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.