Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Sunday Afternoon Drive

Sunday afternoon drives can be so relaxing....I so love traveling the back roads with my sweetheart, while we take in so much of God's surrounding beauty!  

Do you mind if I share a few of those things with you this morning?  All of these photos were taken within a 5 mile radius of our home!






Green Fence....anyone!  I think this is a first for me.



This photo Blessed me.....



A gorgeous old country road.....I remember traveling this road when it was just a path of dirt.



Isn't he a beauty? 


He was on a mission....headed to the water pond.


And finally.....down at the farm....a field of peach trees!  



                                                I'm joining Tex 

         at the Good Fences Party





Enjoy the Blessings of this day!

Shug ~


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Heart was so Touched!!

God dwells in the atmosphere of His Praise!!

The Bible says that God inhabits the Praises of His people. {Psalm 22:3}

I define Praise as admiration, thankfulness, and respect for God.  As we magnify the Lord, and give Praise to His name.....HE eagerly awaits the sweet fragrance of our truthful acknowledgement, that HE is worthy of ALL praise!

The heart of Worship is the complete surrendering of ourselves to God's control.
It is to be, in the spirit, with our whole heart.

This past Sunday morning...my heart was so touched by the Worship and Praise which came from one of the youth from our church.

This young man is challenged.   He suffers mentally, physically, and environmentally. However....none of these were a challenge for him during Worship and Praise.   

I believe I witnessed the Spirit of God in this young mans life.  The Spirit of God is well able to do miraculous things when we give our all to God.  No disability of a person, is going to stop God from letting the power of His anointing fill the heart,soul, and body.   

When your heart is filled with true Worship and Praise, then God will send His angels to act on your behalf.

This young man stood, with his hands lifted up, Praising God in all of his fullness.  There were No signs of any kind of disability to be seen.  

After service....it was clear to see that Yes, he is still that same challenged young man.....But for a moment in time....{God's Time}...he was free to feel the presence of God, and was free to Worship and Praise God through the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  

I am thankful that I was there to witness the sweet breath of God as He breathed upon this young guy.

Blessings My Friend.

Shug ~

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Electrical Twinkle-EEZ

I have needed to be here!  I've needed my friend time in the Blogging world.

Ever since the "Christmas tour of homes"....we have been having some unexpected electrical issues here at the house.

Did anyone say OVERLOAD?  I love Christmas lights and I'm guessing that I went into the overload zone with all my twinkle-eez at Christmas.



I say all of this to SAY....we have had  
a complete electrical re-do this week...
Yep, Completely NEW Breaker box inside, and NEW Electrical boxes outside.   New Wiring...New Plugs!  

This called for a lot of moving the furniture out of the way....I also had to completely empty the storage room where the breaker box is located.  It was moved and is now already back in place!! 

There are a lot of bones in my body that are not happy with me right now!!

The tough part, was having NO electricity while all of this work was being done!! 

If you've missed me or missed my comments on your post....this was the reason why.  No computer...iPad was not charged....and I can't see well enough on my phone to write a post or to read post!! LOL.  "This {getting old} stuff is harder than I thought."   

Anyways....it's all fixed now and I feel much safer!

Sweet hugs...

Shug ~

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Walking Alone.....with Alzheimer's

This is not my normal way of spending a Saturday evening....but the truth is.....I need some down time!

This journey that I am on with my dad, in dealing with Alzheimer's, is much more complicated than I ever imagined it would or could be.  I have definitely encountered some interesting days this past week.

Where does the mind go?  What space does it resort to?  How does it periodically become clear and then suddenly fade away into the distant past?  What kind of time machine exist, that allows the human mind to run and hide?

I don't know.....I don't understand it.  I just can not comprehend how my dad can be my dad at one moment and within minutes, NO... seconds.....he is introducing me to his nurse as his sister, Marlene.

....how we can we be sitting in his room carrying on a somewhat normal conversation, and by the end of any spoken sentence, we are out building a barn!  Oh yes.... we are actually putting the roof on an ol' Pole Barn!

As I go each day to visit him, I go with journal in hand.  I want to make sure that I am able to gather every ounce of brain cell activity that decides to let itself be known on the given day.

