Emotional Research, Writing, and Blessings

Researching history for the book I’m writing to leave for my family has been very emotionally draining. My father was killed during the Battle of Ormoc Bay when a kamikaze pilot struck the USS Liddle, the ship he was on. He was just a few weeks shy of his 20th birthday. Finding a picture of him standing on the ship with other seamen really stuck me deeply. I am very excited to know that one day I will meet him in heaven. Funny how I disliked history and geography when I was in school. Now it is very interesting to me. I’m looking forward to spending the colder winter months working on this project, God willing!

The day has finally chased the darkness at 8:10am. There is little happening outside my office window. All is calm. The porch lights are still on and the sky is not lit by the sun. Yet, God has given a new day and I’m grateful for life and all this day might bring. Lifting my cup of tea and offering a prayer for God to smile upon our country, bless His children, and heal us as only He can.

Singing with Jesus

Woke this morning with the song, “Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Jesus,” playing in my mind. This happens to me throughout the day. My mind is filled with songs of praise. With no others to talk to, this seems to be where my mind goes in the stillness.

Other times I’m talking to God, thanking Him, or asking for His help. I find comfort in knowing He is my constant companion. As the song continues to fill my mind, I can’t stop my body from moving with the music I hear.

An outsider might think I’m crazy. Ha! Yes, I am. I’m crazy about Jesus! Please just smile if you see me in the grocery store humming or singing softly, we are just shopping and I’m letting Him know how much I love Him.

Lifting my cup of tea and thanking God for music and the gift of life today!

The Gift of Weaving Words

Lately I have been in a suspended state of lethargy. Don’t get me wrong. I’m feeling great physically, but I’ve lost the passion to do much of anything but read. I’ve always been an avid reader and could lose myself for hours in a world created by the author of a novel.

For the past few years, I’ve found the joy of listening to audio books. This provided the outlet to be creative and at the same time being entertained with hearing the stories unfold. With rising costs, I’ve stopped my subscription to audio books and switched to Kindle Unlimited which allows me to read as many books as I want during each month, instead of being limited to listening to only one.

I do have a library card and can access books to read through that app and even listen to some. Eventually, I will have to use this means for any books I want to read or listen to, and that’s okay. I’m grateful the library offers this service which is perfect for many like me. I prefer to browse the shelves in the comfort of my own home.

My love for stories began at an early age and led into my own journey of writing novels. Recently I put my books back for sale on Amazon. Not as print, but only digital. Maybe someone like me will find my books and get lost in the stories I wrote. We all need a little escape now and then. I hope my stories bring a message of hope and inspiration.

So, this morning, I lift my cup of tea giving thanks to God for the gift of weaving words. I am grateful to all the authors around the world who write for God’s glory.

A Cup of Tea with Jesus

Sitting on my porch as I write this blog, sipping on a cup of Red Riding Hood tea from Adagio Teas. The sun is shining brightly and it is a lovely breezy morning at 55 degrees F. Although the weather forecaster has predicted rain, there is no indication of such.

I took a walk to look at the inlet to the pond, but the growth was still too thick to see the water. I was hoping to find a few geese and ducks floating around.

Front porch sitting is wonderful. I never had this luxury before moving to this condo. It is peaceful with only the sound of the windchimes and the birds. A perfect morning to spend time with Jesus, drinking tea and looking at all the Lord has made.

Lifting my cup of tea as I wish each of you who read this a day to appreciate all God’s wonderful provisions.

An Art or a Lifestyle?

The art of living a senior widow’s life isn’t really an art. It’s a lifestyle, one I inherited suddenly. One day I was part of a couple, where days were spent together with conversations, laughter, hugs, kisses, love. We went everywhere together. I had someone to cook for. There was double laundry. Life was happy. And God was at the center.

Yes, there were three and a half years where I was mostly a caregiver, but it became part of our life. I was encourager, nurse, and always a wife who loved her husband deeply.

Then suddenly a morning came with the chaos of a squad in the house, a rushing away of the ambulance, and my calm gave way to confusion and fear. I lost my husband that day, though he lingered in the hospital for 10 days on a ventilator as his body began to shut down.

