Friday, January 13, 2017
I hate it when I hear my own advice, and know that it's directed towards me.
I pushed my chair away from my desk, and looked at both the folders. With new strength and resolve, "I can do this"! I said to no one. One day, one hour at a time...I can accomplish all that I need to do.
Right this minute I am not feeling overwhelmed, but rather joyful. I have been singing this morning, praising the Lord for the sunshine, my health, and the project I need to complete JUST this WEEK!. Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Yes, I can do this....
Monday, January 9, 2017
For a Monday morning, the day didn't start out that unusual. However, when I sat down to read my Bible and several devotionals I had several distractions. I came back into the office, sat on the love seat, opened Jesus Calling (Young, 2013) and immediately felt blessed. It was exactly what I needed to hear this morning. It wasn't until I started looking up the Bible verses I realized I was on the wrong page, the right month, but the wrong day. I'm sure the Lord was laughing at me, because I smiled myself. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Slow down, enjoy the day, and don't worry about tomorrow. For the past few days I have been struggling, knowing my "vacation" is almost over. It will soon be time to go back to work, and start all the craziness and busyness (is that a word?) in my life. In fact, I have thought so much about "tomorrow" that I stopped enjoying today. One of the phrases my Grandmother used to repeat to me (often) was don't worry about tomorrow, it will have it's own problems. Really?! It wasn't until I became an adult that I realized how smart she was. And she was quoting scripture! Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (NIV).
I don't believe in coincidences. The fact that I was distracted enough to pick up my little devotional and read the wrong page was not an accident. It was a preface to what today's message was. And the last line on the page said, "Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My Presence" (Young).
Ok Lord, you have my full attention, and I am walking... Beside the still waters.......
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Rain was gently pelting the roof of my office, as I sat quietly reading my Bible and several daily devotional books. The particular devotion I was reading was about a little bird. A sparrow. That thought reminded me of Psalms 84:3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself (NIV). I sat quietly for a moment reflecting on my surroundings.
Meko slept on the love seat beside me.
I wonder how often I have made the Lord feel like that. He has to literally "get on top" of the book (or situation in my life) to get my attention.
I can't ignore these furry "people" in my life, anymore than I can ignore the one who created me. I am reminded daily of His words. John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (NIV).
Saturday, December 31, 2016
I love this graphic, a rainbow over water. I love rainbows (and the ocean too). God promised us in Genesis 9:13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. A new beginning. Granted, getting rid of old habits isn't as easy as flipping a few pages and starting at the beginning of a book. However, it is a place to start.
For years I spent lots of time writing out (what I thought were) brilliant new year resolutions. Usually about a month into my endeavor, I lost the list.
This year I plan to eat healthier and exercise more. End of list. I realized that when I set goals for myself that are unrealistic, I will not stick to them.
One of my friends and I were talking about our goals for the coming year. She shared her goals are basically the same as mine; staying healthy. She said one of her daily mantras is "I hate sugar." After we stopped laughing..........
Thursday, December 29, 2016
I'm thinking one of the reasons that particular verse resonated with me at that time is because I was "weary", from trying to do it all. I thought I had to be all things to all people. I rarely said "no" to anyone. My calendar was hard to decipher some days. I tried to live up to other peoples expectations of me. One day, I heard myself say to someone else. "You need to slow down. I think you are so tired because you are putting so many other people before your own needs". Seriously!?
And over the next few months, I heard that same sentiment from other people, directed at me. I needed to slow down? Have you seen my calendar? How do I do that?
A friend called one day, sharing some pretty difficult life issues she was struggling with. While we were on the phone, I picked up my Bible, hoping to find some inspiration to share with her. I started to flip through the pages when it fell open. And for whatever reason, my eyes fell on Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. We hung up, but I held on to that verse.
I remember sitting there that day, tears filled my eyes. I asked myself, when did I let go of trusting the Lord for my plans? My life? I was so busy trying to do what I thought everyone wanted me to do, that I had stopped listening to that still small voice.
By late afternoon, I had written several letters expressing my regret that I could no longer be involved with that organization. As I walked to the mailbox my heart was heavy. Am I doing what you really want me to do Lord? I placed the letters in the mailbox, raised the flag, and walked back into the house. I felt so much relief.
Today at times my life (and calendar) are still hectic. However, I believe I am truly where the Lord wants me to be.
And that's a good feeling...
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Our Christmas Eve service was beautiful last night. One that I will remember for years to come. The sanctuary was decorated with the usual pine roping and poinsettias. Both the organ and piano complimented each other. The lights in the sanctuary were dimmed as the service began. I felt at peace, waiting for the usual tribute to Jesus. The reason I came to this service, to celebrate His birth. We also celebrated Communion last night. As Pastor Matt began reading scripture I realized this service was going to be different.
After communion Pastor Jon gave instructions that were new to me, regarding the lighting of candles. His special instructions were to close the service singing, Joy to the World, carrying our lighted candles out of the sanctuary. The new instructions were for each of us to take our candle, find one of the unlit luminaries, which had been placed outside on the sidewalk surrounding our church, and light that luminary.
My husband reached for my hand as we found our car in the parking lot. We both agreed that the service was beautiful. However, it wasn't until about an hour later that I was awestruck.
One of the reasons the service was special was that my husband was strong enough to go with me. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's over four years ago, and most days he doesn't have the strength to do much. My sweet hubby knows, I am like a child at Christmas, I love to drive around to see the Christmas lights. So we went home after church, changed clothes, got mugs of hot chocolate, the "boys" (Bailey and Meko) and set out to "see the Christmas lights".
We had been driving around for a while, and finally decided to go back home. For whatever reason, I decided to drive back past our church. It was then my eyes filled with tears.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said "Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (NIV).
The luminaries that we had each lit earlier, lined the sidewalks outside our Church. Jesus said in John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
And there in the darkness, His light was shining brightly for all of us to see.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Later that afternoon, I started feeling bad. I hadn't really looked at that cat, but it didn't matter at that point. I sat beside my husband and said, "ok, if that cat shows up again tomorrow I don't care if you feed him." I also mentioned to my husband that I was not taking that cat to the vet, that could be someone else problem.
So of course, as luck would have it, he showed up the next day. When I actually saw him, my heart sunk. I called the vet to get an appointment later in the week. We put some food in a dish out in the screen room, and he ate it like he hadn't eaten in days. He sat looking up at me, so I picked him up (when no one could see me, because I don't like cats). He was so thin, I could see every bone in his spine. I called the vet again to see if I could bring him that afternoon.
When we got to the clinic, they asked me what was wrong with him. I said I can give his history starting early this morning. They asked me what I wanted them to do. I asked that they test him to see what diseases he had. I said, kind of an afterthought, "if he's okay, I'll probably take him home with me."
Well, he wasn't fine. He was flea infested and had a horrible bacterial infection. He had chewed off most of the hair on his front legs and across his shoulders, where he could reach. The vet gave him a shot so he would stop digging and chewing at the fleas. We treated him for the fleas and started ten days worth of antibiotics.
The picture above is Noah inside my suitcase. The bottom picture he weighted seven pounds, minus most of his hair, and lots of fleas. The top picture is four months later, no fleas or infection and almost twenty pounds.
I was packing for a short trip, and every time I came back in the room, he was inside my suitcase...again.
He has the sweetest personality, sits on my lap at night while we watch movies. Right now, he's stretched out on the rug in front of the couch, here in my office. He looks pretty happy this morning. He's a beautiful little guy.....I mean, If I liked cats....