Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quiet Moments With God -- In The Palm Of His Hand

The past several weeks have been hectic. My husband has been driving up and down Interstate 5 to complete work on my mother's homes. We've moved from one house to another. Our daughter moved into a new place. And my husband is now making repairs on a rental home so it will be ready for new renters. In the middle of all this the regular pulse of family life continues--illness, time with Mom, an election, football games for one grandson and wrestling practice for another, financial concerns and on it goes.

I've felt a bit frazzled, but God knows what's going on in my life. And as He so often does He gently reminds me that He has me and those I love in the palm of His hand.

This morning when I sat down to read a devotion from Streams in the Desert this is what I found.

"It is not necessary to be continually speaking to God, or always hearing from God, in order to have communion or fellowship with Him, for there is an unspeakable fellowship that is sweeter than words. A little child can sit all day long beside his mother, totally engrossed in his playing, while his mother is consumed by her work, and although both are busy and few words are spoken by either, they are in perfect fellowship. The child knows his mother is there, and she knows that he is all right."

What a beautiful picture of what our fellowship with God is supposed to look like. Knowing He is always beside me and watching over me, offers peace. I can rely on Him. All I need to do is remember His presence. When I get frazzled it's a clear indication that I've forgotten God is caring for me.

What a blessed God we have. Even when we get "it" wrong, He remains steadfast and faithful, holding us in the palm of His hand.

Is there something that has you frazzled or afraid? If so, I'd love to pray for you. We can pray for one another.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thoughts For Today: Feeling Overwhelmed

I'm sitting in my office, with boxes of books and other office "stuff" piled around me. We're moving . . . again.

I'm kind of stunned, actually. The last few years we've moved from one of our houses to another several times. It feels like we've been playing musical houses. And I don't really like the game. But family circumstances make it necessary and it's not a big sacrifice, but it is a lot of work.

I like the other house (the main house). It's the place where I raised my kids. It's bigger and it feels cozy.

This morning I'm feeling a bit undone. There's so much to do and everyone in my family is busy, including me. I've got a book that needs editing along with a whole list of other responsibilities. And it all feels like too much.

Yesterday I read a note on Facebook meant for a friend of mine who is undergoing cancer treatment. The comment said, "In order to eat an elephant you have to do it one bite at a time." I've heard this before, but the reminder is a good one. I feel like I'm standing before that elephant.

I've discovered that as I get older little things tend to throw me off balance (figuratively and in reality). I get to feeling overwhelmed easily. I'm sure part of it has to do with my physical disabilities. I get frustrated. I used to be the roll up your sleeves and get to work type of person. I was in "charge" of my life, and these days I have to relinquish that role and abdicate to others.  I'm dependent on other people and in all honesty it sometimes makes me feel kind of useless.

When I think on that I wonder if maybe that's exactly where God wants for me right now. I need to learn to place my life in His hands.

God is clear. He tells me without hesitation that He has a plan for my life and it is a plan to bless me and not harm me. And He tells me that I can do all things through Him. I believe Him. And it is my heart's desire to live according to that belief. However, I  must admit that it is easier said than done. Sheesh, sometimes I wonder if I'll ever grow up in my faith.

I'm going to give it a try and do my best to put aside my frustration and rest in the Lord. But I could really use your prayers.  Thanks so much. I'll be in touch again, from my new office next door.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quiet Moments With God -- Half Empty or Half Full?

Today is my husband's 63rd birthday. We sat on the sofa together this morning and I said sarcastically, "Aren't you thrilled to be sixty-three?"

"Yeah. Thrilled," he said.

Would someone do a happy dance for us? We missed the opportunity.

I'm a "the cup is half empty" type of person. And this morning, as I read in my devotional Streams in the Desert it was made clear to me that I should be a "the cup is half full" type of person. I'd like to write the entire devotional here for you, but I'll just cut to the heart of what I saw. "Cheerfulness in our faith causes any act of service to be performed with delight. Sadness, however, clips those wings.

I've been going around with my wings clipped, not all the time but way to much of the time. Greg and I should be rejoicing over how he's lived sixty-three years. He's had a good life and is still strong and healthy. His life is full of blessings, which spill over onto me.

