I Can’t Go Wrong

102_3462 The beginning of that school year was the beginning of my career as a special education teacher. I was twenty-two years old, just beginning to put my knowledge to the test. Looking back, I didn’t know near as much as I thought I did. Isn’t that the truth for most of us, when we were in our twenties? Big on ideas, not real big on life experience.

The morning was underway. Attendance had been taken, and learning groups had already begun. Bobby*, a sixth grader, wasn’t there yet. He was late. The classroom clock ticked off the first moments of the school day. The door opened and in walked Bobby*. He came up to me, eyes averted, and mumbled something about being late. I, in my own naive youth, abruptly replied to him with, “I understand you are late to school, but it is important for you to be on time. Now you are going to be behind this morning. Hurry up and put your stuff in your desk, so we can get you in your group.” My teacher mindset appreciated punctuality and I wanted to get that across to him, but Bobby* wasn’t finished.  He looked at me and said, “I’m sorry. Last night, with all the rain and wind, the living room wall caved in. I was up most of the night with my Daddy putting tarp up, so our stuff didn’t get wet.”

Tears began to well up in my eyes. I looked away. Now it was my turn to mumble an apology. This poor boy, who was a good student, and had a tender heart, after a difficult and stressful night, now had to listen to his teacher gripe at him. He had helped his Daddy. He was doing important work to save his family’s house. I felt badly about my cavalier attitude, not comprehending what it meant to live in a house that was weather worn and crumbling.

I learned a lesson that day, one that stuck with me. I learned a lesson that didn’t just apply to my career in teaching, but to life. Things are not always what they seem, in fact many times, we only skim the surface of what is going on with people. We often jump to our own conclusions about others because it is more convenient.

And that is wrong….. so wrong.

None of us is perfect, and most are fighting battles that others know nothing about….because of this, I can’t go wrong treating everyone with kindness.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV

*Bobby is not my former student’s real name.

It’s A Choice

Being thankful is a choice.

Country Farm

Country Farm (Photo credit: Nature Pictures by ForestWander)

In choosing to be thankful for all things, a person can experience joy.

Not because life is always simple and easy, as anyone that has lived for any amount of time can attest.

But, because God has provided the greatest gift of all, in His son Jesus, and He alone is enough…

And yet, God chooses to gift us with so much more, abundantly, lavishly.

Live life with your eyes wide open. Open to all His great and wonderful gifts.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all
times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV

Today I am thankful for:

* getting ready for the trip

* anticipation for what is ahead

* making memories with my husband

* healthy children

* hugs and I love you

* playing with the dogs

* early morning, feeding the animals

* rainy Monday

* shopping

* a clean house

* sunflowers

* a beautifully mowed lawn

* the back property fenced in

* taking beautiful pictures of the country

* sleeping in late






Dream Big

I recently saw an advertisement for a book that I want to read. The book is about having God -sized dreams. It sounds interesting. The reason I

Seattle Dreams

think so, is because I have dreams…some of which I’ve never dare mentioned aloud. It’s because I am afraid. Afraid that others will think they are silly, or crazy, or well…..too big.

Sigh.

Doesn’t God want us to have big dreams, because He is so big? And because nothing is impossible with God? (Luke 1:37)

Can’t He take the smallest and seemingly insignificant things and turn them into the extraordinary?

Didn’t He say that He would use the weak things of this world to shame the strong? And don’t I often feel weak? And can’t He use me for something great?

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27 NIV  

On days when I feel insignificant, overwhelmed, or frustrated, I need to remember. 

I need to remind myself ……“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”. Ephesian 3: 20 NIV

More than I can ask or imagine.

That is pretty big.

 

Ride The Waters Of Time

I’m going to turn forty-five in a few weeks. To some of you that might seem ancient, and to others it is still “young”. Honestly, I’m not sure

Alternative version of image:Wooden hourglass ...

how I feel about it. My husband (who will turn forty-nine this summer) and I were talking about age the other night. I, being the somewhat occasionally morbid person that I am said, “I’m probably more than half way through my life”, to which he replied, “me, too”. Then we were quiet for a few moments, mulling that over, I suppose. Then I said, “When did this happen? I don’t feel like I should be forty-five, on the inside I feel much younger.” He laughed at me. Okay, maybe not AT me….maybe WITH me….but, the truth is, I wasn’t really laughing. I was being serious, well sort of with a smirk. Where in the world did the time go? That became a very real question to me.

