Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Saying

"God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December."
~J.M. Barrie~


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Danny Hahlbohm

Merry Christmas and a blessed,prosperous and healthy New Year to each of you who read this.I just love this picture(and all it's many variations I have seen over the years as well).It puts things in the proper perspective.In the right place.:)No matter what the commercials may say Christmas is about the Savior.Holiness wrapped in humanity.The Light of the World entering sin filled darkness.Truth taking on fallacy.All this ensconced within a tiny baby,born in a barn,thousands of years ago.A baby who's birth was herald by angels and attended by lowly shepherds and stable animals.Such humble,common beginnings.But there was greatness within.This baby was God come in human form.Love,pure,passionate,holy love came down that first Christmas.The eternal God entering a world He created but marked by boundaries of time and space.And it changed the world,and our lives forever!May the peace,joy and presence of God be yours this Christmas.May you know Him in a deeper way in the year to come.And if you have never met the Savior,I urge you to ask Him to make Himself real to you at this time.Commit your life and all you are to Him.Your life will never be the same.:)

Blessings and Merry Christmas~Sharon

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Saying

~The earth has grown old with it's burden of care But at Christmas it is always young,The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And it's soul full of music breaks the air,When the song of angels is sung.~

~Phillips Brooks~

The Christmases of my youth were for the most part forgotten by me.I am not sure why I have so few childhood memories,even of Christmas,but I do.But the things I do remember were the church musicals,the caroling and the parties at church afterward.:)And they are for the most part great memories and something I have missed immensely as I have gotten into my 40's and now nearing 50(in 2 years I will be 50).But last night,in a small way,I got to relive those youthful times of fun at Christmas.Our church,Salem Vineyard,hosted it's annual Christmas gathering.It was a wonderful reminder of just how much fun this season can be and a poignant reminder of the real reason we,as believers in Jesus,celebrate this season.:)God came to earth wrapped in human flesh.There was music,skits,carol singing,special music and snacks afterward with plenty of time to visit with church family.And I came away from it all just so blessed and relaxed and happy.And I think,for me,next to Jesus being born,that was the best gift I could have received at this time in my life.The gift of time with just my husband and church friends.Time to relax,visit with church people whom we love and just unwind.Thank you Lord.:)May each of you also find some down time just to relax this Christmas season.
Blessings and Merry Christmas~Sharon

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This is from my sister Sandy's visit to Oregon back in October.I am on the left in green,Sandy is in the middle and sister Jane is on the right in the flowers.:)I found and met sister Jane on Christmas Day 2003 here in Oregon via had been living just a few miles from each other since I had moved to Oregon from California in 1991 and I did not know it till 2003!How good God is!This was Sandy's first visit to see me in Oregon and her first time meeting Jane.We all had great fun together.

We have been busy here preparing for our friend's arrival from Canada tomorrow.They live in Vancouver BC,Canada and are on their way down to California for the Christmas holiday.We see Patricia and Brian at least every other year and just love their all too brief visits.Lots of laughter and some serious conversations are all part of their visit.We all share a common faith in Jesus and I have been friends with Patricia since the late 1980's when we were both single and attending church together in California!They are chicken farmers up where they live and we just love their stories of life on the farm.:)

Our Christmas preparations have gotten smaller and smaller over the years as life losses have done their work.This year I did not even send out cards as I just had other things to work on(like me :) ).As mentioned in a previous post we had to sell off all our Christmas stuff(and nearly everything else)a few years back at a downsizing garage sale(in 2005 I think).It was painful and yet by that time I think I was ready to really simplify our life.Stuff and all it's trappings are deceptively dangerous or can be anyhow.We had just survived husband's stroke and surgery and my diagnosis of a pre-cancerous condition followed by a complete hysterectomy and were definitely ready for some simplicity in life.Those were just the two biggest things we were dealing with at that time.There were countless other issues,both big and small also going on at that time.No wonder I readily identified with Job.:)So,Christmas prep is pretty well done here.Looking forward to 2010 and all God has for us in it.

Blessings all~Sharon

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Saying

Align Center

"Remember,if Christmas isn't found in your heart,you won't find it under a tree."
~Charlotte Carpenter~

Do you find Christmas in your heart today?More importantly,is the Christ of Christmas dwelling within your heart today?The real heart and spirit of Christmas is not in presents and glass ornaments on a tree.Though these things can be wonderful,Christmas truly is all about Jesus.The one true King and Savior of the world.He was born long ago into a world dark and full of sin.In many ways the world and our hearts are still the same.Still shrouded in darkness and depravity and still in need of a Savior.Won't you open your heart and life to Jesus, the"Light of the World"today?

Blessings and Merry Christmas~Sharon

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Sunday Saying

"Oh!lovely voices of the sky
Which hymned the Saviour's birth,
Are ye not singing still on high,
Ye that sang,"Peace on"earth"?"
~Felicia Hernans~

Christmas has changed a lot since the angels first heralded to a few lonely shepherd's our Savior's birth.Many have gotten trapped in the miry web of materialism.Others have tried to totally do away with any religious references opting for"Happy Holidays"instead of "Merry Christmas."Perhaps they think that they will also do away with our Savior if they change the usual greeting this time of year.But they cannot do away with Jesus for that baby in the manger did not stay there.He grew up and became a man.The"light of the world."The one who would die for us to save us from our sins.Some forget that.They only see the child,the baby.They do not see the man He became.Healing the sick,casting out demons,raising the dead.He did not stay the same.That baby changed,grew up,changed the world.Turned the world on it's head in a sense.:-)How we personally celebrate it here has changed as well.Since having to sell off all our Christmas stuff a few years back to make ends meet we have been unable to decorate our home in any way for the Christmas season.Initially I struggled with that.I missed our little tree and the lights,etc.I missed sitting in a darkened room,looking at the twinkling lights and shiny ornaments.But life had changed and we had to change along with it.As time has passed and we have adjusted to the changes my heart has adjusted as well.I no longer sigh with sadness over the loss of a few Christmas decorations.I enjoy this season of celebration just as much as I used to but inside I've released the hold all the trappings of the season had upon me.It did not come easily for I had loved decorating for Christmas since I was a child.But it did eventually come.Healing.A changed heart.That baby in a manger changed the world of a few lowly shepherds forever and He still changes hearts and lives today as the man Jesus,our Savior!
Blessings and Merry Christmas~Sharon

