60 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 8-5-17

  1. Thank you all for supporting me in my pity party yesterday.
    No Chas, that wasn’t a typo. They were offering me $1500 per month to be the Director of Education and Training and $1900 to be the broker for two states. The current broker has decided she isn’t ready to retire. The class I have been driving over to teach is 3 days a week from 9-12, so it would be 36 hours of actual classroom time for $1500 which from their end looks like a lot, but doesn’t take into account and hour and half on the road or the time it takes to prepare for class.
    At the same time I took this position the other part of it was to manage a real estate sales team here. So far I have one person working with me and am trying to add a couple of others. They are going to ramp up efforts on my behalf and I am going to Dial for Dollars today and see what I can stir up.
    I found this quote this morning:
    The Hands Free Revolution
    I know someone going through a hard time.
    He’s irritable, overreactive, and difficult to be around.
    That’s grief talking, I remind myself,
    And my love expands like an umbrella in a downpour.
    I know someone going through a hard time.
    She’s moody and dramatic.
    That’s teen angst talking, I remind myself,
    And my love settles and steadies like a faithful friend.
    I know someone going through a hard time.
    She’s emotional, fidgety, and anxious.
    That’s fear talking, I remind myself,
    And my love whispers to her like a calming prayer.
    I know someone going through a hard time.
    He’s grumpy, repetitive, and forgetful.
    That’s growing old talking, I remind myself,
    And my love supports him like a great oak tree.
    I know someone going through a hard time.
    She’s awkward and sassy.
    That’s hormones talking, I remind myself,
    And my love endures like a worn pair of blue jeans.
    I know someone going through a hard time.
    He’s defensive and angry.
    That’s depression talking, I remind myself.
    And my love breaks through the clouds and warms his face.
    It’s not easy to respond when I want to retreat,
    To forgive when I want to freak out,
    To bite my tongue when I want to bite back.
    But when you’re going through a hard time, you feel shaky.
    You feel weak in the knees.
    You feel like you like you could blow away in the wind.
    You feel like you’re suspended in a place you don’t want to be.
    That’s why a steady hand to ground you is especially helpful during these times.
    I know because that was me three months ago,
    Suspended in darkness.
    I was anxious, overreactive, defensive and moody.
    But I was never alone.
    Thank God, I was never alone.
    Being unalone is what brought me back.
    Love’s steady hand helped me regain my footing
    So I could see my trial was temporary,
    That my failings did not define me,
    That my story was not over.
    So when I see my loved ones going through a hard time, I do the one thing I know helps:
    I throw my weight behind them.
    With feet firmly planted, I stay close.
    “We’ll get through this,” I remind them as I remind myself.
    Because it’s easy to forget hard times are temporary and our failings don’t define us.
    If we can just hang on to the steady hand of love, we’ll find our footing once again.
    Let’s be the steady hand of love for someone today.
    Let’s remember our stories are not over.
    © Rachel Macy Stafford 2017

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  2. Good Saturday! The butterflies have indeed been beautiful! We have many fluttering around here amongst the hummingbirds and baby birds.
    Continued prayers for you Kim….I find myself trying to evaluate where the Lord wants me….I mean does He truly want me just to meet with women over coffee?….cause that is right where I am finding myself these days. ☕️

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  3. I have a praying friend, Nancyjill, who spent 20 years meeting women for coffee at the same coffee shop several mornings a week. She often brought her Bible study information and sat working it and waiting for someone, anyone, to come. She’s one of the most godly women I know and a trusted prayer warrior.

    That being said, why not consider it?

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  4. Michelle, I think that one hardship of most women working outside the home is that we don’t have women free just to love someone who needs love. It has been one of the privileges of freelance that I have had time–I’ve been able to change my plans for the day and go to the hospital because my friend has her mother or her husband in there, and when grandkids come along I will be more available. But older women walking alongside young mothers, or having lonely singles over, are few and far between.

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  5. Re black butterflies: I think that most temporary butterfly gardens have access to the same species, and they come from Africa and Asia. (The species posted this week were a few of the ones we had at our local garden earlier this summer. But the permanent butterfly garden at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga has a bunch of additional species along with a few of the same ones.) We won’t see that one in the wild.

    But there are several black or dark blue swallowtail species in America. We have the black swallowtail here, and I occasionally see the pipevine swallowtail (dark blue) and also the red-spotted purple, which is not a swallowtail but also is not purple–it’s black with blue and other colors. There are some others as well.

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  6. It finally cooled down enough last night — and the humidity dropped, too, thankfully — that I slept well (and slept in).

    Yesterday went long, had to do a complicated story about a lawsuit over a fire from 2 years ago that involved an (alleged) illegal indoor marijuana grow run by a fast-talking felon from North Carolina (who took up most of an hour with me on the phone yesterday — he’s innocent and, remember, Martha Stewart also is a felon) and a deep-pockets landlord who’s prominent in our local and LA redevelopment circles. Oy vey.

