Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought

Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought ~~~ A place to share what I am thinking, reading, feeling & contemplating as I travel on this journey called life.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just for Fun...

You are a Pirate.  Descrbe your perfect day.

The sun is peeking out from behind the clouds, the ship is rolling back and forth and my body begins to stretch.  I climb out of my berth and move to the galley where my pirate buddy has made me a perfect cup of java with some delightful chocolate cream.  And then we hear it...

"Hey, hey, lookey to the east!"  We go tromping up and there just a bit away is a boat just calling our name.  We head our ship towards the boat.  Not too much farther and we are near enough to take our small dingy and the four of us climb quietly onboard...Surprise!!!  only two occupants on board...we tie them up and listen to their screams - no one else is nearby and can hear them so we get to work...

We find gold, silver, lovely yarns, threads, and a variety of aida cloth...pirate buddy is happy as he sees the gold & silver bars and dreams of all the travelin' that can be done and I imagine the beautiful things I can make for family and friends...oh what a beautiful day.

Random Thoughts ~ Again

Below are random thoughts taken from my time in the Word today ~

Friends ~

I read this
            Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 
       Two are better than one,
       Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. 
        But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
          For he has no one to help him up.
        Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
        But how can one be warm alone?
       Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
         And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
and then I began thinking about friends. 
I am so thankful for my many friends.  I have friends I have known for over 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and even over 40 years and some friends I have known only for a short time.  I have friends that I have shared face-to-face time and some friends I have only met through the internet.  I have friends who have become a part of my family.  I have friends that share similar beliefs as mine, some who live a similar life-style, some who love chocolate as much as I do, some who love to cook and eat all sorts of different foods, I have a friend who can spend hours with me at a coffee shop and it feel like we have only been there for 30 minutes.  I have friends I can call any time of the day or night, who I can share my deepest fears and greatest joys.  I have laughed, cried, hugged, fought with and just be me with.  I can't say often enough how blessed I am to have so many friends.

Sometimes I wonder if I am a good enough friend.  I sure hope I am.  Do you have expectations of your friends?  And then I realize the way to be a good friend is to be the friend to others that I would want in my life.

By Patsy Clairmont ~ If you are walking toward Him to the best of your ability.  He will see you through life's unpredictable waters ~but you must risk launching the boat.  Just ask Peter!

What a reminder to me to keep the faith, stay focused and keep on trusting God as he will never abandon me no matter what is going on in my life.

My theme for study this month is Grace.  And the reading today comes from Proverbs 11:16 - 26 and specifically verse 25: A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

And it reminded me of a time when our son Jamie was in Iraq.  I just could not get myself out of bed to do anything.  I was so afraid if I went anywhere or did anything I would not be available or around if a call came saying he had been injured or worse.  One morning I was really struggling.  I called Pastor Charles and asked him to pray with me, I didn't even feel I could pray because I couldn't concentrate on anything.  Pastor Charles prayed for me and then he told me to do something.  He told me to call Jack and tell him I was coming over to clean his house.  You see, Jack's wife Dee had recently passed away and he could probably use some help with a thorough cleaning job of his home.  So I did just that.  Called Jack, told him I wanted to come and clean his house and he said "you don't have to do that."  I said I know I wanted to (inside I just wanted to stay home and hibernate) and then he said okay.  He was going out for a few hours so I could come and clean while he was gone.  So I got dressed and drove over to his house.   All the way thinking what am I doing???  Once I got there, I called out to Orca (the German Shepherd who loved Jack dearly and only tolerated others) and made my way into the house.  I cleaned the kitchen, the bathroom, vacuumed the living room, and dusted the bedrooms, the living room and dining room.  All in all it probably took me about 3 1/2 the time I was done I was exhausted but feeling so much better.  I learned a big lesson that day and have to remind myself of it every once in awhile ~ don't feel bad about me or what is going on with me (you know a pity party!) instead focus on someone else's needs whether they be physical or emotional...reach out to others, to do something for someone else, encourage someone - it doesn't have to cost a lot of money ~ make a phone call or drop a card in the mail or go clean someone's house or bake some me you will feel better.

