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LILLIANNE HOPE the announcement

29 Apr

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13

A simple announcement for a very special little girl …

Lillianne Hope Arndt  ~  born today ~ Sunday, April 29, 2012 ~  at 5:50 am.
She weighed 7 pounds and 4.2 ounces.
She measured 19 inches long.
She has alot of dark hair, chubby cheeks, and very long skinny fingers and toes.

Baby Lillie and Momma’s body have been preparing for this grand event …
God’s timing dictated her arrival one day before the scheduled date of surgery.
Baby and Momma are doing just fine!

Lillie’s big brother is in my custody for a few days ~ or maybe I’m in his custody.  Any rate, we are going to enjoy each other’s company for a while until his parents bring home the tiny new member of their family.

We are anticipating a wonderful time of new adventures and special memories made as Uncle RyRy and Britt come in later this week for a visit and introduction to little Miss Lillianne.

Nothing about this beautifully made little girl is simple  …  except this announcement.  I promise to write a whole lot more next week when Mimi takes her heart back home, total saturated and overflowing from God’s own hand of blessings.

Until next time,
Debbie

  For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:13-18

Mimi and Lillianne Hope

Lillianne Hope

Lillie ... precious!

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Merry Christmas Daddy!

16 Dec

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father
deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting
and urging you to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into His kingdom and glory.
I Thessalonians 2:11-12 

It would only be most appropriate to sit here and sip on a hot cup of coffee (with cream and sugar, as opposed to black) as I jingle Heaven’s portals with a Christmas greeting to you.  The sights and sounds of the holidays have a way of tugging at the memories of my heart, and I always miss you so much during the holidays. 

You know that I so enjoy all of the music this time of year, but there is a distinct genre of songs that melt this little girl’s heart into a puddle of warm memories.  Just a few notes of one of these songs, and I am immediately transported back to any cold December day in my childhood. Remember how you and I would go shopping together every Christmas and buy gifts for Mom?  Every store we went into and every station on the radio would be playing Burl Ives’ “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” or Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”.   I loved being with you, Daddy … your funny little quirks of always stopping at the men’s cologne counter to splash a half dozen different scents of after shave lotion on your face, often taking my own little face in your hands and lovingly pat the potpourri of manly fragrances on my little girl cheeks.  A few more songs like the musical rendition of “Sleigh Ride” by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” sung by Andy Williams would serenade us as we began our quest for the right gift that year for mom.  You loved to have a lot of gifts under the tree for her ~ I always felt like it was your way of showing her how much you loved and appreciated her.  Soft and flowing night gowns with matching robes, a new winter coat with accompanying boots, and peanut brittle.  Oh, the big gifts were different every year, but we also always got her a box of peanut brittle.   I picked up that yummy tradition in your honor until a few years ago when she began to make her own homemade brittle … thinking of you the entire time she’s doing so, I’m sure.  Speaking of peanuts, on our way out of Sears and Roebuck, you would usually swing by the snack area and buy you and me a small bag of warm salted cashews.  How fun to remember how special that made me feel that you would stop and buy this special treat for me … you and me.  I don’t even know if we saved any for mom and the boys. 

I had to chuckle the other day as I was walking through the grocery store and passed by the infamous bag of mixed nuts!  Do you remember the glass dish that mom got out at Christmas and filled with all sorts of hard candy, oranges, and nuts?   I think of you every time I look for something in the utility drawer in my own kitchen and I see the nut cracker and pick.  I have so many simple, but oh so special holiday memories of you, Daddy. 

Your birthday is coming soon, which always means that Christmas is only a few hours away.  You were always so gracious, having a Christmas Eve birthday, to excitedly accept your annual birthday gift of new Christmas pajamas right along with us kids!  Still to this day, you are always remembered and sung to in the unique Wells tradition … as the birthday cake is shared by many December birthdays each year.  “… Happy Birthday, dear Daddy / Grandpa Johnny!” 

