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A sweet friendship refreshes the soul

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
I have this saying hanging up on a beautiful plaque hanging on a cork board behind my computer.
I actually purchased it from a very special friend, the sentiment was so good.
It has roses and birds on it and it is exactly my ‘favorite’ kind of treasure, her friendship is too.
Also there is a page that I made years ago hanging by my computer.
When I was in therapy we spent a few sessions cutting out magazines and pasting pictures and sayings.
If you have never done it you will find it amazing how the feelings come up when searching for words.
In fact it would be a great activity to do with children who are not always able to ‘share’ what they feel.
The saying is: You can revisit an old friend and see how much it’s changed.
Our friends are with us for specific seasons of our lives.
Have you ever gone back to spend time with some one, who used to be very close to you and it felt odd and different?
It is like going back to a home that once was “your” home but now is just a box full of others belonging.
Time can create a distance and sometimes that is hard.
Another saying is,
“No matter how busy our lives, there are ways to make sure neither distance nor everyday demands, keep us from friends we don’t want to lose.”
It is so important to let others know how special they are and what they mean to us.
Friends are gifts we give ourselves and how we deal with those gifts or moments is extremely important.
Life is short and as I have aged and slowed down I have learned that time spent with someone special is priceless.
Another saying on my paper is this one: It’s friendship – would she be there if you needed her? Yes because she knows you would be there if she needed you.
I think it is such a great reminder for you and I to remember.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.

I can’t believe it is autumn

I can’t believe it is autumn already.
We drive down streets lined with trees all colorful in oranges and yellows.
I love this time of year.
We actually got married this season and it was a beautiful time for fall flowers.
I think the fall reminds us that it is refreshing to let go of the heat of summer.
Of course I am by nature a sweater gal and I love flannel pants and warm boots.
I am happiest when I can bundle up and walk outside in the brisk cool air.
I might need my inhaler before I start, but it is so refreshing to go out in the neighborhood.
I am going to decorate our home, I have fake pumpkins and bundles of wheat for assorted vases.
Outside the front porch changes from summer flowers to fall.
I have to put the wheat outside so my cats don’t eat them.
Most likely we will not buy a real pumpkin, that was for the kids and we don’t have any little ones.
Autumn is a time of rest where the trees produce then they lose their natural beauty.
Thanksgiving is also around the corner on the calendar.
Our traditional dinner is with both sets of our kids and their families, but the last few years it’s had to change.
We have had friends over, we have shared a meal with a neighbor, we have made it work for us.
Situations of life require us to adapt and adjust.
I love to cook a natural grown turkey with organic potatoes, with green beans and fresh cranberries.
It is one of my favorite meals and of course you have to have pumpkin pie.
One of my friends told me to try sweet potato pie, but I am not so sure that would be the same for me.
Autumn is here and it’s a time for the furnace and no longer the air conditioner.
If we had a fireplace I would definitely use it every morning.
I can’t believe it is autumn already.
Let’s make the most of these cool days ahead of us.

Are you tired? worn out?

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me.
Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
I love this translation of the scripture found in Matthew 11:28-30 of the new testament.
It promises hope when we feel hopeless.
It promises a solution when we are struggling.
Move away from your normal setting and breathe in the restful moments.
As I type my husband is in a pontoon boat on a lake that he loves.
Getting away and feeling the restful breeze.
Hoping to catch a few fish too but most of all just resting in the setting.
It doesn’t have to be a well planned time of getting away.
It just needs to allow more focus on resting and not doing.
Get away with me and you will recover your life.
Sometimes we need that so much.
The stress of today, of now time can be very hard to deal with.
The pandemic has caused anxiety and issues, we are not really prepared for.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace… Nothing will be too hard I will see to it that you are ok.
Keep company with me and you will learn.
I have watched part of the movie the Chosen and it really does show the way Jesus ministered and dealt with the people.
Walk with me and work with me. Watch how I do it.
You can do the same.
He tells us these promises so we can not only move forward in hope but have a reason to rest.
I love to rest and regroup and I try to do it often.
Being retired makes it easier but it was always a part of who I am.
I cannot deal with stress that makes me irritable or grumpy.
I am glad my personality requires a time of renewing and restoring what is trying to go dim.
Are you tired and worn out? Burned out on religion?
It’s so easy to do that and feel that way.
Let’s encourage each other to focus on what is good for us.

