A Balm in Gilead

Balm — a substance, oily and sometimes fragrant, that often has medicinal value.

This world needs a balm. The older I get, the more pain and suffering I see. Is it because I’m older and more cognizant of my surroundings? Am I more in tune with people than when I was younger?

We are responsible for a lot of what happens and is happening. Our poor choices cause harm to us and to others and yet we continue the cycle. Whether it’s environmental, emotional, physical, political — the people on this earth need healing. I need healing.

Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I read, pray, or sit quietly listening to my thoughts or turn on my iPod and listen to music. My heart aches for people who are suffering — death, physical or emotional ailments, family breakups, marriage dissolutions. Who are we kidding? As much as we would not like to depend on each other, we need each other.

Is there no balm for this earth? When tears fall from my eyes, I look upward to the heavens and ask “How much longer before You return and Your promise of no more suffering is finally fulfilled ?”

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  Revelation 21:4

There is a Balm in Gilead …

Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus and say, “He died for all.”
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Don’t ever feel discouraged, for Jesus is your friend;
And if you lack for knowledge, He’ll never refuse to lend.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Make us whole Lord Jesus. Make us whole.


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Sunrise Sunset

Time flies. As a little girl I used to want to be “older” so that I could be “free.” Looking back, I was more free as a child — no bills, no housing concerns, no worries about what I said or didn’t say. Being middle aged is not so bad though. It brings maturity (hopefully), added “age wisdom”, marriage, children, grandchildren and friends like no other.

While unpacking from our move to Minnesota, I found an old notebook. In it, I had a list of everyone I knew who had passed away in the last 30 years. Morbid? No, not really. I have kept it so that I would not forget the people who had an impact in my life. Someone suggested I use people’s birthdays instead but I like the “memoriam effect.”

As we get older, we start to wonder what our existence is all about. One day here — one day gone. Will anyone care? Sure, there are the known and unknown influences we’ve had on people. But — after awhile, when the people who know you have passed on — nothing.


Fortunately for me I believe in an afterlife — a resurrection of the dead and a heaven and Father to go to. Without that — nothing.


One of my favorite songs is from the movie Fiddler On The Roof. It’s called Sunrise Sunset. Take a listen by clicking on the link below. It has always reminded me of getting older.

Any special “getting older” songs you have?

Happy Birthday to me and thank you all for being a part of my life!

[amazon_link id=”0792838955″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fiddler on the Roof[/amazon_link]



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Only Just One of Me

It’s summer — and yet, I’m sitting here thinking about snowflakes during my birthday week. I enjoy snow — each crystal coming down from heaven appears to be so different — just like me.

I am unique. We’re all unique.

Hmmm … getting older makes you think about death. Not all the time. But I start to wonder if I will suffer when I die or if I will go quick. Will I be hit by a car or die of cancer? It seems a little odd to think about it but all of the older people I know have these thoughts. It’s part of the aging process.

My body has slowed some. Going up and down ladders to paint make my muscles sore and I feel like a little old lady hobbling around until the muscles get back to normal.

Ahhh — middle-age. I still feel 18ish and 30 something — at least in my head.

A Young Me

There is only just one of me. Thank God for that.




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Scarlet Ribbons

Birthdays — I tend to reminisce more than usual during times when I am reminded that I am older. I don’t feel like I’m older but I know I am. The calendar, gray hair and the wisdom. Hahahaha

So …

The Camp Fire Girls always had a nice camp that I went to in Westfield, Wisconsin. It was called Camp Tiyalaka. I learned many songs there that I had never heard before. One of these songs is called Scarlet Ribbons. I had always thought it was a camp song but when I googled it, it was actually a popular hit song for Harry Belafonte in the 1950’s.

There is a Wikipedia article on the history of this song.

Click on the youtube link below to hear the song.

I’m not sure why the song keeps popping up in my head. It always takes me back to when I was at Camp Tiyalaka. I don’t have too many memories of being there. Most memories are of the songs I learned.

Music has a big impact on my life as I’m sure it does on other people. It can make me sad, happy, angry — it takes my brain back to memories that I may or may not want to remember.

Scarlett Ribbons — I don’t think I’ll ever forget that song.

[amazon_link id=”B001384JGE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair) (Remastered)[/amazon_link]


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Hanging Pictures

Finally! I hung three pictures in our new house. It’s amazing because I have never hung a picture before. Well — I’ve put a nail in the wall and plopped a picture on it. But, that doesn’t count.

Hand painted pictures from Mexico
Caribbean Picture

This time, I bought picture hooks.

Picture Hanger hooks

Then I measured the wall to the center, from the top down and I measured the length of the string in the back of one picture so I could account for those inches also.

Hard to believe I’m middle aged and I just hung my first real picture. I wonder what’s next. Ahhh … the simple things in life.



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Rolling Downhill

I remember as a little girl lying down and rolling downhill. It was such a fun experience and I would do it over and over again.

I never worried about running into dog poop. My spontaneity and carefree ways didn’t allow my mind to think about such negative things. Would I do it now that I’m older? Probably not. I see too many people who walk their dogs on grass like this.  (laughing)


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Changes and Death

I spoke to my friend the other day – the one whose wife of 47 years passed away. He sounds depressed. His four children have not been much help to him. He’s left alone to wonder “Why mow the lawn? There’s no one here to tell me that I did a good or bad job.”

I spent the day painting and thinking about his words. The older I get the more “things” seem insignificant. Will I care if my clothes are clean on my death bed or if I spent enough time with my family? Quality time that is.

There are too many people alone and lonely in this world. Being alone is not a bad thing in and of itself, but the loneliness is what brings people down. After I hung up the phone after speaking with him, I felt helpless. I live so far away from him now so all I can do is call and check up on him and pray — pray that others will remember him and help him in his time of sorrow.

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Asthmatic Bronchitis

I was talking with a friend of mine on the phone the other day and he was surprised that I was still sick. This would be Day 3 of knowing what I have and having medications to help me overcome the asthmatic bronchitis.

My friend is “older.” He was telling me how it takes him a longer time to recover from his illnesses. Then he said “I have to take it real slow sometimes because if I overdo it then I wind up getting sick again.”

I understand what he’s going through. When I first got sick, I was laid up for 3 days doing daily minimal work like one load of wash, putting clean dishes away, etc. I haven’t vacuumed the apartment in over 2 weeks.

My cough has gotten a lot better but I still feel weak. How much rest does a person need? Apparently more than when I was 30. If I don’t feel better soon though (as they say Prednisone is a miracle drug) I will have to go back to the doctor.

Perhaps I have pneumonia. That would be a real bummer.


[amazon_link id=”0312375603″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Coping with Prednisone,  Revised and Updated: (*and Other Cortisone-Related Medicines)[/amazon_link]

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Yellow Pepper

While making spaghetti sauce, I pulled out a yellow pepper to add to the sauce to make it more tasty.

Yellow Pepper

I think this pepper was confused.  It wasn’t sure if it wanted to be yellow or green.

Isn’t that just like us humans?  When we’re young, we want to be older and when we’re older we want to be younger.  But we can never go back to the past. So, it’s always better to live in the present.


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Seeking Advice

Ocean Crest Resort view from balcony, Moclips, Washington

So many times in my life, I sought advice from people — Pastors, friends, family, even acquaintances who I thought were “wise.”

Of course, I would weigh the advice against what my gut was telling me.  Sometimes things worked out, other times they didn’t and I’d have to work through the bad advice.

What I’ve learned is that our lives are made up of experiences.  Some good, some bad.  So the advice we give or take is a conglomeration of those experiences.  It doesn’t matter so much if we have a degree in psychology or psychiatry or family counseling.  Everyone uses their past to make decisions in the present.

Consequently, advice can be tainted by our personal view.

And so it only seems appropriate to get advice from Someone whose view is not tainted.  Who can see the end from the beginning.  A Wonderful Counselor.  That’s His title.  His name is Jesus.

And He will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6.

No tainted advice here.  He only seeks for my good and if I follow His advice, I will experience the peace He offers no matter how many conflicts I go through.

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