Monday, April 20, 2015

Planning Ahead....

My nature is to plan ahead. I am often thinking in advance what I will need to accomplishment later today, tomorrow, or next week.  I guess you could say, I am a planner! When we were young, as the beautiful poem says above, our mothers went ahead and mentored us as the wiser one. We learned from our mothers. Our days weren't numbered when mother was in charge. We lived like free spirits....happy all day long with mother guiding. But.....we do grow up! We are responsible for our own days. We have choices we must make each day about how we will spend our hours....all twenty four!  We are encouraged by Moses in Psalm 90 verse 12 to ask God to teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom.  We are to use our time wisely. We aren't to squander our time or throw it away on useless activities.  We live in a day where that could be impossible unless we plan ahead not to waste our time! So, planning and thinking about our future can truly keep us on the right track and keep us productive.  How do we achieve this?  If you were blessed to have a mother or perhaps a mentor that has taught you the valuable lessons of a well lived life then you are ahead!  It's not easy to learn our way....even at my age.  There isn't anyone to tell me what to expect or how to keep busy when the children are all grown.  I have to be wise and seek wisdom through prayer and through other women who are wise and on a similar path.  I do not have to have all the answers at once but I can press against the Shepherd and learn as I go.  I want to plan and trust His heart above my own. He is available to guide my decisions and responses when I trust in Him. The Holy Spirit guides our decision making when I surrender and plan by asking for Him to fill me with His desires.  This isn't easy.  We have to be quiet and there is so much noise......when I am quiet, a peace enters that is like none I have ever known.  I don't know what is going on in your life today, but if you need to plan ahead and be guided, may I encourage you to take a few moments and ask God to refocus you and guide you and go before you. He's your Heavenly Father and you are His child. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Life's Reflections and a Mirror.....

This beautiful stairway and antique French mirror is in the lobby of the beautiful Hotel d' Europe' in Avignon, France.  It's just off an inner courtyard and has welcomed travelers for two centuries, in the ancient mansion of the marquis de Graveson built in 1580.  In the United States, we think of old as a 
few years.  Most often though, time can be a blessing and even old mirrors can become a treasured piece in our homes as in the photo above!  Experiences we encounter can be the same treasured
jewels of reflection if we wait on God to teach and show us their use in our lives.

God doesn't ever waste an experience.  He is Almighty God who sees and knows all.  That does not mean He is waiting to see what we do wrong but it means HE is ever present with us.....To love us and know us as our most treasured friend.  In Acts 7:9 the Bible speaks of Joseph being "envied by the patriarchs and then sold into slavery."  Forgotten so it seems, "but God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, King of Egypt; and he made him governor of Egypt and all his house."  God did this for Joseph because Joseph had developed a personal relationship with Him, Almighty God!  While Joseph was alone, and in prison (a situation he did not choose), he could have given up, turned negative with his conversation and thoughts, and angry.  Instead, Joseph allowed God to intervene in his time there in that dark lonely place.  His spirit began to soften, his body changed physically while a prisoner, all the while God was changing him on the inside into a man HE could use. One who reflected qualities of a Godly man. Unseen forces working at best!  This incident in Scripture makes it clear that delays are not denials, and that God's permissive will is involved in all of life.  Joseph became a wise man.  God encourages us often in Scripture to ASK for wisdom.  He assures you and me in James 1:5 if we ask, we will receive a liberal reception of wisdom.

Wisdom is a valuable gift God can and does give, it's a TRUE promise. God's desire is for us to grow.  It is not a pretty sight to see a man or woman who has refused to grow up.  God's desire is to grow us up in a timely gracious way.  "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but WHEN I became a man, I put away childish things."  I Corn. 13:11  I think God is saying, "now is a good time to let me take control."  He doesn't use force, but by wisdom and in love as we rest in Him, He takes control in a good way.  He was with Joseph and He will be with you and me too.   His plans for you are so much higher and greater than you or I could ever imagine or see.

