is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--VISION  
Five minutes to free write about it
Vision is one of the gifts I give thanks for every morning. Along with the gifts of a new day, and of being able to hear and walk as well as see. Blessings I often take for granted.

The abundance of rain we've had this spring has made everything look lush and green, and the azalea bushes by the library seem fuller and more beautiful than I remember them looking in the past. Stopping to take pictures reminded me of how much I used to enjoy going for walks with my camera, and how much beholding the beauty all around me would lift my spirits. It made me yearn to do so again.

I miss those days, and know I need to stop making excuses and just do it. It's time to once again go out "beholding"  the masterpieces God gave me my vision to enjoy.

Those who live at the ends of the earth stand
in awe of your wonders. From where the sun
rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of   
joy. -- (Psalm65:8)                                          





This post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--BOTH
Five minutes to free write about it

Today is the 4th anniversary of my open heart surgery to replace the damaged beyond repair mitral valve with a new tissue (porcine) one.

Since I haven't been feeling the greatest lately, which is partly why I've been MIA, I went to my follow-up echocardiogram this morning with a bit of trepidation. A few hours later, however, this best anniversary gift ever showed up in my e-mail.

Feeling BOTH blessed and grateful. 



This post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--DENY
Five minutes to free write about it

These past few months my faith has been put to the test, and I did not score too well at all. Despite knowing all the correct answers in my head, my heart has been waging a fierce battle with fear and depression--mostly fear.

And then came spring and suddenly there was color everywhere. My favorite redbud trees were in full bloom. Surrounded by so much beauty, I felt hope start to rise.

However, after a wonderful week of blue skies and 70 degree weather, this is what I woke up to this morning, and though I cannot deny its splendour, I cannot deny my disappointment either. Will any of the magnificent blooms survive, or will this unexpected drop in temperature put the kibosh on it all? There seems to be something symbolic here that I can't quite put my finger on.

Five minutes is not long enough for me to find the right words to adequately describe the turmoil that I feel inside. I'm trying hard to focus on my many blessings, and to turn my perspective around.



Today is my blog's 15th anniversary, and the first day of spring. I had wanted to write something special for the occasion, but instead, have spent so much time  reminiscing my way through long forgotten posts and comments that the day is almost over and I haven't written a word. I didn't even get around to going out and finding a "spring" picture to take. This favorite picture of the newest addition to our family (my great-granddoggie, Oliver), taken by his mom (my granddaughter) will have to do. 

 As you can see, he is a very accommodating playmate to my two little granddaughters, who love him to bits. Lucky for him, since he is quite a naughty dog, and may have wound up back at the farm he came from if he had not so completely stolen their hearts,

So, tempting as it was to just skip writing this post since the day has just about escaped me, I'll try to jot down a brief recap. Fifteen is, afterall, a milestone that needs to at least be acknowledged.

When I started this blog I had six grandchildren and one great-grandson, hence the great-granny grandma title. Since then I have been blessed with one more grandson, and four more great-grands, bringing the total to seven grands and five great-grands.

My very first blog post about Trader Joe Triple Gingersnap Cookies contained another memory within it that made me smile. 

On my trip down memory lane I relived happy memories of special events such as graduations, weddings, moving to a new home in a new town, and becoming an author of children's picture books. But there were some sad memories too such as special friends who moved away, and beloved family pets who crossed the Rainbow Bridge. 

Between 2013 and 2019 I took a six year break during which I focused on a couple of new blogs I'd started, but in the end my heart led me home to the one where my adventures in Blogland began.



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--EASY
Five minutes to free write about it

How easy it is for me to feel stressed when life gets lifey and interferes with my plans. How easy it is to let frustration loom large and overshadow the many blessings in my life.

A few days ago I tried getting into my daughter's car while standing on a patch of ice. One foot was already in, but the other one started sliding, and before I knew it I had fallen out of the car and was lying on the ground. It was quite a shock, to say the least, but I'm very thankful that none of my bones got broken in the fall. That was easy to be grateful for.



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--HEAVY
Five minutes to free write about it

My heart feels heavy over the unspeakable violence and destruction taking place in Ukraine, the targeting of civilians and evacuees, the killing of innocents.

My heart feels heavy over the cruelty, hatred, and evil that seems to be overtaking more and more of our broken world.

When my heart feels heavy, I need to remind myself that God is in control, and that all these things now happening have already been written in His Book, as has the ending of the story. None of it should take us by surprise.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NLT)

Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:28 ESV)

I was contemplating this when I literally did look up and noticed something I'd never seen before on the dracaena(?) plant I've owned for well over 20 years. Pairs of leaves coming together so that their tips touch to form what look like giant hugs.


The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalm 34:18 NLT)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Romans 8:35 NIV)

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6 NLT)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46:1-2 ESV)

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18 BSB)

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:78 BSB)

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 NLT)



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--COMMIT
Five minutes to free write about it

Two thoughts popped into mind when I saw this week's prompt.

Psalm 37:5 was the first one -- "Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you" (NLT).

My second thought was about how it seems that I'm better at keeping my commitments to others--especially work related ones--than I am at keeping commitments to myself. Even after much prayer and asking the Lord to help me follow through, certain personal resolutions have gone unfulfilled year after year after year. Why is that? Does anyone else relate?



This post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--ACHIEVE
Five minutes to free write about it

Recently I reconnected with an old grad school friend who tracked me down through Facebook. She has achieved much and the bio she shared with me was impressive. As I read it, my thoughts started traveling down the bunny trail of remorse over the poor choices I made during this 60 year interim, the squandered talents and opportunities. 

More than anything, I had wanted to make a difference, to feel acknowledged, to achieve something of significance, but that's not the way things played out. Life did not turn out the way I wished it had.

Regrets, however, are futile. Not one of us can go back and change the past. So midway down that trail I stopped and reminded myself that we are all Divine originals created by God for a special purpose no one else can fulfill. Unlike the world, He does not measure our self worth by our achievements, or by how other people perceive us, nor does He measure success in numbers. 

A question I had never considered popped into my mind. Am I really where I am today because of the poor choices I made, or am I here by God's design? Perhaps this is exactly what and where I need to be for this particular moment in His plan. Perhaps it's a token of His mercy and grace towards me.

Had I pursued my talents and education to their fullest, would I maybe have spent my life chasing after the things this world has to offer instead of the things that have eternal value? Would I have missed God's gift of salvation, a greater tragedy by far? That's a thought to ponder.



This post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--TRIALS
Five minutes to free write about it
A trial can mean many things. My first thought was of a trial period where you are given the opportunity to try something out before making a commitment. Or the offer of a money back guarantee if you don't like what you purchased.

When I was young, a trial meant a challenge. Challenges were what I thrived on. I loved nothing better than proving people wrong who said something couldn't be done--especially if they said I couldn't do it.  

And then as the years went by, that word increasingly meant adversity, hardship, and affliction. Like unexpectedly becoming a single mom of two young children as the result of an untimely tragedy, or the near death experience that I wrote about in Oil of Myrrh. Not experiences I would ever choose, and yet there was always a testimony down the road to help strengthen my faith and my trust in a loving God who is in control. I have a tabbed notebook full of these testimonies. Each one recorded under the name that describes the aspect of His character that was revealed through it.



Dear friends, my "tomorrow" will start with a 21-day fast from social media, but before I disappear, I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! May 2022 bring you peace, joy, good health, and many blessings.