Category Archives: Passages

Quips and Quotes

Don’t Wait…to Celebrate!

celebrate christmas redIt’s 16 days until Christmas and this year is the same as other years when I wake in the morning with a list of things to do and I regret that they aren’t already done.  A global pandemic can’t erase what my mind and body do every year at this time.  I need to bake, wrap, gift, repeat.  However, this year, there will definitely be some differences.  For example, I won’t be in a room full of presents, people, and holiday cheer watching great-nieces and nephews open presents.  I won’t be passing out little favors to the 15 people at Bible Study. I won’t be swapping cookie recipes around the table at book club. So, though the thoughts are the same, the actions have to be different.  How can I do it differently this year?

This year I recognize that it is not all preparing and then a crescendo to a big event on Christmas day.  This year of all years is the time to celebrate Christmas as it happens. When we used to bake to share with a cookie exchange, the actual cookie exchange was the event…this year, the baking is.  Don’t forget to enjoy it! Don’t forget that baking is a part of the celebration. We used to shop and wrap and give to see the receiver’s joy.  This year while shopping (if you are still able to do it in person) stop a moment and recognize that this year…shopping is a gift! Shopping is part of the celebration. We don’t have to wait until Christmas Day to give a gift.  Give it now. Sing carols now. Shop now. Bake now. Visit (safely) now. Celebrate now.

My daughter and son-in-law came for a visit last weekend. (The mitigations we put in place are fodder for another blog post!) But, they decided to travel home for Christmas early in case things with the pandemic and/or their jobs got worse…not to mention whether their health or our health might prevent them from a visit later. So, they traveled home for Christmas on December 6th. And, Christmas it was. We celebrated by eating Chex Mix, making paper snowflakes, playing games, drinking Christmas tea, making chocolates and we even gave a couple of gifts. We were together and it was Christmas. I don’t know if that is the only Christmas we will celebrate with the newlyweds, but it was a good one. Don’t wait.  See everything that you are doing now as celebrating Christmas. We can celebrate Christmas and Jesus’s birth no matter what the date on the calendar is and we should.  Don’t wait to and hold in all the joy until Christmas morning….spread it around…and do it now!

celebrate christmas verse

Somehow, not only for Christmas , but all the long year through, the joy that you give to others, is the joy that comes back to you. And the more you spend in blessing, the poor and lonely and sad, the more of your heart’s possessing, returns to you glad.  — John Greenleaf Whittier

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Happy Hand Washing?

unnamedIt’s been over a month and hopefully, you are still doing the recommended mitigation to stop the spread of the COVID virus;  Wash your hands, cough into your elbow, disinfect surfaces, wear a mask and stay home.  Nothing has changed with the guidelines, but maybe it’s time to change up our hand washing protocol.  So, daily our state Secretary of Health reminds us to wash our hands for 20 seconds or “the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.”  Are you still singing Happy Birthday?

I’ve never practiced this recommendation of singing Happy Birthday because early on my sister in law recommended praying every time we wash our hands and she suggested The Lord’s Prayer.  I began my intentional handwashing routine (However, I had been washing my hands prior to the pandemic, but believe it or not, I was doing it mindlessly out of habit.)  Since the daily reminder, I give it much more thought. I’ve posted prayers, quotes, and sayings by all of my sinks to encourage the rest of my family to join me in prayer.

My brother in law shared the following prayer on Palm Sunday so I printed it out and posted it:

Almighty God, who sees that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

I loved the part about having NO power to help ourselves and keeping us outwardly and inwardly free from adversity. This spoke volumes to me at times.

However, my recent post (on the mirror not on social media!) is a poem by John Ryland in 1777.

Sovereign Ruler of the skies!

Ever gracious, ever wise!

All my times are in Thy hand,

All events at Thy command.


Plagues and deaths around me fly,

Till He bids I cannot die:

Not a single shaft can hit

Till the God of love thinks fit.

After reading it multiple times a day, I realized that it is the perfect length.  It is also easily sung to the tune of Happy Birthday.  Go ahead, read it again, but this time, change the tune, and sing it out loud and join me in prayer!

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The Eye Sees What the Heart Loves


My daughter visited NYC last week and I sent her a text with the old slogan “I ‘heart’ NY” which made using a heart symbol in place of the word ‘love’ popular since 1977.  Yes, over 40 years ago! I texted her “I heart NY” but since she was flying to Denver, I reminded her that I also “heart” Denver.  And in reality, I “heart” many places.

