Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week of Thankfulness - Day 2

For a Christian wife, the highest human relationship (under God) is her husband.  God showed me extra grace, because He gave me one better than I deserve.  25 years of marriage and each day I still thank God.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week of Thankfulness Day 1

Here we are at the week of Thanksgiving!  All those plans to stop and give thanks daily through the month of November....began strong and then life happened!  Most days, I've tried to notice and be thankful for the abundant blessings God has given me.   But this week, I want to focus each day on the biggies!
Day 1 - Salvation
I didn't come from a Christian family.  By following the natural road of life familiar to me, many wrong choices were mad along with many wrong actions and the path to destruction was wide and I was heading full force down it. 
God graciously reached into my heart and shined His light to help me realize, there is something better and it is called grace. Grace given in spite of my sin to bring about a lasting change in my life. Christ died on the cross to forgive all of our sin and shame. His Word promised a new life when we accept His forgiveness. 
Some of my favourite verses are Psalms 103:2-5 for He has forgiven my iniquity, redeemed my life from destruction and crown me with loving kindness and compassion.

I live a different life now than in my earlier years, but never want to forget where He brought me out of.  Not to wallow in pity, but to reach out to others and say that I know where they are, but that there is hope.. Psalms 40:2

Salvation Grace, Mercy and New Life in Christ.  That is what I am thankful for today!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I Am That Woman....Almost!!

Recently our church celebrated its 164th Homecoming.  This is always a great day where we thank God for His blessings and enjoy fellowship with former church family and spent time getting to know new families.

For many of these Church Homecoming years, I've admired those ladies who arrived at the back door, dressed beautifully, carrying their dishes of delicious food, walking leisurely into church, greeting others all with a smile that radiated true joy and contentment.

On the other hand, I usually arrived after a morning spent cooking up something that I hoped was presentable and taste worthy of church homecoming, dressing children, losing track of time, and arriving breathless (blowing through the kitchen door to drop the food off) to find a seat and usually late!

This year's Homecoming Sunday found me with a food dish baking in the oven while at the ironing board with plenty of time to spare and a heart full of thankfulness.  The thought hit me..I am becoming that woman I've been admiring! What happened?  Through those years, instead of being overwhelmed, seasons of life changed and maturity began to grow.
After watching those admired ladies for several years, I learned little tricks like preparing food ahead, taking time to make the family presentable, knowing what foods I can cook well and will be enjoyed, and to give myself time and grace!  Also, as we grow and mature we understand it is not all about us!  Some seasons of life consume us, especially the years with young children who constantly need our care. But once we can breathe some, we notice others around us and can offer encouragement, kindness and friendship. We pay attention at church to needs shared and can seek to be a part of meeting needs. We learn to invest in the lives of others.  Most importantly, even as we love the progress we see, it is understood there is always room to grow in the Lord, in faith, in prayer and in love. 
Christian maturity is so beautiful because it draws attention to God working in and through us, it places the emphasis on what He can provide, not us. It fills the heart with a true, genuine love, much greater than human love.  It loves unconditionally and seeks God's best for one another. It brings a thankfulness to God as we realize the work He is doing is much greater than anything we can produce on our own.

So, please join me in that saying..."I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be.”  And rejoice in the path God is using to refine and make something beautiful through us.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It Feels Great To Be Healthy

Being an active for years, I've learned to love the energy and vitality a healthy lifestyle brings. I've also learned that the greatest benefits come from stretching the limits. When the muscles get stretched by making them do a little more than they are used to doing, they rebuild, but stronger. They grow through resistance. 
Healthy is not one big lumped together term, it is a combination of small decisions to do what is best for the body.  It involves the food we eat, exercise we do and how we build endurance and strength. 
A recent morning after a work out class followed by a run, I was walking into a store before heading home.  While walking, my leg muscles started making themselves known, and reminded me that they had worked hard!  In one of those crazy fitness guru moments, I thought....this feels so good!!
There is a Bible verse in I Timothy 4:8..."For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."
What I do for my physical body is great, but for my Christian walk, it also needs some stretching.  Reading God's Word, praying and being quick to do good deeds are great starts.  It is also about choices, when we choose to say an uplifting word over ones that tear down,  when we put the needs of another above our self, when we offer prayer or a Bible verse, we stretch our spiritual muscles.  In the midst of trials can come our greatest spiritual growth.  When our spiritual muscles are stretched so far, we feel that soreness in our hearts. When we grieve, face dire circumstances or crisis, we must depend on God. We decide to pray about it, speak God's praises, remember His promises and His faithfulness, this stretches those muscles and rebuilds them, greater and stronger. 
It is encouraging that something we can see great results from, physical exercise, can represent an even  greater benefit by exercising godliness which brings great profit now and forever.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sometimes You Just Have To Stop..

Last week, I had a day filled up to the brim.  After work, there was 1 hour before I had to go back into town for my son's soccer game.  During that hour, dinner had to be prepared, some laundry done and a few more things that filled the time slot quickly.

Pulling up to the house, I noticed in the neighbor's field a new, baby calf had arrived. This is a big field and the cows are usually not by our section.  But today they were.  The sweet baby calf was nursing and the mother was cleaning it, it was so precious!  I quickly went to get the camera and moved to the fence.  They stayed still, taking care of their needs, not a care in the world.  Inching closer and closer, with fascination and awe, the stillness of the moment was beautiful.  My earlier rush was forgotten and my spirit calmed.  Finally they moved on I was able to finish my list of to dos.  But now, I went about with a thankfulness that I stopped and took a breath and not only noticed, but cherished some beautiful gifts from the Lord.