Sunday, March 17, 2019

It's Odd, ending a year away from home.

November brought yet another trip, this time to West Africa on Regent Cruise Line. Kitty could stay home and have visitations for feeding, but Cuddles had to go to Maryland and stay while we were gone.

We would be home in Tennessee after New Years 2019. This was a sad trip, for me. My wonderful husband was excited to get on the road! I haven't been home for Christmas for a while, and that makes me sad. No interaction with Church friends, services, decorations happy sounds around everywhere in stores. There was no indication of holiday celebrations once we got on our plane and headed overseas. It was a long flight, with extra challenges, but we arrived; the last couple to board to ship,It was a long cruise, our room was lovely with a balcony, large bed,bathroom,  TV, dresser and walk in closet

The ship moved along from North to South; stopping at various islands; moving over the equator twice and finally to Cape Town South Africa. That was the quick version, The islands were full of poverty and sadness except in the children. Children seem to find a way to may them selves happy. Bus tours on a few islands allowed us to get a glimpse of life in this far away country.

Towards the end of the tour, in Capetown, we went on a catamaran to see the seals in this one area. Tom, being a man without sunscreen or a hat insisted on sitting outside in front of the vessel. Knowing I would be burned to a crisp I sat inside.  This was a fun excursion, a seal was allowed to come on board, a pelican was allowed to come inside and partake of the fishy treats. Upon our return I noticed Tom was already "RED". That evening a stranger came to live in our cabin. He looked like a prize fighter who had lost many fights. Tom's face had swollen due to sun blisters, his eyes were swollen. His face was weeping, yet he claimed no pain. I was glad for him but I felt hurt just the same, as I had severe sunburn in my past. Eventually,about 4 days,  my husband's face reappeared back to normal. We went on a safari, so to speak.  A wild life preserve was our next stop proving to be the best of the whole trip. Picked up some great pictures of elephants, zebras, hippos, and a bunch more I cant remember the names of right now. 

I had a tiny Christmas tree decorated with lights in our cabin with a miniature nativity. I left that for our room steward to share with her children at home.  A gigantic Christmas tree was being dressed by the crew, while  holiday music played, in the center of the ship. Large colorful balls and wonderful accoutrements were joyfully placed. Scrumptious festive treats of all sorts, and savory food extraordinaire, ice sculptures, filled the dining room. 4 tables were used for the display of ginger bread buildings  decorated spectacularly surrounded by a moving Christmas train. Now there was a feel of Christmas celebration.

We managed,after many delays, to settle in to our seats on a plane home. When we arrived the lights on homes were still aglow, reminding me of the little things I missed. Cuddles was glad to see us and as fast as I could the car was packed to get back home to Tennessee.

No tree, no festive lights, no festive food or treats of any kind, but it was still good to be home at last.

I thanked the Lord for a safe trip home and look forward to Christmas 2019, when my daughter and her husband will join us. Praise the Lord for the ability to see the world and to have a home to return to.

So many blessings I don't deserve.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Blessings Abound and Time Rushes On

Well, it's been a while since my last blog, to many things have taken priority. 

My trip overseas worked out very well. I made a visit to the museum in Russia, purchased another copy of "The Prodigal Son", cried when I got to see the original painting. It was the highlight of my trip, the balance of the museum was awesome, but time there rushed by quickly! The Russian ballet "swan lake" was the other important stop for me on this cruise. As I imagined this was one of the most beautiful ballets. These two items stand out in my mind more than anything else on the trip.
The other countries we visited were wonderful experiences, but I longed to be back home. I don't like traveling abroad without my husband.

As Thanksgiving approaches next week, we mark the departure for yet another extensive cruise
down the west side of Africa. Regent is the cruise line and its very nice. The flights from
America to Toronto to Germany to Portugal will be lengthy to be sure. My husband has not been down this area before so it's a treat for him as well. This will be a longer trip, as we leave the 27 of November and return on December 25/26 to Maryland. Cold weather to very warm weather is the challenge for health as well as cloths packing. I like to have plenty to do while on a cruise so my crafts will be joining me. I'm actually bringing a small Christmas tree to put up in our room 
with a nativity as well as a bow for the door. 

I have an obligation to deliver cards to the nursing home Monday so I will have to get them folded
tomorrow. I feel bad if I miss a Monday!

Life has bestowed a new health challenge that certainly wasn't expected.  Not cancer, Alzheimer or Dementia, but something that has no cure but a list of side affects. I had retired from GriefShare this year and I ended up helping the pastor do one more.  I really wanted to get back the Gods Cozy Acres and get some Bible Studies going again. That is on my bucket list for planning and starting 2019, Lord willing. I miss the farm, the seasonal changes, the animals, the neighbors and the peace.

