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It’s the little things

Hello my friends! I hope this day finds you well. Today I am focused on the little things. It really is about the little things, isn’t it? Those little pick-me-ups that get you through each day. Lately, it seems people are just so down, and I have really spent a lot of energy remaining focused on the little things, and determined to spread joy, a couple of days ago, after a fitful nights sleep, unusual for me, I woke feeling surprisingly refreshed, but tired. I worked through my morning chores and decided to rest before starting my afternoon business. Just a little refresher snooz. I lay there, bursting with energy and love, feeling so exhausted, and unable to keep my eyes closed. I lie there thinking about the little things, and that rest is better than nothing. Especially rest blessed with positive thoughts on the ways I have been blessed. I am jolted out of my serenity by three barking mutts. Oh hush will you!? But, I must check who is at the door. Its a package! Oh fun! Another little blessing. I spent many years blogging, and always wondered how people became product testers. I had recently stumbled upon the information, and my first product for review was here! Oh how incredibly exciting! I eagerly tear into the box like a child on Christmas morning. Now if you know me at all, you know then, that I am a sucker for bright colors. I don’t care too much about them matching, as long as they are bright, vibrant, and radiate joy. Imagine my joy when I found this beautiful bright pink umbrella in that box!

Oh so thrilling! It’s compact enough to fit in my purse or briefcase, It has what looks to be a very sturdy frame, and like most umbrellas, it has a little pop up button on the handle, which also acts to fold the umbrella down when your done. I cannot wait to try it out when our blustery Montana Spring rolls around. Just the kind of weather this umbrella was intended for. I received this item at a discounted price in exchange for my honest review, and I am genuinely happy with the product. The umbrella can be found here.

Now I really spend a lot of time thinking about how all things are connected, and as I lay back down to try one more time to get that power snooz in, I am thinking about how an umbrella is so symbolic of Gods love. Shelter through the storm, portable and easy to take with you wherever you go, that kind of thing, when my dogs jump to the alert again. Oh my. A nap is just not meant to be. So I go to the door and find yet another package carrier! Oh are you kidding? Two packages in one day and it isn’t Christmas or my birthday!? How exciting!

The second package is a frosty pillow gel mat. I ordered this item because my son has several sleep disorders, and really struggles with getting good rest. One of the ways he combats this, is by stealing all of my ice packs out of the freezer to sleep with. Go figure I can never find one when my back is killing me or when a migraine takes over my brain. I was thrilled when I was offered an opportunity to try this at a reduced price in exchange for my opinion. I opened it up and checked it out. Its very sleek and not bulky. A neutral color and comes with its own “pillowcase”, making slipping it into your existing pillowcase, or leaving it on top of the pillow as viable options for how to use it. The stitching looks to be sturdy and overall it seems like a fine product. The real test is the boys opinion. The mat includes instructions which tell you to refrigerate the mat before use. It feels quite cool without refrigeration, but we went ahead and followed the instructions. First thing the next morning, boy reports that he was cool most of the night and that it worked quite well. He even went so far as to say that his neck felt better where he had slept on the mat. I didn’t catch whether or not he refrigerated it last night, but this morning he asked me if I had done my review yet, and reports that he is still happy with it. The mat can be found here. The company has been generous to provide me with a discount code so that my readers may also receive this item at a reduced cost. Just go to the link provided and enter the following coupon code for a 30% discount. 30TMSN15

And so, I spend another day thinking about the finer things in life. The little blessings. Mail that isn’t bills. Ways that God protects and comforts us, and the symbolism present in every moment of everyday life. I am thankful for companies like this who are willing to share their products in exchange for my opinion, and I am thankful for little blessings on my doorstep.

May this day leave many blessings on your doorsteps, my friends.

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Hello my friends! Today I feel compelled to digest some thoughts on submission for you. The week has been an interesting one, to say the very least. The times we live in are filled with darkness, anger, hurt, and destruction. In the midst of all of this horrid, I learned something about submitting to God. Something I have been learning all along really. That God has control, even when it feels like everything around us is spiraling out of our control. This week I was waiting for big things, and I could see that I was going to have my work cut out for me in resisting the urge to succumb to evil meddling. I knew I didn’t have it in me to fight, so I gave it to God before it ever happened. Just as I did the day that I finally opened my heart to Him, I just gave it up to Him, with an apology and an explanation for my lack of willingness to fight.

