Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It's been fun, but reality can set in pretty quick!

I'm back at work after being gone for a week. At least TWO people (one being my boss) said that they missed me. That is always a good sign when one comes back to work. My boss also said that it had been boring while I was gone. Does that mean that I can be the 'life of the day' (aka party) while here at work? Or is it that I just keep things going enough that it makes the day more interesting? I kind of like either thought! I do try to be positive and keep things going here at work. I had to laugh this morning - I had three meetings scheduled on the Tuesday that I took off (the first day of vacation) - one got moved to Wednesday, then got cancelled. One can cancelled altogether. Only one meeting continued - of course it would - it was a lunch meeting and I do order good lunches! Which means also - that instead of 3 sets of minutes for me to face this morning, I only have one. And that is good.

I had lots of emails - but most I don't have to do anything with - they were just information. I saved the ones I needed to, printed the ones I want to relook at and maybe see if there is something I need to do, and deleted a lot.

My time off was very good. My first day off we headed to Las Vegas for our granddaughter's wedding. It was very small - maybe 30 people? - but very nice. Our granddaughter was beautiful in her elegant gown, and the groom was handsome in his National Guard uniform. The wedding went well, and yes - she had asked me to officiate the wedding. I wrote the wedding ceremony specific for them and made it short yet complete. Several commented how nice it was - and others commented on how short it was! Didn't matter - they were still married at the end of it! The reception was nice and I had so much fun playing with our great-granddaughter.

Whew! Had to stop and get some pressing things completed.... and I accidentally deleted this - thank goodness it had set long enough to save to draft form! Now to get my train of thought back in motion!
So much for thinking I could come back to work and get back on my diet.... I was told "we have lots of food today so you can participate with us" from those around me. And I brought lunch. What to do. Of course I can't hurt their feelings - after all, they are my co-workers.... just saying.

We got back home Thursday afternoon, unpacked and repacked, and headed up to Flagstaff for the weekend on Friday. We stayed at a really nice place - very reasonable - about $100 a night for our suite - AND a hot breakfast was available each morning! We had a kitchen with everything for 4 people, a king-size bed, nice bath, and a small sitting area for watching TV. Only thing we didn't really care for was the "sofa" was like a 1/2 sofa - only had one 'arm'. We both could sit on it, but only one of us (me) got the corner with the arm. :-) (no, I'm not spoiled. much)

We walked the mall, drove to Williams one day and walked around there, ate lunch, and headed back. We decided to find another place next year to run away to - these places are getting too familiar. We love Flagstaff and love Prescott, but we have been so many times we run out of things we want to do. I mean, you can only walk the mall so many times at Flagstaff - and that mall isn't very big! But it was good to get away and just relax - which we did. Once we got back Sunday we picked Marley up and I did the grocery run. Every time I go to the grocery I am reminded why 1) I hate to go to the grocery store and 2) I get depressed over the high cost of what little I do get. I don't know how families can do it - back when we had our family I did a lot of 'scratch' meals, and we got by - but I guess we are more 'healthy' and 'selective' now. Geez - 3 boxes of cereal cost $10!

I took Monday off this week and I'm glad I did. It was nice to start work on a couple quilts for Christmas. I have them put together and ready to put binding on. That will keep me busy for the next few weeks. Need to sit down and see what else I can make for Christmas gifts. I want the gifts we give to be meaningful and useful - not something that I grabbed because I needed to buy another gift. I'm just that way. Which isn't so bad.

And now it's back to work and I need to get busy - lots of emails to go through, and things to sort out. My boss is in St. Louis and won't be back until Thursday - we will have a lot to catch up on then!

We're grateful to God for travel mercies this week - we certainly traveled a lot of miles. The wedding was outside and the weather was beautiful - and the weather in Flagstaff was cool and very nice. We were to have rain last night - but only got sprinkles I guess for I had no trouble coming in to work this morning - for which I am grateful.

God is good - all the time.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It was a great weekend.....

We had a good weekend. It was labor day weekend so had an extra day in there. My daughter had asked us up for lunch so I asked what should I bring - and she responded 'potato salad'. So Sunday afternoon I made 5 pounds of potatoes into potato salad, made a batch of brownies, and decided to bake some oatmeal raisin cookies for my middle child's birthday. It was a busy, baking, productive day. I was tired at the end of it, but felt good at what I had gotten accomplished.

