Morning Inspirations

April 20 Morning Inspiration

Oh, those early morning wakeup calls meows! No alarm clock could be more accurate. There are mornings when I would love to sleep just a little longer, but Wilbur doesn’t have a snooze button! The very latest he will let me sleep is 6:20am. And that is with me listening to his insistent and ever louder yowls! Still, I am so very grateful for Wilbur and Templeton and their companionship. I like to start my day recognizing three things I am grateful for. Today’s list at the moment:

  • a bowl of hot oatmeal
  • no aches or pains
  • a cute mug decorated as a snail

Starting my day giving thanks to God for the little things makes me happy! Lifting my cup of tea and asking “In this moment, what three things are you grateful for?” Wishing you a happy day! Kindness matters.

Weekly Reflections

That Little Girl In My Past

Another week has passed. I remember when I was young, my mother would say how quickly time passes as one grows older. I couldn’t imagine it. Each day seemed so long and so full of life! Would I ever grow up? Would I ever be a teenager? Now, here I sit writing this weekly reflection and looking back at my life. That little girl in my past is now only two and a half years from reaching the age of 80.

Now I see the plentitude of ancestors God has given me as a huge blessing: 8 children, 19 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild. That little girl never dreamed I’d one day be the matriarch of such a family. She dreamed of being on stage singing and dancing, a writer of songs, an author, a teacher…someone who would be recognized and loved. Growing up as an only child, when you know you have a brother and sister you don’t see very often can be extremely lonely. A little girl who never knew her father, who gave all for his country before she was a year old.

That little girl would walk to church every Sunday and learn about Jesus. The little community she lived in was considered a “hollow.” City water was a long time coming to the hollow. She grew up pumping water, going to an outdoor toilet in the wee hours, running through the woods searching for arrowheads and living in a pretend world. She spent hours walking along the creek, being alone with her imaginary horse named Spooky. She would make blanket tents, crawl inside and while away the hours reading, escaping into other worlds. Her imagination grew on those long, somewhat lonely days.

In these “golden years,” my imagination can take me places I don’t want to go. I struggle against Satan’s lies telling me I’m still that lonely little girl without anyone to love her. At times, I give in, but then God reminds me I’m so much more. He reminds me of the blessings He has given me throughout the years. Yes, sometimes I have taken a turn off the path He led me on, but God, in His great love, has turned those wrong turns into something good.

So I pull my memories away from the distant past to now. To last week. I bought three new puzzles since I enjoyed working on the last one so much. It has more pieces than the last, but I’m making progress.

I was happy to finish three previous works in progress. This first one I started two Fridays ago. It is from the coloring book “Fairies” by Ruth Sanderson. I wanted to use my oil pencils and see how they worked on these dark grayscale images. I also used a lot of glitter and pearl paint for the background.

This next one was started a couple of weeks ago. It is in the Steampunk Special from Colouring Heaven and the artist is Hannah Lynn. I used both markers and pencils. (note: only 13 pages to go and this will be another completed book for me!)

This next picture is a mandala colored with glitter gel pens. I actually started this picture about three weeks ago while my car was being serviced. I decided to bring the 50 Nightime Mandala coloring book illustrated by Kameliya Angelkova. Not a lot to carry since I used only 5 pens.

I colored another mandala in this book with glitter pens one evening this week while I was watching/listening to a podcast on You Tube by Phil and Jase Robertson in their Unashamed series. I love listening to their Bible Studies and things they encounter in their Christian walks.

This last picture I started on Friday while skyping with my daughter and finished it on Saturday. It was done with alcohol brush markers and Prismacolor Premier pencils. The picture is titled “Nocturnals”, artist Sarah Richter, book from Colouring Heaven titled Creatures of the Night. When I chose this picture to color, I envisioned the owl as a snowy owl. The rest of the colors evolved after the owl was colored. This is my favorite one from this week.

And now, I come to the close of this week’s reflections. I’m still working on losing some of the extra pounds I’ve put on the past three years. My feet, legs, and hips will be thankful as well as my heart. I’m hoping I can also control my blood sugar better and perhaps get off the medication I take for my Type 2 Diabetes. The weight loss is slow. If only I could take it off as fast as I put it on! A new week has dawned and I’m looking forward to seeing what God has waiting in each gift of a new day. Wishing you all a happy week full of blessings and love. Until next time…

Morning Inspirations

April 19 Morning Inspiration

The air was a little cooler than I expected as I took out my trash this morning, but already the sun is shining. Each day is truly a gift, the contents unknown, until I wake and give thanks to God. The unwrapping is in stages and each hour reveals something new.

