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It Feels Like Fall, People to Love, People Who Love Me, and No Pain

the four seasonsJuly 26, 2017 – It Feels Like Fall

Our weather has been somewhat weird for several years. There are times I can walk out on the front porch and it seems more like fall than summer, then the next day it’s back up in the 90’s. I remember the first year I lived in Butler, there was plenty of snow that winter, now, the last couple years, we have had more rain than snow, in fact for the last two years we had snow for one day and the threat of an ice storm that we never got.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind milder weather, but it seems like the seasons are going to extremes one way or another. This summer was extremely hot, especially in June and July and then August which is usually the hottest month of the year is mild, more like fall than summer.

Leaves are already falling off the trees and birds and animals are changing their habits. Winter may be coming early, however the monthly predictions show us having temperatures ranging from high 79’s to mid 80’s until the middle of October.

Wet winters are especially rough on my joints, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and chronic migraines I am a walking, talking barometer. I can pretty accurately forecast the weather day by day during the Winter time just by how I feel.

June and July were almost unbearably hot and humid that today I am thankful that it feels like fall.

Genesis 8:22″While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.”

loveJuly 27, 2017 – People to Love

For a good part of my life, I wasn’t sure what love was. I knew that there some people I liked being around more than others, and some who like being around me, but there were a lot of “users” in my life that tolerated or just put up with me for what they might gain, financial help, babysitter, housekeeper or punching bag.

When I finally turned back to God, I saw things change very rapidly in my life, and when I look back to where I was compared to where I am today, I can definitely see the levels I went through, the lessons I learned and the journey he brought me through to where I am today.

Because of my past, for a long time, I didn’t know how to love. I loved my son, but even looking back I don’t think I was capable of loving him the way I should have because I didn’t know love. Torn from my mother when I was 7, and looking back I don’t see where any love was really shown by her or my dad.

Don’t get me wrong, I did love my mom but she was removed from my life when I was 7 and I didn’t know her anymore when we went home from the foster homes. I got to spend 5 years with her before she was gone again and then I never got to see her anymore. During that time, we did develop a stronger bond, but I don’t think she knew how to show or accept love either.

I didn’t know how to love people until I completely accepted Christ and then I found that I was capable of loving so many, so deeply, it was a whole new experience with me. Today I have people around me that I love, and many people scattered across the country that I love. Today I am thankful for people to love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away

heartsJuly 28, 2017 – People Who Love Me

I’ve mentioned before that in y earlier years, I didn’t experience much love, I wasn’t even sure what love felt like. Over the years, since I gave myself to Jesus, I have learned to love and therefore have also learned a lot about heartbreak. My sisters and I were separated for many years after we became adults. I didn’t see one of them for 33 years and the other was away from me for 18 years.

Since 1993, when I gave my heart to Jesus he has put so many people in my life that have genuinely loved me. When I married Ken, I learned even more about what it means to love someone and to have them love you. When I started living with my grandchildren, watching them be born and bonding with them in the early years, I found out what unconditional love felt like.

Today I am amazed at the friends and relatives that I have around me. It seems like my family just continues to grow, not just with relatives and friends but with many brothers and sisters in Christ who truly do love me.

Today I am so thankful to have so many people who love me.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

laughterJuly 29, 2017 – No Pain

I know so many people who suffer from chronic pain. From the minute they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night, they hurt. Some of them are often awakened in the middle of the night with these chronic pain conditions.

Several of them have gone from being very active to being in an almost crippled state because of the pain they feel. Some of them became addicted to drugs because of the large doses of pain killers they took to try and ease that pain.

I have several conditions that cause pain. On most days there is usually something that hurts, my head, my feet, my back, my shoulders or other areas of my body. Some of the pain is caused by the different diseases I suffer like Chronic Migraines, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or gout. Unfortunately some of the medications I take can cause an increase in the migraines.

I already suffer from PTSD and depression. The depression often gets worse when I go for several days without a break in the pain, but oh, the days when I wake up without pain, it is like I entered a new life for a small period of time. Today I am thankful for the days that I have no pain.

Romans 8:17-18 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later

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Lesser of Two Evils, Forgiveness of Thoughts, Boring Days

oldman prayingJuly 23, 2017 – Lesser of Two Evils

Every American can register vote. This last election has made more news that any other election in the past. It seems that our country just can’t get together on what is right for the country. There has been threats, threats of violence, protests and even small pockets of violence over the last two elections.

I haven’t voted in a long time because I haven’t found enough of what I believe this country needs any of the candidates for many years. Every candidate makes huge promises, trying to appease everyone and promising everything from A to Z.

What many people don’t realize is that whoever our potus is, there is a limit to his power, even though it may not be evident, he can only do so much on his own. Sure, he has the power to veto, but even that power can be overridden by senate and congressional votes if the majority deems it necessary. He has a lot of power in his hands but if/when it comes down to the safety of our country, I mean really comes down to it, there are ways that can be used to curb that power. The sad fact is that too many people are so worried about keeping their jobs that they aren’t even doing their jobs.

