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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Thankful Tuesday!

I kind of took a few days off from blogging...just needed to rest and refocus for a while.  But today I am up bright and early and feel like chatting with my friends.  I know we are all getting weary of this enforced isolation, even though we understand the need for it and pray for those who are suffering and working on the front lines for our behalf.   Today I am very thankful for many things, and thought I wouldn't wait until "Thankful Thursday" to express my thanks. So this will be a "Thankful Tuesday".

 I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds us every day. The birds that sit and sing sweetly in the trees...

 The joy of watching our Canadian Geese come and go, and in this picture, flying back out to his perch on the pond where he keeps guard over his mate as she sits on her nest (out there somewhere but we can't see exactly where)

The signs of new life on our trees...Pine Cones!

And their new spires reaching up to the heavens to praise the God above Who made them. You may notice a few of the pine cones on the new growth make little crosses on the trees...this is a phenomenon you will see every spring just prior to Easter...

Isaiah 55:12
"For you shall go out with joy,
and be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills 
shall break forth into singing before you.
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

I am thankful also to be able to take short walks with my hubby again.  I am not quite up to speed yet, and mostly just walk around a little bit and look at things while he takes his longer walk, but I like to see what is growing new each day.
 These are "Paw Paw" flowers blooming on the wild Paw Paw bushes in the woods. 
 Not sure what kind of insects those are enjoying the nectar of the Paw-Paw flower, but they both seem quite content to "stick together" and enjoy. No, they are not practicing "social distancing", are they? LOL.

I was so happy to see the wild plum trees are loaded with little wild plums, and they are growing every week...

I was also thankful to NOT bump into this lovely little white flowered plant...We call it a "Stinging Nettle", or a "bull nettle".  They grow about ankle high and if you bump into it, you will be very sorry. It will sting like crazy. Good reason NOT to go barefoot in Florida... (among many other reasons that I won't go into)

But back to the list of thankfuls...

I am thankful that I am starting to feel much better and day by day I can see good progress. Thank You, Jesus!

I am thankful for the wonderful bag of books that I was given to read...and am continuing to read every day!! I am up to #10 already!!! (they are quick reads)! I still can't get over how God nudged my friend to bless me that way!

I am thankful that we are retired and on a fixed income (albeit small, but adequate) and not dependent on the stock market or hourly wage jobs to survive during these difficult days.  I pray for those who are not so fortunate that God will provide their every need.

I am thankful that our children are also able to continue working and except for our son's carpentry business, which has slacked off in sales a little, they are still doing well and God is providing their every need.  I am also thankful for the dishwasher they gave us...it is working very well! What a blessing.

I am thankful that so far, as far as I know, all members of our extended family are staying healthy and have not been adversely affected by this virus.  We do know people who have contracted it, but thankfully even they are recovering and God has taken such good care of them. Praise God!!

I am thankful for our church and for dear ones who have taken the time to call or send messages of encouragement around to everyone to stay in touch and keep our faith strong.  Our pastor has sent us good messages of hope, and we are blessed to be part of the Family of God.

Of course we are disappointed that we won't be able to have our usual Easter services, but one of our church family members made an interesting comment the other day that blessed me:

"We are Easter Christiansnot Easter Sunday Christians.  We should be celebrating His resurrection everyday. Celebrating the resurrection is celebrating God's love for us. "For God so loved the world". It is also a time to celebrate our love for God. We can show our love through salty service, which is reaching out and helping others. What a great opportunity we have during this "stay at home time"to phone or email a neighbor to see how they are or to just chat. Be creative. How can you use this time to honor God? I look forward to the day we can all gather again at the church and CELEBRATE His love. Remember that we, God's people are the real church, not the building."  Barbara Thorick
I also love that this same friend did exactly what she was encouraging others to so, and called me on the phone just to visit and check up on me to see how I was doing. I love it when people don't just give "lip service" to doing good deeds, but actually follow through and live what they say.  That is a good lesson and example for us to follow as well.

