Waking Up With My ‘Roomie’ Sophie ~ and being a blessing

A Sophie

This is the day that the Lord has made;
 let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24 [English Standard Version, ESV]

 

During this Cornona Virus pandemic, I was diagnosed with a health issue. I’m in the “vulnerable group” even without a health issue. You’d think Covid19 would be a time when I’d be totally secluded.  First one of my senior cats needed life saving surgery. That required three visits to the vet. When I paid the bill, that was my contribution to a local small business.

Then there were the weekly visits to the supermarket. My senior care medical office referred me to a specialist and I went into the hospital. So there were trips back-and-forth to doctors and to-and-from the hospital. I was one busy lady.  Through all of this my friends, neighbors, and my animals (Sophie and 5 cats) were such a blessing to me. Those who live with animals know they are keenly aware if the mistress of the house is not up to snuff. This is especially true of dogs. Sophie is 14 years old and 90% blind and she has been trying as best she can to take care of me.

In the midst of all this, I’d been asking the Lord for a way to bless somebody. Not so easy when you’re shut-in.

An aside: It so happened years ago when I lived in NYC, my husband and I bought a bicycle for our youngest daughter’s birthday. She had just finished 8th grade with good grades. I took her to the bicycle store and she picked out a candy pink wide-tired bike with a detachable bright-white basket  and a large bright-white bell. Of course, in September she went into 9th grade she became much too grown up to ride a candy pink bike. So, after not even a complete summer of use the bike sat in our garage. I brought it with me to Florida and I rode it…maybe four times in four years. It still looked brand new.

So, my friend (the lady across the parking lot in my condo complex who loves animals as much as I do and has watched mine when I’m away), told me her daughter called and mentioned she wants to get a bike to ride to the supermarket. A lot of people ride bikes in northeastern coastal Florida, especially for short trips. This was my blessing to give. My friend was so happy. She said her daughter talked about getting a baby seat to attach to the back of a bike so she could take her baby out riding. I gave her the bike and it really blessed me to do so.

not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. ~ 1 Peter 3:9 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

 

 

 

 

My New Condo Renovated ~ a blessing of peace

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Open concept dining/living space. The parson’s table is deceptive. It opens to seat 4 – 6.

The renovation on my new two-bedroom, oh so comfy, condo is the culmination of a back-burner dream I had while still living in Brooklyn (NYC)…that is to move to Florida and own my own place.

In many ways, it was a matter of love, faith, and grace. The Love of God. My faith, though faltering at times. God’s grace. It’s easy to see, it’s God/moi, two-to-one. Actually, it’s God to me, a gazillion to one.

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My china cabinet, where my mother’s wedding china and my set are displayed, as well as other memory bearing collectables.

I believe this was God’s plan for me, because I’m at peace…in more peace than I’ve had in years.

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. My husband Joseph will have passed three years this December 8th. He didn’t make it to Florida, but he did make it to heaven. PTL

I take the Bible verbatim. Jesus came to earth in the flesh that we may enjoy life. He came to be a blessing and He wants us to bless others. You don’t have to be wealthy to bless others. You only have to be rich of spirit. Give what you can. I gave 98% of my husband’s clothing and personal belongings to the Salvation Army and Goodwill. It blesses me thinking maybe someone getting their life back on track is making good use of the suits he wore to work. There are so many other ways to bless others. Open the door for someone who is carrying a load, or dealing with children. Little courtesies do count. They make life easier and better for everyone…and they’re fun. Try it. You’ll like blessing others.

 

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My new, tiny galley kitchen with magnets on the refrigerator Joseph and I collected on our vacays and at places we visited.

 

 

Lenten Season ~ clean it up

House Cleaning

Traditionally, people in the Main Line, Catholic, and Orthodox churches thoroughly clean their houses during Lent. Deep Cleaning. Spring Cleaning. They’re preparing for Holy Week, the remembrance of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus. The celebration of His resurrection.

