Tag Archive | inspirational

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!

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Broken Promises

Can I rant a bit today? I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever really done that on a blog before, but here goes. When did it become so easy to break promises in our society? When I was growing up, I was taught along with most of the other kids in my community, that if you give your word you keep it. In other words, if you say your going to do something, you follow through and do it! It was a commitment to fulfill whether it was harder than you thought it would be. 

Today, people are quick to back out of just about any kind of agreement, verbal or written. It seems to be the norm. If something a bit more fun comes along, just cancel the first obligation for the more exciting one. You may have more fun, but the other party had been counting on you. Now they are left in a quandary. It seems the more frequent this happens with small things, bigger commitments begin to be abandoned. Bigger commitments often involve hard work – physically, mentally, emotionally. When obstacles get in the way, instead of working through the problem it seems to be increasingly more popular to throw your hands up and say “That’s it; I quit!” Relationships begin to suffer. These relationships can be work, friendship, family and/or marriage relationships. Sometimes, the hurt and damage is irreparable – a job is lost, friendship is broken, family members no longer speak, marriage becomes 2 living separate lives and may end in divorce.

Quitting when the task is not as fun as once thought, or when it becomes hard work does not make a strong person. Too many quitters, makes a weak community. Then the trickle down effect takes place. Children model what they see, and another generation becomes an even weaker link.

What if God kept his promises at the same rate that we keep ours? What kind of God would that even be? I find comfort, knowing God keeps his promises. 

It is time to change this downward spiral! Make a commitment and stick to it through completion.

“It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.” Ecclesiastes 5:5

Grit your teeth and sweat if you need to, but keep your word, and be the example to this next generation. 

SnOw

Many across the nation have been homebound due to snow. After completing my outside chores, I began contemplating what to do on this particular snow day. I thought about making a snowman, like this one found on Pinterest.Will definitely be making this guy this year

However, since my dog loves romping in the snow so much, she would want to be in the middle of my rolling of snow. I am afraid my snowman would end up more like this. Also found on Pinterest.

Fallen Snowman. Fun and whimsical. Would be cute beside Standing on Head Snowman.

The desire to create a snowman continued to tug at me, so I settled on making one near my toasty woodstove. I didn’t get wet or cold, and I don’t have to worry about it melting or being toppled over by my rambunctious dog.

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With frigid temperatures, wind whipping to and fro, snow began swirling in my mind. In this swirl came the curiosity to do a Bible scavenger hunt. Have you ever done a Bible scavenger hunt? This particular hunt was to find all the times “snow” is mentioned in the Bible. As I searched and read, I discovered snow/snows/snowy is used  literally, figuratively and comparatively.

Two identical verses are examples of literal word use. In 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles, I read about a man named Benaiah who was a mighty and powerful man; he was a valiant fighter. Not only did he strike down some of King David’s biggest enemies, “…He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.” (2 Sam 23:20, 1 Chron 11:22)

In the book of Job, snow is mentioned several times. In chapter 6, Job uses “snow” to help describe the lack of devotion from his friends. “But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams that overflow when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow, but that cease to flow in the dry season and in the heat vanish from their channels.” Job 6:16-17  Later in the book, in describing God’s power and majesty, snow is referenced.

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth.’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour’. Job 37:5-7

This week, God has definitely said to the snow, “Fall on the Earth!”

When used comparatively, the color of snow is mentioned. Last night when the wind was blowing, some areas were reported to have whiteouts. For my readers in the tropics, this is when the snow is blowing and swirling so much that all you can see is white, hence the term whiteout. Today,  the snow is a thick blanket of fluffy white, and the sunlight reflects brightly making my view look blindingly clean and untarnished. I especially like the verses that refer to God cleansing and making one whiter than snow.

Isaiah 1:18 “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.’

David understood this. When he finally faced and admitted his sin, he poured his heart out to God.

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow….Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:7,10

Do you have sin muddying up your life? When was the last time you ask God to wash you and make you whiter than snow?  Repent, talk to God about it. He will forgive you, and turn those scarlet sins white as snow.

Leave me a comment; what do you do on a snow day?

Deep Cleaning

For the past month you may have noticed I have been AWOL from blogging. What has kept me away? Oh, you know; just life in general such as work, a new grandbaby (and “BOY” is he grand!),

CAM00180and completing a remodel project that took twice as long as anticipated when I began tearing out all the pepto-bismol pink.

photoThis week, I have been DEEP cleaning trying to rid my house of the multiple layers of dirt and grime that came from the remodel and the lack of cleaning. From top to bottom and in nooks and crannies, the dust bunnies are doomed! They are being sucked into the sweeper and washed away.

This is also a great time to do some deep cleaning within oneself. Galatians 5 has the To-Do list already made for us.

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”

Cleaning supplies needed are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

  • Use LOVE to overcome hostility and envy
  • Use JOY to get rid of quarreling
  • PEACE will clean out jealousy and division
  • PATIENCE will sweep up outbursts of anger
  • Get rid of selfish ambition and replace with KINDNESS and GOODNESS
  • Wash out idolatry and sorcery with FAITHFULNESS
  • A good dusting of GENTLENESS will take care of dissensions
  • A firm scrub of SELF-CONTROL will get all the grimy stuff from sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, drunkenness, and wild parties

To really deep clean, we must not overlook the corners of our heart and the nooks and crannies of our attitude. Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started! Clean; clean; clean!

