Friday’s Fave Five – August 16, 2019

Gratitude flows from a heart that is aware and content. I am aware that God is the giver of all good gifts in my life, from the majour things (a healing body) to the minor things (an empty hot tub to enjoy in peace).

Being content with what I have and don’t have is a bow to the concept that God allows the not so lovely to occur in my life. The Apostle Paul says he learned to be content in times of riches and times of scarcity. I want to emulate that attitude in all things, as well.

Through it all, I want to stay committed to the truth that God is good.

That is why on Thursday nights, I strive to look over my past week for the blessings from God. I want to be aware and content.

If you’d like to join in with this weekly meme, Friday’s Fave Five, go to Susanne’s place at Living to Tell the Story to link up your post. Below are five of my favorite blessings.

ONE. Crafting with others. Crafting helps me relax; it’s like I get an emotional massage. On Friday night, Gillian led nine of us in making 12 cards. Most of my sentiments had something to do with prayer. I was relieved that my healing right shoulder mostly cooperated with all the fine motor tasks, although I didn’t finish a third of them until the next day. This evening held a threefold blessing, the actual crafting, chatting a bit with the ladies, and having homemade cards to send.

TWO. Spending time with a longtime friend. It has been months and months since Marsha and I have spent time together. We rectified that on Saturday. We watched The Good Witch episodes, made an early dinner together, chatted, and then drove to a nearby outdoor theatre to buy tickets (Mama Mia) for our church Seniors’ outing this coming Sunday night. The time flew by. It was an easy atmosphere to feel comfortable and welcomed.

THREE. Youth took over. Last Sunday, five high schoolers and one youth group leader were responsible for church service. They shared a pivotal experience from summer camp, led us in Scripture reading and were part of the worship team. They led in prayer and gave the offering invitation. It was exciting to see how God spoke to them and changed them. They had things to say which we, the congregation, needed to hear.

I usually deal with the women and seniors (55+ years of age) in our church. But I had the privilege of working with the young people. It was fun to note and encourage the giftings they displayed. I liked praying for and encouraging them. It was a treat to get to know these six.

FOUR. Women’s Ministry Team meeting went well. We organized details for events through December. I am grateful for Cynthia and Gillian as they willingly and lovingly commit to reaching the women of our church. Their attitudes and examples stimulate and encourage my thinking and actions. The events we have planned are more than socials. Our goal is fostering an environment that grows a deeper relationship with God and with each other.

FIVE. FaceTime helps me connect. I speak with my east coast grandchildren several times a week. It is always a joy. But yesterday, I had the pleasure of connecting with a niece who lives in Germany. We only spoke for about 10 minutes, but it was a delight to see her, hear her, and share news. These face-to-face chats help me feel like I am a part of their lives. Hopefully, they feel the same about me.

Your Turn . . .  How aware and content were you this week? What blessings did God pile onto you this week? Please share in the comments or link up your own post at Living to Tell the Story.

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Friday’s Fave Five – August 2, 2019

Since I broke my shoulder seven weeks ago. I find that I need to make myself look for the good in daily life. With all the pain and hard work it takes to heal, it is too easy for me to stay self-centered all day. One way to look for the good, is to participate in the weekly meme, Friday’s Fave Five. Write your own post and link up at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. Blood draw. I had to get blood drawn on Monday. It is usually an ordeal because I have small veins. It frequently requires multiple tries and a different person has to take over. BUT – this time, the phlebotomist got my vein on the first stick. And there wasn’t even a bruise.

TWO. Community Breakfast. This is my church’s 2nd annual breakfast in a nearby parking lot. Besides food, we had two bounce houses, games for kiddos, and face painting – all free. Despite the heat, we had a decent turnout. I like that we gave back to the community on Sunday.

THREE. Two Movies. Our senior group from church watches a movie on the months that have a 5th Tuesday. Last Tuesday we watched the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” It is about a master sushi chef who has a restaurant in Tokyo. His restaurant gets 3 stars on the Michelin rating system despite the fact that this restaurant only has one sitting of 8 people per night. It is about dedication to your craft.

Since it was a shorter movie, we then watched the mockumentary “Juan Likes Chicken and Rice.” Juan is also dedicated to his craft. This 2nd movie had us in STITCHES. Both movies are streamed on Netflix. Go spend two hours on these movies. You won’t be sorry.

