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September

30 Sep

Yet He has not left Himself without testimony:
He has shown kindness by giving you rain
from heaven and crops in their seasons;
He provides you with plenty of food and
fills your hearts with joy.
Acts 14:17

Annual Labor Day visit with Mikie and Norma

Annual Labor Day visit with Mikie and Norma

It’s almost gone … a warm friend who annually reminds me just how awesome life is! Somehow it always seems to sneak up on me, but never fails to deliver the gift of an extended weekend right at the beginning of the month  –  a few extra days to visit friends and to tuck away memories that will last forever.

September has a way of trying to hang onto the hot summer days, yet tickling our fancy with the chance to enjoy our dinner out on the back deck in the cool of the evening.  It has encouraged us to sleep with the bedroom windows open, loving those extra snuggles with the hubby as the cooler night air fills our room.

Daylight is also influenced by my friend, September … the sun is slower to brighten up the morning as I begin each day, and is quicker to cast shadows as it still sets brilliantly each evening … just sooner.  I have reached for the matches a few times this week, lighting candles throughout our home where hubby and I spend time together after work, slowing breathing in the sweet aroma of vanilla and spice, once again thanking September for ushering in the magic of the changing seasons and the holidays to come.

September is playful in that it continually reminds me of the fun from the recent days of summer, full of great memory-making times with family and friends … all the while its very presence naturally creates an anticipation for more.   The calendar beyond September is already filling up with the exciting events and special moments with those we love!

Just like every other month, September is full of special birthdays and celebrating anniversaries … continued reminders of those we love. But September always leads us to October, which is always extra full of birthday excitement! Even though the years seem to rush by oh-so-quickly, my own aging yet child-like heart loves a grand birthday celebration!

September provides a great harvest of produce from our own garden and others, allowing us to stow away canned jars and frozen packages of tastiness to enjoy throughout the year!   Several other months contribute their portion and product to our storehouse, but September’s contribution is always quite bountiful!

Now don’t get me wrong, the other months are all special in their own way, but September gets my vote. How about you … what is your favorite month?

Won’t you join me in celebrating every month … as quickly as each one passes by, we have life, breath and the ability to make every day in each month count.  Let’s on purpose embrace each moment and make it the best!

This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Psalm 118:24

It is a land the Lord your God cares for;
the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it
from the beginning of the year to its end.
 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving
you today—to love the Lord your God
and to serve him with all your heart
and with all your soul –
then I will send rain on your land in its season,
both autumn and spring rains,
so that you may gather in your grain,
new wine and olive oil.
Deuteronomy 11:12-14

Until next time,
Debbie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good-bye October

1 Nov

For You have been my Hope, O Sovereign LORD,
my Confidence since my youth.
Psalm 71:5

It truly seems like just yesterday when Tim and I hopped on the motorcycle and headed east to spend the weekend with our New Jersey friends in Toms River. But it wasn’t just yesterday … in fact, it was the end of September.

Since then, October arrived in its usual fashion of anticipation of family visits and birthday fun, but it didn’t take long before the visit did not include any family and the birthday lost its fun. Thankfully I had two days of enjoyment … Munchy Monday girls on Thursday evening and lunch with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law on Friday. Then the stomach flu and fever hit. My departure from Indy and arrival back in PA on Monday took me straight to bed. Less than two weeks later, a nasty head cold and another fever blindsided me and I’m out of commission for several days again. Now, nearly two weeks more, I’m still coughing and blowing my nose. Where does all of this stuff come from?

Besides being physically off, it has seemed that much of my world has been off kilter. Cancer is wreacking havoc in the lives of many I know. Death has unexpectedly stolen a dear friend and taken others who have been suffering. Addictions, diseases, storms, the inevitable struggles of aging, the concerns of Obamacare, loss of employment, an Albuquerque shoot-out, the destruction of relationships and families … these things and more seem to weigh heavy on my own heart. I have family and friends who are dealing with real life issues that often seem unfair and without much hope.

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Papaw with his 2 loves in the apple orchard!

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Mimi having fun with lots of pumpkin heads!!

Even on this wind-driven rainy first day of November, we all must find our hope! Taking a different perspective on the month of October, there were some bright spots … I DID have a birthday. You would not be reading this otherwise! Although not together, I mutually celebrated October birthdays with some very special people, two of which are my brother and his oldest son. My youngest brother got married on the 19th of this month. He and his bride had a beautiful wedding, blending two families, while creating their own. My precious friend, Louise, is celebrating these gorgeous days of autumn with Jesus and my Daddy – she is no doubt telling him all about my Mother’s two dogs, Walker and Ginger. After many days in the hospital, my Uncle Johnse has returned home with Barbara. Friends have had successful surgeries, treatments, and care for serious health issues. Ryan and Brittany enjoyed several days of vacation in Albuquerque during the balloon fiesta, while just a few weeks later God mercifully protected friends in the same area as they were ministering to the homeless and a gunman repeatedly shot into their crowd. Tim and I had a wonderfully fun time last weekend with our grand kiddos – our annual trek to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, and we even threw in a parade full of candy!! We are truly blessed by these two little loves! For these and more, we give thanks and praise to God … which brings us to this first day of November.

