Fun and Frugal

What does a person with limited funds, and energy do to get both her and her family ready for her beloved nephew’s wedding?

I’ve been scratching my head as to how to get a dress for my daughter and myself along with pants and a dress shirt for my growing 13.75 year old man-child. My hubby and youngest two were all set but as the wedding gets closer, I have been stressing over what to wear.

I’ve gained a bit of weight since I can’t exercise anymore the way I used to (Turbo Jam videos) but, when I tried on the only suitable dress I had for a wedding, it made me look as a marshmallow…….toasted marshmallow since the dress is brown. 😭

So, my family and I set out to our local thrift store with so much HOPE to find what we need and fast.

My beautiful daughter found a gorgeous pink A line dress with flowers that suits her well while my son found black Jockers slacks (do people still say that?) and a nice white button down dress shirt with a vibrant blue tie.

Thankfully, after trying on a handful of dresses and feeling a bit discouraged, I found a dark indigo blue sleeveless dress with some shimmery bling on the front from Kohls with the tags still on. The tag read $50 but I got it for $5! Ta da!! God provided as always and now I can feel less panicked about the fast approaching wedding and good about the clothes we were able to find.

As for a much much needed hair cut, I watched a few YouTube videos and taught myself how to cut and layer my own hair. I have cut my hair in the past and cut my entire family’s hair out of necessity. It saves a ton. Sometimes we get poor results but I think we are managing and it’s one less task on my over-worked (and underpaid) hubby.

The wedding is August 3rd and thankfully only about half an hour from my house. We are really excited about it…..my niece-to-be is darling and I loved her the minute we met. She and I also share the same birthday which I’m so delighted about and makes her even more special to me.

I’m so thankful God gave me the energy to clothing shop with my kids! It was the first time shopping together in years and felt so wonderful to be able to handle and enjoy it.

I’m getting stronger friends!! Praise God for today and also praise Him for the bad days because without them, the good days wouldn’t be so marvelous!

Much love,

Viv 🥂💗

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For You 💖

A very sweet lady wrote these comforting words for me and I now pass them along to YOU my beautiful readers. Whatever is bothering you, wherever you are, however you feel. At this very moment, YOU ARE LOVED!

Wish I could sit down with you and give you a long, gentle hug.

I am sad to hear all of the pain in your voice.

I get it though.

You are Enough.

You are Beautiful inside and out.

God is with you.

He is your nearest, your dearest Friend.

He will never leave you.

He will never forsake you.

He will never be too sick.

He will always be there for you.

Always.

I am praying that He will wrap His Arms

around you and be your Comfort and your

JOY right now.


And that’s my prayer for you too! If you are sad, lonely, depressed…..look up. God cares and hears your cries. He understands. He knows. He will never leave or forsake you. Ever. Run to Him. Sit at the foot of the cross in full surrender and let it all go.

Much love,

Viv 🙏❤

Some Blogging Insights

Start a blog, they said. It will be fun, they said.

Although my experience as a blogger has been mostly positive, I do want to share two hidden discouragements I believe we bloggers are apt to stumble across from time to time. Quite possibly they may bruise us, and leave us feeling unsettled, and can make us question our approach to the whole blogosphere.

1) Judging our writing based on other’s interactions, responses, or likes.

Okay, this one is hard because we feel the need for postive feedback and comments yet that doesn’t mean we are good bloggers because our blog looks like it’s smoking hot after every post with loads of interactions. It may be your likes and followers are high momentarily, but that is a very subjective and can change in a gradual incline or decline. There are excellent blogs out there with tons of great information and writing styles which appear to be more dormant but looks can be deceiving. One of my favorite blogs, jumbledbrain.com, looks very quiet from a blogger’s viewpoint but she has risen to one of the top 30 blogs in the world with thousands of email subscribers. If people sign up for your blog through email because of finding you through internet social media, that is a very good indication your blog offers something they are looking for. Don’t be discouraged if sometimes your posts go mainly unnoticed. There are more highly trafficked days and times for blogging and sometimes just strategic timing can bring the most traffic to your blog. Write from your heart and be you. Keep those posts from going on too long. Sometimes great writers can write lengthy posts and most people just don’t have that kind of time. Put your blinders on, and remember to dig in and stay focused on your true purpose as a blogger. If you wrote your heart out and didn’t receive much feedback, remember, lots of people may read and enjoy your blog but never leave a comment. A lot of us are introverts and like to read and ingest what we read quietly.

2) Being yourself may lead to negative feedback.

