"BE THANKFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THIS IS GOD'S WILL FOR YOU WHO BELONG TO CHRIST JESUS." I Thess. 5:18
163 - There are times and circumstances when, rather than spend time in prayer or give thanks, we want to run and hide from the One who loves us most. On a day when I was feeling just that way a package arrived on our front porch from a dear friend whom I have never met in person. We have shared so much from our hearts I hardly remember that fact. With a heart filled with love and gratitude - thank you dear friend for a gift that could not have been more timely or perfect.
164 - My Mom presented me with these two little china cups on Mother's Day - one from each of my Grandmothers. She said she wants to begin to give away some of her treasures so that she can see us enjoy them. I am overwhelmed by her love and this priceless gift. (She also made the double wedding ring quilt in the background - another priceless gift.)
165 - My granddaughter picked out this gift for me for Mother's Day. I love it. It goes perfectly right on our bed. How good God is to allow my children see me this way. He takes my human failings and weaknesses and covers them with His grace - an amazing gift.
166 - The only plants I have any real success with are African Violets. Although I love flowers, I seem to have a knack for killing everything I get my hands on. For some reason these sweet little flowers like me. I have a window sill in my kitchen that suits them very well - just the right amount of indirect sunlight. I try to bother them as little as possible, but this pink one was in danger of perishing. It had grown completely over the side of its little pot. With great fear and trepidation I transplanted it into a new pot. I had to be rather rough with it to get it centered and for a few days the outlook for survival was pretty bleak. I watered and fed it - and left it along. Before too long the leaves "unwilted" and now there are pretty pink blossoms once again. I feel as though it is a special gift this sweet little plant that was perilously close to death.
167 - Time spent with family and friends watching our much loved San Antonio Spurs play in the NBA playoffs. There is a small-town feel to San Antonio and this team is very special to us. It was fun to watch the games together - even if we didn't get the outcome we were so hoping for.
168 - We had our Choir Banquet last night. It is a gift to my husband and I - being a part of this ministry. It is a very special group of people, who welcomed us with such warmth and love from the very first time we went to a practice. It is amazing the way the Father takes our service and turns it into blessing that far outweighs any effort on our part.
169 - Spending a sunday afternoon with our daughter. She lights up our lives!
170 - Laughter! Even after forty-one years of marriage, no one can make me laugh like my husband. There is something so special about being able to laugh together - sometimes we don't even have to say a word - just a look and you know what the other one is thinking. Another precious gift.
If you enjoy reading these 1000 Gifts posts, you can find more here at Ann's blog. She is the one who first got me started, and she has a list of other bloggers in her sidebar who are also writing these posts. There is something so uplifting about reading words of gratitude. I enjoy all the different blogs that share the same theme. They are a blessing.
With much love,
I hope you all had a good Memorial Day Weekend. It is a great time to be with family and friends and to remember and pray for those who have served and are serving.
My post is over here today. It is just a simple love letter to the One who has loved me in a way I can scarcely take in. He loves each of you as well.
Yesterday I met three friends for lunch. We met at a little restaurant near my home called The Gathering Place. It is an old home that has been moved to the restaurant site. All of the little rooms remain much as they were before it changed from a well-loved home to a cozy restaurant. There is a quaint front porch with rocking chairs to sit in while you wait for your friends to arrive. When you walk in the front door, you step onto old wooden floors. Each room is decorated in a different color scheme with lovely antiques, old fire places and intricate moldings all around the doors and windows. It really is like stepping into someone's dining room.
As if that wasn't enough, the food is delicious. You can even order High Tea (we've decided we really must do that some time). Everything homemade, and the deserts are absolutely irresistible (so we didn't - resist I mean).
The best part of all was spending time with those three precious friends. Our friendship began in a small Bible Study group years ago. We used to see each other every week. Now months go by before we are able to get everyone's schedule to allow us a visit. Yesterday two of our number had things come up at the last minute that kept them from coming. It doesn't seem to matter how much time goes by between visits; we just pick up the conversation as though we had never stopped talking.
