Friday, April 18, 2014

The Dream

Easter is not about bunnies and eggs.  It’s about the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross so that we might be forgiven.  Imagine how much love God had for each of us.  He gave His own son for us.  Jesus willingly went to the cross as an expression of this love.

One night I had a dream

That seemed so real to me.

I saw my Lord and Savior

On top of Mount Calvary.

A crown of thorns was on His head

Nails pierced His side.

The soldiers laughed and mocked Him

Until my Savior died.

When I awoke, my face was wet

With the tears that I had cried.

But He gave me eternal life--

The day my Savior died.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Great Possum Caper

 

One day my husband fixed a leak under the commode in my bathroom. Being the handyman he is, he is, he cut a small hole in the floor to make it easier to reach the pipe. Fine--no problem—leak fixed. Now he will fix the hole and life goes on, right? Wrong! He decided to leave the hole for a few days to make sure the leak is really fixed. Now that few days has turned into months. Although it is a small hole, I have tried my best to conceal it but there is just so much I can do to make a hole in the floor attractive. Now fast forward about six months. The hole is still there even though I have done all I can to conceal/decorate it. A hole is a hole and it is still there.

One night I stumble into bed exhausted after transporting four kids to four different activities as well my daily struggles of running a household with four kids. Around 2:00 in the morning my little dog woke me up with frantic barking and yelping. I forced one eye open to see him jumping up and down on the floor by my bed. He looked at me as if to say “I’m trying to protect you, now come on and do your part.” When I did manage to stumble into the bathroom, I was instantly awake. There between the commode and the waste can was a possum! Pugsley, my dog had him trapped. I could not move because I was totally in shock until Pugsley barked again as if to say, “See, I told you. Now get rid of it. I’m tired and want to go to sleep.”

Frantically, I woke up my husband and screamed, “THERE’S A POSSUM IN MY BATHROOM! GET UP AND KILL IT!” He looked at me as though I had totally lost my mind. “Ok, get me something to use to kill it,” he calmly said. I ran to my grandson’s room and came back with a ball bat. I gave the bat to hubby and jumped on my bed and covered my eyes. I could hear the battle raging on the bathroom. “HISS!” “POW!” “KA-POW! “BOOM!” finally all was silent so I opened my eyes. There on the floor lay the lifeless body of the intruder. I picked it up carefully by the tail, placed it into a plastic bag and ran to throw it into the outside garbage can. I was finally able to fall to sleep but the bathroom light was left on for the rest of the night.

I bet you thought this was the end of my story. WRONG! I pulled into my driveway the next morning after running errands and three kids met me at the car. All three were talking at once. I was finally able to understand their excitement when Christian told me, “Nanny, there is a possum in our garbage can,” “and he is alive,” Alyssa interrupted him to excitedly tell me. “Yeah, he is ALIVE!” Nikolas finished with excitement written all over his face. I went over to the garbage can to see for myself. Sure enough, when I raised the lid of the can, I could see two beady little eyes staring up at me. I slammed the lid down and got the kids into the house after explaining to them to stay away from the garbage can and leave the creature alone.

I don’t know what happened to our uninvited guest. The kids think he escaped and is now living happily-albeit traumatized-with his family. I hope that is what happened, but at least, he is living out his life in my house with my family.

When I was finally able to sit down for my visit with God, I asked Him, as I always do “What doe you want to talk bout today, Father?” His answer came as a total surprise to me. “I want to told about the possum.”

“What about the possum?” I asked in astonishment.

“That was a small hole in your floor, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, it was a very small hole.” I answered, not sure this conversation was going but definitely intrigued by it.

“Well that possum was able to come into house through that small hole, wasn’t he?”

“Y e a h,” I slowly answered.

“Just like that possum squeezing through such a small unguarded hole in the floor, the enemy can enter your heart through a small unguarded hole in your heart. Just as that intruding animal filled you with dread, the enemy can fill your heart with fears and worries. When he does that you do not fully trust me to care for you.”

Suddenly, I understood what He was telling me. We must always guard our hearts against the enemy that roams around who he cab devour. Satan doesn’t need a door with a flashing neon welcome sign, he enters through a hole he finds unguarded. Don’t make it easy for him to enter your heart. Fill your heart with joy and love and trust in your Heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally and will never leave you unprotected.

Oh, by the way—the hole in my floor has been fixed!

