God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rules - 3:18

18.  Finally, in your conduct be friendly toward everyone & a burden to none.  Toward God, live a holy life; toward yourself, be moderate; toward your fellow men, be fair; in life, be modest; in your manner, courteous; in admonition, friendly; in forgiveness, willing; in your promises, true; in your speech, wise; & out of a pure heart gladly share of the bounties you receive.

_____________________

This final rule completes the Rules of Godly Living.  I have enjoyed sharing these rules with you throughout the month of October.  Although there are a few that I am not quite sure I understand, the majority of them are, I believe, right on the mark.  I have thought a lot about how the Amish are raised learning these rules & are encouraged & expected to put them into practice ... & how much better off the world would be if we all followed suit.  I think this last rule sums up everything beautifully.  If we can all just follow this one rule, the world would be a better place.     

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Brrrrrr!

Happy Sunday morning!  I am oh so bright-eyed & bushy-tailed this morning!  And why is that you ask?  It's because it's 29 degrees outside, the frost is thick, & yesterday our furnace went out!  To say it's a bit "nippy" in here would probably be accurate although it's not as terrible as you might think.  I believe that God is looking out for me & not allowing me to shiver in the cold.  Yesterday I had the furnace on & smelled something burning.  My memory alerted me to the fact that I smelled this same odd burning smell last year.  At that time it was discovered a furnace part was overheating because of too much friction (or something along those lines) so a new part had to be ordered.  The furnace guys can't get here until the middle of the week so once again we will be living a truly primitive life (we had to do without hot water for a couple days a while back).  Well, probably not truly primitive.  I'm sure the pioneers had a nice fireplace to keep them warm but I guess I can pretend I have the same as I sit in front of the open oven door if things get too cold.  I'll even burn my candle that smells like a fireplace burning   : )

I will escape the cold this evening, however, as I am heading to Cincinnati today for an early morning doctor appointment tomorrow.  John & I will be luxuriating in a comfy hotel which I'm sure will have heat   : )   I've not seen this doctor before.  I would have a difficult time giving you an accurate count of the number of doctors I've seen over the past ... I don't know, 7 years maybe?  My menopause issues were & in some cases are once again extreme.  I thought I was seeing a doctor in Tennessee who knew her stuff but it turns out she was causing a lot of damage so now I'm on a quest again.  I remember my mother & my aunts talking about menopause & how wonderful it was because it meant you wouldn't get pregnant anymore!  It was quite a shock for me to experience all the things that, for whatever reason, they never mentioned.  Looking back I realize they also suffered from some of these things so perhaps they were attributing them to something else.

There is a Michaels store in Cincinnati.  I don't think I've been to a Michaels since we lived in Florida & that was ages ago!!!  Who knows what else I might find while we are there.  I'll let you know   : )

Rules - 3:17

17.  If you are in a position of authority, rule much more with kindness & meekness than with fear & terror; for this is better than the use of tyranny, which is always accompanied by sorrow & anxiety.  The righteousness of God cannot long endure tyranny - oppressors do not rule for long.


Remember that a harsh administration is a great injustice.  God requires meekness from those in authority just as much as justice.  For this reason, rule over your subjects with love & mercy so that they will love you more than they fear you.

_____________________

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rules - 3:16

16.  No one is his own master, only a steward over that which he has & possesses.  Therefore, you must distribute of your goods to the needy, & do it wisely, willingly, & from the heart (Romans 12:13; II Corinthians 9:7).

_____________________

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride!

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is the name of a tea, believe it or not, & oh is it good!  I especially appreciate it because I am on a self-imposed exile from all things containing sugar as well as seemingly innocent things which your body turns into sugar ... so having something that smells & tastes so much like sugar cookies is a blessing from heaven   : )   This tea is a herbal tea made by Celestial Seasonings, by the way.  Yum-yum-yum   : )

I have admitted something to myself the past 2 days or so & thus far today have admitted it to two blogging friends & now I am going to "tell the world" ... or at least those of you who are reading this post right now   : )   I am in the mood for Christmas!!!  Yes indeedy I am!!!  The weather has gotten much cooler, at least at night, & the days have been gray & overcast.  I've heard talk about snow in various parts of the county (you lucky buggers!) & my husband was even playing a Christmas CD the other night!  Yesterday I dug out a candle I purchased last year that smells like someone is burning a fireplace & I am just as cozy as can be   : )   Well, not as cozy as I'd be if the snow was falling outside my windows & I had a real fireplace to enjoy but hey, you make do with what you have   : )   I may actually put away the 4th of July decorations (yes, you read that right ... there is still an Independence Day theme prevailing in the farmhouse) & start putting up some winter/Christmas decor   : )

I have been so very lax in blogging about much of anything except the Rules of Godly Living & John's health issues.  I do apologize for that.  I've been busy cross stitching & have a lot of completed stitchings to show you.  I'm not sure if I will show them to you as they are now or wait until I actually finish them into whatever they will be.  I bought a new camera which I've not even taken out of the box yet.  I am hoping it will take better photos for me.  It has some kind of stabilizer built in which I'm hoping will result in most, if not all, of my photos being un-blurred.  Wish me luck   : )   I also purchased a new little sewing machine.


I have had an antique treadle machine for ages which I absolutely love sewing on & I have always sworn I wouldn't sew on anything else.  However, I've discovered that I need a zigzag stitch in order to finish the edges of my cross stitch fabric so they don't unravel ... thus the purchase.  I need to find a place to set up this machine.  I wish I had an old small table of some sort but until I locate one I guess I will have to pull out the machine when I need it, sew with it here on the dining table, & then put it away until the next time it is required.    

A while back I participated in a Prairie Harvest Swap hostessed by Amy over at Bumble Bee Lane.  I received a wonderful package of goodies from my swap partner, Janice (Prims By The Water).  Janice shared photos of what I sent to her & she did it in such a beautiful way.  Everything I sent to her was perfectly displayed in her home & it all looked so nice!  Unfortunately I just couldn't get into the fall decorating mode this year so the photo I took of the wonderful things Janice sent to me is just of them piled on my kitchen counter after I opened the box.  I'm sorry Janice ... I wish I could've taken beautiful photos of your things like you did of mine but alas, it was not to be.  I'm sure next year when John & I have moved to another house in another state (please God, please!!!) I will feel more inclined to decorate throughout the coming years   : )   Anyway, here are the wonderful goodies Janice sent to me!  She was so very generous & I love everything she sent!

