Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Look back on 2011

This year was eventful and trying.

Last winter was very snow filled so I missed alot of work because of not being able to get there.

My son informed us in February that we were going to be Grandparents.

We found out that my father was in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

My husband switched jobs and wasn't home as much.

I was diagnosed with diabetes.

Faith came back home to live.

I started couponing.  I still do this but just to keep up the mini stockpile we have.

I started walking daily and in the process have lost 20 lbs.

Our Granddaughter was born in November.  She is a delight and lights up all our lives.

Much change is going on at work with none of our jobs safe.

We had major flooding all around the county .  Luckily we were not affected

I had several times that My back was in major pain but a new mattress seems to have fixed this.

Hannah was in a cycle of getting sick about every two weeks.  Looks like she may finally be out of the cycle.

Some wonderfu things happened this year and not so wonderful things. 

I am looking forward to see what 2012 has in store for us.

Friday, December 16, 2011

!2 Pearls of Christmas 3

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved writer's (Tricia Goyer, Babbie Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

AND just for fun ... there's also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 - 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

Where is Comfort and Joy Found?
By Sandy Ralya

The year 2006 ushered unwelcome emotions into my life. My husband was unhappy in his job, two of my grown children were making poor choices, my mother-in-law was showing signs of Alzheimer’s, extended-family issues were surfacing, and I was writing a book. Things only got worse. Much worse.

Early in 2007, I was asked to represent the mentoring ministry for wives I founded, Beautiful Womanhood, and lead a women’s conference in Uganda, Africa. My husband wasn’t sure if traveling to Africa was a good idea, so we committed it to prayer. While we were listening for an answer, I sensed God asking me to fast from spending, except for groceries, for thirty days. Sometimes you know that you’ve heard God’s voice because you’d never have come up with those words on your own. This was one of those times. I’d never heard of a fast from spending. Tom needed no convincing that a fast from spending came directly from the mouth of God. He still gets excited just thinking about it!

During the fast, it became clear I had used spending as a way to gain a comfort fix. When I was spending money, I felt carefree and lighthearted. Instead of dwelling on the unpleasantness in my life, I was thinking of my purchases and how they would bring me pleasure. Not until I stopped spending did I realize how short-lived the fix really was. During the fast, when I felt the urge to spend—to anesthetize my pain—I pictured myself running into the arms of Jesus, the Great Comforter. Oh, what comfort I received!

One night, I told good friends my experience of gaining comfort through the power of the Holy Spirit rather than money. I exclaimed that I had never felt so comforted. One friend then told us about a dream he’d had shortly after hearing about the invitation from Uganda. After the dream, he had awoken and recorded the following thoughts:

“. . . this is for Sandy. Christ’s redemption of women is beautiful. Beautiful Womanhood is a result of redemptive wholeness. The visuals the ministry uses on the books, etc., are like a piece of beautifully veneered furniture. There is something going on with the ministry to the brokenness of abused women. In Uganda, there are hurting, abused women, and something is connecting their need and Beautiful Womanhood. Though there is nothing wrong with veneer, it is only the topping—the covering, and without good structure it is shallow and will not hold up. It is time to add a new depth to the ministry.”

Then these verses came to my friend’s mind:

All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NL

When my friend was finished sharing, everyone in the room broke down in tears, praising God for His work in my life. I’d learned to listen and God had spoken. I’d obeyed, and He’d acted. When He acted, I was changed.

Needless to say, I packed my bags and experienced some of the best days of my life in Uganda—offering God’s comfort to His troubled women.

Sandy and her husband Tom have been married since 1980 and live near Grand Rapids, Michigan. They have three adult children and a growing number of grandchildren. When not writing and speaking, Sandy enjoys shopping at yard sales for vintage clothing, cooking, travelling, and drinking really good coffee (black is best) with her husband. For more information, contact Sandy at Subscribe to Sandy’s blog at Find Sandy on Facebook at Beautiful Womanhood. Follow Sandy on Twitter @MentoringWives.

christmas lights 13 houses on bainbridge circle murrieta wizards of winter

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Pearls of Christmas 2

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved writer's (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

AND just for fun ... there's also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 - 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

Advent By Sibella Giorello

Consider the bride's walk down the aisle. We all know where that woman in the white is going but somehow waiting for her to arrive at the altar is an essential part of the ceremony. In fact, the waiting is so essential that even cheapskate Vegas chapels include wedding marches.


Because the wait adds meaning to the moment.

At Christmas time, we tend to forget this essential truth about anticipation. We're lost to shopping malls and checklists, rushing toward December 25th so quickly that we forget the quiet joy of the month's other 24 days -- and then we wonder why we feel so empty on the 26th, amid ribbons and wrapping paper and our best intentions.

Because the wait adds meaning to the moment.

And that is why Advent is so important to Christmas.

I'm as guilty as the next harried person. This Advent was particularly tricky because just six hours before it started, I was still trying to finish a 110,000-word novel that was written over the course of the year -- written while homeschooling my kids, keeping my hubby happy, and generally making sure the house didn't fall down around us.

It's an understatement to say my free time is limited. But waiting adds meaning, and Advent is crucial to Christmas, so I've devised several Advent traditions that are simple, powerful and easy to keep even amid the seasonal rush.

When my kids outgrew the simple Advent calendars around age 7, I stole an idea from my writer friend Shelly Ngo (as T.S. Eliot said, "Mediocre writers borrow. Great writers steal." Indulge me.)

Here's how it goes: Find 24 great Christmas books, wrap them individually and place then under the tree. On the first day of Advent, take turns picking which book to open. When we did this, we would cuddle under a blanket and read aloud -- oh, the wonder, the magic! We savored "The Polar Express," howled with "How Murray Saved Christmas," and fell silent at the end of "The Tale of The Three Trees" (note: some of the picture books I chose were not explicitly about Christmas but they always echoed the message that Jesus came to earth to save us from ourselves and to love us beyond our wildest imagination. In that category, Angela Hunt's retelling of The Three Trees definitely hits the Yuletide bull's eye).

