October 9

Travel….

At the end of this week, 62 students are expected to be traveling for swimming, wrestling, volleyball and junior high basketball.  There is even some talk that the junior high cheerleaders will be traveling too.  When you consider that we only have 162 students in the junior-senior high school, that is 38% of the student body.  The halls will be quiet in comparison with normal and things will definitely be lower key.

This happens several times every year and we get used to it, but it never fails to amaze me even though I know it will happen.  It is all part of small town Alaska and especially a small town that is isolated from greater Alaska and has to rely on the ferry for transportation.  When you have lived here for a long time, you become accustomed to this way of life.  It is always stunning for newcomers or those hearing about it for the first time.

Living in an isolated location makes us find ways to be creative with our needs.  I asked a friend to find some fall holiday paper plates for me to use in passing out treats.  Imagine my great surprise to discover she brought me 360 plates of different sizes.  I was quite amazed.  I have already begun to use them and I am quite thankful for them as they are not available locally.  This is just one example of how life here is different from life in the lower 48 as we like to call the States below Alaska.

I am thankful for the ways in which God makes life work in Alaska.  He cares for us and watches out for our needs and that is such a blessing for me.

Father, you are amazing and I am so thankful.  You provide for all of our needs in creative ways that always amaze and surprise me.  I am glad.  Amen.

Psalm 107:1

 

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October 6

Donuts….

Today was set aside to make donuts to enable the church to contribute to the adoption fund of a couple in the church family.  It takes more than $60,000 to adopt a child in Alaska and this couple still has not reached their goal after several fundraisers.

Since today was an Inservice Day for the school district that meant kids would be out of school and able to help which is always a great benefit.

We started at 6:00 to get the fryer hot, the dough batter mixed, and the icing ready.  It takes a lot to make the donut sale happen and this was no exception.

We had a few glitches during the day, but all in all things went well and we filled all the orders.

Getting ready reminds me of Gideon and the preparations he had to make in order to be successful in his battle against the Midianites.  Gideon had to follow specific commands laid out by God and we had to follow specific directions laid out by the makers of the donut flour.

Directions make things easier and donuts are no exception.  Most things in life have directions and that is for a specific reason.  Directions help us reach our desired results and donuts are just one example of that result.  God wants to help us and when we follow directions we are moving in the right direction.  I am thankful for that.

Father, thank you for directions that make us successful.  Thank you for guiding us and for giving them to us.  Amen.

II Kings 6-8

 

October 8

Surprise….

When I backed out of the garage to go to church this morning, I was surprised to see the rose bush and trellis completely blown over.  I knew the winds and rain were strong last night, but I never imagined they were this strong.  I was quite amazed.  The trellis is reinforced with rebar which made the result all the more surprising.

I tried to force it back into the holes, but I was only partially successful.  I will have to get someone to help me put it completely back.  The crazy thing is that the weather goes from that forceful to sunny and calm and back and forth.  It keeps things exciting that is for sure.

I’ve been reading a book about eliminating the negative from your life, not only comments, but thoughts too.  I think it has made me very aware of such comments.  Today I seemed to hear a lot of them and I just felt frustrated.  I wanted to tell those speaking to stop making these remarks, but I couldn’t find a way to do it without being critical myself.  This is something I need to think about and work on to make it successful.

Until you make a concerted effort to eliminate such negativity from your life, I don’t think you realize just how much this type of talk fills our lives.  It really is not very helpful.

The Bible reminds us to think on these things:  whatever is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. And you’ll notice that none of these is negative.

Fix your thoughts on these things and you won’t have time for negative thoughts.

Father, thank you for reminders to help us be positive in our thoughts and in our dealings with others.  Amen.

Philippians 4:8

October 7

Catching up….

After a day of donut making I was glad today was not so busy and a day I could use to catch up a little.  In addition it was a nice day and pretty with sun peeking through the clouds which was a blessing.

It is nice to have a day like today that is not filled with things that need to be completed before day’s end and to have a little wiggle room in the day as it unfolds.  I was able to get a few chores done like the washing, (I had a lot of dirty laundry from the donut making. some cooking (I made pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling which I had been wanting to do), and some knitting and reading.

Today was a nice day.  God wants us to have days like today to help us recharge our batteries and to take time for praise and worship.  Sundays are supposed to be those days, but when you are responsible for teaching and other chores at church it is hard to accomplish that.  I think Saturdays can be those days for me.

Father, thank you for times to praise and worship you, for times to relax and rest, for times to appreciate your creation.  Amen.

