It is Difficult to “See” When Consumed With “Me”

Usually I look back on the previous week to write Monday’s blog, but yesterday I began thinking about how easily it is to get consumed with thoughts about myself. How I’m feeling. What I wanted.

I looked at how I make sure I have breakfast every morning. I was never a breakfast kind of person until diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My husband loved breakfast. It was his favorite meal of the day. After I retired, my hubby was already ill with COPD and heart disease. He would stay up until the wee hours of the morning and wake after a three to four hour sleep. During the day he took multiple naps. I would wake every morning to find him drinking his first cup of coffee and doing a breathing treatment. He had gotten used to eating toaster waffles in the morning. So that’s what I fed him.

Sundays we went to one particular restaurant for breakfast, and when he had doctor appointments, which were frequent, we’d stop to eat wherever he chose. But, now, as I fix a breakfast for myself every morning, I regret not doing the same for him. Not toaster waffles, or my homemade version of his McDonald’s favorite, but a good breakfast he would love. Hashbrowns, eggs, sausage, toast and coffee.

I was retired. I had no appointments other than his. So why didn’t I take the time to make every breakfast special? A time to eat at the table together and talk would have been wonderful. Instead, I fed him junk, then showered, dressed and prepared for my day. I regret this. There were too many times in my past life when I was consumed with ME. This distracted me from focusing on others.

I realize I can’t change the past, and I shouldn’t look back. Yet, if I could change anything, it would be making breakfast special for my beloved hubby in our last years together. In the future I’m asking God to help me remember life isn’t about me. It’s about God. And that translates into being a servant to others, not being consumed with me.

This week, I had appointments every day of the week. I started coloring a Christmas picture, but remembered I wanted to complete the Hannah Lynn Steampunk book and there was still one picture left uncolored. Rarely do I use a collection of Sharpie markers, so I decided to try using them. I used them to color this picture with the exception of using a chalk medium for the sky. Yay! One more book complete!

This week I need to concentrate on making the gifts for my daughters for Christmas. One needs to be mailed, so it is important to get it finished early this week. I hope to finish the Christmas picture I started on Friday as well.

Lifting my cup of tea and looking at a rainy morning outside my office window and feeling grateful it isn’t snow!

There are No Limits to Aging

I read an article about a woman getting an award for aging gracefully. I was intrigued by the headline. After reading it I learned the award was given for her creativity in art and how she has continued despite reaching the golden age of 92. What a wonderful recognition and honor for her!

One should never think of age as a reason to stop pursuing a passion and talent. I’ve never possessed any artistic talents like painting or drawing. These are simply things that make me wish I could. Like listening to one play the piano. Music touches my soul and I sometimes wish I had the ability to create beautiful sounds on those ivory keys.

But we all have different talents. I can’t paint or draw, so I color the pictures others create. I can’t play music, but I listen to it and receive enjoyment. My aging gracefully with God is simply a matter of trying to live a good Christian life and deal with the changes without focusing on the negatives. Giving thanks for the beauty and the mercies God bestows every single day.

So never, ever give in to believing you must sit quietly and age. Instead keep a positive mindset and pursue your interests with a thankful heart. Lifting my cup of tea as I look at the beautiful blue sky God has painted for me. He is a master painter!

December Sadness and Joy

Though the month of June is a heavy month for me due to my husband being called home in June after a 10 day hospital stay, the month of December is a mixture of sadness and joy. I love celebrating the birth of Jesus, singing hymns about Him, and the nativity scene beneath the decorated tree.

But I’m missing the earthly presence of my husband. I know many other widows and widowers feel the same. The house seems much quieter during December despite the Christmas movies, Christmas carols, and Christmas cards. Tears press lightly against my eyelids.

The only One who can bring relief is Jesus. Spending time with Him in prayer gives me comfort. I might shed a few tears occasionally, but that is when I feel His arms holding me.

The last thing my husband would want is for me to be sad. He would want me to remember he is whole again with no more suffering and pain. He received God’s promise. And one day we will be together again.

This is all part of aging gracefully as a widow. We gather strength from Lord, trust in His promises, and move forward one day at a time, one hour at at time, one minute at a time. We put smiles on our faces when we are with friends and family. And we give thanks to the Lord for each new day, for our work here on earth is not yet completed.

Lifting my cup of tea this morning with a reminder that life is a gift and God wants us to enjoy it. We need to keep our eyes and heart open to the opportunities He opens and do what we know He is asking of us. Our suffering can help others if we use it wisely. God bless!

A Quiet Life of Trust

Looking back over the year, I cannot fathom how quickly December 1st has arrived! In all honesty, I can’t recall any significant changes in my life since December 1st of 2020.

