Is Anything Too Little to Ask?

Those I pray for on a daily basis are usually suffering from painful afflictions, like heart issues, cancer, flu, covid, and loss of loved ones. When it comes to myself, my issues seem minor. I will pray for health-related problems, but I also ask for Jesus to help me find something I’ve misplaced. I always feel a sense of relief and smile, thanking Him profusely when the object is revealed.

Funny how I don’t think asking Him to help me find my misplaced phone or other items is too small. It seems an automatic response to a moment of frustration. I offer little prayers of thanksgiving and asking for His help as I talk to Him throughout the day. These are little prayers issued in the moment, not the same as the prayers spoken when seeking the close communion with God.

Recently, I lost a lot of information from my computer. User’s error. I wrote about this in an earlier blog. No amount of searching and prayer uncovered a particular file I needed to make changes to a recently published book, Tangled Secrets.

Finally, I reached out to Amazon and received what I needed to make the changes, but the conversion process left me unable to fix the page flow issues. I tried for several hours, and I kept praying for God to help me. Finally, I gave up. I decided there was nothing left to do but retype the entire book. I closed the file.

I snuggled Finnegan, my cat, and listened to him purr. This always gives me comfort. He’s my writing buddy, and truly a gift from God after the pain of losing my beloved 19-year-old cat, Templeton. God nudges us in different directions as we need it, according to His Will. Why have I digressed from my story?

It was in the moment of snuggling Finnegan I felt a nudge to reopen the file. When I did, I saw the paragraph settings I needed to access, and the page flow issue was corrected! Immediately! What did I do? I praised God. I gave thanks! Only He could have made this possible. He answered my prayer, which was not on the level of my most fervent prayers for others.

I know that nothing I ask God for with the right heart is too little or too much. With God all things are possible. I write to bring glory to God. This is a ministry to me.

By the way, the paperback version of Tangled Secrets is now available on Amazon. This book also includes two bonus stories.

An Author’s Nightmare

First, let me apologize to anyone reading this who is not an author. I felt the need to share what happened to me recently that might happen to someone else.

Recently I was trying to set up Dropbox on my laptop so I could share my writing from iPad and the Scrivener app I have been using to publish my books for quite a few years. Suddenly I thought I saw all my hard drive files loading into Dropbox. Panic mode! I quickly highlighted the files in question and deleted them.

Then in perusing my laptop, I noticed all my documents were gone. Yikes. Honestly, at this point I was in a total panic. I began searching for the files. Not sure what happened, but I think I found them in the cloud and downloaded them. Anyway, my documents were now safely stored on my hard drive.

A few days later, I had time to begin reading through Tangled Secrets, one of my recently published books in paperback. I was sad to note that in the uploading process, somehow the page flow was off. It looked as if a chapter might be finished, only to turn the page and see the scene continue. Not sure how this happened, but I knew I had to fix it right away. Authors like to make sure the products they sell are a pleasant reading experience for the reader.

I headed to find the document and remembered I had cleaned up the desktop files. Surely, I had moved the Word document into the appropriate folder. But it was gone. Completely gone. I headed to the trash folder and found it empty. Another thing I’d done to clean up the computer. Then I searched for the Scrivener file and it, too, was missing…for all my books!!

I searched through old computers, flash drives, and everything I could think of to find the book files, but they were gone. I also noted that the documents I’d downloaded from my cloud were showing up in two other places on the computer. What??? I searched through all of them, finding no book files.

This was an author’s nightmare. Finally, in desperation, I went to Amazon and downloaded the pdf file. I tried trials of two different programs, including Acrobat, in an attempt to turn the pdf into a word file. I was successful with Acrobat, but it was impossible to fix the page flow.

As a last result I reached out to Amazon KDP to see if they would send me a copy of my uploaded file. After proving my identity, (thank you Amazon), I now have a copy of the book I need to change. I’ll be doing that today and uploading it again so I can republish. For any of my readers, who purchased the paperback with the page issues, I sincerely apologize. Thankfully, the ebook version did not have these issues.

As an author, I am very happy Amazon KDP is there to help me when I need it, and in a very timely manner. I also have learned my lesson and will never again think I don’t need to pay for a proof copy before publishing!