Psalm 1

 

 

October 5

Breathe…..

I listened to a devotion about the tragedy in Las Vegas where the Pastor encouraged his listeners to breathe, watch fewer news broadcasts and pray.

To me this is really wonderful advice.  I definitely agree that you can watch entirely too much news.  I know one woman whose husband forbid her to watch the news. She was so obsessive with it, she became depressed.

I know I don’t like the news very much and I never watch it at home, but I do see plenty of it at the hospital where I visit daily.  I can’t believe how much the news goes over and over even the smallest detail.  It wears me out.

I like the idea of taking a deep breath and praying about the situation.  I am sure this does more good than obsessing over the latest news report.  It gets tiring hearing those details over and over and essentially, it does not a bit of good.

We all need to breathe and then pray about every situation.  I have been thinking about this a lot and I believe God wants us to bring everything to his attention, large or small.  I know I am guilty of only taking the big things to him, but he is just as concerned about the small ones and I need to be asking for his help or thanking him for it.

That’s  my goal.

Father, you are wonderful.  Help me to talk to you throughout the day about everything.  I really love you and want to talk to you.  Amen.

Romans 12:12

 

 

October 4

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up….

This is a book about getting your home in order.  It is about decluttering and organizing and finding a way to live the lifestyle you really desire.

I have read it previously and tried to adopt its principles, but I confess I did not really follow the author’s advice and now I find myself needing to do it again.  She claims you will never have to have a “do over” if you do it right the first time, so I have only myself to blame.  Phooey.

I haven’t reverted to my former ways, but I just did’t go far enough the first time I applied her method.  I went through my clothes, my kitchen and dining room, and those rooms are basically still tidied up.  My clothes are a different story.  I was not completely thorough which she insists on.  I have to do it again.

I am inspired by the woman who lives in the apartment below me.  Her space is completely tidied up and really looks wonderful.  It is a true inspiration and has moved me to check out the book from the library, read it, and start over. In some cases, it is just start.  I did not make a dent in the paper or momento areas of my space so I need to do just that.

I am feeling more determined this time and I am hopeful that I will be more committed to the method which I know will work.  It worked in two areas, but I just didn’t go far enough.

I have often wondered why we do this to ourselves?  We start something, but we don’t really finish.  For me, personally, I think it is because I don’t allot enough time to whatever it is that I want to accomplish.  This time I am determined to really accomplish my goal and make the needed progress.  I need to undergird my efforts in prayer and then I will be sure to be successful.

Father, you know me by heart.  You know my failings and my successes and you know what I need to accomplish the goal I have set for myself.  Help me please.  Amen.

I Peter 5:8

October 3

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (The Message)

I read this verse this morning in my devotion time and it really resonated with me.  I have read it many times before and I know it by heart, but this morning it stuck with me in a new way.  I think I have been taking it as three separate admonitions, but it is expressed as a whole sentence which means I need to be keeping all three parts all the time no matter what.

How can I do this?  Upon thinking about it, I believe it has to be intentional.  I can be cheerful (actually I feel cheerful most of the time so this is pretty easy), but while I am feeling cheerful I need to pray and then thank God.  As a young woman I used to think this meant I had to thank God for bad stuff, or stuff I didn’t want to happen.  I now think it means that I need to thank God for how he is going to use this situation to help or encourage others.

The recent shootings in Las Vegas are horrible, but I know God will bring good out of this mess.  I need to thank him for being involved in our lives, in my life, and for working good in the lives of others.  I need to remember how he has worked in the past and to continue to pray, not only for all those involved in this tragedy, but also for all those who will ultimately be influenced by it.

This is an awesome responsibility, but I remember that God never gives us more than we can do.  It is up to me to carry out his command.

Lately  my car flicked on the oil sign, but it didn’t stay on continually.  I asked one of the men at church if this meant I needed oil. He told me I probably  needed oil and an oil change.  I admit I am not a great person about taking care of the car, but I do pay attention to signs.  Today he completed changed the oil and got oil for the future.  He comment was, “It needed it.”  What a blessing to have this taken care of and to know he thought enough of me to do this just for me.  I feel cheerful about this situation, I am thanking God for my friend and I am praying for him.  What a great example of what this verse means to me in everyday life.  I had baked chocolate pumpkin cupcakes with the express thought of giving some to him today.  Now I will write him a thank you note and again tell him how much I appreciate his thoughtfulness and I will praise God for bringing this blessing into my life.

Father, you answer my needs before I even express them.  Thank you for the blessings of friends and their helpfulness.  Amen.

I Thessalonians 5:18