Saturday, January 4, 2020

Too Many Shoes?

My husband has always commented on how many pair of shoes I have.  I've tried to explain to him, my shoes, or the number of pairs I have, compare to his golf clubs.  It must be a man thing.  Because he just doesn't get it.
I thought I found a solution the would shut him up, even temporarily.  I started looking before Christmas for a shoe tree, or an over-the-door shoe caddy.  Something to organize my shoes, and get them off the floor in my closet. Hmmm, what is he doing in my closet anyway?
I searched until I found what I thought was the perfect way to store my shoes.  And while I was at it, I thought I would be nice, and find one for him too.

The two shoe caddy's came in the mail, but at different times.  I hung mine over the door in my closet, and proceeded to organize my shoes.  I stood back and realized I had lots more little slots to put more shoes.

When the caddy came for my husband, I tried to surprise him by hanging his over his door.  When I put his shoes in the caddy, I realized there was a little problem.  The weight from his two pairs of shoes wouldn't hold the caddy in place.  So, every time you open or close the door, you have to move the shoe caddy in order to close his closet door.

Friday, January 3, 2020

I subscribed to SendoutCards over 10 years ago.  One of the reason's I love SendoutCards is the convenience.  Several weeks ago I was waiting in a very long line.  While I was in that line waiting, I opened the app on my phone, and sent two cards; one was a birthday card, and the other a just because card. Once you have all your contacts listed on your site, with their name, address, birthday or anniversary, or both, you just pick out the card you want to send, add a few words of your own, and press send.  Your monthly subscription pays for the card and postage.  This is not a subliminal message to get you to subscribe to SendoutCards, but rather to subscribe to their philosophy.

This past week SendoutCards sent a text message inviting me to a "daily prompt for #The12DaysofGiving."  I wasn't sure I would be able to do that.  Everyone I know is busy, including me.  So when I first read the challenge, I wasn't sure I could do it, or even want to do it.

 The first prompt was to pay for the person behind you when you are in line for coffee, tea, or whatever.  I received someones' kindness a few years ago, and I still remember how that made me feel.  However, when I actually paid for the people behind me, it was a totally different feeling.  I knew that they would have no idea "who paid for their lunch." It was such an awesome feeling as I drove away that day remembering how happy I felt when someone showed me that same kindness. 

The second day prompt is called Neighborly Kindness...and reminds us that neighbors are a special one of a kind family.  SendoutCards included a link if you would like to send them a card to tell them how special they are and to thank them for all their help, just when you need it.  You can also just send them a note, telling them that very same thing.

I can 't wait for tomorrow's challenge. Giving does not have to be about anything material.  It can be as simple as just letting someone know you appreciate them.  Random Acts of Kindness, is something I want to incorporate into my life.  I want to let as many people as possible know the profound impact they have had on my life.  I want to start that now, not next week.  Life can be short, and in fact, we have no idea how long we can share that kindness.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020


One of the daily devotionals I read is Streams in the Desert (Cowman, 1997).   One of my very best friends, Sue bought this little devotional for me several years ago.  One of the reason's I love this devotional is that we both read it everyday.  We don't see each other that often, but we text each other many times a day.  Besides our love of the Lord, we are both caregivers.  We don't have to explain anything to each other, we just "get it". 

Yesterday, Cowman wrote, "Thus far has the Lord helped us,"(I Samuel 7:12, NKJV).  What he's talking about is up to now, the Lord has helped.  Thus far means up to this point, but the Lord hasn't stopped.  So no matter what we are going through we can always look back, and see how the Lord's hand was there, helping, leading, guiding us, and giving us the hope and courage we need until the next "thus far."

Another reason that little devotional yesterday resonated with me is because he wrote that for December doesn't matter what year.  Thus far the Lord has helped us...there is so much more to come. The last day of the year.  Today is the first day of a new year.

I used to be methodical in writing New Years resolutions.  I set out to lose weight, eat healthier,  exercise on a regular basis, learn to say no, and take time off (to rest).  I was always so proud of myself that I was able to stick to that list...for about 10 days.  Then I ate whatever I could cram in my mouth during the 5 to 10 minute break between clients (if I had a break between clients).  I counted the steps from my car to the office door as my exercise for the day.  I had to drag all that "stuff" with me, so that meant I was exercising, right?  So by the 11th day, my resolutions were at the very bottom of the pile. Or in my "to do" basket.

My goal, or resolution, is to stay focused on I Samuel 7:12, Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, Thus far the Lord has helped us (NKJV).  Which means to me,  there is always more.  Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (NKJV).

Thus far the Lord has helped me peace and hope for this new year, 2020.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Tis the season to be jolly~ fa la la la la......At least that's what the world is telling us right now.  This is a joyful and peaceful time to celebrate Jesus birth.  A time for celebration. However, just because the rest of us are feeling the joy with the anticipation of family and friends gathering around us, not everyone is feeling the joy.

