Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The French Nobility........ QUEEN MARIE ANTOINETTE

 These beautiful postcards/photographs of Versailles, just outside of Paris, are from the 1940's.  They were purchased by an American solider stationed in France during WWII.  He purchased several and I was fortunate to receive them from someone who knew I love all things French! 

The beautiful interiors of Versailles remain one of the historical treasures of France! Just to imagine Queen Marie Antoninette walking in the grand rooms and in the gardens remains as a tribute to the life that she led there.....until the sad end!  I have just finished reading  a wonderful book about her life! I place it as one of my all time favorites.  A strong woman always has a story to tell and one we can learn from, both good and not so good! 

Marie Antoinette!  Just say her name and many opinions are formed!  For sure, she was a fascinating person!  At fourteen, she became the Queen of France!  She arrived in France in 1770, naive and hardly more than a child and quite unprepared to become the future queen.  In the beginning, she was adored for her good looks and all of this just because she was the Queen!  However, her pride and her extravagance in her life's choices and entitlement of her position as Queen and her extravagance of her clothing and her friendships outside the chateau made resentment grow toward her.  This resentment grew from the people who were closest to her within Versailles.  They turned against her one at a time and soon, she was forced to take refuge in her own fantasy world within the castle, oblivious to criticism. 

For sure, she was a charming person. Attractive, accomplished, yet married to a man, King Louis XVI, who waited many years to consummate their marriage.  Her life is one, which it seems,  she had little choice in decisions...... from the very beginning.  Who can imagine a daughter leaving home at fourteen to be married in a foreign country to someone they had never met?   There was a small blessing, as she continued her relationship with her mother through letters and guidance in the letters she received from her mother. She adored her children when she was blessed to finally birth them.  She had a mother's heart.  This is so evident to anyone who reads her life's story!  To me, one of the saddest parts of her life were the people who worked for her, these trusted people turned against her one by one.  According to history, the story of "The Diamond Necklace" was the final blow .

 Eventually, this led to the entire country of France turning against her and, she then being led to the guillotine. Such a sad waste of a life that could have counted for good!

In a time of change in France, she played a key role in the progression toward a country without need of a King and Queen.  Today, France has opened the grandest palace in Europe for us all to see the beauty of Versailles, her home and the palace where her days were lived out.  In May, I am planning to go to Versailles with one of my daughters and three of my friends!  I can hardly wait! 

P.S. Here is the famous story of The Diamond Necklace...... The Affair of the Diamond Necklace was an incident in the 1780s at the court of Louis XVI of France involving his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette. The reputation of the Queen, which was already tarnished by gossip, was ruined by the implication that she had participated in a crime to defraud the crown jewellers of the cost of a very expensive diamond necklace. The Affair was historically significant as one of the events that led to the French populace's disillusionment with the monarchy, which, among other causes, eventually culminated in the French Revolution.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

It's the Weekend.....relaxation time!

A fresh bouquet of flowers gets the weekend started! Now.....time to relax!

How do you relax?  How do you restore?  How do you refresh?  For sure, today everyone seems to lead such a busy life.  It is still important to have those times of rest and restoration.   In the beautiful little book  Gift from THE SEA ,  Ann Morrow Lindbergh writes how at the beach as one begins to relax, " the tired body takes completely over. As on shipboard, one descends into a deck-chair apathy. One is forced against one's mind, against all tidy resolutions, back into the primeval rhythms of the seashore.  Rollers on the beach, wind in the pines, the slow flapping of herons across sand dunes, drown out the hectic rhythms of city and suburb, time tables and schedules.  One falls under their spell, relaxes, stretches out prone.  One becomes, in fact, like the element on which one lies, flattened by the sea: bare, open empty as the beach, erased by today's tides of all yesterdays's scribblings."   Isn't that what we hope for? To let go is good. She goes on to say as the week at the seashore progresses," we are able to lie open, choiceless as a beach~waiting for a gift from the sea."  Who really knows what God will bring you today?  Let today be a gift!

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Size of Our Portions.....

Which portion would you prefer~a teaspoon or a large generous spoon?