There is an unmistakable warmth, safe and secure, and happy feeling ~ embraced with all the love a little girl’s heart can hold ~ when I think of you, Daddy … especially at Christmas time.  The aromas, the sounds of the holidays, the fun varieties of cookies, snacks, fruit, and the Christmas dinner itself, … and just the presence of our family together.  Thank you, Daddy, for sufficiently providing for us, with not only the things we needed, but with lots of love, attention, and security.   I know your grandkids still remember you for your extreme heart of fun and love that always made each one of them feel so special.  You have great grandkids now, Daddy!  Tim is a grandpa to Kailee’s kids, and Jay is just weeks away from holding his first grandson!  And I will once again be Mimi as Kim is expecting her second little one in May … her own little girl!   Oh Daddy … I miss you so!

You know how busy it gets this time of year, but we all plan to be together once again at your house.  You may not physically be there, but you will be there.  Your example, your jovial and sometimes feisty spirit, and your love will always be with us!  Instead of the 5 of us, plus Mammy and Pappy ~ like it was every year for many years, there will be 25 of us and 3 babies on the way.  What a blessed heritage you gave to each of us … yes, you will be there.   Make that 26.

The older I get, the more I miss you.  There must be something about better understanding the struggles and the hard times of life ~ and wishing that I had paid more attention and spent more time on my knees then than I did.  But here we are.  The journey for me continues, and I know that my tears will continue to flow from time to time … until they will be dried by Jesus Himself as I am met by you at that great Gate … Someday.   

Well, I will hush for now, Daddy.  I promise to meet you here again, from time to time, on the pages of my heart.  Happy 78th Birthday, Merry Christmas, and I love you!

Until next time,
Your Bobby Naw

For a nostalgic walk through some of these favorite classis  Christmas songs … click below!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFtb3EtjEic

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqpyfa2EmzQ

Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives                                                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up1t5siifEw

Sleigh Ride by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAm9TloD2bA

White Christmas by Bing Crosby                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aShUFAG_WgM

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  by Gene Autry                           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5VdsuQ-YfM

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnIqLlBwzrc

Let It Snow by Dean Martin                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN7LW0Y00kE

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas by Perry Como                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KjSsTagY3s

Silver Bells by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards                                 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4mkRR4oJNM

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause by Jimmy Boyd                       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI8spatbGEo

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 Christmas decorations … 2011 

Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Cole

26 Aug

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them
to their desired haven.  Let them give thanks to the
LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.
Psalm 107:29-31

EARTHQUAKES   …   HURRICANES   …   COLE

What do all three of the above mentioned items have in common?  YES!   They are all natural disasters!  Once tomorrow’s storm reaches the region of the east coast that will inevitably bring rain and wind our way, I will be able to testify to the fact of experiencing not just one natural disaster in one week, but THREE! 

Whether you felt the earth move or you simply heard about it, the 5.9 earthquake that hit 185 miles south of our little town in south central Pennsylvania shook us all up.  I had just gotten home from work and was on the phone with our daughter, Kim, who lives an hour south in the suburbs of Baltimore, when she paused mid-sentence.  Her chair was shaking and she said she thought they were having an earthquake.  As I chuckled and told her that it was probably a big truck going down the road, I began to feel our house shaking all around me.  The house creaked and rattled as it trembled for about 10-15 seconds.  This was quite unsettling to say the least.  Taking a quick inventory later, I found that several ear rings had jostled their way off of their organizer and fallen to the dresser top, and two picture frames upstairs in my office fell over.  I have felt tremors before in my lifetime, but nothing like this.  After turning on the news and finding out what, where, and when, I went out and mowed the yard.  Life goes on.

Hurricane Irene.  She has already left a wide path of destruction and devastation.  The very nature of her existence guarantees more damage and upheaval as she travels onward.  According to the forecasted weather map, our little town is right on the edge of severe weather, due to bring heavy rains and thunderstorms our way.  Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends living along the coastal areas where the brunt of the hurricane will hit.  We are also trusting that our mini-vacation plans for next weekend’s holiday jaunt to the New Jersey shore will still be on the agenda once the storm has passed by.  Whether we will be able to sit out on the beach and enjoy the last hoorah of the summer or not, life will go on. 

