Friday, May 19, 2017

F.F.F.- May 19

Seems like forever since I was able to participate in a Friday's Favorite Five, an exercise encouraging bloggers to find at least 5 favorites, or highlights, in their week.

It's really a great thing to do; a matter of counting your blessings, so to speak. I'm always able to find at least five - and sometimes more.

First on my list: Enjoying a week of stay-cation. There is nothing I like better than days filled with small to-do projects, trips to the lake, and let's not forget sleeping in. I could live a life of retirement very easily! (I mean, if we don't think about money ...)

Secondly, it's been beautiful around here since the rain has stopped. We had some anxious days watching the flash flood reports and observing the stages of the rising Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Thankfully, all is well, and the by-product of all this rain are some gorgeous roses!




Number 3 on my list is dozing in the sun lakeside. I've been able to do it three times this month!




Fourthly, Mother's Day was a lovely day with all my kid-lings. I couldn't have asked for a sweeter time.

Finally, a scripture that has been speaking to me recently:

Praise be to the Lord, to God my Savior, who daily bears my burdens. Psalm 68:19


Some translations say He "daily loadeth us with benefits." Either way, doing the daily with Him is so comforting ...


And that's a wrap on recent doings on the Journey. How was YOUR week? I'd love to know! Leave a comment, or consider linking up and sharing your 5 favorites at Susanne's space, Living to Tell the Story.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Standing on the Heights



For who is God except the Lord?
    Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
    and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
    he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
Psalm 18:31-34 NLT




Today begins another week on our journey. Who knows what this mid-May week holds in store? Whatever comes our way, we can stand tall knowing He will enable us with whatever we need.

Praying your week brings you much joy and satisfaction!

~~~

Today, I'm joining #Soul Survival.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Morning Page: Praise Shaper



Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.... Philippians 4:6-7 The Message

This passage of scripture says three things to me:
  • Praise first
  • Pray about your concerns
  • Peace will come when Christ is the center of your focus.

Praising first sets the tone of faith. You can then say, "My God is the God of the universe, the All Knowing, All Powerful One who knows exactly what I need and will be my Jehovah Jireh, my Provider and All Sufficient one. He will take care of this."
Praising also helps you leave your concerns at the altar. When you are convinced of God's greatness and power and you know He cares about you, why then you can rest!
~~~

And that's what's been on my mind this morning. What's on your mind?

~~~

I'm sharing this post at Grace&Truth and #FreshMarketFriday.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Morning Page - Enjoying the Journey

Yesterday evening, we had the opportunity to take the twins for a drive. The reason for the drive was a sad occasion - we were going to a wake for their great grandmother on their daddy's side of the family. But there was a happy side to the trip as well. Their daddy had flown in from Romania, where he was serving in the military. Mommy had picked him up at the airport and would meet us at the funeral home.

As we got them dressed and loaded in the car, they were excitedly chattering "Go see Daddy," about a million times. But even though going to see Daddy was their goal, they were also very interested and excited in observing every thing they could during our trip.

Along the way, they observed the trees and sunlight. Then they began to argue whose sunlight it was as the sunbeams shifted across their faces as PaPa navigated the car along the curves of the road. I got so tickled hearing Brody exclaim "It's my sunlight!" as then the sun would hit Baylee in the face and she'd say, "No, it's my sunlight!"

I never heard of arguing over sunlight...

They would spot a bird and immediately Brody would put his hands up cupping his ears and whisper "Listen," to see if he could hear them sing.

On the second leg of the journey, we then took a very hilly road to the twins' delight. As we zoomed up hills and then down them, the kids would squeal "Wheeee." They were excited to notice tractors and COWS!

A simple drive brought them much joy.

I've always been fascinated with the imagery of comparing our Christian walk, our journey toward our eternal Home. 

What if we observed the world around us on our daily journeys and found as much joy in the everyday as the twins do on a simple car ride? What if we noticed the sun, trees animals as we go here and there, doing this and that? What if we stopped and listened for birdsong every little bit?

I suspect our blood pressure might go down. We might take some cleansing breaths and feel tension slip away from our knotted muscles.




What are we so serious about anyway? For those of us who are children of God and are trusting Him with our very lives, now might be a good time to reflect on Matthew 11:28-30:


Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

And that is what is on my mind this gorgeous morning ... what's on yours?

~

I'm sharing this post with the community at #TellHisStory.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Doing the Impossible

I'm on a pastor search committee, and it has been a discouraging process. Just when you think you've located the right person, it somehow falls apart.

Speaking in faith to myself, I said, "God's got this. It is not impossible for Him. He is all powerful and all knowing. He knows where the right person is, and is right now, at THIS VERY MOMENT preparing to send that person our way."

Then the thought came to me - I'm sure it was from the Holy Spirit - telling me finding a pastor for my church is no more impossible for God then:


  • speaking the worlds into existence
  • making the walls of Jericho fall
  • rolling back the waters of the Jordan
  • delivering Daniel from the lions' den
  • walking in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children
  • raining fire on Elijah's water-soaked sacrifice on Mt. Carmel
  • felling a giant with David's one smooth stone
  • turning water into wine
  • feeding 5,000 from 5 loaves of bread and two fish
  • speaking to a storm and having it immediately cease its storming
  • raising a dead man




Even more amazing than all those miracles is the daily miracle of God taking a sin-saturated repentant child and growing him into becoming a Christ-filled saint who reminds people of Jesus.

All I have to do is wait for the answer to my prayer - it's on the way!


