TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)sweet-sleepI have a praise to share with you today.  From this day forward, I plan to get a good night’s sleep!  God knows not only what we are in need of (before we even ask), but He is also aware of the desires of our hearts!  In other words…  He definitely knows what we need, but how cool is it that He also knows what we want?

We make our plans and God laughs, so they say.  I had surfed the internet in an effort to educate myself about various furniture manufacturers and to learn about the quality of their products.  I knew I had a certain budget to consider, and found a few possibilities.

Yes, I prayed that God would give us wisdom and a sense of which way to go as we shopped.  I am also aware of the fact that God’s not going to drop things in front of us – we have to get some idea of what we’re going to look for.

This is what I knew yesterday.  I knew our old mattress was going to kill me.  By that, I mean that if I had to sleep on that rock much longer, my body would crumble and become useless.  A rock is soft compared to our mattress – not joking.  People make fun of me for being on facebook or writing a post for this blog at midnight or after (um…  it’s after midnight right now – lol) – but seriously, this recliner is a big soft cuddly teddy bear compared to the rock bed.

I also knew that we needed to buy a couple of new recliners – pretty soon.  We sold our 12-year-old Laz-y Boys at the garage sale – and got a whopping $15 for the pair of them.  So, we’re not exactly working with profit here.

Those are the facts that I knew yesterday.

God knows more than I do…  as usual.  I’m trusting HIM for guidance.

So…  we’re shopping here and there.  I wanted furniture made in the USA.  Call me crazy…  but I want to support American workers.  We found a chair we liked at Ashley’s here in Wichita.  They make their own stuff here in America – and I like that!  But – when we told them we’d like two of the chairs, they made us an offer we just couldn’t pass up.

They told us if we’d buy a mattress, they would throw those two chairs in (yep – both of them) for FREE.  We were skeptical at first, but when we did the math, it sounded like a good deal – and we decided to go for it.  Is God good, or WHAT?

We didn’t tell the sales person at Ashley’s that we needed a mattress and a good night’s sleep, but guess what?  GOD knew the truth!  He takes such good care of us.

God cares about our sleep quality and quantity.  He wants us to be healthy and for our immune systems to be strong.  How does that happen?  It happens when we take care of ourselves with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and enough good quality sleep.  I look forward to some sweet sleep!  🙂






We’re celebrating another day of life today – how do we celebrate?  I’m so glad you asked!  We celebrate in various ways, including taking as good of care of ourselves for each other as we can.  I think I’ve read every self-help book ever written.

Today I want to share some information I’ve gleaned through the years.

  1. Have the nurse at your doctor’s office check both arms when they take your blood pressure.  Why?   Just 15 points or more between the systolic blood pressure readings in your left and right arms could signal heart disease.
  2. Fit a gentle jog or brisk walk into your day.  It could add about 5 years to your longevity.  Just 30 minutes a day will do the trick.
  3. Crossword puzzles are not a waste of time.  When you stimulate your brain with games or puzzles, you keep serious disease like Alzheimer’s at bay.
  4. If you do a lot of typing or texting (and who doesn’t these days?), make sure to stretch your wrists to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.  How?  Rest your palm on your thigh with wrist and knuckles straight.  Completely bend your first-finger joints (which is difficult if those muscles are tight).  With your fingertips tucked under and your nails touching your leg, apply pressure over the knuckles with your other hand.  Hold for seven seconds and repeat 10 times.
  5. Take a deep breath and think of a blessing.  It will give you an instant lift spiritually and make you feel better about yourself.  I’m not crazy – try it!  It works!
  6. Say a prayer for someone who has wronged you.  You absolutely cannot continue to rent out a part of your mind to someone who has wronged you.  Pray for them and kick them out of your brain.  You’ll feel lighter and happier – and they have been prayed for.

Your well-being and happiness are important, especially to your family members.  If you are angry, stressed and uptight, that’s not fair to them.  Give them a great gift – take care of yourself!  🙂




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.


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.  🙂





Today is GARDEN MEDITATION DAY!!! I want to discuss pain management.  I’ve tried several different methods to manage pain, one of them being meditation.

I tend to be ultra conservative when it comes to pain management.  I avoid pain killers prescribed by healthcare professionals. I don’t like feeling brain fog. I need to be sharp to write effectively. Meditation, prayer and time alone with God seem to take me away from the pain and get my mind focused elsewhere.  