Yes, we want feedback, as I mentioned above, but it’s tough when it’s not always postive. As a Christian blogger who bears her heart openly on WordPress, I’ve learned to realize that if I’m transparent, I need to willingly take the heat from others. I am more of a sensitive soul, so I can get a bit worked up when others find fault in me through my writing. Now, I can be safe and write from a strictly objective viewpoint but I believe my subjective, honest writings are more helpful to other people who are hurting and therefore I continue to write being fully aware that my openness may lead to open criticism. Do I need to have thicker skin? Absolutely! I have had to remind myself that although it hurts to receive negative feedback, I truly did bring it upon myself through my openness, so I have chosen to open the door to receiving criticism. It’s my choice to say what I say, so I must choose to live with the consequences too. I can play it safe and close myself off with mainly impersonal writings, but my personal mission as a blogger wouldn’t be as effective so I choose to be real. Since being real may mean being vulnerable to criticism, I definitely need to thicken my skin and look at it as battle wounds for the cause of Christ, knowing that He sees the intentions of my heart: seeking to help, bless, and uplift others who are hurting. Because most people generally like reading posts that they can relate to, I will continue to write from my heart in hopes to be a blessing.

I prayed before writing this post that it would be helpful to another blogger out there who may be new to blogging or facing the same challenges I have faced. I pray God blesses each and every one of you as you seek to write for whatever your blogging mission may be, and that your blogging experience is a deeply blessed and rewarding one.

With much love,

Viv ✍🙏

A Birthday Poem To My Dad

You were born in the 40’s after WW2

A “Baby Boomer” yes, that’s what they call you

My dad you’re amazing a trooper I say

You served in the Marine Corp

Back in the day

Your education was extensive and strenuous as can be

Yet you pushed through to achieve

Your Master’s Of Divinity

You never shrink back to take on a challenge

Motivated, determined, and a man of deep knowledge

Your provision consistently steady and good

A secure roof over our heads and plenty of food

Daily family devotions you never lost sight

Pointing us to God and teaching what’s right

Married to mama over fifty years golden

Strong committment to love, honor and cherish you’ve proven

A fond memory I hold of you in years past

Your grand fireworks display

Giving the neighboorhood a loud blast

It was the best fourth of July hot summer night

How you treated all us kids to a spectacular delight

Smoking a cigar your lighter too

Then we all stood and watched

Breathtaking sparkles of red, pink, white, green, blue

Another favorite memory I cherish of you and me

Was riding around on your snazzy Harley

Then you rigged your bike up with loud banana pipes

It was fun riding with my dad, the cool biker type

You go to the gym

Staying fit, trim, and spiffy

I promise you look not a day over fifty!

It touches my heart to watch you care for your wife

Your devotional love is an example of Christ

A godly picture of what a Father really means

I’m honored to be your daughter and proud to share your genes

My dear “Papa” at this particular time

I write words that say “I love you”

In this little rhyme

You’re a father so loyal, so faithful and true

I’m penning this poem saying “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU

Written by Vivian Joy

July, 2019.

Survival Mode

For years now, my family and I have been in this mode. Barely keeping our heads up above water……..just getting by.

Are you here, or have you been here?

Sometimes chronic illness or injury feels like grasping for a buoy and hanging on, barely keeping your head up above water. Then a huge wave of unexpected symptoms wash over your head pulling you under, leaving you fearful and disoriented, trying to figure out which way is up, and struggling to come up for air. Each new challenge, whether physical or emotional, is like an extra weight, pulling you downward so then you struggle even harder to stay afloat treading the deep waters that never seem to dissipate.

Yet, God is our buoy. He keeps us up and afloat daily. His grace never ends and His strength is beyond us. He is the ultimate source for enduring hardships, and fights alongside of us in the deepest, darkest, oceans of trials. His grace is sufficient and His mercy does endure forever.

2 Corinthians 12:9 King James Version

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It may not look pretty……this survival mode. But, we ARE surviving. We still get up every morning to see the sun rise yet once again.

I still see the faces of my darling children every day and here the soft whispers of, “I love you, Mommy” at the breakfast table.

Though for long or short durations life can be tough at times we can still glorify God and enjoy Him forever; because His grace abounds when we are weak, when things aren’t pretty, when bodies fail and life appears to go under. He’s always here, always surrounding us with His loving arms, and he loves us more than our finite minds can ever fully comprehend.

Hold onto Him in faith and never fear because when we are too weak to hold on, He holds us still and always is holding us. God will never ever let go because He promises to keep us, preserve us, and protect us until He calls His beloved safely home.