This is the way I like to look at each new day I’m given to enjoy life in my temporary home on earth. Moving through the day with a positive outlook of expectation provides a happiness and joy. Lifting my cup of tea this morning with a reminder that attitude affects gratitude and gratitude affects attitude! May your day be filled with calorie free smiles!

Morning Inspirations

April 18 Morning Inspiration

Eggs are boiling on the stove as I write this post. It is Sunday, my favorite day of the week. It sets the stage for a wonderful week when I gather with my church family to give praise to God for His blessings, His grace, His goodness. Last Sunday, the sermon was about what happens in the minute of our death. Many of us fear death, but if we have been saved, we have the assurance that we will leave our bodies and immediately be present in Jesus. This week’s sermon is about hell. Yes, hell is a real place. It is not fiction. Satan is real, too.

In my devotion today, I read how the enemy uses culture and our skewed sense of conformity to confuse us and draw us into the darkness. The lie is that we cannot offend anyone, so we have to embrace the new culture, even though it is considered sin in the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. It is our life guide. It is so easy for Christians to become complacent and accepting because we have kind hearts and want to love everyone. It is how we are called to live. However, loving the person does not mean accepting the sin. It is so easy to get sucked into the ways of the world, degree by degree. Be watchful.

So, why did I start with my breakfast of boiled eggs? I’ve been on WW+ and working really hard on losing weight. Sundays my friend and I have lunch at a local pizza place. I know the individual veggie pizza I’ll order is a large number of my daily points. So I need to concentrate on zero point foods for my other meals. It’s a compromise. Lifting my cup of tea and reminding you that compromise is not something you do when confronted with sin. Be strong and be kind. Blessings to you and yours on this day the Lord has made.

Morning Inspirations

April 17 – Morning Inspiration

“Now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 NLT

I start my mornings reading a devotional in a book by Dalene Reyburn titled Walking in Grace. My daughter gifted it to me this past Christmas. The scripture above is the one from yesterday. I love these two verses. I can envision a sweet aroma, pleasing to God spreading through a world that stinks of rot, and decay.

My daughter also gifted me a fragrance set from Bath and Body Works called Snowflakes & Cashmere. Oh, how I adore the scent. But I’ve become aware that wearing fragrance when one ventures in the company of others can trigger allergic reactions in others. Now I spray the fine fragrance mist all over my body on the days I’m spending at home. Problem is, I quickly become attuned to the scent and the aroma alludes me.

Many of us forget that we are still spreading knowledge of Christ even when we don’t actively speak of our faith constantly. People watch us very closely when they know we are Christians. How we handle situations and show our faith in trusting God, ssharing the fruits of the Spirit speaks volumes. Lifting my cup of tea this morning and thanking God for this beautiful morning He has provided. “The cold never bothered me anyway!”

Morning Inspirations

April 16 Inspiration

My good intentions didn’t pan out as I totally forgot to post this morning! I did have a great beginning to my day. I’m really in the groove to stay on WW+ and continue losing weight. Now that I’ve received my first 5 lb lost charm, I can’t wait to get my next one! I put the keychain on my refrigerator door to remind me to eat healthier!

Though the weather was a little cool, the sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful day. My small group is studying 1, 2, and 3rd John and I’m finding it so inspiring. The questions on the readings really make me think about my life and how these words apply. When you have to really look deep inside yourself and answer questions that are a bit uncomfortable, the result is eye opening. It triggers me to pray. Life is really too short to have a mindset of “I’ll spend more time with God later.” Tomorrow, the next hour, or the next minute might be my last here on earth. I want to spend my remaining time feeling happy, elated, and knowing I can trust God! I’m so grateful for life! Lifting my afternoon cup of tea with a reminder to be kind to yourself!

Weekly Reflections

The Joy of Easter and New Beginnings

Monday after Easter. The sun is shining brightly. The pear trees are blooming. Jonquils have opened their beautiful faces to smile at the new beginning of spring.

Yesterday was a day of celebration of the resurrection! People saying “Happy Easter!” “He is risen!” “He is risen indeed!” Church was filled with individuals joining their voices in praise and worship. My heart was overflowing with the joy of being alive, being saved, being a child of the King. The sun was also shining, warming the skin of my daughters and me as we sat on the porch together. The small family gathering for a meal after such a long time is exactly what my heart needed. God is so good!

