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. 






Monday, May 8, 2017

More than Just Walking The Dog

Last week I was out walking my dog, Tommy,
when I came upon a neighbor named Jo.

It turned our walk into more than I'd bargained
for.  Read the story  on Small Acts of Kindness  here.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nature Can Change People's Attitudes
I'd lived in New York City for a year and a half and had grown used to the fast-paced life, even though it didn't suit me well. It was temporary since I was there for graduate school. I'd grown up in a small town of a few thousand people and was suddenly in the a city with millions.  
The people I encountered didn't even make eye contact with each other, focused instead on themselves and their agenda for the day. One day that all changed, the difference so striking it made the New York Times the next day.  Read more about my experience here.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tomorrow's Valentine's Day and I'll post on that a bit later this week. But since today's the second Monday of the month, I'm posting on Jennifer Hallmark's blog, Small Acts of Kindness.

We never know how our acts of generosity, big or small, can touch people's hearts, even over a decade later like it has for me.  Read my story here.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Today's the second Monday of the month so I'm posting on Jennifer Hallmark's blog, Small Acts of Kindness.  Read today's post here

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Years Resolutions

Now's the time of year when many, if not most people make new goals for the coming year. Wanting to "start over" as it were, to make a better life than last year's.  Today, I'm posting about it on Jennifer Hallmark's blog, Small Acts of Kindness.  Read more here.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Story of the Teacup

A few years ago, a friend invited me to a High Tea at Community Chapel in Mauldin, SC. I didn't know what to expect since I'd never heard of one,