Monday, November 18, 2013

Two Years Have Passed

I haven't written on this blog for two years. Where has the time gone? Time. What is it? Why do we need it? To answer my first question: Two years have passed and I don't see many changes in my life. Except for one important thing. Maybe two. 1. Our daughter came to live with us. 2. We heard what the real gospel of Jesus is and it made the entire Bible come together. Second question. What is time? Besides being seconds, minutes, hours, days and years, I have no idea. Third question. Why do we need it? I don't have any answer here either. God gave it to us some way and therefore it must be important. For the last two years I've published four e-books and have written an historical novel based on something that really happened to family members. I've gotten two years older. (There's that keeping time thing again.) As I near the end of my life, and I'm nearer than I was two years ago, I see many ways I have changed. I wonder what, if anything, my legacy will be. What I really want to leave behind is the love I have for people and I want them to know it. Also, I don't mind leaving this life as much as I did two years ago. Not that I think I'll be leaving any time soon, but we never know, do we? In these two years I've seen several people I know well leave and go to be with Jesus. I knew them well and know that's where they are now. In the past two years I've read numerous books, none of which I remember very well today. I've dieted and over-eaten, and exercised and been sedate. I've laughed and cried and watched too much television. Just tonight I dropped my iPad, which I had just gotten two years ago, and broke it. Do I need another one? No, but I plan to get one anyway. That's about it for now. If anything comes to me soon, I'll be back. I still don't know how to change the pictures or background of this blog.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Can We Be Thankful For Everything?

This is the day when we are to think of all the things we are thankful for--as if we shouldn't do that every day. Instead of just listing what I'm thankful for, I want to talk about things I don't like at all but am thankful for them anyway. (Didn't Paul say something like this? In Everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.) I hate/dislike big family gatherings because of one reason only. All the activity and food sucks the energy right out of me and I'm like a walking zombie. But I'm thankful I have a big family. There have been years in my life when I had no one and was alone on holidays. Those days are just awful and it's a fight to stay out of the dooldrums as you see cars parked around your neighbors' houses. All the stores are closed so you can't go shopping to take up time. It's just you and the dog at home alone. I don't like public restrooms but I'm so thankful for them!! It's been noted in my family that I don't pass up a bathroom when we are away from home. I've been in some clean, pleasant public restrooms and some really scary ones, too. I remember one---I'll let your imagination take over. I really hate politics and politicians. What can a person be thankful for with this? The people who truly care about this country and aren't in it for the fame and fortune. Even the ones I disagree with are probably coming from heart-felt beliefs. So I'm thankful I'm not in this arena. It can be wicked and has to taint a person clear down to their toes. I don't like to dust my house--don't hate it but almost do. But I'm so thankful I have a house to dust and am able to move my arms, hands and body in order to wipe that dust away!! I could go one but you get my drift. In everything we see as "bad" we can find "good" if we look for it. Life is a balance. Nothing is all bad nor is it all good. The man who has the perfect children will soon find that one of his kids has a flaw. The woman who is proud of her body will find a blemish that she can't get rid of. All my life I thought of myself as overweight. I wasn't but this belief robbed me of enjoying where I was and what I looked like. A couple of years ago my belief came true and I was truly "fat." Am I thankful for this event in my life? I am because it showed me how much thoughts have to do with reality. We become what we think about. I love free speech. But I don't like the porn festival that will soon take place in my town that is being allowed under the guise of freedom of speech. How do I find thanksgiving in this? I won't attend it, of course, and don't know anyone who will. I remember Paul's admonition about giving thanks. This is one place I can't. What do you think is the answer to finding something to be thankful for in situations like this that we see every day? Maybe it shows us the Lord's coming is near? Maybe it gives us something more to pray about? Do you have any thoughts?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Change the Way We Hear

Our church has been going through a total meltdown, and that's putting it mildly. I won't go into detail but will only say Jesus wasn't part of the equation and that was only the beginning. Instead of prayer, humility and love we have seen people lusting after power, being angry with others--even spewing hate. Many people left but not because of this. They left because of seeing their treasured traditions shaken by a new view of scriptures of equality between men and women.

We have been on the fence about what to do. Stay? Go? So much ugliness has turned us off and made us weary. But we have many friends who are still there and relationships like that are hard to walk away from.

This morning we had a guest speaker--a wise man in the faith. He was open and honest with us and gave the church suggestions of how to go on from here. His ideas were good but what I didn't hear was "seek God with all your heart."

Church denominations that have been strong on teaching the law have failed to lead people into the Spirit. Only in the Spirit can we really find and hear the heart of God. This is my prayer. "Lord, lead us by Your Spirit." This works for a church and it works for an individual. Let us stop depending on our own minds and power and start hearing what the Spirit is saying.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'll Just Hold On and Enjoy What I Have

It has been months since I've written anything here. Soon after the last blog entry I started an exercise/health/nutrition program and it's taken all my energy and time to lose the 20+ pounds to date.

I go to strength training twice a week and walk daily. I eat a balanced diet of protein and carbs 5 times a day. At least, most of the time I eat right. I do tend to add something "fun" once in a while and that keeps the weight from dropping like my trainer wants it to. I'll finish just before Thanksgiving and hope to be able to keep my eyes on the goal during the holidays.

