On Life…

Life is wonderful, life is hard and life is long…so don’t get stuck in the moment…there are better days to come.

Of course, if you are in a wonderful season, don’t expect it to stay that way…no matter how hard you try to control things and do the right thing, bad times will come. It is a fact of life. Every life. I mean, you just have to look at Jesus to see that no matter how good you are, bad things happen to even good people.

Why does that matter? Because our expectations have a way of tripping us up. This is due in large part to their beliefs and expectations. As an example, I remember one young woman who had to have a boyfriend and if she didn’t have one, pretended that she did because she believed that other single guys would think there was something wrong with her, that if she didn’t have a boyfriend, perhaps there was a good reason for that. Consequently, whenever she would break up with someone, even if that someone was undesirable, she was sent into an emotional tailspin…basically brought on by her own beliefs.

Here’s another example…
A young man and woman break up…and he thinks it’s the end of the world, believing he’ll never find another love such as this…while she responds with sadness but is not downhearted. She moves on with her life, knowing there are better times ahead. In time, they both find someone else and even discover that they learned something from their old relationship that they brought into this new one, making it even better. And life goes on…but meanwhile, the young man suffered much more than necessary. That suffering was due in part to his belief that she was his one true love and the resulting expectation that the future was now hopeless.
I have found that many people freak out when the bad times come, even becoming depressed, when in reality, there’s no reason to believe that things will not get better! Just as we read a book and throughout the chapters, we find people experiencing various difficulties, we know the book’s not over yet. We keep reading, hoping that things will work themselves out before the book is over. In fact, we’re counting on it! If we didn’t believe it, most of us would just put the book down and never finish it. When the bad stuff happens, we know we’re just in the middle of the book…not at the end. Yet, when bad things happen in some people’s life, they act like it is the end of the book. Even later, when things resolve themselves, they often don’t learn from their lesson. When the next bad day happens, they fall back into the old mindset of fear and depression.

It is wrong to expect everything to always go right…so why do we do that?

Ominous

Hello, everyone!

I thought it would be fun to share a Word of the Day once in awhile. Did you catch that? I said, “once in awhile”…as in, “not everyday”. Hahaha!

With the storm on its way today, along with the ice and potential for power outtages, I’ve chosen as today’s word, “ominous”, which is pronounced “AH-min-us” or “AHM-in-us” or “om-i-nus”, which to me, all sound the same when you say them fast. ; ) The “ahm” sounds like you used to sound when you were a kid and caught someone doing something wrong. You’d say, “Ommm, I’m telling Mom!” Hahaha!

It is an adjective whose meaning is: threatening, or warning, a sign of danger to come as in “ominous clouds threatening a big storm“. Ominous used to be used for positive and negative things but now is only used for evil or negative things. It comes from the latin word, “omen”, which means a sign or warning of something in the future, either good or evil.

Here are other forms of the word and a few other helps:
Adverb : ominously
Noun: ominousness
Synonyms: foreboding or forebidding, warning, menacing
Antonym: promising

Best quote I found: The most ominous of fallacies – the belief that things can be kept static by inaction.
Freya Stark quotes (French adventurer and explorer 18931993)

Just a reminder:

Adjectives describe a noun such as, “ominous silence.”
Adverbs describe verbs such as, “he stood ominously over her.”
Nouns, of course, describe people, places and things such as, “His ominousness was as evident as his ugliness and size.”
Synonyms are similar words to be used in place of another.
Antonyms are opposite meaning words.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Word of the Day and will try to find a way to use it some time today. That’s the best way to remember a word is to find ways to use it quickly and as often as possible after learning it. Go ahead…try it! ; )

In that spirit, I hope your day…or night… is NOT looming OMINOUSLY before you and that it turns out just as you’d hoped it would!

What I’ve learned this year…

Here at the close of 2006, I pause for reflection and consider what have I learned this year. Some things are more important than others…yet all are significant in some way and a few say something about the world around me, too…

With Saddam’s execution, I have learned that justice in Iraq can be swift.

In moving from CA to MO, I learned to take chances and trust God to work all the details out. I also learned that selling a home and finding a new one often takes longer than you think.

