This morning I heard a restaurant and bar situated by one of the legendary golf courses was closing this month. Normally something like this wouldn’t mean a thing to me. But this one triggered memories. My hubby was the owner of a small wholesale meat business and this place was one of his customers. I remember how during the Memorial Tournament, hubby would work into the late hours to keep up with the demand.
My hubby was a hard-working man who cared about having integrity with his customers, and he had a great personality to be his own salesperson. He was a people person and never met a stranger. The business was just a small speck on a map filled with large wholesalers. But his name was known and his reputation was spectacular. Word of mouth was his greatest marketing tool.
Looking back at the memories, I thanked God for calling him home before the pandemic hit. I realize this was an unappreciated blessing. Our lives would have been tortuous during these past few years. His heart and lungs were too weak and diseased to handle being sick with COVID.
Losing a loved one is a difficult time in our lives. With faith, we learn to move on through the grief to a different stage of life. Rarely do we look at the death as a blessing. Even when our loved ones might have been very ill. Their absence leaves an irreplaceable void that only God can heal. Yet, this morning God showed me the blessing in my hubby’s absence. It doesn’t change anything in my life by knowing this, but I can smile and say “thank You, Lord.”
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.
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…
This has been a quiet week for me. Our small group decided to meet at our church where we could be socially distanced and we met on Tuesday afternoon. However, everyone took off their masks since the feeling was social distance made it safe and easier to talk. Then on Saurday, I learned that our facilitator was very ill and pretty sure she had Covid. Ugh. So that meant I had to postpone a lunch scheduled for that day with my daughters. And I missed church. I decided to self-quarantine just to make sure I didn’t pass any germs on to other people. I am pretty sure I already had this virus in March of 2020 before doctors were diagnosing this virus. Instead the doctor said I had a very bad strain of the flu. It was the worst ever and I don’t get sick…don’t get the flu. I did recover without having to be hospitalized and for that I give all thanks to God!
And though I really want to get the vaccine, I didn’t realize how nearly impossible it would be to get an appointment! I am, as I write this, in an online “in line” queue to see if there is any availability at the grocery/pharmacy chain I frequent. I still have 20 more minutes to wait to even check for availability. I received an email from my local hospital at 5:43pm on Friday with a link to register. I clicked to get an appointment at 5:55pm and all appointments had been filled! Should it be so difficult? But I have given this over to God, because all things happen in His timing, not mine. When it is time, I will be scheduled. It’s the impatient part of being human that causes the frustration! UPDATE: After my time came, I learned nothing was available around me. I’ve tried all my alternatives and today is the first day for those over 75. As I said, all in God’s time.
All in all, I accomplished very little outside of normal cleaning, laundry, and picking up my new glasses. So my hours were filled with listening to audio books and coloring. I played around with pencils, markers, and my new pastel pencils. Below are the pictures I finished. Coloring makes me happy and fills in a lot of empty hours in my day. I thank God every day my youngest daughter got me started with this hobby! I am constantly learning and it’s fun!
I pulled out my pastel pencils to color this lovely lady. I found it so much fun to use the pastels and they were super easy to blend! I’ll be using these more as time passes.
I’ve had this book for a while, but I rarely color in it. As I looked through, I found a picture I’d started and never finished. So I grabbed pencils and finished coloring! I love the result of coloring this picture with various pencils.
Another picture I found partially colored. I only had the birds, apples and a couple of flowers to color to finish it.
I used markers to color this fun picture. I wanted to make a pink motorcycle, so that put me in a dilemma as to what color to use for her outfit. I think the light green turned out okay.
Another marker picture. These are fun and don’t take a lot of time. Relaxing.
Colored this beauty on tan paper with Prismacolor Premier pencils. I like the result achieved, though camera doesn’t do justice to the coloring. Next are the pictures I colored with markers while watching television!
Rose Windows book by Creative Haven, Illustrator: Joel S. Avren
I wish you all a beautiful week filled with joy and God’s blessings! Until next week…