Today’s Whisper:

Have you ever left your heart unguarded? Did the enemy enter in and fill your heart with doubts and fears? Journal about the doubts and fears you had and write out a prayer confessing about them and ask God to come into that hole left by doubt. Just as the enemy can enter our heart God can close that hole with His peace and joy.

Today’s Prayer:

Loving Father, help me to be ever vigilant to guard my heart against the enemy’s attacks. Only you can fill my heart with the peace and joy I crave. Make me ever mindful of your love and care for me. I surrender my heart and soul to you. I know you will never leave me or forsake me. I covet your presence in my life today and forever. Amen.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

He Lifts Me Up

I was having a bad day recently. I know you think all my days are bad by the other stories I write. But, honestly, my life is not all that bad. Anyway, I found this clipping I had filed back and it was just what I needed to realize He is watching out for me. God is so awesome.

I know He is in control and after a heart felt talk with Him, I felt as though a load of bricks had been lifted from my shoulders.

When I fall, He lifts me up!

When I fail, He forgives!

When I am weak, He is strong!

When I am lost, He is the way!

When I am afraid, He is my courage!

When, I stumble, He steadies me!

When I am hurt, He heals me!

When I am broken, He mends me!

When I am blind, He leads me!

When I am hungry, He feeds me!

When I face trials, He is with me!

When I face persecution, He shields me!

When I face problems, He comforts me!

When I face loss, He provides for me!

When I face Death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody everywhere, every time and every day!

He is God, He is faithful

I am His, and He is mine.

My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.

So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure,

Understand this…

He said it and that settles it!

God is in control, I am on His side,

And that means all is well with my soul.

Author Unknown

Thursday, April 3, 2014

In a Desert Place

When I’m in a desert place

Where fears and doubts abound,

I look up to Jesus for I know

He’s already looking down.

When I’m in a desert place

And feel overwhelmed by despair,

I can hear Jesus whisper to me,

“My child,” I’m always near.

“I will never leave nor forsake you

Though from me you often stray.

Just take my hand and hold it

And I will lead the way.”

When I’m in a desert place

Lord, help me to see

That there are others hurting

Even more than me.

So let me thank you, Father

For this trial I’m going through,

Because this desert place

Has brought me back to you.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Eating With A Three Foot Spoon

Shared joy is joy doubled. Shared sorrow is sorrow halved. Anonymous One night a man had a dream. In his dream he was escorted down into hell. He saw a round table filled with delicious food. People were sitting around the table with three-foot long spoons in their hands. They were wretched, skeletal, and starving because the spoons were long enough to reach the food, butt too long to put the food in their mouths. The people were angry and frustrated because they could not feed themselves. He was then escorted to Heaven. There he saw an identical table with the mouth-watering bowls of food. Here too the people hold three-foot long spoons. But instead of being wretched, these people were healthy and full of joy. Laughter and songs filled the room. In great love the people were feeding each other. Selected This story illustrates the difference between thinking only of ourselves and putting other people first. When we think of ourselves and strive only to get what we want no one is happy. Too often we will help someone with the expectation of getting something in return. This can be called "what's in it for me?" syndrome A modern affliction suffered by many people is called "Me-itis". Symptoms include a severe craving for "It's mine and I want it; I deserve to get what I want when I want it. What's in it for me? Me, me, me...." There is no quick fix or remedy for this malady. A daily appointment with God, the Great Healer, is our only hope for relief. His medicine always works and has no negative side effects. Without treatment victims of "me-itis" will live lives of hell on earth. When we put other peoples' needs first we will all be happier. The secret to a well-lived life is to live as an encouragement to others. It doesn't take a large bank account to make a difference in someone else's life. A warm smile, an encouraging word, or even a hug to a person who is experiencing difficulty in life can be all it takes to lift them up and let them know that someone actually cares. We all have struggles in life but when we take time to share each other's burdens, life can be happier for all of us. God sent His son to demonstrate love and compassion for us. He even commanded us to "love our neighbor as we love ourselves." Doing good deeds for others will not only lift them up but will also bring us great joy. At your next party with "three-foot spoons" don't try to feed yourself. Instead feed each other and you will find it to be a very satisfying meal indeed! The mind is in its own place, and it itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. John Milton Paradise Lost

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving—Not Just One Day

I want to wish all my friends and family Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy all the good food and company of family and friends but don't forget to thank God who has blessed us so much throughout the year. Let's make every day a day of Thanksgiving because God continues His blessings throughout the year--not just one day. Some of you I will never meet but that doesn't mean I don't think of you often and whisper a prayer for you.

