Flowers are Coming Back

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  – Revelation 22:12-13

Maybe it’s just me, but winter seems to linger and last forever!  My friend Kelly is a gardener.  She has had her seed packets since February and posted one cold winter day that she is going to have to wait two more months to plant her seeds.  It’s excruciating, this time between winter and spring.  Here in Kansas, even when spring is officially here, we still have rain and chilly temperatures.  We don’t trust anything we plant to be protected before May.  Winter is the longest season – and we have no choice but to be patient and wait for warmer weather.  But the watchword is…  ANTICIPATION!  We prepare, then we wait!  

Sometimes I’m tempted to feel the same way about the second coming of Christ.  I want the Lord to hurry up – but He reminds me that not everyone is ready for His return.  It makes me feel selfish, to be honest, but once that feeling passes, I realize that it’s just a reminder that I need to get to work!  The Gospel is something to be shared, not hoarded.  Our Lord wants everyone to be ready to make Heaven their eternal home!

Remember the Great Commission?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  – Matthew 28:18-20

I like the last part of this portion of Scripture:  I am with you always, to the very end o the age.  Do we know when that will be?  Nope.  Nobody knows except God Himself.  Even Jesus won’t be privy to that information until it is time!  So, while we’re waiting for the end of the age, we need to be busy in whatever way we can, sharing and caring for the lost souls around us.

Revelation says that Jesus is coming quickly.  I’m sure you think as I do…  “You call this QUICKLY” – ???  We’re not questioning God – we really aren’t.  We’re just saying that the time between Christ’s resurrection and His second coming to earth has been a very long winter…  but we wait with anticipation, knowing that one day the proverbial spring will arrive and we will be enjoying the most beautiful garden we’ve ever seen.  The best news of all is that, we’ll never have to endure another winter again!  🙂

 

 

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FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

tl-from-my-heart-to-yoursFebruary is a rough month for me – I’ll just admit it.  It’s a time when I remember a lot of happy times that I’ll never get back.  My mom’s birthday was the 15th and my dad’s birthday was the 21st – just a week apart!  I always baked a heart-shaped cake for my mom – and put pink or red icing on it with little red-hot candies.  We never had fancy celebrations, but we had each other and that’s what really mattered.  I can’t remember any of the gifts I gave her, but I remember the love in the room while she opened each of them.  ❤

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My dad loved German chocolate cake – and I’m not a baker – so to the boxed cake aisle I’d go to pick up a mix and some icing – although I’m not sure you can call that icing – I suppose it is…  that coconut concoction.  LOL!  Dad’s cake was a simple 9×13 sheet cake – I never made a cake that had to be stacked – I’m practical – and if that puppy had to ride in the car with me – it was going to be a sheet cake!  ❤

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Dad’s Birthday 2-21-85

I have memories recorded on 8mm film – which a few years back I had put on DVD.  There’s no sound, but I can read lips just fine.  I remember every word, even though I can’t hear their voices.  I can’t hear their voices…  but I will hear them again.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

I’ve made a sort of study out of this grief journey.  This blog is one manifestation of my grief experience.  I hope it’s made me more empathetic to others, if nothing else.  When people you love die, you don’t have anywhere for that love to go anymore.  This month I went out to the cemetery and replaced the flowers – but there were no hugs, no smiles, no warm greetings.  Thankfully, there was no snow, or it would have been colder still.  There’s nothing quite so cold and, well, dead…  as a cemetery.  Without faith to sustain, it would appear that it’s all over and there’s no hope.  Ah, but there is faith – there is hope.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

One of these days my Savior will come for me and all who have asked Him into their hearts and lives.  Whether I have the opportunity to live out a full life and die – or get snatched up and fly away…  it really doesn’t matter because I’m going to see Christ face to face.  These memories I hang on to for now…  well, I won’t need those anymore.  I’m not going to pretend to know exactly what lies ahead – but I trust God, through my Savior – and whatever it is…  it’s okay by me.  ❤

Here’s what I do know.  I will see my family again – and it’s going to be great because there will be hugs, smiles, and warm greetings – and we will never have to say good-bye again!  ❤

A Prayer for the Grieving

Lord, please come sit with me today. I need you now as I’m so sad. My heart can’t take much more. Just let me feel again. God, please heal my broken heart. In the quietness, I feel closest to you. Help me to serve others despite the pain. Let peace and love surround all who grieve today, tomorrow and always. I trust you to carry me through this long journey of grief and pain. Thank you for allowing me to share the life of my precious loved one. Please give me comfort in my pain, your love to see me through, and your strength to keep me going. Amen.

