Thursday is my day to write on the Laced With Grace Blog. Here is a little bit of what I've written:
We are, each of us, faced with choices. Some are the simple daily choices we make almost without thinking. Others have the potential to be life-changing. All of them, I think, need to be made prayerfully.
The story of Ruth in the Old Testament is the story of a young widow who made a choice that not only changed her life, but gave her a unique place in God’s plan for mankind. She chose to leave all that was familiar to her and follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, to a country she did not know. In making that choice she also pledged her loyalty to Naomi’s God. Her words have become familiar to most of us:
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
Ruth 1: 16-17
Please join me there for the rest of Ruth's story - and ours.
A few of the gifts the Father places along the way as we walk:
Little goats munching lunch
HUGE plants. We have no idea what the proper name for this plant is, but my husband likes to refer to it as the "giant pineapple".
An adorable little donkey. He sometimes comes to fence to have his little nose rubbed.
Brand new floors for Mom and Dad
A multitude of little butterflies fluttering along the way as we walk (they never will hold still long enough to pose for a picture).
Our evenings have become delightfully cool.
I do love my piano lessons and feel so grateful I am able to have them. My teacher is so infinitely patient and such fun.
The sweet "visitor dog" one of the ladies brought to choir the other day. They were on their way to visit people in the hospital. Sasha is such a sweet, gentle, patient dog. I know they must all fall in love with this beautiful German Shepherd. I did. She reminded me of Shep - the dog of my childhood.
I have such fun watching the antics of the silly squirrels in our front yard. There is one in particular that is like a hyper little kid. He looks for all the world like he's doing a little happy dance.
I am so thankful for God's provision - even in these difficult financial times.
Our son has been given a huge promotion. We are so thankful that the Lord has so blessed and honored his work.
Sweet little wildflowers and brilliant holly berries
delicious fried chicken
working in my flower garden on a "diamond" of a day - brilliant blue skies, golden sunlight, clear, cool breezes
the dove "couple" sitting peacefully on the edge of the birdbath in perfect harmony
a day at home with nothing pressing "to do"
the sound of my son's laughter
time spent with my Mom - getting to hear her reminisce about her younger days; love hearing the stories
seeing my son strong and well as he worked to make my Mom's dream of new floors come true
the privilege of spending time around God's word with my friends
a letter from a dear, dear friend
a phone call from a friend I hadn't talked to in far too long
a nice hot bowl of stew on a chilly evening
beginning another good book
Thank You Father, for filling my life with Your precious gifts.
"I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders. I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High."
Psalm 9: 1,2
I grew up in a Christian home and was saved at an early age. I have heard the stories lifted from the pages of scripture over and over again until they have become as familiar as my own family stories.
For years I took that fact for granted. In fact, there were times I wished I had a more "dramatic" salvation story. I listened to others telling how the Lord saved them from a life of absolute devestation and felt my story just didn't measure up.
I no longer feel that way. I realized long ago I had been given a great treasure. That precious truth was reenforced just this past wednesday in our small group Bible Study.
We were discussing Psalm 91. One of the ladies said it made her think of the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. We all voiced our agreement - all except the sweet lady sitting next to me. "I don't know that story." she said. We were all quiet for a moment, and then I began to tell her the story of the three young Hebrew boys who chose to be thrown into a fiery furnace rather than bow down and worship a golden idol.
When I finished, there were tears in her eyes. "I have never heard that story." We told her where to find it in her Bible, and she wrote it down saying she wanted to read it as soon as she got home.
It was such a beautiful picture for me of the grace God has poured into my life and the joy of seeing a searching heart find treasure. Those of you raising little ones now have the priceless privilege of filling your childrens' hearts and minds with the wonderful truths contained in the stories found in scripture. Just as I feel my heart filled with gratitude for parents who taught them to me (and sunday school teachers and pastors) - so will your children. Those stories will be woven into the fabric of their lives and will serve them well. I am so thankful for the Word.
We come into Your presence with humble reverence for You are a Holy, Righteous God and there is none like You.
By the power of Your word You created the heavens and the earth. You sit enthroned in glory and the earth is Your footstool.
You are the great Creator - the work of Your hand delights the heart.
You rule and reign over all things with perfect justice and righteousness. Even the seas obey Your voice.
Your word is living, powerful and life changing. It will not return to you void. Your wisdom is greater than our minds can conceive.
Your lovingkindness is everlasting. You are our shelter and fortress - a very present help in time of need.
We can never measure the depth of Your love, grace and mercy.
Oh Lord - we praise and magnify Your Holy Name. For You alone are worthy!
Have a blessed weekend,
I'd like to make a few more. It is easy to make one while watching tv in the evening. I like to imagine the precious babies whose little heads will be kept warm this winter.
