When I Consider…

Psalm 8

Psalm 8 (Photo credit: L.G.Mills)

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  Psalm 8: 3-4  NIV

 

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I can’t begin to tell you how many times I think about these verses.

Standing in the yard at night, under a blanket of stars and a moon that seems close enough to touch….

I am in awe.

Awe, that God knows me….

and He loves me.

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Today I am thankful for:

* the slow moving blades of the wind mill

* blooming rose bushes

* quiet Mondays

* getting my to do list completed

* the Word that never grows old

* a love that never grows cold

* healthy children

* laughing

* Yankee candles on sale

* answered prayers

* the sound of bare feet on concrete

* my husband’s arm resting on my shoulders

* emails from my family

* taking pictures that make me smile

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

Sanctuary (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

“Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary

Pure and holy, tried and true

With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living

Sanctuary for You.”

(I’m not sure who wrote this little chorus……I think Randy Scruggs and John Thompson?)

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Be a living sanctuary. Consecrated. Set apart.

For Him.

God deserves my thanksgiving.

With each utterance of thanks, each writing of the gratefulness, each acknowledgement of His gifts…

there is worship.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  Psalm 100:4 NIV

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Today I am thankful for:

* listening to sweet music

* looking up to see the dog looking back at me

* my husband telling me he loves me

* hugs from my sons

* early morning sunshine

* the flag flapping in the wind

* looking at old pictures…and remembering

* the chance to make a difference

* God, who extends His grace

* filling my eucharisteo journal…more and more

Quiet, Please!

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusa...

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. Meet & encourage someone who linked up before you.

OK, are you ready? Give us your best five minutes on: LOUD

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Loud makes me irritable. I don’t really like loud. I prefer quiet, not that I get a chance to enjoy THAT very often.

Three kids who can be (and usually are) loud. A television that blares a lot of the time. (why did my husband and I think “the open” concept would be so great for our house?)  Barking dogs, meowing cats, and now chicks in a cardboard box in the front entrance. The morning news is on right now. I listen to it as I clean up my breakfast dishes. The “loudness” of the news echoes in my head.

Who will be the republican nominee? Why did the terrorist kill the Jewish teacher and children in France? And why do gas prices continue to climb?! The loudness of it all just gets to me.

I WANT QUIET!!! Peace. Isolation from it all?

I wander over to the kitchen window and look out at the sky changing colors, tinged with the morning hues of pinks and purples. Clouds scudding across the open expanse over the fields. I breathe deeply and am reminded of this verse……quiet for the soul.

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

 

 

Country Lights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My daughter recently took these three pictures, at sunset.

Beauty in the every day.

I am enamored with the sky here.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…

there is some beauty that can only be found by living in the country.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I spent a large portion of my life living within city limits.

Street lights. People packed tight. Traffic. Congestion.

There are also perks to city life, things like excitement and convenience.

But… to me, the  lights in the country are so much more beautiful.

Sometimes I have to just stop and stare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised. Psalm 113:3  NIV

 

The Word Delight

Delight

Today, Bonnie at Faith Barista, has us writing about DELIGHT.

I like the word delight. It’s one of my favorites…along with epiphany and serendipity.

Some words just “click” with me, and delight is one of them.

According to Merriam-Webster, delight means:

a high degree of gratification : joy; also : extreme satisfaction. 2. : something that gives great pleasure

Don’t we all want that?

It’s a simple word really…but, carries with those consonants and vowels something much deeper.

A longing.

Deep gratification. To be satisfied.

Most of us, when we hear the word delight we don’t think about our jobs, or our to do list…

The word doesn’t come up over time spent at the gym, or necessary business trips.

Usually, the word delight means more.

People. Relationships. Bonds.

Someone can be delightful, or seeing their smile can be a delight.

Being known. Not just your name, or your job title, or your social security number.

Delight bursts forth in the knowing…and being known.

If someone told you that you were a delight to be around, wouldn’t that make you feel great?

Satisfied? Grateful? Loved? Joyful.

God feels that way about His children.

The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.  Psalm 37:23 NLT

God knows me intimately. There is not a thought that goes through my mind that He does not hear.

There is nothing that I do, that He does not see.

I am not perfect. I fail daily….and yet, He delights in me.

I keep trying.

For I serve a God of second chances.

My desire is TO delight Him but, also to be delighted IN Him.

Deeply satisfied in my relationship with my Creator.

The One who knows me beyond all.

Trust in the LORD and do good;
   dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
 Take delight in the LORD,
   and he will give you the desires of your heart.  

Commit your way to the LORD;
   trust in him… Psalm 37:3-5 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

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I Am Known

360° panorama of Racetrack Playa in Death Vall...

