Saturday, August 13, 2022

Praises even when overwhelmed

Hello, dear readers. Although my plans for weekly posting at the journey got waylaid, I'm popping in to give thanks for the blessings in my life.

It was tempting to be upset at all the things happening currently to keep me from achieving my blogging and writing goals. Instead, I am replacing those negative thoughts with thoughts of the good in my life.

(You might want to read my post at Jerralea.com to read more about this mindset.)

I've decided to look at the obstacles in my writing as blessings instead. For instance:

1. I have people who need me. People such as family, church family and friends are always more important than the next big idea or post I'm itching to write.

2. I have important work. It's important for our family that I work. The jobs I have seem vital (to me, at least) for keeping things going smoothly at my churches. I'm not saying it depends on me. Definitely not! But as a ministry assistant, there is much I can do to help my church family.

3. I have ideas. It's a good thing I've so many ideas I can barely fit them in! Ispiration is a gift from God. I might not be able to do them now, but I've food for thought and goals for the future.

4. I have resources. My work provides me an income to make ends meet. True, sometimes I must be creative; but God gives inspiration and helps me somehow find an answer. I'm thankful to have my other half who helps me with so many things.

5. I have a Big GOD! This is the biggest blessing of all. He helps make a way when there doesn't seem to be a way. In fact, sometimes He has an answer prepared before the need hits which happened to me recently. I will be writing a blog post on that story in the near future.

In conclusion, I praise my Good Shepherd who helps me to lack nothing and who makes my cup overflow. He leads me beside still waters and is always with me even in the darkest valleys. 

I am blessed. I can't help but think He will bless all who come to Him. No, He doesn't promise picture-perfect rose gardens in which we spend every moment. He promises something greater - a Shepherd who will lead, guide and protect each step of our journeys. What more could we ask?



~~

You might want to check out my post, "Negative Thoughts Should be Taboo."

I just want you to know how highly I value those of you who visit my little piece of the cyberspace to read my words. I believe my calling is to encourage others with words of hope and blessing. Thank you especially to those who respond with comments. You make it worthwhile!

I'm sharing my five blessings at Friday's Faves. Better late than never, I always say.

Monday, August 1, 2022

It's good to travel; it's great to come home!

Hello, dear readers, I am back from my journeys, just in time to wrap up the month of July. 

Share something that made you smile

There was much to smile about in July. One of my favorite things I heard was Baylee saying, "I got to spend 5 whole days with MiMi!" I have to admit I grinned great big. I guess playing all those games of I Spy and I'm Going On A Trip and I'm Taking ____ (filling in the blank each time with the next letter of the alphabet) were worth it!

Share a win for the month

I took time to read two novels for fun in one week. I did actually take one week off totally from writing and 22 days from blogging. Except for the flood of 2011, that has never happened before. 

I tackled two different areas in my home, decluttered them and survived!

Share a great quote


"You don’t win by fighting lies but by reading the truth." - Louie Giglio (She Reads Truth Podcast, This Is The Church, Week 3) I highly recommend listening to this podcast.

