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!

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…

He Can Turn Seas Into Highways

“The LORD Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14 NLT

Last year I toyed with the idea of writing down things from my past I wanted my grandchildren and children to know. Things they never experienced and probably never will. However, as I tried to capture on paper the ideas in my head, they were simply facts. How could I write them in an interesting way? Instead of praying about it, I gave up.

How easily we fall into Satan’s trap of not being good enough! Since childhood, this has been a struggle for me. I spent years feeling I didn’t measure up in many ways. I was very shy. I didn’t like attention being called to me. I spent a lot of time alone.

Now that I’m older I see those signs in the younger me I didn’t recognize then as a deep need to know I was loved. This need led me to being baptized at 13. Oh, how on fire for Jesus I was then! I didn’t have a family life that centered around church. In fact, my parents never attended church or prayed with me. They refused to attend my baptism.

Over the years, I wandered off the path of following Jesus and turned to the world looking for love. I never found the love in these wrong places. It took going through a marriage that shouldn’t have happened (though four great blessings were given during that time: three beautiful girls and a beautiful son). God led me to the love of my life, a Christian man, and I finally realized the love I sought I had all along in Jesus.

My faith has increased over the years and now that I’m in the “winter” of my life, I find so much hope in studying scriptures and spending time cultivating my relationship with Jesus and getting to know God.

The victory belongs to God! And now, I’m saying yes to writing the stories of my past. I know He is providing everything I need. I still have a lot of praying to do over how much to reveal. But He will guide me. All along, through every storm, God was fighting for me. And He fights for all of us even now. He can turn seas into highways! Lifting my cup of tea while my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude. He is my rock, my salvation, my hope, my teacher, my father, and so much more!

So Many Stories Have Died

This is my grandfather. He was my mother’s paternal uncle who adopted her at five years old after the death of her parents. The people at the top are my great grandmother and great grandfather. This is a picture of a soldier going to serve his country during World War I. This picture brings back memories of a childhood with many ups and downs.

My winter’s project is to look through all the old pictures I own and piece together a book of memories and stories that will be lost one day. So many stories have died with the past, never to rise again. I don’t want to lose this heritage for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Sometimes I look at pictures of me when I was young and think back on all that has transpired throughout my life. There never was a time God didn’t have His hand on me, though at many critical times in my life I didn’t realize He was there.

My life is like a movie that has resonated with me, recalling scenes, both happy and sad. Maybe my family won’t be interested in reading about my life, about times in the past, but perhaps someday when they are my age, they will. And maybe it will trigger in them a passion to capture their lives in writing too.

The passion to write this final book is burning brightly in my soul. It’s like a calling. And so, with a little fear, I say yes. I will step out of my comfort zone and believe God has given me the skills to write the story with passion in an interesting way.

Lifting my cup of tea with joy in my heart and a thankful shout to the Lord for His goodness and mercy to me, a sinful woman.

Why I Find Peace in Shorter Days

Fall is definitely approaching. Each day the sun rises later, so I’ve been sleeping an hour later. The sun is setting much earlier, too. It is dark now by 7:30pm. For an introvert like me, this change doesn’t bother me very much. It’s like an excuse for not being out and about.

Yesterday at my small group, we were discussing 1 Peter 1:22. The question was to talk about a time when an act of obedience led to being more holy. The most recent I remembered was stepping out of my comfort zone to join the small group just a couple weeks after attending the church. I explained how uncomfortable I feel in a group of strangers and how I’m very shy until I get to know people. They were so amazed to hear me say this. They would never have guessed I was shy!

One of the ladies said how she was in awe that a published author was joining the group. She asked how I could be a writer and still be shy. I explained how it is the perfect job for an introvert because I could write in the privacy of my comfort zone! I could interact with people without being face to face. Everyone laughed.

When I was young, I used the crutch of being funny to be comfortable. If people were laughing, they must like me. I realize this today, but then it was just a way of trying to fit in. As I grew older, people who didn’t know me thought I was standoffish. They didn’t see the scared little girl inside who wanted so much to be accepted. I never had the gift of conversation. I never felt good enough. I had low self esteem.

Maybe this is what led me to have a passion to write. So, as fall descends upon the extroverts who love being outdoors and with friends being active and adventurous, this change isn’t as easily accepted. As the days grow shorter, I feel the pull to sit at my computer and write. It’s my comfort zone.

Lifting my morning cup of tea and thanking God for filling my heart with a passion to share His love and goodness through the gift He has given me. May your day be beautiful and may you find joy in who God created you to be.

Those Uncomfortable Conversations

Had a conversation with one of my neighborhood friends yesterday afternoon. He came out to talk when he saw me coming from the mailbox. I hadn’t seen him for several weeks and he said the same. He said he isn’t home much. He is out and about during the day. He seemed concerned that I was spending so much time in my condo. I felt he worried that I was becoming a hermit!

I reassured him I was going out during the week for church, small group Bible study, lunch with friends, and just visiting friends. Other times, I was quite comfortable staying home where I kept myself busy.

He told me he goes to the senior center and when there they require wearing a mask at all times unless eating or drinking. He doesn’t stay late to play cards because of the mask mandate. I expressed my opinion about not wanting to wear a mask again and avoiding places where required. Immediately he said, “So you must be one of those people who didn’t get the vaccine.” My reply: “No, I did get both of the shots, but I’m uncertain about getting the booster.”

I am saddened that all conversations with people these days seems to center around Covid-19 in one way or another. I will not become obsessed with this. In my heart, I’m sorry I did get the two shots. I do not know what was put into my body. Now with all the “mandates” to get the vaccine with fear tactics to face losing one’s livelihood saddens me deeply.

I’ve read the Book. I know there will come a time when the mark of the beast must be worn or people will lose all their privileges and be killed for not conforming. Is this what we are leading up to? Is it a test?

I believe the vaccines should be an individual choice. And I believe it is time for all Christians to take a stand and not be intimidated by the world. I want to be that kind of person. Everything our country was founded upon is being destroyed. Our freedoms are being ripped away.

Lifting my cup of tea and leaving you with two scriptures which strengthen me.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” (Psalm 27:1 NLT)

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to You for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings until the danger passes by.” (Psalm 57:1)

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…