Archive | February 2014

If I could change past decisions in my life…


found on the internet, unsure who to credit it to

would I?   Would you?   A fellow blogger A Opinionated Man asked that very question this morning and rather than give a quick one sentence response, I told him his question was leading me to a new blog post which I will share with him sometime today or tonight.  Sorry it took me so long OM –My day got busy, but I did promise so here goes.

There are many small decisions, some of which I probably have even forgotten, that I don’t know if I would change or not. They may have had an effect on my life, sure, but how much would they really matter?  Am I sorry I quit high school to get married and have children? Yes about the quitting high school part, but I did go back to school and get my high school diploma several years later and started taking college classes part time. And eventually through several starts and stops due to work and raising kids, etc. I finally took a year and went back full time and did graduate with an associate degree at age 49. My point is, good or bad decision, it did work itself out to something positive and I would not trade the time with my kids for anything in the world.

The biggest decisions in my life are more difficult to decide upon.   The first was my decision to get married at a young age and start a family right away.  18 years old is way too young to be a wife and mother and to even really know what love really is.  If I had the knowledge then that I have now, I probably would have made a different decision, but since I did not, what is the sense of spending my time saying what if?   I soon knew that  my decision was not the best I could have made, but the positives from that bad decision culminated in my giving birth to three wonderful children and two of them have blessed me with a granddaughter.  I would never trade any of that in for anything so no, I would not change that decision,

30 years of marriage later, I made another huge decision in my life–to divorce. That was a tough decision to make, given my feelings about marriage being for life, but balancing that with my safety and sanity, I chose the latter.  Am I sorry about it?   No.   It was a smart move on my part.  I grew a lot when I was out on my own for the first time in my adult life, with nobody to rely on except for myself.

Since that time I have made many other decisions which resulted in many changes and much growth in my life and for the most part I would not change them.  A couple of smaller ones-yes, I would change, especially one not so small decision that cost me a very special friendship and that I still pray about.   The one big regret I had in my life from my decisions was that I was living almost halfway across the country (in Texas) when my eldest son took his own life.  For a long time I thought if only I had stayed in CT where he lived, maybe I could have stopped him.   I have come to terms with that in knowing that in reality I could not have done anything to stop him–nobody could.  Sadly, it was a decision he made and I will never know exactly why until I meet him again one day in heaven.

Fortunately now I have a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and through that relationship I am not trying to lean on just me in my decisions, but I lean on the Lord.  I take my problems to Him in prayer and He leads and directs my paths -as long as I let him.   Being human, there are those times when i decide I can do better and get an answer more quickly-Not True!!    As it says in the Bible, in Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.   A verse I try very hard to remember!

So would I change any of my decisions?  No, I am guessing I would not.  Everything was decided for a reason and in everything, good or bad, a lesson was learned and I grew and matured.     How about you?

The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying

Very interesting post with good food for thought! I never thought about the meaning of the word “blessed” and how it may come across to others. Thank you!

The Accidental Missionary

*Writers note:  After reading your comments, I have been moved to revise the following piece.  In a post where the main point is to encourage others to be aware of how our choice of words can get in the way of conveying our true intent, I realize the irony that my choosing to refer to my lack of understanding of God’s purpose as “dumb luck” caused some folks to miss the meaning of the post itself.  Silly me.  While people may still disagree, I think this slightly revised version better captures my honest intent.

I was on the phone with a good friend the other day.  After covering important topics, like disparaging each other’s mothers and retelling semi-factual tales from our college days, our conversation turned to the mundane.

“So, how’s work going?” he asked.

For those of you who don’t know, I make money by teaching leadership skills and…

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‘Tis The Set o’ the Sails – or – One Ship Sails East


part of a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1916

Another small project completed tonight! Yayyy!  Back sometime in the 1990’s I found this embroidery project and fell in love with it.    I embroidered it way back then but with all the changes in my life at that time, I never got around to getting it framed and it ended up in a box of unfinished projects.  I came across it a few days ago while looking for something and decided to frame it in fabric instead of a regular old picture frame.  A very simple project to complete and I was able to do it this evening.

For your reading pleasure I will copy the whole poem into this post and explain why I like it so much, though I think that is easy to figure out if you have known me for very long.

