Thursday, March 05, 2015

What I Watched. What I Saw.



"Let both (the weeds and wheat) grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'"   ... Matthew 13:30


*****


I confess. Each morning I pause before opening the curtains across our picture window because I know exactly what's outside and--seeing it--I'll groan:




Bleh.

But one must go on, open the curtains anyway and keep her thoughts full of God, blessings and joy rather than all that tiresome dirty-white, icy mess out there.

This morning, God fluttered something down to my lap, or my tv actually, which helped me aim my thoughts toward the lighter, brighter side. It came by way of Netflix and was a delightfully fun documentary titled, Advanced Style.

Oh my. Have you seen it? As I've written before, I love eccentric ladies and this film was flooded with them. 

Here's the blog that started it all.

And here's a tiny blurb about the documentary:

"Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging."


This film had old-fashioned glamour, rampant quirkiness and those ancient, dark, tall-ceiling'd New York apartments with decades and layers of antiques. And it had wisdom:

Use the gifts you were given. They just might make people happy.
Accept growing older with grace.
Don't live in fear of what others think of you.
Make the most of the days you have left.


Although, I didn't agree with everything said, of course. I've known people who'll disagree with one scene, one word or idea on a tv program and click! Off it goes and away they go in a huff. And then they miss the dozen other life-affirming ideas which would have changed their life's path for the good. 

Those people--often--are the ones who, on their deathbeds, have neither changed nor grown, but stagnated because they kept their mind inside a narrow box. I've watched it happen, and well, I'm determined it won't happen to me. 

So I'll continue to watch documentaries like Advanced Style and separate the wheat from the chaff/weeds like a true grown-up does. And then move on happily, nudged by new inspiration and an invitation to continue becoming who God created me to be.

Even in coldest, darkest Wintertime.



*****


"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."   ... Ephesians 5:15,16


*****



Some people hyperventilate just thinking about high prices at the supermarket. Not me. I keep buying items only on sale, plus, I use doubled coupons (when applicable). Here are a few deals I brought home Tuesday:



SO Delicious creamer -- both free
Lloyds barbeque meat -- both free
NYC cover stick -- free
Silk Coconut milk -- 1.39
Pictsweet Vegetables -- 1.00 each
Olivari olive oil -- 2.50 each

Without sales and coupons I would have paid $37.89
Instead I paid just $8.39

One way I stay motivated to shop this way in Today's world where prices (especially for groceries) keep rising? I often remind myself of this verse:


"When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet."   ...Proverbs 31:21


(Well, the parallel makes sense to me, anyway. heh.)




*****


Free Kindle books:








Tuesday, March 03, 2015

For Whiners and Haters of Themselves





A tweaked post from February of 2010. Because, let's just say, I've been reminded of it often lately.  :)

*****

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."   ...James 1:12

****


So have you watched the new Style Network show called The Ten Things I Hate About Me?

It makes me nuts. (It must have made others bonkers and disappeared in a flash, because now, in 2015, I can't find a single website about it.)

I mean, these women write-in with a list of ten things they hate about themselves, stuff they feel powerless to change on their own. Are they huge problems? Not usually. Which means, their lists end up sounding like whining.

You know--I hate my hair. I hate my figure. I hate how my living room looks. I hate that I can't cook healthy meals. I hate that I can't write thank-you notes. I hate how my house smells. I hate my clothes. I hate how I never finish anything I start.

Good grief.

You know what I hate? I hate it when women sound so darn helpless. 

Complaining is so very easy. Yet complaining wastes time and ruins everything. It certainly ruined things for the ol' Israelites of Bible days:

"Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp." Numbers 11:1

Uh-oh.

How about, instead, discovering ways to fix what's wrong? Or praying about what we cannot repair? Or asking for help from a friend rather than flying out to appear on a tv show? Or accepting what we cannot change, but changing what we can? Or accepting our imperfect selves and basking in Jesus' perfect love for us? And doing all things through the strength and wisdom He gives? 

But hating ourselves for our flaws? No. Please never go there again.

What am I saying? If you do hate something about yourself, well, fix it. If you hate your living room, rearrange it. Make it unique and different (paint that wall you hate. Ask for help if you need it.) Find some doable ideas online. 