This time and the last time it seems as if the President has more power than all the previous presidents. It’s hard to believe in any of the News Networks anymore because they are/were biased in different directions. Some of them siding with Democrats, others with Republicans or Tea party. I’m not sure how much of the truth is really revealed, therefore I am not sure exactly how much power our president really has.

When I watch or read the news it’s almost like I am looking at a soap opera instead of national and realistic news and views. There are many fake news sites on the internet now that you just aren’t sure who is really being honest or how much they really know of what is going on.

The last year I voted, I was talked into it by a few Christian friends of mine and it wasn’t hard to see that the wrong person was put into office shortly after they were elected. I was told, in one conversation to just accept that I had voted for the lesser of two evils.

Our country has been desperate for good leadership for so long I’m not sure we would recognize it we ever really had the correct person in office. But I have felt for many years and I am sure the Lord is the one telling me that when it comes down to evil, it isn’t alright to lean toward the lesser of two of them. Today I am thankful that he has taught me that evil is evil, whether it is lesser than another evil, it is still evil.

older woman prayingJuly 24, 2017 – Forgiveness of Thoughts

We were born with a sin nature. As we grow, we learn more about that as we learn more about the people who surround us. Not everyone is raised the same way. Not everyone is a Christian and not every Christian is completely honest about their sins, except maybe to God.

Sadly there are many who believe that as long as they repent, they can keep on sinning, the same sins over and over again, but there is a huge difference between purposely sinning and accidentally sinning. I’m not sure, and only God knows for sure, what the rules are for someone who claims to be a Christian but commits sins on purpose because they believe they can repent and repeat, repent and repeat.

There are those who commit some sins that they have a hard time getting away from, such as an alcoholic or drug addict. God knows their hearts just as he knows the heart of the person who cheats at their company or on their income tax, repents, and then purposely repeats it because they believe that’s the way it works.

Outward sin is soon obvious to many people. When they see you doing the same dishonest things over and over again and yet put on that “I’m a perfect Christian” attitude, they are less likely to want to follow your example.

Whether we want to accept it or not, even if we try to be an example and not show that outward sin, we still, all of us, sin in our thoughts. The minute we think something bad about someone, the minute we become silently angry with someone, the minute we think we are better than others, we have sinned.

The minute that we think jealous thoughts about a person, lust after another persons mate or possessions or even think of ways to get around a problem illegally or secretly, we have sinned. The moment that we think someone is too fat, too skinny, too ugly, wears too much make up, we have sinned.

Even though we may try to control all of these thoughts, it is often hard to do because we were born with that sin nature and we live in a society that daily belittles, insults, gossips and lies about people and situations. Sometimes it seems that we sin more in thought than in deed. Today I am thankful that the lord let me know when I have sinned in thought and need to repent and work harder at having pure and clean thoughts.

sleeping kittyJuly 25, 2017 – Boring Days

When I was a kid, I very rarely had trouble finding something to do, but there were those rare hot summer days, when no one was around and I was tired of reading. There were those days that no matter how far or how long I walked I couldn’t find any of my friends.

Those were the boring days. My mom would be taking her nap with my little sister, my older sister, who rarely wanted anything to do with me was off with her friends somewhere and all of my friends were gone off with their family.

I would walk for awhile, but eventually came back home. Pueblo, at that time, was a very small and quiet town, and on some summer weekends it was like a ghost town, especially on Sundays when everything was closed because they still had what they called “the blue laws” back then.

I would eventually end up sitting on the front porch, possible with several cats curled up in my lap, staring off into the sky, or just listening to the silence, alone with my thoughts, and sometimes I would doze off in that chair.

I haven’t had many boring days since my childhood. I’ve worked jobs that required extra hours or weekend shifts. I’ve lived with other families where some how or another, I ended up having to take care of everything and do every bit of running around that needed to be done.

There aren’t many boring days around here. It seems that no matter how hard we try to keep things calm, something arises to set us on edge, causing us to worry, maybe make a bunch of phone calls to get some things straightened out.

Other days, almost every other day we go to the hospital for Rich’s medicine or we have to refill on milk, bread and other items we run out of, or we need to make an ER visit, or we end up in heated conversations on FB with other friends and scattered family, sometimes trying to help them solve their problems long distance.

Every so often, though, there is a boring day, a day where I did my chores the night before, a day when we need nothing from the store or there is no hospital visit or doctors appointment, a day when everyone seems to be getting along and there is no drama with friends and family and no emergencies. Today I am thankful for those boring days.

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My Protectors, The Hill and Always There

KnightJuly 19, 2017 – My Protectors

I lived in larger cities for most of my life, but I held to the memories of the country places I lived when I was younger. Most of my memories are from two of the foster homes, the first one and the last. In the first foster home, I lived in Fountain, Colorado which was just a small farm town at the time, probably around 1959. It was a cattle ranch that my foster father was the supervisor of.

