Monday, June 9, 2014

Encourage, lift up, and lighten up!

Living in a world where I get so tired of seeing so much emphasis on negatives and still cannot believe that a crowd will gather for a person on a ledge to encourage them to jump and "unhappy news" sells more than happy news, I look at social networking and often see something of a contagious negatory attitude, in an environment of bashing.........

But then I see some posts that encouraging, memorable for the joyous uplifting, positive, kind, goodness and life changers.  Even the cute pictures of a stray dog leading a rescue team to her babies.  So.....

Those positive ones are the posts that mean the most to me.   

Don't want to go through my long lists of medical things but I will say that God has been with me each step of the way.  And I have encouragement from many that always was perfectly said or felt.  So recently asked my Facebook friends what words they gave ore received that they thought were helpful. 

I received some real gems.   Treasures!!!   I'll quote a few and then ask if you are reading this blog, that you post things that have helped you through rough times.   

"You gotta keep on keeping on. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13"   Johanna

"Just keep swimming!"  Trina and Mary Beth
 "help someone else"  Jane

"encouragement to me is when one will tell me the truth, but remind me that Jesus said HE would never leave me nor forsake me. When I am on the bottom looking up, I really need to be reminded that Jesus will be there. Many times when I've been that low, my dad would take his finger and point like he wanted me to see something very far off. He would say, I want you to look way, way down there. Can't you see there is light at the end of the tunnel. He said, you may not see but just a little flicker, but there it is, see, it really is light. OH JESUS YOU REALLY ARE SO GOOD AND KIND. "  Suzette 

"If God brings you to it he will bring you through it. Jesus is the reason and I put my hope and trust in Him." Christine
"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, " Nahum 1:7  Celeta

Practice random acts of kindness, and senseless acts of beauty. Lori

What I have found personally helpful for me....

"You know that God loves you, but I am just saying that people are looking to see if your faith will waiver under what is going on."     

I prefer "feel good" movies like Polyanna.... one of my favorites

As a younger person, I began reading biographies of people who were quite exemplary in how they handled life.... and overcame what seemed to be impossible situations.  

Music guides my thoughts and can transform my emotions.  One of the best modern songs about overcoming.   Wonderful Mandisa with Overcomer.   Just saw the vidoe for the first time! (click the blue hyperlink next to this to hear and see her)  Mandisa - Overcomer

Sometimes solitude is needed and sometimes a good cry or sometimes a laugh or even both.

When I become anxious, words of comfort like these help: 

" Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"  Matthew 6:26

When I feel I can do nothing anymore, just nothing and feel the start of a major pity party, I start planning something to do, a prayathon is a likely event or a surprise for someone else

My mother used to give the quietest and sweetest comfort to me.   It would go something like this "I cannot make this go away, but I'll stay with you as long as you need me to and I know you are strong and will work your way through this.      And she seemed to know innately what people needed.   She never did "tell" people what to do - other than to tell my Dad NOT to track up her very clean kitchen :)   But she was the kind of positive sounding board folks still need.   

But most of all I look for the rainbow that God will send....His promise to me and to the world.  There will be a better day....   Life is never easy but it becomes much easier when I tell myself.   God loves me.  He has a plan, a purpose, a reason for everything and everything unto its season..... Just Like Ecclesiates 3 says....

Feel free to add your thoughts about encouragement...  LITLA   


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The inspiration at the bottom of the colander

Not much blogging going on in 2014  It's been a myriad of hospitalizations, doc visits, more rare diseases, mostly lung- a few skin, etc. since January. But in the middle of all of this, I try to do regular farming things..... Like picking strawberries, cleaning them, making strawberry jam, farmers markets and tending animals, etc.

This week I had just had a biopsy and it was my first complete "all out" one, so of course it went fine in technicality.  My thoughts throughout it were, how long will this biopsy take? because I have strawberries I cleaned and cut the night before waiting for me in The Garry Farm Cookery.

So when The Doc got to the questions I might have, I said "how many pounds can I lift without ripping these stitches wide open?"   (This is a wonderful new Doctor and he gave me a quizzical look and I explained I had fresh strawberries that had to become strawberry preserves that afternoon.  They could not wait)..  He was negatory on my moving the large cooking kettle full of water, He did not understand my spirit that I would find a way.... Probably would have been for the the heavy soup cookers full of strawberries like this one:

Dear hubby didn't want me to do anything after surgery but he knew better than to "waste his time" He helped by filling two heavy pots full of water and the rest was mine! For me, making preserves is Extreme Precision, absolute therapy.  It is a mind over matter game.  Keeps my mind off of "me",  as I must focus 100% on the task at hand, one wrong move and hours and hours of picking and preparation and product are wasted.   Everything is sanitized and ready and slow cooking without pectin takes hours. Heavenly smells of strawberries wafted in the Cookery.

During the last boiling for the filled jars, I sat down for the first time in 4 hours and glanced at some photos made the day before of the cleanup.  I was filling up a bucket for the compost from the colander over the sink and what did I find?   A tiny scrap in the shape of a valentine.   Somewhere a little sweet angel sent me some encouragement in the tedious job of cleaning up the kitchen sink.  My berries were very dirty as they had been splashed by dirt in a rainstorm. and it took quadruple washing and a very soft vegetable brush before the cleaning was completed.  I think the spectacular gift must have been from my sainted sister as only She ever loved strawberries as much as I.   All of her china had strawberries on it and many of the items in her kitchen. Strawberries always seemed to find a place in her home, on aprons, pictures, children's clothing, and more.  Thanks Annelia, sweet sister angel. That strawberry valentine has found a place in my treasure of memories and as I was cleaning, my heart just changed from dread of the drudgery to JOY of the journey. Have you ever had something occur that did that?

If I had not been looking, I would have missed that strawberry and everything it means to me.  May I always be looking for encouragement and miracles Lord.   And for those of you who think it is a coincidence.  I've trimmed mega thousands of strawberries in my lifetime and never before found a valentine shaped scrap emerge at the bottom of my colander.    Farming brings me so many delightful and joy filled moments.  Thank you Lord for each of them.  I am so grateful for the joys and everything that it takes to bring me closer to you! Amen.