Posted in Anemia, fun mazes, Fun Puzzles, life, Thoughts

My First 7 Months on Etsy What is the Biggest Lesson that I Have Learned So Far

It has been seven months since I opened my shop on Etsy and I am excited to say that just this week I made my 14th sale! It might not sound like much, but considering the craziness of this year, where there was a time I was afraid that I might lose not only my centurion grandmother but my mother and dog too, my iron repeatedly dropped so low that I had to have 6 iron infusions, and thanks to the financial impact of my father’s death and the rise in cost of living we have had to make the tough choice to put our house for sell, 14 sales is a very big deal.

As I look back at these first seven months on Etsy, I wish that I could say that I had learned the secret to writing a high converting description or made great strives in understanding SEO. It would be nice if at this early mile marker I could lean back and share the secret to creating eye catching product photos and videos. But seven months in and a whole lot of you tube videos and I am just as confused as ever. To a great degree I still feel like I am wearing a blind fold, have been spun around in a chair a hundred times, and am blindly trying to hit a dartboard in a 5000 square foot room. And then wonder why I miss the mark far more than I hit it.

Alas, my major take away from the first 7 months is that if I ever hope to make a success of my Etsy endeavor, is that the very first skill that I am going to have to learn is not SEO, illustration, or photography, but patience and endurance. While learning to create eye catching illustrations and heart catching product descriptions are important, having those skills will mean nothing if I give up five feet into the race.

It would be great if I would wake up tomorrow to find that I had become one of those overnight Etsy success stories. I would love to wake up and find out that my next step attempt at leveling up my shop by adding drop shipping had worked, and that my puzzle and notebook designs were such a hit that I had made a dozen, then a hundred, and by the end of a week a thousand orders. I would love nothing better than to wake up tomorrow and find out that I had sold so many digital packs on Etsy that I could call social security and tell them that I no longer needed SSI.

But sadly, that is just a dream. The overnight wonder is the exception, not the rule. And even though I work as hard as my chronically ill body will allow, giving my body’s version of 100 percent, the likely hood that I will be able to close my eyes and wake up to discover that overnight my dreams had come true is sadly nothing more than a pleasant dream. Worse yet, even though I push myself to the point of breaking, because of my body’s weakened state, 100 percent for me probably is the equivalent of a healthy persons 40 percent.

Whether I like it or not, if I want to be successful I am going to have become far more patient and persevering. The road between me and a life altering successful Etsy shop is going to be a long one. Much longer than it is for the healthy and more financially mobile. At every turn I am going to have to contend with the battle to learn how to stand out on Etsy, but how to deal with the barrage of obstacles created by episodes of eye closing migraines, overwhelming exhaustion from low iron, and days of being so pain ridden that even copying and pasting a few lines feels like a marathon of torture.

If I want to win this race, and I do, I am not only going to have to endure the frustration of views and clicks that bring nothing, where a whole month passes with only one $2 sale to reward my hard work, but the agony of wanting to move ahead and build up my shop inventory, but having to wait for a whole week or two to pass until I can get a much needed iron infusion so I can have the energy to do more than stare blankly at my screen.

On days where it feels like all hope is lost, where it seems like all the forces of misery are against me, and nothing I do ever works, I will have to find a way to muster up the courage to count the few steps towards my goal that I have made, and gather the courage to focus on my dream and trust that in the long run if I patiently persevere, the morning will come when I will realize that my long night of dreaming is over, as thankfully, my years of working and dreaming have become a reality.

If you are looking for some fun brain games, check out my Etsy shop where you will find a growing list of fun brain games and ctivities like this mind stimulating collection of word games and mazes.

And now you will also find cute puzzles and journals like this adorable schnauzer themed Happy Day Dream puzzle that comes in multiple sizes as well as a matching Happy Day Dream journal.

Posted in Acrostic Poetry, Poems Beginning with T, Poetry, Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving everyone. Even though my energy is low, I thought that I would take a moment to share a shore a poem of thanks and to wish everyone a happy day of giving thanks for all that God has done for us. May you and your family enjoy a good meal and a full heart as you count your blessing and find joy in the fullness of your basket of blessings.

