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, August 23, 2015

There's A New Day Dawning

Sign courtesy of Ben's Wood Signs

Another way of saying this could be:

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man;
but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,
but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
I Corinthians 10:13

Have you ever watched other people go through difficult trials in life, and have said to yourself, "I could never do that or go through that?"  Or perhaps sometimes we are smug and think that people go through hard places because of their own sin or stupidity, and we get all puffed up with pride and say that could never happen to me, 'cause I'm too smart or too good to let that happen?"

A good proverb to remember when we start feeling too good about ourselves is this:

"Pride goes before destruction, 
and a haughty spirit before a fall."
Proverbs 16:18

In our Bible study this morning in the book of James, chapter 4, we discussed several verses that seem to go along with this...and I wanted to write them down before I forget them for myself...and perhaps for others out there as well:

6.  "But He gives more grace.
Therefore He says:
God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.

7.  Therefore, SUBMIT to God.
RESIST the devil and he will FLEE from you!

Cleanse your hand, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

9.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

10.  HUMBLE YOURSELVES in the sight of the Lord, 

If I have learned anything in this life, I have learned that God

"makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust..."  (Matthew 5:45)

Sooner or later, we will all walk through treacherous water and have deep valleys to cross and tall mountains to climb.  None of us will get through this life totally "scot-free" (see link for definition of this phrase).  We all have our trials and tribulations to face and work through.
But the beautiful thing about our life in Christ is that we don't have to face these trials alone.

Isaiah 41:10 says:
"Fear not, for I AM with you;
Be not dismayed, for I AM your God.
I WILL strengthen you,
YES, I WILL help you,
I WILL uphold you with My righteous right hand." 

I started to write all the verses that had something to say about God being with us in all of our troubles and trials...and I realized there were so many I would never be able to write them all, so here is a link to a page that lists them: http://www.openbible.info/topics/i_will_never_leave_you_nor_forsake_you.  You may want to looks these up and mark them in your own Bible for a future time when you need them.  Perhaps you need them now.

May we always have the hope we need to face each new day with confidence and faith that our God will always be there...helping us to handle whatever we've been given.
There's a new day dawning

"For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you."
Isaiah 41:13

Friday, August 21, 2015

Enjoying Nanny...

Today's baking spree was "Snickerdoodles"! Nanny has never had them before. She really liked them. We try to bake something every weekend while she is here. It is a good way to pass the time, and she likes to watch me bake.

When we bake cookies, Nanny's assignment is to count how many we bake. This is a good way to keep her brain cells working. She's actually doing pretty well at counting the cookies. I tell her how many are on each cookie sheet, and she has to figure out how many cookies in total. For a 92 yr old with dementia, she does pretty good. Now if she could just remember what the name of these cookies are! I just asked her again after a couple of hours, and she said they were "doodles", but couldn't remember the first part. She asked if they were "chicken doodles". Then she said "noodle doodles". Finally I reminded her of one of her favorite candy bars, and she got it..."Oh! Snicker -doodles!" Yay!!!!

Have YOU ever had "snickerdoodles"? They are a family favorite! (Click on the link to get to the recipe in the page entitled, "It's Recipe Thyme--My Mother's Recipes!")

Blow out those candles, Nanny! May All your dreams and wishes come true!

My 92 yr old mother in law with dementia is using psychology on me. I'm sitting here playing on the computer. I had put a load of wash in the washer about an hour ago, including some of her personal items. I've been rather engrossed in what I am doing here (so important! LOL), and frankly, I had forgotten about the load of wash in the washer. My MIL says to me so "innocently", "Does your washer automatically load the clothes in the dryer by itself, or do you have to go do it yourself?" Me, still forgetting that I even had clothes in the washer, look at her incredulously, and ask, "Now Mother, what do YOU think?, Have you ever heard of a washing machine that could automatically load the clothes into a dryer by itself?" She smiled at me so sweetly, and said, "Well, I just wondered if they could do that by themselves." Suddenly a light dawned in my head, and I said, "Oh! Are you trying to remind me that I need to go put the clothes in the dryer? Why didn't you say so?" She just smiled and said, "Well, I guess I was just hinting." LOL. Sometimes I wonder who has the dementia around here...

To be honest with you, I believe that when she originally said what she said about the washer loading automatically into the dryer, she really was serious about that question. She had been sitting there thinking about that and wondering, like a child would try to figure things out. When I responded with my remark back to her, I believe it embarrassed her, and I realized it as soon as it came out of my mouth, and she also realized at that moment how crazy that idea was, and she looked a little surprised at first, but then recovered with her response about giving me a hint. One thing I am trying to learn as I deal with my MIL in this stage of her life...don't embarrass, belittle, or make her feel stupid. She doesn't deserve that regardless of how outlandish we may think her remarks or thoughts are. We need to treat her with love and respect and patience, just like we would with a young child who is still learning and exploring his/her world. I share these "conversations" with you because it gives us a window into the world of dementia and how it affects our families and loved ones. Every person's experience will be different and unique...dementia takes on many forms in the elderly...and we, as the caregivers, need to try to remain calm, loving, and reassuring as we deal with ones who may be quite exasperating and frustrating at times. Sometimes it helps to sit back and laugh so we don't take things so seriously.