Last week was one where I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. Still feeling cold unless I sit in the sunshine. Boo! I also overdid exercise and slightly injured my knee. My mind is so willing to do things that my body doesn’t agree with. Honestly. I need to be focused on moderation.

This day is beautiful and the temperature is climbing. The sun is working its way to the front of the condo and soon my porch will be filled with the warmth of the sun in mid sixty degree weather. Perfect for sitting outdoors and doing something. I think today will be spent in Bible study. Just me and God. And a cup of tea!

The colors in my life last week were mostly in beautiful yellows smiling from neighboring gardens, and the lovely greens of new spring growth. I didn’t complete any coloring pictures, but I do have two works in progress. Seems my mind and my heart are concentrating on the colors of nature as I watch the once dreary landscape come to life. After a long winter, too much isolation due to weather and Covid-19, and lack of communication face to face with friends and family, I am hopeful for a much more robust spring and summer!

The picture I’m sharing is one I colored early in March. It is the one for buddy color-a-long with two of my daughters which we revealed the end of March. Had to smile because each one of us colored the fairy hair the same color of blue! With the name of the page being titled “Strange Kind of Blue” may have been the catalyst. LOL!

May your week be filled with beautiful colors and may your heart be filled with God’s love. Until next time…

Weekly Reflections

Diabetes Issues, Fun Shopping, Laughing, and Added Colors in My life!

Happy Monday! Happy Easter week! This week I’m mostly focused on Jesus, thinking of the price He paid for my salvation. When I really focus on the pain and the humiliation, the terrible violence of the nails He endured, I’m moved to tears. It is hard to watch reenactments and not crumble into a small heap of unworthiness. I cannot focus on the miracle and joy of His resurrection until after the deep, humble, acceptance of the payment He made. He came to serve and to give His body to ransome me. That love is beyond any other love I can imagine.

The week past, I’ve been struggling on identifying the source of my constant feelings of cold. It’s a condition I’ve felt for several years. Since the doctors haven’t been able to tell me why my body temperature is dropping to hypothermic levels, I’ve had to do some research on my own. It seems that Type 2 Diabetes plays a part in lowering metabolism. One of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy is the feelings of always being cold. It also can cause anemia and cause circulatory issues. Several times when the weather has been in the low 70’s, I’ve been bundled in sweat pants, sweat shirts, heavy socks, gloves, and even under a blanket and wearing a hat, I’m cold. My core body temperature has dropped as low as 94.6.

What to do? I’m keeping my exerciser (called an elliptical trainer) set in front of the living room television. When I get cold, I exercise for 10 minutes. This actually triggers my metabolism and I get comfortably warm. This will last for a while. I do intend to ask the doctor to test my blood to see if I am low on iron, and even run a thyroid test since my mother had thyroid issues. But I’m doing better with trying to control this on my own. Well, not just me, but with the help of God. He is directing my path of research and action.

I had a wonderful week actually. For the past year, I haven’t done any shopping other than a quick run to the grocery store. Wednesday I went to Dollar Tree to pick up a few supplies, and made a visit to Target where I bought a few more needed supplies. Met a friend for lunch after and then traveled to Hobby Lobby. Disappointed they didn’t have the pens I wanted, but I did purchase a book by Phil Robertson. I love listening to his Unashamed podcast where I learn even more about scripture and how it applies to life. I planned to shop at Aldi’s then for my weekly groceries, but when I parked there, I realized I did not have a quarter! Ugh! So instead I headed to the gas station to fill up my tank, and to the Giant Eagle store near me to pick up groceries. I was exhausted when I got home! But also felt so good about being out and about. Maybe the two covid vaccines have helped make me feel God approves my adventures as long as they aren’t extreme!

At Target, I purchased a puzzle. Only 500 pieces, but it is one I thought might be challenging to work. Ha! I tried to work it on a large piece of cardboard on the ottoman while I watched tv. No way were the cats allowing that to happen. Giving up, I placed the pieces back in the box and ordered a puzzle board for the table. It has 4 drawers to hold puzzle pieces and a piece of felt to work the puzzle on and then (adding a blowup tube) you can roll up the puzzle and store it in a bag. The board then can be kept under a sofa. But I am choosing to leave it on the table with the felt to cover the puzzle. Visitors are rare, so it isn’t an inconvenience. I can eat at the breakfast bar.