A Mother’s Holiday

Up before dawn

Sweeping and mopping

Too much to do

No time for stopping.

The family is nestled

all snug in their beds,

While visions of a turkey dinner

dance in their heads.

There’s cooking to be done

and laundry to do.

gotta scrub the floors

and clean the windows too.

The TV comes on

the family is awake`--

How much more

do you think I can take

The relatives pour in with

shouts of good cheer.

Why did I offer to have

the family dinner here?

Now that the meal is done

the relatives leave amid

shouts of good wishes.

While hubby and the kids watch TV

Guess who gets stuck with the dishes!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Where Is That Empty Nest?

Every little girl has a dream.  She dreams of falling in love, getting married, and having a family. I was no different.  I wanted to find my Mr.. Right, marry him and have two perfect children:  a boy that would hunt, fish, play baseball and do all the manly things with his dad; and a little girl that would let me teach her how to do all the feminine little things that girls like to do.  Well, I had a little boy and a little girl and my life was perfect. 

When the kids grew up, a new dream began to unfold.  I was looking forward to be a grandmother.  I would be the type that would spoil the grandkids because they would only be visiting.  Well, I did enjoy the kids and did spoil them BUT I was given custody of them and now I am responsible for their daily needs and all their wants.  This can’t be too bad, I thought.  I will just be raising kids all over again.  In fact, it was fun having the grandkids around all day everyday.  I did not stop to think that they would grow up and I would grow older.  That is the life cycle isn’t it.  Kids grow up and grandparents grow older.  Although, I am not as young as I used to be, I still manage to provide for these precious little ones.  I have four active kids that are now in school and I get to attend all their functions.  I have been able to attend all of the social events of the seasons from ballet recitals to championship baseball games.  In fact, I am on a first name basis with the superstars and coaches.  What could be better than this?  I do admit I get tired but when I look at the bright expectant faces I gain a new sense of strength and love every minute of sharing life with these gifts from God.

When I hear people talking of the empty nest syndrome and how lonely they are, I realize that I still have the sound of kids’ laughter and fighting in my house.  My house doesn’t always stay clean and I do get frustrated trying to keep up with the housework.  When I feel overwhelmed by the lack of time to get all the housework done, I realize there are more important things than a shiny house.  My house does stay clean enough for health but has that comfortable lived in look and feel.  In fact, my house is well lived in.  I do keep my floors clean enough you can eat off them.  Yeah, over here is some bread, there is a french fry or two and if you look closely you might even be able to find a cookie or two for dessert.

I always thought that when my kids were grown and had kids of their own, my husband and I would be able to retire, spend time getting to know each other again and travel whenever and wherever we wanted to.  I guess that will have have to wait because God has given me a task that is more important than any other I can think of.  Sure, I could be working and obtaining new possessions but what could would material possessions give me when I have the love of my grandkids.  Of course, they don’t get everything they want but God is good and lets me provide everything they need.

No matter how tired and discouraged I get I realize the blessings God has given me when He put these kids in my life.  I always ask Him for strength and grace to make it through the day and He is always faithful to provide what I need.  I do not get paid for caring for these children in earthly ways but my reward is much more valuable because I am paid in pure love.

I hope I leave these kids with a legacy of love.  I want them to know that I loved them but, even more importantly, I want them to know God loves them.  I want to teach them about Him and His love.  They should be taught that with Him by their side and holding their hands, they will be able to accomplish anything and do whatever He asks of them.  I can provide the material things they need but I want them to know that God can provide for them even more than I can. 

While other people are suffering from the empty nest syndrome, I consider myself fortunate that I still have children in my life.  I just ask God to give me the wisdom and strength to bring them up in the way He wants me to.  I know He will because He said He would and my God keeps all of His promises.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

If I Only Had a Brain!

I think my all time favorite movie when I was a kid had to be “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”.   I would watch Dorothy, Toto, and their friends travel the Yellow Brick
Road in search of Emerald City and the Great Wizard.  I remember tuning out the world and feel as though I were with them and experiencing all their adventures as they did.  For weeks afterward I would walk around the house singing (or at least trying to) sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.  Believe me my family were glad when I quit singing.

