Sunday, November 30, 2008

Regrets about not Visiting Grandmother

My 96 year old paternal grandmother died Friday evening.  When my sister called, I experienced anger toward myself more than grief for our grandmother's death.  She had dementia, Alzheimer's, they think, for a number of years.  The last time I saw her was after a stroke about 2 years ago.  They told me she may not know me, but she did.  I enjoyed seeing a language therapist work with her, and determined that I was going to visit her more, and do the things the therapist did with her, like starting a well known rhyme, and having her fill in the last word.  My parents and my dad's siblings and their families did a lot for her.  My cousins, who I rarely see probably went to see her, so they won't have the regrets I do.

This morning in church, our Pastor talked about how we put things off, then have to hurry.  He tied it in to the Word by saying that our waiting, or procrastinating can be part of our sinful side, but God's waiting has a purpose, to draw us to depend on him, or so that events will bring about some other part of his plan.  Anyway, at the beginning of the service, a video was shown about people being busy every day.  At the end it asked if we knew Jesus was coming back today, how would we spend our time.  

As soon as the video started, I knew what it was about, and for the first time since Grandma's death, my tears flowed.  Then, during different parts of the service, the tears would be triggered again.  I was a little embarrassed, but I just let them come, because I needed them to.  I put in a prayer request for our family, so people knew why I was crying.  But were my tears for Grandma's death?  I think she was ready, and really, I lost my grandmother awhile ago.  Still, I could have been a source of comfort for her, and she could have been a blessing to me.  I think the tears were from a feeling of regret of what could or should have been.  I am so thankful for God's forgiveness, and the fact he will not hold a grudge against me for being "too busy" to go see my grandmother.

After church, I told Pastor and some people I know well that this was the first time I had cried since hearing of her death.  Now, I need to be in the Word every day, not just the days I get finished with other things on time.  I need to seek God's help in how I spend my time.  I want to be a better steward of the time God gives me.  I know my parents would like to see us more. Any prayers for me along these lines would be appreciated.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Translation Widget Added

Welcome, anyone who speaks another language!  

I have a more detailed post in my other blog about getting to know people through blogging that you can find by clicking on the link under the "About Me" picture. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ABCs of the Word, "S"

1 Peter 3:15-16 is a good passage for those of us who will see people over the holidays we don't see often, who may not be believers.  For more ABC's of the word, go to Grey Like Snuffie.  After typing the passage, I realized there are two "S" words, but they are both actions people take, one good, one not.  I had looked at several passages, and was thinking this had more "S"s in it.

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Word-Filled Wednesday

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

This is my first Word-Filled Wednesday.  I want to relate this to Thanksgiving by saying that I am thankful God has patiently worked with me to change my thought life.  I have tended to be a worrier, and would let myself stew about problems and people in my life.  He brings me to this verse a lot.  Verse 9 goes on to say that the peace of God will be with us as we put this into practice.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!   For more Word Filled Wednesdays, click on the logo or on the name here,  Amydeane's blog.  

Edit: (I will need to figure out how to post the logo.  I have obviously done one before, but this morning have not been able to get it to work.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 23

Today I am thankful for having clothes to wear, and for being almost caught up with my laundry.  I remember reading somewhere about being thankful for having to keep up with various duties, or having certain kinds of problems, like dirty dishes in the sink, because it means you have that possession, such as food, (and dishes) when others may not.  So, for those things, too, I am thankful.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 22

Today I am thankful that our grandson is getting over being sick, and that he and Heidi, our yellow lab are becoming such buddies.  These photos were taken this evening.  If you click on the yellow rose, you will get to Joyce's blog.  She is the one who started the 30 thankful days idea.  God Bless!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ABCs of the Word

Today's letter for ABCs of the Word is "R".  I have chosen 2Corinthians 5:14-21.  It's a longer passage, and I'm not going to have time to put Grey like Snuffie's flower here until after work, but wanted to get the Scripture up.  As I was looking in my concordance for what to use, I saw words like, "rejoice" and "resplendent"  that I thought were pretty cool, but when I saw "reconciliation"  I wanted to use that, because it's a good word to remind us what Jesus did for us, and how we are to forgive each other.  It tells us here that God is not counting our sins against us.  This may be helpful, realizing there may be people we only see at the holidays that need ongoing forgiveness from us.  

