The Most Yummy-Smelling Candles Ever! (First in my Cheerleading Series)

Here.  Smell this!

Pink Lemonade

Pink Lemonade

I really wish you could.  It is the most scrumptious-smelling soy candle ever!  Ever, ever!   It’s from the White Lights Soy Candle Company in Norway, Iowa.  Population 601.   (2000 census).  Who would ever guess something so

delightful would be tucked away in this little railroad town?   This is what Hero and I see when we make our trek for candles.

Believe me, it is worth the trip.   Don’t underestimate them just because they’re hand-poured in an off-the-beaten-track little spot in the middle of Corn Country.

This is the Heartland.  This is where virtue and morals and families still thrive.   This is where fireflies sparkle over fields in the summer, and where one can still breathe fresh, clean air.

These candles are the best of the best.  (They’re even sold in upscale, tourist-y places like antiques-laden Galena, Illinois.)   White Lights has an extensive scent list.  All winter I burn their Northwood Pine.  In the fall it’s Carrot Cake…oh the spicy aroma!  But listen to these:  Blackberry Fig, Carmel Rum Swirl, Cinnamon Buns, Cup O’ Joe, Lemon Drop, Pumpkin Spice, Raspberry Chocolate Drizzle… just too many to list…and new fragrances often…

Right now, my favorite is Pink Lemonade.  It’s pretty, it’s pink,  it’s perfect for spring…and it’s a little intoxicating…just can’t seem to get enough of it…   I constantly get compliments from guests when these candles are burning in my home.

So, have I convinced you to check them out?  (Not getting paid for this, BTW;  I’m just a believer in cheering for stuff I like.)   Here, take another whiff  and then check out their website.  http://www.mywhitelights.com/

They’ll even custom-pour candles if you have specific containers you’d like used…such as vintage tea cups.

If you want quality and yummy-smelling candles which waft their fragrance throughout your home, get acquainted with White Lights Soy Candles Company, 128 Railroad Street, Norway, Iowa.  (Don’t you love that address?)  Toll free number: 877-227-3055.

Sick PC

 

Just stopping by to say my PC is sick with a very bad virus.  I’m writing this from a limited-use laptop.   Miss y’all.  

 

Be good.  Be kind.  Pray for Fargo/Moorhead, MN as they fight to avoid catastrophic flooding.

 

P.S.  Don’t worry, I’m not writing from my PC; you can’t catch the virus from this computer.  😉

Something to Smile About

 

Just when we think we can’t take another word of bad news, God puts something in front of us to make us smile.

 

                                                                                                                                                                  

I love serendipitous moments when I spot something that needs to be captured, and I just happen to have my camera in my purse.  The photo above was taken at a Cracker Barrel in North Carolina.  When I saw that gorgeous grandfather carrying his newborn granddaughter, I couldn’t not ask to take their photo.  I’m so glad they said yes.

 

 

It happened again when I watched this grandfather tending his granddaughter in a doctor’s waiting room.  Even I didn’t know if I’d have the nerve to ask if I could take their picture.  But you can see why I couldn’t resist.  Aren’t they precious? 

 

I hope they make you smile, too.

Invisible Hero

 

 

        Every morning he opens his eyes to a life in which no one knows he’s awake.  No one knows what time he gets out of bed.  No one even wonders.    He hears no “good morning.”  Only the silence of a second-floor efficiency which he accesses via wood steps on the outside of a house.  The quiet is a woeful sound, roaring at him daily, “You don’t matter!” 

        Even before he gets up, he begins to wonder how he will fill the hours of another day alone.  What will he fix for his morning meal?  When was the last time he ate breakfast with anyone?  Or lunch?  Or supper? 

His phone rings.  Telemarketers have discovered he’s an easy mark.  His tender conscience finds it hard to say “no.”  So he waits.  And listens.  To see if that one on the other end of the line is calling him, or just his pocketbook.

The stack of unopened junk mail on his kitchen counter attests to the number of times he’s said “yes,” even though his modest contributions probably don’t pay an hour’s wage for the fund raisers who keep asking for more. 

After his shower, breakfast, and meds, he can no longer put off facing the hours ahead.  Varying days offer the relief of part-time structure.  Those are the ones when he goes to work at a high-end food market, bagging groceries. 

It’s the days off which are, too often, more painful.  It feels strange to live without any sense of community.  To have no integral part in a group of people with whom to regularly interact.  To have no identifiable social circle which knows him, and laughs with him, enjoys him and values him.  And wants him around.  He has no friends among whom he has a place so vital that he would be missed if he were not there to fill his role.  Instead, his spot is only by specific, occasional invitation.  And it feels indescribably, unspeakably, achingly lonely.

On the long days, he busies himself with nature, crafting abodes for birds and bats.  Or walking around lakes, watching for signs of changing seasons which only the well-trained eye could spot.   

He is a brilliant man.  Intelligent.  A deep thinker.  Artistic, yet outdoorsy.  He’s a handyman extraordinaire.  He holds a treasure of captivating knowledge and experience with God’s creatures.  He loves a good joke.  At the smallest opportunity, his eyes twinkle with merriment.  But the world is missing out.  They pass him by, bicycling, skating, jogging, walking their dogs.  Living.  If they only knew.

Sometimes he shares lunch at a half-way home for others with mental illness.  His own label?  Schizophrenia.  He’s been seen at that half-way house comforting, encouraging and welcoming first-time visitors, teens whose lives brought them to this place set apart from “normal” society.     

