Tag Archives: new

Sometimes…I think we might be…

crazy.

It’s not the first time nor do I expect it to be the last.

But about a month ago my husband surprised me.

He called me from work to say, he’d purchased some furniture.

I didn’t know what to say.

Although, I happen to love furniture and I find refurbishing furniture really fun, I wasn’t expecting this.

If anyone knows my hubby, they can tell you he’s one of those guys who does things.

He’s rarely (if ever) hindered by indecision.

He can make choices and move forward into change far better than I.

This was one of those moments.

He explained that he’d been praying.

With my health, I’m really restricted to what I’m able to do.

So, he’d been praying for something we could do together.

We have been praying as a couple for opportunities to teach our son new skills and to that end my husband has been doing some woodworking with Jase on the weekends.

The other thing he’d been praying about is our desire for missions.

We want people to hear about Jesus, both here and around the world.

Since our family won’t be traveling, we’ve been praying for any opportunities to use our talents to spread the gospel.

The purchase of furniture was the action upon our heart’s desire.

We’ve decided to redo furniture and sell it.

Our focus is to make money for missions.

Of course, we are going to sell anything we can in this endeavor and be as wise as possible with our purchases.

It’s already given our family lots to do.

We’ve spent hours cleaning and researching various things.

We’ve prayed extensively about the best way to handle this.

Along with the furniture, we also got home furnishings and so we’ve opened a booth on Bonanza.

My husband’s idea was to name it Hope’s Treasure Chests Booth.

(He loves the play on words and of course, he loves me so…)

But the name for the spreadsheet is Matthew 19:21.

Because that is why we are doing this.

Although, doing this seems crazy, I know that God is the reason we are.

Therefore, I can trust Him with the results.

May He be glorified in us today!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for stretching me. Thank You for teaching me how to take baby steps as I learn to do something new. Lord, You alone are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. Please help us to hear You clearly, to see Your plans, to obey You in all things. For we do not want to waste a moment, but we want to live unto You alone. Thank You for all Your blessings. We praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Iris

The last time I was at our property I was too sick to really do much.

I can’t even remember much about it.

However, the last time my husband was there he noticed something.

He told me when he saw it he knew it would bless me.

And he was right.

This beautiful Iris is one of several in a rectanglar shaped container.

Years ago, he made it and suggested I use it for flowers.

It’s held Iris bulbs ever since.

Some how in our move it had gotten over looked.

I was very glad when he and our son-in-law brought it here.

This morning, I was extra blessed to see the blossom.

Especially since our property sold, last Friday.

We’d been waiting for some information about the progress of the sale.

We’ve learned not to expect to sign papers until we hear from the title company, but everything had been silent.

Until Friday.

The call came in, we needed to sign papers.

It felt odd, sitting with masks across from the notary, who was wearing gloves and a mask as well.

To put ink on paper which meant a chapter of our lives, seven years, was closed.

It’s opening into something new, and we are glad for the couple who are so excited about living there.

We are very thankful to be able to move forward into the next chapter God has for us.

Although we shall always carry the love and memories of that dear valley with us.

I can truly look upon that purple Iris and praise God for His hand of direction in our lives.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to bring those flowers and the memories with us.

As these days, in a new chapter unfold, I’m thankful.

His plans and path for us is so much better than anything I could possibly have imagined.

Truly, His ways are perfect!

Deuteronomy 32:4 KJV — He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Amen.

A new old tradition

Many years ago, my husband’s brother was home on leave from the Air Force.

I remember he looked a bit nervous.

He said something about my rules on candy. (He knew I often state candy is terrible for kids’ teeth.)

Then showed me the box.

He had purchased a premade gingerbread house to put together with the kids.

Of course I said it was fine.

And the tradition began.

I’ve enjoyed watching our children put together a gingerbread house each Christmas.

As the holiday drew closer our oldest girl began discussing the tradition.

“Should we buy one, Mom?”

The pros and cons were sorted through.

I just didn’t have peace at that time to buy one.

So, the Saturday before Christmas Anne and Sis spent the day making gingerbread from scratch.

I was thrilled to babysit and to see the sisters enjoy learning something new.

When it was all finished they realized they had made four houses.

And a new tradition was born.

On Christmas Day, after gifts and the meal, we got into teams and each crafted a gingerbread house.

Jase and I were partners and I enjoyed it more than I had expected to.

I had never put together a gingerbread house before.

