My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 8B

27 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 8 – Tuesday July 30 (Continued)

I continued north on SR-35/SR-37 about 60 miles, to visit the Chippewa Valley Museum located in the Carson Park area, just to the west of downtown Eau Claire, WI.  This is a very interesting museum that displays artifacts and memorabilia dating from the late 1800s, that tells the history of the early Scandinavian pioneers to the Chippewa Valley area.  The museum hosts local field trips to the off-site Schiegelmitch House that teach the participants about Chippewa Valley history and culture as far back as the 1650s. The museum also hosts several special events throughout the year.

Now I headed north another 15 miles on US-53 to visit the Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry and Technology located in downtown Chippewa Falls, WI.  This museum is situated in the Cray, Inc. building and displays computer models, artifacts and scientific memorabilia; including some of the hand written notes of Seymour Cray who was born and raised in Chippewa Falls.  Cray is known in the computer world as “The Father of Supercomputing” and is noted for his creation of the early high-speed computers, and the founder of Control Data Corporation (CDC).   The efforts of Cray, along with others, led directly to the development of what we call “Supercomputers” today.  As a point of interest, the first advanced Cray-1 Supercomputer system was installed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory facility in Los Alamos, NM in 1976.

I headed west on County Road “N” about 20 miles to visit the Colfax Railroad Museum located in Colfax, WI.  This is a small museum, located in the third depot building to be built on this site over the years.  The museum consists of railroad artifacts dating from the 1850s and a large collection of railroad paper weights. Several pieces of original rolling stock are on display outside the museum.  A museum volunteer happened to be available to give me a tour of the museum’s rolling stock and a brief history of the Old Colfax Depot and the museum.

To get to the last museum for today I drove west on I-94, about 75 miles, across the Mississippi River again, back into Minnesota, where I visited the Bell Museum located on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus in Saint Paul, MN.   This museum has been Minnesota’s official Natural History Museum since 1872.  The museum is now housed in a new building which includes wildlife dioramas, high tech exhibits, an on-line searchable interface that integrates data from the museum on birds, mammals, fish, plants, and fungi.  The museum also has a 120 seat digital planetarium, where visitors can explore interesting films of our own Earth and other planets with new “seamless” technology presentations such as “Habitat Earth” and “Out of This World” or “The Hunt for Dark Matter.”

Description: C:\Users\Bill Lites\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\WLMDSS.tmp\WLMAD71.tmp\IMG_8087.JPG

By now it was getting late and I asked Greta to take me to the motel for the night, located in the Brooklyn Center area, just a few miles north of downtown Minneapolis.  After I got checked in, I warmed up my leftover BP Smokehouse Baby Back Ribs, baked beans and some coleslaw.  Yummm!  I love BBQ anything, and anytime!

Description: Image result for baby back ribs with baked beans and cole slaw

—–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.

 

Bill

 

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

Bears!

26 Nov

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Our talented and delightful nature photographer, Melody traveled to the Smokys in the fall. As usual her photos are outstanding. This is her bears story-Onisha

We had explored our favorite area in the Smokys, Roaring Fork motor trail. So lovely. We did see a mama bear earlier the day before, but couldn’t really get a good look much less a photo. That afternoon we went to eat at the Alamo just outside Gatlinburg.  One of our favorites. 

The waiter was quite talkative and said he also worked for FEMA. He said something interesting. That because of the fires, he thinks nature is trying to replenish itself and the bears are having twice as many cubs as before. Normally 2 and now 3 or 4. So with that in mind, the bears were all trying to eat and gain weight before winter.

This Mama had two cubs and they were right by the road. After seeing all the people getting out of their cars clicking their cameras, Mama told the cubs to climb the tree while she looked for food. And they did.

Mama went over by the water and lifted large rocks in the stream perhaps looking for crayfish for some kind of goodies. 

The cubs were growing weary of waiting in the tree and got a little scared with all the people at the bottom.

. The boredom finally got to them and they climbed down and ran as fast as they could to Mama. It was just the cutest experience I have ever had.

MelodyWelcome! I’m so glad you stopped in to visit. I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
What a beautiful world we live in. We all have that in common. Natural beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we are not connected until we see a picture, taken just right, that makes it really come into focus and be admired. My passion is to make a connection between the lens and your soul. Photography is my passion.
 
My photography passion began when my Father handed me his old Ricohflex box camera when I was 12.  It was love at first sight. I still have it. My hand was never empty of a camera since.
 
