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Don’t Undervalue Your Value

13 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


The whirlwind of activity I wrote about last week is over. The Christmas Tree Walk and Christmas Market was a success. The trees were beautifully decorated and some of them were purchased in the silent auction. The rest was given out to our community friends who come to our food pantry. Some of the decorations didn’t fare well as we moved them from the gym, but the trees themselves were fresh, fragrant and beautiful.


Last minute preparations began on Saturday with picking up 25 trees. We were met at the church by  strong guys who quickly unloaded them. Once the trees were unloaded it was non stop action to get these trees decorated. I had set out decorations that had been donated to be used on the trees that were sponsored but the sponsor did not choose to decorate.



To our heartfelt gratitude, when people finished their tree, they just kept decorating, moving from tree to tree. They hadn’t signed up for this, they simply saw the need and did it. And that was the spirit during the whole event. What can I do to help? Two teenage girls restored my faith in their generation. I had asked them to set out luminaries but due to the wind, they kept falling over. They solved the problem by taping them to poles. After the event, I was stressing over the need to collect the bags and lights but the girls had picked them up, disposed of the bags and collected the L.E.D lights and packaged them. As clean up continued, people saw what needed to be done and did it.

I’m having a hard time putting into words, what I want to express. I think I will go with the title, Don’t Undervalue Your Value whether you are creating a beautiful tree, doing the heavy lifting or packing up boxes, you are making someone’s job a lot easier and definitely more enjoyable. You are giving of yourself. You are appreciated. You are infinitely valuable.




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.

Five questions to see if you’re a people pleaser

24 Nov

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Five questions to see if you’re a people pleaser.



Reblogged November 24, 2018

Last week I sat across the examining bed where my 90-year-old Mom waited for the doctor.

After a complete check-up, the nurse came in with a device to measure her eye pressure. A simple procedure that took seconds.

But the results nearly knocked me off my chair.

“Hmmm,” the nurse said, “the pressure in one eye is 54.”

Fifty-four? The normal range is between 15 to 20.

I pulled out my cell and requested transportation to her ophthalmologist.

Hours later, my Mom sat in his examining chair. “Chin here and forehead on the bar please,” he said. “The eye pressure is perfectly fine.”

What happened?

The nurse at the previous doctor’s office used the incorrect devise, unreliable and pitifully inaccurate.

How many times have we done the same—use the wrong measuring device? Often, we look to the world to measure our sense of worth. We look to our job to bring fulfillment. We hope that pleasing our family will bring satisfaction. And we trust that pleasing our spouse will bring happiness.

Unaware, we use each of these as the device to measure our sense of contentment and fulfillment.

Why do we do it?

Because we want something in return. We hope the outcome will fill our need for validation.

But do we find it? Hardly. In fact, rather than gratification, disappointment comes instead.

What went wrong? Did we choose to please others before pleasing God?

I invite you to take the test.

Do you fall in these categories?

  1. With the best intentions dancing in your heart, do you put your trust in others? Careful because…“This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength. And whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; He will not see prosperity when it comes’” (Jeremiah 17:5-6).
  2. Does the validation and approval from those around you increase your self-confidence? “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).
  3. Are you fearful others will criticize or judge you? “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
  4. Are you a people pleaser—eager to do what others want and expect? “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).
  5. Is pleasing God part of your daily plan? Do you share in Paul’s self-reflection: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10)

Pleasing God first brings the ultimate pleasure for the heart. Serving others is the sacrifice that brings joy with no expectations in return.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank you for the wisdom to choose to please You above all. Guard my attitude from wanting to seek validation from others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Whom do you long to please these days?



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.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.



Home Front – A Weed Went to War

9 Nov

My blogging muse deserted me this week. I found this blog about milkweed to be fascinating. I am thankful there are bloggers like GPCox keeping our past alive.

Pacific Paratrooper

Late in World War II, the common milkweed was often the only thing that kept a downed aviator or soaking-wet sailor from slipping beneath the waves. The plant’s floss was used as the all-important filler for flotation devices.

The northwest part of the Lower Peninsula, particularly the area around Petoskey, became the country’s picking and processing center for milkweed floss. By the time the war ended, an army of citizens—including schoolchildren—led by a visionary doctor had helped keep America’s servicemen safe from harm.

