Deuteronomy 5:16     Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you

Deuteronomy 6:6-7     These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.

Psalm 78:4     We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord his power, and the wonders he has done.

Psalm 127:3     Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Proverbs 17:6     Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

Proverbs 22:6     Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 29:17     Discipline your children, and they will give you peace: they will bring you the delights you desire.

Ephesians 6:4     Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord 

1 Timothy 5:8     Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  

Titus 2:7     In everything set them an example by doing what is good.

3 John 1:4     I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

 

During part of the years we lived in Germany, both sons moved back to join us when their Dad was diagnosed with cancer and needed treatments.  There was very little American TV since 23 lived on the economy, so it was either German shows, or we rented VCR (yes, a LONG time ago) movies.  Most of what the American facilities had were comedies like Dumb and Dumber, Major Payne, Animal House and so forth.  Seeing them once was just fine for me; I did not need to see them more frequently yet, that is the type of humor in movies my sons and husband loved.  And each time they watched one of those comedies, no matter how often they had seen it, they all giggled like it was the initial time they were hearing the line and seeing the silliness.  You have no idea how often I thanked God that the boys were there to watch these and entertain my husband, so I could be buried in a book, deafening out the comedy.

While there, one son worked for the motor pool on base, while the other worked for the Commissary (the grocery store for American on base).  Many people interacted with one or the other of us in our separate work environments.  I worked at the base medical clinic. 

It was almost daily that one or two of the patients in the clinic would spot my name tag, then asked if I had a son working at the commissary, or at the motor pool.  What a pleasure to hear these people say what a hard, helpful worker he was—did not matter who they were discussing, the consensus was the same.  The boys were polite, hard workers and very helpful.  At the time, both were in their early 20’s.  What a wonderful reassurance that we had raised good young men!  It was a delight to hear the praises these strangers shared with me, and after the interaction, I would just tell God how thankful I was that He had guided our steps while raising these kids and He had apparently helped us make more right decisions than wrong.  It was a blessing to hear that my children were respected for their hard working and polite work ethics.  But all the glory and thanks went to God. 

We had combined our family when the three kids were thirteen, fourteen and fifteen.  My husband had been a single parent when his first wife walked out leaving him with a two- and four-year-old.  We met when the kids were all just entering teen years; Becky was 12, Scott 13, and Justin 14.  The boys were just 7 months apart.   How blessed we were to have three teens come together, wanting to be family, and always treating one another as such.  My biological son was moving to Germany—uprooting him from all he knew.  But, because this was God’s path for us, it all went smoothly.   

Hearing so many compliments I was afraid I might feel arrogant and prideful.  But as I was proud that my sons were good men and workers, it was easy to remember this was all God and His direction for our family. Both boys also worked at a family Gasthaus close to where we lived.  They would work in the kitchen helping prep food, wash dishes, and whatever needed to be done.  In the Fall they would help make Schnaps with the gentleman who owned the Gasthaus.  Herr Rauser was a gruff man, not at all fond of Americans, but as we frequented the Gasthaus often, we were visible and able to change his mind a bit.   

We would all gather the fruit early in the mornings from the fields.  Although, the man they worked with was not fond of most Americans— he did enjoy my sons.  He had seen how they worked at the Gasthaus (which he owned), saw how we all picked up fruit and turned it over to him, and the boys would follow his directions—much only understood through miming of the motions, but the three of them worked well together; and Herr Rauser gained a better appreciation of a culture he had deemed as all unworthy.   In all truthfulness, I think during World War II, Herr Rauser was a mid teen to a young 20-something.  A very tough time in that country and growing with a war, fighting, and lies being told, and he developed a disdain toward Americans.   His heart softened some, at least toward my family–another way to show love to others and soften hearts.

God helped us raise our three children to be hard working, competent adults, good and generous people.  I am blessed and thankful for who they are as adults.  Even without knowing they are my own children, I would be pleased to meet and respect these people.   Thank You, God for always guiding our steps and blessing me with these wonderful adult children.  You have always been there for me and ‘mybellaviews.’

 

 

 

As I was choosing different verses, I found many under self, self-control, self-indulgence as well as selfish, so I chose a bunch feeling confident they all are pertinent.

