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!

I WANT YOU ALL TO SAY THAT TOO AND BELIEVE IT.  NO MATTER WHAT LIFE IS TOSSING ON YOUR PLATE, WITH THE LORD WE WILL HANDLE IT BRAVELY!

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
Maryanne

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




Sunday, January 1, 2017

COURAGE DOESN'T ALWAYS ROAR.......


Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." --Mary Anne Radmacher

 I stopped to absorb the meaning of the above statement. The encouragement  moved across the table, at our GriefShare meetings, is an acknowledgement of everyone's courage.  For some individuals, just getting out of bed after the death of a loved one takes courage. Coming out of a comfort zone to attend a GriefShare meeting with people you don't know is a big step. Starting up a new friendship, knowing that death is always a possibility and hurt may again follow, is frightening. To actually re-marry after the death of a spouse, is a big life changing step. Moving ahead with life; taking a risk; putting yourself on the line;stepping out of your comfort zone and then hitting a devastating disaster; will bring you to your knees. This can and does happen to people. This is "Life".

I was there every step of the way, living this, looking for hope, feeling crushed all over again.  How would I ever recover now; when it appeared everything was lost, again.  I am moving forward slowly but steadily in God's time.  "In God's time," That is the hardest thing to work with. When we learn that there is a reason for these happenings, it helps to understand but doesn't make it any easier. I have discovered some wisdom that comes with age.

As I was growing up, my parents always displayed a giving & helping attitude. We were always going to help others from church, the neighborhood or family. Nothing has changed in my life except people have come and gone. Now our daughter Christa continues the with the same attitude and reaches out to help.

For myself and many others: it could be the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."  Please encourage those you know or don't know, young and old to keep on keeping on so they all will try again tomorrow.  Acknowledge courage in any situation for young and old, it will make a big difference and the cost is zero.

Have a great day in the Lord,
your sister in Christ Maryanne

Sunday, January 24, 2016

TIME FLYs SO I GUESS I BETTER SPEED IT UP.......
 
My current blessing (left over from last year) is the encouragement to see the movie "War Room".
Knocked my socks off, it really spoke to ME! I already pray so what's the big deal. Let me tell you,
I was lifted up out of my seat with encouragement that's the BIG deal! I made a purchase of the book called Fervent, A Woman's Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic prayer.
This book that will prepare a woman to shoot BEAR! Or be David with a sling shot and knock down Goliath. We each need something that will get our attention and motivate our focus and movement.

I needed to know who the enemy is! I needed to get serious and specific in my prayers. This movie took the heat off every else and put the blame to the one and only Satan. I have to remind myself, I work for God, every day all day long. I am a child of God saved by the blood of Jesus Christ!

One important thing I struggle with is "God's time" not my time.  When I think about all the things I wanted at God's Cozy Acres farm to help others and struggled to make them happen by MY strength. Oh my, who did I think I was??? I lost sight of the fact that this is "Gods" cozy acres not mine! I had to wake up to reality of who IS in charge. That would be GOD!  

I had to stop and smell the roses and allow God to be in charge.  You know how hard that is! With the devastation of the water disaster, gutting the entire lower floor -put me into a depression. However, in God's time; walls came down, furniture, books, special posters, pictures, tools were dumped in the large trash receptacle. Pipes were replaced, electric rewired, insulation went in,  new walls went up, drop ceiling was put in, new cupboards and a large island were installed, new refrigerator, stove and microwave installed Now this lower half section of the retreat center will provide enough space for a large group of people, unlike the earlier configuration.

I grieved the work Dennis and I accomplished in this section of the retreat center and accepted the new changes by God. I stand in awe but not surprise of the great job GOD can do if we let him! We are truly blessed!

I was asked to give my little 2000 Toyota Tacoma truck away for a someone's greater need. I knew things would be fine but wasn't expecting to receive another beautiful white 2009 Toyota Tacoma.
Nine years newer really makes a big difference! This one is titled to Gods Cozy Acres, Inc., our first
company vehicle. We are truly blessed!

