May 12, 2018

After Consulting the People!

After consulting the people,
Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord
and to praise Him for the splendor of his holiness
as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 20:21

1. GENETICS - I recently received my Ancestry DNA results -- I'm a mixture of  70 % English and Welsh; 27 % Irish and Scottish; and 3% Norwegian. I'm the product of the love of many! Thank you God, for the gift of love and life! 

2. MENTAL HEALTH = I've been feeling a little stressed lately. Feeling rejection from several quarters and some bad and some good things happening, many out of my control, has left me feeling overwhelmed. I recognized that and wasn't afraid to ask for help to understand what was going on. I've got several good, supportive people in my life right now who has coached me through this time (hope I wasn't too much of a whiner! 😁) and I thank God for them - some good doctors, (not every apple in the basket is rotten!) my husband, faithful friends, distant cousins, and a special niece. Thank you guys and gals! 

3. EYEBALLS = Thank you Lord, for eyes that can still see, despite the pigmentary glaucoma that some ancestor kindly passed on to me. I'm thankful that glasses were invented so I can see clearer and for my eye doctor (he takes good care of me), researchers, and  the medication that keeps my pressures down. Here I am, the Glaucoma Foundation's Poster Child!

4.  EARS = I'm thankful for ears that can still hear well enough with volume control without hearing aids! I discovered a voice recorder app on my phone and I used it to record some uplifting choruses to send to a friend. It took me several tries to sing it without recording wheezy breaths too, but eventually I managed. Now to figure out how to save her corresponding discovery of the same on my phone for my "encouragement file"! Nothing like happy songs to lift a depressed mood, right Karen?! 

5. LEGS & FEET = Having legs that swell when it gets warm every spring sucks. One of my favorite prayers was written by Reinhold Niebuhr called the Serenity Prayer and I hang onto it when I'm feeling particularly frustrated because I can't seem to get my immunity issues under control that goes along with it. It's not particularly pleasant to wear hot compression socks or hot bandages wrapped around my legs night and day. My husband has been taking me to the doctors now and he gets so angry when some doctors automatically assume that because I'm a BBW that I must be diabetic (blood test revealed I'm NOT, thank God!) and therefore that's why I keep getting all these infections. I've heard the rhetoric so long "if you'd just lose weight, then this would solve a lot of your problems." Don't you think if it was that easy, I would have done that long ago? Thank God, I have a friend, who understands. He sees the big picture and while I don't understand why he just doesn't heal me, perhaps I'm in a place where I continually need him. I think the apostle Paul went through something similar -- "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12: 9). Paul understood that, when he was weak, then he was made strong in the faith.  

May 03, 2018

Step Behind the Shield. Take Your Emotions With You. Then Hold God's Hand.

Psalm 118: 1, 5-7, 11-14, 19-21, 24, 28-29. 
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
In my anguish I cried to the Lord and he answered by setting me free.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

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1. BIRTH FAMILY = I'm thankful for them.

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3. MEN = As young girls, most of us have formulated our dream man and he was perfect. He knew how to love and cherish us, was kind and gracious to us, took care of us and instinctively knew what we needed before we even asked. 
So going into marriage, we took our dream man with us, thinking that our marriage partner resembled him a little bit and if he didn't, then we could mold him into one like our DM.
Wake up, gal! You aren't married to your dream man -- he's a puff of your imagination! Let him go! The man of your reality will NEVER measure up to your expectations. He's still hanging around because of his love for you and HOPE -- hope that someday you will let go of your dream man and welcome him, warts and all into your heart. He may be a little rough around the edges, but he yearns for your admiration and love and daily wants to hear praise (compliments) and gratitude (thank you's) from you for the things he's done right. A wise woman builds up her house! "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~Proverbs 24:3,4. Treasure your reality man! 

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3. HEALTH NUT = I loved what Stephanie Ackerman said today in her video about crafting everyday -- "Think of crafting as the dessert to our day." Nice thought, Steph! 💖
My homework for this week is to practice using "I" statements, listening skills and reflective statements. And next month we will be talking about boundaries, so a new book that was gifted to my Google library, thanks to JD, came at the right time!
Some friends of mine have had their doctors recommend the Mediterranean diet to them. We have quite a few restaurants in this area that we can eat at with them that cater to that lifestyle of eating.  I wonder what Jesus ate? It would be part of the Mediterranean diet as well!
My husband and I have purchased several packages of heat (microwave) and serve sweet potatoes. Yum!  He has missed his sweet potato casserole though all covered with marshmallow and maple syrup goo on top, so I was looking around for a substitute since refined sugar is out! And I think I've found one that gives a little oomph to the root veggie along with pats of butter! 
I went to Walmart and bought a white plastic flour and spice shaker
And then measured 1/2 cup of stevia powder and 1/2 cup of cinnamon powder into a bowl and mixed the two and then scooped  the mixture into the flour shaker. I tried it last night and it was yummy! 