    
I also purchased a new doll from my favorite doll maker, Trudy over at Crows in the Attic Primitives.


Isn't she wonderful???  Her name is Prudence.  Trudy also sent me two of the beautiful pumpkins she creates   : )

I'm trying to get things together for a blog sale.  I had intended to do this by now but the health stuff kind of pushed it to the side.  I'll make a post in advance when I decide the sale will take place.  There are also going to be some surprises I'll be posting about during this wonderful season that is basically upon us so be watching   : )     

Rules - 3:13-15

13.  Do not become too intimate with any man, except he fear God from his heart.  For it is certain that any & all friendships, however established, if they are built upon any other foundation than the fear of God, cannot long endure.  


14.  Love your friend in such a way that you are not too confidential with him.  This life is so subject to change & circumstance that no matter how a man conducts himself, it is hard for him to retain the good will of all his friends until the end of his days.


15.  If you happen to get into any kind of dispute with your friend, do not despise him for it nor betray his confidences (Proverbs 11:13).  For you want to be able to become friends with him again.  

_____________________

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rules - 3:12

12.  Never do anything in anger, but carefully think it over first lest you come to regret it, & gain thereby a bad name.  Meanwhile your anger will have cooled, & when you have again come to yourself you will be able to discern what you have to do.  Always make a difference between one who wrongs you through lack of foresight & against his will, & one who does so deliberately & with malice.  To the former show grace, to the latter justice.

_____________________

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Husband Update - Final

I hope it's final!  My husband received a letter from his doctor this morning.  She said she tried to call last Friday but there was no answer.  I don't know why she couldn't have left a message   : (   Anyway, she said the ultrasound showed just a small amount of blockage in the right carotid & there appears to be none in the left.  She indicated that she does not believe the symptoms he has been having or the blackout are related to his carotids.  Of course she didn't offer any opinion regarding what they might be related to.

So ... on the one hand, happy news ... no carotid problems!  On the other hand, however, we are left with the mystery of what caused all this in the first place.  We are going to assume that the blackout was just an odd, one-time thing, keep a record of when/if the other symptoms recur, & go on with life.

Once again I offer my deepest thanks to all of you who expressed your concern & offered your prayers.  You were kinder & more thoughtful than some people in my own family & I appreciate this very, very much.

Rules - 3:10-11

10.  Avoid idleness as a resting pillow of the devil & a cause of all sorts of wickedness.  Be diligent in your calling so that the devil never finds you idle.  Great is the power the devil has over the slothful, to plunge them into all kinds of sins, for idleness gives rise to every vice.  It was when David was idle on his housetop that he became an adulterer (2 Samuel 11:2-5).


11.  Strive at all times to be respectable in your clothes & have nothing to do with the vexing pomp & display of raimnet.  It is a great vanity to spend as much on one suit as would clothe two or three persons.  If you in your old age were to think back to how much time you spent merely to adorn yourself, you could not but grieve that you ever loved such vain display.


Read often in God's Word, & you will find many warnings against pride.  You will see that no sin was punished more severely than pride.  It changed angels into devils, & the powerful King Nebuchadnezzar into a wild beast.  It was because of pride that Jezebel was eaten by dogs (2 Kings 9:30-37).

_____________________

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rules - 3:8-9

8.  Strive to be an upright servant of Jesus Christ, not only outwardly in public services to hear God's Word & the religious observances of the Gospel, but also in your whole life by renouncing all sin & in true obedience to live according to all the commandments of God.  Do not be satisfied when others think of you as being devout - but truly be in reality what you appear to be.  Woe to the man who is not pious yet wants to be considered as such.


9.  Do not think it is enough if you yourself serve God, if you do not see to it that all those in your care do likewise.  The duty of a father is not limited to his serving God alone, but that he also urge the members of his household, his children, servants & maids to do likewise.  For God has commanded this to all fathers of families, "These words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart.  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, & shall talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, & when thou walkest by the way, & when thou liest down, & when though risest up" (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7).


So did Joshua, the gallant God-fearing hero, who informed all the people of Israel that even if they had no desire to serve the Lord, he & his whole house would nevertheless do so (Joshua 24:15).  Every father must give account for the souls in his household just the same as the government for its subjects or the preacher for his audience (Ezekiel 3:18).  He should therefore be deeply concerned that his wife & children, servants & maids serve the Lord God faithfully, which is the only way their souls may be saved.

_____________________

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rules - 3:7

7.  Do not be proud & overbearing even though you have been blessed with the world's goods, or else adorned with fine gifts of personality.  For God who has given them will again take them away from you, if you misuse these gifts of His in pride & disdain of your fellow man.  


Even though you may possess a certain virtue that causes you to feel proud, by the same token you have so many bad habits & shortcomings which give you ample reason to appear small in your own eyes.  He who knows himself will surely find enough of his own faults to make it difficult to justify thinking himself better than others.

_____________________

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rules - 3:4-6

4.  If you are tempted by evil companions or prompted by your own flesh to do any kind of harm to a fellowman, just stop to think how you would feel if someone did the same to you.  What you would not want another to do to you, then likewise don't do it to someone else.  "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Matthew 7:12).  No one likes to have others do harm to him, & therefore he should not do harm to others.


What you detest, don't do to others.  If you do not wish to be slandered, then do not slander others.  On the other hand, if you wish to receive favors, then show the same to others.  Do you wish to obtain mercy?  Show mercy to your neighbor.  Do you wish to be praised?  Then praise others.  If this rule is duly regarded, all transgressions of the first & second tablets of the Law will cease.


5.  When you in your vocation propose to do something, do not allow any misgivings about the providence of God, even though you are aware there is a lack of means.  However, do not begin anything in your work without having first besought the Lord God's blessing upon your labors.  For without God's blessings, all the diligence, effort, labor, & care that we humans of the household invest will be in vain & useless (Psalms 127:1,2).  On the blessing of God all things depend.


Pray therefore to the Lord that he would bless your labors & only then seize hold of the task with a joyful spirit, committing the outcome to the wise providence of God who cares for us & permits no want to those who fear him (Psalms 34:9).  


6.  Never propose to get ahead or to support yourself by any means that God has forbidden, for what kind of gain is that if you have won it at the expense of your soul? (Matthew 16:26).  


It may be that through illicit means you do make a profit, but in so doing you defile & violate your conscience.  And who can bear the burden of an injured nagging conscience?  Therefore, in all your dealings & business, be diligent as was the Apostle Paul to always have a clear conscience before God & man (Acts 24:16).

