Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Little Places

My Victorian-loving friend and I had another excursion into a city near me that has the cutest shops. We visited my favorite little nook where I get all of my fancy birthday cards which include Battenburg lace-like cutouts on the envelopes. It's such a friendly place. The two lovely ladies who run it always remember me and ask about my grandson. They have good memories which pleases me and I'm sure helps with their business. We tried a new store where I saw some beautiful pins - an idea for my spring birthday. I received a business card and noted the location of the jewelry on the back.

We walked up and down the street, noting that many of the cutest places were closed on this Tuesday. Visiting another place, we talked to the owner who shared that she had been in business for over 20 years and this was such a hard time. We looked around and talked. I saw a very nice necklace that I liked, but it was more than I wanted to pay right then. Then we ventured to the antiques store and spent a great deal of time. You just can't hurry through a place like that. We did such a rousing job of great purchases on our last trip that she and I both ended up with two small items each, for the day. On the whole, we both felt that we had truly communicated over lunch and the shopping was very secondary. We parted refreshed.

Later that week, at prayer group, we talked about how sad it was that businesses were having a hard time. I few of us walked quietly down the street and prayed for each place. We passed the shop where I had seen the necklace. I felt led to go and buy it. The lady was so sweet and I had been thinking about that thing for several days. I realized that it was quite unique, a gold medallion on a chain - just like the celebrities are wearing. We talked some more and I left feeling very good about my purchase. I felt that it was like "priming the pump." If I bought something, the woman would be more enthusiastic and perhaps others would visit, too. I do believe in answered prayer, so I hope that she prospers.

Visiting little shops and boutiques in a rather small city is such a joy. Of course I go to the chains for everyday supplies. But when I need a gift or something special, I head to a little shop. It would be awful if times were so hard that all of the cute little places closed. I hope things change for these great people. They add so much to my life.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Healed and Sealed

Back when I had my surgery in December, I had an incision under each arm. The one on the left healed up in the proper manner, but the one on the right never would cooperate completely. Then several weeks later, it began to open. I didn't want to go to the doctor, because the one who did the surgery lives at a great distance. I didn't even know if the problem was serious or not. Don't you hate that? To go or not to go, that is the question. I had prayer at church and things stayed the same for a while. Then a hole opened up and I thought I should go somewhere. I prayed some more because I still didn't want to go a long way. My husband suggested that I go to the regular doctor, the one who referred me. I got an appointment, and just before I went, I found an old teaching from Women's Aglow teacher Terry Caplanis. She showed how a wounded eagle lies in the sun and waits for healing. He waits with a twining-together trust while the sun helps his body to heal by natural body processes.

The doctor looked at it, said it wasn't so bad and told me that animals in the wild get big gashes in their skin and they can't run to a doctor. They let nature heal them. (This from the doctor who "yelled" at me for not coming in often enough.) So there I had a confirmation. I put gauze on in it so air could get in and I didn't look at it unless I had to. I decided, hole and all, that God could do what He said He would do.

The day recently, when the last part finally closed, was like a party to me. I have been healed before, but this was special. When I was in the worst of it, I couldn't see any way out, doctors or no doctors. And now the place is shut and the scar is only about half as long as the one on the other side, the good side. The rest is good skin.
There are still issues I need to deal with: finances, relationships, other healings, and duties. But just one special touch from the Lord gave me such a boost. He is awesome. He does heal. And He wants me to know that all, all else is covered up, healed and sealed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Welcome Break

What's new around here? A spring-like thaw, that's what. And it's about time. So many people have that glazed look on their faces, as if they can't stand one more gloomy day or one more snowstorm. It has been warm here all week. I think we even hit 70 degrees yesterday. The sun was shining. My grandson walked over to the glass door and stared at it. He ran back to me and ran and looked again. He just didn't know what that big yellow thing out there was. I think I remember - Oh, yeah, the sun!

Most of the snow is melting and the ice, too. That didn't stop my friend from falling on the ice in a parking lot. She wasn't hurt, but even with the lovely weather, you can never be sure with ice.