FOUR. Pool Exercises. Man, it is uncomfortable to do my exercises. At least it is on land. I’ve discovered that if I do them in the pool, it is easier; I can work harder and longer; and it is fun. I am a water baby. I do them in the pool 2-3 times a day. And I’ve seen great strides in my range-of-motion. (However, no new skills this week.)

FIVE. Watermelon. Sydney cut the watermelon we served at the Community Breakfast, She cut it in a different way. It was less messy eating it this way. I love learning new things.

That’s my five for the week. Thanks for reading.

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Friday’s Fave Five July 26, 2019

It has been 6 weeks since I broke my shoulder and I am still recuperating. Last Thursday, I started physical therapy to increase my range-of-motion. I have to do 6 exercises 5 times a day. That is hard and by the end of the day, my arm HURTS. So pain management has been an issue again.

ONE. HELP. I asked on Facebook for ideas from folks who deal with chronic pain on how to stay emotionally and spiritually balanced during this time. I received help. The answers folks gave weren’t, for the most part, new to me. But I needed to hear each one. For some reason, when the pain is unrelenting, I forget the things that will help; Like icing, listening to upbeat music, and being around people who will point me to God. I want to write a post about all the things folks suggested. I will print it out so it is an easy reference for when I am fretful and can’t think what to do to help myself.

TWO. SCRIPTURE. Several folks reminded me about the power of God’s Word to calm a fretful soul. And I was reminded about the power of praise to adjust one’s focus. Which is why I am back to writing an FFF. Psalm 42:11 – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.

THREE. SKILLS. I can do several more things this week. (1) I can wash and dry my face with both hands. (2) I can brush my teeth with my right hand. (3) I can wash my hair with both hands. (4) I can turn off the twisty knob on my floor lamp; (5) I can type for about 5 minutes before it is too painful. Even though there is a lot I cannot do, I am training myself to focus on my progress.

FOUR. NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY. My church celebrated this “holiday” last Sunday. Folks brought their fave single-serve ice cream to our Fellowship Hall.. We ate that and studied the book of Galatians. We listened to The Bible Project’s Overview of Galatians.  We read the book in small groups and pairs. And we concluded by answering a few questions. This was an encouraging and fun time.

FIVE. FINISHED. My daughter turned in her final project for the braille transcribing course she’d been studying for the past year and a half. It will probably take 6-8 weeks before she receives her grade. A grader reads the 35 braille pages, marks any errors, and writes Elizabeth a letter with her grade. Then it gets mailed back to California from Maryland. We hope she receives it much sooner. I am so proud of Elizabeth for finishing this course. She created a Facebook group for folks going through this course: Literary Braille Transcribing Study Group. It started with one person and now has 165 people. After Elizabeth posted her manuscript at the post office, we had frozen yogurt (first) and then ate at Mod pizza (they have gluten-free crusts).

BONUS. PHOTO. Even though my son and his family moved to VA in June, I am still connected to them. One of the best ways is via Facetime. My grandgirls and I like to take photos of each other while we visit. This is one of the latest photos of the two older girls.

Your Turn . . . Share your praises from this week in the comments below or link a post to Living to Tell the Story.  . . . Also, please share what you do when you feel fretful in mind and spirit. I’d like more ideas.

Related Posts . . . I need to go back through my old posts about chronic pain. I see that I can remind myself of some helpful things.

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Friday’s Fave Five – July 12, 2019

Four weeks ago, this past Wednesday, I tripped while running in the Philadelphia airport to catch a connecting flight to SFO.

Long story short, I missed my flight to SFO; instead, an ambulance took me to the Jefferson Methodist Emergency room.

I have to make a side note here, I really appreciated the paramedics that attended me. I wish I had the presence of mind to thank them for their attention, professionalism, and care.

Five hours, one x-ray, and one CT scan later, a cab deposited me back at the Philly airport. My daughter met me at SFO (about 9pm) and drove me home even though she’d been up since 3 o’clock that morning.

Edited to add: I  chipped a triangular piece of bone off my lesser tubercle (on the right humerus bone under the ball and joint) and there was a fracture at that point also.