_____________________

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me Giveaway Winner!!!

Good Saturday morning!  I've been up since 5:30 ... undoubtedly because I went to bed just a little past 10:00 last night after my whirlwind birthday celebration which included taking John to Louisville to get his ultrasound done, making a return/purchase at Walmart, having something to eat at Cracker Barrel, & stopping by the Office Depot for some much needed office supplies.  I even took a 2-hour nap when we got home but still ended up going to bed early.  Is this the way life is going to be now that I'm 58?  If so, how will I ever stand the pace!!!

I want to thank all of you who sent me birthday wishes &/or expressed your continued concern regarding John's health.  I truly appreciate it!

I am so behind on so many things that it's going to take me a while to catch up.  I need to post photos of several things & talk about those things & others.  Hopefully I can catch up pretty soon   : )   However, the first issue of business is the winner of my Happy Birthday to Me giveaway ... & that winner is Robin at The Cranky Crow!!!  Congratulations Robin!!!  Please send me your mailing address & I will let you know when your package is in the mail   : )

I've finished my morning cup of Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea, John is now awake, so the next order of business is tossing in a load of laundry.  Then it's anyone's guess ... lol!  I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Rules - 3:3

3.  If you desire to avoid sin you will need to also shun every occasion & opportunity of sinning.  Whoever does not avoid every incentive to sin cannot expect to overcome sin.  Evil companions are an incentive to sin, for it is from them that one often hears offensive talk that can easily mislead & corrupt a person.  Evil company corrupts good habits (I Corinthians 15:33).


Evil companions are the devil's dragnet by which he draws many into hell.  For this reason shun such companions & have nothing to do with ungodly, lewd persons.  If evil rogues entice you, don't follow after them (Proverbs 1:10).  Whoever spends much time with evil companions is easily corrupted by them - he learns their speech & before he realizes it he gradually becomes like them.  Among the evil, one becomes evil - he must either sin, or suffer.  For this reason a devout man avoids the companionship of the wicked.


If you do not wish to be enticed to fornication or immorality, you must diligently flee from the place & the companions by which opportunity would be given to you to fall into these sins.  If you would escape the sin of drunkenness (which is the broad way to hell), then don't become familiar with a drunkard or count him among you circle of friends.  For of what benefit to you is such a person as a friend who could ruin your life, yea, your salvation?  For experience teaches that more people lost their lives through their own friends by way of drunkenness than have been killed by their enemies.  So beware of all allurement to sin - you do not know how easily you could be deceived by the devil & by sin.

_____________________

As you know I usually don't elaborate on these Rules because they stand on their own.  However, that last sentence is so powerful that I just have to comment.  Have you ever looked down on people who did a certain thing, saying "I would never do that," & then sometime in the future you find yourself doing that exact same thing?  You see what you are doing but it's like you are looking through a camera at someone else.  You don't understand why you are doing this thing, but 99.9% of your being doesn't care.  You have fallen into company & hold hands tightly with this one thing you said you would never ever do.  You know it is wrong.  Common sense tells you to turn away, but somehow you have allowed the devil a foothold & he doesn't want to give it up.  Even though there is a tiny shred of "the old you" who does not understand why you are doing this thing, it does not make you change direction.  Every aspect of your life & the lives of those around you suffer because of this sin.  

If anyone does not know what the grace of God is, you will most certainly recognize it if you ever lose yourself for a period of time in a sinful situation & then one day are able to look back & see that you made it through relatively or totally unscathed.  God is so amazingly good!  If you have acknowledged Jesus as your savior, He will watch over you & take care of you & fight for you & protect you even when you have turned away from Him.  I do think there is a time when, if you continue in your sin, He will turn away from you ... for after all God can have no relationship with sin.  However, I do believe He will always welcome you back into His arms when you  acknowledge your sin & turn away from it (as in the parable of the lost son, Luke 15:11-32).  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Husband's Ultrasound Has Been Completed

Unfortunately this is as much information as I have to share with you.  John had his ultrasound done this morning & was then sent home after being told that it will be reviewed & his doctor will call him sometime next week with the report.  I told him that things mustn't look bad because I don't think they would've let him leave the hospital if they saw something that did.  It is a waiting game again but at least the ultrasound was done & for that I am very thankful.

Rules - 3:1-2

Part Three
Concerning Your Works


1.  Do no evil, even if it is in your power to do so.  Take heed not to do anything when you are alone that you would be ashamed of before men.  Remember with Joseph that even if no man sees, God sees all, & that your own conscience will testify against you.  Therefore avoid all sins, not just those which are public, but secret ones as well.  For even as God is righteous, so will He, unless you forthwith repent, bring all your hidden sins to light & set them before your eyes (I Corinthians 4:5, Psalms 50:21).


2.  Especially, though, resist with all strength of soul your bosom sin, or that sin to which your nature is inclined more than to all other sins.  For one person this may be to seek the honor of men, for another a greed for money, a third may tend to drunkenness, a fourth to impurity, a fifth to pride.  Against these evil sins you must above all arm yourself & resist them, for once these are overcome you can also easily master others.  As a fowler can hold a bid by one leg, in this same way wily Satan can possess your soul & keep it in his control by means of a single sin just as well as by many.
_____________________

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rules - 2:13

13.  Consider him a friend who privately rebukes you of your faults.  It is a pitiful situation indeed if a man has no one who dares correct him when he has need of it.  For if he is not rebuked, he may conclude in his own mind that he has no faults & thus continue in his sins to his own destruction, whereas by a friendly reproof he might be turned away from sin.  


Everyone most certainly needs correction at times.  For as the eye sees all & seeks the improvement of all yet cannot see itself or better itself, so by our very natures we are partial to ourselves & cannot see our own shortcomings & defects as easily as we can see those of other people.  For this reason it is very needful that our faults be pointed out to us - which others can see so much more clearly than we ourselves can see them.


Regardless whether reproof is given justly or unjustly, by a friend or by an enemy, it can do a wise & understanding person no harm.  For if it is the truth, it will remind you to better yourself.  If it is false, it will serve as a warning that you should heed in the future.


But if you cannot bear to be corrected, then never do anything wrong!

_____________________

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rules - 2:10-12

10.  Make a habit of not replying to the words of others or to pass judgment unless you have first listened & understood well what they are saying to you.


11.  You cannot have disputes & strife with your fellow humans & still stand in peace with God.  If you love God, you will also love you neighbor according to God's will, who has commanded it.


