Blessings From 2019

2019 closes out another year of retirement life , and it’s time for our annual Newsletter (or litany?) For those living North of us, today’s highs were in the 70’s. For those living South of us, it’s “cooler by the mile” here during the Summer! 😎

Unlike 2018, we were not “bothered” in 2019 by a hurricane. It was only a weak tropical storm. We feel blessed. That’s blessing number 1. The prior year there was much talk about Florida getting its own time zone and skipping Eastern Standard Time altogether. This year, nothing happened. But, the sun continues to rise in the East and set to the West while we are stuck with EST and DST. Oh well.

Psalms 50:1 The Lord God Most Powerful has spoken. He calls to everyone on earth, from where the sun rises to where it sets. (ERV)

Most importantly, my wife’s cancer entered into remission and so far remains there. Blessing #2. We are grateful to God for making it possible. She has to take powerful drugs, and they come with unpleasant side effects. But, she and I are still able to go on vacations such as to Walt DisneyWorld. Blessing #3?

The so-called “Golden Years” or the “Winter Season of Life” can be a pleasant time. Especially if you prepared yourself for it. You might say the theme from 2019 is for us to be thankful and feeling blessed. We took years to plan the big move to FL and searching over a wide area of Florida for a place to live.

I may have said before that we ended up searching for a spot not prone to getting “bothered” by hurricanes. Wherever we live, we need to remember to pray for people who suffered from Hurricane Dorian and others. If possible, please donate to agencies working to help people who have gone through those very bad storms. It will take many years for them to recover. Having said that, we’re not standing on very high ground so a major Antarctic ice shelf collapse could wipe us out in a tsunami (no place on earth is perfect).

As a bonus we don’t have to worry about alligators unless we head to the swampy end of our county. Indeed, locals like to remind folk we are the “Horse Capital of the World”. I hear the grass is good. There must be a zillion horse farms all around us, large and small. Everywhere we go we can see horses out in pastures, nibbling on that terrific grass. I guess we’re blessed by living in horse country….as long as we don’t step on it. Blessing #4?

Louisa was further challenged last year by having to go through cataract surgeries on both eyes. That done, her healing has taken longer due to her powerful cancer drugs. I guess they can’t always tell the difference between new cancer cells and new eyeball cells. It’s just a giant “Whac-A-Mole” game on her body. Not fun. But, the good news is her eyes have now improved and she sees almost as well as me when I wear glasses. Again, we are thankful for the success of her cataract surgeries and we feel blessed by the Lord for his provision. Blessing #5. I now have less to worry about when I go get my own cataract surgeries. It’s a bit easier when someone you know and love has already gone first to pave the way. 😁

However, she did get great encouragement from two women in our families who’ve already gone through those surgeries. It’s a blessing whenever you can share life experiences with others. I know God designed us that way. We’re social and we all need people to help us with our lives and our faiths. That’s blessing #6. She has been doing better and it is where she gets her ideas for devotionals she writes. In many of them, the theme is being thankful or feeling blessed. Because of them, I get to write the annual newsletter. This year I feel blessed so it’s also a devotional. “Get with the program,” she says. 

I’m sorry, if this year’s litany reads more like a tedious recital of ailments than a devotional, but at our age, going to doctors and getting things done to your body is the “new normal”. It’s the price for maybe looking and perhaps feeling 10 years younger. Blessing # 7? All this extended life along with increased quality of living are blessings from God. We’re trying to take each day as it comes and be a blessing to others. We find ourselves becoming more and more a “cheerful giver” because we have had so many years of blessings. (Litany is a strange word with both positive and negative meanings. Go check it out.)

Well, thank you all for bearing with my lengthy devotional about feeling blessed. With the year of 2019 behind us, my wife and I want, and pray, for everyone to have a Happy and Blessed New Year 2020!

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