When one of my vehicle registrations expired while I was on the road and then others needed new tags before I got stuff from storage and went through it, not to mention getting approved for a home loan, I learned to take all of your important papers with you including birth certificates, auto paperwork and two years of tax info with you when you go. Do NOT pack them with your stuff in storage!

With so much time in transition, I learned there’s still such a thing as having a General Delivery mailing address.

Being snowed in for days, I learned to stock up for more time than you think you’ll need and to refill water jugs in case the power goes out and the toilet doesn’t flush.

Watching stories of the family on TV that was stranded in their car in Oregon, I learned that I wanted to keep blankets, water and other emergency supplies in the car.

With a new kitten that never goes outside, I learned that all the fleas don’t die with one or even two month’s applications of Advantage flea treatment.

In the process of living for months without all my stuff, I’ve learned that I really don’t need it all.

In watching the news and so many crime shows on TV, I’ve learned that things are not all they seem at first glance.

Having just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary, my husband and I have learned that love does become like a fine wine. It gets better with age!

Since so much of what we learn is just a reminder, a refresher course, we were also reminded of how important it is to marry the right person in the first place! 😉 Some things…er…people, you just can’t fix!

Well, that’s enough for now. I’d love to hear from some of you since I’m sure the list is absolutely endless!

It’s hard to care…

It’s hard to care…ya know what I mean?

I mean, if you care, you can be disappointed. If you care, you can get in arguments. If you care, you can lose. If you care, your heart can be broken.

I’m predominantly speaking of the elections yesterday and fighting to keep other scenarios away.

Don’t worry…I won’t go into the specific issues since I’m betting YOU care, too…but therein lies my dilemma!

You see, YOU might be against what I am for and for what I am against. That would mean that what makes me happy makes you sad and vice versa. You may even be disappointed in ME for feeling the way I do…and if you told ME, I might feel the same. Who knows? It may even cause us to “come to blows”! (Hahaha! Not really!) ; )

It’s a fact of life…you win, you lose. Ya can’t get around it. So, what’re you to do? Do you just choose not to care??? Is it possible to shut your brain off and build a wall around your heart? Is that an option anyone would even WANT to consider??? Shye…NOO! Hello! No way!

Besides, what’s the point of living if you don’t LIVE? You’ve just GOT to know what you love and hate…even just like and dislike. In many ways, life is about trying to find ways to have as much of the things and people you like around you and as little of those things and people that you don’t. That’s why we form opinions and vote...because we don’t live in a vacuum even if we wish we could. ; )

Choices. Decisions. Those are either good words or bad words depending on who you are. For me…they’re usually good words. I don’t struggle making decisions as much as some others that I know. The hard part is that we don’t always know whether our choices will bring what we hope they will. And another person may choose to take a different route (aka choice or decision) to answer the same issue than we would. Alright…NOW those words are beginning to sound like bad words! Hahaha!

But who in his or her right mind would want their right to make choices and decisions go away??? None of us. The hard part is that we don’t get to make all of our own decisions. Parents, bosses, spouses and politicians are among the most common people who also make decisions “for” us. ; ..

And in the case of the election…all the other voters have a say in making decisions for us. And as much as we hate that, it sure beats having a dictator (whom none of us chose) making the choices that please him/her without regard to our happiness or wishes.

I am reminded that it is GOD who gave us this ability and permission to choose…and whether or not you choose HIM or even believe IN Him, I choose to believe in Him and be grateful this ability to choose. And I must say, the alternative of no-choice is not desirable nor acceptable. So, I guess I should be saying, “Thank You, God!”

As far as my original comments on caring, I was thinking about caring enough to make a choice about things in life, in particular, the political issues. I was also thinking about the fallout of sharing your thoughts with others and their respective responses. When I spoke to my husband about it, he reminded me of Shakespeare’s quote: “To thine own self be true”. I took that to mean that you should be true to yourself and not worry what others think. I agreed but as I continue to think about it, I find myself only agreeing in part.

You see, often we need to influence others so that we can collectively work towards accomplishing goals that bring good and reduce negative things in our world which affects our lives so we must work together, we must talk about it…and yes, we must vote. Sometimes, we’ll be voting for people that will make decisions for us and we want them to represent us and our beliefs well. That’s why we can’t just keep our mouths shut. All things are not in our control…and we cannot even have an influence on things that happen in our world if we keep our mouths shut.

