From Hope to Obedience

If you are like me, you have quite a few people on your prayer list right now. My heart aches for so many. This spotlights how blessed I really am. These days before the new year, I’m focusing on how I can be obedient to God. This word is on my heart a lot and I believe it is from God.

Every year there is a word that God gives me to focus on. This year’s word has been hope. As our church prepares for Christmas, the last sermon series has been on hope. Biblical hope. As I focused on trusting God and hoping in Him during this tumultuous year, I didn’t understand this was Biblical hope, but I like this title. It’s not like I hope you have a good day, but I have hope in God. I trust Him and know He is in charge despite what the world would have me believe.

My blogging week is ending today. I want to lay out a blogging outline for next week as Christmas approaches. Not sure what I will do yet, or even why this is on my mind. Just sure God will show me the “what and why.” Lifting my cup of tea on this cloudy morning and feeling very hopeful about what God will do in the coming year.

I Used To Do That!

Another cold morning. There was a time when cold and snow couldn’t stop me from heading out to work or an appointment. I used to shovel snow from my sidewalks and driveway. The cold invigorated me. Not so any longer.

I’m grateful to live in a home where the clearing of snow is not my concern. I appreciate placing my trash can outside my garage door without having to move it to the street to have the trash collected. These things made me feel grateful when I moved.

Now as I’m aging more, I’m even more grateful, but also a little sad. When I was younger, I never pictured myself as an old lady who would need help with things I used to handle with no difficulty. Sometimes I even feel a little guilty for being able to stay inside and keep warm. My mind thinks I could probably shovel snow, but in reality my arms aren’t that strong, nor is my heart.

I’m doing my best to age gracefully with God, but I admit it isn’t always easy! At times like this, when I begin to zero in on being an elderly widow, I need to get busy and do what I can! It is warm inside, and there are housecleaning chores to tackle. God provided the perfect snow-kissed and cold day for me! So I will rejoice and be glad in it! Now where is my duster?

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.

A Snowy, Cold, Day After

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Youngest daughter and her hubby hosted our family this year. So much yummy food. I tried everything, of course! I’m a family oriented person, and being with family really warms my heart.

This morning, I woke and it felt chilly. The rain we had been getting changed to a sleety snow. The rooftops are painted white and the grass is slowly getting a light blanket of snow. When I checked the thermostat I realized my furnace wasn’t working. It had dropped to 64 degrees. Thankfully I’m in a small condo so I’m staying warm by sitting in the kitchen next to the stove and it is set to 400.

Ah, aging gracefully isn’t always easy. I thought moving into a new condo four years ago where everything was brand new would be perfect for me. I do love it here, but there are drawbacks even to a new home. I’m hoping the furnace can be fixed without having to replace something major. I found a warranty page inside the installation manual but reading it says it should have been registered within 90 days of purchasing the condo. Sigh.

Trusting God in this. A solution will be found. He always makes a way! Lifting my cup of tea and wishing everyone a lovely weekend. Until then…love and prayers!

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…

Participant or Spectator?

Last night, while watching The Crown, a line Philip’s mother said resonated with me as truth for my own life. The line is “When I turned 70 I realized I was just a spectator not a participant.” As I look at my life, I find this is mostly true.

I am a spectator. I’m not complaining, just observing. Most of my time is spent alone. When I’m with a group of people, mostly I’m a spectator. I’ve lost the quick wit and spontaneity of youth. My life offers little in comparison to a younger generation.

As the conversations fly amid laughter, I’m usually a beat behind. Sometimes I open my mouth, but what emerges falls flat. I’m much more comfortable interacting with people of my generation…once I get to know them.

I lost participation when I retired. I wonder how many others my age feel the same. With age comes a bevy of body breakdown which removes the possibility of standing for long periods of time, lifting weighty objects, and endurance. How does one volunteer with a heart willing, but body unwilling?

And so, I sit at home, writing words on a keyboard, participating in a passive way…alone. Not that I’m sad about this stage of life. It gives me more time to spend getting closer to God.

