Thursday, January 29, 2009

More about love...

True love never fails. That means loving someone over the long haul, day after day, whether we see results or not, out of love for God and not for what we can get out of it. So often we determine to love somebody, but what we are really seeking is for them to respond to our love in ways that will make life sweeter for us. We are kind to someone who is often irritable, for example, because we hope that our kindness will bring kindness in return.

Of course, love has as its aim the highest good of another person. That does mean that love has as one purpose to draw each other closer to the Lord. However, in the case of people who are closest to us, we often confuse a valid concern for another person's spiritual welfare with a desire for that person to act in ways that make us happy. When our attempts to love a particular person don't bring immediate relief for us, so often we want to throw up our hands and quit trying to love that person. That is manipulation, not love. I've seen that too often in myself.

By contrast, Jesus says, "Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6:35-36, TNIV)"

I enjoy these two quotes from J. R. Miller about what true love is:

"It is easy to let bitterness creep into the heart when one has to endure wrong day after day, week after week, possibly year after years. There are women who know what this means. There are men, too, who meet this experience. Too often the darkness creeps into their souls and puts out the lights of love. Nothing on earth is sadder than this. It is a sort of death that is worse than dying. Whatever wrongs or cruelties we have to endure we should always keep love in our hearts. We should never allow its lamps to be put out. We should keep on loving and thus be more than conquerors over all the hardness that besets us. In all such experiences love will save us, keep us alive — and nothing else will.

Sometimes one finds a sweet fresh-water spring beside the sea. When the tide is low you may take your cup and drink of the pure well and the water is fresh as if it flowed from the bosom of a rock on the hillside. Then the sea rolls over and for long hours the brackish floods bury the little spring out of sight. But when the tide draws back again, you find the water sweet as ever. So love should be in our hearts when the black, brackish floods of wrong have swept over them. The love should never lose its sweetness."


"This is part of the lesson set for us, and it is a lesson not easy to learn. It is hard to receive injury from others and always to return kindness for it. Especially is it hard to suffer wrongfully and keep one’s heart sweet and loving through it all. Yet that is the lesson, and we find right here one of life’s most serious problems. We cannot avoid suffering at the hand of others. In the truest and most congenial friendships there sometimes are things which occasion pain. Even in the sweetest home there is frequent need of t he mutual forbearance and forgiveness. Then there are many who have to suffer continually, ofttimes cruelly and bitterly, at the hands of others.

Here then is the problem — to keep love in the heart through all unkindness, ingratitude, and injustice; never to allow bitterness to creep in; never to give way to any feeling of resentment; always to be forgiving, loving, and ready to help. It was thus that Christ went through His life to the very end, praying for His enemies even on His cross, and giving His life to save those who were driving Him out of His own world."

From J. R. Miller -- The Lesson of Love


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

February Focus: Love

It's the countdown to DH's birthday on the last day of January, and, then, February and Valentine's Day will arrive. I am still focusing on being diligent in the sense of paying attention to detail -- not just in the things I love and am naturally good at, but in all things. I'm applying diligence to working with love and working efficiently.

My February focus is love. To that end, I've thought up five practical ways to show love to my husband:

1) Remember that what speaks love to my husband is not necessarily what speaks love to me. I respond to a lot of affection, words of affirmation, and time spent together. My husband loves these things, as well. However, my husband feels especially loved when the household is running in order and when I show respect for his domestic needs and wishes. When I realize that, it makes doing all the little things of running a household sweeter. Doing laundry, for example, is no longer just a duty, but a way of showing love for my dearest companion in life. It is also a way of honoring the Lord, who wants us to do our work as if for him. Also, understanding that this is dear hubby's language of love enables me to understand that when he does some act of service for me, he is telling me that he loves me.
2) Re-read the Five Sense of Romantic Love, which is inspired by Song of Solomon, and employ those sense in creating a beautiful romantic life together. Particularly pay attention to this verse from Song of Solomon: "I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment (shalom). 8:10b Shalom in Hebrew means peace, a sense 0f well-being, satisfaction, wholeness, and contentment. To wish someone Shalom in Hebrew means to wish them the fullness of God's care, blessing, abundance and the well-being that God's tender care brings. Of course, our husbands can find the full depths of shalom only in their relationship to the Lord. But, what a blessing to know that we can be part of God's plan for blessing our husbands with shalom!
3) Rejoice in our stage of life and work with it. Every stage of married life has its blessings and its challenges. Appreciating the one you're in and working with it to make the most of your life together is both an art and an act of faith in the Lord. My dearest companion in life and I are in the empty nest stage of marriage. Our blessings and challenges are different than the young couple who have yet to have children or the thirty something couple with many children in the home. To wish to be other than where you are in life right now is to murmur against the Lord's timing. To keep your love for the Lord and for each other fresh in every season of life is to accept the Lord's timing. That brings peace and beauty to a marriage.
4) Study God's amazing love. We love because he first loved us. Only when we are continually growing in our understanding of God's love are we truly able to love others -- including our husbands.
5) Take care of my health and trust the Lord with my health. Since I have some chronic health challenges, this one is a big one for me. I find it to be challenging! Yet, I know that if I trust the Lord's will for my health and also exercise good stewardship of my body, I will be a happier and, perhaps, healthier, companion for my dearest hubby. Also, I will be a happier and perhaps healthier servant of the Lord.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For life, with all it yields of joy and woe,
And hope and fear…
Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love,—
How love might be, hath been indeed, and is.”

Robert Browning

Christian love has to be learned. There is natural affection which does not need to be learned — the love of parents for children, of children for parents, of friend for friend. But it is not natural to love our enemies, to love unlovable people, to be unselfish, to return kindness for unkindness. We have to learn this love, and it is the great business of life to do it. J. R. Miller



Winter has a beauty all it's own.

On Saturday, DH and I took a walk by a lake. It was late-afternoon, and the sun was making beautiful shadows in the trees and on the water. It was hard to capture how lovely it all was with my camera.

The older I become, the more I love winter. I seeing the inner beauty of trees that have been stripped of leaf and flower and fruit. I also love the way you can see further in the woods in winter, and it's easier to spot wildlife. Winter skies are also some of the most breathtaking, as they are either the clearest and bluest of all skies or they are soft and cozy looking, with clouds that stretch across like warm, fluffy blankets.

I also love people who grow more and more beautiful in the winter of their lives. For some of great faith, their inner beauty shines more clearly even though the outer person may be becoming more frail.

Yet, one of the loveliest things about winter is, as Shelley says, "Oh, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?" I expect that in a couple of weeks, we'll start seeing daffodils rising up.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Visit the Home of the Daybook.

FOR TODAY January 26, 2009
Outside My Window...It's another cloudy Monday. I never thought we had so many overcast Mondays until I started keeping track of them on the Simple Woman's Daybook. Perhaps, this is just an unusual weather year, as we do normally have lots of sun during the winter. It's in the summer that we usually get really hazy days. Our high today is only 41 degrees F and it will drop to about 32 or 33 degrees tonight. It has been an unusually cold winter for us, I think. From what I hear, I think it's been an unusually cold winter all over the U.S.
I am happy I am that we will celebrate my wonderful husband's 53rd birthday this weekend, Lord willing.
I am thankful wonderful husband and 28 years of marriage.
From the learning rooms...I know this is supposed to be about home schooling children, but my children are grown and married. I still seem to be in the "home school of life", however. :)
From the kitchen...I'm changing plans rather quickly, as I had planned a small dish for my husband and myself, but I did not foresee that I would need to take a dish to a neighboring family who are having an emergency. So, I've decided to freeze the small amount of beef I had plannned to brown for my dish tonight and, instead, throw a bunch of chicken pieces into the oven with some barbecue sauce.
I also tried a new quick and easy cookie recipe that a friend shared with me at Christmas. You start with one box of cake mix -- any flavor except one that has pudding mix in it. Stir in two eggs and 1/2 cup oil. Roll into small balls or drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. (You can roll the cookies in chopped nuts, if you like.) Bake at 350 degrees for 7 1/2 to 10 mintues. (I actually had to cook mine a little longer than the recipe calls for, but I made large cookies. I think next time, I will make mine a bit smaller and, perhaps, shorten the cooking time.)
I am wearing...a black skirt, black tights, a pink turtleneck, and some gold earrings that I just realized today I've had for about 30 years. How can I have had a pair of earrings for thirty years, when I'm only 29 -- and counting -- and counting a lot. :0
I am creating...hoping to have time soon to get back to my apron project.
I am reading...a library book which is a collection of four novels by Grace Livingston Hill and several short stories by Isabella Alden. To tell the truth, I'm enjoying the short stories much better than the novels.
I am get a lot done this week.
I am hearing...just heard the oven beeping to tell me it reached the correct temp a few seconds ago.
Around the house...lots to do!
One of my favorite things...sleeping or napping under quilts.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: the birthday dinner for my hubby.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

On the hunt for an old-fashioned, hardy rose...

