{ Mama Makeover }

This post is not about pickles. Please keep reading.

Mama Makeover: Part 1

It started a few months ago, as documented in a previous blog post.

Summary: my oldest adult daughter gently wondered why I have been wearing such unlikely wardrobe combinations / mismatched outfits. I could blame it on a mid-life crisis, that I have nothing to wear, or on cabin fever. I could have blamed it on Covid-19 as many things were in 2020.

This first daughter pointing out my wardrobe issues was the initial step in what I believe may be a groundbreaking 2021 Mama Makeover. Yes, it is past due. Indicators that a mid-life makeover may be mandatory include the color-damaged lifeless hair, the lack of age-appropriate makeup, and the extra 10 pounds gained in record time.

Mama Makeover: Part 2

I showed up at my sister’s house on Christmas Day, feeling rather blah. Sara is only 4 years younger, but is slim and accomplished and doesn’t even have to color her hair. She is a great listener and encouraged me when I realized that I had forgotten our plate of cookies at home, but I brought a helping of my age-related grumblings instead. We commisserated together for a few minutes before diving into the lefse.

Mama Makeover: Part 3

Hours later, my next oldest daughter lounged on my bed (I love when she does that.)  I laughed and summarized my Christmas Day aging discussion with my sister. She affirmed me as she always does…and then gently and tentatively added some makeover ideas. 

Have you ever seen The Pickle Story episode from the Andy Griffith Show? Aunt Bea offers her homemade pickles to her neighbor Clara, who has been the winner of the county fair pickle contest 11 years in a row.  At one bite of Aunt Bea’s unsavory pickles, Clara winces and nods her head, trying to be kind. But then she slowly adds several recommendations, revealing that Aunt Bea’s pickles truly need serious improvement.

In like manner, my daughter rolled out a few tips:

  • Maybe you could get bangs again, so your hair would frame your face…
  • You seem to wear a lot of dark colors. If you wore bright colors once in a while…
  • And, your glasses make you look a little severe…
  • I follow this one homeschooling mom on Instagram and even though she is home every day, she always wears lipstick…

The Makeover Continues

Guess what? I have explored and followed many of these suggestions. Why? Because when a Mama gets makeover support from her young adult daughters, this is wise advice from the people who know her the best and love her the most.  My girls know that I don’t wear lots of makeup or fancy clothes and I usually keep my hair in a ponytail. They know my favorite accessory is an apron, that I shop at GoodWill and that I could never give up cookies. They are the ideal consultants to brainstorm a few changes that I can live with — so, the 2021 Makeover is to be continued….