This is my dad's life.......and to me, it doesn't matter if his focus for the day is the repeated mannerism of turning the light switches on and off   {5o times a day}   or if it's a memory of his past life that he shares, over and over again.  All of these things are a part of his now life and it is important for me to know that he feels loved.

I live with a lot of questions.... Is he lonely?  Is he afraid?  How do  his minutes compare to ours?  You see.....this disease that we know as Alzheimer's is best known to take a person from adulthood, back into the years of being a little child.   

Little children have no concept of time.....and they can easily become afraid.   What is it that we do when a child is afraid?  We draw them near us and try to give them as much comfort as we can.  We try to assure them that they are safe.   In the same way that I would care for a child.....I need to be able to alleviate an fear that my dad might have and to let him know that he is being cared for.

  I know that ever how much his mind  forgets.....it doesn't forget how to love.   Not a single day passes by that he fails to tell me he loves me so very much.

He holds my hand with such a longing to never let it go.  Is this the fear that I was talking about or is it just a longing to share another moment in time with me?   I choose to believe that it is my dad....just needing to know that I am there for him.  There to walk with him through the dark hours and to help him find his way when his mind becomes a little lost.

Oh my.....what a devastating disease this can be.   As a daughter of a man who walks daily with this disease....I can tell you that each day is filled with the unknown.   Each day is filled with unique situations and sometimes, some very complicated trials.  

I praise God  that my dad is not walking alone. God is always with him.  Sweet Comfort and Peace!

From my heart....
shug ~

Friday, January 23, 2015

It's Time to Inflate......

Did anyone say RAIN?   We have certainly had plenty.....


The temps were chilly and when you add rain....it makes for a day of staying inside and keeping the Pj's on.  


Later in the Summer season.....this flower bed will be begging for this much rain.



This is a picture of a portion of our drive way.....The ground is saturated and the rain had no where to go.....so it puddled!!

I think we have more to come...today.

I'm guessing it might be time to inflate the raft!! 

Speaking of inflate....or perhaps the word should be deflate...."Deflate-gate!!"

"Deflate gate" has sure been a "TOP" topic on Face Book this past week.  

So....were the balls checked in the first place?? and.... who was in charge of babysitting them after they were inspected? 

Evidently...the NFL has rules for handling these balls....Someone in charge!! I don't know!! If so, it looks like there would only be one person to question...and only one true answer that could clear this up.   

What I do know is that HONESTY and INTEGRITY is more important than any Super Bowl win!!

Thoughts to share??

Warm Hugs on this chilly day!!

Shug ~

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Watering the Earth



Something that we RARELY see around here....This photo was taken a few years ago, however....today, it makes for a great FENCE picture.  I'll be joining Good Fences today.



         



We are actually having a lot of rain today!!

"For just as the rain and the snow come down from Heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, yielding seed for the sower and bread for eating;  So will my message be that goes out my mouth; it won't return to me empty.  Instead, it will accomplish what I desire, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."            Isaiah 55:10-11


Blessings Friends....
Shug ~

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Are you a hugger?


Wow.....how cool is this?   I had no idea that Wednesday January 21, 2015 was set as  National Hug day.  I wanted to write this post and in my checking....I realized that this day really does exist.



Are you a hugger??   I will tell you....I AM!

I love hugs!!  I love giving hugs!!  I love receiving hugs!!

I know that there are some people who do not like to be touched....BUT, who can turn down a big Squeezable hug?

Hugs are Free!!  Hugs are a positive part of life.....


Hugs are Powerful!!  

In my opinion, a good ol' hug can build a warm sense of trust between two people and it always gives me a feeling of safety.  Trust and safety....who can beat these two great feelings?


So True....


I leave you all with this.....One Free hug.
It is my hopes that someday...I'll be able to give each of you a warm hug!

Blessings....
shug


A little Fog


A little Foggy out this morning......However, this is suppose to burn off and we are expected to have another gorgeous day!!

I actually baked yesterday!   I made a chess cake!  So easy and it really taste delicious!!  

Yellow cake mix
Stick of butter softened
1 egg

{mix the above and press into a greased baking dish}

2 eggs
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 lb box of powdered sugar

{mix and pour on top of cake mix batter}

Bake @ 325 for 35 to 40 min. - till golden brown!