Believing Better?

This morning I entered the throne room of God through prayer. At His feet, I lifted up my thankfulness for His goodness, asked for healing of those I’ve been praying for, and for my will to be aligned with His. I also asked for strength to withstand the many attacks from Satan.

When I was finished, I wondered about my faith. Was my faith strong as it should be? Was my belief that Jesus is my savior, and the way to heaven and eternal life, equivalent to faith? Growing up never feeling good enough, never feeling accepted, left deep scars which Satan scratches and opens to bleed. And when he does this, I fall prone to questioning.

When this happens, I turn to the Word of God, the Bible, for reassurance. This morning, I turned to Romans 10. In my CSB Restoration Bible I read a note on Exercise of Faith which helped me to understand Satan’s attempt to undermine my faith. One of the paragraphs stated that when we hear the good news of Jesus, we need only believe. Nothing else is required. We don’t have to promise to do better. God doesn’t ask us to do penance or make amends. We are called to trust, not try harder. And I do trust. I do believe. I do have faith. I don’t need to try harder or wonder if what I’m doing is right or good enough.

Now I’m able to order Satan out of my mind, and out of my home, through the mighty and powerful name of Jesus. The story is written. Then end is known. And Jesus triumphs over all evil.

No Food, No Table for Many

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. A day people look forward to throughout the year. A day to eat turkey and pumpkin pie, and all kinds of side dishes. A day to eat way too much and then watch a football game. I remember cooking for my rather large family for years. Truly I enjoyed all the cooking and preparation, and the wonderful smells from the kitchen, and mostly, the family at the table.

In recent years, my daughters and their families have done the cooking and our gatherings have grown smaller. We are doing our celebration today, the day after the official holiday.

I’m reminded there are many who have no families to celebrate holidays with, and many who are homeless. Thanksgiving Day may not mean the same to everyone that it does to me or to you. Typically, we sit around a table and share the things we are most thankful for before eating. But rarely do we remember there are people who do not have a table. Many who do not have food.

This puts a different perspective on thankfulness. Everything, and I mean everything, we have has been provided by God. We should not take credit for it. God is our provider. A homeless person might be thankful to have a meal at a local mission. A family who cannot afford food for this day might be thankful for a church providing the ingredients. Others, like us, think nothing of having all we can eat.

Today as my family gathers around a table of Thanksgiving offerings, I will be thinking of the most important things in my life. I’ll be thankful for having a roof over my head, family at my side, and most of all for God loving us so much. Thankful I am rich in all that matters.

Aging Gracefully is Not Easy!

Aging gracefully is not always the easiest thing to accomplish! To be honest, I get frustrated on a daily basis. I have a tendency to look to future things that “might happen” and seek answers! I look in the mirror and shake my head. Who is that woman with all the wrinkles and the thinning hair? What is that new pain in my knee and ankle? And the big question: if I get on the floor, can I get up?

I talk to God a lot. I know my body wasn’t meant to last forever. It’s like my vehicle. While it gets me from place to place, maintenance needs to be done. For me, that’s all those medications in my pill box. I never thought I’d need a weekly pill box with places for morning and evening tablets.

Yet, all these things have become a part of my daily life. I must accept these things with gratefulness. I look in my Christian planner at the habit tracker items and see I’m being faithful in everything but exercise. I tell myself, I’m old. I have lived for 79 years and am now living in my 80th year. I shouldn’t be expected to exercise!

Then there is eating. I am a widow and only have to feed myself and my cat. My cat is easy. I open a can of food and put half in his bowl, and he’s satisfied. As for me, I will have to prepare something. I have to cook. Cooking used to be a pleasure. Now it’s a chore and one I don’t want to deal with.

Well, Lord, You knew all this was in my future when you created me. I know that with You I have the strength to persevere in this season of life. I know it’s a matter of slowing down, taking one day at a time, trusting and hoping in You. I’m thankful. Each day is a gift and a challenge, but also filled with blessings. You have taught me to live in the moment fully trusting in You. You know my failings. You know my difficulties. And You love me in spite of them. Thank You.

One day at a time. That’s how I have learned to age gracefully with God.