... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Not a creature was stirring...

...except me! Christmas was a very quiet day as I made the choice to stay home alone. (My son and his family went to Iowa.) Because I had been so sick during most of December, what I wanted for Christmas was NO germs to lay me low again. Did share a Christmas Tea with a neighbor- we sat in the library (in our apt. complex) by a Christmas tree sipping tea, chatting, and enjoying the music in the background. It was relaxing and nice to get out of our apartments for a while.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Gifts from Santa! Several boxes of stationery, cards, stamps, pens, and hand lotion via Home Instead Health Care. Not a better gift for this writer who loves to send letters and cards. A lovely surprise!

2007 was a great and an awful year for me, but on Tuesday I get to begin again! As I get older, I appreciate the New Year as an opportunity for another chance. (Wish that wisdom came earlier in life.)

So let me begin with 2007. It was a rough year health-wise and financially. I am feeling pretty good now, as the year winds down; so I want to be healthier in 2008! And my finances would improve if some of my writing sells. :)

The good stuff of 2007 includes improving my blogging skills and opening a website; forming Sonrise Writers with my dear friend,Bonnie; facilitating Marlene Bagnull's Bible study for writers 3x with each time greater than the last one; the opportunity to mentor some writing friends; writing a monthly column on emotional abuse for Positively Feminine; becoming the editor for The Encourager, a printed newsletter for the chronically ill; and greatest of all the "delivery" of 4Him2U in November.

The special thing this year is that I made and actually fulfilled my New Year's Resolution: to better hear the voice of God! To learn to be in His presence and to be quiet- yep, I had to shut up in order to listen- has been and continues to be an awesome and precious time with the Lord. I count that as the reason for the good stuff of 2007!

For 2008 I want to improve my walk with Him; I want 4Him2U to reach >10,000 new folks around the world; I want to be published with pay; and I want each of the Sonrise Writers to receive writing contracts.

For you, my friends, I am asking God to bless you in a special way this coming year- so special that there can be no doubt that God is the source!!!

I want to be a "Spirit-walker" and to be content: being where God wants me, doing what He wants, and being satisfied with His timing. May He grant the same for each of you.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

"It's Looking Alot Like Christmas"

Or is it? Just how does Christmas look?

Earlier this evening I was watching PBS's Christmas in France. The customs varied from area to area- Paris celebrated differently than they did in the countryside. There were beautiful, snowy scenes; even a horse-drawn sleigh. Is that how Christmas looks?
Or is it the Christmas pageant with little ones dressed in shepherds robes or wearing crowns like the 3 kings?
Is it the live manger scene in front of the big church downtown?
Or it is the Christmas tree with colorful gifts underneath?
Having been a nurse for over 40 years, I have worked many Christmases caring for sick, injured, sad, lonely, dying people? Is that how Christmas looks?
For each of us it is different; and it may change from year to year also.
As I prepare throughout Advent for the celebration of Christ's birth, I try to envision Christmas from the viewpoint of the angels, of Joseph, of the shepherds, of Mary, and so on.
But I never thought of Christ's birth from His grandmother's point of view. Guess it's because my son left today to join his family in another state. The weather in the midwest is bad so I'm not sure if he arrived safely. He very well may be stranded.
As a mom, I am wondering if he's in an airport or was he able to get a room? Are my grandkids okay? Or were they on the way to pick him up along with their mother? Do they have a place to lay their heads tonight?
Is that what Christmas may have been for Mary's mother?
Was she worrying about about Mary traveling when she was so close to her delivery time? Was she concerned that they'd find a place to stay? Did she realize that it would be more than days or more than even weeks or months before she'd met her grand baby? Did she understand who this baby was?
Was Christmas a day of continuous prayer for Mary's safety? Or had this mother disowned her daughter?
Was she going to accept a baby that wasn't even Joseph's? How would she react when the King decrees that all males under two must die?
So many questions with no answers.
All I know for sure is that I want to "Go Tell It On the Mountain that Jesus Christ Is Born!"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dressing Up for Christmas?

What a time it has been! On the day before Thanksgiving I had a heart cath, which praise God showed only mild vessel narrowing and no major problems. After 2 days of being pampered at my son's I returned home to rest prior to a final test. The pulmonary function test was mostly normal- a good thing!- but did show that not enough oxygen is going into my blood stream. At last, a reason for why I have been short-of-breath and fatigued with exertion since June. Now I will see a pulmonary specialist for the why's to be answered.
But, meanwhile, in the middle of ladies Bible Study last Wed. I began wiggling and not paying attention. Boy, was I itchy!!!
Within hours I was scarlet from the neck down and within 24hrs later I was sick with my own Santa suit on, but I was not hopping a sleigh to anywhere... I was grounded. I didn't have Santa's rosy cheeks either- those below my listless blue eyes were very pale. Turns out my sweet 19 month old gr'daughter shared her strept infection with me; but instead of strept throat I had Scarlet Fever.

Today, the rash is nearly gone & I even feel well enough to check my e-mails.

For all of you, I have 2 tips on Dressing Up for Christmas:
1. Wash your hands often- it's still the best way to avoid illness.
2. Cover that cough or sneeze- it's the best gift you can give to others.

While I'm waiting to see the return of a sparkle in my blue eyes, I'm sipping tea and reading a few Christmas books as I prepare my heart for Christmas. I pray it won't take Scarlet Fever for you to spend some time in His presence... remember, it's not what you wear, what you do, what you wish or what you buy...it's opening your heart to Him in celebration of His gift of love!