Tenacity Isn’t Counting to Ten

Tenacity is working through a whole lot of suffering, frustration, and impatience without giving up hope. It is what you do about a situation you are in that will make or break any transmission or energy needed to get something to the outcome you want.

If you give up, it breaks the connection to things that could bring you to the next step. It is like a cord in the outlet being unplugged. Like one bulb on a string of lights not working, to cause the entire strand to blackout.

I am not sure but it is definitely a word that works only with action behind it. It is the thing that some people have because they never give up. They never give in just because someone’s words made them doubt what their gut and mind and experience were telling them otherwise. Tenacity is something that is unmoveable.

Tenacity goes beyond counting to ten when you are angry and afraid you might lose your temper. Tenacity makes you hold your temper for weeks, months, and sometimes even years, without giving up hope. What good would it be to give in to anger? It changes nothing but maybe your blood pressure. Tenacity holds on and finds solutions if one thing does not work. You are determined to get the outcome you want no matter how much time, money, research, experience, or how many people you may have to talk to to get the answers you are looking for.

I just had a victory this week. It was a small victory compared to some other things in my life I have been waiting for, for years. I have other things more important, but even so, this particular hurdle I could not seem to get over was gnawing at me and yes, keeping me awake too early in the morning.

I have learned that the longer you wait for something, the more exuberant the joy once you get it. A woman waits nine months for her baby while going through pregnancy and the pain of childbirth. The joy is so immeasurable that she forgets her pains once the baby arrives. And God bless adoptive parents too who finally get to see that child they have been preparing for in their huge hearts of gold.

Imagine if you are a parent waiting for one child struggling to get through high school and then graduation day comes. Think of the wife finally getting to see her deployed husband after his third tour of duty in Iraq, after 18 months. Excruciating painful, sleepless nights worrying about him in harm’s way. You never will really know what he has been through.

So I had one small victory because I refused to give up and had to message someone daily for only two weeks, yet, for me, it was not fun. I would have rather spent the time sewing. I have some things I am working on I want to be finished for a grandchild before Christmas. My sister has a birthday this week and I wanted to make something for her. Now, time is lost, but I am happy this annoyance is behind me.

I am sure there will be yet another thing to come up that bugs me, that I won’t be able to just leave alone. I may be pickier than most, yet, for some reason, I just think people should be treated fairly and not cheated. I demand a certain level of job performance and most importantly, I don’t want to be taken advantage of.

I do believe, if I had the smarts, I would have enjoyed being an attorney but not sure which category of law I would go into. It would be fun to find out. I also would have loved to be a teacher for the most difficult of students I think. I would have loved to turn the little monsters into saints somehow by helping them see the value they are to their Creator.

I am sure everyone has one thing that they wish could be different in their lives. Never give up if it is that important to you. Talk to others, do some research, find a way if you have will enough to stay in the game long enough to find out how it ends. God is with you. He has all wisdom and knows the answer but wants you to find it. Ask him for help. Don’t be afraid to cry. I have, many times, silently and also found myself on the floor pouring my eyes out to Him and not even knowing why.

God is so gracious and good. He loves you so much and wants us to have joy. He cares for you and if someone told you something different it is a lie from the evil one. Listen to the only one who can save you. The only one that can help. The only one that has all the answers for your life. Nothing is too difficult for God. Nothing!

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:2-8)

Wide Awake too Early

I lay in bed thinking about stuff far too long in the wee early hours of the morning.
“Why can’t I just fall back to sleep?” I ask myself. “Cast all your cares on him.” I remind myself from scripture verses put to memory.

Alright, I will at least get up and empty my bladder. Maybe that will do the trick to get me back to my slumbering dreamworld.

Nope, not this morning.

I had too much on my mind. If it were just that I had too many things to get to, that would have been easy.

Just get up and do some of the things on my mind….laundry, dishes, sewing, write a letter (Didn’t I say I was going to write a letter each week to someone, when I made my new years resolution?).

Things on my mind this morning were more about solving problems. How do I? Where can I? What should I? These types of questions. The how is easy enough, just do a search on the internet. You can usually find the answer or a video or at least some advice.

I think at times it is good to just browse the internet. I don’t like to spend too much time looking at the screens. However, this morning, shopping online was worthwhile for me. It also helped me find answers to some of my questions, and get closer to solutions for others.

I ordered some books, I ordered a set of light bulbs for my lamp by my piano, and I decided what I might finally do with all that extra fabric I have in my workroom. By looking around sometimes the answers do start to come to you. Retired from my sewing business, I haven’t been able to find a good use for or a charitable organization or individual that would need or want what I have.

