Friday, February 20, 2015

Fresh Brewed Encouragement ~



John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

~

I know there are many troubled hearts in the world, I know some of them personally. 

This morning started off with  a message from a High School friend who short of a miracle is nearing the end of her life on this earth. She has fought a good fight with an incredible attitude and spirit. Cancer may win this fight but she has eternity of perfect health~

Some struggle with new beginnings, attempting to find a new normal for themselves.

Some are trying to remain hopeful when their self is sometimes tempted to doubt, to allow their faith to be nudged by fear.. 

Some live without hope of tomorrow and see no way out of the pit they are living in.

My Encouragement for them is, there is One bigger than You and your circumstance. 
He gives peace to the weary, hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak.
Just believe and trust Him.

 ~

Peace is not as simple as the absence of fear. Peace is a person. He said He would never leave us. We let our hearts become troubled when we forget that He is with us.

 ~

Hoping today and everyday you will each encourage those who cross your path.  It's not always apparent when someone needs and encouraging word.  It's what echos from my heart today ~

Monday, February 16, 2015

There Will Always Be Challenges ~



Day eleven post surgery, and all is well. Doctor said I'm better than most at this point!
The process has been relatively easy for me, very little pain, no trouble sleeping. The hardest part has been dealing with another cough/cold that would not (still) go away! Been so touched by friends that took time out of their lives to help in any way, or stop in to visit me.The days are challenging sometimes with so much alone time! The greatest challenge, it's nearly impossible to dry my own hair..... Can't help but wish while watching Downton Abbey that I had my own Anna to assist. :-)
The hubstir has gotten rather good at doing it for me! In fact he has taken the best care of me.
Truth is, life is good in the big scheme of things, if my greatest trouble is drying my hair!

~

My church has been experiencing some difficult times, which is never wanted, yet it happens. You see church is the people, and because we belong to Him does not mean we are free from the struggles in this world. It means we know as we go through challenging times,we are never alone. We continue to trust and know that with God, good will prevail every time. I have always felt this little church will provide many with a hope they have never known, a feeling of acceptance and being cared for. That I'm sure will continue, I've never felt stronger about that then after yesterdays service, God has this.

~

Missing my sweet Khloe and Ellery....oh the days are so long without them. I so treasure every moment they have come to visit with their Momma or Daddy.  My youngest son made a special surprise trip to bring me chicken soup when I was feeling my worst, my heart swelled! How I love the men they have become......

~

 I try and keep busy, reading, have spent very little time online, and I've been good with that. I've enjoyed  watching the first four seasons of Downton Abbey with my Bustir. Would love to have Mosley serve me some tea  right about now...... :-)

Doing my best to catch up with my fellow bloggers!

It's what echos from my heart today....








Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thankful Thursday ~

Teaming up with Rebecca Jo over at Knit by God's Hand again for Thankful Thursday!



I am thankful to finally reach the day of shoulder surgery!! It's been a little over a year since it starting bothering me so, it's about time! Torn rotator cuff and torn bicep tendon, it's gonna be interesting.....

 Khloe and Ellery will be in the loving care of Grammy and Grandpa Kaiser who are here from Michigan.
 I'm so glad they are here to take over!!!!! It's easier knowing they are with family :-)



My Hubstir has arranged time off from work to help me with the many things I will not be able to do. I hope I don't wear him out....it's hard not being able to do for myself. I have been trying to think of a way to do laundry, it's a favorite chore of mine. I think I can get it in the washer and moved to the dryer....it's the folding I'm not sure of.?  I will be in a contraption sling of sorts for some time....they refer to it as a sling! I can tell you it's not the square piece of cotton fabric that I adorned when I broke my arm at age 6 that tied around my neck. This thing breaks down to three or four parts, very interesting. The young man that fitted me for it showed me the one snap approach of getting in on and off. Hoping that is remembered come time to test those instructions because there are about four or five clips like on a car seat. It will be with me for a while, I may have to give it a name?

I explained yesterday to Khloe while waiting on the phone with the O.R. Nurse that my surgery to fix my shoulder was going to be tomorrow.  Of course she asked if she could go because, "remember Namaw, when I grow up I want to be a flying fish, a Momma and a Nurse?" Ummmm.. yes but even Pa can't go in. "Don't worry Namaw me and Roo (Ellery) will take care of you, we can even do the laundry."
The child does excel at towel folding, I'll keep her in mind :-)

 A Cinderella of sorts.....