It was peaceful and quiet with only an occasional car going down the road. We played in the water from the ditch in front, our foster father putting down a big board when the water would come rushing through after a rain, cause the water to overflow the front lawn and we would run and jump and splash in it.

I wasn’t afraid that there would be a water snake or a poisonous bug in the water. In fact we would run around the ranch barefoot all summer long, playing in the pastures, climbing trees, hiding behind the bushes and crawling through the grass. I don’t remember ever being bitten or stung by anything.

The last foster home was in Black Forest, Colorado. We made tree houses, climbed the highest trees we could find, holding onto the very tops, letting the wind sway us back and forth, and rode our horse daily and nightly during the summer, exploring the forest and country roads around us, and I don’t ever remember being afraid except for the night the horse got loose and we found out later a mountain lion had been in the pasture with us when we went to get them.

I didn’t worry about criminals in the dark, purse snatchers on the street or rapists waiting in the doorway of a building. I didn’t worry about being hit by a speeding car or a flying bullet. I didn’t worry about fighting with the neighbors, terrorists in our country or bullying on school grounds. None of this was happening in my life.

But I have experienced some of the above in my adult life and always when I lived in the city environment. I’ve been mugged at the counter in a drug store, snatched off the street I was walking down and, well, you know and have had guns actually pointed at my head, and lived in an abusive relationship for almost 20 years, and yes for many years I lived in fear.

I’m back in a country setting now, and while I know there is still a criminal element, even in this small town, I still feel safer than I ever did in the big city environment. I worry when I walk out the door, that someone is hiding in a stairwell or the doorway of a building next to mine, the neighbors would never allow someone trespassing on their property.

I don’t worry about a flying bullet from a drive by shooting, I don’t worry about getting into fights with the neighbors, and the chances of being mugged at the counter of a drug store do not exist. I always have my human protector, Rich with me and even when I didn’t realize, Jesus was always by my side, keeping me alive through everything else I have experienced. Today I am thankful for my protectors.

sunrise-in-the-countryJuly 20, 2017 – The Hill

I love peaceful places. Places where you can drive, get out of the car and sit and just absorb nature. When I lived in Colorado as a child, depending on which foster home I was in or if I was at home with my mom, we would go up into the Rockies, climbing up the sides of smaller hills and mountains, playing in running streams, exploring the woods or just having a peaceful picnic.

When I lived in Ohio, I drove a lot through the Emerald Necklace, the Metro Parks area, just to get away from all the noise, pollution and congestion of the City. With one job, I traveled to different counties to research records in their court houses and I would map out the back roads to get there, often driving through the Amish areas and seeing some of the beautiful countryside that Ohio has.

When I lived in Florida, we would go driving on weekends or early evening, down to Clearwater Beach, over the bridges, down past Indian Rocks and sometimes all the way out to Passe Grille with the ocean always in view.

In Vermont, we would drive through the Green Mountains, over to Lake Champagne and take the ferry over to New York and wander through the beautiful countryside there, sometimes continuing on all way to Maine to have a lobster dinner.

I’ve explored allover in different places, here in Missouri, traveling down old country roads and across old rickety bridges, across serene and peaceful streams, sometimes kind of creepy but always peaceful and beautiful.

We don’t drive down the country roads anymore, we don’t trust the car outside of town and now that I don’t work anymore we just don’t have the money for gas. But doesn’t mean we can’t find peaceful places. Our peaceful place is the radio station hill. It’s just a few blocks down from the High school, but there isn’t much out there except for a house or two, the fair grounds and the radio station.

We park at the fair grounds and walk down past the radio station to the last drive of the fair grounds, and then up the hill to the first drive of the fair grounds. We’ve seen rabbits and birds and even a bobcat. We’ve saved turtles, looked at strange bugs and listened to the silence. It is our peaceful place to go now. Today I am thankful for the hill.

Jesus with children 2July 21, 2017 – Always There

Everyone has a story, filled with experiences, some good, some bad. Everyone has memories, starting from childhood and still being made each day of their lives. Everyone has had ups and downs in their life, some more than others.

So many have been victims of crime, abuse, violence, and loss. So many suffer from depression, PTSD, and a variety of physical and medical afflictions. It’s life, it goes on day after day and there are never any promises on what each day might hold.

One of the worse times for a person is when they feel all alone, when they feel that no one loves them, no one cares for them, no one is there for them. I felt that way for many years, being involved in an abusive relationship, separated from family and friends and feeling I had nowhere to turn.

While I’ve had my share of all the bad in this world, I have struggled through it. I’m still here, I am strong from all I have experienced, I’m still alive and life is good. I may not be rich or famous, nor do I really ever want to be, but I am content, I am happy and I am not alone.