Posted in Bible Puzzles, Faith, Find the Difference, Fun Puzzles, Religion, Thoughts

Sabbath Afternoon Fun: Find 3 Difference Psalm 139:13-14

Happy Sabbath. Isn’t it a blessing to know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, to know why we are here, where we came from, and where we are going! What a sense of hope and purpose should thrill our hearts to know that God Himself formed us out of the dust, that He bent low in the garden of Eden to personally give us the breath of life.How blessed are we to realize that our God is mighty enough to hang the moon and the stars in the the heavens, yet He loves us so much that He knows the number of hairs upon our head.

That is one of the great blessings of the Sabbath day. It reminds us that our Creator did not wind up a toy and then turn and walk away. He did not make earth and leave it to sink or swim on our own. But from the very beginning, right after saying that what He had created was very good, He created a day of rest for His creation where they could draw near to Him. Before sin entered the picture, while all was perfect and pure, He has set aside a time for us to walk and talk with Him as we would our best friend.

If we had need of the Sabbath in the perfect garden, how much more need do we, laden down with the mighty burdens of sin, racked by infirmity, feeble and worn, need the faith building communion of this day.

Now, as we draw close to the river Jordan, as we near the temporary spot of rest where so many of the Israel of old were beguiled by food, song, and dance and joined themselves to Baalpeor, we must learn to cling to the side of our Savior. Instead of trusting in our power, reassuring ourselves like Peter before his conversion that even though all should be offended we will stand firm, we should be making our anchor sure. Now, while there is still time to accept the offer of mercy. Now, while there is still time to call our friends, our neighbors, and even our enemies to the great wedding feast, we must give the Lord every corner of our heart. We must give Him permission to do His work of soul cleansing and transformation. So in that longed for hour of solemn rejoicing, when the trumpet shall sound and the righteous revive their eternal reward, we will be found standing on the right hand of God and we will be allowed to walk the streets of gold and join the holy angels in songs of praise to our merciful Lord and Savior.

Posted in Faith, Find the Difference, Fun Puzzles, Religion, Thoughts

Sabbath Afternoon Fun: 3 Find the Difference Galatians 5:22-23

Happy Sabbath everyone. I am so glad that God has granted us a day each week to spend drawing closer to Him. This world is so hectic, and as we draw closer to the final battle it is amazing how many trials and tribulations the devil is sending our ways in hopes of keeping us too busy to look up and behold how little daylight is left.

As we near the finish line, the roar of the lion is definitely growing more fierce as he seeks with all his might to take our eyes off the prize of salvation and refocus them on the fleeting things of this world. As the signs point out that the miles between us and Heaven are fast disappearing, like the great deceiver that he is, he is busily seeking to point our eyes towards his empty hand, promising us that hidden within his palms are jewels of far greater value than eternal life and a heart washed clean from the stain of sin.

Knowing that he has but a few hours left to deceive and tempt, he is doubling his efforts and stirring up as much trouble and tribulation as he can so that our hearts might be overrun with care and the fight to earn enough to fill our bellies and secure a roof over our heads that we might be tempted to doubt the promises of God. That we might become too busy to spend time upon our knees and in the word of God filling our lamps so that we might safely make our way past his many minefields and man devouring tar pits.

As I listen to the news and hear of the many warnings of disease, famine, and war, I cannot help but think of the warnings of Christ that before he comes there will be wars and rumors of war, pestilence, and other fearful wonders that are now coming to pass. I cannot help but think of the story of the wise and foolish virgins, and with trembling heart I plead with the Lord that He will keep the oil in my lamp full and overflowing, lest in the last moment of earth’s history my light should go out. And on the very shore of victory, I should be found wanting and lose that which is worth more than all of earth’s riches.

It is my prayer that this humble Bible game will help you in your effort to hide the word of God in your heart, so that your lamp will burn ever brighter, and that you will be ready to meet the Lord when He comes.