Joshua 7:1     The Lord had said that everything in Jericho belonged to Him.   But Achan from the Judah tribe took some of the things from Jericho for himself.  And so the Lord was angry with the Israelites, because one of them had disobeyed him.

Psalm 119:36     Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!

Matthew 23:25     “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.”

Romans 2:8     but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.   

Galatians 5:23-24    ….gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Philippians 2:3-4     Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

2 Timothy 3:1-2     But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

James 3:14-16     But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

James 5:5     You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence.  You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

1 Peter 4:7     The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 

 

Free choice was one of the gifts God gave to humans, and because we are just so selfish and sure of our choices and ability to run our own lives, we sin.  We are primarily selfish, and selfish people want what they want when they want it.  And few stop and think of consequences for their choices.  Primarily, they think they are always able to make the right—or at least the desired–choice of the moment, and there will be no consequences.  Eventually, the choices they make do have consequences—oftentimes, with a payment that is so very costly.  It may be a drunk driver driving and causing the death to persons in another car, or what about when the cost is more personal?  The cost of the lives of their children and spouse?  And the people who think their choice of once or twice trying an illegal and potent drug and get addicted and cannot pull their way out of the quicksand and mire of that addiction, wallowing in their own and others’ filth just for the next hit of the drug?   There are so many ways, even much less radical examples of how selfish choices can lead to consequences which are costly.  Even Cat Stevens sang a song about the consequences of working so much, a relationship with children was gone, spent.

Selfishness is a form of self-love.  It is the belief that filling whatever you desire will bring you happiness, but that is usually not the case.   Actually, selfishness is at the root of all sin.  Eve selfishly wanted the fruit from the forbidden tree.  Cain selfishly wanted God’s favor. Achan spotted and selfishly wanted the silver and other items he saw when the Israelites went in and tried to conquer, and God saw and they lost that battle.  Achan and his entire family and belongings fell into the ground when God caused it to open, then close over,  the rich man looking up to Abraham seeing a man who had been poor and abused now in heaven… Selfishness and self-indulgence costs.

Human beings for the most part tend to be selfish creatures.  I think, without learning to curb our selfish, immediate gratification desires, we are at the bottom of the food chain.  Most animals will feed until satisfied.  Large cats who kill and eat will not gorge until the hunted is totally gone.  They will eat until satisfied, saving the remainder for the next feed.  The same with most other animals.  It is just humans who will abuse what they have, overfilling because of being selfish.  It may be in buying the newest model of phone, computer, tv, outfit or whatever.  But we seem to be always “hungry” and searching for something to fill that selfish hole.

Once we find and meet Jesus, that hole feels less empty.  Our wants and desires seem less overwhelming.  Of course, we still have the physical need of nourishment, but we learn to better determine the cost or waiting vs immediate purchase of material things.  We may still want something that may not be in our best interest, but the closer we walk with Jesus, the better we are at waiting for it to come at the right time—IF it is even His will to have it.

Do we really need a brand-new phone when the one we have is a year old and working fine?  Do we need a bigger, newer model television to fill up the wall space when the one we have shows a good clear picture and is working well?  Those are desires, but not always wise choices to purchase.  Do we need a new vehicle, or just desire one?  Those may not be the most sensible choices, and surely show some selfish tendencies.  And there are consequences—paying for these items, sometimes over time can cause some shortages in your weekly or monthly allowance. 

Frequently, filling our selfish desires has consequences that become costly.  It may look like one can afford that new 86” TV, but then your transmission goes out and you need tires—your vehicle unable to pass inspection because those tires are so rundown.  When experiencing the pull of fulfilling a selfish desire, we sometimes do not stop and consider what the cost might be.  That is just filling the desire with immediate gratification; much like children who rip open packaging on toys and do not spend more than five minutes playing with them.  Desire filled, so pleased for a moment, and DONE.  But the bills are due, the cost still needs to be paid.  Do you l feel confident the item you purchased is worth the price you paid or are paying?

I have read some about Mother Teresa.  She seemed to be selfless, always giving, serving and loving, and hugging others who most disdained and found disgusting, dirty, diseased and they feared them.  She was seen loving people, and always wore a warm, loving, peaceful smile.  Her touch was real and close, not distant, fearful and judgmental.  From the media depictions of this woman, there seemed to be no selfishness in her.  She appeared to love the way Jesus did while He walked this earth. 

