SEEING THRU THE SMOKE

Last week as I last shared our family had a fire in our pellet stove that caused the house to fill with smoke last Sunday evening.  So I spent last Monday cleaning all the walls laundering all the drapes taking all the furnishing out to air out and cleaning all the walls.  I had a company come in to clean to the carpets on Thursday.  The house smelled even worse with the smoke damage in the carpets.

I finally broke down and called the Insurance company.  They are coming out this morning to assess because I am concerned about the smoke damage in the furniture.

Of course I it is week later and I can still smell the smoke.  However my family cannot.  It could be just that I am over whelmed by the whole incident.  You pay for Insurance and then you are fearful of using it.  Our Adjuster said that there is ionizing equipment that can remove all the smoke from our furniture.  My biggest consootcern is our grandson being in our home and being sick from the  in the furniture.

When things happen that cause suffering it is hard to understand.  God has a purpose for what he has planned out for our family.  Personal ownership for bad decisions,  Bryan’s ongoing cancer issues and debt all have been our struggles for since 2014.

God has not forsaken us.  At times I have to remind myself that I am not my own.  God redeems us and protects us.  The fire and smoke could have come in the night with the loss of our family as we slept.  Yet God protected us.  Bryan’s cancer has grown us as a family to see the value of each day.  Career changes has brought me back home and has helped me spend more time with God and family.  Our debt will be resolved.

God has opened doors and closed doors in my life.  He has taken me places I would have never known!  I am so thankful for this.  I have never taken the easy road in life.  It is not my life plan!  I challenge myself!   Even thru all of what has happened God’s grace is sufficient.

Personally we all have dark days.  Do not be deceived or manipulated to stay in the dark. PSALM 23:4 reminds us ” Even though I walk through the darkest valley,  I will fear no evil for you are with me.   PSALM 23:4

I own my hardships.  God knows my heart and he knows my failings.  He knows my nature.  In tough times I have had to lean on him and not on me.  I really stink at this.  As I look back on things I decided without God!  I have suffered!

As I close this blog today I am inspired to be excited for this day!  Truly blessed.house_fire_s1

 

 

CLEARING THE AIR

We have a wood pellet stove in our home.  We have enjoyed this stove.  The stove really has reduced our fuel bills.  Something went wrong last night and my daughter came running into my Master that is in the back of the house to tell me the stove was on fire.  I went out to see what was going on to find the door of the stove was open and the house filled with heavy white soot smoke.  we opened the windows to clear the smoke.

Well this morning the smoke is just as heavy.  I called my employer to let them know I will be working from home on cleaning the house.  Just checked website on smoke damage.  I have decided on a combination of a mild detergent with baking soda and vinegar.  well it is has not removed the smell.  I covered the furniture in baking soda and damped it with vinigar. it seemed to work on the furniture.  However the walls and ceilings still smell of smoke.  More than half of the house was effected.  The throw rugs in the livingroom I contacted a professional carpet care company who will come on Thursday and shampoo.  All the drapes, blinds and throw pillows were taken out and laundered.  All the wall hangings are on the patio with all the baskets that needed cleaned with mild soap and vinigar.  I am so thankful that I am cleaning furnishings and that we did not die from smoke inhalation or worse in a full house fire!

God’s grace and love once again has prevailed.  Even though it cost me a day of work we still have time to thank the Lord for this day and to rejoice in his glory.

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The QUIET BEGINING

“As I write this, it is apparent to me that I am different!  Different than I used to be. “

As I write this, it is apparent to me that I am different!  Different than I used to be. Why?  Well it happened almost without my realization.  All of the sudden when I would get in my car I did not want to listen to music.  How I took time to think of others feelings more so than my opinion.  All of the sudden I was wanting to read more and seek the scriptures to get a better understanding of what I needed for my life.

My staff laugh because they know I am walking into the building just as Franklin Graham comes on the radio right after Adrian Rogers.  Why would they know this? Because I listen to Pastor Adrian Rogers everyday as I drive to work.  I would love to listen to Franklin as well but I cannot.  I have shared with all my team that I feed my morning drive with Pastor Adrian so when I am walking into the building I am equipped with the message and I try to pray to the Lord to allow me be a blessing to him as I conduct myself and how I treat my team!

