NATIONAL GRIEF AWARENESS DAY

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https://youtu.be/bx8RwhIWk6Y

Yes – this video is dated 2014 – I added this later because I wanted you to meet Angie.  😉

When my husband and I lost our mothers within just a few months of each other in 2004, I thought I could earn a black belt in grief! We found ourselves puzzled and a bit overwhelmed for the rest of 2004 and most of 2005. The worst part of losing the last member of your family is facing Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those traditions are gone and the loss is nearly unbearable.

Everyone grieves differently and at their own pace. Grief is not something that anyone else should try to rush.

The tears come quite unexpectedly, usually at the most inopportune times. I lost my daddy in November of 1988. On February 21, 1989, which would have been his 64th birthday, my husband and I were having dinner with friends. I looked across the restaurant and saw a father and daughter dining together. Out of the blue I just burst into tears and embarrassed my husband. I felt bad about making a scene in front of his friends. Such is this beast, grief. It messes with your emotions when you least expect it.

About the time you think you’ve got it together, you fall apart again. It’s difficult to describe grief unless you’ve experienced it personally. It’s not exactly a club I was anxious to join, but here I am!

Sorrow comes in great waves… but rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us, it leaves us.  And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain.  – Henry James

Grief is the most personal burden we as human beings carry, and not all grief is the same. There is no good or bad way to grieve. The way I grieve over my miscarriages is not the same as your grief over the loss of your grandmother. Sometimes I tear up when I see a young mother with a newborn baby. You may not pay much attention to them, or maybe you rejoice at the sight. It’s not that I’m not happy to see a mother and her newborn, but I grieve the loss of my own little ones – I grieve the dream I had of being a mom. I grieve because I never got the chance to say hello or hold them and love them. I thought I would grieve less once I got older. Wrong! Now I grieve because I’ll never have grandchildren.

Shortly after I suffered my fifth miscarriage, my pastor asked me to sing “Jesus Loves Me” at a funeral. Of course I was glad to help, however, my pastor failed to mention one minor detail about the funeral. He forgot to tell me that the one who died was a newborn baby. I had already agreed to sing and could not back out. I had to keep it together and I had to focus. I prayed – oh I really prayed. I could not look over at the small white casket. No way could I let myself “go there”.

When I left the chapel there were many pent-up feelings inside. By the time I got to my car the tears had started and I hoped no one would catch me in the parking lot to talk with me. I got in my car and drove up North toward some old country dirt back roads. The car windows were down, the sunroof was wide open and my radio was blasting! All that noise and dust flying could not mask the pain I felt – it had to come out – I literally screamed, cried, and I had raccoon eyes because my eye make-up was ruined. As I raced down those old dirt roads I released a load of anxiety and hurt and pain. I was running. That’s what I do when I hurt so badly – I run!

Grief is intensely personal. Don’t let anyone tell you how it’s done. Sometimes you just have to speed down some old dirt back roads with the windows down, the sunroof open and the radio blasting!

There is a comforting assurance in the midst of all the pain. My babies, my parents, aunts, uncles and a few pets are safe in heaven. Yes, I think my pets are there too. Don’t debate me about it – just call me crazy and be done with it. The way I figure it, if God can do anything, is it too much for Him to make heaven even better by reuniting us with our favorite 4-legged friends? I think not. Well, the one thing I do know, heaven is a wonderful place and I am at times jealous that my family is there and I’m not. But God’s got more work for me here, I guess.

WITH HIM

On this day, NATIONAL GRIEF AWARENESS DAY, let’s be sensitive to one another and respect each other because we all grieve differently. ❤

Amendment – In 2015, a website was created.  Please stop by and take a look.

www.nationalgriefawarenessday.com

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

https://youtu.be/GO07DbLsAAY

So that’s what they were filming in Lawrence, KS in the 1950’s.  Huh…

When I was little my mom used to tease me because I was so observant. I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture, but for some reason I have always been keenly aware of my surroundings. I make mental notes of tiny details and notice immediately when something has changed. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse when I see a picture hanging crooked and I am not at liberty to straighten it. That can drive me crazy!

I had some testing done yesterday which left me feeling a little under the weather. I didn’t feel like cooking so we went out for lunch after the appointment. We went to my favorite Chinese buffet because I had a craving for Lemon Chicken.

As the waitress seated us, I noticed that she did not speak much English. She knew how to say “table or booth” and “what to drink?” She spoke Chinese to the other workers and to another couple in the restaurant who were Chinese.

