Thursday, August 16, 2018

Be Thankful!

I know we shouldn't say "hate", but I. hate. bugs! Now add to that humidity and heat and you have a formula that brings out the Charlie Brown cry of "ARRRRGGGGGGGHHHH" in me! I uttered this sentiment several times a few days ago as I ventured out into a hot and humid August morning to do some much needed yard work.

 Costumed to look like a beekeeper sans the full Beekeeper's hat (though I wish I had one, that screen covering over the face would have been much appreciated), I bravely went out to tackle the task. For all you bug lovers out there, I'm sorry to say that I did annihilate a few that decided to come into my face space...or was it I that came into THEIR space?... Whatever, they did prematurely leave their bug life, but it was a quick transition, especially the one that I took out with the hedge clippers...sorry, but I felt like I was being attacked for just doing my job...

Enough of that, my point is, I was hot, sweat dripping beneath my clothes, bugs swarming AND the possibly of ANOTHER bout with Poison Ivy when I got a revelation! TA DA !!!!!!!!! "BE THANKFUL"...simple and yet so profound! That revelation, if you've noticed has been the theme of a lot of my life lessons, you think God is trying to tell me something? πŸ€”

Yep, instead of complaining about the heat , the sweat and the bugs, just BE THANKFUL! Thankful that I have the ability to do the work, thankful that I can feel the heat, thankful that I can see to do the work and how about even thankful that the bugs are around to fulfill their unique purpose, though I can't imagine what for, ( and don't give me that "Spiders help by eating other bugs"...really? it doesn't excuse having 8 LEGS 😲 ) but that's something I will ask God about...oh! and also apologize for the ones that met their demise from my hand...or hedge clippers...or foot...well you get the picture.

 Let's be THANKFUL, let's start today! Yes, we can complain, but really? Doesn't being thankful make you feel so much better? Try it, you WILL like it!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The advice of the Little Teapot...

" 🎢 🎢 I'm a little teapot short and stout, here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, hear me shout! Just tip me over and pour me out, just tip me over and pour me out."🎢 🎢

 Most of you know that little song. I was going through some old pics and saw this one of my little red teapot and that song kept going around in my head...and NO I am not going bonkers! LOL The part about getting all steamed up, made me think about how we allow things in life to get us all angry and riled up with people, situations and even ourselves. Nowadays it seems to take very little to get people sometimes almost violently angry, especially over things like politics. Scary! But politics is just one of many things that can understandably or not, get our blood pressure up and boiling! 😑 

Now I try to be a realist and I know for sure that we all WILL get angry at times, but the important thing is not to let it fester. Harboring anger can cause major illnesses both physical and mental. For those who silently harbor unforgiveness and anger, it can become a silent killer, stealing your joy and the precious time that you could have appreciating the good things in life.

 If you find yourself (me included) holding onto anger, try taking the advice of the little teapot (yes, I went there πŸ˜‰)...tip yourself over, take a pause/time out, and pour out those feelings to someone you can trust to listen openly and respond honestly. Don't hold it in, it really is a hazard to not only your health but to relationships.

 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

Thursday, August 9, 2018

His beauty...

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalms 34:1-3

 This picture was taken a couple of years ago at the Reading Terminal Market in Philly. The beautiful flowers caught my attention as we were passing by; so I just had to stop and memorialize the
awesome, diversified beauty God created and that was displayed in these flowers! It puzzles me how some can look at this and think that it all just "happened". You see, man cannot create anything; man can invent, manufacture and reproduce BUT, the results of those things are only from the ideas and the use of things that are already here. I heard someone say once that a skyscraper can be produced by man, but it is God who created the stone and metals it took to make it. The airplane was invented, but it's idea of the function of flight comes from the bird that was created by God.

 The intricate and detail design of each variety of flower speaks that there IS a Creator who delights in demonstrating that if the time was taken to create something this beautiful but fades in a few much more does He delight in the intricate design and detail of creating us...

 You. Are. Beautiful. to Him. No matter what you may see in the mirror, no matter what others say, no matter what you have heard all your life...You are beautiful and God loves you. You are not a mistake, a mishap, an "oops" or a freak. We were formed in our mother's womb and even with all our imperfections, He knows just what it takes to mold us into what He intended for us to be in Him. Trust Him today to see the beauty that He has invested in you...

 "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalms 34:8

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

His Yoke is easy...

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:28-29

 "A yoke is a wooden beam normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs." -Wikipedia

 As I sat down with a sigh this morning, I felt in my heart the Lord saying "Give me your burdens". At first I was like, "but I really don't have any, I'm tired from working in the yard right now but other than that"...then a light went on...oh yes! I do have burdens. Things that I want to see get better, people with situations that I want to see corrected and solved, things in my life that I want to change but have to wait on the timing of God. I am sure that you could add your own to that list. These things can become "burdens" because we, well in this case "I" am trying to carry them my self.