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Note: Because I believe that God created me in His image, it is my personal desire to make improvements where needed — not to try to recapture youth, over-focus on outward appearance or to imitate the world and its values, but to make my aging, imperfect body the best it can be for myself, my family and for service to my Creator.

~~~

I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself…” 1 Corinthians 9: 26-27 The Message Bible

{ Word of the Year: Stretch }

 

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This is how I chose the word STRETCH for my 2020 Word of the Year: 

I’d like to withstand and even embrace the changes that come my way.  I’d like to learn to stay joyful in the middle of a changing family, life and world. 

 

So I Googled:  “What’s a word that means can withstand changes?

That led me to the online publication: An Introduction to the Study of Physics, Volume 1 By A. F. Walden, J. J. Manley. (Recommended reading for those who struggle with insomnia.)

The word I found there was elasticity.

I looked up synonyms for elasticity and found: words like stretchy, flexible and pliable.

The word stretch can also mean: reach, develop, extend. 

Philippians 4:12-14

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To find your Word of the Year, try following these simple steps, courtesy of The Dolly Mama.

Photo by Unsplash:Michael Walter

 

{ How To Choose Your Word of the Year (helpful reminders and simple steps) ~ reposted from The Dolly Mama }

Here’s a great post and idea to welcome the new year, from fellow blogger The Dolly Mama. I plan to figure out my word of the year and post it soon! Visit Dolly Mama’s site for simple steps to a non-condemning alternative to New Year’s Resolutions — then let me know if you find your word…


A “Word of the Year” is intended to be a kind guide that walks along side of us during the year, not a harsh master that dictates a set of “to-do’s” (God knows we don’t need any more of those voices in our heads). It’s a friend that accompanies us during our journey. (The Dolly…

via How To Choose Your Word of the Year (helpful reminders and simple steps)…Find Out Mine — The Dolly Mama

{ January 2}

On January Two, I know what to do —
I’ve got resolutions ~ the year is brand new!

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My diet will start and miles will be walked
I’ll dust off the weights and the scale will be shocked

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I’ll stop biting my nails, stop checking my phone

Stray socks will be matched, each one with its clone;

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I’ll start on the taxes and organize rooms
Spiders? Homeless! — when I’m done with my broom.

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I’ll read meaty books that challenge my brain,
I’ll cut down on coffee & from sugar abstain,

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I think I can do it, it’s not so absurd…
….but I’ll be ready to quit on January third.

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© Lisa M. Luciano 2018

Photo credits:

Pixabay, Shutterstock and Unsplash:Kristopher Roller

New Year’s Resolution-making: one of your traditions?  Do you make them?  Do you keep them?  What are your goals for 2019?

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Reposted from Betty Jo’s site: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/47394897/posts/10105

{ Final Words }

When Ma Ingalls left for a rare outing, she gave a list of instructions to her family.

“Watch Carrie! Don’t forget to churn the butter…and watch out for rattlers in the grass!”

Parents give their “final” speeches just before leaving, hoping to avoid any disaster that would happen during their absence.

Mine would go something like this:

“Don’t use the stove, and watch the little guys. No videos unless all the laundry is folded and put away!”

In 2 Peter 1 there is a passage that also contains Peter’s “final words.” He knew he was about to die, so he gave his beloved brothers and sisters an important “to do” list.

I have heard it before, but overlooked how valuable it is for anyone looking to:

  • know what to do next
  • mature and grow as a Christian
  • find God’s will

2 Peter 1:5-15 is written to believers and assumes that first, they possess faith.  It’s the quality essential to every Christian.  We all are on different places in our walk with God, but the essential is faith. Assuming that starting point, Peter tells us to supplement our faith with the important qualities of:

  • virtue
  • knowledge
  • self-control
  • steadfastness
  • godliness
  • brotherly affection
  • love

“If these qualities are yours and increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)

Do you want to be more effective? Want to know what God wants you to do? Want to grow? Start with this list.  Working toward these qualities doesn’t earn you salvation.  But it gives you a goal.

Peter says if you lack these qualities, you may forget where you came from.  (2 Peter 1:9)

Might that, in turn, make us:

  • ungrateful to God for all He has done?
  • self-righteous, thinking we have made ourselves what we are?
  • puffed up and ready for a fall? (2 Peter 1:10)

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What’s on the horizon for you and I in 2018?  We cannot know for sure.  God has it all in His hands.

But, if you are looking for some New Year’s resolutions, powered by God’s never-ending grace, this list in 2 Peter 1:5-15 is a good place to start.

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

Photo credit, horizon: unsplash-logoFernando Pereira

{ Conversation, Cookies & Car Trouble }

Gianny and I stayed home from church yesterday.  We nursed a sore throat and headache, and we made cookies.

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Chocolate chip gingersnaps are a favorite here.  Recipe below.

Without competing talkers, Gianny and I had time for conversation, like this:

Me: It’s almost 2018.  I wonder what will happen in the new year? 

G: I don’t know.

Me: I don’t either.  But I’m pretty sure that you will grow and learn something new this year.

And we played a game that makes you drool and sound ridiculous:

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You wear plastic mouthpieces that makes it impossible to read silly phrases like: Stuffed Plush Porpoises.

And then my husband finally returned home after a trip to Portland, OR that was only supposed to take a few days.

Car trouble, a repair shop, junkyard visit, and avoiding a winter storm made the 6-day trip 4,350 miles long.

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Back home in Minnesota! It’s a welcoming -14 degrees!

Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps

(No photo. They didn’t last very long.)

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

3 cups flour

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

white sugar for rolling cookies

  • Mix dry ingredients; set aside.
  • Combine sugar and butter.  Mix in molasses.
  • Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips and mix all.
  • Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Shape dough into balls and roll in sugar.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Happy New Year Thoughts: 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:1-2

 

 

{ Hello 2018 }

Right now, It’s 5 below zero F. / -20.6 C.

One feels layered, puffy and fat.

One is fat, because I ate too many goodies between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Thankful Things:

  • Lots of winter sunshine lately.
  • A good heating system and a cozy new down comforter.
  • No mosquitoes.

Frozen Mosquito 2

Hopeful Things:

  • In 2018, I want to….
  • Look into my children’s eyes more when I talk to them.
  • Spend less time checking my phone.
  • Renew and redecorate [in non-extravagant, budget style.]

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How Cold Is It? 

-10 degrees - You need jumper cables to get the car going.

-25 degrees - You need jumper cables to get the driver going.

-30 degrees - You plan a two week hot bath. 

-40 degrees - Californians disappear. Minnesotans button top button. Canadians put on sweater. 

-50 degrees - Congressional hot air freezes. Alaskans close the bathroom window.

-90 degrees - Lawyers put their hands in their own pockets.

taken from homeutah.edu

Photo credits:

snow — Les Anderson

frozen mosquito — Lens & Life

coins — Pixabay / Padrinan