Posted in Faith, life, Medical, Thoughts

Tears are a Language God Understands 

Today, as the tears of heartache and worry for Happy who was so sick that he stopped eating, drinking, and walking for over 12 hours. We have already lost at least 9 family members, including my father and grandmother, in less than 3 years. This year my mother has been in and out of the hospital multiple times with uncontrolled blood pressure that was climbing over 200. Last month both of her sibling gave us a scare after ending up in the hospital within a couple of weeks of each other. And once more, before we had a chance to recuperate from one loss, we were facing the very real possibility of losing our little Happy pup. With a sea of tears we have been presenting our petition to God day and night that He might, if it would not cause Happy greater harm, raise him up, and give us more time with him.

Over and over we lifted our hearts up to God as we poured out the unspoken sorrow of our heart to His patient ear. Even though we trust Him, it has been a struggle to place Happy fully in God’s hands. When we looked at the heartbreak of the past couple of years, coming so close that one scar could not heal before another wound pierced our heart, it was so easy to hold back and say Lord, you must heal Happy. To point to our many losses, our financial insecurity, and say Lord, how can you let us endure another blow. If you love us, You have to heal Happy.

But would that really be putting things in God’s hands? No, sadly that would be saying God, even though You know what is best, You can do what you know is best as long as it what we think is best. For a moment this might work out. For a moment it might save us from the sea of tears caused by the ache that was tearing our heart to pieces. But in the long run, when the danger or sorrow that the Lord was trying to save us finally came our way, the little ache of today, would be a thousand fold worse.

Hard as it was, we had to remind ourselves that God, tender father that He is, longs to keep us from heartache. And that before He allows any sorrow to come our way, He weighs it out to determine what we can handle, and what is for our best and the best of those around us. That unlike us, He sees the beginning from the end, and sometimes He like he did with King Hezekiah, He makes painful choices. How much better would things have been for Hezekiah, who at the time was a hero of faith, if like King David, he had bowed his head in acceptance of God’s word.

Oh how hard it must have been for Him to hear the sad proclamation that he was going to die from his ailment, especially knowing that he was without an heir. But at that moment he would have died with an untarnished record of faith. His record would have been one of trust and faith in His Lord in a time of great trial and tribulation.

But instead of trusting that the God who knows the beginning from the end, might be trying to save him from some unseen danger, pointed to his record as reason to why God should answer my prayer. King Hezekiah got his way. He got 15 more years of life, but at what cost? God knew that King Hezekiah was in danger of losing his faith. Flushed with his great victory of faith, King Hezekiah probably felt invincible. At that moment he might honestly have believed that nothing could get between him and God. And he might have imagined all the things He could and would do should God raise Him.

But while he did not see his danger, God did. And preferring to have a sleeping saint rather than a live sinner, God had made the hard choice to say no to healing him from his disease. It must have been with a heavy heart that God answered Hezekiah’s petition to look at his record and raise him up. He knew that when the cutting test of pride came his way, Hezekiah would fail.

Sadly, when the Babylonian representatives came to find out more about the miracle of the sundial moving backwards 10 degrees, Hezekiah forgot all about God. Instead of pointing them to the Great Healer, and telling them about the mighty maker of heaven and earth who not only had the power to hold the sun in place for a whole day or move it backwards 10 degrees, but also had the power to change men’s hearts, he showed them his great wealth.

Hezekiah had been given one of the greatest witnessing opportunities ever given to man. What other king, including King Solomon, had such a prestigious delegation from a budding super power knocking at their door practically begging to hear a sermon? Truly this was one of those moments when we could set back and wonder how different this world’s history might have been if King Hezekiah had proven true instead of giving way to pride and without one word of thanks or gratitude to God, squandered a golden opportunity to witness to the leader of the kingdom who would a few years latter be represented by the head of gold!