Evidence,
she really did fold the short stack of towels in this photo!

I'm so thankful for some amazing women who will bring us meals during week one of this fiasco. I'm hoping I can accomplish cooking by the second week??? So much unknown.

I'm thankful I have three new books to read, three and a half seasons of Downton Abbey to watch, and a  great online Bible Study.

I do worry about boredom, and no little ones to snuggle up with. 
 I'll survive I'm sure, another season in my life.

Thankful for so much really.

It's what echos from my heart today!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Guest Post From The Coffee Cottage ~


 Momma to FIVE and a step son to boot! Jeane` is a blogger I follow and love her writing style. I found her via her Mom's blog which is one of the first I started following and I love!!. Jeane` is an incredible writer, young Mom's will especially love her posts.  I hope you love this one as much as I did.  After reading it I just felt that many others would appreciate her insight and wisdom.
Enjoy ~


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Losing My Marbles




Our children are very marble-conscience. They can earn one or five by making good choices and loose just as many (or all) by making poor ones. There are certain chores that have a marble-attached value to them, but mostly they are dispensed as we observe kindness, selflessness and obedience, letting them know when we've taken note (if they haven't already heard the clink of glass on glass). If their marbles reach a certain number at week's end, they get to participate in a family fun event. For all the incentives/chore charts/house rules posters that lay in the wastelands of my parental efforts at civilizing our "energetic" crew, this system has, generally speaking, been effective. Until recently, we've been satisfied by it's ability to motivate.

There has been an increase of traffic to where ever we are at, reporting a kind deed or completed-chore-without-being asked by the do-gooder him/herself. We will heartily commend them. And then after a slight pause, it comes:

"So. Do I get a marble for that?"

Now we are reviewing this system as we need to work out the more complicated part of addressing motivation, of explaining that each of us are contributors to this household, and our acts of selflessness should not be done to be bragged over or begging of reward for.

"Mom, will you give me five dollars if I do all the wash right now?"

The older ones are now moving on to money. Marbles for currency are no longer enough.

With either marbles or money, it would be far easier to stick with the "you do this, you get that" mentality of this marble system, yet the hard work of explemlifying and explaining doing what needs to be done because we are many members learning to live with and love each other the best we can is worthy of the messy work that comes beyond cause-and-effect.

***

Talking to friends last night over aged cheese and wine (feeling aged ourselves), we spoke of the pendulum that swings between generations. Growing up in the height of 1980's evangelical movement, full of (mostly) well-intentioned messages emulating faith-based behaviors (abstinence, church attendance, Bible study, clean living for clear testimonies), it seems many of our generation-and those just behind us-have swung from faith to works. The new look of the Christian woman of today is one of ethnically made jewelry and tee-shirts declaring a "heart" for adoption/anti-slavery/eradicating disease. We are invited to parties/seminars/movements /missions trips/service projects/sponsor marathons that seek to change the world in multiple ways. We ink our bodies with love, peace and hope--or at least wear them etched in silver pendants around our necks. There are more men and women willing to go to dark places, exposing to many the desperate plights of those caught in unimaginable circumstances. In many ways, it is a truly exciting movement of feet on the ground, of people discontent to merely fill their heads with more knowledge and who desire to bring Light into the dark.

In other ways, it has become very easy to jump on bandwagons and play the part by pasting our Facebook walls, Instagrams and conversations with our intentions in order to gain attention for being part of a generation who seeks to step out of the old and into the new. It CAN be a part that is tempting to play without much sacrifice or deep-hearted participation.

I write this only because it is true for me. I much prefer to present myself as a humble person, mostly because I am precisely the opposite. God has very quietly awakened something in my heart as He's nudged me in closer contact with those of whom I have little in common (only because I didn't chose who I was born to). I somehow feel closer to Jesus being with those who have little status, image or reputation to lean on. There is so much to learn, so little I know. Yet, it is humiliating to admit, I was tempted on my FIRST VISIT to take a picture with one of the individuals and post it to my Instagram and Facebook...for the sake of "exposure to their need", or so I told myself. But I knew. I knew that if, on the very first foray into the fray I was wanting to photograph myself doing it, it was for the sake of my name only. I wanted to hear the clink  of good opinion falling in my favor.

