Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

The Sun Came Out


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.

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Marriage


wedding rings

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.

 

Treat Each Day as a Gift


EVERY DAY IS A GIFT CALENDARI 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?

Plan “B”


IMG_1752After 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.

Blessed with Garden Beauty


garden beauty

I feel so blessed today. I was able to walk outside into my garden and see all the wonders that have grown up. I have been unable to get to the garden much since surgery and today since I am without the cast or boot I was able to walk and see for myself without fear of falling on uneven ground due to rocks.

My first stop was the compost pile that has a very prolific spaghetti squash blooming and producing large and small squash. As you can see from the pictures of the flowers I was able to catch a bee actively working in the middle of one of them. There is also a weed that this intertwined with a beautiful white flower on it.

Next I looked and was amazed by the size of okra and the two beautiful flowers that you see above. I loved the one that shows down in the center of the flower. Right next to the okra are pepper plants and you can see one nice looking green one in the picture.  Then I turned my attention to the back of the garden where Bob has built a teepee pole thing for the beans. The beans grew so tall that he had to put more boards across toward the fence to keep them off the ground.

I left the garden and headed over to the other side of the yard where Bob planted the yellow squash. And as you can see I found a ripe one, a little small but edible none the less. We also have tomatoes but my picture did not come out so good so I left it off.

It amazes me how small things like the fruit from a garden can make me feel so blessed and loved by God. I am blessed to have a husband who has taken care of this garden mostly by himself because I have been unable to help and blessed to have a God who cares enough to help the plants like the spaghetti squash show up without being planted.

I am on the road to recovery from surgery. Slowly getting back to walking and hopefully my endurance will increase over a short period of time so I can do things that used to be normal for me soon. I forgot what my old normal was but I am about to know what my new normal will be. And for that I am excited.

Enjoy everything around you, notice the things you have missed and be thankful. I will be back next week with more.

Breathing Thanks


psalm-150-6Breathing through my nose is difficult lately because my nasal passages are swollen. Like a lot of people I do not enjoy breathing through my mouth. It dries my mouth out and just feels awful. I think we could all agree that it is necessary to breathe in order to continue living.

I am glad that God gave us an alternate way to breathe when we are experiencing difficulty with the natural way of breathing.  Have you ever noticed that breathing is something that is taken for granted? I don’t actually think about how important it is to my existence until it becomes difficult to do. Without breathing the cells in our bodies would not get the oxygen that they require to live and if they are deprived for too long they will die and when they die we die….

I sometimes wonder why we don’t appreciate things like breathing until we experience problems. For some people they treat God like I treat breathing. I know it is important but I do not focus on it unless there is a problem. In life it is easy to get caught up in the good stuff and forget “Who” gave it to us. It sometimes becomes easy to forget to say “Thank you” to God for all that He has done to make the good times. Oh boy, but when the bad stuff happens we are all over it in trying to find out what went wrong.

Is it because we think we don’t need God in the good times? Or is it because as long as things are smooth we forget? I actually think there are probably many answers to that question. Whatever the reason I think it is time to remember God in the good times and in the bad times.

So today I say “Thank God” for all that He has done for me.

  • For answered prayers (there have been many)
  • For family (husband, kids, grandkids, brothers, sisters etc..)
  • For healing
  • For taking me through the bad times and not leaving me in them
  • For holding my hand through all the scary times
  • For helping me through the grieving process
  • For letting me see life from a different perspective
  • For memories of loved ones who have gone before us
  • For the future and what it holds
  • For many wonderful past experiences

Would you join me in thanking God? Try to think of all He has done for you. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Light and Distance


lightAs I sat down in bed and began to read by the light of a small lamp, I realized I could not clearly see the words on the page and was straining my eyes. I tried bringing the book closer to my face but that just increased the blurriness of the words. So I held the book farther from my face but the words were just too far away.  I changed positions and brought the book closer to the lamp, but that position was way too uncomfortable.  I reluctantly got up and turned the overhead light on and was amazed how the words on the page were immediately legible.

It is amazing how having a book at just the right distance from your eyes and with enough light to illuminate the words can make all the difference in the world in your understanding of the words you are reading.  I know recently at work I have had to use a magnifying glass in order to read some very small print and handwriting.  I am thankful for the magnifying glass that helps me solve the mystery of what the words on the page are so I can do my job.

When life gets complicated and unsure maybe it is because there is not enough light to shine on the pages in the book of our lives to see the way. If we can’t read the words on the instructional pages we spend our lives winging it and get stuck and confused.  Sometimes all it takes is a little more light from God to get us to where the book is just the right distance from our eyes and we have our reading glasses on (if you need them like me) so we can read the instructions that will get us where we need to go.

Psalm 119:105 (NASB)

 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

God’s word is the Light that guides us with His divine wisdom and direction. God can see more than we can and from His perspective our problems, struggles, confusions and messes look much different. He sees the big picture and does not have to use a magnifying glass to understand what is going on. With His Word to light our path we will be directed to the right place.

Psalm 37:23 (NASB)

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

It all comes down to trusting God to direct us, no matter the circumstances or situations.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

Every week God amazes me with His wisdom and understanding and His allowing me to share what He has shared with me. I grow and learn each day and week and year. In this New Year I hope that we will grow together and enjoy this life that God has given us. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

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