Cole in the grocery-cart truck

Cole.  Two years and five months old.  He wears CARS pull-ups, lives, breathes and dreams tractors, can count to 13, and can write his own name.  You may not be able to read what he has written, but he will tell you that in his own left-handed script he spelled C-O-L-E.  He hears with distinct clarity every tractor, digger, mower, motorcycle, Mack truck, helicopter, and cement mixer that is within hearing distance, but for some odd reason he sometimes has trouble discerning direction and instruction from those currently in charge.  He enjoys playing Mimi’s piano, being careful to only push down one or two keys at a time as he sings Jesus Loves Me.  And he still loves to snuggle up next to his Mimi as he is rocked to sleep when it’s time for bed.  Yes, Cole is the third natural disaster that I will have experienced in one week’s time.  This little boy has made a disaster of my heart.  And just like the others, life will go on.  But unlike the others, this disaster of my heart will only get worse over time.

Won’t you join me in thanking God for His blessings of life, of love, His mercies, and tractors?  … Even in the midst of the disasters of life!

Until next time,
Debbie

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in You my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the Shadow of Your Wings
until the disaster has passed.
Psalm 57:1

 

*  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 sand castles, ocean & Cole were taken at Bethany Beach on August 3, 2011.

 

 

Four Generations

4 Aug

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God;
he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love
to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. 
Deuteronomy 7:9

  

4 Generations

Hot sandy beaches, warm ocean waters, delicious food, and lots and lots of fun!  We are on vacation!  Blending in with the other thousands of people who are visiting the Delaware coastline this week, we are unique in that we are the only one that has ‘us’ in it.  We have 8 people in our ‘us’, and we range between the ages of 73 and 2 years old, with a lot of precious life in between.  Four generations fill this beach house with the noises of life, laughter, and love  ~  and here I am … right in the middle of it all. 

Sometimes I wonder how much love one person can experience in a lifetime.  The first love of my life, obviously, would be my mother.  I felt the comfort of her beating heart long before my tiny ears could hear anything.  Still to this day, the sound of her voice puts a smile on my face and a sigh in my spirit.  Mom!  I consider it a privilege to have her by my side this week as together she and I enjoy my family, each other, and God’s signature on the beautiful east coast. 

I will never be able to fully express my heart and the love it feels when I think of my own two children.  Next to Jesus and the salvation He offers to me, there is no greater gift I have ever received than Kim and Ryan.  Thousands of miles have sometimes separated us, but I keep a connection through continual prayer that welds my heart to theirs.  I daily claim these two promises …

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
 Deuteronomy 31:8

For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able
 to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.  
2 Timothy 1:12

To share this week with Kim and her husband,Troy… and Ryan and his girlfriend, Brittany, is beyond words for me.  I will, on purpose, soak in every morsel of time spent with them and tuck it away inside my heart for another time… to once again feel the joy of their love and being with them.

Mimi’s love is like no other love.  It’s reserved for the little one who resembles so many different people in his life, but yet tie all of that variety into one bundle, and you have Cole.  His silly antics, his fresh new perspective on life, and his HUGE love for tractors and his Uncle RyRy have been the best entertainment of all!  But I consider myself blessed beyond measure to be me … and to observe his parents, his Papaw, his Uncle and Brittany, and his ‘Mimi Wells’  all experience Cole’s wonder, his excitement, his trust, and his love for life.  I have the best seat in the house … to watch everyone else enjoy my little grandson.  What joy!!  Of course, he and I have our own special moments together.  I volunteered for afternoon Mimi duty. Leaving the middle generations at the beach, my momma and I have been bringing Cole back to the house for lunch and his nap.  This allows some special snuggle time for Mimi and Cole … and special quiet time for mom and daughter.  Sigh …

Sharing all of this week of family fun with me, of course, is Tim.  He reaches a milestone of life himself this week as he turns 50 years old on Friday, August 5th.  Sharing his birthday with our daughter, who will be 28 this year, has always been a unique time of celebration ~ this year being no exception.  What fun to do so with our entire family gathered around to sing, give gifts, and to be festive in honor of these two people we love. 

As the week is beginning to wind down, and everyone will be going in their own direction of home, my heart will be full and overflowing with gratefulness to my God who has so graciously blessed my life with being me  … right in the middle of 4 generations.  To be loved, to be needed, to need, and to love.  Thank you, Father, for the morsels of mercy, of life, and of love. 

Until next time,
Debbie

I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
Psalm 89:1

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5

 

*  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 sand castles, ocean & Cole were taken at Bethany Beach on August 3, 2011.

