I Miss My Lovely A!

Lord, I am missing one of my dear friends today… 😦
a friend that I was so blessed to receive from You… ❤
My Lovely A… Miss Lovely… and Lovely Anita
is the author of Discovering Your Happiness.discovering you happiness logoToday was her birthday.

I miss being able to share awards and tags, reading each other’s blogs to find You were whispering the same exact message, or sometimes complimenting one another’s differences.

Some of those she created… like

The Inside My Head Tag the-inside-my-head-tag

and the This OR That Tagthis-or-that-tag

She is a blessing that You brought to me at a time I literally believed I was just faithfully living out my last days in quiet. You used her Self Care Challenge to motivate me so much that in taking part in it (21 Day Self Care Challenge) I found a friend who faithfully encouraged me, supported me, and cheered me on through good and bad days.

She taught me how to do tagging, pingbacks, notifications, collage pictures, and so much more. She was the first one to nominate me for an award, and my how generous she was with those awards and tags. She knew I loved using them to praise You, and to share with others. I loved her cheerful giving! 🙂

I miss keeping up with her days at work, her adventures with her bestie, the upcoming wedding of her sister, and watching her love for the You grow so beautifully. I remember her favorite song at the time was From the Inside Out.

I pray she is having a blessed day, a wonderfully memorable birthday, and a flourishing relationship with You. I pray that You are giving her victory after victory over her anxiety, and that You have showered her with love, strength, mercy, and grace, on those days anxiety seemed to be stronger. It may have disguised her strength as weakness, but it has NEVER been stronger than the God who gives her strength, and assures her that His strength is made perfect in her weakness, and that she can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens her! May she know You have NEVER left her, and that You will always love her… cherish her… treasure her!Happy Bday, Lovely A 2019Wherever she is today, Lord, shower her with many voices telling her Happy Birthday for me! As long as she knows it’s really love from You, that is all that matters. And should she hear You whispering deep inside… let her know she is dearly loved and missed! ❤

 

21 Day Self Care Challenge Summary List

Many of you liked the way I did the last post in finishing up the 30 Posts Challenge that I did with our dearest Fatima (aka Splendor in Embers), making a central place to visit each post, and wanted for one for the 21 Day Self Care Challenge as well.  Forgive me for taking so long. I know you’ve been waiting. It helps me to organize any way, and I too got them confused sometimes. Thank you, Lovely A (aka Discovering Your Happiness), for being so patient and kind with me throughout your challenge. I learned so much! And continue to strive to meet those goals.

While I actually “discovered” the challenge on Self Care Challenge Day 2: Sleep, I did already have a WordPress blog site so I was able to do my post for the assignment from Self Care Challenge Day 1: Keep A Journal. And although I did miss her 21 Day Self Care Challenge – Welcome that opened the challenge, Lovely A was always very welcoming and reassuring herself.

Self Care Challenge: Day 1, Keep a Journal
Self Care Challenge Day 2: Sleep
Self Care Challenge Day 3: Outdoors
Self Care Challenge Day 4: Fun
Self Care Challenge Day 5: Lunch
Self Care Challenge Day 6: Work/Life Balance
Self Care Challenge Day 7: What Makes You Happy
Self Care Challenge Day 8: Water
Self Care Challenge Day 9: Fear
Self Care Challenge Day 10: Books
Self Care Challenge Day 11: Tea
Self Care Challenge Day 12: Health Check Up
Self Care Challenge Day 13: Friendships
Self Care Challenge Day 14: Treat Day
Self Care Challenge Day 15: Bucket List
Self Care Challenge Day 16: Comfort Box
Self Care Challenge Day 17: De-Cluttering
Self Care Challenge Day 18: Music
Self Care Challenge Day 19: Meditation
Self Care Challenge Day: 20: Creativity
Self Care Challenge Day 21: Simple Pleasures
Self Care Day 21 Simple Pleasure Follow Up