Look in the mirror and then look up toward the Heavenly realm.  Ask HIM to change you so you look like JESUS.  That, my friend, is what I hope daily we are able to do, surrender to the person that He would want you and me to become.  "Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it ALL to the GLORY OF GOD!"I Corinthians 10:31.  It really is a beautiful reflection when we see the light of His love in the light of another's eyes!  Enjoy the blessings of this last day of MAY!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hands and Gloves

Before the days of hand sanitizer, children and adults wore gloves! By the time I was a little girl, we wore gloves to Sunday school and church and other special occasions. These little memories of childhood are still fun for me to think about! I am fascinated by hands, perhaps because using mine bring me the most happiness whether sewing, cooking, gardening, writing a note, or most importantly touching with a hug or a kiss someone I care about and love. Did you know that over one third of our five million touch receptors are centered in our hands?!? [Sensation and perception: an integrated approach.....a book by Harvey Schiffman]. Through study, he and other professionals have found that some blind people are being taught to read without Braille, by seeing through their fingertips! That seems unreal! In the Bible there is much written about laying on of the hands and it was always used in passing a blessing on to another person or a family member. Hugs and kisses were a part of meaningful touch pictured in the Scriptures. In another study, Dr. Dolores Krieger, a professor of nursing at New York University, has made numerous studies on the effects of laying on of the hands and touch. What she found is that both the touched and the one being touched receive a physiological benefit. Inside our bodies is hemoglobin, the pigment of the red blood cells, which carries oxygen to the tissues. Dr. Krieger found both people's hemoglobin levels go up during the laying on of the hands. Body tissues receive more oxygen during this time and can even aid in regenerative process if a person is ill. This speaks volumes to me about the importance of hands. Hands communicate love and acceptance and blessing. I read this in a wonderful book I have called, THE BLESSING. I think the prior generations were wise to cover their hands and protect them for the purpose of what God truly intended for our hands. If you are SO blessed to have a little child, think of the first time he or she reached out their hand to touch you. As a mother, there is nothing more beautiful than a little baby recognizing your face and you realizing is a most holy moment between mother and child.....a bonding that can last forever when nurtured and treasured. I hope you have some special moments to lay your hands on someone for a blessing. It is truly healing and a gift!!!

These beautiful gloves fit the hands of my late grandmother, Virginia! A beautiful reminder for me of all the love she shared through her hands! I know I was loved.....I have the proof....her gloves. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Treasured Path.....

For a few glory filled days last week, one of my daughters and her children spent a few days with me on the beautiful emerald coast of the Florida panhandle. We stayed in a European designed enclave where every little winding street holds a surprise! One of our mornings on a walk, we saw this beautiful house in the picture above.  The soft yellow door caught my eye, but it was the cross on the entrance that captured my  focus and my camera! In their own way, in their own style, the homeowners were sharing their faith! May we be so bold!

I can not know for certain where you are in life, but nobody has a perfect life for long.  We all encounter setbacks and stopping points.  These are the times when God steps in and often embraces us with the certainty that HIS love is real and His plan is for good! Amazing LOVE wrapped just for each of us individually.  There are many wonderful days in our lives and there are days filled with adversity! Yes, there is a treasured path for each of us!

God often allows adversity in our lives for a way of advancing the gospel.....each trial, each blessing.  In Philippians 1: 12-26, Paul, the great apostle, encouraged his brothers and sisters even WHILE he was in prison, reminding them that being there actually served to advance the gospel to the whole palace guard!!! When we see people hurting and suffering, perhaps not only our offer to assist but to pray can be a priceless gift! What a glory to see God's hand move!!!! Before He laid the foundations of the world He thought of you and of the days you would live on earth! He planned the people and the places He would give to you. Nothing, my friend can separate you from the love God has for you!  Nothing!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Attributes of God: Day 3

God is Faithful

Constant, loyal, reliable, steadfast, unwavering, devoted, true, dependable.

Deuteronomy 7: 9
Psalm 33: 4
Psalm 89: 8
Psalm 119: 90
Psalm 145:13
Psalm 146: 5-8
II Timothy 2: 13

"Now I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness He judges and makes war."  Revelation 19:11

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Attributes of God: Day 2


Holding the position of ruler, royal, reigning; independent of all others; above or superior to all others; controls everything, can do anything.

