This (No Photo) Post Has Been A Long Time Coming

As a matter of fact, it has been coming for as long as I have been blogging – and that is almost ten years. 

Every now and then, after posting a family get-together or reunion – like last night – I hear things like:

  • “I love your family.”
  • “You have a wonderful family.”
  • “I wish our family liked each other.”

However, the writer only knows us by photos on my posts.

I want to assure you that we are a normal family just like yours with our own set of pain and problems – in our small family as well as in our extended families. I never want to give you the impression that we are perfect or problem-free. 

I am not a blogger who writes a lot of deep spiritual or life lessons. There are many others who do that – and do it quite well. That is not my passion. I choose to use photos rather than words. This is one of only a few times in my years of blogging that I am not adding even one photo.

My spiritual gift is encouragement and I love photography, so the passion behind my blog is to encourage my readers with posts that include photos of:

  • Challenging Bible verses
  • Pretty, nature pictures
  • Life in our family
  • Travel highlights
  • TFC ministry events
  • Daily happenings of things that challenge or bless me.

As a rule I hear from people who are blessed and encouraged – especially by the Bible verses and pretty travel or nature pictures.

  • One person told me that she is housebound and my blog helps her get out of the house.

It may be obvious to my readers that I have a passion for those who have not chosen to follow Christ.

However, you may not know that my greatest passion is for Christians who are miserable and missing out on the delight and peace there is in doing things God’s way – even during pain, misunderstandings, and problems. I am saddened and burdened for bitter, unforgiving, disobedient Christians because of the spiritual and physical issues those things deliver.

My goal in blogging is to daily remind myself and others that it is best to do things God’s way: to obey Him and delight in his creation of nature and people.

There is probably nothing more painful to me then when someone misunderstands my passion and tells me that I misrepresent the truth by only airing the fun and delightful things in my life and family.

  • Personally, I don’t feel like it is my job to air our family’s pain or problems on the internet, unless I choose to air my own struggles – and if you read my blog, you know I usually only air my struggles after I have again gotten a grip on life. 🙂
  • At times, after receiving words of criticism concerning my blog or pictures, I am tempted to stop blogging – and that happens a time or two a year – but each time I get close to quitting, God reminds me of the passion He gave me to encourage my blog friends. (He did that again through a sermon at our church several weeks ago.)

This seems like the right time to assure you that Satan is just as busy in our family – immediate and extended – as he is in yours.

  • Each of us have made wrong choices – some public sins and others that are more private, like stubbornness, selfishness, complaining, or gossip.

We are very human.

  • Some family members are gracious and kind to those with whom they disagree, while others are intolerant and judgmental.
  • Not everyone likes each other.
  • Some are reclusive and stay to themselves when the family is together.
  • Others are chatty and talk too much.
  • There are health issues and worries that plague each family.
  • There are job concerns – some work too hard, others not so much.
  • Some of the children are good students – others struggle in school.
  • We are careful in our discussion of Christianity, religion, or politics because we range from very conservative to very liberal – especially in the extended families.

I could go on and on with examples of how we qualify as a normal family, but I think you get the point.

~~~

My life-chapter is Psalm 37.

  • My life-verse is the 4th one in that chapter: Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (English Standard Version)

I intend to keep on delighting in the Lord and his creation of nature and people – and showing you pictures of those delights – knowing that God is in the process of giving me the desires of my heart.

But, please remember neither I nor my family have a perfect, problem-free life.

By this time I had more than four screws loose to my emotional wellbeing!

I sent this to the TFC staff and our family today, so I thought I would post it here as well.

~~~

As I finished mailing TFC’s Prayer Calendar today, I thought, “This is the first time since early April – before we left for Pass Lake – that I had a bulk mailing go smoothly.” 

April 21 – the day after we returned from our trip – the old Pitney Bowes envelope printer died.

The tech said, “You have a very old printer. I cannot find a new motherboard anywhere in the country.”

A new one was ordered.

April 22 – A tech from Pitney Bowes spend most of the day here setting up and training me in their new ConnectRight Mailer software – which I needed to use by May 1.

Learning it has been quite a process.

April 23 – Our clothes dryer died (nothing to do with TFC).

The repairman said, “You have a very old dryer.”

In the process we purchased a new washer and dryer – because the washer was older than the dryer, and we figured it was the safest thing to do with our current record.

I now have a matching washer and dryer for the first time in our almost 52 years of marriage.

I used labels in place of printing directly on envelopes until the new envelope printer arrived a week later.

The new printer did not work after 200 envelopes.

I spent several frustrating hours trying to make it work.

The installer tech came the next day and discovered 4 loose screws from the factory.

By this time I had more than 4 screws loose to my emotional wellbeing!

 Last week a computer tech came to fix my old fax/scanner/printer which was no longer printing faxes.

He said, “You have a very old fax machine.”

I knew what was coming next.

You guessed it – it could not be repaired.

Yesterday a computer tech brought my new fax/scanner/printer.

It is so neat. I was sending faxes to people who did not need faxes because I can do it from my computer.  

On Tuesday – when mailing Gary and Pearl Nussbaum’s Ohio Truck Rally flyer – I discovered that I could not submit the form to the post office. Electronic forms have been required since last summer.

Figuring I made a mistake with the new software, I re-did the mailing process several times.

I finally called the post master. He said he would receive it with only printed reports this time.

By the time I discovered the problem, the envelopes were ready for the post office.

When I delivered the mailing to the postmaster yesterday, I told him that I was ready to go back to the way I did zip code sorting in 1978 – when I helped Mel and Joyce Mast (TFC Northeast Region Director) do bulk mailings.

Back then I lined up brown grocery bags on a long bench – by zip code – and dropped the finished letters in the appropriate bag!

The postmaster thought that probably worked better that today’s system.

I sent an email to the Post Office and my Pitney Bowes tech concerning my problem.

My Pitney Bowes tech responded first and said the Post Office updated Postal One, which is where I submit forms.

She said it was causing everyone a lot of frustration.

She fixed the problem remotely.

Imagine my delight when everything (software and printer) worked smoothly today when doing the Prayer Calendar mailing.

Then – after all the stuffed envelopes were in Post Office trays, I noticed that I had “Prayer Calendar Enclosed” spelled incorrectly on the envelopes!

It says “Prayer Calendar Enxclosed” on all 260+ envelopes.

 Maybe the next mailing will go smoothly.

~~~

I am posting this, just in case you are having a frustrating or stressful day, or week, or month.

Sometimes life is like that – the reason we cling to the grace and peace of the Lord, the only person who never has any screws loose to His emotional wellbeing.

~~~~

I needed this reminder many days during the past few weeks.

Temporarily Upset

Light Squiggles

Sometimes I like to take pictures of lights at night – while we are driving – to produce interesting squiggles.

DSC_2977I think I like squiggles because life never follows a straight line.

DSC_2981It’s more like a squiggle.

DSC_3180 In a variety of colors

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DSC_3185God never changes like the shadows from those lights.

He is always the same.

James 1:17 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)