CHOOSE

It is Five Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo’s blog. Let’s write for five minutes flat. All on the same word: CHOOSE

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I make a myriad number of choices each day. Most of the time I don’t give my choices much thought. They are the mundane, the mechanical, the mish mash of the day to day. I mean who really cares if I make a casserole or tacos for dinner? Or whether I choose to use a new dryer sheet in the laundry?

But then there are the choices that do matter. The ones that make a difference, mold a life, mean something.

A hug, an encouraging word, helping someone, reaching out, showing forgiveness, holding my tongue, sacrificing my own time, weeping with others…. choosing to see others as Christ sees them. It isn’t easy and I mess up a lot….but, I choose to try.

Choose you this day…..

Whom will you serve?

My choices should always be in light of Who it is that I serve…….Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. 

Because that choice changes everything else.

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:14-15  ESV

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I Realize…

Today’s writing prompt pertains to the life journey. At Faith Jam we spend time discussing what God is doing in our lives,  how He has changed us, how we have grown, and what we have learned through the process.

 Writing prompt: What I’m Learning About Myself.

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The Top 10 Things That I Have Learned About Myself And Life…..

1. I realize that life is short. When looking through the scope of eternity, whether we take one short breath in this world, or live to be one hundred years…it is all brief in the scope of eternity.

When my grandparents passed, my first husband died of an incurable heart disease, or when my father ended his life too soon, I realized that it doesn’t really matter how long someone has….it never seems enough. All relationships end. No one really likes to think about it, but it is true. When walking down the aisle, eyes full of love, the words “until death do us part” don’t seem real. Until it happens to you. And it will. No one makes it out alive. I know some of you are probably thinking how morbid I sound, but if one can’t live with the knowing that it won’t be forever, they will never fully appreciate the moments they have. Sure, the small irritations of life, are still there, but the perspective changes. I look at relationships with different eyes now. This perspective makes life richer.

2. Tell the people you love, that you love them. You need to say it, and they need to hear it. All the time. Every day. Don’t let things go unsaid, because regret is a bitter pill to swallow, and no one likes the taste.

3. Say you are sorry. It is humbling. I am not perfect, and neither are you. It is okay to be wrong sometimes. Just admit it.

4. There is always good to appreciate. I’ve always been a voracious reader. My life has been consumed with the written word. About three years ago, I came across One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. There are only a handful of books that have changed my life. (the first and most important, the Bible) Ann’s book talks about how all of life is a gift and we need to list out our thanks to God for all the ways He gives us daily gifts. It was life changing for me, because she opened my eyes to true appreciation and thankfulness for God’s blessings.

5. Music transcends. Music touches the soul, like nothing else can.

6. I try to keep my heart tender towards others. Yes, I’ve gotten teased because I cry at TV shows or Hallmark commercials. I don’t like for people to cry alone…I’m right there with them.

7.God loves me. He loves you. He loves us so much that He took our place on a cross. A cross that was the bridge between us and God. There is nothing in this world that will ever be more important than this relationship. People have said, “I’d die for my faith”, and that is true, but I’d much rather live my faith. Every day for Him. If I had nothing else in this life, I’d realize that HE is enough.

8.Friendships are important, they are the glue of life. Laughter, talking, goofing, hugging, shopping, joking, crying, sharing….. true friendships are awesome. Cultivate them whenever possible. They are worth it. My husband is my best friend, and I am thankful every day that we were brought together.

9.I love nature. It brings me a deep peace to walk outside and see God’s creativity. I realize how small I am in this big world. I stand amazed. Even feeding the animals becomes less of a chore and more of a joy when the perspective is one of amazement.

10. Spend time each day doing what you love. It will make you a better person, and it will bring you joy and that will show to others.

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Laughter Makes The Whole Day Better

A blog post I picked from my archive……..we all need to have a good laugh. It does a body good:)

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“A cheerful heart has a continuous feast.”  Proverbs 15:15

When is the last time you laughed out loud, tears streaming down your face?  Laughed so hard you snorted? Got the hiccups? Your stomach ached from the muscles you used for a good belly laugh?

Laughter feels good.

Nikki, the family calico cat, has a special fondness towards me. Some might call it stalking. She follows me around the house like my shadow. She makes me a little paranoid when she follows me into the bathroom…and sits and stares at me. Eh, hem….I can do this myself, kitty cat. This morning I was making the bed when she came flying out from underneath it. I didn’t know she was there so I nearly had a heart attack. She made me laugh out loud because she was covered with dust bunnies. Okay, I admit to all my blog readers that cleaning under the bed is not at the top of my list. Not this week. Um… okay. Not ever. Nikki looked hilarious with a big  ol’ dust bunny right on top of her head, between her ears. She did not appear too humiliated by the whole thing.

