October 1, 2020

Hanging Around in God's Love

Here I am...and there you are. We're all waiting on me to post something on this first day of "Blogtober" and take the first step on my journey back to old-school blogging. Um, the blank page is a lot more intimidating than I remember it. I haven't used my writing muscle in a while so, be patient with me. It may take a while to get it back in shape.

Don't get me wrong, I am excited. Very excited, actually, about not only this change in blogging but also this season and this time in my life. Even though we've been in kind of a holding pattern for most of this year, I'm feeling like I'm on the edge of something. I can't quite see what it's going to be yet, but it's there...kind of fuzzy and in the distance.

I think a big part of my feeling this way is due to my word for the year. Abide. The Lord gave it to me in John 15:9, 10.

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love. 

Merriam-Webster defines "abide" as: to bear patiently, to endure without yielding, to wait for, to accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed in a state, to continue in a place.

Synonyms include: dwell, hang around, remain, stay, tarry, persist.

To my shame, at the beginning of this year I could not honestly say I was abiding in Jesus's love when faced with that definition. Work had done much to frazzle me and tire me and pull me away from the Lord. I knew it. I just didn't seem to have it in me to do anything about it.

Enter Covid-19 and my quitting my job the day before my state went into a total shutdown. At first, with my husband home, too, it felt like a big old party. We had a lot of fun just hanging out together, watching a lot of Netflix, doing projects around the house, and shaking our heads over what was happening. Then the reality hit home as he was able to return to work after being off just one month, but for the rest of us it dragged on until summer. Even now, nearly 7 months after the shutdown, life is still not back to normal and doesn't show signs of being in any hurry to get there.

When I quit my job the economy was booming and I thought I'd be able to waltz right into another job, one with hours and duties I wanted, without too much trouble. Ha! I sure never imagined I'd still be sitting at home all these months later.

But the truth is, these months have turned out to be a gift for which I am most thankful. I have worked my way through three complete Bible studies on my own, learned a great deal about prayer, faith, and the Holy Spirit, and have gotten into the habit of giving the first 2 hours (sometimes more) of my day to the Lord. In short, I have been learning to abide in His love. To tarry there, to hangout there, to persist in it, and to dwell in it. My relationship with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is stronger than it's ever been. My soul is at peace in this upside-down world and my heart is full of joy. I am in awe of how the Lord works even the darkest of times for the good of His children.

This lifting of spirit has also worked into the things of this world. I've signed up for and will begin a certificate course in medical office assisting just as soon as the materials arrive in the mail. I'm hoping to add enough extra skills to land the type of job I want. Who knows...maybe it will lead to moving on to a degree? 

A couple of people have given me funny looks about going to school at my age, 56, but I always remember a letter to Dear Abby from back in the 70's or 80's. A woman, who was in her late 50's or early 60's wanted to go to medical school and become a doctor. Her family was giving her all kinds of grief and telling her it was stupid because by the time she was finished with school, her residency and everything that was required, she'd be close to 80. Dear Abby's response was, "And how old will you be if you don't go to school? Go to school. Do what you enjoy. Follow your dream." I was just a kid when I read that but I have never forgotten it.

Well, would you look at that? We've made it through day one of Blogtober.

Things to be thankful for:

1. Blogging from the heart.

2. Unexpected blessings.

3. The faithfulness of God.

4. Beautiful fall weather.

5. Favor. Yesterday at the Salvation Army store I found a long Anne Klein black, wool coat. For $24.99! It is in perfect condition. 

6. The blessing of so much time to spend with my 2 youngest grandchildren.

7. Peace in uncertain times.

8. Excitement about life and what it holds.

9. Deepening faith and abiding love.

10. No matter what, God's in control.


September 30, 2020

Changes Coming in October

Here we are, the last day of September. How is it possible in a year when we've been stuck at home watching the world spin out of control, that time is flying by so quickly? Normally I'd be joining in with the Wednesday Hodgepodge today, but...things are about to change. 

Yesterday I read a post by Rebecca Jo over at Knit By God's Hand about how she's lost her blogging mojo after being at it so long and also due to the fact that 2020 has not been kind to creativity. She's decided to get out of the blogging rut, by going retro with her blog. Instead of the scheduled daily memes and blog hops, she is going to do what we used to do in the old days. Just write about whatever is on her mind, how her day went, a scripture verse, things she's thankful for, etc. She's calling her "experiment" Blogtober or Bloctober. 