12.  Patiently bear your cross & do not complain to anyone.  For your enemies may rejoice & other people will only think less of you if you complain.

_____________________

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rules - 2:9

9.  Do not make fun of another's weaknesses, but think of your own shortcomings (Galatians 6).  We all have our faults & thee is no one of whom it is not said, "Oh, if only this were not!"  Either we are, or have been, or can become what another is.  For this reason, have patience & sympathy with your neighbor's weakness & frailty.  And yet, do not be a hypocrite by condoning him in his sin, or neglecting brotherly reproof & admonition.


But if you do wish to rebuke him, be careful to bring your reproof at a suitable time.  For to rebuke others at the wrong time will do more harm than good, especially if the rebuke is too sharp & not tempered with meekness.  A reproof is like a salad, in which one should use more oil than vinegar.

_____________________

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wanted: Wisconsin Prim Shopping Info

It occurred to me as I'm sitting here sipping tea & reading blogs that I haven't posted anything other than Rules since last Friday!  (I'm still having problems with my letter R on my keyboard, by the way, & letter L has now decided to join in the fun!)

I've been busy-busy-busy doing a bit of cleaning, a bit of shopping, a bit of stitching, a bit of reading, & of course a bit of pondering   : )   I think I'm trying to keep busy so as not to dwell too much on this coming Friday when John will have his ultrasound.  If it turns out that the ultrasound reveals a blockage, we can get that taken care of & all will be well   : )   If the ultrasound is normal, well, I don't know where we'll go from there although John wants to go to the UP.  That's Upper Peninsula to those of you who are not familiar with this example of initialism.  Michigan is broken in two ... lower Michigan, which lies below the Mackinac Bridge, & the upper peninsula, or upper Michigan.  We used to live in the UP ... in a little town called Iron Mountain ... & they had the best Italian restaurant this side of Italy.  Homemade bread, homemade pasta ... yum!  Why am I telling you this?  Well, each year on our birthdays John & I pick a restaurant where we want to eat.  I've always picked Fontana's (that's the name of the restaurant) since we moved from Iron Mountain but I would be met with sort of a "get real" look.  This year when I was asked where I want to be taken to dinner, I once again said Fontana's.  John said nothing.  Little did I know that he was planning to surprise me by taking me there ... but then he had his blackout & ER/hospital visit & now his ultrasound is scheduled for Friday.  He told me what he had up his sleeve & said he still plans to take me to Iron Mountain but we have to put it off for a while until the ultrasound is done & some other medical appointments are behind us.  

A 12-hour drive to go to dinner ... lol!  Believe me, it's worth it   : )   When we are able to make the trip, it will be nice to see our old stomping grounds again ... & our route will take us right through Wisconsin.  We've always liked Wisconsin ... it's a beautiful state & is on our "possible places to move" list.  I have noticed a few people posting about the wonderful prim shops they've visited there but I did not have the foresight to jot them down ... so I'm asking all you Wisconsin prim shoppers to please let me know about any "must see" shops that I must see   : )

Now ... surprise giveaway!!!  It's been a while since I've had a giveaway so I've decided to have one to celebrate my birthday   : )   I get older, you get the gift ... lol!  I ask that you please not post about the giveaway on your blogs.  My giveaways are always only open to current followers.  Just leave a comment on this post telling me you want your name to be in the hat (which will actually be a bowl or a Rubbermaid container or some such thing).  I will draw the name of the winner on Friday night or Saturday morning ... dependent upon what will be happening around here.  Good luck to all of you who enter!          

Rules - 2:7-8

7.  When you are in need of good advice, do not seek first someone prominent who is highly esteemed, but go instead to someone who has had experience in the matter in which you seek advice.  Otherwise, if some esteemed person in authority gives you advice & you do not follow it because you do not think it is good advice, you may anger him & thereby make him your enemy.


8.  If someone with good intentions has given you advice which failed, do not blame him.  For even good advice often fails, & there is no one on earth who can tell what the future holds.  No person is wise in everything, or has enough foresight.  Nor should you scoff at the advice of lesser men if they have your welfare at heart.

_____________________  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rules - 2:4-6

4.  Be not too ready to believe everything you are told, & do not repeat everything you hear.  Otherwise, you will quickly lose your friend & gain an enemy.  If you thus hear a complaint against someone or other, be sure to investigate the circumstances & only then give your criticism or opinion.


5.  Confide to no one your personal secrets unless you have beforehand thoroughly proved him.  Here is a way to test him & learn to know him: confide to him some matter of small importance, & thus learn to know him without risking harm to yourself.  For if he keeps the secret to himself, it is an indication that he is to be trusted with confidences.  Nevertheless, don't tell your friend everything, for if you should chance to fall out with him (which can easily happen), he will use his knowledge to your harm.


6.  Do not speak evil of your friends.  Rather, speak well of them in all that is praiseworthy.  If they are at fault, keep it to yourself, for slander & scornful gossip are poison & a ruination to any friendship.


If you hear your neighbor's faults being criticized, search first your own heart before you join in.  Without doubt you will find that you have the same, if not greater, shortcomings.  Thus you will be moved to either better yourself or not speak evil of your neighbor, or belittle him.

_____________________

I decided to share three Rules this morning since they are relative to each other.  I've noticed that the Rules in Section Two do seem to center around communication, both sharing & receiving it.  Obviously the author(s) of Rules felt the rules of communication were important enough to merit a separate section all their own.  I have to agree   : )     

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rules - 2:3

3.  Take special care to refrain from the vulgar, lightminded, grievous & shameful misuse of the holy name of God.  It is certain proof of a frivolous, impious, & ungodly character to habitually profane the name of God with swearing.  Yes, it is also evident that he who constantly swears seldom speaks the truth.  For if he has no scruples against the misuse of God's name, why should one suppose that he has a conscience against lying?


"But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay,nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matthew 5:37).  In order to better avoid profanity, avoid the companionship of those who curse, lest you also fall into the habit.  Rebuke you friend therefore, if he willingly accepts it.  If not, there is no gain in rebuking a scorner (Proverbs 9:8).

_____________________

Friday, October 14, 2011

My R's Are Missing!!!