When they died, I thought I might too.  But somewhere along the way, the memories took over where the pain was once so raw I thought I couldn’t stand it.  ❤

You know, everyone in school was a bit jealous of me because I was an only child and didn’t have to “share” anything with siblings when I was at home – but let me tell ya…  there’s a flip side to being the only one – it’s lonely when you realize you’re responsible for everything.  I relied so heavily on my parents, not only for moral support, but for spiritual support.  I knew they prayed for me every day.  I miss those prayers so much.  ❤

 

SHOP SMALL SATURDAY

images-3I’m the first to admit that I spend a lot of time and money at the big box stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club.  It’s convenient and I know what I need will be there for a reasonable price.  But today is going to be different because I’m going to check out some of the small businesses in my own back yard!  I’m excited because many of these stores are filled with unique items that I’d never find at a big box store!

When you’re Christmas shopping, it’s nice to find one of a kind gifts.  There’s nothing like walking into your Walmart after Christmas and seeing a whole rack of the same sweater you got…  am I right?  Maybe it’s a girl thing – but I think guys like to get unique items too.

It’s not easy to maintain a small business, and if we don’t want them to disappear, we need to do our part to frequent and support them.  Today I’m going to share some of my favorites and spark some interest hopefully in shopping at small businesses.

www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com

cyber-mondayIf you have enjoyed this blog through the years, then you will really like Lucinda’s devotional book “A Second Cup with Jesus”.  Her writing is so spot on and heartwarming.  I believe that the Lord will speak to you through it.  ❤images-222

chellees-pieVisit my friend Chellee’s restaurant in Marion, Kansas!  It’s called Aunt Mae’s (named after her mama).  I’m so very proud of her because I know it’s something she has worked hard to accomplish.  Y’all let her know I told ya to come see her, okay?  And save room for some of that delicious cherry pie!  Stay on main street and you can’t miss her place – it’s the cute little white place with a spacious parking lot.  Enjoy!images-218

https://www.facebook.com/toddscustomboards/?fref=ts&__mref=message_bubble

Check out Todd’s deal for today only…  a 10% discount on orders made today!

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imagesbk2p4f0zSome folks are not into antique shopping like I am…  but there are some amazing antique stores in my area!  I could never pay retail prices for Longaberger baskets, but sometimes I can find some good deals in antique stores and flea markets.

https://www.facebook.com/FlyingMooseAntiqueMall/?fref=ts

The Flying Moose Antique Mall here in Wichita is having some good sales on their stuff through Christmas.  I may see if they have a Longaberger acorn basket – I’m determined to find one for a reasonable price!  I’m patient…  the right one will come along.  😉  I have a few Christmas gifts to shop for as well.  That may be a destination for me today!

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https://www.facebook.com/Hen-Feathers-Quilt-Shop-137758583334/?hc_ref=ADS&fref=nf

If you have a quilter to buy Christmas gifts for, there are discounts to be found at Hen & Feathers Quilt Shop in Wichita, Kansas today!

And Wichitans should also think about supporting the small businesses in Old Town!  Sometimes they have pretty good sales and you’ll find unique items that those big stores don’t carry.

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lifeisagardenparty.blogspot.com

Judy Janowski is the very talented author of a wonderful book called, “Life Is A Garden Party”.  She writes poetry and prose that centers around gardens and the beauty of God’s creation.  If you want to read a book that is uplifting and positive in nature (nature…  see what I did there?)  I think you’ll really enjoy this wonderful book!  Sign up to follow her inspirational blog at this link also.