"For Christ's love compels us, because he died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who gave us the ministry of reconciliation: That God was reconciling the world to  himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ's behalf:  be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Giving Thanks Day 19

Today I am thankful that my daughter likes the small apartment she is moving into.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 18

I can't remember whose blog had the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing last night, but I am thankful for the message of that song, and the fact that it was going through my head most of the day, and I was humming it up and down the halls, and in the classrooms as I was working with students today.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

Giving Thanks, Days 16 and 17

I missed yesterday.  I have been reading a bunch of Carol's at May Dreams Garden's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day blogs, and not keeping up with answering my own comments or writing about what I'm thankful for.  

I am up past my bedtime again!  I am thankful God is giving me strength for each day, even though I'm not making myself go to bed on time.

I am also thankful for warm clothes and blankets on cold fall and winter days.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 15

Today was one of my 4 times a year days to buy the groceries and lead a group in the preparation of supper at a local outreach organization.  There happened to be a training session this morning that I also attended, so it's been a full day.  Our city is in the process of making a beltway to avoid flooding, and the program is needing to find a new home.  I knew they were going to have to move, but found out today, the city is planning on building a parking garage on the site!  They are working to eliminate homelessness, and with the service provided, it would cost the city if they weren't around.  The people who come to eat the meals do not have to apply or show they have needs, but I found out the programs they offer to help people pay bills and stay in their homes do check on their eligibility.  They also teach them skills for healthy living and do health screenings.

So, today, as I was working in the kitchen, I thought of how thankful I am to have a home.  It's not one that people would consider desirable by today's standards, but it will be paid off within a year.  I am thankful that we have no other loans or credit card bills.  We have health insurance and money to pay the high cost of the portion insurance does not cover for health care.  Psalm 145:15: 

"The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 14

My husband and I had the day off because of a volleyball tournament at our school.  I asked him if he wanted to go to some thrift stores.  Our daughter is moving, and needs some things, but we also like looking around for things we might use.  I wanted him to take me to an estate sale in an area of town that isn't around any of the places we usually go.  

If there is more than one way to get somewhere, DH and I will automatically choose different ways.  I am usually quiet about it, but today, the street we needed to go on goes through to the one we were already on, so I asked him why he turned on the one he did.  He said it was because the bridge (that had been closed for rebuilding) was open.  The next turn he made was a dead end.  Then, a bit further down the road, he turned onto a street going the opposite direction we needed to go, and it took us a few miles out of the way.  Just before he turned, I exclaimed, "Don't turn here!"  I was not feeling very patient, partly because I was hungry.  When I asked him why he turned that way, he said it wasn't a big deal that he made a wrong turn.  (He was thinking there would be a loop to take him the other way, but I read the sign, and it indicated the other way.)

So, after going a few miles in the opposite direction, going even farther that way than our house, where we started from is, adding 15-20 minutes to what would have been less than 20 minutes to get there going the "best" way, he dropped me off at the sale, because it was a busy street, and there was no parking.  Oh, my!  They had nothing at the sale I was interested in!  Then, I stood out in the cold, waiting for DH to come back to get me!  

I prayed, and asked God if I was supposed to stay home and clean like I had originally planned.  We stopped at a nearby Goodwill store after eating a sandwich, and I don't think we bought anything.  I asked DH whether he wanted to go to more stores, and he said he didn't really need anything, but he'd take me around if I wanted him to.  I thought to myself, I could have gone on my own and not had all this exasperation!  I told  him I'd go another time, then, and should get started on housework.  

We decided to drive by the apartment DD is moving into, and when I saw her car, we stopped to see it.  She had to get to work shortly after we got there, but we got to see her place and meet her landlords.  She had looked in the paper like I suggested and found a place privately owned, rather than a company.  God does work for the good in all things, because if we had driven straight to the sale, we may have missed this opportunity.  

Then, we passed a Catholic run thrift store that has always been closed when I've stopped to check it out.  What an awesome store it is!  They had all kinds of cool things DD could use, and we bought some things, too.   I found a cookbook I have been wanting.  I enjoyed the Christian music they had playing.  Then, we came home, and I edited my pics for the Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, put my post for tomorrow together, and have it saved and ready to go.  

Oh, and I washed the clothes I bought for DD at the sale I went to by myself earlier in the morning.  She has lost over 100 pounds, and I told her I'd get her some she could wear around the house, as I probably couldn't pick out something she'd wear out and about.  

So, I'm thankful for God's forgiveness for my not so great attitude, and realize my problems with things not going my way this morning were very small, but still, I'm thankful for Romans 8:28: "In we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ABC\   Pam from Grey Like Snuffie is hosting ABCs of the Word on Thursdays.

