Victory in the Valley!

Victory in the Valley!

We have been distracted by our obsession with conquering heart disease! Let’s take a break from that series and see what is really carrying us forward. I can hardly contain my excitement about a dear friend who entered into the Valley of the Shadow of Death years ago. She came out claiming VICTORY!! Actually, she went in declaring VICTORY….

If you have followed our Adventure Travel Blog, you may remember we are now minimalists. To finally adopt our dream lifestyle, Bill sold his dearly beloved motorcycle (click the link to see a picture of it) and I had to get rid of all my books!!! Ouch, it hurt us both. I’ve been a lover of books for as long as I can remember….

A VERY dear friend called me a while ago to let me know she was FINALLY writing the book I had wanted years ago. How sad I had to temper my enthusiasm with the fact, books are practically banned from our motor home as we just don’t have the spare room (Bill knows if you give an inch, I’ll take a dozen books!). Continue reading

Coming into Alignment

powerofsurrender

From Bible App/Bible.com

I’m so behind on my blogging – I have two posts in my head waiting for time….But then this morning during my Bible reading and devotional time, I decided to post this. I loved today’s devotional, “Day 4 – The Power of Surrender ” by David Shearman from the Bible App/Bible.com. It is so good, I need to share it here so I can re-read it!

I read this devotional after reading Genesis 27-29. These were the chapters that outlined the life of Jacob. Remember how his mom had him deceive his father, Issac, for his blessing. And then what happened to Jacob after he fell in love with Rachel? He worked for seven years for her hand in marriage. Only to be deceived by Laban, his soon to be father-in-law. He substituted Leah, his oldest daughter. Jacob had to work for another seven years for Rachel. And then I read this devotional. It is so important to come into Alignment with our Lord!!!

Whenever we face difficult or unexpected situations in life, we can panic or we can pray. If we open the Bible, pray, and share our concerns with trusted friends, in due course we will arrive at the truth, which has the power to set us free. The truth is, we can be free from whatever has limited, contained, even bugged us for all or part of our lives.

So how do we align ourselves with God so that we can truly receive His blessings?

Our previous family home had a substantial wooden letterbox to receive the mail. The box had a lock and my grandson, Edward, was very proud that he knew the combination. The padlock had 1,000 possible number sequences but only one opened the lock. It’s about alignment, having everything in the right place. With alignment everything seems easy!

If we get ourselves in line with the purposes of God, things open up to us. Things begin to happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen. This is an exciting place to live. It is thrilling to live with a sense of purpose and watch God at work, doing amazing things. We must learn to be aligned to His plans and ways.

Some of us are still fighting against becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus. But until we absolutely surrender every area of our lives to God and fully come under His Lordship, we are not in line for the full favor of God. People tend to argue with Him about how they use three things – their time, talent, and treasure. But the truth is, “we are not our own, we have been bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Our full freedom comes not only when we cease being slaves to sin, but when we choose to be “slaves to Christ.”

Does that mean we cannot make decisions about where we live or work or who are our friends? Of course not, provided we are surrendered to His Lordship, and that in our choices we retain an inner knowledge of His peace that guides and confirms we are on the right path.

But when we surrender, coming into alignment with God’s plans and purposes, we gain life in abundance. What does coming into alignment mean for you today? For me it is learning to walk and work with Jesus and keep watching how He does it.

Matthew 11:27-30 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Why do we wait until it’s too late…

If you are following our travel blog, you may have read our recent “Reflections on December 2016.” We had so much happen to us in December (I didn’t mention the freezing weather which will deserve a separate post on how to survive), it has made us reflect on LIFE in general. I mentioned in that post, we know several families who knowingly were spending their last Christmas with a loved one. Sadly, that helped put our situation into perspective. This post is to make several points as we ponder this question, Why do we wait until it’s too late….?” Too late for what? To keep our marriages vibrant, to enjoy life, to appreciate family, to work on our bucket list, to keep our health in check, to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior? The list is actually endless. Continue reading

He saved my life!

(I’m posting this on Christmas Eve, 2016. I’m not sure why….May it guide you to reach out to someone who may need some extra love this holiday. We are so blessed to be with family this year. And we are saddened as we know several families who are celebrating this Christmas as their last – due to cancer  – with loved ones.)

I was a rising Senior in college. I had so much going for me, yet I felt a black hole in my heart or being. I can’t really describe it any better, but that is what I felt. I was working to support myself, having lived on my own for two years. My dad was an alcoholic and gambler, but yet, he believed in Jesus. He was a functioning alcoholic but he could not help me live away from home while I went to college. I had to take out a loan for my tuition, but paid my own living expenses. Continue reading

Debbie Lees/ Inspire and Be Inspired

Debbie Lees/ Inspire and Be Inspired

What an honor to meet such an inspiring young lady! All I wanted to do was encourage this young aspiring writer who has great hopes and dreams! And look what happened!

impeccablehopes

Debbie Lees co-author of :  http://thetumblelees.me/  with her husband is a wife, mother and today a grand mother. She and her husband, her life in marriage, her faith in God is truly inspiring and amazing.