 
I am a native Floridian. I am so lucky to call it home. I was born in Orlando BF (before Disney). My family moved to the Winter Park area when I was very young. Central Florida was so simple and quaint at that time. I wandered the streets barefoot with my friends, never worrying that something bad could ever happen. My Mom used to pick the sand-spurs out of my feet. I still go barefoot. It grounds me to earth and connects me to nature.
 
I have extensively explored Florida and its diverse beauty. So much to see and so little time. I would love for you to join me in my travels through the images I have taken. I wish you could hear the sounds, smell the fragrance and feel the breath of it. But for now we must be content with exploring with our eyes and only imagine the rest.
 
Thank you for your interest.

Thanksgiving in Virginia

24 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

In previous musings, I mentioned that in 1983 we left Heidelberg, West Germany, and rotated back to the United States.  Fred’s next assignment was to be at Langley AFB, in Hampton, Virginia.  We looked at lots of houses before settling on a house in the “woods” of Seaford, Virginia.  It was about 13 miles from Langley, but Fred didn’t mind the drive, and the schools in York County were top-notch.

We soon joined the local Southern Baptist Church – Seaford Baptist Church, and began our time there, not expecting our time to be longer than the usual three-year tour.  But God had other plans for us, and we stayed there nearly 13 years.

1991 – Seaford Baptist Church – old sanctuary (far left), classrooms, new sanctuary (right)

As the first Thanksgiving arrived, we were pleased to find that Seaford Baptist Church had a Thanksgiving tradition with Zion United Methodist Church, also in Seaford.  That tradition started years before we arrived on the scene.  

Zion United Methodist Church, Seaford, VA Credit Google Search and Zion United Methodist website

On the Wednesday evening before each Thanksgiving Day, there was a trade-off.  If the joint services were held in the Baptist church, then the pastor of the Methodist church gave the Thanksgiving message.  The Baptists hosted the service, the Baptist ladies furnished the after-service desserts, and the Baptist church choir sang the special music. 

Vintage, Thanksgiving, Postcard
Credit Pixabay

The following year, the services were held in the Methodist church and the Baptist pastor gave the message.  The Methodist ladies furnished the after-service desserts, and the Methodist choir sang the special music.  It was a wonderful time – and the shared messages and fellowship time gave us opportunities to meet our Seaford neighbors, and worship together.  That’s the way I believe God intends us to do.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Fred and I wish you all the very best of Thanksgiving this year – and the blessing of thanks-giving to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

We’ve been away from Virginia these 24 years, so we aren’t sure whether or not this tradition has continued.  We only hope it has.  It was a wonderful tradition.

Thanksgiving Dinner, Pilgrim, Puritan
Credit Pixabay

To God Be The Glory

Judy 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 as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Times

23 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Take this quiz to see your ability to conquer fear

23 Nov

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged November 22, 2019

We in Florida as other states on the East coast are breathing relief, we’re at the end of hurricane season.

No more spending hours monitoring the weather channel. No more dashing to get the last bottled water at the local store. And no more comments like this one:

“I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of these broadcasters. One minute we hear Dorian has lessened in its force. Next, we hear it’s heading our direction and we need to prepare. And then they tell us it’s coming but with less force. I’m fed up with the stress these people cause. Can’t’ they get anything straight?”

Forgive the cynicism, but her problem isn’t the hurricane. Her stress isn’t the uncertainty of the storm. It’s not even the danger that lurks. Her real problem is that she believed, trusted and counted on every word the weather forecasters said. And what they said dictated her frame of mind, attitude and determined her emotions.

Who can blame her? When facing danger, we all do the same—allow others to define our emotions. Sadly, hurricanes of life don’t have seasons. They come anytime. Some arrive with force. And others lurk around, stirring our anxiety.

You may be in an emotional hurricane right now. The winds of pain just increased and they are about to destroy your shelter of security.

But safety comes when we choose to trust in the One who forecasts our future. God, the only one who can hide us in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91).

Here’s a quiz to determine the level of your trust.

Jesus promises the rest we need in Matthew 11:28-29.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 

Do we believe that rest is ours and do we relax in that promise?

And when the storms drain our strength, in Isaiah 40:29-31 God promises:

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

 Do we believe in that strength and, rather than walk like defeated chickens, do we soar like eagles?

And when we lack what we need, do we believe what God promises in Paul’s words in Philippians 4:19:

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” 

Rather than lament what we don’t have do we believe we already possess His riches?

When fear attacks, God announces in Romans 8:37-39:

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 Are we counting on the world’s kind of security or relying in the safety of God’s love?

When life’s troubles become too much, God reassures in John 14:27:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid. 

Do we walk through life troubled, or do we boldly speak His peace into our situation?

And finally, when God promises in Proverbs 1:33:

“…all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” Do we doubt in His protection because we cannot see? Or believe In His promise of His powerful protection?