They are on "Q" already, but I am having such fun joining in on things like this, so I will participate.  There are 9 weeks left, after all!  

Isaiah 32:17 says,  "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."  This is another verse I have all marked up with underlines, circles, and lots of dates.  It looks like I've needed reminding of this.  My mind tends to not be quiet.  I'm thankful for this reminder that God is the one who makes me righteous through faith in Jesus, and I can be quiet and confident of his love.

Giving Thanks, Day 13

I am thankful for my Bible Study friends.  One of them usually calls me to remind me to come, as they know I can't always keep track of which is the second Thursday of the month, or which Thursday it is we meet.  Last night, when I got a call asking if I was coming, I was also reminded that I am leading and bringing the snack.  My husband graciously agreed to buy ice cream sandwiches on the way home from work today.  I got home, blogged a little, then did my lesson while eating leftover soup from last night.  I found a nice devotion out of a book, as well.  Then, as I left with my sacks of tea bags, and ice cream sandwiches, I didn't realize I had not picked up my books!

Well, I borrowed a Bible from the hostess, and she shared her study guide with me. I decided I would have each of us as we pray, to thank God for something.  For the devotion, I talked about blogging, and about what a blessing the 30 days of giving thanks has been for me.  I told them that I find myself thinking during the day of things I am thankful for, and find myself thankful for the moments of the day.  It uplifts me, and gives me a good attitude.  Thank you for starting this, Joyce,!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 12

I am participating in Joyce's Thirty Days of Giving Thanks.  Her blog is  You can also get to her blog by clicking on the yellow rose with 30 days... on it.

I am thankful for my job as a special education paraeducator at a local high school.  There are two students, a boy and a girl, who get very silly and inappropriate when in the same room.  The girl missed several weeks of school because of a serious surgery she had.  I work with the boy on identifying coins and counting them.  Now that she's back, he's had some problems concentrating on what we are doing.  The other day, when she was being silly, and he kept wanting to turn around and look at her and laugh, I told him I knew he could focus on his work, and said, "You've got the power (to ignore her)!"  That has helped, now, when I tell him that.  Today, when we were getting started, I wasn't sure if he remembered what coin and how many I had asked for.  When I asked him if he remembered what I said, he said, "I've got the power!"  LOL  He must have been distracted by her, and I didn't realize it yet.

That made me think of me in my life.  I am thankful for the power of God in my life, and for his forgiveness when I try to get by without it.  I am reminded of Ephesians 1:18-21:

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power, and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."

Wow!  The same power that raised Jesus from death is at work in us!  The next verses talk about how we are made alive in Christ.  Ephesians 2:8-10 bear repeating:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

So, I am thankful for my job, and that I have the power of God working in my life, even when I'm not aware of it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 11

Today I am thankful for sleep.  I have been staying up too late, and not getting enough of it.  I am looking forward to going to bed on time tonight, and getting a good night's rest.  
Psalm 4:8: "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 10

We had a busy weekend, and since we had a friend coming from out of town, we did some last minute cleaning up.  I have a tendency to have shoes here and there, and our dog likes to carry whichever one she comes across around to greet us or to get our attention.  So, Saturday, I quickly picked up all the shoes, and threw them onto the floor of my closet.  

I stayed up too late last night, trying to figure out how to add a couple songs to my playlist, then this morning, tried something I thought of when I went to bed, but wouldn't let myself get up to try.  It worked!  Of course then, I ran late for work.  Every once in awhile, I go ahead and wear a pair of my gardening shoes to work.  This morning, was one of those days, I was in a hurry and grabbed the first pair I could get to.

In the middle of the day, I happened to look down at my feet, and wondered why my shoes were laced up in different ways.  (I should add here, that my husband's shoe size changed a while back, and he gave me several pairs of shoes, so that would explain the different ways they were laced.)  Then, I realized the shoes weren't the same, either.  I really was in a hurry this morning, because I checked the bottoms to make sure there was no mud, and didn't notice the bottoms are really different.

So, I think I'm thankful today that God loves me no matter what I wear, how late I stay up, how silly I am..., and he enables his children to offer that same kind of love to others.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 9, more of my story

I keep posting these when the days are almost over.  I was planning to say I'm thankful for each day God blesses me with.  Well, when I was looking for a verse with "day" in it, I found Psalm 118.  We are familiar with verse 24, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Verses 13-14 say, "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."  The two verses before 24 say, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes."  We do have reasons to rejoice and be glad in each day!