It took a long time, until 1993 for me to realize that I had never been completely alone. There was always someone there, even though I didn’t notice them, even though I didn’t see them, even though I didn’t hear them. They were there watching and directing my steps to where I am today. In 1993, I went to church, the first time since I was in my teens. And after many altar trips, a lot of praying and a lot of crying I reconnected with the one who has always been there. Today I am thankful that Jesus is and will always be there for me.

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Trying to Catch Up

I have fallen woefully behind on getting these posts up. I sit here at my desk and look at the list and can’t believe how far behind I am. I am not behind on being thankful or finding things in my life to be thankful for, I am just behind in getting them up where you can finally read them. I am hoping to get all caught up within the next week, The last couple months have just been crazy busy and there seems to be more to do than there are hours in a day. Thank you for your patience and may you all be blessed.

sleeping kittyJuly 14, 2017 – Sweet Sleep

When I was young, I slept like a log. I sometimes laugh when I think about how hard I fought with my mom about taking a nap. She would tell mt to just close my eyes for two minutes, and I would close them and pop them right back open asking “has it been two minutes yet?” After about the third time, I was down for the count, they didn’t open back up until about an hour later.

When I was a teen, it never seemed to bother me if I got eight hours of sleep or not. I had so much energy that mom even asked the doctor if something was wrong with me because I was so skinny and yet didn’t seem to be sick. He simply told her that I had a high metabolism rate and that it would even out over the years, and yes it certainly did.

My whole adult life has been riddled with many sleepless nights. Working odd jobs with odd hours and taking care of a houseful of kids that belonged to someone else, since I only ever had the one son, and being kept awake by the person who abused me for many years usually meant I was lucky if I got 3-4 hours a night.

Things haven’t slowed down a whole lot. For a person who is disabled, it seems that I can’t find a schedule that fits. There are the late night visits to the ER, the nights when we just can’t seem to close our minds down and watch TV until 3 am and then the recent early morning wake-up calls because of the construction going on next door.

But, there are certain nights that I crawl into bed with my fan blowing full blast at the bottom of my feet. I curl up into my favorite position, say my prayers and close my eyes. On those nights there seems to be an overwhelming sense of peace that surrounds me. I feel this odd feeling, especially around my upper torso, this feeling that my whole body has suddenly relaxed and I drift off quickly into the sweetest sleep. Today I am thankful for those nights I experience what I call my sweet sleep.

starry skiesJuly 15, 2017 – Late Night Conversations

It’s only been in the last 10 years that I have fully realized that you can talk to God at any time. When I was younger and would be taken to church or when I lived in the one Christian foster home, we prayed over meals and before we went to bed, so I grew up believing those were the only times outside of church that you should pray.

Then in February 1993, when I asked Jesus to come live with me, I would hear all of the “mature” Christians pray using all those words like the “thee and though” and “most gracious god or father God” or “magnificent Lord” and thought I could never pray like this. Oh I tried, but the words did not come naturally to me and I thought I was doomed because I would stumble over the words and wasn’t sure if I was using them in the correct order.

I didn’t see any hope for me because I just couldn’t pray like other people did. Sometimes I would go to the altar and kneel there and cry because I didn’t understand how to address God, how to let him know I believed in him, loved him and trusted him.

Then one service, a visiting pastor was doing a sermon on prayer. Sometimes, even to this day, I think that God directed that sermon directly to me. This pastor said “if you have trouble praying, if you don’t know how to talk to Jesus, then just picture him sitting in a chair next to your bed, like a best friend would do if you were ill, and talk to him like you would that friend.” “tell him your troubles, what you struggle with and ask for his advice or help, just as you would your best friend”. He also said that you could talk to Jesus anywhere. You didn’t always have to be at an alter or kneeling next to your bed, because Jesus could hear your very thoughts.

Ever since then, I have talked to him all the time. Sure I pray over meals and say a prayer before bedtime, but I think some of the best times have been when I wake up in the middle of the night and talk to him. Today I am thankful for those late night conversations.

heavensJuly 16, 2017 – Beyond

I am a word person. I love looking up words that I don’t fully understand. Even every day words that we speak on a daily basis can have multiple meanings depending on how they are used, why they are being used. Take the word “beyond”. We use in in different sentences all the time to sometimes describe something we don’t understand or to talk about something that in excess such as over and beyond what was necessary.

Beyond is often used when talking about things we don’t fully understand like space, the planets, the stars and even the future. It can be used to describe something out of our vision or hearing, something we cannot see or hear with our human ears and eyes. What is beyond the horizon? Or What is beyond the stars.

He has gone above and beyond what was expected of him or beyond that curve in the road is the town you are looking for. It is used to describe distance that is beyond what we can see, but it is also used to describe the behaviors of individuals in certain circumstances.

There are many different verses in the Bible that include the word beyond in what they are describing, to make sure the people understand that what they are being taught, what is being prophesied is beyond anything they can understand on their own.

Gods love, his mercy, his forgiveness are all beyond what our feeble little human minds can comprehend. His ways are not our ways and we will never fully understand, but we are assured that there is life beyond what we know after we have shed our earthly bonds. Today I am thankful that there is more beyond this crazy old world of ours.

