I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE6

Today I wish my parents a happy wedding anniversary in heaven.  My folks were married at a judge’s office here in Kansas.  My mom’s brother and sister-in-law stood up with them.  It goes to show that the expense and fanfare of a big wedding is not necessary to ensure the marriage is a success.

The things we do outlast our mortality…  They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs.  Only instead of being made of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you.  – R.J. Palacio

We used to celebrate together.  I used to take them to dinner or take a cake to the house.  In 1976 I bought them an anniversary clock – for their 30th anniversary.  We made some precious memories and they are more precious now.

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Mom & Dad’s 27th Wedding Anniversary

When their anniversary fell on a Sunday, we went to church and then to the Bonanza restaurant for lunch.  Truth be told, most Sundays we headed for the Bonanza for lunch after morning worship service.

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Mom & Dad’s 33rd Wedding Anniversary

 

I hope they would be pleased with me today.  They taught me so much about living and loving.

Thank you mom and dad for all the lessons you taught me.  Thank you for giving me a model for marriage and showing me how it should work.  In a time when people choose to walk away instead of work on relationships, thank you for teaching me how to compromise and love another person more than I love myself.

Thank you for showing me every day that having purpose and meaning in life increases well-being and satisfaction.  To love another person completely will ultimately make me more happy than expecting love from him.

Thank you for instilling Christian values in me because God is the source of love.  I know if God is in the midst of marriage, it will be successful.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

I didn’t used to have to poke my finger every morning to test my blood.

When did I start having to make noises while getting up from a chair?

For the life of me I can’t remember why I came in this room.

I don’t remember my knees hurting before as I walked up the stairs.

Hugs didn’t used to hurt – but with fibromyalgia, they really do.

Acne and wrinkles at the same time…  now that’s just unfair!

There are more silver threads among the gold these days.

The weight I’ve gained these past few years just doesn’t want to go away.

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When [my old films are on TV]… I slide slowly under the table in embarrassment.  I cringe at having these huge heads of hair, big sideburns, and wearing some terrible bell-bottom pants.  – Clint Eastwood

Mr. Eastwood – be proud of your accomplishments.  Your movies have entertained us for decades and we all have photos we’d rather not display.  For most of us, the hairstyles of the late ’70’s and early ’80’s are not cool by today’s standards, but hey – back then all the girls wanted to look like Farrah and the guys – um…  well, I’m not sure what they wanted [I mean hairstyle…  lol] but those were good days – and your movies are timeless.

Back in the day, certain shirts, jeans, jackets – made me feel so cool and turned the darkest of days into great days!  There was a local clothing store called CRICKET ALLEY and when I close my eyes I can still see the shop and smell the incense burning!

I bought the coolest satin jacket there – it was a beautiful shade of blue with white trim.  I wore that thing everywhere – with a white tee and bell bottom jeans.  A lot of kids could wear the really big bell bottoms – but I was so short – I would have looked like some sort of freaky flying saucer if I wore them.

We wore patches on our jeans – my jeans were always brand new and never had holes in them – but I sewed patches on them – LOL.  I remember one of the patches my mom got for me – it had Smokey the Bear on it – and my poor mom misread one of the words.

It’s funny because my mom never swore – I mean if she said doggone it – you knew she meant business.  When she got the patch home and let my dad read it – he said there’s no way it was going on my jeans.  Mom was confused until dad pointed out the word that she was mistaking for another word.

By today’s standards, it’s not a big deal at all – but back then – it really was.

Smokey the Bear was saying…

HELL, DON’T FOLLOW ME, I’M LOST TOO!

My poor mom thought it said WELL.

LOL – she spent a few hours working on that patch – making the H into a W.  It’s a funny memory – my mom, the sewing machine, the patch and a lot of red thread.

I got to wear it – for a good long while.  It was on the back pocket of my favorite pair of jeans.

We also put patches on Army jackets – we had an Army Surplus store in our city where we’d go get the jackets – we wore them over tee shirts with jeans.

It was a simple time.  I don’t apologize or cringe with embarrassment because I was in great health then, I didn’t make weird noises like I do now.  I had blonde hair – natural blonde – untreated hair and lots of it.  I could hug without hurting and even though we had issues in the government like Watergate – it still seemed like a better time.

