Where Antelope Roam


Thanks for the Memories
August 31, 2016, 7:30 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day, From my childhood | Tags: , ,

I’ve just returned home from one of the most physically exhausting, emotionally draining, mentally and spiritually challenging weeks of my life.

It was time for us to clean out my childhood home.   Dad passed away two years ago, and Mom just 6 months ago.   While we were happy for them,  we, their children, were left to clean out over 50 years of collections and so it began last week.

Each of us started where we thought we could make the most progress.  I was working on Dave Ramsey’s snowball plan.   You know, where you start with the smallest, least complicated place to attack and build momentum from there.   For me that was the “orange room.”   For some reason, when we were kids mom decided to paint the bedrooms different colors and they thus became know as the orange room, the blue room, the yellow room, etc.

Well, it didn’t take me long to clean out the orange room.  Now the blue room held a lot of memories for me and as I cleaned, I thought of those memories.   Like the night my three younger siblings, climbed into bed with me because of  a thunderstorm that had shown it’s colors.  (I, for one, revel in thunderstorms…. ever since I was about 4 or 5 and my dad took me on his knee one night during a thunderstorm….I don’t remember what he said to me… but I remember the comfort being in his lap gave me.   Sweet memory.)

Then the blue room also had an ornate hole in the floor where at one time the stovepipe of the stove downstairs heated the upstairs.  Now that’s not the cool thing for me.   The downstairs has a bay window and every year at Christmas time, that’s where the Christmas tree went and if one angled themselves just right you could see the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.    The doors to mom and dad’s room was also just below that hole and if one waited up long enough, one might see what “Santa” was bringing them.   😀

As we got older, we were allowed to stay up later at night on Christmas Eve… Mom had a penchant for decorative candles and my brother loved to light them all on Christmas Eve.   It made for an almost holy atmosphere to see the lights and remember that the “Light of the World” came down to earth one night and was born of a Virgin that we might have life eternal.

Then there was the old round oak table that stretched with several leaves so that we could all gather around to enjoy the Easter/Thanksgiving/Christmas feasts.   Mom was a great cook and there was always plenty for us as we shared the camaraderie of family and friends.  Joy and laughter were often present then.

After those meals were through, the table cleaned off and dishes washed, we’d sit around the table and play games like Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Uno and Skip Bo.  There were still plenty of leftovers to munch on the whole day.   Not to mention Grandma Beemer’s Molasses Cookies…. mom always made sure there were plenty of those…. well almost.

The kitchen held memories too.   It is an old kitchen so there was not a lot of counter space to work on, so it was the table that my grandfather had made on which we worked before these meals to first the pies and cakes and cookies.  Then mashed potatoes, salad, and veggies as the turkey or ham.  During the year, house chores were given in teams (there were 6 of us).  While two of us did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, two others were dispatched to clean the living room and dining room, the bathroom was also included.

We had many, many happy memories in that house.   We had some sad and hard ones as well but they are our memories.   Life was not always easy for us.  Yet there was a foundation for life that was given in that house to build on as we each left that house to build our own lives as adults.

Soon the house will be sold and memories will be all we have.   Yet I am so thankful for those memories.

Until next time, love God, love others, remember the good memories and make new ones for the future.



Overwhelmed by Life
August 30, 2016, 5:33 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day | Tags: , , ,

Not too long ago, a young friend and I were discussing being overwhelmed by things happening in our lives and the lives of those we know and care for.

People doing things we never thought they would do… work schedules that seem to leave no time for anything else…events happening we’d never dreamed would be part of our lives… yet there they were… staring us in the face … making us feel …. well… overwhelmed.

As we talked, I was again reminded of another person who had felt overwhelmed.    King David of old.   There was at least one time that King David felt overwhelmed and he recorded those feelings of being overwhelmed in Psalm 61.   Imagine that.. a leader of a country being overwhelmed… who’d of thought a leader could be overwhelmed?   Nor just overwhelmed but willing to admit it.

Now, David doesn’t go into detail as to what was making him feel overwhelmed… he didn’t need to… yet in this psalm he lays out for us how to deal with feelings of discouragement and of being overwhelmed by events and relationships in our lives.