This Advent tradition lasted for about five years. It gave us rich daily discussions about the season's real meaning, without being religious or legalistic, and it increased family couch time. But like the lift-the-flap calendars, my kids outgrew the picture books.

Because the wait adds meaning, and Advent is crucial, I prayed for another way to celebrate anticipation of Christmas. By the grace of God, last year I found an enormous Advent calendar on  clearance at Pottery Barn. Made of burlap, it has large pockets big enough to hold some serious bounty.
But my husband and I didn't want the kids focusing only on the materialist stuff for Advent -- we already fight that on Christmas day. We decided to fill the daily pockets with simple necessities and small gift cards. We also printed out the nativity story from Luke 2:1-21 in a large-sized font and cut each verse out. From Day 1 to Day 21, there is one verse to read aloud. The kids memorize it, then get to open their present (again, on alternating days for each person). Then we tape the verse to the wall in order. By Day 22, all the verses are on the wall, in order, and the kids now try to recite the entire nativity story from memory. That's not as difficult as it sounds because they've been memorizing one verse each day. Still, the entire recitation -- verbatim -- usually requires Day 23 and Day 24. Whoever does memorize the entire thing -- without mistakes --  earns a bonus gift of $25.

Does that sounds extravagant?

It is.

Because we want our kids to understand that God came down and humbled himself and taught us about love right before He suffered and died on behalf of the undeserving -- which is every one of us.

"That's" extravagant.

And in the waiting, we find even more meaning.

Sibella Giorello writes the Raleigh Harmon mystery series which won the Christy Award with its first book "The Stones Cry Out." She lives in Washington state with her husband and children, and often wishes there were 36 hours in a day.

WARD KIMBALL-Fire House 5+2-Disney-Christmas Song-Animation

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Pearls of Christmas 1

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom" from some of today's most beloved writer's (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more)! Please follow the series through Christmas day as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.

AND just for fun ... there's also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 - 12/25 and the winner will on 1/1. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. You may enter once per day.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls, please visit and see what we're all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.


A Christmas of Kindness
By Suzanne Woods Fisher

"You can give without loving, but you can¹t love without giving." Amish proverb

I do it every year.

I plan for a simpler, less stressful Christmas season and, every year, by Christmas Eve I'm exhausted! After our delicious and very-time-consuming-to-make traditional Swedish meal to honor my husband¹s relatives (think: Vikings), it's time to head to church. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but the last few Christmas Eve's, I have sent my husband and kids head off without me. The pull to spend an hour of quiet in the house feels as strong as a magnet.

It's odd. My children are young adults now. Wouldn't you think that Christmas would be simpler? Instead, it's just the opposite. Jugging schedules to share the grandbaby with the in-laws, trying to include our elderly parents at the best time of day for them, dancing carefully around recently divorced family members whose children are impacted by the shards of broken relationships.

The thing is: you can simplify your to-do list, but you can't really simplify people. We are just a complicated bunch.
Here's where I borrow a lesson about simplicity from the Amish. It's easy to get distracted with the buggies and the bonnets and the beards, but there's so much more to learn from these gentle people if you're willing to look a little deeper.

Yes, they live with less "stuff" and that does make for a simpler, less cluttered life. But it's the reason behind it that is so compelling to me: they seek to create margin in their life. Not just empty spacebut space that is available to nourish family, community, and faith. Their Christmas is far less elaborate than yours or mine, but what they do fill it with is oh so right.

Christmas comes quietly on an Amish farmhouse. There is no outward sign of the holiday as we know it: no bright decorations, no big tree in the living room corner. A few modest gifts are waiting for children at their breakfast place settings, covered by a dishtowel. Waiting first for Dad to read the story of Christ's birth from the book of Luke. Waiting until after a special breakfast has been enjoyed. Waiting until Mom and Dad give the signal that the time has come for gifts.

Later, if Christmas doesn't fall on a Sunday, extended family and friends will gather for another big meal. If time and weather permits, the late afternoon will be filled with ice skating or sledding. And more food! Always, always an abundance of good food. Faith, family, and community. That is the focus of an Amish Christmas.

And it's also how the story begins for A Lancaster County Christmas, as a young family prepares for Christmas. A winter storm blows a non-Amish couple, Jaime and C.J. Fitzpatrick, off-course and into the Riehl farmhouse. An unlikely and tentative friendship develops, until the one thing Mattie and Sol hold most dear disappears and then. Ah, but you¹ll just have to read the story to find out what happens next. Without giving anything away, I will say that I want to create a Mattie-inspired margin this Christmas season. Mattie knew inconveniences and interruptions that come in the form of people (big ones and little ones!) are ordained by God. And blessed by God.

Creating margin probably means that I won't get Christmas cards out until the end of January, and my house won't be uber-decorated. After all, something has to give. But it will mean I make time for a leisurely visit with my dad at his Alzheimer's facility. And time to volunteer in the church nursery for a holiday-crowded event. And time to invite a new neighbor over for coffee. Hopefully, it will mean that my energy won't get diverted by a frantic, self-imposed agenda. Only by God's agendathe essence of true simplicity.

And that includes taking time to worship Christ's coming at the Christmas Eve service. You can hold me accountable! This year, I will be there.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, and The Keeper, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award nominee and is the host of an internet radio show called Amish Wisdom and her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California.

Alvin And The Chipmunks - Hula Hoop - Christmas Song

Thursday, December 8, 2011

First Chapter Peak of The Cat Lover's Devotional by M.R. Wells, Connie Fleishaur, and Dottie P. Adams

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

The Cat Lover’s Devotional

Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Susan Otis, publicist, Creative Resources, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


M. R. Wells is the co-author of Four Paws from Heaven, Purr-ables from Heaven, and Paws for Reflection. She has written extensively for children’s animated television and video programs, including several Disney shows, Adventures from the Book of Virtues and Bibleman. She shares her Southern California home with her cats and dogs Muffin, Bo, Munchie, Becca and Marley.

