Unhurried

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Early morning I headed to the garden to pick green beans and cut lettuce as coffee dripped filling the pot. With those tasks complete, coffee cup full and Bible in hand I headed to the porch. It was a beautiful morning as the sun tried to rise above low lying clouds on the eastern horizon. The sun seemed to take its time before it burst forth bright and warm. Not only did I enjoy this slow progression, I also allowed myself some much needed unhurried time with God.

As I read my Bible, I began to ponder the vast difference between “knowledge OF God” and “relationship WITH God.” The Bible reminds us that even Satan knows who God is. (James 2:19)  I can have knowledge of God, and in my own strength try to do what is right. I can also go to church, sing on the music team or in the choir, read my Bible and pray. However, if I am doing all this for show, self gratification, or to check it off my to do list, I am doing them for the wrong reason. God invites us to have a relationship with him.

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. James 4:8

Do I check God off my to do list; is my loyalty divided, or is God my heart’s obsession? Other things and relationships are no substitution for my personal time with God in prayer, reading His word, in worship, and listening for his guidance, wisdom, and instruction.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

Do you have a relationship WITH God, or do you simply know about Him? Take some unhurried time to pray and read the Bible. As you draw near to Him, He will come close to you.

Too Many Glitches

I can’t think of a much better way to begin my day than some time with God and then coffee and breakfast outside with my hubby. This morning dawned a beautiful, calm morning with pleasant temperatures so that’s exactly what happened.

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Now, just because the day has a great beginning, it is no indication that the entire day will follow suit.

For a few years, my washing machine has had issues with the cold water. For some reason, the cold water just dribbles in. However, the hot water runs great. With the wash setting at “warm”, the water is actually hot which has resulted in too many outfits shrunk. The other day Mr. Plumber replaced the cold water pipe from the main line to the washer hook-up. I don’t usually get excited about doing laundry, but this morning was different. I was eager to see how quickly I could run a load through with a better cold water supply. I left the laundry room door open so I could hear the washer while I began my office work. I was pleasantly surprised how quick the washer filled and began agitating. I was in the process of categorizing an invoice when suddenly I heard water forcefully splashing in the laundry room. I raced to see what was going on. The washer was emptying the dirty water onto the floor! Mr. Plumber apparently forgot to put the drain hose back in the drain. UGH!! My stacked washer/dryer combo full of work jeans and half full of water was too heavy for me to pull it away from the wall to clean up the water mess. Fortunately, Hubby was still at the shop, and graciously moved it for me. Mopping the laundry room floor, and deep cleaning behind the washer was not on my agenda for today, but I can now say my spring cleaning has officially begun!

With the laundry room scrubbed, I finally returned to my office tasks. Bill paying and preparing invoices should not have taken as long as it did today. Let me just say that when a deposit does not get entered, the books do not balance.

When my office duties were complete, I was finally able to work outside. As I was walking through the yard, my dog ahead of me suddenly stopped and began to raise a ruckus. I cautiously approached, but couldn’t see what she was fussing about. Swiftly she flung something in the air, then pounced at it, barked, grabbed it in her mouth, and slapped it to the ground. It was just a garter, but there’s one less snake to startle me.

Towards evening I went for a walk/jog. My dog was having a hayday, scaring up rabbits and giving them a good chase. My heart rate quickened as I high stepped over this critter!

image Yes, those are little button rattles on his tail!

Today had more glitches than I fancy. However, I am thankful for …a washing machine, clean scrubbed floor, helpful Hubby, balanced accounts, God’s provision,  protective dog, God’s protection, humor, and oh so much more.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19

 

 

Laugh Out Loud

The radio guys just informed me that today is International Day of Laughter. I had no idea there was such a day!

I actually got a jump start on the celebration last night when my daughter sent a voice recording of my newest Grand. If I knew how to share it, I would. Who knew a one month old could sound so funny snoring!?! Yes, you read that right, s.n.o.r.i.n.g! Hubby and I both enjoyed a good belly laugh.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Proverbs  17:22

Be blessed today, and may you have many reasons to laugh out loud!

Easy French Bread

Oh. My. Deliciousness!!! The aroma is pretty intoxicating as well!

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However, there is a bread much better than this.

Jesus, the Bread of life.
John 6:25-59

Teaching a  crowd, Jesus said,

“The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

“Yes, I am the bread of life!”

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

I have always appreciated and enjoyed a good, crusty bread, but I am humbled and grateful for Jesus. He gave His life so I may have eternal life.

Friends, do you believe?

