Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eclectic Relationships

Ephesians 4:29 When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you. 

I have decorated my home in an eclectic style from a broad range of memories and inspiration. I have used what I love instead of what someone else says that I should or should not use in my home. My home reflects good memories, people, places or things that have inspired me along the way.   I have things around the house that bring back wonderful memories of places I have traveled and been inspired to use my creativity. When I look around my home it all comes together in my mind according to my personal journey of life!

My relationships are much the same way as I decorate my home. I also have friends that I have made good memories with and have inspired me much in the same way. There are so many types of friends in life who we meet growing up, at school, at church, our neighbors, at work, etc. The one thing that I find important in any friendship is someone who gives affirmation. Not someone who just tells me what I want to hear but someone who I know loves me genuinely to build me up instead of tearing me down.

Over the years I have had all types of friends but the one thing that I have learned from watching my own children is the importance of choosing your friends more carefully. I spent years giving my children affirmation to help reinforce their self esteem and confidence only to have them choose a friend who can undo all the years I have invested with their criticism. One of my grand kids confided in me how one of their friends brought them to tears with their harsh words. I began to affirm her and thought about how all of my own children had been defeated so many times by the negativity and criticism of others.

Later on that same day I witnessed as one of my kids was being criticised by one of their friends in a sarcastic remark.   I knew that no matter how much I tried to correct that situation and affirm my adult child in that untruth that the damage was already done and it would be to no avail. It makes me sad to think that all those years of affirmation could be damaged by people who are critical in nature. It also teaches me to be careful in who I personally choose to be around too. I can only pray that my own children and grandchildren do not allow others to destroy their self esteem and confidence. I can't control what others do but I can choose to decorate my life a lot like my home with eclectic relationships that inspire me!

Michael Minot tweeted: Your value doesn't somehow decrease just because someone else doesn't recognize your worth. 

T
This picture was taken when I was walking on Peanut Island, May 2013.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Worry!

Matthew 6:31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?"



We know as Christians that we shouldn't worry if we trust God but there is plenty to worry about for everyone in this crazy world. The problem is how do we not let that worry defeat us? In the scriptures above, Jesus is giving us some examples of what we worry about such as our health (what shall we eat & drink) and our possessions (what shall we wear).

Some people believe that these types of worries are only for the poor but actually the rich worry too. The poor worry about how they will get these things, the wealthy worry about losing them. Actually there are so many things we could spend our days worrying about in our relationships, job security, family, health and the list is endless.


Worry is stressful to our mind, body and soul and can make us physically sick. It can also take away precious time from our life if we spend too much time worrying; such as hours, days, months and even years. Is there really anything good that comes out of worrying? I can't think of a thing!


If we want to stop worrying then let's begin to take action steps to change this unhealthy pattern. First of all we should pray....then we need to ask others to pray for us too.  Once we have given that worry over to prayer we should begin enjoying creation and taking the time to look at what is beautiful in the world. The ocean is the place where I like to take my worries and my sadness because I feel God's presence; and I pray that I am able to leave them there! 


God has provided so much beauty around us to be able to enjoy and see His goodness. He provides us with His Word to give us hope of uncertainty. He provides us with good people to help us sort out the chaos and assist us in making sense of what is truly important. 


We cannot control those things around us....and most of the time I can't even control my response to those things.....but God has a way of guiding, teaching and comforting while in the midst of the worry....


I took this picture October 2013 of the typewriter in our office that I have used since the early 90's - I love the wheelwriter 10 and get a kick out of it when young people come in here and look at it as if it is something out of Jurassic Park.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Don't Give Up!

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 
I Samuel 1:10

Hannah was being tortured by her rival and in a very dark place in her life because she wanted so badly to have a child.

But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara which means bitter for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. Ruth 1:20

Ruth was bitter because of the death of her husband and two sons. 

These ladies responded with their emotions weeping in anguish and a bitter heart. They didn't walk around with a smile on their face and trying to think positive. They were in the darkest place as we so often find ourselves in times of crisis. Hannah cried out to God bargaining with him for a child. Naomi worked the fields and still did what she knew had to be done to put food on the table for herself and Ruth.

They could not see or imagine how wonderful their futures would turn out in spite of their emotions. God blessed them both in a great way that they could not have imagined. When all was lost for them both, it was only the beginning of their story.

Our lesson is to hang on in spite of the emotions of grief, bitterness, heartache and loss. No matter how much you feel your emotions are not showing your faith and trust, God will still move in your life. Sometimes we find ourselves in a difficult situation but don't give up!

 This is a picture taken of Palm Beach Island and the connecting bridge I took April 13, 2008.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Begin With God

Proverbs 2:10-12
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.
12 Wisdom will save you from evil people,
from those whose words are twisted.