Connie Fleishauer is a retired teacher and writer, and is the co-author of Four Paws from Heaven, Purr-ables from Heaven, and Paws for Reflection. The wife of a Bakersfield, California farmer, she is a mother of three and grandmother of one. While many cats have warmed her home, currently, she has two dogs.

Dottie P. Adams is a teaching director for Community Bible Study in the Los Angeles area where she has taught a Bible class for twenty years. Co-author of Purr-ables from Heaven, she is the wife of a retired physicist, the mother of three children, grandmother of five, and currently has cats Midnight and Mooch.

Visit the authors' website.


A new devotional for cat lovers will delight and impart truth about God’s ways, workings in our lives and our relationship with Him. Entertaining true accounts of the antics and personalities of cats are interwoven with anecdotes from the lives of the people who love them and timeless biblical truth. Suitable for adults, youth or children, the stories are filled with gripping moments that reveal God’s love and would lend themselves well to family or personal devotions.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736928812
ISBN-13: 978-0736928816


Midnight’s Not-So-Rapid Transit

Relationships Take Time

We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.


I love sitting at the dining room table on spring mornings, watching the stark darkness turn into a misty dawn as the birds sing to announce the new day. It’s a great time to be alone with the Lord. The house is quiet because I’m the only “early bird” up besides the real ones chirping outside.

As I sat praying one particular morning I heard a loud thump on the window behind me. It was Midnight, asking to come in for breakfast. She always bangs her head against the windowpane to get my attention. Then she rubs her nose against the window frame and meows softly, knowing I will come outside to fetch her. I call this her “rapid transit,” even though she could come in much more quickly through the cat door. But it’s not the quickness she desires—it’s the contact.

As Midnight softly meowed and rubbed that morning I pulled on a jacket and headed outdoors to perform the rite we both love. I cozy up to the air conditioner, which is exactly the height of my shoulders. She steps from the machine to my shoulder as I guide her. She drapes herself around me with her front paws on my left shoulder, her belly nestling the back of my neck, and her back paws hanging down over my right shoulder. As her face presses against me, she purrs into my left ear. I understand that this is her ride to her food bowl—but it’s so much more. Not only do I get a smell of the morning air, I have precious moments of special closeness with my “living fur shawl.” It’s a joy to have this relationship with one of God’s little four-foots—a joy I treasure!

Like my cat, my youngest grandchild also loves to cuddle. He and his brother and their parents live with us right now. I often spend part of the morning upstairs working on lectures for the Bible study class I teach. Eli and Jayden are awake by the time I come downstairs. Jayden (age two and a half) is content to smile, call to me, and continue his play. But Eli (18 months) wants more. He rushes over to me, crying “Maw-Maw!” Then he tugs at my clothes till I pick him up so he can snuggle. As soon as he’s in my arms, he lays his head tightly against me, his ear pressed against my chest. He stays that way for what is a long time for a toddler. It’s a joy to have this special time with him, and I treasure it too!

I also treasure the special relationship time I spend with God. Most mornings I go to Him in prayer, even if it’s just to ask His blessing on my family. I spend a few moments reading the Bible, even if it’s just one verse to connect my mind to Him. I call this “having coffee with Jesus.”

I get my coffee and intentionally ask Jesus to sit with me as if He were here in the flesh. I picture Him sitting right across the table. I talk about the previous day or the day to come. I weep with Him over hardships I’m facing or the suffering of others. I laugh and rejoice with Him over answered prayer. I share my needs and thank Him for being my friend. Sometimes I imagine Him smiling back at me, and other times I believe He brings a verse of Scripture into my mind to correct me or give me hope or courage.

Building close relationships takes time. It must be intentional. It can’t only happen when it’s convenient. Jesus lived this out when He walked the earth. He called each of His disciples and poured His life into them for three years. And He always took time to pray and be with His Father in heaven.

Midnight intentionally bumps the window to begin our special time together. I intentionally respond, even if she’s interrupting something pressing. When Eli wants to snuggle, I take time to enjoy his toddler love, even if I’m in a hurry. I have coffee with Jesus in the same way. Whether it’s convenient or not, I take the necessary time not just to go through my prayers, but to be with my Lord. I believe He delights to hear me purring in His ear as I start the day with Him!

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3).
Consider This:

Do you set aside time to be with God each day? If so, how does it enhance your relationship? If not, would you be willing to try?

Perry’s Good Shepherd

Be a Shepherd for God

The King of love my Shepherd is,

Whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am His,

And He is mine forever.


Perry is a very special kitty, the first to live indoors with my in-laws, Harold and Doris. They got him from relatives who could no longer keep him. He is totally enjoying his new life as he chooses where to sleep and whose lap to jump on for some pampering. This gorgeous fluffy orange cat with bright peridot eyes knows just what he wants and how to get it. He loves Harold and Doris, but like all ornery kids he knows how to work them.

On one particular evening when I’d been visiting with them, Perry decided to be a bit more playful than anyone desired. When we walked out the back door, Perry slipped out behind us and followed. He darted under my car to hide. I saw him first and began to call him, but there was no way he was going to obey me. This was playtime. He raced to the back of the vehicle and sprinted down the long driveway.

Harold and Doris live in the country, but their home is near a popular road where cars drive fast. Perry could have been in great danger. He would have had little chance of survival on this road in the dark of night. Fortunately, his faithful master took care of him. As I started to go after the truant, Harold stopped me. He said, “Cover me with the flashlight and I’ll go get him.”

Although Perry was ornery, perhaps this cat had some “horse sense.” He got close to the road but turned aside. He darted into the pasture at the east end of the farm. Perry slunk down in the high grass while Harold, age 82, tried to sneak up on the mischievous feline in his stocking feet in the dark. I felt bad that Harold would not let me join him in the pursuit, but this was his cat, his “child,” his responsibility. He was Perry’s “good shepherd,” and he was acting as any good shepherd would. Giving up or giving in was never an option.

Finally, Perry seemed to realize that Harold was in charge (or he chose to let Harold think he was). Perry hunkered down and let his human grab him. I could tell that even though Harold was tired and his stocking feet were muddy, he was pleased to have Perry back safely in his arms.