And life goes on…and some of what happens we don’t like and so we complain about them…until someday someone comes along and changes them…or a lot of people go out to vote and their votes change them. But how did that even come to a vote except someone opened their mouth and showed they cared enough to try to make a difference? Only then could others learn of it and if they agreed, were able to join and help make their world a better place…according to THEM.

So, yes…it’s hard to care…it even hurts to care…but care we must…or we will die horribly alone, having lived a life not of our own choosing, not caring nor enjoying anything much…maybe even bitter…oops…if you don’t care, I guess you can’t be bitter, can you? No, this life, if it were possible, would be a life of endless monotony and lacking in either pleasure or disappointment. I’m pretty sure that’s not even possible although it reminds me of another quote I heard somewhere: “If you don’t have any expectations, you won’t be disappointed.” There’s a lot of ways to interpret that saying but today, I’ve added a new one than I’ve ever thought about before.

So, where do we go from here? To care or not to care? That is the question…but then again, maybe it isn’t. Maybe we can’t help but care. Maybe it is in HOW we express our caring and what we do to bring about a measure of success in those things we care about. Maybe we need to learn HOW to care, HOW MUCH or LITTLE to care and WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT? Ahhh, those seem like the better questions. Along with them, we may need to learn how to handle the disappointments, when to “turn off” our caring, what the boundaries are in our caring for others. We could probably learn better ways of communicating our “cares”, too. There are inappropriate ways and times to share, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Well, I must say that I feel better than I did when I began this blog. I was “smarting” from the losses at the polls on issues I care about. I was disappointed once again with some of the people elected to office…those who will be making decisions “on my behalf” that will affect me and my life. In my disappointment, I felt the urge to run…to not participate in the process again…but how can I benefit from that?

Maybe I need to remind myself that “this, too, shall pass”…this pain that I hate so much. Maybe instead I should use this pain for gain, reminding myself that next time, maybe I should consider getting involved in the political process, helping others to hear my position. Yes, there will be those who disagree…and the worst part is that some may disagree very disagreeably…but some will agree very agreeably, too…and maybe even change their vote once they understand and agree…and only then we can become a team to help change our world and our choices.

Okay, it’s official…I choose to continue to care…even if it hurts! And I choose to remember that each of us has that same right…even if what others care about and want is different than what I care about and want…and I will respect them in their choices and if I disagree, I will try to do it agreeably, remembering that I do not have to respect what they’ve chosen, only their right to choose.

It occurs to me that this is what God does. He does not approve of many of our choices but He allows us to make them. As sad as it makes Him, He doesn’t remove our right to make the choice. One thing is certain, though; we will always reap what we’ve sown. I think that’s why we try so hard to intervene in others’ affairs, knowing that they will reap and what’s worse, we may even reap alongside them. It’s a painful way to learn and understandable that we would want to avoid it since we care so much…but there are times when the choice is not ours…and that’s just a part of life.

Whatever we do, we can’t just shut down and run and hide with our tails between our legs, licking our wounds for long. We’ve GOT to care again or we aren’t really living. (Boy, does that hit home!) So, once again, here it is: I choose this day to care…I choose life! How ’bout you?

Autumn is so fleeting!

I recently moved to Missouri where the trees actually change color before they fall off the trees. I was so excited for it to arrive! My mother even told me that I was going to have to enjoy it twice as much as others since she couldn’t be here so I was also having to enjoy it for her, as well. ; )

Well, supposedly the drought has caused the leaves to fall faster this year and the color hasn’t been as bright or long-lasting, either…and while it is still much more beautiful than in my home state of California, I keep looking for the breath-taking views that I’ve seen in photos…all the while, wondering if I’m just jaded or expecting too much. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and it is beautiful, but reality often has a hard time living up to our expectations, don’t you think?

Anyway, even though it was drizzling today, I tried to get out and take a few photos and was shocked to see that many of the trees are already bare! Where did the time go?

