Give Them A Hand

English: Female hands.

I was looking at my hands today. Have you ever really looked at your hands? Yes, I know, most of us have the ten fingers (Okay, fine. Eight fingers and two thumbs!), knuckles, palms. Fairly typical. My hands have rings that symbolize my commitment. Scars from the time a student bit me. (my stint working with children with emotional/behavioral issues) In the past year I’ve acquired an age spot. I still can’t believe that, and don’t want to dwell on it. I keep my nails short and they are usually not polished. The skin on my hands tends to get dry, so I’m all the time applying hand lotion. All in all, if you were to look at my hands, you’d probably think, “normal”.

Hands. Incredibly normal, but absolutely incredible, nonetheless. My hands help me brush my hair and apply makeup. My hands make breakfast, type on the computer, bake cookies, drive a car, touch a loved ones face, clap, tap, and snap. My fingers give the okay sign and a thumbs up. My hands give a pat on the back, wipe tears, scratch a back. My hands brush hair out of eyes, and tickle. My hands have held babies and held others hands. My hands have written love letters, and thank you notes, and poetry. I’ve taken notes, and pointed at the blackboard, and prayed.

So, many “normal” things I take for granted. Today, I am thankful for these hands of mine. Simple things, really….but, stopping to appreciate them, well, it’s given me a new and different perspective.

***************************************************

Today I am thankful for:

* the simple things I tend to take for granted

* hands that do so much

* good health

* a relaxing weekend (sleeping in)

* snowy, winter days

* cold temperatures (I am enjoying winter)

* songs that make my heart sing (singing loudly in the kitchen)

* funny jokes (that only I get)

* a clean house (it makes me feel happy inside)

* a new magazine (beautiful pictures)

* devotions that speak to me (yes, Lord!)

* The Father, Son and Holy Spirit






Reminded of Time

When bad things happen, when tragedies occur…

Death Valley

Death Valley (Photo credit: Frank Kehren)

Shock and grief immobilize us. We don’t know what to think or say.

It seems so unfair and well….just wrong. Wrong that people have died, wrong that some were so young.

These times remind us. Remind us of things we’d rather not think about.

None of us…not one…are promised even another hour, much less, to live to an old age.

It sounds so harsh, to say something like that. No one likes to hear it…or think about it.

Most of us are so cavalier about our time. Precious time. Time we will never get back.

Live life, knowing. Knowing that this life too, will one day end.

What will your legacy be?

How do you want to be remembered?

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4  NIV

 

 

That Is Enough

Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ Ministries

Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ Ministries (Photo credit: C. G. P. Grey)

 

The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::

Enough…

*******************************************

I have enough.

Not everything…..but enough.

Less, and I would be left wanting.

More and I become complacent.

But, enough is all I really need.

God cannot love me any more than He does right now at this minute.

God will not love me any less.

He loves me enough.

His love is always enough.

He proved it….and that is enough for me.

Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

Choosing To Say

View On Black [...] Blue eyes Baby's got blue ...

It is a typical Monday. The beginning of a yet another, long week. I’m already tired and the day has just started.

On some days, thanksgiving and praise do feel like a sacrifice…the giving up, the letting go. The choosing to say, thank you.

It can be a challenge to see the blessings, even when right in front of my face. Mondays are just like that for me.

Breathing deeply, and opening my eyes…… to all that is before me.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name. Hebrews 13:15 NIV

************************************************************************

Today I am thankful for:

* another day–and realizing that some don’t have this

* time spent with my husband–just the two of us

* sons that can drive to school–how exciting for a license in a wallet?

* eggs boiling on the stove

* early morning walk with the dog

* news that makes me think

* a funny story that creates a smile

* the dew on the grass

* sunshine

* bare feet on the cool morning floor

* rumpled sheets

* full pitcher of iced tea in the refrigerator

***************************************

Being Still

I think I might go outside for a walk this afternoon, around the yard and down the dusty road, finding the quiet place…where I can slow down.

I crave quiet. The chance to think. An opportunity to evaluate.      

Are you anything like me? This world we live in, pulls at me. I am tugged by the minutes and hours. Chores to do, lessons to check, a blog to write, mail to read, a house to clean, a family life to participate in, problems to solve. The days start early and end late….and I get tired. So very tired and… soul weary.

How many times do I attempt to squeeze in my thanks, my prayer, my walk with God. The One who deserves my time most, and yet I find myself rushing through the day…out of breath, out of sorts, and out of relationship.

Being still is in order.

Slowing down with purpose.

Seeing my life for what it really is… not a sprint, where I am constantly out of breath and out of my mind. It should be, needs to be, more of a leisurely stroll,  stopping to appreciate all there is…

because of all HE is.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10  NIV

**************************************************************************

Congratulations to the winner of my Day Spring mirror give away! (April 11)  Check out her blog at journey bits.

Driving Towards Home

Farmland, Blewbury The footpath crossing flat ...