Sharing conversation with women who love the Lord and love each other is a rich blessing indeed. The Father knew it wasn't good for us to try to get along all on our own. He knew that sometimes we just need someone with skin on to share our deepest moments. I have laughed, prayed and cried with these friends. I have called them at inconvenient times and had them stop everything to pray with me. I have known the indescribable comfort of a wordless hug just when I needed it most.
We could have sat and chatted all day, but the restaurant closes at three, and our sweet little waitress looked as though she was afraid we might never leave. So we reluctantly went out to the parking lot, exchanged hugs and promised we wouldn't wait such a long time to do this again.
I think I just may have mentioned that I FINALLY GOT BROADBAND THIS WEEK! To say I am thrilled with it would be a vast understatement. I have been watching videos, listening to music, spending an inordinate amount of time on Youtube .... just doing all the things it was nearly impossible to do with dialup (unless I wanted to tie up the phone line for hours and hours while things downloaded).
And I have been marveling at the powerful way this one piece of technology works. Right at our fingertips we have access to more than we could ever have imagined. We can write to a friend across the ocean and with the click of a mouse it is instantly there! I try to imagine what the reaction would be if my great-grandmother could be transported here just long enough to see this marvelous thing.
This morning C.H. Spurgeon had a word for me that suddenly put all of this "wonder" into perspective: "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him." Col. 2: 9,10 He wrote with great insight about all that we as Christians have at our disposal. "The fathomless love of the Saviour's heart is every drop of it ours; every sinew in the arm of might, every jewel in the crown of majesty, the immensity of divine knowledge, and the sternness of divine justice, all are ours, and shall be employed for us. The whole of Christ, in His adorable character as the Son of God, is by Himself made over to us most richly to enjoy. His wisdom is our direction, His knowledge our instruction, His power our protection, His justice our surety, His love our comfort, His mercy our solace, and His immutability our trust. He makes no reserve, but opens the recesses of the Mount of God and bids us dig in its mines for the hidden treasures."
All of this is ours because of Jesus. All of it is available to each one of us. I felt so convicted by those words. I have been feeling a bit discouraged lately and instead of going to the source of all power I have withdrawn. Instead of praying and reading the word I have allowed my feelings to govern my actions. I have but to whisper His Name and He is there with everything I could possibly need.
Technology may be impressive, but it is nothing compared to the incomparable One who longs to give us treasure beyond our wildest imaginations - if only we would ask.
"His mercies are new every morning and fresh every evening. Who can know the number of His benefits, or recount the list of His bounties? Every sand which drops from the glass of time is but the tardy follower of a myriad of mercies. The wings of our hours are covered with the silver of His kindness, and with the yellow gold of His affection. The river of time bears from the mountains of eternity the golden sands of His favour. The countless stars are but as the standard bearers of a more innumerable host of blessings...How shall my soul extol Him who daily loadeth us with benefits, and who crowneth us with lovingkindness? O that my praise could be as ceaseless as His bounty."
151 - Precious granddaughters - making Mother's Day all the more delightful.
152 - The roll of thunder and flash of lightning as I lay snuggled under the covers, and then the rain. Oh how we needed the rain.
153 - The cardinals who come to bathe and drink at our bird bath - mates for life.
154 - The road runner gliding across the front lawn bearing food (sorry little lizard) for the little ones.
155 - A brand new recliner for Dad so he can be comfortable at night.
156 - My Mom passing down treasures so that she can "watch us enjoy them." Two tiny china cups for me; one from each of my Grandmothers. I will treasure them and some day pass them down to my daughter.
157 - This one is a rather selfish one - but I am so thankful for Broadband. The Father is so good to give us things "just because".
158 - Comfort and strength in times of difficulty.
159 - Good conversation with new friends.
160 - Long walks under a clear blue sky with the wind blowing through the trees and the sun shining brightly.
161 - Music - always music (but His music). It is absorbed into the spirit and is, in its own way, life-changing. It was music that drew my husband back to the Lord. It is music that reminds me of truths my heart sometimes forgets.
162 - the written word. It miraculously draws us together, teaches, enriches, touches our emotions - and His word that lives and breathes.
I am really enjoying this. The best part is not tying up the phone line. Now I can do guilt-free blogging!! I have made myself promise not to get my time all out of balance again, but it sure is nice to be able to navigate around quickly and view videos and hear music..... I am so grateful. Isn't God good to give us things that really are totally unnecessary but things that we really would like to have? I am blessed.