Have you ever yearned for a taste of something delicious and then asked for it and only be given a small, a very small portion?  How does this make us feel?  For me, it makes me want more, immediately!  The opposite can be true, you may have asked for a small portion and the giver was so generous in the serving size, you could live on the serving for a long while!  I suppose it depends upon who is doing the serving AND how much they want to share. I was thinking of this comparison in relation to Easter and how Jesus invited,  with a fervent desire, the twelve closest to eat the last Passover meal with HIM.  He knew the events that were about to unfold. He even gave them instructions on how to divide the meal among themselves.  It wasn't so much about this last meal that he was serving the generous portion of Himself, of which He was about to give TO and FOR them.  With this amazing meal, He was about to forgive them for every sin, every wrong thought they had ever done or ever would do! He was about to lavish them with a LOVE like no other and give them forgiveness for all eternity! He was offering the largest portion ever known!!! Actually, in HIS final week before going to The Cross, many of the twelve closest followers had wronged HIM and even denied Him and lied about HIM, yet even in the desperate hours, HE was able to forgive and extend mercy.

What a beautiful lesson for us on forgiveness and inclusion. How readily do you extend mercy and inclusion toward others when wronged or hurt?  How do you forgive? How do I forgive, I must ask myself?  Is it just enough to "muster" up a smile and pretend to be a friend or is it from the heart?  Psalm 86:5 says beautifully these words:  "For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You".  We can receive God's love and forgiveness and He can enable us to give it also to others just as we have received.  The two virtues - goodness and forgiveness - are attributes birthed by our Heavenly Father and He has desired these to be born in our own lives.  He wants us to forgive others transgressions in the same abundance of mercy He has shown us.  God does not want us to portion out our mercy and forgiveness with teaspoons.  HE is looking for people who will portion out their forgiveness and mercy with HUGE, unlimiting spoons!  

When you sit down for reflection and prayer, God has set a sort of "supper" for you.  Which spoon will you select? Just a small portion OR a generous and large portion to share in goodness and forgiveness.  Easter is about the new birth we receive in Christ, the NEW one He has redeemed  and given in the largest of ways!  He gave everything, His very life for you and for me!  It is my hope,  you will sense His GREAT and GLORIOUS LOVE for you this beautiful Easter season and embrace ALL that HE has for you! Blessings of JOY to you today dear friend! 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Little French Chair.....

AT Home With White by Atlanta Bartlett is a book I purchased in Savannah a few years ago while visiting one of my daughters who was living there at the time.  It was one of those books that was an impulse purchase but has greatly impacted my design in my own home.  No matter what your personal style, white can work in almost any home.  I wanted a lighter, more contemporary look throughout my home., our home is lighter and many of the soft coverings on our pieces of furniture have changed to white or shades of white.  Nothing has pleased me more than this cute little chair my husband brought home.  I loved the French legs,they were so graceful and refined.   For a couple of years, I enjoyed just leaving it as it was found, the the buttons and the fabric needed attention and it was looking its age so, I looked for some new fabric! My husband has lovingly placed his wonderful skills on this, yet another piece of our home! Mixing shades of white in our home has given us a crisp, clean, and new look!  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Praying for Your Children......and their children....

We are blessed with four daughters and one son!  One of our daughter's, Kacie, is celebrating today the birth of her twins six years ago!  She was so blessed to carry the twins to full term with a healthy pregnancy and delivery.  The day the twins were born was such a bright and joyful moment in my life to see my daughter and her wonderful husband experience this awesome miracle.  Twins do not run in our family and she did not take fertility drugs of any sort!  They were just a gift from Heaven!  I remember now looking back, and it is sort of funny how Josh seemed shocked with this new responsibility of provision and taking care of his beautiful wife and his babies.  He too has been a gift for God sent Kacie the most amazing partner to share her life's journey with!  From the time my children were small, I was taught to pray for their life's partner and so I did.  Sometimes, because I was so busy with life in general with our large brood of kids, I prayed on the run or had my closet time in the car while waiting in the school line. I love having fun and I love being active but what gets me through a day is being in touch with my Redeemer!   God, in His grace, answered those humble, heart wrenching prayers and they are still unfolding, one day at a time.  I am so grateful for the births of each baby born into our family.  I just love babies in general.  I think about my children and grandchildren all the time! I would love your's too if I knew them! As a mother or as a father or an aunt or uncle or friend, may I encourage to pray for the children in your own life and the children of the world!  Today and everyday, they need our prayers and we need God's grace and goodness and favor, now more than ever. Childhood is such a brief time!  I remember my dear mother in law would tell me this often and I did not fully understand until all of our children grew up, finished college and found jobs miles and miles away from our home.  God will move Heaven and Earth to answer our prayers on behalf of our children, even after they grow up, we can still be a part of their lives through prayer. Do you want to pray more often for your children?  Here are a few simple steps offered by "Moms in Prayer", a prayer ministry for mothers around the world!  1.  That I would be a woman of prayer.  2.  That I would gain a vision for the power of prayer.  3.  That I would seek to become an intercessor.  4.  That I would begin to practice aggressive praying, taking the initiative to pray with others as a way of life.  5.  That I would learn to pray through the Scriptures.  6.  That I would pray without ceasing.  7.  That I would be able to communicate to others what God is teaching me in prayer.  One of the blessings of being a Christian mother for me has been the honor of praying for my family and with friends and others who see prayer as one of God's highest callings.  Always be certain HE hears your prayers.  It's as simple as believing if  we "Draw near to God, He will draw near to you."  James 4:8  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beautiful Morning and The Sunshine!