I am remembering the horrible day

I am Remembering the horrible day of September 11, 2001.
Twenty years ago I was watching a local talk show, making breakfast for my grand daughter who was about 2.
The show was interrupted and the first plane hit, it was hard to believe at first.
It was horrific as the news unfolded the events and the second plane hit, then the pentagon was attacked.
I was in complete shock watching all that trauma.
In the old days you could hear the news but not SEE it.
The images were awful and I remember trying to turn them off, so my little grand daughter would not see them.
I am in prayer for the 20 year anniversary.
I am in prayer for our country, our unsettled safety and even our leaders are in question.
It is really a hard and difficult time.
I heard the other day a verse I was wanting to share.
“And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” 1st Peter 3:15
Because I do believe I have a deep and abiding hope, even when things look crazy and uncertain.
It is definitely uncertain these days.
Twenty years ago we were all changed.
What have they said? it was all just a few minutes long.
Then the buildings fell and the ash and debris went flying everywhere.
No one could even imagine it.
No one had a clue.
It was a horrible event that always felt similar to the pearl harbor attacks.
We were caught off guard and we were not alert.
I pray that nothing ever happens like that ever again.
Oh I pray for protection. For God’s angels to cover us with peace and comfort.
If someone asks, I will give an answer to the hope that is in me.
From my heart and from my sincere mindset.
So many lives changed forever and so much of our history went down that day.
But in saying that, it was rebuilt. We are resilient and what was horrific is now a beautiful site of memory.
I have never been there but I have heard it is a sacred place.
Today I am remembering the horrible day of September 11 and praying with intensity for calm.

Be at peace if you can when you read

Be at peace if you can, when you read the news reports, and listen to the chaos and troubles.
Remember there is peace.
On the other side of the turmoil and trauma. There will be peace.
Keep your eyes focused not on the negative or the hard reality of mask wearing and shut downs.
Keep your eyes focused on the God who is in control of all that is around us.
When we see massive hurricanes, flooding, sorrow and chaos, we can cling to the truth that we know.
God will not allow anything to happen if it is not meant to happen.
Now sometimes sin gets in the way and some make dangerous choices that test God’s patience.
Harm does come to some.
But in the big picture I think we need to continue to trust and be in peace if we can.
When I open the word, my bible, it tells me that I am loved.
It tells me that I am protected, and if His eye is on the sparrow, I know HE watches me even MORE.
I am saddened by all the chaos in the world.
I am concerned for my grand children and the world they will continue to grow up in and maybe have families.
But I also know that this world is a glorious beautiful place.
So there is balance. Sorrow and then joy. Sadness and peace at a later time.
It is hard to stay focused and not let it all wear me down.
Trust is a big word and probably the hardest at this point in our time in history.
The media will do what it can to stir the pot and make us all feel out of control.
Fear is a powerful tool and if that can penetrate the circle we live in, then it is not us that is winning.
I choose to be positive. I choose to look at the good.
Sometimes I have to look harder but it is there always.
Be at peace if you can, when you read the reports and listen to the news.
I think it’s the most important thing we can do.

My word of the year came to me

My word of the year came to me after a certain amount of waiting and praying.
I never know what might come, but it seems the ‘word’ comfort was going to be the word.
I think it is fitting especially after the chaos we have witnessed this week.
In fact I am rather ‘happy’ to stay within the comfort of my home.
God gave us this home and it has become a refuge and blessing.
I cannot read the news much or listen to it right now.
The headlines are staggering, with doom and gloom.
In fact, soon we are going to spend some time at the beach in our trailer which also gives me comfort.
There is too much chaos and too much suffering and too much fear.
We cannot sit in comfort while draped in fear.
It won’t work. Cannot work.
I realize you can’t hide from life and the issues it brings.
But when on the screen we can see evil, and heart ache and hurting.
It is more than my ‘little’ heart can take.
Suffering will always be around us.
That is part of life.
Open the word and you will find, story after story of people struggling through their circumstances.
I don’t want to pretend it doesn’t happen.
I just don’t want it to penetrate my peace.
That might sound selfish but what can I do to bring comfort to those hurting?
I can pray that the power of God fall down on them and they get rescued.
I can pray the evil people can get destroyed and get what they deserve.
I can pray for protection for those who love God and find no where to go to.
It is overwhelming and a place of difficulty to think of it all.
I have no data as to how this all will come about, or end.
Peace always comes with a cost.
My word of the year came to me after much waiting and praying.

Keep being brave in whatever you are doing

Keep being brave: was on the outside of a card I received in the mail.
It was so appropriate, because that day I had to drive our car about 14 miles away, which also included a drive over a bridge.
I get overly anxious, I get scared and almost in a panic attack.
I used to drive all over the place.
Since my cancer episode and radiation sessions many things have changed for me.
My hair used to have a little bit of curl. Not anymore.
My confidence has moved further away for some reason.
I also think there is a little bit of Post traumatic stress when I am in the car.
A few years ago at a parade, we witnessed a little girl fall off of a parade float and get run over by a large truck.
It was more than my mind wanted to take in and I was shook up for many days.
She is ok, it was actually a miracle to witness because she should not have survived.
I think that incident and the changes in the world, has created some unsettled feelings for me.
I don’t know how to resolve some of it.
But the keep being brave will become my new motto.
I will hang it on my bulletin board over my computer and remind myself to be brave.
You can do it. It’s possible.
Isaiah 43:2-3 says, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up, the flames will not consume you.”
Scripture tells us over and over to not fear.
To be trusting and full of calm hope.
The verse is interesting because it doesn’t say, IF it says, WHEN you go through.
Meaning we will have difficult moments. We will have anxiety.
We will have moments that take our breath away.
In those moments we need to trust and know that HE IS GOD and HE is in full control of our lives.
Keep being brave in whatever you are doing. I just need to remind myself daily.