How different might the history of our world been if instead of showing off his wealth, King Hezekiah had spoken of the greatness of the God who raised him from his death bed and as a token of his word moved back the sundial by 10 degrees as easily as one leads a puppy. Never before or after was there such a moment to touch hearts as when that delegation, awed by the great miracle, were actively seeking to learn about a God so powerful that he could alter the course of time. At that moment their hearts were open to hearing and being impressed by the words of life. If Hezekiah had remained grateful, and spoken words of praise and gratitude to God, who knows how many members of that prestigious delegation might have given their heart to God. What a mighty witness for truth Hezekiah could have been. Only when the books of Heaven are opened, and God pulls back the curtain of history to reveal what might have been if that delegation had been able to bring back words of life to their king instead of visions of silver and gold, will we find out how the history of Israel and Babylon might have been forever altered. Instead of becoming an enemy of God and his people from which the call must be made Babylon is fallen, is fallen, come out of her my people, Babylon might have become a bastion of truth.

While this is a more sever example of the dangers of demanding God give way to our wants and desires, there is always great danger in seeking to pull things out of God’s hands and trying to force Him to do our will. Like Job in his suffering, he had no way of knowing that his misery was due to the cruel desire of the devil to bring him to his knees and tear him from the side of God. Right now the curtain between our world and the Heavenly realm is closed to us, and we cannot see how the hard the devil like a thief is seeking to pass the wall of protection that God has raised up so that he might steal us from God’s side. As overwhelming as today’s tears might seem, we have no way of knowing what greater pain and suffering the devil is longing to bring upon us if given the opportunity.

It is not easy to accept the tears of today. When faces with the painful, but purifying fire of tribulation, it is very easy to do as King Hezekiah and say Lord I want you to do things my way. It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that in this moment of pain, we are not the only ones shedding tears. But that as tender and loving father, the arms of God are wrapped around us, holding us up, even carrying us through the trial. And that His tears are mingled with our own.

Posted in Acrostic Poetry, Faith, Poems Begining with H, Poetry, Thoughts

Please Pray for Happy

Yesterday we took Happy to the vet and they said that his sugar was low, therefore we should not give him insulin until this morning. After dinner my sister made his poultice and we settled in for a relaxing evening. Around 9 PM I happened to turn and look at Happy to find him trying to eat his poultice plastic and all. In that moment I knew it was going to be a long sleepless night because Happy’s sugar has spiked.

After a nearly sleepless night, giving Happy water, taking him out, and trying to keep him from jumping off the chair, we were counting down the moments until he got his insulin and settled down. I was never so grateful to crawl off the sofa to give him is insulin so we could finally get some much needed rest. Unfortunately it did nothing. If anything Happy’s condition deteriorated as he went from being able to lay down for 20 or 30 minutes at a time to barely tolerating 5.

By the afternoon God had impressed upon us that we needed to take him to the vet. Fortunately, even though my mother had missed a lot of sleep, she had been able to get more rest than us and was able to drive Happy and my sister to the vet who worried that Happy’s sugar was so high that he was in ketoacidosis and might have to be hospitalized. She told my mother and sister that if we had waited a few hours more, Happy might not have made it.

Thankfully, while his sugar was seriously high, he was not in ketoacidosis. Strangely enough, even though he had drunk 15 or more bowls of water in less than 10 hours, he was dehydrated and had to receive a some fluids and nausea meds before being sent home. Thanks to the medicine he has finally been able to get some sleep. But it does not take much to upset his stomach and cause him to pass the floor.

The worrisome part is that the doctors are not sure why his sugar is suddenly spiking from very low to off the charts high. They are considering sending him so a specialist, but we are bit concerned about where we will get the funds. We are already trying to move to find something more affordable because our budget was wearing thin.

Yet what do we do? We really love Happy. And especially since the death of my father, he has been the life of our home. Cheering us up when loneliness and uncertainty was threatening to wear us down.

Ultimately our hope is that the Lord will hear our prayers and if it is for God’s glory and Happy’s best, He will put His healing hands upon Happy. Therefore we are putting Happy’s health and life in God’s hands. And if you could, we would appreciate it if you could take a moment to ask God to do what is best for our beloved four footed family member. And that if it is for Happy’s best, God will restore that sweet, cheerful, and uplifting smile back to our grieving home.

