You Did It!

It has been one year since I began my blogging journey with Dance with Me Ministries.   I told myself that I would like to give it a one-year commitment.  I can now say, “I did it!”  52 blogs later, I accomplished what I set out to do.

With Covid-19 taking a big hit on our in-person relationships with dancing, the blog was an online way to keep encouraging married couples.  Hopefully, it was- mission accomplished for someone out there! 

For 12 years Dan and I have had in-person classes to share ways to keep your marriage close while teaching basic ballroom dance steps.  The dancing helps illustrate what a godly marriage looks like. 

 I can’t say this last year has been an easy blogging journey.  What accomplishments in life are easy?  Not many.  I wanted to quit, more than once. : (

A few bumps in my last year blogging road:

  • The death of my mom
  • My ability to write
  • Deadline pressures
  • Lack of readers
  • Discouragement
  • Learning to blog
  • Relying on others

 But we learn from doing and persevering:

  • Accomplishments take work
  • Don’t give up-press on
  • Never stop learning
  • Keep positive
  • Time management-don’t waste your time

I don’t know where I will go from here.  Will I continue?  Maybe, but I finished my commitment and I can now say, “ I did it.”

Thanks go out to my husband Dan, who proofread my blogs each week and is my sweet dance partner.  My biggest supporter of all my crazy ideas.  My daughter Audrey, who gave me the idea to blog and helped me get started.  My daughter Adrienne did the graphic designs for the blog.  Thank you so much, I couldn’t have done it without you. 

I dedicate this last year to my mom, Helen, who taught me so much.  Work hard, don’t give up, and keep the faith! 

It is Hard to be Thankful in America…

It is hard to be thankful in America… because we have so much.  We are so fortunate with what we have, we can easily take it for granted.  Most of us Americans live without need.  Covid gave everyone a scare.  What would we do without toilet paper?  Oh my!  Or food in the grocery store?  We all panicked thinking there might be a supply shortage of something we seem to not be able to live without.  

I am thinking of that first Thanksgiving and how the pilgrims did not know where their next meal was coming from.   They did not have a warm cozy house that regulated their heat.  They did not have assurance they would make it through the winter.  They did not have medicine to help with their sickness.  They did not have a recliner to sit in and watch their favorite football team.  They didn’t even have an Insta-pot to help make that first Thanksgiving meal. 

But yet they were thankful for what they had.  They thanked and prayed to the Creator, who they knew would help them make it to the next day.  They were thankful, because they now lived in a country where they had the freedom to worship. 

It is hard to be thankful in America… because we live in a very materialistic country.  Always wanting more.  Not being happy with what you have been blessed with.  I realized how much we Americans are bombarded with commercial ads each day to help us see all those things we are in want of.   I can’t even look up a recipe online without seeing 10 ads.  I realized after watching HGTV, that I was now in need of an Airfryer Toaster Oven.  “Where have you been all my life?”  With us Americans seeing at least 100 commercial ads a day, no wonder we want so much. 

It is hard to be thankful in America… because we want what everyone else has.  We compare ourselves to others.  We saturate ourselves with social media to remind us what we don’t have and how everyone else in the world does.  

It is hard to be thankful in America… because we have lost sight of our Creator.  Who or what are we thankful to?  Amazon?  Walmart?  Our local grocery store?  

It is only because of our Creator, our God in Heaven, and His given Son, that we live the next day.  He is in charge of the Heavens and the Earth. He gives us everything we need!!!

For that…  I am very thankful.

God’s Word-Psalm 107:21

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”

A Special Day

This Mothers Day message was shared with me last year by someone dear to my heart!

A lot has changed for all of us during the pandemic. With all of these drastic changes, perhaps a re-boot on how we look at things and approach life is in order?  After all, isn’t that one of the benefits of going through adversity in life? Re-evaluate your own life and make the necessary changes to make it better. 

One of the milestones for me during the pandemic was Mother’s Day. My husband worked really hard to make the day special for me, from taking me to my favorite plant store to cooking a delicious lobster dinner. He even commented that the whole weekend was devoted to Mother’s Day and not just Sunday. When Sunday night came, I remember feeling a little sad that my special day was over. Now I have to wait an entire year to feel this special again! Then I thought to myself, wouldn’t marriages be better if we could treat our spouse like each day was Mother or Father’s Day? I’m not suggesting we have lobster dinners each night or carte blanche at our favorite store, but maybe just one or two acts of kindness each day? Can you imagine the difference it would make? How would households and relationships be better? For my own, I can imagine more peace in the home, and a sort of pay if forward to others.  A kind act begets more kind acts, right? It would be such an important lesson for my children on how to treat each other, too.

 God’s Word- Ephesians 4:32, ESV: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

My Mom

For Mother’s Day, I am dedicating this post to my mother, Helen.  As I write this, (April 23)it was just a few days ago she was put on Hospice.  I know my days are short with my mom.  I do not know if I will be sharing Mother’s Day with her. 

My 93 year old mother is in an assisted living facility.  For most of this last year, she could not leave her room, hug her family, or have in person visits. We were not able to spend the holidays together.  At times we could only visit through her window or a plexiglass booth.  With short term memory loss, this was very hard for her to understand.  She is very social and her lifeline was taken away.   I am sure she felt like she was a prisoner.  

I am not saying, I have the answer on how the Covid lock down should have been handled, but I do know that if you take the social out of living, it is not living anymore.  It has taken a huge toll on our elderly, including my mother.   

A  few days back I sat with her in her room for seven hours. As the time seemed to slow down, I held her hand. I was thinking of what it would have been like during Covid (almost a year)with no family or friends. No hugs or kisses.  Just 4 walls to look at.  Day in and day out, isolated.  It made me cry.  

On her last day she could talk, she kept saying how thankful she was for her family and her faith.  She said how much she loved her family, over and over.  I was never tired of hearing those words from her.  

When it all comes down to it, this is what matters.  Our family, friends and faith.   If your mom is still with you, take time this Mother’s Day, and tell her how special she is and that she is loved.  

I am so blessed to have so many wonderful memories with my mom, Helen! I love you Mom!

B. Helen Manning: August 7, 1927-April 27-2021