 

Easy French Bread 

Combine:
2 Pkgs. rapid rise yeast
2 Tbls. sugar
2 tsp. garlic salt with chives
4 c. all purpose flour

Add:
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 Tbls. shortening
2 1/2 c warm water

Stir in 3-4 additional cups of flour, one cup at a time.
Knead 10 minutes.
Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise 15 min.
Shape into 2 loaves, and place on greased baking sheet. Make 4-5 slashes across the top.
Cover with towel and let rise in warm place until double. (approx. 30 min.)

Bake:
Mix 1 egg and 2 Tlbs milk. Brush on loaves. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

A Trailer of Old Windows

A few years ago, a friend was replacing windows in a house. He called my husband and said, “I have all these windows that you should pick up so I don’t have to haul them to the landfill. Surely your wife has a project for them.”

Hubby brought that trailer load home, and the windows got sorted and stacked neatly in a shed. I immediately knew what OUR project would be. However, farm work and lack of confidence kept us from moving forward.

The windows had been stacked, sorted, measured, broken panes replaced, and re-stacked for a year. Finally, Hubby said, “Let’s get started.” So we started. We set all 4 corner support posts, and then it was time to drill wheat. Those 4 posts stood tall like pillars from August to May!

Very slowly, when farm work would allow, one window at a time would be attached to frame work. By end of July, we finally had all 4 sides put together.

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In August, the roof and door were finally in place.

 

 

I loved the old chipped patina on the reclaimed door, so I lightly sanded and sealed.

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Eventually, a “U” shaped potting bench was made with just a foot path through the middle of the house.

An old door makes a fun shelf for old tins and watering cans, and a hand-me-down chandelier adds a bit of glitz to this one-of-a-kinds greenhouse.

Jose’ the Hose Holder and hanging can with flowers great all who pass by.

Our trailer load of windows is now a greenhouse for starting garden seeds, and extending our growing season.

What would you do with a trailer of old windows?

 

Pray without Ceasing

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

This verse could easily be devoted to 3 blogs, but today let’s focus on verse 17, “Pray without ceasing.” There are many times throughout my day that I, myself, need God’s wisdom or intervention. In 1 Peter 5, we are encouraged to cast all our cares on God because He cares for us.  Isn’t it wonderful that God cares for each one of us?!  Galatians 5 instructs us to  share in each other’s problems and troubles, carrying each other’s burdens. There are people hurting all around us, and one way to carry their burden is praying for them.

If we pray without ceasing/stopping, how can we get anything else done? Just think of your typical day; work, school, family needs, meal prepping and cleanup, household duties, laundry, bill paying, church and community volunteer responsibilities, after school activities, and …

Pray all day?!

How can we continually pray?

Obviously, we cannot physically be on our knees, head-bowed, and eyes-shut in prayer all day. Prayer is an attitude as well as an activity. Did you catch that?

Prayer is an attitude as well as an activity.

Here are three steps to get us started in our quest:

  • Diligently seek and depend on God throughout the day.
  • Intentionally turn thoughts of others into prayers. For instance, a friend pops into my thoughts while I’m working. I can use that opportunity to pray, “Thank you God for (friend’s name). She is hurting today; comfort her.”
  • When thoughts turn to worry, fear, discouragement, or anger, turn those thoughts into prayer. In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (ESV)

As we practice and are more intentional to “pray without ceasing”, our focus will change. Constant, never-ending, persistent prayer, longing for God and his help, being humbly dependent on God, is an essential part of christian living.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2 

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Good Morning

“Good morning, merry sunshine,
How did you wake so soon?
You chased away the little stars,
And shone away the moon!”

I remember my mom singing this little verse to wake me on summer mornings when I was young. I’ve tried it a few times with my camp girls, but they did not appreciate my early morning song!

Are you a morning person? Although my days have started early for so much of my life that even on vacation I usually wake with the sun or before, I naturally am not a morning person. I do enjoy starting early mornings with Jesus and the sunrise. A vast expanse of eastern skies with very little to block the view is right out my bedroom window, and the scene from my porch bench for warmer mornings. As I read my Bible and pray my eyes are often lifted towards the dawning sun. I begin the day with the assurance that God knows what lies ahead, and I do not need to try to tackle the obstacles on my own.

Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will. Isaiah 50:4b NLT

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Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy. Psalm 65:8 NLT

 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
 so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.                                                                                  Psalm 90:14 NLT

Do you remember this little chorus?

“Heavenly Sunshine. Heavenly Sunshine.   Flooding my soul with glory devine.  Heavenly Sunshine. Heavenly Sunshine.  Hallelujah! Jesus is mine.”

 Have a blessed day, and if the sun is not shining in your part of the world, I pray the SON will brighten your day!