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Blog Tour Book Review:God Gave Us Love

This is another well written book by Lisa Tawn Bergren(with art by Laura J. Bryant).I am not sure what number it is in the"God Gave Us" series of books but once again it is a book I highly recommend for the young reader in your family.In this particular book,"Little Cub",learns some very simple but valuable lessons about the greatest of all gifts,love.As in the previous book I reviewed on here from the series, the artwork is nicely colored(though done by a different artist).Rich but not glaring.A great gift for the upcoming Christmas season or a birthday too.For more info or to purchase this book,please click here.
Disclaimer:This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Blog Tour Book Review:Treasured:Knowing God by the Things He Keeps

Before I chose to read and review Treasured:Knowing God by the Things He Keeps I had never heard of it's author Leigh McLeroy .I can see now I was really missing out on some beautiful writing.Treasured was a wonderfully written book.The author weaves lovely threads of stories from her own life combined with biblical stories and principles into a beautiful tapestry.I came away with a deeper confidence in His daily and tangible love for us,His creation.I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a bit of encouragement.This book is small enough that it would fit comfortably inside a larger Christmas stocking or even a gift basket.However do not let it's size fool you.It's dynamite in a small package.To purchase this book or for more information click here.


Disclaimer:This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Blog Tour Book Review:God Gave Us Christmas

This wonderful little book written by Lisa Tawn Bergren(with art by David Hohn)is perfect for young readers or for parents or grandparents to read to those not yet old enough to read.The words are a simple testimony to the reason why we as Christians celebrate Christmas and the main character,"Little Cub"is a real charmer.The colors in the artwork are vibrant and rich without being glaring.It's a perfect Christmas gift for either a girl or boy and I highly recommend this book.To purchase or learn more about this great little book simply click here.

~Disclaimer:This book was provided for review by the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group~

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Saying

Keep your eyes open to your mercies.The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.

~Robert Louis Stevenson~

*Thankful here today for the gift of November sunshine.We so seldom see such a lovely sight here in Oregon this time of year.We have discovered there are few things lovelier than taking a nap in late Autumn with open curtains so the sun may warm our blankets as we slumber.Sheer bliss.:-)What are you thankful for today?*


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Post Thanksgiving Ponderings

Another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone as has another Black Friday.I thoroughly enjoyed the first and managed to avoid the second altogether.Life is good,is it not?:-)Thanksgiving was spent at Steve's sister's place.She and her husband and daughter have a really cozy apartment here in town just across the walk from Steve's mom's apartment.Our time there was all too brief as Steve wanted to nap after eating and daughter April had volunteered to work the Black Friday graveyard shift at Toys R Us.That meant a nap for her too.Granddaughter and I wanted to continue to visit but as our rides wanted to nap we acquiesced and left not long after eating.It had drizzled much of the morning but by late afternoon had turned into a full on downpour of liquid sunshine.I went home in the gathering darkness with Steve.Stomach full of good food and heart full of much gratitude.I know there was a time a few years back when in the heat of the onslaught of life's battles it was hard for me to be thankful.Hard to find gratitude within.And yet somehow as the battles raged on our Heavenly Father began to pull from the muck of life a slender,golden thread called gratitude.Only He could do that in me.For left to my own whims and devices I could only see the trials,the storms and the losses.It was hard to lift my head some days,much less my heart.That place of trust and faith really took a beating.But it was needful.I needed to see what was in me.Things buried so deep I was not aware of their ugly presence.But God was and sadly perhaps,so were others in my life.I began to call upon Him to free me from the clutches of ugliness within and by His grace He has begun to do that work and I know He will complete it one day(Philippians 1:6).It's so good to have His promise of completion of works he's begun within each one of us who call Him Savior.And as we enter this time of Christmas it's for me just one more opportunity for giving thanks for the gift of His son,our Savior.Speaking of Christmas,you will see I have changed the look of my blog for the holidays.I was going to go with a more traditional color scheme but had to have this one when I saw it over here.Blue is my favorite color and I thought this was just so elegant.:-)Wishing each of you a wonderful Christmas season filled with an abundance of good things from the Father.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

While looking for a picture to add to this post I was captured,arrested and amused by the toothy grins on these guys.They made me smile.Inside and out.So I chose them as I feel like they accurately represent what is in my heart today.Joy.Gratitude for God's many gifts in our life.Granted,there are many negative things we've faced and still face.It's not easy living on husband's disability check for instance but we have always seen God's provision in the midst of it.We have what we need to live life on this earth and that is reason for thanks.We live with chronic medical conditions at this point but we have medications and machines to keep them under control and in check until our healing comes,either here or in heaven.That is another reason for gratitude and thanksgiving.We have hope in spite of the less than perfect aspects of our lives for we know Jesus lives and we know the Father is watching over us and that His Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth.Many,many reasons for thanks there!Amen?As one of my favorite songs says"life is hard but God is good."That fact never changes even when it seems the rug has been pulled out from under us and we're left laying on the floor wondering what happened and will life ever be "normal"again.So,if you are reading this and wondering what you have to be thankful for I want to encourage you that there is much to be thankful for.It may take some looking especially if you are in the midst of really hard times right now on any level.I know for we have been there.But it's there.It may be something small but small things to be thankful for are no less important than the larger things in life.And it's a starting point that may lead to bigger things to be thankful for!We just never know the good things the Father may have waiting ahead of us in life!!:-)Happy Thanksgiving everyone.May you be filled with an overflowing heart of thanks wherever you find yourself this holiday season.