Both of our sons have worked with my husband from the time they were very young, building our home, doing restorations, church projects and over the years building several other homes. It is amazing to see the skill they have acquired. On this project my husband let Todd be the "lead man" while he took the role of assistant. My husband could not be prouder of the job he did. Have a look...
The workman hard at his labor.
The finished kitchen floor....
The tired assistant...
Mom getting her little treasures back in place....
A beautiful job well done - and one happy Mom!
Left to their own devices, all the things I don't want to grow have flourished, and the plants I really do care about get crowded out.
The weather has finally cooled down. The a.c. is silent and the windows wide open to the cool, fresh breezes. Time to do some pruning. Armed with my trusty clippers, kneeling pad and gardening gloves, I went to work this morning.
I was merciless - cutting back and pulling out everything that didn't belong. I even cut back the flowers that like to sleep through the cooler months.
This is the end result .... order and room for good plants to breathe and grow.
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit."
Matt. 15: 1,2
Please do the necessary work in my heart so that I may bear fruit for You.
We will take a right and leave Home Depot and the shopping center behind us. They don't make for nearly as nice a walk. This is our neighbor's house.
A left hand turn takes us down the long hill....
and past my friend E's house. She and her husband walk with us whenever they aren't working.
At the bottom of the hill is a culdesac where we circle around and head back up the hill.
This is the longest climb on our walk and the point at which I usually fall sadly behind.
This beautiful holly bush is growing along the fenceline about half way up the hill. See - fall colors even in South Texas!
We're finally nearly at the top of the hill. That's the Christian School perched above us.
Another left hand turn and we're headed down the street.
Here's another beautiful Holly Bush. I keep promising myself I'm going to get one for our yard. They put out beautiful white flowers in the spring and then these gorgeous berries in the fall.
We've made it up another hill and onto a more level part of the road.
a pretty autumn wreath on our neighbor's gate
At the crest of another hill and around a bend in the road...
We are patriotic Americans and proud Texans!
This modest little trailer home was one of the only homes on this little country road when we first moved here. In fact the road wasn't even paved. When the occassional car or truck went by, it made for a rather dusty walk!
We've reached the end of the road. Time to turn around and head back.
This is the other house that was here when we first moved in. It's a sweet little Victorian house that was moved here from town.
Here we are - home at last. You've walked a little over three miles! Good for you! Now we can get a nice cold glass of water and relax.
Have a blessed weekend,
I love tiny things: minature tea sets, doll houses, little china animals, and minature flowers just to name a few. There is something about them that just touches my heart.
I walked past these tiny flowers this morning, and they made me smile.
I gathered a few of them up and brought them home with me. I tied a little yellow ribbon around them and placed them in a tiny tea cup.
They are gracing the top of my dresser, right beside another tiny tea cup that once belonged to my Grandmother. She didn't have great wealth, in fact they struggled financially most of her life. I like to think of this little cup bringing a smile to her dear face.
"I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is
greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least
person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he
is !" Matt. 11:11
"An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others."
I have been thinking a lot about the way God sees each of us. Imagine keeping track of so many children. I can remember back to the days when I taught pre-school. Whenever we went on an outing, I spent most of my time counting heads. I was terrified of losing one of them. I know the Father has no such fears. He sees each of us - as though we were His only child.
Then there is the matter of prayer. I wonder, at any given moment, just how many of us are talking to Him? Whenever I walk into our large Women's Bible Study, the sound of all those voices talking at once is so confusing. It is impossible to distinguish one voice from all the others speaking at the same time. Not so for the Father. He hears each of our prayers, each of our deepest thoughts, as though we were the only one speaking.
In my darkest hour, I call out Your name
While millions of others are doing the same.
You bend down to listen, and say, "My child come.
I hear you as though you were my only one."
In these days when circumstances seem to overwhelm us, it is such a comfort to know He sees, He hears, He loves - just as though I, just as though you, were His only child.
As we got ready to go for our walk the regular radio programming was interrupted to cover the President's speech. I decided to put in my earphones and hook on my Walkman and listen as I walked. There was nothing very comforting and the follow-up discussion was filled with doom and gloom.
Then I spotted them - the last of the wild flowers growing along the side of the road. Most of them sitting peacefully amid very difficult circumstances. The ground is so dry because we haven't had rain in so long. Much of the things growing around them look rather dry, but there they were looking serenely beautiful.
As I watched a beautiful bluebird glided gently to the ground making a splash of brilliant color against the backdrop of fading grasses. I thought of Jesus' words and my heart was comforted:
" Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom nor barn; and yet God feeds them; how more valuable you are than the birds!
Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.
But if God so arrays the grass in field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O men of little faith!
Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or With what shall we clothe outselves?
For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself."
"Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you." I Peter 5:7
Then on the way home this sign in front of the school just up the street from us.