We were enjoying our lunch when I heard a different language being spoken right behind me. I wanted to turn around and look at the people, but mama always told me it was rude to turn around and stare at people behind you. When I was a kid I used to get in trouble for turning around in church to see who was sitting behind us (gee mom, I was just trying to be sociable).

I listened intently… it was Spanish. Now I was really curious. Then I heard something quite familiar – a baby crying! It was the Mexican couple’s child. It wasn’t just a baby’s cry – it was a newborn baby’s cry – that’s a distinct sound! No language barrier there!

Since it was a buffet, the Mexican couple did not have to give the waitress instructions. They took water from the pitcher on the buffet so there was not even a drink order. They went to get their food one at a time since obviously someone had to stay with the wee one.

The waitress came around to ask, “Everything Okay?” We politely nodded since our mouths were busy eating delicious food. Then she walked behind us to the Mexican couple. I heard her talking in the sweetest tone, her voice rising and lowering as though she was talking baby talk. She was making over the baby, but not in Spanish. She was speaking Chinese!

I’m sure the couple had no idea what the waitress was saying – but they knew it was a loving tone of voice. I could not see what was happening, but I heard a smile in her voice as she spoke. I could not stand it one more minute – I had to turn around and look! The waitress was smiling – I knew it! I think it’s the sweetest display of love I’ve ever seen! A smile and sweet tone of voice transcend all language, don’t they???

Now I know some of you are sitting there reading this saying, “Yeah, better tip for the waitress” but I honestly don’t think that was the motive for her actions! As I said, it was a buffet and most people don’t leave much of a tip for a waitress when it’s a buffet. I think she felt compelled to reach out and I’m glad she did. It doesn’t cost one thin dime to be nice to somebody. She could have just walked by, but chose to stop and dote on the newborn. It was so special. Thank you Lord for allowing me to observe genuine sweetness.

When I read the fortune inside my fortune cookie – that summed it up perfectly!

You need only to understand that it is not necessary to understand but only enjoy. 

WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY

TL 8-27 WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY

WASHED

Click image to enlarge (yes, I know it was written in 2015 – I retro-plugged it because it is so fitting for this subject).  Wink!  😉

https://youtu.be/GIHMv7t8q18
On the farm, it seems that honesty is second nature and a big part of honesty is granting forgiveness. It’s a simple life that demands little more than the golden rule. Just treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated. So why is that so difficult in some circles?

Today is WORLD FORGIVENESS DAY, and how much true forgiveness needs to happen in our world?  In our country?  In our state?  In our city?  In our community?  In my heart?

Ah – now we get down to the nitty-gritty – my heart.  If I do not forgive others their trespasses against me, God can not forgive my trespasses against Him.  I know these things yet I hold on to grudges and hurt feelings.  Until this head knowledge reaches my heart, it’s just more information I have stored that is of no use until acted upon.
I have to let it go – and pray every day that God will help me not ever take it back again.  How much happier would I be without any grudges or hurt feelings?  What if I could look back on the past and not feel like a knife is twisting in my back?  How great would that be?
I need God’s forgiveness for some pretty awful transgressions.  In order to get His forgiveness and be clean and fit for eternity, I need to forgive some folks and ditch some sinful behavior.  No, I’ll never be perfect – no one will.  That’s not to be an excuse for sinful behavior.  We don’t compare our lives to others, we compare our lives to the standard set by God Himself.  When I look at my life in the light of God’s Word, I am lacking.
I need to forgive others so God can forgive me.  So on this special day, I’m letting it go and embracing the freedom that only comes from good clean living and a clear conscience.  Oh, and God forgives me – hope you do too.
What are my sins?  Well – that’s ‘tween me and my maker.
When sins are confessed, there needs to be a change.

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Please join me on facebook! The AMERICA BLESS GOD page is up and running! https://www.facebook.com/bless.God.today.America

I hope you will visit my facebook page, POEMS & PRAYERS FOR MY SAVIOR. There are inspirational poems and prayers to give you courage and strength to face this crazy world we live in.
https://www.facebook.com/poetryformysavior

If you are in the mood for some funny posts about health and believe that laughter really IS the best medicine, join our group on facebook: A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS… WITH A DASH OF HUMOR AND A PINCH OF FAITH.
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See ya around!   🙂

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WEDDING ANNIVERSARY #27

https://youtu.be/kbpTF2fZw1s

To keep your marriage brimming

With love in the wedding cup,

Whenever you’re wrong, admit it,

Whenever you’re right, shut up!

