What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I've Got Writer's Slump

Ok, So I admit it...I'm in a slump...a rut...a dry spot in the road.  I've got nothing to say. I'm feeling kind of blue, out of sorts, frustrated, lost. Can't seem to find my groove. My life seems to have hit a detour, I must have made a wrong turn somewhere.  I'm in a daze, fumbling around in a haze.  And it's not even purple.  (does that even make sense?)

Have you ever been there? Do you know what this feels like? Can you help me find my way back home?

No, don't panic.  I haven't gone off the deep end (yet).  I don't think I'm depressed...(well, maybe just a little).  I'm sure I'm not suicidal or homicidal, so don't run for your lives. (yet) ( lol)  

I've just hit a bump in the road and it's thrown me a little off kilter.  No, nothing horrendous has happened, I'm not having a mid-life crisis (it's too late for that...I'm way past mid-life). My husband isn't having a mid-life crisis (been there, done that).  My kids aren't doing anything unusual or weird (that I know of at the present time).  I don't have any major illnesses or diseases (again, that I know of), and I'm still taking my hormones on schedule.

I don't do drugs (maybe I should?) (just kidding)  I don't drink, I don't smoke. I don't chew.   I am a total tea-totaler...(I love tea...hot, iced, herbal, full-bodied, English, Irish, Lipton)

I love Jesus, He loves me.  I love my husband and my family. They love me.  My father is almost 93, and he is showing signs of "signing off" from this life.  I'm trying to prepare myself for that reality.  My mother in law is 87 and has come to live with us, and is having some physical and emotional issues that are creating a bit of stress, and I am trying to adjust.  My middle son (he calls himself "Number Two"), has a very rare and aggressive cancer,  (age 38, married, with one son), but at the present time appears to be in a kind of remission, although not officially called that. According to his oncologist he is doing remarkably well.  So I am relieved and very thankful. My oldest son lives at home with us and needs a  job, but he's been such a help to us I almost hate to see him go out and get a job.  My youngest son is doing fine and hasn't needed our help for a while, so that is a positive sign.  I've survived a full year at a new job that started out very stressful, but has become more manageable and I think I actually know what I am doing. (well, sometimes). 

I say I am a writer.  I haven't exactly written a book , but I have written enough to become a book, if anyone is interested enough to read it. Maybe someday it will actually be a book...If I ever get over this writer's slump I'm in, that is.

Maybe I need to do what Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 16:24-26
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for MY sake will find it.  for what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"  

Lord, I re-commit my life, my soul, and my desires to YOU.  My dreams, my hopes, my expectations...they all are placed in YOUR capable hands.  I surrender them ALL to YOU.  I have no desire for world wide fame or power.  I simply desire to follow YOU...and I give my life to YOU.  That includes my writer's slump and my feelings of frustration and being lost in the haze of this life.  Thank you for what YOU are going to do in my life, and through my life, from this day forward.  Amen.

Now, I am trying to decide, should I post this on my regular blog? Or should I post it on the one where I can actually earn a buck or two if anyone likes it well enough to vote for it?  What would YOU do? Hmmm, wherever this ends up will tell you what I decided.  At any rate, I found something to write about. (Thank you, Lord.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'll be back! I promise!!!

http://www.goodblogs.com/view-post/Help-Im-Stuck-in-a-Sandwich

I've been writing a few blogs on "GoodBlogs.com" (see link above)...I'd appreciate it if you could check them out under the name of Pamela M. Steiner and vote for the blogs you see...if I make it to the front page, I get paid!!!I've already earned $40.00! Such fun to actually get a check in the mail for writing! But don't worry, this is still my first love of a blog and I will be back soon.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hymn for the Day

I love to sing the old hymns of the faith...and I want to keep them alive for future generations.  This morning in my devotional time with my husband, we focused on this old hymn as a prayer:

"Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of earth's sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life's storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of my home,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee."

Written by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904

Wow! Doesn't that hymn speak to you?  This is one of those songs that we often would sing as a prayer of commitment and surrender at the close of a church service.  Even though these words were penned by the composer over one hundred years ago, they are still applicable and powerful to me today.

During this Lenten Season, rather than focus on what you are giving up, why not consider what new insights you can glean from God's Word, the faithful messages found in the hymns of our faith, and other devotional writings as God leads you.  Then, share those thoughts with others throughout your day...whether by email, facebook, notes written in cards, or by word of mouth in your conversations with friends and loved ones. If we could manage to share a word of encouragement and hope with another person each day, what a difference there would be in our world!

Have a glorious day...and give someone a real hug today.  God bless you real good! (((((HUGS)))))


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Got Any Challenges?

What kind of challenges have you been facing lately?  Think about this for a few minutes...I am certain you can come up with a few...maybe more than a few. I'm going to list a few of my recent challenges; and not in any particular order.  Let's see if any of you can relate:
  1. Recent Unemployment
  2. New job with big responsibilities---more than I bargained for?
  3. Impending foreclosure on house
  4. Mortgage Loan Modification-only it extends your mortgage for more years than you can possibly work, and is for more money than your house could ever be worth again
  5. Adult son comes home to live and is unemployed and has no job prospects
  6. Other adult married son is diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare and terminal cancer and lives 1500 miles away. He is also the father of our only grandson, age 11.
  7. Another adult son also lives far away and has frequent financial/job issues, requiring assistance from home in order to survive
  8. Elderly mother in law decides to come and live with you
  9. Elderly father is in decline and needs constant care...you do what you can to help in your spare time, still balancing all of the above
  10. Husband's state job is insecure thanks to budget cuts and threats of further cuts...has not had any increase in pay in over five years already...
  11. The economy continues to decline...gas prices continue to climb...job commute is a bit too far considering current gas prices
Yipes...no wonder I have chronic back aches and other psychosomatic illnesses...But don't stop here...