And so, with those thoughts in mind I will close this little post for today.  It gives us some good food for thought...and also a challenge to live out our faith by encouraging others who may be lonely, discouraged or perhaps not doing so well during these days.  We may not be able to visit in person, but we can encourage one another with calls, cards, or other creative ways.

May God fill your life today with His peace, joy, and blessings overflowing. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Fotos and What's Happening?

I am beginning to feel so out of touch with the rest of the world. This "social distancing" certainly is important, but when people like me stay cooped up too long we begin to get "antsy".  Just to do something.  Of course, I've been physically unable to do much of anything anyway since my surgery almost five weeks ago (really? That long already? Yikes, even I didn't realize it had been that long!)  No wonder I am getting "antsy".

So we've done a few little things.  Nothing too exciting.  I'll just post the pictures and tell you that way.

Talking about "social distancing".  The excitement of the "mating game" between the Canadian Geese and their battles over territories (previously talked about HERE) seems to have come to an end. Lately we have just seen this lone male goose coming up on our shore in the mornings by himself. He often just stands there, watching and listening very intently, but doesn't seem afraid of us at all.

Then he just saunters up to the bird feeder and helps himself to the seeds scattered on the ground.
 You can't see him, but there is a squirrel in that tree above him, watching and switching his tail back and forth, obviously not happy that the goose is getting his morning snack!
Apparently the female goose is sitting on the nest somewhere now, and the male is out taking care of himself for awhile.  I don't know where the nest is, but I hope it is not far and that we will get to see the goslings when they appear.

Speaking of "social distancing":
This sparrow seems to be turning his back on Bobby the Squirrel and pretending he isn't there.

 Some good things have been happening while we are staying here behaving ourselves.  Our "kids" decided we needed a dishwasher.  I don't know why. Maybe because every time they come over and eat with us (which hasn't been often in the past few weeks 😔), they end up doing the dishes. Which they really didn't mind doing, but they decided that when things get back to "normal" around here we will probably be doing our usual routine of family and friends dinners, and we need a dishwasher.  So they actually found this used dishwasher in excellent condition and bought it for us.  Actually, I am quite pleased and thankful, even though I had gotten used to washing our dishes after every meal since it is usually just the two of us and our son Scott, who washes the supper dishes most of the time, and I was pretty content to stay that way. But hey, when your kids want to do something for you, you don't say no!!  You say, "Thank you very much!"

Another thing we just had done is water-sealing the back deck.  If you recall reading HERE a few weeks ago, we had the front deck sealed and a new storm door put on. Well, the same guys who did the front deck came back and did the back deck (and also installed the DW for us while they were here).  So nice to have competent "handy-men" available to take care of special jobs for us reasonably.  Don't worry. We stayed our distance while they worked.

Speaking of the storm door, if you recall from this previous post, my large wreath that I had for the door no longer would fit between the door and the storm door.  And since I haven't been able to get out and do any shopping for a while, I haven't been able to find anything to fit.  Until today. Hubby insisted that I needed to get out of the house for a while.  And so we went to the Dollar Store, with hand sanitizer in hand, keeping our distance from others, and I found this lovely spring wreath that would fit perfectly between the doors:
 How do you like the reflections in the glass? 

Here's a better picture without the reflections:

Made me happy!!

We also took a ride around to see what our kids have been up to at their house as we hadn't seen them in a while.

My daughter in law (below right) is on vacation this week, and her sister from Minnesota came down to get out of the cold and spend some time together.  As you can see above, they have been busy building garden beds!

 The two farm gals.

Their navel orange tree has lots of baby oranges growing!  

 And the wisteria is blooming!! I miss my wisteria bushes from my old house, but..oh well...You can't have everything!

