Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Life After 40 Podcast with Mary Hess and Elaine W. Miller

 
 
Life after 40.
 Yay! 
You've made it to the second half!
 Hold on! 
Don't quit now! 
God has much more and even better waiting for you in the back 40. 

Hear my heart as I share with Mary Hess' on The Back 40 Podcast

God's call to write after age 50, 

Tips on preparing your marriage for the empty nest. 

Prioritizing your marriage.

Your last child leaves home. Now what? 

The great gift Dan gave me for my 50th birthday. 

God's purpose in old age.  

God's plan in an intensive care unit.

What a fun podcast! Thanks Mary Hess for loving and encouraging people to thrive in the back 40 of life. 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Glorify — My Word for 2023


Doctors had me dead 
— twice — 
yet, here I am!

God says in Psalm 139:16 (NIV)
". . . all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." 

Wow! 
Whether days are good or difficult,
 God knows. 
He ordained them. 
God has each day of my life set apart for a purpose.  
Each moment is orchestrated by God 
for my good, 
to teach me lessons, 
to use my trial to encourage others, 
and any other way God wants to use me
 to glorify Himself.  

 Doctors had me dead, 
but God granted me life. 
 God had more days planned for me. 
As 2023 dawns, I am thankful for His healing and my life as I ask Him 

How then shall I live? 
What do You want me to do in 2023?  

His response:

Glorify God —
with your physical body. 

My life and my health are a gift from God.
 My body is a temple of The Holy Spirit. 
I need to glorify God by caring for this temple by 
eating healthy foods,
 exercising daily, 
sleeping well. 

   For the glory of God, I will strive to take better care of my body in 2023. 
Not so I look good or fit in clothes I wore long ago, or just plain vain conceit.
 No! 
I want energy. 
Energy to do what I wrote on the back cover of Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo:
 
to love deeper,
 live fuller, 
laugh louder, 
sing sweeter, and
 shine brighter. 
God granted me more years and 
I desire to live life to the full or as He said,
 "Abundantly!"

Glorify God —
with your spirit.

My greatest desire is to glorify God with 
the words I speak, 
the actions I take, 
the thoughts I think, 
the time I spend.

 Living in worldly pursuits,
 disobeying and displeasing God is 
time God never ordained for me, or 
time I will never get back. 

 In my quest to glorify God and rid myself of all that displeases God, 
may I find no pleasure in sin. 

I will start this 2023 journey towards holiness by seeking God's guidance and power to 
    
Rejoice always!

 In the movie Pollyanna, the orphan Pollyanna played the Glad Game. 
Whatever happened in her day, Pollyanna turned it around to find some reason to be glad. 
God commands me to rejoice always whether days are good or difficult  
 for this is the will of God concerning me. 

The definition of Pollyanna is "an excessively cheerful or optimistic person."
 The definition of rejoicing is "feel or show great joy or delight."
 I will glorify the Lord with rejoicing always! 
I'll play the glad game and be a Pollyanna!
.   
 Judge never! 

Judgment is not my job and not my call.
 It's not! 
I'm called to love, not judge.
 I'll leave the judging to the only righteous One who judges justly. 

Stop worrying! 

What a waste of time is worry! 
How many hours and days have I worried about situations that never happened? 
God is in control of whatever occupies my mind with worry. 
He doesn't need me fretting about anything.

Be content! 

The life, the family, the job, the home, the finances God provides me is all I need. 
 Being discontent robs me of time wishing for something God didn't plan for me. 


Stop doubting! 

His Presence, 
His Power,
 His Provision.
 His Promise.
 
 He is with me always. 
God doesn't lie. 
When I was at my lowest in covid ICU,
 God's presence was so powerful and profound.
He held me. 
He comforted me.
 He covered me with His peace and His presence.
 Why would I ever doubt He is with me always, for He surely is.
    
Believe!

 Nothing is impossible with God.
 I can't solve the world's or my loved one's problems, 
but God can and He will. 
Nothing is impossible with God. 
He doesn't need me to interfere with His plan and His sovereignty. 

