My Hero

Who’s your hero? Tell us a story about why that person plays such an important role in your life.

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Terry.  No doubt about it.  He’d be embarrassed to death to know I put his picture up, but he doesn’t  usually read what I write here, so I think I’m safe 🙂

This picture was taken several Christmases ago, can’t remember exactly.  Five years, maybe?

So why is he my hero? Well, he still loves me after more than 45 years.

He’s always put himself last on the priority list.  He doesn’t like peope to fuss over him.  He doesn’t take well to pampering or coddling. He’s worked his fingers to the bone to provide for me and our kids down through the years.  He’s a man’s man, brave and fearless when he does whatever needs to be done.

He absolutely loves our kids, no conditions. He adores our grandkids, but then, who wouldn’t?

Most important, he loves the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart and soul. He is a student of God’s Word, reading faithfully every day for an hour or more. He is a man who believes in prayer.  He is honest, loyal, and dedicated to doing his best.

In the last 2 1/2 years, Terry has suffered some pretty awful pain. He smashed his heel bone in a fall 2 1/2 years ago, endured the repairative surgery and the chronic pain that has followed.  Then he got the shingles, and still has flares of pain from that. Then he hurt his back, and has since developed senile osteoporosis. That disease has robbed him of about five inches of height, compressing his spine and causing vertabrae fractures.  Still, he puts in hours every day here at home. He’s doing the lion’s share of the work on my new kitchen, although we have been blessed with the help of some wonderful and generous friends. He’s working on getting my car back on the road, searching for the right part to make everything work. He hasn’t stopped or given in to his pain, and I don’t think he will until the last time he lies down before he opens his eyes in heaven.

Sometimes he regrets what he sees as his failures as a dad, but our three sons and our daughter wouldn’t trade him for any other dad on earth.

He’s my hero.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/my-hero-2/

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Random Thoughts on the Holidays

Since it doesn’t look like we’re getting a prompt today, I decided to repost something I wrote last year. Merry Christmas to all of you! May your time together as family/friends be a special treasure.

Linda's Bible Study

The word holiday, as I’m sure you know, is from the two words holy day. 

So why is the Christmas holiday such a family-centered time?  Well, probably because that’s the center of the day/night on which Jesus was born.  Joseph, Mary, the Baby.  Family. 

But there were also guests. Shepherds came in from the fields to meet the family and worship the Babe whom the  angels had announced so gloriously.  Later, the Magi came from a far Eastern country to bring expensive gifts, and to worship the King, Messiah, whom the Old Testament prophets had foretold and whom the Wise Men believed was the fulfillment of that prophesy.  So the small, new family quickly expanded to include strangers who became friends, and perhaps, later, followers of Jesus. 

The Jews were very family-oriented, partly because they depended on one another during the Roman governance of their land; partly because they always…

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No Resolutions!

We’re entering the final days of 2014 — how did you do on your New Year’s resolutions these past 11.75 months? Is there any leftover item to be carried over to 2015?

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This won’t take long.

No.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. 

Well, maybe it will take a little longer than I thought.

I used to make them. I would eagerly sit down with a fresh new journal, legal pad, or whatever and make my list of “This year’s going to be different” daydreams.   However, I share a common failing among those who tend to be perfectionistic. If I can’t do it all at once, I procrastinate. It doesn’t get done at all.  Then I’m upset and disappointed with myself, and feel lower than a snake’s belly because I’m such a colossal flop at keeping my resolutions. Even one tiny deviation from the rules I’ve made for myself will destroy all further efforts to make the changes I know I need to make.

Sound to you like I need to see a therapist?

I AM a therapist.  That’s probably why I understand what’s going on. I’ve learned that making that list  for myself is a sure-fire way to  fail.  Maybe there’s a rebel inside of me, laughing all the way.  I just know it doesn’t work.

So instead, I”ve learned that I have to take each day as it comes and rely on the best Book I know for encouragement, help, guidance, resolve, character building, and goal-setting. This year, as for every year in the past 45 or so years, my resolution is  found in Philippians 3:13-14.

 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

You have to read the passage in its context to get the full meaning. Briefly, what Paul is saying here is that he knows he has not yet attained the highest goal, which is stated in verse 10: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made comformable unto His death.”

For me, as a follower of Jesus Christ, the ultimate goal is to be becoming more like Him with every day that passes. When that goal is pursued, everything else falls into place.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/to-be-resolved/

Cause and Effect

You can singlehandedly create a causal relation between two things that are currently unconnected — a word and an emotion, a song and an extreme weather event, wearing a certain color and winning the lottery. What cause would you link to what effect, and why?

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Well, let’s see.  I don’t have much time this morning, need to leave in less than half an hour. So here are some random ideas:

Cause: Oversleeping

Effect:  I’m late

Cause: Overindulging in chocolate

Effect:  High blood sugar, overweight, and tired

Cause:  Too many Christmas movies yesterday

Effect:  Got to bed late.  And you can make a direct circuit of these three cause/effect sets, if you like 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cause-meet-effect/

A Bookcase, Something Cracked, a Favorite Song

For our final trio prompt of the year, write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love.

