Browsing Category

Faith

Blog, Books, Business, Faith, Family, Friendship, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Travel, Writing

Goals and dreams for the new year 2024

2024Image source: BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash

2024
Image source: BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ~ Melody Beattie

We’re nearing the end of 2023 and the new year 2024 is around the corner, as of this post’s writing. I hope you had a great Christmas with your family and your friends, and have a wonderful, new year overflowing with God’s blessings.

I usually do several things at the end of each year and before the start of the new one:

  • Reflect over the past year and pray about the coming new year. I set aside a quiet time alone to seek God to ask His forgiveness for any sins I may have committed in the past year, and to ask for His direction, wisdom, guidance, and protection for me and my family. I no longer do new year’s resolutions (breaking them too fast). For the last several years, I’ve asked for a “one word” and a Scripture as an anchor for the coming year. The one word has worked much better, and it serves as a theme for the year. I really liked this video on resetting your life and just “dreaming” about the coming year and writing down what comes to mind (although I still think goals are a great and wise idea!). My motto is “Dream big because we serve a big God!” God makes dreams come true, as my life is living proof!
Palm trees & beachImage source: Maarten van den Heuvel

Palm trees & beach
Image source: Maarten van den Heuvel

  • Declutter, organize, and clean. Marie Kondo said, “Tidying is the act of confronting yourself.” So true! Have you ever just really LOOKED at your house, rooms, closets, drawers, yard, garage, and car and thought, “What IS all this crap? Why on earth do I have it?” (Or you wonder why your spouse or kids do!) Decluttering and organizing is an endless task, but such a necessary one. I try to do this several times a year, but especially at the end of the year, to have a fresh new start. It’s SO freeing to give away, throw away, or sell things. You just feel a weight lifted off you, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  “When home feels out of control, no matter what the reason, unsettledness and anxiety can seep in, and then the chaos becomes internal as well as external.” (Myquillyn Smith)
ClutterImage source: Ashim D’Silva

Clutter
Image source: Ashim D’Silva

Continue Reading

Blog, Faith, Family, Marriage, pets, prayer

Lessons from stray cats

“There are few things more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.”–Tay Hohoff

Me & Natalya our cat

Me & Natalya our cat

Do you love or hate cats? Usually it’s one or the other; it’s hard to be neutral concerning cats. Recently when I asked a friend at church to pray for a hard situation concerning a cat, he said, “Okay, pray for me to have more compassion for cats. I don’t like them and I’m allergic to them.” LOL. I have another friend who is highly allergic to them and sneezes terribly, even from their furs’ dander on our carpet.

Other complaints about cats are that they scratch and ruin furniture, they can spray the carpet with urine, and worse of all –they don’t obey, like dogs do when trained!

My sweet kitty Natalya

My sweet kitty Natalya

That’s one of the reasons I actually like cats. They are independent with a mind of their own (like me!). 

Natalya my cat

Natalya my cat

My husband Ray and I have never had stray cats before. But at this house in Butler, Missouri, which we bought several years ago, we’ve had several stray cats coming around here. I’ve been feeding them since spring 2022. (It has gotten expensive, too!)

Heather seeing our cat Natalya the first time

Heather seeing our cat Natalya the first time

 

Our granddaughters Violet & Annabelle seeing Natalya the 1st time

Our granddaughters Violet & Annabelle seeing Natalya the 1st time

They’re all male cats. Some come more often than others to eat. I asked Ray to help me name them. They are:

Silas, a male tabby/mix breed (a vet said possibly Maine Coon because of his bushy tail; another vet said possibly Siamese mix), who I took inside our home this year and he’s now our second (inside only) cat. We got him neutered and his vaccinations, because he was doing the male mating call and yowling day and night. He was trying to mate with my female cat Natalya, even though she was fixed! He can still be aggressive at times with her and me, but he’s a sweet kitty. Ray also wanted him neutered so he wouldn’t spray our furniture and carpet with urine, as non-neutered males often do.

Silas

Silas

Nicodemus, a male. unneutered tabby mix cat with a bushy tail, who Ray and I think is Silas’ brother. However, Silas hisses at him when he sees him through the front screen door or the sunroom screens, and twice he has escaped out the door and chased him into the neighbor’s yard. (I’m thankful that Silas came back, so he must like it here! Or at least, the daily food and love!)

I think Nicodemus is beautiful and so sweet, and I want to keep him. But I know Silas would fight him and possibly hurt him. Plus, I don’t know if he has the contagious cat virus FIV or cat leukemia FLV. I wouldn’t want to possibly expose my cats to it. So he is one of our outdoor kitties right now. He comes every day, sometimes several times a day!

I’ve been worrying over him and Marmalade (the male, non-neutered orange tabby stray cat) with cold winter coming, so Ray and I bought a feral cat shelter for them. A vet recommended this kind. He said NOT to put straw or hay in a cat shelter, as it can get wet and then mildew and it can also draw pests.

Marmalade

Marmalade

Continue Reading

Blog, Faith, Family, Friendship, pets, prayer

God and our prayers did a MIRACLE for Phil the stray cat (and about my other cats)

Phil the male stray cat I brought in

Phil the male stray cat I brought in

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, as you know, I have been praying fervently and calling and emailing pet rescue places and shelters since I brought Phil the male stray cat inside our house one night when I saw him walking/running on 3 legs.

I made an appointment with the vet and she said his leg/paw wasn’t broken. At the follow-up appointment the next week, his leg/paw seemed okay. They also tested Phil’s stool sample for parasites and worms (negative). They tested him for FIL (the fatal cat virus) and FLV (cat leukemia). Both are fatal diseases, but FLV is worse.

He tested negative for the leukemia, but positive for FIV. I cried for hours that night. My husband Ray had to pray a couple of times for me. I was so upset, as I know cats with FIV can have health issues and even die. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to Phil!

Many cats with FIV live long, happy lives, but I didn’t want him to ever become unhealthy or the health risk to my cats Natalya and Silas, to possibly get it from Phil.

There’s a lot of misunderstandings and fears about FIV. As a result, many people think it’s an instant “death sentence” for the cat and many become unadoptable. So sad!

While FIV can’t be transmitted through casual contact (cats sharing food and water bowls, using the same litter box, or being in close proximity), a FIV+ cat can give it to another if they fight and cause deep wounds. I did NOT want my cats Natalya or Silas to fight with Phil and become infected with it, as they tested negative for it.

I believe Silas and Phil would have fought like this, as Silas is so territorial and can be aggressive occasionally, despite being neutered! You’d never know it in the picture below in the sunroom, with Silas looking afraid of Natalya, LOL!

Silas and Natalya in the sunroom

Silas and Natalya in the sunroom

I adopted Natalya, my beautiful, black female cat with green eyes, several Christmases ago. She is the Queen of Sheba in our household and as Ray says, “spoiled rotten.” I love her very much and vice versa. I call her my little black panther.

My sweet kitty Natalya

My sweet kitty Natalya

She follows me everywhere I go in the house and sleeps with me most of the time. I’m also quite attached to Silas (who thinks he is the king!). 

Continue Reading