Thursday, June 27, 2013

Good Gifts...

I LOVE having my DD and grandson here with me. It's so nice to have their company, and seeing little Isaiah exhibit all his tricks. Each day he's saying new words, learning to do something new, being a little BRAVER. It's wonderful, delightful, fun.

Today we went shopping to get my DD a few new items of clothing. We are not gift givers here - we're not one to go shopping and pick something new out and give it for Christmas or a birthday. Too many times we get it wrong, it doesn't fit, or it's the wrong size. It's become too practical to give a gift card, mail a check, or even give cash for them to get whatever they want or need, in their perfect size and color. So to go shopping with her was a treat. 

Our original intent was to hit some of the thrift stores in the area, but then I saw a sale flier in my inbox from Kohl's - so I suggested we try there. My DH (working out of town today) suggested we check out Penney's too...but DD wanted to start at Kohl' off we went! We found deals galore! It was a real blessing, and she came in WAY below budget with a sack full of things. The shirts she got were very inexpensive, at least as low as what she'd pay for used shirts from the thrift stores. 

She graciously kept saying "thank you" - and we know that she's so thankful for the clothing, but it honestly brought both DH and I joy and pleasure to be able to purchase them for her "just because". 

It occurred to me that THAT'S just how God is in providing for our needs. Just as it says in Matthew 7:11 (and Luke 11:13)

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

God WANTS to give us good gifts! Just like most parents want to provide things for their kids (yes, even grown up kids who are fully capable of living on a budget and providing for their own needs); He also wants to provide for us. We just need to take the time to ask. 

Sometimes we don't get what we ask for right away, and in the end we see that what He provided down the road was different - but often times better. I know that doesn't make sense when you're in the midst of a trial, illness, or disappointment, but I promise He will reveal Himself in that season of trouble, and will provide for you....just lean in HARD on Him, and trust Him with every. little. thing. by praying, taking time to read His word, and just ENJOYING His presence in the middle of it all.

I know, I know... it sounds too easy, too good to be true, and TOO hard at the same time! How can we let go of the trouble that makes us feel alive? The heart ache that reminds us we've loved? The pain that we identify with so much - no matter how badly it hurts? 

Just try my friend. TRY. Breathe HIM in...each breath. Invite Him. And with each exhale, say "less of me", and mean it. 

Side note:
I just walked my dog around the back yard. Yeah, I know, I'm lazy - but truth be told she'll only p**p if she's walked on a leash, and at 9:45 pm it's still 82 degrees and about 85% humidity. I'm not walking her a mile around the neighborhood now and it was TOO hot earlier... but she still needed to do her business. So the back yard on a leash was it. 

I opened the back door, and walked in to the yard to 2 fragrances: BBQ and flowers. I LOVE the smell of BBQ, but truth be known, my lungs do not. So it sets me to hacking. But the fragrance of those flowers was amazing. It was soothing and peaceful and lovely. I never knew 4 o'clocks were fragrant! Silly me!

With each breath, exhaling that fragrant BBQ pent up in my lungs became more necessary. As I stood by the flowers and took in the fragrance of beauty it cancelled out that BBQ beast wanting to send me into a coughing fit. In time, all I smelled was the flowers and my lungs were calmed down. 

I think being in God's presence, taking Him in - NO - INVITING Him in - is like that. He calms the fury inside us. The ugly. When we are willing to give ourselves over to Him that way He DELIGHTS in us - and WITHIN us. He's there. We may not get the gifts we're wanting (healing, romance, finances, etc) but we're not alone in that. He will give us the good gifts, the BEST gifts - we just don't see it yet. 

Rest in Him. Breathe Him in. Believe He desires to give you the best of things, for eternity. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Super Moon...

The wedding is over, the guests packing to return home. We gaze out to the Super Moon raising on the horizon... so beautiful...

In time I'll be getting into my blog...getting back into all of my work schedule. My family is still visiting, and I'm savoring the moments with them. In a week, I'll be here alone and back into a normal routine... But tonight, I'm watching the moon, holding my grandson, laughing with my sisters.... giving praise to God!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Paper or...Electronic??