Reading that post solidified what I've been feeling for a while. I've been blogging since 2001. There have been a lot of changes over the years. I've done memes here and there for probably as long as they've been around, but the last couple of years mark the first time that my blog content has been almost totally memes. It can be fun, but a lot of times it feels more like an obligation. I "have" to post and then I "have" to visit everyone else's blogs...or at least the blogs of everyone who visited and commented on mine.

So, beginning tomorrow I'm going to join Rebecca Jo in going old school. The blog is going to be where I do my daily brain dump. Neither one of us will know what's going to pop up until I compose a post. I'm not ruling out all possibility of a meme or two showing up. I'm just not locking myself into them. I'm giving myself permission to walk away from them. I hope you'll keep checking in and that I won't bore you to death.

See you tomorrow for Blogtober!

September 29, 2020

Tuesday 4: Wedding Bells


1. How did you meet your husband/wife?  We went to the same high school, but didn't meet there (he was 2 years ahead of me). It was 2 years later. My dad got me a job at the foam rubber plant where he was a supervisor during my Christmas break from college. My hubby worked there and so did his sister, who is my age. She worked very hard to push us together, but she didn't have to. The chemistry was very strong right from the beginning.

2. How did you know he/she was “the one”?  I don't know. I just knew. We had an immediate and very strong connection. We had very similar values and hopes for the future. 

3. How did he propose?  It wasn't terribly romantic, which was funny, because back then he was a very romantic guy. We were just sort of in agreement that we were going to get married and he showed up with a ring one day and asked me if I wanted to make it official.

4. Do you have any favorite stories from your marriage or about your husband/wife?  He has vivid dreams and when he was younger he did a lot of talking in his sleep....often interacting with conversations going on around him. His siblings like to tell of the time they got him to confess to killing Jimmy Hoffa. My favorite incident took place when I was pregnant with our son. I woke up in the middle of the night with my husband laying on top of me, screaming in my face "I'm blind! I'm blind!" I managed to get a light turned on and looked at him...his eyes were closed. I told him to open his eyes. He did, looked around, said "Oh" and rolled over and went back to sleep. Me? I was awake for the rest of the night.

You can join in the Tuesday 4 fun here.

September 28, 2020

Monday Madness: Finish the Sentence

Welcome to Monday Madness

Our authors each week are Bud from WTIT: The Blog & Mimi Lenox of Mimi Writes. Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy our questions.

Monday Madness: "The Finish This Sentence" Questions

1. My uncle once... served as a Marine with the Navajo Code Talkers and landed one beach down from Iwo Jima.

2. Never in my life have I... been in trouble with the law. Not so much as a parking ticket on my record.

3. When I was five my parents... owned his and her Mustangs, which they traded for a pickup truck and a station wagon. Sigh. 

4. High school was... okay, neither horrible nor great.

5. I will never forget to... make sure I have my keys in my hand before I lock the car door. Experience is a painful teacher.  

6. Once I met 7... I don't know what to say here. People? Ministers? Friends? 

7. There’s this boy I know... he has my heart and calls me Nana.

8. Once, at a bar, I... wasn't there. I have never gone to bars. 

9. By noon, I’m… starving because I'm doing the whole 16-hour fast thing.

10. Last night I... binge watched a bunch of NCIS episodes.

September 25, 2020

Saturday 9: Do You Want to Dance?

Saturday 9: Do You Want to Dance? (1972)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

This week, we're inspired by The Divine Miss M's plea for a definitive answer. Here are nine random "yes or no" questions. Naturally you're welcome to elaborate, but if you want to zip through with a Y or an N, that's fine, too.

1) Do you check your cellphone first thing in the morning?  Sometimes, but not always. I'm not glued to my phone like a lot of people are.
2) Are there dirty dishes in your sink right now?  Yes, it's Friday evening and we ate late tonight. I didn't feel like dealing with it. They'll be there in the morning. 

3) Have you laughed yet today?  I was having a kind of off day. I don't think I did laugh.

4) Have you written a check in the last week?  No. I don't write checks very often.

5) If you met someone who shared all your strengths and weaknesses, would you like him/her?  I don't know. There's a lot more to friendship than that.

