Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook - January 30, 2017

January 30, 2017

Looking Out My Window:
It was rather cold outside this morning; like in the 40's...

I know!  That's really not very cold compared to what others are going through.  But for this Florida gal, it's COLD!!

But, just wait!  It will warm up by the end of the week, if not sooner!

I Am Thinking:
This retired life-style isn't bad afterall!  I think I really like being home more often...

But, I do enjoy getting out with family and friends!

I need to find a few more things that hubby and I can do during the week...

Local museums and parks or walking trails; a drive to a nearby historical town; shopping is OK, but not as fun as the rest!

Perhaps I am learning this life-style afterall!

I Am Thankful:
For the young woman we are fortunate to have as our Senior Pastor...though she is no "senior"!!  Not quite 30 years old, she is making a big difference in our congregation.

Sharing her blog later on...

One of My Favorite Things:
Hanging around the apartment and getting a few things done, including laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and some crafting.

Retirement Life can be good!

I Am Creating:
Finally finished 11 Flamingo die cuts for a swap at an upcoming retreat...

I Am Wearing:
A pair of jeans, a white long-sleeved shirt with blue and pink flowers, and my slippers.

I Am Reading:
I am taking my time reading Ann Voskamp's "The Broken Way"; there is a lot to be gleaned from her words.  I haven't been very good at following the online Bible Study and may find a better time for me to do it.

I Am Hoping:
For a good outcome to our doctor's appointment next week...

When we talk about my husband's ability to continue driving...or not?!

I Am Learning:
How to be home with my husband - without the bickering, etc.  Now, to figure out some things to keep him/us busy!

In My Kitchen: 
I have been cooking more; so trying a few extra crockpot recipes for our dinners...

Tonight we had chicken and biscuits; and it was really good!

It feels good for my husband to compliment me about what I've cooked.  (Truth:  I don't really like to cook!)

Post Script
Earlier I mentioned our new pastor...well, not by name; but I talked about how she is making a difference in our church!

I feel so honored to have served on the Pastor Search Committee that narrowed down a lot of profiles to finally come to hers!

With so much protesting and arguing and disagreeing and whatever going on regarding recent "issues", I was proud to call her minister (and friend) when she published her sermon from this past Sunday.

I, for one, do not like to air my opinions about politics or religion or any other "issue"; but think what she had to say makes perfect sense...

If you are interested in reading the viewpoint of a young Christian woman, check it out here.

Shared Quote:

A Moment From My Day:
My daughter and granddaughter picked me up and we went to a local used children's clothes store.

My granddaughter - 2 1/2 years old - injured her foot on the trampoline and is wearing a boot on that foot/leg.  She can put weight on it, per the doctor.  But she won't.  So, how does she get around?  She crawls!

She is a real character!!  We were sitting in the car and she pointed to a dirty spot on the ceiling and said, "That's disgusting!"

Yep!  That's our Bijou Elise!!

MeMaw and Bijou
Dec. 2016
{Selfie taken by MeMaw}

Well, that completes another Simple Woman's Daybook!  I'll leave you with this from Sunday's sermon; link to read it is above!:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, because they sure have their work cut out for them! Blessed are the peacemakers who long for bridges instead of walls, neighbors instead of strangers, and a welcoming table instead of a locked door, for they are doing the work that God expects of God’s children. "

Friday, January 27, 2017

Five Minute Friday - CONTROL

Well, it is time for another Five Minute Friday...I didn't get anything written last week on "Refine"... but, here is this week's post!  Be sure to check here for more information about participating in Five Minute Friday.

The word for this week is:  Control

I don't know where the time is going!  Quickly moving from day to day and week to week.

I don't have much control over the speed with which time is rushing on...no device that allows me to slow time down, or speed it up, if that works better for the situation!

Time is rushing away from the past few days and the past (period); rushing towards today and the future.  No way to control the speed of time.

I don't have any control over today or the future either, any more than I did over the past.

I can only do my best to have control over myself and how I spend the days I have been given.

I don't have any control over how others act or react to situations or to what may happen in the days ahead.  I can only pray to the One who has control over it all...

