As this year winds down I am reminded about the interesting treks Bob and I have been on. It was one year ago when we seriously began viewing properties for a future home. We got to see many beautiful places and some not so pretty spots. And just as we thought we might never find what we were looking for we found it. Now our weekends are consumed with working on renovations to make a place to stay on the property as we turn the land into our future home. I am very thankful we found it.
This weekend however we had the opportunity to spend time having more fun. I am thankful for spending time with family this thanksgiving. I can’t wait to see everyone for Christmas. Bob and I were blessed this year to celebrate Thanksgiving three different times. Twice with different family members and once with friends. Between good conversations, watching football, putting a puzzle together, playing and of course eating way too much, it has been a real blessing.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
I pray that all my readers are blessed this year and thankful for all God has done. I know that I am. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
I get a lot of inspiration from nature. I believe that God created so much beauty in this world and it would be a waste to not allow it to inspire wonder and awe. As Bob and I walked through the fallen leaves in the woods many of them let go of their grip on the tree and gently fell to the ground. As they landed they covered up the muddy soil and made an easier path for walking.
I wondered if the deer in the area, whose foot prints were prominent in the muddy soil, would teach their young to walk on the leaves for less cumbersome path, just as I would show my children and grandchildren this less muddy surface to traverse.
As we walked down the lane and into the open field I heard a gentle breeze begin in the trees. I stopped to take in the full effect of the sound. With their leaves waving and limbs moving I could hear the scripture coming to life.
Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
I felt some much hope and joy at that moment. I felt thankfulness for being able to experience the wonder of God’s nature. The wind is like the Holy Spirit moving those whom He encounters. And when the Spirit comes to brush by you as a gentle breeze brushes through the trees you will feel it and be changed. Just like a tree is stripped of their leaves for winter so the Spirit of the living God can strip away things from us when their season is complete.
My hope is that you will take every opportunity to spend some time in God’s nature and look expecting to be inspired. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
Last night I was able to attend the 243rd birthday party for the United States Marines. It is their annual Marine Corps Ball and we had a great time. My son-in-law Joel invited his parents and Bob and I to go to the ball with them. I have never attended a ball before and knew I had to look my best. So with the help of my daughter—who amazingly found the perfect dress for me—and Joel’s mom—who helped me with make-up and loaned me some jewelry and a purse—I was dressed just right.
I was touched seeing the many pictures and hearing the stories of Marines in their service of our country. I came away with a better understanding of the Marines and what they do. It was great to see all the young men and women who serve our country take some time to enjoy themselves. And to top it all off it was at AT&T stadium—the home of the Dallas Cowboys. That place is massive and our table was on the 25-yard line. Happy Birthday Marines and thank you for letting me be a part of your birthday party.
Marines and other military always begin their service to this country by going through training, then in times of need they are pressed into service where all their training is put into action. The cycle of training and action continues with brief times of celebration of victories that have been won.
Christians experience the same type of patterns in their spiritual service. After salvation we are trained with the Word of God, prayer and praise. Then when pressed into service by the Holy Spirit we are to take what we have learned and put it into action, therefore becoming a witness to the truth of the Word of God to the world. Just like the Marines we like to celebrate our victories.
So, this week if you see a Marine or any service member please thank them for their service. And also, if you see a Christian sharing the love of God with someone, thank them for their service to the kingdom of God.
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
The rain finally stopped falling from the sky. Wow I felt like I moved to Seattle without going anywhere. The rain was crazy and for the first time since I have lived in this house (20 years) when I walk into the back yard it squishes. Every step is met with mud or just grass squishing. Very unusual for an area that has been prone to draught for a while.
It seems that the darkness from the clouds and the threat of flooding causes people to be either depressed, anxious or listless. Getting motivated is difficult and going fast is almost unheard of unless you are running out of the rain. But as soon as the sun pops out in the sky things tend to begin to get more energetic and there is more motivation to move around.
Saturday morning when I was shopping I stepped out of the store to see the sun shining directly into my eyes. Then I realized for the first time in weeks I needed my sunglasses. Good think I keep them in my purse. It was a welcome sight, but by the time I got home less than 15 minutes away the clouds had again covered the sky and blocked out the sun again. Thankfully there was no rain just partly cloudy skies.
The dark clouds can bring much needed rain but they also symbolize when we are having a depressingly dark time in our lives. When bad things happen or things just don’t go the way I think they should it is like those clouds covering the sky and not allow me to see the sun. But when I reach out to God and continue to pray, in God’s timing, the sun pops out and I can carry on.
I think the world was full of dark clouds, spiritually, when God sent His only Son to this earth to show us the way to our eternal salvation. And when Jesus was born the star shined down on Him showing that He is the light of the world. Jesus is the Hope that brings the sun to shine on our lives.
I hope this week we might all reflect on the significance of the sacrifice that Jesus made that gives us the opportunity to share in an eternity with God and not an eternity of suffering in an unquenchable fire. I know that I am thankful for salvation, are you?