Here is an acrostic poem staring our little dog Happy

Posted in Faith, Poems Begining with H, Poetry, Religion, Thoughts

He is Coming

Sometimes, as I study my life, as I look upon all my short comings and failures, as I count up the truckload of disappointments that life has thrown my way, I am tempted to lose hope. But then, praise the Lord, as discouragement seeks to swallow me up, the Lord in His mercy points my eyes heavenward. With the tender love of a father, He reminds me that this life is not my source of joy and hope. He reminds me that my days upon this earth are like the falling sands of an hour glass. For a moment they stand at the edge, and in a blink of an eye they fall to the bottom and are lost sight of. So it is with the sorrows and pains of this life. Right now, if we set our eyes upon the things of this earth, even the smallest trial can seem like a matter of vital importance. But thankfully our earthly trials are only for a moment, because Jesus is coming.

The signs of the times are shouting that He is coming. The increasing birth pains of earth are screaming to us look up, because your faith is not in vain, and your redemption draweth nigh. Praise the Lord, our days of wandering are soon to draw to an end. This world with all of its fearful trials is not our hope. Our truckloads of missed dreams need not be mourned over as if all hope is gone. Because heaven with its endless ages of wonder is around the corner. Today may be full of tears. The news with all of its fearful tales of want and woe may fill our heart with anxiety for the future, yet we need not be overwhelmed.

Because Jesus is coming! He is coming to rescue us. He is coming to put an end to sin and death. He is coming to take us to a land where sickness, fear, disappointment, hunger, want, sorrow, loss, theft, intense cold or heat, destruction, and the many traumas of sin are unknown. In that blessed land, where the angels lift their voice in praise to God, we shall lay forever lay down our burdens.

With bodies made new, free of the taint of sin, we shall walk, jump, and run with the energy of a young child. For endless ages our minds will have the privilege to explore the vast universe that God has created. Our minds will thrill with delight as we dive into the depths of the sea to swim with sharks or climb to the top of the loftiest tree to hang out with the birds.

Every cell, down to the tiniest molecule will work with perfect order. No longer held back by aching back or knees, no longer kept on the sideline by anemia, migraines, MS, or any other debilitating disease, we will march along the streets of gold. We will build houses and gardens without any worry that the tax bill will prove to be too great a burden or that some stranger will find a way to claim our home and turn us out into the streets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfTs6Tt4gNo&list=TLPQMDExMDIwMjJRkNBBXIwdEw&index=1As I consider the wonder of that great day, my pen feels so inadequate. In vain I long for a way to share a hundredth of its hope and glory so that the hearts of all might instantly be stirred to action. If only for a few moments I could sing like an angel so that your heart might be stirred so that with all of your heart you would desire to be part of the redeemed. If only I could say something that would encourage all to long for and take solace in the good news, that Jesus is coming. And He is coming very soon.

Posted in Bible Puzzles, Faith, Find the Difference, Fun Puzzles, Religion, Thoughts

Sabbath Afternoon Fun: Bible Quiz who am I number 1

Happy Sabbath everyone. It is hard to believe that this is the last Sabbath of September. My how quickly the year has flown by. It seems like only a few weeks ago we were welcoming in the new year, and now the year is almost 3/4 over.

As I consider how fast this year has slipped away, I cannot help but think how quickly the precious sands of the prophetic clock are falling down. Fewer and fewer pieces of sand remain, as like a speeding train we head ever closer towards the collapsed bridge, Yet sadly, most of us remain ignorant of our approaching date with destiny. Our hearts are filled with the wants and desires of today and loaded down with dreams of endless tomorrows.

Like the antediluvian before the flood, we assume that as it has been today, so it shall be tomorrow. We look upon the ark, our only hope of safety, and assure ourselves that if the danger ever does come, that open door will be there to welcome us in. Even as a cloud of birds darkens the sky and a line of wild beast march quietly and faithfully into the ark, we comfort ourselves that time shall not fail, and the mercy shall patiently stand at her post for the rest of eternity. Little dreaming that in a few more hours our destiny will forever be sealed.

