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One Day at a Time, Organized Days and Specialists

sunrise-in-the-countryOctober, 13, 2016 – One Day at a Time

We like our lives organized, planning our days, weeks and months out to fit our lifestyle, but sometimes things don’t go the way we plan. Vacations can be canceled in a moments notice because of emergency situations or illness. Family get together may not turn out the way they are planned because some members are unable to attend. That movie you planned for date night might have to close for unseen reasons or the restaurant with your reservations might mess up and make it for the wrong day.

So many things can change with a moments notice. One minute you are energized and well, the next you are so sick you can’t stand. One day you are talking to a relative or a friend and the next day they are gone. One day you are working and the next you may find you have been fired or laid off. One day you are married and the next you may be divorced. The only long term guarantee in life is Jesus.

Today I am thankful that he taught me a long time ago to take one day at a time.

ClocksOctober 14, 2016 – Organized Days

I can remember the days when I was organized. I would have my clothes for work laid out, the coffee ready to turn on, my paperwork printed out for the courts and breakfast ready to be fixed. The dishes and house were cleaned up before I went to bed and I felt like I had complete control over everything in my life.

Those days are long passed. Since I became disabled I find, that for the most part, I cannot be organized because I don’t know what the next day might bring. Sure, I can make my appointments with the doctor, but there are the occasional ER visits that weren’t planned. And I can make a list of what I want to get done in a day but there is no guarantee I won’t wake up with the arthritis out of whack or a severe migraine.

Every so often though, things fall into place the way I want to them. I do have days where I accomplish what I have listed to do. I have days where everything goes just as smooth as silk, without any interruptions or glitches. Today I am thankful for those organized days.

crossOctober 15, 2016 – Specialists

I can remember, as a young teenager, when we moved back home with mom, if I was ill, she would call the doctor and he would come out to the house. He carried one of those little black bags that had everything except the kitchen sink. I think they could deduce from the phone call what might be going on and that is why they always seemed to have a bottle of the right medicine with them.

Medical research has advanced very far since those days. Now everyone is specializing in something. There are cardiac doctors, pediatricians, internal medicine, arthritis, rheumatologists, neurologists, doctors for your head, your feet, your hands, your stomach or just about any part of the body or any type of disease you can name.

While most primary care doctors don’t specialize they now have the option to send you to the right doctor. I’ve seen plenty of them. Pulmonary doctors, neurologists, orthopedic doctors, psychologists, gynecologists and rheumatologists just to name a few. Today I am thankful for all of these specialists.

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Nature and God is in Control

lakeOctober 11, 2016 – Nature

Even as a small child I have been drawn to nature. Even when my mom tried to limit my activities due to my asthmatic condition, I was always sneaking off and running through any fields I could find, or walking through any wooded areas. I used to love to lay on the grass in the summer and watch the white, fluffy clouds float by and the birds flying about.

Sadly, I ended up spending many years in the concrete jungles of this country. In fact I was so shocked when we moved to Cleveland, Ohio that I wrote my foster sister that when it rained “mud rolled down the walls of the buildings.” When I lived in Vermont, I just loved looking up at the mountains that surrounded us and when I lived in Florida I couldn’t get enough of the ocean and beach.

I was standing on the back deck this morning, it was like a Spring day. The sky was completely clear, there was a soft breeze blowing, the birds were chirping and flying from tree to tree, and the Blue Jay was yelling at me because it wanted to come down to feed but didn’t want me around. One of the squirrels was busy out in the yard, digging one place, running to another and digging again, busy burying his finds for the Winter months. Today I am so thankful for the peaceful and wonderful nature that surrounds me.

Hands holding the worldOctober 12, 2016 – God is in Control

We can do everything possible to be in control of our lives, but sadly we cannot control those of people we care about. In this day and age, kids are becoming adults too quickly, being raised around drugs, alcohol, violence. murder and hate. Everyday you read about violence in our schools, violence in the home, murders and bullying and devastation. Each day you read or hear about terrorist activities, civil unrest, bad habits of famous people including pornography, pedophilia, rape, drug use, verbal abuse and physical abuse.

