Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

Here’s to Ruth


image-17I did not publish a blog last week because I was in the midst of a sad occasion and many miles from my computer. We put my mother in law to rest on Monday. She is now peacefully in her eternal reward.

Her name is Ruth, which means “friend, companion”. She really lived up to that name. When I think about her my main memories are about the kindness that she showed toward me from the first day that I met her. As a child and young adult I struggled with one on one conversation with those older than me, but she made conversing easy.

Ruth was friendly, loving, kind, interested in the lives of others and would do what she could to help those in need. One of my favorite things about her was that she was down to earth without frills, which made her all the more loveable and easy to talk to. She was hard working and always had some project going, usually quilts. She never let anyone who came to her home leave hungry, and she was a great cook. She was strong in character and resolve.  I never had to worry about my children misbehaving at her house because she was quick to correct their bad behavior and when she did they remembered and were better the next time.

Proverbs 29:15

The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

She helped me tremendously during the brief sickness and death of both of my parents within two years of each other. When she became my children’s only living grandparent she took on that role with honor and loved them even more. As my children grew older they got closer to her and never missed the opportunity to visit her even if it was just for a few minutes. She loved those visits. Later as parents themselves, they would bring the great grandchildren to her so they could experience the wonder that was “Grandma Palmer”.

I hope that I can be as kind and accepting and loving as she was as I attempt to be Grandma to my six grandchildren. It was a rare occasion to see her without  that beaming smile on her face.

If I could say one last thing to her I would say “Ruth you will be missed here on earth by many and we look forward to reuniting with you someday in heaven.”

God gave me a wonderful mother-in-law and sometimes it takes the passing of a wonderful person like her to remind us that we should truly appreciate our parents, grandparents and other relatives while they are still with us so we don’t regret what we did not think to say while they were alive.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

The “Over Do”


isaiah-40-31

Over the years I have been very good at overdoing. I used to walk very fast, which was based on my childhood of being short and trying to keep up with those with longer legs. I found the fast pace helped me get more accomplished and that has been important to me. I always want to feel like I am getting everything done that has been given to me to do. At work I am usually in fast mode working diligently and as quickly as possible.

With that in mind I guess I walked a little too fast this past week which caused an old injury on the right side of my body to rear its ugly head. Needless to say I am working hard on persevering through the pain. Somehow I need to figure out a way to complete all my tasks and not walk too fast.

James 1:2-5 (NKJV)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

So as I write this blog I am asking for you to stand with me in seeking wisdom to navigate my way through this challenge. I am working on that “counting it all joy” portion of the scripture. I believe it is all about attitude and I trust God to get me through this mess and not leave me in it. In the mean time I will be waiting on the Lord to show me the best way to proceed and avoid further injury.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

The Boot


img_1443After years of struggle with ankle and foot pain my daughter convinced me to try again to find a doctor who could help.  She gave me a list of possible doctors and I chose one that looked promising. That call resulted in a referral to another more specialized doctor with whom I made the appointment. After the first appointment I bought and wore a brace, for around two weeks but it caused more pain so I called the doctor back and we moved on to an MRI.  On Thursday I got the results and the decision was made to put me into boot for 30 days and pray that the immobilization and rest would heal the problems.

The boot comes with its own problems. It basically is a platform that you walk on which makes one leg longer than the other and can make you unbalanced. It also rocks as you move, if you push your heal down your toes will rock up and if you put your toes down you heal rocks up. This keeps you ankle from bending and allows your foot to rest while allowing you to walk. To combat the uneven walking I purchased an “evenup” sole to put under my other shoe. This helps to compensate and keep me more even and less likely to cause back, hip and knee problems.

Walking with the boot is a challenge. Going up steps it feels like it weighs a ton. Walking on uneven surfaces can cause your knee to go backwards and makes it feel like you could fall over. This unsteadiness reminds me of life in general. Sometimes I am unsure of myself and it feels like I am rocking back and forth on uneven ground as I walk really slow hoping not to fall. Sometimes my confidence is high and I feel that I am on solid flat ground where I go safely at a faster pace. However, God does not always give me a flat concrete path to walk on. Sometimes He gives me the rocky road with a rocking boot, just to see what I will do. Maybe it is to test me to see what I have learned from life and His word.

Having this boot has slowed me down more than the pain in my ankle did before. But going slow is not always a bad thing. It helps me to re-evaluate what I am doing and try to minimize my steps by thinking ahead more and making fewer trips. It also helps me to depend on the kindness of others which is important. Sometimes accepting help is more important that the pride of doing it yourself. It allows me to be on the other side of this scripture:

Acts 20:35 (NASB)

In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

By graciously receiving what others give to me I am allowing them to be blessed. This is a hard lesson to learn, but I am working on it. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask


broken-can-opener

Sometimes things break right when you are in the middle of something. Case in point, my can opener broke right in the middle of opening a can and I could not get it off or open the can. I tried a pair of plyers to help but it did not work. So I walked to where my wonderful husband was and showed him the can with the opener stuck and the broken handle. I asked him “Any ideas?”. He immediately told me to get the crescent wrench from his workbench in the garage. So I did and I was able to open the can and complete the meal prepartion. I thank God for knowing who to ask when I can’t quite figure something out.

Life isn’t always as easy as finding a cresent wrench to fix a problem. Sometimes it is much more difficult and no matter who we ask no-one seems to have the answer. If you reach that point and you haven’t ask God for help then I would say it is definitly time to ask. God promises that He will guide us and lead us. He promises to never leave or forsake us. So what harm can come from asking for help when you just don’t know what to do? What is the worst thing that can happen? Nothing worse than what you are already experiencing by not knowing your answer. And if you won’t be worse off by asking then you got nothing to lose.

