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Will You Be Welcomed?

In looking for something clean to watch on television, Wayne and I stumbled upon Bringing Up Bates. Raising nineteen children to love the Lord and to be productive members of society is a pretty big task, but this family does it well. We've binged the entire show and are now caught up.

We love this family and can name them all. 
We've watched the older children fall in love and get married and have children of their own.
We've been in their homes (virtually).
We've gone to parks with them (virtually).
We've laughed with them and cried with them.
We've even been in the delivery room when they are birthing. 

Along with thousands of other people.

I follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

I sometimes catch them broadcasting live.

I've browsed the Bates Sisters Boutique

It's like I know them. 

However, if I show up on their porch during a family party and expect
to be welcomed I'll likely be banished. Perhaps even escorted off the property. "But Gil," I…
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What Was I Thinking?

My mind wandered down paths I try to avoid, reaching into memories pushed aside. Assaulting me with reasons and questions and motives. I'm embarrassed to admit I spent more time on these paths than I normally do and the guilt and shame started creeping in. 

I'm pretty good at shaking off the thoughts that try to hit me. I almost physically reach into my head and pull them out, throwing them to the ground and saying, "I will not think about that," deciding to think on other, better things. 

But once in a while...
Perhaps it's the forced time alone with the 2020 Corona Quarantine.

Honesty had me admitting to friends this week that Corona has fear creeping at my doorstep. He's knocking and I'm trying to ignore him. Pretty sure he's circling my house, looking for a hole to slip into. He's a hard one to chase away. I turn off the news and avoid news websites. I focus on creating interesting meals and reading encouraging books. I pray. I find humorous memes…

A Past Remembered

A friend loaned a book to me months ago, "I think you'll like this," she said, handing it to me. I put it on my bookshelf, not really interested in reading it, and let it sit there until I'd read through the books I'd deemed more important.

I picked it up whilst in the middle of a social media fast and, on a quiet evening alone, began to read. It was entrancing. The words blended together like a symphony, producing the most beautiful mind images. Then I noticed that my friend had tucked a handwritten note inside. The note gave some background information on the author who (honestly I'd not even looked at who the author was) she said was a strong Christian woman and glorified God in all she said and did.

Intrigued, I decided to read more on this woman and her family. A quick online search revealed that both she and her husband engaged in extramarital affairs, with him fathering children to two sisters. My brow furrowed when I read that they'd both supported …

It's Time to Put God First

The speed at which my life is passing has quickened as I've grown older.

Fifty. Ugh. It always seemed so old
But what is age? 
Just a number. 

Once you become an adult you're you. Then you're just you with a little more knowledge and wisdom (hopefully). Experience is the best teacher. Not just experiencing bucket list goals, but experiencing the burns, the overextending, the insults, the deception, the betrayal. All that life offers us.

As adults we strive to make the best life for our families that we can. We work the jobs, cook the meals, keep the house clean, and try to have an Instagram-worthy life.

But are we missing the goal? 

Before she was a Bible teacher and author, she was a Christian rock singer. Time mellowed her 80's synthesized beat and she yielded to worship ballads. A voice unlike any other at the time, I was a fan. In 1983 she released her second album, War of Love, and the last song has stayed in my head for decades. 

God Put a Fighter in Me

"My eyes ma…

Kitchen floor woes

I spent a better part of this afternoon lamenting how much I hate my kitchen floor. It puzzles me as to why anyone would install such flooring. Not only is it ugly, but also impractical. It also puzzles me as to why, after nearly nine years in this house, I still have this floor.
Well. It doesn't puzzle me that much ($$$).
I clean it only once a year. 
Don't judge, I Swiffer and spot clean in between. And I have a dog who does her share of, ahem, cleaning it. 
But see all of those deep grout lines? Scrubbing around each brick tile and into those lines is beastly. It's much harder than getting foundation out of the lines on my face.
Douse with cleaner. Scrub with rough sponge. Wipe with cloth rag. Rinse with rag. Rinse again in between each brick tile until it's done. Roughly two hours of scrubbing and rinsing.

Similar process to removing makeup, but much more labor intensive. 
Yes, I could use a mop but scrubbing seems to get it cleaner. Though with only doing it once a year you&#…

Alone vs. Lonely

A few years ago I attended an event in Florida. It was nice to escape the cold of Pennsylvania and travel south. Where that week the high temperatures were in the upper 40's. So not kidding. It was a golf event and my husband said he'd never been so cold on the course. While the men were golfing, the women were herded onto a bus and transported to Saint Augustine. I should add that these were all strangers to me. I'd met a few in passing over the years but didn't even know names. We got off of the bus and made plans to reunite at an appointed time. From there we were free to do whatever we wanted for a few hours. 

I began my adventure alone. Dodged a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade size crowd of elementary school field trip children. 

They were everywhere.

Felt like I was the frog in a game of Frogger. I just wanted to cross the street filled with children. 

Crowds in general are not my thing. Crowds of kids on field trips? Shiver.

I wandered the shops.

I visite…

Self Care, Soul Care, and What Matters Most

"I'm thinking of taking an algebra class, to keep my mind sharp," my seventy-eight year-old mother said during a recent visit. "When you keep pushing your brain it helps keep it active."

I laughed and said, "But algebra? It's not something you'll ever use. I had it in high school and have never had a need to use numbers and letters together."
Something I think is definitely not of God. 

He only gives us good things.
"Why not take a foreign language? That is something you could use," I countered since her church has a Spanish-speaking congregation on its campus. 
Our conversation continued and I lingered on it for several days. I thought back to the classes we were required to take in high school that I've found generally useless:
Algebra - I've not needed it. Ever.  Chemistry - I know enough to not mix chemicals. Biology - Cutting a frog taught me that they smell awful and look even worse. Geometry - Never had it and have never needed…