I graduated high school in 1986 and college in 1990. The times at school seem almost surreal to me, like it might as well have been a million years ago. So much has happened since then. So much has changed me, so much has aged me. My marriage to my first husband ended when he died in the Fall of 2000. Our wedding, buying our first house, giving birth to our son, those things all wrapped in a time capsule mist. Now, I’m remarried, that first house was sold years ago, and my baby boy will be turning eighteen, only two days after my birthday. Time does not trickle, it gushes. It plunges me under like a roaring white water rapid. I’m left gasping.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy. I’m not miserable, sitting around waiting to die. Nothing like that at all. There is so much good in my life, I have been blessed in so many ways, it would be impossible for me to count them all. I’m living a life that I would never have dreamed of even a decade ago, much less when I was in college, young and single. My Eucharisteo (Give Thanks) board is full, and I am fully aware. Aware of all that is a gift. Life itself is a gift, you know. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by it, both the good and the not so good. I came to the realization a long time ago that my God has a sense of humor, and He enjoys keeping this life of mine, interesting. He told me that He has plans for me, and a great future, and I believe Him. (For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Forty-five. I’m a bit more “fluffy” than I was in my twenties. (Doesn’t that word sound so much better than chubby?) My hair shows a few strands of gray now (that is when I’m desperate to get my roots taken care of). I have a few (yes, only a very few!) wrinkles around my eyes. I have children that I am proud of, a husband that is truly my best friend, a family that loves me, and I have fulfilling work as a special education teacher. I live in the country, surrounded by God’s handiwork, and get to take care of  animals that I love and enjoy.

Yes, that river of time is still breaking hard all around me. There are days when I wish I could just stop and get out, sit on the bank for awhile. Slow down. Capture the moments….because I realize that I will never be this way again. There is no going back, only forward. The current takes me there, to the future in the days ahead. I’m not sure what will be there, or what is around the bend. I guess I’ll just have to ride the waters of time, and wait and see. After all, life is interesting that way…even if one is getting ready to turn forty-five.

Breaking Free

 Writing Prompt: It’s the last two weeks of Lent. Lent comes from old English word meaning “spring”. Imagine Jesus whispering the word “spring” into your heart. Reflect and share the thoughts and feelings that flow from hearing Jesus whisper “spring”.


Dormant. Buried deep. Covered in darkness.nature_3
The bulbs and seeds are waiting for winter to give way to warmer spring days.
Then they will know that it is time to emerge.

The waiting will be over.

Pushing through the darkness, struggling through the dirt, in order to see the light.

The glorious sun that brings life to what once seemed dead.

Beautiful flowers breaking free from winter’s grasp.

Free.

Turning their faces toward the sun.

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Jesus is that SON. He takes people who are dead inside, trapped in darkness, covered in their own sin….

and makes them new. Free. Beautiful, in Him.

Jesus whispers “spring”….

and gives new LIFE.

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2 NIV

Going Home

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..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

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

Home…

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Home.

The word, to many, means family and friends because…

home is where they love you.

No matter how old, or how far away, one can always go home…

even if it is only in his/her memories.

Today on this five minute Friday I’ve decided to share some of my pictures.

Pictures of home.

 

 

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Children Of God

Today at Faith Barista we are writing about Jesus.

I can’t think of a better subject.

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This world is hard on people.

Heart Candle

Heart Candle (Photo credit: Bob.Fornal)

Oh, none of us like to talk about it, admit it….but, deep down we know it is true.

Life can be harsh and confusing and many times it… well, it can be irritating.

At the very least it wears us down.

I needed a perspective change…

Last night in Bible study, we ladies were discussing the verses about Jesus being The Word, and dwelling among us.

And, once again I was reminded…

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:9-14 NIV

Jesus understood the pain of not being understood. Can we even imagine?  Being accused. Being abused.

These particular verses amaze me…every single time I read them. They are powerful. Jesus, Creator of the world, and yet people didn’t recognize Him. Many did not believe Him….but, to those who did (and do), HE gave the right to become CHILDREN OF GOD.

Stop.

Think about what I just wrote. Read the verses for yourself. Do it.

It is right there in black and white.

We, as believers, are adopted. Signed and sealed, because……..

Jesus chose to love us.

I don’t know about you, but that changes my perspective about today and tomorrow.

How can it not?

I’m carrying this Word in my heart today, with a smile on my face.