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A little fun for this beautiful Monday.

Oops. I goofed. Just didn’t get anything ready to post this morning. But I’ve been saving some messages that have tickled my fancy at one point or another so I’ll share them with you.

Proverbs 17:22 tell us that “A happy heart is like good medicine, but a broken spirit drains your strength.” Sometimes your heart is naturally happy. And sometimes you just have to happy it up.

Either way…enjoy…and let me know if you have any funny sayings that are sure to brighten someone’s day.

         

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The big 4-0 has arrived.

Well, the first 40th birthday has nearly arrived. Son-in-law Chris turns 40 on Tuesday and son Tim will follow two weeks later.

So far, I think Chris is enjoying the celebration.

This weekend he got to play paintball and have an evening on the town. Then his parents took he and his twin (along with their families) to dinner.

And on Sunday, his boys presented their gifts. Each had made something for him. Callan went to a ceramic studio and painted a football helmet in Florida Gator colors and Konnor created a broken-glass picture frame. Using a hammer (which was a HUGE hit…pun intended), he smashed up some colored glass tile, then glued the pieces on the frame. A little grout, and a carefully chosen picture and voila! A gift for his dad.

Best of all…

But most fun for the boys was planning a treasure hunt for their dad so he could find his goodies. They wrapped and hid their gifts along with ours around the house, then wrote clues for Chris to follow. Both boys were proud not only of their gifts but in the enjoyable time they created for their Dad in finding his gifts.

Chris came into our family in 2003. And though I call him my son-in-law, long ago my heart welcomed him as another son. Our family wouldn’t be complete without him!

Happy 40th Chris. We sure do love you. Here’s to a wonderful, wonderful year.

Mimi

Missing Mom…still.

The holidays are always a time with family at the center. In many, if not most homes, it’s the family that gathers around a table laden with yummy food. It’s the family that spends the day together giving and receiving gifts to show how much we love each other.

So, when families are fractured or have missing members, instead of pure joy, often those gathering times are reminders those not there.

Like so many others…

Like so many others, I’m missing my own mother this Christmas season. She was a very special person who brought joy to so many, that her parting left a huge hole in the hearts of those who knew her.

My sister is gone, too. Much too soon. At age 63 and after celebrating her birthday on the Friday of Labor Day weekend in 2014 with friends and family gathered near, she passed away three days later, no longer able to fight the cancer that took her life.

So, I too, mourn these losses. And though most days the sorrow is no longer a constant nag, getting through the holiday season each year seems a tough journey.

But I rather like this Charlie Brown picture and caption. Though it’s not scriptural, it’s still a happy thought indeed to look up, see the millions of stars, and think they just might be our loved ones reminding us that all is well.

Mimi

Is your perspective skewed?

I walk once or twice a day as it’s the only way to get in 4 miles of total walking distance. That’s because walking more than 2 or 2-1/2 miles at one time seems to be more than my body can manage at this point due to those pesky aches and pains.

I try to be productive with the time by listening to a podcast, my Bible Study Fellowship notes, or a medical mystery. Sometimes I pray my way through my walk, and sometimes I just look around and enjoy the beauty of where I live.

What I didn’t realize was that I often walk with my head down. I believe it’s because of the sun’s glare. Despite the protection of my visor, the only really effective way for me to avoid the sun’s harsh rays is to tilt my head toward my chest. And that creates an issue.

As you can see…

When walking with your head down, all you see is the road immediately in front of you (Pic 1). That’s okay for ensuring my feet are on level, unobstructed ground. But this position hinders me from seeing what’s ahead down the road and from preparing for a possible deviation in my path, should one become necessary.

Of course, to compensate, I peek down the road every few minutes to get the view ahead (Pic 2). Sometimes, I even see enough to anticipate a possible issue such as the truck parked in the third picture (Pic 3).

But the other day, despite the occasional glimpses that kept me informed of what was ahead, I still missed it. With my head down, I pumped my arms and forged ahead only to go “BUMP” and head straight into…this truck (Pic 4).

How did THAT get there?

The truck had every right to be there. And with my prior glances, I should have been prepared to avoid it. And I assume part of my brain must have registered it was in my path. But without constantly keeping my eyes focused on that all-important object, and with my head mostly aimed at the ground, I missed its nearness until it was too late.

