After the past few weeks of go-go-go, all around the time of my mom’s passing, I am ready to indulge.
Using a Mommy coupon from Christmas that came with some lotions, I am about to get a lovely foot rub from my youngest daughter.
Sometimes I feel a little cruel, but she made the coupons!
Do you enjoy a little pampering at home, or do you feel too self indulgent?
Sometimes life is so stressful. When that happens, I have a trick. You might call it avoidance. Or denial. Whatever you call it, I am really good at it. Sometimes I eat, sometimes I play the piano (this works similar to a treadmill, but not), and sometimes I work in the garden. I would always rather garden than clean house… or pay bills… or lots of stuff…
I am sweaty and hot. I have been working in the yard for a few hours, just putzing around, hoping to get a handle on the shape of the landscape.
Which, might I add, is pretty much a wreck.
But the last thing I was just trying to accomplish was the clearing out of some brush that had grown out of nowhere behind our shed. The brush was a mixture of some giant unnamed green weeds and what I was taught to call “bird bushes”. These are the bushes with the little red balls of fruit on them that are poisonous for people but not for birds.
All the while I was cutting, I kept hearing a bird scolding me. I had no clue why…
But within this mess of bushes, as I clipped and cut away, I found a nest.
I quickly tried to rectify my transgression, literally picking up the sticks and weeds I had just cut down, placing them gently and protectively over the nest.
Within days we saw those three blue eggs hatch. With their mouths agape and necks stretching, we saw baby birds clamoring for food, and heard mommy and daddy bird scolding us each time we got too close.
Two weeks later, the babies have flown away. Still there, sits that nest, empty.
I think about all of the things that nest held for those baby birds: safety, security, food, and family.
And I know how blessed I really am.
Sharing here, won’t you join me?
Yesterday I had a wake up call. My little girl is growing up.
Looking gorgeous, she wheeled her suitcase across the parking lot and got onto the bus.
I had a vision of how life will be in the future. And I was sad.
Yes, I’ve already gone through this with two other children. And yes, it hasn’t been quite as challenging this time around, until now.
For each of my older children, their senior year of high school meant butting heads with me. My husband didn’t really notice it at all, but I’m much more involved in the little things in their lives. The kids and I bumped heads over lots of little things and I had the double trauma of the first born (who was a boy), which was a HUGE emotional issue, because MY identity was SO wrapped up in my children’s. And then my oldest girl, my even-keeled buddy, graduated 2 years later.
This third child is my high maintenance baby. Even before she was born she was keeping me up all night kicking! And when she was 9 months old I saw my first temper tantrum… it was just like the ones in the old cartoons, in which the cartoon baby would lay face down and slap his hands and feet into the ground over and over. I cracked up laughing when that happened!
So yes, this has been a challenging year, but in so many ways it has been more fun than it has been in a long time. She is sweet and engaging and with all her drama she keeps life exciting! She has a lot of heart.
And today, as she walked away, I remembered that next year she won’t be here to add those things to my daily life. And life won’t be the same.
But everything changes except God! I find so much comfort from that.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. And Whitney Houston’s songs are all over the radio. How many people have celebrated the holiday over the years to songs sung by Whitney? Particularly the one with which I titled my post.
But I want to write here about Jesus’ love for us. About how HE will always love us! As Paul wrote:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Start of your week with a fresh step…
If you have not committed yourself to Christ, do so today (and every day when you start your day, if necessary!). Make your commitment simple, using the ABC’s. A – Admit you are a sinner, B – Believe that Jesus was sent by God and died for you, and C – Commit to making God the center of your life by submitting to His will. There are a lot of resources on the web for you, but even better, ask someone you know. You can also email me here at this site (myevidentfaith…at…g-mail…).
If you HAVE made the commitment to follow Christ, recommit to studying His word and giving God control over your life. Start going to church or if you already are, become more active. Starting Thanking God out loud for all that He has blessed you with!
What a great valentine’s this will be!
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
God will ALWAYS love you!
For instructions on how to make the candy heart vase shown above, click on the photo to get to http://www.kitchenfunk.blogspot.com
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
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Oh, I am definitely an independent person. And in this day and age of busy schedules and far-flung travel, I have even lost track of friends and family members! I mean it; I have close family with whom I have not spoken to in years. And we love each other!
Because of this, I find it is easy for me to retreat into my own busy life, keep my head down, and forge on.
It is an eye-opening experience to discover that your gifts can work with those of others to work for God’s good plans.
Becoming involved in our church required that we step out of our comfort zones. Sure, we have comfort in that we come back to this place every week so we are comforted by its familiarity. But that is not enough. We can do more.
We belong to the body of Christ, so that all of us, each with our gifts, can work together and do good works.
But the challenge is that we need to be open to recognizing our gifts, open to sharing them with others, and have patience so that we recognize that while we have good intentions, GOD’S PLANS are HIS plans. Good intentions need to be put to action in God’s time.
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Romans 12:4-8 (NIV) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Sharing with Salina and Michele:
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Sharing with Deidre over at Jumping Tandem. If you haven’t already, come over and share, too…
A recent recounting on Storycorps brought to mind the lessons we should all try to live by. This mugger was clearly not trying for a power-play, just trying to get help. Click on the leaf below or click here to hear the audio story…