What to do When the Rains Don’t Come

We went through a drought period in Minnesota this summer (2021). It was a long time without rain and all the neighbor’s grass looked like it would never come back. Some took too much pride and ignored conservation so continued to water their lush green lawn.

We have a well, but even wells are running dry so we are limiting our watering time for our yard and gardens, yet, I know I can’t neglect my tomatoes and cucumbers. They will get all the water they need.

Sometimes our lives are just like the drought. Things just don’t seem to go our way and resources are scarce. The calls don’t come in, ideas are hard to find, friends and family are busy with their own agendas and problems. You may not even see light at the end of the tunnel like you used to. You used to be optimistic but something has happened and the world around you seems to be crashing down. Where is the hope? In God I do trust.

“Help me Lord to know what it is that you have for me to do. Open my eyes and my heart to what is important, for your glory. Amen.”

You pray, you cling to God’s word and what you have put to memory but still, you want to see some tangible reward for your efforts. How long will this drought go on? Have I fallen from God’s graces? Has our nation?

When I am feeling like no matter what I do there is nothing I can see that is changing the tide, I don’t give up. I press on. I think of all the inventors and musicians and artists, scientists, evangelists and parents and teachers that have been through so many years of difficulty before they see their labor rewarded. “Will anything I do make a difference in this generation?” They say to themselves.

Have I been ignoring the thing that God is calling me to do because of distractions or doubt? Am I taking on things that keep me from what it is that will really turn the tide? Satan will always put things in our way to keep us from furthering the Kingdom of God. The devil is a deceiver and will make us see all the shining objects before we reach the Rock on which we can stand.

If you are really down and waiting for the rain, I made a list of things that may keep you from that death spiral:

  • Wash a window or clean up the dishes – cleaning something has great reward believe it or not. You will see the difference right away from the effort you made.
  • Read something about a topic you are interested in. Even if you just read a paragraph, you will have learned something new and it may peak your interest enough to read further. Knowledge is power.
  • Take a walk- Get outside – fresh air, the sound of birds, watching a neighbor take a dog for a walk, enjoying the scenery, the clouds or the sunshine renews your spirit inside.
  • Think of someone else – write, call, text, email just to let one person know that you are thinking of them. You will have encouraged them and may even get a response.
  • Set one goal – be it big or small, it will be some reason to get up in the morning. Stay focused and follow through. We can make promises to ourselves and others all day long but only when we have reached the end, we feel good about our accomplishment and the next time can go further. Always be growing, always be contributing to your life and your future. Only in this way will you benefit others.
  • Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. You are beautifully and wonderfully made in the eyes of your Creator. God formed you and knows your innermost thoughts. He loves you dearly, even when you mess up.
  • Pray – This is just conversation with God. He is listening if you are sincere. Whether you know him or not, He will make himself known to you, if you ask Him to.

The rains will come. Look up, your redemption is near!

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

What Good is a Tool ? They are only as good as the user.

There are so many tools we can use to help us with just about anything around the home or office.

I found Sticky Notes on my computer!

My husband always talked about sticky notes he used to use at work.
He is a list maker, so go figure. Me, it is all in my head. It is better though to write things down that you want to accomplish. The more detail the better.

Here we go again, I am talking about being organized. It seems I run into this issue every quarter. I have to admit though, life changes and transitions do bring about a need for change in how we do things sometimes. For me, retirement has made me rethink about my sewing business and how busy I want to be.

I am not good at making lists and setting goals other than I know what is in my head. But all these thoughts are mixed in with so many other thoughts in my head too. I must sort them out, organize them and decide what it is I really need to accomplish. Writing a list helps you to focus and remember. It moves these thoughts forward in your brain, so to speak, making them a priority. They become your dominant thoughts.

I have gone many times to the grocery store and forgot the “list” but because I had written it down, everything was recalled from my brain. I guess when you write down something it must register to some part of your brain and make an impression.

Notes on the computer are not as good as a handwritten note but if I can get in the habit of looking at the list and following through with what I have written, that is the goal I have set, and will be happy.

I was up late last night, once again, trying to organize my sewing workroom. It is the size 10′ x 12′ I suppose. But, I have another room I use for extra storage. I want this room to become my guest bedroom and compile anything sewing-related to my already cramped area. However, I am down-sizing since retiring from the bigger scale projects. I do still want to sew and manage and operate my website and store.

I was up until midnight but not before saying a prayer. I asked God to help me get through this. I tend to get distracted so I have to work hard on focus and direction when undergoing a project, especially if it has many parts to it. I really do believe that prayer worked. I threw away things I never thought I would but realized that they were useless for my purpose.

I usually give things away or set them by the side of the road if I can’t find someone close by that I know. I take a photo and post a
free ad. Sometimes though, pretty useless things can sit there awhile and the time it takes to go through all these steps is a little ridiculous. I am not up to having a yard sale. I know schools take things too for the kids for crafts. That bag is set aside for them as I add to it.

So, I will see how Sticky Notes work for me. I think it would be better that I write things down. Still, I am going to really put my best foot forward on this one this time. How much time do I think I have?

It only takes twenty days to form a habit. I will see if I can do this for twenty days, look at and take action steps, from my sticky notes.

If I think of the outcome, what I want and what I want to see, I am motivated. The more emotion you can put into the outcome, it helps you be motivated as well. I should cut out a photo of a pretty guest bedroom and look at it every day. But prayer breaks through strongholds so never neglect to pray if messiness or clutter or what’s the word? Accumulating more things than you have need of basically and the resistance to removing these things from your life.