    Having Bible study over coffee with other women sounds good to me. Someday …

    Getting a long-overdue haircut in about an hour & I may hear something about a start-date on that foundation job at long last today.

    Thanking God for the cooler, less humid weather, what a relief.

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  7. NancyJill – That sounds like a nice ministry. As for me, I don’t drive anymore, so I am a homebody. But God is always putting someone in my life (my daughters, my MIL, my mother, & now my grandson) who need someone (me!) to take care of them.

    Also, God has used connections on the internet to help me minister to some people.

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  8. Coffee cup ministry sounds great to me! I feel God wants us all to be sharing with someone on a personal level about Jesus. My friend, Karen, who has been afflicted for many years always thanks me for not giving up on her as far as sharing my faith. She knows for years she did not pay much attention to it, but slowly her ears and heart awakened.

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  9. I know tiny houses have been discussed here before. Does anyone know someone living in one? I continue to consider options as to what to do about repairing our house. Could someone put a tiny house in their back yard to live in while repair/renovation work is done?

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  10. Janice, I know that many municipalities have by-laws about houses being a certain square footage, but that tiny house dwellers get around that by building on a trailer bed, making it a house trailer. I know several people who have, either during a time of transition or while building/renovating a house, have lived in camping trailers in either their own or someone else’s backyard. My parents, when they built their house, lived in a tent on their property until one floor was habitable. A cousin and his family recently lived in a trailer until they renovated the derelict farmhouse they had purchased for a low price, and other of my peers have done the same thing. There was several properties around where I grew up which for years had only a trailer on them, as the family saved for and then built their dream house. One problem with trailers that arises in our climate is that they can be heated and used through the winter, but doing so results in serious mold problems, as the trailers do not have proper ventilation. I know of one family which spent several years in a trailer while building and their eldest child developed significant allergies and health problems as a result of the constant mold problem.

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  11. Ribbit

    A camping trailer sounds like a thought that might be cheaper if one could be rented or (better yet) borrowed. There also are blueprints online for building an outhouse, as I discovered during my dark days without one.

    My haircut is done, way overdue. And shorter hair feels so good. Stylist, mom of 15-month-old twins, also is going through house renovations (helps that her husband is a contractor). We talked about bathroom windows, sliding doors and drywall. She’s not happy with a couple things which is stressing her husband out. But generally it’s easier for them as they’re adding on to their existing house, not so much changing the main part. We also talked about my gray, but she agreed that it’s blending so nicely it just looks “pretty.” It’s far from “taking over,” so I’m good with it for now. 🙂

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  12. OK, that was a bad sentence, granted.

    Although I would have given a pretty penny for one a few times back in the brutal Southern California winter months of 2016-17. A grueling winter amid the great house upheaval it was.

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  13. Having coffee with multiple ladies has indeed been ministry of listening, encouraging, and prayer. My husband remarks that my “social” calendar seems to be filled most days. I am one not inclined to participate in an organized “women’s ministry”, but a spontaneous one on one or no more than four is doable for me. The Lord has recently brought into my life three ladies needing support of friendship…now I would not have the time (nor focus) if I were still working like Cheryl mentioned. It is an interesting season for me and my heart desire is to be right in the midst of His doing….oh the days do go fleeting by…..
    Meanwhile I have done much front porch reading in the rocking chair today. The hummingbirds have kept me wildly entertained and mama hummingbird has been kept busy corralling her babes as they have been visiting the feeder in front of me much too often I fear….one of the babes came comically close to my nose as I was reading!

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  14. My parents constructed an outhouse for use while they stayed in the tent – they had both grown up in families that took a while to acquire full indoor bathrooms and as children had used outhouses. It was the classic outhouse shape (only one hole) and the door had the quarter moon shape silhouette cut into it. It still stood when I was a child, and we children would sometimes use it instead of going all the way back to the house when we played outside. Decay and disuse finally spelt its demise in my teens.

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  15. My grandparents had an outhouse I learned to use, when I was young, before they got indoor plumbing. It seemed quite a ways from the house. We are spoiled not having to go out in the weather for necessities.

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  16. We had an outhouse for emergency use when we lived on the ranch. We often had water issues, and flushing the toilet was a waste of valuable water. It was a two holer.

    I envy your coffee ministry. 🙂

    Kim, many prayers for you as you find your niche that will pay the bills.

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  17. My grandfather’s house in Iowa still had an outhouse when I was little. I still remember the distinctive smells …

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  18. Jo is correct. Pretty much right smack in the middle was a green and tan frog.

    I’ll repost it small above, just click on it for a bigger view. He’s there. I also have a second I’ll post as well.

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  19. Aj is trying to fool me into thinking there’s a frog in that picture..
    I se two leaves that may be frogs, but I doubt it..

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  20. If you enlarge the photo after clicking on it to make it bigger, you can see the frog right in the middle.

