Life begins each morning …
Each morning is the open door to a new world –
new vistas, new aims new tryings
author, Leigh Mitchell Hodges
Today, Friday, was a beautifully sunny, breezy and cool day here in Wisconsin. I spent an enjoyably lazy morning on my patio, spending time with the Lord, reading His word and in some devotionals, all the while enjoying a light breakfast and my morning coffee. I was also enjoying the fruits of yesterday’s labors — beautiful new flowers and herbs on my patio along with my table and some relaxing chairs (see pictures above). I’m already for summer enjoyment and look forward to spending much time relaxing out there.
Psalm 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
Morning is such a wonderful time to spend in prayer and devotions. There is something great about starting out the day with the Lord that just sets the tone for the rest of the day. I admit I don’t do this every day, but I am working on doing a better job at putting Him first in my life and starting out each and every day with Him.
Song of Solomon 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, …
I love being surrounded by God’s beautiful creations even if it is just on my tiny patio. The beauty of the flowers, the mixture of scents of blooming flowers, herbs like basil, lemon thyme (mmm!)and chocolate mint, (yes really!), and the sounds of the birds singing just brighten my day and put a smile on my face. Praise God for all his creations! If you zoom in on the photo below, you can get a better look at the chocolate mint. Any ideas on how I can use it as it grows? I was intrigued by it but haven’t checked on its uses yet. That should be fun!
I’ve also placed a few flags in some of the pots in honor and remembrance of those who we remember on this Memorial Day weekend; those brave men and women who have fought for our freedom in many wars throughout the years (should I say centuries?) and have now gone on to eternity. God bless each and every one of them. May they rest in peace!
This has been a rather rambling group of rambling thoughts. Some days are like that, aren’t they? Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend friends and family, and thank God for all the beauty around us and for those who we remember who fought for the freedoms we have in this country. Be safe! Love to all!
Wow! I just received a message from Word Press wishing me a happy one year anniversary! The year has certainly flown by. What a year it has been!
I started out a year ago with the thought that although I would never consider myself a writer, it might be fun to learn about blogging and would be a great way to put my random thoughts about my experiences and my walk with the Lord into a journal type setting. My desire was that perhaps some of what I write might be helpful or be a blessing to someone.
Was I ever surprised, and still am, when others started following my blog, many of whom shared that they were helped or received a blessing from something I shared; that they could relate to things I’ve said. I feel blessed to have made acquaintances and developed friendships with fellow bloggers all over the world! A great example is the wonderful feeling I had, and still have, during my recent surgery and recovery in knowing that people, friends and family alike, were praying for me on FIVE continents! That is just so awesome and mind-boggling! I cannot thank you enough! You all made a big difference in how the Lord helped me with my recovery.
God bless you all for caring so much and for making me feel like I am truly a part of this blogosphere we all share. I have learned so much and continue to learn from you all. So many of you have played a significant role in my growth as I grow ever closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. I thank God for you every day. So, Lord willing, here’s to another year of growth and many blessings for each of us. You make me smile! As C.S. Lewis says “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers. Philemon 4.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
Clip art copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey,
King James Version (KJV)
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
As this week has progressed, the week so well-known as being Holy Week, so much has been written in many of the blogs, in the way of scripture lessons, beautiful poetry, devotions, etc. All that I have read has been a blessing to me and some I have reblogged to share with others. I’ve thought that I, also, should be writing something as well, but despite the myriad of thoughts and ideas that wandered through my head, I just felt I could not pin it down to a few meaningful words without being in danger of copying the words of others or making my words interesting enough to be a blessing to others. As I went through my day, I kept it on my mind and I prayed for the Lord to guide me on what to write or if I should not write anything at all. I guess you probably figured out He did not like the second option of writing nothing!
I have thought over and over of what Christ suffered on Good Friday and why He would do that willingly, why God would give His only son up for us. Would you agree that it is indeed mind-boggling to say the least? I cannot speak for a father’s feelings, but as a Mom, I cannot even fathom giving up one of my children as a sacrifice. I dare say most fathers would be feeling the same way.
