A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.  – Psalm 73:26

I’ve battled the flu this week.  Ugh…  I feel quite weak, so today when I read this portion of Scripture, I was encouraged because even though I may at times fail, yes – but certainly feel sick and weak…  My God is the strength of my heart!  He is with me and will continually provide strength and support within me.  Often when I face a blank screen to write, He helps me to say exactly what He wants us to read – yes, that includes me.  ❤

Today…  I need to hear Don Moen sing this Scripture.  ❤

As we talk about the heart this February, isn’t it great to know that God is the strength of your heart?  I’ll tell ya…  today that is what I needed to hear.  I’m so very thankful for that strength from Him!  ❤

God is a sure and firm foundation, which will bear my weight, and not sink under it.  He is the only One I can rely on because I know this body gets older and sick, it is certainly not dependable in any way.  ❤

You know, in a matter of minutes, all you have can disappear before your eyes.  Not to be a downer, but it’s true – all the things we’ve worked years to build can tumble to the ground.  No matter how educated or successful you are, there are no guarantees in this life.  ❤

The only security and safety is in God.  He is our strength when bad things happen.  He is our security when we feel insecure in this life.  He is our safety in an unsafe world.  ❤

It’s my desire to stay very near to God by faith and prayer.  He promised to become my portion in this world and in the next.  I thank Him and praise Him today for all He’s done and will do for me.  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.  – Psalm 119:34

When we lean on our own understanding, the end result is disappointing, to say the least.  Our Father can see the whole picture of our life and we see through a glass dimly.  How many times have you asked God for wisdom and understanding, just to have Him reveal a truth to you that is a game changer?  When we humble our hearts, minds and agendas to our Father…  it is amazing what a difference it makes in the outcome.  ❤

I know some of you are thinking of the movie BIG with Tom Hanks.  The weird genie machine – you know, the one they asked questions to and the answers popped out and Tom Hanks turned into a kid?  No, it’s not like that.  God is not a magic machine or a carnival game.  He is Holy and omnipotent, just and fair in everything.  He is Almighty God.  When we bow before Him and humbly ask for help, He notices the motive of our heart.  Do actions and intentions matter to God?  Yes, they most certainly do.  ❤

In this verse, David humbles himself before God as he asks for understanding and tells God that he will keep His laws and obey it with his whole heart.  Isn’t it wonderful that we have the awesome privilege to bow before the throne of God Himself and do the same thing?  ❤

When we let God know that we will keep His law and obey it with all our heart, He is not only able, but willing to help us along in our decision-making in life.  May I remind you that the reason God created human beings was for companionship?  He wants a best friend to help through this maze called life.  ❤

The Bible is a road map for life.  It’s so precious to study it and keep its precepts in our minds.  She is to be cherished because She is gold!  ❤she-is-gold

You know, I used to wonder why we had the Ten Commandments and other rules and regs from the Lord.  It seemed like God just didn’t want me to have any fun.  Did you know that we have all these dos and don’ts because God wants to keep us safe?  Good parents have house rules.  Curfew, punishments like grounding, dress code for going out…  it’s all an attempt to keep kids safe.  God is our Father and He wants to help us stay safe.  I love Him for that!  ❤

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.  – Proverbs 21:30

God has impressed on me to ask everyone to pray for the President elect and pray for America.  I know most of us have been doing that for a very long time, but when God gives me a job to do…  I do it.

prayGod does not care which side of the political fence you sit on – and neither do I.  We need to unite and pray as God’s children – it’s as simple as that.

On January 20th, the President elect will become the President.  He has so much work to do in his first 100 days – I certainly do not envy his position.  Let’s come together and pray for God to give him the courage, strength, humility to lean on Him, and especially wisdom to do the right thing for Americans everywhere!

Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?  – 2 Chronicles 1:1

So that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.  – Ezra 6:10

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.  They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  – Romans 13:4

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.  – Jeremiah 29:7

In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.  – Proverbs 21:1

 

Our Heavenly Father,

We humbly bow before You to ask Your blessings on our President elect, Donald Trump.  We pray that you would endow him with Your wisdom and knowledge as he makes decisions that will affect Americans everywhere.  May he execute justice for everyone equally.  We pray that You would build a hedge and surround him with angels at all times.  Keep him healthy and safe please.  Help him to stay focused and energized from above.  May he stay encouraged and positive about the direction America heads from now on.  Please help him to pursue peace and prosperity for Americans as he has promised to do.  Above all, we pray for Your perfect will to be done in our country, Lord.  May we be a blessing to You every day as we are showered with blessings every day.