Psalm 86:15- But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

eagleJuly 17, 2017 – Up Up and Away

I’ve learned to rely on Jesus so much over the years. He is my safe haven. He is who I talk to the most throughout my day. Sometimes it is just little one word or two word prayers like asking him to help when I can’t crew the top of a water bottle, or asking him to just help when I find I am getting tensed up over being clumsy, running into things or tripping on air.

Sometimes there are longer conversations as I am going through the day catching up on my chores or just browsing the internet, when a certain person or need comes to mind or I see that one of my family or friends on Social Media is going through a tough time.

Sometimes I just walk through the house, looking at each room and the contents it holds and thanking him for all he has allowed me to have. Other times, when the pain in mouth, head or feet has abated for awhile I stop and thank him for that period of relief.

Life on this planet isn’t easy and it’s not going to get any easier. We are all having tough times now and as the time goes by and it gets closer to the return of Jesus, things are going to get much worse. We’ve had our share of troubles, more than our share of scary moments. Recently, when it was time for a refill on a special medicine Rich takes for his hereditary disease, we got a notice that his insurance companies were not going to cover it anymore.

We went through two weeks of agonizing terror trying to get our representative at the pharmaceutical company, the doctor and the insurance company all on the same page. But god worked it all out and we let him know just how thankful we were.

There are tough days ahead for this old world, worse than anyone has ever seen. While we can sit and worry over all the news stories, all the political garbage about our president changing things that could affect our ability to get the medical attention we need, all the threats of nuclear missiles that are able to reach our soil, all the civil strife, evil and immorality of this world, one thought stays clear in my mind.

Whether I live to see the return of Jesus or I die many years before that, I know deep in my heart and soul that I will be going up to meet him in the sky. Today I am thankful that some day I will go up, up and away from all the evil, sickness and hurt anf immorality in this failing world of ours.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

racconsJuly 18, 2017 – Three Raccoons

NO, not one, not two but three raccoons!!!! Yes we have some more members to our ever growing outdoor, backyard family. Besides all the birds, our occasional visit from the possums, the appearance now and then of the old fat skunk and the new squirrel, we now have three raccoon hanging around.

I walked out on the deck after dark, which I do several times a night before bed because it is so peaceful and on a clear night the sky is more beautiful than I ever remember it being and I heard a thump. I looked to the left and there, sitting on the railing was this humongous raccoon. I mean he/she was really big. He or she jumped down on the deck, looked at me, went further to the north, jumped up on the railing and then into the Formosa tree. I could see it watching me.

The next night, I went out, close to the same time, this time leaving the light off so if it was out there I wouldn’t scare it away. As I didn’t hear anything, I reached in and switched on the light and there were two younger raccoons sitting at the bottom of the deck steps on the west side. They were about half the size of the one the night before.

One crawled under the steps and hid. The other one actually walked up the steps, sat up on it’s hind legs and just looked at me, it’s little claw-like hands wiggling it’s fingers and cocking it’s head side to side as it sniffed at me. Slowly it hopped up on the rail, jumped into the Formosa tree where the one from the night before did and sat there looking at me. So now we have a few more members to our nature family out back. Today I am thankful for the addition of the three new raccoons.

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cardinalsJuly 10, 2017 – The Cardinals

I’ve talked about the many creatures in my back yard several times. Each one is beautiful in a different way. The birds are a multitude of colors, shapes and personalities.

The one Blue Jay will sit in the Formosa tree next to the deck and literally yell at me if I haven’t put any food out for him yet. He will yell at me all the more if he doesn’t like what I put out, like crushed saltine crackers.

The varieties of sparrows is amazing. There are ones that are just a dingy brown, but there are ones with white around their neck, and then a swatch of black, like they are wearing some kind of collar. The doves are the most peaceful ones. Sometimes one of them will just lay in the food dish, sunning itself. It might lay there for hours until the Blue Jay starts yelling or a Starling chases it away.

Cardinals are my favorite. The males are such a brilliant red. Often you will see a pair together, male and female. The female is usually a brownish color with red around the head. Did you know that Cardinals mate for life?

Someone recently mentioned to me on one of my articles about the birds that Cardinals were a sign that Angels were nearby. While I couldn’t find any actual reference to that I did find some interesting beliefs. For example the Cherokee Indians believe that a cardinal is an omen. If they are seen flying downward, it is bad luck, if they are seen flying up, it is a sign of good luck. I don’t do luck.

I found one site that claims that Cardinals have a special meaning for Christians because they symbolize vitality – the faith in the blood of Christ and Christmas – the birth of Christ. The Latin word Cardo means hinge, so something that that has cardinal qualities is important because other things hinge around it.

Other beliefs indicate that the sighting of a Cardinal signifies that a loved one who has passed away has come back to check on you. I also read that there are a group of angels called Cardinal angels, I do believe it said there were four of them.