It seems like there is no safe haven to live in or to raise your children in. No matter how you try to protect them, they are exposed to all the nastiness in this world. Even in school, with transgender bathrooms, racial tensions, gang related activities, they can end up being abused, sometimes for simply stating their opinion. How confusing it must get for these children when the parents are trying to raise them the right way.

I have grandchildren and great nieces and nephews who are being exposed to all of this ugliness, and sadly some of it is in the home, where parents don’t know how to be parents or where the children have been removed and placed in uncaring group homes or foster care. How lost they must feel. But, my hands are tied, I am not a billionaire or I would be gathering them all up, buying a mansion, paying for them to be home schooled and protected from this horrible society we live in. Today I am thankful, that no matter what is happening elsewhere, in my life, I know that God is still in control.

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Pressing Onward, Food and It’s a God Thing

Christ of the Ozarks

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

October 8, 2016 – Pressing Onward

I don’t know of anyone who has had a perfect life. Rich or poor everyone goes through their own trials and tribulations. Whether it is financial, spiritual, or health associated, no one has a perfect life. Many people hide what they are going through, some because they are afraid of what their peers, friends, family, neighbors or co-workers might think or say about them, others because they know that everyone has their problems and understand that complaining about theirs only adds to the worries of their family and friends. And let’s face the fact, not many people are interested in the problems of someone else.

I have seen people completely give up when things got hard. I’ve seen people lose their homes, family members and friends because of their addictive habits. Some from alcohol, some from drugs, some from pornography, deceit, unfaithfulness and still some from financial mishandling. Even though there are times when things happen that aren’t any one particular persons actions, some people just don’t have the will to go on. These are the people who commit suicide, become homeless, or pick up other habits they didn’t have before, and most of these people don’t know Jesus.

I’ve been to hell in a had basket, so to speak, several times in my life, but the one thing I never did was give up, even when I didn’t know the Lord. I have to admit, that no matter what happens now, for life still isn’t perfect, it is easier to handle knowing Jesus is right beside me, holding my hand, and directing my path. Today I am thankful he has giving me the strength and desire to keep pressing onward.

fruits and veggiesOctober 9, 2016 – Food

I don’t know about you, but I love food. I’ve gone hungry at certain times in my life, only eating something small each day or actually going a few days without eating. There were times in my life I would have loved to be handed someones leftovers. I have learned that I can survive events like this, especially since I have learned to depend on Jesus for everything.

I’ve gone through periods of my life where I was able to delve into delectable culinary creations. I’ve visited many restaurants in my life from the higher class, to the seafood specialties to the family style eateries, but nothing tingles my taste buds as sufficiently as the spiritual food I eat every day.

Each morning I sup on his word, and all through the day and before bed, we talk. He fills me with his healthy food, the real food that keeps me going each and every day. Without his provisions, I would certainly starve to death. Since I have known him, I have not gone hungry. Not only do I have enough food in the house, but he also feeds me spiritual food. He fills the void in my life, the hole that used to make me feel so empty inside. Today I am thankful for food, especially the spiritual food Jesus provides.

Hands holding the worldOctober 10, 2016 – It’s a God Thing

I’ve been told that by several people that I have the patience of a saint. I’m not too sure that I agree with that. What I can say is that I have learned through the years that things happen we don’t have any control over. That’s life! I have also learned that getting upset, angry or irritated over the things that we have no control over is useless, and it is also unhealthy for you. By getting all tied up in knots over these situations, we can, without thought, open our mouths and often hurt others with our words in blaming them for these events, even when it might not be their fault.

I’ve been like that, many years ago. I had myself convinced that everything bad that happened had to be the fault of someone other than myself. I was sure that the world was against me, that people cause bad things to happen because they hated me or were jealous of me. It took me years of looking back to realize that some of the bad stuff was my own fault, and some of it was no one persons fault.