We ask all of this in the precious name of Christ Jesus our Lord,

Amen.

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During this administration, it’s my hope and prayer that our country will turn back to God and understand that it’s HE who will make America truly great.  May He guide and direct our new President and keep him as only He can.  🙂

 

 

IT’S FINALLY SUMMER

TL 6-20 FINALLY SUMMER

What does summer mean to you?  There are obvious changes – like we can turn the thermostat from heat to cool, all of our comfy comforters come off the recliners and go back into the cedar chest, the sun shines so much later than it did before, and hopefully here in Kansas we are finished with rain every day!

It’s beautiful weather for traveling, so everyone is saving their pennies for vacation.  I enjoy cruising around town in my little cobalt because it has a sunroof – and when that’s open and the windows are down, it’s an amazing feeling to just let the warm wind blow as I drive!

Some people live at the swimming pool or the lake, or maybe the beach.  I’ve still not been to a beach – but it’s definitely on the bucket list – I haven’t scratched it off – and won’t.

Yesterday we went to a fun craft show held in Wilson Park in Ark City, KS.  We didn’t buy anything, but it was such a pretty day, and after the rain it wasn’t too hot, although it was a bit humid.  There are some interesting craft ideas these days.  I really stopped buying craft stuff in the 1980’s when country crafts were popular.GOD ON A HARLEY

Will you ride your Harley this summer?  If you do, wear a helmet – stay safe.

Whatever you have planned for the summer months, above all else, stay cool and hydrated.  It’s important to not get overheated or dehydrated.  There are two common types of heat-related illnesses – heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Heat exhaustion happens after sun exposure or not being properly hydrated while outdoors.  Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.  If not treated, it could result in heat stroke which is more serious because body temperatures can reach above 104 degrees resulting in red, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.

Please take care of yourself – and be aware of others.  If you see someone experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately and attempt to cool the person off in a shady place while waiting for help to arrive.  Without medical attention, permanent disability or possibly death can occur.

Have a fun (and safe) summer!  🙂

 

INTERNATIONAL CLOTHESLINE WEEK

TL 6-4 thru 11 INTERNATIONAL CLOTHESLINE WEEK

http://www.hangtodry.com/

Get on board!  It’s time to save energy and hang your clothes on a clothesline!  Some housing developments with a “no clothesline” clause in the covenant are making allowances for this week only.  Check with your local HOA to see if yours is one of them.  If you can’t string up an outdoor line, you can still use a fold-up rack  http://www.wayfair.com/Drying-Racks-C434826.html or put a short line up inside your laundry room.

My mom always hung clothing and bedding out on the clothesline to dry.  It just made sense because let’s face it, in Kansas there is wind – and plenty of it!  The worst thing that can happen is you end up with bird poop on something – but it doesn’t happen that often.  It’s really bad if the bird has snacked on mulberries.  They grew wild in the empty lot across the street…  yeah.HANGING SHEETS ON THE LINE

Of course, the winds of June will not be as strong as the winds of March, but they will certainly dry those clothes and sheets.  I have the most fond memories of my mother hanging the wash out to dry.  I’ve read other women’s writings about those precious days with their mothers, but my memory includes something that nobody else’s does…  I remember my mom getting her basket of damp clothing about halfway out to the clothesline – and then she would always SNEEZE!   I teased her to no end about it!

I used to make my mom’s clothes pin holder – the bag that hung on the line.  I made them out of my old denim jeans – that were cut into shorts – well, what do you do with the leg part that’s left over?

There are several benefits to line drying your clothes – obviously one is cost.  The electric dryer costs money to run, and the sun and wind is free.  The sun also whitens whites and will disinfect bedding naturally.  It’s great exercise – you have to load your basket with the damp clothes, carry it to the line and bend and stretch as you pin the clothes to the line.  Then you reverse the process when you take things down.  Add in the folding and putting away, and that’s a day’s work!