And then it hit me…

I turned 50 this year and by all respects, am in the autumn of MY life…and it, too, seems fleeting. I am bound and determined to make the most of this season, both in nature and in my life…but am unsure how to go about that. The only thing I can think of is to live each day, appreciating whatever life brings my way and trying to ignore the feelings of dissatisfaction that come from such close introspection.

I’ve discovered that those beautiful leaves look better from a distance. They’re actually dying and have flaws all over them. I don’t even want to think about any analogies to that in my life! Hahaha! But since it’s inevitable, I will think about it…I guess I thought this part of my life would be better. Don’t get me wrong…I’m a happy woman…but I never thought that I was going to feel this old when I got here. I always thought I’d be that young, energetic, enthusiastic young woman…but a little older, somehow…and without the pain! Hahaha!

But then I think about how much everyone seems to love autumn and my emotions shift gears. Why do we love it so? There is a respite from the heat of summer…and who doesn’t love that? And maybe after the craziness of summer, there’s a chance to get back on track, somehow. Kids get back to school, places get less crowded and there’s time to catch your breath and begin to think about what’s next. Another thing is that when autumn comes, we begin to think about the holidays and even the new year ahead. For most of us, even if they aren’t here yet we find that just thinking about them makes us happier and more hopeful, somehow. Then again, for some of us, it also makes us a little sad about what hasn’t happened yet.

And there’s the crux…

OUR THINKING can get us in trouble!!! The good news is that we have the power to change what we think! A couple of well-known sayings come to mind here:

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” You see, if you think negatively, you’ll never try and therefore, rarely succeed at anything…and if you believe in yourself, thinking positively, you will try…which greatly enhances your chance to succeed! I can choose to think negatively or positively and either way, my thoughts and beliefs have a way of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. What power our thoughts have!

Now for the other saying…

“You will find what you are looking for.” Have you ever bought a new car and suddenly notice all of the other cars like your new one? You even notice all of the cars that are just the same COLOR! Okay, I’m going to give you an exercise. Don’t look around the room right now…just look at this page until I tell you to look around. In a minute, I want you to look around the room and see if you see anything green. I could pick any color but I don’t want you to pick your favorite color because you’ve probably filled your room with it. Okay, okay…you can pick the color if you want but just try it…go ahead and look around now………………..

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Did you do it? Did you think you didn’t HAVE anything green? Did you find it in places you hadn’t really noticed or thought about before? That’s what I’m talking about! You’ll find what you’re looking for! Are you looking for trouble? Do you expect people to let you down? Do you think life is over? Do you expect to fail? Or are you expecting to be blessed, continue to grow and find a new and wonderful season in your life? I’m not talking about the past. The past does not have any ability to dictate the future…unless we let it! Unless we believe it has that kind of power…even when it doesn’t!

So, how does all this relate to me in the autumn of my life? Well, if I keep playing the analogy game I’ve been playing, I would have to say it is a great time of my life! A time when the hectic craziness of my younger years has finally begun to slow down and I have time to think about…and pray about…what’s next. A time when I can add some color back into MY world! (Remember that poem, When I am Old, I Shall Wear Purple?) It’s not winter yet…and by the way, we’ll tackle winter in another blog, in another time. ; )

So, I guess I’ve come full circle. I am a grown up so I know that life is not all fun and games and beauty and ease. As a Christian, I know that Jesus told us that in this world, we were guaranteed hard times. Of course, He also said to be of good cheer because He has already overcome it…and the Bible says we would be MORE than overcomers, too!

I have had the wonderful privilege of discovering that God loves me and has a plan for my life. I asked Him to come into my life and become my Lord and Savior…and He has. He has promised to work all things out for my good…even the bad stuff. He says He has a plan for my life and that the plan is for good and not calamity. Well, if God has promised to live in me and I allow Him to live through me…as Paul said, “It is no longer I but Christ lives in me”…then how on earth can I fear that??? I know that God has always had a plan for my life and that’s not going to change NOW! Why on earth would it?

The Bible says that we should build ourselves up in our most holy faith (Jude 1:20) and that we should trust in the LORD with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, we are to acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

So, I choose today to believe God. That means that even this stage of my life is a good one and what’s coming is also good. I may go through hard times but God will work them all out to my good…and His glory! Philippians 1:6 tells me that He Who began this good work in me shall continue to work it out until the day when Jesus returns for His church…which includes me! ; )

So, autumn…winter…it’s all good!…even if it is fleeting! ; )

Have you hugged your husband today?

