Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Good Day to Walk and Think.......

I am LOVING this week!!
We wake up with another day to do just exactly what we want to do!
No appointments or schedules......although I do pencil in a few things on my planner in the kitchen.
Then I proceed to ignore them and go about doing what I feel like doing.

The one thing that seldom changes is our morning coffee and Bible reading routine.
Louis Dean brought my first cup to me in bed. He's my hero!

While we slept with the A/C on last night, it was much cooler this morning!

I decided it was a good day to take up my daily walks again.

I'm grateful to be able to walk with no foot pain.
My right knee was replaced going on 10 years ago and it is still working well.
For 31 years I exercised at least 4-5 times a week. I started when I was 33 years old and it became an ingrained habit. I walked or did aerobics and as I got older I gravitated to walking and yoga. I have since started doing Tai Chi as well but along the way, my dedicated habit of exercising slowly drifted away until one day I realized I was only exercising on a sporadic basis.
So.....I put on my walking shoes and headed out to walk the 1.7 mile 'snake' that is my neighborhood.

The sky was blue and the air was satisfyingly crisp!

As I went I thought about the countless times I have walked these sidewalks.
I was just 18 years old when we moved here in January of 1967.
Summer was 3 and Jesse, Jr. was 2 months old.
The very first walk I took was a cold winter afternoon. I thought I would push Jesse in the stroller and Summer and I would walk around the block.
I didn't realize that our street is part of a snake and if you start out in the sidewalk in front of our house and head east and you STAY on that sidewalk it will eventually bring you right back to the front of our house - just across the street! Needless to say, I got lost and panicked when it started to snow. We eventually made it home but it was not a good 'first' walk.

Over the 50 years I have been here, I have walked this same path over and over and over again.
Usually it is in the afternoon or late morning but I have walked it in the dead of night and at 4:30 in the morning - back when I was working. I have lost myself in prayer and thought a few times and walked right past my house and up 'Big Brenton' as we call it before I realized where I was.
Usually I take a scripture card to meditate on and always I say some prayers.
Since I haven't walked this in a while, when I got to then end where the snake turns around to come back, I sat down on the very same curb I have often sat before to rest a moment.
The walks have been taken in times of deep despair, great joy, paralyzing fear, bubbling laughter and every emotion in between. As I sat there I remembered the time I was sobbing great deep sobs and a family came over to see if I was hurt. I remember the time I walked and could see my own long lone shadow before me and thinking, "I am all alone. There is no one who cares for me. There is no one beside me." It seems like I blinked and the day came when Louis Dean and I were walking along at that same spot - hand in hand - and I realized how many prayers God has answered and how many blessings he has poured down on me.

I suppose the one walk that had the most impact on me was the one in the spring of 2003.
There was a fork in the road of my life and I had to decide which path to take.
My daughters offered me what advice they could give and I had spoken with many counselors as well as friends and family. Finally, I told Summer and Amber that I was just too scared to make such a drastic decision and I put on my shoes and went on a walk leaving them shaking their heads in the sewing room where we had been talking.

It was on that walk that afternoon that God seemed to speak to my heart and mind and told me to simply step out and trust him. It felt like God was asking me to step out on a sheer piece of glass.
I had married at 14 years of age and it had been a long 41 years. I had no education and I had never really worked except for one year and that was for my mother. I had no way to support myself and I was in poor health with a need for some major surgery and no insurance. Amber was 17 years old and in college and about to transfer to Texas State in San Marcos. She had no money and I had none to help her and yet she was working in a restaurant and going to school and making plans. She was doing what she needed to do. God impressed on me that day that I could do the same thing. I simply need to step out and DO it!

I'm pretty sure my daughters were surprised and relieved when I came back from that walk and announced my decision to take a bold new path and to take it with a new found confidence that God would guide my way.

And he did. In countless miraculous ways. He's still doing it!
These last dozen years or so have been the happiest of my entire life.

I came home and started cleaning house!
A clean house makes me happy and it was with a happy heart I took down the Christmas and changed sheets, cleaned and dusted and then put on the finishing touch by lighting a candle.

Actually I lit two! One on either side of the bed.

Of all the rooms in my house, I think I like the bedroom the best!

It doesn't look anything like it did when I moved into this house 50 years ago.
None of the rooms do!

I may have the tiniest little bathroom but I love it!
When I took the wee Christmas tree out that sat on the back of the commode,
I just let the 20 count strand of lights drape over, meaning to come back and unplug them and store them away. Then I saw that I LIKE the way they look!

I used the 'Creative Shot' setting on my red Cannon camera and this picture is in honor of 
Sandra, aka the 'Mad Snapper!'

My grandchildren were surprised to learn that I have a shower in here!

The towels hang on the door so they never even knew there was a shower behind them!

I have a tiny little chair that sits in front of the shower door - and in front of the toilet! 
I sit in it to put my make up on and do my hair at this tiny little make up bench.
All my toiletries are hidden in containers under the white tablecloth I use as a vanity curtain.

I keep this needlework right where I can see it!

We all have hidden treasures.
We don't display everything for the whole world to see.
While there are some things best tucked away and kept safely in our hearts, 
there are others that are rather nice to bring out and share with others every once in awhile.

So tonight I have shared some of my heart with you!

In light of the recent deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.....
and as I contemplate my own life and the aging process.......
I find it a comfort to remember....



Vee said...

For those who are trusting The Lord, it is just a stepping stone to forever with Him. I, too, was sad about Carrie and Debbie. Those are the kind of stories one hears about, but they seem so unusual that they can't be true. Well, they can be.

