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Waiting for Surgery


Surgery is such a common occurrence these days that it is possible you or someone you know will have surgery in the near future.  As I find myself in that category, I thought I’d offer some useful tips for both the patient and friends and family.

To the patient first – 

  •  My best advice is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible regarding the type of surgery you will undergo.  The more you know, the less you will worry.  The fear of the unknown is a terrible thing.
  • Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Prepare your household (stock up on groceries, make sure things are taken care of in advance that usually rely on your efforts.)
  • Pay all bills and make sure spouse knows where important papers are.
  • Pamper yourself a little.
  • Pray and leave the surgery in God’s hands.
  • Relax.  Before you know it, the surgery will be history and you’ll be on the road to recovery!

To friends & family –

  • Ask your friend or family member how you can best offer assistance.
  • Plan to prepare a simple meal to drop off after surgery. (Don’t linger.  They need rest and are likely in pain.)
  • Offer to do light grocery shopping.
  • Write a thoughtful get well card.  (Everyone loves to be thought of, especially when they’re not feeling up to par.)
  • Give a little thinking of you gift. (lip balm, lotion, word search puzzle book, etc.)
  • Pray for their healing, comfort and peace during this time.


I hope this was helpful.  If you’d like to add any tips, please leave a comment.

Here’s wishing all of us a healthy year!


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strategy good and evil


ˈstradəjē/ a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. The art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle

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Men Build Bridges but God Separates the Waters !!!!!!

Another great post from Levi! Check out his blog. You won’t be disappointed ever! 🙂

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Neighbor Joe Update

You may recall an earlier post about our neighbor, Joe.  If not, you can read about him –

Joe continues checking in with us each Sunday to let us know he’s okay, now that he is a widower.  He sent us a nice Easter card with a few pictures of him and my kids they’d taken the week before.  My 14 year old son has taken a liking to talking with “Mr. Joe” whenever he sees him outside.  Yesterday my son shared with him all the exciting things he’s learning about World War II in history class.  He also showed him a bug he’d collected in a mason jar.  He listened with great interest to my son’s news of the day.  They walked around his property and discussed our recent car repairs, the Great Depression and golf apparently.  Mr. Joe enjoys playing golf a great deal.  He has become an extended grandpa of sorts to our kids over the last year.  He would have extended the conversation but he informed my son that he had to go talk to his deceased wife at the cemetery.  I can’t imagine the magnitude of his loss as they were married for nearly fifty years.  She was his world and vice versa.

In fact, I likely touched on this in my earlier post, but it’s my observation that they allowed very few people into their “little bubble” of existence, which is the saddest thing in the world to me.  They had no children and have very little extended family, none close by.  You can just tell that he relishes any attention or conversation and wants to talk.  Our whole family probably talks to him almost daily now that the weather has turned.  We’ve shared the Gospel with him many times and it remains the prayer of our hearts that he will turn to the Lord.

He’s in his early 70’s and very sharp mentally.  He’s very thoughtful and just about every time we talk, he inquires about my father’s health.

He’s kind of a eccentric individual, I’d say.  Can’t say that I’ve ever met anyone just like him.  I’d give $20 to see the inside of his house.  Haha.  Isn’t that a silly curiosity?  He lives in a big house alone and judging from the huge box of shoes that belonged to his late wife that he gave me, I’d venture to say, they’ve held onto everything since 1977!  I wound up only keeping one pair of summer sandals out of that huge array of shoes.  I asked him if it’d be okay to donate the remainder to a Mennonite thrift shop that gives their profits to missions and he was most appreciative.

I guess I should qualify my curiosity with the fact that my husband and I love real estate and have built several houses over the years.  We love decorating, etc.  Joe has talked extensively about various upgrades they’ve done over the years, etc.  So, I just have this itching eagerness to see the inside of his house.  He has reclusive leanings, so that may never happen.  It’s silly of me really, I suppose.

Right after his wife died last July, I offered my assistance with anything at all.  I’d even be willing to help clean his house or organize things, but he tends to be very private, which I understand completely.  He knows that if he needed anything, we would be willing to help.  He always writes in his cards, “Thank you for being so nice to me!”

That line gets me every time.  First of all, I don’t think we’ve done anything extraordinary.  Secondly, it makes me wonder how few people they’ve allowed into their lives to make an impact.  We have, however, attempted to show God’s love and offer any help possible.  He has even said that the two of them preferred to do things alone rather than getting together with others.  I just think that’s a sad way to live.  We need each other.  “No man is an island unto himself.”

 We have the opportunity to influence those around us in ways we could never comprehend.  

Our prayer is that our impact will be one of eternal significance.


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Thrift Store Haul


Today’s thrift store adventure was successful!  This is what I found:

  • Four pairs of men’s shorts for my ever growing son – $3 each
  • One pair of shorts for hubby – $3
  • Casual men’s shirt for my son – $3
  • Two pairs of capris for myself – $3 each
  • 18 Joy Mangano non-slip “Huggable Hangers”- $3.50
  • a pen radio – $3.60
  • a set of VHS tapes – “History of the Gun” (A&E Special)  – $2.10
  • Hardback Book – $2

We mainly went to look for summer clothes for my son, but also to use the 30% off coupon I had.  🙂   All of the shorts were name brand, such as:  American Eagle, Polo, Aeropostle, Arizona, etc.

