A Fun Surprise

I had to share with you all the neatest thing that came from the UPS man today via my friend Kim….

Okay, let me backtrack here a bit. I am required to swallow several supplements daily to keep me going and help heal my central nervous system. Unfortunately, my swallow muscles aren’t quite right and so I have to crush up everything I take and stir into applesauce just to get it down. Otherwise, I just can’t do it.

So, for years I’ve taken a heavy ice cream scooper and an old rag, beaten the pills into a fine dust before stirring into my applesauce. I know I look as stupid as it sounds…😂

Well, not anymore folks! Kim lovingly sent to me an Ezy Crush Pill Crusher from Amazon. I’m literally so excited right now because taking my supplements will be so much easier and I won’t conveniently forget anymore due to the hassle.

Whoo Hooooo!! Looky here folks, I’m moving up in the world. No more waking the hubby and neighbors because I have to beat up pills!! I’m so thrilled and excited to get this and humbled too. She also generously sent a yummy flavored pre-biotic powder to help aid in digestion. I’m overwhelmed by such love!😍

God knows how bummed I’ve been lately but He continues to send loving kisses from friends like Kim because He knows, cares, and uses people to lift us up and urge us forward. We’re not ever alone in any of our troubles. In response to others who haven’t been nice, I find myself wanting to pop my turtle’s head back into my shell for protection but that’s not what God wants! He knows we need each other, community, and fellowship, and that’s why we are to reach out, to share, to pray and to never ever give up hope!

Much love,

Viv

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Dearly Beloved

I wanted to share a bit of happiness today: Last Saturday, August 3rd, my nephew and now brand new niece got married. Hooray!!👰🤵 The ceremony took place outside and everything was absolutely gorgeous. The event went well except for the fact that the minister got the times mixed up (they are so busy and rightly so) and was late so we sat there wondering what the hold up was. The viola and violin players did a great job continuing to play as if nothing was askew. I saw one muscian mouth to the other “again” and they just kept on playing. At last, much to our relief, the minister finally arrived and the wedding went on smoothly.

As we entered the ceremony there were fans with our program printed on them and bug repellant. So very smart and helpful as it was very humid! It was wonderful being able to attend and take part in the celebration.

My niece has Celiac Disease so the reception was catered by Zoe’s Kitchen which made almost all the food gluten free. I tried falafel for the first time……it was ok. 😁 (A bit of beans and a tad awful.) 😂 The gluten free ravioli was delectable. (My oldest daughter and I are still talking about how good it tasted.)

We had family fly in from California our native state. My parents are originally from San Francisco and had my brother there before my dad decided to move to Philadelphia and attend Seminary.

Here I am with my handsome nephew and darling new niece! Love, love, love them!!

They had popsicles at the reception provided by a vendor because of the heat which was an excellent idea!! My kids and my hubby and I sat inside where it was a bit cooler.

Here I am with my big brother! Love him tons, obviously.😍

My precious niece eating the yummy gluten free carrot cake she and her mom made. Can you see the sweetness in her angelic face? 🤗😍

Here are my four all cleaned up and polished. My heart nearly breaks as I look at my oldest two (on the right) because they’ve had to make up for all the times I’ve been unwell by running the household together. God is good though because they can cook and clean doing everything I do yet, I think even better! Xoxo

On the far left is my beautiful and cherished Mama. My beautiful Californian aunt “Auntie Jo” is on the right.

All the desserts were gluten free. I was naughty and had a chocolate chip cookie and four bites of cake. (I don’t eat much sugar because of blood sugar issues.) It was well worth it and I have no regrets. 🍰🥂

This picture turned out so well! I was so busy capturing it so I forgot to throw the flowers but isn’t this just great?!

I’m so very thankful we could be a part of the happy couple’s wonderful day! They are truly a blessing in my life and in many others lives too. Both are the sweetest, kindest, and most compassionate souls ever and I’m oh so thankful for my adorable family.🤗😄

Much love,

Viv 😃

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 🥂💗

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.

“WE ALL UNDERSTAND”

For several years, I have felt like I have given myself an emotional brain injury, by constantly trying to answer questions regarding my infirmities to people, begging them to understand, offering blog posts to read, and health articles, and striving to gain acceptance in a very unaccepting world. At times it’s figuratively felt like beating my head against a brick wall of judgement, ignorance and unsupport. Hence, I have felt defeated and almost like giving up because my rare case has left me in a constant state of being on the defense and exhausted.

So, last week after my Good Eyes, Bad Brain post, a dear blogging friend Renee said three of the most powerfully supportive words I had been hoping to hear.

She said, ” We all understand”

Renee used her insights specifically to encourage my heart by saying that my loving blogging family all understand and I don’t need to worry about keeping up if having a tough time of it. I felt sincerely understood and isn’t that what we all hope to gain? There is such comfort and peace when the body of Christ says that they understand. It’s a genuinely priceless gift!!

If you are not following her awesome Blog, “Heart Tokens”, I strongly encourage you to do so immediately! She has a very unique perception on life and people and uses her wisdom while she writes beautiful posts from the heart.

What a wonderful encouragement three little words brought to my heart!! They were actually three very big words and dearest Renee, I am so blessed and thankful for you. God used YOU to encourage me last week and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful, thoughtful, heart tokens!!

Has someone’s words comforted or encouraged you lately? A fellow blogger? A family member or friend? I’d love to hear about it.

Much love,

Viv 💚

For prayer requests please visit my new page Come Pray With Me.

A Grateful Heart

Lately, I’ve been struck by the realization of how ungrateful my wayward heart has been. Seeing the glass half empty, or even worse, seeing no glass at all! Not taking thought of or appreciating what’s been given to me by my loving Heavenly Father, instead dwelling, and fuming about what I lack.

Some ladies from church blessed me and my daughters with piles of clothes that were much needed since I can’t shop outside the home easily anymore.

I wasn’t grateful. Instead, I was overwhelmed by so many clothes I didn’t have room for. I was exhausted digging around in six trashbags full of clothes, sorting and trying them on. I had been trapped in an ungrateful mindset and it was displeasing to God!!

I realised I was acting like a spoiled child that wouldn’t be content or happy unless it received what it wanted, when it wanted it.

It struck me; God sent those clothes, it was through those dear ladies but really an extension of His giving hand and I wasn’t thankful. I found myself rationalizing that since I’m unwell, I can complain about being overwhelmed by those clothes and put on that nasty old victim mentality; No one understands, no one gets it, blah blah blah. It’s so easy when you feel poorly for so long to become trapped in wrong thinking.

Yet, our Faithful God opened my eyes to see all the blessings around me: a warm house, four lovely children, a hard working husband, loads of pets, food on the table, and yes, tons of clothes.

I am grateful.

I’m grateful for all the blessings God gives but even more for Him waking me up to see just how thankless I’ve been. I’m grateful for Him and for giving me salvation through Jesus which is the greatest gift ever!

Being thankful is worship. Having a thankful heart is an act of praising God.

Psalm 50:14 “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High”

God delights in His children when we are grateful for the big and little things. The sunshine, the sound of the winds, the smiles of loved ones, cans of tuna for lunch, and any delight we take in daily. Tokens of His love, and showers of His grace.

Today, I’m seeing the glass completely full because I know I have the only thing I really need and that is Jesus.

What are you grateful for today? I’d love to hear from you!

Much love,

Viv 💚