Busy, busy, busy, busy. I thought that as I became older and my children were grown that things would slow down. That I would learn to relax. And sleep more. I had this vision that I would pick up a novel and read it all of the way through without needing to begin it again six times because I'd forgotten who the characters were. I bought a beautiful straw hat at my favorite store with every intention of sitting at the edge of the ocean with my toes in the surf, reading a delicious book. Not for study. Just for fun. I have a pretty matching straw bag to carry the book in. Okay, it's a Kindle. But it's a Kindle with a beautiful leather cover. And it would go in that straw bag. Along with my sunscreen. And my chapstick. I burn easily.
But that's not what is happening. How can this be? This is not what I had planned. As a matter of fact, if you'd asked me just two years ago to sit down and list all of the things th...
Today is Memorial Day. A day set aside to remember those who gave their lives for my freedom. A memorial to them. Not so much for our veterans, or those serving now. They are implied, though, because I think of their willingness to do the same. But today, it's for the ones who gave it all, for me.
And I do think of them, not just today, but often. Because I love my freedom and hold it very dear. People who I don't know paid for my freedom. And my heart is moved deeply with the debt that I owe.
When I was a very young woman I was sent off for a bit of education. Prayer and the Bible had been taken out of public schools when I was just a little girl, and now it was the late seventies. There was a rustling across America as God was raising up Christian schools to answer a great need. I was a part of all that. Four of us from my home church were sent off for training.
While there, I heard a message preached by David C. Gi...
Wow! Prayer really is a hot button topic. Lots of comments. Lots of private messages. All sweet.
Let me say that I am just muddling through this life the same as you. I don't have all the answers. The Bible says that here "we see through a glass, darkly", and that on earth we know only "in part". (1 Corinthians 13:12) We are just not going to understand or get everything until we stand in God's presence in Heaven. Romans 11:33 reminds us that His ways are "past finding out" while we live here in this mortal body. I might be a little further down the road than some, but I fail God miserably. Often!
But we'll talk about a couple of things. First, my choice of the word 'structure'. I am referring to my last blog post, 'Marching Right On Up'. More structure was my goal because of what Jesus taught. He taught us how to pray with the Lord's prayer. I don't believe He meant for us to repeat it word for word, but instead to use...
I've been thinking a lot about prayer recently. I probably should tell you right up front that structured prayer has always been the weakest area of my walk with the Lord.
I have loved Jesus since I first gave my heart to Him at age eleven. I actually had very tender feelings for Him even before I got saved, and it was based on the love that I knew through my grandma. You can read that story here. She was a wonderful witness and seed planter to me, and she did that with very few words. She showed Him to me. God used her in a huge way in my life.
That love that I've had for the Lord has grown continually through the years. People who know my story might question me saying this, but God has always dealt so kindly and gently with me. It's huge, now, how much I love Him. I never could have imagined it could be like this. It is a mystery to me how some people who have trusted Jesus don't seem to love Him very much or want to please Him. Makes me sad to think...
A few weeks ago I was following a discussion taking place under a couple of photographs on a good friend's wall on Facebook. The photos are of a field about to be broken for spring planting on an Amish farm in our community. You were introduced to our local Amish just last week in 'Buttons and Straight Pins'.
The photographs are beautiful, and could be made into postcards. They are a true depiction of life in our area. They make me smile, because the photos themselves are a bit of an irony if you know the Amish and you know my friend. Priceless!
The pictures portray an Amish farm and four beautiful horses being hitched to a couple of old, large wooden plows. Working nearby is an Amish man and presumably his two sons. The conversation under the photos revolved around the horses.
It was pointed out that it is an amazing thing, watching those horses stomping the ground, raring to go, often with steam coming from their noses in the cold early morning spring air....
I began writing about the Amish a week or two ago. I wound up writing about chickens. Let's see how it goes this time.
When my children were small, our idea of a big vacation was to travel about an hour and a half north of our home to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The heart of Amish country. There was a resort up there back in the day called Willow Valley, and we loved that place. They had a wonderful restaurant with all kinds of delicious homemade food, and several fabulous pools for the kids. The grounds were beautiful, with a big covered bridge and a duck pond, as well as a tiny church and a golf course. We could spend two or three days there and we wouldn't even have to leave the property if we didn't want to, except to go across the street to the grocery store to buy snacks. But the real treats came from the onsite bakery, where you could watch through a huge window as they prepared the sweets and iced the cakes.
Once upon a time there lived a beautiful little girl born with a kind and tender heart. She was that rare kind of soul that loved and cared deeply about others, even when she was very young. She was so easy to raise. If she did something that her momma frowned upon, a raised eyebrow was enough to have her in tears; not so much for whatever she'd done, but because she'd made her mother sad. She gave her heart to Jesus at a young age and seemed to know Him and love Him beyond her years. She loved Sunday School and church and was there every service, but her favorite thing of all was Awana Club, and her beloved Mrs. Dawn. She went to Christian School, was homeschooled, and then graduated from Bible College. Then she waited patiently for God to send her Prince Charming. She knew that He would.
Once upon a time there was a handsome young man who had recently trusted Christ. He was a lieutenant in the Navy; a man of great responsibility and respec...
It's time to do some spring gardening. For some reason all of the dead leaves from the entire neighborhood wind up in my butterfly garden. It serves as an extra layer of protection during the worst of the winter months. But this time of year, I need to go out and get rid of them.
I can't move them with a garden rake, because somewhere underneath all of that deadness springs up the fresh new and tender growth of springtime. I'll spread an old towel, sit right down in front of it all, and gently rake those old leaves out into my yard with my fingers. And I get so happy when I see those baby plants peeking out of the soil like a promise. A promise from God. Life comes forth again out of the gloomy death of winter. And I think of how it's that way with my own life.
Gardening does me so much good. I used to have a friend who lived in the neighborhood. Well, I still have the friend, but he no longer lives in my neighborhood. :) Anyway, he...
I've learned so many things about myself in the last year and a half. You'd think that would make writing easier. But this is a blog, not a book (as I'm sure some of you are thinking as you read through some of my longer posts, lol), and I sometimes struggle to separate a nugget of truth from the large conglomeration in my heart.
I have begun writing so many times about fear. That word takes on a different meaning for me than it does for most others. You've probably figured that out about me. I really do think differently. It helps me so much in counseling others. People get all wrapped up in their normal reaction to something and can't see their way through the fog. I can clearly see the way out for them, because I don't think the same way. God helps me to help them.
But, sometimes for myself, I'm a little slow. I know what the normal thing to feel would be. But I am not quite nailing that. Okay, perhaps that is an understatement. I'm on...
1. I once cut several inches off the trunk of a real cut Christmas tree with a butter knife. Why? Because I needed it to be shorter to fit in the house. Why a butter knife? Because that's all I had. How long did it take? Half of the night. I'm nothing if I'm not persistent.
2. I have my concealed carry license. I just learned to shoot recently. Turns out I love it! And I'm pretty good, too. So don't mess with this girl. I just might be packin' heat. :)
3. I have a baby in heaven. I miscarried between Pam and Jim. It was soon after my grandma went to heaven. I've always thought that she missed my 'little people' so much that God gave her one of her own. If I had carried that baby to term I would not have Jim. God knows. Jim is sure that his sibling in heaven is a boy. He thinks that God would not give him FIVE sisters to torture him throughout all of eternity.