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Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

On Fridays I post FFF to stop and recall blessings of the previous week. Suzanne sponsors this exercise at Living to Tell the Story and invites you to participate too!

Last week I posted on Tuesday so posting on Monday this time is an improvement, eh? Maybe I’ll eventually get back to posting on Fridays

1. Tax info completed – I worked through the week to get our 2017 files sorted and all our tax information recorded. I handed it all over to our tax preparer yesterday. In the past working on taxes was, well, taxing, and very stressful for me. This year was much less stressful, and I am grateful for that blessing.

2. Celebrating a record – or maybe not– Thursday the Edmonton area set a weather record: 167 consecutive days where the temperature did not stay above 0C for a full day. And the year to date warmest temperature in 2018 was in January. And it snowed a couple of inches yesterday. And we still have piles of snow in the yard. Hmmm. A few 10-degree C days should make it seem more spring-like. One can hope!

3. A tale of two coffee companies – My husband likes Tim Hortons’ coffee. I can’t drink coffee or black tea, but Starbucks creates the matcha beverages I enjoy. Our friends and family know our brand preferences and we are frequently blessed with gift cards for the two companies.

I usually register our gift cards to garner rewards, keep track of balances, transfer money online from one card to another, reload a card when it’s close to zero funds, and have a record in case a card is lost or stolen.

Recently we had problems with both coffee giants.

I had mistakenly reloaded two registered Tim’s card which had been previously tossed out once the card balances hit zero. In the past I would log in and, in a minute or less, could transfer funds from the registered card we had thrown away to the current card my husband carried.

I see you all shaking your heads. Yes, this little problem has happened before. You’d think communication between the one who uses the card and the one who reloads the card for him would be flawless after 38 years of marriage. It’s more a matter of the ‘throw away the useless stuff’ minimalist thinking vs the ‘this still can be used by someone’ collector and recycler thinking. Don’t worry. We’re still working on a harmonious compromise.

However, Tim Hortons has recently suspended the online feature which allows the customer of registered cards to transfer funds from one card to another, and I had to contact customer service to ask them to do it. I first sent an e-mail asking them to take care of this for me. Yes, it was my mistake initially, but could they please make the transfer for me? After one week I received a reply. I needed to call the customer service number for assistance.

So, I called. The customer service rep was very courteous and took down my information, informing me it would take 3 to 5 business days to take care of the transfer. She gave me a ticket number for my request. I could call back if the transaction did not show up online by the end of 5 business days. After 5 days no changes were made so I called back. Very courteously another CS rep apologized and told me she would resubmit the request but that it would take another 3 to 5 days to complete my request. This went on for over a month. Each time I spoke with a different courteous and very apologetic rep. They were sorry, they were unable to take care of the problem themselves, they would try and mark it as urgent, they were unable to call me back about the problem, and the issue was out of their hands. And each time was told to call back in 3 -5 business days. After a few calls one of the balances was transferred but not the other. Finally, this week, and after multiple calls, the money was all transferred.  A transfer which used to take less than a minute had taken over a month to complete.

Starbucks has recently changed their ‘recipe’ for the matcha frappuccino I enjoy. My husband will occasionally offer to pick up the treat for me on his way home from work but asks me to mobile order so he can grab it quickly. For a yet unknown reason when the recipe changed I was no longer able to mobile order the frap. It was still available but not through mobile ordering. I asked at my local SB and, unable to fix the problem themselves, they gave me the customer service number to call. A very courteous rep took my information and wrote up my concern. She apologized for the trouble and told me a district rep would call me within 48 hours to let me know why I was unable to mobile order my beverage. She then told me she had loaded $15 on my card because of my troubles.

Sure enough, a day later the rep called and told me that the mobile ordering for my drink worked fine in the States but until my call, SB did not realize we could not mobile order the frap anywhere in Canada, and that was a problem they wanted to fix. She contacted app guys in the tech department and would call me back when they did their thing. In the meantime, one of the managers at our local store has been calling HQ for updates and letting me know the progress of my request. Though it’s not fixed yet, SB has been going out of their way to keep me posted while working to resolve the problem.

