What Does Underlayment Do?

An underlayment is a layer between a subfloor and a finished floor that facilitates leveling and adhesion.

Where am I going with that? I was thinking about my personality and why I am the way I am. When I was little, the home was not a happy place, but we kept that to ourselves. “It was not other people’s business,” said my mom. She was a very quiet and stoic woman. For a long time, as I got older and saw more people react to things, I thought there might be something missing in me. I didn’t seem to react when scary or dangerous things happened, except to try and deal with the situation.

I wondered more than once where God was that he would let a little girl have scary experiences and not answer my prayers. It took me to adulthood to realize that God was with me or there would have been worse outcomes in my life. Once I accepted that and began to thank Him for the protection, I felt myself revealing more emotions as well.

With my own children, I tried to be more demonstrative and show my love. When I got married, my father hugged me but my mom never did. She was mad because I hadn’t finished my education and thought I never would. Thankfully, I did finish a couple of years later, but that didn’t turn her into a “huggy” person.

What has this got to do with floors or underlayment? I thought about how my faith developed and it seems like underneath is the strong support of faith in God. Over that is a cushioning layer of truth–what I know and have experienced and can sink into. Like a cushioning layer. On top of that today is my joy that lays smooth and adherent. I can be upset and even angry, but I am still secure that I’m not alone anymore. I hang onto my joy and allow no-one to take it away from me.

As bad as the country is with its divisions and hate groups and economic problems–I still feel a sense that all will be well–eventually. Yes, stand up and speak and do what you can to back your beliefs, but if you have faith, you then turn it over to God, the only being who knows the outcome.

How do you all hang on?

New Year’s Focus

“Happy New Year!” I’ve heard it from many friends and family members, but almost all add,”Hope next year’s better, good riddance to 2020,” or a similar sentiment. No doubt that it has been a difficult year and for many–a terrible year of sickness and loss. I began to think about what I would like to reach for in 2021. I came up with a few words that fit the things I most want to live toward in this new year.

N-E-W Y-E-A-R

N – Non judgmental attitude. Everyone has something that they’re hiding, working on, grieving, or may be simply blind to.

E – Eager – I want to wake up eager to face the day, see new things or at least see in a new way.

W – I’ll try to write every day, if only to help myself figure out what I believe and where I stand on the issues of today.

Y – Yesterday is gone. Don’t keep mulling it over. MOVE ON.

E – Enough – I have enough and I am enough.

A – Active – It’s important to stay active. Word could be ambulate, amble, accelerate…

R – Respond -React and respond when I feel that urges to call someone, or write a note, etc. My time or that person’s may be shorter than we know.

These are a few of my “words.” Think of a word or words that sum up your wishes for the new year. I would love to hear what you come up with.

Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

Join me next time for Connie’s comments and verse.

Tangled, Broken, and Retied

As I examined at knitted scarf I’ve been making this week, I tucked in a couple of stray pieces of yarn. I had run out of yarn in one skein and had begun to work from a new one at one place. I could see where I attached the new yarn and wove in the loose end–sort of. A small piece of yarn had still poked up and stood out. I found another error where I had added one stitch more than I should to a section.

On the surface the piece looks acceptable, but I know where the yarn was fraying a little bit and where I tore a row out to redo it.

I am much like a piece of my knitting–acceptable on the surface, but only God and I know where I was broken and knit back together through my life and what each “I’m sorry” cost me to face up to my mistakes and own them. I ask God to point out my mistakes also as we all can be blind to our faults and omissions.

Each event in our lives adds to the fabric of the outward appearance we present. What would people see if they saw the underside where the mistakes and the patches of hurt placed over them have left scars? They would see the smooth sections interspersed with the uglier knotted and tied-together repairs.

As we go forward from this unbelievable year; we grieve with the people who have lost jobs as well as loved ones and we’ve disagreed with others whose political and even medical views differ from ours. But it is important to remember that each person we meet has a few knots and patches, some repaired and some still dangling. Love and understanding go a long way toward revealing the outward person as the true self and not a disguise of what lies beneath.

Everyone is praying for 2021 to be a healthier, less divisive and more peaceful year. May it be so and may we greet others with an attitude of love and understanding.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

C. S. Lewis

Childhood Christmases

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

Norman Vincent Peale

A neighbor shared some oranges with me today and that was all it took to send my mind back over seventy years to my childhood. My bus driver would give each of us an orange and a candy cane as he delivered us home for Christmas break. In my rural neighborhood, there was a man who became Santa and went house to house where there were kids. He had prearranged the visit with the parents so we received one gift that was something we had asked for. It worked well for small ones, but when Santa pulled my present out of the bag, I recognized the wrapping paper from the chest upstairs and the “jig was up.”

Of course, if I hadn’t been snooping around, my innocence might have been preserved a little longer.

When I read down the list of the so-called traditions of Christmas, I have experienced many of them. I have gone caroling and we always put on a Christmas play at church. We always had a real tree and if I close my eyes I can almost conjure the scent of pine. One of my memories of pine is a little different.

We had two very large pines behind our house on the edge of a field where we usually planted the garden. One day we came home from town after dark and as the headlights swung over our property my dad let out a yell. “What the Hell?” Someone had cut the entire top out of one of our pines. It was quite a feat considering the height of the tree!

Even though 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, I still sense a little excitement in the air as Christmas approaches. Masked people dart through the stores, being careful, but with a purpose in their steps. Secret bags of cookies or cards are being shared by thoughtful neighbors. When the big snow hit a couple days ago, many were out early to shovel and help clean the windshields for others. A kind gentleman shoveled paths through the snow in my neighborhood, so that the owners of small dogs could find a place for the pets to “go.”