Blessings and Love~Sharon

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Saying

Let us come before Him with thanksgiving...Psalm 95:2 NIV

**Giving thanks to Him for so much today...Health in our bodies once again,sunshine after church today,being well enough to go to church today,a warm van to drive,food to eat,so much that so many do not have.Lord,make us mindful of the many simple things that we could so easily take for granted for they are priceless and non-existent for some.May we never take any of Your gifts lightly.And may we all give thanks for them daily.**


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy 17th Anniversary Sweetheart!:-)

My wonderful husband Steven!:-)
(taken outside of Sublimity,Oregon)
Happy Anniversary to the love of my life and the man of my dreams.You loved me when others said I was not worthy of being loved.You make me laugh constantly.You bless me in so many ways.We've been through so much together as a couple but I would not trade any of it if it meant not having you by my side every morning when I awake,throughout the day,and every night when I lay down to sleep.You are one in a million.It took God moving some mountains for us to even meet!But meet we did and I pray that God grants us many,many more years together to love and to laugh.I love you.:-)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Review:Called To Worship

When I first chose to read and review Vernon M. Whaley's book"Called To Worship:The Biblical Foundation of Our Response to God's Call"I had a brief moment of panic.Would this book be too deep,too over my head,or worse yet,too dry?I am so thankful that my moment of panic was unfounded.From the first page I found this book to be enjoyable.Vernon writes in a very down-to-earth style while treating the the subject of worship with all the respect and reverence it deserves.This book blessed and challenged me as it relates to my own Christian walk and how I perceive and"do"worship.I found myself looking deeply at my own past experiences both as a former worship leader of a small womens Bible study and as a worshiper myself.Vernon states that true worship begins with obedience.Obedience to God,His will and His ways.He reminds us that God takes worship seriously and that we are to have no other gods before Him.This book takes us on a wonderful and challenging worship journey through the pages of Scripture;from Genesis to Revelation and beyond.I highly recommend this book to anyone;from the average Christian in the pew who wants to learn about worship to the serious Bible student or worship leader.
~Available at

Blessings all~Sharon

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Saying

Songs of Autumn
Diane Romanello

Oh,Lord,who lends me life,lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
~William Shakespeare~

**Better here.No more bronchitis.Hope to have a book review for you soon.Was going to publish it today but we had to babysit this afternoon unexpectedly.Sigh...Please pray that our daughter gets a different job or at the very least a back-up babysitter.This retail job of hers gives her different days and hours every week.And this weekend they told her the wrong hours which is why we are babysitting this afternoon.Thanks for your prayers.**


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday Saying

God has two dwellings;one in heaven and the other in a meek and thankful heart.
~Izaak Walton~

**Still recovering over here.Husband now has what I had and what I had has turned into bronchitis.Sigh...We are now both on antibiotics and cough syrups to help us sleep.Looking forward to being well again and able to go to the complex fitness center once again.In the midst of all this"suffering"we have also seen His hand of provision and goodness to us(when our heater core on our van went out last week, God spoke to someone at church to pay for it for us as we had no funds to do it ourselves;we serve such a faithful God!) and we are thankful.I am hoping to get some book reviews on here shortly as well as pictures of my sister's recent visit here.Just been waylaid by illness and auto repairs and unexpected doctor visits and such.**

Blessings to all~Sharon

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sunday Saying

A state of mind that sees God in everything is eveidence of growth in grace and a thankful heart.
~Charles Finney~

*Still recovering from this"bug"here.Down to just a couple of symptoms and laughing again so I know I am on the mend!:-)It's a gorgeous afternoon here in Oregon.Sunny,cool and windy.And I am thankful for it.Hope the sun is shining where you are as well.But remember,if it is not,it will shine again.*


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prayers Please

Please keep me in your prayers.I have picked up some type of"bug"and feel pretty cruddy.Started Tuesday night with a small sore throat and then came on the sneezing,sniffling,coughing,fever.chills,a leaking nose and eyes,itchy eyes and ears that itch way deep inside.I am pretty well fever free today I believe so maybe whatever it is is on it's way out.Praise the Lord if it is.Also,another friend,Marilyn Christine,has developed cancer.Please keep her in your prayers as she is not communicating with some of us and we don't know any updates this way.It's the same type that took her husband last year I think but in a different location.Thanks and Blessings all~Sharon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Saying

Friendly Visit
George B. O Neil

True friendship is a plant of slow growth.
~Benjamin Franklin~

*Still visiting with my sister/friend Sandy.Shes goes home tomorrow but does plan on returning to Oregon for a visit.I am hoping to not only post pictures soon but also have a book review for you all as well real soon.:-)Have to get ready for church now.*


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can't Stop Smiling :-)

The picture above is of my sister Sandy.She is 2 1/2 years younger than me and my one and only full blooded sister.Though the rest of my siblings are half siblings I love them equally as well as any full blooded relative.In just about an hour we will wind our way north to pick her up at the airport for a long weekend visit.I have not seen her in person in nearly 9 years;since our mom passed in Sacramento in 2001.Life has been full of changes for for Steve and I since then which is why we never got back to CA to see family.So she is flying north to see us after all this time.And I can hardly wait.It should be a fun weekend as her personality is as bright as her smile.She loves to laugh as do I.I hope my husband Steve survives all the endorphins.:-)I hope to post photos sometime next week if possible.That is after she is safely back home and the endorphins have gone to rest awhile.:-)
Blessings all~Sharon

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Saying

"The world will never starve for want of wonders,but only for want of wonder."