If anyone has received an email from me this morning or a blog comment with a lot of what appear to be misspellings, I discovered after sending a few of these messages that my letter R is sticking on my computer!  I have been having to go back almost every time & really bang it to get it to make the letter.  I don't eat while I'm at the computer so I don't know what's going on.  Anyway, if you've gotten a message from me this morning with a lot of odd words & you wonder what I've been trying to say, just add an R or two somewhere & it should all make sense   : )

It's one of those days, like so many others, when I'm surround by so many things to do that I just want to go back to bed ... lol!  A wise friend of mine once told me that when you find yourself in a situation like this, the thing to do is just start something & it will spur you on to do more!  If nothing else, you will accomplish one thing & that will be good   : )   Wise advice indeed!  I'll let you know if I heed it   : )    

Rules - 2:2

2.  If you desire to be cheerful among honest friends, take care that your joy be not contrary to Christian love, nor to purity & respectability.  Refrain therefore from rude insults & mockery that respectable people would be ashamed to hear.  First, because such lewd words are an open testimony of an impure heart.  "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matthew 12:34).  Secondly, smutty jokes & foul speech smooth the road to shameful conduct.  


Indeed, you may say, "One has to have something to relate when in company with his friends to pass the time & delight each other."


This is a wretched excuse.  First of all, such mirth is clearly forbidden in God's Word.  "Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not fitting," says the holy Apostle Paul - we must avoid them.  Secondly, such lewd speech provokes the wrath of God (Ephesians 5:4, 6).  Through suchlike evil talk & vain mirth the Holy Spirit is grieved (Ephesians 4:29, 30).


The tongue is the glory of man & the crown of all the members of the body.  Shall a person then use it for obscenity?  When the tongue is corrupt it defileth the whole body, filling it with unrighteousness (James 3:6).  For this reason, loathe every kind of filthiness & let your speech be always pleasant & upbuilding, so that those who hear it may be bettered thereby.  Use your tongue to admonish the sluggard, to instruct the ignorant, & to comfort the sorrowing.  God will increase his gracious gifts to you accordingly (Mark 4:25).

_____________________  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rules - 2:1

Part Two
Concerning Your Words

1.  Think that for every idle word you speak you must give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36).  "In the multitude of words, there wanteth not sin" (Proverbs 10:19).  So try to avoid idle talk & let your speech be deliberate, of few words, & truthful.  Consider beforehand if what you are about to say is worth saying.  Practice saying much in a few words.  Never state anything as true & authentic if you do not know for certain that it is so, & rather remain silent than to say something which may be false or otherwise of no value.

For when it once becomes known that you have no conscience against lying, no one will believe you even when you are speaking the truth.  If however you love the truth, your words will be believed above the oath of a liar.
_____________________

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stress = Ornament

I experienced more than a bit of stress earlier this afternoon which made me decide to have a go at my exchange ornament again.  I can't say I'm real thrilled with the outcome but I don't think Elka will hate it.  At least I hope not.

  
The words "never again" come to mind but I know I won't heed them.  In fact, I now need to start a project for another cross stitch exchange!  

They're coming to take me away, ha-ha!

Thankfully I can make this next item into anything I want   : ) 

Rules - 1:16

16.  Never go to sleep without first reviewing how you have spent the day just past, what you have accomplished for good or evil, & you will readily perceive whether or not you are making good use of your time, which is irredeemable.

_____________________

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crying in the Farmhouse

I have been crying in the farmhouse.
The tears I cry are not from joy.
I know the meaning of disaster.
I've ruined my cross stitch ornament.

Based on the song Crying in the Chapel as recorded by Elvis Presley, 1960
_____________________

Sigh!

I cannot begin to tell you how unhappy I am.  I spent a lot of time stitching a lovely ornament design for my exchange partner Elka (not her real name).  Here is a picture of the finished ornament copied from the chart ...


I have been fearing the finishing work but the mailing deadline is in just a few days so I couldn't put it off anymore.  I knew better than to try to master that cinnamon stick/cone & berry border so I decided to finish it by fringing the edges & attaching the stitched design to fabric to make a small pillow-type ornament.  I mean really ... how hard is that!  Well, I ended up making a total mess of things.  For the last half hour I have been searching through my tears to access every sales site I know of on the web trying to find someone who is selling a cross stitch ornament that meets the requirements of the exchange.  I found two.  I wrote to the one lady whose ornament I'm most interested in for further information.  Thankfully she doesn't live too far away so if I purchase it today it should get here in plenty of time for me to meet the mailing deadline.  I'll need to include a note in the package telling Elka how sorry I am that it wasn't stitched by me.  Hopefully she won't mind.  

Rules - 1:15

15.  If you are faced with an important decision in which you do not know just what is best to do or answer, take at least one night's time to think it over.  You will not be sorry.

_____________________

A short Rule this morning but one that I think is very wise.  I need to remember this one for sure. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Got Dem Ol' Cross Stitch Blues Again Mama

Time keeps movin' on,
Projects, I throw away.  Sigh!
Yeah, I keep stitchin' on
But I can never finish stuff right.
I keep tryin' so hard to finish
& the results are so disappointing
& I ruin all my work.
Whoa!!!

Based on the song Kozmic Blues as sung by Janis Joplin, 1969 

_____________________

When I was a teenager, one of my idols ... if not the idol ... was Janis Joplin.  Keep in mind that I was a teenager, not a Christian at the time, & couldn't have cared less about her lifestyle.  All I knew or cared to know about Janis was that I liked her songs & I liked how she looked.  I actually tried to mimic her as far as her clothes & accessories were concerned.  I didn't have to try hard to mimic her hairstyle.  We had that in common.  But this post is not about Janis Joplin.  No, this post is about cross stitching ... or, more precisely, finishing cross stitch projects.

Last week I posted a photo of a cross stitch ornament I received in a Christmas ornament exchange.  The person who was assigned to send me an ornament did a great job of stitching it & an even greater job of finishing it.  I am a perfectionist so this is high praise from me.  Now, let's move on to the ornament I have been working on for the person whose name I was assigned.

Of course I wanted to make this person ... let's call her Elka ... something nice.  In the hope of not duplicating any ornaments she might already have I decided to choose a design just released this year.  I stitched & I stitched & I stitched ... & I was pleased.  Then the stitched design sat around here for a week or more while I mustered up the courage to finish it.  I searched the internet looking for finishing directions.  I asked for finishing ideas on a cross stitching forum.  I sent emails asking fellow stitchers for their input.  I even contacted a total stranger to ask for her help which I did not get by the way.  The resulting cauldron of confusion was too much for me.  I finally decided, after much thought, to finish it as a little pillow-type ornament.