At least there were consequences for actions in Washington back then.  There are not even attempts to prosecute crimes in the government now.  There’s a scandal almost every day – and while that gives some news organizations a lot to talk about, there are no punishments for wrongdoing – and I’m scratching my head wondering why?  Isn’t anyone else scratching their head wondering why???

I miss the days when right was right and wrong – was punished.  🙂

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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TO THOSE IN OKLAHOMA

On April 19, 1995, two men decided to destroy the lives of people and destroy buildings, cars and other property.  It’s referred to as the Oklahoma City bombing.  It’s considered a domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.

Because Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols made a decision to carry out this evil plot, 168 people lost their lives and more than 700 people were injured.  We still don’t have answers.  Of course the question on everyone’s mind is – why?

The short answer is – we don’t know why.  We know there is evil in the world – but where there is evil, there is more good.  The best came out after tragedy struck.  Local, state, federal and worldwide agencies helped in the rescue efforts after the blast.  Donations to help were received from all over the country.  Where evil crops up – good overcomes.

McVeigh was apprehended quickly – within 90 minutes of the explosion.  Officer Charlie Hanger , an Oklahoma State Trooper, pulled him over for driving without a license plate and arrested him for illegal weapons possession.  Forensic evidence linked both McVeigh and Nichols to the attack.  Nichols was arrested, and in a matter of days both were charged.  Michael and Lori Fortier were later identified as accomplices.  McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001 and Nichols was sentenced to life in prison.  Michael and Lori Fortier testified against McVeigh and Nichols.  Michael still had to serve 12 years in prison for failing to warn the U.S. government, and Lori received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.

I don’t want to focus on the evil today, but the good.  Those who helped after the bombs exploded at 9:01 – then again at 9:03.

The FBI conducted 28,000 interviews, collected 3.5 short tons of evidence and collected nearly one billion pieces of information.

My husband and I went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial in 2001 and took some photos.  I didn’t think after so much time had passed it would be emotional.  I was wrong.  The memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing.  Every year remembrance services are held at the same time of day as the explosions occurred:  9:01 and 9:03am.

It’s so sad because people were just going to do their job – trying to make a living.  No one thinks that walking into their place of employment will be dangerous.  Since then, we just don’t know if it’s safe to leave the house.  May God give us the strength and courage to live our lives without fear.   😦

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Pardon me if I’m about me today – but I have such good news to share!

If an anonymous comment goes unread, is it still irritating?  – Brandon Specktor

I got such a great report from the eye doctor yesterday!  Each year I walk in his office with a prayer running through my head – “Please God, let there be no retinopathy.”  For twenty years I’ve enjoyed wonderful reports and he always says, “If I didn’t know you had diabetes, I would not be able to tell by looking at your eyes.”  I have one thing to say – THANK YOU, LORD!

All the glory belongs to God.  As I said not long ago, it’s sure not due to my wonderful A1c, as it was a whopping 9.3 at my last appointment – yikes!  I’m now taking 40 units of Levemir every night – and my fasting blood sugars have lowered substantially – I’ve written them down for the past couple of months.  I’ve had nothing over 170, but this morning it was 80.  So, this is truly a balancing act.

I had a chiropractor ask me once why I don’t just lose all my excess weight and get rid of diabetes.  Hmm…  I never went back to his office.  I wonder why?  Newsflash…  when I hit my goal weight, I’ll still be a diabetic.  Yes, a controlled diabetic – but it will never go away.

Fitness – if it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.   – Cher

A big thank you to everyone who sends me messages of encouragement – facebook, twitter, email – the prayers and uplifting words really help me as I walk this path.  When you send encouragement, I find the next stepping stone.  I appreciate your prayers on my behalf.

Everyone has challenges in life – and I guess diabetes is mine.  It gets so frustrating because I go along thinking everything is fine – I’m eating right, exercising and drinking plenty of water, but check my glucose and it’s too high!  Or, as it was this morning – I think I’m in the normal range and check my fasting glucose and it’s down to 80.  I’ve stopped trying to apply logic to something so illogical.  I don’t try to explain why it’s high or low anymore.  I just try to fix it.