Anyway, you can imagine my excitement when I had a chance to watch this movie with my grandchildren.  I wanted them to have the opportunity to see a wonderful movie and hoped they would like it as much as I do. We decided to make it a movie night with popcorn, sleeping bags, and all the junk food we could eat.  As the opening music began we settled down with our bowls of popcorn for a wonder filled night.

Soon, however , I began to hear that still small voice begin to speak to me.  I knew the voice was my Heavenly Father but I was totally unprepared for what He had to say to me.

“Do you see that the adventures Dorothy and her friends have are like the doubts and fears that can rob you of your peace and joy?  Fears and doubts sneak in when you least expect them and take control of your life.” 

When I heard this, I began to see that I was letting these fears and doubts haunt me every day.  When I am thinking that all is well and my life could not be any better, the old doubts and insecurities begin to creep into my mind and fears sneak in to send my world spinning out of control.

Like Dorothy I long for love and security.  Too often I have looked for these in wrong places and with wrong people.  I have even counted on filling the hole in my heart through obtaining more and more material possessions.  Instead of giving me a sense of security, I found I had created more stress and problems by having more financial difficulties.  These difficulties in turn created more stress and offers no security.

The Lion was looking for courage which he already possessed and proved during their travels to Oz.  Although I have shown courage when faced with some situations, I find myself cowering in fear all too often.  When my life overwhelms me and seems to spin out of control, I am frozen in fear and try to hide from life.

The Tin Man wants a heart in order to show emotion.  Sometimes I feel as though my heart is missing when my problems seem to take over my life.  I find myself focusing on me and my problems instead of looking around me and seeing the pain of other people.  When I do focus on others, I often find their problems are much bigger and more serious than mine.  I then remember that I am put on this earth to help and encourage others.  I am commanded to come alongside others and help them in their times of troubles.  When I do this I find my heart is there and beating strong.

Yes, I even find a part of me when I see the Scarecrow.  Remember,. he was looking for a brain.  When I want to take my life back into my own hands and do not trust God, I find my brain does not want to work.  Instead of telling me to listen to God, it is telling me not to listen to God.  It is telling me, “You don’t need help.  You are in control of your life and can handle it on your own terms.

Too often I have trusted the “Great Oz”.  He offers a false sense of security.  He tells me he can get me home where I can find the love and security I seek.  He leads me to believe he can give me courage to face my trials, a heart to show compassion, and a brain that will solve all my problems.  But what he is telling me are lies….lies that are meant to take my eyes off my Father who can offer me these things.

I have learned through many hard lessons that only with God can I live a life of peace and joy.  God is the life giver and sustainer of life and security.  I will have doubts and fears and suffer from insecurity but He will always be by my side to see me through the troublers I face.  I will not have smooth sailing every day but He will never let me down.  Sometimes He will calm the storm, but often He will calm me so I can make it through the storm.  Although I will feel insecure and unloved, lack courage, lose my heart for compassion, or my brain is sending me wrong signals, I know He is there giving me His messages of love and peace.  I know that even when I feel like Dorothy looking for security and a way home, I know He loves me and He gives me the greatest security that I will ever know.

After the movie ended, I looked over at the kids.  They were all sound asleep but I knew I would never look at this movie the same way again.  A childhood favorite has now become a daily reminder that God’s love can be seen in day to day life.  I might let God down but He will never let me down.  How encouraging is that?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Where My Loyalties Lie

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  Psalm 118:8

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:12

 

I am not a Democrat.

I am not a Republican.

I am a human born in America.


Above all else I am a Christian.  God is my Father and my leader.  Everything I am or do is because of His love for me and my love for Him.   I have rights and responsibilities that are given to me by God which cannot be taken from me by anybody, including the government.

I have the responsibility to be a missionary for Him.  All Christians are given this mandate and should not take it lightly.  I may not be called to serve in a foreign field, but I am called to be a missionary to my family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.  This is a rich field for broadcasting the news of the Gospel.  I have a responsibility to teach my children about Him.  If I don’t teach them about Him, the world is waiting to detour them to worldly ways.  I try to live a life that shows His mighty love and grace.  I want to radiate His love because I may be the only Bible that many people will read.  I am called to stand up for Him and His Kingdom.  This is very difficult at times but I do know that what God calls me to do He will equip me to accomplish the task set before me.  I do know that He will give me the strength and courage to do what He wants me to do.  In fact, He is doing just that right now as I type this.  I know some people will be offended by my message but Jesus said, “If you deny me in front of men, I will deny you in front of my Father.”