I mean, YUCK.

How quickly the feet of those who bring good news (me) can be revealed to be on a mission of self-promotion.

***

A few words have recently offered themselves as a mirror to my attention-seeking tendencies.

"Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding."

"When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it--quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out."

-Matthew 6:1&4

So there is that.

Then there is this. My friend, Peter Greer writes in his thought-provoking and timely book, The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good:

"Breaking free of our inflated view of ourselves comes when we ruminate on the amazing story told in scripture. When we orient our view towards God's glory, we get a glimpse of the grand story, one of redemption of wholeness and hope from a very big God. As another songwriter wrote many years ago:

"When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, 
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?"

When we turn our eyes away from ourselves, we see that we're not the superheroes-but we're part of a much bigger story than we could have dreamed. 

You and I make lousy superheroes and lousier saviors. And we probably don't look too good in full-body spandex either".

A-to-the-MEN on that (including the Spandex).


***

I am thankful to be part of a generation who is waking up to the need to do good. The prayer must be that our left hands aren't preoccupied with pointing out what our right is doing and for our faith to be happily married to our actions. Those of us who have grown up memorizing the tenants of our faith know that faith without works is dead, useless, without lasting effect (James 2:14-26).

These are the thoughts before me as I consider how to approach my offspring doing good for the sake earning a marble. The truth is, I can struggle in a similar way and considering what my "marbles" are, I would do well to lose them. Only God and I know what's in my jar and why. Only He matters and only from Him, can fulfillment come. Because I am human, there will always be the struggle. Yet, He is patient...and He knows that the reward comes from seeking after Him.

{For anyone reading this who prefers blog posts with neat-and-tidy endings with bullet point suggestions, my deepest apologies. God and I are still working on this and I am a slow learner, which should make me a more patient parent. But it doesn't always}.





 
You can check out her blog here... http://thecoffeecottage.blogspot.com/
Special thanks to Jeane` for allowing me to share!
Hope you all have a safe Super Bowl weekend!
It's what echos from my heart today    ~

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fresh On Friday~ Be Encouraged!




I love the thought I might really encourage someone in a way they really need it.
It is my hope ~



I just finished copying several recipes to my. I want to make it file.
After doing so I had to ask myself, really? I've been eating well since the New Year, no it was not a resolution, just something I attempt every year, sad huh?
So our body is a temple, so if we know that why do some of us not treat it as such?
 I drank a gazillion gallons of water, ate small but satisfactory amounts for meals all this time.......
...and then, I copied a recipe for peanut butter cookies, and something that had a gazzillion types of  melted cheese in it....What!!! NO!





Then there's this........


The goal........
I'm a serious Biggest Loser fan, these people inspire me. Every season I think the same thing, if they can do it at their weight, I have no excuse! Yes they have trainers and work out several hours a day...but they also have hundreds to loose.The most interesting thing is how nearly all that are on medications come off those medications prior to even leaving the show. Imagine the prescriptions you may not need to ever fill again? Diabetics no longer having to give themselves injections, blood pressure changed cholesterol levels dropped! I could go on but you get the possibilities.....

So if your with me on this journey, and I have a long way to go to healthy and fit... notice I did not say skinny or thin.  Healthy and fit does not have to mean either.
I personally don't have a lot more to loose, but to consider myself healthy and fit will take time and discipline.

Repeat after me....

The biggest struggle for me is to keep moving, big dislike exercise is.... Yet even just walking daily provides the results I'm looking for. I need a walking buddy, someone depending on me as I do them, just the way it is for me. If it's raining or cold, walk the mall (just don't take money with you). Keeping in motion is key...if nothing else start with walking around your house during commercials, drink the water! Something beats nothing.  I know that when I stick to the healthy eating, and walking at least 5 times per week,  I do feel better health wise and my mental outlook is much brighter as well!



