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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The seasons of refreshing

It's been HOT...really HOT...and humid, and the promise of more coming in the next few days. Sometimes the storms come in our lives. They're TOUGH, and we know there are more to come, but in the midst....He comes

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Season of a New Year

Even if you don't subscribe to making new year's resolutions, when the calendar turns over to January 1, and you have to remember it is now a different year, you can't help but reflect and look forward. It's a good place for fresh starts and new beginnings. You might have some sadness as you look back, and perhaps even as you move forward, but you can always know one thing remains constant. God was with us then, He's with us today, and He's going to be with us as the new year unfolds.

A new year is also a bit like an unopened present. There are some wonderful gifts coming up that we haven't experienced yet....a sunset or sunrise, a laugh, an accomplishment, a new friend, an encouragement, or just the gifts of freedom, of music, and of 'enough.' Just as the different weather seasons will come, we will undoubtedly have some seasons of ups and downs this year.

I'm going to try and be more aware with each day this year, for all too quickly it will once again be past. That's a certain forecast. We have so much for which to be thankful.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Another Season

I've taken two trips recently where the fall foliage was on magnificent display. Yesterday, I looked out my window and watched big, fluffy flakes fall from the sky and cover the piles of those pretty leaves, which have now fallen to the ground.

Seasons change, both in the outer world and in our lives. Just 'yesterday,' I was planning my wedding, aghast that I was turning 30, holding our newborn babies, enrolling them in school, and so it goes. I look wistfully back at those events, and I look wistfully back at the past seasons as well. But! these current seasons are beautiful as well. The cold temperatures bring celebrations with family and the wonderful time we especially acknowledge the birth of the Savior. Some of the cold days will be bitter, there may be icy streets and walking, there may be winter illnesses. The little kids grew up and went through adolescence and some heartbreaks. Family members died, and the mirror isn't as kind anymore. The only thing that doesn't change is God. He ALWAYS stays the same, and if we let Him, He will walk through us through all the seasons of our lives. And, He can teach us and use each one.

We have a special picture of a tree that hangs in our hallway. If you look at it from one side, it is a tree in summer. Look from the other side, and it is a tree in fall, look straight on, and it is winter, and so forth. What makes the difference is how you look at it. You can change how it looks by changing your view. "There is a time for every season under Heaven," scripture says. What a promise that we can rest each season in His arms.....thanking Him always IN the seasons. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Season of Apathy

Over three months. It's been that long since I have posted anything on this blog. Why? Did I suddenly decide blogs were unimportant? Did I find out that all blogs are evil? Did I break all my fingers, causing me to be unable to post? Did I decide to quit? No to all of these. I simply was doing other things and never took the time. I didn't invest in it. I didn't care enough.

It's so easy to let things slide. The enthusiasm wanes, other things slip in, and before we know it, more time has passed than we can believe.

Apathy toward weeds lets them take over and  apathy toward relationships ceases their growth.One definition says it is a 'state' of not carrying. It's definitely not a state I want to live in! Far better that I live up to my state's motto of "Show-Me." We need to not just say we care or we are committed, but to show it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Season of Trash

While traveling down the highway, I saw a sign saying, “Please don’t litter. Keep your trash to yourself.” Another sign said, 'Litter and it Will Hurt.'

Sometimes we are guilty of spreading trash...gossip, rumors, unkind words, neglect..... And just like the sign hurts. Everyone gets angry, sometimes it is justified, and sometimes it is because we are letting our own pride get in the way. 

And sometimes we have bad stuff  in our lives that needs to be kept between us and God, rather than shared. Not everyone needs to know everything! : ) 

One of the commandments is not to murder. However, we can't be guilty of murdering someone's character, either, by the words we say. We can spew out all our frustrations to God, and He understands. We need to keep our 'trash' to ourselves!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Season of being Stuck in the Muck