Our answer is found throughout scripture, but most well-known to us all is John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He did this because He loves us so much! John goes on to say in verses 17 and 18:
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Because of the great sacrifice of the crucifixion of Christ, those who believe, who have asked Christ into our hearts, who pursue a relationship with him, have been adopted into God’s family! How wonderful is that? A few days ago I was reading in Romans 8 and wrote another blog post about it. I was led back to that passage again but different verses that specifically talk about the Father’s adoption of us.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Wow! What a blessing that is! I cannot imagine why any of us would not want to accept that love, that gift, that blessing from God and have the knowledge that when our time on earth has been completed, we will live in eternity with God, with Jesus Christ!
Have you asked Jesus to come into your heart? What better time than during the celebration of the greatest event in Christianity, the basis of Christianity, the Resurrection of our Savior? I urge those who have not yet done so to pray the sinner’s prayer and settle the issue once and for all where you will go after you die. I did and I can say I have never been happier! Life is not perfect, but God never promised us it would be. However, I know that He is with me always when I go through any trials and He provides what I need in His perfect timing!
This is just a few simple words from my simple mind but I hope that even the simplest of thoughts can be a blessing to you. Happy Resurrection Day to everyone!
just make quilts! or another version of the quote is when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! I’m sure we all could come up with a lot of similar positive quotes to encourage someone when life brings its trials and tribulations. Because I like quilting, I have, of course, managed to collect a lot of scraps from previous quilts and small and large pieces of fabric that I’ve collected through fabric swaps years ago and fabric that has caught my eye that “I might use it someday” and so my mind always thinks of making quilts out of the scraps of life that come my way.
Now thinking about making them and actually making them, or finishing them is another whole story. So, just as I have collected fabric scraps, I have collected many UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) in various stages of construction. The picture above was one of those UFO’s until tonight when I finally finished it! Yay!!!
As I finished sewing the binding on the quilt this evening, I got to thinking about how the unfinished projects in our lives can relate to the unfinished business in our lives –those trials and tribulations that happen to everyone. How do we deal with them? Or an even more obvious question perhaps, DO we deal with them or do we set them aside like the fabric scraps and the unfinished objects and tell ourselves we will deal with those things at a later date?
Some trials are not so bad and we can usually manage to resolve them easily; but what about the more difficult ones? I don’t believe I am alone when I say that I am one of those people who will often set those problems aside to deal with later. How easy it is to tell myself that I just don’t have the desire, the time, the energy to deal with that now. Not a good idea! The longer we put off dealing with problems, the more they can grow into other problems in our lives. The issues keep adding up and eventually we can find ourselves in a lot of distress–depression probably, or even physical ailments caused by stress. I know this has been true throughout my life. Just as I accumulated UFOs and just gave up on trying to complete the projects, I allowed my trials and tribulations to accumulate also and “gave up”, so to speak, for a while.
So what to do to change that habit, to deal with the things that trouble me? Take them to God in prayer. Stop ignoring Him or thinking He was ignoring me and didn’t care. There are many verses in the Bible that remind us that He does care and He wants to help us to deal with things. One of them I found when I got into His word is: Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
He wants us to ask Him, to come to Him with our problems. He wants to help us pick up the pieces of our lives. When I finally began to get closer to Him, spending more time in His word, in prayer, in closer fellowship with Him, changes began to happen. I was better able to deal with those problems I had hidden away, some of which were not as much of an issue that I told myself they were. I stopped giving up. I look at the quilt I finished tonight and a couple of other small projects that I finished in the past couple of days as a message to myself that yes I CAN deal with the things I stored away and that I have dealt with many and begun to deal with others. Praise the Lord, I have my life back!
One of my granddaughters suggested a while ago that it might be fun for me to share some of the quilts I have made on my blog, so you just may see some more pictures shared soon. There is another little mini-quilt that I will share that I was reminded of as I wrote this post tonight. “Picking up the Pieces” I made 4 of these little quilts for me and my 3 sisters several years ago because it reminded me something my sisters tease me about from our childhood–how I would try to convince them to let me slack off on doing dishes if I had something better to do.