But to every mind there openeth,
A way, and way, and away,
A high soul climbs the highway,
And the low soul gropes the low,
And in between on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.

But to every man there openeth,
A high way and a low,
And every mind decideth,
The way his soul shall go.

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
‘Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

Though she is not a well-remembered poet and was often criticized for being “too romantic” etc, there is a line from another poem of hers that is very well-known actually.  I was surprised as I was writing this tonight and reading a little about her  when I came across this line from her poem Solitude–“”Laugh and the world laughs with you;  Weep, and you weep alone.”  I dare say there are very few who are not familiar with that line!
I’ve always been charmed by some philosophical poetry and writings throughout my life, though I won’t claim to understand much of what I read.  There are those times, however, when something I read just grabs me and it stays with me forever.  The poem says a lot about our self-esteem and how good or bad, it will determine the goals we set for ourselves.  As she says in the last line, not the calm or the strife of our lives.  We will have those times when trials come our way and times when life is just going along very nicely for a while.   But how do we feel about ourselves?

Self-esteem has always been something i have struggled with my whole life, not believing in myself or in my abilities to succeed at many things.  Sometimes I had help with that self-esteem being even lower due to unfair criticism by another person, but I allowed that to happen to a certain extent so I can’t totally lay the blame elsewhere.  This poem is a great reminder for me that I control how I feel about myself.  I can set those goals and make them!  Not alone, but with God’s help and guidance.

As I have grown older  and developed a closer walk with the Lord, I have seen that become more evident in my life and my self-esteem has actually improved to a better state than it ever was.  Having a better self-esteem also leads to a better attitude about things as well–a more positive attitude that I CAN carry out some of my goals.  I am NOT a failure at life.  As it says in my life verse from the Bible, I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength  (Phil 4:13) .   Silly though it may seem finishing a small sewing project tonight that involved a philosophical piece of poetry that I love pushed home that point to me once again.  The Lord works in many ways to get our attention and send us encouraging messages, doesn’t He?

“Yes, I thought you’d never ask!”


1 John 5:14And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Have you ever wondered, as I have, if God hears our prayers?  Have you pondered why He seems to take so long to answer them or if he will ever answer them?  Do you think about why He says no and why he says yes sometimes?  Or do you, as I do, go about your own business, hoping for things, wishing for things but never taking that simple step of asking the Lord in prayer until we try other options first? 

I have been learning–if you need something, take it to God first!  He will always answer our prayers in one way or another–yes really!  Sometimes he says No and sometimes Not Yet.  He will tell us He has something better in mind for us and make us wait for that something better as he teaches us patience and many other lessons.  And then there are those times when He says Yes; sometimes with the added phrase I thought you’d never ask! or what  took you so long to ask?  I’ve been waiting for you.  

Like everyone else, I have experienced every one of those answers so many times.  I have wasted so much time waiting for other options before I have just given it over to God.  I’m learning, I hope! 

This week I had one of those “I thought you’d never ask”  responses from God.   He answered so quickly when I finally asked that it caught me off guard!  I never expected an answer quite so quickly as I received it–silly me. 

For some years I have dealt with progressive osteoarthritis in my left knee and from time to time had injections to relieve the pain and swelling and keep the knee working as well as possible; however, it has finally gotten to a point where it causes constant pain, gotten harder to walk very far, stand for very long and now I cannot straighten the leg out totally.  I just completed another round of injections to my knee but unfortunately, as the doctor predicted, it gave me very little relief for a very short time only and we discussed knee replacement surgery.  On Monday, he made the referral to the surgeon.  I immediately prayed that I would get to see the surgeon quickly and that he would be able to schedule the surgery reasonably quickly  as well.  My goodness!  My prayer was answered much more quickly than I ever thought possible!  I saw the surgeon on Wednesday and yesterday-the very next day, his office called to tell me they could do the surgery on March 13th-only 3 weeks away!  Thank you God! 

What a great and wonderful answer to prayer.  My desire was to get this surgery done and start on the road to recovery. Like anyone contemplating a major surgery, I am apprehensive and yes, more than a bit scared.  I know it will be a painful process.  However, I also know that God will be there with me every step of the way, giving the doctors wisdom, guiding their hands and keeping me as calm as possible, giving me the strength to go through the procedure and the recovery and rehabilitation following it. 

