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Potpourri

5 Aug

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions,
give it all you’ve got, be resolute,
and love without stopping.
I Corinthians 16:13
The Message

Most of the time, life seems like one great big blur, filled with everyday routines.  Each day is different, depending on the day of the week, the weather, and the schedule.  Just like the other night.  I was at the kitchen sink washing the dishes … all the while peering out the window watching the huge moon rise into the evening sky, it’s fullness being a beacon of light reaching out to everyone all at the same time.  The moon, a hot summer afternoon thunderstorm, a visit to a restaurant, time spent with family, and more … the potpourri that helps bring special moments to the mundane of the everyday blur of life.

I think it’s safe to say that no matter where YOU are reading this from, it’s been a hot summer.  Summer is the season for hot weather, but for some locals, the hot dug in deep with not much intention of leaving.  And not much rain.  For some, that is.  Here in our area of the world, we have been blessed with sufficient showers and thunderstorms that have kept our crops healthy and our yards green.  In fact, our plush green lawn has bluish gray streaks all through it … Google says it’s called slime mold, a symptom of hot temperatures and high humidity.  As the season changes, this oddity will automatically clear up and go away.   In other parts of the country there is drought with lost crops, dead lawns, and thirsty rivers and creeks  … and here there is thick green grass and slime mold…crazy!  Oh!  And the bugs!!  We have a friend who lives in Denver … he made the comment once that due to their near perfect climate, there are “no bugs in Denver!”  I can’t imagine!  Due to our very mild winter that blurred right into a very hot summer with lots of moisture, we have a gazillion bugs!  As I mow the yard each week, I day dream of mosquito netting and how nice it would be to be wrapped in some.  Oh well, this too will pass  ~  in our everyday blur of life, we’ll be shoveling snow before we know it.

If Tim and I were supposed to list a favorite hobby, we would have to say that near the top of the list is eating.  As we get older and our bodies are reminding us of that fact, we have become more conscience of eating healthy.  We have gone out to the u-pick fields this year and brought back lots of tasty strawberries and blueberries, freezing the majority of our finds so we can enjoy them all year long.  It is now peach season … nothing like a bowl of hot fresh peach cobbler with ice cream!  I know…not so healthy.  But the hour of workout at the gym helps to offset the tasty treats!  The Food Network Channel is also another favorite – watching competitions, food preps, and our all-time favorite, Guy Fieri with Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  In a previous blog post, I told all about our DDD trip to Philadelphia.  Well, we have recently been to three other places in Baltimore, another breakfast joint outside of Philly on our way to the shore, where we also ate at 10th Ave. Burrito in Belmar, NJ.  More potpourri in the everyday blur of life.

Cole Michael at soccer camp

Soccer camp for three-year olds … what fun!  One hour, every evening for 5 days.  Mimi and Papaw drove down in the middle of the week (freshly baked blueberry cobbler in hand) and watched with the parents as Cole ran, kicked, tossed, chased, laughed, and burned off a lot of energy with 19 other little people.  The intention of signing him up for this slight taste of organized sports was to get an idea if he (and they) were really ready for the focus, understanding, and the commitment of time which would be involved in an entire season of the sport.  The conclusion was no.  This week was fun and made for some really good memories, but all of that older-kid stuff will come all too quickly, with the everyday blur of life.

One of Cole’s soccer mates was a young lady whom Cole accidently knocked down.  As soon as he realized what he did, he went over to her, told her he was sorry and kissed her.  What a testimony of love and care this little guy has been taught at home … which now the parents realize needs to be tweaked just a bit.  Kissing his classmates at school each time he needs to apologize to them will not go over very well.   What a blessing it is to be Mimi and Papaw to two precious little lives.  At three months old, Lillianne just went to the doctor the other day and now weighs 13 lbs and 5 oz.

Mimi and Lillianne

Wildfires in Nebraska, Aurora Colorado shootings, the Olympics, Chick Fil-A …  news and happenings that contribute to the potpourri in the everyday blur of life.  Today’s headlines will be old news next week, for life doesn’t slow down for anything or anybody.  We’ve all heard the saying … “Seize the moment!”   I think of that often in the busyness of life, as a reminder to not be SO busy that I miss out on the blessings that are hidden and only revealed if we slow down.  Just a couple evenings ago as Tim and I were sitting down to supper with Cole at the head of our table, he was his usual distracted and pokey eater.  After taking a bite of my own food, I was just getting ready to turn to him and fuss at him to start eating his chicken nuggets.  As I looked his way, I quickly noticed that he was already very intent at watching me.  Instead of opening my mouth to speak, I simply sat there and smiled at him.  His little face lit up in the biggest grin as he reached over to lovingly hold my hand as he began to eat the rest of his dinner with the other.  I would have missed that very special moment with my grandson had I not been paying attention and had just swooped in to hurry him along.

Today is a potpourri day of birthdays in our family.  My husband turns 51 and our daughter shares his special day by turning 29 years old.  Born an hour and 45 minutes before our daughter Kim, was our niece Joanna.  Tim’s baby sister, Becca, also shares in the occasion of August 5 by turning 36 today.  Mimi and Papaw are celebrating this year by having Cole and Lillianne with them at the beach in New Jersey.  Oh … their parents are along, too!  We are enjoying sunshine, ocean waves, sand, tasty food, and the blessings of family … on this on-purpose, not-so blurry day of life.

Won’t you join me in not allowing the blur to detract and take away from embracing as many moments as we can? … for there just might be a smile to melt your heart and a hand to hold.

Until next time,
Debbie

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;
be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.

I Corinthians 16:13
NIV

 

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions,
give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.

I Corinthians 16:13
The Message

 

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Prayer Mowing

17 May

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 
Philippians 1:3

Following a couple days of consistent rain and clouds, the sun has once again graced the sky, drying up any lingering puddles and moisture in the yard.  After filling the tank with gas and checking the oil on the riding mower, I set out on my weekly adventure to keep the grass cut and any new pesky weeds pulled.  For an hour and a half, I ride back and forth, across, around, and up and down.  What would seem to be quite the mindless activity is nothing of the sort for me.  I take full advantage of the ‘quiet’ alone time to pray.  Usually, it’s not just the hour and a half prayer meeting, but if I have planned on the afternoon duty since morning, then I have already spent the day in a special attitude of prayer.  Yesterday was no exception.  With my list of names already fresh on my mind and in my heart, I began my week’s assignment of lawn maintenance and heart care.  Having had Kerrie on my mind all day, I continued to pray for her as she had heart surgery earlier in the morning in Oregon.  Just having talked to two friends on my way home from work, both hurting from life’s hard blows, my mind then immediately went in their direction.  My friend, Louise, lost an older brother a few days ago to a heart attack.  A family crisis has reared its ugly head in another home, leaving my dear friend to wonder what will happen next.  A text on Monday from my precious friend, Wendy, brought a smile to my heart as she wished me a happy Mother’s Day and then requested prayer for her friend Sheila.  Cancer has returned to Bob, my childhood best friend’s dad, wringing out the hearts of those who love him and Pauline.  Many many miles separate Becky from her parents … and I understand the ache that is caused by that distance.  The memories associated with the anniversary dates of loved ones who have passed away, graduations and unknown futures, expectant families, marriages that are in trouble, those who are in pain and have unanswered health questions ~ and of course, my own precious family … Kim and Troy, Cole and Lillianne, Ryan and Brittany, and Tim.  It truly seems like the list goes on and on.  I name names on purpose.  I know that most of you have no idea who I’m referring to, and that’s ok.   But behind every name is a soul that needs Jesus.  I read something on Facebook the other day that made quite the impression on me ~

Peace is not the absence of trouble …
Peace is the Presence of Jesus.

Not only do I pray that for my friends, and their friends, but I pray that for myself as well.

May flowers

As spring quickly flows into summer and the grass continues to grow, I will be busy mowing.  It’s certainly not the only time I pray, but I do feel like it’s the perfect time to make it a day of prayer and fasting, interceding on behalf of those in my life who need the Presence of Jesus.  I would love to pray for you and your concerns.  Please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog, and I promise to add your name to my list.  If your request is too personal and you would like to share it privately, you may email me at dvanhook@hgcrc.com.

Looking forward to praying for you and yours …

Until next time,
Debbie

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy?
Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick?
He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him
with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will
make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned,
he will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to each other and
pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:13-16


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
  

I thank my God every time I remember you.  
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will
carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you,
since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or
defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s
grace with me.  God can testify how I long for all
of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more
and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  
so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be
pure and blameless until the day of Christ,  filled with the
fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—
to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:3-11

***  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 the latest pictures of our granddaughter, Lillianne.        https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com