Image via Wikipedia

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

……O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”  Psalm 8:3-4, 9 NIV

I’ve always been drawn to the night sky. When I was young, I would pour over articles on space. I would tell anyone who would listen, about stars, comets, planets and black holes. For several years, I was sure that I wanted to grow up and be an astronomer.  I just knew I’d spend my lifetime looking at the stars. Over the years, the dream of being an astronomer quietly died, but my passion for the night sky did not.

There is nothing like staring into the night sky to realize just how small I actually am.

It always puts things in perspective for me.

Psalm 8. David wrote this Psalm. A song….to be set to music. David was the king of Israel. A man after God’s own heart. He was not perfect, far from it….but, he was humble before God. I can relate to David because he too stood, staring at the night sky, realizing how small he actually was. “What is man that You are mindful of him?”  Yes. He got it.

Hanging over the railing of the deck. Staring. Trying to drink it all in. I can see the stars. The moon. The swirl of the Milky Way. All of this with just the naked eye. I am connected.

The Creator of this night time extravaganza is with me. He watches as I look at His work.

He sees me. Really sees me.

How many times in this life, have I been in a room full of people, and yet do not feel seen? Not known? Not understood?

And  yet……

Here on the deck, in the dark of the night.

I am known.

Known by the Creator of the night time sky,

who also created me.

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Thankful for so much this first Monday in October.

*looking forward to family visiting

*dark blue sky

*sleepy smiles

*a new school room

*help, when I need it

*scripture that speaks to me

*smooth, sweetness of hot chocolate

*lavender plants

*freshly swept front porch

*warm sweaters

*beautiful Autumn leaves

*harvest corn

*being fully known

Close To Me

Sistine Chapel, fresco Michelangelo,

Image via Wikipedia

Bonnie, at Faith Barista gave us this topic to write about today…

Whitespace Jam:  Share a moment you felt close to God recently.

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I’ve been mulling this over. There are many, what I would consider, small moments where I have felt close to God.

Day to day moments. I’m thankful for my life…and in many ways profoundly grateful for the way things have turned out.

For you see, it might not have been this way...

I, like many of you, have had moments or times in my life where I have felt the very hand of God.

Sometimes I knew it right then…other times not until after the fact. When we think of God many times we expect grand miracles,

strong battles, beautiful creations, and the dead being raised to life. And it is true…God is all these things. He is also so

much more. There are times in my life where I’ve cried out to Him, “God where are you?”  Sometimes, for His own

reasons, God is silent. Even if I did not understand at the time, God did. He was always close.

If I could make a map of my life,

it would show a pattern touched by the Sovereign.

Here are some moments from my story. My God moments. The Ever Present in my every day.

* A college graduate who had traveled back home to look for a job. Applications. Interviews. Doors slammed.

“God I know you called me to be a special education teacher. Why can’t I get a job teaching here?” A phone call from

a professor in Tennessee, he had tracked me down to Maryland by way of a friend. A small school, in a small community

in the mountains of Appalachia needed me. Would I consider going? Nearly 600 miles from Maryland…from home.

And God held the door open wide. A small town with a big heart. Memories of my early years of teaching still warm me,

all these decades later. God brought me to this place and I knew that God was close.

*The cries were like music. From the moment the nurse laid my newborn son on my chest, I knew that motherhood would profoundly

change me. I hadn’t known if I’d be able to get pregnant. The fact that I did, was a gift from God. A new role as mother….and God was there.

* “Ma’am, we tried to resuscitate him for 45 minutes straight. We could never get a good heart beat. I’m so sorry.” Part of me

died that day, along with my husband. Plans changed. A new normal.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. (Psalm 68:5 NIV)  I have never felt so close to God

as I did during my years of widowhood. I clung to this verse from God. He would father my young son, and be my defender. Many

days and dark nights, I would tell God I was scared. He never left me. He most certainly was my defender.

I was able to sleep in peace…with God close to me.

* This man lived so far away. I could not possibly get involved in a long distance relationship. God has a way of working the impossible into

the possible. Time and distance are not deterrents to a God that is not chained to calendars or clocks. He is the God of second chances. My new husband and I stood before God to say our vows. Two families brought together as one.  God was at that ceremony.

I could list many, many times that God was close, as He mapped out my life. There are the big God moments, the bends in the road, the path not taken…..and there are the small moments of realization. The warmth of my children’s hugs. Notes of encouragement from my loved ones. The beauty of much needed rain splashing against the window pane. An email from an old friend. Waking up to my husband’s smile. The comfortable house that I live in. The dog licking my ankles. A cold glass of tea.

All things are from God. God is not a stranger to me. He does not live far away. He has not left me alone. He is intimately involved in the day to day moments of my life. He is close to me. Always.

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