Practice patience! 

Why would I ever think my timeline is better than God's? 
He has every day (and moment) planned before my birth. 
What peace there is in patience. 
Please give me patience, Lord.

Be filled with God's Holy Spirit!

None of the above is possible
 without a daily cleansing of sin and 
filling with the Holy Spirit which is 

love, 
joy, 
peace, 
patience, 
kindness, 
self-control,
 faithfulness, 
goodness,
 gentleness.

 Wow!
  Look at those wonderful attributes God promises us as the Holy Spirit lives in us.

 I'm ready for a powerful journey through 2023 
living in His fullness and 
glorifying God! 
Won't you join me?

My word for 2023 — Glorify!  

Glorify God by all I 
say, do, think, act, and consume as I
 become more Holy and more healthy. 

Happy 2023! 
May you spend it glorifying God in all you do. 

Splashes of Serenity for the glory of God!

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Friday, December 16, 2022

Christmas 2022 Love Letter

 

Blessed Christmas 2022

   "For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

A Savior is born!

 He is our only salvation and the

 Only Source of True Joy. 

In a world ugly with sin, 

God sent a Gift of Love,

 His Son The Lord Jesus Christ. 

 We rejoice this Christmas to know His Joy and His Love.



Dan and I marvel at the miracle of God's care and healing. Covid damaged 40 percent of my lungs, and doctors gave no hope of my lungs being restored. Once again, God surprised us when a lung function test indicated a great improvement from a year ago. Hallelujah! My lungs overflow with praise for God who continues to deliver healing to my body. Whether 40 percent or 100 percent, my lungs runneth over! 

Thank you to my army of prayer warriors who prayed me through cancer and severe covid. God answered in miraculous ways and I am forever thankful to Him and to you. Many of you said God was not finished with me. Looks like you are correct, and I am thrilled to be back speaking at retreats and women's events. I love sharing my story with women.  

Dan fills the pulpit in various churches many Sundays. Hearing my favorite Pastor preach is always a blessing. We are both thankful for opportunities to share God's Love and Joy and Jesus. 

  

Our oldest, Joanna, teaches reading (the best job ever, she says). Her husband Bob continues as a newsman with Family Life Network (and a baseball coach). Gracie graduated and is guarding lives at the Y. Ryan's love is baseball. He grabs any opportunity to swing a bat or pitch a ball.




Elizabeth and Joe didn't have enough children to keep them busy, so Elizabeth began a two-year course for a Masters in Nursing, specializing in midwifery. Joe's JOE Pro Services keeps him as the face you welcome when your house breaks. Connor is a welder. Garrett is in the Army and deployed to S. Korea. Ava attends Corning Community College.  Brenna, Charlotte, Isaac, Lucas, Gunnar, and Sailor are so smart and so sweet. Joyful love is the name of their game.



Sam and Katie serve in the Air Force in S. Dakota. We've enjoyed a couple of trips there and found Rapid City to be breathtaking. Sam has a fly-fishing stream a 5-minute walk from his house. His idea of Heaven! Katie is active encouraging military wives. Lily, Jack, and Holly are too cute to describe! 

This Christmas may your hearts be filled with the Joy of His Love. There is no greater Love and there is no greater Joy. We are forever thankful for Jesus, His Love, His Joy, and His Blessings.

A joyful Merry Christmas with all our love,

Elaine and Dan (and our two sweet kitties, Sunshine and Dandy-Lion)




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Thursday, November 17, 2022

Invest in Your Marriage. It's Cheaper Than a Divorce

For our entire married life, Dan and I have invested in our marriage by going away together for a couple of days — just the two of us — no friends or children invited. Now in the empty nest, we find we still need to get away from the dull and drear of life and just have fun!

The past two days, we had a blast in New York City! 



Don't let New York scare you. We never felt unsafe or threatened. Of course, we stayed away from alleys and subways. Driving was not difficult. We timed our trip in and out during non-rush hours. Pre-paid a parking space in a garage, one block from Time Square and Broadway the first day. And pre-paid again three pleasant walking blocks from the World Trade Center Memorial the second day. 