Crossroads are difficult because you have to make a decision or you are stuck. You either sit still for so long bored and feeling useless, or you take the risk of being disappointed, wasting your time, feeling like a failure. But sometimes, the road you take does lead you to some satisfaction and reward.

For me, I am not sure how much I want to put into anything anymore as far as effort. I get motivated if I know someone will really appreciate what it is I have to offer them. Then, it does not matter to me as much, any material gain that comes from it. For me the emotional gain is everything. Just knowing I made someone happy is everything to me.

I hope I can get on with getting on to the next thing I am supposed to pour my heart into as far as work on this planet goes. I made a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and sent them off with my husband for our son’s family who is all home in quarantine, getting over Covid. That will warm my heart some but it isn’t enough for me.

Maybe I will fill up some boxes to donate to charity. At least the sun is shining for my plants today. I may take a nap later. I would rather find a way to wake up completely! My tea just isn’t doing it for me today and I don’t like coffee although it smells fabulous!

The problem with me is that the world around me has such an effect on me. It it isn’t going well, I am out of wack somehow. Music helps. I have been playing my Christmas tunes and practicing the piano more.

Be good to yourself everyone. God loves you deeply. Even if you don’t know him, He knows you since the day you were formed in your mother’s womb!

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Loosening my Strings

I gave up my store and my plans I thought were important.
I simplified my website to the barest of the minimum I need now.
It’s time to accept that I am supposed to live casually, live easy, live more slowly.
No guilt, no strings, no regret, just play each day and see what happens.

I have nothing to complain about. I have my health. I have my family.
I don’t have wealth beyond measure but enough for each day.
God has always provided just the right amount for me.
Never too much so I forget about him and never too little so I am angry.

I start each day with prayers of thankfulness to God for being alive and giving me another day with my husband and keeping my family safe. I read something from God’s word and it is amazing how the same scripture can come up while listening to a radio station or podcast. It was meant to be. God is so real to me. He shows me proof of his existence and his care for my life daily.

“Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Tonight my husband and I took out our paint-by-number kits we bought this summer. We each had never done one before. We thought it might be nice to try something new, together. Something other than our usual card-playing, or watching of the re-runs of old daytime family series like the “Walton’s”.

One hour was so much enjoyment but enough for our eyes. For me I had to use a magnifying glass. His is one of a train going over a bridge. Mine is a cat. Both are difficult for our lack of experience but enough of a challenge to keep our interest.

I decorated the main floor with Christmasy things I set out. But no Santa Clauses or Snowman’s or elves. My manger scene is most prominent but other pretty greenery and red candles too. A decorated sleigh is on the floor and a polar bear on the center table with a red cap. Kids see enough of Santa and that is alright by me but if they can see more of Jesus at my house it makes me happy.

I hope everyone is well God bless your day!

BOOYA for Thanksgiving

I like it when something that is generally routine, can be done differently. I thought I would surprise the family this year at Thanksgiving with some of my Booya, as an addition to the meal.

I never put peas in mine or corn! The featured photo is not my own and is of a vegetable soup, not a Booya. They are not one and the same. If you live in the Mid-West you know that about Booya.
I will have to add a photo of it perhaps, one day, to this post.

All by itself, it is a very hearty and healthy meal!

Yes, we will still have turkey and all the fixings but I had the day off today and was thinking of the last batch of Booya I made. I still had many of the fresh vegetables that I didn’t use, still fresh and in my refrigerator. I thought I would make another batch of it to use these up before they went to waste, and share on Thanksgiving Day with the family as a side dish (as if we needed one).

I cooked all day and actually enjoyed myself, but only because I didn’t put much thought into it beforehand. I know what an undertaking it is to make a good Booya. I could have easily put myself out of the mood.

I am trying to just do things on the fly these days because I do have lots of time on my hands. I am not one to sit in front of television or my computer to be entertained. I like to be useful and also have something to show for my day and maybe even surprise my husband.

I had a lot of pans and clean-up after all the chopping and cooking was finished, but I didn’t think too much of it. The aroma filling my as I tarried on in the kitchen, made my heart happy.

All the ingredients now will sit in the crockpot overnight and I will stir it occasionally in the meantime. I will add some barley to the mix on the last day of cooking to thicken up the broth a bit. The more broken up the vegetables get and the more tenderized the meat gets the better I like it.

