Saturday, April 28, 2012

Keep Auto Keys Nearby...Even When You Sleep

First off, I did not think this up, but I'm grateful for people who did.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night and keep them handy throughout the day as well.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get into your house,  press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.   

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and start to put your keys away, think of this:   It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it.  It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.   

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the   burglar/rapist won't stick around.   After a few seconds , all the neighbors will be looking to see who is out  there and it's doubtful the criminal will want to be seen. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.   

This could also work to draw attention in an emergency such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. Elderly people could use this alarm if they fall in the yard while gardening and if their spouse or neighbors are aware of this signal they will know there is a problem. 

Ah, but what to do if one accidentally sets it off .... the pocket alarm.
Hmmm...quickly disarm it and give a friendly wave to the neighbors.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Because You Care: Book Review

Because You Care

Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers

Cecil Murphey & Twila Belk & Betty Fletcher

Cecil cares for his wife; Twila cares for her husband.
Each have done so for many years, often very difficult years.
Their own hopes and dreams were either shattered by a diagnosis or slowly ebbed away as their loved ones deteriorated bit by bit, day by day, year upon year.

Long term care of a loved one can often leave a caregiver feeling guilty for doing too much, or too little, or nothing at all.  How should one respond to well-meaning but insensitive questions, especially when the last thing you want to do is ‘be nice’?  How does one cope while watching the one you love suffer through difficult days? Caregivers are often pushed to the limit, sometimes feeling as if every nerve in their body is raw and exposed.

The authors have compiled some of their own stories as well as collected stories from others who are caring for loved ones.  This gift book is written in short story format, like a devotional, easy to read and gain encouragement after just a few moments in its pages.  

Betty Fletcher’s stunning nature photography brings beauty and peace to the pages of gentle wisdom that comes from experience and a deep relationship with the Creator God. 

Because You Care offers encouragement and hope for others who are caring for ill or elderly loved ones.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

What is Love?

Today I will help my sister and her husband celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

They have set a standard for the rest of us to follow.
I am grateful for their perseverance, together, 
through the many challenges all marriages face.

The words from Do You Love Me? in Fiddler on the Roof come to mind:

"Golde, I have decided to give Perchik permission to become engaged to our daughter, Hodel."

"What??? He's poor! He has nothing, absolutely nothing!"

"He's a good man, Golde. 
I like him. And what's more important, Hodel likes him. Hodel loves him. 
So what can we do? 
It's a new world... A new world. Love. Golde..."

Do you love me?

Do I what?

Do you love me?

Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
And this trouble in the town
You're upset, you're worn out
Go inside, go lie down!
Maybe it's indigestion

"Golde I'm asking you a question..."

Do you love me?

You're a fool

"I know..."

But do you love me?

Do I love you? 
For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
Given you children, milked the cow
After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

Golde, The first time I met you 
Was on our wedding day
I was scared

I was shy

I was nervous

So was I

But my father and my mother
Said we'd learn to love each other
And now I'm asking, Golde
Do you love me?

I'm your wife

"I know..."
But do you love me?

Do I love him?
For twenty-five years I've lived with him
Fought him, starved with him
Twenty-five years my bed is his
If that's not love, what is?

Then you love me?

I suppose I do

And I suppose I love you too

It doesn't change a thing
But even so
After twenty-five years
It's nice to know

Yes, it's a new world.
In our current culture, "I love you." or "Luv ya"
are spoken often, perhaps too often.

So what is love anyways?

What love is not - 

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Love says, 
     "I sacrifice myself 
           for the good of the other."

Love is a Verb.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh Where Oh Where Can It Be?

I grew up knowing a cute little song about a lost dog:
Oh where, oh where
Has my little dog gone?
Oh where, oh where can he be?
With his ears cut short
And his tail cut long
Oh where, oh where can he be?

I sing that song a lot these days, however, I'm not looking for a lost dog.
I'm looking for almost anything.
Most of my house is turned upside down 
because of renovations and packing for our move.
"Did I pack it for the actual move in a month or two 
(and yes, I have labeled boxes), or,
did I pack it just to clear space for the contractors to do their work?"