What a great Father we have in heaven!  I thank you God for loving me, for loving all of us.   To my friends and acquaintances who read this, I encourage you to take your requests to God in prayer first before anything else.  Ask Him to guide you, to care for you, and ask Him into your heart.  He wants to be our best friend and he is indeed that, if we only ask Him.   He DOES hear our prayers! 

I ask you if I may, to include me in your prayers, praying for wisdom for the doctors and for a safe surgery and recovery for me.   God bless you all. 

Addition for the quilt gallery

Christmas quilt I made for my Sis.  She sent me the picture

My sister very kindly sent me this picture of a quilt I made for her quite a while ago so I could add it to the gallery of quilt pictures.   Tried to update the original story and add this but it wouldn’t work for some reason for me but I did want to share it since she took the time to send it.    This was a fun and easy quilt called Easy Breezy that I made a few times with different center fabrics.   I made this I believe in 2002 but I’m not sure exactly.

When life gives you scraps…..


 just make quilts!  or another version of the quote is when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!  I’m sure we all could come up with a lot of similar positive quotes to encourage someone when life brings its trials and tribulations.   Because I like quilting, I have, of course, managed to collect a lot of scraps from previous quilts and small and large pieces of fabric that I’ve collected through fabric swaps years ago and fabric that has caught my eye that “I might use it someday” and so my mind always thinks of making quilts out of the scraps of life that come my way.

Now thinking about making them and actually making them, or finishing them is another whole story.  So, just as I have collected fabric scraps, I have collected many UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) in various stages of construction.   The picture above was one of those UFO’s until tonight when I finally finished it!  Yay!!!

As I finished sewing the binding on the quilt this evening, I got to thinking about how the unfinished projects in our lives can relate to the unfinished business in our lives –those trials and tribulations that happen to everyone.   How do we deal with them?  Or an even more obvious question perhaps, DO we deal with them or do we set them aside like the fabric scraps and the unfinished objects and tell ourselves we will deal with those things at a later date?

Some trials are not so bad and we can usually manage to resolve them easily; but what about the more difficult ones?  I don’t believe I am alone when I say that I am one of those people who will often set those problems aside to deal with later. How easy it is to tell myself that I just don’t have the desire, the time, the energy to deal with that now.  Not a good idea!  The longer we put off dealing with problems, the more they can grow into other problems in our lives.  The issues keep adding up and eventually we can find ourselves in a lot of distress–depression probably, or even physical ailments caused by stress.  I know this has been true throughout my life.   Just as I accumulated UFOs and just gave up on trying to complete the projects,  I allowed my trials and tribulations to accumulate also and “gave up”, so to speak,   for a while.

So what to do to change that habit, to deal with the things that trouble me?  Take them to God in prayer.  Stop ignoring Him or thinking He was ignoring me and didn’t care.  There are many verses in the Bible that remind us  that He does care and He wants to help us to deal with things.     One of them I found when I got into His word is:  Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

He wants us to ask Him, to come to Him with our problems.  He wants to help us pick up the pieces of our lives.  When I finally began to get closer to Him, spending more time in His word, in prayer, in closer fellowship with Him, changes began to happen.   I was better able to deal with those problems I had hidden away, some of which were not as much of an issue that I told myself they were.   I stopped giving up.   I look at the quilt I finished tonight and a couple of other small projects that I finished in the past couple of days as a message to myself that yes I CAN deal with the things I stored away and that I have dealt with many and begun to deal with others.   Praise the Lord, I have my life back!

One of my granddaughters suggested a while ago that it might be fun for me to share some of the quilts I have made on my blog, so you just may see some more pictures shared soon.  There is another little mini-quilt that I will share that I was reminded of as I wrote this post tonight.   “Picking up the Pieces”     I made 4 of these little quilts for me and my 3 sisters several years ago because it reminded me something my sisters tease me about from our childhood–how I would try to convince them to let me slack off on doing dishes if I had something better to do.

dishesquiltI’ll wash, you dry and little sister can pick up the pieces.


God doesn’t LOVE us like we are a medium rare steak!


