Beautiful moments

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Anne took this with my phone.

She didn’t mention it either, just left a beautiful picture for me to find.

Life does that as well.

A great example was this morning.

Anne had been asked to help in the nursery for the woman’s meeting this morning.

I talked Bell into going with me since Annie needed a ride.

We had a lovely time and I got to hold a sweet little 9 month old girl who ended up taking a nap in my arms.

Her little sleeping face cuddled up against me was so beautiful.

Recently as I was walking one of my students who has moved on stopped to say hello, despite his peers or schedule.

His thoughtfulness touched my heart.

Earlier this week I was surprised by being hugged from behind.

Sissy had spent two summers caring for this girl who is well on her way to becoming a beautiful woman.

It was so sweet that she took the opportunity to give me a blessing of the moment.

Even yesterday afternoon our son caught the waiver in my voice when referring to something from last school year.

He threw his arms around my neck and said, “Mom, I know how much you miss your students!”

His understanding and compassion were beautiful.

Hopefully I’m being able to share the beauty as well.

Compassion, love, understanding, care, forgiveness, and generosity are all examples of the beauty of God’s love shared.

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for all your examples of the beauty of love. Please help me to walk in Your example and share Your beauty with those around me.

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Attention to detail

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Too often I see the forest,

but miss the tree I’m standing next to.

I see the piles of laundry, and miss the clean freshly vacuumed carpet under my feet.

As far away as yesterday the Lord showed me some details I needed to be aware of.

Each one was within my heart.

What brought them into focus was a dream I’d had two nights before.

It was ridiculous.

I dreamed we were moving to a new house.

Boxes were everywhere and as I climbed up the stairs to the bedrooms I realized the entire floor was buckled like a sway-backed mule.

I was so upset in my dream about the terrible conditions of this new place and  my last emotion before I woke was despair at ever getting things neat and pretty again.

Silly, I know.

Yet I kept thinking about it.

Why was it so tender to my emotions that this dream seemed to prick my heart?

The Lord showed me a fear I didn’t realize was there.

Actually, I was used to it to the point I thought it was completely normal.

Wrong.

Why am I afraid of our home being out of control in one aspect or another?

Because I’m a control freak and I wouldn’t be able to control an issue of that magnitude.

Uhg!

Pride again.

So, I am praying each time I think of our home, our future,  and our “image”.

I am asked the Lord to forgive my pride in my own abilities.

I’m placing our future in His hands.

And I’m asking Jesus to be the only thing people see when they look at our family.

And I’m paying attention to the details.

The tree I’m standing next to is TRUST.

The stump I’ve stepped away from is fear.

The next chapter

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This chapter in life has been full of the unexpected, both blessings and trials.

Above is an example of a blessing!

You can see Jase hanging with Spud.

When our daughter married she got a hubby and his dog.

Jase and Spud get along well.

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Of course he’s a character!

I can’t say I thought he was a blessing the day before the wedding when he lifted a leg on a decoration.

Thankfully we had a replacement!

But Jase has really enjoyed Spud.

It’s another layer in this new chapter.

All of us are working to figure out how to walk as life continues to change.

This thing called growing up isn’t easy.

I thought it was tough doing it, but I’m thinking it’s harder trying to train your children to do it.

There’s no formula or series of steps.

It’s a moment by moment path.

I’m glad of that, because I lean on Jesus more.

Especially when facing a trial.

My poor hubby had to leave for a business trip fully knowing our water pump was having extreme issues.

God is still walking us through this one, but the blessings have come from our son-in-law and his dad.

Blessings at times look like trials.

Just yesterday we had a circumstance I wasn’t sure how to handle.

I took a few moments to pray and asked God for insight.

I needed to see the real issue, not just the emotion.

Thankfully I felt led to change my tone of voice and to stop what I was doing and focus on the person.

I’m still praying, because it seemed resolved but only time will tell.

It’s a blessing to be reminded to seek the Lord.

I’ve been trying harder to seek the Lord for my own emotions as well.

I want to be facing each chapter in life with Jesus’s perspective, not my own.

He recently showed me an area of pride which I had been completely blind to.

It’s embarrassing to look at your sin and realize it’s been there a long while, yet how good and freeing it is to repent!

How many other blessings and trials we will have in this chapter only the Lord knows.

Yet, I’m certain He’s our security no matter what this chapter holds.

The gift of service

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These two dear people are husband and wife.

Last week my hubby took them fishing.

Everyone was excited they both caught fish.

Yet the comments which filtered home had little to do with the catch.

“She just served him the entire time, ” my husband said.

You see our friend is nearly deaf, and he struggles with getting around so doing things on the boat was far from easy.

His wife helped him at every turn.

She did it all with a smile.

It was obvious she never felt put upon or frustrated.

It was her gift to serve her husband.

How often such gifts are missed.

In our me centered world it seems so many things are being misrepresented.

The joys of serving others at my own sacrifice is beyond anything I’ve ever done for myself.

The blessings of seeing another person be helped or advanced at ones on loss is often misunderstood.

I see it with children every day.

The children who serve others, take their turn and look out for what is best for those around them are the ones who ard happier, have more friends, and are successful.

Those who are constantly out to be first at everyone else’s cost, are loud and demanding are often the most unhappy and least welcome by their peers.

So, as I start my day I’m praying to be able to give the gift of service to those around me.

1867

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Today was memorable!

I was blessed to be able to tag along as a group of students were taken back in time.

The teacher waited at the door, ringing the bell.

She was lovely in a long blue skirt, blue patterned waist and a soft yarn shawl.

Her hair was up and she wore wire glasses.

She taught the children as if it were 1867.

They left brimming over with excitement.

The last thing the teacher taught was how this old school came to be sitting next to a modern-day school and how it had been rescued and restored thanks to some girl scouts and lots of volunteers.

I thanked the Lord for those people and the ones who keep the history alive by teaching others.

Just last Saturday I was doing the same thing.

I was thanking the Lord for the people who were working tirelessly to keep another piece of history alive.

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This is the oldest house in our area.

The Applegate House was built by Charles Applegate and his family.

He, his family and his two brothers and their families were the first whites to move here.

They had asked permission from the local Native American tribe leader.

Charles and the chief became good friends and their families never forgot it.

To open the day of activities there was an Indian welcome song sung.

Afterwards the great great granddaughter of Charles explained the Native American lady who sang the song was the great great granddaughter of the chief.

Then we were able to tour the house and step back in time.

Charles was a blacksmith and they still have some of the tools he made.

His wife was an herbalist and they’re working at restoring her garden.

A phonograph was wound and played for us.

A drum from the Revolutionary War was sitting in the corner.

Paintings and drawings and old old photographs.

Stories of joy and hardship, tragedy and great blessing.

Yet, throughout both visits into history I kept smiling at the similarities.

Family is still very important.

Teaching our children is still a priority.

No matter how, we have to work to make a living.

Respect must be taught, but it’s also well worth the lesson.

Integrity is a noble quality, and should be taught as well as lived.

How valuable it is to savor these things and to work at passing them on.

How grateful I am that others value them and taught me their value.

How good God is!

Underneath it all I can see He’s hand guiding, restoring, preserving.

He is the One who created it all.

He’s the One who loves us enough to teach us the value of self sacrifice, work, the gift of wisdom,  and so much more.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for these two places and all the people who have made them possible. Thank You for the lessons of love and giving. Thank You for walking with me and showing me these things. Thank You Jesus, this was so special!

(This post was written last Thursday. I’m sorry I missed getting it published sooner!)

20

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20 years ago.

I married the guy in this picture.

(The big one, not the little one,  he’s our son!)

It was the opening weekend of rifle deer season. (Which I heard lots of complaints about from those gents who wanted to get up early the following morning to hunt!)

My own gent was a bow hunter at the time and didn’t care at all!

We’ve seen much in these 20 years.

My dad was killed in an accident almost exactly a year later.

Our four beautiful children were born.

We bought a house.

My husband lost his grandmother and then a few years later his grandfather on his Dad’s side.

My hubby worked full time night shift for years while going to college to earn his mill wright journeyman card.

We sold our house and moved overseas.

We lived for a year in the country our girls refer to as “home” and then moved back.

We walked through extreme physical problems.

(I can’t express the emotion of dropping my spouse at the ER because he thought he was having a heart attack, but not being able to stay because he wanted me to wait with the children a good 45 minutes away.)

Then his health improved.

We walked through owning a business.

We walked through my extreme physical issues.

We walked through the slow process of physical rehabilitation.

We walked through closing our business.

We walked through buying another house.

We walked through another job change.
(Praise the Lord!)

We walked through our children growing and starting sports.

We walked through my hubby working full time and going back to college.

We walked through our first high school graduate.

We walked through our first child getting married.

There is so much more.

So many things.

Over and over and over God has worked and been so present in our daily lives.

Yet, I don’t want to spend too much time looking backward.

I want to look forward to what God has for our future, our family.

I have learned much.

But I know there is so… much more.

More for me to grow in, for me to understand,  for me to learn.

It is good to live in today for the Bible makes it clear.

Today is a gift from God.

Jesus, thank You for my husband. Thank You for 20. Please continue to teach me how to be a godly wife and mother. Please bless our family. Thank You.

Hungry

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I know,

I’m not a food photographer.

However, I was hungry when I sat down to this: my supper.

I was more than physically hungry.

I was spiritually hungry as well.

So, I read my Bible while pacifying my tummy.

I read the gospel of John.

To be exact I reread the section beginning just after Christ is raised till the end of the book.

It struck me.

Mary was far more than hungry for a glimpse of Jesus that morning at the tomb.

She must have felt bewildered, frightened, and possibly even desperate.

Her sorrow at the loss of her Lord was made even worse by what she thought was the theft of His body.

-sigh-

She sees the angels in the tomb and then turns to see Jesus Himself.

She failed to recognize Him, mistaking Him for the gardener.

At this I closed my eyes and prayed:

Lord, how often have I missed You in my every day? How often do I allow the circumstances which cause me sorrow and pain to distort my vision to the point of being blind to Your face? How might I change so I never again miss seeing You?”

-sigh-

“Because you have been using your eyes to look for Me. Look with your heart instead.”

Hunger subsided.

I felt my spirit overflow with the beauty of God’s truth.

I can choose to look for Christ in ever piece and bit of each day.

I can continue to hide His word in my heart. As I walk with Him I learn ever more Who He is.

I can lean on the Lord to fill even my most basic need and trust Him that He’s working even in the bleakness of wretchedness.

How great is our God!

May His name endure forever!

Jesus Christ, of Nazareth.