I decided to be "artistic" by stitching the design piece onto the pillow front in what I thought would be an artistic manner.  You could call this my "first mistake" although perhaps my first mistake was to join in on the exchange in the first place.  Moving on ... I cut the linen surrounding the stitched design down to size, pulled a thread an equal distance away from the design on all sides, & then started to attach the stitched piece to the background fabric with a line of cross stitches.  I chose a small plaid for the background fabric & carefully basted the stitched piece to this background fabric following the plaid lines to make sure my design would not sit unevenly on the fabric.  I then cross stitched over those basting lines.  When I had almost finished this process I noticed that these lines of cross stitches looked just a tad uneven.  Okay, okay ... they looked like crap ... but I had come too far to turn back.  I could not replace the linen I had already cut away nor the threads I had pulled surrounding the design.  I thought "I hope Elka embraces anorexia because instead of sticking her finger down her throat to make herself throw up she can just look at my ornament."

I am telling myself that the ornament will probably look better once I actually make it into a little pillow.  However, I have tried to con myself like this in similar situations many times in the past & I know from those experiences that I am too smart to fall for my attempted trickery.  The only thing I think I can do is send the ornament to Elka with my deep condolences & the promise of a replacement ornament as quickly as I can get one made for her.  Of course then again I will be faced with that nightmare known as finishing.  Sigh   : (                 

Rules - 1:14

14.  Do not esteem godliness any less because it is held in contempt & scorned by the ungodly.  On the other hand do not look more favorably upon sin just because it is so common, & the majority of the people live in ungodliness.  Numbers are no proof that a matter is right.  The way to hell is always full of wandering souls (Matthew 7:13).


If God should ask you on the Last Day, "Why did you profane the Sabbath?  Why did you become drunk with intoxicating beverages?  Why did you lie?  Why did you live with hate & jealousy toward others" - would you then answer, "Lord, I did so because nearly everyone else did so."  That would be a wretched answer!  God would then say to you, "Because you have sinned with the majority, you must also be cast into hell with the majority."

_____________________

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Punchneedle? Really?

I was up early this morning & got to enjoy seeing the sunrise.  What a way to start the day   : )

Since my husband experiencing the 2 days of returned symptoms it's been rather uneventful here at the farmhouse.  Mind you, I'm not complaining!  Uneventful is good   : )   I've been working on a cross stitch gift for a friend & doing a bit of reading.  Then this morning a great big wrench was thrown into the works!  That wrench is called punchneedle.

There was a new post on one of the blogs I follow ... The Wooden Acorn.  Valerie, the blog mistress, just opened a real brick & mortar shop & she specializes in wool.  There are various photos of the shop on her blog & it looks wonderful!  I actually thought for a moment "Maybe I should try working with wool!"  Then I had to remind myself "Shirlee, you can't get involved in every craft you see!"  Oh, but how I wish I could!  Those beautiful wool colors, the feel of the wool in my hands, those beautiful Valdani threads!  Sigh!  Anyway, on her sidebar Valerie has a few mini photos of things she sells in her Etsy shop & I saw cross stitch items!  Be still my heart!  I clicked on the link to the shop & was greeted by 7 pages of wonderful patterns for cross stitch as well as quilts, woolen items, dolls, & ... Lord help me ... punchneedle.

I have honestly never given punchneedle a second look since the early 80s.  I was living in Florida at the time & went to a flea market with my parents.  Someone had a display of punchneedle items & they were selling the patterns & needle sets.  My mother & I were intrigued!  My father, someone who never spent money "foolishly," told us to each pick out a set of needles & he would buy them for us!  I tried using those needles, believe me I did, but I just could not get my work to look anywhere near acceptable.  I finally gave up, shoved the needles into a drawer, & then sold them ... or maybe even threw them out ... years later.  I've always felt bad about that.  Dad was so sweet buying those needles for my mother & me & I'm sure he wondered why we weren't making anything with them.  I don't think my mother even tried.

Moving on to recent times ... I have seen a blogger or two posting photos of their punchneedle projects every now & then but I haven't really paid much attention to them (sorry ladies).  But this morning I am looking at these punchneedle patterns in Valerie's Etsy shop & thinking "I WANT TO MAKE SOME OF THOSE!!!"  Of course I remember my dismal failure at punchneedle in the early 80s so I am not too confident about giving it a try again ... not to mention the fact that, as I know from experience & stated above, I can't get involved in every craft I see!

To quote Jim Carrey's character in The Mask, "Somebody stop me!"                

Rules - 1:12-13

12.  "Rejoice not when your enemy falls" (Proverbs 24:17).  What someone else experiences may well happen to you by tomorrow.  And anyone who rejoices at the misfortunes of another will not remain unpunished (Proverbs 17:5).


13.  Carry no envy or hatred against anyone.  The Lord loved you while you were His enemy, & therefore He expects you to also love your enemy for His sake.  It is but a small thing for us humans to forgive out debtors compared to what God the Almighty forgives & pardons us.  Even though you may think your enemy is not worthy of your forgiveness, the Lord Christ is certainly worthy of your doing it for His sake.

_____________________

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rules - 1:11

11.  Never consider any sin as unimportant or of no account.  First of all, every sin however small & insignificant it may appear is nevertheless a transgression against the supreme majesty of God.  Secondly, a small sin that is loved can condemn a man just as well as a gross sin.  A small leak if not repaired can sink a ship in time.


Likewise, even the smallest sin if it is cherished & not repented of, can bring a man down to hell.  Beware then not only of great sins but of small ones as well.  Make a habit of overcoming the least of sins so that you can be master of the great ones, too.  Especially shun willful sinning lest you provoke God to anger, for it is hard to obtain forgiveness for sins that are willfully committed.

_____________________

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Prayers Needed

Please continue to pray for my husband.  Yesterday & today he has been experiencing the same symptoms he was experiencing before I had to take him to the ER.  I wanted to take him to the hospital this afternoon ... the one where his regular doctor is on staff ... but he refused saying that he will just wait to get his test done on the 21st.  He told me if anything happens to him in the meantime to just get him into the car & take him to that hospital, not the local one.  I can tell by the way he is acting & how he looks that he is concerned.  I wish he wasn't so stubborn about this   : (

Embarrassment!!!

Yesterday I received a package in the mail.  It contained a lovely cross stitched Christmas ornament, a mini ornament, a cross stitch Halloween pattern, & a very nice card.  I did not recognize the name of the person, nor did I recognize the return address.  I was puzzled as to why this person was sending me these lovely things!  I checked my emails ... I had never corresponded with her.  I checked my blog ... she is not a follower.  I Googled her & came up empty.  She had mentioned inside the card something about a cross stitch blog that I follow.  I went to that blog & was able to track down her blog but not her email address.  I then went back to the CS blog & found her follower photo & clicked on that which gave me her email address.