I will now try to catch up a bit.
I am not here today. I've gone here - to talk about old oak trees. Please come and visit.
As the old adage says, "a picture is worth a thousand words." In truth, I don't have words to adequately express what is in my heart. When I was a little girl playing with dolls; when I was a teenager praying to know God's will for my life; when I began college in pursuit of a career (because, after all, these were the fledgling years of women's lib. - and we were all going to be whatever we wanted to be),all that time my heart really yearned to be just like my Mom. My real desire was marriage and family; my dream career homemaker.
I have been blessed to live out that dream, but in those early years I could never have imagined all it would encompass. Here we are, 41 years later - four generations of family. I didn't know how deep my love for my husband and children would run, how all-consuming it would be. I couldn't imagine the joy of seeing my children grow into such amazing adults. And grandchildren... blessing upon blessing.
Add to all that the blessing of having my Mom still with me - and I am thankful beyond words. The picture says it all - four generations of "US". Thank You Father for giving me the desires of my heart.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL THE MOMS! Have a blessed and joyful day.
Once again our senses are overwhelmed by great tragedy. The cyclone that slammed into Myanmar was devastating. The dead, numbered in the thousands and survivors left to deal with the storms' cruel aftermath. We may, perhaps, be permitted to wonder why. Where were You Lord when this storm began to form and chart its deadly course? Why would a loving God allow such tragedy? He understands such questions.
The walk down our front sidewalk takes us past an old rose bush that has been living in my little garden for 24 years. As I walked past it this morning, with such questions on my heart, I looked deeply into the heart of that flower and suddenly saw the face and the heart of God. The beauty and delicacy of that rose; the creative hand that fashioned it with such love, spoke to my heart. Here is God - the One whose love never fails and who gives precious gifts simply because that love overflows His great heart. Yes, life is filled with tragedy we will probably never understand this side of heaven, but the powerful truth of a loving God never changes. He is here. He is in Myanmar. He is in control. We must put our hope and trust in Him even in the face of devastating circumstances.
"I hear the tumult of the raging seas as Your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs praying to God who gives me life.
O God my rock, I cry, why have You forgotten me?...
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart sad? I will put my hope in God. I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God!"
Psalm 42: 7,8,9,11
When we got home I set the oven on self-clean, put in a load of laundry and cleaned the bathrooms. I am sitting here at my computer while my oven is being cleaned and the clothes are being washed - what a blessing. I often think my Grandmothers would have been amazed at our modern conveniences. In fact, I remember that my Mom had a wringer washing machine when I was a little girl. When I say I'm going to do the laundry, all I mean is I'm going to throw the clothes in there and push a few buttons. My Grandmother would have been busy scrubbing and boiling and hanging out clothes all day long. Even I remember the days of Easy-Off oven cleaner. There was nothing easy about that job!
I am able to clean the oven because it is such a beautiful day. The skies are clear, the humidity is gone and there is a wonderful breeze. I have all the windows open and we are not being driven out of the house by the fumes from the oven. Lovely!!
This past Thursday our choir sang, as they have done for several years now, on the steps of City Hall. It is so inspiring, so uplifting. I was especially moved by the prayers of the students - prayers from the heart for this country, for families, for their generation. It was a joy to watch them singing praise songs with heads and hands lifted to heaven. It gives me great hope.
Thursday was also our oldest son's birthday. He is now thirty-nine. How is that possible? There are exciting things happening in his life (and so the life of his family). God is so good.
My parents came for a little visit yesterday afternoon. My Dad is doing a bit better. He has physical therapy three times a week, and he really seems to enjoy it. We sat and visited for a little while then made the very short trip just up the hill from our house to see the new library. It has just opened and is beautiful. There is so much room! Previously the library was in a large store front building in the HEB shopping center near us. Now they have a huge open room for books and all sorts of meeting rooms and class rooms. Loving all things to do with books, I am happy to have it close by.
God is so good, and He fills my life full to overflowing with His blessings. The flowers are blooming, the little birds are having fun in the bird bath and no matter what difficult circumstances we may face, He is faithful. I am basking in the blessings today and trusting in His lovingkindness.