The girls had done a really great job and the pieces all fit together easily.

Jase and I had fun gluing candies and cookies on with frosting.

As I reflect upon our new old tradition, I am reminded of God’s Word.

Matthew 7:24 NKJV — “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:”

Our lives are like a strong, well built house when we follow Jesus with our whole heart.

The details of each, being completely under the guidance of the Lord.

And the sweetest part, is it’s a building project which lasts our entire lives.

I hope we build other gingerbread houses in the future.

If we do I plan on reading this verse first.

Something new

In the days of waiting,

God can do something new.

While waiting for God to direct our family this summer,

I began to seek the Lord for the time I was in.

Helping around the house and with the baby were wonderful, but sometimes I just needed to sit.

Of course I did a lot of crochet work.

Yet, it felt as if I were missing something.

During my prayer time, one day a distant memory sprang up.

“Your grandmother always said you had such long thin fingers that you should play the piano.”

My mother had told me this many times throughout my childhood.

I’ve always felt a sense of regret at not learning to play.

While pondering these things the Lord spoke.

You live with a music teacher.

Laughter nearly escaped my lips.

It was much too early in the morning to wake the family by laughing aloud, but my heart rejoiced.

My daughter could definitely teach me to play piano.

And so it began.

When we had a few free moments she would give me a lesson and I would practice as much as I was able.

Upon moving, my heart leapt at the idea of learning the piano well enough to play music with our family.

I’m not a fast learner.

Sometimes I forget to practice for days on end.

Yet, I’m blessed as God has been giving me something new.

I look forward to the day when I can play alongside my husband’s guitar or my daughter’s voice.

That’s probably a long time from now, but I’m simply enjoying the opportunity to stretch, to learn, to see what God has in this.

Age, illness, nor infirmity can hinder God.

He’s able to continue to teach, train, and exhort no matter the circumstances.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for teaching me something new. Thank You for using the times when all I can see is the waiting. Lord, thank You for Your patience and love. Please continue to guide and grow me. I want to be ever Your pupil, eager and willing and engaged in Your lessons of life.

Twice a day

Some things are easy to praise God for.

The beauty of creation is indescribable and often it draws out my praise.

Recently Scripture brought to mind a different plan for praise.

“…to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at evening;…” 1 Chronicles 23:30a NKJV

It is underlined in my Bible.

To purposely choose to schedule praise and thankfulness twice a day struck me.

And from other places in Scripture it is clear God doesn’t want routine religion, He wants relationship.

These twice a day praise and thanksgivings were scheduled, but the purpose was to give heartfelt thanks and praise.

No matter the circumstances.

No matter the feelings or emotions.

All because God deserves it.

I had never before thought of scheduling a time to praise and thank God at the beginning and end of my day.

Of course God deserves praise and thankfulness throughout the day and night.

But am I purposefully about hemming my day with it?

I’m going to try to be.

No, I am not sure exactly how.

Nor do I ever want to do something simply because it’s expected.

God doesn’t want that kind of love, and I never want our relationship to grow stale to the point of God being a part of my “To Do” list.

Yet, I’m looking forward to pursuing a new way to deepen my love for Jesus.

What better way than being purposeful about praise and thankgiving?

Especially twice a day.

“Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word and opening my mind to another opportunity to grow closer to You. Please help me to understand the true meaning of thankfulness and praise. Jesus, You are so worthy of all praise, honor, and thanksgiving! May today be the beginning of a new part of my walk with You. Thank You!”

Another new

image

You’ve probably figured out by now that I never get tired of taking pictures of flowers.

Part of that lies in the fact that they are new.

I know I have sunflower pictures, but I don’t have a picture of this sunflower,  it’s new!

I wish I could say I have the same exuberance over every new in my life.

Unfortunately, my common emotion is fear.

I know there is a terrible flaw in me when I look at life’s changes and I come up grasping the old things.

The flaw lies in my heart.

I am afraid of the new because I don’t know what to expect.

I don’t know how to plan.

I don’t have any idea what my needs will be so I can’t prepare.

These are the old, ugly, finger prints of leaning on my own strength, of doing things in my own will.

As I’ve been being renewed by Jesus, He’s been showing me the blessings of letting that go.

In the past I tried to control my life, schedule, family in an effort to make it all work!

How futile.

I’m not God.

I can’t make anything work.

It’s like ants who have lost their scent line and are simply running around desperate to find it again.

