Tag Archives: blessings

God’s blessings

While sitting at my desk this morning in prayer, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the change.

As renters, the back garden was a mowed yard with trees, their full branches of apples nearly touching the ground, and everywhere else was weeds.

Not a single flower or decorative plant was in the beds.

I remember feeling rather down about it.

We moved in the middle of September and my health was not going to allow me to do any yard work.

But I praised God for a yard and the lawn being mowed and the over grown apple trees.

(Anne baked us some pies!)

The following spring, one history will remember, was an interesting combination.

Despite the circumstances, the weeds were cleared away and we planted some seeds.

We were blessed to add some veggies.

It was a time of adjustment and the yard was definitely an “in progress” project.

Today, it’s much more of a garden.

There’s still things that need to be done and weeds are always trying to take back what they lost, but as I prayed I realized just how much God has blessed us with in the yard.

It’s a beautiful reminder that no matter what, God is still working.

His blessings are around us every day and all I have to do is take the time to notice.

Because I want to live with a grateful heart, I never want to miss a blessing before me.

I want to sing praises to my God and share of His generous works each day.

Because in the little bits of life’s blessings we can find the truths of God’s love, faithfulness, goodness, and grace which will carry us through the big things.

Romans 1:20 KJV — “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;…”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for creation which points us to You, the Creator. Lord, please continue to help me live a life of thankfulness to You each day. Please continue to hone and mold my heart into Your likeness, that others might see You and come to know You. Lord, I am weak and unable, but it is in my weakness You are strong. Please help me not to lean on my own understanding, but to trust in You and Your Word for every part of my life. Thank You for Your incredible blessings. Thank You for Your goodness and truth! I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

I thought I’d share pictures from the garden with you this morning as an added testimony of God’s blessings.

May you too see the blessings that surround you, dear reader. ❤️

Yesterday was…

Thanksgiving for our family.

My husband went to work on Thursday so we had already made plans to celebrate on Sunday.

We sang some Christmas carols.

(I know we were blending two seasons, but we love Christmas music and sing it as early as possible.)

We read the Pilgrim’s story.

My heart breaking all over again for the sacrifices those dear people made.

Then we took turns writing what we are thankful for in the back of the book.

My husband carved the turkey and we discussed a few memories while filling out plates.

“Well, two years in a row. We over cooked the broccoli and cheese.”

“It must be that old crockpot. It wasn’t in there more than an hour.”

“Remember how people were eating your honey-butter straight out of the dish while we were in the UK, Mom?”

“They did?! I don’t remember that.”

“Yeah, it was for the cornbread, but Daddy caught them passing it around like a side dish.”

“What’s in these mashed potatoes? They’re really good.”

“Butter, sour cream, milk,…”

“Do you remember the play we put on at the school?”

“Yes, and how the one line he did turned the play into a comedy!”

“I think of him every time I read that!”

It didn’t take long for talking to subside into eating.

After cleaning up most of the family played a board game twice and then a card game..

Later, we watched three episodes of the Chosen.

(If you’ve not seen Season One of the Chosen, you can download their app for free. Dallas Jenkins is the creator and it’s wonderful.)

It was a lovely day of thankfulness and family.

Something my husband and I cherish and realize won’t always be.

Our children are growing up so fast and we know they belong to God.

We want them to go, to do whatever God calls them.

We want them to be people completely surrendered to His perfect will.

Which means we have to surrender our own desires and plans.

Because they only live under the same roof with us for a season.

A season we are so thankful for.

No matter what the future holds, may we never spend so much energy preparing for tomorrow that we miss the blessings of today.

As my husband began his prayer yesterday: “Lord, we really have so much to be thankful for…”

He’s so right!

We have today.

Dear Lord Jesus,

It’s true, we have so much to thank You for. You have given us so much each and every day. Although things can be scary and the future still seems so unpredictable, I thank You that You promise to never leave us. Thank You for providing for us. Thank You for carrying us through. Lord, please continue to help us see the blessings in today. Please help us to live wholly unto You in each day. Lord, we want to serve You, to be close to You, to love You. Please help us to do so. Thank You for yesterday. Thank You for today. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

November 29

Today’s prayer:

Set a watch, O Lord , before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
Psalms 141:3‭-‬4 KJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all things. Lord, Your ways are amazing. Your plans are right and merciful. Lord Jesus, You watch over the weak, the helpless, those who are sick or hurting, and the innocent. Lord, You know all, even the thoughts of men and women. You see all. Thank You for salvation. Thank You for Your love, kindness, and faithfulness. Lord Jesus, I worship You and praise You for all Your blessings. On this first day of the week help us remember that day You rose from the grave, overthrowing death, sin, and separation from God. Lord, please save, heal, protect, guide, and return. Please shine Your light of truth into this world. Let the lies of the enemy be seen for what they are. Let those who would harm others for their own purpose be stopped. Lord, please return integrity, honor, justice, and righteousness. Please purify Your people. Beginning with me. Thank You. Amen.