Your duds will last longer.  When was the last time you cleaned out a dryer vent?  I notice especially with towels and fleece clothing – it’s pretty full after the dry cycle is finished.  Clothing and especially bedding will smell so much fresher after drying on the line.  Line drying also reduces wrinkles – mama used to “snap” things before hanging them – that was to snap the wrinkles out!  Was mom smart, or what?

There are no dryer sheets needed, but line drying actually eliminates static cling because there’s no electricity to cause static cling to begin with.  The times I helped my mom hang laundry are some of the most peaceful and simple times I remember in my childhood.  We had a good time talking and laughing together in the sunshine – I especially liked to tease her about that sneezing…  yeah.

A serious benefit of using a clothesline instead of a dryer is the risk of fire!  Did you know that clothes dryer fires make up over 15,000 structure fires, 15 deaths and 400 injuries each year?  The annual cost in the U.S. for fire loss due to clothes dryer fires is estimated at a whopping $99 million!

It’s really worth considering a more natural way of drying clothes and bedding, isn’t it?  I hope one day soon, the HOA’s across the country will reconsider the “no clothesline” clause in housing developments.  Sometimes ecology and safety need to come before esthetics.  Jus’ sayin…  🙂

 

NATIONAL PLAYGROUND SAFETY WEEK

TL 4-25 NATIONAL PLAYGROUND SAFETY WEEK

April 25-29 is NATIONAL PLAYGROUND SAFETY WEEK!

Each year over 200,000 children are injured on America’s playgrounds.  Because there was not a nationally coordinated effort to insure safe playgrounds, the National Program for Playground Safety was created in October 1995.  It has helped communities across the country examine the critical issues surrounding playground safety.

While having this support is helpful, there are four contributing factors to properly maintain a safe playground atmosphere:

  1. Provide proper supervision of children on playgrounds.
  2. Design age-appropriate playgrounds.
  3. Provide proper fall surfacing under and around playgrounds.
  4. Properly maintain playground equipment.

This spring and summer the entire family can pack a picnic lunch and enjoy their local playground knowing that the children can play with wild abandon.child-1254146_1280Look at this little guy…  he is king of his castle!children-playing-334531_1920Around and around we go…  oh I’m getting dizzy!boy-722420_1920Well, I got to the bottom of the slide and thought I’d just rest a second.playground-888066_1280I’m climbing way up high!playground-855703_1920Here I come… weeeeeee!children-334528_1280Do I look like a monkey on the monkey bars?

On the Playground
By Dr. Holly

I love the playground –
I feel so free
To run around
Between the trees.

I can dance
And I can shout.
I can prance
And jump about.

I can swing
The whole long day.
My feet touch the sky –
Up, up, away!

I can spin
On the merry-go-round
Until I’m dizzy,
Then slow me down.

I can cross
The monkey bars
Like an astronaut
From star to star.

I can climb –
I never stop! –
Like a mountain lion
Straight to the top!

 Physical activity acts as fuel for the imagination…  and imagination, well…  it’s a wonderful gift from God!  We use imagination every day of our lives – so does that mean we need physical activity, or the dreaded “E” word – exercise – every day?  I think that’s probably the case!  So, a day at the playground is just what the doctor ordered!SWINGING THROUGH LIFE

Enjoy those little ones while you can.  Time passes by so quickly and these are not days you’ll get to redo, so spend time with them every chance you get!  Have a great week and stay active!  🙂

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (3)

Does anyone have the number for heaven?  I would really like to call my mom and dad today!

I want to tell them how much fun I’ve had this week and how much I appreciate the lessons they taught me.  Daddy always told me to be aware of my surroundings at all times.  I believe that lesson kept me from harm’s way last night.

We were traveling home and stopped at a well-lit, popular and seemingly busy truck stop in another state last night.  I went in and headed for the women’s restroom.  Ahead of me, I noticed a man standing in the narrow hallway.  He did not appear to be going in to the men’s restroom, nor did he appear to be leaving it.  He was just standing there, leaning against the wall.

Something told me to wait…  so I stopped in my tracks and did an about-face, heading toward the grocery section of the store.  I pretended to need something, but was of course, watching the actions of the man.

I thought maybe he was waiting on someone – but nobody came out.  It seems like he stood there for several minutes (my poor bladder was convinced he stood there an hour).  I never felt it was safe to go back there.  My instincts kicked in…  the instincts my father instilled in me.  The instincts my heavenly Father helps me to remember.