The people who are living alone, through the death of a spouse.  Or a single mom whose last child moved out this past year to start college.  There are so many scenarios that I can't even begin to name all the circumstances people may be facing during this time.  A single mother whose paycheck barely covers the rent and utilities, has no money to buy her children a present. In fact, she doesn't have the money to buy a tree.

There are so many things in my life that I sometimes take them for granted.  Like a roof over my head.  A car that gets me from point A to point B.  A refrigerator to store food that I buy.

I have been there, that single mom, with little money to do anything but pay the rent and keep the utilities on.  I have felt the pain watching my children watch in anticipation if any presents will be under the tree with their name on it. Or being in a crowded store watching other parents load up on toys or clothes to surprise someone on Christmas morning.

I am trying to look around me, in my own backyard, so to speak, to spot those individuals who are not feeling the same joy as everyone else.  It's hard to live alone.  It's hard to be happy when your mother died a few months ago.  You have four children, and your husband decided you are no longer attractive to him, so he found someone younger than you, to build a life with...without his children or their mother.   Or a routine visit to the doctor turned out to be a major life changer with a deadly diagnosis.

I tried to imagine how Jesus's Mother, Mary must have felt.  She was a virgin, not married, and pregnant. 
She was betrothed to a man named Joseph.  I can only imagine how embarrassed he must have felt. However, the angel Gabriel told Mary,  Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women (Luke 1:28, NKJV).

My prayer is that no one eats alone.  That everyone has enough food to eat.  Luke 6:20-23 (The Beatitudes): Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.  Blessed are you when men hate you, And when the exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

I'm praying for Joy, Peace and Love... Merry Christmas!
And Joy, Peace, and Love to continue the new year.
Happy New Year

Link to my web site: Kathryn Neff

Sunday, August 25, 2019


I'm sure, unless you are one of the Golden Girls, you will remember the popular TV show of the same name, rather than the group of crazy women who banded together once a month to keep our sanity.  We have been friends for more years than I am willing to admit.  We brought our pocket calendars, and set the next monthly "Golden Girl meeting." To be honest, I don't remember how many years we did that either.  What I do remember is a few times the management came to our table and asked us to tone it down, because our laughter was bothering some of the people sitting close to us.  But that was our purpose, for an hour and a half, once a month we "brought everything to that table." We talked about problems with our kids, our parents health issues. Later we discussed the "empty nest syndrome."  We attended each other's childrens weddings, and sometimes bridal or (grand)baby showers.  We eventually talked about the issues our parents were having, and finally dealing with the death of our parents.  Today, as Golden Girls, we are reaching out to each other, just as we have for so many years, even though we are scattered over the county, to say good-bye to Ellie.  Ellie finally moved to the head of the line.
In addition to being Golden Girls,  Ellie and I were best friends. 
When I first learned that she had a stroke, I did what I always do.  I started praying for complete healing and asking the Lord to heal her body.  Over the next few weeks, the Golden Girls reached out to each other for "updates from Steve (her son)."  Rather than accept the fact that this stroke was a major game changer for Ellie, I focused completely on the last conversation I had with her.  She called to tell me that her family, was planning a vacation to Florida, "probably not until next year." She went on to say, "I could stay with you and maybe we could get together with the Golden Girls one more time." Absolutely!  We laughed about old ladies being asked to leave a restaurant because we were too loud.  I focused on the thousands of memories I have with Ellie, rather than focus on the fact that she was not getting better.  Her son Steve was amazing, in that he kept us (Golden Girls) aware of what was happening with our precious El.
I reflected on that last conversation when she said, "I'm gonna try to loose about 50 pounds before we head to Florida."  That statement is only significant to another Golden Girl, because Ellie was always "going to lose 50 pounds by the week-end,  before vacation I need to lose 20 pounds,  I started a diet yesterday."  But then she would order "diet coke, and supersize everything!"
When Steve let me know that she had passed away, it was a mixed blessing.  At that point I knew she couldn't survive, and she had been in so much pain, and was so frustrated, I knew I had to let her go.  However, it wasn't until Steve text her "final arrangements to me" that it all came tumbling down around me. 
I knew if Ellie could see me, she would have laughed at me, at my tears.  I think in all the years we knew each other, I could count on one hand the times I saw Ellie cry.  She was a strong person, but she saw herself as weak.  She was kind and genuine, but she wasn't sure people accepted her.  She was faithful and loyal to her friends and family. She was beautiful, inside and out, but she always thought of herself "as fat."
You are at the head of the line Ellie.  It's up to you to make the arrangements for the "next Golden Girl reunion."  We'll all be there with you, sooner than we know.  I remember over the years, Ellie didn't like any public show of affection, such as a hug when we were leaving each other.  However, in the past ten years we never hung up the phone without saying "I love you."  The last time I saw her she actually let me hug her! She knew each of the Golden Girls loved her too.  She loved almost everyone.
I'm sad I can't call her and read this to her, however, I know she had no doubt that I loved her to pieces.
Rest in Peace my precious loyal and loving friend.  Rest in His arms, until we get there!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Loving Ellie