Don’t love me the same as you love this steak, please! 🙂
How often do we hear someone say I love this person or that person but in the next breath practically they are saying they “love” their favorite food, flower or other inanimate object. I catch myself doing that all the time! I love that steak or lobster or pasta. I love to quilt. I love to read. I love a certain car, movie, and any other number of things. Don’t we really mean we “like” those objects? Like them a lot perhaps, but love them like we love a fellow human being? I hardly think so! I hope not anyway! I could never understand being compared to a food item, or a sporting event and so many other things that we say we love!
I just read a piece posted by a fellow blogger that got me to thinking about this subject—the overuse of the word Love. I encourage you to read his post http://lifereference.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/more-love/ and others he has written.
In this post he refers to 1 John 4:11-12 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. NIV
The writer explains so much better than I can what John is teaching us in this passage–the proof that God’s love is at work and is very real, very observable: “Love for one another as Jesus has loved us and gave His life for us.”
Just a simple little post from me but one that I hope to take more seriously as I use the words ‘love’ and ‘like’ in my communications. I hope to make a concerted effort to “like” those inanimate objects and ideas that bring pleasure to my life, and “LOVE” my Lord and Savior, LOVE my fellow human beings that He brings across my path, family, friends,even strangers.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today! I am blessed by you!
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Last night I wrote a piece about the jumble of thoughts of different things I wanted to write about and how I just cannot seem to make enough sense out of any of them to be worthy of a blog post. I was and am getting impatient with myself because of it.
One of the things I have thought about for a long long time it seems is the trials we each go through in this life and our reactions to those trials. Of course, I cannot speak for how others react or feel, but I suspect that I am not much different from a lot of people in my reactions at times. It seems so much easier to whine and complain about these trials, whether it be health issues, financial issues, relationship issues and on and on; and to just plain feel sorry for myself. If I am not careful in being aware of what I am feeling, I know I can easily fall into the trap of “poor, poor pitiful me” . Remember that silly little song we sang as children? Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I guess I’ll go eat worms!” Yuck! I do not want to feel that way! But I wonder why God makes us suffer. What did I do or what did another person do that makes God give any of us these burdens to bear?
Well wouldn’t you just know that God heard my prayers and my questions about why I could not organize my thoughts! He is such a wonderful Father! This morning while I had my breakfast and was enjoying a lovely cup of coffee, I was reading through some of the blog posts here on WordPress as is my habit in the morning. As always, I was pleased to see a post from my very dear friend Skye!
I just love the title of her post–Popping Bubbles with God. 🙂 I knew immediately this was going to be good! She talked about being able to feel good and worship God and be thankful to Him when we are in circumstances that enhance that–sitting in a church pew or seeing all the beauty he gives us such as a beautiful sunrise. However we find the total opposite feelings when we are doing chores, etc. I know I am simplifying what she said and paraphrasing a lot! Sorry Skye! You say it so much better. 🙂
Her post got my attention and got my thoughts going and the following paragraph is my comment to her on her blog
“I can so relate to what you are saying–How easy to praise God when we are seeing a beautiful sunrise or any number of other beautiful things he sends our way. And how many of us feel like praising Him when we are doing the mundane chores of our lives. Of course we should still be praising Him for the things He has provided for us and our abilities to be able to complete those everyday mundane chores. We are truly blessed–there are so many who are physically unable, for many reasons, to be able to do those chores. There are many who would be so grateful if they could even do the simple things like dressing themselves, walking, hugging a child, etc. Your post this morning has prompted a new post for me that has been on my mind for a long time. My comment to you on this post will definitely be a part of my post and this post of yours will be referred to since you inspired me to organize my thoughts about it so I could finally write it, Thanks friend! love you!”
I have thought for a long time about how I can find it easy to complain about the aches and pains I have, in particular with the progression of the osteoarthritis in my knee that prevents me from doing a lot of walking, standing on my feet for very long, etc. to the point where it is finally time for knee replacement surgery. I used to always wonder why me and start to feel sorry for myself. In reality, I am blessed that I only have the pain that I have and that it is something that can be fixed!