There's the wonder of morning, as seen in the beautiful pictures, and the wonder of sunset at evening.  The wonder of sunrise and morning is my favorite time of day which this picture seems to convey, but the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul is the wonder that God loves us in spite of our human and fragile souls!

J. I. Packer says....."What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it--the fact that He knows me.  I am graven on the palms of His hands; I am never out of His mind.  All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me.  I know Him because He first knew me and continues to know me."

 Amazing love that God has for people.....all people.  It doesn't matter who you are,  what you've accomplished or still hoping to accomplish, nor where you live,......God loves you.   His desire for you is uniquely expressed in the Psalms and throughout His Word.  His desire is to have a relationship with you and lead you into paths of righteousness.
God is righteous and righteousness involves goodness, uprightness, integrity, morality, and purity.  In the world, it's hard to live that way......but remember, every morning there is the wonder of a new day and a choice to live for Him and for His glory!  May you sense His love and His grace in your life this week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An Outdoor Feast.....

One of the JOYS to be taken advantage of by living in warm climate is eating outside! A mere meal can become an outdoor feast! This breakfast  on the screened porch is perfect!  Table settings can change constantly too!  Spring tables are always so pretty!  The white linen table cloth adds just the touch of elegance needed!  Everyday is a GIFT!  I wish we could all live as we felt this were really true!  Spend time with the special people in your life and LOVE them without condition! Life is way too short to live it any other way!  Have a happy day! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Mother's Lasting Legacy.....

Mother Love: Giving or sharing tenderness with one's child. This definition is my own. Webster's does not really give a good definition [in my opinion.] A mother is called a female parent or a woman as she is related to her children. This definition is true but rather vague. When I think of the word entire life time defines the word for me. It's all I really aspired to be! Oh, I have had other jobs, such as being a school teacher, also working with adults who assisted children as tutors for children, and working with cancer patients assisting in a resource library, but compared to the role of mothering all these positions pale. I think most women who become a mother cherish the role of being called, Mom or Mommy. A good and loving grandmother cannot EVEN begin to take the place of a loving mother, for that is not our role. The role of the mother is one of God's highest callings! My desire has always been for my daughters to be good mothers, which they are, and any encouragement I am able to give them in their wonderful role of motherhood, I hope helps them with such an important and demanding role. As mothers, the first requirement is strength of character. Each and every day a mother is held accountable by her little child as the child looks to her for guidance over their entire day! Most mothers want their child to flourish, to become all that he or she is capable of becoming. This takes all our efforts and can become laborious, day after day but when that cute little angelic countenance looks up at us.....our hearts melt....with love. Nothing can replace the bond between a mother and her child when it has been blessed and cultivated. I have now been blessed to see all of my children grown. I have not been a perfect mother and they have not been perfect children but in a miraculous way, God gave us grace to develop strong and healthy bonds with one another. Mothers pass on a legacy. If you are a mom, or maybe hope to be one day, may I encourage you to begin your day in prayer, just a simple one liner will do......until you have a few uninterrupted moments to go deeper with the Lord. He is attentive to our prayers. In the book of I Samuel, chapters, 1~2 we hear the true story of a woman, named Hannah, who so desperately wanted to be a mother that before she even had a child, she promised God she would give her child back to God. This is humbling on so many levels and, throughout my life as a mother, there has been so many times that I have had to do this.....give back and start again. You see, childhood is fleeting and you will only have little ones and teens, and young adults a short time under your roof......then they'll be gone! Let me encourage you to slow down, look to God, look to your partnership with your husband and together pray as Hannah prayed, "For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord!". I Samuel 1:27~28. Yes, Lord, I do pray that as a mother, you will BLESS my children as I have given them to you! Let us remember as we dedicate our little ones and our big ones to the Lord that they are an inheritance and gift from the Lord! What a beautiful legacy....this job of becoming a Mother!

