Glad Game #16 ~ Add a Sister, and Magnifying Glass

Silly pic…I’m either getting braver, or sleep-deprived😉

Here we are, another Friday…which, as well as signaling the holiday weekend (USA), usually means a table of Glad Game players!  If you’re new here, the Glad Game originated with Pollyanna, star of that great classic book about the girl who unfailingly found something to be glad about—thankful for—in life’s less than perfect situations.  So, here’s my list.

a) I’m thankful I have a magnifying glass.  I bought it ages ago…figuring I’d need it “Someday”, and Someday’s definitely arrived🙂  It’s not too scratched, as I keep it in a plastic sandwich bag.  I don’t know what surprises me more:  that “normal” print/font size seems so small—or that I got old and sufficiently impaired to notice it, frown, squint, and dig out the magnifying glass!  Oh well.

b) Thankful the ‘stomach issue’ is improved…I think it’s yet another “ageing deal” (our systems become more delicate, sensitive to “abuse”) which definitely puts The Face on me (scowl).  For crying to Pete, I should be able to eat Doritos and Queso Dip all night long if I want to… no??  Anyway, I’m trying to eat smaller, more frequent “meals”.  Good thing I had a surplus of unsweetened applesauce—it was like manna for a few days there🙂

c)  I’m beyond glad and grateful to have a new gal pal!  We met on the blogs back in 2011, but just recently connected on Facebook—she was so glad to see me, which made my heart dance!  But wait, there’s MORE!  Apparently her computer died, and she could hardly manage any contact with the outside world through usual means…so I emailed our mutual friend to get a USPS address for her, thinking to send her a note (translation: novelette); our friend happily obliged—and gave me a phone number too. 

Imagine my delight when I called her and discovered how similar we are—like me, she’s a talker who doesn’t come up for air!  So now God has made good on His promise:  the Bible says He’ll give us ‘double for our trouble’*, restore what ‘the locusts devoured’**.  Thus, the 2 sisters I’ve lost to “estrangement”—have now been replaced with like-minded “faith-sisters”.  It was a good day…color me blessed

d) Thankful to get the month’s bills paid…some people hate paying bills, so it’s one more proof I’m crazy, because I sincerely enjoy it.  There’s that rush of accomplishment…and confirmation that I’m a “responsible adult” (you’d have to know the backstory to appreciate that, which I’m not sharing today)🙂

e) However, I will give you some backstory to my next “grateful”.  If you’ve read the novel, The Cider House Rules, by John Irving, you may remember that the protagonist, “Homer”, was an orphan raised in an orphanage by the director, “Dr Larch”, and a couple nurses.  Being older than the other children he was not successfully adopted, but happily grew up there and followed the rule that he “be of use” (a worthy goal for everyone).  That phrase stuck with me after reading the book (also made into a movie). 

Though I was undeniably forced to be of use to my family, growing up, I don’t recall believing anything I did—then, or later in life—was particularly worthy or notable.

So, it’s kind of an odd blessing that blogging seems to have given me a purpose of sorts.  I view myself as having been “called” to be an “Encourager”, which gives me great satisfaction.  That’s the long answer to why I was praying with tearful thanksgiving the other night, telling God I appreciate that He would see fit to make me “of use” in this worldwide niche.

f) On that note, I’ll wrap things up by reminding my reader-family how thankful I am for all of you.  It’s not about stats, for me—but rather that many of you allow me into your lives (and hearts) through your writing, and the curious connection of the Comment boxes.  I hold you all close in my prayers each day…wanting only the best for each of you, and your families.

g) Lord God, I’m immeasurably grateful You’ve brought me through another week…without me completely losing my mind, though the stresses of this crazy season have not abated.  You keep me in the palm of Your hand, gently gripped by Your grace—and that is sufficient for all my needs. 

I choose to trust You, and to stand tall and bold as I proclaim Your goodness here—and I believe You’ll make your Presence real to these dear people who visit my world…bless them in miraculous ways ~ Amen.

Alright-y then, y’all have a good weekend!!🙂 Rhen

*Job 42:10, “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” New King James Version

**Joel 2:25, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…” King James Bible

Full Disclosure:  The Cider House Rules is a work of fiction which deals with the subject of abortion, among others.