Stress and pain are closely intertwined.  When your body is tense and stressed, the key to getting relaxed and releasing the tension is meditation.  I was advised against two types of meditation by my doctor since I was the victim of domestic abuse.  Hypnosis and transcendental meditation.  Both of these involve the complete clearing of your mind, basically giving another person (or whatever) control.  In hypnosis you are trusting another person and in TM you are just clearing your mind completely.  I’m not comfortable with that.  

The Buddhist’s “mindfulness meditation” requires that you focus as opposed to empty your mind. I am a Christian, so I choose to focus on God’s Word and in particular, the Psalms.  There I find strength, joy and peace.  I also find that quiet time and prayer are beneficial for me.  When I’m in a proper frame of mind, it helps me have a better attitude even when my pain level is quite high.  I also find that a cup of hot tea and some Green Hill music playing softly helps.

Remember, we are talking about chronic pain which means the pain never subsides, but is continuous.  If there is something that can break up or interrupt the pain with even a bit of relief, that is welcome!  If you can find something to make you feel even a little better, it is worth doing.  Nothing will ever take the pain away completely, but meditation can help.  Choose your meditation wisely.  Make sure you trust the one you give control of your mind to.

By the way, I do not believe in yoga either. The Om is another invitation to empty your mind, which is attractive to many Christians, but I believe while your mind is empty anything can get in there. I know I may stand alone in that opinion, but it is what I believe. There are wondrous ways to relax with the Lord. Invite Him to help you de-stress. He hears every prayer and no prayer is insignificant. Not even the one that says, “Lord, please help me to RELAX!” Yes, I have prayed that one. He hears it.  Wink!  😉




For many months after my daddy’s funeral I had difficulty going straight to sleep once my head hit the pillow. I was plagued with racing thoughts and the weight of the world seemed to be on my shoulders. I wrote this intending to literally hand God every piece of baggage I felt obligated to carry myself. From the moment I “let go” of the worries and cares, sweet sleep returned.

I’ve slept well since with very few incidents of insomnia and no more racing thoughts when my head hits the pillow! God can take your heavy load and assure you good rest at night too. Just hand it all over to Him. He’s big enough to carry it!

There is sweet peace where once I had panic. God’s love took the place of my loneliness. When I asked God to make it all better, He really did! So, I will occasionally post this little poem with my last “good night” message on my POEMS AND PRAYERS FOR MY SAVIOR facebook page.

I hope you will take the time to visit my page from time to time. Don’t forget to LIKE it. Thank you!

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 4:5b-7

Now sleep is sweet and welcome instead of something to be dreaded and fought. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding… sounds really good to me! And look what it does. I will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. Wow! Bring it on!

Oh – today is my daddy’s birthday. He would be 89 years old. Happy Birthday in heaven, daddy!




You may think I’m just old and sentimental, but I miss the caboose on trains!  Does anyone else miss the caboose being on the back of the train???  LOL!!!  When I was a kid I liked having to wait at railroad crossings for a train because the man in the caboose would always wave at me!  Even trains used to be more friendly than they are now…  sigh.

Boys & girls this is a CABOOSE and it was at the back of trains a long time ago. There was always a man in there and he waved to the cars at the crossing.

We all know the effect that everyday stress has on our health. Maybe it’s time for a nice vacation. When was the last time you took a trip – on a train??? We’re going! Get your bags packed! Today is NATIONAL TRAIN DAY!!!

Often we think of other modes of transportation and embrace them, but rarely do we consider getting to our destination by train. I enjoy watching old movies and some of my favorites include trips by rail. Movies such as The Train, The Grey Fox, The General, and The Lady Vanishes have extensive scenes that include trains. I think Agatha Christie’s Murder on The Orient Express is one of my favorite movies. I would love to ride The Orient Express one day. Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train is a movie I enjoy as well.

There’s a certain ambience on a train ride. It’s so romantic and relaxing.  But with 3 kids along?  Yeah – maybe not.  Here’s a 14 hour train ride…  with 3 kids.  I think at one point they’re asking, “Are we THERE yet???”  Hey – I would be!  Check out the foliage as they travel west – it’s really pretty in October!

My husband and I have taken a couple of short day trips on trains. It was just enough to make me want to go on a longer trip. For our 20th wedding anniversary we rode a dinner train from Branson, MO across the AR state line and back. We also rode a train in Abilene, KS one afternoon a few years ago.

Now I’m ready for my long trip! I have a friend who regularly travels by rail . She thinks I am just as crazy as can be for wanting to take a trip by train. I don’t care. I’ve been called worse.

If you’ve seen the movie Strangers on a Train, you’ll know that it’s not a good idea to get too friendly with anyone else. No, I’d play it safe and just talk with my husband.

