O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

January 31, 2009 at 6:00 pm (Musings...)

May this be my prayer each day I have breath…

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

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Reunion

January 27, 2009 at 6:57 pm (Reunion)

I am have four sisters.  I am the oldest.  I am 49, Susan Carol is 48, Deborah Ruth is going to be 45 on February 15, Esther Darlene is 43, and Heather Jill is 39.  According to Sue, we have not all been together in the same place, the same time since 1990… until Saturday.

Deb has moved closer and lives in Frostburg, Maryland.  Heather just moved from Alabama to Marienville, PA.   Until Saturday, time and circumstances have kept us apart.

We stole a few hours away from our spouses and children (with the exception of Esther’s Benjamin, who is 2 months old) on Saturday afternoon at my house.  We ate, drank coffee and tea, laughed and cried.  We reminisced.  We asked each other the important questions in life, such as, “If you could do anything, be anything, what would it be.” 

We reconnected.  It was a magical time with precious memories made.  Thank you Sue, Deb, Esther, and Heather Jill. 

Debbie, Esther, Susan, Me and Heather Jill

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A Building Block(?)

January 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm (Musings...)

Those of you who know me, already know of my fascination with the home shopping channels, specifically their use of what I think are silly phrases in an effort to tempt you into buying their products.  To be completely honest, I have on occasion bought items from shopping channels, and have never regretted my purchases.

That being said, today I was perusing the shopping channels and heard a host describe a gold bangle bracelet as a “building block of your jewelry collection.”  Who knew?!?!?!?

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Practicing Creativity

January 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm (Decorative Painting, Goals for 2009)

Gift for Carol Jean -- 2007

Gift for Carol Jean -- 2007

I find this is the most difficult of my 2009 goals to define.   I have quite frankly been struggling to manage my life since about December 3rd–when I was playing for the high school students and my right hand would not listen to my brain.  I went into panic mode and couldn’t see my future.  It was like I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t even think in color, therefore, how could I define my creative goals??  Thanks to God’s grace, I am breathing again and can think in color–very important to the creative process!!

The other three categories had more specific parameters and since I am very left-brained, I was able to decide easily what steps I need to take for success.  I am going to break this down into a few specific categories…  🙂

Music

  • Continue to play the piano for simply for me  after I stop working in May
  • Keep working to chart songs — one each month-studying different artists and their specific vocal techniques
  • Be diligent with praise band music and anything else Pastor Dave asks me to do

Sewing/Knitting

  • Sew one garment every one or two months. 
  • Continue to knit for relaxation– nothing more!!

Painting

  • Continue with classes
  • Work to complete one design every one or two months — creating instructions/patterns
  • Work to complete one additional piece each month outside of class
  • Paint at least 5 days a week for one hour minimum

These goals will probably evolve through 2009, but this is basically my plan!

 

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I Am The Good Shepherd

January 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm (Scripture References)

Buckwheat and Marcy

Buckwheat and Marcy

“I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep”  John 10:14

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I WILL be found by you.”  Jeremiah 29:11, 13, 14a

Lord, I am practicing the “presence of God.”  I need you to move in the lives of people I love dearly.  I need for you to work miracles.  Your mercy is indeed new each morning and your faithfulness is great.  I am asking for mountains to be moved. “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you!”   Thank you for moved mountains!    ~~Your Faithful Servant, Melodye Joy~~

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Practicing Financial Wisdom

January 10, 2009 at 1:07 pm (Goals for 2009)

This picture has nothing to do with “practicing financial wisdom” but it is one of my favorite pictures!!
Debbie, Esther, Snowwoman, Me and Susie

Debbie, Esther, Snowwoman, Me and Susie

I haven’t set financial goals for many years.  We had two kids in college for 8 years and helped them as much as we could.  As a result, there was never enough money, so we didn’t set any goals… except to hope that we had enough to pay for emergencies… which we always seemed to be able to do.  God’s grace and mercy are indeed great!
 
 
I am going to stop my part-time job in May and we will have a bit less money coming in, so I wanted to sit down and figure out where we were financially so I knew how to plan.  We have no credit card debt.  Dan and I each have one credit card account and our practice since 1989 is to pay the card off each month or, at worse, pay the balance off within 3 months.  We do not use department store credit cards.  We have a mortgage– over 1/2 of the payment goes to the escrow account to pay taxes and insurance! 
 
 
Our only small debt is our car payment and a line of credit from the bank we use when we need larger amounts of cash (Danny bought his snowplow with it).   My goal this year is to pay off our car early and the line of credit early.  I have totalled those two debts and divided by 12.  That is the amount I am going to apply to those accounts each month. 
 
 
Danny has a 401K for retirement and we have a small savings.  I would like to add to the savings $50/month this year.  I also want to set up a “kitchen fund.”  Our kitchen needs redone and the cost will be significant.  I know we won’t be able to save for it in one year, but I want to start!
I am cutting back on the times I go to the grocery store and am only going with a list!  I would like to start using coupons, but am finding that the coupons in the Sunday paper are usually for items I don’t use!   I am planning one week of meals at a time and shopping that way.  I would like to save $100 a month on our grocery bill! 
 
 
I will write about my creative goals another day.  I finally feel rested and am able to breathe again and am thinking in colors again (another blog for another time!)

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Practicing Good Health

January 4, 2009 at 10:04 am (Goals for 2009)

Cross-country skiing with my friend, Betty

Cross-country skiing with my friend, Betty

20 years ago, my “resolution” would have probably been to lose five or ten pounds-that’s what it always was!!  Since I no longer make resolutions and am older and much wiser, my approach to this part of my goal-making is completely different. 

I have challenged my self to a 21-day challenge.  I will use my eliptical for 30 minutes and do a 15/20 minute yoga routine each day for 21 days!!  7 down, 14 to go! 

2009 Health/Fitness Goals

  • To Stay within my goal weight + or – 5 pounds
  • Use yoga to control my arthritis pain, using only the smallest dose of my arthritis medicine
  • Cut back on the amount of sugar I eat each day

I am still researching how cut back on my sugar – I don’t want to completely cut it out, because I like my coffee sweet, my sweets, sweet!!  (you get the picture)

Since I will only be working until May, I do not want to get into the habit of staying in my “lounge” clothes all day.  While I won’t wear make-up, I want to put some nice casual clothes on… even if I am staying in my house!  I need to basically love myself enough to put decent clothing on even if no one will see me!!

I will write about my financial/creative goals later…

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Practicing the “Presence of God”

January 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm (Goals for 2009)

Stillness
Stillness

“The Spirit of Jesus provides a way for us to live on the surface and out of the depths at the same time.  On the surface we can think, dialogue, plan and be fully present to the demands of daily routine.  Simultaneously and deeply within, we can be in prayer, adoration, thanksgiving and attentiveness to the Spirit…….”

“What masters of the interior life recommend is the discipline of “centering   down” throughout the day: a quiet, persistent turning to God while driving,  cooking, conversing, writing and so on.  After weeks and months of practice,  relapses, discouragement and returns to the center, this discipline becomes a habit.  Brother Lawrence called it “the practice of the presence of God.” ~Brennan Manning ~

Practicing the presence of God is again my Spiritual Goal for 2009.  I began actively pursuing this in February 2008, but lost my way at the end of the year.  I want my habit to be on-going conversation with my God. 

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