The high standard of what I want my people to see in me is important.  I need to be prepared to greet them with a solid mind and a Christ Centered behavior!  I love it when I am able to wake early and read something amazing here on WordPress that inspires my heart.  However being a morning person is not a NATURAL part of who I am.  I like my sleep!  When I do not wake early I miss on my time with the Lord.  Oh I miss this!

I love spending time with God.  As I grow in my walk this time is very important to me.  I am hungry for learning.  He truly restores me and help me meet the day.  I love to close the door on my office and read my New Testament at work as well.  If we want a time for God we have to block time out.  I feel God working in me.  I am growing because I am hungry for God.  I am so thankful for this.  Here is hoping that you can set time aside to be thankful to God and to spend time praising everyday!

EMBRACING CHANGE

All though life changes our outer being the inner being still feels young without boundaries. It is only when I am playing with my children I realize that the shell is getting older.

Change is inevitable with every year our lives change.  This year we saw our daughter marry and have her first-born.  I remember being deeply in love with my husband and the night he proposed and yet this was 34 years ago.  Oh how I have changed!  When I look in the mirror I can still see that girl who said yes!  All though life changes our outer being the inner being still feels young without boundaries.  It is only when I am playing with my children I realize that the shell is getting older.

Age is not always a welcome visitor.  Vanity of what and who we perceive who we are changes with each passing year.  I guess that is why we need to focus on who we are today.  Today I am a better person because I have accepted I cannot do this life without Christ.  This was the best change I made.  I will forever be thankful for accepting Jesus as my savior and my sister-in-law and best friend Lorie who was there who prayed with me as I accepted Jesus.  Embracing this change has been a lot like to evolution of me going from a young woman to the older woman I am today.

When we decide to accept and be thankful for what God has done in our lives it becomes really fun to see where that change will take me.  I am set apart in the body of Christ.  But being set aside does not mean that the challenges and changes I will embrace will always be fully understood at the time of these changes.  We have to open our hearts up to what God has in store.  So Embrace change today

 

A BIT ABOUT ME-

A few things my readers my not know about me as I love food! When I travel I always research out the best places to try. I live in the State of Nebraska where we are proud of corn fed beef!

I awoke to the cell going of this morning. Haylie our middle daughter was letting me know that she was going to stay in town a bit and catch up with an old friend who is visiting and that she would need me to watch our grandson Jayson. I am not admitting it to her, but I never mind the time I have with our little man. The plan was to get out of bed and clean the house and spend time in fellowship. I still have been doing this, I feel like I took a trip the UK this morning, I was researching the category of FOOD on WordPress.com

A few things my readers my not know about me as I love food! When I travel I always research out the best places to try. I live in the State of Nebraska where we are proud of corn-fed beef! However being a survivor of a heart attack I have worked hard to cut back on this and eat more fish and poultry.

I actually love the challenges of trying new foods. I am a cook book fanatic and a Pinterest freak! I adore both the book in my hand and the online beauty of the recipes. I am very interested in how to eat for health. However giving up all goodies is a tough thing too. If you have been reading my blog I set four goals for 2018 in my post 2018 FOUR SET- GO!  One of the 4 set goals was to cut refined sugars out of my diet and to get healthier in 2018.    2015-2017 was not good years for us personally. We lost family members and my husband was diagnosed with cancer.  SO I thru myself into work! 

As well as trying to control life instead of relying on God. My life has not been that of tranquility. But I am not looking back now!  Enough! 2018 is all about going forward and seeing positive things happening!

the four goals I set are huge goals. I am not the type of person who sets goals and thinks I have arrived. It is about gaining success in an areas I am focusing. I think 4 areas is enough. What makes me happy is writing this blog. I am a twin and I must say y sister is the bomb. Cindy is a brilliant woman who is truly my rock! I can always rely on her to tell me just what she thinks! No holding back! Another bit about me. I am short! 64 inches tall is not tall! So being fat does not look good at a short woman! Another reason to go to the gym. Another reason to walk a lot in my job. Another reason to eat fish!

