SimpleWoman’s Daybook For January

It’s been a while since I’ve joined in for The Simple Woman’s Daybook, so you are invited today to come along with me!

(This template is offered in participation with

For today January 14, 2019:


Looking out my window:


Even though we had a smaller accumulation than most of the Midwest in this latest snow storm, I am still glad to see the fresh, quiet covering that snow always brings. And, I’m glad that my husband didn’t have a large shoveling task, while he is on antibiotics for an infection in his foot. Whew!

I am thinking:

Learning new technology is an adventure in brain-stretching! While my friend, Anna Smit, and I are working on our upcoming Podcast, #TreasuresfromtheSands, we both are leaning heavily on our All-Sufficient Lord. Even the winds and waves of the digital airwaves are not too hard for Him! I will keep you updated when we have our first episode ready to be shared. I know that we both deeply appreciate your prayers as the Lord is preparing our hearts for this sharing.

I am thankful:

On heavy days last week, sweet friends surprised me with Happy Mail! After I got home from speaking with my Rheumatologist about another failed medication, there in the mailbox was a beautiful hand-written chatty card and tea from my friend Susan Chamberlain Shipe of HopeHeartHome. She could not have known how much her card would be an encouragement for me! And on the next day, when I got home from having my labwork finished, (not an easy task for those of us with Fibromyalgia) there was another package, this time from my friend Lisa Enqvist of GrowingupinCeylon. She sent me Madeleine L’Engle’s book, The Irrational Season, and its audio copy for days when my hands have a hard time holding a book. And she could not have known the perfect timing her gift would be either, especially since the process was begun on the other side of the Ocean where she lives!


I am creating:

What a joy I have found in a new (old) craft that you may have seen me referring to in my Instagram posts. “Gluebooking” is a form of art collage, that allows me to cut, arrange, and paste bits and pieces to form a free-flowing and fluid art statement. I love the flexibility, and the release from perfection this offers. When my hands were first weakened from this RA, I missed my time of crafting, sewing, and calligraphy. But I’ve found a new freedom in letting go of that old way of precision. Who knew that the cut and paste collages that I used to do with the children in Kids’ Church would bring me so much blessing now? This is a gift I made for my husband at Christmas:


I am wearing:

Well, since winter seems to have finally arrived here, I have an excuse now for the multiple layers of clothes I have been wearing since October! Sweat pants, sweat shirts, and shawls are standard around here. 🙂

I am reading:

Besides the new Madeleine L’Engle book that I mentioned, I am also in the middle of Michelle Cushatt’s,  I Am, another Christmas gift from a sweet friend. In the evenings I have been reading, Jon Bloom’s, Not By Sight. Something I’ve realized lately is that I have a hard time finishing a book. I almost always leave the last chapter for several weeks before I finally give in and press through to the end. I wonder what that speaks of? . . . More to think about there. Do you have a hard time saying Goodbye to a book that you have become involved with, or am I the only one?

I am hoping:

After my latest Doctor visit, I am praying for good results with a new medication that my Rheumatologist called, “Thinking outside of the box.” How is that for something that sounds like a God-moment? My Lord is so good at moving outside of the box of things, when I have been stuck in a rut. His ways are so much higher than mine, and I am still trusting Him that He is walking me through all of these medication “failures.” What I see as a failed effort, He sees as another lesson in the way of pruning and cleansing.

I am learning:

And, so here I am. Again. Facing the pruning shears, and the cleansing basin. Except this time, as I pondered these Scriptures in a different translation (The Amplified Version) I felt the pressure being lifted away. Jesus did not mean that we would have a pruning season and then finally be done with it all. No, He spoke of a continual pruning in the same way that grapes must be pruned EVERY year in order to remain fruitful. When I grow uncomfortable with the cleansing that must happen, thinking of that “failure” again, He invites me in closer. He is filled with joy when I allow Him to have free reign in the process that births repentance and deeper turning to Him again, ABIDING in my true vine.

I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.

2 Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.

3 You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].

4 Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.

5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. John 15:1-5 (Amplified Bible)

In my kitchen:

Well, my husband’s jaunt into breadmaking has been put on the side burner for awhile, as returning to working full time after his knee replacement surgery took a lot more out of him than he expected! But thank the Lord, that even with an infection in his foot this past week, he is still making progress. And he has been celebrating with a Whirly-Popper old-made-new popcorn popper. So, the air in our home has a decided popcorny aroma these days. I am not complaining!

In my garden:


While the cold ground sleeps outside, I have been trying to keep this maidenhair fern alive (another gift from another dear friend!) It is certainly beautiful, but in the dry forced-air heat of my home, it is struggling along. I am enjoying it while it lasts. If you have any tips, I would be grateful to hear them!

Post script:

When I find something that brings a peace to my heart during sleepless or late nights, I am truly thankful. And this podcast “Pray Every Day,” by Mary DeMuth has been a gift. You can click on this link to go to her website, and the podcast is right there front and center. I pray that you will be blessed also, as you listen to Mary read through the Bible, a few verses every day, and then pray as the Lord directs her based on that Scripture:

Shared Quote:

“If we would ripen in grace, we must live near to Jesus–in HIs presence–ripened by the sunshine of His smiles. We must hold sweet communion with Him. We must leave the distant view of His face and come near, as John did, and pillow our head on His breast; then shall we find ourselves advancing in holiness.” –Charles Spurgeon, October 20, Morning and Evening

Closing notes:

I came across this older song from Vineyard music this week, just when I needed to be reminded of who I am in Christ. I am His beloved, His own dear daughter. And He longs to let you know that same thing. I pray that You will hear His voice singing over you also.

I am linking with:





41 thoughts on “SimpleWoman’s Daybook For January

  1. Dear Bettie, what a delight to travel with you through your day! I love the photos and esp. the gift you made for your husband. Your plant looks wonderful. I have a hard time keeping plants alive. 🙂 And I love the Crosswick Journals. She is so down to earth and I enjoyed reading each one. Blessings, love and hugs to you, my dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Gayl,
      I’m so glad that you are part of my days now, since God let our paths cross here in this blogging community. What an amazing gift that we can share like this. I love seeing all your plants and woodlands outside near your home–you have so many beautiful views there! And I am looking forward to reading more, I’ve only just begun, but I have been so moved by her beautiful poetry already. Blessings, love and hugs to you my dear poet/sister/friend! xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Melissa,
      And I am always so thankful to have you here also! I am trying to get over to Amazon this week and finally leave a review for your book! I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to do that–I realized it was September when I received it from you! My Grandson thoroughly enjoyed it, especially when we shared about the fun lizards that his cousins are seeing while they are in the Caribbean with YWAM. Such a fun connection. Blessings to you Dear Friend!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing your place in the world Bettie. I love seeing your plants on the window and cabinet. I think I need to bring some plant life into my home again! And what perfect timing those gifts were for you–but you know God’s got you and I am so blessed to always read your heart of gratitude and trust.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Yes, I hope you can get some indoor plant life again. It’s so helpful to see some bits of green during the dark days of winter. And what an encouragement even that little life is, pointing to God’s life-giving grace for all of us. Thank you for your sweet and precious comments Dear Friend! Blessings and Love to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE this post (and in hearing all about you at this point in time)! I’m glad your husband is healing and who can complain about popcorn?! 🙂 I LOVE your creative side and how gluebooking allows you to continue to express that side of yourself. Yes, we all find ways to make “accommodations” from what we once did; NOT something new (creativity) but a different form to express it. I am praying the new medication brings relief from your pain!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh,yes, it’s fun to find another popcorn fan! 🙂 Thank you for all of your care and concern for my husband and for myself in this journey through healing! I truly appreciate that we can pray for each other. And, I am so glad that you enjoy my creative offerings here–I have enjoyed seeing yours that you share with us on your IG page also. And you are right, that the creativity is still inside, unchanged, it is the expression that changes. Thank you for sharing that precious thought of encouragement! Blessings and prayers for you today also!


  4. Sorry to hear you’re having these health struggles. It’s such a comfort to know that as we bow before the Lord with a heart that’s willing to learn from Him, He infuses us with His life. Thank you for sharing your experience and this beautiful passage from John 15 in the Amplified version.
    As to the maidenhair fern, it sounds like you might need to put it in a terrarium. An old aquarium would work. It needs the soil always moist and high humidity around it. You could also try misting the leaves a few times a day, if you can’t do a terrarium.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your precious encouragement here today. It really is such a a comfort that Jesus is infusing us with His life through every trial and pruning process. And thank you for the info about the maidenhair fern also. I will go check that link out! What fun a terrarium would be. My Mom and I worked on a few of those together during the 70s. She kept the large one going for at least 10 years! I know I need to get a mister–I even advised someone else to get one, but then neglected to follow my own advice! 🙂 Oh dear. I will pull out one of my spray bottles tonight, and hopefully make my plant a little happier. 🙂


  5. It was so sweet to visit with you today, dear friend. I felt like I was there in your home enjoying a cup of coffee as we talked over the things going on in your life. May the dear Lord bless you and give your doctor wisdom to know what to do to help you and relieve your pain. Sending hugs your way, and I will do my best to answer your precious email soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Cheryl, wouldn’t it be so lovely if we could actually sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee together? Someday Heaven will be so sweet in those meet-ups! I appreciate your prayers so much, Dear Friend. I start the new medication today, and I am leaning into my Great Physician all the more deeply. Blessings, love and hugs to you!


  6. Bettie, How nice to catch up with you today and notice all the commonalities we have with each other. (not surprising) I too have been using the Amplified version of the Bible for my reading time. It’s been a while and Wow! I love, love, love how it brings new meaning to everything I read. I’m looking forward to your new podcast. Michele and I have talked about trying some podcasting together. It’s a dream for the future for now. God bless

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mandy, Isn’t that sweet how God continues to lead us in similar ways? I don’t think I have used the Amplified Version very much at all since the 70s and 80s! But it really does cause me to slow down and think about what the Lord is speaking. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. May we both continue to walk where Jesus leads us. Blessings and hugs Dear Friend!


  7. I am not very artsy, so I just love your art collage; purposeful, pretty and easy. three of my favorites words 🙂 How thankful I am too, that He continues to prune me. Sometimes, I ask myself. “why am I still here?” But for the pruning shears. I am your neighbor on Tea and Word Tuesday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a fun way to describe the art collage! I will have to remember those 3 words: purposeful, pretty and easy. I have asked myself that same question,”Why am I still here?” I am so thankful that God does know best, and His pruning shears are kind and gentle! Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love hearing more of your life and the things you love, Bettie. It’s so uplifting to hear how God holds you up with precious friends and perfect timing. I needed the reminder, too, about the daily pruning we need. My brother and his wife bought an acreage about three years ago. It had a vineyard that was sadly neglected and overgrown. It really didn’t look very hopeful. First it needed strong hacking, and they looked so spindly. Then each year they could keep pruning off dead branches and tenderly helping the vines to grow in the right way. They spent oodles of hours patiently pruning it and keeping it growing as it needed to be, especially my sister-in-law. Each year the vines are producing more and better fruit. Linda, my sister-in-law, recently showed me a photo of the beautiful, luscious bunches they got this year. It has been quite a spiritual lesson for me. 🙂 I pray God will bless the means to relieve your pain and also that your husband’s foot will heal. Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy, Oh I am so thankful that I can share moments of my day like this with you, and know that you are encouraged here. You have brought me so much encouragement at your “home,” and I am in awe that God would let us share HIS Presence in our lives like this. What a beautiful story of the neglected grape vines that your brother & his wife have lived! Incredible. It brings tears to my eyes tonight. I would love to see one of those photos of that luscious fruit. Our Lord has created such amazing object lessons that so deeply resonate with our lives, such parables of beauty that teach us of Him. Thank you so much for your prayers Dear Friend. I am thankful we can pray for each other on this Chronic Illness journey also. Blessings and love to you too! xo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, He is so good to keep working in us, isn’t He? It is comforting to know that we are not alone, and that we can expect His pruning because He cares so much for us! Blessings to you this New Year!


  9. Dear Bettie, It was such a joy to read about your recent days and to trace the love, light and hope that pervade each one, no matter how challenging they might be. I love your reflective meditations and how they have stirred your heart toward gratitude, even for the pruning which your hard and painful daily challenges bring. How I hope and pray this new medication will be the out-of-the-box solution God might choose to surprise you with, and the healing balm your wearied mind and ailing body needs!
    This has been such a tough and prolonged season for you, yet there has been sweet fruitfulness from the crushing. Not least in how you’ve focused on any wisdom to be gleaned from these lessons, and how your heart has desired to know what God is teaching you through it all.
    Where many would have bitterly complained or given up in despair, I’ve marvelled to see you pressing closer to our Lord with a fiery faith and fierce determination to trust His heart even if you cannot see His hand at work or fathom His ways at times. And how lovely to receive evidence of God’s paternal love and care through the post, as faithful friends sent thoughtful gifts just when you needed them! Blessings, love, gentle hugs and ongoing prayers for a breakthrough in pain relief very soon. May it be so, Lord! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Oh I am just so thankful for your sweet understanding my friend! It is truly such a process to face these days that weary the mind and ache the body. I am not sure how the Lord brings that pressing in–I know that my heart has had so many of the despairing melt-downs. And yet, He meets me right there, offering His hand and calling me to let His love cover over all of my rough spots. He knows the number of these days, and how to bring relief that will lift the unbearable at just the right moment, even as He carries when the unbearable becomes too much for us! I am so grateful that you have offered words that have been part of that carrying, as you have pointed so beautifully to Him also! I am so very grateful for your prayers. Across the pond feels like right next door some days, as He lets me see the beauty of a friendship held by His Spirit. Much love and hugs my Dear Friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a beautiful way to outline your reflections. I am not familiar with the Simple Woman’s Daybook. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I love the moments God showed up at just the right time too. I love seeing how God is using you to speak to all of us. You are a beautiful example of perseverance, hope, and reliance on God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Yes, I have really appreciated this template that moves you through the moments of your day. It helps to see how God meets us in so many different ways. He is so faithful to us in the midst of our trials and storms, to bring such beauty and such gifts from Himself! Thank you for always being such an encouragement, Mary! Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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