Much love,

Viv 💖

Progress and Prayers

Dear Readers, I’m so grateful for the huge overflowing of kindness and prayers received by so many as I push along towards healing. I am getting stronger in many ways although my emotions are healing at a slower pace than my body. I’ve reached out to several prayer groups for prayer as well as many of you individually. I feel your prayers for me and the comfort of the Holy Spirit as I have struggled off and on under the stifling blanket of depression. I’m still battling challenges of my emotional health but God has given me a profound sense of His love in the midst of this storm. He has used several blog posts from old and new friends, and my weekly Bible study with Kim, to hold me up and to keep my eyes fixed upon Him. He has heard the cries of my heart, and given me scriptures after scriptures to wash away sorrows leaving hope, and pouring truth to my soul. Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers! Truly, I’m grateful for this body of believers who have loved on me and showered me with support. ❤

As I mentioned before, I am getting much stronger physically. I can see a HUGE difference in contrast to where I was a year ago to where I am now.

Last year walking was a huge obstacle that seemed insurmountable. There were moments I wanted to give up trying to walk because this exercise made me feel worse instead of better. I could barely walk to my next door neighbor’s house and back without needing hours to recover deep inside my head. When mentioning it to my Dr. she said something about the cerebellum and how it was changing, and to not go beyond my physical limits but to still walk as much as I could. It seemed like a catch 22 because I needed to walk but it’s effects were so scary, I was afraid. But I kept trying. I would wait several days and try again. It was a long arduous process. Trying, waiting, trying again because I knew I couldn’t give up. So, keeping at it, pushing through the pain and fear I’m excited to report I can now walk three houses down my road, nearly 1/2 of a mile!! This is huge because there was a time three years ago, I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom and my husband had to carry me from room to room because my muscles were so weak.

I am physically gaining strength but still facing the challenge of not able to handle climbing more than one or two stairs at a time. My balance is not great and there seems to be a mild disconnection between my head and legs leaving me feeling all Loosey Goosey and wobbly in the space around me. My dear husband is like my own personal scout, scouting out places, locations and surroundings, making sure my body can handle it before we try adventuring out there into the world. My husband also has the additional challenge of handling all things pertaining to our downstairs basement/laundry room since I can not handle going down them unless I go slowly on my rear end. This is exhausting and doesn’t leave much energy left over for other tasks like laundry, cleaning, or sorting so those tasks rest on him now.

Your prayers are very much appreciated and I just want you to know I’m truly seeing results! God is slowly healing me and He is giving me moments of reprieve from the TBI, glimpses of hope and good sunny days. I’m able to handle social settings better (minus the stairs) and I need less recovery time then I required before. I even went to church last Sunday and was greatly encouraged by it.

The road to recovery is long and hard but I do see progress. And like a dear friend once said to me, “slow progress is still progress anyway.”

Much love,

Viv ❤

Here’s a link to my podcast where I was given the privilege of sharing my story.


Romans 11:33-36

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

For prayer requests please visit my page Come Pray With Me, and join in a loving community.

A Chrysalis of Grace

There are stages and periods of painful, confining growth in everyone’s life. Stages of being wrapped up in cocoons of hardships that cover us with doubts and fears. Stages that seem to come out of nowhere and we wonder, can I grow from this?

There are four life stages of a butterfly; the egg, the larva, the pupa and finally the butterfly. Each stage of change in their life cycle is quite different but each has a purpose.

Butterflies are unique amongst insects because they experience something called a complete metamorphosis whereas other insects have incomplete metamorphosis.

It takes about a year for a typical life cycle to be completed. Some butterflies can live up to 10 months but some only one to four weeks.

A larva or caterpillar (My youngest still struggles to say this) can be a very comic stage as most caterpillars look ugly, spiked, furry, clumpy, and gooey, but some are kind of cute I suppose.

This stage leads to the chrysalis which is the transforming from the caterpillar to the butterfly and is known as the resting stage. From this metamorphic stage a beautiful transformation occurs resulting in a brilliantly colored butterfly. What was once a silly, belly crawling insect, is now a brilliant flying insect and gorgeous display of color and wonder.

Isn’t that like the trials of life? If left alone, we’d be a silly, belly crawling insect that has little purpose, but God has much more. It’s His chrysalis of rest that he gives, cocooning us in his grace while undergoing a spiritual metamorphosis, or transformation to be exactly what He intended for us after all. But it hurts because the metamorphosis is a resting, confining stage that hems us in and we seem to lose freedoms. Although while we rest in Him, He is using that confinement to take our silly, belly crawling selves and mold us, heal us, and shape us into a Christlikeness that will shine more radiant and more beautiful for His glory.

Our colorful display of virtues and graces gotten through our metamorphosis are bright and new because he loves us far too deeply to leave us to ourselves. As we are molded and changed into beautiful butterflies, letting go of who we once were and submitting to God’s plan for this stage in life, we become something that can instead go beyond what we perceive as lost. Now, we can fly and soar because we are what God saw in us all along. He saw the silly, belly us crawling along and He wrapped a silken cross of grace around our souls, that transformed our lives into His glorious masterpiece.

Much love,

Viv 🦋