On the other hand...Let me count some of my blessings...
  1. I did find an excellent job in a Christian environment with good people and adequate pay.
  2. The mortgage company did work with us and actually gave us a lower payment.
  3. Adult son who came home is a joy to have here...and he is a very big help with elderly grandparents and our own home needs.
  4. Adult son with terminal cancer is actually exceeding all his doctor's expectations and is doing very well on a chemo maintenance medication. (Praise God!!!)
  5. Other Adult son is employed, and even though his pay is minimal, he is healthy and happy and enjoys what he is doing.
  6. Elderly mother in law is improving in her health issues and is actually ready to go back home for temporary stays. She has also been a big help around the house with meals, laundry, etc.
  7. Elderly father is still able to live in his own home and is providing a source of income for my adult son who needed employment as well as my sister who also needed employment. (caregivers)
  8. Husband's employment is currently steady, and we are trusting God it will remain secure in spite of the current economical trends.
  9. My employer has allowed me to work a four day work week to save on gas.
When we stop and count our problems and challenges, we must also take equal time to consider our blessings.  Recently I have become acquainted (through facebook and other places) with other families facing even more challenging issues than mine. My heart has been broken over the many families who have children and other loved ones who are literally dying with terminal cancer and other diseases.  They've fought a good fight, but their strength is ebbing very rapidly.  When I measure my challenges against theirs, I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of their sorrow and pain. Many others have lost their fight to keep their homes, their jobs, and their families intact. You may be one of these dear friends. 

Each one of us has our own particular challenges and heartaches.  I know mine are not as great as many others, and yours may not be as great as mine...but nonetheless, they are challenges to our faith, to our hearts, and to our very lives.  I would like to present you with another challenge today: 
"Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing."                 I Thessalonians 5:11  
"....Comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all."  I Thessalonians 5:14b. 

 During this season of Lent, my goal and challenge is to lift up in prayer each day those whom God has brought into my circle of influence, whether via home, friends, work, church, facebook, or any other means, and not only pray for them diligently, but seek out ways to be an encourager and a comforter through God's Holy Spirit.  I truly believe that not only will this be a way to bless others, but it will most definitely be a way to receive blessing myself...not meaning selfish ambition or personal gain, but heart-felt blessings in my soul and spirit. 

Won't you join me in this challenge today? I know we will all reap blessings beyond our imagination in so doing.  In Jesus' Name I pray this today. Amen.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Choices...Some Good, and Some Not So Good...

One of my dear friends wrote on her facebook status today:  "Sitting here thinking about how as a parent you can raise your children -. teaching them right from wrong, good morals and love them more than life itself. Sometimes they seem to travel down the wrong path. I can only pray that they will decide to travel down the right path again and remember what they have been taught over the years."

Who among us who happen to be parents, have not felt this way at some time or another in our lives?  I mean, if you have children, and if those children have reached adolescence and/or early adulthood, I can guarantee you that sooner of later you will have the same concerns and feelings as my friend above.  I don't care how good of a parent you are (or think you are), or how perfect you think your kids are...there will come a day that you will wonder, "Where did I go wrong?"This was my response to my friend:

"We each have to make our own choices in life...some are great, and some are not so great...but God, in His infinite mercy, has given us a second chance. Your kids are like everyone else's kids...just keep praying and loving them. You can't go wrong that way...and remember what Proverbs 22:6 says: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Have faith. God is in control, even when we don't think so. "

Dear parent of children of any age, please don't lose hope or faith when your children stray away from the teachings of your faith and/or family traditions.  This is a natural part of growing up and becoming adults.  We can't always be there to guard them and protect them and keep them from making bad decisions.  We are not omnipresent, omnipotent, or omniscient.  But there is ONE Who is...our Heavenly Father...Abba Father...and HE loves our children so much more than we can even begin to fathom.  He tenderly guards each one of them and watches over their hearts with the infinite love of the Everlasting Father...Almighty God...The Creator and Sustainer of ALL life. 

Just as we earthly parents lovingly discipline and teach our children when they go astray, so does our Heavenly Father guide us back into the right path when we wander off...
"My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives."  Hebrews 12:5-6
"If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?" Hebrews 12:7
"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.  Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the LORD; looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled." Hebrews  12:11-15

Yes, we all like sheep have gone astray... (Isaiah 53:6) but our loving Shepherd searches for us diligently until He finds us, and rejoicing, He brings us safely back into the fold.   (Luke 15:4-7)



"Gone Astray" by Michael Belk
  So, dear friend, please do not fret or fear...your child is only doing what man (or woman) has done since Adam and Eve...testing their own wings...making their own decisions...and it's all apart of growing up.  You don't have to like it or approve, but you do need to trust God to take care of His own.  He will not fail you. Just keep praying and trusting...and loving.  He'll take care of the rest.  Trust me, I know what I'm talking about!!!