I guess that about sums up what we've been doing. We miss being with our friends and family and church family. It is good to stay in touch via phone calls and Facebook, but I think we will all be happy when this Covid 19 crisis is over and we can all get back to normal again.  I think we will value our families, friends and churches even more than before.

Here are some positive words from God's Word to ponder and give us comfort during these difficult times:

Psalm 34: 1-8
"1.  I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continuously be in my mouth.
2.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3.  Oh magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt His name together.
4.  I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
5.  They looked to Him and were radiant, 
and their faces were not ashamed.
6.  This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7.  The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
and delivers them.
8.  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"

I pray that you and your family and friends are doing well and staying healthy.
We probably all know someone who has tested positive for this virus, and we have been praying for them regularly. We also pray for our President and the task force  and all who have been working on this problem day and night since its beginning. We are very thankful for their diligence to keep working on our behalf.  Also praying for the many doctors, nurses and other first responders, as well as those who are keeping the grocery stores open, etc.  We may feel inconvenienced in not being able to go out to eat or shop when we want to or find everything on our list when we do shop, but we are still so blessed and privileged and cared for. I give thanks to God for taking care of us in so many ways. Let us all strive to be supportive of those who are working so hard on our behalf. We may not always agree with everything and every one, but ultimately it is God Who is taking care of us and we will put our trust in Him. He will deliver us.

Have a blessed and healthy day my friends.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Quiet Place.... Another of "Toni's Creative Adventures" UPDATED

This post was originally written on 1/18/2018, and is another of our dear friend Toni Taddeo's "Toni's Creative Adventures".  As I shared another of these creative adventures with you here last week, I did so in loving memory of our friend Toni, who very sadly passed away a few months ago after a fierce battle with breast cancer.  I wish that I had participated in more of her creative adventure memes because they always were fun and entertaining as well as mind challenging.  Those that I have participated with I will share with you a little at a time over the next few weeks.  Perhaps it will stir up some creative ideas in your own mind. I am certain that Toni would be pleased and honored if anyone wanted to use these same prompts to create your own stories and share them here in memory of Toni as well.

So, without further ado, here is what I wrote on January 18, 2018:

Here is my "Creative Adventure" based on Toni's meme for this past week:

The Quiet Place

1.  While looking for a quiet place to rest my tired body after a bad day at work I stumbled on a: path through the woods that I had never noticed before in my usual wanderings.  The sunlight was shining through the trees, filtering through the branches, beckoning me to follow the light...like a shimmering, glistening angel, smiling down and reaching deep into my weary soul..."Come, follow me..."

And so I did...and as I followed that glorious light into the depths of the woods,

my path diverted and began a descent down through the trees...and there suddenly appeared a body of water...and it seemed as though the woods whispered to me...

I was stunned!  How could this lovely place have been there all along and I'd never known it?

As I stumbled further down the path I gasped at what was there before me...

   2.  It was the most beautiful place that I ever could have imagined!

So peaceful, serene, calm...exactly what I needed...

3.  I turned and spotted what, to me, was the perfect place to just sit and marvel at the works of God...

And as I sat there along the shore of this quiet, peaceful little lake, I felt the cares of the world just slipping off of my shoulders and gliding down into the water, washed away and carried off into the depths of the "sea"....It was as if I could hear Jesus, as He walked along the shore of Galilee...that place where He called His disciples to Him, saying, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men..." (Mark 1:17)...and where He healed so many of their diseases and afflictions...(Mark 3:10)...
I know I heard Him say, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest..." (Matthew 11:28)

4.  After a long quiet while I knew I had to get up and head back home...and as I began my ascent back up the little hill through the woods to the dirt road that led back to the pathway home I discovered something I had failed to notice ever before.  There was a little sign saying "Lake Galilee Shore Road"...

I turned and looked back down the slope toward the water and wondered..."Could it be?"

I declare I could hear Him calling to me..."Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace..." (Mark 5:34)

What do you think?