I “heart” Haiti and am actively involved with an organization that supports Haiti called Hearts 4 Haiti. We are in the process of planning a mission trip in March which will send 11 people to Mombin Crochu, Haiti to deliver medical supplies and assist in the completion of a medical clinic in this remote village.  I have traveled there myself and now the people, the community and the mission are very dear to me. Recent unrest in Haiti has made us proceed with caution as we make travel plans. The US state department has had a Level 3 – Travel Advisory in effect since June advising people to “reconsider travel.”  So we have taken careful consideration and speaking with trusted advisors in Haiti, we think the situation has calmed enough to allow us to send a team.  As I searched the internet for reports of safety issues and the current unrest in Haiti, I came across the following which has reaffirmed our decision and our mission.

What’s it like in Haiti now? Is it safe to come back? These are questions a lot of people are asking. The answer is hard to give without knowing who is asking.

Warren Wiersbe once said: “The eyes see what the heart loves.”

What’s inside the person looking will have a huge effect on what they see around them.

What did you see the last time you were in Haiti? Did you see poverty and misery? You’ll probably see that again. Did you see hope and ingenuity? You’ll probably see that again.

What did you not see the last time you were in Haiti? Did you not notice the malnourished kid with the rust-colored hair? You’ll probably not notice him this time either. Did you not notice the political tension brewing beneath the surface? You’ll probably not notice it this time either – unless it erupts again while you’re here.

Many people have been helped in various small ways by those who saw the needs around them which others didn’t notice. But far greater change has come from those who dared to look ahead and see a future no one around them could see.

What do you see when you look at Haiti?

Very wise words and I believe that they could apply to more than just Haiti.  Anytime we travel we are exposed to new and different sights.  Many times that is exactly why we travel.  So, I believe the same sentiments as above could be true of anywhere.   New York City? Denver? Did I see the homeless population? Did I see garbage? Did I see traffic and hear honking horns? Did I see violence? I may have, but I also saw kindness, mountains, flowers in parks, talented street musicians. I’ve seen all that it affirms the fact that actually, I “heart” NY, Denver, Haiti, and many other places. Warren Wiersbe was a pastor, author, and Bible teacher and his complete quote states: “The eyes see what the heart loves. If the heart loves God and is single in this devotion, then the eyes will see God whether others see Him or not.”

Scripture says in Psalm 27:13-14

13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Let’s see the goodness of the Lord in whatever land we are in.  Let your heart direct your eyes!

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stock-photo-the-word-proverbs-one-of-the-books-of-the-holy-bible-in-cut-out-magazine-letters-pinned-to-a-cork-167707772Many of us are not Bible scholars and we even struggle with what to read in the Bible when we do get the notion that we should.  Where do we start?  Many people suggest reading the gospel of John where you’ll find the message of salvation. Others suggest Genesis.  It’s at the beginning which is usually a really good place to start & many of the beloved Bible Stories from your childhood are there.  Very interesting.  So, no matter what else you may want to start to read, I’d like to suggest the book of Proverbs as a way to get yourself into the Bible.  This book is unique in that it has 21 chapters of useful information.  One chapter for each day.  So, simply put, you can read Chapter 1 on the first day of each month.  If you skip your Bible reading for a few days, just pick up on the chapter that corresponds with the date.  Easy.

These wise sayings that help us in everyday life, offering us advice on how to behave in various situations.

  • A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 17:22
  • There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking. 29:20
  • Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife. 21:19
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. 3:5
  • As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. 26:11
  • Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. 22:6
  • A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; 27:15
  • He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. 28:27

Solomon gave us these proverbs and many wise suggestions for our daily living.  May I suggest we read them and heed them?  Let me know how you make out.


Proverbs 27:15-16 (New Living Translation)
A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.

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My Cup

Last month I had the privilege of attending our church’s Talent Show.  This is an opportunity for our congregation to share anything they want, a song, a dance, a joke, some trivia, etc.  My Mom shared a poem that reminded her of her Dad who always drank his coffee out of his saucer.  I can’t express how touched I was to hear my Mom’s 85 year old voice read the following:

My Cup

“Never made a fortune…Probl’y too late now,

I don’t worry about that much…I’m happy anyhow.

As I go along Life’s Highway, I’m reaping better than I sowed,

I’m drinking from my saucer, for my cup has overflowed.

Ain’t got a lot of riches, sometimes the going’s tough,

But I’ve got a kid that loves me, and that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for the blessings and the mercies He’s bestowed,

I’m drinking from my saucer, for my cup has overflowed.

Oh, I remember when things went wrong and my faith got a little thin.

But all at once the dark cloud broke and the old sun peeked through again.

So Lord help me never to gripe about the rough rows I have hoed,

I’m drinking from my saucer, for my cup has overflowed.

And if God gives me the courage, when the road gets deep and rough.

I won’t ask for other blessings, I’ve already been blessed enough.

But I hope I never get too busy to help another bear their load.

I’m drinking from my saucer, for my cup has overflowed.