– Ogden Nash

What is the purpose behind celebrating a wedding anniversary? For some it means a trip around the world or some other fancy excursion to be enjoyed together. For others it may be an adventure of some other sort, like mountain climbing or white water rafting or something. No matter what you do with your spouse to mark your wedding anniversary – there is one thing to remember. It’s not what you do, but who you do it with that matters!

It’s a day made for two and should be a private time.

While I was still sleeping, he went out and got a beautiful card and Starbuck’s white mocha with a slice of their heavenly chocolate cinnamon bread! What an awesome treat to wake up to! I have always made his card by hand – and this year I ran out of templates so I started over! This year’s card looks like the one I made him for our first wedding anniversary! I don’t think he will mind at all.

Look closely, there’s a Starbuck’s on the second floor!

No, this is not a Starbuck’s in the states – it’s in Japan, I think – or maybe China.  Anyway, it’s the only public domain photo of Starbuck’s that was not crazy hung up on the copyright thing.  LOL!!!  And no, my husband did not travel to the Orient to get Starbuck’s – wink!  😉

I know that young people have the idea that once the fireworks die down you are not left with much – but that’s not true. Long term love offers a deeper and richer respect that is so much better than the fireworks of short-term love. There is a certain dependability that offers security and comfort in a relationship – and it only comes with longevity. It’s not boring – it’s reassuring. It’s like that blanket (binkie) you had when you were little – the one you don’t want to give up! It’s got a few more wrinkles now, but it is still warm and feels so good to snuggle up in.

Happy anniversary, LLP – from Mrs. LLP.

Oh… one more thing. Today is KISS AND MAKE UP DAY!!! No, I’m not making it up! I think it is so cool that this wacky holiday falls on my wedding anniversary!!! Coincidence??? I think not! Take a look at this great poem my friend Lucinda wrote for this special day!  Even if you don’t need to kiss and make up – do it anyhow! 

RIDE THE WIND DAY

TL 8-23 RIDE THE WIND DAY

What do these activities have in common???

  • Sail boating
  • Motorcycle riding
  • Hang gliding
  • Parachuting
  • Kite flying
  • Flying in a plane

Do you give up???  Well, to do these things you need the wind!  Today is RIDE THE WIND DAY, a time to let yourself go and let the wind carry you away!  Are you afraid of heights?  I know, me too.  I don’t think parachuting is on my bucket list – let me check.  Nope – not there!  You can take as many risks as you like.  My two feet are staying on the ground I think.

Time is an old firmly rooted tree; we are the breeze rustling its leaves.  -Terri Guillemets

We don’t have many summer days left, so at least get outside for a while and let the breeze blow through your hair as you contemplate the fall months to come.  Close your eyes and imagine you are soaring high up in the sky.  Oh – I just made myself dizzy!

 If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.  – Toni Morrison

It would be so neat to see this for real!  I’d love to take a trip to New Mexico just to watch those hot air balloons go up!  Maybe one day soon.  I’m guessing those balloons really ride the wind!

The book of Acts in the Bible compares God’s Holy Spirit to a mighty rushing wind.  If we will wait for the Spirit’s leading in our lives, it really will be the ride of our lives.  He will not steer us wrong because He wants only the best for His children.

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Sister Bertrille really knew how to ride the wind back in 1967!!!

So as you make pinwheels or wind streamers today, think about the wind, the book of Acts and God’s Holy Spirit in your heart and life.  It really will be the ride of your life.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

Dick Van Dyke is uninjured after his Jaguar caught fire while he was driving on a Los Angeles freeway.

I read that he was laughing and cracking jokes with the off-duty firefighter that pulled him from his burning car!!! This man is amazing – and what a great attitude he has!

I agreed with his thesis that God was not an all-powerful “cosmic superman” looking down from the penthouse as much as He was Love.”  – Dick Van Dyke, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business

There is an old saying that you will reap what you sow. That does not mean that bad things will not happen, but it does mean that if you are living right (good clean livin’), when those bad things do happen, God is going to take care of you.

You can spread jelly on the peanut butter but you can’t spread peanut butter on the jelly.
– Dick Van Dyke, My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business    

This is the most clear-cut example of the rewards that come with good clean livin’ that I’ve ever seen! I have been a fan of Dick Van Dyke’s for decades! While I don’t want to portray the man as a saint, I would be very quick to say that he has always entertained us with no hint of compromise on his part. His integrity and moral judgment in choosing roles has always been above-board. Not many people would take the time to thank him – but I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU, Mr. Van Dyke – for being the funniest entertainer ever – and keeping it clean and wholesome without getting downright cheesy.

