Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Thankful Heart

It's Saturday morning and as I begin my day, I find this in my Facebook news feed.  I was (confession) beginning my day with Facebook, looking for this actually because I so easily forget and need to be reminded about WHO my Father is and Who I am in him.  But, per usual, there was a different plan for what I would see as I scrolled.  And it was PERFECT.  

As I read about what a mother does, I had several different thoughts, but most of them were thankfulness kinds of thoughts, and to tell you the truth, I struggle with my first thoughts being negative not positive, thankful thoughts.  As this is being revealed, I struggle to admit it to myself (although others most likely see/hear it anyway) because, let's be honest, who wants to come to the realization that they are "negative"...that's just not acceptable!  We're supposed to be positive and encouraging and uplifting and thankful all the time. Right?  Well, I'm a sinner, in case we've forgotten this about ourselves (I'm not alone here, right?) And the Spirit of Truth is working to reconcile and redeem every little thing about who we are so we can more fully reflect the heart of our Father.

As I scrolled through the article and pictures, my first thoughts were of my sweet Little E and how her momma comes for her and will, as time moves ever forward, continue to do so.  And then, how thankful I am for God's grace in providing the example of my own mother, who has done that with her children over the past 50 years. 

But the thing that stuck out most in my mind as I read wasn't about my daughters or my mother as much as it was about my Father, the one who is always there, no matter what I need.  Because he has no human limitations, He can be is whatever I need.  He is I AM...as he was to Moses, he is to me!! 

AND then, thoughts of God's intended purpose when he created women to reflect the glory of himself as a nurturer, a lover, a care giver, a mother.  I have been reminded lately that woman was the crowning glory of creation, not an after thought.  She was needful to help express fully the heart of God.  So often we think of God as a MAN (or at least I have), and come to the conclusion that men are superior and women are lower some how.  We hear teaching and misunderstand how God created Adam and Eve to bear his image as the full picture of ALL that God is.  One is not superior to the other, both are needed for a full reflection of God's glory to be seen in this earth.  Men as warrior, protector, provider (which God is all those) and women as, tender, loving, compassionate, nurturers (which God is all these as well). 

So, it is with a thankful heart I begin a long to-do list for this Saturday morning!!  Praising the One who does a "perfect" job at revealing just what our hearts need to see every.single.time (even when we don't perceive it, it is for our good)!!

Blessings on YOUR weekend!!





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Good Reminder...

        
The following was sent to me this morning by one of my co-workers.  Although God is not mentioned, I thought it was a really good explanation of being thankful for God’s grace all around us. 

 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights
with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."

Often we are too distracted to take note of little things and give thanks to the GIVER of all good things.  Maybe we don't see them as GIFTS at all.  Maybe we see the little things as annoyances and frustrations instead of seeing God's grace to us in giving us those things (or people) for our good?

In her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp, challenges readers to take note, to the point of writing down, making a list of 1000 things, 1000 grace gifts that God points to as we walk through the short time we have on this earth.  Sometimes, the little things we find annoying or frustrating, if they were suddenly taken away, we would NOTICE and WISH they were still in our lives to annoy or frustrate us.  Or, it may be that we simply look right past all the beauty that God has put right in front of us, to encourage us, and cause us to worship Him in Thankfulness!!  Either way, this little forward hit home for me today, reminding me to BE THANKFUL!!  Enjoy!
 

Subject: Stuff of life......

Lisa Beamer on Good Morning America - If you remember, she's the wife of Todd Beamer who said 'Let's Roll!' and helped take down the plane over Pennsylvania that was heading for Washington , DC back on 9/11.

She said it's the little things that she misses most about Todd, such as hearing the garage door open as he came home, and her children running to meet him.

Lisa recalled this story:

I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack.

About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students.

As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there.

With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, 'Class is over. I would like to share with all of you, a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important.

Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end.

It can be taken away at any moment.

Perhaps this is heaven's way of telling us that we should make the most out of every single day.

Her eyes, beginning to water, she went on, 'So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice.

It doesn't have to be something you see, it could be a scent, perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them.

For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the "stuff" of life - The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy... The things we often take for granted.

The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester.

Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.

Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Well, it happened, March 1st rolled around this year and lo and behold I TURNED 50!! 
 
Yes, you read correctly, I turned the BIG 5-0!!  Here's the funny thing about these numbers that keep going up up up...I don't FEEL any older, not in my head anyway.  Now, my children, as well as my body and my graying hair, will remind me from time to time that I am not as young as I used to be.  And I am totally "OK" with that.

In this age of seeking for eternal youth, exagerating the importance of the outward appearnace and "looking" younger on the outside, God has revealed a startling thing to my heart.  It's a lie AND it's not possible.  And there's something more ruminating in the recesses of my mind;

 I don't want to be a youngin' forever. 

There are so many pitfalls of youth that I'd just as soon not have to deal with or repeat.  But don't think for a minute that I don't have those moments from time to time where I see a picture of myself or my reflection in a mirror and don't contemplate the effects of the aging process, they are undeniable!  And I'm sure as I get further along, they will be even more obvious with more wrinkles, more gray hair, I'll probably lose my hearing (it's a family trait), my height will diminish and my weight will increase...just kind of goes with the territory.

I truly believe that age has little to do with who we are on the inside, except for the fact that we are growing wiser, hopefully, every year as God moves in our hearts, teaching and instructing.  I was priviledged to meet a beautiful, mature woman of 88 this weekend, the mother of a dear friend, who is just the cutest thing.  I didn't immediately think "Wow, she's old" but maybe that's because she's supposed to look older on the outside, we all are as time takes it's toll.  That's how God intended things to be, how he intended for an octogenarian to look.

I think what I'm attempting to communicate is that I've learned much over the past 50 years and I don't want to take that for granted, devalue the process of "aging".  I'm NOT the same on the inside and I'm not going to look the same on the outside.  I'm changing and growing and I'm not the same person I was when I was 25 or 30 or 35. I'm older and hopefully a little wiser.  I've had experiences that have molded me into the person I am at 50.  And as this life here on earth progresses, and the outward self looks older, I hope the inward self grows "older" as well.

Paul, in the letter he wrote to the church in Philippi tells them "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."   Of course, this is written to a group of believers but we can apply it to our lives as well.  God will finish what he started when we were born.  God is the giver of life!!  He formed me in my mother's womb, he gave me certain DNA and personality traits and is at work still as my body ages and as my mind and soul grow and learn and change. 

It's a wonderful thing, this aging process.  Instead of grumbling and complaining about it, let's embrace it!!  Let's recognize the truth in this process.  God has a plan and He is bringing it to completion, whatever that means for the outside me AND the inside me!!
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