He first runs to God in his discouragement…that’s where we’re to run.   First… not second… not third… not when we finally realize there’s nothing else we can do but first…

He pours out his feelings to his God and requests that He lift him up higher than his feelings and situations in life…to give him God’s vision for him… something else to focus on other than himself and his own feelings.

Then he reminds the Lord that He alone has been his refuge… his shelter… his protection from the enemy….now David had a lot of humans who pursued him and quite frankly wanted to see him dead… yet the enemy here, I believe, is the one  who pursues us all… the one who seeks to destroy us all… the one who is ultimately behind the human/physical manifestations of our distresses.

David then  reaffirms to God that he will seek refuge in God alone… he will continue to make God his place of abiding…. of dwelling with him regularly.   David was committed to his relationship with God and he reminded Him that he would continue in that relationship.

Then David remembers the heritage God had given him of those who revered God and walked in His way.   Now while this may be his family, I do believe that there were others that God had placed in David’s life who were not necessarily family members but those who walked with God as an example before him.

David in his expression of heritage, reminds himself of those who’ve gone before him in their own race… in their own walk before God… then he goes on and states that so will he… regardless of his own situation… regardless of others who turn aside from that walk… regardless of those who pursued him desiring his death…he, David, would continue in his walk with God and praise Him for it.

What about you, my friend?  Are you feeling overwhelmed by life?   First, let me ask you… do you have a personal relationship with God’s Son, Jesus Christ?  That’s where help must start…

If you do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and are feeling overwhelmed… where are you running to?   Are you running to God?   Are you asking Him to lift you up to the Rock higher than yourself?   God doesn’t promise to take us out of our circumstances… but He does promise to be with us in them… I encourage you today to read Psalm 61. …

Until next time, love God, love others and run to the Rock that is higher than yourself.

 



What motivates you?
August 27, 2016, 8:03 am
Filed under: 1

We all are motivated by something or someone…Now the word motivate implies movement toward action but there are some who are motivated to inaction.

Some of us are motivated in a positive way..some are motivated in a negative way.   For instance, some of us are motivated by anger, bitterness, fear or by someone nagging us.. that’s negative motivation.

Some are motivated by love and encouragement from others.   That’s positive motivation.

I have a friend who has motivated me just by being her and doing what she does.  I will be the first to admit that I am somewhat socially inept.  My friend engages people in conversation and I’ve learned a lot by watching and listening to her….and then puting into practice what I learn.   She never complains about my social interaction but often says encouraging words when I handle a situation well.

So what or who motivates you?  Where do you find yourself emotionally, mentally and physically….there’s a saying that the people ýou surround yourself with will influence (motivate)you…they either influence you positively or negatively and if you keep them in your realm of influence you run a good chance of being just like them…

So…again who or what motivates you?   As with anything we are given the choice of who we let influence us and thus who we become as a person.

Until next time…love God, love others and check your motivation.



To Throw or Not to Throw…
August 13, 2016, 9:37 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day | Tags: ,

that is the question…

The last time I was here I told you of my decluttering mission… I’m still working on that mission.   Only I have progressed from one room, to the long hall closet, to the attic…

The hall closet, though it is a walk in closet of about 8 feet deep, was not walkinable… (how’d you like that word, huh?)   In fact, I cringed to open the door wondering what might fall out.

I’m happy to report that I decided to dig in and “organize” it and see how much I could remove from the floor.    It has shelving up one side of the closet that runs about 6 feet down the closet where a higher shelf with a pole for hanging clothes rungs along the back.   The rest is floor..

So, as I was going through things, I saw boxes and paper that I had “saved for later”… thinking I “might need them.”   Now, when you save things for later and they stay around like a pet, it becomes a serious decision as to throw or not to throw… so I had to ask myself some questions.   Here are some of them:

  1.  What is the worst thing that can happen if I throw this away?
    • Will I die if I throw this away?
    • Will I not be able to eat, drink or do any of the necessary things that come along with living?
    • Will I destroy a relationship by throwing it away?
  2. What is the best thing that happens if I choose to keep this?
    • Does it or will it enhance my standard of living in a positive way?
    • Will it help me in my relationships with others in my life?
    • Is it something I can use to learn to live more positively and effectively?