It seems that all the odds are against us when we want to live right; that is certainly what Satan would have us to believe. Overcoming the evil one and evil people in our life is a daily task and these scriptures tell us that wisdom and knowledge are the key to a healthy lifestyle.

Wisdom and knowledge come from God and how do we get it? By reading and studying God's Word. That is why it is so important to attend church weekly. Be where the Word of God is being presented as often and as much as possible, soak it in. Seems simple enough but yet people continue to struggle through life missing the message God has for them week after week.

Are we leaving God last on our schedule or do we begin each week in His presence and the safety of His house and His people - The Church!

"Visit many good books, but live in the Bible." - C.H. Spurgeon





Thursday, January 16, 2014

~Making Decisions With Prayer~

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. 

My husband and I pray together daily and separately about any and all decisions in our life. Some are big decisions and some are not very significant but that is how I know God's will for my own life. Usually God brings us ultimately to the same decision and really how often does any married couple agree on anything? 

That is how I know it is God working in both our lives and the key to those decisions is prayer. Rarely does my husband decide differently than I do. If that should happen, I will usually follow his decision because I believe God can make a wrong decision right. These are the moments that I have to trust God no matter how I may feel. Easy to say but not always easy to do.
 
Usually my husband and I will not make a final decision on something of significance until we are both in agreement. It may take a few weeks but if we continue to pray we can see how God blends our hearts together in the same direction. We have managed to do this for several years now and find that no decision has been left unanswered by our Heavenly Father.
 
We both know how difficult it is to agree on what color to paint a room or something as simple as what to watch on tv. So when God works on our hearts to come to the same conclusion we know without a doubt that it can only be God!

Few things in life transform your character like making a commitment to pray together!

A picture of St. Andrews in Tangier Morocco taken by my 
father in the late 1950's or early 1960's.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Critical In Nature

"Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1

It is so easy to be critical of others and when I begin to go down that trail I have to ask myself: "When did I get to be so superior?" Am I so perfect that even though I have so much to work on myself personally I need instead to take time and thought to what others are doing wrong? I instead need to begin praying for those individuals and realizing they are in God's hands and take responsibility for myself. I think it is easier to see the faults of others than our own faults. We are fools if we believe we have it right and others have it wrong.


We need to stop believing we have the power to change others when we cannot even change ourselves. Let's work on encouraging others instead of tearing them down. Let's learn to take our focus off what others do and say so we can focus more on what we do and say instead.

Criticism has never accomplished anything but instead has brought pain to others. 


Criticism is a lot like cruelty, it leaves similar scars.


This picture was taken of the flowers in my yard!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Be Kind

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Just recently someone asked me what I thought they should do about their circumstance. It involved another individual and I really did not know the answer. I explained to them that right now there was no clear direction to the situation but for the moment I had some advice. First of all, pray that God would reveal the right answer and second of all while waiting for the answer, be KIND!

Kindness is always the right thing to do in any circumstance. I believe it has the power to heal. 

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers! Ruth Bell Graham

 
This picture was taken on one of my walks on the beach where we live.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Love Lesson!

"In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

One of the best books I read on relationships was "His Needs Her Needs" by Dr. Willard Harley. It was a real eye opener for me to understand my husband and the responsibility I had to be a better wife. My husband grew up with 4 sisters so he already had a better understanding of women in general. It wasn't until we began to apply some of those principles that we saw a great difference in our marriage.


After attending a Promise Keepers Conference many years ago my husband implemented something he learned there that he continues to do today. He began to sit down each day to talk and listen. At first it was a bit strange and then some days we found ourselves talking for several hours. He has been great about making sure we still do this and what a difference it makes on our relationship.

There are so many wonderful tools today to show us how to have a better marriage. I am grateful to those who take time to write and teach about these principles in order for many of us to make changes and live more wonderfully with those we love. Another great book written is "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman which taught me so much about myself.

My prayer: Lord show me how to love like you have loved me!

My mom took this picture of people dancing when she was visiting Paris, France in 2010.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What Are You Saying?

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart 
                          Be acceptable in Your sight,
                          O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

written January 2, 2011:

We are accountable for all our words and it can bless our life or curse it. That is a pretty powerful statement when you realize how important what you say is in your daily walk. I have heard people say, "it figures ~ always happens to me" and it does because they have said it and now they are living it. "Just my luck" is another term I have heard often when something goes wrong and because they have said it, now they are living it. Some of these sayings came to these individuals when they were children because someone uttered the same curse on their life and they have continued that generational curse.

Let's be aware of what we say and that we do not use words that will not only cause harm to others but to ourselves.



Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right. 
                                                                                           ~Terry Squires @OneImpact Bible


 I took this picture as I was traveling with my mother during a 
snow blizzard in Tennessee 2009.