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Sometimes things just don’t come together the way they should, or they way you want them to.  Martha was finding that out this Christmas season, and she wasn’t a bit happy about it.  All her plans for making this the best Christmas ever just seemed to be getting blocked, mocked, and socked right in the nose.

Even the weather wasn’t cooperating.  Bleak didn’t even come close to describing it. A white Christmas?  Hah!  More like a wet one, and just cold enough to turn the miserable sleety stuff to ice when it hit the roads.  There was every chance she would be spending Christmas day, only three hours away, completely alone.

How miserable was that?

Nine o’clock on Christmas Eve and she wasn’t able to get out for the Christmas Eve service at church.  She was terrified of driving in this weather, and wasn’t going to risk a slipslide accident that would put the crowning touch on her misery.  Well, she didn’t mind being alone, and if everyone made it, tomorrow was going to be hectic.

Martha wandered into the kitchen, thinking about making a cup of the Christmas tea she enjoyed.  While it brewed, she found her favorite Christmas mug.  It had a cracked handle, but it was still usable.  It sported a sentimental Thomas Kinkade scene with windows that lit up when hot liquid was poured into it. Martha knew it was kitschy, but she loved it. Studying the scene, she thought of Christmases long ago from her childhood. It really had seemed like the scene on her mug. Going to her grandparents’ farm for the big day was a joy that would never fade in her memory.  Aunts, uncles, cousins.  Food.  Oh my, the food!  No one ate like that these days, at least not in her family.  No one worked on a farm any more. Most of them had desk jobs, and many in her generation were retired. They just didn’t need so many calories.

What she’d loved the most was the laughter and camaraderie as the family joked, caught up, reminisced.  The kids would have the run of the big old farmhouse, and even though the upstairs rooms were cold, they’d play up there for hours.

Sipping carefully at her tea, Martha wandered into the study where her bookcase dominated the space. She kept her movies there, and she loved her Christmas movie collection. She and John had always watched It’s a Wonderful Life together on Christmas Eve, but she couldn’t quite bring herself to do that this year, nor for the last three years since he had died.

She pulled out White Christmas instead, knowing the antics of Danny Kaye would cheer her up. Back in the living room, she put the DVD in the player, set her mug carefully on a coaster, and curled up in her favorite chair with an afghan wrapped around her.  She let herself get lost in the movie, loving the music and the unfolding of the sentiment around the reunion of the soldiers who had experienced war together. Of course, the love story was her favorite part.  Pretty innocent by today’s standards, the characters kissed chastely and kept all their clothes on!

When the musical finale was over, she sighed and  sat for a long time, thinking back through the years.  Her life had been good, and she regretted nothing. She wished more of her children were nearby, but at least there were some grandchildren she saw fairly often.  They would be here tomorrow, almost for sure, having the least distance to drive.

Restless, Martha got up, put the movie away, found the book she’d been reading, and decided to put one of her Christmas CD’s in the player. It was getting near midnight now, and she was loving the quietness and peace of her house. The food for tomorrow was ready. The tree was up, gifts all wrapped, nothing left to do. It was a very good feeling. And if she ended up having Christmas alone, well, that would be all right, too.

The violins she loved began to swell with her favorite Christmas song, Gloria. With a full heart, she settled in to read until sleep took her away.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/final-trio/

Well, that didn’t last long. The pings are NOT back 😦

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/getting-seasonal/

Love It!

The holiday season: can’t get enough of it, or can’t wait for it all to be over already? Has your attitude toward the end-of-year holidays changed over the years?

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I love Christmas. Always have. Right this minute, I’m enjoying having slept in until 8:15 on this my first full day of being on my Christmas break.  What’s not to like?  I don’t go back to work until January 6.  Nineteen days!  I’m an independent contractor, so I can pick and choose when I work and when I don’t. At this stage of my life, that’s a real sweet situation.

But Christmas isn’t just about time off.  I understand, largely because of the work I do, that Christmas is the most difficult time of year for a lot of people.  Some of my clients have dreadful memories of Christmas Past that make them cringe at the appearance of Christmas Present and Future.  If you came from a radically dysfunctional family, then you laugh in derision at the song It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  

If you are not a person of faith, Christmas may not have deep meaning for you. When that is the case, it becomes just another commercialized holiday, hyped out of reason and way overdone.  Even for those of us who celebrate the true, deep meaning of Christmas, the hullabaloo around gifting and spendingspendingspending can put a damper on the joy.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

I remember many years ago, reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of Christmas on the prairie, thinking, “That’s the way it should be.  There should be a sense of holiness, of quietness of spirit, of peace and hope and joy. The emphasis should be not on what I get or give, but on what the world received.”

