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…

Guests, Wedding, and a Birthday

What a wonderful week! Don’t you just love the feeling when you are anticipating an upcoming event and you can’t contain the happy that keeps bubbling up in your heart? That’s the kind of week I had!

First, let me tell you about my birthday. I was born on October 31st. One thing about being born on that particular day is…people remember. It’s Halloween. That’s how my family and I celebrate the day. Many people tend to confuse Samhain with Halloween. No, we do not celebrate anything about the dead or spirits. We are Christians who love God. We celebrate the American tradition of Halloween in fun. It’s about just that. Laughing and having fun with pumpkins, costumes, and little children visiting neighbors and having candy added to their plastic pumpkins. And we celebrate my birthday. I always loved having my birthday on Halloween until some of my Christian friends thought Halloween was not to be celebrated because that meant celebrating evil and Satan. But God knows what is inside my heart. That’s what He sees.

So yesterday was my birthday. I had two very special birthday gifts from God. First, my youngest daughter sang in church. I thought of how proud her Dad would have been to witness her using the gift God gave her to worship Him. I thought of how my prayers for her had been answered. And I gave thanks for being blessed on the day of my birth.

Second, I attended the wedding of my granddaughter and her love. Oh, the glow of happiness and love that shone on their faces filled my heart to overflowing! What a wonderful gift I was given to be included in such a special day!

Who could ask for more on their birthday? Not me!

And now my grandson, who spent the last two nights here with me, along with his love, so they could attend the wedding, has left. The house is a little empty, but I’m preparing for my daughter to arrive on Tuesday. She will only be here one night, but I know God will bless the time we have together. On Wednesday, she will be traveling on to her new home in North Carolina, car loaded to capacity, and one very confused cat. I’m so excited for this new adventure in her life, and I know she will be happy to finally be settling into her and her hubby’s new life. He’s been in NC now for a couple of weeks because of working, while she’s been taking care of the last details of selling the old house and getting the furniture loaded with the moving company.

So, all the anticipation of the events of last week also gave me time to squeeze in some hobbies. I colored three pages in my Inspire Journaling Bible. Also colored two pages in coloring books, and made four more Christmas cards.

This week will be a little quieter but no less filled with God’s blessings. I will be spending a little more quality time with Him and doing some studies in the new Restoration Bible I gifted myself as a birthday present. I just realized that I am now 78 years old young! I don’t know how many years God has planned for my earthly stay, but I intend to accept each new day as a blessed gift and fill it with love and joy! Until next time…

Sunrise, Sunset, the Colors of Life

I love when the sun is rising and just kisses the tops of the trees around my condo! God’s promise and His smile shining through the darkness. A new day has dawned, a new gift for which to give thanks.

Last week I said goodbye to another son, a son of my heart. He was a teenager when he came into my life, the best friend of one of my bonus sons. The loss of his earthly presence is deeply felt. Death is so painful and I long for the day when there will be no more death. My heart is sad for his mother, for no parent should have to go through the pain of their child’s death. As you read this, if you are led, please lift her in prayer for healing and peace.

Most of my time this week was spent working on the biographical book. The first chapter is in rough draft form…very rough! I pulled out a scrapbook I started seven years ago with pictures from my growing up years. I’ve been thinking about removing the pictures and making copies so I can make one for each of my daughters. I’m not sure how well the pictures will fit into the book. I will need to do some research on how to import them. I’m happy to be working on this winter project. Each of our lives are filled with different colors depending on how we view life.

I had a fun time yesterday after church. My daughters treated me to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant in celebration of my upcoming birthday.

As for hobbies, I colored two pictures and finished a puzzle. I also read two books and I’ve started a third. The television was rarely in use.

This coming week, I’m looking forward to my bonus granddaughter’s wedding, overnight visits with my grandson and his girlfriend, and my youngest daughter singing in church. I will also age another year on Sunday. God willing, I will turn 78. Each day is a gift for which I’m thankful. Lifting my cup of tea with a wish that everyone reading this will be blessed with good health and prosperity. Until next time…

The Joy of Changing Seasons

I am delighted Autumn has arrived! I slept so soundly under my comforter as the outdoor temperature plummeted to 40 degrees. I haven’t used my A/C or heat for two months now. There’ve been nights when I’ve struggled as the inside temps rose to 80 degrees. Thank goodness for overhead fans! Now it is a comfortable 70 degrees inside.

