Follow by Email

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Blessing of Family

Just a little over a week ago our family went on our annual fall hike. We have done it ever since I was pregnant with my youngest son. (The shorter of the two in this photo). For many years we have taken photos in front of this rock. Most years the boys barely were half way up the rock. This year you can see that they are almost surpassing it.

This year was a little bittersweet for me, because it is the last time that we will do our annual hike as a whole family. By next Fall my oldest will be in college in Florida.

Our hike was a lot shorter than normal because my oldest son is still dealing with a cross country injury that affects his hip. He isn't able to walk very much without pain and discomfort. He has been going through physical therapy. But I praise God for the opportunity we did have to go out together.

I think about traditions and things that we do together as a family - having a weekly family night with pizza and a movie, playing games, daily devotions and prayer time, eating supper together each night, etc. These are all things that I often just take for granted. But this past Friday, I had a reminder to treasure those times and realize how blessed I am.

Early Friday morning I dropped my son off at a local restaurant around 7:10 AM, to catch his ride to work. Less than twenty minutes later he called me on the driver's cell phone telling me that they had just been in a car accident, just yards away from where I had dropped him. It never even crossed my mind of the possibility of receiving a phone call like that. Fortunately the driver of the other vehicle as well as the friend my son was riding with, and my son were all fine - no broken bones.

My son is still struggling with aches and pains due to the force of the air bag as well as the seat belt. He told me that he was just going to reach down and get something when the accident occurred. I realized that if he had done that, it is likely that his head, neck, etc. could have been incredibly affected by the air bag. He could have been paralyzed or even killed. I shudder to even think about it.

So the past several days I have been pondering the blessing of family and how God put us all together. We never know the amount of days that we will have on this earth. Treasure each one!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rainbows and Sunrises

It was with a bit of effort that I pulled myself out of bed this morning. I had done a lot of cleaning yesterday and this morning was feeling the effects. I guess that means I'm getting more 'mature'. :) The bones and joints just aren't quite as fluid as they used to be!

I only had a short time to walk before taking my son in for his college classes this morning. They are calling for rain today, so I was quite surprised to see a glorious sunrise. I turned around shortly down the road to head back to the house so I could capture it on film. I know that the photos didn't do it justice because within moments it had changed and was not quite as brilliant as when I first stepped outside my home. Even though it was a short time to watch the colors of the sunrise, I stood in awe of the beauty of the day.

As I walked and prayed I noticed how much the sky was changing and becoming more overcast and looking like rain. But as I looked up I happened to spot a partial rainbow in stark contrast against the dark sky. I praised God for the beauty of the morning.

I have been going through a rough time emotionally lately. I don't know if it is from the things that are going on in our lives right now or if it is that 'stage of life' that I'm in with being in my 40's. All I know is that I feel like I have been on a roller coaster lately and I'm not particularly fond of this type of amusement ride. I'm more of the train ride type of girl. Last night as I journaled my thoughts from the day, I asked the Lord to give me some type of encouragement.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1 I praise God for the encouragement of a sunrise and a rainbow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Blessing of Fellowship

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25

Fellowship is an important part of our lives. It is not a good idea to be a lone-ranger Christian. We need the encouragement of other believers to spur us on to a deeper faith. Going to church is an important part of the fellowship that we need. But at times we need other opportunities as well. For many years we have not had the opportunity to fellowship with other Christians on a deeper level. We have taught Bible studies through the years and have been blessed with the fellowship through those as well.

I haven't realized until just recently of the blessing of a deeper fellowship with other believers. It isn't that we haven't desired this in our lives. We actually have, and prayed for it for many years, but God did not bring anyone in our path that had the deep yearning like we did, until just recently. Now our lives are blessed with a deep friendship with another family that too has this desire. We also are a part of a small group of several families that desire to get together and spur each other on to a deeper level of faith. Despite the struggles and problems that we face, it is encouraging to know that we have friends (brothers and sisters in Christ) who are willing to stand in the gap for us. To be there in the happy and sad times, to encourage, inspire, challenge and confront when needed. I can't help but feel that this is what God had in mind in this verse from Hebrews.

When was the last time that you fellowshipped with other believers? Perhaps you can make plans today for a time to meet together.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blessings

I have to be honest. It has been a rough week for me emotionally. Satan has been doing his best to get me down and discouraged this week. But I can finally say that now I am feeling victorious.

What made the difference? Several things I'm sure - prayer was a biggie. But I also had a friend that came alongside me and just listened and encouraged me. She couldn't change the situation or do anything physically to make it better. But she did commiserate, encourage and pray. She also called to make sure that I was all right.

The neat thing about this whole situation is that we have only been friends for two months. It is a type of friendship that I have been praying for most of my life. I am amazed at how quickly we have bonded and have been able to share from the heart with each other. God brought me a best friend even when I didn't know I needed one.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Thank you for picking me up my friend! :) Thank you too to my bloggy friends that leave comments that encourage me as well. I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Balance

Have you ever tried to do to carry too many things at once? Perhaps it is grocery bags that you are carrying in from the car. You take as many as possible so it means less trips back and forth from the car to the house. You have it perfectly balanced until suddenly something slips in one of the bags which puts everything else off balance. Before you know it you have a jar of spaghetti sauce crashing to the floor with shards of glass and sauce everywhere. Now I haven't actually dropped a jar of spaghetti sauce but I have dropped a gallon of milk before. It completely shatters as well. Not fun when a gallon of milk is close to $4 a gallon right now.

At times we can be involved in too many activities or have too many responsibilities on our plate. We get to the point where we spread ourselves too thin. We become useless in many areas. We become weary and stressed. We spin our wheels and don't get much accomplished. There is so much to do that we are overwhelmed with where to begin.

This is what I have been experiencing lately. Too many balls trying to juggle and experiencing a lot of stress in the process and little to show for what has been done. Also throw in stress from the current frustrations my husband has been experiencing since June with no relief in sight, as well as a cross country injury that my oldest son has experienced that involves physical therapy twice a week and his being off his feet as much as possible. This means a lot of extra running for me. Needless to say I have been feeling weary, overwhelmed and discouraged.

I guess I need to keep in mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-29, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Today are you weary and in need of rest? Why not crawl into your Heavenly Father's lap and experience His rest.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Finally Happened!

After many years of writing and hoping to be published, it finally is going to happen. For now, it is a photography unit study that will appear in the January/February 2009 Home School Enrichment magazine. Some day I pray that it will actually be a book that I get published. But for now, I praise God for the blessing of finding acceptance in the magazine market. I pray that it is just the beginning. I am encouraged that they also asked if I would be willing to write more unit studies in the future.

As happy as I am about my article, I can't help but be reminded of the importance of not seeking our acceptance in things of this world that often can disappoint, and soon disappear. Our only true acceptance can be found in Christ alone. He is the reason that I write. I pray that somehow through my words, Christ's love shines through and draws others to Him. That is my prayer.