6) Is a bride ever too old to have a big wedding?  I don't think so. A bride should have whatever kind of wedding she wants.

7) Do you put potato chips in your sandwich to make it crunchy?  No and I don't know why. I love potato chips so I'm sure they'd be good in a sandwich. I've heard of it. I guess it's just habit to not put them in.

8) Have you ever taken a nude photo of someone (not a baby)?  No.

9) On Monday, will you be playing Bud and Mimi's cool new meme, Monday Madness? (Our last shameless plug, I promise.)  Of course!

Join in the Saturday 9 fun here.


Currently in Latrobe...

The weather...is lovely. Today's forecast is for sunny skies and a high temp of 81 degrees. The same is expected for the entire weekend. Monday will bring some rain that will hang around most of the week with temperatures cooling into the low 70's and upper 60's for highs.

I'm reading...Earth's Last Empire: The Final Game of Thrones by John Hagee, which I thought was end times fiction when I bought it at Ollie's. It turns out to be a very interesting history of Israel and the Jewish people and an examination of how God has honored His covenant with His chosen people. It is current right up to 2018 and I haven't reached this part, but Hagee looks at what it means to have our Embassy in Jerusalem and how things are setting up for the return of Jesus Christ. I'm enjoying the history and learning a lot I didn't know about Israel.

and...Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder by Sara Rosett, a fun little cozy mystery.

I'm celebrating...nothing at the moment. Our daughter's wedding anniversary was this past Wednesday. Our son's birthday isn't until the beginning of October. I guess I'm celebrating that it's fall, my very favoritest (yeah, I know that's not a real word) time of the year.

I'm watching...NCIS. Still stuck on that and there are 17 seasons to watch. I'm currently up to season 8. And as I informed my husband yesterday, when I finish that there are still NCIS: Miami, NCIS: New Orleans, and NCIS: Los Angeles to watch.

I'm listening to...the morning news, but at the moment it's a commercial break, which is just one political ad after another. Oh, and the Poodle is softly snoring beside me.

I'm loving...the colors, sights, and sounds of fall!

I'm thinking...about taking some virtual classes to aid in my job search. Possibly medical coding and billing.

I'm feeling...kind of sleepy. I was very tired last night and went to bed at 10:00. That's the earliest I've gone to bed since the pandemic started. It left me wide awake when Tim was up and getting ready for work. Three hours later and I need a nap! At 7:00 in the morning.

This is making me laugh...

More true than funny.

September 24, 2020

Thankful Thursday

Linking up with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand to give some thanks to the Lord on this Thankful Thursday!

This week I am thankful...

** our daughter's family is on the mend after all of them catching whatever virus (not Covid-19) is going around.

** we celebrated our daughter and son-in-law's 3rd anniversary yesterday. They've been together much longer than that and it's such a joy to see the wonderful life they have built together.

** to be free right now to spend 2 hours with the Lord first thing each morning.

** for those who speak peace and reason in these days.

** I heard from my half-sister yesterday. She is going to meet up with us at our father's home next month on her way to visit her half-brother. I am excited to see her again and it will be the first time she gets to meet any of my family.

** all the pretty new fall and winter clothes I ordered have arrived. Love the deep rich purple and wine red colors that are so popular this year. Now I just need some cooler weather.

** we got the pool closed up for the winter.

** our son actually posted something that was reasonable and well thought out instead of being a stream of vile hatred...something I could actually click "Like" on. Still no contact with him but it's something.

** that I waited to start watching NCIS on Netflix because I don't know how y'all have done it all these years. I mean, every season ends with a heart-in-your-throat cliffhanger. It would kill me if I had to wait a whole summer to find out what happens.

** I'm starting to see touches of color in the trees. Just a bit here and there, but it means that glorious explosion of God's artistry will soon be here.

** for Aldi's. I bought a beef brisket last week and made like Mrs. Wolowitz (Big Bang Theory reference). I'd never cooked one before so I followed the instructions on the wrapping. I put it on a baking sheet, put a pan of water under it in the oven, cooked it at 250 degrees for two hours, then wrapped it in foil and cooked it for another four hours. Oh my word. So good!

** I've spent a lot less time looking at Facebook and I don't miss it.

** as always, for each one of you!

*Pray for safety and peace to reign as protests pop up all over the country in response to the results of the Breonna Taylor trial.