One day I returned to the empty house knowing it would remain empty. I had a new title of widow. No one to talk to, no laughter, no hugs, no kisses, and no one to care for or cook for. The world says time heals. That is false information. The only healing is an easing of pain through having a relationship with Jesus. With knowing my husband’s earthly journey had ended, and he no longer suffered. I knew where he was. He wasn’t lost. Just absent for a time.

Learning to cook for one is an art. Filling the hours in the day is an art. Learning to navigate alone is an art. But the overall lifestyle is not an art. It’s just a different life. One can make of it whatever one wants. Some fill their hours with outside activities. I fill my hours with indoor activities. As such, the art of conversation is stifled. I spend quiet hours hearing only the sounds of the house. I miss the talks with my husband.

Yet, I’m not lonely or sad. I’ve adjusted. Moving to a new home helped. Mostly God helped. I have the reassurance that my husband is now pain free and living with Jesus! I have the reassurance that I will see him again. My lifetime has known many heartaches through the death of loved ones. I know it is part of life. The loss of grandparents and parents is to be expected. Not so the loss of a child. And though I knew death would part my husband and I from the moment we said “until death do us part,” there was no guideline as to who would pass first.

I’m grateful my husband went to heaven first due to his health. He couldn’t have taken care of himself alone. His bodily tent was wearing out. I miss every part of him, both the earthly tent, and the beautiful soul that resided inside. He would be proud of me. I know that, and it gives me the courage to continue forward in this new lifestyle, this new closeness with Jesus.

Lifting my cup of tea with a melancholy smile and a grateful heart for the years God gave us together.

I Am Abundantly Rich

This morning I am feeling abundantly rich. I have a comfortable home and enough money to sustain it. I have food in my pantry and refrigerator. I have a connection to the outside world through the internet with the funds God provides. I have clothing in my closet and dressers. I have a laptop on which to write. There is running water in my home and a toilet that flushes.

I have paper and pens, Bibles, and books. Coloring books and supplies, diamond paintings to complete and puzzles to work. I have family and friends. I have a cat who loves me and provides companionship. I am healthy.

I am not rich by the standards of the world, and my discretionary income is lacking, but I know that God always provides what I need. I am truly a rich woman in all things that matter because God loves me.

Lifting my cup of tea this morning with a smile and a heart filled with gratitude!

Trapped in a Recliner!?!

I’m still laughing at myself from what happened yesterday afternoon! To set the picture, I keep a footstool in front of my rocker recliner. I like to rock in my favorite chair and in order to elevate my feet a little the footstool works great. If I pull up the built in footrest on the recliner then it won’t rock.

So yesterday I was enjoying a good read while sitting in my recliner. Eventually my eyelids grew heavy and I decided to go with it and take a little nap. So I raised the footrest and tipped the chair back a little to get super comfortable. A few minutes later the phone rang.

I tried to put down the footrest, but it wouldn’t go. It was hitting the footstool which was too close to the chair! The phone kept ringing. I answered it and chatted with my oldest daughter while still reclining. We talked for a little over 30 minutes. Then it was time to get out of the recliner.

I struggled. I tried to reach the footstool and move it, but couldn’t touch it. I tried to push the footrest down but it wouldn’t go. I wiggled to try and get out of the chair, but I couldn’t find a way. I was getting out of breath. Oh, no. I was NOT going to call for help. NO WAY! If the footrest came up, it had to go down, right? One would think this made sense. So why was I stuck?

I understand now how turtles feel when they are on their backs. Poor little things! I realized the truth of the situation when one is comfortably reclining. The heaviest part of the human body is deposited in a right angle. Arms and legs would move, but nothing else. I wiggled, I twisted, I tried movements this aged body should not be doing. I rested and breathed. This was ridiculous.

Every time I tried to use my foot to move the stool, my foot would cramp. Sigh. Finally, I squeezed my chest to my legs and reached for the stool. I touched it, but it wasn’t moving much at all. So I rested and breathed for a while. Then I repeated but used my other arm. This continued for several minutes until the footrest finally went back into place. Fifteen hours minutes had passed.