So, what have I learned during this time?
1. I can do something if I really want to.
2. When I pray for God to help me (lose weight), He answers.
3. Take advantage of His answers.

Since last June we have had some other major changes in our lives besides the health program. Our oldest daughter came to live with us. That has been good and has added to our busi-ness. I have added the first two books of a Detective Joe Denali trilogy to Amazon Kindle. They are books I had written a few years ago but had been rejected as "good but not great" by an agent. I made them available for $.99 and have sold quite a few along with a few more of my first book. (They are on Amazon under the name Barbara Leachman.)
I have the third in the detective trilogy partly written.

I'm also in the midst of writing an inspirational historical fiction novel set during the Revolutionary War. And I have a memoir almost completed. But I'm stumped. Not writer's block. Time to sit and think and write.

Once again I'm talking to God about all this. Daughter needs a job, we need God's help in keeping our relationship from getting messed up (Isn't that always a prayer about someone we love?), and time to write while thanking Him for giving us all the time we have had to work on our outer bodies. Now it's time to look again at our inner souls.

Fall is the most beautiful time of the year in New Mexico. We live near the river. The cottonwoods are a brilliant gold, the sky a cloudless deep blue and the air crisp and cool. Yesterday morning we walked for an hour in the bosque. We saw mallards and their mates swimming and feeding the water, Sandhill cranes and geese flying overhead. Soon they will be migrating here for the winter and feeding in the open space fields. We'll be able to see them every day. I love it!

All this beauty and blessings makes it hard to ask for anything. More than asking is thanking and contemplating and knowing that God is in control. The most comfort a person can have is to realize God's love and his soverignity. The world may turn upside-down, but He never will. I believe I'll just hold on to that and enjoy life.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm Listening Again and He's Still Talking

How long has it been? Weeks? Months? Even years?

This past week I talked with God. I told Him I hadn't heard from Him in a long time. I talk to Him all the time, but in the past, I've heard Him talk to me, too.
All that changed about a year and a half ago.

First we worked on selling our house. Then we looked for a place to live. We moved into an apartment for a month and I ate myself into 40 extra pounds as I limped along on a painful bone-on-bone knee. Then I had knee surgery. I rehabbed the knee. Different family company came over the span of a few months. We were out of town for month with my brother's wife dying. And just this past May my oldest daughter was here for three weeks.

In between all this, I started a new novel that requires a lot of research. I've read numerous books. We've gone out to eat with friends. (Very important.) And watched Survivor and American Idol. (Not so important but fun.)

Somehow Jesus got pushed to the side and I missed Him. I have seen His work in our lives, but that one-on-one fellowship was missing. So I sat down with Him and He talked while I listened. I learned something important. He didn't ever leave. In fact, He told me He's had His hand on my shoulder the entire time.

We're talking again. Well, I've been talking all along, but I just haven't been listening. Jesus is always ready to talk if we'll slow down enough to hear Him.
I'm listening more now and I've found out He missed me as much as I missed Him.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How Do You Refuel?

Are you the personality type who gets energy from being with people? Or are you the type who needs alone time because being with people drains your energy?

I'm the latter. For over a month now I've been with people all the time. I haven't had a moment alone. Being alone doesn't mean being in a room alone when there are other people in the house. Being alone means not having anyone around you have to interact with.

The past month was definitely stressful, emotionally and physically. But we've been home a few days now and I'm still exhausted because I haven't had any alone time.

Many years ago my daughter and grandson came to live with us. I taught school and came home utterly worn out from being around mid schoolers and teachers. My mother was in a nursing home and I visited her after school many days. The house was full in the evening and I didn't even have an empty room where I could be alone. Many Saturdays or Sundays I would get in my van and drive to a parking lot near our house and just be there--in the van--alone.

Another way I can refill my energy tank is to walk around a mall; go into shops, look around and probably never buy anything. Although there are people, I don't have to interact with them. That's probably what I will do tomorrow after church. I'll just go to the mall alone.

How do you refuel? Or do you ever need to?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I couldn't go right to sleep last night. I don't know if it was because I ate some sugar too late or because my mind was on a rampage.

I thought about all I had to do today after being gone from home most of a month. I kept seeing Estella alive doing all the things I've seen her do: laundry, eating, helping Jim, playing cards, just sitting and talking. I'd see her as I remember her those last weeks. Mostly, it was when she was alive.

I've lost several family members and good friends. It's such an odd feeling knowing they were once here on earth and now they aren't. And life just goes on without them. It doesn't seem right.

I have a picture of balloons as wallpaper on my desktop. It's one I took when they were here last October. We parked in the handicapped area and were able to see the balloons. In the past they were down on the field but now they are also near the parking area where they inflate. I remember how much they both liked watching them.

Three and a half years ago they came for the Balloon Fiesta. The weather was awful and they didn't see anything at all. When they went home, she had cancer. The same thing happened this time. She went in for a regular check and they found it in her chest wall. Later they discovered it was all in her bronchials and gave her 2 to 3 weeks. She died 3 weeks and a day later.

When I was lying awake last night and not thinking about the things I mentioned above, I wrote a great blog. I didn't get up and make notes and have no idea what it was about, but I promise you--it was one of my best.

Maybe some day it will come back to me.