This is what my arm looked like one week after the accident. … My arm bruise is now only about the size of a small apple and is not in vivid colour anymore. Sorry, no photo as I cannot manage that action by myself – yet!

More of my healing details are in my FFF list.

Here are my faves this week – and in TRUTH, it would be easy to list more than five things just related to my shoulder.

  1. I saw the surgeon on Monday and she was pleased with the bone regrowth so far. Therefore, I can start physical therapy on Thursday, July 18. It’ll probably be at least four more weeks before I can drive.
  2. The pain is managed with Tylenol and Motrin, usually needed only at night. Ice, heat, and arnica gel have also helped a lot.
  3. As of this week, I am more mobile: I can now dress myself, feed myself with my right hand, and put on my own seatbelt in the car.
  4. I worked a full work week from my office.
  5. After a meeting yesterday, a friend took me to the store to drop off donations at the Goodwill and get supplies for a breakfast we are having at church on Sunday. She also helped me figure out a meal to take to someone who had surgery this week. The assigned person couldn’t do it at the last minute.

All-in-all, a great week.

Leave a comment. Write your own gratitude post. Link it up with Susanne here.

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5 Items to Include on Every Bucket List: Love People Better

Some of our attitudes/actions can put chains around our heart. What can we do to gain freedom from these unhealthy behaviours?

LOVE PEOPLE BETTER. I think that most of us have some variation of this aspiration on our own resolution’s list. Because frankly, people are hard to like and love at times. WE are hard to like and love at times. And too many times we are faulty in our ability and desire to love, forgive, and heal (to our detriment).

Related Internet Articles 

So is loving people better achievable? The answer to that question is, “Yes.” What are your suggestions?

Below is a list of my suggestions. They are in no particular order . . . 

  • Cultivate loving actions and words. Decide what you’ll do and when. And then follow through. Need ideas? Check out this post on some actions you could do.
  • Practice forgiveness. When we don’t have an ongoing practice of forgiveness, we lug around bitterness and blame.  Need help? Try one/some of the following: counseling, read appropriate books, journal, group therapy, talk with a wise friend or spiritual leader.
  • Memorize I Corinthians 13. But do more than memorize it. Put the words into action. I especially like this version. I memorized this Scripture with a friend. The accountability, for memorization and action, was life-changing. The truth in these words helped me to love others better.
  • Pray Regularly. Pray for mercy and love to fill your heart. Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes us. Read this post to see 5 ways prayer impacts us. 
  • Boundaries are a must. Set appropriate boundaries. I answered this question about boundaries here.
  • Know their story. Know it until compassion fills your heart. Be compassionate like God. It will move you to love others better.
  • Take time to know others. Put them on your schedule. Make some history with them. As we make history with others, as we get to know their story, we will feel bonded to them. And this will lead to better loving.
  • Drop unrealistic expectations. Read my post on There Can Be No Trust When Perfection is Your Goal.
  • Do something kind. Do something kind again and again until kind becomes habitual. I wrote about kindness here and also here and another here.
  • Do one thing that would make a difference to someone else. Do something that doesn’t require you being “paid” back. This type of selfless attitude/action grows love in us for others.

I LOVE the idea of bucket lists. I want my bucket list to be a force for good and cause growth in me and others.Therefore I have five things on my Life Bucket List.

  1. Introduction
  2. More Gratitude
  3. Love People Better
  4. Love God Better
  5. Love Myself Better
  6. Love My Enemy.

As the post goes live, I will hot-link the title.

Your Turn . . . What is your best tip for loving people better? . . .  What will you do this week to show your love?

Related Fruitful Words posts . . . 

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7 Decorating Ideas to Use on Easter Cakes

Since I started baking birthday cakes for Cake4Kids, I have been learning new decorating techniques. These ideas are not just for birthday cakes, either. What I am learning can be transferred to any holiday cake.

Look below to see how the various techniques can be used for this year’s Easter cake. And once you’ve made an Easter cake, you are ready to employ the technique on your next birthday cake.

The ideas shown are fondant, unicorn-style, multi-colored layers with sprinkles, naked cake, make your own shape cake, watercolor, drip, and ombre.

Easter Mini Log Cake (by Tracey Lau).