Matthew 7:7 (NASB)

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

In my life I try to follow these steps:

  1. Pray for understanding and my need.
  2. Search my heart for anything that would be holding me back from hearing what God has to say
  3. And read God’s word because most of the answers are in there. It might not be the exact situation but the principal of what you need to know is in there.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we all need it from time to time. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

Light and Distance


lightAs I sat down in bed and began to read by the light of a small lamp, I realized I could not clearly see the words on the page and was straining my eyes. I tried bringing the book closer to my face but that just increased the blurriness of the words. So I held the book farther from my face but the words were just too far away.  I changed positions and brought the book closer to the lamp, but that position was way too uncomfortable.  I reluctantly got up and turned the overhead light on and was amazed how the words on the page were immediately legible.

It is amazing how having a book at just the right distance from your eyes and with enough light to illuminate the words can make all the difference in the world in your understanding of the words you are reading.  I know recently at work I have had to use a magnifying glass in order to read some very small print and handwriting.  I am thankful for the magnifying glass that helps me solve the mystery of what the words on the page are so I can do my job.

When life gets complicated and unsure maybe it is because there is not enough light to shine on the pages in the book of our lives to see the way. If we can’t read the words on the instructional pages we spend our lives winging it and get stuck and confused.  Sometimes all it takes is a little more light from God to get us to where the book is just the right distance from our eyes and we have our reading glasses on (if you need them like me) so we can read the instructions that will get us where we need to go.

Psalm 119:105 (NASB)

 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

God’s word is the Light that guides us with His divine wisdom and direction. God can see more than we can and from His perspective our problems, struggles, confusions and messes look much different. He sees the big picture and does not have to use a magnifying glass to understand what is going on. With His Word to light our path we will be directed to the right place.

Psalm 37:23 (NASB)

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

It all comes down to trusting God to direct us, no matter the circumstances or situations.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

Every week God amazes me with His wisdom and understanding and His allowing me to share what He has shared with me. I grow and learn each day and week and year. In this New Year I hope that we will grow together and enjoy this life that God has given us. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

GPS and God


psalm-37-23-frozen-treeHappy New year!!!! The end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 have been a whirl wind for me. I haven’t been able to sit long enough to write a blog until now.  With the New Year came an arctic front that brought just enough snow and ice to this southern location to cause a commuting mess. Needless to say long commutes got a lot longer because of ice on the roads.

Leaving work early is usually a treat but this afternoon it was not. Bundling up in my heaviest jacket and gloves I headed into the cold. With the GPS already telling me it would take at least 2 hours to get home, which is only 36 miles, I settled my mind for a long slow drive. Before leaving the parking lot I set the GPS and briefly checked the unusual route, knowing that it would probably change a few times before I made my way home. After speaking to Bob briefly I started on the trip.

The parking lot was ok, no ice. I looked at my first road and realized that there was a long line—which I have never seen before. A truck let me onto the road and immediately my car began to slide.  Calming myself I began to repeat to myself, don’t touch the brakes on ice, don’t accelerate quickly. I love my little mustang but it has a tendency to slide easily on wet pavement, so I knew ice would be a problem.

Usually I get a bit nervous when the GPS keeps changing my route and at first this was the case however I believe it took me the quickest route. There was a lot of ice on bridges and overpasses and on streets, under trees and ramps. My route changed several times and I drove on some streets in the city that I have never taken. I passed near the interstate a few times and even got on once just to get right back off onto another side street that was moving faster.

In the two hours it took to get to my house I saw several wrecked vehicles on the slick roads. The first one I saw was a pickup truck with a trailer that had jackknifed in the left lane, then there was the car turned backwards at the beginning of a high ramp and many others as I drove on. Each incident made me a little more cautious.

As I drove I prayed for safety for myself and Bob. I wanted us both to make it home safely and relax. Despite high stress levels while driving in these conditions we both made it home safely and for that I praise God.

Spending that intense time just listening to the GPS for further direction to get me through that tough drive is like what we should be doing with God. We have all had tough times where we feel danger lurking and see the carnage of life all around us. In these times it is important that we do like I did to get home, get in the driver’s seat, turn on our engines and move forward while listening to God to show us the best path to get to our desired destination.

Psalm 37:23 (NASB)

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

Enjoy your winter wonderland and I will be back next week with more.

Oh Mama


There is nothing like imitation to help you appreciate someone. This year I decided to share some of my memories from childhood with my grandchildren. I am not just telling them stories but rather imitating some of my Mama’s traditions so they can be passed down to this new generation.

I started by building a “cookie crib”, which is a manger scene with the building built out of sugar cubes, powdered sugar mortar, and a shredded wheat roof. Then the most fun part is to make the cookies with grandkids. This year I had Jack and Rex. But Rex wasn’t feeling good so Jack got all the fun.

I use some antique cookie cutters that my Mama used. As I started I remember my mama’s struggle with getting the cookies to release from the cutters. But I had Jack, he was in charge of putting flour into the cutters to make them release easy. He was a fun mess.

Then it was on to painting the cookies. I will admit I did not completely remember what parts to paint what colors but that didn’t matter because because Jack was in charge and did a wonderful job for a three year old. It was all about the fun not a perfect project. We were making memories.

While we worked I was able to explain who each cookie represented and briefly what Christmas is all about. Sharing sbout Jesus in a fun way made this even more special.

Oh Mama I miss you especially when I start to realize the amount of effort you put into raising us and keeping the Christmas pure for us.

This Christmas season is starting out very special. I hope you have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or other child you can share the true wonder of Christmas with. Enjoy your Christmas Holiday.

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