Friday, October 16, 2009

A Diagnosis

As I had mentioned in a previous post I'd been feeling just a tad overwhelmed.Stressed out.Prayer and journaling did not seem to help.I spoke with a local Christian counselor on Tuesday of this week.She's fantastic and it took me some time to get an appointment with her as we kept playing phone tag.:-)After a ton of paperwork and a long chat about my life she believes I am dealing with complex post traumatic stress disorder and the high end of moderate anxiety.I am thankful to have a diagnosis and even more thankful to have been able to talk with someone about all we have been through the last 8-9 years.Deaths of friends and family members.Life altering illnesses that could have taken our own lives.Massive changes financially and in every other way possible.It all took it's toll without a strong support network locally and little social outlet due to having been out of church Christians for a season after my husband's stroke.There was a time I am sure I believed that stuff like this did not happen to God's children.That we were somehow immune to such things and that if we did face them we would not be impacted by them like others.No PTSD or anxiety for instance.How naive I was.How erroneous I was in my thinking.It was merely wishful thinking.Faulty thinking.Christians do deal with such things.I cannot be sure but I believe that for many it goes undiagnosed and the child of God may suffer in silence due to the stigma attached to"disorders"of the mind and emotions.But we live in a fallen world and few if us get through life on earth unscathed in some way.And the truth is,no matter what some name it and claim it types tell you,life is hard at times and not all of the bad things that happen or our responses to them are satan.We are but dust and to dust our bodies will return.I believe if a person is feeling the kind of stressed out feelings I was having then talking to someone about it is imperative.We take care of ourselves if we face physical issues but ,like me,felt a bit stigmatized,at the very thought of taking care of mental and emotional health.We are not just physical bodies.We have hearts and minds and spirits that need care as well.And sometimes extra special care by speaking to a certified counselor or your local pastor(that was who I asked about local,female Christian counselors).I am now looking forward with a bit more hope and a somewhat less stressed out perspective.Changes will need to be made for sure and I have already begun with some.I am once again using the complex fitness center.Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good,relaxed,at peace and for me,better able to handle stress.It's some great"me"time which for this care-giver is now essesntial.I also get some solitude whenever I can.Also an essential thing for me as I gain my energy by periods of alone time.That is how God created me.So,if you are feeling overwhelmed by life and it's trials or are a caregiver(for instance)in need of some help I would encourage you to find someone to talk to.Your own life and future happiness and well being could very well depend upon it.
Blessings and Love~Sharon

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Wishing all(if I have any) my Canadian readers a most blessed Thanksgiving Day!May the Lord bless and keep you as you gather with loved ones to celebrate His goodness in your lives!And may that gratitude spill over within your hearts the rest of the year as well. :-)
God Bless~Sharon

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Saying

Talent develops itself in solitude;character in the stream of life.
~Johann Wolfgang Goethe~

Blessings all~Sharon

Saturday, October 10, 2009

He Knows Our Needs

What is your need today?Healing?Provision?Peace?Time away?The Father can and will provide.It may not be in our time frame but God is always on time.He never neglects His children's legitimate needs.I have seen it time and time again in my own life.Today He knew I needed some solitude and He provided it.Husband is off helping his sister and her husband move and granddaughter just left to play with a friend.When I have needed healing he has provided it.Like the time when we were getting ready to move in here almost 2 years ago.3 days before moving day I developed a red and hot spot on my abdomen.I had had this once before and it was some type of infection.But this time I had no time to go to the doctor.So,without any fanfare,I prayed.I reminded the Lord of His promises of healing in His word and that I had no time to go the doctor due to the move.And I simply trusted Him.The spot was cool and normally colored within 2 days and all this without a doctor's visit and another round of antibiotics!There have been times we have had financial needs and got unexpected checks in the mail or even found $50.00 bills on the sidewalk.Just last year we needed a vacation badly but could not afford one.He spoke to some dear Canadian friends to have them give us a week away at one of their time share places.Oh what a gracious and loving God we serve!I share all this not to say look at how good He is to us but to say that He is a God who will and can and does provide for His children.We can trust Him.His word says He is no respecter of persons.He does not esteem some of us higher than others.We are all His children if we have accepted Him as Savior.He will meet all your needs as well whatever they may be.Just ask Him.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Doing Time...

...on the treadmill that is!After a long hiatus from regular exercise(please,no tomato throwing or nasty comments.:-))I have once again returned to that sometimes glorious and sometimes pain filled world of fitness centers.Thankfully our complex has a small one that is available to use for free.I was able to walk for just over 15 minutes today.Though it's a far cry from the hour long walks(on a treadmill) I was doing in 2004 and 2005 it's a step in the right direction.A returning, albeit slowly, to that thing that has been a life long issue with me.To exercise or not...that is the question.?I have never been athletic and even as a child was more bookish,more cerebral than athletic.But now that I have survived so much and seen and felt the benefits of regular walking I long to return to that place again.However,me thinks the treadmill doth protest too much.:-)If I were walking on me I would squeak too. LOL :-)But,Lord willing,I will be at it 6 days this week(even God rested 1 day).I hope to make this a regular thing.A commitment to fitness and even greater health(I have always had,thank You Jesus,great blood pressure and cholesterol).Though I may never be thin(I am not genetically predisposed to it)I can be as strong and as fit and as healthy and as thin as my Creator will allow.Fit for a King.The King!Off to prepare dinner now.
Image from

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sunday Saying

" A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling"darkness"on the wall of his cell."