We all have selfish tendencies.  I have found, thankfully, that I can wait and ask God if what I want NOW is what I should purchase now, or to wait.  Or, show me if I need it at all.  It is not always easy for me to walk away when told ‘no’ but I have.  I will admit, while leaving the store parking lot without the item, some relief creeps in as I realize it was a want, not a need, and I seem to want it less as I leave the parking area.  That is a Holy Spirit awakening and reaffirming and I am grateful. 

The more I walk with Him, the more I want to do what is right.  It used to be “easy” to find an excuse and commit the sin, pushing the niggling discomfort of sinning away.  I do not even want to do that any longer.  There may be times of disappointment for a short while, but doing what He has asked gives me more pleasure.  When I purposely chose to do what I wanted, regardless of the warning to not do it, I suffered for several days, sometimes a few weeks.  Disobedience comes with a price.  Sometimes it is that nagging pall of guilt, sometimes it is the financial penalty, sometimes it turns into unhappiness with the object. I don’t do that any longer.  He is unhappy at my disobedience, and I cannot rest well when I have disobeyed.  The cost is too great for me.

So, thankfully, over time, many of my sinful yearnings and cravings have diminished.  That is one of the wonderful things of walking with Him, listening to the Holy Spirit’s prodding—and then obeying.

Thank You, God, for persistently steering me onto the path of obedience when I strove to do things in my selfish manner.  I feel much better when I walk away from a selfish desire and follow the path You have set for me and ‘mybellaviews.’.

 

“If we want an increase of Christ, there must be a decrease of self.”

Of all the four letter words, self is the worst.

Selfishness is the essence of sin.

                         All quotes from “The Complete Book of Zingers”  Croft M. Pentz, 1990  Tynsdale House Publishing, Inc, Wheaton, IL, pages 273-275

 

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 6:6     Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!  Without having a chief, or officer, or ruler, she prepares her b read in summer and gathers food in harvest.

Proverbs 10:4-5     A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.  He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.

Proverbs 12:11      Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.

Proverbs 14:28     All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty

Proverbs 13:4     The soul of the lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Proverbs 19:15     Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.

Ecclesiastes 9:10     Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

Ecclesiastes 10:18     Because of laziness, the building decays, and through idleness of hands, the house leaks.

Ephesians 4:28     Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

Colossians 3:23-24     Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 3:10     If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

 

I like to be busy, not crazy active so that I fear something that is important falls through the cracks or gets overlooked when I say, “I will do that next after this project.”  It’s important for me to review all the things I completed at the end of the day.  If I find something not completed on my mental review, I get a little nervous and anxious, especially if it is an important task that needed to be completed that day.  Usually, if I find something not done, I can add it to the next day’s list, no harm, no foul.

I tend to write down the things I plan to do in a day.  It helps with organizing my time, especially if I have a lot of outside errands.  But I find I can be lazy and lackadaisical without a list.  Tend to then to only have 2-3 things I would like to start or finish those days, so it is easy to keep pushing the time later to begin them.  Exercise and using the rowing machine was supposed to start December 21 after my brother put it together.  And I liked using a rowing machine years ago when I was going to the gym often.   Today is January 18, and I still have not used it.  Tomorrow is a busy day, but possibly Saturday it will get some use. 

I don’t take the time or put in the energy to do time on the machine and burn some calories.  Or is it lazy.  A big part of me does believe it is laziness when it comes to exercising.  Why?  Not sure why.  There’s a desire to get in better shape, to get the heart rate increased, to burn calories, to improve muscle tone, to feel as though I am doing something that is positive for my health and looks.

According to some of the research I did, both laziness and workaholic tendencies stem from the same cause—self-worship.  In an article that appeared in crossway.org  the article entitled “The Idolatry of Spiritual Laziness” December,21, 2011.  Oftentimes, especially with workaholics, these people work so hard because of low self-esteem, low confidence, and the need to achieve status and success.   When one thinks of lazy persons, we see self-indulgent, maybe self-worship.  But the article said also self-esteem issues. . .  Hmm, Okay, well maybe. 