Harold probably just thought of this as another one of many chases he had with Perry. But to me, it was more. It was a reenactment of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. In Matthew 18:12-14, Jesus talks about the shepherd who left the rest of his flock to search for the one little lost sheep that had wandered off.

Many years ago, I was just such a lost sheep. Just before entering high school, I had been making some very poor choices. I had accepted Jesus as my personal Savior when I was six years old, and I had gone to church all my life. But at this time, I decided to explore my small world in ways I didn’t need to. I had chosen to be with some “friends” who weren’t true friends, and we had done some things we needed to confess.

My older brother talked to me about what I was doing. He asked if I really wanted to go to high school with that baggage. He stayed with me until I prayed and promised that I would try to obey God and behave like His child. Darrell was my shepherd at that point, and many other times through my teenage years. When I was lost, he went looking for me till he found me. He’d bring me home and nurture me the way a brother or a shepherd would.

The story of the lost sheep had great meaning to me as I was growing up. I loved thinking about the caring shepherd picking up the scared, tired little lamb in his strong arms and carrying it home. I still take comfort in this parable today. It is a way of telling us that we will never be left alone. No matter what our age, if we choose to run off by ourselves, like Perry did that night, our Good Shepherd will always go after us and bring us home in His loving arms, if we allow Him to.

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent (Luke 15:4-7).

Consider This:

Have you ever strayed from God? What lured you away? How did your Good Shepherd pursue you? Did you let Him carry you home? If not, would you like to do that right now? Is there someone God might want you to shepherd for Him?

Undying Love

Be “Otherly”

True happiness is found in unselfish Love, a Love which increases in proportion as it is shared.


Tigret was my dear friend Patty’s treasured four-footed kitty soul mate for 17 wonderful years. He was her first real pet and best buddy. They lived together in New York, and when Patty moved to California, Tigret made the cross-country journey with her.

When Patty watched TV, Tigret would curl up beside her. He slept on her bed at night. When she gave parties, he sat on his very own chair. But he was more than a faithful companion. Patty once heard someone say that God gives us each a pet to teach us something special. She feels Tigret was given to her to teach her to be “otherly”—to love others and God with an unselfish love.

Tigret knew Patty’s moods. He sensed when she was sad or happy. He would put his paw on her lap or hand in a gesture of kitty comfort. He also seemed to know when she was sick—sometimes even before she did. He would stay close by his beloved human until he sensed she was better.

Tigret’s ultimate expression of unselfish love was to care for Patty even when he was dying. He was 17 and had developed kidney problems. He couldn’t drink enough water to stay healthy, and giving him fluids subcutaneously didn’t work well. He would yelp when the needle was inserted. Patty decided not to force this on him. Tigret got sicker and sicker until it took all his strength just to go upstairs. Clearly Tigret’s time on this earth was ending. Patty made him as comfortable as she could…even as her own heart was breaking.

One day, as Patty tended Tigret in tears, he reached out his paw and placed it on her arm. It was as if he was saying, “You’ll be okay.” When Tigret died, Patty wasn’t with him. She believes he knew it would be easier for her that way.

Someone else in Patty’s life also tried to care for her while dying. Patty’s mother passed away just one month after Tigret. She had battled cancer before—but no one knew it had come back.

Patty’s mom was a pediatric cardiologist. In her later years she semiretired from private practice and became involved in teaching and mentoring medical interns and residents. She kept this up even when the cancer returned, and Patty would not have realized that something was wrong except for God’s intervention.

It was a Sunday after church, and Patty had gone up front for prayer on a completely unrelated matter. The gentleman who prayed with her asked Patty how her mother was. “As far as I know, okay,” Patty answered. The man suggested Patty ask her mom about her health. When Patty did, her mom admitted her cancer had come back.

Just like Tigret, Patty’s mom was concerned for the needs of others, even as her own health was failing. She tried to keep teaching. She talked to Patty about taking care of her dad. When Patty finally persuaded her to go to the doctor, he said she had six to nine months to live. They could try chemotherapy, but there was no guarantee.

Patty’s mom took her first dose of chemo—and passed away a week later.

Patty recalls a moment in her mother’s hospital room. Her mom was on a ventilator. Patty saw two angels in a corner by the bed. Patty knew her mom loved Jesus and would go to be with Him. She died soon after. That experience feels to Patty like a special gift from God.

Our loving Lord Jesus was also “otherly” when it was time for Him to die. As His betrayal and crucifixion approached, His focus was to teach and prepare His disciples. In John 16:5-7, He told them, “Now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Even as He hung on the cross, Jesus asked His disciple John to care for His mother.

But Jesus’ sacrificial love went far deeper. He willingly took upon Himself the penalty for our sins. By doing so, He conquered sin and death so that all who put their trust in Him could enjoy eternal life. Patty has given her life to her Savior, and she knows that when she leaves this earth she will go to her loving Lord, who will wipe away all her tears, including the ones she shed for Tigret and her mother. And she’ll be reunited with her mom again.

Being “otherly” isn’t something that starts when we are dying. It’s a way of life. It’s what Jesus calls us to do. If you live and love with an “otherly” focus, as Tigret and Patty’s mom did, you will show that you are Jesus’ disciple!

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:10-11).

Consider This:

Is there someone in your life who loves you unselfishly? How do they do that and how does it make you feel? How could you focus more on others and be more sensitive to their needs? What could you do to show them “otherly” love?

Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo [Timeless Version]

Thursday, December 1, 2011

On ABC Family tonight

Since we got rid of our cable this season is the only time I wish that we had it back so I can watch all the great specials. 