Self Care Day 21 Simple Pleasure Follow Up

Today as I was doing my nails and getting pics for the Simple Pleasure blog from Self Care Day 21, I found myself missing the challenge already… BUT at least there is still the friendship found on discoveringyourhappiness! and the many self care habits that have been continuing… listening to Lovey A Challenge 19 playlist, decluttering, meditation, drinking water, better sleep, back to PT, talking with friends, and so much more. I definitely found gain! Good gain! So as promised… pics with the nail polish that I put on, and the lipstick I’m still working on the nerve to try. It’s suppose to be permanent for a good bit, and I do not like to draw attention to myself. We’ll just keep praying and see! God loves you each and everyone! <

Self Care Challenge Day 21: Simple Pleasures

Lord, I’m mixed with sadness and gratefulness. Today we end the 21 Day Self Care Challenge that you and I began weeks ago, reluctant as I was to commitment. Curiosity and desire to improve anything in my health or life that you were willing to address led to self awareness, insight, and a blessing you gave I did not expect… a new friend! A fellow believer!

We are to have a GOOD DAY by choosing one thing to do… and enjoy it. I have some clear nail polish I like to use to keep my nails strong (they hurt when they chip off) that I have not used in months. Every time I put it on, here comes another medical treatment or issue that keeps me from being able to use it again for awhile.

There was a time I use to wear make up, nail polish, simple jewelry (if it didn’t cause a skin reaction, or harm babies and children when holding them, and could take the wear and tear I take), and never went without a watch or earrings. As I started having surgeries, procedures, and other health related issues, they would make me take off jewelry and nail polish. I gave up. I’ve not worn a watch since 2004, and I don’t remember how long since earrings.

Ironic thing… health issues from the last couple of years have led to recommendations from doctors to use different skin care items, especially for dehydration. I have a special lipstick I have not used yet. Maybe I will use it? We’ll see. But nail polish is a treat for sure. Thanks for the chance to wear it. That may seem trivial, but breaking nails is not.

Self Care Challenge Day: 20: Creativity

Yay! And praise you, Dear Lord. You just keep showering me with blessings in this self-care challenge. Our challenge tonight is to color, and journal on how we felt while coloring. You know I have that coloring journal you led me to get. It was so comforting, and so relaxing, and saved me many a day that I needed to “have my focus elsewhere”. It even brought your Word to life… “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7 KJV

Well, sadly it has been laying on my bed for a couple of months. Another one of those things I felt guilty to even “waste” my time on. Thank you for including it in the challenge. I will be sure to either listen with my new Lovely A Challenge 18 Playlist, in silence, or both. Just to know I will get a chance already puts a smile on my face and a pep in my step (even though it’s bed time…lol). Yeah right. 😉

Self Care Challenge Day 19: Meditation

Well, Lord, tonight’s challenge is meditation. My first thought is that it sounds a lot like quiet time with you. Yet you and I know that our quiet time often struggles to be quiet or have my complete attention. Even as we spend our time, I am either reading the devotion you give me, the scripture that goes with it, or already thinking on what you give me to write in my journal on what we are focusing on. I try to take the time to think on what you wrote, but I am either in a restaurant, a parking lot, or somewhere that other people are passing by or looking from a distance, so my mind is ALWAYS thinking or worrying about something. It is extremely hard to stay still for just a sure 10 minutes, especially without feeling guilty about it. While I take what you give me through the day, I also take that feeling guilty too.

I looked through the listed sites (well they were apps, but I’m not downloading something without knowing what it is). I tried the only free sample I came across on Smiling Mind. I wasn’t able to do it uninterrupted (family), but it didn’t seem too bad. It actually made me smile and even laugh a couple of times. Is it suppose to do that? If not, I guess my focus just isn’t cooperating. The voice said if my mind got to straying or thinking that is was normal. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad sometime? What do you think? Could this help our quiet time get back to where it used to be, hopefully my peace of mind too? Do we need a 3rd party to help my mind, like these medicines, doctors, and therapists? I will pray about it and let you lead.

