Weekly Smile 9/23/19

SMILEY -- NO CIRCLE - BLACK & WHYay!  I’m making time to do the “Weekly Smile” this week. If you’d like to join in and share what made you smile this past week, hop over to the link and get the simple directions for taking part.

I actually had a number of things to smile about this past week. One special event was getting this term’s Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness class underway at the college where I teach. I always enjoy teaching that class so much because it helps people understand what God’s Word says about healing and how much the Lord wants His people well. And it helps them learn how to appropriate that healing for their own lives.

Then I also got my new HOLIDAY PLANNER/JOURNAL started this week. I’ve been collecting my thoughts, so to speak, about this newest project for some time now. And, to be honest, I’ve sort of put off actually sitting down to my computer and laying out the design on the screen. It’s rather daunting when I think of all that I want to include in it.

I’ve done other themed journals, but they didn’t have to incorporate planner pages and special sections for different kinds of plans and activities. And, of course, most of my books over the past several years have simply required ordinary text and a front and back cover. That’s so much easier to do than all this graphic designing. But once I made up my mind that it was time to do this thing, I committed myself to it whole-heartedly. So — onward and upward. And this week, I actually got through a large portion of the layout and hit “Save.”  Yay!

On top of that event, I also received a gift of two huge family-size packages of chocolate cookies!!!  Now, if you’re a regular visitor to my website, you’ll know that I love, love, love chocolate.  And I love, love, love cookies. Now, add coffee to the mix (which I love, love, love as well), and you have something to smile about — really big. These cookies are perfect for dunking, by the way, and that sets me up for smiling a whole lot for the next week as well.  I think I’ll share a few with my sister — and maybe even a cousin — and that will add to the enjoyment for me.

I could go on, but I hear my coffee and cookies calling me, so I think I’ll bring this post to a close and go do some dunking and some more smiling.

Hope you’ve had  lot to smile about this week as well. I look forward to learning about your smiles, so hop over to Trent’s blog and add your post.

 




 

Weely Smile 8/19/19

ARK FLYER FOR AUGUST # 2 - top onlyTo participate in Trent’s Weekly Smile Challenge, click on the link and get the simple instructions.


Well this week, I have two reasons to smile. One was last Thursday, and one was just this morning.

Thursday was another “Meeting Aboard the Ark” meeting that my ministry Radical About Jesus holds at our local civic center. I love these meetings because we have a great time worshiping the Lord and getting into His Word, but I especially love the meetings when people come who need much healing and help from the Lord. We had a meeting like that this time. So  often, the people in need just don’t know that God wants them well and that He wants to provide all their needs. They’ve been taught that God delivers people sometimes, but sometimes He chooses not to, so they’re plagued with doubts and fears, and they’ve suffered for years.

But when they hear the Word of God and how He has poured His heart into promises to come to them and bring them the relief and the help they need — and that He has already paid for it all through Jesus’ finished work — they just open up and blossom like a flower in the sun. It’s the most amazing and joyous thing to see the change come over these people as they soak up God’s Word. Their faces light up, their eyes shine, they sit up straighter in their seats  and even lean forward as if to soak it up better — because they’re learning how much God loves them and wants to help them. And they’re learning how to receive miracles from Him. Then when we come to the time to pray for them, their faith is ready to receive, and God is able to change their lives.

I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with my life than carry that delivering, healing, life-giving Word to people who need it so much. So, naturally, that kind of experience can produce the biggest smiles of all.

But then there are the little things — as Trent mentioned in his own post this week. And I had one of those experiences this morning. I left the house early for a prayer meeting, and just as I was closing my car door, I glanced over at a sort of grassy area close to my azalea bushes. I saw the most amazing sight: There were hundreds of tiny sparkling gems scattered throughout the grass — in varying shades of greens, blues, and reds. I was stunned. I had never seen anything like it before, and as my gaze traveled over the rest of my yard, I saw more. The dew still on the ground was reflecting the sun’s light in those prisms of color, and it looked like my lawn had been seeded with precious sparkling gems of so many colors.

Some of you readers may have experienced that situation before, but I never have, and I was just speechless for a moment. I sat there, motionless, and suddenly my heart just swelled with gratitude that the Lord had given me that special experience. I had been having a troubled time the past couple days, for a couple different reasons — not the least of which was sadness as I come to the week that is the anniversary of losing my husband (17 years ago now) and then losing my very best friend of many years (just two years ago this week.)