I sure wish I could! Mine is 1500 miles away and I sure miss him! Oh, I know lots of you don’t have husbands and in some cases, that’s a good thing but more often than not, it’s a sad thing. As my friends and family know, my husband is “a definite keeper”! As I write this, he has just “hit the road” in CA, bringing back some of our stuff from storage. Did you catch that word “some”? Yep, he’s got the truck loaded and has discovered that he’ll have to go back for the rest. What a bummer! Besides all the extra cost and hassle to HIM, that means that I will have to miss him again! Hahaha! Okay, okay…I know the world doesn’t revolve around ME, which is what it sounds like. I’m just blogging about missing him today so I’m keeping with the theme of my topic. Hahaha!

Anyway, I hope to remind all of you to be grateful for your loved ones and give them a hug today. They’ll appreciate hearing it as well as getting the hug! ; ) It’s only been five days since I’ve been hugged or even touched and I’m suddenly reminded of my single friends who rarely get a hug…and it makes me sad. I’m going to make a point of hugging my friends more often…especially my single friends! We need that. As a matter of fact, maybe we need an official Hug Day! Hahaha! I like that! Wanna start a petition? ; D

On second thought, maybe we need to make EVERY DAY A HUG DAY!!! Our spouses, children, family and friends will all benefit…as will we…if we hug each other more! Don’t you agree? I know there are people who aren’t very “huggy” and even whole families who don’t hug but I’m grateful that’s not the case with my family. Oh, don’t get me wrong…we don’t always LIKE each other but we DO HUG each other…cause even if we don’t always LIKE each other, we DO LOVE each other! Whew! I’m sure glad that’s in writing cause I don’t think I could repeat that!!!

I think most people forget to be thankful. Hmmm…are thankful and grateful the same thing? I think so. Anyway, I think we can get so caught up in the little nitty-gritty of life that we forget to be grateful for what we do have. Even if what we do have is just less problems or pain than another has. It helps to put that perspective on things. Those of us who have a relationship with God have another benefit…we are not ALONE with our problems. He is always with us, helping us and working things out to our good…and to His glory! And that’s a VERY GOOD THING! ; )

Someday, we’ll know how it feels to be actually HUGGED BY GOD but until then, I think He uses others to hug us…and gives us the opportunity to hug others. Which brings me to another thought. Have you ever noticed that there are hugs and then there are HUGS???

One of our pastors, John Walton, shared once that when he hugs people, he tries to pay attention to the fact that he is imparting something to others. That really struck a chord in me and even now, reminds me to do the same. I think we have all been given and have even given some sort of perfunctory hugs in the past. You know, it’s what everyone does…but we just kind of go through the motions without thinking of what we’re doing. However, during your next hug, I challenge you to pay attention and think about what you would like to impart to the other person. I guarantee you, you’ll feel the difference…and what’s more, they will, too!

I’m excited about being given the opportunity to share either my love or God’s love with another person, in the simple and physical act of hugging! What an honor! And they say A PICTURE is worth a thousand words!!! Wow! A hug can say so much more! And don’t forget about the added benefit of being hugged back! Granted, some people will need to learn HOW to hug but your example will probably be all that’s necessary although I do remember having to tell one of my grandchildren once that when I hug them, they’re supposed to use their arms to hug me back. ; ) As I think about it, I get some of my best hugs back from that grandchild these days! ; )

So, how ’bout it? Have I convinced you of the value of a hug? It makes others know they are valued and I think it is the-hug-that-keeps-on-giving. You’ll see that hugs benefit both “hug-ees” in ways you haven’t imagined. I’m not an expert so I can’t quite articulate all the benefits but I know that if you begin to hug people in a way that says how much you love and value them, you will see the results for yourself.