I am so glad he was not hurt! Thankful too for the guys who stopped to pull him to safety! God surely had His hand in it – no doubt!

May God continue to send His angels to watch over you!

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

HONOR
I still want to honor my mom.

 

Being hopeful about the future might motivate you to make healthier decisions.   – Julia Boehm, PhD

I’m learning that everyone grieves at a different pace, on a different schedule. I have empathy and patience with others who don’t seem to be moving along as quickly as I think they should. After nine long years, I have decided to part with my mother’s couch and love seat from the 1980’s. I felt a peace about my decision and posted a status on facebook. One of my close friends sent me an instant message to let me know that she would be interested in having mom’s furniture. I was thrilled! Now I know that it is going to a great home – the home of my friend! Now I have no anxiety about letting it go – and my friend benefits also – it’s a real win / win!!! We call it a “God thing”.

God knows the desires of your heart. He knows why you hang on to the things of the past. He knows the memories associated with the things you cling to – and He knows how to help you walk forward and let them go if you have the desire to do so. Don’t part with anything unless you are very sure you are ready. Don’t rush yourself into anything when it comes to grief. Don’t let anyone else rush you! Some of the nicest people on the planet can try to dictate to you what you should and should not keep. They don’t know what means the most to you. Listen to your heart.

I must say when it comes to taste in furniture, my mom and I were polar opposites! She chose pastel colors and material that could not stand much “wear”, while I am definitely a leather girl – give me an overstuffed leather chair and ottoman and I am a very happy camper! I don’t want to have to treat my furniture with kid gloves like she did. Of course if you cut leather with a knife it is history, but generally it is quite sturdy and will last a good long while!

H = Happy
O = Optimistic
P = Passionate
E = Enthusiastic

I WILL keep H.O.P.E. alive in my soul. God has a great future planned for me! My stability is not dependent on any material possession, whether it is mom’s or mine. I have hope for the future because Jesus is alive and living in me! 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (9)

https://youtu.be/kmFA65up32k

There are many misguided beliefs that this prayer is about material possessions. Newsflash – it’s not. It’s about people, not stuff. People matter more than stuff! When I pray this prayer it’s in the sincere hope that God will bring people into my life. Stuff doesn’t talk back – which in some cases is good, but most of the time – it’s just lonely.

Yesterday I got to see love in action – twice, in the same place! Most people take these things for granted, but if you have either an elderly person or a baby in your family – then you are blessed.

I was sitting at a quaint little Amish restaurant just a few miles West of Wichita in Yoder, Kansas. My husband had left our booth and since I was alone it gave me an opportunity to see and listen to the folks around me. When I looked to the left, I saw a very old and feeble woman seated at a table with someone who looked to be middle-aged. From the body language it seemed as though it was an elderly mother and her daughter. It made me think of the many times I took my mother out for meals. Some of our best conversations happened in a restaurant.

We arrived at the restaurant just after lunch time, so it was not crowded at all. This sweet pair of women had my undivided attention. I was just a distant observer, quietly taking mental notes and watching love at its best. Evidently the older woman was fighting sleep after eating her meal (hey – don’t we all?) – the younger woman said, “Oh – it’s not nap time already is it?” I had to chuckle at that remark. I always take an afternoon nap – unapologetically! I nap and I don’t care who knows it!

The women gathered their belongings – a tote bag and a few other odds and ends I could not make out. The younger woman patiently helped the older one get situated with her walker and they slowly and gingerly made their way out of the dining area.

I took another sip of water and thought back on the happy times my mama and I had. Then something else caught my attention. A baby’s cry – but not just an ordinary cry. It was a newborn baby crying! That’s a very distinctive sound indeed! There was a young couple with their newborn along with an older couple who I will assume were grandma and grandpa.

Babies just make everyone smile – and this one was no exception. I thought, “Oh yes, little one – wrap them all around your little pinky finger now!” Everyone was smiling and chit chatting away about the future. Everything revolves around this child’s future and everyone at the table has a purpose in their lives because of her.

If you feel alone and isolated today, I invite you to visit a restaurant and look to the left… look to the right. There is life outside your little world. Break out of your cocoon and fly like a butterfly into the world and get involved in someone else’s story. If your story seems dull and bleak, maybe it’s time to bring in more characters.