My staunch TH hubby is now wavering. He could not believe how long it took to complete the simple transaction and how long our funds were unavailable to us one we requested the transfer. More frequently the coffee or tea he orders have not been what he receives. TH has recently fallen out of favor with many Canadians for other reasons, but our recent experiences have him singing the praises of SB, something I never thought I’d hear.

4. Blessings in the lives of my kids – This past week two of my daughters had some recognition for hard work and jobs well done. We are so happy for their success!

5. Anticipation – I am eager to receive my first two iron infusions this week. Though I have been warned it will take up to three months to feel normal again, I’m hoping at least to begin feeling better soon. And hopefully to avoid some of the side effects some people experience!

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On Fridays I post FFF to stop and recall blessings of the previous week. Suzanne sponsors this exercise at Living to Tell the Story and invites you to participate too!

1. Dinner out. We had a week-long guest who treated us to dinner last Saturday. It was delicious, and my petite steak was cooked to perfection. I’ve had to learn which restaurants take my food sensitivities seriously and which don’t. This place did, which made dining out a happy experience for me.

2. Shopping. Yesterday my daughter took me grocery shopping. I pushed a cart and selected my own items, something I have not been able to do for the past 4 months. I also graduated to changing a laundry load on my own, and knocked off a bunch of ironing this week. I still need help with many things, but it is wonderful to add to the list of things I can now do.

3. Unexpected generosity. Someone anonymously paid for two weeks of my cleaning helper’s wages. This young lady has been a cheerful and exceedingly capable helper to me as I continue to heal. When she told me of the gift I burst into tears of joy and gratitude. Benefactor, if you read this blog, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

4. Lunch out. After grocery shopping yesterday, my daughter suggested we get lunch out at our favorite restaurant in town. I was feeling quite tired from shopping, and I’m not a spontaneous person, but it sounded like a nice idea, so we went for it. My meal was excellent as usual, and I had plenty for both lunch and supper from that one meal. It was extra-special to spend some ‘girl time’ with one of my lovely daughters!

5. Evaluating I see the surgeon again on Wednesday. I feel my leg is strengthening, but I am still struggling with lack of stamina and overall strength. It will be interesting to see if one leg is longer than the other after this surgery, but it’s hard to tell that until I am walking on it normally. I’m also looking forward to adding more physio to gain strength and balance. Dealing with my fibromyalgia in addition provides an interesting challenge. If I push too hard my muscles are in agony and I am unable to do my physio for several days. If I don’t push enough, my strengthening will be delayed. I need a great deal of wisdom as I go forward, as well as listening carefully to the way my body responds to the exercise.

Photos from the past few weeks:

Vibrant colours

Balcony view

Cattail convention

Mountain corona

Prairie standard

Magnificent mountains

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On Fridays I post FFF to stop and recall blessings of the previous week. Suzanne sponsors this exercise at Living to Tell the Story and invites you to participate too!

1. Alice in Wonderland These past few months have seemed very much like my own personal Alice in Wonderland experience. My body’s response to the meds I was on caused a great deal of cognitive impairment and emotional upheaval. Over the past three months I have experienced hallucinations, depressive thoughts, accentuated fears, and have regularly misread, misheard, and misunderstood much of what filtered through my brain. I heartily sympathize with Alice and all her puzzling and weird experiences. We made the decision a couple of weeks ago to wean off the pain killers, which I have done. I’m dealing with some pain as I increase movement and physio, but the mental restoration has been a blessed relief.

2. Health update Last Wednesday my surgeon moved up to 50% weight bearing to be increased to 75% weight bearing by the time I see him again on November 1. My x-rays show no movement of the prosthesis, which is good, and healthy bone growth around the bone graft. I have some new physio which once again reminds me how weak my leg is, but I am seeing increased strength and ability as I plug away at doing my exercises.