Arriving in NYC we enjoyed dinner at, where else, a NY diner on Time Square. There we splurged (forgive me WW) on a New York cheesecake, where we learned the difference between NY cheesecake and the rest of the world's cheesecake. New York cheesecake's is heavy and rich with cream cheese as the main ingredient. Other cheesecake is lighter and creamier with more cream and sour cream. In case you were wondering.




We treated ourselves to The Music Man on Broadway. Not an inexpensive evening, but since we haven't been out of the house for 2 1/2 years, our entertainment budget is plush and our marriage deserves this treat. Like I said, cheaper than a divorce. What a powerful and wonderful Broadway show. Our hearts were full of joy and fun as our toes tapped their way back to our hotel. Highly recommend. 

Our second day we held hands and strolled the streets of Manhattan. So beautiful and full of fun and life. 


Our destination was the World Trade Center Memorial Museum. You must go. For the good of this country, all must go. Our hearts were sad, but uplifted realizing again the beauty of the human spirit. People helping each other down that long stair case. Firemen, policemen, the military rushing into burning buildings losing their own lives to save others. My heart is filled with hope. I pray as a nation we realize anew that our police and all service workers deserve our support and praise. When I pass a policeman, I always tell them "Thank you for keeping us safe." Visit the WTC Memorial Museum. I suspect you'll do the same.

Hoping this encourages you to invest in your marriage by going away for a few days. Weekly dates are special, but going away for a few days are a honeymoon! Ooo-la-la!

Splashes of Serenity on your marriage today!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Life Lessons from a Cat's Tale


My kitties Dandy and Sunny love each other. They sleep together, bathe each other, frolic through the house like little brothers, pounce on each other, chase each other. A beautiful example of "life is better because I have you." 




This morning I threw them a toy. I'm not sure which kitty grabbed the treat first and I'm not sure who let out a loud growl. They never before growled, but today they gr-r-r-red as each withdrew to separate corners. 



 I was reminded:

Jealousy ruins friendships.

Joy departs when material objects become more important than breathing ones. 

A new toy will never replace a forever friend. 

"A friend loves at all times"
(Proverbs 17:17)

Please share your Cat Tales! I'd love to hear them.

Splashes of Serenity on your day!

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Monday, September 5, 2022

The Gift of Work on Labor Day


"He who has been stealing must steal no longer, 
but must work, 
doing something useful with his own hands, 
that he may have something to share with those in need"
 (Ephesians 4:28).

Thinking about Labor Day,
 I realize that God prepared work for each of us to do, 
so that we would share with those in need.
 I need food, and God prepared farmers and truck drivers and workers in the grocery store.
I need healthcare, and God prepared scientists, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.
 I need my car fixed, and God prepared mechanics. 
And so on and so on.

I hear many complain about their work. 
Perhaps my acrostic will encourage us to enjoy the gift of work, 
the ability to do something useful with our hands, 
and the blessing of sharing with those who need our work 
so they can live and do their work. 

Love: Love your job and love the people you are helping. Life is too short to hate your job. So, learn to love it. Determine to love it as a gift God gave to you to make this world a better place and help those in need.

Accentuate the positive: There are aspects of every profession that are drudgery. Focus on what you love about your work day and let go of the negative.

Be the best: Take pride in your work and whatever you do, do as unto the Lord, for, truly, it is the Lord Jesus you are serving.

Over work: Do more than what is expected and perform your service with joy. Don't just get by with the least you can do. Do more. Do better. Do your best.

Rest: Labor Day is a day of rest from work. We all need rest. Even God took a day of rest. We are not indispensable. Taking our vacations and our days off invigorates us to perform better, gives us fresh ideas, enthusiasm, and energy. 

Happy Labor Day, dear workers! May you find fulfillment and serenity in your work! Today we salute our laborers who contribute to the development and achievements of the United States.

Splashes of Serenity,


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