Self Care Challenge Day 18: Music

Thank you, Jesus,  ❤ for such a challenge as this! 😉 Such a blessing! New favorites! Old favorites in new voices! Sorry it took so long to get this up, Lovely A ❤ ! But I was having such fun… getting lost in the deep and beautiful… raising my hands to the heavens… and wanting to leap and shout for joy!! My favorite newest favorite is actually by a couple of WordPress friends.. Red Letters! ❤
Disclaimer: I could not narrow it down to 5!!!

When I just want to lay back and listen to the beauty of the words and music!
1. Good, Good Father – Chris Tomlin ❤ ❤ ❤
2. Know You – Red Letters ❤
3. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – YouTube doesn’t say singer but Johnny Carrasquillo ❤
4. What a Wonderful Name – Hillsong ❤
5. O Come to the Altar – Elevation Worship
6. How Deep The Father’s Love For Us – Selah
7. All this Time – Britt Nicole
8. How Great Is Our God – Chris Tomlin ❤ ❤

My pickups (Dangerous in my system, but it makes me feel like saying to life, BRING IT ON!)
Let’s dance the day in and our worries away!! 🙂
1. Good Morning – Mandisa
2. Stronger – Mandisa
3. Beautiful Day – Jamie Grace ❤
4. Hold Me – Jamie Grace ❤
5. Do Everything – Steven Curtis Chapman

I had video links but they were extremely messed up regardless of how many times I fixed it. Maybe it’s a WordPress thing I just don’t understand yet.

Self Care Challenge Day 17: De-Cluttering

Oh my goodness. The Lord knows I need this one and is using this challenge yet again to “get’r done”, Lord willing. Me and all of my belongings live in one little corner of the house, and are made to feel guilty for being that much of a space.

You wouldn’t know it from just this clutter that I’m obsessed with being clean and in order, mostly for my sanity. I prefer to see EVERY spot in the room, to know it is free of whatever I cannot see. What started this I do not know, I could guess a couple of things.

My friends and family often made fun of me, saying I must have OCD. I don’t believe it’s that bad, but don’t appreciate the jokes as I have friends who do. I grew up with our house always so filthy, with bugs, sometimes fighting rats in the house.

In foster care, we cleaned every day…. our room and household chores, regardless of age. No activities allowed until all cleaning done. Even on Saturday, which had the heavier chores. There were strict rules, and strict punishment.

When I was 13, one of my teacher’s paid me to clean her house and was strict. Her thing was… If you are going to do something, do it right, and do it right the first time.

I worked for top notch hotels on their VIP, Conference, and Entertainment floors.

When I had my 1st home of my own, I was amazed at how clean it stayed. ALL 4 of us kids kept our homes spotless.

My son liked things so clean when he was a baby, at the least bit sticky he would drop his ice-cream and wail while holding out his hands to be cleaned. Everyone would tease, “Yep. He’s just like his momma.”

There is something freeing about my life being clean and clutter free that makes even my mind so much healthier. De-cluttering is like getting rid of all of the negativity in my life. It’s like knowing the difference between what is important to keep and what needs to be thrown out. De-cluttering equals sanity. God is generous when He allows clean.

Self Care Challenge Day 16: Comfort Box

Lord, I make a comfort box tonight. You are the 1st thing in. Life without you is absolutely miserable. Then your word… whether I’m reading it, or just laying my weary head on it as I talk to you… or laying with the pages open to feel like I’m laying in your arms, as my tears fall on your pages… your word is the most physical thing of you to me.

Currently I would add my devotional book, but normally I use the reading plan you allowed me to learn from Skip Heitig’s Book, How to Read the Bible and Enjoy It.

Puzzle books. One variety and another with either all Sudokus or all Word Games.

A journal for noting thoughts and whispers from you, and a composition book for writing poetry. I guess I should throw in the pens to write with too… lol.

My coloring journal you gave me, along with the color pencils and highlighters.

My Ellipsis Android Tablet to listen to Good, Good Father and more of your music. I guess I should put the charger and cord in too… lol.

A nice perfume or cologne… I love Charlie and Obsession. If it’s Charlie, I love to put some on my wrists (back and front), and arms. If Obsession, I love to put it on the shoulder and arms, near the wrists too, but all on a long sleeved shirt to curl up with.