I am driving towards home. The sun is shining, I have the radio playing and I am singing at the top of my lungs.

I don’t always remember the words, but that doesn’t stop me, because sometimes the song is too good to be kept inside. It bubbles up, threatening to explode, much like a jostled bottle of soda.

My gaze wanders over the great, open expanses of not yet planted cornfields, the sun pours through the windows, warm on my face and arms.

Blue sky, beautiful blue sky, I feel like I could look at it forever.

Horses graze in the lazy afternoon sunshine. A man drives a tractor.

I feel an air of anticipation as I often do at this time of year. Springtime brings with it a newness of life, a time of growth.

What is planted will soon be born. A celebration?

And what does this life hold? And how will my story unfold?

Taking time… precious, glorious time. Appreciating each moment.

I’m in no hurry, enjoying this slow drive on the back roads.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.                         Romans 15:13  NIV

Knowing My Limits

"TUESDAY" production sign

"TUESDAY" production sign (Photo credit: Vaguely Artistic)

I read her words…. once. Twice.

Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time.” –Sarah Young

Isn’t it apropos that this should be what I read today? Especially, after the kind of day I had on Tuesday.

Accepting the limitations. Learning to live one day at at time.

One day at a time is enough, more than enough, to do what needs to be done.

Because aren’t there always going to be needs? And the desire to get things done? And aren’t I always pushing for more time?

And isn’t He there in the midst?  Already. Working things out according to His will?

Isn’t this, after all, what I should be seeking? To know Him. To trust Him. To believe Him, more.

Limitations are not a weakness, but a strength.

It is those very things that limit me, that allow me to draw closer

to the One who is limitless, and unchanging.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 NIV

 

 

Emmanuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

******************************

Emmanuel… “God With Us”.

That was the name of the church.

Over two decades of my life were spent in this place,

the small stone church with the bright red doors.

Memories of years gone by, spent with family and friends.

A place where I learned about Jesus and His love.

As so often happens, time takes its toll.

The church building is older. The name is no longer the same.

A new congregation sits within its walls.

Although it is different now in many ways,

one thing has stayed the same.

People still go there to learn about Jesus and His love for them.

Buildings change, pastors come and go, people are born, people die…

but the church, is the body of Christ’s followers.

Stone walls cannot hold them in,

the love of Christ spills out, onto a broken world

where individuals are desperate to know Him…

and His love.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of Godmay be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17  NIV

Trust In 5 Minutes Flat

I’ve decided to link up with The Gypsy Mama for her 5 minute Friday.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:  TRUST

********************************************************

Lamp in a dark room

Okay, so here goes….

Five minutes on the clock, please.

Trusting isn’t always easy, but then again, what in life ever is? Easy, I mean.

Not much. Not in this world. This life.

There have been times when I have hung on, white knuckled, not sure if I want to go on the ride…

Trusting, when I can’t see what is around the bend. Trusting, when I don’t know how it will end.

Trusting, when the questions go unanswered.

Trusting when the hurt is real. Trusting when I’m not sure how I feel.

Trusting when all is good, and all is bad.  Through the joy and when I am sad.

Believing.

Believing that He will never leave me. Never forsake me. Only wants the best for me.

Knows the plans He has for me…….

And that He will see me through.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6  NIV

 

True Joy Is A Gift

PICT0027

Image by Ninian Reid via Flickr

Today Bonnie gave us this topic to write on….

Complete the following sentence:  A gift you’ve recently received from God.

Hmmmm….

I feel like I should write something BIG here, or maybe something deeply profound, or life altering. Alas, nothing like that comes to mind.

Over my lifetime, God has indeed given me gifts. Gifts that have forever altered my life. I don’t think that is what I’m going to write about today….Bonnie wants, recently.

The thought that keeps niggling at the back of my mind is the word contentment. Oh God, not that! I don’t consider contentment a “gift”. I’m not even any good at being content. I know. I know. It’s a lesson, right Lord? A lesson, that if I could ever REALLY learn it, would be a gift. A gift beyond measure. You’d think someone who had spent the majority of her life either as a student or a teacher (or both at once) , would be able to pick up on a lesson, right? Be able to catch on quickly? Um…. no.

I am working at contentment. Thank God, He has yet to give up on me.

The other night I was walking back from the barn with my husband. It was dark outside. We were walking together, my arm linked with his. I appreciated the quiet stillness all around us, broken only by the occasional distant moo, or bark. The moonlight made our front yard glow. I was thankful and content in that moment. I suppose it is a gift to be able to truly appreciate in the moment…to be able to consciously step back and be grateful for those minutes in time.

I long to be better at this. Happiness is fleeting. Don’t we all know that? Some days are better than others. I want more than happiness, because feelings are so fickle.

I want joy.

In my mind, contentment and joy are two sides of the same stone.

As I work on being content in all circumstances…God will give me joy.

And true joy IS a gift.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.   Psalm 28:7   NIV

FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG