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  • Hiking Hedgehog Mt.

    12/15/2019 5:52:55 AM, by JSTETSER

    I need a change of pace, and to get in more steps. When I hike, my blood sugar levels are at their best. My BP is lower, and I feel really good. My husband and I are heading to a small peak that is close to our home. We will dress in layers as it should be cold. We will also bring a thermos... Read more

  • Forgiveness

    12/15/2019 2:27:54 AM, by OLDEROWL

    The Power of Forgiveness releases us into a new present and a new future. We can choose to live with the pain of hurt feelings. or we can transform the hurt into learning and a new beginning. The process of that transformation is called forgiveness. Whenever a hurt rises up, it is a moment to expe... Read more

  • Blue Christmas

    12/14/2019 5:25:28 AM, by JSTETSER

    I love the joy and magic of the season, but this year is different. This is a Christmas of holding Mom's hand in the nursing home, It will be a much quieter season with most of the grandkids far away. It will be a blue Christmas, and I'm fighting depression and feeling lonely. It's not the mos... Read more

  • The Painful Past

    12/13/2019 2:37:36 PM, by OLDEROWL

    History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, but if faced With courage, need not be lived again Maya Angelou from 'On the Pulse of Morning' 1993 I like this poem because it is so me. I've been through a lot but I always counted my blessings. My parents always stressed that... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Friday, December 13, 2019

    12/13/2019 7:15:54 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 13, 2019 SHOWING MERCY Mercy is a word that reminds us of God. He has shown mercy to people since the beginning of time. His acts of mercy on the people of Israel exemplify His love for them. His acts of mercy sending Jesus to die for us show His willingness to do whatever it takes for... Read more

  • Routine Progress

    12/13/2019 5:28:16 AM, by JSTETSER

    For over 10 years, I have experienced the shooting pain of neuropathy in my feet and ankles. Those pains are gone. I have been working out with The Classical Stretch program and Miranda Esmond-White. Her 23-minute simple stretching routines have improved my body and circulation. I love the wo... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Thursday, December 12, 2019

    12/12/2019 6:08:56 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 12, 2019 BEAR FRUIT We don’t have to grow gardens to know bearing fruit requires planting seeds. At a young age, we learn when we put a seed in the ground and water it, it will grow. As good stewards for God, we are to bear fruit by planting seeds. If we want to produce good fruit for ... Read more

  • Sticking Together

    12/12/2019 5:21:33 AM, by JSTETSER

    Snowmen are just flakes that stick together in the freezing weather. Sticking together makes us strong, and much bigger than we could ever be on our own. Don't get shoveled off to the snow heaps of life! Stick with your flaky friends! ... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, December 11, 2019

    12/11/2019 6:18:41 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 11, 2019 PAY ATTENTION We can probably remember teachers telling our class to pay attention in school. Even our parents advise us to pay attention when they are speaking. Paying attention is important but not always easy. There are many distractions in this world and in our minds that ... Read more

  • The Gift

    12/11/2019 5:16:27 AM, by JSTETSER

    My favorite Christmas memories involve the loving care of others. Didi brought the special quilt made by a friend and put it on my mother’s bed in the nursing home. She found a way to make mama’s day brighter with this beautiful little masterpiece. Nothing could make my heart happier than seei... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    12/10/2019 6:07:49 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 10, 2019 LIVING HOPE As good stewards for God, we have hope in Him. Of course, everyone has hope in something. However, those who believe in God have great and living hope that actually brings peace, joy and all good things from Him. In fact, we can be good stewards for God because of ... Read more

  • Shoelaces And The Christmas Spirit

    12/10/2019 5:15:00 AM, by JSTETSER

    When I was growing up, I often ended up with broken shoelaces. Being the second of six kids meant that there were times Mom just did not make my shoelaces a priority. For some reason, that bothered me to no end. As an adult, I made sure that my kids had new laces when the old ones broke. I... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Monday, December 9, 2019

    12/9/2019 6:21:45 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 9, 2019 WORKING FOR GOD Many of us dread going to work daily. We look forward to the day we can retire or find another job that is more fulfilling. However, we can be good stewards for God in the work we do no matter where the job is – at home, in the community, or for a company. When ... Read more

  • Prepared for a Busy Week!

    12/9/2019 5:20:44 AM, by JSTETSER

    I've had a few tough days and learned some valuable lessons. 1. If I'm not prepared, life can really knock me down and drag me through the mud. I have to plan my days to get in everything that is important to me. 2. Peace of mind comes through my planning. 3. I won't be ready for Chri... Read more

  • The Children's Hour

    12/8/2019 6:35:19 PM, by OLDEROWL

    poem by Henry W Longfellow: Between the dark and the daylight, When night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day's occupations, That is known as the Children's Hour. It would be a great family treasure if families with young children took time out at least once a week to cel... Read more

  • Details, Details!

    12/8/2019 7:07:18 AM, by JSTETSER

    It was one of those days with too much to do. I woke up a little tired and rushed into the day. I forgot to bring important things to the nursing home for my mom, I forgot to take care of things that needed to be done because I was all caught up in the unimportant things of life. Sometimes my l... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Sunday, December 8, 2019

    12/8/2019 6:32:59 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 8, 2019 GOOD STEWARDS WITH MONEY Many of us struggle with money. We just don’t know why we can’t get ahead. We may believe we just don’t have enough to make ends meet…much less give to others. However, not tithing is the reason we are in a financial mess. When we don’t give God back th... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Saturday, December 7, 2019

    12/7/2019 6:27:41 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 7, 2019 INTENTIONAL LIVING We all make choices every day. Some say we make thousands of them daily. Some choices are routine and small. Others are detrimental and significant. Living intentionally as a good steward for God requires us to make better choices. We can make intentional cho... Read more

  • I Am Not Super Woman!

    12/7/2019 6:01:56 AM, by JSTETSER

    No, I am not Super Woman, and I cannot save the world. I need help. I’m having a tough time, making plans to go to Florida in February to visit my son and his family I know that it is not at all rational, but I wonder if my mother will pass while we are gone. It really hurts my heart to leav... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Friday, December 6, 2019

    12/6/2019 6:25:20 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 6, 2019 RESIST!! We are all tempted. Daily. We sometimes fall into our own daily habits of doing wrong. Other times, the devil hits us when we are weak hoping we will give into temptation. Being good stewards of God means we are to prepare for temptations just as Jesus did. Reading Luk... Read more

  • Stretching to Reach my Goals!

    12/6/2019 5:21:20 AM, by JSTETSER

    Cold weather seems to bring on more aches and pain in my body. I'm tempted just to sit still, but I have goals to reach! I want to stay in shape to kayak with my sons and run with the grandkids. We will be climbing Mt Monadnock and possibly Mt Katahdin in Maine this summer. I also control Typ... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Thursday, December 5, 2019

    12/5/2019 6:49:21 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 5, 2019 A SPECIAL GIFT It’s hard to find that special gift. That gift others will not put aside or return. While we are scrambling around and racking our brains to decide on a great gift to give to our friends and loved ones, we may be forgetting all the gifts God has for us. Of the ma... Read more

  • Making Cards & Thanking Others

    12/5/2019 5:16:03 AM, by JSTETSER

    Homemade cards are the best. The time and thought that goes into the process is priceless. This is a tough Christmas for me with my Mom’s health and energy declining. We have made Christmas cards every year for as long as I can remember. Making them without her is difficult, but decided to... Read more

  • Think ahead for 2020

    12/4/2019 3:40:18 PM, by OLDEROWL

    I was reading Heidi's blog from 12/1/19 title: 'Ready, Set, Reset' re the Winter 2020 5% Challenge' and it was a GREAT reminder of exactly WHY we are all here!!! The 5% Weight Loss Challenge Community even though we have obtained our desired weight. To see her blog, please follow this link: http:... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, December 4, 2019

    12/4/2019 6:27:59 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 4, 2019 BEING GOOD STEWARDS OF TIME Managing our time is pretty important this time of year because we are scheduling parties, shopping and attending our children’s events. We are working, continuing to manage the household and trying to keep from getting stressed. Being good stewards ... Read more

  • What's Your Focus?

    12/4/2019 5:15:07 AM, by JSTETSER

    Today, I'm focusing on what matters! This morning, I woke up and had a heart-to-heart conversation with myself. Me: Hi Beautiful, how are you today? Myself: I'm doing good! I've got some big challenges, but I can meet them with God's help. Me: That's right, Jackie! You can meet these ... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, December 3, 2019

    12/3/2019 6:14:33 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 3, 2019 WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY Many of us hear or see what advertisers call great opportunities. When something goes on sale that we really want, we have an opportunity to purchase it and get a bargain. However, there is usually a time limit on it and if miss that window of opportunity... Read more

  • Snow Days

    12/3/2019 5:17:28 AM, by JSTETSER

    15 inches, and it's still snowing! Yesterday I spent over 3 hours shoveling. I create some ramps out of snow on the side of my driveway so that I don't have to lift the snow. I bought a great shovel to help me keep from straining my back. Today it's still snowing, and I'll be out there ... Read more

  • Joyous living for Christmas

    12/2/2019 7:17:42 PM, by OLDEROWL

    This Christmas season, we will live each day, a Wholesome, Inspirational, Healthy, and Joyous life. Wholesome because we strive: -to eat only wholesome foods, and get a proper amount of exercise, -to live every moment guided by principles based upon Jesus teachings or which we deem to be in... Read more

  • December is a time for giving

    12/2/2019 1:08:32 PM, by OLDEROWL

    I had so much to be thankful for last week and enjoyed Thanksgiving with my wife while on vacation in Hawaii. One thing that struck me though was that even in Hawaii, there are those whose luck has turned sour like the homeless man I saw with his cart of meager essentials. It made me think of how ... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Monday, December 2, 2019

    12/2/2019 5:53:43 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 2, 2019 OUR BODIES Disciplining ourselves to take care of our bodies isn’t easy. However, we are to remember our bodies are just temporary. We only have them a short while and God wants us to care for them. We see people who are at the gym taking care of their bodies. We see people eat... Read more

  • Hunkering Down in the Snow Storm

    12/2/2019 5:10:29 AM, by JSTETSER

    It snowed 8 inches last night and should snow all day today. It's a good day to stay home. The school has been canceled! We have our first winter wonderland. It's almost 5 am as I put another stick on the fire, and enjoy the quiet of the early morning. I'll take some time to write before... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Sunday, December 1, 2019

    12/1/2019 6:47:04 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    December 1, 2019 GOOD STEWARDS SACRIFICE Stewardship means caring. When we care for the things God has blessed us with, we are being good stewards. We can be better stewards of our time by doing more for God. We can be better stewards with our bodies by taking better care of them. All that God ... Read more

  • Making Granola!

    12/1/2019 6:04:43 AM, by JSTETSER

    Today I'm heating up the oven and making some low-sugar granola. The maple syrup is optional. I love it for the great flavor that it adds. A little goes a long way! 4 It's a great addition to my breakfasts and snacks. I use it as a cereal and also on my greek yogurt. 8 cup dry Oatmea... Read more

  • Science Saves Lives!

    11/30/2019 6:15:14 AM, by JSTETSER

    I'm sure that my life is much healthier because of science. I stopped smoking before 20 because science proved that smoking caused heart disease. I changed my diet because science proved that a low sugar and low carb diet is healthy for people who have Type 2 Diabetes. I drink 8 glasses of wat... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Saturday, November 30, 2019

    11/30/2019 6:13:49 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 30, 2019 ETERNAL EXPECTATIONS It has been said whatever we expect to happen…will happen. It actually has been proven time and time again. A sick person expects to get better and does. A business owner expects to be successful and is. A young person expects to find a spouse and does. Th... Read more

  • Attitude check; I'm very lucky - Bob

    11/29/2019 4:13:26 PM, by OLDEROWL

    An healthy attitude is everything, as it will guarantee success no matter your circumstances. Lucky Bob; that's me. Most of all I'm lucky to have an happy family life and a loving wife. I gained a bit of weight over the summer but I'm lucky that I feel fine and have less than 10 pounds to lose; no... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Friday, November 29, 2019

    11/29/2019 7:46:09 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 29, 2019 STORE UP FOR THE FUTURE We have heard of people who store up things for future use. Some get bargains now and have an inventory of things they can use later on. Others store up non-perishables to have in case of an emergency. Still others stash away money so they will not be f... Read more

  • Setting Happier Traditions

    11/29/2019 5:29:34 AM, by JSTETSER

    I’ve started a new tradition this year. Thanksgiving dinner was spent with people who love me. Some were family, and some weren’t exactly family. We ate at my husband’s ex-in-laws home. The celebration was fun and enjoyable. I made sure to call all members of my family or send a text. ... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Thursday, November 28, 2019

    11/28/2019 6:39:29 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 28, 2019 GRATITUDE Thanksgiving. It is a time to reflect on our blessings. It is a time to be grateful for what we have rather than wishing we had more. Human nature causes us to desire more. However, God wants us to be content with what we have and be grateful. We can experience great... Read more

  • I'm On the Look-Out!

    11/28/2019 5:36:49 AM, by JSTETSER

    I don’t fully understand the angry, draining emotions around me, but I know that I need to be strong and resist them. I need to bring joy to my family, to my students, and to my mother. I need to first receive that joy before I can give it away. Here is my plan (actually, I copied this from m... Read more

  • Here's some turkey humor...

    11/27/2019 12:18:27 PM, by CHERRIET

    ... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, November 27, 2019

    11/27/2019 6:10:23 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 27, 2019 EAGER EXPECTATIONS We all remember eagerly awaiting something in our lives. It may have been a birthday, Christmas morning, our wedding, or a special trip. Eager expectation is about hope. We hope for something good. We hope for something we can’t yet experience. With God, we ... Read more

  • My Exercise Adventure

    11/27/2019 5:35:01 AM, by JSTETSER

    Two weeks ago I joined a Yoga class at Bethel Farm here in Hillsboro. It's a lot of work, but worth it! I can do most of the exercises, but even when I can't do an exercise perfectly, I give it a try. Shantelle, the class leader, is helpful, but not pushy. I like that. I really like the roo... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, November 26, 2019

    11/26/2019 6:28:20 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 26, 2019 WHAT’S OUR DESTINY? There are two types of destiny in life. One is where we will all end up one day and nothing can change that. The other is controlled by us. Winston Churchill says destiny is not a matter of chance but of choice. It is something to be achieved. Yes, we will ... Read more

  • Turning up the Volume

    11/26/2019 5:23:31 AM, by JSTETSER

    My Mom started hospice. I've been watching the fire of my mother's life flicker and it's frightening, agonizing and painful.  Even more painful are the reactions of family members who have rejected me because Mom is now in hospice.  My brother and sister once loved me, but no longer are k... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Monday, November 25, 2019

    11/25/2019 7:06:56 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 25, 2019 GETTING THINGS DONE Why don’t we get things done? There are many reasons; however, there is only one person to blame. That is us. We don’t get things done because we give up, stop caring or get distracted. God knows this. He knows what distracts us, limits us and tempts us. He... Read more

  • Staying off the Thin Ice!

    11/25/2019 5:18:45 AM, by JSTETSER

    Last night, we got a large dose of freezing rain. Our roads and sidewalks are covered with a thin sheet of ice. The town has sanded, but this is one day where the elliptical and the stationary bike come in very handy. It's much better to have sure footing in life and in walking. Don't take... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Sunday, November 24, 2019

    11/24/2019 8:21:35 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 24, 2019 WHEN WE ARE DOWN AND OUT No one expects us to do great things when we are going through hard times or dealing with grief. There will be times in life where we aren’t able to work on the goals God has for us because we are suffering. However, we can still trust in God. We can s... Read more

  • Finding and Using the Help

    11/24/2019 5:40:53 AM, by JSTETSER

    Yesterday I met with a hospice nurse. It's hard to face the fact that my mother is preparing to die. Even though she loves her children, she's ready to move on. Her work on Earth is coming to a close, and now I need to hold her hand as she experiences her "change of life". I want my mom to... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Saturday, November 23, 2019

    11/23/2019 6:38:06 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 23, 2019 CONFIDENT TRUST In order to keep going and get things done, we need confidence. Not confidence in ourselves but confident trust in God. Most people we depend on in life will let us down. However, God will never let us down. He wants us to rely on Him. He wants us to trust in H... Read more

  • Opportunity

    11/23/2019 5:46:22 AM, by JSTETSER

    "Opportunity looks a lot like hard work." Jim Rohn I'm thankful for the many opportunities that I've been given in my life. Currently, I have the opportunity to learn about hospice. I never wanted to learn these lessons, but it is my gift from God right now. I might as well embrace what I... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Friday, November 22, 2019

    11/22/2019 6:22:39 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 22, 2019 AIM HIGH When setting our goals, we sometimes aim too low. We find ourselves setting easy and attainable goals but they don’t stretch us and help us grow. Despite our income, our status, our jobs, our family, we can all set high goals for God. Why? Because when we are doing Hi... Read more

  • Committed to be Fit!