 Share a favorite picture


My girls and I took tons of photos. I'm sure I'll be sharing them many times in the future. Here's a collage of just a few.






~~~

Check out my newest post at Jerralea.com - You Were Created for Something Good.

I just want you to know how highly I value those of you who visit my little piece of the cyberspace to read my words. I believe my calling is to encourage others with words of hope and blessing. Thank you especially to those who respond with comments. You make it worthwhile!


 

Friday, July 8, 2022

My agenda for rest of July

Hello, dear readers. I wanted to pop in and say my presence on the Journey will be minimal in July because I'm actually out journeying.

I've been to Tennessee to see my mom, sister and brother-in-law. Next, I'm on my way to Panama City Beach to do this:


When I return, I'll be catching up and reflecting so I plan to have new content for you in August.

May you have a blessed July!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Weekend Wrap-Up #3

PRAISES


My friends, I hope you have had a fantastic week. My week went by as a blur because of attending the grandkids' games and getting ready to go out of town. Still, there are always high spots:

  • I love the Cobb Salads at Chic-Fil-A! So yummy.
  • New nightgown. So comfortable! (Sometimes those little creature comforts mean so much.)
  • Evening breezes: Even though here in the midwest we were in the midst of a heat wave; by the time of the kids' evening games, there were breezes blowing. It really was not bad at all to sit and watch the kids play.
  • Game night: As a family, we love to play board games or cards after dinner. It's a great way to bond and have conversation; but it has been difficult to find something all age levels enjoy because the twins want to play, too. We found a good solution, the game of Spoons! (It's a game of matching 4 cards and then grabbing a spoon. You always have one spoon less than the number of players, so then one player gets eliminated. It's sort of like musical chairs with cards.) The kids love it if they can grab their spoons before their dad can.
  • Father's Day Get-Together: Because of busy schedules, we don't get to see Malia, Gavin and Rory as often as the other kids, so holidays are important when all 10 of us are together. I'm so thankful we live near enough to each other to make this happen. I'm very conscious that some don't get to celebrate together.
  • BONUS: I've got great Dad memories. My dad moved to heaven thirty years ago; but I cherish all those long-ago fun times

PRACTICING THE PRESENCE

    This week I'm persevering with my series, A Rich and Satisfying Life. I'm thinking about changing the way I do things. You can read about it here.

    This week also marked the end of my Living Intentionally series for my weekly devotional email, The Pit Stop. I'll be taking a break next week; and then we will dive into talking about God's faithful covenant love. (I'm always looking for more readers. Leave a comment below if you would like to study the word with me by receiving a once-a-week-devotional on Wednesday mornings.)



    PONDERING THE WORD

    Remember last week we talked about the fact God does not keep a list of our sins? (See Isaiah 43:25 MSG)

    Here's what He did with that list.




    13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14 NLT

    PRAYING THE PRESENCE

    Father,

    We are so grateful for being made alive in Christ and having our sin-debt canceled. We rebuke the enemy for reminding us of what You have already forgotten. Help us to walk in right-standing with You this week! We praise You for Your mercy! We love You.

    We pray this in the Name Above All Names, Jesus.

    So Be It.

    ~~

    Check out my latest post at Jerralea.com - Transformation: Changing Your Ways

    I'm sharing my post with the crew at Friday's Fave Five where we always look for five blessings in our week. I'm also linking up at Grace & Truth.

    Friday, June 17, 2022

    Weekend Wrap-Up #2

    PRAISES


    This week I'm thanking God for these blessings:
    • A/C and kids to help keep it running: We are in the middle of a heat wave, and our A/C decided to kick off after flashing a warning that meant it needed cleaning. Living as we do surrounded by cornfields, this is a yearly chore. Unfortunately, our unit is built into a wall and it is a real ordeal to get it out, taken outside and cleaned, then re-installed. Jim is still not able to lift truly heavy things so our son-in-law and daughter came to help. They are the strongest people I know!
    • Things that make me smile: I saw a license plate that read GROCGTR; should mine be PIKRUPR since I do pick-up orders?
    • Getting my ride road ready: We had a new belt, sensor and LED back-up lights installed, tires and brakes are good to go. We are ready to roll!
    • Haircut - due to games my grand twins have and the games my hair stylist's kids have, we've been unable to connect. My hair was getting quite bushy, y'all! It is now under control. Thanks, Selena!
    • The Plan Begins: The first step on the path to a debt-free retirement has begun. I know there might be obstacles along the way but so glad to get started. It's a two year plan that could possibly take three, but either way, I'm closer.

    PRACTICING THE PRESENCE

    This week's focus has been on my environment. I'd like to say both physical and spiritual; but my desire is to be authentic, so I'm admitting nothing happened to my physical environment. However, I really feel the spiritual is much more important and causes the physical to line up ... in time.

    My next installment of A Rich and Satisfying Life at Jerralea.com was about the environment of our inner thought life. You don't HAVE to dwell on every thought that comes to your mind. 




    This week's Instagram post adressed environment in terms of we are not here to be comfortable.

    PONDERING THE WORD



    But I, yes I, am the one who takes care of your sins - that's what I do. I don't keep a list of your sins. (Isaiah 43:25 MSG)

    I know God says in His Word that He will remember our sins no more; but somehow I thought maybe He made a list of how many mess ups I've made. But He says there is no list ...