This happens way too often.

With the resounding bump bringing me to an abrupt halt also came a resounding revelation that this happens way too often in our everyday lives.

Minding our own business, not keeping our eyes on the prize (our Lord), or in the busyness of life, we miss warning signs and plow right into trouble.

And that is not something I want to do!

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:12)

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live…(Deuteronomy 4:9)

Here’s to all of us becoming more vigilant in our daily lives. Purposeful in putting God first. Careful in where and how we walk out our Christian experience. And mindful of all God has done for us so that we do not forget His goodness and mercy.

Love to all.

Mimi

Let’s be Positive!

As a post-menopausal, past middle-age woman I really appreciate this little saying. And boy can I relate.

A closet full but nothing to wear.

Often a closet of a lady my age has a wide range of clothing sizes. The “hope to fit into again someday” clothes, the current size, and maybe even the slightly bigger ones “just in case.” While I admit there are some who through the years seem to stay the same size, I know of more women like myself who tend to fluctuate.

But still…

It’s because so many, like myself, can relate to the expressed thought in the pic, that we laugh. But let’s take to heart the last two lines, shall we? “But still. Let’s be positive here.”

Often, we can be positive and encouraging toward others, but we’re actually much harder on ourselves, aren’t we?

When we see those clothes that don’t fit, or that unfinished project, or realize we haven’t made that all-important phone call, we can easily move into self-condemnation. We lament not being able to stick to a diet or remember to make a phone call. We think If I was a better person, I would finish the things I start.

At times we do the same thing with others, especially those we care about. We want the best for our kids but end up disappointed when they make mistakes and wrong decisions.

Likewise, we want the best for our friends, but when we see one remain stagnant at work because fear keeps them from returning to school for more training or presenting their own ideas to their boss, frustration at their inability to embrace change creeps in.

But that, is looking only at the negative.

And I don’t want to be like that. I want instead to look for the positive in a person or situation. I want to think the best of them and be their greatest cheerleader. We all appreciate positive reinforcement so my desire is to be less disappointed and more motivated to encourage, to pray for, and to offer wise counsel.

Being positive in a good way.

Genuinely caring for others and offering an optimistic outlook is not a fake attempt at being positive. It’s actually encouraging. Just like when our kids were young and fell repeatedly in their attempts to walk. We didn’t berate them for falling. Instead we clapped and laughed, holding out our arms so they would be inspired to keep on trying.

As believers, we all fail at times. We all make mistakes and disappoint ourselves, others, and even God. But when we are in Christ, we know He can use everything yes EVERYTHING to refine us; to make us more like Him. And that, my friend, is very, very positive indeed.

If that’s the case, then we, too, can find the positive in our circumstance as long as our eyes are on the prize, on Him. Then He can use our mistakes to reveal His Lordship and He can use all our experiences, both good and bad, to teach us to depend on Him and reveal His power.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

So be encouraged my friend. Remain positive toward yourself and toward others. God is not yet finished with you. Hallelujah and amen!

Mimi

10 random things I’ve noticed as I age.

Thought I’d share a few thoughts that have been swirling around my head lately. Perhaps you can relate. And please, please, use the comment section to share your own thoughts.

  1. I no longer get eyelashes stuck in my eyes. Good thing cuz I’d have to remove my glasses to get them out and if I remove my glasses I can’t see a thing so I wouldn’t be able to remove it anyway.
  2. Same with losing my glasses, which I do more times than I’d like to admit. I have a very difficult time finding them because…well…for obviously reasons. I’m not wearing them!
  3. Hair sprouts in places I don’t want it, while I lose it or it thins where I’d like it to stay.
  4. I used to love to sleep in a bit on a lazy morning or take a long Sunday afternoon nap. Now that I have the time to do those things, I find I have great trouble sleeping period, even at night. Of course, put me in front of a terrific action movie at 8pm, and I’m nodding off within 15 minutes.
  5. I have much less patience for stupidity.
  6. It doesn’t bother me that I have to repeat some activities throughout the day, every day such as eating. But it does bother me when those repetitive activities include laundry, dusting, and vacuuming.
  7. When I was young, I couldn’t stand being in a theater and having the person behind me kicking my seat. Turns out, I still can’t stand it!
  8. I miss the days when my young daughter would sweetly call my wrinkles “crinkles.” I wish anyone would call them crinkles today. Of course, they’re more like fissures now, but you know what I mean.
  9. Cereal boxes seem to have gotten much harder to open. First, it’s the cardboard. Despite my being ever so careful in trying to loosen the glue under the tab, it generally rips in half along with the slot rendering them useless. And forget the plastic bags inside. If I don’t use scissors (and who has time for that?) I power pull the corners until the bag explodes showering me and the kitchen with flakes or puffs. Geesh.
  10. Everything hurts. Not all at the same time. Bits and pieces of me take turns on any given day. I try not to complain…too much. I think I do a good job. You can always ask the hubster.

