Rant Turned to Gratitude

My husband has a tooth that is broken and needs to be addressed. He’s been using some temporary filling stuff and that’s worked. Until it didn’t. It started hurting a bit on Friday (always!) and wasn’t much fun through the weekend. By Monday, it was getting bad. He called our dentist, but they are scheduled three weeks out. So he toughed out another day, taking far too much Advil and Tylenol, eating very little, and sleeping horribly. Then this morning he called to get a referral to someone else.

I rescheduled my massage took him to the oral surgeon this afternoon to get this taken care of. It just kills me when he’s hurting. Following his appointment, he was in a LOT of pain because the dental chair wasn’t comfortable for his neck, so that morphed into a bad headache. I don’t even know how his mouth is because his head hurt so much. I got him home and settled, then went to get his prescriptions filled. No, they weren’t electronically submitted, because the powers that be won’t allow one of them to be filled that way any longer. Okay, fine. Obviously this will delay things a bit more. I couldn’t stop on the way home because he hurt too much and needed to lay down.

It would take 30-40 minutes to fill them, the pharmacist said. Did I want to wait? Yes. He really needs some pain relief. I wandered around the store for a bit, picked up a couple things, put one back, and went to sit in the waiting area. Naturally, I pulled out my phone, figuring I could catch up a little on email, Instagram, or Facebook. Or something. Well, wouldn’t you know, the pharmacy area has no cell signal. Which I understand. But the waiting area? Come on, people, move things around and at least let your customers have service in the only area of the store they actually have to hang out for awhile. Ugh.

So I walked to the front of the store, leaned on a display out of the way, and scrolled through Facebook. But apparently I looked like I might need help, as the girl working in the Photography Department asked if I needed anything. Nope. Just waiting. About that time, they paged hubby’s name. Yep, 30 minutes later.

I got his prescriptions (all 4 of them), paid for everything, and headed home. As I was riding home, feeling a little annoyed about the extra time while my husband was in pain, it occurred to me that even in this, we are incredibly blessed.

We live in a place where he could get helped today. I was able to take him to his appointment (I don’t think he could’ve gotten himself there with the pain he had). We have dental insurance which will cover the majority of today’s bill. He could get prescriptions today. He has a home to come to and a bedroom with a bed in which to rest. He also has a number of people praying for him. Without posting it on FB. And his pain will be gone before long. It won’t be chronic.

It’s that perspective thing. I run into it often. Or more likely the Holy Spirit is reminding me that things aren’t as bad as they could be, even when they’re difficult. And so I am grateful and praying as he’s resting in the next room.

p.s. – thank you, no REALLY, THANK YOU to the oral surgeon’s office music for leaving me with Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys. {insert eye roll}

More Water

Here we are – January 31st – and I’ve actually achieved my water goal every day (well, most of one day) this month. I started out very small. I decided that a small, achievable goal was better than a big one that I’d likely bail on within a week or so. Turns out that was a good line of thinking.

My goal?

8 ounces a day.

Not very much when you look at how much water I should have in a day. But that’s okay. Considering how much I don’t care to drink water, I figured even 8 ounces a day was a big improvement. I also knew there’d be days when I likely would have more. Plus it’s January in Colorado. Not exactly water-drinking weather for me. The only way I actually like water is if I’m super hot and thirsty and the water is super cold and icy. So I decided that the goal would be to add 4 ounces each month and by the end of the year, I’d be in a decent place.

I was hitting my 8 ounce a day goal every day and often getting more. By the middle of the month, I upped my goal to 16 ounces. Which I’ve been getting…and then some.

there’s supposed to be a picture here of my tracker, but for whatever reason, neither WordPress nor Flickr is cooperating, so there is no image. insert sad face.

My Inkwell Press planner has a tracker page for each month, which has been a help, too. Seeing those little hexagons getting filled in is a bit encouraging, especially to now see an entire month. Yeah, I know, the 17th shows only half, but I’m pretty sure I got all my water in that day. I just don’t recall, as we were driving home from Kansas City that day and I may have come up a bit short.

