an advertisement or someone you know who has tried the product or read the book? You trust your friend, co-worker, or neighbor more. We know…

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