Tag Archive | joy

Simplicity is a great word

Frozen thorn

Frozen thorn

Red at Christmas

Colour at Christmas

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.

Let me tell you about my blessings….

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1 Corinthians 13:13

English Standard Version (ESV)

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

How often do we wake first thing in the morning and immediately have a thought of one of the many blessings God has given us in our lives?  If you are like me, one of the very first things you think of in the morning is “I need coffee!” and you rush to the kitchen to start the process of making that pot.  After all, first things first!  A day that doesn’t begin with a good cup of coffee and  breakfast is not a good day at all!   Right??   Well after my experience on Wednesday morning when I awoke, I cannot necessarily say that I need coffee is always my first thought, not should it be for that matter!

When I woke up on Wednesday, my first thought was how blessed I am to have the wonderful family God has provided me with!  I had a deep  sense of love and feelings of well -being!  Don’t get me wrong–I always know I am blessed to be a Mom, Grandma, sister, friend.  God has been very good to me by putting all sorts of wonderful people in my life.  This particular day, though, I just felt particularly blessed and filled with joy and that wonderful sense that all was well with my world.

What was so different about Wednesday from other days?  I can’t be exactly sure; however, over the past  few days I have had the pleasure of being able to have longer than normal conversations with my children, Dave and Debbie, and one of my granddaughters.  I have spent a lot of time with my daughter-in-law Terry and even got to have a conversation with my son-in-law Stephen.  I don’t often have that opportunity because he and Deb do not live nearby.    My other granddaughter is really busy with school and work. etc. but since she is a blogger, I have the pleasure of reading her many gems of wisdom that she writes as well as the occasional visit.   She has taught her old Grandma many wonderful things, as do the others.  All of those things together seemed to bring them even closer to my thoughts and my heart so it is not a mystery I guess that my first thought of the day was of all of them.

The Lord has truly blessed me.  My children have grown up to be marvelously wonderful adults, filled with love and caring for others and they each have brought their wonderful spouses into our family and two beautiful granddaughters to whom they have passed on those same wonderful values of being very loving and caring adults!   Every one of them is fun to be with and they make me smile a lot!  I am so proud to be Mom and Grandma to all of them.  Thank you Lord for your abundance of blessings, not only at this Christmas season but each and every day of my life.

Dave, Terry, Marianne, Debbie, Stephen and Annmarie–I love you all and wish you the merriest of Christmases and a year filled with all the blessings of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.   Merry Christmas!

 

Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven (a Children’s Carol)

I heard this for the very first time this morning on a blog post from the site Adopting James, http://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/the-best-christmas-songs-youve-never-heard-part-iii/. He has posted multiple songs in this piece and though I have not yet listened to all of them, this one caught my eyes and then my ears as I listened.

It brought to my mind the greatest of all the gifts we receive, not only at Christmas when we celebrate his miraculous birth, but every single day of our lives if we just ask Jesus into our hearts. He loves us, He will always be with us. He said it himself–“I will never leave you nor forsake you”. What more could we ever want in our lives than this precious love and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?

I cherish this gift more than life itself. So many changes have happened since I asked Him into my heart and even more wonderful gifts as I have grown in my walk with Him over the last year.

I can’t say it any better than my friend Skye states in her blog post today (http://ohthethingsweshallsee.com/2013/12/09/the-presence-present/). Unwrap the gift of His love given freely to you through the birth, death and resurrection of His Son ~ The ultimate gift. Inviting Jesus into your heart to reign as Lord and Savior is the best way to acknowledge and accept this precious gift from God.

My sewing room/office Christmas tree.  I love Christmas trees!

My sewing room/office Christmas tree. I love Christmas trees!

Birthday Gifts

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I love this poem and of course the Bible verses it is based on,

Numbers 6:24-26 (English Standard Version)

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance[a] upon you and give you peace.

Many know it, of course, as the Irish Blessing and being partly of Irish descent,  I like that title for it too.  I’m not sure when or how I first became aware of it but I know it was many years ago.  It has always stuck with me and I love sharing it with others.  What better gift can we give to a close family member or a cherished friend than to wish on them all the blessings of our Father in Heaven on their birthdays?  I have a couple of friends and family members who have birthdays this month and I thought of what I would like to wish them for their respective birthdays.  Those thoughts prompted this post.

What are those blessings?  The list is endless of course but some very special ones come to my mind when I think about all that God blesses us with.

First and foremost, He gives us His grace, his enabling power. With God’s grace we are transformed; it is what causes us to grow and be strong.  He gives it freely, not because of anything we have done to earn it,

His blessings also include what are known as the “fruits of the spirit”  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  All are truly wonderful blessings or gifts from the Lord.   I strive constantly, as do most of us, to show all of those attributes to others as I go though my days.  Do I succeed all the time?   No, not at all – far from it – but it is a daily thing to strive for in all of us.  My wish is that I can always portray these characteristics towards you, the special people in my life, to let you know just how much you mean to me; how fortunate I am that you have touched my life.

Love is mentioned as the first fruit of the spirit, followed closely by joy and peace,  Those are the loveliest gifts of all in my mind.   I could go on and on talking about Love.  Can’t we all?  that is probably best left for another blog post!  I recently heard a series of sermons on Love from an evangelist and it took 3 nights to say what the Lord wanted him to say.  No way am I going to try putting Love into a small paragraph!   It is just not possible!

There are so many gifts and fruits God provides for us–we just need to look around and take in all the beauty that surrounds us wherever we live or travel, look at the beautiful and special people who cross our paths every day.  There is no end to them!

For everyone, I wish you these gifts and more and if you are celebrating a birthday in this beautiful month of November, I pray you will enjoy  all of God’s great gifts and hold them close.

Happy Birthday!  Image

Let’s Walk Together

Psalm 126:5    They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  KJV

I received this verse attached to a gift at a Ladies church function one evening this month.  Since then I have been mulling it over in my mind.  What does it mean in my life?  Is it a coincidence that I happened to receive this verse? Is God trying to lead my thinking in a particular direction?  I’m sure he is doing that!  This verse, combined with the words of our speaker at the event who talked about finding our joy and happiness first in a relationship with Christ, gave me a lot to think about.

For a long time, I have searched for true happiness and joy in my life, many times deciding it would never happen for me; thinking I was apparently “not good enough” to have it.   I have cried many tears over time, both literally and figuratively,  wondering why I wasn’t “good enough” to have love in my life.

I didn’t have my priorities straight.  The first place to find that happiness and joy is, before anything or anyone else, with a relationship with the Lord.  He should come first in my life.   I am a believer, yes.  I pray.   I go to church.  But do I work at keeping Christ first in my life?  Is my walk with the Lord what it should be?   I have to say no; it is not.  I need to spend more time making Him a priority, letting Him be the friend He wishes to be.  Put Him before myself; before everyone else in my life.   He will show me the plan He has for me to find what I have been looking for all my life or show me that I have found it already.

walkwithgod