Glad Game #15 ~ Small Changes, Big Benefits

Well, maybe you noticed I was not here to play the Glad Game last week (20 lashes with a wet noodle!).  I wasn’t lacking in gratitude exactly…just having an ‘overwhelmed’ week.  So, I’ll do my best to make up for it today😉  

For any newbies, the Glad Game originated with Pollyanna, whose classic story entertained and taught many as she set the example of “finding something to be glad about” in unpleasant circumstances.  Here we go!

a) I’m glad and grateful readers have shown great interest in my character “Bedelia”, star of the 6-Sentence Story serial (weekly “word prompt” is hosted by Denise ).  Perked up, I’m encouraged to continue the saga😊

b) Thankful for my recently acquired ‘super fan’…goodness, it’s powerful!  (And surprisingly not over-loud, a bonus-blessing)  So powerful that I had to move it the other night, lest it blow all my hair off while I tried to sleep in the whirlwind.  Glad the area temps haven’t surpassed my ability to tolerate heat…yours truly hasn’t melted yet😉

c) Grateful my fave pharmacist said I still had Rx refills available to process, hurray!  Now, I just have to motivate myself to don mask—mandatory as of today—and walk to the store.  Noncompliance is a misdemeanor fine or jail time…if I should forget it, I doubt the county will let me post from the clink, since I can’t afford bail.  Orange, “the new black”…not my color.

d) Thankful I’m not as stupid as I sometimes self-assess.  As I was spiraling down, I wondered if I should abandon blogging (at least temporarily).  When I reach this stage, my usual mode is “get busy, physically”.  But it was too warm to clean house (and we won’t mention that exercise equipment I moved back to the bedroom).  Even small changes in routine are considerably beneficial. 

My options, aside from a “blog siesta”, were to read a book or 3, and/or do jigsaw puzzles.  I tidied the bookshelves and found a couple books that looked worthy—and, not wanting to put the leaf in the dining table, located the box of 500-550-piece puzzles. 

I LOVE jigsaw puzzles, and think they’re the remedy for much that ails you.  So I set aside the books, turned off the laptop…and lost myself in a colorful puzzle until sunny daylight.  Slept better, and woke up with a calmer, more hopeful perspective.

e) As always, I finish my gratitudes with a shout out to my readers…who truly are a wonderful family.  Thank you for making my day, everyday 🙂

f) And a public declaration of my beyond-grateful love for God, without Whom I wouldn’t be here.  I don’t believe in coincidences…there’s too much evidence of the Lord’s big and little miracles throughout each week.  His faithful love dusts off the “bleak” and doldrums. 

I’m ever astounded that He pays attention to smallest details, and reassures me that He’s in charge of mole hills and mountains—they’re NOT my job.  Hallelujah!  I praise Him because he’s Sovereign, mighty, “good Father”, and Good Shepherd who guides me on the path He’s set before me.

As we greet another weekend—may you feel God’s presence and receive His abundant blessingsRhen

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations,  2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Glad Game #11 ~ No-Excuses O’Mercy😉

Hello Glad-Gamers!  Happily we’ve made it to another weekend, the world still turning despite life’s vagaries.  For the benefit of new visitors, the Glad Game originated in the classic children’s book, Pollyanna—about the girl who wisely learned early to look for the positive in any less-than situation (or person) and be “glad”. 

I discovered, “better late than never”, that gratitude is key to maintaining soul’s contentment.  So, here’s my list this week.

a) Spurred on by inspiring followers, I decided it was time to “get physical” with my partner, “O’Mercy” (treadmill, pictured above).  It’s manual, can’t be too dangerous…and due to space constraints it’s parked in the living room, partially beneath the “blessed” dining table.  I realized last night that, if needed, I can briefly rest my butt against the table edge.  Gratitude🙂

b) And I’m thankful to have thought ahead and ordered a super fan (it even matches the black treadmill).  This was divine inspiration, as my primary complaint regarding physical exercise is sweating—“ladies don’t sweat, they glow”, so the saying goes…but I sweat, and it’s icky.  So I’ll crank up the fan as I walk my way to better health…if not a svelte new figure🙂

c) Grateful also for the Public Utility Dept’s free calendar.  Pretty ones adorn the walls, this one’s plain/practical, where I’ll record each day’s time ‘communing’ with O’Mercy—minutes, maybe step count.  Last night was Day 1…the clock said 9:20 pm, I figured I could go 10 minutes.  Hah!  I managed 5—better than zero.  Perhaps I’ll do 5 min/day for a few days, till the old-bod recovers from shock🙂 

