Thursday Thoughts

Hello, Thursday Morning readers. My writing desk is feeling a bit neglected, so I sat down this morning with my cup of steaming coffee, intent on doing a little writing.

I was outside for a short time today, and though there is a definite chill in the air, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Birds are chirping and singing like it’s springtime already. I love to hear them. I don’t take their song for granted. Only a short few months ago, I couldn’t hear it. What a difference hearing aids make to those with genetic hearing loss.

Small blessings fill my life these days and I’m doing my best to take time to appreciate them. Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow, because today holds enough trouble of its own. Truth. And I’m finding that even in the midst of those daily challenges, joy is still a choice you can make. The old-fashioned idea of counting your blessings has become, “focus on the positive.” Same principle.

I choose joy.

Just in case you’re interested, I #amwriting. I’m working on a new series set in the early seventies. The genre is suspense, so it’s a bit of a challenge. I’m enjoying the work. I remember the seventies, but I’d forgotten a few things, so I’m having to make notes for research a lot more often than I’d expected.

Okay, I have more than one reader, but this one won’t mind me using her picture. Hi, Deb!

In the next few months, I’ll be able to give you more details, but for now, just know that I write with my readers in mind. I’m personally acquainted with many of my readers and they are so encouraging. I love receiving notes from them when they’ve finished one of my books.

You know that feeling you get when you’ve worked hard to prepare a meal for your family, and they enjoy the food and compliment the meal? Yes, that’s the same kind of feeling I get when a reader lets me know they loved one of my stories. So, don’t hesitate to send a note to an author, or better yet, leave a short review of their book. Recommend it on Facebook and/or GoodReads.

Enough about business! Another thing I’ve really come to appreciate is you. Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy day to visit me here.

And thanks for your comments and encouragement regarding my mother’s health. She’s doing well at the time of this post. We visited her this past weekend and were able to take her out for a few hours. She absolutely loves Joseph-Beth Bookstore in Lexington, Kentucky. So, that’s where we headed and lunched at Bronte’s Bistro! If you’re ever in Lexington, it’s a must-stop-in and plan to stay a while.

Photo by Jill Wellington, Pixabay Image

Relevant Care

Relevance: having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand [Merriam-Webster definition]

Betty and Betty

I’m not sure why this came to me as I drove home from another visit with Mom. Relevant care. It bears an immediacy, tugs at my heart. What is relevant about this, other than the fact that it’s happening now and continues to happen, whether I’m there with her, or waiting at home.

We’ve had a crisis in our family, as Mom’s health spirals in and out of decline. Life takes her down. I watch her fight her way back, time and time again. Will she make it this time? Only God knows.

The hospital has moved her into a rehab center. I sign in to see her. They have her under her legal name, Betty, instead of Chris, her long-time nickname. It’s my name, too. I swallow the lump in my throat as I write it on the form.

I find her in a room down a long hall.

Now, fear joins in the battle. Her fear. Anxiety fills her and permeates the air around her. Will this latest health issue keep her anchored in the rehab center, the nursing home? Rather than nestled in her own home, where she longs to be. The anxiety weighs her down more than the issues that threaten her life.

If I could, I would bear it for her, bag it up, take it home with me and keep it far from her, out of harm’s way. Give her a lighter burden to bear and a better chance at recovery.

Prayers help. Visits help, even when we only sit in silence, together. She talks too much, bringing on another coughing jag.

I wait, holding her hand.

She apologizes for the fortieth time, for complaining so much. She confesses her fears, not with words, but through her actions. The “tell” is a look in her eyes, like that of a hunted animal.

I wait. Then I let her know she’s not bothering me. I’m just happy to be here with her.

Will this be the time? Will I leave and never see her again? Fears dance in my mind, too. Life can be unpredictable at times.

Hope rallies. Sometimes, I return and find her better. We go out and have a bit of fun, all she can bear in her feeble state.

Her resilience continues to amaze me, as she faces each new crisis of health. She finds a way to get through it.

“This is my life now,” she tells me. “I just need to figure out how to live here, too.” Then yesterday, she added, “But I want you to know, I’m ready to go.”

So what is “relevant care” for me right now? Taking care of the needs of my family. Answering the call to hold a hand and be present in the moment. This means I may not always have a post here on Thursday morning, but I know my readers will understand. This is my life now, and I just need to figure out how to live here.


Make no mistake, I am so very, very thankful because I have been so blessed. That’s what makes this moment of my life so precious. I realize how quickly it passes and how fast those precious moments in the now become precious memories.

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Hello Thursday Morning DevotionHello, Thursday Morning readers! I hope you’re doing well this midwinter morning. It’s cold and a little damp here.