    11/22/2019 5:23:16 AM, by JSTETSER

    I am committed to my health. If I'm not healthy, I can't help my family or myself. This is a busy time in my life, but my commitment to fitness is still a part of the plan. 1. I walk every day. If the weather is bad outside, I walk inside. 2. I eat right and track my food. I give mysel... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Thursday, November 21, 2019

    11/21/2019 5:11:11 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 21, 2019 CLEANING IS REQUIRED Most of us don’t like to clean. We don’t like to maintain the things we have and take care of them until something breaks down. Sometimes we fail to maintain our bodies and our minds. There are things we need in life to keep going. The basics are food, wat... Read more

  • Letting Bo & Letting Be

    11/21/2019 5:09:07 AM, by JSTETSER

    Mom has told us that she is ready to go. "I thought that I was dying last night;' she told us. My Dad (who passed 20 years ago) visits her at night and she will go with him one of these nights. It's her privilege and her life. Our family is starting hospice care on Saturday and making some hard ... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Wednesday, November 20, 2019

    11/20/2019 6:18:08 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 20, 2019 FILLED COMPLETELY WITH JOY Setting goals and attempting to reach them can be strenuous, disappointing and stressful. However, many believe the joy in setting goals is the journey and not the final destination. When we struggle through our journey to reach our goals in life, we... Read more

  • Making The Time

    11/20/2019 5:19:49 AM, by JSTETSER

    I am a very busy person. I bet you are too. I fill my day with friends, family, work, exercise, good food, and some fun. Now there are new demands on my time in regards to my Mom. I really don't have time to spare, but I will make the time. Time is a precious gift that is not to be wasted... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    11/19/2019 6:13:33 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 19, 2019 REFUSE TO BE BITTER We have probably bit into something expecting it to taste really sweet only to discover that it is bitter. We are taken by surprise and immediately spit it out because it is not what we expected. Bitterness isn’t good. When we have bitterness in our hearts,... Read more

  • Trying Something New!

    11/19/2019 5:14:44 AM, by JSTETSER

    Yesterday I changed my normal exercise schedule and went to a yoga class. I am not much of a class person, choosing to exercise on my own and hike with my husband. The change was very good, and I really liked the group. With all that is going on in my life right now, I think that the yoga comm... Read more

  • Monday's Motivation

    11/18/2019 9:17:35 AM, by SIMPLY_JAE

    ... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Monday, November 18, 2019

    11/18/2019 5:49:49 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 18, 2019 SHOWING GOODNESS As we set our goals in life, we tend to think about what we want to do or be. The quality of goodness is a good goal for all people. The definition of true goodness can be found in God’s word. If we attempt being good by the world’s standards, we will certainl... Read more

  • I'm with Martha!

    11/18/2019 5:25:52 AM, by JSTETSER

    I have joined a lot of different groups on SparkPeople over the years, but my successful times are when I'm with people who personally ask me. Martha from the Healthy Hearts SparkTeam asked me to join her Daily Exercise Challenge. This is the first thing that I check off when I go to Spark. I ... Read more

  • Just Breathe..

    11/17/2019 2:38:45 PM, by SIMPLY_JAE

    If this is all you can manage to do today...it will be enough... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Sunday, November 17, 2019

    11/17/2019 7:40:50 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 17, 2019 GREAT GIFTS We all like to receive gifts. We get them during certain times of the year and sometimes we get them for no reason at all. Gifts are given to us by others who care about us and want to please us. Some gifts we can use and others we can’t. However, the gifts we rece... Read more

  • Choosing Joy

    11/17/2019 6:04:26 AM, by JSTETSER

    My mom no longer lives at home. It broke my heart to see her leave her big home. She shares a small room in a nursing home, and she has learned to love it! It was hard at first, but this is where she needs to be. She has lots of friends here! She is reconnecting with people that she has kno... Read more

  • Thought and Prayer for Saturday, November 16, 2019

    11/16/2019 7:05:03 AM, by FRANCESLUCAS

    November 16, 2019 NEVER GIVE UP So many times when we have a dream or vision for the future, we get frustrated and give up. Life happens. We get side-tracked. We may not go for our dreams or visions for the future because of the uncertainty of what could happen. We get comfortable in our world ... Read more

  • My Morning Blog

    11/16/2019 5:45:22 AM, by JSTETSER

    Every morning I sit down and write about the good, bad, beautiful and ugly parts of my life. I make the ending as possible as I can, and I find that this has helped me in my journey. I've gained a better understanding of what I'm going through from the many comments of my friends who respond. ... Read more