My Booya has nine ingredients and the seasonings. Oh, I forgot to add some garlic. I will add that at some point tomorrow. It isn’t typical but I like the heart benefits from garlic in my recipes.

I will make some wild rice dressing to go with our turkey, my daughter will be bringing cheesy potatoes, of course, green bean casserole and cranberries will be served. I love a pumpkin pie and as much as I love my homemade pie crust, I wonder if my son will pick up one ready-made for dessert.

Whoever has room for dessert on Thanksgiving Day? We usually eat ours while playing cards. It will be a late-night and my husband and I are not used to staying up too late.

I wish the grandkids could stay overnight but I think they will be happier in their own beds. We will see what mom and day say about it, and of course, grandpa.

It is a 45-minute drive and someone would have to drive out again to either pick them up, or we would need to bring them home so that is a big consideration too. If it were just up to me I would play with them all day the next day. Grandpa likes things a little quieter though. It’s ok.

I have so much to be thankful for and God has been so good to our family. I hope you have a beautiful day over this Thanksgiving holiday if you are celebrating in the USA, otherwise, a blessed season!

Thank you, God, for loving me!

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Watch Your Thoughts

Sometimes a post I write is so painful I have to take it down.

It usually takes a few days or a week and things get sorted out and I feel better anyway.

I don’t like to stay in the doldrums too long.

I believe when I dwell on something and have to talk it out loud, as women tend to, it still doesn’t help me. Even when I write about it, it somehow seems to keep that dreary feeling alive. I’m not healed.

I have heard professionals tell us that it is good to write about some event that is bothering us. Just get it out. Otherwise it will fester and turn into some big bad thing within us like anger turning into an ulcer or even cancer.

Remember when you were a teen and seemed to break out at the most stressful times. Just when you didn’t want to see that pimple it would surface and make things worse.

Some say it is healing to release these thoughts and feelings and get them out into the open. I don’t get that. I feel like it is opening a wound or pulling off a scab. What is the point of that? Who wants to relive a bad event?

I have decided to just change the way I think about certain things in the first place. The cycle just repeats itself otherwise, and I feel like I have learned nothing. I continue to see myself as the victim.

To see myself as the one no one loves, the one no one wants to have coffee with, the one that is forgotten about when the family is planning the reunion. The one invitation that gets lost in the mail or replaced by another appointment.

I have always looked at myself as being invisible. I don’t have the loudest voice when all your friends are gathered for a sleepover. I am not the popular girl.

I never had one very best friend but seemed to be the third wheel. I saw everyone as having someone close but never me. Poor me….how sickening is that to even admit or to have another person read about me or for me to write about?

No, I have learned something this week. I am going to change the way I see the world. They, meaning those closest to me in my circle, are not out to get me. They are busy with their lives and it does not revolve around mine, as mine does not revolve around theirs.

I have felt myself a little stronger and happier now that I have overcome that last hurdle, last week. I handled it better than usual. I did not judge or criticize but although disappointed, I went right from that to acceptance.

I decided and said out loud, ” I am sure it wasn’t intentional.”
As if I were speaking to Satan to tell him I would not listen to the lies he wanted to plant in my head. The enemy always wants to paint the picture blackest in our mind. No light can get in.

It helps to remind myself that I am called to “be like Jesus”. I need to start acting like Jesus. How many times was he despised and rejected? “A man of sorrows and familiar with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)

If I stay in God’s word I will understand God more. I have a lot of time to myself these days and I thank God for that. I talk to him out loud sometimes and just thank and praise him because he is all I really need. What if I ever were in a situation where I had to be alone?

I think of those from the January 6th ordeal in Washington DC, who have been arrested for rioting (as they should be) and are still in jail. They are being treated unfairly with no due process, some in solitary confinement, and haven’t seen their family members for months. This is not unlike Communist China. What has happened to America?

No one knows what the future holds for any of us. I have to fix my eyes on Jesus and he gets me through every waking day. I read his word out loud and it helps to play Christian songs or find a station on the radio where I can listen to a preacher or evangelist.

God is the equalizer. He helps me get back on the right track. Satan would rather keep me there in the muck and mire, dwelling, contemplating, analyzing, trying to figure out my mental state on my own. Write it out then burn the paper. No…that has never fixed it for me.

Only God’s word, God’s thoughts, God’s ways, God’s promises, God’s guidance and laws. God’s love keeps me steady.

If we are in God’s will, his word and our mind is steadfast on him, nothing bad can enter our thoughts. The Holy Spirit gives us understanding.

“..looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)