Yesterday was a good day. We slept in until 6:30AM!! (and that is with going to bed at 8:30PM - I was soooo tired!!) Went to our daughter's for lunch, took a 45 minute walk with my daughter, visited for a bit, and came back home. Was able to catch my middle child at home so took him the leftover potato salad, the bag of oatmeal cookies, and what was left of the white girl salsa we had at lunch. I had to think about leaving that with him! We had an opened bag of chips at home so decided to send that with it all so that he could eat it in case he didn't have any at home. I think he was pleased.

I made a trip over to our neighbor's last night to get a visit in - sometimes I am so tired in the evenings I don't want to go - but it had been a month so decided I had ought to. So I did and sat for an hour while the neighbor's caregiver shared his stories of old.

Today's I'm back at work and have lots to get done. Short week with being off yesterday - and then I work next Monday and am off the rest of the next week to head to Vegas for a granddaughter's wedding. I sat and thought about it being labor day weekend - and began to wonder once again where has this year gone. It's scary that Christmas will be here before we know it. And then a whole new year. I'm anticipating that next year will be better than some of this one. At least I hope to accomplish more than I have this year.

I started reading a book this weekend that I've had on the shelf for awhile. I read something that made me really stop and think about it. When silver is made, it is put in a pot and lots of heat is applied to it. As it dissolves, and the dross from dirt and other things come to the top, it is removed. The silver is kept hot, and after more times of the dross being removed, eventually, you will see your face in the silver clearly.

It's like life. Sometimes we are in difficult and troubled times (the heat) and we need to pursue through it and allow that to work it way through. Each time troubles (the heat) come, we need to allow the penetrating grace of God to help us walk through those times. As we go through the tough times, we grow (if we choose rightly) and as we allow God to use us and work through the bad stuff in us, we will reflect His perfection in us.

I think I've gone through a lot of dross this year - and I'm sure that I have more ahead of me. But my prayer is that in time, I too, will reflect the perfection of my Father in me. What about you?

Another thing I read is that we need to change the word DISAPPOINTMENT to HIS APPOINTMENT. Our disappointments in life may be His Appointments to make us stronger in Him. I want to change my dis-appointment in life to His appointment for my life.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The year is going by.... so quickly....

I am amazed it is already September 2015. I look back over the year and really can't see much that I've done. Or anyone else, for that matter. By that I mean doing things at home or with family, vacations, etc. Well, the middle son did a short vacation as did his daughter and her new husband last July, but other than that.... but September will prove to be a little more busy than usual.

We have another granddaughter's wedding this month in another state so will be making the trip there. I guess the youngest son is planning on attending, but I don't know all the details. Of course my daughter and family will be there since it is their daughter. It's tough for some with being in the middle of the week and having to take off work or being taken out of school. I'm keeping my mouth shut on that one. :-x

I don't have any problem with getting off work to attend. In fact, I'm taking a little extra time as when we get back, hubby and I are heading north for a few days. He is looking forward to some cooler weather, I'm looking forward to just doing something. At least when it's cooler I can get him to walk around some antique shops - and we always do the mall - and there is a book store we usually can't pass up going through and purchasing several books..... of course that is if it is still there.... we haven't been up there for several months.

I'm also looking forward to just being quiet and resting. Our lives sometimes get so cluttered with things that we don't take that precious time to just 'be quiet' and meditate. I am really looking forward to that. It would be nice if we had a patio or balcony off our room - but doubtful. It will be fun just to get away from everything.

Work is still going on and keeping me busy. Had a four hour meeting yesterday - and another four hour meeting today. At least I have nothing going on tonight and can just chill out.

Don't have nothing more to share at this time..... had my physical follow-up visit yesterday with the doctor. I'm healthy, which is a good thing. Stupid cholesterol is up - but it is my fault. The past 5-6 months I have eaten everything I shouldn't - from cookies to cakes to bread and more bread.... sigh.... did it to myself and now I have to take the stupid cholesterol pill. AND I have to go back in three months to have it checked again. It'll be down for sure cause I'm paying attention again. Couple things I need to follow up on.... and I will.... eventually. :-)

Other than that - life is good, work is keeping me busy, hubby is in a new exercise program and Marley is being Marley. That's life.

How you doing?


Friday, August 28, 2015

I should have written it down....

I thought of something good to write about this morning during my quiet time.... but I didn't write it down... and that is mine and your loss for I can't remember what it was. Oh well. Guess I will ramble through all this....