So my heart was heavy this morning, and the little light display from the Lord so cheered me and made me realize how much the Lord loves beauty and how much of it He creates. He just reminded me that if He bothered to create so much beauty in little drops of dew, how much more beautiful will Heaven and the rest of eternity be. I was running much later than I should have been for the meeting, but I just had to sit there quietly and soak up that lovely experience — which made me smile a lot — and thank the Lord over and over.  I did finally get to church for the prayer meeting though.  🙂

I hope all of you have had plenty to smile about this week as well.

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Weekly Smile 7/29/19

I love taking part in Trent’s Weekly Smile, but for the past couple weeks I’ve been bogged down finishing up this term’s writing class and preparing for a ministry meeting at a local Civic Center. But this week, I’m starting to wind down from those two event — both of which made me smile — so I have a little extra time.

COFFEE JOURNAL COVER FRONT ONLYHowever, my post is not about those two things. It’s about another smile maker. My brand new DAILY GRIND COFFEE LOVERS JOURNAL. It’s just out and, I’m grinning from ear to ear about it — partly because it’s now available for purchase — and partly because I just can’t keep from smiling when I look at all those delicious coffee photos and think about how those captions popped into my mind for each one — and partly because I’m enjoying doing my own journaling in my personal copy of the book.

Now, I know this sounds like an advertisement, but truly it is the thing that caused my biggest smile this week — and last week.  I’m having a great time running around delivering copies of the journal to other coffee lovers who want one for themselves or to give as a gift. And to be perfectly honest, I’ll probably be smiling pretty big over this event for the next week or two as well.

Not only that, but I’m working on the next journal, which has a writing theme and should be out next month. That project is putting a smile on my face as well. Of course, it’s also causing me some hours of serious thought and a tiny bit of aggravation, but after all — as we all know — that’s part of the program when you’re creating a book.

Hope you all have a lot to smile about this coming week as well.

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Weekly Smile: 6/4/19

I’m finally getting back to participating in “Weekly Smile” this week. I really like this subject, but some weeks there are just too many irons in the fire already to be able to do another post for it. However, this week, I’m determined. And I’m SO determined that I’m going to do one better than Trent. He had two things to smile about this week, but I have three. 🙂

Exif JPEGMy first smile is my recent purchase of a couple African Marigold plants. Let me say up front that I am not a gardener. The pretty flowers in my yard at present are the ones that came to me with the house, and I’ve had to struggle to keep them moderately cared for. I’ve not had any marigolds in a garden for at least 20 years or more, but they have a special place in my heart. My mother used to absolutely love gardening, and she created such beautiful garden spots in almost every house we ever lived in. In two of our homes, she created a huge rock garden — with rocks and shells from around the country — and some of the most gorgeous flowers anywhere around.

But one summer, her mother became quite ill and had to move in and live with my parents. My mother had pretty much the full care of Granny, but I helped when and where I could. It was actually spring when Granny first moved in, and it was the time of year my mom would have started her loving labors on her yard and her gardens. But that kind of work took hours and hours of attention and consumed so much time and energy that she didn’t feel she could care for her mother properly if she gave her garden proper attention.

One day as she sat looking out the window, she talked about how much she wished she could plant something. She didn’t begrudge caring for her mom at all, but there was a real sadness in not being able to plant something new and see it grow.

Suddenly, she said, “I think if you’ll drive me to the nursery, I can at least pick up some marigolds. It won’t take long to purchase them if I know exactly what I want, and it will be easy and quick to set them in. They’re hardy and won’t take a lot of care, and I can at least watch them grow this summer and feel like I’ve got something with new life in the yard.”

So I drove her to the nursery, she picked up several trays of marigolds, and she was almost like a kid with a bag full of candy when she went out to plant them in the back yard while I watched Granny. I have never forgotten how important those marigolds were to her that year.  I had never been particularly impressed with them before that time, but since then they’ve held a special place in my heart because of that little event that we shared.

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This year, I unexpectedly came across these beautiful African Marigolds, and as soon as I saw them, I thought of my mom. I still miss her terribly, even though she’s been gone over 30 years, and those marigold plants — and the memories they evoked — were a balm to my heart. So I bought two of them to put on my front porch in honor of her. They each had 5 very large blooms and multiple others just waiting to come forth. So that’s one of my big smiles this week.


 

WATERMELON CARD FRONT W. FRAMESmile number two is a new set of greeting cards that I created this week with one of my original watercolor paintings on the front. It’s super simple: just slices of watermelon and a summery slogan. But I love it, and I do love the little cards. Sets of them will make great gifts to some friends who like to send cards. I’ve included a picture of the front of the card with the watercolor.

