Rose-Colored

. . . Because we all need a new perspective!


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The Most Wonderful Time?

Can I just say, I’m sick of COVID? Can I get an amen?

I don’t know how Thanksgiving looked at your house, but mine looked extremely different from the way it usually does. My brother has tested positive for COVID, so there was no yearly trek out to East Texas. My mom needed to stay safe in her assisted living facility, so there was no interaction with our matriarch. With the disease on the rise, we decided against a large family party and missed seeing our newest cousin. And three members of my family are sick (including my precious daughter Sparkle), quarantining, and had to spend the holiday all alone. 

But God is good. In fact, the sickest member of my family (well, I’m claiming him) said that very thing to me the other night between coughs as I spoke to him on my daughter’s speakerphone. Instead of a large gathering, Sweet Hubby, Spunky, and I visited my son who begged to host. His downstairs is large and open, giving us all plenty of room to eat without facing one another and spread out to watch the football games. Precious redhead and her hubs drove in from Atlanta and stayed with my son, as well. The seven of us kept our masks on and the windows open, but still laughed, joked, talked. And we were grateful for the time we had together. Grateful for the Zoom call a few days later that collected ALL of our family, even those who at that point were recuperating. God is indeed good! 

Our typical crew for Sunday nights. Many of us usually chat on Saturday nights, too.

Adjusting my plans for Thanksgiving made me shed a few tears, especially missing Sparkle, but it was only a day. And we’ve already declared a secondary Thanksgiving Day in February. Maybe by then, my mom will get to join us! My brother has since tested negative and his minor symptoms have disappeared – YEA! Sparkle only had seasonal allergies, but rested well during the weekend to fight off anything that might attack. And I got to do a plexiglass meeting with my mom. She’s having such a great time in her new place – so many events and people that she interacts with all the time – there wasn’t even a reason to bring up the Thanksgiving plans that had to change.  

And God is good! Because even if in February we still can’t get together, God is good for planting His seed of love and hope in the hearts of all my family members! We’ll spend eternity having one Thanksgiving party after another. How cool is that?!

In the bleakest hours, His star shines in the east. His light comes into the world. Hope rises and abounds at the name of Jesus! Yes, this is the most wonderful time!

May your December be blessed! May your family stay safe! May your spirits stay up! May your glasses stay rosy! ~Philippians 4:8


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It Takes a Leaf

Rosie probably thought I was bonkers!

I was walking my dog, Rosie, the other day.
Okay, okay, let me be completely honest about this.

My dog, Rosie, took me on a drag the other day.
Yes, that’s more like it.

Truth be told, I was a little down. I loved the crisp morning air, but I couldn’t get my mind off of all my hats.

These were some big, ‘ole, HAIRY hats, too. Hats like moving my precious mom out of the senior living center and away from the people who know her so well. Hats like working with people who aren’t always easy to work with. Even Christians sometimes can have a focus of “all about me” trying to grab as big a piece of pie as they can. Hats like loved ones being sick and others being exposed to COVID, the bleakness of remaining at home through the holidays, the disappointment of canceling our Thanksgiving celebration.

I could go on. These hats were HEA-VEEEE! So much so that as my dog dragged me down the street – she has no problem with hats! Romp is her favorite pace – I couldn’t even look up at the beautiful blue of the sky or see the brilliant red of one of the trees I passed.

But I did see a bright yellow leaf on the sidewalk. In fact, as a bit of a wind had come through during the night and emptied a tree in one of my neighbor’s yards, I saw a bunch of bright yellow leaves. Some brown ones too, and they rattled when I kicked at them.

And yes, I kicked them. I even made Rosie stop running and come back and forth through the leaves that covered the sidewalk, just so I could hear the leave scrape across the concrete as she walked through them. I kicked them and enjoyed the rattlely-clatter and then watched the light breeze make them drift down again.

Rosie thought I was bonkers. Maybe I was a little, but it lifted my spirits, lifted my chin, and lightened the load of all those hats.


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Rose-Colored

The Lord has been urging me lately to focus on Philippians 4:8. As a reminder, here’s that verse, “. . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

scared ostrich burying its head in sand concept

It’s so easy, isn’t it, to do the exact opposite! There are so many false, dishonorable, wrong, polluted, ugly, deplorable, etc. things that surround us. It doesn’t take but thirty seconds of watching the news for my spirit to plummet.

So should I bury my head in the sand and ignore the bad things? I confess I did a little of that over the last several years. I refused to watch any news and would move away if people started talking about current events. Now I truly thought that this was the best way, but I was wrong.

By ignoring what was going on around me, I was left out, ignorant of the real events that were happening. Worse, my ignorance kept me from praying about things and people who needed it. And even more than that, without facing the difficulties that were going on, I wasn’t getting the chance to grow in my faith or get stronger.

It’s a balance. Jennifer Rothschild, in her Bible study, TAKE COURAGE, suggests a biblical wisdom approach. She urges that we must be aware of the harsh truth of our reality, but we don’t need to live in the mire of despair. The situations are real, “but they aren’t real estate.” We do need to accept the truth of our circumstances, but God gives us directions to be encouraged by His presence and keep moving forward.

“Moving forward” to me has become a challenge. I have a number of projects on my plate right now, but I can’t help feeling like having a place where some of those right, true, noble, lovely things can be shared would be an excellent thing itself. So I’m inspired, and somewhat nervous about it. I will be posting from time to time – as often as possible – to share those things from Philippians 4:8 upon which we are to dwell.

What are you keeping your mind on right now?


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COVID 19 Day ??