My Christian spiritual practice isn’t traditional or Orthodox, yet, I find comfort in tying my spring cleaning to the church Lenten season. There’s something renewing about cleaning the house in preparation for remembrance of the passion and resurrection of Jesus. I can’t help but think about cleaning my mind and my soul as well.

As I’m cleaning, I’m thinking of what I don’t need anymore that’s in good to excellent condition that I can take to Goodwill. My church is collecting food for Easter dinners for families in need and Easter baskets for their children. The church has provided a list of food items to contribute. I already brought to the church canned corn and green beans for a family of six, as well as collard greens (this is the south), boxed instant potatoes and boxed mac ‘n cheese. As far as food stuff, I still have to bring…a boxed pie crust mix, canned pie filling, canned yams, and a $20 supermarket gift certificate for a ham. Then I’ll hit the dollar store and pick up an Easter basket, plastic eggs and individually wrapped candy to go inside the eggs for the kiddies.

I’m glad my church is doing this. This effort on my part makes my Easter a bit brighter. God has blessed me and it feels good passing it along during the Lenten Season. And my house will be a bit cleaner. Which reminds me, I have to get out my vacuum.

 

My Super-Duper Devotional ~ but she got something better from it

Light blub

A while back, I’d written a really good inspirational piece. I thought I’m so blessed to have been able to set these words out with the intention of blessing others. And they did, just not in the way I thought.

So, this incredibly nice woman contacted me through social media to let me know what that inspirational piece had meant to her and what a revelation it had been. I read everything she’d put down and went, huh? How did she get that from what I wrote. What she got was powerful, but it had nothing to do with what I’d written. How on earth did she get that?

Well, it wasn’t on earth. As soon as I’d wondered that, I heard the Holy Spirit whispering inside my spirit. “She got it from Me.”

I wondered some more. Had God been trying for some time to get her to see that, and finally I was the vehicle through which He got through to her. PTL

I wondered how many preachers marvel that after spending hours preparing a fantastic sermon, a person in the pews breathlessly shares what a breakthrough they got, but it had nothing, whatsoever, to do with the sermon?

All this shows me that we on earth do not provide the revelation. That comes from heaven. We can be blessed to be the vehicle through which it flows to someone else, but we do not generate the epiphany. That comes from God.

 

Thanksgiving Day, a Chance for Citizens to Focus on Important Stuff

I love the Thanksgiving holiday for many reasons. Yes, it beckons to my favorite holiday… Christmas, but that’s not the biggest reason why I love Thanksgiving. As a card carrying foodie, I love making a menu for Thanksgiving dinner. I do that every single year, pull out the holiday cookbooks and decide what I’m going to make to go with the bird.

As I hit the supermarkets, invariably I start thinking about food donations for those less fortunate. Giving seems to go naturally with Thanksgiving. With the holiday’s roots in our religious and cultural past, Thanksgiving asks us to think beyond ourselves. It urges us to engage in acts of kindness.

Often my daughter’s school would collect food at Thanksgiving, but this year her high school didn’t.

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So, I turned to City Harvest and found out the New York Fire Department, the New York Police Department, and many Modells Sporting Goods stores were collecting food.

Off I went to the 321 Engine Hook & Ladder Company on the edge of Marine Park.

 

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Of course, when approaching from the front, I couldn’t figure out how to get in. Then I realized I had to walk down the side alley. At the side door was where a firefighter happily took my bags of non-perishable food items.

Indeed I love the aroma of roasting turkey wafting around the house on Thanksgiving Day, the lingering smell of pumpkin pied just baked. There’s nothing like padding around the next day in PJs and an old pair of sweat socks while eating left over pie for breakfast, heating mashed sweet potatoes in the microwave for lunch and making turkey sandwiches. But the most gratifying thing is knowing how blessed my family is… and it is blessed indeed. There have been challenges, to say the least. But God had also richly blessed us. To my mind the best way to show gratitude is by giving.

For information about City Harvest, call (800) 77-HARVEST or email fooddrives@cityharvest.org.