His compassion seems boundless.  When he prays, I listen in hushed awe to his broken humility, to his tender reverence, loyalty, and love for the Lord.  I listen to him intercede for others.  And it brings me to tears.  How can he be so trusting in the midst of a life with so much pain and desolation? 

I’ve been in his circumstances.  Not with the diagnosis tag, but I know what it’s like to be so set apart from society that I can find no meaningful place on the planet.  I know what it feels like to face each day knowing no one wonders about me.  I know what it’s like to go day, upon day, upon day, with no one to talk to.  No face-to-face encounters.  And it nearly drove me insane.  My anguish could only be expressed with at-the-top-of-my-lungs screams.  Does anyone care?  Does anyone understand?   

I thank God for that experience.  Unless one has endured that kind of suffocating alone-ness, it’s impossible to understand what guts it takes for this man to face each day.  He could give up.  He could wallow in self-pity.  But he doesn’t.  He finds projects to keep himself busy.  He prays.  He picks up the phone and reaches out.  Those who find his calls interruptive have no idea how brave he’s being.  They have no true concept of loneliness.  And though I would love for them to understand this kind of pain, I would not wish it on anyone. 

God let me experience it…for a long time…and I consider it a gift.  It expanded my world, gave me new eyes to understand this man, and also to realize that society is full of people like him. 

The man about whom I write has no idea that he is one of my role models.  He is one of my life heroes.  I genuinely admire him.  I am praying fervently that God will give him a social circle in which he is an integral part, and is not just an invited guest.  I will not quit until I know he is part of a people group who actually see how delightful he is, and want him around.  Everyone needs that.  It’s God’s way.

 

Copyright, Seriouswhimsey, March 13, 2009           

Writing for the Soul

 

 

Okay, you have nearly a year now to budget for the next “Writing for the Soul” conference.  It’ll  be held at the Grand Hyatt in Denver next February 18-21, 2010.  Take a look at the keynote speakers.  No doubt you’ve heard of authors, Max Lucado and Philip Yancey; Phil Vischer created VeggieTales!  The conference is hosted by New York Times Best Selling author, Jerry B. Jenkins, owner of the Christian Writer’s Guild. 

 

Besides the conference, the Guild offers top notch courses designed for everyone from beginner (including teens) to seasoned author.  For anyone serious about writing for the soul, this may be your answer to prayer:  http://www.christianwritersguild.com/

 

After returning from the last “Writing for the Soul” conference, February 23rd, I posted a photo of my new mystery BFF.  So Much Adventure…So Little Sleep  I didn’t forget that I haven’t told you who she  is; I’ve just been a bit occupied being…um…sig.  (I’m still trying to shake the crud completely.)   But…okay…the mystery friend is none other than best-selling author, and keynote speaker, Karen Kingsbury!  http://www.karenkingsbury.com/  How this lady can raise six children and manage to have 13 million books in print is beyond me.  I found her to be a woman of humility, humor, warmth and amazing kindness.   

 

I also mentioned that I brought something back from the conference for a blog giveaway.  I haven’t forgotten about it either.  But that’ll be another post.  Right now, shouldn’t you be praying about whether or not the next “Writing for the Soul” conference is for you?  If you feel called to write, or wonder if you are; if you want to meet editors, agents, publishers, and other writers…

Watch and Pray

 

 

 

                George Gallop asserts, “The churches of America face no greater  challenge in this century

than overcoming Biblical illiteracy.”

 

Judges 17:6  “In those days…every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

 

       

 

        Only three days after taking office, President Barack Obama struck down the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions.  According to an AP report, the President did this, “…without coverage by the media…” and AP referred to it as “the quiet signing…”  

       

        In February, an AP story reported, “President Barack Obama plans to repeal a Bush administration rule that has become a flash point in the debate over a doctor’s right not to participate in abortions.”

 

        The First Commandment says, “I am the LORD your God…You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:2-3

 

        We’re in trouble, beloved.  Because we do not know the Bible, we do not understand God’s precepts.  With only our personal opinions to guide us, we “did what was right” in our own eyes and elected leaders who are now doing what is right “in their own eyes.” 

 

Today in a ceremony at 11 a.m., the President of the United States plans to reverse the former President’s executive order limiting federal funding resulting in the destruction of human embryos.  “The reversal would permit the government to fund embryonic stem cell research, a practice that recent discoveries in the area of adult stem cell research has made less necessary…”   

http://www.thebulletin.us/articles/2009/03/09/top_stories/doc49b4d70b62d5b921386753.txt

 

        The tragedy is that, as they have throughout history, innocents will suffer when leaders defy God.  I cringe to think of what is coming our way after today’s ceremony.

 

        Pray.  Pray for our President.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for our country.  Pray for your children.       

Oh, By Hed

 

  It’s 3:17 a.eb.  Everyone is sleebig.  Excebd be.  Oh, by hed.  I ab bizerable.  By sinuses hurd.  By chest feels tighd ad weak.  By body aches.  Even by scalb hurds.  I cad sleeb.  The hours are log.  By fever goes ub ad dowd.   

A peeg ad by Vigtoria's Segred PJs.

A peeg ad by Vigtoria's Segred PJs.

       

          Oh, by fredz, eat healthy!  Stay away frob sweeds.  Dode over-ead.  It taxes your ibude system and makes you suscebdible to stuvv like this.  Ugh!

 

          In the quiet of the house, I sit and read my Bible.  And I see this:  “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”  Isaiah 42:3 

          Thank you so very much for your prayers.  Your friendship is a gift.  By His grace, I will get through this. 

 

          Bud ride dow, I’b nod a very pergy blogger.