God has also given many gifts and blessings.  One of these is a freedom of choice—free will.  No earthly government can take that from me.    This country, no, this world, is in a cycle of destruction.  It seems that decency and morals have totally been put in reverse.  What God calls good and just is now against the law.  Christians have been called terrorists and racist if we stand up for what is right and just.  Evil is rewarded and godly living is condemned.  What were once freedoms in America is now being usurped by the government.  Our freedom of choice is being eroded with the persecutions of Christians and the “law” that one insurance plan be used.

I am using my free will God gave me and live up to my moral standards and live my life to please God and not men.  It is true that my life can be taken away, my soul cannot be taken because my heavenly Father sent His son, Jesus, to pay the price for my soul.  I accepted His free gift and now my soul belongs to Him.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I’m Growing Down

I’m Growing Down

Recently my granddaughter completed kindergarten. Although she should have been happy and excited about entering first grade in the fall, she went around the house with a very sad look on her face. Instead of celebrating the end of the school with her friends she proclaimed, “I want to stay in kindergarten!” Needless to say this took me by surprise but Tori refused to explain to me what she meant by that statement.

One night after reading a story together and saying our prayers I again brought up the subject of her going into first grade. Aren’t you excited about going into first grade in the fall?” “No, nanny, I’m not. I want to stay in kindergarten for the rest of my life.” Now this was not exactly what I expected to hear. My son and daughter were glad to be “one of the big kids” so they could be one of the “old” timers at school—the envy of the little kids in kindergarten.

After recovering from the shock of Tori’s remarks I attempted to explain to her that we all “graduate” from one stage in life to another. I went to tell her how each stage is built upon the last stage to help us grow. Imagine my shock when she looked at me with tears running down her face and said, “Nanny, I know that but growing up is so scary.” I hugged her to me and brushed the tears from her eyes and sighed. She was right—growing up is scary—and I was at a total loss for words of comfort until I had an idea (a brilliant idea for me, I thought).

“Listen, Honey,” I gently began. “I know growing up is hard but I am growing older too and it is scary for me. Wow! This is brilliant, I thought to myself. So I continued, “You know growing up can be fun. Just think, Sweetheart, you are going to learn how to do so many new things, meet new friends and have so much fun. But I’m growing older and won’t be able to do as many things as I once did. That is what makes growing older scary for me.”

After I had finished explaining this to her, I congratulated myself on my wonderful wisdom. I sat back, kissed her cheek gently, and asked her if she understood what I was saying. With solemn eyes she replied, “Yeah, I think so.” Then her eyes widened with understanding and a smile crossed her face. “I understand now Nanny,” she exclaimed with a leap into my arms. “I’m growing up and you’re growing down. Wow! Out of the mouth of babes! I had not thought of it quite that way but she was absolutely right. I used to be able to mow my yard, clean my house completely and still p0ractice baseball with the kids. Now if I can make sure the house is clean enough not to condemned by the health officials I congratulate myself on making it through another week.

This sobering conversation with Tori caused me to reflect on my life. I was reminded of the challenges I have faced in my life. Some of these challenges left me feeling overwhelmed and confused about the meaning of my life. I never doubted God’s love for me but I did have doubts about my ability. I realized that these challenges made me stronger and wiser. I would not be the person I am today without these experiences. I realized that God has not let me down but instead had held me up during these trying times.

I might be “growing down” in the physical realm, but I know that God is “growing me up” with His love and grace. He is always with me each day to give me the wisdom and strength I need to fulfill His purpose in my life.

As I thought back on my life span, I began to realize that we should not just grow “down” in age but we should always strive to grow up also. To grow up in the Lord is something we should all do whether we are young or old. I hope that I am able to help Tori grow in her relationship with God and always look to Him for her strength.

Yes, Tori, growing up can be scary but with God holding our hands, there is nothing we cannot do. I want you remember that God will grow us to be the people He intends for us to be if we only believe that everything is possible with Him and He promises us a life that is eternal and abundant.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

Then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect, the mature body of Him who is the that is Christ.

Ephesians 4:15, 16

But grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:18

Today’s Whisper: Journal about ways you can mature in the Lord.  What does maturing in the Lord mean to you:? Does maturing in the Lord automatically come with age or does it take effort on our part:?