After several cold rainy days in October, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Tired of being cooped up, we seized the moment and met up with a few friends at a small petting zoo. The sunny morning was exactly what my son Jackson and I needed.
When his nap time approached, we were having such a good time that I decided to linger a little longer. Then the rain reappeared and poured on our play date. I said my goodbyes and marched across the now freshly soggy farm to where Jackson was playing. "It’s time to go, buddy," I said, reaching out for his hand.
"I don’t waaaaaant to goooooo!" he whined, walking backwards out of my reach.
"I know," I empathized. "It’s hard to leave fun places."
"Nooooooo! I STAYYY!" my now overly tired toddler yelled, turning to run from me. I quickly scooped him up and carried him across the petting zoo as he screamed and kicked his muddy shoes all over me. "Stand right there," I firmly ordered, setting him next to the car and reaching inside for the baby wipes. When I turned around to clean him off, he was running like an escaped convict through the parking lot.
My sharp-eyed, fast-footed two-year-old was running toward a back entrance to the zoo. In hot pursuit, I followed. But by the time I made it through the gate, he’d positioned himself on the opposite side of an empty, muddy horse pen.Across the rusty red bars, he was staring me down with the iron will of a … well, of a defiant, exhausted toddler. I darted to the right to grab him. He matched my steps. I slowly paced to the left. Across the pen, keeping steady eye contact with me, and like a cowboy ready for a draw, he paced with me. After a few rounds of this, I realized: checkmate. He had me. I could not get to him. Unless …I could make him fall. I walked to the left, and he followed my lead straight into a muddy patch. His pace slowed as his boots sunk down into the muck. I quickly moved to the right. He did too, but his boots didn’t follow, and he fell right into my muddy trap. His strong-willed defiance quickly turned to a whimpering plea for his mommy.
I wonder how often God feels like this with us. He simply wants to get us on the road to a safe place for nourishment and rest, while we jet off in our own direction, sure of something better. Does He, in His love, let us fall into a muddy puddle so we can feel the discomfort of life without Him? Isn’t it true that when we find ourselves stuck in the muck of life, we long more deeply for God’s loving arms to come and take our hands and lead us out? We cry out, "Daddy, I need You. Please pull me out of this mess!"
I imagine He gives the same knowing smile I did when my son, laying face up in the mud, finally cried out for me. He kneels down and as we see in Psalm 40:2, lifts us out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire — our muddy boots dangling from our safe perch in His arms — and whispers, "I’m here love, been here all along. I’ve just been waiting for you to ask. Now let’s get you cleaned up." Then He sets us on solid ground, giving us a firm place to stand. "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Season of Bread and Butter Days

Deadlines. Emails. Laundry. Cooking. Cleaning.
Life is so daily. One foot in front of the other. Nine-to-five sandwiched between get up, get there, go home, go to bed.
Where are the glimpses of glory in all that? What did Jesus do with all that? Before you answer, consider this: Jesus’ ministry, the part of His life that we read about in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, consisted of about three and a half years. That’s 1,278 days. If you go back and count the days recorded in the four Gospels, you’ll come up considerably short.
So what was Jesus doing on the days that were not mentioned by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? He lived His life. He worked. He ate. He washed. He partied. He prayed. He studied. He meditated. He listened.
The Sacred lived in the midst of the secular in the one step in front of the other… bread-and-butter plain. And that is exactly where we can see God…where we can glorify God.
Paul wrote: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NASB). Whatever you do…
Cleaning bathrooms to the glory of God.
Vacuuming the floor to the glory of God.
Reading my Bible to the glory of God.
Singing praises to the glory of God.
Being intimate with my husband to the glory of God.
Cooking dinner to the glory of God.
Helping in the soup kitchen to the glory of God.
Shopping for groceries to the glory of God.
Mailing packages to the glory of God.
Filing my taxes to the glory of God.
All things…to the glory of God.
What does “to the glory of God” mean? The Greek word for glory is doxa. It denotes honor or splendor, a reflection of God’s character. We are to reflect God’s character, His ways, and His splendor in everything we do. Discounting sinful behavior, such as sexual perversions, gossip, drug and alcohol abuse, or any number of immoral acts that contradict the life of a Christian, our entire existence—both in the secular and the sacred realm—could and should be an act of worship…could or should be a reflection of God.
When that happens, words such as “do everything as unto the Lord” and “pray without ceasing” become clearer and more within our grasp. Even in the bread-and-butter plain days, we can see God, we can reflect God.
In the spin of the laundry.
In the cleaning bathrooms.
In the vacuuming the floor.
Reading my Bible to the glory of God.
Singing praises to the glory of God.
Being intimate with my husband to the glory of God.
Cooking dinner to the glory of God.
Helping in the soup kitchen to the glory of God.
Shopping for groceries to the glory of God.
Mailing packages to the glory of God.
Filing my taxes to the glory of God.
All things…to the glory of God.
And when you do all things to the glory of God, you begin to see the glory of God in all things.
How will you see God in your bread-and-butter plain day?
Where will you look for God in your bread-and-butter plain day?