Jeremiah 29:11 says:  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

When I release my control to the One who holds the future, I can rest in the assurance that He holds the future.  I can let go of the control I hold on to, knowing that He knows what is best and will not harm...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook - January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017

Looking Out My Window:
This morning it was in the 60's, clear sky and breezy.  Thankfully, the bad weather passed our way without much damage; at least, in our area!  There were heavy winds and rain and damage in other areas, including up in Georgia.

Prayers go out for all those who lost loved ones, and those who lost all their possessions.

I Am Thinking:
Of life; of what is ahead in my life; of what has been in my life...

So many thoughts and worries and concerns and...

Why?  Why am I so worried and concerned?

God has my future in His hands!


I Am Thankful:
It doesn't seem right to be thankful that the recent bad weather avoided my family; it doesn't seem right to rejoice that we are still alive and haven't lost any of our possessions.

I pray for those who didn't fair as well...

One of My Favorite Things:
This past weekend, my crafting friends met for our annual "Elfster" gift exchange.  If you hold gift exchanges in your family or other groups, check out their website here.

It's really easy to sign up your group and have the names partnered.  You can leave wish lists for your Elfster person; ask various questions so you have an idea of what that person wants!

We had a blast, laughing and eating and sharing a few crafts; then, opening our gifts and trying to guess who our Elfster was.  Loads of fun, food and friends!

I Am Creating:
I used my Cricut to cut out the pieces for 11 Flamingos for a die cut swap.  Now, to find some pink feathers and finish putting them together.  Will post a photo when I get them complete.

I Am Wearing:
A pair of jeans, my blue "Awake" t-shirt; and slippers.  Ready to get comfy and watch "Beaches" tonight...

Happy they are running it more than the original night it was shown...It was such a great movie!

I Am Reading:
I am still reading Ann Voskamp's "The Broken Way", and preparing for the online Bible Study that begins this week.

I am also "Full Blast" by Janet Evanovich for a break from the intense content of Ann's book, and the soul-searching the Bible study is sure to include. 

I Am Hoping:
Funny, but I keep seeing this word..."Hope"!

It is my word for 2017; so it's always helpful to have "hope" thoughts!

But, today I am "hoping" to get my weekly post finished for Word Wednesday...

Since I am writing Monday's SWD post on Wednesday, that gives me two posts to try to get finished!

(And this isn't even my busy week!!)

I Am Learning:
It is hard to say what I am learning!

There is so much to absorb in reading "The Broken Way" by Ann Voskamp;

there is so much to take in and comprehend in trying to follow the online Bible study, as well as everything else that must be done!

I am learning to make the choice to do less or do things differently in order to do the things that (I feel) are more important!

In My Kitchen: 
I tried a couple of new recipes the past couple of days...

Pineapple Sunshine Cake
This cake is very easy to make and is delicious!  I took it to our Elfster party and less than half of it was left over!

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
I tried this chicken dish for dinner tonight; but didn't really care for it.  Hubby liked it and complimented the dinner.  He can have the leftovers!

I'll move on to another new recipe later!

Shared Quote:

Shared on Facebook
Artist:  Emily McDowell Studio

The above was shared on Facebook in a comment on the Bible Study group for Ann Voskamp's book, "The Broken Way."

I love this!  Our flaws are seen as a unique piece of our history!  Awesome!

{Check out the Facebook page "FaithGateway Online Bible Studies" for more information on the study}

A Moment From My Day:
What day do I remember?  Today is Wednesday; I usually write this post on Monday!  Some of the prompts were done earlier than others...

This one was left to be completed!

Yesterday, I planned to go shopping - alone!  I was looking for those pink feathers I mentioned under "I Am Creating"...

But, hubby wanted to go with me!  I warned him that I would be out until I found what I was looking for!

As we pulled into the shopping center, I counted 4 or 5 stores that could possibly have the feathers, and proceeded to the first one.

Stop #1 was Michaels...at first he thought he would sit in the car.  I told him I could be a while, and was walking to the next store if I didn't find what I was looking for!

But, there they were!  I laughed and told my husband he was "off the hook" because now I didn't have to go to the other stores!!

Our future may be more of these kinds of outings if we have to "take keys away" any time soon...still figuring things out right now.

Well, that completes another Simple Woman's Daybook!  I'll leave you with this:

Join me again next week for another entry in my daybook!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

There IS Hope!

Last week was an unlucky one...

Well, at least some people think that Friday the 13th is not very lucky.