On Abc Family tonight
 Mickey's Christmas Carol at 6:00 or you can watch it online here
Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too at 6:30 or you can watch it online here
The Santa Clause is on at 7:00 and 9:00

A Charlie Brown Christmas - Christmas Time is Here Song

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

What I am Thankful for today

Today I am thankful

1.  My Lord and Saviour Jesus
2. My wonderful Husband
3. My Kids Justin, Faith and Hannah
4. My Granddaughter Eden
5. That Eden has a good mommy Carissa
6. Food and Shelter
7. Doctors that help when we are sick
8. All the devices that we have to enjoy computer, smartphones, audio books, dvds, blu ray, blu tooth,
9. My job
10.  A wonderful church Fellowship

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tv Tuesday -the Honeymooners

Classic tv is so much better than the shows that are on nowadays. Here is scene from the Honeymooners

Monday, November 14, 2011

Movie Monday - West Side Story Turns 50

One of my favorite musicals recently turned 50. The dvd for West Side story was one of the first dvd's I bought when we finally broke down and bought a dvd player. Over the weekend I watched the movie again. It's just as great as the first time I watched it. Only in a musical would two NYC gangs go dancing and singing down the streets.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Grandbaby!!

My Son and his girlfriend had their Baby on Saturday.

Mindy Detweiler

Her name is Eden Kinsley Deteweiler.  She was born at 8:20 am and weighed 7 lbs 6 oz and 19 inches long. 

Everyone is adjusting and doing fine.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Turning 40" Comedy By Mark Lowry

Dave and I watched The Best of Bill Gaither and Mark Lowry Vol 1 on Saturday during our snow storm.  This was one of the skits.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guest Post by Melody Carlson

Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits By Melody Carlson

 Have you even wondered why some teens are drawn toward things like Ouija boards or psychics? Or why séances are still popular at sleepovers? Does it just have to do with Halloween and that spine-chilling need for a good scare? Or could it be something more? And, as a Christian, should you be concerned? Those questions, as well as some confused reader letters, prompted me to tackle the “supernatural” in one of my teen novels (Moon White, TrueColors, Nav Press). And whenever I write an issues-based novel, I’m forced to research—and often in some dark places. So I began scouring websites, learning more about Wicca and the occult, trying to grasp what was really going on with today’s teens—and how I could write about it in a helpful and relevant way. But, as usual, when I write a teen book, I go back to my own adolescence...trying to connect with my inner teen...and I suddenly remembered a short era when a friend and I got very interested in witchcraft. I had honestly forgotten about this time and was fascinated to recall how we scoured some witchcraft stores on a local campus—I think we even purchased a few things. Fortunately, this interest was short-lived and I became a Christian not long afterward. However, as I reconnected with my inner teen, I had to ask myself—why had I looked into witchcraft back then? Why do teens dabble with it now? Suddenly the answer became crystal clear. I was searching. I’d been calling myself an atheist for several years by then, but I was spiritually hungry—starving in fact. Consequently I was looking for spiritual answers—something that would fill that empty void within me. I wanted a supernatural force in my life and I didn’t even care where it came from. I needed something bigger than me, more powerful than me, something to hold onto. I had no idea at the time that I was really searching for God. This realization changed the way I viewed my research. Instead of feeling disgusted and dismayed by the witchcraft/Wicca sites (which are not particularly enjoyable) I began to recognize that these people (mostly girls) were simply searching too. They wanted a power source in their lives just like I wanted one in mine. They just hadn’t found God yet. This led to another discovery. A girl who’s attracted to a religion like Wicca is usually seeking to gain some control over her life. Something is wrong and she wants to change it. To do so, she’s often enticed to purchase something—like “magical herbs”—to create a potion that will give her some control over her situation. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even realize she’s being tricked. But think about it, wouldn’t you love to have control over a bad situation sometimes? Wouldn’t you love to be able to change the circumstances that make your life unpleasant? So what if someone offered you the “power” to do just that? Perhaps if you’re fifteen, you wouldn’t see that person as a charlatan and you would fall for it. Which brings me to another important factor in understanding this generation’s attraction to the supernatural. Follow the money. The more I researched, the more it became painfully obvious that Wicca and witchcraft and the occult are money-making enterprises. Thanks to the internet, these savvy distributors sell anything imaginable—and many things you can’t. That leads to some serious motivation—these marketers want to hook their unsuspecting young customers and reel them in. Of course, these potions and trinkets and how-to books don’t come with a money back guaranty. Nor are they approved by the FDA. Yet they are a multi-million dollar industry. So, in a way, it’s a perfect storm. Teens that are insecure, lost, unhappy, and up with an unregulated industry that offers supernatural answers and power and control...for a price. And, oh yeah, I never even mentioned how this opens a door for Satan to slip in and wreak havoc. For’ll have to read the book.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

McCoy on TNG

Dave and I watched the first epidsode of Star Trek Next Generation the other day on Netflix.  It was kinda corny but good fun.  I love this interaction between Dr. Mccoy and Data.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life Lesson from The Help by Poppy Smith

Life Lessons from The Help 
Pain Happens in a Broken World
By Poppy Smith
Have you read or seen the movie, THE HELP? If you have, you know it is a story about racism and the treatment of black maids who worked for white people in the South. People’s reactions range from outrage at the humiliation blacks have often received, to charges that it was biased and untrue.
I came out of the movie grieving. I not only felt wretched at the pain racism causes, but also at the hurt and suffering that comes when people mistreat others. Pain Happens in a Broken World. Being cruel to others, whether by actions or words, happens in every culture for many reasons: because individuals think they are superior for some reason due to their skin color, gender, position in society, wealth, or education. Whatever the reasons, they all flow from a sinful heart.
Have you been hurt?
  • Have you known what it is like to be looked down on, dismissed as unimportant, or made to feel unwanted? Have you experienced cruelty of some kind? How did it make you feel?
  • Have you wrestled with anger, wanting to get revenge, or feeling crushed and of no worth? In The Help, one of the poorly treated maids gets her revenge in a startling way. But revenge is God’s prerogative, and not ours to take (Romans 12:19).
  • Your pain might have come from someone you work with, live next to, or go to school with. Its source could be a relative or close family. Even fellow believers hurt others when operating in the flesh and not the Spirit. But no matter where your pain originated, it is something God wants to heal.
  • God Cares About You. Why should He care? Why does He call you to forgive those who have harmed you? Because He loves you and wants the appalling power of bitterness, hatred, and inner rage to stop poisoning your heart and your life.
  • God’s Path to Healing. How can you and I, followers of the Lord Jesus, indwelt by His Mighty and All-powerful Spirit, find freedom from pain? Only by forgiving the one, or many, who caused our pain.
Three necessary principles for dealing with pain:
  • Reject blame and bitterness. It doesn’t move you forward. It chains you to the past.
  • Pray for willingness to forgive. It is a process that often requires time to work through.
  • Forgive the offender. Be willing to release that person from your desire for revenge, or even for an apology. Realize they most likely have moved on and forgotten the incident. Remembering is only hurting you. Let it go.
Remember something else: the Lord is our Healer. He wants you to experience joy, no matter how much pain you have experienced. He wants you to THRIVE in every aspect of your life. And He has provided a way for this to happen! Will you walk in it?