Last winter there were many times when my body temperature dropped and I shivered and couldn’t get warm even though the inside temperature was 70 degrees. I am going shopping for thermal underwear because I’m setting my heat to 68 degrees this year in response to the rising costs of natural gas.

Oh, if one spends time watching news, there is danger of growing fear over inflation, supply chains, and such, but what good is it to worry? Worrying only means one doesn’t trust in God. I do. He gave us common sense, but many don’t use it.

There are people saying Christmas isn’t happening this year! Why? Because of supply chains. Crazy, right? The world wants to make Christmas a commercial holiday. I’m not buying into what the world has to say. Christmas is a holiday Christians celebrate to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Supply chains can’t deter that!

As for my cat, Templeton, he is doing great! His digestive system has calmed down after many months where he continued to decline and I feared he would die. He is now eating a digestive health canned food along with his dry food. Life is back to normal for him and me. I’m humbled by answered prayers.

I’m enjoying my small group Bible study and the camaraderie of these beautiful women. Every Wednesday I have lunch with a dear friend, and on Sunday after church she and I have lunch together. I spent a little time with my daughter on Friday and she presented me with a gift for my upcoming birthday–a fantastic outfit. My favorite part is a very warm, cuddly long cardigan! I’ll be wearing this a lot as the weather continues to change. It’s perfect for snuggling in when I’m reading!

Last week I did a lot of reading. When I get caught up in reading, I have difficulty tearing myself away from the story. As such, I didn’t work on my Christmas cards, nor did I do any research for my winter book project. I did work on a puzzle in short spurts of time, but it’s going to be another week before it is finished. I colored a few pictures, too.

As Autumn brings beautiful colorful changes into view, I’m happy to enjoy every moment with gratitude. And I realize how special each day is, bringing unique opportunities. I’m thankful to learn new things as God teaches me how to age gracefully. Lifting my cup of tea and leaving you with these words: The Word of God should be the source of truth for our lives. Until next time…

As Numerous as the Stars

This past week seems to have gone on for a long time. Some weeks, days, and even months are like that. Overall though this year has seemed to have wings in flight! I was happy to have hand made the birthday cards I mailed so far this month, but I need to get back to working on the Christmas cards. The date is moving closer at warp speed!

My time has mostly been spent on researching facts about the state of America during the Great Depression and World War II. I remember when history was the one subject I disliked in school. It was so boring and I couldn’t understand how these old dates and happenings would benefit my future. Now I wish I’d studied better in this subject. History to me now is exciting. Learning what life was like just before and at the time of my birth is giving me new energy and inciting the necessary passion to write again…this time a true story to leave as a legacy to my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

God has blessed me so richly over the years, especially during times I didn’t even see Him working in my life. From a lonely little girl, ripped away from her brother and sister before she turned four, my family has grown exponentially! Sometimes I look at the stars and know what Abraham must have been feeling about God’s promise. This book I want to bring glory to God, to shine the spotlight on His goodness. And so, I will write for God what He has provided through the years. I’m happy to be working in my writing program again as I gather information and ideas.

Also, I did finish another puzzle, and completed some coloring pages. The first is done with markers in a 3D mandala book I had forgotten I purchased about a month ago. I love how it turned out. The second is in the Chibi Girls Grayscale 2 book colored with alcohol markers. I tried to capture the sparkle of the windows and water created by the glitter pen I used on those items, but it didn’t turn out. The third is from a color by number Christmas book. I used Black Widow pencils to color this one. The next two are mandalas colored with glitter gel pens. And last is the puzzle I completed.

I lift my cup of tea with a smile as I look forward to a beautiful week. I pray each of you who read this will realize how your life has been enriched by many blessings from God. Keep hoping, reaching for dreams, and never give up. God is still in control. Trust in His timing! Until next time…

Faith Held Firmly Together by Hope

Looking back over the past week, there have been a lot of changes in my life. Changes can bring stress but as long as I am walking with Jesus, I have hope. My faith sustains me because I believe He can do all things. There is no reason for stress in my life if I hand over all concerns to Him.

Very strange things are happening as I type this blog. I realize Satan is using every tactic he can to distract me in an attempt to steal my hope. Ha! No way. Jesus is stronger than Him and Jesus loves me! I’m just taking it slow and fixing everything Satan tries to destroy in my words.

