Saturday, August 19, 2017

God, the Sun, and the Solar Eclipse

The solar eclipse in the U.S. is less than a week away and Greenville, South Carolina, will be directly in its path. In the middle of the day, the moon will pass in front of the sun, blocking its light for approximately 2 minutes.

photo courtesy of pixabay

There’s been quite a buzz about it over the last few months. It’s all over the news, in the papers, and online.

It’ll begin to get dark in early afternoon as the moon begins to cross between the sun and the earth.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Today's the second Monday of the month, so I'm posting about  on  Small Acts of Kindness.  Read my story here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Everyone's Gifts Are Important

 If the only tool in your belt is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
Abraham Maslow

I heard this quote one day and later realized that it reflects how we go about most things in our lives. We tend to see circumstances through our own lens, which is relatively small, and we react the only way(s) we know. The opposite is true as well. When have multiple “tools” in our “belt” we can better determine an appropriate solution to any given problem.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Blessings When You Need Them

I lost my balance the other day and stuck my left arm out, trying to break my fall. I broke my left wrist in the process.

You don’t realize how much you use both your hands until only one works.  I know first-hand (no pun intended).

Even something as basic as getting dressed involves two hands.  Thanks to YouTube, I’ve learned how to do that now. Turns out there are multiple uses for a broomstick.

I can’t drive, cook, or water the garden until my wrist heals, which will take several weeks. I love my plants and flowers so I really hate that.

Thankfully, I have several friends and family members helping me.  One of my neighbors brought dinner over the other night.  She also volunteered to drive when we went to the theater last week. Another friend has offered me a ride to church.

My parents have been shopping for me, as well as watering my plants and cleaning around the house.
Pushing a vacuum with only one hand just doesn’t work.  And forget about dragging a hose.
I don’t like having to depend on other people, but I’m glad it’s temporary. Letting people help me also gives them the blessing to someone.  I truly am blessed to have such loving, supportive family and friends. Keeping this perspective helps a lot.

How have you been blessed by someone’s generosity when you needed it?  Or perhaps you’ve had the privilege of helping someone else.  Share it here so we can all benefit from it. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Personal Care at a Local Family Pharmacy

I'd forgotten to pick up my medicine.  Medicine I can't afford to go without.  So when I realized it last month, I called to pick up a refill.  I use a local, family-owned pharmacy about 3 miles from my home. 
They know me there and even know what medicine I take before I tell them what I need.  I walked in last month and Tony, the pharmacist, said, "Hi Ellen.  How're you doin' today?"  I smiled and told him what I needed.  To read the rest of the story click here.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Forgive Them? Why Should I?

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Colossians 3:13

Recently, someone hurt me quite badly. It was personal and I couldn’t believe he’d said it. When I told him how upset I was and asked him not say it again, he laughed. Laughed! I was stunned. We’re part of the same ministry at church, for heaven’s sake!

For several months I avoided him, deliberately sitting on the other side of the room and avoiding eye contact with him.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pauses for the Vacationing Soul--A New Devotional for your Summer:

Today I’d like to let you know about a newly released devotional, Pauses for the Vacationing Soul, a Sensory-based Devotional Guide for the Beach a Sensory-based Devotional Guide for the Beach by my friend, Cathy Baker. 
I asked Cathy a few questions to let you, my readers, know a bit about the book before you buy it. Here’s what she said.
What made you decide to write a devotional?
Too many years I returned home from the beach with my Bible unpacked. My intentions were good but I felt as if I’d missed out on something while on vacation—and I had. Perhaps this is why when the idea for the devotion came to mind one morning while on the beach, I felt sure someone else could write it better. But the following summer, the same idea came to mind but this time, with more details. When I returned home from vacation that year, God confirmed that I was in fact the person who should write it.
I love that it’s specifically about how to experience God at the beach. Why the beach? 
It seemed the natural place to begin since I feel God gave me the idea while sitting on the beach. I don’t know about you, but seeing the vastness of the ocean and smelling the salty air seems to draw me closer to our Creator.
One of the book’s most unique features is how you take the reader through each of the 5 senses.  How did you come up with that idea? 
I taught adult Bible studies for over twenty years and often shared sensory items to drive home a particular truth. I love how God takes certain desires and displays them in different ways years later for His glory. It was during our second year at the beach that God gave me the idea of experiencing Him through each of our senses. Each day in the devotion, the reader will focus on one particular sense – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching. A brief scripture reading and devotion coincide with the sense of the day.
What do you want people to take away from this devotional guide?
Throughout the Bible, we see where God chose to share powerful stories that included sensory details (for instance, the Temple). He wired us to be able to draw closer to Him through our senses, and that is my prayer for the readers of this little book.
Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to tell our readers?
Yes! The beach devotional guide is just the first in a series of guides that will include other vacations like the mountains, lake, staycations, camping, and hopefully, Disney. There will also be devotional guides for the holidays. If you would like to stay updated on all the happenings of the Pauses devotional guides, subscribe to my site at In the June newsletter, I’ll give my community of subscribers a sneak peek of the new book covers and more.

Cathy Baker is a Bible teacher and an award-winning writer who delights in observing God at work in the nuances of life. Her recent release, Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach is the first in a series of books created to draw readers closer to God through our five different seasons. A variety of vacations, as well as holiday celebrations, will soon follow.
Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Upper Room, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. Her poetry has been published in two anthologies. She and her husband, Brian, live in the foothills of the Carolinas where she one day hopes to raise miniature Pygmy goats.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Light Makes a Difference

My hallway and kitchen were pretty dark, but I'd grown used to it.  One day, we decided it was time to improve and update the lighting, which had clearly been around for decades.  The difference has been amazing. To read more, click on this link.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

Today I went to a ceremony honoring veterans for Memorial Day, in Simpsonville, SC.  It was wonderful.  As it said in The Greenville News today, Memorial Day is often thought of as just a day off from work or school.  Often called the unofficial start of summer,

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Thoughts on Mothers' Day

Since we celebrate Mothers’ Day this weekend, I wanted to share with you all what my mom means to me.

I’m blessed to be able to call my mom my friend, and a close friend at that.  We continually think of and pray for each other.  Several times a week we’ll talk on the phone “just because.”  We don’t need a reason—we just like each other!  So much so that we take two days a week to get together. 
She comes over for an hour or two on Mondays so we can visit and talk about what’s going on.  Or about nothing.  Friends are comfortable with each other that way. About three days later, I head to their house and we play games and share dinner together.  I look forward to it each week. I’m not a poet but I do like to express myself in writing so I wrote a small poem for my mom about 25 years ago and I thought I’d share it with you today.

My feelings for you, Mom, are hard to express
Just thinking about it, I really am blessed.
You've taught me so much as I've grown through the years
To dare to strive higher, and persevere.
Nothing is ever too big or too small
You've taught me "I can" if I give it my all.
Success isn't all that you've taught me to find
But happiness too and a true peace of mind.
Each time that I've needed you, you have been there
To listen, to comfort, to show that you care.
Thank you for sticking with me to the end
Thank you for being a very good friend.

For all of you mothers out there, know that your kids (whether children or grown) love and appreciate you.  You sacrifice more than we can imagine and it’s hard for some of us to know how to express how we feel.  But we appreciate you.