Taking time to say “thank you”

Maybe, it’s because I’ve had more time to think and remember.

Maybe, it’s because yesterday reminded me of so many heroes.

Maybe, it was the text message I received in the evening.

But for whatever reason, I just feel the need to say “thank you”.

“Dear friends and family,

I can’t even begin to type all of your names because it would fill up pages, but I hope you each know how much I praise God for you. My heart can not contain the overwhelming gratitude I have to God for the unmeasurable gifts, services, care, love, and support you have given to me and my family. Thank you for coming to visit me. Thank you for checking up on my husband or the kids. Thank you for the meals. Thank you for the groceries. Thank you for helping us move. Thank you for supporting us in our ministries. Thank you for donating your time and talents. Thank you for your feedback on skits or children’s classes or other teachings. Thank you for having us over to dinner or coming over to our house. Thank you for texts and prayers when distance separated us. Thank you for cards and letters and phone calls. Thank you for filling my husband’s guitar case with notes before shipping it to us. Thank you for supporting and loving us when God moved us again. Thank you for the gold watch, which I cherish. Thank you for visiting us and letting us visit you. Thank you for standing with our family while I worked at the Academy. Thank you for years of volunteering and support. Thank you for allowing me the wonderful opportunity to teach your children. Thank you for being the best Principal I’ve had the privilege to work for. Thank you for being the Dad I’ve missed and needed. Thank you for coaching our children. Thank you for teaching our children. Thank you for sign class. Thank you for letting me live with you. Thank you for treating me like one of your daighters. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for friendship that hasn’t changed no matter how far we are from you. Thank you for stepping in when we asked for help. Thank you for breakfast at the restaurant. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for commenting or liking or reposting. I’m so humbled that anything I wrote is used by Jesus to bless others. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. May God bless you, each and every one.”

Every day holds a blessing, whether it’s a message of love warming my heart or kindness from a family member.

Truly, no matter the circumstances, no matter what difficulties, God brings gifts of blessing daily.

And I’m so very thankful for each and every single one.

In fact, I’ve asked the Lord to help me never miss any.

Because it is in these daily blessings where hearts are knit together.

Mine with those people God brings as well as mine to His.

And I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to love, care, and pray for others.

To share the deep joy and overflowing love Jesus gives me.

In these days of uncertainty, loss, tragedy it is vital that we remain thankful.

Sorrow can often swallow up our ability to see anything positive, anything good, but they are there.

Therefore I’m taking the opportunity to say “thank you”, because it needs to be said.

My gratitude extends to so many whom I’ve never met, but have been part of the good.

Firemen, Emergency workers, medical staff, military, police, and even utility crews, all people who are doing their jobs day in and day out to the benefit of their communities and countries.

Most of all I must say thank You to Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all Your daily gifts and blessings. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for salvation and the renewing of our hearts each day. Lord, thank You for helping me see the blessings. Thank You for walking through every circumstance. Thank You for today. May Your name be glorified. Amen.

Because life isn’t easy

I need to cling to God’s Word every day.

Because life isn’t easy,

I must be careful what I allow myself to meditate on.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have to continually give up my own plans, desires, and agenda.

Because life isn’t easy,

I find opportunities to die to my selfishness continually.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have a choice: self-pity or Savior.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can expect opposition and see it as opportunities.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can feel for the broken, hurting, and lost.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can relate to pain and suffering, but I don’t have to be defined by it.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can walk in today, expecting God to use those things which were meant for harm to be turned into good.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can rest in knowing it wasn’t easy for my Lord when He walked this Earth and I know He understands suffering.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God even more when things are good, joyful, and beautiful.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can yearn for Heaven with the sojourner, taking a long journey home.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God for salvation.

Because life isn’t easy,

I value blessings all the more.

Life isn’t easy now.

It wasn’t easy before.

It won’t be easy while the battle between righteousness and sin continues.

But some day, Jesus will return.

And it’s easy to get excited about that.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for choosing to do what wasn’t comfortable or easy. Thank You for dieing on the cross. Thank You for living as the Father called You to live, although no one understood You. Thank You for walking daily with me, holding me, sustaining me, teaching me, although I don’t deserve it. Thank You for showing me that it is through the everyday things You are able. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please help me to be faithful in all things, forgiving, loving, and resting in You in all things. Thank You. Amen.