Don’t love me the same as you love this steak, please!  🙂

How often do we hear someone say I love this person or that person but in the next breath practically they are saying they “love” their favorite food, flower or other inanimate object. I catch myself doing that all the time!  I love that steak or lobster or pasta.  I love to quilt.  I love to read. I love a certain car, movie,  and any other number of things.  Don’t we really mean we “like” those objects?  Like them a lot perhaps, but love them like we love a fellow human being?  I hardly think so! I hope not anyway!  I could never understand being compared to a food item, or a sporting event and so many other things that we say we love!  

I just read a piece posted by a fellow blogger that got me to thinking about this subject—the overuse of the word Love.    I encourage you to read his post and others he has written.  

In this post he refers to 1 John 4:11-12  11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. NIV

The writer explains so much better than I can what John is teaching us in this passage–the proof that God’s love is at work and is very real, very observable:  “Love for one another as Jesus has loved us and gave His life for us.”

Just  a simple little post from me but one that I hope to take more seriously as I use the words ‘love’ and ‘like’ in my communications.   I hope to make a concerted effort to “like” those inanimate objects and ideas that bring pleasure to my life, and “LOVE” my Lord and Savior, LOVE my fellow human beings that He brings across my path, family, friends,even strangers.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!   Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today!  I am blessed by you!

Oh how loved and spoiled my grandkitties are!!

'Princess' Esme ahhhhh!! Life is Good!

‘Princess’ Esme ahhhhh!! Life is Good!

Naku thinking. 'what can I do next for attention?'

Naku thinking. ‘what can I do next for attention?’

Ahhhh they talk about the Life of Riley as being a wonderful thing, easy, relaxed, no problems and all the rest of those things we all would love to experience sometimes or even all the time, no matter how unrealistic that sounds.  Well I think my two grandkitties, The Princess, Esme, and younger male kitty, Naku, have it better than old Mr. Riley ever had it!    I have written about them before and have jokingly said that when I die, I want to come back as one of my granddaughter’s cats!  lol

Last night, I was talking with my granddaughter (the oldest one) on the phone as she drove home from work.  We talked about many things, but she shared with me that of late, on her weekends off from work, she spends the days and nights away from her home.  She feels guilty about leaving her cats for 2 days every week and even when she is at work, she worries that they are okay (one has occasional asthma attacks and the other one has a problem vomiting sometimes) and wonders what they are up to as well.  What she told me next just set me to fits of giggles!   I never would have thought of doing this!

A new use for her tablet!   Like many of us, she has Skype on her tablet and other electronic devices, but she has found a new use for Skype when she is at work or away for the weekend–watching her cats and/or talking to them!  😀   They love to spend time mostly curling up on her bed and just being in her bedroom, so what did she do?    Enter Skype!   She set up her tablet on a dresser in her bedroom so that she has a good view of most every part of the room.  She has one specific Skype sign on that is for the cats only and has it set up so that it has an automatic sign in when she connects to it from her phone while she is away.     If she wishes to, she can talk to the cats and let them know she has not deserted them!   I am imagining what those cats are thinking as they hear her voice!   heeheehee.    I would love to have been there to see the time she told me about when Naku was sound asleep on her bed and she called his name.  She said the look on his face was so angry—Why are you waking me up???  Let me sleep!!!  Meoooowwwwwww!!!!!   lolol

Her cats are very much loved and cared for and she shows it all the time.  When or if the day comes that the Lord blesses her with  children, I can see how loved they will be and how well cared for they will be!  It blesses my heart to see this young lady with a heart full of love and caring for others, whether it be for other people, or even the animal world.  She has shown this from the time she was a small child.  I fondly remember a time when she was little and I had surgery.  She saw my scar and because she was afraid my feelings would be hurt if she said ewwwwwwwww! she just said in her sweet little voice, awww that is pretty Grandma!  Bless her heart.  That attitude has never changed in her.

What a blessing it is to be a grandmother to her and to her cousin as well!  The Lord surely blessed me with the two most special grandchildren in the world, each a very caring and loving young woman, showing it in different ways sometimes and many times, in the same way.    Thank you Lord for these greatest gifts you have given me in my life!  And thank you for my son and daughter, each the parents of one of these beautiful girls.  You have blessed me abundantly!

For my precious granddaughters: I love you!

Numbers 6:24-26
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. (NKJV)