3. Snow and cozy fires We’ve had two snowfalls thus far interspersed with some beautiful Indian summer weather. My husband is a master fire builder and built us this lovely fire to enjoy on an inclement day.

4. Visits I have enjoyed some lovely visits from family and church friends the past few weeks. My pastor’s wife, who is also unwell, organized an encouragement tea and fellowship time for me with church leadership wives a couple of weeks ago. It was a blessing to spend time with these ladies and focus on God’s goodness with them.

5. Bowl of sunshine Some little ‘adopted’ grandchildren came over and plucked the last of the summer blooms for me from our yard. We put them in a bowl of water and enjoyed this sun-dappled bowl of sunshine on our kitchen table for a few days.

Thanks for your patience as I have been away from writing the past few months. I am hoping to resume my Titus 2 Thoughts very soon, as well as stay current with FFF now that my brain fog has lifted. Hope you too, have some blessings from the week to rejoice in!

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FFF daisies

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. Nature Sanctuary Monday is my husband’s day off this semester. This week we visited a nature sanctuary in the nearby town of Devon. Occasional thawed spots dotted the still-frozen pond where ducks and geese congregated in hopeful anticipation of a quick swim. A lovely boardwalk allowed us to meander through the preserve, the bracing breeze hinting at the coming changes of spring while patches of snow still clung tenaciously to the underbrush. At first glace everything looked brown and barren, but on closer examination I found pussy willows just beginning to show their soft heads. Here are a few pictures from our outing:

Pussy Willows

Nature Sanctuary

Shriveled berries

Cloud reflection

And, of course, a picture of weathered rural buildings!

IMG_5382

2. Photo Book Blessing I had some deals from Shutterfly and was able to finish a photo book of the wedding. A couple of problems cropped up when all my backgrounds and embellishments disappeared after I saved and closed the program before finishing my book. Customer service could not have been nicer to work with, and I was given an extension on my deals until their tech folks could work out the glitches. When I actually finished my work and was ready to order, I entered an advertised code and saved an additional $20 on my order of 3 books.

3. An New Life A dear friend who has suffer the miscarriage of 7 children is expecting a little one in July. We are delighted for this couple and pray God’s protection and blessing during this pregnancy.

4. Clarity God has given me some clarity and direction about a few decisions I need to make. I am so thankful for this.

5. Normal? What’s Normal? I’m finally catching up on things that were not priorities during all that surrounded the wedding – before, during, and after. I have some special events I am preparing for over the next few weeks. What used to be normal seems to be changing!

And just for fun, a bit of trivia from the lid of my Snapple bottle: Real fact # 1014 “Forty is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order.” There you have it!

Did you enjoy some special blessings this week?

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FFF spring

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This has been a crazy busy week full of blessings and faith-stretching moments.

1. Our son is healing Sunday morning we received word that our son had been admitted to hospital in Shanghai where he ministers and works. It’s at these times that it’s hard for this mama to live on the other side of the world. Many friends joined with us in praying for David and he is now back home recovering, but still having to be treated with IV antibiotics. I’m so grateful that God watches over His own.

2. Sweet chirping of birds How wonderful it is to have the windows open and to hear the sweet chirping of birds outside! The magpies will swoop in soon enough with their raucous demanding noise so this little respite from their clamour is lovely. Yay for Spring!

3. New friends This week I met a new ministry sister and had a lovely visit with her. I’m thankful for my fellow pastors’ wives and the blessing and encouragement each one of them brings to my life.

4. Hi Grandma! I love it when the little ones run up to me and greet me with, “Hi Grandma!” When I was visiting my ministry sister a little neighbor boy told me he would hold my hand to help me down the front stairs because “You always need to help old people get places.” He was so kind and delightfully honest and thoughtful. I chuckled all the way home.