If one has low self-esteem it is harder to get out and continue to walk the streets looking for a job and feeling as though at SOME one of the doors you walk through you might be successful.  It is harder and harder to walk through the doors presenting your resume and trying to get someone of authority to see you as a person who would benefit their company.  Someone with very low self-esteem would have a difficult time the longer they looked for a position, and the more they might have been turned down for a position. 

Both workaholic and lazy persons, especially unemployed can hurt their families.  Workaholics believe they are benefiting their family, and themselves.  They will be making more money, allowing more benefits and material things for themselves and their families.  They can excuse the fact they are not WITH their family, they are supplying “stuff” for themselves and their families.  Their children will have opportunities to play all the expensive sports—there is no longer neighborhood games of pickup, baseball, touch football, or basketball or whatever.  Remember the good ol’ days of playing for fun instead of competition in all manners. 

Certainly, more pressure on parents to supply the teams to play whatever sports, or dance classes, or gymnastics, or whatever skill wants to be promoted.  Lots of money now goes to organized sports for these children which seems to me to add to the competition and pressures, and certainly on the parents to supply the costs of the children to play—and with numerous children, certainly the costs are multiplied. 

My daughter and her husband spend a lot of time taking one child to this soccer practice/match, and one of the other two to another field or court and so on.  Sometimes, between the three children, all three are playing on different fields within an hour of one another.  Pressure for the funds, pressure to ensure all three get to the proper field/team, and pressure for the kids to play the best game, have the proper uniforms and with growing bodies, socks that are high enough, shoes that fit well, and all the other aspects of the uniforms.  And when the game or practice is finished, then homework and the pressures of getting satisfying grades.

I didn’t feel those pressures playing on the neighborhood teams.  I was not the best athlete, and for me it was just fun, not pressure, not stress, just a bunch of kids I cared about all playing and sharing a game and having fun.

I wonder about the pressure that workaholics have.  Keep working, don’t share vacations with family, but supply them with the good time, minus the workaholic, him or herself.    It seems to be there is a wider separation between folks now.  The folks who are lazy feel less and less, and their feelings of low self-esteem seem to grow larger and larger, while the workaholics seem to work harder to gain more and more, to get the accolades of being a ‘great hard worker’ and to supplying for his family and others with all the pleasures they could want—even if they cannot share in the quality time with others.

Again, we have to look at the reason we have who we think are “justifiable” sins because we are doing the best for family, supplying extras for them, and so forth.  While the lazy ones feel they are not the best to supply their family with even the regular needs, never mind the extras, and they center their thoughts on their selfish and low self-esteem and their stress increases feeling they are not good providers, they are not supplying enough for their family, and make it plain “there is not enough money. . .” 

I have lazy moments at times, but thankfully I do work and take care of my responsibilities.  And, since retirement, I do not have to be in competition.  God does not want us to be lazy and not pulling our own weight in projects that need to be done.  He has given us unique skills to be better at certain tasks and accomplishing goals. 

Thank You, Lord, that You have equipped me with certain skills, and I am therefore able to finish the task that needs to be accomplished.  You have supplied me with what I need and guided me and ‘mybellaviews.’

 

Genesis 1: 14     Beloved, times and seasons are in My hand.  They have been firmly rooted and I marked them. . . I set them in order with the Word of My mouth.   (unsure of which version was used for this article)    And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heaves to separate the day from the night.  And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years.  (ESV)  

Genesis 8:22     While the Earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.

Psalm 104:19     I appointed the moon for the seasons and the sun itself knows the exact time of its setting.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2     For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die: a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;  

Jeremiah 5:24     They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, and the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest 

Daniel 2:21    God changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

Acts 1:7     He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.

Acts 14:17     Yet He did not leave himself without witness, for He did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

 

I never liked winter.  It was dark so early, and stayed dark until later in the morning.  The New England winters seemed to hug cloudy, foggy, gray mornings not wanting to have the sun peek through and lift the gloom.  There were several activities I liked doing in the winter—skating, sledding, tobogganing, reading and so forth. 