Conversely, I must ask equally hard questions.   Questions like:

  1. What is the best thing or a good thing that will happen if I throw this away?
    • Will I be able to see that friend who needs me to be there?
    • Will I be able to spend more “quality” time with my hubby rather than expending time dealing with this “thing”.?
    • Will my mental/emotional state feel cleaner?
    • Will my health improve (clutter has been found to negatively impact a person’s physical health as well as mental/emotional health)
    • Will I be able to relax and enjoy the relationships God has put into my life?
  2. What is the worst or a bad thing that could happen if I choose to keep this item?
  • Will I lose a valued relationship because I’ve chosen this thing over a person?
  • Will I lose my health because I can’t seem to “give up” these items deemed to be precious by me?
  • Will I not be able to invite friends over or engage in activities that help my relationships?

These are some of the questions I must ask along with the question, to throw or not to throw…The biggest thing I find with so much “stuff” is that it not only clutters my physical living space but it also clutters my mental and emotional living space.   It’s very easy to become overwhelmed with the stuff I think I need to have in order to live my life…It is also hard to decide that I can live without some thing and to choose life over a kind of living death.

The reality is that too often we cherish things to a high degree and use people rather than cherishing our relationships with people and using things.   If we find ourselves in a position of cherishing things over our relationships with people, then it’s time to reevaluate our reason for keeping things.

We were created for relationships with people…. not things.   When we choose things over our relationships with people, then we are negating our purpose in life…. and when we choose things over people, we choose “security” over “satisfaction” in life.    If we choose “security” with things, we become big time losers in life and have chosen a living death.

So… what are you holding on to and why?   If you choose to hold on to something, are you using it to enhance your relationships with the important people in your life or are you using it as a defense mechanism against those relationships?

You and I get to choose… to throw or not to throw..

Until next time, love God, love others and make the hard decision… to throw or not to throw!

BTW:   I can now open that hall closet door and smile instead of cringing…



Removing the Clutter
July 8, 2016, 7:19 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day | Tags: , ,

So… a week or so ago, I had some extra time off from work and really have come to the realization that my house and life are too cluttered… I decided it was time for some tough love intervention…. I started going through things and putting them in bags and looking for things that just needed to …. well… go!    I took a pickup truck full of things to Goodwill the other day of “good things” other people might need and yet… when I came back home, I realized I have a long way to go to de-clutter our home.

Why are things so cluttered?   Why do I keep things?    Especially when I feel like I’m being overwhelmed with clutter in my life… here’s a few reasons I think we all keep things.  Sometimes we keep things….

1. because we’ve been taught that it’s wasteful to throwaway things that still have some use  left in them…

2. Because we have a misguided or incomplete thinking that we “may need it some day”.   (If we’ve had it for six months and not needed it… the likelihood that we “may need it” is greatly reduced.)

3.  Because it keeps us from having to deal with reality.   Okay… I just want to camp right here for a minute…. Having things…. not just things but an overabundance of things that are not truly useful or needful to us personally, keeps us from dealing with emotions, relationships, and yes, even God.   I have nothing against having things… but when things pile up so much in our visible world, they become our focus… not things that really matter.

When clutter becomes the theme of our lives, whether we realize it or not, we focus on the visible clutter in our lives and allow the emotional and spiritual clutter to go unattended and unchecked…. often losing opportunities to be who and what God intended us to be…

So… what do we need to do?   What do you need to do?   I need to continue working on the visible clutter so I can quit avoiding dealing with the emotional and spiritual clutter in my life.   How about you?

Until next time,  love God, love others and work on that visible clutter so you can be all God wants you to be!

 

 

 

 



A Tale of Two Queens
June 19, 2016, 6:43 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day, music, My Grateful Page

There once lived two queens in a palace far, far away. The first queen, Queen Maria, was a wicked and selfish queen. She was a demanding monarch who desired to have preeminence over all, including her husband, the king. She was often harsh with her subjects and required them to follow all the rules that ultimately satisfied her own whims and capricious sentiments. She required them to work without thought for their own person but to accomplish the things she wished them to do. As you might imagine, her subjects feared her and always tried to obey or stay out of her way for when disobedience was perceived, Queen Maria’s wrath knew no bounds.