I'm no rose expert, just an avid rose lover. I am a great fan of old garden roses. However, the only rose bushes I have right now are a miniature rose in a pot and two rose bushes that I rescued from a bargain table.

I'm in the market for a hardy, old-fashioned rose -- one that is very disease resistant. I'd prefer one that is grown on its own root stock rather than being grafted. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Here are some older roses that I think are pretty:

This is a tea rose called Sombreuil. It is a climber. It is supposed to be hardy, though I always thought that tea roses can be quite delicate.
The picture is from Antique Rose Emporium.

This is Souvenier de Malmaison. It is a Bourbon rose. This might be a good choice for me as it does well in the cold, but also does well in the humid South. Since I live in the mid-South, I mostly have to deal with the problems that roses can have in the South. But, we're just far enough to get a few really cold temps during some winters -- a la this winter.

This photo is also from Antique Rose Emporium.

Marchella Bocella is a light pink old rose that does well in our area.

Some say that Darlow's Enigma is a rose that grows well almost anywhere.

Or, I'm toying with thought of adding a pale pink rambler to my garden.

Our hardiness zone is 6 and our heat zone is 7.

So, all you rose lovers, send in your thoughts.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." 2 Peter 3:14

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed. --Robert Cavett

Any battle for victory, power, and deliverance - from ourselves and from sin - which is not based constantly upon the gazing and the beholding of the Lord Jesus, with the heart and life lifted up to Him, is doomed to failure. --Alan Redpath

Here is the great secret of success. Work with all your might; but trust not in the least in your work. Pray with all your might for the blessing of God; but work, at the same time, with all diligence, with all patience, with all perseverance. Pray then, and work. Work and pray. And still again pray, and then work. And so on all the days of your life. The result will surely be, abundant blessing. Whether you see much fruit or little fruit, such kind of service will be blessed... -- George Muller

He who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything. --Samuel Johnson

Some say if only my fears and doubts will leave then I will get to work. But instead you should get to work and then your fears and doubts will leave --Dwight L. Moody

Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditat e before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded. God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself; it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others. -- Oswald Chambers

If Christ does not reign over the mundane events in our lives, He does not reign at all. -- Paul Tripp


Monday, January 19, 2009

FOR TODAY January 19, 2009

Outside my window...It's spitting snow!! I don't know if it will accumulate or not.
I am thinking...of plans for the day.
I am thankful for...the birds I see and also hear singing despite the snow. I love the songs of birds and am so happy to live in an area where they sing year round.
From the learning rooms...Our church is embarking on a five month study of the Sermon on the Mount. I both love and have been challenged by just the few studies we've had so far.
From the kitchen...We will have chicken and noddles tonight.
I am p.j.s but will soon change into a skirt, warm tights, and layered top.
I am creating...neat little spaces in my home, an apron.
I am a birthday party tonight if the roads are clear.
I am reading...Tennessee Fruits and Vegetables.
I am God's love.
I am hearing...the washing machine humming. Today, I plan to neaten the house and get in some laundry, as well.
Around the house...See above.
One of my favorite things...roses, roses, roses. I hope that my bushes have survived the unusual cold spell we had last week. I think they look ok, but am not sure about one.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Overnight business trip with dear hubby.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Our living room fireplace. You can see that my plant is shedding and that I need to clean it up.

Friday, January 16, 2009

This print is entitled something like "Summer Day in the Garden". Well, it's anything but a summer's day here. Our Southern city is undergoing an arctic blast. It was only 3 degrees this morning!! That is very unusual for our city, though I do remember occasions when it has been this cold or even a few degrees colder.