Okay, changes:

I stopped taking a prescription blood thinner. I’m back on an aspirin maintenance and am able to take the anti-inflammatory medication. I’m no longer seeking my recliner due to pain.

I learned one of my daughters is moving to North Carolina. I’m very happy for her and her hubby. Their new home is awesome and the weather will be so much better than they have been experiencing in Wisconsin. The downfall is she will now be further away. No longer a one day trip by car to visit. But we can still Skype!

My cat, Templeton, seemed to be doing much worse. In fact, I thought he was going to die in his sleep one night. We ran out of cat food, so I went searching through the stores to no avail. Then I found a recipe from a veterinarian. I purchased the necessary foods and made some pureed food for him. He is eating good and his health seems to be improving.

I’ll stop with these three rather than bore you with repetition. Do you see all the BUT GOD goodness that resulted in each of the above changes? No reason to stress!

As for hobbies, I finished another puzzle. A really cute one with curious kitties doing their thing. I completed a picture using oil pencils in one of my longest owned coloring books by artist Hanna Karlzon. Those are the last two items shown below. The other pictures are the progression pictures I promised to show you of the completed buddy color for the month. I colored it using StarJoy oil pencils. The first picture is the blank canvas. This is called grayscale. Each subsequent picture is a day’s worth of coloring.

Lifting my cup of tea this morning with a smile on my face and in my heart. Yesterday was the love of my life’s heavenly birthday. No matter what this world might bring, I can be strong standing on my faith because I know that death is something that can happen to my body, but I have an eternal soul and Jesus has prepared a place for me in heaven. There I will be reunited with my family, my friends, and the love of my life! Hope is eternal! Until next time…

The Busy Life of a Winter Person

The past week, I had appointments every day except for Saturday. This isn’t usual for me. As I advance in these winter years of life, my best time of day is in the morning hours. By afternoon, I’m pretty tired. Most of my appointments were morning ones, so by the time I had finished, eaten lunch, and stopped to take a deep breath, I realized I was done for the day. This is the only downfall I see to aging. It’s the imbalance between the eternally youthful spirit and the aging body!

Each week I have a “to do” list (not including appointments and regular chores). Yes, I will forget if I don’t write them down! I try to finish all of them so I have a sense of accomplishment when I look at the list on Sunday morning. At the end of the week, only one item remained. Make two new cards. I’ll move it to this week. My goal is to have all my Christmas cards completed the week before Thanksgiving. That will leave a week for adding personal notes and addressing envelopes in preparation for mailing the first week of December.

I spent one afternoon trying to set up a home network so my laptop and desktop could communicate. I managed to get the laptop to connect to the desktop, but not the other way around. Diagnostic testing says all is set up properly, so perhaps it is just the less powerful desktop that is the problem. I’ve never been intimidated by learning new things on the computer. I’ve replaced hard drives and added memory back in the day! Today, I do have a computer tech guy. He will try and look at it soon. I don’t like working on the desktop and not being able to access a picture I’ve saved on the laptop.

I never add coloring or any hobbies to my to do list. More important than hobbies are my Bible study time and devotional time, journaling, and blogging. Honestly, it probably seems as if I don’t do a thing to the younger people who have such busy schedules. For me, though, all these things make for a busy day. During last week, I was blessed to spend time with some friends I hadn’t seen for a while. I also spent one on one time with my middle daughter. As I look back over the week, I see how richly I was blessed.

No, I didn’t spend much time with hobbies over the past week. I colored two pictures and finished working a puzzle. Since one of the finished pictures is the buddy color with two daughters, I can’t show it until next week. I plan to show a progression gallery of the picture from the uncolored page to the finished product. As for now here is what I can post. The first is a picture (colored with markers) from the Colouring Heaven Steampunk Special book by artist Hannah Lynn. Only four more pictures and I can call this a completed book! Yay! The puzzle was fun to work. There were so many little things in the picture, I was constantly revealing something I’d missed in the sample picture!

As I look at my calendar for this week, I see three days with no scheduled appointments. I’m hoping to get a few cards made, color a couple of pictures, and finish a puzzle I started Saturday. Lifting my cup of tea and thanking God for filling my calendar and giving me hope for each new day He provides. May you all find yourself blesses profusely this week! Until next time…