Yes, I feel as if you have shared your heart. I am so glad that God allowed Louis Dean to come into your life and heal you from those long 41 years. God bless him and you...

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...


I'm so glad you listen to God's leading. Thank you for sharing bits of your story with us!

Linda Reeder said...

Thank you for sharing your heart and some of your life story.

Kathy said...

Thank you for opening your heart to us. That is a hard thing to do and one I don't do often, if at all. I am in love with your pretty bedroom. I told Joe that we are getting our bedroom straightened up in January -- all excess things out. Thanks for encouraging me with these pictures.

Blondie's Journal said...

Very powerful, Linda. I feel tears in my eyes. You persevered with the help of God and I also believe you had a strength within you that guided you and still does.

Love to you. I'm always so inspired by you!

Jane x

Debby said...

Your words are always just wonderful. I love your spirit. God continues to lead your way. Hoping your new year is full of all thing good.
I find comfort in the fact that Debbie went to Heaven with her daughter.

Jackie See said...

Blessings my friend. You are the most kind and thoughtful person I know. I am so glad you are right here right now, just where God wants you, together with a husband who lifts you up and warms your heart. Your story reached inside of me, as I took a similar path after 21 years, all because I gave it to the Lord in prayer and he led me down a path and opened every door for me. I never really knew that a marriage could make me a better person until I met J.R. Thank you for being a part of my life, you lift me up, your smile is a ray of sunshine! May God continue to bless me with your friendship for a very long time.

Carol said...

Thank you for sharing those special moments and special hearts with us. Someone might just need to hear those words today. I am trusting God on a matter currently.

MadSnapper said...

I very much enjoying your heart that you have shared with us, I felt every emotion as I read this. I am so glad with god's help you stepped out and he lead you to LD.. and that quote at the end is perfect . I love your tiny bathroom. we use the shower in one bathroom and never used the tub in the other in 27 years in this house. that said I understand about how you use your shower. I love MY photo of your lights...

Ginny Hartzler said...

Oh LINDA! What a truly wonderful and inspirational post! I am truly sitting here with tears in my eyes. You are such a powerful writer, and can take us places that are real and we can feel. Such is your story of your ROAD of life! How beautiful. Your testimony is a great praise to God! I, too, have always found HIM to be there and clearly show us the way when we need it the most. Who else to ask for help but the one who made us and knows us the most? I love your tiny bathroom! It is about the size of ours, but much prettier! LOVE the lights, they are just perfect right where they are! I used to want a larger bathroom, but not anymore! I now need our tiny one, so I can push on the sink to get off the potty! Everything is where I can hang onto it! I so badly need knee replacement, but have put if off about 15 years. So I have bone chips floating around. My surgeon says it would be one of his hardest surgeries, and he would have to break my leg to straighten it before he could put in a new knee. So I kind of live from shot to shot. Linda, I wish you the best New Year EVER!!! You have been such an inspiration to me, and I know to others as well. Your blog is your life and your testimony!

Estelle's said...

I find you simply amazing! Strong and such a beautiful soul. You are grateful and you speak it. You are humble and you show it. You help others through speaking your journey! I find you such an inspiration Linda! I am so grateful for you! Wishing you a wonderful 2017!

bj said...

such a strong woman are you..I'm squalling so I have to come back later....

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing a part of your life in this post. I feel like I know you a little better now. I knew you had been through some hard times but apparently I had no idea how hard. I'm curious about your socks. They look very much like a pair I've just finished knitting out of wool yarn.

Susie said...

Linda, I loved reading this post. We are so alike in many ways. There's been days where I have prayed the whole day..on and off all day. Love of family can make us do that. When I was young my prayers seemed more like begging God to help me. ..then I learn to pray for the strength to handle what came my way. This is not always easy...But I do trust God...he's always been there. I laughed about the hidden shower. I thought our bathroom was tiny. You have to open the door to pull your pants up . LOL. Blessings to you and LD and your whole family for a happy, healthy, New Year. Love you guys, xoxo, Susie

Wanda said...

Beautiful post, Linda. Such treasured insights into your life. So glad you are so sensitive to God's leading in your life...You make every square inch in your lovely home personal, beautiful, and practical. You are amazing. Walks are the perfect place to make important decisions. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for your open and honest stories.

PATI CLARK said...

🚶 Walking is the best exercise 👣 in my opinion !!! I love walking the outdoors great for mind & body & spirit !!!! Keep it up you are doing a fabulous job !!!!

Stacey said...

Linda, do you know how wonderful you are and how much you inspire others? You do. You definitely do. ♥

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I sat down and read your post earlier today so I've had all day to think about it. You've written about your life so beautifully. I have had a lot of life changed in my life to and I'm thankful for where I am today. We both have so much to be thankful for my friend. Blessings to you in this new year! Lots of hugs, Diane (and I LOVE your romantic bedroom. It's lovely)

Gypsy Heart said...

You write beautifully, regardless of the subject matter. I really admire your sharing ~ IMHO, that takes a lot of courage. I'm just not there yet but you're a great mentor!

You have overcome so much and that encourages all of us. I'm glad you have such a strong faith! God is always with us. I know there are so, so many difficult times in my life that I could not have made it through without faith.


Carole said...

Linda, you are as everyone has said - a true inspiration. Keep up the good work - and the walking! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Penny said...

You are a natural born writer and communicator Linda, and I feel privilaged to have read your memories in this piece. I am so glad that you and LD found each other and that you are enjoying happiness and love now X