Friday, November 6, 2020

What I Am Reading Now

Hosea 6:6 captured my attention recently:

"For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." 

I was reading the King James Version but my iPad let me quickly check a couple other versions:

The New International Version read "I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings."

The English Standard Version was "For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings."

The marching orders throughout the Old and New Testaments speak to me that God prefers that his children show mercy and love rather than making a lot of public sacrifices. Throughout my life I have been surrounded by people who lavished mercy and love on me and others. 

With such a bounty of examples past and present, one would think an individual would be abundantly merciful and loving. But 
I felt that my opportunities for overt expressions of such diminished on Good Friday 2011. 

That was when a blood vessel popped in my brain right over where motor and sensory nerves bundled together before extending into the brain stem. Even hugging my children and grandchildren is a challenging process now. 

But God's work through our Savior Jesus Christ was not done with me. I finally realized that as long as my mind works, prayers and encouraging words are my route to showing mercy and love for dear ones near and far, as well as friends, neighbors, and strangers encountered. 

Sometimes I am privileged to learn of prayers answered. Even when I don’t learn of how my prayers are answered, I am certain that without fail one person benefits. 

That person is me. 

Praying for others has given me purpose and a sense of usefulness, thankfulness and peace. 

It has also resulted in the pleasure of becoming aware of and observing the strengths of character and the abilities of those I encounter.

May blessings abound in your life, too!



Saturday, September 12, 2020

Bridge Walking

Goof up alert!! New computer; changes in Blogger; Right now I am giving up on font, spacing and other aberrations that don't show up til I hit publish. I will keep trying!

Hubby has been been helping me rebuild physical stamina through early morning walks on the high bridge over Biloxi Back Bay. 

Lovely views of the curved beach, beachfront homes and the yacht club with colorful sailboats spice up what for me is a grueling uphill trek. 

Weather permitting, we go Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The routine is up early, throw on clothes and go sans makeup. 

Hubby makes the trek doable by helping me go from the parking area up steps to the bridge and over to the concrete barrier that separates car traffic from walkers, joggers and cyclists. That barrier also helps me balance. I touch the top with my right hand as I walk.

Hubby walks beside me when I'm feeling a bit off balance. And his conversation diverts my attention from the weakness that makes me feel like I will never make it even to the one-tenth mile marker.

When I have gone as far as I feel I safe, he helps me cross over to the other side of the walkway. That side sports a metal bannister, perfect for holding onto. I can take bigger strides with more confidence as I head back down the bridge.

In 2015, four years post-stroke, I had worked up to just past the seven-tenths mile marker. I was determined to make it all the way across and back, a 3.4 mile distance. But that same year 
I started falling. 

Physical therapy helped. Later that year I finally worked up enough gumption to try the bridge again. On my first attempt a brisk wind nearly toppled me. 

Fear reigned. It has taken me almost five years to move past that fear. Hubby and I have been walking the bridge again for six weeks, going a little farther each trip. 

On the days I feel steadier, I release Hubby from Nanny duty so he can enjoy the views or walk ahead. I know he is always keeping an eye on me, though.
So far I have made it past the three-tenths mile marker three times, each time a little farther.  By the time we make it back to our van, my trusty iPhone registers more than one mile. 

Slow but satisfying!



Monday, August 31, 2020

Driving for Sanity

In late March, we packed a few diabetic-friendly snacks and went for an extended drive, the first of regular "sanity" drives. Even though things have opened up a bit in our community, the old normal is evidently long gone.

Travel, whether near or far, is essential to our well being, especially now.

Castle on the beach 

The exotic looking structure above was on a Gulf of Mexico beachfront just east of our town. My curiosity about the new structure, its owners and its story has yet to be satisfied. Don't you think it looks empty and a bit unloved?

Hubby relishes being behind the wheel and lately we both have enjoyed exploring roads that we never or rarely navigate in our usual routines. 

Rural roads and small communities north of our community are rich with satisfying experiences.

"Y'all" was a sure sign we were still in the Deep South. 

A lengthy drive down a rural road with few houses and lots of wooded acreage took us to a dead-end with a gated drive. A warning sign  imparted a clear message with a dash of humor.

That buzzard looks ready to feast on anyone who ignores that sign.

On one drive with snacks gone and appetites calling for lunch, we found a Taco Bell in a small town and joined the long line for drive-through orders. 

We retreated to a shady parking spot and chowed down on our fast-food feast. Ah . . . guilty pleasures.

Hubby and I enjoy Front Beach.

In May, we got one more visit to our town's Front Beach beside the Mississippi Sound. It was just a few days before the mayor ordered the beaches closed. Beaches are back open now, but temperatures are soaring.

Mississippi heat and humidity are limiting our travel right now to destinations with air conditioning or locations at cooler elevations!