I have been married 6 years as of October 12, 2018 and as of September 29, Dennis has been gone 9 years. I do thank the Lord for allowing my life to have the changes it has, including the heart attack,
just from moving a few tree limbs. I certainly don't want to let Him down, so I am working two get
my work at the farm back on track. There are some real needs out there with the building, because
Dennis is gone, its hard to find people who want to help. I really want to put up a ladder and climb on the roof like I had done with Dennis in the past, but I know that won't work out well.

My bucket list for the farm is paint and wood and people who can help! I do look forward to having a fire in the fire place at the farm when I come back from our trip. Its so peaceful.

Well, I need some sleep, getting up early to go to 2 churches in the morning. God's blessings on all!

your sister in Christ Maryanne
each day is a every day as if it is your last! Remember to Thank God!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

On A New Path Comes Discovery...

Every day is a new day on my path in life, no longer living on a small beautiful quiet farm and now in a lovely noisy golf community, growing in the Lord and trying to help others.

I will tell you, keeping your eyes open does help! One wrong turn and you can stumble, so you must watch your focus.  My work now is focus on things that will please the Lord, which sometimes gives me pause. But, as I move along I have been introduced to people I knew, learning their story and listening to their insights.

I am always amazed to see or hear something new. Paul David Tripp, is a pastor, writer and speaker, I met in our GriefShare program over the last 8 years.The Tripp DVD programs have really inspired me so much! I need all the help I can get! I feel more connected to the Lord, by what I have learned. I understand more now about my life as its progressing between the Cross and Forever. I am understanding "Tough Grace" and why its important. I understand more about being a sinful person married to a sinful person, and that really put us on a level playing field right away. Gods not done with us yet!

 I have decided to retire from working with GriefShare and move into nursing home visitations, of some sort. My husband and I now share a small Bible Study, on Wednesdays with nursing home residences in Loudon Tennessee.  I have kept my visitation of two widows and one other nursing home on Mondays. Its hard to stop something you have been doing for a long time, but if you listen hard you can hear the Lord telling you its time.

I have been a Lutheran all my life and now I am married to a Bible scholar interested in making a difference in others lives with the Gospel. However, He is not satisfied with the information being left out,.as he says. This has led us to attend a Baptist Church.  Now, I think I am getting the best of all worlds because I attend BOTH churches. Makes me quite happy. In this process, my husband has introduced different pastors sermons (on Line) to me. We attended a seminar on World Religions, which I just loved. I learned there are two religions Mans religions and Gods religion. That was followed up by a visit to the Ark in Kentucky. Another wow for me.

I am trying to get ready for a trip over seas Tuesday next for 2 weeks. My husband won't be joining me, but I get the privilege of traveling with my two stepdaughters.  I must get the house ready for my departure, pack my suitcase, make a list for my husband , who will care for the cat and dog and make my greeting cards for this Monday and the next two Wednesdays. I will see how that turns out. At least I took the time to enter something in this blog.
Have a great day in the Lord and be looking to discover something new!
your sister in Christ Maryanne

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Another Year Starts

Another year has started and the label is 2018.  I have a bit of excitement. A couple deadlines that curl my toes, but I have trust in the Lord and myself working together on this.

I ended 2017 with a 35 day cruise with my husband around South America, back in time to start GriefShare January 4th at Gods Cozy Acres farm.  This is my favorite place and I am ready for the challenge of the weather.  This is a work in progress and its coming about in the Lords Time, not mine. I have to give Him all the credit for any progress we make there.The best of all is that everyone who comes out loves it there and feels refreshed and exhilarated.This is still basically a one woman show and God is the lead.  I have a new husband, of five years, but he isn't interested in being in charge. He is my intellectual hero and chief Bible scholar.

Three sessions of GriefShare in 2017 followed by the 35 day cruise has started me on a new task.My new excitement is cooking. The old me said,"  I'm an artist, I don't cook, I decorate the table and place the food on the plates to look beautiful." Well, during the 35 days at sea, I devoured Chef Jacques Pepin's cooking programs. By the time we got off the ship, my new DVDs and two cook books were waiting for me. I have learned some wonderful things and  have started putting them into practice. I am finding fun in the kitchen for the first time. I am not expecting to be writing any cooking books but I think I may learn enough to feel confident to eat my own cooking.

I have, since last year, excelled in my hand made card creations and started selling my cards to bring some funds to Gods Cozy Acres. I really want to share my love of creating cards with other women, because its a great accomplishment and it provides joy to the maker and the receiver.

Mondays I visit two widows and a nursing home. The cards I take (60) computer generated cards to the nursing home, they come with lots of love. All my cards say "Happy Monday" and I get smiles and a few hugs.  I want to share the joy I receive by making and delivering cards to those who are on the other side of life now can't get  get out any more. There are so many nursing homes all over the country, so many elderly people who are so happy to get a card, even computer generated and a word or a touch from another human being. I actually don't remember how many years I've been doing this, perhaps four. I would like to encourage others to take a little time and do this.  I felt sad and missed everyone while I was away on my cruise.