Today's Prayer: Father, help me to grow in wisdom and knowledge of you. Hold my hands and help me as I go through each day. I depend on you and your word. I know that you love me and are always there for me. Help Tori as she grows up to always follow you so she can always know you are there for her in the stages of growing—both physically and spiritually.

*Since writing this, the little girl in the story is now entering college and I have seen three others children through kindergarten.  Through it all they continue to grow up and I continue to grow down.  But I do know that God will help them to grow up and me to grow up in Him.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Walk To Peace

For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

The other day I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I had recently lost my job. We should have been able to make it and able to live comfortably on one income. However, we had recently been granted custody of three grandchildren, in addition to, one we have had for most of her life. I do love these children and will do anything to make sure they receive the love and care they need. I must admit that these extra mouths to feed and clothe did create some stress. To add to this stress, our “grown children” are always asking for financial assistance. I lost my job when I received custody of these children. Please don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about this switching of roles in my life but I did feel upset because of the shortage of money to provide the little extras every child wants.

Now my cupboard is bare. I have a mountain of laundry and the sink is full of dirty dishes. I admit I started feeling sorry for myself and started complaining about my life situation. “Lord, show me what I can do to provide what these children need. I love them and want only the best for them. But am I what they need?”

Suddenly a peace came over me and I heard a whisper in my heart. “Go for a walk.” I did not think I had heard right but I heard the voice again. “Go for a walk.” “But God, I have too much to do: I have dishes to wash, floors to sweep and mop and laundry to do. Besides, the kids will be home in a few hours tired and hungry.” “Go for a walk.” “Ok, Lord,” I said as I began putting on my walking shoes.

Wondering what I was supposed to learn, I started walking along a route I had taken before. Suddenly about halfway through my walk, I saw it. It was a beautiful flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk. It was the most beautiful flower I had ever seen. The petals were a beautiful yellow color and reminded me of a ray of sunshine. I looked around but did not see another flower like this anywhere. It was then that God began to teach me the lesson He wanted me to learn. “This is what I wanted you to see. That flower is growing in a hard place but it is growing where the seed fell. It has overcome obstacles like the hot sun beating down on it and people stepping on it. Yet it is still here because I have taken care of it. If I can take care of this flower, don’t you know that I will take care of you? I know you feel overwhelmed at tines and feel as though you are all alone. You are where I want you be at this point in your life. Those kids need you. You are the person I picked that will teach them about me. You are to be an example of my love and let them see me through your life. Don’t worry. Just put your trust in me. Whatever I ask of you, I will equip you. Remember, I do not call the qualified. I qualify the called.” Suddenly, a peace came over me and I knew I was fulfilling His plan for my life. I know that He will be with me and give me the wisdom and strength to accomplish what He wants me to do.

I went back home with reassurance that the dishes, the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning are important because I am doing God’s will by bringing up these children to know God and His love. Just like that flower in the sidewalk, God will watch over me and give me the strength to make it through each day. I know I am important in the lives of these children and they are learning about God through my love and care for them. I still get overwhelmed at times with everything that must be done but I know the work I am doing is the most important work that I can do. I can rest assured that what I am doing today will be passed on through these children and they will know God as their Father.

Today’s Whisper:

Do you get discouraged with your life’s work. Do you ever wonder why you are doing what you are doing? Write about how your life seems to be getting out of control and how a visit with God can set your life on the right track. Just like the flower, we must bloom where we are planted—whether it is as a stay at home mom or out in the work world.

Today’s Prayer:

Father, help me to remember that you are in control of my life and have placed me in the special life you want me to have. Don’t let me forget that you can take care of that flower growing in that hard place and you will always be there to take care of me. I love you and trust you with my life and know that you will bless me while I am doing your work. I know you have plans for my peace and happiness and I claim that promise.

Amen

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Lord and I

One day I felt so overwhelmed with work and worry, I could not quiet my mind and relax.  I began to call out to God for help.  This is the prayer prayed.

Lord, when my life seems to be spinning out of control help me to stop and smell the roses.  Help me to savor each moment and not rush through the moments on my way to some other time and place.   Help me to take the time to see—really see—all your blessing and to truly feel your love in my heart.  Help me to be still and hear your small still voice.

When I paused and asked Him for help, here is what He said to me.