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I Just Finished A Book

I just finished a book!  Not writing one, just reading one, but I still feel a true sense of accomplishment.  I love finishing a book. I write it down in my “Books I’ve Read” journal & then I pin it in Pinterest.  I’ve kept track of every book I’ve read since 1993.  What a fun way to review the years.  1993 found me reading 26 books, 10 of them on audio.  I remember listening to those ones while I walked a fussy baby at night.  The titles included Siblings Without Rivalry, The New Dare to Discipline, Is There Life After Housework & What Kids Need Most in a Mom.  I read a few Danielle Steele novels for fun.  But, I think you can see what my life looked like then.  I had two children and was pregnant with the third.  My focus was on my kids and my home with a little escapism thrown in!

1994 I read 15 books, 5 of them audio.   Enough said about that year.  Too busy to read in any way, shape or form!

1997 – 29 books read, a few audio at the beginning of the year, but I must have lost my Walkman cassette player!  (Anyone remember those?)  Fun titles of that year were:  Mom on the Run, Kids Who Do Too Little, PMS – What It Is & What You Can Do About It & Helping Your Child Succeed in Public School.  Being back in college made Deaf Like Me, Deaf Culture: Our Way, & What’s That Pig Outdoors – A Memoir of Deafness required reading.

I can see the seasons of my life by the books I’ve read.  The Difficult Child by Stanley Turecki, MD was read when I thought I had a difficult child before I met and began to raise my actual difficult child! (I wonder if there is a sequel?) I became an Independent Consultant for Usborne Books at Home so 1996 is full of motivational and goal setting books…yes, I had to read those more than once!  In 1998, I met my friends from Mitford thanks to Jan Karon who made that small fictional community part of my life for a couple of years. Fostering and Adoption became major themes in my reading in the 00’s.  In 2003, I read only 12 books and wrote “Is this all I read?  Probably So…Newborns lived in our home!” – I didn’t read much but I fostered 4 different newborns straight from the hospital.  Ann B. Ross introduced me to Miss Julia in 2009 and I’ve enjoyed that series ever since.  You can also see that in certain years I had more time for reading as I recovered from various surgeries.  So, it’s a reading log, but it’s also a life log.  A journal written in book titles.

Though many are reluctant to journal because of the time and discipline to keep at it, I urge you to start today logging the books you read one book at a time.  Right now, it will only be one book, but some day down the road you will be excited to see your life unfold in fiction and non fiction ways.  My “Books I’ve Read” journal is simple.  I document the title, author and if it was given to me by someone.  I include a few words, “great fast read,” or “perfect beach read.”  But every now and then, I’ll find a gem like a quote from the book.

6-21-01 The Rescue – Nicholas Sparks – “Romance about a boy with speech problems, his Mom and a fireman.  Good Book – Interesting thought – People come, people go – They’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a  favorite book.  When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story & you start up again with another book, complete with new characters & adventures.(page 89) – To expand – My Thoughts:  Some are keepers to be saved, re-read, some bring comfort by just being on the shelf, etc.”

I am so grateful for books, for people and for journals that can revive all those feelings as you flip through those pages.  I hope you’ll consider joining me on this journey.

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If you are like me,  you LOVE post-it notes.  Notes here and there telling me to “Mail Birthday Card,’ ‘Get Milk,’ ‘Call So & So.”  I appreciate reminders and need them constantly.  In addition to the temporary post-it note reminders on my walls and cabinet doors, I also have many, many reminders framed and hanging on my walls.  I walk by them so often, I forget what they are reminding me of.  When I walked through my living room, dining room, family room, kitchen and entryway, I was absolutely amazed that all of the following hang there.

Attitude is Everything.

Thank God for What You Have, Trust God for What You Need.

You are my Sunshine.

In the strength of the Lord, I can do all things.

Life is Short, Eat Dessert First.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

You Call It Chaos, We Call It Family.

Rejoice in every good thing the Lord thy God has given unto Thee.


God’s Answers are Wiser Than Our Prayers.

BKLVR (Book Lover)

When We Put Our Cares in His Hands, He puts His Peace into Our Hearts.

Every good and perfect gift is from above.

The Sooner You Fall Behind, the More Time You have to Catch Up.

Don’t Judge Each Day By the Harvest You Reap, but By the Seeds You Plant.

Let It Snow!

Milk, Instant Rice, Cream of Mushroom Soup……….WAIT!  That’s a post it note!

All this inspiration (except for those last two.  I’m not really inspired by snow or grocery shopping!) around me every day.  I walk by the words and hope to receive them through osmosis.  If I could simply abide by the words on my wall, my life would be so much richer.  Just for today, I intend to rest in the peace the words provide…….and definitely…..Eat Dessert First!

What are the words on your wall?  Feel free to share!

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Words of Wisdom

Things in a home deteriorate quickly when two sinners continue sinning at the same time.

If it’s not instant it’s not obedience.

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