family, Home Life, Uncategorized

A Little Kindness & A Whole Lot of Candy

 

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Since moving to one of the most traveled and central city streets in town, Halloween has become quite an annual event for us.

Having lived in the country for many, many years, we grew accustomed to not making much of a to-do in regards to the occasion.

 

Instead, we opted to take our kids to a local Halloween carnival where they could gather all the sweet treats they would need to hold them over for a week or two. It was a win-win for us, as the children had some fun & we saved time, energy and a ton of money on candy and costumes!

 

However, since moving to our home, we can no longer take the easy-street approach to this busy night. For every Halloween evening, at least a hundred or two goblins, ghosts, super heros, and princesses knock on our door expecting that coveted, sugar-laden token of neighborly cheer.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Let me tell you, it takes about a ton of sweets to last throughout the evening. A couple of years ago, we ran out of store-bought candy, even after adding my kids’ candy stash to the candy bowl. So, I foraged through the cupboards to find anything that would suffice. Much to their surprise I’m sure, the last of our trick-or-treaters received cheese sticks and packets of cocoa!

 

Andy, the kids, and I usually take turns answering the door and handing out the treats. And I must say, it has become very enjoyable to see the variety of masks and costumes, and a delight to see all the children, from the young to the teens, display impeccable manners as they kindly say “trick-or-treat”, and return a polite “thank you” before leaving our doorstep.

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While I can’t say I fully embrace the celebration nor the spirit of Halloween, I do believe that, even then, extending a gesture of kindness and a warm greeting to those who come to my door is always appropriate.

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These days, any opportunity where we can share the joys and laughter of life with our fellow-man & be reminded that there are still kind people around us is a great thing.

 

So again this year, I will spend a small fortune on candy, we will greet each one of the children who knock on our door with a smile, and yes even the “big kids”, and we will do our best to spread a little autumn cheer.

 

 

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Faith, Home Life, Living Life

FALL Into My Heart

 

Who besides me could use a little encouragement & inspiration? Who besides me has felt mentally overcome by the weight and flood of political-driven negativity & turmoil over the last couple of weeks?

So today, I want to find the positive, the joy, and the peace which is being hidden.

As I look out my front window, those things are not hard to see at all. Autumn is a beautiful, colorful time on the street where I live. In fact, it is the most picturesque time of the entire year.

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Living on a tree-lined street has many positives, as well as a few negatives.

Trees can be messy, particularly when they drop hundreds of acorns into the yard, and I mean hundreds! They make the squirrels quite happy I’m sure, but they are no fun to step on barefooted. It’s fun to watch the squirrels busily & quickly bury the acorns in the ground, their tiny, little paws surprisingly efficient at digging the hole and, after placing the acorn into it, pushing the dirt back over the hole and patting it down with both paws. That explains our very lumpy front yard!

 

The city-owned trees on our street are particularly aged, and in need of some TLC. Every now and then the weakened or broken branches give up their fight to hold on and let loose, sometimes with a loud crack as it hits the pavement or one of the cars which is parked along the street. One of our neighbors recently experienced this, as a large branch broke through the windshield of their vehicle.

The linden tree in front of the house sheds not once, but three times throughout the year. Yes, three!

However, the positives far outweigh the negatives of our lovely, little neighborhood, and that is what my mind focuses on this morning. The trees are indeed beautiful and make ours one of the most beautiful streets in the city.

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Right now, I look out the window and see the ground, blanketed by all the gorgeous colors of fall! I’m avoiding the mental reminder that all those lovely leaves are going to need to be raked up. Let’s not spoil it!

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I am anticipating a trip to the produce farm soon to add some beautiful pumpkins to my porch decor. I love everything about fall, and as I was thinking about it, another thought came to mind. So here are a few more descriptions about ‘fall’ upon which to ponder.

pexels-photo-64775“Fall” into the comforting arms of hope through Jesus Christ. Sink into Him like a cozy, warm blanket on a crisp fall morning, steaming cup of coffee in hand. Nothing like the cool temperatures of this troubled world to make the warmth of the Lord’s presence all the more comforting & inviting.

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“Fall” onto our knees in prayer, trusting and surrendering to Jesus, expressing to Him our concerns & fears, listening to His voice saying, “I got this, don’t be afraid. It’s going to be ok”.

 

 

“Fall” in love again. Cozy up to your significant other and reminisce about the good times of the past, find the place that sparked your heart for this other person, who made your heart skip a beat with a simple smile. Perhaps discover something new about this person beside you.

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“Fall” like rain, O Holy Spirit, upon the hearts of man, leading the lost to the feet of Jesus, the hope for all nations.

 

 

My friends, as you see the seasons of nature changing around you and you begin to gather your sweaters, boots, and pumpkin-spice everything, I pray that you will experience the tranquility & peace it brings.

 

family, Home Life, Uncategorized

Just Give Me the Simple Things

I like simple. It seems that the older I get, the more and more I like things that way.

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I like predictable, although I’m very flexible and open to an impromptu dinner out, a run to town with my daughter, or a visit with friends.

 

I don’t like complicated, although that is part of the ups and downs of life and with it comes wisdom…. or hard life lessons.

 

The concept of simplicity always takes my mind back to childhood days because that’s what it felt like. I’m sure from my Mother’s perspective, things were nowhere near simple or uncomplicated. She worked tirelessly to provide for us and life had thrown many difficult situations her way. But she carried on like a champion, draped with resolve and determination, pushing past the troublesome barriers, intent on raising her children to the very best of her ability. And I must add, she did so very well!

img_2568So while my Mom carried on doing what parents do, I spent my early childhood days doing what kids did… way back when.

It wasn’t complicated, it didn’t require batteries or a power cord, and the precious memories it left are worth more than money can buy.

 

 

 

For instance, have you ever made your own butter in a jar? My Mother would skim all the luscious cream off a large, gallon jar of fresh milk from her Jersey cow. After putting the cream into a smaller jar, she would hand it off to whichever child was willing to take on the task. We would continuously turn and shake the jar until the butter fat began to separate, until finally coagulating into a mound of thick, smooth butter. Yum! (Funny, just a couple of days ago, I saw an article on social media about this, touting it as if it’s a new thing. I had to laugh at that. “Everything old is new again” goes the saying.)

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Though my kids have enjoyed some of the same simple pleasures of childhood that I had, like playing in the dirt, I can’t say they have had the same farm-life experience that I did. That’s one of those ‘if only’ wishes which plague the mind.

 

I’ve told some of my children that at the end of their lives, they aren’t going to wish they had played more video games, or watched more television. The moments they are going to count will be the moments that counted.

 

Yes, in comparison with the world kids live in today, all those things probably sound boring. But I think we need a little more ‘boring‘ and simple these days. In the midst of all the current affairs with the constant arguing, confusion and hatred, I’ll take simple any day, please.