Storms might rattle our security, hurricanes may blow winds of destruction, and earthquakes may shake our foundation, but if we believe in God’s announcement on the channel of His faithfulness, fear melts in the truth of each of His promises.

Let’s Pray

Father, how often I said You’re my lord, I believed in You, and I trusted in Your Word, yet subtle fear rose in me. I thank You for Your patience with me as I learn to embrace and declare that I truly, truly believe and trust in Your promises. In Jesus’ name.

Are you focusing on the dark side of your situation or counting on the power of God’s promises?

Janet

______________________________________

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.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Nothing Much

21 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Not much going on this week. The weather has warmed and we were able to bring the plants that will winter in Florida with us out of the garage to enjoy the sun. The coleus aren’t doing well in the garage and I doubt they will make it until December. I think the mums will be ok.

My husband has been needing to burn some brush for the last year or so, but hasn’t felt well on the days when burning was feasible. Yesterday he felt well and the conditions were perfect. He really enjoys burning brush (weird, I know). Maybe it is having a tangible result and knowing that particular pile won’t be coming back! Whatever the reason, I am thankful he is feeling stronger.

I spent the morning going through recipes for Thanksgiving. I have a recipe for Keto stuffing but I really love my aunt Janet’s recipe and want Keto-fy it. I think I figured it out. I hope so!

Speaking of Keto, my favorite Keto person, Kristie Sullivan has a new cookbook coming out Tuesday, Crazy Busy Keto. I have it preordered and can’t wait. I love simple. The book was listed as a must have on CNET.com

After his brush burning adventure, my husband got it into his head to take down a dead pine tree. Sometimes he forgets that he isn’t an invincible 25 year old any longer but that’s a story for another time.

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving meal, remember, it’s not the food, it’s the fellowship. Enjoy the time with those you love.

So that’s it. Nothing much.

My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 8A

20 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 8 – Tuesday July 30

I headed west 20 miles on I-90 this morning, to visit the Deke Slaton Museum located in Sparta, WI.  This small museum is situated on the second floor of the Sparta Public Library, and was conducting a Space Camp meeting today. 

 When I asked for a brochure about the museum, the curator said she would have to check upstairs for one.  When I happened to mention that I had worked on the rocket that sent Deke Slaton into orbit, I became an instant celebrity, and she couldn’t do enough for me.  She said if we were very quiet, she would take me upstairs to the museum.  She showed me some of Deke’s space related artifacts and memorabilia, including one of the spacesuits worn during his Murcury-7 training, and two home-built airplanes that he owned.  Deke worked as chief of the American Astronaut Corp who selected astronauts for the Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions.  Deke flew on the 5-day Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission in 1975, which turned out to be the last Apollo mission. 

While I was in Sparta, I tried to find the Little Falls Railroad Museum, where I expected to see the largest collection of railroad art in the US, and the not so interesting, Madame Alexander’s doll collection.  The address I gave Greta (my Garmin) took me to a section of railroad tracks, at the dead-end of some street, but there was nothing that looked like a railroad museum in the area.  I later discovered that, even though the museum had a Sparta address, it was actually located 13 miles north of the city of Sparta.   No wonder Greta and I were so confused!  But, Oh well, I also found out this museum was not open on Tuesdays.   

Since the Railroad Museum was nowhere to be found, I headed southwest another 20 miles on I-90 to La Crosse, WI to visit the Dahl Auto Museum.  This museum is situated in one of the local Dahl Ford dealership showrooms, and displays a collection of 20+ beautifully restored vintage and classic cars dating from 1905 to the present.  There is also an impressive collection of vintage hood ornaments on display as part of the museum.  The museum shows a film history of the automobile’s development over the years, as well as sponsoring many special events throughout the year.

Now I headed northwest roughly 40 miles on I-90, across the Mississippi River (border between Wisconsin and Minnesota), and then north on US-14 to Winona, MN.  That’s where I picked up SR-54 and went back across the border  into Wisconsin.  Then I followed SR-35 north to visit Elmer’s Auto Museum located in Fountain City, WI.  I was looking forward to seeing Elmer’s collection of 100+ antique and classic cars, dating from 1910, plus motorcycles and bicycles.  However, upon arriving at the museum, I was informed the museum was closed because Elmer had passed away just the day before.  The museum volunteer I talked to was very kind, and even invited me to Elmer’s funeral, if I was going to be in the area until Friday.  I thought that was very courteous, of him.  I thanked him and headed for my next museum. 

—–This day’s activities will be continued next week—–

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.