BEST FRIENDS DAY

TL 8-15 BEST FRIENDS DAY

 Things are never quite as scary when you have a best friend.  – Bill Watterson

If I have to dress in my best clothes, style my hair and put make-up on before you come to my door, we are probably not best friends.  If I have to work for a solid week cleaning my house to prepare for your arrival, no, I don’t imagine we are best friends.

The one I can relax with, be my sloppy self with is my best friend.  And my best friend feels just as comfortable around me.  It’s funny because when we’re tweens we learn how to socialize.  We have slumber parties and make cinnamon bread in the oven and sit around chatting all night long.  Even at that age we knew who we could be “real” with and who we had to wear the mask around.

“You’re the average of the five people you associate with the most.”  A wrestling coach told this to me in high school.  I’ve never forgotten it.  – Tim Ferriss

It’s sad that a mask has to be worn sometimes, but it does.  We all have them and wear them when we don’t feel comfortable around a person or group of people.  I was blessed to be a band geek.  I got to hang out with the coolest girls in our Junior High School and most of us went on to High School together.  Nobody felt like they had to put on a mask.  For us it was all about music.  We played it, enjoyed it and didn’t think about anything else.

Best friends share common interests.  They can chat until the cows come home because that spark of interest is there and they have just as many questions as answers.  It’s easier to be yourself before life gets so competitive, but even as we got older we stayed sweet.  That’s what best friends do.

I had a very good friend in my eighth grade English teacher.  She and I would spend many lunch hours talking about literature, art – and yes, music.  She helped me so much with my dyslexia.  I knew how to sound words out, but she went a step further and taught me how to strengthen my sight through exercises for my eyes.  You can train your eyes to some extent although dyslexia is a sort of trickery of the mind.  I don’t mind having it because it has lit the fuse of my imagination every day of my life.

Best friend: someone you can only stay mad at for so long because you have important things to talk about.  – Author Unknown

I’ve always made friends with older people.  Teachers, other kid’s parents, the librarian, the school bus driver.  I’m so much more comfortable conversing with older people.  Experts in child psychology will tell you that an only child tends to communicate better with older people because as a child they were subjected to adult conversations.  It’s true, I sat with my mom and aunts many a sunny Saturday while my cousins went outdoors to play.  Mama dressed me in frilly dresses and I wasn’t about to go out and get it all dirty.

The other day I was counting up all of the girls named LINDA that I was friends with – and the tally is 14.  My life has been touched in some way by 14 other LINDAs.  Hmm…  interesting.  I recently got in touch with a LINDA friend from High School via facebook.

Most of my LINDA friends are Christians.  You know when Jesus is in the center of any relationship it makes it extra-special.  He is my best friend – and yours too.  With that knowledge, those masks don’t stay on very long.  We’re just sisters in Christ, thankful for His love, mercy and matchless grace in our lives.  ❤

 

 

NATIONAL CREAMSICLE DAY

 TL 8-14 NATIONAL CREAMSICLE DAY
What is a Creamsicle?  Creamsicle is a brand name owned by Unilever, for a frozen dessert which resembles an ice pop, with a center composed of vanilla ice cream, and an exterior layer of flavored ice (all around a wooden stick). Popular flavors for Creamsicles include orange, blue raspberry, lime, grape and raspberry. Creamsicles are available in several varieties, including 100 Calorie Bars, Low Fat Bars, No Sugar Added Bars and Sugar Free Bars.

Summer treats and swimming pools are all the rage today!  It’s NATIONAL CREAMSICLE DAY!!!  Cool and creamy, these ice cream frozen snacks are sure to be a hit.  August is the perfect time to enjoy a Creamsicle in your choice of flavors.

Did he say blueberry swirl???  Yum!  I guess my favorite flavor will always be orange and vanilla.  I have some very good memories of the ice cream truck slowly driving around our neighborhood.  The kids would scatter to go get a dime from their moms.  Yes, I said a dime!  LOL!

I was not aware that there was a LEGO Commodore Creamsicle, were you?

 What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?  – Lin Yutang

Although it’s officially a brand of frozen popsicle, the Creamsicle craze has touched every market — from cupcakes to Jell-O — with its dreamy orange and cream combo.  Here are some recipes from food.com.

 Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal.  – Voltaire

As you relax today, make one of these great recipes or buy some Creamsicles to enjoy.

This probably goes without saying, but I would choose the sugar-free Creamsicles.  If I was making one of these recipes, I’d use Splenda in the recipe instead of sugar.

 Ice cream is happiness condensed.  – Jessi Lane Adams

Happiness???  Well, I’m all for that!!!