Thursday, July 30, 2020

Not Forgotten

It is a Thankful Thursday!
Yes, even in the midst of Covid-19 and protests and election cycles,
there is always something to be thankful for.

Today, I am thankful for the "rememberers" of others.
We have moved a couple of times
and there are always tears and promises made at the time of separation.
 "We'll keep in touch!"
Often times, within a year, the communication dies off.

There is something to "out of sight, out of mind."
There is a necessity to meeting needs and ministering to those near to you.

But even in the last week,
I have received two cards and multiple texts from North Carolina.
I have had a message from a friend from my "growing up" years.

There is a certain blessing in being remembered
and for that, I wish to be thankful.

I also want to be thankful again for the zucchini given to me.
The muffins mentioned in Monday's post were really good.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

I'm Sorry --- I Can't Be Proud of You

How many times do we hear it?

I'm so proud of you!
I'm proud of what I have accomplished!
I'm proud to be an American!
I'm proud of the stands I have taken!
I'm proud of my work!
I'm proud of my children!

But the Bible has nothing good to say about pride.
In fact, God resists the proud.
Perhaps He even gives thorns to help us resist pride.

II Corinthians 12:7
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, 
there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, 
the messenger of Satan to buffet me, 
lest I should be exalted above measure.

Paul easily could have been lifted up in pride.
Indeed, he was a great apostle, writer, teacher of doctrine.
He even listed his titles and accomplishments and were they not impressive?
He felt that His thorn kept Him from being lifted up.

Hubby and I were reading a book the other night about the Spurgeons.
Mr. Spurgeon - "the prince of preachers" - and yet the author relayed an incident in his early preaching ministry that stuck with him the rest of his life and perhaps held his ministry back.
It made us think of Paul's verse about his thorn.

I can think of  MANY areas that I struggle with in the area of pride.
I can also think of "thorns" that help me to keep those areas of pride in check (sometimes😖)

For years, I have excused it as semantics.
I said "proud" but I meant thankful, I meant pleased, I meant ...
but I don't anymore.
All things are supposed to bring glory to God, not me.
Perhaps we should use Bible phrases ...
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
 "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake."
"But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord."

Think about it!
Would it be so bad to erase it from our vocabulary?
Do we really want to be described as proud?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Some Change

Multiple Meanings Ahead

It seems like there is change occurring all around us each day.
New rules, new policies, new stats ...
Right now America is going through a change shortage.
The signs in the store requiring exact change or credit and debit only are odd.

I am still earning some change daily.
If you have been reading long, you know that I love my Fitbit.
They should hire me to be an Ambassador for them.
I love the accountability and the challenge it gives me.
It has helped me to learn about my health and fitness.
Did you know that it tells me when I am getting sick?
Yes, my resting heart rate will skyrocket (at least 5 beats per minute)  a day or so before I go down.

The Fitbit also earns me money!

There is a website that lets you earn money for tracking your steps, your weight, your food, your water.
Whether you use a Fitbit, a Garmin, myfitnesspal, mapmyrun...
you just link it and earn points.
I earn about 500 points a week,
and after I earn 10,000 points,
they deposit $10 into my Paypal account.

Since we have two trackers in the house,
it is a fun little surprise every couple of months.
We have used the Achievement website for over 3 years with no problems.
If you are interested (and comfortable with the sharing of this type of information) and sign up using one of the links below, both of us get 100 points.

And while we are on the topic,
hubby and I updated our trackers earlier in the year.
We have two trackers that are still perfectly usable and with multiple bands for each.
Check them out ... the Alta HR and the Charge HR
If you are interested, just comment or get in touch with me by text or email if you know me personally.
We would be happy to mail them off!
We will send them individually
but would be happy if they helped a couple or a family to challenge each other😀

the trackers have been claimed!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Don't mind the excess ...

It is not quite National Zucchini Day,
but it does appear that they are in season in these parts.

"August 8 Zucchini Day
Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor's Porch Day on August 8th offers gardeners a way to rid themselves of extra produce. For some, this day offers a way to rid their garden of an overproducing squash plan."
No one has to sneak it on my porch.
I will make use of it.
In fact, a church friend brought some to share last Wednesday.
And aren't they so much prettier when the boy working in produce has not used it like a baseball bat?
We enjoyed it in our hash on Saturday.
We enjoyed "Faux Crab Cakes" made with zucchini tonight.
And tomorrow I will try a new muffin recipe complete with zucchini, applesauce, dates as the sweetener ...
sounds like a winner.
I am just in zucchini spirits because just writing these ideas makes me long to put some dish with zoodles (zucchini noodles) on the menu this week.