Those days had winter play clothes stuffed with stuffing making one a contestant for the Michelin Man or Pillsbury Doughboy Contests.  Your knees couldn’t truly bend, your elbows certainly did not have a full range of motion, and certainly one could not play any game that required one to sneak up on another.  The wisp, wisp, wisp of the nylon leggings ensured that.   Falling off a flying saucer or a regular sled made climbing into an upright position to drag it back to the top of the hill a laughing experience.

So, I did have a lot of fun times.  But the gloom gripped me.  Always, I had an underlying anxiety during the winter.  I worried my parents would be in a car accident, I was persistently checking my schoolwork—had I completed the assignment?  Was the paper in my book bag?  My mind whirred with “stuff.”  I chose to go to bed earlier since it was so dark and the nights were longer, and I had an electric blanket on my bed.  It seemed I needed more comfort all the time in the winter—my blanket, warm socks and slippers, and flannel pjs that were snug at the ankle because I had the pants creeping as high up as my knees.   We had a couple chihuahuas and I worried about them being out in the cold, sometimes holding up one paw at a time to lessen the cold seeping into them.  We also had a large mutt, and he preferred sleeping on the porch, but when it was below freezing we would encourage him in. 

I must admit the first two snowstorms were pretty, watching the snowflakes tumble down in front of the streetlight, but it also meant we would be putting on those coats and snow pants that prohibited easy movement to go shovel again before our father came in from work at midnight.  UGH!

But eventually, about February I could tell the days were getting a little brighter.  The brightness brought hope and a lessening of the gloomy feeling that I struggled with in the dead of winter.

When we moved here, it was January, and noticeably brighter.  Now I know it is because sunrise comes later to the northeast by 30-45 minutes depending on the month, and sunset is earlier.  Compared to our area of NC, we have about 75-90 minutes more of daylight, and according to the calendars I have recorded over the last seven years, we have more days of sun—maybe not a full day, but at least a half day of sunshine often. 

Physically and emotionally, I feel better here.  It is generally warmer than New England, although not always, but I can start most days out with a brisk walk, maybe chilly, but generally the walk gets done.  I start feeling hopeful right after Christmas—we are past the shortest day of the year, and checking my weather app, it shows we gain 1-2 minutes more of daylight, slightly earlier sunrise, slightly later sunset, and by the end of January, I know Spring will be presenting flowers, colors, buds on trees, and the birds will be singing and praising the day. 

One of the other things I enjoy about winter in NC is seeing the Northern Lights Grass—a decorative grass that in the late Fall, early Winter waves and looks pink-lavender in color; and then shortly after Christmas, my camellia bushes blossom.

I know God designed winter for a time of rest for the land, for the plants that come from various bulbs, and for the farmers, giving them time to do house repairs, repair equipment needed to care for their livestock whether it be bridles, leads, repairing fencing or whatever.  It gives fisherman some down time to repair nets, clean up boats, repaint, get barnacles off if needed, and so forth.  God designed winter to we could rest, read around a fire during family time and look forward to the newness that comes with Spring.  There are flowers, new birds, new life sprouting in vegetation and in animals—best time to see those new fawns on trembly legs with white spots.

The Fall here is not drastically pretty like the week or so in New England.  The colors are not vibrant, except for the Bradford pear trees.  They are lovely in the early Spring with their white blossoms, but in the Fall they are RED, and the color stays for a bit more than 1-2 weeks.   It is a slow advance toward winter and less light, while for me in NE, it was by October I was anxious and feeling burdened.

I am so thankful that my winters are now in NC.  Glancing at the weather app and checking the areas where family are and seeing the late sunrise and early sunset makes me feel badly for them and they all know if I am there in any part of December, I will be gone December 5, right after my granddaughter’s birthday!

Lord, You knew the best place to put us when You moved us here.  There are four seasons here, but the winters are milder and still has more daylight shining.  And You know I love the other three seasons; each of them give me pleasure.

                                                                                                                                           

Thank You that birds are starting to sing and flirt, and the days are shining more light longer, and the cycle starts again.  You have shown me how to appreciate winter more over these past 25 years or so, and I am so grateful.  Always You are there for me and ‘mybellaviews.’

Psalms 9:10       Those who trust in Your name trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You

Psalms 28:7     The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore; my heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.      

Proverbs 3:5-6     my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise Him.  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths.        