I don't remember my life without her.  And I can't really remember the first day we met.  We both worked for the same company all those years ago.  Somehow my friendship with her evolved into monthly "get together's for dinner with the Golden Girls."  I don't remember that date either.  What I do remember is laughter.  When I think of "Ellie" my heart smiles.  That's not even her real name, but she somehow suggested the name, and all these years later she is still Ellie in the Golden Girls hearts.  Ellie and I shared a special kind of friendship.  We were kind of like a comedy team. Over the years we watched each other's children grow up and have families of their own.  We grieved together over our parents illnesses, and finally their death.  The Golden Girls loved each other through all that life has to offer, even the disappointments.  We were there to share the joy of first and subsequent grandchildren. In later years we replaced our parents health concerns to our own.

Ellie and I vacationed together.  After she retired, I talked her into getting a part-time job in the same town as me. One time she was getting ready to go visit her son, who was stationed in Hawaii at the time, and she told me she was worried that she couldn't keep up.  So, I got the brilliant idea to "make her walk with me over our lunch hour."  I picked her up from her office, drove the couple miles to a "safe spot" for us to walk.  I measured the telephone poles and knew about how far I could walk in an hour.  I suggested she try to walk to at least two of them. I took off, my usual speed.  When I turned to go back to my car, I noticed she was already in the car.  I was so happy, and feeling like I had been an encouragement, and inspiration to her!  When I got to the car, I said, "Ok, El, it wasn't as difficult as you thought, right?"  She didn't say anything at first.  I said, "How far did you get?"  She said, "I started out, planning to just go to the first pole.  Then I realized I forgot my purse, so I came back to the car." What??? "Why did you need your purse?"  She said, in typical Only Ellie Fashion,  "Well,  I just thought if I passed out, the paramedic's wouldn't know who I was, so I needed my purse with my identification!"

The last time we spoke, we talked about a Golden Girl reunion of sorts.  She said, "I would really love to get together with everyone at least one more time."  We all used to live within miles of each other, now we are all over the country.  Two of us live in Florida, one in Arizona, one in Ohio, and Ellie lives in Virginia with her son and his family.

In the past few weeks Ellie had a stroke, and the right side of her body was affected.  She also needed to learn to speak again.  Her son has been awesome to keep me up-to-date.  He said this week she was doing better, awake and alert, but had a long way to go. 

The last text I received stated that Ellie had pulled out the trach again, and the nurses did not get to her in time.  She had no heartbeat and was not breathing.  They were able to resuscitate her.  When he sent the text, the ER sent her for a CAT scan to determine if she is brain dead or not. 

I have been waiting to hear from him, regarding how she is.  I started praying differently last night. I do not want her to suffer anymore.  I love her so much, and can't imagine life without her, but I'll see her again!

I love you Ellie......"could we stop at Walmart, I need to pick up, just one thing!"

I know just what you will say!!!!!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Several weeks ago, during his morning message, our Pastor stated, "Freedom isn't free."  I have heard that expression for so many years.  As I get older, that phrase means more to me than ever.  That morning Pastor Jim asked, "How many of you have someone in your family who is, or was in the military? I would like you to stand." I stood to honor my Father, my Aunt, Uncle, my Husband and my son.  He added, "don't just look at me, but turn around and look at all the people who are standing."  I turned around to see what he was talking about.  I'm guessing more than half of the congregation was standing.  He hesitated, and I sensed he was overcome by what he was seeing too.  Some of those men and women did not come home.  He asked those who lost a loved one while serving in the military to remain standing.  Our church is small, by comparison, however there were more people standing that I realized.  It did not have to be an immediate family member, but someone in their family or extended family.  

When I learn about someone burning the flag,  I literally see red.  Or when I see on the news, people protesting something, anything, I often wonder why they stay in this country...if they were living in another country they would be punished harshly, maybe even killed for voicing their opinion, positive or negative.  I am always amused when Jessie Waters (Waters World, Fox News), randomly interviews people on the street.  He asks people to identify a picture of someone one.  One day he chose Nancy Pelosi. The people he interviewed had absolutely no idea who she is.  I remember one occasion when Waters asked a person why she was protesting, her answer...because it isn't right! When Jessie probed a little further, he asked, "what isn't right?"  She said, "stuff, all this stuff." Hmmm, I guess that clears it up.

I know the 4th of July was several days ago, but I can't get the image of the people left standing, who have lost loved ones, fighting for that very flag people are burning, or protesting. 

I don't know about you, but I will fight to the death to fight for my country. I will always stand for my flag, and I will continue to kneel at the cross.  I think some people just have it backwards.