Painting With Parkinson’s

I’ll be honest. There was a time here recently that I was giving up. My body wasn’t cooperating. My mind was following its lead. I was depressed and fed up. Nothing was making me happy. The things I wanted to do I couldn’t. I certainly didn’t want to do nothing. I started letting my mind wander to all the things I have never accomplished. Basically, I had a full-on pity party.

Then, I got a text from my mom, showing me an embroidery piece she’d done. Then, another. Mom, with her more advanced Parkinson’s was sewing! It wasn’t like I forced myself to tell her it was nice. It WAS nice. She did a great job. I got me thinking.

When my husband & son decided to pop into Hobby Lobby, I went to. I went up and down aisles. Shaking my head and doubting myself, I ended up in the painting aisle. Now, I am not artistic. I’m not even kind of crafty. But, they had this guided painting kit. It was on sale for under $10 so I thought, ok. I’m going to try.

I brought it home and realized that the instructions were daunting. But, 2 weeks later, I had finished an adorable likeness of 2 puppies. My husband and son, though still skeptical, told me it wasn’t half bad. Ok, I’ll take it.
The next time I bought a kit, I went a level higher to challenge myself a little more. Now, I’ve almost finished that one and have set a long-term goal of painting a picture for my sister’s new house.

I noticed some other changes too. I have been filling idle time with painting. I also pray while I’m painting and just enjoy talking, inwardly to the Lord. I also haven’t dropped anything in several weeks. I was usually good for 2-3 cups a day, etc. No more dropping. Less type-o’s too.

I’m grateful that the Lord found me a hobby and I am grateful to my mom for pushing through.

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#Sponsored Book Spotlight: ALMOST A MINYAN: Lori S. Kline



SYNOPSIS:
“Almost a Minyan” is a coming-of-age story of a young Jewish girl who takes her grandfather’s place in their town’s prayer quorum (minyan). With gorgeous illustrations by Susan Simon, the reader joins a loving family as they deal with the grandfather’s death, and the rituals involved. Both Hebrew and Yiddish terms are used, and a glossary is included, making this a wonderful learning tool for Jews and non-Jews alike.

MY THOUGHTS: There are SO many things to love about this book. First, the story is written in a flowing rhythm much like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’. Whether you’re reading aloud or in your head, you’ll find yourself using its fluid structure. Next, the illustrations are simply stunning. Susan Simon has captured the essence of the story with her art. They make you feel the story instead of simply reading it.

The story itself not only offers a culturally relative narrative, but also discussing the concept of grief without it going over the reader’s head. Younger readers will readily understand the sense of lose the family feels, but it’s the lesson of how they push through it that counts here. No one in the family forgets that they’re grieving. They just continue to live despite it. Clinging to their faith rather than abandoning it, they honor their loved one by continuing in his footsteps.

Our author has definitely transferred her passion into her writing. This isn’t a book for Hebrew/Yiddish children alone. It is for all culture, all religions. I love that she includes a bit of education by including the glossary. Not only will it assist readers, but it’s also a conversation starter for the whole family. I would include the age groups for this one as all elementary (K-5). I give it a full 5 stars and have to say I absolutely LOVE this book.

I RECEIVED THE AFOREMENTIONED TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE.
AUTHOR INFO: Lori S. Kline lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and son. She regularly attends minyan at Congregation Agudas Achim, where she chants Torah and teaches Hebrew. Her first book, Josiah’s Dreams, was released in 2014.PIC/SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.

House Hunting Nightmares Pt. 1

Recently, my husband & I started batting around the idea of house hunting. Our home is old, has seen 3 sons raised, a dog, and more repairs than I can count. It’s almost become like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. My husband has always said it wasn’t going to last forever and we had to think about what we’ll do further down the road.
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Yes, You CAN Go Back to Church Again

Around 7 years ago, my husband and I made the decision to leave the Church that I’ve known as home for over 30 years. Mistakes were made on both sides. Right or wrong, whose fault it was is irrelevant. We no longer felt peace and instead of God’s presence we went there salty and feeling betrayed. So, in everyone’s best interests, we left.
The morals & doctrine there have always been & will always be sound. When our youngest started 6th grade, he wanted to attend the youth group there. I happily took him every Wednesday. We did not bad mouth the congregation. We never said a word. We simply left. I felt there would be no issue with him attending and there wasn’t.
Every year since then, he’s participated in their Fine Arts program, doing a short sermon. Every year, we go to support him. We’d smile nice and because my mom & aunt still attended, we’d exchange pleasantries with their friends. No one had ever called and asked what had become of us. A few people asked my mom or aunt, but, no one ever called me. I was hurt. I harbored it in my heart and throw a lot of meaningless jabs at the people (mentally, not verbally). The pastoral staff had changed- the senior pastor left. The associate became the senior.
At the Fine Arts event, the new pastor’s wife came up to me and hugged me. Genuinely. Sincerely hugged me. I was confused.
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Who Do You Yell For When You’re Scared?

When I’ve been in scary situations, usually the first thing I yell is ‘Jesus!’. Not in a cursing way, of course, but as in ‘Jesus, help me!’ Sometimes the danger has only been perceived, but, when I’ve slid on ice with the truck, fallen, or otherwise hurt myself, I yell for My Savior.

That’s why I was quite surprised at myself the other night. Actually, more mad than surprised. It was late. I was sitting on the couch reading with Buster next to me. He began fussing about, sniffing the air and such. I tried to calm him, but he was noticeably agitated.

Seconds late, some kind of bug that I’m calling a beetle hybrid, landed on me. Instantly, I screamed like a small child. But, who I yelled for was Buster. In fact, it was ‘Buster, help!’ Immediately, he leapt from the couch, grabbed the bug (without even nipping my shirt or me), threw it to the ground and ripped it in half.

I was startled. He was quite pleased with himself, even walking to the kitchen for a ‘Good boy treat.’ I gave him one of course. After all, he did save the day (I guess). But, after congratulating him on his victory featuring a fatality (the bug), I begin to think about the whole incident.

On one hand, I was thrilled that Buster had done what I’d always hoped he would. Pit bulls get a bad rep in general, though I’ve never met a ‘bad’ one yet. I had always assumed that if I needed Bus he’d be there. He was. I am grateful. But, it also made me look at myself in a different way.

Why didn’t I call out to Jesus? Was it because it was a very simple, earthly type problem? One I could easily rectify? Yes, it was a very silly problem. It was a less than 2 inch bug that simply startled me- without malice. But, why did I yell for Buster? I was kind of disappointed in myself.

I don’t want to put Jesus in a ‘box’. He shouldn’t only be called on for the big stuff. My initial reaction should have been ‘Jesus, help me!’ True, I believe Buster was a gift from God. He has been my friend, companion, laughter, and snuggle buddy. He has been an agent of joy and peace- both emotions are God-given. But, Buster isn’t the go-to answer. Jesus should be and should’ve been.

So, lesson learned. It made me very conscious of my priorities and taking simple problems to God. I hope, that should a similar situation arrive, my first instinct will be to call on the Lord first. Buster may be a major league protector of the house (& me), but he isn’t the one to take my problems to. Jesus is.