The patience of a saint thing? All I can say to that is if I seem to have the patience of a saint, then it definitely is a “God Thing”. It could very well be a work done in me by him. He teaches us a lot over our life times, if we just listen and learn. Learn from our mistakes, learn from the mistakes of others, learn from observations, learn from each day of your life. Today I am thankful for the “God Things” in my life.

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This Too Shall Pass and Undefeated

rainbowOctober 6, 2016 – This Too Shall Pass

I’ve heard this all of my life “This too shall pass” and like many others I was led to believe that it was in the bible. I looked it up today and the origin of it comes from the Persian Sufti Poets, but has been used by such famous men as Abraham Lincoln.

It is a fact of life that there is a beginning and ending for everything, good or bad. Nothing ever last forever. Illnesses come and go, diseases may last a life time but are not transferred to our next life in heaven.

I’ve run the gambit with migraine headaches, cancer, arthritis and many common illnesses like colds, flue bronchitis and such. I know when I have a migraine that eventually it will stop. I was blessed that the cancer was completely taken care, and I know that the meds prescribed for me will help the arthritis pain and it will not go with me into my new life.

Recently, in the last three months, I’ve had excruciating swelling and pain in my feet. They finally ran the right tests and diagnosed me with Rheumatoid arthritis. My niece and my older sister also suffer from this affliction and I can now totally relate to the saying “you don’t know what I am going through until you walk a mile in my shoes.”

With the modern medicines they have created, there are treatments available that will treat this condition and eventually ease the pain. Today I am thankful that “this too shall pass.”

bibleOctober 7, 2016 – Undefeated

There are so many sayings that have been passed down from generation to generation, and because some of them are based on logic, people often confuse them with verses from the bible. One that I have heard many times is “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger”. That quote is attributed to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Actually, he said it much more eloquently: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” It turns out that he was right. There have been studies done involving trauma victims and they have shown positive changes in their way of thinking, acting and personal growth. They now call this PTG (Post Traumatic Growth)

I am a firm believer that we are supposed to learn lessons from our life experiences and that we can choose whether to learn positive or negative lessons. I believe that God allows us to suffer for our mistakes in the hopes that we will learn the positive lessons that are there. I know I have learned a lot from the experiences in my past, and am still learning from every day events.

The stronger you become in your belief and faith in Jesus Christ, through life experiences, through prayer and meditation on Gods word, the harder it is for Satan to find a foothold in your life and you will remain undefeated. Today I am thankful that the Lord has given me the tools to remain undefeated.

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Trust, Forgiveness, and Imperfections

Hands holding the worldOctober 3, 2016 – Trust

Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

When I was a young person, I trusted everyone. I didn’t understand that in many cases trust should be earned. I trusted people to tell me the truth. I trusted people to treat me the way they wanted to be trusted. I trusted friends and relatives with my secrets, only to find as life went on, that I trusted too much.

I’ve earned the trust of many people during my life, but it was only through perseverance and hard work by being honest and loyal. Every place that I worked, the employers found me to be trust worthy, to do my the job the best I could, to value important information that passed through my work area and to keep in secret things I was told that were not for other employees to know.

As I got older, I trusted less people because I had more dishonest people in my life than honest ones. I placed trust in leaders, in churches, in people of high standing only to find that many of them wore two faces. Today there are few people I completely trust, people very close to me that mean the world to me, all others I take with a grain of salt and don’t get too involved with because they haven’t earned my trust.

When I became a Christian, I learned to trust Jesus and he has never let me down. Today I am thankful that I can always trust in the Lord.

EasterOctober 4, 2016 – Forgiveness

Matthew 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Matthew 6: 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The bible clearly states that one of the requirements for forgiveness is that we have to forgive others. We are a sinful people. More often than not our tongues can cause us to sin before the brain even has time to engage. Words can hurt and are one of the pains in life that are hard to forget and forgive.

A few months ago, when my son passed away, I got into a heated conversation with a relative. I said some mean things and they said some mean things back. Now, this person had hurt me spiritually for years, verbally abused more times than I can count when I thought when I was trying to help them and others in the family.

