Shall We Consider Sloths?

 

Have you given much thought to sloths lately?

Don’t feel bad,…except for the hilarious DMV caricatures in Zootopia I haven’t ever given sloths a second thought myself. But it’s funny the stuff you don’t know about your extended family. Looking to encourage someone,…needing encouragement I recently discovered they love sloths.

Can’t say I’ve ever sketched a sloth, or even ever thought to spend my precious (and carefully rationed) sketching time to sloths, but for the past six weeks I’ve had extra time on my hands. Shall we all say bedrest? Thankfully the long-lingering bronchitis is on the run,…whoo-hoo, or rather PRAISE THE LORD,…so grateful to feel better!!! But back to sloths.

What do sloths have to recommend themselves? They don’t scamper around like squirrels,…and they’re not exactly cute like kittens. Their very name is a term of denigration, and their excessively slow actions or lack of actions are openly mocked. Let’s get real, no one is going to name a sports car after the species. The poor arboreal mammals have weak eyesight, and their hearing isn’t much better. Aside from their camouflage of algae, they have utterly no defenses. Seemingly they don’t contribute much to their environment, yet,…they exist.

For whatever reason the LORD obviously felt the universe would be imperfect without these gentle creatures.

Sloths do have a few things going for them. With their curved claws they have the amazing ability to live their lives upside down,…and with their long arms they are unexpectedly strong swimmers.

Surprised?

I was,…the things you don’t know,…but sloths can actually hold their breath under water for 40 minutes thanks to their ultra slow metabolism, which probably comes in very useful if they are trying to avoid predators.

Sloths hunt,…nothing. They have no agenda, but to hang around,…nibbling leaves. It’s a tough job, but someone has to grow that algae, which makes up its own small ecosystem. It’s safe to say sloths are very comfortable,…being sloths. Totally trusting the LORD for protection and provision.

Notice the coloring on sloths features,…that mouth marking,…smiles. No matter upside down, or crawling tree limb to tree limb,…a sloth is calm,…peaceful,…accepting what each day brings,…with a gentle smile.

Jungles, like the 21st century,  can be a madhouse hive of activity,…chattering birds flitting here and there,…chirping frogs,…troops of monkeys,…jaguars,…and bugs galore! Yet, sloths aren’t about to be hurried out of their unique existence. They weren’t made to be fast, or productive, or even yet excessively social. They are what they are,…perfectly formed,…not a mistake,…not without their own gentle dignity.

In a world so obsessed with ‘self-worth’  there seems to be a real lesson to be found in sloths. For whatever reason the LORD obviously felt the universe would be imperfect without these gentle creatures. It begs to reason,…why are we here? Obvious the LORD felt the universe would be incomplete without us,…without me,…without YOU.

The world demands we justify our existence,…our worth, but to the LORD our existence is proof enough,…our worth is priceless.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,”
Psalm 139:14    

Nothing Wasted

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Sniffle cough,…sniffle cough,…auggh,…asthma does nothing to make getting over a cold easy!!! Each day I am a little,…little,…better,…and then I’ll have a much better day,…only to be followed by a relapse. And I am not alone,…everyone seems to be having a hard time getting over a persistent cough. Hearts and hugs out there to my fellow-sickmates. Drink lots of fluids,…tea and honey is particularly effective,…rest,…best you can,…and there is a lot to be said for a humidifier if you have a dry-heat furnace!

Here we are at the end of January,…and seemingly not much accomplished,…aside from an unpostponable trip,…and what I’ve been able to direct from bedside like making and filing first semester grades with our Christian School. Still homeschooling here,…but thankfully my oldest son has a teaching degree and he’s been a pal about keeping the studying going along for our little guy, who also thankfully thinks academic stuff is fun!!!

Faith and patience, and perspective, too, have been grown these past weeks as Martha-me as been turned into Mary. Obviously just because I can multitask,…doesn’t mean that I should be multitasking. What really and truly needs to be done,…has been accomplished,…no shock the LORD is always faithful.

Impatience is not going to make this cold go away any quicker,…especially when one has asthma. It’s a comfort for this – multitasking-type-person – to know that these past weeks haven’t been wasted.

Nothing in life is wasted,…life is too precious.

Even sitting around under a humidifier?

Yep,…I’ve needed a rest for quite a while. Most people I know say my task-list and over extended schedule exhausted them. Obviously it’s exhausted me, too.

