It’s finally spring here in Kansas City, Missouri. The birds are so happy lately, chirping and singing, and my daughter Heather is happy, too, because it’s her favorite time of year. I love it, too.
The trees that had been gaunt, barren skeletons this winter, stripped of their autumn glory, are now clothed in emerald green leaves. Flowers are blooming: Virginia bluebells, pale-pink geraniums, yellow Black-eyed Susans, white hydrangeas, and one of my favorites, the sunflower.
They’re such a simple thing, but fresh flowers give Heather and me joy. In fact, Heather’s name means a flower, the mauve or white heather plant that is found widely in Europe, usually in late summer. It’s an usually beautiful flower, just like Heather.
This morning the streets were still damp from last night’s rain. The mourning doves were cooing, as I drank my creamy coffee and talked with God.
So many things going on right now. I prayed Psalm 18 over me and my family, especially for Heather and her girls Annabelle and Violet, who were coughing badly last night. Heather went through a painful divorce several years ago and is basically a single mom–the hardest job in the world. I was one with Heather for nearly 10 years. Heather has important projects this week, so she can’t afford time off.
So I pray for them: “The Lord thundered from heaven, And the most High uttered His voice. Hailstones and coals of fire, He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings and in abundance, and He vanquished them.” Please pray complete, speedy healing for them.
Our beautiful daughter Leah is continuing to practice her violin and her art, and is now looking for her first job. Please pray God’s favor upon her to get the right job, and courage for her to apply and at interviews.
This morning I quickly glanced through my avalanche of emails; it’s time to clean it out and delete, delete, delete, and unsubscribe (again!) from newsletters I don’t even read. Time’s a’wastin’, as Joaquin and Reese sang in Walk the Line. I love the advice to apply the 4 D’s to email as soon as you get it: do right now, delegate it to the right person, defer (by adding to a to-do list, for example), or delete it.
Your time is gold. I’m hearing about more sudden deaths lately, especially with younger people, and Ray is seeing a lot more deaths lately at his work as a paramedic; yesterday three patients died on his calls, which is unusual as Ray usually saves lives. I believe these unexpected deaths are because it’s the end times. Jesus is coming back soon, and we need to be ready to face God at any time.
I love the ocean. When I was growing up, my family went to the beach every summer for a vacation: Jekyll Island seemed to be the most common spot, since my dad’s Civitan Club conventions were held there. We also went frequently to Daytona Beach and even the gulf, Panama City.
The most beautiful ocean and beach I’ve ever seen were in the Bahamas, when I spoke at Tony Robinson‘s Women of Destiny conference on a cruise ship to the Bahamas.
The water is an exquisite blue-green and so clear, and the sand a soft white with no shells or rocks to hurt your feet. It was truly like paradise. When I ate coconut shrimp, drinking a pina colada with a little umbrella in it, I thought, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”
The beach is calling my name!
But work calls, too. This week I’m working on a new book, the second book in my Storm Tossed fiction series, entitled Afflicted. The main character, Rachel, gets kidnapped while on a mission trip in Africa. This book was inspired by the powerful story of missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham,In The Presence of My Enemies, but will take place in the Congo in Africa instead of the Philippines.
I have written several chapters and already have the image for the cover from Istock, where I usually buy images for my book covers. (You can be the first to hear about the new book’s release by signing up here at my website on the right-hand side at the top of the page.)
I just spoke at a virtual event with my peers Doreen Penner and Karen Wells, Walk Free Summit. We’re working on creating a bundle product of audios and handouts from our speaking presentations at the event. Stay tuned for details!
That’s about it for now. How has your week been? What are you up to? Leave your comments below.
It’s the little things. It doesn’t take much to make me happy (Ray might debate that!). But simple pleasures give me great joy.
When Ray and I recently traveled to Texas and went through what seemed like the storm from hell, Ray’s mom Judy and his step-dad Leonard had a bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder on their back deck at their house by a beautiful lake.
I loved getting up early, sitting on the deck praying, enjoying the lake, and watching the birds. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a hummingbird in person and I was so excited. They are tiny and so adorable! I decided when we came home, that I was getting a bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder, too.
Yesterday, I went to the dollar store and Walmart to hunt for the perfect feeders. I found black shepherd hooks to hang the feeders on and bags of bird seed at the dollar store, and the bird feeder and the hummingbird feeder at Walmart.
The hummingbird feeder came with a kit, which included 2 bottles of nectar. Leah said it smells like Kool-Aid.® I told her NOT to drink the Kool-Aid!® 🙂
I’m going to have to go back to Walmart today to get a bigger bird feeder. At lunchtime, I noticed that some of the bigger birds are falling off the tiny ledge of the feeder when they try to eat, so they need a bigger ledge to be able to sit on it and eat.
I also bought a few new things for my sunroom, one of my fave rooms in our house: a red geranium, a green (golden pothos) plant, and a red flowered cactus with a white ceramic pot with blue and purple flowers on it. I love it!
One of the reasons I bought the geranium is because they are so hardy. I didn’t inherit my grandmother Moore’s green thumb, so I didn’t want to kill another house plant. Give a geranium some light and water, and it will love you forever.
Same thing with the golden pothos plant and this red flowered cactus. I mean, how hard can it be to kill a cactus? Actually you can. The name of the cactus is a ruby ball cactus or moon cactus, and apparently they only live a few years, so they’re ideal for apartment dwellers.
Since they normally don’t live long, I better start preparing for its funeral. It depresses me when my house plants die! But it’s cute for now. I love the pretty ceramic pot. The blue in the dragonfly goes perfectly with my blue chair.
You have to keep the moon cactus lightly shaded, protected from the full sun. The sunroom should be perfect for it. You water it thoroughly and let it dry out between waterings.
Right next to our sunroom is the utility room, where we hang our jackets and take off our shoes to keep them from muddying the beautiful wood floors in our house. I decorated the utility room with butterfly art Ray bought for me when he went on one of his missions trips to Haiti and birds that Ray’s mom Judy gave us. Her mother (Ray’s grandmother Hutchins) hand-stitched these.
These are the beautiful butterfly art pieces that Ray bought me as a souvenir in Haiti, which are on the other wall in the utility room. I love butterflies. 🙂
The adjoining wall to this one with the butterflies just has a side window and a tiny bit of wall space, so I hung up these brass butterflies, that Ray’s mom also gave us.
This morning I sat in the sunroom, praying, journaling, drinking my hot chai with heavy creamer (my little indulgence now since I’ve stopped drinking Cokes®), and watched the birds. I love listening to the sound of the mourning dove.
Yes, it’s the little things.
I have felt happy today. Here I am in a new, warm-weather outfit…peach tank, white wrap, and a long, beautifully-colored skirt. Ray said it’s pretty. 🙂
What little things mean the most to you? What makes you feel happy and content? Leave your comments below.