Hope you are enjoying some of the fresh fruits and veggies of the seasons.
The blackberries are just about ready here in town.
In fact, it is a struggle to pass so many as we walk to and from town - I just want to stop and snack!
 - I just have to find a good place to pick and a good time to do it.  In the PNW, they grow like weeds!  Then it will be time for a pie, I think.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Where have you been? The Conclusion

Well, I think that you, my friends and family,
are all caught up.
The summation of the past 4-5 months has led me to a conclusion.

As I finished this series of posts,
I was reminded of a conversation that I once had with an older woman in NC.
She was discouraged,
she felt as if she had no ministry,
she wanted to do more, to help more.
I remember encouraging her to look outside the normal "ministry" spots.
I encouraged her to try something new.
These posts show a bit of that need to heed my own advice.

Where have I been?

I have been in the school of patience,
in the school of flexibility,
in the school of waiting (sometimes different than patience).
I have been in a school that called for some creativity.
I have been in a school of relying on God alone (and that is a good thing).

God is always good.
There are always ways to serve Him.
There are always people who need you (and me, too).

And two little side notes:

First, thanks to all those who welcomed me back to the blogosphere with a hearty, "We missed you!"

And second, a funny little "I am still learning as a wife" moment.
A friend challenged me to post 7 days of pictures of hubby and me together.
I did a walk down memory lane.
Day one - a dating picture
Day two - wedding day and honeymoon
Day three - NY pics
Day four - WA pics
Day five - NC pics
Day six - OR pics
Then I needed one more pic for the last day.
So I took a picture in the garage before hubby left for work.

His comment:
"I wondered why you brushed your hair before I left."
Guess who has been running a brush through her hair as soon as she wakes up.
Yeah!  Guess I had gotten a little slack.

Have a good weekend, all!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Where have you been? Part IX

OK, this one is just for fun ...
and for those who haven't seen our faces for a while.

We have made it to the coast twice during the pandemic/quarantine - 
once before it got really serious and once when restrictions started to lift.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Where have you been? Part VIII

Something for the little ones
and a way to show love.

Early in the quarantine,
one of hubby's coworkers had a baby - 2 months premature.
We decided to reach out with a gift and the gospel.
A blanket, some wipes, some baby lotion
and a tract and letter with the gospel.
I had many of the blocks completed,
but hurried to finish the rest and put the border on.

And then I got to thinking that I should always have a little blanket on hand to give.
If there is one thing I have learned in life its this:
if you love on someone's child(ren), you automatically show love to the parent.
And so, I crochet to and from church.
I can get one block done per trip (which makes 3 a week)!
I crochet on quiet evenings at home.
I am well on my way to having another completed.

(they are anywhere from 5 blocks x 5 blocks to 7 blocks x 7 blocks - depending on the pattern)
I think that this one is set to be 7x5.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Where have you been? Part VII

This one is a strange one ...
but none the less, it occupied some of my time during the blog break.

With the return to church services, also came the need for social distancing.
Rows were separated and spread apart.
Our little church has plastic canvas tissue box covers on the tissue boxes in each row.
While they are not quite my "cup of tea" and a little dated,
they do help the boxes to hold up a lot better.

tried to at least use more modern colors and patterns

Suddenly the need for tissue boxes and covers multiplied by 2.
So another member and I made tissue boxes.
I still have one more to complete.

one of the originals

Monday, July 20, 2020

Where have you been? Part VI

Where have I been?
What have I been doing?
Another birthday passed in the blog break.
Another "big" milestone - 45!

No big doings because of the shutdown,
but hubby still spoiled me.
Balloons and flowers ... no better!
And a few weeks later, he took me shopping.

still holding on after 2 months - but just barely

so cheery!  was a lot fuller 2 months ago

a patio lavender bush 
I love that lavender grows so easily in the PNW

And May produces my favorite flower - lilacs.
Some church members brought me clippings twice ...
and I actually found a bush that had crept between the cedar bush "fence" from the neighbor's house and then hung into our yard. 
So pretty!

And yesterday (or all weekend),
we celebrated hubby's birthday.
Busy with work and church,
but we had some of his favorite meals,
some pie,
and a trip for frozen coffee!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Where have you been? Part V

When in lockdown ...
publish another book!
Yes, the blog break was also due in part to the publication of another book.
This book, though still an expository commentary,
was written in a totally different style.
This study is more devotional in style with more pointed application.
It also got a new format inside.

It was less than 100 pages which made the proofing a lot easier.
And the new format and style were fun and exciting.

I never know if there will be another in the future,
but each one is a blessing to me as I get to read each numerous times.

And as I write this blog,
I realize that I still have not put together the ebook.
Guess I better add that to the to-do list.😀