I had this huge desire to get rid of some old clothes. I had sweaters, jackets, skirts, and other things that I could still wear, but I'm just sick of looking at them. I've gotten my money's worth out of them. I'm so glad I have several places I can donate things as someone else might be delighted with them. It wasn't so much a matter of ridding out winter things as just lightening the load. I parted with things that a few weeks ago I thought I needed, but now feel great to be rid of. If you have it, you have to use it. Isn't that the rule? Too much stuff is a burden.

I'm also putting red items away a little at a time in my house and putting out a bit of green. I'm so hungry for green grass that I'd even watch the golf channel just to see miles of the stuff.

I know that here where I live (if you use the Michigan "hand" method of location and we all do here,) and I live just a bit below and to the left of the bottom of my thumb, we still could have up to 10 weeks of snow possible. I can't help it, this balmy break gave me just enough spring fever that I'm ready for flowers and the smell of earth. Yes, I wish I could dig in the ground right now, a regular Scarlett O'Hara. But I'll have to wait. Just a little longer. Until then, Oh, sunshine, I'm so glad to see you again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Tribute

When I was a little girl in school, we always celebrated George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays along with Valentines Day. We even got George's day, Feb. 22 off. That was loads of fun for little girls in the middle of winter. Now I appreciate our February presidents even more than ever. I know some new information has been turned up to throw some dirt on their characters. Some of it may even be true. There is only One perfect life. I believe that these two men came at just the right time for our country and I love and honor them. There are a few other presidents I would like to acknowledge.

I enjoy hearing about President Theodore Roosevelt. He just seems so big and full of life. He also seems to have had a twinkle in his eye.

My grandfather was a farmer in Ohio and he always talked lovingly of President Truman as "old Truman." From what little I know, I enjoy his simplicity and quiet courage that some may or may not have appreciated.

I appreciate President Jimmy Carter. When he became president, people started hearing about being "born again." As a Lutheran girl, I might have never heard of "knowing Jesus as my Savior" in the sense that I do today if Mr. Carter hadn't been bold and brave and put it out there for everyone to see.

My favorite president is President Ronald Reagan. I have loved him for a very long time, before he was president or governor of California. There is something about him that grabbed me from the beginning and the more I learned, the more I liked.

I would like to pray for our current president, President Barack Obama, according to 1Tim.2:2 about praying for all in authority. May President Obama be protected from all harm, may he be well and healthy, and may God guide him as he leads this nation. Amen.

There is something I like about all of our presidents and I would like to thank them for serving this country. What a huge job that must be. And since, as a teacher, February was patriotic month, may God Bless America.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Top Ten Romantic Movies

I had loads of fun doing my Valentines. I didn't have that sense of a Helping Hand leaning over my shoulder putting things together as I usually do. Still, it was fun and I got them all sent out on time.

I thought it would be fun this year to list my top 10 favorite romantic movies. I know a lot of my readers enjoy romance.

Top 10 Favorite Romantic Movies: Ta Ta, Ta Ta Ta Ta!

1. Pride and Prejudice -I like the one with Keira Knightley. I play it over and over.

2. Jane Eyre - Love the A&E version from around l999.

3. The Princess Bride - Great sword play and whimsy

4. Casablanca - a classic

5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding - I practically have this one memorized. I am just now getting to where I don't laugh hysterically when Toula's aunt talks about her twin.

6. The Sound of Music - Maria and the captain are just too much.

7. An Affair to Remember - A great Cary Grant movie. The ending is my favorite ending ever.

8. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers - This may not qualify as one to many of you, but there are seven ladies and seven brothers and lots of love going on and a lot of great dancing. I guarantee the joy will lift your spirits.

9. My Man Godfrey - An old comedy with William Powell and Carol Lombard. It's corny to the max, but I love to watch it when I need something light.

10. The Lady Vanishes - This little beauty snuck into our home on a three movie Alfred Hitchcock collection. I soon adopted it. It's witty, stylish, mysterious. A very young Sir Michael Redgrave (Vanessa's dad) is the star.

BONUS - Shadowlands - This is sad. That's why it's not in my top 10. It's about C.S. Lewis and his wife. Of course they are older. Nevertheless, Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger are fabulous. Just the romance part touches my heart every time.

I'd love to hear about your favorite romantic movies. I'm always open to a new one. So if you have time, could you tell me a little bit about your movie.

Wishing all of you a great weekend and a Very Happy Valentines Day. (Don't eat too much chocolate.) Love, Nancy

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What I Put In Stays In

Every once in a while, I will wake up with a contemporary Christian song in my head. I love that. It just makes my whole day. It is as if the Lord were saying, "Good morning, Nancy." The funny thing is, I may have heard the song several days ago at midweek service, on Sunday morning, or ever several weeks ago. I love the creative new songs and they are something good that I put in my spirit and my mind.

I also love old ballads and lately, I have had a hunger for old show tunes. I got the Broadway soundtrack of Oliver from the Internet recently. I used to have the record, but with no player to play my records on, I got rid of them all. Now I am playing a game of catch-up, trying to get just the best of the ones I had which are available in CD form. Well, I was so excited about Oliver that I played it repeatedly. I realized that I could still sing my favorite songs, "Where Is Love?." "Consider Yourself," "I'd Do Anything For You," and "Who will buy?." Those songs are just so pretty or catchy that I could sing them over and over.

My husband got me an old Robert Goulet CD for Christmas. It has some great old tunes. Some are old show tunes like "If Ever I Would Leave You." This song talks about the various charms of a woman during the different seasons. It has some of the richest romantic lyrics I have ever heard. This song from Camelot goes, "I've seen how you sparkle when fall nips the air, I know you in autumn and I must be there." Gorgeous.

Now it occurred to me that as I was singing the song from Camelot that I was singing ahead of Robert. I knew the lyrics, but only a step ahead of him. I didn't know that I knew them. I had stuffed that song in my mind and it remained there dormant, just waiting for me to get it started again. The same thing happened when I started singing "The Twelfth Of Never" to my Ty. It all just came out.

I realized anew how important it was to put good things in my mind, because they are there for a very long time. I got a book from the library in the children's section. It had woods and looked mysterious. I liked that and the cover pulled me in. But after reading the back and the end flaps, I didn't feel that it would be good to read. It dealt with the kind of magic that I didn't want to put into my mind. I could have started it and quit, but better not to get too into the story. This may seem prudish in a children's book, but I have had to quit several of this type. My point is that there is also bad stuff I don't want to put in my mind. I remember violence from movies from long ago, so I try hard not to go to that type of movie.

It's my choice what I put in my mind. I would like to do as the apostle Paul says in Phil. 4:8, put in what is noble, just, pure, and of virtue. I'll do that because with me, what goes in seems to stay in.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Two Awards

I am so excited because Andy at http://booknutreview/ has given me two awards. The first one is the Stylish blogger Award. I am honored to get this award because the blogs I visit are so professionally done. To receive this award, I am to pass it along to 7 other people and list 7 things about myself:

1. I am new to the computer, Internet, blogs, Facebook and all other such things. We are talking less than two years. So I need patience with all of the fancy stuff.

2. One year my junior high school was let out of school so we could walk to the courthouse and see candidate John F. Kennedy speak. We did. Got a picture, too.

3. I once memorized all of the counties in Ohio so I wouldn't have to do a history chapter outline. That was the teacher's deal and I was the only one to do it.

4. I'm not afraid of spiders anymore.

5. I'm not fond of fruit, but I'll eat mandarin oranges and apples in season.

6. I love cauliflower. It's not green, but it is a vegetable and it's good for you.

7. I love black licorice. Now that I'm off sweets, it will have to be a rare treat. Oh, I can always have licorice tea.

Now enough about me, I'd like to say that all of the people who visit my blog are first class and have great, successful blogs. They have probably gotten many awards, but this one is well...stylish.

So, here are my Stylish blogger Award choices.

Andrea at http://arise2write/. She does wonderful things with photography and poetry.

Jessica at Bookingit http://jessicanelson7590/. She teaches about writing and has a great sense of humor.

Kara at http://eskimokissesandairhugs/. She is multi-talented and writes about the outdoors and homeschooling.

Susan at Christian Writer/Reader Connection http://susanreinhardt/. She visits other blogs and gives the very best advice on writing.

Susan at A Walk In My Shoes http://lcwrite2/. She uses wonderful shoe pictures to show off her writing lessons.

Jill http://jillkemerer/. Jill give a series of writing lessons and witty everyday blogs as well.

Stephanie at Steph In The City http://stepie5741/. Steph does a lot of nostalgia from her childhood. She is very funny.

I also received the Liebster blog award from Andy which is for blogs that are not very well known, but should be. For this, I nominate my friend Teri at Facedown http://wrshptheking/. She does beautiful poetic praise and family themes.

Once again, I would like to thank Andy for these awards. His blog is always coming alive with new things. Whatever you choose to do about the awards, I hope you will all check out these sites.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Things To Ponder

I recently purchased Eugene H. Peterson's version of the Bible, The Message. I started reading it in Psalms and Romans. I am now still in Psalms but have moved to 1 Corinthians. While I enjoy my New King James Version of the Bible, I am finding some jolts of brilliance and wow power in seeing things in another way. I was put onto this bit of newness by Andrea at Arise 2 Write. I am grateful for all of the lovely Scriptures she has placed on her blog which hit me at just the right time. So now here are some which I felt jumped out at me and I hope they bless you.

"Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you." Romans 6:6-11 The Message

"God has set everything right between him and me." Romans 10:11-13 The Message

"Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy." Romans 15:7-13 The Message

"It's not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of the process but God, who makes things grow." 1Cor. 3:5-9 The Message

"I hear this most gentle whisper from One I never guessed would speak to me. "I took the world off your shoulders." Psalm 81:1-5, 6-7 The Message.

I'm going to keep going back and forth with my two Bibles and hope that I can see my old precious scriptures in a new light and will be able to better absorb and use the Word that I have.

Going back to the New King James Version, in Psalm 75:3, the word "Selah" is used. I have been told that this means, listen or pay attention, think about these things. There are many times when I read something profound or new and I just write "Selah" in my Bible. When I have time, I'll put it on a card and ponder the meaning. It's just a fun Bible word which I like to use. I think many such words are beautiful and powerful.
Hope you get an anointed message today that helps you to praise God, be joyful, or work towards the Kingdom.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Creating

I had an opportunity to go with our church intercessors group to a prophetic art seminar. Friday evening, we heard about blocks to creativity and how important it is to use your gift. I knew that one of our ladies worked in pastels, another blew the shofar and wanted to try pastels, and another painted in canvas. I had determined to try drawing again and borrowing one friend's chalks. I had a year of art in college and found that my drawing was not good enough to go on in the subject and make a living at it. So, I switched to education and have been in teaching ever since. My desire to create in the visual arts has always lingered. I dabbled in collages, paper cutting, and watercolors over the years. I am always happiest when I am busy pulling things together and trying to create something in that way.

So I planned to use the pastels and I got a picture in my head of what I believed the Lord wanted me to draw. The problem was, I was to do a duck and I wasn't sure I could execute it properly. But we were told that we were to play, have fun, and go beyond our comfort zone. So I used yellows and blues for water and greens for foliage and had quite a time trying to figure out how to do all of the background between my objects. Well, it was fun. No one said how great it was or even commented on it. They were all too busy working on their pictures. I wasn't chosen as one to go up and share either. It turns out my duck actually looks ducky and I learned that I love to draw foliage. Also, the Lord gently showed me how to shade around the animal, to give it weight.

Now my first picture wasn't anything much, certainly not something to give away to show off. But God said, "Just keep the pictures to yourself for awhile, then I'll give you a ministry." So I'm not off the hook. I believe that I am to go ahead and do more with drawing. I may use colored pencils or even crayons instead, but anything will do for a start. I am going for my paper and materials this weekend.

One little side note that touched my heart. Just as I was about to think this art thing wasn't for me after all, I was scrounging around in my old stamps to find some for my Valentines I plan to make and I found a sticker. It said, "Neglect not the gift that is in you." So I'm overjoyed to add more creativity to my writing and maybe put the two together somehow. I love having a new thing in my life for this new year.