I ventured out in this afternoon and thought I'd be the only person shopping at Wal-Mart. However, they closed all the schools due to the cold, and it seemed that tons of families and teens headed for Wal-Mart. At least, it was delightfully warm inside.

While shopping, I couldn't resist a bouquet of white tulips for only $5.00. The flowers just spoke to me of spring.

I wore black rain boots with white polka dots on them --from Tar-jay. I know they're sort of youthful for someone my age, but they're cute and warm and my dear hubby likes me in them. I also layered on a rose-colored knit shawl that dh brought me from a trip to South America, my coat, gloves, and a beret over jeans and a long sleeved heavy turtleneck. Would you believe I actually was sweating underneath all of that! But, since I have chronic asthma, I was determined to dress waermly.

I was also encouraged to strike out in the cold by the knowledge that my Southern born daughter is adjusting to life up north with the hubby of her dreams. Her part of the country has hit the negative temps lately. She's searching for a new coat, as her current coat is fine for here but not for Chicago.

When I was a little girl, my father had to make several business trips to Chicago. Whenever he put on a certain heavy coat, I knew he was flying up there for the day.

My dear son and his beautiful new bride had thought it might be nice to move to Chicago to be near his sister and brother-in-law and some friends. A visit over New Year's has convinced them otherwise. They hit town during a Chicago-style cold spell dressed for the weather they had just left in Atlanta.

It's all in what you're used to, though. As some of you know, I just finished reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The family thought nothing of temps way in the negatives, but continued on with work and play. I noticed though that she describes the family as eating some huge and hearty meals. The good old American diet furnished enough calories to withstand drafty houses in winter and hard work on the farm all year round.

I followed this link from Homeliving Helper: Whimsey Pink.
(Did you really think I could resist a site with that name?) Anyhow, the photographs looked so fresh and so springlike. If it weren't for the fact that my manly dh would be uncomfortable in these surroundings, this would be the colors of my ideal home. As it is, I have several touches that are similar.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I have no idea where I found this quote. If anyone knows where it comes from, please let me know.

"'One of the things I'm thankful for every day is my share in the world's work,' said a wise and busy woman. 'I am thankful that my hands are full.' The blessing of full hands and full days is noen that we fail to appreciate until illness or some other misfortune forces us to stand by while the eager, useful procession passes by without us. A vital part in the world we live in, a head and a hand for us to work, a heart for its needs, its oys, its burdens and faith for its outlook -- these are the best gifts that can be ours for healthful and happy days.'"

You know, the sentiment in this is so true. I am grateful that I have never been stricken with a permanetly disabling illness, but I have had chronic health issues that have slowed me down. It's funny how when we are sick, we do look at tasks in a new way. Jobs that might seem tedious when you are full of health and wanting to go outside to enjoy a spring day take on a new glamour. If we are bedridden for a day or a week or longer, we would be so grateful to be up and able to wash dishes or do laundry or vacuum the floors. When ill, a little leisure is enjoyable. But, if the illness hangs on, so much time of enforced rest can hang heavy on our hearts. The health to work is a blessing! We do well to remember that and to teach our children that, as well.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Seeds and Hope: I forgot to fill in I am hoping in my Daybook entry...

If you read my daybook entry below, you probably realized that I left "I am hoping" blank in order to think of something and forgot to fill it in when I thought of it.

Yesterday, my dear hubby and I ate lunch at a Cracker Barrel restaurant after church. Now, I don't think of Cracker Barrel as a place to buy seeds. But, as I was browsing around while we were waiting for our table, I came upon their line of Burpee-themed collectibles. There among the pretty watering cans and such, was a cardboard display box filled with Burpee seed packets -- mostly heirloom or unusual varieties. What caught my eye immediately was an old French variety of haricots vert or green beans, as we call them.

Now, years ago, when I was seventeen, I spent a summer in Paris in a dormitory where the cooking was done by Portuguese nuns. They often prepared the most delcious green beans. I have never come across an exact duplicate of the particular color of the green in the beans or their taste in the U.S.

Now, of course, I love my Southern U.S. green beans, cooked down with some ham. (I'd still use good, old-fashioned fatback in the beans if I didn't think the cholesterol would cause an immediate clog in our arteries.) But, I did also loved the French beans and never figured if it was the type of beans themselves that I was drawn to, or the style of cooking them or soil and weather conditions in the area where I was staying that made them so delightful.