Funny true story, years ago some family members had moved to the West Coast. Their plans were well laid out, but at the last minute things went wrong and when they got to the place where they were to stay, it was not ready for them because of bad communication. So with the 3 hour time difference I received a call from them with the news after midnight and it woke me out of a sound sleep. Needless to say, I was very concerned and worried about all involved. We prayed and they promised that they could return to the extended stay hotel that they had just left and things would work out. However...after hanging up the phone, I was so overcome with the burden that I had a visual of me like the Atlas man with the whole world balanced on his shoulders, trying to fit my family members, their moving truck with all their belongings and their vehicle all on my back! The vision looked so ridiculous I went from fretting and tears to laughing and tears! Here I was about 1 AM in my bedroom cracking up laughing with tears running down my face! It went from heavy duty worry and burden to laughing at the absurdity of it all. In case you don't know it, God has a sense of humor, no I change that, He not only has the sense, He gave it to us, and it feels so good to laugh at yourself sometimes :-)

When we allow the Lord to share our burdens, the situations may not change or go away, but it becomes so much easier to bear. In the case of the oxen, if they could speak, I am sure they would tell us that their "load" is so much better to carry when there are two of them. How do you give your burdens to God?, Simply tell Him...even if you have to do it a hundred times a day when the thoughts come..."Here you go Lord, I can't carry this, will You please help me." It works, if you have a relationship with Him, it works. Trust, no better yet trust Him.

Are you carrying burdens today? Is it almost unbearable sometime? Accept the offer of the Lord, allow Him to help you on this journey. His yoke is so much easier and you will receive rest for your soul.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Workout for sure!

Hey Y'all! Listen I want to take a few minutes of your time and just tell y'all something! The month of June!!!!!! Wow! was a DOOSY! what started off as an upstairs bathroom repair ended up having to be a full bathroom renovation and you know what comes with that...lots of workers coming in and out, my dogs barking, loud noises with the demo, THEN after a couple of weeks with that...a mysterious clog was in my that meant more workers coming in and out, dogs barking, lots of water on the kitchen floor, loud noises as they snaked the drain numerous times and after 2 visits they were finally able to unclog the drain...oh! did I mention that while all this was going on I had poison ivy all over the left side of my face, arm and hand...yeah. Is that why some of the workers were looking at me funny when I was trying to explain the problem to them or maybe it was that I was yelling over the barking dogs...must have been a scary sight... through that, only to realize that one of my air flow vents was not working in the family room and long story short, after research and more $$$ to have the HVAC guy come out, the problem was that one of the workers that was fixing the drainage problem, knocked the air duct pipe in the crawl space under the house off it's output to the vent...I guess he forgot to put it back on and I'll just leave it at that. By now I was just too tired to pursue whose fault it was and chalked it up as a costly's fixed now and the cold air from the AC is flowing as it was before. Needless to say I was stressed after all this, was totally out of my comfort zone.

I love my peaceful atmosphere, soft instrumental music playing, a nice cup of tea on my back porch, with my dogs lounging nearby, all while reading a good get my drift? There were already some challenges going on and when all the things above entered in I was done to the done done! Talk about being stretched, I felt like an old rubber band about to pop.

BUT THEN...I began to think of all the people that were going through things much, much worse than I. Even in my own small circle, there was a friend who was spending her time with a sibling that was in hospice, someone else was mourning the loss of a spouse, someone else had lost their mother. All around me people were suffering, and though I have experienced some very hard things myself, what I was going through at the moment did not compare with what others were experiencing at that time...I repented and I began to give thanks... Did I feel like it, no, but in my heart I knew that God deserves the praise, not for what He can do, but for WHO He is!.

Whenever I can pry my eyes away from "me' and take a look at what God is seeing, it changes my perspective of what's really important...and that new perspective brings me to my knees to pray for others and want things to get better for them. It really is a different view down on your knees... I had a "workout" but through it all, I'm learning...I'm learning

The dawning of a new day...

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Psalms 63: 1-2

There is something about sitting in the quiet of the morning to meditate on God's Word. To me, it seems as if I can "hear" Him better and He can listen to my ramblings and blabberings and yes even my blubbering over things I question, don't understand or just plain need an listening ear.

There IS something about witnessing the coming of a new day...its a fresh start, a chance to do and experience something that you have never done before...a blessing for us to partake of. We never know what each new day will bring, but for now as it dawns, we can talk to the One Who DOES know and get assurance to bravely move forward.

Father God, I pray for each person reading this, that as their new day begins, give them the tools that they need to make it a good day in You. Let them go forward with the assurance that You are walking with them as they put their trust in You. Give them peace, joy, hope and may they experience Your Love like never before; and may they give and show that Love wherever they go. Thank You for this day, we will never take it for granted...Amen.