I could probably go on and on but you catch my drift. Any of you have any pet peeves that have become even more pronounced as you get older?

But despite my pet peeves, despite some of the changes in body or ability, I am encouraged that God isn’t finished with me yet. He has things for me yet to do while at the same time He continues refining me by fire. And since I want to be more like Him, I can rest in His faithfulness to continue His work in me.

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

Mimi

New uses for old things.

Ever cry “do over” when growing up? Or perhaps called out “mulligan” when playing golf?

Who couldn’t use a bit of a makeover from time to time. (I think I see a few hands being raised out there.)

A few years back when I was first introduced to Pinterest, I was fascinated by the many ways people “upcycled” items to look better or to serve a new purpose; especially old stuff. Even without being particular creative or crafty, I started pinning those links for future use.

And while I’ve only tried a few things, I have to say they’ve brought great results.

I found some great ideas.

Shower hooks: I had a bunch of plain ones I had just tossed when I read about using them in your closet to hold jewelry, purses, scarves, etc. Out of the trash they came and all 12 are evenly divided between my closets, all serving purposes other than what they were originally designed for.

Wooden pallets: Being a rather frugally minded individual, I get a kick out of seeing what people throw away and what others are willing to rescue and reuse. Pallets are now used for all sorts of crafts, even furniture. It’s basically free wood, so why not!

Pinecones: And dropped pinecones are all the rage. I made a wreath out of painted pinecone “crowns” as well as miniature Christmas trees. Free, plentiful, and going to waste, they became a coveted commodity in my crafting closet.

I’m becoming more aware.

I have personally become more aware of waste and in a few small ways have jumped on the bandwagon. The picture above? That was a half a loaf of bread that I put in the freezer months ago when hubby and I started cutting down on our carbs. On my way to tossing it out, the light bulb went off and voila! With a little olive oil and seasoning they became croutons.

Ever feel like you’re that old thing?

I turn 65 in a few months and for weeks the Medicare sign-ups have been arriving almost daily in my mailbox. To some, they can be reminders of getting older much like your grey hairs, wrinkles, and muscle aches.

Maybe we, too, need to think about some new uses for our older selves. Ways to challenge or reinvent our brains. Ways to use our experience and knowledge to help others. Establishing new traditions or learning new things.

If nearly stale bread can be repurposed into delicious croutons, I think there is some hope for this slightly worn out Medicare-eligible body to be refreshed and repurposed.

  • I’m just starting on this quest but so far, since I’m musically inclined, I sang for a season in our community choir and even bought a recorder so I could learn a new instrument and make music. Sadly, it’s not yet in use but at least it’s now in the house. And it IS on my to-do list.
  • Greg and I took a long car trip. We haven’t done that in years and wondered if our older bodies could handle thousands of miles over a two-week period. I’m happy to report we did just fine and look forward to future car trips as well.
  • Recently, I joined Bible Study Fellowship. This may not seem like a big deal, but after being retired three years, it’s not always easy for me to make a long-term commitment. This study is for the entire school year and requires 6 days of homework each week.
  • I also tried (and failed) to start of ladies Bible study in my home. This was definitely outside of my comfort zone because while I enjoy being a participant, I didn’t necessarily want the leadership role. The Bible study fizzled out but I made a terrific new friend!

How about you?

How have you been reinventing yourself? Tried anything new lately? Online courses? A part time job? Volunteer experiences? Hobbies?

Please comment below. Your new thing might turn out to be the very next new thing I want to try!

Be encouraged.

Even if you decide the old is fine, remember there’s one sure re-creation awaiting you.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Mimi