The beans pictured on the front of the seed packet looked something like the seeds I remembered. So, I bought a packet, along with a packet of carrot seeds of an old variety.

So, I am hoping that my Cracker Barrel seeds weren't just for show, but are real, viable, Burpee quality seeds. There's always something hopeful about buying seed packets. Don't you think? It's hope that spring is coming. It's hope that your little garden crop will look and taste as beautiful as the art work on the seed packet promises.

To me, watching plants emerge from planted seeds is one of God's wondrous beauties! It's especially true in my case. My father loves plants and has a green thumb and plants grow simply because he walks into a room. My husband grew up working in his family's garden, and is a credible gardener -- when he wants to be. In my case, seeds grow in spite of my hit and miss, very amateurish gardening. It's always so fun to gather the harvests!

FOR TODAY January 12
Outside my window...It was a frosty morning, but the frost is gone now. The tree outside my window continues to bud.
I am thinking...that I miss my daughter and her husband who live in Chicago.
I am thankful for...a warm house, new couches
From the learning rooms...God continues to teach me lessons...I had set about to focus on diligence for January, and what I seem to be learning is just how much less diligent I am than I thought I was! The lessons are painful, but good.
From the kitchen...I will be trying out a hot potato salad. I saw a recipe on very CALM's blog that looked good. I've probably cooked a hot potato salad before, but this one seemed interesting. My father's mother had generations of German-American heritage behind her, and she often cooked hot potato salads when he was growing up, though most other Southerners prefer cold potato salads.
I am wearing...still in p.j.s due to not feeling quite up to par, but am about to change into a skirt.
I am apron -- See my project home economics blog. I'm also working on a scarf for me and a crocheted dish strainer. I'm having fun with the crochet, but it's my first real project, and it's coming out a little funny looking. That's the beauty of starting with something like a dish strainer. It doesn't have to look beautiful to function.
I am reading...Tennessee Fruits and Vegetables
I am hoping...
I am hearing...Silence. I enjoy a quiet house in the mornings.
Around the house...I have many little projects awaiting me.
One of my favorite things...clean sheets.
A few plans for the rest of the week: visiting with friends
Here is picture thought I am sharing...Here's a bit of the material I'm using for the bodice and pocket of my apron. I thought it was a cute retro-inspired print. I got the last bit on the bolt, however, so I have had to add another complementary fabric to go with this in order to have enough to make an apron.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do you enjoy beautiful quotes as much as I do?

Here's one I just found in an online reprint of a sermon by J. R. Miller:

"Wherever a true wife comes, home is always around her. The stars may be the canopy over her head, the glow-worm in the night's cold grass be the fire at her feet, but home is where she is; and for a noble woman it stretches far around her,—better than houses with ceilings of cedar, or with paintings of the masters, shedding its quiet light for those who else were homeless."

Isn't that inspiring?


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Another study about diligence...

As you know, my theme for January is diligence.

Here's a verse I love in the KJV: Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 2 Peter 3:14-15a The context (2 Peter 3:1-15) is Peter's inspired explanation of the coming of the end of the world in God's good timing. Since we are looking forward to God's coming, we are to live lives of holy conduct and godliness; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation."

The word diligence in that verse comes from a Greek word, spoudavzw, which means to hasten, make haste, to exert oneself, to endeavor, to give diligence.

I've been thinking a lot of diligence in my personal life. That is important, because how I live in my home and in my personal life either brings glory to God or not. Yet, how much even more should I be diligent about all the things that God desires, especially in building up his church and loving my neighbor?

Love for Christ shows itself in a diligent obedience to all of his commands -- in the little everyday things that no one but God sees and in the more visible ways we set about to do the will of our loving Lord and Savior. Such loving obedience is intimately connected with faith and with our gratitude for what Christ has done for us, as well as with our recognition of God's sovereignty and holiness. It is wholehearted, diligent, and generous without measure, not slack or done with a "check an item off the list" mentality. It is the set of the heart to love the Lord with all of the heart, soul, mind and strength and to love others as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us.

Here are a few verses that have challenged me today:

Luke 11:27-28 "As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

Luke 6:46
"Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?"

John 14:15-16
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—

John 14:21 "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

John 14:23 "Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."