The cool thing is that I never set a goal of drinking less soda. I just assumed that if I didn’t buy it to have at home and I drank more water, less soda would be a natural byproduct. And I was right. Oh, I still have soda when I’m out, but I’m drinking so much less than I used to. It’s a move in the right direction.

I’m already surpassing March’s water goal, so who knows where I might be by the end of the year?

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How’s that for a catchy title? Reached right out and grabbed you, I’m sure.

So that Photo-A-Day thing in December? Yeah, not sure what happened there. I did take some more pictures, but getting them off the card, onto the computer, edited, saved, and posted? Not so much. But I guess I have some material for future use, right?

Well, Happy New Year! A week into two thousand and seventeen. I’ve had a bunch of different blog post ideas, but they seem to be like the pictures – captured in my head, but lost between there and the posting. Actually, I’m pretty sure they’re still around – just like the pictures – and will pop back up somewhere along the way.

On a happy note, I’ve actually achieved my water drinking goal for the first seven days of this year! Even more surprising, since I’ve been sick since Monday night. I don’t care for the taste (or lack, thereof) of water and it’s even worse when my taste buds are on the fritz. But I did it. I signed up for Cathy Zielske’s FIT 2017 class (again) and the FB group has been a good support and encouragement. And my Inkwell Press planner has a cute little tracker in it, which is helpful. It’s also colorful when I actually accomplish the things I want to track. While I may need to cut back on soda, my thinking is that if I increase my water intake, that will automatically decrease the soda. We’ll see if my thinking is on track or just a bit wacky.

Christmas brought some fun pen and paper supplies for me. I got a purple Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop fountain pen that I just love, along with some ink samples (Goulet Pens rocks!) and a bottle of J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor ink. This stuff is SO gorgeous and amazing. It’s a teal green, but when there’s enough ink on the paper, you can see gold glitter and even a magenta-red sheen. It’s just beautiful. It looks different depending on what you use to write. In the picture below, I used a dip pen with a fairly fine nib. I don’t think you can see all the colors, but I’m sure I’ll be posting more images.

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In the meantime, I’ve been sampling other inks (hmmm…have to find that photo) in the Metropolitan. This pen writes like a dream and is quite reasonably priced.

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I got some other goodies as well, but will save them for another post.

What Christmas gift(s) made your heart sing?

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Time for some ZZZZZs. Still recovering from the cold and I have an early morning tomorrow.

Manna Living

When God provided the children of Israel with manna, it was a daily provision (except on the 6th day, when He gave them two days’ worth so they didn’t have to work on the day of rest, the Sabbath). But any more than just what they needed and it got wormy and stinky. The point was to trust God for His provision each and every day, knowing that He had already promised to provide for them.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” Exodus 16:4-5

So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer (2 quarts or 3 1/2 quarts or 1/2 gallon dry measure) for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.'” Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need. And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.” Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Exodus 16:15-20

Interesting – I never noticed this part until typing the verses out, but in verse 4 the Lord says,

Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them whether they will walk in My law or not.

Will they trust Him? Will they obey what He has said? God gave the promise and the provision. It seems that some did and some didn’t. Which I suppose is indicative of my own walk today. Do I trust Him? Well, let’s back up a moment. Do I know what He has said? Do I know His promises? And when I do learn of them, do I trust Him and His word? Does He provide situations in which He is testing me? No doubt. Not sure how well I do, though. I know of more times that I mess up, probably because my focus tends to be on the negative side of things.

Where I often struggle is that I want to hang onto today’s provision for tomorrow and the next week and next year, because it was so good and such a blessing. His Word today might’ve spoken volumes to me, so I want to hang onto that. A particular Bible study really ministers to me, so I must hang onto it, too. A teaching I listened to brought conviction and encouragement. So I need to hang onto it as well.

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But what if I could look at life through the lens of Manna Living? Yes, that was the word I needed to hear on that particular day – and certainly it can still speak to me the next day and the next. But it doesn’t mean that it has to be memorialized and preserved forever. Because tomorrow I will likely need a different word from God. While keeping records and journals can be good, and certainly it’s a blessing to go back and remember what God has done and the stories of our lives, it has to be balanced with living here and now, depending upon God for today’s manna, and trusting Him with tomorrow’s needs.

