Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Awaken

If, like me, you're feeling a bit overwhelmed today, here's a beautiful reminder that God loves us. We don't always have control over our circumstances, but God is always there to help us through.





Monday, July 18, 2016

Fruits of Our Labor


This is what the Lord says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded," declares the Lord.  - Jeremiah 31:16


Sometimes, just when you think it's all for nothing, God shows you the value of the sacrifices you've made.

To say my relationship with my oldest grand/daughter has been rocky over the past few years would fail to describe the reality of what we've been through. We've both had more than our fair share of challenges to deal with, and we haven't always dealt well. But we've survived (so far) and life is better (for now). As she prepares to leave for college, I'm struggling with mixed emotions swirling around inside my head like an F-5 tornado.

I never planned to raise children into my sixties. Frankly, I was supposed to be finished by my mid-forties, and I was looking forward to quiet days and nights with my husband...and only him.

But God had a job for us to do, and when God calls on you, it's wise to accept the challenge. So here we are... tired, old and broke, without a moment for ourselves, and never sure if giving all we had was enough.

Last week we received a card in the mail. I was quite surprised by the return address on the envelope. It was my address and it was from my oldest grand/daughter. And inside was a thank you card, one of many I had made for her to send to those who had given her graduation gifts. The note she had written us was super sweet, thanking us for our graduations gifts and the party we had thrown her, and simply showing sincere gratitude. She went on to say she hoped to make us proud.

She already has.


Back in the day











Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lights from Backstage



In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.   --   Matthew 5:16  


I struggle with finding a way to let my light shine.

My husband and I are raising our two granddaughters. On my other blog I've been brutally honest about the toll this has taken...on me, on my husband, on our marriage, and ultimately, on the girls themselves. But I'm trying my best, and since that will never be good enough, I'm learning to rely on God more and more.

I've always thought that to serve God meant to do something in a big way. I should find a worthy cause and volunteer a large chunk of my time.  I should give huge amounts of money to help others. In general, my life should be about making enormous sacrifices for the greater good.

None of that happened. At least not in the big way I thought was necessary. But in the midst of my learning to depend more on the Holy Spirit for guidance, I received the message that would change my outlook completely. In a quiet moment of worship and prayer I heard Him say, "Just keep doing the tasks you were given, and do them joyfully."

So I'm trying to shine my light, however dimly, to let others know that sometimes our service isn't big and noticeable. Some of us are asked to do our work behind the scenes. But the glory of God will still shine somewhere because we were willing to answer the call. And it doesn't matter if anybody ever knows where the illumination began, only that it reflects the love and goodness of God.




Saturday, June 18, 2016

Fathers

Any time I start to doubt just how much my Heavenly Father loves me, I think about the gift He gave me over 33 years ago...my wonderful husband and father of my children.

The story of how we met and married isn't a "love at first sight" story. We were friends first, although I won't deny that I hoped for something more pretty early on. But when I think of how unlikely our pairing was, it's clear God was in complete control.

As we celebrate Father's Day, I can't help but feel immense gratitude that God sent me the man I so needed, and that this man was willing to go where God led him. My children are blessed, also, that they have such a loving, giving Christian father to guide them through the challenges of this life.

Happy Father's Day to the love of my life and father/grandfather of the luckiest children on earth.





Monday, May 23, 2016

Joy in the Morning

I've been embracing misery for quite some time now. To say I can throw a pity party is an understatement--I'm the ultimate event planner.

I've had a few challenges throughout life (haven't we all?) My best-laid plans never came to fruition and I've been extremely frustrated by that. But the blessings I've received are so wonderful and plentiful and undeserved that I want to let them obliterate any negativity, and that starts with a change of attitude. So I decided to start a new blog that focuses on the beauty that can be found even in the midst of disappointment.

My prayer is that God will remove all pride from me and replace it with self-worth. Nothing more. Just a sense of the value He placed in me so that I can become who He intended me to be all along.

There will be setbacks, probably before the sun goes down today. I am, after all, raising two teenage girls. And after three decades of marriage, my husband and I have perfected the art of annoying each other. Then there's the whole rest of the world with its problems. So yeah, there will be setbacks.

But I want each morning to be filled with a renewal of spirit and a sense of purpose for the new day ahead. I want to take the inner joy I feel and make it visible on the outside, too. And that starts with a thankful heart before my feet hit the floor.