Sweet Memories...

My parents have been in their heavenly home for many years now, but there isn't a day that goes by that I do not think of them. This morning was no exception and it is awesome how sometimes the most craziest things can trigger a wonderful memory. The legacy that they left me and my siblings of love, laughter, good work ethics, perseverance and a tough hide; which we received from their example, guidance and at the end of a switch from a tree (you southerners will know what that is) or a leather belt (and no it was not child abuse, our hind parts needed it) LOL

 But while I was munching on some roasted pecans as a snack, a memory came to me of how whenever I went home to visit, my Mom would have sacks of pecans in the shell waiting for us to carry back home. Our precious neighbors had a couple of large pecan trees in their back yard and they would harvest the nuts in the fall when they fell from the trees. My parents would make sure that they harvested enough for all of us. We would have so many pecans all winter to bake with and munch on; and with the price of pecans today what a blessing it was!

 These are the sweet memories I have of my Mom and Dad, always looking out for us, blessing us any way they could, making sure that we were happy, even after we were all grown and out of the house. If you still have your parents with you, love them and tell them so today. I thank God everyday for the privilege of having had mine

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Night Song

"Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." Psalms 42:8

 No matter what time at night, from 8 PM to even 3 in the morning, there is a bird in my backyard that sings constantly! It would be annoying if the tunes weren't so beautiful! Upon research there are several species that actually serenade during the night: the Mockingbird, the Whippoorwill and the Thrush, just to name a few. I always knew that birds sing at the crack of dawn, but didn't realize there are birds that sing all through the night!

 One night as I waited on the back porch for my dogs to take a late night potty break outside, a bird in a nearby tree sung the loveliest of songs. It was pitch black outside but it sang its little heart out, so lovely that I sat and listened for a very long time in the dark, until my dogs protested and wanted to go inside for there bedtime treat. They had no concept of the peaceful, beautiful moment I was having, they spoiled it all! lol

 You probably already know where I am going with this. God gives us a song in the night too. When I think about coming through great trials, heartaches and loss, though it was devastating, He gave me a song. A particular time was after my husband had passed and as I leaned against the hospital brick wall after leaving the building, not knowing what to do... many songs came to me, but my favorite was the old hymn "Precious Lord". In times of anguish the song "Thou Art Worthy O Lord" presses past my lips to give Him praise and in times of not knowing what to do, the simple song "Yes, Jesus Loves me" brings encouragement and peace.

 Just as He promised in Matthew 6:26 that we should not worry, that if He takes care of the birds of the air, He will surely take care of us... He not only loves and cares for us in the day time, but He also gives us a song of comfort, peace and love during the night time too. Those times of seemingly darkness that find their way into our lives. Your night song may not be a hymn or worship song, it may just be a sigh or cry from your heart that you need Him. It is a "song" that He draws close to hear from your heart. He hastens to draw close to you...

 Father, I pray this morning for everyone reading this, that if they are having a "Night" experience that you will give them a song...Your song. Nighttime can be the hardest time, things look bigger, scarier, harder and unsolvable when it is dark. Father shine Your light on their hearts and Your promise that You will NEVER leave nor forsake us. Give them...give us Your comfort and Your peace. Just as the bird sings its night song in obedience to its nature from You, may we open our lips, even in difficult times, and sing our praises to you.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Complete us...

I started a project of cleaning and organizing my garage the day after returning from a short, but exhausting trip. I don't know why I felt I had to dive right into this project but I did. Guess I may have just been tired of the 3 boxes of stainless steel shelving I had sitting in the garage for over 6 months and felt the need to finally just assemble it and get it over with.

 Midway during my assembling, I became overwhelmed and felt like throwing up my hands and giving up. The project began to be too tedious, too burdensome. Just as I began to think about how far I had to go to get this thing completed, I suddenly remembered how far I HAD come in the process. After many months of just sitting, the materials were at least out of the boxes and partially put together, things I no longer needed had been set aside for the trash or GoodWill, and the things I wanted to keep were organized in bins waiting to go on the shelves once assembled. So even though I had much to still do, i realized that I also had accomplished much!

 Needless to say, I was encouraged and it gave me the boost that I need to finish and do a "well done" job. This made me think of how we are sometimes so distracted by what has to be done in our and our families lives, that we fail to see all the good that actually has already been done. We need to remind and encourage ourselves often that yes, though there is much to be desired...still God is ALWAYS working and does not give up... EVER.

As much as we may like to have instant answers for prayers, in reality most of the time it is a process. A process because God is working situations out for ALL that are involved, not just you. However just as He promised in the scripture below, He WILL complete us ! If we continue to go forward and not be overburdened by all we feel must be done, but rejoice in what has already been done, I believe that one day He will say to us "Well done, good and faithful servant..." Matthew 25:21

 So be encouraged today...