Well, I guess I have my comfort box. As long as you are in it, that is all the comfort I need. If I am forgetting something, or you would like me to include something, just whisper. I want all that you have for me and want for me.

 

56 Answers to Lovely A’s List

This will be my way of doing Lovely A’s 56 Lists To Make When You Are Feeling Down. It makes a great list to inspire many things… subject to writings, things to think on, things to distract ourselves with, a way to pass the time, fun games (like when riding on long trips) or trivia for party dinners, and so much more.

YOU
Favorite memories: Having my son, brother’s wedding, college days, church events
Your best qualities: God’s love, encouraging, honesty, loyalty, committed
Best days you’ve lived: under His grace and salvation
Compliments you’ve received: a blessing, encouraging, strong, trustworthy, beautiful soul, kind, understanding, patient
What you like the most about yourself: love for God, faithful, attentive, patient
Your most precious possessions: Bible, tablet & smart phone (online bible), journals
Bucket list of things to do: Love & obey God, fly, beach, another country, ferry
Things that make you happy: God, family, friends, writing, church, church family
Positive adjectives to describe yourself: encouraging, patient, strong, honest
Your values: I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, crucified, resurrected, sent us the Holy Spirit, and is coming back for us to take us to live with Him. I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit being a triune Godhead called the Trinity.
Favorite ways to relax: writing, praying, singing, TV, movies, social media, games
Fun things to do at home: writing, singing, TV, movies, games

YOUR PEOPLE
People you love: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, my son, family, friends, church family
People loving you: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, my son, family, friends, church family
How you met your favorite people: Molly, giving birth, being born, life, church
People you would like to meet: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Family, Lovely A, Moschie, Helga
What you like to do with your friends: Laugh, travel, lunch, church, fly, beach
What you like to do with your family: Travel, beach, church, fly, laugh
People you would like to reconnect with: Lost loved ones, church family, friends
Things you would like to do with your friends & family: church, travel, fly, devos
People who inspire you: God, my son, Lovely A, Christ-confident souls, photographers
Every friend you ever made: A list of EVERY friend I’ve made is too long for WordPress.
People who have positively influenced you: God, Molly, Mr. Farlough, Mrs. Chamberlain, Brett, Lovely A, Mary Chapman, Diane, Freddie, Emile, Michelle
Gift ideas for your favorite people: Bible, blankets, books, music, my poetry, ice-cream
Everything you love about your partner: Jesus is the Love of my life. I love Him because He first loved me! That means something to me!
People you want to send a thank you note to: Mr. Farlough, Brett, Blake, Katie, Ali, Andrew, Rebecca, Lovely A, and so many more!
Date night ideas: church, church events, dining, picnics, Blue Ridge Parkway, walking

YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Things that you are grateful for: God, family, friends, life, love, kindness, forgiveness
Things you are proud of: God, my son, my college degrees
The scariest things you’ve done: lived, loved, trusted, opened my FB and WP to public
Dreams that became reality: my son, finishing school, bible college
Biggest accomplishments: accepting Christ as my Savior, my son, published writings
Ways to celebrate your wins: praising God, with family & friends, screaming, ice cream
All the things you are good at: writing, encouraging others

YOUR DREAMS
Life goals: Love and obey God
Countries you would like to visit: Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom
Things you would like to do: write for a living, travel, fly
Stories you would like to write about: God’s love, Ava (writing now), I Miss Us
Adventures you would like to live: traveling to Australia, traveling our country
Dreams for the future: keeping God 1st, writing for a living
Where you would like to live: a room or small place joining a Christian friend’s home
What you will be doing in the next few years: I have no idea. Living is a good start.
Things you would like to get: back to good health, a lot of unspoken prayers
Skills you would like to learn: sewing, quilting, my tablet, WordPress layout
Wish list: Whatever God hopes of me and for me.