    Whew!

    PRAYING THE PRESENCE

    Father,

    I thank You for all the good things You have brought into our lives. You have truly blessed. Help us to keep our minds focused on You. Let us dwell on good, lovely and worthy things. Help us repent when we we've messed up, extend forgiveness to others and accept it for ourselves as well.

    In Your Awesome Son's Name, we pray. 

    So Be It.

    ~~

    Check out the newest post at Jerralea.com - Environment Matters More Than You Know

    I'm linking this post to the Friday Fave Five community and to Grace & Truth

    Friday, June 10, 2022

    Weekend Wrap-Up

    This week on the journey, I want to try a little shift in my format and posting schedule. I am introducing Weekend Wrap-Up posts.

    PRAISES

    First, I would like to continue the practice of listing at least 5 highlights of my week. I feel growing in gratitude is a very needful discipline. 

    • Birthdays - We had two this week. The twins turned 8 and our youngest daughter had a birthday 3 days later.  So thankful to have children and grandchildren to celebrate! Once, we thought that was an impossible dream.
    • Great weather - Monday's ball games were rained out but it has been perfect temps the rest of the week. In my neck of the woods, any weather that is not too hot or sticky is a blessing!
    • Confirmation - One often wonders if their words matter. This week, I received confirmation God is using my humble attempts at encouragement in a way I never expected. One of my pastor acquaintances is using some of my material from my Living Intentional series in a series he is doing.
    • New ideas - I don't always get to tune in to the Hopewriter's Tuesday Teaching. In fact, this week I tuned in a couple days later. But their guest Makoto Fujimura was so inspiring. My takeaway from his talk about slowing down and observing the world around you was to do like he does: focus on one Psalm per month. This is not to necessarily do anything creative with the ideas that come from this practice, but to learn the discipline of approaching things slowly. I'm excited to try this. I'm planning to ease in with dwelling on one Psalm per week.
    • Anticipation: We've two trips planned this summer. We will be visiting my mom and sister - and my brother will come too - and a trip to the beach!
    PRACTICING THE PRESENCE

    Recently, I wrote on the dangers of self-satisfied in the post, It is Dangerous to Get Complacent. My premise is that you need to be growing spiritually or else you are growing cold.

    It’s kind of a rule: if you are not advancing, you’re retreating. There’s no neutral ground.

    I remembered I had written about complacency here on the Journey. I felt believers were living at the same level because they didn't know what was available to them which motivated me to write a whole series on the promises to believers.

    Did you miss any of this series? You can click on the following links:
    Claiming Your Promised Land, Part 1

    PONDERING THE WORD




    Set your gaze on the path before you.
        With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead,
        ignore life’s distractions. Prov. 4:25 TPT

    I love this gem of instruction so much, especially the last phrase, “ignore life’s distractions.” You can only ignore them if your focus is fixed on what He has for you.

    PRAYING THE PRESENCE

    Father,

    You have been so good to us and I thank you for your care and presence. May we decide right now to fix our eyes on You. Help us to not get distracted with all that life has to offer;  but to remember our purpose and the goal of doing life with You.

    In the mighty name of Jesus, so be it!

    ~~

    Check out my latest post - Making Life Easier: Adapting & Rethinking

    I'm linking this post with the community at Living to Tell the Story. Susanne hosts a lovely linkup of writers who find 5 blessings in each week.

    I'm also linking up at Grace & Truth



    Saturday, May 28, 2022

    May Reflection Journal

    Share something that made you smile

    Recently, our youngest granddaughter learned the song, “Our God is An Awesome God.” It’s become her favorite; but Rory sings it like this:

    Our God is an Awesome Guy!

    He reigns from heaven above

    With Wisdom, Power and Love,

    Our God is an Awesome Guy.

    Hey! She’s not wrong!

     

    Share something that made you think

    “It's a relief to recognize that the Lord does not give up on Samuel when he fails to recognize the voice of the Lord. The Lord keeps calling until Samuel recognizes and responds.

     

    I join Samuel and say, speak Lord, your servant is listening.

     

    Who is my Eli. Who helps me recognize the voice of God today?”

     

    … May 2, 2022, Lectio 365


    Do you have an Eli in your life?

     

    Share a song or a scripture that ministered to you

    Psalm 143:8 New International Version - UK

    Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,

        for I have put my trust in you.
    Show me the way I should go,
        for to you I entrust my life.

    Yes! Think how great our days would go if we were reminded first thing each day how God is going to love us no matter what.

    Also, this month I’m sharing two great scriptures for the price of one.

    “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.” James 1:5-7 MSG

    Unfailing love and wisdom from the Father! How good He is to us.

    Share a favorite picture

    This is my favorite current picture of our daughter Elissa Joy. Today’s her birthday. She sure brought joy to our world!

     


     ~~~

    I'm sharing this post at Friday's Fave Five since I've at least 5 favorites in this post to share. I'll also share it at Grace & Truth.

    I just want you to know how highly I value those of you who visit my little piece of the cyberspace to read my words. I believe my calling is to encourage others with words of hope and blessing. Thank you especially to those who respond with comments. You make it worthwhile!


    Check out the latest post at Jerralea.com - Decide Now What is Dear to You