I'm back on track for 2018; cards ready for Monday, and GriefShare is up and running.
I was  afraid of some of my challenges until I put them into proper perspective. With God all things are possible and if they aren't really that important, as I think, God will certainly let me know.

My most important task is every night and every morning to have my time with God. I have really found a better way to pray from Priscilla Shirer's book Fervent. This came after the move "War Room" something else that got me started.  For me this works and I share when I can everything that has changed life for me. I know who I'm fighting now and its not my husband or family members or anyone else human, its the devil himself. Once I got that understood, I was more able to pray much better. I'm far from perfect but I have a better handle on things when I keep up. 

Well, speaking of keeping up. I need to get some sleep, and get this cold under control. This is going to be  a GREAT YEAR!


Have a great week in the Lord, from your sister in Christ maryanne.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

How Small Are We on the Large Scale

As life continues day by day, we jump over bumps on our path or tumble. We may feel discouraged when things don't go exactly how we planned. We may try to control our situations or others.

Viewing the Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017 was such a wonder. It made me think, how small we are on the large scale of life. Genesis 1:14-19 tells us of the creation of the Sun and Moon etc. on the fourth day. All of these things help me to understand that I can never completely understand our omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God. All powerful, all knowing, residing everywhere at the same time.

Isn't it interesting how many try to put God in a box.  Scientist, collecting information about rogue waves in the ocean, to help boats at sea, ran into challenges. Allowing different computer programs, around the world, to come together and become compatible for one purpose.   They can collect information  but they can't send that information fast enough around the world. So, they store it. There is such a large amount of data that it has been stored up for years. Astronomical amounts that we can only decipher a tiny bit at a time. 1-Gigabyte = 1,000 Megabytes. 1-Petabyte = 1000 Terabytes.  This all gets very confusing to say the least. I know there is more terminology beyond, but gracious its more than I can wrap my head around. What an awesome God to make our body's with the capability of learning and understanding and using and inventing "Things".

So as we viewed, along with thousands of other in the USA and around the world, we have to see where we are on the larger scale.  For myself on the question of where am I on that larger scale, I am smaller than one gran of sand from all the oceans in the world. I think that sums it up.

So, when I'm getting anxious about something, I have to put it all in proper perspective. How important is this really, can I really do anything to change it, or should I find a way to move outside the box and find joy in my little space. Can't say it's easy but the older I get the more I am trying to let go of schedules, and move ahead one moment at a time. I will say, having multiple projects going on at one time is tricky, but I love it. That's me.  When one project needs to rest, I move my focus on the next etc.. Accepting that is not always thrilling, but I can sleep most of the time, when I do finally get to sleep.

I know my life has an ending and I would like to fill up my dash as best as I can. 1949-______.

I can look in the mirror and see what a sense of humor God has. I should enjoy being on stage with my daughter Christa, doing stand up/sit down comedy. We can just use our own life to make others laugh, because God gave us all JOY! That"s on my bucket list!

Have a great day in the Lord

Your sister in Christ

PS I hit spell check but I don't have time to review, I'm on the way to my next project, at the farm, then back to make my cards for the nursing home Monday. Thanks God for a wonderful busy joyful life!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Time Passes Quickly

God and I have been working a card ministry by God's Cozy Acres.  Monday is our day on the road. I listen to a Bible Channel for inspiration.  We visit one widow friend, with a cute cat, Hedi, and we make cards together and talk and pray. If enough cards are made they can be sold at an event once a year. I've learned a great deal from her, and given a few ideas myself. The time is well spent, uplifting to both of us!

Then, we drive to a nursing home in the area with 50 cards in hand, made the night before.  It's usually the end of their lunch time and we stop at each table and say, "Happy Monday" as I give each of them a card I have made. I love the see the smiles and a few let me know they have been saving the cards for years. Its rewarding to me to take this little amount out of my day visit and drop cards off. It's my fuel for the rest of the week.

Next we visit one more friend, a 93 year old widow, as sweet as she can be.  We may make a stop to visit her husbands grave site or stop at the doctors, visit her son, have lunch, pick up groceries or drive out to God's Cozy Acres. Sharp as a tack, and better than a GPS, we can use all the back roads all over town and never get lost. In the past, her family owned grocery store was serving the community.  Any stop in town brings a ,"Hello Miss Ruby," with smiles and hugs. She is slowing down now, moving from the cane to the walker more. God has been gracious to allow this wonderful prayer warrior to stay for a long while, and I'm blessed and benefit from our relationship as sisters in Christ. When our visits are over, we've prayed and I'm backing out of her drive way, she comes to the door and we wave and blow a kiss.

While on the road, I call home to check on my wonderful husband, busy with his hobbies. I usually leave the house at 9:30 am and return about 5:30 pm, it's a full day of joy.

We have a special project, started to collect information on a friend who has passed. So, we will see how that project progresses.

 As long as God is by my side all the way I am always more blessed than I deserve. I hope to encourage others to talk more frequently with God, He enjoys small talk too!

Have a great day in the Lord! your sister in Christ maryanne