Stressless Flamingo

Arriving at the classroom I was subbing in, I was greeted by this cute little fella.

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How can you not grin when you look at him!?

Sometimes, class does not flow with a substitute teacher as it normally does. Through the years I’ve learned I must be flexible, and I must not get stressed out when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Richard Carlson has written a book for teens titled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens. I had a chance to skim through it while students were diligently working on projects.  Carlson has addressed a wide variety of topics that most teens face, and explains how to keep cool in stressful situations. It’s a quick and easy read which I’d recommend not only for teens.

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Throughout my day, the cute little flamingo would catch my attention.  The way he was propped and the light on his eye gave him a happy relaxed look as if to say, “I don’t have a care in the world.”  Funny how this look had a calming affect on me, and encouraged me not to sweat the small stuff. Too often, we let little blunders or uncertainties ruin the moment or day. We stress out rather than remain calm and make adjustments.

God wants us to depend on Him, not our own strength.  Why else would he give us so many reminders in scripture? When you start to get stressed remember some of these verses to keep your focus on God.

1Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Psalm 62:8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 55:22 Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.

You may not have a cute little flamingo smiling from your desk, but God is with you at all times.  He will never leave you or forget about you. Isn’t that reassuring especially in stressful times?

Be Careful What You Ask For

Patience is a virtue; catch it if you can.

Have you ever had a day that seemed like everyone was pushing your  buttons? A day full of stress? Did you pray God would give you patience? I’ve done that before, and it really didn’t make things any better. In fact, it may have actually gotten a little worse. My prayer went something like this: “God, will you give me patience today.”  I know, I know; some of you are wondering, “What’s wrong with that prayer?” Well, you didn’t read it in the right tone of voice. Read it again, this time with an impatient, exasperated, begging tone. “God, will you give me patience today, PLEASE!”

Over the years, I’ve formed an opinion about patience, and you may or may not agree with me. My opinion is that patience is not merely given; it is taught. (Pause and ponder if you must.) Would you like to know how I figured that out? Okay, I’ll share my enlightenment.

First, I must confess that I am a slow learner.  You see, each time I would pray my prayer of desperation the day would go from bad to worse. It would be one thing after another that would try my patience.  Like I said, I’m a slow learner so it took awhile for me to figure out what was happening. Then, one day, as if a light bulb came on, I realized the days that were filled with patience-challengers were the days I asked God for patience.

Once I recognized the pattern, I began trying to figure out why. I began to realize, I wasn’t striving to attain the virtue, patience. I was just wanting rescued when I was at the end of my rope. That’s when I recalled a phrase I heard over and over as a child. Practice makes perfect. To be a patient person, I needed practice. Whenever, I asked God for patience, He made sure to give me plenty of opportunities to practice.

Over the years, I have learned to attain patience, I must be teachable and willing to practice being patient. Now when I have a trying day, I try to remember this is my opportunity to practice this virtue. When I am patient, I show love. In 1 Corinthians 13 it says “Love is patient.”

Remember, be careful what you ask for. If you ask for patience, you will be given opportunities to practice.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”   Ephesians 4:2 ESV

Windy Day

Wow! What a windy afternoon both outside and in! The temps may have been up to the 60s, but the winds were not far behind with their gusts around 50. Those gusts blew right into the school making some students a bit stir crazy. During center time, I really was beginning to think I had a cluster of tornadoes in the room! They were so full of energy.

Unfortunately, the kids weren’t the only ones affected by this wind. It is messing with the technology currents too.  Really! You see, I was texting my daughter, and when I hit “SEND” the wind whirled the letters around making a mess of my message.  As I re-read what I sent I saw that it was most definitely not what I had typed. Here are just a few of the changed words in my message: ‘new’ changed to ‘dig’, ‘had’ changed to ‘ad’, ‘orneries’ changed to ‘orneriness’, and ‘separated’ changed to ‘deprecated’! I truly was surprised she figured out what I was saying.

This wind is messing with me, too.  I have so many exciting projects I’d like to work on that I’m having a heard time prioritizing them.  I have actually been making a little progress in three areas this week. 1.) I have been making a quilt which has been a slow process for me. It has taken me much longer than it should, but I am just about ready to sandwich the batting between the back fabric and quilt top. Who wants to come for a quilting bee? I will give a full account of this at a later date. 2.) Hubby and I are making some changes in our farm accounting and management. I successfully upgraded our software and am now figuring out how to implement some of the record tracking Hubby has requested. 3.) I began my first 2013 organization project – a closet transformation.

Just about every January, I get this strong urge to get organized and fix things.  2013 is no different. In my old farm house, closet and storage space has not been abundant. However, now that my children are grown and have their own homes, I have 3 nearly empty closets! I have always loved to make things, whether sewing or crafting, but had to drag supplies out to the dining table to work. Because of the hassle, I have not done as much in the past several years as I’d like. Well, a dream plan has emerged. I am turning a bedroom into my sewing/ craft room. Of course, it still needs to be able to be a bedroom for guests so…. I am making a closet transformation. This is my progress….

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I know. It doesn’t look like much, but I do have it all emptied out and the holes patched from the wire closet organizer! Hopefully, by next weekend I will be able to give you an update.  In fact, my goal is to have the job complete!!

Although the wind may be blowing outside and in, find a few quite moments to catch your breath, regroup, and be still. You’ll be glad you did. It is amazing how 5 or 10 quiet minutes can re-energize and re-focus.

“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10a