Counter Point cover

Yep, I’ve lost count. I think we’re at maybe day 20 or 21 for our isolation, but keeping that count is more depressing than encouraging.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start counting something else. Beginning tomorrow, I’m going to start posting serial readings of my novel COUNTER POINT. Hopefully, we’ll reach the end of our quarantine before we reach the end of the book. If we don’t, you’ll deserve the ending of the book. But if we do, I’ll put the e-book on sale to celebrate the end of our quarantine! Yea!

Here’s a little about the book:

Someone is determined to finish a murdered hit man’s final assignment.

Her father’s gone. Her diner’s closing. Her car’s in the lake. Cat McPherson has nothing left to lose. Except her life. And a madman’s bent on taking that away.

Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart.

Keeping Cat safe from a fallen cartel leader might prove impossible for Ray, but after seeing his mission destroyed and several godly people killed, he knows better than to ignore the man’s threats. Cat’s resistance to his protection and the stirring of his long-denied feelings for her complicate his intentions, placing them both in a fight for their lives.

How can a small-town girl survive when ultimate power wants her dead?

So I’ll be counting up the chapters and scenes on that instead of the days of our spring of isolation. Join me here. Ask me questions or make comments. You can even share you experiences that might be like some of the things that go on in the book. (No spoilers if you’ve already read it though!☺)

Until tomorrow, and spread the word! I’d love to chat with y’all!


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How are you Keeping Your Sanity? (Covid Isolation, Day 15)

Beginning week 3 of our isolation. I can’t say that I’m really feeling isolated, though. I’m getting a little tired of my laptop, but I’m loving connecting with people over Zoom.

We had family game night on Saturday with family and friends from Fort Worth, McKinney, Grapevine, Carrollton, and Royse City. In all, about 100 miles apart. We looked a lot like the Brady Bunch introduction! LOL!

I’ve learned that you can play Pictionary/Win, Lose, or Draw using the Zoom whiteboard app. And keeping the chat open, we played Jackbox and Dominion online in a couple of groups. We’ve had so much fun with this, we’re scheduling another one of these.

What are you doing to keep your sanity during these weeks? Are you way busier than you have been of feeling sort of in limbo? Besides our collective “release,” what are you looking forward to in the next couple of weeks.


Covid 19 Day 11

Been talking with my family through the house on our Alexa system. Even brought in my son as an “Alexa call.” We’re finding new ways to meet and plan to have a family game night later this week – remotely of course.

I’m beginning to love Zoom. Had a chat with my daughter just now. Last night, I tried to do some Facebook “LIVE” chats with some author friends to see how usable it was. The lag time is more than half a minute. By lag time, I mean that I said “Go” on the video and at least 34 seconds later, those watching heard it. That’s a substantial lag time. Hard to do any engagement that way.

On Zoom, there’s hardly any lag time at all. In fact, I think I might have told you, but my daughter’s Bible study group is going to play a version of Pictionary – that drawing charades game – on Zoom tomorrow night. I’m hoping my ladies’ Bible study can use it so we can continue to “meet.”

Stay tuned. I’m going to see if I can use it as a video blog here tomorrow. Cross your fingers! LOL!

Stay safe. Wash your hands. And let me know if I can be praying for you for anything specific!

 


Covid 19 Day 10

House Party!

Wait, what? My county has issued a shelter-in-place order, so how can we be having a house party?

My daughters are having a blast with a new app. They’re getting a chance to “hang” with their friends while they paint or bake, or do homework, or browse Instagram. In this app, their friends are right there, doing their own things and at any moment one of them will laugh and share what they’ve seen or read with the others. Sometimes they chat, but often they’re just enjoying feeling like they are together again.

What a cool app!

And that isn’t the only one. One of my twins is on the worship team for her young adult group. While she’s not able to lead worship for her group, they are meeting through a program called Zoom. This meeting program allows people to meet with up to 100 others for 30 minutes at a time for free. And the ability to have longer meetings is only $15 and change for a month. Very reasonable.

I was so intrigued by the concept I ended up having a meeting with some of the Write Integrity Press, LLC authors. It was so much fun “meeting” these gals and we had a great chat about books and plans and other things.

This is part of our group during our meeting: Fay Lamb, me, Harriet Michael, Andrea Thom, Stacey Weeks, and Betty Thomason Owens. What a great avenue for “coffee” chats and book clubs or Bible studies – even small groups. I’m so going to come up with ways to use this platform to engage folks!

Wanna chat?


COVID 19 Shutdown Day 8

Getting bored yet? Have you thought about having a family game night, or even a couple game night?

Friday night delight with the family and a good NANCY DREW interactive mystery! If you haven’t tried the Her Interactive games, you should! Mysteries and puzzles that last for days, even for adults.

Our mystery is the latest, “Midnight in Salem.” And it’s okay, but many of them are much better. “The White Wolf of Icicle Creek Lodge” is my favorite. My kids favor “Phantom of Venice” and “The Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.

Did you do anything just for fun this weekend?


COVID19 Shutdown Day 6 Prayer Break

My pastor, Brent Taylor, posted this prayer chart on Facebook today and it deserves reposting. I have to say though, that it is missing something.

Pray for yourself. You are here, in this moment, appointed by God to be His perfect instrument for a specific job that will impact the kingdom and bring Him glory. It might be within your own family. It might be reaching out online or by phone to give comfort and encouragement to others. Pray that God will reveal to you your options for “touching” others during this time and that He will protect you so you can press on to make the impact on His kingdom that He has laid out for you to make.

So how are you and your family through this temporary “shut-down?” Do you have any prayer requests that I can lift up for you?


COVID 19 Shutdown, Day 4

My daughter reminded me as I set out our plans for the next few weeks that this virus is no surprise to our Father.

This song inspired me and I wanted to share it with you!