YOUR FAVORITE THINGS
Favorite songs: Good Good Father, Jesus the Love of My Life, Amazing Grace, A Wonderful Savior, Did I Mention, Oh Lord What Would I DO Without Your Son, How Can I Fear With Jesus, Day by Day, I’ll Stick With the Old Stuff, My Victory, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, All This Time, Be Thou My Vision
Funniest jokes: clean ones!
Favorite movies: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Fireproof, Courageous, Grace Card, Facing the Giants, FlyWheel, Little Women, Little Dorrit, Letters to God, Hidden Places, Though None Go With Me, Chronicles of Narnia
Favorite TV shows: Preaching, Downton Abbey, As Time Goes By, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, Doctor Who, Doc Martin
Favorite books: The Holy Bible, Bible study books, Pilgrim’s Progress, devotionals
Favorite places: home, church, Blue Ridge Parkway
Favorite food: Spasagna, Spaghetti, Lasagna, Pizza, Ice-Cream, Tacos
Favorite restaurants: Cheddar’s, Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Chick-fil-A
Favorite parks in town: Sandhill Sports Park, Lake Louise, Lake Julian
Favorite quotes: God loves you! Jesus Christ died for you. What more do you want Him to do, die again?
Favorite podcasts: PoddyBreak with Tim Hawkins

Self Care Challenge Day 15: Bucket List

A bucket list… Lord, I’ve heard this a lot. I thought it was a list of things someone was to do before they died, and they were knocking them out one by one because they had limited time. Well I guess we’re all living on borrowed time… directed by you.
In taking the time to pray and think, This is my bucket list. If anyone says a bucket list and a wish list are 2 different things then take it up with God on which wishes He will be granting. 😉

Loving the Lord with my heart, soul, mind, and body are always at the top. Doing His will. Making Him happy. Making a good testimony for Him. Loving others. Using my Spiritual gifts He gives. Trusting Him with everything.
As for what He doesn’t mind us hoping for: I desire to fly. I never have for fear of flying. So flying related things…. airplane, helicopter, passport, skydiving, hang gliding, hot air balloon, even zip lining. Now I know what you’re thinking (if you know me)… what about your health… your nerves? Well I’ve seen people taking rides with professionals who knew how to prepare patients, equip them, and take them along as they do the jump. Granted they were famous or had money, but it’s possible. So… baby steps…
1. Get my driver’s license upgraded to serve as a passport ($13).
2. See if local airport still gives plane tours to see what inside looks like.
3. Ask if local plane or helicopter rides are available, if not where and how much.
I would like to 1. Fly 2.Get away 3. See the beach. 4. Go to another country 5. Ride a ferry

SO while I wait for those golden opportunities, my bucket list for now is to keep doing the baby steps:
Physical Therapy. Drinking plenty of Water. Get plenty of rest. Walk when able.
Keep listening to my doctors. Don’t forget breakfast.
Remember to thank God I can walk… period.

 

 

Self Care Challenge Day 14: Treat Day

8.15.17.3 Self Care Challenge, Day 14 Treat Day
Today, Lord, was Treat Day, and it was! Thanks for the delightful surprise with time at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center! More on that in a second, but 1st the Challenge.

Looking over the Challenge thus far… I still struggle with getting sleep, water, and eating, but eventually do. I love to write. Blogging is writing… fun… and encourages others… all while sharing your whispers. Fear tries to invade, but you make all things better with your presence. Reading helps remind us you are always there.

My favorite take away so far, Lord, is absolutely seeing you in this, especially through my Lovely friend. 😉 It helps to balance life with things that make me happy… reading, sweet tea, sweet friendships, and visits to one of my favorite spots on the Parkway.

8.15.17.8 Self Care Challenge, Day 14 Treat Day.jpg

I love watching that little movie. Sometimes it just kills time, and often making new friends from all over the country, and even the world! Today I met a couple from Wisconsin (US)… Herb and Donna who were patient while I figured out how to use my tablet. I offered Herb to retake the pic, but they just both laughed. They were so sweet.

8.15.17.9 Self Care Challenge, Day 14 Treat Day

It was such a beautiful and bright day! If you notice the rays in the cloud and sky, that was the way you arranged the view for each of us. I loved it!