God is awesome. And He loves me enough to continue to teach me. Yesterday, He provided me with a perfect picture of myself--not a pretty one I might add. I went shopping at our local Walmart and I was in too much pain to walk the entire time so I had to use one of their scooters. The only one left was well past its prime. It barely ran. And when I turned it on a growling noise emanated from it's little engine. When I tried to go forward, it wouldn't move, but it growled more loudly. Finally my daughter gave it a push and off we went, thumping and bumping along. Every so often Sarah would have to give it another push to convince it to continue moving.

Some days, I'm just like that scooter--grumping and growling along.

It's okay to have bad days. We all do. And with life's mishaps and aging bodies we can become like that poor old scooter. I have more and more days when my body just doesn't want to work, but that needn't lead to hopelessness or sadness. I'm still valuable . . . like that scooter. It was broken down, but it carried me through the store, making it possible to get my shopping done. I am grateful for that scooter. And like it, I still have work to do, a calling to fulfill. I can still be a friend to others. And I'm still able to serve my Lord. Praise Him!

I'm lifting my glass in agreement to this line from Streams in the Desert. "My plan is to shun sadness just as I would shun satan."

I'm going to begin to see the cup half full. How about you? Do you see your cup as being half full or half empty?

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, October 12, 2012

Thoughts For Today -- A New Day

The morning is young. It's a new day. As I sit here, considering what the Lord has for me on this day my heart fills with gratitude.

When I got out of bed this morning, my husband was already finishing up the dishes left from last night and he made coffee, just for me. He's such a good man!

I poured myself a cup of coffee and wandered over to my daughter's house. I shared time with her and two of my grandchildren. What a blessed way to begin the day!

I returned home--showered and dressed and then spent quiet time in God's Word where he assures me that "His promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over." What an awesome God we have!

I'm ready to go to work on my present book, where the  true-life story of an extraordinary woman continues to surprise and uplift me.

It's only ten o'clock AM and already I've received more blessings than I deserve. I don't know what the rest of the day will hold, but I know God will be with me.

I hope you've had a good morning. What are your plans for the day? Can you share any special blessings in your life?

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Quiet Moments With God -- Listen

Yesterday morning I sat down to write a devotional for Quiet Moments With God, and I was in a hurry. I'd slept later than usual and my to-do list was long. I had an idea about something that had been rattling around in my mind and heart, but as I started to write I heard this quiet voice say, "Slow Down. How can you have any quiet time with me when you're rushing ahead?"

How ironic. I was writing about moments with God while my heart was hurrying right past Him. I was writing before I'd even taken the time to seek a word from the Lord or listen to what He had to say.

My thoughts went to the story of Mary and Martha in Luke chapter 10 where Martha complains to the Lord about how unfair it is that Mary is sitting at His feet soaking in everything He has to say while she has been working. Jesus tells her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it and it will not be taken away from her."

Once again, I was behaving like Martha. I love the Lord, but I miss so much because I have tasks to complete. Work is good, but the best of life can only be found in Him. I stopped writing, quieted my heart and listened. Again, I heard, "Be still. I am with you. Think upon me."

We cannot hear what God has to say if we're not listening. And so, I encourage you to seek the Lord above all other things. He will meet with you.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Thoughts For Today -- Be A Blessing

Last weekend, my daughter and I drove my mother to Washington State. She wanted to see her home one last time. It has been remodeled and is for sale. She needed to say good-bye. And she needed to spend time with friends and family.

Months ago, when Mom left Washington she was very ill and grieving the death of her husband. She wasn't able to say a proper farewell. This trip was important to her.

I'm not so young these days and with my mother's health issues I was unable to make the trip without help. Both of my daughters stepped up. Sarah traveled with us and with unselfish love she helped her grandmother. Kristi stayed home and watched all the kids (hers and Sarah's).

It was a blessed journey home--filled with treasured memories, though bittersweet. Mom loved her "new" home and we had lots of special time with the important people in her life.

Mom was able to say good-bye.

None of this could have happened without the help of my daughters. I'm grateful for their sacrifice and for their tender hearts.

While reading a post from a dear friend who is suffering through the loss of her health and her home I got to thinking about the value of true friends and loving families. This gal's friends have been with her through every step of her journey and they continue to stand with her, offering love and support.

We need to be those kinds of friends, sisters, mothers, brothers . . . family. The kind who reach out to offer a helping hand and who remind those we love that they matter. And we need to give lots of hugs. Hugs definitely help.

Is there someone in your life who might need a tender word, a helping hand or a hug? Be there for them. It can make all the difference in the quality of their lives . . . and yours.

Grace and peace to you from God,