Yes, my MIL is a very special person in my life as well...that's why I'm trying to work through these changes we see in her by looking at her through different eyes...realizing that she's still that wonderful person we love, just needing some extra special love and attention right now. It is difficult for us to accept the fact that she is really changing like this and that she cannot help some of the things she does and says...even when they are hurtful and hard to accept.

This is my sweet Mother in Law, Vivian, a.ka. "Nanny", in her jammies, listening to old recordings of her family singing hymns together, and even one of her playing the piano briefly for the family singalong. Precious memories. We had a great time remembering loved ones now singing in the heavenly choir of heaven

Friday evening, sitting on the porch with Nanny, having a dish of ice cream and watching for the hummingbirds

Baking Peanut Butter Cookies together. She has the "fork criss-cross" down pat!

Nanny, enjoying her peanut butter cookies and a dish of ice-cream! She could hardly wait to finish supper so she could have a cookie w/ice cream! Some simple pleasures in life should never change.

Nanny with our family, helping us celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary...

This picture was taken right before Nanny gave us all the laugh of the week...

Our son, laughing at what we just discovered hanging from the back of Nanny's pants...you can guess...quite a lovely "train" to her outfit... LOL —

We are all dying laughing here as we discovered what she brought with her from the, welll, you know where...it was long and white.....(thank goodness) 

We are still in hysterics while our other son just keeps snapping our picture...

Okay, trying to calm down here and be sensible...I love our family

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Through It All-An Anniversary Song

Today we celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary...my hubby and I.  It seems impossible that these two kids:

are now these two "kids":

and that our family grew to be this:

and then, very sadly, we said good-bye to our wonderful #2 son last year...

not very long after this picture was taken of him and his lovely wife and son...following a 4 year battle with cancer.

This morning as I was thinking about our 46 years together, this song written by Andrae' Crouch came to  mind.   I thought it was a fitting description of our life together, and it should be written to say "We've had many tears and sorrows..."  replacing the "I" with "We" throughout the song...

We've had many tears and sorrows

We've had questions for tomorrow
There've been times we didn't know right from wrong;
But in every situation
God gave blessed consolation
That our trials come to only make us strong

We've been a lot of places

(and these aren't anywhere NEAR 1/2 of them!)

And We've seen so many faces,

But there've been times we've felt so all alone;

But in that lonely hour
In that precious, lonely hour
Jesus let us know we were His own.

Through it all

Through it all
We've learned to trust in Jesus
We've learned to trust in God
Through it all
Through it all
We've learned to depend upon His Word.

So we thank God for the mountains

And we thank Him for the valleys

We thank Him for the storms He's brought us through;

Cause if we never had a problem
We wouldn't know that He could solve them

We wouldn't know what faith in God could do.

Through it all

Through it all
We've learned to trust in Jesus
We've learned to trust in God

Through it all
Through it all

We've learned to depend upon His Word
Yes, we've learned to depend upon His Word
We've learned to depend upon His Word

Thank you, Jesus, for being there for us through it ALL.  There are many storms and trials that we've been through that we cannot even begin to talk about here...but Lord, You've been there for us and with us all the way.  You've never left our side...and we can only say
Thank You, Lord.

I'm sure there are many here reading this who could say the same for their own lives.  Your troubles and trials were not the same as ours, but if you've lived on this earth any length of time, you've had your share.  I hope that you have known the strength and comfort of having God with you throughout those difficult days as well as during the joys and triumphs.  If you can't honestly say that you know that for a fact, then I implore you to seek His face...ask Him to come and be a part of your life before another day passes.  There's only two ways to go through this life: either with God, or without God.
I cannot imagine living this life without His presence in my life every day.
I pray that you will know that peace today as well.

Friday, August 14, 2015

In The Garden

  1. Early this morning as I walked through our yard,  I noticed the dew on the roses...and this is the song that came to me....

  2. I come to the garden alone,

  1. While the dew is still on the roses,

  2. And the voice I hear falling on my ear
    The Son of God discloses.

    • Refrain:
      And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
      And He tells me I am His own;

      And the joy we share as we tarry there,
      None other has ever known.

  1. He speaks, and the sound of His voice
    Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,

  2. And the melody that He gave to me
    Within my heart is ringing.

  1. I’d stay in the garden with Him,
    Though the night around me be falling,

But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
  1. His voice to me is calling.
  • Refrain:
    And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

    And He tells me I am His own;
    And the joy we share as we tarry there,
    None other has ever known.
  • "In The Garden", written by Charles A. Miles, 1913.

"Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?'

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away."

Jesus said to her, "Mary!"

