Tag Archive | inspiration

Sunbeam

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Seeing these sunbeams radiating through the old barn wall, brought to mind a song I’ve not heard nor sung for many years. When I was a little girl, I remember my mom singing it to me.

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
To shine for him each day;
In every way try to please him,
At home, at school, at play.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
I’ll be a sunbeam for him.
Next time I’m with my grands, I may need to catch sunbeams with them, and then sing the sunbeam song.
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Not My Plan

I was all prepared to spend a long evening on the tractor, but God had other plans. These clouds passed over the field with darker ones building and following close behind dumping buckets of rain.

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I only remember using windshield wipers a couple times in the tractor, so it took some looking for the right switch. At first the wipers and sprinkles made mud on the glass, but soon the rain had it washed. By the time I made it to the field’s edge and pickup, it was an all out downpour! Obviously my evening plans were changed!

On my way home, I was thinking of how often my plans are not God’s plans. This rain not only changed plans for this evening, but for tomorrow as well.

Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord

God wants us to seek and call upon Him (vs 6). Do I daily seek God and His direction, or am I too caught up in making my own plans and to-do list?

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

As a farmer during planting season, the next verse in Isaiah 55 speaks volumes to me. Many variables are out of my control when it comes to getting a good harvest, but God IS in control.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater…”

When I give up control and truly seek God, His purpose will be evident in my life.
“…my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:11-12

Joy, peace, and bursting forth with song, that’s the life I want to live! God’s plan, not mine!

 

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

 

 

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!

The Word is “Kind” Part 2

2015 has been quite the year! Throughout these past 12 months I have been on a personal study of the word “KIND”. You can read about that decision HERE. My eyes have been open to the kindness around and in me. However, at first it seemed I was mainly aware of UNkindness.

Have you noticed how negative our society can be?  The daily news bombards us with doom and gloom reporting. TV and social media is full of backstabbing, criticism, lying, and cheating. Workplaces become a battle ground of gossip, jealousy, and sometimes a celebration of someone’s failure. It was disheartening to recognize the magnitude of this ugliness.  In the midst of these observations I was reminded that my word is “Kind” not “unkind”, and Ephesians 4:32 became my verse for the year.

 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

I soon changed my focus to:

  • Intentionally looking for kindness in others
  • Expressing my appreciation when I witness kindness
  • Working on my attitude and behavior to be kind

Kind is a willingness to do good or give pleasure, a sympathetic attitude towards others, having a good or benevolent nature or disposition, considerate, helpful.

One day as I was subbing, I had a student that was being a pest to anyone that came near him. In fact, he had a girl in tears from his unkind words before the morning bell rang! Our day was not off to a great start, and I dreaded what might take place at morning recess. I breathed a quick, “Thank you, Jesus.” prayer when the boy left the basketball game to play with another student. As the class was lining up to return to class, I quietly told the boy I noticed and appreciated how kind he was on recess. The rest of the day was near perfect, and I have not seen the negative behavior on days I’ve been back in his classroom.

Opportunities to be kind present themselves every hour of the day. Growing up, my mom often said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” I oftentimes know very little of the trials others are dealing with. They may be having the very worst day of their life, and I have a choice. I can encourage or discourage.

Love is patient and kind” 1 Corinthians 13:4a.

This word study has been a great and challenging exercise, but more than that it is an ongoing life changer. It takes time and practice to overcome and rise above negativity. My goal was not to merely recognize kindness, but for my life and love to be overflowing with kindness. I have not yet accomplished that goal; I am a work in progress.

Did you choose a word for the year? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Will you be choosing a word for 2016? What will it be?

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the Clutter Thief

Clutter can, does, and has robbed me. When things in my house, space or life are too much of a jumbled hodgepodge, I find it hard to focus for productivity or simply relax. It causes stress that may not be immediately recognized and identified. It is a thief that can even affect my relationship with God. How? It keeps me busy, bogged down, and restless. It can be a distraction when I need and want to spend time with God seeking His guidance and wisdom, and worship Him. God wants me to be still and know that He is God!

Monday, I woke with the de-clutter bug, and I knew where I should begin. It was an area that was not seen by others, but it bothered me every time I opened the door. It is the closet I store my canned produce, and somehow also became the catch-all spot. I dug in, and this happened.

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How does one clean out without making a bigger mess?! Unfortunately, some of these things are still on that bed. I am still weeding through it. However, a bag of trash went in the dumpster, and I found the closet floor! Now only the items that belong in that closet are there.

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What is the clutter thief stealing from you? Do you have an area you need to clear? Maybe it is “stuff” that is no longer needed or used, taking up space in a closet or drawer or piled high on the coffee table. Maybe it is in your calendar, social media, or negative relationships. Take time to look around or within, identify something that needs sorted through, and begin to resolve that clutter problem. Don’t let the clutter thief continue to rob you!

Sounds in the Old Farmhouse

Not too many years ago, I wondered if life would always be a hectic whirlwind of activities. The calendar was rainbow colored, a different color for each member of the family plus orange for ‘ALL family event’. Would there ever be time to do all the laundry, wash, fold, AND put away, in one day? The sounds that filled this old farmhouse:
giggling,
     talking,
          teasing,
               playing drums, trombone, clarinet, piano,
                    arguing,
                         reading,
                              praying.
Beautiful sounds, yet some days I longed for quiet. Peace and quiet.

The Lord knew what he was doing when one child at a time moved out and into their own home. This Momma would not have known what to do if they had all left at once! Just as they were added to the family one at a time, and necessary adjustments were made, the same has been done in reverse.

Peace and quiet have returned to this old farmhouse. I don’t have to rush through my shower, or be paged while in the bathroom. However, some days it seems too quiet. Those are the days that I especially miss my children and their families, and I long for the miles between us to be erased. It is so selfish of me to want to have them close. We live in a day of instant messaging, video calling, photo sharing, and telephoning most anywhere they may be. How did the Momma’s say final farewells as their children boarded the ships to sail the ocean blue? How did they say goodbye as they rolled away in rattly, bumpy wagons to a land wild and unknown? With our modern technology, the miles seem much shorter than they did even thirty-some years ago when I moved 6 states away from where I always called home. Sometimes this old farmhouse is more than quiet, it is SILENT, and in the absence of my bustling family I miss the sounds of:
giggling,
     talking,
          teasing,
               playing drums, trombone, clarinet, piano,
                    arguing,
                         reading,
                              praying.

However, I am reminded that they are not mine to cling to, and by doing so I would essentially be putting them above God. In the Bible we are told to seek God above everything. My love for my family should never supersede my love for God! My children were given to me to love, raise, teach and then release to go wherever God calls them. I tend to need reminders to release rather than clutch, whether they are in Kansas, Guatemala, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Russia, Africa…

Thank you, Lord, for today’s quiet moments. Thank you, that when this old farmhouse seems too silent, you fill it with whispers of love, encouragement, reassurance, forgiveness, peace, and your presence.