Lifting my cup of tea, grateful I can do this with ease, and asking the question: Are you a participant or a spectator?

The Battle is Real

Ever give in to binges? Confession time, mostly to self, because what I did was dangerous to my health. I continually crave something sweet after dinner, so I don’t keep anything sweet in my home, since I am a diabetic. For me it is difficult to keep my carbs low during the day and I don’t want to fill myself with sugar before bedtime.

But yesterday I shopped for a few items with the intention of making fudge that tastes like Reese’s peanut butter cups, and while shopping, I was drawn to a package of mini chocolate iced donuts. I gave in to Satan’s temptation and purchased a container.

The draw of those donuts had my mouth watering and I placed them on my front seat. Yes, I ate four of them on my way home! Once I start eating sweets I cannot stop. By dinnertime I had consumed all but 5 of those donuts. Sigh.

For anyone who doesn’t suffer as a carboholic, it is probably difficult to understand how this can lead to binge eating. I know it is like pouring gasoline on fire to consume just one…cookie, slice of cake, or donut. I’m a diabetic and this can lead to a worsening of my condition and a need to use insulin.

So this morning, I tossed the remaining donuts. What happened yesterday was a slip, but today I’m determined to get back on track with good eating habits. Perhaps someone else suffers and doesn’t understand why these binges happen. You aren’t a loser, and you can overcome this. Not that it is easy. Truly, it takes an honest and deep relationship with Jesus for me to do battle with these attacks by Satan.

See, he knows our weaknesses, and will use this to entice us to make bad decisions and not turn to God for help. He tempted Jesus in the desert, but He was able to use scripture as a weapon. I need to do the same. I hope you will do the same.

For anyone who doesn’t understand, I ask that you pray for me and others like me, instead of judging. Lifting my cup of tea and saying out loud, “Just as I tossed the donuts, I am tossing you out of my life in the name of Jesus!”

Navigating the Complexity of Insurance and Drugs for Seniors

Navigating medical insurance and prescription drugs is becoming a nightmare for seniors on limited incomes. I’m 78 years young now and the idea of working is daunting. Businesses don’t look at seniors as capable as those under 50. I could maybe get a job as a greeter for Walmart, but I’m sure there are many other seniors like me who are waiting in line for any opening like this. Many don’t have the income necessary to survive.

As a diabetic, I should be eating a much healthier diet. But with the rising costs of groceries, I’ve been stocking up on canned goods, beans, rice, and other staples that have long shelf life. I don’t have the means to shop every week picking out fresh produce and meats. Honestly, I rarely eat meat. I have cut back on portions and don’t eat foods fried in oils. I do my best to eat a fairly balanced diet at least once a day. I do oatmeal for breakfast and leftovers for lunch.

Now after my big rant against the high cost of necessary medications by big pharmas in an earlier post, I’m caving in. With the increasing AFIB situations I’m experiencing, the idea of having a stroke is worrisome. I know the aspirin regimen does help with thinning my blood, but according to the information I’ve been reading, the medication my cardiologist has prescribed, Eliquis, will also help to prevent blood clots and strokes by a significant percentage over aspirin. I’ve worked out a way to afford the medication for 2022. Not that it isn’t a significant cost factor, but I’m cutting back in other areas, including reducing my insurance for 2022.

I’m also thinking I can cut back on the med by substituting aspirin on some days. If this doesn’t work, then I will talk to my doctor about switching to a less expensive drug, like Warfarin.

I spent the morning researching doctors, pharmacies, and drugs accepted by my insurance for 2022. For those businesses who don’t think seniors have a brain, believe me it is necessary to navigate the medical information!

There are other people, including seniors, who are in much worse situations financially than I am. I live a comfortable life, so I’m not complaining. Instead, I am praying for those less fortunate than me as well as myself. I still have hope that God is working to turn things around! Lifting my cup of tea with a smile and a thankful heart.