Because you never know how God is…

…using your life.

Yesterday, I had to miss church.

Since my illness I’ve missed more than I’ve been able to attend.

At first, I was a little down cast.

I love going to church.

Fellowship with other believers.

Worshipping my Lord and Savior through beautiful music.

Being fed from the Word of God.

I took my sad, before the Lord.

Even in this, I have a purpose.

-sigh-

Quiet, with closed eyes, listening…

… letting go.

“Lord, I trust You. What would You have me do this morning?”

And it was a lovely morning.

Time in prayer and writing led to time listening to one of my favorite preachers.

One of the moments which really helped me occurred right after I surrendered my day to Jesus.

A family member, who knew I’d been struggling, had texted asking how I was doing.

I had to be honest and say I was getting weary of feeling poorly, but that I knew God was working.

The response melted my heart.

“It’s ok to be weary. When we are weak His strength shines through. I’m looking forward to hearing how the Lord uses your family to minister to others because of all this.”

Most days, I don’t think, “Wow God, how are You going to use all this to bless others?!”

But that text reminded me that God’s ways are far beyond anything I can see.

I simply couldn’t express how their text had blessed me.

As I listened to a wonderful teaching, God used a friend to bless my heart.

One of the thoughts the enemy tries to discourage me with is: “How are you serving God when you can’t leave the house?”

I know it’s from the enemy and I reject it.

Over and over.

Which means, that somewhere inside my heart, I’m still working on releasing my ideals of serving God.

So, the Lord showed me a new way to look at things.

My friend texted and asked for prayer.

She was going to be doing some ministry. Normally, she is a part of a team, but something happened to leave her on her own.

“Would I pray while she ministered?”

“Absolutely!”

Before the ministry time came, she texted me that another lady had cancelled her engagement so she wouldn’t be alone.

I was thrilled.

And I joined their team in prayer.

Much later she reported how God had touched women and what a blessing it had been.

I was certain my reply couldn’t bring my friend the full understanding of how encouraged I was to be able to join them in ministry.

My heart was so full!

But God wasn’t finished.

When my son brought in the mail today, he handed me an envelope.

“Mom, you got a letter!”

I was surprised to see it wasn’t from any of my normal letter writing friends.

It was a beautiful card, which alone brightened my day.

(The picture is of this card.)

What was written inside did far more.

It spoke of God’s amazing ways.

How He has used circumstances to bless, encourage, and deepen the walk of my friend who had sent me the card.

Her words were filled with beauty and touched me in such an unexpected way.

She had sent to let me know how my blogs have given her blessing.

I didn’t even know she was a regular reader.

It came as a complete surprise to read what God is doing in her life.

And I wondered.

“How do I tell these three people how You have used them to touch me, Lord?”

Why not write a blog.

Smiling, eyes closed.

“Perfect.”

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your incredible ways. Thank You for showing me, again, just how wonderful and faithful You truly are. Thank You for reminding me that I can’t truly see how You are working, I just need to rest in Your love and joyfully do the task at hand. Thank You for these three people and so many more. Thank You for my wonderful husband and children, and family who support and love me so much. Thank You for friends who feel like family, who pray and support all of us. Lord, I humbly ask that You use all of this for Your glory. That more may find peace through You, Jesus.

Blessing others

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

Throughout this illness, I’ve struggled with how to bless others.

Especially when I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed, my heart would ask God how I was supposed to be a doer of His word.

Of course, He reminded me of prayer and thanksgiving.

They have been a lifeline. Praising God and lifting others up can be done no matter the circumstances.

As my health has improved, I’ve asked God to help me see new ways to bless others. What can I add to prayer and thanksgiving?

I’m not well enough to join Sunday School or attend a weekly group.

However, God isn’t interested in service “only at church”.

He wants my life to be a living out of His word daily.

God wants me to surrender my life and let Him mold, shape, and guide me and therefore I can be a blessing to others even if it’s not the ways I’ve served in the past.

So, recently I’ve made a few things.

Yesterday, God blessed me with being able to finish a pair of overalls for our granddaughter.

I also finished a hat for my mom.

I’ve been working on a small devotional.

I was hoping to give it as Christmas gifts, but I wasn’t able to finish it in time, so I’m trusting God with it.

When it’s finished, He will guide me to what He wants me to do with it.

I’m also learning to simply pour into my family.

Homeschooling is a wonderful work, and I love it.

It’s another opportunity for me to be a doer, to raise our children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord as well as the academic subjects.

Being a constant source of encouragement, support, respect, and love to my husband has been a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing.

The responsibility of leading our family before God is enormous, and I want to do all I can to support and encourage my husband in this.