She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher)...
(John 20: 15-16)

Have you ever spent time alone with the Lord in the garden? I do, quite frequently, but not as often as I'd like, especially in the early morning dew or the cool of the evening dusk. However, whenever I do, it is always a most pleasant experience. I can almost imagine the Lord Himself, walking beside me and whispering words of comfort and encouragement as we linger there.  I believe the day is coming...perhaps sooner than we can imagine, that we will indeed be "in the garden" with Him...forever!  Personally speaking, I am truly looking forward to that day with great joy and anticipation!  I hope you will be there too... 

Have a blessed and peaceful day my friend!

Friday, August 7, 2015

To My Blogging Friends: What Drives You to Write? UPDATED 8/7/15

It's Random Journal Day!

View from My Open Window
Today is "Random Journal Day"...the first Friday of the month...and some of us brave folks open up old journals or other writings and dare to share them with the world.  Here is my offering for this month...something I wrote several years ago in my early blogging days...and I think it may be appropriate for today.  I still haven't written that book...but I've added quite a few blog posts to this site over the past several years...actually I am in my 6th year of blogging now!  Perhaps one day I will compile some of these "chapters" for a real book...but in the meantime...please feel free to peruse these pages and hopefully enjoy!  When you've finished with this page...you can go over to http://enthusiasticallydawn.com/2015/08/07/random-journal-day-53-with-debbie-anne-parent/#more-3846 to see what others are sharing today!

Original Post 6/6/2012

I've been wondering about something for a while, and kept meaning to sit down and write about it, but it keeps getting put on the "back burner" as other projects and thoughts come to the "front burner" of my mind.  However, since I haven't had too many new thoughts to share lately, I thought perhaps now would be a good time to approach this subject.  This is primarily directed toward my other writing/blogging friends...but perhaps there are a few of you who are "closet writers"...who still haven't gotten up your courage to put your thoughts out here in front for the whole world to see...and maybe you need a little extra push to get started.  That's what I needed...

To share a little history with you...I began writing this blog a couple of years ago while I was in between jobs... "unemployed".  After months of searching, interviewing, praying, sending out more resumes', and feeling a sense of rejection time after time as one door after another slammed shut in my face, I decided it was time to do something constructive with my time.  I began to look for a way to turn my "closed door" into an "open window" of opportunity.  (Link to "Closed Doors, Open Windows, The Beginning"

I have always wanted to write...and have kept a personal journal over most of my adult years, although it was sporadic and not very consistent.  As a pastor's wife (although not currently actively in pastoral ministry), my goal had been for a very long time to write a book for other pastor's wives...a devotional book or a guide for wives in ministry written from my own experiences to hopefully encourage, teach, and minister to my sisters in the parsonage.  But when my husband was no longer serving in a pastoral position, I felt that I was no longer "qualified" to write such a book. Who would want to hear from some one who had been there, but didn't stay there? (Although we did stay there almost 30 years). Besides, who was I to think that anyone would want to read anything that I had to write? We weren't famous, I wasn't "educated", and quite frankly I wasn't too sure that what I had to say would be all that helpful...after all, a lot of our experiences weren't exactly positive.  We had been through some very difficult places and times, leaving us feeling emotionally and spiritually burned out and wounded. If what I had to say couldn't uplift and inspire and comfort other women in similar circumstances, then it would probably be better that I kept quiet.  (Link to "Waiting"...one of my early posts)

One day I started playing around with my computer and discovered this "Blogger" program.  The more I delved into it, the more I found that it was actually pretty simple, and it was a way to start putting some of my thoughts down into a format that could be shared with an unknown audience....a way to test the waters and see if there was any response. (Link to "New Beginnings") During this time I also attended a Christian Writers's Conference thinking that they would jump at the chance to publish my book.  Boy, was I in for a rude awakening...but that's another story.(Link to Psalm 19:14 thoughts) What I did learn was that this blogging idea just might be the outlet I needed...and that instead of wasting my time trying to write a book that most likely would never get published...I could be "published" right away by writing this blog.  Sure, it wasn't going to make me rich or gain any fame...but it was a way to help hone my skills and get some feedback...which is exactly what it has done.

So my question is this:  Why do YOU write your blog, or a book, or poetry, or whatever it is that you are writing?  What are your goals?  Who is your intended audience? What drives you to continue...even when you may not feel like you are making much progress or getting much feedback?  I have had times of discouragement and frustration...(Link to "When Is the Cavalry Ever Going to Get Here?")  but the driving force behind me is a desire to share what the Lord has done in my life...in the simple things, and the complex things...in the good times and the bad times...with the hope and prayer that something may touch someone out there who needs that word of hope, comfort, encouragement or blessing.  That perhaps there may be one little word that breaks through the darkness and brings a hurting soul to the Light...

That is why I keep writing.  Some days are silly and fun, and other days may be filled with my own fears or tears...but through it all there is this hope and prayer:

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."  Psalm 19:14

As long as I keep that thought in my heart as I write, I don't really need to worry about the outcome.  God will do all the rest.

Thank you for taking the time to read this offering. 
"The Lord bless you and keep you...The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;  The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."  Numbers 6:24-26     Amen.