My life activities seem to be exactly what I promised God, when Dennis died. I work for God. My joy comes from helping others; who have lost loved ones to death, but more than that. Being an integral part of someone's life, just for a moment in time. Helping someone, on their new path in life, find the joy, only Jesus Christ can give.

I will be volunteering for to many things this year, yet again. This will break my new years resolution! I will certainly spend time with my artwork this year, since I am an "Artist" it's time to get some joy in my artistic heart.

Note to share: 1.GriefShare starts March 3, 2016 and runs to May 26 for the first session and then August 4th through October 27.  2.God's Cozy Acres, Inc. will have a re-dedication the last part of August 2016. 3. February 10 showing War Room at my home to friends.

It's time to raise the roof and PRAISE THE LORD FOR ALL HE HAS DONE FOR US!

Your sister in Christ Maryanne Jerome Whitlaw



Friday, October 23, 2015

HOW'S MY NEW LIFE GOING?

How's my new life going? Well, the answer is out and beyond. That seems to express what is happening and perhaps why I neglected my blog for a while! Some time actually. 

As you know my new partner in life Joseph T. Whitlaw (Tom or Tommy to some) is a worldly man who likes to travel, or moreover likes to cruse all over the world. No 7 day trip for him! Absolutely not 24 days or more is more like it. Holy cow! I mean these trips are so extravagant to wonderful places I never would have dreamed to visit in person, but rather was quite happy sitting on a couch watching the DVD travel log. Oh my gosh by the time we return home  I am not sure if I actually went to these places or not. Seeing the many thousands of pictures I took reaffirms the facts. I actually did travel all over the world.

The last cruse which went from Montreal to London by way of Greenland, Iceland, Farrow Islands, and so much more was mixed in with a 24 day bus tour of the UK.  The entire trip took 45 days or so. Outstanding, however depressing.  My Joseph developed a blood clot on the bus tour just before we left Limerick, Ireland. That was four days in the hospital for him and I stayed in the hotel at night. This blood clot went through his lung, his heart and out the other side into his lung. My faith was challenged, to say the least. I was not sure if I would be flying home in the upper part of the plane and he would be in cargo.

We missed four days  of the tour in Ireland, managed by the grace of God and new medicine for Joseph to be freed from Limerick.  A good Samaritan  came down from Dublin picked us up and drove back to Dublin; where we picked up the tour again. With the special stockings on his legs now we continued the trip into Scotland.

I kept an eye out for the farms and how they built their barns. Ireland had round tops, Scotland had peaks, but non were like American barns. My very best favorite was the Bulls that looked like 800# sheep dogs. Oh my I would have loved to raise some of them as calves. The country side was green and beautiful.

So much I will have to get another 80 page picture album done in the large book on line. The day before we were to head back Joseph fell and cracked his head open. This was  a day in Oxford England. The tour bus came by the hospital and dropped one of our suitcases off and went on to England. When the bus pulled away I waved and the tears flowed like Niagara falls. This was also serious. He could have bleeding on the brain, tests needed to be done. Again I wondered if I was going home with Joseph in the cargo area of the plane. By the end of the day it was determined he was good to go and a cab picked us up from the hospital and delivered us to London. We flew back to American the next day.

That was a quick version of the last part of the trip. The actual cruse was really wonderful too. The best part of that was the Artist in Resident Suzanne Stohl. I have not had time to do anything really artsy or creative for such a long time it was like Christmas every day in the class. It felt so great, I started drawing in the cabin as well. Hey, I used to be good and I still am, if I give myself a chance.
I was so motivated, even Joseph was impressed I think.

Upon our return to American we attended a Whitlaw  family reunion with two great grandchildren and their families. This was the picture I wanted in the worst way. Joseph T. Whitlaw holding his two great grandchildren surrounded by his grand children  (most of them) and his three children. This was the greatest outcome from this event! Sebastian the great grandson and Farra the great granddaughter, both just a year old. What a blessing for me to be a grandmother and great grandmother. This takes the heat off Christa.

Joseph and I facilitate GriefShare and had to be back to start a new session. Everything started well and we are back in to the swing of things there. A need for us at the house was an elevator, since Joseph is slightly handicapped and stairs and not his friend. Well, I am typing in joy right now because the elevator is finally complete and working well! It was a real special event when He came up the third floor to drop in, His "man cave" is in the basement (first floor) Now, if I was going to leave the house I don't have to worry about him falling down the stairs.