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4. OUR FIRST PREGNANCY = My husband and I tried for several years to have children. And when I finally did get pregnant, I miscarried my very-much wanted child in my first trimester and had to have an emergency D&C to stop the bleeding as it was an incomplete miscarriage. I never knew the child and never knew the sex of it, but the thing that brought me the most comfort was thinking that my baby was in the arms of Jesus. I can't imagine the grief of parents who knew and loved and lost a child through death.  THANK YOU JESUS for taking in and caring for our first child in heaven! Hope to meet him or her some day there! I wonder if that child knows (s)he has a brother? He was born in the succeeding  year following the death of our first. 
I was reminded of our loss talking to someone at Find-a-grave. I always try to leave a flower at children's memorials there.  

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5. TORNADO SEASON = Has begun with a bang! I had just climbed out of the pickup and was on the sidewalk leading up to our front porch when the tornado sirens went off. I immediately began praying, "Lord, protect us!" And he did! We're safe and sound. Thank you, Dad! 👼

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6. GRATITUDE goes a long way towards developing good relationships. Even if it seems silly, say it: "THANK YOU" or "I APPRECIATE YOU FOR. . ." and then tell them why. It may be the only kind thing a person hears all day! And you can bet, they will remember you for that! 

MARK LOWRY had some  good advice in a recent video: "You will always learn if you are a looking and a thinking. #1. Don't ever use a line you used in high school on a Gaither crowd and 

#2. If you can't see the audience, you don't talk to the audience." He said if someone starts heckling him from the audience, he'll put an overhead spot-light on them instead of answering them back." 

April 11, 2018

Make Known Among the Nations What He Has Done!

"That day David first committed to Asaph and his associates this psalm of thanks to the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!" ~ 1 Chronicles 16:7-10. 

1. ANNIVERSARIES = April is my anniversary month and I'm thankful for my faithful readers! God knows and you know who you are, even if I don't! However, I do know what nations have come to read my blog through my dash-board stats!
As of today, these are the nations who have been recorded visiting my blog. Thank you! = Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and of course, the United States! 

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2. GIRLFRIEND TRIBE = I am thankful for my tribe of girlfriends who love me just as I am, pray for me, laugh with me, follow Documented Faith with me, and I thank God for getting us together! I also thank God for protecting me from people who weren't good for me. Our pastor preached out of 1 Corinthians 15 this last week and I realized when reading this scripture (v. 33) that perhaps that a particular person that I had been pursuing as a friend wasn't meant to be: "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 

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3. BEAUTY SUPPLIES = I'm thankful for nail-clippers. Imagine me, trying to trim my fingernails and toenails with a paring knife! I'm a danger to myself in the kitchen, let alone using a knife on my extremities! 😉

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4. MEDICAL = Well, I'm all set up with a sleep apnea machine. And I'm thankful my mother purchased the machine for me and someone in the sleep clinic I go to was able to set the pressure correctly for me on it. Now to find the right kind of mask and I'm all set! 

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5. BOOKS = Stephanie Ackerman inspired me through a blog post (Thank you, Stephanie!) to compile a list of books I've read and share it with others, so in order to do that, I've set up a Google library with a "Gratitude" bookshelf so you can preview the ones I've mentioned in this post, Modeling Gratitude, along with any others I might make mention of.  Click on the tab above called "My Google Library" to be linked directly to it. 

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6. GROCERIES = Checked out a new-to-us grocery store to see what they might have that I can eat there because I heard they had vegan food. It's called Trader Joe's and yes, while they have organic vegan food there, you still have to read the labels and yes, many of the food have refined cane sugar in it. 

This is my list of artificial sweetener, sugar-free no-no's that have given me irritating issues when I tried them = the pink stuff: saccharin (bitter); the blue stuff: aspartame (ok, but you can't heat it, so baked goods are out); the yellow stuff: Splenda (headache); alcoholic sugars: mannitol, sorbitol (bloating, the gallops). So far, the green stuff: stevia hasn't given me any problems. 

Trader Joe's carry packaged stevia, but the cashier could not tell me if they had any products made with it. The only unsweetened food I found was a package of dried baby bananas and I'll tell you, they were yummy, yummy, in my tummy! And their store brand of chai tea was good too! So I'm thankful I found a least two redeeming factors for going into their store! smile! 

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7. LOOK AT WHAT I FOUND!  -- Bendy Jesus (Half-Price Bookstore; just like Stephanie's!) traveled with us yesterday as we drove my husband's parent's car to central Missouri to attend a family funeral. One of my Documented Faith buds prayed for traveling mercies as the last time we had traveled down there ended in a totaled vehicle. Jesus traveled with us and protected us from all harm, thank you, Jesus