As Mothers we never outgrow the opportunities we are given to help our children grow in Godliness. As parents, we have much to do with our children's destiny. Give them over to God's purposes and whether in your home or abroad or another state continue to nurture them to become fruitful in Godly living! The best is yet to be!!!! Dear friend.....I am praying for you today! Bless all who read these words from my heart, O Lord! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Good Manners.....

Good Manners are always refreshing!  Growing up, I was exposed to good manners through my grandmother who truly enjoyed the finer things in life and enjoyed teaching me and my siblings how to properly set the table for a dinner party during the holidays and other family gatherings.  She was a busy lady as a school teacher and community volunteer but still found the time to teach us what was important to her personally.  I will always remember her dressing in her pearls and heels when we would go out for dinner or to the theater.

She presented me with gift of six place settings of my sterling silver, one place setting a year at a time before I graduated from college.  She purchased the silver box also where they are kept today.  Along with this, she taught me how to properly fold dinner napkins, and use the words, "Excuse me", "Thank you", "No thank you", and "Yes, please".  She wore beautiful hats and gloves and a few of those, I inherited as gifts from her later in her life.  She was what I would call a lady. She carried herself with dignity and grace until the day she passed away. I was sooo blessed by her life!

Thinking about what it means to be a lady is probably not something most young women give much thought about today.  Today the emphasis is placed on sports, education, career, physical appearance and the social life.  Times have changed but the opportunity to develop good manners is still something we can appreciate!

When my son was growing up, he was taught how to always open a door for a young lady.  He was taught that this was the polite thing to do. In today's world, some young women may not care for this gesture, but I still think of it as just plain nice behavior for a young man or really a man of any age.  

In France, one of the proper etiquette's is to say, Bonjour when entering a boutique or shop and to say Au revoir when you leave.  Yes, manners are chic! Manners make a difference.  Etiquette is much more than a set of rules.  It is about connecting with our fellow human beings in a positive and polite way!

It's never to early or to late to begin to develop manners.  We can begin by thinking before we speak.  Choosing our words wisely and guarding our words so we do not blurt out anything that comes to mind.  As I said in the post yesterday, let your words be gracious.......think about how they will be received by others.  It is so easy to hurt someone's feelings with the words we speak or write.

A simple suggestion is to teach your children by allowing them to properly set the table for dinner or breakfast on a Saturday morning when family time is not as rushed or hurried. A simple "tea time" could be an easy beginning. You could show your children how to pour the tea, hold the cup, stir the tea, and place the napkin in the lap. For dinner, you might show them how to fold the napkins properly, where to place the fork, the knife, and the spoon along side the dinner plate.  Then, most importantly, allow them an opportunity to use the utensils properly during meal time. Teach them to use words properly such as , "yes sir" and "no sir".  It may seem foreign to you and to them at first but in time, I promise, these will be the very words and actions which separate the ladies and gentlemen for the ordinary.......manners are always IN STYLE!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

UPlifting Words.....

Gracious words are beautiful words!  Gracious words flow like a fountain out of lips that are thoughtful, kind, wise,  loving and good.  In the book of Nehemiah in the Bible, the Word speaks of a kind of patience that God had (and still has) with people who would not listen to HIM.  Even though, they did not listen, God did not forsake them because the Word says...."For you are God, gracious and merciful."  Nehemiah 9:31  Merciful and gracious words  are able to spill out of lips graciously because God is able to change a person's words into a sweet aroma that can fill a room!   He has given us beautiful words to follow and live by.  Everyday HE IS ABLE to pour into our lives living words of TRUTH that can penetrate....... even the not so soft places in our hearts.

We all love to hear words that lift up and encourage!  Encouragement is a gift and the person whose heart is filled with it cannot help but let it spill out.... blessing whoever walks into their world!  God is gracious in placing these people everywhere!  Recently, my husband and I had the honor of attending a beautiful wedding for a friend's daughter.  Truly the entire wedding was a blessing for me because I love my friend so much and to see her happy for her daughter and the love that I know went into the planning of every single second of the wedding day.  Her love was gracious for her daughter and her countenance radiated with joy.  Love spilled out of her lips for everyone who attended!

As I was thinking about that special day, I thought about how everyday,  gracious and loving words should spill out of our lips for others.  Sort of like a fountain that spills water out so beautifully  that we stand in awe!  We remember the sight (or sound) over and over again.  Beautiful words have a way of lingering long after they are the first, I love you!  Remember when you first heard those words.