 

Bill

 

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

Animal Parade

18 Nov

My Take

DiVoran Lites

By Dora Bowers as told to DiVoran Lites

Crowley, Colorado 1942-43

Description: Goats, Mom And Child, Kid, Small, Cute, Young, Fur
Pixabay

Around the time that David learned to walk well, we had a Mama goat named Petaluma and a baby goat named Billy. We also had a dog named ginger and a black cat. Sometimes in the afternoon between washing and drying dinner dishes and starting supper, we all walked along beside the irrigation ditch to the factory to see Ivan. For some reason, we always fell into a line, maybe according to whose legs were longest. First came Dode (which was me) then Doo Doo (which was the only way David could say DiVoran’s name) then David who we called Dab because of the letters of his name: David Allen Bowers. 

Description: Dog, Toller, Pet, Retriever
Pixabay
Description: Kitten, Cat, Black Cat, Domestic Cat, Pets, Animal
Pixabay

Then came Billy the little goat. Billy liked to detour, his divided hooves clicking over the glass which covered the new tomato plants. He stepped so daintily, he never cracked a single pane. After Billy-goat came Ginger the Heinz 57 dog with short forays to check out rabbit smells, and then the cat, always alert for field mice. Momma goat, Petaluma never went along and she wouldn’t tell me why. I suspected it was because she wanted some time to herself, or maybe I thought that because I was in tune with mamas needing just that. 

Description: Bantam, Rooster, Chickens, Farm, Domestic
Pixabay

Chanticleer the banty rooster was another member of the family that didn’t go along on the walk. He was a cocky and colorful little character, but he had a bad sense of timing. Day and night trains carrying troops and equipment for the war came down the railroad tracks behind our house. At night, when it was dark, Chanticleer couldn’t tell the difference between light from the streamliner and light from the rising sun. Whenever Chanticleer saw the light, he crowed, even if it was only 3:00 a. m. The noise would wake us and all the hard-working neighbors out of a well-earned night’s sleep. Chanticleer had to go.

He ended up in the pot, but no matter how long we stewed him (and we even served noodles with him) he turned out to be awfully hard to chew and for a while, we lost our taste for chicken. DiVoran’s tears when she guessed what we were trying to eat.

There in Crowley, we had young friends with children the age of ours, so Dave and DiVoran had playmates. We wives cleaned our houses on Friday then raced to see who could get to the other’s house first so their own would not be messed up with the children’s play. 

In 1943, when Dave was two and DiVoran 5, more and more countries became involved with the war. In the United States, some men were being drafted and others volunteered for service. Although deferments were usually given to men with small children; as well as to men who produced and preserved food, Ivan felt he must at least go down to the draft office and see if they needed him. They needed him—even though he worked in a canning factory, had small children and even flat feet. “By that time in the war all they required was a man with warm blood.”

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.”

Soup’s On!

17 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Do you like soup?  As we’ve gotten older, I find that we enjoy a meal of soup and either crackers or fresh sourdough bread.  Yum!

A few years after we were married, my mother-in-law gave me a cookbook from military wives.

All kinds of recipes in that book.  I found a “vegetable-beef” soup recipe that I tried, and we both enjoyed.  However, I’ve not tried it in so long a time, that I’m not sure which recipe I followed.  Therefore…no vegetable-beef soup from my kitchen.

When we were in Germany the first time (1967-1970) I purchased a cookbook (in English) of good German recipes.

One of the recipes is of mushroom soup.  Now, I realize that not everyone likes mushrooms, so this one isn’t for you.  But Fred and I really enjoy mushrooms – especially fresh ones – so this soup just hit the spot.  I had to tone down the amount of salt in it, but it is wonderful!

Another soup I found that we enjoy, came from a small little booklet I picked up somewhere, with recipes that made good use of cider vinegar, olive oil, and beans.

The soup from that recipe book makes up a good, tasty, hearty soup.  It includes cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, chili peppers, potatoes, onions and garlic.  Wow is that good!!  And on a cold winter day it is especially good.  And yes, we DO have cold winter days here in Florida.  A bowl of that with crackers – just yummm!

If my readers remember, I mentioned that my Dad was an avid hunter, and we ate a lot of venison in my growing-up years.  One of the things that Mother made from some of that ground-up venison, was chili.  I know that doesn’t really qualify as “soup,” but then again, on a cold winter day, chili is really hard to beat.  I’ve tried many times to make Mother’s chili, even going by her recipe, and I just can’t duplicate the taste or texture.  I guess it just took Mother’s touch to make it just right.