I never called them on the floor over their abuse of me, I never brought it up to them even though there were times I really wanted to list off to them every nasty thing they had ever said or done to me, everything that hurt me. The reason I never did is because I was trying to forgive them and by throwing it up to them, I wasn’t forgiving them.

We both apologized the next day to each other, and we had several good conversations over the following month, then they all of a sudden they quit talking to me. Every night I would send a message telling them good night, that I loved them and they were in my prayers.

Somewhere a long the line, this person became angry with me again and asked me not to contact them anymore. So I didn’t. Then there was a repeat of the previous problem. They started to talk to me again and everything seemed all right. Recently I needed some information from them about a relative and for a very long time they didn’t answer, but when they did, they were once again angry with me about the first conversation that occurred around my sons death. They even mentioned that I should watch out for Judgment Day.

Apparently they had not forgiven me. I still did not bring up the past, I still did not throw at them everything they had done to me, because in my heart, I had forgiven them. I said a special prayer last night because apparently they don’t understand the concept of forgiveness or that the Lord requires it. Today I am thankful that over the years, the Lord has been teaching me how to forgive.

blue butterlyOctober 5, 2016 – Imperfections

There is and always has been on one that is perfect, God. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all in one and only there is there perfection. Strive as we might, not one of us will ever achieve perfection, not in our family, friends or neighbors eyes and certainly never in Gods eyes, for he created us imperfect, individual and unique.

We can try doing good deeds, keep believing in him, live as strictly according to his word as we can, give up material possessions and declare the word of God from one end of the world to the next, but we will never achieve perfection.

But he loves us, he always will, even when we are sinners, even before we acknowledge him as our Lord and King. He wants to bless us, to take care of us, to lead us, to show us his will. This will never change. He will never stop loving his children. Today I am thankful that he loves me even with all of my imperfections.

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Catching Up

bibleSeptember 28, 2016 – Leviticus 26

I’ve read the bible several times and it seems that every time I read it, I find something that I missed before. We’ve all heard throughout our lifetimes, about what a punisher God was. As little children we were probably taught that he could strike us with a bolt of lightening if we didn’t do like we were supposed to, at least that is how I remember him being portrayed when I was small.

I’ve also listened to sermons that tell how God allowed the people to be punished, how he in fact sent famines and plagues on them when they turned their back and started worshiping idols. Yes, in the old days, there were times that he his rule demanded that sacrifices be made to him, but I don’t think it was the sacrifices he cared about, it was the obedience he wanted from his people.

When Jesus became the final sacrifice, it wasn’t a sign that obedience to God should be stopped. He loved us and he set rule by which the live, rules, besides the lessons of obedience that would form us into a functioning, right minded society.

God always wanted to forgive us. He didn’t just punish people because he enjoyed it, it was because of disobedience, the same reason a parent punishes their child. In Leviticus 26, he states several times over that if his children would seek his face, return to obedience, he would forgive them and restore to them all that was taken away. It is really an interesting chapter to read. Today I am thankful for a forgiving God.

older woman prayingSeptember 29, 2016 – Social Security

We live in a great country, no matter all the faults it has, no matter how much it has changed over the centuries, it is still a great country. Some of the people living here just need an attitude adjustment and that will come in due time.

Many years ago, if someone became disabled they had very few choices. They could ask family members for help, they could beg on the street, or they could be put into a charity house or hospital where they were soon forgotten and never received the actual help they needed.

We were one of the first and only countries that developed a system that would support disabled people and the elderly when they could no longer work. Through taxes and payroll deductions, we invested in this program that would help us in later years.

Although there are rumors and stories that the fund ins running dry because of fraudulent uses of our money, I pray that this will never happen. I paid into this program until I was 57, for 40 years, and it was what I had to depend on when I became disabled. If it weren’t for this program, I would probably be living in a cardboard box under the railroad tracks somewhere. Today I am thankful for Social Security and Social Security Disability.

campfireSeptember 30, 2016 – Heat

I have lived through very poor periods in my life. At one time we cooked on a Coleman stove in the kitchen, washed clothes in cold water in the tub, and watched a television that was hooked up to an old car battery. We walked around in layers of clothes and bundled up in blankets. There was one kerosene heater for a 3 bedroom house and we didn’t leave it on at night. How we managed to make it without our water pipes freezing up is still a mystery, or is it?