Yesterday we had a magnificent storm run through Tempe. I mention just one city cause I think that is the only place the rain hit. The rain was coming down so hard at 4:30 I did not attempt to leave, but waited until 5PM when my boss was ready to leave. The rain had lightened up and we ran to her car in the undercover parking garage. She then drove me about a block away where I park - also under cover. It was the 'getting to the car' that was the issue. The rain was coming down sideways. I get in the car, drive about 5 miles - and the rain stops. No rain all the way home. Go figure. We really need rain in my area but the rain always seems to stay in Tempe. We did have a lot of wind by the house - the neighbor's 2-3 year old tree was totally uprooted.

Sometimes we just need rain. We need to be watered with love, faithfulness, patience.... and other times the shining sun, the soft breeze of the wind is what we need.... and still other times, the harsh reality of the sharp rain and strong winds can awaken us to what life is all about us. Interpretation of the weather can be interesting.

Standing and looking out of my boss' window (and taking video of the rain) was fun - well, we weren't out in it - but instead we were enjoying the beauty of the wind, the rain, the thunder, the lightening. If I was out driving in it, I am confident I would not have through it was so beautiful and laughing about it. I don't mind rain.... but people out here don't get it often enough to know how to drive in it. Even with no rain there were a couple accidents enroute home.

Life can throw us a few storms. Some days the atmosphere in my house feels like a storm brewing - or even in full fury. I totally withdraw on those days - preferring to run away with a book to escape reality until the storm blows over. I used to do that when I was growing up. To escape the reality of my home life, I escaped into my books - many times reading an entire novel in one day. I lived my life through reading. Not only being I enjoyed reading, but to escape what life was in reality.

But in spite of the storms in our lives, there is ONE who can walk with us through that storm. Jesus. I can't tell you how many times I've cried out to Him to stay close for I couldn't bear to continue - and He always does. I'm reminded of the song 'Nobody knows, the trouble I've seen, Nobody knows, but Jesus'.... and that is the truth!

Who do you cling to in the midst of trouble and strife? When the money runs out before the bills do - who do you cry out to for help? When groceries seem depleted and you don't know how to create another meal with what you have - who do you trust to pull it all together? When you feel beaten and worn out, who do you run to? I know WHO I trust. Jesus. I've been in all these circumstances. In fact, some of them I feel I live in quite often. I have learned how to cook from scratch because we only had flour and eggs in the house. I became a collector of cookbooks (many of which I've given away now, but many I still have and love to go through). My dream is to become debt free - but unless I start focusing and keep that mindset, it won't happen. I'd like to lose twenty pounds. It won't happen unless I lay off the cookies, pizza, cakes and pies and ice cream that are some of my comfort go to foods.

And what should we do when we set a goal? WRITE IT DOWN. If I want to remember it, I need to WRITE IT DOWN so that I can refer to it and keep that dream, that thought, that goal, in front of me. And so should you.

What should you have written down this morning to remember? WHO should you rely on to get you through the day? Think about it. I know WHOM I'm trusting in!


Monday, August 24, 2015

It's been a while....

since I've written anything here - but my goodness - I did not believe it when I saw July 31 as my last post! Here it is in the last full week of August and I know 'life' has happened in that timeframe - but guess it either wasn't interesting enough to write about - or I just didn't have time. I guess you could say a little bit of both.

This month has been a somewhat busy one - two grandsons birthdays and mine as well. My birthday was a good day. We had dinner at the daughter's house and one of the sons came with his family. It is always fun to get together and share a meal - even though it was Papa Murphy's pizza - it was good and it was fun! Other than that, the day was eventful in that I got several phone calls and texts from friends and family - and that is always good. I did receive a good number of cards as well. It's always good to be celebrated.

But that was a couple weeks ago and life goes on. Oh yeah, we also celebrated our 33rd anniversary this month. We didn't do anything special as I talked hubby into waiting until September for us to get away for a few days. We have another granddaughter getting married in September and since it is out of state and I will be taking time off work for that, I just took a couple extra days and we'll come back to our state and head north for a couple days. Our poor dog will truly hate us when we get back after putting her in the 'pet hotel' for 6-7 days. We've only done that once - usually it is only 1-2 days at a time, as we don't get away that often.

I went shopping with my daughter last week and bought 5 new dresses - it seems forever since I bought any clothes for work - and it looks like I will only take one back. I put it on again yesterday and go 'ehhhh'... lol my usual nose scrunching that means 'I don't like the way this looks'.... yes, I did try it on at the store and I thought it was ok... but... I changed mind. I did get one black and white dress that I wore once to work - and wore again to church yesterday and got lots of compliments on it - so at least I bought one dress that looks good on me! I may need to try the others on again and see if I need to take any others back. I'm just that way.