 

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I laughed so hard this evening! My son’s dog, Lonnie is a terrier mix. He can stand and walk around on his hind legs. Lonnie loved the smell of the pot roast that I was serving for dinner. Boy, did he want some! He walked around on his hind legs trying to get at the plate. He was so focused on the plate that he backed right up into the garbage bag I had setting on the floor, ready to go out. The expression on his face was priceless.

 

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This is the same dog that I blogged about last week that would not eat his yummy, dog food, nutritional bits. Go figure.

Tonight, while preparing dinner, I was singing and goofing around in the kitchen. My son said, “Mom, you are very ‘bubbly’ today. I like it when you are in a good mood. It makes the whole day better.”  His words struck me. How often do I forget, in my day to day busyness, to smile and laugh, and joke?

My son reminded me  that

Laughter is the best medicine and….

It makes the whole day better.

 

 

I See His Fingerprints

I stand in the yard, on the way to the barn, knowing that a decade ago I never would have thought I’d be here. I enjoy living in rural America. Yes, the pace of life is slower and I can’t get to the nearest restaurant or store in two minutes anymore. That is okay, because nothing takes the place of what I do have by living in the country.

I wish you could see what I see……I look out across the back field and am impressed by the fence my husband toiled over…straight lines of wood and metal. The cats climbed and perched on the posts, whispering meows to the horse standing nearby. The sun hangs low in the sky as I carry the buckets over to the barn. The rays of the late day sun spread across the sky, reflecting on the metal roof of the barn. Colors are dimmed by this cold winter sky, muted perfection.

 

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I hear the sounds of the geese before I see them coming over the horizon. The feathered family honks to each other as they fly overhead, preparing for their landing at the winter lake across the road. I follow them until touch down, their formation is incredible.

 

 

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The sudden warm up caused most of the snow to melt and be replaced by mud. Lots of mud. My boots sink down into the ground, making a loud sucking sound as I put one foot in front of the other. I love Spring temperatures, but I do not love our mud season. I’ve almost lost my boots to the muck, on more than one occasion.

The chilled breeze caresses my cheeks, giving me a rosy glow as I go about my chores. I pull my winter hat further down on my head, wanting to keep my ears covered…after all it is still February. I see the breeze blowing the bare, scratchy limbs of the trees across the road. I notice a red hawk perched high in the tree, his regal gaze surveying the surrounding fields for his next meal.

There is such beauty and creativity in nature. I see the fingerprints of the Creator every where I look.

 

 

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Last night, I got home after dark. I parked the car and slammed the door shut. As I crunched across the gravel driveway, I was forced to stop, and stare, my gaze tilted heavenward. The stars were vivid against the cold velvet sky. Honestly, there is no better place to look at the night sky than out here in the country on a brisk winter night. Yes, summer sky is beautiful, but winter sky has no humidity or haze to distort the view. The winter sky is crisp and perfect. I stood amazed at the twinkling lights set before me. I could even see the swirl of the Milky Way amongst the stars. Oh, how I wish I could share the splendor with you, my readers! My humble words could never do the scene justice.

The verse, from Luke, about even nature crying out to praise its Creator echoes in the night. He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”  Luke 19:40 NIV

“Oh, Father how great and glorious You are! You are creative and mysterious. The works of Your hands are amazing. I am in awe of You. Thank you for this beauty You created for us to enjoy. You could have created all of nature and us and then left, but instead You chose relationship with us. You are not a cold and distant God. You are here, among us. Thank you. Glory and honor to You forever and ever. Amen.

 

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Appreciate It More

Monday, the beginning of a new week. Fresh white pages, ready to be written on.

Possibilities. Not knowing what might happen.

How often am I cavalier with the time given to me? I always expect that there will be more moments.

The only way to live in the time I have, is to appreciate it more.

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Today I am thankful for: 

*beautiful sunrises, pinks, purples, golden light

*morning stillness, the sound of silence

*sunshine streaming through the kitchen window

*a new phone, adding contacts

*the sweet taste of an orange

*cuddling with my husband, laughing together

*goofing with friends

*a clean house

*graduation meeting

*finishing classes

*a sense of accomplishment

*a warm bed

*barking dogs

*fresh eggs

*muddy front yards

*working with my students

*second chances, and third, and fourth

No Small Thing

The Five Minute Friday word is : small.

The sun is coming up on a cold winter sky, as I look out my kitchen window. Patches of snow are still visible, although the heavy rain and wind last night took care of most of it. The winter run off has created lakes across the road, and when the early morning sun touches the water, it sparkles like a million beautiful diamonds.

The fence runs across the entire back of the property. It captures the grass dry and brown blowing in the morning wind, as it coarsely whispers on this cold morning. It is the sound of late winter, on this small piece of land in the country.

Waiting. Preparing for what is to come. What comes next.102_4106

Gray and cold, winter is not really dead….what is happening cannot be seen yet.

The days march on toward Spring. It is no small thing, what happens each season.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.  Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV