Today, A New Beginning

Seems as though I’m good at beginning but not so much on the follow through.  For so long I’ve wanted to tell my story.  Maybe no one cares, but God has been good to me.  I want to express to everyone what a mighty God we have.  I’ve wanted to write a book about what God has done, but would anyone buy it? Not many possibly, but making money is not the reason I want to tell my story.  I just want to tell the world that God is faithful and able to take care of whatever comes our way.  We have victory over life and death. So, today, I will begin my blog posts as daily devotions about the journey with God against the enemy, cancer.

Cancer came without warning, totally uninvited.  Healthy living had always been the goal for my family.  Sickness had not been part of my life, but God knew I needed to learn more about living in this broken world.  Others had problems but not me, this was my introduction. So come along with me as I share with you the lessons learned from the Book of Psalms and other related scriptures.

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A Day of Reckoning

This week has been an eye opener. High blood pressure and a doctor that did not renew my prescription suddenly made me realize it’s time to do things differently. Way back when I was told that I would be taking this medicine for the rest of my life, I didn’t think that was right. That meant the doctor would not find out what was causing the problem and tell me what to do to fix it.

So this week, the juicer has come back out. Homemade bread, salad dressings, lots of teas have all become my friends. Hours of research have given me new insight into what is probably causing my high blood pressure. Salt has played havoc with my body in years past, especially when pregnant. That stuff is in everything, even my nightly hot cocoa. New habits and tastes need to be acquired and fast.

The research also uncovered another culprit, the lack of exercise. Oh, how true it is, too many hours sitting in front of a computer have taken their toll. Now it’s back to that garden, my neglected garden. I need that physical activity, I need those vegetables, I need that sunshine, I need that stress relief; all come from the garden.

Terry and I started walking around the little park a short distance from our house. It was a difficult going up the little hill to the beginning of the sidewalk, but the level walkway itself was easy enough. It took us 14 minutes to go around on Wednesday. We sat on a park bench to rest a little before returning home. For fun, we tried to take pictures with my new phone. Terry got a couple of one second videos of me. After I had found how to get to the camera, I got a picture of him. That’s our baseline photos for this journey of better health. Today we made the walk in 13 minutes and we tried out the selfie feature on my phone. The rest on that bench is very relaxing and fun. I’m so glad I have that time with Terry.

A Short Turn Around the Garden

Flowers are Blooming

The weather has been warm for January, welcome rains have come.  Plants are loving it.  The Gerber Daisies are bouncing their pretty coral heads in the breeze beside the happy white wax begonias.  The Paper-white Narcissus are shining against the green of the new iris leaves.  It is a gorgeous day even if the showers keep coming.  The puppy is in digging heaven, the ground is just perfect for treasure hunting.  A friend says she will be better by the time she is two, that’s another year away.

Veggie Garden Progress

The new raised beds for the veggie garden are still in the works.  We want to change the sizes and the placing of the beds.  It has been hard to get the wheel barrow into the garden since the fence went up.  That fence has been a life saver for the veggies so there’s no complaining.

Aging Changes Things

The beds are beginning to break down with age, about like me.  New wood, new sizes and new soil will rejuvenate the garden.  Would that work for me?  The new size has helped for sure, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get a new structure for this old body.  New soil?  Well, maybe.  What I feed me should help make a healthier body, we’re working on that, too!

There is Hope

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

It’s exciting to know everyone (not just me) grows weary, but strength is available.  It just doesn’t come if you sit still, you gotta be walking and running.  So garden we are moving and it will be the best yet!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Raisin Fudge

Not sure where I found this, on the internet or in a magazine.  I had written it in abbreviated language on a scrap of paper and then lost it on my desk.  After Christmas, it was uncovered and I tried it.  Absolutely easy and delicious.

Here are the four ingredients I used:

12 ounces of Nestle’s Dark Chocolate Morsels                                                    1 cup of Jiff Natural creamy peanut butter

3 cups Kraft mini-marshmellows                                                                           3/4 cup Sun-Maid golden raisins

Melt the choc. chips and peanut butter over medium heat.  Fold in the marshmellows and raisins stirring until melted.  Pour into a 8×8 or 9×9 pan.  Chill until firm.  Cut into squares.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes:

The peanut butter is low sodium.  The chunky style would be good, but we have a family member that can’t have nuts or seeds.

My Garden

Years ago, Terry helped me place raised beds in our backyard for vegetable growing.  All went well until the dogs came to live with us along with two grandchildren.  Digging dogs and vegetable gardens just didn’t work, hence the garden fence and gate.  The garden became my escape until cancer entered the picture.  It still provided solice and a reason to be outside.

This past year has been hard on the garden; heat, lack of rain and no attention has made for a pitiful garden.  A new puppy, that is finally too large to go through the slats of the fence, didn’t help either.  Flower pots have been emptied, plants and pots chewed up, logs lining flower beds rearranged or chewed to pieces, in general a mess.  To top it off, grandson #1 had done a new fence for a friend and asked if I wanted the old fence boards for crafts.  Of course, I did but where to put them?  Inside the garden, where the puppy couldn’t get them, seemed to be the answer.  So now, the garden is harboring old fence boards instead of growing wonderful vegetables.

Changes are coming beginning today.  First, we’ll survey the damage and decide on a plan for the garden.  The weather is to be beautiful, sunny and in the mid 60’s.  Of course, winter has only started but here in Katy Texas, we don’t expect freezing for very long.  Things will be blooming in just a few weeks, so it’s time to get busy.

After a day of hard physical work, I’m certain there will be a spell of just imparting wisdom.  Muscles will have to rest and heal, you know.  Keep the faith, it will be a beautiful garden once again.

2012 Focus

The Wrong Focus

Today, we’re looking at the sad story of Judas Iscariot in Matthew 27:1-10.  After walking with Jesus for 3 years, listening to His teachings, he was still led astray by the deceiver.

Some scholars believe that Judas thought Jesus would exert His Power and become the Jewish leader.  He thought he was forcing Jesus (actually helping Him) to step onto the stage of power.  The money he received was not the important element, power was.

Judas believed in Jesus, probably even loved Him.  Like many of us, he wanted to help Jesus move into the next phase of His life.

The Wrong Plan

Because Judas had not understood the real meaning of the “kingdom of God”, his focus was flawed.  He had taken his eyes off Jesus and looked to what could be.  The “what could be” would be possible if Judas helped with his connections and resources.  The plans began to take shape and fall into place.  Judas Iscariot would be part of history.  The deceiver had a willing insider to the “real” plan.

How many times are we quick to help the Lord when we should have waited?

The Wrong End

When the “real” plan began to unfold, Judas realized his mistake.  Like so many, he tried to “fix it” but failed miserably.  His story ends sadly because he didn’t ask for forgiveness.  He continued to think, like so many, about himself.  He couldn’t find a good answer to the problem.  He was done, life was over, so again he “helped” God by taking his own life.

The Right Focus + Right Plan = Exciting Living

As we begin to live 2012, let’s take God at His Word.  Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”  Know that He is in control and wait on His plan to unfold.  You won’t be disappointed!

Unexpected sightings

The first day of 2012 is looking great.  Many more were in church than expected this morning.  The garden has new plants growing that I thought were gone for good, thanks to a puppy and the drought.  Some say this could be the last year for this world of ours, but it feels like a great year to me.  Whatever happens I’m anticipating a good year.

The plans for this blog include gardening news, devotionals and craft news.  There are so many writers on all these subjects, but I hope there are those who will enjoy the thoughts that roam around in my head and heart.

This morning, the children and I looked at the weird story in Ezekiel chapter 1.  The creatures had 4 faces and 4 wings and there were 4 wheels that moved with them.  The four wheels had eyes all around the rims.  This scene appeared to Ezekiel when God gave Ezekiel his call to preach to the Israelites.  We talked about weird things in movies and how they are created.  The God of the universe excels in creating and we can’t even come near to His ability.

There are things happening all around us.  Let’s keep our eyes open, expecting to see God at work in this world of ours or rather, His.