~~~

Is there something you are believing God for the answer? Take heart - all things are possible with God.

~~~

Today, I'm linking up at Soul Survival and Moments of Hope, because believing He can do the impossible increases hope!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Love is ...


Today is a co-worker's 52nd wedding anniversary. I wished him a happy anniversary. 


I told him “You are blessed,” meaning two things:  the marriage had survived that long, and that both parties had lived those 52 years. 

He said, choking up, “Yes I am…"

"You know, she still lays out my clothes for me every day …" 

He couldn’t say anymore and walked away, wiping his eyes. Tears came to my eyes, too. (I can't take it when a man cries.)

Later, I thought about why that little interchange was so touching. You see, laying out clothes is not that big a deal ... but the love and care behind it is very special.

Daily for 52 years, or at least 18,980 times, that wife cared what her husband looked like. She made sure there were clean clothes for him to put on. She matched them for him. I feel I know her well enough to know she picked out seasonal, job-appropriate clothing so he would represent their family well, replacing items when needed.

She actually gave him the gift of time - his clothes were laid out and ready to go; the gift of confidence - knowing his clothes were appropriate; and the gift of love - knowing she cared that much about him to do something daily.

Maybe we don't have to do earth-shaking things for the ones we love.

Maybe it's just being there ... every day.

~~~

I'm sharing this post at the Writer's Workshop community in response to prompt #6. Share a quote you love. This post will also be shared at the communities at Crystal's #FreshMarketFriday and Arabah Joy's Grace&Truth.

Monday, May 1, 2017

April Wrap-Up

In the last couple of weeks, I have been stricken with excusitis. You know, that disease where excuses are the symptoms but the real problem is fear.

Excuses like:

  • no time
  • too many interruptions
  • too sleepy to think

when the real culprit is the fear I've nothing else to say. Nothing that anyone wants to read, anyway ...

As so often happens when I've a problem, the answer will come out of my own mouth! (The Lord has a sense of humor and often uses me to "encourage" me.)

My "formerly-homeless" friend Elizabeth was telling me of her struggles to create art. We had a conversation today that stepped on my toes. She told me she threw her painting down on the table and walked away intending to never come back until inspiration strikes again.

We are at that comfortable stage of friendship where you can pretty well say what you think and I remarked we southerners call such actions "hissy fits."


Then, I told her, "You know, teachers have to teach every day. Mechanics have to work on vehicles every day. Doctors have to practice medicine every day. What makes creatives think they can just work when they feel like it?"

Oh wow! I said to self, "Self, are you listening?"


Just because I haven't woke up with a "big idea" floating around in my brain, doesn't mean I shouldn't write.

After all, 

You can edit anything but a blank page. ... Write Practice, 11 Writing Tips That Will Change Your Life

I've let practically a whole month go by while writing a whole lot of nothing... the saving grace is my quote journal. You guys, this is one of the most useful tools! Each month, I start a blank page and copy and paste any quote, conversation or link that I want to remember. I started out with just using quotes but now have branched into journaling on those pages as well. All I have to have is just a "seed" of an idea that I saved and I can do a search and find my quote or idea.

Then just to make things fun for me, the Lord let this gem pop up in my inbox in the form of a post from Michael Hyatt:

In other words, keep your eye on the prize. The lack of discipline is really a lack of vision.

Ouch!

What else happened in April?

Well, it makes me happy to organize something ... so this cute little coffee station happened just using things I had around the house.






And, of course, Easter!



My Beauties!



Also, a question I pondered in April:


Where do you feel at home in the world?

Emily Freeman wrote about the not only obvious answer to the question (our own homes, or in my case, my little modest rancher-bungalow …) but she talks about her city evoking feelings of hominess.

In my thinking, besides my home, I feel at home in my church sanctuary, and my outdoor sanctuary, Lake Arrowhead.

Sometimes I get homesick for all three. It’s a good weekend when I can say I’ve spent equal parts in all three.

I could go on and on about all the things pondered in April, but there is no need to do a month's worth of posts all-in-one. May is here, and I've already made the determination to post more frequently.

What happened on your journey in April? Got any plans for May? Leave a comment and share - I'd love to know!
~~~

I am sharing this post with the community at #TellHisStory and at Arabah Joy's Grace&Truth.