Christmas Decorations, Cards, and a New Great Grandson

The rumbling of the trash truck is the first sign of life in the world outside my condo. All is quiet and serene as the sun kisses the lightly frosted green grass. No sign yet of any flying birds, but in the distance, beneath the autumn clothed trees, ducks waddle toward the morning breakfast provided by a kind-hearted neighbor.

I breathe in deeply, enjoying the peace before setting off on a busy day of errands and appointments. This past week has taken a toll both physically and emotionally. Sometimes aging gracefully can be lost in the rush of busyness. I finally finished making my Christmas cards, writing notes inside, and addressing them in preparation for mailing today. Each card is different. Next year, God willing, I am going to make every card the same.

Yesterday as I was getting ready for church, my daughter in SC called me. I knew it must be important since she knew I would be preparing for church. So, with a mouthful of toothpaste, I rushed to the kitchen to answer. She told me her daughter, my beloved granddaughter, had awakened thinking her water had broken. (She was being watched for high blood pressure during the last trimester of her pregnancy. Originally due in January, they had moved the date up to Christmas Eve.) At 1:30am on Sunday morning, she found it wasn’t water, but blood. She was rushed to the hospital and had an emergency c-section due to a ruptured placenta. Both mom and baby are doing okay, though mom lost a lot of blood and baby will be in NICU for a few weeks. Thanking God for His love and mercy! I can’t wait to meet Wyatt Robert McDine.

With my focus on finishing Christmas cards, the only coloring I completed this week was swatching two new sets of pencils. The Christmas decorations are in place so after this day of errands, I’m hoping to be able to resume coloring some Christmas pictures while listening to Christmas carols.

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing all of you a happy Monday. Until next time…God bless!


A Heart of Thanksgiving

This is Thanksgiving week. I’m happy to be joining family gathering at my youngest daughter’s house and to not cook a turkey. She always gives me easy things to contribute. But I do miss the smell of Thanksgiving and the leftovers. I did purchase a 3 pound turkey breast which is in my freezer. I’ll make a mini Thanksgiving meal for myself in December when I decorate for Christmas.

This time of year can bring moments of sadness with missing those who have been called home. I’m thankful to turn into the arms of Jesus for comfort. He reminds me this is only temporary and one day He will lead me to them. In the meantime, this is the life I’ve been given and each day is a gift to enjoy. I smile because this life is good and filled with blessings.

Yesterday my grandson called to tell me he had proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes! Oh, what happiness filled my heart. Other family members are struggling in various situations. I know God is working in their lives, too, and I trust Him for healing their hearts. He is faithful.

The world is filled with suffering and hate. Yet, I stand firm in my faith that God is working in the background and there is no reason to fear. I’m looking forward to family gatherings, family meals, laughter, love, old memories, and new memories to be made.

Trying to give my eyes rest this week, I colored one picture this week while skyping with my daughter. It has been a quiet week of resting and prayer.

It is my prayer that I will live each day from this day forward with a Thanksgiving heart! Until next time…


The First Snowfall

Wow! Yesterday we had our first snowfall. A mixture of rain and snow lightly fell on my way to church. As I parked, the snow began to fall in huge, beautiful flakes, floating softly to the ground. I expected it to be gone by the time church ended, but surprise! Everything was covered with snow and it still came down in small flakes. My awesome grandson cleared the windows of my SUV. What a blessing!

This is what remained when I returned home.

The week has been unproductive for me. With the AFIB I lost a couple of days to resting and reading. When I get invested in a good book, I can’t put it down. I read Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin. I highly suggest it. The characters wrapped themselves around my heart and will live in my memory for a long time. It’s a book I could read again.

I didn’t accomplish much other than looking through pictures to use in my book. I am feeling much better today and plan on writing. My fingers are itching to document more memories.

A special friend gave me a bookshelf to hold my canned goods. Honestly, I dislike the wire shelving being used in homes these days. The canned goods bend the shelves and small packages, like taco seasoning, slip through the openings. I’m very grateful to have this new shelf. Now all boxed goods, like oatmeal and crackers sit on the metal shelves.

In my down time I colored three pictures for relaxation. I needed to keep down any stress so my heart could recover. Friday was a good day. I skyped with my daughter who is now settling into her new home in NC. Her views are awesome! She seems very happy and so does her hubby. That makes my heart happy, too.

A new week has begun and I’m looking forward to any opportunities God provides. Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you all a blessed week. Until next time…


A Truly Thankful Thanksgiving

I am thinking about Thanksgiving today. And family, of course. My memories take me back to a Thanksgiving past when my mother had come to live with us. Our downstairs family room was really two open rooms and very odd shaped, but we managed to piece together tables that stretched from one end of the room to the other. Chairs were various sizes and styles, and the entire setup was very eccentric yet beautiful.

I wanted my mom to experience a large family Thanksgiving with her extended family. Everyone brought something to contribute to the meal. As we went around the table telling what we were thankful for on that day, one of my daughters gave thanks that her husband was sitting at the table with us after having dealt with losing a kidney to cancer. This brought the true meaning of thankfulness to our table. I am thankful mother was able to share this Thanksgiving with us as it was her last here on earth.

Many Thanksgivings later, I look back at the loved ones who were at the table then, but no longer will join our family in person. Our family has dwindled, not only due to death, but also to long distance moves. I am now the matriarch of the family. I used to be the one hosting family gatherings. Now that duty has fallen to my children.

My heart wants to be the one to host the family gatherings again, but space and age have placed limitations on me. New traditions are being established. I am happy to see how much my family has bonded over the years and though many are absent, love still abounds when we gather together. One day I, too, will be absent from the table. I only hope my love for all of them will remain in fond memories. Lifting my cup of tea as I wander through memories with a smile in my heart.


Planning With Jesus

After rearranging my home when all my guests departed, I spent a week doing not much of anything. We all need time to relax and recuperate from time to time. I find as I grow older, this becomes more important.

As a birthday present to myself, I purchased a new Bible. It’s a Holman CSB Restoration Bible–Embracing God’s Word in Difficult Seasons. There are 7 Restoration Principles in this Bible:

  • R – Rest and Reflection
  • E – Eternal Perspective
  • S – Support
  • T – Thanksgiving and Contentment
  • O – Other-centeredness
  • R – Relationships
  • E – Exercise of Faith

I began reading the 30 day devotional in the front of the Bible on the 1st of November. In December, I will read Luke, one chapter a day through the 24th. The remainder of the year, I’ll be praying for God’s direction for my word for 2022 and my vision board in my 2022 Christian Planner. This will be my 4th year for using a planner from this company. I use it every day. I write all my sermon notes inside, too.

These last two months of the year I’m reflecting on what has transpired and the hopes I have for the upcoming year. I’m going to be working on Christmas cards a lot this month and won’t be spending as much time coloring. I want to color a couple more fall pictures and then I’ll begin working on some Christmas pictures. And, of course I’ll be working on the historical autobiography book. The past week I only colored one picture. I wanted to experiment with using watercolor pencils my daughter gave me this week. I’m looking forward to trying these with some pictures that have landscaping type of backgrounds in future.

Lifting my cup of tea with a full and happy heart as I look forward with hope to this new week ahead! Until next time…