According to saved calendar, I purchased O’Mercy in September 2014…uh-huh…it was Full Moon, and I was gung-ho for 10 days before the novelty wore off.  I did 20-30 min/day, sweating like a farm animal—a fair cardio workout.  That was 6 years ago, I think I’ll take a more reasonable approach this time.

d) FYI, there will be NO discussion of dieting at this juncture.  The idea is not to kill myself all at once🙂   Last night I ate like there’d be no Tomorrow…who knows?

e) Although the “zoom” meeting on Wednesday failed, I’m thankful the facilitator had a back-up plan, i.e., 3-way conference phone call.  I’ve owned 2 Lenovo laptops with microphone issues:  they say they have internal microphones…perhaps it’s “operator failure” (nothing I attempted to tweak helped one iota).  Easily frustrated and discouraged, I frowned the rest of the day.

However, the third party (not facilitator) also experienced difficulty (she had audio, no video), so I didn’t feel entirely like a tech-osaurus–and we did accomplish the meeting’s purpose.  Stress/irritability aside, I’m glad and grateful.  I may order an external microphone…in case life requires more zooming while we all await Corona’s end.

f) I’m a happy-thankful-camper to have checked off “laundry done”, and “grocery trip without incident”…and I remain pleased with furniture rearrangement, though I forget I’ve moved certain things.  The plus side:  more steps accumulated as I backtrack…if I walk while pondering!

g) Beyond grateful…I recalled where I’d squirreled away an adapter plug, for use with new fan and extension cord.

h) Greatly thankful for intermittent rain showers…a nearby homeowner lights frequent bonfires in his yard…smoke fills up my apartment.  I’m grateful for sympathetic email replies from local Fire District person.  Difficulty breathing is distressing.

i) I’m enjoying an Amazon Prime trial, for speedier free-shipping and Prime Video.  This is a mixed blessing, as I’m a movie addict…which limits hours for such things as sleeping.  I multi-task, but it’s still time-consuming to scroll through movie menu for something worth watching.  So this may prove a “temporary thankful”.

j) As always, I’m more than grateful for God’s abundant considerations and provision—which include my blog family.  I think of, pray for you each day/night…particularly when I’m cooking/baking, wishing you could come over and feast!  Maybe someday in the “sweet by and by”.  For now, remember I’m holding you in my heart—and appreciate your thoughts throughout the week.

May God bless you hugely with His protection, provision and Presence of Peace, as we continue moving through this troubled season which “came to pass, not to stay!” 

Take courage, be of good cheer ~  Love, Auntie L💝

Text & photos: ©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Glad Game #6 ~ Rainbows In the House!

How the days rush by!  For newcomers, “Glad Game” comes from the book, Pollyanna—about the girl gifted to find positives in any situation.  So, as “it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, Mr Rogers”, here’s my list:

a) I’m grateful, greatly cheered by the prism in my west window.  Now that spring sunshine is present with increasing frequency and strength (there’s a message in there, surely), the small prism paints rainbows on walls and ceiling!

b) Very thankful my friend’s grandson entered the world pretty healthy, if a bit later than hoped🙂

c) I’m grateful my resilient spirit has not completely drained away, proving God’s Word is true:  He supplies unending “grace upon grace” for whatever we need. If you’re feeling at the end of your rope, just say, “More, please”🙂

d) Comcast is offering a bounty of free programming and “streaming”.  Not that I have excess time to slump in my chair for binge-watching*, but I’m thankful…as, pandemic constraints may last longer than April’s numerous poetry challenges.