On Friday I joined my daughter and her small group at Olive Garden for dinner. What a wonderful time I had! The beautiful person sitting on my right side and I had so much fun laughing together. We triggered the entire table to laugh with us! Honestly, I felt like a teenager again. There is something wonderful about sharing time with ladies with a heart for Jesus! I’ll be joining these ladies for the next four weeks on a Bible Study of Esther. Looking forward to that.

I only managed to color two pictures this past week. One I completed while sitting on my front porch! Oh, how wonderful that afternoon was! The sun felt so good, even though it tended to overheat my colored pencils making them very soft since they are wax based!

Here are the colors I added to my life during last week:

This is my puzzle board! It takes up nearly my entire table!
A picture of the puzzle when completed
The puzzle in progress!
This is the picture I colored mostly while sitting on my front porch enjoying the sunshine and listening to a book. It is in Colouring Heaven Issue 72 artist Herb Leonhard.
I had a so much fun coloring this image in Hanna Karlzon’s Magical Dawn coloring book. While I was in Target, I purchased a box of 120 crayons by Crayola. The entire picture was colored with crayons and I felt like a little girl again! Just proves one does not need expensive tools to have fun and color!

And that concludes my picture show for this week’s blog. I wish you all a blessed Easter week and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, your salvation, and the hope we have in Him! May your heart be filled with love and may your fruits be multiplied! Until next week…

Weekly Reflections

The Eyes of the Heart

How do you view the world? I fell into a slump last week when the weather shifted to cold and rainy. I felt totally out of touch with everything! I lost interest in coloring, in reading, in every escape I enjoy. I wanted to sleep to avoid what I lacked feeling. My emotions were topsy turvy and tears threatened constantly. Yet, I couldn’t understand why I was like this. It just wasn’t me.

I prayed for God to help me. I didn’t even know what to ask for, other than His help.

Yesterday, Sunday arrived. I woke feeling much better. As the sun dawned on a beautiful morning, I decided to rearrange the living room just a little. I smiled as I did this, feeling energy rising through what had been a lethargic body. I smiled as the day brightened even more. I left for church wearing only a light flannel shirt over my clothes to warm my arms. As I sang, watching my youngest daughter on stage singing her love for Jesus with a beautiful smile, my heart lifted. God was in the sanctuary, as He always is on Sunday mornings.

After church, I enjoyed lunch with one of my best friends. A couple from church came in after us and we shared a smile and greeting. I laughed. I smiled. I felt in touch with God’s world again.

At home, I opened all the windows and breathed in the warm, fresh air. My son-in-love and grandson came by for a short visit and moved my round glass-top table to the porch. I cleaned the porch, sprayed to deter the spiders and bugs, and cleaned the sun screens. The porch is ready for mornings with Jesus!

I took a walk in the beautiful, warm, sunshine and was happy to complete four laps around the condo area! Slow but steady is building up my muscles and I so enjoyed walking with the warm sun hitting my body. All in all it was a beautiful day. As the sun set, I smiled thinking back over the awesome day God had provided. Then He spoke to me telling me why I’d been out of touch with everything. I had been looking at God’s world with my eyes, but not with my heart.

As I woke to another lovely spring morning, I looked out the window with the eyes of my heart. I saw a striking cardinal fly across and land in one of the pines. Nearly took my breath away! Oh, how much better I see when I look through the eyes of my heart!

I colored only 4 pictures last week which I’ll share with you now:

Book: 50 Nightime Mandalas by Kameliya Angelkova
I colored this using only glitter gel pens.

 

Book: Steampunk Special Issue 47 from Colouring Heaven
Artist: Hannah Lynn
Completed this one with markers.

 

Book: Chibi Girls Grayscale 2 by Jade Summer
Colored this with markers and white gel pen for accents.

 

Book: Fairies Grayscale Fantasy Coloring Book
Images by Ruth Sanderson
Colored this with oil pencils and added glitter.

 

I’m looking forward to this week. Weather is supposed to be in the mid sixties with sunshine most days. Planning outdoor walks and even some coloring on the porch. After being cooped up for so long, the freedom of enjoying the world outside the walls of my home is intoxicating. God reminds me He is still in control. Our pastor yesterday gave us this advice for when the devil reminds us of things in our past we have been forgiven for to remind satan of his future! I’m going to remember that! May you all have a fabulous week…until next time!