Even in the Lord’s prayer, we’re told to pray for daily provision – “Give us this day our daily bread.” Provide what we need today, Lord. Not looking to stockpile for next week or next year. Does that mean it’s wrong to plan ahead and make preparations? I don’t believe so. The same God also says, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer, or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

In Genesis 41, “And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Clearly He has them plan ahead and store food here. But I believe that there are a couple of issues at hand:

  1. We have to trust God to provide – in whatever way HE chooses to provide. It may be daily, it might be through storing up and planning ahead. But no matter HOW He chooses, we have to keep our focus and our trust in Him, and Him alone. We are not to begin to trust in the reserves that we have stored up.
  2. We can only know God’s desire for us as we spend time in our relationship with Him. We can’t know which He would have us each do if we don’t communicate with Him AND listen to His leading.

It always comes back to our relationship with Him and our faith and trust in Him and His word.

Need to Create

I recently started working at a store which sells all sorts of good supplies for creating stuff – mixed media pieces, planner decorating, scrapbook pages, cards, and a myriad of other things. I am surrounded by creativity 12-15 hours a week.

I also follow people on Instagram, read blogs, and see Facebook posts containing massive amounts of creativity. I love seeing all the creativity. And I love to create things.

Last night, my coworker asked me what my style was and what kind of things do I make.

I realized that I pretty much make nothing. No. Thing. Ever.

I have sewn. I sometimes dabble in doodling and hand lettering. I photograph. I’ve learned mixed media techniques. I’ve scrapbooked. I’ve journaled a few pages in a Bible. I’ve stamped. I’ve attempted watercolor. There’s probably more, though they escape me now.

But right now? Not a darned thing. I create nothing. I have no style to describe what I don’t do.

Whoa.

I even scrolled through a ton of photos on two phones to see if perhaps I had created something which I forgot.

Nope.

So apparently my style right now is blankness.

And sadness.

I need to start making things.

Something.

Anything

Daily.

But God help us, born to this canvas and paint, if we do nothing with it, sign our name on its empty off-white surface and hang it on the wall, after a long succession of lookalike days leads us to our graves, content merely not to have made a mess of the canvas. Who will gaze on that unmarked rectangle on the wall, next to the million others, all of them differentiated only by the names scribbled in the corners, and do anything but sigh? Perfectly safe. Tragically wasted.

~from David DuChemin’s post Fill Your Canvas

The Gift of Friendship

I was so excited to be a part of the book launch team for my friend Dawn Camp and her new book, The Gift of Friendship.

The Gift of Friendship is a collection of stories highlighting the beauty of those valuable relationships with those we call friend. Just as each of us is unique, with various backgrounds, life circumstances, and needs, each of the brief stories is unique and tailored by God. You’ll find stories about community, hospitality, vulnerability, and so many more.

GiftOfFriendshipI am so blessed to have some wonderful friendships with a lot of overlapping circles amongst them. Even sweeter is that two of my best friends are also family – my mom and my sister. We are all in different seasons of life and there’ve been times when I got together with my friends regularly and often. But right now it seems that we’re in a phase where everyone is heading in myriad directions and it has become too easy to let those relationships slip to the back burner. I think about them and think about planning something, but then I get busy, or else I know that they’re busy, so I don’t.

But reading The Gift of Friendship has reminded me of the value of my friendships and that they are worth the investment. Since starting it, I’ve scheduled coffee/tea dates, a girls night out for Mexican food, hung out more with my mom and sister, and am planning a couple get-togethers with other friends – all things that I enjoy with people that I enjoy, but have allowed life’s busyness to crowd out.

287949_GiftofFriendshipCamp_Posts38I highly recommend The Gift of Friendship with its short, engaging stories from women of all walks of life. I believe you, too, will find sweet encouragement and reminders for your own friendships, whether current and active, not yet begun, or in need of a little TLC.

http://myhomesweethomeonline.net/book