Dittims

For the last two months, I have been among the missing in the blogging world but I have been very busy. September through December is always a busy time with college football. Go Dawgs!

Then November we add more busy as we put up Christmas…and there is a lot of Christmas – 5 big trees, 3 small trees and décor everywhere…

Then two weeks ago was the college football playoffs between four teams…we won our match – Go Dawgs!

Monday night of this week was the National Championship for College Football…again we won…back to back championships…

Go Dawgs…super year.

Then today, after two weeks of intense editing, I was ready to create the cover for my new book. This book has been in the works for seven months and I hope to get it released next month. No, its not about football or Christmas, but it is about a very special dog – Dittims.

Dittims was a very large Great Dane, 189 pounds, mostly white and as some white dogs can be – he was mostly deaf. And later in life, his beautiful blue eyes began to lose sight. Even though I lost him close to nine years ago, I will always remember the lessons he taught me. Regardless of the issues you may have, you can still find joy and the love of life if you allow it to come in. This book was written as an encouragement for those who may be hurting, have lost loved ones or loveable pets, or just need the hope of Heaven to hang on to. Our Real Home is Dittims’ perspective, along with all the other dogs I have had in my life, to share the beauty of Heaven as they see it with biblical scriptures throughout to help back up some of what they are seeing. Yes, it is still fiction, but it brings about the encouraging hope of what is to come for all of us. It’s a compilation of silly stories the dogs share with each other, stories of aching loss on earth replaced with the joys of Heaven and the hopeful chance of a reunion of loved ones in heaven, man and animal alike.

The sample market I have given it to seems to have enjoyed it and if you are an animal lover, I hope you will give it a try. I will announce its release as soon as it is done. And if you are not much of a reader, that is fine, just make sure you love on your pets while you still have them. They have wonderful gifts to share with us if we will only listen and watch.

And as always, I remind you to be kind in all that you do. You never know what angel you may be tending to.

Beauty & Peace

Sometimes those two words go together, and sometimes they don’t, but this last week of the year has shown some beautiful peaceful evening skies. As we think on closing out a new year – the beauty of the heavens encourage our hopes for the new year.

Sunrises are a beautiful way to start you day, but in truth I enjoy my sleep. But sunsets make me awe in the beauty of creation and the calming speechless words they show us that remind us God is in control.

The storms we had last week that threw their destructive way eastward causing damage and death can not overshadow the peace that can come from the peace of Christ and for me, beautiful sunsets are after severe weather reminder of His promise to always be our caretaker – even in hard times. below are sone shots I took from my deck that faces west. I hope their colors and beauty help remind you that, even though the new year coming will have its problems, His peace can be felt if we allow it.

Sincere wishes for a wonderful and peaceful year. We all need one. And may you feel the power of kindness as part of your new year.

CFFC: Holiday Colors

Cee reminds us to share our holiday colors. I do love all holidays…but Christmas is a favorite due to my love of unique Christmas ornaments. I love their colors, their shapes and their meanings. Christmas is a time where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and so many of my ornaments and décor follow along that theme. Except for the village. I have a fifty plus piece village that goes up in November when the weather turns cold. While there are many Christmas components to it, this year we added more winter components as in a mountain and ski slope.

You can see the full village takes up two tables, well a desk and a table, plus the cathedral is on a shelf further over. The majority of these plaster buildings, I painted as a summer project in 2000 and a few others have been bought over the years. This year we expanded the “country” by adding the mountain and ski slope.

And of course any good snow covered mountain needs an abdominal snowman…thanks to the Rudolph character Bumble.

But I must close with sharing the beauty of a new addition. My daughter knows my love for angels and got me this beautiful piece. At night, it’s lights glow, making it even more beautiful.

So regardless of the holiday you may celebrate this time of year, I remind you to do it with love and kindness. Those aspects of any holiday make the memories last longer, creating smiles and kindness that can carry you for the rest of the year.

Always Be Kind

And in Closing…

As we get ready to close out another year, I am again astounded as to how fast this past one went by.

For most of us, its a time of reflection…

Did we remember to enjoy the beauty we saw…the amazing colors of the sunrise or the calming of the sunset? Did we remember to share in the gentleness of smiles we saw, sharing them back with contagious love?

Did we catch a single snowflake on our tongue, feeling its cold but seeing their beauty as they cover the land in white perfection…knowing that no single flake is like another – an astounding reality of creation…much like every man.

Did we pause as we listened to the chirping of the birds or hear the laughter of children as they play? Or maybe we went for a walk and could hear the quiet sounds of nature as she whispers the beauty of life as God intended us to hear.

Did we truly feel the love come though with that hug we received? Did we in turn hug back with that same love, sharing a quick taste of the love to come from God…a love so full it could make you gasp with its power?

Did we remember that the gifts we are given from God are free to us for the mere asking…even though they came at a great cost…a cost we could never fathom to withstand by ourselves.

As we begin to start a new year, let us remember the beauty of this past year, even with it hardships. The hope of God’s love gives us strength even when we feel weak.

Always remember the beauty and power of kindness. It can be brighter than any star and powerful enough to change any direction. For this next year, try a little extra kindness and see how it brightens your new year.