Now, get out there and start hugging!!! {{{ ( :]><[: ) }}} And while you’re at it…consider yourself virtually hugged! ; ) Granted, it doesn’t produce the same results but in some small way, it tells you how important you are to ME! And I can tell you that I don’t just invite anyone to visit my blog site. To be honest, I fear rejection too much to do that! So, know that I trust you and that’s a rare thing these days so thanks for being someone I can trust! ; )

Where did my blog go?

Aaaaaagh! I am soooo mad! I went to Yahoo’s geocities and had worked much of the morning at creating a very important blog for my husband when all of a sudden, it disappeared! I was still at the site but was back on a page to set up the blog. I noticed that my Forward Arrow was Green so I clicked to go back to the page but all that I had written was GONE!!! There wasn’t an option to Save and Continue Editing as there is here at WordPress so I couldn’t save it as I was working on it. I know, I should have at least highlighted it and copied it but I didn’t…and now, it’s too late. I will never use that blogging site again! Aaaaagh!

This site may not have all the bells and whistles that some other sites have but I like it…and I’m stickin’ to it! Hahaha! I was mad enough to name names so you KNOW I was MAD! Now that I’ve tattled on them, I feel better…a little! Well, forewarned is forearmed, as they say! You know what to do…or NOT to do…at this point! Hahaha!

Okay…NEXT!

Taking Memories

“What?” you say? “Taking memories? Don’t you mean, ‘MAKING memories'”?

Nope. Believe it or not, I meant what I said. I have been busy “taking memories”. I just love taking them and putting them on film…which enables me to take them everywhere! Get it? I knew you would! ; )

Digital cameras are one of my favorite inventions! Don’t you agree? They go along perfectly with another of my favorites…the computer! Now, I’m not a real tech head so I may be wrong…but don’tcha kind of NEED a computer if you have a digital camera? Someone told me recently that they were thinking of buying a digital camera but they do not own a computer and have never used one. Now, tell me if I was wrong to tell her not to buy it. Was I?

But I digress…

As I get older…ahem…I find myself wanting to capture the present for the future. I guess I am somewhat influenced by my new hobby of genealogy. I wish I had more of so many things from the past…and photos of people…and things…are on top of my list!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I think they may just be onto something! ; D You see, how could I ever describe a beautiful sunset…or capture a special moment in time with one of my grandchildren…in mere words? Yes, you heard me say, “mere words”. I will admit to being quite loquacious and I’m not ashamed to say it…but a picture is so much easier…and faster, don’t you think? Oh, and the places we can GO! (Isn’t that a Dr. Seuss line or something?) I can take a picture, put it online and send it around the world in under FIVE MINUTES! In doing so, I can touch the emotions of someone in another country that doesn’t even speak my language!

And talk about IMMORTAL!!! As Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?!” Once that photo is “out there” in the world wide web, it can be downloaded, saved, printed, emailed and shared over and over again…without costing me a cent!!! How frugal is THAT???!!! ; )

Now, all I’ve got to do is master my CAMCORDER!!! Yikes! Now, that is a “horse of a different color”! One of these days, I’m going to sit down and master that thing…until then, I’m just gonna sit here and admire it! Hahaha!

P.S. If you’d like to know more about that BIG WORD: LOQUACIOUS, follow this link: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=loquacious

What do I love?

Hi! I used to have this under the About Me Section but it didn’t show on my site and when I created a blog for our painting business, it showed up there…and I didn’t want it to…so I decided to make it into a post…

I love so many things about my life! I love God and knowing that HE loves ME! I love my husband and knowing that HE loves me, too! I don’t deserve either of them! I love our children and grandchildren and am still amazed that they’re all such wonderful and individual people!

I love trees, hills and winding roads. I love learning and the internet, genealogy and weather! I love singing and reading, worship and praise! I love my husband’s cooking and spending time with him doing just about anything!

I love helping others and leading people to God and the answers only He can give. I actually love change because God is always calling us to grow and learn and change just naturally goes with that!

I grew up in a home of eight children so maybe that’s why I love being part of a team, working together towards the same goal. Hahaha! That does NOT mean that we were ever working towards the same goal in my family! Don’t EVEN think THAT!!! Come to think of it, mabe that’s WHY I love being a part of a team…I am a middle child who wanted that and it probably helped point me in that direction. Hmmm…

Well, I think that tells you a lot about me. So, tell me…what do we have in common?