I don't really think of luck as "good" or "bad", whether on the 13th or any other day.  In fact, I'm not really sure I believe there is such a thing as luck, good or bad.

But, what is luck, anyway?  Is it really just a coincidence?  Is it something God bestows upon us; is it a blessing from Him?

Well, there is a family in northeast Florida that may have felt quite lucky on this Friday the 13th; whatever we call it!

After 18 years of wondering, praying, trying to understand and put all the pieces together; to not lose hope...

Their child that was abducted from the hospital, just hours after birth,was recently found in South Carolina...and confirmed by DNA testing to be that child!

She was found...Alive!!  She had been living with her abductor, the only mother she has known these 18 years.

The case was never closed; leads kept coming in and were checked out.  But, nothing came of the leads...until now!

What we do know is that a woman disguised herself as a nurse and took the baby from the mother's arms "for tests".  The mother, a teenager, had no fear about letting the "nurse" take her baby; she appeared to be legitimately taking the baby.

And, that was the last she saw her child, 18 years ago!

The mother and father have now spoken to their daughter by phone; they have face timed by computer; and they have traveled to South Carolina to meet their daughter, face to face, for the first time in 18 years.

The journey is not over for them; there are still a lot of feelings to work through; a lot of questions, especially for an 18-year-old young woman who has only known her abductor as her mother for all these years.

But, the family of Kamiyah Mobley never lost hope!

During an interview, after learning their daughter was still alive, the young woman's father said,

"There's always hope.  Every day you get up, there's always hope."

After all these years of no news; no knowledge of why or any word of where she might be.  After many days and months and years of prayers and hoping...a miracle has happened for this family!

Not luck of any kind; a blessing, a miracle!

{There is so much more to read about this story; check it out here.} 

Now, it is true that all cases like this don't always turn out the same way as this one did.  There are even other cases in this same area that did not.

But, this family is experiencing a blessing, following their years of Prayers and Hoping their "baby" would be found - alive.  Their road is still rocky, and many more tears will be shed.  Yet, in their case, they found there is hope.

In all things, we do have hope in our Lord.  Things may not always turn out the way we prayed, but there is hope...

Jeremiah 29:11 - "I have plans for you - to give you a future and a hope."

Our future may not turn out exactly the way we think it should...but, we do know:

There IS hope!  God's Hope!

P.S.  I am not a Biblical scholar and do not propose to be an expert on any of this.  I am only attempting to write from my viewpoint.  I do welcome your comments, though I will not "debate" about my thoughts or attempt to defend them.  Thank you for reading and sharing your comments and your views!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook - January 16, 2017

January 16, 2017

Looking Out My Window:
What a beautiful day!  The sun is shining; only a few clouds in the sky.  When I woke this morning, it was almost 60 degrees.  The high today is predicted to be around 77 degrees!

A beautiful spring day in the midst of winter!

That's Florida for you!!

I Am Thinking:
About the doctor's "appointment" I have this afternoon.  Actually, it is more of a consultation than an appointment.

I know I must be more pro-active in getting things done due to my husband's dementia and hearing issues.

Today, I hope to have the doctor's help.  I haven't felt very confident in his assistance in past conversations.  Today, I am going to (try to) be more assertive!

I Am Thankful:
For my church family.  I was able to share a bit with a couple of the Elders - my friends - about what is going on with my husband; and was assured they would be praying for us.

One of My Favorite Things:
Music that hits right at home, right in the heart and soul; and gives me what I need right then and there!

The song, "God Loves You," sung by a trio in church Sunday morning, really did just that.  Here it is sung by Jaci Velasquez:

Remember:  GOD LOVES YOU!

I Am Creating:
I have created a few things for swaps I will be mailing out this week:

Over-sized Tag for
"Winter Ball" swap

ATC (Artist Trading Card)
for "Winter" swap

I also completed this tag for an online friend who loves elephants!  This was sent as a Random Act of Kindness (RAK):

Front of Tag

Back of Tag

Though I still have a few projects that need to be completed, I am spending a couple of days writing...first this week's Simple Woman's Daybook; then the Word Wednesday post on my Word for the Year, Hope.

I Am Wearing:
A pink shirt and navy blue pants; nothing like being comfy!