While there is no solid proof to any of these beliefs, I love seeing these beautiful birds making themselves at home at my feeders. If they are connected with angels, that would be awesome. Today I am thankful that I get to have these beautiful birds around me.

Mrs. BeasleyJuly 11, 2017 – A New Squirrel

We have a new squirrel. At first I thought it might have been Mrs. Beasley returning, but upon closer look, this one is skinnier, a little longer and has an odd curve to its tail. I’ve seen it a few times, out at the end of the deck, on the railing, down by the water dish and up by the window.

While I was sitting at my sewing machine one day, which is directly in front of the open back window, it came up there by the food, sat and ate, and didn’t seem the least bit scared of me. This one is a little picky on what food he/she eats. Mrs. Beasley loved it when we would peanuts out there, but this one will not even touch them.

It likes the bird seed and the bread and cereal, but isn’t the least interested in the nuts. I would think that it would want to take them back and store them, since they are still in the shell, they would probably do well buried or stored in the nest, but it won’t touch them.

Wile I know it is not our Mrs. Beasley, I am excited to have another one hanging around. They are curious little creatures. If you stand quietly, they will not run away. They will watch you as they eat or while they are getting a drink of water. As long as you move slowly, they will continue with their meal, but will run like the wind if you make any sudden moves. We haven’t decided yet what we should name this one. Today I am thankful for the new squirrel in our back yard.

anger faceJuly 12, 2017 – Frustrations

We all have those times when we get frustrated. Sometimes it is just over something small and sometimes it seems like the whole day is just filled with a bunch of frustrations. Maybe its something as simple as finding a knot in your shoe lace when you are trying to get ready to go out the door, or reaching for the creamer for your coffee and finding out you forgot to buy more.

Little frustrations happen every day, but how you handle them will determine how your day will go. There is some kind of lesson in just about everything that goes awry. A little frustration could be a test of patience. A larger frustration may actually cause you to stop and think something through.

It’s when you have a day filled with little and large frustrations that makes it hard to handle. For example, maybe you have a relative, someone you truly love or care about that is on drugs, alcohol, or gambles or makes other unwise decisions and no matter how much you talk to them, they just don’t see the light.

A frustration like this can make a day go sour quickly for it is hard to get these things off your mind. The conversations, the worries hang around with a bunch of “what ifs” all day long, making it hard to concentrate on the things that need your attention the rest of the day.

I’ve had these conversations with people I love and I know the frustration of feeling like your hands are tied and frustration of not knowing what you can do to help the situation. These are the frustrations that we are supposed to step back from and leave in Gods hands. Today I am thankful that he has taught me how to handle all of my frustrations.

sunJuly 13, 2017 – Heat Wave

The last couple winters have been a little weird. They have mostly been rainy with only one or two days of snow, never more than an inch or two for the whole season. I read somewhere online during the winter that they were expecting us to have a really tough summer because of this. It is claimed to be caused by environmental changes caused by global warming.

This year was much like last year. It didn’t seem as if we had much of a Spring. I guess because the Winter was so warm and rainy, the two just kind of melted into each other. It felt like we went from Winter right into Summer, and Summer started out just fine.

The trees all of sudden had their leaves. It was like they grew overnight. The sky was blue, the birds were singing, the grass was green and the temperatures were great. Summer didn’t seem like it was going to be all that bad, and then, and then, we are in the middle of a heat wave.

Temperatures flew up to the 90’s overnight with heat indexes in the 100’s. The air was so thick with humidity you could have cut it with a butter knife. At times it actually interfered with my breathing. I wasn’t that much sort on breath as much as it seemed I was breathing in water instead of air.

But we hunkered down, turned the air on only when absolutely needed, closing off the rooms that were not in immediate use to try and cut down on our bill, but it got so bad that we had to leave it on for a few hours after bedtime, something we very rarely have ever done.

We’ve made it through, and even though it will rain in a few days and the temps will go down a little, they are predicting that this isn’t the last heat wave will have this summer. I hate to even think about what the electric bill will look like this month, but I am thankful we made it through this first heat wave without either one of us suffering from heat stroke or dehydration.

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Repentance, Beef Steak Tomatoes, The Blue Jay

older woman prayingJuly 7, 2017 – Repentance

We are told that we must ask Jesus for forgiveness when we accept him as our savior, that he wipes away all our previous sins and washes our hearts and souls clean, as white as snow. All past sins are forgiven, never to be spoken of again.

Some people believe that this absolves them from all future sins as well. They believe that once their sins are forgiven, then all other sins are automatically forgiven. In a way they believe they now have a license to keep on sinning. There are others who are raised to believe that once they are baptized, as an infant, they are going to heaven whether they have accepted Jesus or not, whether they have repented of their sins, or not, whether they believe in him or not.

Unfortunately, there are different denominations that teach that this is true, that once you are saved, all your sins are automatically forgiven. Other denominations teach that if you confess your sins to someone in authority in the church, that they can absolve you of all your sins, but no man can take the place of Jesus when it comes to forgiving sin. We are to make restitution when possible and we are to ask forgiveness from those we have sinned against when possible, but only Jesus can completely wash our sins away.