The other queen was Queen Josephina, also married to the king. As selfish and demanding as Queen Maria was, Queen Josephina was good and kind. Though she was a queen, her first thought was for her subjects’ welfare. She desired them to be educated and personally challenged them as much as possible. She involved herself directly in their education and personal development on the spiritual, emotional and social levels.

As time went on, they struggled with each other Queen Maria wanting preeminence and desiring that Queen Josephina die. Queen Josephina wanted just to live her life the best she could in service to others..for though she was a queen, she knew the admonition, that “if any man desire to be first, the same shall be last and servant of all.”

Josephina knew this was her life goal… to serve others; for though Josephina was a queen, she knew she was subject to a Higher King than even her spouse. She desired to please that King more than anything else. Maria…. Well, she just thought serving others was way beneath her station and deserved none of her attention.

Soon, much to her chagrin, Maria was banished to the lower levels of the palace because of her pride and hatred of others. Josephina was given a place of deference in the upper regions of the palace. She continued to be kind and helpful to all who needed her help.

Then one day, Josephina became ill. Servants and subjects alike sought to find her comfort, attending to her every need. Maria spewed her venom toward Josephina… for she hated who Josephina had become. She declared that she was the rightful queen of this palace and deserved to be carried down the streets of the kingdom on a litter carried by servants. She felt she was the one who deserved the honor, praise, and obeisance from servants and subjects alike.

Meanwhile, Josephina was tenderly cared for by her servants who dearly loved her for who she was. For the kindness that Josephina had always shown them meant a great deal to them and had endeared her to them.

One day, Josephina’s subjects came to visit her and while asking how she was doing, she said, “oh, I’m doing fine. The neighbors aren’t really happy with all those people standing around outside singing but I’m doing just fine.”

When questioned regarding those people, she said, “They’re white robed and singing, “holy, holy, holy.”… It was then that her subjects realized she was seeing that “great cloud of witnesses” who had surrounded her and watched as Josephina ran her earthly race.

The veil had been drawn back to show Josephina what awaited her.  Josephina was about to cross the finish line of her race for she had left behind all those things that would slow her down in her race… she ran her race with patience and she now could see the finish line.

Shortly after that Josephina crossed the finish line and was presented to her King. The One who had authored her faith and made it complete… for He was sitting on the throne surrounded by “the great cloud of witnesses” who were singing… “Holy, holy, holy”.

Until next time, love God, love others and run your race with patience…



You Old Hateful Thing and Soon Touchy
May 8, 2016, 5:59 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day | Tags: , ,

This is Mother’s Day… the first mother’s day since my mother joined that heavenly crowd.   It’s also Sunday.    As I’ve mentioned in other posts, mom taught Bible to anyone who would listen.   She taught Ladies’ Bible studies, she taught Sunday school classes and these were organized settings…  but for us, her kids, she often took opportunity to teach Bible truths in every day situations.

My mind and heart was recently reminded of such a situational teaching.   At the beginning of this year, I was challenged to memorize the book of Philippians… and I’ve now come to last chapter.   Verse two mentions two women, Euodias and Syntyche.

Now, looking at the Greek spelling of their names, most English-speaking people would have a hard time pronouncing them.   However, my mother called them You Old Hateful Thing and Soon Touchy… care to guess in what situation mom taught us their names?

It is felt by most Bible scholars that these two women had a hard time getting along with each other.  They were not of the same mind on most things.  Thus, the apostle Paul beseeches.. pleads with them to find harmony with each other.    Mom used these two women to teach us to work together in harmony… sometimes we remembered her teaching… sometimes we ignored it.

As one of six children, there was often dissension among the ranks with one or the other.   For me, that would have been with my next younger sister.   Born two years to the day after me, I could never get her to recognize my right of authority!   Ha!

We WERE You Old Hateful thing and Soon touchy.   Physical fights often broke out over … well, now these many years later, I can’t even remember what they were about.   The moral of this story is what seemed so important back then, can’t even be remembered now.   Soon Touchy is now one of my greatest allies… we’ve both become mothers and raised our children to the best of our ability…we’ve learned to become of the same mind.

Until next time,  Happy Mother’s Day, Soon Touchy (and to all my other mother siblings)

Love … You Old Hateful Thing