July is my favorite month of the year. It is the month full of family birthdays including mine. First thing on my birthday morning I read a birthday message that Bob left on my mirror in the bathroom. I was also blessed with a wonderful surprise visit at work from my daughter and two grandsons. They came bearing balloons, a card, a cookie cake, a large cupcake, flowers and a violet plant. Wow so much fun. The boys enjoyed demonstrating a few little dances to anyone who would watch.
All my children remembered my birthday. My son Matt sent a great card from his family and my son Chris and his family called and sang me a birthday song. Between in person birthday wishes from family and co-workers, cards, facebook wishes and phone calls it was a great day to know people care. I feel especially blessed to have a loving husband, family and such a thoughtful daughter and grandsons who live close by. The older I get the more challenging birthdays become, but with family and friends that love me, they are easier to bear.
Life is all about connections and building relationships. Those relationships help us celebrate the good times and get through the rough times in our lives. There is one relationship I could not live without, that is my relationship with God. It keeps me steady in the good times and the bad. Without God I would not have the courage to go on in this life. He is my rock and my salvation.
Psalm 62:6 (NASB)
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)
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.
You cannot trust someone you do not know. So trusting God requires having a relationship with Him. If you don’t have a relationship with Him I suggest that you get a Bible and start the journey in the book of John which is in the New Testament. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
Sorry I did not post last week. Two of my grandsons were over on Saturday for a while and then on Sunday afternoon just as I was sitting down to write this blog Chris, my middle son showed up for a surprise visit. It was wonderful to have him show up out of the blue and a bit surprising because he lives at least a ten hour drive away from us. He was on his way somewhere else and dropped off to see us on the way.
Bob and I had great visits with family last weekend. It is wonderful to have family come by. This weekend my two youngest grandsons got to spend the night on Friday. That was fun. Life gets so hectic you have to just take time to enjoy family when the opportunity arises. I am trying to learn how to relax and take every opportunity that comes my way with family. Life is too short to miss golden opportunities that only come once.
I am growing in my understanding of how important it is to cultivate relationships with God, family and friends in order to have a well rounded life and mindset. Just like in gardening you need to cultivate the ground and add the nutrients and water needed to help the plants grow, we must also take time to cultivate our relationships by adding time, compliments, fun and other stuff to build them strong. Remember life is all about how we relate to each other. Join me this week in fine tuning relationships in a positive manner.
On this father’s day I would like to recognize a special man who I have watched over the years grow into an awesome dad, my husband Bob. The caring in his heart for his children and grandchildren helps me to understand how blessed I am to have spent so many years married to him. Happy Father’s Day Mr. Bob, I love you.
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
All six of us at a family reunion.
I ended last week by flying out to Indiana to my sister-in-law’s funeral. It was a sad occasion, but a good time to get re-acquainted with family. My nephew impressed me by delivering a riveting, professional eulogy that contained a wonderful salvation message. Of course I have never heard the Cool and the Gang “Celebrate Good Times” song played at the beginning of a funeral, but it seemed appropriate since we were celebrating her passing on to the eternal reward.
My trip was not without its mishaps. Sitting in the airport waiting on my flight I decided that I should get some water. As I searched my purse I realized I had left my cash at home in my other purse. Thank God I had put my credit card in this purse. I managed to get on the plane and get a front row seat. I thought that would be good for getting off in a hurry to catch my next flight, except that I didn’t find out I couldn’t keep any carry-on luggage at my feet until most of the people were on the plane. I had to put up my luggage at least 10 rows behind my seat.
The flight took off a little late because of a maintenance issue, but the pilot said we would make the time up in the air. We landed around 8 minutes late, which would have been ok, but there was no-one to drive the air bridge for us to unload. For at least 10 minutes we sat and waited to get off the plane. My brother called me and right after we landed. I told him it would be a while because of the air bridge and my luggage being behind me. He said he would wait for me at the gate and we would walk to our next flight together. Ten minutes later he called again and we still had not gotten off the plane. He said he was heading to the plane and would tell them to wait for me.
As we waited to unload a kind woman sent one of my bags up to my seat. Now I just needed to get back to bin number 10 to get my backpack. As people struggled to grab their items I made my way to the open seats until finally I was able to reach my backpack and run up the aisle grab my other bag off the front seat and head out the door. So here is the picture. I am wearing a coat, with my backpack slung over one shoulder and a small bag over the other shoulder trying to run. My legs are not accustomed to running. At the end of the bridge I stopped to confirm that I was going in the right direction, I asked two different airport workers before I got confirmation of the direction I should run and then I took off. Quickly out of breath I slowed down to a trot. Then over the loud-speaker I heard my name being paged. At that same moment I caught sight of the gate I needed to reach and started running again. I reached the check in point out of breath, handed the attendant my ticket and stopped to catch my breath. The attendant told me my brother was on the plane. I decided the rush was over and I slowly walked down the air bridge trying to catch my breath. I was glad to see my brother and his wife and there was plenty of space for my bags because this flight was not crowded. After a slight coughing fit from running I was able to settle down.
This was just the beginning of my trip but being with family made me feel that even if there were more bumps I could handle them. I had struggled with the decision to go but thanks to my brother I was able to make the trip and make my flight. I realized that God has given me a family that loves and cares for each other. I came away from this feeling closer and understanding that our family is there to support each other in our times of need.
For years I separated myself from my family because of differences in philosophies but now I realized that no matter what, we are family. It seems that the older I get the more I realize that even if I don’t agree with my family we still love each other. I treasure each moment I have with my family now more than ever, because we never know which moment will be the last one we have together.
How many times have you looked down when walking? To save myself from tripping I focus mostly on the ground as I walk. There are lots of things on the ground. One day while walking out of a convenience store, I found a folded up $10 bill. I looked around for the owner and saw one person, the man who left the store just before me. He said it wasn’t his, so I got just a little richer that day.
Not many people stop to pick up a penny or a quarter for that matter these days because they are not worth much. But I rarely miss the opportunity to pick up any coin. As I was walking my dog I saw a penny in the middle of the street. I bent down and picked it up. It was the sorriest looking penny I have ever seen. I took a picture of it next to a nice penny so you could see how bad it looked.
As I walked I heard the gentle voice of God compare this penny to a person. How many times in our lives do we pass people by because they look too rough? They aren’t pristine and shiny like the penny on the right. They are more like the mangled, dented, indistinguishable penny on the left. God says that He loves them. And if He loves them we should too.
I thought of how people would pass up this penny. And how a bank would immediately take it out of circulation because of its condition and replace it with a new penny. What about the broken and damaged people who no one wants around? We can’t replace them. But if we pick up them up and bring them to God, He will make them into shiny new creatures in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (NASB)
Most people would quickly pick up the $10 bill because of its face value. But I found more treasure in the mangled penny. On the surface it is worthless and rough, but it has taught me a valuable lesson in how to treat people. That is worth more to me than all the money in the world.
Today as you go about your day be aware of those who look or act broken and damaged. Make sure you don’t just pass them by, but offer them the love of God through your words and actions so they can become the new creatures in Christ and be shining examples of God’s love.
Enjoy your week. I’ll be back next week with more.