“My child, I love you and want to enjoy your company.  Just come and sit with me and tell me about your day.  I am here for you.  All you need to do is slow down and enjoy being with me.  There is nothing you do that does not interest me.  Remember you are my child and I am your father.  I love you.  Come to me and rest.”

I then turned off my computer, went into the living room and just sat there.  I felt the peace of His love as He encircled me in His loving arms.  My worries left and we just sat there with our arms around each other—my Lord and I.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kids Today

Our children today can read of evolution

And are taught we come from apes.

They can learn of hate and prejudice

And are encouraged to murder and rape.

Family life is becoming obsolete

In this great country today.

Why it’s just ‘not cool’

To kneel with your family and pray.

Alcohol, drugs, and sex

Are the ‘in things’ to do.

The only thing that really matters

Is what feels good to you.

Our children today are taught that sexual perversion

Is nothing but an alternate lifestyle,

Homosexuality is not a sin--

Why I can almost see Satan smile.

Our children are exposed

To so many of Satan’s snares.

Yet in school they are not allowed to

Bow their heads in prayer.

The Ten Commandments have been taken

Out of our schools by law,

Because the government tries to tell us

They are not meant for all.

The results of this perversion is

Becoming clearer each day--

Kids can kill each other

But it’s wrong for them to pray.

 

I wrote this years ago, but it is becoming more true today.  We all need to turn to God and let Him take His rightful place in our hearts, our homes and our country.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

School Shopping Blues

This time of year is bittersweet for me.  Watching frazzled mothers taking their children school shopping brings back many memories of shopping for my own two children.

The excitement of buying new clothes and attempting to negotiate with the children to get items that are within budget but will still pass the peer inspection can cause major meltdowns for parents and children.

I remember the scenes with my two children—especially my daughter.  When she reached her teen years, shopping became a nightmare for both of us.  “But Mom, you just don’t understand.  Nobody wears this style anymore!”  These words echo through my mind when I see moms and kids going through what must be the universal conflict parents and children have every year at this time.


The other day at a local department store I observed a very interesting exchange between a pre-teen girl and her mother.  The girl was trying to convince her mother to buy a very expensive pair of shoes.  I heard the young girl; exclaim to her mother, “Burt Mom, nobody wears that brand anymore.  If I wear these to school my life will be ruined.   I will be so embarrassed.”  I could see the conflict in the mother’s mind.  Should she buy the shoes so her daughter will be happy or convince her darling daughter to buy a less expensive pair of shoes?  Just when I thought she was going to give in to her daughter’s pleadings, the daughter’s attention was diverted to a more sensible and less expensive.  A smile crossed both their faces and peace was restored.  As they paid for their purchases and walked out the door arm in arm, I smiled and thought of the many times I had gone through the same scenario with my own daughter.

]My mind was suddenly jolted back to the present when I hard a familiar voice saying, “Nanny, why can’t I have these shoes?  I turned my attention back to my twelve year old granddaughter and the only shoes in the entire store that would make her totally happy with her life and with me.  After much discussion and a few tears, we found another pair that would help her retain her social status and restore my role as hero in her eyes.

You see, although my children are  grown, I now have  four grandchildren to take care of and all of them will be in school this year.  Although the years have passed since  my children were in school, shopping for the rite of passage known as ‘the first day of a new school year has changed little over time.

No matter how many tempers flare and disagreements arise , all is forgiven on that all important first day of school when the most beautiful and intelligent children in the world wave ‘goodbye’ as they step on the bus to embark on a fresh new adventure.

*Since I wrote this , the twelve year old will be going to college this fall.  The adventure continues however.   I now have a sixth grader, a fourth grader and a third grader.  It looks like this rite of passage will continue in my life for a few  more years.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It Will Not Be Long

From Charles Spurgeon's "Faith's Checkbook" It Will Not Be Long June 26 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:8) The last word in the Canticle of love is, "Make haste, my beloved," and among the last words of the Apocalypse we read, "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come"; to which the heavenly Bridegroom answers, "Surely I come quickly." Love longs for the glorious appearing of the Lord and enjoys this sweet promise - "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh." This stays our minds as to the future. We look out with hope through this window. This sacred "window of agate" lets in a flood of light upon the present and puts us into fine condition for immediate work or suffering. Are we tired? Then the nearness of our joy whispers patience. Are we growing weary because we do not see the harvest of our seed-sowing? Again this glorious truth cries to us, "Be patient." Do our multiplied temptations cause us in the least to waver? Then the assurance that before long the Lord will be here preaches to us from this text, "Stablish your hearts." Be firm, be stable, be constant, "stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." Soon will you hear the silver trumpet which announces the coming of your King. Be not in the least afraid. Hold the fort, for He is coming; yea, He may appear this very day. From the Faith's Checkbook Mobile Devotional Android app - http://www.LookingUpwardApps.com/fcb

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lessons From a Bumblebee

Scientists have told us

Bumblebees cannot fly.