Work has been busy but I think I'm on top of things. I don't have any meetings this week - oh wait - yes, I have one on Thursday - but all I do is take minutes - which reminds me, I still need to type up from last week. Oh well. Some meetings are hard to take minutes for and participate in when you aren't fully involved.

Our offices will be moving by the end of the year - so we have been told. We'll stay in the area we are in - but move a few miles north - won't make much difference on my drive time - will be about the same. I got to be on the 'move committee' cause I want to know what's going on. At least that's what I told them.

Got up about 5 minutes until 4AM this morning. Just before the alarm went off. It was interesting how I woke up. I was in a dead sleep, then I remember breathing deeply (like taking a deep breath after not breathing) and sitting up in bed. I looked at the clock and saw the time - so just shut off the alarm and started getting ready for work. And here I am. I don't seem to get on my computer much at home anymore. It gives me a lot of problems some time and I just don't want to mess with it. Use my ipad a lot of times, but I need to get back on the computer for this fall I am scheduled to speak at a couple RV parks several times - and need to start working on the messages.

And for now, I need to get focused on work and get some things done. Keep your eyes on what is important - and let go of what is not. You will find that you will feel much better when you do that - mentally, physically and spiritually.


Friday, July 31, 2015

It's been a walking time....

Walking is good for you. Walking is good for me. I like walking. I wouldn't say I LOVE walking, but I do enjoy it. I especially like it when I can walk alone and be lost in my thoughts - but I also sometimes like to walk with others so that I can process thoughts with them. Or catch up with what's going on in their lives - and share what is going on in mine.

I've been walking a lot lately. And I do mean A LOT. Although I do enjoy exercising, I don't have the time to be devoted to it. Or perhaps it is that I just choose not to make time. Hmmm. Whatever. Anyway - I think I mentioned it before that my company has a walking contest ever so often. They have you walking like 6,000 steps the first week or two, then 7,000, then 8,000 and by the last two weeks of the challenge, you are walking 10,000 steps a day. I have done that challenge before - and completed it. And I completed it big time this last time. We were to end up with 355,000 steps over this 6 week period. When the challenge was over, I had racked up 457,229 steps for that six week time period. Whoo Hoo!! Yes, I have the app, and I can show that I did do that many steps!

I love my Fitbit. I've had one for about 3 years now and I love how it counts my steps automatically. My little sister got a Fitbit probably a couple months ago - which is probably why my steps were over 100,000 more than I needed for the last challenge! In the beginning, we were challenging each other. No set number, but just to see who would get the most steps over a day or a weekend. I finally told her to stop it - I was worn out! So then we slipped back into just daily counting - or at least I did. My goal is 10,000 steps a day, but weekends it is really hard for me for that is when I'm doing other things besides walking. And, if I'm sitting down working on a quilt or a project, I certainly can not walk and do that too! Therefore, my weekend numbers usually drop into the 5,000 mark somewhere.

Well, (yes, I'm going somewhere with all this information)lately I have really pushed myself. I would like to lose weight (and I have lost about 5 pounds over the past 6 weeks)and walking is exercise. I do have a treadmill at home (although I need to look at the motor - it is starting to stop on me periodically so wonder if it needs cleaned - or replaced) which I use almost daily in the evening. I slacked off for two weeks after the challenge and did less than 10,000 steps a day for that time. I glanced at my total and compared to my sister's and she was nearly 40,000 ahead of me for a 7 day period! Of course her excuse for it being so high is that she had taken the family to "Holiday World" and they had walked everywhere. I think it used to be called 'Santa Claus Land'. Go figure.

I think it's terrible of people to rename things because someone might be offended. Really? Stupid. They should consider it an honor to be acknowledged. For example, the Washington Redskins. The 'Redskin Indians' want the name 'Redskins' dropped because they find it offensive. Why? They are wiping any thoughts of their nationality out. Fifty years from now people won't even know what a Redskin is. Heck, they probably don't know now. The name of one of our mountains was changed from 'Squaw Peak' to an 'I can spell it right so ain't trying' name - granted, it was to honor the first Indian woman killed in Iraq - and that's ok, but it was already up in the air about the 'Squaw Peak' name. Anyway - my thought is - they should consider it an honor it was put there in the first place. Without, and over time, people will forget they even exist. All to be "politically correct'. So sad. But - I got away from what I was talking about.

Back to walking. My sister had racked up a lot of mileage while she was walking all over 'Holiday Land'. Well, I got that "oh no you don't" attitude and started walking more. A co-worker here at work and I got to talking and she is trying to lose weight. So - she walks her breaks and lunch hour in the parking garage. When I can get away from my desk, I walk the breaks and lunch hour with her. Usually I never take a break or lunch hour, so this is a new thing for me. Having to realign all my duties for I usually just spaced them out over the day - now I "lose" 1 1/2 hours a day by walking.