It’s been nice to rest,…I don’t cough ever single second. I’ve watched Peter Pan, more than once with my little guy, with us both giggling. He giggles at the animation, I giggle in response to his giggles. I’ve adopted some houseplants,…they are very restful,…and a very good object lesson in “blooming where you are planted.” And I’ve had time to sketch,…for a good cause,…as someone I love loves sloths and owls. I had no idea sloths were so much fun to sketch,…such peaceful creatures,…they are in a hurry for nothing!

No these past weeks haven’t been wasted,…

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Nothing

Happy Wednesday!!!

Tapping this post bedside on my phone while I am still waiting to get well with this bronchitis!

Been to the doctor – check! Taking meds – check! Plenty of fluids – check! Nutritious diet – check. Bed rest, kinda – taking an extended trip last week with bronchitis wasn’t the brightest move, but oh dear some things can’t be postponed and I am thankful to say the Lord helped me through the trip – strength by strength. Only I’ve kinda paid since our return and as I’ve had asthma many years I well know bronchitis likes to takes it’s sweet time about clearing up!

What a way to begin the new year,…but training in patience is not always a bad thing.

Sometimes in life there are situations when all you can do is nothing. Situations more frustrating than being sidelined with bronchitis.

After all,…are all the plans and projects I scheduled really THAT important? Obviously the Lord doesn’t think they are as I wouldn’t be so sidelined,…and that’s a great incentive to reevaluate my priorities.

Flexing some faith is also in order,…

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.

“…makes me lie down in green pastures.” – oh those stubborn sheep, or even yet exhausted toddlers refusing to lie down for a nap.

Sometimes all we can do is nothing,…but while we rest,…the Lord is at work,…providing, protecting, and planning for our future! – that’s not a bad lesson to garner for the new year!

God bless!

Hoping

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Hi! It’s been week or so since my last post.

These first few weeks into the new year I’ve been struggling with an icky cold that is NOT the flu, but feels exactly like the flu,…or in other words,…I’ve been waiting to get well.

Been to the doctor,…check.
Resting,…check,…Christmas tree is still up!
Humidifier, check.
Meds, check.
Lots of fluids, check,…but this lingering cold just loves me.

Am I better?

Praise the LORD, yes! I am upright at the computer and have been planning for an upcoming trip that can’t be postponed.

Will I be completely well in time?

Maybe, maybe not,…but this is where the rubber meets the road. About a thousand separate pieces from many diverse quarters had to come together to make this trip possible. We’re talking miracle territory. It’s obviously meant for me to be on this trip, and yet it’s been sniffles, sneezes,…and cough, cough, cough.

Thus, I am waiting in hope for the Lord, HE is my help and my shield. 

Truly this territory is where you trust in the LORD for what is not in your control. Somehow, someway I know the LORD will make it possible for me to go from,…“strength to strength” (Psalm 84:7),…and that the LORD’S grace will be sufficient for whatever lies ahead.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Life’s not perfect,…but it’s such a comfort to know that the LORD is!

Hope YOUR new year is not as sniffly,…but no matter what you are facing – be it sniffles or not – put your hope in the LORD,…our help and shield!

God bless!

The Sun Is Always Shining

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Welcome to 2019,..new day,…new year,…new beginnings for one and all!

How was 2018 for you?

Thankfully I didn’t get too retrospective on New Year’s Eve as I’ve been battling a traditional end of the year cold,…with everyone else it seems. Sniffle, cough, sniffle, sip tea, reach for a tissue, and sniffle-cough some more. It’s life.

However there is always something to be thankful for. Yes, 2018 had its challenges, but Praise the LORD, there were joys, and lots of answers to prayer as well.

The sun, you know is always shining on the other side of the clouds. Or for me, after I lost my father, it was helpful to remember that Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain,…but I didn’t want to post a picture of rain clouds for the new year. Hello,…let’s start out 2019 as cheerfully as possible,..even if one is sniffling and coughing – ugh.

So the beginning of the new year is already here, and if you are having any regrets about 2018,…or even previous years here is some encouragement.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

The ‘start where you are’,…really spoke to me as it seemed to shut the door nicely on past regrets. Everyone has regrets, we wouldn’t be human, if we didn’t. No one is perfect, and that’s no shock to the LORD.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
 He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103: 9-14

Dust? Hello,…only the LORD can refer to us as dust and make it sound like a compliment!

“High as the heavens,” — that’s way beyond the clouds, or even our solar system. How many zillion light years is that? It’s a bunch,…and it’s comfort to know such love is available to us for the coming year.