Although the story may be a bit altered by creative license, the pictures are of a real place along the shores of Lake Galilee...not in Israel, but right here in Florida, not very far away...

"Go in peace..."


Back to the present (3/25/2020), I would like to give you a little history on the pictures above of "Lake Galilee Shores"...Yes, that is a real place, located not far from where we are currently living.  When I took these pictures a couple of years ago, we had just begun our search for a potential location for our new home. We had decided that we truly wanted to relocate to this area, and we also knew that we wanted to look for property that was on the water in one way or another.  We came across this piece of property, and it was for sale. We fell in love with it immediately, and thought seriously about purchasing the lot with the intention of eventually building our home there.  However, it just wasn't in God's timing. The more we checked into the reality of building on that property, the more we knew it would quickly get beyond our ability to afford it, and so reluctantly we had to give it up.  But it was a struggle. I loved the idea of living on the "shores of Lake Galilee".  I could envision writing a book of devotions with that theme, and I thought for sure it was where God was leading us.  But God had another plan.  It would take another 18 months before His plan was revealed and brought to fruition, and now we sit here on the shores of "Still Waters Pond".

And even though it isn't on the shores of Lake Galilee, Jesus is still calling us to "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men..."

So my little creative adventure really did come true after all!  I love it when God's plans come together, don't you?

I hope you enjoyed this brief interlude from your "captivity at home" with this little creative adventure and also "the rest of the story", as our old friend Paul Harvey used to say.  

Have a blessed day my friends, and stay healthy and safe! And "Go in Peace"....

Sunday, March 22, 2020

"Blessings In Disguise"

When I mentioned in my blog post HERE yesterday, that I was reading the Sugarcreek Amish Mystery Guideposts series book one, "Blessings in Disguise",
the neatest thing happened.  One of my long time ago high school friends, whom I haven't seen but maybe once in the past 50+ years since graduation (and she was in a younger class than I), sent me the most astounding message....but first let me get the timing right for how this happened. 

I finished reading this library book around 9:15 p.m. last night. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to find out if our library had any more of this series available. So I went online to the library website and discovered that they only had the next two books out of some 27 books in the series.  I was kind of bummed about that, but at least thankful that they had the next two, so I placed my order online for them to be sent to my local library branch, and then I would be able to get them in a few days when they arrive.  During this time of confinement I am doing a LOT of reading, and I like to read good Christian fiction, and especially enjoy "mysteries".  This is my evening entertainment since I rarely watch TV.

Well, no sooner had I taken care of that order, I looked at my cell phone and saw that I had a message from my friend.  Now, we knew each other in high school and because we have the history of attending/graduating from the same school and from a hometown where everyone knew everyone, we have gotten reacquainted on Facebook. Nevertheless, I was surprised to get a private message from her. And even MORE surprised at her message at that particular moment.
She said that she saw that I was reading this book series, and that she has practically ALL of the books in that series, and that she would LOVE to GIVE them to me "if you can use them".  She also reminded me that she doesn't really live very far away, maybe 20 miles, and that she would be very happy to deliver them to my front porch today so that I don't have to come out...

I was flabbergasted in a very happy way...I couldn't believe the timing of her message...but I thought, "God, that was YOU, wasn't it?"  Yes, I am sure God put that thought into my sweet friend's mind to bless me today with these books...and what a "Blessing in Disguise" (not so disguised) it is:

 Just look at this bag ripping open at the seams it is so full of good books to read:

Overflowing with wonderful stories to keep me entertained for quite a while, and then I will pass them on as she requested...

I LOVE the card she printed to give me along with the books:  Isn't that the truth? Except I haven't been thinking much about cleaning the house since my surgery...I let the guys take care of that...

My friend Linda is a retired nurse, and she was very careful that we practiced "Social Distancing", so no hugs allowed.  But we did meet on the back deck so she could see the pond and hubby took our picture together. But, Gosh, I really wanted to hug her!!!! What a blessing...no disguise about it at all.