As I write this blog the smell of last nights cabbage burgers are still in the air. These are a treat for my family. Home made bread filled with cabbage, onions and good Nebraska corn-fed beef burger blended together to make pockets of pure yum!   I am that woman who can taste something and without a recipe recreate it.  I love to adapt my favorite cakes into granola’s that we then sell thru our granola company. 

Today I am working on German Chocolate Cake Granola.  the goal is to make it taste great with no refined sugars.  We use a lot of coconut sugars and natural stevia in our blends I do not like fake sugars.  We use real honey and maple as well along with natural sweetness of fruit.  I will post later how this one turns out.

Best selling right now is our Carrot Cake granola. We ship a ton of this!

Well enough for now!  I will be posting later on the success of this new granola.

BEING BRAVE

I was thinking of all the brave people who triumph over great obstacles.  David’s own people could not believe that he would defeat the Giant Goliath and help his people take back their land.  And yet he did!  His own brothers begged him to not go thru with this.

Yet David had prayed and was encouraged and sure of his decision.  No one believed in David!  Yet he was sure of his decision. He was brave against all obstacles. He was small, He was a Sheppard Boy,  He was small, He was not a warrior, He was laughed at,  He was told that he would die!  Yet Goliath mocked him from a far, He even proclaimed to be God!  He did not believe this little guy would knock him down and that the sword you demanded his servant to get would be the same sword David would use to take off his head with!  David was victorious because he knew that God was with him.  He knew that he would destroy the giant and that he would take back his land.

Being brave did not just happen.  It was his faith!  David knew that God would deliver him!  In my life I have had brave moments!  However never as brave as what God called David to do!  He was in line with what God called him to do!  d58f4ce1f2fbd3254bfa958ec9e2bb42

No matter our need for bravery God will be with us!  Find comfort in knowing that God has a plan for your life!

THE TRY OF IT ALL

I believe that we all need someone in our corner. Who will be strong enough to tell us that we are wrong! Strong enough to fire us when it is necessary. Strong enough to be there from a distance asking them to consider a different approach.

Have you ever tried to help another and they just don’t see it! They act like they are on the same page only to not care about what you are trying to do! I have been working with a young man who is truly not helping himself. As an employer I want to retain employees by getting them on board with our goals.

Well just like that employee God gives us children as well. I can recall several conversations with my children about what they were doing or proposing that I did not agree with. So I would try to influence their thinking by asking them to consider my opinions. However that was never going to work!   Because it would mean they would have to change their opinion. It is all about trying that becomes more of a compromise that will help both of us. A give and take!

Both scenarios are about two young people.  My insight is from life!   They have not lived to see failings.  They both are still happy to rely on their families to get their needs met.  The young man is not willing to change his conduct that will eventually lose him his employment.  The child who thinks she is correct will find out she is not once she is on her own struggling with the reality of her life.

We can only try to get others to see the reasons why we still try!  I believe that we all need someone in our corner.  Who will be strong enough to tell us that we are wrong!  Strong enough to fire us when it is necessary.  Strong enough to be there from a distance asking them to consider a different approach.

Look at your life relationships and see if you see who has been the brave ones in your life!  Who said “No you are wrong!”  the Bible teaches that God cares for us.  He will hold us accountable.  “In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you but only for a moment.  It’s with lasting love that I am tenderly caring for you.”  Isaiah 54:8

As the above scripture reminds,  we must know that he God has an opinion of our choices and he will be stead fast in his love to bring us back from our own errors.


Continue reading “THE TRY OF IT ALL”

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Snow covered corn fields are a regular site when it comes to living in the State of Nebraska.  Our worlds revolve around farming and railroads.  In my career I have driven past this old church several times.  It is as if it is left there as a testament to the past.

Setting back  with no sign of a road anymore.   Just the shell of what used to be.  Sunday Pot luck’s,  Bible studies,  moments of birth’s and wedding celebrations.  Along with the passing of loved ones. the past of community.