I know this is long.... but stay with me here. I've been walking with her for the past couple weeks and then this past week I started getting on my treadmill at home, to increase my steps (and catch up with my little sister). Long story short, Last Tuesday I earned my 25,000 step 'badge'. On Wednesday night, I decided to push through and get it again. I went to 27,048! Believe me, I was praying all the way through it - cause I wanted to earn a new 'badge' and push myself. I really would like to tell you of some comments made recently but, it is probably best I leave them off.......

But I do have to tell you the comment of what was said last night - and men, do NOT ever say this to your spouse. This is one of those 'never go there'. I'm walking on the treadmill, and my hubby comes in and after a few questions and comments, he asks..... 'do you think it is doing you any good?'

Life is sometimes full of challenges. As I drove in to work this morning I was thinking about the challenges I daily face in my life. One thing I do know, I could not face any of those challenges without knowing that God is on my side, and He has my back. As I got my coffee and water this morning, the words to a song filtered through my mind... "I know Who goes before me, I know Who stands behind, the God of Angel Armies, is always by my side.. He is the ... (I forget)... He is a Friend of mine, the God of Angel Armies, is always by my side." I am so grateful my God is not made of material things; He is not made of gold or silver. He is not made of wood. He was not created.

He is the Creator. To Him is all Glory, all Honor, all Praise, alone. Praise Him!


Monday, July 27, 2015

What do you do.... when you go through fire?

We had the opportunity to go to a pre-screening of a movie last week. I wish I had had the time to write it out while it was still fresh in my mind - but even with coming into work early, I have been so busy getting things done - or attempting to - that I just didn't have time to write anything last week. In fact, there were a few times that I had something I wanted to write - but the thoughts escape me for now. Maybe it will come back to me soon and I can have something to share.

Anyway, back to the movie. The movie is called 90 Minutes in Heaven. It's a story of a man who was considered dead - with no pulse - for 90 minutes, before a pulse was found on him. What I found interesting, after thinking over the movie, is that the movie really isn't about Heaven. Yes, Heaven is mentioned, and Heaven is shown, sorta... but the real story is the journey that this man went on from the accident to being able to live again.

What a journey he had to endure. Severe, crushing, pain. Pain so great he didn't want to even breathe anymore. I'm sure he sunk into depression. Interestingly, it never showed him calling out to God for strength to endure, or even for healing. I'm sure that happened, but it wasn't shown. I don't want to share much more of the story, but encourage you to go see it - it comes out in the theaters on September 11. 90 Minutes in Heaven.

I must admit I wasn't sure what to expect - the movie is 2 hours 2 minutes long (so we were told). I'll tell you how interesting it is...... I kept telling myself to get up and go to the restroom before the movie started (once I found out how long it was) - but talked myself out of it. Once the movie started, I didn't think about needing to go to the restroom. I was so caught up in the story, that I totally forgot and before I knew it, the movie was over.

As I have thought about the movie, one thought keeps coming back that was mentioned. "If God takes you to it, He will take you through it. I'm sure that can be taken different ways, but I believe that if God allows you to endure something, He has a reason for it.

It could be you are to journey with someone else along the way. I must admit I would have liked to see my daughter become more involved with those who have leukemia, to encourage them that they too, can recover. But life took over and she wasn't given the opportunity to share her life story with others. But the good part of it all, she did fight the insurance company to get her transplant paid for, and with doing that, the insurance company did change their policy for one transplant. Shortly afterwards she heard of a child of a teacher, covered by the same insurance, had leukemia and would be able to qualify for a transplant. Perhaps that is what God wanted to happen. Who am I to determine His plans for anyone.

We all go through things at one time or another. It could be financial hardship. (Unfortunately, usually of our own doing). It could be sickness. It could be job situations. It could be wayward children. It could be our own personal struggles. Whatever the situation is, no matter how it came about, always remember that God will walk you through the problem, as long as you give it to Him and seek Him to guide you. Trying to fix it your own way may be short term, but for a long-lasting fix, we need to lay it down and ask for direction and guidance on what to do. And follow THAT leading, not our own.

I love this quote.... If God takes you to it, He will take you through it. There is also a song we used to sing at church.... when you are going through fire, don't stop, keep going on through it. So many times we get to the problem and shut down. Keep doing what is good and right, following God's lead. And keep going until you get to the other side.