Time to kick in my 'lost things found technique' which I learned after finally saying 
'enough already with this losing/misplacing things and causing my stress level to rise'.

The Bible says, "you have not because you ask not", 
 so I began to ask for the missing items.
"Lord, you know where 'it' is, and I need 'it'.  
 Please direct my eyes, my hands and my feet to it's location."

Then I carry on with life confident that the missing object will appear.  
And it always does. 
Not always immediately, but always in time for whatever the reason I need it.

After my parents died, I ended up with a box of photos, 
some of which I really didn't care to keep.
One such photo seemed a shame to shred
so I offered it to one of the people in the photo. 
She was thrilled and arrangements were made to make the transfer in Edmonton.  
As the day for my trip approached, I could not find the photo. 
Panic knocked on my mental door but I refused it entrance and instead prayed my little
'you know where it is, God...' prayer.
A few days later, and two days before my trip departure, 
I discovered it under a pile of papers in my office. 
I wasn't looking for it. I wasn't even thinking about it.

Back to my current 'where is it' dilemma...
I'm praying 'You know where it is, God.  Please help me find it. ' a lot.
The key is no fretting, no fussing, no worrying, 
just trusting God will direct me to find it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Someone's got my back covered

Renovations are really starting to get to me....I was pretty grumpy yesterday.
Actually, it's not the renovations per se, but all the chaos and dirt and dust and ....
My 'sanctuary' is almost non existent....has been for weeks and will continue so for at least another three or more weeks.

And, all the decisions....this color or that? this hardwood or that? this tile or that? 
this counter top or that?  this light fixture or maybe that one? 

Hubby and I return home from picking up tile samples during which Stan and I 
had a few words. O.k.,  mostly I had words, and they weren't particularly kind. 
To say I was having a bad attitude attack would be an understatement. 
Poor Stan...he puts up with a lot sometimes. 
We haven't looked for a divorce lawyer yet, but I have put him on notice
I WILL NOT go through another renovation while living in the space being renovated 
(not that we are planning to renovate in Rosebud, but just saying...) 
If there is another renovation in our future, I will take an extended vacation to Memphis or Phoenix or  Saskatchewan, while it is in progress...decisions be damned...someone else can make them and I'll try hard not to complain about the choices made as long as I don't have to endure the pain of renovating. 

After arriving home, bad attitude still intact, I decide to pack some keepsakes/collectibles.
I grabbed a newspaper from a pile soon to be recycled, and, what's that 
falling to the floor? A letter from a bank?  Oh my. It was a T5 I needed for income tax purposes
and almost discarded into recycling with the pile of papers.

Apparently God was covering my backside in this one, and chose to humble me into a better mood.

I am grateful. 

While out for a long walk yesterday afternoon (in the beauty of sunshine on a heavy blanket of new snow accompanied by warm temperatures) I contemplated planning a 'renewal of wedding vows' ceremony for our 44th anniversary this summer. With God covering my back and keeping me humble  our marriage should survive this renovation and major move in tact.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Robert Fulghum

One of my favorite authors is Robert Fulghum,
                         All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Here are some reflections from 'the kindergarten man' ...
             things he learned after kindergarten:
- some teachers only appear later in life,
             when time and life experience make one receptive to the instruction
- there is no 'they', only 'us'
- you can get used to anything  
           (personal comment: sometimes that's good; sometimes it's not good; 
            much discernment needed)
- a well-lived life is always under construction
- what we have to say is less important than what we have to do
           "Be less concerned that your children do not do as you say;
             rather, be concerned that they are watching you ALL the time."
            (personal comment: not just our children are watching us all the time...
             so are our neighbors, our colleagues at work and in business, 
             the clerks and other customers at the store, etc. etc.)
- Never mind the credo, show me the life.

I find his stories and essays often humorous and usually thought provoking.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What If She's Right?

In her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp suggests
" change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change." pg 61

What if the things we want changed in our lives, in the lives of others,
     can only come when we thank God for what is?
for His presence, for His provisions, for His peace, for His grace, for His love...

We pray the Lord's prayer,
....may Your will be done one earth as in heaven...
What if our prayers of thanks create pathways for heaven to come to earth?

Hmmmm....what if?