So many things affect blood glucose levels.  I understand that it’s more than just eating, exercise and water consumption.  Overall health and stress levels have an effect on it.  Are you good at avoiding stress in your life?  It’s tough, but I’m working on it.

MY INHERITED LIFE

Today I just need to praise God for His blessings in my life.  I’m so thankful for good eyesight and no signs of retinopathy!  It’s a big deal – and a big blessing.  There are three things I want to avoid on this journey – kidney problems, nerve damage and blindness.

Twenty one years…  and I’m still truckin’ along.  I guess God’s not finished with me yet.  🙂

 

1 JOHN 4:16 ON 4/16

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  – 1 John 4:16

Aren’t you so thankful for the love of God?  We can’t always depend on friends or loved ones to have unconditional love – but God understands us when no one else does.

Hurt people hurt people.  That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation.  Break the chain today.  Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness.  Greet grimaces with smiles.  Forgive and forget about finding fault.  Love is the weapon of the future.  – Yehada Berg

Yesterday a “friend” on facebook disapproved of an opinion I had.  It’s no secret that I’m a conservative Republican and there are certain hot topics that push my buttons.  I’m not a fan of socialism at all.  My parents lived through WWII and I’m well versed on the benefits of living in a free nation.

My “friend” told me she thought I was hard-hearted and didn’t think my opinion was very Christian like.  Sometimes “friends” can be downright judgmental and cruel.  It’s funny that a person who does not know the real me (we’ve never met) has the nerve to say those things.  Well – I think she completely misunderstood what I was saying – but we know misunderstandings happen between friends – sadly, even between Christian friends.

Those comments really hurt me and I asked God to help me be kinder and softer – and I asked Him to help me forgive and forget.  The faster I can do that – the happier I will be.  God knew what I was trying to say on my timeline – and I guess that’s all that matters.  Should I not voice an opinion on facebook?  Sometimes when I bite my tongue, I almost bite it in half!  Believe it or not, I’ve shown great restraint!

I don’t think it’s wrong for me to have an opinion about the direction our country is going in.  If we just stay quiet, does that help?  Has it helped so far?  We all need God’s strength and His comfort.  His light and His guidance.  The future frightens me and I love liberty and freedom.  I see it slipping away bit by bit and oh yes – that scares me.  And yes, I know God is in control.

At times like this I’m reminded of this familiar verse:

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  – Unknown

Unknown sure does write some good stuff!  It’s a shame we can’t give someone credit for those wise words.  They are so true!  Because God loves us so much, He will help us do better and be better.  I still don’t think it’s right for Christian brothers and sisters to browbeat each other into “submission” – that’s not our job.  Instead, we need to pray for one another – even when we don’t agree with each other.  God can deal with each of us so much better than anyone else.

Look, nobody is perfect – and I’m like at the very TOP of that imperfect list.  I do my best to be kind and loving, and if something I say doesn’t come across that way, I do apologize.  I hope you will forgive me.

YOUR VICTORY IS WON

On Easter we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  He is our example and He is the one who will help all of us be better human beings.  Criticism from other Christians really doesn’t do much to help anyone.  But God – and God’s patience, His guidance and His love – will stay with each of us – forever.  He will make me better.  I listen to His gentle prodding.  His Holy Spirit helps me, comforts me and sustains me.

It does my heart so much good to know I’m not the only conservative in the country.  I’m in good company!

We drove around in an old Pontiac…  towing a one-wheel trailer.  We weren’t itinerant:  It wasn’t The Grapes of Wrath, but it wasn’t uptown either.  It gives you a sort of conservative background, being raised in an era when everything was scarce.  – Clint Eastwood

Well – we had an old 1968 Chevy – when I got my driver’s license, mom and I shared the car.  I drove to school and when I got home, she drove to the grocery store.  We were not a wealthy family – and yes, when material possessions are scarce, you appreciate and take better care of what you have.  People make me feel like I have to apologize for that – and no, I won’t.  I’m so very grateful for all I have.  Today I don’t want for anything because I know what it’s like to have nearly nothing.