I wrote her an email & thanked her for the package!  I said I didn't know why in the world she would send me such a wonderful gift but told her how much I appreciated it & thanked her very much!  Shortly after that I realized that she was probably sending me this package because she had been given my name in an ornament swap on this cross stitch blog.  I had assumed that I would be receiving an ornament from the person I am sending to so I was really lost for a while!  I then had to write to this "mystery person" & explain that I am an idiot!

Here is a photo of the wonderful ornament I received.  The ornament swap theme was Words of Christmas   : )

  
I am still working on my ornament for the person whose name I was given.  I have it stitched but need to finish it this weekend.  You all know my fear of finishing things!  Hopefully I won't make a mess of it!  I will post a photo after my assigned person receives the ornament   : )    

Rules - 1:10

10.  In suffering be patient, & silence your heart under the mighty hand of God with these meditations:  first, that it is God's hand that chastens you; second, that it is for your benefit; third, that He will ease the burden; fourth, He will give you strength to endure; & fifth, He will deliver you from affliction in due time.

_____________________

I have been asked where the book of these Rules of a Godly Life can be purchased.  I am copying them from a book called The Amish Way, written by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, & David L. Weaver-Zercher.  They mention the Rules in this book & obtained permission to print them in their entirety in the back of the book.  I have read several books about the Amish over the past year or two & I would say that this particular book is the best I have read thus far.  It gives such a very detailed account of their life & beliefs.  I highly recommend it if you are interested in Amish life.

Rules of a Godly Life is actually part of a book which is titled In Meiner Jugend: A Devotional Reader in German & English.  It is an Amish text available only from Pathway Publishers, an Old Order Amish publishing house located in Canada with a branch in Indiana.  They of course do not have a telephone number or internet site.  Their address is Pathway Publishers, 2580N - 250W, LaGrange, IN 46761.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rules - 1:8-9

8.  If other people praise you for some virtue, humble yourself.  But do not praise yourself, for that is the way of fools who seek vain glory.  In all your dealings be honest - that will be reward enough & others will praise you.


9.  Don't be overly concerned what others do, & if it is none of your business, don't meddle in it.

_____________________

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

AN ANSWER TO PRAYER!!!!!

I was going to start out this message by saying "You won't believe this!"  Then I thought how silly that was!  We pray to God because we know He can help us ... & then when He does something we are surprised & say we can't believe it   : )

Remember the fax I sent to John's doctor, which she never responded to, describing exactly what happened to him, his symptoms prior to what happened, his family history, how concerned I was, & asking her if she would please consider ordering this one particular test for him to at least put our minds at ease about that particular condition?  Got a phone call from her nurse just a few minutes ago ... she ordered the test!  The quickest she could get him scheduled is Friday, October 21!  Happy Birthday to me!  Now we won't have to go to the hospital to get the records & we won't have to go through the stress of trying to get the doctor to refer him to a specialist or find one ourselves!

Part of me wishes she could've gotten the test scheduled sooner but I am just so happy that she scheduled it at all!  Please continue to pray that he will "hang on" till then   : )    

Rules - 1:6-7

6.  If anyone wrongs you, bear it patiently.  For if you take the wrong to heart or become angry, you hurt no one but yourself & are only doing what your enemy would like for you to do, giving him the satisfaction of seeing how annoyed you are.  But if you can be patient, God will in His good time judge rightly & bring your innocence to light.


7.  Especially beware of discontentment or a spirit that is never satisfied.  It is the grace of God that allows you to have some suffering & trouble.  God bestows on you various blessings so that you do not despair in want, but then He also metes out a portion of trouble & pain lest you become proud & presumptuous in too great a joy.  No matter what misfortune strikes you, remember that because of your sins you deserve far worse.

____________________

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's Still Dark Out!

I have been noticing that the sun isn't coming up as early anymore.  Another sign of fall   : )

Our local postman was a real harbinger of doom yesterday.  He indicated that it's supposed to be in the mid to high 70s all this week!  However, he must've seen the deep sadness regarding that news in my expression because he quickly added "then next week it is supposed to turn cold & will probably stay that way!"

Husband Health Update:  I spoke with my husband's brother last night.  Their sister had told me that his symptoms prior to his diagnosis & surgery were exactly like John's had been prior to his trip to the ER & hospital stay last week.  I did not, however, realize just how exact they were!  While he was telling me what had happened to him, it was like I was hearing myself tell someone what happened to John!  His brother could not believe that no one in the hospital ordered this one standard test to be done based on those symptoms & that John's PCP did not even respond to my request that she consider ordering this test to ease our minds!  He said I can't let this go & suggested calling the insurance company today to ask for a referral.  I will be doing just that.  I told John this last night & he did not give me any argument so I know he is worried.  The only thing that concerns me is no doctor is probably going to want to get involved because if they agree that he needs this test done then they are going against the opinions of their peers.  I'm not someone who goes around suing people but I'm assuming that if I do find a doctor who will order this test & then the test results show that John indeed has this life-threatening condition it would then probably open a door for me to sue everyone else who did not order the test.  Of course I'm sure they would probably say there was no indication he needed this test when he came to the hospital.  I am so angry that I have to run around searching for someone to do a test that should've been ordered in the hospital or by his PCP.

Rules - 1:5

5.  In all things, before you begin something, be cautious & ponder what the outcome may be.  In all that you do & undertake, think constantly whether you would want to be doing it if that very hour you were to be called by death to appear before God's judgment.  For this reason never allow yourself to be found in any situation in which you could not trust or hope for your salvation.  Live every day as if you might die & appear before the judgment seat of Christ. 

_____________________

It wasn't my intention to comment on these Rules as I shared them but I have got to say that this one really grabbed me by the shoulders & gave me a good shaking.  Wise advice indeed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Rules - 1:4

4.  On the Sabbath day take special note of the wonderful works of God - the creating & governing of the earth, & the work of redemption.  To these mediations add the sacred practice of prayer, thoughtful attention to sermons, godly conversation, & such like.  In this manner you will rightly observe the Sabbath & keep it holy as commended so often in God's Word.  If you however do not have a conscience against profaning the Sabbath, you will hardly hesitate to violate all other commandments of God as well.