It’s that time again and I have been watching

It’s that time again and I have been watching the Olympics.
I remember many years ago it used to be very exciting to see the athletes on that first entry night.
Then they would move to their assigned places in the sports arena.
I loved the gymnastics and now I am watching the Men’s USA basketball because of our ‘Portland Trailblazer’ playing.
It has been a mixture of excitement, disappointment, amazement and just wondering how do they do it all.
I am no way an athlete. In fact in high school I hated PE and I hated the group showers and I hated to be sweaty.
I am NOT into it at all.
I was into art, choir and speech.
Lately my husband and I have been walking and that is good for both of us.
Not only does it help to keep us fit, it’s a time to talk to each other and of course the neighbors.
We live in a senior development so in order to live here you have to be 55 or older.
There are a lot of lonely seniors and we try to visit as we walk.
I make a small conversation to start and usually they are chatty as we stand and visit.
It is actually a kind of ministry because there are many who need help or who need encouragement.
We all need that no matter who we are in this crazy world.
I struggled with our move when we first made it two years ago, but now it feels right and our neighbors are nice.
Our walks will change as the weather changes.
I am a fair weather walker. I did buy an expensive rain coat and boots.
Sometimes the rain is welcome in fact right now it would be amazing.
Our senior setting has a work out room and pool.
I do not use them but my husband goes to the pool and we purchased a recumbent bike for our garage.
Between the weather and the virus we chose to get something for home.
It’s that time again for the Olympics and I will watch the men’s game.
I already know we won so that heads us to the semi finals.

Many years ago I joined a writing group

Many years ago I joined a writing group that would have a weekly word prompt.
It is a word specifically set out on Friday and the rule is to write in less than five minutes with minimal editing.
The word this week is order.
I immediately thought of a book I read years ago when our children were younger, written by Dr. James Dobson.
It is on the birth order.
My husband is the third son and I am the third daughter, the youngest of three.
Both are compatible with each other.
Not like if you had two type A first born who married and then tried to work it out.
Some one would have to be the lead or boss and those personalities are hard to adjust.
The birth order is also difficult when two youngest marry, because the expectations of the youngest child is often not the same as the first.
In our home we had a son first, then a daughter. Both tend to be leaders.
I have seen in my grand children how the first born tend to be more leaders and more ‘in control’, although it’s different with our twins who were minutes apart.
The oldest is type A get it figured out and the youngest just minutes from her is easy going not much of a planner.
The birth order is an important key I would think in making major decisions like hiring for a job.
The last born might just move to their own music or agenda and the first born is driven to exceed what is expected of them.
I think the birth order is something good to remember especially when dealing with people.
It is certainly a fascinating topic to look into and explore.
Many years ago I joined a writing group that would challenge us to a word prompt.

Another year for canning is upon us

Another year for canning is upon us and we had a window of time to do it.
We love to make homemade pickles, in fact I have not purchased a pickle jar for several years.
We go to the local farm center and order up the cucumbers, buy the dill and find the jars.
This year the sale was buy one bag of cucumbers and get one free, so we ended up with many more than planned.
Oh and we got a large bag of already peeled garlic to add to the pickle jars.
The way to make really good pickles is to put the cucumbers in a cooler and cover them with ice overnight.
It not only gets them cold, keeps them fresh and really nice.
We have learned the hard way to do them close to the same day we buy them.
One year we had several boxes in our garage and they went fuzzy before we did anything with them.
Not any more. It is a job worth doing as fast as possible.
And not only that we did it all outside.
It was quite the challenge to find the lids to our existing jars so we purchased more jars that were complete.
I guess a lot of people are canning these days.
We ended up with 46 jars of pickles and 2 of the garlic.
Some of them did not seal properly so we ended up water bathing them for extra heat.
My husband had figured out a crab cooker works really well with the canning pot.
Now we must let them rest for 8 weeks before we can open them up and see how they are.
We also did a bunch of cherries a few weeks ago.
I pitted them and then we froze them in bags. They are really good in water, or just to eat.
I love to do these kinds of things, we don’t have a lot of storage space but it is worth the time and effort.
Another year for canning is upon us and we can mark off that item now.