I managed to get back into God's Cozy Acres and see the kitchen cupboards installed and a great island as well as new refrigerator, stove top , microwave and new oven. The walls need another coat of paint as well as the beams. But overall it looks like a million. God's plan was much better than mine that's for sure. Only one catch was the termites that feasted on the wood around the front door . I never remembered that Dennis used to take care of spraying the buildings for bugs. After 6 years (he has been gone 6 years now) the bugs have done a number. So I have been taking down wall paper and actually pulling out drywall to add new wood and new door. Boy, that takes lots of time. I keep reminding myself that the only way you can eat an elephant is ONE BITE AT A TIME. With nice music playing in the background and the dog with me our day is good!  I brought out the tractor but I didn't have time to mow. 

Monday is my visitation to the nursing home, where I drop off 35 home made cards to the residents at lunch and talk.  From there to Miss Ruby's for my favorite widow! At 91 she is a picture! A beautiful woman inside and out. Some times we go for a ride or out to lunch or nothing at all just sit and talk.
So back on track now so to speak.  Try to be a good caring wife ; work at the farm and house and out in the community. We wont be going out on any trips until 2017, or that's what I'm telling him right now. I need to get Gods Cozy Acres up and running again. Renovation should be just about done.
I just need the volunteers to help finish. This is all Gods time so I'm not worried but I do get anxious.

Well this is my update. Its quick, as my life is quick or fast. I need to slow down and smell the roses and the art work I can do. I also hope to learn how to play Dennis' guitar. So we will see what happens.

I thanks God for my many many blessings and pray for good health for all! Have a great day in the Lord every day, He is an awesome God! M!y new life is a gift from God my boss

Your sister in Christ, Maryanne Jerome whitlaw

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In God's Time....

Everything is IN GOD'S TIME. Get excited, anxious, upset, or whatever we do when we are not please with any outcome. So, where are you when your done, right back where you started, faced with the fact, " No matter how hard you try you will not be able to change God's plans."

Can you admit you have NO control over your life? Are you kidding? You say I have all the control, I do what I please when I please and no one controls my actions, decisions but me.

How about when someone dies. YOU have no control over that. GOD has control of Life and Death.

I found when my husband Dennis died, I had no control of my life, so I gave it all to the Lord. That meant I allowed Him to direct my feet, hands and brain. Oh I didn't do it right away. I belonged to the Lord but I kept control, or so I thought. I learned to prioritize. The net value of everything in life on this earth was $00.  So with that in mind I just allowed my life to go with the flow and help others who had the same experience

Well I spoke of that in the past, however as I have been so blessed every day beyond my new husband Joseph and our work. The renovation for God's Cozy Acres was not to be the downstairs area. But, God's wisdom has allowed that to become the new and improved area.  I was allowed to learn I can not do this work alone.  Waiting for help is very hard to do. Patience is something I have been in short supply of. In God's wisdom the transformation of myself and the retreat center is coming along quite well!

I have that to do list and I keep on adding things on it until the list is to long for me to complete ever. So I have to go back to basics and do one thing at a time. However, I am an artist and miss not working on any art projects, so I sneak them in once in a while.  I am heading for burn out and the Lord has taken care of that also.  I will be going away on a trip with my wonderful husband Joseph. This should provide rest because I will be to far away from home to spin my wheels for a while.
God's Cozy Acres is a wonderful large property with so many possibilities to build and share with those who have lost loved ones young and older.  Also, share with others in the community for special meeting needs. This was dedicated to the memory of my late husband Dennis Leroy Jerome, and as such we want this to become the best for everyone.

So as we move forward, whether fast or slow (in some eyes) God is at the helm and this wonderful God's Cozy Acres will be what God wants in His time.

Well, now back to my dear Husband Joseph,  GriefShare, visitations, church things, home duties, other family needs, pets,  farm duties and miscellaneous stuff.

Happy in the Lord. Have a great day in the Lord
Your sister in Christ
Maryanne