Their bodies are not designed for it.

There’s no need for them to try.

 

If you’ve seen a bumblebee  flitting

From here to there.

They don’t know they cannot fly

Nor do they really care.

 

The God that made the bumblebee

Is the one that made me and you,

So hold on tight to Jesus’s hand

And there’s nothing you can’t do.

 

We can learn a valuable lesson

From the bumblebee so small.

If we keep our eyes on Jesus

He’ll catch us when we fall.

 

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

From Charles Spurgeon's "Faith's Checkbook" A Sound Heart June 19 Let my heart be sound in thy statues: that I be not ashamed. (Psalm 119:80) We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so. See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart toward the truth is best of all. We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise we are not truly sound in God's statutes. Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort! Many will be ashamed in the last great day, when all disputes will be decided. Then they will see the folly of their inventions and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught and did what the Lord commanded will stand forth justified in what he did. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day. Let us pray the prayer of our text, and we may be sure that its promise will be fulfilled to us. If the Lord makes us sound, He will keep us safe. From the Faith's Checkbook Mobile Devotional Android app - http://www.LookingUpwardApps.com/fcb

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Changing the World

Let there peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Unknown Monk 1100 AD

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

We all have said at one time or another, “If only the world were different....If only this country got back to the basics of life.... I wish the city government would.....” Admit it you have said that and so have I. Well, we cannot change the world, the country or the town. Believe me, if we could we would not please everyone. We cannot even change our family. But there is one thing we can change—ourselves. If we put more time into improving ourselves and less time worrying about others, we would slowly notice the change in other people. If we spent time with God everyday our families would notice the peace that time alone with the Father brings. If we start exercising on a regular basis, we would notice out health improve and so will our families.

A woman was praying to God one day to change her husband. He was not as attentive to her as he once was. The answer was not what she expected to hear. “You cannot change him, only change yourself. Be more attentive to him and expect his behavior to change.” She decided to give it a try. She started meeting him at the door after work and even wore clothes other than her sweat pants she had been cleaning the house in. She would ask him about his day and actually listen to him. She served his favorite dinners and showed him she loved him. To her surprise, he did become more attentive to her and began taking her out more. When their friends noticed the change in their relationship, the wife explained what she had learned. This made a difference in her friends' relationships, as well. She found out that by changing herself, she did manage to change her little corner of the world.

So my friends if you want to see change, it must begin within. Once we have made that change in ourselves, we will notice the change in other people.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Embrace the Morning

 

When we awaken each morning God gives us a manifestation of His love for us—a new day! But too often we do not even notice His gift because we are simply too busy. We live our lives in overdrive. Today our lives are filled with so many obligations and demands other people place on me: our family, our careers, our friends—the list goes on and on. As mothers we so busy caring for other people in our lives, we too often fail to slow down enough to witness the beauty of each new day. We cook, clean, run errands, transport kids to and from their numerous activities. And this list just scratches the surface of our “duties.”

God did not intend for us to live our lives at such a frantic pace. We were created for fellowship with Him and He yearns for that intimate relationship with us. Beloved slow down and spend time with your Heavenly Father today. Embrace each new day He gives you. Enjoy His artistic hand in the glow of the beautiful sunrise of each new morning. Savor the beautiful sunset He puts in the sky each night for your pleasure. After all He is your Father, and He loves all of His children.

Today’s Whisper:

This week take some time to slow down and see what God has given you. Look for His creativity during your day. Thank God for sharing his beautiful handiwork with you. Remember He made this beauty for you to enjoy and fellowship with Him.

Today’s Prayer:

God, thank you for making each new day for me. How wonderful is you creativity. Help me to slow down and enjoy an intimate relationship with you. May I never forget your love for me. Awaken me each morning with your wonderful sunrise and let me remember it all day.