The memories of this place,  I am sure someone holds.  We forget that just like this building we deteriorate and one day we will leave behind remittance of our lives.

Everything we are is being built up or torn down!  As I grow toward God in my daily walk, it is evident that I have to think before I act.  I have to wait on Gods wisdom.  I have to be realistic about my own mortality.   My life will end and tears will flow from those who have been part of my story.  My story has been one of non belief to accepting Jesus as my savior.  He took my sin and has me whole!

When we are forgiven it is done!  the Bible reminds us not to focus on the past but to mindful of the day at hand.

“Lift up my eyes to the mountains.  Where does my help come from?”  “My help comes the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. ”  Psalm 12:1-2

THE PING THAT MAKES THE HEART SING

This morning I awoke to my cell pinging!  Not a ping but pinging a lot.  I got the phone to see someone who started reading my blog was reading it in Nigeria.  Now this is why my heart is singing praise and thanks this morning.  Thanks Emeka Ofili you truly blessed my day!   I don’t normally stop what I am doing in the morning to write!  But this morning I felt compelled to mix my morning up because of the sounds coming from a phone!

When I started my blog I had no idea who would read it or if I could actually have anyone want to come back to see what Good Life For Half was about!

I learn each day about what is important.  A year ago I was consumed in sin!  I was living on the road trying to manage two jobs and not beating myself up daily about what I needed to do!  I was running from my husband’s health issues.  Bryan in May of 2015 had cancer on his face that turned out to melanoma.  In  stead of giving this to the Lord to work out.  I became very afraid of the future.  Satin loves to have us rely on our flesh.

I was being very carnal by not trusting that God would get us thru this without me taking on two full-time jobs.  This was not of God!  It was of me not trusting that God had Bryan’s plan!  We sometimes do not realize what we are doing at the time but God did not take long to reveal himself to me!  I continued to ignore my father and that sin resulted in me steeped in sin.  I stayed in this sin until God brought me back.

As I grow in my walk I realize I cannot just make my own decisions.  It has to be God’s will!  We are to pray and wait on God to direct our steps.  God does reveal himself.  As a follower of Jesus we will naturally grow towards what God wants us to do!  My husband reminded me recently that our heart and hands need to be in the business of God’s people in how we conduct our lives.  My character has to be in line with what God has planned for my life.

So my decisions had outcome that truly was for the good of me.  God took hold of my heart and did what was best for me.  At the time I did not realize that he was removing me from things that were not in the best interest of what God has planned for me.

Today I look forward to walking with my God.  Realizing that it is not my job to worry about anything and to focus on what God has in store for me.

Sin will make you sick, it will keep you from fellowship with God.  Today I am still working toward my faithful walk with him.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope in the Lord.  For shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green and will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8

Let us to courageous today in God’s loving plans!  My God has taken me on amazing life adventures as he has revealed his true love for me.  What a great day to sing thanks!

When I Was Twenty Something-

“When I was twenty something I could call my Mom and she would help me if I needed help.”

When I was twenty something I was so smart! I knew everything. I was up on all social and political issues I thought. I was going to change the world! Well I am now in my fifty’s and the reality is I did not know a damn thing.

When I was twenty something I could call my Mom and she would help me if I needed help.

When I was twenty something I took risks in all areas of my life. I was a terror of facts and what a goal setter. None of this is bad. It is just Naïve thinking that makes us think we know things we do not. Life changes when all of a sudden you have to stand on your two feet and you fall down!

It’s all in how we pick ourselves up! When I was in my twenty’s I attended school to be a teacher. I went into this field and within nine years because I knew everything, I burned out!   So I took my experience to  Well Fair reform.   Educating the parents of the children once taught how to go get a job to be self-sufficient.

In my twenties I still had passion and believed in everyone. I still try today to hold to some of that naïve thinking when I am working with a client on a project. If you can see it you can achieve it. I hold to this because for the most part it never failed me. I have failed me!  Owning my own failings have helped me see I can overcome my own errors.