I Chronicles 29: 10-13
II Chronicles 20: 6
Job 42: 2
Psalm 33: 10-11
Psalm 93
Isaiah 40:10
Romans 8: 28 

"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the grown apart from your Father's will.  But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."  Matthew 10: 29-31

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Attributes Of God: Day 1


Highest in rank, power, authority; superior, highest in degree; utmost.

Deuteronomy 10: 14-17
Nehemiah 9:6
Job 11:7-9
Isaiah 44:6-8
Acts 17:24-28
Colossians 1:15-18
Jude 24-25
Revelation 4:8

Psalm 95: 3-7
"For The Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.  In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also.  The sea is His, for He made it. And His hands formed the dry land.  Oh come let us worship and bow down Let us kneel before The Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture.  And the sheep of His hand."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter my Home.....Come on In!

The winter months can become long and cold in certain parts of the world.   I love the winter season because it is a season of rest in some ways and for me always one of renewal both spiritually and physically.  It's a time to put away things from the holidays and the last year and start a new and fresh year.  Over the last few months of the last year, it seems I finally finished some of the transformations in my soft furnishings in our home.  The long awaited chairs that I had hoped to transform in white finally happened. When we moved into our home seven years ago, we were living between two houses so little by little, I tried to piece together what I would bring from one house to another but I never seemed to get it right in terms of the look I wanted and the comfort necessary.  I do not like overly formal rooms but think about comfort first.  I have always craved a slow pace of life and through life's changes it seemed we were never living in the same house for long or forever.  The seven years we have lived in this home have been full of happiness and family gatherings and making memories. I love living near the ocean but I think it's really water that I crave....any water.  A lake view and a river access would do as long as it's brimmed with greenery, wildlife, fish and birds and oh Lots of beautiful flowers!

Have you ever thought about how your home reflects who you are? I love color but in my home, I have taken out a lot of the color and made the neutrals prominent.  My color comes from the people who come into my home to curl up on the sofa, with a cup of tea on the table and view through to the dining room and kitchen of the grass on the lawn outside.  I hear the colorful voices of my family in the walls and in the rooms where they have been. I hear my husbands voice and enjoy the contentment of a happy life and home build with him. I love my home when it is filled with the love of my colorful family!!!!

All of our children are artist..... of a sort.  One has a professional position as an artist and the others have art talents well enough to be professionals, even though their degrees were acquired in other fields.  Our son is a musician which is a beautiful artistic gift, for with music one is never alone!  When our children were young, our home was centered around them, not the furniture. Most of our money went to family needs!  My husband built a small round table with two chairs when our oldest daughter was about 15 months and for years as the other children were born, we would sit at that little table and color and draw and work puzzles.  We had tea parties and cupcake parties.  Later it also served as a gift shop table when they were old enough to create their own play.  Allowing children to develop creatively is one of the best gifts a parent can give.  When mine were young, instead of printed coloring books, I often gave them plain paper and crayons and they created their own pictures.  I believe those crayons and paper have returned to me over and over again in admiration as I have admired something one of my girls or son created.  Yes, they all love color and art and their homes are filled with many of their own personal creations.  We visited art museums and historic homes every summer it seemed but we also camped in the open forests and hiked and admired God's creative canvas in the world of color! We took them down every road imaginable and crossed the road!

Where are you in your life?  Are you at a crossroads?  In many ways, we will be given crossroads until we take our last breath.  Crossroads and waiting to cross the road to new adventures, new places, new waters are always ahead for us.  God is always alive, changing us into the people we should be for His Honor and for His Glory.  He leads us and He guides us as His redeemed people when we know and love Him!  Our lives are sometimes a palate of neutrals but more often they are like holding a large canvas with a collage of colors ranging from blues to grays to green to bright yellow!  Always with a vision that was ordained for each one of us individually before we were ever born.  

In the warmth of the winter months may your home be filled with the warmth of color and if you are so fortunate........some refreshing water from the Master Artist above! Have a beautiful day my friend!

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.  He  makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside the still waters."  Psalm 23:1-2