Father God, thank You today for Your strength to continue on this journey. Help us today to not get so bogged down with the tasks ahead that we forget how You have blessed us to get where we are now. Help us to go forward and run this race with endurance because we know that You are cheering us on. Complete us in YOU in Your time and at Your pace...Amen

Saturday, May 26, 2018

More Grace...

The refrain from this old hymn is flowing like a ribbon through my mind this morning:

 Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

 Grace...God's free and unmerited favor (love) towards us. Grace that I could NEVER earn and yet as I truly submit myself, concerns, worries , anxieties to Him; as I willingly let it all go... sometimes without understanding the details...He will give us the necessities to navigate the journey and come out whole, matured, fulfilled and safe.

 I don't know about you, but I need His Grace, I need His favor, His love directing me, encouraging me, consoling me and assuring me that I will make it through. His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8)...

 When we hit a rough spot in life, we may think that the issue is with others, when it may just be about us. What is God trying to teach us, what is He trying to strengthen in us...what is He trying to develop in us that is for our good and His Glory? I believe He wants to reveal to us that HIS strength is made perfect even in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

 Do you need His Grace today? Submit to Him and trust Him to see you through. "But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:6-8

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Fa La La Day ?

I have a story to tell... a true one...and it's mine, or at least a chapter of my story :-)...

Yesterday morning when I reached into the cabinet to get a mug for my coffee, I was drawn to my "Fa La La" cup. Yeah I know it's not the season, but I felt like having a "Fa La La" day! What's a "Fa La La" day? Well to me it's a day when you let nothing get to you. An emotionally free day. 😏There are no perfect days course, but I planned "Fa La La one.

 After doing some chores and errands, I decided to do something fun and for me that is a visit to the Antique Emporium. While perusing an aisle a woman passed me and said that she was looking for "canes". I had no idea what she was mumbling about but soon she found a container full of walking canes of which she chose an old wooden one. In her excitement of finding it, she turned to me and shared that she searches for these old wooden canes and refurbish them. At first I thought that she was a collector or that she sells them but that was not the case...

 She went on to explain that after a car accident, her injury caused her to have to use a walking cane for a period of time; and during that time the wooden canes were the best to use instead of the newer metal ones. So her mission is to "rescue" these old wooden canes,restore them and GIVE them to an elderly person in need. Her experience of being in a state of incapacity after her car accident, has given her more compassion for those in similar situations and she wants them to have the best cane that will help them.

 By now she REALLY has my attention and I say to her "You know, everyone in this world have a purpose and yours is to bless those people with those canes." Our eyes locked and begin to tear up and she says "I lost my 28 year old son a year ago, he died and I don't know the details of his death nor got the chance see the body or to tell him goodbye...God told me that when I work on these canes and give them to these people, it will help me to take my mind off losing my son." Her pain gave her more compassion, then by helping others in need, she is being helped and comforted. I gave her a big ol bear hug right there smack in the middle of all the antiques, 'cause we didn't care; all that mattered was that we both knew the hope and comfort of God who cares about every detail of our lives, even our sufferings.

 Wiping our tears, we each went our own ways, but I will remember her and pray for her as she walks her journey of restoration even as she restores her rescued walking canes and blesses those in need. My "Fa La La" didn't turn out like I thought, but what days do? But it was a very special day, one that taught me a great lesson from a very special woman...

 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ." II Corinthians 1:3-5

Monday, May 7, 2018

Light of the world...

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

 A few years ago when I saw these vintage wall sconces at a small yard sale, I was delighted. The metal leaves and glass candle holders was just the touch I wanted to add to a room for soft light at night. Light... no matter how softly it may glow, can be very comforting. The Bible says that for those that have submitted their lives to God, we are the light of the world. That we should not hide that
light; that we should allow that light to shine, so that people in this dark world will see and turn to Him.

 I often ask myself "Have I been a light today?" I confess that there have been times that I've blown it...was rude to uncaring customer service, short patience with someone being unprofessional, insensitive when I should have taken a closer look, quick to speak and slow to listen, etc. you get my drift. Someone is always watching and though that does not mean that we should be paranoid and chronic people pleasers; but it is so important that we are good stewards of the grace and responsibility given us in this world.

  A good friend of mine says "There is a difference between nice and kindness." So true...being nice is all about making yourself look good, but being kind comes from within, it 's not about you, but it's about doing good for and to others from the heart. Being a "light" is telling people about God's Word and salvation, but it is also about BEING the example of genuine kindness that will direct others to Christ. We shouldn't just talk the talk, but walk the walk. When the room is dark, and these old sconces are turned on, even the small, soft light that emanates from them get my attention and I enjoy the glow and the comfort it brings.

 Today let US be a light that gets the attention of those around us that are seeking an answer, that are seeking hope. Let our light shine to bring comfort and joy so that those around us will see God in us and turn to Him.