SIMPLE!!


Gonna be a wonderful day!!

Blessings Y'all...
shug



Sunday, January 18, 2015

My heart is Full...



Sunday.....January 18, 2015



A special day indeed....

Mylee Jo was baptized this morning!!

This photo is from the side of the baptismal and this picture was taken by her mommy.....just before she was baptized!

Jesus said,  "Let the little children come unto me."

My heart is Full...

Shug ~

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday This and That

Woke up at 5 this morning and I'm still charged!  Amazing!!


Had breakfast at the Egg & I with our wonderful friends.....Joe and Marsha!  The coffee was great along with my delicious cheese omelet, fruit and toast!


Then it was off to see the 9:00 showing of 
"American Sniper"....  A very touching and honest movie!!  Really makes you think and it really makes you appreciate our men and women in the Armed Forces!!  

I would recommend this movie to you all....

US Navy Seal "Chris Kyle" was most definitely a dedicated young man....not only to protect his comrades....but to protect the American People.

****************


The Sun is shining brightly and the weather outside is so super nice!!  I think I'll head out with my camera and see if I can find something to shoot!

hugs to all...
Shug


Friday, January 16, 2015

I'm up... How about you??

Argh.....  It's 11:30 P.M. And my eyes are opened wide.   I can't sleep!!

This is what happens when I get a steroid shot like I got this morning.  The shot may be good for what hurts, but it's not good for my sleep.  

We are suppose to get up early in the morning... Some friends are picking us up at 7:00 A.M. to go eat a yummy breakfast!!!  I can't wait.... Afterwards, we are taking in a  9:00 A.M. movie.   

That's right folks... I said nine o'clock A.M.    Sporadic behaviors can sure make life fun...

I'm just hoping that I don't fall asleep during the movie..  However... A full tummy and little sleep tonight can sure make for a good snooze when the lights go out at the theater..  

I'll be back tomorrow with the outcome!!!

Sleep well dear friends.

Shug

Look What I Found.....

Hey Y'all......Look What I found.


The Sun came out yesterday!


I took great pleasure in seeing it shine through the door and to see the brightness on my curtains.






Look at it shining in,through my bedroom shutters!!   AWESOME!!


Just look at this beautiful sunset!!

GOD is Awesome!!

"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be Praised."

                 Psalm 113:3


Happy Friday all....

Shug ~

Thursday, January 15, 2015

As the Deer Pants....


Psalm 42:1-2

"As the deer pants for streams of water, 
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirst for God, for the living God
When can I go and meet with God.


linking with Good Fences.


Have a Blessed Day!

shug


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Get-up-and-Go....

My motivation seems to be hibernating and it sure must be warm and cozy right where it is at.   

                          Borrowed Photo


I always welcome company into our home, but right now.....this place is looking quite BEAR Bare!

I still as of yet.....have done nothing since taking down the Christmas Decorations!

It's my motivations fault.  It do believe that it is missing a few spark plugs at this time.   

You know what?  I'm not going to worry about it.   Even though my regular routine is a little off track....I still know who the engineer of my life is.  When God is ready for me to fuel my engine, HE will let me know.

Sometimes God wants us just to rest in His presence and to be still. God has mapped out every inch of my journey and it's NO surprise to HIM that my get-up-and-go has strutted off with out me!!

My future is great and I will soon bask in the delight of being busy....God has a plan for me and I must use this time to listen for His direction.

The Lord will always lead you.  He will satisfy your needs in dry lands.  He will give strength to your bones.  You will be like a garden that has much water.  You will be like a spring that never runs dry.   

              Isaiah 58:11  


Shug ~

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Give Everyday A Chance!

It is hard to believe that we are now two weeks into the New Year.......the year of 2015.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  "The Lord is my portion,"  says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

                                                                                            Lamentations 3:22-24

These first two weeks have been quite challenging and have definitely required me to exercise my Trust in the Lord.   Thank goodness for God's word, that assures me that HIS mercies are new every morning.


Photo Source:  Klebeheld.de



You know..... God longs to be our guide.....He longs to direct our steps and to lead us past the wilderness that we sometimes walk through.

