Wednesday, December 31, 2008
"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning."
"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance
therefore, I will hope in him!”
After celebrating two Christmases, and two birthdays this past week, I'm enjoying the freshness and freedom we feel when we look to the new year. This morning as I've been contemplating the close of the year 2008, I've enjoyed reading your posts and have been inspired by your words. I'm ready for new beginnings. . . new hope. . . new accomplishments. . . new ways of looking at the same things. . .new strength to face each day. . . new friends. . .new opportunities. . .new joy. . .
This is what I wish for you!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This song was just a gift to myself. I fell in love with Paul McCartney when I was 9 years old, about 44 years ago now. I discovered this new song the other day and I couldn't listen to it enough. Listen closely to the words. While I haven't always known if we shared the same philosophy, these words reflect my heart.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Baking and decorating Christmas cookies. . .with the same cookie cutters we used when I was a little girl! This was a yearly event in my childhood and it brings back lots of memories. I'll admit I've skipped a few years in carrying out this tradition, but it's never too late to begin again!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
O my strength, I will sing praises to You;For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; His love endures forever.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sometimes beautiful words catch our attention unexpectedly whether through movies or books, reaching that part of us that needs to hear and believe them. While watching the movie "Prancer" the other night, I heard the quote "there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding." For some reason, those words broke through and gave me encouragement to BELIEVE. That truth lies underneath and over and beyond everything we see in this world.
I just finished reading my second book by Harold Bell Wright, called "The Calling of Dan Matthews". The book was full of gentle words and strong truths. I need these moments of quiet reflection, of being wrapped in another world, drawing some of the beauty into my own world. One of the quotes that was a gift to me is this, " ...do you think that anyone could ever replace the mountains, the ocean or the stars, or any of these wonderful things in the great universe, if they were to be destroyed? ...And do you think that anything in all this beautiful world is of greater importance- of more value to the world-than a human life, with all its marvelous power to think and feel and love and hate and so leave its mark on all life, for all time? ...Then don't you see how impossible it is that anyone should ever take your place? Don't you see that you have a place in the world-a place that is yours because God put you in it, just as truly as he put the mountains, the seas, the stars in their places? And don't you see why you must feel that you have a right to your own life-place, and that you must hold it, no matter what others say, or do, or think, because of its great value to God and to the world? And...do you think that anything in all the universe is dearer to the Father than a human life, that is so wonderful and so eternal in its power? So life should be the dearest thing in all the world to us. Not just the life of each to himself, but every life-any life, the dearest thing to all. I think this was true of Christ; I think it should be true of all Christians. I believe this with all my heart."
And so, I pray this could be my gift to you today, these words to take with you. I guess it's time to get on with my day, of sweeping the floor, washing dishes, shopping for and preparing some food, hearing about my kids' day at at school, having a new crown put on my tooth, and heading off to work this evening. Through it all, I'll remember these things I have pondered and carry them with me.
Love to all
Sunday, December 7, 2008
115 West Ninety-fifth Street
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "
Thursday, December 4, 2008
They are both very special, giving people and invest so much encouraging others. I pray that they would be encouraged and comforted at this time by our love and prayers and God's presence and healing.
Monday, December 1, 2008
If you are challenged in this area, like I am, I encourage you to read these stories. I hope this can be an encouragement to you and me, especially as we begin this season of giving.
A Matter of Perspective Read Suze Orman's 7 steps to financial health.
A Spiritual Approach to Financial Worries
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's tips to find strength over financial problems.
How to Find Yourself After Losing a Job Getting laid-off was a blessing in disguise.
The Truth About Money How we all invest a little of ourselves in our finances.
One thing I believe God has given me the idea to do, is to be open with my kids about money. Maybe even to the extent of working up a budget, letting them see what we spend money on and when the bills are due, and what and when my paychecks are. It would give me accountability as well as give them a clear picture of just how this thing called "money" works.
My son just called me to brainstorm about how I could get my photography business going. Talk about timing! He's driving back to Houston after spending Thanksgiving at home. We came up with some great ideas and I'm excited about getting started!
Monday, November 17, 2008
"Here and there among men, there are those who pause in the hurried rush to listen to the call of a life that is more real. How often have we seen them, jostled and ridiculed by their fellows, pushed aside and forgotten, as incompetent or unworthy. He who sees and hears too much is cursed for a dreamer, a fanatic, or a fool, by the mad mob, who, having eyes, see not, ears and hear not, and refuse to understand.
We build temples and churches, but will not worship in them; we hire spiritual advisers, but refuse to heed them; we buy bibles, but will not read them; believing in God, we do not fear Him; acknowledging Christ, we neither follow not obey Him. Only when we can no longer strive in the battle for earthly honors or material wealth, do we turn to the unseen but more enduring things of life; and with ears deafened by the din of selfish war and cruel violence, and eyes blinded by the glare of passing pomp and folly, we strive to hear and see the things we have so long refused to consider."
For many years, for Christmas and birthdays, I would search through out of the way used book stores and antique stores for the out of print books by Harold Bell Wright for my Dad who was collecting them. I had never read one of his books until now. A few years ago, we visited Branson, Missouri, in the Ozark Mountains, where this story takes place. I bought the book to bring home and just now got around to reading it. It's a wonderful story.