We’re only weeks away from spring. Yay! I’m thinking about what I’ll plant in my flower beds, and that thought is invigorating. Already, the new green is showing through the deadness of my front bed, as you can see in the photo below. We’ve had an unusually warm winter thus far.

I hope you’re wide awake and ready for a great day.

One who is kind benefits himself, but an unkind person hurts himself. [My paraphrase of Proverbs 11:17].

Kindness paves the way for a good day. I know there are times when your kind words are not greeted with kindness, but if you will persist in kindness, it will pay off in the long run.

And pay attention, please. Wake up! Put your phone down and leave it down when you’re driving. Every day, I see people crossing over the line into my lane because they are distracted. Yesterday, a friend of mine told of a near head-on collision with another driver who was distracted. My friend was so shaken, she had difficulty driving home.

So, do me a favor. Do yourself a great kindness. Forget about that message until you get where you’re going. If it’s that important, pull over somewhere safe and deal with it, then proceed.

It will be better to arrive a few minutes late, rather than to not arrive at all.

So, wake up and smell the coffee. Practice kindness today. Sometimes the best thing you can give another person is your attention.Winter Garden 2020

Inquisitive Minds Want to Know

Hey, how’s your morning going? I’m inquisitive this morning. Sometimes my mind needs more fodder, so I step out of my bubble and look around.

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I hope you’ve had a great week.

Is there really ice on the moon? This is old news, but I’m just now noticing it. I know, I don’t watch the news on a regular basis. I tend to notice things in passing. The idea of water on the moon intrigues me, though. Iceskating astronauts? Not only am I inquisitive this morning, but apparently silly, too.

Five hours, not eight? Could that work? According to German entrepreneur, Lasse Rheingans, in a Wall Street Journal article, yes, it does work. But you have to focus. No personal stuff. No checking Facebook. No surfing the web. Just work, finish the job and go home. Sounds good to me. You may want to check it out.

And along a similar line, how many hours of sleep do you really need? There are those who really don’t want to sleep. Are they afraid they’ll miss something? One of my sons was like that. I didn’t sleep the night through for five years.

And, if we deny ourselves sleep, what long-lasting health and mental issues do we suffer because of the deficit?

Scientists have determined that you can’t make up for lost sleep.

I’m not one to stay up all night, except for an occasional insomnia episode. I hate losing rest. I do only manage about six hours a night, though, and wake bright-eyed and ready to go. Hubby could easily sleep nine to ten hours a night. It’s an interesting subject that may need further study and some field testing.

How about you? Do you function better with a regular eight hours? More? Or Less?

coffee, cookie, break, cupWell, it’s back to work for me. No more perusing articles on the internet. With no distractions, I may actually complete all my work in five hours. How about a three-day workweek of five hours per day making the same pay as someone who works forty hours? Sounds good to me!

I’ve just realized I missed my break. Coffee, anyone?

2020 Vision

Hello, Thursday Morning! It’s day sixteen of 2020. In our part of the country, it’s either raining or rain is on the way, according to the weather “seers.” Here, we’re still waiting for winter.

If you have 20-20 vision, your sight is perfect. You can see far into the distance, and read without cheaters. What a blessing! But, how well can you see into the future?

Often, our hindsight is much clearer than our foresight. What have I learned from the mistakes I made last year? Have I been able to overcome those mistakes, forgive myself and move forward?

OK, Google. Where to now?

Course correction is easy when I’m driving. I can pull over, figure out my route, and then turn around and head back if I need to. Sometimes, my phone’s GPS will tell me to “proceed to the route”. What does that mean exactly? I don’t know about you, but when that voice tells me to “proceed north” on a street, I have to pause. Which way is north?

And what about those areas of our country where phone service is interrupted? Suddenly, I’m thrown on the mercy of my sense of direction and I have to figure things out on my own. That’s when planning ahead is the most important. I know there will be times like that, so I should either download the directions and save the map on my phone or print it out and have a backup plan. Notice I said, “I should…” I don’t always do that.

In life, we need to have some form of advance planning and preparation. There will be route changes along the way. So, how can we be prepared for what life sends us?

Obedience matters. Prayer matters. Though we can’t see the future, He can.

Prayer positions us. It is our spiritual “GPS”.

Prayer is not just being religious. It’s not legalism. It’s a conversation with someone who loves you more than you can fathom.

Prayer is 20-20 vision.

January is a reset-month. It’s the dawn of a new year. God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Yes, that kind of renewal. A seed falls into the ground and dies, and out of that old last year seed, life renews.

We get a fresh start.

What will you do with your fresh new year?

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DON’T MISS THIS! If you’re a writer living in or near Kentucky, make plans now to attend the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in Elizabethtown, Kentucky (early-bird pricing ends March 1!). Bob Hostetler is our keynote speaker for Write the Vision 2020, June 18-20, 2020.