Author Bio
Poppy Smith
With her fun personality and passion for communicating life-changing truths, Poppy Smith inspires believers to thrive spiritually and personally. Poppy’s practical how-to messages (in print or in person) uses colorful examples from her own struggles to be more like Jesus. She encourages women (and men, at times) to grow in every kind of situation—whether joyful or painful! Poppy is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She brings an international flair seasoned with humorous honesty as she illustrates Bible truths. A former Bible Study Fellowship Lecturer, Poppy’s teaching challenges women to look at their choices, attitudes and self-talk. As a result, God’s speaks, changing hearts, changing minds, and changing lives.
The above article comes from Poppy’s recent Thrive e-newsletter.
Receive Poppy’s Ten Tips for Saying “No” by signing up for her newsletter at:

"Life Lessons from THE HELP" is loaded at If for some reason you have difficulty copying or downloading the article, we will be glad to email the article in .pdf or .doc format.
This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you notify KCWC at
All other standard copyrights apply.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Super 8 Movie Trailer 2 Official (HD) Warning trailer contains language and voilence

I watched this movie the other day.  It actually was pretty good.  There is quite a bit of language and some violence with blood so definately would not recommend for young children or even younger teens.  Here  is what Plugged In (Focus on the Family's media review site) has to say.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Book review Friday

Over at my Book Blog I posted some reviews and Chapter peaks at several Books that you might be interested in. 

First Chapter Peak of

Raising a Daughter after God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George

Book Review of

Forsaking All Others

Forsaking All Others by Allison Pittman

First Chapter Peak of

Cherished by Kim Cash Tate

Have you read any good Books lately?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What We've Been Up to Wednesday.

This past week wasn't all that great of a week. 

All of us were sick sometime during the week.  Hannah seems to have gotten the worst of it as her sickness usually always go straight to her tonsils (which the doctors won't take out). 

Dave had to stay at the room that his company provides for drivers twice this past week because of breakdowns. 

I feel  Last Monday and scrapped up both my hand and my phone.  On Tueday I shut the car door on my thumb and I caught the  cold that the girls so graciously shared with me (I taught my kids to share but there are some things that I wouldn't mind if they were selfish with like colds.  LOL).  and I lost my debit card (nothing like gettting all the way through the checkout line at Walmart and discover that you don't have your card.  Luckily it was at 7 am so not a huge amount of people in line behind me to witness my embarrasment).

After Faith so graciously shared her cold with everyone in the family she had a good week because she started the new year of teaching class.  She is teaching seven classes this year and really enjoyed the first week.

As I said above Hannah had the worst of the cold.  She missed her second week of Homeschool group and didn't volunteer at the library this week.  She also didn't go to youth group.  She did do some school this week but not much.  Hopefully this week will be better. 

I have been doing most of my blogging for both my book blog and here on Saturday and scheduling the posts for through out the week.  I have the most time on Saturday most of the time so this is a great way to do this.  I tweak things through out the week but do most of the writing on Saturday.  It is so nice to have a post posted everyday without having to worry about it but one day a week. 

Speaking of my book blog, I have signed up for the Fall into Reading challenge.  You can read the post about my plans here.  I hope to finish one book every week, and audio book every two weeks and a book on my Kindle every three weeks. 

What have you been up to?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ramona And Beezus - Official Trailer - in theaters July 23rd!

These books were Hannah's favorites when she was growing up.  She and I watched the movie on Friday night and both of us really enjoyed it.  really cute.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World...

When we were at Disney World we saw this.  It was my favorite show of all the ones we saw.  Well worth the time to watch.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Video Clips

Sorry for all the video clip posts but I figured out how to get the clips to post right and I wanted to post the clips but not the entire past posts.  Enjoy the clips if you want or not. 

The Ten Commandments (1956) - Trailer

Love Finds Andy Hardy - Trailer (1938)

Rhoda TV show Season 1 Theme

The Cosby Show Bloopers

Walt Disney Cartoons Mickey Mouse Donald Duck & Goofy Boat Builder...

The Windy City from Calamity Jane (1953)

I think I figured out how to get the videos to work.  Yeah!!

This was out movie for the weekend.  It is alot like Annie Get Your Gun (it even has Howard Keel as Wild Bill Hickok, he was Buffalo Bill Cody in Annie)  I think that Annie was the better movie but this was fun in it's own way.   Doris Day played Calamity Jane. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What a Week!!

I have been on vacation all week and I have done absolutely nothing this week. It has been eventful again this week as we have gone through tons of rain from Hurricane Lee and had massive flooding in the area. We live on a hill and did not have to deal with any of the flooding but we did have a leaky roof. I was glad that I didn;t have to drive an any of the flooded areas. My husband drove home on Wednesday and had a hard time getting out of the city he works in. He didn't have any load Thursday night and is currently doing two runs with a 10 hour break in between. He will not be home until around midnight tonight. My daughter's car lost a belt on her way home from work on Thursday so since it would cost her more to fix it than it was worth (other things were wrong with it) she decided to junk it. She is currently without a car for now but we will loan her one of ours until she can save up a bit more money for a decent down payment. Hannah started homeschool group this week and seems to reallly enjoy her classes especially her art class. We are slowly getting back into the routine of things.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Post Hurrican Irene and a bunch of randomness