Porch Swing

26 Jul

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus,
his Son, purifies us from all sin.
I John 1:7

There is a tradition in my life that takes me back to very early childhood.   It has remained a constant throughout the years and has grown most dear to me. 

My Mammy and Pappy had a swing on their front porch.  What fun my brother and I had as we stood up and walked backwards against the swing, pushing it up against the wall of the house, then jumping on for the fun ride forward, often times, bumping the wall behind us as the swing swayed back and forth.  Very soon after, an adult would always open the screen door and tell us to stop swinging so hard. When visiting my grandparents alone, Mammy and I would often go out together and enjoy the afternoon summers, waiting for the mailman, and sometimes even the ice cream truck.  I also remember especially admiring the lilies of the valley that grew beside the porch.  My Mammaw Wells also had a porch swing.  Most Sunday afternoons when our family would drive down to the country and visit, if she wasn’t out in her garden picking fresh veggies, we would sometimes find her sitting out on the front porch swing breaking beans. 

I’m not sure how I old was when our own family got a porch swing.  It certainly was after the years of neighborhood tournaments of Life, Monopoly, and Concentration, which seemed to almost always take place on our front porch.  Also, it was after the years of using the front porch as my own personal roller skating rink.  I remember well sitting on the swing to read, to write, and to think.  Later in my teen years, it was a nice place to sit and talk on the phone to my friends … and to even share the swing with a special friend.  As I married and began to have my own children, Mom’s front porch swing was a relaxing place to sit and watch the kids play in the front yard when we were all together on a Sunday afternoon.  It was also a favorite place for my mom and I to sit with Mammy when they came to Mom and Dad’s for a visit.  This time, though, with no pesky little ones bumping the swing up against the house!

Several years later, we built a house in Pennsylvania and I was so excited to put my very own swing on my front porch. I especially enjoyed the evenings as I sat overlooking a cow pasture, a pond, and the infamous Star Barn just across the street from our home.  When we later sold our home, packed up our kiddos, and headed to New Mexico, the cheaply-built, store bought swing stayed behind on that porch. 

God blessed our lives in a variety of wonderful ways while we lived in Albuquerque.  One of those ways was in the many dear friends we made while in ministry at Nazarene Indian Bible College.  Work and Witness teams faithfully came to work on the campus, along with dedicated and committed volunteers that came every year for weeks and even months at a time to work by our sides at NIBC.  One such couple was our precious friends, Mike and Norma Johnson.  Having retired and desiring to be obedient to God’s leadership, they arrived every December and were our Christmas elves.  One year, they brought an extra special gift for me … a porch swing, made special for me, by Mike himself.  What a treat! 

Jayla, Destanee & Scottie

It was immediately hung with joy on my back porch, overlooking the yard and a nice glance of the ditchbank road where Scottie and I walked each morning.   It also offered a gorgeous view of the brilliant sparkling night sky of the southwest and the moon that I often felt like I could literally reach out and touch.  I enjoyed the surprise visit of a beautiful horse that wandered into my yard one morning while sitting on my swing having my devotions.  Summer of 2005 found me often sitting with two precious little girls on my back porch swing, watching the silly antics of the rufous hummingbirds that would dart back and forth, hovering at eye-level to see for themselves the beautiful girls behind the giggles. Teens would fill the house and spill out onto the back porch and onto the swing, grilling hamburgers, laughing, and having fun.  The swing always seemed to be a favorite place to gather, relax, visit, enjoy life, and spend time with Jesus.

After weathering the hot dry summers of New Mexico, my porch swing was packed away into a big yellow truck and moved to the extreme humidity of southern Indiana.  There it  became the supporting framework for mud-dauber’s nests and was also drilled a couple times by carpenter bees.  After realizing that I wasn’t the only one enjoying the swing, a can of hornet/bee spray kept me company as I sat on my front porch swing, overlooking the thick woods of Higher Ground Conference andRetreatCenter.  Birds, rabbits, squirrels and deer were my visiting friends this time…with an occasional co-worker or neighbor who would stop by for a chat. 

Papaw & Cole

Just this past September, the swing was packed away again in another big truck and moved to the beautiful countryside of Pennsylvania.  Since then, it has been greatly enjoyed by Papaw, Mimi, and their precious little Cole.  By now, however, the swing’s wood has darkened with age, weather, and use.  When we recently received a phone call from the swing’s creator, informing us of an upcoming visit, I got all excited to clean up my special friend.  In the midst of the extreme heat and humidity we have endured for the past 3 weeks, the swing received a good scrubbing and a chemical bath, removing embedded Albuquerque dirt, weathered elements, and no doubt some sticky little boy fingerprints from roasted marshmallows.  A nice coat of wood sealer covered the fresh clean surface, offering a brand new look to my old faithful friend. 

Norma, me, and Mike

This past weekend, Mike and Norma treated us with a couple days of sweet fellowship.  I was so excited to once again sit on the swing between the two of them, eternally grateful for their friendship, their prayers for me and my family, and for my swing.  I wanted them to know that no matter the circumstances of life that have come my way, my porch swing has been faithful and supported me through them all.  The wood on the swing will eventually deteriorate and the wood screws will no longer hold tight, but I confidently believe in my heart that Jesus will have another beautiful swing waiting for me on the back porch of my mansion … overlooking the rolling and majestic hills of Glory.  Won’t you plan on stopping by for a visit on my porch swing and a chat that could quite easily last for a thousand years? 

Until next time,
Debbie

 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. 
Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face,
so that our joy may be complete. 
2 John 1:12

*  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 flowers taken in our backyard ~ July 8, 2011

 

 

Camping

8 Jul

The LORD will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. 
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

We used to camp a lot when our kids were growing up.  Honestly, it was the only way we could afford a vacation that provided swimming, hiking trails, and playground equipment that did not include staying with relatives or friends.  Through the years we had a variety of shapes and sizes of campers which depended on our income level and the amount of people in our family.  When we were first married, we worked some special deal while buying a used Fiesta from some friends, and they threw in their very old and very tattered fold-down camper.  We took great pride in fixing up this box on wheels.  We scrubbed, we repaired, we painted, replaced, and took along a big tarp to cover the skylight and to keep out the mosquitoes.  It wasn’t much, but it was enough to allow us to travel to Niagara Falls on our first wedding anniversary.  Now, 30 years later, we can look back on those days and smile with fond memories. 

Camping at Rehoboth Beach

As the kids came along and we needed to have more amenities to make life more comfortable for all, we bought a Viking pop-up, complete with ice box, sink, stove, lights, and a furnace!  We felt like we had moved right up into a Holiday Inn!  We still made sure we were within walking distance to the bathhouse, but we had most of the other luxuries of home!  A few years later as Kim and Ryan were getting bigger and Dad’s job provided us with the extra income, we bought a 22’ Prowler travel trailer.  Wow!  We now had a couch, an overhead fold-down bunk, a kitchen with stove, counter top, sink, refrigerator and table, a closet, and a bathroom with toilet, sink and tub/shower!  Nice!!  We felt like we went from a Holiday Inn to a Residence Inn!!  

Those were fun times, full of memories that will last a lifetime!  Hot, humid days were survivable because we spent nearly the entire day at the beach or in the pool.  Fans were set up against the screen ‘windows’ at night to pull in the not necessarily cool night air, but the less hot air of the evening.   A quick passing thunderstorm was always welcomed as we often sat near the screened windows in order to feel the cool mist from the rain outside.  The distinct smell of charcoal burning and the aroma of bacon frying tweaks a camping memory every time!  Sigh …

Well, this past weekend was a gentle reminder of those days as the air conditioner in our home went out Saturday evening.  Not quite sure why the house wasn’t staying cool as we went to bed, we opened windows and doors, setting up fans to pull in the less hot air of the evening.  By the light of the following morning, Tim diagnosed the problem as a simple fix, but it was Sunday and a holiday weekend.  A family cook-out was on the schedule for our day, so we loaded up food, swim gear, the grandson and his parents, and headed up to Harrisburg.  The hot, humid day was survivable because we spent a big part of the day in the pool.  After eating, swimming, and visiting with siblings, nephews and nieces, babies and children, aunts and uncles, we headed back home to our non-air conditioned home.  The pre-plan to build a bon-fire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows was quickly vetoed, so we ordered a yummy white pizza from our favorite local pizza shop and had it delivered.  We sat out on our screened-in back porch with the ceiling fan on high, listening to the constant chirp of our backyard birds while we welcomed a quick passing thunderstorm that blew in a refreshing mist that lowered the temperature several degrees!  With fans strategically set up throughout the house (including one on the grandson while he napped) to pull in the cooler evening air, I believe we actually began to enjoy the ambiance of the moment.  As the “noisy pretty lights” were beginning to show in the sky, we all piled in our van and drove a short distance to gain a better view of the local fireworks.  Years ago we would find the right spot to sit with the kids to watch the sky light up,  and then head back to the camper.  We did the same again this year. 