It would be easy to transform a round cake into this textured log. Add some buttercream flowers and a fondant bunny and butterfly. Oh, so cute and easy to do.

Bunny Easter Cake (by Dulce Gourmet). This bunny cake is reminiscent of the ever-so-popular unicorn cake. You could add flowers to this sweetie, if you want more color. And you can go to this post (ideas to decorate a unicorn cake) to get ideas for your bunny cake.

Easter Layer Cake (by The Gunny Sack). Each layer is a different spring color. Top with sprinkles and, TA DA, you are done. For another look, you could “naked frost the sides and the lovely cake colors would show.

Naked Carrot Cake (by The Little Epicurean). Carrot cake is always a good choice for an Easter or spring celebration. This baker used real carrots on top. With a little work, you could fashion fondant or modeling chocolate carrots to adorn your cake.

Cutest Easter Bunny Cake (by Food and Wine).  Bake two rounds and cut them according to the directions. Ice and then top with coconut. Use candy to make eyes, a nose, and whiskers. Sprinkles make a lovely bow-tie. This is sure to delight any child.

Easter Bunny Watercolour Cake (by Wilton). Have you tried the watercolor icing technique yet? It is easy and fast. Check out this video. The way the decorator made the bunny on the side of the cake is clever.

 

Mini Egg Drip Cake (by Jane’s Patisserie). Here is an Easter example of a drip cake. Pipe on some buttercream nests and top with Easter candies. This link also gives you the details on how to make the cake.

Modern Ombre Easter Cake (by Think. Make. Share). You’d never guess this “messy” first photo would end up with something so lovely. Learn this technique on an Easter cake and then use it for other themes, too.

Your Turn . . .

  • What technique will you try for your Easter cake? Next cake?
  • What have you already tried? Any tips?

Related Posts . . . 

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Today is National Unicorn Day & Here’s A Cake To Go With It

Today is National Unicorn Day. You’ve probably seen that unicorn cakes are in. Cake4Kids (C4K) volunteers have made these. Look at some of their ideas and ideas from Pinterest to get you started.
Most of the cakes I initially saw, had lots of flowers in lots of colors for the mane, and a gold horn with black, eyelash eyes on the side.

One of the cakes that exemplify this style. Cake made by a C4K volunteer.

Monochromatic flowers. Some bakers stuck to a monochromatic theme like this one for a boy. A C4Kids volunteer decorated this one.

Note the purple eyelashes and silver horn. Nice.

Instead of Flat Stanley, make a Flat Unicorn on a round cake.

This cake also has a lovely paisley design going around the cake.

Or decorate a sheet cake with a unicorn.

Love the purple horn.

Of course, sprinkles always make a great decorative accent.

A C4K volunteer made this birthday cake.

Horn ideas. You can make the horns out of fondant, Jello, modeling chocolate, a giant twist lollipop. or an ice cream cone. You can leave the cone plain or decorate it by frosting it and twirling it in sprinkles. EDITED to ADD – You can make a horn out of caramels, candy melts, and pretzel rods

These eyes are different than the norm and so cute.

Ear ideas. The ears can be made out of fondant, modeling chocolate, or marshmallows. You can also use marshmallows to make unicorn marshmallow pops.

This C4K cake has blue ears, horn, and eyelashes.

Cupcakes. Decorate each one as a unicorn with a gold candle for the horn and tiny flowers for hair. Or make a cupcake pull apart unicorn.

This pull apart has 21 cupcakes. It would be easy to add a few more to get to the usually required 2 dozen cupcakes.

And don’t forget about the board. It can look festive, as well.

This cake is baked and plated by a C4K volunteer.

There is a Cake4Kids sister duo that has made 6 unicorn cakes. Yep, 6. They now feel they have that technique down.
Like the idea of baking such a beauty, check out this video by Nerdy Nummies.
Feel too intimidated? Sacramento peeps, check out Jaynee Cakes. She has a class where you can learn how to make 3 types of unicorn cakes.
Your Turn . . . 
  • Show us photos of your unicorn cakes.
  • Share your tips or links, as well. 
  • Which cake from above is your fave? Will you be baking it?
  • If you live in CA and want more information about C4K, let me know.
Related Posts . . .

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