As I consider how quickly 2022 has made its march into the history books, as I consider all the changes that have occurred in 9 short months, I cannot help but wonder how close are we to when the last sand in mercy’s hour glass shall fall and the door of mercy shall then forever closed.

It is a solemn thought that should cause all of us to pause and search our hearts. It should drive us to our knees and ask the Lord if all is right between us and Him. As we look upon the ever increasing signs of disease, the warnings of famine, inflation, the call for civil and world war, the move to unite all under one banner, the shrinking of freedoms, the amazing decline in morals, the fearful rise in crime, the once unimaginable move to let criminals march free on the streets, the turning of right to wrong and wrong to right, and more the prophetic words for our day should burn within our heart as we realize with increasing intensity that the day of work is nearly spent and soon it will be too late to reach the hearts of family, friend, or foe.

As we enjoy once more the precious hours of the Sabbath, as we draw near to our maker, let us take a few moments to search our heart and ask the Lord to show us if there is anything standing between us and Him. And if for any reason you are holding back a corner of your heart, holding on to a piece of the world, ask the Lord to open your eyes and give you a better understanding of the times. Because just like the days of this year have flown by, so the days of mercy are speedily marching into history. And one day soon, so very very soon, we will wake up to discover that the door of the ark has closed, and we can no longer get in.

Posted in Bible Puzzles, Find the Difference, Fun Puzzles

Sabbath Afternoon Fun: 5 Find the Difference 2 Peter 1:4

Happy Sabbath everyone. The Lord is so good. Last night was the first time in over a week that we were able to go to bed before midnight and sleep until morning. For more than a week our diabetic dog was suffering from both and eye ulcer and a stomach bug that kept him and us most of the night. No matter how hard he tried he could not find a comfortable spot to rest and there were times that every five minutes we had to take him outside.

Sadly his eye ulcer is still not fully healed as it seems there is some type of flap of skin or something that is irritating and triggering the ulcer. The vet tried to remove it, but decided that it was better to send him to a specialist. But even with that, he is feeling so much better that he is finally getting some much needed sleep and enjoying a good Sabbath afternoon nap, and we are enjoying some much needed rest and quiet.

I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful Sabbath afternoon spending time with family and the Lord. As we near the final mile, the peaceful rest of the Sabbath will only become more dear. Precious indeed will we look upon the soul and spirit refreshing hours of the Sabbath as we take time to commune with our Lord and Savior.

Posted in Acrostic Poetry, Faith, Poems Begining with H, Poetry, Thoughts

Hope

Sometimes, when I look at how hard I have struggled to only advance a step or two, I start to feel rather discouraged. As I look around me and see how far those who have put forth half the struggle, who barely gave 50 percent of their effort while I pushed my pain ridden body until it could not take another step, yet they are the ones with a comfortable home, family, and a job. And for all my persistence, my determination to give 100 percent so that I might reach my goal, I have nothing to show except a few bruises and an AA degree that can open no doors.

When I look at window and watch the cars go by, and think of all the dreams that will never be, of the family that I longed for, but will never know, and the country home that will never be mine, I must admit that for a moment or two, my heart drops, and hope seems so far away. As I look at my long list of failed dreams, and the success of others, I have to struggle to keep back the tears.

Why are others allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and although I give my all, every attempt seems to end in utter failure? Why are my dreams always denied? Why cannot I find love? Why am I not allowed to have my own home and family? Why am I not allowed to have any real hope? Or is that the case?

As my broken heart looks upon the tattered remnants of my dearest earthly dreams, I am gently reminded to look up. To look up toward heaven and by faith behold the true hope. The hope that is free of sorrow and disappointment. The hope that is free of pain, suffering, want, and any taint of sin. To look up and by faith behold the wonderful day when sin will come to an end and as promised all my years of emptiness will, in one moment, be swallowed up, and transformed into an eternity of unending possibilities.

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