I prayed that no other woman would walk back there – and that prayer was answered.  I got tired of waiting for him to leave, so I went to the clerk and told him about my concern.  I didn’t want to get an innocent man in trouble, but I didn’t want to assume he was innocent and live to regret it if he wasn’t.

God’s Holy Spirit helps me to use wisdom at times like this.  I praise Him for that and thank Him for giving me a dad who taught me to be observant of my surroundings at all times.

Was I being paranoid?  I’ll never know, but I got home from vacation safely.  I want to encourage you to listen to the little voice inside that tells you that something doesn’t look right.  If you see someone who is neither coming or going from a restroom, that’s not normal.  If there seems to be no good reason for a person to be there, they are probably up to no good.

At any rate, I had a very good time and would love to call my folks and tell them all about it.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  I always talked about vacations with my mom.  I used to call her on the phone from the motel – yeah, wish I could do that again.

So, what did we find at the Longaberger Homestead???

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I have wanted wrought iron shelving to organize my “coffee” stuff for so many years.  I found it at a quaint little shop in Dresden, OH.  I decided to get one for the kitchen upstairs and one for the bar downstairs!  I’m so tickled with this find.  We found other things too, of course, but the shelving was something I’ve wanted for a long time.

There was one piece of sad news from the Longaberger Homestead.  They have closed Crawford Barn because the furnace exploded!  All of the basket making is done in the main building now.

Do you enjoy Longaberger baskets & pottery?  Me too!  I have a group called “I’m a Basket Case” on facebook!  I hope you’ll come over and join us!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/669536513153216/

It’s great to get away, but wonderful to be back home.  We’re so thankful for traveling mercies and that God brought us home safe and sound.  🙂

VIOLIN DAY

TL 12-13 VIOLIN DAY

 

12-13 FOLKSY OR FANCY

If you were in your school’s orchestra and happened to play the violin, your parents were saints!  When a person is first learning to play the violin, it can sound like fingernails on a chalkboard!  It was bad enough for my parents to have to hear me practice the piano, but there is nothing like the sound of a budding violinist!  But once you get past that stage, with encouragement, practice, love, and fiddle camp, this can happen:

Or this:

Today is VIOLIN DAY!  I played the clarinet in many orchestras and got to see the instruction given violinists.  It’s interesting to watch the unspoken language between the conductor and the first chair violinist.  So much goes on in the orchestra that most people aren’t privy to.  It’s not as easy as they make it look – trust me.

This is precious – I love to watch the little ones, don’t you?

I know – this was 8 years ago – but one thing is for sure – now he is potty trained!

A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.  – Leopold Stokowski

This blows me away – such beauty from one so young!

There is no shortage of young talent on You Tube!  Listen to this!

Honestly, at 7 years old, I was out making mud pies after the rain!  I’d like to say that experience helped my culinary skills, but I still have not made my own pie crust – shhh…  don’t tell!

I’m so impressed with the talents of these youngsters, but to be honest, my musical taste veers toward the “fiddle” sort of violin.  There’s an old musician’s joke:

What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?  You don’t spill beer on a violin!

Yee-haw!  Let’s go to the Grand Ole Opry! 

Here he is on his own front porch:

Dang, boy!!!

Nailed it!  Does she have a country soul, or what?

He will be playing at barn dances – probably already does!

There’s a thin line between country fiddlin’ and Celtic fiddlin’…  learn to play those rolls an’ there ya go!!!

Makes me want to put my clogs on!  Wait…  I don’t have clogs.  How about fuzzy socks?

Bravo to all the young talent around the world!  Your talent does not go unnoticed and we appreciate the contribution you make to our lives!

Silent Night…  Holy Night.  That about says it all…

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  A safe, peace-filled, worry-free, no-stress, love-enriched New Year.  May God bless you as only He can.  🙂

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx

NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE AWARENESS DAY

TL 11-30 NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE AWARENESS DAY

 

11-30 NOT EVEN ONCE

We recognize November 30th as NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE AWARENESS DAY, in order to generate awareness about the damaging effects of meth abuse on individuals, families and American communities.

A picture says it all.  I watched this and cried.  I’m not just sad, I am mad!  The dealers are getting rich, knowing they are systematically killing their customers.  It’s blood money, but in most cases the dealers are just as hooked as the customers.  Where does this end?