I’ve had apartments that depended on radiant heat and many times a lot of the radiators didn’t work, and I have had apartments where the furnace broke down and the landlord sent over one small space heater. I’ve lived in places where no matter how high the heat was turned on, the walls were so thin and the windows so drafty that you never could get warm.

I live in a well insulated house now with a newer furnace. I have a landlady who keeps up on repairs. It never fails that if I have to call her, someone is there the same day or the next day. Today I am thankful for heat.

ER -articlesOctober 1, 2016 – Medical Research

Blood letting, leaches, concoctions made from plants pulled up in the woods, incantations and spells, and prayer used to be the only methods of healing. Some may have worked since there are many plants that have medicinal properties, and prayer is always answered one way or another. I don’t believe in incantations or spells for that is against the laws of God, and they found out decades ago that leaches and bloodletting only weaken a person.

I firmly believe that the medicines that do work without harming the body are gifts from God. I believe they were only discovered because God allowed it, he still loves us and since most people don’t believe in miracles anymore, it is his way of helping us cure diseases and be well.

I also believe that some medicines are of the devil. Pain killers that cause people to become addicted, medicines that kill you before they can cure you, and ones that cause such horrendous side effects that people often wish they were dead are not what a loving God would allow us to create.

I’ve had doctors who like to throw prescriptions around like confetti. At one time I was taking 28 pills a day for problems I didn’t even have. When I finally found a doctor that cared, he ran the necessary tests and took me off all of them.

But I still believe that our medical researchers, through the help of God, find treatments and cures everyday that are good, that fight against disease, cure illnesses and relieve pain, so today I am thankful for medical research.

libraryOctober 2, 2016 – The Word of God

Have you ever really gotten into the word of God, I mean really read it, meditated on it, sought it out, researched it and understood it? I’m on my fourth or fifth reading of the bible. I have read the KJV a few times, the Good News version, and the NIV, and right now I am reading the Prophecy Study Bible put out by John Hagee.

No matter how many times I re-read a part of the bible, I always find something that I missed, something that speaks directly to me when I need it. It seems that I find just the right book, chapter and verses that apply to what I am going through in sad or sorrowful times. I love reading about the love of the lord, the miracles he did and the promises he made.

I love reading the old testament also, the history of mankind and his relationship with God. I am discovering so much that I have missed in my other readings. Each morning, first thing I read a chapter from the Old testament and a chapter from the New Testament. I’ve heard many people say they only read the New Testament because it applies to our lives today, because it is the writings that tell about Jesus, but there are references over and over again to him in the Old Testament.

I find, in the Old Testament, much knowledge on how we should still live our lives. Jesus even said that we should follow the ten commandments as well as loving one another unconditionally, but when you go through the chapters that get into detail about the laws Moses passed on, there is just so much more to learn about how to live a full and Godly life.

Trust, honor, love and loyalty are four basics that have been forgotten in todays world by many people. There are so many that believe, because we can be forgiven, that it is alright to purposely commit sin, and that is so twisted around from the truth. Today I am so thankful for the Word of God.

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Being Watchful, Fall and Depression

eyeSeptember 25, 2016 – Being Watchful

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

I’ve lived a lot of places, large cities, mobile home parks, tourist areas, farms, and small rural towns. While each place has its own problems, the larger the population, the more crime there seems to be. When I lived in Cleveland, I actually got mugged at the counter in a drugstore. The man in front of me, in line, was acting odd. I was the only other one around except for the clerk, and she left and went down to the photo desk because she thought he was going to do something, and he did.