Proverbs 16:9       A man’s heart plans his ways, but the LORD directs his steps.

Matthew 6:31-33     Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Romans 12:2     And do not be transformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

2 Timothy 4:18      The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.  To him be glory for ever and ever. 

James 1:5     If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

 

Many of you may know I lost my Gmail account last week.  It certainly caused some stuttering of my heart rate. “What?  This must be wrong.  Did I open something wrong?’  I closed out Gmail, re-opened and got the same results.  I know the good Lord only gives you so many heartbeats in a lifetime, and although I have no idea how many I have, the rapid pace was eating at the final number.  Okay, better reboot the computer.  That should fix it. . . It very definitely did not.

I have an old computer I don’t use much anymore, but opened the Gmail program there, and no contacts.  Yikes!  Now what?!  My anxiety was escalating, and I have no computer know-how, but I do have the comfort of the good Lord, and He has worked with me on getting anxious and frustrated.  I am in His hands and He can fix/find/heal all. 

I opened my yahoo account which has copies of most of the things I have from other places.  YES! A copy of the WOW addresses.  It was dated September.  After the last two Heathers joined us, had anyone else come in that this copy did not have?  I still would not be able to write the prayer requests from Gmail—would folks be leery of opening an email with the yahoo address?  The women who have been with the group for a while would recognize it, but. . .

About that time, my neighbor texted suggesting we sit around her firepit for an hour or so.  Sounded like a good idea.  I said a prayer, asking God to fix and heal my computer since I needed to get the prayer requests out and had NO idea of how to restore my Gmail account.

I leashed my dog and walked across the street.  I told her of the problem—she knows as much—or as little—as I do about computers, so had no suggestions.  For the next hour or so we all sat outside enjoying the fire and the clear evening, chatting about whatever, I did not worry about the computer issue. 

Back in the house, I picked up the laptop, again sent a prayer asking God for some guidance, and opened Gmail.   Pressing “compose” to start a new email again showed NO contacts.  I sat looking at the opening page of the email formation, and this time noticed a ‘Merge and Fix’ and something else about contacts.  I pressed merge and fix, but that was to combine information that may have had two separate entries.  Since there were no contacts, that did not help.  I googled information via my phone, and some of the directions were not showing as they were written, but there seemed to be a little hope, I might be able to retrieve something—at least get a direction.

The bottom entry under the ‘Merge and Fix’ area said ‘Trash.’  Tentatively, I pressed that thinking everything on the computer would “poof” into cyber space—wherever that is.  Instead, it opened an area that had my contacts.  There was one heading that said ‘Deleted’ and they each had the date of Jan 18, 2024.  “What?  I didn’t do anything to delete contacts from my laptop.”   No, no, I hadn’t removed from my laptop.

Then, my gracious Lord reminded me I had decided to get rid of a Samsung tablet since I had never been able to get the apps I wanted from google store that I had on my iphone.  I had removed all personal data, reset to factory settings, and it probably said something like “This will remove all data from…” And I pressed okay as I wanted all data removed from the tablet.  But it removed all Gmail data also from my laptop. 

The next heading read ‘’delete” and the last one read “restore.”  YES!  Restore!  I brought all the folks in I could remember, conscious I had to still write up the prayer requests and send them off. 

Thankfully, I live alone as I was praising God and giggling all the while.  I think He has a teasing personality and over the years has taught me not to be anxious and stressed.  I am sure I would have been locked in a crazy home if someone had heard me, but God fixed my computer because I asked, prayed for it, and believed, well, mostly believed.  There was a small part that thought I would have to do the best I could with the old computer. 

I know this is not a huge issue to anyone but me, yet He was there for something that was a problem that I had no idea how to fix, I asked, and while with neighbors mostly let it go, and then came home and the steps were fairly easy to get the program resolved.  I am quite sure He too was chuckling or at least smiling at my pleasure, as I was giggling like a loon and thanking Him.

Thank You, God.  You have guided me to depend on You, to turn to You and You will handle things in the best manner possible.  I need only ask, then let go and You will guide my steps.  I am so different following Your lead over the past few years than I was thinking I was in charge.  So again, I thank You and praise You for all You have done for me and ‘mybellaviews.’

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