Hello world!

Welcome to MY WORLD!

I am a woman who is not afraid of change and am embarking on a new chapter in my life. I suppose I should say, “OUR life”. My husband (of 26+ years) and I were both born in California and have just moved to the Missouri Ozarks! We are not retired but are joining the mass exodus from California and shifting gears into a new stage of life at the same time.

What is important for happiness or success? That question may be answered differently by almost every person you ask. For us, it isn’t in the things we own but in the quality of life. It includes preparing ourselves for the future, as best as we can. It includes making time and having space to do some of the things we love: God, art, crafts, gardening, reading, genealogy, computer, friends and family…in no particular order, of course!

What do we love about Missouri? We love the green trees and hills of the Ozarks and enjoy the clouds and noisy storms. We love how little traffic there is (compared to California) and we love living in the country where we can enjoy the deer, rabbits, squirrels, birds and frogs we’ve already seen here! We love the great real estate prices and we love having all four seasons and the fact that our winters are usually pretty mild, as winters go.
What don’t we love? Well, we haven’t been here very long but we hate the humidity and heat…although we hated the heat in California and everywhere else we’ve gone, too! The standard thing we hear said about the humidity is that it’s only a problem about 6 weeks out of the year. It was true this year.

80% to 90% of the people that we told of our impending move to Missouri said, “Why would you want to move to ‘Misery’? Well, I guess I’ve just told you…and I’ll add that I think Missouri is one of America’s best kept secrets! I’ve traveled through most of the western United States and we found ourselves missing Missouri so we came back and settled here. I guess it helps that the real estate values are so good that we were able to get out of debt with the exception of a small mortgage.

That was another reason we moved here…besides the fact that we felt God was leading us here. Like most Americans, we are not financially prepared for our retirement. As it stands now, we have taken a giant step towards being ready when that time comes. If it comes before we hope, we’ve even gotten ourselves prepared for that possibility. Next, we plan on getting ready for potential crises by stocking up on things to get us through times of disaster.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We are absolutely at peace! We are not acting in fear but in wisdom. We KNOW that God is our source and our strength. He has gotten us through so many difficult days thus far and we know He is completely able to continue to keep us. The difference is that we feel He is WANTING us to do this. We don’t HAVE to always be RESCUED from disasters. Whenever possible, we SHOULD try to be ready for difficult times…and maybe help others, too!

As I said earlier, happiness and success mean different things to different people. In times of crisis, I think that will change because we will all be looking for the same things to survive. If you agree and want to begin to get ready for hard times, I would suggest you begin by thinking of the depression and start to prepare yourselves for that scenario. And if you don’t have a personal relationship with the God who created the universe, I want you to know that He loves you more than you can begin to comprehend and has made provision for you both here on earth and for all eternity, as well! There is no need for His children to fear. Even in difficult times, we are never alone…and when our lives are over, we do not fear death. On the contrary, while most do not relish leaving our loved ones behind and most of us have more we want to accomplish here, we nevertheless look forward to the day when we will SEE HIM FACE TO FACE! He never leaves us or “forsakes” us here on earth…and that’s a wonderful thing…but the Bible says that when we die, we’ll be in His presence! Think of that! The God who SPOKE THE WORLD INTO EXISTENCE is ever with us and better still, will personally greet us when we leave these earthly bodies of flesh! Now, THAT’S a reason to say, “Yes!” to Jesus! If you’d like to discuss this further, I invite you to email me. It’s a little easier to chat when you aren’t worried that others will be listening in.

Thanks for reading my blog. I look forward to getting to know you, too! If I already know you, thanks for reading…and please, keep in touch! The Bible says that a three-fold cord is not easily broken and one way of interpreting that is to say that we are better together than apart. Let’s hold each other up in prayer and be willing to be real with each other, always remembering to treat each other in love, loving each other as we love ourselves and in ways that are pleasing to our Heavenly Father. We will reap as we have sown so the question is, “What are we sowing?” Ah, but that sounds like the title of another blog. I’m falling into the trap of feeling like my first blog is my last and including way too much info! Hahaha! Sorry for data-dumping on you all!

So, don’t be a stranger. What’s on YOUR mind today?

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