We made it through the storm with no ill effects. We had our electric go out for just a minute here and there but no major disruption in service.
 We took the leap and got rid of our cable service this past week. We realized that we don't watch it that much and that we have using our Netflix more. Any shows that I watched were dvred and I would sometimes not watch them for weeks and by then I could watch most of them online. We also figured we could buy a couple of movies or seasons of tv shows we liked and still be able to save money. The cable rep that my hubby talked to was not to happy and kept asking if we were going with someone else.
My husband surprised me and came walking with me on Monday. We had a good time. We then went out for breakfast at one of our favorite diners 
Sunday we didn't have church because of the hurricane so we had a nice relaxing day here. Dave and I watched Secretariat On Netflix. We now have a blu ray player in the room that we can use netflix on the tv. It makes it really nice to watch some of the movies that I would like to watch with Dave as he usually only watches movies in bed before he goes to sleep. While we were watching this he googled it and found that some of the movie was not correct but it was a nice movie anyway.
 One station I will miss because we no longer have cable will be Turner Classic Movies. Netflix has some of the classics but not near the amount that TCM had.
We were without Internet on Monday so that put a bit of a cramp in our school as some of Hannah's subjects requires access to the Internet for various reason.
 I will be on vacation next week as one of the ladies I work with will be going on a cruise so they don't need two people there at night so I will work Sunday night and then bring the other lady home for a cookout on Monday then I will be off for a week after I take her back home. No real plans for the week except Hannah will be starting Homeschool Group which she is looking forward to as she will be taking an art class for one of her classes. I also may go to visit my Mother In Law but I am not sure about that yet.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

There goes our Weekend

We had planned to go to see the Statue of Liberty on Sunday but from the predictions of Hurricane Irene it looks like that will be exactly when she will be around New York so there go our plans plus the money we spent on our ferry tickets (they are non refundable). 

I have started walking again after having taken off a week and half because of my back hurting.  I had Hannah walk with me on Monday and both she and David went along with me on Wednesday to Ferncliff Nature Preserve.  We had to navigate a downed tree over the road both ways and I have the bruises to prove it.  Dave took some pictures and I will post them later. 

Yesterday we went back to the Indian Steps Museum and took Dave with us this time.  We enjoyed wandering around the museum then started to walk the nature trail to see the water fall.  I walked a very small part and decided that I would attempt it as it was pretty steep and although I am in better shape than I was I still am not up to that quite yet. Maybe in a year.  Dave and Hannah continued on an reported back that there were 2 downed trees on this trail and the waterfall wasn't flowing much at all.  So I didn't miss much. 

Of course the big news was our Earthquake on Tuesday.  As everyone else in the household was driving in a car at the time, I was the only one that felt it.  I didn't like it one bit.  This is the second one that I was in as we had one when we lived in Indianapolis many years ago. 

We watched this over the weekend
<iframe width="420" height="345" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Dave really likes the Andy Hardy movies.  They are kinda corny but cute too.

Stay dry every one!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I knew this would happen

After homeschooling for many years I have learned to roll with the punches.  I know that I need to have some sort of plan but also not be too rigid with that plan.  I had our first week planned out and we have had a good two days.  Hannah has gotten all of her work done and has not had any problems. 
But school will be put on hold for the next two days.  Why?  Because Hannah has an opportunity to go to Philadelphia to do some missions work at an inner city church plant there.  She will be working in their garden plots that the church had growing fresh produce for the people in the area.  They will do some other things around Philly too.  They will be spending the night at the church we use to attend.  (Hannah still attends the Youth group there and Faith teaches Sunday School).  So Wednesdays lessons will be pushed to Friday and the rest of the week will move to next week.  This is one of the reasons I like homeschooling.  We can learn when it is convenient for us.  When the kids were younger if we didn't homeschool they wouldn't have been able to see much of their Dad because of his schedule.  Because we homeschooled I was able to pack up their books and he was able to take them with him on some of his trips.  We have always tried to make it happen when the kids have had a chance to help others. 
So it will be quite here the next two days. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of Junior year plus this and that

We have officially started our Junior year of High  School for Hannah today.  So far so good.  We tend to try to easy into things so we only will be doing a  few subjects this week and adding more as the weeks go on.  I will have to  wait for some subjects that Hannah will be taking in Homeschool group to see where I need to fill in places.  We will be doing quite a bit of cooking and home ec (translation cleaning).  We hope to be taking several field trips to various places with Hannah reporting about them on her blog.  First up will be the trip that we took to Indian Steps Museum in York county last week. 

Several things are on my mind this morning beside the start of school.  On Saturday there was a tragic accident at the Indiana State Fair where 5 people were killed and dozens of people were injured when a stage fell.   This was caused by a gust of wind.  My prayers go out to the families of these people. 

The second thing that is on my mind, a family from our church are in the process of adopting a little girl from Bulgaria.  The mother is over there now to meet the little,  She has posted some pictures about this meeting.  Warning the pictures are quite disturbing regarding the conditions these children have to live in over there.  Here is the link

On Saturday we watched part of this

A few weeks ago I think I posted about the first volume of this two disc series.  I tried to find some video of some of the routines from this disc but I couldn't find any but I can assure you that it is funny.

Dave and I watched this

Product Details

Last night.  I liked it but I think I liked the one entitled Earth better.

Well I guess that is it for today.  Everyone have a great day!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Last Week and A Half

We have had an eventful week and a half here.  Last Monday Faith and Hannah left for a missions trip to Nappanee Indiana.  They conducted the VBS for the BIC church there and did some work around the church.

Our weekend started with Dave and I trying our hand at geocaching. There is one in a small park near us.  The above is a picture of the park.  We were close but we had to get help from the guy who lives in the house pictured. 

After we dropped the girls off at the church on Monday for the missions trip we went for a walk at Silver Mine Park.  The above pics were taken there.  We then went looking for covered bridges.

The above bridge is the Colemanville Bridge and a picture of the stream .  We then went to the Pinnacle Overlook down at PPL in Holtwood.

Isn't that a great view of the Susquehanna River!!

We found another Covered bridge on our way home.  This is the Baumgardner Bridge. 

