One thing you must do when looking for contentment

22 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged September 22, 2018

“Please, please,” I pleaded with my father, “don’t make me go back there.”

A tough adjustment.

But he didn’t give in. We had just arrived from Bolivia and unable to speak or understand English, attending school was torture for me.

Back then, there were no ESL classes. There was no dial one for Spanish. There were no teachers who spoke Spanish. Thus, seated at my desk in the back of the classroom, my 12-year-stomach cramped trying to understand the teacher.

Sixth grade girls surrounded my desk, pointed at me, whispering to each other. I did look different, wearing regular clothes from Bolivia rather than the plaid skirts and white blouses they all wore.

They also found my pierced ears to be bizarre. In 1964, pierced ears for young girls was strangely odd.

But to me, everything about our new life in America seemed odd. Once back from school and in our small apartment, I whined about the painful experience. I asked over and over again why we had to leave Bolivia where I had friends, where I was accepted, and invited to join the games at recess.

The complaining continued.

Eventually, we learned to speak English, made friends and embraced the American culture. And now well-adjusted, you would think as an adult my whining stopped. It didn’t. I complained when things went wrong. When my plans fell apart. When my dreams remained as dreams. And when those I loved failed me.

So sad; I was no different than the Israelites when, in the heat of the desert, they growled and shook their sweaty fists at God. With no shame, they had turned into pioneers in the whining department as recorded in the book of Exodus:

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Can you blame them? 

They were probably exhausted, hungry, tired, and thirsty and discontentment was the topic of conversation around the campfire each night.

We get that way sometimes too, don’t we? Deep into our own struggles, we end up terrified like the Israelites. We grumble in the hot desert of frustration. And as we trudge through the dry land of conflict, of uncertainty and nervousness, we desperately look to be rescued.

Though we look around, we can’t see God, who’s ready to do the rescuing. We’re too busy grumbling. And no matter how we try to get away, the Egyptians called stress and anxiety come after us, threatening to ruin our day.

God’s mercy shows up.

But they ruin nothing because no matter what time or how much we complain, God’s mercy shows up like morning dew, with a fresh promise to deliver us.

“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.’” (Exodus 14: 10-14)

God, almighty and faithful, will fight our battles. He will lift up the weapons of His power. Our job is simple: to be still. And in that stillness of God’s presence is when our nights know His peace. In the still of our heart is when His whisper brushes through. And in the still of the moment is when contentment walks and settles in for good.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank you for the gift of contentment found only in silent, still moments in Your presence. No matter what pursues me or threatens me, I pray contentment is what I’ll find in the quiet moments with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In the midst of your hectic life, what keeps you from being still?

I welcome your comments. They mean so much to me. And if you would share this post, how happy that would make me.



Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

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When Does One Grow Old?

21 Sep

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson




silver tabby cat lying on green grass

Photo by Pixabay on



When we wake up in the morning
there is promise in the air.
We don’t know what the day will bring,
but the expectancy is there.

The time to be happy is now.
We have this day to explore.
Every day is a “Special Occasion”.
What are you waiting for?

You’ve heard it said,
“Old age is not for Sissies”.
Well, believe me, that is true.
Put on a happy face.
Good things will come to you!



20 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


As I am writing this post, my husband and I should have been driving across the line between Florida and Georgia, on our return trip to western North Carolina. But life happens.

My first inkling that our plans needed changing came on Tuesday. Our daughter volunteered to chair a Christmas Tree Walk and Market as a fund-raiser and community outreach project for our church. One of the ideas, is to give local business the opportunity to sponsor a decorated tree that would be auctioned at the event. Excellent publicity for the business. So Tuesday I began visiting businesses to invite them to participate. Did I mention the heat index was 104 degrees F or 40 C? My husband was kind enough to drive me around and keep the air conditioner running which was a life saver.  Since this took up one of my days I had planned to get ready for travel, we decided to push our departure to Friday.

Wednesday afternoon, we had a big thunderstorm with lashing rain. It seems that storms from east and west met above our town. Unfortunately, a roof leak that our daughter’s home sustained during 2018 Hurricane Irma reared its ugly presence. It is almost impossible to get a professional to repair a roof, so thanks to our delay, my husband was there to “save the day.” He’s that kind of dad. ❤️💛💚

So, not sure when we will hit the road. Retirement goes hand in hand with whenever!

animal cat face close up feline

Photo by Pixabay on


I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.





Memory Lane Road Trip~ Part 12

19 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 12 – Saturday 4/28/2018

This morning I headed southwest on US-61 to visit the Delta Blues Museum located in Clarksdale, MS. This museum is housed in what was originally the Clarksdale Passenger Depot, which was built in 1926.  The Passenger depot was used by the Central Illinois Railroad, and others, until 1965 when passenger service at the depot was discontinued.  After years of abandonment, the depot was restored, and the museum moved in.  The museum displays many artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of Blues Music in the Mid-South.

