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Archive for May, 2008

The more I celebrate birthdays and notice how quickly each year passes, I start to look back and find my vocabulary including the “if only” and “what ifs“. You know what I mean. If only I had spent more time with my girls, what if I had finished college? That kind of thinking. I think we all go through it…and more so as we get older. But then …….the older I get, the more I see how this kind of thinking is not profitable. You certainly can’t go back and change things. If that is really true, which we all know it is…then why do we live in the past and wished things had been different? We’ve all thought that since we didn’t make that one choice way back when, our lives are set in stone and never to be changed…and most of us think our purpose in life is lost forever. But wait…….

The older I get, the more I also realize that God can change things or change us right now! Right where we are at this very moment. And at whatever age we are. We are never too old to make changes in our lives. You’ve heard all about getting healthy, and they say it’s never too late to get healthy. Well, that’s true. But what if you heard, “What if I hadn’t have eaten so much pizza when I was in my 20’s? Well, it’s too late now…I am overweight and so unhealthy and that’s the way it’s going to be.” You would think that person was so foolish in thinking that way….right? We are also foolish thinking that our dream…whatever it was years ago….is gone. But God is One of wonderful surprises. He can take that broken dream and transform it into a new dream or vision. It’s exciting to me to know that if I just hand over my life to Him, He can do mighty and marvelous things. The words that I think of are relinquish……surrender….lay down….yield. To relinquish, surrender, lay down and yield my life to Him.

Who knew I would be making soap 9 years ago? I actually never thought about anything like that!! But God knew my passion for creating things and He gave me “O My Soap!” without me even asking!! I thank Him every day.

If you too feel that your dreams of long ago are washed up and no longer alive….ask God to revive them…maybe it won’t be the same dream, but He will do things you hadn’t even thought of. That is the way our God is!!

“‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

 

 

 

 

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These beautfiful perennials were already growing when we moved here…I never knew the name but today I searched the internet and I think these are called Campanula glomerata Bellflower-Clustered….if anyone thinks they are called something else….please let me know. They are so easy to grow and transplant wonderfully.

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Last summer found me overweight with feelings of lost energy….But I had the answer!!………all I really needed was a place to walk!! Yeah, the YMCA would be perfect. But I always choose things out of reach….the Y was one of those unreachable places. The membership was not in my budget.

Hey, I could drive to Jennifer’s neighborhood, park my car and walk around there! Perfect. Well, almost. First I had to get in the car to drive over there…not so perfect.

We’ve seen the two people we call “Mr. Flapper” and “Mrs. Flapper” running down highway 10.…you could hear their running shoes flap, flap, flap from anywhere in our house….hence, the term Mr. And Mrs. Flapper. I could not be that brave and walk, not to mention, even running down highway 10.

One day, gardening in my herb garden, I heard a horse whinny…I straightened up and looked through the pine trees toward the horse barn behind our house….I saw some of the horses in the fenced area….the source of the interruption. I looked again, and couldn’t believe what I saw. I saw a road that winded it’s way around the horse barn and field. A complete circle…maybe ¼ of a mile long. Most of the road was either paved or gravel.

A road. A road to walk on….my own personal walking road! I couldn’t believe it! My road had been there all the time, and I never saw it. It took a horses’ whinny to wake me up. And it took me raising my head and peering through the trees to see it!

I thought of that scripture, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you” Jeremiah 29:13,14 God’s promises and provision are always there…we fail to even look up to see them. We find ourselves looking at other resources, rather than the best resource we could ever find….God and His wisdom. Why do we do that? We want to do it our way…how foolish of course. God’s ways are always the very best for us.

I have used that road and loved every minute of walking through those pine trees and emerging on the road that takes me around those horses. I’ve lost weight and felt the best I have for so long. I use that time to reflect on how God wants so much for us….but we just don’t look up and see it.

Look for the horses in your backyard. You will be surprised what you find!

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Just for fun…..

..this is what I would like to be doing!

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I visited one of my most favorite places today called From the Ground Up located on Startown Rd heading toward Lincolnton, NC. If you live around the Newton/Conover/Hickory area, you just need to visit! Besides many bedding plants, perennials,herbs there is an awesome gift shop!

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~Personal revelations and surprising findings~

I love going to the library, especially browsing the shelves for the books that are new and are labeled “one week books”. I discovered a very interesting book not long ago by browsing this shelf. The title stuck out like a sore thumb, at least to me, as I am really “into” healthy living and alternative medicine. The title? “The Secret of Living to be 100“. Wow, I grabbed that book faster than a hot knife through butter. I knew I had just one week to read this book, so I started in that very evening, reading voraciously.
 
I was expecting to read about the different kinds of foods these world wide people groups were eating to live so long. Maybe it was some mysterious herb or plant that they used. Or I knew most of the people in Russia walked wherever they needed to go…so did the people in Okinawa. So maybe it was this daily exercise that was the key to longevity. But what I did find after finishing the book, was a fact I wasn’t expecting at all. It wasn’t vitamins, foods, exercise or herbs….although they were discussed. But lo and behold, it was the need and fulfillment for family, friendship, community….a sense of belonging….bearing each other’s burdens. I was really amazed by my findings. Or rather the author’s findings. But it was a revelation to me, personally.
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I have always been a homebody….I could easily see myself as a hermit. Maybe I was one of those children who played well by themselves and didn’t need other children around. I am not sure why I am this way. I do have friends and of course I have a wonderful family whom I love. But I realize that I need to do better when it comes to sharing my time and myself.
 
I remember leafing through a photography book. One picture stood out in my mind and made such an impression with me. The photo was of a big family sitting around a very, very long table out in a courtyard that looked as though it could be in Italy. There were just a few big bowls of pasta and drinks on the table. Not a fancy meal. And not a special occasion as the caption read. It was just of a family sharing their daily lunch together. This photo had been taken within the last few years. As I looked at the photo, I realized those people had to feel such a sense of belonging and love. Taking the time to eat together. Such a simple meal. I was envious….to be sure.
 
I guess the main findings in the “Living to be 100” book was that sharing your life with the ones you love encompassed so much. You aren’t in this life alone…you can share one another’s burdens as Jesus taught in His gospel. There is a reason He felt this was an important concept to teach. In Galatians 6:2, Paul said that we should “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” The act of helping someone else shifts the focus from you and your needs, to that person and their needs……instead of what is ailing you. Jesus taught us to make a habit of coming together in worship, in fellowship, in sharing meals and in sharing work. Things aren’t so overwhelming when we know that we have others to share our troubles.
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The actual physical benefits of being a “people person” are mind boggling. We all know what stress can do to us…physically and mentally. It can shorten our lives by disease. Stress is dramatically reduced by, believe it or not, the simple act of hugging someone! I saw this little phrase and thought it was very true: “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth”. Boy, that’s a lot of hugging!! But I have read that our skin is our largest sense organ…..we scream out to be touched! It increases the endorphin levels in our body….the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for positive moods. Stress is also relieved by ….here again….knowing you have a support group. The following scripture isn’t about married couples….as you can read: 
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 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-16
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Well, I guess I will keep taking my vitamins, and keep up with my daily walk, but one thing I want to add or change is the time I spend with my family and friends. It doesn’t take place automatically. It won’t just happen. I will have to make it happen. It is important to me….but not because I want to live to be 100! This book revealed to me how much I have been lacking…how selfish I have been with my time and efforts. How important and precious those in my life are to me. And how we need one another for a life worth living.  

So get to going on that huggin’!! Start today!

~Dorothy 

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