~C.S. Lewis~

Blessings all~Sharon

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oh My Goodness :-)

Life has been a whirl of activity since I last posted here.Many things have happened,both good and bad.Both sunshine and shadow,just like our weather.I find it interesting how often the weather mirrors our lives and vice versa.I have been a human pincushion lately.Thyroid blood draw(which turned out normal so no dosage change on the thyroid pills).Pro times/INR blood draw(also normal so no blood draw for another month and no change in the dosage on the blood thinner).A regular flu shot(hoping to get one for swine flu as well when they become available here).Good thing I have no needle phobias.:-)Steve also got a flu shot.And he left lasting memories with medical personnel all over the Willamette Valley I am sure.He has that effect on people.I also had to go see a new cardiologist/electrophysiologist as mine had retired and moved back to Hawaii.My heart sounded good so I do not need to see him for another year unless I go out of rhythm again and Lord willing,I will not.I have been hearing of answers to prayers I have been praying for many I know dealing with illness and disease.Oh God is so good and I must declare that here!He is such an amazing God!Truly amazing!Do I hear an amen???:-)I have been enjoying watching summer waltz into Autumn here.It's been colder and the trees are beginning to don their lovely Autumn colored garments.We've had the most refreshing rain showers.Not yet time for the days of rain and gray skies that seem as if they will be a permanent fixture.Steve is grateful for that as he really struggles with the ever present darkness that is Oregon in the Fall and Winter months.I have recieved good news in that my younger sister Sandy is indeed coming to visit this month from California and I am thrilled to no end.She will fly into Portland Oct 22nd and fly out again on the 26th and I cannot wait.We have also been busy helping Steve's sister and husband pack for their upcoming move.Please keep Linda in your prayers.We believe she has had a stroke but is refusing to go to the doctor though she has exhibited all the classic symptoms.We have all tried to convince her to get checked out but she refuses so we keep praying.We cannot force a 55 year old woman to do anything.Even though she will not seek aid I have made a decision to seek some aid for myself.As I mentioned in a previous post called"Overwhelmed Overload"or something like that I have felt like the last 8 years or so of trials have caught up with me.So I am hoping to get in to see a Christian woman counselor here in area.We are currently playing phone tag but she takes my insurance and is taking on new clients.The stress of being a caregiver these last few years with no one to talk to humanly speaking has impacted my personality at times lately and I felt like if I had one more person ask for help on something I was going to run mad into the streets.That is just my way of expressing just how stressed I felt.Were it not for the Lord on my side I may have done just that.I am also planning on beginning to exercise again as I KNOW from experience about 5 years ago how beneficial that is for reducing stress and promoting creativity(my writing was better back then I think LOL) and a sense of well being in my mind and body.Gotta love those God created endorphins!Our complex has a small fitness center and I plan on using it beginning Monday.I just wished they were open earlier than 9 am as I am a morning gal who loves to exercise at likw 6 am or so!Then shower and breakfast and start my day.But since I know I need to learn flexibility I will get there when they first open at 9.It is time for me to begin to care for me and it's a lesson I have learned and observed in the lives of other caregivers.I do not want to become a statistic on some doctor's office wall of the effects of burn out.Boy I feel better just writing all this out here.God is so good.I am so thankful for Him and for each of you,especially you who take the time to comment here.You all are real gems.Laundry calls so I will close till next time.Please pray for my sister in law if you think to.She is in the fire of circumstances right now and if she does not get care she will not be able to care for her disabled husband and autistic daughter.Thanks and God bless.
Blessings all~Sharon

Monday, September 21, 2009

Busy but Grateful

Shades of Autumn
Diane Romanello

It's been a busy season here in our apartment.Each year about this time we have to gather up proof of income,etc. and fill out re-certification forms for our local housing authority.That way we can continue to get rent assistance to help with our oh-so-very-modest income.To not be somewhat organized and such could result in homelessness.So we do this.Our life depends on it.We also had a housing inspection.They hold these annually as well to make sure we have lights and heat and running water and that we are not living under slum lords.And thankfully we are not.We are blessed to live in a pretty nice complex that has caring management and staff.And wonderful maintenance guys that keep everything in working order.Add to that our regular watching of granddaughter Hope and an odd assortment of other errands each week and we have been kept very BUSY to say the least.Today we had to pick up some forms at the local SSI office to take back to housing and that was um...interesting to say the least.Long wait in a crowded office but we managed to take care of business and amuse ourselves while waiting.The police had to be called in at one point due to an irate woman in a wheelchair.I do not know what exactly happened but she had to be escorted back down to the first floor by the police.After we ran a few more errands Steve took off to help his sister and her husband pack as they are to move soon.I stayed behind as I had some work to get done here and calls to make.And I am glad I did.I got a call from Steve saying my brother in CA had called on the cell phone for me.I dutifully called my big brother back for I love him and have been in prayer for him on some issues.I was so glad I did.As we chatted he proceeded to tell me that the doctors have said his prostate cancer has just DISAPPEARED!I could not help it so I let out a rather loud"WOO HOO!":-)God has healed him and I am grateful.His wife Faith was having seizures and these too have gone!Oh God is so good.He still heals and I have seen it first hand in my own body as well as the bodies of friends and family!It as so good to pause in the midst of all this busy-ness and hear a good word from God via my brother.It gives me faith to keep praying for others that I know are suffering in their bodies or minds.Like my brother and his wife who still deal with schizophrenia.But I know that God can heal this too so I will keep on praying.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Strange Fascination

Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light,with skies a deeper blue and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled.The season comes full with the first frost,the disappearance of migrant birds and the harvesting of the season's last crops.
~Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis~

