Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Thoughts.....

One of our kids, grown up now, always asked during family devotions, "Can we just not go deep?"  This is still  our "laughter" quote in our family after many, many years! When the conversation goes deep......everybody laughs! These thoughts about Easter are deep! Thoughts that keep me grounded and grateful and looking UP!

The beautiful words from Scripture say, "Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, does not seek it's own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered" I Corinthians 13:4-5 These words are unselfish, GRACE filled words and beautifully woven into the message of Easter!   Nothing you or I could ever do could keep us from The Heavenly Father's grace and mercy.  When we approach His throne of grace and seek Him in thought and prayer, and TURN to Him,  He comes and meets us. He counsels, He loves, He forgives, He redeems, He restores, He renews!  Our lives can be filled with joy, blessing, and purposeful worth!!!  It is not pleasant to think and reflect on the fact that He was mocked (and still is) and forced to wear a Crown of Thorns. This Mighty One who had come to share and freely give this redeeming love! There is no greater LOVE than the Agape LOVE of Jesus, Great is Thy Faithfulness! Easter is about His love for the world.  He gave His life on The Cross so that we might live, truly live and eternally with Him in Heaven! These thoughts are deep.......JOY DIVINE! I hope your Easter will be filled with a beautiful remembrance of what He did for all the world! Our lives can be inspired by a beautiful LOVE like HIS! He is RISEN!!!  He is RISEN! May we too be filled with the joy of the first followers and be excited as we go and tell and spread His love throughout the world!

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!