I know that for me......I have walked on many uneven paths this past year {2014}   I faced mental challenges in dealing with my dad.   There were many days when fear of the unknown, kept me  awake at night and it kept me  pacing the floor ....often!

I look back and can clearly see that it was me... i was the one that was purchasing the  tickets  to travel on the worry train...

It's just my nature to anticipate the best in everything and out of everyone.    When things don't work out, I can't focus until I have found a solution that will work..... as we all know....life is not perfect!!  Life will disappoint us...People will disappoint us!  It's people like me that have to work through the letdowns,  because we expected more than what could be given. 

It is very difficult to have high expectations, only to find that those expectations can sometimes fail us.   A hand shake is no longer a hand shake.....a person's word is no longer set in gold.....and the one thing that I've learned most of all is that the love of money is deceitful.   What happened to the days of helping others .....just because it's the right thing to do??
Not for personal gain!!


Thankfully......in all my distress......my God empowered me daily.....it was essential for me to welcome the Holy Spirit to guide me, to teach me and to help me in my times of weakness.

Yes.....our days are moving forward and the year 2015 is marching along.   I am filled with Hope....Hope that will anchor my soul and will move me forward in my relationship with the Lord.  


I know that there are phenomenal Blessings just ahead!!  Just thinking about them makes me want to dance.


Sweet hugs....
Shug ~

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sending Sunshine....

Good Monday morning....


I don't know about you....but I need a little sunshine!  These rainy, cold days have me longing for Spring!

I feel a little hemmed in and I just want to find that loose piece of string and free myself.

It's human nature I suppose...to always be on the look out for something more pleasing.  When Summer rolls around and the temps become sweltering....out comes those famous words.."I'm ready for cooler days..ready for Winter."

Now that Winter is here...we promise not to ever complain about the Summer heat...never again!


We need only to put on our happy suit and enjoy the day!

happy sunshine!


Hugs.
shug



Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Digger


This piece of equipment has been around for about 46 or 47 years. 

 I can assure you that there is not another one like it.... ANYWHERE!

It was special made by Sam's uncle....to dig Pecan trees!! As it travels down the rows of trees, it straddles the tree and pushes up the roots from behind.

 It is a:   Pecan Tree Digger!!



      This picture was taken in the Spring.


The trees are not dug until the Fall season (around Nov and Dec) and by then, most of them are 6ft tall.  

The machine digs about 60,000 plus Pecan trees each season!!  

The majority of Pecan trees are grown in buckets like the ones below.



Indeed.....it is an interesting piece of equipment!!

And there you have it!!

Stay warm y'all.....(I'm so cold today!!)

Shug ~

Friday, January 9, 2015

What is it???

Isn't this an interesting piece of equipment?  Can anyone guess what it is?





I'll share the answer tomorrow!!

Shug.....

To Each His Own....

I've heard it said many times....
To Each His Own!!

{To Each His Own = One has a right to one's personal preferences}

Are you fashionable?  Do you like to keep up with all of the latest FASHIONS?  Or you a trend chaser?   

Earlier this week, I described my simple way of life.   I like to be comfy....BUT... I do know how to dress for any occasion!!

My husband always seems to be proud of how I look....and I believe that it is important, for me to look good for him and for me!

It is way too cold to be outside, looking for things to photograph and topics to blog about.   So, for this reason....my thoughts may be a bit random!!

How many of you like SPIDERS?  Not me!!!  I've been bit by a Brown Recluse...twice....and I can tell you right now...I Don't like spiders!!

You are probably thinking....what do spiders and fashion have in common????   And this brings me to my topic of conversation for today!!  Why this topic today?

Because it was just yesterday that I was visiting with a lady...and I honestly could not keep my mind on our conversation.  Her eyelashes were about an {inch} long and that was all I could focus on!!  LOL...




Thick....long... eyelashes are now a big trend.  It has even been said that "mascara is a girls new best friend."

Clumpy....spider like...lashes are the {IN} thing.  Forget the eyes...the focus is on the lashes!!

While I'm not one that enjoys wearing a lot of mascara....I'm certainly not one for having spider legs surrounding my eyes. 

 {Most of the time...I forget to apply any mascara to my eyes......}

I'm not being critical....and as the saying goes...TO EACH HIS OWN...   I just think that too much is too much! For me anyways!! 