Before I had a chance to understand what was going on, he turned around and started shoving me back and pulling on my purse at the same time. I screamed, for I knew they had security in the store, and because it completely caught me of guard, but no one came until after my purse strap broke, I fell on the floor and he ran out the door with my belongings.

To say the least I was pretty upset and when I found out that they heard me in the back room and no one came out, I was very angry. It is not something you expect to happen at the counter of a drug store. It surprised me, because I am normally watchful, but this happened so quick I didn’t have time to react any other way.

Cleveland has been known for it’s crime, for it’s dangerous neighborhoods and because of that I was always watchful. When I would get out of car to go into the courthouse, I always checked around me before getting out, locked the door immediately, inserted my keys between my fingers as a weapon, and kept watching around me as I walked the block and half to the court. I pressed the lock key on the chain as soon as I opened the door so that everything was locked when I sat down to drive away.

This is a dangerous world now, even here, in one of the most free countries around. People are snatched off the street, abducted getting into their cars, taken from their homes, shot on the street and raped in alley ways, and if someone sees this, for the most part, they turn a blind eye and walk away.

I am still watching, always watching, where I go, who is around me, who is in front or behind me. I watch the skies, I watch other people, I watch the cars driving by. It isn’t out of paranoia, but out of necessity because of today’s world. I also watch for people who might need a helping hand or could be in trouble themselves.

Today I am thankful that the Lord has taught me to be watchful.,

bucket of flowersSeptember 26, 2016 – Fall

Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven

I Love all the seasons. I like to watch Winter turn to Spring, Spring to Summer, and Summer to Fall, and then back to Winter again. Each one has it’s own smell, it’s own colors. Winter has it’s pristine snowfalls that make the world look quiet and serene, Spring has it’s different hues of greens as all the plants start to grow again.

Summer has its flowers blooming in a variety of different colors, pink and yellow, blue and purple, and sometimes a mixture of several together. You have your veggies that start growing and producing during the summer too. But Fall is so beautiful, as the leaves start to change color and fall to the ground. Browns and yellows and orange colored leaves creating a carpet across your lawn make this season different from the rest.

You harvest in the fall, all your major crops and all your garden veggies, tomatoes and cucumbers, water melons and pumpkins, squash and peppers and just so many more. The season of harvesting, just before the ground goes to sleep for the Winter is probably the one with the brightest colors. Trees start turning and just like each human, no leaf is exactly the same as the next. It is the season of preparation, preparing for the months of rest from all the sowing, planting and reaping. Today I am thankful for the seasons and especially for Fall.

older woman prayingSeptember 27, 2016 – Depression

Psalm 34:17-18 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

The Mayo Clinic describes depression as “ a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. “ It goes on to explain that there are different levels of depression, some are one time occurrences and others are life long chronic conditions. Some are caused by life events and some are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.

We all get depressed. Just about every man or woman has had some kind of depression during their life, some are much worse than others. When sad or problematic events occur in our life that can’t be solved easily, it is normal for some kind of feeling of sadness and loss of interest to occur. It is not uncommon for the human mind to keep thinking about or replaying these events over and over again in the mind, causing the depression to get worse.

I’ve have been treated for depression off and on all of my adult life. It goes in hand with the PTSD that I have been diagnosed with. Changing jobs, deaths in the family, health issues, relocating to different states, leaving behind those I care about and abusive situations have often caused a level of depression.

I went from doctor to doctor, having them throw one prescription after another at me, with the only result being that I became zombified. If I didn’t care about much before taking the medicines, I cared a whole lot less while taking them. Most of them had such heavy sedation effects that I even found myself falling asleep on the bus on my way to work, missing my stop and having to walk several blocks back to get there.

Over the years, since I became a Christian, I learned how to throw the medicines away and start depending on Jesus to take care of my depression. He always find a way to show me that what I may be getting depressed about is minor compared to the blessings in my life. Sometimes there are events that cause depression that can’t be corrected by looking at my blessings, like the recent death of my son, but he showed me that my son was with him. Today I am thankful to have the best doctor in the world taking care of my depression, Jesus.