Using a smaller dinner plate it's psychological and it works. Sandwiches without bread,? Yes, the same inside stuff is good with out the bread, try it!
For me because I have little willpower, ....if it's in the house I will eat it. So, don't bring it home if you know it's going to be a temptation...shop with a list and only get whats on it.




Repeat daily......



We can do this, we can feel better




One day at a time, it's never to late to begin again!


Healthier me, it's what echos from my heart today.
Encourage someone today!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thankful Thursday !






Linking up once again with Rebecca Jo over at Knit by God's Hand. I love her name, Rebecca Jo roles off the tongue much like my beloved Dorthy Gale...... 
"If you can't find what you're looking for in your own backyard, maybe you never really lost it at all."


So today I'm thankful for a being part of the generation first to see The Wizard of Oz.  In our house it was a big event every year.  I'm talking bigger than the Rose parade, for me right up there with Christmas! I love watching it with our oldest grands, Julia and Aubrie. Khloe keeps asking when we will watch it I told her maybe when she is 5 or 6. We don't need any monkey dreams.

~

I'm also thankful for my love of reading. Never really became a reader until 25.  Currently finishing a book by Enuma Okoro. 

 "Okoro's search for a community where she can embrace both her turbulent love of God and her passion for gorgeous shoes. It's a story of longing and promise-and God's persistent presence."

I love her humor, and how she goes about figuring it all out. I'm half way through it and at this point 5 stars!!





~

What are you thankful for today? Hoping you take some to to consider all there is!
It's what echos from my heart today!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

For Momma's and Daddy's of Little Ones!


I posted this blog entry December of 2009.  I re-read it this morning and found it as true today as it was then. Hope you enjoy it!

A Child is Born


The other day I was out to breakfast with my husband. As I sit across from him I notice a Grandmother holding a fairly new baby, "a boy" she says as she looks a me, "he's a month old". I watch the new Mother look across the table into the eyes of her baby boy and I try and remember...how I felt when my first was new, what did I think as I looked into his tiny little eyes.
I know I couldn't imagine that I could love as much and as big as I did this little baby that I had only known a short time. I was relieved he was healthy, I knew the joy he brought his Father and I as well as our families. He was the new big thing, the topic of every conversation, the reason to own a camera! I recall the excitement I felt to pick him up everyday, to kiss him at every opportunity, to hold him close and cause him to feel safe and secure.
As I looked at this young Mother and at her tiny son my thoughts went to what she is yet to learn about being a Mom. I think of the panic she will experience when his fever is 105 and she is waiting for it to be their turn in the emergency room. What she doesn't know is how hard it is to walk away from him that first day of school. She has no idea how her heart will melt with every treasure he brings home from school as he, full of pride tells her, "I made it just for you Mommy".
This new Mom doesn't know the pain she will feel when he isn't picked for the basketball team and all of his friends were. She doesn't think about the fact that one day a girl will break his heart and it will break his Mother's as well. She hasn't yet worried when he drives off without her in the car the first time,and think, will he make it home safe?...every time.. he leaves the house. This Mother will worry when she hears a siren and her son is five minutes late.
 I hope she will experience what it means for her son, regardless of his age, that he never hesitated to hug her in public :-)
This new Mother has yet to experience the pride in him when she sees him wearing a cap and gown. This Mother can't imagine her child could ever hurt her feelings and that generally when he does, she won't say a word.
What she doesn't know is how happy she will be when he marries the love of his life. What she doesn't know is how different it feels to be the Mother in Law and no longer just his Mom. This new Mother can't know is the joy that one day, she will be waiting for her son and his wife's baby to make her a Grandmother. A new baby she can hold and love, all the while knowing just how fast this baby will grow...she will think back and wish she had taken more time just being a mom herself. She will look at her son and his wife and she will know what lies ahead for them as parents.
This new Mother will one day have a greater respect for the love and happiness her own parents brought her. The sacrifices made for her, the pain they felt when she felt pain. She will then understand why her parents worried when she was late........and how they never stopped regardless of age.
I shared this with my husband and his first response was, "imagine what Mary would have felt had she known the purpose of her Son's birth, that He would one day die on a cross for the sins of the world".
I guess when A Child is Born we never really know what to expect beyond the next picture we take in yet another new outfit!

This is what Echo's from My Heart today.......