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BIBLICAL PATHWAYS LOGO

And smile number three is the fact that it’s time for the summer term to begin at the college where I teach. This term I’m teaching “Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness” and “Writing Memoir and Personal Narrative.”  I’m really looking forward to starting these classes this coming week. I hope we have a full house for each one.

 


If you’d like to participate in Trent’s Weekly Smile, click on the link and get the details.

Until next week — I hope you all keep smiling.

 

 

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Weekly Smile 1/14/19

Taking part in Trent’s Weekly Smile again this week. If you’d like to join in, just hop over to the link and get the simple instructions for participating.

My smile this week comes from a little poem I heard during the Christmas holidays. I had forgotten about it for a few days, but this week it popped back into my mind, and I found myself grinning every time I recited it. Just couldn’t help it. So, of course, now that I’ve told you about it, I’m sure you’ll want to hear it. I wish I knew the author so I could give credit, but unfortunately, when I heard it, there was no reference to its originator.

snowball in hands -- pub dom -- pxMY SNOWBALL

I made a little snowball,
Cute as it could be.
So I took it for a pet
And let it sleep with me.

I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
But when I woke, it had run away;
But first it wet the bed!

 

 

 


 

Weekly Smile 12/31/18

Trent, over at “Trent’s World” is hosting his “Weekly Smile” invitational again now, and I thought I’d throw in my reason for smiling this week. As many of my regular visitors know, I’ve been dabbling in watercolor painting this past year — primarily for the purpose of de-stressing. Playing with watercolor relaxes me. But the more I played with that medium, the more I got interested in adding a few other mediums to the mix as well, and the next thing I knew, I was playing with ink and then with a whole new set of markers, and who knows where it will lead next.

I’ve kept journals that were connected with my writing and with my ministry, but I had never started an art journal. So this Christmas I decided that I should put a good mixed-media journal on my list of wishes so I could use it to practice and experiment. And sure enough, I got a beautiful journal that is filled with a combination of excellent watercolor pages and sketch pages. Now, that really made me smile. But that wasn’t the end of the story, because every time I do something new in that journal, my smile grows wider. I’ve been doing watercolor, ink, graphite sketches, marker drawings, and poems — all in the same book. So I’ve been smiling a whole lot this past week.

I’ll share a few of the pages below, and just maybe one or two of them will make you smile as well.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

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Weekly Smile 77

I’m participating again this week in Trent’s Weekly Smile project. I love to focus on positive, happy things in my life, and this weekly invitation to post about what made me smile during the week is a good way to make sure I focus on the good. I hope some of my readers will follow this link to Trent’s World and jump in with their own posts about things that make them smile.

 

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Dayspring Calendar, 2017

 

I’m serving ‘coffee with a smile’ for my post today. This picture is from my Dayspring calendar that is about nothing but  — you guessed it — coffee. I do enjoy coffee — and tea as well. I don’t enjoy cold drinks very much. I generally prefer something warm — especially with a meal. It can be regular coffee, half & half coffee, decaf coffee, tea, herbal tea, or hot chocolate.

I’m fairly eclectic when it comes to drinks and food. But I have to say that coffee is my choice most often. I think it comes from the fact that, in my family, a good cup of coffee has always been associated with family togetherness, wonderful fellowship, and comforting relaxation.

And, just to be frank, I’m tired of hearing all the uninformed critics out there who try to make coffee drinkers feel guilty because there is an element of caffeine in coffee. I have always maintained that, since the Lord told us in Genesis that He made the seed-bearing trees and plants for us to ingest, then we should be able to partake of coffee with a clear conscience and a happy heart. And let’s not forget that God made the coffee bean with the caffeine in it. We human beings did not add the caffeine the way we add so many artificial ingredients into our food. That caffeine must have some good qualities in it, or the Lord would not have put it into the bean in the first place.

Furthermore, there have been numerous medical and scientific experiments done over the past half dozen years that prove coffee has many beneficial qualities for the human body — everything from quickening our brain function to eliminating headaches as quickly as aspirin to protecting the body against several kinds of cancer and heart problems. Naturally, nothing is good for our bodies if we partake of way too much of it, to the exclusion of other important elements. But in moderation, coffee is a great blessing.
****** I figured Trent’s blog was as good a place as any to vent. 🙂

But, seriously, every time I smell that unique, soothing, uplifting aroma of fresh-brewed coffee I smile.  Yep — every time. So, here you go: Have a cup on me ……………

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