e) Again, I must mention my readers…friends around the globe I’ll likely never meet (Comment Box is relatively virus-free).  Thank you, I embrace you from ‘safe afar’

f) *Admittedly, I’m a tough critic, but last night I watched a delightful film: “Finding Your Feet” (2017, starring Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley).  It’s billed as ‘romance/drama’, and offers authentic characters dealing with real issues that break the heart…yet you’re left satisfied, hopeful.  In this movie a character blooms… Uplifting. 

g) I’m deeply thankful for the power of prayer, and Holy Communion.  Pastor Joseph Prince (Singapore’s New Creation Church) encourages believers to “take Communion” daily to promote healing, wholeness, well-being.  There’s a short simple prayer, and you can use substitutes for “wafers & wine”.  A bag of oyster crackers lasts nearly forever, and I buy small bottles of Welch’s grape juice.  I find it beneficial

h) The chocolate cake I baked was just the Rx for brief meltdown…this melt-in-your-mouth moist treat was worth a grateful ‘hallelujah’.  It has no eggs, uses mayonnaise and dark cocoa powder.  I decrease the sugar, add some cinnamon, plus vanilla and orange extracts—if dessert has “flavor”, it doesn’t require copious amounts of sweetener.  No frosting needed, I even skipped the confectioner’s sugar on top.  Unless you have allergies, this cake will beg you to eat a 2nd piece…and I did🙂

i) Grateful for a doctor I like, and today’s phone “check-up”.  He graded me “A+” when I reported I’m doing well, considering stresses.

j) Finally, I thank the Lord and whoever invented Post-It notes!  Yellow sticky squares are now a necessary assist as the ageing brain abandons me with glee🙂

See y’all later–stay safe, be BLESSED Rhen

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Glad Game #4, Bookends, Etc

I’m glad I didn’t forget—in the flurry of April’s poetry celebration and prompts—that it’s time for another Glad Game’s list of gratitudes, á la Pollyanna!  Ready, set, go:

a) Grateful it’s April…spring is here and, in the Seattle area, we can look forward to brighter blue-sky, warmer sunny days (unless the rhyme about “April showers” holds true).

b) Thankful that the Internet is yet working and I’m still here with you, virtually.

c) Along with Spring, I’m grateful for April’s star-profile as National/Global Poetry Month.  I predict that hunkering down during Coronavirus will reap a crop of new poets trying their hands at writing verse (perhaps bored with games, movies, getting to know family and themselves, and heaven-forbid—books).

d) Thankful that a benefit of what my cousin calls “hibernating”, is more frequent phone visits🙂

e) Grateful for pastors (online/TV) who encourage us to pray and have hope…and “be of good courage”.  The pandemic is dangerous in ways besides severe illness and loss of life.  We can’t control Coronavirus, but we can choose how we think about things, regardless of our beliefs.

f) Over the weekend I was craving spice cake with cream cheese frosting.  I can honestly say I’m thankful the cake was not a success (combined 2 separate recipes)…cream cheese frosting on graham crackers is dreamy🙂

g) Grateful my new bookends arrived…I ordered a package of 4, and now have 33 books snugged between two of them.

h) For months, an old hymn’s melody played in my head…but I couldn’t recall lyrics or the title, to save my soul.  Last night I caught a clue, clicked on YouTube…I’m relieved, thankful to find:  “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.

i) Grateful I found a new blog theme I like…it may need tweaking, but change is healthy, and a different header image is refreshing🙂

j) Thanks, always, blog-folk…you keep me hopping!

May God hold you all safe and wellRhen

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Change, Gotta Love It…

Lest you be confused, I’ve finally changed the theme I’ve been using since Noah built the ark!  I had a single reason for doing so:  though I still love the 2011 theme, the Comments thread became illegible past more than a few replies—and I VALUE Comments and REPLIES 🙂

I’m pleased with the new header image, and hope you’ll adjust to the changes I’ve made and continue reading what I offer here.  If you find anything about the new theme problematic, please let me know…I’m open to hearing suggestions. 

My readers are the special family I’m privileged to connect with throughout each week.

My loving prayers for all of you continue:  that God will bless you with peace, protection and good health.  The pandemic will NOT last forever, we’ll get through it stronger than before…and with inspiring stories to share.  My confidence in God remains steady.

Yours truly,

Rhen