And God said,"Let there be light,"and there was light.
~Genesis 1:3~

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with light.Drawn to light.Passionate about good lighting in our home.When I watch shows or movies with my husband Steve I am always drawn to observe the lights or lamps in any given room(I am particularly fond of Tiffany Style Lamps :-) ).I notice with great regularity how sun light sparkles and shines on rain soaked leaves or blades of grass just watered.And,I definitely notice the subtle changes in the light this time of year.It's mellower,gentler,more golden and to me more lovely.I know it was today as we were out running errands.When God created light He declared it good!And it is.Without it our world would be a much darker place.We would enjoy less good health,our crops would not thrive and for some the darkness would invade their very souls and spirits(I think of those with seasonal affective disorder who need light therapy).In addition to physical light from the sun and lighting in our homes,we need His light in our lives.We need His light to gently melt away the cobwebs of spiritual darkness.We need His light to illuminate His word and reveal the depths found within.We need His light to reveal areas in our lives that need work(oh how I need that particular light in abundance).Light does so much for us as people and as His children.And His light can help us navigate the dark times and places in our lives with a bit more ease and comfort.I pray for much light in your life from the Lord for He declared it good and it is!
Love and Blessings~Sharon

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Will Never Forget

Our world was forever changed that day.Innocence lost.Trust and security broken.Forever changed.May we never,ever forget...
Love and Blessings~Sharon

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Second Spring

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus~

We stand perched on the edge.Eyes looking both ahead at the new season to come and back at the one we are soon to leave behind.We are on the threshold and ready to make the leap.We search our hearts and our minds.What to leave behind and what to take with us into this new season.This time of new beginnings.We take Jesus and all He is and means to us into this second spring.We leave behind hatred,malice and all that is not of Him.At least that is my desire as we approach Autumn and the new year to come(I think my inner clock and calendar must be Jewish for it feels"right"for me to ponder newness every year at this time! :-) Rosh Hashanah is about a week away or so).I desire to truly make this a second spring each year in my life.To see new growth and warmth in me and in my life;my heart.All too often I remain stuck for one reason or another in the winter season of life.Too much dark and cold.Especially the cold.And at times that cold seeps inward to a depth I never dreamed it could reach and it affects me and those around me.I turn off the feeling as a way of escape or of dealing with tough places.Another thing to place before His throne.Another resolve to make.Another change needed.So goes the cycles and seasons of my life.Times of harvest followed by times of deep plowing and maybe even a burning off of the stubble fields that have become my heart.And all done in preparation for another time of harvest and perhaps a second spring.Our Divine Gardener knows what He's doing.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Oh So Happy and Excited(Autumn Blessings)

My sister Sandy on the right and half-sister Melanie on the left!

The photo above is of my 2 younger sisters.They both live down in California.And they are making plans to come visit us here in Oregon in mid-October!I have not been able to see them in person since our mom died in January 2001 as life took a huge downturn along with our health and finances in 2002.To say I am looking forward to this is a huge understatement for sure!It's been so very long since I have truly had something to look forward to that I can hardly believe this is to happen.But plans are being made by them and we talk several times a week about their trip up here.I assure them of the ease of the trip for it is a simple one from where they will be coming from to where we are here.I am filled with such gratitude to God that He has inspired them to make such a trip to see us for I have missed my younger sisters immensely.I have 3 older half sisters as well.2 in California and one out here.And a half brother in California.And a deceased half brother who lived out here.So much family and so little money.But God is bringing some of them to me.And I cannot wait to see their smiling faces.Speaking of smiling faces,after a cold,rainy morning we are being smiled upon by the Mr. sun right now.:-)I did enjoy the rainy day though as it was a nice change from the heat of summer.I welcome Autumn's arrival with open arms as evidenced by the changes to my blog theme.:-)I consider Autumn to be "my season"for I was born in late Autumn(November 30)and the"Color Me Beautiful"book of so long ago declared me to be an Autumn by my complexion and coloring!No wonder I am so very fond of all that pertains to this gentle, golden season.Pumpkins,apples,harvest moons,and crisp air punctuated with curls of chimney smoke to ward off the first chill.Leaves crunching underfoot,and brisk winds that cause my cheeks to get even rosier.Back to school sales and earlier sunsets and yellow school buses winding their way through town.A wonderful time to reflect.And clean.Which is what we did this week.We cleared off our patio.It did not take much for it is small.We put away a couple of extra fans from our bedroom.We may have to take them out again at some point due to the schizophrenic Oregon weather but for now they are safely tucked away till next summer.We also put up our small BBQ,a table top model that resembles a smoker!We swept the ground and trimmed plants and dusted and just tidied up for the new season yet to come.It looks really good out there now.And,as our annual housing inspection is coming up so very soon it's a really good thing.And speaking of good things,my book arrived from Thomas Nelson Publishers late last evening.I cannot wait to read"Called to Worship"by Vernon Whaley and then write up a review.I hope all of you have a great weekend.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Amusing Alcott Quote

~She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.~
Louisa May Alcott

I can completely relate to the first part of this quote and my husband Steve would totally concur on the second part!Oh,just to let everyone know,I was approved to be a book reviewer by Thomas Nelson publishers and am awaiting the arrival of my first book!I just love the smell of new books,don't you?:-)
Have a blessed weekend.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm So Sorry...