I Am Reading:
Though I am still reading Ann Voskamp's "The Broken Way", and preparing for the online Bible Study, I have also picked up another book to read.  Ann's book is rather involved; perhaps a bit intense.  So, I started reading "Full Blast" by Janet Evanovich for the times I just want to pick up something to "read", not "study". 

I Am Hoping:
The appointment this afternoon goes well and I will be on the way to completing a few things that must be done.

I Am Learning:
This year may be a new "season" for me; there are things that need to be organized (paperwork such as power of attorney, etc.).  I want things to be organized in such a way that my kids wouldn't have any problems finding things, if there was a need to do so.

In My Kitchen:
Leftovers for dinner; dishwasher unloaded and loaded again; laundry in the dryer...may be finished drying by now! 

Shared Quote:

Last week an exhibit opened at one of our local museums, the Museum of Science and History.  Called "Voices of Hope", I plan to attend this week with my grandson.

What a horrifying time in our past history.  And, the fact that this young woman - only a teenager - has had so much influence on that time is amazing.

I have had an interest in the Holocaust for many years; probably ever since I visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany back in the 70's.  Perhaps one day I'll share what I wrote after visiting that camp.

I have read Anne's book, and want to re-read it.  Check out more about the exhibit here.

A Moment From My Day:
I enjoy the quiet evenings when I am relaxing and watching a movie.  Midnight is stretched out beside me, or more often lying between my legs!

This was one of our cooler nights!

Some evenings we are alone, as my husband heads to bed early.  Other times, he stays up because he has become interested in watching the movie I have selected (but if it's not a "drama", he'll head to bed as quickly as he can, especially if I choose a "cook" show or some other type of programming he doesn't like!

A lot to share this week on my Simple Woman's Daybook post!  Hope you'll check back next week for another one!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Five Minute Friday - MIDDLE

It is time to link up with Kate Motaung again; and here I am, ready to write again!

Be sure to check here for more information about participating in the Five Minute Friday posts.

The word for this week is:  Middle

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of something?

There have been many times when I was in the middle of a war...

Well, not really a war; but a battle...

Perhaps a battle of wills; but still a battle!

Found on Pinterest

I found myself in the middle of my children and their step father - my husband.

And later, when she was living with us, I found myself  in the middle of my mother and my husband.

There were times I just didn't know what to do!  Whose side was I to take in these situations?  I didn't really know the answer; perhaps I still don't know... 

So, what did I do?  Back then, I kept busy!  I stayed out of it as much as I possibly could.  After all, it was their relationships, not mine...Nobody was being hurt, were they?

Were they?

Well, I'm not really sure of that answer.  I don't know if what I did was right or wrong.  Looking back, I can only know for sure that I did not like being in the middle!

What I do know is that my children have "issues" associated to how things were for them when they were growing up with their step-father.  Perhaps I didn't do the right thing then; I can only go forward and try to do the right things now!

The Webster's Student Dictionary defines "Middle" as "in the center; halfway between two things."

That's where I was..."Halfway between two things."  I could see each side; yet, I didn't want to choose between them.  And, I felt I did have to choose.

Now, I find myself in another "middle"; in the middle of a disease that is slowly taking away the life that we had, whether it was a good life or a so-so one; that life together is changing into a very different one.

And, my life as a very independent person is also changing, very rapidly.

I don't like the changes; and I still do not like being in the middle!  But, I am still there!
Found on Pinterest
Shared by The Man's Man

In this middle that I find myself in, I am trying my best to figure out the situations and the issues that seem to set off my husband's anger or frustrations.  It isn't easy; but all I can do is try.

And, continue to be in the middle for as long as is necessary!  Perhaps in the middle of this "nowhere", I will find myself!

{My time is up!  I am really digging deep with this Five Minute Friday post.  This word, though it would seem to be a simple one, really touches on a sensitive subject for me.  And here I am, opening up...sharing with the FMF community that I feel so connected to - which was last week's word!}

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lost Hope

Have you ever been lost?  I mean...really lost?

Today, I missed my turn!  How many times have I traveled this same road and turned exactly where I should have?  I knew exactly how to get back on the right track, and in less than five minutes, I was where I should have been!

But, some are not as fortunate to get back on the right track so quickly.  In fact, my husband recently told of his experience in getting lost...he literally did not know where he was or how he came to be there.  He eventually drove a while and realized where he was and was able to get back on track and head home.