We are born with a sin nature and we sin every day of our lives, sometimes without thinking and other times on purpose out of anger, resentment and revenge. We sin, not only in our actions, but in our thoughts as well, and not always on purpose, it is our sin nature coming to the forefront. It is our defensive mechanism kicking in when we believe we have been hurt or misused.

Remember what Jesus said to the woman at the well “neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more” (John 8:11). And he does not condemn us, but he does expect us to recognize when we sin and to repent of those sins. He also expects us to continue to strive to live a sinless life

He wants to know, that deep down in our hearts we truly love him and want to be obedient to him and he knows this by looking into us, hearing our repentance, seeing our sorrow over the sins we commit and our willingness to keep trying. He just wants our love and faithfulness, our willingness to learn, like little children, his ways. Today I am thankful that we are allowed that repentance of our sins.

garden plants 002July 8, 2017 – Beef Steak Tomatoes

I am a tomato person. I love them, all different kinds, all kinds of flavors, in many different recipes. I can remember just picking them off the plants in my moms garden, brushing them off and eating them right on the spot. I think my love for tomatoes comes from the fact that in my younger years they believed that tomatoes, citrus fruits and milk actually instigated asthma attacks, so for a very long time I wasn’t allowed to eat them. By the way I also love milk and citrus fruit too!

I have always wanted to be some kind of farmer. I have always wanted to plant and grow crops to eat, flowers that brightened the day and spread their perfume throughout the air. I even wanted chickens, which we did have for awhile in Pueblo, and I wanted fruit trees. Nothing big, just an acre or two with a few little farm animals.

I have had to settle for container gardening. Physically and medically I cannot be a farmer. I cannot dig up the ground, til the soil, sow the seed and weed the garden. I cannot spend hours in the sun and I cannot sit or stand in one position for any length of time.

So, every summer I buy a few plants and experiment with my container garden. Last year I had some unknown tomato plants that I actually nursed through the winter, a husky tomato plant that grew into a giant bush, some squash, that rotted as soon as it started producing and cucumber that was eaten by some unseen guest.

OK, so I am not the farmer I would want to be, still I continue to try. I couldn’t find a Husky plant this year so I bought a Beefsteak, figuring by its name, it might produce like the Husky did. I am trying squash and cucumber in containers on the desk. The squash has grown quite high with many pretty flowers but no squash, the cucumber plant as one cucumber that just started.

The Celebrity tomato gave me two tomatoes right away, and then nothing so I trimmed in completely down. It has grown back up and has one tomato. The Beefsteak has three tomatoes and many blossoms. It’s been that way for weeks. I have trimmed it, watered it, even talked to it, but it just slowly grows in it’s own way.

We can take lessons from many things in our daily lives, even growing plants. When I think about the Beefsteak, I wonder if I am being taught a lesson. The lesson? Slow down, take it easy, enjoy life and quit rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off, quit panicking over every little problem that pops up, try just living life instead of chasing it. Today I am thankful for the lesson of the Beefsteak tomato.

blue jayJuly 9, 2017 – The Blue Jay

We have had a variety of birds on our back deck the two years we have lived here. We have had several pairs of doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals and a wood pecker. We have about five varieties of sparrows and quite a few robins.

We have a feral cat living under the deck, have a few possums come and go, seems to always been one living in the garage, have been visited by skunks a few times along with all of the birds. I don’t doubt, that if there wasn’t a fence around the back yard, we would probably have deer there as well.

We’ve had a few squirrels. They come and go. Mrs. Beasley hung around for the longest time and even got to the point where she was no longer frightened by me. She’s been gone for awhile, grabbed by a large hawk or vulture, who it seems couldn’t hold onto her and dropped her in the path of an oncoming car. We miss her.

But this summer we have this one loud Blue Jay and it seems the he really likes to yell at Richard. He reminds every morning that it is time for us to feed him. He sits in the Formosa tree next to the deck and yells until we bring some food out. Of course, he will fly away when we come out, but quickly returns to right by the window to eat his breakfast.

There have been a few times that we have walked in the kitchen and he has been sitting there, looking in and making noise “you guys forgot to feed me”, he seems to be saying. So Rich will quickly mix up whatever he can find and take it out to his favorite spot.

We, humans spend a lot of time worrying about ourselves, our families and friends. We clutter our lives up with so much to do that days often fly by quicker than we want and at the end we still don’t feel that we have accomplished what we need to. There are lessons we learn every day, and maybe today this Blue Jay was reminding us to not forget the small things in life, that sometimes they are more important than all the junk we clutter our days with. Today I am thankful for our persistent Blue Jay.