Hope you were as encouraged as I was as God ministered to me today.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just Ramblin' Through

Here we go ~

1.  Had a very strange dream that woke me up this morning...we went to a new big church and felt it was Birch Bay Bible Community Church (the church hubby grew up in that just built a new building).  We were: Ron, me, a baby and a toddler (but we were as old as we are now so not sure who the little ones were).  The occasion was a big feast of some kind.  Judy, Kathy, John & Fawn, all their kids and grands were there, Viv, Mavis and lots of others I didn't recognize.  First I had to take the little ones to the nursery, they would eat in there but to get to the nursery we had to take a small ferry (sort of like the Plover - a little ferry in Blaine).  Then we headed back to the church.  Once we landed I had to go potty ~ walked to this trailer (like an open topped cattle trailer) that had two toilets out in the open.  One older lady was going to the bathroom and crying uncontrollably.  When I finished my business there was a man holding a big towel/blanket so I could pull up my pants without being seen.  Told him this feels weird.  Then another couple and Ron & I were on the ferry back to the church commenting how strange this set up was.  When we got back to the church there was no food.  The gal on the ferry and I said if we knew it would have taken two hours to just get the babies settled and go to the potty we wouldn't have come.  Then our friend Jay walked by.  He smiled and waved and then Pastor Charles (from Northwood) jumped out in front of me, said "Ta Da" and handed me this huge piece of chocolate cream pie and smiled.  And then I woke up...weird.  Wonder if it means anything at all?

2.  Went to Springfield yesterday for another eye appointment with the ocularist.  He did more tweaking, prodding, pushing and tweaking some more.  My eye socket got real irritated which gave me a headache :(  but the good news is that the lid is open a little more and I don't go back till 4/3!!!  Still have my headache this morning but I am sure it will go away in a couple of days.

3.  Have been doing a lot of thinking about my health...I know quit thinking and get busy.  So today I committed to getting back in the habit of tracking everything I eat on  I also made a commitment that beginning next Monday, 1/14 I am going back to not eating processed sugar.  I have done that before for 3 months and I know I can do it.  I am putting it out "there" as a way to keep myself accountable.  So one goal for today - writing on myfitnesspal and one for next Monday - no more processed sugar.

4.  We have been busy brainstorming about our trip to WA & OR in March.  It will be another whirlwind trip...right now our plan is to leave by noon on 3/8 and be back to work on 3/21.  We will be driving the Jeep out so we can put the hardtop on it.  It is cold when the temps drop to the 30's when riding around in the soft top.  Now we are trying to figure out what to do with Linus during our trip.

Isn't he cute?  We have thought of taking him with us but are not sure what to do with him while we are in Blaine as we will be busy with the wedding celebration, having coffee dates w/friends, seeing other friend, stopping by the church, having coffee dates w/friends, chatting and visiting, eating, having coffee dates with get the idea.  We have thought of leaving him at Brandon & Danalyn's but we are not sure that their fenced in yard is fenced well enough that he couldn't escape.

I have posted on Facebook to see if we could find someone to puppy sit while we are gone.  I have a couple of ideas running through my head but need to check them out before I say anything.  We have thought of picking up a huge kennel when we get to Portland so during the day when B & D are at work he could stay in there all day and then selling it once we leave Portland.  Any ideas or suggestions would be you can tell I did not do much thinking about having a puppy and traveling without our home on wheels.

By the way, he is so funny when I am trying to crochet...he wants to snuggle under the blanket while I am working on it and gets upset when I move it from side to side as I move from row to row.

6.  Do you know 9 mm ammo is not to be found  anywhere around here in the Branson/Springfield area - wonder what that means?

Guess that's about it with me.  Hope everyone who reads this is doing well.  Talk to y'all later!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I don't like not feeling well.

I don't like not feeling well.  On 12/28 I finally went to the doctor after dealing with spasms and sharp pains in my side/back/chest ~ found out I have Costochondritis (kos-toe-KHON-dri-tis) it is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum) — a junction known as the costosternal joint. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.  Most cases of costochondritis have no apparent cause. In these cases, treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for costochondritis to improve on its own.  And it is no fun.

Dr. Stewart gave me a muscle relaxant and pain medication.  I can only take a half of a muscle relaxant or else it knocks me completely out.  I only take the pain medication when the pain is really bad.  I sure hope I start to feel better and the pain lessens.  I have spent most of the evening on the couch and have told Ron if I am hurting tomorrow I am going to take the muscle relaxants & pain medication and sleep/rest in the recliner all day. 

Okay...enough whining about that.

I started a Bible reading plan for reading the Bible through in one whole year.  So far I have been able to keep up and have found little gems throughout my reading.  I am also doing a devotional for this year called "Unlocking the Bible."  I like it as it has a selected scripture reading for the day and then a little something about that scripture and how it relates to learning more about the Bible and God.  Today's devotion was titled "Taking a Walk with God"  and reminded me of a story I wrote a few years back when I was struggling with some very heavy issues of my past.   The story I wrote was called "Walking the Dog, Walking with God" and so I thought I would share it here with you.