I do apply makeup daily....but I prefer the more natural look.  A little bit of eye shadow....some eye liner....a small dry brushing of mascara....a little base...and some blush.  A lip liner and a soft grapefruit colored lip gloss!!  That is it for me!!!

Aside from the fact that I'm really not big on the feathered eye lash look.....I do believe that the heaviness on my eyelids, would drive me crazy!  

I like to blink...and I sure don't need anything blurring my vision. 

This fad will just have to pass me by!  

To each his own!!  

It is Cold outside and we have a small chance of Winter precipitation!  


Shug.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lesson learned......don't pre-judge!!

I've been sitting here for over an hour, with my laptop open....and yet, I just seem to be staring into space. 

I either have brain fog....Or....a way too tired mind.  I'm not even interested in checking out Facebook tonight.   Perhaps, it's the weather?! 

The wind has really been blowing today and it's cold outside!  All I want to do is curl up on the sofa.....and watch TV.   Oh no.....I just realized that this is the exact thing that I did all of last week!     The verdict is:   I've become LAZY!

I did gather up enough energy to go see my dad today!!  I try to go everyday, with the exception of last week.....when I could barely walk.   

You know.......for the past year or so......I have fought with all my being, NOT to put my dad in the very Memory Care facility that he is in at this time!!   

The reason?  Because I did not think it was good enough!!  

I'm just being honest here!!  It's an older facility and when my brother and I first visited this site.....I  was the one who said:   NO WAY!   I'm guessing that I had something much more prestigious in mind.   Why?  Because I wanted the very BEST for my dad!  

Let me tell you about a lesson that I have learned...... Stay with me here!!!!

My dad was in the hospital for 14 days and then he was released to a Nursing Home.    It was a New Place with a lot of up-to-date equipment.   Dad was there for about three weeks, before we got a phone call saying that the director felt that dad needed to be in a complete memory care unit.

I was almost devastated......    Private pay care in our area can be very costly!!!!  $5,000 or more per month!!!!

What to do?    We only had two choices.......One was to bring dad home and try once again to take care of him.....OR.....move him to the Nursing Home that I had fought sending him to.

My brother took care of getting dad's things moved....(because this all took place last week when I was so sick)


At the first "newer" and more updated place......I had to make his bed (myself) almost every time I went.    There were several days when he would be wearing the same clothes that he had on the day before and the day before!     There were numerous times when I would have to clean his face because he had dried food on it.

There were several days when I would go in the early mornings and dad would still be in bed with his pants, belt, and snap up shirt on.  In other words......he slept in them all night long.  

Dad had so much anxiety, and there were several times when he would not get the medicine he needed {ON TIME} to prevent the stressful anxiety from becoming worse and making him upset and start shaking.

Since he has been moved..........

I have been over every single day,  to see my dad.......sometimes, twice a day.....and can I tell you, that he is receiving STAR treatment!  

Not once have I  visited, that he was dirty or in need of his clothes being changed.    At night, they make sure he gets a shower and that he has on his pajamas.   In the mornings....they get him up and put clean clothes on him.   

His hair has already been trimmed and it is combed every single day.......they also shave him every morning and they dash on his after shave that he has always loved.

Not once have I had to make his bed!!!!!  It is always made and the bed coverings are always changed.   His room is neat and very clean, and his dirty clothes are in the hamper.

  Dad is content and he looks happy.   !!!!!!   I've not witnessed one single anxiety attack since being there.

What I have learned is:   God knows what is Best!   I have spent many hours, praying for God's will......but yet, I was fighting it.

   It has taken me a while to realize that in life......things are not always what they seem!!   In the same way that a person can be BEAUTIFUL on the outside and very uncaring on the inside..........So can the things of life be!!    A building is just a building.   It can be beautiful on the outside..... but if the people on the inside are not loving.....then what do we gain???

Don't pre-judge the worth of something by it's outward appearance.    

My dad is now being taken care of by loving, caring people who are making a difference in his life!!  It's not the "BEST" in town.....but it is what is BEST for my dad!

Shug.......











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Yes....My Grandkids Rock

Yes....My Grandkids Rock