~Rejoice with those who rejoice,and weep with those who weep.~
Romans 12:15 NKJV

The call came in at about 9 this morning.I was preparing my morning oatmeal and the caller ID said it was my youngest sister,Melanie Clark, calling me from Sacramento.She's 41 and just married for the first time on August 15th.I'm glad I took the call instead of letting it go to voice mail.I answered the phone as I usually do and she asked how I was.I said okay and proceeded to ask her the same.Her voice broke into tears as she proceeded to tell me that her father in law passed away unexpectedly this morning.He was simply showering and passed away into eternity.I guess his wife had tried CPR on him after getting him out of the shower but to no avail.My sister is heartbroken that this wonderful man who helped his wife bake her wedding cake is now gone from their lives and so unexpectedly.All I could say to my sister was "I'm so sorry,I'll pray for you guys"and weep along with her.I wanted to be able to gather her in my arms and let her cry out her grief on my shoulders.She's my youngest sister and I love her.But I am 550 miles away and so must pray for her and weep for her from a distance.My heart is broken for her for I know what it feels like to lose my husband's father(he passed in 1997).And she and I shared in the grief over our mother's passing in 2001.There's no way around it.Death stinks.It bites.But none of us get out of this life alive and we will all face the passing of loved ones.The best we can do is trust God completely and follow His word.And share His heart with those who are grieving by weeping alongside those who are weeping even if from a distance.Please keep the Clark family in your prayers.Many,many thanks.
Love and Blessings~Sharon

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Did It...finally :-)

After giving it much thought I have filled out an application to be a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishers.I am awaiting their approval or declining of my application.I am hopeful they accept me for I love to read and I love to write and I get to keep what I review!It's a win/win situation.:-)And with Autumn coming on there will be more indoor time here once the rain comes.And speaking of Autumn...our weather beginning today and lasting all next week is to be very Autumnal.Mild days and chilly nights are forecast!Just what I am longing for as these so very hot days and nights as of late have been a real challenge here in this hot apartment.Fans do indeed help however they are not as helpful as an AC or a brisk Autumn wind.:-)We are watching an ill granddaughter today till about 2:30.I do not like watching sick people which is probably why I have no interest in nursing on any level.:-)There was a time in my youth when I considered it but I now see that it was merely due to the fact that I grew up having to care for my younger siblings and my mentally ill mother.I did not see any other choice.It was all I knew so could not see any other life for myself.If given the chance or choice now I would go to school and learn all I could about the writing and publishing industry.That's the one constant that has never changed in my life since love of words...well crafted words on a page inspire and excite me like nothing else(unless I am in worship and really feeling God's presence or out in His creation and filled with awe by it's beauty).And speaking of books I have 2 more waiting for me at our local library.Both by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann I think.They are non-fiction(Fleeced!and Outrage!) and I look forward to reading their insightful(I am sure they will be insightful)views on a variety of topics from illegal immigrants to the current administration.And speaking of this current administration I am very concerned about this whole socialized medicine issue.I know several people who would be adversely impacted by it including my husband and I.What are your thoughts?

Monday, August 17, 2009


I am so very thankful as I type this.We thought we were going to have to take my husband to the ER today as he was having chest pains.But they're gone now.The nitroglycerine's did their job.Of course we prayed as well as having him take his pill(s).So thankful we have a loving Father who watches over us all.Perhaps God knew we needed a break from babysitting our granddaughter for the pains started just as were to be"on duty."Daughter called in to work and said she would not be in.After awhile the pains just vanished and a bit of lunch took away the nausea.So we are enjoying the unexpected day off from watching granddaughter.We need a break like that from time to time as life can be quite stressful for us without it.Perhaps it would be easier if our apartment was not so small and we both had better healtth,etc.Things like this affect all of us as our granddaughter has to play outside or at her friend's places when we watch her as our place just cannot accomodate Steve and I,a variety of loud children and our cat Shadow(who dislikes loud children immensely.:-) ).Oh, I am also thankful my new issue of"Victoria Magazine"arrived this week!It's the issue dedicated to all things British!And it's one of the few splurges I now have living on a fixed income as we do.Though I wish the cover had something other than food on it I was so glad to see it's arrival in our mailbox this week.I believe one needs beauty as well as bread in life.One feeds the body and one feeds the soul.I love to sit and peruse it's lovely pages and just relax and calm down from the stressors that life hands me at times(like a bank statement that refuses to balance even though I am extremely particular about it's upkeep as well as that of our checkbook).:-)How are things in your part of the world?What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From a Friend:Words of Encouragement and Wisdom

The following was sent to me by a friend.I thought it worth sharing here so I copied and pasted it.Have a blessed day everyone!
Much Love~Sharon

Good Morning, I woke up at 2 am feeling the need to write this email

I need to address the FEAR that is running rampid across not only America but most of the northern hemisphere.

As I write this, I know there are repercussions that may come against me. Several years back each time I was on the phone, there was a beeping sound every few seconds, and my mail for the past several years has already been opened. Each time I receive a package it has been clumsily re-taped closed. Including a family cookbook sent to me had a stamp on the package saying it had been inspected. However, I am not afraid; I only fear missing what the Lord tells me to do. When we are in His will then we have nothing to fear.

I suppose this “62 yr old, devout Christian great-grandmother” is a real threat in some way. Many of us are on a list to be watched for being a threat to our country. So much for freedom of speech!

I know it must be a terrible thing to be out of work with nothing in sight, and children to house and feed. If you are in this place, you must fight against the rabid fear trying to choke out your faith in God. In spite of what our eyes tell us we must trust the Lord to provide our basic needs.

It was over thirty years ago, when we went through an extremely rough time. I had in my purse $10 to last two weeks. While in church, I heard the Lord say, “Give the $10 in the offering”. I whispered to my husband in hopes he would say that cannot be God. However, Dave told me to give it to the church. Therefore, I did with a sinking feeling. The next day I discovered $20 in the sofa, and then I found food in the back of our cupboards I had no idea was there. One time a stewed chicken and veggies lasted us a full week with out adding water, and it did not spoil or lose its flavor in any way, the bowl stayed full. Glory to God and His provision!

Our walk in the Lord has been a faith walk for the past thirty-two years. It has been rough at times, but we have learned through it. The Lord has never left us alone, not once!

Phil 4:14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. 20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

As we walk close to the Lord, He will meet our every need, not our wants, but our needs. Give where you can and what you can. It may be giving of your time helping others, whatever the Lord lies on your heart to do, do it cheerfully.

