Archives for : February2014

Basic Tips for Choosing Fabrics

Red Fabric

If you have the good pleasure of starting all over in the public spaces of your home, your options are wide open.  A good place to begin is by asking yourself what colors and textures you really enjoy.  Do you like print or solid-colored designs, or a mix of both?  Do you like heavy weaves or smooth lightweight fabrics?

A good rule of thumb is to use three variations of color and textures in a small space, or up to five variations in a large space. Identify the dominant pattern you are already using–maybe it’s a favorite piece of art or a patterned area rug.  This would be what takes center stage in the room.

Your other choices of fabric and color should coordinate with the dominant piece and should be repeated and dispersed in strategic 
places about the room for the most pleasing impact.

Mary Z.


Recovery wheel

Problems come.  In waves that roll over us, tossing and turning our emotions, faith, and confidence.  At least that is how it seems for me.

What is different for me in Recovery is that the problems no longer define who I am.  The problems no longer rob me of confidence for very long.

This is because in Recovery I have an internal process that is separate from the externals.  This process is one of Surrender, Gratitude, Honesty, Humility, Forgiveness, and Faith.  This frees me from the bondage of hopelessness, fear, and despair.  Problems are external.  They will always be in my life.  How I respond to these problems is now different because the external situations no longer have to permeate my soul.

Terri Peterson

Strength is Born in Solitude

In a world where speed and productivity are prized and busyness is a way of life, solitude has become a rare commodity.  But strength is found not in busyness and noise, but in quietness.

Are you weary and exhausted?  Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

In order to cultivate a personal relationship with God (and what a stunning invitation He offers us!), it’s going to take some quiet time alone.

C.S. Lewis says, “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself…because it is just not there.”

We were made for God, and in the end, nothing less will satisfy us without Him.   We are all thirsty and empty, and He alone fills the hungry void.

“…for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good
things.” Psalm 107:9

Look for a quiet place today, even if you can only spare five minutes.
You’ll be glad you did.

Mary Z.

True Love is Love That Goes the Distance


The old couple next door weren’t really our grandparents, but we called them Grandma and Grandpa, and they treated us like their very own grandkids.

I remember overhearing Daddy telling Mama, about the time of Grandma and Grandpa’s golden wedding anniversary, “In all those years, Walter never looked at another woman.”  As a child, I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I thought it sounded pretty nice.

When they were old, Grandma got cancer and Grandpa had a stroke.  They were both in pretty bad shape, but the reason they hung on for dear life, my dad said, was that neither one of them wanted to leave the other one alone.

But one day late in the fall, when the plum and crab apple trees between our house and theirs had all dropped their leaves, Grandma died.

On the day of the funeral, Daddy stayed with Grandpa so all of their relatives could go to the church.  Grandpa couldn’t talk anymore because of the stroke, but he used an alphabet card whenever he wanted to say something.  That day after the hearse drove slowly past out on the street in front of their house and ours, he motioned for his alphabet card.

With his thin, liver-spotted hand, sweet Grandpa slowly pointed to the letters that spelled out for Daddy the words he wanted to say:

“Til…death… do…us…part.”

The next week we buried Grandpa.

©Sharon Sheppard

How to Fall in Love with Your Husband All Over Again

1        Make a list of 5 things that attracted you to him when you were first falling in love.  Follow up with a list of 5 things you love about him now.  (There may or may not be overlap in these two lists.)  Then write him a letter sharing your lists.

2       Make some time to sit down alone together and talk about your relationship.  Tell him you long for more emotional intimacy, and ask what you could do to help make this happen.

3       Get rid of the love busters in your marriage: criticism, nagging, angry outbursts, disrespectful behavior, selfish demands.  Are there issues that need to be ironed out?  Things for which you need to forgive each other?

4       Make him your top priority.  Next to God, your husband should come first in your life.  Yes, even above your children!

5       Flirt with your husband.  Let him know you still find him attractive.  Be playful.  Be generous with compliments.

6              Set aside time to be alone together on a regular basis (a weekly or biweekly date; an annual overnight or weekend getaway).  Dates need not be expensive or elaborate, but they should allow time for you to focus on each other.

7              Get more sleep!  Few things kill romance as easily as simple fatigue.  Turn off the electronics.  Grab short naps.  Deal with sleep deprivation.

8              Initiate sex.  Keeping your husband happy in bed will go a long way toward keeping him happy the rest of the time.

9              Pray for him.  Pray for your relationship.  Ask God to restore the attraction you once felt and to help you to know what you most need to work on.

10           Take a sentimental journey.  Revisit the places that were special to you when you were dating.  This can be an actual trip, or it can be a time of reminiscing.  Get out your wedding album, look at photos of your early years together, and relive the good times you’ve had as a couple.

Copyright ©Sharon Sheppard



Recovery Principle: Surrender

Recovery wheelRecovery Principle:  Surrender

In recovery, I choose to let God fight for me.  I will let God find the solutions.  Now I feel my feelings: fear, restlessness, even discouragement.  The uncomfortable feelings will fade to hope, because God is hope.  He knows how to comfort, fix, and provide.  I can trust Him.

Terri Peterson

What a Deal!

Teal Jacket

I would never have dreamed I could find a jacket like this for $1.49. But of course I was at a Good Will Store.  Did you know that teal is the universal color that everyone can wear?  Everybody looks good in teal.  Just another reminder to myself that there are bargains out there.  We just have to be diligent in finding them.  But at that price, this jacket could be turned into napkin rings when you get tired of it.