2019 is a blank slate. No doubt there will be challenges, and joys. Why do we always seem to forget the joys so quickly while those gloomy challenges seem to linger like a mid-winter head cold? On those gloomy days look up,…our view may be dark clouds,…but above those clouds the sun is always shining. 

Happy New Year,…may God bless and keep you!

 

Today And Tomorrow

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Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

How cool is it that Amazon lets indie-authors offer their ebooks for FREE?

Yeah, yeah, yeah,…I know there is some derision about the marketplace for indie authors,…but not from me. I am only too grateful to have an opportunity to offer my work – world wide.

Last century when I first started tapping out stories on a portable typewriter, no less, I never dreamed I’d have a chance to produce a print book, much less an ebook, which were completely unknown. If you can get this the first short story I ever sold to a publishing house was told completely in email format,…before I even owned a computer!!! How far we’ve come,…now I carry a computer in my purse,…and communicate with others from around the world!

Today 12/28/2018 and tomorrow 12/29/2018 – Becoming Portia – New Beginnings – ebook is FREE, so if you are interested in inspirational fiction set in 1977 with a complicated and blunt spoken heroine, and a nontraditional hero, who is more than a match for her, along with a diverse set of characters, sprinkled with a little Shakespeare, a little Star Wars, and a LOT of summer camp,…check out this free opportunity.

Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

 

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Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

If you’re not into ebooks,…Becoming Portia – New Beginnings is also available in paperback at a reasonable price.

If 1970’s fiction is not your thing,…that’s okay,…hang around anyway. I post a weekly inspirational/devotional type article, and updates on current WIP – as there are more projects in the pipeline,…Affinity For Food, food fiction short story collection, Maxim’s Mermaid, inspirational young adult fantasy, Bridgewater Creek, inspirational woman’s fiction, Off The Grid, inspirational young adult series,…and more as the Becoming Portia series continues into the 1980’s,…

Yes, I do love to write, and book design is rather fascinating once one knows what they are doing, but modern marketing is never going to be my thing. Readers are people,…not statistics,…so I am glad I have the chance to offer Becoming Portia – New Beginnings ebook for FREE. There are hard realties in Anne’s tale, gently told, but necessary to tell her story, which is thankfully fictional. The only truths to be found in fiction are the intangibles,…friendship, love,…hope,…and finding peace in a world that won’t let you alone.

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:4-7

 

 

 

Woohoo! Another Free Offer

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Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

How was Christmas?

Our Christmas Eve was GREAT,…then Christmas morning (like 4:00 am) was oh dear,…oh dear,…oh dear…and there was a rebound for a – Great – Christmas evening.

However Real life intruded upon us when our little guy had a stomach virus Christmas morning. Yeah, I know,…that ain’t right! What a sweet little guy we’ve got,…such a trooper!!! He NEVER makes a fuss,…it is what it is,…and he knows he’s got lots of time to play with his new toys,…later.

Good news is that he’s feeling better now! Those pancakes didn’t stand a chance!

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So the Woohoo! Another Free Offer is on the Becoming Portia – New Beginnings ebook, which will be FREE Friday 12/28/2018 – and – Saturday 12/29/2018. So if you’re interested in inspirational fiction set in 1977 with a complicated, blunt spoken heroine, a non-traditional hero, who is more than her match, and a diverse cast of characters, with a sprinkling of Shakespeare, Star Wars, and Summer Camp,…check out the free ebook deal. If you’re not a ebook-type person,…the paperback is also available for a reasonable price.

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 Becoming Portia – New Beginnings

Thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing who allows independent authors the opportunity to offer their readers these free promotional deals. 

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Only a few days left in 2018,…a slight recap of the highlights would be my husband and I celebrating 34 years of marriage! I don’t have to write romances,…I live one!

Starting this blog,…it’s meant to be more than just a standing commercial for my work! I appreciate every reader,…the time you take to visit and read the posts,…and the encouragement the likes offered mean a lot. Thank you.

Of course finally completing and publishing Becoming Portia – New Beginnings,…the first of many books,…as the LORD wills!

Making the decision to homeschool our little guy! The progress he’s made, socially, verbally and academically are on the miracle-level,…we are so grateful.

Real life is not perfect,…already we know there are challenges in 2019 for us and our loved ones,…and the LORD has put some Bible verses on my heart for the new year.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

 

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Zechariah 4:6

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.
Isaiah 54:2

God bless and keep you!