Praise the Lord for what you have; a family that loves you is a great blessing. Strong legs and good health is an awesome blessing.

I have spoken often of the time coming when we will need to share our home with others, we are seeing this happen today. The important thing is not to give up trying and trusting the Lord.

Romans 8: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

36 As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

I want to encourage each of you to stand up for what is right. This “health insurance plan” being shoved down our throats, will destroy most of us! Senior citizens as well as the very young needing medical help will be denied for a beginner. The government will decide who is to live and who is to die.

We are seeing the death of the America we love. We are witnessing the emergence of the “One World Government” breathing down our backs, which is “Fascist” replacing our Constitution.

HOWEVER, if anyone tells you to take up arms please discourage this; for this is not the answer … the answer is fasting and prayer!

I need to encourage each of you to begin building a food, medical and basic needs supply if you have not already. The day is but a shadow away when we will have need of this. As the Lord told Joseph to store up for the drought coming to Egypt , so He is telling us to do the same.

Again, I want to say, prayer and fasting is the answer to our needs being met. Jesus while in the Garden asked His disciples to pray with Him through the night. They kept falling asleep. We do not want to be remiss in this. Too much is at stake here. Not only our freedom, but also our very lives and souls are at stake! We must be alert to what is happening around us as well as listening for the Lords directions. If we are asleep spiritually when the Holy Spirits tells us to get up and leave, we will miss the protection of our Lord.

We must stay focused on our Lord and not man and his evil plans. It does not matter whether we are Republican or Democrat we need to fight for our freedom in God’s way and follow His leading not our own. My husband and I watch Glenn Beck on Fox news as well as Hannity. These men keep us abreast of what is happening they need to be prayed for daily.

We have never seen such an evil regime in the White house, stay alert dear ones and fear not, for we are not alone, the Lord is near us and ready to care for us each step of the way.

Isaiah 25:2 You have made the city a heap of rubble, the fortified town a ruin, the foreigners' stronghold a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. 3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you; cities of ruthless nations will revere you. 4 You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall 5 and like the heat of the desert. You silence the uproar of foreigners; as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled.

Matthew 6: 25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I am holding each of you in prayer as I ask you to pray for me and mine. We need each other as never before.

May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless each of you as you walk in His light.

Jesus loves You & so do I,
Psalm 91

Saturday, August 08, 2009

We Made It There Finally

We were able to take a much needed break this week and make it over to the Oregon Coast for a few hours on Tuesday!The drive over was lovely.Newly paved road most of the way thanks to ODOT(Oregon Department of Transportation)!The weather was cool and cloudy but after the recent heat wave we welcomed the cool and clouds.We made it to Lincoln City without incident and decided to hit the Tanger Outlet Stores Mall first.They have a Christian book store there called Tree of Life that I like to visit when we make it over there.They have a discounted book section in the back that I like to peruse.3 books for $5.97 is a deal I cannot miss looking at!Once again they did not disappoint.I found a book by Brian Flynnn called"Running Against the Wind."He's a former new age medium who offers a dire warning to the church about the new age practices that are making their way into modern day mainline churches!I also found 2 other non-fiction books by Jennifer Sands.She is a widow due to the 911 disaster.One book is called"A Tempered Faith" and the other is called "A Teachable Faith."I look forward to delving into both as soon as I finish my 2 library books and another stack of books I have markers in.:-)It was a good thing I found stuff pretty quickly for the mall started to get really busy and we hate crowds so we left as quickly as possible.Wanted some lunch but did not know where to go.Steve then said he wanted to splurge and drive to Depoe Bay for lunch at Gracie's Sea Hag.So off we went.The drive down Highway 101 was lovely.We saw bits of the ocean and the bay as we drove south and found much to comment on.Huge waves.The odd blue heron here and there.Bits of driftwood that resembled animals while in their natural,uncut forms!So much to ooh and aah over.And much laughter too which is such a great stress reducer.We made it to Depoe Bay and even found parking in close proximity to the restaurant.One of the perks if you will of my husband's having COPD is his disabled placard.We almost never run out of places to park when desiring to go somewhere.As we walked up to the restaurant we noticed a Swarovski Crystal shop right next to Gracie's Sea Hag.It's sparkly color drew in my beauty loving eyes but our growly stomachs decided to eat first.If,like us,you love fish and chips then we recommend Gracie's.They have both cod or halibut and it is served piping hot and in generous portions!I actually took some home with us.:-)Our stomachs full we then"waddled" :-) over to the crystal shop next door.I love sparkly and I love color.My eyes could not take stuff in fast enough.We spent several minutes in there and even Steve was really enjoying all the color and sparkle.One of the clerks even took some stuff out of the display cases and showed us stuff up close and explained what were observing.There were glass paperweights,crystal flowers and jewelry of all kinds;some even made with Oregon Sunstone!Simply beautiful.Though life on a fixed income does not allow us to purchase things like that we did enjoy"window shopping"immensely.A few minutes in such a pretty place does wonders even if one cannot afford to buy.We exited the shop and decided to head north again to find a quiet spot to look at the water.Once again we were able to see the majestic Pacific Ocean as we drove along.We also enjoyed the many kites and wind socks flying in front of local businesses.Loads of color and movement due to the perpetual coastal breezes that blew.:-)Made me feel like a kid.We ended up at Roads End State Park.There were too many there for a quiet spot but we did find a place to park and look at the water from up top.We enjoyed people watching as well as dog watching.We both love watching dogs at play,especially at the beach.We laughed at 2 young girls who would chase the waves as they went back out to sean and then come back in running being chased by those same waves.Hopefully those girls will remember such things for a life time.I don't have any such memories.We then decided to head back to Salem even though we knew it would be much warmer.But we came back a little refreshed and thankful to God for just a few hours respite.