And even though we weren't able to have "church" today, I think we had "church". This is the church in action, Christ's body reaching out to another to bless us.  A bag of great books to a person who is in "confinement" due to surgery recovery as well as the current corona-virus crisis is a very special gift, and I am so very thankful for my friend being an ambassador of God's love to me today.  Thank you, Linda, and thank YOU, Jesus, for giving her that idea at the perfect time! Just another example of "God's perfect timing".

Now I need to cancel that order at the library, and go sit down and start reading!  Wow! I am still amazed! 

Here's another of those "Amish Proverbs" found in one of the books:

Good thought to close on today.  Kind of goes along with "'Tis better to give than to receive", but in today's situation, I am very blessed to be the receiver. But when I get finished with these, I hope to be a good giver and spread the blessing forward.

Have a blessed day, my friends!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Peaceful Day

I opened up a new library book to read today, and this was the first page I turned to:
I thought that was pretty appropriate for our current national situation.  
Who knew? (God knew). This is a library book entitled "Blessings in Disguise", which is a part of the Guideposts fiction series of "Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries." 

It has been a quiet, peaceful day here on our side of the pond....Well, except for our son's car breaking down about 40 miles from home and him having to get it towed to a safe place to repair it, but God is good, and it all came together. And a kind soul from his workplace drove him all the way home (about 50 miles).  Now he just has to figure out how to get back and forth to work everyday until he can get it fixed. But he's working on that too, and I'm sure a solution will be forthcoming soon...it may be a bit "beyond our reserves", but not "beyond God's resources!"

Anyway, as I was saying, it's been a quiet, peaceful day here...after last night's royal territorial battle between the rival Canadian Geese...

These two males had quite the fight, but they finally backed off and swam back to their respective "corners". 

Today I think only one couple has been in the pond, so it really has been peaceful.

 As a matter of fact, it was so peaceful that they walked right up onto our lawn and checked out the bird seed under the bird feeders, with us sitting on the deck right above them. They stayed there for quite a while and didn't seem to worry about us being there at all!

It was fun to watch them up so close.  I do hope they will build their nest here on our pond so we will be able to watch their babies hatch. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, we are so thankful to have our kids living nearby. During this time of  "isolation" they have been very kind to take care of some errands for us "elderly folks" so that we don't have to go out into the world of germs too often.  Today in addition to picking up some things we needed from Home Depot, our sweet son and daughter in law brought me some pretty flowers to enjoy.

Aren't these tulips and daffodils just gorgeous?  They are special because we can't grow these here in Florida, so it is always a treat in the springtime to have a bouquet of these "Easter flowers" to enjoy for as long as they will last...

And I have been wanting some colorful plants to put on the front deck, and so they brought me this lovely red geranium plant...and it came with a little green friend:

Mr. Green Chameleon is hurrying away to a safer place...

They also brought this lovely pink geranium, which is in a hanging basket. I just need to find the right spot to hang it.

For now this is how the front porch/deck looks.  The plants have lots of new buds, so soon they will be loaded with new blooms.  Do you still see the chameleon?  He didn't go far. I think he probably jumped back  into the plant when I left. That's why you should never bring plants inside the house that have been outside...sometimes even snakes have been found in them...just saying...

Well, while I have been sitting here writing this, the geese went back to battle again outside. It is getting too dark to take any pictures, but the noise was wild!

 I will close with these pictures taken earlier of our resident couple, staking their claim on a log in the water...

I think this means that he's "the bull goose" around here! LOL.

I will close with these words that we read in our devotions this morning from the book of Hosea 6:1-3
Seems like some good words of advice and possible prophecy for us today:

"1.  Come,  and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind  us up.
2.  After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
3.  Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord,
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth."

We look forward to the Lord coming to us like the rain...
Until then, be at peace, and stay healthy, and may God bless you and keep you always.