She and her husband travels most of the time in their motor home to keep in constant touch with their only daughter, son-in-law and two grand kids. She shares with us her journey, her life in marriage, the hardships and challenges she faced. She hopes to write a book sharing her 40+ years of marriage life with its ups and downs.

This is definitely a must-read interview especially for all the couples out there and those looking forward to be in a relationship.

☆ Who are you? What defines you?

My name is Debbie. I’m first defined by my faith in Jesus Christ. I’m an America of Romanian descent (my dad) and part Irish…

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Great picture and message – perfect!

For today, Easter Sunday!

Song Bird Songs

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30 ✝ **Images […]

via Come to me… — Sacred Touches

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Balance – one month later

I’ve done it, lasted one month with my Gratitude Journal! And I am thankful for telling my husband I am doing this. He has had to gently remind me about it when my mind/attitude drifted off course. The biggest challenge I had this first month was when our motor home was into week three in being repaired. It was supposed to only take 5 to 10 days. That meant we lost a week to visit some dear friends in Ocala, Florida and possibly see a cousin I hadn’t seen since I was a little girl. She was in Panama City Beach. These were two easy stops on our way back up north.

So to be grateful when we got the word it was going to be another week, I had to search for reasons. First, when something like that happens, one may think, “We were being spared from being in some horrific wreck.”  Or I remembered as child the saying, “there is a silver lining behind every cloud.”  But being a woman of faith, look into the Word of God and trust the Lord he has His reasons. Most times we may never know what or why things happen. This time, though, an unexpected gift dropped in my lap.

 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.      1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV

I have a friend living in an unfortunate situation. I really needed so see her. She was 2 1/2 hours away when we were in Sebring, and then two hours away when in Lake Wales. I missed the first opportunity to see her on January 18 when a mutual friend was going to see her. The reason? A miscommunication. I wasn’t on my gratitude journey at that time, but I did have faith. Somehow, someway I would make the trip to see her.

Then when our motorhome wasn’t done sooner, I thought there was no way I could see her now. Wouldn’t you know it, the Lord did have a plan for me. When I reached out to our mutual friend to tell her it wasn’t looking good for me to go….she then told me there was an event for our friend on February 29, Leap Day, and that it would be great if I could attend. Bill and I share a car, so I generally won’t go off in the car that long, but now I had a ride there! Talk about Leaping for Joy!💃 It was a great four hours in the car with our mutual friend and then about an hour or so with our friend. Only the Lord could have arranged this!

So let’s look in my journal. Now, the idea is to find one thing each day to be grateful for, and to not repeat what it is. To really search for something different. An example is when you hit that day you can’t find one NEW thing to be grateful for, think about something like your legs. Be grateful you can walk. When I read this with my mom, she could identify with it as she is now struggling with her walking!

My first entry on February 4, 2016 was how grateful I was to be with my mom the entire day. She was having a root canal, so how wonderful I could be there for her. After she was resting at home, I read more to her from The Gratitude Dairies and that really fired me up for this journey. While I was sort of doing it when we started reading the book a few weeks prior, it was highly recommended to buy a special journal and to write it down. So on this date, I bought my mom and I matching journals.

Today, I asked mom how her journal was going. Sadly, with her limited vision, it is not easy for her to write in it – or even see it where she will remember to write in it. I guess I’ll need to start calling her more often and just ask her what NEW thing is there in her life to be grateful for….

So let’s look at the summary of the book from Amazon:

In this New York Times bestseller, Janice Kaplan spends a year living gratefully and transforms her marriage, family life, work and health. Her pioneering reseach was praised in People and Vanity Fair and hailed on TV shows including Today, The O’Reilly Factor, and CBS’s The Talk.

On New Year’s Eve, journalist and former Parade Editor-in-Chief Janice Kaplan makes a promise to be grateful and look on the bright side of whatever happens. She realizes that how she feels over the next months will have less to do with the events that occur than her own attitude and perspective. Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers, she brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have.

Relying on both amusing personal experiences and extensive research, Kaplan explores how gratitude can transform every aspect of life including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness. She learns how appreciating your spouse changes the neurons of your brain and why saying thanks helps CEOs succeed. Through extensive interviews with experts and lively conversations with real people including celebrities like Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, and Jerry Seinfeld, Kaplan discovers the role of gratitude in everything from our sense of fulfillment to our children’s happiness.

With warmth, humor, and appealing insight, Janice’s journey will empower readers to think positively and start living their own best year ever.

The Gratitude Diaries

This is totally unsolicited! It’s just not too often I have an opportunity to share about a book.