This Psalm in my Bible is marked with several highlights, circles, and dates, indicating times I read it and it helped me in whatever circumstances were going on at the time.  One of the early themes God worked with me on, and continues to, is my freedom in Christ. I used to sometimes go through spells where I felt I had not been faithful enough, and God may not want to  hear my prayers.  God did free me from that, and has reduced my tendency to worry about things even if I've prayed about them, and to be too critical of myself and others.  

Psalm 118:5-9 says, "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.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes."  We don't have the kind of enemies the Israelites had, but I feel evil is what our main enemy is these days.  (Ephesians 6:12)  

During the time I realized God was working with me on freedom, I went with our youth group to a music festival in Wisconsin.  I was blessed to hear several wonderful Christian musicians, including Stephen Curtis Chapman.  He sang "Free", and it felt like he was singing to me.  I also had the opportunity to buy a t-shirt with Galatians 5:1 on it to remind me, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  

So, I am also thankful for the days God gives me, and my freedom in Christ.  I am free from self accusation, from having to obey the law in my own strength.  I am free to worship God and seek him, and he will accept me because of Jesus' taking my punishment on the cross.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 8

Today, I am thankful for the love of my parents for their family, and for their great-grandson, who they adore.  My husband and I watch our grandson most Saturdays, and they frequently request that we take him to their house and leave him while we go eat or run an errand.  I am also thankful that my sister, who does not like to have her picture taken, when she finds out they have GGS's company, will go over so she can love him up, too.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 7

Today, a coworker asked me to supervise a student at the assembly at the high school I work at as a special education paraeducator, because another coworker was absent.  It was during my lunch, but since the student I help with after my lunch was absent, I was able to delay it.  Since I hadn't paid attention to what the assembly was about, I wouldn't have gone if not for this turn of events.  I'm thankful for the ways God works in our lives, and the ways he guides our steps. 

A group called, Resurrection Dance Theatre, boys from around age 6 to 21ish from Haiti performed for the students and staff. They told of the plight of children in Haiti through spoken word, music, and dance, and of the St. Joseph Family, a group of children's homes.  They did some of the dances to recorded music, and some accompanied by a couple men playing drums.  One of the dancers had had one of his arms amputated.  They were all amazing dancers and story tellers through their dance.  There was an awesome drum duet, as well, and the students were an appreciative audience.  They really got us going!

Afterward, they sold some very nice items, such as crosses with people of different cultures on them.  I bought a calendar and a CD.  On the CD are Christian songs sung by a different group they have at St. Joseph, The Resurrection Singers of Haiti.  I plan to email them to get permission to put a couple songs on my blog.  I was a little disappointed that Islamic holidays are on the calendar as well as Christian and Jewish ones, but then thought that would give me something to pray about when I saw them on the calendar.  

So, today I am thankful for the ways God directs our steps.

Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 6

I am thankful for the forgiveness I have through faith in Jesus.  I am also thankful for the command to forgive others.  Sometimes I am not as quick to forgive as God would have me be, and of course it hurts me more than whoever I'm mad at.  Then I am thankful that God forgives me for that, and guides me into the forgiveness he tells his children to give to others.

cross 13

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 5

I am thankful to God for the beauty and majesty of creation.  I tried to find where it says something in the Bible about all creation singing God's praise, but it wasn't in my Concordance, evidently.  I did find Psalm 145:8-13, "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.  All you have made will praise you, O Lord, your saints will extol you.  They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Giving Thanks, Day 4

Joyce, from Brookside Cottage  has started a 30 Days of Giving Thanks on her blog, and invited others to join in.  It is fitting that I am figuring it out after it has already started, and is now on day 4, as that is how I started with Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day (see my other blog).  With September almost gone, I went ahead and found pictures from the middle of the month and put them up.  When it was time for October's pics, I was ready and got them up on time.  I'm glad I participated, because I met some nice people, and discovered their fun blogs.  I am hoping to meet more Christian bloggers this way, too.

So, I think I'll start with being thankful for my discovery of blogging, and for how it will fit in with my faith walk.  Praise God for the abilities he gives us to learn new things and to communicate with each other!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

More of my Story

In my first years of being a Christian, I spent a lot of time reading the Bible and forming a close relationship with God.  I have found he works with me in themes.  One of the early ones, was that God would lift me up.  He made me very aware when I read verses and we sang songs like On Eagle's Wings.  He let me know that I would continue to have ups and downs in life, and that he would always be there for me.

Psalm 40:1-3:

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set me feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." NIV