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Independence Day, Off the Grid and Walking

July 4, 2017 – Independence Day

Just about any country that lays claim to being an independent entity celebrates the day it became independent from another world power. For the United States July 4, 1776 was the day that we declared our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. For Armenia, they claimed their independence from the Russian Empire on May, 28 1918 and then again from the Soviet Union on September 21, 1991.

Bulgaria claimed their independence from the Ottomans on September 22, 1908 and Ecuador claimed theirs from the first time on August 10, 1809 from the country of Spain and then again on May 24, 1822. India claimed theirs from the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947.

Every 4th of July we are reminded by celebrations, parades, special events and fireworks that we are a free country, that we do not serve or bow down to any other country around the globe. Almost every free country celebrates close to the same way.

As a free country, as free individuals, we may celebrate some private independence days. For some it may be the day they move out on their own, from under the rule of their parents. For others it may be the day they leave a dead end job for something better, and for another it may be the day that they are independent of the yoke of their sin, the day they ask for forgiveness of their sins and accept Jesus as their true King.

I am proud to be an American. Even though our country has been going through a difficult time, even though we have so many battles being fought on our home ground, even though we seem to be in a political and racist mess, I am still proud to be an American, I still celebrate the Fourth of July. But I also celebrate an even more important independence day. I celebrate January 15th, 1993 for that was the day I accepted Jesus and took my independence from the evil and sin in this world. Today I am thankful for my independence day.

July 5, 2017 – Off the Grid

I have noticed over the last several years that more and more people are looking at living off the grid. There is no doubt in my mind that at some point in time we will loose all the technological advancements we have made, and it is as simple as taking down our “grid.”

What is our “grid”? It is the network of technology that has been built over the years that connects everything in our country by use of underground cable lines, satellites orbiting the earth, power grids that are joined to keep our lights on, plants that use solar and water to generate power, it is the very fibers that connect us 24 hours a day to each other and to the technologies that we take for granted.

I’ve read some articles over the years about what could happen if the “grid” went down. People would panic for sure, because they have become so spoiled, so dependent on the man made technological inventions and advancements we have today. Not only would we lose power, we would lose communication, not just with each other, but with the satellites that orbit the earth and bring us the minute to minute news of what is going on in the world.

We would not be able to fill our cars with gasoline because 99% of the pumps are electrical and computerized. We wouldn’t have lights, heating, cooling, public transportation or communication other than with our neighbors and residents of our small town. And while this is so possible, we supposedly have a network of checks and balances that get us back up and running within a few days.

The sad part is that within that time people would still panic, running to the store for water, over running people in their way in theirrush to make sure they empty the shelves at the store before anyone else does. We could actually be thrown back in time to where we might have to live without all of these things that make our lives easier.

Because this is a possibility, many people are learning to live off the gird, to do without all the advancements that make life easier for us. They are setting up stockpiles of canned and packaged goods. Some are buying generators and fuel while others are changing completely over to solar power. Some are actually buying property and living without electricity, the internet and television. They are growing their own food, raising livestock and learning to live off the land like our ancestors did.

I haven’t ever completely lived off the grid but I have been homeless and hungry. I have had to, at times in my life, sleep in the back seat of a car in a garage, sleep on a basement floor or sleep in the store room of a bar. I spent one winter without heat and electricity, with a small tv hooked by wire to a car battery and cooking on a Coleman stove, washing clothes out in the bathtub or sink and heating water to wash with. Today I am thankful that for now I do not have to live off the grid.

July 6, 2017 – Walking

When I was a child and a teen I used to walk everywhere I went. I never gave it much thought, it was how we got around the small town of Pueblo. At that time you could walk across the whole town in half an hour, today it is quite huge and I am sure it would take several hours.

When I was a young, single mother, I still had to walk a lot. At one time I had to walk two miles to work each day and then repeat that walk at 2:30 in the morning because I didn’t have a car, couldn’t find a trust worthy ride and the buses didn’t run that time of night.

I have always loved to walk, especially in rural settings. I’ve climbed partway up mountains, explored ravines, climbed trees and looked out over an awesome vista. I’ve walked across meadows, out into cornfields and down country roads or through the woods.

I’ve pulled a cart for several blocks, filled it with laundry or groceries and pulled it back home again. A few winters ago, when our car broke down we walked to the hospital three times a week for Rich’s infusions, walked to the ER when he would have an attack, walked downtown to pay bills and walked the mile to Walmart and back carrying bags of groceries.

Last year I started having trouble with my feet. It took several months, several different doctors and a bunch of blood work for them to figure out that I have Rheumatoid arthritis. For the most part, my feet ache all day but I’ve basically gotten used to it. On other days, when I have a flare up, there will be shooting pains through my ankles or toes or the whole foot will feel like it is on fire. On those days, I stumble, I walk slow and often walk with a limp.

I can no longer walk the radio station hill, but I walk around the block once in awhile, get up constantly and walk around the house. I get on the stepper and do as many rotations as I can, when I can. I am determined to walk for as long as I can. Today I am thankful to still be walking and praying God will allow me to do so for many more years.