Archive | February 2014

If I could change past decisions in my life…

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found on the internet, unsure who to credit it to

would I?   Would you?   A fellow blogger A Opinionated Man   http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/02/28/the-daily-opinion-the-past/ 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

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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!”

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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.