"This, my story, is a very old story. In the hills of life there are two trails. One lies along the higher sunlit fields where those who journey see afar, and the light lingers even when the sun is down; and one leads to the lower ground, where those who travel, as they go, look always over their shoulders with eyes of dread, and gloomy shadows gather long before the day is done."
I pray that I will always choose the higher trail, seeking after the true, the real, the gifts of God.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
. . . this song blessed me tonight, this morning, as I sit here in the quiet darkness. We talked about Christ's resurrection on Sunday, about how He is alive today. He is alive with our Father and He is alive on this earth through His Holy Spirit. He is with us, through it all, every moment. He is alive. He is my. . . our. . . precious Jesus. And because of this, we can be truly alive.
I came across a new blog, A Woman's Worth and she speaks of "Trash to Treasure Because of Christ".
Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I feel so privileged to be in each classroom. It's so much fun to see the light come on in a child's eyes when he understands something new!
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
It's all in the attitude!
DON'T WORRY - BE HAPPY!
If you expect respect, be the first to show it
I'm so busy I don't know whether I just found a rope or lost my horse
Doing what is right isn't always easy, but it's always right
There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs
Setting: (A Garfield poster, with Garfield hanging upside down from a branch, a woodpecker is almost to peck all the way through the branch, beneath Garfield are mean, barking dogs)
Twenty years from now I'll look back at this and laugh!
I'll share more another day.
To my friends who posted their encouraging comments, I think tiredness contributed to my lack of inspiration recently. Sometimes I think we try to squeeze every second out of the day and it's still not enough. Only with God can anything ever be enough. Thank you so much for your prayers. My time writing yesterday morning was inspiring to me because it was time spent with God and focusing on Him. I had such a wonderful day yesterday teaching 5th grade. It was like a magic spell had been cast over the day. Actually, I think God gave me the strength of His presence which made me a different person. Today I have the privilege of teaching 3'rd grade. I'll keep you posted on my adventures!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Maybe this is brought on by unanswered prayer. Maybe I've challenged God to provide and answer my prayers on my own time table not His. I walk through my days wanting to be in His will. . .looking for where He could work in my life and those around me. Am I where I should be? Just to do what I want to do to make a living-is it worth losing ground financially and missing out on time with my kids? I find myself becoming apathetic and cynical. But then, have I really done all I can do to accomplish the most that I can during this time? What are my priorities? Time with my kids, career goals, insurance, security, or following my heart? How can they all tie in together somehow?
Found on the walls of the classroom I was in today, these words gradually drew my attention. . . There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs. I would love to step onto a elevator, push the up button and step out into my first teaching job. But I find myself taking each stair, one day at a time, not knowing how many stairs I will have to climb.
"Why do people struggle? Trust me in your times of trouble and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory. Psalm 50:15
Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God's glory? ...Here's a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren't matching up? Don't think God isn't listening. Indeed He is. He may have higher plans.
When our deepest desire is not the things of God, or a favor from God, but God Himself, we cross a threshold. "
It's Not About Me
Oh, Lord, I'm back. As I seek you, I find peace. I've been reading these verses and memorizing them each night.
Blessed is the man(woman)who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his(her) delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he(she) meditates day and night.
He(she) is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he(she) does prospers.
I'm ready for more, something deeper. God doesn't abandon me in my search. He leads me to Him.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
While driving in my car last week I heard this song, one of my very favorite songs from my growing up years. When I heard it, it reminded me of the political situation now, with the election getting closer. I have to admit, I'm very opinionated about my politics, and I find myself watching the news channels for all of the latest information.
Sunday morning in church, one of the leaders stood up to speak and he said that regardless of who wins the election, true power comes from only one source, and he held up his bible. He then asked us to break into groups of 3 or 4 people and pray for our country and specifically the financial situation. It was so moving, to hear people all over the sanctuary praying for our country. It felt good because it was something I could do. It also helped me to remember that God is in control.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
If you're interested in learning more about personalities visit /www.gkseminars.com/ or read Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. It's alot of fun recognizing yourself and others. As for me, I am definitely phlegmatic! Have a great Friday!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
(I can't believe I won the drawing! Thank you so much, Joni. I can't wait to enjoy my first cup. I will share it with my blogging friends when I do. Happy Fall!)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Some days I am reminded of the struggles of my own past and of women who are facing those same struggles today. My heart is filled with regret for those difficult days and for the lack of direction, the feeling of being caught between two extremes that were impossible to live out. Where do you go from there? I'm writing about being in a difficult marriage, having tried counseling and prayer, where do you go?
For me, my relationship with God was so wrapped up in my marriage. My identity was wrapped up in my marriage. How do you begin to separate the strands of your heart? How do you hold on to the One relationship you need for all time, and let go of the destructive one. It is a very heart wrenching process and one that I failed at miserably. This can be a very vulnerable time and a time to guard your heart very carefully so as to not walk away from God at the same time you feel you must walk away from your marriage. Is there a way to hold your spouse accountable and protect your home and family? Maybe there is a chance to restore the marriage through this process. Is there a way to know you have tried everything possible and because of that, you can walk away with your dignity intact and know that God is with you in the process?