Meth labs are in decent neighborhoods.  Some people move many times in an attempt to escape drugs.  A friend told me there was a meth lab about a block away from their house – in a small abandoned cinder block house.  Meth makers are like rats in the dark.  They wander around looking for an empty building to inhabit.  They’ll use any kind of building and they don’t care if there are children playing next door.  Actually, they count that as a bonus.  Dealers have no conscience and will get anyone at any age hooked on meth.  Remember, if they’re making their money that’s all that matters.  They don’t care where the kids get the money (they often steal it from their parents).  Meth dealers are selfish and destructive.

Even if a person moves to a so-called “upscale” neighborhood there is no guarantee there will not be drug dealers close by.  Some of the more affluent areas are where the high schools seem to have the worst problems with drug use.

Some things are simply out of our control.  All we can really do is teach our children about the evils of drug use and warn them about what could happen in their high school.  We pray over our neighborhoods and our schools and hope the kids listen to our advice.

If you have a neighborhood watch or a homeowner’s association, make sure they are on board with drug issues – on the lookout for any suspicious behavior and ready to report it to the authorities.  At any cost we need to protect the kids as much as possible.

Unfortunately, addicts often become thieves in order to afford their expensive habit.  Please see this link for common sense advice about displaying wrapped gifts in front of open windows.

http://www.crimedoctor.com/home_security_3.htm

It’s tempting to have your beautiful Christmas tree displayed in a large picture window with presents underneath.  Think about how tempting it would be for someone to smash your picture window and take the gifts.  Even if you feel secure in your neighborhood this sort of burglary can happen.  Addicts will do anything to get the money for their next high.

I pray for the ones who are addicted – and for the ones who fund their habit by selling to children.  I pray for the children who are tempted to try drugs or feel peer pressure to give in to temptation.  I pray for our neighborhoods – that God would bless us and protect us from this evil behavior.  I pray for the rehab facilities set up to help addicts and that the addicts would see their need to take advantage of those facilities.  I pray for the 12-step programs offered in churches.  May they help many addicts in Jesus’ Name.

This is the day we recognize the problem exists, raise awareness and remind each other that we need to be more vigilant about where our children go in the neighborhood and who they hang out with.  We love our kiddos and want to protect them.

Leave me a comment here if you vow to never try any drugs.  By leaving a brief note such as I PROMISE, you are being proactive in your determination to stay away from this temptation.  I hope after reading this post you will take a moment to leave a message.  I promise to pray for you – that God will help you to keep that promise.  ❤

 

 

PLUSH ANIMAL LOVER’S DAY

TL 10-28 PLUSH ANIMAL LOVER'S DAY

10-28 HUGS FOR SISSY

Today is PLUSH ANIMAL LOVER’S DAY!!!  This comes at a particularly appropriate time of year in my opinion.  As I drive around my neighborhood there are scads of pumpkins and hay bales, but there are also a few very scary decorations at some houses.  Also, as I look at world events, it’s easy to say “I want my plush animal” – oh come on, you know you think it sometimes too.

Do you remember your first plush animal?  My granny LaVella gave me a big bear that was taller than me!  His name was Higgins and he went everywhere with me.  With Higgins by my side I could do anything!  I’m sure he was a store-bought bear, but I know Granny made stuffed animals for some of my cousins.  Take a look at this girl’s collection of Build-a-Bear plush bears.

Wow!  You know, I was under the impression that those are not exactly inexpensive to make either.  That collection is quite impressive.  Some people make their own plush animals.

I wish I could do that (and quilt), but let’s face it, I’m just not the seamstress I want to be.

I enjoy and appreciate innocence.  Part of that is watching children or animals with their plush animal toys.  I love Operation Christmas Child so this video just warmed my heart.  It is amazing what the little items in those shoe boxes can achieve – look at those little girls smile!  😀

And here’s a video that gets 5 stars on my AWE meter…  it’s so cute when the stuffed animal looks like the real one!  LOL!!!

I’m not sure what it is about our plush animals (or the real ones for that matter) that make us feel so much more safe and secure, but today is the day to hug them even more than usual.  I’m sure more than one article has been written on the subject and featured in Psychology Today magazine.  While I’m sure it is a false sense of security, you have my permission to take your teddy bear to bed with you tonight too if you want – wink!  😉