As the Lord has been patiently teaching me to rest in His ways and to let go of all my ideals, opinions,  and preferences I’ve learned that new is healthy.

I’m not completely out of the habits of fear and clinging to the old, but I’m learning to see it coming so I can place it back in the hands of Jesus.

“Dear Jesus,

Thank You for all You have done. You have answered so many of my prayers. I could fill up many many books telling of Your greatness and Your faithfulness. Please continue to uphold me and my family as we seek to honor You with our actions, attitude,  and words. Help us to continue to live new each day for You without our own ideas and desires clouding the path. Hold us, for we are quick to return to the old ways. Thank You, for You alone are our strength and in You we are new!”

New

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They’d never been there before. 

Sis had seen San Francisco only on movies and they were there together, walking into a brand new memory.

They were picking up some friends from the airport.

I was praying for them while they were away.

I enjoyed listening to all they saw and experienced when they came back.

I was happy for them.

Since this is their first year of marriage everything they do is a new.

As I pondered this another perspective dawned on me.

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ causes us to be new.

” Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17

Every single day is an opportunity for those who walk in Christ to walk in the newness of Jesus’ salvation.

Each day I am given the gift of another day to live as a child of God Almighty, resting in the comfort of Jesus’ salvation, while called to redeem the time.

If I look at each day as an opportunity.

If I truly understand how present the Lord is in my life.

If I trust Him as He deserves.

What a wonderful gift each day is!

How lovely, every day is a new!

New

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What is it about fresh snow which causes a crisp clean feeling?

It seems ideal that we should experience snow in a brand new year.

Fresh
Clean
Bright
Un spotted

This year is new.

Yet the past year will speckle it with schedules, memories, and responsibilities.

However that isn’t bad.

Infact taking each year as a continuation of a cycle in which God is the author is encouraging.

I like to think of it as a book.

What will this chapter hold?
How will the characters play out?
When will I see the full plot?

No idea.

But, it’s okay, because I can look back at the years behind and see God’s writing.

So looking forward into this bright new year should hold anticipation and faith.

No matter what comes I know the author of this story and I can trust that in the end it will be a worthwhile tale.

Because as with any great story,
life is a thing worthwhile.

A blessing from God.
A new beginning each day,
and an incredible
adventure!

New

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How fitting!

For this new year,
our dear friend called to let us know,
she thinks it will be soon! (She is 9mo. pregnant)

As joy filled my heart,
prayers filled my mind.

Prayer for the new little one.
Prayer for the parents.
Prayer for the toddlers blessed with a new sibling.
Prayer for strength,
health,
wisdom,
grace,
and most of all for God’s hand.

Since He created this new sweet baby,
I know He has a plan,
a purpose,
and a desire to be in relationship with him.

Because only God can create life.

Only God can truly see all in store for him.

The same is true for us.

As we look forward to a new year,
let us be guided by Him.

Let us know only His plans are trustworthy.

Only He knows what is ahead.

Only resting on Him daily will guide us into the future, one step at a time.

The only things which will last are the ones worth focusing on, yet even the mundane tasks can have eternal significance.

As you look for the future in the change of the calendar,
may your heart be filled with joy,
and your mind with prayer.

Happy New Year!

Finishing well

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The year is drawing to a close.

As it approaches the automatic response is to skip forward to next year, or to spend time in reflection.

Yet the last few days between old and new should be alive with the present.

If there was a reminder to live in each day it should be these.

Why?

Because as the year changes, the obvious comes into focus.

There is no going back.

Once a day is past, it’s gone.

Once a week has completed, it’s over.

Once the calendar changes, it’s finished.

Since the only change which can occur is in today let’s, value each one, live it.

“I’ll learn to control my temper when…”

“After the holidays I’m going to be sure to drop her a card. ”

“Why start on being organized during all the busy? I’ll get to it right after the New Year.”

Yet it is today which holds the keys to the future.

If we are unwilling to change today, what makes us think we will change tomorrow?

There’s no responsibility in tomorrow.

If some changes are in order,
if you simply know of an area in need,
if an item or two in your heart is pressing,
finish 2014 well,
by dealing with it today.

Live,
each moment because today is all you have
Love,
those around you more than yourself because they too are created by God and He died for each and every one
Laugh,
but not at others, instead include people in your life and love and you might suddenly find laughter is so much sweeter when shared.

Most of all,
be thankful.

Today is really a gift.