John 14:24 "He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

John 15:9-11"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

I John 2:2-4 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Romans 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Acts 5:32"We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

Romans 6:15-17 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.

Romans 16:26: but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him—

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (The phrase diligently seek in this verse comes from a word that means to seek out, search for, investigate, scrutinize, beg, crave, etc.)

Hebrews 5:8-10 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.




Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Do you have a loved one in the early stages of dementia?

My father used to volunteer for an Alzheimer's and Other Related Diseases support group. He did this because my mother developed early onset Alzheimer's Disease, and my father attended a support group first as a caregiver and, then, as a teacher. I found among some of his papers a page of advice generated by a group of people who were in the early stages of Alzheimer's and similar diseases of dementia.

The document says:

1) Acknowledge my disease.
2) Don't pretend that nothing is wrong.
3) Don't treat me as if I am a child.
4) Learn about this disease.
5) Take me seriously.
6) Take time to listen.
7) Don't stare at me strangely.
8) Give me some space.
9) Let me continue to do the things that I can still do.
10) Understand that when I can no longer do things I used to do, it is not easy for me to deal with that, and I may become upset or frustrated.
11) Give me some time to do things.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Theme for the year...

Have you made New Year's Resolutions? I've noticed that many in the blog-o-sphere are choosing to pick a theme or a word to focus on rather than making resolutions.

I think my overall theme for the year will be Love; i.e. faith expressing itself in love, love expressing itself in obedience and holiness, exploring the love of God that surpasses knowledge. My focus in January is still diligence, which is a way of expressing love.

What about you? What are your hopes, dreams, resolutions, or goals for the New Year? Or, do you prefer to tackle one day at a time, without focusing on a whole year? I'd love to hear your comments.


Outside My Window...It's overcast. It's strange how many cloudy, overcast, or rainy Mondays we've had in the past few months. Spring is coming, though. Buds are forming on the tree outside my window.
I am thinking...I have a lot to do today.
I am thankful for...finding a pink throw with little puffed chenille sized hearts on it to brighten a bedroom.
From the learning rooms...God is teaching me a lot -- and at least one lesson recently has been painful, but rewarding.
From the kitchen...I want to try out one recipe that is totally new to me this week. I'm thinking it might be a salami salad or a black-eyed pea salad.
I am wearing...still in my p.j. bottoms and a turtleneck sweater. I will change into something more appropriate soon. It's funny, but I had a dream last night about wearing a certain dress, so maybe I'll put that on.
On a side note, I had fun yesterday evening wearing black rainboots with white polka dots on them with my outfit as I took a walk in the mist with dh.
I am creating...I hope to get started on my apron project. I'm also working on my first crochet project. It is a dish strainer, and it will serve its purpose. But, I need some practice in keeping the rows the same size.
I am going...on a retreat this weekend with dear hubby and dear friends.
I am reading...several books.
I am plant blackberry bushes soon.
I am hearing...just a few bird songs. I love quiet mornings. A man's voice randomly issued from my computer, though, and said, "Such and such an update is finished." I'll have to ask dh, the computer expert, if it was supposed to add the update and say so by computerized voice.
Around the house...I am concentrating on my entry way and kitchen and am putting up new curtains in my office to see if they will work.
One of my favorite buds on a flowering tree!!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: get a lot done before leaving for the retreat I mentioned above.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Diligence -- Ow-ow-uch!

So, what happened the day after I declared January my personal diligence month? Be careful what you ask for! Without knowing that I had decided to work on this, a loved one pointed out several areas in which I was not diligent. So, I have more work to do in this area than I realized.

I read a story about diligence. An old mule had fallen into a deep pit and could not get out. The mule's elderly owner loved the mule deeply, but could not muster up the strength to or figure out a way to get the mule out. So, the owner decided that the merciful thing to do would be to bury the mule in the pit and put the poor animal out of its misery. When the farmer shoveled in the first clod of dirt, the mule realized what the farmer was doing and kicked up a fuss. However, the mule soon realized that if he shook off the dirt and stamped it down, he could stand on top of the clod of dirt. He did the same with each shovelful that the farmer threw in. Bit by bit, the mule stamped the dirt into an incline up the hole. The mule simply walked out of the hole. The mule's diligence had saved his life.