    I didn’t see any frogs today, but had lunch with my oldest niece and her family after touring Karchner Caverns. We then took the scenic route back to Tucson. Of course, I’d consider any route here as scenic, with all the different desert plants and mountains everywhere you look. I miss the scenery of the Sonoran desert.

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  21. Cheryl found Waldo first, and then Roscuro did as well. 🙂

    For the rest of you, click the 2nd frog pic scroll all the way right and down. He’s to the right of the pink flower on a pad.

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  22. I am about to leave for Sunday School. I am wrestling with what to do. I am tired of the stress. There just seems to be so much extra “noise” in my life right now.

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  23. Stayed home from church, as the strange malaise continues. I listened to a sermon on the internet from the city church, and then to this podcast, which was very relevant to my life just now: http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/podcast/43207

    My life lesson for the past seven years has been learning to live day by day. The ability to plan beyond the next 24 hours has been severely curtailed time after time, whether from lack of money, poor health, or difficult circumstances. It is also the message that I keep hearing from different Bible teachers, and also from fellow Christians when they speak directly to my circumstances. Living day by day, after all, is part of the prayer that Christ gave us to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” It is the world which tells us if we work hard and dream big, we can do anything – the word of God says:

    Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.”
    You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”(James 4:13-15, HCSB)

    The phrase ‘Lord willing’ is one that I grew up hearing constantly, so it became a part of the vocabulary that I associated with being a Christian. Like so many other phrases in Christianity (e.g. “in Jesus’ name”), the full meaning was lost in the habitual use. As a teen, I often longed to know if God really would work in one’s life in the way he was portrayed as working in the biographies of famous Christians, or better yet, as he is portrayed in the Bible. I have learned that in daily living, one becomes like a child, waiting for God to feed and clothe and supply any further needs, such as strength for the day’s tasks. He becomes the only dependable being, the only constant in life. It can be frightening, to the human mind, to have life a complete blank except for the unseen God. It is, to my imagination, like walking off a cliff, with only the written assurance that those who do so will be caught before they hit the ground. I found myself, yesterday and today, bitterly discouraged, and I realized that is was because I was trying to see too far forward. I have been given now, and I must leave tomorrow in the hands of Him who stands outside time.

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  24. We continued on in John 17 today, I believe we have one more week to finish that then we likely will return to Romans.

    Our songs today included “In Christ Alone” and one we hadn’t sung in a while, “Jesus Paid it All.”

    We have a very large black family who take up an entire row (usually toward the back in the same section where I sit). Today the 50-something (very beautiful/fashionable) mom/matriarch miscounted and they ran out of seats so she came forward and sat next to me which was a joy. She’s the one who always is audibly “A-men’g” through the service (not too much, just enough) and does interesting hand motions during the singing. I wish they’d break their row up a bit more often. 🙂

    My other fashionable African-American friend, who’s actually from Africa originally and is absolutely gorgeous, doesn’t come to church every week but was also there today. She’s an LA public school principal (and also single) so she is always overloaded with work, summers included. We chatted on the way out, she just bought a new, bright white Land Rover “Discovery” SUV and looks predictably beautiful sitting in it 🙂

    I’m still reading Ryle’s Holiness and thoroughly enjoying it (but feeling quite convicted). It’s one of those classics I’ve dabbled in in the past, years ago, but just started intentionally reading cover to cover in the past month or so.

    I knew there must be *something* in AJ’s green leafy photo and did find the front by studying it.

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  25. Make that butterfly photos plural, loved the one before it too — again, wonderful color contrasts. Nature is really quite amazing.

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  26. As I looked at the calendar for September, when Little Guy will be back in school, & Nightingale will be in college classes two days a week as well as usually working two days during the week & one on the weekend, I was thinking about how nice it will be to have that time to do things I want & need to do, more at my own pace.

    Then it hit me. Janie will need somebody to take care of her, take her out to “go potty”, feed her, let her stay downstairs for a while so she won’t be alone all day. (Chickadee has been taking care of her while we childsit, but won’t be here on those days.) My heart kind of sunk & my mood plummeted.

    I sent Nightingale an email telling her how I feel, rather than swallowing it down & pretending it’s all okay. I asked her if she had taken into consideration the fact that once fall comes she’ll be away almost every day of the work/school week, & that Chickadee won’t be here to help. I told her that, back when she was thinking of getting a puppy, if she had asked me if I would be willing to help take care of her & train her, I would have said no.

    But I will be doing it anyway, although not as much or as well as she really needs. We all love Janie, & I know that she is going to be a great dog when she grows up. It’s just this puppy stage that I’d rather not deal with.

    Don’t want to clutter the prayer thread with this, so I’ll ask here for prayers that Janie will “get” the potty training soon, & get better at obeying “down” (she knows it, but her exuberance overcomes her obedience). And please pray for me to have patience during this time, & to not fall into feeling resentful. Thank you.

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