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Here are the kinds of shops that I like to go in and browse – and by browse, I mean not be rushed through.  LOL!

I like handmade stuff – soaps and such.  I like little boutique shops tucked away…  my heart beats a bit faster when I spot one of these out of the way places!soap-1209344__340

I also like the flower shops that are also antique stores – have you seen any of those?  What an unusual combination, but it works!

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There are literally hundreds of small businesses in communities all over the country.  These are just a few of the possibilities!  Don’t forget to click on these links not only for Shop Small Saturday – but on Cyber Monday also!

On Saturday the 26th of November, plan to shop small.  Bring along a bestie to help you carry your haul.  – seen on facebook today.

buy-1299519__340If you do take a bestie along to help carry your haul…  make sure you buy them a coffee!  I mean, seriously – that would be nice, don’t you think?  When you go to get it, think small…  remember, today is all about supporting the small businesses!  I would go along with a friend and carry bags for a good cup of coffee and girl talk and all that…  jus’ sayin’…  😉

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This special emphasis on small business has taken place the Saturday after Thanksgiving since 2010, and the impact has been felt by small business owners everywhere.  It’s not easy to start a business these days, so everything we can do to support small business owners is greatly appreciated.  🙂

 

 

 

 

DANDELION DAYS

TL 5-6 DANDELION DAYS

Here’s a link for you to look at if you’d like to know more about this event.

http://www.dandelionday.org/

My favorite color is yellow – I suppose because it makes me feel happy.  In our neck of the woods, the puffy little yellow flowers are called weeds, but this event celebrates and protects dandelions!  I hope you’ll take a look at the link because it looks like they are gearing up for some serious fun.

I just finished designing a cute poem by Lucinda.  It’s about…  you guessed it – DANDELIONS!  I have to share it today.PUFFY GOLDEN FLOWERSHow much do you know about dandelions?  Well, beginning with the bad news, 30% of America’s water supply is spent watering lawns in an effort to keep non-native grasses green and weed free.  Pesticides are applied to kill off dandelions and other weeds as well.  Dandelions are common weeds that can harm your lawn’s growth by establishing deep roots in the soil.

Now it’s time to hear the good qualities:  The dandelion flower opens when the sun comes up and closes when the sun goes down.  Some folks eat dandelion salads!  They are also used for medicine and even dye for clothing.  Before the 1800’s people actually pulled the grass from their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful weeds like chickwee, chamomile and malva.  Most people cannot name the weeds in their yard, but almost everyone knows a dandelion by sight.  Why are these puffy golden flowers called dandelions?  It’s taken from the French word “dent de lion” which means lions tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves.horse-108441_1920

Dandelions are God’s happy yellow spots dotted across pasture land.dandelion-735814_1920

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The First Dandelion

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,

As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,

Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass–innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,

The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.

Source: “Leaves of Grass,” by Walt Whitman

Isn’t the simplicity of spring a blessing?  I think the most precious thing to see is a child walking toward me carrying a wicker basket filled with dandelions.  Let’s make memories we can cherish our whole lives.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)AWell, we are nearly a month into winter and it’s not been too bad yet here in Kansas.  We’ve had a couple of earthquakes, but not much snow so far.  Every day that we have mild temperatures and no snow, I thank God because I’m not a big fan of ice and snow – at all.

LEFTOVER SNOW

But what’s Coyote John up to???  Looks like he’s LOST IN THE WIND!  That’s not difficult in Kansas – trust me!  😉

https://youtu.be/I5pE_T8dZh0

I enjoy watching videos on YouTube that my friend John makes.  He shows us the outdoors like nobody else does!  Most of us drive along the highway, passing by all that Mother Nature has to show us.  Let’s watch his most recent video recorded last December.

https://youtu.be/UuU6iLJif5o

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more          welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.  – Helen Keller

GOD'S THEREBetween RA, sciatica and type 2 diabetes, there are days when I can barely function.  I wonder if people like John know how much it helps to be able to watch their YouTube videos?  It’s the next best thing to getting out for a walk myself!

https://youtu.be/2SoMjOMfXrI

O, money can’t buy the delights of the glen,
Nor Poetry sing all its charms:
There’s a solace and calm ne’er described by the pen
When we’re folded within Nature’s arms!  