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
Many years ago, on September 8th a nervous young lady was about to marry a young man. They had committed their lives to each other at the very beginning of the year. Neither knew what the future held in store for them, but both were excited about the possibilities. She had been in college, but could not wrap her head around finishing that path because she was expecting a baby and knew this new family would take all her attention.
Funny how she had never dreamed about a big wedding day or having a family, unlike most girls she knew. She had never dated much and was quite frankly afraid of most men. But this young man she was about to marry was different. He put her at ease and made her feel special. He loved her and it would take her many years to better understand this.
The wedding day was the most special day she had experienced to this point in her life. She felt it was all for her and she was not afraid to celebrate herself and her decision to marry this man. It was amazing to see people come to her wedding and reception to celebrate this wonderful day. Weddings are but a vapor in the wind, the real test of a relationship is the years after the wedding.
She vowed to herself that she would avoid things she had seen in other marriages—and that meant that she would have to be willing to compromise her desires in order to build a strong relationship. She was not perfect at this and there were many rough spots, but through it all they both chose higher ground and decided that they wanted to be together more than they wanted their own way. This is the story of my marriage.
I have had some people asked how we have stayed together so long. Here are some of my ideas.
- We love each other enough to give up some things in order to keep our relationship.
- We also have learned over the years how to give each other time when needed.
- There is also a need for good presentation skills. Demanding something gets you an argument but presenting an idea with the opportunity for your spouse to say no or take time to warm up to the idea makes all the difference in the world.
- Being able to accept that no one is perfect and being willing to help each other grow goes a long way toward a happier life.
Yesterday Bob and I celebrated 39 years of marriage. As we went about our day we thought of our wedding day and wondered where all the years have gone. We wondered how time went by so fast. We celebrated each other.
It was a rainy day so we decided not to go out. Our desire was to just be together, to dream and share life. I reflected on the years with Bob and what I realized is that he has been strong when I was weak and I have been strong when he was weak. He has always taken care of me, in good times and in bad. I truly believe that God brought us together and has kept us together all these years.
Every day brings new opportunities to learn and grow. Would you join me in learning and growing with your spouse, family and friends? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
I got an early morning start on Saturday. It was great. I stopped by the 24 hour pharmacy at around 6am and picked up my medicine and got on the road to the grocery store. As I arrived at the grocery store I saw the wheel chair carts. The memories of the past few years came flooding back into my mind. I clearly remember shopping with those carts many times because I could not make it through the store on my own.
There was one Saturday that we got to the store and there were no wheel chair carts available and in my stubbornness I said I really didn’t need one. But before we could finish the trip I had to find a place to sit down and rest because of the pain. I remember walking back out and sitting on one of the chairs waiting for Bob to pick me up when he finished checking out.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you realized something in your life had gotten better? Just all of a sudden it occurs to you that you can do what was once impossible for you. This week I rejoiced that I was able to take a regular cart and shop for my groceries without a problem. Sometimes God will use a skillful surgeon to fix an issue and get you back up and running. I thank God for those people who have dedicated their lives to helping others with physical problems.
I am thankful for the days that I struggled with pain and suffering because it allows me to see what others are going through. Though I did not enjoy the suffering, it did give me a better perspective and for that I am thankful. I don’t want to completely forget those days because they keep me humble and more empathetic toward those who are currently suffering. I am not without occasional pain but I am miles ahead of where I was last year at this time.
I listened to a sermon this morning where the preacher was talking about the fact that life is but a vapor and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. This makes me thankful for today and every day that I am allowed to live on this planet. And I will be thankful for the day when God allows me to enter into eternity with Him. I am going to strive to remember that every day is a gift, whether it is good or bad and treat it like one. Will you join me?
After last week I thought this week would be just a little better. And in some ways it was and in some ways it got even stranger. I understand that the hurricane caused massive damage and closed down a lot of refineries. But I was caught off guard by the gas shortage in the Dallas Metroplex.
Wednesday evening on my way home I contemplated filling up my car but decided I would wait until morning and get the gas on the way to work. Well, the traffic was bad and I didn’t get an early enough start to get gas on the way so I decided I would go out at noon and get gas. Then I heard that there were long lines and stations were running out of gas. So in semi-panic mode I went out at lunch time to see for myself. Yes the lines were too long for me to get gas and make it back to work on time. Since I had enough gas to make it home. I came up with plan “B”.
Bob gets off work before me so I had him go and fill the old truck up with gas if he could find a station that was not out of gas. Then I would just drive the truck to work on Friday. It took him a while but he found one. And it was a good thing because the lines at any gas stations I passed on my way home were even longer than at noon. Bob went out really early on Saturday morning in the car and saw a tanker truck filling up a gas station. He quickly made his way there and was able to fill the tank for me to drive the car to work this week. YES, I have a loving husband who takes care of me!
It always helps to have a plan “B” when life becomes unpredictable. Being flexible and willing to change the way we do things is essential, no matter how much we want things to be constant and steady. There is One who never changes and always gives us the grace we need to get by in this ever changing world. I hold fast to Him because I know the world will change and will be challenging but God does not.
Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
1 Kings 8:57 (NASB)
May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us,
Challenges will come and with the understanding that God is with us, we can make it through anything that comes our way. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.