_____________________

I know I said on Saturday that I would post every day throughout October & start each post with one of two of the Rules of a Godly Life.  However, I think they might get a bit "lost" being included with my oftentimes rambling posts so I have decided instead to do a separate post each day for the Rules.  I think they will be better to follow this way   : )

Sunday, October 2, 2011

SNOW!!!!!

2.  Refrain from wicked, idle, & unclean thoughts.  "Keep your heart with all diligence" (Proverbs 4:23).  For whatever you allow your thoughts to be, your speech, your conduct, & your entire way of life will be the same.


3.  Think often on the four last things: on death, of which there is nothing more certain; on Judgment Day, of which there is nothing more terrible; on hell, for there is nothing more unbearable; & on heaven, for there is nothing more joyful.  He who often thinks on these things will shun innumerable sins & be diligent in true godliness.

_____________________

Good, great, wonderful, excellent morning!!!  Yesterday I posted about the joys of autumn.  Well, as wonderful as autumn is, it doesn't hold a candle to winter!!!  Look what I woke up to this morning!!!



Snow!!!  In central Kentucky!!!  On October 2nd!!!  True, just a dusting (this is usually what our snow looks like ... as though God gave one of the angels a can of talcum powder & had him shake it a bit around the area) but snow nonetheless!!!  I'm sorry to say I missed it falling down.  I woke up at 5 a.m. but talked myself into going back to sleep.  When I opened my eyes, this is what I saw   : )

snow [snoh] noun:  big, fat, fluffy flakes of Prozac falling from the sky

To paraphrase a bit, "Things go better with snow!"

There is no way depression would come a-knockin' at your door when there is snow outside!  There's just no way!  

Happy, happy, joy, joy!  Snow-snow-snow!!!

I do realize it will be short-lived (temps are supposed to go into the 60s today & the 70s will be closely following) but it's here today!  Hooray, hooray!  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rules of a Godly Life

"Beloved friend, if you desire to lead a holy & God-pleasing life & to attain eternal salvation after this time, then you must measure your whole life by the Word of God as the only standard of faith & conduct, & let all your thoughts, words, & deeds be in accord with the same, as commanded by God (Deuteronomy 5:32, 33).

That is what the king & prophet David did when he said, "I thought on my ways, & turned my feet unto thy testimonies" (Psalm 119:59), as if to say, "I examine & ponder on all my doings - all my thoughts, words, & deeds to see if they are according to thy commands - so that if I have done wrong in one or the other, I can return to the right."
_____________________

The words above are the introduction to Rules of a Godly Life, a popular devotional source among the Amish.  While John was in the hospital, I began reading a new book about the Amish while he was sleeping or off having tests.  I have read a few books about the Amish but this one is, in my opinion, the very best thus far.  The authors take the time to really dig into the lifestyle & beliefs of the Amish people & they relay this information to the reader in such a way that I'm sure, in my case, my mouth was hanging open in awe all the while I was reading.

Rules of a Godly Life was mentioned in this book.  Thankfully the authors reprinted the entire devotional content at the end of the book.  I was so impressed with what I read that I wanted to share these rules with you.  There are 47 rules.  It is my goal to share one or two each day throughout the month of October.  I hope you will find them as illuminating as I have.  Many of them gave me a new way of thinking about particular Scriptures & Christian beliefs.  Many of them are just plain common sense.

There is no mention of the original author(s) although there are references to Rules having been published in Europe & thought to have first been included in a devotional book published in 1787.  In 2000 an English translation was written by an Ontario Amish minister, Joseph Stoll.

I will start each day's post with one or two of these rules.  I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I have.
_____________________

Part One
Concerning Your Thoughts

First of all, that which concerns your thoughts:    
     Take the following rules deeply to heart:

1.  In the morning, awake with God & consider that this might be your final day.  When you go to bed at night, you do not know if you will ever rise again, except to appear before the Judgment.  For this reason, it is all the more expedient for you to pray every day, falling upon your knees both mornings & evenings, confessing your sins to God & asking His forgiveness, & thanking Him for blessings received.

Happy October!!!

What time of year is more delightful than autumn?  Although autumn officially begins in late September, there's just something about the first day of October that is magical in a way.  I've seen many friends posting on their blogs about the joys of this time of year ... the colored leaves, the cool crisp air, pumpkins, hot meals, & snuggling into a comfy chair, covering yourself with a warm throw & sipping a hot cup of tea while reading a good book.  The phrase "it can't get any better than this" surely seems to fit   : )

I am especially happy that October has arrived.  The prior 12 months have been rather roller coastery (there's a new word for you) as far as health concerns around here.  Last October I was told that it was pretty certain that I had uterine cancer.  I was sent to the hospital for a total hysterectomy.  Thankfully no cancer was found.  In early February I began having urinary problems.  An intense look of concern came over the face of the urologist with whom I had made an appointment.  Based on my symptoms, along with the fact that my father had had bladder cancer, he felt sure that I had either bladder cancer or a tumor in my urinary tract.  Various testing followed & again no cancer was found.  In mid-March I had my yearly checkup with my doctor in Tennessee.  More suspicion of cancer ... this time breast cancer & thyroid cancer.  Testing once again revealed no cancer.  To be perfectly honest I thought 5 "you might have cancer" diagnoses were a bit much in a period of 6 months.  I thought surely the doctors/hospitals in this area of the country must have been trying to get some much-coveted cancer funds which were only distributed based on the amount of cancer diagnoses they reported.  My husband & I began to make jokes about it.  If one of us had a headache, the other one would say "Must be brain cancer."  If one of us had a stomachache, the other one would say "Must be stomach cancer."

In late May both my husband & myself began to not feel well.  The usual symptoms of his health issues began to increase.  As for me, I just plain felt terrible ... sleeping all the time, no energy, & a host of other problems.  Saw a new doctor who did a vast series of  tests & then told me my previous doctor had been over-medicating me & if I continued taking the dosages she had prescribed then I would be in big trouble health-wise not too long from now.  She had me stop taking some things I had been taking, prescribed some others for me, & it took the entire summer but I finally started feeling better just in the past couple of weeks or so.  Meanwhile my husband began to feel worse, developing 2 new symptoms & you know what happened to him per my recent posts.  Although he was not sent for one very important test which he should have been sent for, he has been feeling good the past 2 days.  No more problems like those that put him in the hospital.  Hallelujah!

So hooray for the end of one year & the beginning of a new one!  I am looking forward to the next 12 months being as happy & joyful & free of health issues just as much as the last 12 months have been just the opposite   : )