So, although I’m not living a life which others see, as long as I’m surrendering daily to the Holy Spirit and His direction, I can be a doer and not a hearer only.

Of course all of this is because of Jesus.

Without Him, I can do nothing.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for showing me that You know exactly what is best and I can be a blessing no matter how I feel. Lord, please place Your will for today in my heart and mind, that I might follow closely after You. Please keep my feet and my heart from being led astray. Lord, help me to be a blessing, that others might see Your goodness and come to a closer walk with You.

Dependant

He’s legally our dependant.

And in many ways he depends upon us to provide for his needs.

Yet, I was very aware yesterday (it was his birthday) he may not always be.

Although his life is vastly different from the average, he’s made some astonishing progress.

He’s not going to meet the same milestones as other people do, but I’ve been encouraged lately about his future.

With our move and my health I’ve come to depend upon him for several things.

He takes the trash out and he makes sure the cans are on the curb Monday morning.

He vacuums.

He does nearly all my yard work.

He helps in the kitchen or tidying up around the house.

It’s been an incredible blessing.

I depend upon him for his love and kindness.

He’s often ready to make me a cup of tea or sometimes he just holds my hand when I don’t feel well.

He goes with me to the allergist to get my shots.

I asked him yesterday if he wanted to go.

He looked at me a little surprised.

“I’ve never missed one yet.”

He’s very good at remembering landmarks and notices details faster than I do.

Which has become great when driving in unfamiliar areas.

I’m a country girl and this town driving has me often lost.

He prays for me.

His eagerness to learn about God makes Bible study a joy.

It’s been such a blessing to have all of our children.

Each one is special and valuable.

Each one so very precious.

All of them have made personal commitments to follow Jesus and I pray for them daily.

As they grow and leave home (I’m down to only two at home!) I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had.

Psalm 127:3 KJV — Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

It’s so true!

I praise God for our dependants, may they always be dependent upon Jesus.

In Jesus’s hands

Here’s Bell and her track coach.

It had been a very busy meet, but God had carried her through.

I stood along side the track in various places for the majority of the day.

I cheered.

But mostly I prayed.

Bell was running three events.

Which she has done before, but this was a much higher level than we are used to.

The 100 meter was the first race.

We knew there was another runner who had a better time than Bell.

Yet, she wasn’t concerned about that.

She had set her goal on breaking 13.

When the gun went off she burst out of the blocks.

As she ran down the track I was excited and yet nervous.

She crossed the finish line just behind the first place girl.

I was thrilled!

Yet, the edge of the race was hindered in my heart by worry.

-What about the next two races?-

So, I prayed.

And I continued to lift her up to the Lord as I watched her run the 400.

I praised God when she took 4th.

But as I stood alone on the corner waiting for the 200 God spoke to my worrying heart.

I’m holding her in My hand.

That was all.

Nothing is as important.

She ran the 200 and took 3rd.

As I thanked God for His blessing her so much I was reminded of why worry is a sin.

It robs me of trust and steals my joy.

If she had come in last on all three races God is still holding her and I will still love her.

As I humbly thanked the Lord for the reminder we gathered our things to leave.

Smiles all around, we went to say “goodbye” to the coaches.

It was here that the Lord showed me just how unnecessary worry is.

Her coach looked down at her and said,

“You know, you broke the school record in the 100 today.”

(She had run a 12.84)

-wow-

Thank You Jesus for holding each of us in Your hand, both in adversity and in blessings.

Blessing the other

This is Bell’s work.

Both Anne and Bell like Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.

The little white flowers growing in our yard seemed to mimic those Lizzy wore in her hair to the Netherfield Ball.

The girls equally enjoyed the impromptu hair art.

And I was blessed to see how a tiny moment can be used to make a memory.

A blessing of one sister to the other.

The simple act of doing something to bless.

Personally, blessing others blesses me as well.

I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy my job so much.

To see a skill learned, an obstacle overcome, a heart touched; all of these are true blessings.

It’s also the best part of being a mother.

I get to serve those around me every day in one way or another.

Yes, it can become overwhelming.

Especially when needs are far greater than my personal resources.

I have seen clearly those are the times God uses to show me how to lean on Him.

And then I understand the Father’s heart a little more clearly.

He loves blessing His children too.

But He’s never out of balance.

His blessings are not always seen for the value that is in each difficult or trying circumstance.

Instead of spoiling His children with momentary pleasure or temporary treasure, His heart is to bless us with eternal relationship.

Not that He withholds all pleasure on Earth so we appreciate Heaven more.

Instead He gives the gifts which will grow the individual.

Then, just because He’s such a loving Creator, He places positive moments into our lives.

Like this little memory of our girls being blessed by the other.