God has been getting my attention in many ways and showing me how fortunate I actually am! There are so many who would love to be in my shoes. As I have gotten involved in blogging, I have learned about many people who absolutely amaze me with their positive attitudes despite what most of us would call terrible and awful disabilities. Instead they are glorifying God with what they are able to do despite their physical condition. They are sharing their deep faith with others and bringing them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I have read and follow blogs of people who have paralyzing diseases like ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and other equally disabling conditions that prevent them from being able to do the simplest things in life that we take for granted. Yet they are happy! and they are spreading that happiness and positive thinking around to everyone! Where do they get it from? Their faith in and love for God!
There is a very well-known evangelist and motivational speaker who I admire very much and I follow him on his website and on Facebook by the name of Nick Vujicic http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org I just watch a video of him for two minutes and wonder how I could ever worry about a little knee pain or any other ache or pain. This young man was born without arms or legs but yet he has the most positive attitude, and does the most amazing things like swimming! golf! writing! and on and on. He is married and the father of a beautiful little boy and he travels all over the world sharing his faith with people and giving them hope with faith in the Lord. As I was writing this post I looked to see what Bible verse inspires him and found the one I started this post with. In an article I found, http://au.christiantoday.com/article/nick-vujicic-man-without-limbs-shares-the-bible-verse-that-gave-him-purpose/14003.htm he explains about this verse.
The Life Without Limbs author described his feelings after reading these verses. “I got goosebumps on my skin I don’t even have,” he told the congregants. “And I had faith because I understood something. You see, all I wanted to know was that God knew what He was doing with me.”
With an attitude like his and like so many others in this world, how can I complain about a sore knee or back. Stories like Nick’s and others who I have read on the blogs and heard about through other sources have convicted me that I am blessed! God has made my life so easy in comparison. I ask myself, what else should I be doing to help others?
Confusion surrounds me. A jumble of thoughts on so many things I think I want to blog about. But the words get away before I can write them. A lot of ideas and notes in my journal but what do they mean? My goodness, do I sound like a crazy woman who is losing her mind? Wow I hope not. Rather I hope my brain is just on overload. So many things on my mind like impending knee replacement surgery, desires and plans to move by the end of the year and how to accomplish that, as well as my weight loss issues and so many different things I think about in regards to my walk with the Lord and what God is trying to teach me with the repetitious messages that keep coming my way via Bible reading and studies, reading other blogs, sermons and just everyday things that cross my path.
First things first. I know that taking all of these issues to God in prayer has to be my first priority. I know so well that He is a willing guide for all of us if we just ask. Spending more time in His word and in prayer and just being quiet and listening for His wise answers will be the most important thing I can do. I know He loves me and His plans for me are the best.
As for my impending surgery, though there is the very normal fear of being under an anesthetic and having a major surgical procedure, I know that God is the great physician and the outcome is in His hands. I actually look forward to having this procedure done. Once I have recovered, I will be able to do so much more! I will be able to walk more than a thousand feet without pain, be on my feet for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time before having to sit down and will be able to straighten my leg. I consider myself fortunate to be able to improve my life in this way. there are so many less fortunate than me.
My move? Well that will happen in God’s perfect timing if it is in His plan for me. He knows best and I rest in that assurance.
All of the other jumbled up thoughts l have will, I pray, begin to make sense in good time and I can again begin to make sense in my blog posts. Loving God gives me strength; Mark 12:30.NIV Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Leaning on God I will not be tired. Isaiah 40:31 NIV but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
I hope I have not completely bored you with this and have not proven myself to just be a crazy woman! 😀 Thanks for listening dear friends.
This morning as I was going through my emails and enjoying my morning coffee, I came upon an email, top predictions of 2014, that I feel is so appropriate and so very encouraging, given the state of this world we live in. So many things are happening on a daily basis that are so opposite of the values that so many of us grew up with and believe in – truth, honesty, fairness, respect of others, value of life and, of course, FAITH!