Walking the Dog, Walking with God
By Alice Workentin

            I had been struggling with lots of anxiety and worries.  I was worried about our son, Jamie, who was serving in Iraq and our other son, Brandon, who was struggling with school and job issues.  I found myself so depressed I could barely function.  I struggled to get out of bed, to take a shower or to do any of the other bare necessities.
            That Tuesday was no different.  I stayed in bed feeling like there was no reason to go on with life.  Afraid of what the future might hold.  What if something happened to Jamie?   What if Brandon did not finish school?  What if? just kept running through my mind.  I felt as bleak on the inside as the weather outside.  The sky was dark and grey, rain was pelting down and the wind was blowing in every direction.  It was as crummy outside as I was feeling inside.
            The telephone rang.  It was the pastor returning my call.  He asked how I was doing.  I began crying.  I told him I was not doing very well.  I was depressed and feeling overwhelmed with worries about Jamie and Brandon, tired of struggling to make ends meet and questioning myself about why should I bother to go on living.  We talked for a while and then he prayed with me.  After praying he suggested I take the dog and go for a walk.  I told him he had to be kidding, couldn’t he see how nasty the weather was outside.  I gave him all the excuses I could think of why I should not go for a walk: it was raining, it was cold and windy outside, I was too tired, the list went on but he stood firm that I should go for a walk.  I would feel better if I got out and did something.  Nothing I said made a difference to him.  He would not back down and I was too tired to continue arguing with him so I said, “Fine.  I will go for a walk with the dog.  I will call you when I get back.”
            I put on my scarf, ear muffs, gloves and raincoat and then got the dog, Ozzie, ready to go.  It’s not easy to get a rowdy German shepherd ready to go for a walk.  I finally got the choke collar and leash on him and headed towards the car.  Ozzie was pulling on me as we trudged through 3” of muddy water and I wondered out loud, “What in the world am I doing?  This is so crazy!”  Reaching the car, Ozzie jumped in while I was yelling at him, “Stay in the back!  Don’t you dare get in the front seat!”
            With Ozzie whining in my ear and rain pelting down I backed the car out of the driveway.  I drove to Semiahmoo Spit.  It’s a three mile walk along the beach and around the resort.  Maybe while walking my mind will focus on the beautiful scenery and maybe I just might see a bald eagle.  I parked the car and got Ozzie out of the back of the car.  Thinking to myself about getting the walk over we headed towards the trail that led to the beach.  The rain was still coming down and I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I just tell the pastor he was crazy and I was not going for a walk especially in this yucky weather.”  But no, I do what I am told.  The leash in my right hand and Ozzie on my left side I began the three mile walk around the spit and resort.
            Immediately Ozzie began pulling on me.  I yanked on the leash and yelled, “Ozzie, stay here beside me!”  We walk about five steps and again Ozzie pulls me.  Again I yank on the leash and yell.  Walk a few more steps and yank and yell, walk a few more steps, yank and yell.  Thinking to myself, “This is going to be longest three mile walk I have ever taken.  It will probably take me three hours!”    I walk through the parking lot, dodging mud puddles oozing with water.  Ozzie keeps pulling and I keep yanking and yelling.  We cross the road to get to the trail.  We go about 25 steps and then do the yank and yell bit a few more times.  The rain is really coming down now.  Wow, there’s the half mile mark.  I begin to think Ozzie has the hang of things; he can walk but he needs to stay close beside me.  The rain is really picking up and the wind is really blowing.  It is sure cold out here.  I am getting soaked.  I say to no one, “Why do I just do what I’m told?  When will I begin to think and speak for myself?”
            Good, we just passed the three quarter’s of a mile mark.  My mind wanders.  I find myself asking God “Why can’t I get out of this depression?  I feel as miserable as this stinking weather.  Why did I ever agree to go on a walk?  Why? Why? Why?”  A one word question, but what a giant question.  I loosen my grip a little on the leash and once again Ozzie pulls me hard.  Yank and yell, Yank and yell. 
            Okay, there’s the one and a half mile mark.  Yeah!  Turning around the wind caught me and I thought “Great Scots! I am going to be one drenched puppy dog when I get to the car!”  I start laughing, isn’t that funny, one drenched puppy dog.  No, we were going to be one super soaked person and one very wet dog.  Continuing back along the beach towards the car, the rain is really coming down in sheets and the wind is whipping up.
            All of a sudden I hear this voice say, “Alice isn’t that what I need to do with you.  Yank your chain and tell you to stay beside me.”  Okay, God, here comes your sense of humor once again.  I remember the pastor mentioning that God has a funny way of bringing the things we need to deal with to the forefront and sometimes in ways that astound us.  It could be a book that I am reading, something someone says or a note in the mail and there is God speaking and not yelling or yanking my chain.  Just quietly saying, “Alice, just stay close beside me.  I won’t let you get hurt.  I am always with you and will be there anytime you need me.”