The difference is that I don't have dementia; he does.  I still have the ability to figure out what to do and which way to turn in order to be headed back in the right direction; he doesn't.

Sometimes we lose more than just our way...sometimes we lose all hope in our lives and what the future holds.  Sometimes things get so bad that we just don't know if there is any hope of them getting any better.

Many days I feel that way.  As caregiver for my husband, and watching as things go from bad, to "badder" or worse, I feel there is no hope for the future.


There is hope!

Psalm 71:5 says, "For you, O Lord, are my hope..."; and in verse 14, "But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more."

No matter what we think our future holds, God knows!  And, we can put our trust in him and continually hope and praise Him for all He has done and will do for us.

It isn't always easy to find our way back to where we should be.  We may wander around lost in familiar surroundings, only to eventually find our way back home.

And it isn't always easy to find our hope...

I read this from Ann Voskamp recently, actually before my "lost" experience:

"Lord...so I got lost today and turned around and lost hope - and you tenderly hand us back hope tonight:  'I have plans for you - to give you a future and a hope.' (Jeremiah 29:11)"

Yes!  No matter how lost we become, God knows the way back.  He has plans for our future and gives us the hope that we may have lost; and helps us find our way...

Have you found your way back?  I pray you have!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook - January 9, 2017

January 9, 2017

Looking Out My Window:
It is cold!  For us here in Florida...it is cold!

At 10:00 am, it is 37 degrees, with the high expected to be around 55!

Yes, for us Floridians, it is cold!

I Am Thinking:
Of all the things that I need to be doing; yet today I choose to relax, create and then head to a local retirement home where our Christian Women's Fellowship will host a birthday party for the January birthdays.

I Am Thankful:
I always say my family and friends; yet that is whom I am thankful for.

Today, I'll go one step further and say, "I am thankful for my son."  He stepped up and paid for an event I was planning to attend.  The deadline for current attendees to 'pay in full' is the 15th, just before our payday.  Once the event is open for others to attend, it will fill up very fast!

Now, I don't have to worry about not being able to attend.

One of My Favorite Things:
Joining my friends at a weekend retreat!

And thanks to my son (see above!), I won't be left out in April when we gather for the Spring Puppy Crop!

I Am Creating:
I have come into the new year with a total of 7 projects or swaps that I am working on...and then took on another one!

I finished the first that is due by the 24th; and I haven't even been paired up with a partner yet!

Today, I hope to work on a couple more of the projects due this month...then on to Valentine's Day!

I Am Wearing:
A pair of black stretch pants, a pink "heavier-than-normal" shirt, and pink and white fuzzy socks!  No slippers; just the socks!

I Am Reading:
Ann Voskamp's "The Broken Way"; I hope to order the Bible Study and whatever other companion books, and possibly follow the online study!

I Am Hoping:
This prompt will be a good one as I write my Word for the Year...which is "hope".

My first post was published last week under the label, "Word Wednesday"; check it out here.

I Am Learning:
To see the triggers to my husband's "ugliness" and outbursts.  The holidays were an eye-opening experience, and have me hanging around home more often, and limiting the stressors as much as possible.

I will continue to get out as often as I can, for me.  I will continue to do the things I enjoy, such as attending church and lunch with my friends; hanging out with my family; and scrapbooking with friends.

These things I need for me to be able to handle the rest!

In My Kitchen:
Leftovers for dinner; dishes ready to run in the dishwasher; a load of laundry ready for the dryer...

And a plate of brownies quickly disappearing.

Shared Quote:

This card, made using a Stampin' Up set, is on my wish list!  The quote could very well be a motto for my Word for the Year - Hope!

A Moment From My Day:
Today the ladies of our District Board for Disciples' Women Ministries went to a senior retirement community and hosted a birthday party for them.

We served mini sandwiches, cookies and cupcakes with tea and juice.  And, we played my mom's favorite game, Bingo!!  It brought back memories of visiting her at the nursing home and playing a game or two with her.  If she wasn't playing Bingo, she was in the activities room either working on a puzzle or playing scrabble, a couple of other things she enjoyed doing.

I miss my mom very much and treasure the memories I have of our times together.  This past December 30th would have been her 86th birthday...

And, another week with the Simple Woman's Daybook has been posted!

Check back next week for another Simple Woman's Daybook...