Yes, people are sick. People die. People get hurt. Lives are destroyed by sin and wrecklessness. Dreams are shattered. Politicians lie to us. Fears are realized. Life seems to be turned upside down at times. But, Jesus is our Peace. Jesus is our Hope. Jesus is our Fortress. Jesus is our Rock. Jesus is our Strength. Jesus is our Glue. Jesus is our Protector. Jesus is our Song. Jesus is our Complete. Jesus is our Everything.

Won’t you join me today in saying good-bye to October and welcoming the final two months of this year with open hearts? May we be full of praise and thanksgiving as our hearts worship Jesus, the Christ Child, our Redeemer and our Hope!

Until next time,
Debbie

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness seems to veil His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood:
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound,
O may I then in him be found.
Clothed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before his throne.

On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.`

Motorcycle Momma

19 Oct

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today
are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them
when you sit at home and when you walk [ride] along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7

During our former life while living in southern Indiana, my husband hit a phase of mid-life crisis and purchased a motorcycle.  Tim’s extreme busy work schedule at that time prevented him from riding very often.  Although the invitation was usually extended, I really had no desire to accompany him on his journeys, so when given the opportunity, he would take to the roads alone. 

For those of you who faithfully read Morsels of Mercy, you will recall that my “Munchy Monday” girls blessed me with a black motorcycle helmet as a “See You Later” gift.  Knowing that Tim’s work schedule was going to dramatically change, allowing him evenings and weekends in which to ride, I guess they figured I might want to tag along.  Anyway, just in case, they provided me with the one safety accessory that was a necessity.  Then a few weeks later for my 50th birthday, several of them went in together and bought me a black leather riding jacket. Every time I slip the helmet on and zip the jacket up, I think of my precious friends and once again thank God for their love for me.

I have to say that I have begun to truly enjoy riding on the back of the motorcycle with my husband.  I know there are some very real dangers, but we do our part in eliminating as many of those as possible by our own actions.  We continually find ourselves riding on the back country roads, looking for real estate ‘for sale’ signs, trusting that one of these days we will drive by the perfect house in the perfect setting.  Since we are not high tech with a helmet to helmet intercom system, we’ll tap on each other’s leg – right leg to look to the right or left leg to look to the left.  Creative, aren’t we?  Talking to one another would be sort of nice, but I rather enjoy the quiet.  My thoughts are noisy enough … planning the next day’s wardrobe and dinner, the next blog topic, and the to-do list once we get home.  I also use the quiet time to pray.  There are always people on my mind, their needs, their concerns, and my love for them. 

I really enjoy looking at names of streets while we ride.  Curds Way is my favorite of all!   Then there is Chick A Dee Dr., Pebble Beach Dr. (in the middle of Pennsylvania?), and Ice House Dr., which is right off of Church Street.  I believe every town inPennsylvania has a Church Street– and every town inPennsylvania has at least one United Methodist Church located on Church Street!  We are truly blessed in America for having quite the smorgasbord of churches where we can find Jesus. 

Autumn in southern Pennsylvania

Besides the awesome views of plush rolling hills, dotted with large farm houses, red barns, green tractors, and black and white cows, I so enjoy the smells!  Fresh mown grass, often followed by the distinct odor of the pre-mixed gasoline powered weed-eater.   Something about that combination makes me think of my Dad and my Pappy.  The other day we were riding beside a big row of very tall pine trees to our right, and my heart was instantly warmed as I caught the scent of Christmas.  There are other days that a different kind of pine will send me back a few years to the beautiful grounds of Bonita Park in New Mexico.  Fresh road tar.  Corn fields.  Rain.  We were quite a ways from home this one hot Saturday afternoon when all of a sudden we smelled it.  We immediately poked on each other’s legs and pointed ahead to the wall of rain that we were heading into.  Within moments, we were both drenched but having fun as we cooled off in the summer shower.  There is the fragrance of wild flowers along the road, the mouth watering aroma of someone’s steak dinner cooking on the grill as we pass by, and the mildly pungent odor from the freshly spread manure in the fields back in the spring.  The damp and mossy smell of the woods, along with the fresh strong aroma of wild onions and garlic will always remind me of my Mammaw Wells.  And this time of year as the evening shadows begin to fade, we’ll catch whiffs of bonfires burning and the musty smell of autumn leaves on the ground.  Then there is the unmistakable smell of a chilly evening – the slight tingle in the nose and you just recognize the smell. 

 

This past Saturday offered us perhaps one of the last few days of comfortable riding weather before winter.  With camera in hand and the GPS on my phone, we were gone for several hours as we enjoyed the fall foliage, the smells, thoughts, prayers, and the quiet company of each other.  Won’t you join me in the changing of the seasons, to take the time to enjoy all that God has gifted us with … the sites, smells, our abilities, our relationships with one another … and most importantly, our relationship with Him!

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
Isaiah 35:8

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of fall decorations in my home … October 2011