            Now we are at the two mile mark.  Only one more mile and I can go back home where it’s warm and dry.  Ozzie pulls hard and I think I am going to fall.  I yank hard on the chain yelling, ”Ozzie, stay here beside me!”  Wait, there’s that voice again.  ”Alice, don’t you think that is the advice you need to hear too.  Stay close beside Me.  Stay near Me, don’t pull away.  Stay near and I will comfort and guide you.”  “Oh God” I cry from deep within, “Why is my life so hard?  Why do I fight things?  Why do I hurt so much?  Why can’t I just be?  Why do I worry about things that may never happen?”  “Oh no” I think, “There is that just be stuff again.  Just be, just deal with things as they happen.” 
            Whew the rain is coming down hard and the wind is pushing and pulling me in every direction.  Ozzie and I continue to do the yank and yell about every 50 steps now.  Maybe he is getting the hang of things; that he needs to stay close to me and we will get along just fine.  I can see the car in the distance.  I am so glad as I am soaked all the way through.  My jeans are wet and I am cold.  I realize that Ozzie has not pulled me for the last few minutes, maybe he is getting the hang of this, stay close and he doesn’t get yanked or yelled at.  “Alice, Alice” oh, there’s God calling me again,  “isn’t that what you need to be reminded of right now.  Stay close and things will be okay.”  I am almost to the car and I look at Ozzie.  He is walking so nice next to me.  I am cold and wet and think, “Sometimes Alice you have to go the long way around the block.  Remember what God just said, stay close to Me and He will stay close to me.”
            I turn the car heater on as we head for home.  Ozzie sits in the back seat, kind of mellow for a change, not even whining.  It is amazing how calm he is.  We get home and I let Ozzie out of the car.  I take his choke collar and leash off and he runs to the door.  He keeps glancing back, just checking to see if I am coming.  Walking and watching Ozzie I ask myself, “Is that what I do, keep looking back to make sure God is with me?  That my friends are still with me?”  Again I have to remind myself God is always with me.
            Once inside the house Ozzie looks at me, waiting for his bone.  He sure knows the routine.  Come in from outside, sit by the gate and wow, a yummy chew bone is tossed his way.  I think I am a little like that…I know the routine, I know the plan.  Trust in God, talk to God, tell Him how I am doing and His warm comforting arms reach down and surround me.
            I need to call the pastor and tell him, “Yes, I think the walk did me good.  I feel better, not even super tired.”  He will laugh, not saying “I told you so” but thinking it.  Then he will say, “You know Alice, you don’t need me; you need to turn to God.  That is part of the trusting and resting in God.  He is there for you every step of the way!”  I respond: “yeah, I know.  I just needed to go for a walk where I would not be distracted and could hear God talking to me.  Thanks for encouraging me to get out and go for that walk.”
            As I sit and drink a nice hot mug of coffee I find myself thanking God for walking with me today in the wind and rain.  For ‘yanking my chain’.  Then I realize that God doesn’t yank my chain or even yell at me.  He is always right there, always ready and willing to listen.  I end my thoughts with a small prayer of thanksgiving: thanking the Lord for walking beside me as I walk through life, the good and the bad times, the times of joy and sorrow, for blessing me with friends who care about me but most of all for always being available for me.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story.  I enjoyed reliving that walk at Semiahmoo and seeing how God was working in my life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Words to Think On

Each year I choose a word to focus on, use as my theme for the year, to study and to learn about.  In October I got a new Bible from Ron - Women of Faith.  One of the items in this Bible is monthly devotions based on themes like Grace, Peace, Liberty & Hope.  So I have decided to use a word a month.  For January the theme is GRACE.  My focus this month is going to be on Grace, learning about God's grace, extending grace to others and to myself. I know I am usually harder on myself and expect more from me than I would from others and so I also need to learn to give myself Grace.

Here is the definition of grace: The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor; disposition to benefit or serve another; favor bestowed or privilege conferred.

From my devotion this morning: Grace is the embrace of acceptance in our humiliation.  It is the reassuring hand in our darkest hour.  Even when all others forsake (to quit or leave entirely, to desert, to abandon, to depart or withdraw from, to leave, as false friends and flatters forsake us in adversity.) us, grace is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother.  And God's grace is enough!!!

 And that was what jumped out at me  was the word enough.  God is enough, God's grace is enough for me in all situations.  It doesn't mean I will do everything perfectly or say everything correctly but if I do everything to bring glory and honor to the Lord, He will give me the grace to do and be who I am.

Stay tuned to see what I learn about grace, how I give grace and accept grace in my life.