Here in Kansas we are in real danger because our Amtrak line does not generate enough to maintain the tracks. Basically, if we don’t start using the train, we could lose our line completely. That would be a crying shame. We have to go to Newton, KS to begin our journey. That is about 20 miles north of Wichita. It’s a small inconvenience really. I hope more Kansans will choose the train to get where they want to go.

Let’s go to Italy and ride this new train!

I’ve always been fascinated with trains and hope to take a nice long train ride one day. I hope you will do the same. 😀



I am a dancer. I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living…. In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.  – Martha Graham, c.1953

Do you think exercise has to be dull and boring and repetitious? Well, think again because today we are going to do the “Funky Chicken!” Today is DANCE LIKE A CHICKEN DAY!!! Remember the 1980’s movie “The Blues Brothers” with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd? It might be a good idea to watch that sometime today just to see some good chicken dancin’.

Dance in the body you have and make it the best you’ve ever done.  – Agnes

As you practice the dance, you can incorporate your own unique style. Add a jump or whatever you want to do. The most important thing is to have fun with it. Dancing should not be something that takes a lot of thought process. Life is too serious already – dancing should be fun!

There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.  – Edwin Denby

When you dance, you release endorphins, the feel-good hormone that boosts your mood. It’s not just about burning calories, it’s about having a good time and being silly! Loosen up – lighten up – be silly once in a while! Smile and do the funky chicken to your favorite music! Or just make up your own music.

Police Dispatcher: Use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of the Blues Brothers HAS been approved.

Oh… and yeah – I WILL be watching “The Blues Brothers” tonight, if you wondered!!! And the scene where they do the funky chicken… I’ll be up doin’ it too!!! 🙂




I’d like to ask you a question: 

Do you sometimes feel like the victim of your own Greek tragedy?  Has the drama in life got you wanting to add the phone number for a-joke-a-day to the most frequently called numbers in your cell phone? 

Let me introduce you to the best stress buster to date.  Zentangle is like Etch-a-Sketch on steroids!  This gives Spirograph a run for its money!  It takes the magna out of magna doodle!

Zentangle is used in hospitals for stress and pain relief.  Zentangle can also influence piano playing!  Since I’ve been a pianist for over 45 years, I thought it would be a good idea to look into this ZENTANGLE thing! Well, the best way to learn something is to first read about it and then experience it first hand if you possibly can.  The more I read about this fascinating art form, the more intrigued I was and the more I wanted to try it for myself.

Upon first glance, this does not look like it’s going to be simple.  It looks a bit daunting, to be honest.  Everyone assured me that it is really easier to do than it seems to be.  You know what?  That’s what everyone says about cross-stitch, but my eyesight will not let me do cross-stitch no matter how large my Aida cloth is!  I was really afraid that this medium of expression would be a similar kind of experience for me.

Evidence suggests that our hormonal reaction to stress may speed up the aging process.  – Vivian Diller, Ph.D.

I do not find such things as puzzles or games to be relaxing.  There is a certain outcome that is expected in all of this.  Freedom of expression is the reason I enjoy music so much.  Even though when you play a piece of music you are told by the composer how it is to sound, you still have the freedom to use your own style and tweak it if you want to.

This is the sort of freeing and uplifting experience you feel as you create with Zentangle.  You can create never-ending, never-changing “solutions” in these amazing creations.  As I understand it, no two Zentangle pieces are alike, because of the individual decisions you make – it is literally one stroke at a time and it’s anybody’s guess what the result will look like.  No pre-planning whatsoever.

It’s calming and relaxing because there is no absolute – no right or wrong way to do it (unlike the Rubik’s Cube) It’s a wonderful way to just rest your brain for a little while and create.  Create what?  Well – we won’t know until it’s finished, but it’s going to be beautiful!  I’ve looked at over a dozen completed Zentangle works and they are all unique and gorgeous.

If you are feeling stressed and a bit boxed in, Zentangle can provide a release of that tension and give you a sense of timelessness, freedom and well-being as you completely focus on your project with no thought or worry about anything else.  It provides a mini-vacation for your spirit.

We all know that stress happens – and there is not a single medical condition or disease that stress benefits!  Stress is bad – but we know it’s there – every day of our lives.  Any bit of relief we can find to escape the horror of stress is welcome indeed!

Walk away from what has you so stressed out and get creative with Zentangle.  It’s a great way to de-stress and forget about life for a while.  I think you will really be surprised at how your mind will go to a much happier place and you will create a unique piece of art in the process!