I felt the need to write about this because I discovered a book and a seminar dealing with this situation. As I read excerpts from the book, tears ran down my face as I longed to have had this support at the time I needed it. The good news is that it is here to help women now. I pray that God will be with you if you are facing this in your life. God loves you and values you. You have great worth in His eyes and He will fight for you.
Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you."
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
First thing in the morning, my daughter brought to my attention that we were out of toilet paper. Where is that box of kleenexes? I know it's here somewhere. My son reminded me he had invited a friend to come home from school with him to play hockey so I asked my daughter to be at home while I worked that evening. She hadn't been too happy with me lately, so I was afraid this wouldn't go over too well.
It wouldn't have been quite so bad, but last week we had some frazzled evenings as well. Not that I didn't plan dinners and feel pretty organized, but the less time I spend at home with my kids the less we are connected and the less hugs and talks and laughs and everyone starts to feel stressed and we each express that in different ways and a feeling of distance starts to grow between us.
By the time we all left school, it had begun raining, so by the time I got home of course my son and his friend were completely soaked and playing in the creek behind our house which I promptly explained was not a good idea. "Well, what else are we gonna do, Mom?" So, the afternoon of playing hockey outside was not going to happen. I put in a cup of water in the microwave to heat for some instant coffee. I went back to my room to change clothes and my son followed me back to ask me "how much coffee do you put in the cup?" I'm touched by his thoughtfulness. The boys say they're hungry so I search for a snack, realizing a trip to the grocery store is past due. My daughter reminds me we're still out of toilet paper. And, off I go to work feeling neglectful and guilty.
A couple of phone calls home told me all was well and everyone seemed happy. Phew! On the way home I stopped by the store for some toilet paper, dog food and a few other things including two brownie mixes which with the 1.00 off coupon on each box I bought for .50 each!
At 8:20 when I arrived home, my daughter was outside visiting with a friend, and I walked into the house to find my son tightening the screws on the dishwasher. I look around and realize someone has done the dishes! Quietly and very matter of factly he told me he had done them, which meant he had put the clean dishes away and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. He had also scrubbed the crockpot clean except for one burned on place that neither he nor I could get clean. He had also finished his 30 minutes of reading for school. My heart was so blessed to see his hard work. I tried to find the right words to express to him what a treasure he is and he must be the best son in the world. God had reached into my hectic day. But He wasn't through yet. My son informed me that his sister had started vacuuming but had been interrupted when her friend came by. A little while later, she walked through the door, picked up the vacuum where she left off and proceeded to vacuum the dining room and living room. I tried not to stand with my mouth hanging open. I expressed my gratefulness to her with a hug and an "I love you". I told my kids how much it meant to me that they would help out like that. It lifted my burden and removed the worry.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised when God reaches into my life and blesses me when I feel I least deserve it, but somehow I always am.
"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another."
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Thank you to my friend in AUSTRALIA at A Bite of Country Cupcakes, Ramblings of an Honest Mum, for sharing this new award with me and my blog! It's so much fun to read of life across the oceans and continents in a world where kangaroos just hop over for a visit! I've really enjoyed reading of her life as a Mum. She also creates beautiful faux cupcakes and other crafts.
All of my wonderful blog friends deserve and qualify for this award. These characteristics are what you give so generously in your posts and in your comments to me on mine. Encouragement, love for one another, sharing our mistakes, sometimes very humorously, learning from each other, love for life and love for our kids. So I'm going to take the easy way out and award this to all of my blog friends who stop by to visit. Your visits mean so much and if you are half as busy as I've been this week you may not have time to pass it on either. All of your blogs are places I go to be cheered up, encouraged and inspired and your faithful comments keep me going. So, please, if you would like, post this award and pass it on!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
- My kids first day of school was yesterday!
- My first day of a new part time job was yesterday too! I really enjoyed it. I'm working in the custom framing department at a Christian owned arts and crafts type store. There's more math involved than I thought, numbers, but I think I'll get the hang of it. You get to see a lot of beautiful art!
- I get to go observe this weekend with a wedding photographer in hopes I'll get to assist with other jobs in the near future.
- I'm studying today for the state content test in Special Education I take on Thursday. I'm told that will really increase my chances for finding a full time teaching position. I've discovered that I'm also interested in researching the connection between art and encouraging learning disabled kids, or perfectly normal kids who don't excel in other academic subjects (I should say).
- There is a local magazine that is distributed to all of the residents in a nearby town and I had the opportunity to photograph a couple of things for them. No pay, but great experience and photos for a portfolio as well.
- I'm so thankful God has given me the opportunity to have this time to reach out and explore so many other options.
- At church, I've applied for helping out with the children's ministry in some way and I'm looking forward to that. I used to spend a lot of time doing that kind of thing but it's been several years. I've been inspired lately by a blog friend to give of my time at a local ministry. There is a joy in allowing God's life and love to flow through us and this time off has opened my heart to many new possibilities!