I do believe, for some reason, at times, there is a stronghold keeping me from just getting to it. So much time is wasted when I should be creating items for my store. Silly. I would see a fabric, thinking I will want to toss it out and know I may never use it, then a thought creeps in my head, “But you wanted to do this with it or that.”

Thoughts would come to my memory of some useful purpose I had thought of at one time. I think it is a stronghold of procrastination. It is keeping me maybe from what God really wants me to do with my time. Now I pray each time I have to tackle my room that I am trying to reorganize and prepare for better use of space. It helps.

If I think of how I feel when I see more open space in my room, or how I don’t want to be like so many elder women I have known, pondering over their things with worry and confusion. They would stew over all her stuff, whether it be valuable or worthless because they had so much, they now had to find a place for it, other than the dumpster or making a donation. They were frantic about letting go.

Is that how I want to spend my time that is left here in this world? I would rather be working on a piano piece I want to perfect, or spend time in my gardens, or learn to crochet that Storm Trooper doll my son wanted.

I also love to please my husband and although he never complains about all my messes, never once has he ever lost his temper over such things, and he could have, I like how he responds when I have really freed up some space or got rid of some things to make our home more liveable. Most of us are paying rent or a mortgage so every square foot should be considered prime real estate.

Below shows my Sticky Note. It is a nice tool, but now I must act on what I have listed. I will think of a reward that I can give to myself when it is all completed, perhaps. Although, the satisfaction would be enough for me, and finally having room to create that guest bedroom!

Organize Sewing Workroom Space

-Buy 4-5 new bins with snap handle closures
-Take photos of fabric bolts I want to sell
-Post fabric on Etsy for sale from these photos
-Utilize top shelf in the closet with pillow inserts that I made
-Label all pillow insert bags showing dimensions and type of fill
-Clean out drawers in the dresser/cutting table that has anything in it unrelated to fabrics and sewing supplies.
-Designate items unrelated to another area, toss, or donate.

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

Fruity Treats-What Kids Throw Out Birds May Like

I am trying something new today with the birds which I thought of while cleaning my kitchen. Having children over to babysit is so much fun but what a mess we make. I say we because I allow it as long as the clean-up is shared.

I found some apples and sections of oranges that had not been eaten. I usually toss them in the compost or when I am being lazy, throw them down the garbage disposal. These never end up in the trash. Today, I remembered my robins and I suppose many other birds love to feed on bits of cut-up fruit.

I rigged up a plastic plant tray- the circular ones you put under pots to catch the excess from watering them. I punched some holes in the bottom so water would drain, should it ever rain (we need it). Then I punched holes on the sides evenly to hold the wire hanger I created.

I should make a video just because I would get more attention. I want to see if this works though first. I put cut-up fruit in a dish before on my deck railing and again once on the ground and I never saw much activity. I don’t have a nature camera though to set things up when I’m not looking.

I will let you know what becomes of this but I am at least finding things to do around here. I do love to be outdoors and work in my garden, which I did this morning. I cut out some bug-eaten Shasta daisies and trimmed back some small bushes where the flowers were finished blooming. Bird watching is another pastime I do enjoy. I like finding ways to bring them to our yard.

Now I am off to my sewing room but before that, I think I will add some products to my store. Also, I have a dresser we are going to give away but it needs some good finishing work, otherwise very sturdy. It is fun to purge, fun to give things away, fun to clean house, and fun to find other uses for something.

I feel good today after getting a dose of grandparenting yesterday!

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night….” (Psalm 92:1,2)

When it Hurts to Say No

Maybe I am the problem.
Maybe the thing that brings me here has more to do with what I am doing than what I expect.
Am I an enabler? Am I really the weak one that seems to always give in when instead I should say “no”?

Maybe this is more about me.
Maybe the thing they do is because it has become a normal behavior I taught them over time.
Did I create this irritation in my life? Am I not the parent I should have been by taking the easy way and not anticipating consequences?

Maybe today is the day I will turn things around.
There is never a good time that works or is more convenient to tell this person whom I love what I must.
Will my decision be good for both of us? Does it matter that it will hurt some people?

I am hoping for all of us to come out stronger. All things in God’s hands. Can we ever come to a better understanding?
God asks us to let go of things and situations and even those we love so He can do a good work in them and in our own self.

Be strong and courageous because the way things are right now, ask yourselves, “Is it working?”

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Phillipians 4:13)

To the Graduate

It’s a big day.
New roads, new decisions to make, new friends to meet…
You get to decide where you will go and who you will become…
Your character will be built upon each promise you keep, every appointment you schedule, every word spoken to those who consider you for a position or opportunity.

Will you take risks or play it safe?
Will you believe what others say negatively about you or prove them wrong?
Do you care if you make a difference in the life of a child, a veteran, your community?

Whatever you do, will be held in high esteem by others, or if bad choices are made by you, you’ll feel deepest regret and sorrow or just plain disappointment. I am not talking about little mistakes that will be made, must be made, or are only part of being human. I am talking about choices we make that involve our conscience, our moral standard that we hold deep inside us.

There is someone greater and more perfect than any one person who can lead you and guide you. Get to know Him. You know His name. His name is above any other. He died for you so choose to live for Him and all will go well with you from this graduation day and onward.

“The LORD your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you.” (Zephaniah 3:17)