For some, none of that really seems to matter any longer! We hear politicians making comments like “What difference does it make?” how people were killed, or we have governments who have taken on the attitude that the citizens are too stupid to make their own decisions on how to live, what to eat, and on and on; who want to take away our rights as citizens and as human beings. Christianity is being attacked far and wide like it is an evil entity—far from the truth! The list goes on but you get the picture. We have all heard these things and continue to hear them daily.
So here are those Top 10 Predictions for 2014:
With all the problems the World is facing, it can be unsettling to the mind.Today, I share with you ten predictions that are true!1. The Bible will still have all the answers.2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth.3. The Holy Spirit will still move.4. God will still honor the praises of His people.5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.6. There will still be singing of praise to God.7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.8. There will still be room at the Cross. 9. Jesus will still love you.10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.Isn't it great To Remember Who Is Really In Control, and that; "the Word of the Lord endures forever." ( 1 Peter 1:25 ) I hope you found this encouraging and will send it to friends!!!! Sometimes we need the reminder of just WHO is really in control.IN GOD WE TRUST (author unknown) All of the above things are true--we need only to be in His word daily and to open our ears and our hearts to hear what He has to say! God bless you all. 🙂
Both photos used with permission of photographer MeticulousMick http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/iced-thorn/#comment-4712 and http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/colour-at-christmas/
Simplicity is a great word to describe the above photos. I used to like much busier photographs and art work when I was younger but of late simplicity has been the key for me–simple and peaceful, just the way I would like my life to be. When I said that in my comments on one of the photos, the thought occurred to me that it sounded like the beginning of a blog post! Ideas come from everywhere!
I love the peacefulness of simple art like much of the art of the Impressionists–Monet is a particular favorite of mine. Depending on my mood, I will usually listen to more peaceful music of all kinds. I found long ago that the more popular “rock” music of the last few years is mind jittering! Now when I am in the mood for lively music, give me that old rock music I grew up with in the 50’s and early 60’s and I’m happy as a clam at high tide! Sometimes I just enjoy the peacefulness of no music or tv running when I am at home. that’s not to say I don’t like to be around people. I certainly do! I love being in my church, visiting with friends in small groups. I enjoy going out to eat even if it is by myself, wandering around a book store or a quilt shop (my budget shivers with fright when you let me loose in a place like that!) A few days ago, one of my granddaughters asked me to go shopping with her while she chose fabrics for a quilt. That was such fun! She didn’t “need” me to be there with her–she has a great eye for color – but to be asked to go along and help just made my day! A simple time of fun with a precious young lady and her Mom.
At one time in my life I thought that to be happy and to live well, I had to amass a lot of “things” as a way of showing others how successful I was in life. If I didn’t have money in my pocket (which was often) I looked upon me as a failure. I have to admit I still do like to have nice things and there isn’t anything wrong with that as long as those “things” don’t become the priority in my life–taking it over and keeping me from enjoying real living.
I found a quote which says it well. “It is the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all.” Laura Ingalls Wilder When I saw the above photos, sweet and simple were the words that came to mind. Don’t they just look like they are coated in sugar? Sweetness and simple beauty in the midst of a stark winter background to remind us of the beauty of simplicity in our lives.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is Philippians. Philippians 4:13 is a verse I cling to and has helped me through many things in my life, but leading up to that, Philippians 4:12 speaks to me also.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
(Philippians 4:12) NIV
The first part of the verse is true in my life as in many lives. I strive for the last part of the verse-learning the secret of being content no matter the situation in my life at any given time. Contentment –sometimes I feel it; often I do not a clue what real contentment is. Definitely something to ponder and to work on improving in my life. Proverbs 15:16
Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. How very true! After all, we can’t take it with us when we leave this earth so isn’t it better to spend our time learning to be happy and content with less and store up our treasures in heaven instead of on earth? Lots to ponder on!
I feel like I kind of wandered around with Random Thoughts in this post and I hope it doesn’t bore anyone who reads it. Perhaps I should change the name of my blog to Elaine’s RAMBLING Random Thoughts! hahaha
Have a blessed day everyone! Praying for a simple, happy day for all and for those of you who are in the snowy areas of the country, be safe if you are out on the roads.