If you hate your hair, make an appointment to have it changed, ask a friend for help or learn to change it, yourself. If you hate your body, seriously look into nutrition and exercise (and if you think you can't exercise, recall those tv shows you've seen where the elderly sit in chairs and do toning exercises. I've had some lazy days in my life where I've watched them and thought, "Wow! Pretty strenuous stuff compared to what I've done lately!")

If you hate that you don't have extra money, discover ways to stop spending in some areas so you can start spending in others. 

If you hate clutter, clear one corner at a time, learn to let go and then deal with the reason why the clutter invaded your home in the first place.

In other words, complaining, blaming and waiting for someone else to do it all for us--they change nothing, except for paralyzing us with their heaviness. Push away apathy and helplessness, then do what you can. Seek answers and never fall for the "I can't help it" lie. Or just ask for help. Or pray. Or wait patiently, sweetly for the things which require time. Or accept what you cannot change (make certain first, though, that it truly can't be changed).

But whichever choice you make, please do not hate yourself. You'll go nowhere, well, except to despondency. And who wants to live there?




****

"The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne."   ... Revelation 3:22


Be inventive. Be creative. Be smart. Be open to new ideas. But do not be mad at

yourself.


I see the 'someone, please do it all for me' attitude" at some Facebook coupon pages all the time. Often newbies come along and want--not help in learning--but people to do all the work for them, work which took the rest of us years as we taught ourselves all the complicated tricks of saving money. The best way to learn anything? Plunge in, yourself. Do research, study, show up, take notes, learn by doing and making your own mistakes. It's the only--and best--way:

"Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else..."   ... Galations 6:4



****


I finally got pro-active about decorating the top of our stairway:


It does feel great to make changes, to complete things, to overcome inertia or a lack of creative ideas..

(These were the stairs out at our farmhouse, lest anyone wonder and also, lest anyone actually think I did something this productive today.)  :)





*****


Free Kindle books:


Until Forever

With Every Letter



Monday, March 02, 2015

Adventures in Solitude


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."   ...Proverbs 3:5,6

*****


Well. February became the coldest month ever in Buffalo's record-keeping history, which began in 1871. The third snowiest, also.

In my best Walter Cronkite voice, I would say, "And I was there." 

And we're currently aiming for 3rd place in the Longest Time Gone Without Reaching Freezing (32 Degrees). Oh my.

Of course, the bravest people are those who must go out every day, barring a travel ban. I would list all they face, but that would require paragraphs.

Me? I've been a comparative cheater, venturing away from home only every 9 days and--though warming up the car in a 2 degree (or so) garage each day isn't pleasant--it's also not a big deal. Not even close.

Now, don't faint or anything, but I wish each of you could experience my recent adventures in solitude. This living alone during a record-breaking cold month certainly shows you what you have inside yourself--and what you still lack. Where you're strong, where you're weak. Where you're prepared and where you're flailing around. 

The Real You crawls out at such times and you see some bravery, but also bits of insecurity and things left undone. 

But the best thing? You hear God and Grace more clearly than ever encouraging you, strengthening you and cheering you. You come away knowing if this became your permanent lot in life, you would--after time-- be ok. More than.

But only because you've stopped relying upon yourself, your bright ideas, and instead, learned to lean upon the Greatest Source of everything you'll ever need.



*****


“If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.” 
― Jean-Paul Sartre


“I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel."     ..... Audrey Hepburn

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”   ... Deuteronomy 31:8


*****


And for fun? Tom's needed a few old photos for his presentations, so I've dug through boxes and emailed him some. Here are three. 

At Yosemite:




At the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown (2001 maybe?):


And because Barry Williams has a new reality tv series coming soon (who doesn't? heh), here's one from 1997 when he came to our town and I and other ladies in their 30's and 40's giggled like the silly little girls we once were. And loved it.

                                        (I remember this was 1997 because Naomi was 17. Does anyone else remember specific times and dates because of using the ages of their children?)   :)


*****


Free Kindle books:


Blowing on Dandelions

Real Clever Ideas and Solutions

All God's Children

For My Brother