Now I have been doing some deep thinking about our times. I have never been the type to jump on the doomsayer wagon, but it sure does feel like Jesus is about to permeate the clouds at any moment. I have no interest in telling you my thoughts and opinions about the end times. I don’t claim to know. Like the rest of you, I have wild guesses. I do, however, believe that we have entered them. That is not to say that I think that they will play out in my lifetime, or even my sons. I believe it is possible, for with Him, anything is possible. I believe that all signs point to it, but I know that people throughout history have been convinced that they were in end times as well. That brings me a little balance. What I do know for sure, is that what we are seeing in our day and age, these politics wrapped up in titles like healthcare and gun control, these times of religious persecution, theses times of global climate change and increasing despair, is that people are hurting far too much, and loving far too little. I am a Christian. I grew up in a moderately liberal home, without much Christian influence. I feel quite lost looking at this world. Its so backwards. I feel a general sense of disconnection from the masses. I cannot connect with liberals because in many ways they can be more close minded than conservatives, just closed to different ideas. On the other hand, conservative Christians seem to be walking in fear as they shout to close the borders and stop supporting people who are worse off than them. I am really having a hard time swallowing some of the fear based Christian politics. Jesus would not turn his back on refugees. When it is time to go to war in His name, He will be standing at the front of the army. We will know that we are fighting His fight because He will be telling us what to do, but this refugee crisis. I cannot get on board with a Jesus who would turn them away. I just don’t buy it, and I think turning them away is fear based. If I am to die today, that is up to God. If He intends it to be at the hands of a terrorist, that too, is His to control, and taking or refusing refugees will not change that fact. The Bible tells us to love unconditionally, pray for our neighbors and enemies, and to not fear. To trust in Him. Liberals, on the other hand, are quite open minded to things like same sex marriage, liberty and justice for all minorities, abortion rights and accepting everyone for who they are. Unless, of course, it is God who is guiding them, or they are wearing cowboy boots and a hat. Or maybe they have a gun? It seems liberals want  equal rights for certain people too, not everyone, as they would claim. I am not stating my stance on any of these issues here, but don’t assume you can guess, because my purpose for this post is that I am neither an extreme liberal, nor an extreme conservative. I am a follower of Jesus teachings, and what Jesus taught is that love is what matters and that all sins are forgivable. Where is the middle ground? Where is the group of people who is logical, rational, able to let people live and let live? Each day my desire to retire further back into the woods and hole up with a handful of livestock and a big batch of garden seeds gets stronger. Its getting harder and harder to have any kind of social relations without a strong clash of opinions. Aren’t we all here for the same reason? Aren’t we here to love and enjoy this beautiful blessing called life? Do we not all have some humanitarian empathy somewhere in us? Our problems don’t lie in gun control and universal healthcare. Our problems lie in a lack of empathy and concern for the every day person. A lack of value for human life. I am not even a political thinker, and I can see the big gaping holes in our current policies. How can our lawmakers not? I want to know, is this happening everywhere, or is this an America problem. I know third wold countries are in constant war as usual, but what about other established countries? Is the whole world going through this? I understood only recently that the Vatican requires RFID chips for all employees, so I think that maybe it is going on all over the world. It occurs to me that religious persecution and ritualization are the reasons that Jesus came in the first place. We all know that it was to teach that killing and rituals, gluttony  and false idolatry, in the name of God, are not the way to God. I think we are repeating history. Religious Biblical history. Religious persecution brought Him once, and I am not convinced it wont bring Him back. I watch the news, the television, and I think “we really live opposite of Gods requests as a society”. I typically don’t write political posts. Its just not an area I spend much time, but events of the last couple months have me feeling so incredibly alienated form society as a whole. Hypocrisy runs rampant on both sides of the coin, and I just really don’t like hypocrisy one bit. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, we all have fear, and we all screw up, alot. The amount of judgement in this world that is not ours to dole out, its disheartening.

I had to give it up. It was all weighing too heavy. I cant control it, I really cant make much impact on it, and I am stuck just stewing on the thoughts, just me and God. I had to submit it to Him. I had to sit down, once again, and tell Him it was bigger than me and that I was too exhausted from it all to effectively fight the evil. I was submitting it to Him. I was committed to spending my time letting Him guide me through the obstacles, while I show up in person to carry them out. In a week that seems to have broken the spirit of many of the people whom I know, I have gracefully floated through it. I have a sense of peace. When fear hits me, a wash of “His will be done” courses through my veins like soothing fire on a bitter cold night. Somehow, my bad news hit, and I just calmly told Him, “OK God, I can accept that, show me what is next then”. Huh? This is nice. Complete calm. Peace. Not anger. Not fear. Not sadness. Just “ok, so be it”. I wish more people could find this kind of peace. Don’t get me wrong, my week has been unusually hard, but I have peace.

Changes are part of life, and man are we going through some changes in this world. Scary, dark, confusing changes. We have them personally, and we have them as a society as a whole. The solution, I have no idea. the problem, multi dimensional. People are hurting. People are broken. People are desperate. When people are broken, hurting, and desperate, the are in survival mode. In survival mode people will do unimaginable things. As far as I can tell, the answers lie in loving and lifting people up. Making people feel worthy and wanted. Validating people and letting them know its ok to be who they are. If we want our world to change for the better, we must stop tearing each other down, and start lifting each other up. Its not about gun control, money, or universal healthcare. Its not about any kind of politics. Its about lifting people up in love. Its about caring for our neighbors, and taking care of each other as humans. Its about caring the most, for the ones we are least inclined to help and most inclined to judge. Our people are broken, and new laws aren’t going to fix them. We must take responsibility as a species, for caring for one another. There is no other way to fix all of this. Love is the only thing we can control as individuals. We can decide how much to love, and to submit the rest to God. Love is what heals. Love is what we need. Love is the answer. We are so busy bullying and mocking each other for our beliefs in what is right and good, that we completely forget to love. What a shame! So busy bickering, that we are missing the point, missing the joy, and we cant get that time back. It is time. Right now. To submit our fears and focus on love.