Our days are filled with many things.  Many things that are necessary to do such as preparing meals, cleaning our homes, working at our jobs, running errands, paying bills, etc. but the day is better and the burdens of the day are lighter when we spend time on what matters. The time we spend with God.  May I encourage you today to fill your heart with what truly matters!  The value of filling your life with spiritual truths is to reach the highest human potential, to have abundant life. For us there is a promise if we do and it is to  "Rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ!"   I Peter 1:13  HE has a great and gracious day planned just for YOU!  Enjoy!  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Being Real and Real Beauty.......

Of late, it seems the airways are back at it.....defining "BEAUTIFUL" for our young women and even those of us who are progressing in age! Personally, I feel extremely blessed to be a woman today. Being a woman, being whole, being healthy~ both emotionally, physically, and intellectually~is not always easy but if approached sensibly, we can arrive in a good place. A truly beautiful woman feels good about herself on the inside(her heart or soul). Her life is filled with positive images and positive relationships. It has taken her a while to get there, most often. There are people who sometimes tatter and tear at life and unknowingly at times rip apart the image that God imagined. This can begin many times in childhood and progresses through preteen and teenage years and then on into college and perhaps even adulthood. My heart breaks for a girl or a woman with an image of imperfection and feeling that this will keep her from fulfilling her dreams. I admit, there were times I too struggled, but nothing compared to women today (of any age). The constant need for celebrity updates, the latest fashion trends, magazines with flawless images (which are perfectly airbrushed) add to this trend of being less than beautiful. My prayer and my desire is to see young women and older women return to the right places for their definitions of beauty and happiness. There is nothing like a real example of beauty. If you are a Mother and have a daughter, she looks to you for this image and definition. Words have a lasting impact. A beautiful woman is known by her physical appearance and includes the facets of voice, countenance, and personal qualities that make her who she is. When we look at her we see her as someone unique and special. If you struggle with self-image let me urge you to turn to the Bible for God's definition of beauty. "Look to HIM and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed". Psalm 34:5. Beauty comes from surrounding yourself with the right people, right images and thoughts and the right words. We have to protect ourselves from wrong images and people who seek less than our best. Please do not let another rob you of your joy! Joy and gladness can fill your heart daily when you take the time to fill your spirit with uplifting words, soothing music, and the nature around you! Add a little laughter and you are there!!! It is refreshing to breathe the air and look UP to the ONE who formed you and made you, YOU! Psalm 139

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Building A Life With Others.....all in the timing!

Just about two years ago, a sweet friend of ours was diagnosed with cancer. He was a Godly man with a beautiful wife and three amazing children and one grandchild with another on the way.  He was a man building a life for his family each and everyday.  Quickly with this news, people were praying and hoping and expecting a miracle for healing. But, in just a few short months, our friend was called home to Heaven for an ultimate healing in the presence of God. 

 D. L. Moody once said, "Next to the might of God, the serene beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence for good."  

Our friend, Doug, was a good man. He had done everything right. He was a professional man, a dentist, and devoted his life to caring for his family.  He was loved by everyone who knew him.  His son was my son's very best friend growing up.  Steven spent a lot of time with them at their house and on vacations. Their son, Scott spent a lot of time at our house and on beach vacations also.  Naturally, his wife, Vickie and I shared a friendship as our sons made this so easy. After Doug's passing, we began to have a "girls time" with two other fun friends who we love about three times a year! Let me tell you they are special ladies! We are all within a few years of each other in age and also we had attended Bible studies together. On one of our visits, one of us said, "we should all go on a trip together"!  Running ahead of ourselves with determination and lots of talking, we decided we could do this!

  Now, two years later the dream will become a reality! We started planning this because of what Vickie was going through and the bonds and love we all share are precious because of the sensitivity of her loss.  God's timing is so important in life.  We can run ahead but as life unfolds, one day at a time....well, to me it's just better. Who would have known all those years ago that the bonds that our children had made as friends would be the glue that now would move us forward today.  Truly, we should ask God to help us in everything we do and especially in the timing of being a friend.  For several months, I have poured over the plans for our trip. I have searched for our hotels, our trains, and even a few of the places we will visit and see.  We will begin in London and get to visit with Kara and Phil and then travel to Bath, England and then on to France.  We have a schedule but we plan to enjoy the time together and not rush or insist on seeing more than we are able to see. The joy of seeing England for the first time and spending time with my precious daughter Kara will always be a blessing and a design of God's timing.  The pictures below are from my first trip...a gift!  I have a feeling Doug will be looking down on us and smiling about the timing of this trip for his sweet wife, Vickie! Everyday is a GIFT!  Don't wait to make that call or write and mail that card and appreciate your family and your friends!  Have a blessed day dear one!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Goodness in conversation and a grateful heart....