8.15.17.1 Self Care Challenge, Day 14 Treat Day

Lastly, a special treat indeed, I picked my son up from work. He was trying to teach me about my tablet. We took a selfie! And he smiled! I love that smile and those eyes! Always have! Thank you for allowing them to look up  to me and say, “I love you, Mom.” It gives me a slight glance into how you feel to see me smile. 🙂

8.15.17.10 Self Care Challenge, Day 14 Treat Day.jpg

Self Care Challenge Day 13: Friendships

This is a nice challenge. Don’t we all have someone we need to catch up with? Owe a ring to? Owe an apology to? Need to forgive? Or simply shower with the surprise of “Hello, Friend”? It’s amazing how an assignment or friendly challenge can encourage us to accomplish something we want to do… like calling a friend. Psalm 8:24 says “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

I fell asleep last night as I was working toward posting for challenge 13 of the 21 Day Self Care Challenge, but praise the Lord I got that call in to a dear friend in Florida. She is so loving with such a heart. So often I miss her call, and yet she is so forgiving to keep trying to call, or loves me just the same each time I get a chance to call her back. Even if I have to leave a voice mail message, she is sure to call back. I love hearing the messages she leaves on voice mail… especially the ones just letting a song play through.

Last night I caught her as she and her mom were in a hotel in Atlanta, GA because of an issue the airline had that left them waiting in the plane for a good bit. She and her mom were grateful to be in the hotel at this point. It was a brief call, but nice to hear her voice, passing a hello to her mom, and ask how she is… which was in need of special prayer.

I was also blessed this weekend to spend time with a friend. It was noisy with a little rowdiness, but we barely noticed, and eventually it was just us. It was a pep talk to my soul as this friend knows my tendency to be weary. How loving they were to remind me of my journey through the years, and to see my weakness as a sacred treasure… drawing me nigh to God, which in turn gives a spirit to encourage others. God is the greatest to bless me with such loving spirits.

Lastly, there is the challenge from a new  friend the Lord has given from a land far away. Another encouraging soul… to many. I love her picture of a sunset from her office view. Pictures allow God to show His beauty in places we would otherwise never see. This challenge reminds me I’ve been trying to add friendship to the 30 Posts Challenge. Guess God is saying this is a good time as any.

Self Care Challenge Day 12: Health Check Up

Health Check up…. well, Lord. Where do we go with this one? Especially since at the moment I am so spent and so weary?  I really don’t want to talk about my health or all of my doctors, appointments, or anything. I guess we could just sum it up that I am very aware of my health, as are all of my doctors, and my next appointment is just a few days away. The positives are I don’t have near as many appts as I did back in the fall, I’m at least walking, and able to stand on my feet. Praise your Holy name! ❤
Thanks for my McTea today! And I did try a tea I have not tried before… green tea and chamomile mixed… as You so thoughtfully surprised me with. You helped me get so much further in reading. How marvelous are Your ways for me. You have been in this challenge all along. Thanks for the journey… and for being with faithfully all the way! I love you and hope the world always knows it! gaillovesgod ❤

Self Care Challenge Day 11: Tea

Ooooh, dear Lord, what a sweet idea… a tall cold glass of sweet iced tea. They say it’s a southern thing, but I know tea is loved in many places of the world. Maybe a little differently enjoyed or preferred, but tea is a delight.
When we were younger we used to drink tea from the can with so much sugar. My grandmother however brewed hers and drank it unsweetened. I used to think the heat killed the taste. As I got older and my siblings to brewed some when we were out of canned, I discovered a whole new delight. Since then I have been addicted.

Now I have to admit that I have to watch how much I drink now because of struggling with tachycardia a lot, and the caffeine raises my acid levels even stronger than sodas usually. I drink mostly water, milk, chocolate milk, a caffeine free soda or 2 a day, and juices (orange, grape). Every once in a while I still have my tea, usually a McDonald’s $1.00 tea on a lot of ice because it lasts so long and is so strong to begin with that as it waters down it becomes perfect.. and the ice leftover tastes awesome.

Tomorrow I will drink a glass for the self care challenge… and drink it as I read. 😉