When a Savior came to bring love and peace, He brought it for all. He is still showing the way even in 2020 if we have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts of love. Peace, love, and joy to all!

If I could give you just one thing,
I'd give you joy that would make your heart sing.
A joy and a peace that was brought to strangers,
When a young mother laid a babe in a manger.
ccousins

Preparing for Christmas

Advent means “Coming” in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.

“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes…and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1942

Yesterday a friend and I felt we needed a little outing–to break the monotony of COVID-19 enforced restrictions. We decided that a walk-through of a favorite antique shop would be acceptable if those in the store were distancing and wearing masks. We peaked in and decided that the few people browsing were keeping their distance and were masked so in we went to see what wonderful items might appeal to use. There were plenty of Christmas decorations we remembered from 60 years ago at least. We shared memories that the old bulbs, etc. generated.

The picture below spoke to me and I had to bring it home to put on my desk. It symbolizes what I want my blog to be–a source of hope and good news and yes, silly rhymes at times. I see the upheaval and the misery of our country and of many people. I work where I can to help others and I try to stand up for what I believe. But I hope that people stop in and read something uplifting and not judgemental in my words.

Tree is up as you can see, saving the decorating till evening while I watch a Holiday movie!

Tell me about your decorating ideas and wishes for the season. (No poem this time) Some of you are probably saying, “good.”

Sleep In Saturday

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)

For years, my heartfelt wish was for a sleep-in Saturday. But with my husband and I on different schedules and raising four children–it just wasn’t in the cards. I slept well if sometimes getting by on about four hours, due to my call schedule. When on call in house, I was able to rise quickly and after the surgery, grab another hour sometimes before the shift was over. Those were the days when I took 24 hour in house call.

I rarely had a night when I lay awake with fears and worries whirling through my mind, mainly because I did end my night with a prayer of thankfulness and I was VERY TIRED. The strange thing now is that, after twelve years of being retired except for volunteer work, I still wake up most days at 5:30 a.m. Occasionally I do sleep in till maybe 7:00 if I have been up later than my usual 11:00 p.m. Oh, how life moves along!

During the events of the last year, I have had trouble falling asleep at times. When that happens, I feel angry and anxious. It has given me much more compassion for those who have insomnia. It is terrible to be so tired and lying awake. I have added “people with sleep issues” to my prayers! I find passages of scripture like the one above help me, as does getting up and reading something not controversial or upsetting for an hour or so.

If someone reading this is having trouble with getting a good night’s sleep, there are good articles about it on the health sites. Not exercising in the last couple hours before bed, not eating late in the evening, or drinking alcohol later in evening have all been written about as helpful for good sleep. Otherwise, warm baths, soothing music or white noise are all possible aids to sleep. But I’m getting far from my original purpose.

I used to dream of a Saturday
When I could lie in bed,
Stretch and yawn, go back to sleep,
Not drive a child somewhere instead.
Those days are gone and kids are grown, 
I'm in the so-called Golden Years.
But lately the pandemic, an election and lies,
Have filled my head and heart with fears.

I go to bed and name the problem,
Then say to God, "It's yours."
I don't understand and never will,
But heavenly plans can open closed doors. 
C.Cousins
This was a couple days ago, when I couldn't see beyond the immediate terrain. The mountains were obscured until the fog lifted--and so it is with life.

How to Carry On

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

It seems each day we’ve more to fear,

A pandemic and an election year.

Sick of masking, washing, and being apart,

We want to hug friends-because it’s good for the heart

Kids study at home virtually and dad office is the spare bedroom,

Yoga class is on TV and grandma’s learned to Zoom.

Life still advances whether we’re ready or not.

I remind myself God knows the battles I’ve fought.

The only way I calm myself when things are out of hand,

Is calling on my faith that God is still in command.

Not sitting back, but standing up where I can,

Letting worries drop and scatter like grains of sand.

SINS

Four little letters, but a chilling word, a convicting word. In the book The Shack William Paul Young said, “Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside.”

Recently I pulled out some decorative items to brighten up my apartment and give it an air of Autumn with its lovely hues in red, orange, and brown. I placed my pumpkin plate in a holder on the kitchen counter. At the bottom of my storage box I found several child’s blocks. A few years ago, I had arranged a small display for a craft show and used the blocks to spell out my last name. I soon realized that some of the blocks had been lost in my last move. I had set a few on the counter when I was distracted by a call and walked away.

When I returned to the kitchen, what I saw was startling. My blocks were aligned and said

“C_ _ SINS

Okay, Lord, I get it. Yes, I do SEE sins and I ask forgiveness when I recognize my judging, lack of forgiveness to others and other things. I ask to be shown other failures that I might not recognize. When we don’t get the lesson, sometimes we have to be given an arrow, a map, or even a Halloween pumpkin to point the way.

Thank you for the lesson.

“Kinda” in my own way…

I was intrigued by the prompt using the word “kind,” that morphed into “kinda”. Lately it seems like kindness and compassion have been eliminated by technology and the world’s business. Although my picture is both square and uses “kinda”, my thoughts kept going back to KIND.

My picture title came because as I checked autumn’s progress,

It was “kinda raining,” in the midst of sunshine.

Tags: sun, rain, writing and rhyming, squares, Kind, kindness, nature, wander

If only one person finds a smile or a word of inspiration from my thoughts-it will be worth every minute that I spend in choosing the words that swirl through my kinda, sorta, scrambled brain on any given day.

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