Perhaps this is typical of my age group. I live a rather quiet and serene life. Hobbies fill most hours in each day fitted around errands, appointments, lunches with friends, laundry, housecleaning, church worship, small group study, and reading the Word.

Accepting the limitations of my aging body is part of aging gracefully. Whining and complaining are not productive. Prayer is what fills my mind and heart with peace. There will be sufferings in the days I remain on earth, but all is part of God’s plan. I’ve learned not to live in anxiety, but to trust Him and give Him my worries.

The greatest benefit, while on earth, is the peace that comes from trusting God. Lifting my cup of tea with much gratitude.

Aging Gracefully with a Conflicted Mind?

I can at this moment call myself fully vaccinated for Covid. Yet, I still see signs requiring masks to enter establishments, or strongly recommend everyone wear masks. Sigh. The older I get, the less I trust anything. I received my flu shot last week, but nowhere does it say I need to wear a mask to protect against flu.

So I hear that vaccinated people can pass Covid to other people and that is why we need to be masked. What is the purpose of getting vaccinated if we can still get or pass on the virus?

Honestly, none of it makes sense. Sigh. My reasoning is because my doctor got his, I decided to get mine…before it becomes mandated. Our world is a crazy mess of contradictions, so I am trusting God.

The eye twitching issue I suffered with for over two months is fully relieved as of this morning. My doctor never did call me back after asking two other doctors for consultation, and sending me home with no resolution and a promise to follow up. He didn’t want to address the other issue I wanted to discuss with him until this one was resolved. I may be trying to age gracefully, but I’m a little miffed that my insurance company paid for this “wasted” visit. My friends and family prayed for me and God answered. He is the Great Physician! I owe this relief to God only!

In our crazy world today, it is difficult to age gracefully. To age with dignity, peace, and kindness. It is a way of life to be practiced daily with prayer. Lifting my cup of tea as November ends and I pray for a December that fills our hearts with hope.

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!

Peaceful Anticipation

I am aging gracefully this morning with a cup of tea and comfy lounging PJ’s. I wait in peaceful anticipation of our small family gathering tomorrow at my youngest daughter’s home. I can imagine the wonderful scents of thanksgiving: roasted turkey, gravy, potatoes, vegetables, pies, and so much more. Best of all will be the joy of being with family as we voice our love and the things for which we are most thankful.

Today is a stay at home day wearing comfortable slippers and loungewear while I work on addressing Christmas cards. Other than tomorrow’s gathering, I won’t be leaving the comfort of my home again until Sunday morning. No shopping sprees for me. Once I finish the Christmas cards, I’m going to dedicate a day to remove the fall decorations and replace them with Christmas things. That day will consist of music, singing off key, smiles, and thanks to God for it all!

This is the season for me of peaceful anticipation of the most joyful celebration of remembering Christ’s birth and the hope He brought for all of us! The greatest gift of Christmas–the gift of a beloved Son to save the world.

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing everyone a Happy Day of Thanksgiving.

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…

Sing!

I have always loved to sing. I don’t have a lick of talent and sing off key a lot. Sometimes my voice cracks because, well, let’s face it…I’m old! LOL! But there is one thing I know for sure. God doesn’t care!! The only thing He cares about is my sincerity of heart as I worship Him in song. And that’s what I will do tonight.

Sycamore Creek Church is having a worship night with mostly singing. We’ll also have communion. How awesome it is to worship God with other believers.

Lifting my cup of tea with a huge smile on my face and in my heart! May your day be filled with happy smiles and may a song be in your heart.

Always be Joyful

Do you ever stop and thank God for the gifts of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste? Or do you take them for granted? Being honest, I admit I never take my sight for granted as looking at nature opens a natural thankfulness for all He has created. Yet, while I enjoy the sounds I hear, the feel of my hands petting an animal or pressing the keys on a keyboard, the taste of my favorite foods, and the smell of flowers and fresh air, I forget to thank the One who has given me these things.

There is so much beauty in the fall months, I am sometimes overwhelmed by what I see. Today I’m focusing on the sound of the geese calling out as they fly in formation over my home, and I give thanks. I close my eyes and really feel my fingers on the keyboard, and I give thanks. I smell the comforting aroma of apple spice tea, and I give thanks. I tasted the oatmeal I prepared differently than usual this morning, and I didn’t like it, but I ate it and gave thanks.

I received a new mug from my dear friend yesterday, along with the apple spice tea, and it makes me smile this morning as I sip the warm liquid and read the scripture and the word on the mug. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and the word “Joyful.” This verse and this word feel as if they are etched on my heart. I believe these will become my focus for 2022.

Lifting my cup of tea to wish you a joyful day.