First Big Snow

This week we are expecting our first big snow of the season – 3-5 inches. Well, having a white Christmas is always nice. That is surely something you don’t see in the south. Tomorrow at work, the three of us are doing the small gift exchange of cutesy things we get for each to have fun and to make each other smile.

For my partner in goofiness I painted her a Merry Christmas sign in honor of all snowmen.

Then I wrote her this poem to go with it for the upcoming snow on Thursday.

The Magic of a Snowman

The magic of a snowman is quite plain to see

With outstretched mittens to hug you and me

His smile is as bright as the new fallen snow

Showing our happiness in the way it should go

With snowfall a-coming, like in a few days

The smiles of these snowman will brighten your way

Merry Christmas

Anita

Remember in all that you do, to always be kind…even if you are a snowman.

Always be Kind

Picturing God

According to my understanding of scripture, seeing God(in the flesh as it were)is impossible. Moses got close and his face shone from its brightness to where the people were afraid of him. For me, I see God in the beauty of the sunset, in the miracle of tiny bugs on the ground, through the smile of a child.

To me, God is all around us and at this time of year it is even more so as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God’s son. In my beliefs, Jesus is part of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and each of those parts of God brings up a different image of what we humans think He looks like. Is it important on what he looks like? Maybe, maybe not. We are very visual oriented creatures and rely on our vision for truth…and our visions can fail us if we don’t rely on the right source of truth..

I am reading a wonderful book called Crazy Love by Frances Chan. I am only in the fourth chapter but in it far enough to think about what Frances is trying to tell us. Two things that are popping out the most so far is, picturing life on this earth as a movie. You are an important member of the cast because God created you for a purpose He had in mind but the movie is not about you, the movie is about God. The other thing, the one that struck me the hardest, is when you pray, who do you pray to. Well obvious the answer is God…but what are you visualizing? Or do you just throw your prayers into the air hoping they get where they need to go. Our prayers are specific and need to go specifically to God. For me it helps visualize that I am talking to God in a specific form.

Revelation 4 describes what John saw when we was taken in spirit into heaven…

Rev 4:2-3 …”there before me was a throne on heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby…”

In chapter 19 Jesus is described as the Word of God with blazing eyes, a double edge sword coming from his mouth and a robe dipped in blood. While this is the God I want standing by my side if bullies are after me, it hard for me to visualize praying to the loving comforter, the Lamb of God, if I visualize this form.

Ephesians 5:2…walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

Our prayers should reflect this fullness of love for love comes from the heart as our prayers should also come from the heart. Corinthians 13 says it perfectly in how we should treat mankind and prayer for mankind.

Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient, love is kind…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers…Love(God) never fails.

So as you lift your prayers to heaven, visualize that they are being received by a loving, caring, nurturing and kind…warrior who will protect you as much as He loves you. Visualize yourself being God’s child (which we are) that crawls into the loving lap of the loving Father and feel His peace.

And know always His kindness is powerful so share that kindness with others.

There’s Something Calming About a Fireplace

Being originally from south Georgia, I tend to not be a fan of winter. But I moved this way because I was tired of the heat. We are never really satisfied with all aspects of weather. But during the winter, there is something peaceful about watching the fire in the fireplace, especially during Christmas.

If you are in your winter season, may you feel the warmth of life around you and remember to share that warmth in kindness.

Always be kind

FOTD, Memories

The midwest during the winter months can be bleak. Currently we have not see the sun in four days with more rain and clouds due this next week. 🥺 Guess that’s better than feet of snow.

So I am digging back into archives of 2021 to remember the beauty and warmth of the sunshine. I fully understand the need for the plant life to rest but I do miss them so.

Sunflowers and bumble bees…sleep well my friends.

While nature is sleeping, don’t let you kindness sleep. Share it often.

Always be kind.

Christmas Songs

I have always wondered what in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge sitting up in pear tree have to do with Christmas?

I saw this on Facebook and though it interesting. Not sure of its validity but felt it worth sharing.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-

-Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-Ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

-Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So there is your history for today. I found it interesting and enlightening and now understand how that strange song became a Christmas Carol. Share this with others as you wish and have a very Merry Christmas.

And as always, remember the beauty and power of kindness and share it often.

Time to Make the Donuts

Remember the “time to make the donuts” guy with the commercials for Dunkin Donuts?

Well, for me and others in our church… its that time of year for Christmas cookies. Its time to make the cookies!!

Every Christmas since Covid hit our world, my church has been making cookies for our local fire station and police station to show them we appreciate their talking care of our community. Its a shame that it took an epidemic to make us understand the value of so many services we had been basically taking for granted. Fortunately, I have never had need of their services but I have seen them do some marvelous things for others. So if you or a family member are in one of these wonderful service groups, I thank you.

Today I made muffins, brownies and orange crispy cookies. Tomorrow I will make some quick breads. And you gotta throw in some chocolate candy, must have chocolate at Christmas. Then we bag them up two or three in a sandwich bag depending on size so it is easy for them to grab a snack after coming in from a duty call.

Merry Christmas and thank you to all the firemen and police officers who helps us in our communities.

And remember the ease, the simpleness, and the power of Kindness and use it often.

Your one small act of kindness may not change our world, but to the one receiving that kindness, you have changed their world.

Always be kind.