And that, clearly, is the whole reason we have Christmas. What the world received when the Son of God agreed to be born as a human baby, to live and minister and die to get the victory over sin and death, that is why Christmas is a precious time. Let the rest of the world do as they wish to minimize this wonderful celebration’s true meaning, it has never changed for me. The holiness of the coming of the Christ Child overshadows all the glitz and glitter and get and give.

The gifts that are exchanged in our family are always delightful and fun, but we never let the gifting process become the center of Christmas. We give gifts because the Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus, knowing that He was the King of Kings. Everything we do at Christmas is based on this most wonderful fact, that Jesus was born to die that we might live forever with Him.

When we keep our sites firmly fixed on what Christmas is really about, we can keep the joy and the peace even in the midst of the craziness that can rule the season.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/getting-seasonal/  Yay!  the pings are back 🙂

Only Two Goals

What’s your next, most pressing deadline? Are you excited, stressed, or ambivalent about it? What’s the first thing you’d like to do once you’re done with it?

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One of the best things about being 67 is that there aren’t very many deadlines unless I set them for myself. I really don’t have a pressing deadline right now.

However.  Big however. Time is passing faster and faster. There are still some things I want/need to try to do before I die. One of them, of course, is to write a book. It may be the only one. I may be just a one-book writer. I have a couple of ideas, both intriguing to me, and I feel a sense of urgency about one in particular.

I also want to get my “stuff” in better order.  I had a client some time ago whose father had died and left her to clean up over 50 years of his hoarding. It was overwhelming to her, causing great stress and anxiety in her marriage and with her children. She was the only child, so the whole responsibility rested on her shoulders. I will never forget her tears as she angrily told me, “I’m just so angry with him for leaving me this horrible mess to clean up!”  She couldn’t just toss everything willy nilly into a dumpster because her parents had tucked money, stock certificates and other important papers haphazardly into all sorts of nooks and crannies including books and record albums. It took her over two years to get the job done.

I WILL not do that to my children. I’ve already started the sifting process. I think they’re going to be surprised.  Now if only I could get DH on board, but that’s a whole different story.

And really, that’s about it.  One of the rewards of being older is that under “normal” circumstances, life really is a little less hectic.  I know that’s not true for everyone, but it is for me.  And I’m thankful.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/in-due-time/

Here it is!

Tell us about the object of your dejection — something you made, a masterpiece unfinished, or some sort of project that failed to meet your expectations. What did you learn from the experience? How would you do things differently next time?

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Maybe I’ll have time to jot off a quick one before I leave for work.

I’m a crafter–knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, embroidery, cross stitch.  I’ve made tons of things over the years. Some have turned out quite well, thank you 🙂  Others have been colossal flops.

The one I feel the worst about, though, is the quilt I started over ten years ago for my daughter-in-law, just before I started working as a therapist.  I got busy, and the quilt is still sitting in a drawer in my sewing area. The top is almost completely finished, but it needs more work; also, needs to be layered, quilted, and bound.

Sigh.

I really enjoy quilting, but things just got in the way.  My son’s family needed to stay with us a couple of different times, and my sewing area became a bedroom. Delay, delay.  Excuses, excuses.

So that’s it. I’m sure it’ll be finished someday.  I think.

No Writing Prompt Today

Apparently WordPress isn’t going to put up a new prompt today, at least not at the usual time. So I’ve been thinking about how dependent I’ve become on that little daily nudge to get me writing, and it’s both a good and a bad thing.

If I do the daily prompt, then I’ve done my writing assignment for the day.

If I do the daily prompt, then I don’t have to write anything else until I work on the next post for my Bible study blog.

I’m off the hook. I’ve been creative, maybe witty and funny, maybe serious, maybe just dull.

Word Press has been struggling with the writing prompt pingback for some time now.  Makes me wonder if they’re using the same web design folks that Mr. O is using for his healthcare boondoggle bloggle. I miss it. You meet lots of helpful, encouraging other bloggers who are also wannabe writers, and a few of them actually are published. That helps motivate the rest of us.

One of my co-bloggers has dubbed the daily prompt guy Wordy. I think that’s pretty cute.  Well, Wordy, I sure hope you’re getting things back in order, because I’m hearing rumblings from other bloggers that there may be a vast migration to other blog sites if things don’t get back on track pretty soon.

I don’t want to migrate.  I’m used to it here.  I understand how things work here.  Please don’t force me to learn yet another computer dealy where things all work differently from what I’m used to.  I’m old, and my brain is leaking cells out my ears into the ether, never to be recovered.

Boy, have I ever wandered down some rabbit trails here. I always enjoyed it when Bill Keane, creator of The Family Circus  comic strip, would draw one of Billy’s wanderings.  That’s kind of the way I feel today.

So I wrote something a couple of weeks ago that a fellow blogger liked, and he said he could see it developed into a whole book involving different scenarios from my work.  I’d never thought of doing that before. I’ve written little bits and pieces, but never considered making a novel out of it. I’ve been thinking about it ever since, though, you can be sure.

So that’s all for today. Maybe tomorrow there’ll be another prompt, or maybe they’re close to getting the pingbacks working.

One can hope.