 – James Rigg, “Nutting Time,” Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897

https://youtu.be/OE2SIy64oTI

POEM FROM THE PRAIRIE LADY

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers — for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  – Osho

A great big THANK YOU to John for showing us nature in winter – while we sit indoors all snug and warm.  😉

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

I know to people outside of Kansas this may seem a little silly…  but we get excited about the state flower…  the SUNFLOWER!

I LOVE KANSAS

FARMER TED'S SUNFLOWERS (1st week of September)

Early September in Kansas is pretty amazing!  There is a field of sunflowers about 3 hours northeast of Wichita – and we just got word that they now have ONE MILLION sunflowers in their field – and what a sight it is!  The farmer’s wife posted on her facebook page that on September 5th the flowers were wide open.  This is how Kansans know that autumn is around the corner!  They only stay open for two weeks.  They don’t stay open long, so it’s important to go see them right away – or you’ll miss them.  We didn’t get to the field until the 10th of September, and sadly, the rain came the night before, so the sunflowers looked a little sad.  Their little heads were bowed.  😦

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

My Scrapbook-screenshot

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

https://www.facebook.com/GrinterFarms

Visitors call it the “sea of sunflowers”.  Farmer Ted Grinter has been growing sunflowers for almost 30 years. More than 10,000 visitors came last year.  I get a kick out of reading posts from the farmer’s wife – she is so funny!  She wants to make sure we know that there are no restrooms (apparently, she’s been asked that a few times through the years).  😉

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

She also said that they are a row crop farm that just happens to grow a few sunflowers.  A few?  Yeah – one million!  But sunflowers are the essence of Kansas.  They are the Kansas state flower.  We wake up in September – the sunflowers brighten our wit and give us energy!

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Muddy field and heads bowed low…

And guess what?  Kris, farmer Ted’s wife – has a blog!  Check it out:

http://krisgrinter.blogspot.com/

May God bless the one who made this You Tube video!  It’s amazing.  Grab a cup of coffee and take a tour of the sunflower field for yourself.

https://youtu.be/EtoMQSrDrcI

It was an amazing trip!  Soon we will go to the State Fair eating Pronto Pups, but that’s for another blog post.  Now…  be honest, don’t you wish you lived in Kansas???  Wink!  😉

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART1

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience…  – Romans 5:3

I’ve asked God to help me keep my sense of humor during this time of waiting.  Have you ever had to wait while in pain, just wishing that things would move along more quickly than they are?  At this point I know I will have surgery – but I don’t know when yet.

God reminded me of something today while I was looking around at a local nursery.  The most beautiful flowers surrounded me, so I slowly toured the open market and took in every little thing.  There were Monarch Butterflies everywhere!

I watched one of the butterflies on a flower.  Butterflies are such delicate creatures, yet when the wind kicked up, it was not blown off the flower.  The wings bent a little with the wind, but the sticky “feet” of the butterfly kept it in place.

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God spoke – “I gave that butterfly what it needs – to do what it needs to do.”

Will God do less for you and me?  Certainly not.

I’ve been a Christian for a long time.  There’s an old joke – you should never pray for patience because if you do, you will be given a trial or tribulation.  I assure you, I did not pray for patience, yet – here I am, dealing with a trial.

ALL I NEED

I feel hopeful now that God will help me through this.  It’s just a rough patch, a tribulation – thankfully, a temporary tribulation.  Pain makes most of us sparkle a little less, though we always want to be a good representative for our Savior.  It’s our opportunity to prove that His strength is perfect in our weakness.

He must become greater; I must become less.  – John 3:30

He knows my frustration in my situation right now, but He will give me everything I need to get through.  I know I’ll feel so much better after my surgery.  I do pray that God will help me in the meantime – and I know He will.  🙂