I think this philosophy I hold has been passed down to only one of three children. One really took it and two did not. the one that has this attitude is a trail blazer and is willing to reinvent her road just like me. The other two tend to question things and then talk themselves out of what they want. I wonder where I got this attitude from? I have traced it back to my husband Bryan and a neighbor women who was more like a mother to me in my twenties.

Betty was the nosey neighbor who came to see who was cleaning up the worst house in town. Sally Slegar and Betty Garrett showed up with chocolate chip cookies and forever changed my life. Both were retired and wanting to revitalize our town. They could not wait to share with me about the Better Community Group that they were forming. Of course they wanted me involved. I am sure that I was rolling my eyes at the idea of me being involved in a community group!

Betty had been a Ranchers wife and after her husband passed she went back to school and got her degree to teach school. Betty never had children but she had Fostered when she was young on the ranch. She spoke of her experience and told me that it was a way to give back to children who did not have a family to take care of them. Because of Betty my husband and I later fostered. When Betty met me I was just staying home and we were living on a very tight budget. She told me that I needed to be the best wife by making sure I had a meal on the table for Bryan and our daughter every night and to make sure to keep the home and garden. I remember thinking how “old-fashioned” she was. Then I visited her at her home. WOW!

Wow is the only way I can still today describe this home. She had asked me to assist in serving for a tea she was hosting at her home for the ladies auxiliary. I had never seen dishes nor a table set the way she set her table. It was life changing. the fine dishes, linen napkins, fresh flowers. The silver set that she had me pour the tea from was heavy. The smell of scones and fruit salad. I had never seen blueberries or strawberries in February with water melon. She had it shipped in special for her event. Today all these fruits are available year round but not in 1985 in Nebraska. I remember asking her why did she not make another salad and she said that “You should always show your guests they are worthy by going above and beyond!” This has stayed with me all of my life.

In my twenties I really did not see myself making friends with a women in her seventies. When I married my husband I remember thinking my mother in law and father in law seemed so old. I am just a little bit older today then my mother in law was back in 1984.

When I was in my twenties God sent me a gift in these women who got to be part of my life experience. Betty challenged me and made me feel like being a stay at home mother was important. She made me see that I needed to think outside myself. To put my husband and daughter first. To care about my yard and my home. to put my best forward. She taught me to look to the future and that I could do what ever I wanted to do.

Betty got sick! I loved Betty so much. I remember praying that if she passed away that God would let me know. Betty had been moved to a nursing home after being diagnosed with liver cancer. She was so upset and had told me I do not want to die of cancer. The night she passed I set up in bed and woke my husband. I told him Betty was gone. Bryan comforted me and told me to go back to sleep. I remember looking at the clock it was 11:20 PM. At mid night Frank her nephew called me to let me know that she had passed away at 11:20 PM.

I know that God is huge and when we love one another we get human experiences that are unexplainable. It is pure grace. Betty loved me so much and I loved her I think it was Betty letting me know that she was gone.

I feel her love when I am stressed about something and start doubting myself. I here that voice saying “YOU can do this!” We all need cheerleaders in our lives and we need to recognize them.

 

 

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Our daughters have had the pleasure of attending school in a farm community where God has placed Julie Black in our lives. Julie worked very hard with our middle daughter to challenge her to fill out applications for scholarships. Julie has been a voice with both our middle and youngest daughters. She does not agree with them just because they would like her too. She will give them solid advice. At times I think the girls have not appreciated her.

Just like Betty, who in my twenties was, glad to tell me that I was wrong. She challenges our youngest who has high anxiety.   She gets her to see that she can! She has celebrated each of their victories.  She has expressed concern when it was necessary. Julie is a life changing woman who I am so glad God placed in our children’s lives.  A true cheerleader.

In my fifties I would love to tell Betty today how much she influenced m.  I am so thankful that she was part of my life experience. I wish I could show her how I set our table for guests, What type of wife and mother I grew into. Take time to be old-fashioned. Write a note of thanks when you can. show others they matter because they do!