5. A partner in my health journey About two years ago I started a journey to improve my health. The year prior to that I was in so much pain and had such brain fog that my response to “How are you?” was simply, “I’m alive.” And some days I even questioned that. Every day I would drag myself through the day thinking, “My body is killing me.” God lead me to a caring family doctor who has partnered with me in this health journey. I am not a list of symptoms, but a person to her. She listens to me when I tell her about any medical research I have done, she asks for my evaluation after sending me to a specialist, and she supports me in making changes or using alternative remedies that others in my situation have found helpful. That blessing, that freedom of partnership in caring for my health, has allowed me to slowly improve and gives me great hope for continued success.

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unnamed

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. No crying Emma made it back safely to Shanghai. Through my husband’s counsel, and God’s help, I did not send her off with a weeping mother at the door.

March Goodbye Emma

2. Refreshing conference My husband was able to attend a preaching conference this past week. He works hard regularly expositing the Scriptures for his students and congregation. I’m grateful that he can be on the receiving end for even a short time and sit under godly, encouraging preaching this week.

3. Time with a child I got to ‘make cards’ with my adopted granddaughter this week. A three-year-old’s perspective of what is nice and what is beautiful is charming. She made a birthday card for a friend and confidently told me, “I bet she’ll really like this card!”

4. God’s provision I wanted to buy a new cutter / trimmer for my card making. I broke one trimmer and was concerned that my second one was getting wobbly. Not only did I find a new trimmer, God laid it on the heart of a friend to give it to me. Her kindness was such a blessing to me.

5. Encouraging chat Today I had a very encouraging Skype chat with my sister-in-law. My husband and I and his sister and her husband were married in a double wedding almost 36 years ago. She remains one of my dearest friends, though we live thousands of miles apart. I am grateful for the technology that allows us to have face-to-face conversations.

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fff winter button

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

My daughter’s surprise visit is almost over. Early Monday she heads back to Shanghai and nursing school. Barring any other surprises, we won’t see her again until 11 months from now.

Sometimes I wish I was not such an emotional creature. I am not fond of goodbyes and am not looking forward to that aspect of Monday morning. Anticipating this goodbye is a reminder to me to focus on the time we have been able to spend together with our youngest these past 5 weeks. We dedicated each of our children to the Lord when they were born, not to do our will but to follow His will. Our blessing now is that our children do love the Lord and are following what He has set before them to do, even when that takes them far from us and the comforts of home.

1. Our kids are a blessing to us All of our kids have been, and continue to be, a big help to us in multiple ways. Having Emma staying with us these past few weeks meant she willingly took care of some of the physical stuff that I still need help with after my surgery. That has been a blessing. Thanks, Em!

2. Good report from the surgeon Last Thursday I saw my orthopedic surgeon again. The hip joint has healed well and I don’t need to see him again until October. My muscles are still slow in getting back to normal due to a flare of fibromyalgia. I just need to be patient, listen to my body, and slowly return my physiotherapy exercises as my flare subsides. I hope to be able to retire my cane by the summer!

3. ‘No charge!’There is construction all around our area. This week when Emma was driving she picked up a small bolt in one of the tires. Our local Fountain Tire repaired it without charge, which was an unexpected blessing.

4. Fun with my kids The murder mystery event was lots of fun! It took me a while to ‘get’ my character and to ask the right questions of the other participants, but I eventually caught on. It was nice to meet some new people and spend time with family and friends. (No, I wasn’t the bad guy. They had to kill my character off so I could go home early!!)

5. Thoughtful husband Several times a month my husband surprises me by bringing home a Starbucks’ green tea latte fixed just the way I like it. I love that he does this without me asking, just because he knows I like them.

Oh, I’m going to throw in a lagniappe blessing this week. While shopping this past week I came across a $5 rack and was able to buy a spring coat in my new size for just $5!  Though it may not be the favorite coat I’ve ever owned, it will carry me through the spring and hopefully into an even smaller size in the fall!

 

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