Shouldn’t we be adult enough to discuss political differences without name calling? If I have a political opinion that you don’t agree with, don’t poke at my standing with the Lord!  That’s not cool.  I’m praying for your enlightenment on the matter.

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created Spring.  – Bern Williams

To the sister who wants me to grow a more tender heart:  you really don’t know me – but instead of criticizing and judging – try praying for this ultra-conservative Republican Christian.  I need it – I really do!  Wink!  😉

 

TAKE A WILD GUESS DAY

TL 4-15 TAKE A WILD GUESS DAY

As we all know, today is National Tax Day, but if you are tired of adding up rows of figures to come up with exact answers, the day we’re celebrating will give you a break – it’s also TAKE A WILD GUESS DAY!!!

There are no prizes to be won for guessing correctly, but it should give your mind the break it needs.  Take a chance and take a wild guess today.  Make a bet with a co-worker about something – like is it going to rain???  Pretend you are the great Sherlock Holmes and use your powers of deduction or act on a hunch.

Jim Barber created this day and wanted it to coincide with National Tax Day.  He had a hunch the day would be a great success – and his hunch paid off!  Many people have enjoyed celebrating this wacky holiday in the past.

The whole romance of  [Dirty Harry] is the fact that he’s a guy who hates bureaucracy.  Well, who doesn’t hate bureaucracy? …  You go to the [DMV and] fill out form after form…  That’s part of the bureaucratic nightmare that mankind has made.  – Clint Eastwood

I’m not a huge “Dirty Harry” fan – it’s not really my style, but that famous line from the movie really is appropriate for today – “Do you feel lucky, punk???”

For some serious fun, you could fill a mason jar with jelly beans (counting them as you fill it) and have co-workers guess how many jelly beans are in there.  Or – if there is a pregnant co-worker or the spouse of a pregnant co-worker, you could have everyone guess the sex of the baby if they don’t know already.  How about using that great intuition of yours to scout out a great new place for lunch?  Act on a hunch and choose a place for lunch.  LOL…  yeah – I’m a poet.  🙂

Guessing is really a part of everyday life, when you think about it.  We venture into uncharted territory almost daily, hoping that our senses are not going to let us down.  This is the day to really tap into that sixth sense and shine as a great guesser.

Yep, it’s tax day.  Some of us paid in with no promise of a refund, while some of us paid in anticipating a refund.  No matter what your situation is today, at least there is some comic relief in sight.  Just have some fun, let your imagination go a little crazy and take a wild guess…  about anything!   🙂

ESTHER 4:14 ON 4/14

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If at this time you say nothing, then help and salvation will come to the Jews from some other place, but you and your father’s family will come to destruction: and who is to say that you have not come to the kingdom even for such a time as this?  – Esther 4:14

As Christians in America, we have a few choices to make.  Oh yes, we can choose because God loves us enough to give us free will.  Are some of the choices easy to make?  No, they are not.  When we consider whether we should stay silent or speak out, it requires some soul searching and prayer beforehand.  These days being a Christian in America is more difficult than it was in years past.

GOD SEES EVERY HEART

Our own president said that America is no longer a Christian nation.  Was that wishful thinking on his part?  I believe it was his way of saying that the Christians will be given a run for their money and we should put our money where our mouth is.  If we are true Christians, prove it.  Would you die because you are a Christian?  Many Christians worldwide have already.  There seems to be no outrage in the Christian community over that and I wonder why.

Some of it is that we just don’t know what we can do about it.  We pray for Christians in foreign lands.  Not that prayer is a last resort – it always sounds like that is what we mean, but that’s not it.  We know that prayer is our first line of defense at all times.  We pray without ceasing – over every thought we think and every word we say.

We read Scripture and find out what God would have us do.  Then we read the book of Esther and we have to wonder if God has put us here – at this time – in this place – for such a time as this.  Some will be called to action while the rest of us remain in prayer for them.  Our military and hopefully eventually our government needs to be on board to protect the homeland.

May God bless Israel.  May God bless the United States of America.

For such a time as this.  🙂