However, I think our favorite soup came from a recipe from my wonderful sister-in-law, DiVoran.  Actually, my Mother gave me the recipe, stating it was from DiVoran.  After I had made it up one time, and told DiVoran about it, she said she didn’t remember making it, and would I share the recipe with her…which I did.  It is a potato and leek soup.  Chicken stock, celery, potatoes, onions, and leeks.  It doesn’t take too long to cook up, but with fresh sourdough bread….umm-mmm, is that GOOD!!

The only time I’ve ever had soup that I didn’t like was once when we were eating out at a restaurant.  This place is known for its breakfast, but the other two meals of the day aren’t their best efforts.  In any case, I ordered their vegetable soup – and it came with about ½ inch of oil on the top!!  Yuk!!  I’ve never had soup like that before – or since!

Any good soup recipes from your kitchen out there?

Judy 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 as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

What to do when life is choking your happiness

16 Nov

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged November 16, 2019

“C’mon, girlfriend, we’re going to the mall.”

“Whoo hoo!” I hung up the phone with a huge smile. Any chance to hit stores and come home with bargains stirred girlish excitement. Since I lost my eyesight, these trips gave me a chance to get out, catch up, laugh and come home with crazy stories.

Anticipating a great time, my friend took me by the arm and we strolled through crowded store aisles headed to the petite department.

“I see a perfect outfit for you,” she said, “and I think it’s on sale!” Our steps quickened.

Once in the dressing room, she handed me the fitted top. “The colors are perfect. They’ll look great on you.”

I slipped my arms through. “Hmm… a little tight.” I tried to poke my head through, but got stuck midway. “I think I need a bigger size,” I muttered.

“No way. It’s your size,” she said. She tugged first one side then the other.

The top wouldn’t budge, on or off. My arms pressed against my ears, and my words of panic muffled by the blouse that smashed my face.

“No pain.” She said as she yanked with all her might. “No gain.”

My head poked through, jack-in-the-box style and while catching my breath, I stared in space.

My arms limp to the sides, and my mind imagining this garment never to come off again.

Moments later, my friend gasped as she ran her fingers to the side. “Oh, I can’t believe it…”

“What?”

“It has a zipper.”

A zipper? She’s got to be kidding.

“Sorry. I just didn’t see it.”

Another crazy story.

But this one mirrored a difficult dilemma in my own life. I battled, trying to decide whether I fit into the world’s pattern or fit into the mold tailored by God.

Initially, thinking it’d be a perfect match, I carefully chose goals, dreams, and expectations in line with the world’s standards. But when adversity swept through, the struggle began. I tugged, yanked, and pulled on various styles to find a way out of difficult situations. I became worn out by trying to make my own solutions fit my problems.

I even battled with the correct order of priorities. In my role as a wife, mom, friend, or church member, I desired to please everyone. Often anxiety visited reminding me of my inability to please even myself.

But did I change? No. I stubbornly continued to use my values, beliefs, and choices to overcome and find satisfaction.

But when the effects of losing my sight crushed my world, it became real, painfully real that my own ways to solve my problems were not sufficient. My solutions were not a match for a tragedy of this magnitude. Nothing I tried brought comfort, reassurance, encouragement, or hope.

And empty of hope, I began shopping for a dose of comfort—through fortune tellers, psychics, New Age healers, etc. They successfully increased my frustration and decreased the balance of my checking account.

My whole life was off balance. And when almost ready to tumble in defeat, I found the zipper – the opening. It was the entrance designed in my heart for Jesus to come in.

Freedom

When He did, He provided freedom from the world’s deceptions.

Once I received Him into my life, I made Him my Lord, my God, my all.

His faithfulness, compassion, and guidance offered a perfect garment for my soul. The price tag read, “Free.”

This incredible gift, complete with the jewels of His trustworthy promises adorn my renewed life.

A new beginning, leaving behind unnecessary struggles when facing difficulties. A newfound reassurance knowing He created me and thus knows what will fit my soul. He knows the size of my needs, the color of my pain, the fabric of my fears, and the fashion of my insecurities.

Christ knows yours too. Trusting in the pattern He custom-designed for you, surrender happens. fear, anxiety, and doubt—no longer fit a new life in Christ.

All becomes new. Redirection begins. No more desperation to be free from setbacks big or small. Christ is the one who gives eyes to see a new world—one of renewed hope, confidence, and peace.

And it’s that profound peace that filters through when God turns blindness or any other setback, to joy. And with a new outlook, we can hold on to his healing Word as it dances in our soul, “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland.” (Isaiah 61:10 NIV).

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for giving me the spiritual garment I can wear as I live the life, abundant and rich, You promised. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God has the perfect garment for your soul. Will you try it on?

Janet

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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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Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

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