One of the artists that legend credits with helping birth the blues, in this area, is McKinley Morganfield, better known in the blues music world as “Muddy Waters.”  The museum honors “The King of Chicago Blues” with a wax figure of the artist strumming his guitar in the rebuilt portion of his slave shack.  The shack is where he spent most of his first 30 years.  It was moved to the museum, from its original location, on the Stovall Plantation, near Clarksdale in 1996.

Now I continued south on US-289/US-82 to visit the Greenville Air Force Base Museum located at the Mid-Delta Regional Airport in Greenville, MS.  This small museum turned out to be housed on the mezzanine of the airport terminal building.  The museum displays memorabilia related to the history of the Greenville Army Airfield operations (1940-1946), and the U.S. Airforce Training Center (1950-1966).


Next I headed southeast on US-61/US-149 to visit the Canton Railroad Museum located in Canton, MS.  This museum is located in the restored 1852 Canton Railroad Depot building, and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the railroad’s influence, from the mid-1800s to the late 1970s, in and around the Canton area.


Now I headed south on I-55 to visit the City of Jackson Fire Museum located in Jackson, MS.  This museum is housed in a portion of the active Fire House #10.  The museum was closed by the time I got there, but Wikipedia tells me the museum displays artifacts and memorabilia about the Jackson Fire Department Safety programs.  There are also several beautifully restored pieces of firefighting equipment/engines dating from 1904 displayed within the museum.


As I was driving thru downtown Jackson, I stopped to take a photo of the Old Mississippi State Capital Building (1839-1903). Wikipedia states that this building has been renovated several times since 1903, the last being in 1961, after which it was designated the Mississippi State Historical Museum.   The museum was closed by the time I got there, and that was OK with me.  I expected it would have taken hours to see three floors full of memorabilia, artifacts, and exhibits related to the full history of Mississippi.


On the way to the motel, I happened upon the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and stopped by to get a photo.  Wikipedia tells me that the museum was opened in 2017, and displays artifacts and memorabilia covering the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. (especially Mississippi) from 1945 to 1970.  This museum was also closed, so I turned my attention to where I was going to stay tonight. By now it was time for Greta to take me to the motel (which actually ended up being in Clinton, MS located just west of Jackson) so I could get checked in and find some place to eat.


After I got checked in at the motel, I asked the desk clerk for his recommendation about a good place to eat and he said, “The Froghead Grill just down the street is pretty good.”  I put my things in the room and walked about 1½ blocks to see what they had to offer.  As you might expect, the Froghead Grill had a very unique menu.  I selected their “Zydeco Wrap” which was Alligator sausage and Crawfish with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Scooter Sauce.  Boy was that different and delicious!  With a full tummy, I headed back to the motel for a good night’s sleep.


—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.


One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Here Kitty Kitty Episode Six

17 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites



On Monday, Thea and I go out the French doors and onto the tiled and enclosed patio. I sit down at the table with my Kindle Fire 2 to use Gateway Bible for devotions. Thea, paws on the plant shelf under the screen, gazes to see where all the noises are coming from.




Nature sings in all its glory, and Thea can hardly be still. She then hunkers down and stares at the sidewalk below. I wonder if one of the black racers that protect our property against Cuban Tree Frogs is slithering by. I watched one eat a whole frog once. Gross! The frogs are what we call exotics, and since they destroy the beautiful green frog natives and produce off-spring readily, we are not put-offwhen we see a creature that keeps their numbers in check.

One squirrel chases another up a telephone pole. They jump on the metal roof making a clatter like tree limbs falling and Thea hunkers down. She hides under the plant shelf where she can see, but not be seen by the Florida cardinals who are bringing their spotted adolescents to the feeders for the first time.

Ginger dog runs panting on the other side of the privacy fence, another strange but intriguing sound. Lizards run up the screen almost as if they are begging for attention. I imagine that for Thea, the whole experience full of suspense like would be for us. Fear playssee-saw with curiosity as she leaps onto the shelf, then down, then up again. She seems so new and innocent that I wonder where our silky tuxedo cat hasbeen all her two years of life. Nighttimes on the porchshelistens to cicadas and hears a chuck-wills-widow (like a whippoorwill) calling its nighttime song.

A few days later we’re on the porch again and Thea is busy near the basket in the corner. She’s after something. I look upbut go back to drawing. It must be a lizard,I think. We usually try to take them out before a cat gets them, but this time, I believe it’s too late. The next time I look up, Thea is proudly carrying a small dead Cuban Tree Frog to where I can see it. It has turned blackish. She taps the critter then licks her white paw clean and taps it again hoping to see it move.

I get the broom and dust-pan and dump the frog into a bunch of ferns that grow around one of our trees. Later Bill asked what I did with it. When I told him, he said, “That’s where I put everything that I don’t know what else to do with, too. No wonder the ferns are so well fertilized.”




We’re not heartless, but we’ve lived in Florida a long time and our environmentalist son keeps us apprised of what’s going on in the world of nature. Thea is part of nature and as a cat she is considered invasive or exotic. A single cat has been known to kill all the birds on a small island. However, Thea is an indoor cat. The chances areshe has always been one. Other reasons she stays in the house and on the porch are: cars, ticks, fleas, feral cats, and poisonous snakes. Sometimes I feel as though I’m keeping her a prisoner, but then I wonder what kind of life it would be for a human-loving kitty to live in a shelter her whole life and not have a family of her own.



Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Fred Remembers~Part 4

16 Sep

Judy Wills


As I recall, sometime, probably in the late Spring or early Summer of 1947, we moved from our quarters in Caserta up to the area near Pisa, Italy.


June 1970 – Judy and the Leaning Tower

There was a town up there called either Viareggio or Livorno. It was near camp Darby, which Judy and I have visited. We were there for about two weeks, and then we drove on over to Trieste.

Trieste at the time was a U.S. protectorate – actually a U.S. and British protectorate. It was a free territory administered by the U.S. and British. As I recall, it was four miles wide and 19 miles long from North to South and had about 1,000 U.S. troops and another 700 British troops there. The overall name was the Trieste United States Troops, which was abbreviated TRUST. I believe it stayed as a free territory until 1956, when it was finally divided up between Italy, which got the city and the port, and the rest went to Yugoslavia.

One of the nice things we enjoyed to do for sort-of-a-vacation time while we lived in Trieste, was to drive up into the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy, to the city of Cortina d’Ampezzo, which is where they had the 1956 Olympics, which, of course was some years after we were there.


1948 – Dolomites – Cortina – Tofane
From Charles Wills’ albums


The unit had a Special Forces hotel there which was right on a golf course, with a little lake, and we used to go up there both in the summer for a summer resort, and in the winter time and do some skiing. It was a beautiful resort area, and we enjoyed it.

Some good memory that I have about living in Trieste was that a little bit north of town, outside the city limits was a castle called Miramare, which is where the U.S. had some of their administrative offices that may have been their headquarters for a while for the U.S. Forces in it. It was left over from Emperor Maximilian, and it was right on the coast, which was real rocky there.


Trieste – via Carducci #2 – where the Wills lived in the 1940’s after WW2
They lived in the “Mezzanine” – just under the arches her




I remember the Corps of Engineers manufactured a beach – they brought in some sand from some place and had a little beach area there where people could get a little sun tan on the beach. But the basic swimming area there was really rocky, however it was a fairly sharp drop-off. You could go out 20 or 30 feet and it was already 10 or 15 feet deep.


1948 – June – Miramare Castle gardens and beach, Trieste, Italy
From Charles Wills’ albums


I remember there was a large rock, roughly 20-foot square, that we could swim out to, and then jump off that into the water. They eventually put up about a 10×10-foot raft out there that was anchored so that we had another thing we could jump onto and off of.


1948 – Miramare Castle pier – The Wills family

I remember swimming down probably 8 or 10 feet, maybe deeper, and swimming through the grass, and noticing the fish. I was able to do this with my eyes open, even though I didn’t have a mask or goggles on. I think the water was not as salty as the ocean.

~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.

Is this getting in the way of your happiness?

15 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Is this getting in the way of your happiness?



Reblogged September 15, 2018

The other day I got busy changing our bed sheets. Although I have no sight, it’s an easy task except for the fitted sheets.

The challenge is matching the right corners. And this particular time, no matter how much I turned the sheet, stretched, pulled and yanked, the corners just wouldn’t reach to fit around the mattress.

Could they have shrunk in the dryer? Or did the mattress grow in size? I don’t give up easily. So, I hopped on the bed to give more force to the effort.

While on my knees, to my surprise, I felt a large lump (we blind folks have to do everything by feel). In the middle of the bed was a blanket, all bunched up. No wonder the sheet didn’t fit, the big lump kept it from lying flat to fit around the corners.

Have you done that?

Not with bed sheets, but in life. You try to make it all fit, but something gets in the way. Something, elusive but real prevents life from being nice and smooth.

That something is the lump called misconceptions or mistaken expectations. We carry them with us. With a spring in our step, we move forward, whistling an upbeat tune, carrying our notion of how life should be. How it should go. And what it should include. We expect the right person to make us whole. The right job to bring security. The right doctor to bring a cure, the right counselor to help take our guild away.

But when none of that happens, life isn’t smooth. We’re undone, unsettled and incomplete.

We need to answer five questions.

The only way we can remove the lump of misconceptions is when we answer these five questions found in Psalm 102:2-5.

The Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you and myself too: Sit back, take a deep breath and commit to remove that lump of misconception of what WE think life should be. Instead, we relish in the truth that God’s power wrapped in love removed guilt by cleansing our sins through Jesus. We boldly claim the fresh confidence we now have, knowing he healed us. We wear that crown of His mercy and compassion that has our name on it. And we declare those desires sitting in the waiting room of our heart to be fulfilled. And then, with security in our step, we sing the victory that’s already ours.

Let’s Pray

Father, help me remove the lump of my own feeble misconception of what life should be. I ask for wisdom to recognize that you have the only way to make my life fit your plans, wonderfully good. In Jesus name.

What is the lump you need to remove?

I relish in your comments. Please let me know what you think. It means a lot to me.




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