We then went home.  that was our Monday.

On Tuesday I went walking at the Theodore Parker III Natural Area.  I posted pictures earlier of Dave and myself here.  I started walking at the other end of the trail.  Well I didn't walk far as the trail kept going down and as you know if you go down on the way back you have to go up. 

I didn't walk Wednesday but on Thursday I went to the BellaireWoods Nature Preserve.  The description said that the trail had cobblestones.  These were not cobblestones but boulders.  I must have twisted the wrong way after walking here as I have been experiencing back pain in varying degrees since then. 

The above pictures are from one of the places I walked on Friday.  These are from the Manor Township Park.  I drive past this park all the time and ddi not realize how big it was and how pretty.  The path wasn't very long and I didn't want to walk it again so I went to Central Park and walked part of Mill Creek Trail.  I had tried to walk this trail before but the trails aren't accesible until 7:30 so this was a perfect day to go. 

The above pictures are from my favorite place that I walked all week last week. On Saturday I went to   Ferncliff Wildflower Preserve.  It was a really pretty walk.  I didn't do it all as my back was really starting to give me problems.  I hope to take Dave here in the near future and maybe even do the geocache that is there.  (several of Lancaster Conservancy properties have geocaching).

By Saturday night my back was hurting so much that I couldn't bend down to pick something up.  I stayed home Sunday from church and tried  to rest my back.  I didn't walk on Monday.  Yesterday I went to Wolgamuth Park and walked a half mile.  I couldn't walk much further as my back was really hurting me.  I walked a mile on the Lancaster Junction Recreation trail today.  My back would be fine for a while then I would get a spasm.  I plan on doing some stretching exercises because when I stretch my back it seems to help. 

The girls came home on Saturday and they really had a great time and seemed to have made an impact on the kids who came to VBS. 

We will be starting school on Monday so I have been gathering materials and planning the first week.  Hannah and I function best if I don't plan to far in advance.  I have a general Idea of what I want her to achieve and how we are going to do that but the plan changes almost daily.  Plenty of room to tweak things if needed

How has your week been?

Remember Always Look Up!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Some recent Book reviews and First chapter peaks of some great Christian Books

On my other blog A Room without Books is Empty I have recently posted some reviews and first chapter peaks of some good books.  Click on the titles below the covers and that will take you to the reviews.

PrayerWalk: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Strength, and Discipline

Prayer Walk by JanetHolm McHenry

Someone to Watch Over Me

Someone to Watch Over Me by Michelle Stimpson

Summer Dream (Seasons of the Heart)

Summer Dream by Martha Rogers

Shadows on the Sand: A Seaside Mystery

Shadows on the Sand by Gail Roper

Any of these would make a great summer read. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Feeling inadequate - a confession

The world is a rough place to live nowadays.  We women have enough telling us that we aren't perfect.  If we aren't a size 2 we are over weight.  If our house isn't perfectly clean then we are slobs.  If our kids misbehave when they are small or make wrong choices when they are older then it is our fault. 
We get enough of this stuff with out it coming from other women or even ourselves. 
When I first started homeschooling I would buy the homeschooling magazines and read how other homeschoolers were doing it.  You know the magazines, the ones with the family of 12 on the front cover all clean and shiny with matching outfits with the matching article inside telling you how they all get up so cheerfully and have their breakfast finished and all the chores done with no complaining by 7.  I was lucky if my kids were up and ready for school by 10 never mind that they were still in there pj's and eating cereal while they did their math.  And I only had three kids. 
I find myself falling into that trap time and again but in different areas of my life.  Just recently I found myself  being trapped when I was reading other blogs.  There are so many out there that write so eloquently and they draw such wonderful points from scripture.  They can sound so deep no matter if they are writing about some profound point or how to make apple pie. 
I am a simple woman.  I draw strength from spending time with  the Lord in the Bible and prayer.  I don't expound very much (much to my husband's dismay).  I take the Bible at face value and don't feel like you have to go into great theological debates to present the gospel to other's.  Like one of our past pastor's said once I like the K.I.S.S. method.  Keep It Simple Stupid!! 
I found myself being trapped when it was implied recently by someone that because I have many interests that I must be lacking in my walk with the Lord.  What that person didn't take into account was the many different things that I do that are done when others aren't around to witness it.  I just finished the latest book by JimBob and Michelle Duggar (that's another post)  In it they said that they listen to a recording of the Bible everynight so I have started doing that with my phone and the audio Bible I have on there.  The only problem is getting the volume right so it's loud enough to hear but soft enough that I can go to sleep.  I usually turn it off during the night sometime but it is pumping into my brain the whole time.  In the morning while I am driving to where ever I happen to be walking that day I listen to Pilgrim's Progress (this is the current book my husband and I are listening to) for a half an hour (my audible app has a sleep feature that I can set it for 30 minutes).  I will continue listening when I get to where I am walking.  After that time is up I go through my scripture memory list a few times ( I also have an app for this that will read the list for me, yes it's computer voice but it is a good way for me to review my list). I listen to Beth Moore or Kay Arthur on my way home (my husband and I are currently listening to Kay Arthur speak about Matthew).  All of this is done before 8 am without to many witness except for a few birds and squirrels.  My other interests are more public like watching tv (not very much) watching movies, reading, blogging, and crafts of various types.  So it may seem like I spend more time on other pursuits where in actuality I spend more time on spiritual things.
I found myself in the trap recently of thinking that I am not (wasn't) a very good parent because of some choices and mistakes that my adult children have made.  I have to remind myself that they were taught right from wrong and it is their choice which way they choose.  And they need to live with their choices.  My Husband and I weren't perfect parents but we did what we thought best and to the best of our abilities and love our children no matter what they do (this in no way means that we condone some of their decisions).
I guess this is all to say that when you find yourself falling into one of these traps look at what you do in that area that is positive.  If you can learn something from someone else then by all means do it and find a way to fit it into your life but do just that ,  make it yours not a copy of someone else.  God made us each different,  Wouldn't it be awfully dull if we were all the same.