I was thinking the other day of the time I did childcare in our home - 2 little sisters of dear close as family that friends could get. 

Each day, one of the little girls would see me sitting in "my chair" and reading my Bible. Some days she'd toddle up to me and climb in my lap as I'd read that day's Proverb, or whatever else was on my reading schedule for the day (or as God led me to read). It was clear, even from a distance, what I was doing.

But now I've gotten into the habit of reading my devotions, Bible studies and even Bible off of whatever electronic device is handy...usually my phone, sometimes an e-reader or my laptop. No one can tell if I'm deep in spiritual thought or playing Words With Friends! It didn't really impact me until my grandkids were around me, and I wondered what did THEY think I was doing.

SO, I've made a point to go back to my paper Bible as much as possible. I want to leave a legacy of Bible Readers, and I want that visual to be told over and over again; remembering Grandma Marina sitting in "her chair" and reading her Bible...not always on her computer (because I spend a lot of time on that anyways), but reading God's Words. 

Of course, more than the memory of me reading my Bible, I want them to see actions and words that are evident of the Fruits of the Spirit in my life; Fruits that are nurtured when I spend time in God's Word, and in prayerful conversation with Him. There's no other way to get that. No way of faking God's Fruit!

So I challenge you, put down the (enter your favorite electronic device here) and find that paper Bible, dust it off, and put it next to your favorite chair. Whether morning or evening, if there's a child in the house, I think you'll find they enjoy climbing on your lap and reading along with you... and if there's not a child in your house, then enjoy a special time alone with God, to enjoy His peace in solitude.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

On Getting OLD--er than Middle Age

I've always been fascinated (and admittedly saddened) when I see people get old. When their minds go before their bodies, that's hard...but I think it's harder on loved ones when the mind is sharp and the body declines quickly.

Some people ARE old, but their minds stay sharp and their bodies active. Is there a connection? I think we continue to push our failing joints around the neighborhood...under the illusion of daily walking the dog...(who praise God doesn't know how to spell or read yet, because she sure knows that word!); and utilize the facade of improving our mind as we learn new games, play on the Wii and remain avid backgammon players...all for the sake of "remaining young".

I've seen a few Type A personalities get old...I don't think that's what I am, but I stay busy enough that sometimes I worry that I am. Type A's get pushy and manipulative in old age. Whether it's your time or the conversation, they are LARGE and in charge. My theory is that they are so used to running something (a company, a club, or their family) that when they lose that job, that spouse, or their health, they choose to control what they can...the "people pleasers" of the world (now, THAT would be me!).

I'm glad that I've observed this more than one allows me to set firmer boundaries and extend a little grace when they monopolize conversations. Hehe

I pray that I'm a sweet old lady...rephrased, that I'll BECOME a sweet old lady. I have known a few of them too; full cookie jars on the counter and a few cats in the house.  Maybe a dog. Always happy to see you, whether you arrived in the middle of her nap, or the Wheel of Fortune. Never says anything gossipy, or mean, about the other blue haired ladies. Always wears a smile (even while she shifts her teeth around!) and gladly shuffles around the tiny kitchen to put water on for tea...and another cookie? (Yes please!)

Maybe I'll be an avid gutter sweeper, like my mother's mother was. Perhaps I'll grow a great herb garden (raised bed) or prize roses? Maybe I'll crochet by the window, counting stitches with my eyes closed, until I fall asleep, dog at my feet.

I just want to be a sweet servant! I want my home to have the aroma of Christ, the Holy Spirit to dwell there. That my attitude would reflect the presence of God in my life...and in my home...and I want the neighborhood kids to want to come by to see me! To empty those cookie jars! :)

Lord, let it be so!

My Aunt Cor and her brother - my dad. Mid 1980's

Mark's Nana and Grandad, when our kids were tiny.

Me with dear Mom/Friend/Mentor Charlotte (aka the Quilt Lady, or the Goat Lady!).

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