I absolutely love the huggable hangers (as seen on HSN)!  They are tremendous space savers, in addition to ensuring clothing doesn’t land on the floor.  I’ve bought several sets over the years, so I was thrilled to find the “like new” set of 18 today!  If they were grungy, I wouldn’t have been tempted, but they are in mint condition.

Guess whose idea the pen radio was?  Yes, my 14 yr. old son!  It was brand new in the package and even included batteries and headphones.  He was too thrilled!  What is it about teen age boys and gadgets?  😉

All in all, a good treasure hunt!  That’s the interesting thing about the thrift store.  You never know what you may find.  I’ve shopped at this particular one for a long time and have gotten some amazing deals.

We also dropped off two large bags of donations as well as the bags from my Dad’s recent purging.  So, our trip was dual purpose.  Ironically, we donated two sets of VHS tape series … and we brought home another!  I guess you can’t go too wrong for a couple dollars.  Haha.

Thrift store prices vary from area to area.  As I’ve previously mentioned, we live in a high cost of living area, so these prices are pretty good.  I’ve been to some thrift stores that have a $.99 bin for clothing, which is usually the last step before the trash; but $.99 cent clothing is not to be had around here.  You might be able to find a t-shirt for that price, but that’s about it.  Considering a pair of shorts at Target or a department store runs about $20-$25 a pair, I’m pretty satisfied with paying $3 a pair!


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Hello, My Name is Church

Love, love this!

The Unappreciated Pastor


Hello my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…




A waste of time


You’ve heard that I am full of




Greedy people

The self- righteous


Maybe you have visited me before and discovered


Horrible music

Passionless singing

Dry preaching

Rude congregants


Maybe you needed me and I was


Too busy

Too “righteous”

Too broke

Too blind


Maybe you joined me and found I was







Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by


Business meetings





Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody





Invited you back



Perhaps your experience has driven you to


Speak negatively of me


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New Year, New Beginnings …


Happy New Year to you guys (& gals)!   I love the idea of a fresh start, don’t you?  Reminds me of the Scripture in Lamentations 3:22-23 that says, “His mercies are new every morning.”  Everyone loves a clean slate.  

Well, the organizing bug has seriously bitten me this month and I am purging like crazy!  If it’s not nailed down, it just may be subject to being added to the Salvation Army donation bag! Haha!  I made a drop off run a couple of weeks ago to the Salvation Army, and will make another run next week.  It is amazing to me how quickly things accumulate, despite constantly donating to charity!

I think sometimes I hold onto things because I may use them the proverbial “one day” or feelings of guilt, especially if the item was a gift or something I spent a good bit of money on.  Whatever the case may be, no longer!  I am on a serious mission to get rid of anything that no longer has purpose in our household.

We recently took 3 paper bags chock full of books and a couple CD’s to a used bookstore.  I knew I wouldn’t re-read them and they were just collecting dust.  The positive result was a $10 store credit.  I know, that’s not much.  But, they helped me get rid of my clutter.  I can only begrudge them so much.  They are, after all, in business to make a profit.  The downside to that expedition is that we spent much more than our store credit that beautiful Saturday afternoon!  But, I digress…

I’m a beginner quilter and have accumulated a fair amount of fabric, so I recently sorted through my stockpile for donation candidates.  I filled an entire kitchen trash bag, so I’ll send that home with my sister the next time she visits.  She’ll take it to our favorite little Mennonite thrift shop.  Lots of quilters there would find my discards useful.

These are just a few examples of what I’ve been sorting through.  So, I challenge you to survey your closets, craft supplies, etc. and see what you come up with that you no longer need.  I’m looking forward to spring for many reasons (can’t wait to see my daffodils and hyacinths bloom again!), but also because that’s when we’ll be able to really organize our garage.    No matter how much we have gotten rid of, we always have more that we can pare down!

Are any of you like me, in that your spouse likes to hold onto things and you like to purge and simplify?  If so, you know what it’s like to walk a tightrope when organizing and trying to gain control of things.  If it were up to me, we’d get rid of even more, but alas, I concede for the sake of peace.  🙂

Whenever I need motivation to organize or clean, I have found videos on YouTube to be very helpful.  Somehow getting ideas from others and watching them clean lights a fire under me as well.

I also have found making a list to be foundational to accomplishing my goals.  I’m Type A, so lists are right up my alley!  I love paper and pens!  🙂  And, the older I get, the more I find myself relying on those paper and pens.  I think it has to do with being busier than ever also, at least that’s what I tell myself.  Haha!  When I write a task down or type it up, I am holding myself accountable to accomplishing it.  It’s also fun crossing it off my list! Cheap thrills, I know.  🙂

My overall goal for 2014 is to simplify.  Living simply.  That just sounds therapeutic, doesn’t it?  I’m at the stage in my life where I’ve got a lot going on with the kids, caring for my aging father, being a wife, etc.  Some things just need to be simple because many areas of my life are complex.  It’s called maintaining my sanity, downsizing my stress levels, finding peace.

So, simplicity is my motto for this year.  Sometimes not only things in our lives are clutter, but also non-essential habits can also be mental clutter.  My focus this year more than ever is on the Word of God, for it is there I find true and lasting peace.  I’m also bent on being more deliberate with my time, being productive, investing in others who are important in my life, and just living life with purpose.  At the end of the day, it’s not about things anyway.  It’s about doing things that truly count in life.  That’s why organizing and living simply fit so well into how I want to spend 2014.

So, here’s wishing all of you a happy, productive and blessed New Year!059


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