Now, we always had the alternative to pack up and spend the time in Baltimore at Kim and Troy’s home, where the air conditioner is always on high.  The suggestion was often mentioned, but I think there was something unusual and alluring about staying here and ‘roughing’ it.  The birds were louder, as were the motorcycles and loud trucks, the smell of the bacon frying was more inviting, the breezes were felt and greatly appreciated, the taste of the ice cream was more refreshing, and the laughter in the little boy’s swimming pool was more fun because our perspective was a bit different.  It felt like we were camping, but we were certainly staying in the Renaissance of the Marriotts this time … minus A/C. 

Once our daughter and her family said their good-byes and headed back to the real world of air conditioning and home, I actually had one more day of vacation.  Computer problems at my place of employment kept me from going to work on Tuesday.  Allowing myself the luxury of sleeping in a few hours, I slowly woke to the bright beams of sunshine that flooded through both of my opened bedroom windows onto my bed, along with the cooler morning air which was being pulled in by the fan.  As I pulled the covers back and crawled out of bed, my heart was full of anticipation of the new day ahead and the hope of seeing the A/C repairman soon.  Later as I clicked the thermostat over to COOL and shut all of the windows and turned off all of the fans, there was a big part of me that was grateful for the excuse I had had to sit out on the porch more than usual, to enjoy the cool mist of the rainstorm, and to wake up with my blinds and my windows opened wide to the bright sunshine. 

Won’t you join me in accepting the unexpected and less comfortable moments while we embrace the improvised, unusual, and rare?  Sometimes it takes times like those to see the ray of sunshine that otherwise would’ve been hidden and never enjoyed.

Until next time,
Debbie

Blog photo of flowers taken in our backyard ~ July 8, 2011

Diet Update

3 Jun

 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God
the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

I wish I could invite you all to come for a visit. We would sit out here on my back screened-in porch and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season while catching up on each other’s lives. I would make some fresh lemonade or peach iced tea and bring out some yummy snacks to munch on.  Healthy snacks, that is …

It has been nearly 50 days now since I began my Flat Belly Diet, and the results continue to make noticeable changes. The suggested length is a 32 day plan, but that day came and went without notice. This past holiday weekend allowed me some extra moments first thing in the morning, so I measured, weighed, and jotted down my findings. On day 41, the official stats revealed the loss of 7 pounds and 7 ½ inches!! Now unfortunately, all of those 7 ½ inches did not come from my belly … in fact, a very small percentage of them melted from my middle. But I’m happy with the results at this stage of my diet. My summer wardrobe fits better, I have more energy and motivation to match the length of daylight hours, and I know my body is healthier with the improved routine of eating.

Along with counting calories, I make sure that I eat a serving of a MUFA (monounsaturated fat) with each meal, and I exercise faithfully. Since moving to PA and becoming a Direct TV customer, we get Fit TV, where I have found my all-time favorite work-out guru, Gilad Janklowicz. 30 minutes, at least 5 days a week with Gilad in Hawaii has complimented my diet and has helped reduce weight and inches. I drink a lot of water, order very carefully when eating out, and for the most part, have not cheated extensively by sneaking potato chips, ice cream, or french fries.

Wouldn’t it be fun if you could come and visit?   I would prepare and serve you food that would be tasty, enjoyable to eat, and most satisfying. We would need to stop at a road side stand in Lancaster Amish country and pick up some fresh veggies and fruit … and then buy some antioxidant laden dark chocolate following our Hershey Chocolate World tour. On another day and in the other direction, we would head an hour south to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor where we would enjoy a heart healthy meal of seafood. We would still keep it healthy in the midst of our fun time together!

So, when are you coming?

Until next time,
Debbie

I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink.
Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face,
so that our joy may be complete.

II John 1:12