Beauty found in nature and the natural, unattended beauty of earth's creation is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind! In His wisdom, God gave us such an inspiring and beautiful world to live in! The natural colors of the stone, wood, flowers, and fabrics used above are so beautiful to me and extremely calming. Decorators are using less and less of color and more and more of natural creams and whites! I so enjoy helping other people create homes that are comfortable and beautiful! I like to do this because the home is where my heart is! The beautiful people that live inside your home look to you each for inspiration too!!! Who inspires you? What inspires you? Where do you search for encouragment and direction when you need an answer? Do you turn to a trusted friend? I love the adorable picture above of the two friends sharing conversation and a cup of tea! What is better than wise counsel? As we are about to begin a new week, let me encourage you to arrange your days so that you create an environment in your home where others are loved and nurtured. A house decorated with LOVE is the most beautiful! Before the day begins, you and I have been given a clean slate! Thankfully, it is calm early in the morning. Turning toward the Lord gives direction (not perfection) for our day. We can begin each day by rejoicing in Him and being thankful for all the blessings around us. As you begin your new week, may I share with you a passage from His word than sustains me daily as I look to Him for guidance. In His way and In His time, He truly is able to make all things in our lives beautiful! From the scraps of our lives, He is making something beautiful....even inspiring. "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every sitaution, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable~if anything is excellent or praiseworthy~think about such things." Philippians 4:4~8 May your week be blessed and may your home be a haven or blessing and peace!!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Changes Around the House....

Throughout our home I have made a few changes over the past few weeks.  No real purchases were involved, only a few changes of a few pieces from one room to another and changing window treatments from one room to another.  I always find inspiration in my home from books that I read or from inspiration from our travels.  I also find inspiration from people.  A kind heart, a warm smile, and a sincerely good person warm my heart as well! I am finding in life, it is the goodness and honesty found in the heart that most often warms a person's home.  The weather has been dismal in our area but in our home it has been beautiful and bright because my family lives with me!  Live your life and let your love of life overflow into the hearts of others!  Everyday is a GIFT!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Path and The Door....

Imagine travel, especially to somewhere unfamiliar and without a map! We need a map if we want to arrive at our destination in a timely manner.  Today, we have Mapquest, Google map, google earth, and oh my many more!  Back in the day, my day that is,  paper maps were essential when we were planning a trip.  For weeks, we mapped out the best streets, roads, and highways to assist us and guide us to where we needed to be.  Today, we can plan to get to our destination and then type or key in the hotel address and follow the voice on the smart phone.  Times have changed!

What do you think, are shortcuts better?  I think we can all agree technology has changed the way we live and the way to travel to our destination.  Planning is part of the fun for me.  This is where I gain my confidence to actually......GO!  I am one of those who truly enjoys being home but, I have found, you can only see and accomplish so much inside your own home. We have to open the door and get out!!! The good Lord made us a people who need other people and so by getting outside and involved in other people's lives our path is enlarged and our lives are richer. We thrive best emotionally, physically, and spiritually when we share our lives with others. These relationships are a part of the guiding forces of our lives.  We are inexperienced  in too much of life without a guide.  Aside from needing a map to guide me [my husband and I have lived in 9 different cities over 40 years], I have turned to God's Word as a guide. Finding my way around Los Angeles, California helped because I had a map when we lived there, a large multi-page map!

In a similar way, God's word guides me each day on how to live life as a Believer!   The whole of Psalm 119 unfolds as how God's guidance will assist one in life's most practical circumstances.  Psalm 119:105, the psalmist David clearly calls out to God "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  We gain strength from these words as we trust He is able to guide the path of our own life, long range. Isn't that what a path does.....takes us on down the road, so wisely to our destination?  This passage also assures us that "the entrance of The Lord's Words gives light, It gives understanding to the simple."  We really shouldn't hasten ahead without a map or a guiding word.  Yes, the map of God's loving words is able to guide us and also nourish our soul.  God calls this provision, manna.  It is hard to survive for long without nourishment and especially nourishment for the body and the soul.  There is nothing more beautiful than being guided sweetly along the and everyday!  Praying your path will be guided and the door will be opened by His shining Light!  Be blessed my friend....He longs to show you and me The Way!