I had to rest for five minutes before my shaky limbs would hold me upright, and by then I didn’t remember why I needed to get up!

Lifting my cup of tea and leaving you with this word: God gave us a sense of humor. Use it to laugh at yourself, but only laugh with others not at them!

Will Heaven Have Seasons?

When looking out my window I see the beautiful colors of autumn beginning to glow. Leaves are turning yellow on the trees around the pond. On my drive to church I’ve seen the glorious shades of neon red, my favorite. In small group this week, we were discussing how lovely it is to see these colors since we haven’t had a frost yet, and our temperatures have been above normal. Even the nights remain quite warm. So why the changing colors?

One of the ladies said it must be like a timetable God built into the trees so they know when it is time to lose their leaves. I don’t know if that is true, but I know everything is about God and His handiwork. So I wondered then if we will have seasons in heaven. Maybe seasons won’t really matter. All I know is the colors in heaven will be so much more glorious than anything we have ever seen or can imagine. Colors make me happy. Just like sunshine. Sunshine on cool fall days, or a day when snow covers the ground are my favorite sunny days.

Autumn will seem more real next week when our temperatures are supposed to drop to normal. I’m sure I will see a bombardment of colors soon. So I lift my cup of tea giving thanks to God for providing autumn, which to me is a teeny glimpse of heaven’s colors.

The Old Rolled Up Mat

A few days ago, I started seeing the carpet in the leg well of my desk was not flat. Immediately I opened the Amazon app to search for carpet mats for desks. When I saw the prices, I remembered I still have one I’d retired two years ago due to it not staying in place. I’d rolled it up and stored it in my garage. Oh, my. It was impossible to get it to lie flat. I used my heat gun, but it did little good. But I remembered the motto: Consume it, wear it out, make do or do without.

There was nothing wrong with the mat. It had simply conformed to being rolled in storage. It’s now on the floor in my office and I know it will eventually be what I need it to be and I can remove the heavy objects flattening it. When I look at it, I’m reminded how we can be changed and conformed in today’s culture. Sometimes we curl into ourselves because we are overwhelmed and confused. We withdraw from life rather than turn to God for direction. We can become like the rolled up mat in a dark corner.

God doesn’t forget about us! He can transform us, remove all the lumps and bumps with truth. He often sends help through another person. He will find a way to draw us out of the dark corner we have created into His light. The things of this world can be confusing and difficult to find the right answers to our questions. We won’t find answers in the world. Only in God. Only in trusting Him.

Things that are in direct conflict with the Bible are easy to spot. Things that are not, the things that truly tie us in knots, are those that can cripple us with indecision. Those are the times when we should turn to God. Pray. Read the Bible. God will show the way if we remain patient and diligent.

“Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ.” Colossians 2:8 CSB.

Lifting my cup of tea with gratitude and thankfulness for the rolled up carpet mat now gracing my office. And thanking Him for taking this tightly knotted and rolled up woman and reshaping her into who He created her to be.

The Great Depression Motto

I’ve been thinking about the motto from the great depression years: “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.” Doesn’t seem to fit the way most of us are living today. I, too, have fallen into the trap of FOMO (fear of missing out). I see, I want, I buy whether or not I have the cash on hand at the moment. It’s a dangerous trap that can spell ruin.

For the past two years, I’ve been trying to change my spending habits. Since I live on a fixed income, I need to remember there is no need to purchase anything I don’t need. God will provide for my needs. My wants need to be set aside.

Example. I love coloring. I have way too many coloring books. I couldn’t color all the pages if I lived another 200 years! Also, I fell into a trap of purchasing different sets of colored pencils because they were “on sale” budget priced pencils. Today they sit unused. I have a select group of pencils I use every time I color. I’m looking into donating these pencils to a shelter. My daughter is on the board for a charitable organization to help women coming out of human trafficking situations or have aged out of state foster care. I’m hoping this organization will welcome such items.

Now whenever the urge to purchase arises, I realize it is coming from Satan, not God. And I remember and repeat the motto: “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.” Lifting my cup of tea with a smile as I realize what a good motto to keep in mind!