In the early 20th century, the typical filler for life preservers was a material called “kapok.” A cottony fiber extracted from the pods of the ceiba tree, kapok was cultivated in the rainforests of Asia. America’s primary source for this material was the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia).

Then, in 1937, came Japan’s invasion of China, which initiated World War II in the Pacific.

Enter Dr. Boris…

View original post 571 more words

Home Front recipes from WWII

5 Nov

Pacific Paratrooper

As most of you know, America experienced rationing for the first time in World War II and with the holidays looming in the wings, food seemed to be a logical subject.

Some products  that were rationed during World War II were sugar, meat, coffee, typewriters, fuel oil, gasoline, rubber, and automobiles.  Each person was issued a book of ration coupons each month.  Rationed goods were assigned a price and point value.  Families were not restricted to certain quantities of rationed goods.  But once their coupons were used up, they could not buy rationed goods until the next month. Families were encouraged to plant victory gardens.  These gardens supplied a major part of the vegetable supply during the War.

But one thing most of us can admit, our parents and grandparents ate well.  They ate to live – not lived to eat!    Here are some of the recipes, given to us…

View original post 384 more words

Even Though, I Will Choose to Breathe

28 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

What a boost to my soul this  morning as I read these words!

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
 he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19


Photo credit Unsplash




Here Kitty Kitty Seven

24 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

One of the first things Thea did when we got her home was to scratch on the upholstered leg of the couch. We’ve had it a long time, and it already had some claw pulls, but I didn’t want it to get any worse, so I taped foil to the leg and then got some new scratching pads from Petco.


Since we got her, she has learned to scratch on two pads, one in the family room, and one in the studio near her cat tree. Each time she does what she’s supposed to, she gets one small treat. Sometimes she will try to get another by scratching a bit more, but we don’t encourage such shenanigans.


Sometimes I’m concerned about whether she’s happy with us. Do we spend enough time petting and talking to her, does she like her food, is she getting enough water, as an indoor cat is she bored and lonely?

I’m using the internet to get ideas for training her. There are so many schools of thought, but I read and think and experiment withthings like scratching and even shredding. We use a single Greenie to reward Thea for scratching on the pads rather than on the carpets or furniture. At first,I had to catch her pulling at the carpet, then I would pick her up and carry her to the pad. She didn’t get the idea, so I got down and scratched on it myself. I didn’t get any treats, but it kept my fingernails nice and smooth until she learned how to do it too. The thing that is so interesting about cats and probably dogs, too, is that they understand things they see their humans or other animals doing something and they understand exactly what we’re getting at. I don’t need to give her a treat every time now because using the scratching pads has become a habit. By the way, Greenies are good for keeping cat’s teeth clean so that in future years we hopefully won’t have to take her to the vet to have them cleaned. After her evening meal, I hide five Greenies in the folds of her red, plush blanket and after she finds them all she lovingly kneads the cover to show her delight.

One night I let her sleep on my bed. She lay quiet and polite at the foot of the bed until 4:30 A. M. when she got up, stretched out on my chest, and rubbed my face with her chin with such sweet-droolykisses I had to change my night-gown. After that, I relocated her to the studio and closed the door. The next morning I saw that she had dragged a brown paper bag out of the recycle bin and started the shredding process. We decided it wasn’t revenge, but a good way to take out her tensions and amuse herself. Bill has become the official provider of brown paper bags. Now when the grocery store checker in her green uniform says, “paper or plastic,” we say paper. So far Bill is cleaning the shreds of the studio floor and putting down fresh bags as needed.


Every night Thea and I play the mouse game as she leaps to catch a flying mouse on the end of a wire or ribbon. We have two. We alternate them every night so we don’t get bored. I wish you could see her cat ballet.


Our Jasmine has been gone about six weeks. Her water dish sits on the counter in the bathroom waiting for her. I tell myself it’s just a pretty dish, and it matches my drinking water glass. But the truth is it brings back pleasant memories.

Thea, Bill, and I, however, are forming our own routines and we three continue to learn to love and trust each other in new ways. We are working on some kind of protocol to cut her nails. If they don’t get cut they can keep growing until they circle around and grow back into her paws. She is what I hear animal-people calling, a sweetheart.Under Thea’s ministrations the sadness about Jasmine’s departure grows softer every day.







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.”

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!


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